Chris Holtz is an American shoot fighter turned professional wrestler. He first gained notoriety in the shoot-fighting community through Close-Quarters Combat in Indonesia. He later left submission fighting to wrestle professionally in Japan. After a brief stint as a free agent in Japan, he went back to his hometown in St. Louis and spent some time in the midwest independent wrestling scene. He later returned to the international wrestling scene when he signed with Britain-based Championship Wrestling Alliance.
Chris Holtz's history in wrestling began in high school where he joined the Hazelwood Central High wrestling team in his Freshman year. Showing a high level of skill early on, he was the first and heretofore only Freshman in the state to earn a spot on a varsety wrestling team. He went on to win the state championship for his weight class, winning by decision with a 9-8 score. The following year he won the state title a second time, against the same opponent, this time winning via pin in the 2nd round. However, feeling dissatisfied with the high school wrestling system, he declined to join the team in his Junior or Senior years of high school.
Martial Arts Training
After graduating high school, Holtz forewent college and trained extensively in various martial arts. Initially he trained in Hapkido and Jeet Kune Do with noted American martial arts trainer Steve Shaw. Through Shaw, he learned of the Keysi Fighting Method. While Shaw himself was largely untrained in the style, he got Holtz in contact with Oh Hyun Soo, a martial arts instructor based in Eastern Asia that could train him further. Finishing his training with Shaw, Holtz flew to Guir-si, South Korea to train with Hyun Soo. Initially it was Holtz and another student training with Hyun Soo, but with the premature departure of the other student, Holtz soon became his only trainee. Holtz trained extensively under Hyun Soo in Guri-si for 18 months before the two went to Malasya for the remainder of Holtz's training. When both Holtz and Hyun Soo decided that Holtz had learned as much as he could, Holtz left Malasya and, on recommendation from Hyun Soo, headed to Indonesia and signed on with CQC (Close Quarters Combat).
Close Quarters Combat
Initially, CQC was reluctant to accept Holtz, only giving him a chance based on Oh Hyun Soo's recommendation of him. He had not had a real competitive match since high school, didn't speak the language- barely getting by with the little German he knew via some of the European fighters in the promotion- and seemed largely unsure of himself. He was given a series of five try-out matches, all of which he won, three by knock-out and two by submission. Sufficiently impressed, CQC gave him a permanent spot in their middleweight division, officially signing him on in May 2002. During his stay, he spent any down time he had studying and learning the local language, eventually becoming fluent in Indonesian. Starting off as a complete unknown, he soon caught many people's attention due to his unique blend of Hapkido, Jeet Kune Do, and KFM and the fact that he was building an impressive undefeated streak. Eventually CQC put him in a match with then middleweight champion, freestyle wrestling specialist Islam Bairamukov. However, Holtz requested that the middleweight title not be on the line. The management obliged, and Holtz went on to defeat Bairamukov in a non-title match. At the end of the year, Holtz was recognized as both the best Rookie and best Middleweight Wrestler in CQC for 2002.
In 2003, Holtz continued to impress with his unique style and steadily growing undefeated streak. It was early in this year that the thought of going to professional wrestling entered Holtz's head, as a small handful of CQC fighters headed to Japan to join the professional ranks. However, Holtz pushed the thought into the back of his head for the time being, concentrating further on his submission wrestling career. During this time, Holtz was again put in a match with Bairamukov, again defeating him in an extremely well received match.
The Nam-Sun Park Match
On October 28, 2003, Holtz had a match with Wing Chun expert Nam-Sun Park. The match went nearly 45 minutes, being one of the longest in CQC history. It was nearly stopped on more than one occasion due to the blood loss of both men, but officials (reluctantly) allowed it to continue to its finish. The end saw Holtz win by technical knock-out as he locked on a standing front naked choke on Park and broke through his guard, hitting a series of crushing knees to the stomach and chest. The match was instantly hailed as a classic and the best CQC had ever seen. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer even gave it a rare Five Stars.
The next month Holtz decided to head to Japan to wrestle professionally after he finished out the year. Sadly, a massive break of his left clavacle in mid-November ended his CQC career prematurely. Though he still had made a more than good enough showing to be named CQC's middleweight wrestler of the year again for 2003.
Not wanting to be tied to a particular promotion, Holtz remained a free agent through the entirety of his year in Japan. Under the name Chris Chaos, he was used primarily to fill out cards when the promoter felt it lacked in match count or, in later months, quality. Most notably was when he was booked for a weekend in Toryumon, wrestling Dragon Kid in a 2/3 Falls match, and the next night teaming with Dragon Kid against Crazy MAX members CIMA and Judo SUWA. During these matches, he worked extensively with Dragon Kid, Playing off of his undefeated streak from CQC, promoters always put Holtz on the winning end of his matches. The sole exceptions to this were two 1-hour draws, both of which were followed by Holtz defeating his opponent in the subsequent match.
In his final match in Japan before going back to the United States, he was booked against BLUE-K. Wanting an impressive and devastating visual for the finish, the two worked out Holtz's first recognized, and least used, trademark move as a professional wrestler; the crossed-arms Ganso Bomb. When asked what he called it, he jokingly made a play off of his ring name "Chris Chaos" and called it the Feigenbomb (a play on words referring to Mitchell Feigenbaum, developer of the mathematical Chaos Theory). Much to his surprise, the name stuck and remains the move's name to this day, though due to the high level of danger he hardly ever uses it.
Midwest Championship Wrestling
After a mostly unremarkable run in Japan, in 2005 Holtz returned to his homestate of Missouri to wrestle in the midwest independent scene. Going back to using his real name as his ring name, Holtz signed with MCW (Midwest Championship Wrestling), based out of Kansas City, MO. Though he continued his career-long undefeated streak and impressed fans with his ever unique style, it looked as though his stay in MCW would be as uneventful as his time in Japan. But the fates aligned to change that. One night they were doing a show in St. Louis, where Holtz was understandably extremely popular. The main event was scheduled to be a four corner match with MCW Champion Kevin Sharp, Phobia, Chapel, and Brian Escher, but Sharp had a prior arrangement with Gateway Championship Wrestling in Mehlville. Holtz, who was booked against Dio in an undercard match, was substituted in for the champ, putting him in the main event spot in his hometown. He won the match, drawing a huge reaction from the crowd, and inspiring one of the commentary staff to dub him The Dark Horse.
The four corner match began a 4 month feud between Holtz and Chapel, with Chapel refusing to wrestle Holtz in a sanctioned match. Instead, he would randomly jump Holtz, aided by his followers, after a match, calling the attack a match and declaring himself the winner. The feud culminated in Holtz's penultimate match for MCW; a three way elimination match between Holtz, Chapel, and Phobia, whom Chapel had also been targeting. The match ended with Holtz pinning Phobia after the Occam's Razor. His final match was the highly anticipated and only one-on-one match between Chris Holtz and fellow mat technician Brian Escher. The hard-fought match ended in a one hour draw, and remains one of two unavenged non-wins in Holtz's career.
Championship Wrestling Alliance
On October 2, 2006, Holtz was approached by the British promotion CWA (Championship Wrestling Alliance). He visited backstage and watched a couple shows as a guest of the management, and, thouroughly impressed, agreed to join the roster. He finished out his MCW bookings and made his on-screen debut on the morning of Halloween in a promo segment to hype up his debut match. He went on to win, and subsequently won the tournament for the British Championship, his first professional championship won. He went on to hold the British championship for over 4 months, at the time the second longest title reign in CWA.
The British Championship
In the beginning he played up the duality of his apathy towards titles while holding one himself, but later in his reign he only talked about it when an opponent brought it up. Holtz also made a few rulings in how he would defend his hesitantly held title. He would not wrestle in a one-on-one competition in which the title was not on the line. He would not allow a title match to go to a draw; if it was a draw, the match would be restarted. He defended it in some hard-fought matches, including a three-way hardcore match against David Slam and Donzig, in which he was forced to use weapons for the first and only time of the career. Along the way he had some more decisive victories including defences against Baron von Rammstein and Austin James. At the January pay-per-view "Aftershock," Holtz fought relative newcomer Jake Reed to a one hour draw. But instead of simply doing a rematch at a later date, Holtz enforced a rule he made as champion and had the match restarted, and Holtz won shortly thereafter. This match remains the longest in CWA history, lasting just over an hour. That next month, one of his statues was abolished by CWA management, and he was forced to face David Slam in a non-title match. The match was hard-fought, but Holtz, for the first time in his career, was defeated when Slam pinned him. At the end of the month at the pay-per-view, Slam challenged for the title, and Holtz was able to avenge his first of two losses.
Early that next month it was announced that Holtz would defend his title against Whitey Ford, a legend in CWA and former World Champion in his own right. The month-long feud started off right away as a combination of competitive respect, animosity, and a clash of their different wrestling styles. The feud was intense, and by the time the match rolled around many said it was one of the most anticipated matches in CWA history. In the end, however, it was Whitey Ford who came out on top after dropping Holtz on his head with an Emerald Fusion, winning the title and giving Holtz his second loss. Thus far there has been no rematch with which Holtz could avenge the loss, as Ford lost the title a couple months later and has since retired from wrestling for the time being.
After the British Championship
The following month, Holtz again wrestled Jake Reed, this time in a match that would give the winner the next shot against Whitey Ford. The finish saw Holtz lock Reed in the Hell Strangle and Reed bridging back to pin Holtz's shoulders to the mat, but tapping out before the ref could count three. Following the match, Holtz announced that his match with Whitey would be non-title, as he still had no interest in winning championship gold. This angered Reed, who had worked hard to get another shot at the British title. He attacked Holtz and hurt his shoulder badly enough to put him on the shelf for almost a month. Following the attack, Reed inexplicably disappeared from the CWA scene and has yet to return.
Upon his return, Holtz had a much grimmer demeanor than he had in the past. He replaced his personally-adored nickname "The Dark Horse" with "The Pale Horse," and displayed a much more vicious style of wrestling, going so far as to injure Johnny Truant in a match badly enough to retire him. Also, for the first time, he made it known that he was actively seeking to win a title; the CWA World Heavyweight Championship. Though he has yet to claim a title shot, ostensibly biding his time with the title scene thins its self out, he has made it clear that he fully intends to one day soon wear the world title.
Holtz was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the eldest of three children. While he showed no interest in any specific athletics until joining the high school wrestling team, he kept fit even at an early age via his father, the physical training coach at the high school. Instead, his interests lied more in music and film, favoring more obscure and older fares than most of his peers; a trait that holds even to this day. Also, along with his brother Isaac, he enjoyed reading. Both having read A Clockwork Orange, they absorbed the anti-hero narrator's verbal language Nadsat and adopted it into their everyday speech.
Growing up in a religiously ambiguous environment, Holtz was left to his own devices to suss out his beliefs. While never claiming any particular religion or spirituality, admitting to only the vaguest of belief systems, the pursuit of such and the study of various religions and practices has always been a big part of Holtz's personal life, and often a topic of deep (and sometimes heated) conversation to anybody willing. Occasionally, his views on the subject will show up in his on-air personality (most notably a long monologue on Christ's sacrifice that garnered more of a positive response than any other promo he'd done), he is steadfast in his refusal to make it a permanent part of his character, talk about it in interviews, or to make it a topic of discussion with the unwilling ("The greatest commandment of all," he once said in an interview, "'Thou shalt keep thy religion to thy self.'").
Holtz has been a long-standing supporter of the Autism Speaks foundation. Initially supporting the cause because his girlfriend's little sister was autistic, he continued actively in it ever since. Whenever at a public function, he can be seen sporting a pin in the shape of a blue puzzle piece, the logo for Autism Speaks, on his jacket.
Holtz has been known to help give exposure to local and independent bands whenever possible. Most notably, from his first professional match until entering CWA, he'd come out to music by a band local to the area rather than have one standard entrance theme. This ended when he joined CWA. Citing the fact that the touring was more extensive than in Japan, and not nearly as regional as his run in the Midwest, finding local bands he liked, picking a song, and using it for his entrance music every time they did a show would be nearly impossible. Instead, he opted to use a song by his favorite band, Faith No More. He later changed to "Perfect Night" by Dr. Donuts, a song used as the theme for villainous madman Legato from the anime Trigun.
While Holtz is not as big on tattoos as many of his contemporaries, he has a few himself and has said he would be open to get more if he thought of one that would be particularly meaningful to him. When he went to Japan, he had two tattoos; a black band around his wrist, leftover from a past relationship, and "Redigo Vestrum Lumen" on his shoulder, Latin for "Make of Yourself a Light," a line from "The Buddha's Last Instruction." He was advised not to get any more, as many places still refuse admittance to people with tattoos in Japan due to Yakuza ties. A few months into his stint in MCW, he got a third tattoo; a black equals sign on the back of his left shoulder.
Holtz has extensive training in close-quarters fighting styles. While not officially ranked, he has extremely high levels of skill in Hapkido, Jeet Kune Do, and KFM. Over the course of training for his fight with Nam-Sun Park, and training with Park after the match, he picked up some Wing Chun, but not nearly to the extent of the others. After wrestling in Japan, mostly with junior heavyweights, he added a lot of aerial styles to his own striking and grappling based style. Over the course of his year in Japan, he slowly assimilated it and blended the fighting styles he already learned, combining them into one almost seamless style. While in MCW, he adapted this style further, making it more fitting to the professional wrestling style, even going so far as to hone a few finishing moves. Whenever asked about his style, he refers to it as "a work in progress," referencing the fact that he's always looking to incorporate and assimilate more fighting styles into his own.
- The Occam's Razor (Modified version of Elix Skipper's "Play of the Day," in which he uses the far knee to twist his opponent over, driving the inside knee into his opponent's neck as they hit the mat)
- The Hell Strangle (Crucifix hold with a choke)
- The Feigenbomb (Crossed-arm Ganso bomb, or, more specifically, a crossed-arm wrist clutch Ganso bomb. Used only 3 times in his professinal career)
- running STO
- Rolling elbow
- snap flipping leg drop
- step-up enziguri
- Shining Wizard
- cross-face chickenwing with leg scissors
- millennium suplex (cross-face chickenwing suplex)
- flaming star press (450 splash facing the opposite direction)
- beast choke
Lately, Holtz has also used a fireman's carry into an Emerald Fusion, though it has not been used extensively enough for it to be known if he uses it as a finishing move or a signature move.
- "Acid Police" by The Boredoms
- "Dead Tree" by Dir En Grey
- "Strange Days" by FC Five
- "45" by Noodles
- "Slap1" by The Gwapos
- "The Power Cosmic" by Last Night's Vice
- "Sweet Tooth" by Jetpack
- "Like People" by The SpacetoneS
- "Cover Up" by The Disnehead Waltsicle
- "Walk (To Righteousness)" by Jetpack
- "Everything's Ruined" by Faith No More
- "Perfect Night" by Dr. Donuts
- 2-time Missouri-state amateur champion
- 2002 CQC Middleweight Wrestler of the Year
- 2002 CQC Rookie of the Year
- 2003 CQC Middleweight Wrestler of the Year
- ***** Observer rated match (Chris Holtz vs. Nam-Sun Park, 10/28/2003)
- 2005 MCW Wrestler of the Year
- 1x CWA British Champion (11/20/06-3/25/07)
- 2006 CWA Up and Comer of the Year
- 1x CWA Undisputed Heavyweight Championship
- 2007 CWA British Champion of the Year
- Holtz considers himself something of a movie buff, using most of his recreational time watching movies. He professes a deep admiration for surrealist films, especially Maya Deren's "Meshes of the Afternoon" and David Lynch's "Six Men Getting Sick."
- Holtz is slightly lactose intolerant
- Holtz is double jointed in his fingers, and can bend them back at a 45-degree angle at the bottom knuckle, 90-degrees if he pushes them back with his other hand
- Since he concentrated so much on wrestling and school work in high school, so much with training after high school, and later spent so much time training in different countries, Holtz has yet to get any sort of driver's license.
- Occasionally jokes about his "inability to grow a decent beard."
- Carries a copy of Richard Bach's novel Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah with him at all times.
- Is a vocal supporter of the West Memphis Three. Has been seen wearing the West Memphis Three shirt on many occasions.