Platinum Championship Wrestling takes its final stand in Atlanta 

PCW founder moves on, but won't go down without a fight

FIGHT CLUB: Jon Williams (back) and Scott Steele (front) at a PCW fight in 2010.

Joeff Davis

FIGHT CLUB: Jon Williams (back) and Scott Steele (front) at a PCW fight in 2010.

When Platinum Championship Wrestling was on the cover of Creative Loafing in 2010, it was heading into its most ambitious endeavor yet: Sacred Ground: Chapter One, the company's biggest showcase of homegrown talent. Since then, PCW has become one of the most respected independent wrestling promotions in Georgia, attracting talents from other established programs such as Cornelia's Anarchy Wrestling and Warner Robins' Rampage Pro Wrestling. On Friday, Sept. 28, PCW will host its final Atlanta-area show at Academy Theatre in Avondale Estates, and Saturday's Sacred Ground: Chapter Three in Porterdale could mark the end of PCW altogether.

2012 has been a banner year for PCW, which has been running at least six shows a month and premiered its documentary The Booker at this year's Atlanta Film Festival. But last November, the EMPIRE, a new faction comprised of outside talent and PCW turncoats, showed up on the scene and began dominating the Friday night shows at Academy Theatre. In response, PCW founder Stephen Platinum started running a show the first and third Saturdays of each month in Porterdale, a small mill town between Conyers and Covington that was once a hotbed for wrestling. The truth is, Platinum is behind EMPIRE's rise. The guise is another dramatic play in the theatrics PCW has championed since its inception and a way for Platinum's namesake to go out fighting.

Platinum's wife (longtime Center for Puppetry Arts puppeteer Julie Dansby Scarborough) recently took a job teaching drama in Orlando. Platinum, who's been making the long weekly commute to Atlanta since the couple relocated, finally decided to curb the fight nights to two a month. PCW's biggest event seemed like the right place to make the transition official.

"My goal was to establish wrestling again in Atlanta — Porterdale was a big bonus — and leave it better than it was when I arrived," says Platinum. "I'm not taking exclusive credit for this, but when we started doing shows, wrestling was a sort of disjointed thing. Lots of people didn't get along and I think I did more than anybody to try to work together with people ... and expose them to our guys."

PCW's "retreat" to Porterdale provided an intriguing rivalry with EMPIRE, attracting new fans at both locations. At Sacred Ground, EMPIRE Champion Shane Marx will battle PCW Champion "The Demigod" Mason. Platinum has found homes for PCW's wrestlers in other Georgia promotions so that they can continue after Sacred Ground. Platinum isn't giving up wrestling completely either. He'll continue running the Porterdale shows either as EMPIRE or PCW, depending on who's victorious at Sacred Ground, and has been networking with Total Nonstop Action and WWE, both of which run weekly shows in Florida.

"Is this the last Sacred Ground? My gut is that it is because ... if we're just doing a big show at the end of September because it's what we've been doing, then I'd rather not do it," says Platinum. "We don't want PCW or EMPIRE, whatever it ends up being, to be this thing where people say, 'Oh, you should have been here when it was great.'"

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