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I could tell you the tale of how I came through this business for the last 15 years, how I fought my way to the top and got knocked back down, only to end up where I am now. I could, but to me that’s not the most exciting story in the world. Suffice it to say that I have a great knowledge of this business, and have found myself employed by some truly great, and amazingly not so great, promotions since 1989. This isn't the story of how I came to be where I am now but instead the story of where I am now. Besides, Jessica Henderson likes to bring up the past, so mine will be made very public very soon.

I came aboard Southern Style Wrestling through the aforementioned Jessica Henderson in November of 2004. I was told very little to start other than that SSW was a back to basics old school approach to wrestling, something that wasn't really being done in North American Wrestling right now. My question was simple, what exactly does that mean.

When you think Southern Style Wrestling, or SSW from here on out, think wrestling from Georgia and The Carolina's in the 80's. Think Ric Flair, The Four Horsemen, Dusty Rhodes, Magnum TA, Kevin Sullivan, and The Varsity Club. Think Good vs. Evil with very little room for or want of grays. It was an idea I found appealing. I was in quicker than I thought possible, my only communication thus far with Miss Jessica Henderson.

I knew absolutely nothing of Jessica, and found out very little when I contacted old friends and made some noise to try and find out about her background in this sport. What I did learn was that she had worked briefly in Canada with a small promotion that never made it off the ground in 1998 and that she had worked for Turner at CNN as some sort of an executive prior to that. Her whereabouts and her work history from 98 to the present was unknown and I was unable to find a thing out. She grew up in Illinois, same as myself although she was a Chicago suburbs girl, went to college in Upstate New York, and graduated mid level in 1995. She achieved nothing notable during school, wasn't married now nor had she ever been, and seemingly had absolutely zero knowledge of the wrestling business. For all I knew she had watched RAW for a few weeks in the late 90's mega craze of the sport and decided to become a part of it all. She was a mystery for all intents and purposes.

Not as big a mystery as her employer. I'll go into much greater detail on this as time goes on, of this I can 100% assure you, but for now suffice it to say that I signed on with SSW without ever learning for whom I would be working. If Jessica is a mystery this person who was financing and who owned the whole thing was a conundrum wrapped in a riddle, to borrow an old cliché. I knew absolutely nothing about him or her. While that may seem odd, what's odder is that my signing onto this with no information about my employer or his business manager, as I came to think of Jessica, is something I do not do. I am meticulous in my research and where I agree to work. I need to know everything about the person and their style and what they expect. To this day I am still not sure why I agreed to move from Illinois back down to Georgia and give this thing a go.

SSW was born officially on January 3, 2005 in Georgia, providing a more traditional approach to wrestling. It was myself, Jessica on the rare occasion that she made an appearance, and three other names that my mysterious employer had already signed for me, like it or not. The rest was up to me.

No pressure.

Edited by theromacomplex
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Teddy Hart, Julio Dinero, and Ricky Morton all have one thing in common, and it’s not their love for this sport. All three were handed to me already signed, sealed, and delivered. I had no input whatsoever into their hiring, as these three men were mine already when I signed on. I do not know why my employer hired them, what made them stand out amongst the other thousands of potential wrestlers to be signed, or when they were even signed, I simply have them and I will use them. That is the deal with these three.

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Teddy Hart I had never met, and aside from the stories anyone can read on the internet, I knew nothing of him. I had heard/read that he is an immature child who has a tendency to rub people the wrong way and act as if he is better than everyone else around him, but I had nothing to back those statements up. Well, aside from a few well placed phone calls to some friends who had worked with him in the past. One such gentleman, whom politely turned me down when it came around to the discussion of whether or not he would be interested in working some shows for SSW, told me the story of his great hatred for all things Teddy. It was the exact same thing I had read online, at least confirming HIS side of the story. The one thing I learned from Teddy almost immediately upon speaking to him was that he was a mother fucker. That may seem a bit harsh, rude, or out of line, but it simply was my immediate and initial reaction to this kid. I knew he was talented in the ring, although I wondered how he really fit into a promotion that we were booking to be Old School Traditional Wrestling, but his attitude and the way he talked DOWN to those around him led me to begin to form my opinion of him. I will admit, however, that within the context of that opening conversation, where I swear to god it sounded at various points as if he was either constipated or receiving head, that I came up with the basis of what would prove to be the most successful story we told in our opening year. I may have been saddled with Teddy whether I really wanted the little shit or not, but I intended to use him as best as I could.

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Julio Dinero was another man I had never met. I had seen him wrestle more than once, both live and on tape, but I had never spoken to the man. I sensed almost immediately that his respect for this business and his love of all things in it would make him a good fit for the style of wrestling we were going to be doing, however. To take a moment aside here, I walked into this thinking of that classic 80’s style of wrestling that the south had been known for. I didn’t want the flashy, gimmicky, ariel stars of today, I wanted the slow, methodical, power wrestlers of yesterday. You know, the big men that could actually move and knew the basics of their craft. I thought if I could find a Lex Luger and then help him hone his craft and make him into something, then perhaps this could be more than a small diversion in my otherwise boring life before it folded up as it inevitably would. Julio is a prime example of what made me change my opinion and move my thoughts into a different area. Those wrestlers of yesteryear are still viable in my mind, and we will have some, but we also needed the Pillmans, Flairs, Arns, and Steamboats of this generation of wrestlers. Now I have no delusions that I have found the next generation incarnations of any of those great men, but I did have Julio handed to me with no fuss and no muss, and anyone who has seen him inside the ring knows that he is capable of a lot more than some spotty high flying moves. He has Ring Of Honor, WWE, and old school NWA all mixed into one nice package. Also, compared to Teddy Hart he is a walking saint.

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Ricky Morton is another matter altogether for me. He and I have never been friends per se, but we are acquaintances, having worked together several times, including one of the multitude of poorly conceived and executed heel turns for the perennial baby face. We actually understand how the other thinks and works in a lot of situations, which is more than I can say for myself and Teddy Hart or Julio Dinero to be sure. I was most pleased to see his name on my list. Another aside, if you will allow me, is the state of Tag Team Wrestling in this industry, although primarily here in the US more than anywhere else. Whereas someone like Ricky Morton is most well known for being a Tag Team Wrestler primarily, and I think I could easily make a case for him being the father of modern Tag Team Wrestling as he and Robert Gibson perfected it, today Tag Team Wrestling is a hodgepodge of failed singles wrestlers pushed into a team, with no rhyme nor reason and in most occurrences absolutely no chemistry with one another. Ricky Morton can get it done in the ring on his own with no problem whatsoever, but his niche is tagging with a partner of like mind and skills and performing their own unique wrestling dance that is a true art form all to itself. Ricky’s place on the roster is secure enough with me, and his role had already been determined moments after I saw his name. Plus, he does have a marquee value name in the south amongst old school fans that we can play on quite well.

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Ricky’s name actually led me to the signing of another man, as the pieces slowly fell into place for me over the first few days of 2005. I knew what I hoped we could achieve now in the opening months of SSW, and Marty Jannetty was a man that could help us achieve it. Marty, similar to Ricky, is someone I have known for years. The difference is that Marty and myself were quite close until about 1996, when for various personal and professional reasons we had a falling out. While we still talked on the occasion that we would run into each other, and Marty has never been one to publicly badmouth anyone who didn’t deserve it, although I think I may have deserved it, the friendship was gone. I called Marty personally, deciding to forgo the booking agent/company that I would normally go through in such a case, and explain my ideas as well as the goals for the promotion as a whole. Much to my surprise he had actually heard of us. It was in fact our talk that led me to look us up on the internet, then to hire a kid to make us a little more well known. By our first show in February we had a semi professionally run website and were actually being talked about on some smaller message boards. But I digress. The conversation with Marty led to another conversation and a meeting a few weeks later, and soon enough we had Marty Jannetty signed for at the very least our first show.

It was during this time that I was setting up our website, finalizing the details for the first show, and talking with Marty that we made a number of other significant, although not at the time, signings. While I will go into more detail at a later time, we had Adam Pearce, Adam Jacobs, Cody Hawk, and Rick Santel signed and ready to go as well. While all the names were familiar to me, none actually set me on fire in terms of excitement. We had, so far, made deals with two names in this sport, although their stars were significantly duller than they had been in their heyday to be sure, two up and coming names that I had no doubt would someday be more well known, and four relative unknowns in terms of wrestling fans outside the message board internet types and local Indy fed fans. What we did have for sure was an eclectic group that I was starting to see could and hopefully would bring in an intriguing fan base and wide array of different types of fans despite our claims of being Old School Traditional Wrestling. It would be interesting to say the least.

I suppose now would be a good time to explain the money situation we had in SSW, but to me that is one of those things that shouldn’t be talked about. Call me old school myself, but it never seemed proper to talk about the financial situation of a company, no matter how good or bad it was doing. All that can come of that is rumors and innuendos leading to possible malcontent and fears, as can be seen on display in NWATNA right now. Whomever my employer was, and as the days and weeks went by this was becoming more of an issue for me than you can know, especially when Marty Jannetty and myself discussed exactly whom he was working for, he had made us somewhat comfortable in the opening months of the promotion. Or territory if you prefer. Money was spent, promises were made, deals were struck, and we were doing fine.

That is until Jessica Henderson came to me with my bosses newest idea. He, or she as I never did just assume my employer was a male or wasn’t Jessica for that matter, apparently liked the way the roster was coming together for the first show. He, or she, had a few ideas of his, or her, own for signings. I wasn’t sure how much I liked it, although one name was truly inspired if you ask me, but I dealt with it.

Jerry Lynn, Sean O’Haire, and Erik Watts were the three names my employer wanted me to attempt to get. To say it didn’t occur to me why he, or she, didn’t simply do it themselves when they had already delivered Teddy, Julio, and Ricky would be a lie, but on January 18 I began the procedure of trying to get these three individuals. I got one of them, and it wasn’t the one I even wanted.

SSW now had nine names signed for the first show, although in the case of Teddy, Julio, and Ricky we had verbal commitments for quite a bit longer, something resembling a game plan, and a date for our first show. We wouldn’t make that date, we would wind up with a truly bizarre final roster for the show, and I would make the single biggest mistake I had ever made while working for a promotion that would cost us all dearly.

Oh, and Teddy Hart would prove himself to be, time after time, a complete mother fucker to work with.

Edited by theromacomplex
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Okay, look, when I asked for an idea from outside my own subconscious and you seconded MLW 2.0, I had no idea you would be taking an idea in trade. Good gawd, this looks right up my dag-blasted alley! :o

And did I hear Barry Windham? Am I to be mocked by his presence everywhere?!

Dammit, Roma, this is too intriguing. You'd better pay it off or... or... or you'll make an old man cry. Is that what you want to do?!

Seriously, I'm figuring you've played this game for a bit, hence the foreshadowing, and the little hints you've dropped have me on the hook for sure. I'm fairly certain I know your financial backer, but that's the least of the mysteries you've seeded in these introductory posts.

More, please,

TheRay

EDIT - Oh, and my money is officially on Erik Watts as the one of the final 3 you got. Lucky you. :rolleyes:

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On February 9, 2005 I finalized negotiations with a “star” to join SSW, as per the request of my employer. On his, or her, request I had contacted three individuals that he, or she, had wanted me to acquire for SSW’s first show. All three of the men, Jerry Lynn, Erik Watts, and Sean O’Haire had been easy enough to talk with and were all willing to hear me out. However only one of the men was actually willing to work with us, and he wanted far more than a one night only deal. He wanted some sense of security, some sense that he had a job for at least our first four to six shows, and he wanted to work a certain gimmick. The other two men, Jerry Lynn and Erik Watts made it clear that while they wished us all the best of luck down here in Georgia, they ultimately did not care to work for us at the present moment. So at the behest of my employer, I signed one of the three men that he, or she, had wanted me to attempt to get, and sadly, I had no idea what to do with him aside from his desire to work a dark gimmick, ala Kevin Sullivan in the mid to late 80’s.

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Sean O’Haire was signed by us on February 10, 2005 for four of the first six shows we would hold using the gimmick he had requested. I didn’t know where to go with him, how to use him, or how his gimmick would get over with the crowds at all. I had never met him prior to the night of our show only seeing him on the last days of WCW and during his stint at WWE prior to his release last year. I was aware of the gimmick they had teased at giving him in the WWE prior to aborting it and sticking him with Roddy Piper, and I was aware that once Piper had left the promotion O’Haire had floundered before being released. I was aware of the accusations from several women that he had abused and attacked them, but I didn’t know where that had gone, legal wise. I never felt it was important enough to really look into or even discuss with him either. If he had legal issues stemming from this still, and one would assume that he probably did, they were none of my concern until they interfered with him working for us, and that would be an issue I would deal with it if and when it came up.

We now had ten wrestlers, which I was confidant was enough for our opening show to be sure, but for a reason I still can’t explain I continued talking with several other names. From February 11 to February 13 on behalf of SSW I signed deals of various lengths and stipulations with five more wrestlers to come work for us, although one such person would be unable to make the first show, something I wouldn’t learn of until the last minute.

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Perhaps the biggest personal coup for myself personally was the signing of Chris Kanyon. If I had gotten Jerry Lynn what I wound up doing with Kanyon would have been Jerry’s, however it fit perfectly with The Innovator Of Offense. I had been talking off and on with Chris from the moment I had gained my position in SSW, but some commitments in Japan as well as other personal issues of his own had slowed us down. For the better part of three months I courted Chris, making the offer better and sweeter as time went on. As we assembled the rest of our crew I began to see visions in my head of matches that would simply rock the house of whatever crowd we had in Georgia, and eventually surrounding areas. I knew I really wanted Chris, I just wasn’t able to get him to fully commit. I sweetened the pot one final time, offering him a position working directly with me helping to organize the shows and booking the matches with the boys. I don’t know if that was what did it or not, but I got Chris Kanyon, and immediately knew what his first, and hopefully not last, match with the company would be. It was also this decision to garner Chris’ help that prodded me to offer similar deals, after the fact, to Ricky Morton and Marty Jannetty. Of course they agreed to the deal.

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Lenny Lane was another name I had been working on trying to sign off and on for a little bit. Lenny was a man I knew from a shorter stint in WCW in 1998, along with Chris and a man I signed mere hours after Lenny. His gimmick was a fun one, something that had probably killed any chance of him having a real career here in the US, and something I was hoping to play with in Georgia amongst these old school fans. Lenny, despite being extremely personable and fun, wasn’t what I would call the most talented worker in the world, but he could add levity and a nice comedic slant to SSW that would add another layer to the promotion’s already schizophrenic personality.

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Hours after I made things official with Lenny, Norman Smiley’s deal was finalized as well. Norman, a man of some incredible talent who knew so much about this business, was played mostly as a comedy act seemingly no matter where he went here in North American wrestling. I knew the other side of Norman, I knew that he had talked with and had helped a large amount of younger guys in WCW while I was there, including a young AJ Styles although nobody ever mentions it today, and I knew that given a chance Norman would run long and far with any ball he was given. If handed the opportunity to be a serious contender, but keeping his fun slant, he could be incredibly over in damn near any promotion. Luckily for me he is currently living in Georgia and was more than happy to work for SSW, hopefully making it the place where he can become incredibly over.

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I have mentioned that Jessica doesn’t seem to make many appearances, but when she does she usually brings less than stellar news with her. Such was the case when she arrived on February 13 with news that she had worked out a deal with Perry Saturn for him to come work with us down here. I dislike Perry, and I will make no qualms about it. The first time he and I spoke ever he called me a pompous ass and said that if he ever got his way he’d legit bust me open in the ring, making me scream like a bitch. Time has not calmed our relationship or mutual hatred. Luckily for him Ricky, Marty, and Chris are working on the shows with me, or I’d bury his ass at every given opportunity. If he thought some of the shit I talked them into doing to him in Atlanta was bad…but I digress. In the end, the less said about that man the better. The only thing I wonder is how and why Jessica came to work out a deal with him. I also wonder why she did work out the deal seeing as how much of my past she knows. She simply had to know of the personal animosity that exists. Hell, everyone knows about the incident in New Jersey at a bar as it’s public knowledge and even made the dirt sheets on the net mere hours after it occurred.

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The final signing was Dr. Tom Pritchard. Recently released from the WWE for reasons I still do not fully understand, I knew of his ability to work out matches and get the goods from people in a way others can’t always do. Plus, he had a personal relationship with Sean that I did not have, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t think I could convince Dr. Tom to convince him to do away with the crap gimmick. Again, it’s common knowledge that Dr. Tom is a bit of a yes man and ass kisser, something I was counting on. Plus, I think he really wants to work somewhere where he can show WWE that they made a mistake, and this MIGHT be the place. I was wholly unprepared for his backstabbing when it finally occurred, and quite frankly it didn’t take long for it to occur. In any event, Dr. Tom was signed on to act as some sort of “authority figure” in SSW as well as to help out behind the scenes. He was my “right hand man”, to again use an old cliché.

I said Dr. Tom was the final signing, but that isn’t entirely true. Two others came to me, at the last minute, with one of them being the aforementioned last minute cancellation the night of the show.

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Matt Stryker is a mat god, a man I think wrestles and acts a hell of a lot like a young Dean Malenko. That makes sense for anyone who knows a bit of Matt’s past, but is ultimately a moot point here. Matt burned a few bridges for himself in December of 2004 and January of 2005, and was in Georgia working a show of NWA Wildside. I heard this, made a few calls, and within hours the day before the show, when it actually came to be, Matt Stryker was onboard. I made a few deals, promised a few things, and for reasons I don’t care to discuss at this point signed Matt to a longer deal than I ever originally planned. Matt joined the small ranks of workers that the eventual fans, God willing, of SSWwould see on a regular basis. Fear that fucking brow, man, fear the brow.

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Shannon Ward also fell into my lap. I am not sure how she came to me, I never asked, but she contacted me about working with us for a show or two. My mind went into immediate overdrive and I saw a mental image in my head of her and Sean in the ring, Goth dress, cutting a promo. We had our final piece of the weird puzzle that was becoming SSW. However the night of our show I received a call from Shannon telling me that she was terribly sorry but she would unable to make it, and hoped that she hadn’t ruined her chances with us. I decided not to ask what had happened, but soon heard through the grapevine that she was working a show in Vancouver. Through the grapevine means that Teddy Hart gloated about it, calling her unprofessional, which really is the pot and kettle cliché to the nth degree.

So we had it all, and we had a date for our original show, set for February 13 2005 in a gymnasium. Obviously some of the aformentioned people were not going to make it for the first show by when they were signed, but this would not be an issue as we still had one problem, and that was my lack of a referee. No matter who I contacted, no matter what I offered, no matter anything, I was unable to get a referee to work the show. Every time I thought I had it set, it fell through. While this may not seem like a major issue, I can assure you that it is in fact one of mega proportions.

Here we encounter the first two occurrences of Dr. Tom basically fucking me over. He convinced me to not only move the show back a week, putting it on the 19th of February, he also convinced me to move locales and use him as the referee.

Big mistake.

On February 19 we had our show, and for reasons that will become much clearer very soon, not only did Dr. Tom not officiate the matches, I made my in ring debut, marking the first time I entered a ring in any kind of character capacity in my near 16 years in this business.

Eric Bischoff I was not.

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Eric Bischoff I was not.

That almost makes sense. I realize that my comparing my first time as a referee to a man that ran WCW into the ground, a personal opinion based upon my time with the company in 1998 and my professional affiliation with the man on more than one occasion, isn’t the best, but allow me to clarify. Bischoff went from a successful backstage role to a successful in ring/on screen role with relative ease. I did not at all. This was my single greatest mistake I had ever made up until this point in my career in Professional Wrestling, and that included my time in WCW in 1998. That says a lot right there.

I have no idea why acquiring a referee became such a chore, but suffice it to say that it did. I must have spoken to and contacted nearly 30 men and women to come into SSW and referee the show for us, only to be turned down for various reasons by them all. As February 13, 2005 came closer and closer it became all but evident that I would not be able to make the date without a referee to work the matches. Basic logic is not lost on me obviously. I got a hold of Dr. Tom and the two of us brainstormed. Two things came out of this meeting.

The plan was already for Dr. Tom to open the show in an authoritative capacity, detailing what this show and the next three were going to be about, and how this would lead to our Main Event on May’s show to name our first and only champion. He would make this same appearance at the beginning of most every show, then head to the back and work with myself, Chris Kanyon, Marty Jannetty, and Ricky Morton on the show itself. What Dr. Tom suggested was to move the show back one week to the 19th of February, and then to plug himself into the role of the referee for the first three to four shows. He would explain what these matches meant to SSW and the importance in having a good referee that was guaranteed to be both impartial and not make any mistakes. That person was himself, the only man he trusted enough to do it. I didn’t like the idea of moving the show one week prior to it happening, but I did quite like the idea of him reffing. It would save us some money, give him a lot more to do, and kill a few birds with one stone.

I questioned him on actually moving the show back a week, and at the time his answer made sense. He said he knew of three more potential officials we could possibly get to work for us, and that in the long run a one week delay would be better if we found a ref that was both qualified and trained to do the job, as opposed to himself. Like I said, it made sense at the time.

We changed the date, but in so doing we lost our venue. Aided by my staff members, who shall become far more known and important in the months to come, we acquired a new place to hold the event, we updated the website to account for the change, we contacted the wrestlers, all of whom were amicable and could make the later date, and we redid our small ad campaign on radio and in print in the Atlanta area to make the potential fans aware of the new date. Dr. Tom told me on February 17th that his attempts to get us a referee had failed and that we would have to move forward with his plans, unless I had another idea. Completely sold on his, I said no.

All was working out fine, until the night of February 19, 2005 that is.

Dr. Tom was incommunicado for the entire day leading up to the event, which was worrisome to say the least. As last minute preparations were happening my “right hand man” was nowhere to be found. The show was scheduled to start with Dr. Tom’s in ring address to the fans at 7:30 pm, and at 7:15 pm we had no Dr. Tom. As myself and Chris discussed what to do, Dr. Tom arrived in the arena with a sling on his right arm.

There was no way he could ref the match, obviously.

He told us he had been in a car accident earlier in the day, and apologized for being away for so long. I said I understood, and we prepped him for his in ring debut in SSW in ten minutes time.

There was one problem still, we had no fucking referee. Then Dr. Tom spoke these words.

“You do it, T, get the shirt on and go out there and ref the matches. You’ll be wired to me the whole night, you know the matches, and it’ll work fine. We’ll fix this damn ref situation before March’s show, you have my word T.”

I looked at Chris, who looked unsure, then made the call, based on the opinion and recommendation of my “right hand man”.

“Give me the fucking shirt.”

At this point Jessica Henderson arrived backstage. I could explain to you the details of the seven minute argument that ensued, but I’ll leave you with the final seconds of the conversation only, as said by Jessica herself.

”This had better not turn bad, that’s all I have to say, because if this works out like I think it will, you’re involvement with Southern Style Wrestling will be shorter than your time with WCW in 1998, and we all know what a mess that was, don’t we Timothy?”

The only person to call me by my given name, as I had been known as T in the business since 1991, and the more I talked to this woman the more I grew to dislike her. Not a Perry Saturn level of dislike mind you, but a strong one nonetheless.

The problem was she was right, and I knew it. I looked at Dr. Tom as the lights dimmed in the gym, and he winked at me as he headed towards the ring, the fans in attendance greeting him with some applause.

“I hope you know what the hell you’re doing T.”

I looked back at Chris and smiled, as all the boys had gathered at the entrance to see the beginning of SSW.

“Me too Chris.”

Edited by theromacomplex
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Southern Style Wrestling

and The Georgia State Athletics Commission

Proudly Present

SSW In The Beginning

February 19, 2005

Marto’s

5495 Old National Highway

Atlanta, GA 30349

There Has To Be An Opening

Dr. Tom Pritchard stands in the ring, a sling on his arm as he holds a mic in hand. The fans in attendance show him some respect and some happiness with the opening of the show, clapping and cheering a bit. He looks comfortable and at ease as he waits patiently for about thirty seconds then begins to speak. So far so good.

Dr. Tom: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the first show and the debut of Southern Style Wrestling. I am Dr. Tom Pritchard and I am the man in charge of SSW. Every month I will come out here and tell you all the most recent happenings and the biggest news that you need to know in order to fully enjoy the show you are about to see. SSW is a different kind of wrestling company. We don’t feel that you need or want to see people standing around talking for an hour out of a two hour show. We don’t feel that you need or want to watch men and women doing warm ups in the back getting ready for the match they have later in the night. We know you want to see the wrestlers, the stars of SSW get in here in front of you and wrestle each other to determine who is the best.

The fans cheer a bit, eating up the semi traditional old school explanation of what SSW is all about. I make a mental note to ask Dr. Tom why he changed the script in a few key places however, most noticeably by referring to himself as “the man in charge”.

Dr. Tom: Here in SSWthose matches by our stars won’t be meaningless matches where the winners and the losers are treated equally afterwards. Here, we keep track of wins and losses. If you win, you move up the rankings, you garner a Title shot, and you make more money, however if you lose, you move down the rankings, you don’t make as much money, and more importantly, you have to fight for your very existence here in SSW. If you lose consistently here, we don’t feel you belong here. You’re not up to the standards of your peers, and you can go somewhere else until you improve enough to be here.

This is met with silence by the crowd. An idea I had, but was unsure of and had yet to fully decide upon, and Dr. Tom sets it in stone on the first show? What in the hell is he doing?

Dr. Tom: With that said, tonight and the next three shows after this will all be about finding out who the absolute best is, and then crowning them The Southern Heavyweight Champion. Starting tonight, every man in SSW will be paired in random matches, some Singles some Tag Team, to determine who is the best. The four men with the most wins after our third show will meet on our fourth show, in May, in an Elimination Match with the winner walking out the SSW Southern Heavyweight Champion. So, without further ado let’s…

Julio brushes past me, exiting into the arena after slapping me on the shoulder and telling me it’s go time. I like this kid’s attitude. He is met with some cheers, although not many I must admit, as he walks slowly to the ring, sneering and shaking his head. He enters the ring, a small smile on his face and rips the mic out of Dr. Tom’s hand.

Julio: Wait a damn second here, Tom, let me get this straight. The four top winners after the next three shows will meet in a Final Four Elimination Match to see who the champion is gonna be?

Dr. Tom leans in a bit to be heard on the house speakers.

Dr. Tom: That is correct…

Julio: And what if one man, like myself, wins all three of his matches and is clearly better than all the others? Does this one man, like myself, still have to wrestle three others who lost one of their three matches?

Dr. Tom: As I said, the top four wrestlers will meet in May to…

Julio: Okay, that doesn’t make a damn bit of sense to me.

Dr. Tom: Julio, it’s the same structure I explained to you when we first met and talked about…

Julio turns his back on Tom, walking around the ring with the mic so as to cut Dr. Tom off. Finally he stops on the far side of the ring, as the fans begin to boo just a little.

Julio: So someone, say like me, Julio Fantastico, has to not only win enough matches to be in this Final Four Elimination Match in May, but he also has to wrestle three other guys, some that he may have already beaten to get there, who probably aren’t as good as him, as smart as him, and surely not as talented as him? Tell me, Dr. Tom, how that’s fair to Julio Fantastico? Tell me why I can’t just be named the champion after I win every one of my matches between now and May? Hell, tell me why we’re not just awarding me with the title right here and now and doing away with this tournament altogether? There’s nobody else in this redneck company that can do it like Julio Fantastico can, and we all know it.

The fans now boo more vehemently. Being in Georgia and calling anything redneck is a good way to garner some nice, cheap, opening heel heat. Julio hands the mic to Dr. Tom.

Dr. Tom: Julio, you may be good I’m not really denying that at all, but you aren’t necessarily the best SSW has to offer. In fact, since you are so ready to go, and so ready to prove yourself the absolute best, let’s just see who you have for tonight and get it out of the way right now, okay?

Julio smirks, and shakes his head, mouthing something then offhandedly waving to the back as if to say there’s nobody back there that can beat me anyways. At this point I was ready to enter the arena. The butterflies in my stomach were enough to make me want to puke right then and there. The man beside me laughed, told me it would be okay, then darted out of the back towards the ring to an ovation from the fans, as Dr. Tom announced him.

Dr. Tom: Your opponent for tonight, Julio, is none other than The Innovator Of Offense Chris Kanyon.

Kanyon slid under the bottom ropes as Julio backed away, a look of mild shock on his face. Dr. Tom exited the ring and headed to the back, and the first official match in the history of SSW began.

Overall Rating = 51.4%

Time 6 minutes

The Innovator Of Offense Chris Kanyon vs. Julio Fantastico

I came out next, ran towards the ring looking quite smart I am sure in my slightly too big referee’s shirt, and entered the ring. One of my staff, 19 year old Sheila Texas, rang the bell at my signal and we were underway.

One thing that most people don’t realize is that a good referee is someone that you don’t even notice in the ring until you’re supposed to. Yes, he, or she, should be involved in the match, but not in such a way as to overshadow the wrestlers or become an actual entity in the match itself. This was something that I knew, but not something that I was all that capable of doing. While Julio and Chris locked up to start out, I found myself off to the side watching intently and wondering what the hell I was doing out here. It was this that caused me to be in the way and almost fuck up the Irish Whip by Julio that sent Kanyon damn near crashing into me. Kanyon looked upset, stopped himself, then turned around and walked right into a boot to the face by Julio, ala a Super Kick. Kanyon dropped and Julio smirked, walked around self congratulating himself, and went for the cover. I was slow, I admit it, and what might have been a two count was only a one. Kanyon told me to get my head into it, and stay out of the way, as he rolled to his knees. Julio came off the ropes with a Baseball Slide to the legs of Kanyon, and another cover was attempted. Another one count, and over the next several minutes while Julio arrogantly hit a move and attempted a cover a plan was formed in the ring, and it involved my less than stellar refereeing abilities.

For the next ten minutes Chris would attempt a comeback, only to have myself in the wrong place at the wrong time and for Julio to take advantage yet again. As Chris, and the fans, grew more and more frustrated, Julio grew more and more cocky and confident. The fans stayed with the match throughout most of it, booing me and Julio and cheering for Kanyon at every turn. Finally the ending came.

Dr. Tom called for it on my ear piece, I made the necessary call to the boys, and Kanyon hit The Flatliner on Julio. Obviously enough of the fans in attendance knew who he was as they cheered. An exhausted Kanyon made the cover, and for once I was right there. I hit two before Julio’s foot hit the bottom rope. The fans booed as I let Kanyon know and stopped my count. Kanyon pounded the mat and got in my face, not the greatest idea a wrestler ever had, as I tried to explain to him what was going on. During this conversation Chris let me know that I needed to stay the fuck out of the way for the rest of the shows, and I nodded. I knew I had botched a good portion of this match. I was also seriously questioning Dr. Tom in my own head already. Kanyon turned back around, spurred on by the fans booing, and was met with a picture perfect Super Kick to the jaw by Julio, who literally fell on top of him. I made the count and Julio won the first match of our first show with the 1-2-3.

Julio rolled to the floor as I exited the ring and stood next to Sheila on the floor. He looked surprised, stunned, and tired as he watched Kanyon roll on the mat a bit, then smirked, looked at the fans, and yelled out I told you so before walking to the back. In my ear Dr. Tom was berating me for my poor officiating. All I could think as Kanyon soon left to a show of respectful cheering and clapping from the crowd was that I was the boss here.

WINNER: Julio Fantastico by Pinfall

Match Reaction = 54.8%

Match Quality = 69.7%

Overall Rating = 37.9%

Time 20 mins

Adam Jacobs vs. Rick Santel

There was a brief wait, maybe two minutes maximum, before the first of our next crop of competitors came out, to absolutely no reaction from the crowd. As Rick Santel walked to the ring, looking lost and frightened I must say, I realized that perhaps what this show needed was someone to talk to the crowd during the small breaks. Perhaps the best thing to have done would have been to have Dr. Tom come out and introduce each and every match-up prior to the actual match. It especially had to hurt that some of these kids were not going to be all that well known by the fans. Another in my multitude of mistakes for this show.

I had no idea what was going on behind the curtain, and quite honestly that worried me quite a bit. Adam Jacobs was the next to get into the ring, again to almost no crowd reaction, and as I climbed in myself and seemed to be telling the two young men some instructions, I asked what was happening backstage. Jacobs told me that Dr. Tom was running the show via my notes. I called for the bell, worried as I hadn’t left any actual notes. Everything I had was in my back pocket, and everything else had been verbalized to Dr. Tom. Had he taken notes of our discussions? Somehow I felt more uneasy than before.

That was a good call as I watched this match unfold before my very eyes.

The original call for this match was for it to go almost six minutes, and for it to be a squash, as Santel wasn’t ready to go much longer and I didn’t want him to get a bit of offense in. What we got instead was a ten minute match that was back and forth. Both men were aware earlier in the day of what myself and Chris had asked for, and as I watched the match progress with Santel climbing to the top and missing his Top Rope Leg Drop, I scanned the crowd and saw that they agreed with me, this match was abysmal. Jacobs, who was clearly better than this, was being dragged down to Santel’s level instead of vice versa. I called it home, and Santel looked at me stunned.

“Has it been fifteen minutes already?”

He whispered that to me over the chirp of the crickets, and my mouth almost dropped.

Santel hit a Back Body Drop on Jacobs, sloppy and quite painful looking, as I once again found myself out of position. The crowd booed as Santel moved around me and sold a kick to the head from the downed Jacobs that never connected. I told him to get the fuck up, but the damage had already been done. He slowly got to his feet and Jacobs caught him with an Inverted DDT which gave us the 1-2-3 and ended this abortion. Jacobs looked at me as I raised his arm, and I felt sorry for him. He knew how badly that had gone, but there wasn’t a damn thing I could do for him now. Santel needed some major babysitting in the ring, and Jacobs just couldn’t carry the kid at all.

Santel got to his feet, far faster than he should have to be honest, and offered a handshake to Jacobs. The fans responded with some light clapping that turned to sour boos as Jacobs shook his head in disgust and screamed out to Santel before walking away.

“I ain’t shaking your hand. I won and you lost.”

He was gone to the back as Santel looked dejected and walked off himself, to a little cheering. In my ear was the voice of Dr. Tom asking what I had done to his match.

Well I’ll be damned.

WINNER: Adam Jacobs by pinfall

Match Reaction = 22.2%

Match Quality = 56.4%

Overall Rating = 25.4%

Time 10 mins

I walked to the back myself now, ready to call Dr. Tom on some things. I was nearly bowled over by Kanyon, who came out with a mic in hand. He glared at me then headed to the ring. He had a promo scheduled now, giving me maybe five minutes to find out what the hell was going on back here.

I walked over to Dr. Tom, who was on his cell.

“Hang it up and tell me what the hell you’re doing,” I snapped.

He told the person he’d call them back, then looked upset with me.

“What is going on out there, T? You’re making the matches look like shit.”

I could have hit him, but we didn’t need a replay of the Saturn incident now.

“I’m not a fucking ref Tom and…”

I noticed his arm, no longer in the sling. I felt my stomach drop and my anger rise.

“You’re killing the crowd, and the show.”

I stood there dumbfounded, as Ricky and Marty walked up. Ricky put his arm on my shoulder and clapped me on the back.

“Guys, this isn’t gonna solve a thing, and I don’t think you want the kids seeing this, do you?”

I began to calm down. Correction, I forced myself to calm down.

“No. We’ll talk after the fucking show Tom. In the meantime, don’t change another fucking thing.”

I handed Ricky the notes in my back pocket.

“You two and Chris, run the show from here on out. I’m kinda stuck out there.”

I turned my back, wondering how Chris’ promo had gone.

The Innovator Of Offense Is Offended

Kanyon hit the ring, mic in hand, and immediately began to pace around.

Kanyon: “Who betta than Kanyon?” Well due to some of the crappiest officiating I ever saw and some nice cheating, apparently tonight Julio Fantastico is. Tonight only. Julio, we may not meet again in the next couple of shows, but you can damn well bet we’re gonna meet again in the same ring in May to determine the SSW Southern Champ, and the ending is gonna be a little bit different that time. I ain’t losing no more matches, and you can count on that. And when we do meet in May, You’re gonna find out why there ain’t nobody betta than me.

The fans cheered Kanyon, as he smiled a devious little smile.

Kanyon: And don’t forget, I created more moves in this ring than you know and next time we meet I’m gonna hurt you in ways you don’t even know exist yet. There ain’t nothing fantastic about you Julio except your ego, and those get burst real easy when you’re looking at the lights. “Who betta than Kanyon?” Not you, not ever again.

Kanyon raised his arms as the fans cheered him, then he rolled to the floor, mic in hand.

I walked back down to the ring after Kanyon returned backstage.

How’d it go?

I smiled at him and shook my head then left. I assumed he had meant how his promo went, and I had no clue. I looked into the crowd and saw Harvey Cooper, the 18 year old kid that worked on the website for me with the camera. I had asked him to tape the show. I had wanted to see how it went and how it looked from the fans perspective. He had brought quite the nice setup, and told me he would feed into the house speakers to get good audio quality for the tapes and DVD’s. I had no idea what he meant at the time, but it had dawned on me a little bit after. He thought we were gonna sell them as tapes and such, and the more I thought about it the more I liked the idea. Maybe not immediately, but we would do it eventually. In any event a video history of SSW had begun. I would definitely watch the tape and see how Chris’ promo had gone.

Overall Rating = 70.8%

Time 4 Minutes

Cody Hawk vs. Norman Smiley

Cody Hawk came out from the back dressed in his normal attire. I made a mental note to tell him that he’d have to change that. The other gimmick wasn’t in play here, and the look didn’t match the new one at all. The crowd was quiet, but that was becoming the norm tonight. Out next was Norman Smiley, and much to my surprise as soon as his music hit, they first music played of the night I might add, the fans got on their feet. When they saw him come from the back and do The Big Wiggle in the aisle they cheered. Easily the biggest ovation of the night thus far, bar none.

I wish that had resulted in a hot crowd for the actual match, but sadly that was not to be. The opening few minutes were all comedy, as first Norman attempted to get Cody to dance with him, and when that didn’t happen Norman would up spanking him like a child. I found it funny, but some of the crowd looked a little uneasy. I made a mental note of it, then wondered how Lenny’s match was gonna go if this was bothering some of them.

The match quickly changed however, as Cody bailed from the ring, walked around rubbing his ass and looking upset, then rolled back in and asked for a test of strength. Norman obliged, but was met with a boot to the gut that led to an extensive session of Cody leading the match. He had Norman in a Sleeper, and once again the officiating was the cause of it not quite working. I raised Norman’s hand twice, then on the third time it fell halfway before he stopped and raised it back up. As Norman began pounding his foot on the mat and driving a few elbows into the gut of Cody, I repositioned myself behind Hawk. When Cody sold an elbow shot to the sternum and fell back he fell onto me, and the two of us fell to the mat.

Nice job.

He got up quickly, and it was at this moment that I think we lost the crowd. I should have stayed down, sold the tumble, and let the two improvise for a bit. Instead I too jumped to my feet, and the crowd was gone to us. Smiley looked at me, mouthed something I couldn’t comprehend, and then whipped Cody into the ropes. In my ear nothing at all, and I again wondered what was going on backstage.

Norman’s comeback resulted in The Big Wiggle and more ass slapping, this time something the crowd recognized and seemed to enjoy. The Norman Conquest was next, and Cody Hawk tapped quickly, selling Norman’s move like a champ. Cody rolled from the ring to the floor, glaring on his way up the ramp, while Norman’s music began to play. He started to dance, then tripped me up, pushed me into the ropes, and did The Big Wiggle to me before leaving. The crowd laughed and clapped. All in all, far better than it probably had any right to be.

WINNER: Norman Smiley by submission

Match Reaction = 48.6%

Match Quality = 61.0%

Overall Rating = 35.2%

Time 13 mins

And The Gimmick Is?

Sean O’Haire walked from the back very slowly and deliberately within seconds of Smiley exiting to the back as I once again stood by Sheila. With a mic in hand, and I must admit it is the only mic the company owns, he entered the ring, where he stood silent while the fans cheered him. I wasn’t surprised per se that he got a good reaction, as he was a staple on WCW TV in the last year it was on, roughly, and then he did get some decent TV time in WWE for awhile, but his departure from the company had been long enough ago that the short attention spans of the average wrestling fan should have meant that he was all but forgotten. Apparently I was wrong.

He was wearing a black duster and eye liner. This was his gimmick. I shook my head as he spoke, hoping that this promo worked and somehow someway got his gimmick over. Finally he spoke, very softly and with a deeper voice than I had heard him use.

O’Haire: There is nothing good or bad in our world. You can cheer me or boo me, but the end result is that your accolades or protestations of negativity mean nothing in the grand scheme of things. I am not one to be judged by the likes of you, as I would not judge you myself. I am merely a vessel on this plane, as are you all, and I will be as such until my time here ceases.

He stopped and looked out into the sea of faces. His expression did not change, so I really had no idea if he was comprehending that whatever the fuck that crap was it wasn’t getting across to the fans. I instinctively reached into my back pocket, then realized if I even had a copy of the promo to begin with I didn’t any longer. My papers were in the back with Ricky and Marty. He smiled, then continued.

O’Haire: And that is what I expected. No response from the likes of yourselves. Let me tell you all something about me, I am Sean O’Haire and I have been to the tops of mountains. I have excelled in a way that none of you shall ever even dream about. I have also reached the lowest lows imaginable. I have been in the dirt, begging, bleeding, and in more pain than any of you could ever tolerate. I have seen it all, and done even more. And now? Now I am at a place that is unknown to all of you. I am at peace with myself and with this world. Can any of you say the same? Can Perry Saturn? I will teach Saturn the things I have learned, and when I am done, hopefully some sense of knowing shall come over him as well. Doubtful, but I can hope. Come out Saturn, come out and…

I stood in a form of awe as Perry Saturn ran from the back and entered the ring. I wasn’t sure if that was a complete pile of shit or a Ravenesque promo that was meant to keep you guessing and thinking later. It wasn’t what I had fucking written with the sonofabitch, but it did leave me thinking about it as I hit the ring myself and called for the bell.

Overall Rating = 61.6%

Time 5 minutes

Sean O’Haire vs. Perry Saturn

So when you are in charge of a company, making the matches and deciding where things will go, how do you rightfully decide what to do with two names that you don’t even want? In my case you put them in a match together near the top of the card and hope they both suck so bad that you have no “choice” but to release them, despite the money that will be lost from doing so. That was my hope when I made this match here tonight. Unfortunately, that is not what transpired. While the match wasn’t great, it wasn’t the abortion I was hoping for. These two had some chemistry together, and had I not been there to fuck it up, I have no doubt they would have created a much better match than they did.

For thirteen minutes these two played well off of each other, employing a very traditional and classic strategy, where the heelish O’Haire beat down on the face by default Saturn in the opening minutes, even going so far as to use the trench coat he had worn to the ring to choke him. While I removed the coat from the ring O’Haire pulled a rope from his tights and began to choke him some more. Mistake number one from me came when I saw the obvious use of the illegal object and allowed him to use it for another minute. When this had played itself out, O’Haire moved to mat wrestling and submission moves, such as an Arm Bar and a Sleeper, to keep Saturn grounded. Again I missed the obvious shoulders on the mat, having to be told to go for the count by Kanyon, who had apparently taken Dr. Tom’s place in my ear.

At the end, and I must say had it not been for me these two might have had the match of the night thus far by ease, Saturn came back rallying the fans behind him. He came off the ropes with a Flying Shoulder Tackle, worked on the shoulder and upper neck region of O’Haire, and then, when he had the fans ready, placed O’Haire on his shoulders. However O’Haire raked the eyes and both men toppled to the mat. I admonished O’Haire, making my first real non mistake of the match, as O’Haire got to his feet. He delivered a solid boot to Saturn’s midsection, hit a wobbly Powerbomb that dropped Saturn on his head a bit, nothing I was worried about I must admit, then climbed to the top rope and hit the Seanton Bomb. He made the cover and I counted the rather academic 1-2-3. Saturn let us know he was okay, and I smiled. I raised Sean’s arm in victory, grimacing for what I knew was coming next. Sean spat in my face, pushed me aside, and screamed out.

“No man touches me without my permission you foul fuck.”

I’m sure the parents in the crowd loved hearing the “F” Bomb dropped in front of their kids. O’Haire left the ring, after retrieving his coat. Saturn slowly got to his feet and received some applause from the crowd, before glaring at me and walking off himself.

Dick.

WINNER: Sean O’Haire by pinfall

Match Reaction = 63.6%

Match Quality = 62.5%

Overall Rating = 38.2%

Time 12 minutes

Adam Pearce vs. Lenny Lane

Lenny Lane was halfway down to the ring when Saturn was exiting. Allow me to describe what transpired that killed the next match before either competitor had even locked up. Lenny, with his hair in pig tails, a lollipop in his mouth, and a pink boa draped around his neck, all the while simply wearing wrestling tights and boots, began to watch Saturn exit the ringside area. By watch I mean I studied the man’s ass. He then seemed to have a shiver, grabbed his crotch for a second, then sucked his lollipop, hard, and walked around ringside. When he finally entered the ring he put his boa around my neck, kissed me on the cheek despite my protestations, and then laid on the turnbuckle, ala Shawn Michaels, and licked the tip of his lollipop in a most suggestive manner. When Adam Pearce came from the back, looking uneasy and unsettled by his opponent, the fans didn’t respond in the least. They didn’t seem to have a clue who he was. Obviously the fans in attendance had never been to a So Cal show and didn’t pay any attention to the internet. At least Lenny had been recognized.

I called for the bell once Adam entered the ring, and the comedy began. I’ll state right now that even I was slightly uncomfortable with the way this match was designed to go, but it had been agreed upon and here we were. In my ear Kanyon told me to kill it as soon as I could. I agreed. It was supposed to go 12 to 15 minutes, but at the seven minute mark I realized the longer we went the worse it was going to be for these two in the future.

The first seven minutes consisted solely of Adam attempting a move, Lenny making it to the ropes, then shaking his ass at Adam. Adam would break away, looking disgusted, then Lenny would attempt to dry hump him. Repeat and rinse. I made the motion for Adam to bail, which led to Lenny finishing the match. Lenny applied a Full Nelson, then began to grind his groin and crotch into Adam’s backside. Adam flipped out, broke out of the hold, and rolled to the floor. He looked ready to retch, as I began the count. He shook his head and simply walked to the back, leaving the ringside area not to return and getting counted out. Lenny looked disappointed, tried to hug me for some consoling, then posed in the ring with his lollipop and his boa once I hightailed it from the ring as well.

The fans never cared, not at any point, until the match was over when they lackadaisically booed the exiting Pearce, and then told “the faggot” to go home. Lenny needed a gimmick tweak it was obvious.

WINNER: Lenny Lane by count out

Match Reaction = 28.6%

Match Quality = 64.0%

Overall Rating = 26.5%

8 Minutes

Hart Attack In Atlanta

Once Lenny was gone the second bit of music for the night began to play, and I must admit I was shocked when I heard it. While it wasn’t the original music it was a clever rip of it and it was recognizable enough that the fans in attendance erupted and hit their feet. With the playing of the music, the fans thought that Bret “The Hitman” Hart was in attendance. It played for almost a full minute before Teddy Hart came from the back, wearing a t-shirt that read The Only Hart That Matters on the front. The fans began to boo, then relaxed and sat down, obviously disappointed by what they had thought and what they had received. Teddy entered the ring and smirked, then pulled the mic from his tights and smiled real big.

Teddy: Fooled ya, huh? It’s okay, I am a Hart, hell, as the shirt says, I’m the ONLY Hart that matters. In case you don’t know, my name is Teddy Hart and I am the last in a wrestling dynasty and legacy that has lasted for generations. Lucky for you I agreed to come here and wrestle for you idiots. Even luckier, I am the greatest member of this family that has ever worked in this sport. You may not like that, you may even disagree with that, but really I don’t give a damn, I know it’s true and if you look deep inside yourself after this match you’ll see that you know it too.

The crowd boos, although not as heavily as I would have expected, and Teddy continues. Despite the pain in the ass this kid is, he has the potential to be big for us here, and in this sport as well. If he’d just get over himself.

Teddy: Which brings me to tonight in a nice little segue. We’re not supposed to know who we will be wrestling, what with it being random and all, but I sneaked a peek at the list and found out that I am wrestling a Tag Team Match against some old farts. I won’t ruin the orgasmic moment for you douches here tonight cuz something tells me this team, and I use that term very loosely, that I’m gonna destroy tonight is gonna excite the hell out of you. So no, I won’t tell you who they are, but what I will tell you is that these two fossils are what’s wrong with this goddamn sport. It’s what’s wrong with all of you as well, especially since you all thought that The Hitman was gonna come out of the back here tonight and make some return to wrestling in this piss ant promotion down here. The legends of the past, another term I use loosely based upon who these two old farts are, are making a mockery of this sport with their continued wrestling appearances. You know, when you’re so frigging old that you can’t get up out of bed without help and medication to ease the pain, you have no business lacing up the boots and hobbling your tired, old, sorry asses out to a ring. If The Hitman ever did make a return, and trust me I know he is never going to, he’d be the laughing stock and joke that Ric Flair is, that Mick Foley is, that Stone Cold became, that Sting became, that Hogan has been for a decade, and that these two are. Know when your time is over, move aside, and allow the stars of today, like me, and the stars of tomorrow, like my partner, to have our chance to shine. Now let’s get this joke of a match over with so I can go wrestle somewhere where I’m respected, and not in a backwater, hillbilly, pile of crap place like SSW. Welcome, and you damn well better welcome him, my partner, Matt Stryker.

I gotta hand it to the kid, that may not have been a perfect promo, but he did a good job. Far better than I had heard he was even capable of, and now he has the heel heat of the night.

Overall Rating = 60.2%

6 minutes

Stryker came walking from the back, a smile over his face. Hell, he slapped a few hands before getting into the ring. The fans started out booing him, then a small bit of applause came forth from them. He stood across from Teddy, who was talking to him and pointing to the fans. Stryker shook his head and looked away. The fans got the message. They got it even more when Marty Jannetty’s music hit.

Marty Jannetty and Ricky Morton vs. Matt Stryker and Teddy Hart

Marty came from the back and the fans cheered. They were instantly to their feet, applauding. I stood in the ring, holding the mic and smiled. It was a moment like this that made me feel good to be in this sport. Despite all that Teddy said, some of it very valid, this man and his partner was a legend, and that was something that could not be denied. Atlanta made me proud that they respected him. Then the old Rock And Roll Express music hit, and the roof lifted off the place. The Rock and Roll chants were in full swing before he even came out, but as Marty stood clapping his hands as Ricky Morton ran out of the back, it was deafening. This was a moment I could treasure. In the ring next to me Teddy was booing and Matt was clapping in respect. It was good, and I was glad we were getting it on tape.

Marty and Ricky shook hands, then they ran to the ring. The match was underway before I could even get Sheila to ring the bell. I tossed the mic in the corner, something I had not even thought about at the time, as Marty was laying into Matt and Ricky was laying into Teddy. Matt went over the top rope to the floor following a Drop kick from Marty, while Ricky Irish Whipped Teddy into the ropes. Teddy ducked Ricky then got nailed with a Drop Kick by Marty. Teddy fell hard to the mat, and Marty and Ricky smiled and headed to opposite corners and climbed to the top rope. The fans cheered, still into this moment, until Teddy rolled to the floor to avoid the moves. He pointed to his head and he rubbed his jaw, then conferred with Matt at ringside. Marty leapt from the turnbuckle onto them both, and all three men laid on the floor. Ricky climbed back into the ring, then rolled to the floor where he picked up Matt and Hip Tossed him into the side of the ring. He laid some boots to Teddy, then rolled him under the ropes and went in himself on my nine count. The fans settles in, as the match was about to take a nasty turn.

At this point we were six minutes into it from the moment Matt came out until now. If we could have went maybe another 10 to fifteen minutes we might have kept the fans. Sadly, this was not to be. I had went with Dr. Tom’s suggestions, despite my own thoughts and the opinions of both Ricky and Marty. Even at this point, I didn’t realize what a mistake that was about to be.

Ricky stayed in control for a few more minutes, slowing the pace down considerably. He tagged in Marty, both he and Matt back in their corresponding corners, and Marty began to work on Teddy. Teddy, whining in the ring about something or other I was unable to fully make out, hit an Enzuguiri on Marty, both men landing hard on the mat. Teddy made the tag to Matt, who entered the ring rejuvenated, and immediately worked on the left leg of Marty while Teddy stood up and clapped. Marty grabbed Matt by the neck and rolled him up for a two, marking my first time tonight where I didn’t botch an important moment in the match. Matt kicked out and rolled to his feet and Marty lunged at Ricky, getting the tag.

Now came the time in the match that I looked forward to myself. Despite the fact that I had no business being inside this ring at all, I found myself hard pressed not to smile as Ricky came in and quickly lost control to Stryker. I had wanted the typical 80’s and 90’s Tag Team Wrestling formula that Ricky and Robert Gibson had perfected in this match, and at the eleven minute mark it began. Stryker and Teddy proceeded to tag in and out frequently, as we teased the “hot tag” for far too long and completely lost the fans. Finally, at the twenty one minute mark, something I know was far too long and was such a bad choice as to be remarkably stupid, Ricky made the tag to Marty, who exploded into the ring, knocking me down in the process. I wish that had been planned, but alas it was not. It worked well enough though, as I stayed down. I tried to sneak a glance here and there, and saw Marty fall to the dou8ble teaming of Teddy and Matt. Kanyon yelled at me in my ear to quit looking, so once again I realized I had fucked up. If he could see me from the back, then the fans at ringside could most assuredly see me. He told me to stay down until he said so. After what felt like forever he told me to make it to my feet, slowly, and go for the pin attempt, again slowly. I did as suggested, and saw Marty, Matt, and Teddy down. Marty’s arm was barely over Teddy’s shoulder. I didn’t see Ricky anywhere, but I heard the fans urging me to count. We almost had them back into the match. I made the 1-2-3 attempt, slowly, and Teddy kicked out at the last minute. The fans booed, and I saw Ricky slowly climbing to the top turnbuckle. Kanyon was telling me to stop him, don’t let him hit the move, and I could see Ricky mouthing for me to do the same.

Again, I didn’t remember this from the booking plans, but it was a smart thing to do. Ricky and Chris were on the same page, so either they just thought alike or they had worked it out at some point while I was out here. I made my over, yelling for Ricky to stop. He makes a motion for me to move as he gets to the top. Finally he flew, as I ducked out of the way, and landed an elbow on the chest of Teddy. Unfortunately in doing so his legs landed square on the back of Marty’s head. Stryker quickly got to his feet, laying some boots to the back and the neck of Ricky, then stomped on Ricky’s left leg before applying The Texas Cloverleaf. The fans booed, and I made my over, attempting to force Matt to release the hold. Finally I started a five count, making it to four before Stryker did as told. He protested as I moved him over to his corner and told him to get out of the ring. He did so, in the meanwhile Marty slowly rolled to the apron, then fell to the floor.

And thus, at 30 minutes, came the end. In the midst of this clusterfuck ending, Teddy slowly got to his feet, a trickle of blood coming down his face, and he looked at Ricky clutching his leg, then came off the far ropes with a Knee Drop to the left leg before smiling and applying The Sharpshooter. The fans did not like this. I however did. This was the moment that the promo from before this overly long match had built to. Ricky stayed in the hold, screaming, for almost a minute before he finally tapped. The crowd seemed dejected, deflated, and let down. The response wasn’t the chorus of boos I had hoped for, but more of a moment of complete letdown. I too felt the same suddenly, watching some of the fans leave the area as Teddy was helped to his feet by Stryker. I raised both men’s arms in victory, then stepped out of the ring. Teddy offered a handshake to Matt, who smiled and obliged, then both men raised their arms one last time. There was some booing, but for the most part it was quiet. They left the ring and walked to the back, triumphant, without ever looking back. I walked near the back and stopped, as I saw Marty get into the ring. He helped Ricky up and then they hugged. The fans did react, a very respectful applause and some cheering. Marty raised Ricky’s arm, then he left the ring. Ricky grabbed the mic still in the corner, and smiled.

WINNER: Matt Stryker and Teddy Hart by submission

Match Reaction = 46.4%

Match Quality = 66.1%

Overall Rating = 18.7%

31 Minutes

To All Things, An Ending

If the fans were let down from the match ending, they would be more so from what happened next I knew. Nevertheless, we needed to start the story and get the idea over more, and as much as I no longer wished to end the night on this kind of note, it was about to happen anyways. Ricky began to speak, as I stepped out of the way and shook hands in the back with Kanyon, Teddy, Matt, and Marty. I noticed Dr. Tom was nowhere to be found.

Ricky: As much as I hate to say it, sometimes even a jerk is right. Teddy Hart is a jerk, but he might have been right as well. I’m not sure if I already knew this before the match or not, cuz it has been on my mind for awhile, but this was it. When I hit Teddy with the elbow, I took out my friend and partner with my legs. I misjudged or something, but we wound up losing the match cuz of that. It ain’t fun to admit your own shortcomings, but I’ve lost a lot in the ring over the years, and tonight showed me that. I had no business being in a match this long, and I sure as hell have no business wrestling matches for the SSW Southern Heavyweight Title.

The fans booed, and for whatever reason I felt myself choking up. I felt like a fool until I saw the same thing on Marty’s face. Teddy was standing by ready, a huge fucking grin on his face.

Ricky: I am hereby removing myself from the tournament and announcing my retirement from this great sport I love…

As soon as Ricky said retirement Teddy sprinted from the back, his weapon in hand. Bu the time Ricky said love Teddy was nailing him in the back of the head with what looked like a sock in his hand. Ricky dropped hard, and Teddy was on top of him, rolling him onto his back and drilling him over and over and over in the forehead. The sock was bloody, as was Ricky’s head, when Teddy stood up. He spat upon Ricky Morton, then emptied the contents of the sock on Ricky’s chest and head. Change fell everywhere as Teddy threw the sock down, spat again, and walked off amid some boos.

Overall Rating = 55.9%

5 minutes

Marty ran down to the ring and tried to help his partner, as Teddy walked to the back, never once looking to see what was happening in the ring. The house lights came up, Marty helped Ricky to the floor, and the show was over.

We had lost the fans during the Main Event and this wasn’t the ending they wanted. Dr. Tom was supposed to end the night by going out and asking them to come back next month, but he was still nowhere to be found. I did it myself on the mic from the back. I must have sounded quite enthusiastic.

The show was a pile of crap overall, and I knew it. I took the blame fully, and as I saw Jessica Henderson look at me, I knew she did too.

Oh, and I needed to remind people what the name of the title was, as it had been called about three different things tonight.

I walked away, shaking hands with the boys and telling them they did a good job tonight, all the while wondering if any internet fans were in attendance and if I was going to read any reports of the show online in the next few days. I hoped not, but I had a bad feeling that I would, Hopefully they would be kinder to us that I was being to myself.

SSW In The Beginning Results:

Attendance 2481

Overall: 43.8%

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Four days after the show nothing was posted on the internet aside from our own site’s “review”. Of course we had called it “an imaginative beginning” and “an old school wrestling fan’s dream come true”.

Self indulgent hype at it’s best.

For the most part the boys were happy with how things had gone. I had gotten a few random comments here and there and had heard some other things that I am not sure if I was supposed to hear or not.

“Fucking cocksucker. If I had known that he was involved with this I wouldn’t have…”

“Maybe the fact that you didn’t know is what made your emotions in the ring so pure, Perry. It was a great match.”

“That prick books me to lose to that kid? What a fucking waste of my talents…”

“I know, but you two put on one of the best matches of the night. I'll talk to Timothy.”

Perry “I wish you’d died you fucking ignorant sonofabitch” Saturn and Jessica Henderson, respectively. Nothing says “company” like that woman telling a man that she hired under my nose that she agreed with his criticisms of me.

Seven days after the show, and I was pretty sure that I wasn’t going to find anything negative nor positive written about our show anywhere on the net. We had begun to hype the next event, SSW Southern Pride set for March 5, 2005 on our site, with reminders as to what had transpired and what the current rankings were. Hell, we even put the videotaped Main Event on the site for free download.

Of course, as with all things SSW it was all about to go so very wrong.

Let me backtrack a bit and finish up the story of how Dr. Tom Pritchard attempted to steal my job away from me.

When I said I originally thought that Dr. Tom had simply wanted to get back into the WWE by showing them they had been wrong in letting a genius such as himself go, I believe I had been only half right. I now honestly think that he also wanted to attempt to run a promotion all by himself. He relished the notion of working with what was the most frustrating part of working for SSW for me, because for himself it was a golden opportunity to sink or swim on his own. That being, no meddling boss. In the few weeks I had worked with him, I grew surer that Dr. Tom only trusted one person’s opinion at all really, and that was his own. The more I sat back and saw the way he had manipulated me and my trust in him, the more I grew upset with myself for allowing it to happen. Of course it had come to a head at SSW In The Beginning, as myself and most of the roster had seen. I didn’t know for a full eight days where he had disappeared to midway through the show. Rumors were popping up that he had been contracted by NWA Florida to work for them, but they were only rumors.

Allow me to clarify something here. While their were no reports on the internet about the actual show itself, there were reports in the five days after the show that did involve the name of SSW. In most of them, while talking of the rumors that Dr. Tom was indeed now under contract to NWA Florida, it was mentioned that he had overseen and worked as the booker for our little Georgia based promotion. While factually inaccurate, I understood how such a thing could be perceived. Obviously Meltzer and his ilk didn’t believe in any sort of journalistic integrity, not that this surprised me to much. While it irritated me, it didn’t overtly upset me. I was used to hearing and reading such shit from the mostly biased and woefully under informed internet journalists.

On February 25, 2005 it had been confirmed that Dr. Tom had replaced Niemi in Florida. On February 26 I heard from him via a phone call. While the particulars of the conversation are rather pedestrian and boring, they did confirm many of my suspicions, particularly of interest to me being that Dr. Tom had all but convinced Jessica to replace me and put him in charge. What she had seen, or chosen to see I’m not sure which, was that I had botched every major decision leading up to February 19 and the show, and that the product and potential gate had been affected adversely. What she chose not to see, or simply didn’t know again I am not sure which it was, was that the fact that the show moved both location and date a week prior was not my idea, but rather Dr. Toms. Of course in my position I had been the one to make the final call, and thus it was my fault. Things I knew from my corporate days in this industry. In any event, I had dodged a bullet. Had Dr. Tom’s networking not led him to the job in Florida, I would be unemployed and that bastard would be doing my job.

Perhaps the only other thing of note was my asking him to steal Perry Saturn away and his laughter. I quickly ended the call after that.

Dr. Tom was gone, and all in all that had been a good thing. I still had Chris, Marty, and Ricky working under me and helping me out immensely, and I felt good about the three of them. Trust is a hard thing to acquire in this business when the only real rule is that you can and should backstab your closest allies when it is most advantageous to yourself.

See Page, Diamond Dallas in WCW 1998.

Moving forward, we still had the issue of not having a real referee and no longer having our “figurehead” for the company. I had resigned myself to doing away with the latter when fate literally threw me a bone. I had known about this man for years, and had met him a few times here and there. I had heard about his ego, one I never saw or understood, but to me he had seemed to be a generally good man who had respect and love for the sport. I could have been wrong, and god knows it would not be the first time, but I went with my gut on this one, and my gut told me to do it.

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Mike Sanders was hired on March 1, 2005. Again, I felt good about this decision. All SSW really needed was a man who could go out and speak to the fans, and what it got in return was a slightly above average wrestler in the process. Pun intended. Sanders had come to me for a shot, a chance to prove himself and work locally where he could remain with his family for the most part. It was a good situation for all involved.

The referee issue would ultimately lead us to once again change our scheduled date, and get me into an argument with Jessica. I’ll spare you the boredom here, but she felt I was operating without professionalism and without any sort of planning. I simply told her that if she was so unhappy with my decisions she and the mystery employer should replace me. Her response was that she’d “look into it further” and get back to me. This was no David and Maddie/Sam and Diane relationship I can assure you, I was growing to dislike this woman quite a bit. The date of the show was changed from March 5, 2005 to March 12, 2005, once again to be held at Marto’s. Demographics had shown a slight increase in popularity in Georgia, but that’s not my strong suit. I’d allow Jessica to deal with those issues.

So without a referee, and knowing that I could not and simply would not ever again show my face in front of the fans in such a capacity, I became rather desperate. I turned to my own friends within the industry, asking for any names that sprang to mind.

Taylor Matheny sprang to mind.

She had entered herself in the original Tough Enough , coming close but ultimately not winning the prize. From there, I have no idea where she went to be honest. All I know for sure, and all that I truly care about, is that she could wrestle if need be and that she had been trained in the art, and yes it is an art, of refereeing. Nowadays she was studying Hollywood Make-Up techniques I was told. To make an already long story shorter, I made contact through my friend, we agreed to terms, and on March 7, 2005 she was officially a part of SSW. More importantly, she had a written contract, more to protect myself than anything. I didn’t want to be refereeless ever again, and this guaranteed that at least for the remainder of 2005 I would not be.

Or so I thought.

Edited by thegarvincomplex
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this is quickly becoming one of my favourite diaries on the board, and well i am hooked. The writing is excellent, and the first show was very good, I like the round-robin type aspect to get into the title match (let's go Julio!). I am looking forward to the next show.

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I have to admit that at first, I didn't like this idea. I had read your backstory and everything leading up to the idea with nothing really grabbing me. However, that was until I read your first show that something grabbed me. Whether it was the perspective of being behind the scenes and in the ring as the owner and referee or because of the writing, something did.

I really enjoyed the first show from the start with Dr. Tom & Julio to the last promo by Ricky Morton with everything in between especially Teddy Hart, even though I never have besides here. Then the backstabbing by Dr. Tom, what a prick. I'm liking the signing of Sanders since he always produces on the stick even if he can't in the ring, he should serve as a good color man if you ever get a local television deal. :P

All in all, this is extremely intriguing TRC and I eagerly await more.

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Excellent work so far, roma.

Good portrayal of characters, and as usual, your backstage shenanigans and out-of-ring write-ups are top notch.

Taylor may be the hottest referee in the US.

I loved the Teddy Hart/Sean O'Haire promos on the first show, and you did a good job of showing just how fucked up the entire thing became.

Can't wait for more. :thumbsup:

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Regarding this promotion, the word CURSED comes to mind, and I wonder what the fictional "Tim" did to warrant this sort of bad karma.

Of course, the trials and tribulations of SSW are a joy to read, tho they require far more attention and thought than the typical diary. There's a lot going on in this diary and lots of foreshadowing to keep track of. I make an early plea to keep us forgetful folks in mind as you go, and plant helpful reminders as storylines, both in-ring and behind-the-scenes, develop.

I'm looking forward to more, and thoroughly approve of the imminent arrival of someone with the potential to bring this promotion "above average." :thumbsup:

Oh, and having a British black man spank a little white guy in Georgia? What were you thinking?! :unsure:

More please,

Ray

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In this world of professional wrestling nothing is ever static. By that I mean that everything around you is ever evolving and changing and you simply cannot predict what will be different the next day. For instance, nobody would have expected that the WWE would have put the Raw World Title, called as such by me simply to keep the two belts separate in my own mind, on Shane McMahon for three weeks in January before hotshotting it onto a returning Rock, yet that is precisely what they did. Nobody would have expected to see JBL lose the Smackdown World Title on Smackdown to The Undertaker, get injured, promote Bubba Ray Dudley as his Vice President, then manage him as he feuded with The Undertaker into late March either. Nothing stays the same for long at all, and that is what this is all about.

In the opening days of January as I was attempting to fill my roster for SSW’s first show I came into contact with Jamie Howard. Most would know Jamie as Jamie Noble from WCW and WWE fame, before he was let go by the WWE in late 2004 for reasons that I am not familiar enough to speak on. The two of us had many conversations via e-mails and phone calls in an attempt to work out a plan so that he may at the very least do a few shows for us, but hopefully come to some sort of a long term agreement. Unfortunately Jamie had also been in talks with NOAH, and decided that his career would be furthered by doing an extended tour with them in Japan. He debuted with them on January 8, 2005, defeating Kotaro Suzuki. We spoke one last time on January 13 via e-mail, at which point he told me that when his time was up if I was still interested he would contact me. I of course let him know that I would be interested and wished him the best of luck. Turns out he needed it.

On February 2, 2005 Pro Wrestling NOAH went bankrupt due to overwhelming debts. As I write this, rumors still circulate that they will be back, but nothing is on the horizon. Jamie Howard was out of work again.

I made the call on February 8, against the advice of Dr. Tom Pritchard I might add, to Jamie. After several days of attempting to get a hold of him I finally did. He was in Mexico and had just finalized a deal with CMLL. He explained to me that he had been in talks with them at the same time as SSW and NOAH, and that what they offered was a little more secure than what I did. He signed a contract to work exclusively with them for the next eighteen months. On the one hand I could understand what he had said, on the other I was quite let down. As you see the months of SSW unfold before you keep a close eye on Julio Fantastico and remember that everything that happens to him was originally planned for Jamie. Oh, and it was two months before Jamie ever appeared in front of a CMLL crowd, and when he finally did he went on a losing streak.

With CMLL on my mind, I must admit that aside from a few things I read on the internet and my experiences with Jamie, I know little to nothing about them at all. However when I was told, by Dr. Tom that CMLL, which stands for Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre apparently, although I couldn’t begin to tell you what that means, was now owned by Diamond Dallas Page I almost fell out of my chair.

In 1998 I worked for WCW, my second tour with the company, for just under four months. During this time I came into conflict with several people, not the least of which was Eric Bischoff and Perry Saturn. However the one man that remained my close friend through all the years leading up to that was Paige. He was a legitimately great guy through and through, and I know for a fact that I did not fuck Kimberly. I can’t guarantee you that his other friends could say the same, but I digress. Paige and I knew each other from my two year stint in WCW from 1991 to 1993, during which time he managed The Diamond Mine. Maybe you’ve heard of the three men he managed, Big Kev Kevin Nash, The Studd Scott Hall, and Super Sexy Scott Levy. They came to be known as Diesel, Razor Ramone, and Raven respectfully. During my two years with WCW these four men, between them, won two WCW World Tag Team Titles and three WCW TV Titles. I was the man that worked this for them. I took care of them. I saw a future for them all, especially Paige and Levy. As soon as I exited the company all four were relegated back to jobber status and eventually found their fame elsewhere under the aforementioned gimmicks. I would never have sold any of the four of them out for anything, considering them among my best friends. To this day only Levy has never stabbed me in the back. Yet.

In 1998 as my issues with Bischoff grew bigger and bigger, nothing new for me as he and I had never seen eye to eye on anything wrestling related, I turned to Paige to talk to. While the other three were in the company as well at this point, Paige had Eric’s ear and his trust, and I was hoping to smooth things over through a mutual friend. Paige assured me that he would talk to Eric. Then my incident with Saturn happened and it all went to shit. The day I was released, via a phone call, I learned that Paige had told Eric that I was coming to him and attempting to create a coup of some sort, with Paige as my first of many planned recruits to take Eric’s power away.

I still can’t reach that fucking knife in my back, and what’s worse, I don’t even know why in the hell it was placed in me to begin with.

So as I was told by Dr. Tom, Paige is the owner of CMLL. I did some digging, ably helped by the kid that runs the site for us and tapes our shows, 18 year old Harvey Cooper. Here is what I learned. Since taking over ownership he has killed the company financially. Not in the best of shape anyways, he has hired Al Snow, Bobby Heenan, The Cat Ernest Miller, Jamie Howard, and Dr. Death Steve Williams to reportedly lucrative contracts, then done nothing with them. Furthermore, he has vacated nearly every title with the exception of two, both of them held by Ultimo Guerrero. That may be a fine choice, but for a promotion that boasts upwards of seven titles, to only use two of them and have them on the same guy seems a bit ridiculous. That’s just my opinion, I must admit, but it seems logical all the same. If CMLL, which if rumors are accurate is six digits in the hole, is still alive by the end of the year I will be shocked. If they fail I will be extremely sad to see another long time promotion bite the dust, but I won’t be sad to see Paige fail. Grudges may not be good things to hold, but in the case of him and Saturn I do so anyways.

Of course, if and when they do fold I will be all over Jamie again so fast his head will spin. Of course he’ll probably sign with the NWA, but I digress.

Speaking of the NWA, if their was one wrestling body that has caused me more trouble in the first three months of SSW’s life I can’t possibly think of what it could be. If I attempt to get someone that any of the NWA affiliated promotions have, I get blocked at every turn. I might expect this from Florida, where the ass that is Dr. Tom now presides, but as far as I know I have no enemies in Wildside, TNA, or the UK. I could be wrong or it could be one of the biggest coincidences to ever come up, not sure which. To date Scoot Andrews, Shark Boy, Chase Stevens, Andy Douglas, and Mikey Batts all fit under this category. SSW’s curse in full effect or some sinister NWA conspiracy? Sounds like the story Harvey told me about where the NWA went evil in some alternate reality.

I could and maybe should mention one final thing regarding SSW herself, but it puts me in the territory of finance, and I hate to talk about this as I previously stated. However I find it almost amusing, so I shall proceed.

While we aren’t struggling at all, we have yet to make a dime, or even come within throwing distance of doing so. However in an attempt to continue to improve and to draw bigger and better crowds, and two plus thousand for our first two shows is not at all anything to sneeze at, but when the first two shows tickets sold for $7.00 for adults and children 6 and under were free we’re not exactly raking in the dough, I am constantly looking for new and better wrestlers. My one and only piece of direct communication from the mystery employer came on March 01, 2005 when I opened up an e-mail with the subject URGENT SSW BUSINESS. Inside it said one thing.

Cut down on worker costs as we are losing far too much money.

I almost laughed. The phone rang five minutes later, Jessica Henderson on the line to tell me that our employer was not pleased with the loss of money thus far. I told her I was aware of this, explaining the e-mail. She offered up her opinion on things, and I told her by May it would be dealt with, as the win loss record stipulation that all wrestlers are subject to, as explained by Dr. Tom at the first show, would result in a few casualties to our roster. She told me she hoped for my sake that it wasn’t too late by then.

So did I.

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SSW Southern Pride was scheduled to begin at 7:15pm. As with all things SSW, as I’ve said many times now, nothing goes as it is supposed to.

6:00pm

I was sitting in the front row listening to some sound tests as Rick Santel was in the ring with Chris Kanyon and Marty Jannetty.

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I had previously decided not to comment on this kid, and as I watched him bump badly and get repeatedly told the same thing over and over by Chris and Marty I remembered why. Quite simply this kid wasn’t any good. He needed time and he needed to learn, but once a month an hour before the show for ten to fifteen minutes with Chris and Marty wasn’t going to do it. While I didn’t know our fans yet, I did know our type of fans. They didn’t want to watch some kid train in the ring month after month, they wanted someone who could put on a decent match and entertain them. If he learned along the way, so be it, but he needed to be good enough to entertain them while he learned. Santel wasn’t there yet. In a way it kinda broke my heart too. I wanted to find some young stud that we could build up and promote over time, a kid that we could say we groomed and polished up and made a star here in SSW. Sadly I didn’t think that Santel was the guy. Julio Fantastico soon came out and got into the ring. I made some notes rather than watch what I was sure was only going to make me more confident in my decision. I could wait until show time to see what in my head I already knew.

6:22pm

Adam Pearce was the next man in the ring with Marty and Chris.

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Again, I glossed over this kid before, but after seeing him “train” last month, as well as his match, what there was of it, against Lenny, I was impressed. He wasn’t who I wanted for that role I mentioned before, but he had a good look, a strong enough presence, and a grasp of his chosen art that made him look decent enough in the ring that he could pass the test with the fans while he continued to learn. Adam worked all over the US, although he was a mainstay in So Cal wrestling I was told, but he had absolutely zero name and face recognition here in the south. He could be whomever and whatever I wanted him to be. For now he was stuck doing this thing with Lenny, but that would change, should we keep him. I already had the gimmick in my head, I just needed to make that ever important decision as to the outcome. I had until May to decide, but as I sat there and watched him work, first with Marty and Chris and then with Norman Smiley I think my decision was already made really. I made some more notes as I listened to the instructions and the bumps.

6:45pm

In the back I could hear the crowd starting to file into the arena slowly. I looked at Taylor Matheny as she pulled the referee’s shirt over her tank top. She was a good looking girl and I was kind of surprised that the WWE had passed on her. Word was she could wrestle half way decent. Maybe that was the problem. That and perhaps she didn’t want to get herself some fake tits and pose for Playboy. Who knew with the way those morons made decisions anymore.

”…and then I said, what the hell I got nothing to lose. So thank Mr..”

I caught what she was saying for a second again then trailed off as I saw Jessica Henderson talking with Perry Saturn in a corner off to the side. Was he fucking her or something? Jessica looked my way, and then waved me over. Perry walked off as she did so, and I saw the way she put her hand on his arm as he left.

Okay, yeah, they were fucking. Great. Just what I needed.

”Taylor, it’s going to be great tonight. And call me T, everyone does. No mister anything, okay? You just listen to what we say, stay out of the way, remember what we did in the ring a few hours ago, and it’ll be fantastic. You saw the tape; you can’t do any worse than I did last month.”

We both laughed then I patted her on the shoulder and made my way over to Jessica.

”Yes?”

She looked absolutely stunning here tonight, the first time I ever thought so to be honest. She was a good looking bitch, but past experience told me the meanest, vilest, harshest, women were always the biggest bitches.

Can you tell I’ve been hurt over the years?

”Timothy, let’s not get into a habit of being too comfortable and social with the female talent okay? We don’t need you losing this marriage too, now do we?”

My blood boiled, but before I could muster a damn thing to say in response she continued.

”Perry is concerned about his match tonight. As he put it to me, you’re jobbing his ass out for the second month in a row and…”

I stopped her. I was sure my face was red and it was taking all I had not to yell at her now.

”We discussed this Jessica, and I need him to lose tonight and next month. Not to job his ass out, but to build towards a match. As I told you, if Perry does the job for the first three months he gets to…”

Now I was stopped.

”Yes I remember, and I didn’t care for the idea then either. He’s going to win tonight, Timothy, and that’s pretty much the end of the discussion. Rework the match and the story any way you need to, but he’s a valuable part of this company and it’s future. Furthermore, your decision and your compliance on this matter is a valuable part of our decision on your future with this company.”

Blackmail? Push Perry “I Wish The Bullets Had Entered Your Brain You Cock Sucking Fuck” Saturn or we will probably fire you? Nice.

”Okay, Jessica, you win. Perry goes over tonight. In fact, since my decision making isn’t really wanted when it comes to building this company up, tell Perry he’s a fucking Road Agent now, and he can book his own match tonight. Except for the ending. After the bell sounds he sticks to the goddamn plan, deal?”

”As I’ve said before, Timothy, there is no need to curse at me. But yes, I’ll tell Perry what you said. And Timothy? Good decision.”

She walked off, in theory to tell Perry the news, although I had some vile vision of her going down on him instead.

I was losing it again, and THIS time it was only taking four months.

6:59pm

Sheila Texas was nineteen and was my assistant, for lack of a better term. She was also my secretary, the SSW official time keeper, and she was about to become my best friend. This time I would keep it professional though.

”Sheila, remember that when Julio…”

I stopped. Teddy Hart was here. Sixteen minutes before bell time the man had reappeared after disappearing for the past four hours.

Miserable fuck.

”Excuse me Sheila, I’ll be right back. Teddy?”

I walked over to him and he smiled and shook my hand. He had a used car salesman kind of charisma that almost made you forget that he was a pain in the ass.

”Teddy, you a go for tonight? And where the hell did you disappear to?”

”I was preparing, and yeah we’re a fucking go for tonight, man. I gotta tell you, T, I wasn’t too hyped to replay a Ring Of Honor story, but the more I thought on it, the more I liked it. The Future man, it’s so fucking true it’s scary.”

I nodded and smiled at the arrogant ass as I looked at my watch. Fourteen minutes to show start.

We were only seven minutes late when Julio walked to the ring. It could have been worse.

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Hopefully your decision is to shitcan Santel and push Pearce as one of your young stars in the company.

Uh-oh.. It looks like SSW has got it's own version of Stephanie and 3H now in Jessica & Saturn. Hopefully after the next few shows, you can get rid of Saturn or maybe the game will deliver some instant karma and injury him.

Used car salesman is definitely the right word to describe Teddy Hart because he look you dead in the eye with a big smile and lie right to your face.

Looking forward to the show.

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I must say I love this diary. The backstage happenings are just as interesting as the in ring happenings and that just makes it all the more enjoyable. I'm looking forward to seeing how you manage to overcome the problems of your employer if you do.

And I I'm looking forward to how you deal with Perry "insert degrading comments" Saturn and if there'll be any sort of revenge included.

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Chalk me up as an avid reader. I'm interested to see where the Saturn/Jessica thing goes, and i'm still admittedly clueless as to who the backers are. I have a possible idea but nothing too strong. Keep up the great work man.

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Southern Style Wrestling

and The Georgia State Athletics Commission

Proudly Present

user posted image

SSW Southern Pride

March, 12 2005

Marto’s

5495 Old National Highway

Atlanta, GA 30349

Fantastico Is In Charge

The crowd began to boo the second Julio Fantastico walked from the back with a mic in hand. My hope was that they had seen last month’s show and that the booing was because of his character, and not a general disdain for all things Julio. That would screw up more than one long term plan were it the case.

Once in the ring Julio smiled, nodded knowingly, then began to walk in a circle around the ring as he spoke.

Julio: Well, well, well, it looks like Julio Fantastico is back in redneck inbred heaven for another month of Southern Style Wrestling.

For the second month in a row Julio gets the cheap “redneck” heat. I smiled as I watched from the back, remembering how he had told me last month that he was gonna use the terms redneck, hillbilly, hick, and inbred as much and as often as he could.

Julio: It’s kind of funny to Julio in a way, last month we opened the first show with Julio coming out here and verbally slapping Dr. Tom Pritchard around before he won a big match, and this month we open the show with Julio out here to do the same, but Pritchard ain’t here anymore. Where oh where did Tom Pritchard go? Where oh where did the main man of SSW disappear to? Oh, wait, that’s right, after Julio made him look like Julio’s bitch last month he quit and headed to Florida, where he could be someone else’s bitch. Someone who’s not Julio of course. So where does that leave the redneck promotion now? Who’s running this show? Why, maybe, just maybe, it’s Julio Fantastico.

More booing from the crowd, but not all that loudly. I looked at Mike next to me, handed him the second mic, an investment we made after I watched the boys share our one mic last month, and told him to get ready.

Julio: Yeah, I like the sound of that. Julio Fantastico is now in charge of SSW, whether those morons and hillbillies in the back like it or not. And as my first official act in charge…

Julio was cut off when Harvey Cooper, the kid that tapes the shows for us and is now in charge of sound as well, hit the music. Burn by Nine Inch Nails began to play and Mike Sanders walked from the back, the mic in hand, and a huge smile on his face. He was dressed in a suit and wore the trademark sunglasses I had seen him wear many times on WCW television near it’s end. Incidentally, the song, from The Natural Born Killers soundtrack, was his choice and not licensed by SSW to use in any way shape or form. I could only hope we wouldn’t encounter any legal issues with it’s use.

Sanders: Your first official act in charge is to pipe the hell down and listen to the REAL man in charge of SSW from here on out. That being me, The Natural Born Thriller Mike Sanders. What do you think of the suit, Julio, does it match the shades man?

The crowd laughed a bit, but otherwise remained terribly silent. Perhaps they didn’t know, remember, or recognize Mike? I was sure he’d have them eating out of his palm by the time this wrapped up in about two minutes.

Julio: The Natural Born Thriller Mike Sanders? Is Julio supposed to know who the hell you are, because if so then…

Sanders: Nah, Julio is not supposed to know who Mike is, Julio is supposed to do what Julio was told to do and shut Julio’s frigging trap so Mike can speak. As for who Mike is, Mike said he’s the new BMOC here in SSW, so maybe Julio should quit listening to himself speak and listen to the boss. That’s The Natural Born Thriller Mike Sanders, me, in case you still weren’t listening.

The fans cheered a bit and clapped as Julio got angry, acting like a petulant child as he stomped his feet and then yelled at them to shut up.

Sanders: Is Julio gonna throw a tantrum now? Does Julio have poopy pants? Does Julio need his mama?

A little bit more laughter. I was smiling and laughing myself, and I noticed that I had half a dozen of the boys all next to me watching this as was I. Good, most of them could probably learn a thing or two here from Mike and Julio.

Sanders: Before we go any further, Julio, allow me to just say that I am a fan of your work. You are just spellbinding to watch in this ring, and that match from last month with Chris…

Julio: …which Julio won…

Sanders: …yes, yes you did. It was a great match. I wish I could order a rematch this month, especially seeing as how you didn’t exactly win without a little help from a crooked referee, now did you Julio? Said referee has been fired here tonight I might add.

Marty laughed as he patted me on the shoulder. He had especially liked this bit when he saw tonight’s show on paper. I smiled and nodded. The evil ref T was gone from SSW, seemingly forever. Or at least every damn one of us hoped so.

Julio: What? I didn’t, I mean Julio didn’t hire any…

Sanders: Relax fantastic one, it’s all water under the bridge. Tom whatisname couldn’t run a fifty yard dash let alone a wrestling company, but I sure as hell can. I know you don’t know me, but I was commissioner of WCW there near the end of it’s time, and I ran…

Julio: …you ran WCW into the ground? Into financial ruin? Into being bought out by the WWF?

Mike laughed as the fans booed.

Sanders: I ran it pretty damn well. But this isn’t the Julio And Mike Show, this is SSW Southern Pride, our second big show here in Atlanta, my own home town.

Some big cheers this time for the local boy. I was really liking where this was going. Mike and Julio had a natural sort of charisma together, and while it wasn’t perfection on the mic, it was decent enough that we got a semi hot crowd going already.

Mike: So, by the rules set in motion for this show last month, we have us a tournament to continue. Julio, since you like to come out at the beginning of every show and run your mouth, why don’t we let you open the evening’s wrestling for month number two. Your opponent for tonight is…

Overall Rating = 61.4%

7 minutes

Julio Fantastico vs. Rick Santel

Rick ran from the back immediately, not even waiting for his name to be announced. I shook my head as I watched him go and heard Mike announce him. Mike shook his hand once he was in the ring, offered a handshake to Julio, who handed him the mic instead, and then left the ring. Taylor ran to the ring as well, receiving a few hoots, hollers, and catcalls as she made her way down. Mike handed the mics to Sheila Texas as Taylor called for the bell and the match was underway.

Mike headed to a special booth set up on the far side of the ringside area, where he entered, sat down, and called the match. Harvey was inside as well, taping the show and doing the sound for us. After I watched the tape of last month’s show I realized that if we eventually sold these damn tapes we needed to have someone saying something during the matches, as the thirty plus dead minutes with nobody talking was quite annoying. So not only did Mike play our head man, he also did Commentary. Thank you WWE for training this kid so well.

The match itself was what I would call an abysmal failure. Julio did the lion’s share of the work in this three minute match, and Santel bumped his ass off I must say, but it just didn’t look all that great to me. Taylor was where she was supposed to be, so I was at least 100% grateful for that, but the match itself really kind of sucked. I wish I could place the blame on something or someone, but it just didn’t mesh the way I was hoping it might. Santel was simply too green. When Julio hit his Super Kick it was mercifully over, and I knew for sure what my decision was regarding Santel and Pearce’s fates here in SSW. A shame really.

The fans boos turned to cheers however as Chris Kanyon bolted from the back and slid into the ring behind Julio. He rolled Santel to the floor, then spun Julio around and one Flatliner later Julio had no time to celebrate or gloat about going two and zero thus far in the three month tourney. Kanyon hopped on the ropes and held his arm high as he yelled out that he said he was gonna get Julio. Chris went to the floor where he helped Santel to the back where I stood. I gave the kid a word of encouragement then told him to shower and get back here to watch the rest of the show.

WINNER: Julio Fantastico by pinfall

Match Reaction = 39.5%

Match Quality = 58.4%

Overall Rating = 53.8%

Time 5 Minutes

Adam Pearce vs. Norman Smiley

Julio stumbled to the back, passing Adam Pearce as he came to the ring. Our attempt was to get Pearce over as a no nonsense old school wrestler, an ice man sort of guy who was here to wrestle and that was that. Last month he had walked out on Lenny after the shenanigans happened costing himself a loss in the tourney, so it was all about the storyline that his opponent this month was our fun loving British dancer, Norman Smiley, who came dancing from the back to his music. Pearce rolled his eyes in the ring and looked somewhat less than thrilled. Once Norman was in the ring, it was time for the rest of the story. Lenny Lane came from the back, a lollipop in his mouth, pigtails in his hair, and wearing a cheerleader outfit. I laughed out loud when I had seen him before the show. Whether these fans wanted this weirdo character or not, I was gonna shove him down their throats until they either cheered his ass or quit coming.

Perhaps not the best game plan a booker ever had.

Lenny wiggled his ass to some fans, then to Pearce, who looked quite incensed, before joining Mike in the Announcer’s Booth. He would provide guest commentary on this match for the tape, making sexually filled comments about the match and the wrestlers, as well as get over the storyline itself. I liked my idea.

Taylor called for the bell as Pearce glared at Lenny inside the booth, and Norman started the match with a Belly To Belly Suplex that was not exactly stellar. The whole match wasn’t stellar, but it was a passable match that was far better than our opener. I had far more faith in Adam than I had in Santel, and after booking Adam in a non match the previous month, I wanted to see what he was capable of, hence this match scheduled to go roughly ten minutes before the run in.

Norman stayed in control for the first few minutes, then we let Adam have the ball. He nailed Norman with a Clothesline off the ropes, then had his way with him for the next 6 minutes. The fans, who sat back and watched and did little else, started to get into Norman’s comeback attempts near the end. Pearce put Norman back down every time however, and the fans were deflated. Pearce set Norman in the opposite corner, then walked calmly across the ring. He didn’t notice Lenny drop his headset and exit the booth, per my call, so when Lenny grabbed his foot as he took off towards Norman he was unaware and fell face first to the mat. The fans laughed and cheered a bit here, until Lenny rubbed his ass and danced on the floor in front of them.

Damn you, he’s funny and weird. Get into it.

Norman recovered as Pearce slowly got to his feet and started to get out of the ring and go after Lenny. Norman grabbed him by the shoulder, spun him around, kicked him in the gut, and delivered a picture perfect Piledriver that Taylor counted for the 1-2-3 victory.

In SSW an old school move like that is still enough to get you a big win.

Pearce rolled to the floor as Norman began to hop around and dance. He stopped, looked at Lenny, then invited him into the ring as well. The two danced, with Lenny begging Norman to do the Big Wiggle to him, to which Norman looked uneasy then declined, as Pearce glared on the floor, holding his neck and head. Taylor came over to help him to the back and he shoved her aside as he slowly walked off of his own accord.

WINNER: Norman Smiley by pinfall

Match Reaction = 43.9%

Match Quality = 60.6%

Overall Rating = 54.7%

Time 13 Minutes

Norman and Lenny left the ring and headed to the back as Adam walked by me. I stopped him.

”That was a damn good match, Adam. Damn good. Congratulations.”

He smiled, thanked me, and walked over to grab a water. He didn’t head off to shower, rather he grabbed a towel and wiped his face then talked with Marty, Chris, and Norman. Santel was eating a sandwich, and I wasn’t even sure if he had seen the previous match.

I think I had made the appropriate decision.

At this point Lenny was still in the ring, and my good friend was about to go out and book his own match on the fly with him. As long as he didn’t fuck up my ending, I could deal with it.

Lenny Lane vs. Perry Saturn

As Lenny stood in the corner licking his lollipop Perry Saturn walked from the back, a look of, well, boredom on his face. His music played, although I was completely unaware of what the heavy metal riffing song was, if it was something I was supposed to know at all, and climbed into the ring. As Taylor called for the bell, I began to think of things I could do to get this jerk off to walk out on us. Of course, if he’s banging Jessica like I think he might be, that’s probably not going to happen.

I told Taylor that Perry was calling the match, but to be ready for me to call the ending. We were going to keep the same ending we had planned no matter what, because even if the fucker could screw up a portion of my plan he wasn’t going to screw up the whole goddamn thing.

So I stood and watched the match. Pearce stood next to me, ready, and commented throughout the match to a few of us on things he noticed and things he didn’t like. He was a student, the ring was his teacher, and he was learning. I liked it, a lot.

The match was okay. Perry knows this sport, and he knows how to make a match work. He worked an interesting style, but it was obvious he was just stiffing the shit out of Lenny the whole time. When Lenny had the momentum and was carrying the match Perry kicked him in the side of the head hard, dropping Lenny to the mat. That was it, I had seen enough and it was over. I called the ending in to Taylor and told Pearce to get ready. Thirty seconds later Saturn hit the Death Valley Bomb and got the 1-2-3 to end this match. Much like the rest of it, the fans seemed bored and uninterested. Saturn rose to his feet, raised his own arms, and then my ending went to hell.

Adam Pearce ran from the back and slid into the ring amid boos from the fans, showing they cared more about this than the entire match. Perry, with his back turned, left the ring as Pearce scooped Lenny up and delivered a great looking Piledriver on him in the center of the ring. Then he hit a second as Perry stopped, turned, looked at the mayhem, and walked away.

What the fuck?

Perry walked towards the back slowly, and I could see Pearce’s face in the ring. He was thoroughly confused, but he primed Lenny for a third Piledriver. Perry walked back and I swear to god I thought I was going to have a stroke.

”What the fuck, Saturn? The ending, you can’t walk away from the ending.”

I pushed him in the chest. We were dangerously close to Jersey territory here.

”Keep your fucking hands off of me, T.”

I heard Jessica scream my name as I felt hands on my arms. I looked and saw Ricky, Marty, Chris, and Norman.

”Jesus, Saturn, you are a fucking pile of shit you know that? Norman, could you…?”

”On it.”

Norman was gone, racing towards the ring to stop the fourth Piledriver. He pulled Lenny to safety on the floor, and he and Taylor helped him to the back while Pearce accepted his boos from the crowd.

WINNER: Perry Saturn by pinfall

Match Reaction = 49.4%

Match Quality = 65.0%

Overall Rating = 60.1%

Time 11 Minutes

”I gave you what you wanted, I fucking rearranged the story for you, you fucking ingrate. Why ruin the rest of it?’

His answer was so stupid, so inane, that it almost made sense.

”I didn’t wanna do it, I don’t wanna be mixed up in that shit, so I’m not.”

If they had let me go he’d have killed me, because I’d have gone for his fucking throat again.

”Get the fuck out of here, Perry, get the fuck out and pray I don’t fire your ass.”

Perry allowed Jessica to walk him off, a smirk on his face the entire time. I shrugged off the others, and went to listen to Pearce’s promo.

Mother fucker.

Adam Pearce Hates SSW And Lenny Lane

Pearce was handed a mic from Sheila after he threatened her. I barely heard the promo.

Pearce: I’m not a man of many words, so let me just say it like it is. I hate SSW and I hate Lenny Lane. I’m not here to play games and dance and stuff like that, I’m here to wrestle and win matches and make money. But so far Lenny Lane has cost me two matches, cost me two winner’s payouts, and cost me the SSW Southern Heavyweight Title as well. I think me breaking Lenny’s neck and costing him his career makes us about even. Don’t come back Lenny, don’t show your face here again or I am going to destroy you again and again and again until you can’t ever come back.

He dropped the mic and walked to the back amid some boos from an otherwise unimpressed and uninterested crowd.

Overall Rating = 47.3%

Time 3 Minutes

Marty Jannetty vs. Matt Stryker

Matt Stryker walked to the ring first, alone, looking like he owned the place. The fans gave a respectful applause as he came out, but once again the roof came off when our next man walked out to his old Rockers theme, or a smart take off of it at least. Marty Jannetty came from the back slapping hands on his way to the ring, and I watched in awe. Somehow, someway, he and Ricky had become the top stars in two months here, despite losing their first match. Whether it was their name or the respect of the fans for two legends, these two men were on top of SSW. which of course was pretty much perfect for what we had planned.

Matt offered a handshake as Taylor returned to the ring and called for the bell. Marty hesitantly accepted, and we were good to go. The two locked up and we had us a good old fashioned feeling out process to start with which led to the tried and true test of strength. Matt seemed to get frustrated, as the fans settled in, but every so often, although not much, their would be a random Marty chant break out. About three minutes in Matt apparently said screw it and raked the eyes and kicked Marty low when the ref wasn’t looking. This garnered him some heel heat, but not much oddly. Stryker was now firmly in control and he kept it. Marty sold well for Stryker, putting him over in the next six or seven minutes quite well. Eventually Matt was able to lock in The Stryker Lock, a move we would rename here in SSW for the submission. However Marty held on, screaming in pain but refusing to say I quit.

Which, as an aside, warrants an explanation. My one beef with the rise and popularity of UFC and the like here in the US is the fact that overnight the tap out became an accepted form of submitting in every aspect of Pro Wrestling. I dislike the tap out immensely, always have, as it doesn’t seem to have the same power of making your opponent tell the ref, or in an I Quit Match yell it into a mic, that you quit. No tap outs here, ever.

Marty was able to make the ropes after a minute, and Stryker was obviously ticked. He released the hold, then stopped and grinned as he saw Teddy Hart walk from the back, wearing a T-Shirt that read I Am The Future on the front. Stryker nodded to Teddy, who nodded back to him. The fans halfheartedly booed Teddy, as this exchange gave Marty the time he needed to recover. Stryker bent over to pick Marty up, and was cradled into a pin attempt for the two. Stryker was livid again, as he got up and attempted to lay the boots to Marty. Marty rolled to the floor, where Stryker followed, and Marty rolled back in, coming off the ropes to meet Stryker with a Baseball Slide to the face. Stryker laid on the floor as Teddy came to his aid, talking to him. Taylor started her count as Marty saw the two, climbed to the top turnbuckle, and flew onto them both with a Swan Dive. The crowd cheered as all three men were down. Mary was the first back in the ring, but Stryker quickly followed. Marty hit a Missile Dropkick on Matt as he stood up and Stryker fell to the mat with a loud thud. It was all but over, except that Teddy made his way into the ring. He spun Marty around and delivered on of the weakest looking DDT’s I had ever seen. Taylor called for the bell and the match was over.

Teddy then proceeded to lock in the move his family made famous for the second month in a row, as Marty screamed out again to The Sharpshooter. I should note that the use of this move was not something I asked Teddy to do, but rather something he brought to the table. I did like it however.

Stryker was soon on his feet and he applied a variation of The Crippler Crossface to Marty as Teddy kept The Sharpshooter on. After a minute or so more they released the holds and then shook hands before hugging. Taylor got on the mic and proclaimed the victory for Marty due to outside interference, but Stryker and Teddy didn’t seem to much care. They threw Marty over the top rope to the floor before Stryker retrieved the other mic from Sheila and gave it to Teddy.

WINNER: Marty Jannetty by DQ due to outside interference

Match Reaction = 40.5%

Match Quality = 71.0%

Overall Rating = 59.0%

Time 15 Minutes

The Future Is Now

Teddy held the mic smiling as Taylor helped Marty to the back. The fans were booing, but as Teddy began to speak they quieted down, in theory to hear what he said.

Teddy: Last month I ran down Marty and Ricky Morton, Wrestling’s Old School, and I told you all that they couldn’t hang in the ring with people like myself and Stryker. I told you that they needed to hang it up and retire their sorry asses, to let the next wave of wrestling stars come to prominence in this sport. Ricky Morton got the message, he retired last month and he’s not here this month. He called it quits, took his old ass home, and won’t be back. Of course, this was after I beat the holy hell out of him, twice, but at least he got the message. Marty Jannetty didn’t get it I see. I doubt he got it here tonight either. When you look at myself and Matt Stryker, you are looking at The Future of this sport, whether you or they like it or not. SSW may like to promote themselves as a blast from the past, but we’re going to bring it into the future kicking and screaming if necessary. We are The Future.

The fans booed some more as Teddy handed the mic off to Matt.

Stryker: Both of us, we’ve tasted the big time in wrestling, and this isn’t it at all. We’ll do what we have to do to who we have to do it to to get back there. But in the meantime, we will see to it that the old timers wrestle their last matches in the process. Ricky Morton is gone, just like Teddy said, and it’s simply a matter of time before Marty is too. We are The Future, and with us leading the way, the future looks bright.

Overall Rating = 56.2%

Time 5 Minutes

Matt Stryker, mister redundant. The two left the ring to some boos as Taylor returned. It wasn’t perfect, hell it was barely adequate, but the more astute fans will notice the battle lines having been drawn and the story kicking in.

Sean O’Haire, The Enigma

Sean O’Haire was the next out to the ring, once again wearing his trench coat and eyeliner, although this month he also had white powder all over his face and hands. I wasn’t sure how that was gonna work once he started to wrestle, but he wanted to try it. He was followed by Shannon Ward making her debut, a month late, in SSW. She was wearing all black, had an excessive amount of black eyeliner on as well, but had forgone the powder due to the natural chalkiness of her own skin. Together they looked odd and half dead.

Once in the ring she picked up the mic and handed it to Sean, who began another fucked up promo.

O’Haire: I welcome myself to another day of spiritual awakening, while I silently ponder your own very existence. Another day that I have been allowed to spread the gospel of inner peace and contentment is a day finer than you could ever understand. Last month I shared this gospel with Perry Saturn, and as I have seen tonight he was a student ready to learn. Do not bother yourself with the workings of others, for you are not yet ready to share what you have but only glimpsed. Go forth Perry, go forth and marvel at the world with new eyes that see for the first time. Come back to me when you are ready for another lesson, and I shall wholeheartedly continue the teachings.

It wasn’t going quite as well as last month, but he did have their attention again. They were half booing him now, which was a sign that they had some clue that he wasn’t as benevolent as he claimed to be.

O’Haire: Myself and my ward, young Shannon, are here to teach another lost and lonely soul the meaning of being one with yourself. Shannon, my love, are you at peace yet?

She shook her head no as she kept a blank stare on her face.

O’Haire: Of course not. But you will be, you will be soon, and then we shall go forth together and speak of it to more and more lost souls. Do you trust that, Shannon? Do you trust me?

Her expression not changing, she nodded in the affirmative.

O’Haire: Yes, and you shall know what I know soon enough. Now bring forth the latest student, not so I may gain another win to hold a prize that has no meaning to my soul, but so that I might be able to open the eyes of another who is tormented by what he does not know even exists yet.

And with that O’Haire handed the mic to his ward, Shannon, who left the ring and gave it to Sheila.

Overall Rating = 57.4%

Time 5 Minutes

The Innovator Of Offense Chris Kanyon vs. Sean O’Haire(with Shannon)

Chris Kanyon came from the back, yelled out Who Betta Than Kanyon to the crowd, then ran to the ring to a good applause from the crowd. He came face to face with O’Haire, then snacked him silly. Taylor reacted by calling for the bell.

Much like the match that O’Haire and Saturn put forth last month, this was another classic looking and feeling match that saw Kanyon control things at the outset, before the vile and cheating ways of O’Haire gained him the upper hand. At every turn Kanyon attempted to get back in, but either through the cheating ways of O’Haire or by Shannon grabbing Kanyon’s foot he was unable to succeed.

Taylor finally caught Shannon grab Kanyon’s foot and trip him up, and she bolted to the floor where she confronted the emotionless Shannon. She threatened to send her to the back, or worse throw the match out, but Shannon showed no interest, turning her back on Taylor and walking around the ring. Inside O’Haire used the opportunity to remove some tape from his wrist and choke Kanyon down. O’Haire signaled the end and climbed up top where he stood perched for The Seanton Bomb. Kanyon came to his feet and ran, delivering a great looking Superplex that left both men down.

Kanyon was first to his feet at Taylor’s seven count, with O’Haire close behind, and I called for them to take it home. I looked at Pearce who was still at my side and told him to watch. Santel was nowhere to be found.

O’Haire ducked a Spinning Heel Kick, went for a Clothesline attempt that Kanyon ducked, came off the ropes and was met with a Belly To Belly Suplex that dropped him on his head. Taylor quickly went to Sean’s side, and I saw the signal that he was okay. Kanyon moved in for the kill, but at this point Shannon screamed out as loud as she could, shocking everyone by her outburst. Kanyon shook his head, and thirty seconds later he hit The Flatliner and garnered the 1-2-3 to be victorious. The fans cheered as Kanyon yelled out his catchphrase again to the crowd, some of which yelled back NOBODY. It was a start.

Shannon came into the ring behind Kanyon and leapt onto his back, scratching at his eyes in the process. He grabbed for her before throwing her off his back onto the mat. He held her down with one foot while he looked puzzled, and O’Haire attacked from behind with a Big Boot to the back of Kanyon’s head. Kanyon fell down hard, as O’Haire laid more boots to his head. Finally Shannon held Kanyon’s feet as O’Haire came off the top with The Seanton Bomb. The fans booed as O’Haire calmed his ward then the two proceeded to the back. Taylor helped Kanyon to his feet, where he received applause from the crowd, then the two headed to the back as well.

All in all a second successful match from O’Haire, a man I didn’t even really want to begin with.

WINNER: Chris Kanyon by pinfall

Match Reaction = 56.2%

Match Quality = 69.0%

Overall Rating = 62.8%

Time 18 Minutes

Adam Jacobs vs. Cody Hawk

As Cody Hawk walked to the ring to zero fan fair or acknowledgement from the crowd, I realized that what was an exciting match for myself was going to bomb with the crowd. Adam Jacobs came out next, to pretty much the same reaction, and I watched fans file out to use the restroom, get food, get drinks, or peruse the limited merchandise we had for sale. This was going to be bad, and not from a wrestling standpoint.

The bell sounded and the two proceeded to lock up and put on a great amateur wrestling match from the start. Matt Stryker and Chris Kanyon, along with Pearce who hadn’t left my side since he had run in at the end of Perry and Lenny’s match, watched with me, all of talking about the match as it progressed. As I watched Jacobs and Cody go, I realized I had what I had wanted in Santel. There wasn’t a single guy in SSW who hadn’t mentioned at one point or another their desire to work with Jacobs. He wasn’t great, but he had the skills and the desire to someday get there. It might take another ten years, but with the proper push and a continued desire to learn he could become very good and one of our top stars. Hell, both Marty and Ricky had named him as the man they thought should take the SSW Southern Heavyweight Title in May.

The fans never got into this match, not once no matter what these two did, and I was determined that I would get these two over in the future no matter what.

No pun intended.

At the end Jacobs placed Hawk on the top turnbuckle and then performed a DDT onto the mat. He rolled Hawk to the center of the ring where he got the clean pinfall. Taylor raised his hand, to an almost silent reaction from the crowd, and then Jacobs helped Hawk to his feet. Hawk looked wary and out of it, but the two shook hands to a decent applause for the show of respect and sportsmanship from the crowd.

WINNER: Adam Jacobs by pinfall

Match Reaction = 26.2%

Match Quality = 63.8%

Overall Rating = 31.5%

Time 14 Minutes

The Future Of Teddy Hart Looks Bright

At this point Teddy’s Hitman music rip off played, while all three were still in the ring, and the crowd did come alive. They booed Teddy as he walked, smugly and arrogantly, to the ring and entered. He demanded that Sheila hand him a mic, so she obliged, receiving her own share of boos from the crowd. Hawk and Jacobs stood there, and Teddy shook their hands. The fans booed some more.

Teddy: I want to congratulate you two on the best damn match this show had tonight, no matter what the ingrates in the crowd thought. For a quarter of an hour you two wrestled your hearts out, putting on a match that had me on the edge of my seat, and I commend you. As my good friend Matt Stryker said earlier, the future damn sure looks bright for you two as well.

Teddy shook their hands some more, then pretty much dismissed them from the ring. The crowd booed some more at this whole thing, and I wondered why they couldn’t have gotten into the actual match like that.

Teddy: Which brings me to the reason I came out here. Now I’m no maths professor, but I can add and subtract pretty well, and doing that has revealed to me that I am the last man in this tournament that hasn’t wrestled here tonight yet. We all saw Ricky Morton retire last month…

This results in the biggest reaction from the crowd thus far, and it’s all negative.

Teddy: …yeah I’m pretty torn up over it too. Anyways, as was explained last month, the four wrestlers with the most wins after the first three shows go on to wrestle for the belt around here. Now if someone comes back out and wrestles me tonight that has already wrestled, and if they win, they get an unfair advantage going into May’s show. And since it’s all random drawings here, I was the odd man out this month, which to me means that I simply win by default, improving my record to two and zero. So let’s have that old WCW guy leave his sound proof booth and raise my hand in victory, please.

The crowd cheers a bit as Mike Sanders exits the booth, grabs the other mic from Sheila, and gets in the ring.

Sanders: You know, Teddy, you’re right. I don’t have an opponent for you and it would be unfair to have someone wrestle again tonight. But, and I’m just thinking out loud now, I haven’t wrestled yet tonight, and there’s nothing unfair about me beating your ass here.

The crowd popped, while Teddy’s brow furrowed,

Teddy: No, no, no, that’s unfair as well. You can’t simply enter a tournament in the middle of it. No, either I face a wrestler already entered in the tournament who hasn’t wrestled yet, and there is nobody, or I should advance by default.

Sanders seemed to be thinking, then his smile faded.

Sanders: You’re right, and as much as I hate to admit it…

Mike never got a chance to continue, as the fans cheered quite loudly. A man ran through the crowd and slid into the ring. That man, Ricky Morton. He spun Teddy around and laid some lefts and rights to his jaw, before Drop Kicking him over the top rope to the floor. Teddy got to his knees looking shocked. Ricky soaked up the adulation, then picked up Teddy’s mic from the mat.

Morton: With all due respect, Mike, I’d like to be the man that wrestles this punk tonight. I haven’t wrestled yet, and I was in the tournament from the beginning. I’d be more than happy to postpone my retirement for a few months, at least, and show this Canadian jerk what Southern Pride, the name of this show, is really all about.

More cheers, as Sanders looked on. He removed his sunglasses, got in Ricky’s face, and smiled.

Sanders: I wasn’t even working here yet when you supposedly announced your retirement and quit. Seems like a dirty rumor to me, and it would be my pleasure on behalf of SSW to make this our Main Event Match of the night. It looks to me like Teddy Hart is S.O.L., and we alllll know what means. Now ring the bell.

Sanders left the ring as the bell sounded.

Overall Rating = 60.6%

Time 6 Minutes

Main Event Match: Ricky Morton vs. Teddy Hart

Ricky slid from the ring as Teddy was protesting and began to lay the fists to Teddy’s head once more. The fans cheered, then settled in, ready to watch the match that hopefully would not leave them as deflated as our main event did last month.

I thought I knew the answer to that unfortunately, and it wasn’t going to be a positive.

Teddy scrambled back in the ring, with Ricky close behind him and once again beating him down. If you looked close you could see a fresh scar on Ricky’s head from the beat down he took last month. The opening minutes were all Ricky, who wrestled with reckless abandon here. That caught up to him, when Teddy nailed a Gut Wrench Powerbomb out of virtually nowhere following a botched DDT. It looked worse than it sounds if possible.

Teddy went for the cover, but as would become the pattern for the next nine minutes, no matter what Teddy hit or tried, he could not keep Morton on the mat for three seconds. Teddy became visibly upset and irritated by this, and it was this that Morton exploited.

Teddy locked in the Sharpshooter, after doing nothing to prepare for it, cursing and screaming for Ricky to quit dammit. Ricky stayed in the move for almost a full minute, selling like a pro, before slowly pulling his way towards the ropes. When he was almost there, with the fans cheering and chanting, Teddy pulled him back a few feet. The fans died and Morton collapsed on the mat unmoving. Taylor dropped the arm twice, but on the third try Morton sprung onto his elbows and scrambled to the ropes, much to everyone’s surprise. Teddy threw a fit, yelling at Morton to just give it up and yelling at Taylor to do her fucking job. This gave Morton a chance to get to his feet, hobbling, and when Teddy turned to him Spear him to the mat. It looked half assed, as it was supposed to, but the crowd dug it anyways. Morton hobbled to his feet, and pointed to the turnbuckle. He climbed so very slowly, selling the leg pain along the way as Teddy got to his feet. Morton came off the ropes with a Missile Dropkick that Teddy was able to avoid, and again the fans died out. He then climbed to the top turnbuckle himself and came off the top with a move he calls Open Hart Surgery. It looked great, and it ended the match with the 1-2-3.

Teddy then hopped to his feet, did a Moonsault off the ropes, and rolled to the floor before sneering at Morton in the ring. He turned to leave and was laid out by Marty Jannetty in the aisle. Marty threw Teddy back into the ring and mounted him, beating the holy hell out of the young Hart. Cue wild finish of the show part two, as Matt Stryker ran down to save his fellow Future member and he and Marty were soon brawling on the mat. The fans seemed unsure how to react, or at least that’s my take on it, so they didn’t, until Ricky slowly made his way to his feet. Teddy saw this and soon he and Morton were brawling as well.

With double Drop Kicks, Teddy and Matt were sent to the floor, fuming as they headed to the back, while this month’s show ended with Wrestling’s Old School in the ring hugging, shaking hands, and receiving adulations from the crowd.

WINNER: Teddy Hart by pinfall

Match Reaction = 43.8%

Match Quality = 71.9%

Overall Rating = 66.0%

Time 18 Minutes

And yes, we’re gonna use that name.

All in all, a much better product than the previous show, but one would hope we would get better as we went along.

My cell rang as I was shaking hands. It was Jessica.

”Consider yourself fired, Timothy, we’ll make it official tomorrow in your office.”

Well, that wasn’t totally unexpected.

Shit.

SSW Southern Pride

Attendance 2244

Overall: 55.9%

OOC:

Made some corrections to some mistakes I missed, such as the name of my own damn promotion and changing Teddy Sanders to Teddy Hart. Damn my stupidity.

Edited by theromacomplex
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Guest mroniimusha

Nice thinking.

*coughNewJackVicGrimesandtheMessiahvsSaturninaFirstBloodmatch

It has to be said, however, that I'm absolutely loving the backstage bits. I don't like that it's Perry Saturn, as I like Perry Saturn, but this is quality writing. Good job, McRoma, good job.

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