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iiW - Innovative Impact Wrestling


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((This backstory is somewhat lengthy in nature. As such, I'll be posting it over 2 posts to give y'all a bit of a break in between reading the fairly huge chunk of prose. Ain't I great?))

Part 1...

Nobody remembers the past...

It had always been there, really, at least that’s how everybody saw it. By 2004, nobody could remember the days when WCW hadn’t been around, or those rare moments that Vince McMahon’s WWF had provided anything like competition for the Atlantan giant. The NWA had been cursing itself for the better part of a decade for the decision to let World Championship Wrestling fly solo from the NWA banner, and almost everybody working there had forgotten the improbability of WCW’s rise to total, unrivalled dominance – had you told anybody in 1991, that, thirteen years later, WCW would stand at the top of the mountain, completely and utterly in control of the wrestling industry, with all of its competition strewn on the slopes of that mountain, wrecked or dead… well, you’d have been laughed out of whatever conversation you’d been having, that was for sure. The NWA had made a good choice, at the time, in letting the company go, but nobody ever remembers the past – it’s the present that people care about, especially in the wrestling business. Nobody could care less if, once upon a time, guys like Hogan, Nash, and the Rock had wrestled for the WWF. Hell, half of the people who tuned into Nitro every week didn’t even have a clue what the WWF was, such was the nature of wrestling and the people who watched it. Nobody cares about the past…

…Except me.

I’d watched wrestling since I was a kid. Me, my father, and my bigger brother, all crowding onto the sofa with a bowl of popcorn and a soda to watch our favourites go at it. My dad had always liked Ric Flair, and I was a Sting fan, so there was some banter between us, but my brother never seemed satisfied with anything. Everything was too small, too big, or just plain wrong. He loved the business, but he wanted it to be something different, something revolutionary and totally unexpected, something that millions could enjoy. My father and I were content with just watching Ric Flair face Sting for the World’s title, and watching our other favourite wrestlers duke it out in the squared circle. Those, looking back, were the best times of my childhood.

I had been fifteen years old in 1991, when World Championship Wrestling came about, and I had watched with interest. It had all my old favourites, Flair and Sting and all of the rest, and yet it was something different too. People said that WCW would be no match for the WWF, which had come about some years previously, and was currently on a roll – there were even rumours of the WWF going global at that point. Nowadays, everybody knows just how it all turned out. It’s just one of those things that, as a wrestling fan, you know…

The WWF had been around, in some way or another, since 1963, when Vince McMahon Sr had created the WWWF title in order to recognise Buddy Rogers as champion despite him having lost the NWA title to Lou Thesz. For almost fourty years, the company had blazed a trail in the wrestling industry, both as a part of the NWA and as something independent and separate. Vince McMahon’s son, Vince McMahon Jr, had taken the reins of the company during the eighties, and begun to systematically take on the wrestling business, competing with promotion after promotion and bringing the WWF to prominence. The eighties were the era of WrestleMania, with Hulk Hogan becoming a household name and the Pay-Per-View era of television being ushered in. By the nineties, the company was known by wrestling fans all over America, with its big-name stars, television, and Pay-Per-View events. Of course, what Vince McMahon Jr had never counted on was another company rising and stealing this dominance away from him – and, in a world dominated by karma, that was exactly what happened.

The old promoters had loved Vince McMahon Sr, and hated his son. Vince Sr had travelled far and wide across regions, met these promoters, shaken their hands, and promised them that he would never compete with them. Once his son took over the WWF, he went back on these promises and slowly began to put everybody out of business. Little did Vince Jr know that he had planted the seeds of ideas in the heads of the men who were now in control of WCW, and shown them exactly how to rise to prominence in the new, truly national wrestling business. WCW competed with those around it, in the Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic, quickly wiping them out and standing as the only promotion in the region.

When, in 1994, Eastern Championship Wrestling split away from WCW and re-dubbed itself ‘Extreme’ under Paul Heyman, the first real ‘battle’ of the nineties ensued. ECW’s hardcore, alternative style won it over a niche market quickly, with many Deathmatch wrestlers who had made their name in Japan, and many independent wrestlers seeking publicity, flocking to the promotion. Despite numerous talent raids by WCW, a vicious smear campaign against Cactus Jack and ECW owner Paul Heyman, and several other attempts to destroy the promotion, ECW would remain in existence until 1999, when it finally gave in and surrendered to WCW, which bought it out and sold off its assets, piece by piece, retaining many wrestlers’ contracts for itself.

The WWF, meanwhile, would fare much better towards the beginning. The allegations of steroid abuse amongst many WWF wrestlers, and Vince McMahon for supposedly distributing them, would hit the company hard in 1994, but eventually the WWF began to rebuild itself. Hulk Hogan leaving the company was, of course, a huge blow, but Vince’s genius allowed him to create a host of new stars and somehow plug the gap – now Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, the Undertaker, and Diesel were leading the charge.

After the first Monday Nitro vs Monday Night Raw showing on September 4th, 1995, which saw WCW beat the WWF thanks in part to the shocking arrival of Lex Luger, WCW continued its streak of ratings-winning shows. Eric Bischoff would employ numerous dirty techniques in order to one-up Vince’s WWF; mocking his wrestlers with thinly-veiled parodies, stealing his wrestlers only days after them appearing on Raw, reading out the results of the taped Raw broadcasts on the live Nitro, and numerous others. WCW was on a high, steamrolling Raw in the ratings battles and providing a great product for the smarter wrestling fan at the same time.

Many say that the nWo was what killed the WWF, and they’ve got a point. Nash and Hall’s defection, and the whole feel of the stable, fuelled the WCW fire for several months, even years, giving the promotion a rebellious, cutting-edge feel that the WWF found it hard to compete with. Hulk Hogan’s backstage stroke and friendship with many of the WWF’s older stars meant that main event stars such as Roddy Piper were almost constantly arriving in WCW, and the nWo only grew in popularity as the time went on. Somewhere along the line, after a dalliance with the idea of turning the nWo into an on-screen organisation bigger than WCW itself, Eric Bischoff reined in the stable and was able to keep it fresh without adding a never-ending stream of wrestlers to it.

In truth, the only thing that really killed the WWF was the WWF itself. Whilst Nitro had its string of main eventers, legends, and new creations such as Bill Goldberg, the WWF relied on one ‘top guy’ at a time. Once Bret Hart made it his intention to leave for WCW, the infamous ‘Montreal Screwjob’ at Survivor Series 1997 ejected him from the company on appalling terms, but also had the effect of making Vince McMahon and Shawn Michaels, the man set to replace Hart as the key player in the company, into villified figures throughout the wrestling industry. Once Ted DiBiase left the WWF for WCW, the rise of Steve Austin to his phenomenal status in the business meant that the WWF had a surefire winner. But, the WWF failed to capitalise on Austin. A near-miss with an Owen Hart piledriver scared the WWF, but didn’t open their eyes to the truth – they relied too much on Austin, and had not been creating new stars. Talented workers such as Rocky Maivia and Hunter Hearst Helmsley didn’t receive the pushes they deserved thanks to Austin and Michaels’ dominance at the top, and the glass ceiling in the WWF eventually lead to its downfall.

Learning from Vince McMahon’s mistake, Eric Bischoff began to build stars out of those in the mid and upper-mid cards of his roster, who could eventually replace the ageing main event wrestlers such as Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair when the time came for them to step down from active competition. Thanks to this approach, WCW’s talent roster remained fresh as the nineties drew to a close, while the WWF’s was still reliant on its small staple of main eventers. Bouyed by its defeat of ECW earlier that year, in 1999 WCW went on a full-scale offensive against the WWF. Bischoff’s dirty tricks, a trademark of the Monday Night Wars, were cranked up beyond all belief, and the WWF soon began to feel the pressure. Numerous WWF stars that were fed up with the over-reliance on Steve Austin and the De-Generation X stable, as well as backstage politics, were coaxed out of their contracts by WCW, and the WWF’s talent roster took a further beating.

The death knell for the WWF sounded in June 2000. Vince McMahon, who had been suffering with depression for several years thanks to the strain of the Monday Night Wars and attempting to keep his company afloat despite WCW’s numerous assaults, would suffer a heart attack and withdraw to Connecticut in order to recuperate, leaving the company in the hands of his son Shane. Over his head, out of his league, and with the WWF falling apart around him, Shane took the advice of the company’s accountants and sold it to Ted Turner. At the WWF Raw show later that week, the nWo interfered during a main event match between Steve Austin and Owen Hart, and announced the death of the World Wrestling Federation. Ted Turner, just as he had done with ECW, bought the company out and sold off its assets piece-by-piece, retaining several contracts and title belts for its own uses.

Many former WWF wrestlers signed with various struggling independent promotions, but quickly found those promotions defeated by the sheer might of WCW. Nothing in the USA could stand against the company, and so many would travel to Japan in order to wrestle, whilst many others eventually caved in to the massive salaries offered to them by WCW and wound up in Atlanta. WCW ruled the wrestling world, and nothing could stand in its way…

And that’s the way it has always been, the way it is, and the way it probably always will be. Nobody cares about the past in this business, and the forseeable future is dominated by WCW. They’ve been like this for the past four years, crushing independent promotions almost as quickly as they can start up, and simply stealing the top stars of those they cannot destroy, only to toss them into the Power Plant for months on end. The NWA is still soldiering on, mostly through its pride and the fact that somewhere, Ted Turner probably doesn’t want to cripple the organisation that gave birth to his enterprise. But it isn’t the NWA I remembered – Zero-One and NWA: Canada are perhaps the only promotions with anything like a fanbase, because the American-based NWA territories are all labouring under the shadow of WCW and cannot escape its dominance. A couple of promotions have started up recently, within the past year or so, along the East Coast, because traditionally it was never a big port of call for WCW and they rarely visit California or Pennsylvania. I suppose the East Coast is the last hope for independent wrestling in the United States – Ring of Honor, Combat Zone Wrestling, and Pro Pain Pro Wrestling hold the torch, but nobody really expects them to last longer than a year or two. Nobody does, because nobody can ever hold out that long. It’s nigh on impossible.

Who am I? I’m just a guy who loves wrestling, and can’t bear to see WCW piss all over the industry. It isn’t wrestling, anymore, it’s pre-packaged, overhyped sports entertainment. Bischoff and Russo clamour for ratings with crash TV, shock moment after shock moment, pushing guys with ‘the look’ and none of the talent while some of the best wrestlers in the world sit in the Power Plant or midcard Hell. I’m not alone. Across the world, the Internet Wrestling Community pillories WCW for its misuse of great wrestlers, the endless pushes for the few guys with backstage stroke, and the self-parody of crash TV that Vince Russo’s booking style seems to have descended into. But, still people watch Nitro, still people buy the Pay-Per-Views, and still people buy the fifty different nWo T-shirts on offer. I guess that’s the way the wrestling business is, the way the fans are – it makes changing things difficult.

But, my God, if it kills me I’m going to change things.

Part 2...

Right now I’m sitting here, rereading that message I just posted. ProWrestlingFreedom.com, perhaps the biggest ‘rebel wrestling’ site, as those websites which rally against WCW have come to be known, has a whole forum for laments such as mine, which the more experienced posters refer to as the ‘Pointless Hope’ forum. And they’re right, who am I kidding? I can’t change anything, I really can’t. My name is Mark Jackson, I’m a 25-year old wrestling fan with a little bit of money, a dream, and absolutely nothing else. I sit here at this computer, day after day, thinking and saying that things have to change, but it changes nothing. To the rest of the world, I’m a nobody, and even to the guys at PWF.com I’m just “Raven’s Kid”, an intelligent wrestling fan who remembers how things used to be. Me and some of the other guys wax poetic and remember the good old days, but I’m the only one who truly, truly believes…

…Almost.

A while ago, I got speaking to another poster on PWF.com, a woman called Sophie. She’s a nice girl, 23 years old, and like me she’s into the wrestling business in a big way. Or was. I don’t know too much about her, but she pretty much agrees with everything I believe about the business, about WCW, and she’s the only one who doesn’t laugh at my dream to change things. We’ve talked about what we think could have happened – she’s got some crazy idea that the WWF could have made it through and overcome WCW – or how things should have been, or our ideas of how somebody, anybody, with enough passion and enough drive could go about toppling the unstoppable behemoth that is WCW. Hell, some of our ideas even make sense. Sophie lives pretty close to where I do – she’s from Albany and I’m from New York City, which is pretty cool, I guess. I keep wanting to pluck up the courage to ask her to meet up sometime, but she might think I’m some sort of weirdo or something. It’s best, for now, if we’re just two people who talk on the Internet about how the sport we love has been destroyed.

…Screw it, it’s 2:30 in the morning. I’ve been staying up later and later since I got broadband – now I don’t get timed out of the Internet every two hours, the time just seems to fly by with no concern for how it’s eating into the rest of my life. Not that I have a steady job, or a wife and kids, mind you, but there was a documentary about the Democratic Party on tonight that I wanted to watch, and now I’ve missed it. Okay, that’s it, I’m going to bed.

Parts 3 and 4 of the backstory coming soon/tomorrow (as I'm going out in 30 minutes, so you're not getting it tonight). Feedback is always welcome - this diary, by the way, is the reason I abandoned my NWA:TNA diary/let it die. I know it looks a lil' bad to just give up on a diary so early in its course, but let me assure you that I rarely (if ever) do things like that, and only when I have a Hella good reason - iiW is that reason.

Raven's Kid!

:unsure:

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Guest JamesHearte

Good stuff Mark. You get more and more entertaining each time. :)

Only one small blemish... California is on the west coast, but I don't know if that was intentional or not.

Either way, it was a fun read. It's amazing how one sucsessful wrestling move might change the world.

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Heh heh - thanks for all of the positive words, people. Media - I played Raven in the MSN e-fed iiW (no, it wasn't mine, but the name is very cool and I was having a period of inspirational block, so I stole it. And I'd DO IT AGAIN!), although I imagine I was better known for my work as the created character Scott Lopez in GWA - last World champion, baby! Ahem, on with the backstory - and, if you feel like I haven't explained the "world" I have created in full, there's a reason for it. I'll be having certain details unfold and appear as the story progresses, which gives much more realism to the world than simply outlining it all at the beginning...

Part 3…

Who the Hell comes round to call at 7am? I mean, come on, some of us have a day to waste by lolling around in bed until the early afternoon and then watching TV until turning on the computer! But, whatever, it’s just after 7 in the morning and somebody’s buzzing for entry into the building, or – more specifically – my appartment. This is what happens when you live in the bad part of Manhattan, you know, people call on you in the morning. If it’s those Jehovah’s Witnesses I turned away a few days ago, then somebody’s getting a beating… yeah, right, like I’m in any state to beat on anything - I try to get to the gym two times a week, but I've missed the last... eight hundred times. And there’s that infuriating little buzzing sound again, the thing that woke me about two minutes ago…

“Okay, okay, Jesus Christ! I’m coming!

Whoever it is can’t hear me, but whatever. Finally, I manage to get my pants on in a display of hopping and hysterics that is frankly an embarassment, and make it over to the door. I buzz whoever the Hell it is into the building, honestly not giving a damn at this point, and open the door. I’m struggling into one of the two clean T-shirts I currently have when there is a knock at the open door. I turn around, and stare at the woman standing, framed in my doorway. I’m suddenly very aware of what a dive my appartment is, because I’ve seen this woman’s picture before and she looks like she’s got class.

Sophie?

“Hello, Mark.”

Okay, this is somewhat unexpected. I finally manage to struggle into my T-shirt, and cast my eyes around at the appartment. Well, any hint of respect she might have had for me on a personal level is gone, that’s for sure. The question remains, of course – why the Hell has she travelled from Albany to the bad part of Manhattan to see me, and how the Hell did she know where to find me?

“I, ah, looked you up in the phone book,” she says, apparently reading my mind word-for-word, “hope you don’t mind.”

“Not at all. Uh, sorry about the appartment. Cleaning lady doesn’t work Tuesdays, you know?”

That gets a laugh, and a smile, so I press on. “What exactly are you doing here, anyway?”

“Well… oh man, this sounds really stupid, but… I read that post you put up last night, the one in Pointless Hope. It really… it really touched me, you know?”

“You came all this way to tell me you liked that post? You have instant messaging, and e-mail, you know.” She smiles again, and gives a little shrug. “Seriously, Sophie, this is totally insane – why are you here?”

“Okay… I agree with everything you said, and I just want to tell you that I believe in you.” Gee, that’s nice and everything, but it still doesn’t explain why she’s here telling me all this instead of doing it via e-mail like a sane person.

“Which part? My unfounded hope of a better wrestling business, my dream of a wrestling world without WCW destroying each and every pro wrestling company that comes into existence, or the part where I was apparently smoking the kind of crack Whitney Houston only dreams about and thought that I could be the one to bring it all about?”

“Don’t be like that, Mark.” She’s a sweet girl, I’ll give her that much, but she’s not too bright if she took that post seriously. “Look… I think we can help each other. If your cleaning lady isn’t around today, I assume your cook isn’t either?”

“You got me, she’s busy catering for a royal wedding.” She laughs again, and I momentarily forget just how much of an idiot she must be for coming here.

“Okay then. Mind if I buy you breakfast? We can talk.” I think about it, for a moment, but there’s not much to think about really, especially when you consider the fact that I don’t get paid until next week and I spent too much money on old WWF DVDs this month.

“Beats the box of Pop Tarts I had planned.” She smiles again, probably taking that as a joke when in fact it’s the stone-cold truth, and follows me out of the appartment. Note to self – clean up in there.

Part 4…

I’ve been sitting in the local coffee shop with Sophie for a couple of hours now, talking pretty animatedly and doubtless scaring off anybody who has been intending to sit within a few feet of us with the gestures and intermittent cries of agreement or disbelief. But, I’ve gotten to know more about Sophie than I have in weeks of e-mails, instant message conversations, and posts on various message boards. My previous assertation that she’s pretty cool was way off – she’s amazing.

It turns out that Sophie has had some connection to the wrestling business before, thanks to her father, who was once a wrestler himself, working as a journeyman curtain-jerker for ECW throughout its four-year existence. I suppose that explains some of her more acid-tongued outbursts regarding WCW from the forums, seeing as the company basically killed off her father’s way of making a wage. She hadn’t ever lived with her father, of course, because her mother had quickly objected to having her daughter grow up living in squalor with a man who bladed nightly and took fireballs from Jim Mitchell for a pretty paltry wage, but Sophie had always known who her father was and what he did. She said that she’d gotten her love of the business, and her passion for the indies, from him. It made her sick to her stomach, she told me, to see WCW killing the business like this.

We discussed options for a while, ways that some faceless knights in shining armour could save the world we loved, thinking outside the box but still firmly in the realms of fantasy – sueing WCW as an unfair monopoly with a stranglehold on the business wouldn’t work, because we weren’t in the business, and getting into it just to sue WCW was a plan so full of holes you could sell it as cheese in Switzerland. Backing other wrestling companies was a laughable plan of mine, because WCW crushed anything even remotely perceived to be competition like a bug – in fact, Sophie told me that CZW’s two biggest stars had been stolen by WCW overnight and dumped into the Power Plant – and no wrestling promoter in the USA had the balls to go up against the might of Turner, Russo,and Bischoff. Eventually, after probably drinking one espresso too many, I blurted out…

“Well, I guess we could always start our own promotion.” Much to my surprise, Sophie didn’t laugh at this one like she laughed at my other jokes – and that sounded more like a joke that anything I’d said while trying to be funny.

“Really? I mean… d’you think that would work?” What is this broad, insane? But, I’d piqued her interest with that one, and I guess I’m just a sucker for a pretty face, so I started to piece together a million-and-one different crazy ideas in my mind.

“Well… I have some money, I suppose,” was the first one out of my mouth, “my mom and dad left it to me when they died. Pretty much everything they had, seeing as they left my brother with basically nothing. Not that he needed it, mind you. And, I went to college, I made good grades there… got a degree and everything. I guess I’ve got enough qualifications to run a company, maybe.”

“How much money d’you have?”

“About six hundred grand. I guess my mom and dad wanted me to stick it in a bank account and let it gather interest until I retired. It’s not much to work with for a wrestling company, but… it should do.”

“Okay… well, I have some money too. My dad… my dad set it aside for me, while he was still earning and everything. It’s not a Hell of a lot, but… I think we’d have about one-and-a-half million, combining your funds and mine.”

“Wow.” That was really something. One-point-five million dollars wasn’t a Hell of a lot for a wrestling company, and I was sure that a fledgling promotion would lose money pretty quickly, but it was definitely something. I didn’t want to pry as to how she had just under a million dollars knocking around in her bank account, having been ‘set aside’ by her father, but it seemed a little odd. How does a curtain-jerker get to be that rich? He must have saved up the pay packets from basically every job he did over four years in ECW. Benevolent guy, I suppose, loves his daughter. But still, it was most definitely odd.

Sophie and I talked for hours and hours more, and somewhere along the line, everything seemed to go from being wild, hypothetical speculation to something that we were actually considering, something that we wanted to go through with. Between us, Sophie and I probably knew more about the wrestling business than anybody else, at least anybody who worked outside WCW. She’d gotten her love of it from her father, and whenever she saw him or stayed with him, he’d tell her about it, how it worked and what made it tick. Me? I’d had a lifetime of loving the wrestling business, since I was just a little kid watching Ric Flair vs Sting for the World’s title. I’ve got so much wrestling knowledge and know-how flying around in my head it’s unreal – of course, it doesn’t leave room for much else, hence my lack of steady job – and I reckon if anybody could start up a wrestling company, it’d be me. There are a million and one reasons why this isn’t going to work, why we haven’t got a chance, but we never discussed them in that coffee shop. The closest thing we found to a real problem, apart from the might of Turner Inc, was where to promote…

“We can’t do it in the South, and the East Coast is pretty much a no-no. The Midwest is a WCW stronghold, and there’s no way I’m moving to Canada just to start up a promotion.” She makes some pretty good points. The South, Mid-South, Midwest, and basically anywhere in the southern belt are off-limits to budding wrestling promoters. That’s where WCW lives and breathes, where its stars live when they’re not on the road and where the Pay-Per-Views are all held. California is an entire continent away, and the market there is as good as dead. The East Coast wouldn’t work, because there are far too many promotions there already. A few years ago, two or three wrestling promotions in a region that big would have been seen as something tiny, hardly even a scene, but these days it’s a saturated market. Canada already has two promotions in NWA: Canada and Stampede Wrestling Calgary, and neither of them are faring well right now. Bret and Owen working for WCW doesn’t help matters for SWC, because everybody that the Hart family turns out is just a phone call away from Turner’s influence and a big, fat paycheck. Nobody on their roster is over 25, everyone they’ve turned out with anything like real potential for two years has ended up in the Power Plant, wasting away. There is nowhere else, really, only…

“What about here?” She looks up at that one, surprised. She’s got a point, it’s a ludicrous suggestion.

“Here? New York?”

“Sure! Not even just here, but the whole region! When was the last time that anybody in the Tri-State area had wrestling? As much as he hates McMahon on a business level, Ted Turner’s always had some sort of personal respect for him, so WCW never comes up here. This place was the WWF’s home, everyone knows that, and nobody’s started up a promotion in the North-East since 2002. This place is our only hope, Sophie – we’ve got fans here, we’ve surely got workers who are unemployed and looking for business, and we’ve got a hole in the market. And you know what else we have? We have immunity. WCW won’t ever, ever come up here as long as McMahon is alive, so we’ve got a free reign! This could work, Sophie, this could really work!”

And so, there it was. On that day, Sophie and I set out to change the wrestling world, to bring independent wrestling back from its hopeless abyss, and to take on the might of WCW. God help us… God help us all.

Various bits of information will be up soon. Enjoy!

RK!

:shifty:

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Well I'm hooked. See, I knew you were the only one of that alleged "e2o gang" that deserved to be here.

I'll be reading.

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Business information, roster details, and various assorted attempts to be funny! Spot the two Final Fantasy references/things stolen from FF in this post, and win my respect! Oh - and yes, I've included three of the old e2o crowd, or the Kliq as we prefer to be known, as characters. Why? Because satire is fun, that's why.

Innovative Impact Wrestling Business Information as of July 1st, 2004…

Size: Small

Public Image: 50%

Based In: New York, NY, America

Money: $1,500,000

Risk Level: 65%

Production Values: 30%

Merchandising: N/A

Advertising: 15%

So, here it was. A little under a month later, Sophie and I had set up our wrestling empire. We’d juggled names around for about a week, not really finding anything that worked or that fit. Tri-State Wrestling Empire sounded too regional, Freedom Wrestling was baiting WCW too obviously for my liking at this stage, and nothing else seemed to fit… until I came up with iiW. Innovative Impact Wrestling. We were innovators, we hoped, setting out to go where nobody had before in this business, and we were looking to make an impact. It made perfect sense.

iiW’s headquarters are in New York – the bad part of Manhattan, to be precise. We’ve made over my appartment, and Sophie has moved up from Albany to live here. I wondered why her mother didn’t complain, but she didn’t say anything so I didn’t ask. The place is definitely looking more homey and clean now, and we’ve made over the living room into an office of sorts. Hell, I was so happy at the way things looked I went out and bought a nice suit. It was obscenely expensive, and it really wasn’t a good idea, but it looks the business and Sophie reckons it makes me look professional, so I’ll be keeping it.

I don’t know how she does it, but Sophie made a few calls and got me a list of small businesses and other enterprises that would be interested in sponsoring us, in return for publicity at our events. All of the ones that I called are wrestling-based, which is good at this stage – we get money, they get publicity, and we get the added bonus that they’ll feature us on their websites and perhaps draw in fans from the region. The other reason for the fact that our sponsors are all wrestling-related is, simply, that nobody who isn’t involved in wrestling will go near indy promotions these days. They can’t get TV deals, steady sponsorship, or any form of permanent national exposure. WCW is too dominant, and everybody knows that the business is unstable these days. TV networks can’t afford to make a fall programming schedule in July that involves a wrestling promotion, because by October it might have gone under. Sponsors don’t want to be associated with something that is barely afloat and could sink at any time, and nobody wants to plug a business only to find that it’s filed for bankruptcy days later. With all of this in mind, we agreed that the wrestling-based sponsors were the way to go – signing deals with 1StopWrestling.com, ProWrestling.com, The Observer, and TheMayhem.com, and we’re looking forward to good working relationships with all of them. By which, of course, I mean this - shamelessly plug us, and we'll shamelessly plug you.

Next on the list, of course, was hiring workers. Words cannot express how bloody hard this was, how many miles I drove up and down the state (and even into Jersey, which isn’t somewhere I like to go) for what seemed a pretty damn fruitless exercise. But, after over two weeks of searching, bartering, begging, and downright humiliation, iiW has 15 workers that I’m happy to call its roster. Well, as happy as I’ve been about anything in the last couple of years, anyway…

Aaron Proctor – Aaron is a heel manager, aged 34. He’s pretty charismatic, as far as I can tell – well, he can cut a halfway decent promo and that’s about my only condition for a manager right now. An added bonus is that, when not on the stick, he has agreed to do colour commentary at our shows, which is a huge boost. We’re tooling him up with an Executive Consultant gimmick.

Alexis Laree – Alexis is also a manager, and she’s 10 years younger than Proctor at 24. Alexis is one of the many indy workers affected by the death of basically everything you’d call competition thanks to WCW – she’s been a pro for a year or so, and she’s even worked with the now-defunct MLW promotion, but she can’t seem to hold down a job. She’s a babyface, and works a Girl-Next-Door style gimmick of sorts.

Austin Lee – At 19 years old, he ties for the youngest worker on my roster, and I can’t believe he hasn’t been picked up by anybody else. He’s charismatic enough to carry himself and get his Degenerate-style gimmick over, he’s a great technical wrestler who finishes with the Degenerate Driver, and he can also hold his own in aerial contests as well. He’s got a great look as well, and I just hope I can keep ahold of him.

Chance Beckett – He’s not overly-charismatic, but my God can this boy fly! He can put on a solid aerial bout, and he’s up for most insane spots that might make other workers blanch. He works an Underworld gimmick, where he’s involved in some black-market, organised-crime sort of things, and finishes with the Chance Encounter.

Gabriel – Like many talented indy workers with more talent than originality, Gabriel plays a gothic gimmick. He finishes with the Nocturnal Ride, and he’s a good enough high flier to rival Beckett. What gives Gabriel the edge is his slightly higher charisma and his technical wrestling skill. He’s fairly well-known on the Tri-State scene, although only among the more hardcore wrestling fans or those who know his gimmick.

James Hearte – Hearte plays an egotistical gimmick, where he proclaims himself to be “the Hearte of the promotion” he is currently working for. As such, he finishes with the mother of all cheap puns, the Hearte Breaker. He’s not a particular standout in any area, but he’s more than equipped to hold his own with a brawler, a technician, or a high-flier in equal measure. This guy’s a true all-rounder, and he can talk up a storm as well.

Jason Temptation – Probably the most over guy on our roster, and one of the most charismatic. Not the best wrestler ever born, but he can put on a good brawl and a technical clinic so he’s good enough for me. He plays an arrogant character, pretty full of himself and his abilities, which is always guaranteed to draw heel heat. Temptation, playing on his name, finishes with a sitout powerbomb called the Deadly Temptation.

Jay Lethal – Another victim of the contracting indy scene, Jay has worked for various indies but never been able to find a job in one that doesn’t get crushed by WCW. He’s refused several offers to join the Power Plant, and their loss is my gain. He’s got a real gift for the microphone, a great look that makes me think he was born to be in this business, and he’s the best wrestler on my roster. He plays a cocky, confident gimmick, and finishes with the Lethal Injection.

Lance Silva – Lance is a great high-flier. That’s his only standout ability, but he’s such a good high-flier that it doesn’t matter. He’s charismatic enough to handle his suave, lady-killer gimmick, but nothing special there. The real selling point here is the top-rope mastery he brings to the ring. He finishes with the Save the Last Dance, a springboard dragon buster.

Matt Maddness – English-born Matt is another solid aerial worker, who isn’t afraid to pull out crazy stunts that get people talking and get him hurt – the words ‘spot machine’ come to mind. In fact, that’s pretty much the crux of his daredevil-style gimmick – he’s obsessed with becoming a ‘human highlight reel’ and will do anything to get recognised as the most crazy bumper ever. It’s a bizarre gimmick, but he’s the man to do it. He finishes with either a Suicide Dive or a 360º Legdrop.

Pez – Pez is another Brit, aged 19 years old, who works perhaps the oddest gimmick on the roster. He plays a fun-loving comedy character in the mould of 2 Cool or something, proclaiming himself as “sweet as candy” in light of his ring-name. He’s got enough charisma to get a crowd going, and enough wrestling skill to keep up a fast-paced match, finishing with his trademark Pez-Dispenser.

Scott Lopez – Lopez is another all-rounder, who is solid in just about every area. He’s got great charisma, and he can play either a face or a heel, he assures me. In iiW, he’ll be working an old-school style babyface gimmick, just basically being an all-round good guy. He assures me he can do the rest. He finishes with a move called the Chaos Theory, but he hasn’t told me what it is yet.

Steve Bradley – A former WWF developmental worker, Bradley has been stuck in no man’s land since the company went under. He’s worked a couple of matches on WCW B-shows, and wrestled for a few indy feds, but nothing special. His brawling and high-flying are what had people talking about him while he was in OVW, and the fact that he’s wrestled both there and also on TV means he’s a big enough draw to be a main-eventer here. He finishes with a Frog Splash.

Syco – The younger brother of Scott Lopez, although they play that down when they wrestle. He’s a good brawler, and he’s got an inhuman size for a man of 20. He’s intimidating enough to justify his psychotic, monster-style gimmick to me at a glance, and although he can’t really talk I don’t forsee any problems in him getting over. He finishes with either a Chokeslam or a Suplex-into-Spinebuster-type move.

Vincent – Unlike many indy workers who use gothic gimmicks, like Gabriel for example, Vincent’s gimmick is that he is actually a vampire. Okay then. He’s a solid aerial worker, and he’s also got enough skills in the other areas to hold his own, and he’s very charismatic – definitely enough to make crowds believe he’s undead. His ring attire, entrance, and make-up help with that too, he’s quite a sight to behold. Vincent finishes with a submission move called Drain the Blood, which has to be the best gimmick-tie-in finisher ever.

Getting the roster organised was a Hell of a chore, but you’d be surprised how much easier everything else became once we had a list of talent to promote – especially the hiring of staff. Nobody wants to work for a promotion with no workers, obviously, but when you show them fifteen of them – some of whom are slightly over, even – people are much more receptive…

R.C. – R.C., as everybody calls him (presumably because Russel Charles doesn’t sound as cool), is an announcer. He’s not what you’d call a Bobby Heenan-type, by a long shot, but he’s good enough to handle play-by-play duty for a fed of our size with aplomb. He’s inexpensive too, which is always a blessing.

Chris Troxler – Chris is our production guy – and when I say production, I mean that he operates the stereo system and the smoke machine, and helps set up the ring. That’s basically his job, and it’s all he’s qualified for. But, like R.C. before him, he’s cheap as chips so he’s hired.

Dave O’Neil – Dave is our referee, or at least he masquerades as one between drinking binges. He’s often quite drunk, I’m told by the superintendant of the appartment block he lives in, and he looks like he can just about count to ten when he’s sober. Well, as long as he can count to three…

Mighty Biggs – Biggs is a road agent, and not a bad one at that. He’s a Vietnam veteran, which is great because I’m sure he’ll be able to keep the roster from deserting or turning Communist (you can never be too careful with guys who don't earn a fixed wage), and he’s also cheap – the cheapest guy on our staff, actually. Naturally, there has to be a catch, which I found out when I went to meet him…

Biggs’ place was a little weird, that’s for sure. Sophie and I had called him after talking to Chris Troxler, our production guy, who said that he was dynamite. Well, it definitely looked like he’d decorated with dynamite, that’s for sure. We were told that he was a Vietnam vet by one of the guys who lived in the flat downstairs, but I think that the two flags on the door – one Star-Spangled Banner and one hammer-and-sickle with a cross painted over it – would have given that away anyway. Biggs himself was a nice enough guy, if a little eccentric…

“Hey, hey, hey! C’mon in. You that guy who called me up? ’Bout babysitting your wrestlers?”

“Uh, if by that you mean working as a road agent, then yeah.” This guy was definitely weird.

“So… what’s the company?” Weird he might have been, but I guess that he knew his stuff. He wasn’t stupid, he was checking up on us.

“We’re called Innovative Impact Wrestling, running out of New York and the Tri-State area. We’ve got a couple of names on the roster – Steve Bradley and Jason Temptation – plus a host of others, all talented guys.”

“Okay… what’s your deal, then?” What? What in the name of God was this guy on about? I was about to speak up, but Sophie got there before me.

“What d’you mean, deal?”

“Why are you starting up a wrestling company, when WCW kills everything that moves? And why up here, when it’s common respect not to promote on Vinnie Mac’s backyard?” This one definitely knew his stuff, and he sort of had a point. It was going to be pretty hard to explain it all away, that was for sure. Once again, Sophie spoke before I could.

“We’re bringing wrestling to a region where there isn’t any, that’s all. And we don’t mean any disrespect to Vince McMahon, at all.” Biggs looked her in the eyes, as if he was searching for something, and then caught me with the same stare. He was most definitely a freak.

“I don’t believe you. Tell me what yer game is, kids.” Sophie looked like she was going to say something again, to try and cover her tracks, but I held my hand up to stop her. Biggs was a perceptive guy, he deserved the truth.

“We’re taking on WCW. Don’t say anything, let me explain! Look, WCW has ruined this industry, and it’s something we both love. We can’t stand to see Turner and his goons do this to something we care about, so we’re taking matters into our own hands. The reason we’re promoting out of the Tri-State area is because Vince McMahon is up here, and that means Turner won’t come. I know it’s a crazy idea, but… please. You’re the best guy we’ve approached for this job.” Biggs grinned at me, with something weirdly like respect in his eyes, and lit up a cigarette.

“I don't know any of that, but... What the hell! Sign me up! Glad to be aboard, numbskulls!

“Uh, numbskulls...?”

“Yeah. Anyone stupid enough to go up against WCW nowadays, has got to be a numbskull! Hell, I like it!”

Yup, Biggs was definitely the weirdest guy I’ve ever met in my entire life, but he’s also talented. Not only is he an ex-drill sergeant and Vietnam veteran, but in ’Nam he also learned to interrogate people. He reckons some of those skills would come in useful for reading our fans and gauging their reactions to our shows, so we can see how well things are getting over. He also thinks it would be useful for “sortin’ out” loan sharks or troublemakers and whatnot, were we to need it. I reminded Sophie to never, ever leave me alone in a room with Biggs, and set about planning our first show – Full Throttle, in ten days’ time at the local Alfred P. Vance High School.

Feedback's all welcome, of course. Enjoy!

RK!

:angry:

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You weren't used, at least not puposefully. I was referring to Matt Maddness (TheArsenal), Pez (LilJoeyPez), and James Hearte when I mentioned guys I know being characters. The use of your username was unknown, a blooper on my part. Apologies.

The Biggs thing was an inadvertant reference. The other one was the interaction between Biggs and my character, from "I don't know about..." to the end, which is an homage to part of the character introduction dialogue for Cid in FFVII.

RK!

Edited by Raven's Kid
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Very interesting concept. I'm looking foward to seeing how you get us in-depth looks on each character within your first show. This is highly original, and diaries with a lot of originality are worth reading in my books.

I can tell just from reading the backstory that you're an awesome writer. Though I have not read your previous work, I'm sure that you can live up to the reputation you have built thus far.

I loved the backstory. Everything was in great detail, and it instantly got me hooked. Although I haven't read many diaries here yet, this is the one that immediately got me hooked as a reader. I can't wait to see how your first show turns out.

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One of the Final Fantasy references has GOT to be Biggs. There's always a character called Biggs in there somewhere...even if I do think they're just ripping off Star Wars.

[EDIT: Syco got there first. And he got the other one too. *snaps fingers* Drat.]

Nice array of workers. Austin Lee, Alexis Laree, Jay Lethal etc are the types that often populate smaller-promotion diaries, but I really like Austin Lee, so I don't mind. Syco and Gabriel will amuse me...just because. And - most importantly - 'Pez Dispenser' = money in the bank. ;) And since there are only 15 workers total, I might actually be able to get my head around them all unlike many indy feds. I'm looking forwards to your characterisation of them all.

I'm glad you're starting at Small - I was afraid you might be Backyard, which would make the start of this diary too drawn-out and tedious for me. Besides, Small seems like the more realistic choice anyway.

WCW won’t ever, ever come up here as long as McMahon is alive,

Why do I sense a swerve coming? Maybe around the time you reach cult level... :shifty:

Seriously though, I hope you have some interaction with the McMahons somewhere along the line. Nothing significant necessarily, but I'd just enjoy reading it in this alternative world of yours.

Hopefully you'll keep doing the backstage writing beyond this backstory - it's very well written and I tend to enjoy the backstage stuff just as much if not a lot more than the shows themselves.

All in all, as various people have said above, you've got me interested. I sincerely hope that you continue to do so.

Edited by stokeriño
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There's nothing special about the backstory it's just WCW won instead of WWE. Beyond that point the first half was well written but the part with the road agent was weak.

Chance Beckett isn't really a high-flyer from what I've seen of him. He's more a technical wrestler.

Beyond my nitpicking I can't wait to see the first show.

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There's nothing special about the backstory it's just WCW won instead of WWE. Beyond that point the first half was well written but the part with the road agent was weak.

Chance Beckett isn't really a high-flyer from what I've seen of him. He's more a technical wrestler.

Beyond my nitpicking I can't wait to see the first show.

The backstory is somewhat more complex than a role-reversal in terms of WCW beating the WWF - that is merely the catalyst for the world I have created, which is very different to the current one. It's as close as I could get to a dystopia, really, without getting crazy. The thing with the road agent was weak, yeah, just an excuse for me to get a Final Fantasy homage into it. And if Chance Beckett is a technical wrestler, he definitely gets by with some poor stats in that area, his Speed attribute on EWR is much higher. But, thanks for your comments anyhow.

Staff Meeting, 4/7/04…

When I say a staff meeting, what I really mean is Sophie and myself discussing various wrestling news items taken from websites and whatnot over our respective bowls of cornflakes in the morning, but you take what you can get at this stage…

First on the agena was WCW’s Thursday Thunder show, which scored a 2.09 despite being basically worthless, and made them a shedload of money in return. Honestly, how does a show that bills Chavo Guerrero vs Bob Holly for the Cruiserweight title as its biggest attraction score a 2.09? And how is Bob Holly a Cruiserweight? They'll be putting the belt on women or non-wrestlers next.

Various indy promotions have been releasing and otherwise removing workers from their roster, and replacing them with better ones (and Danny Maff). I guess shake-ups like that happen every now and then, although it’s inspiring to see pretty much all of them doing it just after we’ve started up, it gives me some hope. Maybe we’ll all be able to take up arms and take on WCW together… or, as Sophie put it, “by the time we’re big enough to challenge, they’ll all be dead anyway.”

According to ProWrestling.com, who I guess we should listen to now that they’re shilling our first show on their website, WCW has laid off a whole host of Power Plant trainees over the last week - including Elix Skipper, Super Delfin, Nova, Nick Dinsmore, Rob Conway, and Homicide. None of those guys would consider working for iiW at this stage, but a few of them are expected to end up in the indy leagues soon. Those guys have got to be amongst the happiest on Earth right now – I don’t care how much money Turner pays you, there’s nothing worse for a wrestler’s career than being indefinitely consigned to that Hellhole.

If anybody has profited from the sudden clear-out over at the Power Plant, it’s the indy leagues. Not only are several very talented workers now available, but many independent promotions have already agreed deals with some of those laid off – Elix Skipper has signed with CZW, for example, and Super Delfin is working with Stampede.

In addition to all of this, Sophie and I have pulled off somewhat of a coup ourselves. After reading that two great talents had been laid off by WCW and not picked up by any of the various independent promotions around the country, we made some calls and managed to agree to open-ended contracts with both of them…

Jonny Storm – British, so he’ll fit right in with Pez and Matt Maddness. Unlike those two, Storm is relatively over, having appeared on various WCW B-shows, and he’s also a sensational talent. His tenure in the Power Plant basically killed his career, but it did give him a solid, silent, ice-cold machine gimmick, which is good because he’s not got much in the way of charisma. Storm finishes with a Super Reverse Hurricanrana, and a move called the Storm Warning.

Greg Pawluk – Greg is, to put it simply, an utterly amazing technical wrestler. He also doesn’t have much in the way of charisma, or high-flying ability, but he can brawl when he needs to. No matter, the main selling point here is the guy’s arsenal of crisp, picture-perfect submissions and holds, including his Stretch Muffler finisher. With that in mind, I’m going to tool him up with a Chris Benoit-style gimmick, where he doesn’t really have one, and let him win crowds over with his wrestling.

RK!

:rolleyes:

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Yeah, I thought that comment was a tad disrespectful too. It discredited the work he put into it.

Anywho, more good development RK, anxiously awaiting the first card

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Pre-Show Meeting for Full Throttle…

We’ve had the local high school gym since Friday night, because nothing goes on there over the weekend, so we’ve had quite a lot of time to set up. I found out last week that Austin Lee’s little cousin attends said high school, and high school students with nothing to do on a Sunday night and ten bucks to fritter away are a pretty good demographic to be aiming at right now. With that in mind, I gave Lee a handful of fliers and asked him to place them around the school as he picked his cousin up one afternoon.

Everybody’s been going through the show, their roles, and whatnot, since Saturday morning, and I’m really surprised that some of these guys don’t have anything better to do over the weekend. Grateful, yes, but surprised as well. Right now, it’s Sunday night, the show starts in less than an hour, and I’m running around trying to make sure everybody knows what they’re doing. R.C. looks pretty set up as far as announcing goes, and Proctor ensures me that he knows what he’s doing – although I caught him surfing the Internet trying to find famous Bobby Heenan lines on one of the school’s computers a while ago, so maybe he’s exaggerating a little. Pez and Maddness have been playing comedians backstage, keeping everybody happy and in good spirits, which is excellent of them to do - unless they're after a raise or something, in which case it is totally shameless. I haven't seen Vincent yet, but everybody else has checked in and said hi, and the roster looks to be in good spirits. Whilst I haven’t been able to get everyone onto the show – and the exceptions will be able to lead to character development, I hope – I’ve tried to get as many matches as possible onto this one, to really show off what we’re all about and get as much of the roster over as possible, and I’m hoping it pays off…

“Mark, Mark!”

“Yes, Pez?” Apparently he’s been wanting to talk to me for a little while, at least that’s what Maddness said. Man… he definitely looks a sight in his ring attire, that’s for sure. I hope these fans have a good sense of humour, or this guy’s going to sink faster than the Titanic.

“I was wondering, uh, if you could give me some promo time before my match? Otherwise, I’m just some faceless jobber up against Jonny Storm, and he’s been on TV! C’mon, Mark, just a couple of minutes, please?” He’s got a point, and he’s also got charisma. Hmm… if Storm’s playing the heel, the fans are going to have to rally behind the babyface, and they can’t do that if they don’t know him.

“Okay, Pez, you’re on. Right before the match, you’ve got it. Make it a good one.”

“Thanks, man!” Pez gives me a toothy grin and a thumbs up, before scampering off to plan his promo. I hope that was a good decision, I really, really do.

Almost an hour later, we’re ready to kick things off. I gather my roster together in the locker room, which thanks to the location of a high school gym gives off an aura of ritual humiliation and forced homosexuality, for a pre-show pep talk…

“Okay, guys, this is it. The first show. I want this to go off as smoothly as possible, and I want you all to know I hired you because you’re the best, okay?” The best I can afford, that is, but there’s no harm in bending the truth just a little bit, is there? “The show is called Full Throttle for a reason, people, and that’s because we’re kick-starting iiW at Full Throttle! Now… let’s put on a show!” The guys give a cheer and some words of encouragement to each other, and I head out into the crowd, sitting down with Sophie to watch the show…

iiW FULL THROTTLE

11/7/04

((From the Alfred P. Vance High School gymnasium))

((R.C. and Aaron Proctor on ringside commentary))

We have 75 people in the gym with us for this one, which is pretty respectable I guess, but I was hoping for more I suppose. Most of them are, as I suspected, kids of high school age, but there were a couple of older people in attendance as well. We’re appealing to more than one demographic! Anyway, our play-by-play man R.C. and colour commentator Aaron Proctor are sitting at the announce position – or, rather, a wooden trestle table – and ready to welcome everyone to the show…

---

R.C: Welcome to Full Throttle! You’re all here for a historic night, folks, this is the birth of Innovative Impact Wrestling! Remember – we don’t just innovate, we make an impact, and tonight we’re doing just that! We’ve got the first round of an eight-man tournament for the iiW Heavyweight title tonight, a tournament so big that we can’t cram it all into tonight! Not only that, but two of tonight’s four first-round matches will be randomly-selected special bouts for your viewing pleasure – one a Falls Count Anywhere match, the other a Submission match!

Aaron Proctor: That’s right! Eight total no-talents and ham’n’eggers, R.C., and they’re going at it for our title!

R.C: No-talents? Come on, Proctor, we’ve got the likes of Jason Temptation, Steve Bradley, and even Jonny Storm in that tournament! Why would you call them no-talents?

Aaron Proctor: Because I’m supposed to, you idiot – I’m the heel!

R.C: Oookay then. Well, ladies and gentlemen, who needs kayfabe? On that note, let’s crack on with the show!

---

Looks like Proctor found the spirit of Heenan, then. Some very cheesy 80s disco music plays over the speakers, and out struts Lance Silva for our opening match. I’ll give him something, he certainly lives that suave gimmick… or tries to, at least. He’s decked out in a white suit very much like the one that John Travolta wore in Saturday Night Fever, and dancing around, trying to chat up the few young women we have in attendance. He has no luck of course, and he’s thankfully cut off by some grinding grunge music. Because most of the crowd are teenagers, the sound of grunge gets a pop, and Austin Lee heads out to the ring. He’s wearing ripped, torn jeans and a Nirvana T-shirt, so the pop gets louder, and his tactic of beating Silva up before the bell is cheered too. Generation X really confuses me.

OPENER: Austin Lee vs Lance Silva

Not a bad contest, with both men using some technical wrestling holds and fast-paced aerial moves as well. Silva wrestles mostly clean, but gets booed nonetheless because he spends every free moment trying to chat up the women at ringside, whilst Austin Lee’s rulebreaking and teen-angst fuelled brawling get a great reaction. Eventually, Lance goes to the top rope and taunts before attempting a hurricanrana on a groggy Lee – but the power of teen rebellion is unstoppable! Lee catches Silva and powerbombs him to the mat, and locks on the Crimson Cloverleaf for the win! Not content with making the supposed ladies’ man tap out, Austin goes outside and grabs a chair from one of the women Silva was hitting on, smacking him with it to more heat.

(Match Quality 76%, Crowd Reaction 29%, Overall Rating 52%)

---

R.C: Austin Lee put on a good showing there, Proctor, getting the win over Silva and saving a couple of women from Silva’s hideously bad advances!

Aaron Proctor: Oh yeah, he broke the rules and attacked Silva after the match – my hero, R.C., my hero! He’s a snivelling little punk, and he only won because he cheated!

---

Try as he might, R.C. can’t respond to that, mostly because it’s true. The fans don’t care, and Lee gets a decent reaction as he heads backstage. Moments later, some music that I’m sure our production guy, Chris Troxler, has stolen from a Godfather soundtrack or something, plays over the speakers and Chance Beckett heads out, wearing a long overcoat over his wrestling attire. Beckett high-fives a few fans, and steps into the ring. Some gothic rock music plays, and all of the lights go out. A smoke-filled red spotlight – which is pretty impressive for a high school gym – illuminates Beckett’s opponent, the vampiric Vincent, as he heads out to the ring. Vincent is a sight to behold – pale skin, black tights with gothic designs on them, a red cape and bandana, pointed wrestling boots, and contact lenses that make his eyes appear bright red. Somewhere there’s a costume shop owner who’s very rich. The two men square off and the bell rings.

MATCH 2: Chance Beckett vs Vincent

The two men circle each other for a while, before Beckett attempts a lock-up and is knocked down. Vincent dominates Beckett early on with some brawling and high-speed moves, constantly changing his mode of assault to keep his opponent guessing and confused. Beckett eventually gets back into the match, and the two men begin to exchange high-flying moves and quick counters, getting the crowd into it and pulling out some great spots, all told. After hitting a big springboard dropkick, Beckett signals that it is all over, until somebody runs out to the ring – it’s Gabriel! The announcers hype Gabriel up as he distracts Beckett, long enough for Vincent to kip up and lock in the Drain the Blood submission! May I just say that submission is utterly amazing – it’s a rear sleeper-style hold applied in a way that makes it seem like Vincent is biting his opponent’s neck. Beckett fights the hold, but eventually passes out to give Vincent the victory. The fans boo the two gothic characters as they gang up on Chance Beckett after the match, stomping him into the ground and then leaving together.

(Match Quality 84%, Crowd Reaction 27%, Overall Rating 55%)

---

R.C: Owch! Did you see that finishing maneuver, Drain the Blood? Vincent pulls out a win over Chance Beckett, thanks to Gabriel’s assistance!

Aaron Proctor: Whaddaya mean, thanks to Gabriel? Vincent had it in the bag, R.C! He’s a vampire, for God’s sake, he’s got supernatural strength and agility, he was always going to win!

R.C: So why did it take Gabriel’s distraction for him to win?

Aaron Proctor: Because as well as being super-strong and agile, R.C., he’s also got vampiric superhuman intelligence and he knows two heads are better than one! Those two guys could be a powerful force if they’re on the same page!

---

More rock music now, and Jay Lethal makes his way out to the ring, as the announcers inform everybody in attendance that this match will be a Falls Count Anywhere bout. Lethal looks confident for this one, and makes sure everybody knows it by yelling to anybody who will listen that he is plain better than anyone else and is a sure thing. Matt Maddness’ music, a nu-metal number, cuts him off, and gets a decent reaction. Maddness heads out, looking very much like a cross between Jeff Hardy and one of Led Zeppelin, and yells that he is a human highlight reel as the bell rings.

MATCH 3: Jay Lethal vs Matt Maddness – Falls Count Anywhere, Heavyweight title tournament

We just had to give the Falls Count Anywhere match to Maddness, didn’t we? He rewards our choice in spectacular fashion, putting on a great high-flying match with Jay Lethal and bumping all over the shop from just about every plausible position. Maddness messes up a few spots, but doesn’t let it faze him and just tries to go bigger and better every time. Lethal’s offense is slightly more reserved, but still fast-paced and high-octane, with the odd lowblow used now and then. Eventually, Lethal gets angry with Matt’s dives, and grabs a steel chair. He smacks Maddness with it, and then sets it up on the outside of the ring, before taking Maddness onto the ring apron, whirling him up, and hitting the Lethal Driver off of the apron, onto the chair! That is, of course, the pinfall to win the match. After the bout, Maddness doesn’t look upset, but is grinning widely after that sick move. He yells “did you see that?” light-headedly at the crowd, and offers a warm-hearted handshake to Lethal. Playing the true heel, Lethal laughs in Matt’s face and shoves him out of the way, heading to the back.

(Match Quality 82%, Crowd Reaction 31%, Overall Rating 56%)

---

R.C: Oh, come on! Matt Maddness was just being a good sport, and Jay Lethal has to be an ass about it!

Aaron Proctor: What do you mean, being an ass? Look at this Maddness guy, R.C! He’s a total, utter freak! What the Hell is the matter with him, did he get dressed in the dark? Did he trip over in a paint store? And what the Hell is up with him being so happy about losing?

R.C: It’s his goal, Proctor, to be a human highlight reel, and he was just congratulating Lethal on a great move! Maddness wants to be remembered as a high-flying legend, and he was thanking Lethal for the match, but that cocky ass had to throw it back in his face!

---

Sweeter Than Candy…

Moments later, some very bizarre music plays over the speakers. Pez heads out to – yep, you guessed it – the background music used in Pez commercials. Man, our production guy has a really vivid imagination on him, huh? Anyhow, Pez bounces down to the ring, wearing luminous yellow tights and bright green boots, with a luminous green singlet over the tights, and hair dyed green. Oh boy. He gets on the mic, and grins at the fans…

Pez: Welcome to FULL THROTTLE, oh yeeeeeah! It’s great to see 75 iiW fans here at the Alfred P. Vance High School gym, and let me all ask you this… are you adequately prepared to ROCK’N’ROLL?

This gets the usual cheap pop, of course, and Pez grins some more…

Pez: Now, I’m told that I’m in a tournament tonight, for the iiW World title, and my opponent is none other than Jonny Storm! Now, let me tell you this, Storm is probably one of my favourite wrestlers, oh yeah, but let me ask you people one question – is he PEZ? I thought not! Pez is the sweetest candy around, BA-BAY, and I’m even SWEETER! And, tonight I’m gonna prove it by getting the one-two-three on Jon-ny! Oh yeeeeah! So roll up, Storm, get pinned and get paid, and then maybe I can show one of the lovely ladies in the audience my… Pez Dispenser! Oh yeeeeeeeeeeeah, BA-BAY!

Well, that was definitely something, but the fans seemed to like it so I guess it was a success of sorts.

(Segment quality 49%)

(Pez gained 1 point of overness from this segment)

A simple bassline plays now, followed by some epic classical music probably composed by somebody German. What? It’s a positive stereotype! Anyway, Jonny Storm heads out to the ring, looking thoroughly unimpressed by Pez’s display of crowd-warming and mic work. In fact, as Pez circles the ring and jumps around on the spot, excited about his iiW debut, Storm simply cuts him down with a clothesline!

MATCH 4: Jonny Storm vs Pez – Heavyweight title tournament

This one is pretty much an extended squash, with Pez’s attempts to use the top rope or to channel the crowd’s energy falling short at best, and failing miserably at worst. Storm uses his technical wrestling arsenal to deconstruct the fun-loving youngster piece-by-piece here, first going after his arms (presumably to stop them flailing around in his face), and then his legs. Soon, Pez is struggling to stand, and begging with the referee to make Storm stop. No dice for the youngster, as Storm jumps him from behind with the Storm Warning for the pinfall! After the bout, Storm raises an arm in celebration as the fans boo, and Pez struggles to his feet. He holds out a hand for a handshake, and Storm accepts – only to drag the poor kid into a superkick! Storm exits to boos with a sick smile on his face.

(Match Quality 77%, Crowd Reaction 32%, Overall Rating 54%)

---

R.C: That was disgusting, Proctor! Even you can’t condone such a vicious beating, and such a cheapshot after accepting a handshake from that kid!

Aaron Proctor: What are you talking about? Did you even hear Pez speak? He’s an annoying little runt, R.C., and he’s an idiot at that! I asked him earlier what came at the end of a sentence – he said parole, ha ha! I’ll tell you, Jonny Storm did us all a favour by shutting that kid’s obnoxious little mouth!

---

Going Down…

We go backstage (by which I mean to the home team locker room) now, where Scott Lopez is standing with a microphone in hand, and I’m hoping that he can pull out a decent interview without playing the cheap heat card…

Scott Lopez: You know, I was told that Innovative Impact Wrestling was having a show tonight, right here in New York City…

Cheap pop, as expected. Obviously my hopes were a little premature…

Scott Lopez: As it happens, I’m booked up in the iiW World title tournament tonight, in the main event, against a man named Jason Temptation. So, what I want to know is this – who the Hell is Jason Temptation? The name sounds kinda familiar, but… nope, I haven’t got a clue. But, you know what? It doesn’t really matter who Jason Temptation is. I’ve been a pro wrestler since I was eighteen years old, and that’s five long years. I’ve seen promotions rise and fall, fans come and go, and titles won and lost. But you know something? One thing has always remained the same – my name is Scott Lopez, and I am the hottest commodity in this business! So tonight, I’m gonna show each and every one of you just why that is, as I beat Jason Temptation and do what I do best – send him down for the three count. What can I say? I’m a sure thing.

Lopez grins and winks at the camera, and we head back to ringside.

(Segment quality 63%)

(Sctt Lopez gained 3 points of overness from this segment)

Back over to ringside now, where our announcers inform us that this next match is a tournament match, and has been selected as a Submission match. Some 70s rock music plays over the speakers, and Steve Bradley heads out to the ring in an RVD-style singlet to a fairly decent pop from the live crowd, mostly thanks to his past TV appearances. He poses a little in the ring, and waits as some gritty street-style hip-hop plays over the speakers and Greg Pawluk makes his way out to the ring. Pawluk is wearing standard wrestling tights, and also leather straps wrapped around his hands.

MATCH 5: Steve Bradley vs Greg Pawluk – Submission match, Heavyweight title tournament

A great technical wrestling bout from both men, using the Submission stipulation in their strategy and trying to wear each other down with various holds and moves zoning in on specific areas. Pawluk goes after the back and ribs, with R.C. noting that he is probably weakening Bradley for his finisher, whilst Bradley goes after the legs and eventually breaks out the Five Moves of Doom! Pawluk comes back with some stiff chops (with those leather straps, of course!) and lights Bradley up, before attempting a sharpshooter. Bradley, however, rolls out of it and locks Pawluk in a figure-4 leglock, right in the centre of the ring! After fighting the hold, Pawluk eventually gives up and submits. The fans give both men a round of applause after the match, and they shake hands to aknowledge each other as great competitors.

(Match Quality 86%, Crowd Reaction 17%, Overall Rating 51%)

---

Aaron Proctor: What are these two up to? Look at them in there, they might as well be making out! Move it along, boys, we’ve got a main event to watch!

R.C: Oh come on, Proctor, they’re just being good sports! That was a great match, with some crisp technical wrestling from both men, and they recognise it! Just give them a break, Proctor!

Aaron Proctor: You know what, R.C? I don’t like your attitude!

---

Whilst the announcers bicker, some dance-rock music plays over the speakers, giving me a vague reminder of the 80s and also of bands like Faithless, before Jason Temptation heads out from behind the entrance curtain and down to the ring. He’s wearing purple tights and the usual elbow pads, wrist tape and whatnot, with flowing blonde hair that reminds me of WCW’s Christian Cage somewhat. Anyhow, he gets a fair reaction as a locally-recognised wrestling figure, but his strut and general cocky behaviour start to rub the fans up the wrong way. As Temptation poses and vogues in the ring, we hear some cellos over the speakers, and then some rock music kicks in over it – and Chris Troxler has stolen the theme music from “Angel,” it seems. Anyhow, Scott Lopez heads out to the ring, wearing a leather trenchcoat over his loose black tights, grinning at the fans and casually running a hand through his cropped, bleach blonde hair. He slides into the ring, and the match begins.

MAIN EVENT: Jason Temptation vs Scott Lopez – Heavyweight title tournament

The fans are pretty into this one, as the main event, and the workers seem to feed off of it, determined to make it memorable. Both men work a variety of styles here, before settling on the amalgam of the three main styles that is sometimes referred to as the ‘main event’ style – although presumably this classification was made without taking the current WCW champion and challenger (Hogan and Nash) into consideration. Anyhow, the two men tell a good story in the ring, with Temptation gaining advantages through cheating but taking too much time to pose and taunt, allowing Lopez openings to get back into the bout. After narrowly escaping a pinfall, Temptation seems to switch into high gear, and ploughs through Lopez a few times. As Lopez once again makes a comeback, Temptation ducks a superkick and nails a lowblow! As his opponent folds over, Temptation follows up with the sitout powerbomb he calls the Deadly Temptation for the 1-2-3! The fans boo the arrogant Temptation as he poses, before Scott Lopez jumps back to his feet! Lopez goes to attack his opponent, but Temptation is able to escape unscathed and hightail it up the ramp, before calling for a microphone…

(Match Quality 85%, Crowd Reaction 45%, Overall Rating 65%)

---

R.C: Man, can we just have one match without something illegal happening? I mean, Lopez was primed to take victory there, until Jason Temptation stole victory by use of a lowblow! And now he’s got a mic, what the Hell does this cheater want to say?

Aaron Proctor: Well maybe, R.C., if you shut your hole long enough to listen to him, you’d find out what he wants to say! Jesus Christ, talk about your stupid questions!

---

Succumb To Temptation…

As the fans boo and chant “cheat!” at Jason Temptation, he grabs a microphone from our production guru Chris Troxler, and glares at the fans…

Jason Temptation: Hey, hey, just put a sock in it, I’m trying to speak! Scotty – you don’t mind if I call you Scotty, do you? Good. So, Scotty, you promised victory over me, and right now it looks like you’ve broken a promise! You wanted to know just who Jason Temptation was, right? Well let me tell you – Jason Temptation is the man who pinned your punk ass, kid, one-two-three in the middle of the ring, to advance onto my rightful place in the semi-finals of the iiW World title tournament! But hey, Scotty, don’t take it personally, okay? It’s really nothing against you, and it’s no shame to admit you lost to the man who will go on to hold the iiW World title. I mean, it’s human nature to succumb to Temptation, Scotty, and you’ve just got to remember – nobody does it like I do it!

Temptation tosses the microphone to the mat, and makes a few “look at me” poses to the fans before disappearing behind the curtain.

(Segment quality 63%)

(Jason Temptation gained 1 point of overness from this match)

---

R.C: Well, folks, we’ve heard from Jason Temptation, who believes he’ll be the man to go on and win the iiW World title! How will you know if he’s right, or if he’s just blowing hot air? You’ll have to tune into our next show, Hotter Than Hell, coming to you out of the very same Alfred P. Vance High School gymnasium you’re in right now, on August 22nd! Make sure you don’t miss it!

Aaron Proctor: R.C., do you have to give them the hard sell already? The show isn’t even over!

R.C: Look, Proctor, I’ll do my job, and you do yours, let’s just keep it that way! We’re out of time, people, thankyou very much for attending and have a great night!

---

Card Rating – 57%

Various pieces of post-show information and whatnot will be up in the next day or so. Feedback of all forms is welcome. Oh, and I'd just like to clarify a literary point - there will be points of this diary very focused on the events, and parts more focused on the story behind it to do with my two main characters. For the first few shows, so I can introduce the fed, the story will take somewhat of a backseat to the diary, so to speak. Just a head's up. Enjoy!

RK!

:thumbs-up:

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Pretty solid show, RK...after all the set-up and exposition, I was hoping you weren't stalling to avoid giving a disappointing show. You weren't, and good job.

Guys like Bradley, Pawluk, Lee, Lethal and Storm will be great for your match quality...now let's see how long it takes them to get so over that WCW steals them back. How you book on the fly when that happens will be your real test. Much luck...oh, and push Pez and job Hearte relentlessly. :P

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Post-Full Throttle Staff Meeting…

The next morning, after a night punctuated by high school students thanking me for putting on “a totally rawkin’ show, man” and my roster jumping around like springs on acid, filled with the excitement and adrenaline that wrestlers often get having just put on a show and knowing that they’re going to be paid, Sophie and I once again convened at the dining table for a combination breakfast-staff meeting, to discuss Full Throttle (and also to ‘keep hunger locked up ’til lunch’ if this cereal box is to be believed)…

Full Throttle went off pretty well, all things considered, for a first show. We got almost the entire roster onto the card in some way, so they’ll all be familiar to the crowds at our next show, Hotter Than Hell, in August. The show itself went almost exactly as planned, which is great, and Sophie has apparently been making some calculations and checking us out on the Internet – she reckons we’ve gained in public image, although how she can tell such a thing at this stage is beyond me. She’s more than just a pretty face, that one.

In a pretty shocking moment, we actually made some money from the show, which was incredibly surprising in the extreme. Sophie believes that it was our sponsors that tipped the scale there, and she’s probably got a point – we get about eighty grand from each of them, give or take a few thousand, and we didn’t exactly go overboard with the show. I don’t expect this to be a common theme, though.

Road agent Mighty Biggs spoke to me just after the show, and he e-mailed me overnight so we had a written copy of what he reported from the show – pretty much everybody’s gimmick debut went off without a hitch, with the exception of Jonny Storm’s “Machine” gimmick, which didn’t seem to fit him. I’ll agree on that one, such a role doesn’t fit an exciting young worker like Storm. It’s going to be a bitch to have to U-turn on the gimmick, but I’d rather confuse fans for one show than have them piss all over Storm for months on end.

Talking of Storm, his match with Pez probably didn’t go off as well as the other matches. Somewhat of a styles clash is to be blamed here, with Pez working a high-flying style and us telling Storm to work on the mat in line with his gimmick. Storm’s gimmick really is causing problems, but I suppose that’s what happens when you tell someone to use a gimmick written by Power Plant booker Ed Ferrera.

A couple of the other promotions had shows of varying sizes last night as well, and all of them made a lot more money than we did. 75 people in attendance brings in a grand total of $1500, which isn’t even enough to cover the wages of one of my roster. RoH, IWA:PR, and CZW, however, make a shedload of money from their events that could probably pay for our roster.

Sophie tells me that the global wrestling market is heading for a boom period, and is at just over half strength right now. This is great news, because a booming market will mean the independent leagues will be able to gain a lot of ground and publicity in the coming months, and iiW as well. For a fledgling company such as ours, a booming market is pretty much a Godsend. Thanks, big guy. Of course, ever silver lining is attached to a cloud of some variety, and the downside here is that WCW will become pretty much unstoppable thanks to this market. The marks eat their shows up with a spoon, and the current boom will most likely lead to both their public image and finances rocketing up.

Sophie also wondered if we should hire some medics, citing the fact that workers are often injured whilst working the indy circuit thanks to the very nature of the shows put on. When somebody breaks their leg or tears their quad, and we’re all done with the Kevin Nash jokes, then I’ll hire a medic. And not before.

Well, breakfast finished with that one, and there was a moment of awkward silence. Sophie and I have gone from being online acquaintances to being business partners and roommates in a few weeks, so there’s still a bit of tension, but hopefully nothing that we can’t work through… that cereal box lied, I’m hungry again already. That’s it, I’m going to 7-11 and getting my usual breakfast – a box of cinnamon-flavoured Pop Tarts, and some sugar. And maybe some beer… oh God, I need help.

RK!

:blush:

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Heh, this one is starting to grow on me.

I was afraid, seeing your roster, that this was going to be just like every other indy diary ever done, but it looks as if you're going to try to be at least a LITTLE different. And at least with this roster you can pretty much guarantee each show will have some solid--->great wrestling featured. The trick will be you molding each of these guys into your own characters.

I really, really, REALLY hate the Quote format for the show however, as I've always been irritated at having to read an entire show like that. Don't ask me why, it's just a personal preference. Normally I like more color in the diary than you have, but you did a good job at separating the segments, so it was still pretty easy to read.

Pez truly has the potential to be the breakout star of the diary, if maybe not the "real" promotion.

You seem to have a good, realistic yet humorous approach to the write-ups, which makes for pleasant reading. Be careful though not to let things get too "inside-reffy" in the write-ups as that can hurt the diary. I do generally like to see longer match write-ups though, as I feel it can give a better impression of how the actual match went, but if you can make it work with the shorter write-ups, go for it. Also, be really careful with the Sophie/You relationship thing. I know for my diary that was the weakest part, as I started to lose sight of my other goals for the diary and focus on that TOO much.

In conclusion, I have to say I came into this thinking I was going to have to rip into it. Even after the pretty decent backstory, I still thought the show would be a let down. But I'm glad to say I was wrong. There's still some issues I think you need to address, but overall I'm fairly impressed. And now to close out like a post-whore:

Nice diary. Keep up the good work.

Edited by bigsheep305
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That wasn't meant to be a knock on Raven's Kid. It was bitching about all the replies talking about how insanely cool the idea was. It does set it apart from normal indy diaries set in the normal present but still isn't amazingly cool. It's a good backstory and well written but that's it.

The show was pretty good but I prefer more color and info in my matches. Not a whole lot but enough to get a sense of what the people do in the matches and how they wrestle.

Raven's Kid do you really believe what EWR tells you about workers? Beckett has poor technical skills and so does Shelley but I don't that doesn't make them right.

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Having never seen Chance Beckett (or Alex Shelley, for that matter) in the ring, I was somewhat limited to the EWR stats when coming up with a character/style for him. *shrugs*

As for the long/short match debate - personally, I'm not a huge fan of lengthy play-by-play results. It can very quickly get to a stage wherein you're going into too much detail. I figure if I give a summary of the main crux of a match, and a play-by-play at the end, it achieves the same thing. I guess it's a matter of preference, really.

RK!

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A Look Back At July, 2004…

It’s the first day in August, which means a few things for the wrestling business. The month of July saw the American wrestling market rise by a little under 10%, which has helped the independent leagues gain some ground but has also helped WCW climb the ladder even more, leaving it in a position of unrivalled dominance. In time, that will all change, I promise you, but for now it looks like Turner Inc. has a stranglehold on the business.

NWA: East have become the latest promotion to encounter difficulties thanks to WCW’s position at the top of the ladder. They were forced to cancel their last show, which took place in Pittsburgh on the same night as our Full Throttle event, and they have released their two biggest stars – Quinn Magnum and Sheik Abdul Hassan – in order to make ends meet. I know Hassan and Magnum don’t sound like huge names, but that’s the state of the indy leagues today, I suppose.

NWA: Canada and NWA: Midwest both put on successful shows throughout the month, which is pretty surprising given the nature of independent wrestling nowadays, and especially surprising for NWA:MW when you consider that they’re operating in the belly of the beast, so to speak. They took a huge gamble, putting on a show a day after WCW had taped Worldwide in the same city, but it paid off for them. I doubt that they’ll be making such bold moves regularly, though, or they might just find their top stars whisked off to the Power Plant overnight – it’s happened before, WCW really are unscrupulous when it comes to eliminating competition.

Over the last month, a few wresters have announced that they will be retiring at the end of August. The only notable names among that list are “Mr Wonderful” Paul Orndorff, pretty much the only one of Hulk Hogan’s old buddies who hasn’t ended up working down in Atlanta, and Scott Steiner. Steiner’s retirement has been coming for a while now, since the end of his last World title reign in December. He’s been a fairly benevolent company man since leaving the WWF in the mid-nineties, so WCW have been keeping him in the main event scene, but his retirement isn’t likely to hurt a company who can claim that such wrestlers as Chris Benoit and Eddy Guerrero are barely out of the upper midcard.

Both Jason Temptation and Steve Bradley have put in requests for a 10% wage increase, based on the upturn in the market and the way our first show went off – getting us some attention on the Internet – which equates to a $2,000 raise each. We’ve still got twenty-two days until our next show, and we could really do with saving everything we can, so I’m going to try and talk them down somewhat.

Braving the uncharted, hostile waters of the independent wrestling leagues just a month after we started, a new promotion has sprung up along the North East region, calling itself the Supreme Wrestling Federation. The official press statement said that the company was run by a board of directors, not mentioning any figurehead, and they have already made some bold moves, signing a few sponsorship deals and a host of talented high-fliers and technical wrestlers – including Elix Skipper, Nova, Tony Mamaluke, the Amazing Red, Super Delfin, and the amazing Jimmy Yang, who was recently released by WCW and turned down a job here at iiW. Not that we’re bitter or anything.

I mentioned some Internet interest in the promotion over the last month, most of which has come from the sites sponsoring us – rather unsurprisingly – but has been good press nonetheless. A profile of us by Dan DaLay of GrappleFanatics, one of the only non-affiliated sites who have covered us, describes us as financially healthy and putting out a “relatively risky” product, whilst hailing Jay Lethal as our most talented performer and Jason Temptation as the biggest draw we have. I’d be inclined to agree there.

Mind you, the description of iiW as “financially healthy” might not be applicable for too much longer. After the surprising act of making money on sponsorship and gate receipts from Full Throttle, the dreams of frivilous spending Sophie and I had were brought crashing down to earth when our various bills came through yesterday, leaving us a little over $140,000 down. We’re still afloat, and we hope to start turning around soon, but it’s not a good omen for our first month in business.

I don’t know how Sophie got so good at what she does, operating as my assistant and general aide in my role as registered owner of the company, but she’s a genius in killer heels for sure. Something about her definitely doesn’t match what she’s told me about her love and her talent for the wrestling business, how she seems to have so many contacts, and just how much she wants to see WCW burn, but I guess I’m hardly in a position to complain, having been anything but totally honest with her myself. That’s the game we’ve chosen to play, I suppose, and I’m not going to change tack a month in, especially when telling her the truth could upset everything. That’s something for another time, a time a long way down the road.

RK!

:unsure:

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This has ben really good so far. The show was well written and you have a solid foundation laid down for a couple of stars which you can build upon to create your own characters.

I like your "personal" style of reporting. It's quite refreshing to read. I'm cautious about the way you're building up a storyline behind the scenes, because it could end up taking away from your shows, but I think you're a good enough writer to handle that.

A really good start here, I only hope it continues.

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