First off, I want to apologize for taking so long to update the 2009 Pulse Wrestling Fantasy Draft. I try to avoid digging into my personal life in my articles, but I have been extremely busy with wrestling for my high school team. The season just began on Monday and if you know a thing or two about amateur wrestling, the sport eats up a whole bunch of time.
Finalized rosters for each fantasy company can be viewed in this article at the bottom of the page. Obviously, debut shows could only be constructed by using the talent drafted by each individual writer.
Pulse Glazer’s Pro Wrestling Company was the only fantasy promotion that did not submit their debut show by the specified deadline. With that taken into consideration, Glazer and PWC have unfortunately been eliminated from the 2009 Pulse Wrestling Fantasy Draft.
BIG ANDY MAC – International World Class All Star Professional Championship Wrestling Global Alliance and Grappling Arts Federation Unlimited (IWCASPCWGAAGAFU)
The lights go down and â€œLegend of Zeldaâ€ by System of a Down blares over the loud speakers signaling the arrival of Player Uno and Player Dos the Super Smash Brothers. The fans are excited to cheer the first wrestlers through the curtain. Those cheers seem tepid to the reaction when the Bouncing Soulsâ€™ â€œOleâ€ hits the airwaves and Kevin Steen and El Generico make their way to the ring.
Kevin Steen and El Generico vs. Player Uno and Player Dos
It starts with a short feeling out process but things turn south quickly. Steen gets Player Dos alone and just stars laying a beating that would put lesser men in jail. Uno tries to help but is always cut off by Generico. At first the fans cheer Steen, but the cheers for Steen turn to cheers for Dos fighting back. The cheers for Dos become boos at Steen because the beating just does not let up. Generico comes in the ring seemingly to end the carnage but just picks Dos up for a brainbuster. Uno finally makes it into the ring but he gets an even worse beating. The fans have full on turned on Steen and Generico and Mr. Wrestling is just reveling in the hatred. Generico usually a fan favorite issues a beating that may be even more vicious than Steen. Steen and Generico finish off the Smash Brothers with a Turnbuckle Brainbuster and a second rope package piledriver (DAAAAANNGERRROOOOUUSSS count ) and simultaneously get the three counts. This match was brutal, but by god it served its purpose.
Winners: Kevin Steen and El Generico via pinfall
After the match Kevin Steen gets on the mic, he says, â€œI wanted to come out here and make a statement. We are the best and most dangerous tag team in wrestling today. We smashed the Smash Brothers, and we may raise a little more ruckus before tonight is out, but the first thing we want to do is toss our names in the ring for next weekâ€™s revival of the Crocket Cup and the first tag team champions of IWCASPCWGAAGAFU. Goddamn, thatâ€™s a long name.â€
Before Steen can continue Bret â€œThe Hitmanâ€ Hartâ€™s music hits and out comes IWCASPCWGAAGAFU commissioner, match maker, general manager and arbiter Bret â€œthe Hitmanâ€ Hart makes his presence known. The place erupts. Hitman takes the mic: â€œListen, Steen, I know weâ€™re both Canadian, but that kind of brutality was excessive. You stayed within the rules, only barely. For that Iâ€™ll give you a spot in the Crocket Cup, but remember, I have my eye on both of you, now on to other businessâ€¦.â€
Hitmanâ€™s speech is interrupted by the screams of Laurie Strode and the entrance of one Jimmy Jacobs. The Emo Warrior with his signature cane in hand addresses the Hitman from the ramp, â€œBefore you get to that other business letâ€™s take care of my business. I am a part of this company, and already I am being overlooked, ignored, neglected, well I am providing the voice for the voiceless. My neglect will be overthrown just like the neglect of my revolution. I demand a match tonight and I demand a forum for my message to be heard.â€
Hart responds, â€œI know all too well about being silenced and ignored, and I feel bad for neglecting you. Luckily, I also left another athlete off the card. Andy why not. If you beat him you can have the rest of the show to yourself.â€
Jimmy Jacobs makes his way to the ring and the ring announcer does his duty heralding the arrival of Takeshi Morishima.
Takeshi Morishima vs. Jimmy Jacobs
Bret Hart takes a seat at the announce booth with play by play man Gabe Sapolsky (DAAAAANNGERRROOOOUUSSS count=1) and the man they call Raven. Jacobs shows simultaneous fear and disgust at his opponent. He burns a hole through Hitman with his glare, but Bret just laughs to himself. Jimmy took his eyes off the prize long enough for Morishima to strike. Mori unloads on the much smaller Jacobs. Jacobs just takes the full rain of Morishimaâ€™s strikes and his ass, but takes the low road with a simultaneous thumb to the eye and kick in the lower testicle region to gain control. Jacobs cheats at every chance but Morishima is just too big. Morishima sets Jacobs up for the Backdrop Driver but falls over mid move and Jacobs scores a three. The ref tries to raise his hand but sees a bloody spike. As per the IWCASPCWGAAGAFU rulebook a match decision cannot be overturned, but it can be restarted. That is what the Hitman signals and Morishima is furious at the sight of his own blood he hits three rapidfire backdrop drivers and scores the three count. That was an impressive match. Jacobs sold like death for Morishima and the fans truly loved seeing him get everything he deserved.
Winner: Takeshi Morishima via pinfall
Jacobs is barely conscious but mouths, â€œyou screwed me!â€ to Bret. Hart just laughs and says, â€œBret Hart didnâ€™t screw Jimmy Jacobs. Jimmy Jacobs screwed Jimmy Jacobs.â€ The crowd goes berserk at this and starts chanting for the Hitman.
Bret silences the crowd and continues with his address. He hypes the remainder of the show announcing a triple threat match in a few moments between William Regal, Jamie Noble, and Jimmy Rave he also announces a tag match where the winner will get to choose their first opponents for the Crockett Cup tag team title tournament featuring the Young Bucks and YAMATO and Shingo. He also says tonight the final match will feature two of the best wrestlers in the world in a battle over bragging rights between â€œThe American Dragonâ€ Bryan Danielson and KENTA. There is still on match to go and that match is a six man tag team match involving Matt Bentley Brian Kendrick, and Paul London taking on Teddy Hart, Jack Evans, and Roderick Strong. Each trio has ties to one of the greatest rivalries of the 90s. Bentley, Kendrick, and London are all products of the Texas Wrestling Academy as run by Shawn Michaels and Teddy Hart is, of course, Bretâ€™s Nephew, Jack Evans was trained by the Harts, and Roderick Strong was trained by Bretâ€™s long time tag partner and close personal friend, Jim â€œthe Anvilâ€ Neidhart. These six men will be fighting for the pride of their trainers and continuing the war between Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart. Bret informs the crowd that he will definitely keep his eye on that match. Bret exits to the cheers of the fans.
William Regal vs. Jamie Noble vs. Jimmy Rave with Prince Nana
Noble is introduced first to a modest reaction. Regal is met next with a smattering of cheers but mostly boos. Prince Nana is out with his charge Jimmy Rave, he gets showered in boos and toilet paper. Nana gets on the mic and pays thanks to his hero Barack Alobama. He says that after tonight he has his eyes on winning a tag team title and that the Crown Jewel of the Embassy needs a partner. He thought about looking for another person of royalty, but Harley Race and the Macho King are retired. He decided the best he could do was choose someone of aristocratic birth maybe someone a little bit Regal. At this Jamie Nobles eyes get wide he seems convinced that he is caught in a trap.
Regal starts towards Noble, but out of nowhere Rave blindsides Regal. Nana continues, why bother with someone Regal when I could have someone NOBLE. At this Noble joins in on the attack. They lay a beating on Regal. Rave locks in the Heel Hook and Regal starts furiously tapping the mat. Rave lets go only for Noble to lock in the Trailer Hitch. Regal continues hammering the mat. Nana calls off his new tag team and tells Regal that if he wants revenge to find a partner and meet them in the first round of the Crockett Cup.
Match Result: No Contest
Shingo and Yamato vs. The Young Bucks
This is one of those matches that could easily steal any show. Shingo is one of the most exciting wrestlers from Japan right now, Yamato is one of the most charismatic, and the Young Bucks are arguably the top team going. These four men do not disappoint. The Young Bucks continue their revolutionary double teams and the fans are electric for every move they make. Yamato and Shingo couldnâ€™t help but be the heels in this one, and Yamato relishes in the role using underhanded tactics to set up crazy head drops by Shingo. The match is pretty much tag formula, but it totally works here, both Bucks take turns receiving heat segments punctuated by big Shingo moves. Each nearfall brings the fans to their feat. Matt finally makes the last hot tag and the bucks run able to hit â€œMore Bang for your Buckâ€ to score the win. Shingo and YAMATO are sore losers and walk away from a hand extended by the Bucks. This was just an instant tag team classic right here. This match is worth going out of your way to see.
Winners: Matt and Nick Jackson via pinfall
As the Young Bucks celebrate Kevin Steen and El Generico appear on the ramp. Steen has a mic and challenges the Bucks to a first round match at next weekâ€™s Crockett Cup. Matt and Nick donâ€™t hesitate to agree and the fans go nuts. Steen and Generico exit through the curtain. The Young Bucks make their way up the ramp and before they can get through the curtain Steen and Generico ambush them and deliver a package piledriver and a brainbuster to the Jackson brothers. Their statement made, they exit to a chorus of boos. The Young Bucks get helped to the back.
Team TWA: Matt Bentley, Paul London, and Brian Kendrick vs. Team Hart: Teddy Hart, Jack Evans, and Roderick Strong
There is an underlying intensity between these six men. All of them seem to have something to prove and the intensity shows in the early going. Roderick unleashes with chops. Jack and Teddy flip and fly around the ring while Bentley, London and Kendrick hold the match together. The fans are 100% split in this one. It seems every pairing gets dueling chants. The spot of the match had to be Team Hart getting all three members of Team TWA in sharpshooters only for team TWA to reverse the holds. While team TWA had their holds locked in General Manager Bret Hart made his way to ringside. A sense of dread fell over the crowd thinking that Hart was going to re-enact the infamous screw job, but it wasnâ€™t to be. He just stood there and watched the match. After a little bit of action, Paul London was able to isolate Jack Evans hit him with his version of the shooting star press and score the victory.
Winners: Paul London, Matt Bentley, and Brian Kendrick via pinfall
After the match Bret Hart got the mic and congratulated the winners, but if London, Kendrick, and Bentley thought for a minute they were better than people with ties to the greatest family in the history of wrestling from the greatest country in the world. At this Kevin Steen and El Generico ran down and started attacking team TWA. Hart, Evans, and Strong joined in as the Hitman just sat back and watched. The Young Bucks came down and to even up the sides and all ten men found themselves in a standoff. Bret Hart got in the middle and said that since we already have Steen and Generico vs. the Young Bucks in the first round of the tag tournament, why not also add London and Kendrick and Evans and Strong to the tournament, and heâ€™ll even be so kind as to put you on opposite sides of the draw. Then while he was at it, Hart added Nephew vs. Nephew to next weekâ€™s show: Matt Bentley vs. Teddy Hart. Both sides left, and we kicked things over to Raven and Gabe for a rundown of next weekâ€™s show.
The Crocket Cup bracket looks as follows:
A) William Regal/Mystery Partner vs. the Embassy of Jimmy Rave and Jamie Noble
B) Paul London and Brian Kendrick vs. Yamato and Shingo
C) Kevin Steen and El Generico vs. The Young Bucks of Matt and Nick Jackson
D) Roderick Strong and Jack Evans vs. The Super Smash Bros. of Player Uno and Player Dos
The semi finals will be the winner of bout A vs. the winner of bout B and the winner of bout C vs. the winner of bout D and of course the finals.
Also in non-tournament action Matt Bentley will take on Teddy Hart.
Without further ado, the main event.
KENTA vs. â€œThe American Dragonâ€ Bryan Danielson
This is the type of match that needs no hype and words can do no justice. They have had three classics prior to this contact, and this one was no different. For fans of the human chess match style of wrestling this was certainly the affair for you. Hard strikes, mat wrestling, and crazy near falls peppered this match. The finishing sequence had to be seen to be believed. Danielson hit a Dragon Suplex and both shoulders were down, both got up at the last second. KENTA countered with a Tiger Suplex of his own for the same situation. KENTA kept the double arm bar and rolled Dragon into his own Cattle Mutilation. Danielson unable to reach the ropes somehow found the strength to roll out of the move and got KENTA in a ground and pound. KENTA got out of the hold and started unloading on Danielson with kicks. Danielson came back with elbow strikes. KENTA dodged one got Dragon up in a firemanâ€™s carry for Go 2 Sleep and it connected. 2 9/10!!! They go back to exchanging strikes before Dragon is able to lock KENTA in the Regalplex for the three count. This match was all sorts of amazing.
Winner: Bryan Danielson via pinfall
The two stare each other down but eventually shake hands as the first show of IWCASPCWAAGAFU goes off the air
MARK ALLEN – Prime Championship Wrestling (PCW)
Bum bumâ€¦bum bumâ€¦The music of â€œThe Nature Boyâ€ Ric Flair hit as the certifiable living legend made his way to the ring on the inaugural broadcast of Prime Championship Wrestling. As Flair made his way down the aisle it was easy to see the stage set up as a giant video screen is seated on the left side of the ring entrance area while a giant PCW logo sits adjacent to it on the right side of the entrance curtain. Josh Matthews and John â€œBradshawâ€ Layfield were ringside to call the action at the first episode of PCW â€œUnleashed.â€
From Flairâ€™s promo:
â€œDid I? Did I get called upon once again? They said Nature Boy, we need some legitimacy. We need the greatest professional living champion to steer the ship of Prime Championship Wrestling. And I said, WOOO, letâ€™s do this. Letâ€™s make another impact on the wrestling business thanks to The Nature Boy! WOOO! Sixteen times Iâ€™ve been around this World and tonight, tonight, WOOO! We are going to crown the first PCW Worldâ€™s Heavyweight Champion. As I look up and down the PCW roster I see three names that are former World Heavyweight Champions in their right so itâ€™s only fairâ€¦WOOOâ€¦that those three men meet TONIGHT WOOOâ€¦in a three way dance for the PCW World Heavyweight Championship. Tonight someone will once again know how it feels to hold that ten pounds of gold. â€œThe Instant Classicâ€ Christian (the crowd cheers) will battle one of my past students Randy Orton (the crowd boos) and my greatest opponentâ€¦the man called Sting! (crowd goes wild) May the best man win! WOOO!
The first match on Unleashed was a battle of two Japanese stars as the legendary Jushin â€œThunderâ€ Liger goes one-on-one with â€œThe Japanese Buzzsawâ€ Tajiri. The match was the first quarter final in the eight man single elimination PCW Cruiserweight Championship tournament. As decreed by GM â€œNaitch,â€ all four first round matches will take place on tonightâ€™s show, with the semi-finals to follow next week and the finals thereafter. The two puro superstars put on a back-and-forth clinic that mixed strikes, submissions and a few aerial high spots that established Liger as the babyface and Tajiri as the mist-spewing villain. After ten minutes of action Liger put away Tajiri with a Running Liger Bomb to advance to the semi-finals.
Up next Rob Conway saunters to the ring, followed by Kenny Doane. As Conway and Doane came to ring, Conway mugged to the camera and pointed at Doane, telling the world, â€œthis is my protÃ©gÃ©; Iâ€™ve taught him everything I knewâ€ as Doane grinned behind him. Doane awaits his opponent, the independent wrestling stand out Tyler Black. The two young stars have an even back and forth match for a few minutes before it is marred by interference from Conway, giving Black the victory by disqualification. X-Pac then runs out to make the save for Black, ensuring major damage isnâ€™t done to the young star.
Backstage after the match, Chris Cruise interviews X-Pac and Black about what we just saw transpire in the ring. X-Pac mentions he sees a lot of himself in the young Black, right down to their Midwestern backgrounds, and the pair insinuate a student-teacher partnership developing between the two men.
After the break, â€œVoicesâ€ interrupted the crowd as Randy Orton swaggered his way to the ring.
From Ortonâ€™s promo:
Randy Orton â€“ â€œI know Iâ€™ve talked about â€˜legaciesâ€™ in the past, but those who I have dealt with in the past donâ€™t mean shit. Iâ€™ve finally gone out and found myself a true ally that understands what it means to be a true â€˜legacyâ€™ in the business. A man that knows all of the blood, sweat and tears that his father his shed in order to give him the chance to truly rule the world. A man that has dealt with all of the bullshit that corporate suits have thrown at him the past.
Ladies and gentlemenâ€¦I introduce you to Jesse Ray Gordy.
CROWD BOOS as Gordy comes out preening and posing and taunting the fans.
Gordy â€“ â€œThank you Randy. Itâ€™s about damn time I finally got some respect in business. For years people would say, â€˜hey arenâ€™t you the son of the legendary Terry â€œBamm Bammâ€ Gordy?â€™ Iâ€™d say â€œyeah, thatâ€™s right.â€ â€˜Then why the hell are you walking around on television looking like a jackass?â€™ [something] My old manâ€™s best friend Michael Hayes used to say, â€˜kid, Iâ€™ll take care of you.â€™ I thought great, Iâ€™ll be all right. Then the next thing you know Iâ€™m working with retards and acting like Iâ€™m some sort of hoodrat. That ainâ€™t me! I wondered what the hell happened. He said, â€˜kid go with this. Weâ€™ll get you in a better spot down the road.â€™ So thanks Michael, but no thanks. From now on Iâ€™m doing this with people who truly care about me. Randy here made me realize that Iâ€™m better than that. He said, â€˜Jesse, you are a world-class athlete. You deserve better.â€™ So it hit me, yes I am a world-class athlete. Itâ€™s time to introduce the world to â€œWorld Classâ€ Jesse Ray Gordy.
Orton â€“ â€œThey used to tell me, â€˜Randy youâ€™re starting a legacy.â€™ I say screw that; there are no more legacies. From now on Iâ€™m starting a true â€œDynasty.â€
After the break, Lince Dorado hit the ring to battle â€œThe Warriorâ€ Low Ki in the second quarterfinal match in the PCW Cruiserweight Title tournament. â€œThe Golden Lynxâ€ was game, but Low Ki had something to prove and dismantled the young luchadore in about five minutes with hard kicks and vicious moves. He got the clean victory with a top rope Warriorâ€™s Way.
The third Cruiserweight Title quarterfinal tournament bout was the most evenly contested of the night as The Dragon Kid battled Taka Michinoku. The two went at each other with breakneck speed and insane aerial offense. In the end Kid eventually caught Taka with a Dragonrana for the pinfall. Post-match, Kid went to shake hands with Taka, only to get a slap in the face and a kick in the ribs for his troubles.
After the break, â€œSeek and Destroyâ€ hits the arena and â€œThe Iconâ€ Sting makes his way to the ring to address the crowd to a wild ovation.
From Stingâ€™s promo:
â€œWOOO! Itâ€™s Showtime folks! Itâ€™s great to be back in the ring once more and with another chance to become the Worldâ€™s Heavyweight Champion. Naitch itâ€™s good to see you havenâ€™t lost that fire pal. It doesnâ€™t seem like twenty years ago that we were tearing it up for the belt does it? Well that brings me to my next point. People are crying, â€˜Stinger youâ€™re too old to be out there going for the Worldâ€™s Tile.â€™ This beat up body still has some fuel in the tank and as our esteemed boss always said, to beat the man, youâ€™ve got to beat the man. Orton, you remind me a lot of myself from years gone by. Youâ€™re young, hungry and know you are on top of the world. That may be true, but you havenâ€™t beaten this Man yet. WOOO! And that brings me to my other opponent tonight, Christian. Christian weâ€™veâ€¦
The music of â€œThe Instant Classicâ€ Christian interrupts Stingâ€™s thought as the former TNA and ECW Champion makes his way to the ring to address the cheering masses.
From Christianâ€™s promo:
â€œSting, itâ€™s good to see you again my old friend. Weâ€™ve fought with each other and weâ€™ve fought against each other in the past, but tonight is all about establishing a new entity in pro wrestling and putting a stamp on the true Worldâ€™s Championship in pro wrestling. Sting, I respect you and while I donâ€™t like Orton, I respect his talent in the ring. Sting, you talk about the legacy youâ€™ve had in the past and Orton talks about the legacy he will create in the future, but the legacy of Christian startsâ€¦Tonight! â€œ
Matthews and JBL talk about the idea of past, present and future all meeting in the ring tonight for the PCW World Heavyweight Championship as Sting and Christian have a tense staredown mid-ring.
In the nightâ€™s final Cruiserweight Championship quarterfinal contest of the night â€œThe Livewireâ€ Evan Bourne fought the cobra from the 26th Egyptian dynasty â€“ Ophidian. The masked Ophidian put up a great fight and showed off some of his own impressive offense but Bourne was just on fire. After about eight minutes of action Boune got the clean win a beautiful Shooting Star Press.
Once back from commercial, JBL and Josh took a moment to recap the results from tonightâ€™s first round of the Cruiserwight Title tournament and displayed the brackets, which showed that next week in the semi-finals Dragon Kid will battle Low Ki while Evan Bourne will tangle with Jushin Liger in the other semi-final that could end up being a battle of the Shooting Star Press. They also announce that â€œWorld Classâ€ Jesse Ray Gordy will battle make his in-ring debut against fellow multi-generational star in the young Brett DiBiase. Plus X-Pac and Tyler Black would team up to battle Kenny Doane and Rob Conway stemming from their altercation earlier in the evening, and â€œThe Long Island Playboyâ€ Zack Ryder would go one-on-one with Sabu.
Josh and JBL then threw it to a video package highlighting Sabuâ€™s carnage in his storied caeer.
After the video package Chris Cruise interviewed The European Union â€“ â€œThe Modern Day Enforcerâ€ Paul Burchill and Drew McEntyre.
From MeEntyreâ€™s promo:
â€œIn the past foreign athletes have been to look like fools on American soil. They said, Drew put on your kilt and youâ€™ll look like a Scotsman that Americans can identify with. And then they had my man, the Enforcer, my Enforcer, Paul Burchill sully himself by dressing up like a miserable pirate. Well that all ends now. In PCW the world will finally see what international athletes, European superstars like Paul and myself are truly all about. Our esteemed General Manager used to have Arn Anderson around to act as his personal Enforcer to help get him out of trouble. Well this man to my right is the true Enforcer in todayâ€™s game, the â€œModern Day Enforcerâ€ Paul Burchill. And whatever we want, whether it be singles gold or the tag team championships, we will just go out and take them. We are far superior to Americans in every way. Whether it be through our intelligence, our looks or our impeccable athletic ability, we are the measuring stick from here on out.â€
After the break, Ric Flair stood center ring with the beautiful PCW World Heavyweight Championship belt alongside referee Charles Robinson and ring announcer Gary Michael Capetta as was clearly time for the main event. All three wrestlers, Randy Orton, Christian and Sting (sporting a hybrid look of â€œCrow Stingâ€ and Surfer Stingâ€) made their way to the ring before Capetta gets down to business to with the ring introductions. The match was announced as having TV time remaining and elimination rules, meaning the championship would ultimately be decided in a one-on-one match.
The three men battled for roughly ten minutes back and forth in a one-on-one-one format before Sting nailed Orton with a Stinger Splash in the corner only to turn around and walk into an Killswitch from Christian for the first elimination of the match. As Sting rolled out of the ring Christian gave him a knowing nod of respect before turning his attentions back to Orton.
The two men battled through the commercial break and for another ten-plus minutes before Orton caught Christian completely out of the blue with a RKO during Christianâ€™s reverse DDT attempt to get the absolutely clean pinfall and stake his claim as PCWâ€™s first World Heavyweight Championship. Post-match he snapped the newly won Championship from Ric Flairâ€™s hands as he tried to present him with the Title belt. Orton posed with his new gold as Josh and JBL reminded the crowd that even though Orton is a sinister character not above using interference or cheating to win a match he is also a tremendously gifted in-ring athlete capable of gaining victories under his own accord.
As the Orton celebrates and the show ends, Josh and JBL give the rundown for next weekâ€™s show, which will feature:
X-Pac and Tyler Black versus Rob Conway & Kenny Doane,
Sabu versus Zack Ryder in both menâ€™s PCW debut,
Evan Bourne versus Jushin â€œThunderâ€ Liger and Dragon Kid versus Low Ki the semi-finals of the PCW Cruiserweight Title tournament,
the debut of Jesse Ray Gordy as he battles Brett DiBiase,
an interview with new PCW Champion Randy Orton and
Christian versus Sting in a one-on-one match to determine the number one contender for the PCW World Championship.
STEVEN GEPP – Generic Wrestling Promotion #25 (GNW-25)
The TV screen comes to dark. Silhouettes are all that is seen of the crowd. A low thump sounds. Again, but louder. Two in quick succession. Again, louder still. It is a heart beat. It speeds up. Faster and faster. The crowd buzzes. And then it flatlines, and the loud beep is accompanied by a long line of laser light flashing from the stage. This morphs into a scream and, â€œWake up! Itâ€™s time to die!â€ The guitar then kicks in and Gunsâ€™Nâ€™Roses â€˜Welcome to the Jungleâ€™ echoes throughout the arena accompanied by the blasts of pyro at the sides of the stage and lasers following the beat of the music across the roof.
A final blast of pyro and the stage lights up. Dominating is the logo of GNW-25 and the words: â€œWrestling Zone.â€ And Wrestling Zone, the new flagship professional wrestling show, is on the air!
And there, on the stage, in a yellow and red suit with no sleeves, bandana on his head, miming the guitar licks stands the immortal one, the ICON, the man who is professional Wrestling in the eyes of many â€“ Hollywood Hulk Hogan! He poses on the stage and cups his hand to his ear as the crowd erupts. He makes his way slowly down the aisle to the ring and steps in, looking all around at the enthusiastic crowd. As the song finishes he holds the microphone in his hands up. â€œIn case you didnâ€™t know, I am Hollywood Hulk Hogan and this is G-N-W-Twentyfive!â€ The crowd roars. â€œWelcome to the Wrestling Zone! This is the greatest single collection of wrestlers to grace the planet! I was hand picked by the owner to be the man who is the authority here, the voice, the person who calls the shots, who makes the deals, with the largest pythons on the planet to back me up. I am the boss!â€ The crowd erupts again. â€œThis is a new era in professional wrestling. We have the best talent from around the globe here in the U S of A ready to give you the best damn wrestling show youâ€™ve ever seen!â€ Another roar. â€œBut to start things off, let me introduce to you the men on the mics â€“ the greatest commentator in the history of this sport, Jim Ross, and the best from the land Down Under, from Australia – Wolfdogg!â€ The reaction is mixed â€“ JR, sure, but Wolfdogg? What is a Wolfdogg?
They enter the ring and stand with Hogan. JR shakes his hand; Wolfdogg does likewise after a brief pause. He is nearly the same height as the general manager and is a large man. â€œI donâ€™t believe weâ€™ve had the pleasure,â€ Hogan says.
â€œThereâ€™s so many Australians here on this company â€“ and why not? Weâ€™ve got the best â€“ they knew they needed me.â€ His manner is very matter-of-fact.
â€œAustralian wrestlers?â€ Hogan laughs. â€œThe best? Like Outback Jack? Or Nathan Jones?â€ The crowd laughs.
â€œYouâ€™re right,â€ Wolfdogg muses. â€œJust like those great American talents â€“ The Missing Link and The ECW Zombie and Cousin Luke and Ed Leslie.â€ Hoganâ€™s face goes hard.
â€œIt is a pleasure to be here with you, though,â€ JR quickly interjects and Hogan manages another smile as the two commentators make their way to the desk set up at ring side. At the same time a man in a suit passes Hogan a large Haliburton brief case. He opens it and with a flourish lifts a gold belt out of the inside.
The crowd explodes.
â€œThis,â€ Hogan says, â€œis the World Title. And it is a true world title. In GNW-25 we have the best from around the world to make this truly an international title. Not only from the US, but from Canada, Britain and, of course, Australia. But we do not have a champion as yet.â€ He starts to put it around his own waist and the crowd explodes. But he shakes his head. â€œNo, no, no, no. My days are behind me in the ring.â€ The crowd shows some mild disappointment at that statement. â€œBut we do need a champ, some-one who can representâ€¦â€
â€œBreak the walls down!â€ The music hits and the video screen set above the stage shows a stream of numbers and words as onto the stage, dressed immaculately in a suit and tie steps Chris Jericho. The reaction from the crowd is mixed as he strides to the stage, his own mic in hand. He offers Hogan a hand and the shake is strong. He then points at the belt and smiles. â€œSo, hand it over,â€ he says.
â€œSorry?â€ Hogan laughs.
â€œYou know Iâ€™m the best you got,â€ Jericho states. â€œSo give to me and Iâ€™ll be your first World Champion.â€
â€œBrotherâ€¦â€ Hogan starts, but instead:
The guitars of â€˜I Walk Aloneâ€™ echo. Again a crowd response that is decidedly mixed as Batista, again in a fine suit walks to the ring. He all but ignores Hogan as he stands over Jericho. â€œWhoâ€™s the best, little man?â€ he asks and the crowd laughs. â€œI think I should get that belt. I deserve itâ€¦â€
â€œWhatâ€™s up?â€ The music of Ron â€œR-Truthâ€ Killings hits and this time the crowd is more responsive as he comes through the crowd to the ring, rapping his way down. He steps through the ropes, shakes Hoganâ€™s hand enthusiastically and smiles at the other two. â€œFormer champ,â€ he says, pointing at Jericho. â€œFormer champ,â€ this time at Batista. â€œFormer champ,â€ pointing at himself. He shrugs, then points at the title and mimes it around his own waist.
Batista looks at him, then at Jericho, then dives forward, spearing Killings to the mat. As Jericho comes over, he grabs him and hits him with a low spine buster, but Killings is up and laying in the punches. Jericho makes it to his feet and the three of them are all over one another before the locker room empties. Faces both familiar and unfamiliar fill the ring until 22 men stand in the ring, holding one another at bay.
Hogan smiles as he holds his hands up, one holding the title belt, and one holding his mic. â€œNow that I have your attention, listen up. This here is the Title, and if you want it you have to earn it. We donâ€™t just go out giving our titles away in Puerto Rico or because some-one married the bossâ€™s daughter.â€ The crowd laughs. â€œIn four weeks we will be holding the greatest Pay Per View in the history of our sport. Battleground 1. And at that event we will crown a World Champion. But we have to get there. And all of you have the chance to get there.â€ The crowd cheers and the wrestlers all look at one another warily. â€œThere will be a tournament to decide the champion. Starting tonight. And every single man in GNW-25 is involved.â€
Some of the wrestlers start to argue but Hogan again holds his hand up. â€œNow, Ron Killings. Brother. Youâ€™ve won, what? Two world titles? On the other hand, Jericho, youâ€™ve won 5 world titles. And Batista, youâ€™ve won 5. So the two of you get a bye into round two.â€ Both men smile â€“ Jericho smugly, Batista with a slow nod â€“ while the others start up. â€œAny complaints and you can be replaced in this thing with me,â€ Hogan states. The crowd likes it but the wrestlers heed his warning. â€œThis week, the first five matches, and next week we finish round one with the next five. Then we hit round two, then round three. That will leave us with three men to battle it out at Battleground 1 for the World Title.â€ He smiles. â€œYou know, thereâ€™s a few of you out here. Why donâ€™t we also crown us some tag team champs at Battleground 1. Iâ€™ll work out the details later.
â€œBut we have a champion to find! And Fit Finlay and Charlie Haas, youâ€™re up now.â€ The wrestlers clear the ring but stand around the edge as the two men in question quickly strip down to wrestling attire and the bell rings as a referee hits the ring.
Match 1) Fit Finlay v Charlie Haas. Finlay dominates at the start, but a blind charge leaves it open for Haas to show off his moveset. However, he goes to the top once too often and Finlay catches him with a boot in the face on the way down and wins it with a Celtic Cross. Time – 8:32
There is no pause as the show stays â€œIn The Zoneâ€ (to quote JR) and straight away introductions are made for our next match-up.
Match 2) Joe Hennig v Brutus Magnus. A very even match, but Magnus grabs the tights and the ropes to help his pinning attempts at every opportunity. After a near-fall he argues with the ref, then pushes him, but that is all Hennig needs. He spins him around, a kick to the gut, a Perfectplex, as sharp as his fatherâ€™s and we have winner number two. Time â€“ 10:15
Afterwards, Hennig grabs the mic, pauses, looks up at the sky and points, then nods. â€œIn my family, weâ€™re all perfect,â€ is all he says before leaving.
Match 3) GD Grimm v Robert Roode. Grimm is a lot taller than Roode, but Roode outmuscles him. Despite his height, Grimm is deceptively fast, and this frustrates Roode. However, Grimm soon dominate as it seems that Roode has been in the tag ranks for a little too long. Still, Roode is about to mount a comeback when he seems to be distracted by something on the stage and Grimm hits a cut-throat driver out of nowhere into a curb stomp for the pin and the first upset. An Australian wins! Time â€“ 10:01 On the stage there is a shadow seen to move.
Batista is out with a mic. â€œI came here to fight,â€ he declares. â€œBut I got a bye in round one so I donâ€™t fight for two weeks.â€ The crowd signals its disappointment, but they seem to know what is coming. â€œBut I came here to wrestle! Now I know Iâ€™m not going to get Jericho out here, that gutless cowardâ€ â€“ the crowd agrees to this with hearty cheers â€“ â€œbut I want a match. So, Mr Hogan, if you can find some-one to come out and get their ass kicked, I would love to obligeâ€¦â€
He is instead interrupted by the new man on commentary. â€œYou want a fight?â€ he asks, looking Batista in the eye. â€œI got some friends looking for some action. We didnâ€™t come halfway across the world to sit out the back either. You game?â€
â€œYour guys?â€ Batista laughs. â€œSure. Itâ€™ll be a good warm-up.â€
Wolfdogg smiles. â€œThen get ready to be warm,â€ he replies as he goes back next to JR. JR pushes him as to what he meant, but Wolfdogg is not saying anything.
Match 4) Ron â€˜R-Truthâ€™ Killings v Fuzion. Our second Australian faces R-Truth and despite some good power moves, it goes as well as expected for him as Killings wins in quick time. Time â€“ 6:21
Match 5) Rob Terry v Damian Slater. Terry outweighs and stands a head over the smaller Australian, but the technical ability of Slater makes it an even match. They trade moves and power with first one dominating and then the other. The match swings and the crowd gets into it. The end comes when Slater goes for a high flying move and misses badly, allowing Terry to lock in the full nelson and hit a full nelson slam for the win. Time â€“ 12:59
Batista comes out next, dressed ready to fight. He stands there and then looks down at Wolfdogg. â€œWell?â€ he demands,
The music that comes out is a low drone as the pyro announces the arrival of a man the same size and height as the Animal. The Aboriginal Assassin, Ace Wilson. The crowd has no idea who this behemoth is, but they are instantly intrigued by his size.
Match 6) Ace Wilson v Batista. Wilson charges the ring and itâ€™s on. The two men pummel each other as this does not even start to resemble a wrestling match. They are throwing punches and kicks and throws as the referee quickly loses control. The action spills to the outside where a large figure rushes in from the back. Most of the crowd do not recognise Doug Williams from the British Invasion but he lays Batista out with a stiff arm clothesline as the bell rings to signify the DQ win for Batista. But Wilson and Williams continue to pound on the fallen Animal. They drag him to the ring where they are quickly joined by Rob Terry, who also lays in a few blows before, like lightning, from out of the back sprints Kofi Kingston. He springboards in, hitting Williams as R-Truth runs in through the crowd and attacks before Wilson and Terry refocus on him. Brutus Magnus comes in as well and the numbers game sees Kofi and Killings laying motionless in short order. But that is all Batista has needed as he spears first Terry, then Wilson and hits spine-busters Williams and Magnus before he faces the crowd.
He doesnâ€™t see Chris Jericho run out from the back and nail a codebreaker from behind. And the five men leave, facing the ring, taunting the three fallen men as the show goes off air with JR asking what the hell happened, and Wolfdogg yelling that Batista doesnâ€™t look much like a winner, does he?
RAFFI SHAMIR – Just Pro Wrestling (JPW)
First weekly TV Show, â€œfight it outâ€
The three vacant JPW titles are displayed in glass cases on the stage throughout the show.
Bischoff announces a Championship Scramble match for the JPW World Heavyweight Championship to take place at the first PPV â€“ â€œStreet Credâ€.
The participants will be CM Punk, Austin Aries, HHH, Matt Morgan Matt Hardy.
The first TV show features a â€œbeat the clockâ€ challenge to determine the order of entry to the scramble. The participants who will win their match in the shortest time will enter last and so on. However, the opponents of the championship contenders in the challenge will also have something to fight for, other than just being spoilers: If someone beats a championship contender he earns a title shot at a date to be determined after the Scramble.
Also announced for the PPV:
Fatal Four Way Elimination match for the JPW Ladies Championship:
ODB vs. Tara vs. Beth Phoenix vs. Melina
The next shows will also feature a Championship Chase for the JPW Tag titles, starting with a four-way match, moving to a three-way and ending with a regular tag match at the PPV. Participants:
Team 3D, Cryme Tyme, Hart Dynasty, Shannon Moore & Necro Butcher
Beat the clock: Triple H vs. Kid Kash â€“ Triple H beats Kash in 6:53
Matt Morgan video package
Beat the clock: Matt Morgan vs. Eric Escobar: Morgan wins in 7:46
Backstage interview with Hardy and Moore, talking about the two friend that have to face each other
Beat the clock: Matt Hardy vs. Shannon Moore: Hardy wins in 7:37
DH Smith, Tyson Kidd and Natalya vs. Cryme Tyme and Melina: Hart Dynasty wins. Team 3D watch the match from the stage, standing by the tag team titles.
Abyss promo, saying he should be in the championship scramble
Beat the clock: Austin Aries vs. Abyss : Abyss wins in 8:44
CM Punk Promo
Beat the clock: CM Punk vs. Kevin Nash: Triple H interferes in the match trying to help Nash, but eventually Punk wins in 8:33
So the order of entry for the Scramble match is: Aries, Punk, Hardy, Morgan, Triple H
Triple H points to the championship on the stage, saying his sights are set on the JPW title and he will make it his.
GREY SCHERL – Real Ass Pro Wrestling (RAPW)
The first show opens with Stone Cold Steve Austin standing in the ring with a beer and a microphone. He runs down what makes RAPW so great, and how he’s not going to be some wuss of a GM. The talent works for him, not the other way around, so he’s forcing his talent to check their egos at the door and work the way he wants. His first action is to set up a tournament for the World Title. First round matches will be Rey Mysterio vs John Morrison, Undertaker vs Jeff Jarrett, Big Show vs Kane, and Edge vs Mr. Anderson. There will also be a tournament for the vacant tag straps, which will give us the first round match of the Colons vs MVP/Lashley. There will also be a match to decide the Television Championship.
Jeter vs. Nick Dinsmore vs. Kaz vs. Stevie Richards for the RAPW Television Title
A fatal four way match with elimination rules and a fifteen minute timelimit to decide the Television title resulted in a highly competitive affair. Early on Kaz and Jeter were on the same page, which led to Dinsmore being eliminated. However Stevie Richards failed to meet the same fate as Jeter took Kaz down from behind with a spin kick. However, before he could capitalize Stevie took the fight to Jeter while Kaz rolled out to ringside. The next several minutes featured a close back and forth matchup between Jeter and Stevie, with Stevie eliminating Jeter with the Stevie Kick. With confidence oozing, he almost completely forgot about Kaz until the young flier came off the top rope with a diving huricanrana. With four minutes left on the clock, they battled until the final thirty seconds when Kaz managed to set up Stevie for the Flux Capacitor, and after a near reversal, hit it. A three count later, and Kaz emerged the first Television Champion in RAPW history with the clock stopped at six seconds.
Big Show vs Kane
A battle of the big men that fans have seen before, it’s far from the most remarkable match, and there isn’t an over abundance of selling, but Big Show does wind up dominating Kane in an eight minute match after two giant chokeslams.
Mr. Anderson vs Edge
In what could have been a classic matchup, we are treated to a no contest as Sheamus ran down to the ring before the bell and proceeded to beat Anderson mercilessly in a jealous fit of rage over Anderson getting the last spot in the World Title tournament. It’s a vicious attack, to say the least, and Edge joins in on the beat down to deliver a deadly conchairto. Edge and Sheamus celebrate the beatdown as Anderson is stretchered out. Edge is granted a bye into the second round..
Tag Tourney Week 1: MVP and Lashley vs. Carlito and Primo
A solid bout shows MVP and Lashley show an amazing level of chemistry as a team. Lots of double team tatics, plenty of near falls, and the finish comes with MVP taking out Primo with the Drive-By Kick as Lashley hit Carlito with a Dominator. The two celebrated in the ring briefly following the match, long enough for the Colon’s to stand up and hold up their arms as a show of respect. Which was just long enough for MVP and Lashley to take them both out again, and then beat the brothers bloody before heading to the back laughing.
Undertaker vs Jeff Jarrett
The Phenom vs The Chosen One is a match made by fantasy bookers everywhere, and it didn’t fail expectations. Jarrett worked hard to ground the Deadman, and worked an impressive mat game to try and neutralize the raw power of the Undertaker. Though despite his efforts, nothing seemed to keep Taker down. Once the Stroke failed, and the ref was down, Jarrett gave into his baser instincts and struck Taker with a guitar. Undertaker sat right back up. Jarrett with a second guitar shot! Taker sits up again! Jarrett is in shock, and despite trying to land more offense, he is quickly felled by a chokeslam and a tombstone piledriver. One hell of a match by these two veterans!
Rey Mysterio vs John Morrison
While many expected no less than a great match up between these two, all expectations were completely blown away as only minutes into the match it was clear that a classic was in the making. After twenty minutes of back and forth action, both on the mat and in the air, the finish final came after Rey Mysterio botched a top rope hurricanrana, and Morrison capitalized with Starship Pain. The two shook hands after the match, and shared a man hug as the crowd gave a standing ovation. A star is born, and his name is….John Morrison.
ROY REYNOLDS – Full Force Wrestling (FFW)
A hot crowd of approximately one thousand fans are in attendance to watch the debut show of Full Force Wrestling, “Game Time”. Lights flicker and streamers fly, as Paul Heyman makes his way to the ring to a standing ovation. “ECW” chants drown the venue, as Heyman grabs hold of a microphone.
Paul Heyman thanks all of the FFW fans for showing up to the company’s debut show. He says he has worked hard on developing one of the strongest rosters in all of professional wrestling today. Heyman explains that he had a lot of trouble picking the first FFW World Champion to represent the company. However, he finally made a decision about one hour prior to the event. Heyman calls out Rob Van Dam and presents him with the FFW World Championship.
Rob Van Dam poses with the FFW World Championship around his waist before taking the microphone from Heyman. Rob says that he could not be any happier to be the first ever FFW World Champion. He plans on making Full Force Wrestling as big of a success as Extreme Championship Wrestling was, maybe even better. Van Dam tells the fans that he is a “fighting champion”, and that he is willing to make his first defense of the world championship tonight in the main event. He issues an open challenge to anyone in the locker room, which Rhyno accepts on the titantron.
Rhyno tells Heyman that he made the incorrect choice of naming Van Dam as the first ever FFW World Champion. He was the final ECW World Heavyweight Champion, anyways. Rhyno tells Heyman, Van Dam, and the rest of the FFW fans that after tonight, the new FFW World Champion will be none other than the “War Machine”.
GO SHIOZAKI DEFEATED NAOFUMI YAMAMOTO VIA PINFALL (MOONSAULT) IN 8:50.
– The former GHC Heavyweight Champion did not give the man formerly known as “Yoshi Tatsu” in WWE much breathing time at all and proved why he certainly has the potential to main event future FFW shows. Yamamoto rocked Shiozaki with a roundhouse kick late in the match, but Go managed to shrug it off. Following a failed springboard roundhouse kick attempt by Yamamoto, Shiozaki nailed a moonsault on him to pick up the victory. A fun opener.
Before the women’s tag team match began, Paul Heyman appeared on the titantron and announced that the winners of the upcoming bout would face off in a singles match for the vacant FFW Women’s Championship on the next show. If tension wasn’t already brewing between these four girls, it certainly got worse as soon as this announcement was made.
SARA DEL REY AND CHEERLEADER MELISSA BEAT MICKIE JAMES AND DAIZEE HAZE VIA PINFALL (ROYAL BUTTERFLY) IN 7:21.
– Pretty much a standard women’s tag team contest that you would see on Impact, but with a little more added spice. Del Rey and Haze had a lot of interesting exchanges, which isn’t surprising because they have faced one another millions of times before. The finish saw Melissa nail the Air Raid Crash on James, but Del Rey made a blind tag and proceeded to pin her with the Royal Butterfly.
Following the contest, Melissa and Del Rey got in each other’s faces. Del Rey shoved Melissa back, and that’s when all hell broke lose. After about three minutes, multiple referees and officials finally were able to break up the heated fight.
NICK NEMETH DEFEATED MIL MONGOOSE VIA PINFALL (BLONDE AMBITION) IN 3:15.
– Squash match. The Full Force Wrestling fans were solely behind Mongoose, though, so Nemeth played the crowd quite a bit throughout the course of the match. After firing out of a DÃ©jÃ Vu, Nemeth planted Mongoose with the Blonde Ambition for the victory.
MIKE QUACKENBUSH DEFEATED FRIGHTMARE VIA SUBMISSION (CHIKARA SPECIAL) IN 12:02.
– This match was unsurprisingly awesome, as Frightmare is one of Quackenbush’s most successful students. Lots of armdrags and interesting takedowns to boot. Whatever Quackenbush did to try and take down Frightmare, he would always kick out. After missing the Kneecolespy, Quackenbush locked in the CHIKARA Special and Frightmare consequently had no other choice but to tap out. Both wrestlers shook hands and embraced following the competitive contest.
Just as Mike Quackenbush and Frightmare looked to exit the ring, Chris Hero came out and cut both CHIKARA wrestlers off. Hero told Frightmare that he is unquestionably one of the next big junior heavyweight stars in wrestling. However, his training credit cannot be given to Mike Quackenbush alone, but also Chris Hero. In fact, Hero tells Quackenbush that if it wasn’t for his own training, Frightmare would still be training at the WrestleFactory today. Hero calls Quackenbush a “fraud”, a “coward”, and a “piece of crap human being”. Mike Quackenbush fires back and tells Hero that he is not a man of words, but a man of action. On the very next show, he wants to face Hero one on one in the squared circle. Hero accepts and tells Quackenbush to be prepared to get knocked out.
Once again, Paul Heyman makes his way down to the ring. He announces that the next match will be apart of the FFW Tag Team Championships tournament. The winners of the upcoming match will face the winners of the tag team match on the next show on the company’s first pay-per-view event for the FFW Tag Team Championships.
JAY BRISCOE AND MARK BRISCOE BEAT HOMICIDE AND HERNANDEZ VIA PINFALL (SHOOTING STAR LEG DROP) IN 15:26.
– Super good match that was similar to their ROH encounter at the beginning of 2009 in Edison, New Jersey. Jay’s nose started bleeding after a Border Toss from Hernandez. Jay kicked out of a huge lariat late in the match. At the end, as Hernandez was tossing the Briscoes around, Homicide surprisingly walked out on him by turning heel. With his back turned to the Briscoes, Hernandez got nailed with a double enziguri. Mark then pinned him with a shooting star leg drop for the three count.
ROB VAN DAM DEFEATED RHYNO VIA PINFALL (FIVE-STAR FROG SPLASH) IN 13:39 TO RETAIN THE FFW WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP.
– Not a bad match by any means. Rhyno actually looked the best he has in years. Rhyno used the power game to his advantage in throughout the entire match, but Van Dam would occasionally pop up and nail a huge move to balance out the two sides. Rob kicked out of a Rhyno Driver from the middle rope at two. Rhyno then set up for the Gore, but Van Dam nailed him with a Van Daminator. Rolling Thunder and the Five-Star Frog Splash are enough to put away the big man.
As Van Dam celebrated with all of the FFW fans following the match, a man wearing a black mask came out through the crowd and brutally attacked Rob. The masked man then set up a table and drove Rob through with an Angel’s Wings. That’s when the mystery person removed his veil and revealed himself to be none other than the “Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels, as the FFW debut show came to a cliffhanging conclusion.
MICHAEL O’MAHONY – Lost Art Wrestling (LAW)
Lights, pyro, action. The crowd goes wild as the camera pans around the arena and the familiar voice of Mike Tenay welcomes us to Monday Night Law. Foley makes some comments about getting sued for the name and then Tenay talks about some of the great talent that has been signed up by this fledgling promotion. Theyâ€™ll run down tonightâ€™s bouts shortly, but first weâ€™re heading to the ring, where Matt Striker has some words for the fans.
Matt introduces himself and welcomes everybody to Lost Art Wrestling. He takes a few moments to explain the name and the concept, telling the crowd that heâ€™s a fan of great wrestling and a fan of entertainment and wants to see the best of both. He namechecks great young talent like Alex Shelley and Shelton Benjamin, accomplished veterans such as Shawn Michaels, and some of the greatest performers from overseas, like Mutoh and Kojima. In addition to that, one of Lawâ€™s aims is to build a womenâ€™s division with the same ethos as the menâ€™s, where ability isnâ€™t compromised by looks and the cream rises to the top, regardless of background or previous employment.
Striker states that he doesnâ€™t consider himself a participant in the promotion as a worker. He tells the fans he will never book himself in a match, and that heâ€™ll be booking what he wants to see. As a huge fan of professional wrestling and a huge fan of the performers youâ€™ll see tonight, Striker hopes we all have that in common, and invites the fans to give their opinions at LAWâ€™s website.
Now there is the small matter of the heavyweight title to be settled. Striker explains that he conducted a poll among the wrestlers, asking them each to choose two men, not including themselves, who deserved to compete for each belt respectively. Heâ€™s now in a position to share those results, and calls out the showstopper Shawn Michaels.
The crowd reacts as The Heartbreak Kidâ€™s music kicks in and he makes his way down the aisle to the ring, where Striker stands aside to let him pose for the fans. The two shake hands, and then Striker calls out a man who hasnâ€™t wrestled on American soil for several years, an innovator and one of the most famed performers in the world, Keiji Mutoh.
Mutoh also elicits a strong reaction from the crowd. In the ring, he bows to Michaels and Striker, then shakes hands with both. Striker stands between the two and tells the crowd he is delighted to announce that the first ever match between these two outstanding competitors will headline LAWâ€™s first TV show, and it will decide who will be crowned the first LAW Heavyweight Champion.
The three briefly pose for photographs, then leave the ring as Tenay and Foley hype tonightâ€™s main event then tell us we wonâ€™t have to wait that long to see some amazing wrestling as Naomichi Marufujiâ€™s music hits and he makes his way down to the ring.
Match 1: Naomichi Marufuji vs. Alex Shelley
After a ceremonial opening, the show explodes into life with a classic next-gen cruiserweight match that goes a little under twenty minutes and gives each man the chance to showcase his abilities. Tenay goes out of his way to explain Marufujiâ€™s past accomplishments in Japan, and Foley calls him on it, pointing out that Shelley is one of the most under-utilized talents in North America. After several close two-counts and Shiranui attempts by both men, Marufuji catches Shelley on the top rope and hits a Shiranui Kai for the pinfall.
As the crowd applauds the match, both men rise slowly to their feet and face-off in the center of the ring. Marufuji bows to Shelley, who glances at the fans as he decides whether or not to return the gesture. They cheer him on to do so, and Shelley steps up to Marufuji and then slaps him in the face before rolling out of the ring to a chorus of boos.
Backstage, Jack Swagger has something to say. Since when were world title shots decided on the basis of popularity or the opinions of a bunch of guys that arenâ€™t fit to lace his boots? It doesnâ€™t matter to him that LAW has passed him over. Heâ€™s going to show the world why he should be first in line for a shot.
Match 2: Awesome Kong vs. Misaki Ohata
The tiny Ohata is overmatched here, and while she takes it to Kong in the opening stages with strikes and then an attempt to lock her opponent in a triangle choke, Kong quickly overcomes this resistance and Awesome Bombs her into oblivion. She covers for two, pulling Ohataâ€™s head up before the refâ€™s hand can slap the mat a third time, then delivers a second Awesome Bomb. As Kong plays to the crowd, some of whom are chanting â€œone more time,â€ Gail Kim hits the ring and starts firing right hands before dropkicking Kong back into the ropes and then clotheslining her out of the ring. She stands over Ohata, beckoning Kong to climb back through the ropes as the commentators put over the history these two performers have had.
Back in the ring, Matt Striker is out for what he promises will be the last time tonight. Heâ€™s announcing the participants for the LAW television championship match later on. First he explains the importance and concept of the title, stating that it isnâ€™t so much a lesser belt as one requiring a different kind of athlete. The television title must be defended every week unless the holder is legitimately injured. With that in mind, the man who wins this belt needs to be up to the challenge of facing stiff, single-minded competition with no time off. Striker explained this to the wrestlers when he polled them, and they first chose Shelton Benjamin.
Benjamin makes his way down to the ring as Tenay and Foley talk up his athletic prowess and how he seems to be a perfect fit for the television title concept as Striker has just explained it.
Striker then lets us know that the second man chosen for the television title match was Satoshi Kojima. Unfortunately, Kojima has had some travel issues and representatives of LAW have been unable to make contact with him. Taking his place will be the second place pick, Claudio Castagnoli.
Castagnoli makes his way to ringside, his cult following vocal in their support as he and Benjamin face off in the ring and Striker announces that the television title match is coming up later tonight.
In the back, Misaki Ohata is stretched out on a sofa with an ice pack pressed to the back of her head. She still looks out of it after the beating she took from Awesome Kong. Standing over her are Michelle McCool and Angelina Love, shaking their heads. McCool asks Ohata what she was thinking, going out there against that fat beast, and Love points out that she doesnâ€™t think Ohata speaks any English. McCool takes the opportunity to mock Ohataâ€™s wrestling gear and hairstyle, and Love runs with it, insulting Ohataâ€™s ability and then going on a rant about how that Japanese stuff has no class. Halfway through this tirade, McCool sees something over Loveâ€™s shoulder and starts trying to point it out to her, but Love wonâ€™t be stopped until we hear somebody clear their throat. Love finally turns around, and we get our first look at the legendary Manami Toyota. McCool makes a strangled squeaking sound, but Love has no idea who sheâ€™s speaking to and rudely asks what the hell Toyota wants. She takes a forearm to the face for her troubles, selling it like death as she tumbles over the couch. McCool pulls her up and drags her out of the room muttering apologies as she does. We leave Toyota standing over the prone Ohata with a disapproving look on her face.
Match 3: BxB Hulk vs. Kenny Omega
Back to ringside for the worldâ€™s greatest ring entrance, as BxB Hulk and his girls make their way to the ring and Hulk goes through his full dance routine. Of course, Omega also knows how to make an entrance. â€œAtencion!â€
This match is about more than just the entrances, though, as these two high-flying showmen put on a spotfest for the fans that ends when Omega hits Croytâ€™s Wrath for the pin.
Match 4: Television Championship – Shelton Benjamin vs. Claudio Castagnoli
This gets lengthy entrances and the â€˜big matchâ€™ introductions with both guys in the ring. Castagnoli dominates with power offense to start, taking Shelton to the outside and bouncing him off the barriers. Shelton briefly fights back inside the ring, but is again overwhelmed by Claudio, who beats on him mercilessly, drawing the crowd in until Shelton shows guts by refusing to be beaten, fighting back with strikes and then a huge T-Bone suplex. Shelton hits a series of signature moves culminating in a vicious super kick, only for Castagnoli to kick out at two. Castagnoli hits a vicious lariat on Shelton, then signals for the Ricola Bomb. Shelton escapes over Claudio’s head, hits Paydirt, and takes the fall and the title.
After the match, there is an official unveiling and presentation of the sweet new LAW Television Championship. Shelton looks delighted with his prize, and holds it up as the announcers sell the job heâ€™s going to have defending it each and every week if every match is like the one he just went through. Meanwhile, Claudio is stumbling up the ramp, where heâ€™s met by Jack Swagger. The two briefly confer, then charge the ring, destroying the set for the presentation and laying a serious beatdown on the new champ.
Shawn Michaels promo
Shawn is in full-on serious mode as he talks to camera about how much it would mean to him to win the LAW heavyweight title and how much heâ€™s looking forward to the challenge of facing the legendary Keiji Mutoh for the very first time. Fresh challenges are few and far between for an old warhorse like Michaels, and he knows Mutoh feels the same way. He hopes LAW is ready, because this old manâ€™s going to stop the show.
Match 5: Taylor Wilde vs. Daffney
Halfway through this match, described by the announcers as a showcase for the ability of the LAW women, Michelle McCool makes her way to ringside, where she stays as an observer until making a move as if to grab Daffneyâ€™s foot as the Scream Queen runs the ropes. No contact is made, but Daffney turns around, and the distraction is enough for Wilde to hit a bridging German suplex for the win. McCool runs off up the ramp with Daffney in hot pursuit, while Taylor Wilde stands in the ring looking confused.
Keiji Mutoh promo
Mutoh is facing the camera with a determined look on his face. He speaks Japanese with subtitles at the foot of the screen, explaining that though he has wrestled most of his life in Japan, America is here he got his education as a performer, and America is where he feels his true wrestling soul lies. But his true wrestling soul is not Keiji Mutoh, and tonight, for an opponent as dangerous as Shawn Michaels, and a prize as prestigious as being the first LAW Heavyweight Champion, Keiji Mutoh wonâ€™t be wrestling.
Mutoh smiles, touches his throat, and spits green mist all over the screen.
Match 6: Kaz Hayashi vs. The Amazing Red
The arena is buzzing with anticipation at the prospect of an appearance from The Great Muta as Kaz Hayashi makes his way down to the ring. The Amazing Red follows, to chants of â€œHeâ€™s amazingâ€ and the two proceed to give us another strong cruiserweight-style display. As with the other performers less well-known in the States, Tenay gives a brief run-through of Hayashiâ€™s resume and achievements, also taking the time to put over Red, who plays underdog here (when does he not?) and goes down to the Hayashi Cutter after a little over ten minutes of back and forth action.
Match 7: LAW Heavyweight Championship match – Shawn Michaels vs. The Great Muta
As with the TV title match, both men get lengthy entrances and in-ring introductions. Tenay runs down the laundry list of achievements for both men, and once again emphasizes that this is a first meeting between two world class athletes and will be for the right to be the first ever LAW Heavyweight Championship.
This is an epic, 30+ minute contest between two ring veterans, and tells a story of respect but also fierce competition and the desire to make the first strike against the other. It starts slow, with a lengthy feeling out process, and then moves slowly up through the gears into a breathtaking last five minutes of near falls that ends with Muta running into a Superkick for a close two count, a second for 2.99, and then a third to finally put him away. Shawn Michaels is the first LAW Heavyweight Champion.
Shawn recovers in the corner as they prepare for the presentation of the title belt, the commentators talking about what an awesome match we have just witnessed and what a great show this has been. Muta begins to move and then rises slowly and shakily to his feet. Michaels staggers out to the center of the ring, and the two men shake hands and then embrace. Muta casts a longing glance at the belt, then rolls out of the ringâ€¦
â€¦where he is immediately assaulted by Satoshi Kojima, who comes out of nowhere with the most evil lariat youâ€™ve ever seen. He leans over Muta, speaking to him in their native language, then points at a stunned Michaels and walks away. Michaels immediately rolls out of the ring to check on Muta, and we close the show with paramedics on their way to ringside.
DAVID BRASHEAR – New Generation Wrestling (NGW)
Pyro erupted as the first episode of the NGW Battleground hit the air. Commentators Joey Styles and Dusty Rhodes welcomed us as the cameras panned over the crowd.
We were off and running as Joey introduced the General Manager of NGW. Bruno Sammartino made his way out to a respectful ovation. Bruno waved as the fans quieted down.
â€œThank you all,â€ Bruno said. â€œI would like to welcome you to the birth of New Generation Wrestling.â€ Bruno paused as the crowd cheered. â€œI promise you that things will be different here. Here success will be determined by talent and drive, and rule breaking will not be tolerated.â€
Bruno stepped up behind a small table that had been set up in the ring and removed a cloth to reveal four new title belts. â€œThese are our new championships. Soon we will have tag team champions, a cruiserweight champion, and a world heavyweight champion. Next week we will crown our tag team champions. Our world champion will be the winner of a tournament which begins here tonight and will culminate at Phoenix Rising!â€ Bruno motioned to the big screen above the entrance. It lit up with the brackets:
Perro Aguayo, Jr.
Bruno continued. â€œThat tournament will begin tonight. Colt Cabana and Perro Aguayo will fight tonight, and our main event will see Samoa Joe facing CIMA.â€
On commentary, Joey Styles brought up how huge the main event was. Dusty chimed in, â€œNow thatâ€™s the type of thing youâ€™ll be seeing here in NGW. Fans want to see the best, and Brunoâ€™s gonna give it to em.â€
â€œAnd in addition to that,â€ Bruno added, â€œtonight we will have a match to crown our first cruiserweight champion! Earlier today we determined that the competitors will be Japanâ€™s Kota Ibushi and Russiaâ€™s Alex Koslov. And one of them will be leaving tonight as our new cruiserweight champion.â€ Bruno thanked the crowd again and we headed to commentary where Joey Styles and Dusty discussed the tournament and the announcement of the cruiserweight title match.
Moments later, out came Joey Ryan and Scott Lost â€“ the Dynasty. â€œLooks like weâ€™re getting a look at the tag division early!â€ Rhodes said. Styles quickly gave a rundown on the Dynastyâ€™s victories â€“ specifically mentioning that they were 9-time former tag team champions and had been voted the Southern California Tag Team of the Year in 2002. Styles went on to point out that it had been a while since Lost and Ryan had tagged as both had been focusing on their singles careers.
â€œSometimes that donâ€™t matter,â€ Rhodes pointed out. â€œSometimes you can be apart for years and when you start workinâ€™ together again itâ€™s just like no time has passed. Youâ€™re just meant to team together â€“ like peanut butter and jelly, if you will.â€
Styles added that the second team was the same way as HARASHIMA and KUDO entered. Styles mentioned that they were two time former tag team champions who also hadnâ€™t tagged together for a while.
The match started with HARASHIMA and Ryan facing off. The two traded hold after hold with neither gaining an advantage. When Lost and KUDO tagged in, the pace accelerated. Dusty was blown away by the fast and furious action while Styles tried to keep up.
Finally Ryan and Lost decided to start dealing from the bottom of the deck. As Lost and KUDO battled inside the ring, Ryan dropped to the floor and ran around the ring. He grabbed HARASHIMA and pulled him to the floor, then whipped him into the far ringpost.
Meanwhile, KUDO had climbed the ropes and Lost dropkicked the top rope, dropping KUDO crotch-first onto the turnbuckle. Ryan reentered the ring and threw KUDO off the turnbuckle. Lost caught him and hit a cutter then covered for the three count and the win.
Dusty was livid. â€œNow weâ€™re seeinâ€™ a great match out there and they go and ruin it by cheatinâ€™! You gotta believe that Bruno wonâ€™t let this stand!â€
Styles pointed out that Ryan and Lost had a track record of actions like that before he said that we had Elijah Burke standing by backstage.
Burke smirked at the camera. â€œSo tonightâ€™s the debut show of NGW and now it can finally kick into high gear because Elijah Burke has arrived! Tonight I start making my mark here and next weekâ€™s my first step toward winning that world heavyweight title.â€ Burke laughed. â€œShane Helms, youâ€™re nothing but a speed bump in my way.â€
We headed back to the studio as Styles remarked that Burke certainly seemed confident. â€œBut youâ€™ve got to be careful,â€ Rhodes added. â€œBecause when you get that cocky, youâ€™re begginâ€™ for somebody to take you down.â€
â€œWe might see that here tonight,â€ Styles agreed. â€œShane Helms has proven himself over the years to be a tremendous wrestler.â€ Styles ran down Helmsâ€™s resume â€“ 8 time tag team champion and 8 time cruiserweight champion. Styles made an important point. â€œPeople see Helms and think of the Hurricane. Itâ€™s very easy to underestimate Helms and I get the feeling that Burkeâ€™s getting ready to make that mistake here tonight.â€
The lights dimmed as Burke paced in the ring, waiting for his opponent. Suddenly the sound of squealing tires and glass breaking filled the arena as â€œVertebreakerâ€ began to play.
â€œThatâ€™s something we havenâ€™t heard for a while,â€ Styles noted. The crowd erupted as Helms emerged from the back. The Hurricane persona was gone as he was wearing trunks and his beard was gone. Once again his long entrance jacket read Sugar Shane Helms.
â€œIt looks like the Hurricaneâ€™s taking a vacation,â€ Styles noted. â€œAnd that just raised the danger level for Burke. If Helms can bring out his old Vertebreaker finisher, the match is over.â€™
â€œIâ€™ve seen that move,â€ Dusty added. â€œAnd I donâ€™t know how he donâ€™t kill his opponents with it. That is almost beyond devastating.â€
Burke appeared unimpressed. The two locked up to start the match and Helms actually gained the advantage. He worked Burke over and then flattened him with a dropkick. Burke got up and Helms put him down again. Burke rolled out of the ring to regroup a moment.
Burke reentered and started throwing punches. Helms responded in kind and neither man was able to gain an inch. Finally Helms staggered Burke for a moment and threw a superkick (which Styles identified as the Sugar Smack). Burke dodged and whipped Helms into the corner before rushing in and hitting the Elijah Express. Burke covered and had his first win in NGW.
Styles and Rhodes were preparing to discuss the match when Styles pressed his finger to his ear. â€œIâ€™m being told that Bruno Sammartino needs the camera backstage,â€ he said. â€œSo letâ€™s see whatâ€™s going on.â€
We went backstage to where Bruno had corralled a camera crew and pulled them into a locker room with him. The cameras panned around and the Dynasty were there while pulling off their boots and pads.
â€œI want you both to listen up,â€ Bruno said. â€œI saw what you did earlier. Iâ€™ve told you that I will see the rules followed in this company. Iâ€™m fining you each five hundred dollars. If you keep this up I will take you out of contention for the tag team titles.â€
Bruno stormed out while Lost and Ryan just smirked at each other.
Styles noted that it looked like Sammartino was laying down the law. Dusty agreed and then we headed to title graphics for the new Cruiserweight title.
Styles took a moment to cover the â€œTale of the Tapeâ€ screen which compare the two wrestlers.
Height â€“ 5â€™8â€
Weight â€“ 190 lbs.
Titles â€“ 2-time cruiserweight champion, former British Commonwealth champion
Finisher â€“ Red Scare
Height â€“ 5â€™9â€
Weight â€“ 180 lbs.
Titles â€“ 3-time tag team champion, junior heavyweight champion
Finisher â€“ Golden Star Bomb
As expected, the match was a high-flying affair as both wrestlers gave it their all to win the coveted title. Both hit their signature moves as Koslov barely dodged a Phoenix Splash and grabbed his furry Russian hat. Koslov did the Russian hat dance while kicking Kota in the back and covered for a two. Koslov locked in the Red Scare only for Kota to make it to the ropes. Koslov charged with a clothesline and Kota dodged with a Matrix bridge, then followed up with a roundhouse kick. That was it for Koslovâ€™s offense and Ibushi soon hit his Golden Star Powerbomb for the win.
After the match Bruno came out with the belt. He posed with it and Ibushi as the Japanese photographers at ringside snapped pictures.
From there it was on to the first match in the title tournament as Perro Aguayo Jr. faced off against Colt Cabana. We went to the tale of the tape:
Height â€“ 6â€™1â€
Weight â€“ 233 lbs.
Titles â€“ 8-time heavyweight champion, 5-time tag team champion
Finisher â€“ Colt 45
Perro Aguayo Jr.
Height – 5â€™6â€
Weight â€“ 170 lbs.
Titles â€“ 6 time tag team champion, six-man champion, light heavyweight champion, undefeated in hair matches
Finisher â€“ Perrito Driver
The two men were obviously tentative as the match started. Styles advised that they had never faced each other before, so there was bound to be a â€œfeeling-outâ€ period. As expected, the feeling-out didnâ€™t last long and moves flew fast and furious as Perro depended on his lucha maneuvers while Colt fended him off.
Finally Cabana saw his opening and attacked. Colt blasted Perro with a lariat, sending the lucha star to the mat. Although Perro kept trying to fight back, Colt finally hit the Colt 45 to advance to the next round of the tournament.
As Colt celebrated in the ring, we cut to a split screen showing Samoa Joe and CIMA in their respective locker rooms.
Styles promised us a memorable main event as we headed to our final commercial.
We came back to see Styles and Dusty discuss the tournament for a moment and then we went to the tale of the tape showcasing CIMA and Joe.
Joeâ€™s stats were:
Height – 6â€™2â€
Weight â€“ 250 lbs.
Titles â€“ 5 time heavyweight champion, 4 time X division champion, 4 time tag team champion
Finisher â€“ Muscle Buster
CIMAâ€™s stats were:
Height – 5â€™8â€
Weight – 180lbs.
Titles â€“ 5 time heavyweight champion, 3 time light heavyweight champion, 11 time six-man tag team champion
Finisher â€“ Schwein
As Joe and CIMA stared each other down in the ring, Dusty pointed out the obvious size advantage. Styles chimed in by pointing out that since CIMA couldnâ€™t match up with Joe for power, heâ€™d be relying on his speed.
CIMA seemed to hear what Styles said as he began utilizing a stick-and-move style that kept him just out of Joeâ€™s grasp.
As the match wore on, Touru Owashi made his way to ringside, set up a chair, and sat down to watch the match. Seeing this Styles gave a quick recap of the legendary wars between CIMA and Owashi. Styles also mentioned that the war had only ended when Owashi had left Dragon Gate.
As Dusty predicted shenanigans, CIMA began staggering under an onslaught from Joe. CIMA found himself in the corner while Joe did the face wash. The referee backed Joe up and admonished him. As he did, Owashi jumped to his feet and slid into the ring. He pulled CIMA up and splashed him in the corner. Owashi slipped out of the ring as CIMA fell to the mat. As Owashi gloated on the entrance ramp, Joe picked the limp CIMA up and put him back down with a muscle buster before locking in the Coquina Clutch. The ref saw that CIMA was unconscious and called for the bell.
As Joe had his arm raised and Owashi gloated on the ramp, Dusty blurted out that he knew that Bruno would address this situation. Styles promised the next two tournament matches (Miz vs. Owashi and Brent Albright vs. Elijah Burke) as well as a match with AJ Styles as the show ended.
Readers, the voting process is quite simple. There are eight fantasy promotions still on the board and only four can advance onto round two. Readers should vote for the four fantasy companies that they believed put together the best debut shows by saying so in the “comments” portion below. Four votes per person. Staff writers that competed in the Pulse Wrestling Fantasy Draft can also vote if they wish to, but are not allowed to place votes for themselves. If readers prefer to send their votes to me via e-mail, then that is fine, as well. When sending an e-mail to email@example.com, please list the four companies that you want to see go onto round two.
Voting will conclude one week from today (Friday, December 11th). The votes will then be totaled up on Saturday, December 12th and a new article will be posted the following weekend with four companiesâ€™ second shows.
Thanks for participating, everyone, and good luck to all.
~ Roy Reynolds
Tags: batista, Bryan Danielson, fantasy draft, shawn michaels