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The Ivy League

April 23, 2003
Poison Ivy

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Pack Rattery

Staff Photo

So I'm sitting there on my computer with ideas in my head for the first time in weeks, and I happen to notice a disturbance in or about the corner of the 'net I call my own. As with anyone else, I'm attracted to conflict and chaos, as long as it entertains me. And while watching the struggle between Dice God and the rest of the world, I'm suddenly reminded why it is that the CSWA does its best to stay out of such things.

In case you've forgotten in my long absence from the keys, my name is Ivy Lillian McGinnis, known by those who love me as Poison Ivy or the Manager of Champions, by those who hate me as anything from the Psycho Bitch to things I don't find all that funny. And while my job description is o- fish- ally that of business manager/advisor to several of the top athletes in the business, writing and ranting are among my secret passions. From the management standpoint, I've been doing this for an almost completely uninterrupted eight years, most of which with the CSWA. And I'm sure we'll talk about that at some point, but today my focus is on the fans Wrestling organization.

The fWo of 2003 is easily the only promotion of its kind. We have no leader, we have no owner... we have no one person we need to keep happy, lest we find outselves out on our asses. Sure, we've got a Board of Directors, we've got Fox, Smooth, Thumper, and Twitch who run the backstage, but they're not officially in charge. And the Board of Directors has made it abundantly clear that they have no interest in having a controlling hand in the promotion... if we make money, they're happy. If we don't, what can they do to help?

That's probably why they're so well respected - they have no ulterior motives or agendas. Ask Fox what his goals are for the fWo and he'll tell you that he wants every show to be a memorable one for the fans in attendance. No more, no less. Not just that, but with the recent international tour garnering worldwide attention to the company and upping the gate to the point where money was literally no object, the doors have been flung wide open to anyone who has the desire and the skill to make it.

It's not the first time I've been in a situation like this. When the CSWA returned from its 1997 suspension of business, Merritt and Thomas, while they were able to bring back many of the top names from the company's history, they also scoured the indies relentlessly for new talent. In some cases, like the Elite Domination and Elimination Squad factions, it was a resounding failure. However, if it wasn't for the Great Indy Search of 1998, the names of Eddy Love, The Deacon, Steve Radder, Kevin Powers, and scores others. If it wasn't for the on- again, off- again working relationship with the MWC/EWI/GXW, the CSWA would have never garnered the services of Evan Aho, the single greatest pure wrestler to step inside a ring in thirty years.

When the fWo agents and crew began a similar approach, I knew it was a double- edged sword that was likely to have both resounding successes and failures. Superstars such as Aimz, the Fuse Brothers, Spyder, Triality - the list could continue ad infinitum - found their way to the fWo because of such an approach to talent. Rumors of bribery and illicit favors notwithstanding, all Silver Fox and company did was open the door and say, "Here's a shot, do with it what you will." Spyder certainly did, and as a former fWo World and Cruiserweight Champion, he's a shining example of making the most of an opportunity. Triality is much the same - two time fWo World Tag Team Champions, and Carson Covington is only beginning to shine. Look at the Fuse Brothers - their work is on a par, at least, with the Disco Express in the CSWA or Lunar Express in the old MWC promotion - entertaining, always brings a laugh - and when it comes to their ringwork they're solid as hell.

And, of course, there's Aimz.

Aimz had two strikes against her from the start. One, she had come to the fWo from a co-op of promotions all ruled by the Dice God with the Iron Fist. Say what you will about the corrupt nature of CSWA Commissioner Merritt - he'll screw you blind but he'll always do it fairly. Sure, he could suspend you, fine you, and fire you - but he'll never mess with your match. He's to smart of a businessman to tamper with the in- ring product. And he's not afraid of criticism. But when Aimz showed up in the fWo, the reaction from Dice God's camp was nearly instantaneous, and publically, nearly unanimous.

'Aimz Bad! Dice God Good! Must Conform To Fit Dictatorship!' The Asylum's Joe Campbell might rule his company with an iron fist as well, but he's never done so behind a fašade of benevolence and fair play. Campbell is like a NY City mugger - if he offends you, you should've seen it coming an hour ago, so it's your own fault. Not the Dice God... who thinks he can tell his subordinates how to live in addition to how to work.

The second strike against Aimz, of course, was that she's a woman. And as is often the case, a woman trying to make it in a man's world can expect two kinds of support: none and less than none. I don't know why that is - talent is talent and you can't hold it down forever. Before too long, she had fallen in with a pile of friends backstage. I hesitate to use the world 'clique' but it's the closest comparison one can make to what, I'm told, is now the famous Rat Pack. Before that, let me close the book on Aimz by pointing out that backstage politics can't let a wrestler perform a match as good as the one she and Martyr had at Cyberslam. Playing politics has nothing to do with how well you do your job.

There have been cliques in this business since day one, and nothing will ever get rid of them. Some, like the Rat Pack, were simply a collection of men and women who happened to have a lot in common, who enjoyed each other's company, and who routinely got waaaay too drunk after a show. Following the incidents last fall with Jim Dudley and company, Eli, Sean, Alex, Brandon, and myself - the exact same people minus Tempest who ran the house show circuit together last summer - decided it would be a good idea to watch each other's backs in case another power play came about. Fox and Smooth saw that, understood why we were doing it, and left us alone.

Apparently some people took it personally, and are partying like it's 1993 with your host Paul Miller, formerly of the EN Superleague.

So with the top promotion in the world, the fWo, accepting new blood from all corners of the map, is it any wonder some of the less successful organizations are trying, once again, to tear things down? The fWo offers some of the highest quality athletes, matches, and atmosphere you could ever hope to find, and yet we're being torn down. The fWo has busted its ass to bring its entertainment all around the world, circumstances notwithstanding, and yet we're being torn down. The fWo has accepted wrestlers and personalities from all walks of life with one simple caveat: to entertain. If you can entertain the fans, you can have a shot. If you get along with the boys and girls in the back, you can have a home. If you can offer the fans something they can't see anywhere else, you can have a career.

Notice the distinct lack of threats there?

You want to go work for another company on your days off? Have a party. You want to wrestle the World Champion? Get him to sign the contract and you're there. You beat him? Congratulations, good luck drawing money. There are no "yes- men" in the fWo whose sole purpose in life is reporting periods of dissention amongst the ranks. Every problem that the company has come across has been dealt with by the company... not by one man who looks for the solution that will fatten his ego the most. What Dice God has never seemed to understand is that his methods of control will do three things.

First, they will teach his subordinates that he is not a person to talk to, he is a person to listen to, fear, and respect. It's his way or the highway, but the highway will never, ever be that ea