April 16, 2009
I've seen it before, most famously with the CSWA.
Big company steamrolls along, runs into trouble, and closes up shop. Some months or years go by, big company comes back again, gets things rolling with a lot of old faces, but by the time the big show comes around, they're mostly replaced with the next generation.
Case in point, as I said, the CSWA. In 1997, in the final televised event before the company shut down in the wake of Chad Merritt's admittance into Green Valley, the King of the Slackers, Troy Windham, defeated the Strongest Arms in the World, GUNS, for the CSWA World Heavyweight Championship, in a match that saw Hornet himself count the three.
Seven months later, the CSWA came back with ANNIVERSARY 1998 with a stacked event. Mark Windham vs. Troy Windham, Mike Randalls vs. JT Tyler, Killer Instinct vs. the SWAT Team for the Unified Tag Team Championship, and Hornet vs. GUNS for the CSWA World Heavyweight Championship. This was going to be a big event by any stretch of the imagination, but these four matches, it could be said, defined the CSWA's very identity during the explosion years of 1994 to 1996. To add to it, the event was broadcast on free TV (well, U-62, at any rate) and everyone under the sun watched it. Hell, I watched it, and at the time I had no inkling of ever returning to the wrestling business at all.
Of course, being a CSWA event featuring Hornet and GUNS, the main event ended in a no contest, as did the four way match that also featured the Windhams. Over the course of the next few weeks, new faces debuted, including a certain Mute Freak, and old faces reemerged, including yours truly, alongside some guy you might remember named Eli Flair.
The title situation also opened up, featuring a thirty - two man bracket to fill the vacant World Championship at Fish Fund XII, with the second round losers to compete in a one - night - only tournament at Fish Fund itself for the newly re-minted United States Championship.
And at the end of it all, this sprawling, behemoth of a company that had featured every Unified Heavyweight Champion that had ever worn the belt, in a tournament that boasted names such as Hornet, Mark Windham, Troy Windham, Julius Godreign, Mike Randalls, GUNS, The X-Man Michael Sparks, and Joey F'n Melton, the new CSWA World Heavyweight Champion was none other than....
'Hurricane' Eddy Love.
And the new CSWA United States Heavyweight Champion? 'Good God' Kevin Powers.
By the time ELVIS LIVES XI rolled around in January 2009, Hornet had been injured. Both Windhams had left the company, GUNS and Godreign were MIA, and Randalls was off in the desert doing things better left unsaid.
Welcome to the new CSWA.
It's the nature of the business. The big company gets fans interested again with the old names making a comeback for the good of things, and the rookies and newcomers fill in the blanks and make it their own. Look at the FWO in January 2009 compared to now.
Brawn is now a household name.
Eli Flair is retired.
Since Cyberslam itself, only three weeks ago, we've seen debuts from Xander Scott, Johnny Legend, X, Jade Argent, Impulse, Affirmative Action, and we've got more debuts to come.
Additionally, on April 8th, 2009, we officially re-signed Michelle Masters, and she brought with her the FWO Cruiserweight Championship, thus filling out the rest of the Championship belts that were active at the time of the Garden riots.
These newcomers have a lot to prove. They're not only going to be fighting for space and respect with each other, but against the other newcomers who signed up on the ground floor of the relaunch like KroW, Karina Wolfenden, One Eye, and Dusk. Against FWO mainstays like Sean Stevens and Keith Scott Zimmerman, like Rana Venenosa and Alex Creed and World Champion High Flyer.
Against FWO legends like Steven Shadows and Crucifix.
And just plain old legends, like the Flying Frenchie and Chris Sheffield.
This company is like my family, and the roster is like my children. They drive me crazy, they make me angry and they cause me to drink far too much, but I wouldn't trade most of 'em in for anything. In particular, every batch of newcomers seems to inexplicably find me when I'm trying to have a moment to myself with the same questions I answered last time.
But I thrive on this. After all, none of us got over on our own either, did we?
Welcome to the new FWO.
This is Ivy.