Storyline Of The Year 2009: "Jack Bruce, Man Under Pressure"
by Pro Wrestling Hits Magazine Staff

The following is an excerpt from Pro Wrestling Hits Magazine's 2009 end of year awards feature.

Storyline Of The Year

When it came to deciding the best storyline of 2009, there was really only ever going to be one winner. The nine month long "Jack Bruce, Man Under Pressure" masterpiece that the Supreme Wrestling Federation ran between March and December was not only clearly the best storyline of the year, it was one of the most compelling pieces of drama that any promotion has produced in years. A ratings winner, it helped give the SWF the boost it had been looking for, cementing their place as the number one wrestling organisation on the planet.

The storyline began in March, with SWF World Champion Jack Bruce standing tall at the top of the promotion, unaware that he was about to face the toughest nine months of his career. On three successive episodes of SWF's TV show, Bruce was sneak-attacked after his match by Kurt Laramee, with the "King Of The Streets" apparently trying to target Bruce's knee. The champion demanded a match on the next show, and successfully defeated Laramee by pinfall in the main event. After the match, on the big screen, a mystery man - his face pixelated and his voice obscured - appeared and warned Jack that this was just the start of his ordeal, and that he would be broken before the year was through.

The following months saw Jack Bruce come under increasing pressure, as his mystery foe used his apparent financial muscle-power to stack the odds. First came corrupt referees, causing the champion to always be on the look-out for fast counts. Then came a series of hired guns, including Death Row and Runaway Train, who were paid to try and take Jack out of action, putting more physical strain on him. Next, we saw that the mystery man had managed to gain influence over the SWF board itself, as they made a series of pronouncements designed to put yet more strain on the world champion, such as giving him multiple matches per night or giving his opponents stipulations that played to their strengths. Finally, a $1,000,000 bounty was placed on Jack's head for the entire month of November, leaving him to fight off multiple attacks each week.

Emotionally and physically drained, a crazed Jack finally cut an intense interview on SWF's weekly show in which he stated that he was tired of always being the hunted, and that he was going to turn things around and hunt down the man behind the ordeal. Pointing out the apparent wealth of the mystery man, Bruce announced that he was sure that it was Rich Money who was behind the plot, and that he was going to hunt him down. Money appeared later in the show and strongly denied having anything to do with the troubles that Jack had been going through. However, he said, he was not one to turn down an opportunity, and offered to face the champion at SWF's Christmas Clash pay-per-view as long as the world title was on the line. Jack Bruce finished the show by accepting, but revealing that the match would be the most brutal one of his career - a Last Man Standing bout.

The storyline came to a close at Christmas Clash. Jack, despite being visibly drained after the preceding nine months of abuse, managed to successfully defeat Rich Money in a particularly violent match, one that was well above SWF's normal levels of physical brutality, eventually laying Money out for a ten count after repeatedly hitting him with a chair. As Rich was being taken away on a stretcher, and Jack had collapsed to the mat, the final sting in the tail was played out. The Myster Man appeared on the big screen, and after sarcastically clapping Bruce's performance, revealed that he wasn't Rich Money at all....but that he would show himself. He then broke the news that the SWF board had agreed with him that in the spirit of Christmas, the world title should be defended twice tonight, and that Jack's second opponent would be the mystery man himself!

Out from the back came the mystery man, revealing himself to be...Eric Eisen! The son of SWF owner Richard Eisen had not been seen since August 2008, when he suffered a severe knee injury, and was now sporting a much more muscular physique and new outfit. Hitting the ring, Eric quickly overpowered the exhausted Jack Bruce and pinned him after a Silver Spoon Shock, his trademark finisher, in under 5 minutes. The new champion then addressed the irate crowd, who were pelting the ring with garbage, proclaiming himself "The Supremacist" and the real face of the Supreme Wrestling Federation.

A wonderful storyline that caught everyone's imagination, it not only established Jack Bruce as the biggest babyface in North American wrestling and boosted Rich Money up into the main event scene, it also reinvented Eric Eisen, turning him into a serious player. Whether he can carry the belt (and promotion) as well as Jack Bruce remains to be seen, as does whether the fans will be put off by the nepotism of having the boss's son as world champion, but it has certainly set the SWF up nicely for 2010.