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Unread 06-09-2017, 08:41 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
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Default August 2002: Pre-Japan Supershow News and Notes

I put down the latest copy of the Observer and took a sip of water, deep in thought.

Reports are that despite consistently putting on quality shows, GAEA, the last major joshi promotion still standing in Japan, are in deep financial trouble. Barring a miracle, it's expected that they'll go out of business within the next few months. I was disappointed, though not necessarily surprised, to read this. I'd planned on rekindling a working arrangement with them down the road, but that seems like a pointless gesture at this point. It'll be a massive blow to the future of women's wrestling, particularly in Japan, but that's not something I have any control over. What I do have control over is what this means in the immediate future of WCW and our own women's division.

If GAEA is really as bad off as these reports indicate, I have no doubt that Chigusa Nagayo will be willing to sell the company and its assets off to me. We'd have to cover their debts as well, but that's a minor thing for us with our profit margins. But is this in our best interest?

On the surface it feels like a no brainer, especially since I'm hoping to give the women their own hourly TV show coming up in the fall. Said show would be held exclusively in Japan, at least to begin with, and buying GAEA would give our division a boost in both talent and star quality (especially in Japan.) Adding the likes of Aja Kong, Kyoko Inoue and Mariko Yoshida would be a major plus to our division as we make preparations for the new show. On the other hand, I worry that if I go through with this, our Western fanbase could be turned off by a women's division that is made up of 50% or more Japanese workers. But then again, maybe having a greater variety of talented workers to wrestle regularly will help the development of the likes of Alexis Laree, Melissa and Katarina.

I have a lot to consider, and I'm not entirely decided on the best course of action. Whatever decision I make, I need to make it soon.

Very disappointing news, as Chris Candido failed a test for pain killers after the July 29th Nitro. This was his second issue with drugs (the first being a failure for hard drugs in November.) I was lenient on him before but this time I felt a message needed to be sent, so I suspended him for a month and replaced him with TAKA in the PPV tag match against Palumbo and O'Haire. I'm not sure how effective the message was though, because he and Tammy were both pretty upset when they left. That's just too bad. I've invested a lot in him, and he's more over now than he's ever been in his career. Stuff like this is just unacceptable.

TAKA, Air Paris and Shannon Moore all approached me about pay raises. I like TAKA and am pleased with his performance so I agreed to give him 75% of what he asked for, which made him happy. Shannon has some value so I gave him 50% of what he asked for, which he took even if he was hoping for more. Air Paris is nothing but a jobber so I refused him outright. He's very upset about that. Oh well. Maybe I'll just fire him, because it's not like it'd be hard to find somebody else to fill that spot.

Stevie Richards broke his pelvis and will be out for a couple of months.

Highly-touted prospect Brock Lesnar made his main roster debut on the episode of Heat taped on July 22nd. What did Vince do with this incredible athlete? He jobbed him to Crash Holly. No, I'm serious. The Hollys beat Lesnar and Juventud Guerrera in a tag match. Genius.

NJPW held the conclusion of their annual G1 Climax tournament on August 6th. Hiroyoshi Tenzan defeated Riki Choshu in the finals to win the tournament for the first time, so we'll be sure to make mention of that during his match at our PPV. Choshu is a legend, but he's 50 years old and has definitely seen better days, so that match wasn't as good as a lot of others in the tournament. The best match of the entire tournament was Tenzan's win over his partner Satoshi Kojima, which was a great match. The tournament also featured Scott Steiner, who we sent over as part of an exchange for the NJPW guys we're using on our PPV.

You could really put this in either the US or Japan sections. I put it in the US, but it actually happened in Japan. On a show on Zero-One's 'Circuit' tour on July 18th, Shinya Hashimoto won the NWA World title from Keiji Sakoda. I kind of figured they'd put the title on an American to go with the recent launch of the TNA group, but the move to Hashimoto is a good one. Sakoda's a good worker; Hashimoto's a great one. He's a much bigger star in Japan too, so it should make the belt feel like a bigger deal over there.

Rick Bassman's UPW is the latest company to go out of business. They generally put on pretty good shows considering their size, but they just couldn't seem to grow their audience and draw a crowd to their product. At one point they served as a feeder promotion for Vince, but with both HWA and OVW filling that role, there wasn't any real need for a third child company.

NOAH's big PPV of the month fell on July 27th. It was a pretty good show; about the median for them really, as it was better than some of their recent PPVs but not at the heights they routinely hit when Misawa was champion. No main event title defense this time; champion Akira Taue actually didn't even appear on the show, so I guess they wanted to give him a little rest. The main event was just fine without him though, as Mitsuharu Misawa and Yoshinari Ogawa beat Vader and Daisuke Ikeda in a very good main event tag match. Nothing else on the show was all that good, and this was very much a one match card.

All Japan ran a PPV on July 25th, and it was their worst major show in a long time. That's mainly because their main event, in which Genichiro Tenryu fought to an unsatisfying double countout in a Triple Crown title defense against Mike Barton (the former Bart Gunn) was not nearly as good as the company's main events usually are. The semi main event of Shigeo Okumura over Taiyo Kea was much better.

They were right back in the saddle on August 4th with 'Impactful Warriors.' This was a much better show, more in line with the current quality their fans expect from them. It was also a very noteworthy show, as Tenryu lost the Triple Crown to Hiroshi Hase (interesting, because those two guys are the current co-holders of All Japan's Unified Tag Team titles.) This is Hase's first major heavyweight singles title in his career. He had success in his NJPW career, where he was a 4-time tag champ and also held the Junior Heavyweight title twice, but he was never pushed as THE guy. I sort of figured it would be Keiji Mutoh who took the title off of Tenryu, but I guess they wanted to reward Hase for giving up his NJPW commitments and signing with them exclusively. That was a very good main event, but the semi main of Jushin Liger over Takao Omori was just slightly better. It's interesting that Liger has continued to work for both All and New Japan even after the collapse of their working arrangement, but I have to think that he'll be forced to choose sooner or later.

TNA presented 'Lashing Out' on August 4th, and it was a pretty solid step forward in quality compared to their first three shows. They brought in new NWA World champion Shinya Hashimoto for a successful defense over Ace Steel in the semi main event, but the main event and match of the night was a tag match in which X Division champion Frankie Kazarian and Sonjay Dutt defeated TNA World champion BJ Whitmer and Matt Sydal. This show wasn't great by any means; for example, it was not nearly as good as most of the shows that the now-defunct UPW put on. It was still an improvement for them though, so maybe they can build on it.

So yeah, I'm open to opinions/suggestions about whether or not I should buy GAEA. If I want to get any of those women, this is my only way to do it until and unless I hit International since none of them are active in America.

Originally Posted by Beejus View Post
WAR! I'm assuming that the September PPV will be Fall Brawl again then? Or are you going to give it a different name? Either way, I'm excited.
I haven't decided yet. I could call it Fall Brawl, or maybe Wrestle War to go a bit more old school. I kind of want to call it simply 'War Games', but I'm not aware of a logo I could use.

I'm glad you're excited for War Games! It's an awesome match type, one I've never really been able to play with before. (I did have one in the very beginning of Let There Be War, but that was a match already in place when the game started, so I don't really count that. Plus it included Zodiac.)

Also, I thought it awesome (pun intended) that Douglas attacked Desotroyah on Nitro after making a deal about no sneak attacks. That's our Franchise!
No honor amongst thieves (or heels.)

Originally Posted by Gravyb0y View Post
I've caught up with this diary over the last few lunch breaks at work (Since Saturday to be exact) and I'm absolutely loving it. Excellent to see a young Punk and AJ proving their worth. I'll be keeping a close eye on this in future. Well done FNC!
Happy I could provide some entertainment as you ate lunch!

Originally Posted by Gravyb0y View Post
General diary comments/questions/critiques: Amazing so far, love your writing style, and love the info given on what is going on around the rest of your save. It's a shame the WWE booking seems to be so strange
Exactly why I'm turning control over to guest bookers for the big three PPVs.

Originally Posted by KnowYourEnemy View Post
General diary comments/questions/critiques: Great work! I always like bringing in Sasaki as "Power Warrior" -- any chance we see the Hell Raisers at some point?
They're both under contract with NJPW, plus Hawk is a drug addict and terrible backstage presence. If it happened, it'd probably only be a one-off.

Originally Posted by Warhawk8492 View Post
General diary comments/questions/critiques: I like your booking, any chance we will see a program with Styles and Daniels?
I'd definitely expect the likes of Styles, Daniels, Punk, Danielson, etc. to all have programs against each other eventually.

Originally Posted by SIser187 View Post
Rob Van Dam vs. Mortis
RVD is one of your biggest stars.
That goes double in Japan. Not only is he my biggest star in Japan, he's bigger there than any active wrestler in New Japan! (Inoki is slightly higher, but he's retired and is just a road agent now.)

Originally Posted by Crossface View Post
General diary comments/questions/critiques: Look admirer of your work TFC... but never loved this time period so I had a hard time investing in this diary early on. The adjustments to the product and presentation that you've made have led to me catching up and getting more and more interested lately however. This should be a cool show and I'm looking forward to it.
I hear that. I'd probably have the same issue trying to follow a modern day WWE diary.

(Semi-related note: I'm currently working my way through 'Jet Planes'; just finished with the Clash. Great stuff so far!)
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