TCW: A Quiet Retirement
[Additional OOC: This diary began in TEW08, and as such, we started with the TEW08 data. To those joining us who only know TEW10, the Syndicate had just come to our attention, being formed sometime during 2007, Rick Law was face, Tyson Baine was still in TCW, Painful Procedure were all still on the roster...
That's about all you might need to know ahead of time.
ooc: Hello one and all! Welcome to my new diary. While there will be occasional references to the Philly Pro diary, this takes place in the standard C-Verse data - there's no need to be familiar with Philly Pro itself. Hope to keep your interest as we get rolling...
PLEASE NOTE: The 'play' button image I used to cue music in this diary vanished shortly before the end. There already being over two hundred instances of it spread across three thousand posts, I didn't feel up to editing all of them. If you see a 'missing image' picture, you may assume it's one of the music cues. I apologise for the disruption.]
A little over three years ago, in the run-up to Christmas 2007, I was pulled aside after a show by the man most people reading this know as RDJ.
This isn't a book which keeps to the time-honoured story, so I'll drop it here, too; Ricky wanted to talk to me as the company owner because, ultimately, that gives me the final word. I don't plan out our shows, but I'm there when it happens and if I don't like it, it doesn't.
"Boss," he said, "I'm thinking it's time I bowed out of the title chase."
I didn't get it. The championship - the TCW World Heavyweight Championship, and a prettier piece of gold the industry doesn't have - is defended last. The main event. To duck behind the curtain a moment, main event players have to carry the show. They have to make the crowd feel for them. They have to produce in the ring and out of it. And for this, we pay them the biggest bucks.
Ricky could do all of this, and the two of us had worked together for...
And then I got it. Tune into a show from late 2006 and you'll hear Jason Azaria list all of Ricky's accomplishments. Kyle Rhodes will sell you on his heroic one-year struggle to take the championship from me, and how hard he's worked to keep it.
Tune into a show from late 2007 and... well, he doesn't have the belt anymore, but not much else had changed, right down to the heroic one-year struggle. We relied on Ricky to keep the crowd behind him and against me.
Ricky just wanted some variety, a chance to rebuild himself, a chance to do something different. I think he had his eye on Sammy Bach as a man to watch and a man to build. That was all he asked for, because Ricky is a great wrestler - but he's a wrestler.
I own one of the biggest wrestling companies in the world, and it took Ricky's focus to make me realise we'd become stale.
The TCW booking team, December 2007: Joel, Tommy, Sam 'Legend' Keith and Karen Killer
At the time, my old friend Joel Bryant was writing the shows. He wasn't doing a bad job - but we'd entered a rut. We needed to shake ourselves out of it.
I told Joel that he had three months to wrap up what he'd been doing and ease a new man into that job. And word leaked. I'm told the Internet went berserk with rumours, most of them revolving around the same two names.
Phil Vibert - the man who built DaVE and made legends out of so many wrestlers (including not a few men who work for me now). And Nemesis - the creative genius, once he made the jump, behind DaVE's near ten years as the biggest player on the independent scene, and a man who gave my career new direction when he made that jump.
It's not unfair to say that without Nemesis - John Campbell, to give him his real name - I wouldn't be here.
But if we'd brought these men in, they would have come with expectations from the fanbase. More hardcore matches. T&A. Insane stunts. The sideshow aspect in wrestling has its place, but I don't want that place to be the headline places in my company. Who else, then?
Joel picked his own replacement, in the end. A man who'd orchestrated early days in my career, a man who'd worked with Joel - and Ricky, and others - before. A man whose career had been built around the tradition of wrestling.
Two years ago, Harry 'Horatio' Dangerous talked to me about the TCW Books line. Here, then, is the record, the diary, of a creative mind who had to pick up from Joel and move on. I've pulled the lawyers off almost everything they complained about in here, and what's been cut has been cut only due to the target's tendency to sue. If you want to follow along with the entries our old shows are available online, and the pay-per-views are all on HD-DVD. And that's the one plug I'm allowing myself.
A portrait of the booker as a cranky old man
Alt credit to FINisher
Harry has been talking about retirement for as long as I've known him. After PPPW went under, he lasted six months before starting a wrestling school, and when he packed that in the competition came calling for their PPPW retrospective. He finished filming that just in time for Joel to secure him for TCW, and he hasn't stopped talking about retiring since.
I think this book may end up with a few sequels before that happens. Oh - and something I should do before I stop talking and let you get on with this - Sorry, Maggie, for keeping your husband busy. At least I cut his road time down...
In flight from Philadelphia to Memphis
Last edited by Phantom Stranger : 09-10-2012 at 10:17 PM.