Eastern Championship Wrestling: The Future of Professional Wrestling
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Eastern Championship Wrestling: The Future of Professional Wrestling
Tom Patrick sat on the curb outside his beautiful home in Worcester Park, Surrey. In his left hand, a Lucky Strike cigarette and in his right a deck of wrestling themed cards, each was showing a different wrestling superstar. He carelessly shuffled the deck with one hand, whilst staring across the empty street. A man wearing a blue mask rolled out from the shadows and placed his hand on Tom’s shoulder, he leant close to the dejected figure, his twisted form struggling in its wheelchair, and handed him a newspaper.
The man often named as the force behind this was one Greg Dyke, who at the time was high up in the running of the channel's sports programming. Eager to move with the times, the channel wanted to distance itself from the old fashioned and somewhat stodgy image which clung to domestic pro-wrestling in favour of more popular and forward-looking mainstream sports such as professional football which had recently undergone something of a renaissance to become family-oriented and highly profitable.
The loss of weekly exposure on national television was the first nail in the coffin of the industry. While hardcore fans were still willing to attend the local shows, a significant portion of the audience drawn by the TV broadcasts simply lost interest and drifted away. Obviously a wrestler cannot become or hope to remain a household name if he cannot find a way into the household in the first place and pro-wrestling slowly disappeared from the view of the general public. Slowly but surely the once mighty wrestling industry went into a state of decline; and the majority of promotions simply vanished into the ether of time.
Tom Patrick’s face scrunched up and the paper followed suit, before being cast into the gutter. He placed his head in his hands,
“Where did it all go wrong? What more could I do?”
“Don’t fret Sir, I’ve already made some prospective calls and there appears to be quite a bit of interest for your services in the United States.”
“For me? Christ did they not see what happened to Aguirre Pro Wrestling, it’s down the swanny.” Came Tom’s embittered response.
“Well we have three possible candidates who have made a firm offer for your ability. There is Global Wrestling Federation in Texas?”
“That promotion will be dead in 6 months and I can’t handle another failure like that.”
The Mystery man shuffled some papers in his lap.
“How about East Coast wrestling association? They have some talented younger performers who could blossom under your tutorledge?”
“Nope, Jim Kettnar and I don’t get along, it’s a long story.”
Mystery Man shuffled his papers one last time.
“Then the only other offer is from a small promotion in Philidelphia. Eastern Championship Wrestling. It’s owned by Todd Gordon and he has brought in a new head of creativity in Paul Heyman.”
“You mean Paul E. Dangerously?”
“Er, yes I believe I do. Do you know him?”
“We’ve met at a show in London before the collapse of the industry. Hmm, he was a character then, I wonder if he has mellowed any. Get me my phone M, I’ve got some business to take care of.”
“Of course Sir.”
A large Cell Phone was handed to Tom and within minutes he and Mystery Man were on their way to the airport, for a flight to Philly.
Last edited by TCP1 : 04-21-2006 at 10:31 AM.
I walked into the office of Todd Gordon. Well, I say office, it was more like a converted cubicle, but then who was I to judge, I didn’t even have enough to get the bus to my hostel in downtown Philly.
“Hello Mr Patrick.”
“Please call me Tom, or TCP.”
“OK then TCP, has our contact explained the situation to you?”
“Well, as I understand it, you’ve had a falling out with Eddie Gilbert and brought Paul Heyman in to take over creative responsibilities backstage. However, now you’re worried that Heyman is a little too out there and could run your business into the ground?”
“My God, you are well informed. Basically, yes, that is the predicament I’m in and I was hoping you could come in to counter-balance Paul’s ideas?”
My palms were sweating now. Show no fear TCP, show no fear.
“I’m afraid that is not going to work for me Mr Gordon, I will need full creative control of all workers and events. By all means keep Paul E. on the payroll, I mean a man with that kind of mouth could make us both very rich.”
Don’t lose eye-contact. Stare him out. Let him know who the boss really is.
“I’ll have to discuss this with my accountant.”
“Take as long as you need Mr Gordon, I can be reached on this number, call me when you are ready to talk.”
With that I stood up and left the room and took a long walk back to the hostel. By the time I had arrived, Mystery Man was already sitting by the entrance with a small grin visible under his brilliant blue mask.
“Did he agree?” I asked.
“Yes he did sir. What exactly did you say to him?”
“I just followed your instructions and it has worked like a dream. First day tomorrow, I’d better get some sleep don't you think?”
“Very well Sir, I’ll leave you to it, but I will be in touch.”
I watched Mystery Man wheel away, and couldn't help but question his true identity. He had never felt the need to weigh me down with that information before and it didn't seem like he was going to start now.
I had trouble sleeping as the excitement and adrenaline pumped through my veins as I prepared to get back to doing what I love most in the world.
I looked around my locker room when I arrived at the Hammerstein Ballroom (Our base of operations for the time being). Has-beens, no-bodies and never-weres, with the odd flash of potential. In fact the first to catch my eye were Mr Sandman (A hardcore brawler), Shane Douglas (Former WCW employee, young and angry) and Sabu (An absolute lunatic with scars all over his body).
These men were clearly the future of this company, but how to translate the message that this is the cutting edge of professional wrestling. This is where it was at. This is E C F’n W.
Then out the corner of my eye I noticed someone lacing up his boots, my heart skipped a beat. Could it be him, surely he is not involved in this dive of an organisation?
“Nice to meet you Mr Funk. I’m a huge fan of your work.”
“You make it sound so tedious… Work. I prefer to think of it as art.”
“Well that’s fantastic, I’m so glad we have someone of your calibre on the roster, and don’t worry, your spot will be safe.”
Terry Funk’s eyes flashed up at me as he scanned my expression. What was wrong? Surely that’s what all veterans want to hear?
“Listen hear sonny, just because I’m a little older than most of the guys in this locker room, does not mean I behave like all the other former stars, desperately clinging onto their ‘Spot’ it makes me sick. I’m here to push forward the next generation of performers to make sure this business continues going. Do we understand each other?”
The fire and passion was still there, hidden behind the scars and wrinkles burned the desire to drag the industry into the 21st century. How can you not respect that?
Clearly job one was to clear out the deadwood, the sponges and the hangers-on. I called a meeting of all staff. One after another I called them into my office, well more like a converted toilet really, and decided their fate on a one-to-one basis.
There were tears, shouts and quiet reflection, but they had to go, they had brought nothing to the table.
Crash the Terminator
Paul actually came to me personally and vouched for both Artese and Gabe, but my mind was made up. He even threatened to walk out, so I told him in no uncertain terms that I could live without his wage bill on the books. He looked a little hurt, but he needed to hear it. He knew who was boss and backed down, but I will have to keep an eye on him in the future.
I also made some roster changes as Paul was moved from backstage to the announce table with Joey Styles, and Anthony Durante and Gary Wolfe were brought in ready to spearhead the revitalised tag division.
Anthony Durante renamed to Pitbull #2
Gary Wolfe renamed to Pitbull #1
911 renamed to Judgment
Change was occuring and some of the younger, greener talent looked happier, and so did Terry, at that was essentail at the moment, especially with what I had in mind for the first show.
Last edited by TCP1 : 04-21-2006 at 08:13 PM.