Greg McNeish Posted May 21, 2016 Share Posted May 21, 2016 TOTAL CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING Born in 1996 as the Hollyweird Grappling Company (HGC) to combat the dominance of Richard Eisen's Supreme Wrestling Federation (SWF). Launching straight into a head-to-head war, HGC brought in the biggest stars of the 80s and early 90s, Sam Strong and Rip Chord, and mimicked SWF's patented "sports entertainment" style. While the company found success, and built a large audience, they were never able to mount a serious challenge to the SWF. By late 2004, the company's derivative product was wearing thin, and a new ownership group took over, lead by the young ace of the company, Tommy Cornell. Seeing the weakness in the HGC strategy, Cornell immediately set about rebranding it, stripping down the soap opera elements, emphasizing a more traditional, wrestling-based product, and leaving sports entertainment behind. Changing the name to Total Championship Wrestling (TCW), Tommy Cornell now had a true alternative to present wrestling fans, and the new battle lines were quickly drawn. By 2008, it finally looked like TCW might finally achieve their goal of overtaking the SWF as the premier American wrestling promotion, and top company in the world. Having cultivated the roster, and brought in some key players from defunct cult promotion Danger And Violence Extreme (DAVE), Cornell pulled the trigger on truly setting himself up as the dominant antagonist, forming The Syndicate, also including his quickly rising protege, Wolf Hawkins, and Tag Team Champions, The Machines. On top of that, they promised a fifth member, who turned out to be a true wrestling icon, Sam Keith, the undisputed top heel of the 90s for SWF, and he only man to have held world titles in all four of the top wrestling countries (USA, Canada, Mexico, and Japan). Keith had been the head booker for Eisen, but became the scapegoat for the disastrous "SWF Election" storyline of 2007. With life still left in his in-ring career, everything was in place for TCW's moment of triumph. Almost immediately, though, things started coming apart. Injuries sidelined Wolf Hawkins and Brent Hill (1/2 of the Machines), causing the rushed heel turn and induction of Rick Law to fill out the Tag champs, and seriously undercutting the Syndicate's momentum. Then, just as the group returned to full force, corporate issues cropped up, as several of Cornell's investors pulled out, forcing TCW to let several of their biggest stars go, with the likes of Liberty & Tyson Baine moving to Sam Strong's United States Pro Wrestling (USPW), raising that company up to national level. TCW still sports a formidable roster, anchored by Tommy Cornell, who many consider to be the greatest wrestler of his generation, a large fanbase, an enviable television deal, and remain the unquestioned #2 promotion in America. The past couple years have seen Rocky Golden and Joey Minnesota rise as main event babyfaces, both with World Heavyweight Championship reigns to their names, and most recently, Wolf Hawkins has joined them, while still in partnership with Cornell. The Syndicate has otherwise disbanded, and Sam Keith has since retired, but the future is without a doubt bright for Total Championship Wrestling. After nearly two decades of existence, they may finally be poised to achieve their founding goal and destiny. This is their story.... Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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