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USPW: Retribution

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Guest skinsfan55

USPW: Living Well is the Best Revenge




"My name's Peter Michaels, and I've been in the business of professional wrestling a long time. I broke in with the Texas Wrestling League back in '81 as a play by play man. I called the action there for a little over 13 years until the pressure from the Supreme Wrestling Federation got to be too much to bear. TWL shuttered up for good, but Richard Eisen offered me a job. He's a cold son of a bitch, but he needed a guy who could tell a story to the fans, add weight to angles and make the action in the ring come alive. I've always considered myself humble, but damned if I didn't do just that for the next 20 years.


Things were great at the Supreme Wrestling Federation. Sure, they had their ups and downs like any company. Sure, the Eisen's are mercurial and difficult and things could get heated. None of that mattered, we were winning ratings battles and leading the pro wrestling world. Then the other shoe dropped. Sam Keith, the booker since I'd signed on with SWF and old friend was shown the door. The company was in a slump. 'The Election' storyline came out. Jerry and Eric Eisen were fighting (which was pretty much a shoot) over control of their old man's company. It wasn't great TV, Jerry was a young announcer who lacked the charisma to carry major angles and Eric was someone the crowd pretty much hated. The fans didn't particularly care which Eisen kid inherited the keys to the castle and the whole thing flopped. Old man Dick Eisen decided to place the blame on Sam and fired him as head booker. Sam went to our biggest rivals at Total Championship Wrestling and I was given the book.


I'd never been a wrestler, I never ran the ropes or taken a bump... but I was 28 year veteran of the industry and the boys respected my ability to connect with the fans and to write compelling TV. I helped guys play to their strengths, and I always sold the action in the ring. Remember 'Commotion in the Ocean?' or 'Jack Bruce: Man Under Pressure?' Those were mine. I can't take all the credit, the boys pulled that off, hell Eric Eisen, cocky little prick that he is made Jack look like a million bucks and made himself into the top heel in the world.


We were on the top of the mountain... and started to get complacent. Everyone in the world knows who Sam Strong is. He was a major star who's career in the Supreme Wrestling Federation spanned three decades. He wrestled all over the world including a nine year stint with Total Championship Wrestling to end his in-ring career. By 2006 he was a wealthy man who retired as one of the few true household names from the world of wrestling. In mid 2006 he bought a struggling regional promotion out of Florida called United States Pro Wrestling from Danny Jillefski, a former co-worker from SWF who'd had a messy public feud with Richard Eisen. It was a long process, but Sam Strong eventually built USPW into a national promotion that was able to put pressure on TCW and SWF and challenge us in the ratings.


I've been called a good ol' boy I like good clean family friendly entertainment, but because of USPW's family friendly image, no one was too concerned about the competition at first. We had attitude and in your face aggression. We were doing great with the 18-35 demo... but USPW kept chugging along. Strong knew his audience. Parents were taking their kids to USPW shows, buying them Nicky Champion t-shirts and tuning into USPW American Wrestling. Strong was winning with kids, and over the next few years, those kids were still watching.


Strong really built USPW into a winner. I was trying my best to win ratings, but USPW had so much momentum. When Strong looked to retire from the business for good, and focus on his children's charitable foundation he did what he'd always done, fallen ass backwards into good fortune. Allen Packer, one of the richest men in the country and creator of the Dream search engine and Reverie, a streaming media platform was a closet wrestling fan. He added to Sam's personal wealth and bought out the USPW. Turns out, he was the kickstart the company needed to finally pass us in the ratings. With more and more millennials ditching traditional cable he started pulling viewers from the 18-35 demo. Pro wrestling fans could not only get USPW programming included in a monthly subscription channel, PPV was now becoming obsolete. SWF charged $55 for a monthly PPV event. A subscription to Reverie includes every monthly event.


At SWF we started to lose our grip. As if that wasn't bad enough, the 'Black Friday Betrayal' hit. I never liked that name, but it's stuck. Steve Frehley, Dawn the Cheerleader and Rich Money all jumped ship on the same day in November of 2014. People felt like these three were traitors, but it's a business. Money had actually wrestled in USPW back in the early days so it was Steve Frehley who got the brunt of the hate from SWF fans. Steve owed his career to the Supreme Wrestling Federation, but who could blame him for leaving? We were losing in the ratings and there was constant pressure to continuously push Eric Eisen over the rest of the boys and it caused a lot of resentment. I figure Dawn was the icing on the cake. Try as I might, I couldn't get us back up to #1 and without any warning whatsoever, old man Dick Eisen fired me, a twenty year veteran of his company in late 2015.


I was madder than a hornet in an old coke can, but hell. It was probably time to move on. I'm sure I could have gotten 'The Federation' back on track, but maybe it was Jerry Eisen's turn at the wheel. Hell, I was happy for him. Truth be told, he was always my favorite of the Eisen clan, but then again that ain't too high a bar.


I considered retirement, but I wasn't quite ready. At 55, I figured I got at least 10 more years in this business. I coulda called football games for my alma mater, I could have found work, or I could have just lived off my SWF nest egg. Wasn't long though, that my phone rang, and a new option would present itself.

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Guest skinsfan55

Initial Phone Call




Packer: "Hello, is this Peter Michaels?"

Michaels: "Yes it is, who's this?"

Packer: "I'm Allen Packer, owner of USPW, and I'd like to discuss a new job opportunity with you."


I'd dealt with rich people for a good part of my adult life, and I was honestly a little shocked that a billionaire would call me personally. Surely he had 'people' for this.


Michaels: "What did you have in mind?"

Packer: "Well Mr. Michaels..."

Michaels: "Mr. Packer... Allen, if we're presumably going to work together, we ought to be on a first name basis. Call me Pete."

Packer: "Well Pete, I'm proud of the work we've done at USPW, but I was very sorry to hear about your sudden departure from the SWF."


He seemed genuinely concerned that I'd lost my job! Honestly, if Richard Eisen had driven one of his competitors into homelessness he'd have thrown a party!


"I believe you are the best play by play announcer in wrestling history as well as one of the top creative minds in the business today. I'd like to offer you the job as our primary announcer and head booker."

Michaels: "That sounds awfully tempting Allen, but what about Robbie and Danny?"


Danny was Danny Jillefski the founder and former owner of USPW who has been calling the action for years. Robbie was Robbie Sanchez, the current head referee AND head booker at USPW. I'd never met Sanchez, but I'd also never heard anyone say a bad word about him.


Packer: "Mr. Jillefski... Danny is transitioning off the broadcast team. If you take this job, he'll become the new authority figure for our company. Robbie was actually the one who encouraged us to reach out to you. He's willing to grant you final say and offer input as part of your creative staff."


Maybe it was all the years at SWF, but this sounded too good to be true. Two guys selflessly stepping aside for the good of the company? I started to mull it over.


Packer: "Pete, are you still there?"

Michaels: "Yeah, just let me put down the phone for a minute and I'll be right back with you."


Two guys who were putting the company first? If this was for real, maybe USPW was the right place for me, because let me tell you, if I were in their position, I'd put the company first too. They believe in this product and this company and the people running it. I'll do it. I'll climb back in the saddle again and take USPW into prominence as an international powerhouse. I really don't like Richard Eisen for what he did to me, but I was never predisposed with thoughts of getting even. Nevertheless, the best revenge is living well. I picked the phone back up.


Michaels: "Allen, I'm very interested, let's arrange a meeting so I can tour your operation and we can talk face to face before I make my final decision."


Packer agreed, and the meeting was set. The wheels were now in motion.

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