DarK_RaideR Posted April 24, 2017 Share Posted April 24, 2017 In the beginning, there was Ultimate Combat Ring. http://i1079.photobucket.com/albums/w506/scowilliams/EWA%20Dynasty/UCR_zpsa5dlqjoo.jpg Unlike the States, Canada, Mexico, Australia or Japan, Europe isn’t unified by a single language. It sounds trivial, until you step inside the locker room and realize there’s no one you can talk to because of the language barrier. It gets even worse when you have to cut a promo in front of an audience whose language changes with every show. It’s why wrestling never got big round these parts, instead promotions were limited to local or regional size before they hit that glass ceiling. UK is a different version of the same problem; they all speak the same language but the size of the market sets the same barrier to company growth. Until UCR came along. http://i1079.photobucket.com/albums/w506/scowilliams/EWA%20Dynasty/Louis%20Figo%20Manico_zpsd5vjvrpk.jpg Enter this man Ultimate Combat Ring was the brainchild of Luis Figo Manico. The man had a simple but brilliant idea: instead of tackling the problem, he took a completely different direction and focused entirely on the in-ring product. Sure, wrestlers still had their issues communicating backstage or calling matches in the ring, but for the most part everyone did their talking inside the squared circle. I know how it was because II was there. I was one of those wrestlers and It worked. This all-in policy was a double edged sword though. A blessing that brought UCR to unprecedented heights, as well as a curse that brought about its downfall. You see, the company was not just open to talent of all nationalities, it was open to talent of all styles as well. At first it felt like a sandbox where everyone was welcome and indeed, it attracted the continent’s top talent. Anything a wrestling fan was into, UCR would provide somehow. Naysayers said the company lacked identity and direction, but we never paid attention to the haters. Turns out they were right, only in a different way. Indeed, UCR booking kept throwing things at the wall to see what would stick. The problem is, they never went with what stuck in favor of leaving the rest behind. This led to an oversized roster as they attempted to cover all bases, which in turn blew up the company’s budget. By the time Luis Figo Manico realized it, UCR was already heading full steam towards bankruptcy. He was forced to shut it down and the whole experience left a bitter taste in his mouth, making him vow he would never again bother with wrestling at all. http://i1079.photobucket.com/albums/w506/scowilliams/EWA%20Dynasty/Louis%20Figo%20Manico_zpsd5vjvrpk.jpg Exit this man The fall of UCR left a huge void to be filled. Fans were willing to pay money for wrestling and wrestlers needed somewhere to perform and ply their trade to make money. How the two should come together was a matter of debate though. Byron was one of UCR’s top guys by the time the company folded. If you ask me, he got there thanks to his looks and politics, but the general consensus put it in a nicer way. People called him “charismatic” and “entertaining” when they really meant to say he couldn’t really wrestle as good as a main eventer should. However you put it, Byron may be absorbed by his own ego but he knows what he can and can’t do. He started a company called European Wrestling Allstars and imported everything he could from the american wrestling mainstream. According to him, it’s the lack of storytelling and entertainment that caused UCR to go out of business, which is what he aims to fix by taking EWA towards a more sports entertainment direction. It just so happens that the product conveniently matches his own profile. Byron will never admit it, but EWA is built around him and meant to showcase himself first. http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d12/JodoKastTRL/EWA.jpg Even the logo isn't allowed to outshine Byron While he’s no stranger to spectacular showmanship either, “the Demolition Druid” Ali Bloxsome took the exact opposite path. Dubbing himself the spiritual successor to UCR’s legacy, he set up Ultimate European Wrestling in Spain, the same country where UCR was based. http://i336.photobucket.com/albums/n329/Dragonmack/UEW.jpg Even the logo screams “ripoff” Just like most companies in Japan or Ring of Fire in the UK, UEW focused completely on athletic, competitive wrestling. From traditional oldschool bouts between tough men to puroresu and modern MMA-sque fights, UEW held hard hitting matches with clean finishes and zero out-of-ring content. The less “entertaining” talent of UCR joined him, realizing they’d never stand a chance in EWA and so did the marks who disapproved of sports entertainment. All in all a pretty clean split of both the talent and the market. Then there’s me. When UCR was around, I was one of its top guys. When it folded, I fell between the cracks. I never did like Byron, but when I realized neither he nor Bloxsome would bother to recruit me, I picked up the phone myself and called Ali first. In typical Englishman fashion, he was extremely polite in turning me down as according to him I was “more of a powerful monster heavyweight” that would “struggle to fit in” with the style of “faster, more technically-oriented light and middleweights employed by the company”. http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z115/Scavenger68/TEW/UEW/Ali%20Bloxsome.jpg Only an Englishman could put “you’re a big clumsy dude I’m not hiring” into such nice words I swallowed my pride along with the insult and called Byron next. Maybe I was in a really bad mood at the time, but he sounded even more obnoxious and self absorbed on the phone. The bastard enjoyed hearing me almost begging for a job under his rule and he kept dancing around the issue just to extend my torture for his delight. For a moment, I questioned how much I needed that job and whether I could stomach working for him in the long run, but he quickly derailed that train of thought. As if talking to some teenage girl whose heart he was about to break, he told me to give him “some time to think” and that he’d “call me back”. http://i1079.photobucket.com/albums/w506/scowilliams/EWA%20Dynasty/Byron_zpsh783frlq.jpg He never did So there I was, out of a job and not likely to get one, at least not in the wrestling business. At first I tried to look at the bright side of things. I had enough money on the side so it was like giving myself a little holiday. Time went on though and I went out of style as fans forgot. Eventually, I had to accept the situation so I decided to hang my boots and retire. Then the phone rang. “I got twenty million in cash to spend on my dream, no questions asked”. Those were the first words she told me. No hello, no how you’ve been, not how’ve you been handling retirement. http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d105/jsilver536/AlphaFemale.jpg That East German accent was a dead giveaway “Been a while, Vera. Heard you retired as well. Must be one hell of a Road Agent if you’ve already made twenty mil”. I was so done with wrestling by that time I was starting to resemble Luis Figo Manico in bitterness. “Cut it out, big man. If I wanted to be mocked, I would have called Bryon instead”. Her hatred of the man ran deep as well. Hadn’t heard of the name for a while, but it still stirred something inside my guts. “You have my attention” I said as laconically as I could. “Remember Karen? Karen Bilous, the Pain from Ukraine?” http://i1079.photobucket.com/albums/w506/scowilliams/EWA%20Dynasty/Karen%20Bilous_zpsafxnfwku.jpg Also known as "that smoking hot chick that'll most likely punch you if you ask her out" I did. Somewhat of an old crush, Karen had exploded on the European wrestling scene a while back. Already an established bodybuilder and decorated powerlifter at the time, she had the looks, the toughs and the attitude for our business. I remember how she looked completely out of place. Magazines said she’d have the brightest of careers if some joshi promotion from Japan picked her up. They never did and that made me feel a kind of kinship towards her. We were both lost souls, eaten up and spat out by the industry. “What about her?” I said on the phone, still defensive. “I saw her last week at a powerlifting meet in Ukraine. She set a new national record on the deadlift and almost gave me a hard on.” Yup, good ol’ Vera. People thought she was a lesbian for talking like that and I gotta say her size and musculature wasn’t helping, but that’s how Vera talked. Handling yourself in this business is extra tough for a woman. Most cope by acting as slutty beauties or damsels in distress. She could never go there and neither did she want to, so she was always somewhat of a tomboy. A dude, or bro, as some would call her. “And you called to tell me?” I said. “I really dig Karen’s style” she said unphased. I knew she did. It made sense. Vera always loved the hard hitting realistic style of wrestling. Her matches usually involved her stiffing her smaller opponents around before they would make their inevitable heroic comeback. “Like I said, I got twenty million to spend in wrestling and I want to spend it there. I’m putting together a promotion in Eastern Europe where tough as nails women like me and Karen can blossom. I got the money to put it together and I got the experience to put matches together but when it comes to creative I don’t know jack shit. That’s where you come in.” There was an awkward pause. “Do I even want to know where the money comes from?” I managed to ask. “No you don’t” she responded sharply. “But I do have complete freedom in they way it’s spent, as long as it’s spent on wrestling. Believe me, there’s a lot of pressure to spend and spend big”. Didn’t take much of an instinct to get the stench all over this. “Even so, you chose poorly” I said as I tried to keep my cool. “Eastern Europe is dead when it comes to wrestling. Where do you think you’ll find the fans or the talent for such a promotion? Even if you do, how long can they hang around before some injury takes them out for good?” “That’s exactly why it’s going to work” Vera said in a tone I couldn’t tell if it belonged to a madman or a genius on the verge of a breakthrough. “Japan has 5SSW, there’s AAA in the states and QAW recently followed. There’s no such thing in Europe or the UK for female wrestlers and there’s no such promotion around the world that focuses on all-female hardcore action. Well, not in that sense of ‘hardcore’ at least, if you know what I mean. As for the talent, I’ve thought it out. I’m investing part of the money to set up a dojo that will provide homegrown talent, specially raised for Eastern European Wrestling. That’s what I like to call it.” She had a point, but I still wasn’t sold. “Why me?” I finally managed to ask. “You know the business and you know the East. You’re Polish, right?” she responded. I nodded, as if she could see me. Not waiting for an answer, or assuming a positive one, Vera went on. “Listen, the reason I’m setting EEW up is because I want to prove everyone wrong. I want to get back at the business for forcing me and Karen and women like us to adapt to the the dominant paradigm. I wanna break the mold. I wanna raise a big middle finger to the establishment. Guess who the establishment is.” http://i1079.photobucket.com/albums/w506/scowilliams/EWA%20Dynasty/Byron_zpsh783frlq.jpghttp://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z115/Scavenger68/TEW/UEW/Ali%20Bloxsome.jpg The Establishment “EEW is a big **** you to everything Byron, Bloxsome and guys like them stand for. At first it’ll be just the attitude, but think about it. once we grow big enough to pose a threat, we’ll be fighting over the same market. I know you got an axe to grind against both those guys, for reasons similar to mine. We can’t outshine them in the ring since we’re both retired, so the only way to do it is by beating them at the corporate level. This is my offer, big man. Help me get this thing off the ground and I promise you we’ll go to war until both EWA and UEW lie in the same ground UCR does.” http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d105/jsilver536/SchemingBehemoth.jpg My name is Scheming Behemoth and I am a desperate man. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.