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Welcome home, Bruno! An Italian Championship Wrestling diary

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I'm sorry about the aborted 1991 run, but maybe it's better if I follow the advice of the internet, and start with a familiar, small company.


Why Bruno Sammartino, and why Italian Championship Wrestling? Well, according to this interview with veteran ICW heel Axel Fury, it was said living legend of professional wrestling who told the then young man to seek out and train under Killer Kowalski, if he really wanted to enter the squared circle. What if, as a consequence of the falling out between Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon, the former WWWF champion had decided to help out the fledgling federation Axel Fury had joined? Given Bruno Sammartino's fairly old school ways, the kind of product the 2001 mod has assigned to the ICW - a product with a 80%/90% match ratio in which wrestlers are rated more on performance than on popularity - could've appealed to him; this diary details what could've happened if Axel Fury had kept in touch with Bruno Sammartino, leading to his ascent as booker of the newborn association.


Welcome home, Bruno!

An Italian Championship Wrestling diary


ICW Interregional Title: Vacant


ICW Italian Title: Vacant


ICW Italian Lightweight Title: Vacant


ICW Italian Tag Team Title: Vacant


ICW Italian Women's Title: Vacant


May 2001 1 2


So, I have no announcers, no colour commentators and no referees, and I have only 8 wrestlers - only one of which is suited to play the role of the heel. This means I must scour Europe for suitable candidates; I could search the world as a whole, but we're a small company and I don't know if I'd be able to afford flying people from the other side of the world to our corner of southern Europe. So, I ask all the available unemployed people based in Europe with good backstage behaviour (and there aren't many of them) if they'd be willing to join us for cheap. Since... well, there aren't many of them, I decide to cut all hotel and transport expenses to try and hire some people from abroad.


This is how the roster looks on the eve of our first show:


Main Eventers


Manuel Majoli, 20 year old, Italian, Regular Wrestler, Lightweight, Gimmick: Mysterious.


Upper Midcarders


Mr. Excellent, 22 year old, Italian, Technician, Toned Lightweight, Gimmick: Old School Face.




Axel Fury, 21 year old, Italian, Regular Wrestler, Muscular Middleweight, Gimmick: Arch Competitor.

Crazy Johnny Tiger, 25 year old, German, Regular Wrestler, Flabby Middleweight, Gimmick: Old School Heel.

Lexxus, 31 year old, Austrian, Cruiserweight, Middleweight, Gimmick: Clean Cut.

Puck, 18 year old, Italian, Cruiserweight, Lightweight, Gimmick: Drunk.

Van Hammer, 33 year old, American, Regular Wrestler, Muscular Big Heavyweight, Gimmick: Man Beast.


Lower Midcarders


Austin Aries, 23 year old, American, Japanese Junior, Toned Lightweight, Gimmick: Evolution.

Il Drago, 24 year old, Italian, Luchador, Toned Lightweight, Gimmick: Masked Grappler.

Thomas Freakz, 18 year old, German, Brawler, Middleweight, Gimmick: Bad Ass.

X-Dream, 18 year old, German, Cruiserweight, Lightweight, Gimmick: Masked Luchadore.




Diablo Rojo, 16 year old, Italian, Cruiserweight, Toned Lightweight, Gimmick: Young Lion.

Rene Dupree, 18 year old, Canadian, Regular Wrestler, Muscular Light Heavyweight, Gimmick: Foreigner.


Enhancement Talent


Diablo Amarillo, 19 year old, Italian, Cruiserweight, Lightweight, Gimmick: Young Lion.

Orlando Jordan, 29 year old, American, Regular Wrestler, Muscular Light Heavyweight, Gimmick: Legitimate Athlete.


Women's Division


Queen Maya, 21 year old, Italian, Regular Wrestler, Toned Lightweight, Gimmick: Royalty.


There's a lot of rookies, a veteran with a past in far more prestigious federations (that I brought in hoping he'll dispense good advice to the younger members of ICW) and a couple guys that eventually made it to the midcard of the WWE, in real life. Considering the size of our company, it's a decent enough roster. We are not required to run any storylines, so availability is not as important an issue as it would be for a company with a Sports Entertainment focus.


Since no television network is interested in us, I turned the company into a touring one - we'll have a show every Friday.


Coming soon: our first show.

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<p>And here is our first show.</p><p> </p><p> </p><blockquote data-ipsquote="" class="ipsQuote" data-ipsquote-contentapp="forums" data-ipsquote-contenttype="forums" data-ipsquote-contentid="45956" data-ipsquote-contentclass="forums_Topic"><div><div style="text-align:center;"><p><strong>ICW 1st Show</strong>, held at <strong>IT JKS Gym</strong> in <strong>Pavia</strong> (<strong>Italy</strong>)</p><p> </p><p> Attendance: <strong>200</strong>; Rating: <strong>E+</strong></p><p> </p><p> <strong>PRE-SHOW SEGMENTS</strong></p><p> </p><p> <strong>Match</strong>: <span style="color:#FF0000;"><strong>Orlando Jordan</strong></span> defeats <span style="color:#4169E1;"><strong>Diablo Amarillo</strong></span> in an open, regular match.</p><p> </p><p> <em>In a terrible pre-show match, Orlando Jordan defeated Diablo Amarillo in 4:38 by pinfall with a Black Ice; even though the match was rated </em><em><strong>E-</strong></em><em>, Orlando Jordan's Legitimate Athlete gimmick got an Above Average rating, and the two showed good chemistry. Orlando Jordan improved in Rumble, and Diablo Amarillo improved in Performance.</em></p><p> </p><p> <strong>Match</strong>: <span style="color:#FF0000;"><strong>Rene Dupree</strong></span> defeats <span style="color:#4169E1;"><strong>Diablo Rojo</strong></span> in an open, regular match.</p><p> </p><p> <em>In a terrible pre-show match, Rene Dupree defeated Diablo Rojo in 4:45 by pinfall with a Dupree Driver. Another </em><em><strong>E-</strong></em><em> rating, and Rene Dupree's Foreigner gimmick was rated Average, but he is getting better at it. Diablo Rojo improved in Performance.</em></p><p> </p><p> <strong>MAIN SHOW SEGMENTS</strong></p><p> </p><p> <strong>Match</strong>: <span style="color:#4169E1;"><strong>Il Drago</strong></span> defeats <span style="color:#FF0000;"><strong>Thomas Freakz</strong></span> in an open match aimed at working the crowd.</p><p> </p><p> <em>In a terrible match, Il Drago defeated Thomas Freakz in 5:15 by pinfall with a Monkey Flip. The match got the show off to a strong start, and despite the </em><em><strong>E</strong></em><em> rating, Il Drago's Masked Grappler gimmick got an Above Average rating, and Thomas Freakz's Bad Ass gimmick had an Average reception. No improvements to speak of.</em></p><p> </p><p> <strong>Match</strong>: <span style="color:#4169E1;"><strong>Puck</strong></span> defeats <span style="color:#FF0000;"><strong>Crazy Johnny Tiger</strong></span> in an open, regular match.</p><p> </p><p> <em>In an extremely short match, Puck defeated Crazy Johnny Tiger in 5:25 by submission. Puck's Drunk gimmick was rated Average and Crazy Johnny Tiger's Old School Heel gimmick was poorly received, gaining a Below Average rating, but the match, rated </em><em><strong>E+</strong></em><em>, got the crowd hotter.</em></p><p> </p><p> <strong>Match</strong>: <span style="color:#FF0000;"><strong>Axel Fury</strong></span> defeats <span style="color:#4169E1;"><strong>Lexxus</strong></span> in an open, regular match.</p><p> </p><p> <em>In a bout that didn't have much heat and terrible wrestling, Axel Fury defeated Lexxus in 5:08 by pinfall with a Knee Smash. The match was rated </em><em><strong>E</strong></em><em>, Lexxus' Clean Cut gimmick got an Above Average rating; even though Axel Fury's Arch Competitor gimmick got a Below Average rating, his Flying improved.</em></p><p> </p><p> <strong>Match</strong>: <span style="color:#4169E1;"><strong>Mr. Excellent</strong></span> defeats <span style="color:#FF0000;"><strong>Van Hammer</strong></span>, who is kept strong, in a Story Telling match due to interference from <span style="color:#FF0000;"><strong>Queen Maya</strong></span>, Mr. Excellent's real life sister.</p><p> </p><p> <em>In an extremely short match, Mr Excellent defeated Van Hammer in 5:22 by pinfall with a Northern Lights Suplex after being turned on by Queen Maya. Van Hammer's Man Beast gimmick got an Average rating in the match, that was rated </em><em><strong>E</strong></em><em>; Queen Maya's Royalty gimmick was deemed Awful.</em></p><p> </p><p> <strong>Angle</strong>: <strong><span style="color:#FF0000;">Van Hammer</span></strong> beaten down by <span style="color:#FF0000;"><strong>Queen Maya</strong></span>.</p><p> </p><p> <em>Just a </em><em><strong>F+</strong></em><em> rating for this angle.</em> </p><p> </p><p> <strong>Main Event</strong>: <span style="color:#FF0000;"><strong>Austin Aries</strong></span> and <strong><span style="color:#4169E1;">Manuel Majoli</span></strong> draw an all out match.</p><p> </p><p> <em>In an extremely short match, Austin Aries drew with Manuel Majoli in 5:08 following a double count out. The match was rated </em><em><strong>D-</strong></em><em>, and Austin Aries' Evolution gimmick was rated Average. Austin Aries improved in Performance, and Manuel Majoli learned a lot from the match, improving in Flying, Performance and Technical.</em></p><p> </p></div><p></p><p></p></div></blockquote><p> </p><p> Well, Brutus Beefcake and the Ultimate Warrior could've made our main event look like a bout between Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio, but our popularity in the region increased nonetheless. Puck got some words of encouragement, since an accident before the show brought his mood down, while Manuel Majoli was held up as an example.</p>
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Axel Fury and Queen Maya are annoyed at how bad their gimmicks are; since Axel Fury is an actual martial artist, we turn him into a Dual-Sport Superstar (he can't master the Legitimate Athlete gimmick yet), and hope for the best. Queen Maya, on the other hand, becomes a Bitch. In other news, our first show radically altered the wrestlers' hierarchy: for example, Mr. Excellent and Puck joined Manuel Majoli in the main event, while Orlando Jordan and Rene Dupree went from jobbers to midcarders after only one bout. The new configuration of the roster satisfies Diablo Amarillo and Diablo Rojo, who were previously unhappy about their push.


I want to hold a tag team match in the next show: I wonder if the real life sibling couple of Mr. Excellent and Queen Maya on one hand, and the similarly named Diablo Amarillo and Diablo Rojo, could work well together. We pre-book it for our next event. On the day of our second show, Jimmy Snuka and Killer Kowalski retire, while Lou Thesz dies.


ICW 2nd Show, held at IT JKS Gym in Pavia (Italy)


Attendance: 200; Rating: E.




Match: Austin Aries defeats X-Dream decisively.


In a bout that had sub-par wrestling and non-existent crowd heat, Austin Aries defeated X-Dream in 8:22 by pinfall with a Brainbuster. The match got only a F+ rating, but X-Dream's Masked Luchadore gimmick was rated Above Average. X-Dream's Rumble skills improved.


Match: Orlando Jordan defeats Lexxus in an open match aimed at working the crowd.


In a terrible match, Orlando Jordan defeated Lexxus in 7:42 by pinfall with a Black Ice. Lexxus seemed off his game, and the match only got an E- rating.


Match: Rene Dupree defeats Puck with a tainted finish in a regular match.


In a poor match, Rene Dupree defeated Puck in 7:50 by pinfall by using underhanded tactics. The match, rated D-, got the crowd hotter, and Puck's performance was rated D- as well, highlighting him as one of our best performers.


Match: Axel Fury defeats Il Drago in a regular, open match.


In a poor match, Axel Fury defeated Il Drago in 8:01 by pinfall with an Enzuigiri. Axel Fury's new gimmick was rated Below Average, and the match was rated E+.


Match: Diablo Amarillo and Thomas Freakz, who is kept strong, draw an open match.


In a terrible match, Diablo Amarillo drew with Thomas Freakz in 7:56 following a double count out. Diablo Amarillo performed poorly in the match, that was rated E-, but improved his Performance and Rumble skills nonetheless.


Match: Diablo Rojo defeats Crazy Johnny Tiger decisively in a regular match.


In a bout that had sub-par wrestling and little heat, Diablo Rojo defeated Crazy Johnny Tiger in 8:06 by pinfall with a Moonsault. The match got an E rating.


Match: Van Hammer defeats Mr. Excellent in a Story Telling match.


In a poor match, Van Hammer defeated Mr Excellent in 8:25 by pinfall with a Flashback. The match was rated E+.


Angle: Elaborate Manuel Majoli entrance.


E- rating here.


Match: Van Hammer defeats Manuel Majoli in a Slow Build match.


In a poor match, Van Hammer defeated Manuel Majoli in 16:16 by pinfall with a Flashback. The match got an E rating.


Queen Maya strained her bicep on the day of our show, so no tag team match for now. And we really need at least another handful of wrestlers to cover up for injuries and the like, but the creative department keeps suggesting me 40 year olds as hidden gems.

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New feuds in WWF-land: Eddie Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle, Diamond Dallas Page vs. Kane (okay, this one is weird), Chris Benoit vs. Triple H, and Chris Jericho & The Undertaker vs. Big Show and Steve Austin. Meanwhile, our search for a decent gimmick for Axel Fury continues; we try to turn him into a Metalhead. X-Dream becomes Toned, and Queen Maya recovers from her injury, while our bid for the young Kenny Omega fails; however, we are able to sign AJ Styles, who, being AJ styles, skyrockets to #1 on the creative department's Hot Prospects list.


ICW 3rd Show, held at IT JKS Gym in Pavia (Italy)


Attendance: 200; Rating: E




AJ Styles defeats Thomas Freakz in a Work the Crowd match. E+




Crazy Johnny Tiger defeats Lexxus in a Regular match. E+

Austin Aries and Orlando Jordan defeat Diablo Amarillo and Diablo Rojo in an Open Match. E+

Mr. Excellent defeats Queen Maya in a Lift the Crowd match. E

Music video hyping the Main Event bout between Axel Fury and Manuel Majoli. F+

Manuel Majoli defeats Axel Fury in a Story Telling match. E


Our next event will be the last event of May, so I'm thinking about doing something big with it - namely, having our first title bouts. So, we talk to the members of our roster to find out what kind of belts are they interested in... AJ Styles, Austin Aries, Crazy Johnny Tiger, Lexxus, Orlando Jordan, Rene Dupree, Thomas Freakz and X-Dream all want the ICW Interregional title, while Axel Fury, Il Drago, Manuel Majoli, Mr. Excellent, Puck and Van Hammer want the ICW Italian title. Who do you think should win it?

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