Hello class and welcome back from your Summer Vacations. I would like to thank Professors Meltzer and Zimmerman and RASMUSSEN~! for allowing me the privilege of presenting my essay first.
For those who haven't heard of me before, I'm Llakor, the Head Writer/Publicist/SHILL~!/Bottle-Washer for the IWS. We are based out of Montreal, Quebec, CANADA. Formed in 1999 as the World Wrestling Syndicate, re-named in 2001 as the Internet Wrestling Syndicate, re-named in late 2004 as the International Wrestling Syndicate.
The IWS is considered in Canada to be one of the biggest and most influential feds. We are the first Canadian fed to have its own PPV in Canada. We are the Canadian fed where CHIKARA made its Canadian debut. We are the Canadian fed where Sid Vicious chose to make his return to active wrestling.
You will have heard of Sexxxy Eddy who is almost a bigger star in Philadelphia than he is in Montreal. You will also have heard of El Generico and Kevin Steen who are big stars for Pro Wrestling Guerilla in California. El Generico is the PWG Tag Team champion with the Human Tornado. Ironically, the Generic Luchador, the proverbial "Red-Headed Mexican", born in Tijuana but living in Montreal, El Generico is more popular in California than many luchadors who live in California (or just across the border.) Kevin Steen is currently the PWG Champion having beaten A. J. Styles for the belt.
There are many other IWS stars who are ready to break-out as stars in the U.S. since Quebec is a hot-bed of amazing talent.
Anyway, without further ado, here is my Back to (OLD) School essay entitled "The IWS - What We Did During Our Summer Vacation"
The IWS - What We Did During Our Summer Vacation A When We Were Marks Photo Essay Part One of Two
We Went to Philadelphia
Sexxxy Eddy wins the IWS Title in Philly
IWS - Philadelphia: Freedom to Fight Viking Hall, Philadelphia, July 9th, 2005 Click Here (smartmarkvideo.com)
The IWS continued to break new ground over the summer, becoming the first Canadian promotion ever to be invited to put on a show in the historic ECW Arena - Viking Hall - in Philadelphia. I told people leading up to it that it was like a musician being asked to perform at Carnegie Hall. We came to make history and we did.
I should however address a few controversies that happened along the way.
The Card We made a conscious decision going into Philadelphia: Freedom to Fight that we would do an IWS show. Our roster, no special guests, a show exactly like we would have done in Montreal. There are many guests that we could have invited, but our feeling was - succeed or fail - let's do OUR show in Viking Hall.
The Attendance The consensus seems to be that the attendance was 150, which is probably the first time in wrestling history that a wrestling crowd was under-reported in the history of wrestling. We know that we sold more tickets than that and Enzo's count at the half-way point was higher. But not to argue the collected wisdom of the Internet... Let me just say - We were happy with the attendance. Don't get me wrong, you always want more. And the perception that the attendance was disappointing is really a compliment to us, because we have been exceeding expectations from Day One.
Still, ask any fed outside of Philadelphia, if they would be happy coming to Viking Hall, putting on a show in the ECW Arena and drawing between 150-200 people, whether they would do it or not, and they would probably be packing their bags before you even finished the question. Besides the key for us? 150 Yankees paying in US Dollars? And buying our DVDs with US Dollars? For Canadians, that's like a crowd of 300 people, especially since the cheapest ticket in Viking Hall was more expensive than the most expensive ticket at a Montreal IWS show BEFORE THE EXCHANGE RATE! So we did okay.
The Green Phantom vs. Kurt Lauderdale The controversy that erupted over the ending to this match seems a little sad and besides the point, but at the time people were outraged that Manny stopped the match because "The Pennsylvania Athletic Commission thought it was too violent!"
Well, it was a classic case of miscommunication.
Here is what happened.
Before the show, Maven Bentley (whose license we were using. THANKS MAVEN!) gave us the briefing on what we could and couldn't do. What it boiled down to was that you could fight in the crowd or you could bleed in the ring, BUT you couldn't bleed in the crowd.
Naturally, five seconds into the Kurt/Phantom match and Kurt is bleeding.
Now you have to understand that the Green Phantom is a born natural crosser of borders. Never, ever, EVER, draw a line in the sand with him 'cause he will cross over that line as easy as breathing.
Lauderdale and Phantom keep the action in the ring, but keep teasing to go into the crowd. From where I am sitting I can see Manny having multiple heart-attacks. The representative of the Philadelphia State Athletic Commission gets a phone call. Manny thinks that he is PLACING a phone call and starts gesturing towards me. I try to gesture something about it being fine (I think it was something about a soccer practice to be honest.) And, because I am the worst player of charades in the entire world and because the SAC rep is getting out of his seat to head to the back... so that he can hear better, Manny becomes convinced that the entire show is about to be cancelled, which is why he ran out to stop the match. And because Manny is an ass-hole he can't even tell the truth without making it sound like a lie.
PCP Crazy F'N Manny, everybody. My Boss, Ass-Hole, Panics Easily.
Kevin Steen and El Generico Go to California Not Philly Well, just speaking for myself personally, as I have told Kevin (and tried to tell El Generico through his translator...) as a mark for Kevin and El Generico in the IWS, I would have liked to see them in Philly doing their thing. To me it seemed like the natural conclusion of so much that we had worked towards. And to a certain extent it was our own damn fault for not giving them enough time to arrange their schedules properly.
Now having said that, if I was disappointed, Beef Wellington, on the other hand was LIVID. The unforeseen consequence of Kevin and El Generico not being in Philly was the very real end to the friendship between Kevin and Neil which lead to the stiff-fest between the two at Extreme Dream II and this month led to El Generico choosing his California running buddy over his room mate, Beef Wellington.
Speaking of unforeseen consequences...
Fred La Merveille Gets Cheered Like Mad Philly fans are WEIRD and I'm from Montreal, I know from weird crowds. Fred comes in to French music and speaking Fremch and is so over as a heel that U-S-A chants break out for Beef Wellington. (!!!) As the match progresses, the Philly fans get so into Fred that by the end of the bout they are chanting "Please Come Back!" Fred's biggest cheer from a crowd in more than a year.
This lead oddly directly to...
The Break-Up of the SLI
Viking Accidentally Punches Fred la Merveille During the Extreme Dream Tournament
Extreme Dream I Le Break, Montreal, July 23rd, 2005 Click Here (smartmarkvideo.com)
Why Extreme Dream? For newcomers to the IWS, Extreme Dream was the name for the tournament where we inaugurated our tag team titles. We had discussed for years adding a third title to the IWS. Given that we decided to rename ourselves the "International Wrestling Syndicate" at the end of 2004, to mark the fact that our wrestlers, our shows and our DVDs were now being featured beyond Canada, we also felt that it was appropriate to launch a Canadian title belt for IWS (and other feds) wrestlers to fight over.
To crown a new Canadian champion, we naturally decided to hold a tournament and what better name than Extreme Dream for that tournament. In terms of format, Brian the Guppie suggested that we follow the format of a "Lethal Lottery" and have a tag team format in the first round with random partners.
This led to some astonishing results...
Fred la Merveille dissolved the SLI The SLI break-up didn't happen here, it happened at Extreme Dream II. And the break-up didn't really start here. The seeds were planted when Damian turned on Fred during Blood, Sweat and Beers 2004, costing Fred the IWS Title when he seemed on the verge of beating Kevin Steen. The Philly crowd cheering louder for Fred than the Quebec crowd further poisoned the well. But it was when Fred and Viking found themselves forced to be opponents in the first round of Extreme Dream that the cracks in the SLI really became apparent. When Viking accidentally struck Fred, la Merveille's reaction spoke volumes.
This is the show where the SLI hit the iceberg. Extreme Dream II, where Fred gave Viking a swinging pedigree from the top rope through a chair, that's just the spot where the SLI sank.
Vanessa Kraven vs. Damian
Vanessa Kraven puts the boots to Damian
In a year where Damian has pulled off some amazing matches and astonishing victories, some encounters have been somewhat overshadowed. For instance, the match pitting Damian and Kenny the Bastard against Vanessa Kraven and Takao.
(Just to interject, Fred and Viking end up booked against each other and their partnership falls apart. Kenny the Bastard and Takao's friendship seems stronger than ever.)
Vanessa Kraven was a last minute substitution for the Arsenal who seems to have gotten wind that he might end up facing Damian and "discovered" an injury to his arm. When the Philly fans got their first look at Viking's chops, there was some discussion whether there should be a scale for chops on the same line as the "Mutoh" scale for crimson masks. Vanessa's chops rate 1.5 Vikings.
There is a sad tendency amongst some (male) wrestlers to disrespect their female colleagues by wrestling them like they were made of porcelain. Call me an old school purist, call me a cranky old bastard, call me a member of the The He-Man Woman Haters Club, I don't much care. To me, you show respect to a woman wrestler by punching her in the face just as hard as you would a man. The Arsenal showed that respect to Precious Lucy (aka Lufisto); Shane Matthews showed that respect to Julie the Red Fuxx; Damian showed that respect to Vanessa Kraven.
(Of course, as Jimmy Stone could tell you, failing to respect Vanessa Kraven can get you killed. She is legendary for making grown men weep with her chops and slaps.)
The Extreme Dream DVD is worth getting just for the confrontation between these two as Vanessa tried to peel the skin off of Damian's chest and Damian - there is no better way of putting this - tried to knock Vanessa the fuck out with stiff fore-arms and punches. You call it misogyny, I call it respect.
The Rise of Kid Kamikaze There is a tendency in the IWS for us to take certain wrestlers for granted. It takes a dramatic moment for us to look up and suddenly realize how good someone has gotten. Just such a moment happened for Kid Kamikaze at Extreme Dream.
The random nature of the first round of the tournament brought together for one night only the greatest tag team in the history of the IWS - Hi-5 - Kid Kamikaze and Beef Wellington. The break-up of Hi-5 propelled Beef Wellington to star-dom, but it was less kind to Kid Kamikaze. Never mind that at any moment he seemed capable of having the best match on any IWS card. Never mind that every month it seemed that he was breaking out a new and more painful submission variant. We overlooked him; we under-estimated him; we took him for granted; we pissed him off.
Then we saw him beside his old tag team partner, Beef Wellington, and it was as if we saw Kid Kamikaze for the first time. Beef would be the first to tell you that it was Kid Kamikaze who did most of the work in Hi-5. Now, suddenly, we saw it as well, the technique; the athleticism; the acrobatics and frankly, the utter dickishness of Kid Kamikaze compared to Beef Wellington. Here is where Kid Kamikaze captured our attention. His ongoing feud with Chris Bishop is where he will deliver on the promise that the spotlight has given him.
We Crowned Three New Champions
IWS Referee Bakais Holds Up the Hand of EXesS, the New Champ
Extreme Dream II (aka: BodyCount) Le Break, Montreal, Aug 20th, 2005 Click Here (smartmarkvideo.com)
2.0 Went to the Promised Land
Jagged Sprays Champagne While Shane Matthews Holds His Belt Up In Triumph
In some ways, it could be called the summer of 2.0. The Crown Princes of Conceit, Jagged and Shane Matthews came to Philadelphia on an "unbeaten streak" built mainly on count-out victories. In Philly, they got another count-out victory showing a vicious side taking out the Flying Hurricanes with NASTY chair-shots. Of course, titles can't change hands as a result of a count-out, so 2.0 tasted victory but ironically were denied the title belts.
At Extreme Dream I, 2.0 saw their unbeaten streak come to an end (as much as they tried to deny it later) as their team ended up randomly paired up against Hi-5 in a dream match-up for the first round of the Extreme Dream tournament. The new generation of IWS tag teams against the old.
The victory and the loss combined seemed to give Jagged and Shane extra determination for their rematch against the Flying Hurricanes. And that determination led to a victory and the most amazing celebration that I can remember in any IWS title change ever. Despite the Flying Hurricanes being popular champions, the IWS fans were drawn in by 2.0's contagious joy at finally winning the titles.
Of course, this being 2.0, we regretted being sucked in almost immediately...
Chris Bishop Becomes the First IWS Canadian Champion
While El Generico Insists That He Was Robbed, Chris Bishop Holds His Title
Of course, he didn't get to hold it for long as Kid Kamikaze ambushed Chris Bishop and stole the title before it was even unveiled.
Consider for a second what UWA Hardcore Wrestling star Chris Bishop accomplished this summer. He made his debut at IWS Scarred For Life - unheralded, unwanted, unknown. He is immediately greeted by "Who the Fuck Are You?" chants by the notoriously picky IWS fans. By the end of his first match, the IWS crowd was won over and were chanting "Please Come Back!" In the span of three shows, Chris Bishop won his first five matches, sweeping the table of the Extreme Dream tournament and became the first IWS Canadian Champion.
In the process, he beat EXesS, the current IWS champion TWICE; he beat Dan Paysan; he beat Kid Kamikaze; he beat El Generico. Every time, the crowd cheered him on, an outsider from Ontario, beating their hometown heroes including El Generico - perhaps the most popular baby-face in IWS history. He did it without cutting a single promo, winning over the IWS crowd through his wrestling ability alone.
Frankly, it is a performance that speaks for itself and that leaves me for once without a superlative to mark it.
EXesS and Sexxxy Eddy - Mirror Opposites
IWS Referee Bakais Holds the Ladder While EXesS and Sexxxy Eddy Battle
This Summer saw Sexxxy Eddy finally accomplish an IWS milestone and end years of frustration becoming the first-ever three time IWS champion. Appropriately, he did so in Philadelphia where Eddy is even more beloved than he is in Montreal. EXesS satisfied his own frustrations finally winning the IWS belt. Both men over the last two years seemed capable of beating anyone in the IWS - unless the belt was on the line.
These two men are so much alike and yet so different. Both are obsessed with sex, although Eddy makes his conquests public while EXesS cuts a more private though no less devastating swath through the IWS' female fans. In fact, as Team Anglo can tell you, Eddy can drive women crazy for a few minutes, EXesS can drive women MENTAL PERMANENTLY.
Both men are resilient, with Eddy taking a slight edge as the Human Rubber Ball that he is. Both men are impressive high flyers with Eddy taking a slight edge because as Beef once put it, "No One Out STUPIDS Eddy!" Where EXesS has an advantage on Eddy is the vicious streak that he seems to have developed starting at Un F'N Sanctioned 2005 against Eddy and, of course, EXesS' amazing technical skills which allow him to bend his opponent's like a pretzel and just flat-out out-think his opponents.
This is the difference of course, Eddy's astonishing natural ability compared to EXesS' studied technique. EXesS is the dark mirror opposite of Eddy, and where Eddy's ambition was to win the IWS title more often than anyone else, it is EXesS' ambition NEVER to lose it.
TNA probably realizes that they can't keep stopping people like AJ from earning decent ROH paydays now that they have a reduced schedule. Also, they are probably trying to please the harcore fans since they always chant anti-TNA comments at indy shows.