This is a website created for fun. Everything you see here is derived from the imaginations of a handful of lifelong wrestling fans who started playing with action figures at a very young age and created a “universe” for it. It was about more than playing, it became a bonding situation for the group of kids which actually helped them cope with loss, being forced to live hundreds of miles apart, and which ultimately has helped maintain their friendships ever since. This website is just a piece of the larger pie in the Toy Wrestling Universe that we call the “World of Wrestling: Murrey Universe”. “Murrey Universe” is inspired by the creator of this particular “timeline”, which he created back in the early 1990s (estimated to have happened around 1991).
WELCOME!! Here is a little something to explain what you’ve stumbled upon:
|Chronicling the legend of Toy Wrestling’s Murrey Universe|
|*Over time, this chronicle will be updated as more takes place*|
What have you stumbled upon? You might have asked yourself this very question upon landing here. Allow me to answer: This is NOT the only website which has been linked to the “Murrey Universe”. In fact, many have existed over the decades since 1999.
The creator of this universe (having done so in the early 90’s), Murrey, retired in 2010. This post will chronicle the long and complex history of our take on toy wrestling and is intent on reassuring you – the reader – that we aren’t simply “playing with toys/dolls”.
Let’s venture back in time, roughly 1991 or 1992 when Murrey created the universe in question as a private function for the entertainment of himself and his brothers James and Michael (I’m using fake names to protect everyone’s identity, because not everyone in on board with making this public).
Back then, toy wrestling was played on a year/month/week-by-day basis; meaning that dependent upon how much energy he possessed at the time, Murrey would perform up to a year’s worth of events in a single day. This permitted the toy wrestling world to be back-dated in age to the early 80’s.
1991-1997 (The First Era)
Murrey, the creator of the universe, created a character named Jeff Murrey to run the WWF. Murrey was mostly a behind-the-scenes promoter and was unchallenged with regards to competition. From the early 80’s until 1997, the WWF was the dominant force in entertainment, getting its big break with a classic feud pitting Ted Dibiase against Jake Roberts (both of whom would trade the WWF Gold throughout their battles). As the years continued to pass by, more superstars were brought into the mix.
Next was Jesse Ventura, who – at 8’7″ (based on the ruler…lol) with the dreaded Akrokrane (a variant of the back suplex, except the victim is sat comfortably on the shoulder as the performer flies back for the impact, electric chair style) – would go on to hold the WWF Championship a record 15 times. He and his manager, Car (bumblebee from Transformers), would dominate the ranks of WWF for the better part of their tenure. Except Jesse had two major foes; Krusader (a Crusader Batman action figure) and Arn Anderson.
The feuds Jesse had with these two legends would cause him many headaches before he finally departed. Car, Jesse’s manager, was very similar to Paul Bearer, in that he would cheer Jesse on and help him boost his energy and strength by raising his arms and giving Jesse “heart” in much the same way the real Paul Bearer would energize Undertaker with the urn. Jesse and Car would be separated by Ventura’s departure, but not before Car would play a part in hooking Jesse up with his wife, Rudolph.
Ok, this is a bit bazaar, but allow me to delve further into the mindset of a group of kids desperate to find more toys to include in the world of toy wrestling. Rudolph is EXACTLY who you think SHE is; a reindeer. She wasn’t the only non-human to partake in the toy wrestling world; in fact, the Ninja Turtles, Splinter, some of the Street Sharks and a whole lot of other popular characters from cartoons and comic books would come to entertain.
Back to Krusader, this man was the pioneer in high flying wrestling matches. His finisher, a swiftly executed Moonsault (or Krusault) was feared by all-comers. As was his BatKick (A martial arts style kicked performed from a splits position). His primary foe was Terminator, who possessed phenomenal powers that enabled him to levitate, ascend and descend at will (not to mention his awesome theme song, Bowie’s “Within You” which undeniably played a part in his popularity). Their epic battles would immortalize both.
I briefly mentioned Splinter as well, who trained all four of his sons (although Michelangelo and Donatelo were largely absent in the first era), and even inspired two of them to enter wrestling with him. In a storyline, Splinter would even be elected President briefly, for one failed term. His run in the WWF would become legendary, establishing him as the great fan favorite of the time as he feuded with a whole array of superstars including Mentaur (a half buffalo/half man figure). Raphael would also ascend to superstardom while Leonardo made the Intercontinental Championship prestigious.
There were a number of other stars in the mid and under-cards of WWF, ranging from some popular real WWE to WCW stars. Few of them, however, ever rose to the top of the ranks. There was also another character named Mr. Moody, a former supposed veteran of two foreign wars, ex-history teacher and a victim of PTSD, with only a right arm and left leg (from his aforementioned military service). His trigger for violent episodes of PTSD occurred whenever someone yelled “Heads Up”, upon which Moody transformed into a completely different person, grabbing everyone in sight and slamming them to the ground. Torturing this poor wrestler became a favorite act of the fans.
In late 1995, I created the WPW (World Pro Wrestling) and the WBF (World Boxing Federation) through the fictional Mickey Mouse J.R. who ran both. He had supposedly inherited a large amount of money when his father (the popular Mickey, the owner of Disney in this universe) reportedly died of a heart attack. Mickey J.R. would sell Disney to the Chinese, growing his wealth, and would employ two of his three brothers (Vinnie and Lenny, the third and rejected being Benny). There is more on the history of the Mouse Family saga at the biography I created for them years ago. The WPW would transform upon an invasion by the NWO, thusly resulting in its temporary rechristening as the NWO Country.
Superstars in the WPW were Slammu (street sharks figure, whose sole weakness was his fin and whose finishers were the “super punch”, “Slammuser” [a maneuver that consisted of the victim laying on the canvass as Slammu bounced off the top turnbuckle whilst slamming his massive fists onto his opponent], and a powerbomb), Blaster (a double dragon figure), Huck Hogan, Nacho Man, Scott Nash, Kevin Hall ([both of whom would join forces to establish the Outsiders as Nash feuded with Slammu] yes, those are Kevin Nash and Scott Hall figures, but the originals were in Murrey’s possession), HBP (HBK figure), Krazy Kid ([another key rival of Slammu’s] Psycho Sid figure), An assortment of Johnny Quest action figures (All of whom would enter the Lightheavyweight Division as Cool Quest [the more popular], Space Quest and Johnny Quest.
The quests would feud with Adam, Space Adam and Cool Adam. Ninja Hadji and Desert Hadji were sort of loosely affiliated with the Quests, but were more neutral than anything), Metalhead (a G.I. Joe figure), Iron, Steel, and Titanium Claw (all various Iron Claw action figures from G.I. Joe) and so many more. In fact, all the G.I. Joe figures I received one christmas would become the Nation of Domination (because Iron Claw’s hat resembled Ron Simmons as Faarooq).
At some point in 1996, James created ECW (obviously inspired by our discovery of the real promotion). Stars featured in this promotion were usually the rejects of WWF who were released as new athletes were acquired. There was no sincere competition between WWF and ECW, but it certainly laid the groundwork therefore. Also, during the course of the year, Splinter would befriend and mentor Slammu.
1997-2002 (The Second Era)
In Early 1997, the WPW invaded the WWF. This would establish the groundswell for the competitive second era in the Toy Wrestling World. The invasion would be lead by Slammu, the WPW Champion and leader of the NOD. It would spark a war between the old and new eras through the WWF and WPW feud that would later ensue.
ECW got a bit bolder as well, even testing mettle of the WWF throughout the year. This competition also marked the end of the year/month/week-by-day play with our desire to always remain on the same page. This led the ECW to introduce new stars like Vicious, Katu (two of the same toy; white ninja power ranger), and Gripper (a MonStars, McDonald’s toy with limited mobility, who would inspire the USWA introduction of Slipper and Ripper [the same toys]) who would enter into an epic feud with Splinter, actually giving Splinter his toughest challenge yet. Their brawls would eventually culminate with the innovative introduction of the “Crimson Car Match” (a match fought with and around vehicles in a parking lot or junkyard).
A number of other matches would be created throughout the course of the first year in this era, including the USWA’s “Brick House Brawl” (Fought within a roofless, doorless, brick house), and Crucifixion Match (objective is to pin or force submission out of opponent prior to hoisting them up on a Crucifix).
Feeling a sense of confidence, Mickey rechristened the WPW as the USWA/WWWF/WPW (the WWWF standing for the World Whacky Wrestling Federation), even adopting WWF PPV names with the permission of said promotion. The popularity of this revamped promotion would grow as the year progressed, even featuring the debuts of a new slate of stars including Soultaker (Undertaker figure and supposed brother), Silverdust (Goldust figure), Invader, Slader and Vader Two (lol…Vader figures), Jerry “the Prince” Lawler, Hillsley (A snob-Triple H figure) Woody the Second (son of Woody from Toy Story, a character who became famous for his tendency to collapse an transform into another person) and the Giant Gonzales (only, there wasn’t a real Gonzales figure at the time, so I introduced a Dr. Ken doll, slightly modified to represent him), who would dethrone Jesse Ventura as the tallest wrestler, standing at 13′ 2″.
It was also during this period of time in which the innocence of toy wrestling would forever vanish, succumbing to the more obscene and even offensive approach to storyline presentation. At the close of 1997, Murrey – the real person – would (unofficially acting as the WOW organization) recognize the USWA as the best and fastest growing promotion of the year. This would lead Mickey to simply rechristen the company one last time as the USWA. Also towards the end of the year, I unintentionally mimicked a storyline emerging in the real WWF pitting Promoter against Employee when Blaster flipped his lid and nearly killed Mickey and Vinnie Mouse during a radio broadcast. An epic, endless feud between the two would follow, into which I’ll delve further, later.
Metalhead would also become USWA Champion at the first USWA Survivor Series in a 13-Man Battle Royal. He would later lose it to Slammu. In 1998, the ratings war began as the promotions started competing against one another. How did we figure out the rates? By rating our reaction to the overall show on a scale of 1-10, and then converting that to a formula that would lead the “rate” to resemble a television viewers rating. This was inspired by our possession of PWI Magazines that reported the weekly Monday rates (then in the 3.0 range).
The WWF would experience a number of changes, struggling with the growing popularity of the USWA, it would shut down (ending the long run of the original and more revered WWF) and reopen multiple times, changing it’s acronym several times in an attempt to constantly remain fresh. The ECW would experience the same transformation throughout the year, eventually becoming the UCWF. One new star to be produced by these changes would be Phobe (a Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Phoebus doll), towering over and dethroning Gonzales at 14’!
This atmosphere of elevated interest and competition drove all three competitors to look for new talent; the USWA introduced Kane, WWF brought in another Kane to be known as Agramon (the more sadistic of all four Callaways). A massive marvel character later named Armageddon would enter the realm of wrestling, as would Slammu’s worst enemies, Rip and Slammer (the latter being a Big Slammu figure).
Woody the Second would be caught up in an epic feud with Metalhead over the king of the Ring and then the world title, leading to Woody’s departure, but not before introducing his own son (later known as the Crock) to take his place. Blaster and Mickey’s feud would lead them and the promotion through a great deal of changes (catapulting Blaster to the top of the ranks, where he would adopt the “Stone Cold” gimmick, and causing Mickey to assert himself as the ultimate heal and later create the Corporation). Blaster’s path towards the top would eventually lead him to cross paths with Soultaker (who’d defeated Slammu for the USWA prize at Wrestlemania 2), from whom he’d win the championship. There would also be a large influx of veteran WWF stars into the USWA, including Splinter, Krusader and Ventura.
The USWA dominated much of 1998, even challenging the other two to a joint PPV spectacular (with a 60-Man, Two Ring Battle Royal to be won by Jeff Murrey’s promotion; CWA). Mickey even extended the hours of his flagship Monday Broadcast (Raw) to Four Hours long. The one real, viable threat to USWA’s supremacy was the UCWF, a jointly-ran promotion by James’ step brother and him, but would later crumble and split under the growing tension between the two.
In 1999, the USWA was relatively unscathed, fending off the disoriented competition that kept folding and restarting. The Hell’s Keeper (a modified Triple H figure) would be introduced, the Royal Rumble would feature 100 Participants and two rings (for the first of three times), Giant Gonzales would marry Amber, and the Soultaker would create the Hell’s Disciples (consisting of Keeper, Drakus [an old-edge figure] and a number of other dark figures, which would soon merge with the Corporation to form the Apocalyptic Corporation). Later in the year, Raw would be reduced back to two hours as the Crock stole the “Y2J” gimmick (continuing a tradition of stealing others’ gimmicks).
The year 2000 would be a different story. USWA’s competition was growing increasingly frustrated with its inability to depose the USWA. A character named Midget Hogan (a Hasbro Hulk Hogan figure, who became popular in ECW back in 1996 for his cowardly tactics during battle royals, wherein he would hide under the ring throughout the duration thereof, only to emerge when his chances at victory would be near 50%) would gain superstar status upon winning a Million Dollar Bounty that had been placed on Blaster’s head in the Rumble (Blaster was #1 out of 100) by Mickey. At Wrestlemania 4, Keeper would become Champion, thus leading to the beginning of the Apocalyptic Corporation’s demise.
Richard Dredd Venom (Ric Venom for short) was a character inspired by Vic Venom (Vince Russo) in real life, and just like his inspiration, Ric became popular writing articles critiquing the developments of pro-wrestling in USWA magazines. When Vince K. McMahon was terminated as USWA’s President in late 1998, Ric was elected to succeed him. He was later impeached, removed from office and imprisoned on a litany of charges ranging from bribery, to obstruction of justice. Upon his release from USWA’s own private prison, Ric assumed his position as a Color Commentator on weekly broadcasts of Raw and even began feuding with the promoter (John Brown) of an Independent Organization named the WWWF (World Wide Wrestling Federation).
In 2000, Venom would be invited to World Championship Wrestling (owned by Kevin Kelly) as a special guest broadcaster, alongside himself and Vinnie Mouse (USWA’s first President, who’d left to join the WWF in 1998) during USWA’s break. Kelly would later ask the former USWA President to assume a position as WCW Commissioner to help contend with the radical and out of control WCW President, Shane Murphy. What would follow would be Kelly’s worst nightmare as Venom, Vinnie and Murphy teamed up to systematically dismantle the WCW, ruining the career of Lex Luger (forcing him to clean up after every broadcast) and ending that of Phobe’s with Slammer’s help!! A week after Murphy, Vinnie and Venom brought the WCW down; Kelly was forced to open the XPW.
Also, in 2000, the USWA would meet it’s final and most formidable threat to prominence; the BAWA (Bad Ass Wrestling Alliance). An organization that featured insane sets, constant music play, and the debut of Sabu and Attitude (Sabu’s protégé). It was a joint venture, operated by three different people. Needless to say, while it posed a viable challenge, it didn’t survive the test of time (i.e., the summer).
By year’s end, the USWA concluded another year on top of the ranks, as the “Millionaire” Midget Hogan controversially acquired the USWA Championship, with the help of his bodyguard, Baldy (a generic toy wrestling figure). Kicking off the LONGEST and most painful of any USWA title reign, spanning 109 Days.
In 2001, the USWA stood alone by a long shot at the top of toy wrestling’s ranks. The first four months consisted of relentless efforts by USWA’s talent to relieve Hogan of the belt he stole in December of the preceding year. When that sought after moment finally occurred, it was Jesse Ventura who captured the belt, who – despite his heel status – brought about record ratings as a result!
In a feud that had been developing since the previous fall, Splinter and Blaster were battling for supremacy. At one point, Splinter seemed to have gotten the best of Blaster, due to their feud, neither would advance to a title shot at Wrestlemania 5, but would instead duel in a career match that ended in Spinter’s favor. However, in a conspiracy at the following King of the Ring roughly 2 months later, Blaster would return, at the behest of Mickey (as his agent of chaos), and assist Slammu – also in on the scheme – in defeating Splinter for the crown. Mickey would subsequently fire Splinter following his fall.
In July, a freak occurrence would lead to Ric Venom’s acquisition of the World Title, leading Mickey to vacate the title, resulting in a 3-plus hour long tournament that crowned Booker D as the new champion. By this point, Booker D, one half of a legendary copy-cat tag team (the Harlem Turtles) with his brother Stevie R (a team who emulated tag teams from the New Age Outlaws, Harlem Turtles, Dudley Boys, Legion of Doom/Legion of Maniacs, and even the Hardy Boyz).
As the summer wound down, Vinnie Mouse had gone off the reservation, running his own promotion (the EWF) and capturing his own Women’s Championship as well as the World Title later on out of sheer boredom with what he perceived to be a lack of talent in his roster, and the USWA entered a state of division. The age of stables seemed to be over with the collapse of the Apocalyptic Corporation (brought upon by Mickey’s inclusion of Blaster therein), and a massive termination of rejects/underdogs in addition to a rebellious Hell’s Disciples (who broke off from the AC out of protest for the aforementioned inclusion of Blaster).
Lenny Mouse, the third eldest out of the four, and President of the USWA, would partner with Jane Mouse, Mickey’s wife, to establish the BFCW (Bad F**king Championship Wrestling), modeled after the BAWA, to air every Monday directly following USWA’s programming. The first champion in a full-roster battle royal was the Forsaker. With fall on the horizon, John Brown’s WWWF was rechristened the HCW (Hardcore Championship Wrestling), and immediately became allies with BFCW.
A few weeks after the forgery of said alliance, the USWA started staging regular invasions of their potential future threats, and in the midst of a Special Six-Hour long episode of Raw, the BFCW retaliated! A month and half long vacation would follow this broadcast, but upon its conclusion, the HCW would strike back, at the USWA’s Rage PPV in September, with the introduction of their new star, Rhyno!
A few weeks later, Jane Mouse and Lenny Mouse unveiled an extramarital affair experienced between them during the break, provoking Mickey to create a PPV with the sole intent of exacting his revenge (Wrath of Mickey), and eventually leading to the declaration of war between the USWA and BFCW. HCW would follow suit about a week later, in siding with their ally.
With 2001 drawing to a close, the USWA began to fall apart a bit more, with former ECW stars banning together to oppose both the Allegiance (BFCW/HCW/Hell’s Disciples) and the USWA, calling themselves the ECW Loyalists, led by Rob Van Dam. In December, at USWA/BFCW’s Revolution PPV, the BFCW would secure their independence from Mickey’s iron fist, thus propelling the war to its next stage. Slammu, working on behalf of the USWA, would capture the BFCW, HCW and USWA championships in one match, becoming the only superstar to ever achieve such a feat (being that RVD held all three championships from separate victories going in to said match).
A sudden double pin controversy for the World Title would throw the championship into limbo for over two months until a tournament at the Sixth and Final Wrestlemania resolved the matter, with Masked Phenom capturing the prize. In the midst of a storyline twist involving Blaster, Mickey and Lenny, Mickey would end up losing the World Title to Lenny, creating another urgent need for a tournament. Mickey made the King of the Ring winner the champion, who ended up being Blaster in a controversial outcome.
After the DWO (Degenerate World Order), ECW Loyalists and Y2Family (Crock, Jill and Y2Bitch) joined forces, Mickey terminated them and kicked off an effort to annihilate all of his enemies (including Blaster) with his secret weapon, the monstrous El Gigante!! El Gigante would go on to claim the King of the Ring crown and become the last world champion.
Sometime between the vacation of the world title and Summerslam 2002, Ric Venom would sustain major and purportedly fatal injuries from an accident, only to fool everyone weeks later with his return and announcement of his own intentions: the use of his partial ownership of the USWA to rehire the DWO, Y2Family and ECW Loyalists to create the Venom Regime, with the sole purpose of extinguishing the last remnants of the Second Era in wrestling!
Out of these culminating events, would emerge one last showdown, at USWA/BFCW’s Armageddon 3 in September 2002, headlined by a 15-Man, 3-team Elimination Tag Match called “Project Extermination”. The chief stipulation being that the leader of the victorious team (Mickey, Lenny or Venom) would gain full ownership of all of all involved. In the end, Slammer of the USWA and Slammu of the Allegiance would conspire with RVD of the Venom Regime against Blaster (who returned at the last moment to fight for the promotion that made him after spending the duration of the war in a neutral stance) to hand Ric Venom the victory and deal a deadly blow to the USWA and BFCW. The HCW would be left standing, as it had a loose involvement in the match.
Individual Wrestler Footnotes from Second Era:
Jesse Ventura/Giant Gonzales: After a few months of feuding in early 1998, Giant Gonzales and Paul Wight would ban together to form the Giants, but when Wight elected to betray Gonzales in favor of joining the NWO, Jesse Ventura took his spot and thusly the legendary New Giants were created. This team dominated the tag division for a little while, joined HBP’s DX and even broke off from that stable to create their own “DX-Xtreme”. However, Jesse’s decision to join Mickey’s Corporation in 1999-2000 would lead to the end of their team.
Masked Gonzales: In 1998, Giant Gonzales would be forced to come face to face with a long-lost brother of his, the “deformed” and deranged Masked Gonzales. Masked Gonzales turned out to be far more vicious than his brother and a tad taller.
El Gigante: Another one of Giant Gonzales’ greatest foes would come in the form of El Gigante (translated “The Gigantic”, although we mistakenly pronounced his name as “El Giante” or “The Giant”). He, like Phobe and Masked Gonzales, was taller than Giant Gonzales and was interested in bringing about his demise. Mickey would use this HCW original to carry out his evil deeds, deeming him the “Secret Weapon”.
Steve Austin/Blaster/Squeaker: Prior to the inter-promotional feud that would soon emerge between Murrey’s Steve Austin and Mickey’s Blaster, Austin would take upon himself a protégé, the young Squeaker. Squeaker (an action figure similar to John Brown, only with all limbs intact) was a high flyer who used many of Steve Austin’s trademark maneuvers. By the end of 1999, Squeaker’s involvement in wrestling would dwindle down to little more than an occasional special guest.
Zeek: A short long-haired guy (same figure as Y2Bitch) with a likable personality. However, despite his popularity, wrestling’s instability outside of the USWA would claim him as yet another casualty.
Stan Hart/Chet Hart: Hart brothers, both of whom kicked off their careers in the USWA. Chet was a Bret Hart figure while Stan was an Owen “Black Heart” Hart figure.
Scratchy/Scratcher: As two of the HCW’s creations, these brothers often dominated the independent promotion and even carried their success over to the USWA, which would routinely reach out to HCW for new talent. Scratchy, the more recognizable and famous of the two in this era, used a modified stunner from the top rope (called the “Scratch”) as his finisher and feuded with the light heavyweight talent in the USWA up until it’s closure in September 2002.
Granddaddy Duxen/The Duxens: This family was from the southern edge of Appalachia and was well known for the usage of the skills they picked up from hunting in the mountains and partaking in their local militias. Granddaddy Duxen, their taller (seeing that his grandsons were 3 feet tall/light heavyweight) grandfather, was a little off his rocker. He may very well have suffered from Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, and maintained that he was a world class boxing champion. The man also had horrible body odor, but elected after a while of enduring relentless insults pertaining to such to become obsessed with bathing and ensuring that all those around him bathed regularly. He also made a habit of demanding that his opponent respect their elders and would challenge them to a brief, one knock-out boxing match (within the wrestling match) which he would also refer to as a “boxing tournament”, and within which he would always cheat to secure his victory.
The Godwinns/Southern Justice: Phinneas and Henry Godwinn would bring with them their extended family (cousins), including Jerry, Dan and John. Over time, as the five all descended upon the same promotion, they would unite to form the most powerful and reviled stable of its time called Southern Justice, led by John and adorned in KKK like outfits as a direct message to their “enemy”; obviously all non-American, Non-Christian, Non-Human athletes.
Harlem Turtles: TR and TD (More Human-like version of Raphael and Donatello) debuted in Jeff Murrey’s promotion in 1998 as a pair of idiotic, stoned, surfer-accent bearing turtles who hadn’t a clue as to how they should so much as pick up a victory. As time passed, the USWA would notice and develop an interest in obtaining their services. Upon such, the Turtles completely transformed. While maintaining their accents, they took it upon themselves to adopt the gimmicks and move sets of various popular tag teams such as “Harlem Heat”, “Legion of Doom”, “New Age Outlaws” and even the “Hardy Boyz”. As a part of this, they would rename themselves Stevie R and Booker D of the Harlem Turtles. Needless to say, to this date, they are unsurpassed by any other tag team relating to their dominance of every tag division they’ve been a part of.
The Bookers: Distant Cousins of Booker T; Booker C and Booker X came up from the HCW and established a decent tag team.
The Crock: Between he and his father, Crock is the crazy one. The Crock possessed many of his father’s traits, but took everything a step further. A defining moment for his career came about when his feud with Rocky Johnson J.R. (younger brother of the Rock, who called himself Rock 2) permitted him to secure the gimmick that would lay the foundation for his successful career. Later on, in 1999, he would adopt the “Y2-” gimmick as a parody of both Chris Jericho (in a rival promotion) and Y2K by calling himself Y2C and using Jericho’s theme music. A feud with Krusader sparked by their conflicting desires for the deathmatch gold would span the year 2000. In 2001, in the midst of his feud with Kurt Angle, Crock stole Angle’s outfit and rechristened himself “Kirk Angel”, doing this until he lost to Angle in a gimmick match at the 2001 King of the Ring.
Agramon/Kane Two: In 1998, as the Callaway brothers began to emerge en masse from their proverbial shells, the WWF saw the emergence of the most vile among them: Agramon. Upon arriving on the scene, he would target the Undertaker and even hint at cross-promotional encounters with his brethren in the USWA (Kane and Soultaker). After less than a year in the limelight, Agramon slipped off the radar. At about this time, Kane Two – a new addition to the HCW – would come into the picture. This wouldn’t be a coincidence, as time would certainly show.
Slammer: Little is known about this character’s origin, other than the fact he seemed to be introduced for the sole purpose of posing a viable threat and challenge to the dominant Slammu of USWA. It didn’t take long for Mickey to take interest in Slammer’s ruthless approach as he would acquire Slammer’s services shortly after watching Slammer put Phobe on the shelf in 2000.
Ron Snow: The brother of Al Snow in ECW, Ron of the USWA was just as crazy and would even establish his own stable for the mentally disconnected: the J.O.B. Squad.
HBP, HBB, HB: Heartbreak Punk Shaun Michaels, Heartbreak Boy Jean Michaels, and the Heartbreaker Sean Michaels were all brothers, absent of any relation to HBK in the WWF. HBP and HB were once a unit known as the HBKs, but when they split (seeing HB lead the rebel DX-Xtreme with Giant Gonzales and Jesse Ventura), HBB came in as HB’s replacement. Eventually, the three would be reunited in the midst of the Allegiance War to help bring down the very promotion they sought to wreak havoc in.
The Claws: Iron Claw, leader of the Nation of Domination (prior to and after Slammu led), Steel Claw, his tag team partner, Titanium Claw, the evil Claw who was determined to destroy his brothers and Metallic Claw, the late-comer.
Saguna/Molly: Throughout the course of the USWA’s run, Molly and Saguna were an item. At some point along the line, they were married and even forged an effective tag team, dominating the Light Heavyweight Tag Division of the USWA, thus making Molly the first woman to be effective in competition with her male peers.
Sally: Resembling Molly, but preceding her, this now iconic figure of the female involvement in wrestling (whether it be as a valet or diva) laid the foundation for such as the pioneer. In due time, she would eventually marry Vinnie Mouse and fade into the shadows of wrestling.
The Apocalyptic Corporation: The Corporation emerged as part of an effort by Mickey to overwhelm Blaster with a constant threat against his popularity, influence and knack for rebounding and overcoming adversity. It would spread in the coming months to threaten everyone who dared to question Mickey. Essentially the Corporation became Mickey’s militantly loyal special forces unit, charged with carrying out the boss’s will, and instilling fear into the talent, thus making him a tyrant. However, as the Soultaker proceeded to aggrandize his own power, he began recruiting followers or “Disciples” to his own cause; to cover the USWA in darkness and reign supreme there over. Eventually it became inevitable that the paths of these two mega stables would cross, and cross they did. With Blaster assuming the position as the chief rival to both organizations, the likelihood of an alliance became unavoidable, and soon it was realized. At the peak of its power, the AC had over 20 members, most which gunned for Blaster on a weekly basis, but in the end, it would be Blaster’s heel turn that took him into membership with this Mega Stable that would become the lethal blow required to bring it down once and for all. All in all, from the birth of the Corporation, to the collapse of the AC, it’s tenure lasted from September 1998 until July 2001, an unprecedented feat for any stable.
Muddy: A goon/henchman to Benny and then Vinnie. His sole purpose was to protect and destroy at the behest of the one he guarded.
Darkwarrior: Debuted in a PPV Twist involving the first encounter between Blaster and Mickey at the 1998 Survivor Series in a cage match. Becoming one of the first five Corporate Members and eventually the key to merging the Corporation and the Hell’s Disciples as the Corporate Member who Soultaker saw fit to sacrifice.
Splidder, Shocker: The brothers of Master Splinter, Shocker being the less experienced and exposed of the three. Splidder would become one of Splinter’s staunchest adversaries, including an iconic Crimson Car Match in the ECW (a match pioneered by the famous war between Splinter and Gripper).
Teo/Attitude: Sabu mentored a young man named Attitude, who took to the stage rather slowly at first. Teo was a charismatic and narcissistic rookie who saw nothing but potential for what could be in his future. These two stellar performers would initially engage in a feud that would help to develop a bond and a partnership that reached into the next era.
Jake Jericho: A relative of Chris Jericho with mild exposure in the independent circuit and briefly in the ECW.
Lacy Brown: A common weapon in Ric Venom’s arsenal in his weekly commentary spats with John Brown was to integrate John Brown’s infamous and relatively reclusive wife Lacy in the discussion. Ric would regularly claim to have slept with Lacy, to which John would respond with fierce anger. This too would bleed into the next era.
2002-2005 (The Third Era)
With the USWA and BFCW’s official closure, the HCW and ECW were left standing. HCW continued to struggle with getting broadcasted nationwide but the ECW was about to get a grand makeover. Benny Mouse made his presence felt in the wrestling world for the first time just weeks prior to the USWA’s self-destruction. His ambitious approach to revolutionizing the sport beyond what his brother Mickey and the pioneer Mr, Murrey had already done would become the greatest of all his attributes.
Just as Benny experienced a bit of early success in obtaining a large portion of the free agent contracts that had resulted from the aforementioned collapse of USWA and BFCW, his newfound position as the default premier promoter would soon meet its first threat: the pioneer of it all, Jeff Murrey.
Weeks after the ECW’s rise to prominence, Murrey announced the formation of his latest project: the UWA (Undisputed Wrestling Alliance). So the war began…again, and what a battle it turned out to be. The ECW seemed to get a bit of an edge over the UWA at first until Murrey revealed the catch of it all: Mickey and Murrey had forged an Alliance!! Murrey would run the Northern Division of the UWA, while Mickey ran the Southern. The objective was to dominate the wrestling world and give it an appropriate send off. Seeing the new challenge at hand, Benny would reorganize and remodel the ECW to prepare it for what was ahead, and thus the UWF (Ultimate Wrestling Federation) was born.
The UWA Draft: Murrey and Mickey decided to shake things up by scrambling their rosters and dividing them in half. For the weeks leading up to said draft, the anticipation and the enthusiasm grew with each passing day. The result of which led to some pretty amazing trades, but the greatest outcome was that a sensational rookie who’d made an impact in his brief stint in the UWA prior to the draft and who’d been hailed as a prospective star emerged as the most interesting acquisition of the night (by Mickey): Krusader’s younger cousin, Dragonfly (a daredevil figure).
In the HCW, John Brown introduced some younger talent and began to push and hype them in a manner that would be vindicated later on, among these top performers was the Hulk.
Southern Division’s Opening Day: With the draft behind Mickey and Murrey, the Mouse brothers started to spar with one another on a regular basis over the internet as the opening day drew nearer. However, Mickey – as a result of these back and forth taunts – opened shop earlier than scheduled on October 29th, 2002. The show itself turned out to be a huge success, that featured Slammu’s return, apology for his actions and appointment of the Southern Division’s Gore Roster (as part of a brand extension conceived by Mickey to further shake things up), the launching of a two month long tournament to crown the first UWA Heavyweight Champion (as part of an agreement between Mickey and Murrey, the south would have the UWA Heavyweight Champion while the North had the UWA World Champion), the return of Rhyno as one of over a dozen Temporarily Contracted Stars from the HCW, and the debut of Kane Two as a permanent contracted star.
Two nights later, the first ratings battle between Mickey and Benny transpired as UWA’s Friday Night Gore competed against UWF Chaos. Chaos would kick off a winning streak that would span the next month and a half. It was the Monday ratings war that would prove to be the more contentious battle featuring the UWF’s Xplosion squaring off against the UWA’s Monday Massacre. Massacre would take the first victory, thusly tipping off the most heated ratings war ever.
Storyline Notes in 2002
UWF: Among the talent Benny had received were Woody the Second and Metalhead, so the anticipation for a long awaited rematch became unavoidable and inevitable. Instead, the two would initially become a tag team and wouldn’t combat one another as a result. The Rock and RVD paired up and produced a legitimately effective unit that initially dominated the tag division. Undertaker would succeed in becoming the first champion of the promotion, but said reign was short lived. Upon the introduction of the first UWF event in competition with Mickey, Benny would unveil a secret that he and the spouse of a UWA superstar (Saguna) had enjoyed an affair, and thusly produced a child.
UWA: With the scheme devised by Mickey and Murrey now in motion, intra-promotional tension began to rise. Speculation of another collapse started to circulate as Murrey showed his usual knack for reckless management. The Southern Division’s Tournament proved to be a major success with Dragonfly and Rhyno emerging as the finalists, competing at the first PPV: Motivation in late December 2002. Rhyno had become the odds-on favorite to reap the victory due to his emphasis placed on his ascension by UWA writers, but it was all cleverly executed in how things would pan out as Dragonfly, who advanced through the tournament in a series of mid and undercard matches, came out with the victory in what turned out to be one of the best matches in wrestling history. Also, Mickey sought to establish a list of rules to ensure that the anarchy that led to the USWA’s demise would not be relived, among them being a prohibition on the establishment of ANY stables.
With the return of Blaster, Mickey would seek to create a loophole to that rule. Initially, with the expected tension resuming between Blaster and Mickey, Mickey sustained some brutal injuries after getting hit with a vehicle. Howard Knuckles assumed Mickey’s responsibilities as the boss recovered and Blaster engaged an old foe (Soultaker) in a new feud. Soultaker would recruit a few followers (contrary to the regulations on such activity) and once more target Blaster. It became apparent that this was all a part of a grand scheme conjured up by Mickey to torment Blaster as he justified the exceptional stable by calling it his “Ministry of Enforcement” (Acronym: ME) and even tricking Blaster into signing a binding contract that literally bound the two together until the UWA came to meet its demise.
This part of the storyline would also see an interesting development involving Maniac and the introduction of his imaginary friend; “FRED”, who would supposedly instruct Maniac to commit evil acts, including snapping Crash Holly’s left ankle so badly that the bone punctured the skin! Furthermore, two temporarily contracted stars (brothers Brandon Lee and Sean Olson) would take the UWA by storm as they – and their incredible teamwork – would capture the tag gold and dominate the division.
UWF: The Woody/Metalhead story culminated with a revisit to their epic encounter at the USWA’s 1998 King of the Ring, Metalhead would come out as the ultimate victor and give the feud a proper ending, while also catapulting himself to an unprecedentedly long World Title reign that spanned (with short intervals) the remainder of UWF’s existence.
The Giant Gonzales made his return at the first UWF Massacre Six PPV, giving the UWF monstrous ratings, but as Gonzales’ health deteriorated, his in-ring participation diminished, resulting in a phasing out of his career by year’s end.
Teo and Attitude became a great tag team, but their team was in trouble from the get go. Teo’s overbearing arrogance played a key role in their eventual split, especially as it conflicted with Attitude’s dedication to success. Throughout the rest of their careers in the UWF, a potential match between the two was often hyped, but never delivered, serving as a true disappointment at the time, but a cliffhanger for the expectations of what would come of it years down the line.
Benny’s Marriage to Molly would prove to be interesting with a hilarious sequence involving Molly’s water breaking, spilling said liquids all over Benny’s henchmen: the Establishment in addition to Molly’s father experiencing a horrible heart attack. At some point in the year, it was brought to light that Benny had had a relationship with a “woman” named Lilo, who turned out to be a tranny.
RVD and Scott Steiner would get into a heated feud that would lead to the near ending of both of their careers as a result of a death defying drop for both in a rafter match.
UWA: Krusader took his younger cousin under his wing to show him the ropes in asserting himself as a force to be reckoned with. With Dragonfly becoming the Heavyweight Champion just the previous December, the crossing of the paths as opponents would soon become inevitable, and so it happened in one of the most anticipated matches ever, at Oblivion in March 2003. Unfortunately, Dragonfly would make the most despicable and heartbreaking heel turn in recent memory, joining Mickey’s ME at the expense of Krusader.
Jeff Murrey would go on to sell the ND-UWA to Benny Mouse after mediocre success, claiming that his involvement in the industry had run its course. With Benny owning a part of Mickey’s company, the rivalry took a turn for the worse. Mickey would retaliate later in 2003, securing a highly controversial deal with Vinnie Mouse, who ran a developmental subsidiary of the UWF, the NWA, wherein he acquired the contract of HBP for 20 Million Dollars that summer. From there, the war only got more personal.
Furthermore, Brandon Lee and Sean Olson would part ways for good, sparking yet another deeply heated feud, leading to an epic first ever Aerial Assault Match (wherein the objective is to score a fall following a move from a wide and tall ladder that towered over the crowd), and the M.E. would dominate the ranks. Maniac’s obsession with blaming every fault on his “friend” would eventually become too much for his co-members of the M.E. to tolerate. Mickey would attempt to coerce Maniac to seek help to no avail as Maniac insisted that FRED was real, suddenly a familiar voice that had been heard over the course of several months leading up to this point saying “You’re all going to die down here” (something that had previously and regularly been dismissed as a technical glitch) sounded as the entire arena went dark and then…with Slipknot’s “My Plague” blaring over the sound system, a monstrous creature would appear (resembling the Hulk, but mutilated) as Maniac yelped: “FRED!!” FRED then unleashed hell on all who stood in his path, and thus the infamous career of F.R.E.D. (representing Fear Real Evil and Dead) was born!
The very night that FRED debuted, Rhyno would capture the Heavyweight Gold in a jeopardy four man cell match that resulted from Dragonfly sustaining an injury that forced Slammu to step in and capture the gold from two M.E. members who were charged with the duty of ensuring that Dragonfly kept the gold. In due time, FRED would ascend to the top of the ranks and go face to face with Rhyno. Mickey realized the full depth of the threat FRED posed to his power, so he initially attempted to destroy the monster, but eventually he would successfully recruit the beast, at the expense of Maniac and everyone who dared to question Mickey.
Also, in the summer of 03’, Mickey would reveal the darkest secret he’d ever kept, that he had murdered his father almost a decade ago!! He was subsequently arrested, tried and convicted for said murder, but somehow found a way to weasel himself out of serving any prison time.
Around the same time that FRED was rising towards the gold, Dragonfly and Krusader resumed their feud and continued such throughout the year, and as FRED encounter Rhyno, who entered their title match at Dead Bodies Everywhere at under 60% health, a plummet to hell (top rope powerslam into a sidewalk slam) through the set would seal the deal, and crown FRED as the champion.
Sunfire would also make a return to action, bringing with him a clumsy talent agent named Don Sparking. Sparking would often cause Sunfire to sustain many injuries and victories as he attempted on numerous occasions to assist his client. Eventually, Sunfire got fed up with Sparking’s incompetence and hired on a new agent to help him; Catherine. However, a new twist would come with this bright and clever new addition to the UWA; Catherine would – by the end of the year – reveal herself to be the illegitimate daughter of Mickey from a brief sexual affair he had in San Francisco back in the 80s.
With the events of the year coming to a close, Mickey announced the introduction of a new match, called the Total Anarchy Match, with stipulations combining seven matches into one (Cell, Iron Man, Falls Count Anywhere, Bone Break Rules or Bruised and Bloody [Bone Break is where you merely have to break an opponents ligaments to win and a Bruised and Bloody is where laceration and fractured are required], Barbwire, Fatal Four Way and First Blood; with First earning the first to draw blood two points and bone fracture or blood and fracture resulting in five points and all other falls resulting in single points) at Motivation 2 that would pit Frank Shamrock, Brandon Lee, Soultaker and FRED against one another. FRED would barely survive.
That night, Agramon would make his identity known, transitioning from his cover alias = Kane Two after betraying Hulk Hogan as a tag partner and winning a tournament to become the first ever Immunity Champion (a championship fought under No DQ rules, and cloaking the possessor thereof with immunity from any form of reprimand whatsoever).
Closing joint-promotional ceremonies included the first WOW Award Show that featured a challenge from Dragonfly to Metalhead and a variety of additional interesting developments; including Jeff Murrey’s announcement of a return to promoting with a company called the Last Wrestling Federation, a joint Monday Show and a Joint PPV called “the Epicenter of Mayhem”. At the conclusion of the latter, Mickey would piss on Benny’s ring and the two monsters from opposing sides (FRED of the UWA and Armageddon of the UWF) would engage in a staredown.
Without a doubt the most tumultuous of any year in wrestling up to that date, the LWF would prove true to Murrey’s word as a tremendous success, dominating Monday Ratings wars for 9 consecutive weeks against Massacre (being that Benny had briefly abandoned Mondays to focus on Fridays the previous year) and won well over 50% of their remaining head-to-head confrontations with both the UWA and UWF on Mondays. His attempts at dominating Fridays would be futile as he eventually abandoned that idea.
The LWF’s crazy style and unstable management (throughout its short tenure, it had roughly 5-7 different owners) would contribute to its eventual plight. Murrey would jump ship to the UWA, leaving his promotion to Eric Bischoff, who ran it into the ground. During this time, the LWF gave rise to a number of key superstars of the current era; Sean Olson (making him the ONLY superstar to be employed by three different promotions at once; HCW, UWA and LWF), Christian (who would become LWF Champion and jump ship to the UWA, create the Peep Show = a show designed to torment guests for up to two minutes to test their “potential”), Stamboli (a man initially hailed as the next big thing by Murrey, but later derided for his failure to quickly rise through the ranks as Murrey wanted.
This Hatred would spill over into the UWA when both would end up working with each other again. Murrey eventually took over for Mickey, who was on hiatus as a result of a life threatening injury, and would capitalize on that opportunity to torment Stamboli, forcing him into pseudo-slavery) and Mr. Perfect (who pioneered the double axe handle as a finisher and conned his way into capturing the LWF European Championship, jumped ship with said title, renamed it the Perfect Championship and continued to con his way to success).
The instability and collapse could be somewhat attributed to Murrey and Bischoff’s collective failure to achieve a PPV victory over the juggernaut that Mickey once was (always highly revered for the outstanding delivery of every PPV, and always on top when the month in buy rates would come in).
UWF: Metalhead’s dominant reign would run into its most obstacles during this year, when a certain turn of events with send the world title scene into an uproar and subsequent tournament. The end result being Attitude’s acquisition of the gold, much to the dismay of Benny. This only added to the expectation of an encounter between Teo and Attitude, but, by year’s end; the fans would receive no such encounter and Metalhead would reclaim his prize.
The entirety of the year for the promotion was a rocky one, experiencing a litany of legal issues, among others; Benny oversaw a company on the verge of collapse. The NWA closed shop, after only having one really intriguing storyline pitting the incompetent Duct Tape Men against the Masked Phenom, and by year’s end, Benny would announce the demise of the UWF, followed by a promise to return, but as the ND-UWA he had purchased from Murrey almost two years prior.
UWA: Surviving what at one point could have easily turned into another promotional civil war (involving an organized unit who called themselves the Protesters, as they rebelled against the lack of a pay check for an extensive period of time, that would disintegrate by the Spring of 2004), and enjoying monumental success with the Second Oblivion which featured high profile matches including: a Buried Alive Match with Agramon and Soultaker, a match between Blaster and Steve Austin, a submission match between Dragonfly and Krusader (after which, Dragonfly’s resentment of Krusader’s victory led him to put Krusader out of commission) and a Heavyweight Title encounter pitting Maniac against FRED, wherein Maniac won after unveiling to FRED that he (Maniac) was his father.
As the competition dwindled, the UWA picked up the pace, as usual. In an unexpected turn of events, Bugs Bunny the Second, an adopted son of Mickey S.R.’s would shine light upon a little overlooked fact about the missing will: he was in it, and now Mickey owed him half of what was his. This infuriated Mickey, who’d already given a quarter of his promotion to his daughter, thusly resulting in him only owning as much as his daughter. Catherine would capitalize on this as on opportunity to expand the involvement and influence of women in the industry, and though attained by questionable means, she would eventually succeed in giving rise to the first and only woman to ever hold a World Championship; Amazon!!
Following a competitive feud with the Arabian Knight (protégé of Egyptian Batman), Dragonfly would reclaim his position at the top of the ranks and thusly the Championship itself. Catherine would unveil to her father that she was pregnant with Blaster’s child, prompting a near stroke for Mickey.
With a vicious encounter between Metalhead and Dragonfly at the next award show bringing the year to a close, the last full year of professional wrestling had drawn to a close.
Benny would never follow through with his promise to re-launch at all, and Murrey would depart from the UWA to run a joint venture with Mickey called the WWO (World Wrestling Organization), holding only two events and crowning one champion; Ted Dibiase.
A scandal broken by the LWF/WWO’s Junior Bunny, involving drugs, illicit sex and money laundering would bring the UWA down to its knees as it involved Mickey Mouse Junior. It had only done so because as Bugs the Second terminated Mickey, he violated the Binding Contract between Blaster and Mickey and therefore purged himself. The UWA decided to hold one last, two-night spectacle christened the Third Oblivion that crowned the Crock as the last World Champion after an eight man Total Anarchy Match, six voting rounds that nominated six combatants and two battle royals the previous night that qualified the remaining two.
Footnotes on Individual Stories:
The Love Triangle: Following his split with Molly, Saguna teamed up with the Big Show to form Little Man & Big Man. The team enjoyed some decent success, but the real kicker was what involved Lady Love, Saguna’s secret lover. As time went by, Big Show, who initially acted disgusted toward the relationship, displayed his own affection for Love. Just like that, an explosion of interest in Lady Love ensued with a whole list of superstars gunning for her, even sucking the otherwise professional UWF Broadcaster Kevin Kelly into her seductive spell. Ultimately, after winning out over everyone, Big Show would annihilate Love on their “wedding day”. Saguna no longer vied for Lady Love in part because of his defection to the UWF to feud with Benny.
The Crock Show: In the winter of 2003, the Crock made his return to the UWA (after having been under contract to the UWF following Benny’s acquisition of the ND-UWA), and immediately hit the ground running as a hit yet again. His greatest accomplishment was the introduction of the now beloved “Crock Show”, which aired Monday nights on Monday Massacre and featured one special guest following a monologue. At Motivation 2, Crock launched his new endeavor with a contest to find a sidekick for the show, the winner of which was Mr. Moody.
Throughout its successful original run (involving roughly 30 episodes), Crock often targeted specific co-workers, provoking them to retaliate. In one such case, at the Second Oblivion, Crock combated Brock Lesnar in a match wherein the stipulation was that the loser would have to succumb to the will of the winner for a month, following rumors that Crock had circulated about Brock Lesnar and a purported gay porn career he had partook in prior to wrestling. Another favorite target of the Crock was Mickey, whom he often spread rumors about (as well as the entire Mouse Family) in a segment of the monologue called “Mickey’s Family Secrets”, this even resulted in a brief reduction and temporary suspension of the Crock Show in the summer of 2004. Crock would regularly belittle his sidekick for being a “gimp” and a crazy war veteran, which were the primary reasons Crock chose him in the first place. Overall, Moody was actually the brains of the bunch.
2005-2007 (The HCW Era):
This was a period which immediately followed the closure of UWA and the conclusion of the Third Era. UWA’s closure led to a large sea of UWA and WWO talent heading to HCW (UWA’s roster was the largest of all brands throughout the Era, just as USWA had boasted the largest roster in the Second Era), including all the talent which had dual contracts such as Sean Olson, Brandon Lee, and Rhyno.
With the HCW being the only mainstream brand left to fill the void, John Brown’s company featured a number of great feuds, with the primary one being between Dragonfly and Rhyno, where Rhyno infamously tried to kill Dragonfly by throwing him off of a platform and causing him to hang (this reportedly caused a neck injury for Dragonfly and left him out of action for quite some time). At the end of this Era – which was, again, entirely up to HCW in lieu of any competition -, HCW’s last champion was Flyer, who had previously been popular as a lightheavyweight wrestler in USWA.
2007-2010 (The Fourth Era):
The fourth era kicked off through internet chatter and an announcement by Benny Mouse and the WOW pertaining to the hosting of what was supposed to be a final night of wrestling at an undetermined time.
(Note: detailed summaries of the most memorable stories and characters of the era will follow the overview of the era)
The hype for the card escalated to a boiling point that led Mickey and Benny to challenge one another to a match. The spectacle, From Dusk Til Dawn, aired on 5/9th-10th/2008 and lasted roughly 12 hours, featuring the aforementioned Falls Count Anywhere Match with Benny and Mickey, seeing Blaster as the special referee, a special underdog battle royal, and a massive six bracket tournament that crowned Splinter as the first ever Undisputed Champion of the Wrestling World. At the conclusion of the night, Mickey, Shane McMahon and Jeff Murrey submitted a video package that announced the re-formation of the U.W.A. on Independence Day.
A week later, the EWA (Elite Wrestling Alliance), HCW and UWA partook in a grand draft. There was an agreement forged and facilitated by WOW that this era would only last two years (for the first time in history, an era with a predetermined conclusion). It didn’t take long for the back and forth insults, threats, and overall taunting between the three companies began. The EWA wanted to get a head start on the competition, announcing their debut for “Revolution”, their new flagship broadcast on Monday Nights. HCW initially planned to debut a week after, but raised the stakes by moving their debut up a week to directly compete with the EWA. Benny – the owner of BWM Inc., and thus the EWA – was outraged about the HCW’s move, though he publicly “welcomed” the challenge. With the first three classic episodes of “HCW Mayhem”.
These episodes completely shocked the wrestling world. The EWA expected a series of blowout victories against the HCW starting with the Premiere episodes of “EWA Revolution” and “HCW Mayhem” on June 16th, 2008. In truth, “Mayhem” performed much better than expected on the 16th, coming within striking distance of topping “Revolution”. The second week (June 23rd, 2008) was even closer. A fraction of the margin between the two shows from a week earlier, as “Revolution” survived “Mayhem” by the skin of Benny’s teeth. Needless to say, by the time the third encounter came on June 30th, 2008, Benny and the rest of the wrestling world was bracing for impact.
This was the last showdown between HCW and EWA before the UWA returned to Monday nights on July 7th, 2008. On the third encounter, the landscape changed completely when John Brown took his leap into history by completing his transition from being the butt of every Ric Venom joke in the USWA to being a main player. In the final year of the Second Era (1997-2002), Brown’s HCW served as mere supporting antagonist characters in the Allegiance invasion storyline in USWA.
Throughout the Third Era (2002-2005), the HCW served as a source of developmental recruitment for Mickey’s UWA-Southern Division. However, the second class status of the HCW – which was already called into question with their surprisingly awesome performance at the inaugural “From Dusk Til Dawn” in May of 2008 – was shattered completely when the momentum carried Brown and his Hardcore brand of wrestling to an historic victory streak which started on June 30th, 2008.
By the end of the unique and competitive Fourth Era, the HCW stood tall with the most ratings victories, and that started with the first three classic episodes of “HCW Mayhem”! Initially, the UWA had a game plan which was meant to mirror the initial game plan of the UWA in the Third Era’s outset in the fall of 2002 when Jeff Murrey seduced Mickey into believing that they were going to crush the UWF together by having two separate shows tears the UWF apart on a weekly basis.
While Murrey had let Mickey down with months of the UWA’s initial launch in 2002, Mickey was determined to follow through in the “Second Coming” of the UWA in the Fourth Era. This stroke of supposed genius – in the eyes of Mickey, of course – led him to revive Murrey’s WWF and his own USWA as “sub-promotions” within the UWA. Mickey named Murrey as the “Promotional Administrator” (P.A.) of the WWF sub-promotion and Vince McMahon as the P.A. of the USWA. The goal would be to have separate Monday broadcasts every week, with USWA Monday Massacre and WWF Monday Night Raw each competing against each other as well as HCW Monday Night Mayhem and EWA Revolution. Mickey thought this was ingenious because it would permit him to conceivably have the two top-rated Monday Shows every week.
Also, Mickey had two sets of Championships. WWF had the WWF Title, Intercontinental Title, and the Hardcore Title. USWA Had the USWA Title, United States Title, and the Deathmatch Title. UWA overall had the Tag Team Titles, the Women’s Title (revived for the first time since the Second Era after the EWA created the “Knockouts” Division), and the UWA Title. The twist about the UWA Title was that the USWA and WWF Champions were at first slated to compete every three months to determine the UWA Champion. This was quickly changed to making the champions compete at each of the UWA’s “Big Four” Pay Per Views: Oblivion (in March), SummerSlam (in August), Survivor Series (in November), and Motivation (in December).
The UWA was “reborn” on July 4th, 2008 with the “Second Coming” Pay Per View, which became the highest-rated “Opening Day” event up to that point. The one downside, though, was that critics maligned – led, most notably, by EWA’s Chris Hyatte – the Battle Royal which crowned Terry Austin – Steve’s younger brother (in this Universe) – as the first USWA Champion of the new era, and he eventually went on to become the First UWA Champion as well at SummerSlam. Critics were polarized about this, as the traditionalists – who also hated the original USWA’s hyper-chaotic and relatively unpredictable design which proved extremely successful at the time – attacked the idea that Terry Austin could effectively debut on the Main Event stage and become world champion without the people being given a reason to believe his ascendance.
Unfortunately for Mickey’s plans of ratings supremacy, this criticism influenced a significant number of fans to turn the channel whenever Terry showed up on television (he wouldn’t be redeemed until years later in another era), which cost the UWA the ratings battle more often than not. It also helped spell the premature demise of the plan for the UWA to compete against itself. Mmouse Enterprises voted to scrap the internal Monday Night War within six months of launching it, replacing it with a new plan to have Raw and Massacre air on alternating Mondays with a new show – UWA’s The Asylum – occasionally airing every so often to merge the rosters the create a simulated feeling of a mini-PPV. In truth, the plan for Asylum to unite the brands actually worked in the Spring of 2009 as the UWA started more consistently winning ratings battles (this was also helped by the fact that the EWA eventually became plagued with an unpredictable schedule, more on this momentarily). Massacre and Raw also experienced some more victories along the way, but the HCW still served as the dominant promotion throughout.
The UWA had preset the date of July 4th, 2010 to be the last PPV of the UWA; called “Sundown”. This was among the highest rated events of the Era, and deservedly so. It received rave reviews for how it wrapped up the primary stories of UWA. While the UWA fell short of its goals in ratings dominance, including in the one area where it remained untouched in the 2nd and 3rd Eras – PPVs -, this was the PPV which redeemed the image of the company, with an epic sendoff in the Main Event to crown the final UWA, USWA, and WWF Champion between Dragonfly and Blaster (which Blaster won, after Mickey betrayed Dragonfly).
Looking over at the EWA, or BWM Inc.’s involvement in the era, the first loss to HCW shook Benny Mouse to his core and rocked the Board in his company. There was a brief si-saw battle between Benny and John Brown in the ratings until the EWA abruptly stopped holding events in late-July, leading the UWA to become the primary opponent for HCW in the absence of EWA. After a few weeks hiatus, Benny returned to action, excusing his absence by claiming to have been involved with the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing. EWA returned for about a month uninterrupted until they hit another snag. After a short while of another absence, Benny claimed that he was trying to help the McCain Presidential Campaign that year in its closing weeks, so all of that meant that he couldn’t permit the EWA to appear weekly without him at the helm. Leading up to the first interpromotional PPV since “From Dusk Til Dawn” – called “Diplomatic Deficiency”, which also hosted the 2009 WOW Award Show -, EWA became more consistent until after that PPV aired. However, when they disappeared again for a few weeks the HCW and UWA Board Rooms began to call the EWA the “Erratic Wrestling Alliance”, a nickname which would haunt the company until it folded in early 2010 after having been mostly absent throughout 2009.
In the interim, WOW announced a Second Installment of “From Dusk Til Dawn”, taking place in September 2009. This massive PPV wound up clocking in at around six hours. The build-up for this show led to the EWA being more consistent than at any point since their first month and a half in the era, especially since the headlining match was a rematch between the greatest icons in the history of the business: Splinter and Slammu (more on this in the detailed summary of the feuds and characters of the era). Following “From Dusk Til Dawn 2009”, EWA never again had a consistent schedule in the Fourth Era. This created the groundswell for Benny’s decision to scrap everything and start all over…again.
In September 2009, Benny relaunched the promotion which put him on the map in the Second Era: ECW. There was some buzz about the return of ECW, but this announcement was eventually overwhelmed by Joey Styles – a former ECW Commentator – launching his own promotion (with some secretive backing by WWF P.A. Jeff Murrey), called TNA. A brief feud was sparked between TNA and ECW, which led to the two promotions merging to become “ECW: TNA”.
Unfortunately, this promotion was very short-lived (with a lifespan just barely longer than the brief WWO promotion which aired in January 2005). ECW wrapped up BWM Inc.’s role in the Fourth Era with little more than a wimper after the EWA had started so strong. HCW – on the other hand – hardly lost its steam. The company that was never expected to be competitive against Benny and Mickey outsmarted and outperformed both in sound fashion.
It’s widely agreed upon that the Fourth Era belonged to the HCW, despite it being the second most competitive era in history at the time. HCW never skipped a week of action, hosting 101 total Monday Night Mayhems, and 13 PPVs (they held a PPV every other month from Tumultuous Iniquity 2008 through Tumultuous Iniquity 2010). It’s because of HCW’s excellent PPVs that the UWA was unable to dominate the ratings in the one area where it had ALWAYS been the best since the Second Era. HCW’s PPVs were always the highest rated, but they were more often not. Arguably, the HCW reached its peak in February 2009, with their “Bloodshot” PPV which featured the iconic heel turn of Rhyno as he betrayed HCW to join Scott Nash in the NWO in a storyline that shouldn’t have worked since it revived a relic of the Second Era, but it worked in sound fashion, solidifying HCW as the premier wrestling promotion of the Fourth Era for the remainder thereof. After that point, EWA was unable to compete with HCW’s chaotic and hilarious style which brought back memories of the USWA’s style (more on that at the end of this analysis).
UWA would become a better and more consistent competitor against HCW starting in the Spring of 2009 and through to July 2010, but it was always clear which company was the best, given the consistent record of dominance. The HCW wrapped up the Fourth Era in August 2010 with the final installment of “Tumultuous Iniquity”. John Brown successfully solidified himself as one of the great promoters in the history of the industry and not just some small-time promoter kicked around by the big wigs. Brown will now forever be recognized alongside Murrey, Mickey, and Benny as a giant among men.
Noteworthy Characters/Stories of the Fourth Era:
EWA/ECW/TNA Notable Stories and Characters –
Christian/Splinter = The EWA kicked off in 2008 with a feud over the WOW Undisputed Championship, which Splinter won at the Inaugural “From Dusk Til Dawn”. Christian and Splinter’s feud carried on for a number of weeks until around the time that EWA’s first experience with being “erratic” began. Splinter wound up dropping the gold to Christian and this defeat started Splinter down his dark path which eventually turned him heel. The EWA Championship was unified with the Undisputed Championship with Christian’s victory over Splinter, which catapulted Christian into being a main event superstar!
Splinter/Krusader = In late-2009, Krusader was traded to BWM Inc.’s EWA, but the company was converted into the ECW just as he arrived on the scene. Krusader had an ax to grind against his old nemesis from the First Era: Splinter. Krusader turned heel and started playing mind games with Splinter, insisting on one final match. After weeks of torment and an unsanctioned encounter, Splinter finally agreed to the match at From Dusk Til Dawn 3. However, the event didn’t take place in 2010 as originally planned (it didn’t take place until 2019), and the standoff was never resolved.
Athena Starr/Jesse Hash = Athena Starr (a small barbie) and Jesse Hash (a TNA Jeff Hardy figure) were a pothead couple which hosted “4:20” during EWA programming. Starr and Hash eventually had a falling out by the end of 2009, after Starr had an affair with Christian. This heel turn would lead to Starr becoming the first ever woman to hold the Undisputed Championship – when she defeated Hash for it following a chair strike by Christian that was meant for Starr -, which she lost to Metalhead by the end of the era.
Randy Orton/Metalhead = At the beginning of the 4th Era, Metalhead assembled a group which he called the “Legacy”. Orton was his primary protégé, but Orton and Metalhead saw their relationship shatter as Orton’s ambitions got in the way of Metalhead’s determination to get back on top. After Orton became the first ever EWA champion, Metalhead grew jealous until the point, but Orton beat him to the punch, making Metalhead one of his first “legendary” victims. As the era progressed and the EWA was replaced by the unique ECW-TNA, Orton went on to feud with the Hart Foundation (via the Legacy) and Metalhead went on to destroy Athena Starr in a match wherein he became the Undisputed Champion of the world!
Natalya Neidhart = Natalya was barely present as a Knockout in EWA (and that was far from her fault), but when Benny resurrected the ECW, Natalya quickly rose to the top and became ECW’s first ever and last women’s champion.
Teo/Attitude = When the Fourth Era began, Teo and Attitude were slated to fight at “From Dusk Til Dawn” in an unsanctioned encounter. After the show and the mediocre reviews for the fight, HCW shocked the world by drafting Teo and Attitude (Benny reportedly freaked out over this). In HCW, the momentum was building for a proper Teo and Attitude redo, and the intensity between these former team mates built for months from HCW’s Fourth Era launch through the fall. It looked like HCW would slate Teo and Attitude for a match at their December PPV, but then EWA offered John Brown’s HCW a trade that they couldn’t refuse: Teo and Attitude for Rhyno. Brown felt that he couldn’t pass up the chance to get his favorite mega star back into HCW, so he willingly handed Teo and Attitude’s contracts over to EWA. Benny was reportedly desperate to prevent HCW from delivering on an iconic feud which started under his watch. So, he continued the story on EWA’s erratic time, and with most of the build having happened on HCW television, all Benny had to do was schedule the PPV encounter. The match itself was not bad, but it didn’t live up to expectations, which made it the most disappointing non-climactic conclusion to a story in EWA’s history (this is why the feud was resumed later on in history). The two of them would later seek to wrap up their feud in the ECW, wherein Attitude won at the final ECW PPV, but the fans were still left wanting more.
Cody/Ted Dibiase J.R. = The additional members of the “Legacy”, being protégés of Randy Orton after he split with Metalhead. Unfortunately for the two of them, Cody and Ted paid a price from the dual problems of EWA’s irregular schedule and the mockery – by critics – of Cody’s appearance. The chief thing that the “haters” like to mock Cody for was his ears, as jokes were made that EWA was regularly not broadcast because Cody’s ears weren’t working properly to send the signal. Poor Ted Dibiase J.R. never recovered from this guilt by association throughout the doomed era for them. Despite these setbacks, the Legacy did get involved in one significant feud in ECW-TNA with the Hart Foundation which the Legacy won at the end of ECW-TNA/EWA part of the era.
The Miz = When he first debuted, EWA had a lot of hopes for the Miz, but a handful of critics and fans hated him so much that they actually turned the channel. This was irrespective of his actual mic and in-ring talents. Unfortunately, the Miz suffered a number of booking set-backs as a result and was another victim of the erratic schedule. Even so, Miz did enjoy a brief stint in ECW-TNA when he competed for the Number One Contendership for the Undisputed Title against Metalhead.
Mr. Kennedy = Like Miz, Cody, and Ted Dibiase J.R., Kennedy was another star that EWA wanted to introduce, but he not got off the ground. It was obvious that he was talented, but he lagged in some viewership, and the EWA issues killed any effort to help him grow.
Doink the Clown = Doink was introduced in TNA in early 2010 during the short stint of TNA through the short-lived partnership with the short-lived revival of Benny’s ECW. Doink arrived promising a revelation that would shake the industry, supposedly involving a lawsuit of sorts with Mickey’s UWA. It alleged a scandal, but with Mickey being a larger than life personality whose reputation was rocked by so many scandals (including the alleged murder of his father, on two occasions…more on that shortly), it is safe to say that this revelation was nothing more than a ridiculous attempt by a literal clown to gain some brief ratings.
Joey Styles = ECW Alum who reemerged to run TNA just before the ill-fated merger with Benny’s ECW.
Sean Olson = EWA handled him as well as they could during their erratic schedule. Olson dominated the main event scene throughout the era, feuding with Orton, Splinter, Hash, and Christian, but the World Title eluded him, because of the lack of time to successfully pursue it.
Kevin Kelly/Princess Kevina Love = The long-time ringside commentator who had always remained loyal to Benny extending back to the ECW days of the Second Era, Kevin Kelly had underwent a major identity transition which started in 2004 when Kevin was French kissed by UWA’s Lady Love during a joint-promotional show. From that point through the Fourth Era, Kevin gradually started changing publicly from being recognized as “Kevin Kelly” to insisting that everyone refer to her as “Princess Kevina Love”. Kevina reportedly never got over her crush on Lady Love, even going so far as to scowl at Ric Venom from UWA as Ric entered into a serious relationship with Lady Love.
Frank Dutch and Dave Matthews = In the Fourth Era, EWA introduced two new interview personalities: Frank Dutch and Dave Matthews. Frank talked in a very monotone voice and always insisted on telling his joke that “My name is Frank, and my last name is Dutch”. Dave Matthews always reminded you that he was “not to be confused with the famous singer, songwriter [Dave Matthews]”, and he was always polite enough to remind everyone that he was the only interviewer that offered his guests a chair (that no one ever accepted).
AJ Styles = The first ever X-Division champion in EWA, Mr. Styles first burst onto the scene in the Fourth Era via EWA. The man displayed his incredible talents in the ring every time EWA was on the air (Benny never let AJ go to waste). This led to him capturing the EWA Championship, which was also unified with the Undisputed Championship by that point. Later on, Styles captured the ECW title during its very short-lived stint in 2010.
Big Show/Sonjay Dutt = The Big Show found a new tag team partner in EWA, but it was a bit rough in the beginning. Since the retirement of Saguna in 2005, and with Big Show’s drafting to the EWA in 2008, Big Show was left without his old “Little Man, Big Man” tag partner. That’s where Sonjay soon came into the picture. With Sonjay’s singles career lagging, he latched on to Big Show and the two of them created the successful “New Little Man, Big Man” team.
Benny, His Entourage, Molly, Rhyno and Jane =Benny Wade Mouse, The Establishment (Recon and Sniper), and Rob Amick (Benny’s Chief of Security) continued in their near-looney ways in the Fourth Era. Benny tried excusing the erratic nature of his company by pointing to his forced involvement in the 2008 Summer Games, the McCain Campaign, and even the Stock Market Crash. The Establishment and Amick remained as incompetent as ever, but loyal to a fault. Jane Mouse – Mickey’s slutty ex-wife who had previously cheated on Mickey with Lenny and Vinny – wound up in an affair with Benny (who married Molly in 2003). Jane would get pregnant by Benny – naturally causing marital problems between Molly and Benny -, but the pregnancy tragically ended in a controversial miscarriage caused by Rhyno. Rhyno had been getting intentionally sporadically booked by Benny since the draft (though, Rhyno still had some decent matches and a couple short-lived feuds, but he was kept out of the title picture as a serious contender), as Benny only drafted him to keep him away from HCW. This classic “star vs boss” story culminated at WOW’s Joint-PPV “Diplomatic Deficiency” in November 2008 when Benny created so much rage for Rhyno that he tried to Gore Benny, missed, and accidentally Gored the pregnant Jane! Benny “fired” Rhyno despite the fact that he had secretly traded Rhyno to HCW in exchange for Teo and Attitude. Reportedly, Benny allowed this tragedy to take place as a last ditch effort to ruin Rhyno’s reputation as he went to HCW where he would undoubtedly be put in the main event scene. Benny never again entered into a major feud-like role for the rest of the era as he spent the remainder thereof battling for his marriage and then publicly facilitating the transition to ECW-TNA.
Benny/Heyman/ECW Controversy = Going as far back as the Second Era, Benny had a business relationship with industry visionary Paul Heyman. Heyman started the ECW back in 1996, and the company initially had the same degree of success at the time as John Brown’s HCW. However, Benny Mouse eventually left the shackles of Mmouse Enterprises and saw potential in ECW. So, after investing a large sum of money into Heyman’s project, Benny sought to make it competitive. Throughout the era, ECW would fold and start up again a handful of times, getting better each time until its last swift transition at the end of the Second Era led to it converting to the last incarnation of Benny’s WCW, and then ultimately to the UWF powerhouse which emerged just as the Second Era and USWA came to a close. Since ECW had remained on the shelf since 2002, Benny decided to try and spice things up in the closing ten months of the Fourth Era, mostly to take the dominant HCW to task. Benny was caught off guard when he found out shortly after reviving ECW that Heyman had made a serious effort to reclaim what he had created. This power struggle contributed to the weaknesses later exploited by Styles and TNA when they invaded as well as Benny’s efforts and success in merging with TNA. At the close of the era, Benny won full control of ECW from Heyman, ending the controversy for good.
UWA Notable Stories and Characters –
Method/No Limits/New Supremacy = In the beginning of the Fourth Era, the disgraced racist former leader of Southern Justice and one half of the former multi-time tag champions, The Supremacy, John Godwinn struggled to find a partner. However, he found a way to make a new superstar his protégé. The unwilling 8-Ball, who was never a racist, found himself a new target of the persistent Godwinn, who tormented 8-Ball for weeks trying to recruit him for a “New Supremacy”. Godwinn was especially insistent upon creating this new team as he saw the rise of Method, the tag team led by Bad News Brown, which rose to become Tag Champions. Eventually, Godwinn found a way to force 8 Ball to join him as Godwinn’s crusade against Method commenced through to them dethroning Method and eventually finding themselves faced with a new threat: No Limits (Elijah Burke and Tommy Dreamer). They would trade the gold with Dreamer and Burke a few times before 8 Ball finally found a way to escape Godwinn, even if it meant ending his own career.
Duct Tape Men/Masked Phenom = During the Second and Third Eras, Shane Murphy and Vinny Mouse ran three subsequent independent promotions. First, there was Shane’s SMW: Shane Murphy Wrestling, which emerged when Shane Murphy and Ric Venom worked together to crash Benny’s WCW in 2000. Then, there was the EWF, Vinny’s Extreme Wrestling Federation which arose shortly thereafter. Finally, there was the NWA (National Wrestling Association/Alliance), which was basically jointly ran by the two of them, but it was a talent development company for the benefit of Benny’s UWF from 2003 through 2004. Masked Phenom was introduced in the Second Era and became popularly known in ECW before he was traded to MMouse Enterprises (parent company of USWA/UWA/PWI). Before he was traded, though, he was caught up in a hilarious feud with the Duct Tape Men. Masked Phenom would escape them for a long time as a result of being traded to the USWA. However, that curse of the Duct Tape Men later caught up with him when Uno and Dos found him in the Fourth Era UWA. Upon the reunion, Masked Phenom had to battle them one more time as they tried to recruit him as Tres (a position they later filled anyway).
Business Man (and the Duct Tape Men) = Harry Puddphucker was a business representative hired by Mickey to help run things in the UWA in the Fourth Era. Mickey called him the “Business Man” because he hated Harry’s real name. Harry dealt with Mickey’s dirty laundry. At one point, Harry caught the eye of the Duct Tape Men. Uno and Dos made it their mission to torment him, and this carried on for most of the era, as Harry used his clout to get them fired. Then, they came back as the Electric Tape Men (Un and Deux) and then the Shiny Tape Men (Einz and Zwei).
Catherine/Blaster/Mickey = During the Third Era, Blaster and Catherine had an affair which was forbidden by Mickey and which resulted in a pregnancy. When the Fourth Era began, Blaster and Catherine crossed paths again, but Blaster was frustrated because of Catherine being distant since 2005. Catherine revealed to Blaster that she aborted their pregnancy and the later part of the era was defined by Catherine trying to end Blaster’s storied career in one way or another. In the end, Mickey and Blaster made amends as Mickey sought to prevent his daughter from corrupting the era’s conclusion.
Dragonfly/Sunfire = A dream match which never happened in the Third Era despite the mega star-power of both UWA stars at the time was a match between Dragonfly and Sunfire. During the Third Era, Sunfire was immensely popular, but he never rose to World Championship contention, which was where Dragonfly ruled for most of the time. As the Fourth Era began, Sunfire was absent, having been presumed retired by many since the Third Era concluded. Then, out of nowhere, he returned in late 2008 to widespread acclaim! He was instantly mentioned as a main event attraction and it didn’t take long for he and Dragonfly to cross paths and the conversation about an epic encounter between the two to start. However, there was a twist, as the two initially found a common purpose in creating the dominant tag team: The Icons. Naturally, considering their mega-egos, the team was destined to implode, and it did! They finally had their long-awaited encounter at the Fourth Oblivion, which turned out to be the best match of the night, resulting in Sunfire scoring the victory! Sunfire went on to become the 2009 UWA King of the Ring and then defeated Dragonfly again for the UWA Championship, which he held for three months! Dragonfly later regained the gold by defeating Slammu for it and holding the belt for over 6 months until Blaster beat him for it at Sundown. Dragonfly and Sunfire arguably carried the UWA in the Fourth Era and their feud endures as one of the all-time greats!
Krusader/Terminator = In the First Era, Terminator and Krusader had a legendary rivalry in Murrey’s WWF. Terminator retired by the end of the Second Era and hadn’t been heard from since before the turn of the century. That all changed when Terminator made a surprising return targeting Krusader in 2008. The old foes battled it out throughout late-2008 and the first half of 2009. Krusader wound up winning out in the end, capturing the UWA Championship in a triple threat match where he and Terminator challenged the Rock for the gold after they eliminated each other in the Royal Rumble a month earlier. The score was settled with Krusader on top as he left UWA in 2009 after working for Mmouse Enterprises since 1998 back when he was traded to the USWA.
Maniac/FRED = In the Fourth Era, Maniac experienced a bit of a reboot. This was largely inspired by the immense popularity of HCW’s Edge (no, remember that this is not Adam “Edge” Copeland, but an insane character named “Edge”. Adam Copeland’s “Edge” was actually called “The Edge” in this universe, and Adam Copeland is actually a separate character altogether here…yes, we are weird with this, but I digress). Maniac captured the UWA Title, taking it from Terry Austin, but Maniac’s monstrous “son” FRED destroyed him for the title. The feud leading up to their match for the gold was meant to tie up loose ends left over from the Third Era, and it also served to pave the way for a long-awaited feud between FRED and Dragonfly.
RVD/The Rock/Million Dollar Corporation = As the Fourth Era began, The Rock and Rob Van Dam were thrown back together at “From Dusk Til Dawn” to rekindle their old UWF tag team for the epic tournament which crowned the first ever Undisputed Champion. The two of them stayed together as a team after being drafted to the UWA, but their old problems soon flared back up again and broke down into an all-out war. This led to the two of them both capturing the world title in the same night, with the Rock seizing it from RVD. The Rock had one of the longest world title reigns in the Fourth Era after he captured the championship in late 2008 he wouldn’t drop the gold to Krusader until the Fourth Oblivion in the Spring of 2009. In the interim, the Rock feuded with the resurgent, evil legend, the Million Dollar Man, Ted Dibiase. Dibiase created a newfound “Million Dollar Corporation” which he utilized to try and test the will of the Rock throughout his reign. Dibiase’s favorite weapon turned out to be Bam Bam Bigelow, who captured the USWA title from the Rock a night after the Rock lost the UWA title to Krusader. Still, by the end of the Era the Rock tasted success one more time when he and RVD reunited and became the final UWA Tag Team Champions!
Terry Austin/Steve Austin = Without a shadow of a doubt, the most controversial and polarizing moment in the Fourth Era was when Terry Austin won the battle royal to become the first USWA Champion in six years. Wrestling critic Chris Hyatte especially hated this reign, but Steve Austin grew even more jealous of his younger brother than Hyatte did. Steve tried to form a tag team with his brother, but that didn’t pan out since Steve’s real goal was the world title strapped to Terry. Steve ended up playing a pivotal role in Terry losing the gold and the two feuded for months after. Unfortunately, what should have been a feud to catapult Terry’s name into superstardom was irreparably tainted by the unpopular reign of Terry as USWA and UWA Champion. Terry’s career never rebounded from this in the Fourth Era as he was cast away into the abyss of jobber status.
Return of Phobe, Giant Gonzales, and Slammer = As the Fourth Era started to wind to a close, Mickey brought back the iconic Slammer (who had last been seen in 2005) and the legendary giant: Phobe (who hadn’t been seen since 2002). The two of them came in as a shock to the world alongside the also-returning Giant Gonzales (who had been out of action since a devastating injury in the UWF in 2003). Their returns didn’t have enough time to produce new opportunities for any of them since there were only a few months left to the era at the time. Slammer only wrestled once and lost to Phobe in that match, and Gonzales experienced some moderate success as well as a short stint in the main event picture.
The DWO = In 2009, the Heartbreak Punk (HBP) and the Heartbreaker (HB) reunited when HB came out of retirement. They reformed the HBKs to take on the tag division. Over the course of the final year, though, HBP and HB felt that they had to revive the old Degenerate World Order which had existed briefly in the final months of the USWA in 2002 after the NWO and DX merged at the time. This led to comedic antics aplenty as the era came to an end.
Return of Hells Fury = Soultaker and Keeper also experienced a reunion in 2009 as they came together for the first time in almost a decade to again dominate the tag division.
Leonardo/Michelangelo = Leonardo hadn’t been a major star in the industry since the First Era under the WWF banner. Back then, all the focus was on him as Intercontinental Champion and on Raphael’s repeated pursuits of the WWF title. With Raphael retired, Leonardo decided to take another crack at it. However, Mickey felt it was a great decision to make Leonardo tag with his younger and more childish brother, Michelangelo. Leo and Michel struggled as a tag team for a while and Michel always seemed to get in Leo’s way. This led to a break up and a great brief feud between them. However, both wound up being successful in their single’s careers with the two of them enjoying singles title runs!
Elijah Burke/Tommy Dreamer = When Elijah Burke became the latest racist target of John Godwinn, Tommy Dreamer proved useful as a tag partner in their team “No Limits”. The team enjoyed some success until Burke realized that he had a great deal of potential. The team broke up and Burke went on to enjoy a strong mid-card push.
Kevin Nash’s Immunity = At the outset of the Fourth Era, Kevin Nash enjoyed some recognition as a force to be reckoned with. With his brother Scott having been drafted to HCW, Kevin was seen by Mickey has the “next big thing”. Kevin wound up winning the Immunity Championship and used it to his advantage for a short while until…nothing. Many critics felt that he was rising straight to the top, but Nash was overshadowed by the likes of Dragonfly, the returning Sunfire, Rock, RVD, and FRED. Nash’s reign wallowed in nothingness for months as he did nothing with the privilege. This reign was widely and rightly criticized as the second greatest missed opportunity of the Fourth Era, next to the Teo v. Attitude showdown in EWA.
E-Dawg = For decades, Secretary “Dr.” Evil was a loyal executive in Mickey’s infamous Cabinet. He was reliable for chiming in with his occasional “riiiight” comments in response to some absurd suggestion, but he was never really seen as an interviewer-type. In 2008, Mickey wanted to shake things up and he forced the reclusive Evil to appear on screen conducting interviews since the UWA-WWF v. UWA-USWA brand split meant that Lawrence Mason wasn’t available on Raw. Evil’s nervousness eventually prompted him to show his more…hidden side. His “Gangsta” side. Thus, “E-Dawg” was born! Often stealing the show, E-Dawg became a guy with “street cred” that needed to be protected. He eventually hired the services of his “E-Crew” (two goons with some name involving “E”) and even went as far as “rapping” at the opening of an Oblivion PPV.
HCW Notable Stories and Characters –
Anthony and Thomas = While Evil was figuring himself out as an interviewer in the UWA and the EWA brought you the likes of Frank Dutch and Dave Matthews (not to be confused with the famous singer, songwriter), Anthony and Thomas changed the interview game for good! Before Anthony and Thomas, the standard for interviews in the back was the traditional “back to ringside” approach of Lawrence Mason. The interviewer was never the focus of the segment, only the star was. Anthony and Thomas flipped that on its head! Thomas and Anthony were remarkably short compared to the talent, but that never stopped them from being them. Thomas was always ready for a fight – having been a former wrestler in USWA named “Turbo” -, and he would always leave open the door to a fight by making an absurd remark and asking the talent if they “wanna fight about it” saying “big whoop” before the challenge. Anthony was a stranger character than Thomas. This guy always made it a point to remind the talent and audience that he wasn’t very bright, didn’t really pay attention to the rest of the show, and that his primary focus was his big, black…well, you get the point.
Edge/CM Punk = Arguably the greatest story not involving a world title in the Fourth Era! CM Punk was a new up and comer and John Brown was quick to draft him once he got the chance! Edge was a crazy veteran who got his start in Paul Heyman’s ECW back in the second era, trained Maniac, and seemingly drifted away into obscurity. That was until HCW got a hold of him! Edge started to have new life and new opportunities. Having participated in the jeopardy match to crown the first ever Extreme Champion (the Extreme Title was a title that required blood to be drawn in order for their to be a victory for the gold), Edge grew fond of chanting his name along with the beat and the chants of the crowd. This was a trend he fell in love with in the weeks leading up to the crowning of the first Extreme Champion. Well, CM Punk grew annoyed when Edge did this during the match and interrupted him by attacking him and starting the multi-man match. For the next month or two, Edge hilariously stalked CM Punk wherever he went. He oftentimes was spotted sitting in the corner of the hallway, fake-reading a newspaper. CM Punk grew tired of the stalking, reporting that Edge even slept in the dog house outside of his house wiping his ass with cats. CM Punk went to the point of accidentally attacking Rocky Johnson Junior when Rocky was innocently reading a newspaper in the corner. When CM Punk and Edge finally had a match, Edge revealed that he was stalking Punk all along out of revenge for the interruption of his beloved Edge-chant!! Edge went on to stalk other talent and Punk went on to do great things as well, but this forever remains the greatest moment in both of their careers.
Rhyno/Scott Nash/NWO = No one quite knew what to expect when the HCW drafted Scott Nash in the summer of 2008. Nash had always been a loyal employee of Mmouse Enterprises going back to the pre-USWA days of WPW. Nash was also the notorious former leader of the NWO in the USWA. Upon entering the HCW, Nash set out to take over HCW using his familiar long-dormant stable of destruction. For months, the New World Order under Nash’s revisited leadership tormented the HCW and threatened Brown’s brain child, especially once Nash set his sights on toppling the HCW Champion – John Brown’s brother -, Ted Brown. A new hope emerged for stabilization when the HCW shockingly traded Teo and Attitude for Rhyno. Rhyno was Brown’s prize fighter from the glory days of when HCW was a rebellious minor promotion in the dominant days of USWA. The world was absolutely shocked when Rhyno – who had caused the miscarriage of Jane Mouse and Benny Mouse’s illegitimate pregnancy just two months earlier – intentionally hit Ted Brown with the Gore to cost him the world title against Nash. Rhyno’s heel turn and joining the NWO became the biggest twist in the Fourth Era and helped solidify HCW’s dominant status for much thereof. Rhyno did eventually betray Nash, left the NWO, became its primary target, and feuded with Nash until ultimately becoming HCW’s last champion.
The Scarecrow/Evil Taker = A lover of dark magic and a student of the dark teachings of Soultaker, HCW’s Evil Taker was a great heel in HCW’s past, especially back in the Third Era. In the Fourth Era, Evil Taker’s twisted son, Scarecrow, arose out of nowhere and began to emerge as the most intimidating competitor in the company. Scarecrow was a product of demonic worship, dark magic, and many shady traditions in the dark forest that he was raised in. Scarecrow’s sado-masochism made him near-impossible to defeat. He loved pain: giving and receiving it! Scarecrow mounted an impressive list of victories, becoming the Extreme Champion, and soon feuding with his insane father. In the end, Scarecrow defeated Evil Taker, and became the only superstar to ever end an era undefeated and with a championship to boot!
Petey Williams = In the Fourth Era, Petey Williams quickly became one of the most exciting talents to watch. His “Canadian Destroyer” finisher was a move that could be hit “out of nowhere” and he added other high-flying moves to his arsenal, such as the Shooting Star Dropkick! Williams became a world title contender without ever having a serious shot at the title due to his immense popularity. Arguably his greatest match in the HCW was in an Aerial Assault match against the wrestling legend named Che.
The Hardy Boyz = For a brief period at the outset of the Fourth Era, Matt and Jeff Hardy were a tag team again. They never really enjoyed a lot of championship success in any promotion that they joined, but they remained a fan favorite through the Fourth Era. This stint as a team didn’t last long, though, as the future was brighter for Jeff than for Matt. The two went their separate ways and Jeff Hardy’s career took off as he was featured in some of the highest profile matches of the Era. He fell short of the World Title, but there was never any doubt that he could have had a legitimate reign.
Thunder and Aggressor = During the HCW Era which preceded the Fourth Era, Thunder, Aggressor, and Triple Threat were a dominant Trio. However, Triple Threat was forced into retirement and this team remained as a serious threat to everyone else. While the UWA had the Powerhouses (Brock Lesnar and Nathan Jones), HCW had its own Powerhouse pair in Thunder and Aggressor. The two of them ripped through competition on a regular basis. It is remarkable that they didn’t close the Era with the Tag Gold.
Alpha and Omega =Scratchy was HCW’s first ever champion back in 1998. Flyer was a USWA Lightheavyweight Legend who went on to become HCW’s last champion during the HCW Era. This was the reason that their team was known as “Alpha and Omega”. The team further lived up to their name when they became the first and last HCW Tag Champions of the Fourth Era.
Stoner’s Lounge = In the Third Era, the UWA had allowed the final months of its programming to feature occasional drug-infused segments of stupidity involving a pothead trio of Midget Hogan, Y2Bitch (formerly known as Tarzan), and Wolferine. In the Fourth Era, Brown refused to draft Midget Hogan (who was still universally despised for his 109-day infamous reign as USWA’s longest reigning champion in the Second Era), but he did draft Wolferine and Y2Bitch. However, they were no longer linked together unlike before, Bushwhacker joined Y2Bitch to rekindle the love of smoking and joking when they launched a segment called “Stoner’s Lounge” which occasionally stole the show on HCW Mayhem with comedic interview spots and blazed hilarity.
Sex Toy/Gay Batman/Hardcore Holly/Silverdust = Hardcore Holly didn’t enjoy his short stint in HCW. Initially, Holly was feuding with USWA legend Silverdust, who was openly gay and who loved making straight men uncomfortable. Holly enlisted the services of a bodyguard, who wound up coming out as “Sex Toy”. Holly tried to use Sex Toy to confront Silverdust and wound up becoming the focus of both their attention. Holly ended up fleeing to the EWA and what was left behind was an historic first-time feud between openly gay stars. This feud wound up looping in Gay Batman and became a hilarious love triangle which featured the great line “this isn’t where I parked my car” being used when one member of the triangle was caught cheating with the other.
Sabu = Sabu became HCW’s first champion of the Fourth Era in a surprising way. The HCW announced a monster tournament involving every member of the roster and which culminated in a hell in a cell match at their first PPV: Tumultuous Iniquity. During that tournament, one of the participants was a victim of a mystery attack and was then replaced by Sabu. Sabu wound up winning the tournament and almost gained as much hatred as Terry Austin did for winning the USWA and UWA titles. His reign didn’t last long, though, as he soon dropped the belt to Drakus.
Drakus = Drakus, who underwent a series of transitions since debuting as Keeper’s protégé in the USWA, entered the Fourth Era as one of HCW’s top picks. Drakus entered the company as a clear favorite to soon become champion and he did just that after winning the first ever Death From Above match (a rafter match with four participants) to become Sabu’s first challenger. Drakus spent the Era being a constant threat to the world title, but never again tasting the gold after dropping it to Ted Brown.
Gangrel = Gangrel was a legend of ECW who was drafted to HCW. He quickly joined in an alliance with Evil Taker as one of the first major feuds for Scarecrow, dropping the Extreme Title to him.
Hulk/Colossus = Colossus debuted in the LWF in 2004, but he quickly found a new home in HCW during the HCW Era. Hulk had debuted in HCW in 2002, and the two beasts had a great feud during the HCW Era. In 2008, John Brown announced that Colossus and Hulk would kick off the HCW portion of the Undisputed Championship tournament at the first “From Dusk Til Dawn”. Their incredible match on the grandest stage of all time stole the show and proved to the Mouse brothers that the HCW would be a genuine threat if Brown chose to reopen for the Fourth Era. HCW did so, and Hulk feuded with Colossus in the opening months of the Era. The two of them never seriously moved on from one another, which crippled their efforts at pursuing gold, but it can’t be denied that they played a pivotal role in laying the foundation for what would become HCW’s greatest and last stand in the industry.
WOW Notable Stories and Characters –
Metalhead/Dragonfly = In 2003, Dragonfly and Metalhead were the top superstars in the industry, with Metalhead leading the UWF and Dragonfly leading the UWA. From that point, through the rest of the Third Era a dream match was long discussed and even built between them. Their first meeting ever was in the Massacre Six Match main event at the first From Dusk Til Dawn in 2008 wherein they battled four others to crown the first ever Undisputed Champion of the World. Dragonfly and Metalhead were eliminated from that match due to their being distracted by one another and this led to Splinter winning the prize. In 2009, at the Second Installment of From Dusk Til Dawn, they met for the first time ever in a singles bout that ended in a draw. Their final encounter was slated for the Third installment of the event, but that show didn’t happen until 2019, and by then the encounter already happened (more on that in the Fifth Era).
Splinter/Slammu = In the First Era, Slammu met Splinter in 1996. Slammu was interested in becoming a wrestler – he was a multi-time boxing champion, having dominated the WBF (World Boxing Federation, a company owned by Mickey) and Mickey had asked him to sign on to WPW – and he was referred to Splinter to train. Splinter was the greatest and most celebrated wrestler of the First Era (or any, for that matter), having risen to the top of Murrey’s WWF on countless occasions. Their friendship blossomed and the two became like brothers. When the WPW transitioned to the USWA and blew up to become THE mega promotion, kicking off the Second Era, Slammu rose to incredible prominence as THE superstar to beat at the time. Splinter was very supportive at the time, even as his stock was sliding while he sunk into obscurity in Heyman’s ECW. Then, Splinter jumped ship to the USWA and found his new home alongside Slammu. This was all fine, and Slammu even tagged with Splinter for a while. However, Slammu was becoming greedier and more obsessed with power as Mickey enticed him with becoming champion again. In 2001, Splinter and Slammu wound up in the finals of the King of the Ring tournament, and that first encounter between them (Splinter was already in negotiation with ECW to jump back to the company) ended in serious controversy as Slammu betrayed Splinter, as Blaster turned heel, attacked Splinter, helping Slammu win, and paving the way for Mickey to shamefully fire Splinter in front of the world! This deeply scarred the friendship for years, but the two of them never openly talked about it, even after Slammu became a baby face again in 2002. They wouldn’t meet again in the ring until they faced off in the 2008 Legends Tournament Bracket at From Dusk Til Dawn and tore the house down. Splinter and Slammu decimated each other (making it clear that there was still bad blood between them). Splinter won the match and went on to become the first Undisputed Champion. As the Undisputed Champion and during his feud with Christian, Splinter let the accomplishments go to his head. Soon, it became clear that Slammu and Splinter had to settle their differences in a rubber match at the Second From Dusk Til Dawn when the two had a heated encounter at the late-2008 WOW PPV called “Diplomatic Deficiency”. Splinter was rubbing his greatness in Slammu’s face, and Slammu had the support of the people, but Splinter wound up winning their match at that show. Even after putting on a stellar performance in the match to settle the score, Splinter continued to be bitter, showing his newfound colors as a “sore winner”.
Amazon/Athena Starr = Amazon and Athena were arguably the greatest women’s wrestlers to ever step in the ring. Early in the Fourth Era, Amazon dominated the women’s division in the UWA as Athena dominated the EWA and ECW women’s divisions. Amazon had made history as the first ever woman to win a world title in 2004, and Athena made history as the first woman to win the Undisputed Title in 2010. The dream match between them did wind up happening in EWA after Amazon was drafted their in 2009’s annual draft. Athena won that match, but it was seen as far from the end of the story.
Mickey/Benny = The Third Era was where the Mouse Brothers transformed the Wrestling Industry into a bar room fight between them. It was their industry now and they were equally determined to become the best. The iconic war of words between Benny and Mickey as they negotiated for “From Dusk Til Dawn” is what set the foundation for the Fourth Era. Mickey heard Benny’s constant taunting and couldn’t bear to hear Benny claim that he was the best in the industry. Mickey buckled to pressure and announced that the UWA was presenting a “Second Coming”, but not before the two of them embarrassed themselves in the first and only in-ring battle between them at “From Dusk Til Dawn”. The insane fight, which featured more obnoxious screaming and taunting than actual fighting, was widely seen as the worst match of the night. Regardless of who won, everyone else lost. Even so, their feud endured in the business sense as their egos fueled the most competitive era of all and fueled the surprise dark horse winner thereof: John Brown and his HCW.
2011-2014 (The Fifth Era):
The World of Wrestling only spent a year being dormant before the Mouse Brothers again started negotiating through WOW to host what they wanted to be the “Third and Final” installment of “From Dusk Til Dawn”. However, the predictable taunting between Mickey and Benny broke down the negotiations and instead fueled a new draft. Mickey soon announced his retirement from running MMouse Enterprises and revealed that he was handing the reins over to his daughter, Catherine; who announced that the new wrestling promotion would be called “Premier Wrestling Incorporated” to take on Benny’s “New Era Wrestling”.
Initially, John Brown was interested in participating again, but he backed out after the initial draft. This forced MMouse Enterprises and BWM Inc. to host a secondary draft to divide the talent acquired by HCW. Out of the two drafts, Catherine launched a surprise attack on NEW’s most vulnerable big stars, including Sean Olson, Metalhead, and Teo! Following the draft, Mickey and Benny’s trash talking led to the WOW temporarily shutting down. Mickey had stunned Benny by drafting the Undisputed Champion of the World (Metalhead), Benny refused to recognize Metalhead as the champion, asserting that Metalhead’s reign meant nothing to his company. This dispute created a rift in the industry and damaged the Undisputed Title.
Benny pulled out of negotiations for the Third “From Dusk Til Dawn” and Catherine issued a retaliatory announcement about the opening day card for PWI: it would feature a series of matches originally on tap for the now-abandoned super show! This included a long-awaited rematch between Dragonfly and Metalhead, and that match would be for the Undisputed Championship! In response, Benny announced his own super card to debut NEW. Both Benny and Catherine appointed game-changing presidents: Splinter would lead the NEW and Slammu would lead the PWI! This was set to be an incredible, high stakes era.
Then…nothing. PWI debuted in early 2012, as scheduled (well, after a handful of slight delays), but the NEW was absent. PWI presented a small number of events until unforeseen problems created some scheduling issues and temporarily halted anything from happening. Catherine brought the PWI back about a year later, calling that first few group of events the “Preseason”. She unveiled that PWI would now undertake a new approach to the industry: a season that wasn’t year-round! This announcement earned a great deal of praise at the time, and PWI hosted a series of events for the First Season of PWI, which unintentionally culminated with a pay per view called “Blind Ambition”.
During this brief period of time, the NEW only hosted a handful of shows, called “Innovation”, debuting when PWI was absent. The NEW Championship was left in the air after AJ Styles and Christian double-eliminated each other in the Massacre Ten Match during the debut, but the crisis was never officially resolved. Cody Rhodes became NEW’s NXT Champion, Athena became the Knockout’s Champion, R-Truth and Kofi Kingston became the Tag Team Champions, and Splinter shockingly lost to Krusader before Krusader’s young cousin Mystico came down and attacked them both. This was tragically the last major event of the NEW and left a lot of stories untold.
In the PWI, however, the company returned for a Second Season. This season was split up a bit by a number of false starts, but it culminated when Catherine announced a massive intergender tournament which would crown the final PWI champion (of the era). That tournament was unique in its presentation (featured six battle royals which involved each of the three Tiers of PWI, and then the rest of the bracket until a singles match was decided for the world title), and the finals was featured at Motivation 6: Legacy in December 2014, 12 years after the original Motivation.
This era came to a sloppy close, but the PWI management felt that they held up their end of the “deal” by at least finishing what they started. The greatest tragedy is the fact that the NEW never finished telling their stories, which served as a disappointment for all.
Notable Stories and Characters of the Era:
Teo/Terry Austin: At the outset of the Era, PWI did a series of pre-launch interviews helping to increase anticipation for the events to come. One such interview involved the retired-Chairman Mickey Mouse commenting on what he thought of the upcoming Era. Among his thoughts was a remark that he believed Teo was the “future” and that he had “it”. Mickey’s endorsement of Teo’s it-factor went straight to Teo’s head and absolutely fueled speculation about him becoming the first major champion of the era. However, things didn’t quite go as planned. In the beginning, Teo lost to Stan “STD” Hart in the crowning of the first PWI Champion. Then, the scheduling issues happened. Teo wound up taking the gold and reigning for quite some time. The reign undoubtedly has an asterisk because of the numerous breaks in the schedule, but Teo absolutely earned the top spot. In the closing months of the PWI, Catherine announced that PWI was closing shop and that Teo would have to defend his championship (which was ultimately unified with the Undisputed Championship) in the grand tournament. Teo made it to the finals in defiance, but his final challenger was the perpetual underdog, Terry Austin. Teo spent the final weeks leading to Motivation 6 taunting Terry about his probability of losing, but Terry gained the last laugh, toppling Teo and becoming the final champion of the era.
Dragonfly/Metalhead/Robby Storm: In the lead up to PWI’s debut, there was great anticipation for the Undisputed Championship match between Dragonfly and Metalhead. However, when the match happened, it ended suddenly when Dragonfly collapsed, permitting Metalhead to pick up the win. Dragonfly was in a brief coma and a mystery cast a shadow over the PWI: who did it? Many naturally pointed the finger at Metalhead, who categorically denied the cowardly attack. After many months, Dragonfly soon returned, wound up capturing the Undisputed Title, and was faced with the truth: he was attacked by a rookie named Robby Storm. In the months leading to the premiere, Robby had made it known that he was a fan of Dragonfly. With Robby’s father Lance being drafted to the NEW, Robby was left alone. He promised to be different and more serious than his father, and he reportedly approached Dragonfly on the night of the PWI premiere. He was offended by the encounter and attacked Dragonfly from behind. Robby revealed this to Dragonfly and the two had an encounter at Motivation 6, which Dragonfly rightfully won.
Sean Olson/Brandon Lee: Olson and Lee started out the era as singles competitors. Lee had long been jealous of Olson’s favoritism by management, and he always had a chip on his shoulder about proving that he was an equal. However, despite their best efforts to remain separated, the two of them wound up reuniting in the end for one last time becoming tag champions 12 years after becoming the first UWA Tag Champions.
D&UT/”Tar”: For some odd reason, Stevie R and Booker D were separated. Booker D had been a world champion in USWA, but he always preferred being tagged with Stevie over being alone. So, he proceeded to look for a new partner until he landed a new one in an unsuspecting place: Undertaker. Booker D was overjoyed and dubbed the new team “D&UT”. Creating what he called the “T Court” (Short for “Turtle Court”) wherein he was the “Judge” and Undertaker his “Bailiff” and “Executioner”, Booker D discovered a newfound love. He tried the likes of Mr. Perfect and Gangrel and continued these shenanigans until his brother returned late in the Era. Stevie R, though, was changed and serious, calling himself “TAR” or “Totally Awesome R”. Booker didn’t know what to think of it. Stevie stood by his side, though, watching on as Booker and Undertaker continued until ultimately falling apart.
The Rise of Angelina Love: Angelina Love was a new rising talent from the independent circuit. She demonstrated incredible skill and quickly rose to the top with her amazing skill set. She soon became the PWI Women’s Champion and dominated the division through to the end of the era despite feuding with greats like Victoria (who jumped ship from NEW towards the end of the Era) and Living Dead Girl.
2019-Now (The Sixth Era):
The period between the Fifth and Sixth Eras was obviously the greatest gap in time between eras in history. Just over four years passed between when the PWI ended the Fifth Era and when Benny reached out to WOW and ultimately to Catherine to negotiate the Third and Final Installment of “From Dusk Til Dawn” (FDTD). Hosted in June 2019, the final FDTD was slated to have ten great matches, culminating in the battle of the monsters which was teased ever since FRED and Armageddon first saw each other in late-2003.
As MMouse Enterprises (led by Catherine) and BWM Inc. (led by Benny) discussed the coming mega-event, Benny started encouraging Catherine to relaunch the PWI so as to go at it one more time in a “respectful” battle. Catherine reportedly resisted for weeks, suggesting that she didn’t have the time or drive to do it (not to mention, the company was ill-prepared for a relaunch, as they would have to buy new equipment, etc.), but Benny would not relent.
A few weeks before FDTD’s Third Installment, Benny announced that EWA was returning in early-2020. Seeing that Benny was serious, and being interested in the ratings battle that she was denied in the Fifth Era, Catherine buckled and announced that PWI would also return in 2020!
The rest of the card for FDTD came together. It featured a battle royal with numerous legends, won by Goldust. There was a “Beginner’s Ball” which showcased the newcomers, won by Homicide. Undertaker defeated Kane, Soultaker, and Agramon in a Total Anarchy Match called the “Callaway Bowl”. Teo defeated Attitude in a classic encounter. Women battled in an incredible First-Ever Women’s Massacre Six Match that was won by Angelina Love! Slammu and Splinter battled once more, Slammu won, and they finally buried the hatchet! Amazon defeated Athena Starr in what Catherine had hoped would be the main event! Olson and Lee defeated the Legacy, Randy Orton shockingly defeated Dragonfly, and Armageddon defeated FRED in a battle which left you wondering if this was really their last encounter!
Before the incredible night of action, the once-peaceful interpromotional talk of a new era led to Mickey returning to the picture, inserting himself as the Chairman again (which meant deposing Catherine and demoting her to Vice Chair). Mickey resumed trash talking with Benny, hijacked Mmouse Enterprises, and even hijacked FDTD! Mickey and Catherine launched another surprise attack in the historic draft which preceded FDTD, and after Benny announced the EWA would debut with the first ever all-women’s PPV “Hell Hath No Fury”, Mickey announced that PWI’s opening day would both feature a first ever Women’s Total Anarchy Match and a violent intergendered approach to wrestling!
Following Mickey’s hostile overthrow of Catherine in Mmouse Enterprises, the company was thrown into a state of managerial chaos! Benny and BWM Inc. chided the Mmouse Enterprises Board of Directors from afar, calling for them to oust Mickey as Chair, restore Catherine’s power, and to ban intergender wrestling. Within two months, they did each of those things (not without an extremely divisive fight), but not before Mickey announced that he and Catherine were splitting PWI in two, with Mickey running a brand called “Asylum” and Catherine running “Legends”.
By November 2019, the Board appointed Jeff Murrey (the promoter who started it all when he launched the WWF in the First Era) as the new Chairman of MMouse Enterprises and ultimately of PWI. Mickey was beside himself about having Murrey as a superior. It was revealed that the company was divided in shares by Mickey, Catherine, and mystery third party (Mickey, Catherine, and the mystery shareholder all held 24% shares, respectfully, with Benny, the Board, and publicly traded shares splitting the remaining balance).
Mickey moved the launch date of PWI up to December, EWA followed suit, and then it was announced that PWI would be debuting on November 30th with “Greatness Reborn”. EWA swiftly responded by announcing that their event “Hell Hath No Fury” would debut on that same night!
On that night, Nikki Bella became the first Knockout’s Champion of the new era for EWA and carried the EWA to its first victory of what became an undefeated streak throughout the first season of the era (from November 2019 through June 2020). That same night, PWI put on an impressive show as well, with Brock Lesnar becoming the first Immunity Champion of the era, the PWI title being left in suspension (which it remained until the following Spring when Teo captured the gold), and Living Dead Girl slaughtering three other women in a gruesome Total Anarchy Match to become a dominant PWI Women’s Champion!
By the end of year, Los Guerreros were the first Men’s Tag Champions in PWI, A Taste of Heaven (Zevon Heaven and Britt Baker) were the first PWI Women’s Tag Champions, Yokozuna and Umaga were the first EWA Tag Champions, AJ Styles became the first X-Division Champion, and Randy Orton became the first EWA Champion! The first ever PWI Women’s Immunity Champion – Asuka – was crowned in the spring! The following fall, Johnny Gargano became PWI’s first ever Ascendant Champion, Alexa Bliss and Petey Williams won unique tournaments to become the first female and male Premier Athletes!
The Sixth Era is still currently underway, so more details about the highlights thereof will follow with its conclusion!
DIFFERENT STYLES OF STORY DEVELOPMENT:
Throughout the history of the Toy Wrestling Murrey Universe there have been at least five different models for approaching play/presentation. Below, we delve into these different models, what they consist of, which “promotions” specialized in them, the era they flourished in, their strengths and weaknesses.
The approach to play wasn’t an issue in the First Era (1991-1997), but by 1998 – about a year into the Second Era – the participants in the highly competitive atmosphere began questioning each other’s methods (USWA was just beginning to become the dominant promotion, WWF had faded away, but a handful of other promotions led by other participants were hotly contesting the coveted top spot). At the time, each participant in this Toy Wrestling realm was no older than 13 years old and naively believed that wrestling was real despite all evidence to the contrary (kayfabe was VERY strong at the time).
The fact that the kids were convinced wrestling was not pre-planned contributed to the controversy surrounding play. For a period of time in 1998 it was seen as an unforgivable sin to “plan” the outcome of one’s shows. This led to pressure for high unpredictability in presentation, which was also coincidentally associated with the state of Professional Wrestling in real life wherein each show was unpredictable. As the USWA solidified its status as the dominant and eventually UNBEATABLE force in the Toy Wrestling World the pressure was relieved a little, but out of the dust of this controversy in 1998 came the building blocks for the following models.
Chaos: This is exactly what it sounds like. Under pressure from the intense competition of the early Second Era, each participant would play freely with little or no predetermined plan for match outcomes or character direction. The approach was pioneered by the USWA with little deviation (starting in the First Era when the USWA was called the WPW), but every promotion adopted and exploited this approach at the time. This was because it was seen by the participants as a “sin” to predetermine anything in the “industry” at the time. This model returned temporarily died with the end of the Second Era but later returned with the short-lived WWO in the late-Third Era and in the PWI for the last stretch of the Fifth Era. The greatest strength of this approach is that it permits extremely unpredictable twists, but its greatest weakness is that the “shock and awe” can easily get old (though it never did for the USWA) and it typically sacrifices deep story development.
Structured Chaos: This approach was likely introduced by Jeff Murrey’s WWF in the First Era and may have been secretly used by some during the Second Era. Though it is predominantly chaotic, there is an overall game plan which loosely guides and concentrates the chaos. This approach was likewise adopted by the HCW in the Fourth Era, which absolutely aided it in overcoming the competition from Mickey’s UWA and Benny’s EWA and ECW. The Fourth Era incarnation of ECW-TNA also largely utilized this approach at one point, as did the LWF in the Third Era. Moreover, for the last year of the Second Era – September 2001 through September 2002 -, the USWA adopted this model to frame its conclusion. Its greatest strength is that the light touch of “structure” allows the participant to present a slightly more organized touch with an envisioned framework to focus the somewhat unpredictable pattern. It helps tell long-term stories with many twists and turns along the way. Its greatest weakness is that certain goals for stories can be forgotten, forcing a change in course, because the goals are not typically written out formally to guide play.
Advanced Structured Chaos: Utilized by the UWA in the Third Era and PWI in the beginning of the Fifth Era as well as throughout the Sixth Era, this model permits the participant to map out a long-term outline as a tangible guide for reliable reference for story direction. This is seen as a balanced approach utilizing Chaos and Structure in just the right way so that they complement each other. The greatest strength is that the plan forward is easily referenced and the story can take a number of twists and turns along the way, as needed. The greatest weakness is that mapping out a plan relies on limited interruptions in schedule and availability of characters (sometimes, a character gets “injured”, forcing a change).
Structured: Employed exclusively by the UWA in the Fourth Era, this approach allows the participant to map out a detailed outline with notes guiding week-by-week steps, with little to no chaos. This approach proved relatively unsuccessful because of how little each story twist appeared to be organic. The greatest strength is the predictability for the participant, having a complete plan for how to proceed. Its greatest weakness is that the process of detailing an outline on a weekly basis is time consuming, and it makes the process feel like a chore. It is easy to make mistakes in telling a detailed story, and those mistakes can sometimes prove detrimental to said story. This all takes the passion out of the performance, which robs the participant and the audience of joy.
Advanced Structured: Pioneered by the UWF in the Third Era, this approach was likewise utilized by the EWA and ECW in the Fourth Era, the short-lived NEW in the Fifth Era, and the EWA in the Sixth Era. Here, the participant not only creates a detailed outline for the story, but they also typically compose and utilize a detailed script for all promos, skits, and sometimes even commentary moments. This approach typically has a complete absence of chaos with only selective exceptions. Its greatest strength is the incredible and professional-level depth of story telling. Its greatest weakness is the time consumption and the fact that any slip-up can prove to be disastrous for the story.
Current Era’s Promotions
Premier Wrestling Incorporated
2011 – Present
Parent Company: MMouse Enterprises (Founded in 1995)
Chairman: Mickey M. Mouse Junior
American eXellence Wrestling
2022 – Present
Parent Company: Cross Inc. (Founded in 2019)
Chairman: Camden Cross
All Elite Wrestling
Parent Company: BWM Inc. (Founded in 1998)
Chairwoman: Megan Mouse
REMEMBER: THIS IS ALL FOR FUN!