CSWA PRESS CONFERENCE: WINTER WONDERLAND?
(FADEIN… on a conference room, with a podium built up at one end and fifteen to twenty rows of chairs, five or so in each row, facing the podium. People were standing in groups of three to five, talking about nothing in particular, but every one of them kept shooting an eye toward the front of the room.
They knew why they were here, or at least thought they did – but it’s a room they’d been in several times before, to hear a story they’d heard several times before.)
“What were you told?”
“Probably another division spinoff, I dunno.”
“I heard they’re rededicating the Auditorium.”
“I heard they’re selling it.”
“No way. The offices and the Hall of Fame are all part of it. The company hasn’t made a move to relocate, so that’s not it.”
(Conversation immediately stopped when the side door opened… and three people entered. Quite possibly, the three most famous people to have ever stood at the front of this room.
Ivy and Hornet sat in the provided chairs, talking to each other animatedly about something or other while Merritt takes position behind the podium. Immediately, the questions started to fly.)
MERRITT: Hold your thoughts, everyone. I just have a quick statement to make, and I won’t be answering any questions. My presence here is simply due to the fact that I’m the co – owner of this office building and the arena that it’s attached to, as well as to reintroduce the two people behind me. You may remember the last time I stood here, I informed you all that I was no longer the owner of the CSWA, and unfortunately we were never given the chance to publicly make the announcement.
It was not reported in the press but the halt in CSWA production was due to the actions of a former employee with a claim to ownership who successfully filed an injunction to halt the company’s momentum while things sorted out.
I am happy to announce that everything has been settled, and the CSWA is open for business again under the watchful eye of its new owners.
Yes, owners. Plural. Beyond the fact that these two are highly capable, highly qualified individuals who know the CSWA inside and out, the fact remains that in the history of this company, its best years were always those with two people guiding the way. Conversely, it seemed that every time Stephen Thomas or myself thought we’d do better running things ourselves, the company went through some sort of crisis that necessitated a shutdown.
I doubt it’s much of a mystery anymore, so I’ll simply step away and introduce you to the CSWA’s co-owners, you know them best as Poison Ivy and Hornet.
(Merritt stepped back while rows of photographers stood up to take the pictures: Merritt and Hornet shaking hands, Merritt and Ivy sharing a hug. In both cases, they stopped and looked toward the cameras for a few seconds so promotional shots could be taken.
Afterward, Merritt did not stick around. He left through the door that he and the others entered; he didn’t look back. Hornet stood in his place at the podium with Poison Ivy one step back and to the left of him.)
HORNET: That’s about the gist of it, everyone. Ivy and I didn’t really plan a whole lot of things to say because that’s never been our style.
(Good – natured laughter rippled through the crowd.)
HORNET: Well… that’s never been my style.
(Ivy playfully smacked him in the arm.)
HORNET: Put simply, the deal that we had at the beginning of the year when we bought the company from CS Enterprises was thus: the CSWA headquarters will remain here in the CS Enterprises office building in Greensboro. We now officially own the exclusive rights and trademarks of the CSWA and all of its intellectual property, including the Merritt Auditorium and the Thomas Indoor/Outdoor Arena right here in Greensboro, the Fish Fund Park and Arena in Sweetwater, Texas, and the Parsons Cruise Liner that will hopefully function once again, this time with better background checks on the staff.
(Another ripple of laughter, this one a bit more nervous.)
REPORTER: Hornet, what exactly are the details to your partnership?
HORNET: It’s pretty cut and dried. Ivy and I are 50 – 50 partners in the CSWA. Her main focus is on the paperwork – the bookings, the contracts, the talent and whatnot, and mine is on the wrestling.
REPORTER: Speaking of the wrestling, when can we expect to see that?
HORNET: For that? I’m going to turn this press conference over to my partner, Ivy McGinnis.
(He turned toward Ivy, they fist bumped, and Ivy took his place at the podium. Unlike Merritt, Hornet remained right behind Ivy and a step to the right, physically backing her up.)
McGINNIS: Thanks, Paul. So, someone had a question about the wrestling?
(The reporter nodded and held up his hand.)
REPORTER: I was wondering, the CSWA has been a spotty promotion at best the past five years or so. You lost your TV deal with U-62 and ESEN, and you’ve been relegated to internet broadcasts when there have been broadcasts at all. What’s your plan?
McGINNIS: Thank you for reiterating the failings of the past few years, Tony. It’s much appreciated. To answer your question, we’re hoping to build the CSWA off a mixture of fresh talent and established, entrenched athletes. I’ve got a preliminary tour booked to start right here in Greensboro for the first edition of CSWA PRIMETIME in months, followed by an extended tour up the east coast and around the Midwestern loop before coming back for CSWA Anniversary 2014 at the Merritt Auditorium, which will co – celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the venue as the CSWA’s base of operations. And it’s true, we don’t have network or cable television distribution but PRIMETIME is going to be simulcast on the CSWA website, and I’ve partnered with Sirius XM Satellite Radio to provide coverage of the tour.
REPORTER: How did this most recent revival come about?
(Ivy looked at him, and it looked like she was contemplating her answer, but in reality she was reminiscing over the ridiculous events of a few weeks ago…)
McGINNIS: We’re aware, I take it, of the way the CSWA shut down last spring over a former employee – slash – wannabe owner’s grudge and shady lawyers, right?
(The name ‘Sammy Benson’ floated through the crowd but nobody directed it toward the podium.)
Not only did his cease – and – desist shut down the existing tour, but it stopped all our momentum. Most of the contracts were short term and they’ve since expired, and a lot of the behind the scenes staff have also moved onto other projects. However, Hornet and I started speaking a few weeks ago about the possibility of giving it another go, seeing what could be salvaged, seeing what could be rebuilt, and seeing if we could take this company to the top of the professional wrestling world one more time.
REPORTER: The rumors started weeks ago as well, what took so long for the official word?
McGINNIS: You can’t put on a show without having a show to put on, right? The CSWA has become something of a dirty word in the past few years, remembered more for what it hasn’t accomplished than what it has. The CSWA has become a cautionary tale of a company with a Romanesque tragedy surrounding it: it built itself up to the point where there really was no competition, and then collapsed under the weight of its own hubris.
The answer to your question, sir, as to why it took so long to get the official word out? I’m embarrassed to say that it took us this long to finalize a card lineup and event date.
(More murmurs rippled through the crowd.)
REPORTER: Ivy, what’s the status of Dan Ryan’s CSWA contract?
McGINNIS: I’m happy to report that we’ve got the best play by play man in the history of the wrestling industry back behind the microphone, along with a certified CSWA legend providing color commentary for our announce team, Bill Buckley and Joey Melton.
(Ivy gestured to the door she, Hornet, and Merritt originally entered, and Bill Buckley and Joey Melton stepped through, waving to the crowd. Flashbulbs went off as they stood behind her in solidarity, though Joey can’t help mugging for the cameras.)
REPORTER: But what about Dan Ryan? He’s currently in Defiance Wrestling on a World Tour. Do you still recognize him as the Unified World Champion?
McGINNIS: I’m also happy to report that the framework of our support staff has been reestablished, from ring announcer Rhubarb Jones to production manager Marvin Parsons, to our referee crew of Ben Worthington, Patrick Young, and Pee Wee Troutman. I’m also pleased to announce that Rudy Seitzer will be reporting to me as the head of Online Media and Promotions, and will have a staff of interviewers consisting of Billy Buckley, Manny Juarez, and Teri Melton.
REPORTER: Ivy, is there a problem with the Unified Championship?
(Ivy stopped and looked down for a moment.)
McGINNIS: As of right now, Dan Ryan is not under long term contract with the CSWA.
(Questions started flying at a rapid pace, however they quieted down quickly when Ivy held up her hand.)
Dan Ryan has understandably not made the CSWA and the Unified World Championship a priority during the past several months and years, and the leadership – or lack thereof – that the company was putting out certainly gave him cause. Hornet and I don’t fault him for putting his attention toward running his own Empire Pro Wrestling or slumming it with Defiance Wrestling. That’s certainly understandable. We’ve had some very productive conversations and Dan Ryan will be in attendance at PRIMETIME to defend his title, as well as making whatever appearances he can in between his other responsibilities.
REPORTER: Do you feel that Defiance Wrestling has had a hand in your inability to come to terms with Mr. Ryan?
McGINNIS: If they have, they’re a bunch of morons. And no, I don’t think so. Exclusivity clauses are a thing of the distant past; this business is competitive enough these days. Besides, we’re talking Dan Ryan, a man who once held four World Championships simultaneously. I don’t think he’s really one to sign his name to an exclusive contract. I say to Dan Ryan – in truth, to any wrestler in Defiance or watching the CSWA make its comeback or hope for its final death – watch us. Watch what we do. If you think you can keep up, or want to have a hand in the most successful wrestling promotion in the history of the business, our doors are always open. But I’m hoping, somewhat against historical trends, that the wrestling world will reserve judgment at least until the final bell of PRIMETIME.
REPORTER: And when will that be?
(A smile formed on her lips.)
McGINNIS: Now I’m ready for the main event of the afternoon, gentlemen. CSWA PRIMETIME: Winter Wonderland will take place right here in Greensboro at the Merritt Auditorium on Saturday, December 21st, 2013 at 8 PM sharp. The event will be broadcast live over the CSWA’s website, as well as being simulcast on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. And I’m pleased to announce what I think is an appropriately historic lineup for the return event.
(Joey Melton leaned in toward the microphone.)
MELTON: And, of course, the card is subject to change.
(Laughter rippled through the crowd, with Hornet putting his head in his hands and Ivy looking at Joey with mock annoyance.)
McGINNIS: I’m happy to announce that the CSWA family is growing by leaps and bounds, and we have a triangle match scheduled between the ‘Prince of Darkness,’ Lenny Brigsby, ‘Next Generation’ Wesley Paige Jr, and ‘Ripped’ Roland Bramble. While their respective fathers may have never made much impact in the ring beyond their boots seeing the lights, we’re all about the future and want to give these kids the best chance to break in.
We’ve also managed to sign a man who made quite a splash during last year’s Ultratitle tournament in Pat Gordon Jr, and he’s going to have a chance to show what he can do against another man who has been making just as big a splash for nearly two decades. At Primetime, Pat Gordon Jr will be facing off with former CSWA World Champion and Ultratitle runner up, ‘Total Elimination’ Eli Flair.
Another CSWA legend will be returning to the fold for a special attraction. Two time Greensboro Champion and two time United States/National Champion Bonecrusher will have his hands full. He’s coming to the ring to see if he can defeat the undefeated German champion, ‘The Gargant’ Viktor Reise.
(This announcement started another wave of conversation in the reporter pool.)
Mr. Reise has recently parted with his former management and reached out to me directly in order to negotiate a semi – recurring role in the CSWA, and we’re very excited to see him in one of our rings again.
We’ve only got two more matches to announce for this event, but they’re both huge. First up, there’s yet another CSWA legend making his return to the ring, and this one is certainly verified as such. More to the point, he’s the LIVING LEGEND.
Mark Windham, one of the CSWA’s original wrestlers, former EN World Champion, United States Champion, CSWA World Champion, and countless others. He’s coming to the ring to test another man who is possibly in the prime of his wrestling career right now, in former Presidential Champion ‘Crippler’ Cameron Cruise.
I’ve always tried to be a Cameron Cruise supporter and I’m hoping he can finally live up to his CSWA potential.
And the main event of the night, ladies and gentlemen… yes, you will be seeing the Unified Championship defended in Greensboro by the current champion ‘Ego Buster’ Dan Ryan.
He’ll be taking on another former CSWA World Champion.
He’ll be defending his title against The Deacon.
(That did it. Ivy closed up her notes and took a step back.)
That’s all I’ve got, other than to say that this is 2013, and the CSWA is nowhere near finished making history.
(She stepped back and called for everyone around her to huddle up for photo opportunities. After a sufficient amount of time has passed, she stepped toward the microphone once more.)
So let’s get to work.