Saturday, July 25, 2009

CWA: Saturday Night Slam Masters (07/25)

Despite being only twenty-four hours away from the Sunday summer special - CWA: Muscle Bomber Meltdown - the cards were all on the table for the last edition of Slam Masters for July!

Lucky Colt & Alex remain championship bound as they cash-in their #1 contender slot against reigning Tag Team champions, Astro & Mysterious Budo, but after last week's Slam Masters, the question now lingers as to exactly what role the Mad Gear Gang will play after Hugo and Sodom joined the champs to storm the ring. They were scheduled during the week to feature in the night's main event - an eight-man tag match between those involved in last week's brawl!
Also in question after last week, the CWA Heavyweight title bout, which was to have pitted Darun Mister against the undefeated champ, Victor Ortega. After Ortega's campaign against the Commissioner forced an early defense, Ortega was able to eliminate Mister from his list of victims, casting doubt over the main event at the Meltdown!

Ortega wouldn't leave the fans wondering too long, starting the show off with an unscheduled appearance by the champion. With the belt slung over one shoulder, he revelled in his string of victories, reminding everyone of his comprehensive win against Indian Muscle Bomber legend, Darun Mister. For not the first time, Ortega suggested that perhaps CWA simply could not provide him with the calibre of competition he required. It was at that moment that his tone shifted, leading him to declare Mister's defeat as the end of excuses. In front of the thousands of Metro City fans in attendance in the CWA arena, he accused Commissioner Mike Haggar of being both jealous and a coward. With belt in hand, he rattled off the names that he'd beaten, declaring Mike Haggar the last living legend that might stand before him as a worthy opponent. Despite his scathing verbal assault, Ortega did not draw out the Commissioner. A dejected Ortega declared that he would simply have to take his belt somewhere more competitive.

Backstage in the interview trench, Rasta Gomes appeared to be in better condition than last week after his bout with Kimala. Ahead of a match against Birdie, he turned his attentions toward an on-going feud with Sheep the Royal. He declared that at Muscle Bomber Meltdown they were going to be forced to revive an long forgotten artform if they were going to settle their difference. Growing increasingly disturbed, Gomes revealed that he would be forced to harm Sheep the Royal in ways that weren't fit to be described during family entertainment. Now shouting, he declared that he was going to win his monkey back at all costs by putting both he and Sheep's careers on the line in a Death Match at the Sunday special event!

Birdie versus King Rasta Gomes
Just like last week, the British brawler emerged for solo competition without the accompaniment of his tag team partner, Titanic Tim. Given the state of mind "Missing IQ" Gomes had been in, this was perhaps a situation Birdie would be forced to regret! The wildman from the Dominican Republic arrived at the ring wielding a 2x4 plank of wood, forcing referee Harry Hicks to closer than he might've liked to prevent immediate disqualification. With the weapon removed, the match could begin.

Despite an obvious physical advantage, Birdie appeared severely disadvantaged by the nervous energy emitted in each of Gomes' attacks. Resorting mostly to strikes hovering on the edge of disqualification, the wildman looked like he was there to legitimatley hurt someone! The match spilled to the outside as Birdie did his best to use his massive arms to fend off Gomes' unconvential assault. A conclusion was imminent the moment Gomes laid eyes on the 2x4 at ringside, which he used as an illegal weapon against his opponent, earning disqualification.
Winner: Birdie (via disqualification)

With the match over, the Brit attempted to utilize his trademark chains to rein in the out of control Muscle Bomber, but was unwilling to get involved when Gomes lit the 2x4 aflame! Birdie opted to flee toward the entrance stage, while Rasta Gomes paraded uninterrupted around the ring with the flaming plank held above his head. It was sure to be but a glimpse of the madness to unfold in the first-ever CWA Death Match at Muscle Bomber Meltdown!

In the parking lot, Victor Ortega appeared to be searching for the elusive Commissioner.
The champion may have had premeditated antagonism on his mind, however. When Ortega found Mike Haggar's car he proceeded to take his aggressions out on it! The physically impressive Muscle Bomber was no less dominant against steel than he had been in his matches. It was an act that begged for a response!
Rainbow Mika made her way to the ring next in yet another in a series of unscheduled events ahead of Muscle Bomber Meltdown. The embattled Muscle Bomber stood alone after El Fuerte had been the victim of an interrupted attack by The Wraith, just last week. Mika said she had come to CWA to prove the strength of a female wrestler, and wasn't about to start running from opponents, no matter how creepy. She challenged The Wraith to face her in the ring now and every week after until she finally defeated him once and for all. As the arena darkened and an eerie smoke filled the stage, it was clear the dark one was happy to oblige, no doubt intent on claiming Mika just as he had El Stinger, earlier in the month.

Rainbow Mika versus The Wraith
Having already suffered at the hands of The Wraith in a string of circumstances throughout July, Mika was perhaps not quite in top fighting condition. Never the less, her courage couldn't be questioned as she launched herself into the fight of her life! She wasted no time giving it her all, starting the advantage with a flying peach, holding Wraith to the ropes with a string of knife edged chops and punches. As enthusiastic as she was, however, The Wraith was simply too strong and resilient for a fatigued Mika.

With a choke toss, Wraith turned the tables, unleashing his own brand of attack in the centre of the ring, punctuated by a big boot to the face that levelled CWA's beloved lone emale. The over 350lbs giant landed a leg drop, but wasn't yet ready to look for a cover. He dragged Mika off the mat once more, clamping his bizarre taloned hand around her throat like a scion of death, gazing into her glazed eyes from beneath his tattered hood. A chokeslam finally put an end to Mika's valiant campaign, bringing about the circumstances for the inevitability of Wraith's strange ritual.
Winner: The Wraith

As he had many times before, The Wraith knelt down to drape his robes over Rainbow Mika's beaten body. Obscured by his attire, it appeared as if the dark Muscle Bomber was about to put an end to Mika's career when suddenly, of all people, Commissioner Mike Haggar raced down to the ring! He yanked The Wraith away from Mika with impressive strength, standing tall to come face-to-hood with a stoic yet challenging Wraith. As he had been on previous occasions, The Wraith was forced to retreat without Rainbow Mika's soul, all thanks to the intervention of the CWA Commissioner!

The surprises would not stop there, however. After helping officials carry Mika to the backstage area for treatment, the Commissioner grabbed a microphone. He referenced the announcement he made when he first revealed himself as CWA Commissioner, namely his belief in the natural order of affairs in wrestling. He revealed that despite those beliefs, he felt the need to speed the process up, and had made a few executive decisions as the Uncivil Servant of CWA!

The Commissioner said he'd allowed the situation with The Wraith to go undelt with for too long, but when a certain friend of his from Japan had heard about R. Mika's involvement, he felt compelled to lend a hand. Haggar announced that this mysterious opponent would reveal himself at Muscle Bomber Meltdown in a match against The Wraith, who he felt, was an opponent his friend was uniquely qualified to deal with. He added that, if Mika is healthy, he wouldn't rob her the chance of retribution, announcing a match against Black Widow for the special event.

Haggar then turned his attentions to Victor Ortega. Referring back to the natural order of things, he admitted that Ortega had finally gotten under his skin, and forced him to react. He said that regrettably it would be a conflict of interest for him to fight a match whilst still acting as an official with the influence of a Commissioner, which is exactly why he was accepting the challenge to face Ortega for the title at Muscle Bomber Meltdown and retiring from the role of Commissioner! Which only raises the question, is Mike Haggar the man that can finally take Victor Ortega's title and undefeated winning streak?!

Titanic Tim versus Sheep the Royal (w/ Freak)
It was business of a more standard fare as Titanic Tim hit the ring to face off against Sheep the Royal. It seemed he and his tag partner had the switch of rivals, but his connection was about to become more personal as the match went on. Up against Sheep the Royal, the over seven foot UK giant was pretty well matched, despite having a little less balance than the girthy rugby royal.

A spear tackle from the Royal put a distinct turning point on the match that had, up until then, relied largely upon a vertical striking style. Escaping the pinfall, Tim stepped it up a gear, delivering a devestating clothesline off the ropes that shook the very ring with it's impact! Tim's tag partner, Birdie, made his way toward the ring, but it wasn't for moral support. He entered the ring, arguing face-to-face with his partner, before striking Sheep with chains wrapped around his fist! The move earned an immediate disqualification of Tim, handing Sheep an unexpected victory -- a fact that Tim did his best to thank his partner for with an out of control brawl at ringside.
Winner: Sheep the Royal

Ahead of the night's main event, Astro joined the members of Mad Gear and BWA in the interview trench. With a deep voice he revealed that the stars of the Muscle Bomber universe were finally aligning themselves to allow him to unleash a plan he'd been working on since the beginning of the comeback. On this night, he promised to observe his Blood Wrestling/Mad Gear alliance rip the hope from CWA's leading fan-favourites, before he and Budo once again claimed the CWA Tag Team championship as their own. He warned that a new era was dawning, before the small army of Muscle Bombers headed for the stage.

Hugo Andore, Sodom, Kimala & Mysterious Budo (w/ Astro & Poison)
versus Zangief, Aleksey Zalazof, Lucky Colt & Alex

Dubiously present at ringside, Astro's very aura appeared to smother the arena as his "BWMG" Alliance lorded over the ring. They showed a unity that was unnerving, perhaps because they had not had to fight amongst themselves like the combined heroes of CWA.

Proceedings began under relatively civil circumstances, with Hugo and Zangief kicking the match off. The two powerhouses shook the ring with devestating blows, a boot from Hugo encouraging Zangief to return to his corner to give Alex opportunity to meet his rival. The New York native's energy was channelled into sponsoring his phenomenal strength. Against all odds, he was able to deliver german suplex to the German giant, before tagging his partner, Lucky Colt. The tactic of isolation was working well for the "good guys," until Sodom and Kimala took it upon themselves to jump in for a double-team on Colt. Hugo was able to tag out to Budo, who unleashed a high flying top rope dropkick on Colt and a rapid succession of martial arts strikes, before giving Sodom a chance to enter the ring. Colt was able to score a hip toss on the Japanese tragic, before Hugo and Kimala interfered once more. This time the unwanted entrance drew attentions of the heroes, leading to an all out melee as the eight-men filled the ring with brawling!

Blows and bodies flew wildly as Harry Hicks struggled to maintain any sense of order.
The CWA referee was accidentally knocked to the outside, allowing Astro opportunity to join the brawl, tipping the scales in favour of "BWMG." The five-on-four assault spilled to ringside as Alex pursued Hugo and Aleksey battled Sodom, leaving Zangief and Colt to suffer the domination of BWA's Kimala, Budo, and Astro. Mysterious Budo's mist successfully blinded Zangief, who suffered a devestating slam by Kimala! It looked as if things could only get worse for Zangief when the recently ousted #1 contender, Darun Mister, charged down to the ring! His status quo since joining CWA had been one of pursuit of Zangief, but he shocked the arena and BWMG by dumping Kimala over the top rope and putting Budo in his place with a powerbomb! Mister didn't see Astro sneaking up behind him, however, allowing the sinister leader of the BWA movement to knock him out of the ring with a spinning kick! Action on the outside had allowed Hugo to get the better of Alex. He crawled into the ring as Poison pushed a revived Harry Hicks back in, who, in a disoriented state, counted the fall for Hugo over Zangief, but the Russian kick out!

The Muscle Bombers returned to their corners as a blind Zangief was dragged to his feet by Hugo.
The German giant looked to have free reign with the Russian, but his over confidence was his undoing as Zangief unleashed the 360 lariat! With Darun Mister coaching him from the side toward his corner, Zangief made the tag to Lucky Colt, who connected with the sonic fist on Hugo! His attempts to pick up the pin were unsuccessful as Sodom entered the ring, threatening another loss of control. Hugo tagged Budo, who lept through the air to deliver a springboard moonsault on Colt! The Muscle Bombers poured into the ring again, fulfilling the inevitable brawl and obscuring Harry Hicks' view from Poison, who aided Budo in picking up a dubious pin!
Winners: Mysterious Budo, Kimala, Hugo Andore, & Sodom

Darun Mister joined the action as, once again, the quintet of Muscle Bombers collided in the ring!
What effects could such a brawl have given that all of these men would be forced to compete once against in just twenty-four hours?! Among the matches at Muscle Bomber Meltdown -- the first ever CWA Death Match between Rasta Gomes and Sheep the Royal; Rainbow Mika vs Black Widow in a grudge match; The Wraith versus a Mystery Opponent; Tag Title match between Astro & Budo (c) vs Lucky Colt & Alex; and Mike Haggar officially comes out of retirement to face Victor Ortega for the CWA Heavyweight Championship!

Tomorrow - July 26! CWA: Muscle Bomber Meltdown!
The future will be decided! Titles will be on the line! Do not miss it!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

CWA: Saturday Night Slam Masters (07/18)

It was hot in the old town as Slam Masters kicked off live in Metro City, but there was a distinct chill inside the CWA arena with the continuing escalation of bizarre activity surrounding The Wraith. It was last week on Slam Masters that the dark Muscle Bomber claimed his third victim, the legendary luchadore, El Stinger. Anticipation was high for another confrontation between the Wraith and Stinger's recent allies, El Fuerte and Rainbow Mika.
The Duo division had plenty of other heat surrounding it, particularly with Zangief and Aleksey Zalazof emerging as possible rivals to Alex and Lucky Colt in the quest to claim the CWA Tag Team Championship.

The show kicked off backstage with the parking lot arrival of one of Metro City's favourite sons and current CWA Commissioner, Mike Haggar. The Macho Mayor marched proudly toward the arena when CWA Heavyweight Champion, Victor Ortega, emerged to assault him in what seemed to be a premeditated attack! Ortega stomped on the fallen Commissioner, giving few clues as to exactly what his intentions were, other than to humiliate and physically beat the retired Muscle Bomber. Ortega held the Heavyweight championship over a beaten Haggar, before leaving arriving officials to check on his well being.

Kimala versus King Rasta Gomes
Rasta Gomes was showing signs of physical and mental injuries sustained during his hardcore match last week against Sheep the Royal. Without the presence of his monkey manager, it seemed Gomes was losing coherrency. After finally making his way to the ring for singles competition, it was to be an unceremonious beating for the wild man. Kimala was as sadistic as ever, taking a methodical pace as he drove Gomes' body into the mat with repeated powerslams. A big splash put the finishing touches on a sickening exhibition.
Winner: Kimala the Bouncer

In the arena offices, Mike Haggar was joined by his former student and popular Muscle Bomber, Aleksey Zalazof. Haggar, holding an ice pack to the back of his head, dismissed the Russian's concern, coaching him to get his head back in the game because he was being schedule in an exhibition match against Tag Team Championship contenders, Lucky Colt & Alex. The "Uncivil Servant" instructed that a victory would help him more than confronting Ortega, who would be forced to pay for his actions in due course.

In the ring; a clearly distraught Rainbow Mika and El Fuerte made their way out for a challenge.
They denounced the actions of The Wraith and his followers, demanding they come out and face them. Darkness throughout the arena signalled an answer as The Wraith paced steadily to the ring accompanied by his part-time partner, Black Widow. It was seemingly circumstantial booking that had brought Wraith and Widow together at the CWA comeback event, The International Blowout, but now the Widow appeared to be playing a much larger role in the dark machinations of Wraith. With their silent enemies now in the ring with them, Mika & Fuerte offered a challenge that determined if they won a tag team match tonight, the abducted El Stinger would be returned to them unharmed. By retreating to a corner, The Wraith appeared to agree.

Rainbow Mika & El Fuerte versus Black Widow & The Wraith

The Widow posed a slightly less intimidating figure than his 7' partner, but still his bizarre style of agility and contortion had Mika on the back foot. Mika's attempts to grapple were met with strange archs that allowed the Widow to twist his legs into powerful kicks. Like a tilt-a-whirl, the Black Widow spun Mika into oblivion, forcing the tag. Fuerte went straight to a lucha strategum, using the ropes to fling himself like a human bullet. A crossbody only provided further opportunity for Black Widow to twist, resulting in a convoluted counter attack into a Mexican surf hold.
El Fuerte was fortunately able to power out of the move, scoring an inadvertent lowblow from a ricocheted baseball slide. The move didn't appear to phase Black Widow at all, however, who utilized the ropes in a very different way to tax El Fuerte's limbs with a hung crab lock. Referee Harry Hicks forced the controversial hold to break, sending El Fuerte scrambling back to his corner for the tag, while The Wraith remained silent and unmoved by the events.

Rainbow Mika made valiant attempts to capitalize on any advantage El Fuerte might've earned, but even a dubious inverted atomic drop failed to sufficiently slow Black Widow. Fatigue had a part to play, but even as Mika followed chop blocks with an ascension to the top rope, the Widow was still able to roll out of the way of a shooting star peach, leaving the impact to be absorbed by Mika. Proximity gave Mika the desperation tag, but El Fuerte ran right back into a modified crucifix. Finally the Wraith extended his arm to accept a tag, entering with apparent sinister intentions. He dropped El Fuerte with a tombstone piledriver, before beginning his strange ritualistic attack of the soul. R. Mika interrupted the moment, but suffered a goozle for her troubles.
Winners: The Wraith & Black Widow

The Wraith resumed his bizarre ritual over El Fuerte's defeated body, but as he did, Sheep the Royal burst from the entrance chasing Rasta Gomes' monkey manager, Freak! Freak charged to the ring, leading Sheep into the path of The Wraith and Black Widow, who opted to leave the ring the opposite way without El Fuerte. Why they chose to do this, and exactly what had prompted Sheep's early arrival, remain as much a mystery as the fate of El Stinger, who has not been seen since suffering the strange ritual of The Wraith on the last Slam Masters!

Birdie versus Sheep the Royal (w/ Freak)
Though his entrance had come far too early for the match, Sheep was apparently scheduled for an encounter with the British brawler, Birdie! Birdie entered the arena without the accompaniment of his tag partner, Titanic Tim, leading to further speculation about the status of their relationship.

The two big men displayed a very different blend of styles to the previous match, relying more on barroom brawling tactics than any finesse or technique. Birdie's mohawk took a little punishment as Sheep looked for a piledriver, buying some space for the rugby royal. It was not to be the victory Sheep anticipated however, with Rasta Gomes hobbling his way to the ring on a crutch to spoil proceedings. Try though Sheep did to talk the wildman down, the crutch was broken over his head, resulting in a disqualification victory against Birdie. The punk rocker was less than pleased, but despite taking Gomes down with a chain shot, it seemed Birdie was far from done. With his tag team partner nowhere to be seen, Birdie might very well blame Titanic Tim for not being there to watch his back!
Winner: Sheep the Royal (via Disqualification)

Darun Mister made his way to the ring next with a special announcement concerning his plans as #1 Contender to the CWA Heavyweight Championship. Mister talked about the long career that earned him mythic status in his native India and once again lamented on what it would mean to finally pit his legend against the Russian Red Cyclone, Zangief. As in recent weeks, he inferred that the current-champion, Victor Ortega, was a short-lived phenomenon unworthy of legendary status, declaring that a championship victory would result in an immediate open-challenge to Zangief so that they could finally actually face each other one-on-one.

Victor Ortega interrupted the #1 Contender's moment to literally come face-to-face with the man he would fight at CWA: Muscle Bomber Meltdown. Ortega held the championship belt up, bringing it between their faces before turning his back on Darun Mister. The champion mocked Mister's fixation with a man he'd already defeated, promising that he would make sure Mister got what he wanted, and joined Zangief on the list of "humiliated losers." He acknowledged that he at least admired Mister for continuing to recognise his desire to fight, unlike Mike Haggar. It didn't take the Commissioner long to emerge at the entrance himself! Haggar threatened Ortega with suspension, but the champion only followed up his recent threats to leave and take the belt with him to find better competition. Ortega antagonised further, challenging the Commissioner to fight him like he clearly wanted to. Provoked, but always cool under pressure, Haggar gave Ortega the fight he wanted -- by forcing him to defend his Heavyweight Championship right then and there against Darun!

Darun Mister versus Victor Ortega
The atmosphere was electric not only for an early taste of the Meltdown action, but for the long awaited clash of these two Muscle Bombers whose comeback careers have yet to include being pinned. As much as Ortega had disrespected Darun Mister over the past month, he was in no rush to break the methodical pace that started this spontaneous championship match-up. The two titans of the ring circled like predators in the wild before locking up, the jostling apparently ending in a stalemate. A second attempt saw a rolling succession of waistlocks, and when Mister looked for a hip toss to break the pattern, Ortega was able to grab the top rope to block the attempt.

Each Muscle Bomber returned to a neutral corner while the crowd bayed for action.
Ortega flashed a sinister smile to the crowd with a tap of his temple, suggesting perhaps the indomitable champion had merely been indulging the challenger. His actions, leading him to charge into a snapping belly to belly suplex, suggested otherwise, however. Mister took full intiative, locking in a camel clutch on the fallen champ. Any other Muscle Bomber would've been in trouble, but Ortega's inhuman power allowed him to fight through the pain and shake Mister off his back! Returning to a vertical base, the champ tossed Mister over the top rope, taking the fight to foreign territory for Mister -- a traditionalist at heart.

Despite the unsavory conditions, Mister did well to indulge the outside brawling. Even so, Ortega's penchant for "inadvertent" use of ringside scenery as weapons clearly began to tip the scales. As the action returned to the ring, Ortega shook off warnings from referee Harry Hicks, unrelenting in his pursuit of an undefeated streak. He thundered a floored Mister with stomps and forearm drops, challenging Mister's verticality by sheer force, rather than technique. He allowed the challenger to stand only on his own terms, hitting powerful moves like a double underhook powerbomb. Though Mister was able to resist several pinning attempts, the conclusion appeared academic. With the title on the line, the fight would never leave Mister, but Ortega's strategy had paid off. Back strain made a Mister piledriver vulnerable to counterattack, eventuating in a modified powerslam and pin.
Winner and still CWA Heavyweight Champion: Victor Ortega

Despite an air of controversy surrounding Ortega's garbage wrestling tactics, the defending champion gladly received his title, as well as a microphone. With Darun Mister left to lick his wounds to the side, Ortega jumped on his victory, announcing it as further proof of the total lack of competition in CWA. Pointing his finger accusingly toward the empty entrance, he called for Mike Haggar to stop being a coward and come and face him. Holding the title belt over his head, Ortega received no answer, much like fans, who now had to ponder who could possibly end the undefeated reign of Victor Ortega.

Backstage, the interview trench featured top contenders to the Tag Team titles, Lucky Colt and Alex. The Muscle Bomber Duo were on hand to answer questions ahead of their main event clash with the newly formed tandem of Zangief and Aleksey Zalazof. Colt - an old rival of Zalazof's - did most of the talking, relishing the opportunity to assert superiority over two former Heavyweight title contenders. He described Zangief as a smart choice of partner for Zalazof, whose win/loss record had been less than impressive during the comeback era. His tone was playful, ending with affirmation that, unlike Darun Mister, they would not jeopardize their title shot at Muscle Bomber Meltdown on July 26th.

Aleksey Zalazof & Zangief versus Alex & Lucky Colt

With four of the most popular face wrestlers in CWA together in the ring at one time, the crowd was brimming with enthusiasm, if not some feelings of conflict. Alex & Colt could not lose their title shot in a loss, but there was a clear sense that Zalazof & Zangief had the potential to disrupt the rhytm that had guided the title-bound pair to a streak comparable to that of Victor Ortega's!

Zalazof and Alex started the action, the pair an eerie mirror of each other. Alex was perhaps the slightly stronger of the two, while Zalazof gained a slight edge of speed from being a little less bulky. Never the less, when the pair finally tied up, it was a remarkably even ball game! Alex found initial luck, stepping in to a hammerlock before Zalazof was able to break for the ropes. He ricocheted back, striking with a clean lariat. Despite having spent the better part of six months as rivals, it looked as if continuity wouldn't be a problem for the tagging Russians. Zangief entered with his own pace of hard body shots, scoring big with a German suplex. Another tag returned Zalazof to the fight, but a front facelock gave Alex opportunity to hit a vertical suplex, giving him a chance for a tag of his own.

Colt and Zalazof had an obvious chemistry, indicated by Colt's enthusiasm to get in. He delivered a series of slams, a Russian legsweep delivered with some irony. On the mat, he attempted a modifed leg lock, but was unable to force his rival to tap out. The situation created another tag opportunity, bringing Alex back into the match. He favoured grappling over mat holds, creating a powerslam an irish whip. Despite the impact, it was too soon for a cover, leading the Russian to kick out at a short two count. He was able to fight out of a side headlock, sending Alex into the ropes to meet a standing dropkick. Zalazof was then able to dive to his corner, picking up a much needed tag from Zangief. The Red Cyclone entered with victory in mind, attacking with the 360 lariat! When he exited the move, however, a very different script was about to unfold.

With no warning -- Sodom, Hugo, Kimala, Mysterious Budo, and Astro charged the ring!
The tag champs and Mad Gear attacked all four competing men, descriminating against no one!
With fatigue playing it's part in the scenario, the five-on-four clash could only advantage the assailants whose numerical advantage allowed Astro to direct the carnage whilst also partaking in it. Referee Harry Hicks could do little more than cancel the match, watching the chaos unfold.
Winners: Draw (No Contest)

On a night when the championship was forced to be defended, it seemed inconceivable that anything could overshadow that. However, as Alex, Lucky Colt, Zangief, and Zalazof, all lay unconscious in the ring, it seemed it was the shock celebrations of Tag Team Champions, Astro, Mysterious Budo, their bouncer, Kimala, and the Mad Gear combination of Sodom and Hugo Andore, that had shocked the Muscle Bomber universe. Exactly what their actions signalled, and whether or not this was an act of alliance, would be a question for next week's Slam Masters -- the last before the titles go on the line at the July 26 special event, CWA: Muscle Bomber Meltdown!

Also on the agenda next week -- Who will Victor Ortega face now that he has successfully defeated the official #1 contender? What ill effects have been dealt by The Wraith's dark arts to El Fuerte and R. Mika? What new levels of insanity will emerge from Rasta Gomes as he pursues Sheep the Royal? And what sinister machinations has Astro been hatching all along?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

CWA: Saturday Night Slam Masters (07/11)

The American Dream had faded as Saturday Night Slam Masters kicked off in the CWA arena in Metro City. The memory of Victor Ortega's freakish dominance over Battle Royal winner Aleksey Zalazof had everyone asking the question -- who can possibly take the CWA Heavyweight championship from the undefeated Victor Ortega? Also on the minds of many was a Hardcore Rules match scheduled to take place between King Rasta Gomes and Sheep the Royal, the former of the opinion that Sheep had monkey-napped his pet manager, Freak.

The show began in the interview trench where the unpinned #1 contender for Ortega's title, Darun Mister, was in casual attire with the night off. The undefeated Indian legend was quick to shrug off his elimination in last week's American Dream Battle Royal match. He described the over the top elimination rules of the match a farcical affair that in no way reflected the true skills of a professional wrestler. He then trainsitioned to one of the competitors of the match, the Russian rival that had brought him to compete in CWA, Zangief.
He described narrowly missing opportunity to finally grapple with the former-champion as the biggest disappointment of the July 4 Slam Masters special. He spoke of the streets of his native India, where men still debate which legend, Zangief of Mister, would truly emerge the greatest. The #1 contender said he was tired of being booked away from his goal, and promised that after he wins the CWA Heavyweight title at CWA: Muscle Bomber Meltdown on July 26, the first thing he will do is issue a defense against the Russian Red Cyclone!

Elsewhere in the arena, R. Mika and El Fuerte were together in the lockerrooms.
Fuerte fawned over his female Japanese counterpart, describing tag teaming with her one of the greatest honors he had ever had. He referred to their defeat at Heat Up Scramble in a tag team championship match, but looked to their match later in the night against Titanic Tim and Birdie as an opportunity to get back into the championship hunt. As the two tag teamers left their locker room, it went unnoticed by the duo that in the background Astro appeared to be entering the locker rooms of Mad Gear Gang; Sodom, Hugo Andore, and Poison. Exactly what the tag team champion was doing there, was anyone's guess.

Mysterious Budo & Kimala versus Lucky Colt & Alex

The first match of the night was a blockbuster as the #1 contenders to the tag team titles were booked to face off against one-half of the tag team champions, Budo, and Astro's BWA Bouncer, Kimala! It was during their contention with El Fuerte and R. Mika that the secondary force of Budo and Kimala was solidified, key to decimating the powers of the lucha/puro combination in several warm-up matches before their eventual championship bout.

Despite this knowledge, Colt & Alex appeared confident in the match, fresh off of singles victory last week on SNSM. The white faced oni, Budo, was clearly in a class of his own, but started the match with the more nimble of the two challengers, Lucky Colt. Budo trotted around the ring, forcing Colt to come to him. The challenger showed superior strength, but arm locks only invited acrobatics from Budo, who tied Colt in knots before striking with a series of kicks. When Kimala entered the fray, it was a different ball game as the 450lbs Bouncer fought off slam attempts and even resisted the sonic fist! Colt called upon his superior agility to make the tag, bringing Alex into the match, who unleashed power beyond his build with a devestating strikes to Kimala and Budo both! He unleashed a scoop slam on Kimala that set the crowd alight, nailing a leg drop before inviting Colt in with the tag to finish the match off with a second attempt at the sonic fist! The match sent a powerful message to the Duo division, stamping the name of the #1 contenders at the top of the competition!
Winners: Lucky Colt & Alex (#1 Contenders)

In the offices, Commissioner Mike Haggar had summoned the two Soviet Slam Masters, Zangief and Aleksey Zalazof, who just last week competed in the final moments of the American Dream Battle Royal. He commended them on their efforts, particularly Zalazof, who had finally shaken off a losing streak to prove himself as one of the best. The Commissioner revealed that the pair were booked as a team for the night's main event, facing off against Mad Gear in a match that could influence the future of the Muscle Bomber Duo division. The two Russians, who had been on good terms since their match at CWA comeback event, The International Blowout, shook hands as a show of solidarity.

In the ring, El Stinger emerged in an unscheduled interlude.
With microphone in hand, he said that although he respected and believed in Rainbow Mika's stance against joshi division wrestling, he was sick and tired of seeing men like Kimala, and last weekThe Wraith, try to take advantage of her. With fire in his belly, the luchadore bellowed a challenge to The Wraith to come out and face him in a fight, man-to-man. The Muscle Bomber from the darkside did not disappoint!

The Wraith versus El Stinger
The Wraith towered over his lucha opponent as he stepped over the top rope, forcing everyone to wonder whether or not he was actually just a man intimidating a woman. Wraith stood motionless as the bell sounded and El Stinger unloaded with a barrage of knife-edged chops to the chest that appeared to have little or no effect on the cloaked Muscle Bomber!

The Wraith retorted with a thrust to a string of hand thrusts to the throat as El Stinger refused to stay on the mat after each knockdown! Wraith wrapped his taloned hand around El Stinger's throat on the mat, forcing referee Harry Hicks to get uncomfortably close to call him off. The Wraith stepped slowly toward a retreated Hicks, distracted long enough for The Stinger to hit the ropes and deliver a dropkick to the back of the seven footer! The blow managed only to cause The Wraith to stumble, resulting in a slow turn toward El Stinger that sent chills throughout anyone watching. An impending sense of doom hung over the ring as El Stinger hit the ropes again, attempting to fly with a crossbody block that was caught by his giant opponent. The Mexican superstar was helpless as his body was turned upside down and driven head-first into the mat with an unforgiving tombstone piledriver! The Wraith pressed his hands onto El Stinger's chest in an act of ceremony, having rendered his opponent unconscious.
Winner: The Wraith

The lights in the arena darkened as The Wraith's robes draped over his body and he began the mysterious and eerie process El Stinger had rescued Rainbow Mika from last week on Slam Masters. A green glow eminating from beneath The Wraith's hood shone the only light in the arena fading before the house lights returned to reveal three robed individuals standing around him!
An enraged El Fuerte and Mika rushed to the ring to aid their fallen ally, but they were met by waiting blows from the robed minions of The Wraith! The mysterious men tossed Fuerte and Mika to the outside, while, with his hand wrapped around El Stinger's motionless body, The Wraith dragged him from the mat. The quartet of hooded Muscle Bombers carried the luchadore's limp body to the entrance amidst a sea of jeers from the crowd, escaping reprisal from Mika and Fuerte.

The stunned Duo had little time to recover from being tossed out of the ring as Birdie and Titanic Tim emerged to face Mika and Fuerte in their scheduled tag team match. The 500 Trillion Powers were unsuitably happy in their entrance given the sombre tone enforced by the events that had just occurred. Tag Team Championship aspirations must have been the last thing on the minds of Mika and Fuerte, who continued to look at each other with shock all over their faces.

"500 Trillion Powers" Titanic Tim & Birdie versus Rainbow Mika & El Fuerte

The stunned puro/lucha alliance were forced to get their minds back in the game, receiving no mercy from the hulking British brawlers. Tim and Mika began proceedings, with the big man holding an advantage over the shaken Rainbow Mika. A sickening thud followed a big boot from Tim, putting Mika on the mat. With knee to her back, Tim locked in a rear chin lock looking for a submission, earning the ire of El Fuerte who lept off the top rope with a springboard leg drop! El Fuerte returned to his corner while Mike asserted herself with a flying peach off the ropes!

The two legal muscle bombers were forced to crawl for their corners, desperate to tag in the fresh man. Titanic Tim got there first, but just as the advantage seemed confirmed, Birdie hopped off the apron to start talking to fans at ringside! With his partner absent, Tim on his hands and knees became a platform for El Fuerte to leap to the turnbuckle, using it as a launching pad for a shooting star press! Reeling from the attack, Tim had nothing left to kick out of the cover.
Winners: El Fuerte & Rainbow Mika

As was becoming customary, the shoving began at ringside as Titanic Tim confronted his partner. It seemed tensions over Tim's selection to represent the United Kingdom in last week's American Dream Battle Royal were still prevelant, forcing the pair into a brawl right infront of the audience! The 500 Trillion Powers detonated on each other, using the layout of the arena as a weapon as they moved gradually toward the entrance, tossing each other into barriers and equipment! The pair were to be aided by officials, however, after the massive arms of Victor Ortega caught them as they reached the entrance.

The CWA Heavyweight Champion made his way to the ring, boldly displaying the title belt.
The undefeated Muscle Bomber original grabbed a microphone to begin an impromptu interview with himself. He talked about the American Dream Battle Royal, declaring himself a man above peasant concerns like nations. He called himself a king of the ring, ruling over the CWA with the company's gold slung over his shoulder. Ortega posed the question of his eventual defeat to himself, leading to a tirade against the #1 Contender, who he described as being a man zealously dedicated to fighting losers. He mocked Darun Mister for his "unhealthy" obsession with Zangief, who had already been defeated not just by Ortega, but also a "career loser" like Zalazof.
Holding the title belt in his palm, Ortega stared at it. He said it pained him to see the title sullied by the total lack of competition it was representing, a matter Mike Haggar had played a major part in. He accussed the Commissioner of playing favourites from the start, citing the denial of his rightful place as undefeated champion during the first month of the CWA comeback, and the constant support shown to former-Haggar student, Aleksey Zalazof. Ortega laughed, claiming he had had an epiphany that explained the predicament facing the company. He accused Haggar of being jealous of Ortega's success, suggesting the former Mayor of Metro City was a wrestler who had gotten out of the game too soon, and despised Ortega for being an undefeated champion. He warned that if Haggar didn't change his priorities after he defeated Darun Mister at Muscle Bomber Meltdown, he would be forced to take the title and seek competition somewhere else.

King Rasta Gomes versus Sheep the Royal (w/ Freak)

In one of the more bizarre encounters for the night, it was a battle over a monkey as Rasta Gomes received his challenge against Sheep the Royal. The unconventional pair had fought in a string of matches previously, but now the rivalry appeared to be developing a personal streak as Rasta Gomes accused the former rugby-star of "stroking his monkey" without consent. It was at The International Blowout that CWA staged their only previous hardcore rules match, where Rasta Gomes got the best of Mad Gear Muscle Bomber, Sodom.

Gomes came prepared, assaulting Sheep with a trash can at the top of the match. "The Royal" was forced to endure a succession of blows to the head from "King," but remained in surprisingly good spirits in spite of it. Giggling to himself, Sheep scooped Gomes into powerslam, taking the opportunity to get his barings on the outside. It was at ringside that the match seemed destined to be fought, providing a range of weapons for the pair to utilize against each other. Chairs, a ladder, and even the ring bell itself were used to strike each other, but the turning point came as Rasta Gomes looked to deliver a piledriver onto a steel chair. Sheep was able to counter the move, taking advantage of the shifting tides to deliver a sickening powerbomb onto the outside floor. The hardcore epic ended then and there with Sheep scoring the three count. Freak - the monkey in the middle of this match - attempted to converse with both men, but Sheep was too busy celebrating in the ring to notice the meaning of his squeals.
Winner: Sheep the Royal
In the interview trench, Poison was ready to speak on the behalf of Hugo and Sodom.
She explained that the pair were actually much smarter than they looked. She said that the two were actually surprisingly shrewd business men, and that tonight, they had orchestrated a deal to put them back in the centre of competition in CWA. She described Zangief and Zalazof as the inadvertent victims that would have to fall if they were to assert themselves as championship contenders in the future.

Aleksey Zalazof & Zangief versus "Mad Gear" Sodom & Hugo Andore (w/ Poison)

With the future of the Muscle Bomber Duo division hinging on the night's main event, it was always going to be a tough ask to maintain order in the match. Before the bell even rung tensions between the two teams were evident, the Russians coming as close to face-to-face with their towering opponents as possible. The biggest man in CWA, Hugo Andore, opted to let Sodom kick the action off, while it was fan-favourite, Aleksey Zalazof, taking the first shot. Like so many other matches of the night, the aftermath of the American Dream Battle Royal was ever present.

Zalazof was explosive in his attack on Sodom as the bell sounded, waisting no time in a striking offensive. Sodom's body armor absorbed some of the kick/punch punishment, but the towering otaku came tumbling down as Zalazof hit the ropes to score a clothesline. Fluidity was to be an advantage as Zalazof brought Zangief into the match, slowing things to a methodical high impact pace begun with a powerslam. Hugo threatened to enter the match, but was stopped by referee Harry Hicks who also resisted the flirtations of Mad Gear manager, Poison. The distraction gave Sodom opportunity to attempt to use one a sai concealed within his belt, but Zangief swatted the weapon away, sending it spilling to ringside.

Zalazof was tagged back in, resulting in a devestating sidewalk slam. A cover failed to garner results, but inspired Zalazof to target Sodom's legs and back in ways armor could not protect. A boston crab saw Sodom enter a world of pain, but the big man was able to reach the ropes to break the hold. A strategic boot stunned Zalazof, giving Sodom a chance to hit a desperation shoulder charge that gave him additional space necessary to tag in his partner!

Andore brought a big boot of his own, levelling Zalazof with a kick to the face!
The German Giant needed no turnbuckle to get some big air on a diving splash that crushed the body of Aleksey Zalazof with over 500lbs of pressure! Despite the devestating blow, Zalazof was able to kick out of the cover, but it left him little energy for a defense. The tables appeared to be turning as Andore delivered a massive eight foot vertical suplex! To the awe of the audience, Zalazof again kicked out of the cover just shy of three. The ropes provided defense against a german suplex, giving the Russian an anchor to keep him earthbound. A spinning heel kick to the gut winded Andore enough to give Zalazof the space to tag Zangief, but the impressive reach of Andore also resulted in a tag!

Sodom struck hard with a running chop block that knocked Zangief down, but showboating gave the Red Cyclone time to recover. As Sodom turned to charge his opponent, Zangief swept him aside with the 360 lariat, sending Sodom over the top rope! In a twist of fate, the sai Sodom had attempted to use earlier had been present in his ringside landing, resulting in a massive crack in his armor. As Zalazof tossed him back into the ring, Sodom's neck was left completely unsupported as Zangief brought him crashing down with the spinning piledriver! Zalazof kept Andore and Poison from advancing as Zangief picked up the three count!
Winners: Zangief & Aleksey Zalazof
The Russians celebrated their main event victory to the delight of the crowd, but as they revelled in cheers, the Tag Team champions emerged and stormed the ring! Kimala the Bouncer joined in with Hugo Andore to deliver a double-team assault on Zangief and Zalazof, before the tag team champions Astro and Mysterious Budo got their licks in on the defeated Russian heavyweights, as Saturday Night Slam Masters came to a shocking conclusion!

Original Post:

Saturday, July 04, 2009

CWA: Saturday Night Slam Masters (07/04)

Fireworks greeted the Metro City crowd as Saturday Night Slam Masters kicked off for a very special July 4 edition! It was during the week that Commissioner Mike Haggar leaked his intentions to make a very special announcement for America's day of celebration, hot off the heels of all the action at  CWA: Heat Up Scramble! Sunday's special event crowned a new CWA Heavyweight Champion in Victor Ortega, who, after weeks of posturing, proved to be everything he had claimed during a freakish domination over the Red Cyclone and now former-champion, Zangief. The Tag Team Champions, Astro & Mysterious Budo were more fortunate, retaining their titles as Alex and Lucky Colt Gunloc set themselves up with an opportunity to face them in their next title defense, no later than July 26 at CWA: Muscle Bomber Meltdown. The event will also see Ortega face newly named #1 contender, Darun Mister, who defeated Aleksey Zalazof in one of the most technical showcases in CWA history.

It was the new champion, Victor Ortega, who kicked off July 4 celebrations, making his way to the ring with the CWA Heavyweight title slung over one shoulder. He made sure to parade the title belt in front of the crowd, dusting it off with the back of his hand before requesting a microphone from ringside officials. With a captive audience, the Muscle Bomber original threw his defeat over Zangief in the face of the crowd, declaring boldly, "I told you so!" Ortega tone shifted slightly as he proclaimed disappointment in the ease with which he did claim the title, describing it as a hollow confirmation of what he already knew -- he is the best. He then expressed concern about the legitimacy of Darun Mister's intentions, referencing Mister's goals to face off against his spiritual rival, Zangief. Ortega declared that if he was not to find legitimate competition, he would be forced to seek it outside of the CWA.

Ortega's flirtations with inter-company rivalry brought the CWA Commissioner, Mike Haggar, to the stage area. Metro City's own "uncivil servant" acknowledged Ortega's achievement, congratulating him on the title win. He said that although he did not approve of Ortega's demeanour or methods, his victory proved exactly what was possible for the determined in the land of the brave. The Commissioner described himself as a man who has always believed strongly in the American Dream, referencing his career as Metro City Mayor as another example of what was possible. He then said that he wanted to share spirit of equal opportunity with Victor Ortega and the multicultural roster of CWA Muscle Bombers. With that, Haggar announced that there would be a special American Dream Battle Royal to grant a title shot against Ortega in the night's main event!

Ortega's initial reaction displayed his fury, but with the crowd's roar of approval subsiding, the CWA Heavyweight Champion invited Mike Haggar to "bring it on," promising to maintain his undefeated streak against anybody he throws at him.
In the backstage area; two of CWA's British Muscle Bombers, Birdie and Titanic Tim, were engaged in debate about whether or not July 4 was a date to celebrate. Tim described American independence as the defining moment of modern history, posing as the Statue of Liberty as he made his case. Birdie mocked his partner when Rasta Gomes approached with muttered questions about the whereabouts of his pet monkey, Freak. Before he could get any answers, Commissioner Haggar approached the group, informing them of the scheduled American Dream Battle Royal for international Muscle Bombers. With the match about to start, he tapped Titanic Tim as the British representative for the over the top tournament of wills. As Tim and Gomes headed in the direction of the entrance, Birdie expressed his dismay for the day.

American Dream Battle Royal: Winner Faces Victor Ortega for CWA Heavyweight Title
(Russia) vs King Rasta Gomes (Dominican Rep.) vs Titanic Tim (United Kingdom) vs El Fuerte (Mexico) vs Hugo Andore (Germany) vs Sheep the Royal (Australia) vs Aleksey Zalazof (Russia) vs Astro (Japan) vs Darun Mister (India)

With the cream of the international crop present in the ring, the melee to earn a shot against Victor Ortega erupted! The rules were simple: eliminate opponents by tossing them over the top rope so that both feet hit the ground.

Sheep the Royal entered the ring with Freak atop of his shoulder, earning the pre-match ire of Rasta Gomes who began pulling his own hair and shouting incoherrently. The shock meant Sheep was swiftly eliminated by the German Giant, Hugo Andore! Rasta Gomes eliminated himself, leaping over the top rope to pursue Sheep for apparently stealing his monkey manager!

Darun Mister clearly saw the opportunity to finally clash with Zangief, but was locked up in a full nelson by Aleksey Zalazof before he could engage the former champion! Unaware, Zangief went straight to Andore, joined by Titanic Tim who helped hold the German up in the corner with a series of clubbing blows! Astro found himself pursued by Mexico's El Fuerte, who was unsuccessful in claim Astro's Tag Team belts during their confrontation at Heat Up Scramble.

The next elimination came as Titanic Tim turned on the Red Cyclone, teaming-up with Hugo Andore to attempt to eliminate the former-champ! In a desperate situation, Zangief unleashed the 360 lariat that knocked both competitors back, successfully sending Titanic Tim over the top to the outside (where Sheep the Royal and Rasta Gomes were still brawling)! Despite the heavy blow, Andore was far from rendered inert! After overcoming Zangief with a big boot from the corner, the German Giant was able to take full advantage of the top rope struggle between Astro and El Fuerte by shoving both from their turnbuckle perch to the outside!

Andore clutched the top rope, laughing at the misfortune he dealt to the two high flying Muscle Bombers. His gloating left him wide open to an unlikely top rope elimination as Zalazof dropped Mister with a Russian leg sweep, joining Zangief and pushing the giant over the top! Having been granted exception into the match as former-champion, Zangief then came face-to-face with his fellow Russian! There was no love lost between the pair as they exchanged blows, Zangief falling to an impressive dropkick! With the Red Cyclone down, Zalazof fended off the approaches of his rival of recent times, Darun Mister. Mister, still the #1 contender regardless of outcome, knocked Zalazof off balance with a clubbing blow to the back, but his attempt at a finishing powerbomb back fired when Zalazof sent him over the top with a countering back body drop!

With victory within his grasp, Zalazof turned to face the last man standing, only to be caught with the devestating spinning piledriver! Zangief brought a stunned Zalazof to his feet, but when the Red Cyclone ran him toward the ropes, Zalazof was able to bridge the top rope, keeping leverage as Zangief tumbled to the outside to be eliminated as Zalazof rolled from the apron back into the ring!
Winner: Aleksey Zalazof

With the crowd going wild, Aleksey Zalazof celebrated his hard earned first victory in the CWA comeback era! A stunned Zangief returned to the ring to come face-to-face with his countryman. Having narrowly missed out on the opportunity for a rematch against the champ, Zangief delighted the audience by extending a raised thumb for his fellow Russian! The pair enjoyed a firm handshake, signifying Zangief's approval of the long awaited validation of Aleksey Zalazof, who will get an opportunity to be the first to defeat Victor Ortega and claim his first comeback championship!

Backstage; Mysterious Budo and Kimala joined unsuccessful Japanese battle royal competitor, Astro, as he returned from being eliminated. The Tag Team champion revealed singles matches ordered against the Heat Up Scramble contender match winners, Alex and Lucky Colt. Taking his championship belt from Budo, he said he wanted his teammates to take the title contenders to their very limits of their ability, to reveal how dangerous they were to their plans. Plans that presumably involved remaining CWA Tag Team champions.
Rainbow Mika made her way to the ring next in an unscheduled appearance.
With the cheers of the crowd supporting her, Mika cast aspertions about the American Dream Battle Royal, questioning why she had been overlooked as the Japanese competitor. She claimed that her defeat in the tag team match at Heat Up Scramble had apparently caused everyone to forget her abilities. As the only female Muscle Bomber, she once again resumed her war against joshi wrestling by issuing an open challenge to any of the men unafraid of losing to a woman. Mika surely got more than she bargained for, however, when The Wraith emerged at the entrance!

The Wraith versus Rainbow Mika
The cloaked monster stepped over the top rope to confront a Rainbow Mika who showed obvious signs of being intimidated by his dark stature. Mika threw knife edged chops at the unmoving giant, before resorting to a buttpump off the ropes. Even the projection of her full body weight failed to topple the mysterious wrestler from the darkside. The Wraith halted further advances, clutching Mika by the throat before leading her into an inescapable corner. A choke toss ironically gave her the breathing room she needed, but was far from a desired result. Wraith controlled the pace, preventing Mika's ascension with a big boot that sent her straight back to the mat! Able to kick out of a two count, Mika rolled to the outside to try to find her barings. The Wraith's attempts to stalk her gave her the opportunity to climb the top rope, destroying his advances with a shoot star peach! Wraith sat back up eerily, however, clutching her by the throat once more to finish the match with a chokeslam!
Winner: The Wraith

With Rainbow Mika lying motionless in the centre of the ring, the Wraith took one knee, obscuring himself further as he leaned over her. From beneath the material an eerie green glow began to emerge, but just as his occult practise was about to begin, El Stinger raced to the ring to attack with a dropkick to the side of the head! He grabbed Mika and dragged her out of the ring, walking her toward the entrance as The Wraith rised to his feet. Silent and hidden beneath his cloaks, the Wraith stood in the ring staring at the one that got away. Exactly what his intentions were, remain unknown, but after performing the same practise weeks ago on Joe and Rip Saber, neither of those two had been seen in competition since!

In the interview trench; Darun Mister was on hand to respond to his defeat in the American Dream Battle Royal. Still the #1 contender despite the result, Mister explained his disappointment in Zangief's inability to hold on to the title. He commented that he had come to CWA to finally pit his legendary status in India against the acclaim achieved by the Red Cyclone. He described Victor Ortega as a sideshow and the worst aspect of the entertainment industry that had been built around professional wrestling. He said he did not look forward to competing against Ortega, believing his legend to be destined to be short lived, forgotten due to his pestilence. He described Aleksey Zalazof as a far more worthy champion, recounting his matches with the Russian as the best he had faced in CWA.

Kimala the Bouncer versus Alex
Having earned a shot at the Tag Team champions at Heat Up Scramble, Alex and his partner now faced the test of Astro's minions. Kimala, known as the BWA Bouncer, had earned a reputation on the back of brutalizing opponents like R. Mika and El Fuerte, but in Alex he found an opponent more than capable of matching his strength -- and far exceeding his speed!

Alex was more than happy to grapple with the Bouncer, besting him in a test of strength, while also showcasing his quickness with evasive moves and devestating swinging punches. The power of his entire body seemed to embue each blow with strength enough to rock Kimala into a defensive position! The big man resorted to throwing the entirety of his near half-tonne body weight at Alex, knocking him down with a body block that set him up for a big splash! Despite the blow, Alex was able to kick out of a cover, summoning his energy to power back! After a gruelling battle of strength, it was Alex' ability to out-wrestle Kimala that saved the day. A suplex put him in position to apply a clover leaf that left Kimala little option but to tap out!
Winner: Alex

In the lockerrooms; Aleksey Zalazof was preparing himself for his match later in the night against Victor Ortega, when Lucky Colt entered. His old rival commented on his win in the American Dream Battle Royal, sarcastically quipping that he might not be a screw up after all. Colt made reference to the cheers of the crowd, estimating that it meant his partner Alex had secured victory and it was now his turn to put the final nail in the coffin before they claim Tag Team gold. On his way out, the Florida Wildhorse told Zalazof to make sure he didn't lose. The Russian couldn't help but smirk.

Mysterious Budo versus Lucky Colt
Colt looked strangely pedestrian next to the flambouyant white faced demon and his kabuki-style get up. Budo held his tag team championship, possibly in an attempt to enter into mind games with his opponent. The pair danced around the ring before locking up, giving Colt the chance to exert strength over Budo. The Japanese high flyer proved a greater challenge than the Wild Horse might have first anticipated, leaping out of an arm lock with a series of flips that allowed him to knock Colt down with a sweep. From there, Budo launched into a flying exhibition, using the ropes as slingshots to enhance his every dive! It seemed the tag team champion was destined to dominate his opponent, but as he came off the top rope with a flying crossbody, Colt's luck kicked-in in the form of the sonic fist! With Budo knocked down by the blow and momentum of his own dive, Colt was able to roll him up for another victory for the contenders!
Winner: Lucky Colt

In the offices; Rasta Gomes kicked the door in, barging in to confront the Commissioner!
Gomes burst into a rant about respecting everything Mike Haggar had done for justice and appreciating his policy of natural order in CWA. He said he too was a man of natural beliefs and would have to demand that the law of the jungle be respected, with all due respect to the United States of this America. Gomes shouted that no man should ever snatch another man's monkey lest he face justice. Through the shrieking shouts, Haggar agreed to a hardcore rules grudge match on the July 11 episode of Saturday Night Slam Masters between Gomes and Sheep the Royal. Whether or not the Commissioner was completely clear on this fact, however, is uncertain.

CWA Heavyweight Championship Match
Aleksey Zalazof versus Victor Ortega
Electricity filled the air as the undefeated Muscle Bomber original was confronted by a man with nothing to lose. Aleksey Zalazof's victory in the American Dream Battle Royal was the perfect end to a July 4 celebration that forced the man who described himself as being "beyond nations" to put his title where his loud mouth was!

Faced with an opponent unlike any other, Zalazof avoided engaging in strong man antics, intent instead on utilizing speed and technique to overcome the power of the undefeated champ. Ortega proved to be more agile than he'd anticipated, but Zalazof was able to cope with evasive tactics, driving Ortega to the corner with a series of low kicks and punches. He lept into a modified judo flip, but the minute his feet were in the air he was in Ortega's control, countered with a makeshift spinebuster! Ortega began an assault seen all to often in his matches, following with a quick succesion of high impact moves that included a powerslam and hammer lock toss!

Struggling for options, Zalazof sent Ortega into the ropes with an Irish whip, catching him on the comeback with a sleeper hold. Despite expert application of the grip, the sleeper had no effect as Ortega tensed the massive muscles of his neck and shoulders. After bucking Zalazof into the air, he drove the tiring Russian into the turnbuckle, before hoisting him into a death valley driver! Despite the impact, Zalazof still showed signs of fight, countering a pinfall into an impressive arm bar! Once again, however, the hold was rendered moot by the freakish physique and strength of the CWA Heavyweight champion! After powering out of the hold with flexing, Ortega looked to close the match out with a powerbomb, but Zalazof was able to counter with a hurracanrana!

Ortega showed legitimate signs of being shaken, but was still the first man to reach his feet after spending a rare spell on his back! The champ showed no appreciation for Zalazof's feat, unleashing a violent clothesline before finishing the match with a devestating modified piledriver!
Winner and still CWA Heavyweight Champion: Victor Ortega

Ortega retrieved his championship belt, buckling it around his waist as he rolled to the outside. There, he retrieved an American flag from ringside, returning to drape it over his defeated Russian opponent. Ortega posed and flexed beneath red, white, and blue fireworks, before stomping on the still unsconscious Muscle Bomber! The July 4 Saturday Night Slam Masters came to an end with mixed feelings in the air, a fairytale ending stolen from the fan favourite challenger.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

AdVantage Point: InFamous (2009)

Give an idiot a scanner and a comic book and let him to pick out all the advertisements for video games. This is AdVantage Point -- a chance to document the winding timeline of comics/gaming history as it was canonized by the adverts. Musings, rantings, observations, stream of consciousness.

So, you've decided to create your very own superhero?
Before you get started there are a few things you should know!

Despite the multi-million dollar success of superheroes on film, the comics industry remains dependent on a niche market. While DC and Marvel dominate monthly sales of comics, even they regularly cull the weakest titles in their catalogue based upon minimum sales milestones. This controlling corporate inundation makes creating an independent superhero a careful consideration of the balance of market viability based upon the success of these types of characters, versus the potential to provide something unique.

Following on from the success of his Mandrake the Magician news strip, Lee Falk contributed one of the first recognised costumed superheroes in 1936. The Phantom predates the icons that have permeated through Marvel and DC, extrapolating the exploits of pulp adventurers into something inexplicably different. His contribution helped influence subsequent icons, namely Batman, who was immediately inspired by the success of Superman in 1938, as well as the characteristics of precursors like The Phantom, The Shadow, and Zorro.

The proliferation of this adapted form of costumed mythic demigods created a platform upon which an industry has been defined. Over the span of seventy years, a legion of thousands of successful characters have been developed through large catalogues of regularly printed material, making wholly unique creations highly unlikely. Modern understanding of this saturated art form has given license to many creators to derive originality from the perception and exploration of familiar ideals, such as the revered maxi-series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Watchmen.

When creating your superhero, it's important to remember this lengthy history because it will provide valuable insight into what will be required of your creation. It will inspire you to seek new concepts and help you fashion a character that might yet find it's way through the barren profitless landscape of independent comics.

Realistically, many comics creators, even very successful ones, might never explore the medium to such an intimate extent. For those developing characters in other mediums, the requirement arguably becomes even less significant, which brings us to InFamous and Prototype.

I have to admit, as a guy forged in the fires of comics over the past few decades, I never quite understand the appeal of the mostly generic superheroes who are born in other mediums. More often than not they seem to lack the confidence of those informed references described slightly tongue-in-cheek above, and consequently melt away to insignificance. The same could be said for the lead protagonists in InFamous and Prototype, the latter of which I was already critical of in a previous post [AdVantage Point: Prototype].

As an medium built on sequential storytelling and mass marketing of iconic heroes; the comics industry is potentially a wizened big brother to the video game industry. Comics have crossed generational divides and experienced the various stages of growth that have seen it's characters and production reach extreme highs, and equal lows.

As an interactive art form with it's own history, video games inevitably benefit from their own diverging perspective. While comics might provide suggestions of what the future holds, games are ultimately creating their own future out of their own context. This interactive element immediately deviates the creation of a superhero from the laborious considerations of comics, where a pantheon of superheroes are the measuring stick for everything else. While icons of DC and Marvel comics are now staples of video games, they are not the controlling entity of an entertainment form that has developed an army of super-heroes, but done so with the benefit of youth and incremental differences based upon "gameplay."
Mario and Sonic are as much superheroes as Superman and Batman, and one wonders if we won't eventually come to perceive them in a similar fashion as time goes on. One could arguably already derive comparisons between Superman and Sonic as two long running characters bogged down in the perceptions of an audience convinced their least successful moments are their only potential.

Gameplay creates distraction and an immediate sense of interactivity that often excuses failings of concept or narrative. Modern gamers of the current generation have come to embrace this lack of story or direction with gusto, content to shoot and run with minimal motivation, even going so far as to consider story an inconvenient distraction, no matter how tangential. As this new generation foregoes the dreams of concept that once were hampered my restrictions of technology, high budget games give way to a corporate mandates of generic imitation and a willing lack of artistry (to certain extents).

This atmosphere, as described in a previous article, is very reminiscent of the comics crash of the nineties, steered into a nosedive by nonsensical design and a general disregard for strong story and artistic business practises. One wonders if games aren't creating for themselves a similar situation of depression as technology advances to a point where mechanic and gameplay are no longer the specific keys to attracting gamers to a brand. As this generation of players matures, will they be so easily convinced by familiarity and mechanic, or will this maturing medium finally be forced to reach the same contemplative plane as comics?

The success of the Nintendo Wii and games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band arguably points to some necessity for change, an example of struggling efforts to differentiate exclusively through  novelty or mechanic.
Prototype and InFamous conveniently encapsulate the growing issue of repetition in games under the microscope of a superhero fad that has not yet become so widespread as to be perceived as a genre platform. Their similar aesthetics, gameplay, and concept highlight a necessity for the kinds of differentiation developed by the reflective and informed narrative, characterization, and story, that comics have mastered.

With great console power comes repetitive cityscapes and familiar abilities.

To the point of these posts, I was very critical of the advertising design used by Prototype, which emphasised the least admirable qualities of their lead character, Alex Mercer. There can be no doubt that InFamous' striking advertisement (which has a red variant) is far superior. That said, as an outsider looking in, it seems to lack the same punch of character and Biohazard-meets-NYC-superheroes plot.

From the hat and cloak of Mandrake and The Shadow, to the colourful union suits of The Phantom and Superman, superheroes and costumes have always been an on-going discussion. Modern creations have pressure to comply with timid filmic references, and that's probably had some influence on the urban nature of these two designs. The Iron Man film remains one of the most successful modern examples of having confidence in the colourful iconography of superhero design. Much of the film's success seems to have hinged on the "refreshing" twist of superheroes on film as 'robot fighting men,' and this aspect of machining gave Iron Man a unique opportunity to deliver a colourful design in a way audiences were ready to understand. The character of Iron Man arguably has a less ingrained design than Spider-man, who was also faithfully realised in full colour, making it an exceptional step forward for the mainstream understanding of superhero design.

Time has given DC and Marvel's characters great weight. It will be a little while before we can really assess the value of Alex Mercer and Cole McGrath. The next step in either franchise could elevate the characters from generic equivalents to the mid-nineties, to lasting icons far from infamy. Imitation has given comics some of their greatest stories and characters, but with great power, must come great responsibility.

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