Just S'pose 1.28.07
Posted by Ron Gamble on 01.28.2007
"Alternate history or alternative history is a subgenre of speculative fiction (or some would say of science fiction) that is set in a world in which history has diverged from history as it is generally known. Alternate history literature asks the question, "What if history had developed differently?" Most works in this genre are based in real historical events, yet feature social, geopolitical, or industrial circumstances that developed differently than our own. While to some extent all fiction can be described as "alternate history," the subgenre proper comprises fiction in which a change or point of divergence occurs in the past that causes human society to develop in a way that is distinct from our own." - Wikipedia
If you have to ask where I've been, then you haven't been paying attention for the past six years.
Six years?!? Wow, I've been here a long time. Larry, can I have a raise?
Larry: Six years rules, but I am trying to get one for my 1000th column. Let's Unionize~! You can be the Test to my Foley.
Aw, but I wanted to be Ken Shamrock! Oh, well...
So, while I've been otherwise occupied, Bill Cowher retired as coach of The Black and Gold, with a stellar record. Fifteen years as a head coach, with a record of 161-99-1, including 149-90-1 in the regular season. Made the playoffs ten times in fifteen years, including each of his first six years as a coach. Only one other coach ever did that, and Paul Brown is not only in the Hall of Fame, he also has a team named after him. It's a shame the team has to be in Cleveland....
So, Mike Tomlin is the new big guy in The Burgh, and I'm happy. Of course, I would have been happy if they had promoted Ken Whisenhunt or Russ Grimm, too.
On to the teams still playing. Da Bearssss and the Indymore Colts are on to Miami. People on Chicago radio are trying to compare this team to the magical '85 Bears (defense is close, offense is not), while others around the country are saying the comeback against New England was vindication for Peyton Manning (let him win a title before you crown him). It should be a fun game, and I'll talk more about it next week. Meanwhile, go look at Eric Szulczewski at Inside Pulse for a Chicago boy's view of this game. I have no idea who is from Indianapolis, or even likes the Colts, so I can't help you that way.
A friend of mine, Adam Kontras, is hosting CBS Early Show's "Living Room Live! Kids Edition" talent show contest online, and you can find the video for this past week here. There is a small teaser at the end, which is going to lead to a huge episode in a few weeks. If you'd like a peek into the future, go here.
HUGE goings on with Adam, with his career finally taking off, Ohio State in the BCS Title Game (um, yeah...), and his being a lifelong Bears/Bulls fan. He flew from Los Angeles to Columbus last year to watch the Super Bowl with me and another friend/Stillers fan, so I have to cheer loudly for Da Bearssss to pay him back.
Finally, this week, a guest in this spot. A few months ago, Dave Lanning, professional ring announcer/chick magnet, wrote a little story about the true goings-on with the 3WA, a short-lived group that was supposed to take off and challenge Vince and Dixie. While he didn't get the chance to finish that story, he did get the chance to write a little something for my new format. Take it, Dave!
THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE "WEEKLY WATCHERS OF WONDERFUL ANIME"
I got out of the ring and smiled very smugly to myself as only the heel can do. I was truly the bad guy here, truly the enemy. In a swerve that no one saw coming, I set up a lot of violence, and made sure that hatred would be coming my way. NWA-TNA was going to war. And it's enemy would be the 3WA.
Like Ron always says, in the reality we know, Dave Nelson attempted to buy TNA from the Jarretts before he withdrew and Panda Energy picked it up. Nelson would go on to run an independent federation around Ohio called NWA-Ohio, which was later renamed the 3WA with promises of huge money contracts, PPV deals, and an overseas tour. The dream was never fully realized, for any number of reasons. But what if it was? What if the 3WA made good?
I remember getting the call. I was at work and my cell rang. Dave Nelson said that he had heard good things about me on the mic and wondered if I would be willing to come work for him. I met with him and we talked a bit. I decided why not, I have nothing to lose, it would just be on weekends and I could still work my normal job, which I was very secure in. We did a few shows and he then hit me with something that I would have never expected, "Dave, we are going to go national. The deal is real close to being done, I am buying TNA and I want you in on it." It was simple, I was being offered a talent contract as head of the announce and broadcasting team. My broadcast partners were two former WWF superstars from the 80's and the only brother commentary team in the states, Greg and Mike Carson. It would be the break everyone was looking for.
In just a matter of days, the deal was done. Then it all went into hyperdrive. A mass media tour was set to make the announcement to the wrestling community. And at the first one, made in Columbus, Ohio, we introduced ourselves to the world and let the intentions be known. What would basically happen, according to Nelson, is that the TNA name would be kept, the talent would be evaluated and then determinations would be made on contracts and who would be kept and who would be let go. Also, the very first TNA ppv with new ownership would be taking place at the Nationwide arena in Columbus, Ohio in October 2005. It would be the first time many of the roster would be on PPV, and for some possibly, the last.
PAY PER VIEW-----
The dark match on the card was a carry over from the old 3WA. The tag team known as Southern Comfort (Dusty and Shawn West) tangled with the legendary Flyin' Paul Harley and his partner Bill Bagwell. Harley and Bagwell went over when the other team could not get along.
After a few more matches, I hit the ring to make a few special announcements. First, I wanted to introduce the Board of Directors of the company. From the NWA, Bill Behrens. Former wrestling superstar, Bill Eadie. Ron Gamble, who had covered the press for 3WA, was named to the board as well. There were 2 more spots that had not been announced yet, but first there were other issues to address. I informed the audience that a new title was being introduced, actually it was a title with very strong ties to the NWA name, the United States championship was coming back. I held it in my hands and announced that the tourney for it would be held throughout the month of November and would culminate at the December PPV, which would be held in Orlando, Florida. Next I brought Dave Nelson to the ring. I asked him what the situation with Hacksaw Jim Duggan was. Hacksaw had recently signed a legends deal with the WWE and would no longer be associated with the 3WA. I then pulled out a plaque to present to Nelson. It commemorated him as the 1st owner and CEO of the new federation. He then said that as his first act on the PPV, it may be time to introduce the newest board members......
"Whoa, whoa, whoa... Stop the presses, stop the pay per view, stop the whole damn world! The only reason that Hacksaw Duggan left is because he is afraid of the oncoming storm... That storm is made up of 5 men..."
Then they hit the ring. Nelson stood to the back, I walked over with the mic and tried to get answers to what was going on. The man with the mouth jumped back on the mic and moved me away from it. Then he spoke.
"For those of you that don't know, my name is Alex Shelley, I do have talent on loan from God. This is Roderick Strong, the messiah of the backbreaker. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce to you Jack Evans, the man who can defy gravity without even trying." With those word, Evans did a backflip and landed right back on his feet. "And the most intense athlete this company will ever see, Austin Aries!!"
Nelson grabbed the mic. "You said there were 5 of you, but that's only 4. How the hell do you think you can come in here and have all the stroke? How do you think you can..."
Nelson's words trailed off as he was blasted from behind by man holding the plaque. Me. David Lanning, or as I was about to be known, David Cash. Shelley grabbed the mic from Nelson's hands and gave it to me. "I believe that what Mr. Nelson wanted to do earlier was introduce the newest member of the Board of Directors to the world. Well, here I am. I am David Cash. I am the man who has been held back since I came to this company. But now I am the man with the stroke, I am the man that set up the deal from behind the scenes for these 4 to come in, I am the man that will give Nelson the fight of his life. We are the 5 that will rule this place. WE ARE......GENERATION NEXT!!!"
With that, Nelson's new group took to the ring, all were tossed aside, but we kept one in there, we needed to send a message, our sacrificial lamb, if you will. I took the mic again and spoke, "Ladies and gentlemen, from right here in Columbus, Ohio... the whipping post, I mean, the Judge". And then Strong hit him with a sick backbreaker, Aries hit a 450 on him, and Evans delivered a move from the top rope that left him wondering where he was until the following week.
We left the ring to a chorus of boos... but the true challenge was still ahead. We had became the target of each and every veteran in that locker room, but we had also become heroes in the eyes of everyone that felt held back. We tore down the TNA banner and replaced it with one that had been made by me, I said that my next order of business was out with the old, in with the new, the 3WA was now the name of MY company.
IS THAT A CLIFFHANGER ENDING?
Yes, and no. Dave purposefully ended it that way, but we'll see if a part two is in the works.
In the meantime, it's good to be back, and I'll be here again next week (God willing and the creeks don't rise) with a new story perfect for Super Bowl Sunday.