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Thread: WPW - WorldWide Progressive Wrestling

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    Default Re: WPW - WorldWide Progressive Wrestling



    WorldWide Progressive Wrestling

    |HORIZON|
    March 2013

    Approximately three weeks remained until WorldWide Progressive Wrestling's Battle at the Dome spectacular, booked to take place on March 31st 2013 at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. As a result there was a great deal of promotion and publicity attributed to the event and to WPW in Japan. The motto 'progressive wrestling' playing upon the 'pro-wrestling' terminology was bandied about quite heavily on radio spots and social media. There were also rumours that this would be the last show in Japan for another few months and that an international tour was in the pipeline for the rest of 2013.

    Looking back, at the very least WPW had now built a niche in the Japanese wrestling market largely in part to the unique mix of a truly international roster with a seamless fusion of wrestling styles. There was also the relentless extra publicity work done on the part of the local mega-stars mainly Hiroshi Tanahashi to bring people into the product. Putting on superb matches also helped quite a bit in endearing to the most demanding wrestling supporters.

    The rivalry between Tanahashi and WPW World Champion, Samoa Joe was not only a big hit amongst wrestling supporters in Japan but also amongst the international fan-base. Their first two WPW Championship matches, the Gold Rush Final from August and the Warrior's Way return were heavily viewed on YouTube, Dailymotion and many other popular video sharing sites. Dirt-sheets and respected pro-wrestling columnists raved about the chemistry. Therefore the WPW media team decided not to force the sites to take the videos down due to people eventually landing up at WPW.com subsequently and finding out more about the movement.

    It was indeed still understood as a movement by the staff and wrestlers of WPW. Something that the once former COO, Kurt Angle had proudly shouted out, and now quietly kept locked away as a mantra in the corner of his mind - even after the near fatal blow the promotion had taken at the hands of the mighty World Wrestling Entertainment and its lawyers. Competing again one day was still on the cards but this time the planning would be obsessive and no detail would be left unturned. For now all eyes were on the Battle at the Dome, and there was one more show remaining to build up to the colossal event.


    For the second time in a row the Ryogoku Kokugikan was packed to capacity on March 17th 2013 for the final stop, an event named The Rising. No punches were pulled here and the deliberate meaning of the name was a call to arms for the entire promotion. It was time to finish off in Japan and leave a lasting impression on the people that had given a chance to WPW at its most uncertain period. The event was headlined by a mammoth main-event match as The Silver Champion, Hirooki Goto would face WPW World Champion, Samoa Joe.

    The mood throughout would be as the mad Colonel Kurtz had once put it, “like a snail crawling across the edge of a straight razor”. It was no more evident than right after the fade in – the arena camera showed an ominous steel cage, wrapped with barbed wires surrounding the ring. In its last appearance the cage had decided the destiny of WPW's biggest stars and eloped with The Outsider himself. It now played host to the dark will of a man transformed by the brutality cut into him. Matt Striker on commentary remarked that it was John Morrison, but he might as well be a different man who now haunted the ring. Some had started referring to him just as The Shaman. Inside he stood alone, every emotion hidden beneath the steel mask which shone wickedly in the light. His eyes were scanning the Cage, and the vast sea of people beyond. In one hand was a microphone, and in the other was an artificial larynx. The microphone held in his hand slowly rose toward to the mask as he looked back down, bringing everyone into the prism. The larynx was stabbed to the throat when a sinister voice, pitch fluctuating, echoed through - “Mr. Tanaka I want to thank you. For leading my way through the river of blood you battered into my face. That river (he fingers the lines of the mask carefully as he speaks) has led me far away from the illusion that I was living for the last thirty two years. What my loved ones thought was darkness and the misfortune of losing my ability to speak and interact – was really a desert of peace where I felt truth, immense, pure truth. The breeze, the...the quiet, FREEDOM. Thanks to you. I am compelled therefore to invite you to an evening inside the cage so I may thank you with all my heart and give you back all you've done for me...sir”, he crackled. “And this cage, will...explode upon contact. The bang that will resonate through your soul – and burn understanding into you. And you will then be thanking me...”

    The Hall came alive as the caption of the speech revealed across the mega-screens and the people understood what he was saying. Many were chanting for Tanaka to answer the call but he was nowhere to be found. Morrison looked around, “Surely you are not afraid now, are you Mr Tanaka?”, goaded the masked man. Magic words – the Ryogoku Kokugikan was hardly containable as the Last Hardcore Legend himself, Masato Tanaka came out from the back with a microphone in hand. He could hardly believe what he was hearing here. It was surreal. He spoke in Japanese – trying his hardest to be clear and avoid exploding into curses. It barely worked -

    “You son of a bitch. I've spilled the blood of the most sadistic and brutal wrestlers EVER to step foot inside the ring. I've put my life on the line every time I've set foot inside that ring. Did I beat you that badly that you lost all sense of pain? Its a pity I don't even remember it, because it was just another bloody face amongst the thousands. But I wish I did, I would have enjoyed it even more.

    Seriously kid...you have lost your mind and I will gladly take your mask and your head off. Because behind the mask is nothing, just a boy who does not know how to react to the pain inflicted upon him. You want me inside the cage? You will have me, I will finish you in front of 40,000 people at the Tokyo Dome. Your body will be hung for all to see”, screamed Tanaka, slamming the microphone down in a seemingly convincing fit of rage. He stormed back in the direction he came from as Morrison stood inside the Barbed Wire Steel Cage, absolutely still, staring in the direction of the gate that Tanaka disappeared behind.

    The first match of the night began with the crowd still a bit shaken from the exchange that had just taken place. Sonjay Dutt, Jay Lethal, and a young Mexican rookie announced as Samuray Del Sol fought it out in a Three Way Super Crown Division match that slowly brought the thrill and excitement back. Samuray had everybody's support from the very get go and the Japanese supporters respected his name paying homage to their culture. Del Sol completely surprised the two experienced wrestlers fighting them both off simultaneously. He left Lethal and Dutt biting the dust after a slew of whirlwind huricanrana's and springboard drop-kicks. The enthusiastic youngster would eventually tire after a suicide dive to Lethal and Dutt to the outside had put more damage on him than his adversaries. A few moments later inside the ring, Lethal would nearly finish him off with the Pump-Handle Sit out Powerbomb Lethal Injection only to be pulled down out of the move by a Jumping Neckbreaker Calcutta Kutta by Sonjay Dutt. Dutt would nearly the pick up the victory moments later after a photographic 450 Corkscrew Splash Hindusault but Del Sol broke the count at a deep 2.77. Jay Lethal by now had taken heavy damage and rolled to the safety of the corner as Del Sol and Dutt duked it out, both furiously trying to gain the ascendancy. The highlight of the match and probably the night – both men reversing twice, thrice, quadruple times out of a Standing Shiranui. This was ironically a finisher they both used but this time Dutt finally completed the move on the sixth attempt and got the 1-2-3 over Del Sol to great applause for the insane ending. Dutt rolled out of the ring with a huge smile on his face while Del Sol kicked the ropes in frustration at being upstaged on his debut. For this time at least the rookie could not beat experience.

    Matt Striker could barely hear himself as he went shouting about and hyping two important match additions involving the Super Crown division to the the Battle at the Dome as the news came in. The two men who had just fought to a close finish would face off as Sonjay Dutt would take on Samuray Del Sol in a Super Crown Division singles match. The Super Crown Champion, Low Ki would defend his title in one final rematch against Katsuhiko Nakajima. Striker said more matches were being decided and he would update the world but that AJ Styles had yet to accept the offer by WPW to compete against Tanahashi. There was a lot of speculation that an answer would be given by the end of the night while everyone was watching.

    The Rising would present a golden opportunity to one wrestler in the WPW roster. On this night, as promised would be the announcement of a challenger for Samoa Joe's WPW World Championship. Many people had been clamouring for Hirooki Goto to be that name but the Silver Champion still had one more scheduled defence to make before he could activate his chance to challenge for the World Title. Goto would be defending the Silver Championship at Battle at the Dome in perhaps his most important defence ever. His opponent, and Samoa Joe's opponent would be found from one match. An announcement on the PA System directed the crowd to a video feed of WPW President, Naoki Sugabayashi. He was quick and to the point – tonight there would be a No. 1 Contender's match between two wrestlers. The winner would go on to face Samoa Joe for the WPW World Championship and the loser would have the consolation of facing Hirooki Goto for the Silver Championship. There was anxious expectation as Mr Sugabayashi announced the names. It would be KENTA going up against Homicide. The roof nearly blew off the Ryogoku Hall as the two names were greeted with tremendous enthusiasm.

    The electricity was definitely in the air. People knew that this night would produce new contenders and new paths for all involved. The second match of the night split four men who would face off in separate matches with plenty on the line, into tag teams. Charlie Haas and Katsuhiko Nakajima would face the Super Crown Champion, Low Ki and Shelton Benjamin. Nobody gave a damn about team work or picking up the win, they just wanted to hurt each other. Both teams faded in and out of the match as Nakajima and Benjamin remained the legal combatants for the majority. Benjamin dominated Nakajima who did not seem his explosive self- allowing 'The Gold Standard' to focus on his back with intense and repeated irish whips into the corner and a minute and a half spent keeping Nakajima in a spectacular Bow and Arrow Hold. There was near silence in the Hall and only Nakajima's occasional screams from the pain shooting through his back could be heard. Benjamin dismantled Nakajima to the mat and started talking trash right into Haas' face. This is when the match descended into chaos as Haas stormed the ring, brawling with Benjamin prompting Low Ki to go after the fallen Nakajima. Order was restored four minutes later as Haas was finally able to get a tag out of Nakajima and went berserk on his former partner finishing with a thunderous Olympic Slam. Haas made the cover as Low Ki tried to go for the save but Katsuhiko Nakajima came from behind and German Suplexed Low Ki off the apron and to the cold floor. The one, two, three went through unopposed as Haas and Nakajima picked up a crucial momentum building victory over their opponents.

    There wasn't a moment to linger as within minutes every single one of the 13,000 people stood up and took notice – from the corner of the Hall and out from behind one of the exit gates entered 'The Outsider' AJ Styles. His masked accomplice was nowhere to be seen as the triumphant Styles strutted down the long stairwell, protected by a dozen security guards. The atmosphere was toxic as abuse poured in from every side of the Ryogoku Hall – a feeling that chaos would break out at any moment. There was complete irreverence in Styles' attitude as he walked up to the ring announcer, snatching a microphone – grinning in the face of Matt Striker before entering the ring and tossing his chewing gum into the air and slapping it away like the late Curt Hennig. “It's ON NOW!” roared Styles – flinging his arms out like old times and revelling in the hostility. “Tanahashi, Sugabayashi, WPW you sly sons of bitches. You really think I'm a simple sea fish don't you – just waiting to take the bait. Well boys, what you thought is RIGHT!”, laughed Styles. “I ACCEPT. As for my friend, he's going to reveal himself when he wants to, this round I will be playing alone.”

    AJ Styles looked out toward the distant cameras – as if he was looking at Hiroshi Tanahashi directly across the screen. “You know I would have accepted anyway Tanahashi. You didn't need to throw me a title shot like I'm some beggar – I'm not like you,” he coldly claimed. As the caption of his words rolled across the screen the supporters erupted in boos at Styles insinuation. This time though AJ Styles found nothing amusing, “You're just a piece of the puzzle Hiroshi. A pillar that's about to crack. You're already doubting yourself aren't you. I saw the footage. You're asking yourself - are you as good as Joe? Do you deserve another chance? Are you even ready to face ME? And what about when you lose, and everyone blames you for all the things that I will do here.” The security guards surrounding the ring were starting to become nervous as it had gone past hostility and people were literally itching at the bit to have a go at AJ Styles. “I lost my conscience a long time ago, but you still have yours – and it will make you suffer. After March 31st, WPW will change forever – and you – whether you like it or not, will have played----”. Styles stopped in mid-speech - the Ryogoku's roof nearly blew off. Hiroshi Tanahashi came running down out of the entrance gate, leapfrogged past the guards and into the ring pummeling Styles with right hands. It was short lived as the security came back inside and pulled Tanahashi off while AJ Styles clutched his chin. He eventually smiled back at the raging Tanahashi once he knew he was safe. Officials and agents from backstage quickly ran down to avoid escalation as AJ Styles was immediately escorted out of the ring and back up the stairwell – trash was being thrown as the security made a shield around Styles. There was a close up shot of Styles at the exit as he gave Tanahashi the finger and screamed, “I'm taking your career!”. Tanahashi was raging, screaming out at Styles on the top of his lungs to come back and fight.

    It is often difficult to put a finger on the emotion, that sixth sense, the tingling feeling that heightens ones awareness of clear and present danger. This feeling was running throughout the Ryogoku Hall as the time came for the No. 1 Contender's match pitting KENTA against Homicide. The noise levels were going through the roof as the majority crowd gave KENTA a thunderous welcome – the polar opposite for Homicide but that's how the Notorious 187 liked it anyway as he flipped off everyone in sight during his entrance – channelling the animosity into pure focus as he stepped inside telling KENTA “Fuck your house!” to his face. The ref had to separate both men as the trash talking continued until the match could be cleared.

    The bell rang and it was on. Two men who were on the cusp of greatness, talent and chance wise made their last stand against each other. The match remained dead even for the first five minutes, descending from a Collar and Elbow Tie Up to a stiff brawl that Homicide seemed to be winning. KENTA though equalized within a split second with a devastating Roundhouse Kick and took complete control. The high stakes had intensified his game plan, he wasn't looking to put on a show but went straight for the neck – to cut off oxygen for Homicide, feigning a Hip Toss but actually pulling Homicide back in and to the floor with a Rear Naked Choke. 'Cide struggled for breath, trying his best to wriggle to the sides. The pulsing noise from the crowd and KENTA's relentless hold were suffocating him as the Ryogoku Hall clamoured for the tap out. Instinct saved the match for him as he was able to just about roll KENTA enough to the side to claw and get a desperate finger to the bottom rope, and then his whole hand on the rope.

    The cameras caught a half choked Homicide breathing in relief as KENTA broke the hold and crawled for position. Homicide spent the next two or three minutes doing his best to shield and dodge against KENTA's arsenal. He would roll out of the ring when KENTA nearly nailed him with the Busaiku Knee Kick after a string of dodges and reversals – 'Cide rested near Striker's commentary desk, going blow for blow was not going to work. KENTA made the biggest mistake of the match trying to go outside and take on Homicide as The Notorious 187 took full advantage by using the announce desk to toss KENTA into and bash his head over. 'Cide goaded the crowd, parading the groggy KENTA around before rolling him into the ring and going into his typical mode of stomping KENTA out in the corner and Facewashing the holy hell out of him with his right boot.

    Homicide mounted KENTA on the corner – and climbed up high himself and devastated KENTA with a Double Underhook Superplex. The Tokyo crowd hushed in shock as Homicide went for the finish 1-2-and just at 2.7 KENTA got his shoulders off the mat. There was a collective sigh of relief, but only for a moment because the finish line was starting to become visible for Homicide as the sadistic look on his face showed. 'Cide stomped on KENTA's back angrily, lifting him up again, this time for a cracking Exploder Suplex but he still could not get the 3 count. KENTA was shaking, trying his best to reach out, find some balance, some way to turn the tide. But was no way Homicide would let that happen - he came back like a vulture with multiple elbow drops, keeping KENTA grounded the whole time.

    There was a sense of resignation as the eerily quiet Ryogoku Kokugikan crowd witnessed Homicide devour KENTA. The Japanese star was showing no fight back, his body was shaky and ragged as Homicide closed in, working KENTA's back with a plethora of modified suplexes and delayed Irish Whips in to the corner. And then it came – Homicide's crowning glory of the match was in its process, he carefuly lifted KENTA up for his Gringo Killa Double Underhook Piledriver but KENTA finally reversed it into a pinning combination, 'Cide kicked out at an early two – but there was life. There was life after all in KENTA – within seconds, as Homicide was getting up to charge back, KENTA roared off the ropes and felled 'Cide with the Busaiku Knee Kick out of nothing. The Ryogoku exploded into life but both KENTA and Homicide were face down on the mat. Exhaustion had caught up and 'Cide had now taken a near fatal blow in the match. The people urged KENTA onward, to at least attempt a cover on the fallen Homicide and he eventually did but Homicide dramatically kicked out at the deepest of twos.

    The final minutes were a complete struggle, with muscles cramping in exhaustion but their minds buzzing – trying to avoid getting beat and sealing a win somehow. There was complete deadlock as Homicide and KENTA broke into a vicious fist fight in the middle, until KENTA clotheslined 'Cide's head off emphatically after taking a hard uppercut himself. KENTA collapsed atop Homicide again 1-2-thr- Homicide got his shoulder up again. There was no way this would be so straightforward. He lifted Homicide somehow, and brought him crashing down with a Fisherman Buster – the crowd was exploding as KENTA again went for the cover 1-2-no way. At 2.8 Homicide instinctively got his shoulder up. KENTA lifted the groggy Homicide back to his feet, but 'Cide got a third wind as he hammered back at KENTA with right hands, whipping him into the ropes and then tried to pick KENTA for the Bronx Bomber 27 Scoop Slam Piledriver – but that was it, when he was about to finish the slam KENTA reversed, literally pulling Homicide back down from behind and back into the Rear Naked Choke from earlier – and this time Homicide had no option, tapping out to the submission hold as his neck was being choked out. The Hall exploded in jubilation.

    KENTA's arm was raised by the official but the new No.1 Contender could barely stand as he saluted the supporters inside the Ryogoku Kokugikan and then collapsed to the mat in exhaustion. He had proven himself to be a true contender and his ultimate test would take place in three weeks at the Tokyo Dome to attempt to dethrone the all powerful World Champion.

    The last intermission of the night took place as The Rising came to a memorable close. It would be topped off by a marquee bout featuring the World and Silver Champions, Samoa Joe versus Hirooki Goto in a Non-Title bout. Goto was given a true warrior's welcome, more so for the fact that he was facing Joe tonight than anything else. The World Champion once again arrived as public enemy number one in the Ryogoku Hall. Joe did not care, he maintained his solace, his head buried under the towel and the World Championship glistening against the lights as he handed it over to the officials. Goto himself would have the opportunity to test himself, in case he got past Homicide in three weeks – this would be his fate. What proceeded was an epic encounter, Goto and Joe going toe to toe, blow for blow, Ole Kicks, Enzuigiris, missed forearm smashes turned into sickly angled German Suplexes. This was the first half of the match, not an inch was given by either man. Pride was at stake. Goto's sheer desire to get one over Joe led him to a crucial breakthrough with the Wrist Clutch Jigoku Kuruma Olympic Slam which got him a deep 2.6 out of the World Champion. He continued his relentless effort to keep Joe down, following up with a Muramasa Spinning Heel Kick to the champion.

    There was pleasant surprise and encouragement as Samoa Joe struggled to meet Goto's pacing, swinging wildly at Goto but being easily outrun as Goto plastered him to the mat with another stiff Bridging German Suplex. But the Warrior of the Islands had motivation in reserve. As the crowd started hounding for Goto's victory, Joe sprung the trap – Goto climbed up high to perform an Elbow Drop to the back of Joe – but the champion got up like a ghost and came right after him and Island Driver'ed Goto off the top! The sheer suddenness of it all produced chaotic reactions among the support as Samoa Joe waited, not going for the cover – but watching Goto as he staggered to his feet, and then finished it with the inevitable Muscle Buster smashing Goto for the 1-2-3. The Silver Champion had made one mistake – one mistake and Samoa Joe had punished him dearly for it.

    After being handed the World Championship back by the officials, Samoa Joe raised it slowly into the air, looking out into the sea of faces. As if to will them into believing in him like they once had. Hidden beneath his anger was a deep desire to earn their respect back but none was shown – and they made it clear as KENTA re-appeared through the entrance gate. The No. 1 Contender walked down to the ring slowly, a weary look upon his face as he entered the squared circle. They both looked into each other's eyes, not a shred of fear or doubt. The noise was deafening, throbbing in their ears. Joe said something inaudible to KENTA, who just nodded back. Slowly, ever so slowly, Samoa Joe raised the WPW World Title into the air – dominance. KENTA took a long, hard look and then raised his right fist – a chance at history, immortality. The Ryogoku Kokugikan was exploding at the confrontation.

    As The Rising faded – the iconic shot of Joe and KENTA – one raising his World Championship into the air, the other his right fist would become imprinted into the very fabric of WorldWide Progressive Wrestling. Everything was going to change, and yet there was a sense that this change itself was a constant – that it was natural, that this moment, was natural, that it was destiny. WPW was rising back and its destiny was the Tokyo Dome, a grasp on the ladder to elevate the promotion to a new zenith.


    THE RISING

    Sonjay Dutt def. Samuray Del Sol and Jay Lethal via pinfall – 15:37

    Charlie Haas and Katsuhiko Nakajima def. Low Ki (Super Crown) and Shelton Benjamin via pinfall – 16:21

    No. 1 Contender's Match
    KENTA def. Homicide via submission– 33:50

    Non-Title Match – World Champion VS Silver Champion
    Samoa Joe def. Hirooki Goto via pinfall – 18:01
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by T-Money; 03-20-2013 at 03:37 PM.

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    Sega Boy ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

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    Default Re: WPW - WorldWide Progressive Wrestling

    ShinobiMusashi's Ultimate Ninja Master Review: T-Money's WPW: The Rising

    Hey man, I just scored some really good herb so this may get a bit lengthy. I'll put it in spoilers for the sake of tidiness of your fresh page 2. I miss page 2. Those were the good ole days.

    Spoiler

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    Default Re: WPW - WorldWide Progressive Wrestling

    NOTE: This is the preview for Battle at the Dome, and I would urge you to read it with the music that is mentioned in the post. Your predictions/thoughts are most welcome.



    |PREVIEW|

    The announcement had been made public only a month earlier, but the plans for the Battle at the Dome spectacular had been in place since WPW had taken shelter in Japan in late 2012. This was the closing chapter of the Japan journey. A land and its pro-wrestling nation that had given a chance to a promotion close to collapse. People who had ensured a living to dedicated staff and world class wrestlers who had in one fell swoop found themselves on the sidelines of the sport, wondering where they would make their next paycheck. The story behind the scenes was as deep as the rivalries that were going to be sorted out on this special night of March 31st 2013.

    A tremendous amount of credit was given to New Japan Pro Wrestling who had provided the infrastructure for the Japanese transition of the WPW product. NJPW had helped co-promote and produce all of the WPW shows so far. Naoki Sugabayashi had worked tirelessly to keep it afloat and position WPW as the alternative wrestling promotion in Japan. The fact that the Tokyo Dome booking went successfully was a testament to the growing reputation of WPW in Japan and worldwide – people now had faith and tuned in to the online shows, picked up the initial bootleg DVDs, illegal downloads, and if they were fortunate enough, were one of the 13,000 who had packed the Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Hall over the last months.

    Several rivalries had run through WPW since its inception but undoubtedly the one that involved the WPW World Championship had become the most memorable. One man had lost more professionally than anyone else in WPW over the last six months in his quest to attain it. A video had been circulated to Decyfer Down's “Fading” to tell the story so far. In the first ever Gold Rush Series Final held in Chicago, back in the USA in August 2012 – a tournament which involved 32 of the best wrestlers in the world, Hiroshi Tanahashi battled Samoa Joe for the WPW World Championship in a 2 of 3 Fall/Submission Match. He lost the match 2-1 by the closest of margins and had to watch as Joe received the adulation of the community and began a mighty reign as WPW World Champion. A few months later, as half the roster would desert and WPW be driven out of the USA, the chance fell upon Tanahashi's shoulder to challenge Samoa Joe's reign and avenge his loss. They fought a mighty battle at Warrior's Way and Tanahashi knew he had wrestled the perfect match, neutralizing Joe, taking him to limits like nobody else had done before. It would have all been worth it, but it wasn't to be.

    A man who would later dub himself 'The Outsider', came in and destroyed months of preparation in one fell swoop – AJ Styles left Tanahashi out cold on the mat after a Styles Clash and Joe retained the title. On that one night there was regret in Styles' eyes but that would prove totally false as time went on. Weeks later, at Steel Justice in a Steel Cage match involving Samoa Joe and others, Styles would appear again and punt Tanahashi off the top of the cage. That one moment became symbolic of Hiroshi Tanahashi's plight in WPW. He was falling further away every time he reached up. So it was at All or Nothing that Tanahashi would have his final chance to face Samoa Joe for the World Championship. A stipulation meant he had to win or never challenge Joe's reign again. Tanahashi endured the beating of his life but refused to lose and as he made his fiery last stand it seemed he would finally banish the demons. Nobody knows if he would have been able to pull it off because after feigning an interference AJ Styles was apprehended but a masked accomplice of his blew Tanahashi's chances straight to hell by laying him out. Joe made the cover but the footage of the event was cut and wiped out from memory by WPW officials who shouldered the blame. None of that mattered because Hiroshi Tanahashi had laid it all down for the promotion and yet those efforts had yielded nothing but pain.

    At Battle at the Dome Tanahashi will confront AJ Styles for the first time in a WPW sanctioned match – a contract for Styles and a potential World Championship opportunity for the winner have been put on offer. Much more than reward is at stake, six months of darkness is what Hiroshi Tanahashi will attempt to dispel. For AJ Styles it is the chance at a new beginning, dictated on his terms.

    AJ Styles' path of chaos not only affected Tanahashi but the legitimacy of Samoa Joe as the WPW World Champion. At first Joe was welcomed as a hero in Japan, a true warrior that reminded people of the old days – but no more. After the repeated events in his title matches with Tanahashi everyone suspected Samoa Joe of acting in collusion with AJ Styles. An accusation which has haunted the champion to breaking point. From hero to villain, Joe is the most hated WPW wrestler in Japan. He has kept his silence amongst it all – only reminding the new No. 1 Contender, KENTA by raising his Championship high into the air at The Rising – that he is the dominant force in wrestling, the constant in the ocean of change. For KENTA this is the opening to break out completely. A chance at history, the immortality of becoming WPW World Champion.

    The Battle at the Dome was meant to be a showcase of the highest calibre of pro-wrestling but one match on the card could eclipse it with its brutality. The Gold Rush Series that took place in August 2012 happened to be the turning point in the life of John Morrison. In a first round match Morrison was badly injured after taking repeated blows to his head and face out of an act of stiff rage on the part of Masato Tanaka with a steel chair. Morrison would be immediately taken to the local hospital and suffer heavy bleeding to his face and head. Rumours said that his face had been disfigured by the blows but nobody knew how bad the injuries really were. Morrison would be sidelined permanently, and a story picked up by WPW in its last days in the USA would reveal that he had disappeared from the hospital and was nowhere to be found by friends and family.

    That was until after weeks of mystifying Masato Tanaka with the symbolism of the desert snake, he would return behind a steel mask at the Retaliation event and shock Tanaka with a vicious beatdown. A few weeks later he would appear at The Rising and challenge Tanaka to an Exploding Barb Wired Steel Cage Deathmatch, as a thanks for changing his life and to bring Tanaka into the freedom that the pain had provided him “to burn understanding” into the man that had changed his life. People were now reluctant to call him by his name. The masked Morrison made a chilling account of his “discoveries” during his time on the sidelines, which made many people refer to him as a crazed 'Shaman'. After being goaded into it, Tanaka did accept the challenge. The veteran reminded Morrison of his reputation as The Last Hardcore Legend and promised to finish the job. A man transformed by brutality will face one of the last remaining Sensei's of hardcore.

    33,000 supporters will pack the Tokyo Dome for undoubtedly the biggest night in WPW history. Dutt/Del Sol, Low Ki/Nakajima for the Super Crown Title in the Battle of the Blades rematch, Haas/Benjamin III the final encounter, Tanaka/Morrison in an Exploding Barb Wired Steel Cage Deathmatch, Goto/Homicide for the Silver Championship, Tanahashi/Styles, and Samoa Joe/KENTA for the WPW World Championship. 14 warriors, 7 matches. The Battle at the Dome.
    Last edited by T-Money; 04-04-2013 at 11:57 PM.

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    Default Re: WPW - WorldWide Progressive Wrestling

    God damn I can't wait to read this show. The AJ Styles "Outsider" storyline has been very well done so far imo. I can't wait to see where it goes next.

    Shit man, exploding barbed wire match. It's about fucking time somebody did one in fan fic and I can't wait to read it. Lovely build up to it so far. You sir, have balls.

    Incredible card. Excellent preview. I can't wait man.

  5. #30
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    Default Re: WPW - WorldWide Progressive Wrestling

    Dedicated to ShinobiMusashi, Pduh Ed, Big Papa, RT, WMS, and every BTB/Fan Fiction person that has had read through/supported/educated me in their own way. Thank you! P.S. When you read you will see links for certain segments that lead to the appropriate music for the moment. To enrich the reading experience have the music playing while you are reading.





    It had come full circle now, just as the logo symbolized. A wrestling promotion that was knocked into oblivion now proudly draped its banners over the Tokyo Dome in the hopes of a brighter future. The first true show of strength for the wounded WorldWide Progressive Wrestling would be made on this night. A lone helicopter circled the historic stadium, with the buzz from the crowd inside complimenting the aerial view. The noise rose steadily as a camera outside the stadium gate looked up at the giant Dome rising up to the Tokyo night. A special video package set to cuts of Tool's “Lateralus” then aired, recollecting the moments that had brought us to here.

    On July 10th 2012, WorldWide Progressive Wrestling introduced itself to the world. It was the infamous speech made by Kurt Angle that rallied the pro wrestling nation behind this promotion - “it kills me to see my sport burned in the glare of the lights of this circus that is mainstream America. I have had enough, I cannot sit back and watch it die. It is time for the sport, the supporters, and the wrestlers to fight back. To show what it is that we love and live for.” Then the historic Gold Rush Series took place through July and into August 2012 – leaving the final two warriors, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Samoa Joe to engage in a 2/3 Falls/Submission war. On that night Joe would hoist the WPW Championship into the air after a 2-1 victory.

    Months later WPW would have the ambition of hosting its first pay-per-view on US soil titled The Future Is Now. On the day of the event, a cease and desist letter was submitted by the biggest wrestling and sports entertainment organization in the world citing loopholes in the contracts of wrestlers that had defected from their organization to WPW. WPW was forced to call off the event. After an exhaustive legal battle, all the TV and sponsorship deals were pulled like a domino effect. Kurt Angle sent an emotional letter to the supporters, stepping down as COO of the company and apologizing for this fatal mistake. The once proud WPW now crawled through the remaining months of the year with independent shows in the Midwest. The skeleton roster did its best to keep the company above water.

    December 2012. Naoki Sugabayashi, now the majority investor and also President of New Japan Pro Wrestling brought WPW to Japan, to rebuild the dying promotion. “The wrestling will do the talking”, said Mr Sugabayashi and he firmly believed deep inside that one day this company would rise back. And so it did - from December 2012 to March 2013 – monumental matches, the Tanahashi/Joe rivalry, the arrival of 'The Outsider' AJ Styles. MVP/Homicide from the early days, the Super Crowning of Low Ki, Haas/Benjamin, the return of 'The Shaman' Morrison to shock Masato Tanaka and their impending Deathmatch. Who could forget the rise of the likes of Incognito, Hirooki Goto, Katsuhiko Nakajima, and KENTA. The video and song finished on an explosive high with those same words ingrained in the promotion's fabric fading into and out of the screen “the future is now...”


    Enter the Tokyo Dome. Thousands upon thousands of people massed inside as a spectacular light show was finished off by pyrotechnics that illuminated the circular entrance gate for the wrestlers with the 'WPW' initials flaring at the very end. Seated at the commentary booth by ringside with pandemonious supporters at his back, an excited and completely marked out Matt Striker roared out his best possible pitch for the importance of the night, and how proud he was to be there to call it.


    The first bout of the night was to be the Super Crown Division singles match pitting 'The Playa from the Himalaya' Sonjay Dutt against the rookie who had impressed everyone at The Rising, Samuray Del Sol. Dutt got a great reception as he came out to decked in full native Punjabi Indian gear from head to toe and bowed to all four corners of the crowd once he entered the ring. Samuray Del Sol's arrival was greeted with equal fervour. It was noticeable the amount of knock off masks people were wearing in his tribute already. He himself wore a custom tribute mask designed in the style of the legendary Hayabusa of FMW fame. The match started off in traditional fashion as the two men grappled and engaged in an elaborate sequence of holds, reversals and arm drags. This tussling eventually took them to the corner where Del Sol pulled Dutt up to the top turnbuckle and into an unthinkable Moonsault Side Slam that broke it all wide open. Del Sol now took full advantage - bewildering the groggy Dutt with a slew of springboard huricanrana's and a beautifully timed 180 Splash into the corner. He would continue attempting to impact Dutt from distance using the corner and flying into Dutt's exposed front. But the laws of the ring dictated that there would be retaliation - minutes later Sonjay Dutt came exploding back into the match with a Pendulum Kick as Del Sol came into the corner empty handed. Then it was the Calcutta Kutta Facebreaker Knee Smash followed by the Jumping Neckbreaker. Dutt went for a quick cover but Del Sol got up after 1.7. The Playa from the Himalaya did not let up though, Del Sol was finally slowing down from the frenetic earlier pace and Dutt continued his offense with Half Nelson Bulldogs, and a beautifully attempted Bombay-Rana Springboard Somersault Huricanrana – but the super sharp Del Sol reversed at the last moment into a hook of the legs and got a deep, deep 2.8 as Dutt kicked out at the very last moment. There was a degree of shock in Dutt's eyes – he had just been a millisecond away from losing out of nothing. There was no time to lament however - both men again went on the offensive, the fatigue was going to kick in soon and a priceless victory was at stake. A sequence of desperate hip tosses, flying lariats, and even a monkey flip by Dutt to Del Sol culminated in both attempting Missile Dropkicks at the same time and falling away to big claps from the audience. Del Sol was the faster man in the next sequence as he tossed an oncoming Dutt to the outside. What he attempted next was unreal as he took a run up and spring boarded off the second and over the top rope into a death defying 450 Corkscrew Senton Bomb onto Sonjay Dutt on the outside.

    The stadium had come unglued as Del Sol and Dutt lay there, both hurt from the impact. Moments later Del Sol would roll Dutt inside the ring for the cover and surely the win but at 2.8 Sonjay Dutt brought his shoulders up. A close up shot showed Del Sol shaking his head in dismay. Dutt had broken the count but was in no position to get up as he clutched his head while the official checked on him. Del Sol motioned the official away, lifting Dutt up and went for the Standing Shiranui – but again, just like their last meeting Dutt reversed and nailed Del Sol with the same move. The Tokyo Dome came alive as Dutt went for the hook of the legs 1-2-thr, no Del Sol kicked out at the absolute last second. Fatigue had now kicked in fully as both Sonjay Dutt and Samuray Del Sol struggled for ascendancy. Dutt out of pure desperation sidestepped an incoming Del Sol and Double Foot Drop Kicked his head as Del Sol crashed into the corner. Sonjay knew he could finish it right now – positioning Del Sol on the top turnbuckle. Breathing heavily he tried to lift Del Sol for his Indian Summer Elevated Cradle Neckbreaker but that was it - Del Sol reversed and slid off Dutt's back and pulled him off the top into a Sunset Flip Powerbomb to the mat and trapped Dutt's shoulders, lifting the legs for the pin 1-2-3! There was a rousing roar reverberating around the Dome as Del Sol slid off Dutt's body and his arm was raised by the official. Dutt had his head in his hands, crushed by the sudden nature of the loss, and the match had literally slipped past him. Samuray Del Sol climbed the turnbuckle to an even bigger reaction for the unbelievable match as everyone in the stadium paid tribute. While celebrating however he saw Dutt laying there in anguish and as as a touch of class Del Sol went over, lifting Sonjay up and offering a handshake – which was met. The Tokyo Dome faithful cheered on both wrestlers as they raised their arms together. The Super Crown Division had stolen the show, and it had only just begun.

    The exhilarating opening bout had left the supporters in the Dome noisier than ever. This transitioned into the second match of the night, the intensely personal yet sporting rivalry that was tied at 1-1 between Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas. In the Gold Rush Series first round match in July 2012, Benjamin had refused to tap out to Haas and was unconscious and as a result the match was forced to end and Haas declared the winner. At Warrior's Way Benjamin finally got his own victory over Haas and some semblance of revenge. Now it all comes to an end. The question of who really was the better wrestler between the two was finally going to be answered.

    Both wrestlers, regardless of their recent history and actions were given very respectful welcomes. There was no showboating, no grand entrances – these were former friends whose careers were reaching a crossroads at the biggest pro-wrestling event of the year. Once they had both entered the ring the fans began clapping – Benjamin and Haas looked around at the Tokyo Dome, the emotion of the moment was telling on both their faces. Benjamin came to the middle – and offered Charlie Haas a handshake. Haas was very hesitant as he slowly walked to meet Benjamin, still distrustful – the official warning them the bell had not yet been rung. Benjamin stood there and patiently waited for Haas with his hand offered. Charlie Haas looked at the crowd for an opinion and they cheered back – he shook hands with Benjamin to even greater applause. The bell was rung, this was it. The Collar and Elbow Tie Up began the match, Haas was the stronger – pushing Benjamin into the corner but had to relinquish the hold – no cheap shots were made as he backed off. Benjamin slapped himself into focus and they met again in the middle. Benjamin was quicker now – him and Haas went through multiple Standing Switches but Benjamin won at the end with a Takedown on Haas – and this time it was he who backed off. The jockeying and psyching out continued for the first three minutes. Every single takedown and reversal was eaten up by the crowd. These were two well seasoned wrestlers - they knew each others moves by heart. Haas and Benjamin were soon in a total deadlock, each having had multiple takedowns on the other – Benjamin had Haas in a leg-scissors at one point but moments later Haas would perform another takedown on Shelton and a textbook Arm Hook Sleeper Hold to boot. Now Benjamin showed signs of struggle, oxygen circulation was becoming scarce as he began to heave and puff. Haas kept the Sleeper diligently locked – Benjamin was fading, Haas now transitioned into a Camel Clutch on Benjamin – the referee was there asking Benjamin if he wanted to tap – his arm was even up but he would not give up just yet. Shelton tried his hardest to breathe as much as he could in the little space that he had.

    Benjamin eventually pushed back and somehow he was able to force Haas up as well. Using all his leg strength Benjamin stood up. Now Haas had to adapt into a regular Sleeper Hold but he would not let go. Benjamin out of pure desperation was able to stagger backwards and drive Haas back first into the corner. Haas finally relinquished the hold as Benjamin teetered, nearly falling down – taking every precious breath he could. Haas ran at Benjamin but the ever quick Benjamin ducked under, and tried a Superkick – Haas caught the leg, Benjamin now tried a Spinning Heel Kick but Haas dropped him to the ground – and slid over back into the Sleeper Hold! The crowd roared at Haas' focus but Benjamin this time reacted as fast as he could somehow getting a foot on the bottom rope. Haas had to let go as he rolled away and Benjamin breathed in relief. Benjamin's eyes were droopy though, his face was losing colour as he tried his best to maintain alertness. Striker noted how Benjamin had probably expected Haas to target his legs – but he instead had targeted the head with great success. Benjamin had not been prepared for this. Charlie Haas now charged towards Benjamin, and the commentator's curse struck as Benjamin popped him with an Arm Drag, and another. But Haas was still fresh, he kept coming back until Benjamin finally stopped him by ducking under a Clothesline this time and blasting Haas into the mat with a German Suplex. Benjamin went for the cover this could be it, 1-2-no. Haas at 2.5 still had too much in the tank. However Shelton Benjamin had finally carved out an opening in the bout and he made full use of it. The next few minutes he targetted Haas' back – starting with a Side Slam Backbreaker, then going to a plethora of Powerslams and the signature T-Bone Suplex. High Knees, Elbows to the back. Absolute physical impact to the back of Charlie Haas. Benjamin finally mounted Haas at a corner, setting him up for a Superplex – but Haas knew he could have been finished – he fought back with all his energy, nailing fists to Benjamin's head as The Gold Standard teetered on the second turnbuckle. Haas now locked Benjamin in – and into a Front Superplex off the top! Both men took heavy damage from the unforgiving mat as Haas stared up at the lights and then back – trying to find where Benjamin had fallen – he finally made the cover one...two...thre-no! Benjamin got his shoulder up at 2.8.

    A minute passed as both men finally got their bearings and rekindled this do or die battle – Haas this time took ascendancy with three huge overhead Belly-to-belly Suplexes on a very fatigued Shelton Benjamin. Shelton was nearly out as Haas brought him to the middle to hoist him for the Haastile Takeover Scoop Lift Inverted DDT, but with the remaining reserve of energy he somehow slid off – went for a desperation Superkick – it was telegraphed – Haas caught him and plunged Benjamin into the Haas of Pain! The supporters erupted as Haas roared for Benjamin to tap out – but he could not hold the move for more than 30 seconds – Benjamin with all his will flipped Haas over who crashed into the corner shoulder first. Haas staggered out – Benjamin rolled him up – this could be it – 1...2...thr-Haas with the kick out! By a fraction of a second. Haas sprang back up, swinging at Benjamin but missed again – and this time Benjamin got him straight in the face with the Superkick. Benjamin collapsed atop Haas 1...2...three-no! Again. Again Haas shouldered out. There was no way, no way that either of them could swallow this loss. Benjamin got up to his feet, Haas was still down. Shelton looked at the corner, something clicked within him – and he started climbing. He got up to the top, carefully balancing himself as he waited for Haas to get up – and Shelton flew off for a Flying Crossbody – caught by Haas in mid-air. Haas slung Benjamin over to go for a Piledriver – but Benjamin reversed and pulled Haas down and hooked both legs 1...2...Haas kicked out again – he got up frantically but Benjamin nailed him with a Superkick that finally connected! Haas teetered, bouncing off the ropes – Benjamin kicked him in the midsection – and lifting him delivering a sick, sick Turnbuckle Powerbomb as Haas crashed back first into the corner. Charlie Haas was out, Benjamin dragged him into the middle – with the cover – one, two, THREE!

    A tremendous reaction greeted the wild finish as Shelton Benjamin sat on his knees, exhausted watching Charlie Haas – not interested in the official raising his hand. There were claps around the Tokyo Dome as Charlie Haas, clutching his decimated back, began to get up – the loss sinking in but his head held high. Benjamin got to his feet and helped Haas up and the two men shared a long hug and handshake. There was pleasant surprise inside the Tokyo Dome – for the first time they had seen a bitter rivalry resolved, both men laying down an example of sportsmanship for the night.

    The cameras briefly cut backstage as the good vibes turned to disdain – The Notorious 187, Homicide stood in one of the darkest corners of the stadium with a message for Silver Champion, Hirooki Goto who he would face in mere minutes. 'Cide spoke with absolute certainty, “Nearly a year ago I stepped into this promotion. A lot was promised and yet nothing was given. I told you all how I was sick of earning the respect of my peers for the last two decades with nothing to show for it. I just wanted my shot at the big one.” For a moment Homicide looks into the distance, recollecting the memories from one year back -

    “I was given that shot, I was given those opportunities, but I blew it. I blew it all away, every single time – but now – Hirooki Goto... ma man, this is my last chance. My last stand, mi última resistencia. And yet, its ironic that at this very moment...I keep thinking about YOUR journey here. Because you my friend, your career and mine, there's not much difference is there? For you it's been the same fate. We're the nearly men, the two of us. You're one win away from challenging for the World Title. And I've seen - there have been moments in your career when you've been on that cusp, knocking on the ceiling ready to blow the roof of this mother but you just never could get it done. Destiny is waiting out there, can you hear the crowd? Can you feel the pressure? The expectation of your family, your friends, your peers. I have waited 20 YEARS. 20 YEARS YOU HEAR ME? HOW LONG DID YOU WAIT? HOW LONG?! I've slipped, one too many times, I've SLIPPED. But I'm not gonna fall away...not now. I've repped Brooklyn, I've repped Puerto Rico, but this ain't for some community or place, or some block or street sign, or anyone for that matter. FUCK EM' ALL...this is for ME. Voy a morir por esta victoria.”

    We returned to the ring area and it was now time for what had been dubbed as the second Battle of the Blades for the Super Crown Championship. Low Ki and Katsuhiko Nakajima had battled each other since WPW started business, Ki stealing a win in the Gold Rush Series in August 2012 – and the fateful meeting in the Super Crown Final where Low Ki again beat Nakajima for the Super Crown Championship. Now was the chance for Nakajima to change the entire direction of the rivalry and finally get a win over Low Ki on the biggest stage and capture the Super Crown title.

    Katsuhiko Nakajima was the first to enter, betraying not a single emotion – his eyes were transfixed on the ring as he shut out a stadium that was cheering him with all their heart. Nakajima gave no acknowledgement to the people and simply stepped inside and waited, this had happened too many times before for him to take it any less seriously. A close-up shot was then taken as Low Ki entered the grand stadium at the absolute peak of his confidence, displaying the Super Crown Title, shining bright over the haze of the pyros and fog machines – the World Warrior roared out in defiance and the crowd ate it up as the champion marched to the ring and climbed all four corners – his body language portraying that he was unfazed at the task of defending his championship in such a high stakes situation.

    But little would he know how things would pan out – as soon as he climbed down from the turnbuckle Nakajima was at him, not even waiting for the bell to ring. The Prince of Puro hammered Ki into the corner, stomping the life out of the SC Champion. Low Ki had sunk to the mat but Nakajima lifted him back into the corner and unloaded with stiff kicks, elbow shots to the head and anything else he could do – there was no longer a method for Nakajima, he just wanted to destroy Low Ki. The official had to push Nakajima away as Low Ki staggered to the ropes, pulling his head out and coughing for breath. There was no respite however. As soon as he came in and attempted a misguided kick to the chest - Nakajima caught his leg and trapped him in the Ankle Lock. The Tokyo Dome was beside itself as the champion screamed his way towards the ropes, clawing and grabbing and just finally getting a hand on them. There was no pause, Nakajima pulled Low Ki up off the ground and high into the air with a thunderous German Suplex, and another one, and another, and another – countless German Suplexes – an absolute madness inducing sequence. At the end Low Ki lay broken on the mat and Nakajima finally satisfied went for the cover 1-2-and just barely, subconsciously, Low Ki got a shoulder up. The champion was fortunate to turn the match a mere two minutes later – nailing a desperate Facebreaker Knee Smash to Nakajima and following up with his Krush Kombo, finishing with the Roundhouse Kick but still Nakajima did not go down – he was kneeling clutching his face as Ki took a spring-board off the ropes – but again got caught in mid-air attempting a Double Foot Dropkick. Nakajima had him back in the Ankle Lock again! The crowd exploded as Low Ki writhed and shook in agony but broke the submission by reaching the ropes.

    The SC Champion crawled to the edge, wanting no part but Nakajima followed right behind him and tried to Suplex Ki back inside – but Low Ki reversed launching his legs off the ropes in mid motion and turned it into a sick Tornado DDT. The champion scurried for the cover but Nakajima would kick out at a deep 2.7. This began the most heart stopping sequence of near falls – Low Ki and Nakajima would both trade blows, an exhilarating sequence of irish whips, attempted Roundhouse and Flying Calf Kicks, ducks and dodges - and nail each other first Low Ki with the Dragon Wing Underhook Suplex, but moments later after a sequence of stiff kicks a Fireman's Carry Powerbomb by Nakajima – until Low Ki fought back and devastated the challenger with a final Ki Krusher 99' Fisherman Driver at the end. He covered, it was going to be over, 1-2-thr-no. The people roared out as Nakajima kicked out of Low Ki's staple finisher. Low Ki collapsed on the mat in exhaustion, there was no point protesting – a look of understanding at how far Nakajima had brought him was now dawning. The seconds were passing away as both men began to budge – Low Ki was first to his feet – Nakajima tried his best to come back and swung wildly but missed a clothesline – Low Ki ruthlessly took the opportunity to trap Nakajima into a Headscissors Armbar. He was looking for the kill as the official begged Nakajima for a response, who was not even budging – Low Ki wrenched the submission even more tightly – the official was now forced to check Nakajima's free arm, raising it up as it dropped off twice – and before the crucial third a fist arose – Nakajima was still conscious and made his last stand, pushing up with his legs and forcing Low Ki's shoulders down into a pin, Low Ki had to let go of the Armbar and kick out at 1.5. This time Nakajima was nowhere near as deadly, a wounded animal – but still feral as he battled Low Ki with stiff chops, but Ki returned fire now – this was the decider – the crowd was on the edge as Ki and Nakajima kicked and brawled in the middle – Nakajima suddenly ducked behind Low Ki's attempted Superkick – into a devastating Tiger Suplex bridged 1..2...three- NO! And the gasps said it all as Low Ki kicked out even after that. Everyone could feel the tension as Ki rolled to the edge again and Nakajima staggered behind. They fought for their livelihoods as Low Ki pulled Nakajima over the ropes but the Japanese star kept hanging on somehow. They teetered on the edge. It all came crashing down - Low Ki devastated Nakajima with a Superkick out of nothing – it should have been lights out as Nakajima's head spun and he was about to fall. The unthinkable then happened – Low Ki jumped up and tried to pull Nakajima into a Sit-out Facebuster to the floor but Nakajima pulled the fall and reversed - Powerbombing the champion to the cold concrete and they both were laid out on the floor. The stadium was rocking but people did not see how much damage Nakajima and Ki had taken. Nakajima clutched his neck in absolute agony, coughing uncontrollably as the official began the ten count 1-2-3-4-5-6...nobody was getting up 7...8 – no way 9...10.

    It was shockingly over. The place had become deathly quiet at the anti-climactic ending. Medics rushed down to ringside to check on both Low Ki and Katsuhiko Nakajima's conditions as Striker indicated that due to a count-out Low Ki had been able to retain the Super Crown Championship. However every soul in the stadium knew he had been out-wrestled by Katsuhiko Nakajima on this night. There would an intermission to set up the next match and Striker assured us that he would give updates on the conditions of both competitors.


    It would take some time, and a buzzing anticipation began to build as the final touches were made – the Barb Wire Steel Cage rigged with explosives was now almost ready. A very nervous looking official stood inside in a fireproof suit – the fear behind the visors absolutely real as he surveyed the monstrosity that had been constructed around him. The main posts and walls were made of steel but smaller grids of barb-wire were enforced upon them to create a menacing structure. The red hot Tokyo Dome supporters roared a royal tribute as the Sensei, the Last Living Hardcore Legend, Masato Tanaka marched towards the ring in all his glory. The years gone by and the daunting task ahead was not affecting him at the slightest as he exhibited huge confidence while he walked towards the Cage and entered the door. Without even a moment's hesitation. Tanaka and the Tokyo Dome supporters then waited – and out he came, The Shaman himself. Flickers of light in the darkness shining off his steel mask as he walked slowly towards certain carnage. Nobody could know what was running through the mind of the mystic as he stepped inside. Once he was locked in, the switch was activated – any touch into the barb-wire cage would now result in an explosion.

    A handful of officials and medics stood by ringside for precaution. Matt Striker also directed our attention to a special timer that would activate after 15 minutes – any explosives that had not been activated in that time would all explode simultaneously and both competitors had to watch out for this. The okay was given as the official rung the bell – to a deafening ovation that shook the Tokyo Dome – Tanaka and 'The Shaman' Morrison stood absolutely still, staring each other down, taking a long hard look at the other. By the end they would not look or even feel the same, this was for certain. And it was on – Tanaka came out with his war cry and tried to draw first blood. The opening three minutes were Shaman simply dodging Tanaka as both men teetered to the edge of the ring to gasps from the crowd, dangerously close to the barb-wire cage wall. Tanaka finally caught Shaman with a Dangan Elbow, and then Suplexed him to the mat. Tanaka would dominate the next few minutes, keeping Morrison locked down with Sleeper Holds and an ungodly couple of DDT's to end the sequence. The masked man was struggling to get up as he tried to grab at Tanaka's leg. The veteran screamed expletives at him, stomping on his back in anger.

    Tanaka finally dragged Morrison up and attempted to whip him into the Cage but Morrison slid to the mat using every muscle to stop from going into the barb-wire and break the motion. A displeased Tanaka went right after him but Shaman finally retaliated Dropkicking Tanaka down in mid-rush. He then dragged Tanaka up and threw him into the cage wall to a massive explosion that jolted the whole stadium and drew shocks from every corner. Shaman tried to catch a visual in the haze – Masato Tanaka roared out of the smoke and felled him with a Discus Elbow Smash out of nowhere to turn the tide back to his favour. The first blast had done little to damage the veteran.

    That fifteen minute mark was getting slowly closer as Tanaka pulled Shaman up, and Overhead Belly-to-belly suplexed him back first into the barb-wire cage. Another thunderous explosion occured as Shaman crumpled to the mat in agony to raucous roars from the supporters. It was getting heavy now. A close-up showed that both men were bleeding, Tanaka on his right arm and Shaman had cuts all over his back. Tanaka decided to go for the mercy cover but Shaman kicked out at two to everyone's surprise. The legend seemed offended, scolding himself for even making the cover – he knew better. Tanaka now dragged Shaman up and lifted him – and Thunderfire Powerbombed him into the other side of the cage to another massive explosion that even knocked Tanaka and the official back! As soon as the smoke cleared the official went to check on Shaman whose body was twitching all over. Tanaka kneeled in exhaustion and waited as the official looked over – it was taking too long. Tanaka went over and threw the official aside and started hammering away with open fists into the top of Morrison's head. Even the audio was disturbing as Morrison grimaced in pain from the head shots. Tanaka pulled him back into the center by the hair and went for the cover 1-2-thr, no - Shaman had enough to get a shoulder up. The people in the stadium could not believe it and neither could Masato Tanaka. The Hardcore Legend struggled to bring Shaman to his feet as he began to mount him for the finishing Dangan Bomb – but Shaman flipped off his back – Tanaka turned and charged in bewilderment but Morrison Flapjacked Tanaka face first into the barb-wire cage and a blast went off instantly! Shaman collapsed to the mat, as Tanaka came staggering back out of the smoke and collapsed beside him – he was busted open on the head, bleeding profusely. Shaman crawled, and time went so, so slow – he just about got an arm across Tanaka's chest for the cover - the stadium was reverberating in chaotic reactions, there was no way - 1-2-thre-no! Tanaka at 2.9, 2. fucking 9 got a shoulder up somehow and the place was going absolutely berserk.

    An eternity passed as Shaman and Tanaka would both lay still, on the brink of unconsciousness – but something else had caught the crowd's attention – the timer was now winding down, there were only a couple of minutes left until the remaining explosives would go off and the realization began to spread across the Dome. Slowly both men came to their senses, staggering to their feet as they heard the crowd rallying in the background. Shaman went towards Tanaka, and Tanaka the same – the brawl was on as they exchanged rights and lefts, the timer winding down behind them - there was less than a minute left. Shaman tried to kick Tanaka's head but the veteran caught the leg and desperation Clotheslined Shaman into the mat. Tanaka went to throw Shaman to the cage but he was too weak, Shaman reversed and threw Tanaka towards the cage – and BOOM! The cage completely exploded, again BOOM! All the explosives went off!! A final last explosion! And there was complete haze – nothing could be seen. Anxiety passed around the Tokyo Dome. Nobody could see anything. Thick smoke rose from the ring. The ringside camera-men all went as close as possible. Finally people could make out an image – the official was checking on both Shaman and Tanaka who were face down in the center of the mat. There were cuts all over the bodies of both wrestlers, blood spots were everywhere on the mat as the official kept prodding and asking both men if they could continue. Shaman was barely able to nod as he got on all fours, using his fists to push himself up somehow to his feet. Tanaka was beginning to get up as well, wiping blood off his face, his eyes were wandering – he was only half conscious. Shaman ran at Tanaka but he ducked somehow and threw his opponent over his back – but Shaman with amazing dexterity landed on the corner post and began to climb up the cage! He was holding onto the bars that supported the barb-wire grids. Tanaka followed right after him. Shaman was nearly at the top as Tanaka finally caught his right leg and stabbed it into the barb-wire grid. Shaman's howls were heard by every soul in the stadium as he teetered on one leg and one arm. Now Tanaka was now going for the other leg – he was hell bent on taking Shaman down – but the steel masked man in an act of complete desperation used the injured leg and landed a sick choppy kick on Tanaka's head. The Legend's eyes rolled, his grip strained, he was hanging – then another desperate kick came from Shaman. Masato Tanaka fell to the ground below, he was completely laid out. But Shaman kept climbing, he kept climbing with only his left leg and arms. And he made it to the top, looking around the arena – his bloody and scarred body positioned itself to stand on top of the cage. The Tokyo Dome was in chaos – Shaman turned around to face outwards. Time stopped as the Shaman flew off, his body twisting in the air, the snake had transformed into a flying beast - A Corkscrew Moonsault off the top of the cage and onto the body of Masato Tanaka! The roof blew off the Dome. Eruptions of shock everywhere - Shaman put an arm over Tanaka for the cover one...two...is it?...THREE! IT IS! The Legend of Hardcore had been defeated by the desert snake.

    Officials and medics rushed immediately to go into the barb-wire cage, snapping the barb-wire wrapped around the door. Both competitors were laid out in the center of the ring as medics came inside and stretchers were brought out. Matt Striker sounded shaken on his headset speaking of the brutality that had just taken place. There were no more words left, there was just silence on audio and the buzz of a shaken stadium.

    Battle at the Dome was far from over. Another intermission saw the ring ropes being put back together and the blood spots cleaned out of the ring while the audience watched highlight packages of the shows prior as the food and beverage carriers made their rounds. In particular they were shown Hirooki Goto's capture of the vacant Silver Championship at Warrior's Way defeating Katsuhiko Nakajima and subsequent defences of it against Incognito and Toru Yano. They were also shown the gritty No. 1 Contender's Match for the WPW World Title from The Rising where Homicide had lost to KENTA and so was given the consolation chance to challenge Goto for the Silver Championship. Goto needed just one more win to be able to challenge for the World Championship – but Homicide now stood in the way and was arguably going to be the biggest challenge to Goto's reign.

    As the ring had been cleaned up it was now time for the Silver Championship to be put on the line. The challenger Homicide was out first, with a bottle of water that he poured over his face before he coldly walked to the ring ignoring the heated reaction of the supporters. The Notorious 187 was all focus as he crouched in the corner and waited. As he had stated earlier in the night – this was his chance and he could not blow it at any cost. The Silver Champion, Hirooki Goto came out to a tremendous reception from the Tokyo supporters – the focused eyes glared at Homicide as he took the long march down and climbed inside the ring. He reluctantly handed the championship to the referee as both men were announced and it was on, there was not a second to waste. It started off with a Collar and Elbow Tie Up, descending into a chain wrestling clinic with Goto attempting a Side Headlock every chance he got but 'Cide was too fast, wriggling out smoothly. The back and forth continued for three minutes but Homicide took the advantage as he transitioned an Armbar into the Abdominal Stretch. Goto was struggling already, and 'Cide made it even deadlier, transitioning further into an Octopus Hold on Goto. The champion though somehow managed to push back and smash Homicide into the corner. Goto now dominated the challenger with a Muramasa Heel Kick and immediately after, dropped 'Cide with a disgusting Fireman's Carry Neckbreaker for the hook of the legs, but Homicide kicked out at 2. No matter, Goto now finally had 'Cide down and back into the Headlock at last as he wrenched it as tight as possible. But not for long. Homicide seeing the danger signs was able to break loose from under and push Goto into the ropes and follow up with a Clothesline that sent the Silver Champion tumbling to the outside. There was a roar from the supporters as 'Cide took a run up and flipped over into a Somersault Tope onto Goto and they both collapsed on the floor!

    Both were down on the mat, catching their breath as the official checked on them. Homicide slowly got up after a minute and it was now his turn to dish out the punishment as he threw the champion into the guardrail and Clotheslined him over it. Snacks and drinks went flying as Hirooki Goto instantly retaliated and they brawled amongst the gathered crowd. The brawl never went too far inside the crowd as Goto kicked Homicide in the midsection and Back Body dropped 'Cide clean over the guardrail and back to ringside to the approval of the entire crowd. The official berated Goto to bring it back inside the ring and he was forced to oblige - he attempted the cover immediately but again Homicide shouldered out at 2. Goto felt his chest tug from the earlier Octopus Hold and squinted in pain as he raised Homicide up and whipped him into the ropes but out of nothing 'Cide came crashing back with a Flying Lariat with such impact that Goto was nearly out cold on the mat. Homicide went for the hook of the legs, 1-2-th-no, Goto kicked out and reached for the ropes as quick as he could, still dazed. Homicide could feel the change – he sprung into action and caught the champion with a Tiger Feint Kick from around the ropes straight to the face as Goto fell back into the ring. Then in ruthless fashion he spring-boarded off the top rope and into a Double Foot Stomp on the bare chest of Hirooki Goto. The champion was now rolling around in pain, that same chest was taking further damage from Homicide. It was indeed looking very ominous as Homicide continued stomping on Goto's chest and even attempted a Camel Clutch in the middle of the ring for what seemed like eons until Goto out of desperation somehow caught Homicide's legs and was able to turn over onto his back and break the Clutch.

    The damage had slowed him though as he struggled to mount an offensive and Homicide was able to regain control almost instantly. The Strong Style Thug was ruthless as he lifted Goto up for a T-Bone Suplex and went for the cover - but Goto valiantly kicked out at 2.5. The champion was struggling to get up though as Homicide punted him with a boot to the chest and went for a hard cover planting his arms on the chest of Goto, but again he kicked out at 2. A man so close to a career defining victory – Hirooki Goto mustered every ounce of courage inside and after sustaining further assault by Homicide, finally came back into the match reversing out of the Cop Killa Back 2 Back Double Underhook Piledriver - he lifted Homicide for the Ura Shouten Overhead Gutwrench Backbreaker into a Swinging Side Slam Facebuster! The crowd went nuts. Goto went to hook 'Cide's legs, it had to be over – one, two, thr-but no. His opponent was equally courageous, or perhaps Homicide was sick with his desperation to win as he kicked out at the very last moment. Goto huffed and puffed, clutching his chest as he used the ropes for support to get back up – never letting Homicide escape his vision, he had to finish it now. Homicide was still getting off the ground coughing at the the impact, muttering to himself as he tried to find Goto – who was booming with anticipation, the Tokyo Dome had grown feverish in his support - they all waited – everyone waited for Homicide to get up and turn around. And he finally did, walking into the Jigoku Kuruma Wrist-Clutch Olympic Slam – no, the Dome was in shock as Goto was caught in mid-move - Homicide reversed it back into the Octopus Hold! There was thunder inside the Tokyo Dome - terror outlined Goto's eyes. Homicide screamed with shameless abandon for Goto to tap out – the champion had been dragged to the floor with the weight and Homicide had the hold fully locked in. Goto was screaming out in pain and desperately flailed his legs – and the right leg somehow landed on the bottom rope. The official screamed at Homicide to let go and he finally did.

    Goto staggered to the corner in pain, breathing heavily, his eyes drooping in fatigue. How much more could he take? Looking up from the pain, he squinted and saw Homicide was running towards him – but he moved out at the last moment as Homicide crashed into the turnbuckle. The dazed Homicide then turned around right into the Shouten Kai Vertical Suplex Sitout Side Slam from Goto out of nowhere! It had to be over now - one, two, thr-NO! At 2.8 Homicide got a shoulder up. The supporters inside the Dome were in a frenzy as Goto collapsed next to Homicide in pain. Long, anxious moments passed as both Goto and Homicide lay still – finally crawling away and recovering on opposite edges of the ring. There was great foreboding spreading inside the Dome – Goto pulled himself together, as the crowd urged him on – he could not lose after he had come this far, one pinfall would guarantee a World Title shot. But it was such a night, a stage where one man's hopes could be swept away by the sheer will of change. 20 years it had been building and the moment had finally come in the most shocking of forms. The crowd went berserk as the wounded Super Crown Champion, Low Ki came stumbling out of the entrance gate down the long ramp. He came down to the ring, the Tokyo Dome was bursting - Low Ki stood up on the apron to distract Goto who blasted him right in the face. But that was enough - Goto turned around to see Homicide coming towards him and completely missed a Muramusa Spinning Heel Kick as Cide ducked under. Homicide caught his arms from behind – pulling him up as Goto screamed out, his chest bursting with pain – Homicide lifted him upside down into the Cop Killa Back to Back Double Underhook Piledriver! There was uproar in the Dome one, two, not like this, not like this...3! It was done. Goto's chance of a potential World Title shot had been blown away to smithereens.

    The supporters were screaming in anger, huge boos rounded across the stadium. The official handed the Silver Championship to Homicide who stared at it like a long lost heirloom, hardly believing his own eyes as Low Ki entered the ring. There was a standoff between the two – and then a gleeful handshake and hug to huge jeers from everyone. Homicide was beaming! Screaming out in revelation. Low Ki immediately went to a fallen Hirooki Goto and stomped what little life remained inside him. There had been a years worth of speculation as to Low Ki's relationship with Homicide and it was now out in the open – they had collaborated all along. Low Ki and Homicide raised the Silver Championship together into the air. The imprint of Homicide screaming “MY TIME!” to the thousands in the stadium would remain as a nightmare for Hirooki Goto forever.

    So much had happened already on this historic night. Striker ran through the big results and some highlights from earlier. He said that both Low Ki and Nakajima were now in better condition and no long-term damage had been incurred. But this was now the business end of Battle at the Dome. Now remained two mammoth main-event matches with everything at stake to come. First up was AJ Styles versus Hiroshi Tanahashi. How it all came about was shown through a video that had been circulated for the last week set to Decyfer Down's “Fading” explaining the entire six month saga. Previews had been circulated prior to the event. This was the rivalry that everyone knew about and as the cameras came back to the Tokyo Dome the crowd had become absolutely electric in anticipation. Chants for Tanahashi began to reverberate. Matt Striker ran through what was at stake – a contract for AJ Styles – a World Championship shot for the winner. Every incentive to achieve victory - but none was needed because for Hiroshi Tanahashi for whom this was all about revenge. The stipulations had been only put in place to goad Styles into the match. And out came Tanahashi. The triumphant theme music of “In The Air Tonight” by Sageone gave way to a spectacular light show for 'The Ace of the Universe' and the absolute biggest, almost deafening reaction of the night was given for the hero of Japanese wrestling. There were no poses as he appeared, no showing off, no gestures from the former IWGP World Champion – he simply walked down the long ramp towards the ring.


    Once inside, he waited, a grim expression outlining his face. The penance had been completed in these hellish six months - the time was now to find meaning and rise again. Finally he would be able to face the man that had ruined it all for him, 'The Outsider' AJ Styles. The entire stadium cooked in anticipation. The music hit. “My Own Summer” thundered through the atmosphere, changing the mood 360. Everyone was amped. The cameras focused on a far stairwell from which descended AJ Styles flanked by WPW security. His black hoodie was covering his eyes – blanking out the riotous sections of the crowd he passed on his way down the stairs to the ring.


    It was truly a memorable sight as AJ Styles and Hiroshi Tanahashi stared at each other from opposite sides of the ring. Styles took off his hoodie and smiled at Tanahashi – but Tanahashi had no emotion at all. The official was sweating bullets as he waited for the signal – and it was given! The bell rang to an eruption from the supporters. Tanahashi exploded instantly into AJ Styles hammering him with rights, lefts, chops, kicks anything he could - driving Styles to the corner as he stomped a mud-hole into The Outsider. There was no relenting as Tanahashi continued his assault until the official came in between and nearly got a punch for his troubles. Styles was clutching his face, dazed completely. But he had no time to relax as Tanahashi came right back and Dropkicked him into the corner and dominated the next minutes, keeping Styles limited, drilling elbows to the face and planting his right leg on Styles throat to choke the life out of him. This was a different, more ruthless Hiroshi Tanahashi and the crowd ate it up. Tanahashi Vertical Suplexed Styles back into the center and quickly mounted the nearest corner – but Styles wisely rolled outside the ring, panting for breath. The supporters were instantly on his back with jeers as Tanahashi followed after Styles to the outside. And this is when Styles pounced with a sick Discus Lariat onto Tanahashi and then ran havoc stomping down Tanahashi on the floor. They battled near the commentator's desk as Styles took turns throwing The Ace into any piece of wall he could find. Styles was in Tanahashi's ear constantly, goading and abusing him. Eventually Styles tossed a bruised Tanahashi into the ring, climbing the top turnbuckle as he entered and flew off into a superb Senton Bomb on his still battered opponent. Styles went for the quick cover but Tanahashi kicked out at 1.5. However it truly was beginning to get dangerous now as AJ Styles took over total control of the match.

    Styles would focus heavily on Tanahashi's back. He started with a surprise Backbreaker, a slew of Knee Drops and then two Standing Somersault Senton's to the lower back of the laid out Hiroshi Tanahashi. Styles mercilessly whipped Tanahashi into the corner and charged after him – but The Ace out of desperation flung Styles out of the ring as he went crashing to the outside, landing on his chest. The stadium roared as Tanahashi, clutching his back, painfully climbed the top turnbuckle. Tanahashi waited until Styles had got some piece of bearing and then flew off into a daredevil High Fly Flow Frog Splash – but Styles reversed it into a Dropkick in mid-air that sent Tanahashi crashing into the steel steps! This moment had thrown the stadium into chaotic reactions – it was so iconic of this entire rivalry. The cameras caught a close-up of Styles, even through his pain he flashed a devilish smile of satisfaction. The Outsider got to his feet, a disgusted look on his face as he pummelled hard fists into Tanahashi's face and then rolled him back inside the ring, and hooked the legs one...two...thr- kick out by Tanahashi! The supporters had quietened down considerably. Unable to stomach the domination of AJ Styles at this moment. But they would have reason to cheer a few minutes later when Hiroshi Tanahashi again with a lone spark came roaring back with his Sling Blade Spinning Sitout Sleeper Slam after Styles had attempted a tired Irish Whip. Styles tried to get up but Tanahashi ruthlessly Enzuigiri'd him back to the mat and fell down in exhaustion himself.

    The damage to his back severely limited The Ace's movement while AJ Styles stared up at the lights barely conscious, still reeling from the Enzuigiri. Tanahashi went for the cover but at 2.5 Styles shouldered out of it. Chants for Tanahashi filled the atmosphere, people willed him on to finish Styles off. He heeded those calls, going to the corner as he mounted the top with true purpose, it had to be finished now. But as soon as he got up top, there he was again – AJ Styles, the anomaly, the curse on Tanahashi – Styles floated up to the top and brought Tanahashi crashing down to earth with a surreal Frankensteiner. Everyone saw on the giant screen a close-up of Tanahashi's painfully lost expression. It was as if fate would not allow him a victory. But a man must change his destiny. As AJ Styles stumbled over, Tanahashi pulled him by the arm and into an Inside Cradle 1...2...thr-Styles kicked out. Almost. Tanahashi and Styles struggled to their feet but Styles was a second quicker and nailed him with a desperate Pele Kick to the head. AJ Styles screamed at Tanahashi to “stay down” as he dragged The Ace up by his hair and landed such a vicious right hook followed by the Starmaker High Angle Belly-to-back Suplex. Tanahashi was pasted on the mat, nearly out cold as Styles hooked the legs, people could hardly believe it – 1...2...thr...NO! Tanahashi kicked out somehow and supporters inside The Dome exhaled in pure relief. The referee immediately went to Tanahashi's side to check on his upper back as he gasped in pain – but The Ace pushed him out of the way, to try and get up. Styles was at him instantly like a rabid dog, pounding on his back relentlessly as Tanahashi screamed out and clawed for the ropes, finally putting a hand on them as the ref came in between and pulled Styles off of him.

    Hiroshi Tanahashi really was in a bad state as AJ Styles took a look around the Tokyo Dome, savouring the moment, his moment – but even a moment can cost you because in the very next second the crowd erupted - Tanahashi spring boarded off the top rope into a Flying Forearm Strike on Styles. The Outsider, bewildered tried to get up and swing at Tanahashi – but he ducked under and latched on delivering a devastating sickly angled Dragon Suplex into a Bridge. Everyone thought this was it, one...two...th-no! Styles kicked out this time but he was clearly winded, spasming from the impact. Tanahashi 's war cry was heard around the stadium as he went at Styles, picking him by the legs and twisting them into a Cloverleaf. AJ Styles screamed out in agony – his hands outstretched . There was no way Tanahashi was going to let go as he roared for Styles to tap – pure emotion going into every detail of the submission as AJ Styles nearly pulled his own hair out in pain. The crowd was exploding – waiting for Styles to tap but those turned into gasps of horror – Styles pushed up with all his might – rolling under and pulling Tanahashi down and into a Figure Four Leglock! An animated AJ Styles abused Tanahashi as he wrenched the Figure Four but Tanahashi withstood somehow and twisted the Figure Four over and forced Styles to break the hold. Both men scrambled to their feet, knowing the other was a second away – Styles flew after Tanahashi who ducked under and jacked AJ with a Kinkasan High Angle German Suplex! Styles was down and out. For the first time in the match Tanahashi got up and pointed to the heavens – he felt sure he could finish AJ Styles now. Tanahashi had wrestled the match with absolute devotion, coming back from everything thrown at him. So sure was Hiroshi Tanahashi that Styles was down – but The Outsider had a will of his own. A will to carve out a path for himself in WPW no matter what – and he awoke, staggering to his feet as he watched the bruised Tanahashi, clutching his back which was cracking with pain, begin his climb to the top. There was absolute terror inside the Tokyo Dome. Time had slowed to a snails pace - people screamed at Tanahashi to turn around – too late. Styles staggered over, jumping up to the top turnbuckle just as Tanahashi was about to turn and face him - and pulled Tanahashi into the depths of hell with another Starmaker High Angle Belly-to-back this time a Superplex off the top turnbuckle! They did not want to see this, nobody wanted this – AJ Styles picked himself up, the realization coming to him as Tanahashi lay there nearly out cold. Styles pulled Tanahashi by the legs – mounted them and locked on Tanahashi's arms – Styles Clash. He collapsed atop The Ace – 1...2...THREE!!!

    The Dome exploded into a near riot. The cameras broadcasting the event were shaking as AJ Styles collapsed on the side. He had struck at the very heart of WPW. At one of the best wrestlers in the company. At the pillar of the promotion. And he had won. The Outsider had just defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi. The foundations of the Tokyo Dome were shaking, just like the very foundations of WorldWide Progressive Wrestling. This was unthinkable – add to the fact that AJ Styles, The Outsider now had a WPW contract and a World Championship match to his name. The referee reluctantly raised Styles' hand – garbage was being thrown in Styles' direction as he shielded his face – barking his hatred for the supporters. Hiroshi Tanahashi just lay on the mat – his face buried under his arms. He would not get up. The people witnessing Battle at the Dome inside the Tokyo Dome stadium and worldwide on WPW.com and iPPV had been shaken to their core. AJ Styles rolled out and made his way out of the stadium with the same security that he came with. It took two guards to even help him walk while the others acted as shields – everyone took turns trying to throw whatever they could find towards Styles. He was well guarded as he gave the middle finger to people who came close to abusing and spitting on him on the way up the stairwell to the exit. A close-up showed Hiroshi Tanahashi begin to sit up as the referee asked if he was okay. Tanahashi did not reply – he was staring into the distance, unable to react.

    No matter what had just happened, the show had to go on. There was one more match left on this momentous night and it was for the most prestigious prize in professional wrestling, the WPW World Championship. Surely the two combatants had seen what had just happened – there was clear discontent inside the Tokyo Dome – people were anxious. Too much heartbreak had taken place already. A recap video set to “Just Like You Imagined” by Nine Inch Nails was shown of Samoa Joe's entire reign as champion starting from the Gold Rush Series in August 2012 when he defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi in the 2/3 Fall/Submissions match, and all his subsequent defences against Tanahashi, to the supporters turning on him and his increasing silence and withdrawal as champion – juxtaposed with the rise of KENTA in WPW to the hard fought victory against Homicide for the No. 1 Contendership at The Rising which had led to this moment. The music came to a dramatic climax of a piano solo - the last shot of the video showed KENTA's fist rising in the air while Joe raised the WPW Title to meet it. It was the continued dominance against the inevitable uprising, the constant against the destiny of change. The future was now.


    The ring announcer directed everyone's attention to a hidden platform by the entrance gate. It was now fully lighted up and there were great cheers as a close-up showed a set of turntables and equipment, a capped figure stood and started spinning the surreal tunes from his world, the mythical DJ Krush was here. Even the most jaded supporters managed to picked themselves up as “Kemuri” spun out of Krush's set and thundered through the atmosphere. The No. 1 Contender, KENTA appeared from the entrance gate following a dazzling sepia laser show and pyrotechnics. Full support was given as people willed KENTA on to do the impossible – he pumped the crowd back in acknowledgement, feeling the energy inside the stadium as he made his way down towards the ring, saluting Krush on his way. KENTA immediately began warming up as he rolled inside, taking glances at the thousands upon thousands chanting his name non stop, until – the ominous “Game has Changed” echoed through the massive stadium. The lights went completely dark, shadows flickered – flames licked into the air from the entrance gate. And marching out of them came the WPW World Champion, towel over his head, the title slung over his shoulder, Samoa Joe. The frustration that had built up inside the stadium was all directed towards Joe as supporters jeered the World Champion's descent. A small minority however were as raucous as ever – among the 33,000 there was a group that roared on the Warrior of the Islands. The larger than life Samoa Joe climbed inside. The gold adorned World Championship was handed over to the official as both competitors were announced. Joe finally took the towel off his face and came to the middle of the ring, staring into the soul of KENTA who defiantly stared back.


    The stadium was shaking as the two men looked at each other, unflinching – sweat was already running down both their faces. It had all built up to this very moment. And the bell rang - they stepped back to their corners. A giant opening roar came from the supporters as they began circling each other. Joe pounced, attempting a Shoot Kick – KENTA caught his leg and tried to pull him into a Cloverleaf but Joe kicked the challenger away. They paused for a moment, Joe on the mat looking up at KENTA, maybe, just maybe a hint of surprise – KENTA had his fists up, he motioned Joe with his fingers to come back at him and the crowd ate it up. The champion took his time getting to his feet – and this time as he feinted a right hook he caught KENTA with a knee to the gut and the clinic was open. Joe used his power advantage wisely – throwing KENTA into the corner and following up within a millisecond with a Splash and then a Corner Forearm Smash, followed by a CCS Enziguiri – a trifecta assault. KENTA collapsed to the mat as Joe went for the early cover but the challenger kicked out at 1.5. The champion immediately transitioned into a Sleeper Hold, wrenching it with a dangerously clean grip on KENTA's neck. Chants and calls for KENTA to fight back grew louder but Joe was having none of it – his sole focus was to cut off oxygen and it was working - KENTA was fading in and out. But he had energy in huge reserves and within moments he was pushing up at Joe's arms and forcing Joe to his feet and finally throwing the Samoan Submission Machine into the ropes – to follow up with the deadly Busaiku Knee Kick but he hit air – Joe had held on to the ropes and rolled outside. That was close. That was very, very close and it was evident that maybe, just maybe there was a hint of pressure now beginning to rumble through the heart.

    Joe took his time to slowly get back inside, trying to stymy any momentum KENTA would have had – and again it worked perfectly as after a chain sequence he now had KENTA into the lethal Coquina Clutch. KENTA somehow elbowed out, pushing Joe away and this time the champion missed a swing and got caught with a crunching Neckbreaker. After nearly six minutes KENTA had landed his first offensive – and even that was not enough as Joe was already looking to get to his feet. KENTA immediately kicked Joe stiff in the back, and again, and again. Relentlessly the challenger kicked him and sent shivers up Joe's spine as the champion crawled to protect himself. KENTA crashed into Joe's head with a High Knee flooring the champion before he could get to the ropes. It was now his turn to cover, but Joe shouldered out at 1.5 defiantly. KENTA continued the offensive for the next minutes, unloading with every kick possible on Joe's unprotected back and face. The champion was cornered as he helplessly tried to fend off the vicious blades slicing into his core – and finally, as a brilliant counter he was able to catch KENTA's attempt at a Shining Wizard, and lift him up and over into a deadly Exploder Suplex to stop the onslaught. Joe snapped, laying fist after fist to KENTA's forehead and then threw KENTA into the corner as he buckled back out and into an overhead Belly-to-belly suplex. This was Samoa Joe's time – and the supporters knew what they were witnessing, they had seen it so many times before. The Warrior of the Islands pulled a groggy KENTA up and then Ole Kicked his face off. Again he pulled up KENTA almost instantly, the challenger as now reeling – Joe lifted KENTA up and threw him into the corner as KENTA lay pasted there. He went for a second Ole Kick – but to everyone's surprise KENTA just about had his wits, ducking under as Joe crashed leg first into the corner, grimacing in pain. KENTA pulled Joe's bad leg out, dropping the champ to the floor and locked in the Cloverleaf slap bang in the middle of the ring. The Tokyo Dome went berserk as KENTA screamed out for Joe to tap – the champion's face was a portrait of agony as he tried to reach the ropes, and made a great leap pulling KENTA along and finally got a hand to the bottom rope to force the break.

    But KENTA was far from done - targeting Joe's right leg as he came back and stomped on the knee specifically with deadly precision. KENTA finally pulled Joe to his feet locking the right knee in and lifting Joe, slamming him down hard on his left leg. Joe went scrambling to the corner unable to maintain balance as KENTA stalked him methodically. There were claps in the audience – nobody had seen Joe neutralized like this in a long time. KENTA took a small run up and battered Joe groggy with a High Knee to the face. His domination would continue on Samoa Joe who seemed to find no break from the offensive on his right leg and face, even suffering a painful Dragon Screw Leg Whip from KENTA. The match was reaching the fifteen minute mark as the biggest flashpoint arrived – KENTA had clotheslined Joe onto the apron but Joe did not fall to the outside, holding the ropes with his fingertips – KENTA climbed the nearest corner to attempt a Missile Dropkick – but Samoa Joe, like the Leviathan of the deep, pulled KENTA off the top and Island Drivered KENTA off the top turnbuckle and out onto commentary desk! They crashed and burned, absolutely laid out on top of the remains. Monitors and wires lay scrambled next to the bodies as the shocked Matt Striker called for medics. There were chaotic roars inside the Dome as every single person stood to survey the damage. People had hands on their heads, shocked faces looked on as medical staff cleared past the debris to check on both combatants conditions. After an exhaustive few minutes the thumbs up was given to claps and roars of approval – both KENTA and Joe were somehow still able to continue.

    Joe struggled to his feet, using most of the power from his left leg, squinting every time any pressure was on his right. The champion glanced over and saw that KENTA had begun to stir and picked up one of the TV monitors, smashing KENTA across the head with it. The official screamed in Joe's face and threatened to disqualify him but Joe just spat on his face to red heat from every corner of the stadium – Samoa Joe was too tired to hear this shit. He knew there was no way this match was going to be ended on a technicality. The damage meanwhile had opened up KENTA's forehead and blood began to pour down the challenger's face as a tired Samoa Joe dragged him up and rolled him into the ring with whatever energy he had left. Joe attempted to lift KENTA – KENTA reversed! Go 2 Sleep out of nowhere! The crowd was erupting, KENTA covered, this was it - 1...2...three-no! Joe, Joe, Joe! Just kicked out, just. KENTA collapsed. Everyone was in disbelief – KENTA now crawled with all his strength to the ropes. The seconds ticked away as he got to his feet – a blood trail left in the ring as he waited for Joe to get up – and he went for it – Busaiku Knee Kick – no, Joe ducked at the last moment and KENTA landed on the ropes, Joe came back – Enzuigiri to the busted head! A dazed Samoa Joe collapsed atop KENTA as the official counted 1...2...three-NO! KENTA got his shoulder up somehow! People could not take many more of these heart attack incuding calls. KENTA was just barely in contention. His eyes had lost all sharpness as he tried to find his bearings. Samoa Joe pulled KENTA back up, and Dragon Suplexed him stiff into the turnbuckle! There were gasps in the audience as KENTA bobbled off the turnbuckle and fell to the mat. It was looking increasingly like the end for KENTA, blood continuously poured down his face – he wasn't even moving. Joe dragged him to the middle went for the hook of the legs, this had to be it – 1...2...three-no! Kick out by KENTA AGAIN. The supporters roared defiantly back and Samoa Joe had a very hard time stomaching the kick-out, sitting to the side as he crawled to his feet and watched KENTA suffer through the pain – and he decided then and there that he would finish off the upstart, complete his domination and leave the WPW World Champion. Joe dragged KENTA up and again went to throw KENTA to the corner – but KENTA got whipped straight into the referee. The official collapsed from the impact. Joe raged, grabbed KENTA and this time smashed him into the corner – Joe staggered over mounting KENTA on his shoulders, they had seen this before – he lifted KENTA off – went for the Muscle Buster – and nailed it! Joe with the cover but there was no ref to count it!

    It was riotous inside the dome, they thought they saw an official running down to the ring – but as soon as the man came into frame the roof literally blew off. His identity – it was the distraught Hiroshi Tanahashi – the fatigue dripping from his body, his eyes hypnotized on Joe! Tanahashi blasted past camera-men, clotheslining a medic to the floor – he went and grabbed a steel chair from ringside! Samoa Joe finally let go of the cover, and sat up looking towards the entrance gate groggily. He had not seen Tanahashi yet and was looking for a referee to come out. Joe stood up, checking on the knocked out official – The Ace climbed inside the ring from behind – time had stopped – the stadium was erupting – Samoa Joe slowly turned around – and got thwacked across the head with the steel chair by Tanahashi! And again, and again, again, again, again. Tanahashi unloaded on Joe with chair shot after chair shot. There was absolute pandemonium inside the stadium – the majority owner Naoki Sugabayashi came out from the back along with Kurt Angle. They brought with them every able bodied senior official in tow and ran down! They stopped at ringside as Tanahashi screamed out at them – he wasn't having any of it as he swung the chair wildly not letting them come inside the ring. Samoa Joe was now bleeding profusely from the chair shots, his eyes rolling – he STILL tried to stand! He tried to stand even after that but Tanahashi turned around and nailed him again with a final chair shot. Joe collapsed, he was out – he had to be. But it wasn't enough, it wasn't enough for Hiroshi Tanahashi – he walked past the two bodies of Joe and KENTA, climbed up top to the turnbuckle with the chair in hand – and nailed the High Fly Flow Frog Splash on Joe with the steel chair to the chest! Joe was near dead, his body spasmed from the impact. Tanahashi spat on him – dragging KENTA up by the hair – putting his body over Joe and slapping the official, literally shaking him off the ground. Sugabayashi and others tried to enter the ring but Tanahashi swung at them again – the official was now stirring – he began to count, the stadium was in disbelief 1...2...3!!!!

    The music thundered through the stadium, and it was literally shaking – at what had just happened. They were all caught up in the moment, how it had come about they could not even begin to comprehend, not even Matt Striker over the audio who was going berserk – his words hardly coherent. KENTA's name was blasted through the PA system – he began to stir – the WPW World Championship was placed on his lap by the ringside staff – but he stared up, his crimson dripping face stared at Hiroshi Tanahashi – who just stood there, standing atop Samoa Joe's body. Looking down, emotionless. Naoki Sugabayashi was at a loss by ringside, so was Angle and every other official in the promotion. They just could not believe what they had just seen. The crowd, the people, the stadium was exploding. There was a new WPW World Champion. It had happened. Samoa Joe had been beaten, and at this very moment the Tokyo Dome did not care how – but they knew they would have to come to terms with it. KENTA could not come to terms, he dragged his body up – shivering. He had to look at the WPW World Championship in hazy disbelief. He looked across the ring at Hiroshi Tanahashi – to try to understand what had just taken place. Chaos. Pure chaos had broken out in the Tokyo Dome. The Battle at the Dome was over. The future had come.

    Change is change. Only the interpretations are varied. Sometimes people see it as a gradual pattern - they can feel it happening around them. And then sometimes change just blows every preconceived notion, every grain of belief into oblivion, and arrives at the most unexpected moment. All we can do is adapt. WorldWide Progressive Wrestling was shaken to the very core. For good or for bad? That was not possible to say. It was just change, and everyone would have to adapt to it.


    Spoiler
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    Last edited by T-Money; 04-25-2013 at 11:05 PM.

  6. #31
    Sega Boy ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

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    Default Re: WPW - WorldWide Progressive Wrestling

    ShinobiMusashi's Ultimate Ninja Master Reviews: T-Money's WPW: Battle At The Dome

    Spoiler

  7. #32
    2003-2015 Brad's Avatar

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    Default Re: WPW - WorldWide Progressive Wrestling

    I don't have time to do a huge review but I wanted to say that this is probably my favorite fan fic I have read in a long long time. Keep up the amazing work man!


    *CREDIT TO FRESH PRINCE*


    PW'S 2015 WWE HOMETOWN HERO




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    Back for the first time. T-Money's Avatar

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    Default Re: WPW - WorldWide Progressive Wrestling



    WorldWide Progressive Wrestling
    |TWO TOWERS|
    Prologue to the Summer

    “Six months of pain, six months of darkness, and this is it. Its AJ Styles, its Hiroshi Tanahashi with everything to fight for!”

    “The Ace is going to finish it- NO! Styles is stirring! Turn around Tanahashi, turn around – he's up. TURN AROUND HIROSHI!”

    “STARMAKER SUPERPLEX! STARMAKER OFF THE TOP ROPE! Styles wins. I cannot...”

    “ Samoa Joe – NO! ISLAND DRIVER TO KENTA OFF THE TOP ROPE THROUGH THE TABLE! Oh my god! They are laid out here, damn it we need help.”

    “The referee is down, Joe one...two...three! Come on! HE HAD THE WIN, HE HAD IT WHERE THE HELL ARE THE REFS?!!!”

    “Its Hiroshi Tanahashi – Ace what the hell are you doing? WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!!!”

    “No, no, not like this...not like this.”

    “KENTA has pinned Joe...I...--”

    Silence. Deep, supreme silence. Naoki Sugabayashi, Kurt Angle, and the senior most officials of WorldWide Progressive Wrestling sat in the video room watching over the tape of Battle at the Dome. There was only silence inside the walls.

    On the outside thousands upon thousands of people clamoured for a follow up event in Tokyo but none had been announced throughout the month of April. The international tour dates were never posted, and the millions of supporters worldwide waited. Every day they waited for an update, a video, an interview, any piece of content on WPW.com or the plethora of dirt sheets and video partner sites. Nothing.

    They waited in silence. The Outsider, AJ Styles had lit a fire, a wildfire, defeating the man that WPW had staked everything on. The pillar of the company Hiroshi Tanahashi who had immolated his own career with this wildfire in front of 33,000 frenzied people inside the Tokyo Dome. Destroying in the process the The Warrior of the Islands, the Invincible, indestructible, former World Champion Samoa Joe. The company was now held together by shivering hands placed on the WPW World Championship, his vision murky, and his body shattered, KENTA Kobayashi.

    Only one true champion remained in WPW. The other two 'champions' had desecrated the dignity and tradition of the promotion. Homicide had robbed Hirooki Goto of the Silver Championship with the help of Super Crown Champion, Low Ki. It was Deja Vu for the pro-wrestling world to see the men once known as The Rottweilers back together. This time, a decade later they were no longer young, naive wrestlers. They were battle hardened, and ruthless veterans who now held sway over WPW – two out of three championships in their possession.

    And then there was the cloud of violence, Barb-Wire, explosives, the burning rage. A man transformed into something primal, the Shaman had taken the beloved Legend of Hardcore, Masato Tanaka into hell – sacrificing himself in the process. There were rumblings that Shaman had survived the wounds to continue his career but no such luck shined for Masato Tanaka. He was not heard from, and would not be for a very long time. Silence.



    April was winding down when deep into the month on Monday 22nd April 2013 WPW broke its silence. They chose not to address any of the events that had taken place but rather they announced the closing of some crucial TV deals that would elevate the promotion as a viable third player in the Asian television market for pro-wrestling. An agreement had been concluded with Asahi TV in Japan who also carried sister promotion, New Japan Pro Wrestling. STAR Sports had also been brought in to broadcast WPW across all major countries in South Asia. Even more crucially, WPW finally had a stake in the Americas – wrapping up a deal with Gala TV in Mexico who now had the distinction of broadcasting three wrestling promotions on one network – AAA, CMLL, and now WPW as well.

    As a result of this, the format of events would now be tweaked with the introduction of television coverage. Two major events would now take place every month. They would be broadcast LIVE on WPW.com or iPPV for a subscription fee for international viewers in North America and Europe. They would also be broadcast as editions of WPW-TV airing on the aforementioned channels in Asia and South America. This would allow the promotion to have both markets and provide the most convenient access for audiences with different viewing habits in different parts of the world.

    Special shows, such as Battle at the Dome would be broadcast three times a year exclusively on iPPV and WPW.com until a pay-per-view deal could be concluded in North America. One in March, one in August and one in December. The two remaining specials of 2013 were yet to be named.

    The business announcement was met with a lukewarm reception. The average supporter had no time to read progress reports about the company. They wanted closure, but all they had been given so far was silence.

    Little did they know that their patience would pay off handsomely. Every wrestling supporter that wanted “the old feeling back” was going to be in for an absolute ride. The most audacious move was made by WorldWide Progressive Wrestling – you can call it jumping the gun, taking the plunge, or just pure passion to get back in the dance. In reality it was a calculated effort to test the waters in what is usually the down period in the pro-wrestling season. WWE were just coming off Wrestlemania with a potential burnout looming, TNA Wrestling were plateauing with their Aces and Eights saga – there was no better opportunity to re-introduce WPW in the US Market and try as hard as they could to get a North American TV deal once the momentum had been built and they had enough episodes and international numbers to show the network executives.

    The age of the proverbial Two Towers of WPW was necessitated. The office in Tokyo would still serve as the worldwide headquarters. It was the 'fortress' after all, the soul of the promotion and would remain very much so in Japan, the land where it had blossomed. But it was now time to win over the toughest and most passionate pro-wrestling market in North America. The hardcore fans, the history, the loyalty – the supporters in the New York area. And in what was considered a very much nostalgic decision but a sound 'wrestling' move – WPW opened their second office in Manhattan and secured the historic Hammerstein Ballroom as the location for every event that would be broadcast for WPW-TV for the remainder of the summer.

    The Manhattan Center and the Hammerstein Ballroom had birthed the revolutionary program known as Monday Night RAW, had worshipped the tribe of Extreme Championship Wrestling, had sheltered rising promotions such as Ring of Honor and TNA Wrestling. It was the “temple” as Matt Striker would declare in a later broadcast. WPW were hoping to show their devotion and receive the aura and the power. But some had reservations about this monumental undertaking - they would also have to contend with being in the backyard of the WWE, the promotion that had nearly buried WPW a year earlier. Every person in the promotion, agents to executives, trainers to wrestlers, producers to the lighting assistants – everyone knew that WPW had entered the race, and that they would have to fire on all cylinders to secure a foothold in the market.

  9. #34
    Sega Boy ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

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    Default Re: WPW - WorldWide Progressive Wrestling

    Interesting, and beautifully written post Money. Some crazy news with WPW picking up momentum, and planning to move into the Ballroom, as well as their TV deals. This is a fun project to keep up with because of this struggle you've implemented into the promotion's story. Now that things are picking up I'm more excited than ever to see what you have up your sleeve for these shows. We're close to the halfway point for 2013 and I feel like this fed has been really kicking some ass all year so far. Keep up the good work my man.

  10. #35
    Back for the first time. T-Money's Avatar

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    Default Re: WPW - WorldWide Progressive Wrestling

    I don't feel too good writing this out because this fed has been my baby since I rejoined PW close to a year ago. Yeah you guessed it guys, this is the end of the road for WorldWide Progressive Wrestling. I have not been able to write since I posted Battle at the Dome. I don't know, when you end a fed there's no one specific reason there's just that jaded feeling that you have and I've had it over the last month trying to force myself to put out a show which was never the case. Also I knew I could not top Battle at the Dome, even though that show was built story wise for a couple of weeks, I had the whole thing mapped for a few months and that was really the culmination for me, there was no way I'd top this show.

    I will be starting a new fed some time in the near future as there are a lot of ideas and wrestlers I want to work with which I did not have the opportunity to during the WPW run. Who knows maybe I'll revisit this universe in the future.

    Thank you for the support guys, especially Shinobi!


  11. #36
    Sega Boy ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

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    Default Re: WPW - WorldWide Progressive Wrestling

    Nooooooooo!

    Man, this was kicking some serious ass this year T-Money. The best part about it was just how quickly you improved with it. You came a long way with this fed from start to finish man. Battle at the Dome was beautiful and set the bar high for fan fic in 2013. This is definitely a thread I'll be coming back to come end of the year awards time.

  12. #37
    Senior Member Pduh's Avatar

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    Default Re: WPW - WorldWide Progressive Wrestling

    If you want my input, suggestions, ideas regarding your new fed I am PM away Mr. T lol.

    But honestly you should stick with this fed, have a 1 year anniversary type of show I dunno maybe a new era some sort just throwing that shit out lol. But of course it's up to you.

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    Back for the first time. T-Money's Avatar

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    I don't know what this is, I just felt like finishing this show and posting it and that's what I did. Is it a return for WPW? Maybe, I'm going to take it one show at a time and I feel like a punk b*tch for quitting this fed but at that point I really felt I had nothing left in the tank.




    WorldWide Progressive Wrestling

    |UNDERGROUND AIRPLAY|
    May 2013

    “You are now stepping into the depths of the underground”, warned the wicked voice of Keith David Williams. A shot was shown of the Subway tunnels of New York, the whistle of an approaching train booming in the background. Out seared from the dark a gritty video package set to “Whatever It Takes” by POD showcasing every style of wrestling and all the personalities that had dominated the promotion over the last year and a half – moments such as Shaman/Tanaka, Joe/Tanahashi/Styles, Incognito, Low Ki, Homicide/Goto, and the moment of Tanahashi's disintegration all formed the action along with cut-scenes of the warriors psyching themselves up in a dark noir lit building. The package finished with the voice of the front-man Sonny Sandoval echoing the sentiments embodied by all of WPW and its supporters -

    THIS IS OUR HOUSE. THIS IS WHERE WE LIVE, AND AIN'T NOBODY, GOING TO MESS WITH US, IN OUR HOUSE. THIS IS OUR HOUSE...this is OUR house.

    The building was shaking from head to toe as 3,000 rabid supporters packed the Hammerstein Ballroom for the first ever edition of WPW Television titled 1 Train . This is when, for the first time the legendary phrase that would be taken on by everyone who watched or attended a WPW show at the Ballroom was created. Matt Striker, notably joined on colour commentary by Konnan coined this phrase “the temple of professional wrestling” in reference to the atmosphere and level of wrestling performance that would feature with regularity at this venue.

    The night would start off with two men who despite their dishonourable deeds in Japan, came out to heroes welcome as “Mass Appeal” blasted through the PA System and out walked the Silver and Super Crown champions, Homicide and Low Ki. The New York crowd serenaded the two of them incessantly. 'Cide quickly motioned for them to calm down as he snatched a microphone and gave his sermon with Ki's watchful eyes behind him -

    “Word is bond, we kept our promise. We did what we set out to do, and we've returned home holding in our hands, two out of three championships in WPW. And believe me when I tell you - these are not just championships in our hands, these are the keys to this company. We are its champions, and you can't make a damn decision without our approval.” Homicide's declaration was met with even bigger cheers from an enthralled pack of supporters who were seeing The Notorious 187 back at the top after so many years. Low Ki spoke next - “Many years ago myself and 'Cide were part of a little group known as the Rottweilers,” he says. Big respect is given at that mention. “But that was a decade ago and we were young, cold blooded perhaps, but young. Now we, and I feel foolish even saying this, we're wiser, stronger, and our eyes are on the prize as you can clearly tell.” Homicide finishes it for him - “We ain't no little pups no more, nah...we are the undisputed Underground Kings of professional wrestling. And we're going to take every single accolade, every damn championship WPW has or makes in the future, and DOMINATE this promotion. Whether its me, Low Ki, or the brave-hearts that follow us, you ALL better step up or get blown away – Nosotros somos los reyes valientes de la resistencia!” Homicide's last words were greeted with a full salute by the 3,000 inside the Ballroom as Konnan echoed to Matt Striker that they just laid down the challenge for the rest of the roster to step up or be blown away. And so the Underground Kings came to be. As Homicide and Low Ki disappeared to the back, Matt Striker threw up the question of where the two men who had the most incentive for revenge were – where were Katsuhiko Nakajima and Hirooki Goto.

    The opening contest of the event featured Shelton Benjamin going up against Sonjay Dutt in a first time encounter. Sonjay Dutt would dominate the early goings of the match, his desire to finally pick up a victory was absolutely evident but everyone noted an edge in Shelton Benjamin, a calm assured reaction as he kept getting back up from Sonjay's offence and dished out a sudden T-Bone Suplex but never really linked moves together rather inviting Dutt to set the pace. Dutt eventually began to tire after he had done most of the leg work climbing corners and performing Cross Body's, Dropkicks, and even a Springboard Moonsault midway through the match for a two count. Starting to get desperate and not knowing that Shelton was still fresh Sonjay Dutt would then nail Benjamin with a hard elbow and mount him on the top turnbuckle to attempt a Frankensteiner – but Benjamin reversed into a perfectly executed Powerbomb off the top rope for the one, two, three and an impressive, mature victory to the approval of the Hammerstein crowd.

    The night moved swiftly as the commentary team announced that the WPW Championship Committee had made a very special No. 1 Contender's Match for Low Ki's Super Crown Championship. The were hell bent on creating new competitors for the title. Not only would this be a superb match but a landmark moment for the resurgent Cruiser movement of 2013. Samuray Del Sol, fresh off a great victory at Battle at the Dome was told he would be facing a mystery opponent for the night and to his and the entire Lucha World's surprise came out the young Shadow himself, La Sombra. For the first time ever Del Sol felt like the underdog in a match against his bigger yet equally athletic opponent. The presentation of this bout would be a highlight for throwback Cruiserweight action as the legendary Konnan, alongside Striker offered his insight on the history of both Luchadores and mentioned how they were the two best from CMLL and AAA respectively. The importance was not lost on the Hammerstein crowd and atmosphere throughout the match remained electric. It began with classic Lucha chain wrestling as Del Sol and Sombra dodged, weaved, and used every corner of the ring to try and break free and neutralize their adversary. La Sombra took the onus, using his larger size to pull Del Sol off the second rope in the middle of a Spring Board and into a flowing T-Bone Suplex. But Del Sol would come back moments later, this time successfully nailing a Springboard Dragonrana and getting a deep two count. After a string of near falls and beautiful reversals Samuray Del Sol finished La Sombra with the Hara-Kiri Standing Shiranui to pick up the victory and continue to stake a claim as the rookie of the year in WPW for 2013. Low Ki would appear at the entrance gate, clapping the performance of both men. As Del Sol looked towards him the champion was quick to raise the title in the air and remind the contender of his supremacy.

    And then, at the most unexpected moment, midway through the show. The lights dimmed and a single spotlight shone on the ring. A lone figure stood in the ring, the WPW World Championship shone in the light, slung over his shoulder – it was the champion himself, KENTA Kobayashi. There were respectful claps for the stitched up World Champion and mild 'KENTA' chants. People could see how banged up he was. He spoke in broken English to the crowd - “Thank you for the support. Thank you, but I don't deserve it.” If one phrase could silence the Ballroom it was this. The cameras closed in on KENTA just as every member of the crowd waited on his word. He was absolutely serious and in deep thought before he uttered the words that would shake The Temple to its core - “I did not beat Samoa Joe. I want to fight him one more time.” The reception was thunderous, everyone roared their approval and the 'Joe' chants rang out. But he was not there to answer. Instead the man who answered was whom many believed had put that title on KENTA's shoulder – The Ace, The Fallen Star, Hiroshi Tanahashi. Without any music or lights, without any announcements out he walked to confront KENTA. The champion and the Fallen Star stood toe to toe inside the ring. Tanahashi was cold, almost unrecognizable. KENTA on the other hand had the fire in his eyes, searching for something, some clue as to why Tanahashi had done what he had done a month ago, ready to throw down at a moments notice.

    “Since I am the reason you are standing here as the World Champion, you OWE ME a title shot and you owe it TONIGHT”, barked Tanahashi in Japanese. The crowd was taken aback by his harsh tone but KENTA did not need even a solitary second to decide - “gladly” he replied as once the caption rolled across the mega screen roars reverberated around the Ballroom in anticipation for this mammoth clash. But before they could both exhale – that familiar chaos filled the air. The man who had shaken the very foundations of the company, 'The Outsider' AJ Styles appeared on the far balcony to a deafening reaction. The electricity was unbelievable. The Hammerstein Ballroom was literally shaking at their presence, they'd waited, hoped for this moment all night. It was as if Styles was being celebrated. He had a microphone in hand and made sure the world heard him - “Tanahashi – you take credit for KENTA being champion. Well, I take credit for breaking your spirit and that of this company. There will be no title match without me in it tonight. I have my shot, I am not waiting. I 'm walking out of New York as the WPW World Champion.” And so it was. The Championship Committee could hear the reception inside The Temple. They could not pass off this historic opportunity – it was going to be KENTA's first and most difficult title defence of his WPW career. A Three Way Match featuring The Fallen Star, Hiroshi Tanahashi and The Outsider, AJ Styles who had the masked man back in his corner was made within moments and announced over the PA system during the intermission.

    The energy of the last segment flowed into the rest of the night. After a very long hiatus from WPW, MVP returned for singles action and was given a rousing salute by the Ballroom – but it was nothing compared to the moment that would come next. MVP waited for his opponent, crouched in the corner filled with focus as the Hammerstein Ballroom grew to silence. the lights all dimmed to near darkness. And then, that unmistakable, ghostly voice floated through the walls, blistering into the air – before you slip into, unconsciousness...I'd like to... - “Crystal Ship” by The Doors rang out in the bowels of The Temple and from the hazy entrance gate, surrounded by the darkness and a starry light show imitating the Universe, out walked THE SHAMAN! The roof of the building was exploding. Matt Striker and Konnan were at a complete loss to explain the return of a man who had taken himself into mythical status at Battle at the Dome. Every single supporter had seen that moment, the dive off the Barb-Wire Cage, and here he was. Out he walked, his steel mask glowing in and out of the lights – an absolutely surreal moment as the ethereal music complimented a most ghastly looking man, his body still filled with the scars of his battle with Masato Tanaka as he made his way down and climbed inside the ring – lifting one arm gently into the air as the lights came back even brighter and the Hammerstein Ballroom broke out in chants of 'Shaman'. MVP was at a complete loss, awed by the spectacle. The match would have no pattern, Shaman and MVP would brawl it out from the very get go with MVP winning the battle early on as he tried to target Shaman's scarred back with a sequence of Rolling German Suplexes but just the sheer aura and the support that Shaman had at this venue was too much. Shaman took damage but kept coming back, and finally took MVP out with a Belly To Back Wheelbarrow Facebuster. It was all over as he mounted the top rope and nailed the now mythic Corkscrew Moonsault to pick up the victory. The crazy “Crystal Ship” filled the air as a small batch of supporters started chanting the lyrics while the others roared him on! From the moment he had walked in, to the moment he disappeared to the back, Shaman was cheered from corner to corner. For MVP his return was not a happy one, another disappointing loss had him at the foot of the WPW roster looking up.

    There was only one more slot for a match before the main-event and it had been scheduled to be Low Ki against Incognito in a Non-Title match. Little would Low Ki know how lucky he was that the Super Crown Championship was not on the line on this night because Incognito had motivation in abundance after having been snubbed on the card for Battle at the Dome. The Underground Kings would come out together and Homicide would provide meaningful distractions but to no avail. Ki began the match strongly, drawing Incognito into the Krush Kombo and continuing with stiff shoot kicks throughout the bout targetting the Luchadore's rib cage. The ferocity of Low Ki's offense took Incognito a long time to combat and he almost lost within ten minutes as Ki had him inside the Final Four (Elevated Cloverleaf) slap bang in the centre. But Incognito's desire on this particular night could not be stopped – he roared back into the match after reaching the ropes and fighting through the pain, putting everything into the timing of his movement and later in the bout caught Low Ki with a devastating Hip Toss straight into the turnbuckle. Ki did not land ideally and was completely shaken up. This was also due to having survived a Powerbomb on the concrete floor just a month prior against Nakajima. The Silver Champion, Homicide tried to intervene on his behalf but ate a Dropkick from Incognito. With Homicide taken care of and Low Ki damn near broken, Incognito nailed the Falling Star (High Angle Senton Bomb) onto Low Ki's back from the very top. The 1-2-3 was academic as the Hammerstein Ballroom was stunned into how dominant the Juarez native had just been. But as soon as the bell rang Homicide came running back in and thwacked Incognito with a Steel Chair and continued in a fit of rage until Incognito lay crumpled on the mat. 'Cide spit on his masked face and threw the chair down as well, raising his arms into the air but this time around there were only jeers at this display of cowardice.

    Now it was time for the main-event of 1 Train. The production crew made sure that the cameras captured the 3,000 massive supporters chanting for Styles, Tanahashi, or KENTA. At this point it did not matter to the North American fans who had done what, but just that this point had come. A Three Way between arguably the three best wrestlers on the planet inside The Temple for the WPW Title a mere month after KENTA had captured it. Hiroshi Tanahashi came out first, completely changed, no smiles, no poses, he just took a look around and readied himself – he had waited a year – a YEAR for a title shot and it was finally here. But AJ Styles, 'The Outsider' in WPW came out from the balcony and down the stairs as members of the crowd patted him on the back. In a very telling moment, a shot was caught of Tanahashi standing in the ring but Styles refusing to climb inside, the two of them staring down coldly. “Kemuri” then blew through the atmosphere and out came the reigning WPW World Champion, KENTA Kobayashi, defiantly walking to the ring without a hint of fear as he paraded the belt on all four corners to great respect from the supporters in New York.

    Even as the bell rang AJ Styles took his sweet time to get inside the ring which meant KENTA and Tanahashi squaring off against each other. Tanahashi took the champion to school, his harder edge meant KENTA could not scout any of the stiff knees and elbow shots that Tanahashi was throwing at his abdomen and face. The darker Hiroshi Tanahashi was an ominous sight to behold as he dismantled the champion with such ferocity with a defining Shining Wizard Kick that AJ Styles simply stood back and admired as KENTA fell to the mat. The champion was damn near out cold as Tanahashi slowly turned towards Styles. It was an unforgettable moment, Styles' eyes lit up as he beckoned Tanahashi to take the first shot and the two of them started to circle the dance of death. The ring would turn into a thunderstorm as Tanahashi and Styles raged at each other relentlessly, almost as if they were no selling the moves that the other man was making. Tanahashi would drop Styles with the Kinkasan High Angle German for the first pin attempt of the match but the World Champion was awake again and KENTA came to broke the count at the right moment. Kobayashi showed no mercy - it was now his turn to nail Tanahashi with kicks to the midsection. He then lifted The Fallen Star to his feet and then scooped him into a Sitout Suplex Slam. At this point the match would descend into complete chaos – Styles would return with a vengeance and each of the three men would have compete periods of dominance until the twenty minute mark began to creep.

    The flashpoint came as all three men rested at three corners of the ring. The melting pot of the Hammerstein Ballroom suffocating the air as the supporters rumbled in the background. KENTA and Tanahashi looked at each other and both went for AJ Styles Clotheslining him out of the ring but Tanahashi from behind KENTA followed up by Enziguiring the champion straight across the face as he tumbled to the outside. Tanahashi took a run up and then flew into the air with the Dragon Rocket Suicide Dive into Kobayashi and Styles. Tanahashi would drag Styles into the ring and go for the cover but KENTA pulled him off at a very deep two. Tanahashi and KENTA started laying fists into each other and again, AGAIN Tanahashi looked so much stronger as he pummelled the champion into the corner. AJ Styles staggered up, coming from behind and thwacked Hiroshi Tanahashi with a Pele Kick that finally downed The Fallen Star – but KENTA from out of nowhere came exploding out with a Busaiku Knee Kick lighting fast before Styles could recover! The Ballroom was exploding as KENTA covered him 1...2...THREE! And that suddenly it was over! The supporters of The Temple roared out as KENTA was handed back the World Championship and he stumbled past the guardrail and into the crowd to celebrate.

    Inside the ring it was far from over – Hiroshi Tanahashi finally came to his senses, spitting in disgust at what had just happened. But then he turned...AJ Styles was still in the ring, still recovering. Everyone felt it – Tanahashi went outside the ring, grabbing a steel chair and returning. Styles was still coming to and finally he knelt and turned around – absolute horror in his eyes as Tanahashi stood above him with the chair – and he was about to strike...he would have struck. But he didn't. There was a collective groan of shock as the steel chair clanged to the mat, it did not meet flesh, Hiroshi Tanahashi stepped aside and just walked out...

    Spoiler
    Last edited by T-Money; 09-18-2013 at 04:42 PM.

  14. #39
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    Default Re: WPW - WorldWide Progressive Wrestling

    WPW REVIEW
    Firstly T-Money a massive well done for the hard work and effort you have put into WPW, looking back everything looks just fantastic. I love the layout, I love the graphics and the small inclusion of the WPW logo on all of them, it adds a personal touch.

    Low Ki/Homicide
    Wow reading this is epic. They went to Japan and won there and now they are saying they will dominate WPW. The fact you had small things like they got salutes adds to their character as the faces of WPW. This is very much an nWo only they are the good guys which is an awesome idea that you have got going and executing with brilliance.

    Benjamin/Dutt
    Excellent fast paced technical opener. Despite not having full out matches, the recap way you’ve taken still shows great storytelling such as the way they put moves together, starting to tire etc. I was pleasantly pleased by this.

    La Sombra/Del Sol
    Once again very impressed how you managed to inform the reader of the previous ongoing in the fed, what this match means, how things have been going before even getting going with the match. As far as this once again great storytelling during and after. For example, “continue to stake a claim as the rookie of the year in WPW for 2013” genius!

    AJ/Tanahashi/KENTA
    Wow. Kenta out to prove himself, Tanahashi wanting his title shot as payment and then AJ Styles entering himself into the fray. It’s all going on in the WPW Main Event Scene.

    Low Ki/Incognito
    When I seen the line up for this match in no way did I expect Incognito to win or be so dominate. But hell he did that and so much more. I was shocked to see Homicide going all heel on Incognito afterwards perhaps I have mis-read Ki and Cide as being faces. woops.

    Main Event
    I am happy to see you wrote more for the main event making it that much bigger and more important. Also was the effort you put in prior to the match building up. It was very interesting to see how the three fought in the match, especially with the ending. Glad KENTA won as he needs a strong win but I am intrigued why Tanahashi did NOT hurt AJ afterwards. I look forward to the follow up of this.

    Well done for bringing this back T-Money, hope you can stick with this, but don’t push yourself, just do what you can, when you can.

    Mess with E.C.3. and you're in for; Trouble, Trouble, Trouble, Trouble, Trouble, Trouble, Trouble....

    ETHAN CARTER III - The Only UNDEFEATED WORLD CHAMPION in Wrestling!

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    Default Re: WPW - WorldWide Progressive Wrestling

    ShinobiMusashi's Ultimate Ninja Master Reviews WPW: 1 Train

    Spoiler

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