Wednesday, April 10, 2019

WrestleMayhem - Part 1

WrestleMayhem - Part 1

Promoter Huey Bartek's Global Wrestling Organization (GWO) scored a major coup when it landed a weekly primetime slot on the DeKalb Television Network. For Whitney DeKalb, it was a move aimed solely at increasing DeKalb's ratings to something approaching respectability. For the GWO, it was a rare opportunity for national exposure after years of being restricted to Major City's WMC and their own regional syndicated affiliates (not all of which were even DeKalb stations).

The GWO made the most of its big chance by improving its product considerably. There was talk among wrestling fans that the company had embarked on a new era of greatness with their TV deal. But even with all the gains, Huey Bartek was still not satisfied. He saw the potential to reach unprecedented levels with the GWO. He just needed the right angle to put it over the top.

The pivotal moment for the GWO began as just another TV taping at Major City's McDougal Auditorium. Yet this was an evening with a difference, because the superhero Blue Behemoth was a noticeable part of the crowd. He was quite gleeful in mugging for the cameras, and seemed more interested in playing to the audience than watching the action.

That all changed when GWO World Champion Mondo Style stepped into the ring. Style was facing Kit Katsaboulas and began to demolish the hapless jobber in short order. This finally caught Blue Behemoth's attention, and the ape man loudly heckled the champ. He even went to so far as tossing popcorn at Mondo's head.

Style did not take kindly to the insults hurled by BB. After gaining a quick pinfall over his opponent, he remained in the ring and motioned announcer Reese Bower to join him with his microphone. When Bower agreed, Mondo cut a devastating promo on Blue Behemoth right in front of him and everyone else in attendance, plus all the people watching the program. The upshot was when Mondo Style challenged BB to meet him in a match with the GWO title on the line.

Blue Behemoth was undaunted by the brazen words of Mondo Style, but his answer would have to wait another week. The GWO show opened its next installment with a prerecorded interview conducted at Invincible Alliance HQ between BB and Roxanne (Firegirl) Prize. In it, the hirsute hero accepted Style's challenge and said he would meet him whenever and wherever the GWO wanted. This was followed by the stunning announcement by Huey Bartek that the Behemoth/Style match would headline a "super card" dubbed WrestleMayhem at Major City's New Moon Garden.

News of WrestleMayhem spread throughout the wrestling industry. With such an enticing feature attraction, it looked like a lock to break all box office records. Bartek worked with his associate offices in Japan and Mexico, GJPW (Global Japan Pro Wrestling) and GMLL (Global Mexicana de Lucha Libre) respectively, to sign the best grapplers possible for the extravaganza. Considering the amount of money he was pouring into the enterprise, and the potential windfall it represented, he wanted to ensure he put on a stacked card that would draw from top to bottom.

Part of this careful planning involved bringing Blue Behemoth in for the top secret meeting to lay out his match. BB had been the one who suggested the angle in the first place when he had run into Mondo Style at a kosher deli. No matter what he said in public, Blue Behemoth was an unabashed fan of pro wrestling, and also smart to the business. He figured capitalizing off his crimefighting fame could do nothing but help the GWO and Mondo.

The booking meeting, however, was difficult at best. The dilemma for BB, Style, Bartek, booker Baxter Sweet (retired wrestler & heel TV analyst), and actor/wrestler Reed Ganza ("appointed" special referee in his masked identity as the Deacon) was how to have the match play out in such a way as to be both satisfying and believable for the fans. After all, Mondo might have been a peak-conditioned athlete, but Blue Behemoth was a massive, beast-like superhero. Suspension of disbelief could only take them so far.

Finally, after much discussion, the plan was to have Mondo hoist BB into a gorilla press (no symbolism there!) at around the thirty minute mark. The (gimmicked) ring would then collapse under the strain of their titanic battle and both participants would be counted out due to being unable to continue. This stalemate would enable both of them to claim they hadn't lost and still look strong.

Reed Ganza objected to this plan on the logical grounds that you can't be counted out if the ring is gone. No one was really satisfied with the ending, but there was a dearth of better ideas for what would be the centerpiece of the night. Huey Bartek ended the meeting with the calm assurance to everyone that the plan was fine, and he'd left them know if there were any changes necessary.


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