WORLD ABLAZE FINAL THOUGHTS
A reporter turned back into a mark while backstage at a PPV airing in 3 hours
~In immediate World Ablaze affecting news, the AOW policy that it’s competitors are still allowed to work indy dates looks to come back and bite them yet again. Not only did one of their biggest reported signings, Carlito Colon, get injured working the circuit a few months ago, but two of the men competing tonight have had confirmed injuries. One disclosed name has suffered a very minimal ‘hairline fracture’ that won’t keep them off TV for very long, if at all. But Chris Masters has reportedly suffered a torn pectoral muscle – the same injury that knocked down the WWE’s own John Cena prior to No Mercy in October a few months ago. Cena’s timetable for return isn’t expected for 9-12 months. Masters is expected to be on that same timetable, so even if he competes tonight, expect something to happen to write him off completely for a good long while. Masters and his partner Ken Doane are slated for the Tag Team Turmoil match come later.
~On a much less dooming note, both Samoa Joe and Dave Finlay have been spotted backstage here. Neither man has popped up on TV since their absolutely brutal AOKO match about a month ago.
~There seems to be a good bit of last minute hustle-and-bustle for a great deal of guys, and as such, quite a few of the planned finishes. While some of the guys – most notably Shawn Michaels – have taken to a role of calming down or hyping up some of these guys backstage who don’t have much knowledge on a national PPV.
~As for some of the hectic replanning, at least one match’s result has changed in the last few hours since arriving here in Boston.
~Also of somewhat interesting note, Bryan Danielson and Gregory Helms have been seen multiple times backstage with both Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho. This is obviously out of kayfabe given the on-screen relations between Danielson/Helms and Jericho/Michaels.
~The last several advertisements that are being shown here in Boston are advertising that the 2007 World Series champion Boston Red Sox are to be in attendance, or at least some members of the team. With baseball being an absolutely huge deal here in Boston, especially with that world title coming just a few weeks ago, this seems like a haymaker type shot of an advertising move. As much as I want this company to succeed, I kinda didn’t believe it. That is until I saw World Series MVP Mike Lowell step off the team bus followed by several others. They really are here and probably got front row tickets.
~With several fans getting tickets at the gates, it should be noted that they arrived early and saw many wrestlers arrive. Because of this, a great deal of those arriving stuck to people they would only be seen with in kayfabe.
~When Aero Star got off the plane from Mexico last night, he had his mask on. When this reporter saw him having hotel breakfast, he had his mask on. When he had Super Crazy ask me if I had change for a dollar, he had his mask on. When this reporter caught him in a quiet moment, he was reading a book….with his mask on. Needless to say, he has it on as I’m writing this. These lucha guys really do take this mask thing passionately.
~Not sure if this was to keep the story going or if this is how it really is that bad, but somewhat unsurprisingly, Bobby Lashley’s ride arrived at the Banknorth Garden with the most security.
~Chris Jericho was reportedly the last person to arrive, but that was almost definitely because he was doing an interview in a town an hour away, not because he has some sort of ego. Jericho’s kind of taken it upon himself to be the media voice of the young company. Jericho was one of the only guys to refuse to sign autographs, again very much in character. The only other guy to do that was Muhammad Hassan, but that was kinda because no one wanted his. Must be doing a better job than apparent.
~Got a glimpse of one of the most ‘they have potential’ carpools I’ve ever seen – Lance Storm, CM Punk, Rey Mysterio, TJ Wilson, and Harry Smith all arrived in the same rental. Mysterio had crutches, selling the ‘injury’ he’s sustained a few weeks ago. Truth be told, Mysterio had surgery several months ago before signing with AOW, only being written off after the company had gotten off the ground so he could fully rehab it. Whether Punk or Mysterio do anything tonight is still up in the air – it’s just that no one in AOW really wants to miss this at least being here.
~Spotted JBL backstage…with WILLIAM REGAL. This isn’t saying anything’s official – Regal has been tied to the company in terms of negotiation for quite some time, as I’ve been reporting. Perhaps this is one last scouting trip…?
~And finally, the link to an article here by I, The Informer, in a pathetic last ditch attempt to both reach my editor's deadline and fully convince all that AOW is something we should all be a part of.
Spoiler for Click here for article:
WHY BUY WORLD ABLAZE?
Several months ago, in one of the wrestling world’s worst kept secrets, it was reported that several of the modern wrestling world’s best minds were coming together for something that had nothing to do with the WWE, TNA, ROH, or any other independent or oversees productions. Paul Heyman, Mick Foley, Chris Jericho, and John Bradshaw Layfield headed the big names and would eventually be labeled by the Internet fandom as the ‘Founding Fathers’ of whatever they were fathering and founding. But nobody really takes these things seriously. Regardless of how many dirtsheets report things, no matter what Metzler says, fans are always going to take news like this with a grain of salt. Or at least they should, anyway. Even with these many great names attached, whatever they were doing seemed likely to be as unstable as the reported psyche of Vince McMahon. But as they always say in the world of wrestling ‘anything can happen’. And indeed everything has happened.
A few mere hours after Paul Heyman publically gave this new project a name – Art of War Wrestling, AOW for short – they went and confirmed the signing of two huge names in Christian Cage and Samoa Joe, straight off TNA’s gradually unstable roster due to the signing of former Olympic gold medalist and WWE Champion Kurt Angle. That doesn’t seem like it was supposed to happen. But it did. Many people still saw this with a great deal of doubt…but then more signings followed. Dave Finlay. Gregory Helms. Jack Evans. And finally, AOW had another huge name to add alongside potentially Joe and Christian’s – Rey Mysterio. Not long afterwards, they managed to somehow bring the human heat magnet Muhammad Hassan back into the wrestling fold. After more signings and two months later, “AOW” was mentioned on WWE Television by CM Punk, who unceremoniously left the ‘E roster to join AOW’s. Rob Van Dam came not too long afterwards. Then came the TV and venue deals. Then an agreement with AOW. It just kept piling on and on that this impossible, unstable dream could become an incredible fruition.
While the signing of Bobby Lashley didn’t exactly set the Internet on fire (well, not in a positive way), the signing of Shawn Michaels took this company from just an IWC mark’s homepage to the forefront of the minds of every wrestling fan on the planet, from Japan to Canada. Before even setting up a light stage, parking the production truck, or checking the ring ropes for weight, AOW had become an overnight, otherworldly sensation. This idea that wasn’t supposed to happen had suddenly devoured the world.
When AOW finally appeared on the FX channel on August 22nd, it got the highest rating a wrestling show has ever gotten since 2002. In the weeks that followed, AOW gradually drifted back towards Earth and returned to reality – a jump of the gun on extending it’s one-hour timeslot to 90-minutes hasn’t provided sufficient results just yet. The hotshot of their first ever PPV, World Ablaze, hasn’t gotten much more than any kind of desirable numbers attached to it. This company that was not to be suddenly had a more real world view.
So after all that hullaballoo, why on earth would you even want to buy this PPV, World Ablaze? I’m not going to spoil the card, nor go into overspeculative details concerning the participants, compeititors, characters, and storylines. What I will just say to you as a wrestling fan – or entertainment fan – when you have an opportunity to get away from what you’ve been forcibly exposed to and get a breath of fresh air, you need to do it. ‘tis only human nature. Any teenager will tell you when your parents take your keys, you find them and joyride. Any adult will tell you they’ve called in sick for a free day from the binding work schedule. The WWE has taken our keys and overworked us. By the looks of things, the declining TNA, even with its outstanding potential, is the beggar you meet during your off-day joyride that uses the money for liquor and doesn’t offer much hope beyond the ‘WWE machine’. And while ROH is that genuinely nice guy with the get-rich-quick scheme, his ideas are so different, you’re not sure if it’s a good investment.
Buy this Pay-Per-View or support this company because you’re a wrestling fan who knows that wrestling will never die. Breathe life with it. Buy (or hell, who am I kidding – illegally stream) this PPV and support this company that sprung from an idea that was never supposed to be. Because as the character “V” from the graphic novel-turned-movie V for Vendetta so accurately points out that “An idea cannot die. Because an idea is bulletproof”. This idea has already survived a great deal of gunfire. And in the war that is the wrestling world, we can only hope that Art of War Wrestling – AOW – is the one bulletproof enough to help us through it; an infectious shield of an idea that makes us all stronger as we get and stand behind it. It was never to be…so it cannot die.
So, readers…are you bulletproof?