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ICWA: The Prelude

June of 2002... The dawning of the ICWA. Taylor "WallStreet" McCallister had only been working the MSN circuit for a month when he opened the ICWA, yet with his money and business savvy it took no time to bring the ICWA to the mainstream, landing a television deal with the USA Network. The ICWA ran strong for over a year developing new superstars and creating history along the way. However, in September of 2003 the ICWA would close it’s doors in a sudden and somewhat unexpected move as a result of undisclosed difficulties. USA was not pleased, nor were the various arenas the ICWA had agreed to inhabit over the next year.

In the spring of 2004, however, it appeared that perhaps the ICWA would live again. Promoter Taylor McCallister had traveled the world and found great talent that’d never set foot in an ICWA arena?Names the likes of Jimmy Stryker, Da Sweet Lunatic, Serpent, and many others who’d join the original band of ICWA outlaws like James, Hope Cassidy, Heather McMahon, and WallStreet himself in rebuilding the foundation of the memories that had built their careers. It started hot and heavy. The network was ecstatic and so too were the ICWA fans. Unfortunately, in August of 2004 the ICWA would once again close it’s doors despite being at the top of their game at the time. The primary reason given was that the ICWA couldn’t come to an agreement with USA during contract renegotiations, and of course without TV a mainstream wrestling promotion can’t exist.

The End? It had seemed like it might have been until the ICWA once again reopened it’s doors in the spring of 2005. By that time USA had given up on the ICWA and entered negotiations with Vince McMahon and the WWE to bring back WWE Monday Night Raw, so, the ICWA began working out negotiations with the FX Network. FX and McCallister agreed to a trial agreement of three months?Surprisingly however, at the end of that time frame it was McCallister who opted not to negotiate a long term deal. The ICWA would once again close it’s doors for undisclosed reasons.

Early Summer of 2006... Realizing that perhaps the ICWA would be better suited for short stints, WallStreet decided to deem the ICWA a seasonal promotion and reopened yet again. It was a solid summer season as Nic Dangerously, Bobby Johnson, and No Limits Christian Skywalker battled vigorously for the ICWA Championship, ICWA planted the seeds for the re-launch of W2K, and the founding father of the ICWA, WallStreet, came as close as he’s ever been to being ICWA World Champion when he entered a five man elimination for the title in the ICWA’s final broadcast and came to a draw with the only other match survivor?ICWA Champion Nic Dangerously.

At the conclusion of 2006, the ICWA came back together for a one night only "Holiday Spectacular". Much to WallStreet’s surprise the ICWA was in grand demand?Not only with the fans, but with the boys. With the urging of his lockeroom, WallStreet decided to start the ground work for yet another return to take place in the spring of 2007. With David Van Dam at the helm as World champion and longtime ICWA performer Matt Matlock on the verge of transitioning from star to Superstar the ICWA was taking off, It was perhaps the hottest it’d been since it’s original run from 2002 to 2003 with fantastic stories and feuds from the bottom of the card to the headline. The talent pool was rich with names like David Van Dam, Jimmy Stryker, Drew Stevenson, MJ Storm, DSL, Hope Cassidy, Bobby Johnson, and of course WallStreet. It was the longest and most prosperous period in the ICWA’s history after it’s inaugural season and things looked good. FX Was happy, PPV Distributors were happy, and most importantly the people were happy. However, it couldn’t last forever and?It didn’t.

Now it’s 2008, 6 years after the grand opening. Few names from 2002 remain, but, their legacy stands forever. Unfortunately our TV deal with FX can’t say the same. Upon making the decision to reopen the ICWA one last time, WallStreet attempted to rebook all the major sporting arenas and to get their TV Slot back from FX. Neither outlet responded well. All the networks have deemed the ICWA too big a risk to carry. They won’t run the risk of signing a deal to carry ICWA’s program for X amount of time just to get abandoned and screwed again. A lot of the fans feel the same way and refuse to let themselves fall back in love with the ICWA product.

In 2008 the ICWA must prove itself by starting at the bottom. With out TV and with out the mainstream fans the ICWA has no choice but to return as a local Independent promotion and work and claw it’s way back up the ladder until it eventually reclaims it’s spot atop of the mainstream world. Will the ICWA still be here reclaiming it’s success through 2009 or will this be just another three month footnote in the ICWA’s on again off again history? Only You Can Decide.


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