World Championship Wrestling... Again...?
Well, yes, but this is not really another attempt at World Championship Wrestling. Rather, it's a continuation of the Empire project. If you have read that one, a lot of what happens here will make a lot more sense and likely be more meaningful.
This project will start in December of 2006. So we will begin with yearly recaps for 2003, 2004, and 2005. Well, a half-year recap for 2003, to be accurate. These will focus on bigger changes for the most part, rather than individual storylines. I will include title belt histories and awards for each year, so it should help clarify a bit of who was doing what. I will also cover, to a degree, things happening outside WCW. That said, there will obviously be aspects that individual readers will be interested in that don't get covered in detail for various reasons. So don't hesitate to ask for more details or clarification. I will try to fill in the gaps.
So why do a time-skip rather than continuing with the current project? Especially considering I'm filling in the period between with a solid amount of detail... Well, there are quite a number of reasons. But I guess the main one comes down to this - when I did my first "WCW survives" project, I made a lot of plans that covered from where the project started to the end of 2002. I had ideas for beyond that but I never really solidified them into plans, so when I reached the end of my specific plans, it felt like an end point to the story I had to tell. Not a bad thing, but when making plans for Empire, I wanted to go further and so I made some pretty specific plans covering a big period of time. Which is not to say I planned out everything that happened between March 2001 and present in exacting detail, but simply that I had some key stories and events planned out with arcs covering at least significant parts of that period. The upside to that is that I always had some future stories to look forward to telling... but it also came with a downside as I reached a point where there the stories to tell for that time period weren't as appealing and I got frustrated at the idea of having to move through a lull. I was wary of the writing becoming a grind, because once it does that, the project isn't fun to write anymore and is like to end soon.
Quite a number of the things that that happen in the 2003-2006 period and some of what will be the focus in 2007 is stuff I had planned from the beginning of the project. Not absolutely everything, but a good amount of it.
I considered a few different ideas. Doing one or several shorter time-skips was a definitely possibility. There are some stories and events in the 2003-2006 period that I believe would have been really fun to cover in detail (or at least as much detail the recap style provides). After a significant amount of consideration, I decided that going the route here is the best compromise. It's not necessarily perfect or ideal but a compromise. It picks up a point where I think things will be interesting, both for me as a writer and for you the reader.
The previous Empire project can be found here:
World Championship Wrestling: Empire
Now, it is required to have read that to enjoy this? No, I don't think so. Certain aspects of this project are likely to make a lot more sense, though, so I'd recommend that it's a good idea. But then again, I'm kinda biased. I've heard it's a good read, though...
This Version of World Championship Wrestling
This will be defined (hopefully quite clearly) in the yearly recaps and such, but I figure that it also cannot hurt to put a bit of an explanation here.
As of the beginning of this project - the end of 2006 - the recovery process has essentially come to an end for World Championship Wrestling. Which is not to say they have regained their former glories and are now directly challenging the WWE... They are not. WCW remains significantly behind the WWE in most areas. However, WCW is a stable and financially-secure company, which is a pretty good step from where they were in March of 2001. The position of WCW at this point is relatively comparable to where TNA has been the past few years, though a bit healthier and better-run. Nitro is on Spike TV and HDNet carries a pair of weekly WCW shows. The roster is relatively big and quite strong.
Regarding the roster, I've tried to avoid turning this into another typical "indy wet dream" project. Which is why I didn't push the likes of AJ Styles and Bryan Danielson too hard off the start, and also why I didn't sign up guys like Punk and Joe right away. Yet it still kinda ends up being that regardless. I have tried to avoid the overt "grab all the indy guys" mentality and make the roster a bit of a mix. Some indy guys, some ex-WWE talent, and some WCW long-timers. I don't expect the starting roster will make everyone happy but most guys are in WCW for specific reasons.
Once again, I typically stick to using names for the workers that will be most recognizable to readers. Changing the names might be more realistic but it also makes things much more difficult for readers to figure out. So this is a concession to readability over realism.
I expect many will be interested in the world outside of WCW. The WWE is still the global monstrosity, without too many major variations. TNA does exist, but they are about the size of ROH, with their TV show (named Impact, surprisingly) taking Nitro's place on Fox Sports Net in early 2006. There are a few reason that I kept TNA around, most notably because I think they could be supported. ROH is a bit smaller than they actually were, if just because they didn't have as much access to some of the talent they relied on in the 2003-2006 period.
I will stick with the monthly recap format, at least once we are "up to date" with the yearly recaps. The only adjustment in presentation that is planned at this point is to integrate the monthly update and PPV recaps together. That will mean a bit less detail in regard to the specifics of a given pay per view but for a number of factors, I don't think that will be a negative.
Things should move pretty quickly for the first few days of the new project, at least. I have the annual recaps ready to go and the first few monthly recaps pretty close. So there should be a new update every day or second day for a bit. Then we will slow down a more typical cycle, which will likely be about once a week.
I don't know if any of these type of projects are ever completely solo efforts, but mine certainly are not. I've gotten plenty of help and advice from Ed, Jim, and Ken here, as well as couple gents on another site. Their help in refining ideas and clarifying directions has been invaluable. The logo being used on this project is by a chap named Kamchatka, while Ruben Jay and Kabel were kind enough to provide their skills on some of the graphics. I must give a nod to Genadi, who created the TEW mod that got me started on the whole "WCW survives" idea in the first place. And a gracious nod to you, fine readers, who continue to humble me with your interest and dedication.