The Rag Mag, Volume #2

The Hierarchy.

It should have been the greatest second act in pro wrestling history. But in the end, at least in the eyes of this writer, the EWA’s incarnation of The Hierarchy was a spectacular failure. It took off with a bang…quickly devolved into a disjointed mess, and just like that, it was gone.

A missed opportunity for the fans and wrestling alike.

On the Waterfront.

“It shoulda’ been a contender.”

While not quite in the same league, keep in mind this is wrestling and we tend to draw insanely ridiculous comparisons in order to make a point.

So here it is…

This Hierarchy was like watching the Challenger disaster of 1986 all over again. Something I vividly remember as a child in the 6th grade. There was a female teacher on board, which was a big deal at the time…keep in mind, this was the 1980’s in the United fuckin’ States. Sorry you Millennials missed it. Anyway, to make a long story short for you youngins that have never heard of the Challenger, it was a space shuttle launch back when NASA was the shiz. The event was was broadcast live to millions — including us school children — and the countdown commenced. In unison, we counted down to liftoff and through a cloud of exhaust, the shuttle broke away from it’s launch pad at Cape Canaveral to thunderous applause.

Roughly a minute later, in what should have been a celebration, the Challenger disintegrated into nothingness over the Atlantic Ocean.

We were just kids.

What the hell just happened?

This all led to the infamous Ronald Reagan speech, “We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and ‘slipped the surly bonds of Earth’ to ‘touch the face of God.”

Time heals all wounds, which is what allows me to talk about that again. And make my ridiculous comparison of that historical event to The Hierarchy.

That bring us to now. Well, kind of now. It actually brings us to October 2015. The return of the EWA. And what a spectacular return it was. Old stars, new stars…it was like living in a dream world that combined the best of the EWA with the best of the SHOOT Project. We all felt it…that excitement for wrestling was back! Finally, we had a wrestling product worth watching! As time went on, the EWA was coming together, the show was flowing…and god damn, wrestling was back! Wait, I already said that. But seriously…WRESTLING WAS BACK!

And that’s when they — the EWA — started fuckin’ with my emotions. As an industry insider, long before I created the Rag Mag, I received word that some cray-cray shit was going down on January the 15th, 2016 edition of Battlelines V. Okay, for full disclosure, I’ll admit I knew what was coming…as my sources inside the EWA leaked it.

Because nobody can keep their fucking mouths shut anymore.

The Hierarchy was returning!

Wait, what?!

You heard me…dude, the Hierarchy is returning! It’s a done deal.

No! Fucking! Way!

EWA production values? Check.

Original members? Check.

New blood to make it fresh? Check.

All the I’s were dotted, and all the T’s were crossed.

Then January 15th arrived. Battlelines V. And you know what? It was EVERYTHING I had hoped for. Keep in mind, something happened on that show where the ring was destroyed, and in a bit of what I thought was foreshadowing for the war that was about to come to the EWA … The Hierarchy returned in all it’s glory.

X-Calibur. Azrael Goeren. Ray Wilmott. Deacon Summers. Marcus Mirage.

In no particular order, that’s like getting Daniel Day-Lewis, Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Kevin Spacey and Leonardo DiCaprio to make a movie together. ANY movie. Hell, it doesn’t matter what the movie is…if you say you wouldn’t pay to see that glorious trainwreck, you’re a fucking liar.

Anyway, they ended Battlelines V amidst the wreckage of the EWA ring and essentially declare war on wrestling. Namely the EWA. Well, Mirage did…and Azrael…but the rest of them? Wait. Stop…who the hell cares…the Hierarchy is BACK!

I felt like breaking out in a, “Yes!”, chant for some reason.

Needless to say, it was an amazing debut. If you don’t believe me, pay for the EWA Network (you’re welcome, Ross), and watch Battlelines V.

This was like watching that perfect spiral launched 80 yards down the field and a wide open receiver catching the ball in stride…i n s l o w m o t i o n.

YEAHHHHHHHHH!

Who then bobbled the ball for twenty fucking yards before falling flat on his face while watching the ref wave it off as an incomplete pass.

NOOOOOOOOOO!

So, what went wrong? While it’d probably be easier to make a list of what went right…let’s stick with the former because I prefer complaining. I kept the list artificially short, because I’m sure I could come up with 50 more reasons…but let’s stick with these main points:

They were babyfaces…sort of. Mirage wasn’t…but what the fuck?
Mirage disliked Deacon…so forget group synergy.
Aside from their debut, the five members NEVER appeared together again.
No inter-faction war with The Youth.

So, let’s discuss each now, shall we?

They were babyfaces…sort of. Mirage wasn’t…but what the fuck?

When you play on nostalgia, which is what this was, the people watching it want what they had again. I was expecting the Hierarchy that ran roughshod over SHOOT Project for the better part of an entire fucking year. Not a group of pseudo-babyfaces that had no cohesion. When I told these damn Millennials, “Man the Hierarchy of my day would curbstomp the fucking shit out of these clowns you call a faction today”…only to have them appear and basically…do nothing, those bitches were all like, “LOL ROFL we told you old man, The Hierarchy SUCKS! OMG WTF BBQ.” Ok, so I don’t know any modern diss slang to say what those kids actually said about the Hierarchy, but you get the point.

The Hierarchy are heels.

Period.

Way to ruin reliving my glory years, EWA.

FAIL.

Mirage disliked Deacon…so forget group synergy.

The Hierarchy, at their best, were a united force that worked together, planned together, and destroyed people…together.

Right off the bat, Mirage points at Deacon Summers and expresses his opinion that the kid doesn’t belong. Why? You think they would have talked about this BEFORE they did it. Ok, forget that, maybe it could be interesting…a faction that contains some inner strife could be different…only if you stop and think about it, all that really does is make sure the Hierarchy are causing less carnage elsewhere, since 2 of the 5 members are now self-contained.

Was it a good feud and a good match? Yes…but that’s besides the point. This held the Hierarchy back within the confines of the EWA, and that’s all it did.

FAIL.

Aside from their debut, the five members NEVER appeared together again.

Why pretend you’re a faction if what you really are is a tag-team, a singles competitor that never even mentions the Hierarchy, and a feuding odd couple that should have been enforcing the group’s dominance over the EWA, or at least, encroaching on the power of The Youth?

Sure, they had a few entertaining moments where a couple of the members showed up together, but it was never all of them at once.

Not to mention, they almost never helped each other. What good is being in a faction if you’re always on your own? Do you see the Youth allowing their wrestlers to lose matches because one of the other 500 members couldn’t find the time to lend a hand?

NO.

Because that’s what FACTIONS fucking do.

Fuck it. This pissed me off more than anything. They made that amazing debut…and then they couldn’t have been booked to be more splintered and disjointed than they were.

FAIL.

No inter-faction war with The Youth.

To quote my Millennial friends…W T F.

Great Scott! This is like running a boxing federation that invented the flux capacitor, stuck it in a DeLorean, went back in time and brought Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali to the present — in their fucking primes — and saying, eh, fuck it…they’re both too busy doing their own shit.

FAIL.

Challenger. Explosion.

So that’s it. What started out with the promise of inter federation war, total EWA destruction, and crazy ass wrestling matches with seemingly endless in-ring combinations…simply fizzled out.

I can’t help but ask myself what the fuck happened?

Blah, blah, blah…I know this is just MY opinion, and you don’t have to share it. But if you read this and honestly disagree…you’re lying to yourself. And a moron. Given the talent involved, and the talent the EWA already had on its roster, this should have been the greatest second act in wrestling history.

And we can pretend to be all friendly here…but we all know it…there are those of us who still back SHOOT Project, and those of us who back the EWA. Whichever side you stand on is cool…but let’s not pretend we didn’t want to FINALLY see these two federations collide. With the Hierarchy, they had that opportunity…and in my opinion, they failed on just about every level imaginable.