The Rag Mag, Volume #11: An Interview with Laura Seton

Guess who’s back?!

Tonight I have a special treat for you kids out there in Ragland…I’ve got the one and only Laura Seton. That’s right, bitches, I landed the two time EWA World Heavyweight Champion for an interview and this is gonna kick major ass!

Just when some of you thought she had disappeared from the scene…she’s back in action!

Now, I know what some of you asshats in the Fallout (and their completely obnoxious fans) are gonna say, “Yeah, but, she only held the title for like two minutes”, and to that I say…she held the fucking title. TWICE. She was the world champion…so what have you done lately? And before you say it, shut up, Grace.

And yeah, I’m a fan of the FOG (Fallout Girls), don’t get me wrong, but I’m not THAT fan, and you all know exactly the kind of douche Fallout fan I’m talking about.

In my eyes, Laura Seton is a longstanding good guy (or gal), or babyface in the industry, and while I’ve heard some rumblings in the past of her heelish ways…I’ve gotta be honest when I say I’ve never seen it myself. Maybe it’s my selective memory on this particular subject, but when I think Laura Seton, I see the goodiest of the goods. Milk and cookies and all that. Some of you may disagree, as is your right, but in this writer’s humble opinion, Laura Seton is one of THE last remaining heroes in a wrestling world that needs them very badly.

Let’s get to it…

Laura, it’s great to finally get to meet you after all these years…blah, blah, blah, pleasantries aside, let’s just get the questions rolling as I’m sure you’re sick of hearing that kind of thing anyway.

Let’s just get to the low hanging fruit on this question tree to get things started…

Q: You’ve had a hell of a time these past bunch of weeks since the Fallout rose to prominence and they’ve seem to have taken a particular liking to taking you out. You’ve been around for MANY years and know the wrestling landscape all too well. How do you propose taking on a crew of villains like this when it’s obvious they’re NEVER going to fight fair?

A: I can tell you what the “smart” way is: Rally a few people and go out there together. They gang attack and really the only way to stay in one piece against a group like that is to have backup. That’s the best way. Of course, I’m not known for having had much backup wherever I’ve gone. I can’t say I can just “hope for the best” on my own, but I can’t force people into helping me. If someone wants to and they actually have good intentions and aren’t a jerk? Sure, I’ll gladly accept that assistance.

Q: I gotta do this. Live from Tokyo. Bad memories, I know. That moment you capture the world title…I remember seeing it, you’re in that ring when you’re handed the world title, you hug it close and the fans are going wild. You did it! You dethroned Chris Kage and reached the pinnacle of our sport for the second time. And then it happens. On the same night the Fallout forms, they come out from behind, Gaunt and Sahara break up your celebration and shanghai you, and then Grace Goeren turns in the briefcase…what was running through your mind?

A: Disappointment. I don’t blame her for taking advantage of what was in front of her, but I don’t think it was so satisfying for her to win the World Championship how she did. It was almost like a sign of disrespect for it, you know? She wasn’t there to “win,” she was just there to “take possession.” When the day comes that she loses it, I hope it’s 20 times more heartbreaking to her than it was for me that evening.

My Reaction:”Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” – Henry Russell Sanders. Yeah, I know a lot of people attribute that saying to the great Vince Lombardi, but he stole it from Sanders, and we at the Rag Mag have a massive research budget called Google. Anyway, my take on this is get what you can, while you can. That money in the bank gimmick is pretty much created specifically for one purpose, and that’s taking advantage of a situation that maximizes your chance to capture the world title. Whether it’s satisfying or not is really up to Grace and the Fallout…and with how much fun that party train looks, I doubt they care. Q: Now, you have a big match coming up in a 3 way with Grace Goeren and and a personal friend of yours, at least I think he’s a friend, in Ray Willmott. It’s taking place at Out for Blood for the World Title. Not only do you have the Fallout to contend with, but Willmott is no joke in his own right. This is a two-part question, so be sure to answer both. What are your thoughts on this match and has the possibility of a double-cross from Willmott helping the Fallout crossed your mind? After all, those girls can be quite convincing when they want to be.

A: If this was 2001, I would say you’re completely out of your mind even thinking that was a possibility. A friend is a friend, right? But here we are in 2016 and I’ve seen and experienced so much… …sure it’s crossed my mind Ray could turn on me. Nothing is a sure thing until it’s over in this sport. Do I think he would turn on me just so Grace could win? THAT I have a problem believing. I’ve known Ray since late-2001 and that’s not his way. He does what he does for himself. If he joins The Fallout? It’s after he wins the World Championship. I fought Ray once before and he got me, but again, that was way back at the start of my career. I’m not going to have an easy time in Dallas. Fighting Kage one-on-one was insanely difficult, facing Ray and Grace will be a whole other animal. If there’s a bright side, it’s that they’ll be tearing into each other as well.

Q: Shifting gears a bit, in my recent interview with Jaime Alejandro, he had some not so nice things to say about you, I’m not sure if it’s out of jealousy or past relationships or what, but he seems convinced that the image you project in public, IE this hero image, is completely fake and that you’re pretty much the opposite of that in reality. Any response?

A: No.

My Reaction:I get the distinct sense Laura Seton does not like Jaime Alejandro very much. Q: The landscape of the EWA. You’ve obviously got The Fallout, but then there’s HATE, The Youth, all factions that seem to have their own agendas and base of power. What are your thoughts on HATE and The Youth?

A: There’s a lot of bad blood within, and I don’t mean between the members themselves. I mean in the way that they all have bad intentions to begin with. NOTHING has never been a great guy. Kage–we all know about Kage. Grace is something else to be desired… and everyone else in those factions? Let’s just say this isn’t a great time to be on your own. Gang attacks are aplenty… and you know, have you often seen otherwise? When was the last time there was a strong set of fan favorites that teamed up? Even if just to face one of these other evil-intentioned factions. You never see that, really, and I think that’s disappointing. It’s always the want to take over or demolish a place or someone specific and I think that’s a shame.

My Reaction: I’ve never really considered the potential of a mega-babyface faction or how it would work. Gang warfare is traditionally a “bad guy” type of mentality. This could be almost impossible to pull off…sorry, good guys/gals, you’re likely on your own…but, let me ask the question anyway… Q: Have you thought about rallying a group together to fight back?

A: Honestly, no. I don’t know if I’d be ready to be a part of something like that because I’m highly invested in getting back the World Championship. I think that would be too much of my–no, I KNOW that would be too much of my focus and I wouldn’t be as much help to the group as a whole as I would otherwise wish to be.

Q: Laura Seton. From where you started, to where you are today, do you have any regrets about things you’ve said or done in the past, and what’s your current message to the fans out there that believe you are the one true hero of the EWA?

A: Oh, I have a huge regret. SHOOT Project. I don’t know where to start with that. I was brought in as this special blue-chip addition after LEGACY closed and was being pumped up as “the sky is the limit.” I knew SHOOT was different, but I didn’t realize the fans were also a different breed. They aren’t the kind that would watch EWA or another fed based on traditional aspects of this sport, they’re a niche crowd, and I had never been in a violent-heavy organization before. I did what I always did–be kind and give my best wrestling effort, but… … that’s not what those fans wanted.

Q: And that’s when you had the heel turn, and you’ll have to excuse me when I say that I may need a refresher course there..

A: Haha, you may be the only person that doesn’t remember that. I think… well, there’s really no excuse I can come up with about that. I just flat-out flipped out. I was the good person but getting booed? I mean, does that make ANY sense at all?? I see what Entragian and Kenji Yamada were doing and Azrael and Diamond Del Carver did and it’s like, “What’s wrong with all of you??” I said some horrible things and shoved everything those fans loved right back in their collective face. Instead of cheers, I was hated even more and called very nasty names. I stopped caring altogether about them. What I did was wrong and because I acted like that way for almost a year, well, I wish I had never signed there. I was pretty successful there, but that environment just wasn’t for me. But at the time LEGACY closed, it was really SHOOT or nowhere else and I didn’t want to retire just then.

My Reaction: In fairness to Laura’s point, SHOOT fandom was traditionally borderline Rated NC17 types of rabid, bloodthirsty fans. Q: Now you’re this heroine again. What do you say to fans about that?

A: I am SO thankful I’m in their good graces. My guess is EWA fans never watched SHOOT so either my actions there were heard by them second-hand or they watched what I did there well after it all happened. Either they understood what I lost my mind about or they were willing to forgive me Either way, I’m happy I can be the type of person I was born to be instead of this transformed soured witch. If there’s anything too much of in wrestling it’s these people, again like HATE and The Fallout, that have no want to even look at the bright side of things. I can’t beat that into people, but I want everyone in the crowd to know positivity carries you to where you want to go. You have to really want what you set out for, but the last piece to the puzzle is being positive. That’s the overall lesson I hope people take from me. Strive to be good and you’ll reach what you want.

Q: Yet people like Grace Goeren succeed.

A: Heh… well… she’ll get what she deserves soon enough.

I’m going to rattle off a few names, just give us your thoughts on them…I’ve always loved this part of the interview because it gives us the chance to see what the superstars think of each other.

Q: Chris Kage?

A: He gets under your skin so you have to withstand that… he’s unquestionably one of the toughest I’ve ever faced physically. I wouldn’t mind challenging him again.

Q: Alexander Haven?

A: Who’s the boss? That guy, not Angela Bower. Joke aside, we’ll see how he handles things now, but I hope he doesn’t skew things for himself and The Youth. At least he has the chance to back himself up in the ring unlike a number of other fed owners.

My Reaction: Hold the fuck up, Laura. Tony Danza, aka Tony Micelli was the boss. As for his prowess in the ring, unquestioned. Q: You were short earlier when I mentioned him, but I’ll try again, Jaime Alejandro?

A: Next.

My Reaction: LOL Q: What about Alejandro’s new partner in crime, Johnny Napalm?

A: Big son of a gun and you don’t like him when he’s angry. I admit I like seeing him succeed as he’s one of the first guys I feuded with but I hope he can keep that temper controlled or even HATE’s destruction will look like child’s play.

Q: Ray Willmott?

A: You just want to know about the kiss, don’t you?

Q: I just want to know your thoughts on him. Take it as you will.

A: He’s changed since I last saw him. He used to be this bad, “I don’t care” attitude type of guy. He did what he did for himself. And it worked. I run across him now–it’s like a whole different person. Time sure humbled him, but darn if he still can’t excel.

My Reaction: I notice she didn’t actually mention the kiss. 🙁

I’m going to separate these next three because you likely have a particular beef with them at the moment. I’ll start with their leader.

Q: The World Champion, Grace Goeren?

A: I don’t care what her background consists of–well, I do in the sense of no child should be treated like she was–but that doesn’t mean to take shortcuts and act like a brat. Earn it the right way. You want respect from people for once? Try showing some honest class.

My Reaction: Class, from the potty mouth that is Grace Goeren? Good luck with that…she’s even took Sahara and somehow turned her into something of a skank. Q: Elizabeth Gaunt?

A: I’ve known her since LEGACY; Entragian’s sideshow freak woman, so to speak. I give her credit for finally showing the guts to get in the ring. She teased it so often years ago. I just wish she would be on her own for once.

My Reaction: Say what you will, seeing Elizabeth Gaunt slowly spark to life and come out of Isaac’s shadow has been fun to watch, even if she hangs out with the cool kids now. Q: The Combat Champion, Sahara?

A: The same thing here–I wish she would break from The Fallout because I think she could be SO much more alone. I don’t know why, but going into Live From Tokyo I felt this aura around her that she could beat Azrael and sure enough… I don’t know what Marcus has taught her at home but if there was a person to teach this business, it’s him.

My Reaction: Before the Fallout she was 0-4 and getting decimated…and I don’t think she would have beaten Azrael without them. She might now, though. Q: How about Maggie McIntyre?

A: Great young talent and I was really admiring her actions. I was looking forward to seeing her win a Championship and watching her blossom with it but… I don’t know what she’s thinking jumping to HATE. There’s nothing to gain there but a black heart.

My Reaction: Have no fear, Sahara and Maggie will melt each other’s frozen hearts. Q: Anyone else you have any specific thoughts on?

A: I know almost every wrestler says this about the federation they’re in, but this is without question, with only LEGACY rivaling it, the deepest roster of pure wrestling talent I have ever been a part of. And that’s even more amazing considering a number of guys I first crossed paths with over 15 years ago are here and they’re not just part-time, only wrestling at Supershow guys–they still wrestle every single show. As long as you can still move, age means nothing in this sport.

My Reaction: I don’t even think Legacy rivals it at this point, especially with the recent additions of Mephisto and Entragian (which took place AFTER this interview). Final Thoughts: As this interview was delayed for release, some of the information may seem a few weeks old…and that’s because some of it is. That being said, I can’t help but feel Laura Seton is losing faith in her own crusade against the evildoers in the EWA. I hope I’m wrong about that, because the one thing this place cannot afford is to lose one of it’s greatest loners/heroes. I hope she’s just been busy training or something and we start seeing more of her again…don’t lose faith now, Laura…we need you!

The Rag Mag, Volume #10: The Fallout

The Girls of the Fallout.

Here is a bit of Fallout trivia from the depths of EWA creative left on the cutting room floor. Hey, this is a dirt sheet, right? While I’m positive EWA management won’t be happy with this bit of info leaking, I just happen to know that the group wasn’t originally put on paper to be all girls.

Wha?!

I know, right?

Let’s try something. Close your eyes and think about The Fallout and try to picture them any other way. I simply can’t imagine them being anything other than what they are right now. It’s like when you realize Michael J. Fox wasn’t originally cast as Marty McFly in Back to the Future. It was Eric Stoltz. Yes, THAT Eric Stoltz. Now, try to picture Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly…you can’t. Actually, it’s not that you can’t, you just don’t want too. Here, I’ll even show you comparisons of the lost footage:

[FLASH=250,250]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nYvrS-jlcI[/FLASH]

It’s just NOT right, and it has nothing to do with acting prowess. Eric Stoltz is a great actor…he’s just not Marty McFly.

And that’s why THIS — what we have right now — is The Fallout.

They’re like that annoying group of cool kids we all hated in highschool…yet for some reason, we all wanted to be a part of them. Of course, we’d never admit it at the time, and some of us won’t admit it now, but c’mon, you know it. When we look back at life and think of the things we never got to experience because we were too busy focusing on playing by the rules and being good little boys and girls, we feel that tinge of regret.

They were young and having fun while we claimed to be “studying” so we could live a fruitful life (yeah, I took the fruitful life bit from Ferris Bueller) but in reality, most of us were just wasting our time in other ways, such as playing video games or hanging posters of Dragonlance novels on our bedroom walls. Of course, we justified our time wasters as “worthwhile” as opposed to theirs which were partying and having sex.

Hmmm, sex with cool girls or Nintendo (also known as NO-FRIEND-O).

If you said NoFriendO, you’re a fucking liar.

That’s why when we see these formerly cool kids pop up on Facebook, it’s oddly satisfying when they turn out to be losers or not-so-pretty-anymore. C’mon, admit it…there is something great about seeing how sad their lives turned out. And yes, I realize how petty and mean that sounds, but it’s how I feel.

That’s the jealousy kicking in…we’re happy they failed later in life because we recognize that we missed out on a lot of fun before adult responsibilities crept into our lives. And yeah, some of us have found success and are having fun now…such as myself, but when I look back at it, I regret not experiencing some of that “cool kid fun” before I had any real responsibilities.

Let’s be honest, if we could do it all over again and these girls said come hang out with us…would we tell them no?

I don’t know, maybe some of us would take a pass, but I wouldn’t…just to see what it was like to be perceived as cool, if even for a short while.

That’s why when I see The Fallout in the ring, it’s like living it all over again. They’re bullies, they’re mean, they’re hot, and god damn I wanna be invited to the party. And that’s what wrestling is…a way to live vicariously through others. That’s these girls! And they’re telling the world to go fuck itself. They’re basically doing what we all wish we could do…stop caring about everything in life that brings us anxiety, stress, worry, and all the other problems that preoccupy our minds on a daily basis. They do whatever the hell they want, and dammit, I wish I could, too.

Like when I was told, “write up something on The Fallout”, I wanted to say, “Why don’t you write something on the Fallout? I’m busy trying to line up interviews”, but what I actually said was, “Okay.”

The crowd may boo them, but trust me, there is a silent contingency of fans that absolutely adore these girls, flaws and all, and I’m one of them.

And it’s not that they’re three cool kids in their own right…they’re not. It’s that each of their shortcomings is covered up by one of the others that just happens to have an overabundance of that specific trait, and combined, they MAKE each other “cool”.

You got the hip, young, confident kid in Grace Goeren. And she is all that and a bag of chips, whether you admit it or not. Her over-the-top confidence and success at such a young age is awe-inspiring to those of us who wish we could pull it off, especially considering the things she’s overcome to get here. Is she kind of an asshole? Sure…but if we really thought about it, we would be, too if we went through half the shit she did.

Then you got the pretty-pretty princess in Sahara. The eldest of the crew and the girl every other human being looks at and just knows she’s beautiful on a different level. She lived her life in a quiet, mostly conservative manner before letting go and joining The Fallout. She’s the girl everyone just assumes is brimming with confidence only the reality is, she fakes it and like so many of us, wonders if she’ll ever be good enough? Sahara actually represents US in this story, only prettier. Much prettier. Think about it, she’s the one of us that got to travel back in time and join that cool kids crew and “let go”…a chance to do it all over again.

Then you got Elizabeth Gaunt. The edgy kind of “I do what I want and don’t give a shit what you think about me” type that actually doesn’t give a shit what you or anyone else thinks. She brings the attitude and unpredictability to the group and strikes fear into their enemies. She’s a convict, you realize. You don’t wanna mess with her, I know I don’t. But even her insecurities are hidden beneath all that dark makeup and punk-like style. She grew up feeling left-out because of the way she looks or acts, and in the past lashed out to cover it…only now she’s not left out, she’s part of the cool kids crew whether she realizes that or not.

The point is, they each lack something, be it confidence, looks society approves of, a stable foundation, etc…and it’s made up for by the others that do have it.

Combined, they’re the coolest most confident group in the EWA, and without a doubt the greatest all girl faction EVER…but if you were to somehow separate them? Well…I just gave you the blueprint on how to stop them.

And that’s not a slight against the other factions in the EWA, either. But there is no other group as cohesive as these three (or four, if you add in Duane Gates). I don’t think a single match or segment has occurred where they haven’t helped each other, or at least tried to help. You see, the other factions in the EWA don’t have the separation anxiety issues The Fallout girls most definitely have. And therein lies the rub. In that weakness lies their strength. They’re so afraid to be apart from one another, they’re almost ALWAYS together.

Again, not a slight on them, but if you separate Dredd or Calder from HATE, or Kage from The Youth, they’re still scary-as-fuck competitors…whereas if you separate one of the Fallout girls, I’m not saying they’re useless by any means, but their weaknesses begin to shine.

I ADORE these girls.

Now…is there any way to pay off EWA creative and somehow trade Maggie to the Fallout? Holy fucking shit would she be awesome with them. Oh well, a guy can dream, right? At least they gave us a glimpse into that dream when Maggie and Sahara met on the last show…please, please, please don’t let that be the only time they’re together. PLEASE.

To paraphrase Goodfellas, “It was a glorious time…and factions were EVERYWHERE.”

It truly is an amazing time to be a fan of the EWA.

Now, EWA management — give me some damn interviewees!

The Rag Mag, Volume #9: An Interview with Jaime Alejandro

Before I begin, kids…I’d like to give something of a modern writing lesson because I’ve noticed a habit of a bygone era still remains with quite a few of you. The only reason people ever used two spaces after a period was because of monospaced typewriter fonts which made sentence endings look compressed and harder to read. Since the advent of computers and proportional fonts, it is no longer necessary to use two spaces after a period, and is actually frowned upon.

And no, it wasn’t a big deal to find and replace with . 😉 I’m just saying…stop doing it.

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2011/01/space_invaders.html
http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/two-spaces-after-a-period

Ok, now that we’ve got that out of the way I have a few words for some of you anonymous members of EWA that have been waiting on me to interview you. It’s not often I break promises with people, so I’m sure this interview may upset a few of you, but this opportunity fell into my lap and I decided I’d take it.

To those of you the Rag Mag has promised to interview, I haven’t forgotten, and now that we’re back in business, contact me and we’ll sit down and get it done if you’re ready to do so.

Now, with that little disclaimer out of the way, let’s get down to brass tacks…Jaime Alejandro. The Iron Saint. After going on an extended hiatus, I was afraid that was the last time we would see the Saint in action, and though we’ve heard rumblings over the months, I never actually expected a full time return to the ring…but it looks like that’s exactly what we got!

To those of you who may not be familiar with Alejandro, which means you’ve likely been living in a cave with anti-wrestling shielding over it, Alejandro is one of the truly great storytellers of this generation.

So, ladies and gents, without further ado … I give you Jaime Alejandro.

Q: You’ve been around a LONG time, and no, that wasn’t meant to be some sort of age joke. It’s more of a compliment in the wars you’ve seen and the battles you’ve waged. Do you see a difference between the SHOOT Project we all knew and loved and the EWA in it’s present form?

A: I honestly do. But wrestling as a whole has changed with our times. The world when I was in SHOOT was much more politically incorrect. The current environment is much more correct, to be honest. SHOOT in 2009 couldn’t survive in today’s environment. Yes, EWA has shocking and provocative stories. But, it’s smarter. As such, I’ve had to become smarter, as well.

Those who do not adapt to the times are doomed to fall by the wayside. It happened to the Hierarchy, as you’ve eloquently stated in this article many times. They couldn’t adapt, and now it’s splintered. I wanted to do something different now than I did in SHOOT.

As you know, Sex and Violence was something of a joke between myself and Dan. But he and John made it a hell of a team. And today, here we are again.

Fifteen years in this business. I turn thirty-nine this November, and I don’t plan on going to the retirement home without gold and platinum. But, EWA now. Very exciting times. Just know that I’m Reddington, and I have a Blacklist in the company…

My Reaction: Couldn’t agree more, I often attribute SHOOT Project, before it’s current serialized incarnation (which I hope returns sometime soon) to an attitude era style of wrestling. That said, by no means is the EWA PG era nonsense, this place is like taking all the eras and throwing them into a blender and whatever flies out the top that day is what you get. That said, as of late, I cannot help but feel that edgier more hardcore attitude feel creeping back into the everyday product. Q: You have quite the history with a few of the girls from around SHOOT Project and the EWA, and while these might be personal questions, could you give us any details on the one known as Tanya Black?

A: Plenty of details, really. But, she has been a frenemy for longer than I have been in love with her. In fact, all of the “bad girl” image that you’ve seen on TV is a bit of a fallacy. Tanya is actually one of the more the angelic people you’ll ever meet. But, I did leave an invitation with you. And yes, I know who you are for the invite. But, I also obey some laws of kayfabe. So, I’m not telling anyone.

However, Tanya and I met during a bad period I had with someone. And I’ll admit, I wasn’t a good person around that time. The stress of owning a business and a bad relationship took its toll. And I’ll admit to you and to God… Yes, I cheated. But I also admitted to my family what I did. My mother knocked the shit out of me for a month…

But while Tanya and I were screwing, the other person was off on one of her dalliances. So, I ask you… Even if I cheated? Is it such when being abandoned. Tanya and I aren’t perfect. But we’re perfect enough for each other to get married. Will you see her at ringside? No. But she supports me one hundred percent. And with her behind me, I’m gonna take on the world.

My Reaction: I’ll sum up my feelings after the next response, as the questions are somewhat related. Q: And what about the now former two-time EWA World Heavyweight Champion, Laura Seton?

A: Outside of a promo, this will the most attention I will give her. Laura isn’t the person she claims to be on television. That “wholesome” image is as fake as Alyssa Marie’s chest. Fun to look at, but still enhanced and hard to focus on. Laura is unmarried because she’s not a friendly person outside of TV. She’s good at acting and broadcasting. But, much like Erin Andrews. False positivity.

As far as what’s happening to her in EWA. Very much Karma. Much like her life. She’s never the bride, always the bridesmaid. And it’s not surprising about how fast she’s losing the title. She’s adapted, yes. But not in the right way. The vicious streak she has is the real her. The spiteful, hate filled dynamo is the real Laura Seton. And let’s put it to a test… See how she interacts around children at a signing.

You notice she keeps to boards and mediums. That’s because she truly hates human contact. But hurting a human being, that’s always easy. And that’s Laura in a nutshell.

My Reaction: Both of these answers were much more candid than I figured they’d be. I was expecting a heavy dose of sugarcoat to go along with these responses, but I got the exact opposite. Especially in regard to Laura Seton, and while this was just one man making a statement, I’ve never seen Laura as anything other than what she presents herself as. I wonder what Seton would have to say to this? Q: As I stated earlier, you’ve been around for quite a few years and I’m not sure if you were friends or enemies with Marcus Mirage, but throughout the years you must have run into Sahara at some point…is her sudden change surprising to you? Did she ever say anything to you in the past?

A: In the ring, Marcus and I were enemies. Outside of it, we’re probably two of the better friends you could ever be around. I met Lauren a few times backstage. She was quiet and unassuming. We’ve actually talked. And this is something that people don’t know about Lauren…

She’s the smartest person in the room. I can speak to you in this eloquent manner which gives away my Oxford education. Lauren can actually keep up with me, intellectually….

My Reaction: I know for a fact Jaime has been exposed to Sahara in the past as he and Mirage ran in the same circles for many years, and every so often she’d visit, but not in a performer capacity. All the boys knew her (no, not in that way you perverts), and pretty much liked her. I’ve also heard she’s the one behind a LOT of Mirage’s lines, ideas, etc., so this may not be far off base. Q: She had some not so choice words for you and Johnny Napalm at the last Battlelines, did you both take note she literally went out of her way to make sure to notify you that you were both on The Fallouts radar, and did that surprise you?

A: It did not. Lauren is wanting to fit into this persona she has. This right hand of Grace Goeren. The lady of Pain. The problem with The Fallout, is that I can see right through all of them. Duane Gates is the proverbial Rah’s al Ghul of the group. He controls the puppets.

Grace is the Talia, the prodigal daughter. The one to bring the mad plans to order. She’s the poison pill to his plan. HATE wasn’t enough for him. They’re not under his control. So, Grace is the wrecking ball.

Liz and Sahara are her hands. Her guides. They keep her on course. Both women are intelligent enough to guide her. Liz is demented but smart. Lauren is very smart on her own accord.

They see John and I as a threat, and rightfully so. As I said earlier, I’m Reddington. And the Fallout is on my Blacklist.

My Reaction: A Batman and a Blacklist reference all in one response! I love it. It wasn’t lost on me that he answered this way given Sahara’s recent sacrifice of her husband Mirage to Grace and the Fallout. Go back and watch the show, kids…Sahara literally apes Batman’s final line to Ra’s al Ghul when she tells Mirage, “You know I’d never hurt you, my love…but I don’t have to save you, either.” Chilling stuff…and as for how he views The Fallout, it’s hard to disagree with his assessment of them. This also shows Jaime has a penchant for noticing little details and paying attention to them…and if you knew anything about a man as meticulous as that, it should frighten you.[/i] Q: So, Red Reddington, what exactly is your connection with Johnny Napalm and how did you come together in the EWA?

A: Napalm and I first met in Deep Ellum as kids. I moved about two hours way to San Antonio, for reference. I’m a few years apart from John But, we went different ways after school. He went into wrestling, of course. I went to the Army. And he went around through the NYSWF and the original EWA.

I went to NAFW in 2001, as one of the older rookies. I started in the National Wrestling Council, prior that year. But people forget rookie years conveniently. We both saw gold when we were younger. But it seemed I’ve been the one that people talk about a bit more.

We met up again in SHOOT, but we were in different parts of the spectrum. Yet, we both were kept away from the championship scene. It seems the Johnsons were a bit more in favor with those who played nice with the office. And we didn’t. So, in a way… Napalm, Mason Pierce, and I laid the foundation for ORION.

But I went away in my coma, and Mason took the ORION Syndicate as a group. Yet, after it was all over… We founded Orion Promotions. Napalm was one of the first few signees there. But as even Mirage would say, the money ran out. And I answered why in the previous question about Laura…

But Napalm and I have known each other for way too long, and we might actually trust each other enough.

My Reaction: A bit of a history lesson for you people who STILL don’t know who Jaime Alejandro is. Q: Seeing as how fast the EWA is suddenly moving, how on fire the promotion seems to be, do you think Napalm has what it takes to keep up? Around every corner there’s a member of HATE or The Fallout, all looking to make an impact at a moments notice just to keep themselves in the spotlight. You honestly think he’s ready for this?

A: He needs to evolve from this God of Violence. It’s all fine and well. But against these groups, you have to be smarter. Even you, with your writing, have called me “The Surgeon of Wrestling.” John is a sledgehammer. Unabashedly, John is a hard hitter. But he’s also not getting any younger.

When I agreed to team up with him, it came with the agreement that he would adapt some parts of himself. Slowly, I’m trying to get all of the anger out of him. The reason being… If Johnny isn’t angry, what weapon does HATE have left. If Johnny isn’t angry, then what could The Fallout push against him.

John needs to learn how to take away the obvious targets from his detractors. We know he is still a dangerous man. He’s an old man in a young man’s sport. And he’s still going. I’d say that makes him dangerous.

My Reaction: I’ve always said Napalm was dangerous, something bubbling up beneath the surface that he just keeps bottled up. I hope with his exposure to Jaime Alejandro he learns to uncork it and use that pent up anger to do some good around this place. Q: Let’s shift the focus to Jaime Alejandro for a moment. You’ve been on hiatus for quite some time, and frankly, most of us expected that was it. You were gone forever. What exactly brought you back to the EWA? Something had to have caught your eye.

A: I’m going to be insouciant about my answers. But the first thing I saw… Michael Draven made the deal with the Devil. And his angel traded the deal. She sold her soul. And now, she gets to live with abandonment and being disowned again. To be blunt, Jada Kaine was right.

Later, I saw the declaration of Grace Goeren. And Duane Gates crowing that he would destroy what he created. But Gates is a typical small man. A man who thinks the creation can only live if he lives. But this is not true. This is why I will see the Fallout fail. And I will make it fail. Because a vision held to one person is not a vision. It’s a cult of personality. And those fail.

Much like Boden said about HATE, as well. Boden is a nut. But mentally disabled people tell the truth. There’s no pretention. It may be the same old HATE. Same as it ever was. No changes from the formula. Kill the Harbinger, and the Pillars fall. Kill the Queen, and the King cannot move.

For those who say this ain’t chess. You’re dead wrong. This very much is chess. And I can’t give away all of my moves, friend. Just know I have a lot of them… With that, friend. I’ll take my leave. See you at the wedding.

My Reaction: I have to say, Maggie selling out was great television. It’s just another feather in the cap of the EWA with how well they’re spinning all these different stories and the tendrils of those stories are touching other areas of the EWA in a way that let’s the wrestlers intermix a LOT more than we’ve seen in the past. The worst thing a promotion can do is tie up a couple of wrestlers in a long-term program where they have little interaction with others. Maggie is now tied in with HATE, as well as The Youth, and I’m sure if the Fallout ever saw an opening to take a shot across the bow, they would. Then again, it’d be interesting to see how far the Fallout take this girl power stuff? How cool would it be to see them try to recruit Maggie away from HATE?

The Rag Mag, Volume #8: Return of the Rag

Greetings, bitches…last you heard from me I had sent warning that change was upon us.

And my, oh my what a difference a week…or a month…or more than that can make. Yes, I’ve been getting complaints asking about the next Rag Mag from some executives over at EWA headquarters…but I’m not quite sure they understand what I do here.

Yea, yea, I praise what I think is amazing…but I’m also not afraid to tear someone asunder that I think sucks.

Like I did with the Hierarchy. 😉

Anyway, let’s have at it. Last we spoke, The Youth were on top of the world (though some could argue they still are, they’d be wrong, but they could argue it), HATE were rising, Duane Gates was eating…and that’s about it.

Well, ok, a lot more was going on, but so much of it was just simmering beneath the surface we didn’t see it coming.

Since then, a new faction of killer bitches call The Fallout have emerged, Maggie McIntyre made a vicious turn by siding with Indrid Calder, Sean fuckin’ Boden returned…and holy hell, even Jaime Alejandro is back in action, resurrecting Sex and Violence!

We got a new slew of champions, from Alexander Haven winning the Combat Championship, to The Vice Squad making tag-team wrestling NOT suck again, and NOTHING carrying the Network strap…

Oh, speaking of titles, it seems the EWA wised up a bit and got rid of that…what was that one title? The second town on the left from the Atlantic coast championship? I mean, seriously, what was that? Was that like being the champion of 50 square miles of some coastal region nobody knows exists?!

See what I mean by I don’t hold back, EWA?

Careful what you wish for.

Ok, jokes aside, there is soooo much to talk about, kids…but so little time!

First and foremost, let’s get this out of the way. I’ve been busy…if you know me behind the scenes of the EWA (and you likely do), you know I have a bit of pet project going on with that company…and it tends to take up much more time today than it did a few months ago while I was filling gaps in my sad and lonely life by writing up dirt sheets.

Now that we have that out of the way, let me start with some low hanging fruit on this tree of dirt…FACTIONS. Starting with Grace Goeren and The Fallout. It’s rare in wrestling that a promotion puts this much faith into a group of people that basically allows them to uproot the foundation of the company and run wild for a bit…it’s classic heel heat booking at it’s finest, and I have no idea why it’s become a lost art. But after months of “coming together”, the final piece of the puzzle was put into place and The Fallout was created…and in a single night, Grace Goeren went from promising to change the landscape of the EWA … to actually changing the landscape of the EWA by cashing in and winning the EWA title. Oh, and about that cash in…FUCKING BRILLIANT BOOKING. After the big Sahara vampire spectacle and Grace introducing the Fallout, I figured they were done. That was a BIG moment on the show.

So let me highlight the brilliance of this in case you missed it…because that’s what I do. I point out shit you missed because I’m smart and you are not.

1) Going into Tokyo, we were ALL skeptical about Grace being left off the Tokyo card. It made me instantly assume she was going to cash in that night. Until…

2) Until Sahara joined Grace and Grace created the Fallout by cutting that scathing promo with Duane Gates. Or “Daddy” as the girls call him. Seriously.

3) Duane Gates is a lucky motherfucker. No, that has nothing to do with this list of bullet points…but seriously, it had to be said. His job is to literally talk shit and have Sahara, Gaunt and Grace drape themselves all over him. Think about your job right now in comparison.

4) BECAUSE of that Fallout/Vampire moment with Azrael Goeren, I was convinced I now understood why Grace had been left off the card…because they were using her to create The Fallout.

5) Which leads to the cash in I NO LONGER saw coming…

6) Fucking. Brilliant. Booking.

Now, back to the Factions…

The EWA seems to understand how to build factions — well, aside from the Hierarchy — and they made that clear by developing 3 UNIQUE monster factions in The Youth, HATE, and now The Fallout. And when I say monster, no, I don’t mean a group of ghouls and goblins, I mean monsters as in the fans are going to go bat shit over them.

But the uniqueness of these factions are what make them so brilliant.

The Youth – This classic frat style collection of assholes was booked SO well against HATE that they somehow went from being, well…a group of frat boy/sorority girl assholes to sympathetic babyfaces over the course of a few months time and hot damn if it didn’t sneak up on me. After witnessing some of the heinous dungeons and dragons shit HATE pulled on them I was all like, “COME ON YOUTH, KICK THEIR DASTARDLY ASSES!” Which gave me pause…because I was all like, “What the fuck?! Am I seriously rooting for The Youth?!”

Well, I WAS rooting for the Youth. Damn you, EWA for making me actually like The Youth, by the way…very sneaky.

Now, think about that for a moment…one of the hardest parts about wrestling is creating GOOD babyfaces. One’s we actually WANT to see win because it makes our miserable lives better when they do. Why? Because everybody wants to be the heel, and the only problem with that is not many are actually good at being a heel (yes, it’s true). And there are so few Laura Seton’s out there that getting a group like The Youth, Ray Willmott, Napalm, and others to look like GENUINE babyfaces isn’t exactly easy. And hell, I’m not even sure Napalm wants to be a babyface, but guess what, brother…you are.

If you took the EWA right now and lined everyone up and asked a random collection of fans to point out the “bad guys”…guess what, people? They’re pointing at members of HATE and The Fallout.

Period.

Which brings me to HATE – A bad ass collection of ghouls and goblins…wait. Stop a second. Didn’t I JUST say these monster factions WEREN’T a collection of ghouls and goblins? Well, this one kind of is. And Maggie rounds them out in a VERY WEIRD but amazing way, it’s hard to articulate exactly what I mean. You just have to see them together to “get it”. It has an oddly evil charm to it…and her interactions with Indrid Calder are just amazing.

And that’s not to leave out Crippler, NOTHING or Dredd…it’s just that these factions are so badass as a whole that it’s hard to devote the writing time each member deserves.

Did I say these badasses were bad ass? Well, consider this for a moment. HATE came in and were SO good at being bad, they made The Youth look like sympathetic heroes.

Seriously…consider that. That’s how MONSTROUS they are.

And then we have the Fallout. An all girl faction (well, almost all girls…their manager is a guy — a VERY lucky guy — but the actual wrestlers are girls). They compete at a VERY high level, and they make me want to be alone in a room whenever they’re on The Network. Yeah, ok, I get off on that fangoria stuff. That visual of Sahara with blood dripping down her face/shirt and spitting that cloud of blood in the air at Tokyo…

WOW! It was like gore porn. Which I sincerely hope isn’t a thing…I was simply using my witty repertoire of wordsmithing to be funny.

But seriously, that visual is etched in my memory…it was an amazing moment, and it was made even better by Liz Gaunt dancing in the bloody mist like a merry little girl that literally used the blood of a Goeren to wrap herself in joy.

So, why do we all love the Fallout so much?! Well, we don’t…they’re kind of bitches…but holy damn if they’re not a young mans wet dream. They’re sexy, they’re bloody, they’re mean as hell, and most of all, they’re backing it up in the ring.

And this is what I meant by the EWA doing factions SO well.

They’re not simply using these girls as eye candy as you might expect them to do. No. These girls are legit contenders and their power seems to grow by the day…but what I love most about them?! THEY’RE FLAWED AS HELL. Even now, Sahara is unsure of herself behind the scenes, Gaunt plays up the giddy gore whore but you can tell she’s “off” just a tick without Issac around, and Grace is so outwardly loud about how awesome she is, you know there is a scared little girl lingering right beneath the surface.

There is so much going on in the EWA outside of these factions I wish I had all day to write about each individual wrestler, from Dietrich to Alejandro and Napalm…but the factions are just sucking up the oxygen right now.

My oh my, look at that, time is short…so let me quickly touch on the emergence of Ray Willmott…rising from the ashes of the Hierarchy, Ray Willmott has come back in a HUGE way. Now one of the federations top babyfaces vying for the World Title, and deservedly so, Ray finds himself rising to the top in an environment swimming with very dangerous creatures that tend to swim in schools. How he’s going to tip-toe through this mine field should be fun to watch.

Oh what a grand time to a fan of the EWA…you have so many ESTABLISHED stars that can compete against each other…this almost feels like a resurrection of the era of attitude to me…it’s vulgar, it’s a bloody mess…it’s violent as hell…and I’m LOVING every second of it.

And then there’s Laura Seton.

Poor Laura Seton.

For weeks we’ve had to watch her get beat down by the lovely ladies of the Fallout, most often 3 on 1…and what does our heroine do?! She keeps coming back for them. Reminds me of that scene in Rocky II where Apollo’s trainer told him something along the lines of, “I’ve never seen a man get beaten that badly…and he KEPT … COMING … FOR … YOU. Now we don’t need a man like that in our lives…”

That’s Laura Seton.

Right here.

Right now.

That’s her.

She just keeps coming.

Of course, she keeps getting beaten into the ground by Grace, Gaunt and Sahara, but the fact is, with every passing second that the Fallout get hotter (heat baby, heat), the MORE we fans clamor to see Seton get her revenge.

Oh, and that Megabomb/Backstabber combo Sahara and Grace have used on our hero? I’m just saying, that’s an AWESOME move. The EWA should go social media interactive with that and have the fans name that move…unless they already did name it? Like I said, I’ve been busy!

I can say this much about Laura Seton. When she finally get’s her hands on Sahara or Grace — by themselves — the roof is going to blow off that place…and I’m sure as hell going to be there to see it.

Ok, times up for now, kids…RAG ON!

The Rag Mag, Volume #7: Path of the Warrior

The Winds of Change.

I’m back, folks! Took a little break from the EWA to write a column focusing on SHOOT Project (because, you know, other wrestling DOES exist), and it’s been quiet around here for a bit while the big man took a much needed vacation…so it’s time to drum up some noise, HATE dirt, or whatever you want to call it.

As hinted in the column title, the winds of change are upon us. Look around. You can feel it. You can see it. Over the past few months the Hierarchy has crumbled into dust, Sinnocence was usurped as the World Heavyweight Champion, and the pivotal summer season is upon us. And make no mistake, the summer session has always played a pivotal role in the world of entertainment wrestling.

Did you catch my not-so-subtle attempt to poke fun at the EWA right there? If not, me pointing it out should do the trick. You don’t have to tell me you’re an entertainer, Cedric, if you entertain me it’s kind of implied.

The Winds of Change.

Don’t look now, Youth, but you’re following in the footsteps of the Hierarchy. You just haven’t admitted it yet. Huh?! I can already see the comments section filling up with Youth marks talking about how they’re the most powerful faction in the EWA. That may be…but the Youth I see today is a shell of what it was even a month ago. They’re phoning it in at this point because they’ve grown overconfident in themselves. Out with the old…in with the new. HATE has risen…and as the prophetic Indrid Calder warned our beloved blue eyed angel, Sahara, alliances are forming. We now have The Institute, Goeren and Goeren (not sure what else to call them), and I’m sure we’re not done yet. I see a grand faction war looming on the horizon of the EWA, and this time I’m hopeful we actually get the war we’re being promised as we head toward Path of the Warrior. Oh, and I’m not discounting The Youth, either…I just think they’re bored.

So, being that this is the EWA’s summer classic…I’m going to give my predictions on what will surely go down as a PPV supershow to remember!

Some of you will NOT like what I have to say about some of these matches…so if that means you’ll turn into a little bitch and never do an interview with me…too bad for The Rag Mag, I guess. Consider that my disclaimer.

Shaun Sinclair v Indrid Calder. I’m going to go with Indrid Calder on this one…they’re both backed by a rather powerful faction, so neither gains an upper hand with that, and taking nothing away from the faster more athletic Shaun Sinclair, I just feel greater momentum behind Calder right now.

Alyssa Marie Haven v Maggie McIntyre. I’m going with Maggie McIntyre, because I not so secretly loves her. And I don’t loves Alyssa Marie Haven.

NOTHING v Grace Goeren v Martin Robinson. I don’t know what it is, but some of this card seems disjointed. Half of the people listed are in what seems like 7 matches in 2 nights. ANYWAY…I’m going to say Grace Goeren wins this and walks out of PotW as Network Champion because NOTHING and Robinson will be so busy focusing on each other, they’re going to forget about Grace. I’d recommend not forgetting about Grace.

Kilminster vs X-Calibur. I think X-Calibur is done…not sure what’s going on with him as of late, but I’d be surprised if he even showed up. Kilminster may very well win the tapout title without so much as throwing a punch here. I hope I’m wrong…because when this was originally scheduled, I remember thinking…WOW…that’s going to be a killer match between two bonafide ring generals. Also, it’s cute that the EWA continues to promote the Hierarchy all over this card with these w/The Hierarchy as if they’re still a thing.

Stop trying to make the Hierarchy happen, EWA…IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

Johaurgen Johanssoen v Draven. This is what I mean by disjointed. What’s with all the double bookings? I’m going to give this to Draven by default because of experience reasons. Also, I don’t really know who Jurgen Johanssen yet…I mean, I know who he is, but you know what I mean.

Grady Smith v Alexander Haven. I’m going to give this one to Haven…but I’ll openly admit it’s just a hopeful guess. If you haven’t watched the promo Deja Vu 2…I highly recommend it. The flashback makes me want to see Haven win, just seems like poetic justice.

The Vice Squad v The Latino Powers. I’m thinking the Latino Powers retain the titles here because I’m not sure I fucking care. The Latino Powers seem to be at least trying to get something going here, but they’re working against nothing to this point. And not NOTHING the wrestler. Did anyone catch that scathing Sahara promo Path of Anger? If you ask me, she has every right to be mad as hell. We don’t get to see our beloved Ice Warrior but we get to see this.

Draven v Robertson. This should be a title match…it’s a fucking PPV supershow. I’m not sure they want us to call them PPVs anymore. That being said, too close to call. Robertson and Draven are both superstars in the EWA, and deservedly so…I just wish there was more at stake. There’s some old school feelings bubbling to the surface in regard to this one but it seems undersold by the fact the outcome of the match is rather meaningless.

Dredd v Calder. Wow…as much as I love Calder, I just don’t see him beating Dredd in this. And before you HATE marks jump on me, let me explain. I think this match sucks. No, not because I hate Dredd or Calder, or think they don’t match up well, but because IF PotW unfolds as I predict it will, Calder will have been overbooked by virtue of him defeating Shaun Sinclair. IF that comes to pass, I think Calder will phone this one in specifically because the PotW final becomes a far more important fight for both Calder and HATE, and he’s going to save as much as he can for THAT match, which takes place AFTER this match. Which, by proxy, means this match suffers.

Napalm v Dietrich. Talk about a feud with some long beautiful legs on it (yes, that’s a wine reference, I’m SOOOO not talking about Johnny or Johan’s legs)…and finally it takes place a cage, where neither can escape…unnecessarily wrapped in barbed wire. Remember when you heard steel cage back in the day and you were like, holy shit…somebody might die! Oh well, move on, old man at the Rag Mag…let them have their fucking barbed wire if that’s what they want! Ok fine! I’ll let this one go and chalk it up to me being old. My prediction for this one is … ready for it?! Napalm wins. I think he found whatever he was looking for in that match against Sahara…he needs to stop taking things so lightly and return to being the killer he is. I think him FINALLY not waiting until the night before a show to cut a promo shows he’s waking up.

Grace v Calder. As you can see, I went with how I predicted this show would unfold Calder advancing…and WOW what a match this would be. Oh, and I’m not taking anything away from Shaun Sinclair…if he somehow proves me wrong, Sinclair v Calder will be just as amazing…but come on, everyone, Grace Goeren is sizzling hot right now. I think she sweeps PotW, becomes Network Champion AND defeats Calder in what should be a five star match. I cannot wait to see this one, no matter who advances, be it Calder or Sinclair. Oh, and neither changes my prediction. I think Grace Goeren wins it either way.

Crippler v Willmott. Here we go with the EWA still trying to make the Hierarchy happen again. w/ The Hierarchy my ass. Even when the Hierarchy actually existed Mr. Red Hot wasn’t with the Hierarchy in anything but name. That said, I think Crippler wins this, because honestly HATE is on the rise. But to be fair, Willmott has been on fire as of late and the best thing that’s happened to him was the destruction of the Hierarchy. It seems to have set him free to be himself again. While I’m leaning toward Crippler because of his affiliation with HATE at the moment…this is a tough one to call. I think it’ll be an amazing match given the I Quit stipulation, because I don’t see any quit in either of these men.

Seton v Azrael [w/ The Hierarchy] v Kage for the World Heavyweight Title. This is going to be an amazing match. This match has that aura surrounding it that it can become one of those transcendent matches you can show a non wrestling fan and even they’d be like…”FUCK YES THAT WAS AWESOME!” This is a show stopping main event and I honestly can’t even guess who might win this. All three deserve to be in this…but dammit, I said I’d give my predictions, so here it is. I predict…drum roll please…I predict Laura Seton does it again and steals this match from Az and Kage to become the NEWWWWW EWA World Heavyweight Champion.

So there you have it, folks…those are my unvarnished predictions and thoughts on this supershow they’re calling Path of the Warrior…anything you disagree with feel free to comment on…otherwise go fuck yourselves. To all my loyal Rag Mag readers, I hope you enjoyed this Path of the Warrior edition!

The Rag Mag, Volume #6: The SHOOT Project

“What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”

Today, I’ve decided to delve into one of the most intriguing storylines within the confines of SHOOT Project and professional wrestling as a whole. The serialized wrestling show that contains everything from wrestling, to mystery…to murder. Yes, murder. A bloodbath of a spectacle, it’s not to be missed…and honestly, it’s not a three hour show or anything like that…so if you have a little time, give it a watch. Consider it research because you never know who from SHOOT Project might show up in the EWA and visa versa…

While there are many hot feuds, storylines, and an amazing overall story arc hovering above the entire federation known as SHOOT Project, there is one particular story I happen to know quite a bit about, and have been engrossed by…because I remember watching it at it’s inception. It all started in the late 1990’s, nearly twenty years ago. Yes, I was but a young “smark” at the time, but my eyes were glued to the television every monday night…and if you were alive and a wrestling fan back then, so were yours.

Many of the names you find familiar today, such as Cronos Diamante or Marcus Mirage, or at least have heard of in some regard, were once a bunch of kids trying their damnedest at grabbing that brass ring. This particular group, which consisted of far more names than just those two, quickly came to the realization that there was no brass ring to grab…so they created their own. The industry had caught fire, seemingly overnight, and was shooting through the sky like a blazing meteor that almost nobody could keep up with.

The industry found itself in transition, and these kids were the first to take it from side-show clown acts with one silly gimmick after the next to the real, as I’ve come to call it. Wrestling used to be an embarrassing comedy of sorts…but when these kids came out, we stopped laughing at them…and started laughing with them. The drama had suddenly started spilling over into real life, and what we witnessed was amazing.

Keep in mind this all started during what we now refer to as the ‘attitude era’ of professional wrestling. Big tits, lots of skin, middle fingers, sex, blood and hardcore violence were the makeup of the landscape. It was the advent of the crucifixion or other biblical stories come to life in the squared circle, and the death defying stunts were performed live…only not by stuntmen, but wrestlers…or relatives of wrestlers. Yes, I’m referring to the one and only EWA superstar Sahara being thrown off a jumbotron, crashing through the stage with little to no training, and even less regard for herself or her future. Because that was the way of things back then. They were breaking barriers so you could sit there and read this today.

It was all meant to be fun…

And then this new version of SHOOT Project came around and people started dying.

Years ago, a bit of sad story occurred in our beloved sport when Cronos Diamante, known best friend of Marcus Mirage, went through a bit of a tragedy. And when I say a bit, what I really mean is his life was changed forever. While away on a trip, not sure if it was wrestling related or otherwise, his house caught fire and when the smoke cleared, they found his wife and child. I need not say in what condition, I think you get the picture. I’d like to not dwell on this sad fact as to turn this piece into an obituary, but those are the facts, people. Plain and simple. Sadder still, was the fact that Cronos secretly blamed his best friend for this incident for many years before discovering the true story of what had occurred.

Enter Erik Boyer. A name long forgotten within the confines of professional wrestling. A name once ruined by the one and only Cronos Diamante when he architected a career ending series of manipulating moves that got perennial world champion OutKast to end Boyer’s wrestling career. Most of you wouldn’t know this, but Boyer was a rising star that got snuffed out by this specific series of moves back then, and it essentially killed his blooming career.

Something Boyer apparently did not forget, even if we all did.

Why’d it happen? Well, my best guess is because they were a bunch of kids just trying their best…and sometimes there’s collateral damage that slips through the cracks and gets lost along the way. Boyer was one of the few that got lost…while the rest of them moved onward and upward and had glorious careers in the ring.

Anyway, many years passed without word from Erik Boyer. As far as we were concerned, the sun had set on his career and he had disappeared. Not a moment was spent thinking about him. Not by myself…not by anyone. But unknown to all, was that Boyer had been meticulously crafting a revenge plot that all started with the murder of Cronos’s family…which he then let lie for many years before striking again. You think your plot that lasts a few weeks is meticulously planned? Try having the patience Erik Boyer displayed and try it over the span of decade. And now, all of this is coming to its apex within the confines of the new era SHOOT Project.

Cronos Diamante vs Erik Boyer.

Let me ask you EWA guys something…have any of you seen Mirage lately? No? Well, if you tuned into SHOOT Project you’d see why. As Mirage is the final link Cronos has to anything resembling a real friendship, he became embroiled in the quickly escalating murder rampage…and last we saw, Mirage had around a day left to live unless Cronos could do something about it.

INSANE. I know, right? Stakes that high in wrestling?! Like I said, SHOOT Project ain’t for the meek…they’re doing things you’ve never seen before.

So, enough about that, it’s not like those shows aren’t available on-demand…so go fucking watch them. I promise, you won’t be sorry. Stories like this and many others, not to mention the amazing superstars like Kenji Yamada, Isaac Entragian, Dan Stein and the others previously mentioned star on the show. And that brings me to now…in the recent days, I caught up with the one and only Cronos Diamante himself to talk about some of this. How this all went from fun to real…and how SHOOT Project is changing the wrestling world.


Q: Thanks for taking the time to talk about this…I can only imagine the rage you feel, the thirst for revenge for all that occurred. Do you find it at all ironic that the revenge you now seek is in retaliation for the revenge that Erik Boyer took out on your friends and family over these past years all designed to get back at you?

A: My life is beset by irony of late. The man who Erik Boyer is right now in many respects used to be me. So to say I find irony in the situation I find myself in is a severe understatement. I could sit here and tell you I played a very small part in what happened to Erik Boyer in the end but that would be a lie. I manipulated him into becoming the monster he is today and I won’t shirk from that responsibility. I own that. As for the rage and thirst for revenge, I won’t deny that my thoughts of late have been dark and consumed by an anger I’ve felt only once before in my life. Although it’s worse now, having lost almost everything and everyone dear to me. There isn’t a word for what I feel.

My Reaction: As a person that’s followed the career of Cronos Diamante for over a decade, you can feel it in his words the damage that’s been done. Q: For a story that’s something around twenty years in the telling, is it true that you and Boyer were once friends, or is that merely rumor?

A: We were practically family. Set aside all the hatred, ill-will and revenge on both our parts in the current and you’d find that I legitimately was trying to help Erik Boyer become a superstar in this industry when I found him. I’ve never been one to care about wins, losses and championship belts but I know for most people in this industry that’s paramount. I saw talent in Boyer. Top-end talent. I tried to teach him and guide him to the top. For a time I did. He became a World Champion of The SHOOT Project in Japan. Obviously my hatred for OutKast at the time sullied that effort and transformed Erik into something vile and sinister. I won’t ever forgive myself for what I’ve done to men like Erik Boyer. He’s not the only one but he is the toughest case. But honestly… what most don’t see is how hard I am on myself for every decision I make and of all the decisions I’ve made… The ones that have turned bad, I’m hardest on myself for what happened to him. I just… I set that aside now, ya know? The man killed my family. He killed one of my best friends. No matter how bad I feel and how hard I am on myself for it, it doesn’t feel like it matters any longer. I may have pushed him in this direction but he has to be stopped before I’m the next one in the ground and he moves on to other people he finds guilty of making him a cripple for such an elongated period of time and for making him a lesser man. Making him not whole.

My Reaction: Wherever you are in life…if things are good, bad or otherwise, realize they’re doing to change, and not necessarily for the better. So enjoy what you have while you have it…and if what you have sucks at the moment, do know that in time, all will change. You can feel the regret in his words, and you can’t help but get an ominous sense that when all said and done…the outcome won’t be good. Q: This may be a hard one to answer, but I’m going to ask it anyway. What did you feel after you found out about what happened to your family, only to realize that years later, the man you had blamed all this time — Marcus Mirage — was actually innocent?

A: Betrayal. I felt betrayed by my instincts and I felt betrayed by Marcus himself. He didn’t exactly try very hard to convince me otherwise. He donned that stupid 3M mask and paraded around like a nut blaming himself for what happened on top of me blaming him. Don’t mistake me. I love Marcus Mirage like a brother. He’s the closest thing I have to family now. But you’re asking me how I feel and I can honestly say that no matter how close I am to that son of a bitch, I still feel the sting of betrayal because it should have mattered more to convince me he was innocent than to saunter around like it didn’t matter and ignore it. At the same time I feel deep regret. I should have known better. Maybe he counted on me snapping out of it. That comes full circle back to my instincts. He and I don’t dwell on these things though. He’ll always be my best friend regardless of our history. We are made stronger as family for turmoil like this.

Q: Following up that question, as it stands right now, somehow Mirage got himself taken hostage by this maniac Boyer…do you feel obligated to save him considering the blame you laid at his feet all those years?

A: You damn right I feel obligated and I will save him or die trying. It has nothing to do with the blame I laid at his feet. I’ve been in his home. I’ve shared meals with his wife and daughter. My family… my… *tears begin to flow from Cronos* family, rest their souls, were guests of theirs and our children, our sweet sweet children, played together at both his and my house. I won’t let Marcus be destroyed by Erik Boyer’s rage like Charles was. Whether the wrestling world knows it or not, Marcus Mirage saved my life once upon a time and I won’t let that debt go unpaid.

My Reaction: This is what sets the excitement of SHOOT Project apart from what I’d call a regular wrestling show. The stakes in SP aren’t just about titles, wins and losses…they’re literally about living and dying. Q: Everything you’ve gone through over the years. The loss of your family. Do you feel jealous of Mirage, as if he was the one that deserved all of that pain? After all the heinous things he’s done throughout his career and the fact that up until now he got to walk away from it all with his family intact, his wife now a wrestler in the EWA, and his daughter still breathing…do you feel as if it was you that suffered the brunt of it all?

A: I’m truly happy for Marcus and the family he has. It makes me miss mine all the more but I’m not petty enough to let that turn me into a jealous man. The old me probably would have said yes to that. Alas I’m not that person any longer. Sure there’s some part of me that wonders what the threshold is to incur karmic forces. Make no mistake about it, I believe in karma very much. It’s a bit of a new belief of mine. There’s many villainous acts that Marcus has committed and he’s paid for them in his own way even though he’d never admit that to the general public. The truth of it all, however, is life happens because life wants to happen. I wouldn’t wish what happened to me on my worse enemy, not even Erik Boyer, much less my best friend and becoming jealous is doing just that in its own twisted way. I’m by no means what I would consider a good person. Erik Boyer proves I’m not an evil person. I don’t murder people in cold-blood no matter how heinous some of the shit I’ve done is perceived. I’m a man just like you struggling with the light and dark inside me on a daily basis. Some days the dark blackens my soul and others the light illuminates in a way I wouldn’t think possible. I’m the same man and I’m not the same man I used to be if that makes any sense.

Q: It’s hard to know whether he was a former friend, enemy or both, but recently, VooDoo was quoted as saying, and I’m paraphrasing, “He’s like Lucifer. No, I don’t mean in the bullshit Christian sense, either. I mean Lucifer as in the Lord of Hell. The one who punishes those that do wrong by others. That’s who Cronos Diamante is and always has been.” Taking what he said in this sense, I’d have to say that Lucifer himself also does wrong…and is wrong. Traditionally, he represents the worst of the worst in this world, and is punished in his own right by having to be the one that’s always surrounded by those he punishes. It’s where the song Sympathy for the Devil derives from. If you stop to think about the Devil, and what he’s always around, you have to feel a bit of sorrow for him. It may not have always been this way, at least in your eyes, but do you see this as the person you’ve become? And in any sense, did Erik Boyer have a hand in creating who you are right now?

A: This has always been a closely guarded secret and very personal to me and those I consider members of my inner circle of friends and family. This whole Devil moniker was easy for me to take as my own with how manipulative and conniving I have been perceived to be. But it wasn’t always for reasons to bring men to their knees and beg for mercy. Parents manipulate their children into doing what’s best for them all the time. Take your swimming lessons and I’ll buy you a puppy! Do your reading for school and I’ll buy you a video game! Sure I’ve not been so innocent as to do that in the wrestling world but my point is all the manipulation hasn’t always been for my own gain and VooDoo was one of the few who knew that. He knew I transformed myself into something I wasn’t to keep myself in check so to speak. To lock my true nature in a cage as he was quoted as saying as well, multiple times actually. The simple fact of the matter is I’ve done some very wrong things and committed heinous acts of brutality in my career and while I may regret some of what I’ve done… I won’t apologize for any of it and I embrace every last act because it is who I am if you read between the lines. I forced Alex Brooks to tap for the Rule of Surrender Championship without ever laying a hand on him, by threatening his younger brother. Why? He wasn’t ready and wasn’t fit. I helped him realize that. I helped Erik Boyer crucify OutKast. Why? Sean Kygon for all the good he’s done for this industry literally stole Boyer’s woman out from under him. Greed needs to be punished. I could go on but the point I’m making is, this isn’t the person I’ve become. It’s the person I’ve always been. Unfortunately the cat is out of the bag now and I can’t hide it any longer. Boyer had nothing to do with creating it but he will have a hand in me realizing the full potential. I didn’t want out of the cage I put myself in but he might as well have taken a crowbar to the lock when he took Mirage.

Q: Normally, in these interviews I end with a name association thread, however, in this case, given the current state of SHOOT Project, we won’t be ending this that way. Good or bad, right or wrong…this won’t end well for someone, possibly many. If this ends up being the final printed interview you give, do you have any words you’d like sign off with?

A: The only last words I can offer anyone reading this interview is that when it’s time to walk away, do it. Don’t let your mentality tell you there’s one more thing you can do or one more mountain to climb. My wife asked me to retire and spend the rest of my life with her and my children far away from all this hatred and violence and pain. She told me my war with Mirage back in Legacy would lead me down a path of certain doom. I ignored her. I said I had a little left in the gas tank. Had I listened, none of us would be in this position right now. My family would be alive and we’d be in another country. VooDoo would be alive. Mirage would be safe and not depending on my do or die moment to keep him alive. Accept input from those who care about you and be able to walk away at a moment’s notice for your own happiness and others that depend on you. Otherwise you end up like me, alone and constantly in pain. I wouldn’t wish this existence on a single soul. Be content knowing you’ve at least accomplished something in this industry. Don’t let it take your soul. Don’t let it make you into something you’re not. Be better than that. Transcend.

My Reaction: This is SHOOT Project, ladies and gentlemen…wrestling as you’ve NEVER seen it before. It’s going to be a very sad day when this era ends…and that goes for both EWA Entertainment and SHOOT Project as we know them today. These stars we have right now, from Cronos to Sinnocence, to the likes of Grady Smith, Grace Goeren, Dan Stein and Buck Dresden are the last bastion of what we will soon consider to be a golden era of the wrestling industry. And, quite possibly, the last golden era the industry sees within our lifetimes.

At the very least we’ll all know we were there to see it, and it’s been amazing. Enjoy it while you have it, folks…because odds are it’ll never be this good again.

The Rag Mag, Volume #5: EWA vs SHOOT Project

This will be a rather short edition of the Rag coming off my crazy amazing interview with Sinnocence, which for full disclosure is an awesome name. How awesome? So awesome that I stole it last season and named my Diablo 3 Female Crusader — you guessed it — Sinnocence.

Oh, and in case you don’t believe me…here she is: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/Y2HH-1234/hero/72573797

Ok, now that we got that mostly unrelated piece of Rag video game trivia out of the way, let’s get to the discussion at hand. Many of you have asked and others are merely curious about how I view the wrestling landscape as it pertains to EWA Entertainment vs SHOOT Project as we know them today.

EWA Entertainment — as they’re now insisting we call it — because calling wrestling wrestling is bad, you realize. Anyway, I view EWA Entertainment as a standard wrestling promotion like those you grew up with and love. To be concise, when you meet Sinnocence on the street, that’s her. Sinnocence. Whether you refer to her as Jada Kaine or Sinnocence, it’s the same person…same character both in the ring and out of it. Indrid Calder is Indrid Calder or The Stranger, etc…if you happen to meet your favorite EWA superstar on the street, you’re meeting the same wrestler you see in the ring.

SHOOT Project, however, I view in a different fashion from what we’re used to seeing. SHOOT Project is akin to a movie studio, they’re creating serialized feature length movies in which characters are only loosely related to the wrestlers they once were when SHOOT Project acted like a regular wrestling promotion.

Wait, what?!

Keep in mind, this is merely MY opinion. I could be completely off on this view…and it may be the opposite of what they intended. Be that as it may, this is how *I* view SHOOT Project as it exists today.

Meeting a modern day SHOOT Project wrestler is somewhat like meeting Tom Cruise. No, not because they’re famous, but because they’re actors. You’re not meeting Ethan Hunt because that’s the character he plays in the Mission:Impossible series…you’re meeting Tom Cruise. This is how I tend to view SHOOT Project today. Take a wrestler…such as Dan Stein as an example, while Dan Stein is the same Dan Stein you remember from previous incarnations of SHOOT Project, he’s playing the role of Dan Stein within the confines of the new SHOOT Project universe. Am I allowed to call it a “universe”? Think American Horror Story. The same actors often play different roles from season to season because of the brutal nature of the show itself.

Brutal, you say?

Have you seen SHOOT Project as of late? No? Probably because it’s rated something a bit beyond a hard R, and you’re too young to watch it or lack the cognitive ability to follow the complex story they’re weaving. In short, if you haven’t watched SHOOT Project, I highly recommend it…there is some serious talent up there and they’re doing something you’ve NEVER seen before in professional wrestling. This ain’t your granddad’s wrestling, kids. This is unrelenting brutality, and it’s awesome. So, back to the American Horror Story comparison, at this rate, about 4 wrestlers will still be alive by the end of this gory awesomeness we’re witnessing so I’m not sure if they’re planning on recycling actors [wrestlers] into new roles, or just creating new characters to come in and fill the gaps in future seasons…

Oh, and if you’ve never ventured on over there, this is the link: SHOOT Project[/URL]

In either case, to answer the question some of you never asked, I don’t see SHOOT Project wrestlers in quite the same light as I see their EWA Entertainment contemporaries.

What says you?

How about we make this a bit more interactive than usual and you leave your thoughts on the Headbook post — Facebook for those lacking imagination — and let me know what you think?

How do you view SHOOT Project vs EWA Entertainment as they both exist today?

The Rag Mag, Volume #4: An Interview with Sinnocence

This interview took place on location after the finish of Battlelines XIII. For as much as people talk about Sinnocence, or Jada Kaine being the scourge of the earth, she was all business in this interview. Professional and passionate in every regard. Keeping in mind her heavily damaged psyche — think of her past and what occurred on this very day — and how far she’s come in life and in the world of wrestling, what she’s been able to accomplish is nothing short of astonishing.

I’ve been around the world of wrestling for many years. Long before the Rag ever existed. And in that time, as both a fan and writer on the subject, I’ve seen many women come and go in this “man’s world”, some quite talented in their own right. But none quite like Jada Kaine. The EWA is the big time. It’s, as they’d say in baseball nomenclature, THE show. And with each passing week, the EWA inches closer to the point of fame they once achieved in the early part of the century.

And a big part of that?

Sinnocence, former multi-time EWA World Heavyweight Champion.

Let me say that again. Former multi-time EWA World Heavyweight Champion. No, not some prissy ladies only title…but the woman that — in my opinion — single handedly shattered the glass ceiling that once separated the women from the men. Sporting showstopping moves like the Ride of the Valkyrie, Sinnocence paved the way for countless others to finally emerge as legitimate contenders in what was once a world that belonged solely to men.

So, without further ado, let’s get to it…


Q: Let’s start a bit before Asylum took place and changed the landscape of the EWA. You were involved in an incredible gauntlet of matches on a single show, where you once again reaffirmed your position at the top of the EWA. What was it like going through such a brutal series of matches in a single night and how did you prepare for such an event?

A: It was brutal punishment, nothing more. The only way I could prepare for something like that was to steel myself and hope for the best. I already hit the gym and the sparring ring like a madwoman, but that was like preparing for war. The only thing you can really do is pray and hope your rifle doesn’t jam.

My Reaction: An honest opinion, loved the rifle analogy. All’s fair in love and war…I guess. Q: Asylum de los Muertos, or as we’d say here, Asylum of the Dead. As a fan, it was a rather shocking moment when you were finally dethroned as champion in a match that looked specifically designed to strip you of the title. As a fan watching, I couldn’t help but be disappointed that when you finally lost, it was in a gimmick match that gave you little control over the outcome…did you feel slighted in any way that the EWA essentially forced you into such a situation?

A: Not at all. I knew the title was going to be on the line and when you’re thrown into a den of wolves, all clamoring for the same piece of meat… Essentially, shit happens. I still hold the record for the longest reigning champion, and was pinned by none other than Laura Seton. I was happy it was her and she got to shine for at least fifteen minutes with the title. She’ll get another chance at it.

My Reaction: I still can’t help but feel disappointed that her run ended in what I can only call a clusterfuck…that said, I have to agree with her here. Shit happens. And, well, shit happened. Q: In the aftermath of Asylum, you had a meeting with Grace Goeren, what exactly were you hoping to accomplish, and what is your relationship with Grace like today?

A: Oh, I’m sure she still wants to rip my face off. We don’t have a relationship, but I see too much of my younger self in the girl to just sit idly by and let nothing be done about it. I want her to find her own path in the business…and maintain her freedom and dignity while doing it. Things I didn’t have in the early years of my career. In a few short years, Grace will be main eventing in any promotion she enters, she should be able to do that on her own terms. I was also hoping to ease some of the hatred for her father, but she’s got every right to be angry with him.

My Reaction: I find Grace fascinating, and if anything, this was a ringing endorsement of what’s to come. Q: Following up on that, you’ve seemingly become…involved with Azrael Goeren in a way that looks to be playing with fire. Is this in any way related to the conversation you had with his daughter, Grace?

A: To be perfectly clear, I have not taken Azrael Goeren as a lover. He makes me laugh and I guess it gives him some measure of peace to be around me. We’re a lot alike and you know how misery loves company. He brings levity into my life, I hope to repay him for that someday. God knows living with me isn’t easy.

My Reaction: So…does that mean you’re available? (Do note I did NOT ask her that in person…getting shot down would have caused me great harm.) Now, did she say she likes to laugh? Where did I leave that book of knock knock jokes? Q: This is more of a journalistic question, because dirt is what I happen to deal in. You also have a somewhat…strange relationship with Stacy Vandervort, where you discuss rather vague matters EWA related. What exactly is your relationship with the executive assistant to those in control of the EWA?

A: Stacy and I had an infatuation…and it was convenient, nothing more. We care about each other, but it goes no further than that. We initially had an arrangement of me protecting her from Hank…then she wanted help in ousting Gates from power. I wanted to be Champion, so it was a mutually beneficial arrangement. I did what she needed me to do, and she kept Gates from screwing me over, though she did nothing under the table to screw anyone else over at the time. She simply kept his grubby little paws off of my title reign.

Q: On May 16th, at Battlelines 12, you dropped a bomb and pulled yourself out of the Path of the Warrior which led to a coming cage match with Kilminster. We will get more into that later in the interview, but for now I want to focus on you dropping out of the tournament. The decision to do so had to be a hard one…for someone so focused on winning, I guess my question is, what was the catalyst moment where you realized you had to do this?

A: It was during the match for control the EWA. When he rolled me up and pinned me. I knew he was the only thing that mattered.

Q: Any advice for some of the newcomers to the EWA?

A: For the girls, work your ass off and never compromise your dignity and freedom for the sake of a title belt. For everyone, never ever underestimate how far someone is willing to go to fuck you over.

My Reaction: Are you listening, Sahara? I honestly feel like I could have asked her questions until the stars burned out she’s accomplished so much in the EWA but we’re only allowed so much time to conduct these interviews and given that this is her farewell, I wanted to end this in a way that saved the best for last. So, for now, we’re going to do a bit of name association before we cap this off with a pretty heartfelt finale. Q: Laura Seton.

A: The one who pinned Sinn. Great lady and a seriously underestimated competitor. I’m disappointed we haven’t gotten to cross paths before now.

My Reaction: Laura is one of the all time greats and you could feel the respect Sinn felt for her here. Q: Your ex-husbands star student, Shaun Sinclair.

A: Shaun is the prodigal prince, he’ll be the one to pick up the slack when the king finally is dethroned.

My Reaction: I’d love to agree, but I cannot see Kilminster stepping aside gracefully for any of his students anyone…so if Shaun expects to pick up the slack after the king is dethroned, he’s going to have to be the one that dethrones him. Permanently. Q: X-Calibur.

A: He calls me Khaleesi when no one else is around.

My Reaction: So do I. Khaleesi. Q: Chris Kage.

A: The perfect example of wrestling alzheimer’s. Consistently forgets that he is not the longest reigning EWA World Champion ever.

My Reaction: My feeling is Kage is a heels heel. While I’m sure the irony is not lost on her, this reaction is exactly why he does it. Q: Azrael Goeren.

A: A kindred hedonist. Henrik, take care of your children. All of them. Take care of yourself. Find someone who thinks your dick tattoo is adorable. Butterflies just don’t really do it for me.

My Reaction: I um…probably shouldn’t touch this one. Normally, I save name association for the end of these interviews, but in this case, because of the emotional nature of this last question and answer, I’ve decided to put it last. We also had to remove a few of the name associations simply due to the length of the interview, so for that, I apologize…but that’s none of your business anyway. This is MY magazine…until the Draven’s buy it, anyway. Q: Your behavior as of late, especially towards your ex-husband Osbourne Kilminster, has been unusual to say the least. You’ve been provoking him at every opportunity because you say he hasn’t ever really put all of himself in a match when facing you. Calling him out on his cowardice, despite numerous warnings that you were not going to like the ending if he does truly unleash on you. It almost seems like you’re wanting him to try and destroy you. Are you trying to prove that you can take him at his best?

A: First of all, never call him a coward. Osbourne Kilminster, pound for pound, is the best fighter in the business right now. He fights for what he believes in and stands by his students and allies. He’s never wanted to be in the ring with me, he doesn’t want to hurt me.

I’m not trying to prove anything. To put it bluntly…

I can’t do this anymore. Toward the end of my first run with SHOOT Project, I was involved in a hardcore match. Light tubes were pulled out at one point and I was smacked across the face with one of them. The debris cause significant scarring to my cornea, leading to loss of vision in my right eye. It stayed that way for a number of months until I found a surgeon in Japan to correct some of the damage. I was told it wouldn’t last forever, especially if I continued wrestling. There have been a few other health problems cropping up lately too. Ozzy and I stopped for a few years, but when Duane Gates came knocking at the doors of the Institute in Ealing…

I’m an addict, as much as I hate to admit it. Years ago it was drugs, then drinking…but it’s always been competition at the heart of it. I shouldn’t have come back in the first place, but I can’t regret that I did. I got one more chance to shine, but it cost me…it cost me more than I wanted to pay, because I couldn’t stop myself from continually pursuing the fucking belt.

So, I made a decision that I was going to stop, once and for all…but I needed someone to make me stop. We may be divorced, we may be at each other’s throats…and I may sound like a heartsick idiot, but I never stopped loving him. He’s the only one I trust. The only one I trust to do something like this without killing me, but it would take a lot of pushing. I couldn’t tell him what I wanted, he would never have agreed to it. And I know when all is said and done…and I’m in some hospital unable to breathe on my own that he’ll probably never forgive me for making him do it…

But I’ll still love him.

I may be the goddamn Valkyrie of this business and paved the way for numerous other female competitors to be able to stand toe to toe with the men, but when it comes right down to it…I’ve never been as happy as when I’m with him. I’m sorry I did it this way, Ozzy. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you. I couldn’t see any other way to make myself stop. You stood by my side, fighting with me and protecting me for years…you always deserved so much better than me.

I hope someday you can forgive me.

Give me hell, Viking.

Carry me to Valhalla and I’ll return the favor when it’s your time to go.


My Reaction: I’ve gone back and forth on the decision to either add my personal comments to the end of this interview, or simply end it with her words. Up until now, I had every intention of ending it with her words…but I feel compelled to add my thoughts, as it’s not often an interview sticks with me like this one did. I may have even promised her I’d end it with her words…but I’m sure she’ll understand. At least, I hope she does.

Since the interview, I’ve been haunted by the way this interview ended when I look back at how her story unfolded knowing what I know now. And believe me when I say this, it takes a lot to haunt me. There was a certain sadness in the way she spoke…regret even, at least, that’s the feeling I was stuck with long after the interview ended. I was left with a distinct sense of loss…yet if you could imagine, a hint of hope remained.

Hope for what? I’m not sure…let’s just say I felt it.

Ultimately, was her success in the EWA worth it? In some ways, yes…in others, surely not. After all, the world isn’t black and white. For as much as she won…she also lost.

Let me say it now, I’ve never liked Sinnocence. Never. While I felt somewhat starstruck giving this interview, I still couldn’t help disliking her. Obviously she was talented, she held the EWA world title, but this wasn’t about talent…it was about the person. Or, at least, who I thought was the person. Everything about her seemed broken, both past and present. From the people she aligned herself with, to those she threw under the bus to get to where she is, there was just something…wrong with it all. I didn’t know exactly what it was or why, but I disliked her because of it. Throughout the interview, I had gone from disliking her to feeling sorry for her…to going on a journey with her and finally understanding how she felt, and ultimately, liking her for who she truly was. It was the first time I heard Jada Kaine after endless months Sinnocence.

There is a haunting song called Oats in the Water by Ben Howard. Go ahead, look it up and listen…then read the lyrics. The song, from the way it sounds to the words spoken within, reminds me of the story of Jada Kaine as it unfolded before our eyes. From the broken relationships, to her go it your own attitude, to winning at any cost…all of which led to the ultimate loss she experienced on her journey to Valhalla.

Give you hell, indeed.

This may be it for now, but the gates of Valhalla aren’t ready to open for you just yet, Viking Queen.

And this is one story that needs an epilogue.

The Rag Mag, Volume #3: An Interview with Sahara

This interview was recorded for the exclusive use of Combat TV and EWA Entertainment, a concession that was made at the request of the interviewee.

Sahara, one of the most controversial “me” figures to step in the ring in quite some time appears to have a date with destiny. And in this case, destiny’s name is Azrael Goeren. Estranged father of Grace Goeren and former lover of the infamous Sinnocence. All people with which she’s crossed paths.

A little over a year since her disastrous debut in the professional wrestling world, it seems the reborn Crimson Queen finds herself rematching against familiar names and faces that once questioned who she was. Needless to say, hers is a name none will soon forget, not only do we now know exactly who she is … but what she’s capable of.

We’ve all heard the rumors, of which there are many. People say a lot of things about her, mostly negative — and for good reason — but one thing’s for sure about Sahara, wherever she goes, violence and drama are sure to follow.

Join us, as I sit down with the former Fallout member for a RARE and candid discussion on her rise to life in the squared circle, living her dreams, and finding herself on the outside looking in to a group she once made big on the wrestling scene.

Sahara, welcome…and thank you for taking the time to sit down with us at the Rag Mag for this exclusive interview for the EWA Network.

Sahara: Thanks for having me.

Interviewer: Wow. Where to begin, right? A little over a year ago you were a rather famous wrestlers wife living as a homemaker in Chicago, Illinois…what a difference a year makes, huh?

Sahara: (Audible sigh.) You can say that again. If you had told me before I got the crazy idea to give this a shot before it was too late that I’d be where I am today…well, I guess I don’t even have to say it. When I entered the EWA, everyone said it for me…’what a joke’. I mean, what’s she thinking, right?

Interviewer: Good question, so I’m gonna ask it. What were you thinking?

Sahara: Well, as you know I grew up in wrestling…I mean, I was a part of wrestling longer than anyone, I was always backstage…always around it. I lived and breathed it. My whole family did. It just…when I came of age, and it was a combination of things, but wrestling was kind of in a — in a really bad place for women. Women weren’t serious wrestlers…they were eye candy. I mean, if you wanted to make money back then, it wasn’t gonna be because you were being taken seriously as a competitor…and no, I don’t care what anyone says, from Laura Seton to Tanya Black…or anyone else in between…nobody took them seriously in that era. If you looked good you could make some money pretending to be a wrestler…and if you knew the right people — at most — you might hit the mid-card. But the reality was you were a glorified stripper.

Interviewer: Wow…that’s a pretty big indictment of the profession, is it not?

Sahara: Well, yeah, but it’s the truth. It also shows how far we’ve come in a very short amount of time. There was a glass ceiling back then, it’s undeniable…a woman sure as hell wasn’t going to hold the world title on any major platform, and before the PC police pounce, no, I don’t mean in some bingo hall organization that called themselves a wrestling promotion…I’m talking about the real fuckin’ thing. It just wasn’t gonna happen in a place the size of the EWA…and if it did, it was nothing more than some sorta stupid publicity stunt that everyone laughed about in the back…and I’d know, because I was in the back. I saw what went on behind the scenes.

Interviewer: So what changed your mind?

Sahara: Well, Sinnocence and Laura Seton did, in a big way. It felt empowering to see what they were doing…and Laura, I know she was there through all the shit before that glass ceiling was shattered, and I think she’s awesome for that. I ran away from wrestling during that era…she stuck through it and even though I’ve made fun of it, she gets to say she’s the two time world champion.

Interviewer: Even if it was just for twenty minutes?

Sahara: (Laughs.) Well, it was more like two minutes…but still. I grew up in an era where that thing wasn’t some prop. I’d kill to hold that strap for one minute…and someday I plan on making that happen. I just have to wait for the opportunity.

Interviewer: I have to say, it’s a bit odd talking to you like this…I’m used too a, well, how do I put it? A bit of a meaner person?

Sahara: Give it time, you haven’t pissed me off yet…

Interviewer: I’ll keep that in mind. So, a lot’s happened in your rather short career…from the Fallout to being one of the longest reigning Combat champions, to…I don’t know, a one day member of HATE? You’re reinvented yourself multiple times now, and it’s like you’ve come full circle. On June 7th in Albuquerque, New Mexico, you’ll find yourself in a rematch months in the making against Azrael Goeren. The very man you made a name for yourself against at Live from Tokyo when you turned and joined the Fallout, thus becoming the Crimson Queen.

Sahara: Seems like forever ago…

Interviewer: It sure does. You’ve made it pretty clear over the months that have passed that you have no love lost for Azrael Goeren, stories even spread backstage about a huge brawl you two had at Sinn’s house?

Sahara: True story. Back when I was, um, hanging out there–

Interviewer: Having relations with her son…

Sahara: Yeah, thanks for that. Anyway. Back when all that was going on, I was kinda neck deep in the Grace-aid, and for a long time I blamed Azrael for the person Grace has become. But that was before I lived it.

Interviewer: You mean–

Sahara: Before living life as an addict…I mean, I’m not gonna play innocent, I dabbled a lot over the years, but I had never lost control like I did a few months back. If I’m gonna blame Azrael for everything that happened to Grace, I’m gonna have to blame myself for everything that happened with my family and friends…and from the outside looking in, I absolutely would. But that wasn’t me…I wasn’t even thinking about them. I mean, I was on top of the world…I was Combat Champion, everything was just getting handed to me. I felt invincible. I had it alllllll under control.

Interviewer: What woke you up?

Sahara: Sinn did…I mean, everything she warned me about happened…and you know she saved my life on Thanksgiving day last year?

Interviewer: Heard the stories, yeah.

Sahara: So yeah, now that I look at things from that perspective…that’s not even him. That’s not even Azrael, I mean.

Interviewer: How do you plan on handling this upcoming match against him?

Sahara: I wish I knew…I mean, he’s not gonna listen to reason right now. That’s why I approached you about this interview for the EWA Network. There’s no point in cutting a promo focusing solely on him since he won’t even watch it…wherever he even is. And even if he did, he wouldn’t care. I feel sorry for him. I mean, I’ve never faced a legend like him knowing I was gonna win.

Interviewer: And you know that now?

Sahara: Yeah. He has no chance. The only person that can beat me in this match is me. And if he is sober long enough to see this interview, he won’t be thinkin’ about me or this match for more than a few minutes when his mind triggers and all he can think of is his next fix. He’ll be half loaded, if not all the way…if he’s even cleared to wrestle I’d be surprised. Check the odds on me in this fight…I bet the payout is negative…you’d be lucky to get fifty cents on the dollar. But I don’t care, I’ll take the win…that’s more money for me.

Interviewer: But you can never count out someone like Azrael Goeren, can you?

Sahara: Yeah, and I’m doing it right now. I’ve never trained harder or longer than I am today. He’ll be lucky if he can walk…meanwhile I’m gonna fly.

Interviewer: Which is interesting, as of late, you’ve adopted a new high-flying style, which is quite out of the ordinary for someone of your…ag–uh–

Sahara: Age? It’s okay, I know how old I am. Yeah, usually you’d be right…but unlike most my age, I don’t have the miles on my body. That’s why I don’t look thirty-five, and people are usually surprised when they hear that I am. Ya see, I don’t have the luxury of time, and there is no replacing in-ring experience. So I straight up went to Sinn and said look, I gotta accelerate this. And that was it, she said…outside of flyin’ high, there is no substitute. The downfall is, she said for as much as it’ll equalize me in the ring, it’s reckless…and just as easily as it can help me win, it can also cost me. Just look at last week against Calder.

Interviewer: You had him…

Sahara: Yeah, and I fucked up one move and that was it…I mean, I got the disqualification win, but the reality is, he had me beat. And that was another lesson learned…I learned exactly what Sinn meant when she said, as easily as it could equalize, it could cost me. And that cost me.

Interviewer: It was a sweet move you attempted…the Spiral Tap.

Sahara: It woulda been had I landed it. And I call it the STD…ya get it? They make fun of me anyway, so why not own it, right?

Interviewer: Can’t argue with that, it’s working for ya. So we are limited on time, considering this is meant for the EWA Network, and one of my favorite parts of these interviews is name association–

Sahara: I’ve been around long enough to know it…get on with it.

Interviewer: Fair enough. Ok, Alexander Haven.

Sahara: Dick. But I love him. Good dick.

Interviewer: I–

Sahara: Shhh. I left myself open on that one…I know. Listen, Haven’s a greedy, selfish son-of-a-bitch…now go find me one person in wrestling that isn’t and you’ll have found me a liar. Everyone’s in this game to get what he’s got. Everyone. And that’s the World Title. And if you aren’t here for that, then get the fuck out…and I don’t care what kind of drivel Donovan King spews on that particular subject, if he doesn’t like what I got to say, he can meet me where it matters.

Interviewer: Wow. Okay, how about Donovan King?

Sahara: Was always nice to me backstage at the few SHOOT Project events I attended…even when he and my husband feuded. But last week, when he came out with his big contract entitled bullshit, runnin’ his mouth…not lettin’ the announcers do their fuckin’ jobs? I’m so sick of that part-timer shit in wrestling. It makes me sick. I fight year round and he makes more for one appearance than I do floating this fuckin’ place all goddamn year…so it pisses me off. And hey, I know it’s no fault of his own…if that was me, I’d fuckin’ take the money, too. I know that fucker lived the life…the grind I go through every week now while he sits in his penthouse…whatever, right? He’s at least been to the top of the mountain, and I’m still just a climbin’ fool.

Interviewer: Chris Kage.

Sahara: Dick. Oh, but hey, he actually did say some nice stuff about me in one of his previous interviews, I even Tweeted about that shit…it was pretty awesome getting acknowledged by a legend like him, even if he called me crazy while doing it. Another good dick, I guess.

Interviewer: (Laughs.) Another good dick? You do realize you bring a lot of the innuendo upon yourself when you say things like that, right?

Sahara: Sure.

Interviewer: Okay, then. Cronos Diamante.

Sahara: Close friend. The guy practically raised me. And no, we never did anything.

Interviewer: So there IS one guy–

Sahara: Oh, ha-ha.

Interviewer: Kidding. How about Dube.

Sahara: Don’t know him.

Interviewer: Ethan Leers.

Sahara: From what I’ve seen? He’s a dipshit. And when the day comes that he faces me, I’m gonna crack his skull open for him.

Interviewer: Indrid Calder.

Sahara: Fuckin’ interesting as hell. He’s like that guy you look at, and you’re totally like, “eww”, right? But when he talks to you, it’s like … it’s like he’s talking to your soul. Ya know? He’s just fuckin’ captivating.

Interviewer: Josh Kaine.

Sahara: Sweetheart.

Interviewer: Laura Seton.

Sahara: Pioneer. Hero. Boring. I fucked her up a couple of times for Grace, I remember…it was fun just being in the ring with her…she’ not necessarily my cup of tea these days…I think she represents a bygone era…but like I said earlier, she’s been champ, and I gotta respect that.

Interviewer: Lunatikk Crippler.

Sahara: Let’s just get the rest of HATE out of the way. All dicks. And not the good kind.

Interviewer: Mojave.

Sahara: (Audible sigh.) Pain in the ass.

Interviewer: Natalie Burrows.

Sahara: F.A.F. Fake. As. Fuck. I don’t believe anyone is that pure, and she’s annoying. Next.

Interviewer: Nikki Caldwell.

Sahara: I think she’s hot.

Interviewer: And by that you mean…

Sahara: Use your imagination.

Interviewer: Ray Willmott.

Sahara: Old school. British or some shit, too…I love his voice. It’s like…swoooooon. It’s too bad he’s with the vanilla wafer…oh what I’d do to that man.

Interviewer: Sean Boden.

Sahara: Psychopath. Had a couple of run ins with him over the months…wrestled him once…won the match, too.

Interviewer: By disqualification…

Sahara: And?

Interviewer: Fair enough. Rachel Ellsworth.

Sahara: I don’t really know her all that well yet…she’s kind of weird though, right? I don’t know, as far as I’m concerned, so long as she stays out of my business, we’ll have no business.

Interviewer: Maggie McIntyre.

Sahara: (Audible sigh.) My mother always said if you got nothing good to say about someone you should say nothing at all.

Interviewer: Because that’s always stopped you–

Sahara: Of course it hasn’t…look, I’m just trying to get along with her for Michael’s sake.

Interviewer: I know he’s not on the active roster, but what about Michael Draven.

Sahara: (Laughs.) The BEST dick. I mean…really reallllllllllyyyy good dick.

Interviewer: (Laughing.) Okay, I’m giving you that one. Last but not least, Grace Goeren.

Sahara: My savior, my hero…and now my mortal enemy. Grace Goeren — quite simply — has become Azrael Goeren…only younger. Congratulations, Gracie, you’ve become the person you despise more than anyone on the planet. Look in the mirror, bitch…see the reflection of your dear ol’ daddy. She has something that belongs to me…and I don’t know where, and I don’t know when…but I’m coming for her. That’s a promise.

Interviewer: Sahara. Thank you so much for the time.

Sahara: Your pleasure…

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.