04-12-2017   Stevie

The Online Wrestling Alliance was created out of my love for professional wrestling and the thought that maybe I could do something to create a world where gender equality exists and in the context of a professional wrestling atmosphere. That the acceptance of a multi-gender wrestling company could actually succeed and be profitable. Where man and woman both could compete for the tiered level championships and even attain the highest prize of them all. The World Championship. I feel that I succeeded in doing just that as both men and women were able to hold these titles, the competition between them felt realistic and believable. We were able to wean out those who could not suspend disbelief and felt that in no way a woman could ever beat a man. We formed partnerships with other fantasy federations across the Internet and that in itself validated what we had grown to stand for. The OWA was a stunning, surprising success.

You could speculate that the Online Wrestling Alliance was a poor name to be chosen for such a venture, and I wouldn’t at all disagree with you. Years later, I wish I had come up with a catchier name but it is what it is. It was the OWA that had history and the OWA that was known across the board. The OWA is how it will stand. Later the name would change, a couple of times actually as I attempted to keep the show relevant. I tried a Cruiserweight specific show to make it even more realistic and believable, and later on we tried the territory approach spreading the roster across the country in different territories as it had been back in the day. However, the strength of the OWA was never as strong as it was in the initial run proving to me that this would actually work, even if its time was short.

What is missing in these chronicles are the initial documents from the very beginning of the Online Wrestling Alliance. The OWA was created on an online platform known as the Imagination Network. The Imagination Network (INN) was a gaming community where you would dial-in similar to that of the old AOL through your modem with all the squeaking and squawking. Once connected, you would see a map with areas you could jump into and play games such as checkers or chess or more graphic intensive games like Red Baron or role-playing games set in medieval times. There was a sports location that you could attend that would allow you to post fantasy sports and that's where the OWA was formed. Users would create personas and submit them. They would get incorporated into the OWA. These personas would wrestle each other fight for championships, create storylines, be bad or be good depending on the persona or even flip back-and-forth between the two. Characters created during this time include such notables as Amazon Woman, Freddy Fever, Firefly and Exterminator, TigerLily, “The Enforcer” Adam Sanchez, and many more. The players would create and post their own vignettes to the forums and then at the end of the week I would sit down and work out a wrestling card and then post that card to the forum so everyone would get the results of the matches.

Unfortunately with the demise of the Imagination Network those cards no longer exist. The computer in which I created those cards also no longer exists. Similar to actual old time wrestling promotions who chose to reuse the tapes they recorded on instead of saving them for future use, these cards will never been seen again. Even if I wanted to attempt to recreate those cards, it’s been over 20 years now.

I've become rather nostalgic and every once in awhile, I would dig through my archives and read through the cards and get a little sentimental over the fun that we had during those two years that we were running the OWA.

The OWA wasn’t a typical wrestling federation. Most wrestling federations (real or fantasy) has lines drawn between good and evil. Good guys in one corner and bad guys in the other. Babyfaces vs. Heels. The OWA wasn’t like that. Everything in the OWA was organically created. Were the Femme Fatale good or bad? It’s hard to say. In the beginning the group was definitely far closer to the heel side than the face side. But as time went by, the stable morphed into one of the most popular stables in the history of the OWA. The same goes with the Elite. But the personalities are what made the OWA unique. When the Elite squared off with the Femmes, it wasn’t because one team was good and the other was bad. It was because there were a clash of personalities. The Family was the same way. In my opinion, the group started out as heroes and because of their constant clashing with the Femmes they organically morphed into heels. But when Monty defended his championship against the beloved Amazon Woman, he didn’t resort to cheating. In fact, they shook hands at the start of the match and had a good, clean contest, even if it did get heated at times in the middle of combat. This is something that made the OWA unique.

However lately I've been going through those cards and updating them and posting them online trying to get in touch with old players and letting them know that these cards are available and I thought that I would try something a little different. I thought perhaps I could take these cards and turn them into an novelization of the OWA. Perhaps even use some behind-the-scenes footage, embellish a little bit more on each match because due to time constraints the matches that I was able to post were often very brief. I was not able to put as much time as I would like into each card to make them as dynamic as they could be. It was mostly the outcome the interactions and the storylines that we're driving force behind each card. However today I've taken the tasking of creating such a novel out of what I have in my archives for the OWA what you will see here presented to you in novel form is an updated version of those cards expanding on those characters and perhaps a little behind the scenes playing between the owner and the wrestlers and maybe you will get a more wider understanding of each character.

Where we pick up, Amazon Woman is the OWA World Champion. She defeated Freddy Fever for the title, then immediately was betrayed by her tag team partner, TigerLily. That feud has just ended with Amazon Woman being victorious, sending TigerLily packing from the OWA. Nightmare was the INN Champion, which was the equivalent to a US Championship or the Intercontinental Championship. However that championship will merged with a newly created championship. It was called the Internet Championship, however for the sake of this novel, I’ve christened it the North American Championship. The tag team championship is in a bit of a turmoil as I decided to do a tournament with randomly paired wrestlers and the winners were Asian Sensation (who would later become Asian Invasion) and Rocket. However, they aren’t happy to be together and that issue will have to be addressed.

This book starts at the very first card represented over the Internet as opposed to the Imagination Network. It’s the first card that I still had access to. I discovered the Internet simply by accident and that Internet help me garner a wider audience and a wider variety of player that I did on the Imagination Network. The very first chapter you see was the first Internet card. We did retain some of the characters but there were also a boom new characters that were incorporated due to the fact that the Internet was starting to explode. The quality of players certainly increased with the introduction of the Internet and that made being what is known as a “fed head” a lot simpler. They were all very easy to work with and I enjoyed my role in putting together these cards. I hope you enjoyed this expanded version of those carts. In the story, I take the Imagination Network to be equivalent to public access or a local TV station. In turn, the Internet is more of a cable nationwide broadcast. So you'll see those references in the story and that's basically what's being referred to. Just keep in mind this is a work of fiction coming from my imagination and during that time how I perceive things. My imagination is all I have to offer at this point, and I hope you enjoy what you're about to read.