30 at 30 List #17: Remembering the CRWL

In honor of me turning 30, I’m compiling 30 different top-30 lists on a wide variety of topics ranging from trivial interests of mine to meaningful life moments. Read the introductory post for more background information on my 30 at 30 project. Reminder: there is no scientific rationale for these lists. They were composed by a panel of one—me.

It was 1998. I was a few months shy of turning 14 years old, and it was the summer between 7th and 8th grade. I had recently resumed watching WWE programming regularly—it was the heart of the Attitude Era, after all—and I was intrigued by the concept of an “e-fed.” This was the America Online (AOL) dialup era, so I first learned of the concept of an e-fed while browsing messages boards on AOL. There were dozens of posts looking for people to join, but being something of a perfectionist myself, I opted to create my own organization rather than joining one of the established e-feds.

The CRWL logo underwent several revisions during the league's run. Each of them proves that I was an Adobe Photoshop novice, teaching myself as I went and experimenting with different graphic design techniques.
The CRWL logo underwent several revisions during the league’s run. Each of them proves that I was an Adobe Photoshop novice, teaching myself as I went and experimenting with different graphic design techniques that repeatedly confirmed my status as an amateur.

I named my e-fed the Chat Room Wrestling League (CRWL). The concept was simple. Each member would get three wrestlers. I would create the card of matches in advance and use a simulator program called Rassling 2.01 that I had downloaded to simulate the matches. Depending on my schedule I would simulate the matches on a Wednesday or Thursday night (I called the shows Wild Wednesday Wrestling and Thursday Warfare, respectively) and simultaneously post results in an AOL chat room (hence the name of the league). Members of the league would read the results in real time and be able to comment and chat with one another about the results.

When I launched the CRWL I had 16 members. In the four-plus years that I ran the CRWL, more than 200 members came and went, although there were typically between 20-30 members at any given time. Because everything was conducted online, I have no way of knowing for sure, but suffice it to say that not everyone in the league was as young as me. I understand that some people might look back on this experience and shout NERD! However, when I look back on it, I am pretty impressed with my barely-teenaged self. I started something of my own, built it from scratch, and managed the personalities of complete strangers who all wanted their wrestlers to be successful.

Looking back, it’s clear to me that the CRWL was one of my earliest formative writing experiences. Every week I was writing and producing a substantial newsletter that went out to everyone in the league. Plus, I was creating a card of matches with the hopes that it would intrigue the audience of members. Additionally, as time went on, I shifted the structure of the league to include role-playing aspects in addition to the simulations. I and other members in the league sent emails to each other written in the voice of our various wrestlers—in essence cutting our own promos the way they do on WWE television—to set up feuds and talk trash on opponents. Eventually, I began to weight things so that those who were better rpers (roleplayers, which meant that they wrote better) had better odds of winning their simulated matches. We also began working our own storylines and angles that sometimes took precedence over the simulator for the sake of telling an entertaining story. Long before I decided to major in English I was exercising my creative writing via the CRWL. In fact, I once wrote a four-part interview for my character “3-D” Devious Devon Dawson that totaled nearly 17,000 words. To this day, I’m not sure that I’ve written anything longer, and considering that I wrote it when I was 15, it still holds up pretty well.

I have managed to stay in contact on Facebook with a few people who were involved in CRWL. And it puts a smile on my face to hear that even one or two people remember the CRWL fondly as I do. Aside from those few exceptions, all that I have from the others who I have lost touch with over the years are their old AOL screen names, which are now dead ends. Nonetheless, the memories that I have of them remain. If any of them should happen to stumble upon this retrospective piece, please send me an email to say hello and let me know how you’re doing all these years later.

Being the organized person that I am, I saved a lot of information from the CRWL. Unfortunately, much of it is saved in old, unreadable file formats, or as AOL emails that I can only view now as plain text files. Unfortunately I don’t have any of my old emails from that era nor do I have any definitive documentation of when I finally shut down the league for good, so I’ll have to guess based on the old cards and newsletters that I have saved. In addition to dozens and dozens of old cards and newsletters, one of the documents I found was particularly helpful in trying to jog my memory. It’s a timeline that I made in commemoration of the CRWL’s two-year anniversary. That helps with the first half of the league’s existence. I will have to piece together everything from after July 2000 and after, but the key events of the first two years of the CRWL are all there. So, on this, the 17th anniversary of when I launched CRWL, here are 30 key dates to help me remember one of the most unique aspects of my childhood: running the Chat Room Wrestling League from 1998 to 2002.

*Breaking from the tradition of the other 30 at 30 lists that I have compiled so far, I am opting to organize this list chronologically rather than trying to rank and count down the top 30 events. Otherwise, any sense of a cohesive narrative will be totally lost.

1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002

Alliteration + an abbreviation that was an allusion to the World Wide Web made Wild Wednesday Wrestling the perfect fit for the CRWL's answer to WWE's flagship show, Monday Night Raw
Alliteration + an abbreviation that was an allusion to the World Wide Web made Wild Wednesday Wrestling the perfect fit for the CRWL’s answer to WWE’s flagship show, Monday Night Raw

1. July 15, 1998
The Chat Room Wrestling League (CRWL) debuted at 8:30 p.m. with a Wild Wednesday Wrestling (WWW) card that included all of the first round matches of the three respective tournaments to name the inaugural World Champion, Continental Champion, and North American Champion. The league consisted of 16 members with 3 wrestlers apiece. Raven defeated Ken Shamrock in the CRWL’s first match ever. The first CRWL newsletter came out two days later with match results, a preview of the next WWW card, and a complete roster.

2. August 2, 1998
The CRWL’s first pay per view, SummerSmash, took place. It was the host event of many CRWL firsts. On this night the three title tournaments concluded. Vader beat Mankind to become the first North American Champion, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin defeated Trent Acid to become the first ever Continental Champion, and Mark Henry became the first CRWL World Heavyweight Champion with a win over Dan “The Beast” Severn in the World Title Tournament Finals. However, there was also one bad thing which transpired on this night as respected member Mejor29 quit the league, saying that the fed was unfair and that there was no such thing as a simulator.

3. September 16, 1998
After Mark Henry (Knicks107) left the CRWL and forfeited his World Title with a perfect record of 6-0, a tournament began to crown a new champion. On this date, in the finals for the vacant World Title, the legendary Andre the Giant battled an unknown kid, “The Dark Angel” Ryan Grieve, in a classic. Despite having already shocked the likes of “Triple-H” Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Goldberg, and The Undertaker, Grieve’s upset streak ended on this night as Andre the Giant became the second World Champion in CRWL history.

3d4. November 7, 1998
This was a night that would change the CRWL forever. The pay per view was named Just 4 U-End of the Line. The main event was the first ever retirement match in CRWL history. The match was between former friends turned bitter rivals as “3-D” Devious Devon Dawson battled “The Dark Angel” Ryan Grieve. The match began with all of the members of Grieve’s stable The Brood, and Dawson’s stable The Franchise at ringside. They battled back and forth for awhile, and then 3-D took control, and set Grieve up for his finisher, 3-D Vision. This is where things got strange. Dawson seemed to have the upper hand, but then lights went out, and as they flickered back on, the crowd saw 3-D lying motionless on the ground. Grieve took advantage of the situation and pinned 3-D. Then Grieve noticed a tape recorder. He played it and it whispered to him, “Demon.” This was the night when <•Demon•> was born. The match would go on to earn “Match of the Year” honors at the 1999 Ring King Awards.

5. November 29, 1998
This date in CRWL history is probably the most memorable of any. It was promoted to be the biggest night in CRWL history and it was exactly that. It was the 1998 Battle of the Best. Eight men remained from the original 68 man tournament. The final four competitors were “Dark Angel” Ryan Grieve, Bret “The Hitman” Hart, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, and Kane. With Hart and Austin losing in the semi-finals, they were forced to battle for third and fourth. Hart walked away with The North American Title while Austin had to settle for The United States Title. The main event featured two stars looking to become World Champion. At the time, the Grieve/Kane final was the longest match in CRWL history, lasting over eleven minutes. In the end, Kane had to settle for The Continental Title as Grieve walked away as the new CRWL World Heavyweight Champion. In order to become World Champion, Grieve had to win seven straight matches in The Battle of the Best Tournament. He did just that. This victory marked the true turning point in Grieve’s career as he went from an up ‘n comer to a superstar. He would go on to become a CRWL Legend, but it was at Battle of the Best 1998 that the legend was born.

1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002

6. January 31, 1999
At the Royal Rumble, Mick Foley won the rumble, basically because he entered as all three of his personalities. Cactus Jack got the official victory. Also, Kane was able to defeat Bret Hart for the World Title which sparked arguably the worst turn of events in CRWL history. In the ring, the crowd witnessed the fall of The Corporation fall, but behind the scenes, their was a much greater travesty. Three of the greatest members ever in the CRWL quit that day in protest: Edge2015, M1P2C3E4K5 (Chico458), and Kkg765. Their reasoning was never really clear, but thankfully they eventually realized their mistake and returned to have great, long-lasting runs as CRWL members.

No character in CRWL history was shrouded in mystery more than
No character in CRWL history was shrouded in mystery more than <•Demon•>

7. March 13, 1999
In the most peculiar stipulation in wrestling history, Demon challenged Kane for the World Title in a Finders Keepers Losers Weepers Match at Just 4 U-Mystery & Mayhem. The rules were simple: first to find the belt wins it. There were no other rules. These two individuals battled everywhere imaginable. Kane took control of this match. Since defeating Bret Hart for the title at the Royal Rumble, Kane had been siding with Vince MacMahon. With Kane in control of this match, MacMahon yelled the words of “Trapdoor, trapdoor!” Kane headed towards a trapdoor. With Demon in a completely different section outside of the arena, Kane climbed into a trapdoor. Shockingly, it was Demon not Kane who emerged from the trapdoor. That seemed impossible though because Demon was still motionless outside of the arena. Then, Demon unmasked. It was Ryan Grieve! So, it was decided that neither Demon nor Kane would be named World Champ. Instead, they scheduled a rematch for WrestleFest, which Demon won in controversial fashion.

Code Red8. April 24, 1999
After nearly a month as World Champion, Demon began speaking in tongues even more bizarre then before. He spoke often of Code Red. The April pay per view was appropriately named Just 4 U-Code Red. Demon was set to defend his World Title against The Rock. This match played out like a replay of the retirement match when Demon was still wrestling as “3-D” Devious Devon Dawson. During the match, the lights went out. When they came back on, Demon was lying motionless on the ground with a tape recorder lying next to him. The Rock played the tape recorder and this time it whispered “Code Red Begins.” The Rock then spat into the crowd, delivered The People’s Elbow and got the 1-2-3 to become World Champion. Also on this night, Buffy defeated Sable in the finals of an eight-woman tournament making her the inaugural CRWL Women’s Champion.

Critical Condition9. May 15, 1999
The event was named Just 4 U-Critical Condition, and the main event was between two gothic men by the names of Demon and Clovis. The match would be yet another chapter to the story of confusion, the story of Demon. It wasn’t long before the lights went out. At that moment everyone thought of the many times when the lights had gone out before involving Demon. When the lights came on again, Clovis was wearing Demon’s attire and mask. Demon was lying motionless on the ground and on his chest it read “Code Red is finished.” On Clovis’s back it read <•Demon•> •>Demon<•. No one knew what that cryptic message meant. Clovis then got the three count and began screaming “No! No!” He took of his Demon mask and it read “UnDemonization Complete.” That’s how the night ended—in confusion and in controversy—like oh so many times before. Demon had left everyone mystified once again. Dawson officially returned to the CRWL days later to explain the entire Demon situation. In short, yes, he was Demon, but it was Clovis that “demonized” him and it was Clovis that controlled Demon. He mentioned that the whole Code Red thing was the only way to get rid of <•Demon•>. He also said that it was Ryan Grieve who first introduced him to Clovis. 3-D said that he was seeking revenge on both Clovis and Grieve and stated he would not be fully satisfied until he got his revenge on both.

jtpk10. July 1, 1999
Jermaine “The Pain” Konrad entered the night as the hottest wrestler in the CRWL. He had won a record 14 straight matches and was the North American, Continental and World Champion. On this night on an episode of Thursday Warfare, Vince MacMahon forced JTPK to do the unthinkable: defend all three of his titles in one night, in consecutive order. Konrad’s bad night began with a great triple-threat matchup. His streak and his North American Title were lost despite not being pinned. Instead, “The Disciple of Doom” Jack Slash pinned “The Black Diamond” David Grieve to earn the victory. In the next match, Konrad submitted to The Corporation’s Ken Shamrock via The Ankle Lock Submission. Then, in the main event, Vince MacMahon announced that Konrad’s mystery opponent was none other than a returning Ryan Grieve. Despite having already wrestled the two previous matches, JTPK battled toe-to-toe with Grieve until MacMahon blasted JTPK with a chair. Ryan Grieve, the newest Corporation member covered for the 1-2-3 and in turn became the CRWL’s first ever two-time World Champion. On a down note, the three losses caused MrWrestle7 (owner of JTPK) to temporarily quit the CRWL. However, after letting off a little steam, MrWrestle7 showed his true colors and sent out a very sincere letter to announce that he would stay in the CRWL. It was a classly act by one of the league’s most committed members.

Thursday Warfare11. July 15, 1999
The CRWL celebrated its 1 Year Anniversary with an episode of Thursday Warfare that had a pay per view-like feel. Edge defeated “The Disciple of Doom” Jack Slash for the North American Title. Ken Shamrock broke Jermaine “The Pain” Konrad’s record for longest winning streak when he successfully defended his Continental Title against Konrad. “Triple-H” Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeated “The Elite One” Sean Christain to become the World Title number one contender. In the main event, The New Franchise got revenge on The Corporation as they helped “HBK” Shawn Michaels defeat Ryan Grieve to become the new CRWL World Heavyweight Champion.

rgrieve&buffy12. August 25, 1999
On this night, CRWL superstars Ryan Grieve and Buffy were married in a move that went over like “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Elizabeth. Grieve also wrestled what was at the time believed to be his final match ever–a tag team match with 3-D against Demolition–and won. The crowd went crazy after the match, knowing that the CRWL legend was finished in the CRWL. This was all because Edge 2015, one of the most influential member in CRWL history, had been selected to represent Nevada in a hockey league that spanned the entire country and therefore had to withdraw from active participation in the CRWL.

Battle of the Best13. November 28, 1999
The second annual Battle of the Best Tournament came to a close at the 1999 Battle of the Best pay per view. The four semifinalists were Chris Jericho, “The Iron Eagle” Jeff Hunter, Scott Hall, and “The Impact Player” Sean Christain. In somewhat of a surprise, the reigning United States Champion at the time, Jericho, defeated TIE. That meant that Jericho was the new North American Champ and TIE would have to settle for the United States Title.  The finals were supposed to be a no contest with the man who entered the Battle of the Best as the champion, Christain, dominating Scott Hall. Instead, Scott Hall completed the most shocking event in CRWL history by stunning The Impact Player. The huge upset victory made Hall the new World Champion while Christain had to go home with second prize, the Continental Title. A few days later at Wild Wednesday Wrestling, Christain would show his true colors again by knocking a pregnant Buffy off the ring apron during a match with Ryan Grieve and later scamming his way into a world championship victory while disguised as Demon.

14. December 29, 1999

The CRWL’s final event of the millennium, Just 4 U-Y2Kaos was a guaranteed blockbuster. Kane retained his Hardcore Title against Taz. Adam Grieve beat his younger brother David in order to hold onto the U.S. Title. Kenny Hart ended Davey Dream’s big winning streak in a match for the vacant North American Title.  In the fourth match of a Reform Team gauntlet series, “The Iron Eagle” Jeff Hunter met Vince MacMahon’s mystery man, The Rock. The Rock avenged a loss to TIE which sent him into an early retirement months earlier. In a Tag Team Titles Ladder Match, “Madman” Michael Anderson & “Rugged” Robert Anderson were cheated as Demolition used all three members to retain the Tag Titles. Also, Ken Shamrock beat Triple-H to become the new Continental Champ.

Finally, there was “The Main Event of the Millennium,” which was a best 2 out of 3 falls World Title match between the challenger, “Dark Angel” Ryan Grieve and “The Impact Player” Sean Christain. This match had been greatly anticipated and since it was the last match of the millennium, the intensity was all the greater. Grieve took the first fall and Christain bounced back to even the score one pinfall apiece. The third fall took a while longer. After gaining the advantage, Grieve delivered his finisher, Closure, only to have Christain kick out. Finally, Christain set up for The Elite Express, but Grieve somehow managed to counter and deliver Closure yet again. Both men lay dazed for a few moments before Grieve slid an arm onto Christain which was enough for the three count and Grieve’s third reign as CRWL World Champion.

1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002

15. February 26, 2000
Just 4 U-D Day would prove to be the last pay per view in the “old era” and it would be a great one. One of the biggest matches of the night was the World Title number one contender fatal fourway cell match between “The Impact Player” Sean Christain, “3-D” Devious Devon Dawson,”Triple-H” Hunter Hearst Helmsley, and a mystery man. Who would go on to face Ryan Grieve for the World Title in the main event at D Day? After the three known competitors had entered the ring, the cell began to lower before the mystery man was ever announced. The cell touched down and the bell rang signifying the start of the match despite the fact that only three of the four men were in the ring.

newfranchiseThe match went on for several minutes before the very recognizable voice of Vince MacMahon was heard throughout the arena. He said, “Well, D Day is quite an extravaganza and this match is fantastic. The only thing is, there seems to be just one man missing. Well, he won’t be missing for long.” These words had everyone thinking, meanwhile, Triple-H was doing an number on 3-D. All of a sudden, Vince MacMahon came from underneath the ring and blindsided Sean Christain with a vicious chairshot. He then snuck up behind Triple-H and railed him with the chair. That left just one other man. MacMahon began to sneak up on 3-D, but he saw him out of the corner of his eye. Dawson slowly began to go after MacMahon around the ring. That was when Ken Shamrock appeared from under the ring and began to follow behind 3-D. Just as 3-D grabbed MacMahon, MacMahon yelled to Shamrock, “Swing!”. 3-D instinctively ducked and Shamrock cold-cocked the President. 3-D wasted no time delivering a Double Arm 3-DT. He then walked over to a dazed Sean Christain and covered for the one, two, and three! The crowd erupted as Dawson was announced as the number one contender for the World Title. 

The main event was supposed to be a special treat for the millions of New Franchise fans worldwide as the original creators of “The Franchise” got it on for the World Title. After several long minutes of fast paced action, 3-D appeared to have the victory when he applied The Devious Deathlock, but Grieve countered. However, later on Dawson delivered 3-D Vision and got the three count making him the new World Champion. After tasting defeat for the first time in a long time, The Dark Angel showed his sportsmanship to his longtime friend by extending a hand to the new World Champ. 3-D looked like he was going to shake it, but then in an instant, The Devious One did something that shocked the world. He gave Grieve a 3-DT. Then, he applied the Devious Deathlock! The crowd of thousands looked on in utter disbelief. New Franchise members came to the ring. First TIE came down and he got a low blow for his troubles. Then Jermaine rushed down and delivered a few punches, but he soon received a Power Bomb. Finally, Ryan’s wife Buffy hurried down the ramp. That was when 3-D totally lost any chance of ever being forgiven as he delivered 3-D Vision to Buffy! The Devious One then walked off with his World Title. The crowd was so shocked at what I had just seen, that they started a booming chant never before heard. They were all chanting it as loud as possible, “3-D Sucks! 3-D Sucks!” This victory for 3-D was the turning point in his career as he went from a beloved superstar to a hated World Champion.

wrestlesimsation0016. June 25, 2000
From April 1, 2000–June 1, 2000, the CRWL was shut down.The main reason I gave was that my schedule was just too busy but member apathy also played a major role in the decision to shut down one of the longest lasting feds around. The CRWL’s first pay per view in the “new era” after returning to action was Wrestle Simsation 2000. Kane & Mankind won the Tag Titles from The Anderson cousins Michael & Robert, thanks to a distraction. Buffy easily defeated Chyna to hold onto her Women’s Title. Also, the Undertaker beat “The UFM” Adam Jacobs in an extraordinary match for the vacant North American Title. The main event was a World Heavyweight Title & Continental Title fatal fourway match featuring two Mission members, “Triple-H” Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Ken Shamrock, the Continental Champion, “The Iron Eagle” Jeff Hunter with Buffy in his corner, and World Champion, “3-D” Devious Devon Dawson. President Suplex was the special guest referee. During the match, Shamrock and Triple-H both got taken out by a chair shots and a Slayer Strike, respectively. That left TIE and 3-D to battle it out. 3-D delivered a devastating piledriver and covered The Iron Eagle for a one, two, but Suplex wouldn’t count to three. Buffy then broke the pinning attempt. TIE knew that this was his chance to get going. He unloaded everything he had on 3-D. Then, Buffy took out President Suplex with a Slayer Strike. TIE recognized what was happening and went for the kill. He delivered the Eagle Drop to 3-D and covered. Buffy stripped the referee shirt off of Suplex and put it on. She counted one, two, but then paused and gave TIE the finger. The reigning Continental Champion looked on in disbelief and received a Slayer Strike for his troubles. 3-D covered TIE and Buffy quickly counted one, two, three.  Dawson had retained his World Title and gained The Continental thanks to Buffy who turned on The New Franchise—her husband’s stable—and joined sides with her husband’s archrival Dawson.

revelation17. July 29, 2000
Just 4 U-Revelation featured one of the most heavily anticipated tag team matches in CRWL history, Kane & Mankind put their CRWL Tag Titles on the line in a Triple-Threat 125 Cars in a Parking Lot Match against “Madman” Michael Anderson & “Rugged” Robert Anderson and “The Stone Edge Connection” The Cornerstone & Edge. As soon as the match got underway, three separate battles erupted. Kane and Edge went at it. MMA & Mankind did battle. And The Cornerstone and RRA also had a confrontation. Soon the action picked up. Edge delivered a Downward Spiral on Kane from the top of a car to the cement, but Kane came back at him. Kane hit him with a sewer lid, threw him against the fence, Choke Slammed him and then rolled a car over top of Edge. Meanwhile, Mankind and Michael Anderson were going aftereach other. MMA decked Mankind with a metal pipe, but it barely fazed him. Mankind came right back at him and DDT’d him to the ground. Then Mankind nailed MMA with a barbed wire baseball bat. After MMA finally came back to his senses, he got away from Mankind and went in search of THE blue sportscar. Edge was still down and out from being run over by that car.

The third battle was just as interesting. After RRA slammed Mankind through a winshield, The Cornerstone nailed RRA with a crowbar. Then The Cornerstone body slammed RRA onto the top of a car. Kane climbed the fence and leapt at Robert but missed and went crashing through a windshield himself. With Kane and Edge knocked out and MMA searching for THE car, Mankind and RRA battled right into a car. The Cornerstone then took a bat and bashed in all the windows of that car. Next he took out a seat and slammed it on top of a bloody Robert Anderson. Finally, MMA came to a license plate that matched the description he wanted. The first letter was an R and the last an N. In between, it said evelation. As he called out to RRA that he’d found the car, The Cornerstone began coming up behind him. All of a sudden, two men dressed in all black jumped out from the trunk wielding steel chairs. They both decked MMA and then The Cornerstone came in for the cover and the three count making The Stone Edge Connection new tag team champs.

The Cornerstone then did everyone a favor by unmasking the two men. The first was somewhat of a surprise—CRWL President Scott Suplex—but the second unmasking was even more of a shocker as it revealed another mask—that of Demon. Just then a car with a CRWL Revelation logo came screeching into the parking lot just outside of the fence. In what may have been the biggest surprise of the night, former CRWL President Vince MacMahon came out of the car and spoke for the first time since the CRWL had returned to operation on June 1. In one simple statement, he altered the course of the pay per view. He said, “We all just saw what Suplex and Demon did. I am now ordering the match to continue.” The refs did as MacMahon said and in a matter of seconds, RRA rolled onto the still unconscious Edge for the three count. Thanks to Vince MacMahon, “Madman” Michael & “Rugged” Robert Anderson had won their Tag Titles back in their home state of Texas. For the first time in a long time, MacMahon was applauded for his contribution.

The main event was a CRWL World Heavyweight Title Unlock the Cage & Unleash the Rage Match with “The Iron Eagle” Jeff Hunter challenging “3-D” Devious Devon Dawson. Finally, after about two and a half hours it was time for the main event. The idea sounded simple enough. Each man would have a person of his choice locked in a cage. To unlock the cage, the wrestler had to get a key dangling 20 feet above the ring from the rafters using a ladder. After getting the key, the wrestler could go right for the pin/submission or he could unlock his “teammate” and go on with a 2-on-1 like atmosphere. World Champion 3-D had his manager Buffy in his cage. The only thing missing was the person in the cage on behalf of Jeff Hunter, the young leader of The Franchise. After a short time, it was announced that  CRWL legend Ryan Grieve would be in the cage for The Iron Eagle.

After gaining a slight advantage and delivering a spinebuster, 3-D went out and grabbed the ladder. But TIE came out after him with a suicide dive. After whipping 3-D into the steel steps, it was TIE who brought the ladder into the ring. He started climbing but got nowhere before 3-D yanked him down. The two continued to go at it until Dawson gained momentum yet again. He smacked TIE with the solid steel ladder and then executed a Tornado DDT. Seeing TIE down, The Devious One began scaling the ladder. He got about three-fourths of the way up before Hunter pushed the ladder over sending Dawson flying to the outside. TIE, still laboring from that ladder shot, slowly positioned the ladder in the center of the ring and began climbing himself. 3-D was slow to get up on the outside. As TIE was nearing the top, 3-D finally got up and rolled back inside the ring. Just as The Iron Eagle grabbed the the key, Dawson shook the ladder, sending the challenger and the key down to the mat. After landing hard on his back, TIE took some punishment before mounting a comeback. With the key now in the ring, pinfalls and submissions were legal and that’s what Jeff Hunter went for. He delivered a power slam and got a two count. After kicking out, 3-D grabbed the key, but TIE delivered a reverse DDT. The two superstars then battled back and forth for awhile before TIE got 3-D down long enough to apply his  trademark submission move, The Iron Inferno. Just seconds after that, the lights went out.

When they came back on a short time later, Buffy was out of the cage, 3-D was out of The Iron Inferno, and TIE was out of luck. The cage door was opened somehow and now Buffy and 3-D did a number on TIE, which was completely legal in this type of match. They delivered a double power bomb and a double suplex before Buffy dropped him with her lethal finisher, The Slayer Strike. Finally, Dawson executed 3-D Vision and covered for the three count.      After scoring the win, Dawson quickly applied The Devious Deathlock. As he sinched in the painful submission hold, Buffy began nailing Hunter in the face with a number of powerful chairshots. Ryan Grieve looked on helpless until Tristan Phoenix came and unlocked his cage. He definitely wasn’t doing it to be friendly though. As soon as the new Continental Champ unlocked the cage, he swung a chair at The Legend. Grieve must’ve seen it coming though because he ducked and then dropped him with a DDT on the concrete.  Grieve quickly rushed the ring, which sent Dawson and Buffy out of there.

As 3-D and Buffy walked up the ramp, each sporting their own CRWL gold, they did something to infuriate Grieve as they exchanged a long, passionate kiss. Immediately, Grieve’s face changed to shock matching the expression of 3-D from this past Wednesday when he saw Grieve return. As Grieve stared on in utter disbelief, Buffy and 3-D walked behind the curtain and then the lights in the arena went out a second time. This time when the lights came back on, TIE was still laying there in the ring with <•Demon•> spray-painted on his chest. Grieve was also still standing there looking as if he’d just seen a ghost. Then Just 4 U-Revelation ended with the camera showing the complete amazement and shock on the face of Ryan Grieve.

ss200018. August 27, 2000
CRWL legend Ryan Grieve emerged from the shadows at SummerSmash to become the CRWL World Heavyweight Champion for a record fourth time. To put into perspective Grieve’s success in the CRWL, consider that in the league’s two year history, no other wrestler has even held the belt three times. As if going against his greatest rival, and a man on an amazing winning streak was not enough, Grieve also had to realize that Dawson had, for all intents and purposes, stolen his wife Buffy. Grieve wanted the shot badly, but just when he thought he’d get it at Wild Wednesday Wrestling, Dawson backed out for reasons unnamed, saying that he and Grieve just could not face one another. Grieve’s chances for a shot at 3-D at SummerSmash were slim to none as Dawson was set to announce his own mystery opponent.

Fortunately for The Legend, Vince MacMahon stepped in and set up the main event that everyone wanted. He set the table for Grieve/Dawson III, but this wasn’t going to be just any old match. It was going to be a 15-minute, iron man match held inside of a steel cell. The setting gave the match even more excitement than expected. Dawson picked up a quick first fall and held off Grieve for nearly the remainder of the match. However, Grieve somehow mustered enough energy to execute Closure in the closing minutes and pin The Devious One to even the score 1-1. Soon thereafter the time expired, which led to a sudden death tiebreaker. After another few minutes of battle, Grieve reversed Dawson’s own hold and applied The Devious Deathlock to the champion. That was enough to make The Champ submit and make Ryan Grieve the new CRWL World Heavyweight Champion, thus ending Dawson’s 15-match winning streak and claim to immortality.

octobera19. October 22, 2000seda
Just 4 U-OctobEra was home to what would go on to be voted as the 2001 Ring King’s Match of the Year, the Battle of the Best Tag Team Tournament Finals Triple-Decker Cage Detective Death Match between Tazz & Rob Van Dam and “The Stone Edge Detective Agency” Edge & The Cornerstone (SEDA). Before it even began everyone knew that this match would be unlike anything they’d ever seen before. Both teams gave it their all in this one and in the end it was a little trickery by SEDA that helped them pull out the win. It was the longest match in CRWL history, totaling nearly 43 minutes.

The main event was a World Heavyweight Title Match featuring “The Iron Eagle” Jeff Hunter challenging Ryan Grieve. Heading into this match there was a lot of animosity between Grieve and Hunter. Over the previous few weeks they’d had many altercations. Grieve continually would knock out, injure, or mess Hunter up and then say it was an accident. At first TIE was forgiving, but by the time OctobEra came around, he was ready to take Grieve apart, especially considering he thought Grieve was Demon and that he Grieve the World Title. The battle between former stablemates was a real back and forth affair. Both men were unable to finish off the other on several occasions. Nearfall after nearfall the opponent would manage to kick out. It seemed like the match would never end. Finally, Grieve went for the kill and tried to deliver his finisher, Closure, but Jeff Hunter had him well-scouted and avoided Grieve’s maneuver. He quickly countered with his own finisher, The Eagle Drop. After a two count, TIE’s worst fears were realized when the lights went out signifying one and only one thing–Demon.

Surprisingly, the notion that Grieve was Demon was proved false when the lights came back on as both Grieve and Hunter were left laying on the mat with <•Demon•> sprayed on their chests. Just as interesting, in the four corners of the ring stood Demon and Modern Era members “3-D” Devious Devon Dawson, Tristan Phoenix, and Buffy. Moments later, the lights went out again. This time when the lights came back on the scene remained the same except for one thing–TIE was on top of Grieve. Still, both men remained unconscious. The ref counted one, two ,and amazingly Grieve kicked out before three! After that, both men began showing some signs of life. They started going at it again until Hunter delivered a second Eagle Drop to Grieve. This time Grieve was unable to kick out making Hunter the new World Champion. However, the festivities were far from over.

As soon as the match was over, Tristan Phoenix attacked Grieve, and Devon Dawson attacked Hunter. Both competitors were mentally and physically drained from the grueling matchup and were left totally helpless. Then 3-D and TP held the two combatants together as Demon delivered a thunderous chairshot to the skulls of both TIE and Grieve. The Modern Era and Demon then walked out of the ring and up the entrance ramp. However, just before they went behind the curtain, Demon unmasked to be none other than former World Heavyweight Champion “The Impact Player” Sean Christain. With evil smirks on the faces of the Modern Era members, Dawson, Phoenix, Buffy and Christain left Grieve and Hunter down in the ring as Just 4 U-OctobEra came to a close.

botb200020. November 26, 2000
In the finals of the 2000 Battle of the Best Tournament, 4-time CRWL World Champion Ryan Grieve faced “The Center of Attention” Bobby Jackson. Could Bobby Jackson become the Scott Hall of BOTB 2000? Or would Ryan Grieve relive his Battle of the Best victory from 1998? In the early stages of the match, things looked good for the upstart Jackson. Later, Grieve mounted a strong comeback. Through it all no one seemed to be able to finish the deal. Finally, it appeared that Jackson had the match won when he applied his finisher, The Center of Pain. Then Grieve rolled it over into “3-D” Devious Devon Dawson’s submission finisher, The Devious Deathlock. That was too much for Jackson to handle and therefore he submitted which meant that Grieve had captured his second Battle of the Best championship in just three years and had won his record fifth CRWL World Title.

After the match ended, Grieve just stood in the ring, looming over COA with a sinister smile on his face and then the lights went out. Then on the JumboTron, a video began playing, showing clips from the kidnapping of Buffy, the bar scene, etc. The difference was that this time, the kidnapper’s face was visible for all to see. Many people had believed it to be Clovis, but it turned out to be none other than Ryan Grieve himself. The lights then came back on with Buffy and Grieve standing in the ring smiling. She was holding onto him and he smirked knowingly as the Battle of the Best pay per view went off the air.

rememberdecember21. December 31, 2000
Just 4 U-Remember December got underway with a very special “Milestone Match.” With Ken Shamrock’s Ankle Lock Submission victory over “Ice Cold” Ben Poddo, Shamrock claimed his CRWL record 60th all-time victory. On the other end of the spectrum, Poddo’s loss marked a record as well as he suffered his 50th all-time defeat.

Later that night, Ryan Grieve added to his legacy by successfully defending his CRWL World Heavyweight Title not once, not twice, but three separate times. First, Grieve had to deal with Tristan Phoenix. TP’s never an easy opponent, but Grieve did his best to create that illusion. After battling back and forth for a short time, Grieve applied Tristan’s finisher, Phoenix Rising and forced the youngster to submit. Up next was “The Real Deal” Shawn O’Neill. Before this match ever began, Tristan Phoenix knocked O’Neill down while the two met going in opposite directions on the entrance ramp. Once the match did begin, it was clear why O’Neill held two titles already. Nevertheless Grieve won in his continuing tradition of using the other man’s finisher with The Real Deal. The main event saw Grieve defend against “The Iron Eagle” Jeff Hunter. The final match of the year was a rematch of a bout that took place on a number of occasions over the course of the year. Grieve won the battle back in January at the Royal Rumble. TIE defeated The Legend at OctobEra. Then Grieve got ahead in the year’s series 2-1 by beating Jeff Hunter in the Battle of the Best Tournament semifinals. The fourth and final meeting of the year was another exciting matchup, but in the end Grieve prevailed with The Eagle Drop on Jeff Hunter to remain champion entering 2001.

1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002

wrestlesimsation0122. June 16, 2001
Thanks to Vince MacMahon’s cancellation of May’s pay per view, nearly two months of feuds culminated in June at Wrestle Simsation 2001, the CRWL’s first pay per view event since Just 4 U-Unholy Trinity on April 28th. It was hard to believe that the steel cage match between “3-D” Devious Devon Dawson and “Triple-H” Hunter Hearst Helmsley was not the main event. That’s the kind of show that 3-D and The Game put on. It was a real slugfest between two former World Champs. The ending finally became evident when 3-D power bombed Triple-H from atop the cage to the mat below. This allowed 3-D to finish climbing down the cage to victory.

The actual main event was a “Spin the Wheel & Make the Deal” match with “Special K” Kole Koleberg challenging “The Real Deal” Shawn O’Neill for the CRWL World Championship. Prior to this match, CEO Sean Christain spun the wheel to determine what type of match these two former Thrillaz Inc. protégées would battle in. It landed on ladder match. Right from the start, it was evident that this was going to be a very good one-on-one contest between two of the brightest young stars in the CRWL. Every time one man would begin climbing the ladder, the other would find some way to knock him over. Finally, they both began climbing. Then, O’Neill delivered Reality off of the ladder. He then resumed climbing and although Special K managed to knock the ladder down again, O’Neill brought the belt down with him to retain the championship.

anniversaryanarchy23. July 15, 2001
The CRWL celebrated its three year anniversary with Just 4 U-Anniversary Anarchy. Whether it was 3-D returning to World Champion status, Tristan Phoenix and Special K returning to the league or one of the several blasts from the past returns by such names as Superpig and Da Bomb Rob, the theme of returning remained throughout the night. The two biggest names in the history of the CRWL’s women’s division went at it as Buffy defeated Chyna to become the new Women’s Champion.

Then, in the main event,”3-D” Devious Devon Dawson challenged”The Real Deal” Shawn O’Neill for the World Title. This was the match that everyone had been waiting for and it delivered in a big way. One of the best pure, one-on-one wrestling matches, Dawson/O’Neill at Anniversary Anarchy will be remembered for a long time to come. The match included 18 pinfall/submission situations and every one of them had the crowd on the edge of their seats. One of the more memorable turn of events was when O’Neill looked to have a chance to win with a figure 4 leglock. That was until 3-D rolled it over into The Devious Deathlock. O’Neill tried to crawl over and get a hand on the ropes, but just when he was within reach, Dawson dragged him back to the center of the ring. Amazingly, O’Neill managed to crawl his way over one more time, grab the ropes and thus force 3-D to finally break the hold.

Later on in the match, O’Neill executed a frog splash and got a two count. Sensing Dawson was a bit out of it, he went for the kill and delivered Reality. Everybody was just about ready to pack it in and head home when 3-D somehow managed to kick out after O’Neill’s finisher. O’Neill was shocked at this and that allowed 3-D time to mount a comeback, which he most certainly did. 3-D battled back with every ounce of energy he had until finally he delivered 3-D Vision, a move that some say is the most devastating finisher in the CRWL. The crowd erupted knowing that Dawson had done it. Then the unthinkable happened as O’Neill got his shoulder up after the count of two. Dawson was stunned, and it showed on his face. Both men had survived the other’s usually fatal finishers.

The battle raged on with both superstars trying to mount an attack. Neither wrestler had much left, but they both sensed that they had just a little more than the other. That’s when O’Neill tried to hit a big move, setting 3-D up for a top rope hurricanrana. Dawson blocked it though and countered with his second 3-D Vision of the night. The referee counted 1-2-3, and “3-D” Devious Devon Dawson was the new CRWL World Heavyweight Champion, his third reign. Once the match had ended, the referee handed 3-D the belt and he held it up high for all the fans to see. Then he did the unthinkable and helped O’Neill to his feet. At first the two stared at each other in awe of the match that they had just participated in. Then O’Neill extended his hand and 3-D shook it as a sign of mutual respect to a huge ovation from the crowd.

ss200124. August 19, 2001
The fourth annual edition of SummerSmash featured the first (and only) “ICBP” Battle Royal w/ Special Guest Enforcer “Ice Cold” Ben Poddo. As a special gift to the fans of the CRWL, the league held the first ever “ICBP” (I Can Beat Poddo) Battle Royal featuring 30 memorable (for the wrong reasons) names from the past. In order to qualify for the field of 30, the wrestler had to either have a career winning percentage below .500 or to have won nine or less matches in his entire CRWL career. The participants of the “ICBP” Battle Royal were as follows: B.J. “Sweet Diamond” Vicks, David Grieve, “Buff” Brent Hardcastle, Cam Mallette, Coffin, Da Bomb Rob, Da Gas Man, Destiny, El Guapo, “Hott Stuff” Johnny Williams, “Heavy Metal” Angus Johnson, “Human Freeze Machine” Sean Iceman, Iceberg, “Iron Curtain” Russell Stokes, Killer Cole, “Prime Time” Lawrence Christain, Madberg, Sean Storm, “Never Surrender” Steven Cornell, Nick Berk, “Red Hot” Jason Jarvis, Roadkill, Ryan Styles, Sean “Cloud Nine” Cirrus, “Sexual” Sexton Storm, “Showtime” Corey Michaels, Storm, Sukiyaki Chow, Superpig, and Violent Rage. The final three men in the ring were “The Human Freeze Machine” Sean Iceman (CRWL win/loss record of 1-3), Nick Berk (0-8) and Superpig (0-2). Iceman ran at Berk, tripped and fell onto the ropes. Superpig then fell on him, knocking Iceman out. After Nick Berk delivered a dropkick to Superpig, Berk and Superpig ran into each other. Then Berk climbed the ropes and just stood there. Superpig pushed him down and Berk fell out. Superpig was the last man standing. That was until special guest enforcer Poddo entered the ring behind Superpig. Then Poddo delivered the most underused finisher in wrestling, The Deep Freeze, on Superpig. Finally, Poddo pushed Superig over and out and called for a mic. He spoke (yes, he did) saying, “Your 31st entrant and winner of the ICBP Battle Royal is me, ICBP, “Ice Cold” Ben Poddo!”

In the main event, a Falls Count Anywhere, No Interference Match, Ryan Grieve challenged “3-D” Devious Devon Dawson for the CRWL World Title. Prior to the match, World Title hopeful Ryan Grieve announced that his match against Dawson would be a Falls Count Anywhere, No Interference match. After battling backstage, Grieve gained the upper hand by smashing 3-D’s head into a glass case for a fire extinguisher. Not long after that, Grieve tossed 3-D into a dark room and closed the door. When he opened the door less than a minute later, 3-D was laying there motionless. Grieve quickly made the cover and got the three count making him the new World Heavyweight Champion.

However, as Grieve was walking back towards the ring to claim his title, he ran into CRWL President, Vince MacMahon, who hadn’t been seen in over a month. He had a mic for everyone to hear him say, “Grieve, you may think that you are the new World Champion, but I have great reason to believe that you are not the champion. Roll the footage.” On the JumboTron, a secret camera showed the action in the room where Grieve threw 3-D. It showed “Triple-H” Hunter Hearst Helmsley attacking 3-D with a chair and then Pedigreeing him off a bench onto the chair. MacMahon continued, “Grieve, your stipulation to keep the alliance out of this match has come back to haunt you. Your little plan was caught and because of that, I am ordering that this match continue until a valid decision takes place.”

3dlogo3With that, Grieve walked back towards 3-D in an outrage. He looked to nail 3-D with a chair that he grabbed, but 3-D dropkicked the chair back into his face. After a Double Arm 3-DT, Dawson delivered 3-D Vision to Grieve through a table. Rather then going for the pin, he then he set up a second table and delivered Grieve’s old finisher, Closure, through the table. He then pinned Grieve to retain the title. As Dawson returned to the ring area to get his title belt, he was jumped from behind by Triple-H. With 3-D’s alliance members Shawn O’Neill and Steve Austin having just competed in physically grueling matches, it was Ryan “The Enforcer” Williams that came to 3-D’s aid as the pay per view went off the air.

americana25. September 22, 2001
Just 4 U-Americana, the first pay per view following 9/11 also proved to be the final pay per view event in CRWL history. The main event was a CRWL World Heavyweight Title match with “Triple-H” Hunter Hearst Helmsley challenging “3-D” Devious Devon Dawson. What could have been a huge blockbuster was reduced to just a traditional wrestling match due to the overwhelming circumstances of the previous weeks. Nonetheless, Dawson and Helmsley came forth and delivered a solid match. After 3-D managed to avoid being Pedigreed, he set up and delivered 3-D Vision to pick up the victory against Helmsley. After the match, Dawson grabbed the mic and got the crowd into a frenzy with a chant of “U-S-A!, U-S-A!”

botb200126. November 24, 2001
Not only did “Triple-H” Hunter Hearst Helmsley make history by becoming the first person in CRWL history to walk into the Battle of the Best Tournament as the World Champion and walk out the same way, Triple-H did so against first-rate competition. In the Blue Bracket Finals, he defeated Bret “The Hitman” Hart. Then, in the BOTB semifinals, he defeated “3-D” Devious Devon Dawson. Finally, he outlasted Ryan Grieve in the BOTB Finals to retain his title. Also on this night, Buffy won the Women’s Battle of the Best Tournament to claim her fifth CRWL Women’s Championship.

truelies27. December 29, 2001
The CRWL closed out 2001 with Just 4 U-True Lies, featuring a double main event. In the first half of the main event, the league’s greatest rivalry was renewed once again as “3-D” Devious Devon Dawson challenged Ryan Grieve. In the weeks leading up to this match, 3-D and Grieve had had . On this night, Grieve’s Continental and North American Titles were on the line in a 15-minute iron man match. The first fall went Grieve thanks to interference by none other than Clovis, the man who once “Demonized” Dawson a few years ago. As if that return wasn’t huge enough, Grieve saw a glimpse of the past, too, as his ex-wife Buffy interfered to cost him the second fall. Dawson then got Grieve to submit to The Devious Deathlock. Then with just a minute or so remaining, Buffy appeared as if she was going to interfere again. Grieve decked her with a big right hand. 3-D went over to check on her, but got an Attitude Adjustment for his troubles. Grieve covered and registered the three count just seconds before the time expired forcing a sudden death overtime. Not long into the overtime, a masked man came down to the ring with a sledgehammer. He stormed the ring and took out both 3-D and Grieve with some painful shots to the back of the leg. He then continued the assault with the sledgehammer as CRWL officials rushed the ring to try and stop the masked man’s attack. When all was said and done, both 3-D and RG were taken out on stretchers; however, the masked man escaped through the crowd without being caught.

oneillIn the second half of the main event, “The Real Deal” Shawn O’Neill challenged “Triple-H” Hunter Hearst Helmsley for the World Championship in a falls count anywhere match. This match spilled out into the parking lot and that’s where things really got interesting. All of a sudden a limo pulled into the parking lot. Two masked figures got out of the limo with chairs. They walked up behind Triple-H and simultaneously delivered chairshots to Helmsley’s head. Then O’Neill covered and got the easy three count to make him the new World Champion. Right then the mystery attackers unmasked themselves to be none other than Vince MacMahon and “The Elite One” Sean Christain.

1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002

rumble200228. January 26, 2002
The 2002 Royal Rumble becomes the first event simulated using the new TNM simulator, replacing the Rassling 2.01 simulator that had previously been used in the CRWL. “Ice Cold” Ben Poddo also suffered his milestone 100th loss in the CRWL on this night. In the first half of a double main event, “The Real Deal” Shawn O’Neill successfully defending his World Championship in a triple-threat Hell in a Cell match against Ryan “The Enforcer” Williams and Chris “Superstar” Michaels. In the second half of the main event, Ryan Grieve added a Royal Rumble victory to his résumé, joining past Royal Rumble winners Cactus Jack, Clovis and “The Real Deal” Shawn O’Neill. Grieve would go on to win his sixth World Championship the following month.

29. July 15, 2002
In celebration of the CRWL’s 4-year anniversary, the CRWL opened its Hall of Fame with a three-member class: Chico458, MustangRockstar, and SyncireQS.

One of the most controversial members of the CRWL’s past, Chico458 [formerly M1P2C3E4K5] had a presence unlike any other. He first made an impact with Bret Hart, winning the World Title in ’99 and taking part in the legendary feud with Ryan Grieve. He later went on to win another World Title with his most successful created wrestler “The Iron Eagle” Jeff Hunter who began as a news reporter and later went on to become a superstar. Chico’s rp’ing was topped only by his chatroom flair, chatting it up with anyone who dared to challenge him. No matter what anyone thought of Chico, the bottom line is that he helped create and was involved in some of the biggest angles of his time.

Perhaps more than anyone in CRWL history, MustangRockstar [formerly Edge 2015] was responsible for the CRWL’s early stage development. Using his legendary character Ryan Grieve, he was basically the innovator of the “angle” and the “gimmick” as far as the CRWL is concerned. He was the first member to successfully use rp’ing and it helped him to achieve more success with Grieve than anyone has ever had in the CRWL. Yet his importance spans beyond Grieve because he was and still is responsible for so many of the classic angles and storylines that the CRWL has used in past years with his own and other people’s wrestlers as well. Perhaps the greatest compliment that can be given to him is that he always made whoever he was working with better, not only by developing an interesting angle, but by challenging them to challenge his level of rp’ing.

SyncireQS [formerly…a lot of names] may hold the record for the most different screen names/e-mail accounts used in the CRWL, but Syncire’s mark on the CRWL goes way beyond his many monikers. Other than my brother, he was the first person to ever join the CRWL and after a quiet beginning, he soon broke into the mainstream in a big way with “The Elite One” Sean Christain. While this was actually the second of his Christain creations, SC played second to no one. Regularly regarded as the greatest heel of all-time, SC was one of the first characters that truly got people to hate him. Over the years, Syncire has been involved in so many high profile angles that there is no way to single out any one particular one. Just as he’s had so many screen names, he’s had so many great moments in the CRWL.

wwwnew**30. October 18, 2002
Unfortunately, the final days of the CRWL are not fully documented. The last card I have any record of was Wild Wednesday Wrestling on October16, 2002. The main event saw “Icon” Robbie Cravich defeated Bret “The Hitman” Hart in a Continental Title number one contender match.

The newsletter that I sent on October 18, 2002, is the last document I have record of. The newsletter references that the end of the CRWL is near. Below is what I wrote in the introduction of that newsletter:

This is very difficult for me to do, but the CRWL is nearing its end. However, unlike past stoppages where I’ve just sort of disappeared out of nowhere, I want to give everyone full notice because this is very likely the end of the line for the Chat Room Wrestling League. Clearly things have not been the same lately as I’ve been unable to participate at all and have even failed to put out the weekly newsletter. The time has simply come to move on and while I’m sure I’ll miss the league for quite some time to come, I feel that this is the best decision, to end the league now rather than let it drag on and just slowly die out.

The timing is perfect too because it will allow for one final Battle of the Best Tournament, the biggest event of the CRWL year. The final night of action will be Sunday, November 24th at the 2002 Battle of the Best pay per view. And for a special finale, the matches will be simmed live inside of the original crwl arena just like in old times. So there’s still a little more than a month to go, to make the CRWL end on a high note, which it deserves. I’m sure I’ll give a full, lengthy farewell address when we near that final day, but for now let me just offer my most sincere gratitude to everyone in the league now, and everyone who has ever contributed to the success of the CRWL for making it the place to be in fantasy wrestling over the past four plus years.

"3-D" Devious Devon Dawson claimed his fourth CRWL World Championship by defeating “The Serial Thrilla” Shannon Matthews on Wild Wednesday Wrestling  on October 9, 2002.
“3-D” Devious Devon Dawson claimed his fourth CRWL World Championship by defeating “The Serial Thrilla” Shannon Matthews on Wild Wednesday Wrestling on October 9, 2002. Only Ryan Grieve (6 times) had more World Championship reigns than Dawson.

However, I do not have any documentation of the 2002 Battle of the Best nor of the October pay per view, Just 4 U-Hell-o-ween, which was scheduled for Oct. 20 featuring a main event of the CRWL’s two biggest rivals with 6-time former World Champion Ryan Grieve challenging the 4-time and reigning World Champion “3-D” Devious Devon Dawson for the title in what was being hyped as potentially their final match against each other.

It is unclear whether that match ever took place at Hell-o-ween, or if I followed through on my promise to close out the league with the 2002 Battle of the Best pay per view in November. My memory of 2002 is sparse, and unfortunately, I do not have any documents that definitively show that those events took place. So, as far as my records go, that 10/18/02 newsletter is the last artifact I have. As of 10/18/02 the reigning champions in the CRWL were as follows:

  • World Champion: “3-D” Devious Devon Dawson
  • Continental Champion: “Syco” Steve
  • North American Champion: “The Spark” Damon Starks
  • United States Champion: “The Merchandise” Scott O’Brien
  • Tag Team Champions: “The High Rollers” Big K & Papa Georgio
  • Hardcore Champion: Ken Shamrock
  • Women’s Champion: Madusa

1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002

**According to a Facebook comment from former CRWL member Stephen Griffin, the CRWL concluded on Sunday, December 1, 2002, with the Battle of the Best pay per view. That means that the last six weeks of CRWL cards/newsletters are totally unaccounted for at this point in time.

2 thoughts on “30 at 30 List #17: Remembering the CRWL”

  1. Wow, I can’t believe I found this site. I’m Edge2015/MustangRockstar. I’ve periodically searched for traces of CRWL for the better part of 10 years now and just happened to stumble on your website.

    Not surprisingly, writing is now a major component of my career as a public relations and marketing executive. Additionally, as a wrestling fan I still use the Ryan Grieve character in any games that I play. Interestingly enough, I actually changed his last name to Phoenix a few years back – thus stealing part of the identity of another one of my characters, Tristan Phoenix. Clovis is still in the mix well, often appearing as Ryan’s on-again/off-again friend/enemy/frenemy. The irony of all of this is the fact that some of these characters are now older than I was when I was RPing in CRWL.

    Looking back, I had a lot of fun in CRWL. Reading your blog brought back a lot of memories, including some that I had forgotten. Seeing old screen names from the heyday of AOL was also a trip (as is the realization that kids these days wouldn’t even know what a chat room is, or the frustration with trying to log-in to AOL using a 56K modem.)

    In my mind, I think Ryan Grieve captured the championship for a 7th time on the last show. I believe the idea was that it was a fitting ending to the CRWL, with the Grieve/Dawson match serving as CRWL’s equivalent of Flair/Sting closing out an era.

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