FROM TODAY'S FWA OUTSIDER BY SHAKE MELTZER
--SPECIAL Q & A WITH FWA BOARD OF DIRECTORS--


Today, we have a surprise for the FWA fans out there who are looking forward to the upcoming final edition of 'Fight Night' which is also known as 'Curtain Call'. Let's not forget that the big Draft for 'Meltdown' and 'Fallout', informally known by some of the fanbase as 'Gunfight' and 'Knifeslap' - due to air tomorrow at 11am EST on the WC Network! The Outsider will be live on air for a draft companion at this time also so tune in!
Two of the newest members of the FWA Board of Directors have kindly allowed me to ask them questions so please check out the audio clip (transcript provided) below!


(Editors note: Here is a profile of the two men you are listening to.)


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Rupert Watkins
Director of Domestic Operations and International Development, FWA Fallout.


-Founder and chairman of the board for Dragon-Eagle Solutions Inc. (D.E.S. Inc), which holds an 8% stake in the Fantasy Wrestling Allianceís public holdings.

-Father of former FWA talent and X Division Champion Jean-Luc Watkins.

-Tasked by FWA board (of which he has been a member since August 2020) to keep down costs on the new Fallout brand as well as oversee the organisationís attempts to expand into European and Asian markets (due to his extensive business links in the regions).
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Knows very little about professional wrestling.

-Very British.



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Cal Robinson
(No relation to former FWA CEO Matthew Robinson)
Director of Creative Development and Television Production, FWA Fallout


-Background in television, having worked on dozens of successful network and cable television shows across North America; also recently worked with worldwide streaming services to produce a number of shows.

-Has been a lifelong wrestling fan, although has never been affiliated with nor worked as a part of any recognised wrestling promotion before.

-Appointed to FWA board in March 2021 specifically to work on the Fallout brand. Key responsibilities will be to dictate the creative direction of Fallout and its programming. Will be looking to use his connections with television networks and streaming services to promote Fallout.

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TRANSCRIPT


SM: Good afternoon, gentlemen. It's great to be able to put some faces to the names as well as understand just who the men are behind the FWA. Of course, you two will be running a particular show in the FWA but before we get to all of that... I must start with a simple request: Please introduce yourselves to the listeners.


RW: My name is Rupert Watkins. The company that I founded as a young man, D.E.S. Incorporated, has fingers in many pies all over the world. From dockyards in Rotterdam to lumber and steel works all over the Russian Federation to a media empire in North America, there are very few business in which I donít have a vested interest. Professional wrestling is no different. My son, of course, was the first Watkins to give his name to this odd and very American pastime, but as a performer. Classic Jean-Luc, really: always headstrong and thoughtless. But thatís beyond the scope of this particular interviewÖ I am here in a much less prominent role, but doubtlessly a more important andÖ lucrative one. You shouldnít expect to see me, or my business associate, on weekly television. Thatís not our remit. But rest assured that the ship is in safe hands.
CR: I am Cal Robinson. I was brought into this company to change things up and imprint my vision on Fallout. Iíve had success everywhere I have been and my resumť speaks for itself. You could call me a maverick of television if you wanted to. Many have.Ē


SM: It's very interesting, Rupert, that, of course, you have a son who has competed in the FWA - has that played a part in what brought you to the FWA - have you been a long time fan? Any favourites?


RW: I do not watch professional wrestling. I saw a business opportunity, and thatís why Iím here.


SM: And Cal, what about you? Do you watch professional wrestling? Everyone knows that Cal Robinson is a big name in the television industry - how will this benefit the FWA?


CR: Professional wrestling is always something that I have been interested in, but my talents were needed elsewhere. Itís about time that this business was brought back into the mainstream, and Iím the guy to do it. The FWA board correctly saw that, which is why in six months time, Fallout will be one of the biggest things in entertainment.


SM: I see. I see.


RW: I am confident that, with Mr. Robinson and his knowledge of this industry at my side, my own lack of knowledge in the field will turn out a positive. A fresh perspective, and all that.


SM: It does sound like you two could be a winning pair. It is risky being in this sort of executive position though - do you think your lack of knowledge of wrestling could hurt that, Mr Watkins? What pushed you to the executive position rather than some other role? What about an on-air role for you both?


CR: Iíve never been one to get in front of the camera and Iím not a professionally-trained wrestler. My skill set allows me to work behind the scenes and work my magic. This exec position was made for someone like me. My partner can handle all of the finances; Iíll be busy making sure that we put butts in seats and get people tuning into our product every week.


RW: Rupert Watkins takes on nothing but executive positions. I have a track record of success in a huge number of ventures, and D.E.S. Incorporated is one of the most widely-known and well-regarded names in multinational business. Iím hardly going to be part of the ring crew, am I?


SM: I have to say, Mr Watkins, I can see where Jean-Luc gets it from. I'm sure the FWA universe do too. Both of you speak very assuredly which now makes me ask: Did you have a particular show you wanted to take over when the names were announced?
CR: It didnít matter to me which brand that we were taking on. The end result would have been the same whether it was Meltdown or Fallout.


RW: I have no preference. I am being assigned to the Fallout brand, I am told, and my own particular remit - as I have alluded to - is in relation to the international expansion of the brand. FWA already has huge name value around the world, but a lot of that is tied to the Fight Night brand. FalloutÖ MeltdownÖ to me, it doesnít really matter. They are both new shows, and we have been brought in to build this one from the ground up. I think itís no secret that our partners over on Meltdown - some might call them competitors, but I prefer to think of them as partners - have already been talking to some familiar faces on the Fight Night team. Goldsmith, Baxter, SterlingÖ All of these are familiar, household names, and all are in various stages of talks with the Meltdown executives. These executives themselves are the same that ran Fight Night, and are still doing so. Meltdown may be a new brand, too, but I get the sense that they have more concern for continuity than usÖ


SM: Coul-


RW And that is fine. This is the playing field that we ourselves wish to compete on. Because whilst our competitors, I feel, will at least strive for some measure of continuity, we ourselves will favour creativity; originality; innovation. This is what the world will come to associate with the Fallout brand.
CR: The other guys on Meltdown seem to want to keep things familiar, but what Iím planning to implement here on Fallout is going to rock the boat. This will be something that youíve never seen before - and youíre going to like it.


RW: This isnít to say there will be no returning faces in a behind-the-scenes sense on Fallout. Christian Quinn is a priority for us. He brings credibility to the commentary booth, and we will be hoping to add to that credibility through recruitment and in-house training. But you should expect to see fresh faces alongside the lucky few that weíre speaking to.


SM: This is all very exciting stuff to hear and I think the dynamic between both Meltdown and Fallout could be interesting after hearing this. I'm sure Christian Quinn will have perked up after that too, Rupert - a mention from what seems to be such an esteemed man. What sort of ideas are you going to implement? Is there a goal?


RW: Well, Iíve already told you that we will prioritise new ideas, new programs, new talentÖ but it is no secret in the business world that I am something of a numbers man. And I like my numbers to be small, specifically when it comes to outgoings. Fresh talent means smaller signing bonuses and lower fees, and that these new faces bring with them exciting new rivalries is a happy byproduct. We do not wish to reward old-timers with big paydays for their name value alone. Do not expect to see us wasting company money on pay-per-view non-title matches where the retired legend barely shows up, or on lengthy sojourns across the Pacific to dig up faded starsÖ these will not be our priorities. The stars of tomorrow will call Fallout their home.


CR: Thatís right. Weíre building the foundations to the future premier and staple brand of the FWA. The bricks of those foundations are the future stars of tomorrow. As for what you can expect from our shows? Innovation.


SM: The FWA has set quite a high bar for innovation already, Cal, so those are huge words and the fans will be holding you to them! This goes for you too, Mr Watkins!


RW:ďRupert Watkins does not fail. My intention is to make Fallout the biggest wrestling show in every country of the world. Nothing less. The fact that I do not watch professional wrestling will not influence my success in any way. I may not know grapples and lycra, but I know people. I am confident that my business associate and I can assemble the correct parts for this machine to work efficiently.


CR: I think you just need to check back through my track record, and you will see that I can and will back those words up.


SM: This is exciting times! I'm rapidly falling on board with Fallout already - we haven't even started yet! I just need to confirm that you two will be the main men running Fallout? There won't be any outside interference from say other executives or even television network executives?


RW: Yes. There is no question about this in my mind. I have been personally assured by the board that we have complete, unwavering control of Fallout for the foreseeable future. All of its successes - and its failures - will rest upon our shoulders.


CR: The second someone tells me that I cannot do what I have planned for this show, I am walking.


(EDITORS NOTE: Cal Robinson was told he couldn't pause the interview to take a phone call. He walked out to deal with it anyway and returned as Rupert Watkins answered the next question.)


SM: So, Mr Watkins, is there anything you can share with us about the Draft now that we have discussed your role with Fallout.


RW: I think a lot of information has already come out over the last few weeks, but for my part I believe the draft is going to be an overwhelmingly open process. I thought, and this is just my own personal biases, that perhaps certainÖ biases would influence some of the choices. I assumed backstage dynamics would play a part before the draft had even started. I heard rumours that Sullivan has already been speaking to Fallout, and his contender for Back in Business to Meltdown. Iíd also read something about a clause in Konchu Haoís contract that forbade him from competing on the same show as Cyrus Truth. Something about an old grudge. But all of this is just gossip and innuendo. As far as Iím aware, the X Division Champion and the North American Champion - whoever they might be when the time comes - have to end up on different brands. Other than that, anything goes.


CR: As for teases? I think we have made our intentions quite clear. Uncle J.J. JAY! is someone I have been watching closely myself. I think he could be the man to lead Fallout into this new dawn. I have reached out to a few of my potential targets, but I donít think I want to give our Meltdown counterparts too much of a headís up on that. One thing I am willing to reveal, however, is that Shawn Summers has been talking to me about the possibility of a more regular role on an FWA show. This is something Iím very excited about: Shawn Summers is money, and fits what I want to do with Fallout down to the ground.


RW: I will be more clear, just for the recordís sake, on someone that I donít want. Much has been made in the online press recently about the treatment of Gabrielle Montgomery. I canít take any responsibility, or credit, for this treatment, but I can hardly say I disagree with my partners on Fight Night. This is not the sort of attitude that I would want to bring to my brand. Next thing you know, she will be unionizing, and we know where that leadsÖ


SM: So this is all pertaining the draft and within the FWA but, of course, I must ask now that it's out there - what about new signings from outwith the FWA for Fallout?


RW: Recruitment is always a priority, especially when you wish to build a credible brand around new talent.


(Cal Robinson elected to be silent and placed a finger on his lips in a quiet ''shh'' motion)


SM: I understand, Mr Watkins. I must say, I do thank you and Mr Robinson for your time today in answering my questions and helping the FWA achieve a little insight into the men who I can EXCLUSIVELY CONFIRM are running the 'Fallout' brand! But before we go, is there anything you would like to share with the FWA universe?


RW: One thing that I certainly want to address is something that I believe, from my impartial observations as - as Iíve already admitted - a content outsider, has been festering within this organisation for a while. There is a probability when it comes to credibility, both in terms of the match-making process and the business culture associated with the Fantasy Wrestling Alliance. In the ring, weíve seen pay-per-view main events over the last year that are just not in line with what the world wants to see. Gabrielle Montgomery and Mike Garcia are, well, theyíre good hands, but they arenít going to be selling out arenas in 2021, let alone in 2025. This limited concept of opportunity will soon be a thing of the past.

And as for out of the ring? We have seen too much from our on-screen stars who, if Iím perfectly honest with you, should remain just that: on-screen. Montgomery and Garcia are just two examples. Von Horrowitz is another. Black and Krash walk around with belts manufactured and promoted by competition. Trivial competition, but competition none-the-less. I want Fallout to be taken seriously in every sense, and that is precisely what I am: a serious man.Ē