By Gerry Strauss
Nearly two decades ago, the landscape of professional wrestling was changed forever by a ragtag group of unpolished, untamed animals cutting their teeth in a dirty, sweaty bingo hall in South Philadelphia. The wrestling world watched in awe as these unorthodox warriors beat each other to their physical limits, all in the spirit of violence, aggression and the u broken bonds of respect and brotherhood that came with it. They weren't all friends, and in time, they'd all eventually go their separate ways in the industry. However, without a word being spoken, the understanding remained that they were a fraternity for life. Would they battle? Absolutely, but more importantly, they'd all remain loyal to the rebellious, anti-establishment spirit that they once shared.
Two weeks ago on Impact, Bully Ray found himself in a familiar situation. For months, his one-man crusade against Dixie Carter has been his singular focus, and in typicaly Bully Ray fashion, he's been anything but shy about his ultimate goal: to put the divine Ms Carter through a table in vicious fashion. On this night, as Bully was doing battle with Carter's nephew, ECIII, fellow hardcore alumni Rhino appeared, presumably to help his brother-in-arms even the odds against Carter's cronies. Instead, the "War Machine" did the unthinkable, turning his attention towards Bully and flattening him with his unstoppable "Gore".
Just as he'd begun to turn the corner in his war against Dixie, Bully Ray had been betrayed - not just by a former friend, but by a brother.
Last week, an enraged Bully Ray demanded answers... and boy, did he get them when Rhino arrived for a public face-to-face meeting and made it very clear that his allegiances were with Dixie Carter. He hypocritically accused Bully of stabbing his friends in the back, while Bully shot back that he needed to take responsibility for getting fired from every major company he'd worked for over the past decade. Clearl;y, Rhino's treachery was still a shock to Bully, who uncharacteristically left himself susceptible for yet abother thunderous "Gore"... only to be saved by a fellow "extremist" who truly values the ideals of brotherhood, Tommy Dreamer.
Now, the long-raging war has expanded, and the battle lines are clearly drawn. Oe one side stands the defiant Bully Ray and Tommy Dreamer, two men whom have proven that they can rely on one another through thick and thin. On the other side stands Dixie Carter, her family, her lackeys, and - most importantly, her money, and those whom will sell their soul for it. Will Rhino’s decision make him a rich man – or a target? More importantly, what other tricks does a desperate Dixie have up her sleeve, and can two “Innovators of Violence” survive the onslaught alone… or will their hardcore legacy finally come to an end at the hands of the Carter family?