The Early Days
WFA, standing for Wrestling’s Future Athletes was a Brooklyn backyard wrestling organization created by Sean Sation and Eric Diaz, running from the years of 2004-2009 in both Bensonhurst (Cropsey) Park and John Allen Payne (Sunset) Park. WFA was originally established as a way to create a new generation of backyard wrestlers, stemming off of the original organization (FTA) established in Cropsey in the years prior.
In the early days of WFA, the organization was managed by Sean and Eric, both creating the storylines and matches involving the local neighborhood kids. What WFA managed to do well was bring in eager talent who wanted to wrestle with their friends, establish unique characters and create compelling storylines that were engaging and exciting to watch. Elected as the owner of WFA, Eddie had a very short appearance and run in the company, falling to the background and eventually being written off.
The WFA Movement
Having a strong love-hate relationship with FTA, Eric did all he could to prove that WFA would outlive the FTA glory days. Bringing in new talents like The Alliance helped spark new famous feuds like Impact and Crazy Oz as well as Jesse West and Enforcer. Throughout the 2004 year, Sean and Eric had both defined the skill level and talent in WFA and brought each and every competitor up a notch in what they delivered in the ring.
Jason Kross at the time had suffered an injury training with Sean Sation and due to his collarbone injury, had to take time off from wrestling to recover. Meanwhile, the battle of pride between Eric and FTA was still alive and strong with athletes like Slick Rick and Wiggy 8 working their way into the heavyweight title division.
The Era of Team Kross
At the beginning of 2005, Jason Kross had negotiated with Sean to become the WFA owner and established a tournament to crown a new WFA Heavyweight Champion after the title had been vacated by Crazy Fist following his win against Sinister at Wrestlefest II.
Team Kross had been formed, consisting of Jason Kross, Sinister and Enforcer. Together this trio decimated the opposition in WFA and established a tyrannical rule that led to Rome becoming the new Heavyweight Champion. While many fought back strong, much of the 2005 WFA season was never recovered following an incident with Sean Sation later on when the footage was being archived for the internet.
Towards the end of the 2005 WFA season during one of final shows, a mysterious character had shown up in the WFA ring. Lying on the ground with a leather coat on and smoking a cigarette, he asked out loud “Are you guys WFA?”. It was in that moment that we knew WFA was going to expand into something much, much bigger.
Our New Home
In early 2006, there was a very strong call that needed to be made about the fate of WFA forever. Returning to Cropsey Park for the new season, at the end of the very first show, a police car had entered the park and told the wrestlers that if they were going to keep coming into the park as adults not accompanied with children, they would be fined. This created a tough decision for the organization, one where we would have decided to either end WFA for good or to relocate to another area.
The question bounced around to several people, each one offering a different idea for what was next. With the return of Mike Hardy and Renegade, two superstars from the pre-WFA days that started wrestling in Cropsey not under a brand suggested we move the company to John Allen Payne Park to keep the wrestling tradition going. At the time, Sean Sation was against the idea completely, believing it wouldn’t carry the same WFA feel and that Cropsey was the original home of WFA and that feeling couldn’t be recreated.
Nevertheless, with limited options, WFA moved to their new home and carried forward the WFA tradition. And with the mysterious man bringing his own group of wrestlers to the mix (XSW), the roster had grown significantly. Sean Sation however, didn’t like this idea and decided to take a stand against WFA. This led to several videos from Sean threatening to destroy the original WFA footage, and even a poorly edited video of him burning the original WFA tapes.
Either way, WFA picked up steam and carried memorable moments in 2006 like the “punch heard ’round the world”. In this storyline Eric and Ahmed had decided to orchestrate a work-shoot segment in which Ahmed insulted Eric’s family and his home. At the end of their match Eric punched Ahmed in the face, leading everyone to believe they were upset with one another in real life.
Swerving the WFA roster and the fans was something they did well, culminating in an amazing feud and matchup between the two. With the addition of the new XSW guys, the truth is there was bias held against them for not only being new but for also not being part of the originals. With Jason Kross still running the company and the storylines, several wrestlers were overlooked such as Patrick Blade and Joey Spade, never given a fair shot to prove themselves.
However, there were several fun storylines to come about, namely Enforcer being turned on by Team Kross and working to establish himself as the Superman face of the company and Impact becoming the most hated man in the company using Jessica Sweet as a love toy for Danny Draiman to maintain the Brooklyn Hardcore Title.
Shut Down, Once Again
After the running success of 2006, everyone was eager to pick up where we left off at the start of 2007. With an upgraded camera, the footage was going to be clearer and easier to transfer from camera to computer. However, after the first show in Sunset park, the Parks Department had told the roster that we weren’t allowed to wrestle there anymore, if we were caught then we would all be fined.
This put a major damper on the year. Being kicked out of Cropsey and now being kicked out of Sunset Park left us wondering what the alternative would be? Would WFA cease to exist? There were many plans that year to elevate superstars like Patrick Blade by aligning him with Twilight, however any and all efforts to keep wrestling dwindled away for the time being.
The Phoenix Rises
We let the land sit for an entire year and then daring returned to Sunset Park for a 2008 season. With new Parks Department management, we were able to pick up where we left off. Refreshed, revived and ready to make something great.
With superstars like Jason Kross moving on to real wrestling organizations, WFA management experienced a shift in ownership and creative. Since Impact had been in charge of recording the shows, he became an active player in writing them as well. Meanwhile, Enforcer had instated the WFA retro-active policy, allowing any WFA superstar from the past to immediately be a part of the roster.
Squashing their differences, Impact and Danny Draiman had formed an alliance of sorts to create a powerful unit in WFA. With many superstars chasing for the World Title, Enforcer found a friend in Mike Hardy, only to be backstabbed later by him. Once Mike won the title, the Higher Society had been born. Together Mike, Impact and Danny Draiman were set to run the show in WFA, but due to circumstances in Mike’s personal life, he had to relinquish the title, leaving it vacant and up for grabs.
As the year progressed, Higher Society had elevated in the ranks of power, with Impact having more and more pull backstage with the board of directors. The new agenda was to push Danny Draiman as the face of the company, but sadly he never made it to the top, only scratching at the surface by the end of the year. Danny Draiman had decided to call a meeting with Impact privately to discuss his status in WFA and the eventuality of whether or not he would ever become WFA champion.
Danny confessed to Josh that being WFA champion was a dream of his and it was something he had hoped for since he joined in 2006. Sadly, this led to Danny’s storyline becoming the person always reaching for the brass ring but never being able to grab it, something both Impact would later regret creating for him.
The Final Countdown
Set for one more year, WFA was ready to return, full swing in 2009. With Impact as the main owner of WFA, he worked alongside Eric and Nephtali to make some controversial shake ups in the company. One of Impact’s decisions was to bring back Sean Sation at the request of Crazy Oz. At first this seemed like a bad idea, given that within the last few years Sean had made several videos calling out WFA athletes, declaring WFA as dead and even going as far as calling it “fake park wrestling”.
The contract had been signed though, and Sean had been brought back under the provisions that WFA would follow through with his 15-page storyline notes. It was never agreed upon that it would be the direction he would go in the company, but Sean reluctantly returned. Within the year, Danny Draiman continued his conquest to win the WFA Heavyweight Title, feeling like no other XSW superstar had been given a fair shot.
This was emphasized in the private meeting Impact held with many of the XSW wrestlers. While he was seemingly invited over to help with a video project for Rob Jenkins, more and more XSW wrestlers showed up to corner Impact and to ask him for a fair shot in WFA. As the organization progressed, there was only one requirement, to be creative, to be enthusiastic and to not be selfish.
With Sean not happy at the idea of him suffering a loss via Christian Ares, the rising superstar in WFA who started out as a ref and managed to be creative, enthusiastic and not selfish, Sean created Sation TV on YouTube and edited his loss to look like a win. It wasn’t very long after that Sean and Crazy Oz both left the company.
Meanwhile other iconic storylines had begin to emerge like Enforcer poisoning Quarterz and turning on his long time fan and admirer Rinda. Some would say Rinda was the reason why Enforcer stopped being the champion of the people, leading to his sadistic path towards playing mental games and destroying his opponents.
With the rise of Christian Ares and the season progressing, there was a strong narrative coming into play. With the year being 2009 and all of the athletes being old enough to have jobs and money, the plan to continue WFA was a question we were grappling with. Impact had decided to call an impromptu meeting at the end of one of the shows to announce to everyone that at the end of the year there were two paths for everyone on the roster:
- Continue your wrestling dream: Enlist in wrestling school and start to learn wrestling professionally.
- End this year with a bang: Retire from backyard wrestling and move on to pursue other things in our careers.
This led to the roster preparing itself for the biggest and final show to end WFA, Wrestlefest VI. Each wrestler was told they could choose their final opponents and that storyline wouldn’t dictate it since it was the last show. There was a bleak sentiment going around behind the scenes among the XSW talent, some of them feeling like they had been passed over. Meanwhile superstars like Caution, Christian Ares, Quarterz, and Danny Draiman had been involved in memorable storylines all throughout the years.
When the time came for Wrestlefest VI, the show did not go down with a few dramatic moments however. At the end of the Brooklyn Hardcore Title match between Danny Draiman and Caution, Caution proceeded to take off his shirt to reveal an XSW shirt underneath, looking to show to WFA management that his heart lied with XSW. Danny Draiman also carried the same sentiment, wearing the same shirt underneath because he had been unhappy with his movement from the Heavyweight title spot to the Brooklyn Hardcore Title picture.
Meanwhile, in the epic match between Patrick Blade and Quarterz, Patrick Blade gave a monologue to the WFA fans expressing his unhappiness with WFA over the years for making him lose virtually every match and for never giving him a fair shot. Many in WFA felt that this shouldn’t have been documented because it was a slap in the face of the show, the fans and the people putting the show together, however, one cannot deny that it was a part of WFA history and that it will always be remembered as one of the final shoot promos within the organization.
As the show moved on into the dark, without light it was becoming increasingly hard to see what was happening in the ring until someone had the smart idea to position all the cars parked on the side to face the ring with their headlights on. Having the additional light, Impact vs. Twiztid and Jesse West vs. Enforcer was able to be seen on camera, providing for the epic main event conclusions to follow after the sadistic ladder match between Mike Hardy and Sinister.
Ending the show on Jesse West and Enforcer had brought things full circle, with the two of them establishing their feud right from the beginning of 2004 and ending it at the final mark in 2009, it was something that needed to happen and Jesse West, a man who had never held the Heavyweight Title before finally reached the top.
WFA ended that year with a bang, bringing all the fans and wrestlers together to rejoice and to share in their final moments as a family that grew through the sport of backyard wrestling.
Still Talking Smack
With WFA ending in 2009, this didn’t stop Sinister from calling out WFA’s champion Jesse West to fight him for one more match. Jesse West refused to comment on the matter but after Sinister proposed his challenge, not too long after Twiztid jumped in to comment as well. This also led to Impact sharing a few words for the two of them, thus creating the new WFA series Trash Talkers.
Sadly, after a few back and forth spats, Trash Talkers fizzled out with Jesse West the final WFA Heavyweight Champion still remaining silent on the matter, until…
A mysterious video appeared one day on the internet of the final WFA Heavyweight Champion Jesse West watching his final victory over Enforcer and putting on his wrestling gear. The video has not yet been confirmed as to whether it was created in 2012 or more recently. The rumor still stands though, will WFA be returning this summer?