PreCURSErs are better explained as Emerald Nation wrestling companies that came before CURSE. These aren’t just companies that came before CURSE (meaning they are also no longer in existence) but also companies that have directly led to the existence of CURSE as a company.

This is their story.

The 1970s

Professional wrestling came to the Emerald Nation in the late 70s. There were several entrepreneurs who came from the United States, Canada, Japan, and Mexico who wanted to bring the craft to the Emerald Nation.

Axl Knight started the Knights of the Squared Circle (KSC), Dalton Castle started Blackwood Professional Wrestling (BPW), Ahmed Rahim started Gothica Championship Wrestling (GCW), Benson Von Walther started Emerald City Wrestling Federation (ECWF), Hiro Tanaka started Infinity Wrestling Association (IWA), Francisco Jiminez started Western Alliance of Wrestling (WAW), and Shinji Nakamura started Halo Organization of Wrestling (HOW). These seven organizations became the equivalent of the “territories” of the early years of professional wrestling in the United States.

Each organization came up with their own slate of stars, some having only a few while others really hitting it big with more than their fair share of talent. A lot of the talent seemed to come from family sources, which allowed the relatives of the owners to soar where they might have failed to be noticed early on in their careers otherwise.

Axl Knight ran the KSC, initially, as a family operation. His sons David, Jared, John, William, and Michael were all athletes in high school and college so Axl turned to them to help raise up the KSC with stable roster presence. Some of the locker room was unsure of this at first but when Axl showed that they weren’t there to hog the championships the whole time, the KSC quickly became the place to be for talent and for fans.

Other operations tried the same formula with varying degrees of success. Dalton Castle’s BPW included his two sons Mike and Eddie as well as his daughter Nina. Nina was injured and decided to remain out of the business when recovery took longer than expected and her brother Eddie’s unfortunate death after an in ring accident killed him during a show also helped her leave the business.

Hiro Tanaka brought cousins Sato, Kenji, and Ando into IWA spotlights but all three of them had eventually left the company to other companies when Hiro wasn’t willing to give them enough time off after some injuries.

When family resources didn’t pan out, scouts were out looking for potential stars and that is where some hit it big. GCW struck gold with Frank Powell, who had two huge successful runs with the company’s World Championship. ECWF found two of the early “big men” that would come to be prized as wrestlers in Tom “The Tower” Hall and the 7’3 Charles Rockford (better known as the Beast). WAW and HOW were working with smaller talents and had a run of great masked wrestlers that, unfortunately, didn’t last long in country and moved out after a short stint in each organization.

The big winner of the 1970s, in hindsight, is largely considered Axl Knight and the KSC. Most agree that because of the crowds the KSC drew, as well as the fact that Frank Powell and Tom Hall signed over to the KSC near the end of 1979, were the big reasons that the KSC really stood out from the rest of the pack.

That, however, was only a short period of time in the Emerald Nation pro wrestling history books.

The 1980s

With a new decade came a new chance to shine in Emerald Nation professional wrestling. This not only meant for existing organizations but also for new organizations as well.

A brand new organization popped up out of Osh-Tekk called Further Wrestling Federation (stylized as FURTHER) under the ownership of a business group chaired by Harold Mansfield. They found several young talent right away but also offered a huge contract to lure Charles Rockford over, forcing EWCF to look to other new talent to support their business.

Axl Knight’s KSC continued to make big moves to be the biggest organization around in the early 1980s by rotating talent in and out, showing that not keeping the same people in the spotlight actually helped keep interest high.

As several other organizations made deals to swap talent from time to time, FURTHER made many turn heads when the bought out the WAW and HOW, buying their talent contracts in the process. Francisco Jiminez and Shinji Nakamura made a significant amount of money in the deal.

The FWF’s new roster brought a lot of attention to wrestling as their young roster became infused with established talent from the WAW and HOW wrestlers, drawing bigger crowds than anyone in the Emerald Nation other than the KSC.

During this time, all of the organizations began discovering the “mega stars” that would become synonymous with Emerald Nation wrestling: Hiro Tanaka brought James “Spirit” Hart into the IWA, Benson Von Walther brought the Untouchables (Allen Capone and Gene “Machine Gun” Kelly) and the “Techno Cowboy” Ed McClain to the EWCF, and Ahmed Rahim brought in the Power (Carl “Doom” Daniels and Carl “Destroyer” Douglas) and John “Gladiator” Benson into GCW. The biggest gains were by the big two of the Emerald Nation, though.

In Axl Knight’s KSC; Wyatt “Wild Man” Mann, Tom “Cat” Katz, Nathan “KnightHawke” Hawke, and the Wrecking Crew (Ben “Barbarian” Barnes and Ron “Warrior” Warren) were added to the roster to boost the already great talent he had on contract.

In the FWF; James “Jungle Warrior” Ueli, Kyle “Kid Lightning” Manning, Chad “Fog” Ferris, Diego “Red Devil” Lopez, Adam “Blue Dragon” Yoshiro, Philip “Red Dragon” Sato, Walter “Gold Dragon” Ishii, Ken “Green Dragon” Joshi, Electric Company (Todd “Bolt” Bolton and Todd “Charger” Chandler), and Skull & Crossbones (Richard “Skull” Sackman and Kevin “Crossbones” Bourne).

Near the end of 1981, Dalton Castle died of a heart attack and left the BPW to his only son and top star Mike Castle. Unlike the other operations, BPW didn’t have near as much talent as the others and though Mike had a good sense of business operation, he didn’t have a good grasp on luring in the talent. Once the BPW became his, Mike ended up selling the company to the FWF on the condition that they keep him on in an administrative role. They did, contingent upon him continuing to wrestle until the FWF acquires more than half the wrestling companies in the country.

Competition between the KSC and the FWF was the highlight of the early 1980s. Production values of each operation went up significantly, even causing the FWF to become the first nationally televised wrestling company. That move ended up being a major hit with fans of wrestling in the Emerald Nation.

In the winter of 1983, several of the biggest names in the Emerald Nation decided that the lucrative contracts being offered by the FWF were too good to pass up. Among them were Wild Man, James “Spirit” Hart, the Power, and “Techno Cowboy” Ed McClain. Such a movement of talent allowed the FWF to purchase both the IWA and EWCF. Mike Castle moved from part time talent into full time administration.

Axl Knight had attempted to secure a national television deal for the KSC but the ownership group blocked every attempt. Seeing their inability to secure television contracts, several of the big names of the KSC leave to sign on with the FWF. This also forced the GCW to sell to FWF, leaving only the KSC as the only alternative.

When FWF became a large monolith, Axl Knight tried to keep the KSC afloat as an alternative by securing small television deals with local affiliates and solidifying contracts with key talent. Axl kept his family together, including Nathan Hawke who was marrying his daughter, but lost Tom Katz when he was unable to compete with the offer they made.

By 1985, just after the FWF crowned Wild Man as their World Champion, the KSC was unable to continue operating when Axl died. The oldest son, David, tried to continue operating the KSC but was unable to continue without operating at a loss and made the hard decision to sell the KSC to the FWF, ending any competition in the Emerald Nation.

With the entirety of the wrestling community under one banner, Mike Castle finally began running the FWF with long term goals in mind. The big stars became bigger and those newer talents looking for their shot became big stars.

The FWF ran at their peak from late 1985 until 1989. During this era there were only three World Champions: Wild Man, KnightHawke, and Cat. The Intercontinental Championship was a launching point for talent, making stars out of many who held the belt and only failing a minority of those who wouldn’t remain in the business for very long.

Once Cat lost the World Championship in December of 1989, the cracks in Mike Castle’s business operating acumen were starting to show.

The 1990s

Sometime in the mid-1980s, Mike Castle had started to be present at most of the live shows that the FWF put on. While some of the talent thought this was a hold over from his days as an active wrestler, others felt this was more of a micro-management style as changes would be made whenever he was present.

When the calendar turned to 1990, however, things rapidly started falling apart and Mike Castle’s grip on things really started to loosen in terrible ways. The ownership group had replaced the chairman with Terrance White, who expected the FWF to start working up more new stars and using the current stars to help push the new ones into the limelight. As Castle tried to accomplish this, he started to show up less at live events and he also started to have less of a plan ready for those live shows.

In the early part of 1991, Wild Man had “retired” for the first time and left the FWF to try his hand at the film industry. KnightHawke had been asked to essentially job for brand new talent and refused to resign without creative control, essentially ending his contract with FWF. Cat remained and was returned to tag team competition (where he’d started in FWF) to help boost a new guy, who Cat stated on many occasions shouldn’t be wrestling due to a lack of training.

When Mike Castle stopped appearing at live shows entirely, the ownership group appointed William Thomas to Castle’s position and that’s when many of the “old guard” talent say the FWF actually died.

William Thomas used everyone who was considered a main event talent to put over the new talent, especially those Thomas himself hand picked to be the next big things. Most of 1993 to 1995 was a clearing house of the top guys from the mid to late 80s being jobbed out to the poorly built up talent hand picked by Thomas, then let go unceremoniously when he felt they were no longer useful.

Regis Carter, an entrepreneur from New Shaolin, started the Universal Wrestling Federation (UWF) and was hiring on all of the talent that the FWF was letting go. KnightHawke, Cat, McClain, Hart, Untouchables, Wrecking Crew, the Power, and more were flocking to the UWF to have things run by someone who wasn’t going to run the company into the ground. Carter had enough pull to get a television deal as well and the UWF was easily more popular in the Emerald Nation in a month than the FWF.

On September 12, 1997, Mike Castle was found shot to death in his home. Investigators discovered a connection to several members of the FURTHER ownership group who were then charged with conspiracy to commit murder. With most of their business tied up with the FWF, and William Thomas essentially running the FWF into the ground (because the viewership was declining rapidly), FURTHER filed bankruptcy in 1998, officially ending operation of the FWF. Less than 10 of the 62 wrestlers on the FWF roster found work due to the lack of draw and their poor work ethic under William Thomas’s administration.

Even though the UWF was a successful operation, Regis Carter wasn’t looking to keep the organization around as a long term solution. He’d opened the doors as a means of keeping the wrestlers employed and keeping fans watching what they loved. Officially, the UWF ran from 1994 until 1997. Carter sold the UWF to Quentin Maxwell who rebranded it (and left everything else the same) as the Gothic Wrestling Organization (GWO). The GWO ran for just one year (1997 to 1998) when Maxwell partnered with another big name to evolve Emerald Nation wrestling into something bigger.

Dmitri Moon and Quentin Maxwell formed a partnership in early 1998 and decided to “reboot” the GWO. Some of the talent had been uninterested in such a thing and others were intrigued. In the end, the Dark Wrestling Organization (DWO) emerged with a very small roster and only Cat as their main event talent. The DWO would grow, however, to be a huge name in the industry and draw some of the biggest names back into the spotlight.

The DWO had names like Super Grapple Master 5000, Ebon, Scott “Scarecrow” Crowe, Roger “Zoo” Stane, John “Grave Digger” Adams, and King Titanic. While the DWO only ran from 1998 to 2001, the organization saw a popularity that was barely rivaled in the country. The DWO would be the template for many of the future attempts at wrestling organizations in the future, as well.

The 2000s

The DWO grew in popularity to the point that another, lower key organization, popped up in its shadow. Dark Championship Wrestling (DCW) started out with a roster of independent talent but eventually started gaining talent from bigger sources.

Moon and Maxwell took a shot on a bright prospect, Neil Bowers (known as Cenobyte), who ended up getting himself into a contractually strong position with the DWO. Cenobyte had a somewhat strong run in the DWO but never was able to attain a push into the main event. Crowds were initially fond of his athletics but when rumors of backstage antics started to circulate.

Several of the FWF talent who had joined the DWO had gotten into such problems with Cenobyte that they had left the company for the DCW, which was more of a stop gap than a permanent solution. The DCW wasn’t financially solvent enough to keep running long term but there were other things happening in the background that were in the works.

Cenobyte was finally released from the DWO after an incident backstage involving several main event talent. As soon as he was released, Bowers signed with the DCW and secured himself a long term deal. Anyone that had fled to get away from him instantly left the DCW for other work.

Moon and Maxwell sold the DWO to other investors in 2001, which continued to operate for another 2 years before eventually closing their doors due to poor finances.

There was a short lived Virtual Wrestling Matrix (VWM) that ran briefly but couldn’t afford to keep going for more than a few months. A few notable names managed to make their names in the organization but those who sought the biggest leaps ended up leaving the country.

Dmitri Moon arrived back on the scene in 2002 with the prospect of an experiment designed to run exactly 6 months. The Sports Entertainment Organization (SEO) was formed and hired on all of the biggest names in the Emerald Nation wrestling world. The SEO launched with a full TV slate of weekly shows (two separate “brands” being Monday’s Energy and Wednesday’s Zone), with two planned pay per views (one after each three month period, Synergy and Nexus). The SEO was a huge hit with fans and the talent, giving hope the Nation that the sport would once again reign in the country.

However, exactly as promised, once the 6 months ended, the SEO closed it’s doors. Petitions to Moon to continue the experiment or to allow someone else to buy the rights were made but to no avail, and all of the wrestling talent was left going back to independent shows across the nation for the next three years.

Pavel “Grizzly” Ustimchuk, having retired in the mid-90s, decided to open PHASE (Professional Haven for Athletes of Sports Entertainment) and partnered with the EBC (Emerald Broadcasting Company) to try to get something off the ground. Several wrestlers came on board and PHASE had a television deal built in, but only had a weekly program to work with, so there was an alteration on how their storytelling had to work.

With the minor success of PHASE, David Knight (son of Axl Knight) made a deal with Emerald Telecommunications to form Force Unlimited Sports Entertainment (FUSE). ET had their own television network and also gave FUSE a weekly show deal similar to PHASE, thus several wrestlers unable to sign with PHASE due to their budget limitations were given opportunities in FUSE.

Now that a competition was in the works, wrestling was back and active in the Emerald Nation with everyone paying attention. Several of the older generation were given a chance to retire in the ring, in public, and a new generation made their debut on TV where they would start to show their willingness and ability to take over as the torchbearers.

The 2010s

PHASE was trying their hand at a brand of wrestling that wasn’t necessarily sitting well with the EBC: hardcore wrestling. Many of the younger talent that they had signed on as their older talent decided to retire wanted to go in a hardcore direction. The EBC wasn’t comfortable with so much blood being displayed on their broadcasts and started pressuring PHASE to dial back the hardcore nature of the product.

Ustimchuk barred hardcore from their televised events and there was a strike among the younger talent. The main event and non-hardcore talent were the only ones left to populate the TV programming and ratings actually rose. Seeing the change in the positive, Ustimchuk gave the strikers an ultimatum to return without the hardcore edge or be released and most of them chose to walk.

PHASE’s decimated roster (being about half of what it was) struggled to fill their time slots with matches as their remaining roster was working with injuries and more dates than they had been signed for. Ustimchuk was forced to get creative and offer some big deals for recent retirees to come back in for limited runs.

FUSE, on the other hand, was not interested in bringing hardcore wrestling to their organization, so all those released wrestlers from PHASE had nowhere to go but back to independent organizations or face the reality that they needed to change. Retirees from FUSE were given offers from PHASE to come in for limited runs, and some took deals, but FUSE was running without the struggle as their roster was more than padded with talent.

The difference between the two organizations was almost night and day, proving the Knight family really knew how to run a wrestling organization when given the chance. Their younger talent were given many opportunities and some even broke through main event level (talent like Donovan Righte, Marshawn Deacon, Wayne Knight, and Nigel Cross).

In 2015, Pavel Ustimchuk had a heart attack at a live show and the EBC were left without a promoter in which they had a partner. PHASE’s executive staff left the COO Gina Mason in charge of the company, someone wholly unprepared to run a wrestling company. She immediately brought in a staff who had more wrestling knowledge than she did, with Ron “Warrior” Warren being the booker.

PHASE programming went quickly downhill, with ratings suffering as Warren shifted the focus from the established talent being the focus and moved to concentrating on the up and coming talent. His motivation was to build up the younger signees to build a wider base of stars to be able to rely on for a stronger future in PHASE.

Warren as booker lasted only 1 year as Mason replaced him with James “Jungle Warrior” Ueli, who tried to recover the damage done by Warren. The main event talent that were seriously impacted by the shift in PHASE had let their contracts expire and either retired or moved over to FUSE. Ueli attempted to refocus on the remaining main event talent again, with a small focus on building up a few of the younger talent to replace the lost names but when he was unable to recover the lost momentum, the EBC decided to end their relationship with PHASE.

Gina Mason, left without a television deal, wasn’t able to afford several contracts and had to evaluate what was best for PHASE and by the end of 2018, the company closed it’s doors by declaring bankruptcy.

FUSE signed a few of the recently released wrestlers but needed to maintain a solid business model.

In 2019, Jonathan Forrester (a former executive of EBC) hired James Ueli to help him form RISE (Revolution Internet Sports Entertainment). The idea behind RISE is that there would be several “divisions” that talent would fall under, allowing for different types of wrestling. They would bring their shows directly to the Internet, not requiring Emerald Nation television broadcasters to sign on at all. The company launched with the concept of four “brands”: red (hardcore, edgy), gold (women’s), green (new talent proving ground), and blue (family friendly).

While signings were many, deals were not spectacular to start with as contract amounts were conservative until proof of concept was proven.

The 2020s

As RISE was trying their hand at something new, FUSE was having a problem that was something familiar: succession.

David Knight was searching for a successor to turn FUSE over to, as he was interested in retiring from the wrestling business altogether but there were no takers that seemed to be stepping up. He had initially sought out his brothers, all of which were not far off in age, but they were already where David wanted to be: retired. Looking for recent retirees that would be good, business-minded individuals to take his place also seemed to be few and far between.

RISE lasted until 2020, when the pandemic hit and essentially eliminated the company from being able to operate.

Early in 2021, Tom “Cat” Katz approached friends Nathan “KnightHawke” Hawke, Scott “Scarecrow” Crowe, and Roger “Zoo” Stane about starting a long lasting wrestling company. Their preliminary talks led to the establishment of the foundations of CURSE. All four agreed that they should approach David Knight about FUSE and see what could be worked out.

David Knight met with the CURSE founders about the existence of FUSE and the meeting ended with David deciding that CURSE would be the future of wrestling in the Emerald Nation, giving David security to close the doors of FUSE in late 2022 and retire.