A lot of people have asked about our beginnings. How did the IWO form? Where did you come up with the FWLnet.com domain name? Why IWO? Therefore, we created this page to give you a background on how we were formed, what we try to do, and how we go about doing it.
In November 1996 a bunch of people came together and created the Fantasy Wrestling Organization (FWO). At the time, e-wrestling was not all too popular, thus only diehard wrestling fans were really involved. They were there to have fun, to make the Internet a place to let go of a little anger through their federation.
Some time later Eric, a man who had some background in the FWO, took over the fed for unknown reasons. Eric created out of this the Fantasy Wrestling League (FWL). By this time e-wrestling was just beginning to get big, so he set up a web site to attract some more attention. He called the original web site, which was hosted on WBS, FWLnet.
In August 1997 things began to take a turn for the better. Jamie Kosoy, the person who wrote this web page and all IWO Online, joined the FWL as an e-wrestler. However, he played no role in anything beyond that. Until January 1998. Eric gave full control of FWLnet to Jeff Urso, his Co-President and friend. Jeff asked the FWL if anyone knew anything about web site design and would like to take a crack at FWLnet. Jamie volunteered, and was given the position of Creative Consultant on the FWL Board.
FWLnet was slowly growing on Geocities now. It wasn't until March 1998 that things really began to change. Jamie suggested to the FWL that they buy a domain name to attract more attention to the e-fed. He's always wanted a domain name :). In May, he used extra money he had just earned to buy FWLnet.com himself, and on June 1st, 1998, FWLnet.com began to exist, being hosted by Prescion Web Hosting.
FWLnet was rapidly gaining attention. Jamie began to create new features to attract new people, such as a Top 75 and a Web Ring. By August 1998 it looked as if the FWL was unstoppable. However, in September, an argument ensued between all the FWL Board. Jamie, who felt he hadn't been given the credit due for making the FWL what it was, left the fed. However, he still owned FWLnet.com, something no one could take away from him since he spent the money on it. But he had nothing to do with it....
That is, till he learned of the Nightmare Wrestling Federation (NWF). The NWF had been formed earlier in the month, when the FWL fired about 20 people that Eric didn't like. John Maples, an FWL Board member for some time now, thought this was unfair and created the NWF on Geocities to compensate for them. Jamie asked John about bringing the NWF to FWLnet.com. However, they both decided it would be better to change the federation name to something that was not used by many other e-feds out there. They decided on the Internet Wrestling Organization (IWO), and quickly Jamie changed all FWLnet.com to IWO Online material.
By November 1998 the IWO was booming. It was rapidly growing, along with its web site. IWO Online introduced a flurry of new features to continue to attract more attention. In December, IWO Online won a huge victory- TNM's E-fed of the Year. All that month people had been voting for who they felt was the best e-fed on the Internet. IWO Online won in a land slide; first and second places total votes combined were not equal to IWO Online's.
By January the IWO and IWO Online seemed unstoppable. However, Prescion Web Hosting terminated their hosting of the FWLnet.com domain because of bandwidth problems. Too many people were visiting IWO Online a day for them to handle. Therefore, Jamie set up a new plan with Icom hosting. It wasn't until late March, however, that the FWLnet.com domain would come back. In the meantime, people were confused about the lack of updates to the site.
More recently, the IWO and IWO Online made a deal with Extreme Interactive Media, the company behind Scoops Wrestling. EIM took interest in IWO Online, and since the two sites have become affiliates, setting in stone the fact that the IWO is the first mega e-wrestling site ever. With Scoops, IWO Online was able to open two Top 1000 sites, a classified ads system, and more. IWO Online is testament that even the craziest of games invented by normal people can become something huge.
Since then, IWO Online has been recovering the lost time, bringing record setting e-wrestling Pay Per Views, more features than any other single e-wrestling site out there, and a new layout which has gone over fabulous with the majority of the people who visit IWO Online. The IWO has grown a fan base...there are even some out there who want Jamie to try his luck in running an actual federation. There have been many bumps in the road, but the IWO and IWO Online have continued to persevere...and hopefully we'll be here for to serve you for a long, long time.
Our popularity has now risen beyond the expectations of anything we could've ever imagined. The site got so tremendously big that in order to keep things organized, IWO-Online.com was purchased and set up on Scoops, branching our site out to 2 domains now. Coolboard.com, a newer company on the Internet, contacted us about working out something with their specialized message boards, and have since become a working part of our operation. Three IWO Minor Leagues exist, totaling over 150 members between the four feds which bear the name IWO. And our popularity never fades, even through the darkest of dark times. The fans of this e-fed-turned-super-site support the work we do, and inspire us to keep going into the future.
The next chapter in our vast history was Snowball.com. Snowball.com acquired ScoopsWrestling.com, thus making IWO Online an affiliate of them. Since Snowball.com also happened to own IGN.com, that put our sites in an excellent position: We now were considered one of, if not the leading e-wrestling site on the Internet. With IGN's backing, FWLnet continued to rise, introducing new features like Newsletters, Trivia, and more. During this period of time, IWO Online President/Webmaster Jamie Kosoy signed a two year deal to continue work, for certain benefits, for the next two years on IWO Online/FWLnet. This contract guaranteed that this site will be around until 2001!!
After the contract was signed in late November of 1999, the IWO accomplished something never seen before. It won TMN E-Fed of the year again for a second time in two years. This unprecedented outcome was also glorified even more with the IML 2 and IML coming in second and third. With the IWO running high, and things looking to be unstoppable, a string of bad luck happened when now IWO hall of famers retired. Such names as Phelen Kell, Titan, Zombie, Dane Wilt, Ken War, Billy Larson, and others thought it was time to "hang up the tights". With these retirements, the IWO saw its self slowly slip. However when it was at its lowest, long time IWO President Jamie Kosoy announced to the world that he has "burnt out" and will be taking a long sabbatical from the IWO. With this announcement, the foundations of the IWO were falling to peaces until Jamie announced his predecessor. It was to be John Maples. John the long time VP of the IWO stepped up to the plate and within his first month as head of the IWO he totally resturchered the IWO. He shut down IML 2 and 3 and named a new staff. He named IML 2 President Tom Ford as the new Webmaster, long time IWO wrestler Will Bloom to VP and long time IWO wrestler Evan Levine to Commissioner.
John with his new staff led a rejuvenation of rping and angles all throughout the IWO. However, this golden age in the IWO was short lived when in August of 2000, Jamie Kosoy came back in what was seen as one of the most realistic angles in the IWO's history. The angle pitted Jamie vs. John for the fed. People thought it was so real that they actually quit over the bickering. When things got out of hand, the angle was exposed and Jamie once again left into the shadows, but this time he didn't leave alone. With one week before Heatstroke, IWO's August PPV, John Maples announced he was leaving the IWO due to personal problems. With out a leader the IWO was left in shambles and forcing Jamie Kosoy to come back. Jamie not very excited about coming back promoted Evan Levine to VP of the IWO and Tom Ford to Commissioner of the IWO and leaving Will Bloom in charge. However once again this proved to be feudal when Will left the IWO leaving Evan and Tom alone to run the IWO. For close to 6 months the IWO was under the control of Tom Ford and Evan Levine. Both at this point were the VP's and both ran a weekly show along with the web page and traded the PPV's off every month. With only two people running the IWO help was needed and help came when in December of 2000 Jamie Kosoy returned once again as President of the IWO. With his return it helped to make Ice Age 3 the greatest IWO PPV of all time. Under Jamie's leadership, the IWO quickly grew back to what it once was, until tragedy struck. Snowball.com was losing money fast and shut down Scoops wrestling which was hosting the IWO. This meant the IWO had no web page. Starting in January and ending in June, the IWO went dark to all its fans for over 6 months. During this down time, the IWO continued over email and was advertised and updated on FWLnet.com. The happenings in the federation never changed until April when Evan Levine was promoted to Co-President of the IWO and Neil, long time handler of Tony Davis, was added to the board as ETNU.
When the IWO finally did come back under Jamie Kosoys personal website, a shocking announcement was made. The IWO was split into to factions. The idea came when John Maples made his surprising return to the IWO. With the dream team of Jamie and John back together sparks started to fly and ideas came together and the greatest idea in IWO history came to true. The Creating of the IWO White and IWO Black. Evil vs. Good in a ratings war to never be seen anywhere else. The IWO White was first headed by Evan Levine as President, Tom Ford as Vice President, and Neil Prettyman as ETNU. The IWO Black was first to be headed by John Maples as President, "Other" John as Vice President and Kevin Martin as Commissioner. Both of these boards are runned differently with the only connection being IWO Owner Jamie Kosoy who sits at the head of the table or the IWO Council. With the IWO White and Black running strong into 2002, it is truly a marvel to the world, FWLnet/IWO Online is a teenager's dream come to life.
That is, until that teenager got bored with it. Or maybe it was just because hosting companies were royally screwing him, but the Summer of 2001 would be the last time Jamie Kosoy would be involved with the IWO. Things quickly unwraveled after the Board decided to combine IWO Black and White back together when things were going slow. Maybe it was an unwise manuver, but eventually, it led to a new board being formed in the Summer of 2001. Jamie Kosoy, Evan Levine, and John Maples. Problem was, Evan Levine was the only one with his heart into it, and he was slowly burning himself down to a timber. After a short while of running cards, Evan gave up, and Ford came back to the board, running Heatstroke even while being unofficially in charge. In September of 2001, Evan Levine gave the board over to John Maples, who would hand it over to Thomas Ford, and Ford would return to the IWO.
Things weren't just magically fixed however, so Ford decided it would be best to re-work a few things on how the IWO is presented. Currently, the show format was changed first, as Ford ran the first pay per view of the new showing, Autumn in Hell. Things ran smoothly for a while until January of 2002, when Ford's right hand man Mike Renner left the board to pursue his personal desires, and Gunnar Smith left as well to do the same. With little to no help and dwindling roster wrestlers, Ford decided to close up shop for three months, putting the IWO on an unofficial hiatus.
Returning in April of 2002 wasn't as hard as expected. People were interested in seeing where the IWO would go, even though the IWO would be hard pressed to see on anything remotely national. Currently fighting finacial battles in story, the IWO still presses on even under adverse circumstances.
If World War 3 happened tomorrow, Cockroaches, and the IWO would survive.