|Faction Name||The Following|
|Time Existed||October 2002 - May 2003|
Birth of the Replica
On September 22, 2002, at the Vengeance Pay-Per-View, all of LWF was shocked when Phoenix interferred in the LWF Title Match between LWF Champion Arelas and Robert Ooley. Phoenix, until that time the top face in the company, shockingly turned heel and helped Ooley become LWF Champion. After the match, Phoenix down Arelas with his foot and raised Ooley's arm as the new champion.
The next night on Warzone Phoenix told the crowd that he was tired of being their puppet and that it was time to reinflict all of his past suffering onto others. The Replica had come, and it was time for the darkness to burn LWF to ashes. Lock with open arms welcomed Phoenix into the Regime, but Phoenix ignored him, and did not come to the aid of the Puppet Masters later that night when they lost a tag team match to Arelas and Psiko. Later that week on Lockdown, Phoenix annihilated Fear and pinned him following his new finisher, Rise and Fall. After the match, Phoenix beat down Fear with a steel chair. Alan Fernandez tried to make the save with the Mallet of Doom, but Crow attacked him from behind with a barbwire 2x4 before he could make it to the ring.
September 30 on Warzone, the Metal Militia defeated Freak Show Central to win the tag titles. CoolJ and Flame Demon attacked the Militia after the match, but Phoenix made his entrance and laid out CoolJ with Rise and Fall, while Crow came out of the crowd and attacked Flame Demon. Later that week on Lockdown, CoolJ and Flame Demon got a small measure of revenge when Flame Demon pinned Crow to win a tag match against the Birds of Prey, but after the match Phoenix single-handedly laid out both men again. On the October 10 episode of Lockdown, the Birds of Prey interfered in a Tag Title Match between the Metal Militia and CoolJ and Flame Demon. The match ended in disqualification when Phoenix attacked the challengers, and after the match the Birds of Prey laid out the champions as well.
Days before the Day of Reckoning Pay-Per-View, the Birds of Prey defeated Psiko and Fear after Phoenix pinned Psiko using Psiko's Havok Title belt. At Day of Reckoning Phoenix faced Psiko with the Havok Title on the line. During the match, Phoenix put Psiko through the announcer's table with Rise and Fall. Later in the match, Psiko used a shard of the broken table to cut Phoenix's face, but Phoenix was still able to hit Rise and Fall for the victory and the title. After the match, Phoenix allowed his own blood to drip over the fallen former champion.
Formation of the Following
The following night on Warzone, Arelas and Lock met in the ring to finally put aside their differences once and for all. As Lock admitted his defeat and offered Arelas peace, Phoenix ascended from the stage and entered the ring. Phoenix laid out Lock with Rise and Fall and told him that the Regime was over. After a second Rise and Fall, Robert Ooley and Iceman rushed the ring to come to their leader's aid, but when given a choice of a new allegience or their own destruction, Ooley and Iceman attacked Arelas. Psiko tried to make the save along with Emperor and Ruff Rabbi, but Crow was lying in wait, and the would be saviours were themselves beaten down. Phoenix ended the night by proclaiming his own ascension.
On the October 28 edition of Warzone, the Following faced Arelas, Psiko, Emperor, and Ruff Rabbi in an eight man tag team match. Lock returned and helped Ruff Rabbi pin Iceman, but Phoenix again laid him out after the match. Later that week Lock was scheduled to face the entire Following in a Gauntlet Match, but lost the first match to Iceman. The next week, Phoenix retained the Havok Title against Lock, crushing him once again. On Lockdown Arelas and Lock teamed together to face Fire and Ice, but Lock turned on his partner, and after Phoenix pinned Arelas, Lock pledged his own allegience to Phoenix and the Following.
As Outlast approached, Phoenix warned Ooley that he was on his own when it came to defending the LWF Title, and that when Phoenix came for the title, it was his. At Outlast the Following (minus Ooley, who would defend the LWF Title later in the night) faced the team of Arelas, Psiko, Emperor, and Ruff Rabbi in an Outlast Match. The first elimination came when Psiko was counted-out after Phoenix drove him through the Spanish announce table with Rise and Fall, inflicted an injury that kept Psiko out of action for months. The match came down to Phoenix against Ruff Rabbi in what looked to be a mis-match, but Arelas returned to the ring and hit both the Eternal Slam and Angel Wings on Phoenix, and Ruff Rabbi pinned him with the Fate of Gamorah. In the main event, Ooley lost the title to Alan Fernandez.
The night after Outlast began with Iceman getting himself disqualified in a match against Ruff Rabbi. Arelas attacked Iceman after the match, prompting the ascenscion of the Replica to the stage, but Arelas tackled Phoenix back into his own flames, and both men needed to be rushed to the hospital. Fire and Ice would defeat Arelas and Ruff Rabbi later that week in a tag match when Phoenix pinned Ruff Rabbi. The next week on Warzone, a Fatal Fourway would be held to determine the new #1 contender, with Arelas, Phoenix, Ruff Rabbi, and Triple M. Arelas won the match after he pinned Ruff Rabbi.
A Change in Followers
On December 2nd, Fire and Ice challenged Nightmare and Big Pimpin for the Tag Team Championship, but the Puppet Masters interfered and attacked Phoenix. Lock proclaimed that the Regime lived again, but the Metal Militia ran down and laid out the Puppet Masters. Phoenix told Lock that his new Regime would fall at the feet of his Following. Later that week Phoenix pinned Arelas after his new follower Triple M interfered and attacked Arelas with a chair. Six days before the Betrayal Pay-Per-View, the Following (Phoenix, Iceman, Triple M, Xecutioner) won an 8-man tag against the Puppet Masters, CoolJ, and Ruff Rabbi. On Lockdown that week, Fire and Ice defeated Nightmare and Big Pimpin to win the Tag Titles when Phoenix pinned Big Pimpin.
At Betrayal, Fire and Ice defended the Tag Titles against the Puppet Masters. In the main event, Triple M lost the Technical Title to Arelas in the first fall of a two fall triple threat match. Phoenix ascended to the stage and watched the second fall without expression, as Alan retained the LWF Title.
The Road to Lockmania
The night after Betrayal, Phoenix interrupted the Talk of the Town's celebration, indicating that the LWF Title was his next target. Triple M confronted Phoenix, upset that Phoenix didn't help him the previous night, but Phoenix told him to keep his place and prove himself. Later that week on Lockdown, Triple M did just that, pinning Fear to win the People's Title. On the December 30th edition of Warzone, Triple M defended the People's Title against Flame Demon, and Xecutioner interfered and attacked Flame Demon, causing a disqualification. Triple M and Xecutioner celebrated after the match, when suddenly Triple M attacked Xecutioner and he and Flame Demon beat him down together. Phoenix ascended to the stage and came to the ring, and told Xecutioner that he was the weak link, and that he had never truly accepted his former nemesis into his Following. Under Phoenix's direction, the beatdown continued, and Xecutioner was left lying in the ring. Later that night, in the final match of the year, Iceman challenged Alan Fernandez for the LWF Title. Phoenix distracted the referee during the match, allowing Iceman to hit the Talk of the Town with his own Mallet of Doom and busting him open, but the Innovator of Offense was able to overcome it and with his own blood running down his face hit Human Wreckage to win the match and retain the title. The aftermath of the match dissolved into a melee as Xecutioner attacked Phoenix, Triple M and Flame Demon came to help only to be taken out by Ruff Rabbi, Phoenix hit Rise and Fall on Ruff Rabbi, and turned around into Human Wreckage from the champion to close out 2002.
After an 8-man tag in which the Following faced off against Freak Show Central, CoolJ, and Xecutioner, in which Xecutioner pinned Flame Demon, a frustrated Phoenix demanded a LWF Title match at Massive Melee, and Commissioner Ooley came out and announced that Phoenix would get his shot, but would have to put his own Havok Title and Tag Titles on the line as well, as Fire and Ice would face Freak Show Central in a Title versus Titles match. On Warzone, Alan Fernandez used the Replica entrance himself, and told the crowd that despite being apparently unstoppable, Phoenix was just a man, and that his legend would die at the Melee. As Alan headed backstage, the Replica entrance restarted, and Alan fell into the hole. Phoenix ascended to the stage for real, with a bleeding Talk of the Town at his feet.
At the Massive Melee, Phoenix pinned the Talk of the Town and became the LWF Champion. Later that night, Arelas won the Massive Melee Match, seemingly setting the long time rivals on course to finally have a singles match on the grand stage at Lockmania, but Alan Fernandez promised to make life hell for both men.
On an episode of Warzone, Fear challenged Triple M for the People's Title and in a shocking upset rolled him up for the victory. An angry Triple M pursued Fear backstage, until Phoenix intercepted him and whispered into his ear. Triple M then sought out and assaulted Ruff Rabbi, the Cross-Hemisphere Champion. On Warzone, Triple M challenged for the title and won it.
The Talk of the Town made good on his vow, and on an episode of Warzone attacked Arelas and laid him out. Alan prepared to address Arelas and the crowd afterwards, but Phoenix ascended to the stage and cut him off. Phoenix told Alan that his words were empty, and that he would finish the Talk of the Town off once and for all at Maximum Carnage. Ten days before they would battle over the LWF Title, Phoenix was scheduled to defend the Havok Title against the Innovator of Offense, but Alan instead introduced a replacement challenger, as Lock returned from an absence and after Alan hit Phoenix with the Mallet of Doom followed by Human Wreckage, he draped Lock over Phoenix for the victory, taking away one of Phoenix's three titles. The newest member of the Following, Ruff Rabbi, would win back the title for the faction at Maximum Carnage.
At Maximum Carnage, the Talk of the Town won back the LWF Title in controversial fashion in an Inferno Pit Match, as both men fell into the pit and it was ruled that Phoenix fell in first. It was a crushing night for the Following, as in the undercard Joe Fantasy pulled off a stunning upset, defeating Triple M in a Ladder Match for the Cross-Hemisphere Title.
Phoenix protested the decision from the previous night, claiming that as the inventor of the match, he knew the rules best, and that he should have been ruled the winner instead. Lock agreed to the logic in part, but refused to change the result, instead compromising that the main event of Lockmania would become a Triple Threat Match.
Triple M won back the Cross-Hemisphere Title, defeating Joe Fantasy and Susumu Itarki in a Triple Threat Match. He would defend the title successfully against Itarki at Lockmania, in a match in which both men's careers were also on the line.
On an episode of Lockdown Fire and Ice defended the Tag Titles against Lock and Emperor. Arelas promised to keep Alan Fernandez away from the match, and when the Talk came to interfere Arelas tried to stop him, but missed with his superkick and hit Phoenix instead, allowing Emperor to pin him for the victory. The entire Following encircled Arelas backstage and beat him down, ending their temporary alliance. The next week on Warzone Arelas faced the entire Following in a 5-on-1 handicap match, and was beaten badly.
At Lockmania, the Tag Titles came back to the Following as Iceman and Flame Demon defeated Lock and Emperor for the titles, meanwhile Triple M retained the Cross-Hemisphere Title against Susumu Itarki. In the main event, Phoenix battled Arelas and defending champion Alan Fernandez for the LWF Title, but Arelas pinned the Talk of the Town to win the championship.
Fall of the Replica
The night after Lockmania, Phoenix said that the weak link would be eliminated from the Following, and turned on Ruff Rabbi as the group beat him down. At Maul, Triple M defeated Diablo in a Title vs Title Match to become the People's Champion and defend the Cross-Hemisphere Title. In the next match on the card, Phoenix challenged CoolJ for the Technical Title. The match ended when CoolJ reversed the pressure off a Figure Four and trapped Phoenix in the JMission, and Phoenix tapped out. After the match, Phoenix snapped and drove CoolJ through the announcer's table. He then dragged him through the shards and drove his bleeding body through the spanish announcer's table as well. The next night as CoolJ was lying in a hospital bed, a cloaked figure stood by him and promised it would never happen again.
Triple M began to see himself as the true leader of the Following, comparing his recent successes to Phoenix's shortcomings. Triple M targeted Arelas and the LWF Title himself. Triple M had to defend both of his titles in a two fall triple threat against Xecutioner and Diablo, and after Xecutioner pinned Diablo to win the People's Title, Phoenix interfered and attacked Xecutioner, and in the chaos Diablo used a school boy pin to win the Cross-Hemisphere Title, pinning Triple M. Backstage later in the night, Phoenix encouraged Triple M to set his sights higher.
Phoenix began to suffer a serious of increasingly debilitating headaches. This would come to a head at Resurrection, as he collapsed during a match against Xecutioner for the People's Title, and Xecutioner pinned Phoenix with the Demanufacturer. After the match Triple M started to berate Phoenix for the loss, questioning his leadership of the Following, but softened and showed genuine concern once he realized something was actually wrong. Phoenix brushed aside his concerns and instructed Iceman and Flame Demon to ensure Triple M won the LWF Title later that night.
In the main event, Triple M faced CoolJ, Emperor, Lock, Robert Ooley, and defending champion Arelas in a King of the Hill Match for the LWF Title. In the closing minutes of the match, Iceman and Flame Demon ran down to help Triple M, but the lights went out in the arena and Phoenix rose to the stage, using new music and his original entrance theatrics. He took out Iceman and Flame Demon and hurled Triple M into the crowd, preventing him from winning the match, which Emperor would go on to win and become LWF Champion.
It was soon revealed that Phoenix suffered from Dissociative Identity Disorder and that the Replica was an alternate personality that had taken control. Back in control of himself, Phoenix sought to undo the damage his other self had done, and the Following was dissolved. This marked the beginning of the legendary feud between Phoenix and Triple M.
- Havok Champion (10.20.02 - 2.13.03)
- Tag Team Champion (12.12.02 - 3.13.03)
- LWF Champion (1.19.03 - 2.23.03)
- Tag Team Champion (12.12.02 - 3.13.03, 3.30.03 - 6.5.03)
- Robert Ooley
- LWF Champion (9.22.02 - 11.17.02)
- Ooley was already LWF Champion when he joined the group on October 21
- LWF Champion (9.22.02 - 11.17.02)
- Metalhead Matt Marauder
- Technical Champion (11.21.02 - 12.15.02)
- Triple M was already Technical Champion when he joined the group on December 2
- People's Champion (12.19.02 - 1.23.03, 4.27.03 - 5.5.03)
- Cross-Hemisphere Champion (1.30.03 - 2.23.03, 2.27.03 - 5.5.03)
- Technical Champion (11.21.02 - 12.15.02)
- Flame Demon
- Tag Team Champion (3.30.03 - 6.5.03)
- Ruff Rabbi
- Havok Champion (2.23.03 - 3.24.03)
- LWF Title (10.21.02 - 11.17.02, 1.19.02 - 2.23.03)
- Cross-Hemisphere Title (1.30.03 - 2.23.03, 2.27.03 - 5.5.03)
- People's Title (12.19.02 - 1.23.03, 4.27.03 - 5.5.03)
- Havok Title (10.20.02 - 2.13.03, 2.23.03 - 3.24.03)
- Technical Title (12.2.02 - 12.15.02)
- Tag Titles (12.12.02 - 3.13.03, 3.30.03 - 5.18.03)
- "Cloning Technology" by Fear Factory