The Players Club was an elite faction in OCW, although the exact lifespan of the Players Club is unknown, most historians agree that it was between November 11th 2005 - May 17th, 2006. During this time the Players - as a unit - won every title in OCW (Excluding the women's Internet title which was still in it's infancy at the time). The Club was ruthless in their methods and dominated OCW with an iron fist, although groups like the Legendary Alliance and the nWo arose to try and overthrown the Players Club, none of them were successful.
During it's lifetime the Players had many different members, below is a list along with a summary of their contributions and other information:
Justin Klein: The mastermind behind the group. Justin has said that the Players Club wouldn't have existed if it wasn't for Big Tony. Justin wanted to create a unit so powerful that Tony could no longer be able to meddle in Justin's affairs. Klein also had a great eye for talent, seeing underutilized superstars and wanting to build them up, a true humanitarian. Justin Klein remained with the Players Club until their demise.
Ryan Payne: The self proclaimed "Lady's man" certainly left his mark on OCW. The first man to be both the OCW Chaos and OCW Mayhem general manager. Also had the longest ever Internet championship reign for long time before Bryan Williams broke it. Ryan was one of the original members of the Club, and was one of the talents recognized by Justin. Although some credit him for being the cause of the Players Club's destruction, many also think that it was the ego of Justin Klein, Ryan Payne, and Darren Stevens which brought the Club to an end. Eventually Ryan did return to the company six months later and got into a vicious feud with Darren which reached it's climax at OCW's Snowbrawl II when Darren defended his Undisputed championship against Ryan in the Snowglobe match.
The Coach: Although official documents and records regarding The Coach's involvement in the Players Club have been lost, it is entirely possible that he was also an original member of the Club. Used as a mouthpiece more than a wrestler, Coach didn't really contribute too much before he was kicked out of the group. He has the dubious distinction of being the first person from a long list of members to have their membership revoked.
TJ Ursu: Although many now look upon his inclusion into such an elite unit to be a joke, back in the day TJ did indeed have much potential. However, during multiple tag team matches with Ryan Payne, TJ continued to be the weak link. After losing a match against the Legendary Alliance - the sworn enemies of the Players Club and the group in the best position to overthrow them - The Players decided that TJ's services were no longer needed. On an episode of OCW Chaos in a match against Anthony Howard the Players turned on TJ and beat him to a bloody pulp, revoking his membership and forcing him to toil in the mid card for around a year before he vanished from OCW television. Before that however TJ made a desperate plea to be allowed back into the Players Club, Justin agreed, but only under the condition that TJ kiss his ass - literally. In what was voted as the funniest moment of the year at the annual slammy awards, TJ got down and kissed Justin's backside. Unfortunately for him though, TJ was never let back into the Club.
Darren Stevens: Darren Stevens' talent was recognized immediately by Justin upon his entry into OCW, although not everybody felt the same. After dominating a match on Chaos against a wrestler named Icy, Justin appeared and offered Darren a spot in the Players Club, which he accepted. The rest is history, Darren would go on to build his reputation as a member of the Players Club and won multiple titles with the group. Although tensions between himself and Ryan Payne regarding the OCW Undisputed championship helped contribute to the downfall of the Players Club, Darren was always considered one of the crown jewels of the group, and went on to do great things thanks to the exposure the Players Club gave him. Darren and Justin were the only two people to remain with the Players Club until it's demise, they would then go on to spearhead the Axis of Authority and begin the cycle all over again. There was still, however, animosity between Darren and Ryan following his departure. Eventually Ryan did return to the company six months later and got into a vicious feud with Darren which reached it's climax at OCW's Snowbrawl II when Darren defended his Undisputed championship against Ryan in the Snowglobe match.
Anthony Howard: Ryan pushed for Anthony to join the Club and finally Justin agreed. Anthony quickly made waves by upsetting the entire women's division and seemed as if he was on the fast track to success. However, Athony's disappointing in-ring performance is what ultimately led to his release from the Club. Although it wasn't as humiliating as TJ's departure, Anthony soon vanished after being released from the Club. A few months later Anthony briefly re-emerged with a new look and gimmick, out for revenge against the Players Club but soon vanished, never to be heard from again.
Bryan York: In a move described by Darren as a "joke that went too far", Bryan was briefly inducted into the Players Club. While Justin was demanding that TJ kiss his ass, Bryan also came out and said that he was so desperate to join the Club as well that he would do it for a shot. After doing the deed Bryan became the Player's first ever "intern", finally earning his way in by beating TJ Ursu in a cage match on Mayhem. Oddly enough, the players didn't even need to go through the trouble of revoking Bryan's membership, he did it himself. Saying that he had defected to Canada's Most Wanted. Soon after Bryan vanished and was never heard from again.
Trish Stratus-Payne: The wife of Ryan Payne, although she had been working closely with the Players Club for months, the boys finally decided to make it official when they inducted her as the first and only "playette". Trish would go on to feud with the Legendary Alliance's Teal Moore and ultimately win the Women's championship, a title she held for a record 6 months. Unlike former inductees before her, Trish didn't embarrass the Players, but ultimately left the company and the Club with his disgruntled husband Ryan. Oddly enough Trish didn't return to the company when Ryan did, it was soon announced that she was pregnant. An announcement which spawned a contest amongst the roster asking "Who's the daddy?".
Owen Stevenson: Owen's inclusion into the Players Club came as a surprise to everybody. At the time Owen had been chosen by Hektik to be one of his lumberjacks during his epic rematch with Darren. Justin, however, was able to get Owen to sign with the Players after promising him a spot in the World Heavyweight championship tournament. Owen defected and became one of Darren's lumberjacks. although Hektik still won the match, it was Owen's betrayal which led to a feud between the duo where Owen managed to capture the Heavyweight title and bring it to the Players Club. Shortly after this, however. Ryan turned on Owen in a desperate bid to become Heavyweight champion, a feat he would accomplish. Although Owen was never official released from the Club. they went their separate ways following Ryan's Heavyweight title victory. In a recent interview though Owen has stated that he harbors no ill-will towards the Players Club and was fond of their time together. Even hoping to have a reunion one day although chances of that occurring are very slim.
Along with destroying groups like the Legendary Alliance and the nWo the Players Club also earned many accomplishments. Below are group members solo accomplishments as members of the group and the groups accomplishments as a unit.
Justin Klein: 2005 Sexiest Male, 2005 Best Duo /w Ryan Payne, 2005 Most Hated Staff Member, 2005 Most Hated Male.
Ryan Payne: OCW Chaos GM, OCW Mayhem GM, Internet Champion, Tag Team Champion /w Darren Stevens, OCW World Heavyweight Champion, 2005 Best Couple /w Trish Stratus-Payne, 2005 Best Duo /w Justin Klein, 2006 Tag Team of the Year /w Darren Stevens.
Darren Stevens: Hardcore Champion, Intercontinental Champion, Tag Team Champion /w Ryan Payne, 2005 Rookie of the Year, 2006 Tag Team of the Year /w Ryan Payne.
Trish Stratus-Payne: Women's champion, 2005 Best Couple /w Ryan Payne, 2006 Most Hated Female.
Owen Stevenson: World Heavyweight Champion.
Players Club as a group: 2005 Stable of the Year
The End of an Era
As May 2006 began most people could tell that the Players Club was about to fall apart. After dominating the company for nearly half a year the group done all there was to do. The Club had been reduced to it's three core members - Justin, Darren, and Ryan - along with Trish, it wasn't long before the only people the Club hadn't beaten, were each other. The current champion, Ryan Payne, had just recently won the title from Owen Stevenson and Darren had become the number one contender for the title. It is believed by some that Ryan knew he couldn't beat Darren and so instead of going through with the humiliation he dumped the title and walked out on the company. Others say that each member of the Club had developed a super ego of their own and they simply could not co-exist together any longer. In any case, following Ryan and Trish's betrayal the group had official become defunct, the team who had taken OCW by storm all went their seperate ways.
Justin Klein and Darren Stevens went on to form the Axis of Authority who went on to dominate OCW in much the same fashion as the Players Club. The two have remained friends despite the group's demise. Recently Darren was diagnosed with cancer and had to retire to undergo treatment, Justin Klein remains an active competitor.
Ryan Payne and Trish Stratus-Payne's whereabouts are unknown after they left the company. Ryan did return however and engaged in a bitter feud with Darren over the Undisputed championship, a feud which he lost. Ryan once against left the company after his defeat and hasn't been seen since. Ryan and Trish are expecting a baby sometime in the future.
Owen Stevenson went on to capture the tag team titles with his partner Brian Blaze. Owen also wed OCW diva Tara Wilson. Owen is currently not in active competition however due to an injury inflicted upon him by Justin Klein at Living Nightmare II.