The crowd is abuzz with excitement as the lights in the Coliseo de Puerto Rico arena go dark and a slight hum can be heard from the speakers…
Before the opening lines from “The Name of the Game” by Crystal Method can finish, the fans in the arena begin to boo, except for another small contingent of fans sitting directly behind the announce booth stand up and begin to clap and whistle wildly.
Eryk Masters: Goddamn Jesus what are these animals!
Other Guy: Racist!
Eryk Masters: I can’t help it they’re terrifying!
Fans: Verdad! Verdad! Verdad!
Suddenly, blue fireworks shoot up from the stage as a long-haired man in a trench coat steps forward, his face glowing in the dark.
Purple fireworks shoot up on the opposite side of the stage now as another longhaired man in a trench coat steps forward.
Pulsing techno beats match the blue and purple strobe lights now filling the arena, matching the rhythm set by the small contingent of Truth fans.
Fans: Verdad! Verdad! Verdad!
As Azraith DeMitri and Ichiro Seppuku step toward the center of the ramp way and begin to walk down, followed promptly by Lennox Ferguson as the song jumps ahead:
Let me see ya pumpin' ya fists.
If you up in the back room
When you rockin' with this.
Keepin' ya speaker knockin'
Jumpin' bangin' bumpin' blazin'
Callin' all freaks.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first, from Hokodate, Japan and Omaha, Nebraska by way of Seattle, and accompanied by Lennox “The Ox” Ferguson, they are Ichiro “The Black Phoenix” Seppuku and Azraith “The Broken Avatar” DeMitri… they are THE TRRRRUUUUTHH!
Ichiro and Azraith slide into the ring at the same time as Lennox Ferguson walks around the outside of the ring, taking his spot just outside of the team’s corner. Ichiro lowers his head and begins to rewrap the tape on his hands while Azraith points directly toward Eryk Masters and Other Guy.
Eryk Masters: What! What did we do!?
Fans: Verdad! Verdad! Verdad!
Eryk Masters: Oh…
Other Guy: Calm the hell down Eryk, what’s got you so jumpy?
The Coliseo de Puerto Rico Arena succumbs to darkness; the thousands in attendance tonight all plunged into the total absence of light. The sound of a beating heart resonates through the arena speakers, and with each beat of the heart, a red strobe light flashes, and a burst of flame erupts from either side of the ramp.
The SHOOT Project Video Wall gives way to what looks like the stone surface of an Indian burial ground, and we pull away to see blood-streaked human bodies littering the stone. Various human animals, some women, some men, all races, shapes, sizes…nude save for scraps of black cloth covering their privates. They’re all blinking at timed intervals, and in a flash, we pull back to an aerial view. As if on cue, the bodies give voice to a unified scream.
The bodies are arranged to spell out two simple words.
Samantha Coil: Introducing second, hailing from Kyoto, Japan and Mideon, Nebraska, and accompanied by Adrian Corazon, they are “The Sociopath Pioneer” Kenji Yamada, and “The Ivory Terror” Isaac Entragian….they are PROJECT: SCAR!!
“Obscure” by Dir En Grey blasts forth through the sound system at maximum volume, and one by one, the soldiers of SCAR step out to the head of the ramp, a harsh spotlight dawning on each man.
Eryk Masters: These men literally make me sick to my stomach, yet at the exact same time, they put the fear of God into me too…
Other Guy: It can’t be helped, Eryk. This faction has taken SHOOT by the balls, never before have I seen a more sinister group of individuals working together to obtain such a bizarre goal…
The cameras focus on Kenji Yamada, showing a face that lacks even the slightest twitch of emotion. His eyes are utterly cold, and his stance is stoic. He doesn’t bother to even look at the fans. He simply stands in defiance of the world, clenching his fists to the point where his fingernails dig rivets into his own palms.
We pan over to Isaac Entragian, and compared to Kenji’s demeanor, Isaac is animated to the point where you think he’s suffering from delirium. His eyes are feverish and wild, the cords standing out against the white flesh of his neck as he roars at the fans. He points an index finger at a young female fan, screaming “SHUT YOUR CUNT MOUTH..” with spittle flying from his razor teeth, before we mercifully cut away to focus on SCAR’s Black Death.
Corazon stands with both hands folded in front of him, his head swiveling from side to side as he takes in the negative reaction of the fans. He smirks openly, looking primed and dangerous from behind the frame of his coal-black hair.
All three men saunter down the ramp, Kenji leading the pack while Isaac & Corazon flank him on either side. Kenji’s eerie gaze never leaves the ring, ignoring the fans completely. Isaac’s attention is caught by a huge blue sign made of construction paper as he nears the apron. An adolescent boy holds the sign, which reads “DEMITRI” in bold black letters.
Entragian promptly plucks the sign out of the boy’s hands, proceeding to rip it in half and throw it to the ground. He then points to his own throat; hawks back a wad of phlegm, and spits directly on the sign. The fan looks on in horror, and Isaac favors him with a wolfish smile before climbing into the ring to join his brethren.
Eryk Masters: These men are detestable. Just looking at Kenji’s mutilated body makes me want to vomit. And when it comes to Entragian? I’d prescribe a cage with steel bars and daily shock treatments…
Other Guy: Don’t forget your undying hatred for Adrian Corazon.
Eryk Masters: Trust me, I haven’t. That cold-hearted son of a bitch is at the top of my list.
The bell rings with a loud clang, signaling that we’re OFFICIALY UNDERWAY.
Ichiro Seppuku steps back, almost taunting Kenji, allowing Azraith to start out the match. Yamada reluctantly steps back to his own corner as well, with Entragian stepping forward to meet Azraith in the center of the ring.
The Broken Avatar and The Ivory Terror inch closer to each other, until finally their foreheads are pressed together. Isaac’s mouth is running a mile a minute, acidic words falling from his tongue. Azraith just nods, his face hard and focused.
Other Guy: Talk about a dream match, I’m getting goosebumps! Two of the biggest, baddest men in the industry standing toe to toe right now…
Eryk Masters: These two have never officially faced each other, I’m predicting fireworks.
Azraith fires the first shot, a stiff right hand that twists at the last moment and smacks hard into the pale monster’s jaw. Isaac is rocked by the impact; he staggers backwards and spins, getting a hand on the top rope to steady himself. He turns back to DeMitri, his eyes wide with shock.
Eryk Masters: What a strike! Isaac wasn’t expecting that, he just learned that he’s in there with one of the most dangerous guys in the game.
DeMitri smirks, motioning Isaac forward. Entragian eagerly takes the bait, winding back one big soup bone of a hand only to crush it into the underside of Azraith’s jaw with an uppercut. DeMitri’s head snaps back following the impact, and almost immediately he crumples down to his knees, one hand wrapped around the bottom of his jaw. He looks up at Isaac, and this time it’s Azraith’s turn to look shocked.
Entragian wastes no time with sportsmanship, he rears back and pistons his boot right into DeMitri’s surprised face, dropping The Broken Avatar to the canvas.
Other Guy: And now Isaac shows his mettle! This man is HELL on two legs, ladies and gentlemen, and Az had better realize that if he hopes to keep pace with Entragian.
Entragian promptly reaches down to pull Az to his feet, but DeMitri fires an elbow into Isaac’s calf, dropping him down to his hand and knees. SCAR’s Pale Rider struggles to rise up, but Azraith beats him to it, getting his feet under him only to drive a stiff punt into Isaac’s ribs, flipping him onto his belly.
DeMitri then bends over Issac’s body, snapping up one of his arms while coiling his free arm around Isaac’s thick neck. Azraith then rears back with all the force he can muster, eliciting a deep bark of pain from the maw of Entragian.
Eryk Masters: Dragon Clutch!! Azraith just floated right into that submission move, and now Isaac is in deep trouble.
Other Guy: I don’t think I’ve ever heard Isaac cry out like that, Az forcing the pallid titan to give voice to his pain. That’s bound to stab at The Ivory Terror’s ego…
Isaac’s features contort with pain, and he reaches out toward Yamada’s outstretched hand, but Kenji is too far away. Entragian gathers his strength, and then pushes up from the mat with one hand while at the same time THROWING his head back so that his skull connects with Az’s sternum. The impact is enough to break the submission and knock Az on his ass.
DeMitri tries to push up while turning away from Isaac, but suddenly the pale monster reaches out and snakes an arm around DeMitri’s ankle, cinching in the hold with every bit of malice he has inside of his soul. An anguished moan escapes the lips of The Broken Avatar; he even goes so far as to bury his face in his hands as Isaac applies even more pressure.
Other Guy: Brittle Be Thy Bones! Man, I’m fucking impressed with these guys. Both are technically super heavyweights, but they’re proving tonight that their submission game is solid as hell too.
Eryk Masters: No doubt. First Az with the dragon clutch, and now Isaac’s got that ankle lock applied. These two seem to be on a mission to outdo each other, and hang with each other move for move…
Entragian rises up to a vertical base, whipping Az’s body from side to side, his expression so blasted of mercy that you fear he may never break this hold. DeMitri screams once more, then using desperate innovation, he hops on his free foot and fires it back with a partial mule kick, catching Entragian right in the stomach!
Isaac flies back, releasing the hold, his arms becoming entwined in the ropes thanks for the force of the kick. Azraith gingerly rises to his feet, and he rushes Entragian, hitting him with a huge clothesline that knocks him clear out of the ring over the top rope. The monster manages to land on his feet, but he stumbles right into the hard-knuckled fist of Lennox Ferguson!
The Ox sends two more shots to the face of Entragian, and then he grabs the waistband of his tights and hauls him back into the ring under the bottom rope.
Eryk Masters: Well there’s the lumberjack dynamic coming into play, what Lennox did was technically legal. His job was to get Isaac back into the ring, and he did so…with style.
Entragian starts to stumble up to his feet, and Az takes advantage, hitting the ropes in an attempt to knock Isaac out of the ring yet again, but Isaac has it scouted, and the big man leaps into the air while extending one boot, his patented bicycle kick smashing Az flush in the face. Az goes down hard, pinching his nose between his fingers as a trickle of blood drips out from both nostrils.
Other Guy: Now that was nasty, Isaac managing to score with Mark Of The Beast, for all we know Az’s nose could be broken.
Eryk Masters: I did hear a spine-tingling crunch sound…
Isaac unceremoniously scoops Azraith up to his feet by the hair, and then the pallid titan palms the back of his head and tosses him out of the ring. And it’s no real coincidence that Az lands directly at the feet of SCAR’s Black Death, Adrian Corazon.
Other Guy: Oh shit, talk about being thrown to the wolves. Or in this case, the wolf.
Corazon descends on the dazed Avatar like a mad dog, pulling him up to his feet and propping him up against the apron. Corazon then starts to LASH at Az’s chest with knife-edge chops, each one sending shockwaves through the crowd, sting after painful sting. Az’s chest starts to bloom with blood drawn to the surface, and Corazon finally darts back, proceeding to complete his assault with a perfectly placed hook kick that catches Az right along the breastplate.
DeMitri falls forward, but Adrian catches him, squeezing his face in one hand, forcing his cheeks up into the vile mockery of a smile. Corazon then chuckles, wheeling around before throwing Az back into the ring.
Eryk Masters: Oh come on! Was all of that necessary? Talk about taking advantage of a lumberjack position. This fucking Corazon is just…shameless.
Other Guy: You are so biased, Masters. Didn’t see you complaining when Lennox did it.
Entragian tips a salute to Corazon, a razor-blade smile dawning on his face, as if to say “Thanks buddy!” The Ivory Terror then scrapes DeMitri up to his feet, and he goes for an irish whip, but in a surprising burst of strength, Az reverses and sends the pale monster crashing into a neutral corner!
Isaac hits chest first, and before he even has time to turn around, DeMitri races forward and SPEARS Entragian, driving the weight of his shoulder deeply into the monster’s lower back. Entragian’s head cranes back, his mouth stretched open in a silent hiss of pain. He struggles to keep his feet, his knees starting to buckle as he holds the top rope for dear life.
Eryk Masters: Ouch! Az calls that Breakdown, and from where I’m sitting, Isaac looks broken alright.
The Broken Avatar makes his way to the opposite side of the ring, and he looks to be sizing Isaac up for a second spear to the back. Az gets a head start, and he barrels forward, but with eerie quickness The Ivory Terror reels around and meets DeMitri in the center of the ring with his own GORE, blasting his three hundred pound girth into Az’s abdomen and driving him halfway across the ring in midair.
DeMitri lands with a huge crash, the air totally driven out of his lungs. Entragian collapses as well, still feeling the effects of the spear to the lower back. Both men are down, both breathing hard, exertion clearly etched on their faces.
Other Guy: This could be a turning point in the match. Both Kenji & Ichiro are fresh, and god knows they’re eager to tear each other apart.
Eryk Masters: No doubt, OG. Whoever makes the tag first will have a distinct advantage here…
Isaac starts to crawl on his belly like a serpent, his forked tongue slipping out for a moment as he inhales deeply, which fully solidifies the image. Az rolls to one side, struggles to push up to his knees, but then he crumples back down while holding his ribs. Both Kenji & Ichiro are reaching towards their partners, their arms extended as far as they’ll go. There’s cold purpose in Kenji’s gaze, and Ichiro’s good eye is like a chip of brimstone.
Entragian uses his height, flopping up from the mat and diving towards Kenji’s hand, and the slap is heard throughout the arena. Az senses this, and he rolls for all he’s worth, pulling his aching body up by the middle rope before slapping Ichiro’s outstretched palm.
Eryk Masters: Here we go!! Prepare yourselves folks, the bad blood between these two runs deep!
Kenji races forward like a crazed stallion, and Ichiro meets him head-on, spinning a karate-style kick right into Yamada’s chest. Kenji is knocked back slightly, but he seems to absorb the kick, closing the distance once more to whip a throat thrust into Seppuku’s adam’s apple.
Ichiro is taken off balance, one hand wrapped around his throat, and Kenji takes advantage, sending a BRUTAL straight kick right into Ichiro’s left kneecap. Ichiro is forced to drop down, and Kenji wrenches onto his neck before dropping him violently to the canvas with a spiking DDT.
Other Guy: Good God! Yamada is a fucking animal, when you make an enemy of this man; you’re taking your life in your own hands.
Eryk Masters: The same can be said about Ichiro too, OG. If Kenji is the byproduct of Azraith’s cruelty, then Ichiro is definitely the byproduct of Kenji’s madness.
Kenji goes to scrape Ichiro up, but The Black Phoenix grabs hold of Kenji and rolls him down to the canvas, straddling the Sociopath Pioneer. Ichiro then just starts to rain down with hard rights and lefts, his face a leering mask of determined anger.
Kenji manages to get his forearms up, blocking a few of the punches, and then he turns the tables, flipping Seppuku onto his back before starting to lay in with his own strikes. Kenji lands a few stiff punches, and then he starts to whip his own skull into Ichiro’s skull, no regard at all for his own body. After several of these headbutts, both men are bleeding, Kenji from the nose, and Ichiro from a busted lip.
Other Guy: Sick and twisted, that’s for damn sure! I think these men literally mean what they say when they threaten to kill each other…
Eryk Masters: It’s a scary thought, OG…but I think you’re right.
Kenji tries to get up to his feet, but Ichiro dives forward, tackling his legs out from under him. Seppuku then hops back up to his feet, and he starts to just rain down stomps on Kenji’s legs. Targeting first the calves, and then moving upward to stomp down against Yamada’s thighs.
Other Guy: This is just a straight fight between these two; the violence scale has risen tenfold in there.
Ichiro finally tires of this assault, and he reaches down, dragging Kenji up to a vertical base. Yamada immediately counters, pushing Ichiro square in the chest, and once he’s obtained some room to maneuver, Kenji launches his right foot forward with a yakuza kick, catching Ichiro right on the edge of the chin. Ichiro stumbles back into his own corner, and once there, DeMitri touches his shoulder, bringing himself back into the match.
Eryk Masters: Now this I think is going to have a psychological effect on Kenji, these men have a DARK history; emotions are bound to run high…
Azraith saunters forward, an arrogant smirk on his face. Kenji stalks forward, meeting his old nemesis in the very center of the ring. There is a moment of heavy, emotional silence, and then both men just start to LAY in with rights and lefts. Neither man falls, both guys hanging in there punch for punch. Finally the sheer ferocity of Kenji’s strikes turns the tide, and Az falls briefly to one knee.
Yamada nods, his gaze cold, and then he takes two big steps backward and slaps the outstretched hand of The Ivory Terror.
Entragian barrels into the ring, moving quickly towards the downed DeMitri, yet in a burst of speed Az rises to his feet and LOCKS a left hand around Isaac’s throat. Isaac gasps, his eyes growing wide as Az tightens his grip.
Eryk Masters: Oh shit!! Az is looking for The Presence, that dreaded chokeslam into a backbreaker! If he hits this, the match may very well be over!
Isaac’s face starts to turn from white to red, and very slowly, his right hand rises backwards…and he snaps a pale claw forward to lock onto Azraith’s throat! Both men have a double goozle, both jocking for position. Isaac’s sheer madness starts to come into play, a smile etched onto his face despite his restricted windpipe.
He rasps out a few words, his eyes absolutely crawling with insanity.
Entragian: CHOKE, you blue-haired bitch. Choke…just…like…Akira choked.
This enrages Az further, and he starts to bear down on Isaac’s neck with all of his weight, his eyes hot with fury. There’s a moment where it seems like Isaac’s knees are about to buckle, but suddenly he snaps hold of Az’s wrist with his free hand, and inch by inch, he begins to pry Az’s hand away from his throat. DeMitri looks stunned, his mouth falling agape as he very slowly loses his grip…
Other Guy: Holy fuck!! Can you believe the strength of Entragian? Az can’t even believe it!
Isaac manages to fully break Az’s grip, and before he can recover, Entragian rockets the The Broken Avatar up into the air and BLASTS him into the canvas with a thunderous chokeslam. Az lands hard, rolling to his side with pain etched across his face.
Once down, Isaac rears back with all of his might and kicks Az square in the ribs, the impact so harsh that Az rolls all the way out of the ring under the bottom rope. Corazon races forward to meet him, one fist coiled back, but shockingly DeMitri grabs hold of Adrian and plows him into the ring apron. Corazon hisses in pain, and DeMitri starts to pound knee strikes into Corazon’s body, each one more devastating than the last.
Eryk Masters: Yeah!! Let Corazon taste a little of his own medicine, that black-hearted bastard deserves every bit of it!
In desperation, Corazon whips a palm strike down, targeting the bite on Az’s shoulder that he recently suffered at the teeth of the monster Entragian. Azraith bellows in agony, staggering back while holding his shoulder. Corazon takes advantage, grabbing Az’s tights and tossing him back into the ring.
DeMitri stumbles up to his feet drunkenly, holding the top rope for stability, and as he turns around Entragian snatches hold of his arm and forces him up into a fireman’s carry. The Broken Avatar fights like a rattlesnake, driving elbows into the side of Isaac’s head, but Entragian plunges forward, throwing Az over his shoulder so that his stomach is drilled into Entragian’s outstretched knee.
Other Guy: THE DISEMBOWELER!!! Stick a fork in The Broken Avatar, he’s done!!
The Ivory Terror falls down on top of Az with all of his weight, pulling back hard on one big leg. Az’s eyes are glazed over with pain, his body barely moving at all.
Samantha Coil: Here are your winners, the team of Isaac Entragian and Kenji Yamada, PROJECT: SCARRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!
Other Guy: SCAR reigns supreme! Talk about a monumental victory, score one for the maniacs!
The remaining members of SCAR and Truth immediately slide into the ring as Samantha Coil makes the winning announcement.
Deep within the reaches of the Coliseo de Puerto Rico Arena, Robert Brooks is sitting down eating food from the catering table. Once done, he looks up to find his brother Alex Brooks leaning against a wall.
Alex Brooks: Food on the devil's dime taste better?
Robert rolls his eyes and stands up. He throws the empty plate in the garbage and faces his brother.
Robert Brooks: Didn't you get enough of this at family dinner, Alex? At least here you can't upset the family though, right?
Alex flinches at the thought of him ruining family dinner because of what he had said.
Alex Brooks: Cronos seems to be able to mess anything up. Even when he's thousands of miles away he can ruin a family dinner.
Robert Brooks: Cronos didn't mess up that meal, Alex. You did. Why can't you understand that he's not a bad guy?
Alex sighs and runs a hand over his face in frustration.
Alex Brooks: He is not your friend, Bobby. Have you not seen some of the horrible things he has done? Take Mirage for example. He attacked him in front of his daughter and he took a steel chair to his wife! His wife, Bobby!
Robert stands there unphased by what his big brother is telling him. He looks up at him and sighs.
Robert Brooks: Mirage double crossed him. Cronos and I have talked about this already. It's regretable what Cronos felt had to be done to Mirage but when you're going against a guy like him, you have to take the first strike and sometimes it isn't the most honorable way of doing it. A guy like Mirage you keep him off balance and make him play your game or you lose.
Alex stands there with his mouth wide open, completely shocked at the words coming out of his brother's mouth. A few month's ago he wouldn't have even thought that much less said it. Alex let out a frustrated growl.
Alex Brooks: Listen to you! You sound just like him. You're actually justifying what he did. There are plenty of other ways to keep an opponent off balance and force them to play your game, Bobby. Attacking his wife is not one of them!!!
Just around the corner, Cronos had crept up to the hallway Alex and Robert were in and was listening in with a grin. He was almost certain Alex might hit his brother.
Robert Brooks: The only reason I'm still talking to you is because Anna told me I needed to fix things between us because we're family. Now I see that you aren't family. Family supports each other even if they don't agree with what they're doing. Like Mom supporting you right now. You better get ready for Redemption because Cronos is going to rip you to shreds. Goodbye brother.
Robert begins to walk off but Alex quickly reaches out and grabs onto his brothers arm at the elbow. Alex's anger and the pain the grip on his arm is causing Robert is apparent.
Robert Brooke: Let go of me! You're hurting me, Alex.
Cronos moves from the position against the wall and turns the corner to come up behind Alex. He looks to Robert who makes eye contact with Cronos and smiles, knowing Alex is going to get what's coming to him now.
Cronos Diamante: Is there a problem here, Alex?
The mere sound of Cronos' voice causes Alex to relinquish his hold on his brother and spin around with fury in his eyes. Never before has anybody ever been able to get under his skin like the man standing in front of him. Never before has anybody been able to cause him to do things he wouldn't ordinarily do. Cronos grins at Alex, knowing exactly what he's thinking.
Cronos Diamante: Contessa is waiting for you in my locker room, Bobby. She wanted me to come find you. Something about a present.
Robert smiles happily and begins walking off. He turns to his brother as if the fact Contessa bought him something might prove in some small way she's not an “asshole” as he said at the dinner table that night but he doesn't even look at him. His eyes are fixed on Cronos and with that he disappears.
Cronos Diamante: How does it feel, Alex? To be completely useless. To see your brother being corrupted before your very eyes and you can do nothing to stop it. In fact, the harder you try to help the more he welcomes my embrace.
Alex explodes forward, grabbing Cronos by the coller and slams him into the wall.
Alex Brooks: You're going to pay for this, Cronos. I don't care how long it takes me to convince Bobby you're a deceiving, evil pr... person. No matter how long!
Cronos Diamante: You'll have your brother back when I'm done with him. When the young man is of no further use to me, you can have him back. Until that day comes, and it does seem a long ways off mind you, there will be no family reunion. There will be no happy ending for you Alex. The only ending in sight is you losing that title to me at Redemption.
Alex smashes Cronos harder against the wall which prompts Cronos to let out a cackle. He looks down at Alex, smirking.
Alex Brooks: You've done all this over my title, Cronos? You've had to go as far as tearing a family apart to gain an advantage over me. You can have my title, Cronos. Give me back my family!
Alex lets go of Cronos and falls back into a chair behind him, a lone tear rolling over his cheek.
Cronos Diamante: You don't understand at all young Alex. Do you? See I don't care about your title. I really haven't cared about titles for years. You should heed the words of my pale ivory friend, Alex. Go back to what he said to you just before he beat you. I'll take your title, Alex. Thank you. What I truly want; however, is your soul. You're right about me being a bad guy. But you have absolutely no idea how bad. The lack of corruption and absolute innocent I've seen in you... it's just... exhilirating!
Alex looks up to Cronos, now more tears flowing.
Alex Brooks: You're a cruel, evil asshole Cronos Diamante. And I'm going to beat you into the ground at Redemption.
Alex Brooks: You won't get my soul. You won't keep Bobby as long as you think you can. I won't let you. You said I lack corruption. You said I'm innocent. Remind me Cronos... the pure of heart trump evil, don't they? That's how this song and dance goes. Good triumphs over evil if they stick to the cause and waver none.
Cronos Diamante: Now you're catching on, Alex. Out of every superstar on this roster, Alex... only you have the capability to truly defeat me. Only you. Why else would I have chosen you? I need to be challenged this late in my career, kid. I don't need to trample every single person who stands in my way. And you're the only challenge on this roster. Should you not find some comfort in that?
Alex doesn't say a word. He merely stands there, looking Cronos over with more understanding of what it is Cronos truly wants.
Cronos Diamante: Good. To the more pressing matter at hand, Alex. Stay away from Bobby. If you don't, I'll be taking this broken home angle to an even higher level. Now I have a match to get ready for so I have to go. I'll be seeing you at Redemption.
With that, Cronos turns around and disappears down the hallway. Alex plops down in the chair behind him once more and stares at the ground, deep in thought.
Mary Kelly is shown, a grin on her face and the SHOOT Project Helmet behind her.
Mary Kelly: Ladies and gentlemen…allow me to introduce to you…one half of the SHOOT Project World Tag Team Champions…Charles…Brandon…Magnus!
The fans cheer in the audience as Magnus steps into frame. He immediately stops her from saying anything.
The camera pulls back to reveal none other than BUCK DRESDEN.
Charles Brandon Magnus: This guy. Right here. See him? Camera, get a good look at this guy.
The camera focuses in on Buck Dresden, who waves at the audience.
Charles Brandon Magnus: This man stood toe to toe with Akuma Satsui and is still here. This man is one of the toughest and baddest men on the roster. This man has been World Tag Team Champion and has never had a single day of his professional wrestling career where he wasn't holding a belt of some kind. From day one, Buck Dresden has been a champion. He has dominated the tag ranks alongside none other than me…Charles…Brandon…Magnus.
The fans cheer.
Buck Dresden: I ain't one to get too serious when the mood calls for it. I like to laugh when I get uncomfortable, like a defense mechanism. But when I saw Frontline II TURBO landed the number one spot against us at Redemption? I gotta say, man…I didn't even crack a smile. I didn't make any jokes. Sure, I was halfway out cold and very injured, but at the same time, I looked at the whole roster and there it was as plain as day: Frontline II TURBO was the perfect team to face us at Redemption.
Buck Dresden: They've never taken a loss before. They've been the second most dominant force in tag team wrestling for the last half a year or so. Face it, Chuck, nobody belongs here with us like they do.
Charles Brandon Magnus: Of that I have no doubt, Buck. You see, we've been through hell and back with these titles of ours. We've proven we're the best. Now? Now we march on to prove we're the best of all…time. We want to be known as the longest reigning SHOOT Project World Tag Team Champions…ever. We want to see any future champions be measured against the Bad Ass Brotherhood. June 29, we celebrate our six month anniversary as the World Tag Team Champions.
Charles Brandon Magnus: And the only way this reign can keep going with the respect it deserves is if we put the belts up against the best and prove ourselves just…that…much…better.
On that note, the two champions smirk at one another before they leave Mary Kelly alone in the back to her own devices.
Samantha Coil:Your winner, at a time of 10 minutes and 35 seconds, Jacob Mephisto!
Eryk Masters: Great win for Mephisto here, and we'll see how he carries his momentum into the PPV!
Other Guy: He definitely has dark horse potential in that thing, that is for sure.
Maya sat in a corner backstage by himself, just watching the various technicians and crew members working. It helped keep his mind off of everything that had been going on - he wasn't booked, but he didn't want to be alone. He sat with his knees curled up to his face, arms resting under his chin as his eyes followed every random passerby. Maya takes a deep breath, his nostrils filled with the familiar smell of his lost love and stands up. Maya reaches out his arms wide to stretch, he feels his hand make contact with something. Maya immediately turns to what he hit and bows his head down a low as he can.
Maya: I'm so sorry... I wasn't paying attention, I didn't mean to hit you, I'm really...
As soon as Maya looked up and saw who was standing in front of him, he froze. His eyes burst wide open and seemed to tremble in horror.
X-Calibur stares directly into Maya’s eyes with a vile grin etched across his countenance. He is adorned in a hideous looking t-shirt that had a skeletal “Uncle Sam” pointing his bony finger outward while wearing a blue and red striped top hat with a matching blue and red SHOOT helmet emblem four stripes down the front. Underneath the lettering was a misprinted quote that said, “WE WANT U 4 TEH REDEMPTION RUMBLE!”. Holding what looked like a batch of stickers on wax paper in one hand while his other hand rested on a satchel that hung loosely off of his person, he uttered a single word.
X moves forward in a threatening manner, like a coiled snake striking his prey, but at the last moment he turned the apparent attack into a friendly arm around the shoulders. With Maya tensing up, X laughed.
X-Calibur: Why so tense, dude? Hm? You’re acting like I’m just going to heartlessly attack you for no good reason or something. Christ… am I… am I THAT horrible?! Take a chill pill, Maya. You’ll live longer. Well, longer than Shinya, anyway.
Maya’s eyes moistened at the coldhearted jab.
X-Calibur: I’m… sorry… that was… well, that was pretty low. Even by my standards. Heh.
Maya: W-what do you want?
X-Calibur: Oh, Jesus… I nearly forgot!
Removing his arm from Maya, he forcefully spun him around so that they were standing face to face. Unsure of how to react to X’s aggressive and authoritarian demeanor, he simply nodded. Listening.
X-Calibur: The Redemption Rumble is coming up, and… well, I don't know if you heard my announcement last Revolution or not, but… I'm going to be competing in it.
Maya: I know...I saw...I saw what you did when you...when you...
Maya couldn't even finish the sentence, he was mortified to be standing this close to X-Calibur. Mortified of what he had done.
X-Calibur: Relax. Dude… you’re SHAKING. R-E-L-A-X, Maya-san. See, I come to you with an offer. And no, it’s not an offer you can’t refuse, because you can if you want to. I can’t promise I won’t obliterate you like a fuckin’ Tsunami…
X-Calibur: Bad choice of words. Okay… redo. I can’t promise I won’t hurt you come time for the Rumble if you say no to me right now, but… all the same, the option remains if you so choose.
Pausing, X began walking with Maya.
X-Calibur: Here’s what I think though. I think... I think you should help me win the match. You know why, Maya?
Perceiving the question as rhetorical, Maya remains silent. Knowing full well that a reply was needless…
X-Calibur: I SAID DO YOU KNOW FUCKING WHY, MAYA?!
Maya: W- why?
X-Calibur: Oh. I’m so glad you asked, Maya! Because… if I win? I'm not going to do something as trifling and cliché as.... pffft... cash in my win for a world title shot. No, no, I'm going to be doing something much more selfless and benevolent... much more... NOBLE... than that.
Maya takes a shaky step backwards from X-Calibur, just looking in those callous eyes of X-Calibur made him uneasy and scared.
Maya: Why would I ever...help someone like you? Shinya would...he'd be ashamed of me.
X-Calibur: Because, Maya, I'm going to trade it in for some info on your dead boyfriend. You know, help you find his body so you can bury him properly. Help TRES BIEN get some much needed… haha… closure.
Maya's eyes began to well up. He brought his hand up to the bandana across his nose and started breathing into it like he was hyperventilating. Maya collapses to one knee as everything floods back into his head.
Maya: He can't be gone...he's out there somewhere. I know he is, I know he's out there somewhere!
Maya starts to sniffle, his eyes shut tightly as they flood his cheeks.
Maya: Why can't you just...why are you...?
X-Calibur: I know it must not sit well with you and the rest of the Hashimoto family that, rather than your beloved Shinya lying in that beautiful box of hickory, you had to weigh it down rocks and sand ... so I'm willing to help you, friend. I'm willing to trade in MY Redemption Rumble win... So long as you help me win it.
Maya: Why? Just… why?
As Maya asked this over and over, X chuckled smugly.
X-Calibur: Because… I am kind. Because… I am compassionate, Maya.
Kneeling down in front of Maya, X grabbed both sides of Maya’s head and looked deep into his watery eyes.
X-Calibur: I want to do the right thing, Maya. More importantly, I want YOU to do the right thing and help me help the HIERARCHY. Become my Redemption Rumble Recruit, and you will reap the sort of benefits you only ever DREAMED of one day achieving. And… well who knows, Maya... if you manage to throw out Loco? Stellar? Or, dare I say, King? As an added incentive? Maybe, once all is said and done, we'll have a spot open for you in the Hierarchy.
X-Calibur: Almost forgot… buttons or stickers?
As Maya continues to weep, X debated whether reaching into his satchel and pulling out a button or peeling off a sticker from one of the many sheets of wax paper in his hands. Finally, after “agonizing” over the decision, he peels off a sticker from the wax paper.
X-Calibur: Something tells me you’re a “sticker kind of guy”.
It says, “R3D3MPTION_ 1S_UPON_US”, and he places it directly on Mayas cheek. Right on the spot he wiped a tear from, in fact. X nods with self-approval before standing up. Whistling happily, he simply walks away.
Maya doesn't even have the strength to get up. Instead, he curls up into a ball on the floor, howling and crying into the empty space around him. Crying for Shinya.
Crying for help.
You Don't Know, You Just Don't Know Me At All
Eryk Masters: The Hierarchy, Stellar Insanity issues continue as Mirage and Loco Martinez are about to face off.
Other Guy: Masters, you can take it from here. I brought my poncho this week.
Other Guy's headset rustles and thumps as he gets up from the broadcast table and we see him pulling a poncho on as Eryk Masters continues.
Eryk Masters: Loco, coming off a case of food poisoning and looking forward to their tag team match at Redemption with the Hierarchy.
Other Guy: Mirage made his debut at Stellar Insanity's expense and is entangled with Donovan King. Heading into Redemption sees both of these men with lots on their plates.
More rustling from OG.
Other Guy: And I'm back. Plus they'll both be in the Rumble... assuming they survive their respective matches.
Eryk Masters: Yeah, especially if Jason Johnson decides to approve of the HELL IN THE CELL stipulation Stellar Insanity requested.
Other Guy: Lets head to the ring.
Samantha Coil: The following contest is scheduled for ONE fall. Making his way to the ring, first….
Lights drop. The SHOOTron lights up with what appears to be a child's hand with a yellow crayon. The hand rights the famous line from The Dark Knight, "WHY SO SERIOUS?" - the synth from Ke$ha's "We R Who We R" - the crowd roars and bounces to the beat.
"Lets Go--O--O... LETS GO!"
Loco explodes from the backstage in yellow boots, black, baggy, vinyl karate styled pants.
Samantha Coil: Making his way to the ring, from Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Weighing in at 214lbs LLLLLLLLLLLOCOOOOOO…..MMMMMMMMMMMMARTIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNEEEEEEZZZZZ!!!!!
Tonight we're going Har-har-harharhar-HARD
Just like the world is our-our-ourourour-OURS
We're tearin' it ap-ar-ar-ararar-ART
Loco gets to the ring and hops up on the apron, rolling backwards into the ring over the top rope and landing on one knee and one foot. And, of course, as he lands, the four ring posts explode with a blizzard of glitter.
Other Guy: Ugh... here comes the Glizzard. SHOOT shouldn't allow this!
Loco goes to a corner and loosens up, while waiting for his opponent.
"Resurrection" by Fear Factory blasts through the speakers and Puerto Rico immediately reacts toxically. "The Hierarchy" banner appears on the SHOOTron, followed by Mirage's newly acquired 3M logo. A few seconds later, Masked Marcus Mirage stalks out from the back wearing his full Spawn-like outfit complete with scaly black and white mask.
Other Guy: Looks like "Triple M" has really taken to Loco's insults this week in a positive way. What a class act!
Eryk Masters: It's all about the mind games with Mirage, and truth be told, he's more like 5M: Master Manipulator Masked Marcus Mirage.
Other Guy: Stop.
Sauntering his way down the ring, Mirage makes direct eye contact with Loco, who looks as slim as he's ever been inside a ring and ready to go to war with the Hierarchy member.
Eryk Masters: Both of these veterans of the squared circle have been around each other for a decade plus, but come to think of it… I can't recall them ever facing each other in a one on one match.
Other Guy: It's one of those "dream" matches that people always like conjure up on the internet. Unfortunately for some out there, this dream is about to turn into a bona fide nightmare.
As soon as Mirage slides underneath the ring, he tries to catch Loco off guard by coming straight for him. But Loco manages to catch Mirage's pre-emptive strike with a spinning heel kick that drops him to the mat. As soon as Loco pops up off of the mat, the bell sounds.
Eryk Masters: And here we go!
Other Guy: Mirage needs to be wary of Loco's speed in this match. Loco's "fasting" might prove to be the difference maker in this match when all is said and done.
Ready to go on the attack again, Mirage seems a bit slower to get to his feet. Once he does though, "Triple M" is ready for Loco to try him again. Loco obliges. But when he spins around, moments before he follows through with the back of his heel, Mirage sneaks up behind him and pulls him back into a tightly applied waist lock. Lifting up on Loco, Mirage attempts to fall back with a German suplex, but Loco is keen to his efforts and rolls forward with a lucha style victory roll.
Eryk Masters: Loco is simply too quick for Mirage!
Other Guy: he may have him here. That victory roll is cinched in DEEP.
Mirage manages to kick out, the force of which allows Loco to use the momentum to roll backwards onto his feet.
Eryk Masters: Loco's speed is nearly unparalleled in SHOOT. Not only is he fast, but he's dexterous on his feet as well. A dangerous combination for someone like Mirage to handle.
Other Guy: Mirage is no slouch, though. Aside from the face that he's a former SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion, Mirage has gone to war with some of the absolute greatest in this "circle" of competitors. From OutKast all the way to his current Hierarchy brother, X-Calibur. So as far as Loco goes… it's simply matter of an adjustment period.
Motioning for Mirage to get up, Mirage eventually does and turns around. Upon doing so he eats a dropkick to the face that sends him back down to the mat. Instantly covering Mirage, Linam is right there to administer the count..
I just hate it when really hot angles like this come along that leave people wondering if the OOC aspect of it is legit or not, and then go on to accidentally spoil the worked nature of it for someone.
Mirage kicks out emphatically. Once Loco pops back to his feet again, Mirage thinks better of fostering Loco's impetus and rolls out of the ring to the outside.
Eryk Masters: Is this that adjustment period you were talking about, OG?
Other Guy: Not quite, but… it'll do.
Smirking and wiping away the corner of his mouth, Mirage looks out at the sea of fans in attendance that are rabidly calling for his demise. Focusing in on one particular man who is frantically trying to show the camera the SI tattoo he has inked across his bicep, Mirage serves only to infuriate the crowd even further by delivering a particularly rude hand and arm gesture to the tattooed Stellar Insanity fan.
Other Guy: A Stellar Insanity tattoo?! That's some scary dedication.
Eryk Masters: Is that a hint of jealousy I'm detecting, dude?
Other Guy: Jealousy? Don't be ridiculous.
Eryk Masters: Would you feel better if I told you I had OG tattooed on my-
Other Guy: - LOOK!
Once he turns his attention back onto Loco, it proves to be one second too late as Loco has already begun moving for a suicide dive. Mirage sees it coming though and immediately drops to the mat to avoid the kamikaze-like collision. Ultimately, though, this defense mechanism proves to be needless as Loco executes a flashy, taunting, tiger feint kick by swinging both of his legs through the middle rope and spinning back inside the ring. Bouncing back to the center of the ring with a big Cheshire cat grin across his face, Loco then does a couple of jumping jacks to the delight of the crowd.
Eryk Masters: Hahaha… God I love Loco. He's so much fun in that ring.
Other Guy: Yeah, fun… fun doesn't win championships or matches, E. Taking yourself seriously does. Mirage's abundance of title belts from various feds over the years is proof of that.
Eryk Masters: Loco might not be a former World Champion in SHOOT, but he's been on top of the mountain pretty much everywhere else he's been. So, I'd say it's only a matter of time before Loco proves your theory to be absolute shit.
Other Guy: We'll see, I guess. No better time to begin testing my theory than the Redemption Rumble… if he makes it out of that Hell in the Cell alive, of course.
As Mirage watches the slow motion instant replay of Loco's tiger feint kick and Mirage dropping to the mat like someone tossed a grenade up on the SHOOTron, Mirage's demeanor changes wholly as he is obviously embarrassed over having been made to look like a fool. Adjusting his mask, Mirage calmly and collectedly walks to the steel steps. Cracking his neck and shoulders, he makes his way back into the ring.
Eryk Masters: Looks like Loco has accomplished one goal he had in mind for this match.
Other Guy: What's that?
Eryk Master: Get under Mirage's skin.
Loco bounces in place like a Mexican jumping bean, clearly looking fit and even leaner than he has in recent performances. Motioning for Mirage to come at him, Loco draws a shake of the head from Mirage, who in turn motions for Loco to come at him. Suddenly, Loco stops bouncing in place and motions for Mirage to bring it again. Mirage outright refuses though, and folds his arms. Loco mocks this and folds his as well. Mirage taps his foot on the mat. Loco taps his foot on the mat. Mirage points a finger at Loco and yells "STOP", and Loco mimics this by yelling "STOP" right back.
Other Guy: This is ridiculous. Loco's playing too many games with Mirage… I'm telling you, E, it's going to bite "Freakshow" in the ass.
Eryk Masters: As much as I love Loco, I agree that Loco is playing with fire here.
Eryk Masters: Hahahaha… good GOD.
Other Guy: Arggh that even infuriates me!!
Having enough of the games, Mirage sprints forward at Loco, who easily leap frogs Mirage , causing him to smash chest first into the turnbuckle. With Mirage stunned and clutching his chest, Loco leaps up with his legs extended up underneath Mirage's arms. Rolling backwards onto the mat, he traps Mirage's shoulders to the mat in a pinning predicament heavily influenced by the likes of Shawn Michaels.
Eryk Masters: WOW… I LOVE that roll-up!
Other Guy: It's over…
THR- Mirage kicks out!
Other Guy: …NO! IT'S NOT OVER!
Eryk Masters: Two and nine-tenths, if you ask me.
Other Guy: And there it is. Mirage's "not fucking playing around anymore" coming into play.
Eryk Masters: He folded Loco up like an accordion!
Nearly turning Loco inside out, Mirage brings Loco back to his feet and paints his face with an open palm slap. Stunning Loco back, Mirage boots him in the gut. Doubling the MoFo over, Mirage wastes no time setting him up for a suplex. Lifting him high into the air, Mirage snaps down to the mat in a brain-buster that's executed with thunderous, bone-crunching force. Rolling the Stellar Insanity member over, Mirage hooks a leg to a chorus of boos.
Eryk Masters: BRAINBUSTER!!
Other Guy: Loco is OUT!!
THR- Loco shoulders out!!!
Other Guy: HOW IS LOCO STILL ALIVE?!
Bringing Loco to a sitting vertical position, Mirage kneels in front of Loco and applies a front chancery. From the seated position, Mirage squeezes down hard on Loco's head, pulling him down towards his own legs and overextending his spine and neck in an unnatural and excruciating manner.
Eryk Masters: … Loco's neck doesn't bend that far.
Other Guy: Not unless he got the "Marilyn Manson" surgery.
Eryk Masters: That's a myth.
Other Guy: It's not.
Eryk Masters: How do you k-
Other Guy: To borrow a line from the Hierarchy… TRUST ME.
Once Linam asks Loco if he wants to give up Loco shouts an emphatic "NO!!". Knowing he's not going to gain the submission that way, Mirage stands up with the front chancery still deeply applied and Loco still in a seated position. Wrenching up on Loco's neck, Mirage then SNAPS down to the mat in a DDT-motion, sending Loco back against the mat. Loco holds his neck and kicks the mat out of sheer agony from the effects of the unorthodox DDT-styled neck-snapper.
As Linam checks on Loco to see if he's okay, Mirage shoves him out of the way, promptly eliciting an admonishment from Linam.
Other Guy: BRILLANT!!
Eryk Masters: Loco could be seriously hurt after that one…
With Loco still lying on the mat and holding his neck, Mirage once again raises him to his feet. Zeroing in on the hurt neck of Loco, Mirage scoops him up into a tombstone piledriver position, drawing a major gasp (and pop) from the audience who simply love to see the maneuver performed in a wrestling match.
Eryk Masters: He's not..
Other Guy: I think he is.
Eryk Masters: OH MY GOD!!! OH MY GOD!!! LOCO IS DEAD!!!
Other Guy: I can't REMEMBER the last time I saw someone use that variation of the tombstone and the person on the receiving end of it NOT coming out paralyzed. I'd have that medic team ready if my name was Jason Johnson and I was watching this from the back.
Brushing his hands off on Loco's face, Mirage hooks a leg again.
THR- NO!!! LOCO KICKS OUT!!!
Looking perplexed as to how Loco was able to kick out of the modified tombstone piledriver, Mirage gets to his knees and slaps Loco across the face a couple times.
Eryk Masters: Come on, that's just uncalled for.
Other Guy: Maybe he's trying to wake Loco up?
Slowly guiding Loco to his feet, Mirage boots him in the gut again. As Mirage goes for a standing front chancery this time, Loco manages to avoid it by shoving the King of Swerves away into the ropes. Amused by Loco's barely cognizant state, Mirage calmly walks towards Loco again. Once again, Loco shoves Mirage away as he shakes the cobwebs. Chuckling to himself and looking out at the audience, Mirage looks back at Loco and walks towards him… right into a super kick that ROCKS him back down to the mat, flush on his back and utterly unconscious!
As both men lie on the mat - Loco face down and Mirage on his back- the fans in attendance rally for Loco with chants of "FREAK-SHOW!", their chants echoing through out the Coliseo de Puerto Rico.
Both men begin to stir.
Loco grabs the bottom rope and helps himself up to his feet.
Mirage sits up, looking confused and in a state of disarray.
Waiting for Mirage to get up, Loco leans in on the top rope for support.
Other Guy: Loco looks exhausted already. Something tells me all of the weight loss he experienced from the food poisoning he suffered this past week has finally caught up with him.
Eryk Masters: You may be right, OG.
As Mirage helps himself to his feet, he turns around to see Loco barely able to stand and using the ropes as a crutch. Moving in towards Loco, Mirage looks to put the nail in Loco's coffin when Loco darts out from the side of the ring with a leg extended in another super kick. Mirage ducks out of the way, though, grabbing behind Loco's head after he pivots and pulling him in. Smiling, Mirage looks out at the fans in attendance and CLEARLY calls for the Stellar Drop!
Eryk Masters: Mirage… with a Stellar Drop?! Whaaa…
Other Guy: This man LOVES stealing other people's finishers, as evident by the fact that he used OutKast's arsenal against Stellar Insanity when he first appeared back at Salvation. They don't call this guy a master of mind games for nothing!
Mirage drops to the mat with the reverse DDT, but Loco holds onto the top rope and manages to escape Mirage's Stellar Drop! The crowd launches into a massive pop as Loco runs quickly into the ropes and on the rebound rushes forward with a knee extended and nails Mirage right in the face from his seated position with a straight knee shot to the face!
Other Guy: Hey!! That's one of X's moves!!
Eryk Masters: You know what they say… no honor among thieves!
With Mirage seemingly knocked out, Loco positions him in the corner of the ring and places both of his hands on the top turnbuckle. Leaping up with his feet touching the adjoining ropes right next the turnbuckle, Loco leaps back in a CORKSCREW motion, landing flush on the canvas!
Eryk Masters: There's that new variation of HAPPINESS Loco has been using as of late!
Other Guy: I think he's calling it HAPPINESS 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO!!
Eryk Masters: WAIT A SEC… WHAT'S HE DOING OUT HERE?!!
Moments before the landing, X-Calibur raced out from the back and down to the ring, hopping up onto the ring apron with his satchel full of buttons. Yelling at Austin Linam to get his attention, X throws a sheet of stickers into the ring for Austin Linam. Yelling at X to get off the apron, Linam approaches X. As soon as he gets within reach, X grabs his referee shirt and pulls a button out from his satchel. While he slowly pins a button that reads "H13ARCHY_1S_CHANG3" to his shirt, Loco hooks a leg.
Eryk Masters: REF!! This is ridiculous… Loco has this match WON!!
Other Guy: Relax. Austin Linam is getting himself a customized Hierarchy button! I hear they're limited edition and very valuable!
Disgusted that X would pin a Hierarchy button to his shirt in the middle of a match, Linam RIPS the button off of his shirt and flings it at X, conking him in the forehead with it. At which point, Loco gets up off of Mirage and looks towards the source of the distraction. Immediately setting his eyes upon X, Loco bum rushes the ropes and knocks X down all the way to the outside mat, spilling some of his buttons out of his satchel in the process!
Turning his attention back towards Mirage, Loco motions to the audience for his patented LOCapitator short-arm super kick. As soon as he brings Mirage to his feet, though, X once again hops up onto the ring apron with several Hierarchy buttons and THROWS them right at Loco, smacking him in the back of the head with at least one.
With Loco turning his attention back onto X again and Linam shouting at X while threatening to disqualify Mirage for X's interference, Mirage seizes the opportunity this huge distraction has given him and decides to drop to a knee and lift his forearm and fist right into Loco's nether-region. Loco immediately collapses to the mat in a fetal position and the crowd fills the arena with their venom for X and Mirage. Upon seeing Loco fall to the mat, X hops off of the apron with a huge smirk across his face.
Lifting Loco to his feet, Mirage grabs Loco's head in a three-quarter neck-lock… and drops to the mat.
Eryk Masters: Wait, an X-Terminator?!!
Other Guy: No… well maybe…. But, I think that one… I think that one was meant to be a DEALBREAKER. I think Mirage is sending a message to Donovan King!
Making a simple lateral press, Mirage makes the cover as Linam is finally able to focus his attention back onto the match.
Eryk Masters: I… REALLY hate these guys.
Samantha Coil: Here is your winner at a time of 26 minutes and 52 seconds… MARCUS… MIRAGE!!!
With Loco holding his neck and flat on his back, X slides into the ring with his satchel full of buttons. While Mirage shoves Austin Linam on his ass, threatening to do something drastic if he doesn't leave them be, X positions himself in front of Loco. Like a serpent coiling around its prey, X slides his shin underneath Loco's chin, and with his other leg he criss-crosses his own foot. With both hands, he RIPS down on the back of Loco's head, crushing his throat with the gogoplata.
Other Guy: BITE OF THE BASILISK ON LOCO!!!
As Mirage begins shoving one of the Hierarchy buttons into Loco's mouth, Rocky Stellar comes RUSHING down to the ring with a steel chair in hand. Slapping X on the back as a signal for them to make their exit, Mirage immediately rolls out of the ring. X, however, continues holding onto the devastating submission hold until Rocky slides into the ring. From there, X relinquishes the hold and rolls out of the ring, narrowly escaping the ICON's wild swing of the chair.
Eryk Masters: We might need some help out here for Loco… who knows what kind of damage X has done to his already hurting neck with that DISGUSTING submission hold.
As Stellar kneels beside Loco, checking on his tag team partner, X and Mirage make their way back up the ramp with their arms raised in victory… each of them handing out Hierarchy buttons and stickers to fans along the way.
Cut to the back entrance of the Front Line Academy along the Boston Harbor in, obviously, Boston, Massachusetts. COREY LAZARUS and HIRO TAKAWA stand across from one another, both men looking at the weather concrete beneath their feet. Lazarus is wearing a sleeveless white Texas Chainsaw Massacre tee, the years having been unkind to it with barbed wire and sun damage and bloodstains, left untucked from a pair of military green cargo shorts; his eyes hide behind his trademark silver-rimmed Ray Ban's; his feet covered with a pair of beat-up black Chuck Taylor's. Hiro's hair is left wild, the wind occasionally blowing it in his face, and his plain black tee masks his athletic frame as it rests tucked into a pair of faded jeans; his feet clad in a pair of black leather square-toe'd shoes; his own eyes hidden by his own pair of black-rimmed Ray Ban's.
Lazarus: For eleven years, now, I have been in this business. For eleven years, I have broken my bones, shed my blood, and sacrificed my own well-being for just the mere chance at victory. For eleven years, I have desecrated any and all who have dared to step in front of me and not show the proper amount of respect that the L-A-Z deserves.
Corey checks the face of his gold Rolex quick before crossing his arms over his chest. Hiro's hands slide into his pockets.
Lazarus: I haven't been alone, though. See, in one form or another, this man that stands just mere inches away from me, Hiro Takawa...
Corey nods his head in Hiro's direction, but Takawa barely moves.
Lazarus: ...he's been right by my side, no matter if he was in the same company as I was, helping me train for an important match, or even just offering some sage advice. His family has been my family. My family has been his family. The two of us are closer than most brothers even are, always knowing exactly what the other is thinking, even if we don't acknowledge it.
Hiro looks up and beyond the camera, squinting his eyes at the faint glimmer of sunlight breaking through an overcast sky.
Lazarus: Suffice it to say, then, that the strategy he gave to Bebop and Rocksteady a few weeks ago at Revolution 76 to single Hiro out, considering his schedule has been a bit more hectic than that of yours truly in recent times, was sound, in theory, however unfulfilling it may have turned out to be in practice.
Corey smirks. Hiro looks directly into the camera. Calm. Stoic.
Lazarus: I speak of this not with the purpose of blowing smoke up our own anal orifices, per se, but rather to set the proper tone. When you look through the tag team ranks of SHOOT Project, you find many teams with a relationship dynamic that is so incredibly strong that it makes little sense for them to ever not be by one another's side. The Crimson Riot are brothers, two young lions trying desperately to break into a cut-throat business that eliminates the weak in quick order. PERDITION are old friends reunited after years apart for the sole cause of ridding SHOOT Project of the cancer that is Dave Dymond. Project: SCAR wish to spread their misanthropic worldviews via the evisceration of their opposition, the Truth want to display their dominance, the Gunslingers finds the old "student and master" dynamic revisited once more as Stan Erichson wishes to show Jacob Fisher how this sport truly operates, Stellar Insanity have been taken back off of the shelf due to popular demand, and the Hierarchy are always willing to prove just why they've dominated this promotion as individuals no matter the odds. This leaves me with but one team, and they are the standard-bearers for this entire company and, some say, this entire sport: the Bad Ass Brotherhood.
Corey turns to the camera, his arms still crossed, and clears his throat.
Lazarus: It would be damn foolish of me, of Hiro, or even of Gregory, or anybody else for that matter, to try to downplay what you've accomplished since forming as a cohesive unit, guys. Charles Brandon Magnus has only been wrestling for a brief period of time and has already captured gold twice, being one half of the CWC World Tag Team champions and being one half of the current SHOOT Project World Tag Team champions. He's a virtual behemoth of a man who is wise beyond his years, both in the ring and outside of it, knowing when to cut his personal life away from his professional one. Buckley Dresden is just as ready to start some shit as his partner is, but somehow manages to utilize every single one of his strengths beyond expectations, no matter his mindset. He's even bigger than Magnus, as a matter of fact, and has a much nastier attitude between the ropes to match his slightly superior size. Yet, when I look at these two men, despite their credentials, there's something I see: fear.
Corey slides his Ray Ban's down to the tip of his nose as Hiro pushes his up over the top of his head.
Lazarus: I don't mean the fear of injury, because we all have that buried deep down inside our minds. I don't mean the fear of loss because, let's face it, we all have that, too. What I'm talking about, boys, is the fear that you've already reached the pinnacles of your careers at such a young age, so very verdant in this great sport, and that the only way to go from here is down, and the two of us? Frontline II TURBO?
Hiro slides his hands out of his pockets and crosses them over his chest as Laz places one hand on Takawa's shoulder, sliding the other one into his own pocket.
Lazarus: We're the personification of it. Not because we'll injure you, not because we'll bring a more ferocious fight in your direction than either of you have ever had to deal with in your brief careers, but because of the fact that we, Hiro Takawa and Corey FUCKING Lazarus, represent the very real possibility that you won't be champions for much longer. Deny it all you want publically, Chucky, and try to hype yourself as that much stronger than you really are, Buck, because you know it's all too true. VAS? Damage Control and Akuma Satsui? The Flying Avengers? Johnny Patriot and the UK Dragon? They've all been fucking water pistols compared to the pair of Howitzers you're up against at Redemption. Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock...
The scene fades...
I can almost taste it…
The lights drop and the fans begin to boo loudly, without hesitation.
Eryk Masters: I'm with them. BOOOOOOOOOO!
It makes no sense to me…
A spotlight slowly comes to a stop on the top of the ramp.
Other Guy: Come on, is that any way to act? Really now?
I can almost taste it…
I can almost see it!
It makes no sense to me…
I can almost taste it…
Eryk Masters: Every Revolution you ask me that, and every Revolution I say yes. BOOOOOO!
I just wanna be famous!
You dream of trading places
Other Guy: You better be quiet. What if he hears you?
I just wanna be famous but…
Eryk Masters: I hope he does.
As “Almost Famous” by Eminem (featuring Lisa Rodriguez) continues Cade Sydal steps through the curtain, with Cassi Ryan hand-in-hand. The couple walk to the top of the ramp and stand there for a moment, a microphone in Cassi's hand while the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Title rests comfortably over Cade's other shoulder, his hand holding it in place as he grins at the sea of booing fans. He lifts the hand holding Cassi's and kisses the back of her hand before they start down the ramp.
Cassi Ryan: Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce to you the one man that truly needs no introduction. You all know him, and love him.
The fans continue to boo, as the couple smirk in stereo. She laughs, as he rolls his eyes.
Cassi Ryan: He's the best of the best, and has been for years, and will be for many years to come. He's the Epitome of Perfection. The only true wrestling star, recognized around the globe for his amazing talents inside those ropes.
Cassi points to the ropes before they reach the bottom of the ramp. Cade stays behind Cassi, watching her as she walks up the ring steps he walks right behind her along the edge of the ring before sitting on the middle rope and lifting the top rope up. Cassi smiles at him and kisses him on the cheek before turning back around and bending forward at the hips, stepping through the ropes as Cade stares at her rear end. She steps into the ring and continues, as he steps in himself.
Cassi Ryan: His many awards and accolades are too numerous to list...buuuuuuut, here are just a few.
Cassi Ryan: A former two-time Iron Fist Champion of the World. One time wrestler of the year. Heh, at one time he was even the fan favorite of the year. A Hall of Famer spanning two companies. And the current two-time SHOOT Project World Champion! He's God's Favorite Wrestler! CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAADE SYYYYYYYYYYYYDALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!
Cassi cocks her head back as she finishes introducing him. The fans continue to boo as she slowly extends her hand out to Cade, letting him take the microphone from her loose grip. Cade slides the SHOOT Project World Title off of his shoulder and hands it to Cassi.
Cade Sydal: How're we doing tonight?
Cade laughs and smiles over to Cassi.
Cade Sydal: Sounds like a whole lot of people are having a bad night. That's too bad, see, because I'm having a great night. I've been having a lot of great nights lately, starting at the close of Revolution 76.
Cade grins to Cassi before turning to look back at the hard camera.
Cade Sydal: See, because that's when I took that belt and I shamelessly smashed it into the front of my challenger's knee. Ever since then, I haven't been looking over my shoulder. Looking out for some lumbering idiot that wants nothing more than to hurt me and this lovely vision beside me...that's who I really worry about, you know. The kind of revenge he has in store for her is downright criminal.
Cade shakes his head slowly.
Cade Sydal: He thought he could solve his problems by getting me alone in a cage...he made a mistake in thinking I've been running from him for my own safety. Instead of getting the frightened rabbit he thought he was going to corner, he's caged the king of the jungle himself. I hope you're listening, wherever you are Bill Jacobs. I risked cracking my title belt's faceplate on your knee to send you a message.
Cade points at the camera, the smile on his face growing with confidence into a grin.
Cade Sydal: I hope that every time you take a step, you remember how this all began. How you...you could have just let it all go. You could have just sat back, let me run my mouth, come out and did your little commentary piece without incident...and then be at home with your wife and kids. All those months ago, you could have just stayed in the back...you could have let me have my celebration and this would have all been avoidable.
Cade shrugs his shoulders.
Cade Sydal: But instead, you're chasing a dream that you will never catch. You're leaving your kids at home, leaving your moderately attractive wife at home...for what? To get abused by a kid half your age and ten times the man? I mean, really now...has it all been worth it?
Cade looks over his shoulder to Cassi, who is shaking her head. He turns back to the camera with a smirk.
Cade Sydal: I don't think so either. So listen, here's a little bit of advice...stay at home. Don't come to Redemption...don't meet me in the cage. You'll only embarrass yourself. You'll only hospitalize yourself. This is the last warning...turn around and go back home. Before it's too late. Before you can't play with your kids any more...hey, it's just a thought. Take it or leave it, either way I'm going to continue to be the champion of the greatest wrestling organization in the world. And there's nothing anyone can do to stop it.
The fans boo loudly and Cade turns around and walks to Cassi, grabbing her by the hand he smirks and turns back around.
Cade Sydal: It's nice to not be interrupted for once. I hope you all enjoy the rest of tonight's event...I sincerely mean that.
With that, Cade drops the microphone to the canvas, a bang echoes followed by some static as a result, as "Almost Famous" by Eminem kicks back on. Cade holds the ropes apart for Cassi to get out of the ring, watching her every move as she does so.
Eryk Masters: Can you believe that guy?
Other Guy: How can you not believe him? Did you not watch last Revolution? Did you not listen to him?
Eryk Masters: He's a self-obsessed sociopath, OG!
Other Guy: if you were that good, wouldn't you be? Self-obsessed I mean, not a sociopath, that was just mean.
As the team at the booth bicker, Cade and Cassi make their way up the ramp and to the stage pretty quickly, Cade taking the title belt back from Cassi in the process. As they head through the curtains, and head down the steps in the gorilla position the cameras follow them. Cade kisses Cassi’s hand again, but as they reach the bottom of the steps Cassi stops and looks right at the chest of the last man she expected to see. Cade looks up, beyond her and into the man’s eyes. Cade swallows a visible lump in his throat, as he locks eyes with Ben Jackman.
Ben Jackman: You talk too much.
Cade looks at Jackman, his mouth hanging open as he stammers and stumbles to find words.
Ben Jackman: Shhhhh. You can rest easy, for now. I’m saving it all for Redemption.
With those words, Jackman steps to his left, limping as he does so and Cade’s eyes immediately move to the knee. Jackman glares at him in response, as Cassi starts walking past Jackman hastily. Cade is quick to follow behind her, looking over his shoulder to watch Jackman as they go down the hall. Jackman smiles, with a shake of his head and a laugh,
Samantha Coil: Ladies and Gentlemen, this next bout is a one fall contest with a 30 minute time limit!
The name “Cronos Diamante” appears on the massive video wall by the entrance, in flaming text, as if on fire.
Sinister Voice: The Devil is among us.
“Devil's Dime” by Black Label Society hits the Public Address system harder than usual and the entrance way is suddenly engulfed in fire. Cronos steps through the fire and stands at the entrance way, looking down to the ring then to the crowd. He smirks and on cue, the stage shoots out pillars of flame.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first, hailing from The Bronx, New York City...he stands at six feet, three inches and weighing in at two-hundred and ninety pounds...Cronos “The Devil” Diamante!
Cronos makes his decent down the ramp and is bombarded with boos and a general sense of discord. He stops at the ring steps and takes a deep breath as if to take in all the negative energy then lets out a sinister smirk.
Eryk Masters: That man feeds off a crowd's hatred. It fuels his performance in the ring.
Cronos ascends the steel steps and enters the ring between the middle and top rope. His music dies down and he reaches into his black SWAT style fatigues and pulls out a dime then flips it to Samantha Coil.
The Other Guy: I bet her just told her to go buy herself something on the devil's dime, judging by the look on her face.
"I Wupped Batman's Ass" by Wesley Willis begins to play as the crowd’s jeers turn to cheers. The spotlight scans the crowd, and we see Lunatikk Crippler emerges from within the throng of fans, getting a massive ovation. Crippler gets to ringside, and vaults himself over the barrier, up onto the apron and over the top rope with ease. The Crippler goes to the opposite corner from Cronos Diamante.
The fans cheer loudly as Crippler raises one arm over his head.
Samantha Coil: And now, his opponent, hailing from South Bend, Indiana he weighs 238 pounds, here is LUNATIKK CRIPPLER!
The bell rings…
Eryk Masters: I get the feeling we’re going to see a tough match here, OG.
The Other Guy: You got that right. This is a PPV caliber match, easily. Crippler coming off a huge win over Jester Smiles, and Cronos coming off wins over pretty much everybody he’s faced in the past three months!
Cronos Diamante and Lunatikk Crippler intensely stare at each other for a moment. Finally,
Cronos Diamante runs, and hits the ropes at the far side of the ring at full speed. Cronos Diamante then crosses the ring, comes off the far ropes, and runs at Crippler with a flying shoulder tackle. Crippler is ready. Crippler catches Cronos Diamante, and for a moment he steadies him. Then, with a sudden motion, Crippler spins Cronos Diamante around and crushes him to the mat with a powerslam!
Cronos Diamante kicks out!
Cronos Diamante kicks out, and then quickly rolls to the outside of the ring. Cronos Diamante takes a quick breather, holding his ribs. Lunatikk Crippler walks over and leaps over the top rope, nimbly dropping to the outside. Crippler grabs Cronos Diamante by the back of the head, and then charges forward, ramming Cronos Diamante into the steel post! Cronos Diamante’s head bounces off the post!
Crippler releases Cronos Diamante and the man known as “The Devil” sickly slides down the post into a heap. Crippler picks Cronos Diamante up, and bodyslams him on the concrete! Crippler rolls Cronos Diamante’s almost lifeless body over with his foot, and then pulls the semiconscious Cronos Diamante to his feet, and then throws him over his shoulder. Crippler hoists Cronos Diamante up, and takes a run at the next steel post, as if he intends to drive him head first into it.
Cronos Diamante slides off, and at the last minute, violently shoves Crippler into the post instead, head first! The crowd groans at the loud CRACK of Crippler’s head smacking the steel post! Crippler falls to the ground, and Cronos Diamante falls to his knees behind him, still clutching his back.
Eryk Masters: Cronos reminding us once again, you don’t mess with the most cerebral man in SHOOT Project!
The Other Guy: Exactly! He knew Crippler would think he was out of it, let his guard down, and look where that got him! You don’t relax for one minute when you’re around Cronos, no matter what.
Crippler starts to stir, so Cronos Diamante turns around, his eyes wild. Cronos Diamante’s eyes finally fix on a steel chair, and Cronos Diamante grabs it. Cronos Diamante crouches patiently. Crippler starts to rise, and right as he is bent over, about to stand up, Cronos Diamante swings the steel chair, which drives Crippler’s head right back into the post with a loud CRACK! Crippler raises both hands to his head, and cradles his cranium in his hands in pain.
Cronos Diamante limps away, and throws up the skirt to the ring. Cronos Diamante falls to his knees, and starts to rummage under the ring. The fans start to cheer…as a steel garbage can is tossed from beneath the ring, into it. The lid follows. A pool cue. A shovel. Another chair. All these items fly in an arc from under the ring into the middle of the ring, of the referee cowers in the corner.
With a quick jab, Cronos Diamante nails Crippler with a punch in the forehead. Crippler falls to the ground. Cronos Diamante grabs Crippler by the back of his tights with his left hand, and rolls him back into the ring. Cronos Diamante rolls into the ring himself, as the fans come to their feet. Cronos Diamante looks around the arena, his eyes wild. Crippler is trying to get to his feet, and Cronos Diamante stands over him, and again holds his bloody fist up high, to deafening boos and jeers.
Cronos Diamante backs up cautiously. Lunatikk Crippler gets to his feet, and Cronos Diamante charges forwards and throws a perfect right hook, which catches Crippler right in the forehead again. Crippler is rocked. Cronos Diamante swings, and pastes Crippler in the forehead again, this time with a right roundhouse. Crippler falls back. Cronos Diamante starts to fire a rapid succession of stiff right jabs into the forehead of Crippler over and over again. Cronos Diamante pounds away, and is now crouched over the fallen Crippler…
Eryk Masters: Cronos Diamante showing us why he is the master of the MMA style in SHOOT Project.
The Other Guy: Don’t sell Crippler short though. He’s a tough man.
Suddenly, Crippler reaches straight up, and nails Cronos Diamante right in the jaw! Cronos Diamante stops punching. Slowly, Crippler rises to his feet, and Cronos Diamante falls to his knees in front of him, stunned from the surprise uppercut! Lunatikk Crippler steadies himself, backs up, and then slaps on a SLEEPER HOLD! “The Devil” starts to fight wildly, trying desperately to release the grasp of Crippler’s arm from around his throat.
Cronos Diamante’s entire body immediately goes completely limp. Crippler releases the hold, and Cronos Diamante slumps forward. Crippler looks around the ring. The steel trashcan and lid, pool cue, shovel, and steel chair are all still strewn about the ring from where Cronos Diamante had thrown them.
Crippler reaches down, and locks Cronos Diamante up. With a smooth motion…Crippler spins, and drives Cronos Diamante right on top of the steel trashcan, which was laying on its side with a sidewalk slam! The trashcan is flattened like a pancake. Cronos Diamante
Lunatikk Crippler drops to his knees, and lays across Cronos Diamante.
Eryk Masters: This is it. Cover by Crippler…
The Other Guy: One, two, th…WHAT THE? Cronos just draped his foot over the bottom rope!
Although Cronos Diamante is indeed semiconscious, he does manage to drape his leg over the bottom rope. Crippler shakes his head incredulously, and then pulls Cronos Diamante to his feet. On his way up, Cronos Diamante snatches the steel trash can lid, and swings upwards as hard as he can with a loud smack that echoes through the arena!
Crippler stumbles backward, dazed, since he never saw it coming, Cronos Diamante straightens up, and takes aim. With a deafening BANG, Cronos Diamante wallops Crippler over the head with the trash can lid again, BENDING it!
Cover by Cronos…
Lunatikk Crippler lifts the shoulder!
Cronos Diamante curses, and then reaches over, and grabs the pool cue. WHACK! Cronos Diamante lifts the cue over his head, and then swings it down as hard as he can, right across the back of the neck of Lunatikk Crippler, who was just getting to his knees! Lunatikk Crippler staggers to his feet, and starts swinging madly at Cronos. Cronos Diamante rears back, and smashes Lunatikk Crippler with a wicked jab, right to the throat!
Eryk Masters: OH SHIT!
The Other Guy: Look at Crippler, he can’t breathe!
Lunatikk Crippler is gasping and coughing, holding his throat. He rolls out of the ring, and Cronos Diamante goes right after him. Cronos starts to unleash on Crippler, who staggers backward up the aisle, to about midway up the ramp.
Austin Linam has had enough of this, and he starts to administer a 10 count…
Cronos Diamante hits Lunatikk Crippler with yet another wild shot to the throat!
Crippler does down, flat on his face. Cronos deftly goes behind, and slaps on a full nelson.
Cronos leans back, with the full nelson camel clutch fully applied!
It is Cronos Diamante’s famous “Ne-Han” and he shows no intention of letting go!
Lunatikk Crippler is trashing around, trying to break free, but you don’t get out of this hold easily.
Austin Linam calls for the bell!
Samantha Coil: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, REFEREE AUSTIN LINAM HAS CALLED A STOP TO THIS MATCH DUE TO THE PARTICIPANTS REFUSING TO RETURN TO THE RING! THIS MATCH IS BEING DECLARED A NO CONTEST!
The fans boo loudly, and a crowd of security guards rush down to the ringside area and try to pull Cronos Diamante off Lunatikk Crippler.
The camera goes to the broadcast position.
Eryk Masters: That escalated quickly!
The Other Guy: I think Cronos was pissed off that the Crippler took things outside the ring, and he was doing his best to make this a MMA style match. The message there was, if you want to screw around and brawl outside the ring, we can do it – but you ain’t gonna like how it ends up!
For the second time this evening we arrive backstage with none other than “Mr. Van Warren”. As Hierarchy’s own “American Idol” roams the hallways with his bizarre buttons with phrases like “B3L13V3 1N M3”, as well as inspirational stickers like “MR. VAN WARREN STANDS 4 PROGRESS”, he passes by several camera technicians and various production crewmembers. Each of them bear witness to the certain hop in X’s walk. It was… unsettling, to say the least, and if nothing else positive it was at least a strong indication of the man’s optimism regarding his quest to accumulate a large quantity of Redemption Rumble Recruits.
Continuing to pass by several people, X occasionally peels off a sticker from his wax paper and places it directly on someone’s person; be it their back, shoulder, or - inconveniently enough - hair. After placing a “DAY_OF_R3D3MPT10N_IS_UPON_US!” sticker on a female make-up artist’s tramp stamp while she was bent over and gathering items from her make-up cart, X stopped in his tracks. It was as if he had seen a ghost. In a way, he HAD seen a ghost.
His smile fading, if only momentarily, the camera then swings forward to the reason for his abrupt change in countenance. Isaac Entragian. All seven-feet of him.
X-Calibur: Well… erm… HI, Isaac! How’ve you been, BUDDDDYYYYYY?!
Entragian glares at X-Calibur for a moment, his upper lip curling ever so slightly.
Entragian: Fan-fuckin-tastic. Have you been snorting pixie sticks, or is this just your usual demeanor?
Chuckling to himself, X shakes his head.
X-Calibur: Now, now, Stay Pu- I mean… ummm... Isaac… there‘s no need for that kind of noxious greeting. I… I come in peace! Yeah... TOTALLY in peace!!
Isaac looks about as distrusting as a man could possibly look. With their violent history back in LEGACY, it was no wonder.
X-Calibur: Look, I realize you’re not a fan of mine… and… well, to be honest, I’m can’t really say that I’m a fan of yours, either. But today, my loveable, living, breathing piece of moon rock… today is a new day! Today…
X cautiously walks up to the massive Isaac while removing another sticker.
X-Calibur: … the impossible becomes possible! Today… or, tonight I should say.. we embark upon a quest… TOGETHER! Tonight, for the greater good of SHOOT Project, we become BROTHERS! We become… SOLDIERS… of the Hierarchy!
Gingerly reaching up, he places the sticker right in the middle of Isaac’s forehead. It reads, “BELIEVE IN CHANGE! BELIEVE IN THE HIERARCHY!”. Satisfied with himself, X pats Isaac roughly on the shoulder. Almost as if he cannot believe the gall of this man, Isaac stifles a laugh filled with malice and cruelty.
X-Calibur: So what do you say, my creamy colossus? You gonna do the right thing? You gonna help me win the Redemption Ru- ACCCCK!!!
Immediately, Isaac claps his gargantuan hand around X’s neck, shutting him up in the process. Squeezing, choking the air out of X, Isaac backs his old nemesis up against the cement wall of the corridor. As X tries to wiggle his way out, Isaac adds his OTHER hand to X’s neck and lifts the man up into the air so that his feet dangle.
Entragian: You’re lucky I don’t decorate this hallway with your entrails, Eryk.
Isaac grins up at X-Calibur, savoring the moment as his face starts to take on a purple hue.
Entragian: My loyalty lies with SCAR, ole’ pal. So you can take your sticker, and you can take your offer…and shove them both as far up your legendary rectum as they’ll fucking go…m’kay?
Isaac casually peels the sticker from his forehead, and then he slaps it across X-Calibur’s ear, leaving it stuck there, clinging to bits of X’s hair.
Wriggling himself free just far enough from Isaac’s hands, X speaks up again.
X-Calibur: Arghhh… aggglllllckkk… LISTEN, MAN… I… well… okay. OKAY. You’re not a sticker guy. I get that. I’m… I’m sorry… but… uggghhh… easy… EASY!! I have some buttons, too, dude.
Entragian: I’ll give you this much, Eryk, you’ve got balls. Batshit crazy balls, but balls nevertheless. I’ll look forward to tearing them off in the Rumble. But alas, I don’t want to keep you, I know you have things to do. Herr Goeren’s cock doesn’t suck itself, after all…
Entragian smirks, taking a step backward while deliberately stomping down on one of X’s buttons. The crunching sound elicits a sarcastic “oops” from Isaac and a cringe from X.
Turning away from X, the “creamy colossus” eventually disappears from the vicinity, leaving X a disheveled mess. His shirt half torn from having been caught against an imperfection on the cement wall as he was unceremoniously lifted into the air. Picking up the buttons and sheets of stickers, X smirked.
X-Calibur: Well then… I’ll take that as a MAYBE!
Once again, he begins whistling happily to himself.
The camera is backstage as we here a noise and the camera man makes it's way towards the locker rooms and the noise. We get to the locker room of VAS and Jacob Fisher is standing in the doorway. The camera aims over his shoulder into the locker room and we see Stan with a sledgehammer smashing everything in sight. First he slams it into a mirror, and then into a table with hair care products going everywhere. Stan turns and sees what appears to be Ray & Jay's carry bags. He brings the sledge right down on one and we hear a crunch, then he golf swings and sends the other bag flying into the wall. Jacob steps into the room.
Jacob Fisher: We got company, they got back early.
Stan turns around and drops the sledge hammer behind him.
Stan Erichson: Good this part I can do with my bare hands.
As this is said VAS enter the doorway of their locker room and survey the scene.
The camera pans around to the entrance, due to the Scent of a Woman'-approved slow clap. We say Ray Valjean, smiling and clapping his hands together with about as much sarcasm as could be mustered. Jay Skylar, or the other hand, looks like he's about to explode, his mucles twitching and his left eye quinting. That being said, he's following Ray's lead.
Valjean: "Bellisimo, bellisimo. I was just remarking to Jay as we heard the sounds from down the hall, 'I BET those boys are doing something trite and very expected.' And you refused to disappoint!"
Jacob Fisher: We thought the place could use a little remodeling.
Stan steps in front of Jacob, and Jacob eyes the sledgehammer, but Stan just gives him a quick shake of the head and returns his stare to Ray & Jay.
Stan Erichson: You don't know what you got yourself into. I don't know what you think you were accomplishing, but you got my attention. I'm going to give you ten seconds to make up some half assed explanation for your actions. Then i'm done with damaging your possesions, and I'm just going to kick your ass. That hat has been in this business longer than you've been born, and has been to more matches than you've had or even seen. You wanted to make it personal now it is.
Skylar: YOU JACKWAGONS, I'LL--
Ray shoots an arm out and grabs the advancing Jay by his shoulder
Valjean: JAY! JAY, WE'RE GONNA CALM DOWN. Okay? Now, as for you two. Who needs explanations that you'll never believe no matter how true? Let's face it, what we've done has gotten you guys a little angry. I could say that my grandmother died, and that was the form my grief took, and you're still gonna want to lay boots to us. Listen. Items and books and product can be replaced, friends. Just walk while you still have the capacity to, okay? You already know that we refuse to do anything but fight dirty, yeah?
Ray punctuates this with an absolutely shit-eating grin.
Stan: You heard'em kid, dirty it is.
In one fluid motion Stan unhooks his belt and the leather quickly slides through the belt loops and wraps around Stan's hand. Ray and Jay are ready and as Jacob and Stan rush forward they are ready and the four mean start exchanging punches. A few moments later before too much damage can be done security guards, officials, and road agents rush the room and pull the two teams apart. Stan and Jacob are ushered out into the hall leaving Vas in their locker room with security between them.
Stan: This is far from done, you know not what you've done.
Skylar: We know EXACTLY what we've done. You two, on the other hand, have called down goddamn REVELATIONS, trust.
Vas can be seen in their locker room smirking as The Gunslingers walk away...for now.
Samantha Coil: Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your CO-MAIN EVENT for the evening, and is a Tag Team contest scheduled for one fall with a 45 minute time limit!
“March ör Die” by Motörhead begins to play and the crowd starts to boo loudly, well aware of what – and who – is coming. Dave Dymond steps into the spotlight at the top of the ramp, with a huge grin on his face. The bespectacled and heavyset Dymond is wearing his usual outfit of a SHOOT Project cap and matching SHOOT t-shirt with jeans, white jogging shoes and a black suitcoat. He has a laminated SHOOT Project backstage pass around his neck and he is also holding his steel briefcase.
After a moment, Damage Control step into the light in perfect unison, taking their position on either side of Dave Dymond. Both men are stone-faced, and wearing black business suits, with sunglasses. The huge baldheaded and goateed twins start to march to the ring with Dave Dymond, in perfect synch with their theme music.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first, on their way to the ring…hailing from Parts Unknown and weighing in at a combined 500 pounds, they are represented by the SHOOT Project 2011 MANAGER OF THE YEAR: DAVE DYMOND! They are DAMAGE CONTROL!
As Damage Control walk to the ring, they remove their jackets so they are wearing only tight black muscle shirts tucked into their pleated dress pants, with heavy, thick-soled black shoes, and they have now discarded their black sunglasses. Both men tighten the black tape around their wrists, and by the time they reach the ring, they are ready to go. The muscular bodyguards stomp up the steps into the ring, while Dave Dymond calmly takes position in their corner.
The music slowly fades.
The unforgettable opening to Rage Against The Machine’s “How I Could Just Kill A Man” kicks up, bringing the fans to their feet. They begin to cheer as out from the back comes the scarred and brutal Diego Reyes. He wears a black leather vest with a matching pair of black leather pants with boots. The vest is open and we see all the scars marking his chest. Walking next to him, in his usual straightforward manner, is The Butcher. Jonas Coleman is wearing his usual black tights, but this week he is also wearing a PERDITION t-shirt.
Samantha Coil: And their opponents, at a combined weight of 460 pounds, the team of Diego Reyes and “The Butcher” Jonas Coleman! They are making their return to SHOOT Project as a team this evening. Here are PERDITION!!!
Reyes takes one side and Coleman the other, and the two men make their way to the ring, slapping high fives with as many of the fans as they can. Finally, they reach the ring, and slide into the middle. Reyes removes his vest, Coleman removes his shirt, and they toss them over the top rope, as their music dies down.
Willie Dean stands in the center of the ring, and orders both teams to pick a man to start the match off. Jonas Coleman stays in the ring and Diego Reyes heads to the apron. The camera shot zooms in on Damage Control, and we can see that as per Jason Johnson’s orders, each man has a large steel belt buckle with the first initial of their name, so that the referee can differentiate. Clubber heads to the apron and Stomper stays in the ring.
Eryk Masters: Okay let’s do this! It’s about time we saw PERDITION back in action, this is going to be one hell of a match!
The Other Guy: I have to admit, even though they lost last week, Damage Control really showed me something. They are getting better every week, but they’re not PERDITION.
The crowd is absolutely amped, the arena is rocking as the fans stomp their feet and clap their hands. Willie Dean nods at Brian Kendrick, who rings the bell. The lights go down all over the arena, with the exception of the lights which illuminate the ring. Even though a punch has not yet been thrown, a chant starts up…
“LET’S GO BUT-CHER!
LET’S GO BUT-CHER!
LET’S GO BUT-CHER!”
Despite the intensity of the situation, Jonas Coleman grins widely, and holds a clenched fist up in the air to acknowledge his fans, which sends up a massive cheer. Outside the ring, Dave Dymond has one of his now infamous tantrums, holding his hands over his ears, jumping up and down, turning red-faced, and screaming at the fans to shut their mouths.
In the middle of the ring, Stomper and The Butcher charge at each other and lock up in a classic collar and elbow tie-up. Stomper easily hurls Jonas Coleman backward to the mat, where he lands flat. Coleman kips up, leaps into the air, and hits Stomper with a precision dropkick, right across the knees! The fans erupt and Stomper bellows in surprise and pain, collapsing to the mat and clutching his knees in pain.
Eryk Masters: Looking at this match up based on skill, Damage Control have the power, but PERDITION have the speed!
The Other Guy: Yeah, and you can argue that Damage Control are green, but the fact is that PERDITION are rusty, they haven’t team for ages, so the two probably cancel each other out.
The Butcher doesn’t waste a moment, as Coleman sprints across the ring, rebounds off the ropes, leaps into the air, and lands a picture perfect elbow smash across the chest of Stomper. Willie Dean is in position, and slides down for the count…
Just before the two count, Stomper angrily throws Coleman in the air, as if he is doing a bench press. Coleman scrambles to his feet, grabs Stomper by the back of the head, and then hits the big man right in the jaw with a wicked kneelift! Stomper’s head snaps back, and Coleman reaches across and tags in Diego Reyes!
The fans turn the cheers up a notch as Reyes vaults over the top rope. Jonas Coleman holds Stomper in place, while Reyes backs up the turnbuckles, and then comes down with an elbow smash of his own, right across the top of Stomper’s head. The big man’s knees buckle. Diego Reyes and Jonas Coleman each grab a wrist, and throw Stomper into the ropes in unison.
As Stomper hits the ropes and rebounds across the ring, PERDITION leap into the air and hit him on the jaw with a double dropkick! Stomper goes down, and Reyes makes the cover.
Eryk Masters: You were saying something about PERDITION being rusty?
The Other Guy: They look like they remember all their old double team moves, and Dave Dymond ain’t too happy about it! Look, he’s having a shit fit out there!
Dave Dymond scrambles up to the apron and starts shouting at the top of his lungs, pointing at Jonas Coleman. Willie Dean gets up and orders Dymond off the apron. Jonas Coleman charges at Dymond, but Dymond leaps down and flips The Butcher off.
Coleman comes out after him!
Dave Dymond shrieks in terror as Jonas Coleman slides out of the ring and charges at him. Dymond runs as fast as he can, waving his arms in the air and screaming in terror the entire time. Dymond makes the turn around the corner, and The Butcher is hot on his trail.
Clubber has been lying in wait on the other side of the ring, and he jumps up and throws a wicked looking clothesline – but the wily Jonas Coleman figured that was coming, as he ducks! Clubber ends up clotheslining the steel ringpost! There is a loud smacking sound as Clubber’s forearm hits the steel at full speed. The big man grabs his arm and curses in pain.
Eryk Masters: Dave Dymond tried to lure Jonas Coleman into a trap, but The Butcher is no dummy! He saw Clubber coming, and now Clubber just clotheslined the ringpost!
The Other Guy: Dymond might have been trying to lure Coleman into a trap, but look at him run now!
Dave Dymond hasn’t stopped running, and he is now halfway up the aisle. Dymond finally stops and turns around. He sees that Willie Dean is leaning over the top rope shouting at Clubber to get back in his corner, and for Coleman to get back to his.
Meanwhile in the ring, Diego Reyes has locked Stomper up in a tight headlock, and he is sitting next to the bigger man on the mat, wrenching on his head and neck as hard as he can. Reyes has the headlock clamped on tight, but Stomper is able to struggle to his knees, and then his feet.
In one smooth motion, Stomper hoists Reyes into the air and falls backward while Diego still has him in the headlock. It is basically a back suplex, and Reyes lands on the back of his head and immediately releases the headlock. Stomper pulls Reyes back up to his feet, and then drives him into the mat with a crushing bodyslam.
Eryk Masters: There’s that power by Damage Control!
The Other Guy: Yeah these goons can put a beating on a guy, and they look like they’re pretty damn motivated tonight.
Stomper reaches out and tags in his doppelganger, Clubber. Clubber enters the ring, and together he and Stomper start to throw a joint succession of brutal stomps to the prone body of Diego Reyes. Dave Dymond has returned to the corner, and he is leaning on the apron, watching intently and shouting his approval as Damage Control is laying the boots to Diego Reyes.
Damage Control haul Reyes to his feet, whip him into the ropes and catch him on the rebound with a double shoulder-tackle. Before they can inflict anymore double team moves on Reyes, Willie Dean inserts himself between them and orders Stomper to the apron. Jonas Coleman looked as if he was about to enter the ring, but seeing that the match is back to one-on-one action, he stays on the apron, clutching the tag rope – but he looks angry and ready to enter the ring at the smallest provocation.
Clubber grabs Reyes by the hair, pulls him to his feet and then spins him through the air, and drops him back first across his leg, with a Tilt-a-Whirl Backbreaker! Diego Reyes spasms from the impact, and Clubber makes the lateral press for a cover…
Jonas Coleman leaps to the top rope, and then vaults himself high into the air, and comes crashing down, with a flying legdrop, right across the back of the head of Clubber! This breaks the count, and also gets the fans fired up, as they rush to their feet, cheering their hearts out.
Eryk Masters: The Butcher flies to the rescue, OG!
The Other Guy: HA! Coleman broke the count and look at Dymond! He’s throwing another spaz attack!
Dave Dymond roars in anger outside the ring, hollering at the referee about Coleman breaking the count. Stomper enters the ring, and as Jonas Coleman gets to his feet, Stomper smashes him right in the face with a big boot, sending him sprawling. Clubber pulls Diego Reyes to his feet, pushes him back first into the corner, and starts battering Reyes with a barrage of forearms smashes. Stomper starts to lay the boots to Jonas Coleman, as Dave Dymond is now clapping theatrically and shouting encouragement to his team.
Stomper finally pulls The Butcher to his feet and backs him into the opposite corner. He looks over at Clubber, who nods. Damage Control grab the respective members of PERDITION by the wrist and hurl them towards the center of the ring, heading for a head-on collision with each other!
Diego Reyes and Jonas Coleman meet in the middle of the ring, but they do not collide. Instead, they link arms, and use their momentum to throw each other into the air! Reyes flies through the air in one direction and Coleman in the other, and each man ends up speeding through the air, and connecting with their opponents on the jaw with beautiful simultaneous dropkicks!
Eryk Masters: I have to admit I thought PERDITION might be rusty tonight too, OG. But they’re proving that isn’t the case.
The Other Guy: I guess if you know each other as well as these two do, you don’t forget some things. Like riding a bike, it comes back to you.
In perfect symmetry, PERDITION fall backward, and toss Damage Control high into the air with synchronized monkey flips! The fans go crazy, cheering their hearts out, as Clubber and Stomper hit the mat, tailbone first. Before they can even figure out what hit them, Jonas Coleman and Diego Reyes have scrambled out to the apron, and jumped to the top rope in opposite corners. As flashbulbs pop all over the arena, Coleman and Reyes leap off their respective turnbuckles at the exact same time, hitting Damage Control with perfectly timed flying body presses! Both men make covers, so Willie Dean slides down and makes a count…
Clubber and Stomper kick out at the same time. Diego Reyes and Jonas Coleman both get up and start to pull Damage Control to their feet. Willie Dean is yelling at both teams to quit the double team moves and get this match back under control. Clubber and Diego Reyes are the legal men, so under protest, Jonas Coleman and a shaken Stomper head to their respective corners.
Clubber is starting to get to his feet, and Diego Reyes lets him do it. Just as Clubber stands up, Diego Reyes leaps into the air and smashes Clubber across the back of the head with a perfectly executed high kick. Clubber goes down again, and Diego Reyes sprints across the ring, rebounds off the ropes, and then comes across the ring, hits the opposite rope and…
…spins through the air and falls backward, out of the ring?
Eryk Masters: What the hell just happened there?
The Other Guy: Dymond! Look at the replay! Dave Dymond pulled the rope down and caused Reyes to take a header!
The fans start to boo loudly, as we see that when Diego Reyes hit the ropes back first, Dave Dymond jumped up and pulled down on the top rope, causing Reyes to fall backward out of the ring! Diego Reyes has been caught totally off guard and is badly shaken up. Dave Dymond takes his steel briefcase, winds up, and smashes the case right over the top of Diego’s head!
The crowd groans in sympathy at the sight of Dymond bashing Diego Reyes right over the head as hard as he can with the steel case. Jonas Coleman rushes into the ring, but both members of Damage Control are there to meet him and they tackle him to the ground. Dave Dymond rests his steel case on the apron, and opens it. Dymond pulls out a couple of shiny objects, and slides them across the mat, and they come to a rest at the feet of Damage Control.
Two pairs of handcuffs.
Eryk Masters: Oh no, what’s this all about?
The Other Guy: Nothing good, you can bet your ass on that.
Diego Reyes is laying on the concrete floor, out cold after being bashed over the head by Dave Dymond’s steel briefcase, and now Damage Control are attempting to drag Jonas Coleman over to the ropes, and appear to be cuffing him to the ropes.
There is a commotion in the crowd, and the camera shot swings out into the sea of humanity, where we see a large figure lumbering straight through the fans, heading directly toward the ring.
Satsui is dressing in his wrestling gear, dark blue karate gi pants with a red sash, a red towel draped over his head, and a sharpened wooden “Kagyaku” stick clamped between his teeth. He has his usual insane look on his face, and the fans are fleeing in every direction to get the hell out of his way. Satsui reaches the ringside area, and rolls over the crowd barrier, sliding into the ring as the fans jeer and boo loudly.
Eryk Masters: Fans, I think this match is about to go out the window, thanks to the man who is now entering the ring.
The Other Guy: The Japanese Nightmare is back, and he looks like his usual batshit crazy self!
Dave Dymond slams both his hands on the apron as hard as he can, and shouts at Akuma Satsui and Damage Control.
“NOW! DO IT NOW!”
Willie Dean turns around to see Akuma Satsui sliding into the ring, and heading straight for him. Satsui points to the aisle and says one word loud enough that it can be picked up by the microphones at ringside.
Willie Dean scrambles out of the ring, and shouts something at Mark Kendrick. Kendrick rings the bell, but before Samantha Coil can make an announcement, Dave Dymond grabs the microphone out of her hand.
Clubber and Stomper are holding Jonas Coleman in place, and Akuma Satsui fires a quick kick right into The Butcher’s midsection, driving the wind out of him. Satsui places both his hands around Coleman’s throat, throttling him. As Satsui chokes Coleman, Damage Control finally succeed in chaining the struggling Butcher to the ropes.
Eryk Masters: Okay, this is starting to go off the rails, OG.
The Other Guy: Yeah I’ll say. Satsui and Damage Control are chaining Coleman up, and that spells big trouble for the Butcher.
The Butcher, Jonas Coleman is on his knees, his arms stretched on both sides, chained to the ropes. He is struggling as hard as he can, but he can’t break free. Dave Dymond rolls into the ring, still holding the microphone. He points out of the ring at Diego Reyes, and Damage Control hustle out of the ring, and slide the stunned Reyes back into the ring.
Dave Dymond: Ladies and Gentlemen, you are truly privileged. You are about to bear witness to the final defeat of Jonas Coleman. The Butcher. Tonight, you will see the final nail driven in the coffin of your hero. You have already seen us destroy his body, and torment his soul. Tonight, we take his heart. Tonight we end it all.
Needless to say, the fans are going berserk, throwing garbage and booing. Coleman is helpless, chained to the ropes, as Dave Dymond stands in front of him, pointing at The Butcher and lecturing him on the microphone. Damage Control have brought Diego Reyes into the ring and laid him at the feet of Akuma Satsui, who is also staring at Coleman and grinning.
Dave Dymond: Your BFF here, Diego Reyes has had a rough life, lately. Stuck in Mexico. Hooked on drugs. But somehow, miraculously…he came back when you needed him most. How do you think that happened, Coleman?
I MADE IT HAPPEN.
Mexican officials are easier to bribe than the past two Governors of Chicago. All I did was spread a few pesos around, and I knew exactly where your best friend, partner and confident was. I greased the wheels, I pulled the strings behind the scenes, and I set this whole thing up.
I made it possible for Diego Reyes to come back to SHOOT Project. I am the man who reunited PERDITION. And why? So I could show you THIS...
Dave Dymond pulls the steel briefcase closer and reaches inside. He pulls out something and holds it high in the air.
Dave Dymond: I hear your buddy has quite the drug problem, Jonas. What do you think a good shot of Mexican Tar Heroin would do for him? Send him back over the edge, into addiction. For sure. Kill him? Let’s find out!
As the fans scream and Jonas Coleman does his best to break free of the chains, Damage Control pull Diego Reyes to his feet. Dave Dymond casually jabs the needle into the crook of the arm of Diego Reyes, and pushes the plunger, emptying the needle. Dymond casually tosses the used syringe into his briefcase, and takes the microphone in hand again.
Eryk Masters: This needs to be stopped. Now.
The Other Guy: This goes beyond wrestling, Masters. This goes beyond…just about everything.
Dave Dymond: I’m not going to lie to you, Coleman. That was bad. He’s going to be in rough shape after that. But I’m an optimist. So look at the bright side. He’ll be so smacked out of his mind, he won’t feel the full effects of what is about to happen to him.
Dave Dymond smiles again, points at Diego Reyes and then nods at Akuma Satsui.
Dave Dymond: Do it.
Damage Control release Reyes, who falls to the mat. Akuma Satsui stands over the prone figure of Diego Reyes, and then he drops an elbow across the back of the unconscious body of Jonas Coleman’s partner. Satsui wraps both his legs around one of the legs of Diego Reyes, and then grabs one of his feet with both hands, and twists as hard as he can.
Diego Reyes comes alive, his back arching and a bloodcurdling scream cuts through the air from deep inside. Jonas Coleman is enraged, he looks like an animal caught in a trap, pulling and fighting with all his might.
Akuma Satsui stands up, and looks down at Diego Reyes. Reyes has a laceration on top of his head from being bashed over the skull by Dave Dymond’s briefcase. He is glassy eyed from the injection he was given against his will – and now he is holding one of his knees and thrashing around in pain.
Eryk Masters: Oh my gawd. You know what he just did?
The Other Guy: Yeah I know! When you hold a dude’s leg in one place and twist his foot like that, it’s a heel hook. It dislocates your kneecap if you’re lucky. If you’re unlucky, you end up with a torn ACL, PCL, or a broken leg.
We see a replay, and it is clear that Satsui used a “heel hook” type hold to violently twist on the foot and ankle of Diego Reyes, but Satsui was holding Reyes in place with all of his weight, so the vicious torque caused Diego’s actual kneecap to dislocate.
Dave Dymond: The other leg now.
Jonas Coleman howls in pure rage, as Akuma Satsui slides down, clamps his huge legs around the other leg of Diego Reyes, and repeats the motion, a quick, brutal twist which results in a sickening snapping sound, and a spasm of agony from Diego Reyes.
The crowd has now started to go silent for the most part. There are some shouts and yells of insults at the ring, but the crowd is mostly gone eerily silent at the brutal assault on Diego Reyes.
Akuma Satsui and Damage Control stand over the body of Diego Reyes, and Dave Dymond paces back and forth, with the microphone. Jonas Coleman has slumped into a sitting position, his arms still chained over his head. Coleman has a half demented half grief stricken look on his face as he stares at the body of his partner and friend.
Dave Dymond: The arms.
Eryk Masters: Where is the fucking security? Why isn’t anybody coming down here to stop this? This is absolutely sick!
The Other Guy: We like to laugh at Dave Dymond, and we all know how he carries on, pretending he’s sick all the time, running away like a coward – but he set all this shit up, Masters. Dave Dymond is a fucking scumbag, plain and simple.
Akuma Satsui laughs maniacally, as Damage Control pull Diego Reyes to his feet. They have to hold him upright, since he cannot support his own weight. Satsui reaches out, grabs one of Diego’s arms, and snaps it down over his knee, as if he is breaking a stick. There is a disgusting snapping sound, and the fans start to push at the crowd barriers, enraged.
Satsui quickly switches arms, grabbing the arm of Diego Reyes, holding it flat for a moment, and then snapping it down over his knee. There is one last crack, and Diego Reyes collapses in a heap. His legs are twisted, his arms are twisted, and he is motionless.
Dave Dymond actually knees in front of Jonas Coleman, so he is eye-to-eye. Coleman derisively spits right into Dymond’s face! Dave Dymond doesn’t bat an eyelash, he just lifts the microphone to his mouth and speaks calmly.
Dave Dymond: It’s over, Jonas. Seven months, and it’s finally over. We ripped the flesh from your head. We stabbed you. We sent your mother into the ground, we threw your fan down a flight of stairs, we threw you off a loading dock, we burned you and blinded you and smashed your hand.
And now, your best friend…the best friend you have ever had, the man who was your partner and confidant and number one supporter? He lies here in front of you. Broken. Drugged. Finished. And why? You can try and blame me, or Damage Control, or Akuma Satsui if you want, but you know who is really responsible for this, Coleman.
You didn’t have to come to the ring that night in January. You didn’t have to keep coming back for more, again and again. You could have quit when we destroyed your life, but no matter what we did, you just kept coming back. You gave me no choice.
This is YOUR fault, Coleman.
PERDITION is dead. Diego Reyes is a junkie, strung out on heroin. Dislocated knees, torn ligaments, fractured bones, and probably a concussion. All because of YOU. Because YOU wanted to be a HERO.
Enjoy your moment, hero.
You earned this.
We’re finished. I am taking Akuma Satsui to Redemption, to win the Rumble, and the World Heavyweight Championship.
You take what’s left of your friend, and your career to the hospital. And remember.
YOU DID THIS.
Dave Dymond drops the microphone, and “Brotherhood of Man” by Motörhead starts to play. Dymond, Satsui and Damage Control step over the motionless body of Diego Reyes, and casually stroll out of the ring. The ensemble make their way up the aisle, toward the back.
Eryk Masters: I feel sick. That was just…I can’t even describe it. I don’t know what to say.
The Other Guy: Look at Jonas Coleman. The Butcher looks like he is in total shock. He’s not fighting anymore, he looks like he’s zoned out of it.
A crowd of security men and referees stampede past them, toward the ring. The shot returns to Jonas Coleman, staring at the motionless form of Diego Reyes laying on the mat in front of him. Coleman’s expression has gone totally lifeless, he just stares at the body of Diego Reyes as the camera shot changes.
STILL whistling to himself, X-Calibur marches down another corridor with the same stack of wax paper sticker sheets in his hands while the same satchel hangs off of his hip from its leather strap. As he sees Jacob Fisher, one half of the Gunslingers, slurping some water at an arena fountain, he taps the man on his shoulder and clears his throat loudly.
X-Calibur: Pardon me, good sir!
Reaching inside the satchel he pulls out another button that says, “SAV3_X_SAV3_A_K1TTEN”. Once Fisher comes up for air, X politely introduces himself.
X-Calibur: I know you can’t really do anything in the Rumble since you’re just one of the many ring technicians walking aimlessly around here, but… I was wondering… and excuse me if this is too forward… but I was wondering if you would be willing to wear one of my buttons? You know, some free advertising?
Fisher stares at X with a dumbfounded countenance.
X-Calibur: The more you walk around here and help production or clean our magnificent toilets or whatever it is you do when you finish putting my ring together out there… the more someone will realize how good of an idea it is to help my cause… help the HIERARCHY’s cause… at Redemption!
Extending his hand, he holds out the button for Fisher to take. But before Fisher can even grab it, someone clears THEIR throat behind X. Chuckling at X, Fisher turns and walks away, leaving X standing there with his hand outstretched, but his eyes darting from side to side, wondering who exactly it is that stands behind him.
Turning around slowly, X locks eyes with one of his oldest friends in the business. With one of his Instant Heat brothers… The Real Deal.
Real Deal: ’Sup, X?
X, for the first time tonight, is speechless.
Real Deal: I see you’ve been pretty busy tonight. Handing out buttons. Stickers. Ass whoopings and costing guys matches. You’re really getting around, aren’t you? Really putting yourself out there, amirite?
X sighed and started playing with the button in his hand. It was just the right size. A littler bigger than a quarter but a little smaller than a silver dollar piece. Rolling it across his knuckles as if it were a coin, X responded.
X-Calibur: Look, I don’t have to explain myself to anyone, let alone ANOTHER fucking Johnson brother.
Real Deal arches back with his head cocked and his eyes squinted. He looks hurt by that remark.
Real Deal: That stings, man. I mean, is that ALL I am to you now? Just “another Johnson brother”? C’mon now, X. I thought what we had went beyond that kind of superficiality and politics. I thought… I thought what WE had transcended the age old “good versus evil” routine and were still friends… still brothers… no matter what. I mean, even though Sean is my best friend, I never ONCE stepped in between you two when you had your issues way back when, did I?
He shook his head.
Real Deal: I’m… disappointed.
X-Calibur: You know something… you’re right, Josh. I should give you more credence than that. We’ve been through a lot of shit together. Sean and I may have had our problems and what not… motherfucker DID straight jacket me and shit… but hey, I haven’t forgotten that you and I have been cooler than the other side of the pillow with each other through all of the bullshit that’s happened around us.
Closing his hand around the button, he looks at it and shakes his fist a few times.
X-Calibur: I know you probably don’t approve of the people I roll with now. Herr Goeren isn’t exactly the type of person that people in this business respect anymore… Mirage, well, I think we ALL know your opinion of that guy after the way he disrespected this company in LEGACY…
Real Deal’s eye twitched momentarily. The nerve that was struck upon being reminded of this was crystal clear to X. Shrugging, Real Deal half-chuckled,
Real Deal: World goes round and round, X.
Waving his hand at the Mirage topic, X laughed.
X-Calibur: Point is, no matter who I’m raising hell with, I will always respect the fuck out of you, dude. And that’s why… that’s why I feel comfortable enough telling YOU something that I haven’t told ANYBODY.
His curiosity piqued, Real Deal folded his arms and listened intently.
X-Calibur: I need this win, Josh. HIERARCHY needs this win… SHOOT needs HIERARCHY to win.
Looking a little uncomfortable with the angle X was playing, Real Deal spoke up.
Real Deal: If you’re saying what I think you’re saying…
X-Calibur: No, no… it’s not like that. I’m not asking you to lay down or join the Hierarchy or anything crazy like that. I know you’d NEVER turn your back on the dynasty that Jason created… no, no, no. I’m simply asking… as a friend… as a fucking BROTHER… this one time… in the Redemption Rumble…
Pausing, he places his hands on Real Deal’s shoulders. Then, in a hushed whisper, he finished his train of thought.
X-Calibur: … help me.
Smirking, X removed his hands. On Real Deal’s left shoulder, the button X had previously offered Jacob Fisher remained on his shoulder.
X-Calibur: Think about it at least, Josh. And remember… out of everyone you know here in SHOOT… you and I both know that you can ALWAYS trust ME.
Winking, X turns away and starts walking in the direction he came from… once again whistling joyfully to himself.
Removing the button X placed on his shoulder, Real Deal stared at it for a few moments…
…and then he put it in his pocket.
Eryk Masters: I suppose now would be a good time to check Twitter.
Other Guy: You have a Twitter account?
Eryk Masters: Of course I do, I just never told anyone what it is.
The lights in the arena begin to flicker to an alternating red and gold hue. A few moments later, the first couple of strings from "Sieben" by Subway to Sally play and the levee that held the crowd's hatred from being vociferated shatters immediately. A huge red and gold explosion of pyro is displayed at the top of the ramp as the MegaStar himself, Azrael Goeren, confidently walks out from behind the curtain with a reality bending amount of swagger. Of course, he blows his trademark kiss to all of his "fans" in attendance.
Samantha Coil: Coming down the aisle first, from Eberswalde, Germany...he is the self-proclaimed Megastar of SHOOT, the Sensation Not From This Nation...AAAAAAAAAAAAAZRAEL GOEREN!
As Azrael makes his way down the ramp, the pyro follows his movement and explodes with a gold surge every few seconds. He stops at the foot of the ring and unzips his trademark Hierarchy brand hoodie, allowing it to fall freely to the arena floor… but as soon as Goeren closes in on the ring…
Eryk Masters: LOOK!
Other Guy: Crap, it's Stellar! LOOK OUT, AZ!
Stellar is hot on the Megastar's trails, running with his fists raised in the air. After sprinting all the way down the ramp from God knows where, The Stellar One NAILS Goeren across the back with a double axe handle smash that sends Goeren flying face first into the edge of the ring apron! The fans ERUPT over this, and Goeren's entrance theme is cut short while Stellar picks Goeren up off of the outside mat.
Grabbing Goeren's arm, Stellar pulls on it with all of his weight and whips the MegaStar right into the steel post!
Other Guy: Lord almighty, somebody stop this guy before he kills Goeren!
As Azrael Goeren covers his face up and curses in German, Stellar, the seething raging mess he is, roughly grabs Goeren by his head and rips him up from the mat. Throwing a left right into his face, all Goeren can do at this point is cover up and try to counter Stellar's anger-filled punches. After tagging Goeren's chin about eight times with stiff right shots, Stellar grabs him by the back of the head once again and tosses him ribs first into the arena barricade.
Eryk Masters: Good God!! I think that whole barricade just moved about three inches!
Other Guy: Somebody get out here and put a stop to this… NOW!
Eryk Masters: I think what we're seeing here is Stellar having enough of Hierarchy's cheap attacks and desperate antics. All night long X-Calibur has been campaigning backstage for help at Redemption for himself and the Hierarchy, and of course, after how X cost Loco his match against Mirage earlier, one has to wonder if Stellar has finally reached his breaking point with these degenerates.
Other Guy: Degenerates?! HARDLY. The Hierarchy is comprised of some of the absolute BEST talent in the entire world of wrestling, and on top of that, they're all savvy to the rigors of the business. If you want to blame ANYONE for Hierarchy's actions, blame Jason Johnson and his politics.
Peeling Goeren off of the railing, Stellar goes to throw Goeren back into the steel steps, but Azrael Goeren finally manages to show some resilience with Stellar's onslaught and reverse the whip attempt, sending the ICON crashing into the steel steps, topping the upper half completely over upon impact.
Other Guy: Yes! About time Goeren woke up and gave Stellar a taste of his own medicine!
Eryk Masters: Taste of his own medicine? Please, OG. ROCKY is the one who has been giving AZRAEL a taste of his own medicine. The Hierarchy has been doing sneak attacks like this for 7 damn months!!
Shaking his head from the steel post he smacked into and wincing as he sucks in oxygen - the residual effects of being thrown full force into the barricade - Goeren simply rolls into the ring, leaving Stellar in a heap amongst the steel steps. Raising his arms in victory, Goeren then flops to the mat, obviously hurting from the beat down Stellar just delivered to him.
Eryk Masters: You know what? That bell hasn't even rung yet. I'm beginning to wonder if we're even going to SEE this match take place now!
Other Guy: If Tony Lorenzo gets his act together and maintains a little order in there it will, but I wouldn't count on that happening with how much animosity there is between Goeren and Stellar at the moment.
While Goeren taunts the fans, the arena fills with a chorus of boos. Pointing at Stellar, who still hasn't recovered yet from the wall of steel he smashed into, Goeren shouts in his native tongue so that everyone in attendance can hear his hate-filled words. Finally, after a sizeable "STELLAR! STELLAR!" chant breaks out, Stellar is up on the outside of the ring and rolls in underneath the bottom rope. As Goeren warily advances toward Stellar, Lorenzo finally calls for the bell.
Eryk Masters: And FINALLY, things can OFFICIALLY get started.
Other Guy: This may be, technically speaking anyway, one of the shortest matches in SHOOT history if either of these competitors can slap on a signature and call it a day.
Nailing a hard right shot right across Stellar's temple drives him back into the turnbuckles. Stellar answers back though with a boot to the gut. Goeren doubled over, Stellar sets him in between his legs. Heaving him up for what starts out as a power bomb turns into Stellar falling back to the mat and smashing Goeren's face across the top turnbuckle.
Eryk Masters: Damn! Goeren's face hit that turnbuckle HARD!
Other Guy: If it weren't for the padding, Goeren might have needed facial reconstructive surgery.
THR- Goeren shoulders out!
Bringing Goeren to his feet, Stellar whips him into the ropes. On the rebound, Goeren leaps for a cross-body, but Stellar manages to catch him! Smiling to the cameras, Stellar then heaves Goeren over his head, slamming him to the mat with a fall away slam. Once again, Stellar makes the cover and Lorenzo is right there for the count..
Eryk Masters: Stellar is so seasoned in that ring that you just don't know what move from what era he'll pull out and hit you with.
Other Guy: Yeah, so "seasoned" in fact that I heard HE trained Frank Gotch!
THR- Goeren shoulders out again!
Once again bringing Goeren back up to his feet, Stellar attempts the same toss into the ropes, but Goeren manages to reverse this attempt by deftly sliding underneath Stellar. Quickly getting to his feet, Goeren is three steps ahead of Stellar and before his opponent can even turn around, he hops onto his back and sinks in a sleeper hold!
Eryk Masters: This time Goeren is the one with the old school move!
Other Guy: Could be lights out for the Stellar One.
As Stellar tries to fight off the sleeper hold, Goeren slides his arm around the front of Stellar's throat and transitions it into a dragon sleeper. Choking the life out of Stellar, Goeren cinches in the hold DEEP as Lorenzo asks Stellar if he wishes to give it up. Had his throat not been suffocated by the glorified choke from within the confines of the dragon sleeper, Lorenzo would've heard an emphatic no coming from Stellar but instead a quick shake of the head and a middle finger would suffice.
Eryk Masters: That is why the dragon sleeper is so effective. It's mostly a choke hold that cuts off the airflow to your lungs and the blood circulation to your brain. Translation: you WILL pass out, if you don't tap out.
Other Guy: I thought all chokes of any kind were banned from wrestling? Hm?
Eryk Masters: Obviously there are always shades of grey, OG.
Eryk Masters: That rolling cutter may have knocked Stellar out completely!
Other Guy: And if the rolling cutter didn't, the five knee shots beforehand just might've!
THR- Stellar manages to kick out, and Goeren slams his hands on the mat out of sheer anger.
Clearly pissed off from Stellar's "sneak attack", Goeren roughly brings Stellar up to his feet. Slapping the taste out of his mouth, Goeren follows this up with a go-behind. Wrenching his arms around Stellar's waist, the Megastar lifts the Stellar One up into the air and slams him down to the canvas with a German suplex, bridging the move into a sterling pinning combination!
Other Guy: Azrael Goeren performing a German Suplex. Who saw that, coming?
Eryk Masters: Goeren showing such great athleticism here, even if he IS a raging douche bag.
Other Guy: Way to editorialize there, E!
Eryk Masters: He's got him!
THR- Stellar is JUST able to kick out before three!
Eryk Masters: TWO AND NINE TENTHS!!
Sitting on his knees in a state of disbelief, Goeren pleads with Lorenzo to count faster. Nearly pulling his hair out of frustration, Goeren stands up and looks towards the entrance. All of a sudden, he begins waving for someone to come help him.
Eryk Masters: Wait, what? Seriously?!!!
Other Guy: Yes! I love it!
All of a sudden, Mirage… Yuri… and X-Calibur all appear at the top of the entrance ramp. X whispers something to Yuri, to which the Russian Assassin nods. Mirage and X then begin moving down to the ring while Yuri remains behind standing vigilantly with his arms crossed at the entrance. However, as Mirage and X begin walking down the ramp-way, there's a commotion in the crowd.
Eryk Masters: Now what's going o- WAIT, THAT'S LOCO!
Other Guy: WHAT?!!
Racing through the capacity crowd with a t-shirt gun in his hands, Loco skillfully hops over the guard rail like it was a hurdle in a 500m race.
Other Guy: Is that a damn t-shirt gun?!!!
Eryk Masters: Yes! I LOVE IT!!
Mirage moves over towards the announce booth, closer to where Rocky Stellar is beginning to stir inside of the ring, he steps up onto the ring apron, distracting Tony Lorenzo by threatening to climb inside.
Eryk Masters: Dammit, this is chaos! Turn around Lorenzo!
Loco dashes from the side of the ring over to the spot in between where X is standing on the outside and Azrael Goeren is standing on the inside of the ring. Pointing the t-shirt gun at X-Calibur, Loco orders him to "STAY BACK!".
Goeren meanwhile, looks none too happy with this and reaches down over the top rope, grabbing a handful of Loco's hair. Suddenly, a loud POP goes off right in Goeren's face as the t-shirt gun explodes into a colorful plume of glitter and confetti, once again blinding him.
Eryk Masters: HAHAHA!!!! LOCO SHOT GLITTER RIGHT INTO LOCO'S FACE!!!
Other Guy: You've. Got. To. Be. SHITTING me.
Without hesitation, X advances towards Loco, but Loco swings the t-shirt gun and connects right across X's forehead, braining him to the outside mat! Seeing this, Mirage hops back down from the ring apron and starts making his way hurriedly to the other side where Loco stands. Once Lorenzo turns his attention away from Mirage back to what's going on in the ring, he takes one look at Goeren covered head to toe in glitter… and shakes his head.
Eryk Masters: I think Tony just spotted the glitter!
Other Guy: Gee, how could you NOT spot that stuff! It's ALL OVER THE PLACE! It's even on me! (a spitting noise is audible)
Eryk Masters: STELLAR DROP!
Other Guy: I can't believe this is happening…
Stellar hooks a leg and the Puerto Rican crowd chants along happily in unison.
The bell sounds and the crowd ERUPTS as Lorenzo raises the hand of Rocky Stellar.
Other Guy: I can't BELIEVE Lorenzo let this one go like that! He saw the glitter! That should've been a disqualification!
Eryk Masters: Well it WASN'T and Tony Lorenzo decided to let things go. Deal with it!
Immediately sliding into the ring away from Mirage, and Yuri(who remains at the entrance with his arms folded), Loco points his emptied t-shirt turned glitter gun in every which direction, causing Lorenzo and Stellar to duck out of the way out of instinct.
Samantha Coil: The winner of this match…. THE ICON…. ROCKYYYY STELLLLLLLLLLLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRR!!!!!
Eryk Masters: Let it be known that on this night, the last show before Redemption, Stellar Insanity found themselves some.
Other Guy: The question is… will the HIERARCHY find theirs?
Once Ke$ha comes over the loud speakers, Stellar Insanity embrace one another with a brotherly hug before celebrating with the audience accordingly.
Eryk Masters: While this gets cleaned up, I'm hearing now that the cameras have caught up with Jonas Coleman backstage...
Other Guy: What happened to Diego Reyes was just sick, and I don't want to take away from what just happened here with the Hierarch and Stellar, because those guys have been seriously busting their asses for months, but I've gotta know what's going on there. So, we're going to take you outside of the arena now.
The faint sound of an ambulance is heard slowly moving away from the camera, as the crew happens upon a haggard and torn up Jonas Coleman. Coleman hasn't changed or showered from his matchup, and is focused solely on the direction of the siren.
Mary Kelly runs up to Jonas, who simply holds a hand up to her, silencing the incoming question. He takes the microphone from her, and slowly turns to the camera. His eyes are bloodshoot and his hair is in sheer disarray while his lip quivers in a clear show of anger.
I just watched my best friend get carted away in an ambulance after what was done to him by Akuma Satsui, and Dave Dymond, by proxy.
I've been... over the last several months, been locked in a brutal, violent chess match with these two men and people I care about... people I love... have been hurt. Some of them have recovered and gone on with their lives... others have been decimated and will probably never be the same.
Dave Dymond makes it a point to tell people that this is my fault. I did this. If I had backed off, none of this would happen.
I'm here right now... talking to you... right now... to tell you all. SHOOT Project fans, soldiers, Dave Dymond, whatever... he's right.
All of this is my fault.
He wants you all to think that this is done. That this last blow is the killing blow.
Maybe it should be. Maybe I should pack it in, go home, nurse my injuries and come back in a few months with a new outlook on things.
Funny thing though... that's not what I'm going to do.
You see, I have a contract.. a declaration as it were, from Jason Johnson, telling me that at Redemption, I get Akuma Satsui. I have my chance to put that fat fucking piece of dog shit away, for good.
For Charles, for Buck, for mom, for Diego, and for everyone who's been affected by what's gone on here... by what Dave Dymond has ordered his dog to do... what his dog has done... it ends at Redemption.
Jonas Coleman... the Butcher... versus Akuma Satsui... the dog. Redemption.
Coleman takes a deep, deep breath.
But.. I get it on my terms. I was kinda thinking about a cage match, but it seems like everyone else is doing one, so I thought maybe I'd do something different.
Then I thought about the psychological aspect and how I could really hurt Akuma Satsui and by virtue, Dave Dymond, the most. That's when it hit me.
I have to beat Akuma Satsui in a way that he's never been beaten before. I need to destroy him in a type of match with which he should be VERY familiar, and that, my friends... that's when I had an epiphany of sorts.
So, at Redemption... Jonas Coleman makes things right.
I will destroy Akuma Satsui... in front of God and everybody... in a Japanese Death Match.
He smirks, and the crowd in the arena makes a VERY audible pop, which causes him to nod his head, as the scene fades to black, focused on Jonas's incensed, angry face.