A male's voice with a slight hint of Asian ancestry can be heard.
Mystery Caller: Hello there Mister Alejandro, You owe us.
Jaime looks almost confused as he hears the voice.
Jaime: Owe you? Who the hell are you?
Mystery Caller: It is not important. You owe a promise to us, and I intend to have that promise fulfilled.
Jaime: I don't know who the hell you are, but you need to fuck off and leave me alone. I owe nobody a damn thing.
Jaime angrily hits the end button. After five seconds, the phone begins to ring again.
Jaime: What do you want?!!
Mystery Caller: That was a stupid move, Mister Alejandro. Playing ignorant is not one of your best moves, right now. If you wish to play this game, you'll only bring dire consequences down upon you. Most importantly, you'll bring dire consequences to those you hold close to you. Are you willing to put the love and trust of those close to you in jeopardy? If so, then continue to play the ignorant fool.
Before Jaime can respond, the phone call ends.
Before a single word could be spoken, all the lights in the arena shut off. The horrific sound of random picking at a guitar creep into the arena signaling the start of "Black Session" by Katatonia, the lights slowly flickering with the ominous sound. The tron flickers with static, moments of clarity showing a man screaming. As the picking continues, the static reveals the man's stomach being cut into with a scalpel. The tron goes back up to his eyes, blood shot and horrified. Back to static and the sound of the off key picking of the guitar. The tron goes back to the man's eyes, they are dead and lifeless, rolled into the back of his head. The picking stops. We see the man's stomach, entrails pouring out, some still hanging onto tissue in his stomach. It shifts to the floor where a splattering of blood and intestine spell out...
As soon as these words appear the main guitar rift slams and booms throughout the arena, the lights remaining off. The foreboding sound is followed by the appearance of Kenji, Corazon, and Issac on the top of the entrance ramp with a single spotlight on them as they walk down the aisle. There are a few boos that can be heard, but for the most part a hush silence follows them, knowing full well what these sick monsters are capable of after Redemption.
Eryk Masters: He appears to be talking to the BAB and F2T.
Kenji: You people don't even realize why we really did it, do you? It was never about those tacky looking belts you all wanted so, so badly. In fact, preventing you from attaining the tag titles and preventing the BAB from a decisive victory was a favor to both of you. You should be thanking us for doing what we did. You should be thanking us for pushing you one step closer to TRUE beauty. That's why we did it, after all. Because the match I saw? It was disgusting and ugly. Putrid and vile. Two teams hoping for some acclaim. Two teams who only wanted to put on a match for the fans. Two teams striving for a gold plated piece of trash. How hideous. How putrid. So we put a stop to it. We took that horrendous pile of filth and made sure that it got the overhaul that is so desperately needed.
And, if we're being honest, I don't think we finished the job in the first place. Corey Lazarus and Hiro Takawa? They've ACTUALLY whined and complained. They're standing on their two feet protesting what we did. Tell me something, boys, where is the Badass Brotherhood? Because I don't see them in the ring here, I didn't see them backstage, in fact...I haven't seen them since I nearly broke Magnus' head at Redemption when we broke up your ugly little match and put our beautiful signature all over it. They took their beating like the men they are, and they haven't whined or complained since then If anything you should be thanking us.
Kenji takes a step forward, looking dead into the camera.
Kenji: While that is a beautiful shiner you've got there, if we had wanted to? You wouldn't even be able to open your mouth to complain. You were granted mercy, for the time being, and yet you've come out squandering it away the exact same way Ichiro Seppuku did. I gave him a chance to survive too, a chance to get in line with what Project: SCAR was doing. He, like all of you, chose defiance. After what happened at Redemption, I don't think I need to remind you boys where the choice of defiance got him, do I? I will give you all something that Project: SCAR has never given any one before. I will give you the chance to just...walk away, right now. You can walk away, never mention us, or try to stop us again. Maybe these people will see you as cowards, but I'd say being a coward is much better than being...well I'll let your imagination put a name to the alternative.
So, what's it going to be?
Before anything else happens, the crowd starts to buzz with anticipation at Ke$ha's voice.
Samantha Coil: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THIS MATCH IS SCHEDULED FOR ONE FALL, and IT IS A MASTER OF THE MAT QUALIFYING MATCH!!
The bell rings with a resounding clang, and both competitors start to size each other up from opposite sides of the ring. Loco rocks on the balls of his feet, his whole body seemingly charged with energy. Kenji just stands there silently, his head slightly lowered, his eyes devoid of even the most basic human emotions.
Loco is the first to move while raising up both arms, looking to lock up with Yamada. Kenji doesn’t even make a move to lift his hands; instead he just sends a flush kick straight into Martinez’s knee. Loco stumbles backward, almost losing his footing, and Kenji takes two big steps in and LEVELS the Stellar Insanity member with a nasty looking lariat.
Other Guy: WHOA! Get someone in there to make sure Loco’s head is still attached to his neck, because that was one hell of an impact….
Eryk Masters: You have to remember though, OG, impacts like that are common when you’re standing toe to toe with SCAR’s Sociopath Pioneer.
Other Guy: Valid point. Kenji was just as brutal in the Redemption Rumble, he and his “brothers” left a lasting impression on that match.
Kenji moves in, but suddenly, Loco KIPS up to his feet. Yamada runs in, attempting another lariat, but Loco dives forward and does a monkey tumble on the canvas, avoiding the impact completely. Kenji spins around, but Loco quickly pops up and leaps into the air before SNAPPING off a picture perfect spinning heel kick!
Yamada takes the kick right on the side of his jaw, and the force sends him crashing down to the mat. He barely manages to catch himself on his hands and knees.
Other Guy: It’s like being in there with an acrobat who’s juiced up on pixie sticks and skittles….and possibly cocaine!!
Eryk Masters: No doubt. Loco is as quick as cat, keenest reflexes I’ve ever seen. Seems like his tank almost never runs dry, either….which is always a plus.
Loco sees that Kenji is momentarily subdued, so the MoFo picks his spot and cartwheels forward, only to break from the cartwheel in midair to drive a piston-like elbow into the upper back of Kenji Yamada! Kenji takes the elbow right between the shoulder blades, and his face immediately smacks down against the canvas.
Other Guy: I swear to God, this is better than a front row seat at the circus! Loco is taming that twisted tiger!!
Eryk Masters: I can tell just by his expression that Yamada is getting hot under the collar though, those empty eyes are starting to blaze…
Kenji manages to push up to his feet, and Loco quickly moves in, this time swinging one leg high in an attempt at a roundhouse kick. Kenji ducks while at the same time snapping hold of Loco’s leg. From there, Yamada starts to SMASH and CLUB at Freakshow’s leg with blow after hammering blow, and just when it seems Loco is about to fall backwards, Kenji whips him down to the canvas with a dragon screw.
Loco lands hard, drawing his right leg up towards his chest in obvious pain.
Other Guys: And there’s the malice we’ve come to associate with Kenji Yamada, a near homicidal NEED to absolutely dissect his opponents.
Eryk Masters: Simply put, the man has no heart, OG. I’d say his heart stopped beating the day he lost his son…
Loco manages to scramble up to his feet, but he’s favoring his leg slightly. Kenji moves in, attempting to target the leg, but Loco surprises him with a stiff karate style kick right to the thigh. Kenji stumbles back, but then he quickly gets back into it with a throat thrust that connects with Loco’s adam’s apple. Loco grabs his throat and leans back, and Kenji tries to grapple again, but Loco gains some separation and….
JUMPING FRONT KICK TO THE SHOULDER!
Kenji staggers back into the ropes, WAY off balance, and Loco grabs ahold of his wrist and goes for an irish whip, but Kenji reverses the attempt in the center of the ring. Loco hits the ropes, and on the rebound, KENJI SPINS LOCO DOWN INTO A TILT-A-WHIRL BACKBREAKER! Loco’s lower back arches in anguish as he connects with Kenji’s knee, and instead of allowing Loco to fall, Kenji starts to press down against Loco’s chin while keeping him precariously balanced against his knee, adding even more agonizing pressure to the maneuver.
A little moan escapes Loco’s lips, and his eyes start to bulge.
Eryk Masters: Oh shit, now THIS is bad. It’s moves like those that can lead to ruptured disks, things aren’t looking good for the MoFo right about now…
Other Guy: Don’t count Freakshow out just yet, Masters. This young man has glitter in his blood, joy in his heart, and a never-ending Ke$ha soundtrack playing in his head. He WILL find a way to fight this….mark my words…
Eryk Masters: I know he has the capability OG, but with the amount of torque Kenji is applying to that submission, I’m starting to worry that Freakshow might have licked his last lollipop…
Yamada continues to bear down with all of his weight, his eyes vacuous portals that seem to lead to nothingness. Loco has started to fade, but in a burst of desperate speed, Loco leans back and whips a kick into the side of Kenji’s head. Kenji falters, but doesn’t release the hold, so Loco whips yet another kick against Yamada’s crazed temple.
This time The Sociopath Pioneer has no choice but to release the hold, his knees buckling as he falls down to the canvas. Loco rises to his feet, one hand plastered against his ailing lower back. Kenji stumbles up to his feet and immediately attempts a back-handed chop, but Loco ducks beneath and LOCKS a hand around Kenji’s throat. Without giving Kenji a chance to react, Loco rockets Yamada up into the air and drives him to the canvas with a cruiserweight chokeslam, and Loco goes down with him, falling atop the Japanese monstrosity with a pinfall attempt.
Yamada shoulders out before three, and Loco scoots away on the canvas, giving himself some breathing room.
Eryk Masters: Close! But obviously not close enough. It’s going to take a lot more to put down Yamada, we all know this cold-hearted fiend barely even registers pain like a normal man would…
Other Guy: Gotta admit though, I’m impressed with Loco Martinez. That cruiserweight chokeslam just goes to show why Loco was a multi-time LEGACY World Heavyweight Champion. I’d even go so far as to say that there’s a SHOOT Project World Title in this MoFo’s future…
Eryk Masters: And the same can be said about Kenji, OG. I know he doesn’t care much for titles these days, but there was a time when Yamada won just about every championship OPW had to offer…PLUS he’s a former Iron Fist Champion here in SHOOT.
Yamada pushes up to his feet using his hands, but once he’s up it’s clear that he’s groggy. Loco seizes the opportunity, running forward he performs a front handspring, and just as Kenji spins around, LOCO TURNS THE HANDSPRING INTO A FRONT DROPKICK THAT ALMOST CAVES KENJI’S CHEST IN!!
Yamada FLIES back from the impact, tumbling down to the canvas while the back of his neck hits the bottom rope.
Other Guy: FUCK!! That was awesome! I hope Kenji has insurance on that ribcage, because he just got JACKED!
Eryk Masters: I swear all this flippy shit is bad for my nerves; I think I’m having heart palpitations!
Loco smirks that trademark cheshire cat smirk, and then he runs the ropes, looking for a high impact move. Kenji shockingly bounds up to his feet while grabbing the middle rope, and as Loco closes in, Kenji plants a boot on the middle rope and springboards while spinning in midair….ONLY TO CRUSH A BOOT INTO THE SIDE OF LOCO’S SKULL WITH A SHINING WIZARD!!
Martinez collapses down like a sack of broken bricks, his eyes taking on the milky hue we’ve come to associate with “dream street.”
Eryk Masters: JESUS CHRIST!! Did you HEAR that kick? It sounded like a rifle shot!
Other Guy: I think I saw gumdrops fly out of Loco’s mouth after that impact! And you can tell just by the eyes, the MoFo is riding a unicorn into La La land right about now….
Eryk Masters: We talked earlier about what fuels Freakshow, but I think it’s clear to everyone in attendance tonight what fuels Kenji. This is a man with venom in his blood, hatred in his heart, and the obsessive need to…fucking OBLITERATE everything in his path.
Yamada drops down on top of Loco, hauling back on a leg.
Freakshow kicks out at the very last second, effectively keeping himself alive in this Master Of The Mat qualifying match.
Both men move away from each other slightly while they take a moment to rest. Loco starts using the ropes to gain a vertical base, one hand clamped against the side of his aching head. Kenji rises up too, slow at first, his upper chest still causing him some major discomfort.
Loco is the first to close the distance, throwing out a leg for a straight kick, but Kenji grabs his ankle and FORCES him to the canvas with a takedown. Working quickly, Yamada tangles up both of Loco’s legs, then he leans down into a kneeling position and really starts to grind at Loco’s leg.
Other Guy: Cloverleaf! Beautifully applied by Yamada in there, Loco’s calf muscle is probably on fire right about now…
Eryk Masters: You know it’s a known fact that Kenji is a one crazy motherfucker, but what a lot of people forget is the fact that he’s also a world-class athlete, and he has MASTERED his submission game. If you want proof of that? Just look at Loco clawing at the canvas, and note the panic in his eyes…
Loco’s blue eyes are practically squeezed shut against the pain, and he flails backwards, inch by inch, trying with every ounce of his will to get his fingertips close to the bottom rope. Yamada grinds at the targeted leg with as much ferocity as he can muster, his teeth gritted together in concentration.
Eryk Masters: Loco may have to tap out here; he’s still pretty far from the ropes…
Other Guy: Come on Freakshow! Imagine the bottom rope is a sugar-glazed licorice whip! CRACK THAT WHIP FREAKSHOW! LICORICE WHIP!!
Eryk Masters: ….Kenji seems to be playing the role of the Candy Man here tonight in Calgary. The evil one. I expect bees to come flying out of his mouth any minute now. Farewell to the flesh, Loco….
Loco desperately crawls and wiggles his way across the canvas, one hand darts out, the fingers stretching…UNTIL FINALLY THEY GRASP THE BOTTOM ROPE!
Kenji practically seethes, and he refuses to break the hold until the referee is seconds away from disqualifying him.
Eryk Masters: Loco finally manages to get out that predicament, good thing too because things were really starting to look grim for the MoFo…
Yamada gets up slowly while wiping a sheen of sweat from his forehead. Loco uses the ropes to pull himself up, and he can BARELY get his legs underneath him. Kenji runs forward, enraged, wildly throwing out a boot for a Yakuza kick…
BUT LOCO BENDS DOWN AND CATCHES HIM, FORCING KENJI UP INTO A TORTURE RACK POSITION!
Loco holds the top rope for leverage, and just when it looks like his knee is about to buckle….LOCO SWINGS KENJI DOWN TO THE CANVAS WITH A FALLING POWERBOMB!! The back of Kenji’s skull touches down BRUTALLY, a loud thud traveling through the arena, much to the delight of the crowd.
Eryk Masters: MoFo BOMB!! I cannot believe he hit that….I thought for sure his legs would give out on him!!
Other Guy: I’d say luck was on Loco’s side on that one, Masters. Talk about a BAD landing for Kenji….I don’t know if the Sociopath Pioneer can recover from that….
Loco collapses down on top of Kenji, his breathing labored.
Eryk Masters: That’s gotta be it….Kenji is out.
Kenji doesn’t move.
Just before the three count, Kenji VIOLENTLY KICKS OUT!
Other Guy: WHAT?!?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! What in the blue fuck do they feed these SCAR BOYS!!?
Eryk Masters: I’m almost speechless….Kenji’s like a PCP junkie; Loco has got to be wondering what the hell he has to do to keep this monster down…
Loco flails backwards, obviously frustrated. Yamada rolls to the other side of the ring, and gingerly, he forces himself up to a standing position. Loco sees this, and he grabs the top rope, pulling himself up as well.
There’s a tense moment where both men simply stare at each other, then Yamada gives voice to a toneless roar, and he RACES forward towards Loco. Loco meet meets him in the center of the ring, and Loco gets BLASTED down to the canvas with a running STO from the Sociopath Pioneer.
Freakshow coughs against the canvas, and Kenji leans down, a rictus grin stretching at the marred flesh of his cheeks.
Kenji Yamada: Let me know if this treat is sweet enough for you, precious…
The moment the words leave his mouth, KENJI REARS BACK HIS BOOT AND RAMS IT DOWN RIGHT INTO LOCO’S UPTURNED FACE!
The back of Loco’s skull smacks against the canvas, and the cameras zoom in, we see a rivulet of blood running out of one of Loco’s nostrils.
Other Guy: OH MY GOD!! Disgusting! Kenji just performed facial reconstruction with his boot heel!
Eryk Masters: That was….disturbing to watch. Yamada is repulsive human being, as evidenced by what he just did...
Loco Martinez lazily rolls over onto his stomach, one trembling hand going up to wipe blood from his nose. Kenji immediately crouches overtop him, snapping up both legs in the process…before negotiating Loco’s weight up into the air…
Other Guy: We all know what’s coming! Kenji’s going for DEEP SCAR!!
Yamada is just about to smash Loco’s head into the canvas with his modified cradle piledriver, but suddenly, Loco reaches back and grasps Kenji’s neck, and then he manages to swing his legs free and sit out, snapping Yamada’s head back with a desperate stunner!
Kenji staggers backwards, way off balance, his arms swinging. Loco painfully scrambles up to his feet, snatches one of Kenji’s arms…
ONLY TO PULL HIM IN CLOSE AND SNAP OFF A LOCAPITATOR!!
BUT KENJI MANAGES TO THROW UP BOTH FOREARMS, BLOCKING THE SUPERKICK!!
The force of the kick still knocks Kenji to his knees, his arms held out before him awkwardly in obvious pain. Meanwhile Loco collapses down, exhaustion starting to take it’s toll.
Eryk Masters: This is a FANTASTIC MATCH! So back and forth, definitely worthy of Master of the Mat qualification.
Other Guys: These guys are taking it to a whole new level here tonight, no doubt about it.
Loco gathers up his will and starts climbing to his feet, and once vertical he takes a moment to measure Yamada, who is also starting to stand. Freakshow then hits the ropes and performs a back handspring while extending one elbow, looking for a big elbow smash…but YAMADA CATCHES HIM, AVOIDING THE ELBOW!
Kenji scrapes Loco’s legs up around his waist, spins towards the center of the ring….ONLY TO CRUSH LOCO’S FACE INTO THE CANVAS WITH A SITOUT CRADLE PILEDRIVER!!!
Other Guy: DEEP SCAR!!! Freakshow’s brains have GOT to be scrambled; he’s coughing up tootsie pops in there!!
Eryk Masters: Kenji going for the pinfall!
Kenji falls atop Loco while grinding a forearm into his throat.
Samantha Coil: HERE IS YOUR WINNER, QUALIFYING IN THE MASTER OF THE MAT TOURAMENT…KENJI YAMADA!!!!
Yamada stands up triumphantly, the fans giving voice to their disgust and contempt. Kenji takes in the response with emotionless eyes, simply standing in defiance of the world.
Eryk Masters: HUGE win for Kenji, SCAR comes away from this match looking like a million bloody bucks.
Other Guy: It was insanely competitive too; this one literally could have gone either way. Gonna be tough to follow!
The shot goes backstage, where Dutch Harris is standing by, glaring to his left. The shot pans out, revealing Cade Sydal and Cassi Ryan standing next to him, on the other end of the glare, as they hold hands and a private conversation. The fans boo loudly at the sight of the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion, and Dutch clears his throat to get his attention. Cade turns to look at his former D&C partner with an equal look of disdain, readjusting the championship belt on his shoulder.
Dutch Harris: Ladies and gentlemen, I'm here with the SHOOT Project World Champion, Cade Sydal, who just wee--
Cade Sydal: Who just recently retained his World Championship against the threat of Ben Jackman and looks on to the new threat...the new challenger. Was that what you were about to say? Or were you about to say something more demeaning?
Cade narrows his eyes dangerously as he looks at Dutch.
Dutch Harris: I was going to say something along those lines, yeah. Wait, did you say Ben Jackman?
Cade Sydal: You should know better than anyone else how bored I get with things. Get over it...the joke ran its course. Some would say it had run its course months ago, but fuck that...my joke is done when I say it is.
Dutch holds his free hand up defensively, and Cade shakes his head slowly, smirk beginning to form.
Cade Sydal: Do you know why I requested this interview? With you, of all people?
Dutch shakes his head, and Cade's smirk grows wider.
Cade Sydal: Because the new challenge...the new threat to my reign of supremacy...is a lot like you. A man I thought of as a friend, and as soon as he got what he needed out of me he stabbed me in the back and threw me to the wolves. With something like fourteen chair shots to my face and chest...and there isn't a single day that goes by that I don't remember what happened.
Cassi touches Cade's arm with her own free hand as his smirk disappears and he begins to sneer. The touch does little, if anything, to calm him as he continues.
Cade Sydal: Ya see, Dutch...this pertains to you, too. Because when you did what you did, he was the friend I turned to. And now...after all that is said and done, he's the Redemption Rumble winner. Well, X, I hope you're listening. Because you may feel like you're on top of the world, and you should to a degree. You won the greatest Redemption Rumble of all time, after all. You have yourself a little entourage of friends.
Cade starts to smirk again.
Cade Sydal: But you're not the only one with associates, Eryk. You're not the only big bad wolf in the SHOOT Project. You, and everyone else, would be wise to heed those words. I couldn't have hoped for a better winner of the Rumble, I truly mean that. And I truly mean it when I say...I can't wait to see you, face-to-face, again old friend.
Cade turns to look directly at Dutch again, with a smirk.
Cade Sydal: It was good seeing you, too. Take care of the kids and ole-what's-her-name.
Before Dutch can say anything, Cade turns and walks off, pulling Cassi with him by the hand.
As the arena buzzes and screams in pure joy for being part of this evening's events all fall silent for a moment as a now-familiar line hits the speakers
You Don’t Know, You Just Don’t Know Me At All
The lights dim down for a moment and the video wall springs to life showing various images of men and women being laid out and taken out with one person being a constant. Seeing the video the fans begin to focus their excitement as the speakers spring to life.
As You Don’t Know Me continues to play sending a wave of excitement across the arena Tanya Black emerges out of the back singing along to the verses for a moment as she poses with the Sin City Championship around her waist, wearing a pair of daisy dukes and a SHOOT Project tanktop with a pair of black cowboy boots. Dancing her way down to the ring she hugs the fans and takes a picture with a kid waving a "Tanya Is SHOOT" sign. Finally she makes her way to the ring and drops to her knees, bowing to the fans.
Eryk: Well it seems we are being graced by the new Sin City Champion Tanya Black and she is in a good mood.
OG: Of course she is. Tanya Black shut up her critics and made history at the second day of Redemption. Two-Time Sin City Champion and the only member of the "I Broke Laura Seton's Face Club".
Eryk: I don't know many people who would want to join that club but yes it was a brutal Street Fight.
With the music and the cheers dying down Tanya gestures for a chair and a microphone, setting herself up in the middle of the ring before sitting down with a big grin on her face.
Tanya: WHAT'S UP CALGARY?
Listening to the cheap pop she waits a moment for it to calm down and raises up her mic again.
Tanya: I hope you like my outfit. On my way out of Mexico I saw these boots and thought, I really don't own a pair of sexy cowboy boots and that's not acceptable so I got Sexy Cowboy Boots. For those who just woke up from a coma and are still using Google to catch up on the world's events, the NFL will go on, Miley Cyrus is on the fast track to Child Star Turned Whore status aka the Lindsay Lohan Road, and I am a two-time UNDISPUTED SIN CITY CHAMPION!
Another big pop but this one dies down quicker and so Tanya is able to stay on her train of thought.
Tanya: I would like to say that it was easy but Laura Seton really had me worried for a few moments during that match. I mean I thought I would almost have to actually use my favorite moves like Tough Love or Tap Out Bitch but no I was able to triumph without even using my bestest tools. Now I am sure there are some Laura Seton fans out there, and that's okay, those people will talk about rematches and one more time. But it won't happen. I broke her just like I broke Jester Smiles. That's right. I know we all were led to believe that it was Real Deal Josh Johnson who got rid of the court clown but let's be realistic. I DID IT!
Eryk: It is true that at Redemption Jester Smiles was scheduled to face Real Deal but Jester never showed up.
OG: Instead we got a message of SHOOT loyalty from Real Deal and an apology for Jester's last minute act of cowardice.
Tanya: Look at the history books. The last two matches Jester had were with ME. I was the one who beat that old washed-up fag hag so completely that he not only got even more crazy but he actually became afraid of this ring. Real Deal simply did what all office folks do and spun a good ad campaign. I mean let's be fair. That was a GREAT speech. I take nothing away from Mr. Deal for his intention to fight. I respect all the great matches Mr. Deal put on back in the day, it is why SHOOT exists at all. However if anyone is going to take credit for getting rid of Jester Smiles and his bad attitude it shouldn't be the guy who waited until he was called out to come to the ring.
Sitting up a bit Tanya leans forward in her chair so she is facing the entrance ramp and staring straight up it, and thus at the many people behind the curtain.
Tanya: I agree with Mr. Deal that SHOOT should not be attacked and conquered and broken because it can and should outlive all of us. I want SHOOT to grow and evolve. Evolution though means new blood, new generations not a revolving door of talent who has already hit their peak and have had their opportunities. But before we start ranting for no reason allow me, The Sin City Champion, to speak to my fellow champions.
Cronos Diamante. The Devil-ish. OLD Scratch. Lucy-fer. What a tool. If you think you accomplished anything with that little mindfuck except show you are afraid of getting hurt, then you are more delusional than I thought. Let me point something out to you. I looked in the eyes of Alex Brooks when I hit the ring for the Redemption Rumble. I chose at that moment to work with him instead of against him. Not only because I respect him but because I saw in his eyes that all you've done is guarantee your own karmic demise. Cronos Diamante you are a tool.
Eryk: Tanya truly has no fear. Pity that can often look like suicidal impulses.
OG: Right now Sexy Cowboy Boots and Cronos Diamante are trending on Twitter. That is a bad image. Don't Want.
Tanya stops to consult a set of note cards she had hidden in her top as the fans begin to get excited by her lacing into people and knowing more is to come.
Tanya: Isaac Etrigan. Did you recall you are a champion? I mean really you didn't even try to defend your Iron Fist Title. Though I admit I am not fond of a belt named after a C-Level comic book character so I kind of get your hesitance to embrace your championship duties. But the thing is if you want me to even pretend to be afraid of your Snuff Film Addict game then you need to try actually working on your in-ring prowess instead of little mind games.
Tag Team Turmoil. Now I can't blame the Bad Ass Brotherhood for the fact the match got thrown out but it's still a hard thing for all of us to watch. Frontline 2 Turbo deserve a title shot and we all love seeing some BAB violence. Fix it boys because we all want to see a real match between you four.
So all that leaves left is Kooky Cade and Crazy Cassi. They make a cute couple. Like Bonnie and Clyde or Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. Cade Sydal you may have outsmarted Ben Jackman a few times but let's be honest. Ben is old hat and now you have real problems. Instead of one old dude with no back-up you have to face X-Calibur and his entire gang of Hierarchy Douches.
A round of boos struck the arena as his name was mentioned causing Tanya to laugh and request silence which the fans eventually complied with.
Tanya: I know I know. He wouldn't have lasted five seconds if it weren't for the Russian Ass but X had a plan and it was a damn good one. X is the number one contender and we can't do anything about it except wonder which is the lesser of two evils, Cade Sydal and Cassi Ryan or the Hierarchy. Personally I vote for letting me have Cassi in a cage. I got the lead pipe and the KY.
Eryk: And there goes the content alarm again.
OG: But listen to those pops. Fans want to see Cassi Ryan get her comeuppance.
A loud mixed reaction hits as Tanya unhooks her belt and holds it high up in the air as if challenging someone to argue her point.
Eryk: I think Miss Black is missing a couple key points here.
OG: Don't knock her. She admitted they are great people but she's right. Who stood tall at the end of the night?
Tanya: The question on everyone's mind is how does SHOOT Project keep getting better? How do we keep entertaining you fans to the best of our abilities and prevent future wastes of airtime like speeches about tearing down what the previous generation built up. Well I am Tanya Black and I will do it with this Sin City Title. I will do it by taking on all comers and protecting this belt from the cheap shot cheaters and the false prophets. The Sin City Division is under my protection and while the belt may drift from time to time as I am not arrogant enough to call myself unbeatable, things will always restore themselves to this glorious moment. When I return the belt to you people and promise to continue bleeding for the fans. Tanya Black will Evolve SHOOT one match at a time, one division at a time. Mr. Deal with all due respect you can stay at your desk, you can stay retired Diamond Del Carver. The Jester Smiles and Monsieur Baptistes of this world will fall by the hands of people like myself, Alex Brooks, Jacob Fisher as soon as he heals up, and Jonas Coleman. Project: SCAR will burn itself out like all cheap shock tactic freaks do and frankly I know I am not the only one here who is not afraid of the pale bogeymen.
Stepping out of her chair Tanya places the belt back around her waist. Picking the chair up she folds it up and hurls it up the entrance ramp making a loud clanging noise. Smiling she holds the microphone up and looks out upon the sea of faces.
Tanya: I am Tanya Black. I do not need front office favors to get ahead. I don't need bodyguards and stablemates. I am not here to terrorize, conquer, or intimidate. I do not steal titles or scam people out of their fairly earned opportunities. I Am Here To Fight. If you can't survive that, don't blame me. Blame yourself for being weak. If SHOOT Project is to stay number one, only the strong must survive. At Redemption I regained my title belt and made history be competing three times in a single night. I Fear No Beating and I will not be driven from SHOOT Project by anybody. Folks are talking backstage about some kind of Sin City Championship Series where I am being treated like a contender instead of a champion. Funny how this is only announced after Lazy Laura the PG Princess fails. Well I don't much care if it's some convoluted tournament or just me defending my belt every week. Understand that I am not going anywhere and I will always be the Alpha Female of SHOOT. This is my only job, my only love and I will keep fighting for the art of wrestling, for the honor of this championship, and for these fans!
With that Tanya Black leaves the ring as her music hits the arena exploding as her word sink in and everyone looks forward to the future she is promising.
Eryk: That was intense. Tanya Black once again doing her damnedest to call out the whole roster but at the same time you have to love her for it. She admitted failure was possible but she doesn't care about being hurt or taken out because she'll just keep coming back for more until she wins.
OG: Tanya promised that her dominance at Redemption was only the start and she may be right. But if too many of those Icons and Legends take her speech the wrong way, she could wind up having a long and painful career. New blood and eager to be challenged is fine and dandy but there is an underlying edge to her words that makes you wonder what goes on in her head.
The Tron lights up as the face of Jason Johnson appears before the sold out crowd in Calgary.
Eryk Masters: WHOA! It’s the boss!
Other Guy: VERY rare that Jason appears on shows at all, whether by video or live, but I did hear that he’d agreed to address this Hierarchy coronation business, so maybe that’s what this is about.
The crowd pops for Jason, who’s sitting in what appears to be his Vegas office.
Jason Johnson: Okay so, you guys know me, and you know I don’t do this long winded gimmick where I talk for 20 minutes, because that’s boring and you people didn’t pay to see me…
The crowd cheers and laughs at the same time.
Jason Johnson: First of all, this was recorded earlier in the week, so those of you continuity freaks who are wondering how I’m here in Vegas giving this video and how I’ll be at Revolution to address the coronation… well, that’s how. Anyway, on to business.
Eryk Masters: FINALLY. GOSH. SO LONG WINDED.
Jason pauses, and his eyes turn into a glare.
Jason Johnson: I heard that, Eryk.
Eryk Masters’ eyes go wide.
Jason Johnson: Anyway, I’m sure a lot of you will be wondering what the deal is with these little videos that you're about to see with various competitors and whatnot. You’ll notice one thing in common with most of them. They’re all somewhat up and comers, and three of them are either former or the current Sin City Champion.
Other Guy: I’d been wondering what the deal was with that, for sure. Tanya Black referred to this as the “backstage rumor,” I guess.
Jason Johnson motions, and a graphic appears on the screen.
Jason Johnson: The Sin City Championship Series. A round robin tournament that will run alongside the Master of the Mat, and the goal of course is to win, and be considered the very best. The winner, of course, will be the Sin City Champion and will be crowned the official Mr. or Mrs. Sin City, and a cash prize to be determined as well. This is a pure competition thing, and I have no doubt… at all… that some great stuff will come from it.
Jason smiles as the crowd continues listening.
Jason Johnson: There are three groups of three Soldiers, and you’ll be seeing matches throughout the shows over the next few weeks until group winners are determined. The finals will take place at Master of the Mat, in a winner take all triple threat contest. Literally, anyone can win and anything can happen. So, if you’d like to prove you’re the best?
Jason Johnson: Stop running your mouth, and prove it. The Sin City Championship series begins on next week’s Revolution! Now then… let’s get back to this show, yeah?
The Owner and CEO pauses again.
Jason Johnson: Oh and Eryk… I’ll see you in my office later.
The crowd laughs and cheers again, as the feed immediately cuts.
Eryk Masters: Well…… guess I’m pretty fucked, but you heard it from the boss himself. The Sin City Championship series! That sounds like a way to truly establish yourself amongst the companies elite, and there’s a little gold and a little cash as well.
Other Guy: I like it. It’s been awhile since we’ve done a round robin thing in SHOOT, and if the vignettes match the competitors, I think we’re in for some exciting things. That said, let’s get on with the show. Like Jason said… best not to be long winded. Right, Eryk?
Eryk Masters: Ugh.
We cut to the backstage area of the Scotiabank Saddledome where we find Stan Erichson angrily walking through the hallways of the arena. Erichson looks ready for action, his black Stetson has apparently been painstakingly repaired and is lifted slightly up over his piercing eyes as he stops momentarily in front of a dressing room door before moving on. He turns a corner and spots a red velvet rope in front of another dressing room all the way down at the end of the hallway. Standing in front of the door is a huge bald doorman with a Bluetooth earpiece and a clipboard who looks completely entrenched in his work. Erichson, who has seemingly found what he's been looking for, wastes no time and approaches the door, only to be stopped by the large doorman.
Doorman: Sorry sir, The Hierarchy are not to be disturbed tonight unless you're a personal guest for the celebration bonanza later. Are you on the list sir?
The doorman's question is answered with a stiff fist right to his face from Erichson, sending the doorman crumpling to the ground. Erichson reaches down and grabs him by his collar, violently swinging him into the nearest wall before he sends a solid kick into the door, but it is locked.
Erichson: Goeren! I know you’re in there come out, or I'm coming in.
No answer. Stan steps back and delivers another solid kick to the door, causing the hinges to creak and several splinters to form in the frame.
Erichson: Last warning or the door's coming down, you son of a bitch!
Stan takes a few steps back and eyes the door gearing up to put his full force into a shoulder tackle and take the door off his hinges, but before he runs forward, the door suddenly swings open and reveals Gavrilovich Mikael Yurinov standing defiantly in the doorway. The two men stare at each other for a moment before Erichson gets right in Yurinov's face, staring him down eye to eye.
Erichson: I'm here to talk to Goeren, I don't currently have a problem with you, but if you don't move out of the way you’re going to end up like him.
Stan gestures to the downed bodyguard. He turns back towards Yuri and the staredown continues, seemingly only needing a single spark to set off an all-out backstage brawl before a shrill German voice calls out from within the room.
Goeren: Stand down comrade, stand down. No need to get Old Man Erichson all riled up...not before he's had his nightly Centrum Silver anyways.
Yurinov continues to glare at Erichson before being physically moved aside by Azrael Goeren who emerges from the room in his ring gear, taking a moment to lace up his boots before calmly approaching Erichson with a smile.
Goeren: Staniel, so wonderful to see you again. Can I get you something to drink? A warm sarsaparilla perhaps? Maybe something with fiber in it to loosen up the stools? I know how important it is for men of your age to be regular...
Erichson: Goeren hold that forked tongue of your before you think of talking down to me. I know it was you that attacked Jacob at Redemption, why don't you step up for once in your miserable life and admit it?
Azrael looks visibly shaken and wipes away an imaginary tear.
Goeren: You wound me sir, you truly do. Why would I stoop so low as to attack your young protégé?
Stan reaches behind him and Yuri moves forward, but Goeren motions for him to step back. Stan pulls out the claw hammer that was used to attack Jacob, the one he had tucked into the back of his jeans, with dried blood still visible on the claw hammer. Stan drops the hammer at Goeren's feet.
Erichson: You know damn well why you did it.
A smile stretches across Azrael's artificially tanned face as he leans in closer to Erichson.
Goeren: Come now old sport, what issue could I have possibly had with Fisher? What could he have done to make me so irate that my only course of action was to bash his brains in with a claw hammer? Besides, we both know the claw hammer is the modus operandi of another individual...
Erichson's expression remains unchanged, he continues to stare down Azrael, his taped fists tightening with each remark. Azrael calmly starts to walk around Stan, knowing that if the Gunslinger makes even the slightest move towards him, Yurinov will be there to step in.
Goeren: Now, if I DID attack Fisher, I would be able to tell you a few things about him. I could tell you that he pleaded with me, begged me to stop as he choked on his own blood. I could tell you how pathetic he was, trying to crawl away from me before I brought the claw hammer down on the back of his skull one...final...time. And I could tell you that the terrified look he had in his eyes told me he was desperately hoping you would come in and save him, only to realize you had abandoned him right before he passed out due to the pain. The last thought that went through his mind was just how useless you were to protect him.
Azrael leans in close to Erichson's ear.
Goeren: I know who you and the boy are working for. What I don't know is why. Why he sent you. Why now? I always hear you talking about that daggum Carolina Territory, you should have done your homework and realized that I MADE that place what it was. All the brutality, all of the violence, I embraced every single moment of it. You should have known it was going to end like this, he of all people should have warned you about me. Did you learn anything while you were there, Stan? Did you learn one damn thing?!
Stan speaks slowly. Methodically. He speaks like a man who's on a hair trigger, a man who is one instant away from tearing this sick German's head clean off.
Erichson: I learned people tend to think they are a lot bigger and badder than they actually are. They think they can hide behind big words and angry faces. I learned a lot in all the territories I've been through, but if you truly want to know what I learned in Carolina you can find out next week in the ring.
Azrael backs up a bit and swallows hard, his eyes darting to the left momentarily.
Erichson: Cause all of that violence and brutality you talk about it? You may have embraced it, but I lived it. It's one thing to swing a chair or a hammer, it's a completely another animal to feel someone’s bones disintegrating under your own knuckles.
Goeren lets out a nervous smile, noticeably taking a few steps back so he's securely behind Yurinov once more.
Goeren: Mein Gott, you're even crazier than I thought old man. Listen, I'm a busy man. Unlike you I'm actually booked tonight, I've got a Master of the Mat qualifier to win against Dan Stein and I've got to make sure that X-Calibur's celebration goes off tonight without a hitch. Hell, I might even be named CEO tonight if Jason Johnson hands me the reigns of this company like I expect him to and...
Azrael tries to trail off, but Erichson continues with his piercing stare...almost calling out Goeren without using any words.
Goeren: ...fine. Ja, fine. Was zur Hölle? You're on Erichson. Next week it'll be you and me in that ring. Make sure to bring your moustache wax and artificial hip, I'm going to take a lot of personal pleasure in removing both Gunslingers from MY promotion.
Still no movement from Erichson. Azrael takes a step back into the dressing room, grasping hold of the door knob before stopping and smiling back up at Stan.
Goeren: Oh and one more thing? Make sure Jacob got those flowers I sent to him in the hospital. I want him to know that at least one of us is still thinking about him...
With that, Azrael slams the door shut, leaving Yurinov standing defiantly in front of Erichson. Stan momentarily looks as if he's ready to drop Yurinov, but instead he looks down at the claw hammer still lying on the floor.
Erichson: Make sure your boss doesn't forget his toy.
Stan pulls his hat down then turns and walks off.
Samantha Coil: The following is a qualifying match for the Master of the Mat Tournament. To qualify you must win the match by pinfall or submission.
We hear the Foo Fighters crank out of the sound system with “Learn to Fly.”
Eryk Masters: And we have the second qualifying match for the Master of the Mat Tournament with the former Rule of Surrender Champion, Alex Brooks. Who’s making his way out to the ring.
Run and tell all of the angels
This could take all night
Think I need a devil to help me get things right
Hook me up a new revolution
Cause this one is a lie
We sat around laughing and watched the last one die
Alex Brooks comes out of the gorilla position slowly, but surely. The fans give the scrappy Soldier plenty of pop as he stands at the entrance and moves towards the ring.
The Other Guy: You never know, E. We have somewhat of a truly even playing field. And you know the kid wants to get a win after getting owned by Cronos.
I'm looking to the sky to save me
Looking for a sign of life
Looking for something to help me burn out bright
I'm looking for a complication
Looking cause I'm tired of trying
Make my way back home when I learn to fly high
Samantha Coil: Coming to the ring first. He comes in at five feet, nine inches and one hundred and sixty-five pounds. Hailing from Denver, Colorado. He is ALEX BROOKS!
Brooks slaps a few hands on his way to the ring. Then as quickly as he can, he slides into the ring and gets up quickly. When he does, he takes off that black SHOOT Project shirt and tosses it to the crowd. As simple as it gets in the black shorts and black boots… He bounces against the ropes for a bit, waiting on…
OG: But then… He gets to take on, this man…
Eryk:That annoying video can only mean we get to see the masked man of Hierarchy come to the ring.
OG: You call it annoying, I call it genius.
Eryk: Like waiting on a dialup connection with AOL.
OG: Point taken.
The “dulcet” tones of Burton C. Bell bellow out with Fear Factory’s “Resurrection.”
Consumed with memories that preceded today
Given a chance to bereave life that's slipping away
Suffered through tragedy of my slow decay
Deceptive tendencies dragged my soul away
All that I know there was no God for me
Samanta Coil: His opponent, at six feet, two inches and two hundred and thirty-two pounds. Hailing from the Second City of Chicago, Illinois. Representing the Hierarchy, he is MIRAGE!
Mirage moves methodically to the ring, ignoring the people booing all around him with his trench coat pulled around him tightly. His mask tightly over his face to where his opponent cannot even see his expressions. He moves to the steps and slowly moves into the ring. Making his opponent wait for him at all times. Almost as it he’s wanting to slow the kid down.
Eryk: It seems Mirage has it in his mind to slow down Brooks. This is either going to be a great strategy, or it’s going to bite him in the ass.
OG: If I were Brooks, I would hope for the latter.
Austin Linam looks at the two men in the ring and keeps them separated. Brooks is seemingly very antsy, wanting to shoot out of the gate. Mirage is more inclined right now to make him suffer in anticipation and wait quietly. And then, Linam signals for the start bell.
OG: The kid looks ready to fire, but he needs to be careful. Mirage is one of the craftier veterans of our sport.
Brooks moves out of the corner and goes for a quick shot, but Mirage sidesteps and pulls him back with a simple hammerlock. He pulls the arm behind the back and moves it upward. Alex is moving around to try to get a point to where he can position himself out of it. He attempts to reach with his free arm and pull down with a jawbreaker. Mirage wisely shoves Brooks into a corner, and the kid eats turnbuckle. After the kid comes out holding his jaw, 3M slaps the kid into a front facelock and clamps down hard.
Eryk: And the slow down strategy of 3M begins. And if you’re Mirage, you see the kid locked in. If not, he’ll throw those shots and you can say goodnight to Hierarchy domination.
OG: And that might not be a bad thing for all of us…
Brooks is pulling himself up, hitting with rights and lefts to 3M’s sides, trying to make the older and stronger man loosen his grip. Mirage has no choice but to let go of the facelock, if only to get a second of relief and to reassess his situation. Alex is back in control of himself, and he knocks 3M with a hard right to the jaw. Mirage goes back, almost in surprise. The kid starts firing more shots to his opponent, and he has the veteran reeling against the ropes.
OG: C’mon, kid. Keep hitting him. He’s gotta let go sometime.
Eryk: I agree, OG. Mirage can’t take many more hits like that.
Alex pushes Mirage against the ropes and goes for the Irish Whip. He gets a good push and Mirage goes to the opposite side. Brooks runs swiftly and nails the veteran with a hard spinning heel kick. 3M’s back goes to the mat hard. He’s holding his head tightly, as it the shot took everything out of him. Brooks attempts to go for the cover, but Linam stops him. The referee goes to check on a prone Mirage, who’s motioning to his head. Brooks also goes down to check on him. As he does, the veteran grabs his head and rolls him up for a small package.
Eryk: Mirage taking advantage of the kid’s naivety. He played on his emotions and the kid got caught up in a near pinning predicament.
OG: They call Mirage the master of deception, and he’s showing you why.
Brooks kicks out and looks surprised. Mirage points to his head, almost to tell his younger opponent that nothing is what it seems. Alex tries for an overhead right, but 3M catches the shot and pulls him around to an armbar. The kid pulls the free arm behind the veteran’s head and vaults him over his shoulder. The masked man yells out as his ass slams onto the mat hard. Brooks vaults against the ropes and punts into Mirage’s back hard.
OG: A bit of an aggressive streak coming out for Brooks. He’s trying to keep Mirage off of his game.
Mirage is holding his back for a second. Brooks moves back for another attempt, but Mirage rolls to the side and leaves the ring. He stands up on the outside for a brief moment, but gets back on the apron. Linam doesn’t even have a chance to count, but he keeps telling the veteran to get back into the ring. 3M refuses in the hopes of frustrating the kid. Brooks tries to rush at Mirage, and the masked man holds the rope down as the kid goes over.
Eryk: The masked man is way too smart to hang around to receive a vicious shot.
OG: If the kid would’ve connected, Mirage would’ve been on dream street.
The ref yells at 3M to get it back in the ring. He pulls up Brooks and rolls him in. After a quick slide under the ropes, he keeps the kid grounded with a front face lock. Mirage is seeming to take a grinding approach to keeping Brooks from using his high powered offence. Alex is pounding his fists on the mat, looking for any opportunity to free himself. He’s almost willing himself to reach over for the ropes. As he does, the masked man is trying to keep his younger opponent grounded.
OG: One mistake was all it took for Mirage to get back to his game. He’s keeping the kid grounded. Not letting him even take to the air at all.
Eryk: Alex Brooks is a master of the high flying style, but Mirage is forcing him to play HIS game. And any opponent will tell you that it’s a dangerous game.
As Brooks reaches the ropes, Linam yells at 3M.
Mirage lets the lock go, but he also delivers a clubbing blow to the back of Brooks’ neck. Alex looks up at 3M with lots of anger. He pulls himself up and delivers a hard front kick to the face. Mirage goes to the ground hard. The kid pulls him up and pushes him against the corner. All of a sudden, we hears the loud back chop.
OG: Ric Flair Chop!
Another one from the kid to the veteran.
Eryk: The first one was painful, so wisely, he does some more!
Mirage is clutching his chest from the shear pain from a well placed chop, but Brooks isn’t done yet… Here comes a hard chop!
OG: I don’t know what the chest looks like under that outfit, but I’m sure it’s probably red like hamburger meat.
Eryk: No kidding, OG. Mirage has to be in some pain right now.
Mirage walks out of the corner clutching his chest. As he does, Brooks slaps him upside the head. This drops Mirage to the ground, face first. He then drops a quick elbow to the back of the veteran’s head. Another quick jump up and another elbow. 3M is holding the back of his head from the assault. But showing his experience, he rolls himself out of the ring, which brings the offense out of focus for Brooks. He keeps moving around for a second to get his wits about him. Linam tries to keep Brooks back so Mirage can get back into the ring.
Eryk: And Mirage playing more games to keep Brooks off of his game. He had a great offensive series going…
OG: But Mirage rolling out to remind him that they’re playing by HIS rules.
Mirage keeps agitating the kid, in order to keep the ref from counting. Alex keeps trying to go to the outside, but Linam keeps him back. This also keeps Linam from giving the count. As Brooks is being held back, Mirage slowly gets into the ring. The kid tries to rush Mirage, but one well placed drop toe hold allows the veteran to get back into control of the match. He pulls Brooks over into an STF and wrenches back hard.
OG: The STF applied almost incapacitating the kid. Mirage is doing this to slow him down, but it also takes out the legs and the neck.
Eryk: You know if he doesn’t have use of either, the high flying becomes ineffective as he’s not able to keep up any type of balance.
Alex is doing all he can to get out of this dreaded hold. Mirage is wrenching the head back hard. The kid is screaming from the sheer pain. However, you’re not going to hear anything telling the ref to stop the match. The masked man keeps telling Brooks to give up. Yet, the former Rule of Surrender champ is clawing his way to the ropes. As he does, Mirage grunts in some frustration and lets the move go.
Eryk: Mirage just letting the move go, almost if he’s planning something…
Mirage leaves the ring once again, as if to further frustrate Brooks. This time, the kid makes it outside with him and starts throwing lefts to the jaw of the masked man. Mirage is reeling back from the quick blows. As he does, the kid pulls back and nails him with a hard right. The masked man of the Hierarchy goes down with a thud on the floor. The crowd goes nuts as the see him hit the floor. From here, Alex panders to the crowd before he picks up the veteran and shoves him back into the ring.
OG: Mirage tried to frustrate the kid again, but Alex got wise to it and shoves him back into the ring.
Eryk: There’s only so many times, OG, that you can do the same tricks. Eventually, you figure it out.
Brooks gets back into the ring and picks up the masked man. He pushes him with a quick whip to the ropes. The kid vaults himself back and nails 3M with a flying forearm. Another thud as the veteran finds the mat again the hard way. Then, Alex picks himself up and goes to the ropes and comes back with a leg drop across the throat. Mirage sits up and holds his throat, from the mere shock of the move.
OG: The kid’s hurting him, E!
Eryk: No kidding! He keeps that up, and we’re going to see this match end very quickly!
As he does, Brooks comes back with a hard soccer kick to the masked man’s back. Mirage lets out a very audible scream. From here, Brooks pulls him into his modified sleeper. 3M realizes he’s in trouble as he pulls himself up to his feet. Alex keeps that hold cinched in hard. One step from Mirage, and he’s moving towards the corner. The kid tries to immobilize the legs… But the masked man flings him back into the corner hard and now we come to an impasse.
Eryk: The kid was going for the choke out, but Mirage wasn’t going to suffer the same fate of Corazon!
OG: Now it’s crunch time. Who wants this more? The kid or the veteran?
Brooks is breathing heavily as he took a hard blow from being thrown into the turnbuckle. Mirage stalks him slowly as is he’s ready to end the kid for good. Brooks tries for a kick to the gut, but Mirage catches the leg and pulls him out of the corner and drops him on his back. 3M then pulls up the kid in a reverse DDT, but he lifts up in a reverse suplex and brings him down with a vicious neck breaker!
OG: Mourning Star!
Eryk: That was a sickening crunch, OG…
The boos start up instantly as the referee raises up the arm of the man we know as 3M
Samantha Coil: Here is your winner. MIRAGE!
He makes the ref raise his arm up one more time, as the crowd lets him have it.
Eryk: Seems X-Calibur’s plan of dominating the tournament by numbers gets off to a great start with this win by Mirage.
OG: In the words of Hannibal Smith, “I love it when a plan comes together.” Which is probably what the other two are saying in the locker room.
Mirage stands tall, looking around the ring.
Eryk Masters: He’s advanced! Mirage is moving on in the Master of the Mat tournament!
Mirage commands the microphone be handed to him. He stands there and demands his music be cut off.
3M: Ladies…and gentlemen…it’s so nice to be in an English speaking nation again…
He shakes his masked head.
3M: But disgusting that it’s this moronic cesspool that half of professional wrestlers claim they were trained in…and the other half wishes they came up with the lie first.
The Canadian fans boo loudly.
3M: Be that as it may. Tonight isn’t about cheap heat, although I’m told SHOOT has a partnership with them now. No…tonight is about…change. Change in this company. Change in me. Change in…my insipid little foe…The Last Scion…Donovan King.
The fans POP.
3M: You know…a few years ago, Donovan King was face to face with the Real Deal…and he told you people what I’m here to tell you now.
3M: Donovan King…is a monster.
The fans boo.
3M: Oh, go ahead. Hate me for that one. Hate me because, deep down? Deep down you people who ever bothered to watch this pathetic non-Hierarchy endorsed program prior to our arrival…YOU people out there know…MIRAGE…IS…RIGHT.
The fans continue to boo.
3M: Is he a monster for trying to staple Cade Sydal’s lips shut? How about when he tried to stalk Jester Smiles and his family? What about when he ended Jonny Johnson’s career? Nobody? Nobody wanna talk about those gems from Donovan King’s past?
Suddenly, DONOVAN KING SPRINTS TO THE RING! The fans pop HUGE as King slides into the ring and NAILS Mirage with punch after punch after punch! Mirage is against the ropes, trying hard to deflect the murderous rage as guards SWARM King! Mirage rolls from the ring, breathing heavily. The fans boo as Mirage takes another microphone and points at King.
3M: GET…THAT…MONSTER OUT OF HERE!
The guards have King held down, but he powers out! He NAILS a guard! He takes ANOTHER guard down! Suddenly, the local law enforcement charge the ring! King NAILS the first officer before he is tackled and held down, his head pressed against the mat. He looks dead into Mirage’s masked face.
3M: Looks like you just hit a Mountie or something Donnie.
Mirage looks up.
3M: I SAW IT ALL, OFFICER! I AM YOUR WITNESS! TAKE THIS VAGRANT AWAY!! THE LAW MUST BE ENFORCED!
King is pulled up to his feet as the fans boo HARD.
3M: Oh…oh forget that Coleman kid…THIS is your hero, SHOOT Project!
King tries to break free, but is restrained still. He is pulled from the ring as Mirage marches behind them.
3M: Spend some time in a cell tonight, Donnie. I hope they get Revolution on their TVs in there, my friend. We’ve got a lot of fun coming tonight.
King breaks free and gets less than a foot away before the guards and the law enforcement are BACK on him! He is pinned down yet again! Mirage kneels down, the microphone still to his lips.
3M: The fun…has just…begun.
“Resurrection” kicks back in as Mirage steps OVER King and heads to the back. His point made. King is picked back up and dragged to the back as he struggles to break free still.
Backstage, Cronos Diamante stands in front of a television screen having watched the match between Alex Brooks and Mirage. He grins and seems genuinely happy about the result.
Cronos Diamante: You said you were coming for me, Alex. At least now you can stay focussed.
Just then, Mirage comes walking through the entrance way and catches a glimpse of Cronos standing there with his arms crossed.
Mirage: What's up crazy bitch!?!?!
Cronos Diamante: Admiring your handy work you little bastard. I must thank you for keeping the boy focussed on me and not some tournament. Good to see you again, old friend.
Mirage: You're welcome. Why all the games with this kid? You see something I don't?
Cronos Diamante: You could say that. I could also ask you the same question about King. He's the last scion, he's not OutKast himself. But we both always have good reasons, don't we? Good luck with him even though I doubt you'll need it. Glad you're here in SHOOT, brother.
Cronos shakes Mirage's hand and walks away, leaving Mirage standing there with a grin on his face.
Mirage: If you need some cupcakes to beat this kid, let me know.
Cronos abruptly turns around and gives Mirage the finger.
Cronos Diamante: I want my axe back, Marcus.
The screen opens to a empty MMA style gym. In the middle of the gym is Thomas Manchester Black. TMB is dressed in black baggy jeans and a Queen City Hitman Hoodie. He pulls back the hood and stares into the camera.
At one time there was at least 3 of us MMA style guys that were talked about. Kaz Sato, Oz Kilminister and Me. But as time went by two faded away and one remained
As the camera gets a better look at TMB you see he is unshaven, sweat dripping from his face. Suddenly, “Four Rusted Horses” by Marilyn Manson kicks in.
“Ride this dying carousel
Our legacy in this sport isn’t a stable one…I plan on changing that. I brought technical wrestling back to the hardcore lands of OPW. I’ve redefined the No Limit ranks of Legacy.
Clips start to show of TMB’s various matches from various companies. TMB slips the hoodie off and starts to tape up his fists and forearms. You can see the scars from his many battles and feuds
I’ve trained since a kid to become a living, breathing walking force of violence. You don’t believe me…ask Ozzy. Ask King. Ask Garvin. Turner. I breathe bloodshed.
TMB walks over to the punching bag in the corner and sets up. With each punch thrown comes a different picture of someone Black has fought.
“Everyone will come, everyone will come
I don’t need to tell you that I’m the best.
He slowly smiles.
And do you know why? Because you already know that to be the fact. Why else would I be here? Why else would SHOOT Project sign a former convict on the outs of the business? Why else would a fallen saint crawl from the ashes of his own death? Because despite the rumors, the only thing we have to fear isn’t just fear itself…
It’s THOMAS MANCHESTER BLACK…
“Everyone will come, everyone will come
The next Sin City Champion…
FADE TO BLACK…
The camera slowly scans the sold out Saddledome. Many of the fans see themselves on the massive video screens and monitors around the arena and wave their arms or hold up signs, cheering. “If You Want Blood – You Got It” by AC/DC starts to pound out of the sound system and the fans erupt, coming to their feet in unison.
Diamond Del Carver appears from the darkness in the entranceway, stepping into the lights on the platform. Behind him, a montage of some of his most memorable SHOOT matches plays in time with the music. The man known as The Hardcore Outlaw simply stands for a moment, taking in the ovation. Finally, he starts to walk down the ramp towards the ring.
Carver is wearing one of his new “RUN DDC” t-shirts, a pair of faded jeans, and black motorcycle boots. His long silver hair is swept back, exposing his scarred forehead, leather eye patch, and unshaven, leathery looking face. Diamond Del Carver is smiling as he limps down the aisle to the ring, slapping high fives with as many of the fans as he can reach. The member of the SHOOT Project Hall of Fame reaches the ringside area, and as AC/DC continues to play, he circles the ring, slapping hands with the fans.
Finally, he rolls under the bottom rope into the ring, and grabs a wireless microphone. The Hardcore Outlaw holds his arm up, as his music fades. The roar of the fans is almost deafening, and a thunderous chant has broken out…
“WELCOME BACK! WELCOME BACK! WELCOME BACK!”
Diamond Del Carver smiles wider and starts to speak…
Diamond Del Carver: July 18, 1979 – that’s 32 years ago – a kid wrestling under the name “Delroy Lee” made his professional wrestling debut. That kid was me, and the place was the Fairgrounds, right here in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
A huge cheer goes up.
Diamond Del Carver: If I had to pick one place to return to the SHOOT Project ring, it wouldn’t be Las Vegas. It wouldn’t be Tokyo. It wouldn’t even be Jackson, Mississippi. It would be right here, in Calgary. This is where it all started for me, so what better place for me to say…I’M BACK.
The roar of the crowd intensifies, and the chants continue.
Diamond Del Carver: Everywhere I go, all I ever heard was the same thing. “When you going home, Del?” And they weren’t talking about the Carver Plantation. They asked me, “When you going back to SHOOT?” Well here I am. You asked for it, you got it. Jason made the deal, and here I am. And I ain’t going nowhere, neither.
So now I’m here, and the new question ain’t “When you going home?” it’s “What you gonna do now, Del? Are you gonna do us all a favor, and put Cade Sydal out of our misery? Are you going to find a partner, and show Frontline II Turbo what Tag Team Wrestling really looks like?”
If you know your SHOOT history, you know that I’m the been there, done that man. I held the World Heavyweight Championship, not once, but twice. I won Master of the Mat. I held the Rule of Surrender Championship. They used to call it the “Dojo” and then the “DeathKore” championship before they called it the Sin City Championship, but I held that belt. You all know I won them World Tag Team Titles three times, with three different partners. If it was a Championship Title Belt in SHOOT I won it.
Awards? I got em. I been Wrestler of the Year. Fan Favorite of the Year. I been in the Match of the Year, twice. I been in the Hardcore House of Pain, I been in War Games, I got into the SHOOT Hall of Fame. And I ain’t bragging about all this stuff, I am just telling you because it’s true. I know I wouldn’t have ever done none of that stuff, if it wasn’t for YOU, the fans.
The fans cheer in appreciation.
Diamond Del Carver: So yeah, I’m the been there, done that man. Except ONE thing. One thing I couldn’t ever get done, and the good Lord knows I tried. I ain’t never, ever won this one particular Championship, and wouldn’t you know…it’s the ONE I wanted the most. The Hardcore Outlaw, your buddy, Diamond Del Carver – the man they called The Sherriff of SHOOT Project – I never won the Iron Fist Championship. Not ever.
The fans boo loudly.
Diamond Del Carver: Hey, I hear you. How do you think I feel? My old Tag Team Partner Ben Jackman, they called him “The King of the Iron Fist.” He set records for how long he held that belt. Nobody could beat him. They ended up just taking it away from him, since couldn’t nobody get it off him.
Well I am here to tell you, right now.
I WANT THAT DAMN BELT.
The cheers return, and a chant breaks out…
“IRON FIST! IRON FIST! IRON FIST!”
Diamond Del Carver smiles and gives the fans a thumbs up.
Diamond Del Carver: You’re DAMN right. You said it. Jason, you listen to these here people. Your people, Jason. MY people. They’re saying they want to see The Hardcore Outlaw win the Iron Fist, so who are we to argue? If you don’t want to just hand me a shot, put somebody in front of me, and I’ll beat them and earn the shot. Personally, I think my record speaks for itself, and I deserve a shot based on what I’ve done for this organization and these people, but I’ll do whatever I have to do, to earn that shot.
And of course, there’s something more to this. You know who holds that belt right now. The big man, Isaac Entragian. Me and ol’ Isaac ain’t strangers to one another. We came within a half inch of going to war on the LEGACY tour, but it didn’t happen. Ain’t nothing stopping it from happening now.
See Isaac, I got no real beef with you specifically. You ain’t never done nothing to me personally. But I seen you. I know your type. This here ain’t my first square dance, son. I seen HantaKira, Skull, Vincent Mallows, Cronos Diamante, Eryk Boyer, Azraith DeMitri, Dropkick Murphy, Corazon – if they’re evil, and they wrestle, I’ve seen them, and I’ve fought them.
But you’re all the same. Different names, but you’re all the same story. Somebody somewhere did something shitty to you, so you think that gives you the right to crap all over everybody else in this world. Maybe you were born with webbed feet, or a cleft palate. Maybe Daddy beat you with a frozen TV dinner, Mommy didn’t hug you, Uncle Willie had a present for you in his pants, maybe somebody stole your lunch money – whatever.
It turned you into a bully.
I don’t like bullies, Isaac.
And that’s what YOU are. You done proved it after the Redemption Rumble, when you picked on that kid backstage. You get off on pushing people around. People who are scared of you. People who won’t or can’t stand up to you. Well, I can. And I will. I’ll stand up for the people who can’t stand up for themselves. And in the process, I’ll win the Iron Fist Championship, just as an added bonus.
Diamond Del Carver is interrupted by "Sympathy For The Devil" by Tiamat, and the cheers that were echoing throughout the Saddledome immediately turn to deafening boos and jeers. The Project: SCAR logo and video montage is displayed across the SHOOT-Tron, and soon the imposing figure of Isaac Entragian appears amidst a plume of dry ice smoke. The monstrous Ivory Terror is decked out in his hooded white trenchcoat, and we cannot totally see his face…but the appearance is hard to miss.
Entragian whips his hood back, showcasing the pallid, purely demonic features that have become the topic of backstage whispers ever since his debut in SHOOT. Isaac’s eyes glimmer as he looks down towards the ring at Carver, eyes that practically bleed with the darkness that lives inside of him.
Very slowly…he brings a microphone up to his carnivorous maw.
Entragian: Thanks for the history lesson, Del. It was very moving; hell…you’ve got these mindless leeches pretty much eating out of your palm. Feels good, doesn’t it? Being relevant again. The locker room is abuzz with your return; I bet you can barely take two steps back there before some kiss-ass bottom feeder like Crazy Boy or Alex Brooks comes running up…hoping for an autograph.
Isaac begins to pace at the head of the ramp, and you can tell just by his face…the hatred inside of him is growing. It seems to feed on Del’s presence alone.
Entragian: But who can blame them, right? You’re a certifiable LEGEND, Del! I bet if you so much as LOOKED at queerboy Maya, he’d drop right down to his knees and suck your withered old dick! It’s this aura you have, Delroy. A shroud of fame precedes you; each step you take leaves a boot print of greatness in your wake…
Entragian stops, his head slowly cocking as he looks towards The Hardcore Outlaw.
Entragian: And that sickens me to my very CORE. I’ve seen how it is, old man. Half of the roster stands there awestruck as you walk by, looking like a bunch of fucking cattle about to be slaughtered. You’ve got them under your spell, Carver. They’ve heard the tales of your deeds; they know your background….your blood-soaked history has risen to the level of MYTHIC here in SHOOT Project. So they show you deference, they nod their heads in respect….
A little chuckle escapes Isaac’s pallid lips, his eyes pits of boiling insanity mixed with a dash of looming rage.
Entragian: I get a similar reaction when I walk backstage, Del. They stop and stare at me too…but for different reasons. It’s not awe that freezes them up; they’ve never showed me even a DROPLET of reverence. It’s….FEAR…that seizes hold of them. They avoid me, they won’t make eye contact. They remind me of puppies tucking their tails between their legs….little clumps of terror-induced shit left on the floor as they run by…
Isaac looks directly at Del now, his fang-lined mouth stretching up into a purely murderous grin.
Entragian: See, in your absence…I’ve cast a shadow of TERROR over this company, Del. When some unlucky lad or lass happens to see MY name across from theirs on the booking sheet? They become concerned. They start to worry. I imagine the sweat pouring down their faces, the feeling of their guts twisting and turning as their bowels lock up. The smart ones know, deep down inside their cowardly little hearts….when it comes to SHOOT..it’s terribly unwise to FUCK with the SCAR boys.
Isaac pauses, one pale hand reaching up to graze against his chin.
Entragian: So that makes for an interesting dynamic, doesn’t it Del? The LEGEND…and the MONSTER. The fearmonger and the fabled veteran, two polar opposites in SHOOT Project…both drawn together as though by some magnetic pull. I knew this day would come, and I’m well prepared for the coming warfare, Del. I hope you are too.
Entragian’s head drops, his expression darkening just a shade.
Entragian: You call me a bully? I won’t deny that. When you’re bigger and badder than everyone else on the roster, that title is bound to stick sooner or later. When you have guys like Corazon & Yamada standing as your allies, a reputation like that just comes with the territory. I don’t mind one bit. But Del…I’ll tell what I do mind…the fact that already, you’re making the grave mistake of underestimating me.
Isaac shakes his head, something almost like mock disappointment shining in his poisonous peepers.
Entragian: GREAT men have made that mistake before, Del. Men just like you. Your old pal Greyson Blade made that mistake, decided he wanted to loop me in with everyone else he’d battled during his storied career. And ultimately, that lead to his downfall. Hell, the winner of the Redemption Rumble, X-Calibur…he made the same mistake. He paid for it with the loss of a World Championship. So you see, Del? GREAT men have fallen at my feet before, and that stack will gain yet another carcass once you and I stand toe to toe.
I don’t appreciate being pigeonholed, and I’ll be happy to prove to you that you haven’t EVER had a taste of what I bring to the table, you prune-faced bastard!
Entragian reaches down, unsnapping the Iron Fist Championship from his waist. He whips this title up into the air with one pale hand, and the fans unleash with a RAUCOUSLY negative response. When he raises the mic to his lips again, his voice has veered into something that resembles a primal growl.
Entragian: This is MINE, Del. Still stained in the blood of it’s former owners, a totem to the power that lives inside of me. YOU WANT IT…YOU POMPOUS, GERIATRIC SON OF A BITCH? Name the place. Name the time. You’re more than welcome to TRY and take it. And I guaran-fuckin-tee you one thing, Delroy. After you and I finish up? You’ll be left crawling around in MY ring…picking up what’s left of your dentures.
The crowd is so heated at this point it’s almost like being in the middle of a jungle. Half of the fans are chanting “YOU’RE A FREAK” at Isaac, and right after this the crowd unleashes with a “DDC” chant.
Diamond Del Carver glares at the albino with his good eye, his gaze like hardened brimstone. Entragian glares right back, no sign of a smile on his face atm, only red-hot fury barely held at bay. Entragian starts to make his way to the back, and the feed cuts with the legendary Sheriff of SHOOT standing tall in the squared circle.
The shot goes to the broadcast position…
Eryk Masters: The phrase “Collision Course” keeps coming to my mind, OG.
The Other Guy: I don’t know when, but I am betting sometime soon, Jason Johnson is going to book Isaac Entragian vs. Diamond Del Carver for the SHOOT Project Iron Fist Championship. And then, all hell is going to break lose. And I don’t even know if either of those two men know what they’re going to be unleashing in each other.
Corey Lazarus: You see, before anything further goes down right now, before we even give the next two guys a CHANCE to come out here and advance their personal careers, well...we've got some shit to get off of our chest.
Price, as usual, is wearing a three-piece Armani suit: black with dark gray pinstripes, a white collared shirt, and a crimson silk tie. His hair is slicked back heavily. Hiro, meanwhile, is wearing a white v-neck tee tucked into a pair of black slacks, his feet clad in black leather square-toed shoes, his hair neatly pulled back into a samurai-style ponytail, and a black eyepatch covers his right eye.
Corey Lazarus: You see, not that long ago, one of the two men, and I use that term very loosely, was part of a trio of people who just couldn't handle the fact that the SHOOT Project World Tag Team titles were being defended by the Bad Ass Brotherhood - a pair of guys who deserve every accolade they've received thus far, mind you - against yours truly, Frontline II TURBO.
The trio stand before a brick wall with the FRONT LINE ACADEMY banner draped over it.
Corey Lazarus: Not just were they being defended against us, mind you, but every single sign pointed to a change of the guard, as it were, as the L-A-Z and the Omega Dragon were en route to gaining control of one of the highest honors in this entire industry.
Hiro clears his throat and then slides his hands into his pockets. Price chomps away on a stick of gum. Corey adjusts his Ray Bans and takes a sip out of a bottle of water.
Corey Lazarus: Of course, one of those men, like I said, was set to be involved in this very match-up. One mister Kenji Yamada...
He pauses, allowing some boos to come through the crowd before nodding.
Corey Lazarus: Yeah, he's a bit of a prick, eh? Anyway, one mister Kenji Yamada happened to be involved in the little "screwjob"...
Corey uses the index and middle fingers of his free hand to form the quotation marks in the air at about shoulder height.
Corey Lazarus: ...that cost Hiro and I our opportunities at holding a combined thirty pounds of gold and leather, so, suffice it to say? We're not exactly pleases with that overgrown emo kid.
He pauses, allowing the crowd to grow with what is, undoubtedly, a few scattered "WTF?!" expressions.
Corey Lazarus: Do you really think all of those scars come from battle? HA!!
He shakes his head, letting out a little sigh.
Corey Lazarus: Okay, but no, seriously...see my main man's eye right there?
Corey walks up to Hiro, whose arms stay firmly crossed over his chest. Price places his hand on Hiro's shoulder as Laz points to the eyepatch.
Corey Lazarus: DO YOU SEE THIS SHIT?!
Hiro looks calmly into the camera, only a hint of anger appearing via his eyebrows, and Price, too, points at it.
Corey Lazarus: See, giving me a few scars? That's different. I don't mind going under the knife with the top plastic surgeons of Hollywood to reduce the appearance of the scars, I don't mind shelling out millions of dollars of my own personal wealth to do that, and that's because I'm used to bleeding in the ring. I've been in more deathmatches that I can even count, I've had countless chairs and lighttubes and frying pans and every possible tool used to implement the subtle and overt destruction of the human body smashed over every square centimeter of my flesh, but Hiro here?
Corey shakes his head.
Corey Lazarus: He's a wrestler. He wrestles and nothing else. He doesn't see this sport as a venue to air his personal grievances with the human race. He doesn't come between these ropes and walk across this hallowed canvas with the sole mission to unleash his sadistic side, and he sure as hell doesn't look to get into people's heads, to make things personal. What you did, Kenji? What you did to my BROTHER right here?
Laz slaps Hiro on the shoulder, drawing barely even the common flinch that just the impact alone would yield.
Corey Lazarus: To put in one certain way? Heh...you just done fucked up. I can get serious, boys. I can make things personal. You don't amass a fortune as vast as my own, both from the aid I was given by who my parents are and the wiser investments I've made in my thirty-three years on this planet, without both making a few big enemies and knowing exactly how to deal with them. This was all between us and the Brotherhood, slick, but you and your seven-foot power bottom? You had to ruin the sole rivalry in this entire company based on sportsmanship and a mutual respect for what it all entails. Look over your shoulders, kid. Every time you look in the mirror? Say a prayer to whatever deity you choose to worship, because now? You're very much so in the way of Frontline II TURBO's Path to Glory. That's not at all a good place to be, and I, no...
Corey throws his arm around Hiro's neck, smirking.
Corey Lazarus: ...WE are going to show you how we take care of personal business Front Line-style. But hey, sport, that's just life. All you can do is deal with it. Rock n' roll, Kenji. Rock n' fucking roll.
Corey drops the mic, the satellite fed is cut, and the cameras go back to Samantha Coil at ringside.
Other Guy: Before we get back to the action, an audience member has collapsed in the ringside seats.
Eryk Masters: Yep, paramedics are handling that, but it's taking a minute. I'm sure everyone can respect that. SHOOT will naturally check on the situation following the show this evening.
The crowd is buzzing in anticipation as Samantha Coil takes the microphone…
Samantha: Ladies and Gentlemen, this next match is a one fall contest with a 30 minute time limit, and is a Qualifying Match for the 2011 MASTER OF THE MAT tournament!
“Sieben” by Subway to Sally starts to play, and Azrael Goeren emerges from the darkness, into the spotlight at the top of the ramp. Goeren is decked out in his usual black sleeveless hoodie shirt with the miniature German flag and red trimming, black pleather pants and black boots with bright red laces.
The member of the highly unpopular Hierarchy is not receiving a warm welcome from the fans in Calgary, and this is not being helped by the fact that as he makes his way toward the ring, he is continuously reaching out as if to exchange a high five with the fans, only to pull his hand away, point at the fan in question, and laugh.
Samantha: Introducing first, representing THE HIERARCHY and making his way to the ring from Eberswalde, Germany, and weighing in at 215 pounds, this is The Megastar - The Sensation Not From This Nation – AZRAEL GOEREN!
The jeers are deafening as Goeren continues to mock and taunt the fans as he walks past them on the way to the ring. Goeren climbs the steps into the ring, and as soon as he sets foot in the ring, his music fades out.
Suddenly a loud, booming voice – definitely NOT Samantha’s – echoes throughout the Calgary Saddledome…
“LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, AFTER DAN STEIN’S VICTORY THIS EVENING, THERE WILL BE A WELCOME HOME/VICTORY PARTY! PLEASE NOTE: ONLY THE HOTTEST OF THE HOT ARE INVITED. NO SOLID 7’s. NO FAT GUYS. THANK YOU.”
The Other Guy: The only person that would apply to would be me!
Eryk Masters: Shhh OG!
Breath Carolina’s “Blackout” starts to play, and although the fans were already booing Azrael Goeren, they continue to jeer at the annoying europop music, and the man whose entrance it signifies.
Dan “The Lights” Stein appears, adorned in a red silk robe on, open, and he is carrying a protective mask. Stein marches down the ramp and down the aisle, right past the extended hands of the fans, as if they aren’t there. Stein does stop close to the ring, and brushes his hand seductively over the face of a pretty young female fan, before continuing to the ring.
Samantha: And now…from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, weighing 215 pounds, introducing DAN “THE LIGHTS” STEIN!
As his music fades, Stein starts to slowly shimmy out of his red robe. We can see Stein is wearing his black tight-shorts with gold "STEIN" written down the outside of the left leg, and "LIGHTS" on the outside of the right, with "SEXY" across the back.
Stein and Goeren are now standing across the ring from each other, and Austin Linam appears ready to call for the bell, but suddenly a chant breaks out…
“YOU TAPPED OUT! YOU TAPPED OUT! YOU TAPPED OUT!”
The chants are clearly directed at Azrael Goeren, and he is NOT happy. Goeren shakes his head angrily, and exits the ring. Dan Stein is grinning like a Cheshire cat and is trying to encourage the fans to continue chanting. Goeren actually places his hands over his ears and stands in the aisle, refusing to move.
Austin Linam leans over the top rope and orders Goeren to get back in the ring. The ringside microphone actually picks up the sound of Goeren “ordering” the referee to “make” the fans stop chanting. Linam warns Goeren that if he does not get into the ring, he will lose the match by forfeit. Goeren shouts something – which sounds distinctly like German cursing – at the referee, but he makes his way back into the ring.
As soon as Goeren enters the ring, Austin Linam goes to call for the bell, but now Dan Stein holds his arms up, and shouts for the referee to stop. Stein holds up his face protector, points at his face, and goes into a big routine of putting the mask on, and adjusting it. Austin Linam shakes his head sadly.
Eryk Masters: You think we’re actually going to start this match any time soon?
The Other Guy: Hey, Dan Stein has to protect his face! That’s how he makes his living, by being sexy! You gotta protect your investment!
As Stein is pulling the mask over his face, Azrael Goeren charges! The self-proclaimed Megastar fires a flurry of right hands at Dan Stein, and then whips him into the ropes. Dan Stein comes off the ropes, and is met by a Back Elbow Smash to the face. Austin Linam calls for the bell, and it finally rings to officially start the match.
Dan Stein starts to get up, and Azrael Goeren stays on him with a Driving Knee Lift into a rear waist lock. Dan Stein reverses, but Goeren sits out and escapes! Goeren gets back up, and fires another quick knee to the gut of The Lights, and attempts to toss Dan Stein over the top rope to the outside. Stein lands on the apron, and grabs Goeren by the back of the head, and drops down…dropping Goeren neck first on the top rope!
Dan Stein slides back into the ring, and throws the choking Azrael Goeren into the ropes. The whip is reversed by Goeren, but Dan Stein comes off with a leapfrog, and lands on the other side of Goeren. Goeren spins around, and is met with a short arm clothesline from The Lights!
Eryk Masters: Lariat by Dan Stein and The Lights goes for the cover…
Azrael Goeren kicks out and scrambles to his feet.
The Other Guy: With the way both of these guys do business, I don’t think it’s going to be over quickly, and I’m also betting we’re gonna see a WHOLE lotta cheating!
A right hand jab aimed directly into the shoulder of Dan Stein, makes The Lights scream in pain, and while he is hurt, Goeren takes advantage, and ties Dan Stein in the ropes. Goeren hits another series of precision punches, right into the shoulder of the helpless Dan Stein. Goeren tries for another, but Dan Stein pulls himself free, and fires a sharp boot right into the crotch of the arrogant German, as the crowd groans.
The crowd does not seem to be favoring one wrestler over the other in this contest, they are cheering the action, but not making either man the de facto fan favorite by getting behind either. The fans seemed to feel sorry for Stein when Goeren was punishing his shoulder, but now that Goeren has been hit with a low blow, they seem equally as sympathetic – to a limited degree.
Azrael Goeren rolls outside of the ring, holding his groin and cussing. He is obviously going to try and recover, but Dan Stein follows outside. Dan Stein jumps right on Goeren, running him shoulder first into the stairs! The steel ring steps go flying as Stein has smashed Goeren shoulder first, giving him a taste of his own medicine! Dan Stein rolls the stunned Goeren back in the ring, and follows him. Dan Stein starts stomping on Goeren relentlessly.
Dan “The Lights” Stein picks Azrael Goeren up...
Eryk Masters: Running powerslam on Azrael Goeren by Dan Stein!
The Other Guy: Azrael Goeren is no dummy, Masters. You can tell he is trying to hurt that surgically repaired shoulder of Dan Stein’s, and Stein is pretty pissed about it! Stein is turning the tables on Goeren, but let’s see how long that lasts.
Dan Stein gets back to work and starts stomping away at Goeren again. The Lights backs off for a mere second rubs his hands together, and then shoots down and applies a front face lock on Azrael Goeren. Goeren starts cursing in pain, and wildly reaches out, trying to get to the ropes - and he makes it.
Dan Stein lets go at the orders of Austin Linam, but as soon as Goeren is free from the ropes, Stein starts on the attack again. Dan Stein slaps the face lock right back on! Azrael Goeren thrashes around for a few moments, and then goes limp! Dan Stein rolls Goeren over and goes for the cover…
Azrael Goeren kicks out, with authority.
Staying on the attack Dan Stein slaps on an armbar now. Goeren is in obvious pain, and Goeren gets to his feet. Dan Stein drops an elbow on the arm. Now Dan Stein applies another rear waist lock, and he picks Goeren up. Dan Stein tosses Goeren into the ropes - but the whip is reversed. Dan Stein comes off the ropes and almost gets his head taken off from a clothesline from Azrael Goeren!
Eryk Masters: Goeren started out this match on the offensive, and he started to hurt Stein, but Stein came back mad.
The Other Guy: Yeah but now the pendulum has swung back again, and Goeren is back in the driver’s seat.
As Dan Stein starts to get to his feet, Azrael locks him up and then plants The Lights with a DDT! Dan Stein immediately stumbles to his feet, but is totally rocked, and walks right into a high impact Russian (or German I suppose) Legsweep!
Azrael Goeren pulls Dan Stein to his feet, and then drags him toward the ropes. Goeren angrily hangs Stein’s arm over the top rope, and the leaps over, grabs Stein’s wrist as he jumps, and yanks down HARD on Stein’s arm, basically almost ripping Dan Stein’s previously injured shoulder out of its socket! The fans gasp as Stein grabs his shoulder and falls through the ropes, outside of the ring.
Azrael Goeren isn’t going to give The Lights one moment of rest. Goeren scoops Stein up, and then slams him on the concrete floor, trying his best to focus the brunt of the impact on Stein’s injured shoulder! The fans groan in sympathy at the sight of The Lights bouncing on the arena floor.
Eryk Masters: That’s gotta be it! Linam is going to have to stop this match. Goeren is going to permanently injure Stein.
The Other Guy: Hey, five minutes ago, Stein was killing Goeren! Shit happens.
Azrael Goeren heads back up to the apron, measures Dan Stein off, and then leaps off with a knee drop, off the apron, onto the shoulder of Dan Stein...on the concrete floor! Both men stay down for a moment. Slowly, Azrael Goeren gets to his feet, and painfully rolls Dan Stein back into the ring. Goeren follows, and pulls the groggy Stein to his feet.
A wild swing by Goeren, aimed at the shoulder of Dan Stein…misses!
Dan Stein nails Azrael Goeren with a desperation boot to the gut, and then plants him into the mat with a Swinging Neckbreaker, into the cover…
Azrael Goeren kicks out, and Dan Stein applies another front face lock, trying to use his good arm, while he thinks strategy, on his next move to try and put the “Megastar” away. Azrael Goeren nimbly rolls to his back and breaks free, standing up. Goeren tries a roundhouse but Dan Stein ducks. They look at each other in surprise, as the crowd give both men a ovation. Neither man is popular, but they are putting on one hell of a back and forth match.
The two fighters lock up with a collar and elbow tie-up, which is transitioned into a hammerlock by Dan Stein. The Lights tries to execute a snapmare…but Goeren lands on his feet. Goeren ducks a clothesline attempt from Dan Stein, and hits a high kick to Stein’s injured shouler! Dan Stein hits the mat, but quickly gets back to his feet, rubbing his shoulder.
Dan Stein reaches out, grabs Goeren by the wrist and whips him into the corner, but Goeren gets an elbow up. Stein runs in, takes the sharp impact from the elbow, and staggers backward, falling to the mat. Azrael Goeren makes the cover while Linam makes the count...
Eryk Masters: Man, I could have sworn Azrael Goeren had it there.
The Other Guy: Dan Stein might be a lot of things, but don’t forget, this guy is tough.
Dan Stein rolls out of the ring to try gather himself. The Lights is shaking his head, as he rubs his shoulder, angry that he got caught. After a moment, Stein rolls back in. Azrael Goren is waiting, and he pulls The Lights to his feet, and attempts an Irish Whip. The whip into the ropes is reversed, Goeren drops down but Dan Stein has it scouted, and hits a kick to the head!
Dan Stein scoops Goeren up, and nails him with another powerslam! Now Dan Stein starts to stomp on the midsection of Azrael Goeren again repeatedly. Azrael Goeren starts to get up, and Dan Stein lets him…
The minute Azrael Goeren is standing, Stein sends him back to the mat, courtesy a perfectly placed dropkick, right onto the jaw of Goeren. Azrael Goeren hits the mat, landing on the back of his head, so Dan Stein goes for the cover…
Goeren kicks out, and Dan Stein pounds his hands on the mat in anger. Azrael Goeren staggers to his feet, his eyes blazing in anger. Azrael Goeren grabs Dan Stein by the arm attached to his sore shoulder, and hurls The Lights into the ropes. Stein reverses the Irish whip, but Azrael Goeren comes off with leapfrog, and lands on the other side of Stein. Stein spins around, and is met with a cranium crunching headbutt, which is aimed right at the shoulder of Dan Stein!
Eryk Masters: OUCH! He smashed his head right into Stein’s shoulder!
The Other Guy: I thought it was the Scottish who were famous for their headbutts…not the Germans.
Goeren grabs the stunned Stein by the back of the head, raises his arm, and then drives his elbow right into the sore shoulder of Dan Stein! Azrael backs off, as Stein collapses! Goeren goes for the cover…
Dan Stein kicks out!
As Goeren starts to get up Stein fires a right hand upward and stuns Azrael Goeren, and Stein takes advantage. Stein scrambles to his feet, and whips the member of The Hierarchy into the ropes. Dan Stein runs, bounces off the far rope, and then launches himself into the air, and nearly takes Goeren’s head off with the flying lariat!
Azrael Goeren starts to get up, and so Dan Stein stands over him, and starts to pull him to his feet. Goeren reaches up, grabs Stein by the top of the head, and falls to his knees…driving the top of his head right into Stein’s jaw, stunning him!
Eryk Masters: Jaw Breaker!
The Other Guy: Austin Linam going for the count…
Dan Stein kicks out!
Azrael Goeren pulls Stein to his feet, applies a wristlock, on Dan “The Lights” Stein, and tosses Stein into the ropes, and then smashes him back to the mat with a big boot to the shoulder
Stein goes down, Goeren makes the cover and Linam makes the count…
Stein kicks out and stumbles to his feet, but as Azrael Goeren is ready and nails him with another big boot to the shoulder. Goeren grabs Stein by the wrist and whips him into the ropes. Stein comes off and Goeren hits Stein with a clothesline, but at the exact same time, Stein sticks his arm out, and gives Goeren a clothesline of his own! Both men go down!
Amazingly, Dan Stein is the first man to his feet. He scoops Azrael Goeren up and slams him down to the mat – hard. As Goeren lays there twitching, Dan “The Lights” Stein climbs out of the ring to the apron, and then scales the ropes to the top turnbuckle. Dan Stein points down at Azrael Goeren, and then leaps into the air, performing a picture perfect 450 spin, aiming for the 450 splash…
Azrael Goeren opens his eyes and sees Dan Stein descending on him. He tries to get up, but too little, too late! Dan Stein has aimed the maneuver perfectly, so his so called “protective face mask” hits Azrael Goeren right in between the eyes when he hits the perfect 450 splash! Dan Stein stays on Azrael Goeren for the cover!
“Blackout” starts to play, as the bell rings and Austin Linam holds Dan Stein’s arm in the air…
Samantha: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN – HERE IS YOUR WINNER – AND ADVANCING IN THE MASTER OF THE MAT – DAN “THE LIGHTS” STEIN!!!
Dan Stein does not waste one minute, he simply rolls out of the ring and staggers towards the back, removing his facemask and smirking as he does so. The announcers show a replay of the amazing 450 splash by Dan Stein, which ended in the headbutt to the face of Azrael Goeren, as Austin Linam drops to one knee to check on Goeren. The shot goes to the broadcast position…
Eryk Masters: That was one hell of a matchup, but I have to be honest, I have to wonder if the impact of that so-called facemask helped Stein get the win?
The Other Guy: Hey, that was Dan Stein’s first match back after months off, he’s dealing with ring rust, he’s trying to make sure his shoulder is up to the test, and on top of all that, he beats one of the top men in SHOOT! And it just advanced him in the Master of the Mat! So don’t try and ruin it for him by claiming the facemask had something to do with it. You’d know what Stein has to deal with, if you had a face worth protecting!
An Arena. Somewhere along the long and winding trail of the SHOOT World Tour. A SHOOT Ring. We pull back. We are leaving. We keep pulling back and are looking at the back of the UHaul truck. A gloved hand reaches up and pulls the sliding door down. Latches thrown. Lock placed. The hand reaches out and exchanges a pound with another gloved hand. Pull back to reveal Real Deal and Outkast in matching mover's jumpsuits with the Instant Heat Logo on the back. They head to the cabin as the whistling intro of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros' "Home".
"Holy roly, me, oh my, you're the apple of my eye
"Man, oh man, you're my best friend, I scream it to the nothingness
"Well, hot & heavy, pumpkin pie, chocolate candy, Jesus Christ
As the SHOOT Soldiers see the passing UHaul all of their faces light up with the same recognition. They all scramble out of the diner to their respective cars. We see Loco slide over the hood of the car Dukes of Hazard style, as he and Stellar persue.
"Let me come Home
"La la la la, take me Home
We see Jaime Alejandro walking along the hallways of the Saddledome. He's t a quiet demeanor about him. He's not really noticing anyone around him, until he suddenly runs into someone else in the hallway.
Jaime Alejandro: I'm sorry about that... Oh, hello. Sorry about that, Laura.
Sure enough, it's Laura Seton he's bumped in to. She takes a step back before she looks ahead and recognizes Jaime.
Laura Seton: No, don't worry about it. It's all right.
He nodded to the shorter woman in front of him.
Jaime: My apologies, really. I fort my manners. And we've not really met, considering my absences. I'm Jaime Alejandro. And I'm sure you've heard about a thousand tales about me. And I couldn't even tell you which ones are actually true.
Laura: I've heard a handful of horror stories about you, I won't lie.
She gets a look of mild concern.
Laura: You doing okay? With everything of late--
Jaime: I won't lie, dear. I've been to hell and back. I can also say that I've kept myself sober for at least two months. As far as me. I'm as okay as can be.
He puts a hand on her shoulder and smiles.
Jaime: Don't worry about this old dog. I'm not going down the path someone like Carver did. I liked him as a kid, but not trying to live his life.
Laura: I'm glad to hear that. I don't get the fascination with that stuff--anyways, I'm sure you'd rather get away from that subject. Back to more important things like...
She motions her head towards the gorilla position with a smile.
Laura: ...that ring there.
Jaime: It's all I've known for nearly 35 years. I was raised in wrestling by a Cuban emigrant...
He smiles when he looks to the gorilla position.
Jaime: You understand what it's like when you don't get to do what you love. If you don't have wrestling and basketball... You understand what happens. What your mind does. In that ring, I don't worry about life.
Laura: You get my line of thought, then. Unfortunately, some people--like a certain snob of a Sin City Champion--don't get it.
He looks back at her, almost intently.
Jaime: I know who you're referring to. Our oft maligned champion. A certain Miss Black.
Laura: "Miss" is too nice a term for her. I'll admit there's a lot of things I've never come to understand about wrestling and others' mindsets--but someone like her astounds me.
Jaime: You've never met some of the people I've run into like Jonny Johnson, Keith Owens, Trevor Cunning, or my cousin. People who are into wrestling just because it's all e for them. It's all a matter of what motivates people. I don't know what motivates Tanya Black. Maybe I never will. So, in honesty. What motivates you?
Laura: At first, it was proving myself. Nowadays, it's about keeping my reputation and, as cheesy as it may sound--the fans. I don't know what I'd do if they weren't out there.
Jaime chuckled for a second. He remembered when he would have answered like her.
Jaime: The fans will always be there. The reputation doesn't depend on wins or losses. It depends on how you carry yourself. And I'll admit, I was a bit wrong about you. I thought you were pure as the driven snow for the giggles. However, I can see it's how you carry yourself. If you believe in your own form of straightedge and you carry it... then you don't have to worry about what fans think. Fans like an individual. Someone who knows who they are.
Laura: You actually realized that quicker than most people. Everyone else figures it's an act and learn the hard way from "20 Minutes of Terror" with me in the ring. Tu eres inteligente. Gracias.
Jaime: I see you didn't merely play basketball in college, either. Nice form. So... You want to shut the naysayers up. Make it to the finals. I'd say if Tanya is there, find another gear. Get her monkey off your back. If I'm there, I would be insulted if you didn't try to tear me apart... Because I was the first champion. I'm the guy they call the legend. But... You'll be bigger. You're not going to make the mistakes I did.
He offers he hand out to her.
Jaime: I'm determined to make it to MotM in the finals. You better be, too.
She takes his hand and pulls him towards her, as she gives a smile.
Laura: I may be naive, but I'm not stupid…
The opening of "The Hounds" by The Protomen starts twanging over the arena's speakers, and Az waits until the first main hit of the guitar and horns blares out before stepping out of the back to the top of the ramp… and when he does it’s a thunderous ovation.
Eryk Masters: Oh my folks, Master of the Mat action is about to get underway yet again!
Other Guy: And here comes a 2-TIME Master of the Mat Winner, folks. That’s right, I said 2-TIME… folks seem to forget that Azraith won it in 2003, as well as last year’s. Even Azraith himself!
Az looks over the crowd a bit, showing a renewed sense of vigor… and the audience senses it. DeMitri is adorned in his old ragged black trench coat and a black T-shirt underneath that plainly says TRUTH and a loose pair of black leather pants with heavy boots. Walking his way down the ramp, Azraith raises his hands in the air for everyone.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first… from Omaha, Nebraska, weighing in at 260lbs… he is the DEFENDING 2010 Master of the Mat Winner… “The Broken Avatar”… AZZZZZZZZRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAITH… DEEEEEEEEEEEEMIIIIIIIIITRIIIIIIII!
As Azraith DeMitri marches to the ring he has a focused, calm look on his face, and heads straight to the ring after a second or two of soaking in the reaction. As he gets in the ring takes off the trench coat and shirt and tosses them to the ring attendant, taking his place near a turnbuckle.
Suddenly… “Poundcake” by Van Halen starts over the PA system and the crowd rises in unison as the name Rocky Stellar explodes on the SHOOTron. Standing at the entrance from the gorilla position is Rocky Stellar… who has his arms raised for the audience.
Samantha Coil: And his opponent… from Chicago, Illinois… weighing in at 265 pounds…THE ICON…ROCKYYYYYYYYYYYYY STELLAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRR!!
Rocky makes his way down the ramp, slapping hands with some of the fans who have their arms completely outstretched for the ICON. Sliding into the ring, Rocky glares at his opponent momentarily before stepping up onto the second turnbuckle and posing for the thousands of fans that are on their feet for the legend.
Eryk Masters: Calgary certainly loves them some Stellar!
Other Guy: Stupid Canadians. What the hell do they know anyway?
While each competitor paces for a few moments, Willie Dean signals for the bell.
Eryk Masters: Here we go! ICON vs. AVATAR!
Once the bell sounds, Azraith and Stellar circle one another. Both competitors take several strides around one another before settling in on a classic collar and elbow tie-up. Utilizing his slight height advantage, Azraith pulls Stellar into a standing side headlock. Stellar is ready for this, though, and quickly reverses into a hammerlock.
Eryk Masters: Two old school cats battling for advancement in the Master of the Mat tournament… it doesn’t get any better than this!
Other Guy: I hope you folks at home aren’t expecting anything fancy in this one. ’Cause about as fancy as you will see here is an elevated scoop slam.
Azraith wastes no time throwing an elbow up into Stellar’s temple, and when Stellar retreats, Azraith swings around, pulling Stellar’s head down in a front chancery. From there, Stellar delivers a clubbing blow to Azraith’s ribs, effectively loosening his grip and allowing for Stellar to roughly push him away into the ropes. As both men stand several feet from one another, they both nod their head at one another in acknowledgement.
Eryk Masters: Ya know, there seems to be this mutual respect here between the Avatar Reborn and the ICON. I like it.
Other Guy: Mutual respect is boring. I love it when two guys hate each other. Hate = more bloody = OG a happy panda.
Again, they circle one another, but as they go in for another collar and elbow tie-up Stellar is much wiser to Azraith’s ability to stand toe-to-toe with him and catches the Avatar Reborn with a stiff right hand to the jaw! Rocking Azraith back a little bit, Stellar retreats into the ropes to gain some momentum. On the rebound, Stellar lunges for a lariat, but Azraith ducks! Azraith now running into the ropes, and as The Stellar One turns around Azraith FLOORS him with a nasty lariat!
Dropping down to make a lateral cover, Azraith hooks a leg.
Other Guy: Not a chance.
Eryk Masters: Nope. No way in hell does anyone beat Stellar this early into a match. Or Azraith, for that matter.
Stellar kicks out with great ease, to which Azraith immediately slaps on a rear chin lock, digging the point of his knee square into Stellar’s back. Yelling out in pain, Stellar leans to his right, looking for escape. But when Azraith shifts his weight to correlate with Stellar’s he maintains the hold and wrenches back on the Icon’s head. Stellar leans to his left this time and as soon as Azraith begins shifting his weight in conjunction again, Stellar quickly leans back to his right, catching Azraith off-balance and forcing him to release the hold.
Eryk Masters: Nice escape! The ICON showing some great intuition here thus far!
Other Guy: He needs to keep on Azraith, though. Releasing Azraith after escaping one of his moves and not following up with anything is almost like escaping the jaws of a shark and not swimming back to safety … you’re gonna get your ass eaten!
Eryk Masters: I almost understand that metaphor, OG. Well played.
Other Guy: Thanks… I think?
As Stellar rolls to his feet, he beckons Azraith to get to his. Once Azraith is up, Stellar tries for another clothesline, but like the last one, Azraith sees it coming and ducks underneath. Azraith into the ropes again as Stellar turns around to face him. When Azraith tries for the same lariat that sent Stellar on his back before, a quick smirk forms across Stellar ’s face. Hunching down, Stellar scoops Azraith up off of his feet and SNAPS him back down to the canvas with a nasty power-slam!
Eryk Masters: Damn! Azraith just got power slammed out of his boots!
As Stellar keeps a leg hooked, Willie Dean notices the leg hooked and shoulders pinned to the mat..
Other Guy: He might have him here…
Other Guy: No!! Azraith kicks out!!
Azraith powers out of it, and immediately starts shaking the cobwebs away. Realizing Azraith is stunned from that powerslam, Stellar stays close and brings Azraith the rest of the way to his feet. Lifting underneath the inside of Azraith’s leg, Stellar tries for a teardrop suplex, but is met with a ferocious series of short shots to the nose that instantly causes him to drop Azraith on his feet. Drawing Stellar in close by pulling on his waist, Azraith lifts him up quickly only to drive him back down in a backdrop suplex!
Other Guy: I’m pretty sure it was in the 60’s. Stellar was just a young lad in his 70’s then.
Eryk Masters: Stop.
Rolling Stellar over onto his back, Azraith makes the cover…
Thr- Stellar shoulders out!
Eryk Masters: Stellar’s neck has to be throbbing after that one. Azraith knows it, too. You can tell just by the look on his face.
Other Guy: I hear that Azraith’s “determined” face is the same as his “angry” face is the same as his “constipated” face.
Eryk Masters: The more you know… shooting star.
Other Guy: WHAT?! Stellar’s attempting a shooting st- oh wait, I get it. Haha.
Eryk Masters: God you can be so dense.
Seemingly fixated on the neck area, Azraith sharply drags Stellar to his feet by clutching his neck in another front chancery. This time, Azraith squeezes as tight as he can and snaps back with a thunderous DDT… adding salt to the wound, Azraith rolls Stellar over onto his stomach and drops an elbow right across the back of the neck.
Eryk Masters: Azraith is dropping the points of his elbows with precision accuracy… and because of that alone, Rocky could be done for here.
Rolling Stellar back over, Azraith hooks the leg again…
Other Guy: Azraith is advancing!!
Thr- again, Stellar manages to shoulder out just before three!
Eryk Masters: SO close.
Other Guy: Azraith is completely engrossed with the neck of Stellar. I’m surprised his bones have been able to take such abuse!
As Stellar appears to be on dream street, Azraith senses the end coming and measures the Icon up for something sinister. Raising his hand high in the air, the crowd senses it as well. Clasping his hand around the throat of Stellar, Azraith goes for his spine-shattering one-handed choke-slam across the knee, but before he can lift Stellar up off of the mat, Stellar boots him in the gut, taking the wind right out of Azraith’s sails.
Eryk Masters: Stellar blocked the Die Hand des Gottes!
With Azraith bent over, Stellar sets him up between his legs for something a bit more high impact. Azraith tries to wriggle free from this precarious position, though, and drops to a knee. Stellar shakes his head, adamantly refusing to give up on the move, and pulls Azraith back to his feet. Lifting up underneath Azraith’s body, Stellar heaves Azraith back down to the mat with a vicious powerbomb!
Eryk Masters: Stellar shook the damn ring with that one!
Other Guy: Azraith could be in trouble after that one, there’s nothing fancy about Stellar’s arsenal, but the dude can drop you pretty hard and end the match in the blink of an eye.
Thr- Azraith kicks out, and Stellar cusses out loud in response.
Eryk Masters: I think Stellar thought he had the Avatar Reborn with that one. So did I, for that matter.
Other Guy: He might’ve deflated a lung or two with the emphasis he put behind that powerbomb!
Eryk Masters: Wait, is he going for it?!
Other Guy: The sharpshooter? No way does he get that on Azraith.
Stellar goes for the sharpshooter, but Azraith blocks the attempt by throwing a wild haymaker from his back and connects right on the button.
Other Guy: See, what’d I tell ya?!
Letting go of Azraith's legs, Stellar reels back into the ropes. As Azraith gets to his feet, Stellar goes in for a shoulder tackle.. but Azraith counters by clasping his hands around Stellar's waist and using Stellar's own momentum against him by tossing him awkwardly across the ring with a NASTY release belly-to-belly suplex… and on the landing, all of Stellar’s weight comes crashing down on his neck.
Eryk Masters: Oh my GOD!! Stellar landed right on his fucking head!
Other Guy: Az knows it, too. Look at his face!
Clearly unhappy that Stellar landed the way he did, Azraith audibly shouts, "WHAT THE FUCK, ROCKY?!" as Stellar holds the back of his neck and rolls around in complete agony.
Eryk Masters: I don't like this. Rocky could be SEVERELY injured right now..
Other Guy: I heard the fans behind me gasp when Stellar landed the way he did, too. Not good... a shame this Master of the Mat tournament match might end this way.
Struggling with the decision to go in for the kill or give Rocky some room and see what happens, Azraith looks at Willie Dean for a decision, who simply shrugs. Yelling at Dean to, "WELL FUCKING CHECK, DUMB ASS!", Dean crouches down next to Stellar and asks if he can continue.
When Stellar doesn't answer, Dean asks him this again.
At this point, Azraith decides to hunker down next to Stellar as well, and just when Dean was about to ring the bell... Stellar catches Azraith in a surprise roll-up!
AZRAITH KICKS OUT!!
Eryk Masters: Was he playing ceiling possum?!?!
Other Guy: Ceiling… Possum?! Um okay, I don't think so. I think Stellar was just desperate to end this and saw an opportunity present itself to him..
Visibly upset that Stellar nearly got the surprise victory against him when he was showing compassion, Azraith shouts, "DAMMIT ROCKY... STAY DOWN!!", before roughly picking the hurt ICON up to his feet.
Eryk Masters: I think I know what's coming now...
Other Guy: How appropriate. The Extinction. You know, because Stellar IS a dinosaur and all.
Eryk Masters: Ugh… you didn’t.
Setting Stellar up between his legs, Azraith hooks both of his arms and lifts Stellar up off of the canvas for a powerbomb, but quickly SNAPS back down, driving Stellar’s already wounded spine and neck down harshly with a modified sit-out powerbomb!
Eryk Masters: HE GOT IT!! EXTINCTION!!
The crowd gasps.
Looking at Stellar for a moment… Azraith ruefully hooks a leg.
Other Guy: Wow! Azraith didn’t want to win like that! Unbelievable!
Eryk Masters: Yeah... I just hope Stellar is alright. He just didn't seem right after that awkward landing from the belly to belly.
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of this match at a time of 13 minutes and 6 seconds... advancing to the semi-finals... AZZZZZZZZRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAITH… DEEEEEEEEEEEEMIIIIIIIIITRIIIIIIII!!!
As Willie Dean raises Azraith’s hand in the air, Azraith looks down at Stellar… who still hasn’t moved since getting hit with the Extinction. Pushing away Dean, Azraith crouches next to his fellow SHOOT Soldier and asks him something inaudible, which Stellar nods his head at. Breathing a sigh of relief, Azraith pats Stellar on the shoulder.
Eryk Masters: Azraith showing a lot of class here tonight. He looks really concerned about Stellar.
Other Guy: Yeah, SOOOO concerned that he just drilled the man to the mat with a move that directly harms the neck and spine. Class my ass!
Eryk Masters: It’s Master of the Mat, OG. These guys are HUNGRY to make it to the finals. It means everything to them. I can’t say I wouldn’t have done the same thing if I were in Azraith’s shoes, and to be honest, I 100% believe Stellar would say the same thing.
Willie Dean checks on Rocky Stellar again, who FINALLY sits up from the mat, generating a nice applause from the Canadian crowd. Wincing and holding the back of his neck, Rocky Stellar looks out at the fans - a face etched in utter disappointment.
As Azraith walks away with his arms raised in the air, “The Hounds” starts up again. But all of a sudden, Azraith waves his hands and shakes his head. After making the throat slicing motion, his theme if finally cut off, leaving everyone in bewildered.
Eryk Masters: What is this all about?!
Other Guy: Can’t say I’m a fan of The Protomen, either.
“POUNDCAKE!! PLAY IT!!”
“I SAID POUNDCAKE, GODDAMMIT!! FUCKING PLAY IT!!”
A few seconds later, “Poundcake” by Van Halen thrashes onto the airwaves and the arena erupts into cheers for Rocky Stellar, who seems to be slowly getting up off of the mat on his own volition. Nodding his head out of gratitude for Azraith, the fans then show theirs before we cut to the back.
Maya: I'm not the best SHOOT has to offer, I don't even really know why I was picked to be in this. I've been horrible to the fans since I came back. Horrible to all the great wrestlers in SHOOT when I sided with X for the Redemption Rumble. I just...
Maya's brown eyes wander downward, almost ashamed to look at anyone watching him right now.
Maya: But I...I don't want to let you down anymore. I still really want to find Shinya and my family, that will always be my number one goal. No matter what happens here in SHOOT. But, I'm still here. You all are still watching me and hoping for the person you used to know, the one that stood by Shinya. The one that always smiled and tried to make you happy. The one who was always having fun...
Maya slightly shakes his head, the memories glistening in his eyes.
Maya: I miss him too. I don't know if I can ever be that person again. I don't know if I can ever make you proud of me again. For whatever reason I was put in this tournament. I'm going to make you proud of me again. Not because I'm the best. Not because I deserve it. But...because you deserve it. You deserve better from me. All of you. So please, let me try to make it up to you. Boo me if you want, I deserve it. But please...
Let me try. Not for fame, for for money, and not for championship gold.
Dressed in full ring attire, Villano XIII and his assistant walk through the backstage area. People they pass along the way turn their gaze at the ornately dressed individual who is walking the corridor. His lime green attire draws attention to him; his boots, his cape, his half-sleeves which start at his wrists and extend to his elbow; the red and green wrestling singlet. People aren't used to seeing this sort of display every day.
The duo approach a SHOOT Project production team member and stand before him until they have his attention. He looks surprised, then looks down at his clipboard and then back up at them. Before he can speak, the assistant lets their cause be known.
Assistant: I come with a message from Villano.
The masked man nods his head and the assistant continues.
Assistant: We agreed that it would save us time as well as your valuable time if we came with a message instead of me trying to translate for Villano as he expresses what he wishes to say.
The production team member looks confused and concerned, but allows the assistant to continue.
Assistant: Villano wants it to be known that he is very interested in the Master Of The Mat tournament. Any time individuals are set into a tournament with a significant final goal, it leads to the type of competition that brought Villano to SHOOT Project in the first place.
The production team member starts to get an idea for what might be coming, and he interrupts.
Production Guy: Are you asking me to forward a request to get Villano booked into a qualifying match? Because...
The assistant shakes his head and hand, the motion interrupting the production team member.
Assistant: No, no, no. This is not like that. What Villano wishes to do is to express that he is excitedly anticipating getting to see his future opponents in a highly competitive environment. Of course he wishes to have opportunities to enter a SHOOT ring and show the competitors and fans the type of world-class competitor he can be, however, he understands that the Master Of The Mat is a prestigious event, and as one of the newest members of this organization, he did not expect to be placed in the tournament.
The production team member isn't sure he understands, but he nods anyway to keep the conversation going. He wants to check his watch, but he is afraid of being considered rude.
Assistant: It is Villano's wish that the decision makers in SHOOT Project know that he is willing to face any opponent at any time and will be appreciative of the opportunity to display his talents. And that is all we wished to convey at this time.
The assistant pats the production team member on the shoulder, and then he and Villano XIII walk off.
The scene opens backstage with Abigail Chase standing outside the Project: SCAR lockerroom. She’s apparently anticipating Corazon’s exit, as the main event IS the next match.
Eryk Masters: Abigail are you out of your mind? Those guys don’t like ANYONE.
Other Guy: Just let the girl do her job, E.
Corazon walks out from the lockerroom and is a little surprised and caught off guard by the presence of Ms. Chase.
Abigail Chase: Adrian, just a quick few questions before your Master of the Mat qualifier with Trey?
Corazon shrugs his shoulders.
Abigail Chase: Have you changed anything in your gameplan since you were defeated by Trey last winter at Reckoning Day?
Corazon: Trey needs this victory just like he needed the victory at Reckoning Day. I predict he’ll be aggressive to the point of near recklessness… as I’ve said before. Trey REQUIRES the adulation of the fans and talking heads. It is what he lives for. That will be the most important thing to him.
Abigail Chase: And the most important thing to you?
Corazon: Destruction. That was a silly question, Ms. Chase.
Abigail Chase: Would you say that you’re in better shape now versus your Reckoning Day match to deal with Trey Willett?
Corazon: I would say I’m suitably well equipped to deal with SHOOT Project’s Wayward Son. Have you ever known me NOT to be prepared?
Abigail Chase: I can’t say that I have, but you know I have to ask. One last question… any parting thoughts?
Corazon pauses for a moment, thinking.
Corazon: No, Ms. Chase. I think all the parting thoughts you require will be established as I crush the Wayward Son and provide Project: SCAR with a third Master of the Mat contestant.
With that, Corazon walks away, leaving Abigail Chase simply to shrug her shoulders.
Abigail Chase: Well, that was that, I guess. Adrian Corazon, Project: SCAR’s Black Death takes on Trey Willett, SHOOT Project’s Wayward Son… I like that nickname… in our main event, NEXT.
Eryk Masters: What we’ve got next, OG… it’s big.
Other Guy: You’re right, Eryk. A rematch of 2010’s match of the year, and it’s for a spot in the Master of the Mat! Jason Johnson really found a way to put these two together again.
“Carry on my Wayward Son” hits the PA as Calgary comes alive, for the man now known as SHOOT Project’s Wayward Son makes his way into the arena! “Willenium” and “BRANDON” signs are prevalent throughout, and when Trey takes the top of the ramp, the crowd electrifies just a little bit more.
Eryk Masters: Really great reception here for Trey, and it’s good hear it. There was a while there, while Trey was gone, where I wasn’t sure if he’d be back and if he DID come back… I wasn’t sure what I was going to see.
Other Guy: I can agree with that, E. Trey’s always been unintentionally enigmatic in that way. Some say he loses his smile, I say he just re-prioritizes.
Trey slaps hands with fans on his way to the ring, as Samantha Coil officially announces him.
Samantha Coil: The following is a qualifying match for the 2011 Master of the Mat tournament!
The crowd pops!
Samantha Coil: Introducing first, from Staten Island, New York… he stands at five feet, eleven inches… he weighs in at one hundred ninety-one pounds… he is SHOOT Project’s Wayward Son… TREY WILLETT!!!
Trey steps forward and raises an arm to the delight of the crowd, and he stands and waits patiently for the opposing member of this contest.
Eryk Masters: Yeah, Trey’s dialed in.
Other Guy: That is so, so true, you HAVE to be against Corazon. HAVE to be.
Before Eryk can respond, an orange spotlight hits the top of the ramp, and then several orange strobes scour the arena, as the fans let loose the loudest boos of the night. Immortal Technique’s “Point of No Return” hits the PA as images of past conquests appear on the screen.
The destruction of Del Carver.
The annihilation of Jonny Johnson.
The cutting of Curtis Rose.
The smearing of Trey Willett’s blood.
Then, only the battle hardened eyes of the man known as Brutal and Inhuman are shown. Everything is in a greyscale, except for the green of his eyes. The image pans into his smirk, which transitions into a bloody smiley face.
This is the point from which I could never return
Corazon appears at the top of the ramp. His face covered by his long black hair. His eyes obscured by black, silver-rimmed sunglasses. His overcoat just barely stays off of the floor, as he takes a very methodical, slow walk to the ring.
His eyes never stray from Trey Willett.
Samantha Coil: And introducing last… from Mexico City, Mexico… he stands at six feet, three inches tall… he weighs in at two hundred, twenty-five pounds… he is a former Iron Fist Champion… a former World Heavyweight Champion… he is the BRUTAL and the INHUMAN… Project: SCAR’s BLACK DEATH… CORAZON!
Eryk Masters: I’d just like to remind everyone one more time that I can’t stand this guy. I don’t like him, or Project: SCAR, or anything about him or them.
Other Guy: Corazon has sort of taken a back seat lately to Isaac Entragian and Kenji Yamada. That ended at Redemption, when those three interrupted the World Tag Team Championship match and basically ransacked that division.
Eryk Masters: On top of that, you heard what they said tonight. That wasn’t just a one off interruption. They want to continue to fuck around in that division, hurting and “scarring” everyone that they can.
The official for this contest, Tony Lorenzo, meets with Corazon and Trey in the middle of the ring, to hand out last minute instructions and rules. After sending them back to their corner, Tony looks to Mark Kendrick who nods, and the bell rings. Immediately, Corazon charges Trey and blindsides him with a fast elbow, which sends Trey back into his corner. Corazon, with the immediate aggression, lights Trey up with rights and lefts, and caps off the striking outburst with a HARD elbow that stuns the Wayward Son.
Other Guy: And that right there is why you have to be dialed in against Adrian Corazon. Sure, he might be ‘taking a back seat,’ but this is still one of the MOST dangerous men on the roster.
Eryk Masters: Not for nothing, but I feel like I should remind you and the people watching that the “season series” as it were, between Trey and Corazon stands at 1-1. So, this is almost a rubber match of sorts.
Corazon takes advantage of the stunned Willett, turning around and wrapping Trey’s head in his arm, before pulling him over and down with a bulldog out of the corner. Corazon covers, but Trey nearly immediately kicks out. Corazon gets to his feet and smirks, as Trey gets to one knee. Corazon rebounds off the near rope and throws a low dropkick into Trey’s face as Trey is getting to his feet, and once more, Trey is down! Corazon covers!
Trey kicks out!
Eryk Masters: Corazon with a tough series of moves right there, and he makes it clear that he’s targeting Trey’s head and neck area.
Other Guy: The last time these two met, this match went from a “normal” wrestling match to an all out brawl in basically record time. So far, things have stayed normalish here, but it’s hard to say exactly how long that will be the case.
Corazon bends down and pulls Trey up by the face. He shouts something in Trey’s ear before drilling him one more time with a big right hand! He attempts to do the same thing once more, but this time, Trey rolls out of the way and back up to his feet! Corazon’s a little surprised, but attempts to keep the pressure up. Trey side steps him and shoves Corazon into the turnbuckle! He doesn’t even allow Corazon to turn around before he runs behind him and splashes him! Corazon staggers out of the corner and Trey immediately hooks him and drops him with a neck breaker! He covers!
Eryk Masters: Almost a QUICK victory there for Trey.
Other Guy: Really surprising too, given that the momentum was very clearly Corazon’s, and he seemed to be in complete control of this match.
Trey quickly gets back to his feet as Corazon slowly gets to his. Trey throws a right hand and then ties Corazon up. He pulls him down and locks him in a front facelock, hoists him up and then drops him on his back with a vertical suplex! Trey, not wanting to relinquish this fortuitous momentum shift, keeps the pressure on and hooks Corazon with a front facelock as the Inhuman attempts to get back to his feet. He pulls Corazon into the middle of the ring, hoists him up, and lets him hang for a moment, and then drops him AGAIN with a vertical suplex.
Eryk Masters: I think Trey is showing us what he’s made of here, OG.
Other Guy: No doubt about that, man. Trey is VERY focused. Like I said early in the match, dialed in. Really dialed in.
Corazon’s flat on his back. Trey climbs to his feet, and then rebounds off of the rope before dropping a fist into Corazon’s face. Corazon recoils in pain, and Trey continues the pressure, getting back to his feet and doing it again! He caps it off with an elbow drop across Corazon’s neck, and he makes a cover!
Lorenzo calls for the break, as Corazon has a foot placed under the ropes. Trey gets back to his feet and throws his hands up, as Corazon starts to get to one knee. Immediately though, Trey charges Corazon and throws a knee at the downed Inhuman’s face! Corazon rolls out of the way and underneath the rope, which draws the ire of the capacity Calgary crowd.
Other Guy: Corazon could be a little rattled here, E.
Eryk Masters: Well, I can’t blame him. He had control of this match early on, and Trey’s found a way to usurp that and then establish his own pace.
Trey, not wanting to allow Corazon ANY time to recover, goes after him as he attempts a senton splash over the top rope, but Corazon times it so that as Trey is going over the top rope, Corazon slides underneath the rope! Trey lands on his feet though, as the Crowd “ooh’s and ahh’s!” Trey slides back into the ring, but as he gets to his feet Corazon NAILS him with an ugly but effective ACT OF DEFIANCE! The crowd BOOOOOO’s, but Corazon sits in the corner and does not make the cover! He has a RIDICULOUS smile on his face.
Other Guy: Corazon with a HUGE desperation move here, but he chooses to chill in the corner and does not make the cover. THAT could be a big mistake, because Trey Willett looks to be out cold.
Eryk Masters: The tide of battle turns SO quickly when it comes to these two. Reckoning Day 2010 was like this, too.
Corazon sighs and pulls himself to his feet. He looks down at Trey Willett and cocks his head. He starts talking in Trey’s ear one more time, which does nothing but draw boo’s and hatred from the crowd. Corazon pulls Trey to his feet by his hair, which gains him a lecture from Tony Lorenzo, who is promptly ignored by Corazon. Corazon looks at Trey, still holding him by the hair, then looks out to the crowd.
“SHOOT Project’s WAYWARD SON, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!”
Eryk Masters: This is ALSO something that was prevalent in the Reckoning Day 2010 match.
Other Guy: What, Corazon letting us know what he thinks?
“The INSPIRATIONAL SYMBOL AND HERO TO YOU ALL.”
Corazon whips Trey into the corner, and Trey lands with a thud. He hangs his arms up on the top ropes, almost trying to rest. Corazon gives Trey no quarter and flies into him with a hard elbow. He pulls Trey away from the ropes and then hits him with a knife edge chop which sends Trey back against the turnbuckle. Corazon charges at Trey one more time, but this time, Trey sidesteps Corazon again and quickly lays into Project: SCAR’s Black Death! The crowd goes nuts, and a “WILLETT” chant immediately breaks out!
Eryk Masters: Fascinating. Corazon’s mouth gets him in trouble once more, and you think… you FIGURE he would have learned something from the match with Trey at Reckoning Day, but I guess not. Arrogance is a killer, OG.
Other Guy: Blah blah blah “arrogance is a killer, OG”huehuehuehue.
Trey whips Corazon across the ring into the opposite turnbuckle, and follows behind him, but Corazon uses the momentum to propel himself over the turnbuckle and over Trey’s head! Surprised, Trey turns around and CORAZON HITS HIM WITH THE ACT OF INHUMANITY.
Other Guy: ARROGANCE IS A KILLER, ERYK MASTERS.
Eryk Masters: Ughh…
Tony Lorenzo shows Corazon the foot underneath the ropes, and Corazon is LIVID.
Eryk Masters: Feel like you’ve seen this before, OG?
Other Guy: Don’t wanna talk about it, E.
Corazon shoves Lorenzo out of the way and goes back to Trey. He pulls Trey back to his feet and says, “I’M GOING TO HIT YOU WITH THE ACT OF INHUMANITY AGAIN, TREY,” and as he says this, he kicks Trey in the gut, backs up two steps, and then goes for it, but Trey will have none of that! He basically catches Corazon and uses Corazon’s momentum to drive him into the ground with an ugly modified spinebuster, but instead of hitting his back, Corazon hits the back of his head! Trey seizes the opportunity and ascends the top rope!
Other Guy: You don’t think…
Eryk Masters: I DO think!
Trey comes off the top rope with the TREY50 SPLASH and lands FLUSH on Corazon! He stays on for the cover, and the crowd goes NUTS!
Other Guy: Ugh, no way.
Eryk Masters: YES WAY. YES FUCKING WAY. Trey Willett did it!
The crowd is VERY loud as Samantha Coil, with a big grin on her face, steps in to make the official announcement!
Samantha Coil: Your winnnner, at a time of sixteen minutes and eighteen seconds, and EARNING A PLACE IN THE 2011 MASTER OF THE MAT… SHOOT PROJECT’S WAYWARD SON… TREY WILLETT!!!
“Carry on my Wayward Son” hits the PA once more, as Trey grins and stands tall in the ring. Corazon, dejected, looks onward before also sliding out of the ring and moving back to the back.
Other Guy: Very impressive win for Trey, and under normal circumstances, we’d be closing the show here, but apparently we’re actually going to have this coronation business.
Eryk Masters: Word is that Jason Johnson actually agreed to come out to address X-Calibur and the Hierarchy, so it’s actually going to happen, and I suppose that’s next!
Eryk Masters: Oh no….
Other Guy: I guess it’s time for the “coronation”…?
“Summer Overture(LOTR remix)” by Clint Mansell hits. An ice cold vapor blankets Calgary as the fans in attendance fling their loathing like little yellow snowballs of hate.
First appears Azrael Goeren. The Megastar. The Sensation Not From This Nation.
Next appears Marcus Mirage. 3M. The Master Manipulator.
Then we see Gavrilovich Mikael Yurinov. Yuri. The Russian Assassin… in his potato sack of shame.
And FINALLY… Bryan Harris… who is pushing a wheelbarrow down the ramp chock full of wine bottles and other alcoholic assortments. Once starts begins pushing the wheelbarrow down the ramp, Goeren, Mirage, and Yuri follow suit and make their way down as well.
Mirage adjusting his mask, Yuri adjusting his potato sack of shame, Bryan Harris adjusting his Stetson Cowboy hat, and Azrael Goeren adjusting his long beautiful hair. Each man as photogenic as the next, they each take turns casually walking up the steel steps and into the ring. As Yuri sits on the middle rope, pulling up on the top one while ushering in Goeren and Mirage, Bryan Harris gently places a couple bottles on the announcer’s table, as well as underneath the bottom rope and into the ring.
Inside the ring, Mirage motions for the crowd to quiet down, following up his animated request for silence with a slashing motion across his throat with the mic.
… GIVE IT UP…
When the revulsion hits X-Calibur like a tsunami of hate, X-Calibur emerges from behind the curtains in a black and red pinstriped suit. PRADA of course, as our conqueror of Redemption Rumbles would accept nothing less. His once stylishly thrown about hair is now shaved down close to the scalp, and a sexy crimson pair of Ray-Bans shield his eyes from the thousands of camera flashes that would have otherwise blinded him. For our Redeemer of Heroes and Vanquisher of Villains, seeing his brethren standing in the ring applauding him is a more than welcome sight.
Bryan Harris: YES!!! YES!!! BRAVO, X!!! BRAVO!!
Eryk Masters: Ugh… would you sit down?!
The camera momentarily shifts from X-Calibur making his way down the ramp to Bryan Harris standing up at the announcer’s table, clapping loudly for his hero. Swinging back around to X-Calibur, we see him stop in his tracks at the top of the ramp. Looking down momentarily, X-Calibur drops to one knee and spreads his arms wide for the entire audience. As soon as he does this, golden flakes of pyro fall from high above down to the entrance area in a cascading waterfall of awesomeness. Dodging a few pieces of trash here and there, X’s countenance is brimming with delight as a smirk escapes his lips.
Standing back to his feet, X-Calibur slowly saunters down the ramp, casually reading some of the brilliant signs that the Canadian audience have fashioned. Among the brilliance were signs like, “ Eryk Vagina Warren”, and “X-Fagibur”. One sign in particular that hangs over the railing in the front row , “The Hierarchy Sucks!”, elicits a shake of the head from X. Ripping the sign out of the young fan’s hands, X clutches it at his side like a notebook as he walks the rest of the way up the aisle.
Pausing just before he hits the ring, X raises both of his arms in the air as several explosions of pyro start about above the ring and circle both perimeters of the arena before culminating in a brilliant crescendo above the entrance area, killing off the cascading waterfall that had still been going on.
Eryk Masters: That is A LOT of pryo.
Bryan Harris:Damn straight it is, Eryk! Best pyrotechnics the Hierarchy can buy!
Other Guy: Well, at least it’s over.
Bryan Harris: …over?! Who said it was over!
Rolling into the ring, X-Calibur immediately climbs the turnbuckle and points out at the audience while shouting, “I TOLD YOU SO!” at various indignants. Just then, ANOTHER explosion of pyro clangs loudly above them, followed by the fluttering of little red and black pieces of confetti. While the audience bathes in the confetti, another single explosion emanates high above and a GIANT tarp rolls down with a 20-foot by 20-foot painting of a naked X-Calibur lying horizontally on a couch drawn in the middle. It must’ve taken DAYS to accomplish such a piece of artistry, and that’s just taking his “package” into consideration.
Underneath the gigantic nude tarp painting in big red letters are the words, “CONGRATULATIONS, MR. VAN WARREN!!”.
Eryk Masters: You have GOT… to… be… fucking… shitting me.
Other Guy: I’m… I’m speechless.
Bryan Harris: (wiping tear) This is better than anything Picasso could’ve come up with.
As the production team works tirelessly from their truck to blur out the obscene portions of the tarp, X-Calibur simply beams with joyous abandon at the congratulatory painting above them. Fans meanwhile, maintain their resentment and throw as much trash as they can up at the completely unexaggerated endowments of the painting.
Once “Change” fades away, the audience delivers a scintillating wave of detestation.
Laughing, X requests a microphone, to which his brother in arms, Azrael Goeren, hands him one. As he taps the top of the microphone, cutting off their hateful chants with the booming effects of his tapping, X speaks into the microphone, at last.
X-Calibur: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN…. WELCOME!!! WELCOME TO MY CORONATION CEREMONY… WELCOME, TO THE DAWN OF A NEW ERA IN THE SHOOT PROJECT!!
His voice softens a little bit.
X-Calibur: Welcome… to the beginning of the end of the Jason Johnson era! You see, ladies and gentlemen, while tonight we certainly celebrate my awe-inspiring victory in the Redemption Rumble, tonight is about much, much, MUCH more than that. Tonight… heh… TONIGHT is about the Hierarchy finally getting what is OWED. TO. US.
Shaking away some of the confetti, X removes his sunglasses and hangs them inside the neckline of his suit. Grabbing his Hierarchy brothers by their shoulders so that they are all standing at each other’s side, he continues.
X-Calibur: Jason… I know you’re watching. I know you’re back there, wincing in your shitty little Sears suit at this PROUD and DESERVING display of affection that my Hierarchy brothers here have provided to me with an unbelievable… unconditional… uhh… un-credible, amount of respect.
Eryk Masters: Did he really just say un-credible?!
Bryan Harris: Shut the hell up. It’s in the dictionary, you dumb ass!
Eryk Masters: Dumb ass?!
Other Guy: Guys. Please?
X-Calibur: I know you’re back there watching… with Rocky and Loco (pop)… with that idiot Donovan… (POP)…
He pauses. Looking out at everyone, he chooses his next words meticulously.
X-Calibur: … with the pathetic little loser that I threw out last in my long, LONG line of eliminations to win the Redemption Rumble… Jonas.
HUGE pop. Panties are soaked. Even some of the guys are hard with admiration. The crowd goes utterly insane at the mere mention of Jonas’ name, and before X-Calibur can even continue, they let their voices be heard once more.
WE WANT JO-NAS!
WE WANT JO-NAS!
Looking a little surprised by the reaction of this Canadian crowd, X nods his head in a look that could only be described as “De Niro-esque”: intrigue mixed with indifference. Raising the mic to his lips again, X continues on.
X-Calibur: ANYWAY. I’m sure Jason is watching with these retards, wishing he could’ve done things a little bit differently last year. Wishing to GOD HIMSELF that he had just… just acquiesced Herr Goeren’s demands and given the RIGHTFUL MAN complete control of the entire SHOOT Project. I mean, just think about! Jason could’ve been sailing on a yacht somewhere over the Atlantic by now with a procession of hot bitches taking turns riding his Illustrious Johnson…
He sighs. Looking briefly at the rest of the Hierarchy, and for a moment, up at the piece of art hanging for the entire world to see, he continues.
X-Calibur: … but instead, like all politicians and subsequent oppressors of this world that are simply hell-bent on making hard-working, good-natured people’s lives absolutely MISERABLE, he remained in his seat of power. Well, I am here today to tell all of you… that things are about to change. Tonight, Jason is going to do what’s right and just… and give Azrael Goeren the title of CEO of SHOOT Project.
X-Calibur: … but before he does that? Jason is going to hand ME something. He’s going to hand me… not some shitty looking plaque that might as well hang in a the foyer of an IHOP… but a CROWN. A FUCKING CROWN FOR A TRUE KING. KING… OF THE 2011 REDEMPTION RUMBLE. KING… OF THE ENTIRE SHOOT PR-
“And you know that I’ve come to collect!”
A voice shouts out, as the arena goes black as the crowd EXPLODES!!
Eryk Masters: Holy SHIT!!
Soon, a high tempo metal beat kicks in, and a guitar picks up. Killer drums follow!
“This man came to me he was looking for action!
Pulling a blade to my neck”
Images of Jonas Coleman take over the PA, where various shots of him in various modes of violence show, all from his complete decimation of Akuma Satsui. The crowd comes alive!
Eryk Masters: New theme music!
“He said, ‘Call me THE BUTCHER cause that’s my trade
And you know that I’ve come to collect.”
White strobes begin flashing over the arena, and then return to the rhythm of the music, as the crowd begins to clap along with it, rocking along with the beat!
Other Guy: THEY seem to be into it. The Hierarchy on the other hand, not so much!
Eryk Masters: Jonas Coleman is CRASHING the coronation! They’ve gotta be pissed!
Then, Jonas Coleman appears at the top of the ramp and the noise level literally rattles the building with a HUUUUUUUGE pop for the Bad Ass Brotherhood superstar. He’s dressed in street clothes. A pair of jeans, a BUTCHER t-shirt, and a pair of black Oakley’s cover his eyes. His hair’s pulled back, and he has a microphone. He lets the music carry on for a few more seconds before quickly calling for a cut.
He stands silent, as the crowd noise grows behind him. He stares down towards the ring, and has clearly gotten the attention of X-Calibur, 2011’s Redemption Rumble winner. Then, he pulls his sunglasses off, revealing two blue eyes that are the epitome of seriousness.
Jonas Coleman: It’d be easy… easy to come out here and whine to everyone. Tell them that even though I went through SO much… stopped at NOTHING… that the Hierarchy stole the Redemption Rumble.
Jonas Coleman: But that’s not the message I’m here to convey, X. Part of the Rumble is having to deal with all that excess bullshit. So congratulations. Let me clap for you.
He places the microphone down, and then claps a few times, before picking it back up. The fans laugh. The Hierarchy do NOT look pleased.
Jonas Coleman: When you won the Redemption Rumble, the sound you heard from the life blood of this organization… the sound you heard was that of deflation. They knew that with you in a position of great power, things… things were going to get really ugly, really quickly.
Jonas starts pacing around the top of the ramp.
Jonas Coleman: I take the blame for that.
The fans start to boo again, but quiet down a bit as Jonas holds a hand up.
Jonas Coleman: The good thing about taking responsibility for something is allowing yourself the ability and the chance… to rectify the situation.
X-Calibur’s eyes get wide as Jonas focuses in. Picking up the Champaign flute Mirage had filled earlier, X chugs it down real fast, looking a little annoyed by Jonas’ interruption.
Jonas Coleman: And that… THAT, X. That’s what I plan to do. I PLAN to rectify the mistake I made. No matter WHAT I have to do.
Jonas Coleman: I think you know what that means. But… I also know what you’re already thinking.
Jonas Coleman: Akuma Satsui, Dave Dymond, and X-Calibur… one of those things is not like the other, right? You know you’re cunning… you know you’ve got numbers on your side. Here’s the catch, though, X.
He pauses again.
Jonas Coleman: I know those things too. It’s… well, it’s easy to prepare when you know what to prepare for, you know? I know that when… yes, I said when, not if… WHEN I come down there and continue to shit on your party? I see Yuri… I see Goeren… I see Mirage, but most importantly, X? The most important guest to this party?
He smiles, as the fans continue to get loud.
Jonas Coleman: The most important guest to the “GETS FUCKED UP BY THE BUTCHER EXTRAVAGANZA”… is YOU.
The fans LOSE IT..
Jonas Coleman: It’s you, X. How does that make you feel? Hmm?
He continues pacing, but shortens his distance to the top of the ramp.
Jonas Coleman: I’m not going to tell you who I am. I’m not going to tell you what I do. You know what they call me. I’m not going to claim that I’m anything that I’m not. I’m not the last hope of the SHOOT Project. Not by a long shot. I’m just a guy, you know? Just a dude, and in a few short seconds?
He starts to walk down the ramp.
Jonas Coleman: In a few short seconds… you and I will have our formal introduction.
The crowd pops HUGE for that as Jonas drops the mic, tosses his sunglasses into the crowd, and pulls his t-shirt off.
Eryk Masters: Listen to this crowd!
Jonas starts making his way down the ramp, but before he makes it to the bottom of it a man jumps over the guardrail and before anyone can let out a warning, he leaps up with a...
Other Guy: NINJAGUIRI!
The fans boo loudly as Cade Sydal pushes to his feet, unzipping the SHOOT Project hoodie that helped mask his identity for a brief moment and throws it down on Jonas' chest, Cade pulls up the leg of his pants to reveal a crowbar taped to his shin. He turns around and looks up into the ting at X-Calibur and the rest of the Hierarchy. But mostly, at X-Calibur.
Bryan Harris: I know he's not about to be stupid enough to get in the ring with my boys, is he?! I’m not sure who’s dumber… Jonas or Cade.
Other Guy: Well I seriously doubt the World Champion is stupid enough to want any part of you guys, Bryan.
Bryan Harris: Oh you, Other Person… you actually say that as if he’s going to hold onto that title. Hahahaha…
Slowly Cade begins to smirk, cocking his head he points at X and mockingly fires off the finger-gun at him, before blowing out the imaginary smoke coming from his finger. He turns and begins to walk up the ramp, giving one last passing glance at Jonas on his way to the back.
Eryk Masters: What the hell was that even about?!
Other Guy: Yikes! Folks, we are out of time! Until next time… OG and EM out!
Bryan Harris: GO HIERARCHY, WOOOO!!!!
The final seconds of our feed before the screen fades to black show The Hierarchy leaving the ring, one by one, as well as Bryan Harris removing his headset and joining the procession leaving the ringside area.
One by one they leave the scene of the crime, all of them, X-Calibur especially, nonchalantly stepping over the unconscious body of Jonas Coleman.