We open to a blue screen.  The screen flickers as if it were a poorly maintained VHS tape.  There is an audible hum as the tape begins.

The Bad Ass Brotherhood and The SHOOT Project on Tag Team Wrestling.

We see an image of the Bad Ass Brotherhood Patch and the SHOOT Project Helmet.

The Bad Ass Brotherhood supports tag team wrestling, having chosen to become tag team wrestlers in the face of a non-existent tag team division or support from the wrestling community.

We see the Bad Ass Brotherhood holding the CWC World Tag Team Championships in one hand…and the SHOOT Project World Tag Team Championship belts in the other.

The SHOOT Project not only opposes tag team wrestling, SHOOT allows singles competitors with no prior ample tag team experience to become tag team champions.

The image changes to Johnny Napalm and Dan Stein holding the tag team titles in victory.  The image turns to one of Tanya Black.

One such singles competitor was Tanya Black who nearly ruined the Sin City division, winning the title something like two times.  I don’t know, I don’t really follow bad wrestling.  SHOOT saw fit to allow her the ability to form a tag team with perennial failure Chance Ryan.

An image of Chance Ryan, dressed as FLASH Dynamite is shown.

As an alleged tag team, the Sinister Syndicate managed to procure the tag team titles through nefarious means.  Their inexperience and awfulness as a tag team allowed no substantial reign as champions, losing to another singles competitors turned partners tandem.

We see the Syndicate losing to the Genesis Corporation of Corey Lazarus and Ron Barker.

The SHOOT Project has a long history of terrible singles competitors being placed together in tag teams, only to collapse under the weight of their own ineptitude.

The screen then flashes to show Instant Heat, then Stellar Insanity, then Hardcore Style, then the Beautiful People, then Long Island Hardcore.

The SHOOT Project repeatedly placed their tag team division in the hands of other inept teams.  Some being sad tag teams with no prior experience, others sad tag teams with no prior importance in professional wrestling constantly failing either the fans or the SHOOT Project.

The screen flashes now to show each of these teams walking away from the ring, their faces sullen after one of their probable myriad losses.

Perennial failures.

As see the SHOOT Project Helmet again.

SHOOT Project on tag team wrestling.

We see the Bad Ass Brotherhood walking from the ring, the SHOOT Project World Tag Team Championships on their respective shoulders.

The Bad Ass Brotherhood.

SHOOT Project Tag Team Cornerstone.

SHOOT Project World Tag Team Champions.

2013.

 

 

A golden fuse on the blacktop of the Las Vegas Strip lights up the screen.  It races towards the SHOOT Project Epicenter, which the camera pans up to reveal.  “The Crazy Ones” by Stellar Revival kicks in as the fuse ignites the SHOOT Project Helmet.

We are the new-school, no rules

Needle in a haystack

The first image is Donovan King, standing at the entrance to the arena with the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship on his shoulder, flashing quickly to Dan Stein, a grin on his face as he saunters down to the ring.  It cuts to Maya Nakashima kneeling in the ring, his arms outstretched as he looks to the skylights.

We are the outsiders, all nighters

Scream if you're a badass!

It shows Jonas Coleman marching down to the ring as Lunatikk Crippler is shown getting in someone’s face.  The scene cuts to Charles Brandon Magnus and Buck Dresden with their titles held high in the air for a moment before we catch a brief view of El Asso Wipo breaking every back in existence while Silas Mitchell looks on, his face twisted in consternation.  We see Jacob Mephisto slowly leaning in and whispering into the ear of some unknown Soldier as he stares at the camera, a grin forming on his face.

We are the wheels that keep turning

Long Island Hardcore individually during the Redemption Rumble, laying the heat on their opponents.  It flashes to Johnny Napalm hoisting the Tag Team Championship in the air, cutting quickly to Thomas Manchester Black shouting out to the fans in attendance, which quickly cuts to Chance Ryan glaring at the camera, Cade Sydal behind him with a smirk on his face.  We see Cronos Diamante sparring with Edmund Augustus Shan before it cuts to Henry Gordon wringing his hands with a grin on his face.

We are the heart breakers, risk takers

Anything but boring

Laura Seton helping to eliminate Jaime Alejandro is shown as Corey Lazarus is arguing with a referee before we see Solomon Richards nods his head to the camera.  We then see Ja Gi Kyung-Moon flying over the top rope into the ring.

'Cause we are the crazy ones

The mavericks, the dreamers, the forgotten sons

Mason Pierce drops to the floor, leaving his partner to be victimized before we cut to ANARCHY saluting the fans as they stand at the entrance.  Kenji Yamada has Flay Rios by her cheeks and slaps her across the face as he glares into her sad eyes.

We color outside the lines for fun

We are the crazy ones

Johnny Napalm is covered in blood, staggering around with a gigantic grin on his face.  Obsidian lords over a fallen foe as Isaac Entragian puts his arm around Elizabeth Gaunt, glaring down at Maya Nakashima.

'Cause we are the crazy ones

The badass, outcast, son of a guns

Mason Pierce takes a harsh pile driver through the flaming table from Kenji Yamada.  Thomas Manchester Black trades hits against Corey Lazarus.  We then see Tanya Black holding her belt high before it cuts to her nailing a picture perfect dropkick to an unknown foe.

We march to the beat of a different drum

We are the crazy ones

We are the crazy ones

Henry Gordon stands tall in the ring, severely winded, as it cuts to Dan Stein holding Minxy Jones’ mask high above his head as a trophy.

One of a kind, believe it

So stand up and make 'em see it

YEAH!

The guitar solo brings us to Donovan King hitting the Dealbreaker on Mason Pierce, then Corazon hitting the Act of Inhumanity on Isaac Entragian, then Jester Smiles connecting with the Virginia Sidekick on Lunatikk Crippler, then Jaime Alejandro wailing away at Obsidian, backing the monster against the ropes.  We see Drew Stevenson slapping the hands of a few fans before it cuts to David Miller, standing in a dimly lit ring, his head bowed and sweat dripping from his head.

'Cause we are the crazy ones

The mavericks, the dreamers, the forgotten sons

Isaac Entragian lights Jaime Alejandro’s uniform on fire cuts to Laura Seton hitting a flying crossbody to Dan Stein.

We color outside the lines for fun

We are the crazy ones

Corazon catches Isaac Entragian with the Act of Inhumanity and Phillip Goodman smirks at the camera.

'Cause we are the crazy ones

The badass, outcast, son of a guns

Lunatikk Crippler throws his head back, his silken, ebony locks flowing back in slow motion gets quickly cut Alex Brooks sprinting to the ring.

We march to the beat of a different drum

We are the crazy ones

The SHOOT Project Helmet reappears on screen, in golden flame against a black background.

WE ARE THE CRAZY ONES

REVOLUTION.

 

 

 

Inside the arena the fans are absolutely HATING life, booing and yelling and trying to drown out of the sounds of “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang that plays over the sound system. Dancing inside the ring are tens of women, enough women to cover the entire canvas.

Eryk Masters: What is setting these fans off here?

Other Guy: Uh, Masters? I think I just found out why…

A banner hangs down from the ceiling with Dan Stein’s bright, smiling picture, from his head down to his waistline, abs fully exposed. The banner reads, “Dan Stein Presents: A Celebration, with Johnny Napalm”.

Eryk Masters: Oh God.

Other Guy: Your favorite wrestler is coming out here, you should be so happy!

GOLD-EN SHOW-ERS

GOLD-EN SHOW-ERS

GOLD-EN SHOW-ERS

Eryk Masters: Yeah, that’s about my feelings on him as well.

Other Guy: C’mon, that’s not something you should be saying about the Number One Contender!

Eryk Masters: Should’ve been Coraz-

“YOU’VE GOT THE TOUCH!”

Eryk Masters: Oh, boy.

The women in the ring stop dancing, turn towards the ramp and begin clapping. The music cuts out entirely, leaving the arena in silence – save for the unbelievable amount of hate being spewed from the fans. Suddenly!

Then, My Darkest Days song “Porn Star Dancing” starts, and a familiar voice over top of even that.

Molly the Assistant: Now making their way to the ring…

Out from the back walks Johnny Napalm with the SHOOT Project Tag Team Championship belt over his shoulder. The massive man has his hands raised high, giving the devil horns with each hand. Each and every fan in the arena boos, waiting for Napalm’s partner.

Eryk Masters: Well, here’s the brawn of the tag team. Where are the supposed brains?

Napalm looks around the arena, smiling at the chorus. The music plays on, he bobs his head to the rhythmic beat before reaching into his back pocket, pulling out a microphone.

Other Guy: Well, it looks like Napalm has something to say before we get our SAVIOR’S grand entrance!

Johnny Napalm: You sound…upset, Las Vegas.

The reaction from the crowd can only confirm his response. Napalm adjusts the Tag Team Championship belt on his shoulder.

Johnny Napalm: Good. You should be. You just watched the last time new SHOOT Project Tag Team Champions will be crowned… EVER.

Eryk Masters: We’ll see about that!

Other Guy: Do you not agree with Napalm here, or with Stein entirely?

Eryk Masters: YES.

Johnny Napalm: See, my partner and I.

BOO! THUNDER falls from the rafters on Napalm at the idea.

Johnny Napalm: MY PARTNER and I…are the two most dominant men in SHOOT Project. When Dan Stein isn’t SINGLE HANDEDLY BEATING 34 OTHER PEOPLE…

I’m laying waste to everything in my six foot nine inch path. I am the one that HURTS people. I am the one with the BOOK of VIOLENCE. I am the one that pinned DINA BRYCE. Not Dan Stein.

I was the one that GAVE you people the BEST tag team to EVER grace SHOOT Project.

The fans obviously don’t believe that.

Johnny Napalm: Better than the Bad Ass Brotherhood.

BOO!

Johnny Napalm: Better than Beautiful People

BOOO!

Johnny Napalm: And better…than…you, Instant Heat!

Eryk Masters: WHOA! Big words from the big man!

The fans CANNOT stand Napalm any longer.

Johnny Napalm: So. Without further ado. Hit OUR music.

Once again, “Porn Star Dancing” plays. The fans ABSOLUTELY HATE this, leaving Napalm with a smile and his hands raised.

Molly the Assistant: The man standing in front of you is the six foot nine inch massive force to reckoned with, JOHNNY NAPALM! AND HIS TAG TEAM PARTNER!

Other Guy: Say what you will about Dan Stein, he’s been on an absolute TEAR right now.

Eryk Masters: I can barely hear you right now, and you’re sitting next to me. I don’t think anyone is singing Dan Stein’s praises.

She wraps those hands around that pole

She licks those lips and off we go

She takes it off nice and slow

Because that's porn star dancin'

Stein GALLOPS out from the back Gangnam Style, title around his waist, exposed by his cut off Stein Project t-shirt, and a HUGE smile on his face. As he moves over in front of Napalm, he throws his arms out egging on the boos with his eyes closed. Stein takes a deep breath and opens his eyes. Stein moves down the ramp, Napalm follows, and Molly the Assistant, Tempest and Selena all pour out from the back.

Molly the Assistant: He’s the blonde haired, blue eyed FACE of SHOOT Project, a two time Iron Fist Champion, Sin City Champion, the TWO THOUUUUUSAAAANDDDD AND TWELVEEEEEEE REDEMPTION. RUMBLE. WINNER. TOGETHER WITH JOHNNY NAPALM, THEY ARE THE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, MAKING HIS WAY TO THE RING AT THIS TIME, YOUR NUMBER. ONE. CONTENDER.

DAN…  THHHHEEEE GOLD-EN BOY… STEIN!

Dan stands in front of the ring, and Napalm stands next to him. All of the women in the ring try to reach through the ropes trying to grab for him and Stein BEGS them to continue, but Napalm walks over to the apron, grabs the top rope and PULLS himself up, causing all of the women to slowly move back. Stein looks over at Molly, who hands her microphone to someone on the road staff, and then to the fans before jumping up and rolling into the ring with the title belt around his waist. The girls try to mob him, but Napalm pushes them back like a giant brick wall. The sound is deafening as Stein grabs Napalm’s microphone from him, watching as all the women that were in the ring disperse back up the ramp with sad faces. Stein smirks, running his fingertips down his abdomen and over the Tag Team Championship belt.

Dan Stein: Jealous? You should be. Each and every one of you should be jealous of me right now. Tag Team Champion. NUMBER. ONE. CONTENDER. SEXIST man in SHOOT Project.

DAN HAS HER-PES

DAN HAS HER-PES

DAN HAS HER-PES

DAN HAS HER-PES

Eryk Masters: More believable than these clowns being the best tag team in SHOOT Project history.

Dan Stein: Yeah, that’s cute. Keep chanting, keep REASSURING me of your JEALOUSY.

DAN HAS HER-PES

DAN HAS HER-PES

DAN HAS HER-PES

DAN HAS HER-PES

Stein drops the microphone from his mouth looking over at Napalm for a moment with his smirk.

Dan Stein: Here I stand in front of you, SHOOT Project, CELEBRATING with my TAG TEAM PARTNER, our courageous win over Genesis Corporation at Revolution 104, Champions Edition, and you have to ruin it with your vain attempts to hurt my feelings? Tsk tsk, SHOOT Project. Seems pretty jerkish to me.

But that’s fine. It’s be expected when you get all of your chants, all of your hate mail, all of your emails and disrespectful tweets thrown back in your faces like you were not only in my match with Ainsley. I won that one.

Eryk Masters: You busted her jaw with a pair of brass knuckles!

Other Guy: To be fair, I think it was the superkick that did it.

Eryk Masters: Shut up!

Other Guy: …let it go, Man.

Dan Stein: And after the REDEMPTION RUMBLE where I ELIMINATED THE BLACK DEATH OF SHOOT PROJECT, ADRIAN CORAZON! You’re welcome, by the way.

Eryk Masters: After Entragian distracted him for you.

Dan Stein: And again, when I won THIS GOLD BELT AT THE SHOW I REDEDICATED TO MYSELF, CHAMPION’S EDITION! And now you have to watch me go up against Donovan King and win the World Heavyweight Championship. Man. It sucks to be all of you. Lunatikk Crippler especially.

CHEERS! For the first time, CHEERS!

Dan Stein: Oh, you’re cheering Crippler? That’s funny; I remember when he was claiming to be the rightful World Heavyweight Champion this week, is that something you agree with?

CHEER!

Dan Stein: But…but Donovan King is the rightful World Heavyweight Champion, and I made SURE of that at Revolution 104, as well!

Eryk Masters: No you didn’t. Corazon did, you just hit King in the back of the head with his own belt.

Other Guy: You want cheese with that whine, Masters?

Dan Stein: Crippler LOST his chance to be World Heavyweight Champion when he let it go to the score cards. Move over Crippler, it’s MY turn no-

The opening of "The Sound of Madness" kicks on, and the fans continue this blessed interruption by cheering like crazy. Lunatikk Crippler, The Whole Fucked Up Show himself, wastes no time in making his entrance, eyes fixed on the duo in the ring.

Eryk Masters: FINALLY, someone has arrived to shut Stein's mouth!

Other Guy: Now, don't jump to conclusions! Maybe he just couldn't hear in the locker room!

Eryk Masters: These men have been trading venom all week long going into tonight's main event, so I seriously doubt he's here to listen to what Dan Stein has to say.

Crippler pulls a microphone out of his back pocket and raises it up to his mouth. The music shuts off, and the arena is still shaking with cheering fans. Stein does not look amused, as he stands half behind Johnny Napalm, who is eyeing Crippler with distaste. Obviously, these men do not like to be interrupted, and obviously, Crippler doesn't care.

Lunatikk Crippler: Don't bother complaining, Daniel, there isn't a single person in this arena tonight that's gonna throw you a pity party because I came out here and interrupted you.

The crowd pops, and Stein looks outraged.

Dan Stein: You shut your whore mouth! THIS IS MY CELEBRATION! This is my time to -

Lunatikk Crippler: It's your time to shut the fuck and listen to what I have to say!

The crowd pops again, and Stein moves to rush Crippler, all the way at the top of the ramp, but Napalm blocks his path with his arm. Stein points at Crippler from under Napalm's armpit.

Lunatikk Crippler: Far as I was concerned, the time for us talking was through. Far as I knew, the time for us to get in that ring and fight was supposed to be at hand. You wanna come out here and have your secretary run down your list of achievements, that's fine. You wanna come out here and talk about how it feels to win the Redemption Rumble, and win the Tag Team Titles with the King of New Nicknames over there, that's cool, too.

The crowd pops. Stein and Napalm are both irate, with Napalm silently challenging Crippler to come down to the ring.

Lunatikk Crippler: Don't worry, big man, I'll be down in that ring soon enough. Fact is, though, you wanna come back out here and put my name in your mouth, I'm not gonna let you do that without letting you know exactly what I think.

The crowd cheers some more, and Crippler pauses. He tilts his head toward the crowd, grinning, before raising the mic back to his lips.

Lunatikk Crippler: You're right, Dan. I had a shot. At Redemption, I took Donovan King to the limit, and guess what? I pinned Donovan King, right in the center of the ring. And yes, Dan, I already know what you're thinking: Yes, I also tapped out to Donovan King.

Dan Stein: YOU TAPPED OUT TO YOUR OWN MOVE!

Lunatikk Crippler: Thank you, Captain Obvious, now stop interrupting me. God, that shit is rude.

Crippler enjoys a laugh with the crowd at Stein's expense.

Other Guy: Says the man interrupting Dan Stein.

Eryk Masters: Yes, OG, that was the joke.

Lunatikk Crippler: You're twisting the words around, Dan. I never once stated that Donovan King should not be World Champion.

The crowd murmurs its assent. Stein shakes his head.

Lunatikk Crippler: The fact is, what I said was I should be the number one contender.

The crowd pops again, and Stein's anger remains, but he gets a twisted smirk on his face. He raises the mic up to his lips to respond.

Dan Stein: You…should be…the number one contender?

The crowd pops HUGE.

Dan Stein: You, the man who admits he’s already tapped to Donovan King, think you should be the number one contender over the Redemption Rumble winner? The winner of the most prestigious event in all of wrestling? You think YOU should be Number One Contender?

Lunatikk Crippler: You know what? Yeah, Danny. Yeah I do. At least I'd bring a little bit of class to the title. A little bit of respect.

Stein smirks, looking over at Crippler. Stein turns back towards the fans.

Dan Stein: You hear that? He wants to ignore the status of the Redemption Rumble winner. THIS man, claims to want to bring CLASS to title? Yet he gets in my business three consecutive shows in a row. Class, ladies and gentlemen. Napalm, send him to the back. The REAL Number One Contender is in the ring.

Napalm walks to the ropes, stepping over the top with one foot before Lunatikk Crippler cuts him off.

Lunatikk Crippler: Watch yourself, big man, I'm not afraid to make you tap out. Again.

The crowd pops and Napalm takes his place on the outside of the ring now, baring his teeth threateningly at Crippler.

Lunatikk Crippler: You're right, Dan. You're the number one contender. You have earned a shot, but not at my expense. I'm not one of the guys you threw over the top rope. So let me make it as plain as nose on your face.

Crippler extends his arm, pointing down at Stein.

Lunatikk Crippler: You best me tonight? I'll be done with you. I won't stick my nose in the middle if your World title business. Hell, I won't even challenge you if you walk out of Reckoning Day with that belt.

Dan Stein: DEAL.

Lunatikk Crippler: IF......if I beat you, you'll go to Donovan King, you'll go to Jason Johnson, and you'll tell them to make the Reckoning Day main event a triple threat match!

The crowd goes absolutely BANANAS.

Eryk Masters: YES. HE SAID DEAL!

Other Guy: He said DEAL before that stipulation was made! That’s not fair to our Number One Contender!

Stein looks over at Napalm with a smile before looking back at Crippler.

Dan Stein: Yeah, I’m not a lawyer or anything, but I slept with one a while back and she told me that once a contract has been formed, changes can’t be added without consent of the parties present. And, yeah, I don’t consent to your erroneous stipulation. Thank you for signing over your rights to challenge, that’s all you get.

Lunatikk Crippler: Wow, Golden Boy, you slept with a lawyer. Probably should have banged another, because a deal ain't a deal unless both parties agree. But it's cool. I have my ways of getting you to give me what I want.

Dan Stein: No you don't.

Lunatikk Crippler: Oh, yes. I do. I keep a special bag of rusty thumbtacks for just an occasion. Tell me, Dan, how many women will want to sleep with you when you become my person pin cushion?

The fans seem to like the sound of that, but it's safe to say that Dan Stein does not. Stein talks through his teeth.

Dan Stein: More women will sleep with me once I'm the World Heavyweight Champion.

Lunatikk Crippler: But what if I wrap your face in barbed wire? I got the idea watching LIHC battling Sammy and Jester, but it kinda works all the same. Nobody will touch you if it looks like you chew razor blades for fun.

Stein huffs, looking over at Molly.

Dan Stein: He won't do that, will he?

Molly looks over at Crippler and back to Stein, nodding. Stein sighs, lifting his head high in the air to look at the ceiling.

Dan Stein: Why? Why Lou? Why can't I just get the one-on-one match that was promised to me when I won the Redemption Rumble?

Lunatikk Crippler: Is that what you really want, Dan? Maybe you challenge King all by yourself. Maybe you win. But do you want your challenge to be lessened because you were.....afraid to take on all challengers? Do you really want people to think you're a coward because you're scared to face the big, bad Crippler?

Dan Stein: I'm more worried about scarring than what anyone thinks about me.

Stein sighs.

Dan Stein: FINE.

Stein takes a deep breath.

Dan Stein: If you agree not to get in my business if you lose, I agree to let you in the main event WITH ME AND King at Reckoning Day if you win the match tonight.

Eryk Masters: YES!

Other Guy: Classless, Crippler. Classless.

The crowd absolutely blows up with that announcement. Crippler's grin widens on his face, as he's just heard what he wants to hear.

Lunatikk Crippler: Awesome, I knew you'd see things my way. Well, I guess there's nothing left to do but wait. Take care, Danny boy, because you're in for a long night.

Dan Stein: Go fuck yourself, Lou.

Stein LAUNCHES his microphone at Crippler, listening to it bounce and scream over the PA system. Crippler can only smile as Stein ducks his head into Molly’s chest for consoling.

;Voice: "…And then there was one.";

The strange statement fills the black void, until the feed is able to brighten, revealing the desolate loading dock of the Epicenter. Steel crates litter the area, along with coils of heavy wire and replacement struts for the video-wall or stage. Navigating the maze of debris, the camera soon find the man behind the voice - the newest acquisition of SHOOT Project: David Miller. He leans against the concrete wall, arms folded and his head bowed, leaving his face hidden by the shadow of his hood. Emblazoned on the front of the sleeveless hoodie is the red, white and blue shield of the ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ clothing brand; a wide-jawed Rattler can be seen bursting through the logo, venom dripping from the bared fangs.

;Miller: "No less than a week ago, I made my formal introduction to Jason Johnson’s little ‘Pet Project.’ Whether people paid attention, or just wrote me off as another swollen ego, I don’t know, and to be honest, I don’t fuckin’ care. I told you my name…and as for where I’ve been and what I’ve done, you’ll find it all in that fancy little profile they gave me on the website. But I guess we know one person who paid attention, now don’t we? From what I was told, not three hours after I posted that video online…Kandi Washington decided to crawl away with her tail tucked exactly like the little bitch I pegged her to be.";

A smirk curls the mouth of the "Assassin," as he gives a minor shake of his head. For a brief instant, it seems as though he’s going to look into the camera, but his head remains bowed, his expression hidden…

;Miller: "…and she wasn’t alone. Apparently I was all too right about little Copeland, too. The self-proclaimed ‘Technical Prodigy’ has vacated his spot in the match tonight…for lesser competition.";

What sounds like a breathless, and humorless laugh causes the man’s shoulders to shake, before he slowly begins to lift his head. As soon as the spotlight atop the camera strikes his eyes, they flare like emerald fire, the flecks only adding to the illusion, like droplets of molten gold as he peers unblinking into the lens.

;Miller: "I made myself clear as crystal. Anyone who didn’t know who I was, or what I was about…only needed to tune in tonight for the answers. Lucky them. Instead of wasting my time carrying three sacks of shit to a mediocre match, I get to focus all my attention, all my time, and all my effort on one sorry little bastard by the name of Damian Hellions. And I have to admit…I’m more than a little disappointed in him. Not long before I got here, he was prepped to become the next big thing in SHOOT. Equal parts anxious and eager to step into that ring…well…tonight’s the night, and no-one’s heard from the little fuck since…well, since you-know-who signed his name to the dotted line. But…wouldn’t be the first time I’ve won without having to set foot inside an arena.";

Slowly moving away from the wall, Miller pulls a single hand free, reaching up to scratch a thumbnail along the side of his nose, that smirk melting into a more-pronounced smile, cold and callous, as he brings that unyielding glare back to the camera.

;Miller: "Needless to say, you won’t be seeing me at my best tonight. Much as I’d love to spend the full ten minute limit walking Hellions through the damned clinic…I’d just as soon leave some small piece of him left behind…just in case he’s fucked up enough to try again. That fact aside, though, I do hope the ‘Soldiers of SHOOT’ are paying attention. Silent as I’ve been the past few days, I’ve heard every last word tied to my name…not the least of all being Jamie Alejandro’s career-endangering mistake of calling me a ‘Rookie,’ of all things. Why is that, Jamie? Because I haven’t earned my place in your eyes? Because I’m the ‘new blood’ with something to prove? Tell you what, pendejo, you want to play that game? You know where to find me. And don’t think hiding behind your duties as a ‘Champion’ will protect you, either. Title or no, if I ever, and I do mean EVER hear you brush me aside like that again…well…let’s just say Damian’s little experience tonight should make a detailed enough preview in itself. You watch…and watch close. You let me know if I still look like a fucking ‘rookie’ when they’re wheeling what’s left of him to the back on a gurney…alright?";

Disturbingly enough, Miller’s eyes seem to glean with hope at the thought of the Iron Fist Champion daring to stand by his words. The glimpse of emotion from the normally stone-faced fighter is over as quickly as it came, however, as the smile melts away, and the chiseled mask soon restores itself once again.

;Miller: "On the slim chance I haven’t made myself clear enough…I’m not here to be some loyal little soldier. I’m not here to pander to the crowd. I’m not here to see my name etched into the history books…it’s already there. David Miller has come to the SHOOT Project because the Johnsons were the only ones willing to see me walk through their doors. Every other promotion in the States, in the Americas…in the world…knew better, and they learned their lesson the hard way. But, I’m here now, and I plan on doing what I do best: Dominate…and Destroy. It begins with Damian Hellions, and just might move on to Jaime Alejandro, or Mephisto, or Tanya Black…whoever I decide to turn my attention to next. Veteran. Rookie. Champion. Chump. I don’t see titles and I don’t see names…all I see are bodies to break. Consider this my 'Declaration of War' on the SHOOT Project...and there is no-one...not One. Single. Soldier...that can stop me.";

Falling silent, Miller’s eyes seem to harden even more, if such can be believed. The intensity of his stare focused to a laser-like burn as he steps in closer, and actually reaches out to take hold of the camera’s lens.

;Miller: "Don’t believe me?;

The shot rocks violently to the side, as Miller shoves the camera back against the face of the man behind it! A dull groan can be heard as the operator struggles to keep his feet, causing the scene to dip and swivel as he struggles to maintain his hold on the unit. Eventually, he manages to regain himself, panning to find the back of Miller, as the man simply walks away…sparing only a single distracted line back over his shoulder.

;Miller: "…watch it happen…";

 


As the cameras are rolling backstage, SHOOT’s newest recruit, Drew Stevenson was standing in front of a black back drop that had the SHOOT logo on it. Already dressed in his ring gear, which consisted of green tights, kneepads, boots and taped up hands, the debuting Stevenson had this huge smile running along his handsomely chiseled face as reached up with his right hand rubbing his chin before beginning to speak.

Drew Stevenson: It feels like tonight is just like it was in 2005. I remember the bright lights, I remember the sound of those Vegas fans, it all seems incredibly surreal when I REALLY thought about it because I had never thought for one second in my storied career that I’d be back home, that I’d be back, right here in LAS VEGAS yet here I am; making my debut for the SHOOT promotion and just like we did back then...

Giving the camera a look of confidence, the fans out at ringside was cheering rather loudly for Stevenson. He wasn’t new to the Vegas area and these people remembered him all too well. Pausing for a minute to allow the fans to cheer for him, he had this huge smile running along his face as he was fired up, ready to compete for these Vegas fans, one more time.

Drew Stevenson: ... We’re going to TEAR... THE... HOUSE... DOWN... Like only we can and I hope that Gordon and Mephisto are listening, I hope that they ate their vitamins and said their prayers because in that ring tonight? In front ALL of MY fans right here in VEGAS? I’m going to show you just why *I* AM Mr. Vegas!

Winking into the camera, he walks off getting ready to step through the gorilla curtain.

Eryk Masters: Someone's excited!

Other Guy: He SHOULD be. This is an EXCELLENT opportunity for him.

“Time Is On My Side” by The Rolling Stones begins to play in the Epicenter, and out walks Jacob Mephisto. The crowd boos Mephisto, but the response is a little subdued, giving us the idea that they’re not sure what to think about Jacob at this point.

Eryk Masters: This guy is an enigma, OG. Mephisto’s motives are shrouded in mystery, and none of us really know what kind of path he’s going to take in SHOOT Project.

Other Guy: The one thing we do know is that Jacob has made it clear that he has some sort of invested interest in seeing Henry Gordon succeed and improve, but as to the reason why he’s backing Hammerin’ Hank? That’s anyone’s guess.

Samantha Coil: Introducing first, hailing from Nazareth, Pennsylvania…he weighs in at 270lbs….JACOB MEPHISTO!!!

Jacob stalks his way down the ramp, his pale grey eyes flitting back and forth over various faces in the crowd. He rolls into the ring under the bottom rope and begins to pace back and forth while waiting for his partner.

“Give Me Back My Bullets” by Lynyrd Skynyrd begins to play overhead, prompting Henry Gordon to step out from behind the curtains. Henry is met with a favorable response from the crowd, and the young upstart nods in appreciation before starting down the ramp.

Samantha Coil: Introducing second, his tag team partner, hailing from Harrisonburg, Virginia…he weighs in at 320lbs…HENRY GORDON!!!

Eryk Masters: Gordon’s had some tough luck in SHOOT Project lately, but you should never count this Soldier out. This could be the night when he gets that breakout win that he needs.

Other Guy: He’s definitely in love with the business, Eryk….Henry often seems starstruck when he’s walking backstage alongside some of the men and women that he idolized while growing up.

“The March of Mephisto” by Kamelot scorches through the Epicenter sound system, and out from the back emerges Jester Smiles. Jester glares callously at the men in the ring, and seconds later the vile monster child known as Sammy Rochester steps out from the curtains to stand behind Jester.

Samantha Coil: Introducing first, he hails from Richmond, Virginia…weighing in at 245lbs….JESTER SMILES!!!

Other Guy: Jester’s been pretty vocal about the fact that he does not want to be involved in this match. He kind of insinuated that the whole thing is beneath him.

Eryk Masters: Jester is an asshole, OG. There’s really no way to sugarcoat it. And I’ll tell you right now, every single man in that ring should be worried right now…because it looks like Jester will have that gigantic and eternally angry creature Sammy Rochester in his corner tonight.

Jester and Sammy head down the ramp, both of them staring down the two men awaiting them in the ring. Jester reaches the apron and climbs the steel steps up into the ring, and Sammy just sits down indian style on the floor outside of the ring, holding his newly won Sin City Championship close to his massive chest like it’s a doll he can’t bear to part with.

“Burning Bright” by Shinedown plays in the Epicenter, and out walks the newcomer Drew Stevenson. Drew wears green pants, kneepads, and his hands are taped up for competition. He looks out at the Las Vegas crowd like he’s very familiar with this city and the diehard fans that populate it.

Samantha Coil: Introducing second, his tag team partner…he hails from Kansas City, Missouri…weighing in at 250lbs…DREW STEVENSON!!!

Eryk Masters: Here’s Drew Stevenson walking into the Epicenter for the very first time. Brand spankin’ new roster acquisition for SHOOT Project, and believe me when I tell you folks, this guy has a very impressive wrestling background.

Other Guy: He’s had some major success in quite a few popular companies, Eryk…and now he’s looking to translate that success over to SHOOT Project. The guy definitely has potential to do big things here, so we’ll see how he fairs tonight in his debut match. 

Drew makes his way down to the ring with a smile on his face, and he climbs up onto the apron while looking in at his opponents. 

Eryk Masters: It's going to be very interesting to see just how... 

Other Guy: Whoa!  HOLD UP!  

The crowd stirs, and before Drew can get into the ring, a FAN (?) HAS JUMPED THE BARACADE and CHARGES THE RING!  He grabs Stevenson by the legs and VIOLENTLY TEARS HIM DOWN TO THE FLOOR!!!!  DREW'S HEAD SLAMS INTO THE APRON!!  The unknown fan, around six feet tall and maybe three hundred some odd pounds then follows up with a SLOPPY, STIFF CLUBBING BLOW TO THE BACK OF STEVEN'S NECK!!!  The newest SHOOT soldiers, falls to his knees, and instinctively hunches forward to cover up!  About six security guards STORM the assailant but not before this idiot fan delivers a HORRENDOUS KNEE strike, directly in the side of DREW'S head!  Stevenson falls awkwardly to his side, clinging desperately at the ring apron!  The guards TACKLE the fan, who couldn't look any more the part of dirty, idiot wrestling fan.  Wearing a 2002 OutKast T-shirt.  Dark hair slicked back.  Ugh.  Just a disaster.  He goes down without much hesitation, and is held at bay before being handcuffed and forcefully stood back to his feet! 

Other Guy: (clearly pissed)  Drunk ass fan piece of garbage. 

Eryk Masters: Folks....  we're sorry.  Some people are just idiots.  We apologize.  SHOOT Project certainly doesn't condone this behavior. 

As is usual in the business, the cameras cut away from the actual "scene" of the crime, but not before audio picks up, what sounds like the man screaming "LOR" something or other along with some other incoherent babble.  The focus cuts to in ring, where Mephisto, Gordon and even Jester Smiles watch whatever is going on outside the ring. 

Eryk Masters: Completely unnecessary.   And again, folks, we're very sorry for the delay. 

Other Guy: When you buy a ticket for a SHOOT Project event, it's to WATCH the damn show.  Epicenter security doesn't mess around, and that idiot's gonna get locked up. 

In the ring, officials seem to be explaining to the referee and other participants what the plan of action is, while SHOOT Project fans in attendance remain abuzz with whatever it is they just randomly saw go down. 

Eryk Masters: We're waiting to see how they're going to work things now.  EMT's rushing to the ring, but, contractual obligations and, honestly, good sense will keep us from showing the footage.  If you're just turning in, we're very sorry.  An idiot fan, um, hopped the rails and has caused some very serious dam... 

Other Guy: Whoa, whoa!  Hold up!  Stevenson's shrugging off the doctors, man. 

With a possibility that he's all right, the cameras cut back to just outside the ring where Several EMTs surround Drew Stevenson, but to the newcomer’s credit, he’s struggling up to his feet by pulling at the material of the ring apron.  SHOOT Project officials seem to be pleading with him to come into the back, but he more or less, haphazardly pushes them back. 

Other Guy: Man has some damn guts.  I think he wants to go. 

The fans actually begin to cheer pretty freaking loudly, impressive, considering how new Drew is to the SHOOT Project world. 

Stevenson is very clearly in pain, but he’s trying his best to soldier through it, ignoring all requests to go to the back. 

Eryk Masters: I think we're gonna see this match, OG.  Unreal, but give him credit.  Give him all the credit in the world. 

Amidst cheers that grow LOUDER and LOUDER and a sea of applause, Drew slides into the ring and approaches the referee.  He holds the back of his neck, and the official briefly pats him down and, again, asks if Drew still wants to go through with this match…. 

...and Drew Stevenson responds with an emphatic “YES.” 

The crowd cheers loudly at this, and Jester Smiles actually shakes his head in disgust at his partner….giving us the idea that Jester thinks that is a terribly stupid decision.

Eryk Masters: Gotta say, OG…I’m impressed with this guy already. It takes a tough mentality to receive a beating like that and STILL be willing to compete.

Other Guy: With a mindset like that, I’m thinking Drew Stevenson is going to feel right at home here in SHOOT Project.

Jester waves a hand at Drew to say “stay out of my way” and then he steps into the ring to start things off, and Jacob Mephisto is right there to meet him.

The bell rings with a loud clang, and we are OFFICIALLY UNDERWAY!

Jester walks up to Mephisto, says something under his breath to Jacob….and then Jester just straight up SLAPS the taste right out of Jacob’s mouth!

Mephisto’s head twists to the side, obviously infuriated, and he runs toward Jester…but he’s stopped in his tracks by several precision strikes from Smiles, specifically a few nasty knees to the torso and several elbows to the side of the head. Mephisto stumbles backwards, and Jester takes him down to the canvas with a Judo throw.

Eryk Masters: Jester kind of lured Mephisto into that assault. He got his blood running hot with that slap, and then he took advantage of that lack of focus with some hard-hitting strikes.

Other Guy: You can say what you want about Jester Smiles…god knows he has his critics…but this guy hits HARD.

Jacob pops right back up to his feet, and Jester goes for a hard punch to the head, but Jacob ducks underneath and begins to send STINGING chops into Jester’s chest, driving him backwards bit by bit. Jester’s back hits the ropes, and Jacob proceeds to irish whip him across the ring…and on the rebound Mephisto CRUSHES Jester with a side backbreaker!

Jester lands hard, and Mephisto goes for a quick cover.

ONE!

Smiles kicks out, and Mephisto grabs his leg and pulls him over to his corner, proceeding to tag the hand of Henry Gordon. Jacob holds onto Jester’s leg, and Henry hits the ropes and SPLASHES down on Smiles with all of his weight.

Jacob leaves the ring, and Hammerin’ Hank crouches down and begins to send some heavy forearm shots into Jester’s face.

Eryk Masters: I’m pretty surprised at Mephisto so far…it looks like he’s trying to work a clean match here. No cheating tactics or anything like that.

Other Guy: He seems to be looking out for Gordon as well and giving him as much ring time as possible. Already I see some tag team chemistry between the two…

Jester blocks one of the forearm shots, and he NAILS Gordon in the side of the head with a nasty looking punch that catches him right on the temple. The precision of the punch seems to daze Henry completely, and he falls down backwards right on his ass.

Jester stalks over to his corner, and he slaps the FUCK outta Drew Stevenson’s chest, forcing a hiss of pain from his lips as the slap connects with his ribs. Drew gives Jester a hard glare, and then he enters the ring.

Other Guy: Let’s just call that…an unorthodox tag from Jester Smiles.

Eryk Masters: What else can you expect from a remorseless jerk like Smiles?

Gordon barrels towards Drew, looking for a big clothesline, but Stevenson catches the husky competitor’s arm and takes him down to the canvas with an arm drag. Gordon climbs dutifully back to his feet, but Stevenson takes him right back down with a PERFECT dropkick that connects with Gordon’s face.

Drew holds his ribs, breathing hard from effort…but he still manages to drop down and attempt a pinfall.

ONE!

TWO!

NOOOO!!!

Henry kicks out, and Drew grabs him by the neck and starts to pull him up to his feet…but Gordon breaks free and DRIVES his big skull into Drew’s head with a massive headbutt. Drew falls to the canvas like he was just hit with a kitchen sink, and Gordon grabs him back up and drags him over to his corner, pausing to tag the hand of Jacob Mephisto.

Gordon then RAMS a big kick into Drew’s stomach before leaving the ring, and Mephisto takes advantage with a snapping DDT!

Mephisto tries for a cover while digging a forearm against Drew’s neck.

ONE!

TWO!

THRE-NOOOOOOO!!

Eryk Master: I’m pretty amazed at the resilience of Drew Stevenson. Most guys would throw in the towel after being attacked on the way to the ring, but Drew is still putting up one hell of a fight here tonight.

Other Guy: I don’t know how long it’ll last though, Eryk. Mephisto & Gordon are working together like a well-oiled machine.

Mephisto pulls Drew by the leg to the center of the ring…and then he starts tangling up his legs into a submission maneuver, proceeding to WRENCH back on Drew’s body with all of his strength!

Eryk Masters: HERE WE GO, FOLKS! MEPHISTO’S METHOD!

Other Guy: That Texas Cloverleaf is one of the most excruciating moves in the business, Eryk. If Drew’s smart he’ll tap and live to fight another day!

Drew’s face is ETCHED with agony…and he desperately crawls and scratches at the canvas, managing to get closer to his own corner. Drew reaches out with all of his might towards Jester Smiles…but Smile suddenly just leans way back on the ropes and yawns, seeming to ignore Stevenson completely and making no effort at all to reach out and tag his hand.

Eryk Masters: This Smiles is a Grade-A bastard, OG….he’s letting his partner suffer and he doesn’t even bother to TRY and help him!

Other Guy: Well I think we established it earlier; Eryk…Jester Smiles doesn’t really give much of a shit about this match. He looks like he’s bored by the whole thing.

Drew practically moans in pain with spittle appearing on his bottom lip, but in a burst of adrenaline he crawls forward and GRABS the bottom rope, forcing Mephisto to break the hold! Jacob tries to pull Drew away from the ropes and lock the submission in again, but Drew sends a brutal looking MULE KICK into Jacob’s stomach, knocking him backwards!

Drew then pulls himself up to his feet using the ropes, and he SMACKS Jester’s chest as hard as he can before rolling out of the ring. Jester practically snarls at Stevenson, but he gets into the ring to stalk Mephisto.

Eryk Masters: Have a little taste of your own medicine, Jester.

Jester pulls Jacob up to his feet, and he begins to piston a few stinging punches into Mephisto’s kidneys…and then Jester HAULS Jacob up onto his shoulders with a fireman’s carry!

Jester moves towards the center of the ring…and then he THROWS Jacob up and over and practically destroys him with a gutbuster!!

Eryk Masters: SIDE SPLITTER!! That might do it!

Jester covers Jacob, pulling back on both legs.

ONE!

TWO!

THREE-NOOOOOOOOO!!!

At the LAST possible second, Mephisto manages to kick out!

Other Guy: That was TOO close, Eryk. Purely instinctual on Mephisto’s part.

Jester snarls with frustration, and he gets up and moves backwards….seeming to be sizing Jacob up for the Virginia Sidekick.

Jester gets too close to his own corner though…and Drew Stevenson reaches over and SMACKS Jester’s back, tagging himself into the match!

Drew enters the ring, and Jester spins around, SCREAMING into Drew’s face. Drew throws his arms up, as if to say “deal with it”…and Smile responds by PUSHING Drew square in the chest. Jester growls out the words “fucking idiot”….and then he drops down and rolls out of the ring…and he starts walking up the ramp towards the back!

Eryk Masters: Uhoh….a little miscommunication there with Drew & Jester…and now it looks like Smiles is going to abandon his partner!

Other Guy: Not if Henry Gordon has anything to say about it!

Hammerin’ Hank runs around the side of the ring, and he grabs Jester’s head and attempts to throw him back into the ring…BUT JESTER MOVES TO THE SIDE AND CRUSHES A VIRGINIA SIDEKICK INTO GORDON’S FACE!!! Henry gets BLASTED down on the outside, looking totally out of it.

Jester shakes his head in disgust, and then he calls over to Sammy Rochester…and both man and monster begin to head up the ramp towards the back.

Eryk Masters: It’s gotten pretty chaotic here….Jester is GONE….Gordon is laid out…it’s down to just Drew and Mephisto right now!

Stevenson has his back turned, watching Jester disappear into the back…and Mephisto takes advantage by grabbing his legs…and he looks like he’s seconds away from locking in Mephisto’s Method once again….but Drew counters with a quick roll-up!!

ONE!

TWO!

THREE!

Samantha Coil: HERE ARE YOUR WINNERS, THE TEAM OF DREW STEVENSON AND JESTER SMILES!!!

Eryk Masters: WOW!! Talk about a major win…Drew Stevenson came into this thing with a clear disadvantage…but despite all the crap he had to deal with here tonight….he STILL persevered and won this match!

Mephisto crouches on his knees with a look of shock on his face, and then he shakes his head and rolls out of the ring, proceeding to help Henry Gordon back up to his feet.

Other Guy: That roll-up happened so quick that if you blinked, you might have missed it!

Drew Stevenson stands victorious in the ring, still holding his aching ribs…but there’s a smile on his face despite the pain.

Eryk Masters: Fantastic debut match for Drew Stevenson…and I’ve got a feeling this guy just might take SHOOT Project by storm.

The scene fades out on Stevenson climbing one of the turnbuckles to celebrate.

There's an audible pop.

“Is…  is this thing on?”

The face of Jason Johnson appears on the video wall and the Epicenter crowd makes some SERIOUS noise.

Jason Johnson:  I thought this would be better than going through the pageantry of an entrance and all that, but I can’t even tell that this thing is on…

Soon, Real Deal’s face shows up and the crowd pops again!

Real Deal:  Dude, come on man…  this isn’t NEW stuff.  The light’s on…  so obviously…  wait…  the light’s on…

Jason sighs.

Jason Johnson:  So we’re on, aren’t we?

Real Deal shrugs, and smiles. 

Real Deal:  Hey, SHOOTiverse…  I guess we’re on! Hey, did you have any commentary about David Miller basically calling us dumb for hiring him?

Jason shakes his head once more, and looks out to the crowd.

Jason Johnson:  I didn't really have any commentary beyond the fact that, well... paychecks don't sign themselves, and most dumb people struggle with writing.

Real Deal laughs and Jason shakes his head and shrugs nonchalantly before looking back into the camera.

Jason Johnson: Look…  since I apparently suck at technology and Josh here is a dumbass, I’m going to keep this real short.  We’ve been talking about re-introducing a concept to take place over the coming months and hopefully…  I say hopefully because you never really know…  wrap up at Master of the Mat.  We’ve done this before, as I mentioned, and it had a very good amount of success.

Real Deal:  Jason, seriously, are you really going to tease them like this?  Just tell them.  You know how much you hate hyping announcements.  Announcements of announcements, man.  Totally lame.  You can do better. 

Jason shoves Real Deal out of the picture and then focuses his attention back on the camera.

Jason Johnson:  FINE.  The Sin City Championship is one of the SHOOT Project’s most contested belts and in 2013, we’re looking at BROADENING the range of participants in that particular division, so we thought…  well, it was mostly Kast who mentioned this to us, really…  we thought we’d do another Sin City Championship Series.

The crowd pops! 

Jason Johnson:  Nice, so you guys dig the idea.  Awesome. Hey, here's your participants, before I forget:  Alex Brooks, Edmund Augustus Shan, Sammy Rochester, Maya Nakashima, Johnny Napalm, Corey Lazarus, Elizabeth Gaunt, Henry Gordon, Solomon Richards, Jacob Mephisto, Drew Stevenson, and David Miller.  That's a smattering of former champions, some new people, and a couple of people thrown in just for shits and giggles. 

He smiles.

Jason Johnson:  It’s gonna be pretty excellent.  So yeah, that’s all.  I’ll let you get back to your regularly scheduled programming.  Just…  one last thing.  The first set of Sin City Championship Series matches will be starting soon, so keep your eyes peeled on the website for that.  Enjoy the rest of the show! Oh, wait... I think there's a graphic. Hang on... annnnnnnnnd THERE.

 

Eryk Masters:  WOW.  Jason is going full court press at the beginning of the year here.  We’ve been hiring like CRAZY and now we’re getting people in on a VERY legit title opportunity?  That’s AWESOME.

Other Guy:  I wonder if it’s going to be like last year where the Sin City Championship is live for every match.  There could be LOTS of title changes!  AWESOME.

Eryk Masters:  Man, I’m excited now.  Let’s keep this show going!

A blues guitar riff takes over the sound system, and a high pitched chime starts as the rhythm kicks in, and then a dirty blues kick hits…

“I could take the pitchfork from the devil
Keep a super suit like I’m incredible.
From the deep blue sea to the dark blue sky….”

Then, the song cuts, the lights go out, a purple spotlight hits the center of the ramp, and then pyro EXPLODES!

“I’M THE BADDEST MAN ALIVE.”

The music continues as the smoke begins to clear, and once cleared, the banner that defines Adrian Corazon is shown.  Not too long after that, a black silhouette appears at the top of the ramp, and he has arrived.  The crowd pops hard!

Eryk Masters:  And in a move that…  I can’t believe I’m about to say it…  doesn’t surprise me at all, Corazon’s not getting booed out of the building tonight.

Other Guy:  I think we can both thank his apparent change in attitude and his involvement in current events here in the SHOOT Project.

Eryk Masters:  What OG is referring to, of course, has to do with what happened at Revolution 104: Championship Edition, when first…  Isaac Entragian beat the holy fuck out of Adrian Corazon, and as if that weren’t enough, Corazon managed to find a way to come BACK to the arena and he cost Isaac Entragian the World Heavyweight Championship!

The Epicenter’s video wall is replaying the events from the last Revolution as the crowd gets even more riled up and loud for the man known as Brutal and Inhuman.  Corazon walks down, still with a noticeable limp, as “Baddest Man Alive” by The Black Keys continues, and he does his usual routine where he ignores everyone around him and focuses solely on the ring.  He has a big grin on his face as he removes his coat and his sunglasses before climbing in.

Other Guy:  As the crowd maintains its volume, Corazon has a microphone in hand.

Corazon smirks, but waits for the noise to die down.  Finally, it begins to level out.

Corazon:  First…  thank you.

The crowd pops.

Corazon:  I’ve been thinking for the last two weeks about what I was going to say when I came out here and addressed all of you.  There have been a lot of questions thrown in my direction, people wondering if I was done with Project: SCAR, people wondering why exactly I cost Isaac Entragian the World Heavyweight Championship, and what my plans are moving forward.  I find that these are standard fare when you make as big of a splash as I made, but all the same…  here’s what the story is.

Corazon walks forward and leans on the top turnbuckle, staring out into the crowd who remains at a hushed buzz.

Corazon:  For a long time now, Project: SCAR has preached about how we’re going to make the SHOOT Project better and how it’s going to be remade in our image, and for the most part…  I’m okay with that ideal.

The crowd boos.

Corazon:  Don’t mistake me or my actions…  I believe that the SHOOT Project has a serious problem, but…  as it was before…  it was my belief that the problems in the SHOOT Project lay with people like Donovan King, Lunatikk Crippler, Jaime Alejandro, and men of that ilk.  We fought to eradicate them from the landscape of the SHOOT Project…  to bring the Project’s image more in line with our vision.  At the beginning, it was a truly noble effort, but something…  something has happened. 

He stays in the same place, still staring out into the crowd.

Corazon:  The year turned and we’ve now entered 2013…  and it…  I guess it kind of dawned to me that what we were doing, well…  it wasn’t really working.  It’s been my mission, for the better part of last year, to exterminate the vermin and to cleanse the SHOOT Project.  Trimming the fat, as it were.  I affected Mason Pierce in such a way that he gave serious consideration to leaving the SHOOT Project altogether, and while that was a satisfying victory, ultimately he helped open my eyes to something that was going on right in front of me. 

Corazon pauses.

Corazon:  Project: SCAR stood at the precipice of something epic and amazing, not that long ago.  We had plans in place that would have shaken the SHOOT Project to its very core, there was a MOVEMENT in place, but as it happens with things like this…  personal agendas and greed got in the way.  I’m just as responsible for this as any other member of Project: SCAR, but the difference is…  I’ve been able to see it.  I have now altered my mission, and my efforts are now going to be pointed towards steering SCAR in a direction that is ACTUALLY about making the SHOOT Project better.  A TRUE vision.  A vision that I believe that some members of SCAR are capable of helping me attain.

Eryk Masters:  Some?  OG I DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW TO FEEL RIGHT NOW.

Other Guy:  This…  ohhhhh this.

The crowd…  pops?

Corazon:  Don’t cheer yet, please.  The work is just beginning.  As it stands, there are five other members of SCAR.  One is a man who came up in this business with me, and is one of the single most dominating forces in professional wrestling today…  he is Obsidian.  He will stand by me in my efforts, because he is loyal…  sometimes to a fault.  He is one of the only people in professional wrestling that I can truly count on.  The others…  Kenji…  Kenji is capable of more than what he is right now.  When we held Maya, it was fascinating to watch the way he was..  the way he acted, and as you all know…  how Kenji goes, so shall Flay Rios go.

Corazon moves from his leaned position and walks across the ring, seemingly addressing another portion of the arena, but this time, he climbs the top turnbuckle and takes a seat.

Corazon:  Elizabeth Gaunt…  she’s been conflicted lately, too.  You’ve all seen her interactions lately, with the group…  with Maya…  She has the ability to see a bigger picture.  I will help her see the light.  And that…  that leaves me with the only member of Project: SCAR that does not necessarily fit the vision.

The crowd pops HARD at the foreshadowing, and Corazon’s gaze hardens.

Corazon:  Like I’ve mentioned, months ago, I decided that it was going to be my personal mission to slender the SHOOT Project up…  cut the fat…  and that leaves me with none other than Isaac Entragian.

And just like that…  the boos pick up.

Corazon:  Isaac Entragian is a phenomenon, of this, there is no question.  He is a physical specimen, and people line up to see him in the ring.  There are no doubts about this.  But his mind…  his words…  his greed…  they are cancerous.  Isaac Entragian’s arrogance has no limit, and his penchant for cruelty does not have any boundaries.  He is FEASTING on the blood of the SHOOT Project, and he gives nothing back.  Nothing at all.

Corazon pauses.

Corazon:  THAT.  ENDS.  NOW.

HARD POP.

Corazon:  When it is all said and done, the members of Project: SCAR do not matter to him WHATSOEVER.  The SHOOT Project does not matter to him.  And that right there?  THAT is the difference.  I’ve fought for the SHOOT Project as a Son of Liberty.  I stood against Jonny Johnson and his friends.  I stood against Vincent Mallows.  Against Roland Caldwell.  Sammy Rochester.  I stood WITH Donovan King and I’ve taken a stand AGAINST Donovan King.  I do this for something VERY…  very simple, really.

Corazon smiles.

Corazon:  I.  AM.  THE.  SHOOT.  PROJECT.

He hops down from the turnbuckle and is pacing the ring now, as the crowd is going NUTS.

Corazon:  There is NOBODY who bleeds SHOOT Project gold the same way that I do, and there is NOBODY on this roster who EVER will.  From this point forward, it is my MISSION in life to cure the SHOOT Project of Isaac Entragian.  HE is a virus.  HE is a cancer.

He stares directly into the camera, the crowd seemingly falling silent around him.

Corazon:  Until the still-beating heart is ripped from my chest, I am a HUNTER, Isaac.  I am YOUR hunter.  I will show my SCAR brethren the way and I will expose you for the fraud and the fake that you are!

Corazon smiles.

Corazon:  There will be no quarter for you, Entragian.  Not because I’m THE BRUTAL AND THE INHUMAN…  NOT because I’m the Black Death…  simply because…

Still smiling.

Corazon:  …I BLEED THE BLOOD OF THE SHOOT PROJECT... and I will make ISAAC ENTRAGIAN BLEED. FOR. ME.

He backs away from the camera.

Corazon:  I…  am the BADDEST MAN ALIVE.

“The Baddest Man Alive” by the Wu-Tang Clan explodes over the speakers as the crowd goes into a FRENZY.  Corazon flips the mic down, but the audio pop isn’t audible, and as he exits the ring, the view shifts back to the announce table.

Eryk Masters:  My word…  my my my word.  I never thought I’d find myself in this situation again, OG.

Other Guy:  PMSing again? 

Eryk Masters:  No, seriously.  Adrian Corazon has dropped the hammer and he’s straight up called out Isaac Entragian…  and..  I really want him to succeed. 

Other Guy:  You don’t have to tell me, man.  I thought…  I still think, really…  that Corazon is a horrendous, terrible person, but…  Isaac Entragian…  he is much, much worse.  MUCH worse.  I CAN’T WAIT for those two to meet in a ring.

Eryk Masters:  Good gracious, man.


The camera fades back to the ring, where Damien Hellions stands in the ring already. “Tourniquet” by Marilyn Manson plays over the speakers and the fans are up on their feet cheering for the newcomer to SHOOT Project.

Samantha Coil: The following match is scheduled for one fall! Currently in the ring, hailing from Chicago, Illinois, he is the DERANGED ODDITY, DAMIEN HELLLIOOONNNSSSS!

Damien raises his hands high in the air at the mention of his name, causing the fans to give him a reasonable pop. A flicker ripples across the screen as the lights lower, bathing the crowd in shadows. Another image appears, revealing thick clouds. Lightning leaps from one to the next as a solemn voice echoes through the dark.

”…I’m the best there is at what I do…”

Falling with the rain, the image closes on a lone figure within the storm. Slowly, he begins to lift his head, the thick droplets washing down his cheeks as a sudden flash reveals his jaw, set in a stone-hard scowl.

"...and what I do best, isn't very nice..."

The sound of a female voice begins harmonizing in the background as the image closes in on the man. A bass guitar matches the lilt of the woman’s voice, adding power to the dark melody as the voice lowers.

"...don't believe me? ..."

Slowing as the man lifts his head, the camera zeros on his face just a flash of lightning illuminates the cold green eyes of David Miller. Coming alive with a deafening ovation, the crowd rises to its feet as the screen suddenly goes black, plunging the arena into an absolute darkness...

"WATCH IT HAPPEN!"

A sharp distortion skews the music just as a violent blast of silver-white flame rips through the stage, consuming the entranceway in blinding light as the commanding chords to Evanescence’s “Lies” thunder through the speakers. Black light fills the entry tunnel, silhouetting the same hooded figure from the screen as he steps out onto the stage. Curls of smoke swirl around Miller as he crosses to the ramp and lifts his head, peering into the chaotic masses with a hollow gaze. Twisting his head to one side, then the other, he cracks the bones in his neck before starting down towards the ring, moving with a calm, methodical stride.

Samantha Coil: Now making his way to the ring, fighting out of Anaheim, California. Standing six-feet, one inch tall and weighing in at two-hundred and thirty-eight pounds ... he is "The Assassin" ... DAVID ... MIIILLEEER!

Crushing against the guardrails, fans extend their arms, trying to grab hold of the silent figure as he passes by. Rolling beneath the bottom rope, Miller pushes to his feet and crosses to the corner, mounting the second rope and staring out over the crowd. Bringing up both hands, he cracks his knuckles before reaching to rip back the hood, exposing the intense fire burning in his eyes. Slipping the coat from his shoulders, he tosses it to a crewman at ringside before dropping down to the canvas.

Eryk Masters: Two newcomers to SHOOT here in this match.

Other Guy: It should be fun to see what they got as they cut their teeth inside the Epicenter.

The two men circle each other in the ring, each as Willie Dean calls for the bell. IMMEDIATELY Miller races across the ring and locks up with Hellions.

Eryk Masters: Miller wasting no time, taking the action to Hellions.

Miller quickly dashes behind Hellions, wrapping his arms around Hellions’  waist and locking his hands. Hellions bashes the side of Miller’s head repeatedly with his elbow, but Miller charges forward, taking Hellions against the ropes with him and restructuring his grip. Miller pulls Hellions back into the middle of the ring, lifts Hellions high off of the mat and throws him to the side RIGHT back down on his face.

Eryk Masters: Beautiful waistlock takedown there by Miller.

Other Guy: I think Hellions is checking his teeth.

With Hellions on his face, Miller quickly tries to pass over him but Hellions quickly gets to his knees. Miller has Hellions in a head lock and Hellions SHOVES Miller away from him.

Eryk Masters: Hellions showing Miller that he’s got some fight in him.

Other Guy: Yeah, but I think that offense really caught him off guard.

Eryk Masters: Now remember, Damien Hellions was silent for the last two weeks and that usually doesn’t bode well!

As the two men stare at each other, Miller DASHES across the ring, and locks up with Hellions again, this time kneeing Hellions in the gut and doubling him over. Miller grabs Hellions with a plum lock behind Miller’s head and holds Hellion’s head up, DRIVING a European uppercut into his chin. Hellions stumbles back against the turnbuckle.

Other Guy: ROUGH uppercut there, Hellions took that one hard!

With Hellions in the corner, Miller runs towards him, lifting a knee up…BUT HELLIONS DUCKS. Miller collides with the top turnbuckle as Hellions stumbles forward along the ropes. As Miller falls to the mat, Hellions collects himself, quickly dashing to The Assassin. Hellions picks Miller up and throws an arm over his head, quickly hitting Miller with a strong snap suplex.

Eryk Masters: Hellions showing Miller that he, too, has a technical background.

Other Guy: A little bit of extra UMPH on that suplex for that European uppercut never hurt anybody.

Hellions holds on to Miller’s head as he rolls him over and up to his feet. Hellions bends Miller over, and with Miller’s head between his legs puts miller in a double arm lock. Hellions lifts Miller up…but Miller counters! Miller now lifts his own head up, throwing Hellions up and over his back and onto the mat. Hellions reaches out in pain as Miller grabs his own back.

Eryk Masters: David Miller RIGHT back in control of this match, it seems.

Miller grabs Hellions by his head and pulls him up into a headlock, wrenching down on Hellion’s skull. He wrenches and grinds his arm around Hellion’s head until Hellions lifts Miller up off of his feet…but Miller drops back down again, wrenching even harder. Again Hellions lifts Miller up and RACES forward towards the turnbuckle…BUT MILLER COUNTERS, pushing off of the turnbuckle into a massive BULL DOG. Miller quickly rolls Hellion’s over and pulls back a leg as Willie hits the mat.

ONE!

TWO!

NO! Hellions gets an arm up before Dean can begin the third swing, and Miller PUSHES him back down, pulling back on the leg.

ONE!

TW-

AGAIN Hellions kicks out, this time separating himself from Miller with a nice shove and roll. Miller walks over to Hellions, grabbing Damien by his hair and bringing him up to his knees. Hellions tries to fight back, delivering a few solid punches to Miller’s midsection but Miller SLAMS Hellions head down into the mat by his hair and REPEATEDLY kicks Hellions in the side of the hid with VISCIOUS soccer kicks.

Eryk Masters: That dangerous move isn’t something he just thought up; He told us he calls that the “Crush Rush”.

Other Guy: It’s an illegal move, Masters! Willie Dean’s giving him the five count now.

THREE. 

FOUR.

FI-

Miller stops, retreating a step or two as Willie Dean gets in his face. Hellions rolls over on his side.

Eryk Masters: Hellions looks like he’s in another world right now.

Other Guy: If he doesn’t come back, he might not wake up!

Miller looks at Willie and nods, and then brushes past Willie with a determined look on his face over to Hellions, where he brings the man to his feet. Hellions, still obviously dazed from the Crush Rush, looks checked out still. Miller quickly steps behind Hellions and wraps his arms up under Hellions’ own, SNAPPING Hellions back with a Dragon suplex. Hellion’s neck SLAMS into the mat, but Miller’s grasp doesn’t slip and Miller rolls Hellions over and up to his feet AGAIN slamming him neck first into the mat.

Other Guy: Wow! This Miller kid is bringing the HURT to Hellion’s tonight.

Eryk Masters: I don’t think he’s done yet, OG.

Miller’s grasp has yet to break as he rolls Hellions over again, this time much slower than the first two. Miller takes a second to catch his own breath before LAUNCHING Hellions up over his shoulders with a release full nelson suplex. Hellions FLIPS backwards, landing face flat on the mat. BOTH men lay on the mat, all but exhausted.

Eryk Masters: That continuous suplex chain Miller calls “Rolling Dragons” took a lot out of both of the guys in the ring.

Other Guy: After those kicks, it’s hard to see how Hellions can still be functioning!

Miller rolls over first, crawling quickly over to Hellions and pulls back his leg once more.

ONE!

TWO!

THR-

NO!

Eryk Masters: HELLIONS KICKS OUT! I can’t tell if that was instinct or what, but Hellions showing a lot of resolve here tonight.

Other Guy: Let’s not sleep on Miller. He’s been in control of this match and is definitely putting a hurting to Hellions!

Miller is in shock at his point, pulling himself up to a standing positions with the ropes. He looks down at Hellions, pulls Hellions up by his hair and turns him around on his feet. Miller ducks down, placing his head under Hellion’s arm and lifts Hellions HIGH in the air, before dropping him STRAIGHT down on his neck and head with a bridge.

Eryk Masters: The Career Killer!

Other Guy: He might not know how true that could end up being!

Miller holds Hellions down in a pinning predicament as Willie Dean slides down for the count

ONE!

TWO!

THREE!

DING DING

Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen, your winner at a time of ten minutes, forty five seconds! DAVID. THE ASSASSIN. MILLER!

Eryk Masters: It looked like Hellions tried to kick out, but just was too late.

Other Guy: No, I think that was a body spasm after the three count.

Eryk Masters: Either way, David Miller has his hand raised after a dominate performance in his first match in SHOOT Project.

Other Guy: I think Miller just put SHOOT Project on notice!

Earlier today.  Lunch at the Epicenter.  T.Rex and Arch Angel sit down each with a plate piled with food.  T.Rex smiles huge.

T.Rex:  Got so lucky to get the last-

T.Rex is interrupted by an angry yell.

El Asso Wipo:  What?!  What do you MEAN you don't have any more?

Wipo gets into  a heated discussion, which Arch Angel and T.Rex watch half amused.  Until the food worker points in their direction.  Both men sigh and roll their eyes.

T.Rex:  Fuggin' hell. 

Wipo whirls around.

El Asso Wipo:  YOU!  YOU there!  Unhand that Bear CLaw!

EAW storms towards the two, Silas in tow. 

El Asso Wipo:  How DARE you take the sweet treat that was meant to fill MY belly. 

T.Rex:  You snooze, you lose.

El Asso Wipo:  I never snooze!  I break backs!  But in order to have the energy to break backs, TCHA!  I must fuel up like so, NOM!  And I require that bear claw to succesfully go about my back breaking routine.

T.Rex sighs, grabs the bearclaw, and extends it towards EAW, who goes to grab it, but T.Rex pulls it away at the last second, and takes a huge bite.  He speaks with a full mouth.

T.Rex:  Tough shit.

El Asso's eyes narrow with rage. 

El Asso Wipo:  You challenge my juevos? 

T.Rex stands up and steps towards EAW.  Arch Angel gets up and puts his hands on both men keeping them at bay.

T.Rex:  What if I am?  Huh?  You gonna do something 'bout it?  Break me like SSSSSOOO, 'SNAP' on your knee?

El Asso Wipo:  TCHA!  Its TCHA!  And if you have no respect for the back breaking arts?  You have no respect for ME. 

T.Rex:  Newflash.  I DON'T have any respect for you.  Cuz YOU thought I was Jonas Coleman last week.  You demand I give up my bear claw this week.  The way I see it?  You ain't got respect for me. So?  Lets fight it out.

El Asso Wipo: Of COURSE you would challenge my juevos, knowing full well without a rich, moist bearclaw to full my LEGENDARY LUCHADORE STOMACH! Of COURSE you would challenge me knowing full well that without that delicious pastry, I am at the disadvantage!

T.Rex: That mean you're fuggin' chicken?

El Asso Wipo: What the fuck does FUG mean? That's not even a real word!

T.Rex: Quit changin' the fuggin' subject! Chris, get your hands off me.  I'ma tear this moron apart!

Silas reaches forward and pushed Wipo aside, getting him out of harms way. Arch Angel tries to hold Rex back, to avoid the altercation in the middle of donut time.

T.Rex: Oh, look, your big mute friend's gonna have your back. Some masked menace yous s'posed to be.

Silas turns to stare T.Rex right in the eyes. He has to look down to do it, but Rex isn't backing up.

El Asso Wipo: Oh, now you've done it! Silas, watch your mouth, muchacho! There are children present!

T.Rex: He say somethin' to me? YOU SAY SOMETHIN' TO ME, BOY?

Arch Angel: Relax, Teddy. Save it for the ring.

El Asso Wipo: YES! That is a good idea! Silas can take you on, one on one tonight! Since your parter was slapping hands last week with Senor Jonas, and my mask injury has yet to fully heal!

As if you didn't know, El Asso Wipo points to a fresh set of stitches on his mask.

T.Rex: You're on, you jolly green giant!

El Asso Wipo: This will be easier than I thought! Silas is not green, so you must be color blind! Come, Silas! Let's get you ready for your match!

Wipo tugs on Silas, who is reluctant to back away, but he eventually is led away by the SHOOT Project resident luchador. T.Rex takes a few deep breaths and starts to relax a little bit, now that there's no more chance for an altercation at this time.

The camera cuts to Alex Brooks standing in the ring alone. He's got a microphone in his hand and a less than jolly look on his face. 
 
Alex Brooks: I suppose you all know why I'm out here tonight, and why I'm out here by my lonesome instead of with my partner by my side. I have one person to thank for that, and I know he's backstage. Mason Pierce, I think it's time you and I cleared the air once and for all. You owe an explanation. Not just to me, but to everyone. 
 
He lets the microphone fall to his side as he keeps an eye on the entrance ramp. 
 
Eryk Masters: He's right, you know. I think it's safe to say that The Fixer has some explaining to do. What he did last week was- 
 
Almost as if on cue, “Mislead” booms from the speakers and the curtain parts. Mason Pierce and Leona emerge, Mason's newly-won GEA Global Championship belt slung over his shoulder. He's got a smirk on his face as he stares right into the eyes of Brooks, his stare locked as he makes his way to the ringside area. 
 
Other Guy: And of course, here he is with his shiny new belt- one that he won at the inaugural event of SHOOT's newest affiliate. Man steps up to represent SHOOT at the last second and winds up winning it all. And you think he's owing people an explanation? For what? 
 
Eryk Masters: You know damn well what. 
 
Mason ascends the ring steps, taking the microphone from Leona and climbing through the ropes, holding them for Leona to climb through. He makes his way to where Brooks is standing and smiles. 
 
Mason Pierce: Well, here I am. You've got something to say? Now's the time to be saying it. 
 
Brooks raises his microphone and gets a little closer to his adversary. 
 
Alex Brooks: You know why I called you out here. 
 
Mason Pierce: Let me guess... to congratulate me on my championship win?   
 
Brooks shakes his head. 
 
Alex Brooks: Nothing, to do with it. But congratulations, anyway. 
 
Mason Pierce: Wait. Let me guess. That little bimbo you call a tag team partner- the one who's so fucking inconsiderate that when we have a shot at the tag team titles she can't even be bothered to answer her damn phone? The one I smacked some smarts into after she took a shot at me? That's what's got your panties in a twist? 
 
Brooks is starting to fume right now. 
 
Alex Brooks: Smacking some smarts into her? Is that what you call that blindside? It was an accident for crying out loud, an accident. And the reason she's not here is because thanks to YOU, she's laid up at home with a fractured orbital bone. 
 
Mason Pierce: You're- 
 
Alex Brooks: I dare you to finish that. 
 
Mason Pierce: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Let's just nip this in the bud right here and now, because it's painfully obvious to me your interpretation of things is just a wee bit skewed. For your information, she hit first. Don't believe me? Go watch the footage. All I did was make damn sure I struck last. Now you want a piece of me, too? Fine. You got it. Any time, anywhere. 
 
Mason turns to leave, but Brooks isn't done yet. 
 
Alex Brooks: Revolution. One-oh-six. You and me. One on one. If you've got the- 
 
Mason turns and drops the microphone, slamming Brooks in the temple with a perfectly-placed right hand! Brooks drops to the mat and Pierce sets himself for another shot, but Leona holds him back, whispering something to him. He grabs the microphone.

Mason Pierce: You're ON. And Brooksie... a piece of friendly advice. Next time you think about grabbing a tiger by the tail, make sure you've got a damn good plan for dealing with his teeth.

Mason throws the microphone down and walks away as Brooks gets back to his feet.

Eryk Masters: Looks like we've got us a showdown for the next Revolution!

Other Guy: Sure seems that way. Let's hope Alex Brooks hasn't bitten off more than he can chew.

All is quiet in the bowels of the Epicenter. 
 
We find ourselves in the deepest subbasement of the building, far below the cheering of the capacity crowd above. The only sound to be heard….is the dry crackling of an old industrial incinerator built into the wall. This is a forgotten place….rarely visited….a place of dust and spiderwebs. Even the spiders that once created them are either dead or long gone, since the heat of this room is practically insufferable. 
 
Isaac Entragian is seated in a dusty, torn up leather chair….directly in front of the metallic grill of the incinerator. Isaac’s deep green eyes stare into the incinerator, reflecting orange firelight. His expression is a mixture of weariness and near exhaustion….but beneath all that, there are conniving, manipulative cogs turning deep within the corridors of this man’s mind…giving us the idea that SOMETHING….is taking shape there. 
 
Isaac hears the footfalls enter the room from the only entrance…and then moments later Kenji Yamada is there, standing beside him and looking into the incinerator. Isaac looks up at Kenji for a moment, and then his gaze returns to the fire. 
 
Entragian: It started…in a place just like this. Remember, Kenji? You came to me with an idea. We became…the roots…of that idea. We poured our blood and our sweat into the mortar…and we became the foundations of Project: SCAR. 
 
Isaac drags his fingernails against the leather arm rests of the chair, leaving little indentations in the material. 
 
Entragian: We built this…together. And it has blossomed, hasn’t it, old friend? The passage of years has brought growth and new branches to the charred tree that we planted. Corazon. Obsidian. Gaunt. Flay. The idea….appealed to them. Like moths to a flame, they could not resist the temptation to become a part of it. 
 
Isaac rubs a hand against his temple….a dry hiss of exhaled air escaping his lips. 
 
Entragian: SCAR grew. Our little family of misfits…grew. And with that expansion…things have changed. Bickering. Sibling rivalry. Ego crushing up against ego. And now…the one thing I HOPED…I would never see. One of our own…trying to twist and redefine the direction of the family that you and I built. 
 
Isaac licks his lips, taking a moment to look up at the one brother he trusts above all others. 
 
Entragian: Sometimes I long for the days when it was just two monsters against the world….no agendas, no power plays, no conflicting ideals….just bloodletting and carnage. When did it all become so complicated, Kenji? 
 
Kenji takes a seat next to Isaac, on the floor. The incinerator casts an eerie glow on his figure, lighting up his face. Where there is usually nothing, there was something. His eyebrows curled downward, icy blue eyes turned a hue of orange from the reflecting fire. He held his open palms up, warming them. 
 
Kenji: I used to think it was simple. Just keep spilling blood until they couldn't stand anymore. Just keep mauling until they looked as ugly as we did. It was fun, too, for a while. You and me, Isaac, we... we turned this world upside down. We took brave men, legendary men and we crushed them like they were nothing.  
 
Kenji softly shakes his head. 
 
Kenji: I used to think that if I spilled enough blood it would fill the emptiness inside, the emptiness he left when he died. A part of me wanted to believe that it was some twisted sense of justice that made me do it, bring SHOOT a monster that would force them to change. Cause enough anarchy that SHOOT would have to change into what my boy would have been proud of. If SHOOT wouldn't change then I would force it on them, either through their destruction or their will to survive.  
 
But SHOOT never changed, not really. 
 
There was a glimpse of it when that boy came back, but it fizzled and died again because of greed and ego. But now, Corazon wants to... 
 
Kenji cups his hands around his face. 
 
Kenji: We are brothers, Isaac, you know that. In this world or the next, there is no one I'd trust more. You were there with me at the beginning, you helped this idea blossom, and now you are the foundation of it. I would never betray you, Isaac, but... 
 
Kenji lets his hands slide down his face; his eyes are staring through the fire. 
 
Kenji: His words haunt me still, Isaac. I thought I was over it, I thought it was behind me, but I still hear him. When Corazon spoke... I didn't just hear the ego driven Black Death that was our brother, Isaac. I heard him too...

Isaac turns his head towards Kenji, gazing at his brother for a long time in silence. Kenji’s usually cold opaque blue eyes don’t look as frigid as they usually do at this moment…there’s something else shining in them. Perhaps the ghost of a man that once was, back when an innocent child still lived and breathed.

Entragian: I understand that, Kenji. I always have. During that whole Maya situation…I saw how much it affected you. I never blamed you for it. I never condemned you for it. You saw a little piece of the son you lost inside of Maya…and for a little while….you were able to touch a piece of the humanity you lost with him.

Isaac pauses while gazing into the open flames.

Entragian: After the Hell you’ve been through….and the Hell I’ve been through…I thought you deserved to have that moment of happiness. I stood by you. I helped you. And while Maya was in the house of SCAR, I never laid a harming hand on his head….out of respect for you and the son you still grieve for to this day. Remember how that played out, though?

Isaac pinches some dust between his fingers, proceeding to toss it into the hungry mouth of the incinerator.

Entragian: All of them…turned against you, Kenji. They wanted you out. They claimed it was weakness…they claimed you had turned your back on SCAR. Not me, though. I told those brazen motherfuckers NO…I will not stand by and let you cast out the Architect of Project: SCAR. While Corazon betrayed you at RISE and then tried to justify it with paltry excuses…I always remained in your corner. I remained loyal to my friend…my oldest brother. And then I worked as hard as I possibly could to MEND the crack within Project: SCAR….and I succeeded in bringing us together again.

Isaac sighs, and then he rises up to his feet while still gazing into the fire.

Entragian: You showed humanity once…and they wanted to turn their backs on you for it, Corazon ESPECIALLY. But now….Corazon has found his humanity, and he wants you all to skip along his little yellow brick road towards redemption while he does everything in his power to exile me. He doesn’t want equals, Kenji. He doesn’t want brothers. He wants puppets to answer to a half-formed vision that he just pulled out of his Brutal & Inhuman asshole.

Isaac’s eyes dance with firelight, and that cruel, fathomless evil that lives inside of him is clear to be seen.

Entragian: I play my cards close to the chest, brother…but I’ve never kept secrets from you, and I won’t start now. With that being said…you should know this, Kenji. I plan on killing Adrian Corazon’s freshly redeemed soul, and I plan on crushing the sense of honor that has been reborn into his heart. I won’t do it by walking out to the ring tonight and confronting him with blind rage and misplaced brutality. That’s how he’d like me to react…but I have no intention of playing into his hands.

A clear cut emotion has bled into Isaac’s voice….the sound of old, familiar hate.

Entragian: I’m going to hurt him my way. The kind of hurt…that is everlasting. It’ll be the sort of hurt that’ll stain his career…and his LIFE…for many long years to come. My blades cut deep…because I take my time with them. The wounds I inflict apon this man will make him bleed mind, body, and soul. I’m a patient predator…and I’ll take my time. I’ll nurture his pain until his screams…become a symphony.

Isaac grins at Kenji then….a smile laced with razor-sharp teeth and pure fucking evil.

Entragian: I’m going to make him hurt like no one in SHOOT Project has ever made that Brutal & Inhuman son of a bitch hurt before….and when the blood washes away and the smoke dissipates…I hope that I can look to my right and still find you standing there as my brother and my friend. However this thing plays out, Kenji…I hope it ends with the SCAR originals standing side by side…because that’s the way it’s supposed to end, old friend.

Isaac grips Kenji’s shoulder, squeezing it companionably for a moment….and then The Ivory Terror stalks off into the shadows, leaving Kenji sitting cross legged in front of the incinerator.

Kenji's eyes dip away from the fire, a dull shadow looming over his brow. He looks exhausted. 

Kenji: When did it all become so complicated...

 


Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen, this match is a singles competition set for one fall.  Introducing first, standing in the ring he is, Phillip Goodman!

Goodman gives a hand in the air to the crowd and begins pulling on the top rope preparing himself for the match ahead of him.  The crowd offers a modest amount of cheers for a debuting superstar.  As he continues to do various warm up exercises, “Jesus Freak”  by DC Talk hits the PA. 

Samantha Coil: And introducing second hailing from Wichita, Kansas standing at 6 foot 9 inches at a weight of 320 pounds he is SOLOMON RICHARDS!

Solomon emerges from the curtains wearing his white trunks and black pads.  The fans begin to clamor a little at his sheer size, and a few are cheering for him.  Solomon wastes no time making his way to the ring, stepping over the top rope and walking to the middle of the ring. 

The bell rings to get this matchup underway, and right off the bat Goodman is looking a little taken aback, making his way toward the corner as he tries to figure out a strategy to take down his much larger opposition. In the middle of the ring, Solomon Richards is standing, arms out, palms raised, challenging Goodman to come out of the corner and get things started.

Eryk Masters: Phillip Goodman looks like a deer in the headlights out there. I'm starting to wonder if he's starting to realize just what he's gone and gotten himself into.

Other Guy: Seriously? E, look at this guy. Six foot nine. Three hundred plus. You telling me you could stand in the ring with that redwood and not be wanting to soil yourself just a little?

Richards takes a step forward and Goodman heads for the ropes. The crowd is booing loudly as the referee steps in and orders Goodman to head for the middle of the ring. Goodman takes a deep breath and nods as he heads toward the big man waiting for him, getting up a head of steam and looking for a baseball slide dropkick that takes out the big man's left leg, staggering him just long enough for Goodman to quickly get back to his feet and leap onto the back, trying to lock in a sleeper early on! Richards, however, is having none of it, and he leans forward before falling back, his massive frame landing on top of Goodman! Heflin begins the count, but Goodman gets a shoulder up right away. Richards gets up and shakes his head, motioning for Goodman to get vertical. Goodman gets to his feet slowly, sizing up the big man and charging toward him, but Richards catches him and sends him flying with a textbook belly-to-belly suplex! The crowd roars as Richards clamps on a headlock, but Goodman somehow manages to get to a knee...he's on his feet, and he manages to push his bigger opponent into the ropes- but the attempted clothesline goes nowhere except into an armbreaker!

Eryk Masters: OUCH! I don't care who you are, that is going to hurt- especially when you've got one of the biggest men size-wise in SHOOT delivering it. That could break some bones very easily.

Other Guy: Yep- and now if he can capitalize on it, this can be over quick and I can go get some nachos .

Richards maneuvers around and clamps on an armbar, but Goodman, even with his face contorted into a grimace of pain, manages to get up and ducks underneath, managing to reverse the hold and getting the bigger Richards into a hammerlock! He's wrenching on that arm, but it seems to be to no avail, as Richards, a look of determination on his face, reaches back with his free hand and snapmares Goodman right over! Richards rubs the shoulder that's just been worked with that hammerlock and waits for Goodman to get himself up before charging and levelling his smaller adversary with a wicked shoulder block that sends Goodman into the corner.. Richards gets back to his vertical base and hoists Goodman onto the top turnbuckle, climbing to the second rope and grasping the dazed Goodman's head and hooking the leg...  MUSCLE BUSTER!! He goes for a cover... one.. two... KICKOUT!!

Eryk Masters: What a maneuver! How the hell did Goodman kick out from that?

Other Guy: He's resilient, I'll give him that. Not too bright, but resilient.

Richards gets up and checks on his opponent, almost as if he wants to make sure Goodman's not seriously injured... and winds up with a poke in the eye for his concern! He staggers back as Goodman gets to his feet and runs the ropes, going airborne for a cross-body and flying right into a fallaway slam! Richards seems to have a look in his eye right now that wasn't there before, and it's almost as if that eye poke sent him into another gear... he goes over to the dazed Goodman and clamps on a front facelock, leaning in and putting the pressure on- Goodman is reaching for the ropes, but he's coming up just short... he clenches a fist and sends it right into the chest of Richards, trying to get some sort of separation, but it seems to only be making the big man squeeze that much tighter!! Goodman is trying with all his might.. and he lunges his hand out and just barely manages to grab the rope! Referee Heflin orders the break, and Richards relents immediately, standing back in compliance with the referee's instructions. Goodman is getting to his feet and he shakes off the cobwebs, charging at Richards, but he's met with a German suplex for his troubles! Richards raises his arms to the crowd,which is on its feet right now... he maneuvers behind Goodman and motions for him to get up... Goodman slowly gets to his vertical base, oblivious to what's waiting right behind him... Richards grabs Goodman's right arm, pulls it across and slips his left underneath...

Eryk Masters: COBRA CLUTCH!! This has GOT to be it!

Other Guy: Stay down, Phillip. Just stay down this time.

Goodman is struggling against the vicious hold, but Solomon Richards is not letting up this time around.. Goodman is squirming as he tries to get some sort of leverage, but to no avail- he taps!!! Heflin calls for the bell and instructs Richards to relinquish the hold, which he does with no objection whatsoever.

Samantha Coil: Here is your winner... Solomon... RRRRICHARDS!!!!

Heflin raises Solomon's hand in victory as Goodman pulls himself to his feet long enough to make an exit from the ring.

Eryk Masters: Talk about an impressive debut for Solomon Richards in this one. Without question, Phillip Goodman was outclassed, outmuscled, just plain mismatched from the opening bell.

Other Guy: I think it's safe to say one man made a solid showing in his first matchup. The other.. well, I gotta give the man credit. He showed up, tried to put on a decent show, but you're right. He got thrown in the ring with a freakin' giant. Not a whole lot you can do against that. But it could have been worse.

Eryk Masters: Right. He could have wound up drawing someone like Napalm or Entragian. Someone who would have beaten him so badly they'd be wiping him up with a sponge.

We head to the backstage area.  The view is of the rightfully full of himself Dan Stein.  Wearing a sleeveless neon blue 'STEIN PROJECT' t-shirt, cut off at the abs and his wrestling trunks, he walks with an added aura of confidence than usual.  A few feet away stands a female, her back turned to Stein.  She has on a grey knit hat, red jacket and blue jeans.  As Stein continues moving forward and her face comes into full view, we see it is Laura Seton.  It's almost as if Stein doesn't see her as he bangs into her, nearly knocking the now-unfavored woman over.

Dan Stein: Hey, watch- 

Stein runs his eyes up and down Laura's frame, a smile crossing his face. 

Dan Stein: I mean, pardon me, Miss...? 

Dan looks at her, inviting Laura to share her last name.  All she had to do was hear the voice and she knows whom it is.  She rolls her eyes as she turns her head so she looks over right shoulder at Stein.

Laura: Seton.

Stein looks at her, square in the eyes, then briefly down her frame again. 

Dan Stein: That's funny, there's already a woman on the roster named Seton. You're not this Milwaukee Seton I've heard so much about, are you?

Laura has a breath, deep and controlled so as not to lash out at Stein.  She turns completely around to face him. She takes off her hat and shakes her head a couple times to let her dyed-brown hair down.  She narrows her brow as she holds the look in the eyes.

Laura: You must be joking, right?

Stein laughs, putting his hand on a crate next to him and leaning on it. The crate rolls and Stein stumbles to catch himself, and then looks at Laura again. 

Dan Stein: No, seriously! Laura Seton. She's... I mean, she's alright and all. Kinda butchy, good wrestler...but you. You're... 

He motions up and down her body. 

Dan Stein: You look...good. 

Stein smirks. 

Dan Stein: I don't know if you're aware, but I'm the NUMBER ONE CONTENDER. I'm also on the welcome committee.

Laura runs her tongue around the inside of her mouth in frustration.  Yes, she's put more emphasis on her looks of late; obviously Dan is late to the party here.  What used to be a soft, gentle voice is now one filled with venom.

Laura: What do you mean 'butchy?'

Stein smirks, happily obliging her interest. 

Dan Stein: Oh, you know. Always wore her dorky WNBA jersey, didn't show off her body. Hell, I don't even know if she has a figure - I doubt SHE even knows. Word on the streets is she's never been properly introduced, if you know what I mean.

Laura puts her right hand to her beltline, elbow pointed out, allowing Stein to see through her unzipped jacket to her tight-fitting black turtleneck.  She then raises her eyebrows.

Laura: You mean... sort of like this?

She keeps her eyebrows up, as if to say, “Do you get it, yet?” Stein smirks. 

Dan Stein: Yeah, like tha-Hey, wait a minute. 

Dan narrows his eyes as he looks at her. 

Dan Stein: L-Laura? Holy Hell.

Laura: It's me, Stein.

Stein looks at her and lurches. 

Dan Stein: Oh, God. I'm going to be sick. 

He dry heaves once, falling over into the moving crate. Scrambling to his feet, Stein looks up at Laura. 

Dan Stein: B..bye, Laura.

Jaime sees Dan Stein head into the locker room as he looks at Laura, who's glaring at him intently. 

Jaime Alejandro: It's Queen Bitch of Fuck Mountain. So, how's your ass after the manchild owned you...

Laura sneers at him before trying to push her way past him.  He puts his arm out in front of her and glares at her. 

Laura: That's none of your business. Say, shouldn't you be out there killing someone else to satisfy the lust of those stupid animals out there? That's all you're good for. You certainly don't do much else right.  Heck... you can't even do THAT right often enough.

Jaime: You're looking for a fight, little girl. A fight that you don't even have the guts for. Because if you're the so called "heroine", we might as well give up the fight. Considering that you put your head in the sand around when Project: SCAR was running roughshod over all SHOOT. Or that you still can't even face Tanya Black in an actual contest...

Laura: So... what?  In retrospect, it wouldn't have been worth it.  The stupids in the audience are hypocrites.  They act like they don't want SCAR, but you know what?  They prefer those actions.  They don't know better.  They aren't humans like LEGACY's fanbase was. I was misled to coming here by those dweebs. It wasn't about being the heroine I was in LEGACY.  It was about a new person arriving to spill blood.  I was trying to do that “right thing” they “wanted,” but all anyone ever did after my first six months here was begin to boo me.  Once people saw I wasn't going to use violence against violence, they gave up on me.  So no, I don't give a dang about those dummies that got a ticket or anyone else here... and I certainly don't give a rat's poophole about you.

Jaime: You talk big words for a complete cunt. Yelling at little kids. Telling the people to fuck off. You use those big girl words quite well. Maybe the piece of chalk was right. The milk has gone bad and the cookies have went a bit hard.

Laura: I'd love to kick the snot out of you right now.

Jaime: But you don't have the courage to even try...

Laura simply scoffs at him.

Laura: It's just not worth my time.

Jaime: That's bullshit and you know it.  You can't even live with yourself unless you prove that you're right.  You're just mad because all people will ever see you as is the world's biggest prude who's only managed to hold the Sin City Championship...

Laura cocks her head to the left and has a small laugh to herself as she eyes the Iron First Title. 

Laura: At least I'm not a lousy, pathetic, hapless person at home. I can get by without needing early-morning aid. I'm not a disgrace to myself nor... 

She lightly knocks on the belt with her left index finger. 

Laura: ...to such a tough-guy title.

Jaime: So let that hate for me come out.

Laura: I'm storing it for a rainy day.

Jaime: Of course, if you're done half-assing it and part-timing hoping some WNBA team doesn't consider you old and washed up... Then, step up.

Laura turns away as she begins to sneer.  She speaks to herself as she walks off.

Laura: And things are turning mostly cloudy.

“HORIZON” by D'espairsRay begins to play in the Epicenter, and Maya Nakashima steps out from behind the curtains. The crowd reacts with a MASSIVE favorable response, cheering to be heard for Maya from all sides of the stands.

Eryk Masters: I wasn’t expecting to see Maya come down to the ring tonight, but it’s always a pleasant surprise when this young man makes an appearance. The fans absolutely LOVE him.

Other Guy: He’s one of the most popular SHOOT Soldiers we have, Eryk. He has the ability to bring a smile to just about anyone’s face.

Maya heads down the ramp, making a point to slap hands with the fans on his way to the ring. Maya rolls into the squared circle under the bottom rope, and he takes up a microphone from a ringside official. 

Maya: 2013... a brand new year. For me, it started off with a hard fought match against two men I respect a great deal in Jamie Alejandro and Jared Walsh. It didn't turn out the way I wanted, but I gave it everything I had and that's all I can do. That brings me to this brand new year we find ourselves in, 2013.  

Last year, for a long time, I was gone. Project: SCAR kidnapped me and maybe I didn't do enough to get free or fight them off, maybe I wasn't strong enough. But now? Project: SCAR is a house divided, all but broken. Thanks to men like Jamie Alejandro and Donovan King fighting them off at every turn in my absence, Project: SCAR is on death's door. 

But, for half of 2012 I wasn't here for you when you needed me. 

That changes this year. 

I promise each and every person here today, watching at home, and watching backstage on a monitor... I'm not going anywhere. I don't care who tries to take me away from you, I won't let them. I'll be here for all of you and I'll keep fighting as long as I am able to.  

If Project: SCAR is on the brink of destruction... 

Then I will be the final nail in their coffin.

The fans ROAR with applause for Maya’s statement….but that applause gets overrun by the scorching vocals of “Blood” by In This Moment.

Elizabeth Gaunt steps out from behind the curtains, standing for a moment with her hands on her hips. Gaunt wears tight leather pants and a scarlet baby tee with the words “ALL HAIL THE CRIMSON KING” written across the bosom, the shirt only coming up so far to expose her pierced belly button.

Gaunt’s expression is….totally blank….and the fans rain down with thunderous boos as she makes her way down to the ring. Liz slithers into the ring beneath the bottom rope…and she approaches Maya, standing a few feet in front of him.

Other Guy: What’s she doing out here?

Eryk Masters: She might want to talk to Maya. These two have had some kind of…I guess you’d say tentative friendship…with Maya trying to reach out to Liz. She’s been receptive to it these past few weeks…and maybe she realizes SCAR is tearing itself apart from the inside out…Maya might be her best hope for a better life right now.

Gaunt finally looks up at meets Maya’s eyes….and her expression breaks into a look of absolute sorrow.

Gaunt: I’m sorry; Maya…I’m so sorry…

Gaunt sniffles, her cute little nose scrunching up as she fights back tears.

Gaunt: Can I please have a hug?

Maya looks really concerned, and he nods, looking into Liz’s bright turquoise eyes.

Maya reaches out; arms open, looking to draw Liz into his soft embrace….

AND LIZ PROMPTLY REARS BACK AND PISTONS A FIST INTO MAYA’S FACE, BRASS KNUCKLES CRUSHING INTO MAYA’S JAW WITH A SICKENING CRUNCH!!!

Eryk Masters: WHAT THE SHIT??? THIS HELLCAT IS OUT OF HER DAMN MIND!

Liz’s expression has changed completely….it’s not the look of a conflicted young woman anymore. It’s the look of uncontrollable, undeniable INSANITY bleeding up to the surface.

Liz begins to just KICK the living hell out of Maya, snapping her combat boots into his ribs over and over again…Maya begins to cough, and he fights desperately up to his feet…Liz screaming at him with the cords standing out in her neck.

Gaunt: COME ON, YOU GULLIBLE LITTLE FUCKER!! COME FOR ME!! I’M READY!! HITMEHITMEHITME….FUCKING HIT ME!!!

Maya swings out at Liz with a right hand, but Liz sidesteps…and she PUNTS Maya in the crotch as hard as she possibly can! Maya MOANS in agony…but Liz doesn’t let him fall, instead she buries her hand in his platinum hair….and she SLAMS Maya’s face down against her knee, causing blood to GUSH out of Maya’s nostrils.

Eryk Masters: Jesus CHRIST, OG…have we EVER seen Gaunt this aggressive before? It’s like she’s just straight up breaking bad here tonight…there’s no sign of that innocent, conflicted woman that faced Maya at Redemption...

Other Guy: Gaunt’s mind has always been hanging by a thread, Eryk…and judging by this heinous assault…I’m gonna have to assume that the thread has finally SNAPPED.

The fans start to chant, inciting Liz’s mania even more.

CRAZY B*TCH!

CRAZY B*TCH!

CRAZY B*TCH!

Maya is stumbling back up to his feet, blood dripping from the bottom of his face in little streams….and Liz SHRIEKS at him at the top of her lungs, a cat-like scream that echoes throughout the entire Epicenter.

Maya runs at Liz, looking to kick her in the stomach…but Liz catches Maya’s boot and she begins SLASH his chest with her right hand, the sharpened fingernails cutting shallow lacerations into Maya’s flesh.

She pushes Maya back to gain some separation…and then she PISTONS a superkick into Maya’s heart with all of her strength! Maya gets BLASTED to the canvas by the impact, both hands held against his heart as he coughs violently.

Other Guy: HEARTLESS! Liz connected with Heartless!

Liz stares down at Maya, her lips quivering…and she reaches a hand down and picks up the microphone that he dropped.

Gaunt: I…..am….done.

She stares down at Maya with all of the Epicenter booing like crazy.

Gaunt: I’m done…being a good girl. I’m done…playing nice. I’m done listening to the promises of a CHARLATAN. I’m done holding back. I’m DONE…fighting…the nature of what I am. No more denying my urges. No more….weak little Lizzie. From now on, Maya….YOU…and all of these people…are going to get the REAL me.

Gaunt leans down…and she swipes her hand across the slimy blood that’s coating Maya’s face. She stands back up….and she smears this blood across the tops of her breasts, painting her cleavage in crimson. She then brings her palm up to her mouth…her tongue slipping out past her pink lips to lick some of the blood off her palm.

She smiles, and her eyes roll back momentarily to the whites.

Gaunt: We’ll see how you like….the real me.

Eryk Masters: This girl is one sick, sick puppy, OG. If THIS is the real Elizabeth Gaunt? Then I think I can speak for most people when I say that I don’t WANT to see anymore…

Other Guy: Every single member of SCAR scares me, Eryk…but what scares me about this woman is how out of touch with reality she is. She is a certified headcase…and you never really know what a person like that is capable of.

Gaunt drops down to the canvas, looming over Maya’s broken form.

Gaunt: You have succeeded in giving me a second chance.

Gaunt holds Maya by the throat, DRAGGING her sharp nails across the side of his neck.

Gaunt: You’ve given me a second chance…..to RUIN you.

Gaunt leans back, holding the microphone…AND SHE JABS IT INTO THE SIDE OF MAYA’S NECK LIKE A SHANK, SENDING A LOUD CRASH OF FEEDBACK THROUGH THE ARENA!!

Maya rolls to his side in excruciation….and Liz stands up, lording over him, her mouth twitching back and forth between a smile and a grimace.

Other Guy: I think it’s safe to say, Eryk…this thing between Maya and Gaunt is far from over.

Eryk Masters: That’s a given. Based on what we just saw….it seems like Liz has decided to just give in to her dark side….and that is BAD for anyone that crosses her. Maya looks like he just got mauled by a jaguar….and we need some help out here for him….right now.

The shot closes out on Gaunt staring down at Maya as he curls up into the fetal position on the canvas.

Various members of the SHOOT Epicenter crew hover around the catering table, chatting aimlessly amongst themselves. Some laughter, some blank expressions, and even a few angry faces are heard and seen. Corey Lazarus and Gregory Price, though, stand out, as Price chomps away on a stick of gum while thumbing through his iPhone and Corey pours himself a fresh cup of coffee.

Corey Lazarus: ...and then? It just...happened.

Gregory Price: What?

Corey stirs his coffee and then places the spoon in his mouth, adjusting the collar of his black long-sleeve silk button-down before spitting the spoon into a nearby trash barrell, sliding his free hand into the pocket of his white slacks.

Corey Lazarus: Robbie and I. Things were going alright and then he copped an attitude, and now I'm looking at a restraining order.

Gregory Price: Oh, right. That. What are the specifics?

Corey Lazarus: I can't even remember off the top of my head, to be honest. I've been so busy with LV-138 lately. It's a lot more of a headache than Xanax has ever been.

Gregory Price: Las Vegas is a bit more cut-throat than New York is, Corey.

Corey Lazarus: Yeah, in some ways, sure, but...oh, hey, look who it is...

Thomas Manchester Black lets out a long sigh, not really being in the mood to deal with the man standing in his sights at the moment. TMB twists the cap off his bottled water and stares at the man who troubled him for a decent portion of the last year.

TMB: Corey...Price...I hope this won't turn into something that you two aren't ready to deal with at the moment.

Corey Lazarus: I hope this won't turn into something, blah blah shut up, Tommy boy. The adults are talking.

Thomas nearly bites his tongue to keep from ringing Lazarus' neck. Black has a little laugh before launching his next line.

TMB: Too bad the adults weren't there when you lost those tag titles. They might have had a better chance of holding onto them than you.

Corey Lazarus: Oh, I'm sorry, did the guy who has yet to even get a hint of what SHOOT gold tastes like say something? I have a hard time hearing anything in the monogoloid frequency.

Price snickers at his client's line as Corey sips more of his coffee, but stops immediately as soon as TMB shoots him a glare.

TMB: Oh, is that funny, Price? Maybe I could make you piss in your pants and provide something a little funnier. And as for you, "Icon," ...

TMB, looking to rub some more salt into Corey's wounds, mocks him by forming his own finger quotations. Corey, however, is not amused.

TMB: ...my days of no gold ends tonight. But don't worry...WHEN I become Iron Fist champion, I promise the first person to get knocked out for 10 seconds will be you.

Gregory Price: Well, if I may interject here, it sounds...!

Corey pulls his hand out of his pocket and places it on Price's chest, cutting him off mid-sentence.

Corey Lazarus: It sounds like somebody doesn't exactly remember what happened three out of the four times they happened to be in the ring with the L-A-Z. It sounds like somebody doesn't quite understand just how bad of an idea it is to agitate yours truly right now, considering I'm dealing with some professional shit that a little insignifi-CUNT...

Corey stands close to TMB, the two rivals shooting daggers into one another through their eyes.

Corey Lazarus: ...worm like yourself wouldn't even have a dumbed-down, kindergartener textbook version of an understanding of, and that's leaving me all a little...hmmm...Gregory, what's the word I'm looking for here?

Gregory Price: Annoyed, aggravated, peeved...?

Corey Lazarus: I'm thinking more vulgar, actually.

Gregory Price: Pis...!

It's TMB's turn to cut Price off, this time, and he does so with a swagger and a smile.

TMB: Price...I think you should remind your client that this war with me may not end so well this time. In fact, the last time I was in the ring with Laz, he barely was able to walk out with the win. But the past is the past, right Corey? And we...we are about the future. And the future hasn't been too kind to you, but I can change that, Laz. That's if you still think you are man enough to deal with.

Corey Lazarus: If this is about some sort of weird quasi-sexual urge you find yourself having towards me, babe, then I'm going to have to reference you to a licensed therapist because I'm so not down with that. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's the twenty-first century and I'm down with equality and I was totally in favor of the Marriage Equality Act, but you're barking up the wrong tree here.

Gregory Price: And, need we remind you, Mr. Black, that the last encounter between yourself and my client did, in fact, end with Corey walking away from the ring of his own free will and you requiring a two-night stay in the hospital?

Corey Lazarus: That too.

Corey sips his coffee and takes a step back, leaning against the edge of the catering table. He spies a platter of cookies and picks one up, taking a bite of it before spitting it out into the trash barrell, throwing the remaining part away as well.

Corey Lazarus: God, these taste like how I'd imagine your mom's ass tastes like, Tommy boy!

TMB places his bottled water on a nearby table. He gets right in Laz's face. TMB allows a small grin to cross his face.

TMB: Price...this would be the time you signal for some EMTs because your client is going home early tonight. Matter of fact...okay, Corey. Fine. You've made your point. But you, Price...you better give him a reality check, because just like Jamie is about to find out?

Black gets in close to both men, whispering the next few words.

TMB: I can make pain a very big factor in your lives.

Thomas walks away, sipping on his water some more, and then turns just as Corey finishes his coffee.

TMB: Deal with it.

TMB walks down the hallway heading towards the Gorilla position, leaving Corey and Price dumbfounded. Price looks around at the SHOOT crew, noticing all of their attentions focused on the two of them.

Gregory Price: What are you all looking at?! GET BACK TO WORK!!

A decent bit of commotion rumbles from the rest of the room as the SHOOT crew wanders away from Corey and Price, leaving the two of them alone.

Corey Lazarus: ...he stole my line...

Gregory Price: He did, he did. Now, back to what we were talking about earlier?

Corey Lazarus: Right, right...anyway, I...

Corey continues on talking with Price, looking in the direction that Thomas Manchester Black wandered off to all the while.


Samantha Coil: The following contest will be for the SHOOT Project's IRON FIST CHAMPIONSHIP!

The crowd pops loud for the announcement, and the cheers intensify as “No Rest For The Wicked” by Cage The Elephant starts up over the PA system, as the crowd explodes for the man known as “The Queen City Hitman”.

Eryk Masters: Thomas Manchester Black is riding a wave of momentum coming in here, but who has been more unstoppable than Jaime Alejandro?

Other Guy: This is bordering on Irresistable Force versus Immovable Object territory right here. These men are both tough as nails, but only one is going to walk out victorious.

Samantha Coil: Now introducing the challenger! From Tokyo, Japan by the way of his hometown, The Queen City…Charlotte , North Carolina...

TMB comes out from behind the curtains wearing Black and White MMA shorts and boots. He tops that off by wearing a Grey North Carolina Tar Heels Hoodie with a towel over his head & his forearms and fists taped up. On his fist and forearm tape you see the words “Dark Sinner”. Black hardly looks out from the hoodie as he walks toward the ring. He stops and cracks his knuckles before raising his hands in the air.

Samantha Coil: He is “The Queen City Hitman”…

TMB continues to make his way down the ramp way, soaking up the reaction from the crowd that are tossed his way. TMB makes his way up the steel steps and steps over the top rope and doesn't even look at the ref as he makes his way to the middle of the ring. He folds his arms as Carolina Blue and White streamers flood the ring, Japanese style. TMB bows to the fans and goes to the corner as Ring Hands start to clean the streamers from the ring.

Samantha Coil: This is THOMAS MANCHESTER BLACK!

Once Coil is finished, TMB takes off his hoodie and tosses it to a ring hand, before slinking down into a sitting position in the corner. Black eyes remain focused as he waits for the match to begin.

The crowd buzzes with excitement, knowing that the champion is coming out next. “Pieces” by Sevendust hits over the PA. Green pyros erupt at Jaime Alejandro emerges from the back, dressed in camon pants, a flack jacket with a khaki wifebeater underneath, combat boots, and, most notably, a large silver skull helmet over his face. The left side of the skull is scratched up and tattered, while the right side has a bullet hole over the eye. Jaime holds the Iron Fist Championship high as the crowd cheers wildly.

Samantha Coil: His opponent is the IRON FIST CHAMPION of SHOOT Project, weighing in at two hundred and seventy-five pounds..."THE SAINT"....JAIME ALEJAAAAAAANDRRRRRRRRRO!

Jaime makes his way to the ring, slapping hands with fans, but keeping his eyes on the dangerous individual in the ring. TMB looks completely focused, locking his own eyes on the champion without showing a hint of intimidation. Jaime stops at the apron, looking dead ahead at Black before removing the helmet and flack jacket and entering the ring.

Eryk Masters: Anyone who is anyone would be intimidated by either man standing in the ring tonight.

Other Guy: These men aren't anyone, E. This is the cream of the crop. Two men who will by no means step back from any fight they meet.

Eryk Masters: And they are going to tear each other apart. Who do you got?

Other Guy: TMB. Jaime is going to try submissions and suplexes to knock Black out, but all TMB needs are the meathooks on the ends of his arms. There won't be any submission, but Thomas Manchester Black will beat Jaime into oblivion to become Iron Fist Champion.

Eryk Masters: I think Alejandro has the advantage. The veteran has nothing to lose, with the exception of the Iron Fist title, but with the hell he had to go through to win it? He will try and throw Black across every inch of this ring in order to keep the gold around his waist.

The bell rings, and neither man wastes time in locking up in the center of the ring. TMB pushes back on Jaime, the collar-elbow tie up fully cinched in, but Jaime doesn't give, and in fact, seems to be pushing back against Black. After a few seconds more effort, they both release the hold, neither man gaining any ground.

They charge at one another again, and again lock up. TMB hooks in deep, and he manages to push Alejandro down to one knee. Jaime's other knee buckles a bit, but he keeps his footing, and actually regains his vertical base. He pushes back against Black, forcing the Queen City Hitman down to one knee himself. Jaime switches his grip, chaning the tie-up into a top hammerlock, folding Black's arm up and forcing his elbow toward his shoulder blades. TMB grits his teeth, and sweeps Jaime's leg out from under him, and immediately goes for a full guard, but Jaime slips away, and both men are back on their feet, neither too worse for wear.

Eryk Masters: Still very early in this match, but both men seem to be at a stalemate.

Other Guy: Give it some time, and I guarantee this will boil down to who can hit the hardest, and that's when Black will take advantage. No disrespect to Alejandro, but TMB has fists made of stone.

They move into lock up again, but Jaime slips behind, wrapping his arms around the waist of Black. TMB fires a back elbow that catches Alejandro right in the orbital bone, and Jaime backs up. TMB turns and stalks his prey, but Alejandro ducks down, and catches Back with a drop toe hold! Black's face bounces off the canvas, and Alejandro quickly drops an elbow to the back of his challenger. The Saint gets back to his feet, and drops a knee now, bouncing the kneecap off the top of TMB's cranium. Black rolls, clutching his head, but Jaime is not done. He grabs the ankle of TMB and twists Black's leg around his own, driving his knee down in the soft cartilige in the back of Black's own knee.

Eryk Masters: Jaime is beginning his dissection of TMB, going after multiple parts of the body.

Other Guy: Definitely a sound strategy. Especially going after the knee. If you can't stand, you can't beat a ten count!

Black clutches at his knee, but he fights to his feet, which is what Jaime was waiting for. He hooks Black up in a full nelson, and takes him back over Jaime's head with a suplex! Black lands on the back of his head and neck, and the momentum causes him to flip onto his stomach! Jaime backs off, and motions for the ref to start the count.

Other Guy: Normally, I'm not a fan of letting up on your opponent. Of course, that doesn't apply in Iron Fist matches.

Willie Dean checks on TMB, and begins his count.

ONE!

TWO!

THREE!

TMB crawls to the rope and grasps the middle.

FOUR!

Black uses the rope to pull himself up. He's a bit unsteady, but he makes it back to his feet. Jaime moves forward, but catches a bicycle kick right to the chest!

Other Guy: Black suckered Jaime in on that one! But can TMB turn the tide here?

Jaime gets to a knee, but obviously feeling the effects of that kick. Jaime gets up, holding onto the top rope, and Black runs at him, clotheslining Jaime over the top and to the floor, the momentum taking Black over as well. Jaime hits the floor back first, and TMB lands in an almost seated position. Black gets up, and brings Jaime to his feet. He grabs Jaime's head and smashes him face first into the ring apron! Alejandro's head smacks off the steel and he ends up on the ground again, but moving. TMB ceases the movement with a swift, punt like kick to the side of Jaime's face! Saliva and a little bit of blood flies from the champion's mouth as he goes slightly limp on the outside, in front of the announcers.

Eryk Masters: TMB has turned this match around, and he just literally kicked the taste out of Alejandro's mouth!

Willie Dean is there, checking on Jaime, and his count has begun!

One!

Two!

Jaime begins to move!

Three!

Four!

Five!

Jaime puts his hand on top of the barricade in front of the announce booth, and TMB is tensing, waiting to strike.

SIX!

Se-Jaime gets to his feet a bit wobbly, but he remains upright, breaking the count. He is then blasted in the back of his head by a roundhouse kick from TMB, the force of which propels Jaime over the barricade, laying flat on the announce table!

Other Guy: GEEZ! He's almost on top of us!

The kick seems to have knocked Alejandro loopy, and he's about motionless atop the announce table! TMB doesn't let up, as he steps over and starts firing right hands to the face of Jaime. The Saint tries to cover up and fight back, but Black penetrates his guard, landing blow after blow.

Eryk Masters: Black is relentless on his quest to become Iron Fist champ!

Other Guy: And Jaime is nearly unconscious!

Black lands one more clubbing blow to the face of Alejandro, and backs off, allowing Willie Dean to begin his count.

One!

Two!

Three!

Four!

Jaime begins to stir atop the announce table. He accidentally kicks Other Guy's soda off the table.

Five!

Other Guy: Not my Mountain Dew!!!

Six!

Jaime begins to roll onto his side, towards the barricade.

SEVEN!

EIGHT!

Jaime rolls over the barricade and lands on his feet. Black wastes no time in continuing his attack, pummling the midsection of Alejandro with precision rights and lefts. Jaime fights back, driving the butt of his elbow into the forehead of Black, and Black responds by slapping Jaime across the face. Alejandro snaps upright, a look of anger in his eyes, as he stares down Thomas Manchester Black. Black doesn't back down, but his next attempt at a right hand is blocked, and Jaime replies with a European uppercut with such force that Black is knocked off his feet! Jaime follows through, getting a running start and plowing his knee to the face of TMB. Black goes limp, and the momentum causes Jaime to fall to his face. He quickly gets back to his feet, still feeling the effects of Black's earlier assault, but TMB is on the ground!

One!

Two!

Black starts to stir, and Jaime stands across from him, trying to catch his breath.

Three!

Four!

Five!

Black rolls to his stomach, and up to one knee.

Six!

Black pushes up, and to his feet. The count is broken, and Jaime charges, but TMB is ready for him, using a burst of energy to grab Jaime and take him overhead with a belly to belly suplex!

Eryk Masters: DEAR LORD LOOK OUT!

Jaime lands over the barricade and on top of the announce table, rolling over it, sending the announcers scattering! Headsets have been pulled off Masters' and Other Guy's heads, and Jaime lands on the floor behind the table. The fans nearby are going insane, some trying to bend over the rail to check on Jaime. Jaime is in a heap, and Black falls against the ring, using the ropes to keep himself up. Willie Dean crawls on top of the announce table to check on Jaime, and kneels on it, beginning his count!

One!

Two!

Three!

Four!

Jaime begins to stir, moving a chair back out of his way.

Five!

He untangles a headset that landed on top of him, trying to come to his senses.

Six!

Jaime is on his side, as fans are trying to will him up to his feet.

Seven!

Jaime gets to a knee and tries to push himself up, but he falls back down!

Eight!

Nine!

Te-Jaime pushes himself up quickly, falling against the guardrail, unsteady, but on his feet, just making the ten count! Black looks disbelieving, but he moves closer, trying to get Jaime back over towards the ring. Jaime swings but hits only empty air, and Black reaches over and grabs Jaime's head, slamming him face first into the announce table. Black drags Jaime over the table, dumping him back onto the floor.

Jaime tries to crawl, in order to get to his feet, and TMB stalks behind him. Jaime gets to a knee, and Black clinches from behind, locking on a cobra clutch! Jaime uses the strength he has to fight and struggle against the hold, but TMB has it locked in! Jaime struggles to his feet, but there's nowhere to go. Black whips Jaime around, putting more pressure and causing more pain with the hold, and Jaime's arms are flailing.

Other Guy: Hey, are we back?

Eryk Masters: That was a close call, but Jaime's in trouble! There's no escape!

Jaime begins to slow his movements, and TMB starts trying to force Jaime back down. Jaime falls to one knee as Black continues to shake, sending Alejandro into unconsciousness. The fans are torn, several cheering on Black, others trying to coerce Jaime back into things. Alejandro extends his arm upward, and begins to shake as a large portion of the crowd begins clapping in unison! Jaime pushes back up to his feet and swings his leg back, connecting with the crotch of TMB! The look on Black's face says it all: completely in pain.

Eryk Masters: Jaime hits him in the soft spot, but TMB hangs on to the hold!

Jaime swings his leg back again, again nutshotting TMB in an attempt to break the hold! TMB releases him, but has the energy to shove Jaime face first into the ringpost!

Eryk Masters: After the cobra clutch and now that impact! Jaime is finished!

Other Guy: New Iron Fist champion!

One!

Jaime is flat on his back on the ground, and TMB rolls into the ring.

Two!

Three!

Alejandro is still not moving, and TMB raises his arms in celebration.

Four!

There is a commotion in the crowd, but Alejandro still isn't moving!

Five!

Six!

The commotion, as it turns out, is none other than LAURA SETON, who slides into the ring behind an unsuspecting Thomas Manchester Black!

SEVEN!

Eryk Masters: The hell is she doing here?!

EIGHT!

Black turns at the request of some fans at ringside, and is blindsided by Laura's au batido kick, right to the face!

Other Guy: The Angel's Fury! But WHY?!

Willie Dean sees what's going on, and his count is stopped. He slides into the ring as Alejandro begins to stir, to chastise Seton. Black is flat on his back, seemingly knocked out from the kick. Seton shrugs, a cocky look on her face. She points at Alejandro, and then makes a motion around her waist of a title belt.

Eryk Masters: I think...I think she's saying SHE wants to be the one to take the Iron Fist title from Alejandro!

Other Guy: A completely disgusting display! Black had this match won and Seton just crapped in his Cherrios!

Alejandro is seated now, hugging the ring post, and Black is moving, but very slightly. Jaime reaches up and grabs the bottom rope, pulling himself gingerly to his feet, shaking his groggy head, before realizing what happened. Laura mockingly blows Jaime a kiss, and departs the ring, as Alejandro seems to have a rush of adrenaline, trying to go after her. He stops short when he reaches the opposite side of the ring, realizing that there is still, in fact, a match going on!

Eryk Masters: Whatever her reasons, TMB is in serious trouble here, and Jaime knows he has to stay here and finish things with Black!

Jaime is ushered into the corner by Willie Dean, he starts his count for Black.

One!

Two!

Black rolls to his side, a kind of glassy look in his eyes.

Three!

Four!

Five!

Black is on his hands and knees now, the crowd, and even Alejandro, willing him to get up in time.

Six!

Seven!

TMB is to one knee and pushes up to his feet, but falls back down to the mat!

Eight!

NINE!

Alejandro rushes forward, stopping the count!

Other Guy: What? He had this match won!

Eryk Masters: I seriously doubt Alejandro wants to win like that!

Black struggles to his feet, looking increduously at Alejandro. He seems to be asking, without words, "Why'd you stop?"

Alejandro motions for Black to come at him in response, and TMB shakes his head. He reaches out and smacks the taste of of Jaime's mouth, and Alejandro flies into a fit of rage! He picks TMB up and deadlifts him from behind, over his head!

Eryk Masters: German! German suplex!

Jaime hangs on, rolling his hips, while keeping his grip locked in tight. He brings TMB to his feet, and switches his stance, hooking his hands behind the neck of TMB, forcing his arms up with a full nelson. Jaime muscles Black up and over his head, dropping him with a Dragon suplex!

Other Guy: Jaime is seeing red. This doesn't bode well for Black!

Jaime holds on, bringing Black up to his feet. Black's very unsteady on his feet, and would be on the ground if not for Jaime. Alejandro moves a hand down to chicken wing TMB's left arm and takes him back for a half and half suplex!

Eryk Masters: That's three! Oh dear lord, Black is limp!

He is. Alejandro has to struggle to get the dead weight of TMB to his feet, and chicken wings both arms. Jaime grits his teeth and powers Black over his head, and suplexes one more time!

Other Guy: Tiger Suplex! There's only one place left to go from here!

Jaime rolls one more time, bringing TMB to his feet for a fifth time, and wraps Black's arms in front of him, criss crossing them. Black's eyes are already rolling into the back of his head as Jaime lifts one last time, landing a Straight Jacket Suplex!

Eryk Masters: HYDRAPLEX COMPLETE! Black is out COLD!

Jaime pushes away, getting to his feet, the crowd cheering. Black is motionless, as Willie Dean checks on him. He gets back to his feet and sees Jaime in the corner. He starts the count.

One!

Two!

Alejandro is on his feet, clutching the back of his neck. TMB is still motionless!

Three!

Four!

Five!

Six!

Black twitches, and seems to be coming to!

Other Guy: How is he not in a coma?

Seven!

Black flips to his stomach, and begins to crawl to the ropes. Alejandro is astounded.

Eight!

Black grabs the bottom rope, trying desperately to pull himself up!

NINE!

TEN!

The bell rings, and TMB collapses back to the mat as Jaime raises his arm in the air in victory!

Samantha Coil: Here is your winner, and STILL the Iron Fist Champion, Jaime ALEJANDRO!

Alejandro is awarded his Iron Fist championship, and he raises it in the air to a large pop!

Eryk Masters: Jaime Alejandro is lucky to be Iron Fist Champion.

Other Guy: Laura Seton cost TMB the title tonight, but I have to admit, Jaime ended things here on his own terms.

Eryk Masters: All the same, Thomas Manchester Black has NOTHING to be ashamed of tonight. He put up one hell of a fight, and nearly took home the gold!

The camera finds us backstage, as former three-time SHOOT tag champions Long Island Hardcore are traveling through the arena, with what appears to be a cantaloupe carved into a flower shape. CJ is dressed in a Lunatikk Crippler “Hardcore Hipster” T-shirt and jeans, and Jared is in a pair of bright green nylon pants with a “Three Wipo Moon” T-shirt.

CJ Nelson: I think this will really make their day. They need this.

Jared Walsh: I agree. They've just been so down since they lost the belts... they need something to lift their spirits.

CJ Nelson: This thing looks delicious.

Jared Walsh: I know, right? They really know what they're--

As CJ and Jared turn the corner, who should they run into but the current SHOOT Project Tag Team Champions? Sex and Violence are both staring into their phones, probably updating their Twitter accounts.

Jared Walsh: Wow, what crazy random happenstance!

CJ Nelson: Hey, guys, we wanted to say congratulations to you on your victory at Rev: CE. In fact, we were just on our way to bring this consolation prize to Super Nintendo, Incorporated. That's their name, right?

Jared Walsh: I hope so, because I'm pretty sure that's who we billed this to. Oh well. I really think this is what they need.

CJ Nelson: Ooh, read 'em the card, Jared.

Napalm looks like he's about to interrupt, but Jared puts a hand up.

Jared Walsh: Shh, you'll like this one. “Dear GenCorp, sorry to hear you guys lost the belts to a team that was randomly slapped together. It's always embarrassing when that happens. On the plus side, you didn't lose it to the team you won the belts from, because that would be even more embarrassing. At least Corey can say he won something in one of his careers, since you're obviously not going to be an Oscar contender any time soon. Don't fret, we'll be sure to bring some respect to the belts after we take them from that two-bit hack and his narcissist boyfriend. Hugs and kisses, Long Island Hardcore. PS, Ron Barker sucks.”  What do you think?

CJ Nelson: If they had Pulitzer's for apology cards, I think this would win. Forever.

Dan Stein: Wow, guys. If only you could wrestle as singles competitors as well as you insult people, Jared might be Iron Fist Champion right now.

Stein looks at Jared with a smile. Napalm adjusts his Tag Title on his shoulder, looking over at CJ Nelson.

Johnny Napalm: I have a feeling these two don't particularly care about singles competition. It's just funny how they've been together for...how long, Boys? Longer than Sex and Violence, that's for sure. And yet, here we are, defeated three tag teams and claimed the SHOOT Project Tag Team Championship all to ourselves.

Napalm and Stein look over at LIHC and wrench their hands over their eyes with pouty lips. Jared and CJ smile, looking at each other. Jared points at the pair, chuckling.

Jared Walsh: Oh, you cards. I mean, good job on beating the Sinister Syndicate, Genesis Corporation, and that other random team that included Dina Bryce. I'm curious how much your back must hurt, Dan, because Napalm is easily, what, 600 pounds? Carrying him must be difficult.

CJ Nelson: Hey, Dan, remember when we had that match a couple months ago, and you were teamed with Sammy Rochester and Jester Smiles, and everybody was like, “Oh man, Sammy Rochester is unstoppable!”  And then, like, two weeks later, we, y'know, stopped him?

Jared Walsh: A lot of people were saying Jester and Sammy would be the team to beat in SHOOT. So that's what we did.

CJ Nelson: So don't worry, Dan, we'll have you focused back on the World Title scene in a jiffy.

Jared Walsh: And Napalm back to languishing in mediocrity.

CJ Nelson: It'll be fun!

Stein smirks, looking at Napalm.

Dan Stein: Here it is.

Stein swings his hand at Napalm, gesturing toward CJ and Jared. Napalm clears his throat.

Johnny Napalm: Ahh, there it is. The first tag team to step up and challenge Stein and I for these belts. It feels good.

Napalm inhales deeply.

Johnny Napalm: You know, SS and GenCorp are now former tag team champions. Not Jester and Sammy, Stein can vouch for that. YOU are former tag team champions. We...are current champions. Remember that.

Jared smiles once more, looking at the ground. When he looks back up, neither he nor CJ are smiling anymore.

Jared Walsh: And we put down a former World Champion and his monster. A monster, I might add, that your very partner was afraid of even when he was on his team.

CJ Nelson: You have those belts by stroke of luck and nothing more. A chance pairing that fell into the titles on the whim of a computer.

Jared Walsh: You're right about one thing, though. We are former tag champs. Three-time former tag champs. A team that, until the BAB came along, had the longest tag title reign in SHOOT history.

CJ Nelson: And we defended those belts more than the last three tag champions combined.

Jared Walsh: You want to downplay us? Fine. You aren't the first, and you won't be the last. But those belts are ours.

CJ Nelson: You're just polishing 'em for us.

Dan Stein steps forward, holding his title close to his body. Stepping up towards Jared, he ticks his tongue against the roof of his mouth.

Dan Stein: Jared Walsh, methinks you doth protest too much. Downplay you? Dan Stein? Never... However, letting your hetero-lifemate call us "lucky"? Sure, luckier than Ainsley Lake - but we're still the champions, Jared.

Stein turns towards CJ, but cringes when he realizes how high he has to lift his head.

Dan Stein: I guess you were "lucky" enough to miss out on a shot at these titles once while I was randomly paired up with Johnny Napalm - who, by the way, isn't an autistic child with a monstrous temper problem, but a fully capable clear thinking MAN, maybe you DO deserve a shot at these titles - just to get you and hot pants off my jock.

If I can work it into my schedule, of course. Unlike you, I can stand holding these belts and never defending them. I can stand never letting you.

Stein looks over at Jared.

Dan Stein: ...or you... or anyone else, CJ, see the light of SHOOT Project Tag Team gold. And I think you both know that.

Stein smirks, slapping the belt from one shoulder to the other. Jared takes a deep breath, rage barely simmering below the surface.

Jared Walsh: I wasn't going to get into the Ainsley situation, Stein, but rest assured, mention her again and your fully capable, clear thinking man of a partner will not be able to stop us from doing some amateur cosmetic surgery on your moneymaker.

CJ Nelson: I know you can stand not defending the belts, Dan, just like you can stand weaseling into a Rumble win, or breaking your friend's jaw like it was no big deal. But you can't avoid us forever... and your partner here? I think he saw what we did at Redemption, and I bet he's wanting to see if he can do better. The Savior of Violence never could stand to be upstaged, could you, Johnny?

Jared Walsh: So enjoy the air of smug superiority. Relish it. Because eventually, all you'll have is the memory of losing to a future Hall of Fame tag team.

CJ Nelson: And a cantaloupe shaped like a flower pot.

CJ and Jared brush past them, slapping the belts as they walk.

Jared Walsh: Keep 'em shiny for us.

LIHC moves out of frame, and Stein and Napalm look at each other with smug smiles.

We open to a blue screen. At the bottom of the screen is a movie theater silhouette, with three men watching. I think we know where this is going. The screen flickers as if it were a poorly maintained VHS tape.  There is an audible hum as the tape begins.

The Bad Ass Brotherhood and The SHOOT Project on Tag Team Wrestling.

Jared Walsh: Jeez, you'd think they'd want to go to an expert.

We see an image of the Bad Ass Brotherhood Patch and the SHOOT Project Helmet.

The Bad Ass Brotherhood supports tag team wrestling, having chosen to become tag team wrestlers in the face of a non-existent tag team division or support from the wrestling community.

CJ Nelson: “The Bad Ass Brotherhood supports easy wins and cheap fan reaction.”

Jared Walsh: To be fair, who doesn't?

We see the Bad Ass Brotherhood holding the CWC World Tag Team Championships in one hand…and the SHOOT Project World Tag Team Championship belts in the other.

The SHOOT Project not only opposes tag team wrestling, SHOOT allows singles competitors with no prior ample tag team experience to become tag team champions.

Ryan Cuddihy: At least we can agree with that.

The image changes to Johnny Napalm and Dan Stein holding the tag team titles in victory.  The image turns to one of Tanya Black.

All: Boo! Hiss!

One such singles competitor was Tanya Black who nearly ruined the Sin City division, winning the title something like two times.  I don’t know, I don’t really follow bad wrestling.

CJ Nelson: Says the guy talking about the Bad Ass Brotherhood.

SHOOT saw fit to allow her the ability to form a tag team with perennial failure Chance Ryan.

An image of Chance Ryan, dressed as FLASH Dynamite is shown.

Jared Walsh: THAT's who FLASH was?

CJ Nelson: Yeah, back when he had balls.

As an alleged tag team, the Sinister Syndicate managed to procure the tag team titles through nefarious means.  Their inexperience and awfulness as a tag team allowed no substantial reign as champions, losing to another singles competitors turned partners tandem.

All: Boo! Hiss!

We see the Syndicate losing to the Genesis Corporation of Corey Lazarus and Ron Barker.

The SHOOT Project has a long history of terrible singles competitors being placed together in tag teams, only to collapse under the weight of their own ineptitude.

CJ Nelson: I'm not the only one who sees the irony in all this, am I?

The screen then flashes to show Instant Heat, then Stellar Insanity, then Hardcore Style, then the Beautiful People, then Long Island Hardcore.

The SHOOT Project repeatedly placed their tag team division in the hands of other inept teams.  Some being sad tag teams with no prior experience, others sad tag teams with no prior importance in professional wrestling constantly failing either the fans or the SHOOT Project.

Jared Walsh: “Except for Long Island Hardcore, who we have attempted to emulate as much as possible.”

Ryan Cuddihy: And why shouldn't they? Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

CJ Nelson: It's also kinda sad.

The screen flashes now to show each of these teams walking away from the ring, their faces sullen after one of their probable myriad losses.

Perennial failures.

Jared Walsh: Wait, is he talking about the Brotherhood again?

As see the SHOOT Project Helmet again.

SHOOT Project on tag team wrestling.

We see the Bad Ass Brotherhood walking from the ring, the SHOOT Project World Tag Team Championships on their respective shoulders.

All: Boo! Hiss!

The Bad Ass Brotherhood.

SHOOT Project Tag Team Cornerstone.

SHOOT Project World Tag Team Champions.

2013.

Ryan Cuddihy: Let's try and keep that to 2012, guys.

CJ Nelson: SHOOT Project Tag Team Cornerstone? Really?

Jared Walsh: Well, when you're the only team in SHOOT, you can call yourself that, I guess.

CJ Nelson: Psh. That kind of arrogance is what gets people in trouble.

Jared Walsh: Yeah. Long Island Hardcore, SHOOT Project Tag Team Champions 2013-eternity.

Ryan Cuddihy: Very modest, Jared.

Jared Walsh: I try.

Fade to an image of the SHOOT helmet logo, with the theater silhouette underneath.


Eryk Masters:  A special bonus match-

Other Guy:  You can call it "Special" alright. 

Eryk Masters:  That was added earlier today, in the altercation we saw earlier.

Other Guy:  You mean the epic battle for the bearclaw?

Eryk Masters:  That I do, OG.  How they got here tonight may not classify as "standard operating procedure", but I can assure you both of these men heading to the ring are incredibly serious about two things.  Fighting and carving out a spot among the elite of the SHOOT Project's expanding tag ranks. 

Lights dim out.  A red circle flashes onto the jumbotron.  An "A" slashes through the center of the circle as Sebastian Bach's scream pierces the air as the PA System pumps Skid Row's "Monkey Business" through out the Epicenter.  T.Rex struts out to the ramp in his black, loose fitting wrestling pants.  Black boots, and a tight white tank top.  He looks towards the ring with a scowl on his face.  Arch Angel a step behind him. 

Samantha Coil:  Coming to the ring.   From Seaside Heights, New Jersey and weighing in at 332 pounds.  Being accompanied to the ring by Arch Angel.  One half of Anarchy,  T.  RRRRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEXXXXXXXXX!!!!!

They head towards the ring. T.Rex all business.  Arch Angel slaps a few fives on his way to the ring.  T.Rex stomps his way up the ring steps and lets out a guttural roar before stepping through the ropes and running and bouncing off the ropes as his music fades away.

Eryk Masters:   T.Rex looking ornery as all hell today.

Other Guy: Yeah, you'd think he was the one who didn't get the bear claw. 

Tenacious D's "Wonderboy" blasts through the arena as Silas saunters out with El Asso Wipo in tow.  Wipo is talking adamantly.  Gesturing in T.Rex's direction.

Other Guy:  He's either coaching up, Silas, or he still hasn't stopped ranting about the bear claw. 

Silas gets to the ring and steps up on the apron.

Samantha Coil:  And his opponent.  Weighing in at 364 pounds.  Accompanied to the ring by El Asso Wipo, SSSSSSSILAS MITCHELL!!!

The two men are locked in an intense stare down. 

Eryk Masters:  This one isn't going to be a technical masterpiece.  These two mastodons are gonna be laying the heavy lumber.

Other Guy:  This is gonna look like a bar brawl at last call… ya know… if the combatants were fighting over a bear claw instead of a drunk slut. 

The bell rings and the two men charge.  Fists cocked.  Rights piston into each combatant.  Silas starts getting the better of T.Rex, but sensing this Rex stomps down hard onto Silas' right foot. 

Eryk Masters:  Effective footstomp. 

Silas checks that foot and T.Rex takes the opportunity to take a step back and charge with a stiff clothesline.  Silas wobbles, but doesn't fall.  T.Rex backs up two steps and charges again with another violent shot that drops the big man.

Other Guy:  That's like getting a large tree branch across the chest. 

T.Rex stomps down viciously on Silas' chest.  He backs up, bounces off the ropes and takes a few quick steps before dropping a headbutt.  He stays down and makes a lateral press.

One…

Two-NO!  Silas powers out before two.  T.Rex is up and as soon as Silas is up he grabs him and pulls him down in to a side headlock.  Once in there T.Rex winds up and drives a series of punches into Silas's forehead.  He then takes him over with a side headlock takeover.  He leans back keeping as much of his body weight across Silas's chest.

Other Guy:  T.Rex trying to wear on Silas.  Cranking the neck with that headlock, and then making Silas carry his body weight.  Its a simple and effective way to utilize T.Rex's ample mass. 

T.Rex leans back as far as he can, effectively pinning Silas's shoulders to mat.

One…

Two..-NO.  Silas shoulders out and then buries a forearm shiver into T.Rex's side.   T.Rex leans back again.

One…

two-NO!  Another forearm shiver.  Followed by a third, and T.Rex lets go.  Silas shoves T.Rex off and quickly gets to his feet.  T.Rex charges looking for another clothesline, but Silas deftly ducks it.  T.Rex bounces off the ropes Silas steps backwards and levels T.Rex with a back elbow.  He follows that up with an elbow drop.  Stands once more and drops a leg across T.Rex's chest.  He keeps the leg there with a  cover.

One…

Two…NO.  T.Rex rolls out.

Eryk Masters:  Not gonna keep a man down that way.  No matter how big you are. 

Silas gets up and drags T.Rex to his feet.  Scoops him and slams him down. The ring quaking with the force of the body slam.  Silas towers over T.Rex and again.  Drags him to his feet.  Scoops him up and slams him down.  Drags him up one more time and slams him down once more.  He drops and makes a lateral press.

One…

Two…

Th-NO!  T.Rex shoulders out. 

T.Rex gets up slowly, leaning on the ropes.  Silas backs up and runs driving T.Rex over the top rope and down to the outside with a thud.  The referee begins his ten count.

Other Guy:  A solid three point three on the Richter scale.

Eryk Masters: And what the hell is Wipo doing?

El Asso Wipo walks over to T.Rex and begins barking at him.  Pointing a finger inches from T.Rex's face as T.Rex starts to get to his feet.  Rex doesn't take kindly to the finger in his face and swats it away.  The crowd "OOOOH's".  Now T.Rex jabs his finger into El Asso Wipo's chest.

T.Rex:  You fuggin' put your finger in my face again?  You're pulling back a bloody stump!

El Asso Wipo: You challenge my juevos… AGAIN?! 

El Asso Wipo winds up and delivers a vicious slap to T.Rex's face.  The crowd "oohs" again and T.Rex staggers back two steps before  shooting a fiery glare EAW's direction, and then taking off.  Grabbing Wipo and taking him down with a double leg take down.  T.Rex begins pistoning right hands into the masked man.

Other Guy:  Rex really trying to open up those stitches!

The referee is up to six, and Silas now slides out of the ring.  He goes to grab T.Rex off his friend, but Arch Angel does not take kindly to this.  He runs around the ring.  He tackles Silas off T.Rex and now Arch Angel and Silas are rolling on the ground exchanging rights and lefts.  Wipo drives a headbutt up into T.Rex, and that opens things up for him to get T.Rex off him.  He drives a knee into T.Rex's gut.  He then picks him up.  The crowd roars with anticipation, and then drops him down across his knee.

Crowd:  TCHA!!!!!

Arch Angel sees this and quickly slams Silas' head on the apron and then takes off and levels Wipo with a running big boot.

Eryk Masters: This is chaos!   Referee is up to eight, but what's the point?  Just throw it out!

Seeing Wipo nearly decapitated by the big boot.  Silas' eyes scream rage, and as Arch Angel turns away he is leveled by a spear from Silas.  Just as the count gets to ten.  He calls for the bell as security and extra referees pour from the back. 

Samantha Coil:  The referee has declared this match a no-contest, by way of double countout!

The crowd boos as all four men get to their feet each one surrounded by three security guards.  The three extra referees in the middle admonishing the three men. Wipo and T.Rex jawing.  Arch Angel and Silas locked in an icy stare down as they're slowly escorted to the back. 

We cut backstage to see Johnny Napalm sitting leaning against a pallet lifted on a forklift.  He is having a pleasant conversation on his cell phone.  There is a lot of nodding and agreeable “yes” and “I understand” answers.  He finishes the conversation with a muffled “Love you too”  and slides the phone into his pocket.  He grabs both corners of the pallet and hoists himself onto it and kicks back against the wall, watching as random staff members walk by. 

Most people pass the forklift without any thought, paying little attention to Napalm.  After a few minutes goes by a young man in a security T-shirt walks by and glances up in Napalm’s direction with a quizzical look on his face, seemingly because it is an odd place for a person to be sitting.  As the man is walking by, Napalm jumps down from the pallet and grabs the young man by the shoulder.

Johnny Napalm: You have some sort of problem with me?  Why are you staring me down?  You think it’s odd that a person would want to wind down and relax during a hard day of work?

The man looks stunned, seemingly very confused by the line of questioning that is being hurled in his direction.  At the very moment that Napalm sticks his finger in the young man’s face, Solomon Richards walks past the odd looking duo.  He starts to walk by, but as Napalm’s voice begins to raise, he suddenly stops and stands in between the two men.

Solomon: Good Evening gentlemen.  I’m not sure what the fight is about here, but if you’d like, I’d be glad to help mediate it for you.

He looks Napalm over for a moment, who is seething with anger.  He turns his gaze towards the crew man who returns his look with a face of sheer terror.  Solomon puts a hand on the man’s shoulder and looks towards Napalm.

Solomon:  Now, the first step in resolving an issue is for you both to verbalize what it is that caused the problem to arise in the first place.

Napalm looks bewildered at the large stranger standing in front of him.  The look of pure indignation emanates from him as the crew member begins quickly telling his story about minding his business.  As the man speaks, Solomon is intent on his every word, offering condolences and pats on the back with every detail of his encounter with Napalm.  As the man finishes his tale, Johnny Napalm begins to look more and more frustrated.  When Solomon turns to look at Napalm, his expression has turned from complete anger to compassion in an instant. 

Johnny Napalm: You know what, you’re right…whoever you are.  I really should learn to control my anger.  I guess I shouldn’t have lashed out on you Crew Guy.  Run along now.  You can go.

As Napalm waves his hand at the crew man, he hurries out of the line of sight of the two, thankful to get out of a physical altercation.  Solomon watches the man leave, a satisfied look on his face.  He turns to Napalm and reaches his hand out to him in a friendly gesture.

Solomon: See, we all feel better when we admit that we made a mistake.  I’m so glad that I could help.  My name is Solomon, I hope to be around here for a while, so if you ever need my help, feel free to contact me.

Solomon smiles, notices he’s not going to get a handshake and starts to walk off.  As soon as Solomon’s back is turned, Napalm unsnaps the tag team title from around his waist and grasps it with both hands.  A devilish smirk comes across his face as he bears down and LEVELS the big man with the faceplate to the back of Richards’ head.  Richards falls to a heap on the floor as Napalm begins laughing at the big man.

Johnny Napalm: That enough contact, new guy?

The shot fades with Richards holding the back of his head as Napalm casually exits the hallway.  He can be heard whistling a tune as he snaps the belt back around his waist.

She Will Sing, Til Everything Burns While Everyone Screams Burning In Their Lies Burning My Dreams

The lights dim down for a moment and the video wall springs to life showing various images of SHOOT Project competitors each image being burned away in sequence as if someone was burning a stack of photos.

As Everything Burns continues to play the arena explodes into boos as Tanya Black emerges out of the back, her head hanging down solemnly until she gets to the end of the ramp at which point she looks up at the ring and walks around it slowly as if watching an invisible opponent in the ring.

All of this hate
And all of this pain
I'll burn it all down
As my anger reigns
Till everything burns

Eryk Masters: Tanya Black is here and she is… I think she’s lost it.

Other Guy: Yeah but that’s the worst time for everyone else. The more she acts like she’s losing her touch, the more dangerous she becomes in the ring. Like she’s shedding an old skin.

Eryk Masters: She talks about burning, so I guess we should say Phoenix reborn.

Other Guy: She seems to be working on her second lap.

Stopping Tanya Black reaches under the ring. Pulling out a steel chair she tosses it into the ring. Sliding into the ring Tanya sets up the chair as her music dies, a stage hand handing her a microphone as she looks like her mind is in another dimension.

Tanya Black: Urban Legend. It is defined as a form of modern folklore consisting of stories that may or may not have been believed by their tellers to be true. Like all folklore though, the people believe it. It’s told by reliable people, someone the listener trusts. “Friend of a Friend”. “My cousin says it’s true, and he’s smart enough to know bullshit.”

The problem is when that person isn’t really a source of gospel truth.

Eryk Masters. Other Guy. I forgive you. It’s not your fault. You are saying what you are told. Just doing your job.

Eryk Masters: Did I spread folklore?

Other Guy: I do like being employed but I have no idea what she means.

As the fans boo louder Tanya waits patiently for them to quiet down again before explaining herself.

Tanya Black: See, the company wants to sell you a story as truth. They want the wrestlers to believe it. They want the fans to believe it. But it’s time to break this apart.

I am not a mild irritant. I am not some silly rookie who doesn’t know how to wrestle big men. I am not evil.

I am The Alpha Female. That doesn’t JUST mean I’m the best female wrestler on the planet. I am. What it means is that I am different from that pack. I’m not a women’s wrestler who is trying to spread gender equality. I am not trying to prove “a girl can do what a boy can”.

When I wrestle I don’t see gender. I don’t see men and women. I see other wrestlers that I have to beat to get what I want. That is why I am simply better than YOUR heroines. They revel in “doing what folks think women can’t do” whereas I aim for “doing what no one else can do PERIOD”.

In the past two years I won three titles. No one else in SHOOT had that level of success. I don’t have time for backstage brawls that get me involved in pointless personal wars that take months to resolve. I beat your former World Champions. I exorcised your Devil. I humiliated your hot free agent signings. I have jumped more hurdles than anyone in this company but The Office doesn’t want to promote that. I’m not “In”.

I am not here to “enhance” your other talent’s reputations. I am here to bring about The New Revolution, the next era in SHOOT Project because you can’t rely on the same old circuit talent to keep things fresh and the company ahead of the curve.

Eryk Masters: I will admit Tanya Black has won some big matches and scored some major upsets. But she’s also lost several big matches too.

Other Guy: Yeah but everyone loses. Look around, even when she runs her mouth everyone watches. Tanya is Money, you just can’t understand her.

Tanya Black: See I may have lost my way. I may have let people who walk similar paths confuse me. That’s my problem. I will fix it. They Syndicate will live, the New Revolution will live. But things are going to change. There will be a change in direction, the tag team titles are safe for now.

I will beat everyone. I will take every title in SHOOT Project in turn. I do not need to disrespect the World Champion by interrupting him and telling The World Champion who is deserving of title shots. I WILL be World Champion one day, the day I have done everything else in SHOOT Project. The day after I have won the Iron Fist Title and changed it like I did Sin City and Tag Team gold. The day the World Champion knows I am a threat and the SHOOT Project fans know it HAS to happen.

I am patient because I am not worried about “tomorrow”. I will remain in SHOOT Project until I decide to die. My will to win it all makes me immortal. I have survived War Games for god sakes. What can your little people bring to me I haven’t already done?

I AM A VETERAN!

Next week. I will compete in a singles match. The next phase of the Syndicate begins. My leadership not a speakerphone barking orders like I’m on Charlie’s Angels. Bring me your legends and icons. Bring me your crazy stipulations. Bring me your rookies. I will do something no one else in SHOOT Project can do. No one will deny me.

Suddenly, "Bully" by Shinedown kicks up and the Epicenter turns its attention to the ramp. Tanya Black does so, as well, clearly upset about being interrupted. That irritation is all the more evident as Chance Ryan emerges from the curtain, receiving jeers as well though nowhere near the volume of those thrown Tanya Black's way. Chance has a microphone of his own and raises his hand, slowly the music fades.

Chance Ryan: I'm sorry, Tanya. I know you don't like interruptions, and I know you came out here with an agenda that didn't include me. I get that, so look, I'm sorry. But...

Chance starts walking down the ramp as he rubs his left hand over his face.

Chance Ryan: ...that's kind of why I'm out here. Now, I couldn't help but overhear you say something about your leadership, and while I have more to say than that, let's talk about that first, shall we? See, because as I recall it, you were recruited into the Sinister Syndicate, weren't you?

The fans let out a small "oooooooh" as Chance nods his head.

Chance Ryan: Yeah, that's what happened. I know, because I was assigned to keep an eye on you and make sure the transition was smooth...you were to be Cade's right-hand, after all. So, please, don't come out here and act as if you were the brains and soul behind the Syndicate, because you weren't.

The fans offer a small cheer at that, but Chance continues.

Chance Ryan: You were a pretty face that Cade manipulated into spreading HIS agenda and HIS ideals. Think about it...the Syndicate is all about showcasing the best wrestling and changing the game...Cade Sydal is, whether you like him or not, the best WRESTLER here or anywhere else. I know, because I'm proud to call him my trainer. And yet, despite that bond, I found myself drawn to you, Tanya.

Chance reaches the bottom of the ramp now, and begins walking up the steps, never taking his eyes off of Tanya's.

Chance Ryan: You intrigued me. You are, just as you say you are, a fantastic competitor. Not just for a woman, but as a person. You, inside this ring that I'm stepping in, are amazing. I trust you, Tanya. You tell it like you see it, and you don't back down form anyone. But here and now? I feel, well I'm a little perturbed with you right now.

Tanya starts to speak, but Chance continues on, cutting her off.

Chance Ryan: I'll give you a moment soon enough...first I want to explain why I'm perturbed. I'm upset, frankly, because we are...or is it were, now?...tag team partners. We were tag team champions together, and we were poised to take the division by storm and HOLD it. One failed defense later, and a failed rematch later, and you're just packing up and moving on to the next project, huh? You're done with me, just like that, is that it?

Chance holds his hand out with the palm facing up, indicating that now he's finished what he had to say.

Tanya Black: Chance I agree Cade Sydal at one time WAS the best wrestler in SHOOT Project. But he's injured. So until he comes back, that title is up for grabs. Hell last time he brought it up to me, Cade wasn't even sure IF he was coming back to active competition.

As for YOU. Chance I get it. You like being a tag team competitor. It's natural to you. But you need some serious solo seasoning. It will help you out a lot. That's why the Syndicate is going to take care of some non-tag problems here in SHOOT.

When you get better, when the time is right. Then WE shall take back the tag team titles. Be honest, do you really want to wrestle Dan Stein? Or Johnny Napalm?

The fans boo at those names as Tanya adjusts her chair, moving it out of the center of the ring so she can stand and pace as Chance and her talk.

Chance Ryan: Absolutely, I do.

The fans cheer, softly, at his confidence.

Chance Ryan: I know I could take those tag team titles back. I KNOW it. I'm not afraid of Johnny Napalm or Dan Stein, or any other pair of men or women for that matter. And I get your point about singles competition, I truly do, but you don't seem to realize that I was a singles competitor before Kid Lightning came along and formed the Flying Avengers with me so many years ago. I'm not some rookie that has to be coddled and lead about on a string, I am more than capable of handling my own business. I just feel that tag team wrestling is a special art, one that I find I truly excel at.

Tanya Black: Fine. Then recruit some new blood into the Syndicate. You keep saying you got friends. But we can't afford to be totally focused on one division. Now let's leave the ring, go to the back and talk about this there. Besides this mouth-breathers don't understand anything about art or talent so it's a waste taking about this in front of them.

Chance Ryan: I don't WANT to recruit someone else. I have the perfect partner right here. So, instead of coming back to the tag team division later on, after you've supposedly conquered the world, why don't you and I go to the back and demand a two-on-two, straight up, rematch for OUR tag titles?

Tanya looks at Chance for a moment that seems to last forever as her face tenses up.

Tanya Black: I will not BEG for anything and I won't go skipping off at your command! Who do you think you are Chance? You do NOT talk back to me! I made you significant for the first time in your life!

As Chance looks a little dumbstruck at that last statement Tanya hauls off and slaps him across the face as hard as she can.

Eryk Masters: Whoa! Tanya Black just slapped the taste out of Chance Ryan's mouth!

Other Guy: You heard her, E! You can't tell her what to do.

Chance stares at the canvas for a long moment, his jaw clenching and unclenching as his right hand rubs the spot of his cheek that she slapped. Suddenly, Chance looks up at her, his eyes wide with rage and as he cocks his right fist back, Tanya suddenly back pedals two big steps and rolls her body through the middle and top rope, gracefully somersaulting to the floor before Chance can unleash any measure of fury.

Grabbing a microphone from ringside Tanya Black looks at Chance as she back up the entrance ramp.

Tanya Black: You are angry. Not thinking straight. I am going to do you a favor Chance. Because I like you. I'll let you think about things and next week after I destroy some moron on the roster, you can apologize to me in the middle of that ring. I promise to accept that apology.

Then we will go back to business. Syndicate will have gold, but MY way this time. Don't cross me Chance. You don't want that.

As Tanya walks backward up the ramp, Chance grabs the chair from the middle of the ring and throws it over the top rope, sending it crashing to the ringside floor hard. He stares a hole through her as she exits, pacing like a caged tiger.

Flay sits in the Project: SCAR locker room with her hands folded in her lap, uneasy hazel eyes floating around the dark dank room. Fear gripped her, unsure of what would come through the doors next. Kenji had left her there a while ago, told her to get comfortable and not move from the locker room. Flay pressed against her black blazer, folding out a crease, realizing how badly her hands were shaking against the fabric. She gripped her hands together, lips trembling as her eyes narrowed towards the door that creaked open. 
 
Gaunt steps through the door and into the room while fluffing her hair. She looks like she just SCRUBBED herself in blood…her upper chest in awash in scarlet, her hands are grimed with drying plasma…and some fresh blood is still smeared against her chin and bottom lip. Gaunt’s head cranes to the side, and her eyes brighten as she sees Flay there sitting in the corner. 
 
Gaunt: Hey, sis!! 
 
Liz favors Flay with her most radiant smile, and we see that even her teeth are stained in Maya Nakashima’s blood. 
 
Gaunt: Oh my god…I probably look like a hot mess right now, right? It’s hard for a girl to stay pretty in this business! I’ve heard blood is really good for the skin though…it’s like a natural exfoliator. 
 
Gaunt walks past the incredibly nervous Flay…and she stands before a full length mirror on one side of the room. She reaches into her locker, proceeding to touch up her pink lip gloss while leaning closer to the mirror. 
 
Gaunt: So now that it’s just us girls….spill it, prettyface. How are you liking our little family? Takes a little getting used to, I’m sure. You’ve entered into the group at a very…delicate time for us. Things are a little rocky right now with Corazon trying to be a good little Soldier boy…but don’t sweat it, doll….Isaac will squash that rebellion before it even gets started. 
 
Gaunt is using a make-up brush to redo her black eye shadow now, and she favors Flay with a wink, her long eyelashes fluttering. Flay digs her fingers into her black slacks, her eyes cemented on the ground at her feet. She can smell the blood wafting through the air off of Gaunt. 
 
Flay: I... don't know what you people want with me. 
 
Her eyes stay on the ground. 
 
Flay: I'm just a normal person, work a nine to five job behind a desk. I don't know the first thing about fighting or whatever it is you people do around here, I've never even really been in a fight in my life. I'm not some criminal with some horrific rap sheet, I don't wish ill on anyone the way you people seem to.  
 
Flay's eyes finally lift and look at Gaunt, covered in blood. Her nails dig deeper into her thighs, black painted nails practically ripping through coarse black fabric to get to her skin. A cold sweat forms on her brow, anxious eyes dip back down away from the blood. 
 
Flay: I'm not like you. I'm not a monster.

Gaunt giggles at that, her laughter like a disjointed melody traveling through the locker room.

Gaunt: It’s so CUTE…when you try to play innocent.

Gaunt turns towards Flay…those turquoise eyes flashing with underlying madness…and she approaches the young woman. Flay flinches back, goosebumps breaking out on her arms….but Gaunt just slowly leans down in front of her, looking into her face.

Gaunt: Don’t be scared. I won’t hurt you. Unless you want me to…

Liz favors Flay with another smile, and the dried blood around her mouth cracks into little fissures.

Gaunt: How do I put this, honey? I should break it to you….gently…because I can tell you’re a fragile girl. I had fragile little dolls when I was a child, and they were my FAVORITE. But here’s the point, Flay….you’re not normal. And if you think you are, you’re only lying to yourself…

Gaunt holds her up her hand, showing Flay a twisted scar that has healed into newly white flesh. She holds her hand next to Flay’s own hand for a moment, and we see that the freshly made wound on Flay’s hand is an exact twin to the one Gaunt has.

Gaunt: You’re marked, Flay. You’re SCAR….rather you want to admit it or not. Do you know how special you are, Flay? Kenji is not much of a social butterfly. He’s a cold, callous sort of man….and he loathes any type of interaction with people outside of us. But he…CHOSE…you, Flay. You should count yourself lucky. He’s never taken anyone under his wing before. And for him to refer to you….as his…”angel”? He must REALLY like you, Flay. I imagine he has big plans for you, sweetie pie…

Gaunt grabs Flay’s chin, and she brings her head up….forcing her to make eye contact.

Gaunt: I know all about you. You have a sickness in you, Flay. A NEED in the flesh that clings to your bones. I get it, honey. I really do. I have the same need…not nearly as bad as you have it….but I’m familiar with what it’s like to be addicted to pain. Everything about you just screams “USE ME”…”HURT ME”…”TEAR ME UP”…I can smell it on you.

Liz leans closer, and she presses her face into Flay’s hair, inhaling deeply of her scent. Flay shivers while cringing backwards in her chair. Flay spins to her side, avoiding Gaunt as much as possible. 

Flay: Just because some psychopath cut up my hand doesn't make me anything like you! 

Flay shook her head, clasping her palms up to her eyes. 

Flay: I don't know what Kenji saw in me, he just gave me something I haven't had since... 

She stops mid-sentence, letting her palms drop from her eyes and reveal the glimmer of a trail mascara running down her cheeks. 

Flay: Corazon sounds like the only one of you monsters that makes any sense.

Gaunt shakes her head slightly….looking at Flay with a halfway pitying expression on her face.

Gaunt: Wow, honey…you really ARE confused. I’m going to give you some advice, Flay…because I like you…and us girls have to stick together.

Gaunt leans closer to Flay, proceeding to push her hair back behind her ear so that she can whisper to the fearful young woman.

Gaunt: When it comes to this little family feud in SCAR right now….the smart choice….is to side with Isaac. The side he’s on is ALWAYS going to be the winning side. I’ve been with him long enough to know that when someone crosses Isaac, the results tend to be…catastrophic. It’s better to stand behind the big bad wolf as pack-mates….as opposed to standing in front of him as food. He’s very unforgiving, Flay…and he has a terribly insatiable appetite.

Gaunt begins to twirl one of her fingers in Flay’s long hair, a sick smile appearing on her face as her whispers continue.

Gaunt: But there’s another reason you might be tempted to…side with The Ivory Terror on this. He’s got that fix you’re always after, Flay. A little pain junkie like you would be creaming for hours at a time if Isaac Entragian decided to lay hands on you. He’s an artist when it comes to PAIN, Flay. The things he can do with his teeth, his hands, his tongue…oh little Flay, trust me when I tell you…he can turn excruciation….into RAPTURE.

Gaunt giggles directly into Flay’s ear…and we see a glimmer of dark, secret desire in Flay’s eyes. She tries to hide it by staring at the floor, but she can’t hide the fact that her body is practically on fire with the idea of what that horrid albino is capable of when it comes to inflicting anguish.

Elizabeth Gaunt finally steps back, looking at Flay with her bloody hands resting on her hips. Gaunt bites her lip as Flay squirms uncomfortably.

Gaunt: Just something to think about, prettyface. This world isn’t free. Just like Kenji told you….you have to pay as you go. You have to pay…for your PAIN. My Pale Rider would gladly give you what you want….but you’ll have to pay, honey. You’ll have to pay…with LOYALTY.

Gaunt pops a piece of bubble gum into her mouth, and she chews it obnoxiously while heading towards the locker door.

Gaunt: SCAR is changing, sis. Lots of things in motion right now. Think about where you want to be when the grand finale happens. Playing nice with Corazon in a land of sunshine and smiley faces ….or indulging in the world Isaac & I could offer you. A world of blood….grit….screams…and all the HURT…you can possibly handle.

Liz opens up the locker room door, looking back at Flay while blowing a bubble with her gum. It pops, and Liz stuffs it back into her blood-smeared mouth while measuring Flay with those unbalanced eyes of hers.

Gaunt: Choices, choices…

Liz’s jagged girlish giggle infiltrates the locker room one final time, and then she’s gone, leaving Flay there by herself in the corner.


 

Eryk Masters: This is it!

Other Guy: There's going to be a lot riding on this match. If Stein wins, Crippler has agreed to leave things alone for the time being as far as the World Heavyweight Championship picture is concerned.

Eryk Masters: And if Crippler wins, Stein has agreed to allow Crippler into the main event at Reckoning Day! Crippler will still have to work something out with Donovan King, but I'm sure our champion is always up for a challenge.

Other Guy: Not to mention another shot at Crippler. There's still so many unanswered questions coming from their title match at Redemption!

A guitar riff echoes throughout the arena, and the fans immediately rise to their feet, cheering like mad.

Yeah, I get it

You're an outcast

Always under attack

Always coming in last

Bringing up the past

No one owes you anything

I think you need a shotgun blast

A kick in the ass

So paranoid

WATCH YOUR BACK

"Sound of Madness" continues to play, and that means only one thing: Lunatikk Crippler has arrived. He steps out from behind the curtains, the hood of his vest pulled up over his head, and he peers out to the crowd, grinning. The opening of his vest shows that his left shoulder is still bandaged up, but it makes no difference to Crippler, as he begins to walk his way down the ramp, pointing out to the crowd, getting them psyched up for the main event that is coming up now.

Other Guy: As you can see, Crippler is still feeling the effects of the war with Donovan King at Redemption.

Eryk Masters: It's always dangerous to come out here taped up or bandaged up, OG. Especially with a man like Stein that you KNOW is going to zero in on that injury.

Other Guy: Tell that to Crippler. No, actually, don't. I doubt it matters to him much.

Crippler slides into the ring, and throws the hood off his head, sticking his arms out to his sides as he lets out a guttural scream to the masses.

Samantha Coil: The next contest is our main event of the evening! Introducing first, currently residing in Las Vegas, Nevada, weighing in at 238 pounds.....Luuuuuuuuunatiiiiiikk CRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIPPLERRRRRRRR!

Crippler ascends the turnbuckles, standing on the middle one, as he removes his vest, continuing to play up to the crowd.

Eryk Masters: You cannot take for granted the level of popularity Crippler has reached! He started at the bottom here in SHOOT, and he has fought and earned his way straight to the top!

Other Guy: And don't be worried about his focus tonight! The man is practically obsessed with becoming World Heavyweight Champion, and in order to even be considered, he's gotta get through Dan Stein!

Shinedown kicks off, and Crippler hops off the turnbuckles. He jumps in place, getting loose as he keeps his eyes on the entrance ramp, awaiting the winner of the 2012 Redemption Rumble.

YOU'VE GOT THE TOUCH!

"The Touch" by Stan Bush kicks on, and take all the love the crowd was showing for Lunatikk Crippler and reverse it, as the fans shower Dan "The Lights" Stein with absolute disgust and hatred. And out he comes, with Molly the Assistant right behind him, absolutely LOVING it. His SHOOT Project Tag Team Title is strapped around the waist of Stein, and he rubs it for luck, as well as to draw the ire of the crowd, and it works!

Other Guy: Ladies and gentlemen, nobody is hotter in SHOOT Project right now than Dan Stein!

Eryk Masters: Careful he doesn't hear you say that. He might think you're hitting on him.

Other Guy: Yeah, maybe if I were a girl!

Eryk Masters: No comment.

Stein begins to make his way to the ring, slowly, taking in the showers of boos as if he were getting a standing O. His arms are pressed against his chest, and we see him mouth the words "All this for me? You shouldn't have!"

Eryk Masters: Don't think he mistakes the crowds jeering for cheering. He gets off on the fact that these people despise him.

Other Guy: More like he's smitten with the fact that each and every person in the crowd is jealous of the success he has become. He's the Tag Team Champ, AND the NUMBER ONE CONTENDER to Donovan King's World title, a fact that irks Crippler like no other.

Stein approaches the aprond and Crippler steps toward him, stopped in his tracks by Tony Lorenzo. Stein shoos Crippler away needlessly, as he makes his way up the ring stairs. He unstraps his Tag Team title as the music shuts off, and he hands it to Molly.

Eryk Masters: We know Crippler hasn't forgotten the last time these two men faced off. Crippler's Sin City Championship was STOLEN by Stein after a cheap shot with the belt!

Other Guy: Just another accolade for The Golden Boy!

Crippler is through waiting. He sidesteps Tony Lorenzo and grabs the ropes, slingshotting Stein into the ring! The crowd pops loud, and the bell rings, and the match is officially underway! Stein clutches at his back as he gets to his feet, but he turns around to a double chop to the throat from Lunatikk Crippler, sending Stein back to the mat!

Other Guy: A cheap shot! Crippler jumps the gun and gets things started before Stein can even prepare!

Eryk Masters: He's had all day to prepare! He should have known from their earlier exchange that Crippler wasn't going to wait through Dan Stein's bullcrap here tonight!

Stein gets back to his feet and ducks a right hand from Crippler. Crippler follows up with a boot to the gut, and an irish whip. Stein rebounds off the ropes, and Crippler takes him down with a flying clothesline! The crowd cheers like mad as Stein rolls back to his feet, only to get caught in the chest by a Crippler dropkick, sending Stein down, arms flailing in the air!

Eryk Masters: Crippler is striking early and often, and Stein has had no chance to get out of the box!

Other Guy: Maybe it's not exactly fair, but Lunatikk Crippler is out to prove a point here tonight!

Crippler moves toward Stein, who tries to slide away from Crippler. Crippler plants a foot right to the chest of The Lights, which halts his retreat. Crippler bends down to pick Stein up, but gets a thumb to the eye for his troubles! The crowd boos the cheap tactic by Stein, but it gives the Redemption Rumble winner a chance to fight back. He gets to his feet and attempts to grab Crippler from behind, but Crippler whips around and traps Stein's arms together, taking him overhead with a belly to belly suplex!

Eryk Masters: Huge impact from Crippler on that one, and he's wasting no time going for the cover!

Crippler hooks the leg, and Lorenzo slides into position!

One!

Two!

Stein kicks out! Crippler drives his elbow into the collar bone of Stein, causing him to yelp in pain. Crippler pulls Dan to his feet and whips him into the ropes again, but instead of rebounding, Stein grabs the rope to stop himself, and then ducks down to the floor to halt Crippler's momentum. Of course, the crowd doesn't like that one bit.

Other Guy: Smart move by Stein to try and get a bit of control back to this match. Crippler was hitting fast and furious, and Stein had to get out of there to regroup!

But he's not going to have much time to do that, as Crippler slides underneath the bottom rope, coming after Stein! He comes up behind the Golden Boy, and grabs his head, but Stein thinks fast, driving his elbow into the gut of Crippler. Lorenzo is in the ring, warning both men to get back in the squared circle, but Stein waves him off. He smashes his forearm to the back of Crippler, and Crippler reels, moving towards the ring stairs. Stein stalks after him, raking the back of Crippler with his fingernails. Crippler cringes, standing with his back at an arch, and Stein follows up with a forearm smashing right to the back of Crippler's head! Crippler falls down to one knee, placing his hand in front of him to stop his face connecting with the ring stairs!

Eryk Masters: Of course Stein is in no hurry to get things back in the ring! If both men are counted out, then Crippler would have no chance at another World title shot!

Stein grabs big handfuls of Crippler's long hair, and pulls him to his feet. He yanks Crippler's head back in and goes to smash his face on the steps, but Crippler puts his foot up, blocking the attempt! The crowd cheers as Crippler fires off a knife edge chop, right to the chest of Dan Stein, who grabs at the welt that is sure to form there. Crippler then quickly grabs Stein's head, and smashes his face right on the steel stairs!

Other Guy: Good lord, not the face! What is the MATTER with Lunatikk Crippler?!

Eryk Masters: It's called a taste of Stein's own medicine!

Stein turns and stumbles into the guardrail. Tony Lorenzo is hesitant to count, but he has no choice at this point!

ONE!

Crippler follows Stein, and buries his knee into the gut of the number one contender. Stein doubles over in pain.

TWO!

Crippler picks Stein back up, and lights his chest up once more with a knife edge!

THREE!

The crowd echoes with a WOOOOOOOO as the sound of Crippler's hand against Stein's chest echoes throught the arena

FOUR!

Crippler grabs Stein by the ear and drags him to the ring apron, before using the tights to roll The Golden Boy back into the ring.

FIVE!

Crippler slides in after Stein, but Stein is somehow back to his feet, and begins to unload stomp after stomp to the back and head of Lunatikk Crippler.

Other Guy: The match returns to the ring, and Stein takes advantage of Crippler leaving himself open to stomp a proverbial mudhole in him.

Eryk Masters: Please don't say it. Please don't say it. Please dont-

Other Guy: And he's gonna walk it dry!

Eryk Masters: DAMN IT!

Crippler tries to crawl away, but Stein drops his knee hard into the back of Crippler, pinning him face first against the canvas. Stein quickly grabs the left arm of Crippler and begins to yank back on it!

Eryk Masters: See, it didn't take Stein long to take advantage of Crippler's injuries!

Other Guy: Hey, Lunatikk Crippler knew the risks of coming out here with more wrap around his arm than Boris Karloff. You can't blame Dan Stein for knowing where to attack.

Stein hooks Crippler's arm under his armpit, and pulls back, also driving the knee into Crippler's back. Crippler grits his teeth in obvious pain, but he shakes his head no when Tony Lorenzo asks for a submission. Crippler pounds his fist into the mat, and begins to get to his hands and knees, Stein still on his back. Crippler gets to all fours and begins to stand, but Dan Stein leaps into the air, still grasping Crippler's arm, and lands on the shoulder, sending Crippler crashing back to the canvas. Crippler tries to grasp at his shoulder, but Stein's still got a good grip on it, and doesn't seem to be wanting to let up on it any time soon.

Other Guy: This is what happens when you don't give a man a chance to warm up, he sits on your arm until it goes snap!

Eryk Masters: Stein has taken firm control of this match, not willing to give Crippler an inch here.

Stein continues to pull back on the injured limp of Crippler, and Crippler is in a bad way here. Stein sits firmly on the back and shoulder of Crippler, making it impossible for Crippler to get back up. Crippler flails his legs out, looking for the bottom rope, and he brushes it with his feet. He quickly tangles his feet in the rope, and Lorenzo is right there, ordering Stein to release the hold. Of course, that doesn't work, as Stein continues to pull backward on the arm. He even reaches back himself, grabbing the middle rope for extra added leverage!

One!

Two!

Three!

Four!

Fi-Stein finally releases the hold, allowing Crippler's arm to thunk agains the mat. Crippler draws the limb close to his body as Stein gets to his feet, arguing with Tony Lorenzo.

Other Guy: Stein takes full advantage of the five count, releasing just before disqualification.

Eryk Masters: Stein needs to watch himself there. He definitely does not want to get DQ'ed here.

Crippler uses his good arm to pull himself up, and as soon as he's vertical, Stein pounces. He brings forearm after forearm down across the bandaged shoulder, Crippler gasping out in pain with each blow. He grabs hold of the arm again, and whips Crippler into the ropes. Crippler rebounds, and Stein drops his head to back body drop his foe, but Crippler stops short, grabbing the head of Stein and bringing him over in a small package! The crowd erupts, and Lorenzo makes the count!

One!

Two!

Stein breaks loose, breaking up the pin! Both men are quick to get back to their feet, and Crippler turns to eat a spinning back fist from the former two time Iron Fist champion! Crippler hits the mat again, but rolls to his stomach and pushes himself up. Stein runs the ropes, and comes back, blasting Crippler right between the eyes with a spinning heel kick! Crippler hits the mat hard, and Stein scurries over to make the cover, hooking the leg as he does!

One!

Two!

Crippler rolls his bad shoulder out, breaking the count just in time!

Other Guy: Stein knew to put his full weight on the good shoulder of Crippler. That's real ring generalshipness right there, forcing Crippler to use his bum arm to escape.

Eryk Masters: Ring generalshipness? Stop making up words!

Other Guy: That got me 123 points on Words With Friends! Now who's making stuff up!?

Eryk Masters: You.

Stein punches Crippler straight in the mouth, and then picks him back to his feet. He whips Crippler into the ropes, but Crippler ducks a clothesline from Stein, and rebounds back to nail one of his own! The crowd explodes as Stein hits the canvas, but he pops back up, a look of surprise on his face! He turns around to catch a right hand from Lunatikk Crippler that send him back to the mat! Stein shakes his head and pops back up, but Crippler bounces off the ropes. Stein leapfrogs, but Crippler catches him, spinning Stein to the mat with a high impact spinebuster that shakes the ring!

Eryk Masters: Crippler's feeling it! He's got Stein reeling after that huge Double A Spinebuster!

Crippler hooks the leg, and Lorenzo wastes no time!

One!

Two!

Stein kicks out! Crippler gets up, pulling Stein along with him. He irish whips Stein, but Stein reverses, sending Crippler into the ropes. Before he can rebound, he's tripped up by Molly the Assistant! Crippler turns to yell at her, which is JUST the opening Stein needed, avalanching Crippler against the ropes, driving his forearm into the back of the head of Crippler as an added measure! Crippler crumples to the mat, and his advantage has evaporated!

Other Guy: Every time Crippler gets an advantage, Stein just takes him right back down! This match just gets better and better for the NUMBER ONE CONTENDER.

Eryk Masters: Did you just say that in all caps?

Other Guy: Shut up.

Crippler gets groggily to his feet, and Stein wastes little time. He uses the nearby turnbuckle to springboard off, planting a stiff kick right to the face of Lunatikk Crippler, and Crippler spins with the impact, landing face first on the ground. Stein jumps on Crippler, locking on another submission hold.

Eryk Masters: Stein locks on an Americana Key Lock! He's really putting a lot of pressure on that shoulder joint of Lunatikk Crippler!

Other Guy: This is how he beat Crippler last time! He's looking to submit him again!

Eryk Masters: No, Stein beat Crippler by knocking him out cold with the Sin City title.

Stein tightens the hold on Crippler, causing The Whole Fucked Up Show to scream out in pain through gritted teeth. Crippler does a reverse bridge to try and get out of the hold, but Stein stays right with him, keeping hold on Crippler's arm. Crippler falls back to his knees, trying to slip out of Stein's grip, and he's successful! Stein loses his leverage, and Crippler grabs Stein's arms, and reverses the hold, tying Stein up in a pinning combination!

One!

Two!

Stein kicks out! Crippler gets up to his feet, as does Stein. The camera focuses on the look of anger on Crippler's face, and as Stein turns around, Crippler boots him in the stomach, and plants him with a DDT! The crowd pops loud, and Crippler rolls Stein over to make another cover!

One!

Two!

Th-Stein gets his shoulder out! Crippler is still favoring his shoulder, but he fights through the pain, moving on pure adrenaline. Stein gets back to his feet, and Crippler hooks him from behind, planting Stein on the back of his neck with a bridging German Suplex!

One!

Two!

Th-Stein barely rolls out! The crowd is firmly behind Crippler as he gets up, and hooks Stein up with a magistral cradle!

One!

Two!

Three! NO! Stein breaks out at 2.999!

Eryk Masters: Crippler going for pin after pin, trying desperately to get the win!

Crippler back to his feet now, waiting for Stein to get up. Stein is shaky on his feet, but he gets there and turns around to face Crippler, and Crippler moves to trap the arm of Stein.

Eryk Masters: Bitchified! Crippler going for his pateneted Crossface!

Other Guy: Stein is fighting it! You know that bum shoulder of Crippler is coming into play here. A fully healthy Lunatikk Crippler would be trying to snap your neck by now.

Stein blocks the attempt at a Crossface, but Crippler is still trying to lock it in. Stein uses what power he has left to get to his feet, Crippler still clutching the arm of Stein, trying to pull him back to the ground. Stein shoves Crippler off to the corner, but Tony Lorenzo gets caught up in the middle, getting sandwiched in the corner! Lorenzo collapses in the corner before Crippler is able to shake Stein off and shove him across the ring!

Eryk Masters: The ref goes down! This is where Stein can get dangerous. He's not afraid to do ANYTHING to get the win.

Stein charges back to Crippler, but Crippler unleashes a superkick, one that grazes the head of Stein! Stein goes down, but he's not out. Crippler turns to check on the ref, but Stein has other ideas. He motions to Molly as he crawls to the corner. Molly leaps back into action, taking the Tag Team title and folding it up, handing it to Stein in the ring. The crowd starts to shout at Stein in protest, and he yells at them to shut up, which, of course, gets the opposite effect of what he wanted. Crippler is unaware of the goings on behind him as Lorenzo begins to stir. Crippler tries to help him to his feet, Lorenzo's back to him. When Crippler is satisfied he's okay, he turns back toward Stein. Stein lunges up towards Crippler with the Tag Team Title, but Crippler ducks! The title belt goes flying, ending up on the outside of the ring, and Stein gets turned around, Crippler then leaping up in the air, grabbing Stein's neck and forcing him down!

Eryk Masters: Lunatikk Sweet!! Crippler saw the cheap shot coming, and he counters in a big way!

Crippler lands on his bad shoulder and he winces, but he covers quickly, hooking both legs deep. Tony Lorenzo shakes the cobwebs loose, and turns to see the pin in action! He moves as quick as he can, getting in position to make the count!

One!

Two!

THREE!!

The bell rings, and Crippler rolls to his knees, as the fans start cheering wildly, given the result of the match.

Samantha Coil: Here is your winner....Luuuuuuuuuunatiiiiiiiikk CRIIIIIIIIIIIIIPPLERRRRRRRRR!

Eryk Masters: Crippler did it! Lunatikk Crippler defeats the number one contender!

Other Guy: I can't believe it! Even through the pain of that shoulder, Crippler is STILL able to get the duke here tonight!

Eryk Masters: Stein went to the well too many times! He made the same play as the last time these men were in the ring together, and Crippler sensed it coming!

Crippler gets back to his feet, and Stein starts to come to. Crippler holds his left arm close to his body, but he raises his right arm in the air, getting a new pop from the crowd.

Eryk Masters: As per the stipulations Stein and Crippler set up, Crippler now has Stein's blessing to take part in the main event at Reckoning Day! And by beating the number one contender, Crippler definitely DESERVES another shot!

Other Guy: Yeah, but he still has to go through Donovan King! He's gotta think about his best chances at retaining, and it won't be with both Stein AND Crippler in the ring!

Stein gets up to his feet, and Crippler notices. Crippler eyes him warily, and Stein eyeballs him right back, clutching at the back of his neck. Stein looks a bit disgusted, but he sticks out his hand for a shake. Crippler looks confused.

Eryk Masters: Wait, what? Stein with a very uncharacteristic show of sportsmanship!

Other Guy: This is Dan Stein showing respect for a man who just beat him. What's odd about that?

Crippler looks out to the crowd, asking their advice. Stein is adamant about the handshake, jutting his hand out there again. The crowd doesn't seem to trust Stein too much.

Eryk Masters: Crippler a little wary of Stein, and I don't blame him.

Other Guy: Oh, come on, Crip! You won the match, show the man a little respect!

Crippler slowly extends his hand, gripping Stein's in his own. Crippler hits the canvas hard, but not from the handshake. The crowd is erupting in boos, as Johnny Napalm slid in from the crowd and LEVELLED Crippler with Napalm's own Tag Team title!

Eryk Masters: Yep, there it is. I should have known Stein had a dirty trick up his sleeve.

Other Guy: He had a plan, E. You make it sounds so dirty!

Napalm starts to put the boots to Crippler on the ground, as Dan Stein, laughing, joins in. Crippler rolls on the ground, trying to escape the onslaught from the Tag Team Champs, but to no avail. Crippler is trying to get to his feet, the crowd willing him on, but Napalm grabs him around the neck and lifts him back to his feet. Napalm picks Crippler up in a sideslam, and Stein goes from behind, hooking Crippler's head with a reverse DDT. The men nail their respective moves on Crippler simultaneously, Crippler left laying in the middle of the ring. Molly the Assistant, at Stein's request, slides a steel chair into the ring.

Eryk Masters: Okay, now this is going way too far. They are looking to purposely injure this man!

Napalm bends back down, and Stein takes hold of the chair, getting back to his own feet, as the crowd absolutely EXPLODES.

Eryk Masters: DONOVAN KING! The World Heavyweight Champion is here!

The champ slides in the ring, and immediately slams his forearm right between the eyes of Johnny Napalm, rocking the big man. The crowd pops again as King ducks a chairshot from Stein, causing The Golden Boy to drop his weapon, turn around, and catch a Reality Check, right on the button! Stein rolls until he finds himself out of the ring, but Napalm is still on his feet. King picks up the steel chair and swings, the echoing crack of steel on flesh echoing across the arena. Just one problem, though.

Other Guy: King just swung for the fences....BUT JOHNNY NAPALM IS STILL ON HIS FEET!

Napalm looks a bit woozy, but starts to get angry, a snarl on his face. Molly is helping Stein to his feet on the outside, and Napalm is screaming at King inside the ring. King shrugs, and swings again, once again making contact with the skull of Johnny Napalm. Napalm staggers back, and the ropes this time keep him on his feet, so King swings once more, but Stein trips Napalm, allowing the big man to escape without another powerful blow with the chair.

Eryk Masters: The Tag champs are on the run, and the World Heavyweight Champion is standing tall!

Other Guy: Should have seen this coming! Crippler bailed King out last week, and now the Champ is repaying the favor!

Stein is trying hard to keep Napalm back, who is obviously livid. Crippler is groggy on his knees, propped up against the middle rope as King checks on him, keeping his eyes on Stein and Napalm as they begin to back up the ramp.

Other Guy: King makes the save, but you gotta know that this whole situation might bother him. He's got two men fighting in the ring, both wanting a shot at HIS World Heavyweight Championship!

Eryk Masters: Doesn't matter right this second. Crippler needed a hand, and King was quick to repay the favor from last week, just as you said!

King pats Crippler on the shoulder as he asks for a microphone.

Donovan King:  You got a good shot in on me last time, Danny.  Tonight, you an’ your boy there tried to fuck with Looney here.  I can’t have that.  You wanna come in here, make the main event your own, try’n put me down, try’n put this man here down…an’ take MY title?

King shakes his head.

Donovan King:  Then fuck it…we’re comin’ for yours.

The fans POP.

Donovan King:  That’s right, ladies an’ gentlemen…ol’ Johnny Napalm an’ Danny Stein get to put them tag team titles on the line against none other than LUNATIKK CRIPPLER…an’ DONOVAN...KING.

"All of the Lights" kicks on, and the crowd is rabid, as is Lunatikk Crippler, shouting obscenities at Napalm and Stein. The camera fades out with the stare down, the camera showing Napalm and Stein backing away from over the shoulder of the World Heavyweight Champion. We fade.