DOMINION IS BACK ON THE AIR!
The SHOOT Project’s new Tuesday show opens, cold, on a panoramic shot of the Epicenter.
People are hustling to their seats, while others, ready to go, cheer in front of any camera that passes them by.
And a bevy of other generic cheers and inaudible jargon paint a very anxious, anticipative environment.
THE LIGHTS GO OUT!
"GO ON! GO ON!"
As the first words of the Coors smash hit "BREATHLESS" blast through the arena, the Epicenter crowd, an older fan base, responds with an IMPRESSIVE POP!!!
"LEAVE ME BREATHLESS!"
But the song stops, ABUPTLY, with, a record scratching halt.
Before anyone even has time to be confused, they are drowned in a DRIVING, HYPNOTIC BASS.
A stream of white fireworks EXPLODE into the air, while pink lights flash frantically above.
The beat loops for effect.
In the shadows, fans look at other fans. Some ask questions. Some cheer mindlessly because it’s dark and wrestling fans love dark. People take pictures. Flashbulbs are going off like crazy.
The bass gets louder!
MORE FIREWORKS GO OFF!!!
"I got this feeling on the summer day when you were gone!"
At this exact moment a spotlight at the entrance, illuminates the arrival of former SHOOT Project World Champion.
A SHOOT Project Hall of Fame athlete.
He pushes through the curtains and the fans respond with an absolutely DEAFENING ROAR!!! AN INSANE POP THAT NO SCRIBE IN THE FUTURE COULD EVER PROPERLY PUT INTO WORDS!!!
"I crashed my car into the bridge! I watched, I let it burn!"
"I threw your shit into a bag and pushed it down the stairs!"
"I crashed my car into the bridge…"
"I DON’T CARE!!!"
"I LOVE IT!"
With "I Love It" By Icona Pop playing him down the aisle, Jonny, JACKED as ever and in stride with the music, slaps hands, bumps fists and casually banters with anyone who so much as opens as their mouth. He stops at one guy, a few steps into his stride, maybe a third of the way down the aisle… an older dude, maybe in his later thirties, holding a sign that says "Jonny JOBson".
Jonny takes the sign and waves the camera over, and points to it for all the people at home to see.
"Spoiler alert, guys." He says dryly into the camera. It’s a this point, too, that fans watching at home, and even in the arena, notice Jonny’s attire. Skinny jeans, sure. Nothing new there. But he’s wearing a pink T-shirt that has "I’m a Face. PLS Cheer!" scribbled across the front in black sharpie.
Jonny errantly tosses the sign away to the side and continues his trip to the ring.
He points at a few more fans, and says something the camera don’t pick up, but then stops as he comes across a group of four dudes doing the old wrestling fan "bow" move. They’re in the front row, near the steel steps at the turnbuckle. Jonny laughs and rolls his eyes, before looking back at the camera guy who’s been following him.
"Fucking nerds, man." He flips the gaggle of wrestling bros a very friendly bird and turns away from them. The camera catches one dude jokingly grabbing at his heart and looking "demoralized and heartbroken" Jonny doesn’t give them so much as a second look, as his attention is solely on making it to his final destination.
He climbs up the stairs and stops on the apron, looking out at a picture he didn’t think he’d ever see again. Jonny nods and applauds the crowd before ducking in under the top rope and INSIDE A SHOOT PROJECT RING!!!
The music of ICONA POP starts to fade, but the CHEERS do not. In fact, they seem to be getting louder. Jonny leans over the ropes near the production side of things and grabs a microphone from Samantha Coil.
Fully equipped, Jonny Johnson briefly soaks in the atmosphere.
"WELCOME BACK!" chants begin booming in the arena.
"WELCOME BACK! WELCOME BACK! WELCOME BACK!"
He smiles, but continues trying to talk.
Jonny: Look, folks, there’s whole lot of show tonight. K? So there’s not really time for whole "legend returns, panders for fifteen minutes and pretends everyone vividly remembers every angle he was ever apart of while we make stupid old timey jokes" thing. WHO AM I? CRONOS DIAMANTE, GUYS? Jesus. Seriously. Shut the fuck up so I can keep this thing under forty-five minutes.
"YOU’VE STILL GOT IT!"
Jonny: I’ll turn heel, guys. Don’t be dumb.
They keep chanting various things, of course, but Jonny sticks to the script and begins to say whatever it was he had planned.
Jonny: So I agreed to a very short term contract with SHOOT. Through the end of May… expiring on Tuesday, June Forth, Two-Thousand-Thirteen… The Tuesday AFTER Master of the Mat.
His pause elicits a decent pop from the crowd that read between the lines.
Jonny: The last time anyone saw me… it was almost five years ago where a very young, ambitious, driven Donovan King went into business for himself. GOOD. BUSINESS. So don’t boo or feel pity. Heh. Shit…. I had a guy arrested, and, through logic only my lawyers will ever TRULY understand, managed to become SHOOT Project World Champion for the first time in my career.
He pauses and the fans cheer , with a few laughing as well.
Jonny: This isn’t woe is me. But the last time anyone saw me… Donovan King was making sure you’d never see me again! Also… (Clearing his throat) I was potentially dying of leukemia… (Moving quickly) That is NOT how a professional wrestler wants to leave this business.
But it WAS how I left, and for FOUR YEARS, that was… Okay.
He, again, takes his time between thoughts.
Jonny: I have a lot of things I want to tell a lot of people. A lot of shit I’d love to be able to say to you guys… the boys and girls in the back. But it’s not gonna happen. It’s all in the past, and I’m not going to waste time with backstories or explanations. I was presented with a second chance to leave… with a chance to say goodbye to my friends in the back. To my enemies… and to you, the great, albeit mostly obnoxious fans that I have loved to hate for sooooo many years!
The crowd applauds, out of respect, and Jonny nods, humbly.
Jonny: The plan, guys, is to ride out of here as THE Master of the Mat. That’s my goal. That’s what I WANT to do. And no… it’s not good for business. I get that. Me going over a bunch of young, talented, amazing performers… THE "FUTURES" of this organization, does nothing for anyone. I get it, smarks, but I also don’t give a FLYING FUCK!!
His eyes grow a little more focused, more serious.
Jonny: For the next two months, I intend to win, and then uhh… win again… Win, Um. Win. Win, win, win, and SURE… WIN SOME FUCKING MORE. No schemes. No plots. No angles. Just me. (Pointing down to the mat) In this ring. WINNING AT WRESTLING. All. The time.
His intensity grows, and the fans respond in kind.
Jonny: (Climbing up onto the bottom rope closest to the main camera) That’s what this is. That’s the plan. A plan that starts tonight… Me and LAURA SETON are…
The fans boo almost immediately on hearing Laura’s name, but Jonny shakes his head and powers through regardless.
Jonny: Say or think about her whatever you want, but she’s MY opponent. An opponent I take seriously, and an opponent that needs to know how dire tonight is going to be.
He continues staring into the camera.
Jonny: Laura. I can’t lose tonight. After alllllll of this… everything I JUST said. I need to beat you. I. WILL BEA…
"OHHH, OH-OH-OH-OHHHHH, O-O-O-O-O-OHHH!"
He can’t finish his sentence because somebody’s entrance music just went off. Jonny looks moderately annoyed, though with the understanding that these sort of interruptions happen from time to time. He concedes, while "Poker Face" by Lady Gaga blares throughout the Epicenter.
Eryk Masters: (A little more sedated than a normal intro) Well, ladies and gentleman. Thank you for tuning in to the Dominion Reboot. Eryk Masters along with Other Guy… and, OG… things might be getting ugly in a second.
Other Guy: A professional is only gonna let so much slide, man.
Jonny stares down the ramp and the fans come to their feet, anticipating a potentially volatile situation… which only EXPLODES the second LAURA SETON appears from behind the curtain.
The BOO BIRDS come out in full force, burying Lady Gaga in the process.
She stands at the top of the ramp wearing a light blue turtleneck and blue jeans, her dyed-brown hair tied back. She gets an impatient expression and clenches her jaw before bringing the mic to her lips.
Laura: YOU WILL BE QUIET WHILE I SPEAK TO YOU!!
The crowd keeps up the booing for a couple more seconds before finally quieting down.
Laura: My name is Laura Seton… and I am going to be the 2013 Mastress of the Mat! Whether you or YOU like it or not.
She points to the crowd and then to Jonny as she speaks that last sentence. A smirk comes to her face as she looks to the ring, focusing on Jonny.
Laura: Jonny… Johnson. A man I’ve heard so much about but never thought I’d actually see in person.
She starts walking her way to the ring before a fan speaks up.
Fan: Get the hell out of here, you stupid bitch!
She stops and looks to the ground.
Laura: The only thing stupid here… is the throng of people in the Epicenter’s seats.
She looks up at Jonny, the smirk on her face again.
Laura: Isn’t that right, Jonny?
Realizing what Seton is getting at, Jonny matches her smirk with a knowing, half-smile of his own. He nods his head, and looks off to the side while fans begin to chant and scream various, derogatory things at Laura’s direction.
Jonny: Laura, we have a whole segment of the show slotted for (pointing to her and then him a couple times) THIS, tonight. Okay? But not ri…
Laura: Hey man, I come in peace.
She puts her hands up innocently as she gets down to the ring before slowly sliding in under the bottom rope. She gets up and looks Jonny up and down.
Laura: I just wanted to get a better view of you. The man. The myth. The legend. I suppose I should be honored and whatever to be in your presence.
He sighs, on guard now with Laura having gone inside the ring. Jonny stays ready for any surprises, not knowing what to expect out of Seton. He stares at her in utmost earnest as he speaks.
Jonny: Laura… I’ll be booed for this in a second… but I’m gonna set my microphone down and I’m going to leave the ring. You can say whatever you want after I go… but I know how these things tend to go down.
He tries to gauge her state of mind, but doesn’t seem terribly confident of any reads he may or may not be making.
Jonny: (Backing up a step or two) We’re not gonna bore these people with a debate… and, well… I doubt you and I are going to reach any kind of middle ground on whatever issues we, or I guess… YOU have. So before someone gets hurt too early… Let’s just leave it at me telling you, "good lu…"
She AGAIN interrupts.
Laura: Jonny Johnson shutting his mouth. Somewhere, a pig flies.
Laura can’t help but begin chuckling to herself.
Laura: Do you know what the Jonny of old would be doing to this version of you right now? Have you paid attention to yourself the past few minutes? You CARE about these people. It’s a watered down version, but you’re being all sweet and syrupy to these goons. Good intentions? Was that where you were going with that? Somehow over these years, you lost that edge. You’re not a ‘Defiler’ anymore. You’re Mr. Johnson, the peaceful, moderately wealthy man that lives in the suburbs. Although, your mouth could use a little bit of soap and water.
Before Laura can say anything else, Jonny snaps back.
Jonny: What I was? WHO I was…. (Laughing to himself) Heh… This is exactly the difference between you and me, Laura. I have a HISTORY. You? Who cares. I have a REPUTATION. You? WHO. CARES? You GET IT? I don’t need to video tape a message board to prove it. I don’t have to walk in on other people’s time to make a point. I have dorks on podcasts that do that for me. I have wrestling news sites. I have the fans here… and I have YOU. YOU, Laura. Thanks for the free endorsement, but, darling, everything you said… EVERY MEMORY up in that brain of yours of who you THINK I WAS… hold on to it. Don’t let it go. Because for all you’ll ever know, you self-righteous, CUNT
His smile grows ever so sinister as the fans IMMEDIATELY begin one of their more famous chants.
"CUNT, CUNT, CUNT, CUNT!"
Jonny: (Talking over the chants) For all you know, I’m everything they ever told you I was.
He glares at Seton.
It’s the one time she blocks out that chant as a smile comes to her face. She takes a couple steps back.
Laura: THAT’S THE JONNY!… THAT’S the Jonny I want to face!…
She slides to the outside under the bottom rope. Holding the smile she backs her way up the ramp.
Laura: I’ll see you later tonight!
Jonny’s instinct is to fight back and he puts the mic up to his lips, but instead… He goes silent. Opting, instead, to watch his opponent leave. He bites his top lip, drops the microphone on the mat, and punches his left palm in frustration.
But he never says another word.
The fans are caught in the middle of cheering and booing. It’s LOUD AS HELL in the Epicenter, but directionless.
The view switches down by the announcing pod, with both broadcasters making their "debuts" for the evening.
Eryk Masters: (To the camera and then OG) Laura seems pleased with herself, OG.
Other Guy: And damn well she should. She got a big rise out of her GODDAMN HALL OF FAME opponent.
Eryk Masters: (Looking at Other Guy) You gotta wonder, though, how smart that may end up being. I’ve been with the organization a long time, and if there’s one thing I learned about Jonny… he’s never been all that great at being the hero. I’m not sure how much I buy his rhetoric… but I don’t think I’d want to push him.
Other Guy: Ha! And that’s why you don’t wrestle anymore, man. Laura was cool, calm, collected, and looked right at home next to a HALL OF FAMER. I’ve learned enough not to necessarily bet against Jonny, but the man loses matches, Eryk and the tournament style doesn’t lend itself well to revenge plots. Laura’s a competitor… I really think she’s got this, tonight. Call me crazy.
Eryk Masters: Well, of course all opinions will go by the wayside later tonight. Seton and Jonny… and then of course, our main event features ANOTHER giant bout as we’ll see JACOB MEPHISTO and the returning Trey Willett in Master of the Mat action as well. STACKED card, folks, and we’ve BARELY just begun!!!
As Eryk hypes the rest of the card, Jonny can be seen walking out of the ring, passing by a scurrying ring crew, and Austin Linam. Jonny and Austin have a few words, before the show heads to its official start and the cameras take us elsewhere.
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen, SHOOT Project faithful, the following contest is scheduled for ONE FALL, is a MASTER OF THE MAT qualifier, and will be the first match in the return of DOMINION!
“Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide” by Shinedown hits over the PA. The crowd is cheering loudly still as a result of the announcement that this is the first match in the return of Dominion, but they seem to continue it as a show of respect towards the man who earned a victory at Reckoning Day emerges from the back. Ripper bursts out, smiling his half crazed, half excited smile and pounds his chest. The camera moves to the ring and shows hellQUIST is already standing in the ring, pacing and stretching his neck.
Eryk Masters: Well, folks, Dominion is BACK, and we are going to have ourselves our first match with two newbies trying to either further cement themselves in SHOOT Project or prove they belong at all.
Other Guy: Ripper has shown he’s a gamer. A win at Reckoning Day is always a big deal. This HELLquist guy, well…he seems quiet.
Eryk Masters: I think you emphasized the wrong part of his name.
Ripper slaps a few hands as he walks down the aisle, and he looks amped to be still fighting in the SHOOT Project. The fans feel that energy, and the ones nearby seem eager to clap for him or give him a high five.
Samantha Coil: Making his way to the ring, weighing in at TWO HUNDRED and THIRTY SEVEN pounds and hailing from Pittsburgh, PA…he is…RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIPPEEEEEEEEEEERRR!!
Ripper leaps onto the apron and over the ropes. He turns to Samantha Coil and licks his lips, blowing her a kiss. While Ripper is turned away from Coil, hellQUIST runs in and starts pounding on the back of Ripper, throwing blow after blow. Ripper is rocked a little and turns, trying to block the sudden shots. A few in the crowd boo as Austin Linam signals for the bell.
Other Guy: I guess heLLQUIst is trying to get his first win by hook or by crook.
Eryk Masters: Really, it’s hell and then QUIST. Why are you being weird about that?
hellQUIST, seeing Ripper rocked, runs the opposite and hits the ropes, but is brought down by a sudden and VICIOUS flying shoulder tackle. hellQUIST hits the mat hard, and Ripper pops up, screaming out in excitement. He grabs hellQUIST by the head and starts punching him in the face. Austin Linam grabs Ripper’s shoulders and pulls him away, telling him to watch the closed fist, but Ripper shrugs him off and clothesline hellQUIST to the ground!.
Eryk Masters: Ripper has taken control of this match in a dominating way!
Other Guy: Yeah, HEllquIST is in serious trouble.
Ripper backs hellQUIST back up, but hellQUIST pushes Ripper away and throws a wild punch. Ripper catches it and glares at hellQUIST with crazy eyes. He then leaps in the air, throws his legs out, and catches hellQUIST with a modified flying triangle choke!
Other Guy: HeLlQuIsT is locked in the Beastie-ality!
Eryk Masters: Really, OG?
Other Guy: Fuck guys who can’t be bothered to show up and cut a promo, E.
hellQUIST lights up and IMMEDIATELY starts tapping out! Linam signals for the bell, but Ripper does not release the hold! Linam starts yelling at Ripper, and after another couple of moments, Ripper releases the hold, leaving hellQUIST unmoving on the ground.
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen, your winner, at a time of TWO MINUTES and FORTY FIVE SECONDS and qualifying for the MASTER OF THE MAT tournament…RIIIIIIPPEEEEERRRRR!!
Ripper throws his arms in the air, that crazed look still in his eyes. The crowd cheers the performance, though it’s clear that most are pretty upset that the first show of Dominion was such a short, pathetic showing by one half of the competitors.
Eryk Masters: Well, Ripper is now in the Master of the Mat tournament!
Other Guy: And whatever QUIST probably doesn’t have a job!
We cut backstage after the opening match, and pan out to a shot of the former number one contender himself, Lunatikk Crippler. This man must have had a rough couple of weeks of inner turmoil, having lost his last opportunity to become World Heavyweight Champion at Reckoning Day, the biggest show of the year. We can see he’s still feeling it right now, as he sits alone backstage, not even dressed to compete, though his bags lay at his feet. He brushes the hair out from in front of his eyes, showing the look of a man who has been beating himself up mentally for quite a while. A door opens from nearby, and the solemn moment is turned to one….of dark amusement? Deep, bubbling laughter can be heard off screen, coming from a man who has much to celebrate, much to be proud of. Footsteps can be heard getting closer and closer, coming from two large men, until the camera pans out, and these men are standing in front of Crippler himself.
Isaac Entragian. Obsidian. Isaac looks gleefully down at the morose Crippler, and then over to Obsidian. Obsidian has the same grin on his face, letting his Project: SCAR brother know that he’s thinking what he is thinking: Time for fun. Isaac crouches down next to The Crippler, and slaps him on the back, playfully. Crippler doesn’t respond. He does not acknowledge the presence of SCAR’s Ivory Terror.
Entragian: Mind if I share a little story with you, Crip? When I was a young kid living in Nebraska…I once saw a rat drown in a sewage pipe near my childhood home. Little bastard literally choked to death on chunks of stringy SHIT. That was the most pitiful fucking sight…I have ever seen. Up until tonight, that is. Now you take the blue ribbon for the most pitiful fucking sight I’ve ever seen.
Crippler barely reacts, doing nothing but twisting his mouth into a weak smirk. Isaac’s sharp-toothed grin stretches even wider as he nudges Obsidian, making sure his good buddy is enjoying this as much as he is.
Entragian: Consider it a little consolation prize, bud. It’s good to win something, right? I can imagine how…emasculating it was…to come up short at Reckoning Day against King. I’ve been there, man. Granted, my shot was ruined due to Corazon interference…and your SECOND shot…ended with your sweaty little fingers pounding the canvas because you just couldn’t TAKE anymore punishment, right? I guess I can’t sympathize with you there, considering I’ve never tapped in my entire career. But hey, slugger…don’t let it get you all depressed and suicidal! We all have our bad nights.
Isaac’s malevolent laughter intensifies, and Crippler’s face doesn’t even react at all. Crippler’s fists clench, and Obsidian notices this, and it only serves to draw a cold, stone-line smile across his face.
Entragian: Quick personal question, and then I’ll leave you to your brooding. After a crushing…monumental…disappointing…soul-shattering DEFEAT like that on the grand stage of Reckoning Day….can you still get it up for your wife? I just imagine that kind of loss might give you an inferiority complex, Crip. You know…might make you feel soft and submissive in all AVENUES of life, including bedroom activities. You can tell me, pal. We’re all friends here. Any trouble satisfying Miko?
Isaac leans forward, those insidious eyes of his shimmering with inner hellfire.
Entragian: Because if you’re having problems…I’d be more than willing to step in and help out in this time of need. Maybe some extra large, extra white sausage…is just what that little wife of yours needs right now. And Crippler…just so you know…the cock of a winner is hard 24/7.
Crippler has had enough. He springs to his feet, Isaac following suit, and they stare off. Crippler staring into the cold eyes of Entragian until he’s pulled aside, and replaced with the monster Obsidian. Crippler doesn’t back down, though maybe he should. He stares up into the eyes of Obsidian, until the laughter of Isaac Entragian pierces the silence.
Entragian: He ain’t worth it tonight, Erick. Let him lick his wounds a little bit more. Let him stitch up his pride. When we finally come for this motherfucker…I want him to be 100%.
Obsidian’s gaze is full of murderous intention, but he finally backs up a step. The two members of SCAR begin to walk off, but Isaac turns back once more before they turn a corner.
Entragian: Obsidian only looks at certain people the way he just looked at you now, Crippler. When SCAR’s Hunter looks at you like that…you can be sure of one thing. You’re damned.
Crippler’s fists continue to clench as he watches the two members of SCAR stalk off.
The fans are booing incessantly as they see Johnny Napalm walking in from the parking deck. He seems confident, cocky even. He has the SHOOT Project World Tag Team Championship on his shoulder and a “Sex & Violence” shirt on, but the “Sex” has been ripped up and mostly torn out. He glances around before he opens the door to the inside of the Epicenter. Suddenly, however, he stops and a small smirk creeps across his face. The camera pans over his shoulder and he is blocked from entering none other than the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion Donovan King, bringing the fans to a large reaction.
Johnny Napalm: Evening…champ.
King looks Napalm up and down and he snorts.
Donovan King: Look at you.
Johnny Napalm: Look at me.
Donovan King: You come in here, rockin’ that title like you’re still a champion…
Johnny Napalm: I AM a champion.
Donovan King: …but a champion doesn’t do what you did to Dan Stein.
Napalm’s smirk disappears, turning into a stern glare.
Donovan King: A champion stands up like a fuckin’ man an’ if he has a problem with somebody, he gets in that problem’s face an’ he handles his business.
Johnny Napalm: You should be thanking me, King.
King looks Napalm up and down.
Donovan King: Don’t worry, Napalm. I’mma thank the fuck outta you real soon.
Johnny Napalm: I look forward to it.
Donovan King: Pay attention to the end of the night, Johnny. Because when I have a problem?
He takes a step forward.
Donovan King: I get right in that problem’s face.
He bumps chests with Napalm.
Donovan King: And I handle it.
Napalm tenses up for a moment before he chuckles.
Johnny Napalm: See you tonight…champ.
The two of them stay deathly still for a moment before King finally steps to the side and lets Napalm pass into the arena.
Samantha Coil: The following contest is a first round match in the Master of the Mat tournament, in which the winner will face the number one seed!
The fans cheer loud for the announcement, and the cheering continues as "Give Me Back My Bullets" kicks on, and Henry Gordon comes out to applause!
Samantha Coil: Introducing first, weighing in at Three Hundred and Thirty Seven pounds, he is Henry. GORDON!
Eryk Masters: Henry Gordon is looking to extend his winning streak here tonight.
Other Guy: It’s a one match winning streak.
Eryk Masters: But it was at Reckoning Day. That counts for a little something extra. One more win, and he’ll have the fight of his career up next in the Master of the Mat tournament.
Gordon slaps a couple hands on the ring, but he’s all business tonight. He climbs the ring stairs and steps between the ropes, ready for battle.
Skynyrd shuts off, and now we’re about to see Henry’s opponent for the evening. The lights in the arena slowly dim until they reach pitch darkness, A spot light appears in the centre highlighting Valentine Lionheart who is standing still as the opening beats of "Salt on Everything" By Sole kick in.
Other Guy: Valentine looks intense tonight.
He then slowly and methodically walks down to the ring, his eyes locked forward and his focus on nothing other than the match ahead.
Eryk Masters: This is Valentine’s singles match debut, do you think he is nervous?
Other Guy: I have met Valentine face to face. I am not sure anything makes him nervous. But even he has to feel the pressure of The Master of the Mat.
Valentine rolls under the ropes and into the ring before standing dead centre; he looks out to the crowd briefly taking in their boos and jeers before returning to his respective corner.
Samantha Coil: And his opponent, from London, England…he is The Omega Messiah of ORION…Valentine. LIONHEART!
Eryk Masters: This is a huge opportunity for both men.
Other Guy: The winner of this contest gets to go one on one with Lunatikk Crippler in the next round. For either of these men, you could say this is a lead in to the biggest match in their SHOOT careers.
Eryk Masters: I’m sure that’s in the back of their minds, but right now, they are only focused on each other and here. we. GO!
The bell rings, and this one is on. The two men circle each other, until Gordon sticks his big, ham like fist out there for Valentine to pound. A few people cheer the show of sportsmanship, but Lionheart just smirks.
Other Guy: Can’t blame the big lug for trying.
They lock up, and push back against one another, but it’s Henry Gordon getting the advantage, due to his size and strength, and he shoves Lionheart back, causing him to somersault towards the corner. The crowd cheers for Gordon, and Valentine has a look of shock on his face.
Eryk Masters: I think Henry Gordon has taken Lionheart off his guard right there!
Lionheart gets back to his feet, and he quickly initiates another lockup. He quickly transitions on Gordon, switching to a hammerlock from behind. Gordon tries to elbow out of it, But Valentine is quicker and ducks out of the way. He drops down, and grunts a bit in the struggle, but executes a double leg take down that sees Henry Gordon falling face first to the canvas! Valentine transitions again, slapping on a side headlock on the big man.
Other Guy: Valentine Lionheart is the complete package! He’s got size, he’s got speed, but most importantly, he’s got brains.
And he’s got trouble. Gordon has forced himself to his knees and is getting to his feet, all while Valentine Lionheart has this headlock applied! Gordon lifts Valentine off his feet, which isn’t exactly easy to do to a man who is nearly two hundred seventy pounds, and drops Lionheart on the back of his head with a suplex!
Eryk Masters: Valentine is known for his suplexes, but I’m guessing he was hoping not to feel THAT one.
Gordon wastes little time rolling atop Valentine for the pin!
Valentine slips out! He tries to get away from Henry Gordon, but to no avail. Hammerin’ Hank follows Valentine, and we get to see how he got that nickname. Gordon begins to pummel Valentine in the corner, a right and a left to the face, followed by a big haymaker to the rib cage, ending with an uppercut that causes Lionheart’s feet to leave the canvas!
Other Guy: Dear LORD was that a tooth!?
Gordon is enjoying his handiwork, as he prepares for an irish whip. He whips Valentine across the ring to the opposite corner, and then charges with no abandon! Lionheart quickly steps out of the way, and Gordon crashes chest first into the turnbuckles! Gordon staggers back, right into the grip of Valentine Lionheart who AMAZINGLY takes Gordon back with a German Suplex!
Gordon rolls out of it!
Eryk Masters: An amazing display of power from Valentine Lionheart! That could not have been easy taking a man of Gordon’s size over your own head.
Gordon is a bit more than stunned, and Valentine begins to grin. Henry gets back to his feet and Valentine goes round his side and grips him around the waist, pulling him off his feet again and bringing him down with a side suplex that would make Dino Bravo proud. Valentine hooks the leg again!
Gordon kicks out!
Other Guy: Valentine is not wasting any time here. He wants this win badly, and wants it as soon as he can get it!
Lionheart gets up and stalks his prey. Gordon is groggy, but he gets to his feet, clutching at his back. He turns, and is met with violence, as Lionheart takes him down with a familiar looking spear!
Eryk Masters: That was a Blood Drive! That was a message to Lunatikk Crippler!
Other Guy: It’s definitely not good if he’s in Orion’s sights.
Valentine has a bit of a laugh, but then nonchalantly covers Henry Gordon.
Gordon grabs Valentine and rolls him up in a pinning combination of his own! The crowd ROARS!
Valentine kicks out! And then kicks in. More specifically, gets up and KICKS Henry Gordon IN the face! Gordon’s arm falls limp, and this may be the opportunity Lionheart needs! He covers, less arrogantly this time, hooking both legs!
Th-Gordon shoulders out! Valentine is starting to show signs of frustration, but he grabs Gordon painfully by the ears, and pulls him to his feet. He shoves Hank into the corner and then digs deep, hooking him around the legs and waist, and muscles Gordon to the top rope!
Other Guy: More AMAZING strength by the member of Orion! They are looking to make it a clean sweep this week!
Valentine backs up while Gordon sways on the turnbuckle. Lionheart gets a running start and-OH! A leaping Thai knee finds it’s mark and Gordon tumbles off the side of the turnbuckle! He tries to grasp the ropes to break his fall, but he is unable to, and he crashes onto the concrete floor!
Eryk Masters: A brutal knee sends Henry Gordon to the floor, and I’m thinking Lionheart would take a count out victory here!
Willie Dean back Lionheart away from where Gordon lays on the ground, and then turns to begin his count.
Gordon begins to stir, but is still on his back!
He begins to roll toward the ring.
He’s on his stomach now, and reaches up for the apron.
Valentine is antsy as Gordon grasps the bottom rope.
Gordon is pulling himself on the apron.
He’s about to slide in the ring, when Valentine rushes forward to stomp at him. Willie Dean breaks the count, but Valentine doesn’t care. He bends down to pick Gordon up, and gets caught with a big right hand that rocks Lionheart! The crowd cheers and Gordon gets to his knees, staring a hole through the Orion member! Valentine tries to kick him in the chest, but Gordon catches the foot and shoves Lionheart back and off his feet! Gordon gets up, and he’s enraged! Valentine scurries to his feet, just in time to catch a lariat from Gordon! Lionheart goes down again! Valentine gets right back up and runs right into a back body drop from Henry Gordon! The crowd is loving it! Valentine gets up, a bit winded, and is smashed into the corner with an avalanche from Gordon! Valentine takes a step forward, and falls face first on the mat!
Eryk Masters: Gordon is ROLLING and now he’s got to look to put Valentine away!
Other Guy: You could say that! He’s heading up!
Gordon begins to scale the turnbuckles, which is uncharacteristic for him, but just shows the lengths he’s willing to go to to win.
Gordon is crouched on the top turnbuckle, waiting for Valentine! Lionheart gets up slowly, but he quickly staggers back into the ropes, falling into them. The impact causes Henry Gordon to lose his balance, and crotches himself on the turnbuckle! The crowd groans in unison, and Lionheart turns to see it! He grins, and moves towards his stricken foe. He hooks Gordon up on his shoulders and pulls him slowly off the top turnbuckles!
Eryk Masters: I can’t believe this strength! He’s going for it all, OG!
Valentine swings Gordon for the V.D.M, but Gordon SOMEHOW escapes, landing on his feet to the side of Valentine! Lionheart turns and Gordon grabs him by the head, and takes him down with a small package!
Valentine reverses the rollup, putting Gordon’s shoulders down!
Gordon reverses a second time, once again putting Lionheart flat on his back!
Valentine breaks free! He gets to his feet, as does Gordon. Henry charges, but Lionheart kicks him in the chest. Gordon clutches at the footpring in his flesh, but Lionheart wastes no time. He bends down and deadlifts Gordon back on his shoulders and swings him, completeing the V.D.M. at last! Gordon’s face bounces off the canvas and Valentine QUICKLY floats over for the cover!
The bell rings, and the boos shower down like rain, but Valentine Lionheart could care less.
Samantha Coil: Here is your winner…..VAAAAAAALENTIIIIIIINE LIIIIIIIONHEAAAAAAART!
Eryk Masters: Say what you want about Orion, but Valentine Lionheart really earned this victory tonight.
Other Guy: Henry Gordon was really game tonight, but unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to get the job done! Valentine Lionheart! Lunatikk Crippler! THAT is going to be an explosive contest!
Eryk Masters: Say what you will, but Henry Gordon has NOTHING to be ashamed of tonight!
Valentine makes his way up the ramp, arms raised in celebration, as Gordon looks on, clutching his head.
The shot goes backstage where Abigail Chase is standing next to Chance Ryan, who is staring at the camera with obvious rage. Still, the fans cheer a fair amount as they see the former FLASH Dynamite.
Abigail Chase: Ladies and gentlemen, I’m joined at this time by Ch–
Chance puts his hand up and turns slowly to look at Miss Chase, turning his whole body. He reaches his hand out for the microphone, which she hesitates to hand over. As soon as the microphone is in his hand, he speaks.
Chance Ryan: I don’t want to disrespect you, Abigail. So I’m going to ask you to go somewhere else, this may get ugly.
Abigail looks at Chance with some concern before he motions for her to turn around and go. She slowly does so, and Chance turns his full body back to face the camera.
Chance Ryan: Brotherhood! You want to talk about disrespect? You want to talk about how my not saying "goodbye" to you two during an interview of mine that you two interrupted like I’m the jerk?! Like that justifies your assault?! I can’t even move my neck right now after you cowards jumped me from behind and put me through the hood of OutKast’s car! I…oh come on.
Chance turns his body slightly to his left as the shot pans out a little to see Cade Sydal limping up! A vocal mixed reaction rings out through the Epicenter, mostly jeering though a few seem to have missed Cade at least.
Chance Ryan: What do you want, Cade? I’m in the middle of challenging the Brotherhood to a match on Dominion 6.
Cade Sydal: I see that, man. Look, your sister and I were worried. You checked yourself out of the hospital, didn’t come home…
Chance Ryan: That’s because I have business to attend to, and you’re interrupting. This trend of getting cut off every time I have something to say is really getting old and is starting to tick me off.
Cade pats the air between them with both hands.
Cade Sydal: I get that, I do. I want to help you, that’s why I tracked you down. Challenge the Bad Ass Brotherhood, I’ll be your partner and together we can teach them a lesson in humility and respect.
Chance starts to shake his head and winces instead.
Chance Ryan: No, Cade. Every time I’m around you, it becomes about you. This right here?
Chance moves his hands in a circle around himself to illustrate the point he’s about to make.
Chance Ryan: This is not a part of the Cade Sydal show any more. I’m done living in your shadow. I am challenging the Brotherhood to a match on Dominion 6, but I already have a partner.
Cade Sydal: Oh yeah? Who?
Chance Ryan: You should know him. You had him come and help me train for my match with Tanya.
Cade Sydal: Jaysin Skylar?
Chance Ryan: That’s the guy.
Cade Sydal: You’re making a mistake, man. Let me hel–
Cade is cut off by Chance’s upraised hand directly in his face.
Chance Ryan: Just stop, Cade. I’ve made up my mind.
Chance turns toward the camera slowly, with Cade shaking his head slowly to himself.
Chance Ryan: Brotherhood, if you thought I was a nuisance while you were tag champs, you should wait to see what I become now that you’ve gotten my attention on a personal level. You two cowardly bullies want to jump me from behind? Fine, show your true colors, just know that doesn’t make you look Bad, it makes you look weak. But let’s see if you two can’t muster up the courage…what do ya say? The BAB versus Chance Ryan and Jaysin Skylar at Dominion 6?
Chance drops the microphone on the ground carelessly and it pops with a little static as he starts to walk away, with Cade limping after him to try and plead his own case.
Eryk Masters: That’s big! Chance Ryan just challenged the Bad Ass Brotherhood!
Other Guy: His choice in partners is a little odd though, isn’t it?
Eryk Masters: I’m sure he has his reasons, though, right?
A wet harsh slapping sounds fills the air, a high pitched grunt sounding of lost air and spit up blood. Flay is trapped in a small corner, surrounded by gray concrete walls. Her hazel hair drips all over her face, it covers a now soft whimper of a plea for help from parched lips. A vibrant red dribbles down off her chin, mixing with the drippings from her hair as she tries to cover herself. Blocking her path out of this corner in the open hallway is Kenji Yamada, his arms raise and drop onto her like jackhammers, pistons that motor ever faster onto every piece of exposed flesh he sees. Her soft whimper now drowning in the harsh brutal voice of her tormentor. Flay makes an attempt at calling out for anyone passing by, but he throat goes numb and all that escapes is a crackled little squeak next to the loud roar of her owner.
Kenji: THIS is for being such a good girl at Reckoning Day…
His hands seem to thrust harder and harder, the sound now evolving from a slapping into what sounds more like bricks being slowly broken. A vile wetness follows it, blood the only lubricant for the hands laying waste to her flesh. She has no words. Production staff wander through the halls, eyes deadlocked forward pretending they didn’t see it. Flay’s eyes reach out to them, for anything, but they keep walking ignoring the vile demon… they know the consequences of acting against SCAR. She tries to outstretch her hand towards a man walking by with a headset, their eyes meet for a split second, both fearful and wide. Kenji need only look over his shoulder for a brief moment, the man scurries off as fast as he can.
Kenji: THIS is your present, my angel…
He grabs her by wet brown hair and slams the back of her head against the thick gray concrete, her eyes go white until blood from her forehead corrupts them red. Her tongue hangs wearily from the corner of her mouth, no saliva left, more of a pink slab of a leather. He palms her face and slams her head back into the wall, now a sloshing sound follows the horrendous thud.
Kenji: Do you like it?
From down the hallway we hear T.Rex’s belly laugh. He and Arch Angel turn the corner and are met with the image in front of them. Both men’s stop in their track. Their jovial nature melts into an anger.
T.Rex: What… da… FUGG?! … YO!
T.Rex’s bellowing causes the few people in the hall to jump. Flay also jumps instinctively. Kenji turns annoyed to the makers of the noise.
T.Rex: You fuggin’ kiddin’ me, man?
Anarchy stomp towards Kenji and Flay. T.Rex is absolutely seething. Arch Angel is more stoic. Sizing up the situation.
Arch Angel: Clearly you all think you can whatever you damn well please. Doing what you did to Corazon… putting him in the burn ward? And THIS is how you celebrate?
T.Rex: You okay, Hun?
T.Rex reaches out to check the wounds on Flay’s face and Kenji snaps slapping Teddy’s hand away. T.Rex steps forward. He and Kenji are inches apart. Arch Angel steps forward too, fists clenched. Kenji simply smiles, stepping to the side and allowing Flay to burst forward and smash her open palm across the face of Teddy. The sound so vibrant that all other noise in the hall stops, all eyes converge on them.
Flay: Why… WHY… did you… STOP HIM!?
T.Rex stares stunned. His fists clenched tightly as Kenji turns his head slightly towards the two, a smile engorged on face.
Kenji: Yes, chivalrous knights, do explain your intrusion. I am SO looking forward to it.
Flay stands, unyielding, with her hands curled up in front of her, and hunched over like a rabid dog waiting to devour its prey. Her own blood seeps out of her mouth, on the sides of her face, and dribbles down her chin as her breathing becomes heavy and sporadic.
Kenji: I’d do something quickly, gentlemen, she gets rather… impatient… when she’s like this.
T.Rex and Arch Angel stare, perplexed at Flay’s lashing out at THEM. T.Rex turns to Kenji.
T.Rex: Just cuz she… seems like she LIKES it? Don’t make it RIGHT. Just cuz you THINK you can do whatever you feel like? Cuz you wield a bad ass blow torch? Won’t keep you from the beatin’ you deserve…
He eyeballs Flay and puts an angry finger in her face.
T.Rex: And SHE desires. C’mon Chris.
The two members of Anarchy shake their head baffled by the interaction as they walk off. Kenji watching after them with an evil smirk before he turns his malicious attention back Flay’s direction. He wraps his hand around her throat, Flay’s eyes convulsing into her head at the mere touch of his scarred flesh.
Kenji: Now… where were we?
We’re in the arena. A momentary lull in the action is abrubtly interrupted.
"Tonight We’re going Har-Har-Har-H-H-H-HARD!"
Ke$ha rips through the Epicenter as the crowd jumps to their feet.
Eryk Masters: Looks like we’ve got a guest coming out to the ring.
In a pair of jeans and faded grey "Modest Mouse" t-shirt, Loco walks to the ring slapping hands with fans. He even pauses quickly to jump into a fans "selfie".
Other Guy: Did Loco just photo bomb that fan?
Eryk Masters: No one has accused Loco Martinez of not trying to squeeze every bit of fun out life that he can, OG. He’s a long time vet. I’ve been around him a lot, and honestly? Can’t remember the last time I saw the smile I saw at Reckoning Day. That same smile he’s sporting now.
Loco jumps up to the apron and throws his hands out to the side with a huge smile, and the crowd cheers their appreciation. He rolls backwards over the top rope into the ring. A PA brings him a mic. The crowd begins a "Welcome Back" chant. He smiles genuinely.
Loco Martinez: From the bottom of my heard, its good to BE back.
Loco Martinez: Up until Reckoning Day I wasn’t sure if coming back was the right thing to do, but once I stepped out onto that stage, intoTHIS ring, in front of YOU?
He looks down at the mat with a smile.
Loco Martinez: I knew how wrong I was. So here I am and as if all that isn’t enough? I’ve been entered in the Master of the Mat, and don’t get me wrong… I can’t WAIT. I can’t wait to prove myself inside a SHOOT ring. Someplace I’ve never had much luck… I… heh…honestly? I was as stunned as many when I heard I got one of the top seeds for Master of the Mat.
Loco looks out over the crowd genuinely. A dedicated section of MoFonatics start up a "You Deserve it" chant, and Loco smiles.
Loco Martinez: I’m honored you and SHOOT would think that, but that’s part of why I’m here. THAT points to why I am in this ring. I feel like my SHOOT track record leaves a lot to be desired. I feel that as much as coming back is about my love of being in this ring competing front of YOU? Its about me bringing a little of the Greatest Show on Earth to the SHOOT Project. Its about earning that Number One Seed, even if its after the fact… and it all begins with Master of the Mat. That accolade. That title shot. All the amazing talent in that bracket? You Soldiers that got a spot in the most prestigious tournament in the sport, and arguably the deepest in its history?? Be proud, but I got an OLD SCHOOL message for you…
Loco smiles and long time fans get ready to play sing along with the Freakshow. He clears his throat and sings,
Loco Martinez: One…. TWO… Loco’s COMING FOR YOU!!!!
The crowd roars, Loco tosses his mic to a PA, and he smiles, clapping over his head applauding the Epicenter crowd as he slingshots himself over the top rope landing on the floor continuing to applaud the crowd all the way to the back.
Eryk Masters: A shot over the bow, and a little bit of a mission statement by Loco Martinez. One of the Number One seeds in this years Master of the Mat.
Other Guy: Letting the world know that he is coming, and while he understands why he earned one of those precious #1 seeds he has a fire to prove himself moving forward not just in Master of the Mat, but inside the SHOOT Project on the whole!
Eryk Masters: We’re about to continue with the first round of the Master of the Mat.
Other Guy: These two have a history battling over the Sin City Championship. They are no strangers.
Eryk Masters: Throw in each’s competitive drive and what is on the line and what these two can do in the ring against much larger opponents? This match is has been buzzed about ALL week. Lets go to Samantha Coil.
Samantha Coil: Our next contest is the first round of the Master of the Mat… Coming to the ring first!
The lights in the Epicenter die down as the start of “HORIZON” by D’espairsRay fills the arena. Spotlights search through the seats as the fans rise up from their seats in boisterous anticipation. The words “CAN YOU FEEL THE NEW WORLD?” scribble across the video tron in elaborate silver script for a moment, the searchlights converge on the ramp, on Maya with his head bowed downward. The script on the video tron fades slowly into light particles, the moment Maya lifts his head the word “HOPE” etches its way across the video screen, and the spotlights SHOOT out in all direction as the lights in the Epicenter surge on to their most brilliant and brightest.
Samantha Coil: By way of Nagasaki, Japan. Standing at 5’7”… weighing in at 135 pounds… MAYA… NAKASHIIIIIIIMAAAAAAAAA!!!
The Music fades away and Maya stands in his corner. Determination etched on his face.
Eryk Masters: Can’t say the Master of the Mat competitors we’ve seen so far aren’t taking things seriously.
Other Guy: Its a star making tournament.
Samantha Coil: And His Opponent…
"Your fear it moves me.
Your weakness I taste.
I breathe you, I hate you.
You course through my veins.
The lights dim down for a moment and an explosion of pyro signals the entrance of Tanya Black who stands on the stage looking mesmerized for a moment as she soaks in the boos of the fans.
"You want me. You love me.
And I hate myself.
I need you, but I hate you.
‘Cause I want nothing else.
And I bleed you since I’ve healed you.
Your pain escapes through me.
‘Cause I breathe you, but I hate you.
‘Cause they say we could never be.
They can’t see."
As "Die For You" continues to play the arena watches as Tanya Black begins walking to the ring, every step seeming to awaken her more and more, her look going from vacant to determination.
Samantha Coil: From Boston Massachusetts, Standing at 5’4" weighing in at 165 pounds… The "ALPHA FEMALE": TAAAAAAAAAAANYAAAAAAAAA BLLLLLLAAAAAAAAAAACK!!!!!!!
Sliding into the ring Tanya Black moves to the middle and holds her arms out to the sides as she leans her head back. The crowd jeers as Tanya hops down as the music fades away. Dennis Heflin brings the Soldiers to the center of the ring.
Eryk Masters: Giving his last minute instructions.
Each combatant nod earnestly. He gestures and they back up into their corner. Coiled with adrenaline waiting for that sound. Helflin calls for the bell and the two charge.
Other Guy: Its GO TIME, Masters!
Tanya lunges for a tie up, but Maya ducks down and slips past and behind grabbing her in a school boy roll up!
Eryk Masters: That was CLOSE!
Maya is up lightning quick Tanya is up right after that, and is met with a jumping knee up under the chin. This rocks her, she drops to the mat wit a thud. Maya bounces off the ropes and nails a baseball slide drop kick to the ribs. Jumps up, runs to the middle rope and launches back with an asai moonsault!
Eryk Masters: He hit all of it!
He stays on top for a lateral press.
TH_-NO! Tanya shoulders out. A "Lets go MAYA" chant begins to echo through the Epicenter. Maya rolls off her and drags her to her feet. He snaps a quick kick to the gut. Grabs her in a front facelock and delivers a vicious snap suplex! Tanya arches her back in pain with impact.
Eryk Masters: Really working the ribs, OG.
Other Guy: Well if he’s looking to hit the Ode to Shinya its a great place to start. Even if he isn’t? If your ribs hurt? Everything hurts!
Maya is up and drops both legs across Tanya’s torso. He hops up and delivers standing moonsault.
Eryk Masters: Just the simple act of breathing with busted up ribs is a heavy task.
He brings Tanya to a seated position and sits down behind her wrapping his legs around her into a tight body triangle. He then puts his head under her armpit and reaches across really stretching her to the side while squeezing with his legs.
Other Guy: It is like a seated abdominal stretch, but with the added devastation of that body triangle!
Eryk Masters: I wouldn’t have expected to see Maya take it to the ground, but with having an opponent that is more his size, he planned ahead and had his ground game on point.
Maya really leans into it, and squeezing. Tanya grimaces through the pain shooting from her ribs through her body. Referee checks on her, asking if she wants to submit? She says "NO" through gritted teeth. Reaches for the ropes, but is still a foot or two away. She tries to shimmy, and shift towards the ropes, but Maya tightens body triangle which halts her in her tracks. The crowd begins chanting "TAP!TAP!TAP!" she shakes her head defiantly.
Eryk Masters: Don’t know if Tanya can get to the ropes, but she is too proud and too fierce a competitor to give up ESPECIALLY with what is on the line.
She looks around trying to figure out how she’s gonna get out of this. She winds up and with all her might drives a sharp elbow down into Maya’s thigh. Maya winces, but answers by tightening his legs. Tanya drives another elbow right into the fleshy part right above the knee. Maya again winces, this time the triangle loosens. She attempts to break out of it, but to no avail. She drives another elbow into Maya’s thigh. The triangle loosens. Tanya shifts and then drives an elbow with all her might into Maya’s side/ribcage. This finally gets her freed from his legs, and she quickly spins into Maya and pushes getting herself into a full mount. She drives a series of three vicious headbutts into the bridge of Maya’s nose.
Eryk Masters: She got out and is fired up!
Tanya lets out a visceral scream and as Maya gets up a little blood trickling out of his nose she runs at him and levels him with a lariat. She shakes her arm from the force and clutches at her ribs.
Other Guy: Everything she does will have a painful consequence.
She drags Maya up to his feet and whips him off the ropes. She goes for another clothesline, but he ducks. He comes back and she leapfrogs him, and on his return trip she launches him with a release over head belly to belly suplex! He lands with a thud, and Tanya summons the adrenaline coursing through her body and kips up. She winces and clutches at her ribs, but as she sees Maya get to his feet, she LEVELS him with a superkick!
Other Guy: Maya is OUT!
Tanya scrambles to make the cover.
Eryk Masters: Maya got his bottom foot on the rope! Good catch by Referee Dennis Heflin!
The crowd roars as Tanya seethes. She gets up and stomps hard on Maya’s chest. Then drops a leg across his throat. She gets up and leaps driving a knee into his forehead. She scoops him up and slams him down hard. Maya writhes in pain. Tanya drags him up and whips him hard into the corner. She charges in and rocks him with a running clothesline in the corner. Maya slumps to the mat. Tanya backs back across the ring and charges again driving a running double knee into Maya’s face! Maya slumps to the mat. Tanya drags him away from the corner and the ropes. Hooks a leg.
Three-NO! Maya shoulders out.
Other Guy: I thought she had him, Masters.
Eryk Masters: Look at Tanya’s face, she thought she had him too!
Tanya gets up. Drops a leg across Maya’s chest. She pops up steps up to the bottom rope. Drops another leg across Maya. She hops up again. This time jumps up to the middle rope. Launches hits a THIRD Leg drop across Maya’s neck!
Eryk Masters: She’s looking for the Four-Peat!
She goes back to the ropes. Sizes up Maya. Jumps and pulls herself up to the top rope. Stands up, and launches looking for the 4th leg drop, but Maya rolls towards the corner. Tanya over shoots him and lands hard on her leg and tailbone. The crowd roars. Maya feeling a rush pulls her up. Shoves her head between his legs. He wraps his hands around her waist and pulls her up into a piledriver and SPIKES her on her head!
Eryk Masters: Piledriver! Tanya might be done!
Other Guy: Maya with the cover!
Thr-NO! Tanya stays alive.
Maya slumps to the ground, exhaustedly. So both competitors are down. Heflin starts up his count. Crowd picks up chanting "Lets go MAYA".
Four… Maya pushes up to a knee.
Five… Tanya is up to her feet.
Six… Maya is up to his feet. Tanya charges looking for a clothesline. Maya ducks under and grabs her in a tight waist. He launches back with a German suplex. He bridges with all his might!
Th-NO! Tanya is able to kick out. The two competitors get up wearily. Maya charges in this time. Tanya senses this and drives a knee into his gut. Stops him cold. Doubles him over. She double locks in a double under hook and DROPS him with a double arm DDT! She shoots a half. Exhaustedly lays her back across his chest, and hooks a leg.
Eryk Masters: So close. Both of these competitors have been on the precipice of victory tonight!
Other Guy: Its Master of the Mat, Masters. Leave it in that ring, or "go home"!
Tanya gets up. She brings Maya up. Drives an forearm smash into his lower back, Maya drops to a knee, but runs towards the corner. He deftly runs up the turnbuckles, getting out of the tight waist. As he pushes off the top rope, he twists and dives down the back of Tanya, taking her down in a hard sunset flip the impact jarring her torso and knocking the wind out of her!
Tanya kicks out, but it’s just BARELY.
They both get to their feet at the same time, and Maya re-engages, but Tanya grabs him around his neck as though to go for an ace crusher! Tanya lifts up, drops behind Maya, and hits him with the Tough Love! Tanya crumples to the mat and they are both breathing very heavily as the crowd pops for the action!
Eryk Masters: Tanya Black with a HUGE desperation move there, and she’s gonna go for the cover!
Samantha Coil: The winner of this match, at a time of ELEVEN MINUTES and FIFTEEN SECONDS and advancing to the next round of the Master of the Mat… THE ALPHA FEMALE… TANYA BLACK!
The announcers lay back. The two Soldiers are both on their knees, breathing heavily, looking exhausted. The crowd stands around them applauding the efforts of both competitors. Maya rolls out of the ring and heads to the back as Tanya gets to her feet and referee Dennis Heflin hoists her arm. The crowd roars their approval and appreciation for the contest.
Other Guy: Those two left everything they had in that ring tonight! Showing the world what SHOOT and this years Master of the Mat is all about!
Eryk Masters: But, it is Tanya Black punching her ticket to the Second round of the Master of the Mat. What a fantastic wrestling match by two awesome athletes.
Other Guy: It really was, Masters. Those two Soldiers went to war tonight. Both went out there to prove who the better Soldier was inside that ring! Its why we call it Master of the Mat!
The scene fades into the back. Mary Kelly is backstage, and she looks really, REALLY nervous.
Mary Kelly: I mean…do I have to? I don’t really want to. Do I HAVE to interview him? You remember what he did on my first day, r-
Suddenly, a shout is heard from down the hall.
Jester Smiles: SAMMY! WHERE ARE YOU!?
Mary jumps at the sound, a small squeak escaping her lips as she lands. Jester Smiles turns the corner and sees the camera crew and Mary. Jester doesn’t even seem to recognize Mary or the fact that she is set up for an interview.
Jester Smiles: Have you guys seen Sammy? Anywhere at all?
Mary Kelly shakes her head. Jester walks up like he’s going to push past her, but Mary, surprisingly courageously, stands in his way.
Mary Kelly: Jester…could we get a word about what happened on Revolution?
Jester looks down at Mary. He smiles, recognizing her now.
Jester Smiles: What? I fed THE MAN, THE LEGEND, THE BUILDER OF THE HOUSE THAT IS SHOOT PROJECT, THE REAL FUCKING DEAL….to Project: SCAR.
Mary gulps, trying to remain brave.
Mary Kelly: So…are you forming some kind of alliance with Project: SCAR?
Jester Smiles: Not at all. I couldn’t care less what the Great White Wrestler or any of his boys want to do. They want to set more backs on fire, whatever. I just…man, The Real Deal not only disrespected me, to my face, but then…he just acts like I’m a non-factor? Like, he fucks with me, and then, instead of wondering if I might react to his words, he goes out and deals with Project: SCAR with no fear of what might be behind his back.
Mary Kelly: Soooo, are you, essentially, going to war with Real Deal?
Jester shakes his head.
Jester Smiles: No. Fuck Real Deal. This isn’t about some match I didn’t bother showing up to. If I really cared about that shit, I would have answered his open challenge, much like the tabloids KNEW I would. No, this was about Real Deal being a piece of shit, always having been a piece of shit, and this was about me making sure he paid for being a piece of shit.
Mary Kelly: Oh…okay. Well…why are you looking for Sammy?
Jester looks at Mary like she’s crazy.
Jester Smiles: Because he’s missing…
Mary Kelly looks even more nervous.
Mary Kelly: M-m-missing?
Jester Smiles: Yeah. Two days after Reckoning Day he was just…gone. Like, vanished from the apartment. I thought maybe he’d show up at Revolution or Dominion looking for Jacob Mephisto, but…so far, I can’t find. He’s just gone. I’m trying to find him before something bad happens and he ends up in jail. So, if you’ll excuse me, I have work to do. In closing, fuck Real Deal.
Jester pushes past Mary Kelly and walks off camera.
Jester Smiles: SAMMY!
Mary shudders, trying to get composed.
Mary Kelly: Guys, that really sucked.
Other Guy: Speaking of the Real Deal, we heard from Jason earlier on in the evening and he let us know that while Josh was beaten up pretty badly, he’s going to be fine. He’s estimated to make his return to his VP desk within a few weeks, and Jason has said that he’ll definitely be wanting to address this issue with Jester Smiles after that.
Eryk Masters: Josh hasn’t exactly been the kind of guy to let us know what all is ailing him, ever, in his career, so we’re not really sure the extent of his injuries. I can tell you this, though, since he’s only thirty-six, he’s not in quite the same kind of situation that some other, older wrestlers might be in, if they got beat up that badly.
Other Guy: Yep yep. In addition to that, Jason Johnson has said that he’s going to be making an appearance on one of either the next Dominion or Revolution, and that he’s going to be addressing Project: SCAR personally. This is kind of a big deal, as you all know, because Jason very rarely makes on camera live appearances, so you can guess from this that we’re heading towards a pretty significant confrontation.
Eryk Masters: At any rate, we’re going to kick it back to the back, where cameras have caught up with Trey Willett and Loco Martinez.
We’re backstage with Trey Willett speaking with a few production people. Bounding down the hall we see Loco Martinez. His eyes light up.
Loco Martinez: Mr. Master of the Mat, Trey Willett! How you doing, man?
Trey Willett: Sup, Loco. Fancy running into you here.
Loco Martinez: Gotta stay on top of the potential Mat Masters fighting this week. Get my scout on!
Trey Willett: Get guy’s 40 times. Maybe ask them to do a shuttle?
Loco pats himself down and over dramatically frowns.
Loco Martinez: Damn. I forgot my stop watch in my other pants.
They share a chuckle.
Loco Martinez: Anyway, dudeman. I got a question. How do they do it? If you can keep it between you… me… this table… THAT dude… and the viewing audience? I’m kind of new to the whole Master of the Mat thing. Do you get to keep the trophy for the year? Do they just engrave your name on it, and put it on display somewhere?
Trey Willett: Trophy? Dude there is no "trophy". You know, you get the honor and prestige of being THE Master of the Mat. Plus the title shot.
Loco looks dejected by this.
Trey Willett: Sorry dude.
Loco Martinez: Nah. That’s okay man I mean it is a GINORMOUS deal. I get that, but I just picture ME, or ya know YOU, you could totally win, or…. uh.. someone holding a trophy over their head. Like the Premier League trophy! Some sweet SHOOT ribbons on the side. Or maybe something like the Stanley Cup with all the winner’s names on it. I mean… a title shot is AMAZING, but dudes get title shots just for being douche bags. I KNOW! I’VE gotten title shots for being a douche bag.
The two share a laugh.
Trey Willett: You could always take it to management. How is your silver smithing?
Loco Martinez: RUSTY! – get it?
Trey Willett: Ugh… man that’s corny… even for you!
Loco flashes his trademark grin. Extends a hand to Trey.
Loco Martinez: Yeah. I know… anyway, best of luck tonight, dude. It’d be awesome if our paths could cross in this jam!
Trey Willett: Thanks man, and I agree. Maybe we’ll be seeing each other sooner rather than later.
Loco heads off. Trey resumes his conversation. We cut away.
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is a round one matchup in the 2013 Master of the Mat tournament and is secluded for one fall.
Eryk Masters: I love this time of year, Reckoning Day, Master of The Mat. What a great time to be a SHOOT fan.
Other Guy: With the talent we have here in SHOOT; every day is a great time to be a SHOOT fan.
Eryk Masters: Way to make me look a dick OG.
Other Guy: You don’t need me to do that.
Eryk Masters: Hep-Hem! Moving on…Our next-to-last match is going to be a doozy featuring the return of the legend Jonny Johnson.
Other Guy: With it being a first-round Master of the Mat match, there’s no question Laura Seton has been planning on bringing it but it’s going to take an extra something if she wants to get by Jonny.
“Ohhh, oh-oh-oh-ohhhhh, o-o-o-o-o-ohhh
I’ll get him hot, show him what I’ve got…”
As booing fills the arena, a burst of dark pink fireworks light up the top of the ramp while the chorus to Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” plays.
Eryk Masters: Words cannot describe how much I can’t stand this woman.
Other Guy: Seton or Lady Gaga?
Eryk Masters: Seton. At least I can turn off Lady Gaga.
Laura appears through the smoke and stands amidst it.
“… Can’t read my poker face…
She’s got me like nobody.”
As the smoke clears, we see a shiver of intensity run through her head and neck before she steps out of the smoke and towards the ring. Her wrestling gear is new: a tight black, shiny leather top to go with an even tighter set of shiny, dark pink leather pants and black almost knee-high boots.
Eryk Masters: Guess she’s letting go of the conservative look.
Other Guy: If I wasn’t such a professional…
Eryk Masters: Please don’t finish that sentence.
She gets to the ring and poses towards the camera, crossing her arms across her chest with a stern expression. Fans continue yelling insults but they are ignored as she dives under the bottom rope into the ring.
Samantha Coil: First to the ring… from Oshkosh, Wisconsin… she is “Twenty Minutes of Terror,”… LAURAAA SETONNNNN!
Other Guy: I think this may be one the most emotional match-ups from the fans’ view. Both competitors are so polarizing; love or hate. It’s amazing how at this point the booing for Seton could get any louder and yet every show, the hate increases.
Eryk Masters:You know they badly prefer Jonny advancing over Laura, so imagine how much the roof is going to be blown off when Jonny comes out. His earlier appearance nearly blew the roof off the Epicenter. This time out may cause a seismic event!
Other Guy: That’s no means for an automatic win, though. She told me earlier how loud she was expecting it to be. The booing right now is almost deafening and she’s simply standing in her corner, tying her hair back. I won’t be surprised if she was able to block out most of the noise tonight.
"I Love It" by ICONA POP begins to play and the fans shift gears from BOOING to CHEERING! CHEERING LOUDLY. Quite, fucking loudly. However, in a crazy, UN-JONNY LIKE TWIST, there is no pageantry or glittery lights.
There are no spectacles.
The music hits and Jonny Johnson comes out from behind the curtain, ready for a goddamn fight. He takes off the pink shirt he’s been wearing all night and throws it down at the top of the aisle. His eyes remain on Laura the entire time, and he blatantly ignores the fans reaching out over the barricades to touch him.
Eryk Masters: A much different scene than the one earlier tonight.
Other Guy: Maybe a sign that Seton got in his head…
Eryk Masters: Or a sign that Jonny’s going to kill her.
Other Guy: Lil aggressive, Masters….but fair enough. Six ‘a one, I guess.
Jonny has a few choice words for his opponent the closer he gets to her.
Samantha Coil: AND INTRODUCING HER OPPONENT… from CHICAGO, ILLINOIS. Weighing in at two-hundred, ten pounds… HE IS JONNY JOHNSON!!!!
Jonny storms up the steps and appears so violently ready to start this match that Scott Kamura actually comes over and holds him back. Jonny puts his hands in the air, but never keeps his eyes off Seton. Kamura does a quick check, which Jonny passes.
Eryk Masters: Did you get a look at that T-Shirt?
Other Guy: I didn’t, because it’s pink and the light is reflecting off it into my eyes.
They are of course referencing Jonny’s T-Shirt with "i’m a face. pls cheer" emblazoned on the front of it that now rests on the floor.
Eryk Masters: Wait was that drawn on with a Sharpie?
Other Guy: Is what drawn on with a sharpie?
Eryk Masters: Jonny’s T-Shirt.
Other Guy: What? May I ask why you are paying so much attention to his chest?
Eryk Masters: You did it with Laura.
Other Guy: That. I. Did.
Scott Kamura politely asks Laura to return to her corner. She raises and eyebrow and complies his wish as the fans begin to quieten down and then returns to the centre of the ring. Kamura signals for the bell to ring.
"DING, DING, DING!"
Other Guy: And they’re off!
Seton and Johnson start to circle each other, while Johnson may have had a lot of time out of the ring he doesn’t seem to show any signs of rust as he reaches in for a clinch, Laura with her sprinting background ducks the clinch attempt getting behind Johnson and throws out a wild kick to the back of Johnson’s knee.
Johnson lets out a slight grimace before turning to face Laura with raised fists, you can almost see the clogs ticking in his head as he reaches for a tie up for the second time, only this time as they are about to make contact John side steps cutting off Laura’s escape path and getting her in a solid collar and elbow tie.
Eryk Masters: Quick thinking by Johnson.
As they tie up, Johnson begins to push Laura back towards the ropes; but Seton is having none of it and grips onto a handful of Jonny’s shaggy hair; she does this in such a way that the referee doesn’t notice the hair pull.
Other Guy: If you can’t overpower him, pull his hair, that’s what I say.
Eryk Masters: Pull his hair, what a girly thing to do.
Other Guy: She is a girl. And it’s not a girly thing to do it’s a smart and vicious thing to do.
Laura twists her hand ripping at the hair a little more which forces Jonny to take a few steps back; however Jonny doesn’t let go of the collar and elbow tie, instead he drops to the mat with a side rolling arm drag flipping Laura down to the mat.
Seton quickly gets back to her feet as does Johnson; only this time it is Laura who attempts the collar and elbow tie, however much like last time around with Johnson being the bigger of the two he quickly pushes Seton back against the ropes where referee Scott Kamura steps in and breaks the lock, here Seton throws out a harsh right hook across the face of the Defiler.
Other Guy: What a punch.
Johnson doesn’t take too kindly to the punch and retaliates with a sharp kick straight to midsection to the women known by the moniker “Twenty Minutes of Terror” thus doubling her over, Johnson doesn’t let up here as he charges her into the ropes and then unloads with a quick succession of knife edge chops, followed by a forearm shot to chin which almost sends Laura to the outside.
Eryk Masters: Johnson’s ability, despite only having competed one match since 2011 amazes me.
Other Guy: Not as much as his pink T-Shirt though right?
Johnson takes Seton by the arm and whips her to the ropes, catching some speed on the rebound Laura bounces back and Johnson goes for a Belly to Belly Suplex. Somehow as Johnson lifts her for the throw Seton rolls out with a flip and lands on her feet with cat like reflexes, she turns and throws a wild high Kick, Johnson ducks and goes for a sweep, Seton jumps over the sweep and goes for an enormous punch; but Johnson side steps sending Laura spinning with her own momentum.
Eryk Masters: That was like something out of a Kung Fu film.
Johnson rushes in and attempts a German Suplex, but much like his Belly to Belly attempt Seton flips out of it during the lift. Johnson turns and darts at Seton with a clothesline.
Seton arches her back like Neo out of the Matrix. The defiler backs off to the ropes and springs off them looking for another Clothesline. But as he fires back towards Seton who hits a well-timed side kick straight to the shoulder of Johnson sending him back against the ropes.
Eryk Masters: Will you listen to the ovation from these fans. Love or hate these guys that exchange was masterful.
Other Guy: “Guys!” Seton is all women.
Eryk Masters: It’s a figure of speech.
Other Guy: Speaking of figures would you look at Laura tonight.
Noting that the kicks seem to be working Seton throws another huge high kick, Johnson who was lucky enough only to take a kick to the shoulder and not the face has enough in him to cleanly catch the move and goes to sweep the free leg of Seton. But Laura hops up with her free leg twisting her body and cracking Johnson square in the jaw with the High Hurdle kick staggering him into the corner.
Other Guy: What a shot!
Seton backs up and charges at Jonny crashing into him with a forearm smash, she then pulls “The Defiler” out of the corner whipping him to the other side, but here Johnson puts on the breaks as Laura charges in at him. Jonny side steps allowing Laura’s momentum to carry her all the way into the turnbuckle with a hellacious thud! Johnson quickly gets behind Laura, wraps his arms her waist and lifts her up and over with a picture perfect German Suplex!
With a bridge Jonny makes a cover.
Johnson rolls out over the bridge and lifts Laura up and tucks her arm between his while wrapping the other around her throat; he pulls her back trying to lock it into place.
Eryk Masters: The Demoralization Process!
Johnson is seconds away from swinging out and dropping Laura to the mat when she uses her smaller frame to her advantage and somehow by hook or crook slides her arm out of the hold and then fires back with an elbow to the midsection followed by another hard elbow.
Other Guy: What smarts by Laura.
Eryk Masters: Smarts? That seemed desperate to me.
Jonny is quick to act and so he pulls Laura back and launches her back into the turnbuckle with a Russian leg sweep, Laura’s neck and back whips with intensity as she crashes against the padding and then falls forward to the mat; where Jonny Drops with a cover.
With his head in his hands Jonny Johnson leans in disbelief that Laura Seton kicked out after that manoeuvre, so much so that he leans down for a cover again…But Laura reaches up with her hands pulling Jonny towards her, here she forces her shin into his throat and pulls his head forward with a stylised variation of the Gogoplata submission move. Referee Scott Kamura gets in position to check on Jonny, when Laura lets one hand free to reach up to the middle rope and gain some height leverage adding pressure to the submission.
Eryk Masters: Just as I was about to give Laura props for the slick submission attempt, she goes for the ropes.
The fans reign down on Laura with offensive comments about her vagina and a resounding chorus of boos.
Kamura turns but Laura lets go of the ropes and focuses on keeping the move locked in, a Jon-E-John-Son chant breaks out as Laura wrenches hard, putting everything she has into the hold.
Other Guy: You can see the veins in Johnson’s head as she applies the pressure.
Jonny desperately reaches for the ropes, but can’t quite make it there, so he shifts his lower body weight arching his back forward so that he is standing on tip-toes and then scrambles with his feet as if he trying to run uphill, this builds enough momentum for him to roll forward where he takes Laura’s legs and pulls them forward over her head.
One way or another Laura Seton gets out of the very quick roll up attempt and backs away to the ropes with a look of sheer disbelief as Johnson rolls to the other side of the ring creating distance. You can see the anger in Seton’s eyes as if she is thinking “How did he get out of that.”
Johnson begins to pull himself back up with the ropes, as he does this Seton charges at him and hits a knee to his gut, she then pulls him forward locking his head beneath her arm and drops with a DDT; But Jonny holds onto the ropes stopping himself from falling, as Laura hits the mat John dives forward with an Elbow Drop straight to Seton’s face.
Other Guy: No not her face.
Both lay motionless for a second, the submission clearly took the wind out of Johnson and that Elbow drop came close to knocking Seton out. Almost in time both competitors begin to rise, Laura gets to her knees as Johnson pulls himself up.
Jonny leans back against the ropes breathing heavily when Seton rushes at him again; only this time she eats a boot to the face which sends her reeling back. Laura then turns away holding her jaw giving Jonny an opening, he darts forward crashing a forearm to Seton’s lower back and then pulls her back towards him; he locks her arm once again and attempts to wrap his fre arm around her throat.
Eryk Masters: He is attempting The Demoralization Process again!
But again Laura uses her smaller frame to wriggle her arm free. Only this time Johnson has smartened up to the tactic and yanks Laura backwards and straight into a Dragon Sleeper! Jonny pulls back hard torqueing Laura’s neck while the fans chant “Tap Out!” over and over.
Other Guy: I can’t watch.
Eryk Masters: What a contest. Neither of these two have been able to gain full advantage. Until now.
Laura struggles, scratching and clasping up at Johnson. And so Johnson slowly begins to lower himself from the upright position by bending his knees when suddenly Laura takes advantage of her Olympic training and uses her very athletic legs to push up off the mat swinging upward and backwards towards Johnson as if she is trying to swing over him. Jonny in turn lets go of the hold hoping to step back and let Laura crash into the mat, but Laura wraps her legs around Johnson’s head and swings off with a leg scissors throwing Johnny forward.
Other Guy: When I have a chick’s legs wrapped around my face I hope she doesn’t do that.
Battle worn and showing signs of a second wind; both combatants spring into action and clash in the centre of the ring…
Johnson hits a huge chop sending her back; Laura doesn’t waste time with an onward hop and connects a forearm to the chest which staggers Johnson. Not wanting to be outdone Johnson fires right back at her with a discus style clothesline. Laura ducks turning as Johnson spins the wrong way she hits two more big forearms to the back but Johnson spins back round taking her by the arm and whipping her to the ropes.
Eryk Masters: Hold for hold and move for move these two have countered each other and given their all here tonight.
Laura hits the ropes and springs back planting her hand on the mat springing up for her patented manoeuvre the Angel’s Fury. But Johnny somehow dodges the attack and quickly uses her momentum to roll her up into a tiny ball.
The referee jumps down for the count.
Laura is almost free when Jonny pulls on her tights keeping her in the pin attempt.
Other Guy: WHAT!?
Samantha Coil: Here is your winner. And advancing to the next round of the Master of the Mat… JOOOOONNNNYYYYY JOHN…SOOOOOOOONNNNN!!
The JumboTron erupts in a brief wave of static before a familiar icon appears on the screen…
“Set The World On Fire” booms from the speakers as Leona emerges from behind the curtain, the gold belt with the bloodstains over her right shoulder. She looks out at the crowd and gives a slight nod to the back, which is the signal for Mason Pierce, Valentine Lionheart, Morgana and Malice to make their way onto the stage. Mason and Valentine both have microphones in their hands, and Malice is holding on to a long, slim canvas bag in his left hand. He glances at the bag and then at Morgana, who shakes her head.
Eryk Masters: What the hell is Orion doing here?
Other Guy: Maybe they’re here to FINALLY tell us all about that lovely belt of theirs.
Eryk Masters: It’s about damn time. I’ve been fielding a lot of questions from fans on Twitter about this, and every time I’ve had to give the same answer. I have no idea.
Mason looks out at the crowd and smirks. This elicits a round of boos from the crowd.
Mason Pierce: Patience, people. In time. We have some business to attend to before the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Now first off, we would like to address a situation that occurred at Reckoning Day. One that seems to have the entire SHOOT universe in quite the uproar. One that concerns a certain Mr. Isaac Entragian and his little act as it pertains to one Adrian Corazon. Isaac, what you did was sick, brutal.. and absolutely fucking BEAUTIFUL. Excellent work, gents. Leona, remind me never to get on the bad side of SCAR again. You guys raised the bar, to be certain. An act of absolute brutality like that is something people remember. You laid down the gauntlet, and we felt it necessary to match- if one could possibly top that little display, that is. I like to think what we did to Cronos Diamante and Mirage came close. Maybe not for pure shock factor, but definitely in terms of overall carnage.
This little comment really riles up the crowd, but it doesn’t seem to affect the members of Orion one bit. Valentine smirks and nods in agreement before raising the microphone to his lips.
Valentine: It was just shocking. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Nor could I believe the physical effect the smell of burning flesh had on my body.I started to shiver, my stomach began to rumble, saliva lingered in my mouth and for some strange reason I started to crave a fatback sandwich.
Eryk Masters: Come on! There is something seriously wrong with this guy.
The man once known as “Darkside” soaks in the disgusted boos and jeers from the SHOOT faithful, before nodding at Mason and taking a step back.
Mason Pierce: So we’ve been talking, and we’ve decided that maybe.. just maybe.. it’s time for us to tell you a little story. One that you’ve probably already heard, but maybe not quite this way. A tale of two champions, of betrayal and incompetent management.
He pauses and looks down the ramp at the ring, turning to the other members of Orion and nodding. Leona and Morgana take the lead as Mason follows behind them, Valentine beside him and Malice bringing up the rear guard.
Mason Pierce: How many of you out here have ever heard of a rinky-dink little operation calling itself ZuWar? I’m guessing anyone who’s bothered spending any amount of time on the Internet probably has at one time or another. The product of a slick snake-oil salesman who used his smooth talking and powers of persuasion to build himself a nice little wrestling promotion. He brought these two together for the first time- got Malice into a wrestling ring for the first time. Only time he gave the man any real competition was when he knew the world was watching. And that was the man standing right beside me. The only man to ever hold the ZuWar Championship Belt. Valentine Lionheart. Problem is, the man knew how to promote, but he found himself in deep thanks to his big mouth writing checks his promotion couldn’t cash. He couldn’t bring in the numbers, all those deep pockets that were financing his little venture went away, and all of a sudden the doors are shuttered, Valentine and Malice are left without a home, and Valentine’s got himself a nice shiny belt and no place to show it off. Nobody to defend it against. A situation that required an immediate remedy. Which brings us to present day.
The group reaches the ringside area and make their way single file into the ring.
Valentine Lionheart: Correction, Mason. Which brings us to chapter two. An incompetent woman whose vision could not be matched by her managerial ability. An attempt to broker an alliance between numerous different little fragments of the wrestling universe under her banner that was flawed from the very beginning. One that I nearly became a part of. It intrigued me. The chance to hold not only the Zu Championship, but to add one more to the mantle. Yet alas, it was not meant to be. Zu’s demise closed that door for me, yet opened up the door for the bumbling bimbo behind the desk to grasp hungrily for the first organization that she could con into competing. That turned out to be SHOOT Project. The announcement that Mason Pierce himself would be competing under the banner sent shockwaves throughout the industry. And sure enough, the man who came in at the last minute turned out to be the last one standing. Holding the golden belt high and etching his name in history. A shame that she spent so much of her money on such an ornate belt, but couldn’t make payroll, couldn’t pay her bills, couldn’t fend off the lawsuits.
The crowd is getting riled up now, with some starting to shout “BOOORING…”
Eryk Masters: Okay. Feel free to get on with it. We don’t need a history lesson.
Other Guy: Patience is a virtue, E.
Valentine paces the ring, looking down at the mat, choosing his words carefully before raising his head and continuing, his movements not unlike a college professor delivering a lecture to his audience.
Valentine Lionheart: But there was one issue remaining. A challenge that I had chosen to issue. One that I knew, deep inside, only one man would have the stones to accept. And sure enough, the second Mason held that title belt high, he wasted no time in accepting. It would have been one for the ages. And it was turning out that way.
Mason Pierce: Until Cronos Diamante and his buddy decided to come along and interrupt things. The only little problem with that is, their actions wound up having a somewhat undesirable effect. They accelerated the process under which we made Orion a reality. Which led to an interesting predicament- two men with two championship belts, golden yet worthless in the business? They had to be made relevant again. And now…
Mason nods and Leona hands him the belt. Mason stares at it for a moment, a smile on his lips as he raises it high for everyone to see before resting it on his shoulder.
Mason Pierce: This, ladies and gentlemen, is the solution to the mystery, the product of our quandary. This is…The Orion Championship. A title unlike any other, anywhere. One where those in the head offices have no sway. They don’t decide when it is defended. We do. They don’t decide against whom it is defended. We do. They don’t decide how it is defended. We do.
Eryk Masters: What the… they have their own title?
Other Guy: That’s ballsy.
Valentine smirks and takes the title from Mason, resting it on his right shoulder.
Valentine Lionheart: Which is not to say we’re not going to give everyone in the back a chance to fight for it. Far from it. You see, we’re not afraid to put this on the line. Anyone wants a shot, all you need to do is simply say the word. However, be warned. This title is defended under a different set of rules than you might be anticipating. We have the Iron Fist- a belt that can only be won under the most brutal of conditions. At one time, SHOOT had the Rule Of Surrender. One that could only be won through submission. And now we have this new addition- one that will be defended under… Orion Rules. Allow me to elaborate. You see the three of us here in the ring? Every one of us, as of right now, is the Orion Champion. Which means each of us, or even all of us, if we so choose, can defend it- in any way, shape or form we deem fit. You want to hold this belt? You pay your money, roll the dice and take your chances.
The lights suddenly dim, and the SHOOTron springs to life with a bright flash. Two Steps From Hell hits the PA as Mirage storms out onto the rampway, Cronos following behind, obviously a bit more in control. Frantically waving a mic across his throat, a visibly irate Mirage calls for the music to cut.
Mirage: Cut the music. CUT THE MUSIC. NOW. I DON’T CARE. NOW. CUT IT!
Eryk Masters: Mirage is, for lack of better words, as angry as I’ve ever seen him, OG!
Other Guy: You look at him yelling for the music to stop, he wants to talk and he wants to talk right now, and then we have Cronos, by comparison, calm and collected.
Nodding his head, he stands at the center of the top of the rampway pointing toward the ring, lifting the mic to his mouth.
Mirage: There’s an old saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”, and shame on me, Valentine. Congratulations, Orion. Hey, you got the best me, twice. Doesn’t happen often. So as they say. Shame. On. Me. Or maybe in this case, shame on US.
Mirage holds up two fingers, signifying Orion got the upper hand on them two times in a row.
Mirage: But all good streaks come to an end, gentlemen…and whatever those tag-along bitches that tug the Orion penii are called.
Turning his hand toward the ring still holding up the two fingers, Mirage lowers his index finger, leaving only the middle standing.
Mirage: And it ends, tonight. Ya see, for a group of know-everythings, there’s one little, tiny, but very important thing you’ve seemed to have overlooked. But Cronos didn’t. So let’s see how you handle a bit of adversity when we break up your little get-along-gang for a while…
Mirage hands the mic off to Cronos with a visible smirk on his face.
Eryk Masters: What’s Mirage talking about?!
Other Guy: I’m not sure, but based on the smug look on his face while handing that mic off to Cronos, I’m guessing we’re about to find out.
Cronos brings the microphone to his mouth with a smirk matching that of his partners.
Cronos Diamante: Before I decide to follow through with what Mirage said and break up your little group of “know-everythings” as he put it, I want to applaud you all on just exactly how much brown you got on those noses right now. In all seriousness, I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone or some group kiss Project: SCAR’s ass as much as you did this evening. And really, it’s so very cute that you believe anything you’ve done heretofore matches up to those guys. It really is. And now it’s time for a reality check. I’ve got one word for you, Mason. Guillotine.
Cronos lowers the microphone as he watches the expression on Mason’s face change from one of confidence bordering on cockiness into one of concern, possibly even venturing into rage. Leona looks at him and Mason turns to Valentine, whispering something to him. Valentine nods and turns to Morgana, handing something to her indiscernable to the camera.
Eryk Masters: Whatever Guillotine means has just gotten the normally calm and collected Mason Pierce’s attention, and I’m guessing not in a good way. This can’t be good for Orion.
Other Guy: No it can’t. I’ve never seen someone get to Mason quite like this. And if you look behind Mason, Malice is backing up to the other side of the ropes. He’s more withdrawn than he’s ever been.
Mason turns to Leona and the two of them exchange a few words out of range of the microphones before Mason turns to face Cronos once again.
Mason Pierce: So.. you know about that, huh? Figured you’d dig around, poke through ashes that should have been left alone a long bloody time ago, and for what? Just to get under my skin? What are you going to do, Cronos? You going to spill the beans for the whole damn world to hear? Come on, you son of a bitch.. put your cards on the table.
Cronos Diamante: I’ve heard quite enough, Mason. You can scream until you’re blue in the face and it won’t change the hell I’ve brought down upon you tonight. You see… once you had me do that investigating for you, I thought to myself “just how far does the rabbit hole go.” I wanted to know just how bad of a man you really are. Let’s face it, Mason… the rumors surrounding you since you joined The SHOOT Project haven’t been good but I didn’t give a damn back then. I wasn’t the man I am now, fighting to clean up SHOOT for the better. Let’s just say that what I’ve been able to dig up through diligent work and proper usage of connections sickens me.
Cronos shakes his head and looks away from the microphone in disgust.
Cronos Diamante: Let’s get one thing straight, Mason. I expect you to wiggle out of this somehow at some point but for the time being, interested parties would like to have a word with you and Malice. Consider this, Orion, you’ve been out-maneuvered and Valentine Lionheart is going to be all alone. You push hard enough and in the past, Mirage and I would just push back; take it to another violent level. But now when you push hard enough, you never know just what to expect. So without further adieu… GET ‘EM BOYS!
Cronos looks to Mirage with a grin on his face as if he’d fulfilled a lifelong boyhood dream.
Cronos Diamante: I always wanted to say that.
Eryk Masters: I don’t know about having a word with Malice. Morgana and Malice have somehow slipped out of the ring and disappeared.
Other Guy: And look who Cronos brought with him to “get them.”
A team of men with jackets that have the initials F.B.I. on the back rush the ring and quickly have Mason Pierce in cuffs, the whole while profanities are being thrown down at Cronos who responds with a laugh. The fact that Malice has managed to elude the authorities not lost on him.
Cronos Diamante: Don’t you worry about Malice, Mason. I’m sure he’ll be found in due time.
While Mirage can be heard yelling ‘At-ti-ca! At-ti-ca!’, and condescendingly waving bye-bye, Cronos and Mason lock eyes as he’s being carted up the ramp and to the backstage area, Leona in tow. Valentine stands in the ring, visibly shocked by what has transpired and anger rising.
Cronos Diamante: How’s it feel to be all alone, Valentine? Don’t answer that. My partner here has plenty to say to you.
Cronos passes the microphone and makes his way closer to the ring, stopping near the steel steps.
Mirage stands atop the rampway facing Valentine, with a wide grin on his face.
Mirage: Wow, the difference a few minutes can make, eh? Now, what was it you said a little while ago about that Orion title? I believe it was something along the lines of, pay your money, roll the dice and take your chances? Well, I do have this…
Reaching into his pocket, Mirage takes out his wallet, opening it and removing a single dollar bill, waving it to the crowd, showing them the exact value.
Mirage: I don’t know what kinda ‘cost’ you had in mind for that title shot, Valentine, but here’s a dollar…buy yourself a clue.
Crumpling up the dollar, Mirage tosses it down the rampway toward Valentine with an arrogant flick of the wrist.
Mirage: Nobody fucks with us and wins in the end. Now, I paid my money, and let’s just say I loooove to take chances. So I accept your challenge. Now go ahead, Valentine…roll the dice.
Eryk Masters: Wait, did Mirage just accept a challenge Valentine never made for a shot at the Orion title?!
Other Guy: Valentine doesn’t look like he’s in a position to dictate terms anymore, so I’m thinking he did! But when will this take place?!
Mirage and Valentine lock eyes one last time and Mirage brings the microphone to his lips.
Mirage: I’ll be seeing you!
Last week, SHOOT Project Headquarters…
We see Jason Johnson pacing a stage while sitting in front of that stage are OutKast, The Real Deal, Eryk Masters, and The Other Guy. Other Guy’s head is thrown back, staring at the ceiling. Real Deal’s slowly pounding his head against the table in front of them. OutKast is furiously trying to either scribble notes down or win an angry game of Sudoku. Eryk Masters is texting.
Jason Johnson: Guys. HEY.
Other Guy: Jaaaaaaaaaaaasoooooooooooooooooooon…staaaaaahhhhhhpppp…
Jason Johnson: No. We need to get this handled. We don’t want you guys burnt out.
Eryk Masters: But we’ve seen something close to thirty pairs.
Jason Johnson: And we’ll see thirty more until we get it right.
The camera pans up above Jason’s head to reveal a massive banner:
DOMINION ANNOUNCE TEAM CASTING CALL
Real Deal: Okay seriously… who’s next? I want to uhh… umm… go cut the grass orrr… watch golf or something.
Eryk Masters: You watch golf?
Real Deal: No, but anything has to be better than this.
Jason Johnson: That’s enough.
Other Guy: No but really. I’m sure we could find a lawn or something.
Real Deal: Yeah… but ugh. Who’s next?
OutKast looks at the paper in front of him and purses his lips.
OutKast: Would you believe…
“YEAH! CHEAH! JEAH!”
“No, dude, that’s Ryan Lochte.”
“Fuck Ryan Lochte.”
Other Guy: Oh no…
Bobby Ringo: RINGO STARR UP IN THIS MUTHA FUCKAAAAAAHHHH!!
AJ Starr: What’s up bitchessssssss… we saw this CASTING CALL business and we thought that MAYBE the greatest tag team in the history of great tag teams to ever be a great tag team might… and I emphasize the word MIGHT… be able to bring something to SHOOT Project that E-Money Masters and the OG OG Other Guy just can’t.
Real Deal shakes his head and then lays it down.
AJ Starr: Don’t worry Josh, you’ve still got a spot in my personal hall of fame, buddy.
AJ Starr: Seriously. I appreciate you.
Real Deal: Jason, really, man? Sean…
Real Deal sighs.
Real Deal: What were the requirements for even doing this? Just that you have to be a person? Fuck.
Bobby Ringo: Yo. Yo. YO.
Eryk Masters: WHAT.
Bobby Ringo: Me and A-Jizzle got what it takes to announce people, son. We announce ourselves all the muhfuckin’ time. Like, just the other day, we were at the gym, peepin’ fly honies, and A-Jigga said to me he was gonna hit ‘em up style and I said word life, son, this is basic humpanomics. He went over there and was like sup ladies and they were like double you tee eff but A-Jeezy was like nah bitches it’s MY dick you suckin’ and do you guys know what happened?
Other Guy: I don’t even know what you just said…
Bobby Ringo: They left with him.
AJ Starr: True story.
Bobby Ringo: Now didn’t that feel like you was actually there?
Real Deal: Someone please kill me. Please.
Real Deal looks at Other Guy with a pleading expression.
Real Deal: …please?
Jason Johnson: Okay guys. Thank you for your time. We’ll let you know once we’ve reached our decision. You’d bring an… uhhh… interesting flavor to the Dominion scene, but… we’ve still got some, umm… people to see, and so yeah. We’ll let you know.
AJ Starr slaps Jason Johnson on the back.
AJ Starr: Don’t worry, big ol’ boss man. You put RINGO STARR on the desk and we’ll deliver you ratings in the form of money… wait… I mean, money in the form of ratings. Believe that.
AJ Starr smiles at Jason.
AJ Starr: Fist bump?
Jason shakes his head.
Bobby Ringo: I GOT YOU DAWG.
Jason Johnson: Okay…next we have…
Ringo has left the stage and fist bumps Other Guy, who seems stunned. He tries to fist bump Eryk, who reluctantly agrees. He goes to fist bump Real Deal, who arches his fist back like he wants to punch him. He finally goes to fist bump OutKast.
OutKast: No no no no no…
Real Deal: He’s a fan of hugs.
Ringo hugs OutKast. OutKast slowly looks over Ringo’s shoulder to Real Deal.
OutKast: …this is why I refuse to be an on air personality.
Jason clears his throat.
Jason Johnson: Okay…up next we have…Ed Raymond and Ray Willmott? Oh that’s just in bad taste.
AJ Starr: CHEAH!
Jason Johnson: Moving on…
Eryk Masters: I think next is Ron Barker and Jeff Hansen.
OutKast: Oooh…bad news about those two, guys. I just got a text from Jeff Hansen saying his internet is down, he’s not going to be able to show up.
Eryk Masters: What does the internet have to do with wrestling?
Other Guy turns and stares blankly at Eryk.
Real Deal: Fucking typical. It’s always something with that guy.
Real Deal shakes his head and then WINKS OBVIOUSLY INTO THE CAMERA.
Jason Johnson: Did two no shows really no show a casting call? Really?
Eryk Masters: You can’t possibly be surprised by this.
Jason Johnson: I guess I’m not. It’s just so sad.
OutKast: That sounds like a spooky Ric Flair.
All of a sudden, the spirit of the SHOOT Project ether himself, CHRONOS’ GHOST appears.
Chronos’ Ghost: I think it’s tiiiiime…for a little…scarlet blossom of an announce teeeeeam!
CRIMSON GHOST trots out on stage, followed shortly thereafter by JACOB GHOST, who keeps his head down in shame.
Real Deal: OG please… I’m begging you. Jason, please… make it stop.
Jason Johnson: Josh, relax. We’re almost done. You’re not too busy. I KNOW what you do.
Real Deal: I… uhh… look, man.
Jason Johnson: You don’t have to explain yourself to me.
Eryk Masters and Other Guy snicker.
Real Deal: Shut up, guys.
Eryk Masters: You realize that the last four lines of dialogue between you and Jason is going to be the most interesting part of our auditioning the Ghostly Trio over here?
Other Guy: Shout out to the spooky Ric Flair comment, though.
Crimson Ghost: Wait, we at least have our own backstage interviewer. He’s NOT a ghost.
“HAH HAH HAH!”
OutKast: Nope. Not even gonna go there.
“Well whatever you say Outhouse because you know why you suck that’s why!”
As the Ghosts disappear, Mark Kendrick appears on the stage.
Mark Kendrick: You guys have been here for eighteen hours, forty-six minutes, twelve seconds. Don’t you think it’s time you went home?
Dutch Harris steps on stage next to him.
Dutch Harris: Seriously, guys. You look exhausted.
Real Deal: I want to cry. I’ve been asking OG to murder me for the last, oh… ten minutes or so.
Eryk Masters: Are you guys here for the casting call? It’s not unheard of for you two to be working after hours.
Other Guy: Please be here for the casting call.
Jason Johnson: They’re on the list.
Real Deal: …really?
Jason Johnson: Yep, they are.
Real Deal: ……really?!
Real Deal sits up in his chair.
Real Deal: Fuck, this might be awesome. Let’s hear it.
Dutch Harris: Well…I mean, you guys know me. MadMen. D & C. I tend to stick pretty close to Cade, but hopefully I can do some branching out and provide some measure of my expertise when it comes to insight in professional wrestling.
Mark Kendrick: And let’s be honest, you guys. The blood of a Nittany Lion roars through these blue veins of mine. I may not be destined for greatness…but by golly I’m destined to announce it.
Dutch Harris: Plus, I mean…we know the roster, the business, and with my experience…
Mark Kendrick: And mine!
Dutch looks over at Mark.
Mark Kendrick: Lest we forget my Goldbergian undefeated streak.
Dutch Harris: …maybe we have what it takes, I don’t know.
OutKast starts to openly sob.
OutKast: Oh God…oh god oh god oh god oh god…take them. Please.
Real Deal: Hey, I agree.
Eryk Masters: Me too.
Other Guy: Make it unanimous on our end. Jason?
Jason looks at the group of four and then to Mark and Dutch.
Jason Johnson: Sold. Starting Dominion 6, the new announce team will be the duo of Mark Kendrick and Dutch Harris. Congratulations, guys.
Dutch shakes hands with Mark.
Mark Kendrick: Yippie skippy, you guys! We won’t let you down, we can promise you that!
Other Guy: Considering your runner up was RINGO STARR, I think you’ve got a long way to fall before we go to second place.
Real Deal: Yippie fucking skippy. I like them already.
Eryk Masters: Hahahaha.
Real Deal: CAN WE GO HOME NOW? PLEASE? ARE WE DONE???
Other Guy: I… while I’m not quite as expressive on the matter as Josh over there, I have to ask the same.
Jason Johnson: Yeah guys, go home. I’ll lock up.
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is the main event of the evening! It is scheduled for one fall and is a Master of the Mat Round 1 match!
The Epicenter is plunged into darkness, sending a murmured wave of uncertainty through the capacity crowd. The SHOOT Project Video Wall lights up with a pair of eerie gray eyes, and then those eyes transition into the image of a hand that is holding a bright red apple with a sleek green serpent wrapped around the wrist.
“TIMMMMMMMEEEEE…..IS ON MY SIDE……..YES IT IS!”
The lights slowly come back on, and “Time Is On My Side” by The Rolling Stones starts to really hammer those haunting vocals throughout the arena. The curtains get pushed to the side, and out steps Jacob Mephisto to a mostly favorable reaction from the crowd.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first, hailing from Nazareth, Pennsylvania and currently residing in Las Vegas, Nevada…
Jacob lingers on the entrance ramp with the Sin City Championship draped across his shoulder. He looks out at the crowd for a few seconds before slowly beginning his walk down the ramp.
Samantha Coil: He stands at 6’6 and weighs in at 270 pounds…
Jacob continues his walk down the ramp, fist bumping with a fan here and there.
Samantha Coil: He is the self-proclaimed Mr. Sin City and the current Sin City Champion, JACOOOB MEEPHIIISSTOOOO!!!
Jacob walks up the ring steps and stands on the apron. He looks out to the fans at ringside with a small smirk and slowly raises the Sin City Championship high in the air before stepping through the ropes into the ring. Jacob walks to the nearest corner, hands his title to Tony Lorenzo and waits patiently in the corner for his opponent.
Eryk Masters: This match should be very interesting. Jacob Mephisto has been on a roll lately. But, tonight he’s facing a certified ring veteran in a returning Trey Willett. And he’s doing it during the biggest tournament of the year.
Other Guy: The contrast in styles should be fun to watch in this one. We’ll see if Trey has any ring rust coming into tonight. With everything that is on the line in Master of the Mat, ring rust could be bad for Trey.
The opening drumbeats for “Land of Confusion” by Genesis thunder across the PA. The lights go down and a purple filter covers the arena. The fans begin to clamor, wondering where Trey Willett would be. The camera shot on the SHOOTTron pans the faces of the crowd.
Eryk Masters: Interesting change in theme music for Trey here.
Other Guy: Yeah, but where is he? You don’t think he bailed do you?
Almost on cue, The SHOOTTron pans to the back of the arena to reveal Trey Willett coming from the very top of the stands. He slaps hands on the way down, managing to make eye contact with Jacob the entire way down. The fan reaction crescendos to a roar the closer Trey gets to the ring. He jumps the guard rail and slides onto the apron, staring into the unamused face of Jacob Mephisto. He places both hands on the top rope, and just as he enters through the middle ropes, all four turnbuckles ERUPT in a shower of gold pyro.
Eryk Masters: Never let it be said that Trey Willett doesn’t know how to make an entrance. At least he hasn’t lost that.
Samantha Coil: And introducing next. Hailing from Staten Island, New York. He is the reigning Master of the Mat. He is Trey WIIIIILLLETT!!
Tony Lorenzo calls for the bell and Trey and Jacob begin to circle one another. They explode forward into a tie up with both men jockeying for position. Jacob, being the bigger and stronger man, pulls Trey into a side headlock and begins to crank down. But, Trey immediately starts to HAMMER elbows into Jacob’s midsection, quickly breaking the hold. Trey goes right to work, sending fists and forearms into Jacob’s midsection and face, backing him up. Jacob backs up as fast as he can and makes a QUICK exit from the ring between the ropes.
Eryk Masters: And it looks like Trey is not going to play Jacob’s game here.
Other Guy: I think Mephisto was caught a little off guard. He wants to wrestle a technical match, but Trey’s style completely throws that off and Jacob looks a little bit irritated.
Jacob is standing on the outside staring up at Trey, who is motioning for him to come back into the ring. He rolls into the ring under the bottom rope and gets to his feet, his pale-grey eyes locked onto Trey’s smoke-blue ones. Trey takes a fighting stance and Mephisto begins to stalk towards him.
Jacob fakes a tie up and takes Trey down with a QUICK ankle pick. Trey quickly rolls to his stomach and Mephisto floats over and slaps on a hammer lock. Trey uses his free arm to push himself to his knees. Mephisto uses his strength and SNATCHES Trey up to his feet with the hammerlock still in position. But Trey immediately fires a quick succession of back elbows into Jacob’s face, staggering him back. Trey hits the ropes and NAILS Jacob with a flying forearm, sending Jacob to the canvas! Jacob rolls under the bottom rope to the outside again!
Eryk Masters: Jacob had his pace going for a moment there, but Trey is REFUSING to play Jacob’s game! And Jacob is looking a little more frustrated now!
Other Guy: It’s pretty uncharacteristic of him to bail from the ring. Either he’s playing mind games with Trey, or he is trying to regroup and come up with a new strategy.
Jacob paces back and forth on the outside, looking up at Trey, who is again practically DARING Mephisto to get back in the ring as Tony Lorenzo counts.
Jacob climbs back onto the ring apron but doesn’t get into the ring. He stares at Trey with a slight sneer on his face.
The sneer turns into a smirk as Jacob steps into the ring and starts to slowly circle Trey again. Trey keeps his fighting stance. Jacob moves in for a tie up, but Trey cuts him off and FIRES a kick to the stomach. Trey starts unloading with fists and forearms again, backing Mephisto up, but Mephisto starts to send shots RIGHT back at Trey! The two trade a few more punches before Trey MISSES with a wild haymaker. Jacob ducks under it, hooks Trey’s head and DRIVES him down to the mat with a HUGE neckbreaker! Jacob comes to a seated position and a smile slowly forms on his face. It disappears quickly though as Jacob gets to his feet.
Eryk Masters: Well, THAT was a quick turn of events. Jacob lured Trey in and caught him with that neckbreaker.
Other Guy: It looks like Jacob adjusted his strategy when he was on the outside. And Trey appears to be in some trouble.
Jacob begins to stomp down on Trey’s lower back, causing SHOOT’s Wayward Son to writhe in pain. Jacob drops a QUICK elbow down onto Trey’s back, causing him to shout out in pain. Jacob begins to GRIND his elbow into Trey’s back! Tony Lorenzo is right there asking Trey if he wants to give it up, but Trey answers with an emphatic “No!”
Jacob stands up and IMMEDIATELY drops a knee into Trey’s back. He keeps his knee in place and reaches to Trey’s head, pulling back and causing Trey’s upper body to arch back in a WICKED modified surfboard! Trey shouts out in pain as Tony Lorenzo asks him if he wants to quit. Trey shakes his head no as best he can. Jacob releases the hold and quickly drops a leg right across Trey’s back!
Jacob gets to his feet, bringing Trey up with him. He pistons a stiff jab to Trey’s jaw and forces him back into a corner. Jacob Irish whips Trey across the ring into the opposite turnbuckle. Trey hits HARD and drops to his knees clutching his back.
Eryk Masters: And Jacob is now in complete control of this match. He’s going after that lower back of Trey Willett. He’s softening him up.
Other Guy: He’s getting him ready for that nasty cloverleaf he calls Mephisto’s Method, Masters. Trey’s going to be in real trouble if he doesn’t do something quick!
Jacob stalks forward towards Trey, who is just getting back to his feet. Jacob UNLOADS a heavy forearm to Trey’s jaw, sending him back into the corner. He pulls Trey out of the corner and Irish whips him again, BUT TREY REVERSES! AND MEPHISTO REVERSES AS WELL! Jacob pulls Trey back in and swings for the Pride Before the Fall clothesline, BUT TREY DUCKS IT! Jacob quickly turns around only to get caught with a lightning quick dropkick from Trey, sending Jacob to the canvas! Jacob gets up quickly, but Trey is right on top of him!
Trey boots Mephisto in the gut and SNAPS him down with a flowing DDT! Trey makes the quick cover!
Eryk Masters: The Wayward Son almost caught Jacob right there! Let’s not forget he was the last winner of Master of the Mat. You can NEVER count out Trey Willett!
Other Guy: Jacob got caught off guard there, but managed to kick out. This is shaping up to be a fantastic match!
Trey slowly brings Jacob to his feet. He grits his teeth as he clutches his back, but goes right on the offensive, sending fist after fist into Mephisto’s face! He whips Mephisto into the ropes, but Jacob hangs on. Trey charges in, but Jacob ducks down and sends Trey to the outside, BUT TREY LANDS ON HIS FEET ON THE APRON. Jacob turns quickly and misses with a wild shot. Trey sends a shoulder into Jacob’s midsection, bending him over. Trey slingshots himself over with a sunset flip, pulling Jacob down into a pinning predicament!
Jacob gets the shoulder up! Trey quickly brings Jacob back to his feet and whips him to the corner. Trey rushes in, but Jacob moves out of the way, sending Trey chest first into the buckle!
Jacob stumbles away, distancing himself from Trey. He gets a running start and DRIVES his knee to Trey’s lower back! Jacob reaches back and drops straight down with a neckbreaker!
Eryk Masters: Just like that, Jacob takes control with Faithless!
Other Guy: Trey had something going there, but Jacob was able to turn the tide again!
Jacob brings Trey to his feet and slaps on a hammerlock. He keeps the arm in position and hooks on an arm-trap belly to bell position. Jacob pops his hips and SLAMS Trey down with God is Dead! Jacob covers!
Trey is able to get his shoulder up! Jacob holds three fingers up to Tony Lorenzo, but Tony says no, it’s only two. Jacob slaps the mat in frustration. He brings Trey to his feet and slings Trey through the ropes to the outside. Jacob drops down and rolls out after him.
Eryk Masters: Oh, no. This could get ugly.
Other Guy: Jacob is moving slightly out of his element here, taking the match to the outside.
Jacob positions himself to strike. When Trey turns around, Mephisto CHARGES forward and LEVELS Trey with a huge lariat! He begins to stomp down on Trey. Tony Lorenzo begins his count.
Jacob brings Trey to his feet and WHIPS him into the barricade. He approaches Trey, but gets caught with a boot to the stomach for his troubles. Jacob moves forward again, but Trey UNLEASHES a flurry of fists, driving Jacob back. Trey grabs Jacob’s head and sends him head first into the barricade!
Trey climbs back onto the ring apron and measures Jacob. Jacob slowly begins to get to his feet.
Trey LEAPS from the apron with a crossbody, taking Mephisto back down to a HUGE amount of cheers from the crowd!
LET’S GO TREY! (LET’S GO JA-COB)
LET’S GO TREY! (LET’S GO JA-COB)
Trey DIVES underneath the bottom rope, breaking Tony Lorenzo’s count JUST in time. Lorenzo takes a moment to check on Trey’s condition before beginning a new count.
Eryk Masters: Jacob made a bad move in taking the match outside and he just paid for it!
Jacob slowly gets to his feet and is able to roll back into the ring. Trey wastes no time at all and leaps into action, hitting a low dropkick to Jacob’s ribs! Trey drags Jacob to the corner. He looks out over the crowd for a second before stepping out onto the apron and climbing to the top turnbuckle! The crowd loses it, knowing what is coming next! Trey LEAPS from the turnbuckle!
BUT JACOB ROLLED OUT OF THE WAY!! Trey immediately rolls over clutching his midsection and writhing in agony. Jacob pulls himself to his feet using the ropes. He rushes forward and wraps Trey’s legs up, turning him over!
Eryk Masters: Jacob has it locked in! This could be all!
Other Guy: Trey is desperately reaching for the ropes!
Trey is screaming in pain as he claws at the mat! Tony Lorenzo is asking him if he wants to quit, but Trey is shaking his head no wildly! Trey begins to slowly crawl towards the ropes. He reaches out…
Only to be dragged back to the middle of the ring! Jacob lets out a guttural howl as he cranks back for all he’s worth. Trey is SCREAMING in pain. He looks as if he is going to tap, but he folds his hand under his body and continues shaking his head know. After a few more seconds, Trey’s body goes limp. Tony Lorenzo lifts his arm and it drops once.
He lifts his arm and it drops for the second time.
He lifts the arm for the third time… and it drops.
Trey holds his arm up before it can hit the canvas! He begins to shake his head again no and places both hands on the mat and pushes up!
Eryk Masters: Trey Willett will NOT give up! He is DETERMINED not to go out the same way he did at Reckoning Day 2012!
Other Guy: You KNOW that’s been eating at him. He’s sending a message here that it’s NOT going to happen again!
Trey crawls and claws his way forward, finally latching onto the rope. Tony Lorenzo immediately begins to shout at Jacob to release the hold. Jacob obliges but is absolutely IRATE. He digs his hands into his hair and his eyes go wide. He sneers at Trey, who is very slowly trying to pull himself up.
Jacob rushes back in, but Trey is waiting and DIVES forward with a forearm, sending Jacob backwards. Jacob’s face is a mask of pure rage as he attacks again, but Trey starts UNLOADING on Jacob! The crowd is coming unglued and Trey beats Jacob backwards!
Jacob swings wildly, but Trey ducks it! As Jacob spins back to the front, Trey places his head under Jacob’s chin and sits out with a NASTY jawbreaker! Jacob pops up holding his jaw and staggers backward. Trey hits the ropes and NAILS a flying forearm, sending Jacob to the mat. Trey quickly scales the top turnbuckle and LEAPS!
Flashbulbs light up the arena as Trey is in mid air and he comes CRASHING down onto Jacob with a BEAUTIFUL corkscrew splash! Trey covers!
Jacob gets his shoulder up. Trey slaps the mat in frustration. He brings Jacob to his feet and just starts HAMMERING away with lefts and rights. Jacob fires right back. The two Soldiers trade lefts and rights, Jacob’s sending Trey backwards, but Trey’s rocking Jacob just as hard! Trey gets the upper hand, rocking Jacob backwards into the corner. Trey backs up and gets a running start, BUT JACOB EXPLODES from the corner with a VICIOUS lariat, crushing Trey!
Jacob hits the ropes as Trey comes to a sitting position. Jacob comes off the ropes and absolutely HAMMERS Trey with a running Yakuza kick.
Trey drops back to the mat and catches Jacob’s foot! Jacob has a look of pure shock on his face as Trey gets to his feet, still holding Jacob’s foot. Trey SPINS Jacob around by tossing his leg. When Jacob comes full circle, Trey kicks Jacob in the stomach and hooks the arms.
DAWN OF A NEW ERA!!!
Eryk Masters: Trey hit the Dawn of a New Era! This is it! This is it!
Trey collapses down on top of Mephisto, hooking the leg!
DING DING DING!!!
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen, here is your winner, and advancing to Round 2 of the Master of the Mat, TREEEY WIIILLEEEEEETT!!!!
Trey rolls off Jacob and gets to his knees. He is exhausted, but a small smirk appears on his face as Tony Lorenzo raises his arm in victory.
Eryk Masters: What a comeback for Trey Willett! This was an incredible match and Jacob Mephisto has NOTHING to be ashamed of.
Other Guy: Trey Willett showed tonight just why he is the previous Master of the Mat winner, but Jacob Mephisto gave it everything he had!
Jacob begins to stir and slowly gets up to a kneeling position. Trey has made it to his feet and Jacob slowly gets to his feet as well.
The two men lock eyes for a moment, and Trey extends his hand. Jacob takes it and the two men share a show of mutual respect.
Eryk Masters: Now THAT is sportsmanship, OG.
Other Guy: That’s a great show of respect from Mephisto and Trey there. What a match. Welcome back Dominion!
Trey exits the ring and begins to walk back up the entrance ramp. He stops halfway up the ramp and looks out to the crowd. Trey raises his arms in victory to a response of thunderous cheers from the fans!
ALL OF THE LIGHTS
The fans rip into cheers as “All of the Lights” begins to play and out from the back comes the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion DONOVAN KING. He stands there, wearing his blue jeans and black boots with his trademark KING hoodie and a SHOOT Project Helmet t-shirt. The SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship belt rests firmly on his shoulder. He marches down to the ring and wastes little time walking up the ring steps and enters the ring quickly.
Eryk Masters: I think it’s time to get an answer from King on who his opponent is going to be for Master of the Mat!
King takes Samantha Coil’s microphone and paces the ring, his face contorted into a sneer. “All of the Lights” fades out and King continues to pace.
Donovan King: Last night, at Revolution, y’all saw the end of a career.
He lets those words sink in.
Donovan King: Dan Stein called it a day and for a moment, nobody believed him. However…one look in his eyes an’ it became pretty clear that for the first time in probably years…Dan Stein wanted to do the right thing, be the right thing, an’ go out on his own terms. One look in his eyes was all you people needed, all Loco needed, all I needed…
He grits his teeth.
Donovan King: …and all Johnny Napalm needed.
The fans boo.
Donovan King: I don’t have to like Dan Stein, but I can respect him leavin’ like a man. An’ when a man is ready to walk away respectfully…an’ he gets cold cocked for it? Nah…that don’t fly with me.
He turns to the entrance.
Donovan King: A little while ago, I asked for a match against Johnny Napalm. Just a fight. Put my belt up, all that. We had that fight…an’ I made him tap out to the Carolina Crossface. Now, the sorry son of a bitch cheap shots his own partner and…you know…there’s just somethin’ about that that rubs me the wrong way. Nah…fuck that. It just pisses me off.
The fans pop!
Donovan King: So, Johnny Napalm?! You saw to it Dan Stein ain’t gonna be able to fight back against your bullshit…
He leans against the ropes, watching the entrance.
Donovan King: …but I am.
Donovan King: So…LET’S GO!
Without any theme music or any fanfare, Johnny Napalm appears! The fans ERUPT as Napalm and King are glaring at one another.
Donovan King: You awful slow, Johnny, what? No belt, no ref, just you in the ring…and me BEATING THE FUCK OUT OF YOU.
Napalm shrugs and then he chuckles. He starts the march down to the ring and the fans are LOVING this! King drops the World Heavyweight Championship belt, squatting down and begging Johnny Napalm to get into the ring with him. Napalm throws on a smile as he walks down the ramp. The fans buzz in confusion as a fan wearing a Donovan King hoodie LEAPS over the guardrail. The single security guard at ring side lunges for the man, but he slides under the rope stands behind and to the side of the Champ, as if defending his hero. The fan looks around and picks up the belt…SMASHING King in the back of the head.
Eryk Masters: What?! WHERE’S SECURITY?!
The fan LEAPS onto King, rolling him over and POUNDING the Champion’s head with fists. Napalm stands outside of the ring, watching as the man completely pummels King. He puts his arms out, stopping additional security from getting into the ring. The fists of the fan continue to fly, completely decimating the Champion.
Eryk Masters: Wait a minute…that’s not a fan…
The man wearing the hoodie THROWS the security guard off of him and stands up. He throws the hood back, revealing blonde hair and light blue eyes. He pulls down the baby blue bandana covering his mouth to reveal himself.
Eryk Masters: DAN STEIN?! NO!
Other Guy: COME ON!
Stein smirks to the fans and reaches into his back pocket to pull out a microphone. The fans are absolutely abhorred at the scene. Dan reaches down and picks up the World Heavyweight Championship by the strap, holding it up to his face. Stein brings the microphone up to his mouth, talking over the angry fans.
Dan Stein: Wow…heh…seeing it up close like this. Holding it in my hands like it belongs to me, because…obviously…it does.
The fans raise the hate up a notch, causing Stein to pause. He looks out to the fans, stepping over Donovan King’s torso to get closer to them Stein leans against the ropes, hand dangling down in front of him.
Dan Stein: It’s funny; you’re all screaming at me because I’m still here when all I’ve heard for about the last twenty four hours is how bad you all wanted me to reconsider. You all bought into it like the protobeards and thundercunts you are, because you’ve had the idea of Dan Stein being a quitter DRILLED into your head by the assholes in the back.
As a matter of fucking fact, this whole thing has been a god damn ploy since the minute I said something about it Thing is…YOU KNEW THAT IT WAS A PLOY, and you STILL believed me last night. You’re either the most caring individuals in the fucking UNIVERSE.
Or you’re all…fucking…morons
Stein pauses, stepping back off the rope. Napalm slides into the ring now, holding Stein’s World Tag Team Championship belt on his shoulder. Walking over to Napalm, Stein pats the belt and nods at Napalm. Napalm nods back with a smirk, causing the fans to groan. Stein turns around to face the fans again.
Dan Stein: How many fucking times do I have to tell you all that I am DONE running? When I came back from shoulder surgery, do you know how many times I was called a quitter? Do you know how many fucking times…YOU BELIEVED THEM?!
Stein shakes his head.
Dan Stein: No. I’m tired of that shit. I’m tired of the jackoffs in the back dictating how YOU feel about me. Listen to you, trying to deny the fact that my Redemption Rumble title shot wasn’t a SHAM because of Lunatikk Crippler forcing his way into MY match with Donovan King.
The fans explode at the mention of the man, and begin to chant his name, imploring him to come out.
Stein puts the microphone to his mouth, yelling out along with the fans.
Dan Stein: Crip-pler! Crip-pler! Crip-pler! Crip-pler…isn’t coming out here. Wait! Wait, no! Come on down, Crippler, and save your King like you did at Revolution 104. Come on down and SAVE THIS MAN. Suck up to the fans in the arena chanting your name! TRY TO MAKE THEM HAPPY, CRIPPLER!
Stein walks to the ropes looking up at the entrance ramp. Sitting on the middle rope, Stein gestures for Crippler to get into the ring. Stein laughs, moving to put the microphone back to his mouth. Right then, “Sound of Madness” by Shinedown hits, tearing the ROOF off of the arena! Stein’s eyes blow up in his head as he jumps off and heads to the middle of the ring!
Eryk Masters: YES! YES! FINALLY!
Stein panics for a moment, waiting for Crippler to step out of the back! Stein looks around the arena, his fear turning into…laughter? He slices his hand across his throat and “Sound of Madness” is cut.
Dan Stein: SEE?!
Stein laughs to himself, then over at Napalm. He shakes his head.
Dan Stein: How many fucking times do I have to TELL you something before you believe me?! I TOLD YOU he wasn’t going to come out to save your…HERO. Nobody is coming out. Nobody will save this…TWO FACED HYPOCRITE from The Golden Boy. Not this time.
King begins to stir, causing the fans to cheer for him. Stein drops the microphone from his mouth, letting it hang by his side as he looks at Donovan, then to Napalm. Stein sighs, shaking his head.
Dan Stein: Johnny?
Napalm brings down a hammer fist down across the face of the Champion, causing him to lurch. Dan watches King go limp once more, though Napalm keeps to his assault. Stein smirks, slowly turning to his tag partner. Napalm finally relents, causing King to drop limp to the mat. Dan smiles to himself, rubbing his eyebrow with a thumb as he turns and looks at the fans.
Dan Stein: I can get the whole…believing what is told to you, sure. You’re all fickle minded fucks, it’s whatever. What I don’t understand, what is absolutely fucking DUMBFOUNDING… You sit here, and you cheer this man, and you get behind this man, and you make this man feel like he actually is a King. This is the same mother fucker that created Soverign. This is the same mother fucker that ruined Jester Smiles. This is the same mother fucker that…well, you all know what he did to Cade Sydal. But you still fucking WORSHIP him. Why?
Dan doesn’t wait for an answer that he knows isn’t going to come among the jeers.
Dan Stein: Because he says things you like, because he does things you like – JUST like I did, yesterday. I made you all my PAWNS at Revolution because I knew I could – because you eat up EVERYTHING that is fed to you. And now? Now, the man that you support, the man that you cheer for, is staring up at the ceiling, but he’s not here right now. He’s not even in the building
Stein throws his hands out, exaggerating the distance.
Dan Stein: He’s somewhere off in Hard Knocks La-La Land because he’s just as idiotic as all of you – because he WANTS TO BELIEVE in Humanity. He wants to have FAITH.
Stein pauses. The fans begin to toss their trash into the ring, making Stein move around to avoid being hit.
Dan Stein: This guy…BLEEDS competition, he absolutely CRAVES the feeling of athletic superiority, and since RISE, he has CLAIMED it over SHOOT Project. X-Calibur tapped out. Lunatikk Crippler tapped out. Entragian and Pierce laid down for a three second tan. Hell, even fat boy over here tapped the fuck out.
Dan smirks over at Napalm, who grabs his nose and adjusts it with a smile on his face.
Dan Stein: Yeah, this is your champion. The man that lets people bully their way into title matches, cheating the hard working, deserving men like Dan Stein out of their CONTRACTUALLY OBLIGATED ONE-ON-ONE title shots.
Eryk Masters: You were out of the ring for more than half of your match at Reckoning Day! What do you know about ‘hard working’?!
Dan Stein: You support this man even though he let the weaker, less deserving Lunatikk Crippler cheapen my Redemption Rumble reward?
The fans cheer, causing Stein to laugh into the microphone.
Dan Stein: As if on fucking cue. Of course you do, you would support this man if he stapled Dan Stein’s mouth shut…
Eryk Masters: Oh, God, if only…
Stein pauses, laughing again.
Dan Stein: Oh, that’s right. You’re jealous of me.
The fans ERUPT in boos. Stein can only smirk.
Dan Stein: What’s really fucking phenomenal? Last night, Loco wanted to play the hero. He wanted to come out, and he wanted to save the day. He wanted to save Dan Stein from the perils of being out of the spotlight. I mean, Johnny and I, we had the cameras back there as part of the plan, but then Loco Martinez comes out and I’m just thinking to myself…’Fuck, this is going to be awesome’. And it was. I couldn’t have PLANNED that any better. Thanks for all your kind words, Jay!
Stein throws up a thumb and a GIANT grin to the camera. The fans SOMEHOW manage to find another level, causing Stein to look over his shoulder at Napalm for a moment, then he looks down to the stirring Donovan King.
Dan Stein: So here’s how it’s going to go.
Stein walks to King’s head. He squats down on his calves, grabbing King’s face by the cheeks with one hand. Looking into King’s glazed over eyes, Dan bobs his head side-to-side with the words of his next sentence.
Dan Stein: I’m TAKING my REAL one-on-one shot with you at Master of the Mat. Whichever plebs you fluffed up in the back and made them feel real pretty, like they deserved a shot they’ll never get now, they can go back to being utterly… Hm… UNIMPORTANT in the world of wrestling and…you concentrate on Dan Stein heading into Master of the Mat.
Dan tightens his grip on Donovan’s face.
Dan Stein: And ONLY Dan Stein, Donnie.
Stein pauses. The fans hurl the last bit of their trash into the ring as Stein examines King’s face. Dan’s eyes drift to the title.
Dan Stein: I’m coming for this World Heavyweight Championship.
Stein throws King’s head back again and stands up, holding the belt high above his head.
Dan Stein: And I won’t stop…
…until it is MINE.
Dan drops the microphone on King’s chest, then places his sneaker on the Champion’s face, pinning it against the ground. King grabs Stein’s foot and kicks and squirms to get it off of him. The camera fades on Stein, still wearing that Donovan King hoodie, with the belt raised high.