In February of 2009, Revolution came to a close with a haunting image.
A shot is shown of Donovan King, the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion, glaring down at the body of a broken and bleeding Jonny Johnson while EMTs rush in to try to save him from any permanent damage King may have done to him. No words are spoken, the image is black and white, but the hate in King’s eyes are evident.
Shortly afterward, the card was announced for Revolution 59, headlined by Christopher Davis going one on one with Ron Barker.
Jason Johnson: When I made the call to close the company down, it wasn’t for financial issues. It wasn’t a terrible political upheaval in the back. I just…
Jason Johnson: …dealing with the incessant bullshit was killing me.
Other Guy: The cracks were evident. Even if people didn’t know it. Those of us who worked backstage, though, we could see it getting to people.
In February, shortly before the show was to air, the decision was made to close the SHOOT Project.
Dave Marz: When SHOOT closed, I was already out of the business so while it seemed a shame, it probably didn’t hit me until a few months later when I walked by and saw the offices closed up. It’s hard to describe how that felt, like the world felt just a bit smaller with its absence.
Osbourne Kilminster: I’m still a bit pissed off about the way SHOOT ended last time and the shitty pay-offs we all got, but at the end of the day I don’t think that outweighs the years of good times we all had, or I did anyway.
Jester Smiles: I’m sitting at home, waiting for my leg to heal up, and I’m amped man. There are big things coming for me, I was going to be working with awesome people doing awesome things. I could not WAIT for the leg to feel better.
Jester shakes his head.
Jester Smiles: And then SHOOT closed, and when it closed, I felt like the door to my wrestling career closed.
Ben Caban: You know how stupid you feel from going to a wrestling announcer and a halfway decent journalist to working at Mutual of fucking Omaha selling insurance? INSURANCE? Listening to assholes on the phone whining about their old man up and croaking and asking why their paycheck hasn’t come in? I never thought I’d say that watching the violence and the sin of SHOOT Project would be a more positive option, but hey, you guys keep surprising me!
Donovan King is shown, but he is silent. He simply looks down at his SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship belt on his shoulder and inhales deeply.
Other Guy: I don’t know what Osbourne told you about shitty payoffs, because I didn’t need to work whatsoever. All I had to do was chill at home, work in the Epicenter…life was good for me.
The cries from the wrestling community were a mixture of sadness and shock, but slowly the wounds began to heal for everyone. Some went on, began to work elsewhere, some retired altogether. While the fire was almost captured for several people, others were not so lucky.
Jason Johnson: That son of a bitch Other Guy and I were out having drinks one night, and this band was playing at the bar.
Other Guy: The band was Nonpoint. I mentioned to Jason it’s Cade Sydal’s favorite band.
Jason Johnson: And when they’re playing, he says to me…wouldn’t this song be a good song for Revolution? Keep in mind this was in January this year.
The bug began to get planted again in Jason Johnson’s ear. The money earned from the Epicenter’s other businesses soon did not become a decent enough substitute for the blood, sweat, and tears the SHOOT Project could give.
So the call went out once again.
Corazon: SHOOT Project’s return means a return to violence. It means a return to brutality. It means… a return to GLORY.
Osbourne Kilminster: I came back to try and recapture that or, maybe, improve on them in some way. Fuck, SHOOT gave me enough second chances, you know?
Donovan King stares at the camera, saying nothing.
Dina Bryce: I’m fuckin’ stoked to see SHOOT opening its doors again! There’s nowhere like it in the world, and these soldiers here are the greatest in the business! I’m just happy to have the chance to prove I can play with the big boys, and I’ve already got my eye on that Revolution Title. I reckon it’ll look right shiny in my living room…
Dave Marz: When the envelope came in the mail announcing SHOOT’s return and my invitation, it was like the voice of God saying ‘do what you were meant to’. It’s cliché, but it’s the truth.
Jester Smiles: How do I feel about SHOOT reopening?
Jester Smiles: Is that a serious question?
Real Deal: Our return is something of legend. We may go on vacation, but we’re never gone for TOO long.
OutKast: SHOOT Project has, for as long as I can remember, molded boys to men, men to heroes, and heroes to legends.
Real Deal pops his collar.
Real Deal: Who else is ready for the Hawaiian shirt era? I know I am!
OutKast looks down at his shirt, an Instant Heat Hawaiian shirt, and sighs.
Jester Smiles: I may not be the most veteran person, but I have fought and bled for SHOOT. I have done more things in my SHOOT career than in my ENTIRE career. SHOOT reopening? Man, it’s like God handed me the winning lottery ticket and a note from my girlfriend okaying a threesome with Alexis Bledel.
Azraith DeMitri: When it shut down…I dunno. I don’t wanna sound like a bitch but it hit me pretty hard. After everything I had gone through with Tim Roy…I had fought and clawed to come back, and it felt like it was a drop in the bucket before everything went under. Kinda threw me off my game. I mean I tried out a few things, failed a few things.
Jason Johnson: Will Sin City be able to handle us? I don’t know, but I’d be willing to bet on the SHOOT Project every single time.
Jason Johnson: Witness the rebirth of a legend, the awakening of a sleeping giant, and the resurrection of a fabled name.
Azraith DeMitri: I used to think I could take my craft anywhere, that I could excel in whatever dive arena they’d throw me in, but it ain’t the case. I’ve gotten spoiled over the years…I’m just glad I get my fix again.
Ryan Cross: You fuckers up and leave without so much as a twenty on the nightstand and then you call me up a year later, expecting me to take you back like nothing has happened? You’re lucky the action is so damn good, or I’d kick your asses to the curb.
Corazon: SHOOT Project is where violence goes to define itself.
Ryan Cross: Good to have you back, SHOOT Project. Don’t ever leave me again.
An image flashed across the screen. The image? The famous SHOOT Project helmet.
Ainsley Lake: SHOOT is always evolving, and constantly getting better. The fact that it closed down sucks, but it’s back and more awesome than it’s ever been before. I don’t mourn the closing, I rejoice that the best company in this business is open once more. There’s no place like home, and SHOOT will always be home.
Jason Johnson: SHOOT Project will always be home. Our new business model gives us all the excitement and intrigue without the break neck pace from touring and working 24/7.
Other Guy: You might’ve started somewhere else. You might’ve been a champion somewhere else…
Jason Johnson: …but this is SHOOT Project.
A different breed of professional wrestling.
The screen goes black, revealing once again the SHOOT Project Helmet, looming ominously over the skyline of Las Vegas, Nevada. "Miracle" by Nonpoint begins to play as the camera flies down onto the SHOOT Project Epicenter.
WHOOOOOOOOOA You better blow the whistle, ring the bell
The sound of a bell is heard, revealing the empty ring in the center of the SHOOT Project Epicenter Arena.
Train a little harder than you can or ever will
A shot of Azraith DeMitri lifting weights can be seen, he is glaring up at the camera, sweat pouring down his face. A second shot of Sinnocence’s sexy waist can be seen, a droplet of sweat sliding into her belly button before the camera pans up to her face, where she is smirking.
Get a doctor, or a priest
Corazon is shown, standing in the center of the ring, glaring at the camera through the strands of his hair, wearing a black trenchcoat.
Not an animal, I’m a beast
Donovan King gritting his teeth, in full wrestling gear, is shown next. He stands of the center of the same ring, smoke emanating around him.
Got news if you think you bad
The next image is Crash Carver smirking an extremely confident smirk, pointing to the camera. It takes the viewer a moment to realize the dark shadow of Del Carver is standing behind Crash, looking over his shoulder somewhat, only looking back with the side of his face with the eyepatch is seen, his brow furrowed.
All you other fellas make me laugh
Lennox Ferguson, Caleb Knox, Dina Bryce, Jerry Eisenhower, Michael Kage, Alex Brooks are all standing in the ring now, all of them ready to begin to brawl with one another.
Grabbin’ you with both of my hands
Dan Stein is shown next, alone in the ring, puckering slightly to the camera and pulling his shirt up to reveal his washboard abs.
Takin’ you home an’ tearin’ you in half
Osbourne Kilminster and Sinnocence are shown, Kilminster screaming to the heavens while Sinnocence bounces from one foot the other, ready to take on all challengers.
NOWHERE TO GO
Ainsley Lake steps up the ring steps, looking back at the camera with a knowing smile.
You need a miracle
Eli Storm locks up with Dave Marz in the empty arena, suddenly cut with a shot of the Flying Avengers rushing at PERDITION.
Nothing’s gonna save you
Jester Smiles checks his knee and smiles, nodding his head in approval.
And I’ll scream it from the top of the world!
The SHOOT Project roster, each and every one of them glaring at one another in the ring now.
Whatcha gonna do when it’s just me and you!
Whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do!
The SHOOT Project Soldiers charge one another.
Whatcha gonna do when it’s just me and you!
Whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do!
The arena is full, cheering and screaming as loud as possible.
Whatcha gonna do when it’s just me and you!
Whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do!
A final shot of the Soldiers brawling, interspersed with images of OutKast, The Real Deal, Del Carver, Christopher Davis, Chris Lee, and Jonny Johnson in their glory days are shown.
Whatcha gonna do when it’s just me and you!
Whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do!
The pyro erupts in the arena now, the fans are real, the excitement is real, The SHOOT Project…is alive!
"Miracle" by Nonpoint kicks up again as the fans are shown in attendance before the camera focuses in on Eryk Masters and Other Guy.
Eryk Masters: Ladies and gentlemen…WELCOME BACK HOME!
Other Guy: Oh man…I would have never seen this in a million years!
Eryk Masters: Live here tonight…in front of the Las Vegas faithful…live here tonight…oh God…at the Epicenter!
Other Guy: How’s your heart doing over there, Eryk?
Eryk Masters: Peein’ all over me, OG!
Other Guy: Then let’s get this show on the road!
"One Second of Insanity" by The Butterfly Effect starts to play over the sound system, and Dina Bryce emerges in the entranceway, and starts to make her way down the aisle to the ring, taking the time to exchange high fives with as many fans as she can as she jogs down to the ring.
A noticeable cheer goes up as Dina leaps to the apron, and the camera scans the crowd to show a group of fans holding up signs and banners with the rising star’s name emblazoned across them.
Other Guy: It looks like some Dina Bryce fans from Minnesota have made the trip to Vegas tonight.
Eryk Masters: You think they want to see her get tossed out of the ring again?
My Apocalypse by Metallica replaces the sound of The Butterfly Effect, and the roar of the fans intensifies, as the man known as “Die Hard” appears in the entranceway, and starts to slowly walk down the aisle to the ring, looking focused and determined. Die Hard slowly climbs the ring steps and enters the ring as Samantha Coil prepares to make the introductions.
Samantha: Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome back to REVOLUTION!
The crowd goes nuts as Samantha points to her left.
Samantha: Our opening contest this evening is scheduled for one fall, with a 15 minute time limit, and your referee is Willie Dean!
Introducing first in the corner to my left, hailing from St. Cloud, Minnesota and weighing in at 186 pounds, here is “The Daredevil” DINA BRYCE!
The courageous young lady looks determined as she stares across the ring at her opponent…
Samantha: Her opponent hails from Ozone Park, New York and weighs in at 270 pounds, this is DIE HARD DAVE MARZ!
The fans erupt in cheers for the popular veteran, and Willie Dean enters the ring and calls for the bell. The minute the bell rings, Dina Bryce charges at Die Hard at full speed, and then launches herself into the air, and flies at Die Hard, connecting with a flying clothesline! Die Hard is caught totally by surprise, and hits the mat at full speed. Dina Bryce quickly pulls the shocked Marz to his feet, locks him up, and then fires him backward through the air with a snap suplex.
Dina Bryce dives on Marz for the quick cover!
Marz kicks out with authority, but is obviously overwhelmed by the onslaught from Dina Bryce. Both competitors scramble to their feet, and in desperation, Marz reaches out, grabs Bryce by the back of the head, and fires up a knee smash into the face of Dina Bryce. As Dina Bryce instinctively puts her hands over her face, Marz reaches out, grabs her around the wrist, and pulls her in, flattening Bryce with a brutal short-arm clothesline. As soon as Dina Bryce hits the mat, Marz backs up, and then begins to violently stomp on the midsection of the high flyer, over and over again. As soon as Dina Bryce appears to be softened up enough, Marz backs up, measures her off, and then leaps into the air and nails Dina Bryce with an elbow smash. Die Hard quickly makes the cover, and hooks the leg…
Right before the count of three, Dina Bryce lifts her shoulder from the mat, as the fans cheer the close call.
Eryk Masters: That was close!
The Other Guy: You can tell by the look on Die Hard’s face that he is not comfortable wrestling a woman, and he is pulling no punches, but he is also trying to end this match as soon as possible.
Marz pulls “The Daredevil” to her feet. Marz locks Dina Bryce up, and fires her quickly backwards with a suplex. Dina Bryce hits the mat at full speed, and bounces with the impact. Marz pulls her to her feet grabs Dina Bryce by the wrist, and throws her into the ropes.
Dina Bryce comes off, and throws a clothesline but Bryce ducks and rolls! Dina Bryce puts one hand on the shoulder of Die Hard, spins him around, and then leaps into the air, landing a picture perfect dropkick right on his jaw! Die Hard’s head snaps back violently from the impact and Marz hits the mat. Dina Bryce circles around behind Marz and crouches, waiting patiently, as Marz slowly gets to his feet. The fans are clapping their hands and stomping their feet, as Marz slowly stands up. Dina Bryce spins through the air and hits Die Hard with a rolling spin kick, right in the head! Marz hits the mat again, stunned!
Dina Bryce rolls over for the cover…
Marz sharply kicks out.
Eryk Masters: Dina Bryce knows she is not going to be able to outweigh or outbrawl Die Hard, so she is using the classic sting and move technique, hitting Marz with high flying moves, and then going for quick pin attempts before he can catch his breath!
The Other Guy: So far it’s working, but Bryce had better not get too cute. If Marz manages to ground her, or if he loses his temper after getting stung with all these high flying tricks, she could be in for a world of trouble.
Dina Bryce flips Die Hard over, and locks him up in an Boston Crab! Marz bellows in agony, and starts to thrash around trying to pull free from the submission hold. Dina Bryce has the hold sunk in, and is applying full pressure. The fans are on their feet, cheering in suspense, wondering how long Marz will be able to hold on. Marz looks to his left, and measures how close he is to the ropes. Die Hard digs his fingernails into the mat, with his free hand and starts to pull himself, inch by inch towards the ropes. Dina Bryce does her best to stay in place, but Marz slowly pulls them both over to the ropes, inch by painful inch. Finally, Marz reaches up, strains, and grabs the bottom rope.
Willie Dean orders Dina Bryce to break the hold!
As Marz lies prone on the mat, holding his back, Dina Bryce leaps into the air and performs a standing somersault senton onto the already tender back of Die Hard!
Dina Bryce makes the cover…
Marz kicks out. Dina Bryce shakes her head, and then pulls Marz to his feet. Marz shocks Dina Bryce with a quick uppercut to the midsection, knocking the wind out of her. Dina Bryce doubles over, and Marz hoists her into the air, over his shoulder, and down…into a shoulderbreaker!
Right after driving his knee into the shoulder of Dina Bryce, Marz then collapses, holding his back! It’s obvious that Marz should not have picked Dina Bryce up after being in the Boston Crab. Marz slowly gets to his feet, holding his back, and starts to pick Dina Bryce up, but Dina Bryce reaches up, loops her hand around Marz’s neck and rolls him up in a surprise small package pin attempt!
Marz kicks out with all his might, breaking the small package up, as both go sprawling. Dina Bryce and Die Hard both get to their feet and the same time, and stumble towards each other. Dave Marz boots Bryce in the stomach, and then scoops her up, sending her crashing back into the mat with a powerful bodyslam, staying on for the cover…
Bryce kicks out.
Eryk Masters: Just like you predicted, Marz is getting frustrated with the constant stings from Bryce and now he is hitting her with some high impact moves, especially that shoulderbreaker.
The Other Guy: Yeah that had to hurt, he brought her down hard on his knee and her shoulder has to be hurting after that.
Dina Bryce now gets to her feet, and Die Hard grabs her by the wrist and propels her into the ropes. As Bryce bounces off the far rope, Marz backs up and rebounds off the ropes behind him, rebounding to meet her in the middle of the ring with a wicked lariat. At the last minute, Dina sticks her arm out as well, so both competitors collide in the middle of the ring, almost taking each other’s heads off with simultaneous clotheslines!
Even though she is in obvious agony, Dina Bryce is the first one to her feet. She staggers over to the corner and starts to climb to the top rope. The fans are rumbling in excitement, but Die Hard is not as hurt as Bryce was hoping he was. The Daredevil leaps off the top rope, and flips in midair, aiming for a suicide senton splash, but Marz simply lifts one of his legs up, and Bryce collides with his boot! Worst of all for Bryce, she has hit the boot of Die Hard on her shoulder, the same one that Marz has already cracked with a shoulderbreaker! The fans groan in sympathy for Dina Bryce as she rolls around on the mat, holding her shoulder in pain.
Eryk Masters: Oh boy, the self professed Daredevil tried for a high risk move there, and she paid for it.
The Other Guy: Look at this replay, Masters. She lands right on top of the boot of Die Hard, and it drives her shoulder right up into the air. I wouldn’t be surprised if her shoulder is separated, I really wouldn’t.
Dave Marz gets to his feet, looking down at the prone Dina Bryce. Die Hard casually reaches down, pulls Bryce to her feet, and then tucks his head under her already arm so all the pressure is on her already injured shoulder! In one smooth motion, Marz propels Bryce overhead and backward, in a picture perfect BACK DROP DRIVER!
The fans explode as Marz drives Bryce into the mat, and she bounces from the impact on her head and shoulder area. Die Hard makes the cover as Willie Dean slides in for the cover, and fans count along…
Metallica starts to blast over the sound system as Die Hard stands up and allows Willie Dean to hoist his arm over his head in victory…
Samantha Coil: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN…HERE IS YOUR WINNER: DIE HARD DAVE MARZ!
Eryk Masters: I’m getting word that a SHOOT superstar has just entered the arena and Abigail Chase is standing by to talk to him.
The feed cuts to the back of the arena where a man with reddish hair is standing there wearing a sharp-looking business suit and tie. His hair is slicked back and his body composed although his smile looks slightly out of place.
Other Guy: Who is this? Hold on, let me get my cheat sheet.
Eryk Masters: Try and act like you know what you’re doing eh? That’s Lennox Ferguson, he’s new to SHOOT – in fact, I think he’s new to wrestling period, isn’t that right Abigail?
Abigail Chase has appeared next to Lennox, a microphone in hand.
Abigail Chase: That’s right Eryk; Lennox Ferguson, also known as The Ox is making his in-ring debut tonight not only for SHOOT but for his entire career. So, Mr. Ferguson, I’m sorry… Ox… would you like to share with the audience how you came to be here in SHOOT?
A smirk crosses Ox’s face as he scans the reporter from top to bottom.
Ox: Funny you should ask that… umm… you.
Lennox’s eyes dart around nervously.
Ox: You see, I had only really heard about SHOOT within the last couple of months and you know, I was getting kind of bored… so…
Suddenly, a hand reaches in and grabs a hold of the microphone, ripping it away from Ox. The camera pans over and finds a blonde-haired woman in a similarly-well-tailored suit. Her eyes glaring at Ox.
Other Guy: Wooo boy she’s a number isn’t she. God… she looks familiar. Hold on; where is that damned sheet?
Eryk Masters: Her name is Sarah King and she looks familiar because she’s had dealings with former SHOOT Project wrestlers Ichiro Seppuku and Timothy Roy; she’s got a long history with Mr. Xan, Ron Barker, and Hantakira… so yes, she should look familiar… although, I still haven’t been able to figure out what her interest in this new guy is.
Sarah turns towards Abigail Chase.
Sarah King: What Ox means to say, Ms. Chase, is that it’s always been his dream to work in wrestling and Jason Johnson was kind enough to give him an opportunity to work here – also, credit is due to Ox’s father, Andrew Ferguson, CEO of Ferguson Inc. for making the whole thing happen. Right Ox?
Abigail Chase: So… Ox… you are facing Crash Carver tonight, what are you plans for the match this being your first time in the ring and Carver being a so familiar with the ring?
Lennox smirks again.
Ox: That little chatterbox? I think I’ll rip out his tongue first… and then…
Sarah grabs the microphone back from Lennox
Sarah King: Ox understands that he doesn’t have as much in-ring experience as Crash Carver but he’s not afraid of him. All he cares about is putting on a good show for the fans.
Ox: I’ll show them his body laying motionless in the middle of that ring…
Sarah pulls the microphone closer to her and looks at Abigail Chase.
Sarah King: Any other questions Ms. Chase?
Abigail Chase looks concerned as Ox and Sarah King trade stern glances.
Abigail Chase: Just one… and may Ox can answer this one?
Sarah looks from Abigail to Ox and then back to Abigail before grudgingly handing over the microphone.
Abigail Chase: Now, Ox, maybe you could tell us how you managed to snag Sarah King as your manager. That’s pretty impressive, and risky, given her previous track record…
Sarah King: You know I am right here Abby…
Abigail Chase gives Sarah a dirty look.
Ox: Well… Abby… quite frankly Sarah here was part of the deal to come to SHOOT. Either she managed me or my dad wouldn’t sign off on it. Although, in retrospect, I probably should have just tried harder to talk to him. I mean, she’s kind of a bitch if you know what I mean.
Sarah balls up her fists.
Sarah King: I’M. RIGHT. HERE.
Abigail Chase: Yeah, I know exactly what you mean.
Sarah throws up her hands in frustration, and walks off in a huff.
Abigail Chase: Well, it was good talking to you Ox, back to you guys down in the arena!
Ox: Hey, wanna come back to my dressing room?
Ox’s comment gets caught before his microphone is cut off, and the video feed returns back to the arena.
Other Guy: That… was certainly interesting.
Eryk Masters: I’d use the word sexual harassment… but yes, interesting also works.
Dollying along through the corridors backstage in the SHOOT Project Epicenter, the camera suddenly backs into reverse as Osbourne Kilminster steps out from a corner and heads toward it, arching his upper body ever so slightly from side to side and shaking his arms which protrude from his sleeveless black hoodie.
Staring into the camera, he frowns and shakes his head for a moment, slightly bemused before he looks past it. The camera turns to capture the focus of his gaze as a delivery man piles boxes up next to one of the concessions stands not yet open to the fans, within seconds, Osbourne is also in-frame.
Osbourne Kilminster: What’s in those boxes?
A little startled, the delivery man looks up and opens his mouth as though to answer, but freezes.
Osbourne Kilminster: Any time today, mate…
Still now receiving an answer, Osbourne reaches down and picks up one of the boxes, ripping it open and pulling out a pre-packed T-shirt with his name and face on it, bearing the “Victory or Valhalla” phrase across the back. Shaking his head, he throws the box back down.
Osbourne Kilminster: I’m keeping this.
Delivery Man: Hold on! That’s not yours!
Osbourne Kilminster: Really? It’s got my fucking name on it!
The Delivery Man’s jaw drops as Osbourne turns on his heels and storms back the way he came, his jaw clenched tight with rage.
A jet black 2010 Chevrolet Camaro pulls up to the door connecting the parking lot to the arena of the Epicenter. A black man in a suit gets out of the driver’s side door and rushes over to the passenger door. He opens it and out from the Camaro emerges Donovan King. The fans instantly boo as they see King wearing a three piece suit, a smirk on his face, and the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship belt.
Other Guy: A lot of questions have been raised about Donovan King lately. He’s been very, very quiet of late. That in mind…he’s got the SHOOT Project World Championship on his shoulder there, maybe we’ll get some answers!
A guard suddenly steps between King, King’s driver, and the door.
Guard: I’m sorry, sir. I’m under strict orders not to let you in.
King’s Driver: Whoa whoa whoa! You wanna tell me why my man here can’t get in there?
Guard: Mister Johnson told me specifically that Donovan King is not to be allowed into the arena for this show.
King’s Driver: Donovan King is the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion!
Suddenly, ADRIAN CORAZON appears. He walks to the door way and the guard moves to the side.
Guard: Mister Corazon, sir.
Corazon and King lock eyes for a long moment. Corazon says nothing. King says nothing. Corazon slowly moves beside King and then steps into the arena.
King’s Driver: That Mexican FUCK can get into the show but the WORLD CHAMPION can’t?! Are you SERIOUS?!
Guard: I’m sorry, sir. But rules are rules.
The driver goes to speak again, but King puts his hand on the driver’s chest. King locks eyes with the guard and sneers. Slowly, he nods and moves towards the passenger’s side door of the Camaro. He opens the door and still says nothing. The driver flips the guard off and gets back into the Camaro, speeding off and leaving black tire marks behind.
Eryk Masters: Time to see if wrestling talent runs in the family!
"Back To Shalla Bal" by Joe Satriani hits the P.A. and Jake Carver bursts out into the arena, bounding over to the guardrail and posing with some young fans for a photo! Toshiaki Xan follows behind at a more sedate pace.
Samantha Coil: This match is scheduled for one fall! Introducing first, from Jackson, Mississippi… weighing in tonight at two hundred pounds… he is the Human Wrecking Ball, CRRRRRRASH CAAARRRRRVER!!!
Carver sprints down the ramp to the ring, then leaps straight to the apron and works the crowd for more cheers as his manager takes up a front row seat at ringside.
Samantha Coil: His opponent…
"Lights Out" by Mindless Self Indulgence starts up and Lennox Ferguson strides out from behind the curtain to some mixed cheers and boos, accompanied by Sarah King. He pops up a cheesy thumbs-up for the camera and high-fives a few fans, but a couple who obviously saw his promos pull their hands back.
Samantha Coil: At a weight of two hundred thirty pounds, and hailing from New York City… LENNOX "THE OX" FERGUSON!!!
Ferguson grins and strolls down to the ring, his gloves raised as if he’d already won the match. He takes his time trying to endear the crowd to him as he makes his way around the ring.
Other Guy: Lennox Ferguson obviously feels the crowd could be a little more behind him here, he’s really trying to work them and … hey, did he just slip that guy a twenty?
Eryk Masters: It looks like he’s trying to bribe the fans into liking him! LENNOX, OVER HERE!
Ferguson doles out some more cash to the audience, then shrugs off his boxing robe for King to scoop up, and climbs between the ropes to stare down Carver. The two men step face-to-face, trash talking each other as Austin Linam calls for the bell – and Ox right away fires a big right hand that rocks Carver back on his heels! Carver shakes it off and hits back with a forearm shot! Ox with another punch that rattles the younger man – but Carver comes right back and floors Ferguson with a pinwheel kick!
Other Guy: No standard collar-and-elbow to start this one!
Jeff Hansen: Hey, Ox may not fight pretty but he knows how to kick things off!
Other Guy: Not pretty? That was more like Carver talked trash about his mother.
Carver runs to the ropes, but Ferguson is back to his feet already and throws another haymaker – which Carver ducks under, then pops up with a standing dropkick that sends Ferguson sprawling! Ferguson clambers to his feet, but Crash is already up to the top turnbuckle and immediately hits Ox with a diving clothesline! Carver rolls to his feet and picks up the slightly groggy Ox, whipping him into the side ropes, and meeting him on the way back with a flying cross-body block!
Eryk Masters: Carver staying in position, going for an early pin!
T- BIG KICKOUT from Ox!
Carver pulls Ox back up to his feet and sends him into the corner with a hard Irish whip, then follows him in with a thunderous charging forearm! Ferguson falls to the mat, and Sarah King helps him roll out of the ring before Carver can regroup.
Eryk Masters: Smart strategy there from Ferguson’s manager, getting him out of the line of fire.
Jeff Hansen: So far Ferguson’s strategy seems to be "getting his ass kicked".
Ferguson gets his bearings back – and instantly turns on Sarah King!
Lennox Ferguson: What the hell are you doing?!? I don’t need your help!
Ferguson blows King off and stalks towards the ring steps, but before he gets there Carver flings himself out of the ring with a Tope Suicida that takes both men down to the concrete!
Other Guy: Damn, they’ll be feeling that in the morning.
Carver’s first to his feet and hops back up to the apron. He sizes up Ox and hops up to the second rope for a quebrada – but Sarah King yanks down the rope, and Carver misses his footing, falling awkwardly out onto the floor! Ferguson finally shakes out the cobwebs and gets back too his feet, tossing Carver into the ring. Austin Linam hasn’t even bothered to start counting the competitors out yet, and Ox already has Carver backed into the corner, drilling him with kneelifts!
Other Guy: Crash Carver’s wrestling a goddamned handicap match here! Why hasn’t that woman been ejected from ringside?
Jeff Hansen: You use what you’ve got, O.G., and Carver may have the ring smarts… but Ferguson has a manager who’s looking out for him. Why isn’t Xan showing the same loyalty to his charge?
Other Guy: Unbelievable. You’d be the first one bitching if Mr Xan got involved in this match!
Ferguson finally with some ascendancy in this match, smashing Carver’s head into the turnbuckle repeatedly and encouraging the crowd to count along!
THREE! FOUR! FIVE! SIX!
Xan watches impassively as Ox hammers away. King slaps the apron with each hit!
EIGHT! NINE! TEN!
Ox smirks and pushes Carver’s throat down across the top rope, quickly drawing a count from Austin Linam at this flagrant breach of the rules! Ferguson pushes to a four-count, then whips Crash to the opposite corner – but Carver reverses, and it’s Ferguson shaking the turnbuckles! Carver backs right up into the corner for a charge but Sarah King has him by the ankle, not letting him run at Ox! Carver shakes her off, but not before Lennox is back to throw some more fists! Crash fires back with a desperation kick to the midsection, making The Ox buckle – and Crash capitalizes with a lightning-quick tornado DDT!
Eryk Masters: Great athleticism from Crash Carver here with that DDT! This could be his shot!
Carver sees an opportunity, and leaps up to the top turnbuckle! He poses for a moment, then – CRASH LANDING! Carver just hit a shooting star press with huge elevation! He’s hooked the leg…
Austin Linam calls for the bell!
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen, your winner, at a time of twelve minutes and five seconds… CRAAAAAAAASH CARVER!!!
Other Guy: The Carver name has been well represented tonight! Jake Carver may not have his uncle’s reputation yet, but he’s certainly got his tenacity!
Stopping outside his locker room, the plastic-wrapped T-shirt under his arm, Osbourne regards the hastily scribbled “OZ KILMSTER” on a piece of paper taped to his door and shakes his head with a displeased growl.
Osbourne Kilminster: For fuck’s sake…
Heading in, he barely gives us time to blink before he’s back out, his massive training bag over his shoulder as he storms off down the corridor and stopping outside a door which has a polished brass panel reading “Jada Kaine” a couple of inches above “SINNOCENCE”, elegantly engraved.
His jaw drops a little as he shakes his head, rapping his knuckles gently on the pine door.
From inside, we hear footsteps quickly approaching the door before it opens, revealing the pretty face of his fiancée as she gives him a smile.
Sinn: Hey handsome, come on in.
She stands back, holding the door for a moment before snatching a water bottle off of the table. She’s dressed and ready for the rumble… looking the same as ever in her usual skin-tight black leather pants and halter top.
He throws his bag down on the floor and hold the T-shirt up for her to see.
Osbourne Kilminster: They want to pay us on a scale by merchandise sales and then they jam the stalls up with shirts people already bought over a year ago. Are they trying to fuck us over or what?
Clearly disgruntled, he throws the T-shirt down on the table and shakes his head.
Osbourne Kilminster And how come you get a fancy name-plate on your door and I get a piece of fucking paper with my name spelt wrong?
Sinn: Because I bought it. Got one for Ainsley too. We’re the only women…save that new girl, in the entire company. I wanted to spoil myself a bit…and I got tired of the idiots spelling my damn name wrong. Sounds like I should get you one too, Lover.
She takes the t-shirt from the table and frowns, glancing back over at him.
Sinn: You know that still pisses me off. My damn catchphrase, yet they use it on your fucking t-shirts.
Osbourne Kilminster Your catchphrase, huh?
He raises an eyebrow briefly before shaking his head again.
Osbourne Kilminster: I’ve got to do something different this time around, haven’t I? I’m not here for chump change and that’s all I’m going to get if I play it how they want me to, isn’t it? Something’s got to change, something that’ll make me different, set me apart, right? What do you reckon I need to do?
She gives him a look that says yeah, my damn catchphrase. before tossing the shirt back on the table. For a moment she’s silent, contemplating his question.
Sinn: I reckon you need to win this rumble, Ozzy…or at the very least, take as many people out with you as possible. If you pay attention to the catchphrase at all, you have your answer. You’ve got to be willing to do anything to win…even if that means taking me out. Victory or Valhalla, babe. Nothing less.
Tilting his head to the side, he smirks.
Osbourne Kilminster: I already know that, but the winning isn’t everything in SHOOT, is it? It’s the marketing, it’s the merchandise, it’s holding interest beyond knocking people out and snapping arms and shit. I need to do something to change the way I’m marketed so I sell more T-shirts and so people look at me twice, you know?
Thinking for a moment, he runs his fingers through his hair before his eyes widen.
Osbourne Kilminster: I think I’ve got it…
The raven-haired beauty just raises an eyebrow, curious as to what he’s going to do.
Sinn: What are you going to do?
Osbourne Kilminster: What are WE going to do…
Dropping to one knee, his eyes remain fixed on her, blowing her a kiss as he unzips his bag and pulls out a pair of clippers, holding them up to her.
Her eyes go wide for a moment before she gives him a smile.
Sinn: I suppose that’s a start.
A reflective female voice rings out into the arena from the video…
Voice: If you had one chance to go back to the things you loved, would you…
The scene sets on a large gym. The large ring in the middle of it has Saint Submission Academy.
Voice: For all of his life, he has lived in wrestling. Wrestling gave him so much, like the chance to become something better than himself. Wrestling also took so much from him. His marriage. His health. Even his own father, at the hands of another wrestler. Yet, he soldiers on.
A tall, long haired man steps into the middle of the ring and looks into the camera. He begins running back and forth into the ropes…
Voice: He always looks forward… He never wants to look back. To a time when he was a champion of a long dead federation. When he was an Intercontentinetal Champion, against a group that was hitting it’s stride. When he was a Foundation Heavyweight Champion, against himself and his addictions losing control. So, why does he look forward?
The man drops down and rolls along against his shoulder, as to try to loosen himself up a bit. As soon as he kips up, another man, who looks similar to him appears in the ring.
Man: It’s time, little brother…
The two men grapple back and forth slowly. The older man gains an advantage and slings the ‘hero’ of our story into the mat with a judo toss.
Man: And you consider yourself a champion, Jaime?
All of a sudden, Jaime sweeps the leg out from under his opponent and watches him fall on his back hard.
Jaime rolls himself up and stands. He then runs over to the ropes and slings himself back to his opponent. As he sees his target, he jumps up and pulls a beautiful corkscrew into mid-air. He then aims his elbow down upon his target and hits with a well timed shot.
As the man gasps, Jaime kips himself up again.
Jaime: Old dogs can learn new tricks.
He begins to look at the camera for a second and breathes in.
Jaime: When I first encountered the SHOOT Project, it was OutKast and The Real Deal trying to bring a fight to the NAFW. They didn’t expect me to bring the fight back to them. The only person who actually stepped up was Cade Sydal. Needless to say, Jason Johnson saw me promptly escorted out of the building. However, I didn’t forget SHOOT. Even as I tried to make another comeback, I didn’t forget SHOOT. And SHOOT didn’t forget me…
He stares at the camera and wants you to take in a good look.
Jaime: I hope anyone who is in the hunt for a World Title shot realizes that I will be watching. And I will be waiting. I will be waiting, because I might have not been a SHOOT soldier… But I was a soldier once. And I know when to pick my time to attack. Consider yourselves warned, SHOOT. I am the angry old bear in the woods, and I’m not one to mince words. I don’t care if you’re cheered or booed by the people. You’re all equally screwed. I will not stop. I will not fail. I will not quit. And SHOOT soldiers, take your soul to the church because your collective asses belong to me.
One name pops across the screen…
‘The Saint’ Jaime Alejandro is coming to SHOOT…
The arena goes dark as the jumbo-tron goes black. White block letters fade onto the screen as they are narrated by a deep male voice. A single bagpipe plays out a sustained haunting note as the narrator speaks.
And now a word from Killian Reilly
A smattering of cheers and applause from the crowd rings out as the bagpipes diminish to silence and the screen fades into an image of Killian Reilly. He is standing behind a barbeque, in what appears to be a public park, children playing in the background. He is wearing a blue flannel shirt, with the sleeves rolled up, an apron reading “Boys and Girls Club of America” obscuring most of his torso. A pack of “Sullivan Brand Cigarettes” peeks from his front shirt pocket, and a six pack of “Broad Street Traditional Irish Lager”, sans one, rests on the grills side table. He turns to the camera, smiling as he speaks.
Killian Reilly: Hello America. For those of you who don’t remember, my name is Killian Reilly. And I would like to be your champion.
He points at the camera with two fingers and his cigarette, as if to punctuate the “your”. He takes a swig of his beer, and sizes it up, label pointed toward the lens. His face vaguely shows appreciation of the beer, and he returns to smiling calmly to the camera.
Killian Reilly: A lot of folks are comin’ out to be in SHOOT again, and I can honestly say I’m happy to see so many men and women I have respect for returnin’ to the ring. And I look forward to goin’ toe to toe with them, givin’ you all a great show and a good fight. I don’t doubt they’ll be a ton of amazin’ matches given by these great champs. And I don’t doubt the heartfelt sincerity and tough work these people will put in to entertain you. But I want to do more than just entertain you.
He closes the grill and starts to walk away, children running by him, nearly bowling him over as he chuckles. He looks back toward the camera.
Killian Reilly: My goal, my aspiration, my dream… is to fight for you. Not just for you, but with you. I want to be your champion, the guy the common man can stand shoulder to shoulder with. I want to be a hero for John Q. Public. And I’ll need you all behind me to do this. I’ll need America behind me.
He takes a knee on the grass, picking up a NERF football and tossing it off to some kids in the distance. He smiles broadly again, turning back toward the camera.
Killian Reilly: I’m sure you’ve watched SHOOT Project in the past and thought “Man, I wish that guy would get what’s comin’ to him” or “Man, I can’t believe that guys gettin’ away with that!”. I’ve been there America. I’ve watched the filth and vermin of SHOOT crawl around and get away with murder for a long time. It’s enough to drive a man away. And that’s why I want to be there for you. I want to be your fist’s in the ring. And I’ve been goin’ through a lot of trainin’ tryin’ to accomplish that. I’ve been workin’ hard, learnin’ the trade, wakin’ up at five in the mornin’ everyday to become the champion you’ll need.
He stands up and dusts himself off, taking a pull from his beer. He starts walking back toward the grill, turning back to the camera.
Killian Reilly: I don’t demand your support. I request it respectfully. I’m goin’ to need you America. I’m goin’ to need your help. And together, we can be the champions for right and good that this company needs. Together we can win.
He arrives at the grill and tightens his apron. He opens the lid and white smoke billows out. He smiles.
Killian Reilly: Alright! Looks like the burgers are done! Kids! Food’s up!
Children are heard laughing and yelling, running toward the grill. Reilly scrapes up a cheeseburger and slides it on to a plate.
Killian Reilly: Happy Memorial Day America. Enjoy the rest of the show! Good night and God bless.
The fans pop as the camera fades out and green and orange boxing glove fly from the back of the screen and explode as they collide. The explosion drifts and forms the name “KILLIAN REILLY” as the long bagpipe note drones forth again.
Eryk Masters: We seem to be experiencing some technical difficulties, please stand by!
Samantha Coil: Your winners, at a time of TEN MINUTES and FORTY TWO SECONDS… JONAS COLEMAN… DIEGO REYES… PERDITION!!!
Other Guy: Oh man, PERDITION takes this one!
After the match, the Flying Avengers roll from the ring, broken and beaten. Jonas Coleman and Diego Reyes stand in the center of the ring, demanding a microphone. The fans are cheering for them, but Jonas puts his finger to his lips to silence them while Diego motions for the music to cease.
Diego Reyes: Listen up, SHOOT Project.
Jonas shakes his head, irritated.
Diego Reyes: You wanted to rebuild the tag team division, right? You wanted these two masked maricons to man up and go up against me an’ Butcher here. You wanted…you wanted Brooks and Eisenhower and that whole Made for TV squad to kick it up a notch. You wanted Long Island Hardcore. You wanted a tag team division built on the backs of soldiers like us.
Jonas Coleman: What you got…was a broken dream.
The fans seem slightly nervous about cheering for this.
Diego Reyes: We wanted to be SHOOT’s Tag Team Champions. What we got…was this.
Jonas Coleman: The bottom line is this. We are not gonna screw around and tear up pieces of trash who aren’t ready to give us competition OR give you fans a good show. We want competition, SHOOT. We want to be Tag Team Champions of the WORLD for YOU people!
The fans cheer now.
Diego Reyes: So, for right now…you’re on notice, people! From the boys in the back to the bitches on the mat, PERDITION is declaring OPEN SEASON!
The fans pop.
Jonas Coleman: SHOOT Project! You don’t wanna give us the competition to make this division thrive?! We’re gonna put ourselves on the market! You remember how it works, right? You put money in our hands, WE PUT ASSES DOWN.
Diego Reyes: I think it’s safe to say PERDITION IS BACK IN BUSINESS!
“How I Could Just Kill A Man” kicks back up again as the fans pop big for the Two Man Wrecking Crew known as PERDITION call out to the fans, slapping hands and hyping them up as they leave.
CJ Nelson stands next to the one and only Abigail Chase, backstage at the SHOOT Project Epicenter. At 6’8", he dwarfs poor Abby, but that’s something she’s used to. He crosses his arms sternly across his black T-shirt clad chest.
Abigail Chase: I’m here with former SHOOT Project Tag Team champion, CJ Nelson. CJ, you had a lot to say this past week regarding the Iron Fist title, potentially coming down the pipeline. Now–
CJ Nelson: First off, Abby, and I’m gonna cut you off right there, you can say "potentially" all you like. You and I both know it’s coming. SHOOT wouldn’t be SHOOT without it. And yeah, I did have a lot to say about it, but I think we really need to ask another question here. Who else? Look around backstage, Abigail, and tell me, who else deserves it more?
Who’s going to take it from me?
There isn’t a single man, woman, or other in this company who has the endurance, power, brutality, and just plain balls to put me on the mat for a 10-count. No one.
This is a belt that was tailor-made for a guy like me. A guy who can dish out a hell of a lot of punishment… and take twice as much. Ask the Collins boys. Ask the Avengers. Ask them how hard it was to put me down for a 3 count, much less a 10.
Abigail Chase: Speaking of the Collins twins and the Avengers, you stated that LIHC will not be appearing any time soon. Would you like to shed a little light on that subject?
CJ Nelson: We got other things going on. It happens. What Vice wants to do is up to him, I’ve got nothing to do with it.
Abigail Chase: What happened between you that–
CJ Nelson: What happened was that we had different goals. Jesus, a team splits to pursue other ventures, and everybody fuckin’ acts like it’s gotta be a big tiff or some shit. Like I said, Vice has his plans, and I have mine. That’s it. Don’t try and make it out to be–
Mr. Vice: Did someone say my name?
Sure enough, Mr. Vice has arrived, with Nova and Marisol in tow, and scotch and cigar in hand.
CJ Nelson: Really? You’re gonna hijack my interview for your bullshit?
Mr. Vice: A pleasure to see you again, Ms. Chase. You’re looking lovely as always. Scotch?
She shakes her head, slightly confused, as CJ and Vice bicker in front of her.
Mr. Vice: What about you, CJ? Sc– no, I suppose not.
CJ Nelson: So what, you too busy to get your own interview slot? You have to come steal mine to shill your shady services?
Mr. Vice: Come now, CJ. All I do is give people what they want, no? Is that really so wrong?
CJ Nelson: There’s always a price.
Mr. Vice: Of course there is! Nothing comes for free, and it’s not like I don’t make that perfectly clear. Really, I think you need to just give it a chance, CJ, and you’ll see what I can really do for you.
CJ Nelson: I’ll pass. I don’t need any snake oil, but thanks for the offer.
Mr. Vice: You wound me, Mr. Nelson. But I understand. Not everybody can be so forward-thinking. I’ll let you get back to your interview.
Vice pulls a business card from his front coat pocket, turning to Abigail.
Mr. Vice: But, my dear, if you ever need anything, by all means, give me a call.
He slides the card into her cleavage, and blows her a kiss. To her credit, Abigail looks disgusted with the whole affair.
Mr. Vice: Ciao!
CJ stands, arms crossed, shaking his head. Abigail pulls the black and red business card from between her breasts as if it were radioactive.
Abigail Chase: Well, there goes that interview. I think we’re done here. Back to you at ringside.
We fade in to the medical station. Dina Bryce is having her shoulder taped by one of the SHOOT Project trainers. She winces as the trainer applies a little bit of pressure, taking a sip from a water bottle as she waits. She lowers the bottle and looks at the trainer.
Dina Bryce: Easy tiger, not so much tension on the bandage. Thanks for patchin’ me up, Bones.
Bones just grumbles as he continues on the work. He doesn’t really hold off on the pressure, as you can see Dina wince again. A voice is heard off camera.
???: Yeah, Bones there isn’t really for the touchy feely approach. It’s sorta his way of saying ‘don’t get hurt’.
Bones grumbles in a different tone. It can be assumed it’s a laugh. Jester Smiles walks onto the frame, sipping on a Vitamin Water.
Jester Smiles: Hell of a match tonight, girly. You may not have come out on top, but damn, I thought you did a really great job. Another night, that match could have been yours.
Jester holds out his hand to shake Dina’s good hand.
Jester Smiles: I’m Eric, by the by.
Bryce grins and shakes Jester’s hand.
Dina Bryce: As if I don’t know who you are, laughing boy. I saw what you were doin’ when Jonny was being the world’s biggest douche. Shit happens, but thanks for the props. It means a lot comin’ from someone like yerself.
Dina stretches and tests out the taping before nodding in approval.
Dina Bryce: I’m Dina. How’re you feelin’ about the Rumble?
Jester shrugs, still grinning.
Jester Smiles: Probably going to be coming back here to get beat up by Bones afterwards. It’s a Rumble, it’s hard to go in with a real strategy or anything, you know? I’m just gonna go in, do what I do, and we’ll see what happens. But, I mean, not to sound cocky, but I should be able to knock a few heads around to AT least make that top eight.
Jester does a ‘brush the dirt off his shoulder’ gesture.
Jester Smiles: Cuz, I mean, look who you’re talkin’ to. I’m Jester Freakin’ Smiles!
Jester Smiles: That and a dollar gets you a line of co-I MEAN A CAN OF COKE!
Dina Bryce: You’ll do great, mate. Just don’t let Sinnocence kick ya in the nuts.
Jester Smiles: Long as I don’t go over the top rope. But, listen, I got to get, but, hell of a job tonight. I look forward to seeing more out of you. You’re gonna go far kid.
Dina Bryce: Thanks dude. G’luck in the Rumble!
Dina holds her fist out for a fist-bump. Jester holds up his hand for a high-five, pretending not to understand. Dina laughs and high-fives him, and we cut out.
We cut to the ring, where all of our participants are already standing. They all keep looking at one another, some obviously more ready to get it on than others.
Eryk Masters: Due to concerns over the length of the rumble, we’re going right into it!
Tony Lorenzo calls for the opening bell, and for a split moment, no one does anything. There’s a definite buzz in the crowd, which stays at an even level as all of the competitors eye one another, wary of making the first move. The tension in the air seems to keep ramping up, until Cade Sydal rushes the Willenium! This seems to be the cue everyone was waiting for, and the match devolves into a chaotic brawl for a few moments, with no one really gaining much of an advantage.
Eryk Masters: And business has definitely picked up here in this main event rumble!
Other Guy: And my partner has reached into a bucket full of cliches to bring us that line!
Eventually, some pairings have become apparent: Kilminster and Sinnocence stand back to back near the center of the ring, Sydal, Jester, and Stein have taken to one corner. Ainsley is eying everyone with suspicion, while Trey cracks his neck and rubs his chin where he got socked not a few moments before. Storm and Azraith occupy alternate corners, the latter of the two looking on with apparent disinterest. Barker, however, is the first to act after the opening scramble, running at Dan Stein and catching him off-guard with a Yakuza Kick to the chest! Stein stumbles back, and Cade is right there to replace him, blocking Barker’s left hook with his forearm and tossing him towards the center of the ring with an armdrag! As Ron recovers, Azraith makes a beeline for Jester Smiles, who sprints forward to greet him with a collar and elbow tie-up, There’s a moment of struggle before DeMitri calmly slams his forehead into Jester’s nose, giving him the opening to Irish Whip Jester at full speed into Ozzy!
Other Guy: I’m having trouble keeping track of all of the action that’s going on simultaneously, but smart strategy by Az there, poking the Kilminster beehive with Jester’s body!
Both men go crashing to the mat, but Ozzy’s up first, fuming and taking his fighting stance, circling towards Azraith—but he’s intercepted by Eli Storm, who lets loose with a high-angle dropkick! Kilminster falls, though he’s still very much aware and looking about the ring with renewed fire in his eyes. Ainsley vaults over him and waistlocks Sinnocence, who wraps a leg around hers to stop any backward momentum. Jester gets pulled to his feet by Willett, but trey gets stopped cold with a CRISP forearm to the clavicle! Trey stumbles back, rolls his shoulders, and VAULTS himself at Jester with a massive Lariat, but Smiles ducks! Trey, quick on his feet, stops him momentum immediately and throws a blind mule kick that catches Jester right in the Kidney! Referee Lorenzo looks positively overwhelmed, as in one simultaneous moment, Sinnocence lands a snapmare on Ainsley, Stein sidesteps a spear from Ron Barker, taking him down with a well-timed axehandle to the back, Kilminster shoots for Storm’s leg and takes him down, not even waiting to get his full mount before unleashing hammer strikes to Eli’s upper body, Jester turns and nails a discus elbow right to the base of Trey’s neck, and Cade springs off of the middle rope to catch an entirely unaware Azraith with a flying front dropkick! The crowd, obviously unable to follow every bit of the action, is nonetheless electric, it would seem cheering simply for the mixture of action in the ring!
Eryk Masters: Good lord! We’re seeing some of the best athletes in the sport, and it’s complete chaos!
Other Guy: That’s basically what it says on the tin, Eryk.
Cade immediately drops a leg on Azraith, but DeMitri hops to his feet and both men tie up. Ainsley get to her feet as well, and rushes the mounted Ozzy, breaking him off of Storm with a dashing soccer kick. With Trey momentarily dazed, Jester runs towards Az, nailing him so precisely in the jaw with a straight punch that he nearly dumps over the top rope!
Eryk Masters: And there’s the precision of Jester Smiles at work, we might have out first elimination!
Smiles wastes no time and grabs one of his legs at the knee, hauling upwards with all of his strength, but DeMitri is fighting him on it, and the intensity in the crowd is rising…Azraith straightens his upper body, and Jester transitions to shoving him backwards at the chest, but DeMitri breaks it up with a BIG lifting knee strike!
Other Guy: Ooh! Smiles caught all of that one!
Sydal kips to his feet, surveying the ring, and looks to be taking off to one corner, towards Trey—but Barker is right behind him, and slams him to the mat HARD by the head! Stein rushes him from behind, Waistlocking him and taking him down with a quick backdrop, but Stein’s reverie is short lived as the Willenium waistlocks him and hooks him for a Russian legsweep—Stein blocks with a quick elbow, and then both men are taken to the mat by a leaping double clothesline from Ozzy! Ozzy rolls forward and gets to his feet, but Ainsley is ready for him and gives him a quick boot to the midsection, followed by a gorgeous snap DDT! She gets up and turns to the pair of Stein and Willett—Only to catch a double superkick from both of them!
Eryk Masters: Stein and the Willenium may be on the same page here!
Other Guy: No way, they had their backs turned to one another! That was a coincidence!
Stein and Trey look at one another with confusion, but Trey hesitates just a moment too long, and Stein throws a stiff kick to his midsection—But the Willenium catches it, and takes Stein to the mat with a lightning quick cradle suplex! Not one to rest, Trey quickly scrambles to his feet and runs, taking a huge leap, and nearly takes Barker’s head off with a leaping lariat! Not one to stand on ceremony, Trey hauls Barker to his feet and then lifts him high in a suplex clinch…He holds it backing up to the ropes!
Other Guy: Everyone discounts the Willenium, but he’s about to eliminate Barker!
The crowd is screaming as The Willenium looks poised to eliminate Barker—But just then, Ron twists and drops to his feet on the apron! Trey turns with a wild haymaker, but Barker ducks and shoulders him in the midsection through the ropes! Willett doubles over, his head hanging over the ropes, and Ron grabs him by the hair before dropping to a knee with the full weight of his body, DRIVING Trey’s throat into the top rope!
Eryk Masters: And some quick thinking by the ravishing one!
Other Guy: Not quick enough—LOOK OUT RONNIE!
The Willenium falls backwards, coughing, and Ron stands, looking poised to get back into the ring—But he gets absolutely LAID OUT with a running wheel kick from Sinn! Barker Crashes to the floor!
ELIMINATED: Ravishing Ron Barker
As soon as Barker hits the floor, Eli Storm blindsides Sinn, then turns his attention to Cade, both men locking up. Cade drops to a knee and floats Storm to the mat with a fireman’s carry. Storm is right back to his feet, and lets loose with a wide-angle backhand which seems to only graze Sydal—but then Storm UNLEASHES with five quick Muay Thai kicks to Cade’s leg! Cade drops to his good knee, wincing in pain, and Storm runs to the opposite ropes, bounding back at full speed…
Eryk Masters: Storm Muay Thai offense has left Cade wide open!
Storm leaps for a Shining Wizard—But he gets bucked down midair with a high roundhouse from Kilminster!! The Crowd explodes!!
Eryk Masters: Good gravy!
Other Guy: Not my exact choice of words, but Jesus, Eli caught ALL of that.
Eli just crumples, holding onto his collarbone…Ozzy tries to haul him up, but Storm still has some fight left in him, socking Kilminster in the breadbasket! Ozzy throws a rough-looking elbow strike to Storm’s head, then sprints over to the recovering Sinn, who’s back is to him. He places a hand on her shoulder, obviously looking for help—SINNOCENCE SPINS WITH AN UNGODLY STIFF BACK ELBOW, RIGHT INTO OZZY’S FACE! The crowd goes crazy as Ozzy stumbles back into the ropes, blood pouring from his nose! Sinn, for her part, looks like the cat that ate the canary—Until Ozz rushes her and gives her a DEVASTATING overhead right! Sinn drops! Eli has shakily gotten to his feet—And immediately GETS DUMPED TO THE OUTSIDE WITH A NANJAGURAI!!
ELIMINATED: Eli Storm
Eryk Masters: Sydal out of nowhere with that Ninjagurai! Dot discount him yet!
Other Guy: But he vaulted with his hurt leg, he’s down again!
Eryk Masters: It doesn’t matter, he’s in the tournament!
Cade is back on the mat, smacking his leg, trying to work through the pain with gritted teeth. Kilminster, his mouth and chin covered with his own blood, stalks over to Cade with Murder in his eyes—But gets dropped to the mat with a surprise legsweep from the Willenium! Trey gets up, shaking his head, and hauls a limping Cade to his feet. Cade stumbles, but catches him under the jaw with a quick European uppercut! Trey responds, unloading a full-force front kick to cade’s bad leg! Sydal falters, but doesn’t fall! He stumbles back—Then without missing a beat uses his good leg to vault off of the middle rope, landing on Trey’s shoulders, Hurricanrana—No! Trey grabs Cade’s legs and stalls him upside down…then hauls him up and DUMPS CADE TO THE OUTSIDE WITH A POWERBOMB!
ELIMINATED: Cade Sydal
Other Guy: Whoa! WHOA!
Eryk Masters: The Willenium is on fire right now!
Trey falls against the ropes, wincing with obvious strain in his body. Sinn is getting up, nursing a swollen right eye…Ozzy looks like he’s torn between helping her and killing The Willenium…meanwhile, Ainsley and Azraith seem to be having a conversation—Then Az hauls her up into a military press!
Eryk Masters: She’s smiling?!
Other Guy: They’ve got a plan, buddy!
DeMitri just LAUNCHES Ainsley forward—Right into Ozzy! Lake Takes him down with a high angle flying spear! Sinn takes the opportunity to pounce on the fracas, and Ozzy seems to be in trouble! Jester, surveying the situation with a still recovering Stein, decides to take the initiative and bounce off the opposite ropes, bounding towards Azraith! He sees this and ducks down, looking to catch Jester unawares—But Smiles leaps over him with surprising agility, bounces off of the opposite ropes, and Takes him to the mat with a floatover DDT!
Eryk Masters: And DeMitri is NOT going to like that, he’s got an affinity for every manner of DDT!
Jester pulls Az to his feet and whips him right into the Waiting arms of Dan Stein, who hauls him all the way up for a backdrop out of the ring—Az swings the weight of his feet downward and drops to standing, then tosses Stein backwards with a belly to belly!! Meanwhile, Ozzy is trying to fight off Ainsley and Sinnocence as they stomp his midsection with kicks, doubling him over…they both take two steps back and absolutely LIFT Ozzy with tandem field goal kicks to the head!!
Other Guy: Remind me never to get on their bad side!
Ains shoots for Kilminster’s leg and starts trying to dump him over the top, but he still has some fight left in him…Sinn hesitates, then joins on his other leg—Ozzy tumbles to the floor!!
ELIMINATED: Osbourne Kilminster
Both Ainsley and Sinn turn around, surveying the ring. Ainsley takes off towards Trey, Sinn takes off towards the recovering Stein…leaving Jester with Azraith. Az smirks through the pain in his head, and jester sighs, shaking his own. Az rushes Jester, looking for a big roaring elbow—Jester ducks and lands a heel kick DIRECTLY to the back of DeMitri’s knee, crumpling his larger opponent. Ainsley eats a high kick from Trey, then kicks for his gut—Trey catches the leg and looks to be hooking her for the cradle suplex again, But Lake puts a knee in between them and falls backwards, Facebusting Willett!! Jester flips forward, grabbing Azraith by the back of the head—Henning-style mat slam!! Stein, fed up with Sinn’s elbowing him in his skull, suddenly grabs her around the thighs and drops her with a BIG Spinebuster!! The crowd noise starts raising in volume as Jester starts to pull Azraith to his feet, but Az gives him three elbows to the ribs and stands to his full height, grabbing the reeling Jester around his head—Smiles, quick as ever, ducks under and around him, Hooking him into a chickenwing and a half nelson!!
Other Guy: Say what you want about Jester Smiles, he’s fast and he’s all business!
Eryk Masters: He’s going for the Last Laugh!!
Az fights him—then breaks his arms free and turns, wild back elbow to Jester’s temple! DeMitri, his face locked in a scowl, Grabs Jester around the throat with his left hand and squeezes tight, shoving Jester to the ropes…Stein attempts to make a beeline for him, but Sinn catches him in the kidney with a punch…Jester’s trying to break the hold, grabbing DeMitri around the wrist and elbow, trying to weaken his grip—But Az hauls him up into the air and over the ropes with a modified Presence, SPIKING Jester onto the ring apron before he falls to the floor!!
ELIMINATED: Jester Smiles
Eryk Masters: Holy hell!! Jester looks like he might be out cold!!
DeMitri wastes no time, and sprints over to the brawling Lake and Willett. Trey drops her with a sloppy but entirely on point front dropkick, then intercepts Azraith, going for a diving clothesline—DeMitri sidesteps! Stein is going at it full bore with Sinn, dodging her high kicks and responding with his own, which connect beautifully. He gets her dazed, and springs off of the middle rope, THE LIGHTS—No, Sinn ducks and Stein goes crashing! Trey gets to his feet, Azraith throws a punch—He blocks and lands the GIANTKILLER right to Az’s crotch!! DeMitri falls to one knee, coughing, and then OUT OF NOWHERE Ainsley come off of the top turnbuckle with a missile dropkick, the momentum tossing Trey over the top!!
ELIMINATED: ‘The Willenium’ Trey Willett
Other Guy: That was nearly coast to coast!
Eryk Masters: A High risk maneuver that paid off!!
Stein groggily gets to his feet with the help of the ropes, shaking off the cobwebs—Sinn LAYS into him with a Roundhouse, GOODNIGHT CHUCK!! The momentum carries Stein over the top as well!!
ELIMINATED: Dan Stein
Other Guy: There goes the Lights!
Eryk Masters: And we are down to three, and they’re three that are on relatively decent terms with on another! It’s still anyone’s match!!
Ainsley is laying on her back, catching her breath. Azraith is getting to his feet. Sinnocence is still rubbing her now nearly swollen shut right eye. DeMitri surveys the surroundings, then hauls Ainsley to her feet!! He gets her in a standing headscissors, and Hauls her up for a Powerbomb—Sinn rushes him and nails a dropkick to the back of Az’s knee, dropping him backwards with Ainsley on top of him! She scrambles off, and Sinn is in pursuit, but Azraith is getting to his feet! Sinn and Ainsley start trading punches and kicks, but they’re too close to the ropes, and Azraith FLIPS THEM BOTH OVER THE ROPES WITH A DOUBLE LARIAT!! The Crowd EXPLODES as it looks like this is it—Ainsley crashes to the floor, But SINN IS HOLDING ON TO THE TOP ROPE!!
ELIMINATED: Ainsley Lake
Other Guy: Sinn is out! Azraith wins!
Eryk Masters: Not quite! Her feet haven’t touched the floor yet, she’s still in this whether she realizes it or not!!
DeMitri simply reached down and starts trying to Yank Sinn’s hands off of the rope…she loses one and the crowd lets out a collective gasp, but she recovers…Az gauges the distance and reaches up far above his head, clasping his hands for an axe handle—Sinn Twists her body upwards, back over the ropes, and uses the momentum to kick Azraith right in the mouth on her way in!!
Eryk Masters: And Sinnocence is back in it!
The crowd erupts in cheers as she starts peppering DeMitri with lefts and rights, finishing her run off with a stiff kick to the ribs!! Azraith is reeling, his knee giving him trouble, and Sinn leaps on him, hooking his arm and going for an Armbar takedown—But Az LIFTS her up and SLAMS her to the mat with his arm!! She’s still holding on, so he calmly hammer-strikes her RIGHT in her bad eye, causing her to release the hold and causing the crowd to immediately turn on Azraith!!
Eryk Masters: Oh what a cheap shot!!
Other Guy: But effective, that really did a number on her equilibrium!
Az gets to his feet, his lip split, and calmly waits for Sinnocence to get to her feet, his eyes blazing. She’s still stumbling, so Az hauls himself up to the second turnbuckle…the crowd is buzzing now, he’s waiting for her to turn around…she does, and he takes her down with FLYING SPEAR!! He gets to his feet immediately, trying to suppress a smile, and hauls Sinn up and to his shoulders!
Eryk Masters: You don’t see Azraith go flying that much, but when he does…
Other Guy: Look at Sinn’s limp body, she might be out cold!!
He signals for it, then BOLTS to a corner turnbuckle for the Smirking Revenge—SINN SLIPS OUT OF HIS HOLD AND SHOVES HIM HEAD FIRST INTO THE TURNBUCKLE!!
Other Guy: Playing Opossum! I live for this!!
Eryk Masters: And just like that, the tides on the final two have turned!
The crowd explodes as Az stumbles backwards…Sinn grabs him from behind and LEAPS, taking him down with a BIG Russian Legsweep!! They’re both to their feet quickly, but DeMitri catches her first, booting sin right in the gut and lifting her up…IMPALER DDT!! He rolls to his feet and hauls her up against the ropes, though she looks entirely out of it…Azraith calmly walks to the opposite side of the ring, slapping his elbow…
Eryk Masters: Azraith signaling for the roaring elbow, one of his most effective moves in this setting!
Other Guy: He’s gonna take it!
Azraith lets loose with a huge scream as he gets up a full head of steam, sprinting towards Sinn, his elbow cocked back like the hammer of a gun…just as he reaches her, She DROPS TO THE MAT AND PULLS THE TOP ROPE DOWN!! AZRAITH FALLS OVER!! THE CROWD GOES DEAFENING!!
ELIMINATED: Azraith DeMitri
Lorenzo call for the bell as Sinn crumples to her knees, part disbelieving and all exhaustion, as “Living Dead Girl” starts to compete with the crowd for space.
Other Guy: OUTTA NOWHERE! Sinn just won the rumble!
Eryk Masters: And it was a hard fought win, too, she looks like she’s feeling every single strike and slam right now!!
She very, very shakily gets to her feet, and Lorenzo raises her arm. Sinn climbs to the middle turnbuckle, her eye swollen and purple, and raises both of her arms, getting bathed in flashbulbs. That’s the final image we see before the screen fades to black.