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
The opening shot is of the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship belt, more aptly Azraith’s World Championship belt. A second shot of Trey Willett is shown, standing proudly at the entrance. A third 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.
You need to think fast
Cade Sydal is shown taking The Ox down, then quickly shown betraying Dan Stein. That is followed quickly by a shot of The UK Dragon bouncing from one foot to the other in the middle of an empty ring.
This is our first but I guarantee it’ll be your last!
Adrian Corazon, snapping an ASP down, ready to strike. Pestalance is shown grinning, having just hit his finishing maneuver on Thomas Manchester Black.
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. Suddenly, the screen flickers quickly, and Del Carver is replaced by The Purple Haze, no longer in the shadows.
All your other battles make me laugh
Lennox Ferguson is up next, his face a bloody crimson mask. He is screaming a primal scream at the camera, which switches quickly to Osbourne Kilminster, painstakingly locking in his submission on his own wife, Sinnocence.
You need to start runnin’…
Charles Brandon Magnus and ‘Big’ Buck Dresden pound their fists in unison in an empty ring, ready for their next challenge.
You’re standin’ on the tracks and the train is comin’!
Pestalance is shown, ripping the hood from his head, a grin on his face, only for the scene to shift to Jaime Alejandro, his head slowly lifting to face the camera as the shadows cascade around his shoulders.
NOWHERE TO GO
Mr. Heart is shown decimating Charles Brandon Magnus with a hard brass knuckle hit, quickly followed by Mr. Heart holding the SHOOT Project Sin City Championship high over his head.
You need a miracle!
The Crimson Riot pose with their SHOOT Project World Tag Team Championship belts, cocky grins on their faces.
Nothing’s gonna save you
Azrael Goeren’s arrival is shown, followed quickly by Jester Smiles standing side by side with Donovan King over a fallen Azraith.
And I’ll scream it from the top of the world!
Jeremiah Sloan is shown, his arms folded, quickly intercut with Alexander Freamon glaring intently into the camera, quickly followed up by Julian York adjusting his hair in the lens of the camera.
Whatcha gonna do when it’s just me and you!
Donovan King nailing the Dealbreaker on Azraith is shown.
Whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do!
Sinnocence forcing Cade Sydal to submit to the Iron Maiden.
Whatcha gonna do when it’s just me and you!
Alex Brooks giving a thumbs up to the camera is shown.
Whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do!
Dan Stein is shown nailing his own Ninjaguiri to Thomas Manchester Black.
Whatcha gonna do when it’s just me and you!
Jester Smiles hitting the Punchline on Ainsley Lake.
Whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do!
The arena is shown fully, the fans screaming as loudly as possible as the SHOOT Project Helmet is shown one final time.
Whatcha gonna do when it’s just me and you!
Whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do!
Before he even appears on camera, we can hear the clicking and crunching of Osbourne Kilminster’s neck as he arcs it left and right, stomping his way through one of the backstage corridors. The blood-red, Olde English font of the “OK” on his black t-shirt seems to stand out even prouder than normal atop his inflated pecs. His right hand sports heavy bandaging, heavy enough t make his right hand appear almost twice as thick as his left.
Almost in a daydream state, he appears ever so slightly startled as the shapely form of SHOOT Project interviewer, Abigail Chase, appears before him, halting his progress as he holds a microphone close to his mouth – disconcertingly close as he looks down his nose at it it pushes it an inch or two away with the tip of his index finger.
Abigail Chase: SHOOT viewers, please welcome Osbourne Kilminster.
The Englishman feigns a smile, albeit briefly.
Osbourne Kilminster: Yeah, hello. Anyway… what?
Abigail Chase: What?
Osbourne Kilminster: As in “what do you want?”…
Abigail Chase: Well, I wanted to ask you about your attack and how close you are to discovering the identity of your attacker.
Raising his eyebrows, Osbourne sighs, visibly disheartened by the question as he formulates his answer.
Osbourne Kilminster: Well, some arsehole didn’t have the balls to confront me face-to-face, like a man, and chose to attack me from behind. I’m under no illusions that I’ve been a Saint around here, but I think I deserve enough respect from everybody on the roster that they’d atleast look me in the eye if they have a problem with me. Somebody didn’t feel that way. Unfortunately, I haven’t really got much closer to working out who it is, but then again, you have to consider that I’ve been nice to people – that I’ve had cosy little chats with them when, really, I should just tear some shit up until the culprit is outed. That’s what seems to work around here right? Stir up enough shit and you get what you want… or seems to be, anyway.
Abigail Chase: So what’s your next move?
Smirking, Kilminster looks toward the camera with narrowed eyes, his brow furrowed with a frown born of frustration and murderous intent.
Osbourne Kilminster: The net’s tightening. I’ve not exhausted all avenues… yet… But let me assure you this Mr Nice Guy mask is going to slip very soon and you’re all going to see something very, very ugly. No more games.
Pulling an expression of mixed contempt and fury, he abruptly pushes past Abigail Chase to continue his trek down the corridor, the red Olde English text upon the back of his T-shirt reading “it is now”. Panning back around, we see a rather concerned-looking Abigail Chase looking on at the departing Englishman.
Samantha Coil: The following contest is scheduled for ONE FALL with a FIFTEEN MINUTE time limit!
“Thunderstruck” by AC/DC blares around the arena as UK Dragon runs out on to the stage jumping up and down spinning around the excitement has got to the England native.
Other Guy: UK Dragon definitely looks fired up tonight.
Eryk Masters: I got a chance to talk with the Dragon before the show started tonight, and he said he is excited to be in a purely competitive match with no extraneous circumstances or drama. He feels that tonight is a great opportunity for him to prove himself and really showcase his talents.
Dragon jogs down the ramp slapping hands with as many fans as he. Dragon jumps on to the apron before flipping over the top rope into the center of the ring Dragon grins throwing a few practice kicks in the air.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first, hailing from the UNITED KINGDOM and weighing in at ONE HUNDRED and EIGHTY FIVE pounds! U…K…DRAGON!
The crowd gives a respectful pop for the UK native, and Dragon pumps his fist in response. “Thunderstruck” fades away and his replaced by “Right Above It” by Lil Wayne ft. Drake. Karma emerges from the back, nodding his head to the music and making his way down to the ring, looking only at UK Dragon. There isn’t much of a response at all from the fans.
Eryk Masters: Quiet crowd tonight.
Other Guy: The SHOOT Project fans don’t just love anyone. Karma was a little upset that UK Dragon didn’t respect his past accomplishments as much as he felt he should have, but the fact is, if you didn’t do it in SHOOT, it didn’t mean shit.
Karma climbs up the steps and climbs over the ring ropes. He proceeds to just give UK Dragon a cold stare, grinning slight. UK Dragon bounces, shaking his arms and popping his neck.
Samantha Coil: And his opponent, weighing in at TWO HUNDRED and TWENTY FIVE POUNDS! KARMA…JONES!
Dennis Heflin signals for the bell, and the match is on! Karma moves to the center of the ring, and Dragon seems happy to circle, moving in quick, bouncing steps. Dragon starts to close the gap before clapping high over head, causing Karma to look up briefly. Dragon then shoots in and catches both of Jones’ legs, taking down Karma with a double leg takedown! Dragon flips over and bridges for a QUICK pinning predicament!
Kickout before Heflin can reach two, but Dragon holds onto the legs, attempting to possibly readjust and go for another pinning predicament. However, Karma manages to get a hold of Dragon’s waist, and there is a moment where both competitors are trying to get the power advantage. Karma, outweighing Dragon, gets the advantage and manages to turn Dragon, switching to a double under hook. Karma begins to work towards his feet with Dragon in the double underhook, and he reels back for a knee, but Dragon gets loose and backs away. He begins to circle again, and Karma just continues to stare him down.
Eryk Masters: Impressive early pinning predicament there by Dragon, but you’ve got to wonder if going grapple for grapple with Jones’ is a good strategy.
Other Guy: Dragon just saw Karma easily overpower him in that exchange after the pin, and while the pin was impressive, those knees would have been killer. Look for Dragon to be a little more wary in the future encounters.
Dragon again fakes for a takedown, but then attempts a sudden leg sweep. Karma leaps over Dragon’s leg and begins to chase, trying to take advantage of a crouched Dragon. Karma lands a few solid punches, but Dragon is able to catch one of them, and he uses Karma’s momentum to hit a solid judo arm toss! However, Dragon is rocked, and instead of capitalizing, he simply backs off, and both men are back to their feet!
Other Guy: Karma’s got that killer instinct. Saw Dragon at a weak moment and went for the kill. Solid striking there, for sure.
Eryk Masters: Yeah, but Dragon saves himself with a really solid judo style toss.
Karma signals that he wants to tie up. Dragon feints like he is going to do so, and then slams Karma with a SOLID thigh kick! The pop loud, and a small, but noticeable portion of the crowd is heard going “ooooh”. Karma winces and backs off. Dragon this time moves. He swings for another thigh kick, but this time, Karma dives for the leg, catches it, and pulls Dragon in close. With Dragon’s leg captured, Karma begins to drive punches into Dragon’s face before pulling Dragon in close and LAUNCHING Dragon across the ring with a leg capture suplex! Dragon is up quickly, but he is clutching his back. Karma comes running in with a knee to the stomach so hard that Dragon actually flips over the knee and lands, again, on his back! Karma instantly drops for the pin!
Dragon kicks out quickly. Karma lifts Dragon back up, looking to deal out more punishment, but Dragon quickly throws Karma’s arms away and slams two lightning quick kicks into Karma’s thighs! He then lets out a scream and hits a flurry of slapping attacks before leaping up and SLAMMING Karma with an enziguiri!
Other Guy: DAMN! Karma had a really great series of offense, but it is countered an equally great offensive set by Dragon!
Eryk Masters: The dominant person in this match changes every few seconds.
Dragon taps his right elbow pad and takes it off, throwing it to the crowd. He then hits the ropes and comes charging back, dropping the elbow!
And missing entirely! Karma is up quickly, and he grabs Dragon from behind and LIFTS Dragon from the ground and slams a Deadlift German Suplex! Karma bridges for the pin!
Kickout by Dragon! Heflin signals for two, but Karma doesn’t notice. He just rolls through, slams Dragon with ANOTHER German Suplex, and then rolls through again and leaps up, looking for the rear naked choke! However, when Karma loosens the hold, UK Dragon wildly throws back his right elbow and catches Karma straight in the jaw! Karma goes down flat, and Dragon rolls away to recover!
Eryk Masters: Damn! Karma caught that uncovered elbow STRAIGHT in the jaw!
Other Guy: This match is going to end with one solid and very sudden move, because neither of these men are staying particularly dominant.
Both men are up at virtually the same time. Dragon charges in and tries to hit a flying kick, but Karma side steps and charges in, catching Dragon around the waist! Karma lifts up, trying to position Dragon for an overhead Belly to Belly Suplex or a bear hug, but Dragon drops a couple of right elbows on Karma’s skull, causing Karma to release. Dragon spins and hits a spinning back kick to Karma’s midsection! Dragon then runs back, hits the ropes, and leaps, going for a flying right elbow!
But Karma ducks down, catches Dragon’s waist, and DROPS Dragon on his spine with a VICIOUS spinebuster! Karma wastes no time dropping fists onto Dragon’s face! Dragon gets covered up, but he takes a couple of rather heavy shots before he can finally get safe. Karma takes advantage of this and tries to change position, grabbing a hold of Dragon’s head. He looks to lock in the Anaconda Vice, but Dragon is able to wiggle free, but not before eating a solid right hammer fist! Karma again goes in, looking to lock in the anaconda vice, but Dragon throws up a right elbow and is able to knock Karma away. Both men then scramble to their feet and square off, but both are ready far too quickly, and neither man is able to take advantage!
Other Guy: Another great exchange there, with both men having moments of being in charge! Karma’s got a little swelling underneath his right eye, and you can see blood on Dragon’s teeth.
Eryk Masters: Both men want this win pretty badly, whether to prove they are worth it here, or reestablish themselves as dangerous competitors.
Karma is the first to go in. He feints a punch and then shoots for the legs, but Dragon is able to sprawl and push away. Dragon swings for the fences with a kick, but Karma is able to move his head back JUST in time so that he doesn’t lose his head to the Dragon’s kick. Karma is up to his feet quickly, but he eats a kick to the thigh for his troubles, and when he flinches, Dragon launches out his foot for a head kick! Karma ducks, and when Dragon spins full around, Karma hooks him up with a fireman’s carry!
Eryk Masters: This is known as the Reaper’s Revenge, the fireman’s carry neckbreaker!
Dragon drops a few right elbows on Karma’s face, and Karma, for a moment, loses the hold. However, when Dragon goes for a right punch, Karma catches his arm and lifts him back up, and INSANTLY drops UK Dragon with the Fireman’s Carry Neckbreaker!
Other Guy: That looked NASTY!
Karma hooks both legs, and Heflin is there with the pin!
Karma shoves UK Dragon away and stands up quickly, that earlier grin coming back as Dennis Heflin raises his hand in victory!
Samantha Coil: Here is your winner, at a time of ELEVEN MINUTES and TWENTY ONE SECONDS…KARMA…JONES!
The crowd cheers respectfully, still not entirely sure what to think of Karma Jones, but at least impressed with the showing both competitors put on. Dennis Heflin checks on UK Dragon, who seems fine, but is clearly disappointed in the loss.
Other Guy: Told ya! Karma Jones, I called it. That kid may not have been able to dominate the Dragon, but he definitely has some NASTY moves in his arsenal.
Eryk Masters: Let’s not downplay UK Dragon’s performance here. Dragon had some seriously impressive offense in this one as well, but tonight, he got caught, and got caught HARD by Karma Jones.
Walking down the corridor of the Epicenter we find Mr. Heart. The Sin City Champion is being followed by four large men in black suits, The Associates. One of the hired goons is pushing a glass cabinet in front of him. Contained in the cabinet is the Sin City title. Heart walks with purpose down the corridor. He is carrying a collection tin with the face of Purple Haze on it. As he walks by a bunch of technical support staff he shakes the tin at them, signalling for the to donate to his charity. Heart joyfully accepts their money before walking further. A few steps down the hallway and Heart stops abruptly, he looks around before walking to a man stood against the wall… Johnny Patriot.
Mr. Heart: Do I find myself mistaken or is this the American saviour I find in front of me? A man with great courage but the brains of a baboon on drugs.
Johnny Patriot turns to the voice, eyeing the men surrounding Mr. Heart before extending a hand out to Mr. Heart.
Johnny Patriot: Your eye sight is well, Non-American Citizen.
Patriot looks across the collection case, noticing the masked face of Purple Haze. Patriot stands up straight, looking at Heart.
Johnny Patriot: Making a collection for our fallen co-worker, no doubt?
Heart grins as he looks to his Associates.
Mr. Heart: My boy, you know me so well already. It is like that thing… You know… What you Yanks say… Brothers with mothers… Mothers having brothers… Oh you know what I mean.
Heart shakes his collection tin closer to Johnny. Patriot turns his stars and stripes fanny pack around, and reaches into it, exaggeratedly, grabbing a handful of change and bills. His eyes light up as he drops a handful into the tin.
Johnny Patriot: I’m sure Abe, George and Ol’ Ben could use a new home, especially for a good cause like this.
Heart looks blankly towards Patriot. His eyes showing nothing but confusion.
Mr. Heart: Abe? George? Ben? Is that the line-up of that jolly good popular band The Jonas Brothers?
Heart shakes his head.
Mr. Heart: No, my boy. This collection is for a man much like yourself. A man who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. A man who, much like you, wore a stupid mask. You see, this collection is for a man who is unable to open a tin of beans without having to ask for help. A man who struggles to pee standing up… A man who struggles to stand at all… I am hoping to raise enough money to purchase a walking frame but so far I have only got enough for a Marrow… Still, at least he can empathise with a vegetable.
Patriot looks at Heart, blankly, eyes blinking rapidly.
Johnny Patriot: Permission to speak freely, Sir.
Mr. Heart: The message I am trying to convey here is…
Heart stands closer to Patriot, almost face to face.
Mr. Heart: If I ever see you sticking your nose into my business again… There shall be consequences. What happened to that poor purple-freak last week shall be nothing to what I will have in store for you. However, should you wish to crawl back under that red, white and blue rock you came from I would be much grateful.
A smirk forms across the face of the Sin City Champion… Patriot’s eyes twitch as Heart ignores his request. Speaking out of the corner of his mouth, Patriot remains tense.
Johnny Patriot: Permission… to speak… freely… Sir?
Mr. Heart: My boy… I am… From… Eng-land… En-g-la…
PATRIOT’S EYES EXPLODE IN HIS MASK, and with a loud bestial yell, Patriot hauls out and slaps him right across the face, sending him falling back into his Associate’s arms. Patriot exhales deeply, breathing a sigh of relief.
Johnny Patriot: Would you pleeeeeaseeee let me say something.
Mr. Heart rubs his chin, looking at Johnny Patriot. Patriot nods, standing straight up, though cocked towards the camera with his hands on his hips – like a superhero.
Johnny Patriot: Finally… Mr. Heart, there are two things I hate in this world.
Patriot holds up one finger.
Johnny Patriot: People who insult me, the flag and America.
He holds up a second finger.
Johnny Patriot: And the French. Slowly but surely, Sir, you’re becoming a third member of that group.
Heart stands shocked and silent. He looks around at his Associates who seem to be awaiting orders… Nothing. Heart then locks his gaze back towards Patriot.
Mr. Heart: You sir… You…. SIR… Will get what is coming to you. No body… And I mean no body… Physically assaults me and gets away with it. What you have done to me here tonight could rule me medically unfit… My fans and I are disgusted in your actions.
Heart rubs his chin constantly as he begins to turn and walk away from Johnny Patriot. The Associates stay put, locking eyes with the masked American. Johnny’s eyes follow Mr. Heart down the halls. Shaking his head, Patriot looks at the associates.
Johnny Patriot: Man. That guy’s accent is worse than a Canadian’s.
Patriot chuckles to himself, while the associates stand firm. Noticing the men’s faces refusing to show emotion, Patriot gulps.
Johnny Patriot: Well, then… WHAT IN THE NAME OF OLD GLORY IS THAT!
Patriot points over the shoulder of the associates, obviously trying to distract them as he bolts down the hallway. The camera fades on the men, still standing there in the hallway.
The crowd, amped up for the next match, waits patiently as an a low unfamiliar tune begins to play on the PA system.
"Seeking to forget makes exile all the longer; the secret of redemption lies in remembrance."
"Had Enough" by Breaking Benjamin zones over full blast echoing throughout the confused arena. The music continues a moment before the big screen flashes white, and begins showing clips of former matches between Mike Dexter and various superstars that include: Azraith Demetri, Osbourne Kilminster, The Real Deal, Jun Kenshin, Cade Sydal, Chris Lee, and Chris Davis.
Milk it for all it’s worth.
Make sure you get there first.
The apple of your eye.
The rotten core inside.
We are all prisoners.
Things couldn’t get much worse.
I’ve had it up to here, you know your end is near.
Eryk Masters: Their were rumors circulating earlier this week that Mike Dexter was cleared to compete in professional wrestling again after a three year ban from the sport.
The Other Guy: I guess those rumors were true, because here he comes, and this crowd doesn’t know how to react.
Dressed in a black SHOOT Project hoodie and blue jeans, the 6’1 former SHOOT Project wrestler emerges from the back as the crowd fixes into a mixed reaction. From the sound of it, it’s clearly apparent that most fans are unclear how to react. Despite the mixture of emotions, Dex takes the time to shake the hands of some happy fans on his way down to the ring. His face has a smile on it as he reaches the bottom of the ramp, and slides into the ring. He paces a moment before reaching over towards the announcers table, retrieving a microphone from a ring assistant.
You had to have it all,
Well have you had enough?
You greedy little bastard,
You will get what you deserve.
When all is said and done,
I will be the one to leave you in the misery and hate what you’ve become.
Eryk Masters: Mike Dexter ladies and gentlemen, here is a guy that has been thrown out of pretty much every major promotion he’s ever been a part of. It appears that Jason Johnson has inked a deal with him.
The Other Guy: If that’s the case, J-J could have made a seriously bad move. This guy is a cancer, and how he was cleared to be back in this sport again is beyond me.
The theme music lulls to a stop, and Dexter moves the mic to his mouth.
The Dexecutioner: …
The mic lowers again, and the crowd remains in a state of confusion.
Eryk Masters: It appears Dex doesn’t know what to make of this either.
The Other Guy: He’s probably fired already.
Again, Dex brings the mic to his mouth.
The Dexecutioner: I… I don’t know what to say.
The Dexecutioner: Some people may be wondering where the hell I’ve been at the past three years. Most people probably know, I was banned from this sport. Blackballed. Kicked to the curb.
Dex pauses again, trying to collect his thoughts.
The Dexecutioner: Honestly, when I inked with SHOOT again this week, I thought I may have had my in-ring debut all planned out. I thought, that this would be easy. It would come back to me, you know? Heh… I was wrong.
He chuckles slightly, wiping his brow.
The Dexecutioner: I’ve been wrong about a lot of things. I’ve been wrong about what I’ve earned, I’ve been wrong about my career, I’ve been wrong about paying my due’s, I’ve been wrong in the way I’ve treated my fans, the SHOOT Project, and professional wrestling as a whole. What can I say? I’ve, clearly, let a lot of people down…
The crowd begins to stir to life a bit, some boo’s… and even some sentiments of denial.
Eryk Masters: For those of you who don’t know Dexter was apart of SHOOT years ago, and was at point considered a serious up and comer in the organization. He’s won various title’s in other company’s. He is also a former Iron Fist champion.
The Other Guy: Then Real Deal and OutKast planted his sorry ass. I guess he didn’t get the message the first two times he was canned.
Dex stares up at the screen, which switches to his limp and unconcious body at the hands of a Reality Check, and Alienator. The moment in which he was stripped of the Iron Fist championship, and blackballed from the company.
The Dexecutioner: There are a lot of things I could stand up here, and tell everyone I was sorry for… But the truth is, all anyone needs to see, is that screen. I should have learned my lesson there. Two of the strongest pillars in SHOOT Project history attempted to teach me something about this game… And here I am nearly five years later learning what that lesson was. This sport doesn’t owe me anything. The truth is, is that I owe this sport a lot more than I ever gave it. I owe the SHOOT Project fans some closure, I owe the men in the locker room some respect I never gave them… Well, I’m here to say just one thing. That it’s all going to change now. I’m not going to stand here and give you all lip service. I’m not going to make excuses. I’m going to do what I used to be remembered for…"
The Other Guy: Choking in big matches?"
The Dexecutioner: …Getting up. No more fronts. No more reasons. No more bullshit. To be short about this, I’m back in the SHOOT Project again. I’m here for redemption. Not redemption on the organization, or the sport, or the fans… Redemption for the things I did to myself. Redemption for the career I threw away. Redemption for how I treated all of you, and this organization. I’m here to be what I originally set out to be. That’s all. I’m back, I’m ready to compete. I’ll see you all later."
"Had Enough" picks up on the PA system again, and Dex tosses the mic back down to the ring assistant before he slips between the ropes and makes his way back up the ramp.
Intoxicated eyes, no longer live that life.
You should have learned by now, I’ll burn this whole world down.
I need some peace of mind, no fear of what’s behind.
You think you’ve won this fight, you’ve only lost your mind.
The Sovereign Locker Room is divided. On one side, Azrael Goeren tries to keep the mood light. Corazon is taping his wrists, Pestalance is punching his open hand, and Donovan King is standing still, SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship on his shoulder, his hooded head hanging down. The three of them are on the other side, focused and intense. Suddenly, the door tears open and in steps Eddie E. He wears his impeccable suit and grins from ear to ear.
Eddie E.: Gentlemen!
Sovereign looks up to their CEO and leader.
Eddie E.: Big night tonight, my friends. Azrael…you good over there?
Azrael Goeren: I will be. Paco is going to prove…difficult. Wily veteran that he is.
Eddie and Azrael grin at one another.
Eddie E.: Adrian, Donovan, Rande, where’s Eric?
Pestalance: He’s out…clearing his head for tonight.
Eddie E.: I can let that slide, although under normal circumstances I’d demand all of Sovereign in one place together.
He pauses, looking at everyone who is looking back at him. That is, Azrael Goeren, Pestalance, and Corazon. King continues to look down at the floor as he did before.
Eddie E.: Gentlemen, tonight is about sending a message. At first, I thought putting most of Sovereign in one place was a stupid fucking idea that dumb ass over there came up with…
He pointed to King, who the camera catches clenching his teeth.
Eddie E.: …but I’ve come around to its genius. Tonight, in front of the Las Vegas faithful, in front of each and every person who wears an Azraith shirt, or a Willenium shirt, or a Sinnocence muzzle…
Pestalance cuts Eddie a confused look.
Eddie E.: …because she’s a dog, you see…
Pestalance holds his finger up like he gets it now.
Eddie E.: …we show those people out there how little hope they have left. Sovereign might have suffered some little setbacks of late, but no more, people. We set the record straight. We completely show those people what business we mean. As SHOOT Project CEO, I’ve been given the honor of arranging the contracts for this match and, gentlemen…this is going to be wonderful. I will be out there tonight, gentlemen…in your corner…as your official towel man!
Eddie grins to the lot of them.
Eddie E.: I will be the only person who decides when you’ve had enough. And likewise, for their team…I’ve chosen a wonderful towel man for them as well. I’ve even picked the line up…who goes in and in what order.
Eddie grins and lets that sink in. Suddenly, Pestalance blurts out.
Eddie E.: That’ll have to wait until we reach that time. However…I will say this. Donovan King?
King does not move.
Eddie E.: DONOVAN. FUCKING. KING.
King slowly turns his head, keeping his body turned away from Eddie, cutting him a glare over his shoulder.
Eddie E.: I need someone out there to show them how it’s done, Donovan. You’re the leader out there tonight. Don’t let me down.
King looks over to Corazon, who locks eyes with him for a brief moment before pursing his lips and turning away.
Eddie E.: You’re our leader, Donovan. You’re our archetype. You are going to set an example for the rest of Sovereign.
Eddie puts his hand on King’s shoulder.
Eddie E.: So you’re going first.
King sneers and clenches his teeth as Eddie smiles a rather kind…but also rather fake smile. Eddie looks over to the rest of Sovereign as Azrael is clapping an excited and happy clap.
Eddie E.: Gentlemen…good luck out there. Follow this man here. He will lead you…to victory!!
Eddie walks out of the locker room, leaving Sovereign alone.
Azrael Goeren: Things are looking up, everyone!
Goeren reaches out for a high five to Pestalance, who ignores him. Corazon puts his hand on King’s shoulder, and King’s head drops. He says nothing, neither does Corazon.
We head to ringside as Samantha Coil stands in the middle of the ring, microphone in hand.
Samantha Coil: The following bout will be held under Goeren International Invitational rules and is a SUBMISSIONS MATCH!
The crowd immediately explodes with a loud chorus of boos as "Sieben" by Subway to Sally starts to play and the arena lights quickly dim.
Samantha Coil: Making his way to ringside, he hails from Eberswalde, Germany…
The boos get louder as a red and gold laser light show bathes the arena and the video screen crackles to life with the letters "A.G.". Samantha glances down at the ring card and shakes her head.
Samantha Coil: …he is the Megastar, The Sensation Not From This Nation, The Glory of Germany, SHOOT’s Greatest Benefactor, The Most Virile Man in…
Samantha tears up the rest of the ring cards that she is holding, much to the delight of fans at ringside.
Samantha Coil: He is AAAAAAAAZRAEL GOERENNNNNNNNNNN!
Azrael calmly steps out from behind the curtain, his arms outstretched as if to lovingly embrace the hostile crowd. He’s wearing a pair of tight black leather pants with bright red wrestling boots and a "PAX GOERENA" red t-shirt. He slowly makes his way down the ramp as an explosion of gold and red pyro lights his way to ringside.
Other Guy: Eryk, hook me up with your Discover card. I gots to get me one of those t-shirts.
Eryk Masters: I’d honestly rather wear nothing at all than wear anything that is associated with this man.
Other Guy: That sounds like you, willing to do a broadcast naked. That’s why we’re not allowed in Utah any more, sicko.
Eryk Masters: Since he’s been in SHOOT we’ve seen Azrael Goeren abuse his match making powers, constantly trying to screw over anybody who dares speak out against Sovereign and nearly cripple our ring announcer. And now we’ve got to sit through a match with him beating up a friggin janitor!
Other Guy: Azrael’s not such a bad guy. I heard he’s got an ambulance on stand-by for the end of this match. See? He cares!
Azrael steps through the middle rope, smiling warmly at Samantha who looks back at him with absolute disgust. He grins out at the jeering fans before retreating to one corner and pointing up at the rafters.
Eryk Masters: What the hell is this now?
Suddenly, a huge ten foot by ten foot banner drops from the ceiling, depicting a close-up of Azrael’s smiling face with the words "Goeren = Progress" written in red print along the bottom. Azrael climbs to the second rope and holds his arms out again as the fans begin pelting the banner with beer cans and rolled up popcorn bags.
Eryk Masters: Oh Jesus Christ…
Other Guy: Do you think he sells those too? Cause I think I found my mom the BEST Christmas gift ever!
Azrael jumps down from the second rope and points happily up to his banner before signaling for a microphone to be tossed to him. Samantha Coil whips it at him, and he ducks slightly as it sails over his head. He glares at her quickly before walking over and picking it up.
Goeren: Come on, everyone has to admit that is fucking awesome.
The fans react with a massive wave of boos.
Goeren: Do you all know how fucking good it is to be me lately? I really don’t think you do. Not only am I the most popular wrestler here in SHOOT, but I’m easily one of the most accomplished. I have not lost a match since I came here to SHOOT, nor do I EVER plan on losing a match. I’m simply too fucking good. Not only that, but I’m currently taking SHOOT to new heights financially and Sovereign is on the cusp of eliminating this annoying little insurgency once and for all. Life is good, friends.
Azrael leans up against one of the ring corners, nonchalantly resting while he talks.
Goeren: Oh and last week, I pinned Azraith DeMitri, SHOOT’s WORLD CHAMPION. I pinned the pinnacle, the very best that this company has to offer. There is nobody in that locker room, nobody associated with this company, nobody in the state of Nevada, nobody in the United States, nobody in North America, nobody in the fucking world who I cannot beat. Your Megastar is simply without peer.
The crowd boos again, causing Azrael to crack another smile.
Goeren: So without further ado, bring down my monkey…er…opponent for the night. At least Paco will be able to tell his grandchildren that the reason he uses a catheter is because of the great Azrael Goeren.
Generic rock music hits the arena’s loudspeakers as Paco the Janitor slowly makes his way out from behind the curtain. He’s dressed in the same jumpsuit overalls we saw him in at the last Revolution, his painter’s cap pulled down tightly over his eyes. He moves apprehensively, completely hunched over with his head lowered, while his long black hair dangles in front of his face, completely covering it.
Eryk Masters: Do we really have to watch this? Our ring announcer Mark Kendrick suffered a Grade 3 concussion and two broken ribs when Goeren forced him into a match.
Other Guy: Hey, at least Kendrick technically wrestled before. This poor janitor has never even stepped foot in the ring!
Azrael motions for Paco the Janitor to enter the ring, even going so far as to hold the ropes open for him. The janitor keeps his head down and slowly steps into the ring, looking terrified as he’s not even standing up straight. Referee Linam signals for the match to begin as Mark Kendrick looks disgustingly up at Azrael before ringing the bell.
Eryk Masters: Here we go, lets just hope Goeren makes him tap quick.
Azrael extends a friendly handshake to the janitor, causing the crowd to boo once again. The janitor slowly reaches out, only to have his hand slapped away by a grinning Goeren.
Eryk Masters: Leave it to Goeren to strip SHOOT’s dignity away match by match.
Other Guy: I don’t know what you’re talking about, I’m sure this will be a classic technical match up! That is if Paco ever decides to…you know…LOOK at Goeren. I can’t even see the guy’s face!
Azrael circles the janitor, ready to fight, and the janitor puts his hands up like a real bad boxer. Azrael breaks into a visceral smile and sends his right arm forward and nails the janitor – tauntingly – in the face. Goeren lunges forward again and slaps the janitor once, then again, then again.
The janitor backs up to the ropes and covers his face with his fists with Azrael pressing forward, throwing three or four "light" body shots into the man’s ribs. The janitor stumbles forward, but trips over his own feet as he tries to get out of the way.
Eryk Masters: Come on, this guy has no business in the ring. How is this in ANY way entertaining?
Other Guy: Goeren sure looks like he’s entertained.
Azrael flashes a sickening smile as he takes a few steps backwards up against the ropes. The janitor, clearly uncoordinated in the ring, climbs to his feet, and Goeren surges forward with all his strength and nails a vicious clothesline across the janitor’s throat, knocking him down.
Goeren looks at him with disgust as the janitor rolls over to his stomach, holding his throat in pain. Azrael shakes his head in utter contempt as the janitor rolls over to his back, still clutching his throat. Goeren smiles down at him before turning away, thrusting his arms in the air to celebrate his success with the fans – who, in response, boo unmercifully. However, a second after Goeren turns away and wallows in his own celebration, the janitor – kips up – off the mat, to his feet.
Other Guy: What the hell…
Eryk Masters: Well, there’s something you don’t see every day. The janitor just…kipped up…
Other Guy: I don’t get it…do they teach that in janitor school or something?
After the kip up, the janitor steadily and purposefully rises to his full height of 6-feet, 4-inches tall, and unzips the dingy coveralls he’s wearing. Underneath are rippled muscles equaled to his now seen and imposing 265-pound frame.
Other Guy: What are they feeding the janitors here? Jeez…
Eryk Masters: Umm…I don’t think he’s a janitor!!!
The janitor pulls his last arm out of the sleeve, ties the arms of the coveralls around his waist, and spins his head to look at Goeren. The crowd stops booing Goeren and, instead, start to cheer the janitor, who takes a step toward Goeren. Goeren is oblivious to the movement, he still has his back turned and his arms out, celebrating his success.
Suddenly, the "janitor" springs at Azrael, grabs him by the top of his head, and pulls him back HARD into the hold for a reverse DDT. Goeren, stunned, tries to squirm free of the hold by kicking his legs wildly and using his arms to try and break the choke hold around his neck, but the reverse headlock is completely locked in, causing the crowd to roar at the janitor. After holding Goeren in the reverse headlock for about 3 seconds, the janitor scans over the crowd, reaches up with his left hand, and slowly pulls off the painter’s cap and the long, black wig.
Eryk Masters: HOLY FUCK!!! IT’S ROCKY STELLAR!!!
Other Guy: NO FUCKING WAY!!!! NO FUCKING WAY!!!!
The crowd explodes at the arrival of the familiar face from SHOOT’s past. Stellar scans over the crowd again, a slight smile escaping his lips as he chucks the wig and hat out of the ring.
Other Guy: Rocky Stellar? Back in a SHOOT Project ring? How the hell did this happen?!?!?!
The smile on Stellar’s face turns to a sneer as, in one sickeningly sick swift drop, he plants Goeren in the middle of the ring with a HARD Stellar Drop. The crowd roars even louder to see Goeren out in the ring, and Stellar pops back up to his feet and stares down at him. He walks to a turnbuckle on the other side of the ring, climbs the first two ropes, looks over the crowd, and thrusts his right arm in the air, acknowledging them.
Eryk Masters: Hall of Fame Legend Rocky Stellar just dropped Azrael Goeren in the middle of the ring!!
Other Guy: We need security down here!!! Stellar doesn’t belong in that ring!!!!
Stellar turns back to Goeren, who is just starting to stir and walks over to his legs. He grabs Goeren’s right leg, spins it around his own, locks it under his other leg, then steps over, turning Azrael over, and locking in an "old-school" sharpshooter. Stellar leans back hard in the hold, nearly folding Goeren in half, as he screams out for Goeren to "TAP!!!" while the crowd roars its approval and Azrael is screaming in pain.
Eryk Masters: Goeren’s hand is up…he’s holding…holding…holding!!!
Goeren’s hand slaps repeatedly on the mat as he taps out to the hold and the bell rings. Stellar stands back up, whips Goeren’s legs off his own, smiling as he looks down Goeren, who is slowly rolling around in clear pain.
Goeren rolls out of the ring, while Stellar walks to the nearest turnbuckle and climbs it, with both arms in the air. He then crosses the ring to the next turnbuckle, climbing it, and again celebrating with the fans, who have now began the feverous chant of "Roc-ky! Roc-ky!! Roc-ky!!!"
However, on the floor, Goeren gets back to his knees, holding his back, and looks up and sees Stellar. His face is a dark crimson red from the pain and he angrily calls Samantha Coil over. She gets there, and Goeren starts screaming at her, expressively waving his hand back and forth. Samantha Coil nods up and down, first pissed and tries to shake her head, but then her face becomes defeated and she stands up to make an announcement.
Samantha Coil: Ladies and Gentlemen, your winner by forfeit, AZRAEL GOEREN!!!
Eryk Masters: What?!?!?
Stellar shoots Goeren a look, perturbed, but almost like he expected it. In the meantime, Goeren dismisses Stellar’s look and speaks some more with Samantha. After a second, she again speaks to the crowd.
Samantha Coil: This was supposed to be a Goeren International Invitational match scheduled against one Paco Casteneda. Since Casteneda never showed, the match is…a forfeit.
Goeren gets to his feet, slowly, holding onto his neck and back, as he groggily wanders up the aisle while the crowd boos him unmercifully. He ignores their calls and the camera focuses on him as he wanders away. But, from the ring, a voice calls out.
Stellar: Dimitri was right, Goeren. You really are nothing more than a German pussy.
Goeren stops in his tracks, slowly turns, and see’s Stellar smugly standing in the ring with a microphone in hand.
Stellar: He told me that, if I pulled this off, you would do something to declare the match a disqualification. He said you were too big of an egotistical pussy to admit defeat – and that you absolutely could not stand losing in one of your own bullshit Invitationals.
Goeren angrily calls for a microphone which a cameraman quickly gives to him.
Goeren: SHUT THE FUCK UP! DO YOU HEAR ME STELLAR!? YOU ARENT A SHOOT PROJECT EMPLOYEE, YOU ARE TRESSPASSING ON MY GROUNDS! YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS IN MY RING, I DONT KNOW HOW YOU GOT INTO THIS BUILDING BUT I SWEAR TO CHRIST YOU ARE GOING BACK TO WHATEVER HOLE YOU CRAWLED OUT OF!
Azrael starts screaming for security, waving for them to come out from backstage…only to have nobody emerge. Goeren looks completely flustered, still holding his back before Stellar calls out to him again.
Stellar: You know, you’re right about that Azrael. Only SHOOT employees should be in this ring. Guess it’s a good thing I signed that SHOOT Project contract this morning that the Board of Directors sent me, huh?
The fans explode with cheers, starting another "Roc-ky! Roc-ky! Roc-ky!" chant as Azrael claws at his own face, almost tearing out a chunk of his own hair.
Goeren: SHUT UP! ALL OF YOU SHUT UP! These fucking sheep may still adore you Stellar, but as far as I’m concerned you’re just another sliver of SHOOT’s failed past before I showed up! I’m the one who is going to lead SHOOT to greatness, ME! There is no way you could ever beat me in a fair fight Stellar! I’m the best! I’m the Megastar!
Azrael stops frantically screaming into the microphone as he starts breathing heavily, rolling his head backwards in a frenzied motion. Stellar waits for Azrael’s hissy fit to end, before calmly smiling and parting the ropes with one foot and his left arm.
Stellar: Prove it, Megastar.
The crowd roars as Stellar smiles down at Goeren, whose eyes grow wide and starts to turn his head from side to side, obviously weary about getting into the ring.
Goeren: I’m…I’m in no condition to wrestle right now and you know it!
Stellar: Uh..huh…sure sure sure. Your back hurts because I just totally made you tap out.
Azrael stares at Stellar, clearly pissed off, but Stellar ignores it.
Stellar: But, seriously, did you really think I expected the great "savior of the SHOOT Project" to crawl back in here for another beating? I’ve been around a LOOONNGGG time, Goeren. I know how pussies like you operate.
The crowd roars again and Goeren looks like he’s about to lose it again. The crowd, seeing it, starts the chant:
Crowd: Puuuuussss…ssssyyyy! Puuuuussss…ssssyyyy!! Puuuuussss…ssssyyyy!!
Stellar smiles and he starts waving his arm – cheering on the crowd – as the move only adds to Azrael’s frustration. He starts screaming back at them in German.
Goeren: Sie unwissend Schweine! Halt dein Maul Hure! Das letzte was ich jemals dachte, zu tun ist, hören Sie hemmt! Sei still jetzt, bevor ich Sie alle verhaftet und aus meinem Haus geworfen!
Stellar listens intently to his rant, with his face crinkled in a clear "I don’t understand…" look on his face. After about five seconds, though, he nods and quickly pulls the microphone to his lips.
Stellar: I accept!!!
The crowd stops chanting and laughs, while Azrael looks at Stellar dumbfounded.
Stellar: Now, my German is a bit rusty…I mean, I haven’t spoken German since failing it in high school, but I think you said "You’ll gladly face off against the Stellar One in another International Invitational at Reckoning Day…" and I totally, completely accept.
The crowd roars in favor of it, but Azrael slowly starts to shake his head no. Stellar ignores it and continues.
Stellar: I mean, what a perfect idea you just had!! You – the SHOOT Project Megastar with the undefeated record who just pinned the SHOOT Project champion last week….the self-proclaimed "savior of SHOOT"…facing off in your very own International Invitational against one of the biggest fucking legends this federation – fuck, this sport – has ever seen!!
The crowd roars and Azrael again, slowly shakes his head no, clearly trying to say that’s not what he was saying.
Stellar: It’s really brilliant, but then again, you are a brilliant man. You and the Stellar One…going toe-to-toe during a Goeren International Invitational match…at Reckoning Day…I mean, this is HUGE!!! Forget about Dimitri and King for the title in the main event!!! This is THE MAIN EVENT!!!
Goeren still shakes his head, obviously frustrated, and Stellar lowers his own head and talks directly to Goeren.
Stellar: Come on, Goeren…stop shaking your melon like a bobblehead and think for a second. This one little match will enable you to show how you – Azrael Goeren – are truly the savior of SHOOT. How you can single-handedly stop this lowly insurgence and prove "Goeren means progress" by pinning one of the men that helped put the SHOOT Project on the map!!!
Stellar leans forward on the ropes and sneers at him.
Stellar: By pinning the ICON of wrestling…you would show that you – and Sovereign – are truly ringing in a new era for SHOOT Project. By beating me – twice recognized as an Iron Fist Champion, a former world title contender, and tag team champion, you will show you are putting the old dogs that created SHOOT out to pasture. With one simple pin of this old wrestler, you would cement the legacy of Sovereign…and in turn, make Azrael Goeren…the hero of the new era!!!
Goeren does think about it, squinting his eyes at Stellar, studying him. The crowd starts to get behind him to say yes…and eventually, Goeren starts to speak. Very slowly. Very deliberately.
Goeren: You’ve ruined my Invitational. You’ve somehow coerced yourself into a SHOOT contract again. You humiliated me in front of all of these people…I’ve destroyed men’s families and livelihoods for a whole lot less than what you just did Stellar.
Azrael keeps his eyes fixated on Rocky in the ring.
Goeren: But I am, at my heart, a businessman. I know a good deal when I hear one. My vision, my plan for SHOOT is to build this company into the biggest fighting promotion in the world where we aren’t saddled down by old ideas and outdated stars who are living solely on past accomplishments. You want me to prove just how far you’ve fallen from the elite? It would be my pleasure to cremate your career. Consider the match on.
Stellar smiles as he puts the microphone back to his lips.
Stellar: Good…and I will gladly accept your offer and meet you in a Goeren International Invitational Match at Reckoning Day. But…
Stellar’s sneer is classic.
Stellar: …now that you agreed to the match, there is only one, small, tiny problem to your whole fucking plan. That problem is this fucking ICON…because The Stellar One is going to beat the ever loving fuck out of you, you fucking weak assed German sissy fuck!!
Stellar launches out of the ring and starts to chase Goeren. Goeren quickly reacts, drops the microphone, and sprints up the ramp into the back. Halfway up, Stellar smiles widely, looking at Goeren scamper, and stops running. He turns back to the crowd in the arena, smiles widely, and raises his right arm in the air. In turn, the fans let out a huge ovation, welcoming Rocky Stellar back to the SHOOT Project, while his theme music – Poundcake from Van Halen – begins to blast through the arena.
Eryk Masters: WHOOOOOOO!! ALRIGHT! Its about damn time someone shut Azrael up, and who better to do it than The Stellar One! Rocky Stellar is back and going to take on Azrael Goeren at Reckoning Day!
Other Guy: This is absurd! If I were Azrael I’d start suing people left and right, he totally got strong-armed into that match!
Eryk Masters: Yeah, it sucks when an arrogant dickhead gets what’s coming to him.
Other Guy: Shut up Eryk. Just shut up!
Sinnocence’s locker room door opens and closes again abruptly, barely closing before there’s a gentle knock. She turns around quickly–her eyes wide, having been digging in her duffel bag beforehand.
Sinn: Who the–Oh, Ozzy, don’t scare me like that.
Osbourne Kilminster: Sorry. I know you hate it when I don’t knock.
Sinn just gives her husband a smile, before resuming to dig through her bag.
Sinn: You’re a sweetheart for that, you know. Must be why I married you. So what’s up? Why are you wandering around?
Osbourne Kilminster: I’m no closer to finding the bastard who stole one on me the other week and I just had Abigail Chase asking me aout it. I felt so fucking stupid, just having no solid proof or anything, you know?
inn: I know, darlin.
She stands up, leaning back against the table with a curious look on her face. Obviously trying to remember something from the previous night.
Sinn: You know…there was something strange last night at the Killer Queen when I was unwinding. Ron Barker came in. He was all concerned about you and how you were holding up. Said something about you putting in a good word for him? What’s that all about? Thought you didn’t want to get involved with everyone.
Slightly bemused, Osbourne takes a seat on the beech bench and leans back with head head resting against the whitewashed wall.
Osbourne Kilminster: Yeah, he wanted me to go to some meeting with him and put in a good word for him, but I got jumped before I had chance. Haven’t heard much from him since, actually. He’s an old friend though, of sorts. I wouldn’t have bothered for many others. Why?
Sinn: Like I said, he came to the Killer Queen and sought me out…specifically. He wasn’t there just to have a good time. Just seemed real concerned that he couldn’t get a hold of you this week. Then…then he was going to tell me something, but a fight broke out. I had to go help my idiot bouncers break it up.
She looks lost in thought for a moment as she turns back to him.
Sinn: I didn’t get a chance to go talk to him again. I’d had a few.
Osbourne Kilminster: Wonder what he wanted then. He could have called me. Broken hand doesn’t stop me answering the phone. How come you didn’t mention this at the time?
She rolls her eyes and gives him half a smile.
Sinn: I told you, I’d had a few. Didn’t really remember it until now.
The stripper looks thoughtful again for a moment, crossing her arms over her chest.
Sinn: Ozzy, much as I hate to bring it up…but you haven’t found out who it is. Did you ever ask Barker if it was him that attacked you?
Completely confused, Obourne looks his wife right in the eye as his smile broadens into a brief laugh.
Osbourne Kilminster: Ask Ron if it was him? What? Why? He’s a mate. Why him, of all people?
Her expression doesn’t change…their stances opposite for once. Normally, she’s the one laughing off the possibility of betrayal by a friend.
Sinn: Like you’ve never had a friend turn on you just for shits and giggles. I’m not saying it’s him for sure, but it never hurts to ask. I mean, you went and asked Donovan King of all fucking people. Just seems weird he’d come to me to find out about you, when he knows we’re not close. He could have gone straight to you, but he didn’t. Just odd, if you ask me.
Osbourne’s tongue runs along the sharp edge of his incisors as his expression slowly changes to one more sombre, his shoulders weighing heavily with the weight of a thousand dark thoughts.
Osbourne Kilminster: It is a bit odd…
Sinn: Best you ask him. I sort of told him I’d make whoever attacked you wish for death. So yeah…best you do it.
She closes the distance between them, reaching out to rub his arms reassuringly.
Sinn: Just tell me if I can take my baseball bat to his kneecaps, yeah?
Looking up at her, Osbourne’s face is still one of troubled doubts and confusion. His expression softens ever so slightly as his eyes meet hers and he expels a woeful sigh.
The camera shot goes to the broadcast position, where we see Eryk Masters and The Other Guy sitting behind the desk, headphones on, in front of their monitors.
Eryk Masters: Last week we were witness to one of the most brutal attacks that in SHOOT Project history, when four of the Sin City Champion Mr. Heart’s “associates” armed with cricket bats, assaulted the newly crowned World Tag Team Champions, Crash Carver and The Purple Haze.
With us right now we have Crash Carver, live via Satellite from Los Angeles.
The shot goes to a “split screen.” On one side of our television screens we see Eryk Masters seated in the broadcast position, and on the other side we see Crash Carver, sitting in a chair, in what appears to be a hotel room. The same shot is being displayed on the huge video wall at the top of the entrance ramp, in the SHOOT Epicenter.
Eryk Masters: Before we discuss anything else Crash, I wanted to ask how you are doing physically?
Crash Carver: Thanks for asking, Eryk, and thanks to the hundreds of fans who have been sending cards, letters, faxes, emails, and messages to the SHOOT Project offices, for both myself and The Purple Haze.
The answer to your question Eryk, is that I am pretty damn banged up. I have bruises all over both my arms, I have a couple of cracked ribs, and I have a concussion. But I’m told I only need another couple of weeks, and I’ll be cleared to wrestle.
So I’ll be fine in time for Reckoning Day.
Eryk Masters: Unfortunately, we all heard the news about The Purple Haze from Mr. Xan, that he won’t be quite so lucky – and that due to the injuries he suffered during the attack, he has been forced to retire from Professional Wrestling.
Crash Carver: I saw Rick earlier this week. He has left for Denver, where he’s going to be spending some time in a rehabilitation facility. He’s still in really rough shape, but he’ll pull through, don’t worry about him. He might never wrestle again, but I know we haven’t heard the last of him in this business.
Eryk Masters: Crash, I was handed an official announcement from SHOOT Project, earlier this evening. I know you are aware of this announcement, but I’m glad you’re here to give us all your response.
Due to the injury to The Purple Haze, the SHOOT Project World Tag Team Championships have been held up…they are officially declared vacant at this time. However, the titles will be decided in a match at Reckoning Day.
On one team we will have Mr. Heart, and his “apprentice” Alex Brooks. On the other side, we will have you, Crash Carver. I have been told that you are being allowed to pick a partner of your choice for this match.
Crash Carver: That’s right. I’ve been told since I never lost the titles, I will be in the match to fill them, and I can pick whoever I want to team with me.
Eryk Masters: Well Crash, I know a lot of people who are hearing this are going to hoping for one thing, and one thing only. I know a lot of fans are going to be hoping that you’ll be announcing that your partner will be your Uncle, SHOOT Project Hall of Famer; Diamond Del Carver.
The fans in attendance have been quiet so far, listening to the satellite conversation between Eryk Masters and Crash Carver, but at the mention of Diamond Del Carver, the fans in the SHOOT Project Epicenter erupt in a deafening chorus of cheers. Even though he is obviously in a very serious frame of mind, Crash smiles at the reception for his Uncle.
Crash Carver: I know a lot of people would like that, Eryk. And to be honest, Mr. Heart should get down on his knees tonight and thank the good Lord above that my Uncle isn’t going to be my partner, because my Uncle would kill him.
However, I have to do what is best for myself, and the World Tag Team Titles. The man I have selected to be my partner is the man who stuck his neck out to help us on Revolution, a guy who knows The Purple Haze quite well…
Despite their disappointment at the fact that Diamond Del Carver will not teaming with his nephew, the fans in attendance cheer loudly at this announcement.
Eryk Masters: Well, that makes it official, Crash. At Reckoning Day, it will be yourself and Johnny Patriot, taking on Mr. Heart and Alex Brooks, to fill the held up World Tag Team Championships. Not only that, but SHOOT Project has informed me that seconds have been banned from ringside – meaning that Mr. Xan will not be there to advise you, but more importantly, Mr. Heart’s associates will be barred from ringside as well.
Crash Carver: Exactly. As much as I like having Xan down there to give me advice, I don’t need him there to win. But I think we all know that without his hired goons, Mr. Heart won’t be able to deal with Johnny Patriot and I in a fair fight, and…
Crash Carver is cut off by the sound of ‘The Almighty Dollar’ by Ozzy Osbourne, and Mr. Heart appears on the ramp, to a chorus of boos from the sold out crowd. Mr. Heart holds up one arm to try and silence the crowd, and he turns towards the video wall, and points at the screen as he addresses Crash Carver…
Mr. Heart: Oh, Mr. Crash Carver… The voice of the beaten and the damned. How the mighty have fallen. One week ago you were standing at the top of the tag team mountain, the newly crowned champion… Granted, the division was more of a molehill than a mountain.
The audience again boo the Sin City Champion. He ignores the jeering and continues looking at the video screen.
Mr. Heart: Tell me something Crash, how is your friend Mr. Haze? I do hope that he is finding that retirement is treating him well. I would hate to think that he was unable to enjoy himself. Perhaps now he has some spare time he could take up golf or football or maybe wheelchair basketball would be more appropriate.
A loud chorus of boos echo throughout the arena directed at Mr. Heart. Eryk Masters, who is still on the split screen, stands up and shouts to Mr. Heart.
Eryk Masters: That is uncalled for Heart! That’s a man whose career you ended and whose life you ruined!
Mr. Heart: Please Mr. Masters, sit your vile backside down and stop your deceitful tongue from spraying unfounded lies. Those four men you saw smashing the Purple Haze’s skull into the concrete floor are adults! They have their own minds, their own brains. If they do not take a shine to someone then that is their business. However, I would not be the business man that I am if I did not take an opportunity when I see one.
Masters begins to sit back down as Heart directs his attention back to Crash Carver, who has remained silent.
Mr. Heart: For you see, I have had my eyes on those Tag Team Title belts for a while now and was horrified when a young cretin and a man in fancy dress won the belts from two crazy Mexican caricatures.
Fret not, for my spirits were lifted when I saw the unfortunate accident that occurred to the gentleman dressed as a man-shaped beetroot. So I phoned some contacts and put a wonderful idea to them…
I told them ‘What you need, what SHOOT Project needs, is a champion of grace, of experience and of virtue.’ I, Mr. Heart, am that man…and Alex Brooks is my Apprentice. He is the man who shall help me to capture two titles.
Heart laughs for a few moments whilst facing the audience. They share their distain loudly.
Mr. Heart: At Reckoning Day I shall not need the Associates, I shall not even need cricket bats. At Reckoning Day I shall take down two men using my intellect, my brawn and my technical skills. At Reckoning Day, Mr. Carver, you shall become just as redundant as the Purple Haze…and hopefully, my meaningless friend, you shall fade away into the afterthoughts of SHOOT Project.
As long as Mr. Heart has been talking, Crash Carver has been sitting in his chair, steaming. You can tell he is doing everything he can to keep his temper, but he finally explodes.
Crash Carver: You have the fucking nerve to call what happened an UNFORTUNATE ACCIDENT? The only accident I know of is the one your Father made when his condom broke, and the one your Mother made when she didn’t head to the clinic and abort your pathetic ass when she had the chance.
You can talk now, Heart. You can joke. You can make all the jokes you want, walk around, mock the fact that The Purple Haze is retired. Go for it. But let me tell you something – you don’t know your SHOOT Project history very well. My last name is CARVER, and if there is ONE thing you don’t want to do in SHOOT, it’s piss off a Carver.
I’m coming for you, Heart. You hear me? I’m coming, and your fucking goons, and Alex Brooks, hell the entire SHOOT roster couldn’t stop me. I’m coming to Reckoning Day, and I’m going to have something with me.
I’m going to have the bloodstained mask of The Purple Haze, and after Patriot and I beat you and your flunky for the World Tag Team Titles, I’m going to ram this mask right down your throat. But I’m going to leave some room in there. Just enough room for my FIST, and I’m going to ram my FIST into your mouth after the mask, and I’m going to rip out your fucking TOUNGE, and we’ll see who is making jokes then.
Laugh it up, Heart. At Reckoning Day, we’ll see who is laughing, and who gets carried out on a stretcher this time. And I’ll tell you this, it isn’t gonna be me, and it ain’t gonna be Johnny Patriot. At Reckoning Day, me and Patriot take the belts, and then I take your fucking HEAD.
Crash Carver rears back, and boots the satellite camera directly in the lens, causing the screen to go to static, and the connection to be cut off. In the arena, Mr. Heart looks at the video wall with a mix of annoyance and anxiousness, before he heads backstage.
Eryk Masters: We open up with Daniil Fedorov and Jonathan Page already in the ring, as Willie Dean makes his way into the ring himself.
Dean climbs through the ropes, and is met in the middle of the ring by Fedorov and Page. He’s going over some last minute instructions and then the two new SHOOT Project Soldiers are dismissed to their corners.
Other Guy: Both guys were extremely quiet, so it’s gonna be interesting to see what kind of effort is brought here tonight.
Willie Dean signals for the bell, but is interrupted when “Station” by Russian Circles hits the PA. The fans come alive a bit, though they don’t recognize the music immediately. When JONAS COLEMAN appears, he gets a mild pop for his effort! Coleman’s dressed in a pair of jeans, a pair of black boots, and a black tanktop. He’s got shoulder length blonde hair, and a relatively scraggly goatee.
Eryk Masters: Jonas Coleman is here! This should be pretty interesting.
Other Guy: Jonas, of course, is somewhat of a SHOOT Project journeyman, and most widely known as a member of PERDITION. He’s not been seen much as of late, given that the tag team scene until just recently, was relatively stagnant.
Eryk Masters: Also, Coleman’s partner, Diego Reyes has gone missing.
Coleman panders to the crowd a bit as “Station” picks up. He slaps some hands on the way down, and looks to the ring at a dumbfounded Daniil Fedorov and Jonathan Page. He smirks, and slides into the ring and IMMEDIATELY clocks Jonathan Page, who crumples down to the mat, holding his jaw!
Other Guy: Coleman just ATTACKS Jonathan Page here, and Page is down!
Eryk Masters: It’s at this point that I should remind everyone that Jonas Coleman is known as The Butcher. A name given to him by one, Diego Reyes.
Fedorov lunges at Coleman, but Coleman ducks under him and as Fedorov rebounds off the ropes, Coleman goes high and knocks him right out with a shining wizard! Page is up now, and he attacks Coleman from behind, landing a forearm smash to Coleman’s back. Page turns Coleman around, but Coleman uses the momentum and hits Page with a hard right, hooks him, and drops him with the Cataclysm’s Edge!
Other Guy: Coleman came here with a purpose tonight!
Eryk Masters: Crowd’s loving it, too!
Coleman raises his arms, as Page and Fedorov leave the ring area. Coleman calls for a microphone and is immediately granted one by Samantha Coil.
Jonas Coleman: Thanks babydoll.
Coleman smiles at Samantha Coil. He then pulls the microphone to his mouth.
Jonas Coleman: So… what the fuck is up, LAS VEGAS??
The crowd gives Jonas the cheap pop he wants!
Jonas Coleman: Excellent, excellent. So, I suppose you guys are wondering just what this lone PERDITION member is doing out here, yeah?
Jonas Coleman: And I guess you’re wondering just why exactly I came in here and fucked Jonathan Page and Daniil Fedorov up. Right!?
Other Guy: Coleman doing a solid job of working the crowd here.
Jonas Coleman: So here’s the deal. I see people come in and out of this place on a weekly basis. I see them get spots on the shows, and even get their roster information on the website for everyone to see. They’re welcomed here, with open arms, by management and whoever else… and they’re given a chance.
Jonas begins pacing around the ring, deep in thought.
Jonas Coleman: So, when I see these people… guys like Daniil Fedorov and Jonathan Page come in and do jack fucking shit… it pisses me off. I’m a guy… I’ve been in the SHOOT Project, you know? I stuck around, I work my ass off every day, to stay in shape and hopefully get some screen time. So, when some chumps come in here, sign a contract, and then fuck around?
Jonas Coleman: That causes me to spring into action, you know? So I was thinking about what I’d say when I was out here, and the things I’d do. I mean, if you look at me, and you look at those two assholes, you can see that as far as physical specimens go… I’m the cat’s motherfucking pajamas, and with the whole talking thing… I mean, I clearly do it well. But fuck… even if I didn’t do it well, the fact that I do it, makes me better than the guys who don’t.
Jonas continues pacing the ring, still working through what he wants to say.
Jonas Coleman: So with my new found success… here’s what I’m going to do. I’ve decided that I’m going to take the invitiation of Magnus and Dresden, and I’m going to become a member of the Badass Brotherhood.
The crowd pops!
Jonas Coleman: Those two guys, they’ve got potential. They have ability. They want someone who knows tag team wrestling, and will help them fulfill their potential, and make the best of their abilities. I’m that guy. In the meantime… I do need something to do for myself, and I thought… what better way to do that, than to go after that beautiful Sin City Championship. How do you guys feel about that?
The crowd pops again!
Jonas Coleman: I’m glad we’re in agreement. So, I’m issuing a challenge to Mr. Heart. I want a Sin City Championship match, and I want it on Reckoning Day. Or the Reckoning Day Pre-Show. I don’t particularly give a fuck. I want that shot, and I want it on December 5th, 2010.
Coleman scales to the top turnbuckle, and panders to the crowd a bit more, before dropping down to close out his speech.
Jonas Coleman: Okay, Mr. Heart? I want it. The fans want it. Any good businessman, which you and I both are… can do the math here. You. Me. Reckoning Day. Sin City Champoinship. It’s your call, but here’s one last thing for all of you to remember. Jonas Coleman… The Butcher… I’m done just sitting around. I’m done waiting for something to happen. It’s time for a change, brought to you by the Badass Motherfucking Brotherhood.
“Station” by Russian Circles hits the PA, as the crowd cheers one final time.
Eryk Masters: Coleman issuing a serious challenge here, and you have to wonder if Mr. Heart will deem it necessary to defend against him, given how much of a non-factor Coleman has been lately.
Other Guy: Well, here’s my thought about that. Jonas Coleman is no longer a non-factor. He took out those two guys with little effort at all. That counts for something.
Eryk Masters: You and I both know, too, that if Coleman wants to get to someone, he can, and with the backing of Magnus and Dresden, it should be very very interesting! But, for now, let’s head to the back!
The scene fades into the back, and all we see is Sinnocence punching the ever loving FUCK out of Jester, who is down on his knees. She is yelling profanity and uncomprehendable things whilst she wails away on the former Hero of SHOOT Project. However, this onslaught is quickly broken up by PESTALANCE, who tosses Sinnocence away. However, when Pest goes to do some damage of his own, Jester grabs his pant leg.
Jester Smiles: Nah man, don’t worry about it. Leave her alone.
Jester gets up, checks his mouth and nose for blood, and then leaves. Pest stays for a moment, looking a little angry and a little confused, but he eventually leaves.
Sinnocence: I’ll get you later you sorry son of a bitch.
We cut backstage.
Curtis Rose is standing in front of the mirror in his dressing room. Atop the bag of gear sitting next to him is his fiberglass mask. Apparently, Rose had intended to regain his position in the company. Rose is alone in the room. It’s not a private dressing room, but the superstar he is to share the room with had not arrived in the Epicenter yet. Rose stood, staring into his reflection, for what seemed like an eternity. He pushes a long strand of his blonde hair out from in front of his eyes. Curtis peers down at the smiley-faced scar that had been carved into his chest just months earlier. Forgiveness came easy to Rose. Forgetting? Now that was another matter entirely. Curtis was aware that he was nothing more than a casualty on the long road of getting to his friend Trey. What he couldn’t wrap his brain around, was why Corazon had chosen to permanently scar him. Him, the Style Warrior! It was awful hard to be stylish when you had to do everything you could to hide the battle scar from a war you were unable to finish. Curtis thumbs the outline of his scar seven or eight times before the door to the locker room swings open.
Curtis immediately buttons his shirt up and spins around to face the person intruding on his personal time. As he turns around, he is brought face to face with a female figure. She stood around 5’6" and weighed around 110 lbs. Her blonde hair falls down in front of her face in curls just wide enough to cover her face. She wraps her lace fingerless gloved hands around the handle of the door and pulls it shut. Rose’s demeanor quickly goes from being alarmed to at ease. He walks up to the female and gives her a quick kiss before sitting down on the bench in front of her.
Aimee: I have some good news for you Darlin’. Jonas Coleman called out the Sin City Champion just a few minutes ago. Turns out, he doesn’t have the stomach to defend the title. He heard that you were wanting to get back into the game, and has decided to give you a cash reward for "holding" the title for him until he sees fit.
Style Warrior: "Hold" the title? You mean like hide it from Coleman or some shit? I don’t think that I’m down for that, babe.
Aimee, clearly aggravated, sits down next to Rose and puts her hand on his thigh.
Aimee No, Curtis. Mr. Heart has agreed to allow you to carry his title. It will be handed to you before Reckoning Day and you will be responsible for defend the championship.
Style Warrior: So I will be the Sin City Champion without having to actually having to beat the champion?
Aimee: Not quite. You see, you will be handed the title. You will defend the championship in the name of Mr. Heart. So you wont actually be the champion, but you will act on behalf of the champion. So when you win, Mr. Heart wins. He will still be in the books as the champion, but you will defend it for him, carry it for him, and basically carry out all of the duties in his stead.
The Style Warrior still looks a little confused at the proposal. He pulls away from Aimee’s embrace, and tries to collect his thoughts/
Style Warrior: So let me get this straight…I have to defend the title, basically do everything that the champion is supposed to do, but I don’t get to be the champion? That doesn’t really seem like that good of an idea. I mean, how am I supposed to throw my name into the ring to get my shot at the title if I am forced to defend it for the actual champion?
Aimee That’s the beauty of it. The people will already associate us with the Sin City Championship. It’s only a matter of time before Heart decides to give us a shot. Can you imagine it, Curtis? We’d be the Sin City Champion. It’s what you wanted, and I’ve made it happen. Plus, Heart has agreed to pay for the medical bills that you gathered after Corazon laid you out for a month. Plus, he’s agreed to pay for you cosmetic surgery to have that awful scar removed from your chest.
Curtis still seems a little adverse to the idea, but the wheels are turning in his head. He seems to get a little more used to the idea after every second he thinks on it. It also helps that Aimee is getting closer and closer to him, rubbing his shoulders intimately as he ponders this decision.
Style Warrior: I don’t know. I’m still not sure if this seems like the best move for me right now. I just don’t really see this a very Style Warrior move.
Aimee: But sweetheart. It would make me very happy to get that nasty old scar taken off of that perfectly chiseled chest of your’s. Don’t you want to make me happy, Style Warrior?
She leans in close to his ear and takes a small nibble on the lobe. Curtis balks for a second, but inevitably breaks down and agrees. After an exaggerated "Of course I do hun," she pounces on him in a large embrace, nearly knocking him from the bench.
Aimee: Good! I knew you’d see it my way! I’ve already cleared the way with Eddie. You will be granted the ability to name your challengers, and defend the title in the name of Mr. Heart. After, of course, your first defense. Mr. Eddie has decided that after his actions earlier tonight, it only makes sense that you would defend the title against Jonas Coleman at Reckoning Day. After that, we will be able to challenge anyone I wish to face off with you for the title!
Curtis seems clearly shocked at the idea that she would decide suck a thing without him knowing about it first. As she does on into detail about the particulars about the arrangement, Curtis tries to get a few words in edgewise. She scuttles about the locker room, finally focusing on his bag, attempting to pick out the tights that he will wear for the upcoming match.. Just before the screen cuts to black, Curtis can be seen trying to pry Aimee away from the bag with a confused look on his face.
Style Warrior: But baby…um. Had you planned on talking to me about any of this?
Aimee: I just did didn’t I?
The scene fades to black.
The plain white door with a scrap of paper sellotaped to it bearing the name "Ron Barker" is wide open, allowing Osbourne Kilminster a good view in as he halts just outside, in the corridor. Looking in, his eye is caught by the sight of a black tracksuit jacket hanging from one of the hooks on the wall. Frowning slightly, he steps in, rapping his knuckles lightly on the open door as he does so.
Osbourne Kilminster: Hey, man. You alright?
Smiling brightly, Ron Barker greets the viking and invites him inside.
Ron Barker: Well, well… where’ve you been hiding, man? Your phone been off? I wanted to tell you how that meeting went with the SHOOT Project Board of Directors. As you can see, it went fairly well. But it’s cool. I’m not mad at you for not showing. You had extenuating circumstances.
Osbourne Kilminster: My phone’s never switched off. Must have been some kind of… network problem, right? Jada said you stopped by the KQ, asking about me…
Ron Barker: Well, you know how it is… if one of your friends got jumped, heaven forbid even me… you’d want to call and see how they were doing, am I right? I suppose it’s all good. I mean, you’re here now. How are things, by the way? How’s the hand?
Ron Barker looks over the taped up hand of the man before him.
Osbourne Kilminster: I’m sure the irony isn’t lost on you that I bust my fist beating the Iron Fist Champion. All good though. A win’s a win…
Walking past Ron, Osbourne approaches the jacket on the peg and runs his left hand down it.
Osbourne Kilminster: Nice jacket, man. Does it come with matching pants?
Ron Barker: This old thing?
Ron hurriedly takes the jacket off the peg and throws towards his travel bag.
Ron Barker: Nah. I just wear it to keep comfortable. The air conditioning in this place can be brutal, ya know?
Raising an eyebrow, Osbourne looks over at the jacket as it lays atop the travel bag, his eyes unwavering from it as he addresses Ron.
Osbourne Kilminster: Yeah… Las Vegas is a little different to that half-French icy Hel you’re from, right?
Ron chuckles, paying no mind to Osbourne staring a hole into that black jacket.
Ron Barker: So what’s the story? Are you here to wish me luck or develop an interest in my fashion sense?
Slowly, Kilminster’s gaze turns to the man himself, the knuckles of his left hand cracking as he curls his fingers into a fist.
Osbourne Kilminster: You know… maybe a bit of both? First match back tonight, right?
Starting to feel like he’s being put on the defensive, Ron smirks.
Ron Barker: That it is, friend. That it is.
Taking his eyes off Ron, Osbourne scans every single square inch of the room within a matter of seconds before locking his eyes onto Ron’s again.
Osbourne Kilminster: So, you wanted me to help you out in a meeting to get you your job back, but got your job without me there… luckily… and get a match almost right away. That’s not bad going, is it?
Ron Barker: I guess the Gods were smiling on me, huh? But seriously. Let’s cut the bullshit. You’re asking a hell of a lot of questions and I’m starting to get curious as to why.
Osbourne Kilminster: I’ll bet you are.
The Englishman shakes his head slowly, his gaze still unwavering from Ron’s.
Osbourne Kilminster: How tall are you, man?
Ron Barker: What? What are you trying to get at?
Osbourne Kilminster: Oh, sorry… I forgot my yellow raincoat today, otherwise Id lay it all out for you! How about you tell me, Ron? How about you tell me what’s going on, huh?
Ron Barker: I honestly have no idea what you’re trying to get at, man. We can stand here and you can ask me silly questions all you’d like but I have a match I’m getting ready for. It’s great that you stopped by and it’s great that you’re doing well… but maybe you should go for a walk. Get some air or something.
Shaking his head, almost visibly trembling with rage, Osbourne steps in closer to Ron, looking up into his eyes, fearless.
Osbourne Kilminster: You’re a bit bigger than me, Ron, just like the guy who jumped me. You wear a black tracksuit, Ron, just like the guy who jumped me. You dont try calling me to ask how I am or even to tell me how your meeting went, Ron, because you already knew how I was and you never needed me at your meeting, did you?
Ron Barker: You don’t know what you’re talking about. I called at least a dozen times with no answer! I even went so far as to visit your wife in her club to ask how you were doing and even she wouldn’t tell me what was up. Coming in here and pointing that mangled finger to try and accuse me, your FRIEND, of attacking you? That’s ridiculous. I know you’re trying to find out who attacked you and believe me, I’ll be just as relieved as you when you find the bastard who did it… but to barge in here and say I did it? That’s just offensive.
The Englishman keeps his gaze fixed tight on Ron as he takes a step back, tilting his head as he looks into the eyes of his long-time friend-of-sorts, drawing a deep breath as he takes another step back toward the door, turning to exit before looking back over his shoulder.
Osbourne Kilminster: If I find out you’re lying…
Osbourne takes half a step forward and suddenly flies forward, face-first into the wall on the other side of the corridor! Ron leaps out from his locker room, buckling Osbourne’s knees with a kidney punch and flattening him on the cold, hard tiles with a big boot to the back of his head! Instinctively, Osbourne tries to get his feet under him to stand back up, but Ron leaps down, his left knee grinding into the small of his back and his right foot pressing down hard on Kilminster’s broken right hand.
Ron Barker: You know, Osbourne, I’m going to level with you. Of all the years you and I have been acquainted… I’ve never liked you. There’s just something about this ‘angry viking’ bullshit of yours that has always rubbed me the wrong way, ya know? You’re just so… thick-headed with all your Norse mythology nonsense. Had you any brains in that thick skull of yours, this all would have been very apparent from the start. I was going to come back into SHOOT Project with or without your help. This was all just a plot to amuse me.
Ron re-positions his weight on the hand as Osbourne screams in pain.
Ron Barker: Do you hear me? You’re a puppet, Osbourne. A puppet whose strings are so easily pulled for my own entertainment. Thankfully this charade is over. I don’t have go about pretending to give a fuck about you or your wife. I don’t need to lie and act like your friend anymore. This is it, Osbourne. The end of the road.
Ron laughs to himself.
Ron Barker: Now if you’ll excuse me… I have a match. See you around… "friend."
As soon as Ron’s weight shifts, Osbourne rolls onto his back and kips up onto his feet, drawing his left fist back, ready to fly right into the face of the Canadian but a security guard grabs Osbourne from behind as more security flood the corridor, jostling with Osbourne and Ron, creating an impenetrable human barrier between them!
Osbourne Kilminster: ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOON!
Trying to break free, with all his might, Osbourne manages to stagger forward three or four feet before more security guards jump on him and the sheer weight forces him down onto one knee, unable to move as he watches a laughing Barker strolls away, leisurely.
Osbourne Kilminster: ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON!
Samantha Coil: The following contest is scheduled for one fall! Introducing first!
“Natural One” by Folk Implosion comes over the airwaves, and the fans turn to the entrance ramp. A mixed reaction sounds, heavily leaning toward jeering as Ron Barker steps out from the back.
Samantha Coil: From Tornoto, Ontario, Canada. Weighing in at 280 pounds! “Ravishing” RONNNNNNNNNNNNN BARRRRRRRRRRKERRRRRRRRRRRRR!
Eryk Masters: I don’t think either of the guys in this match should be looking forward to a warm welcoming.
Other Guy: I’m sure it doesn’t bother them, either. They’re both pros…and they both know they’re dicks.
Ron Barker calmly makes his way down to the ring, he climbs up onto the ring apron and steps through the roof, throwing his arms out wide with a smirk, soaking up the mixed responses from the crowd as his music fades out.
I can almost taste it…
The lights drop and the fans begin to boo loudly, not a mixed reaction at all.
Eryk Masters: Here we go again…milking the entrance…
It makes no sense to me…
What does it all mean?!
A spotlight slowly comes to stop on the entrance ramp.
Other Guy: What are you complaining for? This is awesome!
I can almost taste it…
I can almost see it!
It makes no sense to me…
What does it all mean?!
I can almost taste it…
I just wanna be famous!
You dream of trading places
I have been changing faces
You can not fill these shoes
There is too much to lose
I wake up behind these trenches
You run around defenseless
There is too much to lose
You can not fill these shoes
I just wanna be famous but…
Be careful what you wish for…
As “Almost Famous” by Eminem (featuring Lisa Rodriguez) continues Cade Sydal steps through the curtain, with Cassi Ryan hand-in-hand. The couple walk to the top of the ramp and stand there for a moment, a microphone in Cassi’s hand. They start walking down the ramp, the music fading as they do, with Cassi rising the mic to her lips.
Cassi Ryan: I’ve got this covered, Samantha. We wouldn’t want you to mess this up.
Eryk Masters: Oh come on…
Cassi Ryan: Introducing his opponent, hailing from Southport, North Carolina! Standing five-nine and eight inches!
Other Guy: Haha! That’s great!
Eryk Masters: ….
Cassi Ryan: Weighing in at an absolutely perfect, ripped and chiseled…slim and sexy, 182 pounds! He is God’s Favorite Wrestler, the Teen idol! CAAAAAAAAAAAAAADE! He’ll knock you out just when you think it’s safe to blink! SYYYYYYDALLLLLLLLLLLLLL!
The couple finally make it to the ring as the introduction ends. Cade grins and kisses Cassi on the lips before swatting her on the ass, he slides under the bottom rope and quickly pushes off his knee to get to his feet, pointing both hands out at the crowd in mock-gun fashion.
Other Guy: Hey, do you think Cassi does introductions for Cade everywhere he goes? How cool would that be if your girlfriend did that for you?
Eryk Masters: Are you really trying to have this conversation with me when this match is about to start?
Other Guy: It was just a question, never mind. I can see you took your cranky pills today.
Eryk Masters: Sorry, just…that guy, he…irks me.
The bell sounds, and both men immediately begin to circle the ring, meeting in the middle with a lock up. Ron Barker uses his size to his advantage quickly, pulling Cade Sydal into a side headlock. Barker grinds down on Cade’s face with his forearm as he tightens the hold. Cade grabs Ron by the arm before snapping his hips toward him, whipping Barker over him in a sort of arm drag motion! Barker rolls and scrambles to get to his feet as Cade is effortlessly back to his feet almost instantly. Barker backs up a step instead of rushing in as Cade motions for the bigger man to bring it.
Other Guy: That was an amazing counter to the headlock from the man known the world over as many names, one of which is the Technical Messiah. And for good reason.
Eryk Masters: It was certainly interesting, but I don’t think Ron Barker is going to let himself get caught up playing to Cade’s strengths.
Barker points at his own head before starting to circle toward Cade again. The two come together to lock up again, and this time Cade ducks under the attempt and hooks Barker in a waistlock. Ron runs toward the ropes and grabs the top rope with both arms, using the recoil of the rope to spring his body back into Cade, sending him rolling backwards off of him. Cade rolls through to his feet just as Barker turns around and charges right into him with a shoulder tackle that sends him back down to the canvas!
Eryk Masters: It doesn’t hurt to have some strength of your own either!
Other Guy: Jeeze! The impact on that was almost ridiculous!
Barker hits the ropes to possibly look for more offense, but Cade quickly floats over to his belly as Barker rebounds off the ropes, looking to trip him but the big man jumps over! Cade pushes to his feet and runs behind Barker, swinging for a back elbow just as Ron comes back off the ropes! Ron ducks under the elbow attempt and grabs Cade by the other wrist, using it to turn himself and sends Cade off to the ropes instead! Cade handsprings quickly into the ropes and bounces his body off of them, landing back on his feet he leaps up and twists for a cross body! Barker catches him, though, and swings through the maneuver into a power slam, driving Cade down into the canvas!
Eryk Masters: Huge power slam, using Cade’s own momentum against him!
Other Guy: You’re not kidding when you say momentum either! That was sick!
Barker hooks Cade by the leg!
Cade throws his right arm into the air, getting his shoulder off the canvas emphatically as he turns to his own belly! Barker looks down at him with a little bit of a smirk of his own before he pulls the Teen Idol to his feet by his hair. Barker shoves Cade hard into a corner and rushes right in behind him, splashing into him against the turnbuckles with a big body avalanche!
Other Guy: Ohhhh! That’s gotta cave your chest in something fierce!
Eryk Masters: Your hero is in some serious trouble, there’s no doubt about that now. Ron Barker has come to fight!
Cade slumps down heavily from the weight of the attack as Ron backs up, smirking proudly at him. Ron grabs Cade by the wrist and pulls him out of the corner before sending him across the ring to the opposite corner. Barker hesitates before running at him, and it costs him as Cade swings his legs through the ropes and twists his body to get on the apron as Barker crashes into the turnbuckles with his own body! Barker starts stumbling out as Cade moves down the length of the rope and grabs the top rope with both hands, Cade springboards to the top and off, cutting right for Ron at an angle with a springboard spinning wheel kick! That catches him right in the mouth!
Other Guy: There! That was a game changer, mark my words!
Eryk Masters: Cade Sydal came out of the stratosphere to deliver that kick, wow!
Cade hold his own back as he moves toward Ron, pushing him onto his back he hooks both of Barker’s legs!
Barker kicks out, pushing Cade’s back off of his chest! Cade gets to his feet and pushes the hair out of his face, staring down at Barker with his head cocked to the side, smirking. Barker starts to push to his feet, and Cade explodes into action, dropkicking Barker in the shin, dropping him back down to his knees Cade hits the ropes to the side and rebounds back, diving low for a baseball-slide style dropkick to the side of Ron’s head, but Barker throws his left arm out, pushing the kicking legs out of the way as he turns his own body to avoid the kick! Cade crashes to his chest, and pushes up holding his ribs as Barker gets to his own feet as well!
Eryk Masters: That simple counter bought Barker some time to recollect his thoughts!
Other Guy: Well Cade needs to recollect his own thoughts and get back in the mix!
Ron meets Cade with a hard right that sends Cade reeling back, followed by another right, and then a third puts Cade against the ropes. Ron whips Cade off the ropes and swings hard for a clothesline on the rebound, but Cade catches the arm and swings his body through for a crucifix! Ron fights it as Cade tries to pull him backward, staying on his feet, Barker suddenly swings Cade’s legs off his arm and swings Sydal around his body, dropping to a knee he drives Cade down in front of him with a backbreaker out of the crucifix-pin position!
Eryk Masters: I don’t think that’s gonna happen, OG! That backbreaker was nasty!
Other Guy: You’re not kidding it was! But Cade can kick out, I know he can!
Cade kicks out! Barker looks into the eyes of Scott Kamura as he gets to his own feet, frustration showing clearly in his face. Barker says something that can’t be heard, but it’s clear its about the count as the official holds up two fingers once more and gestures with his shoulder that Cade kicked out. Barker shakes his head slowly and grabs Cade by his hair and pulls him back up to his feet, hooking him for a back suplex Barker lifts him up before spinning him through and dropping him across his knee with a backbreaker again, this time pushing down on Cade’s chin and knee in a sort of bow-lock!
Other Guy: Cade has a history of back problems, and this can’t be doing those nagging injuries any good!
Eryk Masters: Ron Barker knows that, too. He knows exactly what he needs to target if he’s going to pick up a victory against that little bastard.
Cassi Ryan starts slapping her hands on the canvas, trying to cheer her man on! It appears to work as Cade suddenly kicks his right leg up blidnly, scoring as it connects against Ron’s shoulder! Cade kicks up a second time, but Ron catches under the leg and adjusts his hand from Cade’s chin to under his head, pushing up to his feet he quickly throws Cade up and over his body with a HUGE fall away slam that sends Cade to the ropes!
Eryk Masters: Talk about your hang time!
Other Guy: …alright Cade, you’ve had your fun…now, uhh, stop…get serious…
Eryk Masters: You know he can’t hear you, right?
Other Guy: It’s the power of positive thinking, E!
Barker mockingly blows Cassi a kiss before he makes his way toward Cade and turns him over to his back, hooking a leg for a pin.
Cade kicks out wildly, both arms come off the canvas in a wave-motion! Barker slaps the canvas and looks at the ref, getting up to confront him personally, he begins to shout in his face! Cade slowly starts to push to his own feet as Barker and Scott Kamura continue to argue, Cade quickly slides up behind Ron, rolling him up from behind with a schoolboy!
Barker kicks out and Cade quickly scrambles to his feet just to be met with a boot from Barker to the gut! Ron sends Cade off the ropes and ducks down for a back body drop, but Cade grabs Barker’s body and turns through the attempt with a sort of cartwheel, landing on his feet behind Barker he locks in a waistlock and rolls backward quickly for an O’Connor Roll!
Other Guy: Whoa! There ya go! Positive thinking!
Barker kicks out quickly again before Cade can bridge back, sending Cade into the ropes chest first! Cade bounces back as Barker gets to his feet quickly. But Cade backflips, connecting with a Pele Kick to the top of Ron’s head!
Eryk Masters: That kick looks like it knocked Ron Barker out!
Other Guy: I think Cade just reacted on instinct, he doesn’t look like he’s all-there right now either!
Cade slowly turns his body, holding his lower back with his left arm as he uses his right to crawl toward Barker, pushing him over onto his back, Cade hooks a leg!
Barker kicks out, and some fans in the Epicenter cheer out loudly! Cade’s eyes bug out wildly as he looks at the official! He shakes his head slowly and pushes to his feet, he stomps down hard on Barker’s chest, keeping him down on the ground before he stands over him. Cade sneers into the camera before hitting the ropes to the left. He rebounds off and leaps over Barker in the middle of the ring and rebounds off the other ropes, coming back he jumnps into the air with a running Shooting Star Press, right across Ron’s chest! Cade pushes up on one hand, using the other hand to count along!
Other Guy: Haha! It’s like the People’s Shooting Star!
Eryk Masters: Oh please…don’t be stupid and give him any ideas…
Barker kicks out, even though Cade’s count-along reaches three! Cade slaps his hands against the canvas and holds his own three fingers in the official’s face as they both get to their feet. Scott Kamura shows Cade only two fingers.
Eryk Masters: What does he expect? He didn’t exactly cover him with any real pressure…
Barker slowly starts to push to his feet, slowly shaking the cobwebs out.
Other Guy: Cade, turn around!
As if he can, in fact, hear him, Cade does turn around and spots Ron Barker. Sydal swings a high roundhouse for Barker, but Ron ducks under it! Cade spins full circle and as Ron straightens up, Barker catches him with the full momentum of the missed kick and swings him around with his version of the Black Hole Slam!
Eryk Masters: Perfection!
Other Guy: No!
The cheers in the Epicenter become deafening! Barker hooks Cade’s leg, but suddenly Cassi Ryan jumps up onto the apron! Scott Kamura moves toward her as she starts to come through the ropes!
Eryk Masters: Did you see that?
Other Guy: See what? I see that fine ass…
Eryk Masters: Stop that! I mean that…thing Cassi threw in the ring!
Other Guy: You’re paranoid! She’s an angel!
As the commentators argue, Scott Kamura starts shouting at Cassi, but Cassi continues to resist! Barker has Cade covered, but with no referee to count he eventually gives up and gets to his feet to turn around and see what’s going on. He points at Cassi, and now with Ron arguing with Cassi, the official’s job becomes even more difficult!
Eryk Masters: Barker just needs to keep his eyes on Cade, and allow the official to take care of Cassi!
Other Guy: Can you blame him for paying attention to her, though? I mean, really?
Suddenly Cade grabs Barker by the arm and whips him around. Barker turns right into a spray of blue mist, right in his face! Barker claws at his eyes, just as Cade turns his body and launches his foot backward with a reverse roundhouse, catching Ron right in the face!
Eryk Masters: That! That’s what she threw in!
Other Guy: Don’t be silly, Cade’s just channeling his oriental experience!
Cassi puts her hands up, suddenly done arguing with Scott Kamura she gets out of the ring and back on the ground. The referee turns around as Cade has Barker covered, lying with most of his weight covering Barker’s face!
The bell sounds again and Cade pushes up slowly to his feet, grinning. He points at his wrist as “Almost Famous” by Eminem starts up once more.
Samantha Coil: Here is your winner, at a time of 27 minutes and 18 seconds! CAAAAAAAAAAAADE SYYYYYDALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!
Scott Kamura slowly raises Cade’s hand in the air, before Cade pulls his arm free of the referee’s grasp and rolls out of the ring. Still grinning Cade moves toward Samantha Coil and waves for her to get out of her seat. She reluctantly does so, and he quickly takes the chair she was sitting on, snapping it closed before he snatches the microphone from her hand.
Eryk Masters: Oh come on! You already won!
Other Guy: In brilliant fashion. And now he’s clearly got something to say, so shhhhh!
The fans begin to boo loudly as the music is cut. Cade hands the microphone to Cassi, and with a smile he tells her to hold onto it. He slides under the bottom rope with the chair in hand and glides to his feet, like a snake rising up to strike he raises the chair in the air, watching as Ron Barker begins to stir.
Eryk Masters: Okay, Cade. You made your point…you can leave now!
Other Guy: Don’t be ridiculous! The fun stuff has just begun!
Barker wipes at his face with one hand, as he pushes himself up with the other, wiping the mist away from his eyes. He continues getting to his feet as Cade grins broadly behind him, the chair high in the air in both hands. The Epicenter boos, some even try to shout warnings to Ron, but they appear to fall on deaf ears as Ron Barker turns around! Cade steps toward him and swings for the fences, swinging for his head!
Eryk Masters: Cade almost took Ron’s head off!
Cade turns around and Barker kicks him in the stomach, causing him to drop the chair as he doubles over in sudden pain.
Other Guy: Almost being the key word, because even when he tried to duck it he only just barely did!
Barker punches Cade hard in the side of the head, sending him tumbling sidelong. Cade quickly gets back to his feet and Ron rushes at him, swinging a clothesline! Cade ducks under the clothesline attempt and rolls forward, grabbing the chair up in his hands as he propels himself to his feet. Barker turns around and runs toward Cade as Cade turns around and swings with all his might!
Other Guy: HOLY SHIT!
Eryk Masters: That one did it!
The chair dents under the pressure as Ron collapses to the canvas, Cade having swung so hard he falls onto his own chest! He pushes back to his feet, holding the heavily dented chair in his right hand, he grins down at the lifeless body of Ron Barker. Cade takes the chair and places it on Ron’s chest before walking to Cassi Ryan and reaching out for the microphone.
Cade Sydal: Thanks baby for telling me he was there. You’re a real doll. Muah.
He blows a kiss to Cassi before stepping through the ropes and starts climbing to the top rope.
Cade Sydal: Now, Daniel-San. I hope you’ve been watching, because tonight is a very…very valuable lesson for you.
Cade makes it to the top rope and grins before suddenly leaping off the top and tucking his knees up high to his chest! He quickly extends them as he gets close to landing on Barker, crushing the chair into his chest with a SICK double stomp into the chair, driving the steel into Barker’s chest! Cade somersaults forward, absorbing as much of the impact on his own legs as he can, he makes it to his feet and bows to the chorus of jeers!
Eryk Masters: Oh my God…
Other Guy: You mean your heart isn’t peeing?
Eryk Masters: Cade could have broken every rib in Ron Barker’s body!
Other Guy: And that doesn’t excite you?!
Cade slowly rises the microphone to his lips as he slowly pushes the chair off of Barker’s convulsing body, pressing his chest to Ron’s.
Cade Sydal: One.
Cade slowly slaps his free hand against the canvas.
Cade Sydal: Dos.
Cade slaps his hand against the canvas again, ridiculously slow.
Cade Sydal: I…I…I
Cade slaps his hand down a third time.
Other Guy: Huh?
Eryk Masters: I think he was saying the Roman numeral three.
Other Guy: Oh. That makes sense then.
Cade slowly pushes off of Ron and grabs the chair again, he slowly unfolds it and sits it down, sitting in it he looks to Scott Kamura.
Cade Sydal: You can help him out of here now. I’m done with him. Because you see…
He turns to look into the camera, as Scott Kamura finally slides back into the ring, now knowing he won’t be at risk any longer, he starts to check on Barker. He motions to a pair of ringside anonymous crew members, likely technicians. The other two get in the ring and begin to help Scott get the battered Barker out of the ring as Cade continues to talk.
Cade Sydal: I want to talk to you, Don Stooge. That right there? That broken body is a real-life effigy. A symbol of what you get to look forward to at Reckoning Day when I turn my violent attention to you. What I did with one. Fucking. Shot to Ron Barker’s head…
Eryk Masters: Where did he learn to count?
Cade Sydal: I will do to you repeatedly. What I did with one chair, I am going to do to you with four! And when I’ve had my fun? When I finally decide to show you some mercy?
Cade Sydal: Well, I guess I’ll have to pin you once…but not twice. No, not yet. See, because the second fall in our Teen Idol Deathmatch?
Cade stops, as a small chant starts to break out, catching his attention. It slowly gets louder.
SHUT THE FUCK UP! *clap clap clapclapclap* SHUT THE FUCK UP! *clap clap clapclapclap* SHUT THE FUCK UP! *clap clap clapclapclap*
Cade Sydal: That’s cute. And original. Why don’t you go back to your little smark hideout and tell all your little e-pals how you “totally pwned” me with that, while the gronups have a conversation, alright?
Cade accentuates his point with a tilt of his head and a cheesy grin, even going so far as to flash a thumbs up before rolling his eyes and looking back at the camera.
Cade Sydal: Aaaanyway, as I was saying Darren Starless. In the second fall, the fun will have been over…and then it will be time to get down to business. And that business will be the complete and utter destru–
Suddenly Cade is interrupted as the fans begin to cheer in the crowd! Cade gets out of the chair and looks over at Cassi who’s shouting something at him!
Other Guy: Cade, look out!
Cade turns around as Cassi points behind him, just as Dan Stein has slid into the ring, having jumped over the barricade! Stein tackles Cade down to the canvas and starts wailing on him with punches! Cade pushes Stein off of him as the fans continue cheering loudly! Stein rushes at Cade again, but Cade moves out of the way, grabbing Dan b the back of his head he pushes him through the ropes! Stein grabs the middle rope and swings his body through, landing on the apron as Cade turns around, smirking and pointing at his own head.
Eryk Masters: I wouldn’t be too sure about that there, “genius.”
Cade turns back around, but turns right as Dan stein springboards off the top rope and launches himself right into Cade!
Eryk Masters: The Lights!
Stein drives his foot into the side of Cade’s head, dropping him in the middle of the ring! Stein gets back to his feet after delivering The Lights and tears his shirt off, throwing it out into the crowd, eliciting even more, and LOUDER, cheers!
Other Guy: He’s like a man possessed! Someone’s gotta get in there and stop him from doing something stupid!
Stein slides out of the ring as Cassi Ryan rolls under the bottom rope and rushes to Cade’s side. Stein grins on the ramp, waving his hand as he backs his way up it.
Eryk Masters: Stein had enough of listening to Cade tell him what he was going to do to him, and decided actions speak louder than words!
Other Guy: Just wait until Cade wakes up, and we’ll see who’s actions speak louder! I’m telling you, he’s gonna be PISSED!
We cut backstage where an irate Azrael Goeren is storming through the Epicenter’s hallways, pushing crew members out of his way. He’s still dressed in his ring gear from earlier and moving frantically towards Sovereign’s dressing room. A young intern is holding a clipboard by the door, but she is quickly shoved hard to the ground.
Azrael Goeren: FUCKING MOVE!
Azrael opens the large mahogany door and slams it shut behind him, as the camera reveals Donovan King sitting in one of the padded chairs, a roll of black tape in his hands as he finishes taping his wrist.
Azrael Goeren: WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT BULLSHIT OUT THERE KING!? DID YOU KNOW HE WAS HERE!?
King throws his hood back, eyes locked with the German.
Donovan King: You best back the fuck UP, son, lest you find yourself KTFO, feel me?
Eddie E., who rips open the door shortly after Goeren did, slams it shut and shoves King back off of Goeren.
Eddie E.: God DAMN it, people, FOCUS. You fucking people…both of you.
Azrael Goeren: What about you, Eddie? Did YOU know?
Donovan King: Yeah, Eddie, you know what Mein Fuhrer’s talkin’ about?
Eddie glares at King.
Eddie E.: I had heard rumblings. If I can help it, that stupid son of a bitch won’t be on this roster for long, regardless of if he’s made it into the locker room.
Donovan King: Nah, Eddie, I say sign Rocky Stellar. Had to have gotten some kind of contract already, right?
Eddie E.: Shut the fuck up, Donovan.
Azrael Goeren: Eddie, listen. I know you didn’t know Rocky Stellar’s plans to ruin my good time, I can’t be mad at you. All these concerns you’ve had about King and his recent issues…
King shoves Eddie aside and is back in Goeren’s face.
Donovan King: MY recent issues, son? You wanna feel my issues firsthand, bitch?!
Eddie shoves King away.
Eddie E.: Goddamn it, King, take a fucking walk.
King continues to glare at Azrael.
Eddie E.: NOW, Donovan.
King grits his teeth and points at Goeren as he backs out of the room, throwing his hood back over his head. Goeren shakes his head slightly, straightening himself up.
Azrael Goeren: So sad. Truly, a talented boy…just haunted by those demons of mediocrity…
Eddie E.: Listen, Azrael. I know you’re hating what this bastard did to you. I’ve got a lot on my plate as it is. Work has been hectic and I can’t keep dealing with every single aspect of this on my own. Rocky Stellar…he was a slip through the cracks, you understand?
Goeren nods solemnly.
Eddie E.: Tell you what, Azrael. What if I gave you the ability to look over the roster, make cuts for people coming in, let people in, what have you?
Azrael Goeren: I get to fire people?
Eddie laughs uneasily.
Eddie E.: Well…do you WANT that?
Goeren holds his hands up.
Azrael Goeren: Oh no no no! Absolute power corrupts absolutely and all that. No…but being able to pick and choose who gets to come in?
Azrael Goeren: I certainly do like the sound of that.
Eddie E.: Perfect! I’ll have the papers drawn up immediately. If you’ll excuse me, I need to get out there to the ring, I’ll go ahead and make sure the papers are ready for you, alright?
Eddie and Goeren shake hands.
Azrael Goeren: Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.
Eddie smiles and opens the door, exiting the locker room. Azrael follows behind him. He watches Eddie leave down the hall way and calmly closes the door behind him, stepping out into the Epicenter hallways once more. His eyes peer back at the dressing room door with disdain before he pushes a button on his touch screen phone and quickly brings it to his ear.
Azrael Goeren: It’s me, I…
Azrael throws his free hand up into the air.
Azrael Goeren: You saw it all then? How in the hell did this happen without us knowing? Without you knowing!?
Azrael closes his eyes and takes a deep breath, walking away from the dressing room door for more privacy.
Azrael Goeren: What’s done is done my friend, we have to make the best of this situation. The Board of Directors are clearly becoming more of a problem than I anticipated, but we’ll deal with them later. If there is a positive out of this clusterfuck, it’s that I spoke to Eddie and I was granted power over roster management from him because of this fiasco.
Azrael grins broadly, looking content for the first time since Stellar’s debut.
Azrael Goeren: Exactly. It’s time to move the timeframe for our little project up, turns out we don’t have the luxury of waiting any longer. How soon can you get here?
Azrael’s eyebrows raise.
Azrael Goeren: Fuck, you’re that close? You crazy bastard…well then I guess I’ll see you…later tonight.
Azrael lets out a deep, bellowing laugh before he turns the corner and walks off-camera before we slowly fade to black.
Who said any of you get a taste, stupid?
The lights in the Epicenter go down, throwing the arena into blackness before quickly fading back up and bathing the crowd in a gold yellow hue.
Then, from out of the back, a hooded figure appears at the top of the rampway, head bowed.
Do you ever wanna get up all in your face?
You better take it
The man raises one fist into the air to a chorus of cheers as he turns toward the back and takes a step backward, letting a slightly taller man dressed in a black trench coat and skull mask step forward, the Iron Fist Championship in one gloved hand and a… sledgehammer in the other.
The Ox turns and begins to walk toward the ring, closely followed by the man known as Tyr.
And nothin’ you can do could make me ever go away
Ox and Tyr make their way toward the ring as the crowd struggles to gain positioning to see everything going on.
Eryk Masters:What do you suppose these two are doing out here OG?
Other Guy:Something nefarious no doubt… another attempt to destabilize this company.
Eryk Masters:You can’t be serious.
Other Guy:Why wouldn’t I be? Ox attempted to sabotage the main event at the last show and Tyr… I just don’t trust him. Mostly because I don’t know who the fuck he is. I mean, you’ve got UK Dragon, Purple Haze, and now Tyr… and this other guy people are calling “Old School” I mean – I’m all for a little mystery and intrigue; I mean, I’ve been known to go for Thousand Island dressing instead of my normal Blu Cheese from time to time. But this is just too much.
Eryk Masters:Celebrating Thanksgiving alone again I take it?
Other Guy:How’d you guess?
Lennox Ferguson stands in the middle of the ring, pushing back the hood of his sweatshirt, and looking around the arena. He is handed a microphone from Tyr, who had grabbed one from ringside and holds up his hand, letting the noise subside.
Ox: The last time I stood in this ring it was opposite members of The Sovereign who had, once again, decided to interfere in another match and their defacto leader, Donovan King, decided to put my friend here down with a Dealbreaker.
The fans boo furiously but Ferguson holds up his hand to hush them.
Ox: Hey. If Donovan King wants to play it that way – then his chickens will come home to roost sooner rather than later. And besides, while physical intimidation might have swayed others, like a certain clown…
The mention of Jester Smiles sends the crowd into a fury of boos and Lennox can’t help but crack a smile.
Ox: …it hasn’t stopped me. It hasn’t stopped US.
Ox turns and faces Tyr, who, to this point, has simply been standing in the ring, the Iron Fist Championship at his feet and sledgehammer loosely hanging in his hand.
Ox: And I must apologize… you all haven’t been properly introduced. Everybody… this is Tyr. Tyr, this is everybody.
The masked man lifts his free hand and makes a two-fingered salute to the crowd.
Eryk Masters:Well, at least he’s not as menacing as he seemed to be initially…
Ox: After the incident, we are not deterred in our mission to bring integrity and a sense of sportsmanship back to SHOOT Project. However… we do differ slightly in our approaches.
Lennox Ferguson smirks as he turns to Tyr who, with one hand, swings the sledgehammer upward and then brings the head of the mallet down into his free hand while Lennox Ferguson walks over to the Iron Fist Championship and lifts it up onto his shoulder.
Ox: To prove how serious I am… I am opening up a challenge to any former Iron Fist Champions to take me on for my belt at Reckoning Day.
The fans roar in approval.
Other Guy: Wait… that would mean…
Ox: Yes, that means that I will take on anyone from Cade Sydal… to Dan Stein… to even Adrian Corazon… maybe even Kenji Yamada will make an appearance.
The fans absolutely lose it at that mention but Ox holds up his hand.
Ox: As long as you’re a former Iron Fist Champion, I will defend my belt against you. And this isn’t just a first-come, first-serve kind of deal – I will face as many people as want to take me on. If it needs to a be a six-man brawl, then that’s what it’ll fuckin’ take.
The fans roar in approval and begin to chant Ox’s name.
OX! OX! OX! OX! OX!
Ox looks over towards the crowd.
Ox: My only condition… is that the match represents what it means to me to be an Iron Fist Champion. To be a champion for the fans. Therefore, THIS Iron Fist match will be an Irish-style, bare-knuckle boxing match and you, the fans, will ensure that the fight isn’t over until someone gets knocked the fuck OUT because the fight won’t be in this ring… it’ll be in the stands.
The fans shout out in excitement.
IRON FIST! IRON FIST! IRON FIST!
Ox: And my friend Tyr here, and his friend the sledgehammer… will be the bouncer to make sure no one interrupts the fight.
Because, God dammit, you deserve a TRUE championship fight at Reckoning Day and, as YOUR champion, I’m going to make sure you get it.
Ox looks around the crowd and lifts his head.
Ox: Now THAT’s what I call entertainment.
Ox and Tyr raise their free fists up into the air as “Lights Out” by Mindless Self Indulgence blares through the speakers and begin to exit the ring.
Eryk Masters: What an announcement from the champion! With only two weeks until the pay-per-view, who will take up the challenge!?
Other Guy: I’m hoping every single person he mentioned comes after him. Someone needs to shut that idiot up. What better way for that to happen than on the ass-end of a three-on-one ass kicking from Adrian Corazon, Dan Stein, and Cade Sydal.
Eryk Masters: What about Kenji Yamada, the former Iron Fist superstar? What about Osbourne Kilminster? Or hell, even Ben Jackman, who’s been rumored to be the man behind this “Old School” character. The Iron Fist Champion has nearly a 10-year history and ANY of the former champions could come in if they wanted. This is HUGE!
Other Guy: Like I said… he’s an idiot.
Cut to the back, where Dan Stein is walking to his locker room with a smile on his face. Stein looks at the locker room door and notices the slight opening. Smirking to himself, Stein pushes the door open to see Dutch Harris standing with a microphone.
Dan Stein: Should have known. Abigail doesn’t let herself into locker rooms, and the only person with a beef with me is lying on a table right now wondering when they let people put anvils in their shoes.
Dutch smirks to himself.
Dutch Harris: Ladies and Gentlemen, Dan Stein.
Stein looks at the camera, waving sweetly.
Dutch Harris: Dan, with Reckoning Day on the horizon and your match with Cade Sydal being one of the most discussed matches, what was your motive behind the attack on Cade Sydal tonight?
Stein looks at Dutch, wiping his lip as he smirks.
Dan Stein: Oh, come on. Like you don’t know why people go out there and do things like that? What Cade did tonight was a message. A message to everyone that’s ever been there for him, ever done anything for him, and ever thought of him like a hero. What Cade did out there tonight, the way he attacked Ron Barker before the match, the way he dismantled him? That was Cade spitting in the face of everyone that ever thought they knew him.
Stein looks at Dutch, then to the camera.
Dan Stein: What I did out there tonight was a message, to everyone that has ever doubted me, ever looked down on me, ever talked shit about me. That was a message to everyone that thought I was done, over the hill, broken. That was a message to Cade. That was me, spitting in those people’s faces. Because I’m tired of people thinking I’m weak. And more than that?
Stein looks away again.
Dan Stein: I couldn’t think of a better person to be the last recipient of The Lights in the middle of a SHOOT Project ring.
Stein looks at Dutch again, smirking.
Dutch Harris: Thanks, Dan.
For the second time in a night, the opening guitar rift of "Had Enough" by Breaking Benjamin rips the Epicenter. This time is much different than last time, as the crowd makes a dull, and most likely adrenaline built pop in response. The curtains fly up, and again, for the SECOND TIME, The Dexecutioner emerges from the back. His demeanor his certainly more different this time, as his emotions seem to feed off the little bit of love the crowd is showing him.
Eryk Masters: Well, all I can say is, for one night I thought we had seen enough from Dexter.
The Other Guy: Low and behold, if we haven’t seen enough yet, Dexter is going to make sure we’re sick of him by the end of the night.
Dex hustles down to the ring, sporting the same SHOOT Project hoodie and blue jeans as earlier in the night. He moves around the ring, slaps a few hands, and snatches a mic from a ring assistant only an instant before he slides beneath the bottom rope. Wasting very little time, he speaks into the mic, loud enough to drown the crowd out and cause the fans in the Epicenter to hush.
The Dexecutioner: You know, earlier this evening, I came out here and I promised I would earn your redemption for the things I’ve done to the SHOOT Project, to this sport, and to myself… I promised all of you I would be better. Better for the sport, better for the company, better for the fans, and better for myself.
Dex pauses, taking a second to take a deep breath before continuing.
The Dexecutioner: I made the announcement of my return to the ring, my return to the SHOOT Project. I proceeded to go back to the locker room, and was just about to make my way out of the arena… When something happened. Some-ONE happened.
The Iron Fist Champion.
The crowd gives a satisfactory pop, and dies down.
The Dexecutioner: Now here is a guy who is doing it right by the company. Here is a man, who is doing it right by you, the fans. HERE is a MAN who is doing it right by HIMSELF. It was almost as if… as if… as IF the man unlocked the doors and turned off the security system to HIS HOUSE for me… Because make NO DOUBT about it, the Iron Fist champions house… is this ring right here. It’s this arena all around me. It’s this company. It is the epitome of what the SHOOT Project STANDS FOR! The Iron Fist championship was FOUNDED. RIGHT. HERE. In the SHOOT Project. The Iron Fist championship has given birth to some of the best damn competitors ever to step through that curtain.
Dex points out to the curtain above the ramp.
Eryk Masters: That’s right! Dex IS a former Iron Fist champion!
The Other Guy: You damn right he is!
The Dexecutioner: Ox, I know you are listening, man. I know, because I have BEEN YOU BEFORE. I have been that guy who had a championship, and just wanted to make it better than ANY… THING… ELSE! I have been that guy who walked center stage, laid it all on the line, and said… JUST FUCKIN’ BRING IT!
The crowd pops alive, they seem to be riding Dexter’s momentum now.
The Dexecutioner: I respect that. I respect the fact that you had the audacity to stand out here, and mention former Iron Fist Champions… And, heh… LEAVE ME OUT.
Who did you mention? Kenji Yamada..? Dan Stein..? Cade Sydal..? Yeah man, I can respect you for leaving me out… Honestly, I can. You’re right to leave me out. Because well, who am I, right? What the hell have I done that has EVER been worth a shit?
I Disgraced that championship you have on your shoulder, and well… to that, all I can say is one thing… Sometimes, even when you least expect it…
Redemption can be found in the doors you never thought you left open.
I accept your challenge. Iron Fist Championship. Irish bareknuckle boxing. Your chosen match enforcer. His sledgehammer. My redemption. All of THAT, with the two of us jammed somewhere in-between.
See you then.
Eryk Masters: Former Iron Fist Champion, and a man who returned just TONIGHT, Mike Dexter has answered the open challenge. Will anyone else step forward to answer the call?
The Other Guy: I don’t know, but if Tyr and Ox want to make a dent in the restoration of Integrity and sportsmanship in SHOOT, the Mike Dexter is certainly a good start.
Breaking Benjamin takes over the PA again, as Dex drops to the mat neat the ropes and rolls out, making his way to the top of the ramp. He turns his back, takes one last look at the ring, and tosses the mic out to a pursuing SHOOT Project ring assistant before disappearing behind the curtain again.
The fans are growing more and more excited as the cage is lowered down onto the ring. Various referees and road agents are hooking it to the ring as, suddenly, “Release Yo Delf (Prodigy Remix)” by Method Man plays, bringing the fans to boo. The camera focuses up to the ramp as out from the back, Eddie E. steps out. The fans are booing ridiculously loud as Eddie scoffs at them. He has a white towel wrapped around the back of his neck.
Eryk Masters: What does he want?
Eddie walks past the ring, slapping Tony Lorenzo on the back. The camera catches Lorenzo brushing Eddie’s disgusting touch off as Eddie stands in front of Eryk Masters and Other Guy’s announce table. He orders Samantha Coil to the back and takes her seat. He slowly pulls a headset over his head, grinning at the two Revolution announcers as he does so.
Other Guy: Hi there, bitc…I mean, BOSS.
Eddie E.: Ah, you’re a riot, OG. How’s that Other Side column blog thing going, by the way?
Other Guy: Swimmingly.
Eryk Masters: Might we inquire as to why you’re here?
Eddie takes a microphone from Mark Kendrick and brings his headphones off of his ears. “Release Yo Delf” dies down and Eddie stands up, glaring at the booing masses.
Eddie E.: Ladies and gentlemen…normally, I would remain in my office and watch this event…but tonight is different. Tonight, ladies and gentlemen…marks the beginning of the end for the Soldiers of SHOOT Project. Tonight…here in Las Vegas, we have ourselves…WAR GAMES.
Eddie E.: Rules are simple. Two teams of four enter this single ring with this cage. There are no pins, no submissions…for tonight, there are no KOs, either. The only way for someone to lose this match is for your corner man to throw in…the towel. The match can only be ended once the final member of the team gets to the ring.
Eddie holds up his towel.
Eddie E.: As you can probably guess…given Azrael Goeren’s recent issue, I’ve decided I am the best candidate to serve as Sovereign’s representative!
Eryk Masters: I shudder to think who is the Soldiers’ corner guy.
Eddie E.: And the Soldiers? Well…I’ve invited a special friend to watch as the Soldiers are brutally broken. He can’t take part, he can only throw in his towel. So…if you would?
WHO THE HELL SAID ANY OF YOU GET A TASTE, STUPID?!
Other Guy: WHAT?!
“Lights Out” by Mindless Self Indulgence plays as SHOOT Project Iron Fist Champion Lennox ‘The Ox’ Ferguson steps out from the back. He is in street clothes, his title safely locked away in the back. The white towel rests on his head as he walks down to the ring side area. He stands near where Eddie E. is standing and glares dead ahead, the fans cheering LOUDLY for the newly self proclaimed Hero of SHOOT Project.
Eddie E.: How you doin’, Ox?
Ox says nothing, opting to stare at the entrance. Eddie takes a seat, laughing and brushing off Ox as he picks the headset up again.
Eryk Masters: So which team got the coin toss?
Eddie E.: I made the decisions on who went where and whatnot, Eryk, not some stupid coin toss.
The fans boo loudly as the arena goes green.
I’M LIVIN’ IN THAT TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
DOIN’ SOMETHIN’ MEAN TO IT
DO IT BETTER THAN ANYBODY YOU EVER SEEN DO IT
SCREAMS FROM THE HATERS
GOT A NICE RING TO IT
I GUESS EVERY SUPERHERO NEED HIS THEME MUSIC
“POWER” by Kanye West BLARES over the PA system as out from the back comes Donovan King. He glares down to the ring, hood over his head. The fans are booing rather mercilessly, though the camera manages to spot a “AZBREAKER” poster with a cut out photo of King on it. King points out to a few fans as he nods his head. He looks at Eddie and Ox, nodding his head to the two of them. He enters the ring and leans against the ropes. He rips his hood off and hands the unzipped sweatshirt to Tony Lorenzo to throw outside. “POWER” dies down as King stretches. He looks up to the cage and nods his head once again.
What are you thinking about?
The fans ERUPT as SINNOCENCE appears at the entrance. The camera cuts to King, who is glaring her down. She smirks, no entrance gear on her as she storms down to the ringside area. She slaps a few hands before she pounds fists with Ox.
Eddie E.: Oh get in the ring, you filthy mongrel of a woman.
Sinnocence enters the cage and grins from ear to ear as King bounces from one foot to the other. Tony Lorenzo calls for the bell and the match is on!
Eryk Masters: We’re starting off tonight with Donovan King versus Sinnocence!
Eddie E.: That harlot has to last five minutes alone with King before the next contestant rears his head!
Other Guy: So hey wait…is it a Soldier or is it Sovereign?
Eddie grins to himself as King and Sinn circle one another. Quickly, Sinn goes for the tie up, but King sprawls over her, shoves her to the mat and backs off of her. She gets up popping her neck from side to side as King continues to maintain a wrestling stance. She dives in for a leg and King instinctively sprawls over her…and she LOW BLOWS him. King calls out in pain as the fans POP! Sinn rolls out from underneath King and straddles him, peppering his head with HARD rights and lefts!
Eryk Masters: This feels like an MMA bout with Sinnocence quickly taking the fight to King with HARD shots to the head!
Other Guy: Take it from me, Eryk, those punches are actually pretty easy to shrug off.
Eryk Masters: Before this turns into a two on one insult fest against Sinnocence, I’d like to remind everyone watching at home what this woman has gone through thanks to Sovereign. From threatening her son, to fighting her husband, she’s YET to get her hands on these guys in any substantial way like she can tonight!
King rolls her over onto her back and elbows her in the face, dazing her just long enough for King to sprawls over her and quickly picking her head up and slamming it back down onto the mat! He picks it up and brings it down again and again and again and again! She holds her head as King is up, pacing the ring as he beats his chest in defiance!
Eddie E.: There’s a reason I chose that man as my Champion! He is SHOOT Project!
King looks at Sinn as she picks herself up to her feet. King quickly hooks her up in a collar and elbow tie up, but Sinn ducks underneath and jumps up, hooking King’s head up in a sleeper hold! She tries to grapevine her legs around King, but King hooks her head up and counters with a jawbreaker! Sinn cradles her head as King gets up off of the mat, bounces off the ropes and SLAMS his boot into her head! Sinn holds her head as King takes the moment to hold his genitals from the shot from before.
Eryk Masters: King seems to be trying to stretch his time out until what is obviously going to give him a two on one advantage once the third member of this match comes out here.
King walks over to Ox and stares at Ox through the fence of the cage. The two of them lock eyes for a long time…maybe too long as Sinnocence slinks up next to King and hits him with a Side Russian Leg Sweep! King lands HARD on the mat as Sinnocence jumps to the middle rope and hits a moonsault press!
Sinnocence stands up, looking back to the entrance.
King holds his midsection, looking to the entrance with a grin on his face.
BUT AT WHAT COST?
The alarm SOUNDS as “Combat” by RZA & P. Dot plays, bringing the fans to their feet!
Eryk Masters: Wow…you really have it in for Donovan King, don’t you?
Eddie E.: King is the best in the game today, Eryk. Why wouldn’t I want to see him handle these two nobodies?
THOMAS MANCHESTER BLACK steps out from the back and STORMS down to the ring, baseball bat in hand! He rushes down to the ringside area and slides into the open cage door. Black and Sinnocence slap hands as the fans are LOVING this! King picks himself up at the corner and looks at Eddie with the look of sheer death. Black points at King with the bat as Sinnocence is laughing maniacally. King sighs as Black charges him!
Other Guy: Oh this is SO not gonna be good for King!
Black swings the bat, but King ducks under the bat swing and SLAMS Sinn down with a flying shoulder tackle! King gets back up and grabs a hold of Black’s bat and the two of them become locked in a tug of war with the bat! Black begins to jaw at King, cursing at him and screaming at him while King maintains his focus. Sinn is behind him and claws at King’s eyes! King calls out in pain as Black RAMS the bat into King’s midsection! King collapses to his knees and sees Black aiming the bat at his head, and he uses just enough of his wherewithal to drop to his back and DUCK the bat shot! Right as he drops to his back, Sinn drops her knee to his head!
Eryk Masters: King is doing all he can to try and stop this two on one onslaught. Why would you put your guy through this, Eddie?
Eddie E.: I told you, Eryk. He’s the BEST. Right?
Black slowly picks King up and whips King into the ropes, but King counters and sends Black into the ropes, just in time for Sinn to dropkick King from behind! King staggers forward, Black catches him on the return…CHIN CHECK! King is FLATTENED by the CHIN CHECK! Black gets up, flexing his arm that he just obliterated King with, and he hands Sinnocence the bat! The fans are marking out as Sinn holds the bat high, screaming for the fans to pay close attention to what’s about to happen to King! Black locks King up in an Indian Deathlock!
Other Guy: King’s locked up for the Queen City Stomp!
Black uses his move to hold King’s head high in the air, right in the place for Sinn’s perfectly matched bat shot would take King’s head clean off!
Black gets Sinn’s attention, she cocks and aims…
“Sleep Is Wrong” by Sleepytime Gorilla Museum plays, and the fans boo as out from the back comes Jester Smiles! Sinn knows the theme music well, and she stops her aim of King and immediately gets ready for Jester, who does not come out.
Eddie E.: Where the hell is that clown?!
“Sleep Is Wrong” dies down and there’s still no Jester.
Thomas Manchester Black: JADA!
Sinn turns around and sees Black motioning for her to come and finish King off for him, but she keeps looking around for Jester. Furious, Black throws King to the mat and starts telling her to focus. She shoves him back and continues to watch for Jester as King holds himself on the ground, trying to shake the cobwebs off. Black continues to talk to Sinn, trying to get her mind right. She turns her head to King and nods, walking back over to King’s body. Suddenly, from the crowd, JESTER SMILES leaps the guardrail, slides into the open cage and, chain wrapped around his fist, pummels Black from behind! Sinn turns, but Jester immediately holds the chain out and clotheslines her with it to the ground, wrapping it quickly around her throat! The fans are booing HARSHLY as Jester wrenches HARD on the chain!
Eryk Masters: Jester STILL playing his evil mind games on Sinnocence!
Other Guy: Jester’s taking a page from the old King handbook with that chain, though. I gotta think King’s proud of Jester’s logic.
King, however, pulls himself to his feet and merely watches Jester, shaking his head but doing nothing to stop the assault. He picks Black up and hooks him up…SNAP suplex! King floats over onto Black’s body and drives the elbow repeatedly into Black’s head and face, Black trying futilely to block the hard blows! Jester yanks and throws Sinn around, a look of determination on his face. King picks Black up and whips him to the ropes, Black runs back to King, King bends down, BACK BODY DROP to the cage wall! Black crumbles between the ropes and the cage as King turns his attention to Jester, who throws Sinnocence into the corner. She tries to hold herself up as Jester turns to King and points to her.
Eddie E.: I tell you boys there’s no more united team than Sovereign. These men have HATED one another at one point…but that hatred has become an INTENSE allegiance!
Eryk Masters: Tell it however you want, Eddie, spin it how you like, but the fact is Sovereign’s had cracks from the moment Azrael Goeren joined you!
Eddie E.: Ha! A quarrel doth not a crack make, my friend.
Other Guy: See, Eryk! He quotes Shakespeare on your ass!
Eryk Masters: That wasn’t…nevermind. Whatever. I bow to your intellect, Eddie.
Jester rushes Sinn and clotheslines her against the corner, leaving her to catch her breath. He looks back to King and King nods his head back in agreement. Jester steps back, King steps back…REALITY CHECK AND VIRGINIA SIDEKICK COMBO TO SINNOCENCE! Sinnocence CRUMBLES in the corner as the fans are booing loudly! Jester mocks the fans as King turns his attention back to Thomas Manchester Black.
Other Guy: BRUTAL maneuver right there!
Jester turns to face the entrance while King pulls Black from the ring apron.
Jester slowly grins as King hooks Black’s head in a front face lock.
CARRY ON MY WAYWARD SON!!
The fans are ALREADY losing it.
THERE’LL BE PEACE WHEN YOU ARE DONE
LAY YOUR WEARY HEAD TO REST
DON’T YOU CRY NO MORE!!
TREY WILLETT tears from the backstage area as “Carry On Wayward Son” by Kansas BLARES through the arena! He charges the ring in a full run, sliding into the ring and IMMEDIATELY taking Jester off of his feet with a tackle and punches!
Eryk Masters: LISTEN to these fans!!
The fans are losing their minds as “Carry On Wayward Son” dies off, Trey pummeling Jester and then pulling himself off of him, turning his attention to Donovan King. King drops Black and clenches his teeth, the two of them locking eyes. Suddenly, Black clips King from behind, bringing King down and allowing for Black to start pounding on King over and over again! Trey again turns his attention to Jester and whips him to the corner. He rushes at Jester, leaps onto the middle turnbuckle, and peppers the Clown with lefts and rights!
Trey drops down after ten HARD punches and backs away. Jester staggers a little bit out of the corner, BUT SINNOCENCE LEAPFROGS OVER TREY WITH A LEG LARIAT TO JESTER! Jester is FLAT against the corner as the fans are going NUTS!
Eryk Masters: These Soldiers have had ENOUGH! Sovereign has gotten them over at every turn…now Sovereign is outnumbered and this looks WONDERFUL!
Ox is cheering his ass off outside as Sinnocence staggers over to where he is and the two of them share a grin at what’s just transpired. Meanwhile, Black pulls King up to his feet, but King recovers with an uppercut! King dives for the bat and King has it! He quickly sends Black to the mat with a hard shot from the bat, aims and misses as Sinn ducks underneath his attempt! Trey drops to his knees as King approaches him and hits the mother of all Giant Killer low blows! King drops the bat and Trey hooks King up for the Dawn of a New Era, but Jester NAILS a Virginia Sidekick to the back of Trey’s head! King quickly scrambles away from Trey, holding his crotch until he gets met with a Sinnocence senton splash!
Other Guy: Boy when the Soldiers get an advantage they take it hard!
Jester rushes at Sinnocence and clobbers her from behind as well! She staggers forward and he hooks her in a Half and Half Last Laugh, but Sinn lifts her legs and wraps them around Jester who is behind her! She counters his Last Laugh with an arm drag! The fans are cheering loudly as Sinn beckons for Jester to get back to his feet, and she brings him down with a HARD running elbow smash!
Sinnocence helps Black get to his feet as the two of them look down at Jester, who is slowly crawling back to his feet.
King leans against the corner, looking at Trey, who is coming to himself.
Black picks Jester up and gets ready to hit another move on him.
“Firestarter” by Prodigy picks up and Black IMMEDIATELY throws Jester down! The fans are booing as PESTALANCE emerges from the back. He throws his coat off and walks casually to the ring.
Eryk Masters: Thomas Manchester Black looks READY!
Black beckons Pestalance to get into the ring, and Pestalance stops, looking under the ring for a good weapon. What he finds is a table that he slides into the ring! The fans are getting excited with anticipation as Pestalance reaches back under the ring and finds a ladder! He shrugs his shoulders and slides THAT into the ring. Last, but certainly not least, Pestalance finds a NIGHTSTICK wrapped in BARBED WIRE.
Other Guy: We must have a dangerous road crew if they’re stashing THOSE under the ring.
Eryk Masters: Why do I get the feeling that maybe Pestalance put that there himself.
Pestalance walks up to the cage door and slips through the ropes, but Black IMMEDIATELY snatches up the baseball bat and SLAMS it into Pestalance’s back! The fans are cheering LOUDLY as Pestalance bundles RIGHT back out of the ring! Black follows him, bat in hand, and brings the bat down AGAIN on Pestalance! Pest cries out in pain as Black measures Pest, who is against a guardrail, and SWINGS but Pestalance falls to the side, ducking the shot! The bat SNAPS against the guardrail! The bat is BROKEN.
Eryk Masters: JESUS…he could have killed Pestalance with a shot THAT hard!
Black beckons for Pest to get up, but Pestalance rolls away from Black, trying to shrug off the hits from that bat! Pestalance dropped the nightstick by the ring, he’s weaponless! Black charges him, but Pest hits a drop toe hold to the ramp! Black holds his face in pain as Pestalance slowly begins to retreat towards the back!
Eddie E.: Pestalance…wait…where the hell is Pestalance going?! KING! COMMAND YOUR TROOPS, GOD DAMN IT!
King slowly looks over to see Pestalance retreating, followed by Thomas Manchester Black in hot pursuit and he sighs, shaking his head with a laugh. He turns to Ox and then to Eddie and shrugs.
Donovan King: Whatcha gonna do, am I right?
King has another laugh, and he turns his head…BEDAZZLER from Trey!!! The fans POP as King cradles his face, glitter in his eyes!
Other Guy: Trey’s pulling out all the stops here tonight! Going hella old school!
Meanwhile, the cameras cut to backstage where we see Pestalance retreating through the curtain. He quickly spins around and catches TMB rushing through the curtain. Pest catches TMB with a stiff right which staggers Black. Pest fires shot after shot before flinging Black into a nearby door. Black bounces off the door and ducks Pestalance’s big boot attempt. TMB kicks Pest in the back of the leg and steps back. Before Pest can move TMB nails a brutal looking Yakuza kick to Pest’s shoulder, smashing it into the door. Pest falls forward holding onto his shoulder as TMB licks his lips.
Thomas Manchester Black: You think this is come kinda GAME, Rande?! You think you can step in front of a speeding bullet and not get hurt?! You think you can fuck with ME and not get hurt?!
Black kicks Pestalance again for good measure.
Thomas Manchester Black: I TOLD you not to step in front of the train meant for King…but you didn’t listen, did you? Well, mother fucker, allow me to make sure the message is CRYSTAL mother fuckin’ CLEAR!
TMB slams Pest’s head back before opening the door. He puts Pest’s arm in the open door way. TMB quickly kicks the door into the shoulder, repeatedly as Pestalance screams out in pain. TMB keeps kicking at the door until security rushes over trying to stop him. Black keeps kicking at the door until he is pulled away shouting and screaming at Pestalance. EMTs rush over to Pestalance and check on his shoulder as Black gets forcibly removed from the scene.
Eryk Masters: Good LORD did you see how hard Pest’s shoulder just got torn up by Black?!
The fighting in the ring has all but stopped as the two factions stopped to see two of the more ruthless members of their forces tear one another apart. Slowly, Jester turns to King. Trey turns to Sinnocence. The four of them lock eyes on one another.
Jester Smiles: You know who this is.
Trey looks to King for his facial reaction.
King snaps his head to the entrance and gets ready.
In a trail of fire I’ll burn before you bury me…set your eyes for the SUUUUUUUUUUUNNN!!!!
“Propane Nightmares” by Pendulum kicks into high gear as out from the back comes SHOOT PROJECT WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION AZRAITH DEMITRI.
Eddie E.: Here comes your opponent, King, don’t fuck it up!
Azraith storms down to the ring and passes the nightstick laced with barbed wire, shaking his head as if to say he does not need any weapons for this battle. He walks into the ring and immediately gets met with King locking him up! The fans erupt as the two titans collide! Meanwhile, Jester shakes his head and mouths the word “fuck” as Trey and Sinn attack him in unison! King ducks behind Azraith and IMMEDIATELY throws him over for a German suplex! King keeps the suplex in and hooks Azraith in and NAILS a Tiger suplex! The fans are going nuts as King rolls Azraith once again and hooks in the full nelson King turns his head and sees the ladder…DRAGON SUPLEX ONTO THE LADDER! The fans pop as King holds his hands and Azraith cradles his head!
Eryk Masters: …WOW.
Trey holds Jester up as Sinnocence peppers him with hard body shots! She strikes him in the face again and again and again, and Jester keeps trying his best to absorb the blows! King slowly picks himself up off of the mat and sees Jester in trouble. He crawls to Sinn, but the fans POP as Azraith reaches out and grabs a hold of King’s ankle! King bucks and kicks at Azraith, but he slowly pulls King back towards him! He drags King the rest of the way and WAILS on him!
Eddie E.: Stupid stupid STUPID move, King! Three suplexes, even one on a fucking ladder, is not going to put Azraith down! THINK you moron!
King scrambles to his feet and quickly grabs a hold of Azraith. He whips Azraith to the ropes but Azraith counters! King to the ropes, Azraith telegraphs a back body drop…KING COUNTERS WITH THE DEALBREAKER! King has made Azraith taste the Dealbreaker yet again! The camera looks over to Ox, who holds his head in frustration!
Eryk Masters: At every turn, King has consistently managed to counter and elude Azraith’s clutches!
Other Guy: As much as I can’t stand the guy’s actions, King is certainly one crafty and wily Soldier!
King smirks as he reaches down and picks up the ladder. He looks over to see Sinn down from something and Jester and Trey connect with a double clothesline! Both men are down! The only person up is King and he sets the ladder up! The fans are buzzing as King slowly begins to…ascend the ladder?!
Eddie E.: What the hell is he doing?!
Eryk Masters: It looks like whatever it takes to put Azraith down, Eddie!
King is up to the top of the ladder and he looks to see Sinnocence starting to stir. He looks out to the sea of fans and holds his hands out, calling for their cheers. While some actually do cheer, they are drowned out by the boos. Suddenly, Sinnocence is up! The fans cheer louder as she quickly runs to the corner and up to the top rope! King measures Azraith once again as Sinn RAPIDLY climbs the cage!
Other Guy: Oh…shit. This can’t end well.
SINNOCENCE IS ON TOP OF THE CAGE! King looks over to her and realizes he needs to hit Azraith fast! Sinn does not even give herself time to react…SHE FLIES OFF THE TOP OF THE CAGE AND CATCHES KING’S HEAD IN A BLOCKBUSTER…KING TAKES A HOLD OF HER BRAINBUSTER! BOTH ARE DOWN! SINN AND KING ARE DOWN!!
Other Guy: WOW! Sinn with the Blockbuster and King counters with a brainbuster and BOTH are down from the TOP of the ladder!
Azraith slowly begins to come to from the impact of the fall as well as the tipping over of the ladder! The fans are RAVENOUS over what just happened!
Trey groggily looks over to see Sinn and King’s fallen bodies.
Azraith realizes he’s the only member of his team fully conscious!
Jester picks himself up and looks to the entrance with an evil grin!
This is the point from which I could never return
And if I back down now then forever I burn
Other Guy: Oh…shit.
This is the point from which I will die and succeed
Living the struggle, I know I’m alive when I bleed
Eryk Masters: I hope the Soldiers are ready for this!
From now on it can never be the same as before
Cause the place I’m from doesn’t exist anymore
“The Point of No Return” by Immortal Technique BLARES throughout the Epicenter as ADRIAN CORAZON steps through the curtain to the entrance ramp. The fans are booing mercilessly as Corazon saunters slowly down the ramp. He walks to the open cage door and smiles as Trey begins to force himself up to his feet! Azraith picks himself up as Jester is already up behind Azraith, bouncing from one foot to the next, grinning from ear to ear that he has Azraith where he wants him! Corazon steps up onto the ring apron…and Trey LAUNCHES himself at Corazon, knocking him back down to the mat! The fans ERUPT as Trey lays punch after punch after punch on Corazon!
Eryk Masters: Listen to these fans…chanting Trey’s son’s name Brandon!
Eddie E.: I wonder if they know how that’s got to be getting under Trey’s skin and irritating him as much as driving him.
Other Guy: Dude doesn’t SEEM irritated…dude looks to be kicking Corazon’s ass!
With Corazon down, the fans ERUPT as Trey gets back to his feet and points to the barbed wire nightstick! In the ring, Sinn is on her stomach, trying to pull herself up while King is still out! Eddie stands up from the announce table and takes a microphone.
Eddie E.: Oh…almost forgot. Ladies and gentlemen…this match may begin in earnest. From here on…ONLY this towel in my hand or that towel in Ferguson’s hand can end this match!
The camera shoots over to Ox, who tightens his grip on his towel, the fans POPPING as Trey holds the nightstick high in the air! He looks over to Eddie and shakes his head, saying nothing. The camera shifts back to Trey, who only looks at his friend for a long moment before he aims the nightstick at Corazon’s head. Suddenly, Azraith gets caught up from behind…LAST LAUGH! Jester hits Azraith with the Last Laugh and picks the table up, sitting it in the corner, but he stops when he sees Corazon on the outside. He does not hesitate, running to the open cage door to save Corazon!
Eryk Masters: Trey! Look out!
Jester stands on the ring apron and launches himself off the apron…RIGHT into a barbed wire nightstick TO THE STOMACH! The fans ERUPT as Jester cradles his stomach as Trey dislodges the barbed wire and glares over to Eddie for another moment.
Eryk Masters: I think he wants you to throw that towel, Eddie!
Eddie E.: Fuck him.
Trey shakes his head and throws the nightstick down when suddenly BANG. Lights out. Not your average “dimming of the lights” effect either, boys and girls. Rather, an effect that more closely resembles someone hitting the breaker switch in the office of security maintenance. Las Vegas is taken aback by the sudden lack of sight, and the loud mechanical droning of the Epicenter’s central air unit is instantaneously supplanted by the voices of the easily confused and disoriented. Through the baffled whispers there is a soft static. VERY soft static. Buzzing initially, its wholly resonance through the absence of machinery cultivates this innocent sounding anomaly into a noticeable racket, thusly putting the capacity crowd into a incommodious state. Chaos ensues. Dread swiftly in tow. It is clear that the overwhelming sense of uncertainty has ruffled the feathers of the bug eyed pigeons sitting unnervingly in their seats. From this unsettled behavior spawns the flicker of a flame from the lighters of many, as well as a lustrous glow that saturates the dark spots of the arena with an odd green hue thanks to a surplus of UK Dragon glow sticks. Available at the concession stands, of course.
To no avail, Eryk Masters and Other Guy speak frantically into their headsets, but their voices are lost amongst the sea of turmoil emanating from the Epicenter. It is at this point that the SHOOTtron ABRUPTLY activates onto its default white screen. There is just enough electricity being allowed to surge through the building to permit Eryk Masters and Other Guy’s voices to be heard.
Eryk Masters:(continued from an inaudible conversation) – er here.
Other Guy: I don’t know. But this is crazy.
Erk Masters: Oh shit! OG?
Other Guy: What? Hold up. Are they working again? Hello?
Eryk Masters: I believe they are. Folks, if you can hear me out there, we have no IDEA what is happening here. This has totally come out of left field.
Other Guy: That’s an understatement!
Eryk Masters: What is that buzzing I hear?!
Other Guy: Eddie, what the hell’s going on?!
Eddie E. says nothing as the sheer brightness from the SHOOTron painfully blinds those whose eyes have already adjusted to the near cave darkness state of things. Soon, the noticeable buzzing heard from the house speakers alters itself into an incredibly high pitched ringing, almost as if someone threw a flash bang inside a tunnel.
Other Guy: Fuuuuck! My ears!!
Eryk Masters: This is ridiculous…
As the audience edges closer into an unsought stupor, a black font appears on the SHOOTron. The unique, charred characters look as if they were etched in fire, while the edges of the typeset smolder in a delicate orange. The effect causes a stir within the audience, and soon the characters burn into obvious shapes. Numbers… followed by the percent sign.
Eryk Masters: 9%? What the…
Seconds later, the white surrounding the “9%” symbol peel away like dead flesh, giving way to 18%.
Soon after that, the 18% is reduced into ash. The glowing embers fly away, making room for the 22% underneath it.
Other Guy: What the hell is with these percentages?!
Just as the “73%” peels away like the rest of the percentages before it, a large “BUFFERING” in stenciled, uneven lettering appears on the screen.
Eryk Masters: Oh just get on with it already!
Other Guy: Is this thing operating with a 56K modem? Jesus.
As soon as we see the 100%… it burns like all the rest and peels back into a very large “INITIATE”, with the letters alternating between red and blue.
Eryk Masters: I have a bad fe-
BANG. The darkness is lifted. However, instead of normal arena lights coming on the entire Epicenter is blanketed in two specific colors. The left side of the arena is covered in a cerulean blue iridescence, and the right side a deep shade of crimson. The two colors meet in the center of the ring, where a giant “?” shines down from a spotlight in the rafters. All of the competitors in the ring, for the time being, have ceased brawling.
Other Guy: Holy SHIT. You seein’ what I’m seein’, E?
Eryk Masters: Yes. Yes I am.
Battle lines being drawn between two dimensions. Every member of Team “Soldier” bathes in the dark blue. Across the ring, every member of Team “Sovereign” basks in the blood red haze descending upon them. Amazingly enough, every person in the ring has put to rest their hostilities in favor of their burgeoning interest in what exactly is going on around them. Faces leer in every which direction, keeping a close eye on their nearest enemy… or their nearest friend. Before long, the white background of the SHOOTron fades to black… with a single logo materializing at midpoint.
Eryk Masters: Whaaaat.
The Other Guy: But… but… WHO?! Dammit!
Eryk Masters: This is insane.
BANG. Lights back on, and the crowd gasps. For the shortest moment, there is an eerie silence in the arena as everyone looks around, trying to figure out what is going on. Before long, both Sovereign and the SHOOT Soldiers realize the interruption has passed, and go back to beating the unholy hell out of one another.
Eddie E.: I can’t fucking believe it.
Eryk Masters: WHAT?!
The fans ERUPT when they see that TREY WILLET is on TOP of the cage! He points down to the prone King and he LEAPS!!
Other Guy: TREY 50! TREY 50 SPLASH!!
Trey spins in mid air and the fans…CORAZON! CORAZON IS UP! CORAZON CATCHES TREY WILLETT WITH THE ACT OF INHUMANITY! TREY IS OUT! CORAZON IS IN AGONY!!
Eddie E.: What do you think, Ox? Ready to quit?
Ox ignores Eddie as Jester begins to pull himself into the ring, nightstick in tow. Meanwhile, Azraith and Sinn are both back up. They check on one another before Sinn bends down to check on Trey. Jester charges at Sinn, he brings the bat down…AZ TAKES THE BARBED WIRE NIGHTSTICK SHOT!! Az clenches his teeth as he tries to ignore the pain as Jester looks at Azraith, stunned! Sinn is up she bounces off the ropes and NAILS Jester with a HARD shoulder block! She’s back up and she’s got the nightstick!
Eryk Masters: Bodies everywhere and it looks like Jester’s about to be another casualty!
Sinn glares down at Jester, who is begging off as she aims at him with the nightstick! Ox walks over to Eddie and smirks before he turns back to the ring. Sinn gets ready, she cocks back…SINN GETS SPUN AROUND BY KING INTO A DEALBREAKER!!!!
Eddie E.: YES!
King stands over her as he motions to Jester to pick her up. He picks her up quickly and King lifts her up onto his shoulders. He looks around at all the bodies in the ring…AND HE DRIVES HER INTO THE TABLE IN THE CORNER, SHATTERING THE TABLE IN PIECES!!
Eddie E.: Alright! ALRIGHT!
Eddie stands up, throwing the headset down.
Eddie E.: OX!
Ox turns and faces Eddie as Jester stands over Sinn’s body, barbed wire night stick in hand.
Eddie E.: Take a look in that ring, Lennox.
Ox turns and looks at the ring. He sees King standing, glaring at him. Jester is looking at him, night stick aimed at Sinn, who is lying amongst the wrecked remains of the table. Azraith is slowly coming to, but his back has small specks of blood on it. Corazon cradles his knee, trying to shake it off. Trey is barely there.
Eddie E.: AND IF ANYBODY COMES THE FUCK OUT HERE THEY ARE FIRED, THEIR FRIENDS ARE FIRED, AND BY FUCKING CHRIST I WILL FIRE EVERY SINGLE COCK SUCKER IN THAT FUCKING LOCKER ROOM SO STAY THE FUCK BACK THERE!
The fans boo LOUDLY as Eddie walks over to Ox.
Eddie E.: Ball’s in your court, rookie. Jester stands over Sinnocence. With one shot…he can do more than put her in the hospital. He can hurt her. End her career. Who knows? Maybe he can end her LIFE.
The fans UNLEASH the boos.
Eddie E.: So…simple enough, Lennox. THROW YOUR FUCKING TOWEL.
Ox glares at Eddie. Eddie gets in Ox’s face.
Eddie E.: Ox. Throw. Your. Towel.
The fans are booing more and more. King walks over to the side of the cage nearest Eddie and Ox.
Donovan King: Don’t throw your fuckin’ towel, Ox.
Eddie E.: You shut the FUCK up and let me handle this! OX.
Eddie shoves Ox.
Eddie E.: THROW YOUR TOWEL OR YOU ARE DONE! YOU ARE DONE! YOU ARE FIRED, FINISHED, YOU ARE STRIPPED OF YOUR TITLE, YOU ARE FIRED!!
The fans are booing more and more as the camera focuses in on Jester squatting over Sinn as she starts to come to. King shakes his head as he looks at Azraith, who glares up at him. Corazon grits his teeth as he stares at Eddie and Ox.
Eddie E.: I’m giving you until the count of three, you ignorant cunt. After that, Mike Dexter finds himself a new opponent and you can go watch Reckoning Day at fucking Hooters. So, Ox?
Eddie holds one finger up.
Eddie E.: ONE.
Ox sighs as he looks at the fans.
Eryk Masters: Shit…
Eddie E.: TWO.
Ox looks down at the towel as the war has stopped in the ring.
Eddie E.: You stupid fucking son of a bitch.
He holds up his third finger.
Eddie E.: TH–
Eddie stops as he sees Trey dragging himself to the side of the ring.
Other Guy: Trey Willett’s come to…and he just told Ox to throw that towel in for his team.
Eryk Masters: He wants to give this match up for his team so Ox can keep his job, Sinn can keep her livelihood…Ox…listen to him!
Ox looks at Trey, who clenches his teeth.
Trey Willett: Throw the Goddamn towel.
Ox looks down at the towel and he throws it at Eddie’s feet. The fans RIP into boos as Eddie grins.
Eddie E.: YOUR WINNERS…SOVEREIGN!
Eddie throws the microphone down and walks into the ring. He stands amongst the carnage as “Release Yo Delf (Prodigy Remix)” by Method Man plays. The fans continue to boo as Eddie kicks pieces of table to the outside. Jester looks at Sinn and throws the night stick down, willing to let her fight another day. She cuts an evil stare at Jester and then to Eddie. Eddie holds Jester’s arm up in victory as King checks on Corazon.
Eryk Masters: It doesn’t look like King is really excited about Eddie’s grandstanding.
King picks Corazon up and slowly limps Corazon to the outside, where EMTs are starting to get to the ringside area. Corazon seems to be okay and he motions for King to leave him be. King exits the ring, his head down as he walks away from the ringside area. Eddie continues to laugh as Jester staggers over to Corazon at the ringside area. Azraith and Sinn help one another up as Trey slides out of the ring. He nods to Azraith and Sinn.
Other Guy: Outstanding main event, Eryk.
Eryk Masters: Shitty end. Sovereign actually was holding their own…and Eddie makes Ox end the match. Just…leaves a shitty taste in my mouth.
Eddie stands in the middle of the ring, raising his hands in victory as the competitors make their way back towards the back. Azraith and Sinn have already gone through the curtain and Trey is nowhere to be seen. Eddie continues to wave to the crowd amongst a chorus of boos as the Sovereign have begun to make their way up the ramp towards the curtain.
Eryk Masters: Another cheap win by the Sovereign here tonight. Eddie is just a despicable human being.
Other Guy: No joke, Eryk. Only Eddie…Wait a minute…
Trey Willett slides out from under the ring and the crowd goes berserk! Eddie picks up a bit in his celebration, thinking that the crowd has finally come over to his side. Trey slinks his way over to the cage and slams the door shut, locking it from the inside. He turns around to face Eddie who has just now realized that he is locked inside the cage with Trey!
Eryk Masters: Uh-oh. It looks like Trey is about to get just a little bit of revenge on Eddie here tonight for the goings on of the last few months. It’s about time that someone stood up to Eddie!
Other Guy: He better be careful Eryk. That’s the boss in there. Trey doesn’t want to lose his job!
Eddie waves his finger back and forth at Trey in a “No no” motion as Trey grabs a mic from under the ring, and slides in to stand next to Eddie!
Trey: So…Here we are. Why you look so surprised, Eddie? You had to know this was coming.
Eddie backs away from Trey, giving him room to speak. The smirk never leaving Eddie’s confident face.
Trey: It’s been a little better than a month since you decided that you would be taking over for Jason. I gotta be honest, I was a little excited at the possibility of reuniting with one of my best friends from the business. I spent most of the show thinking about all of the old times we could rehash. I thought about how we would take this company by storm. And we have, haven’t we, Eddie? Granted, there’s no way I could have predicted that we would be going in such different directions. You see, you have brought about the slow decay of the SHOOT Project. You may have fooled Jester and King into believing that you just wanted to see the company get back to it’s pure form, but not me. I guess that’s why didn’t call me to help isn’t it? You knew that I would see through all of this bullshit for what it really is. I would see that all of this was a grudge you have against the company that you were unable to lead throughout your career. You had to sit there in your drug addled stupor, watching everyone else on the roster get their push, while you languished in the mid-card. Then me. Then we squared off. It bothered you just a little that I got a slight bit more cheers than you, didn’t it?
Eddie begins laughing at this point. He reaches through the cage to grab a mic that is being handed to him. The members of the Sovereign slowly start to make their way back down the entrance ramp, curious as to what is going on. Eddie waves them off, and they hang back on the entrance ramp. Trey stares a whole into Eddie as he starts to slap his hands together in applause for Trey.
Eryk Masters: Looks like Trey has some things to get off his chest here tonight!
Other Guy: This isn’t at all what I was expecting. I was figuring Trey would skip the pleasantries and just go straight for Eddie’s heart! That’s what I would do. C’mon Trey, he took your family. Let’s see some bloodshed!
Eddie: So, you’ve got it all figured out do ya? Big hero Trey wants to come in here and call me out for being the big bad wolf. That’s okay. You asked why I never called? Why I asked Donovan and Corazon to spearhead this charge instead of you? Well here’s the short version…You’re done. You are a relic of a bygone time. If you remember correctly, the last time we saw each other you had me injecting Cortizone into your knee just so you could go out and fight Cade Sydal. Does that seem like a man I want on my team? I didn’t shun you because you were some kind of hero to these stupid fans, I didn’t call you because you just aren’t good enough.
The fans boo loudly as a small smile crosses the face of Trey. The smile quickly fades as he pulls the mic up to his face.
Trey: That’s all well and good Eddie. I don’t care that you didn’t call me. I’m happier not being a part of your foolish charge against this company that made us what we are. That’s fine. What I don’t understand is, why you would want to ruin my family for the second time? Following you for all of those years killed my family, and I had just started to get that back. Yeah, I didn’t want to be a part of the Sovereign. You didn’t want me there. I’m happy being here fighting for the fans. I damned sure won’t let you get away with the shit you have been trying. But why my family? Why, Eddie? Did you take Azraith’s family? Did you take Sinn’s family? No. Just mine. So if I so damned washed up, why? Why did you feel the need to try and break me?
Eddie walks up to Trey and puts his hand over Trey’s shoulder in what appears to be a sympathetic manner.
Eddie: Honestly? Because I fucking hate you, you whiny little cunt. I got tired of hearing about how sad your life is without your family. Then I got tired of hearing about how great it was with them. I fucking hate everything about you. I underestimated you, that’s true, and as such, I cant have you getting in the way of what I’m trying to do here. So if you want to see your family again, I suggest you get the fuck out of my ring, and unlock that cage door. Right. Fucking. Now.
Trey thinks on this for a moment, then looks down at Eddies hand on his shoulder. His eyes flash red for a split second, and he grabs Eddie’s hand and pulls it down from his shoulder. The fans roar in approval.
Eddie: Think about this Trey. I don’t care who you think you are, but if you do what you are thinking about doing, you are done. You hear me? Fired. Your little fight with Corazon, your fans, your mortgage? Al screwed. Fired. Now take your hands off of me, and we’ll forget this whole mess ever happened. I’m in charge! ME! Not you. ME! So if you’d kindly get your damned hands off me, I can get back to the pressing matter of running this company.
Trey ponders this for a moment as the Sovereign members start to inch their way off of the top stage towards the ring. Trey looks out over the fans, then looks up towards the ramp at Corazon who, while still a little beaten from the match, looks ready for another war. Then he finally looks over towards Eddie E. A sick smile crosses his face and Trey LAYS him out with a stiff right hand to the jaw. The fans all rise to their feet in cheers as the sickening “thud” can be heard throughout the arena. Eddie crumples to the ground.
Trey: You won’t be firing anyone tonight you sick bastard. My family, Eddie. My friends? Too many people have suffered at your hands just because you were never good enough to be called champion. Just because you had unresolved issues with the company that you thought owed you something. Tonight it ends.
Trey looks up the ramp at the Sovereign, row making their way down to the ring. Eddie Attempts to get up, and as he brings himself up on his right arm, Trey rears back and kicks him in the face with another loud “thud.”
Eryk Masters: Well, there you go O.G. It looks like Eddie is finally about to get what he has had coming for quite some time now.
Other Guy: The best part? The Sovereign is all at ring side trying to get into the ring, but Trey has locked it from the inside! Looks like Trey has Eddie all to himself!
Trey reaches down and grabs Eddie around the throat, pulling him to his feet. Once Eddie is upright, Trey grabs hold of his waist and throws him over the top rope, sending his face crashing right into the cage right in front of Donovan King. Trey makes his way out of the ring and gives King a smile and a wave of the hand before picking Eddie up once more, and raking his face across the cage. Blood begins trickling down Eddie’s face as Trey rakes is back and forth across the steel cage. King grabs the cage and shakes it, trying to force the door open to no avail. Trey releases Eddie as he crumples to a heap on the ground. He grabs Eddie by the hair and drags him back to the ring, tossing him under the bottom rope. Trey springboards onto the apron and flips over the top rope, coming down on Eddies body with a double stomp. Eddie doubles over in pain and a small amount of blood sputters from his mouth onto the mat. Trey looks around at the fans, still roaring in appreciation of this turn of events, and vaults himself into the ropes. He drops to the mat and hits Eddie’s face with a baseball slide.
Eryk Masters: This is getting really bad really fast. Eddie has no chance to defend himself, and Trey is a man on a mission.
Trey gets up on one knee, the picks Eddie up by the back of his head. He shouts something indeterminable at him, then releases an open-handed slap to Eddie’s face. He delivers another, then spits into Eddie’s face. Trey rises to his feet and walks over to Eddie’s midsection. Three times he drives the full weight of his body, knee first, into Eddie’s ribs. Eddie screams out in pain, leaving another splatter of blood on the mat below him. On the outside of the ring, Donovan King is staring blankly as Corazon looks on, arms folded, with a crooked smile across his face. Trey gets to his feet and walks over towards the white towel that Ox was forced to throw at the end of the match. Trey leans down and wipes Eddie’s bloodied face with the towel, then throws it down on his broken body. Trey stands over Eddie and catches Corazon eye to eye.
Other Guy: This is just a little too much, even for someone as evil as Eddie. Trey has lost it here tonight.
Eryk Masters: I can tell you one thing, I certainly wouldn’t be lining up to be Adrian Corazon. Trey Willett has lost it. And we’re out of time folks. We’ll see you at Reckoning Day!
The scene fades to black as Trey Willett begins to chuckle at Adrian Corazon, still standing on the outside of the ring. We end with a shot of Corazon smiling directly at Trey.