Cronos Diamante walks down the halls of The SHOOT Project Epicenter dressed for battle. He turns one corner and almost runs over Abigail Chase. He apologizes and picks up her things and starts to walk off.
Abigail Chase: Cronos… I was wondering if I could have a minute of your time?
Cronos turns around and offers a smile.
Cronos Diamante: You sure can. What can I do for you, Miss Chase?
Abigail Chase: The question on everybodies mind is why did you do it? Why did you turn on your friend Cade Sydal and call him out in front of the whole world?
Cronos Diamante: There’s a difference between who you see now and who you don’t. That man isn’t the friend I had. Really all I’m doing is…
Just then Cronos gets blindisded by Kid Lightning. Cronos is knocked to the ground but pops up immediately. As soon as he’s up he’s hit from the other side bye Tanya Black. He manages to keep himself guarded and knocks Kid Lightning down but he’s not strong enough to withstand a steel chair to the back. The force from the chair sends him flying into the Pepsi machine and the edge manages to open a gash over his right eye.
Eryk Masters: We’re watching backstage as Cronos is being ganged up on by the syndicate.
Other Dave: Go Cade!
Cronos turns around with blood dripping into his eye and hardly able to see. He dodges another chair shot and another and finally grabs the chair as Cade swings it high over head but all he receives for his effort is a dropkick to the ribs by Kid Lightning and a trip from Tanya Black. Cronos hits the cement and he’s immediately swarmed with kicks to his ribs.
Other Dave: Don’t know why he thought he could fight all three of them.
Eryk Masters: Things don’t look good. He is getting the hell kicked out of him.
Once the boots stop, Cronos is then hammered with the very same steel chair from earlier straight down on his ribs. Over and over and over again he’s hammered and on the last one screams out in agony, perhaps having broken a rib.
Cade Sydal: Who’s scared now!?
Cade drops the chair and begins kicking Cronos in the ribs over and over again.
Cade Sydal: Who’s scared now, Cronos!?! Answer me!
Just then Kid Lightning goes down and Tanya Black is thrown halfway across the room. Cade Sydal turns around to see Jaimie Alejandro heading his way and he quickly decides to bolt, followed closely by Tanya Black and Kid Lightning. Jaimie doesn’t give chase but rather kneels down to check on Cronos.
Other Dave: Jaimie Alejandro saves Cronos Diamante from a beat down? No way. He ruined my enjoyment!
Eryk Masters: If he hadn’t interfered when he did, who knows what would have happened to Cronos?
Jaimie looks down at the injured Cronos and begins to ask a road agent for an ambulence but Cronos stops shakes his head at the road agent.
Jaimie Alejandro: You need medical attention, Cronos.
Cronos Diamante: No. I have a match to win. Help me to my locker room please.
Eryk Masters: Looks like Jaimie is going to help him to his locker room but one has to wonder… where was Gryffin Anselm?
"CARRY ON MY WAYWARD SON"
"THERE’LL BE PEACE WHEN YOU ARE DONE"
"LAY YOUR WEARY HEAD TO REST"
"DON’T YOU CRY NO MORE!"
A shower of purple pyro rains down as the 2011 Master of the Mat, Trey Willett, steps out from behind the curtain. He’s greeted, of course, by a deafening roar from the SHOOT Project fans in attendance.
Other Guy: We kick the action off with this years Master of the Mat, Trey Willett!
Eryk Masters: There isn’t a better way to kick off Revolution than with SHOOT’s Wayward Son!
Trey continues his walk down to the ring, stopping and greeting his fans. He climbs up on the ring apron and smirks as he looks out into the crowd. He removes his aviators and tosses them into the crowd. He steps into the ring and raises his arms to the crowd, who shower him with yet another huge pop. The Kansas song shuts off and Willett loosens up in the ring as he awaits his opponent.
"Cut Out The Disease" booms from the speakers and the chorus of boos from the crowd begin… but it’s Leona coming out to the entrance ramp, with the Rule Of Surrender championship belt slung over her shoulder. But where is Mason Pierce- the one who’s going to be fighting Trey Willett? Why isn’t he out there with his woman? Leona has a microphone in her hand, and she motions for the techs to cut the music.
Leona: You know, Trey, you should consider yourself lucky. So many people aren’t even getting to appear on this Tenth Anniversary show. But they couldn’t forget about you, could they? No, they sure couldn’t forget about the man who won the Master Of The Mat tournament. The one who defied all the odds and got his hand raised in the main event of one of SHOOT’s biggest nights of the year. And look where it’s gotten you, Trey. Did it get you a main event slot at a show that only comes around once a decade? Look at all the guys who got slotted ahead of you. Hell, Thomas Manchester Black gets his ass kicked and he goes higher up the card than you. Two fossils from the old days decide to pop their heads back for one night and they go ZOOM! Right up to the main event slots. And then there’s you, Trey. The heir apparent. The next in line. The one who cut through superstar after superstar to be recognized as the Master Of The Mat. Reduced to nothing more than opening the show. Not even a mention on the promotional flyers that have been papering the town! THAT is how highly the suits think of you, Trey. THAT is how they regard the Master Of The Mat. Pretty fucking pathetic, isn’t it? All that work, all that sweat, blood and sacrifice, and here you are. I don’t know if you’re just happy to be here, or if you’re pissed that you’re fighting before half the crowd even bothers to show. I know I am, and I know damn well Mason is. And speaking of….
At that moment, Trey is so focused on Leona that he doesn’t notice Mason emerging from the crowd, sliding inside the ring and slamming him from behind with a double axhandle to the back of the head! The bell rings with this abrupt start, and Mason Pierce doesn’t waste any time laying the boots to the small of the back of Willett.
Other Guy: Pearl Harbor job by Pierce, getting the jump in the early going on Trey Willett!
Eryk Masters: Mason’s got a lot of complaints about being overlooked, not happy with having to start the show, and he’s taking it all out on Trey right now.
Pierce drops an elbow that lands right between the shoulderblades of Willett and snaps quickly up to his feet and drops another. Pierce isn’t wasting any time here. He lifts Willett up by his ponytail, ignoring the protests of the referee, and slaps Willett right in the face. That turns out to be a mistake, as Willett spins and plants the heel of his boot into Pierce’s gut. Mason gets doubled up and Trey follows up by dropping to his back and snapping Pierce with a quick right hand. Pierce snaps back with the impact and ends up on his back.
Eryk Masters: You’re gonna have to get up earlier than that to take advantage of the Wayward Son.
Willett picks up Pierce now and whips him into the ropes. Mason ducks a clothesline on the rebound and hits the ropes behind Willett. Pierce bounces off and attempts a lariat, but Willett ducks. However, Pierce stops himself behind Trey and grabs his head and hooks it underneath his arm and drives Willett down, landing on Pierce’s knee right in the middle of his back, then crumpling to the ground.
Other Guy: Devastating move there by Pierce, and he looks primed to take it to the offensive.
Pierce comes down hard on Willett’s face, lighting him up with hammer strikes as Trey tries to block each impact with his forearms. Pierce breaks through Trey’s defenses with a well placed hammer shot, and Willett drops his guard, arms falling to the mat and with a dazed look on his face. Pierce smirks with satisfaction and hooks Willett’s leg, trying for the first pinfall of the contest.
Kickout by Willett. Willett flops to his stomach to prevent another pinfall attempt, but that turns out to be a mistake as Pierce locks on a chinlock, sitting on the small of Trey’s back. Pain is etched on Willett’s face as Pierce wrenches back, wearing down the back and neck of Trey Willett.
Other Guy: Pierce is making a statement here, trying to inflict a massive amount of pain on Trey Willett! He’s really been working on that back, so you know he’s softening him up for the Manchester Necktie.
The crowd starts to clap in unison, rhythmically trying to will Trey back into this match.
Eryk Masters: Mason Pierce hasn’t done anything to endear himself to these fans, so it’s no suprise that the entire crowd is firmly behind Trey Willett.
Pierce is leaning back as far as he can to keep the pressure on Willett, but Trey starts shaking his fist in the air, and the crowd keeps up the noise, showing their support for the Master of the Mat.
Eryk Masters: Willett gets up to a knee, that should relieve some of the pressure on Trey’s back!
Trey gets to a second knee now, and now is on his feet. Pierce transitions from the chinlock to a front facelock, and Trey’s fist stops shaking as he buries it into the kidneys of Pierce. Pierce is shaken, but not stirred, and does not release the hold. Willett buries another right hand into Pierce’s side, and still Mason hangs on. Willett with a third kidney shot, and this time, Pierce’s grip slackens, and Willett frees himself. He chops Pierce right into the chest and turns to hit the ropes, but Pierce grabs that ponytail of Willett’s and absolutely YANKS Trey Willett down to the ground. Willett hits with a heavy thud, clutching at the back of his head.
Other Guy: Pierce doesn’t care much about rules. Just results.
Eryk Masters: Willett tried to mount some offense after breaking the hold, but Pierce is quick on his feet and keeps the ball in his court.
Pierce lifts Willett to his feet and grabs him around the waist. Pierce nails a backbreaker that seemingly sends shockwaves up the spine of Trey Willett and now Trey is writing on the ground, clutching his back. Pierce gets a running start and baseball slides right into the back of Willett again, keeping up the pattern of punishment he has been following throughout this match. Pierce grabs Willett’s knee and his right arm and drives his knee into the small of the back of Trey now. Willett is in a considerable amount of pain as Pierce uses Trey’s own limbs against him, pulling back on both appendages, digging his knee even deeper into Willett’s back. The fans pick up again, clapping and stomping their feet for their hero as he tries to hang on. Tony Lorenzo is asking Willett if he wants to submit, but Trey shakes his head no.
Let’s go Trey!
Let’s go Trey!
Let’s go Trey!
Eryk Masters: Listen to these fans showing their support for Trey Willett!
Willett is trying to claw his way to the ropes, dragging Pierce along for the ride. Pierce keeps yanking back, applying more pressure, but he’s too close and Willett is able to use his left arm to grasp the bottom rope! The fans let out a collective cheer, as Pierce is forced to break the hold! Nothing doing however, as Pierce is refusing to let go. Tony Lorenzo is in his face, warning him to let go, but Pierce isn’t listening. He’s leaning back, driving the knee to the back, and Trey is calling out in pain, still grasping the bottom rope.
FI-Pierce lets go, finally, at the absolute last second. Lorenzo backs Pierce up, admonishing him for his refusal to break the hold. Pierce pushes past the referee, and goes to inflict more punishment on Trey Willett. But he’s caught with a swift kick to the hamstring by Willett. The crowd cheers Trey on as Pierce stumbles backward, holding his leg. He shakes it off, and advances on Willett once again, but gets caught with another kick to the leg. And another! Pierce turns around, grasping at his leg, and Willett gets to his feet and leaps over Pierce, driving Mason face first with a flying bulldog. Pierce is face first on the mat, and Willett is next to him, on his back. Willett’s body starts to shake as the adrenaline starts flowing through him. Trey gets to his feet now, and Mason is to his knees.
Willett comes up with a Shining Wizard! Pierce falls face first back to the mat, and Willett rolls him over and hooks the leg!
Kickout by Pierce! Willett is back to his feet now, the crowd cheering him on and he is waiting for Pierce to get back to his feet. Mason uses the ropes to pullhimself up, Leona on the outside trying to will him on, and turns around to get a kick in the gut from Willett, who now underhooks both of Pierce’s arms, looking side to side at the crowd, who are in an uproar for what they are about to see!
Other Guy: Dawn of a New Era!! NO! Willett releases Pierce and clutches at his back.
Eryk Masters: All the punishment Mason Pierce has inflicted on the back of Willett, Willett couldn’t lift Pierce up for the Dawn of a New Era!
Willett goes to the ropes and leans against them for a second before turning back to Pierce. Before he can take a step, however, Leona reaches forward and grabs Willett’s boot. Trey turns his attention toward her, which gives Pierce the opportunity to come up from behind with a running knee in the middle of the back. Willett gasps in pain as he falls forward, bouncing off the ropes and landing on the mat. Pierce clutches the back of his own head as he gets back to his feet, and reaches down and grabs a handful of hair to pull Willett back to his feet. Pierce now whips Trey into the ropes and as Willett is coming back toward him, Mason lifts up his foot, ready to boot Trey in the stomach. But Trey counters and rolls Pierce up with a schoolboy.
Th-Pierce rolls his shoulder up at the last second! Pierce is the first up now and boots Willett right in the head. He signals that it’s over and looks at Trey Willett as he tries to get to his feet.
The Jumbotron screen flickers… a camera is coming into focus, its holder making way through the front doors of the Epicenter, deliberately heading through the concourse, past the concessions, passing the widened eyes of some wrestling fans before focusing on the entrance to the arena itself… and as the camera’s holder enters the crowd, the camera goes dead and a graphic appears on the screen….
Trey’s attention seems to be on the screen, and it’s given Mason just enough of an opening to spin him around and deliver a thunderous kick to the midsection. Pierce winds up and looks to complete the A.E.S., but Willett ducks the double axe, and plants his foot directly under the chin of a shocked Mason Pierce.
Eryk Masters: Superkick! Pierce’s lights are out!
Trey falls on top of Pierce, and hooks the far leg
THREE!! He got him!
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen, your winner, the 2011 Master of the Mat, Trey WILLETT!
Other Guy: Say what you will about the punishment that Mason Pierce dished out tonight, but the fact that Trey Willett is able to dig deep each and every week and pull out the victory like he did tonight, that’s damn impressive.
Eryk Master: Another victory for the Master of the Mat, SHOOT’s Wayward Son, Trey Willett! And damn it, he earned every bit of this one!
We cut to the wrestlers’ parking lot outside of the Epicenter where Abigail Chase stands, microphone in hand. The parking lot is overflowing with limousines and luxury vehicles and a barricade has been set up to keep the swarming media in check.
Abigail Chase: As SHOOT’s 10th Anniversary show rolls on, it’s been a veritable who’s who of stars making their way into the arena tonight! We’ve already caught glimpses of Jason Johnson and Donovan King making their way in, and of course everyone is dying to see the return of both Jun Kenshin and Christopher Davis later tonight!
As Abigail speaks, a long white limousine pulls up dangerously close to her. She takes a few quick steps back, eagerly leaning down to try and peer through the tinted windows.
Abigail Chase: It looks like we have another arrival! Rumors have been flying all week about what former SHOOT stars could be making an appearance tonight, could this be another blast from the past?
Abigail, summoning all of her journalistic integrity, knocks politely on the limousine window. She’s suddenly brushed aside by the limo driver who holds her at bay with one hand and opens the door with the other. Flashbulbs immediately start to illuminate the parking lot as the photographers try to get their first glimpse at the limo’s inhabitant.
Abigail Chase: Let’s see, it’s…it’s…!
Stepping out from the limousine, dressed in a sparkling sequin Valentino designer suit is…Azrael Goeren. The boos and disappointment from the crowd inside watching on the video screen can be heard even out in the parking lot. Abigail looks deflated as Azrael smiles warmly at the camera, reaching back into the limo to pull out his CWC World Heavyweight Championship belt which he throws over his right shoulder.
Goeren: Wie wunderbar! Now THIS is how I should be greeted each and every time I arrive at a SHOOT event. With a full media posse and a camera crew!
Abigail Chase: Azrael. Hi. So good to…see you.
Goeren: The pleasure is undoubtedly all yours my dear.
Abigail Chase: We were hoping for someone else.
Abigail Chase: Anyone.
Goeren: No need to be modest my little darling, you’re welcome to interview me any time you like. In any position you like.
Goeren: That was a sexual intercourse innuendo, did you get the meaning?
Abigail Chase: (sigh) Yes.
Goeren: Excellent, this night is off to a swimming success! Abigail…be a dear and take a step off-camera for your Megastar, we need to be polite and let my guests make their way out of the limousine.
Abigail Chase: Your guests?
Emerging from the limo like a swarm of brown-suit locusts comes three…four…five…six…middle-aged men all carrying black briefcases. Each man carries a sullen expression on his face, looking like they’ve never seen a good time in the last decade or so.
Abigail Chase: Who are these men?
Goeren: These wonderfully coordinated individuals are the best legal counsel that money and illicit photographs of interns can buy. You see, at last Revolution Patrick Kidd finally pushed me too far. I was going to keep our little…disagreement…a secret between us, but he forced me to make it public. He forced me to air all of his dirty laundry. He forced me to reveal that his son Michael isn’t his son at all, he’s my son. Born from my Teutonic loins and held, against his will no doubt, by the lecherous Patrick Kidd all of these years.
Azrael adjusts his title belt, polishing it briefly with the cuff of his shirt before continuing.
Abigail Chase: You don’t seem that upset about it…
Goeren: Oh but I am. Inside, I am a distraught mess. A distraught, sexy mess. I don’t know how I can continue my life without little Matthew in it.
Abigail Chase: Michael.
Goeren: Whatever. All I know is that Patrick Kidd has property that is rightfully mine. These men I brought with me tonight are here to guarantee that Patrick Kidd gets served with legal papers telling him that he has one week…ONE WEEK…to hand over my son to me. If he fails to comply, my lawyers have assured me that I’m well within my rights as the boy’s biological father to press charges against Patrick Kidd. And I swear to Christ, I will do everything in my power to send that hermaphroditic bastard straight to jail for the psychological trauma he’s done to my child.
Abigail Chase: Isn’t that a bit extreme?
Goeren: Absolutely not! The way I see it, the poor boy has suffered enough. Imagine if you will that child’s wretched life, being forced to live under the same house as Patrick Kidd when in his veins flows the blood of a Goeren. Leaving him with Kidd is the equivalent of child abuse, and unlike you I am not in favor of injuring children.
Abigail Chase: I never said that!
Goeren: Hush now, no need to defend your horrible beliefs. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go find X-Calibur and the rest of the Hierarchy. This night will turn from good to great when our World Champion finally retires that man-child Loco Martinez! Auf Wiedersehen!
With that, Azrael walks off camera with his legal entourage in tow. Abigail can only shake her head in disbelief as we slowly fade out.
The view creeps past old machinery and dust-coated walls, and as we round a corner, a burst of steam passes over the camera lens. A rag appears to wipe the lens clean, and we find ourselves looking into the corner of a boiler room.
The lighting here is a sickly crimson, and although we’re viewing from what can only be imagined is a concealed angle, we see that this portion of the room is occupied.
There’s an old ironwood table set up near one section of the room, and at this table sits the deranged entity we’ve come to know as Isaac Entragian. Steam from the boiler hangs about his head like a halo, giving his demonic visage even more potency. His hair is swept back into a half ponytail, and his poisonous green eyes bore into a figure seated opposite him.
We’re unable to make this figure out, shadows eat up his face, and a rusty pipe juts over our view and prevents us from getting a decent look. The man is big though, that much can be gathered simply by looking at the massive forearms resting on the tabletop.
Corazon stands vigil near a metal door, arms crossed at the chest. Kenji’s spotted crouching against the wall next to him, his ragged fingernails casually scraping across the rusty floor as he watches over the proceedings with empty eyes.
We pick up the serpentine rasp of Entragian’s voice mid-sentence, and the audio seems to pick up in volume so that we’re able to listen in.
Entragian: …I had to scour the desert wastes to find you, but find you I did. An animal is able to sniff out another animal, and my sense of smell has never once steered me wrong. Of course Corazon’s tip sped the process along quite nicely having worked with you in the past one tends to gain an intimate knowledge of another’s thought process…
Corazon smirks and nods, as if to say…”My pleasure.”
Entragian: I can only imagine what you were doing in that shack. There was quite a bit of blood on the floor….but alas we all have our secrets, don’t we?
The albino favors the mysterious man with a grin of razor-tipped delight, his eyes full of the darkness that lies in his core.
Entragian: SCAR knows how to keep secrets. Our little family believes in letting our deepest, darkest appetites run rampant, consequences be damned. It’s gained us a reputation in SHOOT. We’re spoken of in whispered tones, looked upon in a cultist light. The fear feeds us. We write our memoirs in blood, and our crusade has always been one of pandemonium-laden progress.
Isaac pulls a serrated blade from the table top, and very casually, he starts to pick his teeth with it.
Entragian: Entry into this little family is very…selective. Very restrictive. We’re unlike any other group in this company. We’re not elitist imperials like the prancing lads that comprise The Hierarchy. We’re not a backstage laughingstock like the “Sinister Syndicate. Nor are we akin to the honor-guards that make up The Bad Ass Brotherhood…
Isaac pauses, twirling the blade between his fingers, his eyes never leaving the eyes of his dark companion.
Entragian: Consider us…a collection of like-minded predators. Comparable to pack of a wolves. We hunt together, we maim together, we dine together. Our territory covers bigger sections of SHOOT Project with each passing week, and our killing ground remains plentiful with potential. SCAR is as much an ideal as it is a group….and we take on only the most VICIOUS of prospects…
Kenji nods from his crouched position, his face one of cold calculation.
Entragian: Which brings me to you. A fellow creature. I can look into your eyes and see exactly what lies in your heart, and believe me when I tell you…I LIKE what I see. SCAR wants you. More specifically, I want you. I’m spinning a few spiderweb plots that I could use a hand with, and your name was the first to float into my mind. You’re to be my secret weapon. My blood-brothers have their own affairs to tend to, so you’ll be at my side as the warpath rages with old man Carver. Someone you know all too well…
The shadowed figure grunts, and although it’s hard to tell, the darkened mouth seems raise up into a knowing grin. Isaac returns the grin, his eyes toxic pools of assessment as he stabs the blade back into the wood of the tabletop.
Entragian: A rare offer we’re extending here. A chance to be remade as the animal you’ve always been and will always be. What’ll it be then? A return to the solitude of the Mojave, or a covenant that will yield dividends of fresh meat and bucket-loads of glory? Choices, choices…
Entragian extends one pallid claw towards the man, looking like Lucifer in the beginning stages of a corrupt pact. After a moment’s contemplation, a heavy hand grips the albino’s own, and the two men shake at the wrist.
Entragian: And of your choices, you choose the wisest. Welcome to SCAR, brother. Accept this humble token of allegiance I’m sure the irony won’t be lost on you…
Isaac raises his free hand, and hanging from a silver chain we see an obsidian stone with a single red flaw in the middle. A slight chuckle can be heard from the barrel-chest of the unknown figure, and Isaac rises from his seat while clapping the new SCAR brother on the shoulder.
Entragian: Oh shit! I nearly forgot. Did you enjoy that little gift I sent over to your hotel room?
The man speaks a single word, much like the purr of a satisfied lion.
Shadowed Figure: Delicious.
Entragian: Warms my heart to hear it! I considered wrapping him for you…but he just wouldn’t stop twitching.
Corazon snickers at this, and the mystery man joins in with a hearty chuckle.
Entragian: Feel free to catch up with SCAR’s Black Death and make the acquaintance of The Sociopath Pioneer. Now if you’ll excuse me, boys…I’m off to the puncture the ego of a boisterous convict.
The albino walks out of frame as the other SCAR members converge and speak, but then suddenly, the camera is violently grabbed and pushed back. The face of the sinister albino swims into view, the teeth bared in a wicked snarl.
Entragian: I caught the scent of your sweat the moment you started spying, little piggy. Nothing pertaining to us is seen unless I WANT it to be seen…
A nervous voice is heard behind the camera, and all we can make out are the words “Please, wait…” followed by a gurgling sound and the camera going dark.
”The following is a paid advertisement by BAB, LLC. The following opinions do not represent the opinions of SHOOT Project, its roster, its staff, its fans, or Poland.”
We open to see The Bad Ass Brotherhood, wearing their SHOOT Project World Tag Team Championship belts around their waists. Charles Brandon Magnus is wearing a nice charcoal blazer with a white dress shirt underneath while Buck Dresden is wearing a pair of blue jeans and a white t-shirt.
Buck Dresden: Hello, SHOOT Project, my name is Buck Dresden. This here’s Charles Brandon Magnus.
Charles Brandon Magnus: We are the SHOOT Project World Tag Team Champions. We are called the Bad Ass Brotherhood.
“Yo, son! Tell ‘em PERDITION likes to suck goblin cocks!”
Magnus stops and looks offscreen, but Buck stops him from losing sight.
Buck Dresden: Uh…we realize y’all might forget that fact because, after Master of the Mat, SHOOT decided it didn’t want to have a tag division.
“FUCK them other three slitlick teams, homie!”
Charles Brandon Magnus: That…uh…that also…wait. Okay. That includes such riveting opponents as Frontline II TURBO running out of quarters. Stellar Insanity…being Stellar Insanity. Project:SCAR deciding that being mean is easier and more fun to do on a one on one basis.
Buck Dresden: And, ladies and gentlemen, that makes us sad.
“Cry on, cryah!”
Charles Brandon Magnus: Cry on?
Buck Dresden: Focus.
Charles Brandon Magnus: Uh…you see, here tonight as we celebrate the SHOOT Project…we can’t help but look back at the tag teams of old.
Buck Dresden: Long Island Hardcore.
Charles Brandon Magnus: Hardcore Style.
Buck Dresden: Hardcore Beautiful People.
Charles Brandon Magnus: Ringo S…gah. Club EC.
“Almost said it, dawg!”
Buck Dresden: Come on, guys. We just need y’all to work with us on this dress rehearsal for our segment later.
Bobby Ringo and AJ Starr walk on screen at this point.
Bobby Ringo: Yo, for rilly though? Whoever you got comin’ through on this segment pales…PALES…in comparison to us.
AJ Starr: PALE SON. PALE LIKE CHALK, NUCCAS.
Bobby Ringo: You need to give us a title shot.
Buck Dresden: Y’all haven’t even had a single match. Ever.
AJ Starr: So?
Bobby Ringo: Has your current number one contenders had a match?
Buck Dresden: Charlie…who’re our number one contenders?
Charles Brandon Magnus: Nobody.
AJ Starr: SEE.
Magnus shakes his head and walks off set.
Bobby Ringo: Hater.
AJ Starr: Queer.
Fist bump. Ringo Starr look at Buck.
AJ Starr: So?
Buck Dresden: No.
Bobby Ringo: There’s a queers ‘n’ steers joke I wanna make.
AJ Starr: Just call him gay and be done, homeslizzle.
Ringo looks Buck up and down.
Bobby Ringo: You g…
Buck covers Ringo’s mouth.
Buck Dresden: Jesus don’t like curse words, feller.
AJ Starr: I tried to tell dude, dude.
Buck looks at AJ.
AJ Starr: I’mma get my coat.
Buck removes his hand from Bobby’s mouth.
Bobby Ringo: Deuces.
Ringo Starr: Exit Stage Left. Buck sighs and looks off to the top.
Buck Dresden: Charlie? Charlie. We gotta get this segment done if we got any hope of havin’ a tag division, man!
We hear Magnus off screen.
Charles Brandon Magnus: Those guys gone?
Buck stares off screen.
Charles Brandon Magnus: …let’s find better co-stars.
Buck continues to stare off screen. He sighs and shakes his head.
Buck Dresden: Take five.
Samantha Coil: The following contest is set for one fall…
“Enemy” by 12 Stones cranks into the Epicenter’s sound system, as a huge red pyro burst comes up from the ramp. Cronos Diamante comes out of the back slowly, holding his ribs. He looks out over the crowd, as he slowly walks to the ring. The fans don’t know what to make of the man we know as “The Devil” or the “Old Snake.”
Eryk Masters: Cronos Diamante comes out of the back, holding his ribs gingerly, OG. The Sinister Syndicate tried to lay one over on him.
Other Guy: But Jaime Alejandro comes out with the save… They don’t like each other at all, E. I mean, I don’t see Cronos inviting Jaime over for turkey and dressing…
Eryk Masters: But it seems those two might have an understanding. And I think Cronos and Jaime might actually trust each other because of the fact of their mutual enemy.
He moves slowly down to the ring. We see his SWAT fatigues and his Crucifix boots. He slaps the hands of a couple of the hardcore fans. As he gets to the ring, he moves over to the steps and slowly moves up the steps.
Samantha Coil: The first competitor! Coming to the ring, from The Bronx. Weighing in at 290 lbs., he is CRONOS DIAMANTE!
Cronos gets into the ring between the top and second rope and moves slowly to the center of the ring, waiting on his opponent.
Eryk Masters: He should even be out here, really, OG. He’s got a cut above his right eye. He’s got busted ribs. If it weren’t for Alejandro, he would be on a gurney heading downtown.
Other Guy: Cronos isn’t going to do that, E. He’d rather die before he leaves a match he’s booked in. You and I both know this.
She Will Sing, Til Everything Burns While Everyone Screams Burning In Their Lies Burning My Dreams
The lights dim down for a moment and the video wall springs to life showing various images of SHOOT Project competitors each image being burned away in sequence as if someone was burning a stack of photos.
Eryk Masters: The very sick mind of that woman coming into play. I bet she’s ultimately proud of what she did in the back, even if it is to Cronos.
Other Guy: But you gotta know she’s not happy that Jaime even intervened in the Syndicate’s business…
“As Everything Burns”, by Anastasia, continues to play the arena explodes into boos as Tanya Black emerges out of the back, her head hanging down solemnly until she gets to the end of the ramp at which point she looks up at the ring and grins like a cat sizing up it’s prey. Standing at ringside Tanya watches as her song dies down the last words echoing through the arena
All of this hate
And all of this pain
I’ll burn it all down
As my anger reigns
Till everything burns
Samantha Coil: And his opponent, from Boston, Massachusetts. Weighing in at 165 lbs., she is TANYA BLACK!
With that, Tanya slides into the ring with a surprising burst of speed given her slow walk to the ring catching Cronos a bit off-guard.
Eryk Masters: The Devil backing off a bit, and rightfully so…
Other Guy: He’s coming in wounded. That’s going to be very dangerous for Tanya to deal with, E…
Dennis Heflin waves his arm and calls for the start bell. Both opponents circle around the ring slowly. Cronos is holding his ribs. Tanya is sneering at her handiwork. Her only chance for a “fair” fight right in front of her. The wounded Cronos, however, looks at her with a look of pure hatred. He wants to take out Tanya Black and her impudence.
Eryk Masters: Take a look at Cronos. He’s got a look of pure disgust on his face.
Other Guy: I think after his words to Cade Sydal, he’s putting any of the Syndicate on notice right now…
Cronos rushes forward and comes in with a flurry of punches, which proves to be impossible for Tanya to start ducking and blocking. Cronos has the size and skill advantage, as he’s playing a bit strategy of keep away from his injuries. The stiches above his right eye also show a huge target from the Syndicate’s handiwork.
Eryk Masters: That cut looks nasty, OG. Are we sure that Cronos even needed to participate in this match?!!
Other Guy: Cronos is an old snake, he’s not going to give this match up until he’s dead, man.
Diamante gets Tanya ducking down low and he lays a hard shot across the back of her neck. Tanya tries to keep her neck from becoming prone. But the veteran zeroes in on her neck. He keeps dealing a series of huge and clubbing blows right to the back of her neck. Tanya goes to the ground onto her knees. From here, Diamante goes to the ground and keeps beating down onto her neck and shoulders.
Eryk Masters: Cronos knows that Tanya’s got a history of where she’s spent quality time in a wheelchair…
Other Guy: I think he aims to put her back into one, E!
The Old Snake keeps beating down on Tanya without mercy. Tanya feels a lot of pain around her shoulders and neck, as Cronos keeps on his vicious attack. She decides to go onto the offensive and throws a series of punches towards his ribs. Cronos tries to keep on the move, but Tanya keeps aiming at the very injury she caused.
Eryk Masters: And Tanya goes back to those ribs. Her handiwork with the rest of the cowards in the Syndicate.
Other Guy: It’s the only way she’d have been able to hang in this match with a bigger and smarter Cronos, E!
Cronos gasps for air from the shots delivered to his ribs. Then, Tanya pulls him down with a double leg takedown. She takes the front mount and starts dealing a series of shots to his ribs. Cronos tries to move around to avoid the shots, but as we see, Tanya is in control. As she keeps hitting, she looks up towards his face.
Eryk Masters: I think Tanya sees the stitches, OG!
Other Guy: I can’t think of any other thing she is looking at. That’s a huge target on his face. And if I were here, I would start hitting it hard…
From here, she sees his stitches and starts firing a series of punches to the right eye. Diamante tries his damndest to put up a guard. As he does, we see the cut re-opening with the blood gushing out quickly. He moves his head to keep up his moving guard. Tanya keeps aiming for the bleeding cut, but finally Cronos has enough and grabs her breasts and twists hard.
Eryk Masters: That’s the ultimate insult. He’s twisting her mammaries and making sure she knows that he’s still in this fight.
Other Guy: A twist to the milk bags. Anyone else, I would say was copping a feel. Cronos… He’s doing it to make sure she stops hitting him.
Cronos mercilessly keeps pounding down on Tanya’s face until a nasty potato forms above her left eye. Heflin tries to interfere, but Cronos shoves him off. From here, Heflin tries to regain control again. Tanya howls as the fist comes down one more time, and we see the potato open up into a vicious cut. Heflin shoves Diamante off and warns him to go to the corner. Tanya is face down on the ground now.
Eryk Masters: Oh dear God… Cronos trying to make Tanya a bit uglier in appearance. Giving her a matching cut over her eye.
Other Guy: And imagine that 290 pound man just brining his fists down. No way in hell anyone can block that with a straight block. Good on Heflin to pull him off, or this match would have been called.
Heflin helps her up and looks at her eye. He keeps asking her if she wants to continue. Tanya shoves him off and snarls at him. Her own cut above the eye is bleeding profusely now. She looks over at Cronos and sneers at him. Cronos gives her an equally disdainful look. Both participants keep an eye on each other, as the blood factor in this match just went up tenfold.
Eryk Masters: Tanya waiving off any and all medical help from Heflin. She’s losing a lot of blood, but wants to keep going to try to put Diamante out of this match and possibly his career.
Other Guy: Cronos is also looking to put Tanya out of her own wrestling career, E. He’s found and determined to make sure Tanya nor her friends are hanging around in SHOOT intact.
Both competitors come rushing out of their corners. Cronos fires a huge boot to Tayna’s face. She goes to the ground in a huge heap. From here, he pulls her up from the mat and throws her over with a very quick toss. Tanya hits the mat hard and sits up quickly, holding up her back. Diamante runs up and plants a huge soccer kick along the neck/shoulder area. Tanya stiffens up and winces a lot. From here, he comes back around with another hard kick to the neck.
Eryk Masters: Cronos is usually a submissions man, but he’s not going to risk Tanya Black taking advantage of her handiwork.
Other Guy: Not to mention, he might be softening her up for Ne Han, his patented submission… Which makes sense with the attempts to break her neck.
Tanya winces once again, but Cronos goes for another kick. This time, she moves to the side and swings back around with a huge leg sweep. Diamante hits the ground hard, connecting with his face. Tanya takes advantage of this and turns him around. From here, she starts to look at the opportunity in front of her. She’s looking at her fallen opponent with that evil little glint.
Eryk Masters: That sick little woman, what’s she going to do…
Other Guy: I really don’t know, E. But I can guess it’s not going to be good for Diamante.
Tanya leaps into the air with all she’s got and plants both feet on Cronos’ knees. She looks at the left foot of Cronos and stomps down on it hard. Then, she takes that methodical step over to the right foot and stomps down. She takes another methodical walk over to his right hand and stomps down. Now, she stops for a second and looks at the head and sees the blood from the right eye area and stomps down extra hard and rubs the heel against the stitches…
Eryk Masters: Oh, come on, Tanya. Haven’t you caused enough damage to Cronos? You’re already in control!
Other Guy: Her brain isn’t operating on a full deck, E. She still blames everyone else for her shortcomings.
She scrapes her shoes off for a second and moves over to the left hand and stomps down on it. She sees the ribs and plants two good stomps down on them as Cronos struggles to breathe. Tanya has that sadistic little sneer on her face, as she moves over slowly to his throat and takes a nice huge stomp down on it. Cronos holds his throat tightly. She’s laughing at Cronos’ apparent pain. He’s facing the ground now…
Eryk Masters: The Veteran is usually the one who’s got his opponents in the position that he’s in. Someone like Tanya Black, though. It seems she’s willing to do anything for a win.
Other Guy: Can’t trust an ax wound, man.
Tanya comes up and gives him a hard punt to the ribs. Cronos rolls over to the ground and Tanya keeps laughing at him. She’s mocking the old veteran mercilessly, as he gasps for air. She goes to the ground and pulls up her opponent. As she does, Cronos tries to mount some offense, but Tanya pushes him over to the corner. As fast as she goes in, she comes up with a hard kick to the Diamante jewels. Cronos moves out for a second.
Eryk Masters: That was a low blow, Heflin! No way she gets away with that!
Other Guy: Heflin didn’t see it, E. Which means, it’s Cronos high pitched words against hers.
Tanya leaps up and pulls him in with a huge Tarantula. She pulls the legs up, as Heflin starts yelling at her to get away from the ropes. Cronos is straining to keep his composure, while Tanya is pulling down on his neck and upward with his legs. His ribs are screaming at him from the pain. Tanya keeps ignoring Heflin’s commands.
Eryk Masters: You can just tell she’s not going for a clean win, OG. She wants to injure and maim her opponent.
Other Guy: She perceives Cronos as a person who’s disrespecting her entire ideal of the Syndicate. It seems she doesn’t care anymore about the rules.
From here, Heflin starts the counting, but Tanya lets go of the move before he gets the chance. As she goes, Cronos moves to his knees. He picks himself up and shoots over to the ropes, where Tanya is waiting for him with a huge rope-assisted jawbreaker. Heflin yells at her to get back in the ring or he’ll call for the bell. Tanya shrugs him off and heads back into the ring slowly…
Eryk Masters: The woman who once talked about honor in the ring. She loses one match to Alejandro and starts on this dastardly path. Which is disgusting and disrespectful.
Other Guy: I would argue that, E. However, you’re not off the mark. She’s willing to violate her own ethos just to prove a point of trying to “get rid of the old.”
Cronos seems sick of her antics, and he fires off a series of kicks as she tries to enter back into the ring. He’s focusing on her shoulders and her neck even more now. He pulls Tanya into the middle of the ring and sits her up again. After this, runs against the ropes, hitting his ribs. Yet, he ignores the pain and plants another hard kick to the shoulder blades. Tanya screams out from the pain. He runs back and pulls off a Mr. Perfect neck snap.
Eryk Masters: Cronos taking advantage of Tanya’s lax attitude, and planting some vicious kicks to the back of that neck.
Other Guy: But did that neck snap take more out of him. And look how hard he lands. Can his ribs even take that much abuse. Even from that move?
Cronos holds his ribs gently. The impact of that flipover didn’t do wonders for his body at all. He breathes in shallow breaths, as Tanya looks upwards to the lights. She looks very pissed off at herself. From here, Tanya starts hitting the mat with her fists, trying to get herself going.
Eryk Masters: Cronos can’t move, OG. Tanya’s also feeling the effects.
Other Guy: She wants to completely end Cronos, but she doesn’t have the energy to..
Tanya Black pulls herself up slowly to her feet. As she does, she pulls off her shirt. Cronos also springs himself up a bit faster. As he does, Tanya takes the shirt and throws it right at his face. Cronos tries to pull the shirt off of his face as fast as he can, but Tanya takes advantage of the situation and pulls him up for an off balance Side Effect. Tanya drops him down, but she’s not able to get the full effect of the move…
Eryk Masters: She’s trying to lift up a larger man, but can only get an off balance. Her shoulders and neck wouldn’t let her get much of a full lift.
Other Guy: Not to mention, that’s 290 pounds of dead weight, man. Very few can lift that on good health.
She can’t even muster enough for a cover over her opponent, as her attempts are met with slight resistance. Tanya tries to put up Cronos for another Side Effect attempt, only to have the Old Snake come up with a huge throat punch. Tanya spits up fast and hard. She’s coughing from the impact, as we see a bit of blood coming out from her mouth. From there, Cronos lines her up…
Eryk Masters: That match killer from Cronos. Tanya got it at Master of the Mat. She couldn’t even mount an offense from that.
Other Guy: Hopefully that punch shuts her up for the next few weeks.
He starts with vicious Thai kicks on her shins. Tanya struggles to stay upright. He moves with a vicious kicking string along her thighs and hips. She tries to stay upright and defiant. From here, Cronos starts planting kicks along her ribs, as hard as he can. Then, as she stands up, he plants a high jumping kick to the temple. Tanya Black moves downward to the ground. She meets the ground with a thud.
Eryk Masters: It’s a Countdown to Extinction, OG…
Other Guy: We’re about to see the end now, E. And Tanya will go back to crying to Cade!
Cronos sees the prone Tanya and moves to the ground as quickly as he can. He pulls up the full nelson, but Tanya feels it and throws a quick elbow to the ribs. Cronos drops the hold, as the bruising is hurting him tremendously…
Eryk Masters: Oh no…
Other Guy: She just saw her opening…
Tanya kicks him right in the ribs again. As she does, Cronos tries to get up to his feet to fight back, but she hits him again. He stands upright trying to fight again. As he does, Tanya runs to the second rope and springs herself off of the ropes and wraps the arm under his neck on the back flip.
She nails him with the Asai DDT. She springs over for the pin!
Samantha Coil: Your winner by pinfall! TANYA BLACK!
Tanya gets her arm raised up by Heflin, but she brushes him off. As she does, she points to the ramp, as the rest of the Syndicate members clap in approval at this victory. Then, she kicks Cronos one more time in the ribs, as he’s still on the ground.
Eryk Masters: That’s enough, Tanya…
Other Guy: She’s snapped, man. All I got to say…
We’re backstage in the trainer’s room. The same cute blonde trainer that we’ve seen working with Loco the last few months is taping his right ankle. There’s a knock on the door. She looks at Loco who nods his approval.
Trainer: Come in.
The door opens slowly and Laura Seton steps into the room, her younger sister, Madison a step behind.
Loco looks at the two and his eyes light up. Madison casts a dirty look "blonde trainer’s" direction.
Loco: Ladies, to what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?
Laura stands quietly as Madison excitedly heads to him.
Madison: Just want to wish my buddy luck! Not that you need it.
Loco shifts to the edge of the table, and gives Madison a hug.
Loco: Thanks! Glad you… both of you… made the time to come see me. I really appreciate it.
Madison: You have to promise ME you won’t lose. After all, who else would I hang out with in the back?
Laura: Very funny.
Loco chuckles as Madison leans in for a friendly kiss on Loco’s cheek, but doesn’t get far.
Laura: Madison? You mind if I have a minute with Loco?
Madison looks like she’s about to whine, but again Laura stops things.
Loco: Its okay Maddie, you’ll have plenty of chances to see me.
Madison gets her kiss in before reluctantly leaving, giving Laura a look nearly like she gave the trainer. Laura walks over to Loco.
Laura eyes him up and down, the tension from their time in LEGACY, not entirely gone, seeps into the room like a fog for a few moments.
Laura: I know I’m probably the last person you expected to see. You know I’m no more a friend of yours than a dog is to a cat. But–well….
She looks to be struggling with what she wants to say.
Laura: You wished me luck at Salvation. That took a lot of you and I’ve respected that. The classy thing for me to do tonight would be to return the favor, so? I wish you luck. I wish you the absolute best of luck. Right now, and I can’t emphasize those words enough–right now, you’re the best person possible to carry that World Title.
Loco is touched by these words and the weight they carry. He smiles genuinely.
Loco: With our past, you have no idea how much that means to me. Thank you.
Laura: It still feels awkward but it’s the right thing to do…
She extends her hand for a shake. Loco smiles and takes her hand. She gives him a nod and heads out and the trainer continues taping up his ankles.
"The Following Message is Brought to You by Mr. Sin City."
The fans pop loud for this, and the camera zooms forward to somewhere in the center section of the SHOOT Project Epicenter. A spotlight has found what the cameraman is looking for. Amidst the fans, who are all in a frenzy, trying to get themselves seen on camera, sits Mr. Sin City himself, the SHOOT Project’s Sin City Champion, Lunatikk Crippler. Beer in one hand, Sin City title across his lap, he grins, soaking in the adulation of his fans. His other hand holds a microphone, which he brings to his mouth. He opens his mouth to speak, but the fans are just getting louder. He knows that the entire crowd can see him on the Tron, so he brings a finger to his mouth in sort of a "shh" fashion. The crowd quiets just a bit, but it’s enough, as The Crippler raises the microphone once again.
Lunatikk Crippler: Las Vegas, Nevada.
Cheap pop. Sure. It works, however, as the crowd renews their frenzy. The Crippler laughs and drains what’s left of his beer, tossing the cup to the groud, thus creating more work for the people who have to clean this place at the end of the night. The Crippler gets to his feet, and he stands on his seat, hoisting the Sin City Championship high above his head. The crowd pops again, loud as ever, as their champion raises his gold. The Crippler lowers the title, draping it across his shoulder, and then raises the microphone again.
Lunatikk Crippler: It’s been ten years since the SHOOT Project opened their doors. Ten years of people battling it out, in that very ring, for each and every one of you people here tonight.
The crowd pops again.
Lunatikk Crippler: Ten years ago, I was toiling away, picking up every piece of wrestling knowledge I could back in New York City. Ten years later, I am no longer Mr. New York, I am Mr. Sin Fucking City!
The crowd let’s Crippler hear it again. It’s obvious he’s enjoying the attention and the cheering. He continues.
Lunatikk Crippler: I wanted to take this time to remind each and everyone of you people here tonight that Lunatikk Crippler is a fighting champion. That I am ready, willing, and more than able to defent this, the Sin City Championship, against any and all comers.
The crowd cheers again.
Lunatikk Crippler: It doesn’t matter who they are, I will not back down. You saw last week with Johnny Napalm, as he ended up Bitchified right in the center of the ring. Just like Jester Smiles. Just like Jaime Alejandro. Just like anyone who wants to step into the ring with me, anyone who wants to try and pry this golden opportunity off of my shoulder.
I am not some flash in the pan paper champion. I am a competitor. I am "The Whole Fucked Up Show". And this is a message, plain and simple, to anyone in the back who has a problem with me holding this title. Anyone in the locker room who thinks that I didn’t EARN this championship. To any Tom, Dick, or Harry who thinks that I will defend this any differently than a World Heavyweight Championship….
Prove me wrong.
The crowd pops again for the Sin City Champion. He lowers the microphone and then lowers himself back into his seat. He raises the microphone up again.
Lunatikk Crippler: Tonight, is a night of nostalgia. It’s a night of remembering all the veterans who helped to build the SHOOT Project we all know and love today. It’s a night to celebrate the people who came before us. It’s also a night where you get a good hard look at the people who are going to carry the SHOOT Project for the next decade. People, coincidentally, like the man speaking to all of you right now.
Crippler smirks a bit.
Lunatikk Crippler: I’m ready to prove that I have what it takes to be more than a bit player around here. I’m the Sin City Champion, and I’m ready to prove it. This is an open challenge to anyone in the roster who has never held the Sin City Championship before, who wants a chance to earn championship glory. This is an open invitation for a one on one match with me, for the Sin City title, whenever, whereever.
When someone is ready to challenge me, I won’t be difficult to find. I’ll be right here, waiting. So go ahead, answer my challenge. But answer fast. It’s first come, first serve.
The Crippler shuts off the microphone and hands it off to a member of SHOOT security. He lifts up his championship in both hands and raises it above his head, illiciting one last roar from the crowd, before we’re ready to continue on with the anniversary show.
The scene now changes to one of the locker rooms in the back. More specifically, the one of the “PG Princess,” Laura Seton. Dressed a bit fancier than normal in honor of the 10th Anniversary show—a white medium-length sleeve shirt worn beneath a black sleeveless blouse with gray pants—she sits with her back to the door. She has a small bag, something like a medical kit, that’s she’s searching through as there’s a knock on the door. Slowly the door opens as Jaime Alejandro peeks in. Seeing she’s presentable he enters the room.
Jaime: Hey Princess… How’s it going today?
Turning to face him, Laura seems a bit surprised at hearing his voice. She quickly turns back and grabs what she was going for and heads towards Jaime.
Laura: Hey! I didn’t think you’d actually stop by.
He sees her surprised look, but he just shakes it off. As he also moves towards her, he smiles at her.
Jaime: Well, you did ask nicely. And… I can’t really refuse when you do.
Laura: I thought I had another moment, but since you’re here you can help…
As they reach each other she rolls up her left shirt sleeve and raises a syringe.
Laura: Would you like to play doctor or no?
Jaime: What am I playing doctor for? This isn’t anything that’s one of the rare SHOOT banned substances, is it?
Laura: No! No, no, no…..just pinch my upper arm here—
Jaime does so and Laura gives a small groan from the pinching before injecting herself. She nods at Jaime for him to let go before putting the syringe back with the rest of her stuff. Jaime looks at Laura, and he can tell that she’s not a big fan of needles. Even if she’s taken hits that would knock anyone down, she seems to not like needles at all.
Jaime: You alright?
Laura: I’m fine. Don’t worry.
She has a chuckle to herself before looking at Jaime again.
Laura: You excited about the holiday season?
Jaime looks down for a second. He hadn’t even remembered it was the holidays at all. He didn’t get to see either of his kids until Christmas time. He knew he would be working, or hoped he would be.
Jaime: I haven’t noticed them, really. Just not much for me this season…
Laura: Really? It’s the best time of the year! The snow. The festivities. Being with family…
Jaime looks away at that statement…
Jaime: Yeah… Family.
Laura sees Jaime’s uneasiness. She gets a rather concerned look.
Laura: Are YOU all right?
Jaime: I’ll be fine. I’m a bit far from my family this season, that’s all. Won’t see all of them for a while.
It almost looks like Laura feels sorry for him after hearing that. She has a look to the floor for a moment before looking back up and giving a small smile to him.
Laura: Uh—well—I guess….you’re not doing anything for Thanksgiving then?
Jaime hears what she’s saying, but it’s not registering entirely for him yet.
Jaime: No… Not really. Why do you ask?
She looks at Jaime, almost as if thinking over her next step. Her expression goes to a caring one.
Laura: I was wondering if—well—if you’d like to join me? My family and me?
She has a quick laugh at that last sentence.
Laura: They’re rather crazy but…..we’re friends and you’re going to be alone otherwise—
Her expression now becomes a mix of care and concern.
Laura: —and no one should be alone, you know?
Jaime nods his head for a second.
Jaime: They can’t be any worse than your sister. She thought I talked slower than Gallardo from the Brewers. So, if I may ask, where the heck are we going?
Laura looks completely thrown for a loop, not understanding the reference, but she quickly gets her wits back.
Laura: My place. My family’s place. In Oshkosh.
Jaime tries to think in his head of where Laura’s talking about, until he realizes. Wisconsin. To be certain, Packer Land…
Jaime: I’ll be sure not to wear any other NFL team items. If I’m going to the state I think I’m going to.
Laura: I guess you get to see everyone’s crazy side since there’s a pretty big game that afternoon. Try not to say or do anything stupid then. Especially around Madison she can get a little testy.
Jaime: I’ll try not to jinx the streak…
Laura: Leave it to my family and me to worry about the Packers. You just have a good time with us.
Darkness descends upon the Epicenter, and with Las Vegas plunged into the blackness, searing white light starts to emanate from the top of the ramp at timed intervals. The SHOOT Project Video Wall starts to showcase various images of disturbia, including a writhing nest of snakes, a white horse standing in a barren field covered in ground mist, followed by a grin of razor sharp teeth and the flick of a forked tongue.
“Sympathy For The Devil” by Tiamat starts to player overhead with ominous foreshadowing of the one who’s coming.
Las Vegas comes to LIFE, heralding the Pale Prince of Pain with a negative ovation that is practically murderous.
Other Guy: Well SHOOT Project’s 10th Anniversary is about to venture into grim territory, ladies and gentlemen…
Eryk Masters: And already…my stomach has begun to turn. It’s not just the horrifying visage of Entragian that gets to me it’s the fact that on the inside he is a DETESTABLE human being.
Other Guy: One can only imagine what sort of mood he’ll be in tonight after losing that prized Iron Fist Championship to The Hardcore Outlaw.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first, hailing from Mideon, Nebraska, he weighs in at 320lbs, representing PROJECT: SCAR….THE IVORY TERROR….ISAAC ENTRAGIAN!!!!!!!!
The albino steps out past the curtains, standing for a moment while looking directly at the ring. His upper torso is bare, covered in scars and tattoos, and his newest scar is hard to miss on the left side of his face….a ragged, almost knife-shaped scrape that runs from the top of his eyebrow all the way down his cheek.
Isaac never even turns his head to look at the crowd instead he stalks straight down the ramp towards the ring, his face framed by a veil of white hair.
With each step he takes, towering bursts of flame erupt from the ramp on either side of him, painting the pallid titan in hellish light.
Eryk Masters: Look at that SCAR! Diamond Del Carver left his mark on Entragian, no doubt about that. It’s a shame he didn’t dig that poisonous eye right out of his head…
Other Guy: Another one for the collection, Eryk. I’m actually a little surprised here, usually Entragian goes out of his way to incite and berate these fans…but tonight he seems to have tunnel vision…his demeanor strikes me as very…COLD.
Eryk Masters: Definitely all business tonight from the looks of it. That doesn’t bode well for TMB…
Once stepping over the top rope, Isaac begins to pace back and forth in the ring, looking like a caged animal that is just ACHING to tear something apart. He also appears to be whispering to himself, but we can’t make out what he’s saying, and truthfully it’s probably best that we can’t.
The cameras return to the head of the ramp, and “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked” by Cage the Elephant starts to serenade the crowd. Thomas Manchester Black steps out from behind the curtains wearing black and white MMA shorts and boots, along with a tar heel hoodie. Las Vegas unleashes a huge pop for The Queen City Hitman, and he nods his head confidently as he starts down the ramp.
Samantha Coil: Introducing second, hailing from Tokyo, Japan by way of Charlotte, North Carolina…he weighs in at 245lbs, THE QUEEN CITY HITMAN, THOMAS MANCHESTER BLACK!!!!
Other Guy: Black looks focused, and that’s definitely a good thing.
Eryk Masters: If I could use one word to describe TMB, it would be DANGEROUS. This man is a high caliber athlete that can beat just about anyone on any given night, but admittedly…he’s got one hell of a tall order tonight in Vegas.
Other Guy: I think we’re fixing to witness a true battle of bulls here, because these are both BIG boys…TMB goes about 250lbs, and Entragian’s OVER 300lbs…let’s hope that ring is sturdy enough to contain them!
TMB slides into the ring under the bottom rope, and he wastes no time removing his hoodie to get ready for the battle about to be fought. Entragian just continues to pace on his side of the ring, he doesn’t even look at Black or acknowledge the fact that he’s in the ring.
The official twirls his finger towards the timekeeper to signal the ringing of the bell, and we’re OFFICIALLY UNDERWAY!
TMB walks to the center of the ring, and he holds up his heavily-muscled arms, looking to bait Isaac into a lock up. Entragian finally stops pacing, and ever so slowly he turns to look at TMB…and the very INSTANT the two make eye contact, Isaac BARRELS across the ring and starts to PISTON rights and lefts into TMB’s face. TMB is getting ROCKED, so much so that his legs tangle up and he falls to the canvas. Without even breaking stride, Entragian starts to stomp the living hell out of every single one of TMB’s appendages…the veins standing out on his neck, his eyes boiling with liquid fire…and finally TMB rolls out of the ring to gain some separation while holding his the side of his head.
Eryk Masters: JESUS CHRIST! Talk about ferocity…Entragian came out of the starting gate like a stallion pumped full of PCP…
Other Guy: Well it’s clear now what kind of mood Isaac is in tonight, and let’s just say…it’s the BAD kind. Wise move on TMB’s part to gain some distance there so that he can approach this from a different angle…
TMB cracks his neck to the side while wincing, and then cautiously…he slides back into the ring under the bottom rope. His timing is inopportune though, because before he can even rise up, Entragian leaps into the air and drives a NASTY elbow drop right in between Black’s shoulder blades.
TMB rolls to the side while clawing at his back, obvious pain shooting through his body after taking that three hundred pound hit. Entragian allows him NO rest, proceeding to pull TMB back up to his feet and irish whip him hard into the ropes.
Isaac then sets his feet and runs towards the buckles, looking for a big turnbuckle clothesline….BUT TMB DUCKS OUT OF THE WAY JUST IN TIME!
The monster wheels around to find his opponent, but TMB starts to unleash with a barrage of buzzsaw kicks directed into Isaac’s legs, specifically targeting the knees and the thighs. Entragian staggers backwards while TMB moves in…and then using all of his strength…HE LIFTS ENTRAGIAN UP AND HITS HIM WITH A KNEEBREAKER!
Eryk Masters: OUCH! I heard a distinctive crunch sound there TMB is LAYING it on now.
Other Guy: Clever strategy on the part of TMB. Diamond Del Carver tweaked the hell out of Isaac’s knee at Master Of The Mat, so it’s an intelligent move on Black’s part to go the same route and try and take out the monster’s legs…
Isaac sways on both knees, his face a mask of pain and anger…but the very moment TMB attempts to pick him up, Entragian starts to HAMMER uppercuts into the shelf of The Queen City Hitman’s jaw. TMB is getting PEPPERED, and on the final uppercut….he flies off of his feet and lands square on his back!
Eryk Masters: Well there goes that momentum…TMB had Isaac in dangerous territory, but this albino lunatic just OVERWHELMS, OG.
Other Guy: That’s the scary thing about Entragian, Eryk. He LEARNS from his mistakes. The Hardcore Outlaw used the strategy of targeting Isaac’s legs to earn a big victory at MOTM, so tonight it seems Isaac has his guard up and is doing everything he can to protect his vertical base…
Eryk Masters: He’s always evolving, OG. When you think Isaac will go left, he goes right…it’s that unpredictability factor that always manages to leave me unsettled.
TMB struggles back up to his feet just as Entragian returns to a vertical stance, and in a quick movement, Black runs forward and shoots a boot out for a running yakuza kick, but Isaac sidesteps….and then he takes aim and leaps himself…HITTING A HUGE BICYCLE KICK DIRECTED RIGHT INTO THE SIDE OF TMB’s OWN KNEECAP!
TMB buckles down to all fours with a howl of pain, and Entragian responds with a sadistic grin.
Eryk Masters: Isaac scores with Mark Of The Beast! Ouch…
Other Guy: It’s almost like Entragian took exception to TMB targeting his legs, so now he’s giving The Queen City Hitman a taste of his own medicine…
Entragian violently snaps ahold of TMB’s neck, and he proceeds to pull him up to his feet….only to fall to the side and CHOPBLOCK the fuck out of the back of TMB’s knee! Once more, TMB falls with crash…both hands going down to his right leg.
Isaac flips TMB onto his back with the toe of his boot, and then he collapses on top of TMB with both hands LOCKED in a vice-grip around TMB’s throat!
Eryk Masters: Let’s go ref! Get in there…that’s a blatant choke!
Thomas Manchester Black’s face has started to take in a dark red hue, and Isaac leans close to him, leering like a rabid wolf….his mouth stretched up into a RICTUS grin.
Entragian: COME ON TOMMY…PRETEND YOU’RE BACK IN THE PEN AND YOU’RE FIGHTING FOR YOUR LIFE!
Thomas attempts to throw an elbow into Isaac’s ribs, but the monster swats his arm away while maintaining the choke with his free hand. The official starts to admonish Entragian, but he pays no attention whatsoever.
Entragian: LIGHTS OUT, CONVICT! I’M SECONDS AWAY FROM MAKING YOU MY BITCH….
Eryk Masters: Oh my god…I cannot explain in words the AVERSION I feel when it comes to this wretched human being. It’s not enough that he’s choking the man half to death he has to scream at him with that vulgar mouth the whole time too!
Other Guy: I’m all for a little vulgarity now and again….but I think SHOOT Project should invest in a personal audio guy whose SOLE job to is to bleep the obscene crap that comes out of Isaac’s mouth.
T-M-B!!!! T-M-B!!!!! T-M-B!!!!!!
Using all of the force he can muster, TMB manages to turn the tide and roll himself on top of Entragian…and from there he starts to send STIFF MMA style knees into the monster’s ribs.
TMB finally stops the assault and pulls Entragian up to his feet, and he immediately locks in a dragon sleeper. The albino gasps as his airway is cut off, and his forked tongue even slips out as his oxygen starts to dissipate.
TMB pounds his free arm against Isaac’s chest several times, and then he sets his feet…gathers up all of his strength, and SUPLEXES Entragian right onto his stomach!
Other Guy: WOW! The power of Thomas Manchester Black! Not many men on this roster can dead-lift the albino like that…
Eryk Masters: TMB is finding his groove again, OG. That was a particularly nasty suplex….
Entragian crawls up to his hands and knees, one arm plasters against his stomach after taking the impact of the suplex. TMB is right back up, but as he tries force Isaac to his feet…the monster MEAT HOOKS a forearm right into the side of his knee. TMB drops to both knees, his face etched with pain…and Entragian makes a move to capitalize…
The Ivory Terror grabs hold of TMB’s head and violently pulls him into a headscissor predicament, and then using all of his frightening power…he lifts him up onto his shoulders…walks towards the ropes…AND JACKKNIFE POWERBOMBS TMB RIGHT OVER THE TOP ROPE TO THE FLOOR ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE RING!
TMB lands with a horrible crash, taking most of the fall on the back of his head and neck. TMB immediately presses his hands to the back of his neck, his breath labored as he tries to get oxygen back into his chest.
Other Guy: THE FORKED-TONGUE FINALE!! That’s a game changer, ladies and gentlemen. TMB landed right on the back of his SKULL…
Eryk Masters: And it wasn’t enough for Isaac to drop him with that in the center of the ring….he had to DUMP TMB on the outside for added damage! Sickening…
Entragian’s face has taken on a fantastically cruel expression, and without even breaking stride he rolls out of the ring and scrapes up TMB’s carcass….ONLY TO THROW HIM FORWARD AND SMASH HIM FACE FIRST INTO THE STEEL RING POST!!
A loud thud echoes through the arena, and as TMB stumbles back, we see a gusher of blood flowing from his left nostril, so much blood that it washes down to cover his upper chest.
Eryk Masters: This is the WORST possible place for TMB to find himself, OG. The ref needs to get these men back in the ring, because that’s Isaac’s perverse playground out there…he’ll do anything he can get away with to damage this man’s body…
Other Guy: I think it’s possible TMB might have a broken nose, Eryk. The amount of blood coming out of that nostril is…just unnatural…
Instead of allowing TMB to fall, Isaac catches him by the back of the neck….and in an act of total repugnance he swipes blood from TMB’s nose and smears an upside down cross onto his own forehead. He grins directly into TMB’s face, his eyes lacking remorse AND sanity.
Entragian: YOU ASKED FOR PAIN, RIGHT? THIS IS WHAT YOU WANTED…
Before TMB can even gather himself to respond to this, Entragian forces TMB’s weight up onto his shoulder…moves over to the security barrier…AND THEN FLAPJACKS HIM HEADFIRST AGAINST THE SECURITY RAILING!!
TMB collapses in a heap, and we see that now his forehead has been split open, blood oozing out slowly from a small gash to mix with the rest of the blood covering him. At this point the official is literally SCREAMING at Entragian to get it back into the ring….and seconds before being disqualified, Isaac complies by tossing TMB’s broken carcass back into the ring under the bottom rope.
Eryk Masters: Look at the shape TMB is in, OG. Crimson mask, blood coating his entire upper torso….Entragian seems intent on MUTILATING this man…
Other Guy: I have to think TMB can’t have much gas left in the tank at this point. He’s bleeding like a butchered hog, and with every bit of blood that escapes his body…he loses energy along with it…
Entragian starts to climb back into the ring, but just as he’s halfway through the ropes….TMB CLIMBS TO HIS FEET AND SMASHES THE TOE OF HIS BOOT RIGHT INTO ISAAC’S THROAT! Isaac makes a nasty gasping sound and falls with his belly against the middle rope…and TMB promptly locks his arms around Entragian’s neck…ONLY TO SPIKE HIM INTO THE CANVAS WITH A ROPE HUNG DDT!!
Entragian touches down and rolls a few feet towards the center of the ring, and his expression of one of slack incomprehension…as though he’s walking along dream street.
Eryk Masters: YES!!! Never count out TMB. Look at that man’s eyes, OG. They are BRIMMING with fury. I think in some weird way…all this torment that Entragian is unleashing against him is motivating The Queen City Hitman.
Other Guy: I have to agree, Eryk. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen that look in Thomas Manchester Black’s eyes…and I’ll admit, it sends a chill through me.
Thomas Manchester Black beats one fist against his chest, and he looks at the crowd, and despite the blood pouring from his face he bellows out a fierce battle cry while planting a foot against the bottom rope.
TMB!!! TMB!!!! TMB!!!!!
Eryk Masters: I’m all for a little celebration, but TMB CANNOT afford to turn his back on Entragian like this. When you have this monster on the ropes, you need to stay on him…you can’t take you’re eye off this lunatic for even a second…
As though to fully give credit to the announcer’s words, Entragian SITS UP and casts his baleful eyes on the back of TMB…and very slowly…he rises up vertical…
TMB turns around to continue the assault, BUT HE’S MET BY A HELLACIOUS SPEAR TO THE GUT!!!
Other Guy: CORRUPTION OUT OF NOWHERE!!! One second Entragian is down, and the next second he’s up and throwing EVERYTHING at you…
Isaac tugs at one leg for the pinfall attempt.
At the last second, Entragian BREAKS HIS OWN PINFALL!! A perverse grin has spread across his face, and he shakes his head from side to side, as if to say “I’m not done yet.”
Eryk Masters: Oh come on! Entragian had the match won, isn’t that enough for him?
Other Guy: I don’t think he’ll be done until he’s obtained satisfaction, Eryk. For this man…satisfaction comes as a result of annihilation.
Isaac’s pulls TMB’s motionless body up and positions The Queen City Hitman across his shoulders…ONLY TO MILITARY PRESS HIM HIGH UP INTO THE AIR…FOLLOWED BY A STOMACH-WRENCHING GUTBUSTER!!!
TMB rolls off of Entragian’s knee while clenching his own belly…and then once again his body becomes still.
HOLY SHIT!!!! HOLY SHIT!!!!! HOLY SHIT!!!!!
Eryk Masters: The DISEMBOWELER, ladies and gentlemen. Adding insult to injury here. There is NO reason for this…
Other Guy: It’s academic at this point. Entragian is like a tomcat playing with a half-dead mouse just because he CAN.
Isaac drops down into a pinfall once again, a big ole’ grin plastered across his face the whole time.
Samantha Coil: Here is your winner…THE IVORY TERROR, ISAAC ENTRAGIAN!!!!!
Entragian doesn’t fully rise, instead he pulls TMB’s carcass up to a sitting position and props him up against his own knee. The albino swipes a hand across the blood covering Black’s head, and in an incredibly foul display…he starts to SCRAWL something across TMB’s chest using an index finger coated in plasma.
Eryk Masters: What in the hell does this freak of nature think he’s doing? The match is over….leave the man be!
Once finished, Entragian points to the closest cameraman.
Entragian: ZOOM IN ON THIS SHIT!
The cameraman has no choice but to comply…and as the frame draws closer we see a message written across TMB’s chest in his own blood.
“KEEP YOUR EYE ON ME, DIAMOND DEL.”
…while the second line reads…
“BECAUSE I’VE ALWAYS GOT EYES ON YOU. )”
Other Guy: Cryptic. A direct statement to Diamond Del Carver there. I’ll give Entragian this much…he knows how to send a send MEMORABLE message…
Eryk Masters: What the hell does he even mean by that? I’m trying to decipher that second line, but I’m not getting it…”always got eyes on you?”
Other Guy: Don’t try to understand it, Eryk. The man is psychotic, and it’s best not to think too hard about any of the deranged shit he says or does. You think too deeply about stuff like that…and you’ll end up just as crazy as he is.
Entragian chuckles, then in a move that borders on gentle, he whispers a single sentence into TMB’s ear before he softly lowers Black’s body down to the canvas.
Entragian: Consider yourself….reborn.
The shot fades with SCAR’s Pale Rider rising to his feet in the ring, his eyes full of sadistic mirth, and a heart that might just be harboring a few dark secrets.
”The following is a paid advertisement by BAB, LLC. The following opinions do not represent the opinions of SHOOT Project, its roster, its staff, its fans, or Poland.”
We open to see The Bad Ass Brotherhood, wearing their SHOOT Project World Tag Team Championship belts around their waists. Charles Brandon Magnus is wearing a nice charcoal blazer with a white dress shirt underneath while Buck Dresden is wearing a pair of blue jeans and a white t-shirt.
Buck Dresden: Hello, SHOOT Project, my name is Buck Dresden. This here’s Charles Brandon Magnus.
Charles Brandon Magnus: We are the SHOOT Project World Tag Team Champions. We are called the Bad Ass Brotherhood.
Buck Dresden: We realize y’all might forget that fact because, after Master of the Mat, SHOOT decided it didn’t want to have a tag division.
Charles Brandon Magnus: That includes such riveting opponents as Frontline II TURBO running out of quarters. Stellar Insanity…being Stellar Insanity. Project:SCAR deciding that being mean is easier and more fun to do on a one on one basis.
Buck Dresden: And, ladies and gentlemen, that makes us sad.
Charles Brandon Magnus: You see, here tonight as we celebrate the SHOOT Project…we can’t help but look back at the tag teams of old.
Buck Dresden: Long Island Hardcore.
Charles Brandon Magnus: Hardcore Style.
Buck Dresden: Hardcore Beautiful People.
Charles Brandon Magnus: …Club EC.
Buck Dresden: Much as I hate to admit it, Stellar Insanity.
Charles Brandon Magnus: And then a bunch of teams with no real importance for us to remember the names of.
Buck Dresden: And the team of J.D. Ice and X-Calibur because if we ignore our current World Heavyweight Champion’s tag team run, he is likely to be sad and overlook us a little bit more.
Charles Brandon Magnus: Despite that, we beg for competition. We want to fight. Defend our titles. We’ve done everything short of becoming villains to get the attention of the casual singles competitors who might be willing to buddy up with another go-nowhere curtain jerker to get a shot at the longest reigning champions in this company’s history.
Suddenly, OUTKAST AND THE REAL DEAL appear onscreen. Buck and Magnus stop talking and the two teams stare at one another for a very long, tense moment before finally…someone speaks.
OutKast: You know…we’ve only had the one run as the champs, Josh.
Buck Dresden: Y’all want another one?
Charles Brandon Magnus: God, please say you do.
Real Deal steps between OutKast and the Brotherhood.
Real Deal: For one…we’re only here to celebrate tonight. Wish you guys well and congratulate you for making history. For two…Instant Heat versus Bad Ass Brotherhood might put asses in seats…but it’d…I don’t know…it’d feel a lot like the right hand fighting the left, you know?
OutKast nods, a bit disappointed but understanding.
OutKast: Now that you think about it, I shudder to think about how much work I’d have to do the week we’d have that match.
Magnus and Buck nod in agreement.
Charles Brandon Magnus: And nobody wants to put that much pressure on us…
Magnus turns to the camera.
Charles Brandon Magnus: …do they?
OutKast slowly looks at the camera.
OutKast: So, SHOOT Project, don’t be afraid. There’s another whole division just ripe for war! We’ve got the most dominant team in SHOOT Project history at the helm, and all they want to do is prove themselves against the absolute very best!
Real Deal: But, please God, don’t let that be us.
OutKast: Yeah, that’s right. Please don’t let that be us.
Buck Dresden: You know who might be a good team to fight? I’m talkin’ REAL dream team here…
Charles Brandon Magnus: Who?
Buck Dresden: CORAZON AN’ KING!
Magnus rolls his eyes while OutKast pinches the bridge of his nose.
OutKast: I feel like we’ve made this joke before…
Meanwhile, Real Deal takes over, slowly moving Buck off screen.
Real Deal: Friends don’t let friends book dream matches with friends. Support your local SHOOT Project Tag Team Division. For the children.
Buck sticks his head behind Real Deal, waving to the camera as Magnus sighs.
Charles Brandon Magnus: This has been a paid advertisement by The Bad Ass Brotherhood.
OutKast: Happy birthday, SHOOT!
The four of them grin, Buck and Real Deal laughing out loud…unable to contain it any longer.
Backstage once again with Loco Martinez. He is in his gear, sitting on a bench with his eyes closed. He takes a deep breath and reaches into his locker, pulling a red and grey football jersey or some sort, He tosses it over his shoulder as there is a knock on the door.
Loco: Its open.
The door opens slowly as Maya steps into the room.
Loco: Hey Maya!
Maya keeps a little distance between himself and Loco, his hands nervously fidgeting in his pockets. A healf hearted smile as he tips his head slightly towards Loco.
Maya’s eyebrows furrow slightly, almost pained at the awkward greeting, his attempt to break to the ice.
Maya: So… it’s a big night for you.
Loco smiles genuinely and nods. He reads Maya’s body language and attempts to make things light.
Loco: Hopefully its not my last.
Maya’s smile fades, a more somber expression becoming clear. Maya sits down on the bench facing Loco, so that he’s staring up at Loco.
Maya: You know… you were the first real friend I had when I came back. Every one else just seemed to avoid me, maybe because I was always so down in the dumps. But… you still wanted to be my friend and invite me to carnivals. That’s why…maybe you should just…
Maya looked down at the floor.
Maya: I just… know how X-Calibur is. And I saw how much he fought and pained himself to win at Master of the Mat. I just…
Maya turned his head to the side.
Maya: I don’t wanna lose another friend is all…
Loco walks to Maya and puts his hand on his shoulder. He looks Maya in the eye and smiles.
Loco: Maya, I promise. Win, or lose? You will not lose a friend tonight. I appreciate it, and I understand completely… I know X all too well, and what I’m potentially getting myself into, but? I HAVE to do this.
Maya smiled, but it was a little sad.
Maya: Are you sure?
Loco smiles and pats Maya on the shoulder twice, reassuringly.
Loco: I am, and knowing I have the support of my friends means the world to me. As much as I may have meant to you, I want you to know, you were just as important to me. You LET me be your friend when you could have just as easily told me to pound sand. You forgave me, and I promise… this won’t be the last time our paths will cross.
Maya still looks worried, but grabs Loco’s by the arm and drags him down to Maya’s level. Maya reaches into his pocket and starts to fidget with Loco’s arm. When Maya moves, Loco has a bandana wrapped around his forearm.
Maya: It’s for good luck… you know, the one I used to wear, right? It helped me through a lot of tough times. I don’t need it anymore but… you can have it.
Loco looks genuinely touched. He smiles at Maya, and shakes his head "no". He puts the bandana back into Maya’s hand, and closes it into a fist. As Loco walks past, Maya stares at the bandana.
Loco: You hold onto that. You’ve already given me more than you know.
Loco stands up ready to head to gorilla position.
Maya: Good luck…
Loco and walks out the door while pulling the football jersey over his head.
Samantha Coil: The following contest is scheduled for one fall and is a Career versus Title match! Making his way to the ring first…
The lights drop out, the crowd jumps up, and yellow spotlights begin dancing around the Epicenter. The synth of Ke$ha’s "We R Who We R" play, and the SHOOT-Tron springs to life spinning like a Slot Machine. It lands on Loco. Loco. Loco. and The tron begins flashing "JACKPOT", which changes to "FREAKSHOW" once Ke$ha’s vocals come in:
"HOT and Dange. er. ous.
If you’re one of us then roll with us…
Loco Martinez explodes from the back in his typical wrestling gear. Black baggy karate themed vinyl pants (think Tajiri) with a yellow "MOFO" up the right leg, and yellow boots, and tonight he’s sporting a new accessory this week, a Las Vegas Loco’s jersey. He smiles as he bobs to the music. He points at the jersey as the crowd roars with home town recognition.
Eryk Masters: Loco going the extra mile going for some home field advantage here, tonight.
Loco then turns, and we see "SHOOT" on the name plate, and the number on the jersey is "10".
Other Guy: A special jersey for a special night.
He goes to the section to the right side of the entrance ramp and throws his hands out and points. The section roars. He turns and does it to the opposite side, who roar louder. He smiles and nods as he turns and falls back into the crowd. He quickly is hoisted as the Epicenter begins to crowd surf him towards the ring. Loco shouting directions to the people giving him a lift to the ring.
Samantha Coil: Hailing from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Freakshow, LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOO.CO. MMMMMMMAR.TI.NNNNNNNNEEEZZZ!!!!
Loco is put safely down, over the barricade, and hops up onto the apron throwing his arms out to the side screaming "I’m not going anywhere". He pulls the jersey off and launches a split second before rolling backwards over the top rope into the ring. He takes a quick jog around the ring applauding over his head, thanking the Epicenter for their warm reaction. He settles down in his corner as the music fades away. He crouches for a second, hand cupped together, his forehead resting against them as he focuses on the task at hand.
Momentary high-pitched laughter transcends into an intense screaming.
The SHOOTron turns to an all white background while a reddish fluid oozes down the screen forming the familiar percentages we’ve all come to know and hate.
Eryk Masters: Ugh, just when his entrance couldn‘t get any worse… he pulls another abortion from a rabbit’s ass.
Other Guy: Yeah, that’s some imagery I really didn’t need right now, dude.
When the final percentage hits, a red .eXecute forms in the middle of the SHOOTron. From the X in execute, the name “X-CALIBUR” falls vertically in cobalt blue. The crowd unleashes their hatred unto X-Calibur as the pulsating drums of the remixed Deftones classic vibrate through the walls of the Epicenter. Once the lyrics begin, X emerges onto the stage area in his wrestling gear with the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship worn proudly around his waist. Dropping to one knee, he holds his arms out in a welcoming embrace. Just then, a cascading “waterfall” of flame-like orange embers fall seemingly from the heavens above down to the spot directly behind him, allowing the world to “burn around him”.
“I’ve watched you change…”
…Into a fly.”
“I looked away…”
…You were on fire.”
Pointing out to the audience, X slowly pulls his hands inwards, caressing the championship.
“I watched a change…”
Making his way down the ramp, he smiles as he looks up into the ring at and his old friend… Loco.
Samantha Coil: Making his way down to the ring first… from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania… weighing in at 245lbs… he is… THE CURRENT REIGNING AND DEFENDING SHOOT PROJECT WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION… THE REDEEMER…. X-CAAAAAAAAAAALIBUUUUUUUUUUR!!!!
“It’s like you never…
Once he reaches the steel steps, he bends down and slams both of his fists down across the top of it creating a loud CLANG before unleashing a familiar war cry into the atmosphere.
“Now you feel…
Racing up the steps and onto the ring apron, X races along the ring’s contour before ascending to the middle turnbuckle, peering out maliciously into the sea of detractors doubting him. Unsnapping the leather strap from around his waist, he hoists the championship into the air for everyone to see.
“I look at the cross…”
“…Then I look away”
Climbing down from the turnbuckles, X steps between the ropes and into the ring, handing the championship belt off to referee Austin Linam.
“Give you the gun…”
…Blow me away.”
The light comes back on full, and the music dies down. All that’s left are the echoes of the thousands of fans cheering for the Title vs. Career match to get under way.
Eryk Masters: A storied rivalry, a short term friendship, we got a taste of this when Stellar Insanity battled the Hierarchy, but since then these two men have had drastically different trajectories.
Austin Linam holds the belt above his head. Each man’s eyes follow the path of the gold for a moment before they fall, locking on one another.
Other Guy: The tension is palpable.
Bryan Harris: Speak for yourselves! This one is in the bag!
Other Guy: Man… why do you DO this? Can’t you just come out normally.
Eryk Masters: I don’t understand why we keep a third headset.
Bryan Harris: Because like my main man X is about to demonstrate? There is NO stopping the Hierarchy, fellas!
Linam has handed the belt to the time keeper. He looks to each X and Loco to see if they’re ready. Each gives a serious nod. Linam calls the bell, and Loco and X walk towards each other getting nose to nose, mouths running at one another. They end up forehead to forehead, where Loco gives a little shove with his. X gives a little headbutt right back. Loco retaliates in kind. X winds up and slaps the hell out of Loco.
Loco rubs at his cheek with a smirk, and winds up and matches with a fierce slap of his own that rock X back.
It’s X’s turn to rub at his cheek with a smirk. Each man nods, acknowledging the other’s fierceness. Both competitors back up and begin circling one another. They lunge at each other, tying up in a collar and elbow. The heavier X is able to back Loco up against the ropes. He grabs him by the wrist and whips Loco across the ring. Loco off the ropes. X ducks for a back body, but Loco leap frogs. X drops to the mat, and as Loco comes back he runs over him. X is up, goes for a clothesline, but Loco runs under it. Loco off the ropes and launches himself with a high cross body, but X sees it and drops at the way. Loco sails over, landing with a wicked thud.
Eryk Masters: These two are so familiar with each other.
Bryan Harris: DUH, Eryk. They’ve only fought each other a hundred times!
Other Guy: Hundred and one now, isn’t it?
X-Calibur smiles at Loco who gets up clutching at his ribs. The two walk towards one another, but as X reaches for a tie up, Loco drops down and hits X with a dropkick to the knee. Loco then, while still laying down, shifts his hips and delivers a nasty kick to the side of X’s head.
Other Guy: Don’t see many kicks launched and landed from a downed competitor ONTO a downed opponent.
Bryan Harris: Loco is a sad and desperate man. He’ll try ANYTHING to not lose his job.
Loco is up, and drives a double axe handle smash to the back of X’s neck as X is attempting to get up. Loco is back up. Waits for X, and when X gets up he whips him off the ropes. He leaps for a dropkick, but X sees it coming, stops short, and swats Loco’s legs out of the way. Loco crashes down, but quickly twists, and launches an upward thrusting kick that catches X in the jaw and staggers him back into the ropes. Loco kips up and charges launching a spinning heel kick that sends both he and X fly over the top rope. Loco wrapping an arm over the top rope so he stays on the apron. X crashes to the ringside mat. Loco sizes X-Calibur up as he slowly gets to his feet.
Bryan Harris: Look out X!
Once X has his vertical base, Loco runs down the apron and leaps off driving his knees into the X’s chest, sending him crashing back down. Loco gets up and pumps his fist as the crowd roars their approval.
Eryk Masters: High pace. High Impact. Martinez is rolling right now.
Loco drags X up, and drives him back first into the ring apron before launching back with all his strength into a northern lights suplex. Loco gets up and brings X up to his feet, and rolls him back into the ring. Loco slides in and makes a lateral cover.
NO! X Kicks out at two.
Bryan Harris: Loco a bit ambitious there. His little flurry on the outside wasn’t gonna keep THE Champion down for the count!
Loco gets back to his feet. He gestures for X to get up with a fiery look in his eye. As soon as X is up Loco mows him down with a clothesline. He brings X up, and whips him hard into the corner. Charging in after him, X-Calibur senses it coming and drops down, back body dropping Loco over the top rope!
Loco flies over the corner, and comes crashing down with a sickening thud on the outside. The crowd chants "HOLY SHIT" as X collects himself in the ring, and Loco lays motionless on the outside.
Bryan Harris: Just like always, Loco crashes and burns!
Eryk Masters: That was a DISGUSTING landing… Loco could be in a bad way here.
X goes to the outside and lays a vicious stomp to Loco’s forehead.
Bryan Harris: The shark smells blood in the water.
X picks Loco up and slams him back down with a vicious body slam. Staying on Loco, he brings him up and slides him into the ring. He smirks and wipes his hands like "its over". Hopping up to the apron, he steps through the ropes just as Loco springs to life, earning a boot to the torso. Loco then grabs X and snaps him down with a DDT!
Eryk Masters: Excellent timing by the challenger. X didn’t even see the kick coming, and by the time he did he was already being DDTed.
Other Guy: Lets not forget that Loco is a world class mat technician, on top of his amazing ability to fly through the air.
Bryan Harris: No… lets.
Loco rolls to the corner and pulls himself into a seated position, still feeling the affects of the back body drop to the outside. He winces as he takes a deep breath. Using the ropes to pull himself up, he charges at X who is up to his hands and knees, but as soon as Loco gets close enough X snatches Loco’s ankle with a drop toe hold, sending him to the mat face first. Keeping Loco’s leg between his, X reaches up and puts him in a reverse chin lock, completing an STF submission!
Bryan Harris: Brilliant display of wrestling there! Yess!!!!
X wrenches back on Loco’s head as the “Greatest Show on Earth” lets out a guttural groan as his ribs and back contort unnaturally.
Other Guy: Man, Loco’s back HAS to be a WRECK right now. What with that sick landing on the outside he took mere minutes ago.
Bryan Harris: This is it! Sing it with me… NA-NA-NAAAA-NAAAAA-
Eryk Masters: Stop.
The crowd begins urging Loco with a "Lets Go Freakshow!" chant. Austin Linam checks on Loco who shakes his head "no" authoritatively, his face contorted in pain. X screams "TAP, JAY!" Loco closes his eyes, and grits his teeth and reaches his hand out in front, pulling himself slowly towards the ropes. The crowd kicks it up a few decibels, and Loco responds by again getting another few inches closer. X yells for Linam to check to see if Loco quits, and Linam checks, but Loco yells "NO" through gritted teeth, and gets even closer to the ropes.
Other Guy: One more pull and Loco can break the hold, but I wonder if this has been too much for him?
Loco goes to shift, but sensing this X lets go of the hold, and pulls him back towards the center of the ring, drawing MASSIVE jeers from the capacity crowd. Rather than going for the STF again, though, X twists Loco’s legs up inside a sharpshooter!
Bryan Harris: Sharpshooter!!!! One of X’s favorite moves!!! This is SOOOOOO over.
Eryk Masters: Jesus, would you SHUT UP already?! You’ve said “this is over” about 14 times already.
Bryan Harris: Name’s Bryan, actually. Though a lot of people often mistake me for Jesus.
Cinching the sharpshooter in as tight as possible, X arches Loco’s back even more than he had been in the STF. Loco SCREAMING in agony, his face telling the story of a man writhing in absolute pain. Linam checks on Loco, but Loco shakes his head with an emphatic “no”.
Bryan Harris: This wouldn’t be the first time Loco has tapped out to X’s sharpshooter. He did so two years ago when they fought in their epic Breaking Point match in LEGACY.
Other Guy: Something tells me, though… Loco’s not about to give up again when his entire career is on the line.
Wrenching on Loco’s back, screaming at Linam to check, Loco fights through the seemingly insurmountable pain and places both of his fists on the mat, pushing up with every ounce of strength he can possibly muster. Collapsing forward under X’s strength and weight, Loco still manages to crawl forward a few foot, much closer to the ropes than he was previously.
Eryk Masters: X is trying his damnedest to hold Loco in place, but Loco refuses to go down here!
Bryan Harris: Only a matter of time. “Going down” is Loco’s forte.
Other Guy: HEYOOOOOOO.
Eryk Masters: OG! Don’t enable him!
Other Guy: Sorry.
Once again placing his fists on the mat, Loco pushes himself up off the mat a foot or so, collapsing forward… and this time he has the ropes!
One… Two… Three… Four… F- just before the five-count, X relinquishes Loco’s legs and cusses aloud amidst a surge of frustration.
Pulling on Loco’s arm, dragging him away from the ropes, X puts Loco in a seated position on the mat. Dropping the point of his elbow across Loco’s shoulder blades, X springs to his feet as soon as he makes contact, and as Loco instinctively falls back to the mat, X extends a leg out and drops a leg across Loco’s throat with scary precision. In one smooth motion, X leans to the right and hooks a leg…
THR- Loco shoulders out!!
Eryk Masters: X is systematically dissecting the challenger here. Loco needs to find a way to counter or it could be game over very soon here.
He brings Loco to his feet and drives him roughly into corner. He begins driving manic shoulders into Loco’s midsection one after another. After a half dozen he drives a boot into his midsection before snapping off a lightning quick snap suplex. X quickly back to his feet. Looks down at Loco and then looks at the corner. He climbs up to the top rope and LAUNCHES with his signature elbow drop square in the middle of Loco’s sternum!
Eryk Masters: Hang Time Elbow!
Bryan Harris: COUNT ‘EM, REF!!
As X hits it all – elbow across Loco’s ribs with his full body weight – Loco rolls to his side writhing in pain. X, quite forcefully, rolls Loco to his back and makes a cover. He hooks a leg.
THR- NO! Loco shoulders out at the last split second!
Bryan Harris: MISCOUNT!
X shakes his head, a bemused smirk on his face.
Signaling something to the crowd, X drops to his knees with his arms raised out to his sides and his hands balled up into fists. As Loco starts to get up off of the mat, X stands up, with his arms still raised into fists. Once Loco turns around, X jumps up for his patented jumping cutter but Loco sees it coming a mile away and spins to the side, throwing a leg up just as X jumps into the air, connecting across X’s head and neck with a standing jumping leg lariat!
Floating over, Loco hooks a leg, as the crowd counts along!
THREE- NO! NO! X KICKS OUT!!!
Eryk Masters: BEATUFIUL counter to the X-Terminator!
Other Guy: OH-EM-GEE, I THOUGHT IT WAS OVER! RIGHT B-HAIR?!
Bryan Harris: I’m sorry, what did you say? I think I’m experiencing chest pains right now…
Bringing X to his feet, Loco looks out at the crowd and motions something of his own. Hooking both of X’s arms up for a double underhook piledriver, Loco shouts out, “LOCO DRIVER OF DOOOOOM!”, but before he can lift X up he’s sent up and over to the mat with a back body drop.
Bryan Harris: What an IDIOT.
Eryk Masters: I have to say… I’m a little surprised Loco went for such a move at this point.
Loco getting to his feet again, X is on him like a shark smelling blood. Charging full speed ahead, X goes to extend a foot for a Yakuza kick, but Loco extends a foot of his own for a super-kick right to the jaw that knocks X out cold!
Eryk Masters: LOCAPITATOR!
Other Guy: More like a modified Locapitator since he didn’t do the short-arm thingy.
Bryan Harris: Come on, X!!! Don’t lose to this clown!!
With X sprawled out on the mat, Loco goes down, too, holding his back in utter agony. As the fans chant, “Let’s-Go-Freak-Show!”, Loco slowly begins to crawl towards X.
Reaching out with an arm, Loco makes a lateral cover, slowly hooking a leg…
THR- X shoulders out, and the same time, slides his shin under Loco’s chin.
Eryk Masters: Bite of the-
Other Guy: No!
As soon as X locks his leg around his own foot and pulls down on Loco’s head, Loco pushes forward on the mat and flips over X, pinning him to the mat!
Eryk Masters: HE HAS HIM!
Other Guy: X IS TRAPPED!
THREE- NO! X RELEASED THE HOLD AND KICKED OUT!
Frustrated he couldn’t get the three in either predicament, Loco pounds his hand onto the canvas. Looking back at X, Loco gets up and delivers a hard stomping blow to the side of X’s head. From there, Loco drags X a bit closer to the corner turnbuckle.
Placing both hands on the sides of the turnbuckle, Loco jumps up into a split-legged position, bouncing off the top rope with a corkscrew moonsault. Upon landing, Loco’s face connects right onto the raised shin and knee region of X’s leg, who then transitions his other leg across his own foot, once again cinching in his trademark gogoplata submission.
Eryk Masters: OH MY GOD!!! OUT OF NOWHERE!!! LOCO GOT CAUGHT!!!
Wrenching down on Loco’s head, X screams like a primal beast as Loco frantically searches for a way out. Realizing Loco is a little too close to the ropes for comfort, X gator rolls to the left, flipping Loco along with himself away from the ropes and more towards the center of the ring.
Bryan Harris: YES!!! BRILLIANT!!! WHAT A MASTER TECHNICIAN!!!
Trying to dig his feet into the canvas, Loco attempts another jackknife roll-up in the gogoplata, but X is wise to the attempt and gator rolls back to the right again, twisting and tearing at Loco’s neck and arms.
Eryk Masters: My God… this is sick.
Other Guy: Just when you think X has perfected this maneuver, he finds another way to up the ante.
Not even giving Loco the chance to reach out for the ropes, X heaves his and Loco’s frames to the left again, gator rolling the life right out of Loco’s eyes. As Loco’s legs go limp, the veins bulge from X’s shoulder blades and neck as he tries to rip Loco’s head clean off his body. Before long, a barely conscious Loco lifts a hand and lightly taps three times against X’s leg for the tap out.
Eryk Masters: No…
Bryan Harris: IT’S OVER!!! LOCO IS DONE!!! OH HAPPY DAY!!!!
As X relinquishes the hold, Loco falls limply into the mat. X pushes Loco’s body off of him with his foot like a dead cadaver, and retreats into the ropes in a sitting position… smiling.
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of this match… annnnnnnnnnnnnnnd STIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILL.. SHOOT PROJECT WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION…. X-CALIBUUUUUUUUUR!!!!!
Just as the opening chords to “Change” blares across the sound system, Bryan Harris puts down his head-set and applauds X-Calibur for a job well done. Grabbing X’s World Heavyweight Title belt from Mark Kendrick, Harris slides into the ring and hands the championship to its rightful owner. Accepting it from Bryan, X holds his prize up into the air and allows Bryan to hold his arm up in victory… all to a loud chorus of boos.
As Bryan Harris continues applauding X, the champion himself looks down at Loco, who has finally realized the gravity of the situation. On his knees, with his fists balled up, looking down into the mat, he shakes his head.
Reaching down, X extends his hand.
Eryk Masters: What? Is he serious?
Without even thinking about it, Loco accepts it, and X helps Loco up to his feet. As “Change” dies down, X raises Loco’s arm up and points at him, much to the confusion of Bryan Harris.
“RESPECT this man.”, X shouts to the audience. As he does this, the entire audience breaks out into a “THANK YOU, LO-CO!”, chant.
A plethora of emotions running through him, Loco shakes his head, confused.
And that’s when X clotheslines him down to the mat. HARD.
Eryk Masters: THAT PIECE OF SHIT!!!! GODDAMN HIM!!
Handing his belt to Bryan Harris, X begins driving knee… after knee… after KNEE into Loco’s face, opening him up on the forehead.
Other Guy: FOR THE LOVE OF GOD SOMEBODY STOP THIS!!! ENOUGH’S ENOUGH!!!
CARRY ON MY WAYWARD SOOOOOOON…
The audience. Fucking. LOSES IT.
THERE’LL BE PEACE WHEN YOU ARE DONE…
Trey Willett RACES down the ramp, and as soon as X sees him coming, he drops to the mat and rolls out of the ring with the World Heavyweight Championship in his grasp, leaving Bryan Harris in the ring alone.
Eryk Masters: TREY FUCKING WILLETT!!! WHAT NOW, X??!
LAY YOUR WEARY HEAD TO REEEEST…
Sliding into the ring, Trey thinks NOTHING of it and boots Bryan Harris square in the gut… hooks both of his arms and drives him face first into the mat to a thunderous ovation.
Other Guy: Dawn of a New Era to Bryan Harris! Oh my God, didn’t think I would ever say this but I LOVE this man.
DON’T YOU CRY NO MOOOORE
As X-Calibur nonchalantly retreats from the ring with his championship raised in the air, he turns around and looks at the carnage left in his wake. Despite Bryan Harris taking the fall, X smiles from ear to ear.
Kneeling beside Loco, Trey simply helps the now bleeding Loco sit up.
With his free hand, X points a “finger gun” right at Trey and “pulls the trigger”.
The lights in the arena all slowly fade out, leaving the crowd in complete darkness. The only lights are a few flashbulbs flickering in the crowd, trying to make sense of whats in the darkness in the brief, flickering, moments of light. Soon, the SHOOT Project video wall surges to life with a black and white image of mangled body. Horrible blurred out gashes cover his censored body. The censoring slowly fades away at his neck, where the gash can be seen as the letter "P". The slow, chaotic, and random guitar picking of "Black Session" by Katatonia suddenly hums through the arena as the blurry censors fade away, the view pulls out and reveals the words etched into the man’s body…
With the thunderous booming of "Black Session", all the lights in the arena burn at their brightest for just a second, just long enough to see the three monsters of Project: SCAR standing at the ramp before all the lights, save for one spotlight, shine down on the them. Most of the fans booing are in the upper level seats, however, the fans seated near the entrance ramp and around the ring dare not make a sound.
The three solemnly make their way into the ring. Even when Kenji takes hold of the microphone, the lights, save for that one spotlight on them, remain dead. Kenji looks into the crowd, his eyes an empty and clear blue. Nothing showing on his face. No remorse, no anger… nothing. Isaac and Corazon stand at his side, not behind him, but next to him.
Kenji: I’ve been hearing a lot of chatter about what I did at Master of the Mat. A lot of chatter. Some people were filled with anger and hatred at what I did. Some rejoiced as if it was the second coming of their savior. Cade made a bold statement that if I ever… ever… interrupt with one of his matches again that he would show me not to underestimate his little rag tag group of misfits. Cade, I don’t know who you think you’re kidding, exactly, but you’re not going to scare anyone in this ring with what is obviously false bravado. And don’t insult me by assuming that what I did was some sleight against you and that pathetic group you formed, don’t you dare assume that your little group are even on our radar. Because you’re not. You’re a non-threat at best. You think that just because you pick a name with the word "Sinister" in it that it makes you as such? Tell me. What reason is there for any of us to fear you, hmm?
That’s what made you such a wonderful champion in our eyes, Cade. You didn’t deserve it, you didn’t earn it. You were a fat ugly boil on SHOOT Project’s face. You weren’t some fear monger, you were a fucking joke, at best. You turned the SHOOT Project World Championship into an afterthought. You couldn’t make the most coveted prize in this industry more ugly… than to have it be around your waist. Funny thing, though, Cade. I wasn’t crushing your face into a strip of concrete now, was I? What I did had no effect on you at all… save giving you an extra few minutes as champion.
I did you a favor, Cade.
So, you see Cade, what happened at Master of the Mat wasn’t about you or your failed attempts to create a doppleganger version of our Project: SCAR. It was about everything I’ve been saying it was about. It was about making SHOOT Project as… beautiful… as we possibly could. There was only one real way to do that. Only one plausible way to make sure that the World Title never…
"AND YOU KNOW THAT I’VE COME TO COLLECT!"
The crowd POPS HUGE as this is the first time they’ve seen Jonas Coleman since Master of the Mat. He steps out onto the top of the ring ramp, and stares down towards the trio of Project: SCAR. He’s dressed in street clothes, and has a pretty obvious limp to his step. He’s got a microphone, so you know shit’s about to go down.
Eryk Masters: This… this should be interesting.
Other Guy: I was surprised he wasn’t on the show last week, you know. But then… he got fucked up pretty hard.
Jonas stands, still looking at Project: SCAR… still listening to the roar of the crowd behind him.
Jonas Coleman: Miss me?
The crowd pops.
Jonas Coleman: I missed you guys too. I wanted to come out here real quick, and just make sure everyone knows what delusion looks like. Take a good look, because it’s standing in the ring, right now. Now that that’s out of the way… I know you lot are hoping I charge down there, slide into the ring, and throw whatever I can at you because what you, Kenji Yamada, did at Master of the Mat…
He pauses, and smirks.
Jonas Coleman: That deserves the beating of a motherfucking lifetime.
The crowd pops again!
Jonas Coleman: But I’m not an idiot. I’m not going to run down there and throw myself at you, Entragian, and Corazon, because while I think I could get a couple good hits in on at least two of you… that third one is what’s going to cause me some problems… who knows, maybe later… So instead, you and I, Kenji… we’re going to chat. We’re going to talk about delusions and beliefs.
Jonas Coleman: I’m tired of Project: SCAR. I’m tired of your "mission" and I’m tired of your actions. I’m tired of hearing you talk about beautification and all of this other bullshit. You three… you’re fucking dangerous, and there is no question about that, whatsoever. You truly believe what you say, and I think that’s probably the scariest part about the whole arrangement. You believe that what you say and do is truly to make the SHOOT Project beautiful… in your own image.
Jonas shakes his head.
Jonas Coleman: I think you’re full of shit. People want something to believe in. I get that. I get wanting to see something good come from all of your hard work, I believe in that too. What you and I think good means… that’s obviously different. So, instead of sitting here, waxing poetic about what you think and what I think, let’s get to the root of the situation, you know? Let’s talk about good and evil. You want to taint the SHOOT Project…
Jonas Coleman: I want to shut you the fuck up.
He smiles again, as the crowd pops once more!
Jonas Coleman: It’s not about getting my revenge on you, though, Kenji… it’s about showing the SHOOT Project and the world that you can stand up and fight for what you believe in, and if anyone wants to try and fuck that up? You stand up to them, you fight, and you never… ever give up.
The only expression on Kenji’s face is a simple smirk. It speaks volumes since his mouth is usually twisted into a carnal form or devoid of any emotion. He seems amused as the crowd roars in approval of Jonas.
Kenji: I’ve already tainted SHOOT Project, Jonas. That was the whole point of doing what I did. Look at the bigger picture, for a moment, Jonas. It was a historic battled between Cade Sydal, X-Calibur, and yourself. A battle that would decide the very fate of the SHOOT Project itself. If Cade won SHOOT Project would have been lulled into a horrible sleep, to remain forever dreaming of something better than what they have. Then there was X-Calibur, there was no doubt about what would happen if he won. He and his Hierarchy army would ravage the landscape of SHOOT. Under his rule this place would be torn asunder, everything that was good and light would be hunted down and be made a mockery of. Then… then there was you Jonas.
You were the only one that could bring light to that title. You were the only one who could take that title and make it a beacon for something so much better. You weren’t a sniveling little insect like Cade and you weren’t a tyrannical monster like X-Calibur. You were the white light in that equation. The one who would bring about change, if allowed. Don’t you get it, Jonas?
Kenji stares down the aisle at Jonas, his smirk now receding into a hollow slant.
Kenji: I’ve already won.
A thunderous roar of boos fill the arena as the words slither out of Kenji’s mouth.
Kenji: Even if you fight and claw and never give up… I’ve already won. You can break every bone in my body. You can put me through such pain that I cry and beg you to stop. You could even destroy Project: SCAR itself… and I will still have won. Just look around, Jonas. X-Calibur’s reign has put SHOOT into the Dark Ages. His Hierarchy won’t allow him to so easily relinquish his grasp on that title. And so long as he has that title… SHOOT will never be a home for bearers of the light. In making sure that you didn’t win that title, Jonas… I made sure that SHOOT would take its first giant leap towards being remade in my image…
In Project: SCAR’s image.
The crowd seems to hush for a moment.
Kenji: So fight, Jonas. Fight your futile battle. Fight this battle against us where you think it makes a difference. But remember, always, Jonas…
I’ve already won.
Kenji steps forward, in front of the rest of Project: SCAR, and glares Jonas down. Jonas considers walking down to the ring, but simply decides to return the glare, as the crowd watches intently.
Eryk Masters: I have a feeling that if not for the presence of Entragian and Corazon? We’d be seeing a brawl right now.
Other Guy: You have to wonder, though, if Jonas is a little beat up, or maybe he’s smartened up.
Eryk Masters: I think it’s more that Project: SCAR are fucking scary as shit, personally, but that’s just me. These guys are already clearing out. This should play out relatively interestingly, the next time Jonas and Kenji get together. Sans Project: SCAR.
Other Guy: Hell, we’ve still got Kenshin/Corazon and Davis/King to go!
"Rebirth" by Boy Hits Car blares through the arena speakers and the crowd cheers as Patrick Kidd steps out from behind the curtain, quickly making his way to the ring. He slaps hands with a couple fans but doesn’t slow his pace. He slips between the middle and top ropes and walks to the center of the ring pulling a mic out of his back jeans pocket.
Kidd: Last week Azrael Goeren came out here and told the world what was in the folder I handed him at Master of the Mat.
At the mere mention of Goeren’s name, the crowd boos.
Kidd: What was said last week is absolutely true. The child that I raised since birth and thought was my own, Greyson Michael Kidd, is actually the blood of Azrael Goeren.
Another round of boos from the SHOOT faithful.
Kidd: This past week people have asked me the same two questions. How is it possible, and why would I bring such information to Goeren’s attention?
He paces back and forth in the the ring as he continues.
Kidd: A little over 5 years ago during a trip to Japan I fell in love with a girl who I thought was an American reporter. She was involved in ugly gang warfare drama due to an ex-boyfriend. I had to return to the States to deal with Dropkick Murphy and the Human Torch match so I made a deal with my arch enemy Azrael Goeren to have him watch over her and make sure nothing happened to her. People would question why I would ask him for help instead of one of my many other connections but I’ve learned early in this business that when you fight evil…sometimes the best defense is an even bigger evil.
Goeren made sure she was protected…I’d later find out he protected her a little too well. I found out Anna was a criminal and was only looking to be protected from those she wronged. While I was heartbroken from the lie of love, I later found out that she was pregnant with what many thought was a miracle child. You know…due to the whole claw hammer to the nuts thing. Anna died during child birth and I raised Lil Mikey with the help of my then fiancé, now wife Jessica. Though it always nagged me that with the damage I had taken from that claw hammer there was almost no way I could become a father, eventually it got the better of me and I had a DNA test done to confirm my guess.
Kidd stops in the center of the ring and looks towards the back.
Kidd: As soon as I knew I wasn’t the father I felt a sickness in the bottom of my stomach as I had the dreaded thought that the father might be Goeren. Goeren tends to throw his DNA including blood and other bodily fluids all over the place but it was his hair that allowed us to confirm the results. Now onto the next question: Why would I ever let Goeren in on this knowledge?
Kidd runs his hand through his goatee and returns to pacing in the ring.
Kidd: I have no plans to give up the rights to the son I raised to that crazy ass bastard, but I knew sooner or later the truth would be revealed, so I decided to cut to the chase as I didn’t want it to haunt me all my life, and worse I didn’t want it to come back to haunt Lil’ Mikey. Secondly, I need to hear Goeren’s side of what happened with Anne. He will get his chance to tell his side of the story, but he is not Michael’s father. He may be the sperm donor, but I have raised him and I’m the only father he knows. While it may not have been smart to bring this to Goeren’s attention, he does have the right to know and I want this all out in the open so Goeren doesn’t somehow find out later in life and come after my family.
Kidd stops pacing for a moment and glares up the ramp.
Kidd: Whether Goeren wants to bring this fight now or in the courtroom, I want the world to know I’m ready for him.
Before Kidd can get another word out, "Sieben" by Subway to Sally hits over the Epicenter’s loudspeakers to a chorus of boos from the crowd. Azrael Goeren emerges from the curtain, flanked by the cadre of lawyers from earlier. Azrael shakes his head towards the ring, but makes no movement down the ramp as he seems to be content with having a wide berth between himself and Kidd.
Goeren: Oh my sweet, innocent little Kidd. You’re adorable, you know that? So trusting, so naive. You want my side of the story with what happened with Anna? Do you want…the truth?
Azrael sneers towards Patrick in the ring, oozing with venom-filled hatred.
Goeren: Truth is, she hated you. She couldn’t stand you…when I came into her life, it was like a weight had been lifted off her shoulders. She had a real man, both literally and figuratively speaking. You would not believe the things she would say about you when we were alone, you thought I was brutal? Christ man, she was a stone cold bitch! I suppose that’s why her and I got along so splendidly. You never knew her Kidd, the true her anyways. She was as psychotic, sadistic and twisted as I am. Just like most of your worthless life dear friend, you were being used.
Azrael tilts his head slightly.
Goeren: You can’t fight genetics Kidd, her and I created something beautiful which you’ve tried to pervert. My son is destined for great things in this world and I will not sit back and allow you to corrupt him.
The lawyers slowly start to make their way to the back once more, stopping only to hand Azrael a folder. Azrael takes a step back towards the curtain, placing the folder on the top of the ramp. He holds up one finger on his right hand, staring coldly back at the ring.
Goeren: I’m not going to debate you all night Patrick, you have something that rightfully belongs to me and I want it back. You have one week to deliver my son to me. One week.
With that, Azrael steps behind the curtain as Kidd stands stoically in the ring. He steps out through the middle ropes and starts to make his way up the ramp, picking up the folder which seems to be overflowing with legal threats and mumbo jumbo. He shakes his head and heads backstage, leaving the crowd in a stunned silence.
The arena goes pitch black, as the only visual lights are the popping of flash bulbs. There’s a dull hum that’s coming from the bustling crowd, as anticipation builds. Then, an opening string moment kicks in, and as the fans begin to recognize the song, the dull hum turns into loud boos as “The Point of No Return” by Immortal Technique explodes over the PA.
Eryk Masters: Las Vegas, of course, notorious for how much they truly love Adrian Corazon.
Other Guy: Sounds like they love him about as much as I do.
The familiar orange spotlight shines down on the top of the ramp, as Corazon steps out from the back, and bathes in that same light. On the screen, various images play through showing Corazon’s various exploits through his career. He’s dressed in his normal attire, wrapped in a black overcoat, as he makes his way down to the ring.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first… hailing from Mexico City, Mexico… he stands at six feet, three inches tall… he weighs in at two hundred, twenty-five pounds… he is PROJECT: SCAR’S BLACK DEATH… ADRIAN CORAZON!!
Corazon rolls under the bottom rope and pops up, before removing his coat and fixating his eyes to the entry way, awaiting the entrance of the venerable Jun Kenshin, all while being showered with boos.
Eryk Masters: Las Vegas… still showing their love.
Other Guy: Well, let’s be honest… Adrian Corazon is one of the sickest, most disgusting individuals in this place.
Eryk Masters: I don’t disagree with that.
Before OG can say anything else, “The Fire” by John Legend and the Roots takes over, and the arena brightens immensely, as the crowd EXPLODES for Jun Kenshin! Kenshin wastes no time getting out from the back, and begins a very paced and determined walk down the ramp, to the ring, where Corazon waits for him. The crowd is LOVING it.
Other Guy: Now this.. THIS is a guy that Vegas gets behind. They LOVE this man.
Eryk Masters: I gotta say… I’m glad to see him, to be honest. I’ve missed Jun Kenshin like crazy.
Other Guy: And if anyone can shut that nasty fuck up? It’s Jun Kenshin.
Kenshin immediately slides into the ring and stands face to face with Corazon, as Samantha Coil tries to wedge her way in between the two of them.
Samantha Coil: Introducing second… hailing from San Diego, California… he stands at six feet tall.. he weighs in at two hundred four pounds… he is the PERFECTOR… THE UNDENIABLE… he is a former World Heavyweight Champion… JUN KENSHIN!!
The crowd pops huge, as Kenshin and Corazon resume their posturing in the center of the ring. Soon, Willie Dean steps in the middle and reads them the riot act, before sending them to their corners, and calling for the bell.
Eryk Masters: And here we go, OG. This should be pretty great, I think.
Other Guy: I agree. I can’t wait to see how Kenshin looks after such a long layoff.
As the bell rings, Corazon flies across the ring and catches Kenshin off guard, laying into him HARD with rights and lefts, backing the veteran into the corner! Corazon stops, rears back, and lights Kenshin up with a knife edged chop, and then hits him AGAIN with ANOTHER one. The crowd is hitting their typical high note, and going with the “WOOOO!” every time they hear it, and Corazon, though not much for the crowd interaction, is all for inflicting pain, so he continues. Five chops later, Corazon backs up and then drives an elbow into the face of Jun Kenshin!
Eryk Masters: OUCH.
Other Guy: Corazon is, for all of the hate I throw at him… not only a gifted wrestler, but an extremely gifted striker, as well.
Kenshin fires back with an elbow of his own, and Corazon is caught a bit by surprise, by that move! Kenshin takes the razor thin moment to hit Corazon a few more times, still with elbows, and then following it up with a knife edged chop of his own! Corazon is backed into the middle of the ring, and REFUSES to be outdone, as he comes across and nails Kenshin with another HARD elbow! Kenshin’s developed a small bruise under his eye, but it doesn’t deter him, as he throws another elbow at Corazon! The crowd goes NUTS.
Eryk Masters: They’re standing and trading elbows, OG. JESUS.
Other Guy: Well… just… well.
Corazon takes over, and hits Kenshin in the face with a few punches before pulling him down and over into a quick snap suplex! He hangs on, picks him up, and pulls him over again, with another snap suplex! Corazon gets to his feet, measures Kenshin, and then drops an elbow across Kenshin’s throat, before staying down to cover! Willie Dean makes the count!
Eryk Masters: I think that was probably more of a psychological cover than anything else, right?
Other Guy: Had to be. I’m sure Corazon realized that two snap suplexes and an elbow drop wouldn’t put Kenshin away.
Corazon gets to his feet, as Kenshin begins to climb to his. He’s down on one knee, but Corazon doesn’t give him the opportunity to get to his feet, and DRILLS Kenshin in the side of the head with a hard boot to the face! Kenshin goes down hard, and the crowd boos Corazon! Corazon pulls Kenshin to the middle of the ring, and brings him to his feet. He stares into Kenshin’s eyes, and says something very quietly, with a smirk, as he whips Kenshin into the ropes. Kenshin rebounds, and Corazon hits him with ANOTHER elbow. Kenshin crumbles to the mat, and Corazon goes for a cover.
Corazon nods his head and gets to his feet, still smirking, in total control.
Eryk Masters: Corazon is dominating Kenshin right here, right now.
Other Guy: I hate watching it, too.
Corazon stands, waiting for Kenshin, who starts to stir. Corazon walks over, and slaps him in the face, hard, which draws a nasty stare from the Perfector! Corazon smirks and shakes his head, mocking Kenshin, and slaps him in the face again! Kenshin gets to his feet, and THROTTLES Corazon, backing him up against the ropes! Kenshin whips Corazon to the other side, and hits a huuuuuge lariat on SCAR’s Black Death on the rebound! Corazon goes down hard, and Kenshin pounces, wailing on Corazon with a flurry of rights and lefts! Eventually, Willie Dean pulls Kenshin away, but Kenshin, as though he’s been possessed, goes after Corazon right when Corazon’s getting to his feet! He pulls Corazon up, and hits him with elbow after elbow, until Corazon’s eye bleeds!
Other Guy: Kenshin with the makings of a HUGE comeback here! He’s taken full control!
The crowd pops huge as Kenshin elbows Corazon one more time, and Corazon hits the mat in a heap!
Eryk Masters: What a sick turnaround!
Other Guy: This is what I was hoping to see!
Kenshin goes for a cover!
Corazon makes it out at the two, and Kenshin doesn’t argue with Willie Dean about the count.
Eryk Masters: That might be a first, right there.
Other Guy: Haha yeah… I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that before.
Kenshin has Corazon by the hair, and drags him to his feet. Kenshin takes Corazon and pulls him up and over for a suplex, but stumbles as Corazon hits the peak of the move! Kenshin’s knee buckles but he still completes the suplex, though Corazon lands awkwardly! The crowd lets out an “Oooh” as Kenshin gets up and is somewhat ginger with his knee. Corazon is clutching at his back, and has a look of pure rage on his face.
Eryk Masters: Ring rust?
Other Guy: I think so. That was crisp though, right until the end.
Eryk Masters: Hopefully he didn’t tweak his knee too badly, though.
Kenshin goes to follow up, but Corazon’s back to his feet, and he IMMEDIATELY throws a hard kick into the knee that Kenshin just tweaked! Kenshin cries out, and falls to a knee. Corazon rebounds off the rope and throws a knee at Kenshin’s face, but Kenshin ducks and rolls under, and then back to his feet! Corazon turns around RIGHT INTO THE HEAVEN’S BLADE!!
Eryk Masters: HOLY SHIT. That could end it!
Other Guy: It could, but Kenshin took a spill after hitting that move, and he’s favoring that knee a bit, so he’s not going to be able to follow up immediately.
Realizing his opportunity, Kenshin scrambles to cover Corazon!
Willie Dean waves the cover off, as Corazon has a foot on the bottom rope! Kenshin is deflated, and Corazon’s flat on the mat, breathing REALLY heavily. Kenshin’s back to his feet. He looks at Corazon, and then looks at the turnbuckle. Then to Corazon… then to the turnbuckle…
Eryk Masters: I don’t know if I like this move, OG.
Other Guy: I’m not sure I do either, E… the dude just tweaked his knee, and now he’s thinking top rope?
Kenshin starts his climb, and Corazon is slowly stirring. Kenshin some extra time to get to the top, allowing Corazon to get to his feet. Kenshin, instead of going for the high impact move, just drops off the top rope, and then he’s met IMMEDIATELY by a stiff Yakuza kick! THE ACT OF REALITY.
Eryk Masters: These guys… literally… have just kicked the shit out of each other!
Other Guy: The crowd’s LOVING it, too!
Corazon goes for a cover!
THR—NO! KENSHIN KICKS OUT!
Corazon’s LIVID and gets in Willie Dean’s face, who simply shrugs and says “TWO” really loudly. Corazon shakes his head and looks back to Kenshin, who’s stirring once more. Corazon pulls him to his feet, and then whips him into the corner! Corazon starts from the other side and charges hard at the Perfector. He goes up for HIS version of the shining wizard, the Act of Defiance, but Kenshin ducks out of the way! Corazon stops himself before he flies junk first into the turnbuckle. He turns around, and is IMMEDIATELY DROPPED BY THE ROARING ELBOW!!! THE CROWD POPS HARD!!
THRE—- NOOOO. CORAZON BARELY KICKS OUT.
Eryk Master: Motherfu– I can’t believe he kicked out of that!
Other Guy: That move was out of NOWHERE, too. Kenshin can’t believe it either!
Eryk Masters: Corazon just refuses to die!
Kenshin, a little frustrated now, follows up. He pulls Corazon to his feet, does a thumb across the throat gesture out towards the fans, who pop in response! He folds Corazon up and attempts to hit his wrist clutch exploder suplex, but Corazon fights! Corazon breaks the hold, and then shoves Kenshin back! Kenshin comes forward, and Corazon boots him in the stomach, doubling him over… Corazon rebounds off the closest set of ropes and throws a knee at Kenshin’s head once more, but Kenshin blocks it! He wraps Corazon up again, and this time NAILS the D.I.E., but he threw it with such force, that Corazon finds himself upright in the corner! He steps away from the turnbuckle, but Kenshin’s right there, and he drops Corazon with ANOTHER Heaven’s Blade!
Eryk Masters: THIS IS IT.
Other Guy: Oh man! He did it! Practically out of NOWHERE, too.
Samantha Coil: Your winner… at a time of fifteen minutes and forty two seconds… THE PERFECTOR… THE UNDENIABLE… JUN KENSHIN!!
Kenshin gets to his feet, his eyes welled up just a bit at the love he’s receiving from the Las Vegas crowd! He has a HUGE smile on his face, as Corazon gets to his feet. Kenshin stops smiling and looks at Corazon, who’s now standing face to face with him. Kenshin extends a hand, for a handshake! The crowd pops!
Eryk Masters: Kenshin might be insane.
Other Guy: I’d be… I’d be really surprised if this doesn’t end badly.
Corazon looks Kenshin in the eye, and looks down at Kenshin’s hand, pondering. He snarls, but then extends his hand, grasping the hand of the Perfector. The crowd goes NUTS.
Eryk Masters: WOW.
Other Guy: I’m… I’m…
Eryk Masters: WOW.
Other Guy: That was an INCREDIBLE show of respect right there. INCREDIBLE.
Eryk Masters: …WOW.
“The Fire” hits the PA system, as Corazon exits the ring, and Kenshin stands tall in the middle, as we go backstage!
Eryk Masters: Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve been trying to get some sort of word from Donovan King tonight but, thus far, no dice. Abigail Chase is right outside of King’s locker room, hoping for a scoop of some kind. Abby?
The camera switches to Abigail Chase standing in front of King’s locker room, logically.
Abigail Chase: That’s right, Eryk. All I’ve heard tonight from King is the occasional clearing of his throat or the sounds of a cell phone alarm, possibly to receive some kind of text messages. I can’t seem to get King to come out and speak to us and get an idea on where his head is at tonight.
She knocks on King’s door.
Abigail Chase: Donovan? Donovan? Donovan, this is Abigail Chase. We were hoping to see you for a moment and get your thoughts on tonight’s absolutely HUGE main event against Christopher Davis where if you managed to win, you’d be free of Mirage forever.
Abigail Chase: Donovan?
Suddenly, the door rips open to reveal King. His black hoodie is pulled tight, so only the lower half of his jaw is seen. Clearly, however, his jaw is steely tight as he speaks through gritted teeth.
Donovan King: You know…fuh years I wanted to fight Chris Davis. I wanted to retire Chris Davis. I wanted to defend the World title…against Chris Davis. Here tonight…it’s all that and a bit more. No, no World titles here…just two men. One man, desperate to go home an’ live. One man, desperate to stay here…an’ live.
King turns and it’s obvious he is staring Chase down.
Donovan King: I want nothin’ more than to send Chris Davis home disappointed. No offense, since I know you’re hot under the collar for a little Enigma action, Abby, but I need ya boy to go down an’ lay flat for his last hurrah.
Abigail Chase: We’re just friends…
Donovan King: Save it, woman, I don’t care. Fact is, I’ve done my time. I’ve come close. Mirage is right. At this point I’m a damn dog with no teeth. Beaten, abused, overlooked, an’ for the longest…nobody acted like I could do shit about it. All that comes to a close tonight Abby. All that…is over. All the respect in the world for that man. I love that man. He is number two on my all-time list. He’s inspired me, made me step my game up, an’ I’ve wanted nothin’ but to be able to say one day I went toe to toe with greatness.
Donovan King: So I want everybody in the back watchin’ tonight. I don’t care if you’re around the monitors, on a webcam, or you get some tickets or camp out on the damn stage. Tonight is Donovan King versus Christopher Davis. This is his last match. This is my last chance.
Donovan King: Don’t get much better than that.
He slams the door shut in her face, clearly still intense and focused. Abigail slowly turns to the camera and swallows, sighing.
Abigail Chase: Back to you guys!
The scene fades to complete blackness. No images, no visuals. There is a very light static in the background. A voice begins to come in, but it is as if the voice is trying to speak through a bad connection and is breaking up terribly.
The static grows louder as the voice disappears. Just when you think the sound has grown too loud that it may drive you crazy, it disappears. A video clip of Charles Manson replaces the blackness and the static.
”Pain’s not bad, it’s good. It teaches you things. I understand that.”
Fade to black.
The bell rings, bringing the fans’ attention to Samantha Coil in the middle of the ring.
Samantha Coil: THE FOLLOWING IS TONIGHT’S…MAAAAAAAIN EVENT.
ALL OF THE LIGHTS>
“All of the Lights” by Kanye West brings the lights to dim completely out. In the middle of the entrance stage is a man standing before a dull white light, smoke billowing around his silhouette.
Turn up the lights in here baby
Extra bright, I want y’all to see this
Turn up the lights in here baby
You know what I need
Want you to see everything
Want you to see ALL OF THE LIGHTS.
The lights go BRIGHT as DONOVAN KING stands tall on the entrance stage. He says nothing, merely removes his hood and throws it to the floor beneath him. He marches to the ring and slaps a few hands here and there before he rolls into the ring and turns back to watch. “All of the Lights” fades out and the fans begin to buzz until…
Fireworks ERUPT at the entrance as “Hero” by Nas kicks in and kicks in HARD. The fans can’t help but erupt with the pyro.
Hate him or love him
For the same reason
Can’t leave it
The games needs him
Plus the people need someone to believe in
So in God’s Son we trust
‘Cause they know I’m gonna give ’em what they want
They looking for . . . a hero
I guess that makes me . . . a hero
CHRISTOPHER DAVIS steps out wearing his old Beautiful People ring gear. He nods his head to the fans as he saunters down to the ring. He walks up the ring steps and stares King down, Tony Lorenzo between the two of them. “Hero” dies down as Samantha Coil begins to speak.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first…hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina…he is THE LAST SCION…he is Donovan…KIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING!!
King gets a LOUD and PROUD reaction from the fans as he can’t help but smirk. Davis, however, stops him and Coil’s microphone catches Davis talking to King.
Christopher Davis: Listen to this, man.
Samantha Coil: And his opponent…hailing from Battle Creek, Michigan…HE IS…THE ENIGMA…AND A MEMBER OF THE SHOOT PROJECT HALL OF FAME…HE IS CHRISTOPHER…DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAVIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIS!!!
The fans…fucking…LOSE IT. King laughs as Davis shrugs his shoulders. Tony Lorenzo looks to King and then looks to Davis as Coil exits the ring. Davis extends his hand and King accepts, the fans continuing to cheer HARD as Tony Lorenzo calls for the bell and the main event is ON!
Eryk Masters: IT’S DAVIS VERSUS KING!
King and Davis stare at one another from across the ring. The fans are abuzz for this main event as the two of them say nothing, letting the cheers sink in. King looks out at the fans slowly and nods his head, the cheers growing even louder. Davis smirks and simply raises his right fist in the air, the fans just fucking losing it. The two men stare at one another still as Davis slowly lowers his fist before King makes his advance. Davis drops down and immediately the two men lock it up.
Other Guy: Here we go!
King manages to overpower the rusty Davis and put him in the ropes before the referee can break the collar and elbow tie up. King releases it quickly and marches back to the center of the ring. Meanwhile, Davis shakes his head trying to get his wits about him but just in time for King to lock up with him again. The two men push back and forth on one another until finally King manages to duck underneath the collar and elbow tie up but Davis elbows him in the head, forcing King to stagger away. Davis quickly whips King to the ropes and catches him with a hip toss that Davis follows through and hooks in a surfboard stretch!
Eryk Masters: You know, you don’t see those moves executed every day.
Other Guy: Christopher Davis is an old school kind of guy, Eryk. He doesn’t adhere to the flippy floppy rules of professional wrestling today, he’s gonna grind you, stretch you, and then he’s gonna beat the hell out of you. If Donovan King admires his own mentor OutKast, he might be in the ring with the one guy I always thought was as good and certainly as important to the business as him.
Eryk Masters: No doubt about that. Christopher Davis has, literally, seen it all in this business. He’s got this surfboard stretch locked in perfectly right now.
King quickly hooks his foot on the bottom rope and Davis releases the hold quickly. King gets up and Davis greets him with a grin and a slap across the face.
Christopher Davis: BETTER GET YOUR MIND RIGHT, DONNIE!
King glares at Davis as the fans let out a loud OOOOH. King looks Davis up and down and nails him HARD in the face, sending the Hall of Famer staggering backward. Davis turns and sees King, who beckons for him to come and fight him. Davis nods and the two of them go at it! Davis with a right! King with a right! Davis with a right! King with a right! Davis with a right! King with a NO! Davis with another right! King with a…and AGAIN NO! Davis with ANOTHER right! King falls back against the ropes and Davis charges him with a Lariat but King ducks and sends Davis over NO! Davis lands on ring apron! King turns around and Davis catches him with a jawbreaker across the top rope! King’s head bounces back and Davis rolls back into the ring and schoolboys King down!
King rolls away and Davis is right back up. King gets on his feet and goes for a lock up, but Davis is having none of that! He crouches down as King gets to his feet and he NAILS a three point stance tackle to King! King is laid OUT on the mat! The fans are solidly behind Davis now as King is on his hands and knees on the mat. Davis quickly rushes at King and rolls him up for a pin attempt!
Davis rolls King over and begins to punch King HARD in the back of the head a few times to keep him disoriented.
Other Guy: Wow…Christopher Davis REALLY wants to win this match.
Eryk Masters: This isn’t for Jonny, this isn’t for King’s redemption, this is Chris Davis and this is final moment in the sun. How else should he act if he’s not going to put every single thing he has into settling for nothing less than complete victory?
Davis gets up and bounces off the ropes and hits a leg drop to the back of King’s head! Davis gets back to his feet fast and reaches down to pick King up. He looks at the fans as he lifts King and that gives King just enough time to gather his wits and NAIL an inverted Atomic drop! King moves away from Davis and tries to shake off the cobwebs with the time he just afforded himself with the Atomic drop, but Davis gathers himself that much quicker and hits a HARD Roaring Elbow, SMACKING King directly in the cheek!
Eryk Masters: GOOD GOD! That was STIFF!
Other Guy: Morning radio shows are going to take your commentary out of context for some serious laughs, E!
King is again dizzied and Davis hits him with a quick scoop slam to the mat, but Davis wastes no time in picking King right back up again and hooking him up and bringing him right back DOWN with the Side Russian Leg Sweep! Davis is up on his feet again, sweating pouring down his face, but his eyes are wide with adrenaline as the fans are LOVING this!
Eryk Masters: THIS is Christopher Davis! THIS is the man who won the World Championship!
YOU’VE STILL GOT IT
*CLAP CLAP CLAP-CLAP-CLAP*
YOU’VE STILL GOT IT
*CLAP CLAP CLAP-CLAP-CLAP*
Other Guy: I could not agree more! I can’t believe he’s managed to swarm Donovan King this way. With everything on the line for King tonight, Christopher Davis is the one who has been in control of this match!
Davis picks King back up and drags him over to the turnbuckle. He positions him and charges King for a splash, but King manages to brace himself against the corner, throw his legs up, flip around, and roll Davis up in a sunset flip!
King tries to roll away, but Davis lunges at him from the ground and rolls HIM up!
Both men get away from one another as the fans ERUPT in applause. King is on one knee while Davis is completely up on his feet. King gets the rest of the way up onto his feet and Davis charges him but King ducks the Lariat, kick to the midsection…ALIENATOR! KING NAILS THE ALIENATOR!
Eryk Masters: Chris Davis has felt that move one too many times! He’s gotta know that familiar pain!
King quickly hooks BOTH of the former Enigma’s legs and the referee is there!
TH…NO! KICK OUT!
King rolls away, trying more to catch his breath than to capitalize as the fans POP for Davis yet again! Davis lies there on the mat, looking up at the lights with clouds in his eyes. He isn’t all there, operating solely on instinct while King is on his hands and knees, trying to maintain himself. He picks himself up slowly and walks over to Davis and picks him up. He throws Davis into the corner and IMMEDIATELY hits him with a Ric Flair chop!
He looks Davis up and down and hits him AGAIN with a chop!
King lets Davis slowly stagger from the corner and King hooks him up…KINGFALL II! King SLAMS Davis with the Uranage suplex and wastes no time in trying to hook the far leg and going for the pin yet again!
King shakes his head as the fans continue to cheer this colossal contest. Suddenly, the fans begin to boo, catching King’s immediate attention. He looks frantically around until he sees MIRAGE at the entrance. Mirage stands there, fully masked, his arms folded across his chest and his head cocked to the side.
Eryk Masters: Mirage is here to see King’s fate through to the end!
Other Guy: He’s been so quiet…lethally so…I hope he doesn’t get involved here in this match!
King sprawls over Davis and WAILS on him with right hands! The fans are STUNNED at the new and visceral assault from King to Davis. King picks Davis up quickly and hoists him up on his shoulders and SLAMS him down with a Samoan drop! King glares over to Mirage as he hooks the far leg!
King continues to glare at Mirage as he picks Davis BACK up and whips him to the ropes, but Davis ducks a King Lariat! He bounces off the opposite ropes but King realizes this and NAILS him with a REALITY CHECK! King suddenly hears a HUGE amount of cheers and turns to see OUTKAST AND THE REAL DEAL ON THE STAGE AS WELL!
Other Guy: INSTANT HEAT IS IN THE BUILDING!
Kast and Real Deal glare at Mirage, who merely glares back. The two brothers-in-arms stand on the opposite side of the stage from Mirage while King points to them and nods his head in approval to their presence. He drops down and hooks Davis for another pin attempt!
THREE…NO! KICK OUT!
Eryk Masters: Alienator…Reality Check…Christopher Davis has known those moves for YEARS. It’s gonna take more than those to put HIM down!
King gets Davis up and hooks him in a full nelson…ONLY TO TURN IT INTO A DRAGON SUPLEX WITH A BRIDGE!
The fans ERUPT as TREY WILLETT is on the stage now, with THOMAS MANCHESTER BLACK directly behind him! King shakes his head, holding his head in his hands as Davis stirs behind him.
Eryk Masters: Mounting frustration for The Last Scion as he so desperately wants his nightmares to end. He can end Mirage’s reign of terror in his life once and for all right here but Chris Davis will NOT die!
King picks himself up and drags Davis to the center of the ring. He rushes at the ropes and leaps up to the center rope, and turns it into a springboard body splash BUT DAVIS GETS HIS KNEES UP! King BOUNCES off of Davis, clutching his midsection in agony! He can’t give Davis a second to breathe, so he FORCES himself to get up, both arms wrapped around himself and he rolls onto Davis as desperately as he can and connects with a sloppy rolling senton splash!
Other Guy: King’s letting his emotions overtake him here, he can’t seem to find the right moves to finish Christopher Davis once and for all!
King throws his body onto Davis and the referee counts yet again!
The fans pop HUGE as King picks himself up off of the mat, arguing with the referee to count faster! King throws one arm up in frustration, the other STILL holding his midsection. King picks Davis up and whips him with all of his MIGHT to the ropes! Davis comes back and King catches him…CAROLINA CROSSFACE! CAROLINA CROSSFACE!
Eryk Masters: THIS COULD BE IT!!
The fans are marking HARD as ADRIAN CORAZON has stepped out from the back now to watch the match. Right behind him comes JONAS COLEMAN, CHARLES BRANDON MAGNUS, BUCK DRESDEN, and DIAMOND DEL CARVER. Davis cries out in PAIN as King keeps the Crossface locked up, Davis’ legs flailing about wildly, trying to find the ropes!
Other Guy: It’s like the locker room is slowly emptying out to see this monumental match up close!
Eryk Masters: They sense that MAYBE Donovan King can bring an end to Mirage’s torment as well as this right here…THIS is Christopher Davis’ FINAL match!
King arches back HARD to try to make Christopher Davis submit, but Davis REFUSES! Tony Lorenzo tells King Davis isn’t tapping out when Davis HOOKS HIS RIGHT TOES ON THE BOTTOM ROPE! Lorenzo tells King he has to let the Carolina Crossface go and he rolls to a seated position, looking at the stage as it fills up. Now, DAN STEIN and CRONOS DIAMANTE have come out, followed closely by TANYA BLACK.
Other Guy: SO CLOSE! HE WAS SO CLOSE!
King drags Davis to the middle of the ring and he goes to lock in the Carolina Crossface AGAIN. He tries to get a clear shot in to lock the hold in tight, but Davis quickly gets himself a hold of King’s leg, rolls him over and Lorenzo counts a STUNNING counter pin attempt!
King rolls away from Davis, who grins an exhausted grin at him! King goes to pick Davis up, hitting him in the back of the head with two HARD elbow shots. He whips Davis to the ropes and he goes for a belly to belly suplex, but Davis ducks underneath…CHICKEN WING…DEMORALIZATION PROCESS! HE SNAPS KING TO THE MAT WITH THE FINISHING MOVE MADE FAMOUS BY HIS LONGTIME FRIEND AND PARTNER JONNY JOHNSON!!!
Eryk Masters: KING IS OUT! KING IS OUT!
Davis throws himself over onto King’s body without hooking the legs and Tony Lorenzo gets there!
THREE…KICK OUT! KICK OUT! ONLY TWO!
Other Guy: NO! WAY!
The fans ERUPT as Davis now sees the stage, this time seeing JUN KENSHIN coming out, followed by CADE SYDAL and JAIME ALEJANDRO!
Eryk Masters: For one final match…for one final moment…there is no right…there is no wrong! Tonight, we say goodbye to a LEGEND…and these Soldiers here are putting aside their differences just for the chance…the LAST chance…to see Christopher Davis take on his FINAL opponent!
Other Guy: …well…maybe not MIRAGE…
Davis laughs to himself as King rolls to his side, trying to avoid being in the position to needing to kick out again. Davis gets to his hands and knees as King slowly begins to do the same. Davis takes a moment to look at King, who looks back at him. The two men have been through hell so far, and it doesn’t look to be ending any time soon. King and Davis both get up to their feet and the two lunge at one another, but King thinks quickly and hooks Davis up into a small package!
Davis ROLLS over! King is pinned now!
Davis picks himself up, as does King and Davis NAILS King with a right! Then another right! King with a right! Davis with a right! Davis right another right but King ducks! Davis turns around into a DEALBREAKER NO! NO! Davis SHOVES King to the ropes! King catches himself and turns around RIGHT INTO ANGELA’S ASHES NO!! NO!! KING SCRAMBLES OUT! King measures Davis and LEVELS him with a well-placed dropkick! Davis gets picked up by King and King goes for a short arm clothesline DAVIS MANAGES TO DUCK AND HE GOES FOR ANOTHER ANGELA’S ASHES NO!! KING GETS OUT YET AGAIN! DEALBREAKER! NO! DAVIS BLOCKS IT! KING GETS READY TO BLOCK ANGELA’S ASHES BUT DAVIS NAILS A DEALBREAKER ON KING!
Eryk Masters: CHRIS DAVIS WITH THE DEALBREAKER!!
Other Guy: HE HIT KING’S OWN MOVE ON HIM!!
Davis sprawls over King and Tony Lorenzo goes for the count!
THREE…NO! NO! GOOD GOD NO!! KING KICKS OUT!!
Eryk Masters: Even the Soldiers at the entrance are going CRAZY!
The camera shows everyone on the stage talking and screaming like the fans in the audience. Except Mirage. Christopher Davis throws himself BACK onto King for a pin attempt!
Davis shakes his head and looks up to the lights, CLEARLY frustrated with King! Davis picks King up and takes a deep breath…KING NAILS THE DEALBREAKER ON DAVIS! BOTH MEN ARE DOWN!!
Other Guy: NO! PIN HIM, KING!
Mirage makes his first movement of emotion, his arms becoming unfolded. However, BOTH Davis and King are OUT. Tony Lorenzo begins the mandatory count!
Other Guy: Don’t let this end in a double KO! COME ON!
King slowly pulls himself over to the ropes and starts to pick himself up with the ropes!
He’s up! King glares down at Davis and beckons for him to get up as well!
Eryk Masters: This is it! King is ready for Davis now!
Davis is up to his hands and knees now as King continues to catch his breath, back arched and his hands on his hips, ready to strike! Davis pulls himself the rest of the way up and King is right there on him! He hits Davis in the head with two quick elbow strikes and he quickly gets Davis in a vertical suplex NO! HE NAILS A BRAINBUSTER ON DAVIS. King gets to a seated position, looking at the BIG ovation the match is getting! He starts to grin as the tide is turned in his favor! He holds his arms out to soak in the love of the fans as he turns and looks at Davis, who is clutching the back of his head, lying on his side. King inhales deeply and lays back onto Davis, straightening and flattening Davis’ body while Tony Lorenzo slides in for the count!
KICK OUT! KICK OUT! KICK OUT!!
The fans ERUPT as Davis powers out of the brain buster! King slides away from Davis, staring at Davis in SHOCK. Davis rolls to his stomach and PUSHES HIMSELF OFF OF THE MAT, the two men’s eyes are LOCKED on one another! King’s face is a mixture of desperation, frustration, and disbelief while Davis’ face is one of exhaustion, fury, and irritation!
Eryk Masters: My God…my GOD.
Davis pushes himself the rest of the way up, and is back on his knees. The two men continue to stare at one another, saying nothing. King picks himself up and Davis slowly does the same. Davis wastes no more time and the two men are trading HARD shots! Davis with a punch and King with an elbow! Davis with a punch and King with an elbow! Davis quickly counters by stepping BACK and letting King’s elbow meet nothing but air! King’s head is exposed and he knows this! DAVIS WITH ANGELA’S ASHES NO!! KING MANAGES TO GET OUT OF IT YET AGAIN!
Other Guy: When is Christopher Davis gonna realize he can NOT beat Donovan King with that move?! He’s got it SO well scouted!
King quickly gets Davis up…and he SLAMS Davis down with a spinebuster! King wastes little time and DIVES to the corner! He looks at the fans and then to Mirage and slowly brings himself to pull himself to the top! King looks down at Davis and measures him…AND LEAPS OFF OF THE TOP WITH AN ELBOW DROP! IT’S PICTURE PERFECT AND IT MISSES!!! DAVIS ROLLS AWAY AT THE LAST SECOND!! KING’S ARM IS IN AGONY!
Eryk Masters: IF CHRIS DAVIS IS GOING TO PUT HIM AWAY THIS IS HIS CHANCE!!
Other Guy: THIS HAS GOT TO BE IT!
Eryk Masters: PIN HIM IF YOU WANT THIS, CHRIS!
Davis gets to his feet slowly as King slowly rolls around on the mat, trying HARD to not stay on his back! King gets to his hands and knees, nursing his hurting arm and looking around quickly to try and see where Davis is at at all times. Davis leans against the ropes as King gets up as well. The fans EXPLODE in cheers at the two of them. The two men bounce off of the ropes and Davis ducks a King Lariat attempt yet again and bounces off of the ropes, but King has stopped himself to catch Davis unawares. Suddenly, Davis runs RIGHT back into King’s grasp…DEALBREAKER! NO! DAVIS HOOKS KING FOR ANGELA’S ASHES! KING STRUGGLES AS HARD AS HE CAN AND THE REALIZATION SETS IN…HE CAN’T! DAVIS HITS ANGELA’S ASHES! TONY LORENZO IS THERE!
The bell rings as “Hero” by Nas kicks back in HARD and LOUD. The fans ERUPT as the Soldiers swarm the ring! Meanwhile, Mirage is shown slowly walking back into the darkness of the backstage area, showing absolutely no response to the end of the match.
Samantha Coil: HERE IS YOUR WINNER…CHRISTOPHER…DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAVIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIS!
Davis is helped to his feet by OutKast and Trey Willett. Davis looks at OutKast for a long moment and the two men embrace for a second. OutKast and Trey hold Davis’ arms up for everyone to see. Kenshin hugs Davis as Real Deal and Carver are shown on their hands and knees, checking on King, who is starting to come to.
Eryk Masters: LOOK!
The fans continue to cheer as JASON JOHNSON comes out, applauding the main event and the Soldiers as he walks down to the ring. He gets in and is quickly wrapped in an embrace from Christopher Davis. Tanya Black and Thomas Manchester Black help King get to his feet. Jason Johnson walks over to King and cups his face in his hands, checking to see if he’s alright. King nods somberly and Jason embraces him. Davis walks over and moves Jason out of the way and hugs King tightly, the fans popping HUGE. The two Soldiers are visibly shaken as they embrace, talking to one another.
Eryk Masters: King looks…just completely shaken to his core. He has no idea what the future will bring for him now.
Other Guy: But Chris Davis is just as shaken right now, Eryk, and he knows EXACTLY what’s in his future. This is it. This was the final time Christopher Davis said he would ever fight again.
“Hero” dies down as Jason Johnson clears the group up as we can see Jaime Alejandro patting King on the back while Cronos is talking to Davis as the two Soldiers finally break their embrace. Jason stands there and can’t help but grin from ear to ear.
Jason Johnson: On behalf…of a grateful roster. On behalf…of an ecstatic staff. To each…and EVERY one of you out here tonight…
The fans pop BIG as the camera catches images of smiling and excited fans. It cuts back to King nodding his head as Cronos whispers something to him while OutKast puts his arm around him.
Jason Johnson: Ten years ago…this company was founded to be just a little bit…different from the norm. Along the way, we went from spitting on the standard…TO BECOMING THE STANDARD.
He nods as the fans cheer. Out from the back others from the roster start pouring out.
Jason Johnson: And we could never…EVER…have done it without you guys out here.
The fans cheer.
Jason Johnson: You are the reason we fight. You are the reason we continue to survive. We are NOTHING without YOU.
The fans continue to cheer.
Jason Johnson: So no matter what happens tomorrow…or the next day…or the next day…or the next day…tonight…tonight…WE…ARE…SHOOT.
The fans, the Soldiers, and everyone at home…begin to chant LOUD AND PROUD…
WE. ARE. SHOOT.
WE. ARE. SHOOT.
WE. ARE. SHOOT.