She Will Sing, Til Everything Burns While Everyone Screams Burning In Their Lies Burning My Dreams
The lights dim down for a moment and the video wall springs to life showing various images of SHOOT Project competitors each image being burned away in sequence as if someone was burning a stack of photos.
As Everything Burns continues to play the arena explodes into boos as Tanya Black emerges out of the back, her head hanging down solemnly until she gets to the end of the ramp at which point she looks up at the ring and 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
With that Tanya slides into the ring with a surprising burst of speed given her slow walk to the ring. Standing there for a moment Tanya Black demands a microphone as the boos finally die down.
Eryk Masters: Here is a twisted woman. She has got real problems with a lot of people here in SHOOT.
Other Guy: True but after what Tanya and the rest of the Syndicate did to Cronos Diamante last week I don’t think anyone can afford to get her angry.
Tanya stood in the middle of the ring, attired in very expensive looking business attire from head to toe even her hair pulled up into a tight bun. Finally she speaks as the SHOOT Epicenter falls silent.
Tanya: Last week as everyone around the world celebrated the tenth anniversary of SHOOT Project, I did something that even the fans who had been watching from Day One never thought they would see. Last week for the umpteenth time I made history. Tanya Black, the one the front office likes to believe is a harmless sideshow act, cleanly pinned Cronos Diamante in a match that in any other company would have been Match Of The Night. I admit that Christopher Davis and Donovan King was a better match. I am that humble.
Other Guy: That twisted too. I wouldn’t call that a clean win.
Eryk Masters: For those who didn’t watch last week, shame on you, and more importantly you missed a pre-match beat down on Cronos Diamante from the entire Sinister Syndicate.
Tanya smiles and curtsies as the fans boo her but she simply shows no care to their disapproval of her actions. Finally they settle down and the microphone is lifted again.
Tanya: Love it or hate it the fact is unlike most people in this company I live up to my hype. I can and have beaten your legends and your icons. I do it with style, I do it with flair, I do it with an intensity and clarity of purpose that no one except my friends Cade and Flash can achieve. That is why while the old guard argues with itself and the other new players continue to stand idly by and let themselves get trampled by politics, WE keep rising up. Last week it began, my prophecy of the Fall Of The House Of Diamante.
There is just one little thing. One little flaw. One Problem I have. See I like to go back and watch my matches. I like to study them, find where I went wrong even in a win. How I can improve and evolve. Not to mention recalling the… exquisite feeling of all that back and forth pain. Shivers all over, let me tell you. That match was a good one too as we both hit hard and often. It was a truly pleasurable win and the replay SHOULD have inspired such tingling again. The only thing is someone ruined it. Something threw off the groove and ruined the historical significance of what was being witnessed. They ruined my pleasure.
Rolling out of the ring Tanya stalks around ringside mocking the heckling fans that are trying to unnerve her. Making her way over to the commentator’s table Tanya jumps up on it and sits down staring at the two men who bring us the action every week.
Eryk Master: Can I help you Miss Black?
Other Guy: That’s a lovely perfume.
Tanya: Do you two know what the term slander means?
Eryk Masters: Yes Ma’am.
Tanya: It’s illegal. It’s morally wrong. As commentators it is a violation of your occupational pride, assuming you have any.
Other Guy: I do. But what are you talking about?
Tanya: You said Cronos Diamante would have ended up in the hospital last week if Jaime…. oh gods I can’t even say his name without puking in my mouth a little. Without that interfering old man. You made people watching around the world believe my partners and I wanted to avoid MY match. Not True. We were going to stop at a point just shy of what would put Cronos down. I never run from a fight. I never avoid a match. Putting him in the hospital before our match has never been how I do business. You besmirched my good name.
Eryk Masters: Hanging out with Cade Sydal did that.
Tanya: You will speak when given permission or I’ll get my ring gear and you can make history tonight by having your first Anything Goes match.
Other Guy: Please go on. I’m eager to hear your feedback on our job performance. Even if Eryk is unappreciative.
Tanya: No one in the Syndicate are cowards. See Cronos had many advantages over me. Experience, strength, size, submission skill, rank odor, no shame. The Syndicate simply evened the playing field to insure that the fans got the best match possible. After all if I wanted him to be easy pickings, nobody would have prevented me from crippling him. I even let him walk out of that ring instead of continuing the assault after getting what I wanted: The Clean Victory.
You said I quit caring about honor. You said I changed and was sick in the head. Well okay I am sick in the head, but that started well before I signed with SHOOT. I am the same in-ring competitor I always have been. I said from the start of my career here that I would hit my opponent with whatever I had to in order to win, and that from bell to bell there is no reason to hold back or take it easy on someone who is there to fight. I haven’t changed, I still have my honor. If I tell you I am going to wrestle you at a certain date, I will be there in my ring gear. If I say I want to make you bleed and regret being in the ring with me, I do make you bleed and regret. I am merely being pro-active. I am no different than YOUR heroes when it comes to how I conduct my business, if I want something I go out and I get it. So please stop judging me so harshly or I will have to seek legal action against your attempts to discredit my professional talents, thus affecting my ability to make a living.
Eryk Masters: We will strive to do the best job possible.
Other Guy: I never meant to cause any ill will between us.
Tanya Black smiles seeing the intimidation in their eyes. Rolling back into the ring she looks towards the back.
Tanya: Now that the fun is over. It’s time to discuss business. It seems last week someone made a mistake concerning their future. There is someone here in SHOOT Project who fails to understand their place in the food chain. That someone is the little arrogant snot named Lunatikk Crippler. Little man you have something that belongs to me. You have my Sin City Championship.
The fans boo a bit at the sound of Tanya’s claim but she quickly silences them with a gesture. Waiting a moment to make sure they are silenced she speaks again.
Tanya: See I was never given a rematch due to the awkward and convoluted Sin City Championship Series. Not to mention that you claim to be the kind of guy who wants to be a fighting champion and as the only two-time Sin City Champion in SHOOT Project history, I’m a challenge you can’t possibly decline. Though if you do, I will make you change your mind so you might as well just give in.
Now I know Crippy Poo that you wanted to defend your belt against people who have never held the title before but there is the problem of you having to get through me before you have the right to do what you will. Now I know tonight you are starting off with an easy title defense over that whiny loser Crazy Boy, but that is okay as no one really expects him to win.
You have to understand Crippler I desire that title, I yearn for it with all of my body and soul and that means whether you like it or not I am going to take it back. I said it before so if you forgot then you have no one to blame but yourself. I will always take back what is mine. Lunatikk Crippler you may be Mr. Sin City but I am the Goddess of Sin and that means you will learn who really rules. It’s not a matter of IF I will win back the Sin City Championship but WHEN. So ask yourself Lunatikk: Do you want to end up like the last two wrestlers you stood between me and winning the Sin City Title?
Eryk Masters: She’s referring to Jester Smiles who hasn’t been seen in SHOOT since the rematch at Salvation and Laura Seton who.. well in all fairness hasn’t managed to bounce back from her loss at Redemption. But at least she managed to keep wrestling.
Other Guy: Yeah but Lunatikk Crippler has already been through hell to win that belt. Tanya Black is capable of a lot but that man earned his title and he’ll defend it against Crazy Boy later tonight. If successful, I am sure he will have a response for Miss Black then. I for one don’t discount Crazy Boy or Lunatikk Crippler, that will be a hell of a match.
Tanya Black rolls out of the ring but as she goes up the ramp signals for her music to stop and looks back at the ring. Smirking she mimes polishing a title belt before placing it around her waist as she walks backwards up the ramp, hearing the fans boo causing her to laugh at the reaction she caused.
Samantha Coil: The following contest, set for one fall, is for the SHOOT Project Sin City Championship!
Eryk Masters: Here we go! What a way to kick off Revolution, with the Sin City title on the line!
Other Guy: There’s gonna be a whole lotta crazy going on in this match.
"Crucify Me" by Bring on the Horizon starts up, and the fans respond in kind by beginning to boo. Crazy Boy steps out from behind the curtain, not seeming to care about the reception he is receiving.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first, the challenger. From Biloxi, Mississippi, weighing in at 227 pounds, Crazy Boy!
Other Guy: Huge opportunity for Crazy Boy here. A chance to hold a championship here in SHOOT Project is nothing to sneeze at.
Eryk Masters: You know Crazy Boy is looking to reverse his luck from the last time he was in the ring with the Sin City champion, and he’s certainly focused for this match.
Crazy Boy steps between the ropes and into the ring, eyes cold and calculating, awaiting his opponent for this evening. He is staring straight ahead when suddenly, the lights go out. "Crucify Me" shuts off, and a buzz ripples through the crowd.
I will break
Into your thoughts
With what’s written on my heart
I will BREAK
"I’m So Sick" by Flyleaf continues, and the fans are cheering madly as the Sin City Champion, Lunatikk Crippler appears in a spotlight at the top of the entrance, Sin City title strapped around his waist.
Samantha Coil: Weighing in at 238, he is the reigning Sin City Champion, Lunatikk Crippler!
Eryk Masters: If you thought Crazy Boy was focused, here’s his opponent.
Other Guy: The Crippler receives a loud ovation from the SHOOT Project crowd tonight, but he only has his eyes and ears set on Tyrone Smith right now!
The Crippler slowly makes his way down to the ring, unstrapping the Sin City Championship as he moves. He pulls himself up to the apron using the middle rope, and is blindsided by Crazy Boy and a huge dropkick! Crippler goes sprawling to the floor, Sin City Championship clattering against the steel ring stairs as he falls.
Eryk Masters: Crazy Boy not wasting any time, jumping Crippler before he can even get in the ring!
Crazy Boy follows to the outside where Crippler is trying to get back to his feet after being suprised early on. CB grabs Crippler by the head and whips him into the barricade on the outside. Crippler is able to turn, and he lands against the steel back first. LC lets out a gasp of pain, and falls to his knees, then to his face. CB isn’t done, however, as he hurries back over to Crippler, and picks him up by the hair. Crazy Boy unloads a few right hands to the face of Crippler, and sets up for an irish whip. Crippler however is able to reverse at the last second, and irish whips Crazy Boy into the steel stairs. Crazy Boy hits the stairs knees first, with his momentum sending him flipping over the stairs to the concrete floor.
Other Guy: The action is fast and furious already! What a brutal start to the show!
Crippler puts his hand on his aching back, but stalks over to where Crazy Boy lays, grasping at his knee. Crippler lifts CB up by the head and then slams CB’s head off the apron. And a second time! Crippler tries for the hat trick, but CB elbows Crippler in the guts in desperation. Crippler doubles up, and CB takes a couple steps back and rears back with a big boot to the head of Crippler, sending LC falling to the floor. CB wastes no more time, and rolls back into the ring. Crippler grabs the ring apron and uses it as leverage to pull himself to his feet. The crowd is rallying behind him as he slowly inches his way into the ring. The moment his entire body is inside the ropes, the ref calls for the bell, and this match is officially underway.
Eryk Masters: Now that the bell has rung, Crazy Boy wastes little time, putting the boots to the head and torso of the champion!
Other Guy: This is Crazy Boy’s chance, Eryk. You know that he doesn’t want to walk out of here without the Sin City title!
Crazy Boy now drops an elbow between the shoulder blades of Lunatikk Crippler, who gives a loud grunt of pain at the impact. Crippler rolls towards the center of the ring, leaving himself open to a knee drop from the challenger. CB makes the cover!
Other Guy: Crippler kicks out at two! Wasn’t easy though, Crazy Boy was digging his forearm into the jaw of The Crippler.
Crazy Boy lifts Crippler up by the hair, but before he can try anything, Crippler fires a right hand into the midsection of CB. Crazy Boy goes to retaliate, but Crippler ducks. CB’s own momentum swings him around, and he turns back to face The Crippler, who grabs CB by the back of the head and snapmares him over his shoulder. The crowd shifts, starting to cheer again for The Crippler as he sends a stinging kick right to the spine of Crazy Boy, who seems to be frozen in pain. Crippler follows up with a second kick to the same spot in the back, then hitting the ropes and dropkicking CB in the back of the head. CB rolls to his side, clutching his head and Crippler rolls him to his back and hooks the leg.
Eryk Masters: Crazy Boy out at two, this has been a very hard hitting match thus far.
Crippler lifts Crazy Boy to his feet and hooks his head. He takes Crazy Boy over quickly with a snap suplex, but he holds on. The fans pop loud as The Crippler hooks his own head under the arm under Crazy Boy and takes him over again with a Northern Lights suplex! The crowd pops again, as Crippler holds on for a third suplex, but Crazy Boy brings the point of his elbow down across the back of The Crippler. The cheers turn to jeers as Crazy Boy bounces off the ropes and attempts a clothesline, but Crippler ducks and hooks the waist of Crazy Boy.
Other Guy: Huge German suplex! Nice succession of moves from The Crippler. He’s got the bridge!
Crazy Boy rolls his shoulder up, breaking the pinfall. Crippler rolls onto his knees and gets to his feet. He crouches in the corner, waiting for Crazy Boy to get to his feet.
Other Guy: Looks like Crippler is setting up for something big here! BLOOD DRIVE! He nailed it as soon as Crazy Boy turned around!
Eryk Masters: This one could be over. Wait, what’s going on?
The crowds cheers turn into loud boos, but why? Well, that question is soon answered as a spotlight hits the top of the ramp, and standing in the middle of it is none other than Tanya Black.
Other Guy: The hell is she doing out here?
Eryk Masters: I think Lunatikk Crippler is asking himself the same thing.
Crippler is indeed confused, as he stares out at Black at the entrance way. He lifts his arms up as if to say "What gives?" and that’s the opportunity Crazy Boy was looking for. He hurries off his back and leaps up, trapping Crippler’s arms in a crucifix, rolling him over into a pinning combination.
Crippler kicks out before the three count could be made. Tanya smirks on the entrance ramp and slowly begins to make her way ringside. Crazy Boy gets to his feet, holding his abdomen after the impact of the Blood Drive, and Crippler rolls up as well, turns, and is met with a palm to the chest, right above the heart. Crippler staggers back into the ropes and bounces off, and is met with a spinning heel kick to the face. Crippler hits the mat hard with that impact, and Crazy Boy is taking over this match now. He casts a sideways glance at Tanya Black, who is nearly to the ring, before grabbing The Crippler’s arm and locking in a cross armbreaker. The Crippler is trying to fight it, however, keeping his hands clasped so Crazy Boy cannot extend the arm fully, but CB lifts a leg and slams it into the face of LC, who is still holding on.
Eryk Masters: Crippler trying to fight it, and CB smashes Crippler’s face again with his leg. And a third time!
Other Guy: There it is! Crippler loses his grip, and Crazy Boy yanks back on the arm of Lunatikk Crippler!
Crippler is writhing in pain as CB is trying desperately to break the arm of LC, as Crippler reaches out with his free arm to try and grasp the bottom rope that is just out of reach. Crazy Boy has a maniacal look on his face as he continues to yank back on the arm, looking to exert as much pressure on Crippler’s trapped limb as possible. Crippler is still trying to find a way to free himself of this predicament, trying to reach the bottom rope, struggling against the grip of the Crazy One.
Eryk Masters: I don’t know how much Crippler can take here. I think we may be seeing the crowning of a new Sin City Champion here tonight!
Crippler is struggling still, but it seems that he has been able to slide a little bit, pulling CB with him in his quest to break this painful submission hold. Crippler is reaching, and the tips of his fingers just brushed the bottom rope. CB sees this, however, and voluntarily breaks the hold. He keeps hold of the left arm of Lunatikk Crippler and drags him in the middle of the ring. Crippler is too far away from the ropes now, and CB again attempts the cross armbreaker, but Crippler counters out of desperation, rolling CB up with a school boy!
Th-Crazy Boy kicks out in the nick of time. He was definately caught off guard there, but he gets to his feet first, and plants a boot to the chest of Lunatikk Crippler. Crippler rolls to his stomach, holding his left arm against his body. LC gets to his knees and CB chops him in the chest.
Eryk Masters: Good lord, that echoed throught the whole arena!
Other Guy: And a second loud chop from Crazy Boy. Crippler’s chest is red as Rudolph’s nose right now.
Crazy Boy grabs a handful of hair from Crippler, as Tanya Black watches on from ringside. Referee Austin Linam leans between the ropes to make sure that Black isn’t going to interfere. She lifts up her arms as if to say "Not doing anything". Crazy Boy takes advantage of the situation and hits a low blow on Lunatikk Crippler.
Other Guy: This just shows that Crazy Boy is willing to do whatever it takes to win the Sin City Championship!
CB follows that up with a one armed DDT, planting Crippler face first in the mat. Crazy Boy hooks the leg, and Linam turns around to make the count.
Crippler kicks out at two!
Eryk Masters: Crazy Boy now having words with Austin Linam about a slow count. I’m willing to bet he doesn’t mention the low blow that led to that pinning combination.
Crazy Boy is showing signs of frustration now, as he helps Crippler to his feet, only to plant him with a russian leg sweep. CB floats over with the cover, holding Crippler’s shoulders down with both hands.
Crippler is able to kick out at two. Crazy Boy tries again, this time digging his forearm into Crippler’s jaw.
Crippler out again at two. Crazy Boy tries a third pin attempt, this time hooking the leg.
Th-Crippler rolls his shoulder up just in time to save his title. Crazy Boy looks close to snapping. He gets to his feet and signals to the crowd.
Eryk Masters: He’s signaling for the Crazy Slam! He’s gonna try to end it all here!
Crippler staggers to his feet and slowly revolves around to face Crazy Boy, who greets him with a boot to the gut. He hooks Crippler’s arm behind his head and hooks Crippler’s head under his arm. He powers Crippler up, but Crippler falls out of it, landing behind Crazy Boy. Crazy Boy turns and Crippler traps his head and leg in his hands quickly, and muscles Crazy Boy over his head.
Other Guy: T-bone suplex! Crazy Boy goes over the top rope, and onto an unsuspecting Tanya Black!
Eryk Masters: Maybe she was just coming out as a spectator, but something tells me that isn’t going to settle well with Miss Black.
Crippler rolls to the outside and rolls Crazy Boy in. He slowly makes his own way into the ring, and is on his knees now. The exhaustion and pain is etched all over his face, as he awaits Crazy Boy to get back to his feet. CB is in the corner, on one knee, using the turnbuckles to pull himself up. He finally does and turns towards Crippler. Crippler springs up and traps Crazy Boy’s head with both hands and drives him face first into the mat.
Eryk Masters: Lunatikk Sweet!! There it is!
Other Guy: I can’t believe it! Crazy Boy got planted, now Crippler needs to pin him, and it’s over!
Crippler crawls slowly over to Crazy Boy, who is still face first. He is rolling CB to his back, as Tanya Black climbs onto the apron, trying to get into the ring. Austin Linam runs over to intercept her, as Crippler finally committs a lateral press on CB, hooking both legs. The crowd counts "ONE! TWO! THREE! FOUR! FIVE!" but the ref pays it no mind as he tries to get Tanya out of the ring.
Eryk Masters: This isn’t right! Crippler has this match won!
Other Guy: The Crippler inadverdantly used Crazy Boy as a weapon against Tanya. I don’t think she views it as an accident.
The crowd counts "NINE! TEN! ELEVEN!" as Black finally gets off the apron. Linam turns to see the pinning predicament, and hurries over to make the count!
THR-NO! Crazy Boy is able to shoulder out!
Other Guy: It may have taken a while for Linam to get in position, but still, kudos to the Crazy One for kicking out of the Lunatikk Sweet!
Crippler is pleading with Linam, telling him about the amount of time it took for him to start the count, but it’s no good. Crazy Boy pulls himself to his feet, and is waiting for Crippler to turn around, half sagging against the ropes. Crippler turns and ducks, just in time to miss a flying forearm from CB.
Eryk Masters: Crippler ducks the flying burrito, Austin Linam was not so lucky, he is OUT.
Other Guy: Tanya Black is over here now, and she just threw Mark Kendrick, the timekeeper across the floor!
Eryk Masters: She’s got the Sin City Championship in her hands. That doesn’t belong to her, she knows that right?
Other Guy: I don’t think she does.
Tanya is stalking to the ring now, and Crippler and Crazy Boy are slugging it out. She hops up on the apron, Sin City title in hand. Crazy Boy goes to whip Crippler towards her, but Crippler reverses. Crazy Boy goes face first into the Sin City title belt, and Tanya Black flies off the apron!
Eryk Masters: Two birds, meet one stone.
Other Guy: Crippler is wasting no time taking advantage of the situation. Crazy Boy falls, right into his grasp! He snaps him down to the mat by the arm..
Eryk Masters: Crazy Boy is being Bitchified! Right in the center of the ring!
Almost immediately, Crippler is wrenching back on Crazy Boy’s neck with all he can muster. Austin Linam begins shaking it off, he’s to his hands and knees.
Eryk Masters: There it is! Crazy Boy is tapping out!
Other Guy: There’s not a lot of strength left behind those taps, but you’re right. Problem is, Linam can’t see it.
Linam slowly turns around crawls toward the two fighters in the ring, as Crippler pulls back and extends his legs, putting even more pressure on CB. Linam looks down and sees CB’s hand lightly hitting the mat rapidly, and he signals for the bell. The crowd pops loud as Crippler is handed the Sin City Championship by Samantha Coil at ringside, since the timekeeper and ref are both incapacitated.
Samantha Coil: Here is your winner…..and STILL the Sin City Champion…
The Crippler thrusts the Sin City Championship into the air, illiciting a loud response again from the crowd.
Samantha Coil: Luuuuuunatikk CRIPPLER!
Eryk Masters: Crippler retains, and what a physical war it was!
Other Guy: Don’t count Crazy Boy out, Eryk. He gave it all he had, but in the end, it wasn’t enough.
Eryk Masters: I suppose you can thank Tanya Black for that, couldn’t you?
Other Guy: Maybe, but I doubt she’d say "You’re Welcome"
We now head backstage to where Rule of Surrender Champion Mason Pierce is making his way through the doors, Leona right by his side with the belt slung over her shoulder. Almost immediately, security stops the pair, one of the guards putting a beefy hand on Pierce’s chest.
Security Guard: Sorry, Mason. Can’t let the two of you in the building tonight. I’ve got orders.
Mason looks down at the hand and then into the eyes of the security guard.
Mason Pierce: If I were you, I would move that hand right now while it’s still attached to your arm. And right after you do that, you can take that overstuffed carcass of yours and get it the hell out of our way. I don’t take orders from a little rank-and-file part-time rent-a-cop. You see that belt on Leona’s shoulder? It outranks your little ten-cent badge. You might be a little heavier, but I can damn sure guarantee I can put your lights out before you even have the chance to blink. So I’m going to be generous and give you to the count of three. ONE.
The guard notices the steely resolve in Pierce’s eyes and steps back.
Mason Pierce: Good boy. Smart move on your part. Now go do your job and keep the undesirables out. Oh.. we have a guest arriving soon. I would recommend being a little more welcoming than you were with Leona and I. Our guest’s tolerance for insolence is far below mine.
The pair make their way through the backstage area, past where Abigail Chase is looking for someone to interview. She waves at Mason, trying to get his attention, but he ignores the gesture. He stops by the coffee machine and grabs a cup.
Leona: Are you sure you want to do this, Mason?
Mason Pierce: Yep. One hundred percent sure.
Almost as if on cue, Bryan Harris approaches, a broad, snakelike smile on his face. He extends his hand and Mason shakes it.
Bryan Harris: Mason. Leona. Glad you could make it tonight.
Mason Pierce: Didn’t really have anywhere else to be. Besides, you mentioned something about an offer we wouldn’t want to pass up. You’ve peaked our curiosity.
Harris shakes his head.
Bryan Harris: Whoa. Are you f-
Stopping himself, Bryan looks over his shoulder to make sure no one else was watching them. Lowering his voice a few dulcets, he continues.
Bryan Harris: Are you crazy?! Not here. Hang tight. Enjoy the coffee. We’ll be in touch.
Harris walks away in a hurry. Mason sips on the coffee and looks at Leona, who’s gone and grabbed a cup of her own.
Mason Pierce: So what do you think? Figure it’s legit?
Leona: I guess we’ll find out soon enough, right?
At that moment, her cell phone beeps. She pulls out the phone and reads a quick message that’s just been sent. She smiles and puts the phone away.
Leona: Our friend’s en route.
Mason Pierce: Something tells me this is going to make for quite an interesting evening.
The opening strings of "Sieben" by Subway to Sally starts to blare over the Epicenter’s loudspeakers, causing a wave of boos to come crashing down from the cheap sets all the way to the first row. Stepping out from behind the curtain is Azrael Goeren, wearing a gold glitter Dolce and Gabbana suit and his CWC World Heavyweight Championship belt draped over his right shoulder. Flanking Azrael is his cadre of lawyers, each one of them carrying a matching brown leather briefcase and marching behind him like a legal army.
Eryk Masters: Oh fantastic, just what my day needed.
Other Guy:How can you be so hateful, the man lost his son!
Eryk Masters:He didn’t lose him, he didn’t even know that he existed until a few weeks ago! I sincerely hope, for the sake of everyone involved, that Goeren’s lawyers didn’t actually find a way to gain custody of that child.
Other Guy:Father of the Year! Father of the Year! Come on Eryk, let’s get the chant started! Father of the Year! Father of the Year!
Azrael struts down to ringside, making sure the fans at ringside don’t touch him as he ascends the steps and makes his way into the center of the ring. One by one, his lawyers follow suit and form a wall behind him. Azrael nonchalantly calls for a microphone, coldly staring out at the sold out Epicenter as the boos only get louder.
Goeren: I’m going to be as brief as possible tonight as I’ve got a match to prepare for later on against that meatsack Trey Willett…
The crowd erupts at Trey’s name, causing Azrael to grimace in displeasure.
Goeren: Last week, I gave Patrick Kidd an ultimatum. Thanks to my incredibly overpriced counsel here, we were able to find legal precedents that guaranteed me rights of custody over my biological son, Michael. As all of you undoubtedly know by now, Michael was unjustly held against his will for the first five years of his miserable life by the sexual deviant Patrick Kidd.
Eryk Masters:Oh please, do we really have to listen to this?
Other Guy:I’ve got my fingers crossed that we’re about to see a family reunion!
Azrael paces slowly in front of his lawyers, staring down at the mat.
Goeren: I wish I could tell you that we were successful in our efforts to permanently free my child from Kidd’s vile and lecherous clutches. But unfortunately…we were not.
The crowd actually cheers at the notion of Azrael’s failure, causing him even more annoyance.
Goeren: Due to circumstances beyond our control, and due in large part to the failure of your American legal system, I was only awarded temporary custody of my son under strict court-appointed supervision. It appears as if Kidd has greased the wheels of Lady Justice, threw her down onto the pinball machine and violated her in a horrific fashion. I swear to all of my fans, my son and Kidd himself that I will do everything in my power to fight this injustice every chance I get until I have been awarded full custody of my darling boy!
The crowd continues their jeering as an "Azrael Sucks" chants moves from one end of the arena to another.
Goeren: However, there is something of a silver lining here tonight. While I am completely disgusted with this court’s decision, I am somewhat fortunate that they decided my visitation privileges would begin…tonight. My son will watch first hand as I tear apart SHOOT’s favorite wayward son Trey Willett and will bear witness to how a true man behaves in this ring. So, without further ado my dear Las Vegasians, may I be the first to publically introduce all of you to Michael Goeren!
Azrael points towards the ramp as his hulking bodyguard Gavrilovich Mikael Yurinov emerges, looking completely disgusted at what he’s being forced to do. "Sieben" once again starts playing over the Epicenter’s speakers as Yuri stops at the top of the ramp and reaches back behind the curtain, taking hold of the five year old hand of Michael and leading him out to the public.
Eryk Masters:Oh my god…that sick…monster…
Other Guy: …oh man, not cool.
Coming out from behind the curtain, it is revealed that little Michael is dressed exactly like his "father". A miniature gold glitter suit and a pair of designer sunglasses however can’t hide from the audience the obvious discomfort and confusion this young boy must be going through. Yuri leads him down to the ring, holding his hand tightly as Azrael wildly applauds in the ring.
Eryk Masters:I can’t believe this, look at that poor little guy! He has no idea what’s going on here!
Other Guy:Yeah this…this is screwed up man. Even for Azrael, this isn’t right.
Eryk Masters:Whoa, wait a second! Who’s that coming out from the curtain now?
Other Guy:Dayum, I don’t know but I think I better introduce myself…
A woman confidently strides out down the ramp, following Yuri and Michael with a focused look on her face. To put it simply, she’s absolutely gorgeous…and she knows it. Her blond hair is pulled up in a neat bun, trendy thin glasses rest on her nose and a black dress that leaves nothing to the imagination. She clutches a clipboard against her more than ample chest, closely following the duo as they make their way into the ring. Azrael does not look the least bit surprised at this mystery woman, instead smiling broadly to himself as he yells out for Yuri to hold the ropes open for his son. Yuri, at first, shakes his head and refuses…before finally pulling the middle rope up and allowing young Michael to slowly make his way into the ring. Azrael drops down to his knees and holds his arms out wide for a hug, but Michael instead hides behind Yuri’s massive tree trunk legs and cowers in the corner.
Goeren: It’s okay mein liebling kleinen sohn, you can give Papa a hug. No need to hide anymore, I promise you that Patrick Kidd can’t hurt you here.
By this time, the mystery woman has entered the ring and stands next to Yuri as Michael quickly moves behind her, clutching at the bottom of her skirt and trying to stay as far away from Azrael as possible.
Goeren: Ach, yes. I understand…stage fright. We’ll work you through that in the near future, you better get used to the crowds though Michael…one day these classless yokels will be paying their hard earned welfare checks to watch you perform!
Another round of boos.
Goeren: And dear me…where are my manners? Allow me to introduce to all of you in attendance the Nevada state appointed case worker who will supervise all of my interactions with my beloved son…Miss Klara Reinhardt!
Eryk Masters:That’s an…unusual name.
Other Guy:Yeah, it sounds pretty German to…
Eryk Masters:Oh God no.
Azrael suddenly breaks out with an even wider smile, moving over to Klara’s side as Michael dives for cover behind her.
Goeren: Now Miss Reinhardt, you and I don’t know each other, do we?
Klara: Absolutely not, Herr Goeren.
Goeren: We in no way grew up in the same town and I am in no way paying off your student loans right now in exchange for preferential treatment, am I?
Klara: Most definitely not, Herr Goeren.
Goeren: And you will be unbiased, impartial and completely honest when dealing with yours truly in matters regarding my son, won’t you my little snugglepuss?
Klara: Ja, oh yes I will.
Azrael bops her on the nose with his index finger as she squishes up her face and lets out a giggle, causing several groans to erupt from the audience.
Eryk Masters:This is absolutely sickening, I can’t believe that anyone could condone this! Goeren clearly has this so-called court appointed "professional" in his pocket! There is no telling how badly he could…
Before Eryk can finish his sentence, "Rebirth" by Boy Hits Car blares across the speakers and the crowd absolutely erupts as they expect Patrick Kidd to run down the ramp and start stomping a mudhole in Goeren’s arrogant ass! Instead, Kidd walks out onto the ramp slowly with a mic in hand, but before he can even speak Azrael decides to cut him off.
Goeren: NEIN! NEIN! YOU STAY WHERE YOU ARE KIDD! Need I remind you that if you or your little Gunslinger cronies lay one finger on me, all of you will be thrown in jail like the garbage you are! I’m well within my rights as a father to want to protect my child, if you were smart enough to read the fine print on the legal documents my lawyers provided you at the custody hearings earlier in the week, you’d know you are one punch away from federal prison!
Kidd does his best to keep his composure as he sees Lil’ Mikey in the ring dressed up like his longtime foe. Mikey is still hiding with his head in Klara’s skirt, looking absolutely petrified at everything that’s going on around him.
Kidd: I read the fine print Goeren. While I would like to come down there and kick your teeth in, I wouldn’t do that in front of my son. I can be every bit a monster as you or Isaac or Corazon in that ring, but when I get home I’m just a normal dad. Mikey doesn’t need to know this world yet, and he definitely doesn’t need to see the world you live in.
Goeren: You made this poor boy weak Kidd, I will forge him into the greatest in-ring competitor the wrestling world has ever seen! He will be my greatest legacy in this industry, he will guarantee that the Goeren name will forever be synonymous with the SHOOT Project! This is my time with him, you read those legal documents once more and stay the hell away from this perfect family!
Kidd: You know, it’s funny you say that. Those documents did have a loophole stating that while I can’t touch you outside the ring, I won’t be held responsible for anything done inside that ring in a sanctioned SHOOT match. That’s just business Goeren, you should know that. So I have a match contract for you whenever you want to do this, but I’m pretty sure you’re going to weasel your way around it and not sign it.
The crowd pops at Kidd’s challenge as Azrael looks completely irate in the ring.
Goeren: How DARE you try and steal this moment away from me? This was supposed to be Michael’s unveiling to the world as the next generation of Goeren! I don’t have to wrestle you, God damn it! I’m going to spend time with my son and give him the father he never had!
Kidd: Let me just say this, I may not be able to lay finger on you , but until you sign that match contract none of the other Hierarchy members are safe. If Baptiste gets a broken ankle, I’m not responsible. If Yuri falls down some steps, if the Anarchy has an unfortunate run in with a baseball bat…hey, it wasn’t me. If X-Calibur can’t defend the SHOOT Project World Title due to an unfortunate run in with a sledge hammer…then that blood is on your hands.
Now I know you don’t usually have much concern for others, even your so-called friends and teammates, so let me just say this: if someone happens to give $15,000 to whoever kicks your ass each week until you sign that contract…I’m…not…responsible.
Kidd drops the mic to a chorus of cheers when suddenly in the ring Lil’ Mikey looks up from Klara’s skirt and sees Kidd. He immediately lets go of the skirt and goes to run out of the ring.
Goeren: Um himmels willen! Yuri! Grab the kid!
Yuri, fighting every urge he has, reaches out and snags Lil’ Mikey around the waist, holding him back as the young boy stretches out his arms and screams wildly for Patrick. He flails wildly in the huge Russian’s grasp, screaming and crying out to the only father he has ever known. Kidd, not able to help it any longer, starts to run towards the ring but is stopped by Azrael yelling into the microphone.
Goeren: NOT ONE MORE FUCKING STEP KIDD! YURI! SHUT THAT BRAT UP! I SAID SHUT HIM UP! I’m his father! ME! Kidd, if you even touch this ring while I’m in it, I swear to everything holy that you’ll never see Michael ever again! You’ll get sent right to jail and rot there like sack of shit you are for the rest of your miserable, pathetic life! I’ll never sign your contract, you hear me you bastard? You’ll never ruin this perfect family!
Patrick stares back at Lil Mikey, holding out his hand but knowing he can’t touch his son. Tears stream down Kidd’s face as he takes a step back up the ramp, his hand still outstretched towards his son. His eyes soon meet Azrael’s, glaring with an unbridled hatred that cannot be described. Without another word, Kidd walks back up the ramp, stopping momentarily to take one last look at his son before disappearing behind the curtain. Azrael meanwhile screams at his bodyguard to keep Michael quiet as he climbs out of the ring, Yuri still holding the boy tightly as he dejectedly follows his employer with Klara also in tow.
Eryk Masters:I am at a complete loss for words here, Azrael is such an absolute disgrace to humanity for everything he’s putting this young boy through. I can’t believe Kidd managed to hold himself back there, I thought for sure he was going to rip Goeren apart, limb by limb!
Other Guy:Right? Did you see the way Kidd was looking at him? And was he serious about that fifteen grand bounty he put on Goeren’s head?
Eryk Masters:Hell, I’ll do it for free. Goeren isn’t exactly the most beloved wrestler in the world, I think there are plenty of people backstage looking to do us all a favor and collect on that reward!
Abilgail Chase is going along the hallway, as she sees a man in a leather jacket, a pair of jeans, and black boots. She motions to the cameraman, and they start running towards him.
Abigail Chase: Jaime! Jaime! Wait!
Jaime Alejandro turns around and looks at Abigail. He seems to be a bit agitated, but he’s also cordial.
Abigail Chase: Jaime… What happened last week? I saw what you did last week to the Sinister…
Jaime holds out a hand and stops Abigail…
Jaime Alejandro: What I did, when I helped Cronos, wasn’t anything that you couldn’t have seen coming. For weeks, my name has been dropped by a certain individual in that group, Abby. Just thought I’d remind her that her Boogeyman is still around to make her life “hell.”
Abigail Chase: I thought you and Cronos hated each other.
Jaime Alejandro: I’m not going to mince words. I don’t like him. He doesn’t like me. However, as two old veterans of the same fronts… I respect him. I tolerate him a lot more than Cade Sydal and his whore’s little brother. Which has anyone seen her lately? Or does anybody really care?
From here, Abigail becomes a bit agitated at the “off the rails” manner that Jaime speaks in.
Abigail Chase: Jaime! Why Cronos?
Jaime Alejandro: Why? Because for weeks, Abigail. While I listen to the absolute garbage coming out of your best friend’s mouth… I have been trying to do as the Bible would say and turn the other cheek and ignore it like the troll she truly is. But now, this troll has turned one of the best champions in SHOOT history into a joke. She’s managed to do something that Cassi Ryan couldn’t even pull off. Tarnish a Hall of Fame career. And she’s so determined to get some sick little revenge on me, because she couldn’t beat me inside the ring… So, Abby, Cronos and I might have more of an understanding than you can even think about.
From here, she tries to steer her interview back in a reasonable direction.
Abigail Chase: What about Tharodund?
From here, Jaime nods to her. Almost as if he’s acknowledging his own boogeyman in SHOOT.
Jaime Alejandro: Don’t worry, Abby. You’ll see how I’m going to deal with him. And your bestie might want to watch this. She might reconsider coming after me or dropping my name after she sees the havoc I’m going to create tonight.
Jaime slowly walks away from Abigail, as he does Abigail looks on in frustration. Somehow, she doesn’t like being known as Tanya Black’s “bestie.”
Eryk Masters: I don’t think Jaime’s in the mood for hitting on Abby or even talking. Did you see that look, OG?
Other Guy: I did, E. He’s in a mood for hitting, but it’s not on Abby. If I were Tanya, Cade, Dynamite, or Tharodund, I’d find another career. Big man looks pissed.
The camera just keeps on Jaime slowly walking away from them. Abigail just shakes her head.
Samantha Coil: The following contest is schedule for one fall! Making his way to the ring first…
“Enemy” by 12 Stones cranks into the Epicenter’s sound system as a huge red burst of pyro comes up from the ramp. Cronos Diamante steps out from behind the curtains, looking business as usual. He looks out over the crowd, taking a slow, methodical walk to the ring.
Eryk Masters: Well I’m glad he looks so cheery tonight.
Other Guy: Didn’t you know? This IS cheery Cronos.
As he makes his way to the ring, we catch a glimpse of his trademark SWAT fatigues and crucifix boots. Slapping some palms with a few of the SHOOT die hards who come to the Epicenter every week to watch guys like Cronos do their thing, Cronos then rolls under the bottom rope and into the ring.
Samantha Coil: Hailing from The Bronx, weighing in at 290lbs…. CRONOS…. DIAMANTE!
Just as Cronos beckons for his opponent to come out, “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked” by Cage the Elephant blasts across the Epicenter and Thomas Manchester Black steps out from behind the curtains. Adorned in black and white MMA shorts and boots, along with his usual tar heel hoody, SHOOT’s very own Queen City Hitman nods his head confidently as he starts down the ramp.
Eryk Masters: TMB looks pretty confident tonight.
Other Guy: When doesn’t he?
Eryk Masters: Fair enough. Though, tonight especially… after his war of words with the former Rule of Surrender Champion, he ESPECIALLY looks confident.
Samantha Coil: And his opponent… from Tokyo, Japan, by way of Charlotte, North Carolina…he weighs in at 245lbs… The Queen City Hitman…. THOMAS… MANCHESTER… BLACK!
When TMB slides into the ring under the bottom rope, Cronos wastes LITTLE time going on the attack and lays the boots to TMB post haste. Not even giving the man a chance to shake his Tar Heel Hoody, Cronos guides him to his feet and BLASTS him with a stiff lariat that sends TMB hard to the mat.
Eryk Masters: Cronos wasting ZERO time tonight, folks!
Other Guy: Well. Maybe it’s just me but I would wager that Cronos is still a little salty over the Sinister Syndicate’s attack and Tanya Black’s subsequent victory over him last week.
As Dennis Heflin calls for the bell, Samantha scurries out of the ring and out of harm’s way. Guiding TMB up to his feet again, Cronos pulls the Tar Heel hoody over TMB’s head and just beats the shit out of him.
Other Guy: Guess Cronos isn’t a fan of the Tar Heels?
Eryk Masters: He seems more like a shoe horn kind of guy.
Other Guy: What?
Eryk Masters: I don’t know.
Finally escaping his own hoody, TMB fires back with stiff forearm shots and Muay Thai-like precision. Rocking Cronos back, TMB adds a spinning back-fist that connects square in Cronos’ temple and sends the seasoned veteran down to the mat. For added impact, TMB drops a knee right across Cronos’ forehead.
Eryk Masters: Good lord. TMB’s gonna need some hand sanitizer after THAT shot!
Other Guy: And some kitty litter to soak up the brain matter from that knee drop. Cronos looks dazed after that one!
Bringing Cronos back to his feet, TMB sets him up for a suplex but Cronos blocks the attempt. Driving a knee up into his opponent’s abdominal region, Cronos reverses the momentum flow and lifts TMB into the air for a suplex of his own. But rather than landing flush against the mat with it , he awkwardly spills TMB against the ropes drawing a gasp from the watching audience.
Other Guy: I wish we had a microwave out here.
Eryk Masters: Um, why?
Other Guy: My coffee’s gone cold.
Eryk Masters: Shouldn’t you be paying attention to the match?!
Other Guy: I am! But… these two are getting so psychical with each other that it’s hard to watch. When two fiends of physicality come to blows like this, I almost feel like a mime that’s boxed in… or something.
Eryk Masters: Looks like the physical dissection from Cronos has begun!
Lifting TMB up, Cronos straightens one of his arms out and snaps backward with his knees extended into an arm-breaker. Keeping the arm across his knees, Cronos tries to force TMB’s elbow joint in the opposite direction. Yelling out in agony, TMB simply slides a foot under the bottom rope for the clean break. Cronos finally lets go at three, smirking out of the side of his face.
Eryk Masters: I think he enjoyed that, OG. More than I can say for TMB.
Other Guy: TMB is in a bad way here. Cronos caught him off guard with that arm-breaker, and given the nature of his ring style and how it consists of MMA holds, it’s going to be tough for Black to hold onto the much heavier and much more experienced Diamante.
Staying on the assault, Cronos reaches down too guide TMB back to his feet. In the process, though, he’s met with an elbow to the bread basket. Followed by another. And another. Finally, Cronos double over, giving a window of opportunity to TMB. Seizing Cronos’ head in a front chancery, TMB pulls back as if he’s going for a guillotine lock, but Cronos is wise to his game and simply shoves him to the mat with a simple yet stiff MMA takedown.
Other Guy: I’m so glad SHOOT decided to book two MMA dudes together in the same match. So exciting.
Eryk Masters: Hey, it might not be an all out aerial assault inside a flaming cage of doom, but these two guys can put a hurt to anybody. Both of their wars with Donovan King immediately come to mind.
Trying to maneuver his way into an Americana, Cronos smothers TMB with his near 300lbs frame. Before he can lock it in though, TMB out maneuvers Cronos by simply rolling backwards, flipping themselves around so that TMB has the mount and Cronos is in half-guard. With one of Cronos’ shoulders down, Heflin administers the count..
Cronos is more than aware of his predicament and manages to get a shoulder up. Pushing off of Cronos, TMB backs away several feet and yells, “COME ON, OLD MAN!!! I THOUGHT YOU WERE TOUGH???”, prompting Cronos to get to his feet in a fury.
Making a bee-line for TMB with another takedown, TMB stuffs it by planting his feet into the mat and leaning forward as hard as he can. As Cronos eats a face full of mat, TMB guides him back up into position for an exploder suplex. Heaving backward, he throws Cronos right into the turnbuckle so that his back crushes the padding and his head comes down onto the mat almost full force. The crowd once again gasps at the awkward landing for Cronos, who is holding the back of his neck in utter pain, as well as his ribs.
Eryk Masters: Jesus. I’m not sure what hurt worse there… his neck or his ribs.
Other Guy: You gotta wonder if the awkwardness of that throw was intentional. Those ribs might be a bulls-eye for Black.
Eryk Masters: And after that landing, his neck might be one too.
Rolling Cronos over, TMB hooks a leg!
Thr- Cronos manages to shoulder out just before Heflin’s hand comes down for three.
From the failed pin attempt, TMB looks to bring Cronos back to his feet. Doing so, TMB grabs and arm and whips Cronos clear across the ring and into the turnbuckles. Measuring up the former Rule of Surrender Champion, TMB then charges forward, looking for a big splash into the corner… but Cronos moves and TMB eats a face full of turnbuckle!
Eryk Masters: Ouch! That miscalculated attempt there could cost TMB BIG.
Other Guy: Look at Cronos… I can see it in his eyes. The devil’s come out to play!
Turning TMB around so that his back rests on the turnbuckles in a slouched over position, Cronos begins unloading with stiff shots to the body and face. Right, left, right, left, right, and finally a MASSIVE uppercut that drills TMB underneath the button almost sends TMB up and over… but Cronos pulls his feet down so he can deliver some more! Left, left, left, left, LEFT right into TMB’s orbital bone! Peeling TMB away from the turnbuckle, Cronos promptly locks in a Kata-Ha-Jime!
“COME ON HITMAN, I THOUGHT YOU WERE TOUGH?????”, Cronos shouts before lifting TMB back into a Kata-Ha-Jime overhead release suplex… right into the turnbuckle.
Eryk Masters: WOW!!! TMB is DEAD.
Other Guy: That was DISGUSTING. Forget the accordion, he folded him up like the damn New York Times!
Pulling TMB away from the turnbuckles in a broken heap, Cronos turns him over and locks on his patented Ne-Han submission. Barely cognizant after being dropped on his noggin’ from the overhead release Kata-Ha-Jime suplex, TMB balls his fist up.
Eryk Masters: No escape here. Cronos has that locked in DEEP.
Other Guy: No way, TMB is not about to tap to C-
After putting up a brief struggle, TMB finally taps. Heflin calls for the bell and Cronos releases the deadly hold.
Eryk Masters: You were saying?
Josephina Colbert: Ladies and gentlemen… the winner of this match as a result of a submission… CRONOS…. DIAMANTE!!!!!
“Enemy” by 12 Stones pulsates through the Epicenter as Heflin raises Cronos’ hand. But moments later, Cronos rips his arm away from Heflin and exit’s the ring. Half-way up the ramp, Cronos kneels down and clutches his ribs, yelling an audible, pain induced, “FUCK!!”, for all to hear.
The screen goes black instantly. No sound, save the dripping of a faraway faucet and the sounds of a dying wisp of wind. You can see…nothing. You can hear…nothing. Until…
No one remembers me.
None of you will cheer when I return.
None of you will buy merchandise with my face on it.
None of you will want me here.
But I will return.
I will return.
I will return because I was asked to return.
I will return because…finally…there is a group of men who share my point of view.
And that group of men…deserve my allegiance.
So tell me, Soldiers…when the circle becomes full…what do you do?
Do you run?
Do you fight?
Do you hide?
Hide behind ego?
Hide behind bravado?
Hide behind valor?
Run and hide…or fight and fall.
You will cower, you will bow, you will evolve, or you will…fall.
Those that know me know I am not a man of idle threats.
But none of you know me.
Cronos enters his locker room and thumbs off the cap to a bottled water. As he does, he looks around the room and notices a familiar figure leaning up against the two lockers. Cronos doesn’t look very surprised, even though he was only gone less than a minute.
Jaime Alejandro: You and I have a bit to talk about, Snake.
Cronos smirks and sits down, sipping his water before propping his feet up on a steel chair in front of him.
Cronos Diamante: I appreciate what you did for me last week, Jaimie. I really do. But I’m not sure what exactly you think you and I have to talk about. You and I are pretty much like night and day and I haven’t changed from the man you didn’t see eye to eye with.
Jaime Alejandro: You can think that way, Cronos. But when it comes to it, you and I have so much in common. Yet, so little.
Cronos blinks, not quite sure what to make of Alejandro’s vagueness.
Cronos Diamante: What we have in common is that we both hate The Syndicate and we’re both veterans of the military. I’m not quite sure what else we may have in common. I dress better.
Cronos smirks and Jaime looks down at Cronos completely ignoring the barb. He sits down across from him and starts stating his case, almost matter of factly.
Jaime Alejandro: It’s like I’ve said. You want to go after these leeches full force. I don’t mind that a bit. Maybe slap her around a bit like the hooker she is, if you’ve gotta. The problem is that this isn’t the Cade Sydal that you and I once knew.
Cronos shrugs and nods at the same time.
Cronos Diamante: Deep down Cade has always been selfish, Jaimie. He hasn’t changed that much. Well I guess he’s changed a lot.
Jaimie nods, feeling that he’s gaining common ground with the man.
Jaime Alejandro: The Cade who defeated me and defeated you.
Cronos holds up a finger there.
Cronos Diamante: No. Cade has never beaten me. I don’t know where you’re getting that one from.
Jaimie Alejandro: My bad. My point is he’s not that man leading that group. He’s a sad former shell of a man who’s let fast women, easy drugs and stupid hanger-ons influence his thinking. He doesn’t think like a champion anymore. He’s turned into what he’s been around. A parasite.
Cronos turns his head to the side, studying the man before him, wondering if he’s willing to go the extra mile to finish the war, regardless of what it may be or how moraly wrong in the eyes of the masses. Cronos nods his head and says nothing. Jaimie senses Cronos may be expecting more and wastes no time in continuing.
Jaime Alejandro: I don’t talk tough for your sake to make you think I am. I’ll admit I hold a lot back from Laura…
Cronos chuckles, knowing all too well “holding back” for the sake of the woman.
Cronos Diamante: You know Laura may become a target if you continue down this road. You can walk away right now. Why risk it?
Jaime Alejandro: Because I’m trying to change, Cronos… But there’s always that one poisonous element that always drags you back.
Cronos stands up from his chair and looks down at Alejandro through cautious eyes.
Cronos Diamante: Why now? Why do you want to stop them? Why stop The Syndicate?
Jaime Alejandro: Why not stop it? Because for so long, I thought it wasn’t my war. Yet… The more I think about it. The more I realize I started this… This mess.
Jaimie stands now, eyes fixating on Cronos’ trying to get a measure of the man standing before him. Cronos has been doing the exact same thing, perhaps ever since he noticed him in his locker room.
Cronos Diamante: So if this was your mess why didn’t you just clean it up?
Jaimie sighs, beginning to wonder if it was a bad decision to come to Cronos.
Jaime Alejandro: What do you mean clean it up? I’d be one man against four. I don’t know about you. I might be bigger, stronger and faster. But leeches bunch up to attack one larger being.
Cronos Diamante: So now you see the snake, as you call me, taking a stand against the type of people some may have thought I’d embrace like comrades and you want to throw your hat in with me.
Jaime Alejandro: Like you’d accept my help…
Cronos places a hand on Jaimie’s shoulder.
Cronos Diamante: Your help is welcome, Jaimie.
Jaime Alejandro: Then, if you’re serious. Then you cut the head off the snake. I’ll take the mouth, after I finish with my student.
Cronos then removes his hand from Alejandro’s shoulder and smirks.
Cronos Diamante: Looks like The Syndicate now has two pisses of SHOOT Project Soldiers battering down the keep.
Jaime Alejandro: Then, we’re in agreement… An Honor Guard for SHOOT. Why the hell not?
Both men shake in agreement upon this statement. Almost as if coming to a realization in their years of battling… For once, they may be fighting the same war.
We open up to the backstage area as we see Jun Kenshin standing by.
Jun Kenshin: You know the anniversary show is over but I’m still finding it a time to reflect for a moment. I keep thinking back. I think back to all the great moments that this company has had. I think back to wrestling in Japan against guys like JD Ice and Lonewolf to tearing the houses down going against Eric Wolfson and Dave Hawkins. Names that have probably been long forgotten (pause) but we paid homage the way the SHOOT Project could, didn’t we!
The crowd pops!
Jun Kenshin: The past, present and future all came together in that Epicenter.
We flash quickly to the middle of the ring as the camera pans the crowd and cut back to Jun.
Jun Kenshin: I think back to the night when OutKast won the World Heavyweight Championship Title at Impulse. I was there. When The Beautiful People held a one night tag team tournament against the entire roster? I was there.
Kenshin paces for a moment before continuing.
Jun Kenshin: I was there as SHOOT Project was morphing from a renegade hole in the wall promotion to a global force. I was there when we had two television shows. I was there when we sold out Lambeau Field, Madison Square Garden, Wembley Stadium and The Tokyo Dome? (emphatically) I… was … there!
The crowd claps.
Jun Kenshin: I was also there when the times were bad. When we couldn’t even sell out a nightclub in Los Angeles, when the checks bounced, when our national tours got cancelled and when we had to close our doors, yeah (nods his head)…. I was there.
Jun Kenshin: I got to tell you that last week’s match against Corazon was one of the most physical I’ve ever been a part of and I barely won. Corazon, you showed me something last week and no, I don’t mean the point of your elbow. You showed me that somewhere hidden in that black heart of yours, the old Adrian Corazon is still there. Even if it was for one night only!
Jun Kenshin: But you’re asking yourself what happens now? Do I fade back to retirement, was last week the final chapter in my story?
Kenshin shakes his head emphatically.
Jun Kenshin: I think my story will continue to be told and I’m going to throw this out there. I want a match next week… it’s an open challenge!
The crowd claps excitedly.
Jun Kenshin: I want a match and I don’t care where in the card it is or who it’s against because I’m going to show the world what I’m all about.
Other Guy: An open challenge! I wonder who’ll take up that challenge?
Eryk Masters: Kenshin barely beat Corazon in his return match but now it seems like he wants a different challenge from an unknown opponent.
Other Guy: Lots of possibilities!
“Carry On Wayward Son” by Kansas pours out of the arena audio system, and the fans ERUPT, becoming a chorus of adoration for the arrival of SHOOT’s Wayward Son.
“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!”
Trey Willett steps out from the curtains on the last verse, and a cascading shower of purple pyro marks his arrival. Trey looks at the fans with a warm grin, and this elicits yet another pop from the capacity crowd.
Samantha Coil: INTRODUCING FIRST, FROM STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK…WEIGHING IN AT 169lbs…SHOOT’S WAYWARD SON, TREY WILLETT!!!!
Other Guy: I can barely hear myself over this crowd! The amount of support this man garners from the fans is literally STAGGERING.
Eryk Masters: The very definition of a fan favorite, OG. Trey has had one HELL of a year thus far, and as of right now, he’s got a winning streak a mile long!
Other Guy: Very true. It’s just been one accomplishment after another for Trey. The naysayers have been silenced, and who can blame them…this guy is on top of the world right now!
Eryk Masters: And I really would like us take a moment to consider the ADVERSITY this man faced to become the 2011 Master Of The Mat…he put down longtime rival Adrian Corazon, he SOMEHOW survived his encounter with that depraved abomination we call Entragian, and to cap it all off he wrestled his heart out against one of the best pure athletes in SHOOT Project, Donovan King…and he emerged the victor!
Other Guy: Actions like that speak for themselves, Eryk. Let’s also bear in mind that his success has continued even after the tournament, because he’s coming off of a huge victory over Former World Champion Cade Sydal, and hell…just last week he handed the young thoroughbred Mason Pierce a rare loss.
Trey slaps several outstretched hands as he makes his way down the ramp, and then he rolls into the ring under the bottom rope to await his opponent.
Eryk Masters: Trey really knows how to connect with the people too, OG. He’s a man who’s worked hard every day of his life…raised his family the right way…and everything he has now…he’s earned. He’s a role model for younger fans, and it’s no surprise to me that he’s captured the heart of the SHOOT Project fanbase.
Other Guy: Speaking of “raising a family the right way”….do you think Trey’s opponent could learn a thing or two from him about how to raise a son?
Eryk Masters: Any advice would fall dead the moment it hit The Megastar’s ears. If you want my opinion…Herr Goeren isn’t even fit to care for a pet hamster, let alone a child.
There’s an audible sigh from the announce table, because the enigmatic Bryan Harris is rushing down the side of the ramp to join the commentating team. He pauses for a moment to smooth out his brand new “Azrael Knows Best” t-shirt, and then he slaps a headset over his ears.
Bryan Harris: Look out, boys! Things just got serious. I just couldn’t help but mosey on down here to support The Megastar on this momentous occasion!
Eryk Masters: …So wonderful to see you, Bryan. Bring any extra barf bags with you? Hierarchy entrances tend to make me nauseous.
Bryan Harris: Surly AND disrespectful, as per usual. I think you’re just intimidated to be in such close proximity to GREATNESS, Mister Masters!
Static echoes through the arena, followed by the all too familiar countdown.
Bryan Harris: I’m tingling with excitement, boys! Every hair on my body is standing at attention!!
Eryk Masters: Jesus Christ…
THE HIEARCHY appears across the SHOOT Video Wall, followed by AZRAEL GOEREN in stark red letters.
“Sieben” by Subway To Sally blasts out from the arena audio system, and the music is quickly followed by rapid-fire bursts of red & gold pyro at the head of the ramp. The awe-inspiring pyrotechnics display goes on for a few moments, and as the smoke starts to dissipate red & gold confetti begins to cascade down from the rafters.
Azrael Goeren steps out beneath this soft patter of confetti, wearing his usual ring gear and a cheshire cat grin. Las Vegas erupts with a boisterously negative response, but Goeren takes it in with stride, his grin never wavering.
Samantha Coil: INTRODUCING SECOND, FROM EBERSWALDE, GERMANY, WEIGHING IN AT 215lbs…HE IS THE MEGASTAR, AZRAEL GOEREN!!!!
Goeren takes a moment to adjust the CWC World Heavyweight Championship around his waist while attempting to balance something in his hands.
Bryan Harris: The character of this man, boys! Even when faced with such a brash, unruly crowd…he’s kind enough to offer them an angelic smile in return!
Other Guy: I’d lean more towards the word demonic when describing that smile.
Eryk Masters: He certainly looks proud of himself after having forcibly pulled his “son” away from the man who raised him. I’ll be honest; this whole ordeal disgusts me…
Other Guy: Gotta agree on that. Goeren should be ashamed of himself. Kidd invested a good portion of his life raising and loving that boy…and now this child is going to be sucked into the chaotic existence of a druggie lunatic.
Bryan Harris: Are you two HIGH? One-nut Magoo doesn’t know anything about the proper upbringing of a son! Herr Goeren will have the product of his loins molded into a superstar. That boy will be sipping fine wine and getting his first lay in a week, mark my words!
Eryk Masters: Ugh…
Other Guy: What are those boxes he’s holding?
Goeren starts to saunter down the ramp, and as he walks, he removes Cuban cigars from two wooden boxes displayed in both hands. Azrael starts to enthusiastically toss cigars into the crowd, totally unmindful of his aim.
He tosses a handful into the closest group of hands, and as the camera zooms in we see a cigar hit a little girl directly in the eye. She starts bawling and gropes at her mothers jacket, and meanwhile Goeren just continues along his path of joyous abandon.
Bryan Harris: What a heart-warming celebration!! Those are CUBANS, boys…I can smell them all the way from here! Only the best for The Hierarchy!!
Eryk Masters: Yep. Pretty sure he just winged one at a toddler.
Bryan Harris: No age limit when it comes to a celebration of this magnitude!
Goeren reaches the apron, and he swings around to the announce table. He drops both boxes while keeping a handful of cigars in one hand, and then instructs the official to remove his championship belt. Once done, Goeren gives a cigar to Eryk Masters, Other Guy…even one for Samantha Coil.
He offers Bryan Harris an incredibly long, gracious handshake along with a cigar, but when Mark Kendrick apprehensively reaches out a hand for a Cuban…he’s met only with a cold glare and the twitch of Azrael’s upper lip.
Azrael Goeren: Nein.
Bryan Harris: Not a damn thing for you, Mark Kendrick!
Trey watches from inside the ring while shaking his head from side to side, and Goeren slowly steps up onto the apron and enters on the opposite side of the ring.
Eryk Masters: One can only imagine what Trey is thinking right now. I think deep down he feels sorry for Goeren. It’s like being up close and personal with an episode of “Intervention.”
Bryan Harris: Please! If anyone deserves pity it’s that soulless ginger! He weighs about as much as a teenage girl and he’s about to be face to face with Germany’s FAVORITE SON!
Other Guy: Are we sure about that? Like was there a poll taken or something? Because I’d venture to guess that Germany would like to sweep Goeren under the same rug they swept Adolph Hitler under.
The bell rings with a resounding clang, and we’re OFFICIALLY UNDERWAY.
Trey wastes no time darting forward, where he starts to piston right hands into Azrael’s forehead. Goeren is driven back, but when they get close to the turnbuckles, Goeren turns it around and tosses Trey into the buckles…and then he starts to send scathing knife-edge chops into Trey’s chest!
Eryk Masters: Ferocious way to start this match. Trey with fists, Goeren with chops.
Goeren finally relents, proceeding to pull Trey away from the buckles. He locks a hand around Trey’s neck and attempts a suplex, but Trey manages to block it with one leg…before YANKING Goeren down into a small package!
Azrael kicks out with venomous authority, and the moment he’s up he once again snatches Trey by the neck…this time sending him to the canvas with an incredibly stiff snap suplex.
Azrael rises right back up, and he pauses for a moment to send a nasty kick into the side of Trey’s face. Willett flips onto his back after receiving the kick, and Azrael offers the crowd a sarcastic little bow.
Bryan Harris: Poetry in motion, boys. This man is what we call a TRUE competitor.
Other Guy: Just a rough kick straight to the face from Goeren there, shows just how violent he’s willing to get to pick up a victory here tonight.
Trey shakes his head from side to side, obviously a little out of it thanks to that kick, and almost immediately Azrael DESCENDS upon him. Goeren begins to lock up limbs before finally falling back into a brutal-looking STF submission hold.
Trey barks out a howl of pain, and he immediately starts to scratch across the canvas in an attempt to find some purchase. One arm is getting dangerously close to the ropes…and once Goeren notices he promptly breaks the hold…ONLY TO START CLAWING AT TREY’S FACE WITH HIS FINGERNAILS!
Eryk Masters: What in the hell does Azrael think he’s doing? He looks like a feral alley cat in there!
Other Guy: Put a leash on that animal, ref! Trey still has a scar on his side from where that sadistic Entragian tried to bite a chunk out of his abdomen, and now he’s getting clawed by this miscreant!
Bryan Harris: Oh, Isaac Entragian! Another favorite of mine. I’m a HUGE fan of The Ivory Terror! But to answer your question, Eryk…what is Azrael doing? He’s taking care of business, that’s what!
Eryk Masters: So you support nutjobs like Goeren and Entragian? I’ve always wondered, but now it’s absolutely CLEAR to me that you’re delusional.
The official finally gets Goeren to stop scratching at Trey’s face, and the moment he’s free Trey takes a deep breath and pushes up to his knee while Goeren looks on with a few droplets of spittle running out of the corner of his mouth.
Trey makes it up to his feet, and Goeren runs forward looking for a clothesline…BUT TREY TAKES HIM DOWN TO THE CANVAS WITH A NECKBREAKER! Goeren lands hard, both hands going to the back of his neck, and Trey goes for a quick cover.
Azrael kicks out, but instead of allowing him to rise to his feet, Trey falls right back down to the canvas and locks onto Azrael’s closest limb with a crucifix armbar. Goeren squeals with pain, and he begins to kick his legs against the canvas in an attempt to get closer to the ropes.
Azrael unleashes yet another cry of anguish, and then finally he manages to kick one ankle up against the bottom rope. The official moves in, and Trey has no choice but to break the hold.
Goeren immediately rolls out the ring while rotating his arm from side to side, and the crowd responds with a chorus of boos.
Other Guy: The match is in the ring, Azrael.
Bryan Harris: The man needs a breather! Being The Megastar is hard work. AZZY!! Come get some Fiji water!!
Goeren nods after hearing the shout from Harris, and he makes his way over to the announcer’s table and helps himself to a sip of Fiji water. He lets out a loud “AHHH” and smacks his lips together before patting Bryan Harris on the shoulder.
Eryk Masters: Why are you suddenly The Water Boy, Bryan? You’re here to announce, not lick boots!
Bryan Harris: I just recognize when a man needs hydration, Masters! I’ll always do my part to keep our SHOOT soldiers happy and healthy.
Other Guy: Why not offer Trey a sip then?
Bryan Harris: EW! Who knows where those ginger lips have been. That moustache could be crawling with lice and germs and…god knows what else!
Goeren finally slides back into the ring, and moving quickly he snags Trey up and rolls him down into a school boy pinfall!
The official drops down for the count, and the moment the ref’s vision is obscured, Azrael digs down and grabs up a handful of tights!
Trey kicks out with authority, but Goeren goes for another roll-up!
But this time when the official drops down, Goeren tosses both legs up on the second rope for added leverage.
Trey kicks out yet again, and Goeren responds by barking out German obscenities, the frustration clear on his face.
Eryk Masters: Two times right there Goeren tries to pull the wool over the referee’s eyes, and both times Trey keeps himself alive.
Bryan Harris: That’s called doing whatever it takes to secure a victory, fellas.
Other Guy: Weird. I always thought it was called cheating.
After finally composing himself, Goeren forces Trey up to his feet, and then he starts to bash European uppercuts into the shelf of Trey’s jaw. Willett stumbles backwards, and Goeren responds by palming the back of Trey’s head and digging his hand into his hair.
Azrael sneers at his opponent, and then he runs forward and DRILLS Trey’s face into the canvas with a nasty running bulldog.
Eryk Masters: You know we often focus on how gaudy and garish Azrael is, but beneath all of that this man is just as barbarous as they come.
Other Guy: Reminds me of a cobra. You find yourself mesmerized by the outlandish display of the cobra’s hood, and before you know it…he’s spitting venom in your face.
Bryan Harris: That’s the usual for soldiers of The Hierarchy, gentlemen. When the mood strikes them, they can be just as brutal and tenacious as the SCAR boys themselves.
CARRY ON *clap clap* WAYWARD SON!!!
CARRY ON *clap clap* WAYWARD SON!!!
Other Guy: This crowd is doing their absolute best to pump fresh energy into Trey’s body…but I’m starting the worry that it might be too late.
Goeren grabs a handful of Trey’s hair, and very slowly and painfully, he starts to drag him back up to his feet. Azrael holds Trey by the hair for a moment, and then he rears back a fist…
BUT TREY PULLS AWAY!! Trey is quick to plant a boot into Azrael’s abdomen, and the very moment he doubles over…Trey locks him up…and HITS A HUGE DOUBLE UNDERHOOK FACEBUSTER IN THE DEAD CENTER OF THE RING!!
Eryk Masters: DAWN OF A NEW ERA!!! That caught Azrael TOTALLY off guard!
Other Guy: Trey got ALL of that one!! Goeren never even saw it coming…
Trey falls atop Goeren with all of his weight, and he pulls up on one leg with all of his might.
Bryan Harris: Kick out Azzy!!! Kick out!!!
Samantha Coil: Here is your winner…THE 2011 MASTER OF THE MAT WINNER, SHOOT’s WAYWARD SON….TREY WILLETT!!!!!!!!!!
Trey stumbles up to his feet and heads over to one of the turnbuckles, proceeding to climb up to the top and thrust his fists towards skyward.
The crowd practically SINGS with adoration for SHOOT’s Wayward Son.
Other Guy: Trey does it again!! The momentum continues to roll forward, faster than ever now…and yet another world-class talent has FALLEN at the feet of Trey Willett!
Bryan Harris: I hate that little ginger. I hope someone sets fire to his chest hair.
Bryan Harris tosses off the headset and heads into the ring to check on Goeren, while Trey continues to show his love for Las Vegas, and they give him their love right back.
Eryk Masters: Well the results speak volumes, ladies and gentlemen. Trey Willett is CUTTING through this roster like a razor-sharp knife, week by week he has consistently beat the BEST of the BEST in SHOOT…and to be perfectly honest, I don’t think anyone can stop him.
Other Guy: I’ll take this moment to give World Heavyweight Champion X-Calibur some helpful advice. Trey’s coming for you, X. TWO WORDS: Watch out.
The feed cuts on a resounding “Wayward Son” chant from the Las Vegas capacity crowd.
“New Fang” by Them Crooked Vultures kicks in and the fans ERUPT. Stepping out from the back, wearing matching blue jeans, white-shirts, and black leather jackets are THE BAD ASS BROTHERHOOD. CHARLES BRANDON MAGNUS and BUCK DRESDEN stand there, the BAB path on their right sleeve and the same insignia emblazoned on the back.
Eryk Masters: The longest reigning champions in SHOOT Project history!
Other Guy: And if the roster is any indication, nobody’s gonna take them down any time soon.
Magnus and Buck nod to one another as they throw their SHOOT Project World Tag Team Championship belts over their shoulders, slapping a few hands here and there. They get onto the ring apron and point to the fans who are cheering back at them before they climb their turnbuckles, Magnus nodding his head along to their theme music while Buck is laughing at some of the fans and their signs, clearly in good spirits. “New Fang” dies out as the two of them stand there, microphones in hand.
Charles Brandon Magnus: Ladies and gentlemen…my name…is Charles…Brandon…Magnus. This man to my right is Buck Dresden. Together…we are two thirds of the toughest tandem in SHOOT Project history.
Buck Dresden: It’s a new day, SHOOT. It’s a day for us to sit back, look at how this past year’s gone, an’ truly…just be real goddamn happy.
Charles Brandon Magnus: We’ve striven for competition. We’ve fought the best. We’ve beaten the best. We have retained these titles over thieves, over monsters, over legends, over icons, and WE…ARE…STILL…HERE.
The fans pop BIG as Magnus nods his head at his own statement.
Buck Dresden: We ain’t stoppin’ right there, y’all. Last week, we made some jokes about the tag division gettin’ skinny an’ as we approach a year on top…it’s important for us to reflect on this whole year an’ what it’s meant for us. I’m happy to say I’m still proud as hell to be a representative for this company, even now.
There is applause as Buck grins, content.
Charles Brandon Magnus: So, SHOOT Project, you might not have any challenges for us. Maybe we’ve proven we’re the absolute best in the company and nobody’ll even team up to face us. That’s fine. Perfectly fine. Because when you’re ready to–
His microphone shorts out. He hits it a few times and shrugs his shoulders.
Buck Dresden: FFF….FFFFF…okay. Mine’s good. Use m–
Buck’s microphone shorts out, too. The two of them look at one another somewhat confused.
Eryk Masters: Well…this is kind of embarrassing.
Suddenly, the lights go out in the SHOOT Epicenter. For a moment there is silence, broken only by the puzzled murmuring of the crowd.
“Brotherhood of Man” by Motörhead starts to play.
Eryk Masters: Oh no. Please don’t let that music mean what I think it means.
The Other Guy: I’m with you all the way on that. If this is what I think it is, I might throw up. Or cry. Or leave town. Or all of the above.
A single spotlight clicks on, illuminating the top of the ramp. Into the light steps…
The former SHOOT Project announcer, OPW booker, and self proclaimed “Manager of the Year” is dressed in a very expensive looking Hugo Boss suit, and he looks quite tanned and healthy. He holds his hand up, as if he is acknowledging cheers – but there are no cheers. The boos are deafening.
Dave Dymond: “Thank you, thank you very much. Ladies and Gentlemen, as you can see – I have returned to SHOOT Project after my almost four month sabbatical. An absence which did not come by my choosing. An absence which was made necessary after an absolutely brutal beating I suffered at the hands of Jonas Coleman, at Redemption.”
There is a massive cheer from the crowd, and a “Butcher” chant breaks out. In the ring, The Bad-Ass Brotherhood watch with some amusement. They are still blanketed in darkness, as the only light in the arena is shining on Dymond.
Dave Dymond: “During my recovery, I had a lot of time to reflect. I had time to go over the war between Akuma Satsui and Jonas Coleman, and figure out what happened. Where everything went wrong. How we ended up at the point where I ended up getting my meals fed to me through a straw.
And after some deep soul searching, I came to some conclusions. Firstly, I decided that I am not a man to walk away just because I suffered a minor setback, like being put in traction for 9 weeks. So I decided to return to SHOOT.
Next, I decided that I would honor the terms and conditions of the contract I signed for the match at Redemption. I will not go near Jonas Coleman, nor will I interfere in his career or his personal life in any way, shape or form.
Finally, I decided I would take my revenge on the people I hold truly responsible for what happened to me. Two separate groups of people. The fans, and The Bad Ass Brotherhood.”
Incredibly, the boos increase.
Dave Dymond: “You see, I had Jonas Coleman physically broken and on the verge of a complete mental breakdown, and YOU people kept supporting him. And then YOU TWO in the ring, you buffoons – Dresden and Magnus, you stuck your noses in. You gave him the support he needed at the crucial moment, right when I had him on the brink of defeat.
So quite simply, I have returned to kill two birds with one stone. I will destroy you two reprehensible reprobates, and in doing so, it will upset these moronic members of the ticket buying public, your fans.
Before you open your mouths, I’m sure you’re wondering – how. Well I have bad news, and worse news. The bad news is that I met with Akuma Satsui, and convinced him the error of his ways. I also convinced him that he has an iron clad contract and the only way he’s going to be working is if it’s for me. The worse news is – he brought a friend!”
The house lights go up.
Standing in the ring behind The Bad Ass Brotherhood, are two Japanese men. As promised, one is the 350 pound Akuma Satsui, who immediately stabs Buck Dresden right in the middle of the forehead with one of his patented sharpened wooden “Kagyaku” sticks!
The other man is bizarre looking, to say the least. Half his face is painted black. The other half has Japanese lettering written across his face, which continues downward, down that side of his torso and right down the leg of his loose fitting silver Gi pants. The man also has dyed reddish-blond hair which starts halfway down the back of his head. Written down the other leg of his pants is one word:
Charles Brandon Magnus turns around and sees this bizarre looking apparition in front of him, and before he can react, the Japanese man spits a massive cloud of black mist right into the face of Magnus! Magnus screams and tries to rub the mist out of his eyes, while his attacker starts to violently kick him. All this time, Satsui is stabbing away at the forehead of Dresden.
Dave Dymond stays at the top of the ramp, and shouts some words at the two men in Japanese. They stop attacking the Bad-Ass Brotherhood, and head up the aisle, towards Dymond. Akuma Satsui has a bloody wooden stick between his teeth and he is smiling, and the other man is behind him, sticking his tongue out. His tongue is black from the mist, which only adds to his already bizarre appearance.
Dave Dymond: “That’s enough for now. Just a little taste. Just show the people what we’re going to do to their beloved Bad-Asses. Show Dresden and Magnus what’s coming. And it is coming. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you: AKUMA SATSUI and KIZU – DAVE DYMOND’S DEATH SQUAD!!!”
Dave Dymond holds both men’s arms high in the air at the top of the ramp, as “Brotherhood of Man” starts to play again. Akuma Satsui is still smiling, and KIZU still has his tongue sticking out, and now he has rolled his eyes back in his head. Dymond and his Death Squad disappear into the back, and the shot returns to the ring.
Charles Brandon Magnus has been temporarily blinded by the black mist and Buck Dresden is bleeding profusely from the forehead after they were attacked from behind by Satsui and KIZU. Dave Dymond managed to keep them distracted long enough so they never saw the attack coming. They are down now, but one thing is clear – they are not happy.
Bryan Harris is walking around backstage. Still smiling. Still walking with an air of superiority over those supposed “soldiers” of SHOOT. With a phone to his ear, he spots Mason and Leona and waves them over.
Bryan Harris: Gotcha. I’ll see you in a few. And remember, tell Monsieur Baptiste to put the bottles in the cellar and the hookers on ice.
Thinking about it for a moment, he mentally recounts what he just said.
Bryan Harris: Errr, I mean… reverse that. Yeah, thanks.
Harris hangs up the phone as Mason and Leona approach.
Bryan Harris: Hello again! Glad you decided to come.
Looking them both over for a moment, Bryan Harris claps his hand together, almost giddy.
Bryan Harris: Alright. They’re ready for you now. Follow me, and let’s do some business.
The trio make their way down the corridor of locker rooms to the fire door. Harris opens the door and ushers Mason and Leona in, following right behind them.
Leona: Let me guess.. the boiler room?
Harris chuckles but says nothing, motioning for them to continue following him. He leads them to a nondescript brown door. He knocks twice and opens, ushering Mason and Leona into a room that seems quite surprisingly well-decorated, considering the fact that it seems to be in the bowels of the building. One man is standing at a makeshift bar with his back to the pair. He turns around and it’s revealed to be none other than the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion himself, X-Calibur.
X-Calibur: What the fuck is th- oh. Hi. Sorry.
Making sure to adjust his championship belt just enough to catch the eye of Mason Pierce, X motions at them both with one hand while the other rested comfortably over the gaudy golden faceplate.
X-Calibur: Have a seat. Take a load off.
He motions to the bar.
X-Calibur: You want a beer or something? A shot? Couple lines? The others will be here momentarily.
X-Calibur notices the hesitation on the part of Mason and Leona. He smirks.
X-Calibur: It’s okay. Really. Just… relax. We’re all friends here!
Mason looks incredibly distrustful at this statement, but nods nonetheless.
X-Calibur: I know it’s in your nature to be suspicious and all, but trust me when I say that you’ve got absolutely NOTHING to worry about. We’re not in the business of ambushing people who want to conduct business with us. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Startled by a knock at the door, X sighs.
X-Calibur: That should be them. Or the Vietnamese quintuplets Azzy ordered…
Mason and Leona share a glance as X takes a swig of a beer he had opened before Harris led them to the “meeting room”.
X-Calibur: Come on in, guys. I was just putting Mason and Leona here at ease.
Led by Azrael Goeren, one by one the “family” files into the cavernous boiler room, with the likes of Jean-Gerard Baptiste and his tortoiseshell cat, Yuri and his demented looking potato sack of shame, and finally both members of Anarchy.
X-Calibur: Now that we’re all here… (opening his arms)… Mason? Leona? You’re looking at the Hierarchy. The greatest assemblage of talent to ever grace a wrestling ring. And Mason? We… are interested in doing business with you. First though… there’s something I need to know.
Walking over to Yuri, he slaps the big Russian’s massive chest .
X-Calibur: Gavrilovich Mikael Yurinov. The Russian Assassin. Nearly seven-feet of murderous intent. One of the strongest, scariest motherfuckers you will EVER encounter. You need an escort to assist you in your various goings on outside of this establishment? You need a problem solver? Then you look no further than this here demented bastard.
Walking over to Jean-Gerard Baptiste, he strokes the fur of the Frenchman’s kitty and looks back at his recruits.
X-Calibur: Jean-Gerard Baptiste. The International Icon. One of the greatest Sin City Champions the SHOOT Project has ever seen. A real man’s man. A man of class and… well, integrity. Pound for pound, this gentlemen here is the master at blending high risk and technical prowess. You want to be associated with a real winner? Monsieur Baptiste is your man. Through and through.
Next in line is T. Rex and Arch Angel. Both of them look incredibly excited to hear what X has to say about them… but continues walking past them towards Herr Goeren.
T. Rex hangs his head… looking like the definition of crestfallen. Arch Angel simply pouts and folds his arms. As X comes to his partner in crime, they share a brotherly hug and put their arms around one another as they look at their potential new recruit.
X-Calibur: Azrael Fuckin’ Goeren. The Megastar. The CWC World Heavyweight Champion. The man who is destined to bring SHOOT to its KNEES and restore this establishment back to its rightful place among the elite in professional wrestling. A man who will, in due time, supplant Jason Johnson as the CEO and restore a sense of class around here.
Removing his championship belt, X holds it out in front of him, a good foot or so in front of Mason Pierce and Leona.
X-Calibur: X-Calibur. Eryk Van Warren. Redeemer of the SHOOT Project. SHOOT Project’s Heavyweight Champion of the fucking WORLD. The man who will walk INTO Reckoning Day with this… and walk OUT of Reckoning Day with this.
Slinging the title around his arm again, he smirks.
X-Calibur: So tell me… who the fuck are YOU?!
Mason looks at the collective standing before him and nods, standing up, his Rule of Surrender title belt over his shoulder.
Mason Pierce: I’m the one you called. The man you want to do business with. That little display there you just put on? Nice dog and pony show. Impressive group you’ve got, without question. I don’t think anyone’s disputing that. Two champs in the ranks. Nice. Yeah, I’ve got one of those shiny belts too. But let’s get something straight right here and now. I don’t intimidate easily.
Mason lets X marinate on that for a moment before continuing. Looking surprised, bemused even by Mason’s words, X cocks his head.
Mason Pierce: Just remember something- you called me. That means I’ve got something you want. You recognize the skills. Whether it be temporary backup or something a little more binding, let’s not lose sight of the facts here. I might be the green one in the bunch, but you know damn well what I’m capable of. Two months ago, I didn’t know a headlock from a combination lock. Now look at me. I’ve taken out legends. Imagine what I’m going to be like six months from now when I really know what the hell I’m doing.
Chuckles from all around the room. Even X cracks a smirk at this as he continues to listen to the Ruler of Surrender speak.
Mason Pierce: You talk about wanting to give this place a shock to the system? Hell yeah. Count my ass in. You want to bust heads and take names? I’ve got no problem with that. You have my back, I’ll have yours. Screw me over and I swear by all that is holy that you’ll never go to sleep again without wondering if I’ll be there when you wake up. And that’s not a threat. It’s a guarantee.
X-Calibur raises his hands.
X-Calibur: Whoa. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, WHOA! Mace… can I call you Mace?
Before Mason can even respond, X waves his hand and continues.
X-Calibur: Look… why don’t we take things down a notch? We’ve got no problems with you. If we had, or we were wanting to set you up, think about it- would we bring you here? To our… well, whatever one may call this… our “inner sanctum”, I guess? Yeah. Why would we bring you here when we could just as easily stomp you into powder back in the locker room or… (gasp)… in the ring?
X-Calibur: Make no mistake about it, Mace. We know… EXACTLY… what you can do.
He eyes up Mason, taking a step closer, but not without caution.
X-Calibur: Hell, we’ve had our eyes on you ever since you first got here. We know full well what you’ve done and what you’re capable of and… that’s exactly why the two of you are in this room right now. There’s a war on the horizon, and you’re someone we want on our side. Plain and simple. So what do you say, Mace? You wanna stop measuring cocks with me and do some fuckin’ business together?
X-Calibur extends his hand. Mason looks at it, then looks the champ in the eye, a few moments of silence between them before Mason accepts the handshake.
Leona: As if there was any doubt. There is one other issue, though. One last little added bonus before we make things official.
X-Calibur: Bonus, eh? What’s spinning in that head of yours, Leona? I’m all ears…
She makes her way back to where the Hierarchy, along with Mason, are sitting. She points to the laptop sitting on the desk and tosses a small thumb drive onto the desk.
Leona: That thing working? If so, you might want to take a look at this. You see, we’ve taken the liberty of bringing someone else to the party. Someone who seems to share your philosophy on things. Someone you definitely want as an ally instead of an adversary.
Looking a bit surprised, X looks at his comrades and then back at Leona, and finally to the laptop, plugging the flash drive into the side.
X-Calibur: Well then… let’s take a look at this “someone”, shall we?
Just as we get a glimpse of what was on the laptop, the screen fades.
“Ghost Town” by Egypt Central begins to play, as Tharodund walks out, and makes his way down to the crowd. A video replay of the events from the Master of the Mat Pay-Per View is replayed over the tron as the big man makes his way into the ring. Boos from the crowd are loud as he grabs a mic and the music dies.
Tharodund: Well, I guess it’s come to this. I come back to SHOOT and finish some old business. Those, who I have business with, know who they are. One is a moron who seems to change with the wind, and I’m not talking about the wind that blows out over the ocean. I’m talking about the wind he cuts when his brain farts. The other is an old Vet who seems to cling to certain aspects of his life…
That gets the crowd to react as they begin to chant “JAIME! JAIME!” Tharodund nods and points out to the crowd.
Tharodund: See, these people know, and yet the one they call out is either oblivious to this fact, or is running scared with his tail between his legs.
A strong jeering and loud “Asshole!” chant start up.
Tharodund: Jaime, I don’t know why you are tucking that tail to protect something. I can’t really see how you have beef with a ditz of a raven haired whore, and her new man squeeze. Yeah, everybody saw how she beat your ass, and just gripped and yanked your balls off, but when she tried… She realized you didn’t have what it took to really show her how real of a man you are. Problem is, Jaime Alejandro, when you came here to SHOOT. You never had them to begin with.
Tharodund lowers the mic as the crowd react negatively to his recent comments.
Tharodund: You lost the right to have those balls when you failed to keep your word to the people then, and now. Those that followed us back in the good ole days of the NAFW, and those that follow us now. You promised them a match to remember, and yet couldn’t deliver it. Just like Tanya knew you couldn’t deliver in bed.
Tharodund leans on the ring ropes as the crowd gives their disgust rebuttal.
Tharodund: Yeah, I have to agree, and I wouldn’t touch her with a hundred foot pole. She has a fun pack of the world’s deadliest STDs, but Cade, from what I understand, has the whole damn package.
The camera pans out, as members of the crowd seem to be on the verge of puking, and then we go back to Tharodund in the ring.
Tharodund: Now, Jaime in my line of work. We try to finish old business before we start new, and son. You have unfinished business with me, and I won’t move on until I finish it. Whether I make you finish it, or I put you on the IR list permanently.
Tharodund turns to the entrance ramp and stares before he clears his throat.
Tharodund: Jaime, there is one other option but I think you’d disappoint a lot of people. You could always pack your bags, and head home when the heat got turned up just a little too high. Unless… You really are going to face your fears, and man up.
The lights in the arena suddenly turn off. Nobody can see anything inside the arena…
Eryk Masters: Someone cut off Tharo’s mic or something. What’s going on here?!!
Other Guy: I think Tharo was out here trying to do what Tanya Black couldn’t, and that’s call out Jaime. The problem is, he’s got no…
The video wall shows a picture of a man walking towards the screen.
Voice: Fear… Fear, Tharo. You don’t know about. FEAR. Fear is when you realize that you’re time is running out ever so slowly. Fear is realizing that at any moment, some kid with a gun is going to end your life because his father told him to do it in the name of Allah.
The man keeps approaching the screen.
Voice: You don’t know fear, Charles. You don’t know me. You will.
Then the man punches the screen and then….
Demon Hunter cranks up over the SHOOT Epicenter system. The crowd sees the blue lights lighting up the stage.
One more day
This time I’ll bite the bullet
Let me stay
And set this life ablaze
The spotlight shines on a man who’s on one knee looking up at the man in the ring. We see the leather jacket and the black shades, staring directly in the ring.
Eryk Masters: Ask and ye shall receive…
Other Guy: I bet he wouldn’t even go into the ring…
From here, Jaime Alejandro stands up and punches the air, as a huge flash bang pops up from the staging area. The crowd goes nuts…
Give myself to compromise
And let the hammer fall
From blackened eyes to broken ties
I’ve bled to know them all
Driven to the brink of death
I heed deceptions call
Through bitter tears, forgotten years
I’ve come to sever all
He runs as fast and he can towards the ring and slides in quickly. But he keeps his only eye on Tharo. Almost not wanting to take his sight off of him.
Lead us home
Lead us home
Our tired hearts are failing now, from the inside out
Lead us home
As the music starts dying down, the lights come back up and then…
Jaime Alejandro: Are you done… Are you finished talking… Are you finished having a larger period than Cade’s new bed buddy?!!
Tharodund claps when Jaime enters the ring. But, he’s clapping in an amused kind of way.
Tharodund: Well, look who decided to grow a set of balls, or find the ones he left behind.
Jaime Alejandro: I’m sorry, we’re you talking, Charles? I almost thought I was listening to a Dan Stein speech. Because last time I heard that much garbage come out of someone’s mouth was when Dan Stein started talking, Cade started smoking and Keith Owens was crowned the NAFW Heavyweight Champion!
Jaime Alejandro takes off his shades and stares right at Tharodund.
Jaime Alejandro: You see, Tharodund. Charles. Chuck. Student. And last, but not least, Tharo H. You got me good at Master of the Mat. You damn near tried to paralyze me. You almost did it. But almost only counts in hand grenades and horseshoes. And I’m only standing in the ring with the largest horse’s behind I’ve ever seen. I almost didn’t think that crap stacked that high. How tall are you again?
Tharodund: Aww, that’s nice of you to compare me to your heroes. It makes me feel loved.
Jaime Alejandro: Only if your idea of love is getting your genitals stomped by Cade’s partner. I’m sure she does that for a small fee.
Tharodund claps as he nods.
Tharodund: That might be true, but apparently you got a discount last time you two tangoed in the ring, but to the matter of business.
Jaime Alejandro: True, we could throw insults all night and still be funnier than half of Jester Smiles’ attempts at humor.
Jaime waves to the camera.
Jaime Alejandro: How’re you doing, Eric? Still going crazy?
He looks back at Tharo and smirks.
Jaime: But you know me. I hate talking. Makes me insecure and a bit self-aware… But you know how I let the people know I’m listening…
Tharodund walks straight up nose to nose with Jaime and stares down at him.
Tharodund: Yeah, the same way I make sure they can hear me.
Within a split second of talking, Tharodund sends a right hook right towards Jaime’s jaw. Connecting and sending the old Vet back a few steps.
Tharodund: Can you hear me now?
Jaime rubs his jaw for a second and smirks.
Jaime Alejandro: Laura hit harder during the Seton family football game.
Then, Jaime clocks Tharo with a haymaker left hook to the side of his head.
Jaime Alejandro: Heard you, though. Nice try, though. Here’s what I have to say.
As Tharo, staggers back, Jaime runs into him with a hard spear to his ribs. He takes Tharo to the ground. Both men start trading various punches between each other on the ground. As they do, security pours out of the back.
Other Guy: Oh, come on, let them fight!
Security manages to break the two men up, but Tharodund breaks away and grabs a hold of Jaime’s head, and gives him a vicious head butt. Security begins to break them up, but Tharodund gives each one a head butt each when he turns back to Jaime, who manages get a solid gut shot in. This has the big man doubled over. Jaime wastes no time in sending a hard high knee into the temple of Tharodund, causing the big man to fall to a knee.
Other Guy: That won’t keep him down, Jaime!
As Jaime goes to grab Tharodund, he breaks Jaime’s grip, and he returns a hard boot to the gut. Tharodund then whips Jaime into the ropes, and connects with a large size boot to the face.
Eryk Masters: Someone needs to break this up, before it gets ugly…
As Tharo goes down to pick up Jaime, the vet pulls him in for a nasty surprise!
Eryk Masters: Alejandro Special! No way!
Jaime snaps Tharo’s legs into the STF position and cranks the Cobra Clutch back to a seated position! Tharo is gasping for air.
Other Guy: What happened to the “nice guy” that Laura was trying to “train?”
Eryk Masters: He’s trying to choke the life out of Tharodund, that’s what happened.
Jaime keeps his submission locked in tight on his larger opponent. Referees come out from the back to try to get Jaime to break his hold on Tharo.
Jaime Alejandro: You feel this, Charles! You feel it! This is the same fate that she suffered, punk! That Tyrone suffered! That you’re going to suffer! Get used to it!
Other Guy: Holy hell. Break the damn hold!
Eryk Masters: That’s enough, Jaime! Don’t kill the man!
All the men in the ring break the move, but Jaime is trying to lunge back towards Tharo, but everyone’s keeping him held back.
Eryk Masters: We need to get this show back in order…
Other Guy: Get him out of here!
Tharodund manages to slide out of the ring when the hold is broken. The referees and remaining security guards aren’t enough to hold back Jaime for long. When he gets away from the wall of zebras, he catches up to Tharodund at the entrance way. Tharodund has his own little surprise. He fights back with a few hard jabs to stun his opponent a bit before giving Jaime a nice gut wrench. Tharodund then sets Jaime up in a very familiar move.
Other Guy: No, not there, Chuck, that’ll kill him!
Tharodund doesn’t care, and drives Jaime’s head hard into the metal ramp. The old vet bounces ever so slightly from the impact. Tharodund then looks around and calls for a mic, and when one arrives he drops a knee hard into Jaime’s chest.
Tharodund: Well, Jaime, I am glad we are on speaking terms right now, but not here not now. You see I have no fear of ANY mortal man, and there is only one man I fear. It’s a man we all fear if we cross his line. I am tired of chasing you, and now if you want me. You’ll get me when he decides. It’s fitting that SHOOT’s next Pay-Per View is nicely named, you old never was.
Tharodund pauses to catch his breath.
Tharodund: Jaime, Reckoning Day is a fitting name. It’s the day that you’ll be judged for the man you claim to be. A man of your word, and a man of true action. Will you show up as the man you are now, or will you show up as the man I’ve always thrown around the ring in years past? I reckon we’ll find out.
Tharodund stands up and drops the mic as “Ghost Town” by Egypt Central begins to play over the sound system.
“Sexy and I know it” by LMFAO is heard over the sound system in the SHOOT Epicenter, and the fans begin to boo loudly before Dan Stein can even make his appearance. Before too long, Stein does appear from the mist at the top of the ramp, and steps into the spotlight. He is smirking and ignores the hostile reaction from the fans in Las Vegas.
Samantha Coil: This next bout is the first half of your DOUBLE MAIN EVENT OF THE EVENING, and is for the SHOOT PROJECT IRON FIST CHAMPIONSHIP!
The fans roar in approval for this part of the announcement.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first, the CHALLENGER! Making his way to the ring from Cedar Rapids, Iowa and weighing in at 215 pounds this is the former Iron Fist Champion: DAN STEIN!
Stein has reached the ring now, climbs the steps and ducks through the ropes, entering the ring. He is still smirking and ignoring the hostile reaction from the fans, and he heads to the far corner. His music fades, and there is no noise except the crowd jeering at Dan Stein.
Suddenly, “Send for the Man” by AC/DC cuts in.
Samantha Coil: And now, his opponent! Hailing from Jackson, Mississippi , he weighs in at 234 pounds and is the reigning and defending SHOOT PROJECT IRON FIST CHAMPION: “The Hardcore Outlaw" DIAMOND DEL CARVER!
Diamond Del Carver casually lopes into the spotlight at the top of the ramp. He is wearing his usual black biker boots, faded jeans, and he is shirtless, with the Iron Fist Championship Belt secured around his waist. His hair is wet from his pre-match warm up, and he starts to limp down the aisle toward the ring, slapping hands with as many fans as he can.
Samantha Coil exits the ring and Dennis Heflin enters. The Hardcore Outlaw makes a total circle around the ring, exchanging high fives with the fans, before sliding under the bottom rope and pulling the Iron Fist belt from around his waist. Carver holds the belt high over his head.
Dan Stein charges toward Diamond Del Carver at full speed, and leaps into the air. In one graceful movement, Stein floats through the air and smashes Carver right in the nose with a perfect flying knee smash! Del Carver collapses to the mat.
Dan Stein picks up the Iron Fist belt and holds it over his head now, to a chorus of boos. Stein scrambles out of the ring, and climbs the ropes. Without waiting, he leaps off the top rope and drives the belt right into the face of Diamond Del Carver. Dennis Heflin grabs the belt out of Stein’s hands, and passes it through the ropes to Mark Kendrick, while calling for the bell…
And now we are officially underway.
Eryk Masters: Whoa! Dan Stein just blasted Diamond Del Carver with one of the best flying knee-smashes I have ever seen!
The Other Guy: He really caught the old man off guard too. Carver didn’t see that one coming, I’ll tell you.
Dan Stein is standing over the stunned and surprised Diamond Del Carver, who has his hands over his face. Carver has been caught totally off guard by the speed and viciousness of the attack by Dan Stein. Capitalizing on his momentum, Dan Stein starts to repeatedly stomp on the face of the Hardcore Outlaw. A weak “DDC” chant starts up, but it seems even the fans have been caught off guard by the ferocity of Dan Stein.
Dan Stein scoops Diamond Del Carver up, but he doesn’t just slam him. Before he drives him back first into the mat, Stein makes sure he tucks Carver’s right arm under his body…and then he slams him, so the champion absorbs all of his own body weight, plus the force of the slam from Stein, on his right arm! Diamond Del Carver yells out in pain, and grabs his right arm with his left, rubbing it and rolling around on the mat, cursing in pain.
Dan Stein will not rest. Stein goes back to stomping, but this time he focuses his stomps on the right arm and hand of Del Carver. Dan Stein looks like a crazed madman, as he violently jumps up and down, stomping on Diamond Del Carver’s right arm and hand. Finally, he stops.
Eryk Masters: Dan Stein is all business here tonight, OG.
The Other Guy: Yeah this is a much more aggressive and a much less “jokey” Dan Stein than we’ve seen recently. I don’t know if it’s because he has a title shot, or if Carver got under his skin, or what…but Stein is really taking it to the old man.
Dan Stein heads over to the corner, and in one violent motion, he rips the turnbuckle pad right off! The steel on the top rope is exposed. Stein heads over to where Carver is still rolling around on the mat, rubbing his right arm. Dan Stein grabs Carver by the right wrist and roughly yanks him to his feet. Stein whips The Hardcore Outlaw into the corner, chest first. The crowd groans in sympathy, as the steel hits Del in the torso…but that is not why Stein exposed it.
Dan Stein holds Del Carver in place, and then grabs his right hand, lifts it up and smashes it as hard as he can on the exposed steel. Diamond Del Carver screams at the top of his lungs and collapses backward to the mat. Not content, Dan Stein leaps into the air and lands a knee drop on the right hand of Del Carver.
Dan Stein shoots down and goes behind Del Carver in classic Greco-Roman style. Stein locks Carver up in a textbook body lock, as if he is about to go for a rear choke…but instead he reaches around and grabs the right arm of Diamond Del Carver. Stein pulls Carver’s right arm around, and then starts to stretch the fingers on his right hand apart!
Eryk Masters: Dan Stein is doing his best to rip Diamond Del Carver’s fingers apart!
The Other Guy: We all know that Carver just recovered from a serious head injury. Well now he’s going to be going right back to the hospital, because I’d be amazed if Stein isn’t gonna end up breaking his hand tonight.
Dan Stein has Diamond Del Carver wrapped up in such a way that Stein is actually using Carver’s own arm to almost choke him out, but rather than trying to choke the champ into unconsciousness, Stein remains focused on damaging The Hardcore Outlaw’s right hand as much as possible. The camera zooms in and the shot tightens on the faces of the two men. Stein’s face is frozen in an expression of total concentration, while Carver is grimacing in agony.
Diamond Del Carver makes a fist with his left hand, and starts to clumsily swing backward, trying to hit Dan Stein with some hammer-fist shots. Stein can see the shots coming, and Carver can’t see where he is aiming, plus since he is punching backward, the attempted strikes from Del Carver are totally ineffective.
Dan Stein stops stretching out the fingers on Carver’s right hand, and uses both of his own arms to flatten Carver’s right hand out on the mat. With one sudden powerful motion, Dan Stein pounds his fist down across the fingers of Diamond Del Carver!
Eryk Masters: Oh Lord! I almost can’t watch! I swear, it hurts to see that!
The Other Guy: Carver is one of those guys who really gets a lot of his energy from the fans, and Dan Stein has put such a beating on him that he has taken the fans right out of this match, too. And at this rate, one of the fans might end up taking home one of Carver’s fingers for a souvenir.
Dan Stein stands up, and stomps on the right hand of Diamond Del Carver before the veteran can even get up. As Carver lies on the mat holding his right hand, Dan Stein scrambles for the top rope, perches in place for a moment, and then launches himself, landing perfectly on Diamond Del Carver’s right arm with a flying elbow smash!
Dan Stein stands up, and orders the referee to start counting. Dennis Heflin nods and stands over Diamond Del Carver, beginning to administer the standing 10 count…
Cursing at swearing at the top of his lungs, Diamond Del Carver uses his left arm to pull himself to his feet, via the ring ropes. Dan Stein has an insufferably smug look on his face and starts to say something to Carver. Carver steps forward and lands a wicked right hook on the jaw of Dan Stein, but as soon as he does, he screams in pain and drops to his knees, holding his hand!
Eryk Masters: Carver guts it out and breaks the count, but his instinct was to throw a punch, and that’s exactly what Dan Stein knew was coming.
The Other Guy: You gotta give it up for Dan Stein. This guy has totally neutralized and dominated Diamond Del Carver from the minute he stepped in the ring. Dan Stein has been one step ahead of him all night, and obviously had a plan, and is sticking to it. Dan Stein is showing everybody tonight that you had better not overlook him or take him lightly…or he’ll hurt you.
Dan Stein rubs his jaw ruefully, but in the bigger picture he is really none the worse for wear. It is Diamond Del Carver who is on his knees in the middle of the ring, holding his right hand with his left, cradling it and gritting his teeth in obviously agonizing pain.
Dan Stein sees his chance. Diamond Del Carver is literally in the perfect position, so Stein launches himself in the air and smashes Carver upside the head with a picture perfect Shining Wizard kick! Carver falls flat, and Stein calls for the count…
Diamond Del Carver stands up. The fans erupt, and Dan Stein looks exceptionally annoyed with the resilience of the Iron Fist Champion.
Eryk Masters: Diamond Del Carver may have not gotten much offense tonight, but he is doing what he does best. Taking a beating and getting up.
The Other Guy: Okay firstly, Carver hasn’t landed one single effective offensive maneuver yet during this match. Secondly, being able to get your ass kicked isn’t exactly a commendable skill.
Diamond Del Carver is not going to make the same mistake twice. He wisely leaves his right arm dangling at his side, and instead he switches his stance so he is leading with his left hand. Carver starts to fire a rapid barrage of left jabs at Dan Stein…but Stein is too fast. Dan Stein starts to weave side to side, easily avoiding the attempted strikes from Del Carver.
Dan Stein goes into a fighting stance of his own, and fires a vicious looking sweeping side kick, which connects directly with the right hand of Diamond Del Carver! Carver screams in agony, and stops coming forward. Dan Stein locks Carver up and absolutely plants him into the mat, skull first, with a DDT!
Dan Stein rolls out of the ring, and grabs a steel chair from the ringside area. Stein folds the chair up, and slides back into the ring. Diamond Del Carver has just rolled over and is trying his best to gather himself together after the DDT, when Dan Stein goes on the attack again. Dan Stein takes the folded up steel chair, and drives the edge of it right into the hand of Diamond Del Carver!
Eryk Masters: I thought you were being a bit dramatic before OG, but now I agree. I’d be amazed if Diamond Del Carver’s hand isn’t broken.
The Other Guy: We know he probably won’t stay down for a 10 count because he’s too stupid, so the referee may have to stop this match and award it to Dan Stein before Stein ends up permanently crippling Del Carver. Stein has been just unrelentingly vicious here tonight. And I gotta say…I like this side of him.
Diamond Del Carver looks as if he is in misery. Carver rolls over on to his front and gets on all fours, trying to crawl away from Dan Stein. Stein stands over Carver and starts smacking the chair down across his back. Carver slows, but he keeps crawling. Finally he reaches the ropes, and he rolls out of the ring and falls to the floor outside.
Dan Stein looks down at Diamond Del Carver in disgust. Carver rolls under the ring, completely out of sight.
The sold out crowd starts to chant in unison…
“Dan Stein Sucks! Dan Stein Sucks! Dan Stein Sucks!”
Dan Stein looks out at the crowd and shakes his head, smirking.
Diamond Del Carver emerges from underneath the ring, on the other side. On his left hand is a black leather glove, wrapped up in Barbed Wire.
The fans go nuts, and Dan Stein looks puzzled. Diamond Del Carver slides into the ring under the bottom rope and stands there, shaking. Dan Stein turns around, and faces The Hardcore Outlaw.
Diamond Del Carver charges, and smashes Dan Stein in the side of the head with a wide, looping roundhouse, using his left hand. The punch connects with the side of Stein’s head and he screams in pain.
Eryk Masters: OH SHIT! IT’S ON NOW!
The Other Guy: RUN DAN! HE MIGHT TRY AND HIT YOUR FACE!
Diamond Del Carver grabs Dan Stein by the hair, and charges towards the corner where the top turnbuckle pad has been ripped off. With a shout of rage, Del Carver bashes Dan Stein headfirst into the exposed steel…over and over again! As Carver smashes Stein’s head, the fans count along!
One! Two! Three! Four! Five! Six! Seven! Eight! Nine! Ten!
Finally, Carver releases Stein and lets him drop…but he is not finished. Diamond Del Carver limps over to the steel chair, and grabs it. He then pulls Dan Stein to his feet, and rests Stein head first over the exposed steel turnbuckle. Carver folds the chair up, and smashes it over the head of Dan Stein, driving Stein’s head even harder into the steel turnbuckle – not once, not twice but three straight chairshots which sandwich Dan Stein’s head between the chair and the steel turnbuckle!
Diamond Del Carver drags Dan Stein into the middle of the ring, and orders Dennis Heflin to count. As the referee counts, the fans count along…
“Send for the Man” by AC/DC starts to play, as the bell rings and Samantha grabs the microphone in hand outside the ring…
Samantha: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN HERE IS YOUR WINNER – AND STILL SHOOT PROJECT IRON FIST CHAMPION – DIAMOND DEL CARVER!!!
Eryk Masters: I can’t believe Diamond Del Carver managed to pull that one out, after being dominated by Dan Stein for the duration of this match!
The Other Guy: Yeah well, he had to resort to some pretty rough tactics to get that win. Meanwhile I think Dan Stein got his point across loud and clear, and if Carver ever has to fight Stein again, he won’t be calling him a quitter or questioning his heart, that’s for sure!
Diamond Del Carver allows the referee to raise his arm and hand him the belt, and then he rolls out of the ring and stumbles up the aisle, holding the Iron Fist Championship Belt over his left arm. Carver looks the worse for wear. Meanwhile in the ring, Dan Stein is standing and looking very unhappily at the referee, who holds his hands up defensively and backs out of the ring.
The scene heads backstage. On the left, we see Laura Seton, dressed casually in her “PG Princess” shirt and blue jeans, and standing to her right, SHOOT’s beloved interviewer, Abigail Chase.
Abigail Chase: Laura, thank you for taking a couple moments.
Laura: The pleasure’s mine.
Abigail Chase: It was a little over a year ago LEGACY had it’s final show. Even with it’s closing shortly after, there was still little belief you would join us here in SHOOT. You were almost the last person anyone expected to step into the SHOOT Project Epicenter, yet here we are.
Laura: Heck froze over in Germany back in February as I first appeared on SHOOT TV, and as I first stepped into the ring here in Las Vegas, I think I saw a few pigs flying.
Abigail Chase: With this being the fourth show since we returned to Vegas, what are your thoughts on the official home base?
Laura: It’s quite nice. It’s like it’s own little city here, and that’s pretty cool. At Master of the Mat, I admit I had a few butterflies about stepping out in front of these fans here. I wasn’t sure how well I’d be received. Maybe I was mentally overdoing the promotions’ rivalry, but I felt almost like an enemy stepping in, and yet……Yet the fans gave me a great response. They’re happy to have me in their favorite federation just as I’m happy to be here.
Abigail Chase: You’ve been in a slump lately. Today marking three months since you last won.
Laura gets a mildly surprised look.
Laura: Really—it’s been that long? Huh…
Abigail Chase: How do you handle that?
Laura: I’m lying if I say I’m okay with it. We all want to win every time we go out there. However, I’m not going to act like a child—I HAVEN’T acted like a child over it, mostly because I wasn’t even aware of that. I just look ahead to my next match. Throwing a fit and hollering and kicking things and punching whatever—that’s what bush leaguers do. I do the classy thing and just take the loss, learn from it, and focus on my next match.
Abigail Chase: Last week, we saw you injecting yourself with something. What was that about?
Laura: Don’t worry about that.
Abigail Chase: It’s been on the minds of fans and reporters alike—
Laura takes a breath and runs a hand across her mouth. She looks away for a second, completely avoiding the question. Abigail realizes she won’t get a further answer.
Abigail Chase: Okay, then. So, outside of that slump, how do you view your first year in SHOOT?
Laura: It’s been good so far. I’m not exactly where I hoped I’d be at, but I’ll get there soon enough. I’ve won a title and the fans love me. I lost a couple matches I probably should have won and I probably won a couple matches I should have lost. Hardcore SHOOT fans felt I’d never last in this more brutal environment, but I have. I’ve earned their respect and they haven’t been afraid to approach me and admit they were wrong and that they enjoy having my attitude—a “fresh” attitude as they’ve said. I appreciate that.
She smiles and nods assuredly to the camera.
Abigail Chase: Is there anyone you’re antsy to face right now?
Laura: I’m not issuing any challenges. I’m not making any ridiculous proclamations. Would I like a title match? Of course. Do I want to go for the World Title? Absolutely. Neither of those are anyone’s birthright—they must be earned. I’m just going to take what SHOOT gives to me. If someone wishes to go after me, they can. They just better realize they’re putting themselves in a spot for 20 minutes of terror.
Abigail Chase: As for Jaime—
Abigail can’t even finish before Laura gives a small eyeroll.
Laura: Here we go…
Abigail Chase: What’s going on with you two?
Laura has a breath of laughter as she shakes her head.
Abigail Chase: So the fact you’ve been seen together a handful of times…?
Laura: We’re friends. We’ll get something eat or whatever. That’s what friends do.
Abigail Chase: Have you two talked about his saving Cronos last week before his match?
Laura: Not much. If you really want to know, you’d have to ask him, if you haven’t already.
Laura shrugs as Abigail nods.
Abigail Chase: We saw you invite Jaime to Thanksgiving with your family…
Laura sighs and shakes her head again, almost embarrassed for Abigail.
Laura: If you’re trying to get some huge scoop on us you’re out of luck.
Abigail Chase: Why else would you invite him?
Laura: It’s the Samaritan thing to do. He had no family to want to go to. If people want to think there’s some underlying reason, they’re incorrect. Sorry to disappoint. If I had other friends back here with the same situation, I would have invited them too.
Abigail Chase: Having spent a few days with him, have you felt anything more towards—
Again Laura shakes her head.
Laura: If all you have left is questions on myself and Jaime, this is over.
Abigail takes a moment to think. Deciding against asking more, she smiles towards Laura.
Abigail Chase: Laura, thank you for your time.
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, and it is still breaking up, but it is a little clearer this time.
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 picture of Albert Fish appears, and an audio clip of one of his quotes plays.
”I always seemed to enjoy everything that hurt. The desire to inflict pain, that is all that is uppermost.”
The image turns into a man’s face, wrapped in white bandages. There are blood marks over the eyes and the mouth, and the blood over the mouth curves into a smile. Fade to black.
He doesn’t understand… can’t understand. He looks down at his hand, and then into a mirror. He stares into his own eyes for a good, long time.
Confusion. Confusion from a random, flukey event that has since become anger. Unrelenting anger… pressure. He can’t look anyone in the eye right now. Not a single person. What happened last week? What… how did that happen?
“Losing…” he begins, “that’s one thing. Wins… losses… ultimately insignificant. True defeat… ACCEPTING that defeat… that is an irreparable sin.”
He shakes his head, and walks out of the locker room. He twirls a screwdriver in his hand, and begins a long walk down the hallway of the SHOOT Project Epicenter. Suddenly, he stops. He turns his head to the left, and sees a sign on the door into what appears to be another soldier locker room.
In one quick motion, Corazon brings the screwdriver to eye level and JAMS the end into the middle of the nameplate.
Then, he smirks.
He turns his head… and then he just… leaves.
Eryk Masters: Come on…. Again?! How many more times must we endure this?!
Other Guy: Seven.
Eryk Masters: What?
Other Guy: I don’t know, it sounded good to me.
"Summer Overture(LOTR Remix)" hits the PA system and at the top of the ramp, both T. Rex and Arch Angel of Anarchy appear in matching plain black suits. With their shaved heads and ear pieces jutting out from their ear lobes, they have the appearance of slightly aged Secret Service agents more than an actual seasoned tag team.
Eryk Masters: Oh terrific. The Gerry Patrol is here!
Other Guy: I must say, I’m glad they left the mullets in LEGACY. Not a good look to have when roaming the streets of Vegas.
Eryk Masters: It’s not a good look to have at any point at ALL, OG.
Other Guy: This is also true!
As they walk down the ramp, T. Rex grips onto a microphone while Arch Angel holds in his possession a large square box sheathed in Christmas wrapping with a big red bow on it. Making their way into the ring, the music dies down and the audience begins showering them with a sizable amount of boos.
After a few moments of withstanding chants of, "DI-NO-SAUR!", and the oldie but goody, "YOU SUCK!", T. Rex whips out a crinkled sheet of paper from his breast pocket and speaks into the microphone with a monotone voice.
T. Rex: (reading from paper) Ladies….. and…. gentlemen………tonight…… like…….. Every……. Other…… night……. The…… Chris what is this fuggin’ word?!
Arch Angel: Hierarchy?!
T. Rex: Right. Hierarchy…. Graces…. your… (squinting, trying to read the writing)… presence… Is….a special…. night.
The crowd hurls their impatience at T. Rex as Arch Angel simply looks on at the audience in disgust.
T. Rex: Because……… as………….. you………… can………… see…………. With…………. What………… my…….. Partner…….. Here……….. Is……… holding……….. Christmas………… has………… come………… early……………. For………. A………. certain………. someone.
Satisfied with his level of reading, T. Rex looks up at the crowd as if he were searching for acceptance. Finding a distinct lack thereof, he mutters under his breath and continues reading in a more hurried pace.
T. Rex: At… this… time… I… would… like… to… call… upon… Mr. Van Warren. So… if… you’re…. watching……………………………………………… back there…… X…………… come……….on…… down……. To……. the…………. ring.
As if right on cue, the remixed version of "Change" hits and a MASSIVE wave of boos rain down upon the man whose presence is synonymous with this song. Moments later, X-Calibur appears, in a fancy black and pink suit, with the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Title draped over his shoulder and a microphone in his hand. Forgoing the typical pyro and gesturing, X-Calibur marches right down the ramp with an air of curiosity about him.
Once he enters the ring, he throws his arms up as if to say, "What’s this all about?". When his music fades, a beaming T. Rex lifts the mic up again and speaks.
Arch Angel: Thanks for coming out, X. I know you’re a busy man and all – what with bearing this company across your shoulders and all- but this simply could not wait. Chris?
Motioning for Teddy to give X the present, he complies. X stares at it with a little apprehension.
X-Calibur: What the hell did you guys do?!
Arch Angel: Well, not "we", actually. You see, after Teddy and I discussed the idea of doing a Secret Santa for the Hierarchy, it was Herr Goeren that stepped in and decided that wasn’t good enough for our Redeemer. So…
Pausing to look at T. Rex for a moment, he smiles.
Arch Angel: … we all pitched in and got you something!!!
Smiling, holding his heart, X shakes his head.
X-Calibur: You guys… what am I gonna do with you?
Finally accepting the gift wrapped box, X tears into the present like a kid on Christmas morning. Suddenly, as he looks inside, his eyes go wide with shock and he looks up st Arch Angel.
X-Calibur: Y-you didn’t!
Arch Angel: Yessir, we did!
As the anticipation grows from the capacity crowd, X reaches down into the box… and withdraws the gaudiest, most repugnant looking championship belt in the history of time.
X-Calibur: Why, my very own customized SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship belt!!! Just what I always wanted!!!!
As all three of them share a laugh in the center of the ring, X holds up the leather strap with a giant, golden, diamond studded "X" plate right in the center. Looking at an odd open space just above the “X” in between the faceplate and the leather, he looks at Arch Angel rather curiously.
X-Calibur: Is this..
Arch Angel: YEP! A docking station for your iPod!!!!!
As X looks over the title; specifically, at the smaller, spinning X’s going down the length of the leather with moving fluorescent lights; he "wipes a tear from his eye". The fans boo the living daylights out of this as X slings the giant, colorful, spinning, iPod accessible, and very NEW SHOOT World Heavyweight Title, over his shoulder.
X-Calibur: I… I don’t know what to say. It’s just what I’ve always wanted.
Removing the original SHOOT World Heavyweight Title from his other shoulder… he throws it down to the canvas and KICKS IT away like a piece of garbage.
“BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!“, the crowd shouts with resounding vehemence. All of a sudden, as X-Calibur raises the NEW World Heavyweight Championship, T. Rex pulls out a black plastic garbage bag from inside his jacket and tosses the original authentic championship inside. Raising the championship high in the air, X climbs to the second turnbuckle and speaks directly to the people of the Epicenter.
X-Calibur: Since day fucking ONE, we told you… we fucking TOLD YOU… each and every last motherfucking ONE of you… that change was imminent in the SHOOT Project. Because we are kind… because we are benevolent… we gave you a few weeks to get used to the idea. To get acclimated to the Hierarchy’s presence on the top of this mountain. Well now? The niceties are finished, and the “grace period” is over. People who don’t welcome change here are gone… and outdated, outmoded, downright UGLY ideas like THIS little trinket?
Hocking a large wad of phlegm, he quickly grabs the black plastic garbage bag with the original World Heavyweight Championship inside… and spits down into it.
X-Calibur: … also gone. For you see, one year ago, when the seeds of this EMPIRE were planted on the broken skull of Rocky Stellar, we told you that a revolution was upon you. And yet, none of you listened. You called it cliché. You called it a tongue in cheek reference to the name of SHOOT’s own program. You… scoffed at the idea of it actually coming to fruition.
He steps down from the turnbuckle and retreats to the center of the ring. Having Arch Angel take the microphone, X hoists the NEW SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship high into the air and lets out a primal scream. As the camera flashes glisten off the diamonds in the center of the “X” plate, X lowers the belt and RIPS the microphone from Arch Angel’s hands. Loosening his tie and THROWING his jacket off of his body, his eyes go wide with zeal.
X-Calibur: But THE Revolution is HERE. WE… are… HERE… and WE…. are NOT GOING ANYWHERE!!!! WE ARE THE FUCKING HIERARCHY, AND EVERY LAST ONE OF YOU THAT REFUSED TO HAVE US… REFUSED TO BELIEVE IN US… AND REFUSED TO TRUST US, WILL PAY FOR YOUR INSOLENCE!!!
At the snap of a finger, he lowers his voice.
X-Calibur: Trey Willett. You are the 2011 Master of the Mat. You’ve come such a long way since the obscurity Corazon left you in. You are one of the best wrestlers in the SHOOT Project… and while everyone likes to underestimate your abilities in this ring… I don’t. I… I believe in you, Trey Willett.
X-Calibur: That is why, as we saw with Mason Pierce, I am going to give you an offer.
The fans, as animated as they were, grow hushed upon every word.
X-Calibur: Join us.
X-Calibur: Join the Hierarchy, Trey Willett… and we will GIVE you what you have ALWAYS wanted.
He jiggles the garbage bag.
X-Calibur: Join us, my Wayward Son… and we will give you something you have always dreamed of holding, and yet… always failed in claiming. We will give you… free of charge… the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship. We will make you the beacon of change, Trey Willett, and take your career to places you never thought POSSIBLE. Become one of us… and you can rescue that belt from the mound of trash it rightfully slumbers in.
X-Calibur: Decline our offer, though? You can kiss it all good bye, Trey. Say no to us, and everything you have worked so hard for these past few months will no longer matter. Tell me and my Hierarchy brethren to go fuck ourselves, and… well Trey, the only change you’ll experience is the pound of flesh we rip directly from your ass to plug the gaping holes made in your face.
He smirks knowingly, as if he already knows what his answer will be.
X-Calibur: Choice is yours. You have until next week’s Revolution. Do what Loco did not, Trey… and trust us. Your career henceforth just may depend on it.
“Change” hits the airwaves again and X-Calibur drops the microphone. Motioning for Anarchy to “pick up the trash”, T. Rex grabs the original championship belt resting in the garbage bag and slings it over his shoulder like Santa Claus would a bag of presents. Raising the “gift” he was given by his Hierarchy comrades, X-Calibur closes his eyes and inhales the audience’s hatred like the oxygen he breathes.
Samantha Coil: THIS is your main event of the evening! Introducing first…..
Eryk Masters: Ugh. I guess we know whose coming out!
Other Guy: These guys need a faster carrier.
Other Guy: Ridiculous!
3M appears on the screen as "Resurrection" by Fear Factory blares through the speakers. The masked 3M appears on the stage and wastes no time getting in the ring ignoring the boos directed towards his way.
Eryk Masters: The master manipulator is here, OG!
Other Guy: A lot of people focus on that but this is a man that was never beaten for the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship. He was an original member of Instant Heat. He has been instrumental in some of the biggest moments of this business!
The lights go dark as the screen stirs to life as the haunting sounds of a violin are heard rumbling from the speakers. A mangled body is seen trapped in a block of ice as the camera cuts to black and in blood red letters, we see….
Kenji Yamada appears onto the entrance ramp as the scarred and tattooed Japanese Sociopath Pioneer stares at the fans with a blank look on his face. He walks towards the ramp as " Dim Scene" by The Gazette plays over the speakers.
Other Guy: This music gives me the creeps!
Eryk Masters: How appropriate cause the Sociopath Pioneer isn’t just a nickname.. it’s a way of life for this man!
Samantha Coil: This is 3M and from Kyoto, Japan he weighs in tonight at 220 pounds….. KENJI YAMADA!
Eryk Masters: Look at all the scars on this man’s body. He’s been in some wars in and out of the ring, OG.
Other Guy: He’s a man that doesn’t care about wins or losses but the beautification of the SHOOT Project and he’s targeted Jonas Coleman!
The two men barely acknowledge each other as they look toward the ramp. The lights come back on to a normal lights for a moment.
ALL OF THE LIGHTS!
"All of the Lights" by Kanye West hits and the fans POP. The lights in the arena go black as a single green light emanates from the entrance. Smoke billows out as a single man stands there, his head bowed.
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
Donovan King stands in the entrance ramp ready for battle as "All of the Lights" cuts off and we suddenly hear "Destroyer" by Project 86. An excited Jonas Coleman sprints out of the entrance ramp and sprints down the ring! Jonas slide in head first and makes a bee line for Kenji Yamada who exits the ring. Jonas climbs onto the middle turnbuckle and points his finger wanting Kenji Yamada while Donovan King brings up the rear keeping his eyes fixated on 3M who adjusts his mask while ignoring King.
Samantha Coil: And their opponents at a combined weight of 465 pounds…. Hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina…. He is THE LAST SCION DONOVAN KING and his partner….. from Houston, Texas…. He is THE BUTCHER JONAS COLEMAN!
Other Guy: Two guys that couldn’t be any more different but they are forced to team up against their enemies.
Eryk Masters: We saw them team up while 3M and Kenji didn’t even bother, they just interacted with a letter. We’ll see if that makes a difference tonight.
Other Guy: Jonas Coleman was robbed of the World Heavyweight Championship by Kenji Yamada at Master of the Mat… we all saw that. Now Jonas can get a measure of revenge.
Kenji Yamada and Jonas Coleman are the respective fighters for their teams as the fans clap their hands, stomp their feet and are pretty fired up for this match. Yamada and Coleman do a collar and elbow tie up as the slightly larger Yamada powers Coleman into the corner and Yamada with a blistering knife edge chop stuns Coleman. Yamada fires fast forearm shots to the chin of Coleman as Yamada shoots Coleman to the far side as Yamada runs in to follow up with a corner elbow but Coleman gets the boot up. Coleman quickly hops on the middle turnbuckle as he flies off and does a beautiful flying head scissors!
Eryk Masters: Coleman is so damn quick!
Other Guy: Yamada was favoring the ribs there.
Coleman hits the ropes as he drops all his weight in a big splash onto the aforementioned damaged ribs. Cover by Coleman as the ref counts.
Yamada angrily kicks out as Coleman hops onto the middle ropes and begins to go the top but wait! 3M JERKS the top rope and Coleman straddles the top rope as the crowd groans in pain! King yells at the referee but 3M raises his arms in innocence. The Epicenter is yelling at 3M who ignores the fans and mockingly waves the tag rope as proof of no wrong doing. The front row is pointing fingers at the Chicago native who shakes his head admitting no wrong doing. The distraction helps Yamada get up as he looks at 3M but Yamada doesn’t go for the tag instead opting to do a dropkick onto the distracted Donovan King knocking him off the apron and onto the floor!
Eryk Masters: Cheap shots all around!
Other Guy: That ain’t cheap… that was smart! King wasn’t paying attention and he got caught.
King is dazed for a moment as Yamada sees Coleman is about to get up as Yamada runs in and drops Coleman down face first with a running bulldog! Yamada gets up but he gets a blind tag from 3M. 3M climbs toward the ring and drops his right knee on the throat of Coleman with pin point accuracy. The Defender of Faith coughs violently. 3M sees King about to get up as 3M does a baseball slide drop kick and King goes down again!
Eryk Masters: 3M wants no part of King so he’s doing best to keep him out of this match and try to wear down Jonas Coleman.
Other Guy: It’s good to slow down the pace cause Coleman is fast and he’s resilient. We know that from his many wars with Akuma Satsui and Cade!
Eryk Masters: 3M’s every move in there is deliberately made, he’s a tactician in that ring. His antics outside the ring have kind of overshadowed that I think.
We can’t see the face of 3M but we can tell by his sauntering that he is pleased with so easily dispatching the two fan favorites so far and the fans boo. 3M hits the ropes now and jumps HIGH into the air as both knees crash onto the chin of Coleman! 3M now blatantly chokes Coleman right in front of King as an infuriated King slides into the ring and goes to kick the hell out of 3M but the ref barks at King to get back to his ring. The distraction causes Yamada and 3M to come in as the two grab Coleman and the duo hoist Coleman in a front face suplex but both men fall forward as Coleman lands face first onto the mat with a double gourd buster!
Eryk Masters: King is really costing his partner here! He’s a hothead!
Other Guy: Donovan hasn’t even been in that ring, he might as well take a front row seat to this beating that Yamada and 3M are doing!
Eryk Masters: I got to wonder how much more punishment The Butcher can take. He’s been in some WARS this year!
3M grabs the previously injured hand of Jonas and just viciously stomps on it over and over again! Coleman bellows in pain and tries to shield his hand by tucking it towards his stomach. Yamada tags in now and grabs the hand of Jonas and starts to bite one of the fingers of Jonas!
Eryk Masters: Kenji Yamada is biting him like he’s a damn cannibal! This is too much, OG!
Other Guy: These two guys are sick and look at King. He wants to get in there so badly!
Coleman crawls at his corner but Yamada comes in and grabs Coleman by the foot as Yamada like a cat toying with a mouse toys with his prey. Yamada drops all his weight on the outstretched body of Coleman in a careless senton bomb! But the stubborn Jonas Coleman keeps inching towards his corner knowing he HAS to tag in now! Yamada grabs the leg of Coleman as Jonas kicks Yamada off! Yamada quickly gets back up and now Coleman has found his way up on his feet. Jonas counters with a beautiful enzugiri counter reminiscent of the late GREAT Owen Hart! Yamada falls face first comically as Coleman tags King!
Other Guy: Oh damn. Here comes trouble!
Eryk Masters: Trouble for Kenji and 3M!
King hits the ropes and does a hard Mafia Kick to the face of the still stunned Yamada. King grabs him by his hair and whips him toward the ropes…. SPINEBUSTER! Yamada bounces off the mat like a basketball but King is fired up and grabs him again and whips him to the ropes. FLAPJACK executed perfectly by the Last Scion as Yamada is woozy and King finally knocks Yamada over the ropes with a Roaring Elbow as Yamada goes tumbling over the ropes. King points at 3M like FINALLY as the crowd pops big! 3M ducks out of the way though like the rat that he is as the fans BOO the hell out of the overt cowardice.
Eryk Masters: Hey! 3M just left the ring. He really wants no part of King.
Other Guy: King just bulldozed through Kenji but he wants 3M!
King is in hot pursuit of 3M as the Chicago native dives in head first and King dives in seconds after he does but 3M connects with a kick to the ribs! BOOO!!! 3M pounces on the downed King with STIFF shots to the back over and over as 3M has a crazed look on his face!
Eryk Masters: 3M is using King’s aggressiveness against him, there’s more than meets the eye with 3M.
Other Guy: King let the emotions control him and it cost him there!
3M grabs King up and immediately grabs him in a MMA clinch as 3M pulls King’s head down while 3M does a crushing knee! King is stunned as 3M hits the near side of the ropes and goes for a clothesline but King ducks it. King legs sweeps 3M down to the mat as King grabs an ankle of 3M looking to apply an ankle lock as 3M rolls out easily. 3M gets back to a standing base as he connects with a stinging right to the chin of King! King is rocked but he takes another shot! 3M rears back and hits King again! King shakes his head like it doesn’t hurt me! 3M punches King in the stomach but King is screaming at 3M at the top of his lungs!
Eryk Masters: King is nuts! He’s telling 3M to give him his best shot!
King: HIT ME DAMMIT!
King punches his own chin several times to emphasize as 3M hits the ropes and looks to gain steam with a big knockout punch but King was playing with 3M as King ducks the KO punch by and then does a high kick catching 3M right behind the ear stunning him. King fires a kick to the thigh of 3M, followed by a kick to the quadriceps and finishes it with a Bicycle Kick to the face of 3M as the crowd pops. King doesn’t go for the cover but instead just goes down and just proceeds to hammer elbow shots to the head of 3M! Yamada comes in but just as soon as he comes in, King throws him out of the ring!
Other Guy: King really wants to bust up 3M tonight.
The ref barks at King to get off 3M as King waves him off but 3M grabs the trunks of King and use his own momentum against him as King goes chin first to the top turnbuckle. 3M goes to the far side of the ropes and makes a mad dash at King throwing BOTH knees high at the back of King’s head.
Eryk Masters: Oh man! 3M just NAILED King with both knees in the back of his head but he’s not going for the cover though.
Other Guy: 3M is again using King’s own aggressiveness against him!
King is knocked woozily as 3M kicks the legs under King and the Carolina native is face first on the mat. 3M looks at the crowd for a moment and goes to the mat and he is looking to apply the Carolina Crossface! The fans boo this overt disrespect by 3M but King is struggling!
Other Guy: 3M is looking to utilize OutKast’s signature move that Donovan King has used himself too! Mind games upon mind games!
Jonas Coleman is stomping his feet egging the SHOOT fans to support his downed tag partner. King shifts his weight toward the ropes now and 3M is forced to break his attempt at the submission hold. 3M rolls towards the outside now as he directs traffic making a hand gesture at Kenji. 3M throws King toward the awaiting Kenji who does a drop toe hold to the ring steps! BANG!
Eryk Masters: 3M and Kenji are working pretty well tonight.
Other Guy: Both guys have sick minds and they know how to inflict pain!
King goes forehead first to the ring steps. Kenji quickly retreats back to his corner as of course, the ref sees none of this but is quick to admonish Jonas Coleman from interfering! The fans are going ballistic as 3M grabs King and rams him headfirst to the steps again! 3M grabs King and places him in a front face lock and tries to lift King in an attempt for a suplex while on the steps. King arches his back and counters as he does his own suplex on 3M! Both guys are down in a heap as Kenji tries to interfere and Jonas Coleman has seen enough. Coleman ignores the ref’s orders and catapults himself up and over the ropes in a cross body block taking out Kenji Yamada! The ref comes in and breaks up the fracas as the two teams are forced to go back to their corners.
Eryk Masters: Tony Lorenzo needs to take control of this thing!
Other Guy: Jonas took himself out just to get at Kenji! Wow!
3M is slow to get back to his feet but he grabs King. King though just tackles him sloppily as the two are exchanging punches on the floor like a street fight! 3M is worse for the wear and King is the one who comes on top first as King rolls 3M in. King barks orders at Jonas who puts a boot up and King introduces the masked face of 3M toward the outstretched boot of the Defender of Faith! King tags in Coleman now as King applies a Boston Crab on 3M, Coleman springboards in and drops the leg on the exposed neck of 3M! BAM!
Eryk Masters: Coleman and King with their own double team move!
Other Guy: Jonas looks to have picked up his second wind here.
The crowd explodes on the innovative move of the fan favorites. Jonas Coleman though is quick to go the top ropes. Coleman waits for 3M to get up as 3M stumbles up and towards the perched Coleman who flies off with a top rope cross body block but 3M reverses the momentum and 3M has the tights hooked!
Other Guy: 3M with the reversal!
Coleman kicks out as 3M now grabs both legs of Coleman and slingshots Jonas toward the corner but Jonas uses his great athleticism to actually "spiderman" onto the middle turnbuckle and counters with a flying spinning back elbow smash onto the chin of 3M! 3M is down and Jonas goes for a cover.
Eryk Masters: Jonas is quick as a cat!
Other Guy: He caught 3M right in the kisser I think. Hard to tell with that creepy mask of his!
Kenji comes in with a kick to the back of Coleman to break up the cover.
Coleman clutches his back in pain and glares at the Pioneer who glares back. Coleman though ignores him and whips 3M toward his side of the ring. Coleman is trash talking Kenji reading him the riot act while still clutching his back. Jonas is not paying attention to the now revived 3M though! 3M comes in with a double axe handle to the back of Coleman who is doubled over. 3M tags in Yamada now as the ribs are exposed for a Mongolian Chop by Kenji!
Kenji measures the downed Jonas with multiple kicks to the spine of Jonas as each one progressively hits harder. THWAP! THWAP! The audience groans upon hearing the sound of the leather boots onto the back of the Butcher! Kenji hits the ropes in a flash and finishes the dizzying kick combo with a Shining Wizard! Coleman is down but Kenji could care less for a cover.
Kenji now grabs Coleman in a standing headscissors and hoists him for a powerbomb! EVERLASTING SCAR!
But Kenji pulls Jonas back up preventing a pain as Kenji smiles at the misery of Jonas! Jonas tries to get up but Kenji with a scowl kicks him down like a dog! Kenji now applies a painful nerve hold onto the trapezoids area of Jonas who cries out in pain. Kenji though quickly transitions to FISH HOOK Jonas who trashes about in pain!
Other Guy: Kenji could have got the pin t here but did he care? No! All he cares about is torturing Jonas Coleman!
Eryk Masters: I don’t like it!
King kicks Kenji off his partner and he’s had enough! King throws 3M into the ring and pummels him with rights and lefts! King kicks 3M but 3M slithers out of the ring. King waits for Kenji to get up and hoists the Kyoto native onto his shoulders and drops him onto his shoulder. KTFO!
Other Guy: King just couldn’t take it anymore!
Eryk Masters: Referee Lorenzo is forcing Donovan to get out of the ring!
Jonas is down still reeling from Kenji’s powerbomb but Kenjis down from the KTFO! The fans are shouting and clapping their hands in support as the Epicenter is rocking! Both guys are slow to get up as Jonas rears back for a punch!
Other Guy: BLACK MIST!
Eryk Masters: NO! Jonas is blinded!
Jonas is screaming as he clutches his eyes and the demented Kenji Yamada just stands there in the ring laughing manically! The fans who were rocking in support falls in a deafening silence. 3M reaches over and tags himself in now and Kenji glares at 3M as Kenji wanted to finish off the Butcher himself. The bickering of the two dastardly duo gives Jonas just enough time to sloppily push Kenji onto 3M as the two clunk heads! Jonas dives at his corner and tags in Donovan King! The Epicenter goes crazy at the arrival of the former World Heavyweight Champion!
Eryk Masters: Samantha Coil just handed Jonas a towel to wipe that crap off his face.
Other Guy: King and 3M again! Here we go!
3M is still reeling as King grabs him by in a front face lock… snap suplex…..King hangs on as he rolls up….. snap suplex….. hangs on and does a third snap suplex….. 3M is struggling with weak shots to the kidney of the Carolina native but King grits his teeth and continues with a FOURTH Snap Suplex! SUPERIORITY COMPLEX!
Eryk Masters: I LIKE IT!
Other Guy: Me too! I do too!
Donovan King is pacing as he stalks his prey… 3M stumbles up as Donovan grabs 3M in a ¾ facelock looking for the Deal Breaker but 3M pushes him off chest first to the corner and 3M counters with a kick to the gut followed by a snap DDT out of desperation! 3M tags in Kenji now who goes to the top rope and he’s waiting for King to get up. King staggers up as Kenji flies off…. REALITY CHECK onto the flying Yamada who is knocked out! King falls on him for the cover!
Eryk Masters: King with the perfect counter there!
Jonas wants the tag now as he wants to get him some of his rival. Donovan tags in Jonas as King grabs Kenji and places him throat first onto the top ropes while holding his legs up. Jonas comes in and jumps OVER his partner crashing all his weight onto the body of Yamada!
Other Guy: Jonas is so athletic! Even after he took all this damage earlier!
Jonas now drags Kenji to the middle of the ring, hooks the legs and turns over as he expertly applies THE GRIP OF THE VIPER. The fans are clamoring for Yamada to tap as Coleman ARCHES his back further torturing his rival in the painful hold!
3M breaks it up!
Donovan King comes in with a tackle but 3M kicks him in the side of the head and 3M follows it up with a Knee Tumbler delivered Regal style. 3M grabs Jonas by the hair and slaps him derisively. 3M now totally ignoring referee Lorenzo’s pleas as 3M hoists Jonas in a standing headscissors and lifts him up. Yamada’s eyes light up as 3M nods to his head.
Eryk Masters: Jonas got DRILLED down! Oh man! He’s in bad shape!
Other Guy: Did you see that look on Kenji’s face. He enjoyed stuffing Jonas headfirst onto the mat! He’s a sick puppy!
The crowd groans in sympathy as Coleman clutches his neck. 3M now points at King directing traffic as 3M grabs the stunned King as he does a standing headscissors looking for another Stuffed Piledriver but Donovan back drops out of it! Kenji runs in with a clothesline that King ducks and as King rises…. CATCHES Kenji with the DEALBREAKER!
Eryk Masters: But King isn’t legal!
Other Guy: I forgot who is!
The two legal contestants Jonas and Kenji are down and out as King now charges after Mirage, who quickly throws POWDER into King’s eyes! King staggers back and quickly attacks the first thing he can, which is unfortunately…the referee! The referee is down as Mirage has slid from the ring, glaring his masked face at King, who is trying to wipe the powder from his eyes. Austin Linam comes running down!
Other Guy: Another referee!
Mirage, however, glares at Linam as he slides into the ring and immediately drags him right back out, backhanding him to the ground! The fans are raucous as Willie Dean comes out, shaking his head as he jogs to the ring. 3M glares at him, but he merely jogs over to Samantha Coil and whispers in her ear. The bell rings!
Samantha Coil: This match has been declared a NO CONTEST!
Coleman shakes his head now trying to clear the cob webs as Kenji clotheslines himself along with Jonas to the outside! Meanwhile, King is pulling himself up in the center of the ring, only for Mirage to catch him unawares and PLANT him with a Kingbreaker!
Other Guy: He couldn’t control his anger toward 3M! It has just cost King a chance to beat his foe once and for all!
He slides from the ring again as Jonas and Kenji brawl to the back. Grabbing his tribal covered black leather trench, 3M swings it over his shoulders before snatching a mic from Samantha Coil. Adjusting his mask, he slowly approaches the ringside stairs.
Eryk Masters: Everything this man does is with a purpose…the sheer arrogance in these actions showing us that he doesn’t have to be in a hurry due to King’s current state…
After entering the ring, 3M makes sure King remains in his current "room spinning" state by slamming a boot off the back of his head, resulting in a deadened thud and the a wave of "ohhh’s" coming from the crowd.
Eryk Masters: This…is uncalled for…and typical of these Hierarchy cowards.
Dropping to one knee next to his adversary, 3M lightly taps the mic on his forehead, almost as if to help wake him up a bit.
Mirage: Hey…wakie wakie. I want you to hear this.
3M snaps his fingers a few times in front of Kings groggy face.
Mirage: Back when we first met…many eons ago, the scene wasn’t much unlike this one if I’m not mistaken.
3M grabs King by the head and ever so lightly bangs the back of his head off the mat.
Mirage: But no matter what I said or did, you tried to ignore me. You tried to ‘move on’. Master of the Mat I let you have. You looked so proud. I even gave you an ‘out clause’, in that all you had to do was beat Christopher Davis and I’d stop.
3M suddenly drops this mic and grabs King, slamming his head off the mat very hard, almost as if it a fit of uncontrolled rage came over him.
Mirage: But you couldn’t stop being…such a disappointment.
Almost as instantly as the anger entered his voice, a calmness returns.
Mirage: So, you see…you forced me to do something I didn’t want to do. Involve family. After what Cronos did to mine, I swore I’d never do the same. But, situations change…and much to my dismay, that’s where the plot thickened. So wake up, Donovan. Wake up.
He leans in closer.
King’s eyes open as he looks dead in Mirage’s masked face.
Mirage: You have a son, Donovan. A beautiful baby boy. His name is David.
King’s eyes grow wider. Dropping the mic, 3M forcefully grabs King by his arms, yanking him to a sitting position, where he proceeds to drag King and lean him up against the bottom turnbuckles. Turning away from King, his sweeping trench flowing behind him, 3M snatches up the mic again.
Mirage: But his mother Georgia…she’s not so willing to be a big happy family, is she? No…no, Donovan…she says no. And no…means…no.
Eryk Masters: You don’t think…what…
Other Guy: Shhh!
Mirage holds his arm towards King, who is trying to shake the cobwebs off now.
Mirage: Ladies and gentlemen…let me tell you a story. A story about a boy. This boy meets this girl. This boy likes this girl. Girl doesn’t like boy. Girl gets drunk. Boy decides to take what he wants from the girl and ruin the girl’s life.
Mirage turns to glare at King now.
Mirage: Congratulations, Donovan. You’re nothing but a sick, twisted, horny monster!
The fans boo LOUDLY as Mirage soaks in the jeers. King glares at Mirage, his eyes fully open now. Mirage’s arms are outstretched, his head back in ecstasy.
Other Guy: Oh…wow…I…Eryk…
Eryk Masters: That sorry son of a bitch…Mirage looks so damn proud of himself.
King can only stare blankly ahead, saying nothing. His eyes empty and hollow.
Other Guy: He looks like he’s just…shattered King.
Mirage: And your son?
Mirage slowly turns his head over his shoulder at King, whose eyes are slowly coming into focus.
Mirage: That little bastard is nothing more than the product of a poor drunk girl and a sick ra–
KING POUNCES ON MIRAGE! The fans ERUPT as King is WAILING on Mirage! The referees storm into the ring to pull King off as King has a FIRM grasp on Mirage’s face, RIPPING the bottom of the mask off! Mirage slides from the ring, breathing heavily as King is held down by the referees.
Eryk Masters: Mirage…has the AUDACITY to come out here and…just spill out whatever he can to break King down and King has had enough!
Other Guy: Apparently it MUST be true is King is so incensed at the mention of it!
King glares at Mirage as the fans are simmering, abuzz with excitement as the two enemies continue to stare at one another, Mirage backing up the ring ramp.
Eryk Masters: True or not…Mirage wants the monster in King to come out…and I think he’s going to get it!
Mirage slowly starts to grin, his mouth fully exposed where King tore the mask. King’s face, meanwhile, is filled with a rage and a fury never before seen in King before. The referees are all holding him as tightly as they can, his muscles straining HARD against their grasp. The final image we see is King letting loose a LOUD and powerful shout at Mirage as Mirage stands at the entrance stage, a grin filled with triumph.