A taxi cab rolls down the slight incline and pulls into the arena, slowly coming to a hault. After a moment, during which the passenger in the backseat hands some cash to the driver, the back door opens and a husky guy hops out. Reaching back in, he grabs his dufflebag, slings it over his shoulder, then shuts the door. A tap atop the cab lets the driver know he can go.
Taking off his Washington Redskins baseball-style cap, Henry Gordon looks around for a moment, then starts walking in towards the hallways of the arena. No one seems to notice him as he passes by various
members of the SHOOT Project production crew, as they’re plenty busy with what they’re working on. As he reaches the innards of the arena, various individuals look in his direction as they pass, but only a few of them acknowledge him. Secretly he wonders if it’s his beard, which is starting to get scraggly. His sister told him he should trim it up, but she’s way more interested in fashion than Henry is, and only now is he realizing that it might’ve been a good idea to try to make a good impression on his fellow co-workers.
He had a different route in mind. He was going to try to treat these folks the same way he treated everyone he was meeting for the first time.
Not really knowing where to go, Henry was a bit too nervous to ask anyone, but because he didn’t have any obligations on the evening, he didn’t feel like it really mattered where he went, so long as he was
there. He’d come into contact with someone from the front office as the evening progressed. They’d let him know what he was to be doing on the show to follow.
And the house shows. He really wanted to know more about the house shows. Uncle Rob had said they were important. "Super important" was the term he had used. That, and "make or break".
Spotting a sign over a doorway, Henry now knew where he wanted to go.
Entering the large open conference room, Henry looked around. There were some tables with sodas and water and coffee. Others had pastries, sandwiches, chips, fruit and other various munchable items.
After grabbing a Mountain Dew Code Red 20 oz soda, Henry spotted a viewing area across the room where several 46" televisions had been setup in front of an array of seating options.
Making his way over, Henry grabbed a steel chair, folded it up and acted like he was going to give a chairshot, then laughed as he swung it through the air in slow motion. No one was around to witness a
situation that he secretly wished never came to fruition. Setting up the chair, Henry sat down and then opened his dufflebag just as one of the production crew team members showed up.
Production Crew Guy: You’re… Henry Gordon, right?
He nodded and then stood up and extended his hand.
Henry Gordon: That’s me, and once we get to know each other better, you can call me Hank.
The roadie nodded and ended the hand-shaking session, which was clearly not something Henry was going to do on his own.
Production Crew Guy: I see you’ve got your dufflebag with you… Just to be clear, you won’t be having a match tonight, and you’re not on the first-alternates list, so you probably won’t need your gear.
The comment gets a shrug in response.
Henry Gordon: I figured I wouldn’t. That’s the kind of thing I’m guessing you let me know about ahead of time.
The roadie pops a half smirk and nods.
Roadie: Yep, and before you ask, you haven’t been assigned to a locker room spot for tonight, either. May as well just zip that bag back up, relax and enjoy the show.
Henry plops back down into his chair and picks up the dufflebag.
Henry Gordon: Oh I think I’ll leave it unzipped for a while…
With a grin on his face, Henry lifts the dufflebag and shows the roadie the contents: multiple bags of Utz Butter Popcorn, some Trader Joes Hickory Barbeque Hawaiian Style Chips, a half-loaf of multi-grain
bread and a jar of peanut butter. His grin turns into a full fledged "proud of myself" smile, but then after he looks back into the bag, something occurs to him for a moment and he looks up, slightly concerned.
Henry Gordon: Say, you don’t happen to know if anyone has a nut allergy? I’d hate to make a bad first impression by causing someone anaphylactic shock. Not unless they’re my opponent for a match.
The smile returns and Henry gives a wink, but the roadie just walks off, rolling his eyes as he goes.
Samantha Coil: The opening match is set for one fall!
“Whatever Gets You Through Today” by The Radio starts cranking up in the Arena. As Laura Seton comes out in a green jersey and green shorts. Her blonde hair tied back with a green headband. As she shifts in her tennis shoes, she gives waves to the audience as they start a few cheers for her.
Other Guy: Understandable as she hasn’t been on a TV inside the arena in over two months or so, Eryk.
Eryk Masters: Almost like you wanted to put her on a milk carton and ask if you’ve seen her.
She moves to the ring and slaps a few hands on the way down. As she does, we see the poster of the milk carton. Laura shakes her head a bit until she moves onto the ring steps.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first, from Oshkosh, Wisconsin. She is known as “Milk and Cookies.” LAURA SETON!
Eryk Masters: To say this won’t be easy is an understatement, OG.
Other Guy: No kidding, E. Because coming up.
“Bad Company by Five Finger Death Punch starts up on the PA. As it does, we see Jaime pop out of the back with no shirt. Just his red trunks, his boots, and his arm sleeve with a black brace tying it all together. He marches to the ring, keeping his eyes on the target.
Other Guy: Jaime Alejandro. Say what you will about ol’ JA. He’s probably an idiot for not resting, but he’s gonna go what he’s gonna do.
Eryk Masters: Jaime’s not back at full power, and after that Obsidian did to him, is anyone really?
He gets to the ring and slides in slowly. As he does he keeps his eyes on Laura, almost testing her.
Samantha Coil: Her opponent, from Mexico City, Mexico. He is JAIME ALEJANDRO!
Willie Dean gets in the middle and keeps his fighters apart…
Eryk Masters: The first test for Laura Seton in a long time.
Other Guy: She may have it, but she’s got to show it, E.
Willie Dean looks over at Kendrick and then waves for the bell!
Eryk Masters: And the first match of the night, post Reckoning Day!
Other Guy: Let’s get it hopping, people!
As Jaime and Laura meet in the middle of the ring, Laura shakes her head. Almost as if they shouldn’t be in the middle of the ring. Jaime slowly starts circling the ring. Laura also starts trying to circle with him. There isn’t friends here right now, because both are looking for an opening to take each other out…
Other Guy: Is this a wrestling match or is this “couples” therapy?
Eryk Masters: Does it really matter, OG?
Jaime holds out his arms and motions his hands to get the crowd noise going. As he does, Laura starts clapping to try to get the audience going in her favor. As both people try to get the public opinion in their direction, Jaime throws his arms down for a hook and collar. Laura tries her own and tries to push down on his arms, almost gingerly. As she does, Jaime pushes her back hard.
Jaime: Come on!
Eryk Masters: And Jaime showing that temper a bit early. I think he’s wanting to push a few buttons.
Other Guy: Considering her virginity, I’m surprised she’s not making him wear a full body suit during this match.
Laura looks at Jaime with a look of frustration and anger. She starts shaking her head and ties him up again. Jaime locks up and starts pushing down on her arms. Laura is still trying to gingerly pull down on Jaime’s arms again. From here, he nearly shoves her back again.
Jaime: I said quit fucking half assing it, Laura!
Other Guy: I wonder how she’s going to respond to that one.
Eryk Masters: I think I have a pretty good idea, OG…
Laura takes exception to what Jaime says and comes up and decks him with a hard right hand. Jaime staggers back, as Laura has a look of shock. Then, her dear friend comes back around with a hard chop to her chest. Laura immediately turns red in the face and starts yelling in gibberish at him.
Eryk Masters: I think people on the strip just heard that chop of hand against breasts.
Other Guy: I’ve heard of feeling a woman up, but that’s the wrong idea, man…
Laura gets in Jaime’s face and starts yelling at him indecipherably, as he’s just smirking at her. Then, little Milk and Cookies finally has enough of her friend’s crap, as she turns around and walks off from him. Jaime starts over to the ropes and arrogantly says…
Jaime: You ain’t nothing…
Laura: Excuse me.
Jaime: YOU. AIN’T. NOTHING.
Laura turns Jaime around and throws a huge right hand to his jaw. He comes back with a stiff right jab to her jaw, although we see him wince as he tries it. Laura catches his next attempt at a jab and tries to push it to the side. When she does, Jaime spins around with a perfect hook kick to the back of her neck. Seton goes down in pain from the hard shot.
The big man goes to the mat and picks up Seton and sizes her up slowly. When he’s got her in place, he plants a boot to the stomach and moves over to the left side ropes. As Jaime comes back for a knee lift, Laura pulls up and comes around with a back kick to Jaime’s chest. He’s hunched over on the ground, as she comes back from the ropes with a hard front kick to his head.
JA starts rubbing his head slowly, as that kick really did get to him hard. Then he looks over at Laura who’s jumping side to side waiting on the next attack to happen. Jaime then rushes towards her and feints a right hand. Seton goes for it, until she sees Alejandro drop to the ground onto his left arm.
As he does, he moves over to his left side. Laura follows suit and goes to her left. Both Soldiers kick out their left leg. Jaime tries to go for a kill shot, but Laura blocks it. As she does, he comes back around with a kick flip, as does she! Jaime drops down to a knee and looks a bit stunned…
Seeing Jaime down, Laura thinks fast and moves just as fast. She hops to the top rope and flies, all limbs outstretched and lands atop Jaime! With the crowd cheering after the exciting exchange of moves, Laura feels the moment. She slams the mat with her hands as she lets out a yell. As she stands, she lifts her right knee and has a violent pump of her right fist followed by another yell.
Eryk Masters: Someone’s a touch hyper, isn’t she?
Other Guy: Emotion is great, but she better keep it in check. That didn’t end the match.
Jaime pulls himself up to where he can stand, as Laura looks at him. She quickly moves and nails him with a kick to the knee. Jaime goes back down kneeling to the mat. Seton is feeling the momentum as the people are starting to go into her favor. The die hards, though, are cheering for the old veteran to get up and “whip her ass.” She pulls him up and whips him over to the corner.
Eryk Masters: And Laura’s got the momentum going for her. Over two months of absence from the ring, she’s got a lot to prove.
Other Guy: The other side of the coin, did Jaime lose too much to Obsidian in that very ring at Reckoning Day, Eryk?
Laura runs towards Jaime at full speed, looking to execute a full body splash to the corner. She has the speed. She has the momentum. She has the distance. Until she meets Jaime’s left arm, as he drops her down with a vicious modified Uru-nage suplex. Seton’s back hits the mat hard!
Other Guy: I think Laura forgot that portion of her match studying. The one where Jaime usually comes out of the corner and throws his opponent on the mat like a sack of potatoes.
Eryk Masters: That looked nasty. I think she took a hard shot to her head, too.
Seton’s holding her head in her hands. As she does, Jaime pulls her up by the hair and gets her in a headlock under his left arm. Laura tries to punch him with rights and lefts on his torso, but he’s not going to let go of the hold. He attempts to pulls her up for a vertical suplex, but his right arm isn’t giving him much help. Instead, he throws her down onto the rope, stomach first and vaults her back over into a springing suplex.
Eryk Masters: If you don’t have your power, use your head.
Other Guy: I’d give points for creativity, using the ropes as a slight spring… Considering the wire doesn’t give too much…
From here, Jaime’s arm isn’t moving too well. He still keeps up the good fight and tries to pull up Laura with his one good arm. She comes up to him with a shoulder block to his midsection. Jaime tries to go for a clubbing forearm, but Laura hits another shoulder block. The big man starts doubling over a bit more, as Laura gets up.
Other Guy: And Laura getting in her shots on Jaime, who’s usually getting in his shots by now.
Eryk Masters: Which begs to question, is he holding back?
She connects with a left forearm. Jaime is stunned just enough for Laura to grab him and slings him to the ropes. Jaime gets to the ropes and pulls on them to stop. He walks forward and sees Laura set up in the splits.
Other Guy: Laura normally throws a punch from that position. Good use of the scouting report by Jaime.
Jaime has a smirk as he walks to her. Laura’s expression becomes a smirk as well when he’s within a couple steps. She lurches forward and grounds him with a double leg takedown!
Eryk Masters: Seton able to think on the fly! She’s up and not stopping as she grabs Jaime’s legs. Now threading her right leg between…
Other Guy: Watch your step! That’s a fragile area!
Laura locks Jaime’s legs and uses all her effort to try turning Jaime over.
Eryk Masters: She’s trying to get him over on the mat, OG! Could this be?
Other Guy: You mean Jaime actually getting a submission for a change? Not gonna happen!
The Saint is fighting for all he’s got to keep from getting pinned onto the mat and made to submit. Laura manages to kick him over and keep his legs tied up as best as she can. She’s wrenching back with as much as she’s got. Jaime’s reaching out towards the ropes with his bad arm. Laura keeps wrenching back as hard as she can.
Laura: Give up! We don’t have to do this!
Eryk Masters: Laura just put on one of the few submissions she’s aware of, the Sharpshooter. That move has to be murder on Jaime’s back.
Other Guy: You mean the same back that Obsidian and Issac tried to destroy. Yeah, it’s already murdering him, I don’t think she’s making it better.
She looks back and sees Jaime reaching for the ropes, as he does… She bends herself back even further until her head is right next to his. Jaime is screaming and yelling at her.
Laura: GIVE UP!
Jaime: GO FUCK YOURSELF!
Eryk Masters: I’m not sure we can say that on TV, but Jaime’s giving her a resounding no on giving up.
Other Guy: I think he just told her to go do herself, E… Jaime’s a fierce man, but he’s gotta give up. She’s got him trapped.
Laura tries to keep him from reaching the rope, until she hears the rope pulling. Willie Dean is now calling for Laura to let go of the hold. Laura looks up and looks almost dejected. From here, she starts up talking in that gibberish she’s known for when she’s ready to curse like a sailor. Jaime is lying face down on the mat holding his back. Laura keeps pacing around while Jaime tries to make it back up to his feet.
Other Guy: The big man getting to the ropes, but how much damage did ol’ Milk and Cookies do to him that the inevitable divorce will top.
Eryk Masters: Stop it, OG… I mean, I know you gotta get in the digs, but still. How much gas is left. Did he come back too early?
Other Guy: Duh! Look at him. Seton’s running circles around him.
Laura goes towards her opponent and tries to pull him up, only to have him pull her by the shorts and shoot her face first into the corner. Her head connects with the top turnbuckle, which dazes her for a moment. As she leans her head into the turnbuckle, Jaime comes around and realizes she’s stunned.
Eryk Masters: I think he’s awake now, OG…
Other Guy: Seton got yanked by the shorts and thrown in, which means the arm is either getting better, or he’s playing possum…
Jaime, still looking, starts scheming. He puts his hands out and starts motioning to the crowd to give him a little bit more… The crowd obliges and starts cheering with everything they have at the moment, as he holds out his left hand. From here, he aims and smacks Laura’s rear end with the same impact as one of his knife-edged chops!
Laura: FROSTED FLAKES AND ZEBRA CAKES! YOU STAR CRUNCH SUCKER!
Willie Dean holds his hands up and shakes his head at the audience.
Other Guy: Get it how you can, pimpin’. Cause you ain’t getting much else…
Eryk Masters: I don’t know if that’s foreplay or an actual strategic move, but Laura’s posterior got smacked.
Other Guy: Maybe Maddie can teach her proper positioning for the next time that’ll happen in ten years.
Jaime moves back as the crowd gets a bit more alive in this one. There’s the catcalls going around the arena, as a very red Laura Seton tries to go up to him. Jaime keeps walking away from her as she keeps glaring at him. As she catches up to him, she turns him around and gives him the hardest slap known to man!
Eryk Masters: OWWW! Remember, people. Jaime Alejandro just died for our sins, as he did something that I’m sure half the locker room didn’t think he would.
Other Guy: At least when she kills him and cuts off parts, he’s not going to hell unhappy about his life anymore.
Alejandro spits out a bit of blood from that hit and burns a hole right through Seton. She rares back and slaps him again.
Jaime: HIT. ME. AGAIN. I. FUCKING. DARE. YOU.
Laura rares back and slaps him one more time. He keeps staring right at her, and she comes back for another slap, which he blocks with the right arm. As she goes down and tries to show concern, he comes up and delivers a hard chop across her chest.
Eryk Masters: Jaime teaching Laura an important lesson. Pity has no place in the ring.
Other Guy: Neither does love, but did they leave that in the back, too?
Laura tries to keep it together, as she’s now got pain across her backside. Pain across her front side. And her ego isn’t none the better, either. Jaime, though, isn’t looking much better as he’s trying to get that arm going. Laura keeps looking over with a mix of anger and pity. She keeps mouthing to her opponent, “Please, just stop… Please.”
Jaime sees this opportunity and starts to rush towards Laura. As he does, Laura looks up and sees Jaime charging towards her. He goes for a huge clothesline, and nearly tries to take her head off. She spins around in a huge backflip. The crowd looks stunned as Laura lays motionless on the mat from the impact.
Eryk Masters: Oh my god, did you see the velocity from that southpaw clothesline, OG?
Other Guy: I think Laura’s about to wake up into a huge nightmare…
Jaime lumbers over and puts Laura’s legs together into a Step-over toe hold. As he holds, the legs in, Laura shoots up!
Laura: Not the legs!
After this, he pulls back into a Cobra Clutch and locks it in! As Laura struggles for air, he pulls himself back into a seated position!
Eryk Masters: Someone stop this… He could choke the life out of her with that…
Other Guy: ALEJANDRO SPECIAL! That move could kill her, man!
Willie Dean looks at the positioning of the move and then calls for the bell, as he sees that Laura is unable to even respond to his request to give up!
Samantha Coil: Your winner at 15 minutes even! JAIME ALEJANDRO!
Jaime lets go of the move and gets her out of the leg lock. As he does, he holds her up in his arms…
Other Guy: This is wrestling, brother, but sometimes, you do carry the work home with you.
Eryk Masters: Jaime is a fighter, but he’s also a human being most of the time. I think while this was a good win, I don’t know if he feels good about it….
As the announcement is made, both opponents are sitting up in exhaustion. Both are breathing in heavily from the hits they tried to throw at each other. As quickly as they started the match… Both competitors embrace in the middle of the ring.
Laura is still upset over the smack, but also a bit glad he’s not seriously hurt before she has the chance to break his other arm…
Other Guy: I figured this was gonna happen, but what do I know, man.
Eryk Masters: Probably the only way it could’ve ended. At the end of the day, maybe it just is…
We head backstage to where Piper Fury is standing in an open doorway, her back to the camera. Precious is resting comfortably on her left shoulder, but the person she’s talking to is out of the view of the lens. The cameraman tries to get a closer look…
Piper Fury: Are you a hundred percent sure you want to go through with this? You do this, you’re opening Pandora’s Box. I know you’re pissed. I don’t blame you. Hell, I’m not exactly thrilled about the way things went down either. And believe me, he’s going to get what’s coming to him. But I’m trained to deal with shit like this. You’re not-
The cameraman manages to sneak a peak past Piper and sees that she’s talking to Leona, who is visibly infuriated. She’s sitting on one of the metal chairs, a vicious scowl on her face as she listens to her friend. She gets to her feet and grabs a water bottle, throwing it violently against the wall.
Leona: Tell me something, Piper. What the fuck am I supposed to do? Let that bitch get away with what she pulled? To hell with that. We let this slide, you know what that tells the rest of the world? That you and I are fucking doormats. That our bark is worse than our bite. That we’re not willing or able to back up our words. And that is something that I am NOT willing to give anyone. Especially that little skank Sakura. We warned her, Piper. We warned her and look how seriously she took us. But that’s going to change, and it’s going to change right NOW.
Piper shakes her head.
Piper Fury: Mason’s gonna have your head for this, you know.
Leona glares at the six-foot-three Amazon.
Leona: Maybe, but guess what? He’s not here. And you let me worry about Mason. This isn’t Mason’s fight. This is mine. And I will be DAMNED if I’m going to back down. Not from her. Not from anybody. I have HAD IT. Now do you have my back or am I going to do this alone?
Piper Fury: Relax, Lee. You know I’ve got your six. I just want to make sure you know full well what you’re getting yourself into. I’ll back your play. I just don’t want to be catching holy hell from Mason for letting you do this- especially if it doesn’t have the desired result.
Leona grabs her jacket and slides it on.
Leona: Let’s do this.
Leona and Piper exit the dressing room and start making their way down the corridor, a cameraman keeping a safe distance, but following the duo through the curtain and onto the ramp as they make their way toward the ring. Leona has the lead, with Piper following close behind, Precious grasped firmly in her left hand and her eyes scanning the aisle with the intention of heading off any potential sneak attacks.
Eryk Masters: Whoa… someone definitely does NOT look happy tonight. And I’m not just talking about Piper Fury.
Other Guy: No kidding. Leona didn’t have one of the best nights at Reckoning Day. Both of her associates wound up on the losing end of things- including Mason Pierce losing his Rule Of Surrender Championship. And before it was all said and done, Leona wound up getting a piece of the action herself, attacked on multiple occasions. Wanna bet that’s what she’s coming to address?
Eryk Masters: No thanks.
Leona and Piper make their way into the ring. Leona’s got a microphone in her hand and a nasty disposition on her face. The crowd is roaring, and this just seems to irritate her even more.
Leona: Are you DONE? Good, because now maybe you can sit the hell down and shut up, because I have got something to say, and I am damn sure not going anywhere until it is said. I want to refer to what happened at Reckoning Day- namely, during the Sin City contender’s matchup. Apparently there’s a couple of little brain-dead bimbos who seem utterly incapable of heeding a very simple warning. I made it loud and clear. You get involved, there is going to be hell to pay. And sure enough, both of those whores decided to completely ignore me and get involved in things. And if that wasn’t enough, they decided to take a few liberties on yours truly. Now THAT… is absolutely unacceptable behavior. Plain and simple. So it appears to me that I’m going to have to invoke one of the more famous laws of physics. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Fight fire WITH fire.
Leona crosses her arms and takes a deep breath. Piper walks over to her and says something to her out of the range of the microphone. Leona nods and raises the microphone to her lips one more time.
Leona: First off, I’d like to say something to Dan Stein’s little slut.. Molly. Congratulations, bitch. You’ve just put a bullseye on your back- one that your boy-toy can’t get rid of. I would strongly suggest that from this moment forward, you grow eyes in the back of your head, because you will NEVER know when we’re coming for you. The only thing you can bank on is that we WILL take our pound of flesh. There WILL be retribution. And Stein.. I know she’s your little sex kitten, but do yourself a favor- if you see us coming, get the hell out of the way, because we’ve got no problem giving you some too. You won’t know when, you won’t know where. The only thing you can be assured of is that payment is due.. and we WILL collect.
Eryk Masters: Wow.. harsh words coming from Leona. If I were Stein, I’d be keeping his assistant on an awfully short leash. I don’t know if we’ve ever seen Leona this fired up, and when you consider she’s got both Mason Pierce and Piper Fury backing her up, that’s a situation that could become awfully volatile awfully quickly.
Other Guy: It’s not like she didn’t ask for it. You saw the same thing I did- Molly took a few shots at Leona outside the ring. Something like that doesn’t go unpunished. I’m just wondering if she’s going to address the third participant of those little festivities.
Leona: And now we get to the main reason I’m out here. Sakura Lee. Bitch, I fucking WARNED YOU. I don’t know what the hell was going through your head when you decided to completely disregard my very friendly warning. I told you to stay the hell out of things. But you just couldn’t help yourself, could you? Nope. You had to test my resolve. You had to push the red button and see what happens. Well, here you go. Sakura, I am CALLING YOUR ASS OUT RIGHT HERE, RIGHT FUCKING NOW!
The crowd is on its feet now, many eyes heading for the ramp to see if, in fact, Sakura Lee is going to answer the challenge.
They’re not left to wait long as "Love,Hate,Sex,Pain" by Godsmack booms from the speakers and Sakura, decked out in a t-shirt and jeans, emerges from the back, a microphone in her hand. She starts to make her way down, but she’s cut off quickly.
Leona: That’s far enough. Now you stay put and you LISTEN. I told you what was going to happen if you got involved in any way, shape or form in that match. And not only did you completely ignore my warning, you took matters in your own hands and you had the audacity to put your hands on ME. Well, guess what? You want a piece? Fine. Next week. You and me. No Napalm, no Piper, no Mason. One on one. You want to take a cheap shot? Let’s see how brave you are when you have to stare into my eyes and do it. No more sneak attacks. Next week, Sakura. You. Me. Right here. You need to learn a very valuable lesson about how we do things here in America. It’s called taking responsibility for your actions. And I’m ready, willing and able to take you to school and show you.. the hard way.
Sakura then raises the mic.
Sakura: I must admit, Leona, I am quite surprised you would call me down like this. I thought for sure that after the way your little group crumbled at Reckoning Day, you would be taking your time to lick your wounds and regroup. But instead here we are. You stand in the ring and talk about wanting to take me out- about taking me to school, is it? I can assure you, I am quite well-versed in the ways of combat. Contrary to what you might think, I am far from just another pretty face. Allow me to give you a friendly piece of advice. Think long and hard before issuing a challenge like you have- otherwise it might be you who is the one taken to school.
Leona arches an eyebrow, motioning for Sakura to come to the ring and back her words up. However, Sakura realizes that the numbers are definitely not on her side, so she holds her ground.
Sakura: Since you seem so anxious to make this happen, then I suppose there is no other option. Consider your challenge accepted. If you are so anxious to put your health and well-being at risk, I will be more than happy to oblige you. And as for Johnny, I don’t need him to beat you. I am quite capable of doing that all by myself, as you will find out soon enough. Be careful what you wish for, Leona- you never know when you will get it.
Sakura drops the mic as "Love,Hate,Sex,Pain" kicks in again and she walks to the back, followed by the cheers of the crowd.
The camera cuts back to ringside as it does a long pan on the audience, showing all of those crazy and freaky SHOOT fanatics as they await the next match. The lights in the arena suddenly start flashing an alternating color scheme of red and gold as matching confetti starts to fall from the ceiling. Kool and the Gang’s "Celebration" starts to play over the Epicenter’s loudspeakers as a massive pyro explosion goes off at the top of the ramp.
Other Guy: Sweet bejeezus! My heart!
Eryk Masters: What the heck is all this?
At the top of the ramp, two columns of cheerleaders storm out from the back, each wearing a skimpy and low-cut outfit that leaves nothing to the imagination. They start clapping in unison to the beat of the song as two break dancers emerge from the curtain and perform an elaborate dance at the top of the ramp.
Eryk Masters: Just when you think you’ve seen it all here. Is that guy doing The Robot?
Other Guy: That’s actually called The Sprinkler, try and wash the whiteness off once in a while Eryk! The only dance move you ever learned to do was the Truffle Shuffle.
Eryk Masters: It goes over great at weddings.
Other Guy: I bet. CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES, COME ON! COME ON ERYK! DANCE!
Eryk Masters: Thank you, but I’ll pass. I’m still wondering what this is all about…
Other Guy: EVERYONE AROUND THE WORLD…COME ON! WHOO HOOO!
The break dancers finish their impromptu dance performance and start cartwheeling down the ramp as the video screen suddenly starts to crackle to life in the arena. Slowly fading into view is a horrific image from Reckoning Day, one that features a bloody Patrick Kidd draped over the body of his son. The moment the image becomes clear, another huge gold pyro explosion follows as the cheerleaders cast their eyes to the rafters of the arena.
Other Guy: Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s…It’s…
Eryk Masters: Damn it all. It’s Azrael Goeren.
Sure enough, swinging in from a zip line attached to the ceiling is Azrael Goeren, dressed in a neon yellow plaid suit and matching derby hat. He waves at the fans as he swings over them before landing at the top of the ramp where the cheerleaders start popping and locking to the beat. The crowd INSTANTLY turns hostile as the deafening boos begin, but Azrael seems lost in the ecstasy of the moment. He digs into his pocket and lights two sparklers, waving them high above his head as he starts to lead the cheerleaders and break dancers to the ring.
Eryk Masters: I should have known this was a crock. Earlier this week Goeren released a rambling and idiotic press release talking about celebrating a "forced retirement" for Patrick Kidd, I guess this is it. Somebody shoot me.
Other Guy: I don’t know what you’re complaining about, this night just got waaaaaaaaaaaay better! What’s better than hot cheerleaders and groovy music? Hot cheerleaders, groovy music AND our Megastar!
Eryk Masters: Somebody shoot him too.
Azrael dances and struts his way down to the ring as the video screen fades to other various gruesome images from his match against Kidd at Reckoning Day. Each image shows Kidd getting hit with a big move or having his knee crushed, all the while being selective enough not to show the punishment that Goeren received at Kidd’s hands. Goeren finally reaches the ring as the cheerleaders form a square around the ring on the outside, still clapping to the beat and trying to encourage the seething audience to clap along. The break dancers hit the ring and take turns doing various dance moves as Azrael waves out to all of the fans in attendance.
Eryk Masters: I think every time Goeren announces he’s going to be on a show, we should hand out Excedrin to the fans when they enter the gate.
Other Guy: I bet Goeren has a whole mess of pills in his locker room.
Eryk Masters: I don’t doubt that statement for one minute.
The song finally ends with one last "Come On!" as another gold pyro explosion hits and Azrael throws a victorious hand up into the air, prompting even more boos. He calls for a microphone and politely claps as the cheerleaders and break dancers make their way into the back.
Goeren: The Mountain View High School Pep Squad ladies and gentlemen, give them a hand! Remember girls, sleeping with me counts towards your foreign language requirement, so feel free to include that experience on your college transcripts.
Azrael leans up against the corner turnbuckle and smiles out at the audience, wiping his brow with the back of his hand.
Goeren: Damn this is a good feeling! None of you have any idea just how horrible my life has been over the last few months ever since Patrick Kidd weaseled his way into my SHOOT Project.
A big pop from the audience at Kidd’s name.
Goeren: I know, right? We all hate that schweinficker and what he did to yours truly. I mean…everywhere I turned there he was…interfering in my matches, calling me out, attacking me backstage…I damn near went mad due to his little obsession over me. Even worse…those attacks of Kidd’s were completely unprovoked and in no way deserved!
Eryk Masters: PLEASE! Does anyone actually believe the crap that Goeren is spewing right now? He stole Kidd’s son from him!
Azrael leaves the turnbuckle and exhales loudly into the microphone.
Goeren: Thankfully, all of that is in the past. After our match at Reckoning Day, I can finally put Patrick Kidd firmly in the rearview mirror where he belongs, along with all of the other dinosaurs who thought they could make their name at my expense. I can move on with my career…with my beautiful son Michael at my side.
The crowd lets out a disgusted groan as Azrael bats his eyelashes and looks poetically up at the ceiling.
Goeren: I was so proud of my son at the pay-per-view. Did you all see how he snookered Patrick Kidd into tapping out by pretending to cry and be afraid of me? That boy has that devious Goeren blood in his veins, no doubt about it!
Other Guy: I totally saw that Azrael! Give me some money!
Eryk Masters: This is absolutely disgusting, how can you condone Goeren’s actions at Reckoning Day? If Kidd didn’t tap out, Goeren was going to bring a steel chair down on his own son!
Other Guy: That’s not what I saw. I saw Goeren trying to hit Kidd and his son got in the way. I mean…his son "supposedly" got in the way. Wink Wink. Nudge Nudge.
Azrael leans over the top rope and faces the ramp, letting the jeers wash over him one more time. He calmly stands up straight and motions towards the curtain.
Goeren: So then mein freunds, we find ourselves together for a wonderful moment here tonight. I’m ready to accept the words of defeat from Patrick Kidd that I’ve waited years to hear. Wheel your crippled ass down here Kidd and do the right thing. Retire. For good. No backing out of this, no loopholes…it’s time to hang them up for good. After the beating I gave you at Reckoning Day…I know it…you know it…it’s time to leave. Man up for once in your life and do the right fucking thing.
Azrael moves the microphone away from his face and stares down the ramp, looking as anxious as a child on Christmas morning.
Goeren: Come on Kidd, don’t be late to your own funeral. Grow a pair of testicles…er…I mean…re-grow your shattered and useless testicles and get out here!
Goeren makes a show of tapping his foot impatiently, glancing down at his thousand dollar Rolex watch to further his point.
Goeren: I should have known, a coward right up to the…
Out of nowhere the SHOOT Tron roars back to life, showing a Reckoning Day clip of Patrick Kidd collapsing after trying to stand up after the match with Goeren. Azrael looks slightly confused but quickly laughs it off.
Goeren: See Jason Johnson? That’s what happens when you hire pimply-faced interns to run your video production crew. Somebody cut the video, we’re done with that shtick…
Despite Goeren’s demands, the video continues with a picture of Kidd lying bloody in an NAPW ring as Krusty Kid Paul and Tommy Deathrow assault him with chairs. It then flashes to a picture of Kidd handcuffed to a cage and getting his testicles smashed with a hammer in OPW, then to Ledge and Adam Davis throwing him into the windshield of a limo in LEGACY, followed by being thrown through the top of a cage into a pile of burning tables in his infamous Human Torch match with Dropkick Murphy.
A voice is suddenly heard over the video…
Voice: Bones break, blood is spilled, bodies fail…
The video continues with a picture of Goeren swinging a baseball bat at Kidd’s chest as a building burns around them in OPW, it then is followed by the pictures we saw earlier of all the damage Kidd took at the hands of Goeren at Reckoning Day.
Voice: …but it has been said that the Spirit Never Dies!
Goeren, who had been almost smiling at the second montage of Kidd getting severely beaten over the years, suddenly turns red as a more familiar voice is heard.
Kidd: I AIN’T DEAD YET, GOEREN!
A wooden cane pokes out from behind the curtain to the backstage area. Out steps Patrick Kidd sporting two big metal knee braces and a bandage on his head almost looking like a modern day Spirit of 76′. The cane in his hand is familiar to some fans as the same cane he used when he was recovering from his numerous knee and back surgeries after the Human Torch match. The fans explode upon seeing him, starting the familiar "KIDD! KIDD! KIDD" chants almost immediately amidst their raucous cheering.
Kidd: I AIN’T DEAD YET, YOU SON OF A BITCH!
Kidd stands at the top of the ramp looking down at Goeren and his festivities in the ring.
Kidd: Long ago I became a thorn in your side and you’ve done everything in your power to make my life a living hell, but I won’t go away. This is not finished and it will not be until I get what belongs to me. I want two things you freak…my son and my revenge!
Kidd takes a step down the ramp but Azrael quickly gets on the mic and starts screaming at the top of his lungs back at him.
Goeren: Du dummer hahn saugen sohn einer hündin! STOP! You can’t fucking touch me outside of a match, remember?! That restraining order is still in effect! Security! STOP HIM!
Kidd: At Reckoning Day it took all of your goons to take me down and yet you still could not beat me.
Goeren: You tapped out you drooling man-child, or did you forget that after the fifteenth concussion I gave you?
Kidd takes a couple more steps and stops halfway down the ramp.
Kidd: You didn’t beat me in that ring, I beat myself. You used my son Mikey as a pawn and I would not risk you doing even more harm to him. I’ve known you many years, but I still didn’t know deep in my heart if you were monster enough to swing that chair and I wouldn’t take the risk. I tapped out, but I didn’t give up.
The crowd pops big time once more, the "Kidd" chant looking like it’s really getting to Goeren. Azrael rips his hat off and tears it apart in anger, clawing at his face as he lets out a feral yell towards the ramp.
Kidd: You will never get rid of me Goeren, not until I get what I want. So since you like to have other people do your dirty work for you, I’m going to throw down a challenge. At Revolution 93 we have ourselves a tag match. You go find one of your buddies, and I’ll go find one of mine and everyone else is banned from ringside. I’m sure there are dozens of people who would volunteer to join me in beating your ass. Maybe Johnny Napalm, Trey Willett, or Donovan King. Hell maybe I’ll call Marc Stanton, I think I still have his number in the old cell phone.
Goeren: WHY WONT YOU JUST FUCKING DIE ALREADY?! HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO BEAT YOU, KIDD?! HOW MANY TIMES BEFORE YOU LEAVE ME ALONE?!
Kidd reaches down and unhooks the knee braces, leaving them on the ramp as Goeren continues to rant and rave. He looks to have completely lost it in the ring, tearing at his clothes in a frenzy. Goeren breathes erratically in the microphone, looking completely unhinged.
Goeren: You want your tag-match, Kidd? You want another opportunity to get humiliated?
Another sick exhale into the mic.
Goeren: You’ve got it.
Another big cheer from the SHOOT fans in attendance. Azrael has not taken his eyes off Kidd since he interupted him, but he suddenly lowers his head so its resting on the top rope. Azrael hunches over the rope, his shoulders shaking almost as if he’s uncontrollably laughing or crying. He raises his head up slightly, peering back at Kidd. He speaks slowly, almost dreading each word that he utters.
Goeren: Just know that you forced me to do this to you. You forced me to use my end game in order to achieve yours. You brought this on yourself Kidd. God help you…you just killed SHOOT.
Azrael lowers his head against the top rope again, looking like he’s completely lost it. Kidd smiles at Azrael’s apparent mental breakdown in the ring and drops the cane, leaving it on the top of the ramp next to his braces. He smiles at Goeren accepting the match then turns and limps back up the ramp before disappearing behind the curtain. Azrael does not move for a few moments before slowly exiting the ring, a strange vacant stare painted across his face as he exits ringside.
Eryk Masters: There you have it everyone, at Revolution 93 we’ll have ourselves a tag team grudge match between Azrael Goeren and Patrick Kidd! Azrael is obviously going to turn to the Hierarchy for his partner, but who will Kidd pick to watch his back?
Other Guy: I’m really worried about Azrael. I think the stress of constantly fighting off Kidd has finally gotten to him…
Eryk Masters: He did look broken, didn’t he?
Other Guy: There is bad juju in the air, man. Bad juju all around…
Slowly the image of Thomas Manchester Black appears on screen. He slowly walks towards the camera as the beginning rif of “Electric Worry” begins. As the song begins TMB pushes past the camera.
“Well you made me weep
And you made me moan
When you caused me to leave child
My happy home “
TMB: Let’s talk about truth. The truth of the matter is there is a lot of guys that don’t like me in the back. They don’t like me because I have a rep. A rep that says I’m hard to work with. That I don’t tow the line. That it is only a matter of time before I fade away.
TMB: But I refuse to fall along the wayside. And no matter how many waves crush against me…I will not be brushed off the shore. Having SHOOT close down on me when I first signed a contract with them didn’t shake me. Being the ONLY technical wrestler in that hardcore wasteland known as the OPW did not shake me. Getting dragged from a jail cell to make a sickly champion look as if he was a threat again didn’t shake me. And being close to becoming a break out star to only have SHOOT close on me again…did not shake me.
Images flash from TMB’s beginnings. Everything from his contract signing in SHOOT before the company closed to his Appearing in OPW. You see his matches with such stars like Ledge and Pestalance. These images fades into the news report of TMB getting arrested after a fight in a strip club and blends into TMB’s release back into0 SHOOT at the side of Jonny Johnson.
TMB: Having to cut my teeth over in Legacy with wrestlers who couldn’t tie my fucking boots on my worse day didn’t shake me. Getting screwed because I didn’t sweat their resident monster…didn’t shake me. Having to make Chris Turner look like a actual credit in the ring didn’t shake me. When I left to return to SHOOT and ended up having to face off with a relic from a time in SHOOT that many would want to forget…it didn’t shake me.
“But someday baby
You aint worry my life anymore”
TMB: Facing the man many thought would guide SHOOT into the future didn’t shake me. Teaming with two has beens looking for a instant jump into the spotlight, didn’t shake me. I am a fucking survivor. And I’ve learn that each time you fall, you don’t just get back up…you get back up more pissed off and more violent then you did before.
Suddenly the picture of Jaime Alejandro comes up. Clips of Jamie and TMB when they were friends. I knife cuts through the clips.
TMB: So you wanna mention my name. You wanna talk about things I did to insure a paycheck. Heh…I didn’t see you around when I was trying to claw my way back to where I was before you returned. But we don’t talk about that. We don’t talk about how you got your ass kicked and I was the only one taking up the fight in your honor. I was the one facing three madmen. Btu when I needed a hand…you where nowhere to be found. Out of respect for what was once a bond, I’ll tell you this…speak my name again and I swear what has been done to you, will be nothing compared to what I will do to you.
“I get satisfaction
Everywhere I go
Where I lay my head
Thats where I call home
Whether barren pines
Or the mission stair
Take tomorrows collar
And give em back the glare”
TMB: With that being said..I’ve missed you SHOOT…maybe I shouldn’t of left you alone…maybe I should have had a better hand in molding you. I promise to fix that mistake. I promise to show you the dark inside of my heart and make sure once I wrap these hands around your neck…
TMB: I will never let go…
TMB: Trust me…
The scene fades as TMB pushes back past he camera as everything goes black.
The cameras take in the stands, showing the massive Epicenter crowd from a variety of different angles. With shutter-like clicks, the lights begin to snap off in the arena, one section after another. The excitement builds among the fanbase, and everyone looks to ramp in anticipation of what could be coming.
“Send For The Man” by AC/DC pours out of the audio system, and a collective ROAR of approval comes from the crowd, many people jumping up to their feet and cheering at the top of their lungs.
Eryk Masters: HE’S BACK?!?! Diamond Del Carver is BACK already?!? Let’s hope he’s back to KICK some ass!!
Low lighting appears at the top of the ramp, and “Diamond Del Carver” rolls out from behind the curtains in a wheelchair. There’s another preemptive pop from the capacity crowd, but when the spotlight finally shines on “Del”…those cheers turn to earth-shattering boos!
Entragian is hunched over in the wheelchair, and he’s bedecked in an outfit resembling that of The Hardcore Outlaw. He wears a gray wig, a black eye patch, and the trademark “RUN DDC” t-shirt. There’s a plastic Sheriff badge clipped to the shirt, and a pair of plastic six shooters on holsters along Isaac’s hips. The outfit is completed by a pair of Del’s shit-kicker motorcycle boots.
Eryk Masters: What the hell is this?? Hasn’t this man done enough to Diamond Del Carver? He’s drawing blood from a turnip at this point!
The SHOOT Video Wall starts to broadcast images of Carver bloodied and battered, along with still shots of Alyssa kicking DDC in the groin and those salty tears dripping down his wrinkly cheeks. “Send For The Man” snaps off, and Elvis Presley’s voice starts to blare out of the audio system, singing that old classic…”Devil In Disguise.”
Red and blue strobe lights start to flash through the arena, and a group of tattooed showgirls emerge from the back. The girls wear elaborate costumes with feathered boas and fishnet stockings, and they line up on either side of Entragian’s wheelchair.
An ugly little midget waddles out from the back, dressed in a vile mockery of Cupid, and he starts to dance and twirl among the showgirls.
One final participant emerges from the back, much to the dismay of the crowd. Alyssa Brower, wearing a pure white gown and an angel halo complete with a pair of fluffy angel wings. She flutters over to Isaac’s side, that self-righteous smirk riding high on her face.
Eryk Masters: This is vile. That woman is ANYTHING but an angel.
Other Guy: I’m kinda getting into this…feels like a traditional Las Vegas show!
Eryk Masters: Are you serious right now?
Entragian brings out a microphone from his wheelchair, and he starts to lip sing along with Elvis’s voice. The showgirls start kicking their legs towards the heavens, and the hideous little Cupid starts to shoot heart arrows towards “DDC” & Alyssa.
“You look like an angel.”
“Walk like an angel.”
“Talk like an angel.”
Entragian stares right at Alyssa while she sings, and she flutters her eyelashes in response.
“But I got wise.”
“You’re the devil in disguise!”
The very second Entragian lip sings this line, Alyssa RIPS off the angel gown and the wings and the halo, and what’s underneath is a ridiculously skimpy red Devil costume complete with horns and a pair red high heel shoes.
Eryk Masters: Jesus Christ. May be I be excused to blow my own brains out? It’s a better option than sitting through this.
Other Guy: Shut up, Eryk!! This is ELVIS we’re hearing!! Respect THE KING!!
“Oh yes you are!”
The crowd is booing at maximum volume at this point, almost overriding Elvis’s voice completely. Alyssa goes over and plops herself into Entragian’s lap in the wheelchair, and he squeezes a handful of one bare thigh.
“You fooled me with your kisses.”
“You cheated and you schemed.”
“Heaven knows how you lied to me…”
Alyssa shrugs her shoulders while smirking.
“You’re not the way you seemed!”
Isaac starts to wildly spin around in the wheelchair now, practically popping wheelies with the thing. He speeds down the ramp while keeping pace with the song.
“You’re the devil in disguise.”
“Oh yes you are!”
“Devil in disguise.”
The wheelchair slams into the apron, and Entragian & Alyssa pop out of it and start to make their way into the ring. Entragian limps his way through the ropes, and then turns to the crowd with that shit-eating grin spreading even wider across his face.
“I thought that I was in heaven.”
“But I was sure surprised”
“Heaven help me, I didn’t see.”
“The devil in your eyes.”
The cameras zoom in on Alyssa Brower’s eyes, and the heartlessness to be seen there runs bone-deep. The song immediately cuts out and fades away, leaving Entragian & Alyssa in the ring.
Entragian starts to remove the DDC costume, working slowly with it. He rips the t-shirt off. He plucks the Sheriff’s badge off and throws it into the crowd along with the plastic gun belt. Next he snaps off the eye patch, and he removes the gray wig and stomps on it.
The crowd has become unglued at this point, making no effort to conceal their hatred for this man, and he responds by bringing the microphone up to his grinning lips.
Entragian: Well geez…you folks sound SO upset. I figured you’d be happy to hear Diamond Del Carver’s music hit one last time. And make no mistake about it, this is the last time you’ll hear it. I’ve taken the liberty of assuring that.
Isaac spares Alyssa a glance, and she smiles brightly with her hands on her hips.
Entragian: The LEGEND of Diamond Del Carver is no more. The SHERIFF has left town, ladies and gents. I’m the law in SHOOT Project now. This is the Age of Entragian. The land of SCAR. And those that defy me…will be met with swift suffering.
Isaac reaches down, and he caresses the Iron Fist Championship wrapped around his waist.
Entragian: What started in the Redemption Rumble ended at Reckoning Day. Carver paid for his sins. He lost everything that mattered to him because he made the unforgivable mistake of…crossing me. He made his choice. He dug his own hole, and I buried him in it. I filled his lungs up with dirt, and I placed him in the deepest, darkest funeral plot I could possibly create for a man. You people will never understand how incredible it feels to hold a man’s heart in your hand, and then crush it into oblivion…
The booing intensifies, but Isaac rails on regardless.
Entragian: Love is a hollow sentiment. Easily destroyed. Something like love can never last. Why seek out love….when you can seek out glory? That’s the difference between Carver and I. That’s what lead to his downfall. He has a heart. I don’t. But I’ll tell you what I do have, and that’s an instinctual lust for power.
Isaac unsnaps the Iron Fist title from around his waist, and he raises this as high into the air as he can.
Entragian: THIS is power in raw, molten form. The Iron Fist Championship. A title that has stood as a witness to great battles and great bloodshed. You look at the other titles in SHOOT, and you realize something. In most divisions, all you have to do is keep your opponent down for three seconds to win. But if you want to rule the Iron Fist? You gotta keep an opponent down for TEN seconds. Now that’s what I like to call a challenge…
Entragian goes over to one of the turnbuckles, and he ascends to the top while holding his Iron Fist title up for the whole world to see.
Entragian: And speaking of challenges, I want EVERY fucking challenge I can get while I’m holding this belt. I want every man and woman in the back to take notice of this prize, and I encourage anyone with a set of nuts or an oversized labia to come right the fuck on and GET SOME. SCAR’s hellmouth is always open, and I’m always ready to pile the carcasses like cordwood in the name of Iron Fist competion.
Alyssa softly applauds in the background, and Isaac pauses to drape the Iron Fist title over one mammoth shoulder.
Entragian: I know there are men and women on this roster that respected and admired Diamond Del Carver. I’m sure there are plenty of people back there who are just APPALLED by the fate that befell that sorry old son of a bitch. The true question is….does there happen to be anyone back there with the gravel in his or her guts to actually DO SOMETHING about it?
Entragian grins that grin, and he chuckles while looking directly in the camera.
Entragian: I guess we’ll find out in the coming weeks, won’t we? Let’s hope I can find a lion among the lambs…
The scene fades on that atrociously smug grin.
I can almost taste it…
It makes no sense to me…
What does it all mean?!
The fans instantly begin to boo.
I can almost taste it…
I can almost see it!
It makes no sense to me…
What does it all mean?!
Eryk Masters: God, this song is annoying.
I can almost taste it…
I JUST WANNA BE FAMOUS!
“Almost Famous” by Eminem featuring Lisa Rodriguez kicks in as Cade Sydal steps out, Cassi Ryan in tow. She has a microphone in her hand and behind the both of them comes Chance Ryan. Ryan is dressed for war, and Cade nods his head to his song. Behind the two of them comes Sam Gideon. Cassi begins to speak to the fans.
Cassi Ryan: Ladies and gentlemen! May I have everyone’s attention? What you have here is a team united! A team that rivals the majesty of the greatest tag teams in history! I’m talking better than The Flying Avengers! Better than Teknikal X2C! Better than D & C! Tonight, these two symbols of perfection team up for the first time to bestow upon each and every one of you here the glory that is their combined might!
The four of them walk down to the ring, Cassi backing off so that Chance and Cade may walk side by side.
Cassi Ryan: They are concentrated perfection! A Wrestling God and a Wrestling Jesus! They are the evolution that killed the Old West, the mountain no one can climb! They were a brotherhood before it was hip! They are…THE SINISTER SYNDICATE…CHANCE RYAN…AND CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAADE SYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYDAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL!!
Other Guy: The evolution that killed the Old West?
Eryk Masters: An insult to cowboy hat wearing Buck Dresden.
Other Guy: And the mountain thing?
Eryk Masters: Magnus climbs mountains. Right?
Other Guy: Oh yeah!
The two of them stand in the middle of the ring as Gideon and Cassi saunter over to their corner. Chance bounces from one foot to the other while Cade smirks as the thumping and galloping kicks in. As the song builds, the fans begin to cheer.
Eryk Masters: Hey, didn’t Diamond Del Carver use this song?
I’M BACK!! I’M BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN!
“Back in the Saddle Again” by Aerosmith causes a HUGE burst of pyro as out from the back come the SHOOT Project World Tag Team Champions, BUCK DRESDEN AND CHARLES BRANDON MAGNUS…THE BAD ASS BROTHERHOOD.
Other Guy: I heard they’ve taken the time away to refocus their team. Then they saw that Diamond Del Carver got taken out and they wanted to pay respects to the bad asses who came before them…and none are quite as bad ass as our former Sherriff!
Magnus slaps his chest as he points to the camera. Buck nods his head to the song. They march to the ring side by side as Samantha Coil introduces them.
Samantha Coil: And their opponents…hailing from right here in LAS VEGAS, NEVADA!
Other Guy: Oooh, cheap pop!
Samantha Coil: They are the longest reigning champions in SHOOT Project history…they are YOUR SHOOT Project Tag Team of the Year for TWO years straight…they are the SHOOT Project World Tag Team Champions…THE BAD…ASS…BROTHERHOOD!!
Buck and Magnus leap up to the ring apron, taking off their matching black leather biker vests, Buck removing his hat and handing it to a ringside attendant. Magnus and Buck unbuckle their World Tag Team Championship belts and hand them off to Austin Linam, who show them to Cade and Chance before handing them off to Samantha Coil. Linam orders the bell to ring and we are off!
Eryk Masters: The Bad Ass Brotherhood have changed their demeanor a little bit, as you might be able to see with the DDC shirt Magnus had on or the fingerless gloves. Both men apparently went to Japan and educated themselves in what they call the “Art of Bad Ass”, and want to pay homage to the bad asses of yesteryear.
Other Guy: Then they’d better be ready to worship at the altar of the quintessential bad ass, Cade Sydal! His shin has been kissed more times than Buck Dresden can even count!
We start out with Chance and Magnus, the two larger of the teams. Magnus and Chance lock up and Chance quickly throws a knee up to Magnus’s midsection. He whips Magnus to the ropes and catches him with a hip toss, but Magnus manages to land on his feet! Chance gets stunned and Magnus quickly catches him with a shoulder block! Chance lands on the mat and Magnus bounces off of the ropes to hit him with a diving knee drop, but Chance rolls away and makes the tag to Cade! Cade rushes at Magnus, but Magnus keeps the momentum alive and whips Cade to the corner, but Cade leaps to the middle turnbuckle and leaps off, connecting with a backward spinning elbow smash! Magnus is dropped to the mat and Cade grabs Magnus’s arm and wraps him up in a La Majistral Cradle!
Magnus shakes his head and reaches for a tag to Buck, but Cade leaps up and nails a double foot stomp to the back of his head! Cade picks him up and whips him over to the SS corner. Chance grabs Magnus and holds him steady as Cade marches in. Buck leaves his corner, but Linam stops him. Cade motions to Gideon to get up on the ring apron and hold Magnus as Chance gets in the ring, the two of them pounding on Magnus! The fans boo loudly as they work him over. Gideon drops down to the ringside area quickly as Chance gets back to the ring apron. Austin Linam is back on the case as Magnus drops to his knees.
Eryk Masters: Oh come on! Seriously?!
Cade runs to the opposite end of the ring and he rushes back towards Magnus and nails a HARD dropkick to Magnus’s face! Magnus flops to the mat and Cade rolls the far leg!
Cade shakes his head, laughing at Magnus’s resilience. He tags Chance back in as the protégé leaps in quickly. The two men pick Magnus up and whip him to the ropes. As he comes back, Chance hits him with a hip toss that Cade turns into a converted power bomb!
Other Guy: Cade hits that sweet power bomb after Chance Ryan throws Magnus head over heels to the mat!
Chance rolls Magnus up for a pin!
Chance laughs, but his laughing is cut abruptly as he sees Cade shaking his head. Cade turns and mouths to Cassi about Chance not getting Magnus down for a pin.
Eryk Masters: Even in the middle of a title match, Cade can’t help but look down on each and every single person around him, even his own partner!
Chance picks Magnus up and he whips him to the ropes. He runs to the ropes and catches himself! Chance is bent over, ready for a back body drop, but Magnus tags in Buck Dresden! Magnus waits for Buck to get in the ring, then both men bounce off of the ropes and rush at Chance! Chances looks up as Magnus DRILLS him with a spear RIGHT when Buck LEVELS him with a Lariat!
Eryk Masters: That’s a Diamond Line and a Killshot!
Other Guy: They call it the Indoctrination!
Magnus quickly attacks Cade and knocks him off of the apron! Magnus begins to walk back towards his corner as Buck hooks Ryan’s leg!
NO! Cassi puts her brother’s foot on the bottom rope! She claps as she points to her brother’s foot as a symbol of his tenacity. Magnus shakes his head as Buck picks Chance up and punches him HARD in the face once…twice…THREE TIMES A LADY! Chance staggers around and Buck lines him up…and HE CATCHES CHANCE RYAN IN A BUCK SHOT!!
Eryk Masters: OOH! CHANCE IS DONE!
On the outside of the ring, Cade demands Gideon hand him a steel chair. Gideon snatches a steel chair away from Mark Kendrick and shoves the time keeper down. He reaches up to hand the steel chair to Cade as Buck covers for the pin!
Cade NAILS Buck in his back with the steel chair! Austin Linam tries to warn Cade one time and Cade ignores him, NAILING Buck in the back with a steel chair again! Linam has no choice but to call for the bell!
Samantha Coil: Your winners tonight as a result of a disqualification…The BAD…ASS…BROTHERHOOD!!!
Magnus rushes at Cade and ducks under the swinging steel chair! Cade spins around, but Magnus catches him with a gutwrench power bomb, trying for his Scorched Earth Power Bomb! However, he gets clubbed from behind by Sam Gideon! Magnus releases Cade and kicks Gideon in the midsection and hooks him up…and DRILLS him with the Scorched Earth! Gideon clutches his back but Cade NAILS Magnus with the Ninjaguiri! Both members of the Bad Ass Brotherhood are out cold on the mat as Cade sits back on his knees. Cassi reaches in with a microphone she gives him as he sits there…Gideon hurt on one side of him, Chance Ryan coming to, Buck in pain, and Magnus freshly out cold.
Cade Sydal: It’s nothing personal, boys.
Cade Sydal: Those titles…just belong…to US.
Cade rolls from the ring as he embraces Cassi Ryan on the outside. “Almost Famous” kicks back up as the boos rain down.
Eryk Masters: The titles belong to us? Sounds more like Cade Sydal cares about the titles belonging to him!
Other Guy: Well, Cade Sydal is a future hall of famer, a leader of men, and no matter how annoying he can be…you know the match isn’t lying when he calls himself a Messiah!
The Sinister Syndicate picks themselves up and leaves the ringside area as they leave Buck Dresden, who is now sitting up and glaring at the lot of them while Magnus is still relatively unconscious.
Snow falls over the woods as the camera pans to focus on a classic stave church. A priest closes the door, and the scene cuts to the inside of the church, as the priest walks around putting out candles. He hums to himself a classic polka song, adjusting some of the pews. He continues tidying up, blowing out more candles, and then pulls the curtains over the highest window. Suddenly…
The priest looks up, shocked, and finds all of the stained glass windows being smashed in. He screams and runs to one, and the screen goes black as a fist clad in a black leather glove swings towards the priest’s face.
Man: Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.
Cut to Corey Lazarus walking down the streets of Oslo, clad in all black. He speaks through voice-over as he enters a storefront marked "HEL."
Corey Lazarus (V.O.) What we’ve done here, my friends, is started our plan to reignite the spark that was lost decades ago.
He stands in the center of a dimly lit room with others also clad in all black, some of them wearing the traditional black and white facepaint of the vikings known as "corpsepaint." Cut to Corey and Rooney Mara making love.
Corey Lazarus (V.O.) Our elders and our ancients fought the war and lost, but us?
Cut to Corey and Jeremy Renner running down snow-covered city streets as police officers pursue them, their faces also covered in corpsepaint. Cut to a band wearing all black, headbanging, donned with corpsepaint, playing at an underground club. Cut to Corey shoving his way through the crowd, blood covering his face.
Corey Lazarus (V.O.) We have a winning plan.
Cut to Corey holding a pistol to Rooney Mara’s throat. Cut to a fistfight between Jeremy Renner and Joseph Gordon Levitt. Cut to Guy Pearce clearing off a desk with one quick swipe of his arm before throwing his police badge across the room. Cut to Jeremy Renner and Guy Pearce staring each other down.
Corey Lazarus (V.O.) We can’t lose.
Cut to churches burning. Dozens of them.
Corey Lazarus (V.O.) We will drive them out much as our warrior ancestors drove out their enemies centuries ago.
Cut to Corey Lazarus standing in the center of the dimly lit room again, a devilish grin forming on his face as he holds up a fist.
Corey Lazarus: HAIL SATAN!!!
The others throw their fists up in unison…
Crowd: HAIL SATAN!!!
Cut to an all black background as white Olde English text appears in the center.
THE BLACK CIRCLE
A pentagram quickly bursts into flames behind the title. Beneath it bleeds the words "IN THEATERS APRIL 6TH." The scene fades…
Eryk Masters: Ladies and gentlemen I’m being told that now we are going to be joined live via satellite by Tanya Black who is at home in Boston.
Other Guy: Last time we saw Tanya she looked like her world was over and the reports that she left her wrestling gear behind is being taken as a symbolic I Quit. What is going on here? I demand answers! She should tweet constantly like a normal celebrity. Justin Bieber never lets me down.
Eryk Masters: Stop checking Twitter during the show. You’re embarrassing me again.
The feed cuts in and we see a very somber looking Tanya Black sitting in her living room, wearing a simple white tank top and blue jeans as she looks at the camera and waits to make sure the feed is live.
Tanya: Hello everybody. I assume you can hear me properly.
Eryk Masters: Yes we can. Miss Black can you explain why you requested this time? And why you aren’t here in person?
Tanya: Well it’s all wrapped up in the same thing. I know some fans thought that I tried to monopolize the Sin City Title but I did what I was taught to do: Place value in a championship, regardless of it being a World Title or not. I took Jason Johnson’s offer to compete here in SHOOT Project because I thought if, given enough time, I could even compete for a SHOOT title then I would have proven something to myself and the fans. That I was one of the best in the industry because earning a title shot here, let alone winning a championship, is a major feather in anybody’s cap.
Eryk Masters: I agree with that and you immediately picked up the Sin City Title. You accomplished that goal.
Tanya: That’s true. People like to forget that my first night here, I was respectful. I didn’t demand anything but a place on the card. All I wanted was to compete against anybody in SHOOT Project that would wrestle me so that I could earn everything I had. Earn my stripes, earn my title shots, climb that ladder one rung at a time. No one cared. I was scorned. I was hated. It hurt to be told that my talk meant nothing because I wasn’t wanted here. I was expected to crap out after a couple matches because I wasn’t from the right places, I didn’t even have the right mentors.
Other Guy: Yeah the Hierarchy can be cruel like that.
Tanya: Actually I was referring to Jaime Alejandro who thinks he and his clique have the trademark on being "Loyal SHOOT Soldiers" who fight the good fight. When you look at how many times the "good guys", how often the "role models" of SHOOT Project refused to give me a fair chance when all I did was ask for fair competition to prove myself, no one should surprised I stopped kissing ass.
It is painful to be told by road agents and front office people that "these guys are the ones you should act like" and yet those guys, not the ones you two label as hateful villains, are the ones who tell me "You aren’t worth anything because you aren’t Sinnocence" and "Well you haven’t beaten anybody important and you never will have my respect because you aren’t Ainsley Lake". That would be like if I was some A-List Hollywood actor and told Will Smith he will never be important because he isn’t Denzel Washington or Morgan Freeman. Seriously, that’s hateful isn’t it? How many times did Luna tell me that? More than once. And yet he’s a "hero" here in SHOOT Project.
Eryk: Well ah there is always two sides to every story. Let’s focus on what happened at Reckoning Day.
Other Guy: Yeah. I mean you had a chance to regain the Sin City Championship and well failed on SHOOT Projet’s biggest stage. Your chance for Immortality was dashed.
Tanya gets a very sad look on her face as she thinks about that. Distracting herself by playing with her hair for a moment, Tanya fakes a smile and composes herself as the fans and commentators watch and wait.
Tanya: Yeah I lost. I wouldn’t say Luna beat me though…. Here’s the thing. I was a better wrestler than Luna. Being in the ring with him twice and being as smart as I am has shown me that. Go back and watch the match. I should have won. Any idiot can see that. Every advantage he had over me was because I made stupid mistakes and got emotional. I gave him openings I didn’t need to. I wasn’t wrestling like the Tanya Black who is more than capable of winning the Sin City Championship and that is all on me. I may not feel the urge to compete against him again right now or maybe ever again, but rest assured if I know anything I know this: I beat myself and Luna simply took advantage.
But that doesn’t matter. None of it does. Because that was my one shot. No matter what you two or the guys backstage who can’t see past "The Circle" think all I ever did for a year was hold the championship and cash in my one traditional "guaranteed rematch" any time I lost the belt. If you as a wrestler don’t believe in settling things in your mind that’s fine. I do believe in making sure there is no unfinished business.
Eryk Masters: Well with that quote I have to ask. Does that mean if you had lost to Laura Seton in the street fight many months ago then you would have moved on to other things?
Tanya: Exactly but that didn’t happen and we all know why. Laura has always been weak. She does not have the mentality for this business. Not at this level.
Other Guy: Well just ask Lunatikk Crippler for another match if you believe that his talent didn’t win the match, but your own mistakes.
Tanya: That won’t happen and you know it. Halfway through things Luna started acting like he was in control. He acted like he gave me a free match because he’s such a nice guy. But that’s bullshit. Listen to what I’ve said. I had a title shot before his reign even began. I fired the first shot. He had no choice in the matter, but Luna like Laura before him had to protect his phony image. So he pretends he gave me something. But now that my one shot is over I’m not getting another one. Jason Johnson won’t hand me anything because I’m not an old man who got led around by his penis for months. There’s already a new number one contender. There is already Jester Smiles standing in the background to do god knows what to Luna.
I’m out. I’m done. And I can’t stand it.
The fans begin giving off mixed reactions to what they are hearing. Not liking how Tanya Black speaks about certain people but also hearing the defeat in her voice, knowing she is honestly upset about failing herself and her dreams.
Eryk Masters: That’s all important to consider but I feel like there is something missing from your explanation. What aren’t you telling us?
Tanya takes a moment to compose herself before continuing her speech, lighting a cigarette she puffs on it to calm herself down.
Tanya: I am like many people in this world Catholic. I may not a perfect Catholic but I believe in God’s Grace. I believe he guides us and has a plan for all of us. When I lost my debut match, then won a title match where the rules were quite literally written to guarantee my loss I knew that was a sign from above. Beating Laura, no more accurately, being set against Laura Seton who is someone I could easily mentally and spiritually conquer to do something record-breaking by winning the belt back cemented in my mind a vision. Sin City was my division. I would give it an identity and reign over it. Losing to Maya was hard but I was sure it was all meant to be. That winning the belt back would prove nothing could keep us apart, that the Sin City Championship and Tanya Black were one.
Looking on the verge of tears Tanya stops talking and hides her face for a moment. Composing herself Tanya speaks again.
Tanya: I was wrong. God doesn’t have a path for me here in SHOOT Project. I understood that when the match was over. If I was wrong about what I was meant to do here in SHOOT, I must have been wrong about a lot of things. That’s a sobering thought. Giving the timing of the loss, it’s pretty clear to me that one of those wrongs must have been signing with SHOOT Project at all.
Other Guy: What does that mean? It’s not like you are going to get fired over a Pay Per View loss!
Tanya: No but the next best thing. My contract expires at Revolution 92. If I don’t resign that night, I have no job. I’ll be in Las Vegas that night, I’ll wrestle if Jason Johnson wants me to. He wants me to wait until the show is over to make my final decision, nice guy that way. It’s good business not to bail on someone too soon. I don’t know what will happen that night, but I do know one thing. I am leaving things up to the moment. We’ll see what bounty Fate provides me.
With that Tanya reaches over and kills the feed causing the fans to sit in silence for a moment as they come to understand what she has said. With that the camera slowly pans back to Eryk Masters and Other Guy at the commentator’s table.
Eryk Masters: Well ladies and gentlemen we have our answers. It seems events are rapidly coming together to put Tanya Black in a place where she is questioning her every professional decision.
Other Guy: Even if she resigns, this could mean a new Tanya. Could the days of the Sinister Syndicate be over already?
One by one the lights in the epicenter shut off, causing the fans to get just a tad bit excited. As the final lights shut off near the SHOOT-tron, the fans begin to get a little bit louder. As the moments tick on, and more and more cell phones are lighting up the arena, the sound of one voice can be heard over the PA system.
Samantha Coil: Ladies and Gentlemen, ‘The Midnight Show’!
The announcement causes the arena to erupt in a sea of boos. With the lights still off, Gym Class Heroes “Viva La White Girl” plays over the PA system. The slow beat of the song is exaggerated by the light blue and gold spotlights dancing around the arena. Out from the backstage area, into a stage of smoke and blue aura lighting walks Dan Stein, wearing a pair of Dolce sunglasses, a black suit jacket and his wrestling trunks. Accompanying Stein to the ring is the lovely Ms. Molly, his assistant. Stein saunters down to the ring in time with the song ignoring the fans and waiting for Molly to hold the rope up for him to duck under.
Stein walks to the center of the ring, which conveniently has a microphone stand in the middle of it, as well as the blue “Midnight Show” logo, which is essentially just the initials MS over a silhouette of Dan. Stein smiles out to the crowd, which still boos as he takes the microphone from the stand.
Dan Stein: Thank you. Thank you, thank you ALL very, very much for that warm welcoming.
Stein smiles, moving the microphone stand off to the side of the ring as the lights start to slowly come back alive, the fog at the top of the stage dissipating.
Dan Stein: Tonight’s Dan Stein Presents ‘Midnight Show’ is very special – as I’m sure you’ll all agree. My guest, while unimportant and aged like a fine wine, is a self-proclaimed SHOOT Project Icon. He damn well could be the oldest member on the roster…
Stein looks out to the crowd as the fan’s minds are drawn to one man, causing them to erupt in cheers.
Dan Stein: Oh… you thought I meant Del Carver? Ahaha… no.
Stein smirks, looking over at Molly. Shaking his head, Stein puts the microphone back to his mouth.
Dan Stein: No, but we’ll get to who the man – and I do mean man – truly is. But first, more important things. Things that everyone could get behind. Things that… make me happy.
That damn smirk crosses back over his face as the fans show their absolute disdain.
Dan Stein: The main reason why I brought you lucky fans the latest installment of Dan Stein’s ‘The Midnight Show’, isn’t to pay homage to a ‘living legend’. I wanted to bring you something better, something that you actually wanted to see: Myself. I wanted to give you all this time to show your satisfaction knowing that I, Dan Stein, am your future SHOOT Project Sin City Champion. So please…take this time to show me just how much you appreciate what I do for you, each and every week here in SHOOT Project.
As the fans erupt in boos, Stein puts the microphone back to his mouth, saying quietly:
Dan Stein: Say ‘boo’ if you hate Lunatikk Crippler.
The few fans that catch what Stein said erupt into cheers, causing Stein to point out at them and smile.
Dan Stein: See! See! You do love me!
Stein smirks as the fans out in the crowd begin to grow confused. Throwing his hands into the air, Stein bats at them to shut them up.
Dan Stein: Fine, fine. As much as I know you’d ALL love to sit and look at me all night long, let’s move this thing along. Introducing my guest at this time. The one. The only…
Before Stein can reveal his guest all the lights in the arena go out. An explosion at the top of the ramp causes all the lights in the epicenter to turn red as “Full Nelson” by Redman blasts through the arena. As a ‘Firestarter’ chant picks up throughout the arena, Rande’ makes his way from the back. He adjusts the New York Giants cap on his head before he scans the arena. After a few seconds, he nods his head in approval and makes his way toward the ring. The lights return to normal allowing us to see a halfhearted smile on the face of Stein as Rande’ rolls under the rope and gets to his feet with mic in hand. Once Rande’ gets to the center of the ring, he stretches his arms out bathing in the cheers from the fans.
Stein puts the microphone to his mouth, quickly, causing Rande’s attention to drift to him.
Dan Stein: Oh, that’s right. How’s it hanging, Firestarter?
Rande’ looks down at his crotch and back up at Stein.
Rande’: Bout halfway down my thigh.
Rande’ glances over to Ms. Molly and nods his head with a smile. Stein looks at Molly, then back to Rande’, frustrated. The fans are electric at the comment, causing Stein to have a mini melt down before putting the microphone back to his mouth.
Dan Stein: Real funny, Randy. How long has it been since you’ve been in SHOOT Project, anyways?
Stein purposely misspeaks Rande’s name, emphasizing it for a moment before continuing on in his question. Rande’ lets out a chuckle and puts the mic back to his lips.
Rande’: Were you…not listening a couple weeks back when I was here? I distinctly remember answering that question.
Dan Stein: Well, Randy, I was way too busy cele-
Stein is interrupted before he could finish his statement.
Rande: Ahhh…see, Stein, that was a rhetorical question. Cause I already know that you were too busy listening to your own bullshit to hear some real talk from the realest nigga in the building.
Stein shook his head.
Dan Stein: No, no. I was too busy celebrating the victory that I earned through my hard work and determination, while you were busy soaking up a reception you didn’t deserve.
Rande’: Ok. Ok. You got your win. That was cute. But there’s something that’s buggin me. And, you know…it’s really rude of me to have to ask this cause you were kind enough to invite me to your little…’show’ if that’s what you want to call it. But…who are you again? I mean…everyone knows who I am. But i don’t think there’s a lot of people who know who the fuck you are.
Rande’ smiles waiting for Steins response. Stein smirks.
Dan Stein: Yeah, you wouldn’t know me for what I’ve done, would you, Rande? While you were busy fluffing your ego, I was busy taking SHOOT Project by storm. Not only am I a two time Iron First Champion, the future Sin City Champion and future World Heavyweight Champion…
Stein smirks out at the crowd, then steps forward, closing the distance between himself and Rande’.
Dan Stein: I’m the Hottest Thing in SHOOT Project since… well, you, Firestarter.
Stein drops the microphone and looks dead into Rande’s eyes, smirking. Rande’ smiles back before crating distance and doubling over in laughter. He puts one finger up telling Stein to hold on before regaining his composure.
Rande: Wow…two championships and a couple of maybes?!?!?!?! Holy fuck nuggets, you are the man, Stein.
Rande’s face turns serious as he closes the distance between him and Stein again.
Rande’: Let me let you in on a little secret pimpin…Your ‘two and a possible’ spades hand doesn’t mean shit to me. So you might want to get…hmm, let’s say fifteen or so more title reigns before you start thinking you are anywhere near my level. And with that said, your time here…with me…finished. I expect to be paid for this. Holla at you later bitch.
Rande’ turns and walks to the ropes as Stein fumes at the comments. With all the haste and aggression Stein can muster, he charges Rande’ with the microphone, pegging Rande’ over the head with it just as he ducks towards the ropes. Rande’ falls between the top and middle rope, and Stein shoves him through it, causing Rande’ to land in a heap on top of himself. Stein turns to the fans with a smile, adjusting his sunglasses on his face.
Dan Stein: You’re welcome.
Stein drops the microphone to the mat as a group of men run out from the backstage area to look at Rande’. Stein walks over to the farthest ring post from him, leaning inside of it with a smile. Molly walks over to Dan, rubbing his forearm on the ropes. As Rande’ stands up, slowly, he looks back at Stein with a stare that could kill. Stein brushes off his shoulders as Rande’ disappears behind the curtains.
"New Years Eve" by Aurasing kicks in and the fans, on cue, start booing furiously as Dan Stein makes his appearance, wearing a blazer over his ring gear and a "Sexiest in SHOOT" t-shirt. Right behind him is his assistant, Molly, and his new "Cabinet".
Eryk Masters: How many women exactly does it take to make, as Lunatikk Crippler put it, a "flock of hoes"?
Other Guy: No fewer than three, no more than seven.
Eryk Masters: Nonetheless, with the new company "The Lights" has found, he is still more focused than ever on becoming Sin City Champion right here tonight in the SHOOT Project Epicenter. Especially after the war of words he and the defending champion have had this past week.
Other Guy: A war of words not just on video, but in print as well. This one’s gonna be explosive, I can’t wait!
Eryk Masters: Stein has taken issue this past week with Lunatikk Crippler as Sin City Champ. He feels he’s a much better fit for the strap, and he’s out to prove it tonight.
Stein steps up on the ring apron and removes his blazer, handing it off to one of the cocktail dress clad women following him. She folds it up carefully. Stein then removes his t-shirt and tosses it over his shoulder. A female fan reaches out and snatches it before it can hit the ground, jumping up and down in excitement. Stein notices the girl with his shirt and immediately jumps to the arena floor. He snatches the shirt out of the hands of the now very shocked girl as Stein’s boos are renewed.
Eryk Masters: That is an absolutely disgusting display from a man who claims he wants to represent Las Vegas as Sin City Champion.
Other Guy: Those things cost forty bucks a pop! You think Dan Stein is made of money? That shirt looks brand new! People can’t just afford to throw perfectly good clothes away in this economy!
Stein hands the shirt, this time, to another one of his women, before adjusting the straps on his protective mask. Finally, Stein steps between the ropes, and holds his arms out wide, welcoming the boos as the come in like rain. The "Cabinet" make their way back up the ramp, with Molly remaining behind in the corner of her man Stein.
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen, the next contest is for the SHOOT Project’s Sin City Championship! Introducing first, the challenger and number one contender, Dan "The Liiiiiights" STEIIIIIN!
Other Guy: Dan Stein won the number one contendership at Reckoning Day, and he could not wait to cash in that opportunity! He wants to add to his already impressive resume here tonight!
Stein’s music is hastily replaced with the opening sounds of "I Wupped Batman’s Ass" The jeers turn to an uproar of cheers, as the defending Sin City Champion is about to make his appearance.
Eryk Masters: Lunatikk Crippler silenced any critics that may have thought he couldn’t perform on the big stage at Reckoning Day. He defeated Crazy Boy and Tanya Black, both by submission to hang on to the Sin City Championship!
Other Guy: That’s well and good, but let’s talk more about Dan Stein’s heroic victory against Johnny Napalm and Piper Fury.
Eryk Masters: Heroic? He kicked Napalm between the legs!
Other Guy: You say potato, I say Dan Stein won the match.
The cheers intensify as Lunatikk Crippler walks through the curtains, Sin City Championship slung over his shoulder, and a microphone in his other hand.
Other Guy: Oh, good, he’s got more to say.
Eryk Masters: Can it.
Lunatikk Crippler: There seems to be some chatter about the lack of respect that I showed to my opponent this week.
The fans chuckle, and Crippler cracks a grin.
Lunatikk Crippler: Alright, so it’s just from Dan Stein. But it’s chatter enough. Dan, you wanted to know, I think, why I chose to show you so very little respect this week, such little amount of respect on any given week? Am I correct?
Stein stand in the ring, staring down his opponent.
Other Guy: I have a feeling that this is going to lead to more disrespect.
Eryk Masters: I have a feeling you need to stop talking or you’re not gonna find out.
Lunatikk Crippler: Dan, there’s a real simple explanation. A method to my madness, if you will.
The Crippler starts making his way, slowly, down the ramp towards the ring.
Crippler: It might sound a little strange, Dan, but the thing is? I don’t like you.
The fans pop, Stein crack a smirk upon his face, and openly shrugs, not caring.
Crippler: And that’s not all, either. These people
The Crippler motions to the crowd of SHOOT Project faithful in the arena tonight, and they, as could be predicted, pop at the mention of themselves.
Crippler: These people don’t like you either. You see, to us, you’re just an arrogant
The Crippler puts a foot on the first step ringside.
Crippler climbs the second step.
Crippler is now standing on the top step, staring dead ahead at Dan Stein. He loosens his grip on the Sin City Championship, allowing referee Dennis Heflin to take it from him.
Crippler: You think we should just bow down and kiss the ground you walk on? Maybe you were hoping that I’d just bend to your will, thinking that I wouldn’t have what it takes to beat the great Dan Stein?
The fans are eating up every word Crippler is throwing at Stein, as Crippler bends down and steps between the ropes, and into the ring.
Crippler: That just isn’t going to happen, Dan. Just because you’ve won the Iron Fist title twice, doesn’t mean that I automatically have to think you’re some kind of golden god. Just because you’ve had some other impressive accolades, like being champion in a couple of other companies, that doesn’t mean that I automatically have to respect you.
Over the crowd noise, we can hear Dan Stein saying "YES IT DOES".
Crippler: No, Dan, it doesn’t. I’ve said this quite a bit in the past since I got here, but the fact is, if you want MY respect….if you want me to think you’re more than just a pretty face, Daniel, you’re gonna have to prove it to ME. And you get your chance! Right here, right now! Prove to me what you’ve been telling everyone all week! Prove that you’re the man to carry the banner for all of Sin City! Prove to me that you’re the man who should be Sin City Champion!
The fans are in a frenzy. The Crippler is right in the face of Dan Stein, who isn’t backing up an inch.
Crippler: It’s time to stop the talking. It’s time to start the fighting. Put up, or shut up. Ring the damn bell!
The Crippler drops the mic, and it lands on Stein’s foot! He pulls it up, grabbing at his toes as the bell rings, and Crippler decks Stein right under the jaw.
Other Guy: A cheap shot! The Sin City Champion starts off….with a CHEAP SHOT?!
Eryk Masters: Crippler follows it up with three straight jabs, trying to get past the defense of that protective mask.
Other Guy: More like he’s trying to hurt the chances of Dan Stein in keeping his modelling contract!
Stein is rocked, trying to stumble away from the flurry of fists shown early on by a surging Lunatikk Crippler, who stalks his prey across the ring. Stein turns suddenly and buries his boot into the gut of Crippler, who doubles over. Stein shows off his lightning fast reflexes and bounces off the ropes, planting both feet to the side of the champion’s head with a front dropkick.
Other Guy: Crippler tried to get the upper hand early on, but Stein’s turned the tables! Now it’s Crippler fighting from behind!
Stein stomps on Crippler before climbing the turnbuckles. He mouths the words "Watch this" and then leaps backwards with a picture perfect moonsault! Stein crashes down on the ribs of the champion, and hurries to hook the leg!
Crippler gets out at two! Stein drives his elbow twice into the midsection of The Crippler, trying to draw the breath out of him. He grabs Crippler’s right arm and twists it behind him, latching onto his left arm with his legs. He motions towards the scars on Crippler’s abdomen.
Dan Stein: Look at this crap!
Eryk Masters: Stein doesn’t seem too fond of the scars across the stomach of The Crippler.
Other Guy: Who would?
Stein drives his elbow deep into the stomach of Lunatikk Crippler. With each blow, Crippler grunts in obvious pain. Crippler is struggling to free his arms, and is able to wriggle his left arm from Stein’s clutches, and fires a left hand to Stein’s face. The blow surprises Stein, causing his grip on Crippler’s other arm to slacken. Crippler rolls out of the way, and gets to his feet, and Stein does the same. Crippler staggers Stein with a right hand, then buries his knee into the midsection of "The Lights". He hooks both of Stein’s arms back, and takes him over with a butterfly suplex!
Other Guy: Stein lands hard on his back! Crippler looking to exert control once again!
Crippler floats over, but drags Stein up as he gets to his feet. He whips Stein into the ropes and leap frogs him. Stein, however, puts the breaks on, and Crippler lands back on the ground across the knee of Stein.
Other Guy: Tough landing for The Crippler! He atomic dropped himself!
Stein whips Crippler around and tries to follow up with a boot, but Crippler catches it! That leaves him open for a Dan Stein enziguiri! Crippler somersaults with the impact, landing on his back. Stein wastes no time springboarding off the middle rope, twisting in midair with a corkscrew splash! Here’s the cover again!
T-Crippler gets his shoulder up!
Eryk Masters: Stein is really showing off his agility tonight. It’s looking like he may be too quick for The Crippler!
Stein picks Crippler up and whips him into the turnbuckle. Crippler hits hard, and the impact propells him forward just enough for Stein to leap forward and grasp Crippler’s head with his ankles, and spin him head over heels with a hurriconrana! Crippler is flat on his back, and Stein nips up. He holds his arms up in the air, and takes a bow, and the crowd shows their appreciation by letting out a loud chorus of boos.
Other Guy: That figures. Stein is leaving it out in the ring tonight, and these fans boo him.
Eryk Masters: No, I’m pretty sure they’re booing him for the showboating. He needs to keep on The Crippler. There’s a reason he’s still Sin City Champion.
Stein finally turns back to The Crippler and drops down to his knees, and goes to make the cover, but Lunatikk Crippler wraps him up in a small package!
Stein kicks out!
Eryk Masters: Stein almost paid for his overconfidence there!
Crippler gets to his feet and is met with a stiff forearm from Stein. Crippler slumps in the corner and Stein leaps upon the middle turnbuckle over him. "The Lights" raises his arms in the air, eliciting more boos from the crowd. Stein cups his hand to his ear, egging the crowd on. They perk up when Lunatikk Crippler stand up in the corner, clutching Dan Stein’s legs from underneath. Stein tries to hold onto the ropes, but Crippler pulls him down with a powerbomb, causing the fans to erupt!
Eryk Masters: Stein pays again for egging on the crowd!
Crippler folds Stein up, hooking both legs.
Stein rolls his shoulder up after two! Crippler gets to his feet as does Stein. Stein turns into The Crippler and Crip nails him with an overhead belly to belly suplex! Crippler goes for the pin again!
Th-Stein kicks out! Crippler picks Stein back to his feet and tries for a body slam, but Stein slips behind and tries a German Suplex! Crippler this time slips Stein’s grip and lands on his feet and Crippler throws Stein back with a full nelson suplex! Crippler with the bridge!
Thr-Stein gets his shoulder up!
Other Guy: Crippler punishing Stein with a series of suplexes, but Stein is not giving up!
Crippler goes to pick Stein up by his head, but Stein counters with a thumb to the eye. Crippler grabs his face in pain, and Stein backs up and charges in with a double ax handle, landing right in the face of Lunatikk Crippler. Crippler hits the mat and Stein slumps against the top turnbuckle, trying to gather himself. He slowly makes his way up to the top rope.
Eryk Masters: Stein is trying a lot of high risk moves, showing his proficiency for the high flying.
Other Guy: And it just paid off! A 450 splash, showing the moves that earned him a state championship in diving when he was in school!
Stein hooks the leg and Heflin moves in to make the count!
Three!! No! Crippler drapes his foot on the bottom rope! Stein gets up, celebrating, but Heflin is waving it off!
Eryk Masters: Stein thinks he’s won this, but Crippler uses his knowledge of the ring to stave off defeat!
Other Guy: Turn around, Dan! This match isn’t over!
Dennis Heflin finally gets through to Stein that the match hasn’t ended, and Stein is understandably unhappy. Stein hobbles to the Crippler and picks him up and whips him into the ropes. Crippler ducks a clothesline attempt and bounces off the opposite ropes, and connects with a huge spear, much to the delight of the crowd!
Other Guy: Blood Drive!! The Crippler nailed it, and now BOTH men are down!
Heflin checks on both men, before beginning the ten count.
Neither Stein or Crippler are moving much, still on the ground.
Stein is moving, and he may beat Crippler to his feet!
Crippler is crawling to the ropes now.
Stein almost made it to his feet, but fell back to his knees!
Crippler grips the top rope and pulls himself to his feet. Dennis Heflin moves in to check to see if he’s alright, and Dan Stein is also to his feet. He sees Crippler in the corner and gets a running start and avalanches him, catching Dennis Heflin in the middle of it!
Crippler slumps in the corner, and Heflin hits the ground after that impact!
Eryk Masters: Dennis Heflin is down, all hell is about to break loose!
Crippler is trying to shake the cobwebs loose, and Stein moves to the opposite corner. He shouts instructions to Molly, who leaves her seat next to the announce table. Molly moves to the timekeeper’s table and grabs the Sin City Championship. Molly tosses it into the ring, into Stein’s waiting grasp.
Eryk Masters: You’ve gotta be kidding me! After Stein’s tirade about disrespect, he’s willing to win the title like this?
Stein turns to face The Crippler again, to measure him up, but Crippler is right there, drilling Stein with a flying forearm! Stein drops the Sin City Championship and bounces off the ropes, right back into the grasp of The Crippler, who hooks Stein’s head and drives him face first into the mat!
Other Guy: Lunatikk Sweet! He nailed it and Stein is out!
Eryk Masters: Crippler hooks the leg! But Heflin’s still out!
The crowd shouts ONE! TWO! THREE! FOUR! FIVE! SIX! and Crippler releases the pin attempt on Stein. He crawls over to Dennis Heflin, trying to shake him back to his senses. Molly gets into the ring and slaps Stein’s face, trying to bring him around. She slides back out and goes back to the announce table and grabs a bottle of water from in front of Other Guy.
Other Guy: I wasn’t done drinking that! Hey!
Molly takes the water and unscrews the cap, and the dumps the entire thing on Stein’s face. He jolts awake, and sits up in the corner. Molly slides the Sin City title back into his grasp, and he gets up to his feet, his back to The Crippler. Crippler turns and sees Stein back on his feet, and moves towards him, and Stein turns and LEVELS The Crippler with the Sin City gold! Crippler drops like a stone, and Stein tosses the title belt back out to Molly. Stein falls on top of The Crippler, and hooks his arm up.
Eryk Masters: Now, just to add a little insult to injury, Stein slaps on an Americana Key Lock! The Crippler is unconscious, and Stein is wrenching on his arm joints.
The crowd begins to boo as Dennis Heflin gets to his hands a knees, shaking his head, and begins to crawl towards Stein and Crippler. Heflin is checkiing Crippler, who is unresponsive. Heflin lifts Crippler’s arm up, and it drops down immediately. Heflin signals for the bell, and it rings, this one is over.
Eryk Masters: Dammit! This is ridiculous!
Other Guy: He did it! Stein submitted Lunatikk Crippler! We have a new Sin City Champion!
Eryk Masters: He didn’t submit, Crippler was knocked unconscious with his Sin City title!
Other Guy: Correction, he was knocked stupid with DAN STEIN’s Sin City Championship!
Samantha Coil: Here is your winner…..and the NEWWWW Sin City Champion…..Daaaaaaan STEIIIIIIIN!
Stein rolls out of the ring, and Molly hands him the Sin City title, which he clutches to his chest!
Eryk Masters: However he did it, Dan Stein is the new Sin City Champion!
Other Guy: Congrats to him, too bad for The Crippler, his effort wasn’t enough tonight!
We cut backstage to the Hierarchy’s private locker room, revealing Azrael Goeren sitting alone on a black leather couch. His bright yellow plaid suit looks like it has been torn from his body in a fit of rage, his tie hanging loosely around his neck and his shirt ripped down the seams. A single table lamp provides the only light in the room as Azrael leans forward and clasps his hands together.
Goeren: Why won’t he leave?
If Azrael was looking for a response, he receives none. His shoulders sink a little deeper as the camera zooms in on his face, showing an expression of complete exhaustion.
Goeren: I underestimated him you know. Kidd’s always been a fighter, everyone knows that…but I truly believed that after Reckoning Day I would finally be done with him. How in the world could he come back after what I put him through?
Azrael shakes his head in disbelief, running his hands through his hair and holding the sides of his head.
Goeren: How did it ever come to this? Why can’t I just put that fucking dog down?!
Finally, a very familiar voice speaks from somewhere in the darkness. The outline of a figure moves in the background, but is blurred by the blackness.
?: Seems like you’ve got your hands full, Herr Goeren.
Azrael nods his head dejectedly and takes a deep inhale of breath. He turns his head slightly towards the voice of his companion but his eyes feature a vacant, disturbing stare.
Goeren: I don’t really see any other way around this. I can beat Kidd a hundred different times in a hundred different arenas in a hundred different matches and he’ll still come for me. I created this. I made him hate me so much over the last five years that the only way out of this is to break him for good. To make sure he can never physically wrestle ever again. That tag match he challenged me to earlier in the night…this needs to be his Thermopylae. His last stand. His end.
A horrible chuckle comes from within the darkness as the figure moves slowly towards the light, still obscured in shadows.
?: Which is where I come in.
Azrael does not respond, he simply rests his head back in his trembling hands and leans forward on the couch.
Goeren: If this is to be done, it needs to be done in the most horrific way possible. Kidd will no doubt dig up a partner, I have no doubt in that. Whether it be Trey Willett or Jun Kenshin or Jaime Alejandro, he’ll convince some misguided fool to stand side-by-side with him in front of the thresher. We need to make sure that whoever he picks does not distract us from the greater good. Patrick Kidd needs to end. That is the goal. My tactics…
?: Have not been getting the desired result, have they? You play your games like all conspirators do and it blew up in your face. I fail to see what this has to do with me.
Goeren: THIS HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH YOU! We cannot let men like Patrick Kidd continue to infest this beautiful promotion!
?: I feel that you and I have very different opinions over the term "beauty"…
The shrouded man moves forward towards the light, revealing something glistening across his shoulder.
?: You need to calm yourself, Herr Goeren. Control your rage, pile it up inside yourself and save it for the moment when you’ll need it the most. Now I ask the question one more time, and please try and speak civilly. Why should I help you?
Azrael pauses for a moment before speaking in a hoarse tone.
Goeren: Because I need you to. As you so eloquently put it, my precision tactics aren’t working. I tried to scheme Kidd out of SHOOT and it failed, so it’s time to use a different instrument. A blunt one.
That same horrible chuckle emanates once more.
?: What I do to people in that ring isn’t just violence, it’s poetry in motion. You say you want me to help you destroy an Outlaw? Well then Herr Goeren, I have only one more question to ask you…
Stepping into the light is the monstrous, twisted visage of ISAAC ENTRAGIAN.
Entragian: Does X-Calibur know you came to me first? Because last time I checked, Mr. Van Winkle wasn’t my biggest fan…
The tiniest vulpine smirk appears on the albino’s face, giving us the idea that it pleases him greatly that Goeren came to him instead of Van Warren.
Azrael slowly shakes his head.
Goeren: X-Calibur is the best wrestler on the planet today. But I don’t need a wrestler right now Entragian, I need something far…far…worse. I need someone who’ll match my hatred and paint the ring with Kidd’s blood. Normally I would never dare associate with you people, but desperate times call for desperate measures. I…I need to bring Kidd the terror.
Goeren reaches out his hand towards Isaac, looking into the Iron Fist champion’s cruel eyes.
Entragian: Well we shall bring it to him, Herr Goeren. As I’m sure you know by now, I have a certain gift when it comes to exterminating Outlaws. I pride myself in my ability to thin out that once noble breed of competitor, and I respect your desire to do the same. A deal sealed in future carnage is my favorite kind of deal, Megastar…
With that, Isaac’s cold pale hand grasps Goeren’s hand, and the albino tightens his grip ever so slightly, leaning forward while favoring Azrael with a razor-tipped grin.
Entragian: And remember, when you enter into a pact with me, the blood of our enemies will flow like the river Nile, and nothing will stand against the tide. I’m sure you don’t mind getting your hands dirty…
Glimmering madness shines in the eyes of both Azrael & Isaac as they shake to make it official, and the scene darkens on this horrifying image.
ALL OF THE LIGHTS
The fans ERUPT as the arena is cloaked in darkness. The trumpets sound. "All of the Lights" by Kanye West kicks in and the sultry voice of Rihanna is heard.
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
A HUGE burst of WHITE pyro erupts, bringing the lights back up and revealing DONOVAN KING. The fans cheer loudly as King stands there, wearing a simple black t-shirt with a white crown across the chest with a pair of blue jeans and black boots, a shiny black watch of unknown maker on his left wrist. He walks down to the ring slowly, wincing still from the war he had just had with the former 3M at Reckoning Day.
Eryk Masters: Fresh off of a fantastic battle with Mirage, it looks like Donovan King is here tonight to speak his mind on a few things.
Other Guy: What’s interesting to me is that even though it’s obvious he’s still feeling the effects of that brawl, he is here tonight with what looks like a definite purpose.
King enters the ring and takes the microphone from Samantha Coil as the music dies down. He stands there, letting the fans cheer for just a few moments longer before he finally begins to speak.
Donovan King: One down.
He holds up his right index finger and the fans begin to cheer once again. He smiles a relieved smile as he lets the cheers slowly fade.
Donovan King: In an event…where we saw Project:SCAR continue their destruction. In an event…where we saw The Hierarchy continue their reign. One…down.
He pauses once more.
Donovan King: See…that’s somethin’…that’s somethin’ the bad guys…they don’t know about, you know? They don’t see this as a war of attrition; they see this as their commandeerin’ of what we hold so dear to our hearts an’ makin’ it theirs. If it’s not SCAR tryna cause rampant chaos it’s Hierarchy laughin’ it up an’ makin’ a mockery of this sport we all love.
Hell…if it ain’t them, it’s the Sinister Syndicate or it’s Dan Stein or it’s some other lone wolf bad guy in the back. I mean, let’s be real here. Y’all saw the press conference before Reckoning Day, right?
The fans applaud, some outright cheer.
Donovan King: I was originally supposed to go up there…say a few words…but what I saw, frankly, made me SICK.
Donovan King: Never mind the funny, never mind the good guys…I’m sure you all remember that waste who calls himself our World Heavyweight Champion.
The boos start small, but King continues before they commence further.
Donovan King: By now you’ve all heard it before from that guy. He insults our company, he insults our title, he insults our history, he insults the owners, blah blah blah…all in the hopes that even just ONE person in the audience…will jeer him. It’s cheap, it’s useless, an’ frankly…I’m tired of hearin’ it.
He lets the words sink in.
Donovan King: See, a few weeks ago I found a note sittin’ on my duffel bag. It was a small piece of paper…nothin’ real special about it. Hell, it only had one…word on it. That word…was HOPE.
The fans pop as King reaches into his pocket and unfolds a worn out piece of paper.
Donovan King: I got this thing right after I was beaten nearly half to death. At that time, I think you can understand why I wasn’t very hopeful. Then I looked my hated foe in the eye, I tore his mask off, I tore his costume up, AND I MADE 3M QUIT.
Eryk Masters: Wow! These fans are LOVING this right here!
Other Guy: Donovan King destroyed 3M, to the point that he isn’t likely to be seen in that horrible mask and costume again!
Donovan King: Mark Mirra saw the evils of 3M, and he said to me…he said to himself…he said TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU…that he was DONE.
The fans pop again. He holds the paper up for all to see.
Donovan King: We can…never give up. No matter what we’ve lost. And SHOOT has lost…a lot. A leader. An icon. A mentor. A…Sherriff.
Diamond Del Carver…is gone.
The fans begin to boo.
Donovan King: In war there are casualties…but we can’t…we CAN’T…give up. We CAN’T quit. We can’t submit to whatever they have put in front of us. When we are bloody, we have to push through. When we feel fists pound into our flesh, we have to absorb it. When we are…locked in a submission hold…we must accept the pain…an’ power through it.
No matter the cost.
He looks at the paper again. He pauses as he looks back up to the crowd.
Donovan King: A couple months ago, I faced a man for the right to face the World Champion at Reckoning Day. I came up short…but I said that maybe nine times outta ten, that outcome…won’t happen. I gave him the benefit of the doubt then. Now, though? After the performance he gave? After the way he told himself, the way he told SHOOT, and the way he told YOU PEOPLE…that he couldn’t take anymore?!
King glares into the camera.
Donovan King: You know what? What I gotta say, I’m sayin’ to this man’s face. TREY WILLETT.
The fans pop at the mention of the former number one contender’s name.
Donovan King: COME ON DOWN!
The fans clamor for a few moments as there is still silence in the arena. Donovan King begins to tap his foot on the mat with a look of surfacing impatience. The whispers in the crowd begin to grow into a louder suspicion that perhaps the Wayward Son will decline to make an appearance.
Eryk Masters: Certainly Trey isn’t going to let someone call him out and not come down to respond.
Other Guy: He has to be in the arena. We’re only a short time before his main event matchup against Jun Kenshin.
The fans in the row nearest the curtain begin to cheer as the spotlight fires over to the curtains to find Trey Willett standing at the head of the entrance ramp. Still not changed into his ring gear, Trey is wearing a pair of track pants and a plain white T. Without music, without pyro, without announcement, Trey stands at the head of the ramp. As more fans catch on to the entrance of the Wayward Son, the cheering begins to erupt all over the arena.
Eryk Masters: Ask and you shall receive, King. Here comes Trey Willett!
Trey makes his way down the ramp, acknowledging a few fans on his way down. He makes his way to the apron and climbs the rope to stand just inches to the right from where Donovan King awaits him. The two men exchange a glance before Trey bends down and enters the ring between the top and middle rope. He stands in front of King, giving a nod, suggesting King to go ahead with what he had to say.
Donovan King: I won’t keep you too long since I know you’ve got a match tonight…so let me be brief. I…you know what? No. Wait. Let me do you one better. Let me give you the benefit of the doubt. Let me ask you a simple question.
King shakes his head.
Donovan King: Why? Why, after going through so much, did you quit?
Trey clears his throat and pulls a microphone from his pocket. He gives a pained smile to the fans before looking Donovan in the eyes. With an almost hurt tone, Trey responds.
Trey Willett: I will never shy away from my responsibility to the truth, and to the fans. The simple answer to your question? I was outwrestled. I failed. In a moment of weakness…I tapped.
King shakes his head, obviously angry.
Donovan King: So you just…couldn’t take it. You go from one of the top matches of 2011 and manage to beat me to become Master of the Mat and when you reach the pinnacle…the TOP of your career…you decide you can’t do it anymore.
King grimaces, as if it pains him to take it here.
Donovan King: If this was some personal war you was in the middle of, I can get that. But that son of a bitch did nothin’ but spit on this company, spit on these fans, an’ he spit…on…YOU. He didn’t go beat your woman. He didn’t kidnap your child. All he ever did was question your resolve an’ all you did…was confirm how inferior you are to him.
The fans boo their disapproval as King shakes his head, just as upset as the fans themselves.
Trey sighs heavily and scratches his chin. He looks over the fans for a moment and attempts to quiet them down.
Trey Willett: I wasn’t the best that night. I know this isn’t what you, or anyone else wants to hear, but at Reckoning Day, I was not the better man. Not for lack of want, not for lack of will. X-Calibur was just better than me that night.
Unable to contain the boos from the fans, Trey raises his hands in frustration.
Trey Willett: That’s where you and I were always different King. You think this is over. You think I tapped, and that is the end of the war. Or, I assume, my part of it. You’re right, that was the biggest match of my career, and I lost. But don’t you dare, EVER, question my resolve. Should I break out the books and count all of the matches you’ve lost by submission, or matches that you were still conscious for at the end? I didn’t quit. I lost.
Donovan King: And what about tonight? Is Jun Kenshin already better than you? Next week? Go ahead, Trey, count the matches I tapped in. You know what? I’ll do it for you.
King curls his hand together to simulate a "zero".
Donovan King: Don’t get me wrong, Willett, there’s no shame in submissions to fight another day. But for you? Have you heard about any rematches coming your way? Are you fighting X-Calibur tonight one on one to avenge your loss? NO. See, this was your childhood fairy tale Reckoning Day moment. I sat there as medics pulled glass out of my body, stitched my open wounds, and I watched your match. I clenched my fist and screamed for you when you had the upper hand and covered my face when you were on the ropes.
King puts the crumpled piece of paper in Trey’s face, letting Trey read the word on it.
Donovan King: That night you were the personification of HOPE. You were the man we put all our hope in. You KNEW that. So yeah, Trey, I’m here right now questioning your resolve. I’m questioning your strength of character because here and now…we need people who embody HOPE…not people who would rather try to fight another day.
Trey takes the piece of paper from Donovan’s hand and reads it very closely. He allows himself to smile for only a second before handing it back.
Trey Willett: Yeah. Hope. I was. I was hopeful. The people were hopeful. Hell, I guess so were you. And I…I’m sorry. One match, and I failed. I’m not too proud of a man to admit it. I gave up. And I am ready and willing to earn another shot to see this through. I quit in that match. But I didn’t quit on the war.
King slides the paper in his pocket as he keeps his eyes on Trey.
Donovan King: You got a match…tonight. You don’t get to have some new title shot around the corner…you’ve got a whole list of folks who want your spot an’ all you’ve done is tell all of us that deep down…you either don’t really want that spot…or you don’t deserve it.
King lets those words sink in.
Donovan King: And if Jun Kenshin don’t take it?
King steps back and lets the fans slowly start to electrify before he quickly gets back in Trey’s face.
Donovan King: I WILL.
"All of the Lights" kicks back up as King drops the microphone at Trey’s feet, the fans ripping into cheers. Trey looks down at the microphone as King exits the ring. He slaps a few hands as he exits, turning back to look at Trey, who stands alone.
Eryk Masters: Donovan King giving Trey Willett a royal dressing down here tonight. He’s also making his intentions painfully clear. On no uncertain terms…Donovan King smells blood in the water and he’s coming to finish the wounded animal!
Other Guy: Donovan King is FOCUSED, Eryk.
King stands at the entrance and he stares down Trey Willett. The fans are continuing to cheer the two men.
Eryk Masters: Either way, the message has been heard loud and clear and if Trey Willett isn’t careful…he could lose everything he tried so hard to gain!
Trey finally begins to leave the ring to little fanfare as King keeps his fist above his head, the fans continuing to cheer once King leaves.
The lights in the Epicenter suddenly die out, several brilliant white spotlights search through the crowd as the opening guitar rifts of “HORIZON” by DespairsRay wash over the crowd, now on their feet. The music suddenly stops and one solitary line is sung.
Can you feel the new world?
As soon as that line is sung all the spotlights converge on the entrance ramp, on Maya, and then explode outward as the lights flood back on filling the once darkened arena. “HORIZON” picks up at it’s normal quick pace as Maya stands at the top of the entrance ramp, the crowd screaming and cheering as he looks down at his shoulder and whats hanging from it.
The Rule of Surrender Championship.
Maya gingerly walks down the ramp, reaching out to touch hands with every fan he possibly can. Maya takes his time walking up the steel steps on the side of the ring, he slightly winces as he bows under the top rope and climbs into the ring. When Maya is given a microphone, and “HORIZON” finally cuts out, the ovation is overwhelming, a sea of fans on their feet cheering a the top of their lungs. Maya simply holds the microphone at his side, closes his eyes, and lets it wash over him. When the crowd finally settles back into their seats, Maya takes the Rule of Surrender Title off his shoulder and holds it in his free hand.
Maya: When I first came back to SHOOT Project, I didn’t believe in myself. I didn’t think I’d ever amount to anything. When I came back it wasn’t even for the wrestling, you know? I came back for my own selfish reasons and I got caught up with a lot of bad people. It was a time when few people in the back really believed in me, I can’t say I blame them… with every thing that was, and still is, going on with the Hierarchy and Project: SCAR, they had more important things to deal with. But… all of you, you never changed. You stood by me through thick and thin, no matter what. When I didn’t believe in myself, all of you believed in me. When I thought there was nothing worth fighting for, all of you gave me something worth fighting for. When I felt like quitting, all of you pushed me on further than I ever could on my own. And for that, I will forever be grateful.
Maya looks down at his free hand, gripping the Rule of Surrender Title.
Maya: That is why I want to make sure that you have a champion you can be proud of. In this era of darkness, it is my wish to give you some light to look forward to. In this time of having a World Champion like X-Calibur who is only interested in making a mockery of not only you… but the very image of the World Title, I want to give you the champion you deserve. That’s why I want you to take a close look at the Rule of Surrender Title.
Maya holds the Rule of Surrender belt up, the faceplate has no name on it. It is empty, devoid of any writing or inscribing. When this detail is shown on the titantron, there is a small ovation, most people not knowing what to think.
Maya: I didn’t put my name on this title belt. I didn’t put my name on it because this Rule of Surrender Title is about more than just me. This title belt is about more than just putting my name down in the record books and that being enough. No, this title belt belongs to all you just as much as it does to me. Without you, the fans, I would have never been able to do what I did at Reckoning Day. Without all of you, I would have quit long ago… I would have lost all my will to go on. But you, all of you, never lost faith in me and you made me stronger. That is why, as long as this title remains in my possession, the name plate will remain blank.
There is a thunderous ovation of approval upon hearing this from Maya. A roar of “THANK YOU MAYA” chants break out as Maya nods in approval and raises the Rule of Surrender title high into the air, pointing the microphone towards the fans.
Maya: For everything all of you have done for me, it’s my turn to do something for you. Because for too long you’ve had champions that are afraid to defend their title. They’re content with it like it’s just some trinket. You have to EARN the right to continue holding a championship belt. I have to EARN the right to continue holding this Rule of Surrender Championship. People don’t want to see champions sit on their belt and never give another soul a chance at it, what kind of champion does that make? What does that say about your mettle as an elite member of your division?
The audience listens intently to every word, clinging onto every syllable
Maya: This is exactly why I am declaring, here and now, that EVERY single match I am in… the Rule of Surrender Championship… WILL BE ON THE LINE!
The crowd ROARS at this. For several moments, there are even outbreaks of “MAYA! MAYA! MAYA!”. Nodding humbly at this response, Maya continues.
Maya: It doesn’t matter if it’s a six man tag team match, a 3 on 1 handicapped match, over the top rope battle royal, no disqualification, cage match… it doesn’t matter! If I am made to tap out, submit, or quit EVER in this ring… then whoever made me do so will take this Rule of Surrender title with them. Revolution, Pay-Per-View, or non-televised, it doesn’t matter, this title will be up for grabs in EVERY match I’m in. EVERY… MATCH.
Pausing, he lets all of this sink in for a moment as the crowd becomes excitable over the endless possibilities.
Maya: THIS title will not just sit and collect dust, it will NOT become some freak show the likes of which X-Calibur has turned the World Heavyweight Championship. THIS Rule of Surrender Title will be treated with the respect and admiration that a title of its prestige deserves.
It WILL be defended.
And I, Maya Nakashima, Rule of Surrender Champion… will defend it.
Samantha Coil: The following challenge match is scheduled for one fall with a sixty minute time limit and it is YOUR MAIN EVENT OF THE EVENING!
Ohhhh, the fire, the fire
Ohhhh, the fire, the fire
The curtains are suddenly opened as “The Fire” by The Roots and John Legend hits the speakers as Jun Kenshin comes out to a deafening ovation. His head is covered in water, he quickly takes off the cut off SP black shirt as he hands it to a fan. Some fans jump over and grab the San Diego native who slaps some hands to return the favor. He turns his attention toward the ring as he doesn’t waste any more time as he power walks down and hops on the apron. Then he does his traditional wiping of his feet on the apron before coming into the ring.
Samantha Coil: Making his way to the ring, from San Diego California, weighing in at two hundred and seven pounds…He is THE SHIELD JUN KENSHIN!!!
Eryk Masters: Jun Kenshin looked mighty impressive with the victory over Adrian Corazon at Reckoning Day in that two out of three falls match.
Other Guy: He’s got the momentum for sure.
Kenshin paces the ring as the lights are cut off as the Epicenter buzzes in anticipation. Suddenly…
CARRY ON MY WAYWARD SON
The fans ERUPT as they all stand and look towards the back.
There’ll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don’t you cry no more
The crowd rises to their feet, roaring in ovation, as the Master of the Mat stands at the top of the ramp way. Willett smiles wryly, and then glides down towards the ring, his eyes locked deathly on the ring before him. He climbs up the steel steps, his eyes locked on Jun Kenshin’s, who is eagerly awaiting to get this contest underway. Willett steps between the ropes, and immediately goes eye to eye, with Jun Kenshin, causing cameras to flicker all over the Epicenter.
Samantha Coil: His opponent, standing to my right, hails from Staten Island, New York he weighs in at one hundred and ninety one pounds, this is TREY… …WILLETT!!!
Eryk Masters: All eyes are on The Way Word Son to see how he’ll respond from that …. Well… crushing loss at Reckoning Day.
Other Guy: Both of these guys are fan favorites, and frankly, the crowd is split here tonight. They don’t know who to rally behind…but wait a minute, the guys in the truck are saying that a special guest is watching in the back with great interest!
We see Donovan King backstage with arms crossed looking on in great interest for this match up.
Eryk Masters: We heard what King had to say earlier, he has a vested interest in this match up for sure!
The moment the bell sounds, the crowd erupts!
Willett and Kenshin are still toe to toe, eye to eye, in the center of the ring, neither man saying a word, nor moving an inch. Kenshin doesn’t seem unnerved at his opponent and Willett doesn’t seem the least bit intimidated by the man he is stood across the ring from. Essentially, we have a stalemate.
Eryk Masters: I don’t think either man has a psychological advantage in this contest. Kenshin wants to prove he can lead while Willett wants to show that he isn’t going anywhere!
Other Guy: Both men are finally backing up from each other, creating some distance. They’re circling that ring and listen to the BUZZ! It’s the big fight feel! You could cut the tension with a knife…
Finally both men initiate a collar and elbow tie up in the middle of the ring. Willett easily seizes the advantage over Jun, and applies a standing side headlock.
Willett, uses his resourcefulness, makes a standing switch, and applies a full nelson, trying to torque the back of Kenshin’s neck and shoulder area. Jun desperately tries to fight his way out surprised slightly by Willett’s technical abilities, early on in the match. Willett however maintains the advantage, picks up Kenshin, still in the full nelson position, and drills the back of his head against the ring canvas, with a resounding thud! Trey makes the cover.
And a kickout by Kenshin. Willett shrugs it off, looks down at Jun Kenshin and smiles. Kenshin rubs the back of his head, but pulls himself back up, looking at Willett, with malicious intent.
Other Guy: Kenshin got outwrestled by Willett on that exchange, and he knows it! He looks frustrated at both himself, and his opponent.
Eryk Masters: Willett’s an enigma, he can be as good technically, as just about anybody you care to name. But he can also slug you down to the canvas and wear you down. Plus he’s a risk taker!
Both men are back up to a vertical base, they lock up once again, collar and elbow. However, it’s Kenshin this time who manages to create the standing side head lock, which he quickly transforms into a drop toe hold, felling the big Willett. Kenshin then swiftly attempts to place a camel clutch on his fallen adversary, which Willett manages to power out of.
Both men spring back up to their feet, Willett slightly slower than Kenshin, which results in Jun clocking his opponent with a thunderous standing side kick, that knocks Trey Willett clean off his feet, and sends him tumbling to the ring canvas! Willett looks slightly dazed by the move, and rubs the side of his head, which Kenshin caught completely with the move.
Eryk Masters: Kenshin lost out on the first exchange, so now he’s going with what he knows, and that’s his quickness. He adapts quickly, which Trey Willett in turn, is learning about his opponent.
Other Guy: This really is a stalemate and this crowd is loving it!
Willett looks angered by Kenshin’s kick, he makes a charge towards his smaller adversary, who in turn grabs hold of Willett’s arm and pulls it down with him to the ring canvas!! There, Kenshin scuffles desperately to apply an armbar to Willett. The crowd rise to their feet, aware that Jun is looking to apply the Kenshin’s Cross!!
Other Guy: That’s the move that displaced Corazon’s elbow!
Willett wriggles free of the hold, drills Kenshin in the back of the head with a few stiff forearm smashes, and then, he in turn, tries to apply his variation of the dragon sleeper! Kenshin however, shows his resolve and scurries out of the maneuver.
Both men get back to their feet, Kenshin again grabs the arm, and applies a standing hammerlock!! Kenshin promptly lifts Willett off the ring canvas, holding him high in the air, hammerlock still applied, and then he drops him, face first down to the ring, and looks again to apply the Kenshin’s cross!! Willett however is having none of it, and repeatedly punches Kenshin, square in the forehead.
Eryk Masters: Trey wants no part of that Cross Arm Breaker!
Willett manages to push Kenshin off him, and bring himself to his knees. Kenshin rebounds from the ropes; he comes charging in at the kneeling Willett! The Way Word Son however, slips around behind Kenshin, drills the point of his elbow into the lower back of his opponent, and then manages to apply a standing dragon sleeper!
Eryk Masters: Crunch time for Kenshin. He needs to find a way out of this hold…fast!!!
Other Guy: He’s going nowhere…HEY…
Kenshin uses his amazing athleticism, leaps up, and gets behind Willett! Trey stands in the ring, slightly disorientated, giving Kenshin the chance to deliver a dropkick to the back of the leg, which damn near blows the big man’s knee out of socket!! Willett crumbles to the ground!! Kenshin however, stands, thinking for a moment, still a little dazed and confused from the flurry he was just involved in, and not fully sure where he is. But then makes an executive decision, and heads toward his second home…the top rope!!
The crowd begin to cheer as Kenshin is poised high, looking down on everyone and everything. Willett hobbles back up to his feet, slowly but surely. Meanwhile, Kenshin is struggling to stay on the top rope, the ring rust, slowly taking effect on him. However, he manages to stay in the wayward position, and when Willett finally gets to his feet, he leaps…
…And goes for a hurricarana, as he wraps his legs around the neck of Willett tightly…
However Willett musters all of his strength and in one act of brutality, drops Kenshin to the mat hard with a thunderous POWERBOMB, that causes some members of the crowd to turn away, through the sheer velocity in which Willett has slammed his opponent through the ring!
Eryk Masters: Jun Kenshin is finished!! Willett used all of his opponent’s momentum, and in act of desperation, damn near snapped the man in half, with a bone chilling powerbomb!! That’s sick!!
Other Guy: If you’re even slighted ring rusted, you don’t want to be getting in the ring with an athlete the caliber of Trey Willett!!
Willett, still clutching his shoulder and knee area, falls on top of Kenshin, but only manages to get a two count! Willett however, not to be deterred, grabs hold of Kenshin by his neck and setting him up here. Jun Kenshin still looks groggy from that vicious powerbomb, and Willett senses it. Willett lifts him high, but Kenshin with the will to win, manages to fall behind Willett, and as he falls to the ground, he grabs the back of his opponent’s legs, looking for a sunset flip.
Willett however, uses his weight to his advantage, grabs hold of Kenshin by the throat, lifts him up, and then looks set to drop him with a spinebuster slam!
However just as Willett is about to drill his opponent, Kenshin overhooks the head of the Blackout, and using all of the big man’s power, drops him down with a ruthless DDT, that causes Willett’s head to bounce off the ring canvas!!
Eryk Masters: A cranium cracking DDT there by Jun Kenshin, that was executed to perfection!!
Other Guy: Great counter!
Kenshin manages to throw an arm over the limp body of Trey Willett..
And Willett throws his left shoulder up off the canvas.
Both men are hard pressed to get back up to their feet, but they do. However, Kenshin, swifter off the mark, begins to throw kicks at every major body part of his opponent, he catches him the shoulder, in the shin, the torso. Jun goes for a kick to the head, but he completely misses, giving Willett the chance to bring him back down to the ring canvas with a GERMAN SUPLEX!
A quick shot sees Donovan King studying this match from the back as we go back to the action in the ring.
Eryk Masters: The 2011 Hero of the Year is watching, I’d love to hear what he has to say.
Realizing that weakening the legs of Kenshin, will seriously deplete his offense, Willett grabs hold of both legs, and applies a Texas cloverleaf, rearing back harder and harder on Jun Kenshin’s lower back! Jun struggles desperately to free himself from the hold!
Other Guy: Willett is trying to weaken the fast feet of Jun Kenshin, by taking his legs out from underneath him.
Eryk Masters: Kenshin is trying to lift himself up and out of the submission attempt, but Willett’s weight well surpasses his own, and this seems to be causing him no end of difficulty.
Trey now grabs Kenshin by the legs and pulls him back in to the center of the ring but Kenshin uses his leg strength to kick him off as Trey stumbles to the ropes. Kenshin rushes in with a running clothesline as both guys topple up and over to the outside! Kenshin clutches his back in pain as Trey looks to have recovered after laying on the floor for a few seconds. Trey now climbs up the ring steps and backs up a few feet and gets a running start as Trey does a running CANNON BALL SENTON SPLASH as both guys are taken out!
Other Guy: Now we’re seeing Trey pull out those high risk moves he’s famous for!
Trey gets up and he’s fired up! The crowd claps in excitement as Trey rolls Kenshin back in. Trey slaps some hands of eager fans as Trey looks to the crowd to get more energy but Kenshin stumbles back to his feet. Trey looks to grab Kenshin as Trey is now on the ring apron but Kenshin counters with a beautiful PELE kick! Trey comically falls face first down as both guys are down again!
Eryk Masters: Amazing ring awareness by Jun Kenshin!
Kenshin now fights to get to his feet as he is on his feet and shakes his head to clear the cob webs. He’s motioning for Trey to get up DEMANDING that The Master of the Mat get back up. Trey stumbles up and gets a boot to the gut, Kenshin with a front face lock and drops Trey back first in a pinning predicament. THE EXEMPLIFIER!
Trey gets a shoulder up! Kenshin gets up with a cold look on his face as Kenshin hops on the middle turnbuckle and drops the point of the elbow Hitman Style to the chin of Trey as he hooks the leg!
Trey kicks out.
Kenshin hits the ropes and does a vicious kick to the face that ECHOES throughout the Epicenter!
Trey is flattened in one sudden strike. Kenshin slaps his chest now and signals that he’s going to the top rope….. Kenshin flies off as he jerks his mid section to contract before delivering a FROG SPLASH to the torso of Trey! Kenshin is also damaged by the blow as he crawls for the cover!
Trey kicks out.
Kenshin gets Trey up now and he has him in a front face lock and Jun places Trey up on the top turnbuckle! Kenshin goes to suplex Trey but Trey has both feet locked on TIGHT refusing to budge. Trey in a last gasp of effort counters by throwing Kenshin off but Kenshin lands on his feet! Kenshin rushes back with blistering Knife Edge Chops, Elbows and finally a headbutt that stuns Trey!
Eryk Masters: This is dangerous. Both men are up on that top turnbuckle!
Other Guy: One slip and it could mean the end of this match!
Kenshin now has the stunned Trey in a front face lock and with BOTH guys perched on the top rope connects with a beautiful SUPERPLEX! As they crash onto the mat in a resounding thud, both men instinctively throw their feet up at the same time for a pin!
Both men kick up.
A weary Willett gets up as Kenshin does the same. Trey with an elbow that’s returned by Jun! The crowd chants the fan favorites names!
The fans chant their names with each strike as they stomp their feet rocking the sold out arena. As Kenshin throws a punch, Trey catches it and quickly transitions into the double butterfly hooking the arms for the DAWN Of a New Era!
Kenshin counters by bridging back for a pin!
Kenshin grabs Trey by his arms, spins him around and uses his leverage for a back slide pin!
Kenshin grabs Trey’s legs and does a front flip for a jack knife pin!
Trey gets a shoulder up. Kenshin looks for a rib kick that Trey counters by sweeping Kenshin’s leg and Trey with a standing moonsault press shows off his crazy athleticism! Trey now with a cover!
Trey is breathing hard but he fights through the fatigue as Trey scales the top turnbuckles and flies off with a cross body block but Kenshin catches Trey and counters with a powerslam in mid air! WHAM! Both men are sprawled on the canvas breathing heavily as the Epicenter is just ROCKING as the split crowd is cheering both men’s efforts.
Eryk Masters: I love this, OG. Just two guys giving it everything they have in that ring. No BS, just wrestling, you gotta love it!
Kenshin and Trey are slow to get up but they do so after a few seconds recovering, Kenshin with a quick kick to the gut followed by an Irish whip that’s reversed by Trey as Kenshin now heads to the ropes and in a counter to the counter… Kenshin counters with the Hand Spring Elbow!
A stunned Trey gets a quick kick to his kidney that doubles him over. Jun grabs him in a front face lock and hooks the leg executing a PERFECT PLEX!
Trey kicks out.
Kenshin hits the ropes and does a vicious Yakuza kick to the chin of Trey! Trey topples in a flash as Kenshin looks to follow it up as he goes to the top rope and measures his opponent. Kenshin flies off with a Top Rope Leg Drop… The San Diego Jam! Trey moves out of the way! Kenshin shakes in pain as he clutches his hip.
Other Guy: Kenshin missed with The San Diego Jam, can Trey capitalize?
Trey hits the ropes and as Kenshin is getting up, he sticks his neck out too far and Trey drops Jun face first with the Rocker Dropper! Trey gets the woozy Kenshin and places him on the top turnbuckle now as both guys are perched on the top rope. Kenshin is valiantly trying to break free from the grasp of Trey but the boom mic’s pick up the action.
Trey Willett: AARRGH! Damn it!
A fired up Trey Willett fires back with blistering right hands that stun The Shield and this action is happening on the turnbuckle as they are precariously hang there. Trey kicks Jun in the ribs as Trey has Jun in a double butterfly position and locks the arms. Trey with one last surge of energy hoists Jun up!
TOP ROPE DAWN OF A NEW ERA!
The Epicenter explodes in cheers as thousands of flash bulbs pop off!
BOTH GUYS ARE DOWN!
Other Guy: NO! I did not JUST SEE THAT! WHAT THE HELL? OH MY GOD!
Eryk Masters: Kenshin has to be out! But Trey damaged himself with that crazy ass move too! OH MAN! LISTEN TO THIS CROWD!
Trey is slow to get up as he gets the nearly unconscious Kenshin up but Kenshin shoves Trey as Trey staggers back. HEAVEN’S BLADE!
TREY kicks Kenshin in the gut!
ANOTHER DAWN OF A NEW ERA!
The crowd counts along!
Samantha Coil: Your winner at a time of 27 minutes and 37 seconds….. TREEYYYYYY WILLLLLETTTTT!
The crowd all stand in unison as they applaud the efforts of both men as no music is playing triumphantly. Trey extends a hand to his opponent.
Jun Kenshin momentarily pauses as he is still reeling from Trey’s finisher. Jun looks angry and disappointed but he looks around at the Epicenter and shakes Trey’s hand.
If it was possible, an already electric crowd POPS HARD as Kansas plays “Carry on my way word son” in the background.
Kenshin raises Trey’s hand in a show of sportsmanship but there is no hiding the disappointment in his face.
Suddenly, the lights go out.
The crowd begins to stir as Trey Willett and Jun Kenshin gather themselves following their grueling contest. Soon, the video wall illuminates, as graphics from years and years of SHOOT Project’s past are displayed.
A slow guitar riff kicks in.
Eryk Masters: Not entirely sure what’s going on here…
The Real Deal is shown, winning his very first SHOOT Project Championship, and shortly after, that image is replaced with OutKast capturing his very first SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship by defeating none other than the Real Deal.
The guitar picks up.
“I KNOW THE PIECES FIT!!”
Other Guy: I know this… this is… this is the old Oblivion theme song.
TOOL’s “Schism” explodes over the PA as the images begin to move faster and faster, rolling as though they are parts of a slot machine, and as they come to a stop, they go from images of the SHOOT Project’s past, and replaced with images of SHOOT Project’s present. Project: SCAR, The Hierarchy, Jonas Coleman, Trey Willett, and more. These images pause for a moment and then begin to roll again.
Eryk Masters: We’re having a bit of a slide show here, OG.
Other Guy: I think this is going somewhere.
The images come to a stop again, as the face of one man becomes clear and evident, and as the masses recognize this face, they come to their feet in applause and cheer. They stand in ovation for one man.
A white spotlight pops and shines down onto the top of the ramp and soon… he steps into view.
Eryk Masters: I just got chills, OG. Chills.
Other Guy: Something BIG is happening. I don’t even actually remember the last time we saw Jason on television, nevermind him actually coming out to the RING.
Jason is dressed to the nines, as Trey Willett and Jun Kenshin look on in quiet amazement and a tinge of concern. Jason makes a brisk walk to the ring, and with one motion climbs into the ring and then through the ropes.
Eryk Masters: He has a microphone in hand, OG.
Kenshin and Trey both ask Jason if they should stay, and Jason nods his head with a quick smirk. The lights come up, and “Schism” simply fades away.
Jason Johnson: It’s… well, it’s been a long long time since I’ve actually stepped foot inside of a SHOOT Project ring and had something on my mind… something to say. But first…
Jason Johnson: Fuck it feels good to be here.
The crowd pops huge for him.
Jason Johnson: Don’t get me wrong, ladies and gentlemen. I’m not very far away, but you all know that I prefer to take a bit of a back seat and let things play out however they’re going to play out… let the business run itself. If there’s a problem, Josh or Sean can handle it. I don’t usually need to get involved.
The crowd is steeped in anticipation as Jason speaks.
Jason Johnson: That time has come to an end.
Eryk Masters: The fuck? What does that mean?
Other Guy: I expect, Eryk, that if we just… shut the fuck up… we’ll find out.
Jason Johnson: I’ve sat back and watched as the SHOOT Project has undergone a bit of a transformation, and for a long time, the true heroes we have here stood up to an uncanny amount of tyranny and stress. They managed themselves with the utmost class and skill. They stood for what was right, and continue to stand for what being here in the SHOOT Project truly means. I’ve seen riots break out in Las Vegas… I’ve seen some… you know what, fuck it. I’ve seen some serious bullshit.
Jason Johnson: Months and months ago, when they first arrived here, the Hierarchy started calling me out. Started trying to get me to come out, address them, and whatever. They made threats, and made promises. They wanted my attention really really badly. For a long time, I ignored it. I honestly have better things to do than worry about typical wrestler bullshit. But… as the months have gone on, I’ve seen something more sinister develop. I’ve seen evil start to take over… from X-Calibur to every single miscreant in Project: SCAR. And now… now is the time I’ve decided to give this my attention.
So I’ve decided to stack the deck.
The crowd pops.
Jason Johnson: I’m going to go ahead and make the main event for the next Pay Per View, right here, right now.
The crowd pops again, as the image for the PPV known as “RISE” shows up on the video wall.
Jason Johnson: It will of course be a World Heavyweight Championship match. It will feature X-Calibur, your champion.
The crowd boos.
Jason Johnson: Kenji Yamada, Project: SCAR’s architect.
The crowd boos again.
Jason Johnson: Donovan King, the 2011 Hero of the Year, and OutKast’s Last Scion.
The crowd pops huge!
Jason Johnson: Jun Kenshin, the Shield of the SHOOT Project.
Eryk Masters: I’m STILL getting chills. That’s FOUR PEOPLE.
Other Guy: And he’s not even done!
Jason Johnson: SHOOT Project’s one and only Wayward Son… Trey Willett.
The crowd pops AGAIN.
Jason Johnson: And finally… to round this whole thing out… a man who I feel was wrongly screwed out of his World Heavyweight Championship back at Master of the Mat… The Butcher… Jonas Coleman.
And once more… a huge pop.
Eryk Masters: HOLY SHIT.
Other Guy: Well… I’m… I’m not even sure what to say.
Jason Johnson: It is my intention to kill two birds with one stone, as it were. You see… I want to usurp X-Calibur from his seat as my World Heavyweight Champion, and I ALSO want to severely hurt the image that Project: SCAR has cultivated for themselves, and to do so… I’m throwing EVERYTHING at them.
Jason smiles once more.
Jason Johnson: Vengeance is a motherfucker.
Eryk Masters: You’re telling me, my god.
Other Guy: I’m ASTOUNDED.
Jason Johnson: I don’t care what happens between now and then. You people watching… you’re going to see some great action. Some fucking FANTASTIC action. But you heroes… and all of you who want to see the SHOOT Project survive and thrive… I have but one last thing to say to you. To ALL of you. The time has come… YOU MUST RISE.