The screen goes black, revealing once again the SHOOT Project Helmet, looming ominously over the skyline of Las Vegas, Nevada. "Miracle" by Nonpoint begins to play as the camera flies down onto the SHOOT Project Epicenter.
WHOOOOOOOOOA You better blow the whistle, ring the bell
The sound of a bell is heard, revealing the empty ring in the center of the SHOOT Project Epicenter Arena.
Train a little harder than you can or ever will
The opening shot is of the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship being held high in the air by the World Champion X-Calibur, followed closely by him locking Trey Willett in the Bite of the Basilisk.
You need to think fast
Tanya Black and Cade Sydal are shown sauntering down to the ring quickly intercut with Maya Nakashima defeating Mason Pierce to become Rule of Surrender Champion. Jonas Coleman standing toe to toe with Kenji Yamada is shown next.
This is our first but I guarantee it’ll be your last!
The Bad Ass Brotherhood are shown with the World Tag Team Championship belts around their waists before we see Isaac Entragian wrapping his arms around the hooker he paid to help destroy Diamond Del Carver.
Got news if you think you bad
Diamond Del Carver going for the Diamond Cutter on Donovan King is shown quickly intercut with Azrael Goeren going face to face with Patrick Kidd. Briefly, we see Crazy Boy staring at the camera, a grin on his face.
All your other battles make me laugh
El Asso Wipo is shown breaking some fool’s back before we see Corey Lazarus mugging for the camera, holding the lens directly at his face.
You need to start runnin’…
The Gunslingers are shown double teaming Goeren before we get to see Dan Stein flying off the ropes with a springboard before we see Jean-Gerard Baptiste with Anarchy behind him.
You’re standin’ on the tracks and the train is comin’!
Laura Seton standing with Jaime Alejandro, who is quickly shown hitting Crazy Boy in the face before we see Johnny Napalm locking up with Lunatikk Crippler before it cuts to Crippler holding the Sin City Championship high in the air.
NOWHERE TO GO
We see Maya tying his bandanna across his nose before we see Thomas Manchester Black punching a punching bag, sweating pouring down his face. Quickly, we see Danny Corsair slapping hands with the fans as he comes down to the ring.
You need a miracle!
Diamond Del Carver tagging out to Patrick Kidd is shown before we see Donovan King stalking the fallen 3M’s bloody body. Without warning, we get to see Obsidian pulling his hood over his head, his beady eyes penetrating deep into whatever heart the viewer has.
Nothing’s gonna save you
Azrael Goeren’s arrival is shown followed by Jun Kenshin hitting the Heaven’s Blade on Corazon.
And I’ll scream it from the top of the world!
Donovan King is shown catching Dan Stein with the Dealbreaker.
Whatcha gonna do when it’s just me and you!
The Hierarchy is shown en mass during the Redemption Rumble, having torn through the people in the ring with them.
Whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do!
Mason Pierce looking over the fans with Piper Fury in tow is shown.
Whatcha gonna do when it’s just me and you!
Project:SCAR is shown, the four of them preparing for war, shrouded in darkness.
Whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do!
X-Calibur leaning over a podium during a press conference, grinning his evil grin for all to see.
Whatcha gonna do when it’s just me and you!
We see Tony Lorenzo hold the World Heavyweight Championship to the camera for all to see.
Whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do!
The empty SHOOT Project ring.
Whatcha gonna do when it’s just me and you!
Whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do!
The sold out Epicenter is a buzz as Samantha Coil stands in the ring ready to announce the opening contest of the night. Suddenly the lights in the area begin to flicker as Samantha looks around confused. A red glow of light fills the area as “Firestarter” by Prodigy blares through the speakers cause the fans to go nuts. A huge explosion of fire ignites at the top of the ramp as a figure makes his way from behind the curtain. What appears to be the “Pestalance” personality can be seen as the bright light from the fire dies down, causing an instant “Firestarter” chant from the crowd. As “Pestalance” makes his way down the ramp, the chants begin to die down; as there is clearly something different about this “Pestalance”. Pestalance slides under the ropes into the ring and stands as all the lights in the area return to normal, filling everyone in on why this “Pestalance” is different.
It’s revealing to be Dan Stein in full “Pestalance” garb. A smile cracks on Stein’s painted face as the crowd boos loudly. He unbuttons the black leather trench coat and pushes it open while placing his hands on his hips revealing the signature “Don’t F*** with Pestalance” tee shirt. A “You suck” chant swells throughout the arena causing Dan to chuckle; soaking up the crowds hate.
Eryk Masters: I…I’m not sure what’s going on here.
Other Guy: Stein’s obviously playing some mind games; but I don’t know man, Pestalance might not be the right guy to mock.
As the camera pans over to the top to the ramp, Rande bursts out from behind the curtain before his entrance theme can even be played to the delight of the crowd. Walking with purpose and a look of absolute rage on his face, Rande points at Stein and yells a barely audible, “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” Rande slides under the ropes and before he can get to his feet, Dan strikes.
Eryk Masters: And Stein on the attack with a series of stomps to Rande’ before the match even starts.
Other Guy: You better stay on him Stein.
Dan continues the onslaught as Rande slowly makes his way to his feet, finally shoving Stein away with all of his might sending him crashing into the turnbuckle.
Other Guy: GotDAMN…Pestalance is one strong dude.
Eryk Masters: Don’t you mean Rande?
Other Guy: Doesn’t matter what we call him. Motherfucka is a beast.
Rande regains his bearings and points and the prone Stein.
Rande: You’re fucking dead!
Stein’s eyes widen as Rande approaches. Stein throws his arms out in from of him begging Rande off; but just as Rande closes the distance, Steins reaches into his trench coat, pulls out a small can of pepper spray, and sprays it directly into Rande’s eyes. Rande grabs at his eyes and stumbles backward.
Eryk Masters: HE JUST MACED RANDE! WHAT A COWARD!
Other Guy: Coward?! That’s genius!
Dan charges forward and nails Rande in the forehead with the can causing Rande to stumble back more, but not fall. Dan looks at the can in shock, before throwing the can down and throwing a kick to Rande’s groin with all his might. Rande doubles over in pain and falls to the canvas. Dan quickly slides out of the ring and grabs a microphone and a steel chair. He re-enters the ring and stand over the prone Rande as he puts the mic to his lips.
Dan Stein: As I said Rande, you are not very high on my priority list. I’ve got important matters to take care of and you will NEVER be one of them.
Dan drops the mic and grabs the chair with both hands raising it above his head. Dan cracks a sadistic grin very similar to what we would actually see from Pestalance before bringing the chair down hard on Rande’s head. Rande’s body spasms and goes limp as Stein releases the chair leaving it resting on Rande’s head. Stein then slowly and methodically makes his way out of the ring as some fans boo with all they are worth, and other stay silently stunned.
Other Guy: It’s so rare to see someone put such a beating on Pest…Rande…whoever he is today. I can’t believe what we just saw.
Eryk Masters: We are gonna need EMTs out here quick!
A camera crew has been alerted to a scene outside the Epicenter in the parking lot. Security and paramedics are rushing to the exit. Someone passing motions to X-Calibur, yelling something about how he needs to get outside quickly. X-Calibur heads for the exit and makes his way to the parking lot, going over to where the crowd has gathered. He is taken aback by the sight of his bodyguard, the imposing Russian Yuri. The big Russian is breathing, but unconscious, blood pouring from his mouth and gashes on his face and forehead. As the paramedics are trying to lift the big man onto a stretcher, X-Calibur notices a slip of paper clutched in his right hand. He takes the paper and opens it.
THE ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT. THOU SHALT NOT FUCK WITH THE FAMILIES.
A look of concern quickly washes over the champion as he crumples up the paper and throws it away. The paramedics finally have Yuri on the stretcher and are wheeling him back into the arena’s medical area, with X following close behind. As the door to the Epicenter closes, Mason Pierce emerges from the shadows. He reaches into the pocket of his leather jacket and pulls out his phone, punching in a series of numbers. He waits for a few moments…
Mason Pierce: It’s done. Package has been delivered and message received.
Pierce shuts off the phone and places it back into his pocket as he looks around the parking lot. Satisfied, he reaches into the inside pocket and pulls out a pair of sunglasses. He slips them on and opens the door, entering the backstage area of the Epicenter……
The lights go out in the Epicenter as "All-American Nightmare" kicks in. Johnny Napalm emerges from the back, the bandages on his head a continuing reminder of what transpired during the brutal Sin City Street Fight. He has his barbed-wire baseball bat in one hand as he makes his way to the ring, grabbing a microphone.
Eryk Masters: One can only wonder what Napalm’s got left to say. He’s still got to be smarting from the beating he and Crippler took in that street fight at the last Revolution.
Other Guy: No kidding. And this week we’re supposed to hear the decision of his opponent at RISE, Piper Fury. She’s holding the ace right now, earning the right to choose the stipulation in their match. Only thing is, I’ve been putting out feelers, and according to my sources, Piper isn’t even in the arena right now. She hasn’t been all night.
Johnny Napalm: This has been one hell of a last couple of months for me. And to think it started out so well. I was one step away from being Sin City Champion until Dan Stein decided to take the low road- literally. But am I bitter? Damn right I am, but not about that. No, the one that’s got my attention is that roided-out bitch Piper Fury. The one who has been a thorn in my side ever since that night. Piper, I was ready to leave you be, you know that? But no… you had to go crack my skull open with that thing you call Precious. Not only that, but you go out and help your bimbo pal Leona nearly cripple my girlfriend. And for what reason? Because you couldn’t bear the thought that I might even consider the idea of helping my girl out, even though I was nowhere near the ring? Lady, and I do use that term very loosely, if you want to shorten your lifespan, that’s a good way to go at it.
Eryk Masters: Wow, for someone who’s been spending more time in the hospital than in the ring as of late, he sure likes to talk a lot of trash. Maybe that bat of his is giving him some extra courage.
Other Guy: Gotta be something. Either that or Piper scrambled his brains so much that he’s not thinking straight.
Eryk Masters: Now that one I’d probably lay money on.
Johnny Napalm: After spending all that time getting myself back into game shape, I come back ready and willing to do to you exactly what you did to me. I had everything planned down to the detail. Or so I thought. I had you right where I wanted you, but nooo… you had to go and get yourself an old dinosaur friend to be your partner. And to make matters worse, just when I think you can’t stoop any lower, you do exactly that. You and your pal Mason Pierce grab Sakura right out from under me, lock her in the trunk of a car and take her away to God-knows-where. And to use her to help you and that big oaf you call a partner distract me long enough to steal a win that should have been mine all along… well, that’s just gone and pissed me off that much more.
Eryk Masters: Now he’s just making excuses.
Other Guy: He’s good at that.
Johnny Napalm: And so now you’ve got this big decision to make. I don’t care what you come up with, Piper. I hope you make it nice and violent. I really do. I am focused right now.. and every ounce of that focus is on you. So let’s hear it, bitch. What have you come up with? How are we going to do this at RISE? I’m waiting… so get your ass out here and let’s hear it.
He drops the microphone, a scowl on his face. All of a sudden, the opening riff of “Six Times Dead (16.6)” boom from the speakers. But there seems to be no movement from the backstage area. The JumboTron comes to life…
The camera cuts to outside of the Epicenter- in fact, quite a ways from the Epicenter and Las Vegas in particular. The lights of the Strip can be seen in the distance. Piper Fury is standing on a platform, the wind blowing through her long blond hair. She’s got Precious in her left hand and a grin on her face.
Piper Fury: Napalm.. hey, numbnuts, up here. You finished yet? I swear, I’ve been sitting here watching you on the remote and I have to wonder- do you ever shut up? Hell, do you even listen to yourself? Jesus H. Christ, all you ever seem to do is talk and talk about how tough you are, what you’re going to do to me, blah, blah, blah. Well, I’ve got a little present for you, so if I were you, I would really consider shutting your trap and listening. As you know, at the last Revolution, I earned a very special privilege. The one that you were so confident you were going to claim as your own that you couldn’t hold your load long enough- you had to blurt out to the world how you were going to take things oh so extreme. How’d that work out for ya, Johnny? Not too well, if I recall correctly. Your partner left you high and dry the second Jester Smiles came by to have a little bit of fun with this favorite playmate. Gotta love those no-disqualification rules, right?
Piper Fury: I’m betting your friend Crippler probably doesn’t want to be your friend anymore after that little shitkicking. And seriously, dude. Thumbtacks? You guys couldn’t have come up with anything more original than thumbtacks? Not like it made much of a difference anyway- just made a nice little bed for Kev to Stonewall you onto. I guess now you know how a pincushion feels, don’t you? Aaaaanyhow, when it was all said and done, I had a decision to make. So many possibilities, and I had to come up with one. The best way to finally deal with you once and for all- to close this chapter in my career. And when Kev and I were getting patched up after the damage that you and Crippler had done to us in that street fight, it came to me. The light bulb went off.
The camera pans back to show the platform that Piper has been standing on is actually the roof of an ambulance. Piper hops down to the hood and slides off, slapping the hood of the ambulance for emphasis.
Piper Fury: Here it is. My grand inspiration and the answer to the mystery. It’s a little something I like to call the Meat Wagon Match. And here’s the way it works. Pinfalls? Submissions? Screw that. Those take the fun out of things. There’s only one way to win this baby. You’ve got to beat your opponent down so badly that you can get him- emphasis on the him part, see what I did there?- on a stretcher, through the backstage area and into the back of this here meat wagon- hence the name of the match. Close the door and that’s all she wrote. Pretty cool, huh? Well, maybe not for you. Which reminds me… I also have another little present for you, seeing as how I am in SUCH a generous mood tonight.
Piper opens the door to the ambulance and pulls out a stretcher, on which is the unconscious, but still breathing Sakura Lee. Piper drags the stretcher off the road a bit of a ways.
Piper Fury: You wanted her, here she is. Don’t worry, she’s not dead. Just snoozing. You want her, come and claim her, because to be quite honest, we’ve gotten kinda tired of all her bullshit. She’s like you, Johnny- never shuts up. Someone will have the coordinates to you within the next little while.
Piper climbs into the driver’s side of the ambulance and closes the door before firing up the engine and leaning out the window to look into the camera.
Piper Fury: I wouldn’t wait if I were you- who knows what might be roaming the desert at night, ya know? See ya at RISE, Johnny. Tick tock. Tick, tock.
The ambulance drives off as the camera cuts to black….
The lights come back on in the Epicenter and Napalm is standing in the ring, his eyes wide as he wraps his head around what he’s just seen.
Eryk Masters: Wow… now that’s something I wasn’t expecting. A Meat Wagon Match? Definitely got to give her points for originality, that’s for sure.
Other Guy: And Napalm looks like he’s about to pop a gasket in the ring.
Johnny Napalm can be heard screaming at the camera, “If she’s harmed in any way, I will not REST until I END YOU… EVERY FUCKING ONE OF YOU!!!” He tosses the bat over the top rope and makes a quick exit, grabbing the bat and charging up the ramp.
“The One” by Tantric starts to broadcast through the Epicenter, and the fans watch the ramp closely to get their first look at one of SHOOT Project’s newest soldiers. Edmund Augustus Shan steps out from behind the curtains and stares out at the crowd for a moment, taking all of this in, and then he starts to make his way down to the ring.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first, hailing from “Naked City” Las Vegas, Nevada…EDMUND AUGUSTUS SHAN!!
Other Guy: Well here comes Edmund Augustus Shan, fresh new blood making his debut here in SHOOT. What do we know about this kid, Eryk?
Eryk Masters: From what I’ve heard, he’s a scrapper. He’s got a background in street fighting, and he’s the type of young man who grew up in a tough as nails environment, and that’s rubbed off on him quite a bit.
Shan quickly hops up onto the apron and enters the ring between the middle ropes, going to one corner to await his opponent.
"The Point of No Return" by Immortal Technique begins as a red strobe light starts to pulse at the head of the ramp. A large smiley face cracks into life on the SHOOT video wall, and SCAR’s Black Death bursts out from behind the curtains.
Adrian’s wet dark hair frames a smirking, sinister face…and his eyes dance with mirth as he gazes out at the masses who loathe him.
Samantha Coil: Introducing second, he hails from Mexico City, Mexico, representing PROJECT: SCAR….SCAR’S BLACK DEATH….ADRIAN CORAZON!!
Other Guy: Is it just me, or does Las Vegas REALLY hate Corazon?
Eryk Masters: Everyone with a shred of decency inside of them hates Adrian Corazon. I would compare him to a decomposing apple…he is just a ROTTEN human being all the way to his core.
Other Guy: Let’s not forget he’s the man responsible for bringing cancerous entities like Entragian and Yamada into SHOOT, essentially opening the gates and letting the monsters in…
Eryk Masters: I’ll never forget that. Lately we’ve been seeing Entragian get put through Hell at the hands of Jaime Alejandro, but I would just LOVE to see someone put Corazon through Hell too…
Corazon saunters down the ramp slowly, allowing Shan to sweat it out a bit in the center of the ring. That dark, jovial smirk never leaves Corazon’s lips.
Corazon enters the ring by sliding under the bottom rope, and he stands across from Shan while cocking his head to the side and measuring up the rookie.
The official nods towards the timekeeper; and the bell sounds, signaling that the match is OFFICIALLY UNDERWAY!
Shan steps towards the center of the ring, and he extends his hand towards Corazon. Corazon looks down at the hand, the smirk on his face growing even larger.
Eryk Masters: Not a good idea, kid. You wouldn’t put your hand into a snake’s mouth, would you? Corazon won’t hesitate to sink the fangs in…
Other Guy: Looks like Shan is trying to appeal to Corazon’s better nature. I guess nobody told him that Corazon has no better nature…
Adrian extends his own hand, looking to take advantage of this situation…but the very second Adrian’s hand makes contact Shan BLASTS him down to the mat with a quick clothesline, and then he PLANTS a hard kick into Corazon’s gut.
Shan takes a step back then, nodding his head. Corazon stares up at him while holding a hand against him stomach, his eyes wide and incredulous.
Eryk Masters: WHOA! I was not expecting to see that from this green boy. Seems this young man is no stranger to playing dirty.
Other Guy: The crowd loved that. Sent a shockwave through the arena…
Adrian pops right back up to his feet, and the smirk is gone from his face now. His eyes are dark and fuming, and before Shan can even react Corazon starts to light Shan’s chest up with knife edge chops. Shan gets driven back against the ropes, and Corazon irish whips him across the ring.
Shan bounces off the ropes, and Corazon meets him in the center of the ring and takes him down with an arm drag. Shan is quick to get back up, and this time Corazon moves in and blasts him down to the canvas with a hip toss. Edmund is slower to get back to his feet this time, and the moment he comes within range Corazon UNLEASHES with a skull-shattering hook kick that catches Shan right on the side of the jaw.
Shan is thrown back into the turnbuckles from the impact, totally thrown off his game by the force of that kick.
Eryk Masters: Well that initial assault by Shan seems to have incensed Corazon, because the black-hearted SCAR member is really going to work right about now.
Other Guy: That hook kick was straight up NASTY. Almost caved the rook’s face in with that…
Corazon wastes no time, he goes right over to the buckles and irish whips Shan across the ring into another set of turnbuckles, but this time he drops down to his belly once he releases Shan’s wrist for maximum velocity. Shan SLAMS into the buckles hard, one hand going to nurse his aching lower back.
Corazon is right back up his feet and smelling blood, but when he tries to continue the assault on Shan he’s met with a BRUTAL throat punch that connects with his adam’s apple. Corazon staggers back while gagging, and Shan moves in and snatches Corazon up by the neck. From there he just begins to SNAP muay thai knee strikes into Corazon’s torso, slamming him in the kidneys over and over again.
Adrian begins to cough against the barrage, and Shan switches his grip on Corazon’s neck and runs across the ring before PLANTING Corazon’s face into the mat with a bulldog. Shan quickly rolls him over for a pinfall.
Other Guy: Damn. I don’t know about you, Eryk, but Shan has really impressed me thus far. There’s no doubt that he’s an accomplished fighter…
Eryk Masters: Any man or woman who can step through those ropes and go toe to toe with a horrible, conniving person like Corazon earns my respect, and Shan definitely has it tonight.
Corazon starts to scramble his way up to his feet, but Shan is right there and he shoots around Corazon and LATCHES onto his throat and head with a standing sleeper hold. Shan starts to shake and throttle Corazon’s body from side to side, and Corazon’s arms pinwheel as he tries to escape the submission hold.
Adrian tries to pull his way towards the ropes, but Shan hauls him back before he can reach them. Corazon’s face starts to redden, and he drops down to one knee as some of his strength is sapped away from him.
Eryk Masters: Shan could have this one in the bag…Corazon is starting to fade.
Other Guy: Wouldn’t it be great if Shan could beat a member of SCAR and former World Champion in his debut match? The kid would have something to brag about for months!
Just when it seems like Corazon is about to give up the ghost, vitality starts to return and Corazon battles his way up to his feet. He starts to slam elbows into the side of Shan’s head, and after a succession of these Shan has no choice but to release the sleeper. Corazon is quick to lock Shan up and SMASH him down to the canvas with a northern lights suplex, and Corazon bridges with a pinfall attempt.
At the last possible second, Shan manages to get his shoulder up.
Corazon rips the young man back up to his feet in frustration, and he whips him hard into the ropes. Shan bounces off and Corazon rockets him up into the air with a back body drop, forcing the rookie to fall down hard against the canvas.
Corazon then climbs atop Shan’s body, and he snaps onto one of his arms and proceeds to lock him up with a chicken wing submission hold. Shan immediately screams in pain as Corazon grinds into his arm, and his eyes grow large and desperate as he reaches towards the closest bottom rope with his free hand.
Other Guy: Sheer brutality. They don’t call Corazon the Brutal & Inhuman for nothing.
Eryk Masters: Shan’s either gonna have to tap or reach those ropes, otherwise he risks a grave injury and his career could be over before it even begins.
Corazon grits his teeth and pulls back even holder on the chicken wing, and Shan lets out a moan of anguish. Sensing that he’s in deep trouble, Shan reaches up and just rakes the side of Corazon’s face. Corazon pulls his face away and loses his grip on Shan’s arm. As the cameras zoom in we see a red scratch mark running down the length of Corazon’s cheek.
With Corazon momentarily distracted, Shan fights up to his feet and begins to snap off some nasty looking kicks directly into Corazon’s right arm. Adrian tries to slither away from Shan’s boots, but Shan reaches down and pulls Corazon back up to his feet via the arm that took most of the damage.
Shan begins to yank Corazon forward by the wrist and SLAM shoulder strikes into Corazon’s own shoulder and arm, and after of a succession of these Shan hauls Corazon’s weight up and spins before CRUSHING Corazon into the canvas with a spinebuster.
Shan promptly pulls back on a leg for the pin.
Corazon kicks out with authority at two.
Eryk Masters: This is honestly starting to look like a breakthrough performance for Edmund Augustus Shan.
Other Guy: He’s definitely doing everything it takes to prove himself here tonight. From what I’ve seen thus far, he belongs among the best of the best here in SHOOT Project.
Shan pulls a groggy Corazon back up to his feet, and he traps both arms and just begins to SMASH headbutts into Corazon’s face. Corazon is barely able to keep his feet, and a little blood begins to ooze down his face as the bridge of his nose gets busted open by Shan’s skull.
Shan snatches hold of Corazon’s forearm and whips him into the ropes, but as Corazon rebounds HE DRIVES A VICIOUS SUPERKICK INTO SHAN’S FACE!!
Shan flips backwards from the impact and lands on his stomach, his eyelids fluttering closed.
Other Guy: Act of Reality scores!! Shan just ate boot leather…
Corazon stalks over to Shan’s body while pushing hair from his face, and he scoops the young man up and lifts him up onto his shoulders in a fireman’s carry.
Corazon stares out the crowd, smirking that trademark smirk, and then he FLIPS SHAN OVER AND DRIVES HIM HEADFIRST INTO THE CANVAS WITH A RING-RATTLING DDT!!
Eryk Masters: Fury of the Dark Heart. There’s no coming back from that….
With the crowd booing at maximum volume, Corazon drops down for the pinfall.
Samantha Coil: Here is your winner….SCAR’S BLACK DEATH….ADRIAN CORAZON!!
Other Guy: Well I’m not surprised to see Corazon pick up the win here tonight, but I have to admit, Shan gave him one hell of a fight.
Eryk Masters: Couldn’t agree more. Edmund Augustus Shan showed a tremendous amount of heart here tonight. Most newcomers to SHOOT wouldn’t last ten seconds with a predator like Corazon, so that alone says something about this Naked City scrapper.
The final shot shows Corazon smirking out and the crowd as he instructs the referee to raise his hand in victory.
“Back In The Saddle Again” by Aerosmith is unleashed upon the audience here in the Epicenter, and the fans love every second of it, cheering loudly as out from the back come none other than Charles Brandon Magnus and Buck Dresden…THE BAD ASS BROTHERHOOD. They are, of course, wearing their SHOOT Project World Tag Team Championship belts, Buck around his waist and Magnus on his shoulder.
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen…YOUR SHOOT Project World…TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS…THE BAD…ASS…BROTHERHOOD!
Buck is wearing his black leather cowboy hat with the BAB emblem emblazoned on the front along with his black t-shirt and blue jeans with black cowboy boots. His hair is combed and slicked back, with his mustache trimmed beautifully. Magnus, meanwhile, is wearing a charcoal coat with cobalt blue undershirt and a matching pair of charcoal slacks as well as black dress shoes. His hair is combed back, but not slickly so, and his stubble remains ever vigilantly guarding his cheeks from looking unsexy.
Magnus adjusts the SHOOT Project World Tag Team Championship belt on his shoulder as he takes the microphone from Samantha Coil. Meanwhile, Buck is given another microphone by Mark Kendrick as “Back in the Saddle Again” dies back down. Magnus stares at the sea of fans once the music completely dies.
Charles Brandon Magnus: Last week…Buck Dresden and I found ourselves in a situation we didn’t enjoy.
Buck Dresden: Quite the understatement, Charlie.
Charles Brandon Magnus: With our friend Jonas Coleman down for the count and being unable to do anything about it, we were faced with a particularly damning feeling of helplessness.
Magnus bows his head.
Buck Dresden: An’ what they did to us…on our insides…was just too much fer us to handle. A lotta folks been in our position know how hard it really is, you know? To have a friend beat up like that…see him in a hospital bed…an’ know we can’t do nothin’ fer him…
Magnus pats Buck on the shoulder.
Charles Brandon Magnus: We got our frustrations out the only way we knew how: our opponents for RISE. Sam Gideon’s been busted up…last I heard he’s not gonna be making it to the big event all thanks to us.
Buck shakes his head.
Buck Dresden: But Tanya Black’s tougher’n than Sam Gideon. She’ll be there. An’ that’s good. She deserves this title shot. Only thing is…she deserves it fair. Stackin’ the deck with all them guys at ringside…it don’t fit fer the honor an’ the prestige these here titles deserves. Now, I ain’t got no problem with sendin’ Sam Gideon to the doctor…but Tanya Bla…
Magnus puts his hand on Buck’s microphone.
Charles Brandon Magnus: Let me stop you right there, Buck. We’ve been over this. That girl might be one of the best in the company and she might be backed by perhaps the greatest technical wrestler and without a doubt the greatest cruiserweight to ever set foot in the squared circle, but here’s the facts. That girl is in a crew of miscreants and foul little beasts. Chance Ryan and Cade Sydal turned their backs on Chris Sydal and killed one of SHOOT’s best known tag teams in the Flying Avengers. Sam Gideon’s mentally handicapped so at least he has an excuse…but Tanya?
Charles Brandon Magnus: She turned her back on these fans, she turned her back on this company, and no matter what you’ve got shoved up inside that head of yours, Buckley…she’s turned her back on you. She has insulted us as champions, as men, and as performers of this great art we call professional wrestling.
He shakes his head.
Charles Brandon Magnus: That cow deserves more than the Extinction Level Event we hit her with.
The fans let out a collective OOOH as Buck sighs, defeated, knowing he has no chance of convincing his longtime partner of Tanya Black having any sort of conscience in her. Suddenly, “Let The Madness Begin” by Fozzy kicks in, the fans instantly begin to boo.
Eryk Masters:That’s the Sinister Syndicate, who I can’t imagine are very pleased with the Brotherhood getting one over on them last Revolution.
Cade Sydal steps out from behind the curtains and onto the stage, leading the way as he pulls Cassi Ryan by the hand, with Chance Ryan and Tanya Black coming up right behind them, with the latter still showing the effects of the ELE and a none-too-pleased expression on her face. Cade, however, smirks as he clicks his tongue against the inside of his cheek into the microphone, silencing the music with the quartet still at the edge of the stage.
Cade Sydal: You two…ohhhh you two.
Cade continues to smirk as the fans shower the Sinister Syndicate with jeers, while the Bad Ass Brotherhood stare hard at them.
Cade Sydal: You, Chuck…you’re pleased with yourself, am I hearing things right? And Buck…Buck feels bad?
Cade offers a derisive snort as he shakes his head.
Cade Sydal: I don’t buy that at all. You’re both very pleased with yourselves, injuring my bodyguard? And then assaulting Tanya Black? You two should be ashamed of yourselves, roughing up a non-competitor and then turning your vile attention on a woman, who for as capable as she is just finished a match mind you, because what…your friend got hurt?
Cade shakes his head slowly, unlocking his fingers from Cassi’s as he points his now-free hand down at the ring.
Cade Sydal: Is that how Champions conduct themselves? No…no it isnt. And honestly, I thought you two were a little better than that. Tanya herself had me convinced of it…but you two just, just…had to take the low road didn’t you?
As the fans renew their booing, Cade simply shakes his head and rolls his eyes.
Cade Sydal: And all of these people loved it, which really just makes them as bad as you now doesn’t it? Of course it does. Now, see, I could march my way down this ramp with an angry Chance Ryan and an embittered Tanya Black, and the three of us could repay that favor…
Cade grins as the tag team champions motion for the three wrestlers of the Syndicate to come on down and try, and Chance even starts to walk down the ramp with the fans buzzing in anticipation until Cade holds his free hand up and stops him, garnering some more boos instead.
Cade Sydal: But we’re not going to do that because, unlike the two of you, we are better than that. We could come down there and exact some revenge for you beating up Sam Gideon…revenge you would actually deserve seeing as how you two actually did it. We could even come down there and stomp holes into your faces after what you did for my tag team partner, once again something you would deserve. And we would be right to do so, no one would even bat an eye at that…and we’re the bad guys, so I’ve heard.
Eryk Masters: Go do it then!
Other Guy: Shhh!
Cade Sydal: No, instead we’re going to wait until RISE. Where we fully intend to take those tag team titles off of the two of you, and make you suffer how you deserve to suffer…without your championships, without your friend Jonas, and –if we have anything to do with it?– without your adoring fans. After we’re done with you they’ll see that you two have been nothing but a fraud, fed easy challengers after easy challengers ad nauseum. The two of you are pretenders, and it’s time for real champions to hold those belts.
Before Cade can continue any further, Tanya Black takes the two steps closer and pulls the microphone from his hand. Cade looks at her and opens his hand, waving it in front of her in deference. Tanya takes a couple steps forward so that she is separate from the pack and all eyes are on her. Licking her lips she takes a moment to massage her neck before speaking.
Tanya: First things first Charles…. Brandon…. Magnus. Betrayal is a very harsh accusation and I’m not happy with hearing that. There are two sides to every story and I will be vindicated at RISE. I will say this though. Buck I didn’t turn my back on you. I’ve always been honest with you. I told you several weeks ago that if you delayed the tag title match, the Brotherhood would get hurt. That things would get worse. You made the choice to wait for the big payday at RISE. Now your legend will die and you have no one to blame but yourself…. Or rather your partner since he keeps treating you like a sidekick who can’t make a choice.
The fans boo even louder than ever at that but Tanya Black simply ignores it as she whispers something to Cassi Ryan who nods and does something on her iPhone in response.
Tanya: I’ll be honest. That ELE hurt like hell. I am still stiff and aching. Most painful move I’ve ever been hit with, bar none. For the first time since I signed to SHOOT I am glad that I am not wrestling tonight. Don’t worry though I will be back to normal when we have our match. Finally.
The thing is for all the big talk we are all making, I am the only one who is willing to say the simple thing. You two owe me thanks. Before I re-signed. Before I took control of the flow of this whole business deal, you two were worthless. You had made the tag team titles worthless. I woke up the REAL Bad Ass Brotherhood.
The Bad Ass Brotherhood who tore through every team the front office could sign to win the titles to begin with. The Bad Ass Brotherhood who defended those belts against everyone in every match possible, including a crazy as hell Four Way elimination match.
Eryk Masters: She knows her history but why would you want to fight a team that good?
Other Guy: Hush it and she’ll tell us.
Tanya: Beating two guys who had gotten soft and lazy because they hadn’t had any competition for ages is not a worthy win. Beating two guys who weren’t motivated to be the BEST they had ever been does me no good. I wanted the Real Bad Ass Brotherhood and I woke you two up. Don’t be guilty Buck. Last week you gave me everything I wanted. Everything I needed to feel excited about this encounter.
Now it’s time for the tag team titles to change hands. Now it’s time for the Real BAB to fall and for their legend to die. The Sinister Syndicate will rebirth SHOOT Project and Restore the Revolution.
Oh by the way rest assured I had nothing to do with the demise of the Butcher. A pretty little Icon like that. I would do him in the ring, so everyone can enjoy watching.
As for your trump card. It’s nice, it hurt but you call that the Extinction Level Event. Well the Syndicate isn’t Extinct yet. I demand you Try Harder.
With that Tanya Black blows a kiss to Buck before flipping off Charles turning her back with a swish of her hair, retreating to the back of the group as the fans boo all over again. Cade simply looks a bit surprised at her before smirking and gesturing that it’s time to leave.
Eryk Masters: She’s um… special.
Other Guy: She’s a manipulative witch. Tanya just admitted she has been playing the Brotherhood since Day One to wake up their cruel side so the Syndicate can win a true war.
Eryk Masters: Not to mention trying to drive a wedge between our tag team champions.
Magnus begins to speak, but Buck quickly puts his hand on the microphone, lowering his partner’s hand. Magnus looks at his longtime friend and partner and slowly hands the microphone over to him.
Buck Dresden: Darlin’…you wanna prove yer better’n us? You wanna sell yer soul? You want the belts we’ve held fer over a year an’ a half? Well, Tanya? Cade? To paraphrase a great man: you want these titles? You can have ‘em…
He glares at the Syndicate as he slowly raises his SHOOT Project World Tag Team Championship. Magnus does the same.
Buck Dresden: …when you pry ‘em from our cold…dead…hands.
The fans pop at that. Suddenly “Back In The Saddle Again” kicks back up and the fans begin to cheer loudly. Tanya sneers as she and Buck make eye contact. Buck, meanwhile, merely holds his belt up for all to see. Meanwhile, Cade places his hand on her should and slowly guides her backwards until she turns from the Brotherhood.
Eryk Masters: Ladies and gentlemen…the battle lines are drawn! Charles Brandon Magnus…Buck Dresden…Cade Sydal…and Tanya Black! I can’t believe it! An honest to God title match for the tag team titles at RISE!
Other Guy: It’s about damn time!
The lights in the arena die, and the VideoWall shows nothing but a black and white film countdown, the film flickering and a beep heard after every digit.
A trio of drumrolls cue up before converging on a loud hit of the snare, signalling a spotlight to focus on the entrance curtain. Slayer’s "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" cues up at the start of the first verse, bringing Corey Lazarus and Gregory Price out from behind the entrance curtain.
==DON’T YOU KNOW THAT I LOVE YOU?==
Samantha Coil: Introducing next, being accompanied by Gregory Price…
==DON’T YOU KNOW THAT I’LL ALWAYS BE TRUE?==
Corey stops at the top of the ramp, putting his hands on his hips, and peers out at the crowd from behind his trademark silver-rimmed Ray Bans. Price comes up behind him, handing him a bottle of Aquafina. Corey points to the nearest camera, motioning for its operator to come close, and is obliged.
==OH, WON’T YOU COME WITH ME==
==AND TAKE MY HAND?==
Samantha Coil: Standing at 6-foot-1 and weighing in tonight at 230 pounds…
==OH, WON’T YOU COME WITH ME==
Corey checks his hair in his reflection on the lens before blowing the camera a kiss and taking a sip from the Aquafina bottle.
==AND WALK THIS LAND?==
The guitars divebomb, prompting Corey to sprint the rest of the distance as Price casually strolls down after him.
Samantha Coil: He is "The Premier Attraction"…
Corey dives underneath the bottom rope and rolling up to a kneeling position with one fist firmly on the canvas.
==TAKE MY HAND==
Laz bangs his head along with the pounding drums…
Samantha Coil: CORRRREYYYYYYYYYY LAAAAAAAAAAAAZZZZZZZZZZAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRUUUUUUUUUUUUSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
…and then jumps to his feet, arms outstretched to his sides with his trademark devilish grin on his face, turning to face each section of the crowd. The main melody of the song returns as Corey slides his Ray Bans off, tossing them to Price at ringside along with the now half-empty bottle of water.
Eryk Masters: And Corey Lazarus, making a spectacle of himself once again.
Other Guy: Get off his back, Eryk. The man knows how to make an entrance!
Eryk Masters: I bet he’ll know how to make an exit one Thomas Manchester Black gets out here, too.
The music shuts off, and Corey awaits not his opponent, but his partner. "Give Me Back My Bullets" kicks in, and the fans give a respectable ovation for Henry Gordon.
Eryk Masters: Henry Gordon, ladies and gentlemen. His in ring work is gaining him quite a following.
Other Guy: I have more followers on Twitter.
Samantha Coil: And his partner, from Harrisonburg, Virginia, weighing in at 320 pounds, Henry Goooooooordon!
Other Guy: I’d like to point out, for the record, I don’t think that The L-A-Z is too impressed by his parnter.
Eryk Masters: He’s 6’2, over three bills. Laz may not be impressed, but he better not be expecting Hammerin’ Hank to put up with any bullcrap here tonight. He’s got one thing on his mind right now: Crazy Boy.
Gordon climbs the steel stairs and makes his way into the ring, wandering over to the corner with Lazarus. There is no communication between the two, and I don’t think either man minds that.
Eryk Masters: You’ve got two teams of people who really can’t stand each other. You have to wonder how well they are going to coexist together.
Other Guy: You talking about Laz and Gordon, or Crazy Boy and TMB?
Eryk Masters: Yes.
Skynyrd shuts off, signaling the entrance of their opponents. "Crucify Me" by Bring On the Horizon starts, and the fans begin booing for Tyrone Smith.
Samantha Coil: And their opponents! First, weighing in at 227 pounds, Craaaaaaazy Boooooooooy!
Crazy Boy saunters down the ramp, not at all in a hurry to get into the ring. "Ain’t No Rest For the Wicked" kicks in, and the fans roar in approval, Thomas Manchester Black has arrived.
Samantha Coil: And his parnter, weighing in at 245 pounds, he is Thomas….Manchester….Blaaaaaaack!
Eryk Masters: TMB cannot wait to get his hands on Lazarus. He is not wasting any time getting to that ring.
TMB powerwalks to the ring and as soon as he touches the apron, Lazarus drops to the floor. Black is very interested in getting this thing started right away, but neither Crazy Boy or Laz will get in the ring.
Eryk Masters: These two realize that the match can’t start unless all four men are ready to go?
Other Guy: Have patience. They’ll get in there when they’re good and ready.
Dennis Heflin backs TMB back into his corner, which allows Crazy Boy to slide slowly into the ring, keeping his eye on his parnter, as well as Henry Gordon. Laz steps up on the apron, and gives Gordon a thumbs up, shouting "You Got This".
Eryk Masters: Looks like Crazy Boy and Henry Gordon will start the match for their respective teams.
The bell rings and the match has begun, with Gordon charging at Crazy Boy, trying to trap him in the corner, but CB moves out of the way. Crazy Boy taunts Gordon, which doesn’t make Hank feel very happy. He charges at CB again, but Tyrone ducks out of the way, and Gordon hits the opposite turnbuckle before stopping. Crazy Boy is enjoying himself, he busts out the whitest possible Running Man you’ll ever see.
Eryk Masters: That’s….the Running Man. In the middle of the SHOOT Project Epicenter.
Other Guy: Hey, he’s not half bad!
Gordon stops and stares at Crazy Boy, a look of confusion on his face. Lazarus taunts from the corner.
Lazarus: Don’t just stand there! Bust a damn move!
Gordon shrugs and starts to perform some kind of line dance in the middle of the ring. Lazarus shakes his head in disgust, but the fans enjoy it.
Other Guy: Ladies and gentlemen, Henry "Two Left Feet" Gordon.
Laz has seen enough. He enters the ring at the protest of referee Heflin. He stops the dance display from Gordon, and backs him into the corner. He then proceeds to moonwalk into the center of the ring.
Other Guy: Now THAT takes skill.
But what Laz doesn’t see is Thomas Manchester Black step between the ropes. Lazarus spins, grabs his crotch, and yells to the heavens, but is cut short by a wicked lariat by TMB!
Eryk Masters: I can guarantee you won’t have Thomas Manchester Black teaching anyone how to Dougie. He’s here to fight!
Gordon catches CB off guard, avalanching him in the corner. Heflin gets TMB and Lazarus out of the ring, while Gordon begins to tee off on the face of Tyrone Smith. CB slumps in the corner, and Gordon grabs his arm and whips him into the opposite turnbuckle, and CB hits with such force, he ricochets to the ground.
Eryk Masters: Tremendous show of force by Henry Gordon.
CB clutches at his back, and moves on his knees to his corner, and tags in TMB.
Other Guy: Black enters the ring legally now, and he makes it known: he wants Corey Lazarus.
Gordon goes to oblige, but Laz drops off the apron.
Lazarus: You got this!
Gordon showing frustration at the lack of action from his partner, he turns back, but TMB is there, and jacks his jaw with an uppercut. Lazarus cringes as Gordon falls into the corner. Black plants a kick to the body, followed by a left hook, and then a right cross, which causes Gordon to slump in the corner.
Eryk Masters: Devastating combo by TMB, he’s making a mess out of Henry Gordon!
TMB whips Gordon into his corner, and follows up with a running knee, right into the big man’s face. TMB looks to follow up as Gordon crumples to the ground, but Crazy Boy reaches in and slaps him on the back. Heflin signals that a tag was made, and TMB isn’t happy about it. Nevertheless, CB enters the ring and starts stomping away at Gordon, and Black is forced to return to the apron.
Eryk Masters: Crazy Boy and Henry Gordon have been reaching the boiling point as of late, but Tyrone is going to have to use his quickness if he wants to stand a chance against a man the size of Henry Gordon.
Gordon tries to get to a sitting position, but CB boots him in the chest, and knocks him back to the apron. Gordon again tries to sit up, but CB once more levels him back to the ground. CB gets a running start, and just as Gordon sits up, Crazy Boy plants both feet into the chest of Hank, a low dropkick that finds it’s mark. CB covers Gordon.
Gordon shoves CB clear off of him, powering out before the three count can be made.
Other Guy: Just for the record, I never said that Gordon didn’t have some scary strength. I don’t think CB realized how strong he was until now.
CB hammers down on Hank with forearms to the back now, as Gordon gets back to his feet. CB fires off with a right hand, that nearly knocks Gordon back to the ground, but Hank keeps his balance. CB bounces off the ropes, and nails Henry with a clothesline, but Gordon just staggers back. CB bounces off the ropes a second time, and connects with a second clothesline, and again, Henry Gordon remains vertical. CB bounces off a third time, but Gordon steps forward, and absolutely plants CB into the mat.
Eryk Masters: Bossman Slam by Gordon! I don’t think Tyrone was expecting that one!
The fans pop as Gordon hooks the leg of CB, looking to put this one away for his team.
Crazy Boy is able to kick out before the three. Gordon gets to his feet, still a little woozy from all the strikes he took, and moves to his corner. This time, Lazarus is waiting with his hand outstretched, itching to get into the ring.
Eryk Masters: With TMB safely on the ring apron, NOW Lazarus wants in the ring.
Other GUy: Say what you will, but Corey Lazarus is a competitor, and he wants to compete.
Gordon makes the tag, and in comes Laz. Crazy Boy is attempting to make a tag, crawling towards his corner, but Lazarus drops an elbow in the back of CB, who collapses mid ring from the blow. Lazarus picks CB up by the waist, and absolutely drills him with a beautiful release German suplex, that folds Crazy Boy up like an accordion. Lazarus drags CB back to the center of the ring, and covers, hooking the near leg.
Th-Crazy Boy rolls his shoulder up just in time. Lazarus eyeballs Heflin, but goes back on the attack, putting a couple of boots in the chest of CB, then picking him up off the mat, and whipping him into the ropes. CB gets caught with a stiff spinning wheel kick right to the chops, dropping him once again, and once again, Lazarus goes for the cover.
Th-And again, Crazy Boy kicks out!
Eryk Masters: Lazarus keeps trying for the win here, but CB showing some tenacity by staying alive here.
Other Guy: Lazarus likes to talk about his Iron Fist title he won a few years back, but he has to remember: he’s in the ring with a former World Champion in Legacy.
Laz brings CB back to his feet, and unleashes a knife edge chop, right to the face. The Face Chop sends CB reeling into the ropes, clutching his face in pain, and Lazarus takes advantage, driving a running knee right to the center of CB’s back. CB drops to a knee, and eats another kick to the chest from Corey Lazarus, who then runs full speed across the ring, rebounding and he levels CB with the Coming Attractions!
Eryk Masters: That’s it! Crazy Boy slumps to the ground, and Lazarus hooks both legs! This is over!
THR-Crazy Boy grabs the bottom rope with his hand! Heflin sees it, and stops his count.
Other Guy: Great ring presence by Crazy Boy. You have to know where you are in the ring at all times, and Lazarus seems to have let CB get a little too close to the ropes.
Lazarus shows a little frustration, and picks CB up by the hair. Crazy Boy, however, pulls a quick jawbreaker out of nowhere, and Lazarus snaps backwards to the mat! CB is still on the ground, and now so is Lazarus!
Eryk Masters: Crazy Boy badly needs a tag here! TMB is ready, and he’s waiting!
CB starts to crawl over to his corner, and so does Lazarus. Laz is closer, and he keeps inching over, and makes the tag to Henry Gordon! Just as Gordon gets in the ring, CB dives and slaps the hand of TMB! Both men made the tag, and now, Gordon meets TMB with a big right hand. Black makes his way through the ropes and answers back, staggering Gordon. Gordon shakes the cobwebs loose, and fires back with another big right, that drops TMB! CB is back to his feet, and Gordon drops him too! Black gets back to his feet, and Lazarus leaps from out of nowhere and jumps on TMB’s back, raining forearms. Gordon buries his boot to TMB’s stomach, and Black drops to his knees, Lazarus rolling off his back. CB gets up and chop blocks Gordon, bringing him back to Earth, and fires off a quick chop to the chest of Corey Lazaraus. TMB gets to his feet again, and fires a forearm to the side of the head of Lazarus!
Eryk Masters: All four men are in the ring, tearing each other apart! Dennis Heflin has lost control of things, and I don’t know if he can get it back!
Crazy Boy kicks Lazarus as TMB now focuses on the larger Gordon. Lazarus kicks Crazy Boy, and Gordon and TMB are slugging away at each other. Lazarus turns the tables on TMB, as he nails him on the base of his neck with a double axhandle. Crazy Boy rolls out of the ring, and Lazarus and Gordon both stomp away at Black. Lazarus and Gordon run the ropes, but Crazy Boy snags the foot of Lazarus, and pulls him outside! Gordon runs and TMB snaps up and meets him in the center of the ring, with a Black Hole Slam that takes every ounce of strength by TMB!
Eryk Masters: That took a lot of power, and now Black hooks in the Anaconda Vice! That completes it! Wake 2 Nightmare!
TMB pulls back on the neck of Gordon, but there’s Corey Lazarus! He makes it back into the ring, and drops an elbow onto TMB, forcing him to release the hold. CB is close behind, putting the boots to Lazarus. Gordon rolls out of the ring, and TMB tries to recover from the elbow.Lazarus is trying to get back to his feet, but CB keeps clobbering him with rights and lefts to the back. Black gets back up, and comes over to help. CB picks up Lazarus and pins his arms behind him. TMB winds up, but Lazarus ducks, and Black nails Crazy Boy!
Eryk Masters: A BIG moment of miscommunication sends CB to the ground!
Lazarus wraps up Black and dumps him over the top rope and to the floor. CB gets back to his feet, but Lazarus is ready for him. He doubles CB over, and starts setting him up..
Other Guy: A CinePlex from Lazarus! He plants Crazy Boy!
Laz hooks both legs, folding CB in half.
The bell rings, and Laz releases CB.
Samantha Coil: Here are your winners, Henry Gordon and Coreeeeeeey Laaaaazaaaaarus!!
Eryk Masters: The miscommunication between Crazy Boy and TMB cost them here tonight.
Other Guy: There’s still issues between all four of these men, and we’re heading to RISE next. Who’s going to settle their respective scores?
Edmund Augustus Shan sits on a metal box staring at the floor, thinking on his loss to Corazon tonight. He gave it his all but he was beaten. He lifts his head up and looks to his left and sees nobody. He looks to his right and he sees “Red” Luke Davis coming his way. Shan nods at him.
Luke Davis: Can be rough breaking into the business.
Shan: You can say that again. Wasn’t like I expected to have it easy but I didn’t think I’d lose. You still have a match coming up tonight, don’t you?
Luke Davis: Yeah. I don’t think any of us expect to lose. But, it happens. Let me ask you this, don’t you think it just sucks that it seems like everyone has some kind of baggage around here? I mean, everyone’s focused on whatever war they’re fightin’ or their own personal mission. What ever happened to a good ol’ fashion fight? Know what I mean?
Shan nodded quickly in agreement.
Shan: Exactly. We all have our reasons for being here, ya know? You and me included but I’m here to fight and compete. I’m not here to be part of any one group or person’s war. I just want to get in the ring and have a fight. Whoever comes out on top, comes out on top.
Shan: Apparently you and I are the only ones who feel that way. Aiye?
Luke rubs his chin thoughtfully.
Luke Davis: You know somethin’, you’re right. I mean, here we are, two fighters with the same train of thought. Both of us just wanna go out there and fight. So, what d’ya think we should do about it?
Shan rubs the back of his head, trying to think of a solution.
Shan: You and me in the ring? Show those people what it’s like to be in the ring to enjoy a competitive match. We’d blow the roof off the joint. Whaddya say?
Shan slid off the metal box he was sitting on and held out his hand for Luke to shake. Luke nods his head and allows a genuine smile to cross his face.
Luke Davis: Sounds like a plan to me.
Luke takes the offered handshake from Shan.
Luke Davis: Let’s show ’em all what competition really is.
The two walk off in separate directions but Shan turns around real quick.
Shan: Oh and Luke…
Luke half turns around.
Shan: Good luck with your match. Hopefully at least one of us can get a mark in the W column tonight.
Luke nods his head and continues walking away and so does Shan until they’re both out of sight.
“And Your World Will Burn” hits over the PA, which instantly triggers a wave of boos from the fans. Out come four large SHOOT Project security guards, followed closely by a very happy Jester Smiles. Jester wears a green button up shirt with a purple suit coat, pants, and purple tie. His shoes are also green. In his hand is a piece of paper. The security guards walk forward, and Jester follows. Four more security guards appear behind Jester and follow him to the ring.
Eryk Masters: Oh, yeah, that’s cool. Attack Lunatikk Crippler, and then gloat about it while you hide behind 8 guys. No, yeah, that’s real great.
Other Guy: Eryk, could you just shut up a minute. Jester has a microphone, and I am really curious what that paper in his hand is.
The music dies down as Jester has taken the ring, and he stands in the middle of all the security, smiling. He can’t speak at first, because the crowd is booing him so loudly. This just makes him beam with pride.
Jester Smiles: Awww, shucks. Is all that for little ole me?
The crowd boos louder.
Jester Smiles: Hey, I know, I’m with you guys. I’d boo me too. I’ve been kind of a dick as of late. Especially to one Lunatikk Crippler.
The crowd boos again. Not that they ever really stopped, but they just sorta increase their volume.
Jester Smiles: You shouldn’t be THAT mad at me, though. I’m giving him the chance to take out all that aggression on me at RISE. No Disqualification. He can do WHATEVER he wants to me. I mean, so can I, but you get the point, right? If he wants to brain me with a chair, he can! If he wants to choke me with camera wires, that’s no problem! If he wants to cut my throat with razor wire, I’ll allow it! I’m doing him, and all of you a big favor. Jesus, you’d think you’d be more appreciative.
The fans are not. They just boo.
Jester Smiles: Well, that’s fine I guess. I didn’t come out here for your appreciation. I came out here because, I want everyone, including Crippler, to understand the ramifications of this match up. I want everyone to understand just what I am about to put myself, and the Lunatikk Crippler, through. I have a contract in my hand. This isn’t the typical contract signing scenario, no no no. You see, this contract doesn’t talk about future title shots or anything like that. This contract is much simpler. You are signing away ALL responsibilities that SHOOT Project has to your safety and well being. If you are horribly injured in that ring and can never walk again, SHOOT Project is not responsible. If you suffer serious brain damage in this match, SHOOT Project is not responsible.
Jester’s smile becomes far more devious.
Jester Smiles: If you die, in the middle of the ring…SHOOT Project is not responsible. This match will end, either in the standard ways of submission or pinning, no matter the condition of the two competitors. No medical stoppage. No intervening by the referee because someone ‘can’t continue’. If you want to kill me in that ring, Crippler, you’d be allowed. But, remember, the rules apply the same for me too. So, what do you say, Crip? You wanna play?
Jester doesn’t have to wait long. "I Wupped Batman’s Ass" kicks in, and the fans stop jeering Smiles in the ring, and absolutely erupt as Lunatikk Crippler wastes little time making his apperance.
Eryk Masters: Crippler still looking a little worse for wear after that BRUTAL Sin City Street Fight a couple weeks ago.
Other Guy: You said it. He had his bell rung quite a few times, and he’s still got that bandage on his head after receiving 8 stitches. He can’t be feeling too good right now.
All that aside, Crippler power walks to the ring, running on pure adrenaline. He rolls into the ring, and advances towards Jester Smiles, and his security crew gets in between the two. Crippler is trying hard to move past Jester’s handpicked security guards, with no luck. The best he can do is shout and point his finger, as the crowd is restless, booing the fact that Smiles is denying them any physical contact tonight. Jester, however, is enjoying this. He shakes his finger at Crippler, in a "Tsk tsk tsk" sort of way, further infuriating the crowd, and especially Lunatikk Crippler.
Jester Smiles: Hey, maybe you got hit in the head a little too hard last week, but this isn’t RISE. You don’t get to put your hands on me tonight!
The Crippler backs up, absolutely seething. A member of the ring crew materializes next to him, holding up a microphone. Crippler yanks it out his hands.
Luantikk Crippler: It must take a big man with a lot of balls to come out here and hide behind a bunch of security.
The crowd roars, but it doesn’t bother Jester. He just grins out at the crowd.
Lunatikk Crippler: You wanna talk about playing games, Jester? You want to talk about responsibility?
Crippler pauses, anger pulsing through him to the point that he’s shaking.
Lunatikk Crippler: I’m not out here to play games with you, Clown. I’m out here to fuck you up.
The crowd roars in approval. Jester does, too. He is jumping up and down behind the wall of security, holding the contract in his hands above his head, so Crippler gets a nice clear look at it.
Lunatikk Crippler: Yeah, I see your little piece of paper. And you bet your ass I’m gonna sign it!
The cheers get louder, as the match between these two is now promising to be very ugly.
Lunatikk Crippler: But there’s something you need to know, Jester. Something very important.
Crippler paces around the ring, trying to peer through the gaps in the security to get a look at Smiles, who seems to now be playing Hide and Seek with The Crippler.
Lunatikk Crippler: You can fuck around all you want to. You can jump me from behind, and run, that’s all fine. Because at RISE? There’s no running. There’s no hiding. You’re gonna have to own up to all the things you’ve done to me and mine, and take your beating like a fucking man!
The crowd pops again, and Jester Smiles fakes a yawn.
Lunatikk Crippler: But I’m not out to kill you, Jester.
This gets Smiles’ attention. He cocks an eyebrow, looking over towards The Crippler.
Jester Smiles: Oh? You’re not going to kill me?
Lunatikk Crippler: Yeah, I don’t want you dead. I want you alive. I want you to feel every single little thing I do to you at RISE. You gave me a few ideas already, but I’ve got more! Many more! And I want you….to SUFFER.
Crippler steps forward, and the security do their job and lock in tighter. Crippler doesn’t care. He raises the mic to his face, his free hand pointing directly at his foe.
Lunatikk Crippler: For MONTHS now, you’ve been stalking me, you’ve been jumping me, and I would have been fine if you kept it like that. I know what it’s like, having a target on my back when I’m in this ring. That I can respect.
Crippler lowers his hand, and if looks could kill, Jester would be in mortal danger.
Lunatikk Crippler: But you had to go and make this personal. You had to go and drag my family into this, my damn WIFE.
The crowd is silent, as Crippler and Smiles now have their full attention, and they are waiting for the explosion.
Lunatikk Crippler: You’re going to learn the hardway, Smiles, you don’t make things personal with me.
Crippler lunges through the security, but not for Smiles. He snatches the piece of paper from Jester’s hands. It crinkles a bit in the exchange, but Crippler smooths it out.
Lunatikk Crippler: Got a pen?
One of the security guards fishes a pen from his pocket, and tosses it to Crippler. He catches it, and then forcibly turns another guard around and signs the paper on his back, then drops both paper and pen.
Eryk Masters: There it is. It’s official. Lunatikk Crippler has signed away any responsibility SHOOT Project would have had in regards to his match with Smiles at RISE.
Other Guy: That match is no longer sanctioned by this company, who knows what is going to happen?
Smiles gingerly picks up the piece of paper now, saving it of posterity.
Lunatikk Crippler: You’ve got your signature, Jester. And now, you’ve got nobody to blame but yourself when I cripple you at RISE.
Crippler drops his mic with a thud, and it fizzles out, as he turns to leave.
Jester Smiles: Wait! Crip! Hold on!
Crippler turns around , still glaring at Jester. Jester pulls something out of his coat pocket, something that looks like a pair of tickets.
Jester Smiles: I got you a little present. Here, take it!
He hands the tickets to one of the body guards, who presents them to Lunatikk Crippler.
Jester Smiles: It’s two ring side, front row tickets to RISE. VERY expensive and hard to get this close to the show. I thought maybe your wife would like a front row ticket, her and a friend, you know?
This is the last straw as Lunatikk Crippler lashes out. He decks the one body guard, but the rest are quick and get a hold of Crippler. Crippler claws and fights his way, practically foaming at the mouth to get at Jester, who simply stands there laughing. The crowd boos loudly and eventually starts a “Let them fight!” chant, but the guards do no such thing. They keep pulling Lunatikk Crippler and eventually get him out of the ring and begin to escort him to the back. Jester Smiles just remains in the ring, laughing.
Eryk Masters: What sickening display by Jester Smiles. I mean, come on, there is nothing funny about that.
Other Guy: I know, he just wasted two tickets to RISE. FRONT ROW! Those are hard to get.
"Kick It In the Sticks" starts up, and the fans are a buzz, as the next match is set to get underway.
Eryk Masters: I’ve been waiting for this one since it was announced, OG. This is gonna be good.
Other Guy: You got that right. You’ve got the veteran vs the rookie. Jaime Alejandro vs Luke Davis.
Eryk Masters: If what we saw of this kid at the last Revolution is any indicator of what we can expect tonight, it’s certainly going to be great.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first, from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, weighing in at 260 pounds, "Red" Luke Daaaaaaavis!
Davis slides into the ring under the bottom rope and quickly gets to his feet. He discards his ring vest and is psychiing himself up for the contest.
Eryk Masters: This kid showed a lot of promise against two men the caliber of Thomas Manchester Black and Cade Sydal in his SHOOT Project debut. Now, we get to see what he’s capable of one on one.
Davis smacks himself in the face, preparing for what is going to be a physical match, when his music shuts off. It’s replaced with "Silver and Gold" by Voodou, and the fans collectively rise out of their seats, cheering like mad.
Samantha Coil: And his opponent, from Mexico City, Mexico, weighing in at 265 pounds, he is Jaime Aleeeeeeejaaaaandrooooo!
Other Guy: Is it just me or are my ears bleeding. That was LOUD.
Eryk Masters: The fans showing a lot of love for Alejandro tonight. They’ve been in support of him with his ongoing business with Isaac Entragian, the Iron Fist Champion.
Other Guy: Now, I know Entragian is scary, but if someone like Alejandro can get in his head and make him look, well, human? You definately don’t wanna mess with that man.
Jaime gets to the ring, climbing up to the apron by way of the ring stairs. He steps between the ropes and into the ring, raising his arms in the air, to which the crowd cheers again, madly. Jaime locks eyes with Davis, who is staring a hole through him, and you can sense the brutality that is about to take place.
Eryk Masters: You had a Sin City Street Fight a couple weeks ago, which the four involved are still feeling the effects of today. The result of this match? It’s going to be a different type of physicality.
Other Guy: Both men wrestle similar, hard hitting styles, that’s for sure. And you know Jaime can tie you in more knots than a bag of pretzels.
The music shuts off, and this match is underway with the ringing of the bell. The two men circle each other, sizing up one another.
Eryk Masters: There isn’t much of a difference as far as size goes, maybe about five pounds. The edge has to go to Alejandro in this one, based solely on his experience.
Other Guy: Don’t count out Luke Davis. He stood toe to toe with guys like TMB and the former World Champ, Cade Sydal. This guy can go.
Davis and Alejandro meet in the center of the ring, colliding with a collar and elbow tie up. Davis’s knee hits the mat, but he pops up quickly, keeping pressure applied as Jaime does the same. After a moment, both men release, neither able to back the other up.
Davis gives Jaime a nod, which gets returned. The two meet again, with another tie up. Both men struggle against one another, but neither man is willing to bend to the other, and the result is another stalemate. The fans sense the tension building, as the circle once again. Davis moves forward, and seemingly another tie up occurs, but Jaime quickly side steps, and locks Davis in a headlock. Jaime clinches Luke’s skull, but Davis moves quickly, clasping Alejandro’s arm and spinning it behind him.
Other Guy: Good counter by Davis, right into a hammerlock.
Alejandro grimaces, and rears back with a big elbow. Davis ducks, and grabs the other arm of Jaime, twisting it, and then locking on an armbar at the elbow that brings Jaime to a knee. Jaime is quick to get back to his feet, and spins out into an armbar of his own. Davis tries to counter, but Jaime sees it coming, ending up in the hammerlock position Davis had him in before. Luke fires an elbow back, but Jaime, having used that move moments before, is able to duck, and dumps Davis on his back with a fireman’s carry.
Eryk Masters: And Alejandro uses his experience there, and takes down Luke Davis here in the early going!
Davis hurries back to his feet, only to catch an armdrag. Luke uses the momentum to propel himself off the ground, and turns into another armdrag attempt, but he blocks it, and attempts a hip toss, but Jaime blocks that, and fires a hard forearm to the face of Red.
Other Guy: And THAT will get your attention in a hurry. Might break your nose, too, but who’s keeping track?
Davis hits the canvas after that blow, and Jaime wastes no time trying for a submission, twisting Davis’s legs into a figure four attempt, but Davis kicks Alejandro right in the crack to push him off. Luke gets to his feet as Alejandro regains his balance, and Luke runs right at Jaime, but Alejandro fires an open hand right into the sternum of the newcomer, followed by a European uppercut that makes France cringe. The blow staggers Davis into the turnbuckle, and Jaime follows connecting with a lariat in the corner. Jaime runs to the opposite side of the ring, as Davis collapses to the mat in the corner, but there’s Alejandro again, connecting with a running knee to the face of Luke Davis.
Eryk Masters: Alejandro taking no prisoners here, absolutely CRUSHING Davis’ face with that running knee.
Other Guy: If Red’s nose wasn’t broken before, it definately is now.
Davis is definately stunned, and Alejandro takes advantage. He pulls Davis up by the head, and whips him into the ropes. Davis ducks a clothesline attempt by Jaime, but on the rebound, is hooked with a ring shaking powerslam. Davis grunts in pain quite audibly, and Alejandro hooks the leg, driving his forearm into the face of his opponent.
Davis rolls his shoudler up. Alejandro throws a hammerfist that Davis gets an arm in front of to absorb some of that blow.
Eryk Masters: Davis is still alive. It’s pretty early in the match, but Alejandro is in complete control.
Alejandro brings Davis and himself back to their feet, and hooks for a suplex. Alejandro elevates Luke and holds him straight in the air.
Eryk Masters: A good display of power from Alejandro there, holding a man of his size up like that.
Alejandro goes to dump Davis on his back, but Red slips down behind Jaime, and hooks him for a quick Russian legsweep, sending both men crashing down, but Jaime taking more of the damage.
Other Guy: Good counter, and the tables look like they’re turning.
Alejandro feels that one, but gets to his feet, and turns to find Luke Davis waiting on him. Davis takes him down with a snapmare. Jaime is left in a seated position, which Davis takes advantage of, rolling over his foe, and snapping his neck forward toward the mat, causing a whiplash effect on Alejandro. Jaime’s head snaps backwards, and smacks the mat. Davis crawls over and hooks the far leg.
Jaime kicks out before the three. Davis tastes the frustration, but continues his offensive, bringing Alejandro to his feet and whipping him chest first into the turnbuckles. Alejandro collapses against the corner, but here’s Davis again, with a charging avalanche that makes Jaime’s knees shake.
Eryk Masters: As Davis continues his physical assault, you have to know that if Jaime weren’t holding on to that turnbuckle, he’d be flat on his back right now.
Other Guy: Maybe, but all the more reason for Davis to keep this up. This isn’t the time to show mercy. Jaime will make him pay for that mistake.
Davis turns Alejandro around and grabs him in a headlock. He then takes a running start, and plants Alejandro face first in the center of the ring.
Eryk Masters: A beautiful running bulldog by Davis! He rolls Jaime over and hooks the leg again!
Th-Jaime rolls his shoulder up, and that one was close. Davis plants a couple of quick forearms to the dome of Alejandro, and then hooks both legs in another pin attempt.
TH-Jaime kicks out again. Davis drags Jaime to his feet and whips him into the ropes. Davis goes for a back body drop, but Alejandro has him well scouted, and kicks him right in the chest, causing Red to snap upright, in perfect position for an Alejandro lariat. Jaime uses such force that both men end up on the ground.
Eryk Masters: That was a big mistake by Luke Davis, and it’s Alejandro’s time to seize control back into his favor.
Both men take a moment to regain their bearings, before getting back to their feet. Davis is first up, and he turns and charges Alejandro, but Jaime traps Red’s arm, and snaps him to the mat with a Fujiwara armbar!
Other Guy: This could be it! Jaime Alejandro is just one step away from ripping that limb off and beating it’s owner with it!
Alejandro continues to wrench on the armbar, trapping Davis on the mat face first. The look of pain on Red’s face says it all, the pain is excrutiating. Davis tries to reach out to the ropes to get the release, but he’s too far away. Austin Linam is there, in Luke’s face, asking if he wants to submit.
Eryk Masters: Luke Davis refusing to submit here! Alejandro doesn’t seem likely to just let go, it’s just a matter of time!
Davis is flailing his free arm, trying to get free, but it’s to no avail, Alejandro has him locked in tight. He keeps wrenching back on the arm, bending it as far back as possible. Davis is in obvious pain, but he’s refusing to give!
Other Guy: You gotta give it up for Red Davis! There’s no escape for him, but he’s not about to quit!
Jaime bridges with the armbar now, putting more pressure on the joint, and Luke Davis is screaming in pain! He raises his free arm in the air, it looks like he’s going to tap! He clutches it back close to him before he can, still trying to grit it out, trying to move himself closer to the ropes. He’s inching his way closer to the ropes, slowly. Jaime notices this, and releases the hold. He quickly spins and grabs the feet of Davis, and drags him further away from the ropes. Jaime is tying Davis’ feet up now, and it looks like he’s going for a new hold.
Eryk Masters: Jaime going for the STF, that’s the beginning of the Alejandro Special!
Other Guy: If he locks it in, it’s over, I don’t care WHO you are, or how tough you are! NOBDOY escapes from that!
Jaime reaches down towards Luke’s head to wrap in the cobra clutch, but Davis turns slightly, and hooks Jaime’s head, rolling him up with a small package! Jaime’s feet are still hooked into Davis’ from the STF!
Jaime releases his feet, and breaks the package, but the bell has rung! He was too late!
Other Guy: I don’t believe it!
Samantha Coil: Here is your winner, "Red" Luuuuuuuke Daaaaaaavis!
The crowd is shocked, but they cheer for the winner, Luke Davis, as he rolls out of the ring, having pulled that one out of thin air! He clutches his hurting arm close to his body, and Austin Linam climbs out of the ring, and raises his good arm in the air! Alejandro is on his knees, shocked, but a smile is on his face.
Eryk Masters: Luke Davis is walking back up the ramp, arm raised in a victory he certainly pulled out of his backside! Alejandro has to respect the effort of this newcomer.
We see Alejandro staring ahead at Davis, who is about to go through the curtain. Luke turns back, and Jaime nods in his direction, a sign of respect. Davis returns the nod, and disappears through the curtain, leaving Alejandro in the middle of the ring, still stunned at the ending of that match.
Jaime rises up to his feet in the center of the ring after his grueling match with the newcomer, but suddenly his head whips towards the ramp as Tiamatís ìSympathy For The Devilî begins to issue from the audio speakers.
Entragian bursts out through the curtains; his face bruised and blackened. His eyes light apon Alejandro, glimmering orbs of poisonous green. The albino stalks down to the ring like a man on a mission, the Iron Fist Championship gleaming around his waist.
Eryk Masters: Uhoh. Here comes Hell, and he doesnít look so happyÖ
Jaime sets his feet and girds himself for the monster, motioning with both hands to come right the fuck on. Isaac slides into the ring under the bottom rope and drops the Iron Fist Title, and then he just leaps into Jaime and starts to lash out with rights and lefts aimed at Jaimeís face. Alejandro gets driven back as though fighting against hurricane winds, and when a well-placed uppercut catches his jaw he flies from the ring over the top rope to land in a heap on the outside.
Isaac wastes no time sliding out of the ring to continue his assault, but as Jaime turns around to meet the monster he manages to CRUSH the ring bell into the side of Isaacís head. A loud clang permeates through the arena, and Isaac sinks down to both knees and falls flat on his face, his eyes becoming especially cloudy.
Jaime snatches up Isaacís big body and hauls him back into the ring, and then he begins to dig under the apron. He pulls out a steel chair and a thick length of rope, tossing those into the ring. He dives down under the ring a final time, and he comes out with a big piece of old machinery thatís covered in dials and trailing various cables.
Other Guy: Jaime getting the drop on Isaac here, definitely a scenario where he can say he was saved by the bell!
Eryk Masters: What Iím trying to figure out is what the hell Jaime has planned here? Heís thrown a chair and a rope into the ringÖ.but what in godís name is that thing heís dragging in there now? It looks like a generator from 1940sÖ
Jaime sets the steel chair up in the center of the ring, and he bulls Isaacís weight up and forces him to sit down apon it. Jaime then starts to wrap the length of rope around Isaacís arms and torso, effectively binding him to the steel chair. Entragian is practically motionless throughout all of this, his eyes fluttering beneath the lids after getting his skull cracked with the bell.
Jaime grabs a microphone from a ringside attendant, and he plants a boot on top of the clunky piece of machinery that he hauled into the ring.
Jaime: RISE is closer than ever, Isaac. Canít you feel it? Your demise inching closer and closerÖ.your days as Iron Fist Champion coming to a deserving end. I have one more little surprise up my sleeve for you. I think youíll find it pretty ìshockingîÖ.
Alejandro grins at Entragian, seeing the pallid SCAR member finally starting to snap back into wakefulness.
Jaime: Mideon was a rotten little town. Juniper Hill Asylum was in shambles, Isaac. It was practically burnt to the ground. You remember Juniper Hill, donít you? You spent your teens there. Padded rooms, straight-jacketsÖ nutjobs everywhere you look. That was your life once. You should have stayed there…
Jaime leans closer to Entragian, and Isaac snaps at him like a rabid dog, razor-teeth coming within inches of Jaimeís face. Jaime jumps back while chuckling.
Jaime: I did manage to salvage one thing though. I found it in the basement of Juniper Hill. The old electroshock machineÖ.one of the more archaic methods for treating the criminally insane. Still a little juice left in itÖ Oh, and look… No failsafes, either. This might hurt, Issac, but you’d pay a hooker to do this for thousands…
Isaacís eyes float down to the old machine, and they grow so wide that the whites seem to blend in with the rest of his pale face. He shakes his head from side to side while mouthing ìyou wouldnít fucking dareÖî
Jaime turns towards the crowd, savoring every moment of Entragianís agitation.
Jaime: Who here wants to see a 4th of July barbecue? And everyone knows that I was a soldier for our proud country once, so Independence Day has always meant a lot to me. I figure we should celebrate. And we already have a seven foot pig ready for the grill, right?
Jaime pauses, rubbing his chin with one hand.
Jaime: By show of applause, who wants to see this soulless, rotten BASTARD finally get whatís coming to him? Who wants to watch THE IVORY TERROR fry?? Let me hear it!
A huge burst of cheering travels through the crowd.
Jaime smiles and walks over to the electroshock machine, and he raises up two cables and connects moth-eaten electrodes to both of Isaacís temples. Isaac shakes his head from side to side violently, trying to free himself from the ropes.
Other Guy: Is Jaime serious right now?? That machine looks like it hasnít been used in centuries!
Eryk Masters: I think heís dead serious, OG! The soldier is about to cook up some albino burgers here tonight!
Jaime kneels down in front of the old machine, and he presses a metal button on the side. The electroshock machine begins to hum like a generator, a few lights blinking as the inner workings start powering up.
Jaime favors Isaac with one last cold and fixed gaze, and then he FLIPS the dial on the machine in a counterclockwise motion.
Entragian body SEIZES up, the cords standing out on his neck, his back arching up and away from the steel chair as electric current blazes through him. An agonized roar escapes his lips, and his fingers dig down into his own knees against the pain.
Jaime brings the dial back, and Isaac collapses down against the chair with sweat pouring down his brow.
Jaime: Happy Independence Day, Isaac!
Jaime turns the dial once more, and Entragian starts to convulse, his head shaking from side to side as white froth pours out from the corners of his mouth. Every single one of his limbs is trembling and shaking with electric current, and a tiny bit of blood has begun to drip down from one of Isaacís ears.
Jaime presses the button on the machine, shutting it off. Isaac slumps down in the chair, eyes closed, his breathing heavy and labored.
Jaime drops the mic and then he pauses to pick up the Iron Fist Championship, and he raises the title HIGH into the air. The crowd goes absolutely crazy in support of Alejandro, people jumping up in the stands and cheering as loud as they can.
Eryk Masters: HolyÖCRAP! I can barely believe what I just saw. That was even better than fireworks!
Other Guy: Would you listen to the crowd?? These people are OVERJOYED to see a man like Entragian suffer. Seems like Jaime is already the Iron Fist Champion of the peopleÖ
Eryk Masters: Isaac might not even make it to RISE! I swearÖyou just have to savor rare moments like this. Why canít every night be ìpunish SCARî night?
The scene fades out on Entragian slumped over in his chair, his shoulders hunched, his eyes closed, and a little string of spittle dripping down from his open mouth.
The scene shifts to a dimly lit area in the back of the Epicenter. Standing in front of the omnipresent SHOOT Project Helmet is none other than DONOVAN KING. The fans cheer at the sight of him, but he offers no reaction, prompting the possibility of this either being pre-recorded or a byproduct of his focus. He stands there, staring at the camera, his hood draping his shoulders and his LONG LIVE THE KING shirt on underneath. He lifts his head up to listen to the fans as they cheer more.
There’s a feelin’ in the air. You can hold your head high an’ feel it hit you in the face like a wind.
We have fallen. As a company. As a people. That’s the problem.
Shows are haphazard. People’s hearts…just ain’t in it, anymore. Like a house that’s been lived in so long you don’t sweep up the dust bunnies in the corner…we’ve fallen. An’ I hate that…an’ you should, too. As fans of this company, as fans of this business…you should hate the livin’ FUCK outta that.
He shakes his head.
I know I do. An’ I know when it all started goin’ downhill.
Master of the Mat 2011.
He holds a finger up, smiling.
…NOT because I lost to Trey Willett in the Finals of Master of the Mat for a shot at the World title.
It was when X-Calibur cemented his entire being. It was when Jonas Coleman fell short at keeping hope alive. It was when Cade Sydal was unable to handle a submission move apparently so deadly, so painful, that he willingly handed his World Heavyweight Champion…to someone who is perhaps the worst candidate for a World Champion in the history of not just this company…but this whole fucking business.
It was when X-Calibur became the World Heavyweight Champion.
And the world groaned. And the world cringed. And ever since…SHOOT Project has suffered.
He purses his lips, shaking his head as he grows further incensed.
People stopped carin’ around here, you know? I watched good men stop giving a damn about things. Even I’ve been infected with that. At first…we got little Post-It notes with the word “HOPE” written on ‘em. But…it’s been hard to keep hope alive, ain’t it?
Rule of Surrender Champion Maya Nakashima was taken. Stashed away somewhere in a dark corner of Nevada maybe. Jonas Coleman gets abducted and then severely…fucked…up. I saw Jun Kenshin’s face on my milk carton just the other day. The fact is…nobody cares. Nobody bats an eyelid. Nobody says that ENOUGH…IS…ENOUGH.
An’ like Owen Hart said…it’s TIME…for a change.
Well…I’ve had to scratch, claw, struggle, fight, bleed, an’ nearly kill myself to get here. To get right here. In this moment. Where I can stand across the ring from the sorry son of a bitch who led the faction that my Sovereign gave birth to. Mirage is gone. Azrael Goeren is gone. All those other cut ‘n’ paste pointless mother fuckers are gone. Hierarchy is dead. All it is…is X-Calibur. Don’t even sweat any bodyguards or bullshit.
It’s just you, X.
You got four or five other dudes in this match with you to sweat. An’ make no mistake, I know you. I know you sweatin’. You win this match, your reign is capped off…nobody can touch you. Jason Johnson…failed to dethrone the shittiest king ever sat in the castle we call SHOOT. You wouldn’t be a champion no more…no…you’d be certifiably Hall of Fame, legendary, iconic…fuck…GOD.
But I’m here to make sure that don’t happen.
Make no mistake, things are bad…but this event is called RISE for a reason.
We will RISE as a company from the ashes your pathetic showing as champion has bathed us in.
I will RISE…and even if that means I’m not the man capable of walkin’ away from this match the new World Heavyweight Champion?
Because I promise you this…in front of each an’ every SHOOT Project Soldier, in front of each an’ every SHOOT Project fan, in front of Maya Nakashima, in front of Jonas Coleman, in front of each an’ every coward who ran or hero who bled…that when we finally set foot in the ring at RISE?
I will die before I let you go another day as World Heavyweight Champion of the SHOOT Project.
You gon’ have to kill me.
I don’t care about your submission holds, your slack ass disgrace of an Ace Crusher, or your cheap underhanded ploys and plots.
The SHOOT Project will hope once again.
The SHOOT Project will RISE once again.
And you will fall for the biggest…and last…time.
No matter the cost.
Donovan King stands there, letting the words sink in for a moment…before the camera finally fades out.
CARRY ON MY WAYWARD SON
THERE’LL BE PEACE WHEN YOU ARE DONE
LAY YOUR WEARY HEAD TO REST
DON’T YOU CRY NO MORE
Kansas continues to blare across the arena, and the fans nearly drown it out, leading a chorus of cheers as Trey Willett himself bursts through the curtains.
Eryk Masters: And here comes Trey! The last man standing last week!
Other Guy: You’re telling me. X was down, King was down, Kenji, Pierce? Both down. And Trey was King of the Hill last week, I tell you what.
Eryk Masters: I see what you did there. But what I wanna see is Trey keep this up. I want to see if he has what it takes to keep going, and build off what he did at Revolution 96. RISE is just around the corner, and Trey has the opportunity to be World Heavyweight champion.
Other Guy: But he isn’t the only one, as we’re about to find out.
Willett rolls into the ring, eager to get things started. He grabs the ropes and pulls on them, loosening up in the ring, anxious to get his hands on Project: SCAR’s Sociopath Pioneer.
"DIM Scene" begins playing, as the man himself appears at the entrance. There are no words to describe the hatred the SHOOT Project crowd in the Epicenter tonight have for this man and his friends. But that’s not like Kenji Yamada cares very much about that.
Eryk Masters: At Revolution 96, Trey Willett was a man possessed, and Kenji Yamada was one of the victims of his rage.
Other Guy: That was a brutal, measured shot with the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship he gave Kenji, and it had to leave an imprint on his skin for days.
Eryk Masters: I think Kenji remembers, regardless, and it’s got to be his motivation to rip Trey apart tonight. Not that he needed any extra motivation.
Kenji climbs up to the apron and steps through the ropes, and Willett pounces! The bell rings as Trey jumpstarts the match, wailing away with rights and lefts to the back of Kenji Yamada.
Eryk Masters: This…This is not usual for Trey Willett, as he jumps the gun a bit and is assaulting Kenji Yamada!
Other Guy: I like it! This is the side he needs to show, if he’s going to be World Champion!
Trey continues to hammer, as Kenji thrusts his arm out, fist extended, burying it into the stomach of the Willenium. Trey doubles over, and Kenji stands upright, wincing slightly from the stiff shots he received. Kenji stalks his prey, but Willett surprises him with an uppercut that send spit flying into the air. Yamada is rocked, but he recovers and buries a knee to the gut of Willett, and then hits the ropes. He attempts a Yakuza kick, straight to the side of Trey’s head, but Willett sways backwards, dodging the blow, and sweeps Kenji’s legs out from under him. Yamada lands flat on his back, and Trey strikes quickly, with a somersault legdrop that finds it’s mark.
Eryk Masters: The action is fast and furious, and Trey is in control!
Trey runs the ropes, and baseball slides, right into the side of Kenji’s skull! Kenji rolls on the mat, clasping his head from anymore damage, but Trey runs into the corner, and springboards into a senton bomb, driving the air out of SCAR’s Sociopath Pioneer!
Other Guy: Trey goes for the cover, but Yamada kicks out at one! It’s going to take a lot more than that to take out a member of Project: SCAR.
Indeed. Trey grabs Kenji by the ears and pulls him to the feet, which I’m sure is as painful as it sounds. On his way up, Trey drives a knee into the face of Kenji, causing Yamada to whiplash his head up, hands to his nose. Trey turns painfully quick and bounces off the ropes, coming up with a spinning heel kick that causes him to almost literally wrap his leg around the head of Kenji.
Eryk Masters: Trey Willett is absolutely RELENTLESS tonight.
Other Guy: He takes down Yamada again, and again, already, Kenji is trying to get back to his feet. Trey is going to have to pull more out of his arsenal to keep this man down.
Trey obliges, driving his head battering ram style into the chest of Kenji Yamada. Yamada doubles up again, and Trey hooks his leg across the back of his neck. Kenji blocks whatever attempt Willett was going for, and flips Trey over, but Trey lands on his feet. He moves to strike again, and Kenji takes him down with a drop toe hold. Kenji tries to tie Trey up in some sort of submission, but Willett rolls to his back, and pushes off Kenji’s chest, sending him sprawling to the ground. Both men get to their feet, and Kenji tries a running knee strike, but Willett blocks, wrapping himself around Kenji and bringing him down, and schoolboy position!
Kenji kicks out, sending Trey flying against the ropes. Kenji hurries to his feet, but Trey is already launching himself towrds Yamada, and catches him right between the eyes with a flying forearm! Kenji falls to one knee, and Trey turns back around, and snaps Yamada’s head back to the mat with a vicious DDT!
Eryk Masters: Trey scrambles Yamada’s brains, and now he hooks the leg!
Kenji rolls his shoulder up! He isn’t so quick to get up this time, and Trey takes advantage. He pops up, and runs the ropes, springboarding up with a moonsault across the chest of Kenji Yamada! Trey scurries back over, and hooks the leg again!
Other Guy: And Yamada kicks out AGAIN!
Trey is unbelieveing, but seeing is believing as Kenji gets up to a knee, clutching his ribs. He gets to his feet, and he has a sick smile on his face. Trey looks dumbfounded, but Kenji grins as if he’s asking if that’s all Trey has. Willett snaps out of it and snaps off a kick straight to the side of Kenji’s abdomen that finds it’s target. Kenji clutches his side again, as Trey readies another kick, this one landing on the knee of Yamada, which shakes, but doesn’t give. Trey fires a third kick, but Yamada catches it, and quickly pulls on the appendage, as if trying to yank Willett’s leg out of it’s socket. Trey winces, trying to get the limb out of his opponent’s grasp, but Yamada yanks on it again, and then traps it as he pulls Willett forward, and takes him down with a huge suplex!
Eryk Masters: Kenji Yamada is scary. He took all that abuse, all that punishment that Trey Willett had to give, and he’s still going!
Trey rolls out of the way, trying to get away from Kenji’s grasp. Yamada doesn’t let up, he grabs Willett by his ponytail, hard, busting the band that held the hair back. Trey gets to his feet with Kenji’s help, and surprises Yamada with a spinning kick, right to the chest. Yamada stumbles, again clutching at his chest, and Trey capitalizes with a huge spear! Willett is in a frenzy, grabbing Kenji’s head and slamming it against the canvas over and over again, his red hair flying free like his head’s on fire.
Other Guy: Good lord! Have you ever seen Willett this intense??
Willett stops what he’s doing, releasing Yamada’s head and getting to his feet. He looks out to the crowd, who give their resounding approval of Trey’s actions. Kenji rolls onto his stomach, and now up to his knees, trying to get back to his feet. Trey lets up, stalking Yamada from behind, and he allows Kenji to get back to his feet. Once he is, Trey takes off, running the ropes, and springboarding off the middle one with another moonsault. This time, Kenji grabs Willett in midair, and SPIKES his skull off the mat with an inverted Michinoku Driver!
Eryk Masters: He could have snapped his neck! An absolutely devastating move out of nowhere!
Yamada takes this moment of Trey’s incapacitation to catch his breath, but not for long. He crawls over and gets to his feet slowly, bringing Trey up by what looks like a fist full of Willett’s own chest hair! kenji whips Trey into the corner, and catches him on the rebound.
Eryk Masters: A tilt-a-whirl backbreaker that would make El Asso Wipo weep with joy! Willett is finished!
Kenji thinks so, as well. He crawls over and makes the lateral press, driving his forearm into Trey’s jaw.
Th-Trey gets his shoulder up!
Other Guy: These two have been giving and taking out here, neither man willing to quit! Something’s gotta give, E!
Kenji pulls Trey up again by the hair, and whips him into the ropes. Trey ducks a clothesline attempt, and bounces off the ropes behind Yamada. Kenji drops down as Trey runs back by, causing Trey to jump over him and bounce off the ropes again. Kenji snaps to his feet, despite the abuse he’s taken already in this match, and catches Trey this time around, slamming him hard to the canvas with a brutal STO. Kenji latches hold of Willett, and drags him to his feet again, still in STO position, but this time falls backwards, spiking Willett’s face off the mat.
Eryk Masters: A brutal STO combo, going forwards and backwards! Kenji hooks the leg, this one’s over!
TH-TREY KICKS OUT AGAIN!
Other Guy: I can’t believe this! Trey was controlling the match, with Kenji trying to fight him off, and now Yamada has struck with devastating move after move, and now this time it’s Trey Willett that won’t give up!
Eryk Masters: It’s like you said, neither man is willing to give up! What’s it going to take to put an end to this?
Kenji gets back to his feet, forces Willett up with him. He whips Willett into the ropes again, and this time goes for a clothesline, but Willett was thinking the same thing! Both men are down in the center of the ring, arms hooked around each others’ necks!
The arena suddenly goes dark. The sound… the life… it flees from the building. You could hear a pin drop.
Action in the ring stops.
The soft tones of a grand piano emerge onto the PA system as the crowd continues to maintain its silence. The piece is recognized now, it is Frederic Chopin’s “Nocturne in b minor,” and with that realization comes a purple glow, seemingly underneath the Revolution set. That glow becomes a focused line, and then expands into a purple spotlight, when finally… the video wall… the only source of luminescence in the arena… shows this image:
And then… as he appears, the crowd showers him with pure hatred. Pure, vociferous hatred.
The lights in the arena begin to come up, showing his face, and with that look comes a known, recognized look. That smirk.
Eryk Masters: Fuck this.
Other Guy: I’m a little perplexed, I have to be honest. New theme music, a new look, and new colors, all after having a match tonight. What do you make of this?
Eryk Masters: To be perfectly honest… I am disgusted and I don’t care at all. Any time I see this guy on my screen, I want to vomit.
Quickly, Corazon begins a brisk, measured walk down the ramp and as he arrives at the ring, he has the full attention of Trey Willett, who recognizes the precarious situation he is in. Trey looks at Kenji and then at Corazon… then back to Kenji, and back to Corazon. Finally, he sighs.
Eryk Masters: We’re about to witness an execution.
Other Guy: I… I’m afraid you might be right.
As Corazon reaches his feet, SHOOT Project’s Wayward Son engages him. He is worn from his match, but will never say die, and as Corazon evades him and throws him into the corner, Corazon offers nothing but a calm smile.
Eryk Masters: I don’t think this was a SCAR plan.
Other Guy: What? What do you mean?
Eryk Masters: The look on Kenji Yamada’s face is just as perplexed as yours is.
Corazon slugs Trey in the face with a hard, closed, right fist, and Trey keeps standing only through the sheer strength of his arms, as his legs have given out. Corazon now turns to Kenji Yamada, who cocks his head at the Brutal and the Inhuman, but Corazon simply smiles. Then, without a single word, he motions to Kenji to leave the ring. Kenji simply smirks, understanding what is about to happen, and obliges.
Eryk Masters: Well, perplexed or not, he’s certainly not upset.
Other Guy: I mean, you didn’t really expect him to be, did you?
Eryk Masters: Of course not. This group… these men… they have nothing that resembles remorse or couth or morals or anything.
Other Guy: Then unfortunately, all we can do is sit back and watch.
Eryk Masters: BUT LOOK. NOT EVERYONE CAN SIT BACK AND WATCH!!
THE CROWD COMES UNGLUED AS DONOVAN KING BUM RUSHES THE RAMP!!!
Eryk Masters: YES. DRIVE THE STAKE INTO THEIR MOTHERFUCKING HEARTS.
Other Guy: I AGREE. JUST NOT MY HEART PLEASE, THANKS.
As King breaks into a full sprint, Corazon sees this IMMEDIATELY and with a simple nod of his head, motions Kenji to intercept. Kenji moves from his position on the side of the ring where he’d been recovering, and quickly moves to intercept King. King is NEARLY at the ring when Kenji CLOCKS him and sends him reeling to the floor with an amazingly hard lariat! King hits the ground HARD and immediately begins clutching his back. Kenji does not relent and puts the boots to him. King gets to one knee, but Kenji guides him to his feet, and with one quick whip, throws King into the steel ring steps. King hits with a THUD and the crowd that had become so joyous and exuberant with cheer and life… has gone silent once more.
Other Guy: Ugh.. I knew it was too good to be true. Just knew it.
Kenji looks at King’s position. He’s seated, with his head against the top steel step. Kenji takes a few steps back, and with full force, runs at the downed Donovan King and delivers a NASTY SHINING WIZARD RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF KING’S SKULL. King merely slumps over, and Kenji gets back to his feet, turning to watch what’s happening in the ring.
Eryk Masters: I HATE these men. I HATE them.
Corazon, who for all that time, had just been talking to Trey Willett very calmly and quietly, looks at the carnage by the ring… stares for a moment, and then smiles. He wraps his arm around Trey Willett’s neck and smoothly walks him into the center of the ring. Trey, who’s starting to lose some of his grogginess, sees the predicament that he’s in, and begins to struggle. This only causes Corazon to tighten his grip. Trey relaxes.
Eryk Masters: I don’t even want to watch this, OG. I just don’t.
Other Guy: I… I don’t either, but we… we have a job to do.
Corazon, without missing a beat, kicks Trey’s knee out, dropping SHOOT Project’s Wayward Son to his feet, and without blinking, Corazon turns around and drives HIS knee into Trey Willett’s skull, and as the sickening thud resonates throughout the arena, Trey Willett slumps to the ground. Then… to cap it all off… Corazon calls for a microphone.
Eryk Masters: And now… now he’s going to gloat.
Other Guy: Not even I will hope that he just sends us into the night and gets ready for RISE.
Corazon listens to the boos surrounding him and pulls his microphone to his face.
Corazon: Good evening, Las Vegas. I hope that the night, and the wonderful SHOOT Project staff have treated you well. I’ve come to you this evening for a number of reasons… yes, you saw me earlier… you saw me dispatch of Edmund Augustus Shan. Good little kid, that guy. So cute.
Corazon: But anyone who knows me… and who knows my mission… knows that there is always something bigger on the horizon, and for me… for the Brutal and the Inhuman… that horizon is the mega event we have coming very, very soon. I speak, of course, of RISE.
He stands deathly still in the middle of the ring, conveying his words.
Corazon: I have, in the weeks leading up to this, been integral in dealing with a few key components with regards to capturing the World Heavyweight Championship.
Jonas Coleman… gone.
Jun Kenshin… gone.
With those two cornerstones conveniently removed from the equation, and with Jason Johnson desperate for a change… he looked to someone he knew he could trust to get the job done. Someone he knew that, despite my want to burn this place to the ground… he knew that he could trust me to give everything I have to strip X-Calibur of the World Heavyweight Championship, and that… that is why I am here tonight.
Eryk Masters: You have got to be kidding me… I might throw up right here, on the spot.
Other Guy: I.. aim away from my shoes, please.
Corazon: It is with great pleasure that I introduce the final participant in the World Heavyweight Championship match at RISE. He is a former, two-time, World Heavyweight Champion… he is the brutal… he is inhuman… he isn’t just Project: SCAR’s Black Death, but the SHOOT Project’s Black Death… he… is ME.
Corazon laughs once more, and the crowd, though absolutely exhausted by this point, still have it in them to shower him with boos.
Corazon: Yes, please… voice your opinion. Let your feelings be heard. You are within your right to do so, but understand this… this moment of darkness… these days of bile and vitriol… soon, things will change, because for X-Calibur… Jason Johnson… and the SHOOT Project…
He smiles one last time.
Corazon: It will all be over soon.
Corazon drops the microphone right into the middle of the ring, the audible pop hitting as it strikes the ground.
Eryk Masters: Is he… did he just… he’s claiming he ORCHESTRATED this? And that JASON JOHNSON WENT ALONG WITH IT?
Other Guy: He is, Eryk. He is, and given how Mr. Johnson feels about X-Calibur and the World Heavyweight Championship… it’s… it’s not that much of a stretch. What we know, though, is that our World title match for RISE is set. X-Calibur will defend his World Heavyweight Championship against Kenji Yamada, Trey Willett, Donovan King, Mason Pierce, and… yes… Corazon… and hopefully… we’ll get some answers to some questions.
Eryk Masters: Look at this smug asshole.
Other Guy: *sigh* For Eryk Masters… I am the Other Guy, and we… we will see you at RISE.
The camera pans back to Corazon standing in the center of the ring, and as Chopin’s “Nocturne” begins to play once more, the scene fades to black.