The camera fades in to a pair of long wrestling boots being slowly zipped over a muscular calf. The black, purple, and teal boot is adjusted by small gloved hands, the side zipper lined up perfectly with the seam of the black skin-tight cat suit.
Dan Stein: Well this is refreshing, Minxy. Usually when I walk into a room the clothes are coming off
Stein leans against the door frame of her locker room, hands tucked neatly behind his back as he smiles coyly at the Masked Beauty.
Minxy Jones: Another time, perhaps. I’m not entirely against the idea, but I’m not the sort of girl to do that for a camera.
She looks pointedly at the camera that is recording the conversation before looking back at Stein. She stands and walks over to him, placing her hand on his arm and leading him further into the room.
Minxy Jones: What brings you to me this fine evening? I do believe the tour will have to wait, Welcoming Committee. I have a match coming up soon.
The rustling of whatever he was carrying catches her attention, but Stein clears his throat, smiling still.
Dan Stein: Funny you should mention it, ma chérie. I just came to wish you luck tonight. You know, representing the Welcome Committee and all.
For the first time on camera, Stein looks a bit uneasy in front of a woman. Again the package he carries rustles.
Minxy Jones: Good luck to you, as well. I’m sure you’ll do great against Tubbo… And, just to be perfectly clear…
She looks down at what he’s holding. Having noticed his sudden awkwardness, she decides to pull them back into flirtatious innuendo and borderline obscenity.
Minxy Jones: …I’m rather intrigued by your package. Can I touch it?
Dan Stein: Doll, you can touch my package whenever you want.
She steps even closer to him, and reaches her hand behind him, half-embracing him. She brushes it lightly, a little giggle coming from behind the mask. Stein grins down at her, before Minxy grabs the mystery package from his hands. She looks at him for approval before opening the long box. A beautiful bouquet of long stemmed red roses was nestled among baby’s breath and cellophane. Stein looks at her, smirking, starting to get his composure back.
A golden fuse on the blacktop of the Las Vegas Strip lights up the screen. It races towards the SHOOT Project Epicenter, which the camera pans up to reveal. “The Crazy Ones” by Stellar Revival kicks in as the fuse ignites the SHOOT Project Helmet.
We are the new-school, no rules
Needle in a haystack
The first image is Donovan King, standing at the entrance to the arena with the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship on his shoulder, his hood pulled tight over his face. It cuts to Isaac Entragian with his arm around Liz Gaunt, laughing maniacally.
We are the outsiders, all nighters
Scream if you’re a badass!
It shows Jonas Coleman marching down to the ring as Lunatikk Crippler is shown getting in someone’s face. The scene cuts to Charles Brandon Magnus and Buck Dresden with their titles held high in the air for a moment before we catch a brief view of El Asso Wipo breaking every back in existence.
We are the wheels that keep turning
Edmund Augustus Shan puts the Sin City Championship in the air before we see Laura Seton locking up against Tanya Black, which quickly cuts to Chance Ryan glaring at the camera, Cade Sydal behind him with a smirk on his face.
We are the heart breakers, risk takers
Anything but boring
Piper Fury slaps hands with Kevin Stone as we cut to Jester Smiles with his arm draped over Sammy Rochester’s shoulders, whispering into the giant’s ear.
‘Cause we are the crazy ones
The mavericks, the dreamers, the forgotten sons
Project:SCAR stands united, in a stare down with Lunatikk Crippler, Jaime Alejandro, Jonas Coleman, the Bad Ass Brotherhood, Thomas Manchester Black, Donovan King, and Maya Nakashima.
We color outside the lines for fun
We are the crazy ones
Johnny Napalm is covered in blood, staggering around with a gigantic grin on his face. Dan Stein lords over the fallen body of his foe.
‘Cause we are the crazy ones
The badass, outcast, son of a guns
Mason Pierce takes a harsh pile driver through the flaming table from Kenji Yamada. Thomas Manchester Black trades hits against Corey Lazarus.
We march to the beat of a different drum
We are the crazy ones
We are the crazy ones
Henry Gordon stands tall in the ring, severely winded, as it cuts to Crazy Boy glaring at the camera.
One of a kind, believe it
So stand up and make ’em see it
The guitar solo brings us to Donovan King hitting the Dealbreaker on Mason Pierce, then Corazon hitting the Act of Inhumanity on Trey Willett, then Jester Smiles connecting with the Virginia Sidekick on Lunatikk Crippler, then Jaime Alejandro wailing away at Obsidian, backing the monster against the ropes. We see Tanya Black and Chance Ryan double teaming the Bad Ass Brotherhood before we catch the Bad Ass Brotherhood hitting the ELE on Tanya Black.
‘Cause we are the crazy ones
The mavericks, the dreamers, the forgotten sons
Isaac Entragian lights Jaime Alejandro’s uniform on fire cuts to Laura Seton hitting a flying crossbody to Dan Stein.
We color outside the lines for fun
We are the crazy ones
Mason Pierce forces Cronos Diamante to submit cuts to Adrian Corazon sauntering down to the ring slowly, deliberately.
‘Cause we are the crazy ones
The badass, outcast, son of a guns
Lunatikk Crippler throws his head back, his silken, ebony locks flowing back in slow motion gets quickly cut to those same ebony locks being thrown from the ring by Jonas Coleman.
We march to the beat of a different drum
We are the crazy ones
The SHOOT Project Helmet reappears on screen, in golden flame against a black background.
WE ARE THE CRAZY ONES
“The Crazy Ones” continues to play as we get to see the Epicenter filled to capacity.
Eryk Masters: This is it! The first Revolution in the new century, number one oh one!
Other Guy: He may be a shill, but I’m just as excited as he is! After a blockbuster night a couple weeks ago, how in the hell are we going to top it?
The lights go out.
Other Guy: Thank you for joining us for Revolution! I’m Other Guy…
Eryk Masters: What are you doing? The show isn’t over! It hasn’t even begun!
Keep you in the dark
You know they all
The crowd explodes into cheers, fans rising as one to their feet as the Tron springs to life.
Keep you in the dark
And so it all
"The Pretender" by Foo Fighters skips to it’s chorus, as the house lights come back up, revealing none other than Lunatikk Crippler, "The Whole Fucked Up Show" himself, standing at the top of the entrance ramp.
The cheers are renewed, more vigorous than before.
Other Guy: The NEW number one contender!
Eryk Masters: The man who defeated Jonas Coleman in a CLASSIC matchup to close Revolution 100! He’s got a date with Donovan King at Redemption, folks, and the World Heavyweight Championship is on the line!
Crippler begins walking down the ramp, pausing to slap a few hands. A huge grin plays across his face.
Other Guy: We know he’s got to be proud of himself. It was no small feat to put The Butcher on the canvas just a couple weeks ago.
Eryk Masters: Agreed. Both men laid it all on the line, and it took a surprise Lunatikk Sweet to finally best Jonas Coleman.
Other Guy: Seems like he’s not wasting any time here tonight.
He isn’t. Crippler has already made it to the ring, and is asking for a microphone. Samantha Coil obliges the mic she’s holding, and Crippler turns and rolls into the ring. He gets up to his feet and climbs the middle turnbuckle, facing the crowd. He beats on his chest with his free hand, trying to get the crowd riled up. He succeeds easily, as the noise is nearly deafening.
Eryk Masters: This is the man who is going to go toe to toe with Donovan King, the man who walked out of The Primus with the World Heavyweight title. It’s a breath of fresh air, not having to worry about blood feuds or anything like that. Just two of the best looking each other right in the face, waging war for the richest prize in the business!
Crippler hops back down into the ring, and draws his hand across his throat. The sound guy gets the cue, as the music shuts off abruptly. All we hear now are the rabid cheers eminating from the crowd. Crippler seems to be basking in it tonight, looking left to right at the fans, grin getting wider. He holds up the microphone, signifying he has something to say. It takes a moment, but the fans start to take notice, eager to see what Crippler has to say. He lowers the mic and puts it to his lips. But before he says anything, he turns back toward the crowd, raising his arms in the air, trying to get them going again, and he does. The cheers pipe back up, and Crippler is loving it.
Other Guy: Smooth move, milking it for every penny.
Eryk Masters: This man has done some tremendous things since coming to SHOOT a little over a year ago. Winner of the Sin City Championship Series, longest reigning Sin City Champion in SHOOT history. At RISE, he defeated Jester Smiles in a match that redefined violence.
Other Guy: Now….He gets his chance at the big one.
Crippler raises the mic again, and it takes a little longer for the crowd to quiet down, as they aren’t sure if he’s going to speak this time or not. He raises his hands, and pushes them slowly downward, as if to assure the crowd that yes, he is going to speak. The cheers lessen, and a buzz remains amongst the audience, and Crippler brings the mic to his mouth and begins to speak.
Lunatikk Crippler: So…It would seem that not that long ago, I became the number one contender to the World Heavyweight Championship. And I guess, for that, I have to be happy, right?
The crowd responds by cheering. Crippler still has a grin on his face as he continues.
Lunatikk Crippler: You’re damn right I am.
The crowd pops again, eating up every word thus far.
Lunatikk Crippler: At the last Revolution, I had the match of my SHOOT Project career. The biggest match I’ve had in nearly a decade. I went one on one with Jonas Coleman, the Butcher, the Bad Ass Brother, the man who slew the mighty Akuma Satsui, and I can go on and on about the things that Jonas Coleman has done in SHOOT, but you all know all that already.
The fact is? Jonas Coleman is a helluva wrestler. He’s respected by each and every one of you, and by ninety percent of the locker room, myself included, now that I know firsthand what he’s capable of. Jonas Coleman is a great wrestler, and last week? I was just a little bit better.
The crowd pops again, and Crippler nods.
Lunatikk Crippler: Last week, I wasn’t thinking about Donovan King. I wasn’t thinking about what would happen if I lost, that I would enter myself in the Redemption Rumble, and try to win that. I wasn’t thinking about what would happen if Jonas Coleman was the man on the path to the World title.
All I was thinking about was victory, and that’s what I got. And now, NOW, I can begin my focus on Donovan King. Now I can begin my focus on the two time SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion. I can begin training for the most important match of my LIFE, against one of the best wrestlers in the entire world in Donovan King.
The fans pop loud for King, and Crippler pauses to allow the people to give King the respect he deserves.
Eryk Masters: King and Crippler is going to be a helluva contest. I don’t envy whomever wins the Redemption Rumble and has to face the winner of THAT.
Other Guy: I believe the proper word is whoever. God, Eryk, read a language arts book, dude.
Eryk Masters: Shut up, OG.
Lunatikk Crippler: I guess, what I’m really trying to tell all of you, is that I, Mr. Sin City, The Whole Fucked Up Show, and putting all my eggs in my own basket, and am gunning for the World Heavyweight Championship, and I’m not going to accept anything less that the absolute BEST that Donovan King has to offer.
Without warning, “Gladiator” by Bun B kicks in, bringing the fans to their feet. Crippler immediately turns to the entrance as it fills with smoke. Stepping through the white fog, DONOVAN KING steps out from the back, the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship on his shoulder.
They thought it was over, they thought that I was done
They said I wouldn’t last, I’m the last one
I’m “Still Standing” like the Goodie to the Mo-B
In a black hoodie, it’s the O.G., you know me
He wears his black KING hoodie unzipped, the hood pulled tight over his head with the new “ALL HAIL” t-shirt on underneath.
Never bow to no feet or kiss no rings
Hold my own ground, never doin’ hoe things
Just to get accepted, just to be included
Nigga I am from the South, that ain’t how we do it
He marches down to the ring quickly, paying no attention to the fans as they cheer and focused completely on Crippler. He rolls underneath the bottom rope and gets up to one knee, looking at the fans as the chorus hits.
I’m a, gladiator, greater than the rest
Bring whoever’s won a battle; you’ll never be the best
King ascends the ropes and looks over the fans, the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship dangling from his left hand while a microphone is firmly gripped in his right.
Got a chest made of metal, a jaw made of steel
When I put the hands of God on ya, tell me how it feels
King turns his head as “Gladiator” dies down. He peers at Crippler behind him as he stands on the corner.
Donovan King: Let me be the first to tell you face to face in front of each an’ every member of the SHOOT Project congregation out here in the Epicenter an’ around the globe…Lunatikk Crippler.
He hops down from the corner and is finally eye to eye with Crip.
Donovan King: Welcome to the main event uh Redemption. Last time you made it this far, you was wit’ me at the end of the Rumble itself, tryna be number one contender. Now, it’s you an’ me…champ an’ challenger, number one versus number one contender. Congratulations.
Crippler’s grin widens. He brushes a bit of hair out of his face, and raises the mic back to his lips.
Lunatikk Crippler: Thank you. Coming from the man holding the gold, that means a lot.
Crippler’s gaze turns from the eyes of the champion, to the championship itself. Just as quick, he locks eyes with King yet again.
Lunatikk Crippler: You should believe me when I say that I plan on making a bit more out of my Redemption opportunity than I did last year. Last year, I shocked the world by just being able to HANG with you. By just being in the ring when most of everybody else was already in the shower. This year, Donovan? I’m not looking to show the world that I can hang with you in this ring. I’m lookin’ to show the world that I can BEAT you.
Donovan King: Beat me?
King takes a few steps towards Mr. Sin City.
Donovan King: Weren’t you just talkin’ a little while ago ‘bout how you didn’t respect me or am I just dreamin’ that up?
Crippler doesn’t back down. He stares right into the eyes of the World Heavyweight Champion.
Lunatikk Crippler: You listen. Good. But you still don’t understand. I respect the fact that you carry that title like a man. You earned it, you deserve it. I respect the things you have done in the past. The war you waged against The Hierarchy, the battles you had with Mirage? Those are just a couple of things that I myself personally witnessed. You’ve done many more things here in SHOOT, that I don’t need to go into.
Crippler takes a step forward. The gap is quickly closing between these two.
Lunatikk Crippler: But the fact still remains that you and I have yet to tie it up in this ring. Mano y mano. I respect the things you’ve done, but until I’ve tested you myself, Donovan, I can’t honestly say that I respect YOU.
Other Guy: Oh no he di’in’t!
The fans let out a collective OOOH as King…smirks.
Donovan King: A hell of a thing, separatin’ what a man does from what a man is. Respect what I’ve done, but not who I am. Man like you, with a career spannin’ years upon years an’ companies upon companies, you teeter between a relic an’ an icon. I’m not here to break down what I respect an’ what I don’t or who I respect or who I don’t. Fact is…I wanted to see SHOOT Project step up…an’ I got…you.
He lets the words sink in for a moment.
Donovan King: So it don’t matter if I respect you or I don’t, same as it don’t matter if you respect me. I couldn’t care less your feelings for me. There’s no love here, no hate . You’re here, you’re the number one contender, an’ what that means for me is you ain’t nothin’ but the means…to an end.
Lunatikk Crippler: A means to an end? You think I’m-
DEALBREAKER! King turned and snapped Crippler face first to the ground in the blink of an eye! King rises to his knees, next to a now unconscious Lunatikk Crippler!
Other Guy: Good GOD!
The fans are stunned, but they’re cheering as King is on his knees still. He grabs the nearest microphone and gets right in Crippler’s unconscious face.
Donovan King: Welcome…to the main event…of Redemption.
King sits the microphone next to Crippler’s head as “Gladiator” kicks back up, the King fans cheering HARD!
Other Guy: I…did you SEE how fast King snapped that Dealbreaker off?!
Eryk Masters: Lunatikk Crippler let it be known he didn’t respect Donovan King and that was all the reason King needed to let Crippler know what kind of lethal opponent he’s up against at Redemption!
King takes the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship and rolls from the ring, adjusting his hood and looking at both the approving King fans and the disapproving Crippler fans. He nods his head and smirks, slapping hands with a little boy wearing the new “ALL HAIL” t-shirt before he tosses the World Championship on his shoulder and storms up the entrance ramp, leaving Lunatikk Crippler down on the mat.
“Give Me Back My Bullets” by Lynrd Skynrd hits over the PA and the crowd gives a decent pop. Henry Gordon emerges from the back, smiling a bit at the crowds cheers, stretching out his arms and popping his neck as he makes his way down.
Other Guy: Soooo…some harsh words between Gordon and Stein this week, huh?
Eryk Masters: I really…REALLY hope that Gordon makes Stein eat his words.
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen, this contest is scheduled for ONE FALL! Making his way to the ring first, weighing in at THREE HUNDRED and TWENTY POUNDS…HENRY GORDON!
Other Guy: Still mad about Revolution 100?
Eryk Masters: Damn right I’m still mad about Revolution 100!
Henry Gordon walks up the ring steps and gets in the ring between the middle and top rope. He goes to the nearest turnbuckle and holds his arms up, garnering another respectable pop from the crowd.
Other Guy: Henry Gordon grows a little more popular every time he gets in the ring.
Eryk Masters: The fans respect him. He’s a hard worker, he pushes himself, and he never takes an easy way out.
The cheers quickly turn to DEAFENING boos as Marky Mark and the Funky Bunches’ “Good Vibrations” takes over the PA. Dan Stein emerges from the back wearing…jorts. That’s right. Jorts. There’s a yellow bandanna and a black hat to go with it. Around him are six lovely ladies dressed in skintight jumpsuits, and they dance to the rhythm of the songs as Dan Stein gyrates and pelvis thrusts his way to the ring. Seriously, his penis is flying everywhere. In jorts.
Other Guy: That’s…different.
Eryk Masters: For real?
Dan Stein is grinding and grooving with his women until he reaches the center of the aisle. He stops and motions for the women. They all surround him and begin rubbing their hands all over his body in rhythm to the song. ALL over his body. Even on the…jorts.
Samantha Coil: And now, making his way to the ring, weighing in at TWO HUNDRED and FIFTEEN pounds…DAN “THE LIGHTS” STEIN!
Dan Stein leaps onto the apron in one leap. He looks at Henry Gordon for a second before absolutely humping the shit out of the middle rope. Gordon looks a little unnerved by this, but he keeps his composure and continues stretching. Austin Linam sternly tells Stein to get in the ring, which Stein obeys, but as soon as Austin Linam’s back is turned, he begins to gyrate and spank the air in the direction of Linam’s buttocks. The crowd boos the lack of respect of Dan Stein.
Eryk Masters: Is he going to be serious about ANY of this?
Other Guy: Kinda have my doubts.
Austin Linam signals for the bell. Henry Gordon removes his shirt, and Dan Stein proceeds to burst out in laughter, staring at Gordon’s belly. Austin Linam gives Stein a glare, but Stein does not stop laughing. He simply looks at Linam, points, and says “But come on, look at it!” Gordon looks unhappy about Stein’s disrespect of his physique and moves forward, but Stein holds up his hands and says “Woah woah, wait.” Stein then proceeds to remove his bandanna.
Painfully slowly. The crowd is booing loudly, wanting some action, but Dan Stein is taking his sweet time taking off the bandanna. He then mimes like he is gonna throw it to the crowd, but he instead just throws it to one of his dancing girls. Henry Gordon is pissed, glaring at Stein, but allowing Stein his time to prepare. Stein throws the girls the hat and then nods at Gordon, mouthing “okay, ready”.
Other Guy: To say this match is off to a slow start would be a bit of an understatement.
Gordon and Stein begin to circle, but only for a moment, before Stein holds his hands up, signaling for a test of strength. Gordon looks a bit confused by this, but obliges. He comes forward and locks hands with Stein. It is clear that Gordon has the strength advantage…until Stein plants a kiss on his forehead. Gordon immediately releases and jumps back, wiping his forehead off and staring at Stein with a look that is a mixture of confusion and disgust.
Eryk Masters: This…this isn’t actually happening, is it? Not in a SHOOT Project ring!
Stein shrugs his shoulders, not sure why Gordon is so upset. Gordon charges forward and tries to get a hold of Stein, but Stein rolls out of the way. He comes up behind Gordon and quickly locks in a waist lock…only to begin gyrating again while rubbing Gordon’s belly. Gordon leaps forward, out of the grasp of Stein. Stein again gives Gordon a confused look.
Dan Stein: What’s wrong brah? I thought we were wrasslin’?!
Austin Linam admonishes Stein, but Stein waves it off. Gordon again tries to lock up with Stein, and Stein obliges. Stein drops and comes back up, locking in a half nelson and getting control of Gordon’s back. Stein tries to get a full nelson going, but Gordon is able to overpower Stein and pull him back in front of him. He SLAMS Stein with a headbutt, causing Stein to go wobbly. He then proceeds to slam Stein to the ground with a massive forearm shot. The crowd pops at the damage done to Stein!
Eryk Masters: FINALLY!
Other Guy: I guess Henry Gordon is now in control of this match.
Gordon lifts Stein up and plants two solid punches to Stein’s gut. Stein doubles over and backs off, giving Gordon time to reel back and SLAM Stein back to the mat with a right haymaker. Stein clutches his jaw on the ground, again causing the fans to erupt. Stein looks pissed at how much the fans are enjoying this. Gordon again goes to grab Stein, but Stein counters with a roll up! Linam is there for the count!
ONE! Stein slaps Gordon on the butt!
TWO! Stein slaps Gordon on the butt again!
Gordon not only kicks out, but rolls away. He is back to his feet quick and he launches himself at Dan Stein, but the Lights dropping down and getting out of the way. Gordon turns and eats a mule kick to the jaw, dazing him and causing him to stagger back towards the ropes. Gordon charges forward, and Stein again rolls away, but this time, he continues to run. Gordon is giving chase with Stein running, arms out very effeminately, saying “NO NO NO, LAWDY NO!” Stein then leaps out of the ring. Gordon stops at the ropes, glaring down at Stein.
Dan Stein: DO A SUICIDE DIVE! COME ON!
Gordon just glares down at Stein, motioning for him to get back in the ring. Stein puts his fist on under his chin, mimicking the thinker, saying “Iiiii don’t knooooooooow”. Austin Linam has started the ten count.
Stein holds up one finger, showing it to the crowd with a big, shit eating grin on his face.
Other Guy: Okay, we get it Dan, they don’t respect you, so you don’t respect them. Now, can we PLEASE get a match out of this?
Stein holds up two fingers.
Stein holds up three fingers. The crowd is boing loudly now, hating the slow pace of this match. Gordon just paces in the ring, clearly fuming.
Stein holds up four fingers.
Eryk Masters: This…this is the worst match in SHOOT Project history. It just has to be.
Stein holds up five fingers. Henry Gordon is yelling at Dan Stein to get in the ring, but Stein just shakes his head and smiles at him
Austin Linam words Stein that he will be counted out. Stein just holds up six fingers.
Stein doesn’t hold up fingers this time. He just strokes a non-existant beard, clearly deep in thought.
Stein finally throws his hands up and goes “Okaaaaaay” before sliding back in the ring…where Henry Gordon proceeds to stomp all the mudholes in him! Stein bounces on the ring, taking blow after blow after blow. Stein gets the ropes, and Austin Linam words Gordon to get off him, but Gordon continues the assault, stomping away at Stein. Austin Linam gets to the count of four before Gordon finally stops stomping. He screams out, punching himself in the head out of frustration. Stein oversells the damage, clutching his ribs and mouthing “oh yeah, broken”. Austin Linam “checks” on Stein, more so just telling Stein he’s fine and he needs to get up. Stein nods, saying “fine fine” and gets to his feet. He moves forward and gets clocked HARD by Gordon. But…not hard enough to make him jump halfway across the ring, landing on his back and rolling out of the ring again. He begins to mock a slight seizure. Austin Linam rolls his eyes and begins the 10 count.
Other Guy: Oh goddamnit!
Eryk Masters: *sigh*
Stein stops his seizures and kips up. He looks at a fine and says “Pretty cool huh?” The entire audience boos.
Gordon is once again yelling at Stein to get in the ring, but Stein is now arguing with the fan that his kip up was, indeed, pretty cool.
Gordon is now incensed. He gets out of the ring and comes at Stein. He turns Stein around and goes for a hard right, but Stein ducks under and dropkicks the back of Gordon’s head, sending him into the guard rail. Stein slaps Gordon in the back of the head for good measure.
While Gordon collects himself, Stein digs under the ring. Austin Linam tells Stein to not eve think about it, but when Stein comes up, he doesn’t have a weapon. He has a bag of flour.
Eryk Masters: Flour?
Stein rolls in the ring and dumps the flour on the mat. Gordon, meanwhile, is back up, and he gets in the ring, not realizing he’s rolling in a bunch of flour. A bunch of it clumps to his sweaty skin, which distracts Gordon long enough for Stein to take complete advantage of SLAM Gordon with a baseball dropkick to the face. Gordon goes down hard. Stein pulls Henry over, overexaggerating how heavy he is, and sets him up in the turnbuckle. He takes some of the pasty flour that is mushy with Gordon’s sweat and puts it in his before slapping Gordon in the face. He then gyrates in Gordon’s face and spits on him before running backwards and slamming Gordon with a running knee. He then repeats the motion! And a third for good measure.
Other Guy: I guess that’s called Foreplay. I wonder what comes-
Dan Stein charges again and begins to ride Gordon’s face ala Bronco Buster style! Gordon is completely whipped from this and collapses Stein drags him to the center of the ring, again exaggerating the heaviness, and pins!
Henry Gordon kicks out a second later. The crowd erupts in boos. Dan Stein leaps up and quickly clears the ring, before Gordon can get up and exact any revenge. Gordon looks at the flour on him, looks at Stein, and then sits there with the understanding that he lost. Stein, meanwhile, rubs his belly and points at Gordon, making a frowny face.
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen, your winner, at a time of TWELVE minutes and FORTY FIVE seconds…DAN “THE LIGHTS” STEIN!
The crowd boos Dan Stein and his showing, and he loves it. He gloats in it. Because no matter how much they boo, no matter how angry Henry Gordon is, he won the match.
Other Guy: I…I don’t know what to call what we just watched, but whatever it was, Dan Stein won it.
Eryk Masters: That was stupid. I mean…flour?
Tanya Black smiled as she re-entered the SHOOT Epicenter from one of the many side entrances. That was the one drawback to being a smoker. Always having to duck outside. Stopping in the catering area Tanya adjusts the tag team championship around her waist before grabbing a drink before going over to a photographer.
Tanya: Thanks for the advice. It’s really helped my photos look better.
Steve: That’s fine. You seem happy today. What’s up? It can’t just be that.
Tanya: I love this time of year. Redemption Rumble is coming and that means I can kick ass once again. This year I will do better than last year’s historic performance. Winner Here!
Opening the bottle of water she takes a sip before looking over and seeing El Asso Wipo glaring at her.
Tanya: Can I help you?
Wipo limps forward. He has to, he has a cast covering his nether region, which makes it difficult to walk.
Wipo: I’m sorry, but I couldn’t help overhear you talking about the Redemption Rumble, and how I am going to be victorious! Please, continue!
Tanya says nothing. She sips her water once more, looking incredulously at SHOOT’s resident luchadore.
Wipo: Don’t let El Asso Wipo stop you from reminding the world that the only things historic about your performance last year was throwing a piece of cardboard over the top rope, and being broken like so! TCHA! With my knee!
Wipo does the breaking motion half assed, as it seems to take every once of the energy he summons from his injured juevo just to do it like he did.
Wipo: I just thought you should know, that this year at the Redemption Rumble, El Asso Wipo will be the man who is the victor! And I’ll win, too!
Tanya: Listen El Asso Grande. You want to know what I did last year? Since apparently you didn’t watch the show. I competed in THREE matches that night, not the two-day event but three in one night. Won the first two matches. As for the Rumble, I stood up to Isaac Entragian and survived an elimination, which was basically impossible for everyone else he sighted in that match. It took the eventual winner AND his bodyguard to prevent me from winning.
Taking a large drink of water she suddenly spit it out aiming directly for the juevos of our injured hero.
Tanya: Seems like you have a bladder problem. Better dry that off before the rumors spread. Oh and I didn’t forget about you getting that lucky little TCHA in on me last year. I’m looking forward to eliminating you.
With that Tanya taps her title to draw Wipo’s attention to it before giving Steve The Photographer a wave goodbye, departing the scene with what’s left of her water bottle. Wipo stares on, perplexed, as Silas Mitchell comes into the shot behind him. Wipo turns and makes eye contact, a silent question passing between the two men.
El Asso Wipo: I did NOT piss myself! The water is OUTSIDE of the cast! That….that….harlot!
It’s at this point, we cut to something else.
She wears her pink “PG Princess” shirt, purple pants and black shoes with her dirty blonde hair down. Standing in the ring with a mic already in her soft hands, Laura Seton faces the camera amidst a smattering of boos, a look of frustration upon her.
Laura: The most popular question around me the last two weeks has been “Why did you do it, Laura” Why did you punch out an ever-lasting favorite?”
A few more boos come from the crowd. She nods her head in response.
Laura: Hey, I get it. If I was in all of yours’ shoes, I would be booing me too. You guys sure love Jaime, don’t you?
The crowd lets go of a healthy cheer for the Special Forces vet. Laura gets a small smile at the affirming of her thought. She takes a few steps in a circle as she speaks, facing each side of the ring and the corresponding fans.
Laura: Jaime… Isaac… simply put, Isaac has changed Jaime. Jaime is out here doing what he thinks is right. SHOOT has been plagued with various threats and each time they’ve been safely eliminated or at least tamed enough for the federation to continue to thrive. This time… there’s a problem. The problem is—the problem…
She paces back and forth as she holds her head up in thought. She turns to the camera and holds up her right hand, palm towards herself. She speaks softer and more deliberate than usual.
Laura: There’s a horrendous evil in SHOOT… an evil SO formidable… it MUST—
She clenches her hand to a fist.
Laura: …must be eradicated!…… And it’s not SCAR. It’s Jaime. You all can love him all you want, but he isn’t the same person you’ve come to love over the years. He’s a horrific being these days. The looks he has when I see him—this is a man that wants not just to destroy, but to KILL.
The crowd cheers again, but Laura lightly shakes her head.
Laura: No, this is nothing to cheer about. This man is different. The man that just a couple weeks ago I was happy to be going out with is now. He was a man that had a real heart inside but had problems expressing it in an environment where he feels threatened—such as the SHOOT Epicenter. Alone with me, he’s a great guy. Or, he was. I was hoping I could be in Texas as long as possible so I could be with him more. The last month or two, it’s inexplicable. I hoped my basketball would lose in the playoffs so I could get back to Wisconsin, get as far from him as I could. He’s become so unstable—so obsessed—with SCAR that NO ONE should dare be around him. He wants them dead, they just simply want SCAR gone.
She points to the back before walking a tight circle in the ring, looking into packed stands. Seeing all the fans and hearing their pro-Jaime cheering, even after what she just said—she can only shake her head. She speaks soft again.
Laura: You don’t understand the true enemy is Jaime. SCAR is nothing. No one cares though. SCAR has done so many bad things and Jaime has done so many good things that it’s okay, apparently for Jaime to run roughshod over this place. It’s okay that he’s about to kill off this federation we all love?
She runs her tongue around the inside of her mouth. It’s like she’s afraid to truly say what’s on her mind. After looking deep into the crowd, she gives a sigh. She speaks in a tone of wonder, though she fully backs each word.
Laura: President Jason Johnson—the guy that’s supposed to be guiding us in the right direction. The guys like Lunatikk Crippler that are to give the fans excitement…
Laura: Are nothing but… incompetent… fools.
Eryk Masters: Oh, my.
Laura: The men that should be keeping this fed alive are going to kill it! Only going after SCAR is absolute STUPIDITY!! No one gets it around here. I may be fired for this, but part of me really doesn’t care because it’s such a stupid blind eye that’s being shown. I can understand the fans, they don’t always see the big picture and they’re sometimes blind to things…
The fans boo at the statement but it seems to have no effect on her.
Laura: But for you, Jason…
Eryk Masters: Be careful, Laura.
Laura: Don’t you want your fed to survive? You’ve made great investments in the past. You may have made bad ones too, I don’t really know and right now I don’t really care. Your federation is about to go to shambles; crumble like an abandoned building. This “fix” isn’t as easy as you think it is. Jaime Alejandro is about to turn into a loose cannon here, yet you stand by twiddling your thumbs like a brainless nitwit—
Laura: You advise everyone to look towards the popular choice and think SCAR. Leave… them… ALONE! Are you that terrible at reading people that you can’t see the threat Jaime is becoming? Let me clarify that I’m not looking to start a fight with Jason Johnson, as much as he’s acting like a donkey. This isn’t just Jason I’m talking to here. It’s everyone. From you in the audience to everyone backstage. Think about Jaime for a second, would you all? Jaime’s as big a monster as Isaac. He just goes about business in a less outlandish manner. He’s as violent as Isaac. But no one cares because he’s on the right side of things. This is more than evil that’s brewing. It’s a full curse that’s blanketing SHOOT. The man you all love is turning into the worst possible human being I’ve ever met and the fact neither fans nor the other wrestlers don’t seem to care sickens me.
The booing is beginning to take a toll on her as it looks like a pout is forming. She closes her eyes and shakes her head, as if pushing aside her current line of thinking for a new one that just popped into her head.
Laura: All anyone has ever cared about is the violence. You don’t give a care in the world to the sake and well-being of anyone. It’s always “Next Person Up.” A wrestler goes down? That’s awesome because there was violence and blood spattered all over the place!
The boos fill the entire arena after that bit of sarcasm. You can see the anger in her begin to show as her face turns a very light shade of red and her eyes give a terribly dirty look to the audience. Her words come out stricter than ever before with, dare I say it, some hatred behind them.
Laura: It’s fine because someone new will step in and be just as violent. That’s all you want. The people in the ring are just that to you, “people.” Unless it’s a legend like Diamond Del Carver—none of YOU care about anyone! You just watch us beat each other to bits. The aches and pains? Big deal to all of you. It’s not YOUR life that’s hurting, it’s someone else’s. If someone is hurt badly, what’s it to you? Someone new will step in and maybe they’ll better feed that DISGUSTING lust of gore you all have! There’s a mental breakdown going on right now with your beloved Jaime AND NONE OF YOU DONKEYS CARE BECAUSE IT MEANS MORE ENTERTAINMENT FOR YOU!!
The booing goes way off the charts; she’s barely audible now, even at the top of her lungs.
Laura: BE QUIET!! YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO BOO ME!!
Eryk Masters: Listen to this crowd! I never thought I’d hear this much hatred towards Laura Seton!
Laura: I warn you one last time. A curse is about to come in to effect. It will haunt—
But the crowd won’t let up enough to let her finish. She lets out a huff and has a look of having lost all faith.
Laura: I thought you all loved SHOOT. I guess I thought wrong…
With an eyeroll and sigh of disgust, she tosses the mic behind her as she heads to the ropes and slides out from the ring beneath them.
The scene opens inside of the locker room of Project: SCAR. Entragian is seated on a crate near one side of the room, his Iron Fist Championship & Rules of Surrender Championship crisscrossed around his chest like gunbelts. Elizabeth Gaunt stands behind Isaac, resting both of her hands on his pale shoulders.
Corazon sits on a bench near Isaac, and Obsidian stands with his arms crossed while leaning back against a row of lockers. Kenji Yamada is crouched on the floor, his ragged fingernails brushing against the concrete as he looks towards the albino.
Entragian: Two words, my kin….Maya Nakashima. The boychild that we locked away into darkness has emerged as something much different than what he was before. He’s devoted, he’s steadfast, and he’s more of a threat now than he has ever been in the past. Let’s be perfectly clear….Maya is out to crush this family. He will not stop or stray from the path until we are torn apart and limping away from SHOOT Project on bleeding, broken feet.
Isaac scans his brothers and sister, making eye contact with each of them.
Entragian: I broke Maya Nakashima’s body. I humbled him. I took what was his simply because I could. He underestimated me, and he paid for it. He won’t make that mistake again. But believe me when I tell you…this was nothing more than a temporary victory for us. Already he’s coming back for more tonight against Adrian & I…and bringing Pierce into the fight as well.
Isaac runs his forked tongue over the top row of his teeth before continuing.
Entragian: Yes, I broke his body….but I didn’t even come close to breaking his spirit. Breaking a man’s spirit takes time, it takes effort, it takes attention to detail and careful, methodical planning. I know this because I’ve done it, and it’s not something that can be accomplished in a single match when it comes to someone as mentally tough as Nakashima.
He needs long-term attention. He is a threat that DEMANDS retaliation that is consistent and persistent….and quite frankly, we’re stretched pretty thin right now. Although I would love to spend the time and the effort breaking this boychild’s spirit myself, I cannot afford to split myself in two directions. I’m still engaged in a war with Jaime Alejandro, and if I lay off the pressure on him for even a millisecond, he’ll do everything he possibly can to destroy this group.
Corazon has Mason Pierce on his plate, so he’s not available for this either. Obsidian…we like to keep you free in case we need help with our respective opponents, so we can’t afford to have you tied up with this either. And Kenji, it goes without saying that you’re too close to this. So there you have it…our dilemma. Someone needs to take the fight to Maya on a long-term scale…but who? He’s the monster that we created…and if we don’t find a way to abort him soon…then we’ll have serious problems on our hands.
Isaac rubs his temple with one hand, and all members of SCAR seem to be thinking about how to approach this issue…when Liz Gaunt steps forward.
Gaunt: It falls to me, then.
Isaac looks up, a bit surprised.
Gaunt: You said it yourself. You’re fighting Jaime, Adrian is fighting Pierce, Obsidian protects the group as a whole, and Kenji is not available for this particular battle. That leaves only one member of SCAR….little ol’ me.
Gaunt smirks, planting both hands on her hips.
Gaunt: This can be my trial by fire. Let me prove how much of an asset I can be to this group. Isaac trained me himself years ago…so I have the skill necessary to undertake this fight. Give me the time. Give me the opportunity. It won’t be easy…and it won’t happen quickly…but I’ll do everything I possibly can to claw Maya’s spirit into shreds and nullify the threat that he poses to us.
Obsidian grins through his beard at Gaunt’s suggestion. It is the face of a fawning father as he looks at Elizabeth.
Obsidian: Nullify him. Perfect vernacular, darling sister. Maya Nakashima is a malignant growth upon the face of our new order. Cut him out, cut him down, let him collapse and rot.
He locks eyes with Gaunt.
Obsidian: The cowardly boy knows not of true sacrifice. To give of himself willingly. He’s only had things…taken from him. You, beloved, like the rest of us, understand that sacrifice. You are the perfect candidate for this task.
Kenji racks his fingernails against the cold concrete, a pained screech erupting from the concrete. His eyes wander across the dull grey, looking for something to hold onto. It was all just smooth concrete, his eyes wandered up when Gaunt speaks. Kenji puts both ragged hands to the concrete and pushes himself to a standing position in front of her. He stares deep into her eyes, those cold blues piercing into her like the sharpest of knives.
Kenji: Are you sure? Isaac couldn’t do it and I trust him more than I trust you to break someone.
Kenji shakes his head.
Kenji: He isn’t someone that just one of us can break, you know that, right?
His hand trembles slightly.
Kenji: But… if you really mean to try, and I mean REALLY try…?
Kenji balls his trembling hand into a fist.
Kenji: Close off what little of a heart you have left. Lock your soul in a far away cage where no one can reach it… because Maya will try to reach it. He will wade through every ounce of darkness you throw at him, every ounce of pain, and every shred of dishonor to try to reach them. You may consider yourself heartless and soulless, but you’re not, none of us are. Close them off, Elizabeth, don’t let him in, not even for a second. I don’t care if you think you’re playing an angle on him or not, you don’t let that boy in. You finish him and you finish him quick.
Obsidian looks to Kenji.
Obsidian: While I can…admit that that boy can be burdensome for one’s weaker moments…I shall stand by her. The rest of you have your hands full. It falls to Elizabeth to stand against this adversary. Should SHOOT find itself wanting to exterminate our crown jewel, they will have to deal with me.
Gaunt interlocks her hands behind her back, giving Kenji a curt nod while gazing at him with deep-seated respect. She offers Obsidian a warm smile, the type of smile reserved for an older, protective brother. She places a hand on Obsidian’s arm, staring out at the rest of the denizens in the room. Corazon offers her a smirk and a nod as well, giving her his support without a word spoken.
Gaunt: Thank you, my brothers. This is our war, and I am proud to fight it alongside men of your caliber. I’ve wanted a family for my entire life…and now I have it. I won’t let Maya or anyone else hurt the ones that I hold dear…
Elizabeth approaches her pallid love last of all, reaching out to intertwine her fingers with his own as she sits down apon one of his massive knees. Entragian looks at her with those venomous, cat-like eyes…and she sees that the decision has been made and supported by all.
Entragian: I have nothing but faith in you, Liz. Make this boychild your target, and do not stop until his ruin is orchestrated. He can be broken. Any man, woman, or child in the world can break….when proper; lasting pressure is applied to the physical form and the mental threshold. Push him beyond his limits. Destroy the things that he loves. Press the attack, my sweet girl….until he curls up in a shadowed corner in the fetal position with piss soaking through his wrestling tights. Maya is your project…and from his flesh, you’ll forge your first SCAR.
A deranged twinkle passes through Gaunt’s eyes, and a cruel smile curls up the corners of her ruby red lips as we fade to black.
We cut to the ring, and The Kaze is already in there, getting set for his match. "I Wanna Be Sedated" by The Ramones starts up, and the name "Minxy Jones" appears on the Tron. And out she comes, dressed full in her ring gear, right to the mask.
Samantha Coil: Introduicing first, already in the ring, making his SHOOT Project debut, he is The Kaze! And his opponent, also making her SHOOT Project debut, Miss Minxy Jones!
Eryk Masters: This is the SHOOT Project debuts for both The Kaze and Minxy Jones! Both of these Soldiers are going to need to look to impress here tonight.
Other Guy: I’m impressed by Minxy already. And all she had to do was jump around a bit.
Eryk Masters: Jeez, she’s out here for five seconds and you’re already drooling? Wipe your chin!
Minxy bounces on the balls of her feet, the smile shining through the slit on her mask. She makes her way to the ring, excitedly, and waves to some of the fans in attendance. The reception she is given is warm, and she blows kisses to a couple of lucky guys.
Eryk Masters: Miss Jones certainly seems thrilled to be here, but she is going to have to watch herself againt The Kaze here tonight. I’ve heard…..things.
Other Guy: Bad things. I’ve heard them, too.
Minxy slides into the ring, and is immediately rushed by Kaze. Willie Dean calls for the bell to ring, and it does. Kaze is stomping away on Minxy, and the fans that were previously cheering this young lady begin to boo. Some of the other fans start booing as well, not respecting Kaze getting the jump on a woman like that.
Other Guy: Kaze is ruthless to start. He’d like nothing more than to put Minxy down quickly.
Kaze continues to lay the leather to flesh, putting boot after boot to the body of Minxy Jones, but Minxy starts to get to her feet, trying to escape the wrath of Kaze. She is able to stand, and eats a foot to the gut, doubling her over. Kaze runs to the ropes, and Minxy notices, quickly running after him. Kaze bounces off the ropes and stops mid-ring, not knowing where Minxy went, he turns quickly, and is shocked to find Miss Jones, running full speed toward him, stopping to leave her feet, planting both of them into the chest of The Kaze. The fans pop as Kaze is knocked backwards, the momentum of the kick causing him to roll to his knees. Minxy gets back up and runs the ropes again. Kaze is able to bring himself to his feet, only to get caught in a headscissors by Minxy! She spins Kaze around, and sends him flying into the opposite corner of the ring! Kaze is quick to his feet, and is looking mutinous. He turns and Minxy is there again, and attempting a hurriconrana! Kaze catches her, stopping her momentum and leaving her perched on his shoulders. She spins around his head and rolls forward, hooking her legs under Kaze’s arms and bringing him with her in a victory roll!
Kaze breaks out of the pinning predicament, and Minxy looks to stay on the attack.
Eryk Masters: Dear lord, has she been moving?
Other Guy: I’ll say! Minxy Jones is lightning quick in her attack on Kaze!
Kaze gets to his feet, his back to Minxy, and she doesn’t waste time, running and leaping over his shoulder, grabbing his head and driving it into the mat with a facebuster! Kaze is rocked after that one, and Minxy is going to the top rope! She climbs the turnbuckles quickly, and waits as Kaze gets groggily to his feet! She leaps high and catches him with a top rope body press! Kaze lands hard on the mat, with Miss Minxy Jones on top! She hooks the far leg!
Kaze rolls his shoulder up!
Eryk Masters: I’ll say this for Kaze, he’s hanging tough through the aerial assault that Minxy is throwing at him!
Other Guy: That’s true, but he’s going to need to start mounting some offense if he’s…Wait, what’s that?
The fans cheers for Minxy turn to jeers suddenly, and now it’s pretty apparent why. Dan Stein appears on the entrance ramp, and he’s….he’s applauding Minxy Jones? He’s got a grin from ear to ear on his face, and Minxy turns and finally sees him. He starts making his way down the ramp, pumping his fist in the air, trying to lead the crowd in a cheer for Minxy, but the crowd is too busy hurling insults and other hurtful terms toward "The Lights". Meanwhile, in the ring, Minxy has her eyes glued to Stein, holding out her arms as if she is asking Stein why he’s out there, when Kaze gets up and plants a running knee right to her back. Minxy collapses against the ropes, where Kaze is set to capitalize, planting her on the mat with a back suplex!
Other Guy: Stein seems to be out here to support Minxy Jones, but he just might have cost her big time in this match!
Stein seems angry on the outside, but Kaze locks his hands while cradling Minxy’s head and leg, pinning her shoulders flat on the ground!
Minxy is able to kick out after Willie Dean’s hand hits the mat for the second time. Kaze gets up, still a little worse for wear, but in complete control of this match. He grabs the collar of Minxy’s top to pull her to her feet, and whips her into the corner. He runs full speed at her, and nearly takes her head off with a big clothesline!
Eryk Masters: A vicious shot by Kaze, and Stein is none too happy!
Kaze doesn’t let Minxy crumple to the ground, though her body wants to. He picks her up for a body slam, and Minxy’s boot brushes the face of Willie Dean, who turns, clutching at his face. Instead of driving Minxy down to the mat, he perches her on the top rope. He is about to climb up after her, but he is tugged to the ground, and then out of the ring!
Eryk Masters: What’s Stein up to? He’s interferring in this match!
Before Kaze can retaliate, he is booted in the stomach, and then Stein grabs him and throws him shoulder first into the ring post! Kaze falls to his knees, in a large amount of pain, but Stein quickly grabs him by the neck and rolls Kaze back into the ring! Minxy seems to have caught her breath, but she is oblivious as to what happened. Stein runs around the ring to be in Minxy’s eye sight, and starts pounding on the ring apron, trying to get her back in the match! Kaze is back to his feet, clutching his shoulder, and Minxy is somehow able to stand up straight on the top turnbuckle. She leaps, doing a somersault in the air, landing a seated senton to the chest of The Kaze, sending him crashing down, Minxy sitting on his chest! She reaches back and hooks the legs, and Stein rushes over to Willie Dean, frantically telling him there’s a pin happening!
Other Guy: Minxy nailed The Kaze with that somersault seated senton! Dean turns around, and sees the pin, and slides into position!
The bell rings, and Minxy releases Kaze, jumping up and down in excitement!
Samantha Coil: Here is your winner, Miiiiiiinxyyyyy Jooooooooones!
Eryk Masters: Give the assist to Dan Stein!
Other Guy: Give the assist to Minxy’s Baconator!
Eryk Masters: Is that what she calls it?
Other Guy: Indeed! I’m not just hungry, it’s the truth!
Minxy rolls out of the ring in front of Stein, who is clapping for her.
Minxy: I did it, Dan! I won!
Stein: I know! I was here! I helped!
Minxy: What did you do?
The celebration ends, as Minxy seems to not be too thrilled with Stein’s interference.
Stein: It was only a little bit!
Minxy: I’ll let it slide this once, but don’t pull that macho crap on me again, you hear?
Stein: Hey, you NEEDED me!
Eryk Masters: Well, she may not be in love with the way things went down, but Minxy Jones is successful in her SHOOT Project debut! Kaze, better luck next time.
Other Guy: If there is one.
The last we see of Minxy and Stein, they are arguing going up the ramp.
An old fashioned, black and white film countdown appears on the VideoWall, the film flickering and a beep heard after every digit.
Slayer’s "In-A-Gadda-Da-V?ida" cues up, bringing Corey Lazarus and Gregory Price out from behind the entrance curtain. Corey storms down the ramp with Price in tow, trying to catch up. Corey is wearing a black silk collared shirt tucked into a pair of white dress slacks with black Gucci leather square toe shoes on his feet, and Price sporting his usual three-piece custom fitted Armani suit and crimson silk tie.
~~Don’t you know that I want you?~~
Eryk Masters: Lazarus does not look too happy tonight.
Other Guy: Gee, I wonder why…
~~Don’t you know that I’ll always be true?~~
Corey slides under the bottom rope and jumps to his feet, immediately charging over to the side of the ring near Samantha Coil, holding out his hand. She takes a second…
Corey Lazarus: GIVE ME THE GOD DAMN MICROPHONE, BITCH!!
…before Price snatches the microphone out of her hand, passing it over to his client.
Eryk Masters: Wow, that was rude.
~~Oh, won’t you come with me~~
~~And take my hand~~
Corey motions for the music to be cut before tapping the mic, making sure it’s on.
Corey Lazarus: Cut the music.
"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" dies down, allowing Corey to take a deep breath as he backs into a corner. Price steps through the ropes and into the ring as Lazarus rubs his eyes, ignoring the chants from the crowd.
Fans: FUCK YOU, COREY!! **clap, clap, clapclapclap** FUCK YOU, COREY!! **clap, clap, clapclapclap**
Corey looks at the audience to his right and then to his left, shaking his head and rolling his eyes.
Corey Lazarus: Lick my sack, you cretins.
Corey Lazarus: As most of you know by now, and I mean you as in those of you that paid your hard-earned dollars to be here tonight and those who get paid undeserved wages in the back for just walking around with over-inflated senses of importance, a ridiculous miscarriage of justice has been carried out as it pertains to yours truly, the man they call "The Premier Attraction."
A half-empty cup of soda flies in from the crowd and misses Corey, smashing on the canvas and splattering about. Corey turns in the direction it originated from…
Corey Lazarus: You probably should have remembered that a limp wrist doesn’t help with tossing anything but salad, Sally.
A few laughs from the small pro-Lazarus section of the crowd, but Corey’s usual sense of joy after throwing out a quip doesn’t surface.
Corey Lazarus: For reasons unbeknownst to myself or to one of my most esteemed of colleagues, one Gregory Price…Gregory, feel free to take a bow…
Price complies with Corey’s request, briefly bowing for the (dis)approval of an (un)appreciative SHOOT Project crowd.
Corey Lazarus: …there would seem to be a certain challenger for a certain title that is, in almost any measurable form, "unworthy"…
Yep. Finger quotes.
Corey Lazarus: …of the gold and, as it turns out, of the opportunity he is being presented tonight, in and of itself. While I understand that this sport is one where, on any given night, the proverbial underdog can rise up and achieve great things which nobody believed they could, I’ve also been taught over the past twelve years that we have to earn our chances at true glory, our shots at the immortality that accompanies the wearing of championship gold. The way to earn it, traditionally, has been to prove that you are a winner. The more matches you win, especially against top-notch competition? The more title opportunities you should receive. That has been the MO of this business since the ideas and constructs of championships were introduced, and to work to the contrary of that would be to undermine the very core not only SHOOT Project, as a company, but to professional wrestling as a whole entity.
This all brings me to why the two of us are out here. Gregory, if you will…
Corey hands the microphone over to Price and clears his throat, looking out into the crowd as he unbuttons the cuffs of his sleeves and rolls them up, brushing his hair out of his face before Price brings the microphone back to his mouth.
Gregory Price: Far be it from me to insult the intelligence of the SHOOT Project Board of Directors, particularly Jason Johnson, buuuuuuut I feel, much like my prized client right next to me, that the very fact that the granting of a Sin City title shot to one Thomas Manchester Black, a man who was proven to be inferior within the confines of this very ring just a few short weeks ago at Revolution 100, while not giving a greater reward to the Living Icon himself, Corey Lazarus, is both indicative of the Board’s bias in favor of certain members of its roster and, along with how it has recently handled matters with the faction known as Project: SCAR, further evidence that the abilities of SHOOT Project President Jason Johnson in matters pertaining to the handling of the company’s roster should be called into question.
Corey takes back the microphone, smirking.
Corey Lazarus: For those of you that stopped paying attention in English class once you learned that, yes, "c" is the first letter in the word "cat," my good friend right here has just said precisely what has been on my mind for a few weeks, albeit in much less profane terms. Jason…Mister Johnson, J-Squared, or whatever the hell you have the hookers call you before you let them get their fix on the crack rock you keep in your pockets, consider this a formal protest over the fact that a LOSER like TOMMY BOY has gotten more opportunities at gold than the man who pinned him DEFINITIVELY just a few weeks ago. Price and I? We’ll be right out here until you decide to grace us with your presence and help us resolve this issue.
Corey backs up into the corner, pushing himself up to lie down across the ropes as Price pulls out his iPhone 5 and answers a call, casually strolling around the ring. A few seconds go by and Corey hops down from the top rope, yawning.
Corey Lazarus: So, how’s everybody liking the show so far without the L-A-Z in action?
A loud and emphatic cheer bursts out from the crowd, prompting Lazarus to shake his head.
Corey Lazarus: Please, please…Gregory is on the phone!
Corey Lazarus: It could be an important call!
Corey Lazarus: …really?
Corey Lazarus: We’ve come to this?!
Corey shakes his head in disgust and Price, aggravated by the rudeness of the audience, ends his call.
Corey Lazarus: Hey, Gregory, was that call important?
Laz rolls his eyes and sighs, annoyed greatly, as Price shakes his head. Corey rolls out of the ring and reaches under the apron, pulling out a chair and sliding it into the ring. SHOOT Security starts marching down to the ring, but this doesn’t halt Corey for a moment as he produces two more chairs, sliding them both into the ring before he follows them back in.
Eryk Masters: FINALLY!! I don’t know why they weren’t out here to begin with. Corey wasn’t even supposed to be here tonight.
Other Guy: And you find nothing wrong with the fact that a major A-list Hollywood star like Corey Lazarus who has been a contraced SHOOT Soldier for almost two years now wasn’t booked to appear on a card?
Eryk Masters: Well, when you put it that way…
Security enters the ring as Corey and Price set up the chairs, sitting down on two of them and leaving the third between them. Price pulls out a deck of cards and begins shuffling them, dealing them out to both he and Laz. Security marches over, talking to the two, but they ignore them. Laz picks up his cards and Gregory his, shuffling them in their hands.
Corey Lazarus: Got any 8’s?
Price: Go fish.
Lazarus picks up a card from the pile in the center of the chair…
Corey Lazarus: Hey, unlike when it comes to getting booked on SHOOT Project cards? I got what I asked for!
…before one of the guards grabs his arm. Lazarus immediately springs up and shoves him away as the other guards surround him.
Corey Lazarus: Don’t ever touch me! EVER!!
Stellar Revival’s "The Crazy Ones" cues up just as Corey grabs the "offending" guard by the collar of his shirt, raising a fist. The music pops the crowd as Jason Johnson marches out from behind the curtain, holding a microphone of his own.
Jason Johnson: Cut it.
The folks working the music booth listen to the boss, and "The Crazy Ones" dies.
Jason Johnson: Corey, what the hell is your problem? You and Thomas caused quite a bit of chaos in the past few months, your lawyers have everybody in the office on edge at all times, and you’ve been little more than a thorn in the side of everybody you’ve encountered since coming to SHOOT. Now you pull THIS?!
Corey Lazarus: …I’m sorry, what? Jason, you have to speak a little louder and more clear, my fluency in Retard has gone down over the years since I left that other place where I used to work.
Johnson shakes his head.
Jason Johnson: THIS is why I offered Thomas a shot at the Sin City title tonight and didn’t even book you, and yet you don’t even realize it. There’s a time and a place to discuss business matters, Corey, and doing it in the middle of the ring? Stalling the rest of the show? That’s just entirely unprofessional, and the behavior of somebody unbecoming of a champion. Thomas, despite his loss to you at Revolution 100, has been a professional the whole while, and our World Heavyweight champion, Donovan King…
HUGE POP FOR KING!!!! DEAFENING!!!
Jason Johnson: …is the very archetype of what kind of attitude, an emphasis on work ethic and perseverance over acting like an entitled baby, we’re looking for in our champions and our challengers.
Corey Lazarus: First of all, let me try something…DONOVAN KING!!
Corey Lazarus: Well, that worked well. I guess these apes will cheer for that guy no matter who talks about him. DONOVAN KING!!
Corey Lazarus: …see? And secondly…
Price SNATCHES the microphone out of Corey’s hand, marching over to the ring ropes nearest the ramp and grabbing the top rope, leaning over it for emphasis.
Gregory Price: And secondly, if you’re looking for that kind of person to hold your championship gold and even get shots at it, then explain Isaac Entragian! Explain the Sinister Syndicate! They’ve done MUCH WORSE than my client’s ever done in this company considering he’s, what, lost TWICE in the TWO YEARS he’s been here? Johnson, I like you, I really do, but there’s a reason my brother and the rest of his firm have made your life hell recently, and that’s because we’re BOTH sick of other people getting shot at gold before Corey does despite them not being nearly as great an athlete, nearly as great a fighter, or even as great of a DRAW as the Hollywood Kid!
Corey takes the microphone back and nods.
Corey Lazarus: What he said.
The fans boo as Johnson looks dead ahead, annoyed, and then breathes deep.
Jason Johnson: Fine. You want a title shot, Corey? That’s fantastic. You’ll get one…IF…
Price and Lazarus visibly groan in the ring, shaking their heads.
Jason Johnson: …IF you can find yourself a tag team partner by Revolution 103. If you find yourself a partner by then and put on a decent showing against a team of MY choosing? You’ll get another shot at the World Tag Team titles. Is that fair to you?
Price goes to take the mic from Laz, but Corey backs up, distancing himself from his agent.
Corey Lazarus: Deal.
Jason Johnson: Good. Now, get your asses out of the ring so that the show can go on, please.
Price and Corey nod, with Lazarus flashing his TRADEMARK DEVILISH GRIN, before exiting the ring. Security escorts them back up the ramp.
Other Guy: It’s possible that we just witnessed a precedent set that could be either amazing or terrible.
The camera opens to Dan Stein pounding on the door to the room he had been in earlier in the evening with Minxy Jones. She opens the door, and her body language is clearly hostile. Before he can get a word in, she screams at him.
Minxy Jones: Get away from me! God, you just fucking had to prove me wrong, didn’t you!? You fucking had to ruin my match.
Dan Stein: Ruin!? I fucking saved you! Show a little appreciation!
He takes a few deep breaths, struggling to calm down enough to end the argument. When he speaks again, it’s much more calm.
Dan Stein: Look, I’m sorry. I wanted you to wi-
Minxy Jones: And that’s why you got involved in my debut match? You don’t know me from a hole in the ground, and you made me look like I can’t handle being in SHOOT. Do you know how much damage you just did to my career?
Stein puts his hand on her shoulder and smiles, and she wrenches it away from him. His shoulders square, he glares down at her. Jones looks tiny in comparison, and he’s radiating furious energy.
Dan Stein: Don’t be like that. It’s one match. I won’t do it again.
Minxy looks down at her feet, and snaps her head up to look at him again. She doesn’t like his answer.
Minxy Jones: Get. Out. I don’t want to see you right now. I don’t know if I ever want to see you.
Take your flowers and your abs and your bullshit and get out!
Stein has had enough of her, and can’t contain it any longer. Rather than strike her, he marches away and grabs a chair. He throws it in her direction with all of his considerable strength, and Jones dives out of the way. A loud CRASH rings out behind her, and she cowers for a moment.
When Jones looks up again, Stein is gone. She surveys the damage, and sees a broken vase and mirror. Shards of glass and roses litter the dressing room. Minxy shudders, visibly shaken, and the camera fades away to black.
The camera cuts to LIHC sitting in the back, preparing for their match this evening. CJ Nelson tosses his cut over his bare chest, cracking his knuckles. Ryan Cuddihy pulls his long blond hair into a ponytail, before bunching his beard together and banding that as well. Jared Walsh finishes wrapping black tape on his hands, halfway up his forearms.
Other Guy: Long Island Hardcore looks pretty calm considering what they’re about to get themselves into.
Ryan walks to the door, opening it into the hallway, and looking back.
Ryan Cuddihy: You guys ready?
CJ cracks his neck, and takes a couple of steps toward the door.
CJ Nelson: Let’s do this.
They both look to Jared, who has centered his eyes on a spot on the floor. He isn’t moving.
Ryan: Jared? You coming?
He doesn’t move. He doesn’t even acknowledge the question.
CJ: J? Any day now.
Jared Walsh: I can’t go out there. I’m not ready for this. He’s going to destroy me.
Ryan and CJ sigh, and walk toward him.
CJ: Look, we talked about this. We gotta do this, J.
Jared: He’s not like anyone else we’ve faced, Ceej. He’s not human. It’s our first match, I can’t–
CJ: Exactly, it’s our first match. We gotta make an impression. We’re not gonna do that with you hiding back here.
Jared: I’m not ready to face that, CJ. I can’t go out there. I don’t know what to do, but I can’t go out there. Not against that. Not against– oof!
Ryan throws a punch across Jared’s jaw that knocks the breath out of him. CJ looks up at him in shock.
Ryan: What? Somebody had to, and you weren’t doing it.
Jared spits on the floor, and nods.
Jared: OK, let’s go.
Eryk Masters: An interesting motivational technique, but whatever works, I guess.
Other Guy: Put yourself in his shoes, Masters, would you want to go out there with Sammy?
Eryk Masters: No. No, no no, no. No.
Samantha Coil: This match is scheduled for one fall! Introducing first, with Ryan Cuddihy,from Westhampton Beach, NY, at a combined weight of 521 lbs, CJ Nelson and Jared Walsh, LONG ISLAND HARRRRRRDCOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRE!
Thin Lizzy’s “Bad Reputation” blares through the PA, and as pyro Xes across the entranceway, CJ Nelson, Jared Walsh, and Ryan Cuddihy step through to a thunderous pop! Jared runs from one side of the stage to the other, trying to get the crowd to pop harder, while CJ raises one hand in the air! Jared and CJ start to make their way down to the ring, Ryan trailing behind.
Jared slides in the ring, and starts to climb the corners, raising his hands and riling up the fans at ringside, while CJ steps up onto the apron, stepping over the top rope, and up to the opposite corner, throwing one fist into the air. The pair step to the center of the ring, facing the camera, and Jared drops to one knee, arms out, and CJ drops his arms across Jared’s chest in an X, and the ringposts fire some more pyro to punctuate it! Ryan slides over to their corner, and the three of them converse.
Other Guy: Looks like LIHC has pulled themselves together to get this match started!
Eryk Masters: Maybe so, but their opponent hasn’t come out yet, so we’ll see if that changes!
AND YOUR WORLD WILL BURN!
The three men stare toward the entranceway, as Cliff Lin’s “And Your World Will Burn” takes over, signaling the arrival of their opponent. Jester Smiles is first through, to a chorus of boos, holding his hands toward the entrance as if Vanna White presenting a prize. Sammy Rochester steps through, menacingly staring at the ring!
Samantha Coil: And their opponent, accompanied by Jester Smiles, weighing in at 415 lbs, SAAAAAAAMMY ROOOOOOOOCHESTERRRR!
Other Guy: 415 lbs, Eryk! That’s, like, Jared and Jester combined!
Eryk Masters: I certainly don’t envy those two right now, OG. Not with that look on Sammy’s face.
Jester and Sammy walk to the ring, Sammy moving as quickly as his huge frame lets him, his eyes never leaving his new victims. Jester, meanwhile, is chuckling and shaking his head, stopping every now and then to let a fan know just how bad LIHC has it tonight. Sammy climbs up onto the ring apron and over the top rope, and stares past Willie Dean at Jared and CJ. CJ and Jared look at each other as Ryan slides out of the ring, and Jared nods.
Eryk Masters: Brave move by Jared Walsh, stepping into the ring with the monster first.
Other Guy: You say brave, I say stupid, Eryk. He might as well just throw himself off the RevoluTron now, save himself some pain.
The bell rings, and immediately Rochester locks up with Jared, and almost as quickly Jared is shoved to the mat! Jared hops up, shakes it off, and looks up at Sammy, who gives him a sick smile! Jared charges again, and gets shoved back to the mat once more! Jared backs away, into the corner! Jared charges once again, and Sammy goes for the shove– Jared with the quick slide between Sammy’s legs! Sammy’s slow to turn around, and Jared hops to the top turnbuckle! Missile dropkick connects solid with Sammy Rochester’s jaw, and it barely staggers the beast! Jared hops to his feet, and Sammy turns to him! Jared’s eyes go wide, and he runs off the ropes– spinning wheel kick! Right into Sammy’s nose! Jared pops back up once again to find that Sammy is still on his feet! Jared goes off the ropes one more time, and comes back with a flying cross-body! No! Caught by Rochester! Sammy just tosses Jared like a ragdoll, and Walsh flops to the mat!
Other Guy: Look at Walsh just getting manhandled out there!
Eryk Masters: And Jester’s loving every second of it!
Jester slaps the mat hard, a shit-eating grin on his face! Rochester grabs Jared by the hair, pulling him to his feet, and he barrels Jared into the turnbuckle! Jared hits hard, but Rochester wastes no time in wrapping his hands around Jared’s throat! Willie Dean is there, and he starts the five count! Sammy doesn’t register it at all, and Jester screams at him to back off! Sammy lets go, and Jared stumbles forward, coughing!
Jared’s doubled over, trying to catch his breath, and Sammy pounds him to the mat with a hammer strike that knocks the wind out of him! Jared tries to crawl away, but Sammy isn’t about to let up, and he deadlifts Jared off the mat, sloppily throwing him to the mat once again! Jared lands on his shoulder, and clutches it, as Sammy picks him up to his feet again, pushing him against the ropes with his hands on Jared’s throat again! Willie Dean is there, and so is CJ, who slams against Sammy’s back with a forearm! Sammy lets go of Jared, and turns to face his new attacker! Dean gets in between the two, and Jester gets Sammy back on target, as Dean gets CJ back to his corner!
Eryk Masters: Nelson with the save, and it almost looked like Sammy was going to change focus, OG.
Other Guy: He did change focus, and if it weren’t for Smiles, Sammy and CJ would be slugging away at each other right now.
Jared has slumped to the mat, and Sammy picks him up by his throat again, pushing him straight into LIHC’s corner! Sammy doesn’t seem to care that CJ’s right there, as he squeezes Jared’s throat! Willie Dean starts the count once more, as CJ sends fist after heavy fist into Sammy’s face, to no response! Finally, CJ slaps Jared on the chest, and dives through the ropes, pushing Sammy back! Jared drops down, rolling out of the ring onto the floor! Ryan helps him to his feet, as Jared coughs and grabs his shoulder.
Sammy’s barely fazed as CJ pushes him toward the middle of the ring! CJ locks up, but Sammy goes for the whip– reversed by CJ! Sammy hits the corner, and CJ charges right after him, blasting him with a splash! Sammy stumbles out of the corner, but he does not drop! CJ runs off the ropes, and nails Rochester with a vicious clothesline that you could hear in the cheap seats! Rochester stumbles a little, but still will not go down! CJ stomps the mat in frustration!
Other Guy: Nelson’s throwing the kitchen sink at him, but Rochester will not fall!
Eryk Masters: If LIHC didn’t regret getting into this match earlier, I’m willing to bet they do now!
CJ goes to the ropes one more time, charging Rochester with a shoulder block– and CJ drops to the mat! He pops up, eyes wide, and goes to the ropes again, with the same result! Rochester’s smile is back, and CJ stares at him in shock! Nelson charges in– Sammy grabs him, and whips him hard into the corner! CJ SLAMS into the turnbuckle, shaking the ring! Sammy charges in after him, but CJ’s still got the wherewithal to put his foot up! Sammy stumbles back, but refuses to go to the mat!
Eryk Masters: Nelson’s going to the top!
Sure enough, CJ scales the turnbuckle, and flies off the top with a double axe-handle! No! Rochester catches him, and holds him off the mat with a bear hug! CJ howls in pain, and Sammy doesn’t waste time, driving him into the turnbuckle once again! CJ collapses in the corner, and Sammy starts stomping on him, again and again! CJ drops onto his back, and Sammy puts his foot across CJ’s throat! Willie Dean is there, starting the count, and Sammy is wrenching on the top rope to get extra leverage! Jester calls to him, and Sammy lets go at the 4 once again!
Other Guy: And Jester keeps Sammy from a DQ once again, just barely.
Eryk Masters: If it weren’t for Smiles, I’m not sure LIHC would still be conscious right now!
Other Guy: If it weren’t for Smiles, LIHC wouldn’t be in this match in the first place!
The moment Dean backs off, Sammy drops his foot onto CJ’s throat again! Dean tries to get between Sammy and CJ, but Sammy pushes him away! He goes back to CJ– Jared comes off the ropes with a springboard elbow! Sammy stumbles off of CJ momentarily, giving him a little time to recover! Jared hops to the top rope, and comes off with a blind moonsault! Sammy catches him in midair, and heaves him out of the ring before Dean can usher him out! Jared crashes to the floor! CJ rolls out of the ring before Sammy can get back to choking him! Dean starts a ten count as CJ walks over to Ryan, who is collecting Jared off the floor!
1! 2! Sammy is at the ropes, shouting down at CJ and Jared on the floor! CJ starts shouting back at him! 3! 4! Sammy’s focused on CJ, as Jared steps back onto the apron! 5! 6! Jared climbs the turnbuckle, as CJ gets up onto the apron into Sammy’s face! Sammy grabs CJ by the throat! Before he can go anywhere, Jared flies off the top with a dropkick square to the side of Sammy’s head! CJ pops through the ropes as Sammy stumbles!
Eryk Masters: LIHC finally using their numbers advantage in this match, and it seems to have caught Rochester by surprise!
Other Guy: A great move by LIHC, keeping him distracted just long enough to work a double team!
Willie Dean is shooing Jared out of the ring, and CJ throws a couple of punches to Sammy’s face, keeping him off-balance! Jared steps through the ropes, and CJ whips Sammy into LIHC’s corner! CJ charges Sammy with a spear into the turnbuckle, and tags in Jared! Sammy stumbles out of the corner, and Jared hops back to the top rope, somersaulting over Sammy’s head, and pulling him down into a stunner! Sammy’s head bounces off of Jared’s shoulder, and yet STILL Sammy stands! Jared and CJ are amazed!
Other Guy: Sammy looks like he’s finally starting to get worn down here, but he’s still on his feet, and LIHC are stunned!
Eryk Masters: He’s not human, OG! He doesn’t feel pain! This is insane!
Jared tags CJ, and runs off the ropes! CJ grabs Sammy in a rear waistlock, as Jared comes back, flying with a high dropkick to Sammy’s face! CRACK! Jester, out of nowhere, slams CJ in the back with a chair!
Eryk Masters: Where the hell did Smiles come from?!
Other Guy: He just cost Sammy the match, Eryk! Why would he do that?!
CJ drops to a knee, and Ryan slides into the ring! The bell is ringing, over and over, but nobody seems to be paying attention! Jester goes for a chairshot to CJ’s head, but Ryan grabs it out of his hands! Jester turns around, and his eyes go wide at the 6’11” Viking in the ring! Ryan wraps a hand around Jester’s throat, and lifts him up… Sammy pounds Ryan on the back of the head with a forearm! Ryan drops Jester, and turns to face the 7’3” Rochester!
Other Guy: The only man in SHOOT who can make Ryan Cuddihy look small!
Eryk Masters: No man, OG! Sammy Rochester is a straight up monster!
CJ dives at Rochester, swinging madly, and Willie Dean is struggling to gain any semblance of control! Jared and Jester start brawling across the ring, neither man getting any good shots in, while Rochester is holding his own against both CJ Nelson and Ryan Cuddihy! The bells continue to ring, and SHOOT security starts to pour into the ring!
Samantha Coil: Your winner by disqualification, LONG ISLAND HARDCORE!
SHOOT security starts to pull the fighters apart as “Bad Reputation” blares through the PA! Jared and Jester are at each other’s throats, but security pulls them apart with comparative ease! Sammy, CJ, and Ryan, on the other hand, are barely contained! Five security staff put themselves in front of Sammy, with another five barely keeping CJ and Ryan from charging him one more time!
Sammy Rochester: KILL YOU!
Eryk Masters: It’s just anarchy in the ring, OG! Security is on the scene, but I don’t know if they’re really going to be able to hold back the monster!
Other Guy: They’re having enough trouble with CJ and Ryan! This is a mess!
Jester pulls away from security staff, calling for Sammy! Sammy shrugs off security, following Smiles out of the ring! Jared, Ryan, and CJ stand at the ropes, jawing with Smiles as the pair make their way back! Jester laughs, pointing at the trio, and running a thumb across his throat!
Other Guy: Well, this match has done nothing but feed the flames, Eryk!
Eryk Masters: Jester proved his point, I think, OG… if Long Island Hardcore had this much trouble with just Sammy, what are they going to do against him and Jester as a team?
Other Guy: It’s CJ and Jared’s first match together in a SHOOT ring in 4 years, Eryk. Who’s to say whether they just needed to shake off the ring rust?
A quick camera cut later and we’re at ringside once again. SHOOT Project employees are in the ring and look to be completely miserable as they set up a fake brick wall backdrop along with a flat screen television. A flashing neon red and gold sign that reads "Zeitgeist!" is being lowered down from the ceiling amidst groans from the SHOOT fans in attendance.
Eryk Masters: Oh fantastic. This again. These are the moments in my life where I wish I could slip into a diabetic coma for a few hours.
Other Guy: Is your name Freddie Mercury? Because you’re acting like such a queen!
Eryk Masters: Did…did you just say that? Seriously?
Other Guy: What? That’s topical. The kids love Freddie Mercury.
Eryk Masters: Just wake me when this is over.
The SHOOT employees finish setting up the garish interview set and even before the last unpaid intern leaves the ring, the arena lights darken. Suddenly, the opening melody of "Sieben" by Subway to Sally starts playing over the Epicenter’s loudspeakers and melds with the heavy jeering from the crowd.
Eryk Masters: Man, just hearing his music makes me feel dirty. Like I need to take a thousand showers before I even look at him.
Other Guy: Remember to use your officially licensed Azrael Goeren body wash when you do!
Eryk Masters: Didn’t the "complimentary" batch he sent us have chunks of pork fat in it?
Other Guy: I thought they were cleaning crystals…
A massive gold and red pyro explosion goes off at the top of the ramp as strutting out from the back is Azrael Goeren, wearing a denim leisure suit and neckerchief. A red duffel bag is slung over his right shoulder as he reaches in and starts throwing out his "R.A.G." t-shirts to the fans as he makes his way down to the ring.
Eryk Masters: I will say this about Goeren, the guy sure is persistent in his quest to be reinstated here in SHOOT. Earlier this week I heard he held a sparsely attended rally outside of the arena and has thrown thousands of dollars for his cause into television, radio and internet ads.
Other Guy: We should all be ashamed of SHOOT for not letting him back in the ring immediately! I swear, this company rewards disgusting deviants like Laura Seton and punishes innocent cherubs like Herr Goeren!
Eryk Masters: You need to lay off Goeren’s nitrous.
Azrael empties his duffel bag of shirts and rolls into the ring, grabbing a microphone off one of his guest chairs. He reaches into his pocket and ties a brightly colored scarf over the mic neck before he addresses the audience.
Goeren: Everyone…contain your orgasms because it’s time for another episode of Zeitgeist! featuring Azrael Goeren!
Somehow even more boos.
Goeren: Now before I bring out my wonderful guest here tonight, there are a few things I need to address. EIN…what Donovan King did to me at Revolution 100 on this very interview set showed the world what type of mongrel he truly is. I’ll raise a glass of Dimetapp-vodka when he’s crippled and never able to wrestle again.
Azrael holds up two fingers to the audience.
Goeren: ZWEI! Clearly you people aren’t working hard enough to get me reinstated as I have heard nothing from Jason Johnson’s lawyers all week long. I plan on dropping by his office later on in the show to confront that dastardly villain. Maybe then we’ll see some results!
A third finger goes up.
Goeren: DREI! I hope all of you lucky fans who caught one of my shirts enjoy them! I’ve set up appropriate stations outside in the lobby where you can pay for them. Any attempt by you piggies to leave this arena without paying will result in immediate prosecution and/or molestation.
Eryk Masters: Aaaaaaaaaaand he’s already insulted the entire audience. Forty seconds in. That’s a new record for him.
Azrael cracks a smile and paces about the ring, looking as frantic as ever.
Goeren: Now that we got that business taken care of, it’s time to focus on our guest here tonight. Unlike Donovan King last week, this is a man who truly embodies everything that is good and pure about SHOOT today. A man who totally deserves to be the public face of this company. A paragon of everything that is right with our sport today. Damen und Herren…I present to you…the current Rule of Surrender AND Iron Fist Champion…
Eryk Masters: Oh God no…
Azrael pauses for dramatic effect as the crowd’s boos get even louder.
Goeren: ISAAC ENTRAAAAAAAAAAGIAN!
“Red Pyramids” by Akira Yamoaka starts to blaze through the audio system, and the pallid horror known as Entragian struts out from behind the curtains with a huge grin on his face. Entragian wears a perfectly tailored bone-white suit with a slim black tie, and crisscrossed around his chest like gunbelts are the Iron Fist & Rules of Surrender championships.
Eryk Masters: Seriously? I think we’re about to enter into a vortex of awfulness…Herr Goeren & Entragian occupying the same ring together. It’ll be like seeing Adolph Hitler and Lucifer sitting down to have a tea party…
Other Guy: Hold your heathen tongue, Masters. These two guys are pillars of the SHOOT Project community!
Elizabeth Gaunt stands at Entragian’s side wearing a bright red baby tee with the “REINSTATE GOEREN” logo emblazoned across the front, just below her ample cleavage. Isaac & Liz begin to stalk their way down to the ring while Goeren applauds enthusiastically and The Epicenter crowd boos so loud we fear vocal cords may begin to rupture out in the stands.
Entragian stops for a moment near the apron, noticing a young woman holding a sign that reads “THE IVORY TERROR-IST: SHOOT PROJECT DESERVES A BETTER CLASS OF CHAMPION!” Isaac reaches up and snaps this sign out of the woman’s hands, proceeds to wipe it along the ass of his slacks, and then he balls it up and throws it back into the woman’s flabbergasted face.
Eryk Masters: If there any type of disease out there that affects only albinos? A type of disease that causes horrible pain and a slow, lengthy death? Please tell me that there is, OG…
Other Guy: Shame on you, Eryk. This man holds half of the championship belts in SHOOT…give him a little respect.
Eryk Masters: He just wiped his ass with a fan’s sign!
Other Guy: Well there wasn’t any extra soft charmin available, now was there??
Entragian makes his way into the ring, holding his arms wide with a big toothy grin on his face as he approaches Goeren. He bellows out “AZZY!” and the two proceed to embrace like long lost pals, and as they step away from each other while shaking hands, it becomes ridiculously clear that they’re using the handshake to exchange a white baggie and a roll of cash.
Eryk Masters: WHAT?? Did these two literally just do a drug deal on live television?
Other Guy: You are so biased. Don’t insult Herr Goeren’s sobriety like that! It’s obvious that Entragian was just letting Azrael borrow a little bit of sugar. That’s what friends do!
Azrael pockets the "sugar" into his breast pocket and motions for Entragian to have a seat. Goeren leans in and politely kisses Elizabeth’s hand, motioning for the camera to zoom in on her shirt…and chest. Azrael takes a seat next to Isaac and is all smiles as he addresses SHOOT’s dual champion.
Goeren: Mein freund, let me first say how wonderful it is to have a man of your stature on the show here this week. Having you here is such an improvement over that man-whore Donovan King. He brought the integrity of this entire show down to his crude level, I’m honestly surprised a dice game didn’t break out halfway through it.
The crowd groans and the booing continues as Azrael rocks smugly back into his chair. His face suddenly lights up and he leans over to Isaac with a coy smile on his face.
Goeren: Speaking of Donovan King. You’re the Iron Fist Champion. You’re the Rule of Surrender Champion. You’re the most dominant entity in the SHOOT Project today. How long before you set your sights on King?
Entragian leans back in his chair, Elizabeth sitting on one side of his lap like a loyal kitty cat.
Entragian: Well first off, Azzy my man…let me tell you how personally appalled I was by the actions of our World Heavyweight Champion last week. To snap Germany’s Favorite Son against this canvas with a Dealbreaker during an innocent interview session…that’s some fucked up thuggery buggery right there.
Azrael politely nods in agreement.
Entragian: I bet he’s out there right now rolling down the streets of Las Vegas thinking about what he did…sipping on gin & juice…laid back…with his mind on his money and his money on his mind…because we all know that’s how Donnie spends most of his time.
Isaac rubs his pale chin, seeming to consider this first question for a moment.
Entragian: Lemme put it to you this way, Az. I am VERY interested in the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship. It’s a matter of time before I decide that it would look especially good wrapped around this waist…right along with the rest of my ever growing title collection. It is my personal belief that championship belts are totems of power, and the greatest power of all is the one that King has in possession of right now. The King will have his reign…but word of advice to him…keep that throne warm for me…and don’t spill any malt liquor on it.
More boos continue to cascade down from every section of the Epicenter.
Goeren: Truer words have never been spoken. Now let’s talk about Project: SCAR. A group of upstanding citizens who are really only trying to do what’s right in this twisted and bloated promotion. A promotion, mind you sir, that is run by the madman known as Jason Johnson who is completely drunk on power and distilled moonshine. What does Project: SCAR think about the current regime here in SHOOT? What is your end game?
Entragian: I heard Jason Johnson also keeps a sweat shop in the basement of the Epicenter where he encourages child labor. They make mostly “Ivory Terror” t-shirts, but that’s beside the point…the point is…Jason Johnson is a tyrant and he abuses his power all the time…and he abuses children. And puppies. And his girlfriend/wife/whatever it is that he bangs in his spare time.
Entragian pauses, taking a drink from a bottle of “Zeitgeist Spring Water!”
Entragian: Our end game is and will always be to make SHOOT Project a paradise for the members of SCAR…and the friends of SCAR. We’re carving a kingdom for ourselves here, Herr Goeren. We build it from stones of flesh, and it we seal it up with blood-mixed mortar. This is our home…and we won’t rest until every single enemy who threatens our brotherhood is either destroyed or forced into exile.
Goeren: How’s the relationship between SCAR members these days and who do you, Mr. Isaac Entragian, think is the most dangerous member? I only ask because we all saw some friction between SCAR a few weeks back which, I am happy to say, seems to have resolved itself but let’s hear it from you so I can put my nerves at ease here.
Entragian: An excellent question, my friendly neighborhood Megastar. A loaded question too!
Goeren: That’s why I’m an award winning interviewer. I don’t pull any punches with my guests. More water, good sir?
Entragian: Absolutely. Truth be told every member of SCAR is a dangerous asset for a variety of different reasons. Kenji…my oldest brother…is as cold-hearted as they come. I gave him the title Sociopath Pioneer for a reason. Corazon is a grinning demon of exceptional brutality. Obsidian is the monster that protects the monsters…our guardian, a man of particularly painful talents. And this little lady here on my lap isn’t all tits and giggles either…I trained Liz in the art of war many years ago, and she’s just as capable of stepping to the frontlines as any of the rest of us are. But together…as a unit…there is no stopping SCAR. When we combine our might, we become more than dangerous. We become…straight up deadly.
Elizabeth nods in agreement while smirking.
Entragian: And yes, there was some turmoil within the group recently. That’s been resolved and relegated into the past. It was a minor snafu on the road towards Eden…but I’m happy to say that we’re all back on the same page now. We’re a well-oiled machine once more…and we run on blood instead of gasoline…so we’re great for the environment too!
Isaac winks, and Goeren chuckles before continuing.
Goeren: Wunderbar! How very green of you. Now onto the officially licensed Zeitgeist! questionnaire that I ask every one of my guests. Well, you’ll be the second one I ask but it will sure be nice to hear an articulate answer instead of King’s guttural Ebonics. First, if you could fight one person currently on the SHOOT roster that you have never faced before, who would it be?
Entragian: Well, Azzy…I love a challenge. I like to test myself whenever possible. I notice I’m not the only big, scary motherfucker strolling around SHOOT Project these days. The monster child…has returned. Sammy Rochester impresses the hell outta me…and somewhere down the line…I intend to schedule a play date.
Goeren: Very nice. Now the same question, just broaden it to include anyone who has ever competed in a wrestling ring at ANY time.
Entragian: There’s one man who is gone from this business but not forgotten. He was a thorn not only in my side…but in yours as well, Herr Goeren. Greyson Blade. If ever he returns to this business, I want him one on one. I’ve fought some Hardcases in my time, but none like Blade. He’s one of a kind…the last Outlaw…the one man who I’d march through brimstone and hellfire for…just to clamp my teeth around the tender meat of his throat.
Azrael noticeably winces.
Goeren: Let me just say if you ever got a hold of that swine again, I happily volunteer to wipe his blood and entrails up from the mat. From what I understand, nobody has earned your scorn more than that son of a bitch. However, let’s talk about the here and now. Let’s talk a little about…
Azrael pauses for dramatic effect again as his eyes shift from one side to the other.
Goeren: Jaime Alejandro.
Isaac grits his teeth, his eyes darkening at the mention of Jaime’s name.
Entragian: I don’t want to discuss him. Each time I think about him, I have to pause to swallow down some bile. Let’s talk about…a more positive topic, Azzy. Call it an idea. Call it an offer. Call it…a golden ticket…
Isaac swings one heavy arm over and slings it companionably across the shoulders of Herr Goeren.
Entragian: The Hierarchy is dead and gone…but I want you to know that still have friends in SHOOT Project, Azrael Goeren. You don’t necessarily have to go it alone…
Elizabeth flashes a seductive smirk, pointing to her “Reinstate Goeren” t-shirt before offering a thumbs up.
Entragian: Let’s face the facts…Van Warren was a worthless piece of shit. He didn’t have leadership capabilities. He didn’t take care of his men, and his men deserted him in turn. He…cracked…under the pressure. I never crack, Azzy. I take care of my own. I’d refer to my brothers as the “chosen people” because we always get the best slice of the pie here in SHOOT…because we take it by force.
Isaac leans over, showing Goeren a razor-tipped grin.
Entragian: As far as I’m concerned, there was only one star in The Hierarchy. One bright, shining star that outshined all the others. A Megastar…
A twinkle begins to shine in the eyes of Herr Goeren as he listens to these words.
Entragian: SCAR needs a Megastar. We’ll never hold you back. You’ll be free to do what you were born to do. You can embrace your TRUE self, Azzy. You can do…all the nasty, gritty things that you love to do. Rend flesh. Tear ligaments. Snap tendons. Just say the word…and I’ll hand you the key to SHOOT Project’s abattoir.
Isaac leans even closer, whispering into Goeren’s ear. Liz reaches over and begins to twirl a lock of Goeren’s hair between her fingers.
Entragian: Think of the fun we’ll have…
Azrael actually looks like he is taken aback a bit by the proposal as he glances up at Liz. Suddenly, a twisted, maniacal grin begins to stretch across the face of Herr Goeren.
Entragian extends a pallid hand towards the Megastar amidst arena-shaking boos.
Eryk Masters: NO. God, NO. This cannot happen. This MUST not happen. Imagine what Project: SCAR would become if they had the financial resources of Goeren on their side. I never thought I’d say this…but the nightmare CAN get worse…
Other Guy: What are you talking about?? This is PERFECT! Azrael will fit right in! SCAR will OWN SHOOT Project in less than a week with Azzy on their side…it’s a match made in the darkest part of Hell!
Azrael Goeren seems to consider this proposal for a moment, then his hand slowly comes up…reaching over to seal the pact with a handshake…
BUT SUDDENLY JAIME ALEJANDRO STORMS THROUGH THE CURTAINS WITH A LEAD PIPE IN HAND!!!
Eryk Masters: YES!!! I’ve never been happier to see Alejandro before in my entire life!! THANK YOU, JAIME!!!
Isaac jumps up to his feet and throws his chair out of the ring towards Jaime, but Jaime ducks underneath and slides right into the ring. Jaime swipes the pipe at Liz’s head, but she throws herself to the side and avoids the contact just in time. Isaac isn’t so lucky…Jaime SMACKS the lead pipe right into the side of Isaac’s jaw. The albino staggers back towards the ropes, and Jaime starts to piston the pipe against Isaac’s abdomen over and over again.
Azrael is up and backed against one of the turnbuckles, screaming out “NEIN NEIN NEIN” over and over again at Jaime.
Jaime grabs hold of Isaac’s long white hair…and running forward he SMASHES Isaac’s head clean through the plasma television screen set up in the ring!! There’s an explosion of glass, and a few tendrils of smoke begin to rise from the TV where Isaac’s head is lodged.
Jaime throws the lead pipe to the side, and he pulls a microphone out of his back pocket.
Alejandro: This will END, Isaac. I’ve decided where. It ends…at Redemption. It ends…with the Iron Fist Championship on the line…in ends with steel atop our heads, steel at our backs…it ends in a cage where an animal like you belongs…it ENDS, Isaac…IN HELL IN A CELL!!!
The very second these words are uttered from Jaime’s lips, Liz darts back into frame and CHOPBLOCKS the back of Jaime’s knee!
Jaime goes down hard, and we see Isaac pulling his head out from the smoking ruin of the television screen. There are little pieces of glass pierced into his pale flesh, and blood pouring down his face from a variety of tiny wounds.
Isaac is SEETHING, the rage and madness burning through his brain to create what can only be called the perfect storm.
The monster reaches up and RIPS the plasma television down from the mounting, and lifting it high overtop his head…he SWINGS it like a chair and SNAPS the TV in half over the body of Jaime Alejandro!! Jaime howls with pain, and then he becomes silent, pieces of smoking electrical equipment and glass littered all around his body.
Isaac grabs up the microphone that Jaime dropped, and he looms over Jaime, his eyes practically bugging out of his head.
Entragian: You want to finish this, you son of a bitch?? You want to lock yourself up inside of a cell with ME?? You want to give these rotten, maggot-meat fans an Iron Fist Championship match that they will NEVER forget??
Isaac reaches up to his throat, and plucks a shard of glass out of his flesh, proceeding to flick it down at the body of Alejandro.
Entragian: YOU FUCKING GOT IT!! Redemption, Jaime. THAT is where I wash my hands of you…for GOOD.
Isaac pulls another piece of glass out of his cheek, proceeding to flick the bloody shard down against Jaime’s face.
Other Guy: WOW!! Talk about a Zeitgeist exclusive, ladies and gents. Isaac vs. Jaime for the Iron Fist Title at Redemption…inside of HELL IN A CELL!!
Eryk Masters: If that won’t be a Match Of The Year candidate, then I don’t know what will.
We fade out on the bloody monster unsnapping the Iron Fist Championship from his chest to raise it up high while planting a boot on Jaime’s prone frame.
Tanya Black smiled as she sat next to Abigail Chase in the locker room of the Sinister Syndicate. Tanya hefted her Tag Team Title belt and admired it before kissing the faceplate. Looking back at a somewhat nervous Abigail as the reporter watched Chance Ryan pacing in the background Tanya giggles.
Abigail: So ah, I guess you two have finished celebrating.
Tanya: Yeah we had a fun few days keeping the whole Epicenter awake. Man we must have had every SHOOT fan there partying. Love us or hate us, everyone wanted to tweet pictures from the VIP hotel rooms. Fans are so fickle and manipulative that way.
Abigail: So where are Cade Sydal and Cassi Ryan tonight?
Tanya: Unfortunately they couldn’t be here. After the cowardly attack upon Cassi Ryan and Cade’s ongoing injury the two retreated to a um… Chance what was that place called again?
Chance: Couples Rehab Center. Cade said it was like a bed and breakfast mixed with a physical therapy center.
Abigail looks a bit in disbelief at hearing this but simply shakes her head to avoid trouble.
Tanya: Hey it’s not their fault. Buck and Chuck were the ones who acted like cowardly bullies. It’s all good though. After all those two weren’t acting like professionals who wanted to remain champions, so they failed. We kept our eyes on the prize and are your NEW SHOOT PROJECT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS!
Chance: You got that right partner. Long time champions. I won’t let you down Tanya.
Tanya: So sweet.
Abigail rolls her eyes when she is sure Tanya isn’t looking. After a moment Abigail regains her composure and manages to remember her line of questions.
Abigail: So what are your plans as champions?
Tanya: Well we have been looking at the competition. You have these two man-children with a bad sense of humor backed up by their homosexual butler.
Chance: Long Island Hardcore. Hmph.
Tanya: We have the Loser Clown and the Ugly Duckling.
Chance: No Beauty there. Just Beast and the Beast.
Tanya: Let’s see. The Bad Ass Brotherhood is dead in the water. Another Legend Buried. I guess they don’t count for contenders. EVER.
Chance Ryan and Tanya Black both laugh at that before getting back on their train of thought.
Tanya: I’d be happy to fight any combination within Project: SCAR. Those freaks have been ducking me since I got here. Cowards.
Chance Ryan: True but if Liz gets in the ring I’m leaving her all to you. I have no desire to touch her.
Tanya: I’ll break her in half. Burn those halves.
Abigail: Well I ah am sure that Project: SCAR will pick two top wrestlers amongst their gang to compete with you.
Tanya: Who else could we fight? Man I’d love to bury Jonas Coleman too and finish off all that is the Bad Ass Brotherhood. Though I don’t think he has any other friends.
Chance: More like nobody who wants to watch him lose. Again. Punk.
Tanya: Such a meanie. Jonas won one match this year. Oh how about Jaime/Laura.
Abigail: They aren’t a real tag team. Just dating. Plus I think Laura Seton is a little mad at Jaime Alejandro right now.
Tanya: Psh. But I have unfinished business with both of them. Laura never did acknowledge my superiority. Jaime just has a beating coming.
Abigail: Right so I guess you are just going to wait for someone to challenge you then?
Tanya: Hell No! We aren’t lazy like the last people to hold these belts! If somebody doesn’t step up next week, then Chance and I will go on the hunt. These belts will always be talked about.
Before Abigail can say anything the locker room door opens and in walks the large man who has been seen with Tanya lately. Chance glances at the man for a second as if unsure if they are friends or not as he grabs Abigail by the shoulders.
Tanya: Sean says it’s time for you to leave. Besides Chance and I have to finish scouting. Sean make sure Abby gets down the hall safely. All kinds of unsavory types running around SHOOT these days. Like Dan Stein. Oh and that masked girl. Minty something. Oh maybe they could be a team. Team Date Rape! Something untrustworthy about masked people.
Chance: Don’t say things like that on camera. We’ll get fined.
Tanya simply sticks her tongue out teasing Chance as Abigail is being escorted out by the man apparently named Sean.
The lights go off in the arena which means only one thing.
Perhaps you better start from the beginning
Eryk Masters: Not him again!
Perhaps you better start from the beginning
Perhaps you better start from the beginning
Other Guy: Are you serious?!? This may be the best point of the night.
Perhaps you better start from the beginning
Eryk Masters: OG, your making me sick…
Perhaps you better start from the beginning
"Electric Head Pt.1" Kicks in as the crowd just lets the boo’s pour out all over the Epicenter as Johnny Napalm walks out onto the ramp with Sledgehammer in hand, His attire has changed a bit now wearing a biker jacket as his logo is on the left side on the back as he passes the back has a very huge patch that reads JN Violence since 1998 with flames adorning the patch he steps into the ring just soaking in the boo’s.
Eryk Masters: I am surprised that this son of a bitch is here, espically after last week. What he did to El Asso Wipo was uncalled for. That was not a match, that was a damn ambush!
Other Guy: Well, even after the whole thing was done, the really big surprise is that he did not recieve a fine or any type of suspension.
Eryk Masters: He should be gone from SHOOT!
Other Guy: Calm down man, whats done is done.
Napalm walks over to the ring assistant and pulls the mic out of their hand as the assistant literally backs off. Napalm gives the assistant a very evil look before he just looks around as the music dies out with the boo’s increasing more.
Napalm: How much a couple of weeks make. After I showed El Asso Wipo who you do not fuck with, the whole outlook of SHOOT changes yet again. Lets start with Piper Fury and her departure from SHOOT. Honestly, I am glad you got your priorities in order, and honestly good riddence. You saw at RISE, even though you won that match, I won the war cause I’m still here and you are now seeking a Mixed Martial Arts career. Good luck, and don’t come back.
Fans keep booing HARD!
Napalm: The second is no big surprise. Azrael Goeren, you see Piper Fury may have cracked my skull open just a bit, I still remember the last time you confronted me, by cracking the CWC world title over my head for sticking my nose into your business with Patrick Kidd. Yeah, how well did that go for you? I don’t forget that easily. You may be trying to get back into SHOOT, but just remember this: I still got a bone to pick with your ass and sooner or later, I will have your blood on my hands!
Now the fans are chanting
SHUT THE F**K UP
SHUT THE F**K UP
SHUT THE F**K UP
Napalm: Not going to happen, so why dont you do everyone a favor and say that to someone who gives a shit?
Jeez, the fans are booing even harder
Napalm: Third thing is our new number one contender for the world title, Lunatikk Crippler. I must say, this is not the first time I have been impressed with you. That being said, good luck at Redemption, ’cause if you win that title, you can be damn sure I will be breathing down your neck! Why? ‘Cause I am throwing my name into the Redemption Rumble!
Wow that got one hell of a boo
Eryk Masters: Well, he is not wasting time throwing his name in.
Other Guy: This is awesome! We have another name going into the Rumble!
Napalm: Lastly, to all the soldiers, it’s time once again! I am issuing an open challenge for Revolution 102. This time, I dont want that Martyr, El Asso Wipo. This time, I want someone who will be a damn challenge!
Two weeks SHOOT. Being silent would be hazardous to your health.
Napalm drops the mic as White Zombie kicks back in. Napalm slides under the bottom rope, walking back up the ramp. As he reaches about half-way up, a few fans start giving him shit. He starts walking over to the fans as they’re spewing swear words and god knows what else.
Eryk Masters: Napalm, don’t do it we dont need a lawsuit on our hands.
Other Guy: Or a damn riot.
Napalm backs off, but the scowl on his face says it all: he would have started something. However, he walks up the ramp and heads to the back.
The crowd is set for the Sin City Championship match, and it’s about to get underway! “No Rest For The Wicke” by Cage The Elephant starts up over the PA system, as the crowd explodes for the man known as “The Queen City Hitman”.
Samantha Coil: Now introducing from Tokyo, Japan by the way of his hometown, The Queen City…Charlotte , North Carolina…
TMB comes out from behind the curtains wearing Black and White MMA shorts and boots. He tops that off by wearing a Grey North Carolina Tar Heels Hoodie with a towel over his head & his forearms and fists taped up. On his fist and forearm tape you see the words “Dark Sinner”. Black hardly looks out from the hoodie as he walks toward the ring. He stops and cracks his knuckles before raising his hands in the air.
Samantha Coil: He is “The Queen City Hitman”…
TMB continues to make his way down the ramp way, soaking up the reaction from the crowd that are tossed his way. TMB makes his way up the steel steps and steps over the top rope and doesn’t even look at the ref as he makes his way to the middle of the ring. He folds his arms as Carolina Blue and White streamers flood the ring, Japanese style. TMB bows to the fans and goes to the corner as Ring Hands start to clean the streamers from the ring.
Samantha Coil: This is THOMAS MANCHESTER BLACK!
Once the ref is finished, TMB takes off his hoodie and tosses it to a ring hand, before slinking down into a sitting position in the corner. Black eyes remain focused as he waits for the match to begin.
"The One" by Tantric hits the PA, and it signals the arrival of the Sin City Champion. A short blast of pyro goes off, and out comes Edmund Augustus Shan. He makes a beeline for the ring, pointing at TMB lounging in the corner, and running his mouth at the challenger. We can’t make out what he’s saying, because of the noise of the crowd, but TMB takes notice, and gets to a standing position in the corner.
Samantha Coil: Introducing next, he is the reigning and defending Sin City Champion, he is Edmund Augustus Shaaaaaaan!
Eryk Masters: Looks like this one is getting heated already!
Other Guy: Shan is wasting no time with the trash talk, he wants Black to know exactly how he feels about him.
Shan rolls under the bottom rope, and quickly gets to his feet. He holds the Sin City Championship above his head, and looks directly at TMB.
Shan: You want this? This is MINE. You think you’re the man to take it from me?
Eryk Masters: You’re right about the trash talk. Something TMB must have said has made Shan incensed here tonight. I don’t know if that’s going work well for him, or work in Thomas Manchester Black’s favor.
The referee, Dennis Heflin, takes the Sin City title belt from Shan, and holds it up in the air, and then shows TMB the gold. He hands it off to Samantha Coil, and the bell is rung. Heflin has both men in the center of the ring, face to face, explaining the rules.
Other Guy: Look at Shan, he is chomping at the bit!
As soon as the ref finishes, TMB starts to reach out for a handshake, but Edmund Shan puts a stop to that with a huge spear that splats TMB on the mat! Heflin gets out of the way as Shan starts raining fists to the face of TMB, most of which Black is able to deflect. Before Heflin can warn Shan about closed fists, TMB quickly turns the tide, rolling himself and Shan over, to where Shan has to put up his hands to stop the flurry of rights and lefts from the challenger!
Eryk Masters: This match has exploded already! Shan is looking to prove that TMB isn’t worthy to hold the Sin City Championship, and Black is looking to prove just the opposite!
Black lets up to get to his feet, and he reaches down to pull Shan up with him, but Edmund stops him with a quick thumb to the eye, followed by a punch to the throat of TMB while Shan is still on his back. Black staggers backwards, and Shan rolls to his knees and is quickly on his feet, and after TMB. Black is backed into the corner, and Shan unloads with a thunderous shoulder rammed straight into the stomach of the challenger! The champion strikes again and then a third time with the shoulder, trying to drain the oxygen from TMB’s lungs. Shan turns, and grabs Black by the head, and takes him over Shan’s own shoulder with a snapmare, but he doesn’t release Black, instead using the momentum to flip over TMB’s shoulder, snapping TMB back with a whiplash effect.
Other Guy: Shan is relentless now, opening up on Black and working on the neck!
Shan executes a diving lariat that catches TMB across the Adam’s apple, and quickly goes for the cover!
And that’s it. TMB quickly escapes the pin attempt, and is trying to get back to his feet. Shan isn’t going to let him that easy, snapping off a well placed kick directly to TMB’s spine. Black cringes in pain, his arms momentarily frozen in an extended position, the pain clearly etched upon his face.
Other Guy: Good GOD, I felt that!
TMB fights his way to his feet, only for Shan to clutch his head with both hands, and push TMB’s skull downward. At the same time, Shan extends his knee upward, catching Black on the chin with a knee strike. Black wants to fall, but Shan won’t let him, forcing Black’s face into his rising knee yet again, this time, releasing TMB, allowing him to fall flat on his back. Shan again scurries to the cover, neglecting to hook the leg.
Black kicks out. Shan’s face is mask of anger, and he’s not afraid to show it. He stands up, just to drop his knee across the forehead of Black, before BLATANTLY choking Thomas Manchest Black.
Eryk Masters: This is not a side we’ve seen of Edmund Augustus Shan! Something has set him off tonight, and he is showing NO respect to his challenger!
Other Guy: Shan needs this. He NEEDS this killer instinct if he is going to keep the Sin City title around his waist! Especially against a challenger the caliber of Thomas Manchester Black!
Heflin gets to a four count before Shan releases the choke. He gets to his feet, dragging TMB along with him. He stands Black steady on his feet, before slapping him right in the face! This draws a gasp from many in the crowd, and seems to wake Black up! He fires a right hand at Shan’s cheekbone, but Shan ducks, causing TMB to spin in place with the force of that attempted right! Shan again goes to the throat, this time, a straight right handed thrust which momentarily cuts the air of TMB. Black grasps his throat, and Shan takes advantage, grabbing Black’s head and taking him down to the ground with a spinning neckbreaker! The ring shakes a bit with that impact, but instead of going for the cover right there, Shan opts to roll Black onto his face, and he locks on a front facelock. It’s bordering on a guillotine choke the way Shan has it cinched in.
Eryk Masters: TMB has barely been able to get out of the blocks here, and now the Queen City Hitman is in serious trouble!
Black is struggling against Shan, but that makes him cinch the hold in even more, effectively cutting off the supply of oxygen to Black’s brain. That isn’t going to stop TMB, who is still fighting to escape. He manages to get to one knee, and he holds his arm out, shaking it in the air. The fans take notice, and begin to clap in unison, trying to will Black on. Shan continues to squeeze the air out of TMB, but Black is able to get to both his knees now, and this forces Shan to do the same, causing the hold to not be as effective. That’s the opening Black was looking for, as he is now able to get to his feet, to the cheers of the crowd! He winds up and buries an elbow into the gut of Shan, but it’s not enough to break the hold! He winds up a second time, and this elbow causes Shan’s grip to slip, and Black takes advantage by pushing Shan off him! Black is standing tall now, and he fires a forearm that finds it’s mark across the side of Shan’s face! A second elbow, left this time, comes crashing down atop Shan’s collar bone! A backhand staggers Edmund back, and TMB stalks forward, his striking game starting to win him some points. He charges, but Shan has the timing to move quickly out of the way, causing TMB to run face first into the turnbuckle!
Other Guy: Most people who would take those kinds of shots from Thomas Manchester Black would be knocked out. Edmund Shan is still on his feet! That’s amazing!
Shan quickly moves behind black and takes him down with a Side Russian Legsweep! But Shan doesn’t release the hold! He uses the momentum to roll backwards and force TMB back as well, and then plants TMB face first with a reverse version of the same move! Shan rubs his clavicle, and rolls Black over for the pin!
Black kicks out with both his free legs.
Eryk Masters: Edmund Shan is so wrapped up in showing TMB up, that he forgot to hook the leg AGAIN. All that is doing is allowing TMB to escape out the backdoor from each pinning predicament!
Shan learns his lesson, pressing TMB down against the mat, and hooking the leg, going for the pin again!
TMB still manages to kick out! Shan isn’t pleased with that outcome. He fires off a quick right hand to the jugular, which has got to hurt. He brings himself and TMB to his feet, and drops TMB again with a vicious DDT. Black does a headstand momentarily, and then falls over to his back after being spiked by Shan. The Sin City Champion rolls over and hooks the near leg!
Th-TMB rolls his shoulder out before Dennis Heflin can count three! Shan is starting to get very frustrated. He brings TMB to his feet again, and rakes the face of Black. Heflin admonishes the champion for that tactic, which momentarily causes Shan to take his eye of the ball. Too late! Shan turns back in order to find his head nearly taken from his shoulders!
Eryk Masters: Get Down or Lay Down connects! TMB absolutely SMASHED Edmunds face in!
Both men are down on the canvas, as TMB has been sustaining quite the beating thus far! Shan is motionless on the ground, laying flat on his back, arms extended outward. Heflin checks on both men, then starts adminstering his ten count!
Three! Shan is still motionless, but Black is showing some signs of life.
Five! TMB turns over to his stomach and begins to crawl toward Shan.
Six! Shan still hasn’t moved! Black is inching his way closer to him!
Eight! TMB is laying next to Shan.
Nine! TMB lunges over, and drapes himself across the prone body of the Sin City Champion!
THRE-No! Shan gets his shoulder up at the VERY LAST SECOND!
Eryk Masters: Good lord, was that close! If Black had been a second earlier, we might have had a new champion!
Shan is moving now, but slowly after having his lights nearly dimmed by that axe kick. Black is up to his feet, which are still a little shaky, but he’s got the edge on Shan now. Shan uses the ropes to get to his feet and then turns, right into a flying knee from TMB! Shan falls backwards, but is stopped from hitting the ground by the top rope!
Other Guy: Shan is some serious trouble now!
Black fires off a kick that catches Shan’s left thigh. Another kick, this time left, crashes into Shan’s ribcage, causing him to let out an audible gasp of breath. A forearm finds it’s mark right above Shan’s eyebrow, and then TMB unleashes a spinning backfist to the head of Shan. Black backs off, and Shan moves forward out of instinct, but then falls face first into the mat.
Eryk Masters: The champion was absolutely ROCKED by that combo from the dangerous TMB!
Black falls to his knees and rolls Shan over, hooking both legs!
Shan kicks out! Black quickly brings Shan and himself to his feet, and grabs Edmund by the arm. He twists Shan’s arm, and then pulls him right into a short arm clothesline! Black is quick to the cover, hooking the far leg!
Shan kicks out! Black is not stopping! He picks Shan up yet again, and whips him into the ropes. Shan ducks a lariat attempt, but Black catches him on the rebound with a scintillating spinebuster!
Eryk Masters: Double A would be proud with that one, and Black hurries into the cover!
Shan kicks out! Black rolls to his knees, and Shan is backpedaling, trying to get to a vertical position.
Other Guy: TMB is going to do everything he can to make Shan pay for everything tonight: the trash talk, the disrespect, the physical abuse he has taken!
Black stalks forward towards Shan who is backed into a corner, barely able to stand. TMB picks up speed, splashing Shan in the corner with a vicious clothesline! He follows that up with a lightning fast Flatliner that sends Shan crashing face first to the ground! He hooks the near leg!
THREE! No! Edmund Shan was able to get his foot across the bottom rope! Dennis Heflin waves off the three, explaining to Black what happened.
Eryk Masters: That was close! Great ring presence from the Sin City Champion!
Black seems upset with the call, but he gets to his feet. He stalks towards Shan again, but Shan is ready for him this time. He grabs the waistband of Black’s shorts with both hands, and pulls TMB down, causing his face to make an impact on the middle turnbuckle. Shan is nearly out of breath and aching but he wills himself to his feet. Black is shaking the cobwebs, trying to take full advantage of the second wind he was on, when he turns and is booted right in the stomach by Shan. Black doubles over, the wind escaping him, as Shan quickly tucks TMB’s head under his arms, and is able to muscle him up in the air in a stalling vertical suplex! As he drops Black to the Earth, he spins his body around, ending the suplex in a half powerslam fashion.
Other Guy: That’s it! The Shanhammer! This is done!
Edmund Augustus Shan crawls as quick as he bruised body can move him, and hooks both legs, folding TMB in half with the pin.
The bell rings, and Shan releases Black’s legs and rolls off his beaten opponent.
Samantha Coil: Here is your winner, and STILL the Sin City Champion, Edmund Augustus Shaaaaaaaan!
Other Guy: What a match!
Eryk Masters: It was high octane, smashmouth wrestling at it’s finest from the word go! Black has nothing to be ashamed of, and Shan has every right to be absolutely THRILLED with himself tonight!
Shan is handed his Sin City Championship, and he clutches it against his chest as Dennis Heflin raises his hand high in the air. Shan lets the Sin City title slip from his grasp, as he turns towards Thomas Manchester Black, who is in pain, but has made it to one knee.
Eryk Masters: What now?
Shan moves forward, standing in front of Black. Black tenses, knowing Shan is standing there, but the Sin City Champion leans down and extends his hand.
Other Guy: No offer of a handshake before the match began, but NOW he wants one?
Black looks into the face of Shan, and Shan has a few words for TMB, but it’s inaudible. Black must not hate what he hears, because he takes the hand of Edmund Shan, and Shan pulls Black to his feet. The crowd cheers loudly in this display of sportsmanship, as Shan raises TMB’s hand in the air, pointing to the man who nearly dethroned him as Sin City Champion.
Eryk Masters: I don’t like it, I love it! This is what SHOOT Project is about! Two men fighting it out, leaving it all out in the ring, and still able to find respect somewhere in there.
Other Guy: I don’t think Edmund Shan came into this match with much respect for Thomas Manchester Black, but after tonight? After nearly being defeated by the dangerous Queen City Hitman? You bet your bottom dollar there’s respect there now.
We open up inside Jason Johnson’s office at the Epicenter, with Johnson himself sitting behind his large oak desk and silently rubbing his temples. The camera pans back to reveal Azrael Goeren sitting across from him, taking a long drag off his black clove cigarette and blowing it into the air.
Goeren: Mein Gott, I apologize you boy-loving swine. Do you mind if I smoke in here?
Azrael takes another slow drag and blows the smoke right in Johnson’s face before he can respond.
Johnson: Put it out. Now.
The demented German rolls his eyes at the request but complies, rubbing his burning cigarette out on the corner of Johnson’s desk.
Johnson: This is the crap I’m talking about you know. The disrespect you show towards me, towards everyone in the back, towards this company as a whole.
Azrael looks offended, putting a hand to his chest.
Goeren: Me? You must have me mistaken with another one of those ruffians who plague your locker room Herr Johnson. I have nothing but SHOOT’s best interests in mind with every action I take.
Johnson lets out a quick laugh.
Johnson: I’m sure. Just like I’m sure you did when you and X-Calibur were doing your best to drive this company into ground.
Goeren: That was all X-Calibur. He was our world champion after all, I was just a patsy in his evil and barbaric schemes.
Johnson: Schemes that were backed by your money and influence.
The two men sit in uncomfortable silence for a moment.
Goeren: I could sue you for sexual harassment you know.
Johnson throws up his hands and returns to rubbing the side of his head before pointing towards the door.
Johnson: Just leave. I can’t deal with you right now.
Goeren: I could make your life so much worse, you know that don’t you Johnson?
Johnson: I’d be amazed if you could right now.
Goeren: Nein, seriously. You were watching Entragian and I out there earlier, weren’t you? He practically invited me to join Project: SCAR. Knowing what they’ve done to your promotion already, imagine them with my monetary funds backing them.
Johnson: They never would accept you. Just because you and Entragian are friends wouldn’t stop Corazon from gutting you or Yamada from doing…much worse.
Goeren: Oh please, I’m total SCAR material. I’d kill a cute kitten or rape an Eskimo or do whatever is necessary to be initiated into that group of psychopaths.
Johnson rolls his head back and exhales deeply. Azrael capitalizes on the silence to launch into another scenario.
Goeren: Or, even better for you, If I’m reinstated I could help the rest of the SHOOT soldiers fight off those SCAR monsters. I have no qualms about using my influence to destroy personal lives. I could totally ruin Obsidian’s credit score with my connections and…
Johnson: You’re not going to shut up, are you?
Goeren: Nein, not likely.
Johnson: Listen Goeren, I’m going to make you a deal. You keep yourself under control for one more show and I’ll reinstate you.
Azrael’s face lights up like a kid on Christmas morning but Johnson silences him before he can speak.
Johnson: What that means is I don’t want you embarrassing SHOOT in any way, shape or form. I don’t want to read about you in the papers making an ass out of yourself and I certainly don’t want to hear about you inciting anyone to violence. No drinking. No drugs. No bloodshed. From the moment you leave this office until Revolution 102 ends.
Azrael’s eyes narrow.
Goeren: You’re such an asshole.
Johnson: That’s the only way this happens, Goeren.
Azrael looks off to the side and lets out a deep sigh, standing up from his seat and looking down at Jason Johnson. He slowly extends his hand.
The two men shake hands very reluctantly with one another, each one keeping an eye on the other. Azrael goes to leave, but stops before he reaches the door and turns back to Johnson.
Goeren: Just so you know Johnson, when I am reinstated I fully intend to win the Redemption Rumble this year.
Azrael smiles his trademark twisted smile.
Goeren: No more power plays on your job or backstage scheming. The only thing that matters to me now is finally being recognized as the best wrestler in SHOOT. Whoever has that world title after Redemption? They’re the unluckiest bastard in the world. Remember that.
Azrael turns and exits Johnson’s office, making sure to politely close the door behind him. Johnson shakes his head in dismay before we fade out.
Mary Kelly: Hiiiiiiiiiii, SHOOT Project! Soooo…this is Mary Kelly and I’m about to get a question or two or three or four or five from one half of the former SHOOT Project World Tag Team Champions of the World of SHOOT Project, “The Cowboy Casanova” “Big” Buck “The Bastard” Dresdennnnnn!
The fans cheer as Buck Dresden appears on screen now, looking somewhat reticent to be there with her.
Mary Kelly: So Buccccccccckkkkk…how are you feeling?
Buck Dresden: I’m…fine.
Mary Kelly: Are you sure?
Buck Dresden: I…guess I am.
Mary Kelly: I mean, your partner Charles Brandon Magnus has taken a leave of absence, I hear he’s not returning your calls, and you look just so saaaaaaad.
Buck stares at her.
Mary Kelly: What?
Buck Dresden: What is this? I mean, seriously. Yer talkin’ like that Boxy girl from that…uhhhh…Youtube.
Mary Kelly: I’m sorryyyy! SHOOT doesn’t like to give me any work unless I’m talking to you orrrrrrrr Donovan King or somebody like that!
Buck Dresden: Somebody like that?
Mary Kelly: It’s like only one person thinks I’m popular.
Buck Dresden: Yeah…you peaked when Jester Smiles picked on you.
Mary gets sadface.
Buck Dresden: Lissen. Ever since Revolution 100, I’ve been havin’ to deal with the fact that I have an eye injury keepin’ me from competin’ until at LEAST Rev 103, 102 if I’m lucky. An’ Charlie Magnus might not be takin’ my phone calls right now an’ as usual I might not know where Jonas Coleman’s at…but here’s the facts an’ cameraman, get a good look at me.
The camera focuses completely on Buck.
Buck Dresden: I’m a former tag champ ‘round here. Now, I don’t get to touch them titles ‘til somebody knocks the Syndicate off their perch. So what’s that even mean fer me? Means I’m at the bottom of that there totem pole in singles matches an’ I’m up the creek without a paddle. Far as I’m concerned, I’m goin’ into Redemption by my lonesome.
Buck Dresden: Know what? That’s fine. That’s fine an’ good because you know what else? This is my damn time to shine. You know why, Mary?
Mary Kelly: Nope!
Buck Dresden: Because I’m signin’ up fer the Redemption Rumble!
There are some audible cheers from the fans in attendance.
Buck Dresden: An’ I don’t care if yer a big scary monster or a little scrawny woman…Buck Dresden’s comin’ fer that ass!
Buck Dresden: An’ on a personal note? Chance Ryan? Tanya Black? I hope y’all get yer asses in that Rumble, too. Same fer that skinny little bitch Cade Sydal. Get healed up, get in that Rumble. Because I’m gonna get my hands around yer gawddamn throats an’ settle a score or two. Mary.
Buck tips his hat to her and walks away, leaving Mary Kelly alone to face the camera.
Mary Kelly: Oh…em…gee, you guyssss! Buck Dresden’s in the Rumble! And he’s soooooooo sexy!! Back to you!
The fans in the Epicenter begin to cheer as they see Donovan King marching through the hall ways in the back of the arena. He has his hood down on his neck and his SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship belt on his shoulder. He wears his usual apparel, with the new ALL HAIL black t-shirt with gold calligraphy across the chest underneath his unzipped hoodie. He turns the corner and finds himself at a small catering table with a cooler of bottled water. He reaches in and withdraws a bottle, paying little attention to his surroundings as he unscrews the cap and begins to drink.
Jester Smiles: Cool shirt brah.
Jester Smiles appears on camera, wearing the “Long Live the King” t-shirt he’d been frequently seen wearing in his previous promos. King peers over his bottle as he slowly sits it down on the table. The boos can be heard even there as King tightens his grip on his belt, looking at one of his oldest friends.
Donovan King: I guess I need to thank you, then…since that shirt you’ve been rockin’ single handedly turned my merchandise numbers around.
King glances around, maintaining his cool, though it is obvious he’s more than a little tense.
Donovan King: Where’s your big ass buddy?
Jester leans against a nearby wall across from King. He fakes a frown.
Jester Smiles: I mean, I know I’ve got a reputation, but damn. You think I’d pull anything on you? Nah, man, my big ass buddy is in his locker room, getting his head right. I literally just saw you walking this way and thought, “You know who I haven’t said hey to in a long time? Donovan King, that’s who.”
There is a smile on Jester’s face that doesn’t hide any kind of malice or ill intent. He’s smiling like he’s happy to see an old friend.
Donovan King: Oh don’t worry…I wasn’t thinkin’ you had it in for me. I know I hadn’t crossed you lately. Besides, like you said…you ain’t talked to me in a long damn time.
King sighs, trying to relax.
Donovan King: You know if Crippler sees this shit he could flip out an’ think we’re ‘bout to plot somethin’, though.
King laughs, shaking his head.
Jester Smiles: Meh, I’ve had my fair share of Crippler. My back is still sore as fuck. Have, uhhh…have fun with that one. You’ll be fine, though. I mean, if I were a betting one, and I may have placed a bet or two, I would be placing my money on Donovan King to retain.
Jester looks away for a second.
Jester Smiles: I don’t know how to say this, but…I’m proud of you, man. I was really happy to see you win that title, and not just because what’s his face is a fucking tool, but because I am legitimately excited about SHOOT Project headed by Donovan King as World Champion. I know, I know, this doesn’t sound much like the big, bad guy that everyone has come to just ever so love, but I mean it. I’m glad you have that strap. You deserve it.
King smiles a genuine smile.
Donovan King: Hey, truly, man…thanks. I still can’t believe I’m here…at this level. While we on the topic of soundin’ against character, don’t lose yourself in that, man. I ain’t talked to you in a while, so I don’t know when I’mma get the chance to tell you this again. Your road an’ my road has a lotta similarities so trust me when I tell you. Don’t let Eric collapse under the weight of Jester Smiles. You wanna be an asshole, be an asshole, who’m I to stop that?
He puts his hand on his friend’s shoulder.
Donovan King: But you a good man in there. A good man with a good woman an’ good friends. I want my friend back, the guy I came up in this company with. So don’t lose him, alright?
Jester seems to shrink a little from King’s hand. He smiles, he keeps his cool, but he never looks King in the eyes.
Jester Smiles: Just having a little fun on my terms before it’s all over, man. Cuz, much to the joy of these people, it won’t be on much longer. Hey, whatever, I had my time, right. That belt.
Jester taps the World Heavyweight Championship. His hand lingers a moment as he stares into it. For just a second, he loses grip on what is going on around him and focuses only on the belt. He shakes his head and continues.
Jester Smiles: That was mine. I got to hold it. And…it wasn’t all that good, to be honest, but…I got to feel it for at least a minute. I had my time. I shined. Now, I don’t know, this body ain’t got much left in it. I have a finite amount of matches left in me. I’m not here to be the best and take home all the gold. I’m not here to make some kind of point. I’m definitely not here to burn the world down like a certain group of douchebags.
By the way, you got to pick your friends better. Between Corazon and myself, it’s a wonder these people like you at all.
Jester Smiles: But, nah man, I’m just here to try something…different. Have my time, raise a little hell, and then…then I’ll be done. She…she can…
Well, you know, I’ll be done soon enough.
Donovan King: Listen…I need to get back. You gon’ be alright, man?
Jester shakes off the cobwebs and looks King in the eyes.
Jester Smiles: I got to watch Long Island Hardcore get destroyed tonight. I’m gonna be great. It was…it was good talking to you again man.
Donovan King: Don’t be no stranger, homie. Call me if you need me.
King starts to walk away, but he stops himself. He turns and looks at Jester one final time.
Donovan King: I haven’t spoken to Crysta in months, so I don’t know how old my information is…but don’t fuck that up for yourself. Any man’d be honored to have a woman like her. Don’t be a dumbass just because you like to see men bleed.
He lets that sink in.
Donovan King: Take care, Eric.
With that, King leaves Jester alone, turning the corner and disappearing.
The lights snap off in the Epicenter, and calligraphy scrolls itself across the SHOOT video wall, spelling out “Can you feel the new world?”
“HORIZON” by D’espairsRay begins to issue out of the arena speakers, much to the delight of the Las Vegas crowd. A spotlight falls at the head of the ramp as Maya Nakashima steps out from the back, and then light explodes out through the arena.
Maya offers the fans that warm smile that he’s known for, and even though he looks a little beat up, it’s clear that he’s in fighting form tonight and ready to go at 100%.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first, from Nagasaki, Japan…weighing in at 120lbs…MAYA NAKASHIMA!!!
Eryk Masters: The fans tell the whole story. Hear that adulation? This man will always be a hero in their eyes.
Other Guy: He came up a little short against Entragian at Revolution 100…but he still gave it the fight of a lifetime.
Eryk Masters: As much as it burns me up to admit it, it seems like lately EVERYONE comes up a little short against The Ivory Terror. That monster has domination down to a science.
Maya slaps hands with as many fans as he can as he makes it down to the ramp. There’s a large banner held up by several fans in the front row reading “WE <3 MAYA!” and Maya smiles at this while pointing at his own heart.
Eryk Masters: It’s so hard to describe…but whenever Maya enters the arena…you just feel this overwhelming sense of GOOD. Never have I seen a kinder, more selfless competitor. When I see Maya, for just a moment…I believe everything just might turn out alright in SHOOT.
Maya flips himself into the ring over the top rope, and he begins to bounce on the balls of his feet while waiting for his tag team partner.
"Mislead" by James LaBrie starts to pour through the arena speakers, and the duo of Mason Pierce & Leona step out from behind the curtains. The fans unleash with a positive response for Mason, and he responds by cracking his neck to the side.
Samantha Coil: Introducing second, he hails from Manchester, England….weighing in at 230lbs….THE FIXER, MASON PIERCE!!!
Mason wastes no time, he heads straight down to the ring to join his partner with Leona at his side.
Eryk Masters: You’re looking at one of the most dangerous men to ever lace up a pair of wrestling boots. Mason has all the skill in the world, and I’m glad to say that he’s now fighting the good fight and aiming to rid SHOOT Project of scum.
Other Guy: He’s definitely lethal. Has quite the bone to pick with Corazon, too.
Mason enters the ring after sharing a few words with Leona, and he goes to stand proudly at Maya’s side while nodding at the smaller competitor.
Eryk Masters: It’s good to see these two finding collusion.
Other Guy: God knows they’ll need it tonight…
The lights shut off in the Epicenter, one by one. This isn’t like the darkness before Maya’s entrance. There was the hope for light during that entrance. There’s no hope to be found this time….only a void…a cold abyss. Dry ice smoke starts to swirl around at the top of the ramp, and crimson lighting falls to illuminate the length of the rampway.
“Black Session” by Katatonia starts to play overhead, the music dark and unsettling.
Project: SCAR’s appearance is marked by the overwhelmingly loud reaction of the fans…screaming from all sides of the stands, verbal vitriol pouring forth from just about every nook and cranny of the arena.
Samantha Coil: And the opponents…hailing from Mexico City, Mexico and Mideon, Nebraska…at a combined weight of 545lbs…the team of ADRIAN CORAZON & ISAAC ENTRAGIAN….PROJECT: SCAR!!!
Isaac Entragian stands to one side, The Iron Fist & Rules of Surrender Championships crisscrossed around his chest. Corazon is right by his side, that familiar smirk already plastered across his lips. Elizabeth Gaunt stands between the two men, both of her petite hands resting on the shoulders of the two monsters.
SCAR just stands there for a moment, soaking in the pure hatred from the crowd. Corazon simply taunts the world with a smirk. Entragian goes so far as to take a bow and roar out “THANK YOU, THANK YOU…WE’RE HERE ALL WEEK!”
Other Guy: You got suddenly quiet, Eryk.
Eryk Masters: What do you want me to say about these men, OG? They’re vile. Entragian makes me want to vomit. Corazon makes me wish that I was a wrestler so I could slap that smug smirk off his face. They REALLY are the SCAR on the face of SHOOT Project. You can pick at it, you can scratch at it….you can even get plastic surgery to try and cover it…but no matter WHAT you do…it seems like this SCAR just never goes away. It only gets worse…and worse…
SCAR stops when they come to the “WE <3 MAYA” banner…Entragian pointing and saying something to Corazon while chuckling. Corazon nods, and then the two of them RIP the banner away from the outraged fans. Isaac & Adrian begin to twist the banner up until it’s like a rope…then they both hold an opposite end while twirling it around, and Liz Gaunt uses it as a jump rope for a few moments. They then drop the banner, and all three members of SCAR put the boots to it for a moment and smear dirty boot prints all over the pink material.
Eryk Masters: I hope Entragian gets a sunburn that leads to horrible, horrible skin cancer…and I hope Corazon trips and impales himself on his own screwdriver. I really…REALLY do.
Other Guy: Liz is so talented.
Eryk Masters: Liz is a deranged masochist with a Harley Quinn-esque infatuation with The Ivory Terror. Knowing that…do you STILL find her so special and attractive?
Other Guy: Yes.
Liz leads her “blood-brothers” to the ring, offering Leona a sneer as she goes to the SCAR side of the apron. Entragian steps over the top rope, and Corazon slithers under the bottom rope like a serpent.
All the men in the ring converse for a moment, and then Pierce & Entragian exit the ring to allow Corazon and Maya to start this contest off.
The bell rings, and we’re OFFICIALLY UNDERWAY!
Corazon goes straight on the attack, lashing out at Maya’s chest with a knife edge chop. Maya hisses in pain, but then he lashes out with a chop of his own, forcing a red welt to appear on Corazon’s chest. This brings fury to the eyes of Corazon, and both men begin to trade knife edge chops, loud slap sounds permeating through the arena.
Corazon finally backs off, his chest bright red…and he proceeds to hit the ropes in an attempt to take Maya down with a clothesline…but Maya leap frogs and avoids the contact. Corazon stops himself on a dime, and he snatches Maya up and takes him down with an over the shoulder arm drag.
Maya barely stays on the canvas with a few seconds, popping right back up to his feet…only to drive a heel kick into Corazon’s kneecap. Corazon drops down to one knee, and Maya hits the ropes and DIVES, smashing Corazon flush in the face with a front dropkick.
Maya goes for the quick pinfall.
Corazon shoulders out with authority, scrubbing at his face with one hand.
Other Guy: Fast-paced start. Maya is quick as a cat, and Corazon is pretty damn fast himself too.
Eryk Masters: Let’s hope that dropkick broke Corazon’s jaw so that he won’t be smirking 24/7 anymore.
Maya picks Corazon up, proceeding to drive a few boots into his midsection….Maya then springboards up onto the second rope and tries a scissor kick, but Corazon jumps backwards and avoids the contact. Maya rolls through and pops back up to his feet…BUT HE GETS FLATTENED WITH THE ACT OF REALITY!!
The superkick catches Maya right on the temple, and he drops to the canvas like a sack of bricks. Corazon is quick to take advantage.
Maya just manages to kick out at two, his eyes still looking a bit dazed.
Other Guy: That could have lead to the premature end of this match, no doubt about it. Corazon’s superkick can hit you out of nowhere…and you never really expect it either.
Eryk Masters: Gotta give Maya credit for kicking out of that….it’s a real brain scrambler.
Corazon drags Maya over to his corner by the hand…and then he tags Entragian’s pallid hand. Corazon holds Maya’s arm for a moment, wrenching at the elbow…and this allows Entragian to stomp down PERFECTLY against the inside of Maya’s elbow joint.
Corazon exits, and Entragian hauls Maya’s body up at places it on one shoulder…proceeding to run towards the center of the ring and flip Maya down with a running powerslam. Maya lands hard, his kidneys practically get crushed by 320lbs of weight. Isaac immediately goes for a cover.
Maya kicks out, his face still scrunched down in pain.
Other Guy: Entragian & Corazon already working well together as a team….but that’s no surprise…SCAR is all about the pack mentality.
Isaac starts to scoop Maya back up…but Maya surprises the albino with a leaping forearm shot that knocks him way off balance. Maya then staggers back into his corner and tags Mason Pierce into the fray.
Isaac shakes his head from side to side, and Mason Pierce steps fearlessly forward to engage…throwing out his fist for a big-time punch…but Entragian catches it. Entragian grins, squeezing Mason’s fist and applying pressure as he wrenches it to the side, and Mason looks momentarily shocked by the power of the monster.
Isaac then CRUSHES his skull into Mason’s skull with a headbutt, dropping The Fixer down to the canvas. Isaac scrapes Pierce back up to his feet, and he irish whips him across the ring….ONLY TO DRILL HIM BACK FIRST INTO THE CANVAS WITH A SPINNING SPINEBUSTER!!
Mace goes down hard, and Entragian tries for the cover.
Mason kicks out hard, and he pistons an elbow into the side of Entragian’s head to gain some separation. Isaac stumbles up to his feet, and Pierce meets him with a huge knee-lift…followed by another knee-lift…and ANOTHER! Isaac is reeling, and Mason Pierce uses leverage to scoop the big man up and BLAST him down against the canvas with a t-bone suplex. Entragian growls with pain, and now it’s Mason’s turn to go for a cover.
Isaac shoulders out, much to the chagrin of the crowd.
Eryk Masters: You can’t help but be impressed with The Fixer. That was a beautiful t-bone suplex.
Other Guy: Pierce is definitely one of the most talented wrestlers you’ll ever see in the sport today. He knows when to strike….and he always strikes hard.
Mason stays on top of Entragian, and he begins to hammer down onto the albino with mounted elbow strikes. Isaac tries to get his hands up to guard himself, but Mason works his way in…one elbow strike managing to bust Isaac’s lip clean open.
Isaac finally uses his raw power to push Mason off of him and to the side, and then the monster staggers up to his feet. Mason hits the ropes and RAMS Isaac with a running shoulder tackle…but Entragian only stumbles, he doesn’t go down. Mason tries it again…but this time Isaac SNAPS an uppercut into the shelf of Mason’s jaw, sending him down to the canvas.
Entragian begins to stomp down on Mason, targeting his kidneys…his arms…his thighs…whatever appendage he can get to. He caps off the stomping assault with a NASTY kick to the side of Mason’s head, a little spittle flying from Mason’s lips as his head whips to the side.
Isaac then turns to Maya, taunting him with a sickening grin.
Entragian: I’ve got a tasty treat for you to eat, little queerboy. Tag yourself in, Maya! Come get some extra white sausage!!
Entragian tugs at the crotch of his wrestling tights while laughing like a rabid hyena, and he starts to kick Mason towards Maya’s corner…almost like he’s encouraging him to tag Maya into the match.
Eryk Masters: How FOUL is this human being? It never ceases to amaze me how utterly disgusting Entragian can be.
Other Guy: I think that’s where Maya went wrong with Isaac. He tried to reason with him. He tried to appeal to him. He figured there might be some good behind all that evil…but here’s the thing about Isaac. He’s not just evil. He’s crazy. Just…certifiably crazy. You can’t reason with crazy. Trying to talk sense into someone as hopelessly insane as Entragian is never going to work…
Mason crawls towards Maya while Entragian looks on with a smile…and with Maya reaching out with everything he has their hands come within an INCH of touching….before Entragian grabs Mason’s leg and YANKS him backwards as hard as he can.
The crowd is made livid by this.
Isaac winks at Maya, once more tugging at his crotch while Maya stares at Isaac with baleful eyes.
Entragian: NOM NOM NOM! Bad little boys like you don’t get any breakfast!
Eryk Masters: If looks could kill, Entragian would be dead and buried right now. You can just sense how badly Maya wants to knock those pointy teeth right down his rotten throat…
Entragian pulls Mason by the leg over to his corner….and then he tags Corazon back into the match. Isaac lifts Mason up and uses all of his strength to hold him in a military press…and when Corazon is perfectly positioned Isaac throws him up into the air…and CORAZON LEAPS AND SNAPS MASON DOWN TO THE CANVAS WITH A MIDAIR NECKBREAKER!!!
Other Guy: DAMN what a move! Entragian with the military press assist, and Corazon follows through with a VICIOUS neckbreaker.
Eryk Masters:They’re horrible people, yes…but they’re a damned good tag team when they want to be. Imagine if Corazon & Entragian decided to focus on the Tag Team division here in SHOOT…
Isaac exits, and Corazon pulls Mason away from the ropes and then goes for the pinfall.
Pierce kicks out at the last second, and a wave of cheering travels through the crowd.
Mason starts to push up to his feet, and Corazon sees an opening…he hits the ropes and looks to BLAST Mason with a shining wizard, but Mason scouts it and leaps out of harm’s way. Mason then leans into a BRUTAL right across, tagging Corazon right on the jaw…and then The Fixer proceeds to lock Corazon into a front facelock. Mason buries a few big-time knees into Corazon’s face and chest…and then he SNAPS Corazon’s head down to the canvas with a shiver-inducing DDT.
Mason doesn’t hesitate to try for a cover.
Corazon kicks out, rolling to the side and holding the side of his head in obvious pain.
Eryk Masters: Never count out Mason Pierce. Just when you think you have him backed into a corner…he comes out swinging harder than ever.
Mason notices that Corazon is face down on the canvas…and he’s quick to take advantage. Mason leans down and snakes an arm around Corazon’s neck, proceeding to GRIND backwards with a cobra clutch-like maneuver. Corazon’s eyes bug right out of his head, and his hands begin to scrabble madly against the canvas.
Entragian goes into the panic mode too…leaning as far over the top rope as he can and reaching towards Corazon’s hand for a tag.
Eryk Masters: THE MANCHESTER NECKTIE!!! You’re in the thick of it now, Corazon!
Other Guy: This is the one place Corazon does NOT want to be. Ask anyone on the roster…Mason’s submission finisher is a main course of pain with a side helping of anguish. To put it bluntly….it hurts like HELL.
Maya is clapping his hands in support of Pierce, and the crowd joins in. Corazon is scratching and clawing for purchase, managing to pull himself a few inches towards his own corner. Mason pulls back even harder, and Corazon howls with pain.
Isaac is reaching with every bit of his seven foot frame…and finally Corazon claws his way a little closer….pale fingers meeting tan fingers JUST enough to justify a tag!
Entragian barrels into the ring and grabs Mason’s head between both of his hands, and he RAGDOLLS him to the side, throwing the 230lb man clear across the ring like he weighs almost nothing at all. Corazon rolls out of the ring while gasping for breath…and Mason is right back to his feet and racing forward for the attack…but Isaac LEAPS and smashes a boot into Mason’s face with a bicycle kick.
Eryk Masters: Pierce ALMOST had Corazon there! That tag saved SCAR…
Other Guy: And that Mark Of The Beast bicycle kick just might have sealed Pierce’s fate…
Mason staggers back into the ropes, barely managing to hold himself vertical. Isaac marches forward to press the attack…but Mason gets a burst of adrenaline and he BODY SLAMS the 320 pounder!! A ROAR of support travels through the Epicenter, and Mason stumbles back towards his corner and Maya promptly tags himself into the match.
Just as Entragian is getting up, Maya springboards up onto the top rope and SAILS through the air, twisting his legs around Isaac’s thick neck and flipping him to the canvas with a hurricanrana. Maya stays mounted, and he HAMMERS down on Isaac’s face with a flurry of fists….finally pausing only to jump up to his feet and execute a perfect standing moonsault the connects with the ribcage of The Ivory Terror!
Maya pulls back HARD on a leg.
Isaac kicks out, raspy coughs coming from between his pallid lips.
Maya reaches backwards and tags Mason Pierce back into the match, proceeding to hold Isaac’s arms so that Pierce can deliver an elbow drop to the black heart of the monster. Maya exits, and Pierce then grabs Isaac up in a front facelock…
But suddenly, Elizabeth Gaunt is up on the apron screaming at the referee.
With the referee’s back turned, Isaac doesn’t hesitate to drop down and MEAT HOOK the nether regions of The Fixer with a nasty looking low blow.
Liz immediately drops down from the apron, and Corazon looks on with a satisfied smirk.
Entragian then hits the ropes, picks up a ton of steam….AND OBLITERATES MASON PIERCE WITH A SPEAR!!
Eryk Masters: You gotta be kidding me! That was a blatant low blow!!
Other Guy: And there’s CORRUPTION!!! The biggest, nastiest spear in the industry!
Entragian pops back up to his feet with a grin, and he strolls back over to Corazon…holding up a hand for a “HIGH FIVE.”
Corazon is more than happy to tag himself in, leaping over the top rope and crouching down while sizing up The Fixer.
Corazon moves in quickly, forcing Mason up onto his shoulders…and then he DRILLS Mason’s skull into the canvas with a swinging DDT that rocks the very ring!
Other Guy: FURY OF THE DARK HEART!!
Eryk Masters: Not like this….not this way….
Corazon goes for a pin….and Maya makes an attempt to rush into the ring to break up the pinfall…but once more Liz Gaunt inserts herself into the match and YANKS Maya off the apron, his head hitting the side of the ring with a sickening splat.
Samantha Coil: HERE ARE YOUR WINNERS, THE TEAM OF ADRIAN CORAZON & ISAAC ENTRAGIAN….PROJECT: SCAR!!!
Isaac & Liz immediately rush into the ring, grabbing Corazon’s wrists and thrusting their arms up into the air in victory. The members of SCAR then exit the ring, and Entragian throws his arms over the shoulders of Corazon & Liz while they back peddle up the ramp…grins and smirks to be had by all.
Eryk Masters: I can’t believe that. These guys have no morals….no sense of sportsmanship. That’s a dirty win if I ever saw one…and it’s clear that they don’t give a damn.
Other Guy: A win is a win, Eryk. All that matters at the end of the night is that W in the record books.
Maya Nakashima slides into the ring to check on Pierce, glaring out at the SCAR trio as they make their way up the ramp. Corazon waves goodbye to Maya, and Entragian blows him a kiss while grinning ear to ear.
Eryk Masters: One of these days…karma is going to catch up to SCAR. They WILL reap what they sow. It’s a matter of time before it happens…