Heavy booing fills the audio. The camera opens up on Dan Stein, standing backstage in the arena. The shot is close to his face, blue eyes twinkling in the lens. As the camera pans back, Dan is revealed to be sitting on a golden throne in his locker room, with several women in red dresses fanning him. Molly, his assistant and Maximus Clementine Fanjita III stand by his side as the World Heavyweight Championship belt is lain over his lap. Dan drums his fingers on the arm of the throne.
Dan Stein: Good evening, SHOOT Project, and welcome to the very first Revolution in the #AgeOfEnlightenment. The first of many, many more to come.
The fans in the arena explode in boos. Dan smiles, looking over to Maxipad as the effeminate man pouts. Fanjita stands in front of a white curtain, tapping his alligator skin boots feverishly. Dan turns back to the camera.
Dan Stein: Sadly, there will be no Master of the Mat victory celebration tonight.
The fans in the arena explode. Dan shakes his head.
Dan Stein: But tomorrow… On Dominion. After I put down the fan voted Trey Willett tonight, after I defend my championship like a TRUE hero…
Dan licks the corner of his mouth briefly.
Dan Stein: Well, that’s when the party starts.
Dan smirks. The fans in the arena explode with boos. Dan pauses a minute before grabbing the belt and raising it for the camera to see.
Dan Stein: Stay sexy, SHOOT.
Dan nods quickly, ten shoos the camera away with gemstone covered rings glistening against his tan skin.
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, flashing quickly to Dan Stein, a grin on his face as he saunters down to the ring. It cuts to Maya Nakashima kneeling in the ring, his arms outstretched as he looks to the skylights.
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 while Silas Mitchell looks on, his face twisted in consternation. We see Jacob Mephisto slowly leaning in and whispering into the ear of some unknown Soldier as he stares at the camera, a grin forming on his face.
We are the wheels that keep turning
Long Island Hardcore individually during the Redemption Rumble, laying the heat on their opponents. It flashes to Johnny Napalm hoisting the Tag Team Championship in the air, cutting quickly to Thomas Manchester Black shouting out to the fans in attendance, which quickly cuts to Chance Ryan glaring at the camera, Cade Sydal behind him with a smirk on his face. We see Cronos Diamante sparring with Edmund Augustus Shan before it cuts to Henry Gordon wringing his hands with a grin on his face.
We are the heart breakers, risk takers
Anything but boring
Laura Seton helping to eliminate Jaime Alejandro is shown as Corey Lazarus is arguing with a referee before we see Solomon Richards nods his head to the camera. We then see Ja Gi Kyung-Moon flying over the top rope into the ring.
‘Cause we are the crazy ones
The mavericks, the dreamers, the forgotten sons
Mason Pierce drops to the floor, leaving his partner to be victimized before we cut to ANARCHY saluting the fans as they stand at the entrance. Kenji Yamada has Flay Rios by her cheeks and slaps her across the face as he glares into her sad eyes.
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. Obsidian lords over a fallen foe as Isaac Entragian puts his arm around Elizabeth Gaunt, glaring down at Maya Nakashima.
‘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 then see Tanya Black holding her belt high before it cuts to her nailing a picture perfect dropkick to an unknown foe.
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 Dan Stein holding Minxy Jones’ mask high above his head as a trophy.
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 Isaac Entragian, 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 Drew Stevenson slapping the hands of a few fans before it cuts to David Miller, standing in a dimly lit ring, his head bowed and sweat dripping from his head.
‘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
Corazon catches Isaac Entragian with the Act of Inhumanity and Phillip Goodman smirks at the camera.
‘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 Alex Brooks sprinting to the ring.
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
Eryk Masters: Welcome everyone, to REVOLUTION! We’re hot off the heels of Master of the Mat, and tonight, we’re bringing you the matches that YOU chose, SHOOT Nation!
Other Guy: We sure are, E. Tonight’s main event features the NEW World Heavyweight Champion, "The Golden Boy" Dan Stein defending his title against none other than SHOOT Project’s "Wayward Son" Trey Willett!
Eryk Masters: That’s certainly a pay-per-view quality match right there, OG. But also, tonight we have a co-main event! ANARCHY will defend the World Tag Team Championships against the fan-made pairing of Laura Seton and Maya Nakashima!
Other Guy: LES BIENS!
Eryk Masters: That’s certainly what the SHOOT Faithful have dubbed the pairing of Laura and Maya, OG, much to Ms. Seton’s chagrin.
Other Guy: Either way it’s going to be an interesting match. But, that’s not all, E. Because we’re also going to see Liz Gaunt and Tanya Black collide and Valentine Lionheart steps into the ring with a returning Corey Lazarus.
Eryk Masters: Both of those matches should prove to be just great, but let’s not forget, kicking things off tonight, the Iron Fist Championship is on the line as current reigning champion Ja Gi Kyung-Moon defends against the red hot Johnny Napalm!
Other Guy: That match will be brutal. We’re just about ready to kick things off here, but first, we have one last item that needs to be addressed, right E?
Eryk Masters: Absolutely. Folks, as most of you know, the situation between Adrian Corazon and Isaac Entragian has once again been taken beyond the scope of what SHOOT Project would consider normal. At Master of the Mat, Adrian Corazon got himself a measure of revenge on SCAR’s Pale Rider, leaving Isaac Entragian in a coma-like state in the hospital.
Other Guy: That’s right, E. Folks, this situation between these two men has gotten to a point where it has become EXTREMELY personal. Both men have now been maimed viciously in one of the most public settings you could think of.
Eryk Masters: Throughout the week, several SHOOT Project Soldiers have voiced their opinions on the matter, and tonight will be no different. We will hear from a few more soldiers about their take on the Corazon/Entragian situation.
Other Guy: We certainly will, E. But, right now, it’s time to get things started!
As the Epicenter is abuzz for tonight’s activities when all of a sudden, the arena is bathed in black. The fans instantly cheer for the darkness, but they are turned to boos when the SHOOT Project Helmet is shown on the SHOOT Video Wall, seared into a man’s flesh. Previously, it was a tattoo, but now…it is branded. The brand is fresh, blistering, and festering, the smoke from the wound slowly starting to billow from the wound.
“Black Session” by Katatonia begins to play, the eerie tones sending shockwaves of hate throughout the Epicenter.
Eryk Masters: Oh no…here we go…
Out first is Danny Evers, the Deviant, his head bowed and his Mask covering his face as he marches forward. Behind him comes Kenji Yamada, his head held high and defiant. After Kenji comes Flay Rios, who clutches his arms together as she staggers behind Kenji, her head snapping from left to right and her hair appearing wet. She looks cold. Taking up the back of this physical epitome of a dirge is Obsidian and by his side, Elizabeth Gaunt. He holds her close to him, her eyes cast downward at the ground. Obsidian, however, glares dead ahead. Deviant enters the ring and requests politely for a microphone. The lights come back up as the rest of the brothers and sisters are still entering the ring.
Deviant: Brothers and sisters!
The fans boo as “Black Sessions” dies down.
Deviant: BROTHERS AND SISTERS!
He holds his arms out as the fans boo even louder.
Deviant: My dear, sweet, beautiful brothers and sisters…we come to you now! We come to you now…humble. Saddened. We mourn the losses we have suffered and we must abide.
Deviant motions to the rest of Project: SCAR behind him.
Deviant: We come to you in a way that we could not have come to you before today. Our family…is in ruin. Our brother, our lover, our heart, and our soul…lies broken at our feet. While we weep for our loved one who has fallen, we become more aware than ever before! We ache inside. We fear. Yet…this wretch of a company demands that we show our faces when we are in MOURNING.
The fans continue to boo.
Deviant: I would not have it so. Our family is damaged…all for the pleasure of sport. It is a pain that we would not wish upon anyone that has already known the pains we have all endured.
He turns to the others.
Deviant: Who among you will speak for the fallen?
Obsidian steps forward, Gaunt still wrapped in his arms. He takes the microphone from Deviant and presses his forehead against his longtime friend and brother.
Obsidian: Our brother Daniel, our prophet, our priest.
He asks for respect, motioning towards Deviant as he bows his head once more and receives none from the audience.
Obsidian: This war claims yet another life. Our brother Isaac…taken from us. By greed. By wrath. By a man whom I have loved for the duration of my existence. But, though we are hurting, though we are…dying inside…we have yet begun to live. ADRIAN.
The word is flat, loud, and hard upon the ears of those who’ll hear him. The camera focuses in on him.
Obsidian: I want you to look at this flower in my arms.
The camera shifts down to Gaunt, who is trembling. From fear, from rage, or from trauma, who can tell as of yet.
Obsidian: Tell me. To what form or purpose would have had to take so much from this girl? She has done nothing but give her love freely and willingly. What have you done to her but take?
Obsidian points behind him to Kenji.
Obsidian: What did HE do, Adrian? You have stunted his growth at every turn. From RISE, to Redemption, all you have done is seen fit to constantly belittle his dream and his foundation. All he had…was a dream that YOU desired to see twist into a nightmare! All he has wanted, you have slaughtered all in the name of your wretched pride! ALL you have seen fit to do, Adrian, is apply crippling injury to the family that has NO ONE else in this world but one another. Your greed your…hatred…for their happiness has brought us here. To now. To you relishing in the burning of flesh. Why? Because you were branded a traitor you saw fit to do the same to Isaac?
Obsidian grins, chuckling.
Obsidian: But, Adrian…
He hold his arms out.
Obsidian: I forgive you. For you see, I love you. I would do anything for you. I would lay down my life for you. But I can no longer sit idly by while you harm these people who are but peripherals in your sick game. You have become, nay have always been, the very thing we were born against. A homogenized product of a monster. We are the modern day Prometheus as written by Mary Shelley…and you are the Boris Karloff late night drive in theater fronted by corporations and backed by powerful Johnsons. Hide behind your masters, brother, for you see…WE…are our own masters.
He turns to the audience.
Obsidian: WE are free. WE are Hope. WE are what you should aspire to be.
The fans respond with a cascading chorus of hatred.
Obsidian: I do not expect you to understand. We were liberated long ago by the dreams of Kenji Yamada and the machinations of Isaac Entragian and we were all of us deceived by the great demon before us now, who takes what we’ve built and repackaged it to suit his own sick needs. You have beaten our brother, you have injured our brother, and you may have broken our brother…but have not broken…US.
Obsidian: We stand here now to tell you that we will NOT bend the knee to your vigilante justice. We stand here now to tell you we will run OVER your hatred with our beautiful love. You sit there with your checks signed and cashed with the blood of the innocent on your hands, Adrian, chained down by the very machine that you swore you wanted to change. You are the establishment. The authority. You…are the very ugliness we were born to save. And we will save you, Adrian. One ounce of your blood at a time, we will save you.
Kenji holds the microphone tightly in his hands, knuckles turning a brilliant white. Flay shivers and shakes by his side, anxious and afraid of the people watching her. Kenji lifts his free hand and, out of instinct, Flay flinches and tightly shuts her eyes. Kenji, however, gently brushes his fingers through her wet hair, instantly calming her. Flay stands still as Kenji speaks.
Kenji: Let us not forget who the Baddest Man Alive did all this for, I remember you wouldn’t shut up about how you were the very symbol of SHOOT Project. You would ramble on and on about how NO ONE fought or bled SHOOT Project the way you did, Bad Man. I find it amusing that when we go to the depths of hell for vengeance, we are shunned and deemed inhumane demons. But when you do it, Bad Man, when you do it… HOPE springs eternal now doesn’t it?
Kenji smiles, ever so slightly.
Kenji: Do tell me, Bad Man, have you listened to the SHOOT Project that you claim to fight for? Specifically, have you listened to the people who held us at bay while you maimed Isaac? Most of them detest you for making them a part of that butchery.
His smile beams much brighter.
Kenji: They’ll never stand up for you again, Bad Man. Not after you made them accessories to such savagery.
His eyes turn to Gaunt, the smile fades.
Kenji: Did you think we’d crumble when you bested Isaac? The way you stood there, so proud and achieved… did you think the fight was over? No, you’re much smarter than that aren’t you, Bad Man. You think the way we think, you seek revenge the way we do, and for all intents purposes… you are us, still to this day. If anyone thinks you’ve changed then just watch Master of the Mat again. You haven’t changed, Bad Man, you’re the same BRUTAL and INHUMANE monster you’ve always been, you just changed the lyrics to the song.
Kenji closes his eyes for a moment.
Kenji: Congratulations, Bad Man, you put Isaac down… for now. But let me reassure you that he is still VERY much alive. Project: SCAR is still VERY much alive. And while my brother is down, we will take up his fight. When he comes back, Bad Man, he’ll be PROUD. He’ll be PROUD of what we’ve accomplished in his name. Rest easy, Bad Man, Isaac will wear his crown yet again… I’ll make sure of it.
Kenji’s eyes open, frigid and cold.
Kenji: You may have won the battle, Bad Man, but the war… the war is still very much being waged.
Gaunt stands between Obsidian & Kenji, her eyes glued to the canvas. One of her hands slips down Obsidian’s wrist…and she gently takes the mic he’s holding into her grasp. Elizabeth brings her eyes up slowly to regard the crowd.
Those eyes are red-rimmed and terribly dry…dry to the point where it looks like she’s cried so much that her tear ducts are practically ruined. She looks to Kenji for a moment, and he nods at her. She casts her gaze to Obsidian, and he slides a reassuring arm across her shoulders.
She seems almost to draw strength from her brothers…and when her gaze finds the crowd once again, it BAKES with a hatred both dark and deep, something that has bubbled up from within her heart like a malevolent hot spring.
Gaunt: What was done…will not be forgotten.
Gaunt’s free hand clenches into her palm, the fingernails biting into her own flesh.
Gaunt: What was done to us…what was done to Isaac….will never be forgiven.
There’s a terrible CONVICTION in Gaunt’s eyes and her words…something that mixes with the always present dementia.
Gaunt: We are coming…for all of you. In pounds of flesh and pints of blood you’ll PAY what you owe…and then you’ll pay interest too. You want WAR, SHOOT Project? YOU WANT A WAR?
Gaunt’s shriek is cat-like, her teeth bared into a primitive snarl.
Gaunt: You’ll have it.
Gaunt lets the mic slip from her fingers, and the hollow thud it makes as it hits the canvas seems almost to punctuate the words spoken by the men and women of Project: SCAR.
SCAR stands defiant in the ring, Obsidian, Kenji and Gaunt like the core of a family that must draw together in the darkest of times.
SCAR goes to war.
The shot goes to the back, with Abigail Chase, her face twisted up slightly in discomfort or perhaps nervousness. The tension around her is palpable, even across the cameras, as the shot pans out to show Cade Sydal standing next to her with a crowbar in his right hand, staring directly at her. He doesn’t give her the opportunity to introduce him.
Cade Sydal: So you’re telling me that you, Abigail chase! Intrepid reporter lady of the SHOOT Project! The chick that asks the hard questions…remember when I helped you break out into that? You used to be all soft, but…ya know what, that’s not important! What is important is that YOU are telling ME that you have nooooooooooo idea where they are?
Abigail Chase points at the camera, but Cade doesn’t seem to care, and as she tries to speak up he cuts her off.
Cade Sydal: Of course you don’t know where the Bad Ass Brotherhood are! Fucking nobody does! Ya know what I think it is, Abs? I think…hey, I’m fucking talking to you!
Abigail starts to look away, but as Cade snaps at her she turns to look at him more directly, turning her eyes downward at his stern, crazed gaze.
Cade Sydal: Thank you. Now. I think you’re protecting the Brotherhood. I think you’re afraid of the Brotherhood, and so you’re keeping your mouth shut. You don’t want them coming to look for you because you "snitched", isn’t that right?
After a few tense moments, Cade cocks his head to the side and Abigail dares to respond.
Abigail Chase: N-no, that’s not it at all. Please, I’m telling the truth, I don’t know where they are.
After a few more seconds, during which Cade locks eyes with Abigail, he slowly starts to nod.
Cade Sydal: I believe you. If you see them, you let me know, okay?
Abigail nods quickly, anything to calm the situation down.
Abigail Chase: Y-yes. Can…can I ask you a question now? It’s my job, I mean, and…
Cade runs his tongue across the inside of his lower lip.
Cade Sydal: Yeah, go for it.
Abigail Chase: Where are Cassi and Chance?
Cade shrugs his shoulders.
Cade Sydal: Last I saw Chance, he was still sitting at Chris’ bedside in the hospital. As for Cassi? I wouldn’t let her come tonight, you won’t be seeing her. She might be at the hospital with Chance, though. Look, just let me know if you see those Bitch Ass Bitches, okay?
Abigail shoots him a look, and Cade shrugs.
Cade Sydal: Not my best one. Whatever.
And with those words, Cade walks away from her, continuing the search, leaving Abigail to breathe a sigh of relief.
Eryk Masters: Well, it looks like his mood hasn’t improved any since Day Two of Master of the Mat.
Other Guy: I’ll say, his name insult was pretty weak.
Eryk Masters: Well, folks, it’s time to get into our first match of the night! And I can’t think of a better match to start with than this one!
Samantha Coil: This opening contest is for the IRON FIST CHAMPIONSHIP!
The lights go out and the crowd pops hard as the arena is bathed in purple lights all over the place. The big screen is lit in static for about 10 seconds then the arena goes black. The energy in the Epicenter is reaching a fever pitch. Then the big screen kicks back into life with a large red JN logo shows on the screen as we hear–
CAUSE HERE I COME
HERE I COME
The lights come on as the opening to Pop Evil’s "Trenches" Kicks to life and the fans continue cheering. Then out from the back comes Johnny Napalm. He stands at the top of the ramp and his attire is old school purple tights and jacket with that joker mask on. He takes it off and the crowd cheers.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first, the challenger… from South Boston, Massachusetts, he stands six foot nine and weighs in at three hundred two pounds he is the SHOOT Project Joker! JOHNNY NAPALM!
Eryk Masters: And here comes in many people’s minds the MVP of the Rule of Surrender gauntlet match.
Other Guy: If there was any time to show everyone out there what he is made of, he sure as hell did at Master of the Mat.
Eryk Masters: I cannot agree more, Johnny Napalm eliminated four—count them—FOUR soldiers in that gauntlet including one of the favorites, Maya Nakashima, who many picked to win the Rule of Surrender title.
Other Guy: I think more than anything Napalm has proven that ever so slowly he’s stepping out of Dan Stein’s shadow.
Eryk Masters: In his promos this week Napalm is not going to go down quietly, and the champ knows this.
Other Guy: This match will not be pretty.
Napalm walks to the ring takes his jacket off and gives the mask and jacket to a ringside assistant, he gets in the ring and gets all pumped up even throwing up the double devil horns as the cheers get even louder.
Samantha Coil: And his opponent…
JAP THE RIPPER!
The vocals and the solo guitar signal the crowd.
Samantha Coil: From San Diego, California, at five-eleven and 193 pounds… he is the Iron Fist Champion, Ja Gi Kyung-Moon!
Ja Gi walks out from the back wearing vinyl wrestling pants, black with a pink dragon print. His boots and wrist tape are white.
Eryk Masters: Look at that. With the SHOOT Project Iron Fist championship around his waist, Ja Gi walks to the ring with confidence exuding through body language. He carries himself like he should be the champion and he knows it.
Other Guy: He also needs to know that Johnny Napalm will give him hell. Confidence is one thing, but if he’s not worried about losing he’s not gonna win.
In the ring, the champion hands the title over to the referee. Dennis Heflin presents the belt, then gets out of the way because the people want a match. The bell rings at Heflin’s cue, and the bout begins.
Kyung-Moon starts off with the slow approach, testing Napalm’s reflexes with a high front kick. Napalm swipes at it, but gets air. Ja Gi approaches a little closer, with Johnny Napalm lunging in for the lockup. Ja Gi lowers his base and wraps his hands around Napalm’s leg, lifting up enough to push Napalm off balance and send him to the mat. As Napalm rises, Kyung-Moon approaches low and tries for the left leg. Napalm pulls the leg back and catches Ja Gi around the midsection with the waistlock, deadlifting into the Karelin Lift and SLAMMING Ja Gi into the mat!
Other Guy: Excuse me, is there a Mr. Kyung-Moon here? We have a message from a Mr. Johnny Napalm. It says “THAT’S how you do it!”
Napalm has no qualms about following up, getting Ja Gi in another Karelin Lift and pulling him up off the mat, switching to the underhook the arms but Ja Gi drops to his knees and crawls through the legs! Behind Johnny Napalm, Ja Gi slaps the right side of the ribcage, causing Napalm to throw a back elbow. He hits nothing, though, and is surprised with the back springboard dropkick!
Eryk Masters: Nice movement! Ja Gi faked out the challenging Napalm and hit the side ropes for the kick!
Kyung-Moon sends a sharp kick into Johnny Napalm’s calf while the man is down on one knee. Napalm responds with the throat clutch and stands up, lifting Ja Gi Kyung-Moon high into the air with the BOOT TO THE HEAD!
Eryk Masters: Ja Gi landed on his feet! He was in the nosebleed section!
Kyung-Moon jumps and throws the front kick to the sternum, stunning Johnny Napalm. Ja Gi runs behind Napalm to the ropes and returns with the chop block to take the big man off of his feet. Napalm eats a couple of kicks to the face before flopping over onto his stomach and tackling Kyung-Moon, who guards with a leglock on the hips.
Other Guy: I know Ja Gi was in soccer or something in college, but Johnny Napalm is a different breed of athlete. Kyung-Moon’s about to have a very short, and very long night.
Johnny Napalm stands up with Kyung-Moon still in the guard, locking the head and tossing the Iron Fist champion up and over with the Cradle DDT! Dennis Heflin begins a count.
Johnny Napalm isn’t done, though, and stops the count by pulling Ja Gi up and whipping him into the ropes. Ja Gi recovers somehow and throws a jumping forearm AND GETS CAUGHT INTO THE THRUST SPINEBUSTER BY NAPALM!
Eryk Masters: OOOOOOOH that was a sickening impact!
Other Guy: Ja Gi’s head didn’t even bounce with that one! It just kept going into the mat.
Heflin attempts another count, this time with Johnny Napalm backing away.
Other Guy: I don’t see how he can get up.
Eryk Masters: If this were a normal rules match Ja Gi would be pinned by now!
Amazingly, Kyung-Moon begins to stir.
The crowd cheers for Ja Gi as he rolls over and pushes himself up.
And beats the eight count by standing RIGHT INTO A CHAIRSHOT!
Other Guy: Good night everybody!
Kyung-Moon falls out on the mat again, with Johnny Napalm holding the chair in his hand. He stands over Ja Gi, watching him breathe. Referee Dennis Heflin asks Napalm to step back, and begins another count as the challenger sets up the chair and sits to watch what happens.
Eryk Masters: Ja Gi is busted open!
Wearing a crimson mask, Kyung-Moon rises at nine! Napalm grabs him by the head and sits him on the chair, backing off before charging in with another chairshot that causes Ja Gi to tumble backward over the chair and out of the ring!
Other Guy: Ja Gi goes down faster than a child hooker in Hainan!
Eryk Masters: …….
Other Guy: You know your inner bastard is laughing.
Eryk Masters: Because of the Iron Fist division rules, Ja Gi isn’t saved by a count if he’s outside the ring. If the referee reaches ten, he loses his belt.
Johnny Napalm goes to the side of the ring to make sure Kyung-Moon stays down
And steps over the top rope, only to stop at the apron because Ja Gi isn’t on the floor. Dennis Heflin pauses his count to check the other sides of the ring to see if Ja Gi is leaning over out of sight.
Other Guy: It’s the mystery of the incredible disappearing champion! This looks like a job for the Scooby Gang.
Eryk Masters: This is actually smart on Ja Gi’s part. He likely rolled under the ring, but until the referee can make certain that he’s not on his feet somewhere it buys Ja Gi some time.
Sure enough, Ja Gi scrambled underneath the ring to a different side from the one he fell out. Johnny Napalm quickly finds Ja Gi by the ring stairs and takes him by the head, rearing back to smash Ja Gi ‘s head into the steps BUT JA GI KICKS THE STAIRS OUT OF THE WAY!
Other Guy: … Seriously?
Kyung-Moon saves himself a face full of metal, but Napalm pushes him into the turnbuckle. Ja Gi hits by the shoulder, turning around to duck underneath the thrusting boot from the Joker! Napalm jams his leg against the hard post, jarring his body and leaving an opening for Ja Gi Kyung-Moon.
Other Guy: …. SERIOUSLY?
Eryk Masters: GERMAN SUPLEX FROM JA GI KYUNG-MOON!
Dennis Heflin counts on both men.
Napalm is actually the first to get up, and reaches underneath the ring.
The challenger pulls out a table as Kyung-Moon starts to rise.
Seven! Kyung-Moon stands up, with Johnny Napalm tipping the table his way. Ja Gi catches the table, but it’s kicked into his face from Napalm! The table stays intact, allowing Johnny to continue with his plans. Napalm sets up the table, unfolding it and standing it on the floor between the apron and security wall.
Eryk Masters: Johnny Napalm’s looking to end this now.
Other Guy: Yeah, you don’t pull out a table for gits and shiggles.
The Joker turns back to GOOD NIGHT MOON! Johnny Napalm falls out just shy of the table.
Eryk Masters: Kyung-Moon hit a good kick! Can this keep his challenger down?
Ja Gi holds himself up on the apron.
Johnny Napalm begins to rise. Ja Gi leaps off the apron with another Good Night Moon but NAPALM CATCHES HIM AND POWERSLAMS THE CHAMP THROUGH THE TABLE!
Other Guy: Thank you for flying Kyung-Moon Air, where we’ll get it right eventually!
Eryk Masters: No…
Eryk Masters: How is Ja Gi Kyung-Moon getting up?
Other Guy: With absolutely no evidence to back it up? I say doping.
Johnny Napalm shows no mercy as he pulls Ja Gi into the standing headscissors. Kyung-Moon can’t keep himself up, dropping to his knees. Napalm leans over deep to secure the grip on Ja Gi WHO SOMEHOW FINDS THE STRENGTH TO POWER BOTH MEN UP AND FALL BACK INTO A BEACH BREAK!
Eryk Masters: Ja Gi Kyung-Moon turns a powerbomb into a back-to-belly piledriver!
As Johnny Napalm begins moving on the ground, Ja Gi pushes himself up, roaring loud enough for the fans to hear several rows back. The Iron Fist champion pushes himself up and takes Johnny Napalm by the hair before unleashing a kick to Johnny Napalm’s head. The Kawada-style kicks flow, one after the other after the other, until Kyung-Moon allows Johnny Napalm to kneel in place for a kick to the chest that hits like a baseball bat! Napalm’s chest goes red by the second kick. Swells by the third kick. CHOKESLAM INTERRUPTS THE FOURTH!
Eryk Masters: That was vicious! Brutal!
Other Guy: It was beautiful. I think I might cry.
Ja Gi Kyung-Moon tries to push himself up.
Johnny Napalm stands up.
Ja Gi tries. Johnny Napalm bends him over and hooks the arms, lifting up and DRILLING JA GI INTO THE FLOOR WITH THE NAPALM BOMB!
Other Guy: That is it! Game over, man! Game over!
Eryk Masters: That was one of the hardest Napalm Bombs I’ve ever seen.
Samantha Coil: Your winner, and NEEEEEW SHOOT PROJECT IRON FIST CHAMPION! JOHNNY NAPALM!
Pop Evil’s “Trenches” plays throughout the arena as the SHOOT Project fans cheer for what they’ve witnessed. Dennis Heflin hands Johnny Napalm the title. Napalm stares at it in his hands.
Eryk Masters: That was an amazing way to open Revolution 114! Johnny Napalm was right, he was in his element! He brought Ja Gi the hardest match he’s had in SHOOT Project, but the Iron Fist Champion fought displayed a tenacity nothing short of unreal and persevered through a tremendous Napalm offense!
Other Guy: Absolutely, but Napalm is a very dangerous man when he’s motivated and he wanted that Iron Fist championship like almost nothing we’ve seen from him. He told Ja Gi what he had to do to win and the champ didn’t listen or didn’t care. Maybe he’ll call it principles. But Johnny Napalm did what he said he was going to do and now he’s the new Iron Fist champion for it.
As the music plays and the crowd cheers, Johnny Napalm sees that Ja Gi still isn’t moving on the ground. The referee is checking Kyung-Moon, who is responsive but in no condition to move much. Napalm moves over to his fallen opponent as Dennis Heflin helps him get off of the ground.
Johnny Napalm: I guess you really wanted this.
Ja Gi says nothing as Johnny holds the title in the air.
Johnny Napalm: But today, I’m the Iron Fist champion. Until Selena gives birth, this is my baby. And you? You might not have this title anymore…
Draping the title back over his shoulder, Napalm nods.
Johnny Napalm: But if you don’t go and win another one soon I’m gonna come find you and knock some sense into you.
With that endorsement, Ja Gi finds the strength to stand and walk away under his own power. Johnny Napalm is left with the cheers of the people as he soaks in the adulation.
He finally did it.
Gaunt sits on a steel chair near the catering area, simply watching the people walk back and forth like sheep. She looks like a miserable she-wolf that doesn’t even have the inclination to hunt right now. She brings a cherry up to her mouth, her movements almost mechanical…and she lets her teeth crunch into it, a little stream of red dripping down her chin.
She tosses the stem to the floor…and someone’s boot comes down on top of it, crushing it down against the tile.
Gaunt’s eyes float slowly upwards…and her jaw automatically clenches.
The man that stands before her looks fresh…he looks recharged and revitalized after his short time away from SHOOT Project. He looks…better than ever.
He is Corey Lazarus.
Corey Lazarus: You know, it doesn’t surprise me that you threw the stem away, because with those teeth? Nobody in their right mind would want to see whether or not you’re good at "tying the stem in a knot."
He tilts down his platinum-rimmed Ray Bans and gives her a wink, forming the quotation marks with his fingers. She stares daggers through him until a sick sense of a smile worms its way through her cheeks.
Corey Lazarus: Happy to see me, eh? Of course you are! I’m Corey FUCKING Lazarus, babe! The Living Icon, "The Premier Attraction," the L…A…!!
Gaunt rises to her feet, her fists clenching and unclenching as she stares at Laz’s eyes behind his Ray Bans.
Gaunt: Shouldn’t you be off starring in SyFy original movies or hanging out with Andy Dick or whatever the hell it is that you do with your free time? And just for the record…your cameo in Sharknado fuckin’ sucked.
She inches closer to Lazarus, and he just smirks at the Hellcat.
Gaunt: The last thing I need is a walking, talking bloated EGO like you getting in my face. In case you hadn’t noticed…I’m not having the best week.
Gaunt’s eyes float down Corey’s leg, seeming to study his knee very carefully with her mad turquoise gaze.
Gaunt: And just when I thought my week couldn’t get any worse…YOU show your Booster Gold-loving ass back up at the most inopportune of moments. Just what the FUCK do you think you’re doing back here, Lazarus? Why even bother?
She gestures to his knee while leering at The Living Icon.
Gaunt: We all know I snapped your shit up in the Sin City Championship Series…sent the equivalent of a double barrel shotgun blast into that slab of gristle you call a kneecap. You can’t be 100%…not after what I did to you. Might as well crawl back to The Hills, Lazzycakes…there’s no room on the SHOOT Project marquee anymore for a box office failure like you.
Corey Lazarus: Hmmm…well, first of all…
Corey pulls a pack of Orbit from the inside pocket of his entrance jacket, handing it to Gaunt. She looks at it, rolls her eyes, and sneers at the suggestion.
Corey Lazarus: …c’mon, take a piece. You need it. The week’s been stressful, the month, the year, the decade, the century…hell, kiddo, I’m surprised you haven’t done what every other cute little emo chick has done and tried to go down the road.
He motions to cut his wrist, holding up a hand and taking a step back as Gaunt moves closer.
Corey Lazarus: Wait, wait, hold on, I’m not done! Second…Andy Dick? Fucking really? The only thing I’d ever do with Andy Dick is go skydiving, and I’d be sure to pull a Bugs Bunny and stuff his pack with an anvil and a spare tire, Roger Rabbit-style. Third…
Gaunt jabs her finger into Corey’s chest, prompting him to crack his neck to either side and slide his Ray Bans off.
Gaunt’s eye twitches slightly; Laz’s chiding obviously grinding into her nerves and having the desired effect.
Gaunt: You should have stayed on the shelf, Lazarus. The shelf is a nice, safe place where I can’t do you any harm. But now…what…you’re trying to make some kind of triumphant return? You wanna go out under the lights and stand on the big stage just like old times…give these snotnose fans a chance to fawn over you?
Gaunt: Like I said…you were safe on the shelf. But the moment you stepped off of it with that bum leg and limped your way back onto this roster…
Gaunt leans even closer, whispering to Lazarus.
Gaunt: …you made yourself fair game.
Gaunt stares back down at Corey’s leg, making no attempt to hide the hyena-like gleam in her eyes. Corey tilts her chin up with his hand, his TRADEMARK DEVILISH GRIN apparent for the first time tonight. She quickly swats his hand away, and Laz just shakes his head, backing up another step before doing a set of jumping jacks.
Corey Lazarus: Well, if you decide to do it again, then maybe you should try using a hydrogen bomb, because that little shotgun of yours didn’t really do the trick, dig? Here I am, big as life and twice as sexy, and there you are, just another person that failed to end the career of the…wait for it…
Corey stops doing jumping jacks and drops to a knee, taking an overly accented stage bow, his eyes never leaving Gaunt’s.
Corey Lazarus: L…A…Z. Rock n’ roll, babe.
He stands up, blows her a kiss, and then walks away, chuckling as he does so.
We close out on Gaunt’s expression as she stares off after Lazarus, SCAR’s Hellcat sporting an infuriated sneer.
Samantha Coil: Standing six feet, seven inches tall and weighing 268 pounds… Valentine Lionheart!
Lionheart paces the ring, seemingly grunting as he stares at the entryway to await his opponenet.
Other Guy: I like how Valentine Lionheart was ready to go.
Eryk Masters: It’s uncommon that a wrestler skips their own entrance to come out to the ring during a break, but Lionheart jumped the gun.
Other Guy: That means he’s determined. He wants this match, he wants this win.
Eryk Masters: But it won’t be an easy task as he faces a veteran of the ring wars…
An old fashioned, black and white film countdown begins rolling on the VideoWall, the film flickering and a beep heard after every digit.
I SAID HALLELEUJAH!!
Lo Fidelity Allstars’ "Battleflag" cues up, and Corey Lazarus marches out from behind the entrance curtain, the hood of his entrance jacket pulled over his head and a bottle of Fiji water in hand. The SHOOT fans don’t know quite what to make of him, though, and he’s met with a mixed reaction of "welcome back" chants and jeers.
Samantha Coil: Making his way to the ring at this time, weighing in tonight at 235 pounds and standing at 6-foot-1…
Corey takes a sip of the Fiji water and then marches down the entrance ramp, casually reaching out to bump fists with the few fans that reach over to him.
Eryk Masters: When was the last time we’ve seen Corey without Gregory Price at his side?
Other Guy: I don’t think we’ve ever seen him alone, Eryk. At least not in SHOOT Project.
Samantha Coil: …hailing from Hollywood, California, he is "The Premier Attraction"…
Corey jumps up onto the ring apron and dusts the bottom of his shoes off before stepping between the ropes, calmly walking over towards the far corner and climbing up to the middle turnbuckle, staring out around the Epicenter.
Samantha Coil: …COORRRREEEEYYYYYY LAAAAAAZZZZAAAARRRRUUUUUSSSSSS !!!!!!!
Laz steps back down and walks to the middle of the ring before he spins around, his arms out to his sides, basking in the attention of the fans and cameras alike before stopping and throwing his hood back, pumping a fist up.
Corey Lazarus: I’M BACK, BITCHES!!!
"Battleflag" dies down as Corey slides his entrance jacket off, handing it to a ringside attendant, before taking one last sip of his Fiji water, spitting it in referee Austin Linam’s face as he comes to check him out.
Other Guy: Well, it looks like certain elements of Corey’s character haven’t changed one bit.
Linam pats Laz down, and Corey quickly adjusts his left knee pad and brace, shaking his head as he does so, before stretching out in his corner.
Corey Lazarus puts out his left leg, tapping the knee brace, daring Valentine Lionheart to take the bait. Lionheart steps forward, eyes locked on the knee, before rushing in bash Lazarus in the face with a strong forearm! Lazarus staggers back under a flurry, covering his face, dropping to the mat and quickly rolling out of the ring before he can be overwhelmed by the Omega Messiah.
Eryk Masters: Lionheart explodes right from the outset of this match!
Other Guy: Lazarus likes to play the mental game with his opponents but the focus of Valentine Lionheart kept that from happening.
Austin Linam heads to the ropes to administer a ring count. Lionheart thinks nothing of shoving him out of the way and following Lazarus out of the ring. Valentine hits the floor and Corey stops him with a piston kick to the gut, then brings an overhead elbow smash into the back of Valentine’s neck, keeping him low for a knee strike to the face. Lionheart shoves him away. Lazarus grabs the bottom rope to stop himself and throws a low angle superkick to put Lionheart on the floor!
Other Guy: The referee’s only at a two count? Somebody remind Linam he’s on the clock!
Corey Lazarus stomps on Valentine’s upper back. Austin Linam reaches the four count. As Lionheart pushes himself off of the floor, Lazarus grabs him by the hair and guides him into the ring. Standing on the floor with Lionheart lying close to the ropes, Corey turns and mugs for the crowd before grabbing the bottom rope and slinging himself over it into the ring with a short body splash and pin!
Lazarus stomps at the upper back and neck, but that doesn’t keep Valentine Lionheart from getting back up. Corey stays behind and slips underneath the near arm with a waistlock.
A single elbow to the top of the skull by Lionheart stops Lazarus from his attempted CinePlex, the impact causing him to drop his arms and slump forward.
Eryk Masters: The Omega Messiah’s body is the only thing keeping Corey Lazarus on his feet after that shot!
Holding the hair to keep Lazarus upright, Lionheart steps behind the Premier Attraction and cinches in the Half Nelson, going between the legs and lifting up and over for the Exploder.
Eryk Masters: Lazarus flips out!
But Corey also tweaks the knee on the landing. Stumbling backward toward the ropes, he sets a hand on the brace over his left leg, rubbing the knee. Lionheart charges in; Corey sees it coming and ducks to send Valentine over the top rope. Lionheart lands on his feet! Corey Lazarus attempts the rolling elbow, with Lionheart seeing that coming and HYPEREXTENDING THE ARM OVER THE TOP ROPE!
Lionheart stays on the apron and grabs by the hair again to keep him from straying far. Locking in the front vertical suplex position, the Omega Messiah lifts up.
KNEE TO THE FACE!
Eryk Masters: Corey Lazarus sacrificed that sore knee to stop the suplex and Valentine Lionheart actually looks hurt!
Covering his nose, Lionheart can’t stop Lazarus from scoring over the ropes with a high roundhouse kick to the side of the head! Valentine clutches the top rope with his right hand to keep himself from falling backward. Corey Lazarus takes his opening and, after a few tender steps, runs to the opposite ropes and returns with VALENTINE LIONHEART CATCHING THE SUPERKICK AND CROTCHING LAZARUS OVER THE TOP ROPE!
Other Guy: Ha! He was playing possum! The best kind of um!
As Corey Lazarus screams at a frequency only audible to canines, Valentine Lionheart runs up the stairs and leaps up to CRACK COREY IN THE FACE WITH THE TIGER KNEE!
Eryk Masters: Ouch… Corey Lazarus just crumpled to the mat.
Lionheart covers Lazarus with a forearm pressed into the side of the face.
Eryk Masters: Corey Lazarus still has the wherewithal to kick out!
Other Guy: Well, sure, but he’s still in the ring. With Valentine Lionheart.
The Omega Messiah pulls Lazarus up into a front Exploder, succeeding with this suplex at a high angle and going immediately into the cover.
Eryk Masters: Lazarus just beat the three count by a split second!
Sensing the end, Valentine Lionheart takes the head, pulling Lazarus up one more time, and lifting up in the Fireman’s Carry.
Other Guy: This is the end, Masters! Valentine’s Day —
Eryk Masters: Reverse Frankesteiner!
Lazarus saving himself at the last moment, Valentine Lionheart is spiked onto the mat, rolling out of the ring to protect himself. Austin Linam starts the ringout count.
Lionheart begins to move. Corey Lazarus rolls outside, looking to capitalize.
Lazarus catches Valentine with a couple more elbows to the neck, but Lionheart shoves him backward. Corey ducks underneath the big boot and hits the rolling elbow!
Lionheart is dazed, still standing, so Lazarus grabs the wrist and attempts the whip into the stairs. Valentine Lionheart stops himself, throwing a back kick to catch Lazarus flush in the solar plexus!
Eryk Masters: Lazarus put down in a seat, that took all the air right out of him.
Other Guy: And now Lionheart breaks the ref’s count, because he’s a man of integrity!
Valentine Lionheart pulls Corey Lazarus up off of the mat and whips him into the ring stairs with LAZARUS HITTING HIS KNEES INTO THE UNFORGIVING METAL!
Eryk Masters: Oh, my. That’ll change the whole complexion of this match!
Lazarus cries out in anguish, the brace doing nothing to help with the crashing impact that has his knees, especially the left, in great pain.
Lionheart walks around the stairs and yanks Lazarus off of the floor by the hair, straight into the air and setting him onto the apron, hitting a strong forearm to lay out the former Tag Team Champion on the apron.
Lionheart pushes Lazarus back into the ring and follows in with the cover.
Valentine Lionheart kneels beside Corey and holds the head, sending forearm after forearm into Laz’s face. Corey tries to cover up. Lionheart rips the hands away and hits more shots to the face, with Lazarus taking more and more hits. Lionheart takes the hair and pulls Laz to a somewhat vertical base. This time, Valentine Lionheart steps back and spins into the rolling elbow that hits nothing!
Eryk Masters: LAZARUS SLIPPED BEHIND!
Lazarus hits the inside leg kick, followed by the roundhouse to the midsection, keeping it going with another outside leg kick and then two toe kicks back to back. Corey leaps up with the elbows and knees to complete Combo #5 AND GETS A MANHATTAN DROP FOR HIS TROUBLE!
Corey Lazarus has all of the fight taken out of him in one move, with Valentine Lionheart lifting up with the Fireman’s Carry and swings Laz out for the DDT!
Other Guy: VALENTINE’S DAY MASSACRE!
Samantha Coil: Here is your winner……. VALENTINE LIONHEART!
Eryk Masters: What a series of moves!
Other Guy: Lazarus hung in there, I’ll give him that, but Valentine Lionheart wasn’t going to settle for anything less than absolute victory.
Lionheart stands over Lazarus, looking down at the man with a scowl stitched into his face. The referee attempts to raise Valentine’s hand, almost getting hit with a forearm as Lionheart doesn’t want anyone touching him. Then, in a move straight out of the bad sportsman’s playbook, Lionheat spits down onto Laz in flagrant disrespect.
Eryk Masters: That is not necessary.
Other Guy: And yet, he did it.
As Corey Lazarus is favoring the knees, the crowd suddenly gets very upset. We soon find out it’s because Elizabeth Gaunt is charging out to the ring, as she slides in and immediately jumps on Corey Lazarus’s left leg!
Eryk Masters: What’s she doing out here?!
Other Guy: I guess she just really hate’s his knee. Maybe it was her archenemy in a past life.
Valentine Lionheart cares nothing and exits the ring without a second thought, leaving Gaunt to viciously stomp at Corey Lazarus’s leg. Laz, spent from the match, tries to defend himself, kicking at Gaunt, but she is undeterred. Gaunt catches a heel straight to the lip, and shrugs it off, picking the ankle and dragging Laz to the apron.
With the leg underneath the ropes, Liz Gaunt smashes the underside of the knee against the edge of the apron! Corey Lazarus sits up from the pain, but grabs the hair and punches Elizabeth Gaunt. Gaunt is possessed with the intent to injure, so set on harm that she ignores the punch and catches Laz’s hand. LIZ GAUNT BITES DEEP INTO THE FLESH!
Other Guy: Wow, that’ll leave a mark!
The bite is solid enough that Laz can’t jerk his hand away. He has to kick her off. Gaunt staggers away, but rushes right back and headbutts Laz through the ropes!
Other Guy: That’ll leave another mark.
Elizabeth Gaunt tears at the knee brace, trying to rip it from Lazarus’s leg. It’s solid enough that it gives some resistance, enough that Gaunt decides not to bother with it. However Gaunt, totally lost in her desire for blood, reaches into the ringside section and grabs a chair. Notably, there is a person sitting in that chair, but the look in her eyes makes him dart away without a word. Folding the steel implement of destruction, Gaunt eyes her target and NEARLY SHATTERS COREY’S KNEE WITH THE CHAIR!
Eryk Masters: Oh my god, she’s trying to end his career once and for all!
Lazarus revives just enough to scream as the long nerve endings in his knee shoot off like demolitions. Choosing to forego more direct impact to the knee, Gaunt gets a glimmer in her eye and drops the chair, sliding into the ring and reaching through the bottom rope to grab that injured leg. Corey tries to punch at Gaunt’s body, but lacks power. Elizabeth shrugs him off and lifts the left leg, pulling it up and toward the ring to STRETCH IT BACKWARDS AGAINST THE MIDDLE ROPE!
Other Guy: Okay, that’s going too far now.
Eryk Masters: She’s going to snap his leg in two is where she’s going! Somebody stop this!
Laz’s eyes tear up as he slaps the mat, Gaunt’s back, the air, anything in reach. Elizabeth Gaunt has no intention of stopping, and yanks harder against that cable. Laz spends an eternity in that hold until security finally rushes out, with no fewer than five grown men trying to get Gaunt to release Corey’s leg. Two more get in to finally break her grip, while Austin Linam is joined by Dennis Heflin as they pull Corey out of the ring and help him to the back as quickly as they can. Corey can’t put any weight on the left leg, making it that much harder. An EMT soon joins them, with security trying their best to contain a Gaunt who will gladly take them all down to get to Lazarus.
There’s no music. The fans aren’t cheering, being too worried for Laz, but they also are so concerned with him that they don’t even remember to boo Elizabeth Gaunt. The din of the crowd comes out to stunned gasps and the snapping of cellphone cameras as Corey Lazarus has to be helped out from the ringside set… and immediate speculation about if and when he’ll be able to return.
We open to a simple black backdrop adorned with the golden SHOOT Project helmet. There is a director’s style chair sitting in front of the backdrop. Seated in this chair is the SHOOT Project’s current reigning Sin City Champion, Jacob Mephisto. He’s dressed casually with a pair of blue jeans and a SHOOT Project t-shirt. His hair is pulled back into a ponytail. Noticeably absent from his possession is the Sin City Championship belt because he left it safely locked away at home.
This isn’t a promo. This isn’t a publicity shot or anything. This is a candid interview set up by the SHOOT Project. There are certain situations that go beyond the scope of the proud competition that the SHOOT Project represents. The events surrounding the Isaac Entragian/Adrian Corazon encounter are a perfect example of these situations.
Jacob takes a quick sip from a bottle of water as he listens to the off camera interviewer for a moment before adjusting the small microphone attached to his shirt.
Jacob: You know, a lot of people refer to professional wrestling as a “business,” and they’re not wrong. It’s a multi-million, sometimes, multi-billion dollar industry. But, a lot of people forget that it’s a sport too. And there’re always those fans out there that we call “smarks” who think everything’s rigged or that what we do isn’t “real.”
Jacob pauses for a short moment to take another sip of water.
Jacob: But, you know, that’s not the case. When we’re in the ring, we’re really getting punched and kicked. When someone’s got a submission on, they’re really cranking back on it. The SHOOT Project is about as real as it gets.
He pauses again, listening to the off camera interviewer.
Jacob: I mean, when Sammy Rochester goes out there and he says how much he hates someone and that he’s going to hurt them, that’s not just for entertainment, man. He means it. He has every intention of doing exactly what he says. Some people out there think what we do doesn’t go beyond the ring. But, look at Jonny Johnson. When he got crazy and challenged King for the World Title not that long ago, that wasn’t a scripted moment. That was real. We don’t have scripted moments here, man. Everything we do in that ring affects us in our personal lives in some way. And, for a lot of us, the SHOOT Project IS our personal life just as much as it’s our job.
Jacob takes a long drink from the water bottle as the interviewer asks his next question.
Jacob: That’s exactly what I’m talking about. This whole thing with Isaac Entragian and Adrian Corazon? It’s the perfect example of how real things are in the SHOOT Project. I mean, this thing has spiraled to place I never thought it would go.
There’s a pause as, apparently, the off camera interviewer continues to question Jacob. Jacob smirks just slightly.
Jacob: I mean, yea. Of course I pay attention to it. Listen, you’ve got to be stupid not to at least try to pay attention to what’s going on in SHOOT beyond what you’re doing. Some things affect everyone. I think the majority of the roster is at least mildly aware of the overall happenings in the company.
The smirk fades from Jacob’s face.
Jacob: Look, the whole Project: SCAR thing before all this happened was crazy as it was. I mean you had this group of guys essentially trying to break the SHOOT Project and rebuild it in their image. That wasn’t some BS scripted angle. Then you had Isaac Entragian setting his sights on bigger things. He went after the Iron Fist Championship. He took the Rule of Surrender Championship. He had wars with Del Carver and Jaime Alejandro that became incredibly personal. But, at the core, Isaac Entragian was power hungry. Meanwhile, you had Adrian Corazon, who was still out to do what Project: SCAR was built to do.
Jacob pauses as he listens to the off screen interviewer again.
Jacob: You know, I can’t speak for why things happened the way they did, man. I’m not a part of Project: SCAR. I’m not inside their minds, man. But, if I had to guess, Corazon was trying to refocus SCAR. I mean he eliminated Kenji from the Primus and the Redemption Rumble. But, where he made the biggest mistake was eliminating Isaac Entragian from the Rumble as well. That had to be it for Ike, man.
Another question comes from off camera.
Jacob: I remember that night. I didn’t see the brawl in the back, but I heard all about it. I wasn’t too surprised it erupted, but it still didn’t set right with me. Something like that… it’s unsettling. You’ve got this group of monsters hell bent on reshaping SHOOT and all of a sudden two of the most prominent members are brawling backstage. There’s no way that doesn’t affect the SHOOT Project as a whole in some way.
Jacob shakes his head, almost in disbelief as he is apparently asked the next question.
Jacob: When Corazon came out that night and cost Isaac the ONE thing his entire black soul was focused on? Man I knew right then that things were going to get ugly. Leading into Reckoning Day, I watched as sides were chosen and I had chills thinking about TWO Project: SCAR factions running around SHOOT. Then when Reckoning Day came… I mean, the way Day 1 ended… it was wicked, man. That was something you just NEVER expect to see. I mean, the whole Obsidian turning on Adrian was bad, but what they did to that man went beyond the scope of what the SHOOT Project is about. Now, I’m no do gooder by any stretch of the imagination, but I don’t think even I could burn the flesh from a man’s back. I remember sitting in the back thinking “holy shit.” That’s all I could think to myself.
There’s a short pause and Jacob leans back in his chair a bit.
Jacob: Did Adrian deserve it? Who can really say? I mean, did Maya Nakashima deserve to get kidnapped and held captive for half a year? Let’s not forget who did the kidnapping: Adrian Corazon. This is the same guy who took Del Carver’s eye. Now, I don’t believe in karma or whatever else people call it, but did Corazon get his just deserts that night? It’s possible. If it were Maya torching Corazon’s back in revenge, would it have been seen as such a heinous act? Who knows? The only thing I can say for sure is that Project: SCAR made it known that nobody was safe. You screw with them or their goals and there’re going to be consequences. Do I condone that kind of shit in a wrestling environment? Probably not. That’s not what our sport is about. Then again, that was about much more than just our sport. Remember when I said some of our personal lives ARE the SHOOT Project?
Jacob waves his hands out as if to say, “there you go.” He pauses, taking another drink from his water bottle as the off screen interviewer asks a short series of questions.
Jacob: Yea, when Adrian came back, I knew he wasn’t going to focus solely on the Master of the Mat tournament. I knew he’d be out for blood. Watching him go through SCAR was eerie. The way he got to each and every member gave me chills, man. It wasn’t even in an entertaining sense. Like, I watched that man screw with Kenji Yamada’s head. I watched the footage of him decimating Danny Evers. The man CARVED a smiley face into Liz Gaunt. He totally mind-screwed Flay Rios. And I watched as Isaac causally brushed him off on the outside. But I could see his rage building on the inside, man. This was going to blow up really quickly. This type of stuff makes one hell of an entertaining show, doesn’t it?
Jacob slowly shakes his head.
Jacob: That’s just it, though. The fans? The “SHOOT Nation?” To them, it’s just a show. The stuff that happened to Corazon and all the stuff he did to each member of SCAR leading in to Master of the Mat? That wasn’t a show. Then, I thought we were going to get a break from the mental and physical carnage at Master of the Mat, you know? Jason, Sean, and Josh laid down the law. After they cost each other their spots in the Master of the Mat tourney, even the brass knew they had to do something. Otherwise, this shit was going to be violent on a level we’ve never seen before. Heh. Not like that didn’t happen anyway, right?
Jacob pauses to listen to the interviewer once more.
Jacob: I was backstage. I think I was just putting on my ring gear. I was watching the monitor out of the corner of my eye. I remember seeing Adrian pick up the win. I was lacing up my boots when I heard the commentary. I look up and there’re two little pools of blood around Isaac’s hands. I immediately knew shit was going to hit the fan again.
Again, another silent question comes from off camera.
Jacob: Yea, I heard the commotion. I think I even poked my head out the door. I saw SCAR, in force, hauling ass towards the gorilla position. I guess that’s when the cameras picked it up because I watched the fight break out on the monitor. After that. I mean, what happened with Isaac. Again, man… it was just wicked.
There’s another question asked and Jacob runs a hand down his face as he seems to think.
Jacob: Look, man. A lot of people out there are going to say that Isaac deserved what he got. And I get that. But, like I said earlier, people could’ve said the same about Adrian, right? I mean, people will talk about it being revenge and all that, but when it comes down to it, no matter the motive, Corazon is still the same kind of monster as Isaac.
There’s a short off camera reply.
Jacob: Well, think about it. There’s a REASON the crowd wasn’t cheering Adrian after he acted. They didn’t chant BMA or anything like that as he left the ring. They knew. You can only have their sympathy for so long, man. Adrian… he did what he felt he needed to. And now Isaac Entragian is in critical condition in the hospital. That’s not entertainment. Hell, that’s not even sport. That’s real life right there.
The off camera interviewer SHOOTs out a few more questions.
Jacob: I’m not saying that neither guy deserved what they got. Hell, I’m not even saying Corazon WASN’T justified. But, what I AM saying is that this… this war between these two? It’s a game changer. I mean, sure, it’s going to generate ticket sales, ratings, and pay-per-view buys… assuming Entragian ever even wakes up, that is. But, it’s deeper than that. There’ve been major moments in professional wrestling history that change the course of things. But, these two guys have shown EXACTLY what they’ll do to someone to achieve their end.
Another quick question comes from off camera as Jacob sips his water.
Jacob: How does it end?
Jacob chuckles darkly.
Jacob: Something like this? Hell, this is a blood feud that nobody’s ever come close to seeing before, man. It probably ends when one of these two aren’t breathing anymore. Short of that? I have no idea what it’ll take for either of these guys to admit TRUE defeat.
Jacob finishes his water and tosses the bottle in a wastebasket next to his chair as the interviewer apparently asks another question.
Jacob: Yea man. Those guys that kept SCAR at bay? They’ve got to be feeling odd. I mean, the fans will still love them, just like they’ll still hate SCAR. But really, those guys acted no differently than SCAR did at Reckoning Day and they’ve got to live with that.
Jacob leans back as a final question is asked.
Jacob: I think it absolutely can be contained within the wrestling ring. It’s like I said. A lot of us in SHOOT? We LIVE this sport. Adrian and Isaac are no different. Good guy… bad guy… it doesn’t matter. They’re more alike than anyone will ever realize. They just happen to have different ideologies that clash with one another. But, in the end? They’re professional wrestlers. It’s what they do. It’s what they know. So, that’s how they’ll end up settling it. Like I said, the whole situation is crazy. And, if SHOOT Project history can be believed? It’s going to get a lot crazier before it’s all over.
“In Time” by Mark Collie hits the Public Address system and confusion floods the arena.
"I can hear what you’re thinking
All your doubts and fears
And if you look in my eyes, you’ll find the reason I’m here,
And in time all things shall pass away”
Eryk Masters: What is going on? I’ve never heard this theme music before. I’ve heard it in hype videos but never as a theme.
Other Guy: I don’t know but I bet we’re about to… oh my God!
Cronos Diamante steps out from the entrance way and stands there, looking over a cheering audience.
"In Time you may come back some day
To live once more or die once more
But in time your time will be no more
You know your days are numbered
Count ‘em one by one like notches in the handle of an outlaw’s gun”
Cronos makes the cutting motion to his throat and slowly begins walking to the ring, microphone held to his mouth.
Cronos Diamante: I have a story to tell all of you. I know. I know. Another one of old man Cronos’ stories being told to us is all we need, right? Well, we all know I tend to be a bit of a talker and drive the production crew crazy with time issues. Run over on the minutes and what not. Well… I don’t give a shit so listen up.
There’s a slight chuckle from the audience and both announcers but an overwhelming amount of shock from the disrespect to the staff.
Cronos Diamante: A beggar sits on the sidewalk, squabbling for spare change or food. He’s passed by. He is given nothing but a look of pity or disgust. Don’t deny it. You’ve all done it. I’ve done it. As I walk by one day, I notice a box. The same beggar, the same man I look at with disgust. I decide to ask him what’s in the box. He says he doesn’t know. He’s been sitting on it for as long as he can remember and he’s never bothered to look inside. Because what’s the point, right? It was discarded long ago like his life. Why open a thrown away box. What could be the reward for that? And why listen to me? I’m a complete and total stranger who has passed this man by day after day and given him nothing. Who the fuck am I to give this man advice or ask him a question? But he entertains me. See… I’m naturally curious. I was thinking there was some kind of interesting story untold to us passerby’s about this little green box. There we go again, right? Cronos’ stories. What’s he find in it? A roll of cash. Probably fell out of someone’s purse or jacket or whatever the fuck. By his standard the dude is rich. He thanks me and I shrug. Did my good deed for the day, right? So why am I telling you this?
Eryk Masters: I’m used to hearing stories and analogies from Cronos. He’s famous for them. But this one, that look on his face. He’s making an effort to conceal something.
Other Guy: He’s trying to hide anger, Eryk. This isn’t the same speech because this is a precursor to something much larger. And I’m not sure any of us are going to like it.
Cronos Diamante: Because I was that stranger here in SHOOT asking you to open the box that is each and every one of you. Not for money or gold or any riches whatsoever. I was here trying to change things. Make things better for us all. Bring back a beaten up, washed up, good for nothing man like Mirage with the promise of change and enlightenment. The promise of the one thing that can change us all: hope. And what did all of you, including him, do? You shunned my help. Because of my history. That pre-conditioned sense of entitlement that you all had. The voice in your head saying, that man is the enemy or you’re not good enough. Hell, even embrace men just as bad as I was! No, no, no… Cronos is not here to help. He’s here for his own selfish reasons. You distort and you trick and you scheme and you cause misery. You spread your disease of unhappiness to everyone you touch. Every single one of you in the locker room. Every single fan in this audience. All of you! You’re part of a collective mind-set that has made you a slave to your conditioning you don’t even know you have. And it disgusts me. All of you disgust me. It grew and grew as the days passed into weeks and the weeks into months until I couldn’t stand it any longer. Your weakness.
A chorus of boos fill the arena and both announcers, though trying to react, are drowned out by the noise. Cronos simply stands in the middle of the ring with a matter of fact look on his face, switching his gaze from one side of the ring to the other. He waits for the noise to die down and holds the mic to his mouth once again.
Cronos Diamante: So what did I do? The so called “honorable man” of The SHOOT Project packed his belongings, took his nameplate off his locker room door, gave this ring right here one last look and left. I left you to drown in your suffering and your illness. I knew that none of you would change and due to that, I felt no more need to be here. Look at Mirage. He didn’t change a bit. He’s nothing without the 3M costume. He’s a petty, washed up fool. Kick him around a bit, make him dance from some gunfire like one of those old west movies, play him like a puppet… take your pick. He’s worthless. Isn’t too much different from a lot of those other so called “soldiers” that don’t even know what the fuck that word means. And I’m not talking about military. You know that part of my history. You all know what I did. I’m talking about all those weak minded fools that let this place drown. Let it be a place where men like I “used” to be can run rampart. Devil didn’t work in civilized society, ladies. Then again, if you had any clue, you’d know that. Thing is… you don’t.
Cronos scoffs and spits on the mat, a look of utter disgust on his face. He spins around, taking in all the boos and the general vibe of hatred emanating from the entire arena. He looks to Eryk Masters and Other Guy and smirks.
Cronos Diamante: You two fucks don’t have anything more to add? Figures. Get called out and you turn as yellow Triple M. Heh. So why after all of this am I, of all the people, with the disgust and general malevolent attitude, back in The SHOOT Project? What would bring me back to this cesspool of scum and villainy?
The boos start up again but this time it’s not enough to drown out the announcing crew.
Eryk Masters: I don’t know what he’s up to but he’s probably managed to alienate himself from every single roster member and that includes the guys in the back that like to hurt people for kicks. And there’s no place to hide.
Other Guy: He knows what he’s doing. It’s obvious, Eryk. He just took a dump on the only friend he’s ever had in wrestling. That’s more significant than anything else in my eyes. And say what you want but Cronos Diamante wouldn’t hide even if the whole roster was hunting him down in a mob. Stupid but true.
Cronos Diamante: I, unlike the rest of you, became enlightened on my journey away from this place. It was as if I was on some sort of super human journey without the need for success, security, love… none of that petty shit. No I viewed the world around me in a completely different way. It was immeasurable and greater than me. The end of suffering. I have found in myself separation from myself, the noise in my brain that we all have, and the world around me. Sure I got a general hatred and disgust for a lot of people right now. Always will. But I’m at peace. I’m not going to run around here angry and blow torching peoples backs or putting people in the hospital. Isn’t a need for that to make a point. Don’t get me wrong though. I may be at peace but I’m human. I’m not Ghandi or Buddha. Every once in a while that monster within gonna rear up his ugly mother fucking head and someone gonna get his head chewed off. No avoiding that. The thing is… bein’gwithout success and love and all that shit, knowing I don’t need it, I still WANT. I can’t exist without the world and it’s ridiculous, pathetic ways or its earthly possessions. I’m as knee deep in it as the rest of you fucks. Can’t be avoided. So being at peace? Walking around preaching to the weak minded and the fools? The is simply NOT going to cut it. I’m not a mystic or God. If I was you bitches would listen. So what I want? Well that’s the fun part, right?
The crowd is in pure shock not knowing what to say or do but the expressions on their faces screams interested.
Eryk Masters: This oughta be good.
Cronos Diamante: I am the Ruler of Surrender. I am the man who dominates in that wrestling ring on the mat. Not a damn one of you get out of the Ne-Han. Nobody! Fuck any of you that think you can and I welcome anybody who feels the need to commit suicide and try. I’m the rightful Rule of Surrender Champion and not because I didn’t get my rematch with Mason Pierce or because I know Solomon Richards would tap to me in seconds. SECONDS! No ladies and gentlemen. Cronos Diamante epitomizes submission wrestling. I made my career putting mother fuckers to sleep, breaking collarbones with the Ne-Han and destroying careers with holds I invented! I, Cronos Diamante, invented. I am one with that universal fact. A lot of you aren’t and haven’t been. So the way I figure this you mental midgets… I am here to take what is mine and to step on anybody like boot to ant that gets in my way. Any one of you mother fuckers that want to test your fortitude, puff up that chest, even think you can beat me ON THE MAT… I’m challenging you! And while I’m beating you peons, I’m going to take that Rule of Surrender title and I’m going to hold onto it until one of you mother fuckers wake THE FUCK up and pry it from my cold… dead… hands!
Other Guy: He’s gone insane. Not only the way he’s speaking to the entire roster but the way he’s doing it. The demands.
Eryk Masters: The true Cronos Diamante is finally back, OG. Or at least some part of him. This guy I’m seeing now is no Devil. Not even close. I dare to say he’s something much more dangerous.
Cronos Diamante: Oh and one thing before I leave you, before I grace a certain member of this roster with my presence… Hey production crew! Jason Johnson too. That time limit you always getting on me about. Saying I stay out here too long, being some kind of wind bag. Suck my cock! This is my ring until you prove otherwise. Good fucking luck.
Cronos leaves the ring and looks out at the crowd, moving his hands around his waist as if a championship belt should be there. He starts jaw jacking with a couple fans and chuckles as he backs up with his hands wide open mouthing “I’ll take you right now.”
CAUSE HERE I COME
HERE I COME
As Pop Evil’s “Trenches” blares out through the Epicenter the cheers kick into high gear. After a few moments, out walks someone Cronos didn’t expect to come out; Johnny Napalm.
Eryk Masters: Well, we know this man doesn’t back down from a challenge.
Other Guy: After his performance at Master of the Mat, not many can doubt his skills either but this is Cronos. He’s not just any former Rules of Surrender champ. He’s right about him epitomizing submission wrestling for well over a decade. That can’t be denied. But believe me, Eryk, I am not diminishing or taking anything way from Napalm’s skills. He can hang with the best of them in my opinion.
Napalm begins his walk down to ringside and passes by Cronos cautiously. He grabs a mic and he stands there, looking over Cronos with great interest. Napalm creates some distance between the two by sitting on the steel steps.
Eryk Masters: Napalm needs to be careful here. He already went through one war today. Cronos is a very dangerous person and he’s not going to go toe to toe with him. Napalm has shown himself to be a top contender in the Rule of Surrender division but he’s a little worn out and you can see it on his face. Cronos is fresh.
Other Guy: When has Napalm ever been careful in his life? He thrives on challenges. It wouldn’t matter who was out there, that’s the thing.
Napalm gets the music cut looking over at Cronos
Johnny Napalm: Well Cronos, I will give you some credit, you are one of the toughest Rules of Surrender champions that have come around. And recently I realized that I am no slouch either if you watched Master of the Mat. Nine people fighting for that belt and the respect that comes with it. That night I would consider myself one of the more successful soldiers in that gauntlet match because out of the other eight people in that match I eliminated half of them myself, even Maya Nakashima and I know someone of your stature can respect that.
Other Guy: What is Napalm trying to do here?
Eryk Masters: Almost looks like trying to defuse a bomb.
Cronos holds up his finger to stop Napalm for a moment.
Cronos Diamante: Before you continue, John. Let me tell you this. I didn’t watch Master of the Mat. And frankly I don’t care about what happened there. But! Submitting half of them, despite not winning apparently, I’ll give you your due. You won that match because you put out most of the submissions. Title be damned.
Eryk Masters: After everything Cronos has just said did he really just give a nod of respect to Napalm?
Johnny Napalm: Thank you Cronos. Appreciate that. Now recently I have found success here in SHOOT and it has taken awhile to achieve this success, a long while it seems. I am proud to be one of those people who have seen both sides of the coin, knowing what it takes to be successful in this company. Now I can relate to you more than you realize.
Cronos raises an eyebrow and Napalm jumps off the steel steps, moving a little closer to Cronos.
Other Guy: Need to watch yourself Napalm. You’re gonna get that hand bit off. Literally!
Napalm riskily places his hand on Cronos shoulder and Cronos stares down at the hand at back to Napalm. His eyes giving away what he’s considering to do about that.
Johnny Napalm: Let me tell you guys how much he has done for SHOOT. If there is any thing that Cronos is, that is honorable and everyone knows this. Even if he doesn’t seem to think so anymore. It just seems every time he comes back he gets the short end of the stick and for someone like him, who is a veteran here in SHOOT, a Legend, I think that is wrong.
Eryk Masters: Wow, I can agree with that reasoning here.
Other Guy: He’s not wrong.
Johnny Napalm: You know why I can relate to this Cronos? That part is simple. Back around say Revolution 100 I was a ball full of anger, thinking the fans and SHOOT could not give a shit about me. I strayed from the path of honor and ended up tagging with Dan Stein. it got me a title here but in the end I noticed the fans didn’t abandon me. I lost my way and recently I have been coming back from that since.
Naplam looks at Cronos for a long while, taking his hand off his shoulder now and straightening up a bit. He stares at Cronos almost pleadingly.
Johnny Napalm: You are better than this Cronos. These fans KNOW you are better than losing your cool just cause you were dealt a bad hand. I have been there more times than I want to remember. That honor you say you’re discarding. Don’t do this! You’re better than that. I know nobody was there for you when you asked for help but I’m here now. I’ll help you. Me!
Cronos anger starts vanishing a little. The heated up, angry Cronos is starting to dissolve. His eyes seem to transition to something softer.
Other Guy: Am I actually seeing this?
Eryk Masters: Well if we are seeing the same thing this is a first. Nobody has ever, EVER, inside the roster been able to talk Cronos down.
Johnny Napalm: I have been down that path, just venting my frustrations. It just made myself look more of a fool cause of it. You ARE an honorable man here in SHOOT Cronos. Don’t let that frustration get the better of you. Don’t stray from that honorable path. You are better than this, brother!
It seems to be working as Cronos just hangs his head, the fans are still shocked and so are the announcers as we see a tear fall from Cronos. A small amount of cheers begin, for both men in the arena.
Eryk Masters: My god, he actually did it! He talked him down. Then again Napalm can relate to Cronos like noone else and has experienced first hand what he’s gone through. Sex and Violence was one of his lower points in SHOOT.
Other Guy: Even more significant, Cronos is dare I say… crying? That tear, Eryk. Remorse? Maybe.
Cronos looks up a little and walks over to Napalm and gives him a big hug. The fans enjoy the moment with cheers all around and Napalm pats him on the back. Napalm turns around to throw the mic back to ringside and instantly Cronos’ face contorts into a sick grin, having gotten what he wants – Johnny’s trust.
Eryk Master: NO DONT DO IT!
Before Napalm knows it, his head is bashed into the steel steps and as Cronos locks Napalm into the Ne-Han the entire crowd fills the ring with boos. Cronos using his rage begins slamming Napalm’s face into the steel steps continuously, not even looking to make him submit. He pulls back really hard, locking in the Ne-Han even further than he ever has before.
Eryk Masters: OF ALL THE LOW DOWN…
Other Guy: Dammit, guess I was dreaming.
Eryk Masters: Oh no, this doesn’t look good. We shoulda known after Cronos “cried” that he was playing us.
Cronos lets go of Napalm and like a rubber band being flicked, the force from being released from the Ne-Han like that rockets him straight down onto the steel steps and the blood begins to flow even more, creating a crimson mask. Cronos stands up and dodges a few drinks being thrown out at him and looks down at his handy work. He brings his microphone to his lips one last time.
Cronos Diamante: Ant meet boot!
Cronos then turns, being booed the entire time he walks toward the entrance. He’s passed by the medical crew, rushing to help Napalm.
Eryk Masters: There is no going back now. Cronos is fully immersed in this new, old, whatever persona. He’s beyond saving.
Other Guy: The only question is… who is his next target?
The screen goes to a barely audible static…and slowly grows in volume as a barred window comes into view. As the camera closes on the window, a hand reaches out from the darkness and grips one of the bars.
They tell me there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. They say there’s still a glimmer of hope for me- that maybe one day they will feel I’ve adjusted enough to rejoin the outside world.
The hand releases the bar and vanishes from sight.
I know they’re lying. They want to keep me here forever. They know what I’ll do if they ever let me walk through the door and let the fresh air of freedom wash over me before I choke on its stench.
A nearly-dead light bulb flickers to life,illuminating the small room and filling it with a faint hum, casting its luminescence on the sparsely furnished cell with only a bed in one corner. The room’s sole occupant is curled up on the bed, her green-tinged mane of dark hair covering her face as she wraps her arms around her legs, gently rocking.
But they can’t keep the door locked forever. I hear the whispers. I know what they’re saying about me when they think they’re safe. They think I don’t listen, that I haven’t had my ear to the metal every time I hear the footsteps, smell that awful odor that I’ve come to accept.
My time is coming. I know it. I feel it. I can taste it.
Without warning, she raises her head slightly, allowing her piercing eyes to stare into the camera, but her hair masks most of her features.
And the first thing I will do when it does come is find that light…. and choke it until nothing but black remains. Then I will take the black..
She holds up her left hand and slowly clenches it into a fist.
…and make it my bitch.
The screen fades to black with an evil laugh in the background, followed by three words fading in.
Your fear it moves me.
Your weakness I taste.
I breathe you, I hate you.
You course through my veins.
The lights dim down for a moment and an explosion of pyro signals the entrance of Tanya Black who stands on the stage looking mesmerized for a moment as she soaks in the boos of the fans.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first, hailing from Boston, Massachusetts…she weighs in at 165lbs…THE ALPHA FEMALE, TANYA BLACK!!!
You want me. You love me.
And I hate myself.
I need you, but I hate you.
‘Cause I want nothing else.
And I bleed you since I’ve healed you.
Your pain escapes through me.
‘Cause I breathe you, but I hate you.
‘Cause they say we could never be.
They can’t see.
As Die For You continues to play the arena watches as Tanya Black begins walking to the ring, every step seeming to awaken her more and more, her look going from vacant to determination. Sliding into the ring Tanya Black moves to the middle and holds her arms out to the sides as she leans her head back
Eryk Masters: Tanya looks primed and ready for this one, OG. Say what you will about the topics Tanya tends to preach about…but one thing is undeniable; this woman’s devotion to the sport of professional wrestling is almost unparalleled.
Other Guy: She has a deep respect for this business, OG…it’s her passion and her life. She treats every match like a main event…and she’s as dangerous as they come here in SHOOT Project.
It seems the pain’s been traded,
Since I pulled you through.
And now my mind’s been so jaded.
And I would kill myself for you.
I’d die for you.
Tanya crouches down, testing the ropes, continuing to glare up at the top of the ramp.
The lights darken in the Epicenter, and a blood red glow befalls the top of the ramp.
“I hate you for the sacrifices you made for me,
I hate you for every time you bled for me,
I hate you for the way you smile when you look at me,
I love you for always driving me insane…”
An image of a thorny white rose appears on the SHOOT video wall, and a finger with black nail polish appears to drag across the thorns and draw forth a blood ruby. The hand begins to move at a freakish time-lapsed speed, tearing petals from the rose and leaving blood drops on the white petals…until a single message shines in the blood on the tattered petals.
A cascade of black & red rose petals fall from the rafters as “Blood” by In This Moment continues to pound through the arena, earning a huge negative response from the capacity crowd.
Elizabeth Gaunt steps out from the back, a sneer etched across her ruby red lips. She wears her black latex bodysuit, unzipped a bit along the chest…and her eyes seem to swim with dementia as she stares down at Tanya Black in the ring.
Samantha Coil: Introducing second, she hails from Coney Island, New York…weighing in at 155lbs…representing PROJECT: SCAR…THE HELLCAT…ELIZABETH GAUNT!!!
“Blood, blood, blood,
Pour more through my veins
I’m a dirty, dirty girl
I want it filthy.”
Other Guy: Where do you think Gaunt’s head is at right now, E?
Eryk Masters: God only knows. Gaunt was unstable to begin with…but with everything that’s happened in SCAR as of late and the grave injuries Entragian suffered at Master of the Mat …I imagine she’s upset, I imagine she’s angry…I’m betting she wants to rip into Tanya and vent some of that anger.
Other Guy: Tanya won’t take that lying down, though. There’s a reason they call her the Alpha Female around here.
Gaunt stalks her way down the ramp and slides into the ring beneath the bottom rope, she and Black sharing icy glares from their respective corners.
Other Guy: One interesting thing to consider here is that neither of these women are exactly fan favorites, E. They both tend to rub the SHOOT Project faithful the wrong way, so they can’t expect much crowd support on either side.
Eryk Masters: I think it’ll come down to a simple scenario of every woman for herself…I doubt either of them is thinking about the fans right now. They’re thinking about what they need to do to win this match.
The bell rings with a loud clang, and we are OFFICIALLY UNDERWAY!
Tanya makes the first move, looking to slide into Gaunt’s blind side for a side waistlock, but Gaunt immediately leans forward and just PISTONS a forearm shot into Tanya’s face, knocking her back a step. Gaunt continues the assault, slamming nasty forearms into Tanya’s face and backing her up into the turnbuckles bit by bit…and once there Gaunt grabs Tanya’s wrist and ROCKETS her across the ring with an irish whip, actually dropping down to her stomach for maximum torque…and Tanya gets CRUSHED into the turnbuckles before wilting down to the canvas.
Eryk Masters: Smashmouth start to this one from Gaunt, Tanya was looking to grapple but Liz chose to strike…we’ll see if that early advantage holds in this match.
Other Guy: Gaunt’s about as mean as they come, E. She’s quick and she hits hard…bound to get the jump on just about anyone with that style.
Tanya is regaining her vertical base, using the ropes to pull herself back up into the turnbuckles…and Gaunt races forward and goes for a WILD clothesline…but Tanya sidesteps! Gaunt smashes HARD into the buckles…and Tanya takes that time to grab the back of her head and BASH her face into the top turnbuckle.
Gaunt is about to fall…but Tanya grabs her up and LIFTS her up onto the top turnbuckle, and then Tanya uses her strength to grab Gaunt’s arms and DRILL her into the canvas with a modified crucifix powerbomb! Gaunt is flung so violently across the canvas that she looks like a ragdoll, and Tanya makes the first cover of the match with a passive expression on her face.
Eryk Masters: One hell of a move there from Tanya Black, totally switched up the momentum in this one. Plus it’s gotta be a confidence boost for her to earn a two count this early on in the match.
Other Guy: Tanya’s clinical when it comes time to outwrestle someone in a SHOOT Project ring. She doesn’t mess around…she simply dominates.
Tanya scoops a motionless Gaunt up from the canvas and she just TRAPS Gaunt’s head and arms and begins to PISTON knee strikes into her face and upper torso, finally ending the assault with a few well-timed knees to Gaunt’s throat…before DROPPING her with a swinging neckbreaker!
Tanya takes time to pull Gaunt a little way away from the ropes before covering.
Tanya looks on a little frustrated, Gaunt lying there on the canvas and trying desperately to catch her breath.
Other Guy: Tanya is methodical in her approach so far…wearing Gaunt down little by little here.
Eryk Masters: Gaunt’s pain threshold is incredibly high though, OG…so you know that factor is coming into play too.
Tanya goes to pull Gaunt back up to her feet…but Gaunt just BLASTS Tanya in the side of the temple with a surprise roundhouse kick, knocking her almost halfway across the ring. Tanya barely catches the middle rope to keep herself on her feet…and Liz takes that moment to springboard up onto the top rope and FLY into Tanya with a brutal front dropkick to the face!
The Alpha Female gets flung backwards violently, actually rolling once before landing on her back…and now it’s Gaunt who tries a cover.
Gaunt rises back up to her feet, looking particularly incensed…and she begins to just STOMP down on Tanya as hard as she can, targeting her arms, her legs, her torso…any body part that’s visible. Gaunt’s boot fall mercilessly on Tanya, who’s trying her best to curl up and protect herself from the boots…when Gaunt drops down and grabs Tanya by the hair, looking to send a few punches into her face…but Tanya ducks the fist and snakes a hand around Gaunt’s neck, dragging her up to her feet with a standing sleeper hold!
Eryk Masters: Uhoh! Looks like the Hellcat’s in trouble!
Other Guy: No doubt. The Alpha Female is adept as hell at doing major damage with submission holds…there’s a reason one of her finishers is called “Tap Out Bitch!”
Tanya uses her strength advantage to ragdoll Gaunt from side to side, putting a ton of pressure on her neck and squeezing for all she’s worth. Liz’s face is taking on an unhealthy purplish shade, and the hand that she’s weakly clawing at Tanya’s arm with seems to be losing more steam by the second.
Gaunt looks like she’s about to pass out, her eyes fluttering…and Tanya takes that moment to put the final nail into her coffin by CRUSHING Gaunt into the canvas with a well-timed Side Effect!
Gaunt lands badly, and Tanya pulls back HARD on a leg.
At the last second…Gaunt manages to wrap her hand around the bottom rope to break the pinfall attempt! Tanya looks incredulously at the referee, her gaze colder than ever.
Eryk Masters: Excellent strategy on Tanya’s part to wear Gaunt down with that sleeper hold and then plant her against the canvas. ALMOST lead to a victory here.
Other Guy: Gaunt has those damn near animalistic instincts though, E…and her hand found that rope when she was in a dire position. This match continues!
Tanya leans down, and she rudely grabs Liz by the hair and yanks her up to her feet…but Gaunt RAKES THE HELL out of Tanya’s eyes! Tanya staggers back, shaking her head from side to side and holding her eyes…and Gaunt RAKES them yet again! The referee starts admonishing Gaunt, and she looks on with a crazed grin on her face.
Tanya is struggling to regain her vision…but Gaunt is already racing across the ring to CRUSH a shoulder into the back of Tanya’s knee with a vicious chopblock!
The Alpha Female gets cut down to size…and Gaunt grabs the back of her head and runs forward, proceeding to SMASH Tanya’s face down against the mat with a running bulldog!
Eryk Masters: You know Tanya Black might not be the most popular Soldier on the SHOOT Project roster, but she does adhere to the rules and shows great sportsmanship, OG. Elizabeth Gaunt does neither. She’s as sly as they come and she’ll take any shortcut she can to get an unfair advantage.
Other Guy: Those eye rakes are a testament to that. Gaunt has no respect for authority and absolutely nothing that even comes close to a sense of honor…she’s like a feral cat inside the ring half the time.
Gaunt is relentless, pulling Tanya right back up to her feet…and Gaunt begins to just WHIP scintillating knife-edge chops into Tanya’s chest over and over again, causing her to stumble backwards into the ropes…but Gaunt immediately catches her and locks her neck up, proceeding to lift her up so that her legs are on the top rope…ONLY TO CRUSH HER INTO THE CANVAS WITH A SNAPPING FISHERMAN SUPLEX!!
Eryk Masters: WHOA! That might be a game-changer right there…Tanya landed really awkwardly on her neck.
Other Guy: Gaunt calls that move Spider Bite…and I guess we’re about to find out if the venom is fatal or not?
Gaunt drops down for a cover and grinds her forearm into Tanya’s face for good measure.
Tanya kicks out, forcing a deranged squeal out of the lips of Lizzie Gaunt.
Other Guy: Tanya showing a phenomenal amount of heart kicking out there…you can never count the Alpha Female out.
Eryk Masters: Gaunt looks as mad as a hatter right now…obviously not happy that Tanya’s still alive and kicking.
Gaunt tears her hands through her hair in frustration, her eyes so big and wide it’s almost comical. She heads to the center of the ring…and she begins to loosen up her right leg while making a motion for Tanya to “GET UP.”
Other Guy: Gaunt setting up for Heartless?
Eryk Masters: Looks that way. If that superkick to the chest connects…Tanya is down for the count.
Tanya is staggering up to her feet, using the ropes to pull herself up while holding her neck…and she turns around just in time to see Gaunt lash out with a superkick…but Tanya ducks outta the way! Tanya uses her momentum to blaze across the ring and hits the ropes, and as Gaunt turns around she is BEHEADED BY A LARIAT FROM THE ALPHA FEMALE!!!
Gaunt crumbles backwards across the mat, and Tanya is right back on her, grabbing her up by the torso and SHOVING her into the closest turnbuckle, Gaunt sinking down to a dazed sitting position.
Tanya takes a moment to wave at the fans and skip around…BEFORE DASHING FORWARD TO BURY DOUBLE KNEES INTO GAUNT’S FACE!!!
Gaunt’s head whips backwards, a gusher of spit and blood from her busted lip flying backwards to splatter against her own face!
Eryk Masters: DAMN. Tanya scouted that superkick…and she has OBLITERATED the Hellcat with that double knee strike!
Other Guy: Could this be the beginning of the end?
Tanya stands back up, brushing herself off…and then she SNAPS a mule kick into the side of Gaunt’s face just for good measure! Gaunt’s head lolls backwards, the Hellcat looking like she’s on dream street right about now.
Tanya admires her handiwork for a moment…and then she gathers Gaunt’s limp body up into her arms and drags her stumbling towards the center of the ring, proceeding to LOCK her arms up around Gaunt’s neck while gazing passively at the crowd.
Other Guy: Here we go, folks! Tanya’s setting her up for Tough Love…and NO ONE gets up from that!
Eryk Masters: Gaunt looks like she can barely stand right now, Tanya has taken THAT much out of the Hellcat.
Tanya sets her feet and she starts to LEAP to connect with the Asai DDT…but Gaunt SHOVES her into the ropes at the last second! Tanya staggers forward, off balance and turning around…and Gaunt BOOTS her in the stomach…
BEFORE SNAPPING TANYA’S HEAD DOWN ACROSS HER SHOULDER WITH A NASTY LOOKING STUNNER!!!
Eryk Masters: WHAT?!?! DEAD ORCHID OUT OF NOWHERE!! Gaunt countered out of Tough Love and scored with Dead Orchid!!
Other Guy: It happened so damn fast!
Gaunt collapses down on Tanya with all of her weight, proceeding to pull back on BOTH legs.
Samantha Coil: Here is your winner, at a time of ten minutes and six seconds…representing PROJECT: SCAR…THE HELLCAT, ELIZABETH GAUNT!!!
Gaunt staggers up to her feet, her face still splattered with the blood from her busted bottom lip…and a cunning blood-stained smile creeps across her face as she looks down at the body of the Alpha Female.
She shrieks at the referee, turquoise eyes swimming with madness…and practically forces him to raise her hand up in victory as high as he possibly can.
The fans let her know what they think of this with loud, resounding boos that echo through the entirely to the Epicenter.
Eryk Masters: Well that’s a hell of an upset, if you ask me, OG. Tanya fought a hard and technically sound match here tonight…but at the last minute Gaunt manages to scrape up the win.
Other Guy: She definitely had to work for it though, Tanya Black was on fire tonight and she left Gaunt with some lumps I’m sure she won’t soon forget.
Eryk Masters: Well as much as I hate to admit it…seems there’s still plenty of life left in this infernal group we know as Project: SCAR. That’s not good news for ANYBODY in SHOOT Project…
The final shot shows Gaunt looming over an battered Tanya Black with a deranged, gleeful twinkle in her eyes.
Trey Willett sits in center screen, the SHOOT banner displaying prominently behind him on a telescreen. The camera focuses on his upper body, clad in a plain black t-shirt. Trey pulls a bottle of water to his mouth and stares off to the right of the camera.
Trey Willett: Corazon and Entragian? You really want my opinion on that whole disaster?
Trey chuckles a little to himself before taking another drink of his water. He readjusts his posture and looks straight at the camera, still obviously amused by the question.
Trey Willett: I mean…Scar is all but dead now. So I guess that is a positive of all of this. Honestly? I’m just sad that it’s over. I was really enjoying watching the two of them beat the hell out of each other. Those guys put me through absolute Hell.
The screen behind Trey switches to various shots of Trey’s battles with Kenji Yamada and Isaac Entragian. Then it shoots to a montage of his many encounters with Adrian Corazon. The screen cuts back to Trey, who is looking a little more somber than before. He leans in, resting his elbows on his knees.
Trey Willett: It was good for SHOOT. It had to end the way it did. Violence was the name of their game. There were no clear winners. Granted, Corazon went above and beyond, but that’s just who he is. He’s a monster. That’s not going to change just because he’s torching people alone instead of with Isaac and Kenji. But I do have to say, watching the two of them absolutely destroy one another wasn’t something that made me feel squeamish. In all honesty, I was hoping that neither of them came out.
Trey’s serious look turns quick to a slight look of anger. He perks back up to a straight posture.
Trey Willett: I know it’ a little harsh, but you can’t expect me to give a shit about what those monsters do to one another. Corazon can put on whatever cape he feels like, but he’s still the same man he’s always been, he just got tired of sharing his ball with the other monsters. So yeah, all I’m going to say about the destruction the two of them wrought on one another is one word. Good.
Trey finally eases a bit an slouches back in his chair, seemingly satisfied with how the interview went. The screen fades to a black as Trey takes another drink from his water.
In the middle of the ring sits a chair. Upon that chair, in street clothes of a black-and-white t-shirt, black shorts and white shoes is Laura Seton. She has apparently been sitting there a few minutes, as no music can be heard and a hearty amount of booing and catcalls are being thrown her way. Her head is down and a pout on her face as she holds a mic in one hand and a series of notecards in the other. She holds the mic to her mouth and waits for the booing to die down.
Laura: January 7th, Revolution 104. Sammy Rochester defeats Henry Gordon, El Asso Wipo and Laura Seton for the Sin City Championship. This is false. I may have been pinned but it wasn’t my fault. If Henry Gordon knew how to stay in the ring and if he knew how to “want” a championship in wrestling, he would have known to get right back in the ring and break up the pinfall. I can’t do everything myself. I’m not Superwoman.
She tosses the card aside frisbee style, wincing in the process as the shoulder Lunatikk Crippler nearly ripped off at Master of the Mat flares up in pain. Her eyes quickly raise to glare at the audience before she reads the next card.
Laura: March 25th, Day 2 of Reckoning Day. Thomas Manchester Black defeats Laura Seton in a ladder match for the Iron Fist Championship. This is incorrect. Thomas Manchester Black cheated by obviously greasing up the belt before the match. I touched it and my hand slipped off. The grease came off in the process and he was easily able to grasp the belt and come down with it.
The booing picks up again as she flicks that card to the side. She again raises her eyes in anger at the crowd.
Laura: I am trying to talk to you donkeys! Show me some respect and SHUT UP!
The infamous chant starts small but quickly gains steam.
Crowd: CUNT!… CUNT!… CUNT!…
Laura: If by that you mean “Clever, Unequaled, Noble Terror” then yes, that’s what I am! Moving on then… April 16th, Dominion 5. Jonny Johnson defeats Laura Seton in the Master of the Mat Tournament. This is also false. Jonny had more than a handful of my britches as he made that pin. If Scott Kamura could do his job right, that would have been broken up. I feel there’s no question I would have won that match if Scott would have done his job and enforced the rules.
This card is flung aside as the crowd continues to let her have it.
Laura: May 13th, Revolution 111. Dan Stein defeats Laura Seton, Alex Kincaid and Solomon Richards. Again, wrong. Dan Stein defeated Solomon Richards! He did not defeat me. I was never pinned nor submitted. May 28th, Dominion 8. Project: SCAR defeats Laura Seton and Lunatikk Crippler. Wrong. They defeated only Lunatikk Crippler. I was not there at the end, therefore I had nothing to do with it.
A smirk then comes to her face as she looks up. She tosses the remaining cards aside as she stands up. She winces and clutches her hurt shoulder for a second before the pain subsides enough.
Laura: Revolution 113 I lose to Crip by disqualification. Okay, that one’s legit. I lost that one, but I think everyone can agree that looking at everything that night, I was really the winner. And of course, Master of the Mat!
A smug look takes over her face. Laura is proud of herself, reveling in the boos and hatred the fans are showering her with. Until the beginning of "Sound of Madness" kicks in. Her look changes to one of incredulousness, her head whipping to the entrance ramp, where Lunatikk Crippler has wasted no time appearing on. The fans are in an absolute frenzy, cheering on the man who is currently walking down toward the ring, walking down toward Laura Seton. She absent-mindedly rubs her shoulder as he gets nearer, grinning up at Laura.
She looks to move closer, but Crippler backs her up with a hand motion. Crippler slides underneath the bottom rope, still grinning at Seton. He already has a microphone with him, which saves time. Laura still has a look on her face, as if she cannot believe Crippler has the gall to interrupt her.
The music shuts off, and Crippler is ready to speak.
Lunatikk Crippler: I just wanted to come out here and see how you were doing, Slugger!
Crippler gives Laura a playful pat on the shoulder. Her bad shoulder, that causes her to wince.
Lunatikk Crippler: Oh yeah. Sorry about that. Guess I kinda lost control on you, huh?
Most of the crowd laughs. Laura does not.
Lunatikk Crippler: But hey! Please, don’t let me interrupt you, Laura! Go on! I’m sure you’ve been practicing this, coming out here, telling all these fine people about how losing your Sin City Championship wasn’t your fault. About how us losing to SCAR wasn’t your fault. About how noble and triumphant you were a couple of weeks ago at Master of the Mat as you walked out alone, your head held-
Crippler stops, theatrically pausing as if just now remembering something.
Lunatikk Crippler: That’s right, Laura! You were CARRIED out.
The crowd pops loud, and you can tell Seton doesn’t appreciate Crippler’s version of events.
Lunatikk Crippler: You were carried out, Laura, because when I was done with you, it hurt too much to stand. The sagging weight that used to be your left arm, pulling your collar bone and shoulder down? Yeah. I know that feel, don’t worry. I know exactly how you feel, and I feel your pain. I should, because I’m the cause of it.
The crowd pops again, and Seton is looking murderously at Crippler.
Lunatikk Crippler: I didn’t come out here for a fight tonight, Laura. Don’t worry. This week, we’ve both got huge opportunities, and I wouldn’t screw Maya out of his. I need to just say a few words to you, and I really hope it gets through to you.
Laura raises an eyebrow.
Lunatikk Crippler: You claim that these people don’t matter, because of who they choose to cheer for. They choose to support the Mayas and the Cripplers and the….Locos of the SHOOT Project. They don’t cheer you, and you say you don’t care. Laura, you’re coming out here and trying to explain to them about your recent "success" and if you don’t care what they think, are you just trying to convince yourself?
Laura: I just want to be thinking of what really happened and not some fantasized story.
Lunatikk Crippler: Are you even listening to yourself now? Right now, you’re like a used toilet. Full of shit.
Laura: How do you figure that?
Lunatikk Crippler: You talk like you’re the best thing since sliced bread but the truth is, you’re no more better than anyone else here. This isn’t a rinky-dink indy fed. This is SHOOT!
Laura: Yeah, about that. I’m no better than anyone else? I’m sorry, but let’s talk Master of the Mat again.
Crowd: YOU TAPPED OUT! YOU TAPPED OUT! YOU TAPPED OUT!
Crippler motions to the crowd with smile. Laura just glares to them and back at Crippler with a snarl.
Lunatikk Crippler: They’re saying all that needs to be said.
Laura: Not really. What people are going to forever read is “…when Willie Dean reversed his decision.” Laura Seton won that match. What happened to you is what didn’t happen to me in those matches I mentioned.
She steps close enough so she look him in the eye at point-blank range. Another smile forms upon her.
Laura: I wasn’t stupid enough to beat myself.
Laura drops her mic, giving one final, satisfied glare to Crippler before stepping away, and out of the ring. Crippler’s eyes follow Laura as she leaves, a smirk on his face, as if this story isn’t finished being told yet.
We go backstage to see Revolution’s lead interviewer, Abigail Chase standing with the reigning Sin City Champion, Jacob Mephisto. He stands with the championship gleaming over his left shoulder. A light smirk plays at his lips as he surveys Ms. Chase.
Abigail Chase: Ladies and gentlemen, I’m here with the current Sin City Champion, Jacob Mephisto. Jacob, tomorrow night, you will put that title on the line in a ladder match against Lunatikk Crippler…
She is quickly interrupted by the champion, whose voice is light hearted with an annoyed undertone.
Jacob Mephisto: And let me guess… you want to know my thoughts on it, right? Honestly, Abby, these interviews are far too predictable nowadays.
Abigail appears slightly apprehensive, not knowing what to expect from Jacob, but she carries on.
Abigail Chase: Now, Jacob, the ladder match is one of the most dangerous matches a competitor can be involved in. Throw in the opinions of many that you may have pushed Crippler too far and set yourself up for failure, and you increase the danger of the match. What is the point of making the claims you’ve made leading into this match?
Jacob surveys Abigail with his pale grey gaze, seemingly contemplating his answer.
Jacob Mephisto: Well, first, I could care less about the opinions of anyone considering themselves an “expert” on the subject. I mean, THEY aren’t the ones involved in this match now are they? Second, I didn’t make any claims. I simply told the world the truth. But, what was the point of it all?
Jacob allows himself a smile.
Jacob Mephisto: Did you know that when people are angry, they have a hard time focusing? Now, some people might believe that angering the “big, bad” Lunatikk Crippler was a bad idea. They might point towards Laura Seton and her hurting shoulder. Me? Well, I point at Laura Seton too. But, I point at her and see not a hurt soldier, but the woman who holds a victory over Lunatikk Crippler.
An odd gleam shines in Jacob’s eyes.
Jacob Mephisto: See, Abby, it’s really simple if you look at it right. Lunatikk Crippler has a basic formula. He likes to joke around and be funny. Then when you start making him mad he starts threatening to hurt you, as if you’ve never been hurt in a wrestling match before. Then, and here’s the best part Abby, then, you push him just a bit further and he comes after you viciously.
Abigail fixes Jacob with an inquisitive stare.
Jacob Mephisto: Yes. He’s a VERY dangerous man. But, when he’s in that state? Well, he forgets the most basic thing we strive for in our sport. He forgets to win.
Jacob allows himself a wide, nasty smile that never quite reaches his eyes.
Jacob Mephisto: You see, Abby, and this is for everyone else out there watching as well. It’s really simple. Crippler makes every slight a personal matter in his own mind. It consumes him. And THAT, my dear, is why you will see me come out victorious tomorrow night. Lunatikk Crippler will be consumed by his desire to… hurt me… to make me pay for the things I’ve said and the little… scuffle I caused at his establishment, that he’ll forget that there’s a gleaming championship hanging above the ring.
Jacob slaps the golden faceplate of the Sin City Championship.
Jacob Mephisto: So, I’ll take the pain. I’ll endure the punishment. And then, I’ll strike. I’ll put him down just like I’ve put down every other challenger to my title. And then? I’ll climb the ladder rung by rung until I reach the top. I’ll reach up and take what’s mine.
There is a look of what can only be described as elation on Jacob’s face as Abigail looks at him apprehensively.
Jacob Mephisto: And then… I’ll hold MY Sin City Championship in the air for all to see. And Lunatikk Crippler will be left with another “personal” victory. He’ll have hurt me. But, I’ll still be the Sin City Champion. Does that answer your question, deary?
Abigail looks like she is about to speak, but Jacob simply smirks, his pale grey eyes practically sparkling with some sinister thought, before walking away from the scene. Abigail looks after him for a short moment before turning her attention back to the camera.
Abigail Chase: This is Abigail Chase, and that was SHOOT Project’s Sin City Champion.
With those words, we cut away.
Samantha Coil: The following contest is set for one fall, and is for the SHOOT Project WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS!
Other Guy: Here we go! I’ve been looking forward to this one all week!
The lights die down and then the fans begin to cheer wildly as the start of HORIZON by D’espairs Ray fills the arena. Spotlights search through the seats as the fans rise up from their seats in boisterous anticipation.
The words “CAN YOU FEEL THE NEW WORLD?” scribble across the SHOOT-Tron in elaborate silver script for a moment. The searchlights converge on the ramp, on Maya with his head bowed downward. The script on the SHOOT-Tron fades slowly into light particles, the moment Maya lifts his head the word “HOPE” etches its way across the video screen, and the spotlights SHOOT out in all direction as the lights in the Epicenter surge on to their most brilliant and brightest.
Samantha Coil: Making his way to the ring… by way of Nagasaki, Japan… standing at FIVE feet and SEVEN inches… weighing in at ONE HUNDRED and THIRTY FIVE pounds… he is a former RULE OF SURRENDER and SIN CITY CHAMPION… MAYA… NAKASHIIIIIIIMAAAAAAAAA!!!
Eryk Masters: Can you hear that ovation for one of the most beloved Soldiers in the SHOOT Project today?
Other Guy: Gonna be honest. I can’t hear much else.
Maya makes his way down the ramp, the deafening cheers from the masses possibly fueling him as he appears to be quite focused, and anxious, to get this matchup started.
Other Guy: He’s a former Sin City Champion. He’s a former Rule of Surrender champion. He’s a former Tag Team Champion and he’s looking to become that one more time here tonight! His gameplan needs to be just two words; Maya wins.
Eryk Masters: He’s very decorated, but he’s going to need to be…well…He’s going to need to find a way to get along with his partner here tonight.
Maya enters the ring, and pulls on the ropes, getting himself ready for this match. His music shuts off, and is replaced by a song that is less friendly to this crowd.
Ohhh, oh-oh-oh-ohhhhh, o-o-o-o-o-ohhh
I’ll get him hot; show him what I’ve got
"Poker Face" continues to play, and "Twenty Minutes of Terror" herself, Laura Seton appears on the top of the ramp. She bows toward the ring, and her partner, but winces, grasping momentarily at her shoulder.
Eryk Masters: Laura got the win at Master of the Mat over Lunatikk Crippler by disqualification, but she’s definitely showing the signs of that hellacious battle tonight.
Other Guy: A win is a win. She’s riding the wave of momentum here tonight, and she’s not going to be satisfied with less than gold tonight.
Laura walks to the ring, seemingly already barking out orders to Maya, who doesn’t seem to like that much.
Eryk Masters: Things already getting semi-volitile between these two. They need to focus and work together if they are going to take down arguably the hottest team in SHOOT today.
Other Guy: Laura is just making sure that Maya knows to stay out of her way. This girl does not play well with others.
The music shuts off and we get a momentary pause. Seton enters the ring, and the fans are buzzing with anticipation, getting ready for the arrival of the WORLD Tag Team Champions.
The live Epicenter crowd roars as the lights flash in time with A drum beat. Each beat a letter flashes on the jumbotron. The crowd shouts along with each letter as it flashes "A…N…A…R…C…H…Y!!!! " They shout "ANARCHY" as the whole word jumps onto the screen before a series of highlights begins to play as soon as Sebastian Bach’s shriek rips through the Epicenter as the crowd jumps to their feet.
T.Rex and Arch Angel step out onto the entrance ramp each man with a belt on a shoulder. Anarchy are in their matching black leather wrestling pants and white tank tops with the red circle with an "A" through it. They pause at the top. They turn to each other. T.Rex winds up and slaps the hell out of Arch Angel’s chest all the while yelling. He points at the ring. Arch Angel nods with a confident smile and they turn and walk with a purpose slapping hands with some fans.
Samantha Coil: Making their way to the ring at a combined six hundred thirty six pounds, and hailing from Seaside Height, New Jersey. They are the SHOOT Project Tag Team Champions. T.Rex. Arch Angel… AAAAANAAAAAARRRRCHY!!!!!
The crowd responds with "ANARCHY!"
The two slide into the ring and each go to a corner and hoist their titles high over their head as the crowd roars their approval. Flash bulbs popping inside the epicenter.
Eryk Masters: SHOOT’s tag team champions are here, and looking to successfully defend those belts.
Other Guy: The retained those belts at Master of the Mat, but that match did not go the way Anarchy envisioned. Tonight, they have to get by Laura Elizabeth Seton and one half of TRES BIEN.
Each man hands the referee their respective belts. He hands them to someone ring side, as Arch Angel and T.Rex confer in their corner. Maya gets ready to start the match, but Laura jumps ahead of him. The bell rings and Laura moves forward, ready to meet Arch Angel, as Dennis Heflin has to push Maya back in order for this contest to begin.
Other Guy: Looks like Laura is going to start this contest whether Maya Nakashima likes it or not.
Maya reluctantly exits the ring, and this one is underway. Seton stares down Angel with obvious distaste.
Eryk Masters: Some bad blood between any friend of Loco Martinez and Laura Seton.
They lock up, and Angel quickly takes control over the smaller Seton. Angel digs his elbow into her bad shoulder and brings her quickly down to her knees. Laura winces is pain, and tries to power back to her feet. She lifts herself up, but Arch Angel throws her back down, this time, on her back, still holding onto Laura’s arm.
Other Guy: Laura’s injury working against her already. How long does she think her arm is gonna hold out?
Laura groans a bit as Angel keeps her pressed against the mat. Her right shoulder droops, and falls against the ground. Dennis Heflin slides into position!
Laura quickly gets her shoulder off the ground. She kicks up with her feet, catching Angel in the chest. He grits his teeth, but he keeps hold. That is, until Laura’s second desperation kick lands flush in his face. Angel backs off, clutching his nose, and Laura rolls to her feet quickly. Angel comes around and turns back to his prey, only to catch a quick kick to the thigh! Laura lights him with a second one before he knows what’s going on, and then a third to the opposite thigh. The impact causes Angel to lose his footing and crash to the mat. Laura bounces off the ropes and drives both of her feet into Angel’s ribcage. The impact echoes across the arena and Angel rolls, holding his midsection in pain.
Laura gets to her feet again, and bows mockingly to the crowd, drawing their ire with more booing. Maya shakes his head in the corner and holds out his hand for the tag. Laura sees it and smirks. Maya points to her, then to her shoulder.
Eryk Masters: Maya showing some concern for his partner. He wants to help carry the load.
Other Guy: Why though? Laura’s doing alright by herself so far.
Laura seems to agree with Other Guy, and turns her back to her partner. Meanwhile, Angel has slid to his corner, and reaches up to slap the hand of his partner, T. Rex. Rex enters the ring, smile on his face, and stares down Laura Seton. Laura beckons him forward, and he charges, leading with his shoulder. He connects with her bad arm, and she crumples to the mat. Rex picks Laura back up to her feet, and follows up by driving his knee into her gut.
Eryk Masters: Once again, the bad shoulder comes into play. Maya offered the tag, she should have taken it!
Other Guy: Laura is tough and resourceful! She’ll pull through, E.
Rex flings Laura into the corner, and drives his knee into her stomach once more. Laura doubles over in pain, but Rex lifts her up with an uppercut! He follows up with a couple of heavy body shots, and then one quick blow to the side of the head. Laura grasps the ropes, using them to keep on her feet. Rex powers her out of the corner, irish whipping her across the ring. He charges hard, and goes to avalanche his foe, but Laura is able to grasp the turnbuckle, and fling herself up and outward! Unfortunately for her, she lands right in Rex’s grasp! He carries her into the middle of the ring, having a good time, and spins Laura around. He drops her flat, falling alongside her, pancaking her in the ring. He quickly rolls her over and hooks the leg!
Laura kicks out! Rex picks Laura up off the ground and whips her into her corner. She bounces off, and Maya is frantically reaching down, trying to tag her. She rolls over, looking at Maya, and gets to her feet. She turns and charges at Rex. She fires rights and lefts at the big man, who has been taken by surprise.
Eryk Masters: Why didn’t she make the tag?
Other Guy: Maybe she felt she had things under control.
Maya shakes his head, but he still waits patiently on the outside as Laura has backed Rex into the corner. She climbs up to the middle rope, peppering Rex with forearm shots. Rex gets over his surprise and flings Laura off him, but she lands on her feet. She runs back, and begins firing away on him again! He begins to falter, but he has enough to fling her back once more. Laura gets over that and charges again, but Rex claps his hands across both sides of her head! She stumbles back, allowing Rex to tag his partner, and Arch Angel comes back into the ring. He runs at Seton, extending his leg for a big boot, but Laura ducks! She quickly turns and clips the knee of Angel, bringing the big man down to Earth. Laura gets up and takes a breath, and begins stomping mercilessly at the knee of Angel, who is clutching at it, trying to block her assault.
Other Guy: Laura takes control, but Maya is getting a bit antsy on the turnbuckle, waiting for his chance to get into the match.
Laura stops her assault to yell at her partner.
Laura: WAIT YOUR TURN!
And then Laura drops her knee right into the back of Angel’s, causing herself a twinge of discomfort, but a whole lot more for Arch Angel. Laura gets back to her feet, bringing Angel’s now hurting leg up with her. He tries to fight it, by attempting to fling her off with his legs, but she holds tight, much to the chagrin of her aching collar bone. She quickly grapevines Angel’s leg with her own pair, squeezing with all her might as Angel cries out in agony.
Eryk Masters: A simple move, but very effective by Laura Seton!
Other Guy: See? Laura has Angel right where she wants him!
Laura continues to squeeze as Angel tries to fight out of the hold. He begins to pull himself towards his corner, but it’s very slowly. Rex starts smacking the turnbuckle rhythmically, and the crowd takes the cue quickly: they begin to clap in unison, trying to will Arch Angel to his corner with their support. Laura looks at the crowd, shaking her head, as if to say that it’s not going to work, but it does seem to have an effect! Angel pulls himself, and Laura, using his upper body strength. Rex leans as far forward as he can, trying to make the tag, but Anarchy’s hands are mere inches apart! Laura squeezes tighter, and Angel’s hand hits the mat, clenched in a fist. His teeth are gritted, obviously trying to block out the pain, but it seems that Laura is finally starting to wear him down! Laura rocks back and forth, causing the vice like grip to have more of an effect, and Angel’s shoulders begin to droop. They hit the mat, and Dennis Heflin checks his shoulders, and realizes they are down!
Angel shoots up before three! He is still in a lot of pain, but he’s trying desperately to reach out to his good buddy T. Rex! Rex’s face is turning purple with strain, trying to reach his partner, but Laura keeps up with the rocking, and soon, Angel’s shoulders begin to sag once again! He slowly begins moving back down toward the mat, and once he makes contact, Heflin again positions himself to make the count!
Angel shoots up again, and he is glaring straight at Laura Seton! Seton gets a bit of a shock, but she doesn’t stop squeezing, trying very hard to put Angel down, but he twists his body and turns back toward his partner! Rex is shouting at Angel, trying to get him to inch closer! Their finger tips are nearly touching!
HE MAKES THE TAG! The crowd explodes as Rex gets into the ring! Seton hastily releases the submission on Angel in time to get up and catch a HUGE clothesline from T. Rex! Rex is shaking with pent up energy and he plows through Seton again as she gets back to her feet! Seton lands hard back on the mat and rolls, and scoots into the corner. Rex fires up and charges, avalanching Seton into the corner! Rex backs up a step and Laura falls, but she falls against Rex, propping herself up on his chest! Rex smiles, and then lifts Seton up in the air with a big bearhug! He begins to fling Seton back and forth, putting pressure on the small of her back and causing her arms to flail wildly! Seton somehow steadies herself, and rakes the eyes of Rex, causing him to drop her blindly. She backs away but is slapped on the back…BY MAYA NAKASHIMA! The crowd roars again as Maya enters the match for the first time, much to the dismay of Laura Seton!
Other Guy: Laura was in COMPLETE control! What is Maya thinking?
Eryk Masters: Probably "Now it’s my turn."
Maya runs the ropes, and leaps high at T. Rex, catching his knees on Rex’s shoulders and driving him down into the mat! Maya runs the ropes again, and as Rex gets back to his feet, he catches Rex with a shining wizard! Rex’s eyes go blank, but he does not go down! Maya runs again, and bounces off the ropes! He catches Rex with a headscissors, but hangs on, and catches Rex with an arm and neck submission!
Eryk Masters: Maya has Rex trapped in the middle of the ring, and that CANNOT feel great!
Other Guy: First Angel got trapped by Laura, now Rex by Maya and DEAR LORD WHAT POWER!
Rex pushes himself to his feet, with Maya still latched on! Maya’s eyes go wide, as if unable to believe what is happening! Rex reaches up and grabs Maya and swings him around for a side suplex, but Maya thinks fast, and takes Rex down with the finish of the headscissor takedown! Rex is flung for a ride and Maya doesn’t stop! He springboards off the middle rope, and spins in air, planting both feet into the chest of T. Rex! Rex goes flat, and Maya quickly covers!
Rex powers out, sending Maya flying through the air! But MAYA LANDS ON HIS FEET! He turns, and throws a flying forearm to the face of Arch Angel, nearly knocking him off the apron! He turns and runs back to Rex, but Rex is ready for him! Rex backdrops Maya over the top rope!
BUT MAYA HANGS ON! The fans gasp as Maya saves himself at the last minute! He leaps high, springboarding off the top rope, and flips over the shoulder of T. Rex, bringing him down with an Ace Crusher!
Other Guy: Maya is a house. En. FUEGO!
The fans applaud Maya’s assault, and he covers Rex again, this time hooking a leg!
Rex gets his other leg on the bottom rope! Not to mention Arch Angel has entered the ring, and pulls Maya off his partner! Angel picks up Maya by the neck with both hands and slams him down to the ground! Maya bounces on impact! Rex gets back to his feet, shaking off the cobwebs, and they double team begins. Angel brings Maya to his feet, and he kicks him in the gut.
Eryk Masters: PEDIGREE! NO! Maya ducks between Angel’s legs before they can attempt the Turnspike!
Maya ducks an elbow by Angel, but is not so lucky to avoid the lariat by Rex. Laura attempts to get into the ring, but changes her mind, going back to her corner, holding the tag rope!
Eryk Masters: Laura Seton is just standing there as her partner is being overwhelmed! Why doesn’t she help Maya?
Angel picks Maya up a second time, and this time, the Pedigree connects, and Rex follows up with a big reverse splash!
Other Guy: The Jersey Turnspike! Maya is planted!
Rex makes the cover as Angel turns to face Seton, who drops off the apron and begins to leave!
The bell rings. Anarchy gets to their feet, most fans cheering, some booing Laura for bailing on her partner, but she cares not.
Samantha Coil: Here are your winners and STILL Tag Team Champions…ANARCHY!
Eryk Masters: Damn Laura Seton! Maya fought and fought but couldn’t stop the two on one assault!
Other Guy: Anarchy retains, and Maya should NOT be ashamed! Except for trying to steal the glory from his own parnter!
Backstage walking with Loco Martinez. He smiles huge while walking in jeans and a black Belgium National team jersey, #8, Fellaini on the back. He stops at his destination and knocks. We hear a "come in", and he swings open the door to Lunatikk Crippler’s dressing room and steps in. Crippler is lounging in the corner, his eyes on the monitor that is broadcasting Revolution. His eyes light up and he smiles huge at his friend as he stands to greet him.
Lunatikk Crippler: Look who it is, Mr. Master of the Mat! Haven’t gotten the chance to say congrats, man!
Loco smiles and the two exchange quick handshake bro hug.
Loco Martinez: Thanks, man. I appreciate it.
Lunatikk Crippler: So….what brings you to my neck of the woods? Figuratively, of course.
The two sit down.
Loco Martinez: Figured, seeing as I have a title shot?
Crippler nods knowingly.
Loco Martinez: And its something new to me…
Lunatikk Crippler: C’mon, dude. You’ve had tons of title shots. Probably even won one or two back in the day.
He playfully slugs Loco in the shoulder. They chuckle.
Loco Martinez: Yeah one or two. (he smirks), but not HERE, though. Not in SHOOT. Not like this one. This… THIS? Is new to me… so? I figured I’d pick your brain. What can I expect? What do I NEED to do? I mean, if I end up facing Stein? In that ring I can’t think of many people I’d know better than him. But…. ya know… I just want to be prepared. I want to make it COUNT.
Lunatikk Crippler: GOOD! You’re already steps away from people like Conor Caden and Kenji Yamada, who don’t even give a crap about titles. The World Heavyweight Championship, Loc, is EVERYTHING to anyone serious enough to chase after it. You already started doing it the right way. You went out there and won the most stacked Master of the Mat tournament they’ve ever thrown together.
Loco nods, faking modesty. He buffs his nails on his jersey.
Lunatikk Crippler: I get what you’re saying, dude. I really do. Look at me. I’ve been the top guy in many companies. I’ve won championships galore. I’m also undefeated against a certain tanned individual that shall remain nameless.
Lunatikk Crippler: I meant you, by the way.
Loco Martinez: I figured that one out, thanks.
Lunatikk Crippler: Anyway, I’ve won titles. That was then, this is now. Every single tool you need to be a champion, Loc, you’ve already got it, my friend. You got heart.
Loco slaps himself on the chest.
Lunatikk Crippler: You got brains.
Loco points to his own head to indicate that yes, he has brains.
Loco Martinez: Magna Cum Laude, Saint Joe’s!
There is a pause and Loco deadpans picking up on a theme.
Loco Martinez: I got courage, too. (Loco smirks and clicks his heels together 3 times while saying) – There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home… you got anything else all knowing and powerful Wizard?
The two share a smirk.
Lunatikk Crippler: You also got speed-
Loco does a quick juke to illustrate that point.
Lunatikk Crippler: You have something green in your teeth.
Loco begins to smile, but quickly covers his mouth digging a finger nail between his teeth. Crippler busts out laughing.
Lunatikk Crippler: I’m sorry….Dear lord, now I know how much fun you have with Stellar.
Loco Martinez: Hey, yeah. I get that. But I’m being serious.
Crippler stops laughing. He smiles, genuinely, at his friend.
Lunatikk Crippler: So am I. You have every gift that a man can be given in this business, Loco. If there is anyone on this current roster of Soldiers here in SHOOT that I’d say could match up dead even with Dan Stein, it’s you. For real. You end up facing Stein? His number is up. But you came here for advice. Not to be told how good you are, huh?
Loco Martinez: Yeah, but those things sounded real nice. I didn’t wanna stop you.
Lunatikk Crippler: Ha. Ha ha. I got three things to say to you about challenging Stein for the title.
Loco Martinez: In order of importance, or no particular order?
Crippler ignores that question.
Lunatikk Crippler: One. You watch your back. Don’t let yourself get distracted. I turned the wrong way one time against Stein, and he walloped my in the face with my own Sin City title. Took it from me, too. Never forgave him for that.
Loco Martinez: What else?
Lunatikk Crippler: Don’t give up. Sounds kind of hypocritical, I know, coming from the guy who tapped to King on two straight Pay Per Views, but you know what I mean, Loc. Fight with everything you got as if nothing else matters. Because it doesn’t. The only thing that matters is the prestige and the respect that being World Champion can bring you, and I’d rather see you getting showered with that than Stein.
Loco Martinez: You’d rather see me get the Golden shower? Disgusting, but check. What’s left?
Lunatikk Crippler: What?
Loco Martinez: Huh?
Lunatikk Crippler: What’s left is when you do take that strap from Golden Boy’s grasp? Be sure to earmark me for a title shot, huh?
Loco Martinez: I dunno. What’s in for me?
Lunatikk Crippler: I’ll give you a dollar.
Loco Martinez: SOLD!
The two laugh. Crippler pats Loco on the back.
Lunatikk Crippler: You earned this, my friend. I can’t think of anyone who deserves to be Master of the Mat more than you.
Loco Martinez: Thanks, man. I appreciate it. Good luck against Mephisto!
Lunatikk Crippler: Thanks, bro.
The two share another handshake bro hug. Loco bounds off leaving Crippler to continue watching Revolution.
The lights in the arena go down as the familiar purple filter cover the entire Epicenter. The fans all come to their feet and begin to roar with excitement and anticipation of the match to come. The speakers remain silent for a moment before the image of Trey Willett standing in the middle of the arena comes to on the SHOOTTron. The image of Trey shatters down the center of the screen and is pushed to the right as an image of Dan Stein holding the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship creeps into the left side.
No sound can be heard in the arena over the gushing applause of the fans. The two images drift slowly apart, making their way to their respective corners of the SHOOTTron. Slowly, in the center of the screen, the image for Revolution crawls into the foreground.
Eryk Masters: Here we are ladies and gentlemen. This is your main event!
Other Guy: You had to know that if two men were going to bring their theatrical best, it would be Trey Willett and Dan Stein!
The two images of the competitors take one final push towards their respective edges before crashing into the center image of revolution, erupting into an explosion that leaves only the image of the SHOOT Heavyweight Championship on the screen.
CARRY ON MY WAYWARD SON
THERE’LL BE PEACE WHEN YOU ARE DONE
LAY YOUR WEARY HEAD TO REST
DON’T YOU CRY NO MORE
The few fans that were remaining in their seats spring to life as Trey Willett makes his way from the back to a shower of golden pyro. “Carry on Wayward Son” blares over the Epicenter speakers. He stands at the stage, looking towards the ring with a smirk on his face. He walks to the head of the ramp and slowly raises one hand into the air and soaking in the adulation of the fans for a moment. Trey makes his way down the ramp, trying his best to soak up every moment of this experience, shaking hands with fans as often as he can.
Eryk Masters: Trey Willett never thought he would be back here, but here he is.
Other Guy: It looks like he is going to treat it like it’s the last time he’ll be here too.
Eryk Masters: Well can you blame him O.G.?
Trey rolls under the bottom rope and kips up to a standing position in the center of the ring. He cracks his neck and bounces once or twice in the ring, shaking off some of the jitters from the walk down and comes to a rest, staring dead center of the stage in front of him.
The purple filter fades out to black but the lights in the arena remain dark. The championship belt on the screen fades into the background as a single image of Dan Stein with the belt strung over his shoulder comes into view. Suddenly the fans immediately switch to vehement booing as they wait for the arrival of their champion. All at once, several pink and blue laser lights etch Dan Stein’s name on the floor of the ramp as the opening synth beat of “The Touch” by Stan Bush hits the PA system of the arena. The boos of the arena reach a fever pitch as Dan Stein struts from behind the curtain and onto the stage. The lasers skitter back and forth across his chest as he stands there, looking straight back at the gaze of Trey Willett from the ring.
A smile creaks onto the corner of Dan’s mouth. Without breaking his gaze, he raises a hand and snaps his fingers. Without a seconds delay the laser’s shut off and move towards the ring, painting a blue and gold image of the Championship faceplate onto the canvas right over top of Trey. For his part, Trey never moves, only seeing the image of the canvas that has replaced the image on the SHOOTTron. As Dan Stein makes his way down the ramp, Trey gives a pained smile at the over the top entrance of the champion.
Other Guy: Well if this match is decided on who has the more awesome entrance, Dan Stein has nothing to worry about!
Eryk Masters: Well thank god that’s not the way we do things here.
Dan Stein makes his way into the ring and stands nose to nose with Trey Willett. As Samantha Coil enters the ring, Dan unsnaps the belt from his shoulder and holds it up, right in the nose of Trey. Trey doesn’t waver, but maintains his gaze straight into the eyes of the champion. Neither men are moving. Neither men are blinking. The lights in the arena come back up to show-level.
Samantha Coil: Ladies and Gentlemen. This match is set for one fall and is for the SHOOT PROJECT WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP!
The fans EXPLODE in excitement at the announcement at the match. None of them are ready to take their seats just yet.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first, the challenger, hailing from Staten Island, New York. He is SHOOT Project’s Wayward Son. He is…TREY WILLETT!
The fans give a raucous number of cheers and begin to stomp their feet. The arena begins to shake.
Samantha Coil: And now. Hailing from Las Vegas Nevada. He is your SHOOT PROJECT WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION! HE IS SHOOT’S GOLDEN BOY! HE IS…DAN…STEIIIIIIN!
The fans in the arena are jeering with all they have as Samantha steps from the ring and Tony Lorenzo makes his way into the center in between both men. Stein, still holding the title belt in Trey’s face moves it past and into Lorenzo’s hand, grazing Trey’s face with the gold on the way. Trey moves his head to the side and cocks his head right back into staring straight at Dan Stein only this time Trey is actually audibly chuckling!
As Lorenzo turns his back to the two men to take the belt to the timekeeper, Dan Stein, tired of Trey’s disrespect lets loose with a vicious slap to the face! At the sound of skin on skin contact, Lorenzo tosses the belt to the timekeeper and immediately calls for the bell!
Eryk Masters: Looks like these two just can’t wait to get this show on the road!
Other Guy: And Dan Stein’s first title defense is underway!
Trey staggers back a step and looks back up towards Dan Stein who is now smiling back at the challenger. The two men step in towards one another and lock up in the center of the ring. Trey gets the early advantage, pulling Stein down into a side headlock. As Trey begins to transition into another move, Stein wails two quick strikes into Trey’s ribs, forcing him to release the hold. The two men stand upright once more before going into another quick lock-up. This time it’s Stein who gets the upper hand, pulling Trey downwards into a wrist lock.
Dan wrenches down on Trey’s wrist almost forcing Trey to one knee before he powers back up into a hunched position. Trey tries to power his way out of the hold but Stein answers with two lightening quick knee strikes to Trey’s midsection, toppling the challenger to the mat. Dan releases the hold and grabs Trey by the head, forcing him up. He picks Trey up and drops him back down in a fast scoop slam!
Other Guy: After a bit of a slow start, it looks like the champion is starting to take control of this match.
Eryk Masters: You can definitely tell it’s been a long time since these two men have stepped into the ring together. Seems as if the champ has the upper hand on the scouting front as well.
Trey begins to make his way back to his feet as Dan Stein stands behind him. Just as Trey makes it all the way to a standing position, Dan takes a running start and leaps up, bringing Trey right back down to the mat with a hard bulldog! Stein is quick to his feet as the fans begin to boo the favorable start that the champion is getting in this match. Stein reaches down and starts to pick Trey back to his feet, but Trey responds with a HARD uppercut to the jaw of the champion sending him reeling backwards. Trey is back to his feet and shakes some of the cobwebs from his head before firing shot after shot at the face of the champion, staggering him back into the corner.
The fans begin to roar in appreciation as Trey seems to be coming back to life a little bit. With the champion in the corner, Trey rears back for one final strike to the face of the champ before Dan gets his arm up and counters with a palm strike right to the throat of Trey Willett. Trey doubles over in pain, holding his neck as Stein makes his way out of the corner. Stein looks at the challenger, who is still coughing, and the boos begin to rock the arena. Stein reaches down and grabs Trey by the hair, pulling his head up, followed by the rest of his upper body. He walks Trey into the corner and smashes his face back down into the top turnbuckle. Never releasing his grip on the hair, he picks Trey’s face back up again and drives him once more into the turnbuckle. The fans are now overcome with rage with some of the closer ones hurling profanity at the champion. After the third turnbuckle smash, he releases Trey who crumples into a heap in the corner. Stein grabs hold of the top rope and leaps upwards, hurling both of his feet into the neck of Trey Willett! Trey rolls out of the corner holding his neck, screaming in pain.
Stein, satisfied, spins into the center of the ring taking a brief second to gloat to the fans. The fans respond in kind, booing him with everything they have. Dan shrugs them off, and looks back to Trey who has started to pull himself onto his hands and knees. Stein makes his way to Trey who is now on all fours in the corner and pulls him up once again by his hair. As Trey makes his way t his feet Stein draws back with a fist only to be kicked in the gut by Trey.
Trey capitalizes, sending a flurry of punches into Stein sending him reeling into the ropes. The fans come to life once more at the sudden burst of energy from Trey. As Stein leans into the ropes, Trey grabs hold of his arm pushing him back and Irish whipping him into the opposite set of ropes. Stein comes flying towards Trey only to be met with a leaping dropkick to the chest! Stein falls backwards, hitting the mat with a sickening thud. Trey leaps to his feet, firing the crowd up even more!
Eryk Masters: The crowd really starting to get behind Trey here!
Other Guy: This is the kind of surge in offense Trey really needs to get himself back into this match.
Stein makes his way to his feet, seemingly confused by the sudden burst of energy by his opponent. Trey wastes no time driving a boot into the midsection of Stein and immediately following up with a vicious snap DDT! Trey quickly flips Stein on his back and hooks the leg for the quick cover.
Eryk Masters: And Trey Willett with the first pinfall attempt here tonight!
Other Guy: Not even close, Eryk. Trey is going to have to do much more than that to get the champ down.
Following the kickout Trey immediately pops up to his feet and picks Stein up to his feet. He once again whips Stein into the ropes. Trey backs into the opposite ropes firing forward to Stein. Stein telegraphs, lifting Trey up for a sidewalk slam but Trey counter with a crisp head-scissors takedown! Trey immediately bounces to his feet, running towards the rope and fires off a middle rope moonsault connecting beautifully into the midsection of Dan Stein! The crowd roars in approval and Trey hooks the leg for another quick cover!
Stein uses a reserve of strength, showing Trey off of him as they both fire up to a standing position. The fans continue to scream in applause at the exchange in offense from the two competitors. Trey rears back to fire a chop at Stein but is met with an open palm slap to the face! The fans immediately switch to a chorus of boos as Trey grabs hold of his jaw, stepping back just a moment. Before Trey gets a chance to regain his composure, Stein connects with a HARD knife-edge chop to the chest! The impact pushes Trey backwards and Stein connects with another chop. The fans begin to chant the familiar “WHOO” with each chop to Trey’s chest until he is backed up once again into the turnbuckle. Stein continues the assault with two quick chops to the already beaten, red chest of Trey Willett. At the last chop, Stein picks Trey up, placing him in a seated position on the top turnbuckle. Stein climbs the turnbuckle, firing off four quick fists to Trey’s head before leaping up and FLIPS TREY OVER WITH A STEINANRANA FROM THE TOP ROPE!!
Eryk Masters: The champ needs to use that huge move to try and slow the pace of this match down.
Other Guy: I don’t know, love him or hate him, you can’t deny that Stein that match the pace of The Wayward Son.
Stein grabs hold of Trey’s legs and drags him into the center of the ring. He reaches down and grabs hold of Trey’s right leg and DRIVES his knee right into Trey’s shin. He rears up and drives down once again. The fans begin to pepper the arena with boos, letting Stein know just what they think of this new change of pace in action. Stein, blowing them off, switches around and picks Trey’s right leg up and hyper-extends it, driving a dropping elbow straight into Trey’s knee. The challenger rolls over in pain, holding onto his knee as the fans continue to roar in disapproval. The chant in the audience can begin to be heard.
For his part, Stein grabs Trey by both of the ankles and looks down, spitting in his face before crossing over and locking in the Sin City Deathlock!
Eryk Masters: The champ has him here! He has him in the middle of the ring!
Other Guy: This couldn’t be the way that Trey wanted this match to end. You have to wonder what’s going through the mind of the Wayward Son here.
Every fan in the arena begins to stomp their feet in unison, trying to give Trey a little momentum. Stein pulls back hard on Trey’s legs straining with everything he has. Trey screams in pain, trying desperately to crawl towards the ropes. Trey manages to get just within inches of the bottom rope before Stein plants his feet and pulls as hard as he can! The look of strain is incredibly evident on the champion’s face as Trey reaches forward with everything he has. Lorenzo slides down on the mat, asking Trey if he wants to give up and receives nothing but an emphatic “NO” from the challenger. With one final push, Trey Willett manages to grab hold of the bottom rope with one hand! Lorenzo immediately gets up, instructing the Champion to break the hold!
Eryk Masters: What an amazing show of determination from Trey! If Stein wants to beat him, he WILL NOT be able to get Trey to submit! That’s for damned sure!
Other Guy: He got incredibly lucky there. I think Stein is starting to get a little tired here, Eryk.
Stein slams a fist into the mat and raises to a standing position, the cheers from the crowd near deafening him. Trey pulls himself up to a standing position using the middle rope and turns around to a DEVASTATING LARIAT FROM STEIN! The impact upends Trey, sending him crashing right back down to the mat. Stein is nearly foaming at the mouth at this point, reaching back down to grab Trey by the back of the head. He pulls Trey up BUT TREY COUNTERS! Trey fires a quick kick to the gut, doubling Stein over just long enough for Trey to lock in a double-underhook position. Trey drives Stein face first into the mat before sliding over for the cover!
Eryk Masters: DAWN OF A NEW ERA! NEW CHAMP! NEW CHAMP!
THR…NO! STEIN WITH A FORCEFUL KICKOUT!
Other Guy: I hope you brought your extra absorbent heart diapers today, Eryk.
Eryk Masters: The heart peeing can begin! Dan Stein REFUSES to let go of that championship so easily!
Trey rolls over and gives an exhausted smile to the crowd, looking at the fallen Stein. He slowly makes his way to his feet as Stein begins to stir on the mat. Trey leans into the corner, trying to catch a quick breath while Stein continues to bring himself to his feet. The fans in the arena begin to pick back up with the cheers in appreciation of the matchup going on in front of them. Stein brushes some of the cobwebs out of his head and steps into the middle of the ring. Trey pushes himself off of the turnbuckle and begins his advance towards Stein. The fans reach a fever pitch as the two men lock up in the center of the ring.
The fans begin to pick up a head of steam as Trey gains the upper hand on Stein, positioning him into a wristlock. Trey wrenches back on Stein arm and NAILS him in the back of the head with a hard elbow shot. Trey locks Stein up, and crashes him to the mat with a Russian Leg Sweep! Trey picks Stein up one more time and hurls him into the ropes. As Stein comes forward, he tries to get an arm up for a desperation clothesline but is WAYLAYED in the gut with a vicious boot from Trey. Stein doubles over and Trey wastes no time hooking the arms for what appears to be another Dawn of A New Era! Instead, Trey hoists Stein up and sits out DRIVING HIM TO THE MAT WITH THE ENDTIDE!!!
Eryk Masters: This HAS to be it! Trey’s hit the Endtide! We could be seeing Trey finally do it!
Other Guy: This could be it! Dan Stein is laid out cold in the middle of the ring!
Trey rolls Stein over onto his back and hooks both legs as he wrenches back for the cover!
The fans EXPLODE as “Carry on Wayward Son” hits the SHOOT PA system! Trey rolls over onto his back and stares straight up to the lights in the arena, soaking in every sound and sight in front of him!
Samantha Coil: You’re winner…AND NEW SHOOT PROJECT WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION! SHOOT’s own Wayward Son…TREY WIIIILLLLLLLLEEEETTTT!!!!
Trey come to a seated position as Dan Stein angrily rolls out of the ring. Stein slaps the apron before walking up the ramp, defeated. Tony Lorenzo hands the title down to Trey and he grips it tight to his chest. The tears begin to fall down his face as the fans begin to chant.
THANK YOU TREY!
THANK YOU TREY!
THANK YOU TREY!
Trey finally makes his way to his feet and hoists the title into the air. The cheering in the arena is deafening!
Eryk Masters: A lifelong dream, finally achieved! Only in SHOOT!
Other Guy: And this is only the beginning! Tune in tomorrow night for Dominion! We have another stacked card in store for all of you!
And so the #AgeofEnlightenment comes to a close.
And now, SHOOT Project faces the dawn of a new era… 12 years in the making.