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 Trey Willett, standing tall and proud, exhausted, holding the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship belt high in the air. It flashes quickly to Donovan King, nodding his head at an unseen opponent. It cuts to Adrian Corazon glaring down at a fallen foe before it cuts to Maya Nakashima, breathing heavily as he gets ready to charge at his opponent.
We are the outsiders, all nighters
Scream if you’re a badass!
The camera quickly cuts to Dan Stein, eyes cut towards the camera as he looms over the body of a fallen victim. It quickly cuts to Project:SCAR en masse, Isaac Entragian and Kenji Yamada backed by Obsidian and Deviant as they flank Elizabeth Gaunt and Flay Rios, marching down to the ring. Jacob Mephisto is shown thrusting the Sin City Championship high into the air, his other fist up in victory as well. Quickly we see Mason Pierce, Malice, and Valentine Lionheart, all three men placing their hands on the face plate of the ORION Championship, as if pledging themselves to it. Cronos Diamante is shown locking a victim in the Ne-Han, his face twisted into a vile grin.
We are the wheels that keep turning
ANARCHY is shown embracing one another, their World Tag Team Championship belts in their hands before it cuts to Ja Gi Kyung-Moon catches Johnny Napalm with the Good Night Moon before we see Johnny Napalm driving Kyung-Moon to the mat with the Napalm Bomb. Mr. Ocelot is shown next, pinning Randall Kash as he glares at the camera. Thomas Manchester Black is next, popping his neck as he rolls his wrists preparing to face some unlucky Soldier. Sammy Rochester is shown, slamming his boot into the back of someone’s skull.
We are the heart breakers, risk takers
Anything but boring
Laura Seton attacks Luantikk Crippler from behind before Corey Lazarus is shown arguing with a referee before we see Solomon Richards nodding his head to the camera. We then see Ja Gi Kyung-Moon flying over the top rope into the ring before it cuts to 3M pull his mask down over his face, glaring at the camera.
‘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. Tanya Black runs her fingers through her hair, obviously furious at something before we see Lunatikk Crippler’s shiny ebony hair, flowing carelessly upon the breeze.
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 nailing a picture perfect dropkick to an unknown foe as it cuts back to Adrian Corazon’s back, the brand smoking as he turns his head to face the camera.
We march to the beat of a different drum
We are the crazy ones
We are the crazy ones
Donovan King is shown locking in the Carolina Crossface on Jonny Johnson, who shakes King’s hand. It cuts to Diamond Del Carver lighting a mini-cigar, glaring at the camera with his one eye.
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 Datura locking up with an opponent, then Solomon Richards making Tanya Black tap out, then Loco Martinez pinning Valentine Lionheart to become Master of the Mat. Dan Stein is caught by the Dawn of a New Era from Trey Willett.
‘Cause we are the crazy ones
The mavericks, the dreamers, the forgotten sons
Adrian Corazon straddling Isaac Entragian, aiming to attack his eye switches to Laura Seton hitting a flying crossbody to Dan Stein.
We color outside the lines for fun
We are the crazy ones
Loco Martinez is shown eye to eye with Dan Stein and Luther Crumb slaps Mr. Ocelot’s chest, yelling 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 to 3M perched on a turnbuckle, staring down at the ring before him.
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: We. are. LIVE! Welcome to another edition of REVOLUTION on High Octane Television! As we move one step closer to REDEMPTION, we’ve got another EXPLOSIVE lineup in store tonight, folks! Eight, count ’em, EIGHT action packed matches are on the card, highlighted by our Main Event, where Jacob Mephisto will go one on one with Donovan King!
Other Guy: It’s a rematch of sorts that many people have been anticipating. And this time, Donovan King is HEALTHY! It’s going to be one hell of a fight. Also on the card, we’ve got TWO title matches! The NEW Iron Fist Champion, Jerry Matthews makes his first defense as he goes one on one with Laura Seton!
Eryk Masters: I’m excited to see that match, OG. These two individuals are going to bring a whole new dimension to the Iron Fist division! The other title match tonight, features the NEW Sin City Champion, Dan Stein defending against FORMER Sin City Champion and the 2011 Sin City Championship Series Winner, Lunatikk Crippler!
Other Guy: That match may be the show stealer of the night, E. Two men who’ve both had a rich history in arguably the hottest division in SHOOT right now. I can’t WAIT to see it. Also on tonight’s card, we’re going to see an absolutely violent encounter as Isaac Entragian goes head to head with Johnny Napalm. Folks, that match is going to be brutal.
Eryk Masters: Indeed it will, OG. But, that’s not all! Valentine Lionheart will collide with Kenji Yamada! And that match will certainly be one to watch, OG.
Other Guy: It certainly will, E. Both of these men will not hesitate to tear each other apart, even if it is for different reasons. Also on the card, we’ll see 3M going one on one with Thomas Manchester Black as well as the return to in-ring competition for Jaime Alejandro as he squares off against Corey Lazarus!
Eryk Masters: Both of those matches should be nothing less than outstanding, OG. And rounding out the night, we’ll see the debut of Al Dente as he tests his mettle against the strange and brutal Angel Thorne!
Other Guy: Well, let’s not wait any longer! Let’s get Revolution started!
Samantha Coil: Tonight’s opening contest is scheduled for ONE FALL, and is for the Sin City Championship!!!
The crowd roars their approval as the lights dim down, and the Epicenter buzzes with the anticipation for the arrival of the challenger.
A soft, pulsing sound begins to reverberate throughout the arena. The fans begin buzzing, not knowing who’s coming out next. The pulse turns into a loud vibration, as yet another wave of buzzing hits the crowd.
The sound stops.
A green light emanates from somewhere within the crowd.
A shadow steps forward.
"Sound of Madness" rips through the Epicenter the crowd becomes unhinged.
Eryk Masters: A former Sin City Champion. A man who was in the ring with Dan Stein at ELITE. He is one of SHOOT’s most talented Soldiers.
Other Guy: And He looks like he’s coming to the ring with a chip on his shoulder.
"Yeah I get it
You’re an outcast
Always under attack
Always coming in last
Bringing up the past"
Lunatikk Crippler stomps down from his starting position, deep into the Epicenter. Surrounded by the SHOOTiverse each of those of the SHOOT Project faithful, trying to get a piece of him. Crippler continues to make his way through the sea of humanity, his eyes locked on the ring.
"No one owes you anything
I think You need a shotgun blast
A kick in the ass
WATCH YOUR BACK"
Samantha Coil: He hails from South Bend, Indiana, and weighs in at two hundred and thirty-eight pounds, he is a former Sin City Champion and the 2011 Sin City Championship Series Winner! Here is "The Whole Fucked Up Show" LUUUNATIIIK CRRRRRIIIIIIPLEEEEERRR!!!
Crippler hops the guardrail, perching himself on the announce table, stretching his arms out wide, screaming to the crowd, who scream back at him. He stares, face expressionless now, hiding his emotion. He smirks before jumping down and sliding into the ring, eager to get this underway. The music fades away. Crippler stands in his corner his eyes intensely focused on the entrance ramp
Samantha Coil: And his opponent…
"YOU’VE GOT THE TOUCH! YOU GOT THE POWER
The fans in the arena EXPLODE in boos. As blue and hot pink spotlights dance over the stage, Molly, Stein’s assistant, and Nic Ezra step out from the backstage area, leading Dan Stein out from the back. Dan has the Sin City Championship belt strapped like a bandolier over a baby blue vest and hood. Stein stops to shadow box at the top of the ramp, gingerly bouncing on his injured leg. Samantha opens a piece of paper she held in her hand.
Samantha Coil: He is the former SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion, former Sin City Champion, a TWO time former Iron Fist Champion, former World Tag Team Champion and the 2012 Redemption Rumble winner. Weighing in at two-hundred and fifteen pounds, from right here in Las Vegas, Nevada! Here is YOUR SIN CITY CHAMPION….. The Golden Boy! DAAAAAAAAAAN STEIIIIIIIIN
Stein, raises his hands as the fans continue to rain down boos on him. Molly walks in front of him with Nic Ezra, who barks back at fans along the entrance ramp. Walking down to the ring, Stein keeps his head lowered, continuing to shadow box! As Stein makes it to the ring, stops, looking to his left, then his right, and… walks over to the steps and climbs them slowly.
Eryk Masters: Last week before his match with Valentine Lionheart, Stein showed off his athleticism by leaping onto the ring apron. Got to wonder if that leg isn’t as healed as he says it is, OG.
Other Guy: Its certainly possible. Just as possible as if he’s playing mind games hoping Crippler THINKS Stein isn’t at one hundred percent.
Stein climbs to the ring apron and looks to his left, then to his right, and RIPS the hood back, revealing his smiling face to the fans, and brushes his feet off on the ring apron, snarky. Stein steps under the top rope and ducks into the ring, raising his hands to the fans. Molly unhooks the Sin City Championship belt and Dan catches it as it slides down his chest, then hands it to the referee. He then takes his vest off and feigns throwing it into the stands – but decides to chuck it out to Nic Ezra instead.
Eryk Masters: Referee Dennis Heflin is giving the competitors their final instructions.
Heflin says something to the two combatants, who each nod, but don’t take their eyes off one another. He calls for the bell. The Epicenter roars and the two begin to circle one another.
Eryk Masters: These two men have a history. I along with this packed house have been counting down the minutes to this encounter.
Other Guy: I hear that, Masters. Its a match up that could headline any of our shows, and its kicking off Revolution 120! Gonna be helluva night!
Crippler lunges in at Stein’s right leg, Stein quickly backs away. Crippler shoots in again looking for a single leg.
Other Guy: Crippler again targeting the leg that was so savagely attacked last week.
Eryk Masters: He wants to test Stein out. See how he moves, and see what, if any weaknesses he can exploit.
Crippler feigns diving in for another single leg attempt, but as Stein again attempts to back out of the way. Crippler pulls up and leaps driving a drop kick to the right leg of Stein. This drops Stein. Crippler quickly pounces with a series of nasty stomps to the hamstring. Stein’s face contorts in pain. On the outside Nic Ezra jumps up onto the apron. Out of the corner of his eye, Crippler sees this and rushes towards Stein’s associate. Ezra jumps down and points a finger up at Crippler. Stein gets up, and comes over Ezra’s eyes light up at the prospect of a sneak attack, but Stein glares at Ezra and gives him a verbal warning to back off. Molly smiles proudly and nods, Ezra shoots her a dirty look. The Epicenter even recognizes and applauds the display from Stein.
Eryk Masters: Looks like Stein doesn’t want Ezra’s help here tonight!
Crippler and Stein head back to the middle of ring. Circle. Tie up. Crippler lowers and drives Stein back into the corner. Grabs him by the wrist and whips him hard across. Stein crashes into the turnbuckles and Crippler charges in looking for a head snapping clothesline, but Stein is able to quickly sidestep. Crippler crashes into the turnbuckles chest first. Stein drops down behind him and pulls Crippler back with a school boy roll up!
Crippler is able to just get a shoulder up. The two get up quickly. Lunatikk throws a right, but Stein blocks it. Stein goes to throw a leg kick, but Crippler catches the leg. Stein’s eyes go wide with worry. Crippler snaps the tip of his boot into the hamstring, and then takes him down with a high velocity Drag Screw leg whip, but Crippler doesn’t let go. He holds on and turns it into a heel hook! He wrenches back continuing to work the leg.
Eryk Masters: Crippler viciously assaulting that leg here tonight.
He holds onto the heel hook with all his might. Stein grits his teeth. He pulls himself closer to the ropes. Crippler leans back, but Stein again pulls himself and is able to grab the bottom rope. Heflin starts the five count for Crippler to break.
Eryk Masters: Crippler doesn’t look too keen on breaking this hold!
Crippler really leans back into it as Heflin hits four, and right before five he lets it go. Stein goes to pull himself up using the ropes, avoiding putting weight on his right leg. Crippler circles around and drops down nailing a vicious chop block. Stein crumples in a heap. Crippler brings Stein to his feet. Scoops him up. Slams him with a body slam. Reaches down, but Stein springs to life with an inside cradle!
Eryk Masters: Stein almost got him again!
Crippler gets up, his eyes wild with rage. He drops down and begins to viciously pound on Stein’s bad leg. He slides out, wide eyed.
Other Guy: I don’t remember ever seeing Crippler like this, before.
Crippler grabs Stein and violently pulls him to the apron. Lifts his leg. Slams it down hard on the apron. Lifts it again. Slams it down again. He then drags Stein to the ring post. He pulls hard, crouching the Sin City Champion, much to the delight of the Epicenter. With Stein crotched and pulling hard he jumps and leans back putting Stein in a ring post figure four! Crowd roars their approval. Stein writhes in pain. The referee admonishing Crippler from inside the ring, and begins his five count.
Crippler lets go of the hold. Ezra takes a few steps towards the challenger, but Crippler stares daggers that stop Ezra in his path. Crippler jumps up to the apron. Ezra leaps into action and crabs Crippler by his ankles and pulls his feet out from under him. Crippler’s head crashing onto the apron. Stein, struggling to get to a vertical base shoot’s Ezra a dirty look, but smirks seeing Crippler clutching at his jaw. Stein grabs the middle rope and pulls himself with added velocity with a dropkick through the ropes that flattens Crippler. He smirks as he tests out his bum leg, attempting to put weight on it.
Eryk Masters: Stein may have turned the tide there with some help from his associate.
Other Guy: Nic Ezra, certainly helped Stein, but Molly is none too pleased.
Stein violently pulls Crippler up and whips him hard into the barricade, ringside. He drives his right shin into Crippler’s ribcage. He pulls him into a side headlock, and takes off nailing a running bulldog on the outside. Inside the ring referee Dennis Heflin’s count is up to three…
Stein goes to drag Crippler to his feet, but his right leg gives out on him, and he drops Crippler. He gives Ezra a look and Ezra quickly comes over and helps pull Crippler back up. He and Stein roll the challenger into the ring. Stein slides in and makes a lateral cover.
Th-NO! Crippler shoulders out. Stein gets up. Runs to the corner. Waits for Crippler to get to his feet. Once Crippler is up he leaps with a double Axe Handle smash! He lifts that right leg when he lands, but turns, and then nails a standing moonsault He hooks a leg.
THr-NO! Crippler kicks out. Stein looks at the referee and holds up three fingers. Heflin responds by holding up two fingers with authority. Stein slaps the mat out of frustration. He gets up gingerly and drags Lunatikk Crippler up to his feet, but he Crippler lashes out with a vicious kick to the knee. Which drops Stein to a knee. He looks to the outside, and catches Ezra’s eye who quickly jumps up on the apron. Heflin sees this and goes to the apron to clear it of Stein’s associate and once his back is turned Stein turns and drives his forearm with all his force up into Crippler’s "crotchel region". The Epicenter lets out a sympathetic groan as he crumples into a heap. The crowd boos as Ezra finally steps down off the apron. Stein gets up and pulls Crippler in. Steps over his arms…
Eryk Masters: He’s looking for #Twitterbation
Other Guy: Hash tag, if he hits this its over!
Stein steps over and falls forward nailing the #Twitterbation
Eryk Masters: He got it.
HE rolls Crippler over. Holds on and puts his legs over Cripplers arms for a cover.
Stein gets up slowly, still unable to put his weight fully on his damaged right leg. Ezra jumps into the ring and embraces Stein. Molly on the outside slowly backing up the ramp, shaking her head disappointedly.
Samantha Coil: The winner of this match and STILL your Sin City Champion. DAAAAAAAAAAAAAN. SSSSSSSSTEEEEEEEIIIIIIIIINNNN!!!!!!
The crowd boos as Stein is handed his belt. He leans on Ezra as the they exit the ring, and continues to lean on him as they walk up the ramp.
Other Guy: You know what they say about a one legged man in an ass kicking contest, well Stein made sure he was a three legged man, and it paid off huge and he leaves here tonight STILL the Sin City Champion.
"The lights are so bright…"
Says a low, gravely voice, unearthed in a dull, momentary flash.
Pale skin. Dark hair. Lean. Tall.
"Too bright." He says. This fleeting form. "Too bright for someone like me. That light kept me away. I never made it…"
His voice trails off like smoke from a dead wick.
"That shit’s happened too many times to too many people."This is a different voice. Confident, brash. Familiar.
A third voice and light pours in.
The tall pale wraith. Close to six-feet seven inches tall. Short, spiky black hair, thin mustache, a tuff of hair at his chin, frosted lightly in grey. He’s wearing a Nine Inch Nails black, T-shirt and black skinny jeans. His fists are taped up in deep red tape. He seems uneasy.
But the other two… they’re faces the SHOOT Project world has seen before.
Tom Quinn. "Rogue". Slender, soccer frame. Unassuming good looks. Brown hair parted neatly to the left, speckled five o’clock shadow. He’s wearing a plain brown hoodie, navy-blue skinny jeans, orange converse. He stares dead-eyed, straight ahead. Through cold, emeralds
And Jason Riley. Short faux-hawk in the front, longer in the back, shorter on the sides. He’s in a grey and red Adidas track suit, clean shaven. He’s thinner than Quinn by about ten pounds or so, but still athletically shaped, toned. His cheeks are hallow, his face empty, hungry.
Three men in the spotlight on a white wall.
Rogue: This world always wants you out. It’s sick, man. It makes you feel powerless.
Quinn shakes his head in disgust and rolls his eyes.
Jason Riley: It fucking kills people. It literally kills them. Like our friend Tim? He got wiped up under the shit-stained rug on SHOOT’s front porch and used in someone else’s fucking story… USED. Forgotten. It pisses me off that you’re probably watching the right now without giving a shit too. Maybe it’s not even something you EVER think about…
Wailer speaks up before Riley can further lose his cool.
Wailer: I was almost one of those guys, chasing carrots, coming… going. I should be dead. Lost a fight for some important people, man. Overdosed on shame… GUN TO MY HEAD.
Wailer: And I know I’m here, but I don’t feel alive…
Riley gives Wailer and assuring pat, into arm and shoulder rub.
Riley: This fucking business put him here. It took our best friend. It buries the living and burns the dead. IT KILLS EVERYTHING IT WANTS. WELL FUCK THAT! FUCK YOU! I’m no one’s Goddamn bitch. I’m here to TAKE. I’M GOING TO TAKE EVERYTHING I WANT. WE’RE GOING TO TAKE EVERYTHING… WE. WANT.
Rogue nods along with his career long partner.
Rogue: It’s dark days in SHOOT. There are evil, morbid predators around every corner, at every turn… And all we want to do is make sure it stays that way for as long as possible. It has to, ya know? Because we’re the fucking scavengers, man. We eat the meat off the bones that don’t get swallowed whole. We’re the FILTH that feeds off the parts the big boys don’t want to swallow. We’re hungry. We’re so fucking hungry, and so we need this place to remain FOREVER in decay… so we can feast. Finally… and always.
Wailer: No saviors. We can’t have that shit.
Rogue:And we know we aren’t the only ones. So If you’re watching… I know you are. If you know… If you RESPECT the air you breathe, you need to come out of your rocks and join the fucking cause.
Riley: It’s gonna be chaos, man. It’s sex, drugs, muuuuuusic and a shit ton of fucking hurt. It’s whatever you want it to be. Pretty fucking radical, right? FUCK YEAH it is! Whoever you are…. that’s the only person you can ever possibly be and you need to BE the SHIIIIIT out of that guy or girl. Ya know, man? There’s no getting better. "BETTER" people are sick people. Delusional idiots.
Quinn shrugs at the camera.
Rogue: If you’re confused… bored… unaffected… just go ahead and do whatever you want with this… write about us on some message board… ignore us. Pucker your lips and make that annoying "meh" sound. It’s not gonna change what happens tomorrow. We’re here for the guys watching at home who get it. You need to find us. We NEED you to come back. (Speaking empathetically, urgently) Okay? We’re doing something real. This… (gesturing toward Riley and Wailer) This is the real thing. This is inspiration.
Riley: So get off your dicks and pussies. Come home.
Wailer: Live the circus.
Rogue: Feast with your friends.
Riley: Come play.
The video scratches to a halt.
Eryk Masters: This ought to be interesting. Ever since the announcement of the championship tournament earlier this month, people have been lining up to get their applications in for a shot at one of the most prized titles in the industry. Tonight we’re going to get a look at one of those hopefuls.
Other Guy: Yep. Al Dente. This guy got his fifteen seconds of fame through social media, going into SHOOT fan chatrooms and proclaiming himself the next SHOOT Champion- not to mention how his Italian Crossface finisher was, and I quote here, “so good it’s almost a meme.” I don’t think he was counting on being called out on it so quickly, but thanks to that little exchange, here we are about to see if he’s really as good as he claims or if he’s all sizzle and no steak.
Samantha Coil: The following contest is scheduled for one fall. Introducing first, already in the ring.. AL.. DENTE!!
The crowd is showing absolutely no reaction for this guy, a short-haired, average-sized male standing in the ring in black wrestling tights and a wife-beater T-shirt. He raises his arms into the air, but is getting nothing in return from the capacity crowd.
Eryk Masters: Wow. Not very often you see someone getting that kind of reaction here in the Epicenter.
Other Guy: Crickets.
The lights in the arena go dark and start to flicker….
Eryk Masters: And here comes trouble.
Other Guy: With a capital T.
The haunting opening strains of “Angel Falls” resonate throughout the Epicenter as a green mist envelops the stage. All eyes are on the stage, but nobody notices that Angel Thorne has emerged from underneath the ring and is sliding underneath the bottom rope, stealthily sneaking up behind Al Dente…
Eryk Masters: She’s IN THE RING!
Other Guy: Here we go.
Someone in the back quickly shuts off the music and hits the lights just in time for the crowd to see Angel on one knee, driving a clenched fist right between the legs! The referee quickly makes his way into the ring and calls for the bell as Dente doubles over in pain. Angel quickly grabs an arm, drawing it between his legs and pulling him down into a pumphandle position, using her free arm to drive a vicious flurry of elbows to the back. She suddenly grabs Dente’s arm with both hands and pulls, sending him down to the canvas, following up by grabbing a leg and lifting it, placing her foot just behind the knee and stomping down hard! Her gaze goes outside the ring and a smirk appears on her lips. She slides outside the ring and…
Eryk Masters: Are you SERIOUS? A CHAIR?
Other Guy: Looks like our esteemed official’s right on top of things. Don’t get your knickers in a knot, E.
The referee quickly grabs the chair out of Angel’s hands just as quickly as she got a hold of it, warning the green-haired vixen that he will disqualify her if she tries that again. Angel scowls and gets back into the ring, where Dente has managed to get himself back to a vertical base. He’s limping a little from that stomp to the back of the knee, but he’s taunting Angel to come after him, and she is only too happy to oblige.. but she stops in mid-stride and shakes her head, smiling. She turns the tables and is taunting her opponent, backpedalling as she yells at him to come after her. He starts moving toward her as she backs herself into the corner and waits.. Dente starts taunting Angel,asking her what she’s going to do now that he’s got her in a corner. He charges, but Angel’s a split second faster, sliding underneath the rope and grabbing Dente’s wonky leg, yanking hard on it and ringing it off the apron! She quickly grabs the other leg and looks around…
Eryk Masters: Oh no.. this is not going to end well.
Other Guy: Al Dente was billing himself as this Italian goombah. Well, he’s about to live his dream and become a Soprano.
Angel grabs both of Dente’s legs and falls back, sending him crotch-first into the ringpost! Dente writhes with pain inside the ring as Angel grabs a leg and repeatedly rams it into the unforgiving steel. The referee quickly gets to the outside and gives Angel yet another warning, starting to count… one.. two.. Angel slides back into the ring, but only long enough to grab Dente’s arm and drag it under the ropes.. she yanks on it and slams it into the post!
Eryk Masters:JESUS H. CHRIST! She might have just separated his shoulder with that! Arms are NOT supposed to bend that way. Is she really trying to end this guy’s career before it even gets started?
Other Guy: Uh…yeah. I think so.
Dente is halfway outside the ring now, and Angel hops up on the ring apron long enough to drop a leg right across the chest and send Dente crashing to the floor! The referee quickly starts the count as Angel grabs Dente and brings him to his feet, snaking an arm around his neck and dragging him to the ringpost…
Eryk Masters: Oh, no.. not again.
Angel kicks out a leg and lunges forward, sending Dente facefirst into the ringpost! But instead of letting go, she kicks her legs out again and sends him into the steel AGAIN!! This time she lets him fall to the floor, his wife-beater stained red from the blood gushing from his forehead and busted nose. She stares at her nearly-unconscious opponent and smiles.
Other Guy: Yep. Again.
The referee is yelling at Angel to get him back into the ring, and she scowls at the man in the striped shirt, but she obeys and drags Dente into the ring, laying him facedown by the corner. She mounts the turnbuckles, going to the second rope…
Eryk Masters: NONONONONONO!!!!!
Angel leaps from the rope, bringing both knees down across the back of her downed opponent! She drags Dente to the middle of the ring and turns him over, lifting his head and watching the blood pouring from the open wounds. She looks around and her eyes widen as she lifts him up and clamps on a double underhook.. she suddenly leaps up and wraps her legs around Dente, squeezing as she wrenches on his arms, yelling, “SCREAM FOR ME, YOU MOTHERFUCKER!! SCREAM!! SCREAM!!”
Eryk Masters: This is just.. I can’t…
Other Guy: Don’t.
The referee quickly jumps in, checking to see if Dente is able to defend himself as Angel continues to squeeze with her legs, the Black Halo locked in tight. The referee shakes his head and rushes to the ropes, frantically motioning for the bell to ring, raising his arms in the X and trying to quickly get the paramedics down to the ringside area. Angel relinquishes the hold, but she quickly heads out of the ring and grabs a steel chair and a microphone! She slides back into the ring and threatens the referee with the chair. He backs up and Angel unfolds the chair, setting it down and pinning Dente’s head underneath! She grabs the microphone and sits down, her head bowed, silent.
Eryk Masters: After this, I’m not sure what she could possibly have to say.
Other Guy: Guess we’re about to find out.
Angel peers down underneath the chair at the pinned, bloody face of her vanquished foe.
Angel Thorne: Comfortable? No? I won’t be long, so just sit tight and help will come for you… maybe.
Her gaze returns to the crowd. She looks around and then bows her head again, bringing the microphone to her lips.
Angel Thorne: I know you all don’t like me very much. I don’t play nice. I break my playthings. I break them so badly that they may never be fixed again. And I make no apologies.
She pauses for a moment, raising her eyes just enough to gaze into the crowd before bowing her head again.
Angel Thorne: I wasn’t always like this, you know. At one time I was just like one of you. Only a little smarter. I had the brains. I could have been so many things. A doctor. A lawyer. Anything I wanted to be. The world was my oyster, someone said to me once. But things never turn out the way you want them to, do they?
Underneath the chair, Dente is starting to stir and struggle a little. Angel scowls and gets up from the chair, getting a bit of air and dropping down on the steel. She drops her head back underneath the chair.
Angel Thorne: I TOLD YOU TO SIT TIGHT! Once I have said what I want to say, THEN I’ll let them cart you away. Not before, so SIT… THE FUCK… STILL!
She shakes her head.
Angel Thorne: Damn Italians. Daddy said never to trust them. Now I see why.
She pauses as she regains her train of thought.
Angel Thorne: I don’t think things turned out the way he-
She points underneath the chair.
Angel Thorne: -wanted them to either. But you see, that’s his own fault. He had a choice, and he made it. He chose that life for himself. A choice I never had. One that was taken from me when I spent eleven years locked away in an institution,drugged up, shocked, beaten… and all in the name of “therapy”. Every one of you out there has had some say in your own destiny. I’m not jealous. No. Far from it. I’m fucking furious. I hate every single one of you. Not because you got to make your own choices, but because you look down on me and people like me because we DIDN’T. You look at me and you don’t see someone who had half her life taken away from her. You see a freak. A psychotic deviant. A loose cannon with a moral compass that’s broken beyond any hope of repair.
Angel Thorne: That… is YOUR choice. Just like it’s the choice of everyone back there. I see how you all look at me. Especially after what I did to your precious Tanya Black. I hear the whispers. How I’m dangerous and should be avoided. To all of you, I’m nothing more than a very unstable, volatile outcast.
She gets up and drops the microphone, grabbing the chair and folding it… turning it and bringing the business end of it down hard on Dente’s back once.. twice… three times! She drops the chair and grabs the microphone.
Angel Thorne: IS THAT FUCKING VOLATILE ENOUGH FOR YOU???
She throws down the microphone drops her head back, looking at the ceiling and letting out a hellacious scream before she exits the ring as the referee calls once again for the paramedics. The medics head down to the ring with the stretcher, passing Angel, who just glares at them as she makes her way to the backstage curtain.
Eryk Masters: That was…
Other Guy: Fifty Shades Of Nuts?
Eryk Masters: That works.
The medics are putting the broken and bloodied Al Dente on a backboard, placing his neck in a brace and sliding him underneath the ring and onto the stretcher. They begin wheeling him up the ramp.
Eryk Masters: This is getting to be too commonplace now. That’s three now. Three people who have encountered Angel Thorne and just been…
Other Guy: Destroyed. Totally and utterly destroyed.
Don’t miss all the action on High Octane Television as NEW EDGE WRESTLING presents IGNITE! On this edition, New Edge Stars Ricky Cassels and Ryan Pugh square off!
The lights flicker out in the arena and titantron fills with green lines and static, sort of a matrix style. In the middle of the screen, a message pops up, bold and black as night.
You are running out of time. Here is your second clue.
The words fade away as last weeks code, with T’s in red, pops up in the middle of the screen.
W P M L C A P Y X W Z M W Q K G F
A couple of the letters start spinning like a slot machine, and the original black letters become red, to give the audience the second clue.
W P L C A P Y X W Z W Q K G F
The "M" from the original message get turn into "O’s", letting the code stick out for a while, faint sound of electronics in the background, and the words "COMING SOON" Appears on the screen before fading away.
Eryk Masters: OG, can you feel it. Almost a year in the making…
Other Guy: It’s almost been a year since Alejandro has set foot in a SHOOT ring…
Eryk Masters: Butterflies have to be on that man’s gut, no matter how long you’ve been in wrestling…
Samantha Coil: The following contest is set for one fall
The lights go dark in the arena, and you hear the fans in the Epicenter go silent, waiting with bated breath… As they do, we hear something “unusual”, instead of the dark music…
Don’t call my name
Don’t call my name
The fans let rip with cheers as the lights come up during the chorus of “Alejandro” by Lady Gaga. We see the man known as the “Saint” standing with his back to the audience. They see the outline of teal flames over a pair of white capoeira pants. He turns around and smirks to the audience…
Samantha Coil: The first competitor, from San Antonio, Texas… He comes in at 275 pounds, at 6 foot 4. Welcome back, “THE SAINT…”
He goes and kneels to the ground for a moment…
Samantha Coil: JAAAAAAAAAAIME ALEJAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANDRO!
The pyro shoots up from the back as he does a Hail Mary gesture and jumps up. The crowd starts throwing their hands out to try to touch him.
Other Guy: Holy hell! He’s back! The Saint is back!
Eryk Masters: And picked up a sense of humor along the way, even…
He jumps up on the apron and vaults himself into the ring, heading a turnbuckle and looks out towards the crowd, as the flashbulbs get a picture him and his eye-patched face…
Eryk Masters: He looks in great shape even…
Other Guy: And he’s gonna need to be, E. Because his opponent is gunning for him, all guns blazing.
As Jaime steps down from the ropes, you see him give Samantha a hug. She embraces him back and whispers to him as he nods to her. He also nods to Eryk and OG.
Other Guy: Welcome back to the ring, you crazy bastard…
Eryk Masters: Are you crying over there?
Other Guy: Nah, man… Contact issues.
An old fashioned, black and white film countdown starts rolling on the VideoWall, the film flickering and a beep heard after every digit.
~I SAID HALLELEUJAH~
Battleflag" by Lo-Fidelity Allstars cues up, and Corey bursts out from behind the entrance curtain to a primarily favorable portion of the SHOOT Nation. He throws the hood back of his entrance jacket and drops to his knees, his arms out to each side and a smirk on his face.
Samantha Coil: Introducing at this time, he weighs in tonight at 240 pounds and stands at 6-foot-1…
Other Guy: He’s been bulking up a bit, huh?
Eryk Masters: It’s all to balance out his knee, OG. He can’t move as fast as he used to be able to, so he’s putting on muscle and mass to make up for it.
Corey rolls forward and springs up to a stance, landing on his right foot, and then lowers his Ray Bans to give the camera a knowing wink (or maybe a blink?), patting the brace on his left knee before walking down the ramp, stopping to pose for a picture.
Samantha Coil: Hailing from New York City, New York, by way of Hollywood, California…
A few high five’s, a few fist bumps, and Corey stops at the bottom of the ramp, jogging in place for a moment before climbing the steps and wiping the bottom of his feet on the apron.
Samantha Coil: He is "The Premier Attraction"…
He steps through the ropes, quickly spinning around to face each side of the arena after doing so and then throws his entrance jacket off, tossing it over to a ringside assistant in one quick motion.
Samantha Coil: …COOOORRRREYYYYY LAAAAAZZZZAAAARRRUUUUUSSSSSSS!!!!!
Battleflag" dies down and Corey backs into his corner, almost strutting as he does so, stretching out over the top ropes.
Other Guy: Look at this… The Premier Attraction and The Iron Saint… In one ring… And this isn’t a Pay Per View!
Eryk Masters: This match is going to be filled with bruises of the body and the ego, OG. Two of the most respected veterans in the ring.
Other Guy: And it’s said that Alejandro readily accepted Corey Lazarus as his first match back, which says two things. He ain’t taking it easy, and he’s got mad respect for the LAZ.
Willie Dean goes over and shakes Jaime’s hand, giving a few brief words. He nods over to Corey Lazarus for a second. As he moves off, we see Corey and Jaime staring at each other. Both men just nodding and silent in the middle of the ring. The crowd looks at this scene, some flashing with their cameras to catch this moment…
Eryk Masters: I don’t know what you can say about this match that’s not been said. If you sleep on this one, folks…
Other Guy: In other words, don’t change the damn channel… You’re gonna kick yourself.
Willie Dean keeps both men apart for the moment. As he does, he calls for the bell. And both men meet in the middle and do a high fist bump. As they do, you see them part the way and look for a position. They hook up in the old hook and collar position and try to push each other for position. As Lazarus’ leg slips, you see Jaime push off and thrust Corey backwards. As Corey gets his bearings, you see Jaime pull his arms downward. He then flexes his trapezius muscles towards his opponent. Corey smirks at this scene for a moment.
Other Guy: Jeez, E. Jaime’s still swoll up from the last time he was here.
Eryk Masters: One of the strongest on the roster, they say. But he knows that man across from him isn’t intimidated.
Jaime lets up from his stance and motions for Corey to hook up again. Corey does again and gets the slip from under him. He goes into a waistlock and drives Jaime down to the mat, front side first! He motions around and gets the larger Saint into a headlock and keeps him grounded. Jaime tries to get up from the prone position, but the faster Lazarus nails him with a timed elbow to the spine. We see the larger Jaime go to the ground, as Corey keeps the head hooked in…
Eryk Masters: Corey with a bit of mat skill, trying to keep Alejandro grounded.
Other Guy: You keep that big man grounded, he won’t be able to use any of his arsenal of throws and suplexes.
Eryk Masters: And also, Corey can control the pace of the match from this angle. He needs to fight his battle, not Alejandro’s.
Jaime is on the ground, with Corey keeping his head locked in. As he does, we hear the crowd clapping and yelling trying to get the match going. You see the old Soldier getting on his knees. Lazarus is trying to keep him pressed down, but with Jaime’s size, he’s not able to get the grip he wanted. Jaime then lifts himself upward until Corey is forced to stand up to bear down. When he does, we see Jaime snap him up and over into a Northern Lights suplex pin!
Other Guy: Alejandro playing possum there, and almost caught Lazarus!
Eryk Masters: The one fact about Jaime that Corey probably scouted well… Isaac Entragian used to call him “The Texas Suplex Machine.” That would be why.
Other Guy: And you know a veteran like Corey would know that well, which is why he didn’t give Jaime the prime position for that pin.
Jaime kips himself up, as does Corey! The crowd starts cheering for both men. Jaime pinching his fingers together, as if to say “This close.” Corey merely smirks at him and claps in a mocking manner. Both men start circling again in a motion in the ring…
Other Guy: Both men aren’t backing down, E…
Eryk Masters: This is what we’re expecting from two of the best in the world.
Other Guy: All other companies would have these two soldiers on a PPV main event, easily…
Both men lock up quickly, but Corey gets the advantage with a sweep of the leg. As he gets unbalanced, Jaime gets trapped into the Fisherman’s buster position… Corey lifts him up quickly!
Other Guy: BOX OFFICE BOMB!
As he swings over, you see Jaime roll over and get Corey into a Dragon suplex position! As he throws Lazarus over, you see Corey land on his feet and break out of the hold!
Eryk Masters: The Dragon suplex, usually the start of the Hydra-plex And Corey just broke out of it…
As Corey gets his bearings, he sees Jaime get back to his bearings. He leaps into the air and goes his signature enzuigiri known as the End Credits, but Jaime ducks under it and catches Corey into a rolling knee bar! Corey starts screaming from the sheer pain of the hold, as he starts pulling for the ropes! As he hits the rope with his hand, you see Dean patting Jaime on the shoulder… Jaime releases the hold without much fuss…
Other Guy: Jaime’s attacking that bad knee early. You can imagine how much pain that expertly placed hold can do on Corey’s leg.
Eryk Masters: For every point, there will be a counterpoint. And again, both men are following their own game plans.
As both men pull themselves to their feet, you see them staring at each other again. Lazarus is limping from the sudden shock of the rolling knee bar. You see Jaime anticipating the next move. As he does, Corey swings with a right and Jaime connects with a hard straight left! He staggers his opponent, as we see the Hollywood Kid slumping. From here, Alejandro’s fans counts off the hard shots!
Corey reverses the shots with his own right hands. The Lazarus fans count off their own cadence.
As Corey gets the last hit on Jaime, you see the big man fall to the ground hard.
Other Guy: Just like chopping down a huge tree…
Eryk Masters: And we know Jaime can take a shot, but Corey Lazarus proving that he can hold up to one of the heaviest hitters in the game.
As Jaime is prone on the mat, you see Corey rolling him over for a quick pin.
Eryk Masters: It’s gonna take a lot more than a hard shot like that to take down that man…
Other Guy: Corey Lazarus did something smart, though. He made Alejandro waste recovery time to get himself up.
Lazarus gets to his feet and pulls up the much larger Alejandro. You see him push off Alejandro towards the corner, but Jaime reverses it. You see Corey go back first right into the corner. As he does, you see the crowd pop at this reversal of fortune. Lazarus slumps a bit in the corner as Jaime gets a running start and flies into the air!
Eryk Masters: AIR ASSAULT!
But Corey rolls himself out of the way quickly, and Jaime eats the turnbuckle hard!
Other Guy: Damn! Jaime just took a face full of corner…
Jaime leans against the corner for a moment and starts to fall backwards onto the mat. As he does, Lazarus vaults himself up to the top rope. He comes down with both feet, but Jaime moves himself out of the way quickly. As he does, we see him roll over to a kneeling position. Corey lands on his feet and pulls himself back to the ropes and comes back with a vicious knee to the back of the head!
Other Guy: COMING ATTRACTIONS!
Eryk Masters: Jaime’s got a history of head injuries, OG… Look at how hard that impact was…
Other Guy: That knee looked nasty…
We see Jaime moving down to the mat in a bit of a forced roll. The impact of the knee has dazed him to the point where Dean takes a look at Jaime for a second. Corey takes a bit of a forward roll from the impact. As he does, he vaults himself to his feet… From here, Jaime pulls himself up to a squatting position. He moves his body down and loops his legs around and vaults upward with a vicious roundhouse style kick to Corey’s skull!
Other Guy: CRACKERJACK KICK! Where the hell did that come from?!!
Eryk Masters: The kick made famous by Lateef Crowder… Used by a much larger Jaime Alejandro!
Corey Lazarus spins from the impact and hits the mat hard himself. The crowd loses a breath as it’s his turn to be checked on by Willie Dean. We see him pushing himself off the ground, though. He spits from his mouth, as the referee checks for blood. There’s no sign of it, but Lazarus springs up with Jaime and gets him with a hard shot to the gut. From here, he carries Jaime up and over with the Urunagesuplex
Eryk Masters: Both men have taken some hard as hell shots tonight, OG.
Other Guy: Alejandro told Lazarus that he would need to be made of iron for this match. Lazarus counted that Platinum was harder, but that may have been cracked.
Eryk Masters: Iron is a metal that can endure all. And we’ve seen both men endure a hell of a lot.
As Jaime pulls himself to the corner, we see Corey running at full speed with all he’s got. He charges up with a Bausaiku style knee attack he calls Reel to Reel! But Jaime snaps out of the corner and vaults up over with a huge Capture suplex into the turnbuckles!
HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT!
The crowd starts chanting out loud as Lazarus crumples over in a Tree of Woe.
Eryk Masters: Oh my god, OG!
Other Guy: How the hell did Jaime catch that one, E?!!
Eryk Masters: And Lazarus is now in trouble.
We see Jaime coming back around and delivering a huge baseball slide style drop kick to Corey’s skull. The Premiere Attraction comes over crashing back to the mat. Jaime is also on the mat recovering from the impact shots. We see the crowd clapping and yelling for both men to get up. As they do, we see them pulling each other up slowly…
Other Guy: I don’t know what we can say, E… These two have torn each other apart, man!
Eryk Masters: If you’re watching this at home… This is what you get with two of the best in this company…
Both men are now standing. The crowd starts popping for the action, as they start getting into a heated exchange of massive punches to the head and a few Muay Thai kicks to each other’s legs… The crowd keeps going, as both men wear each other out with a massive series of shots to each other’s body.
Other Guy: Two gunslingers going at it, E!
Eryk Masters: Anyone who was expecting these men to go to war, that’s what you got…
Corey suddenly gets the upper hand and opens up with a huge chop to the face! From here, he plants a kick to the inner thigh, then opens up with a mid-range roundhouse kick to the ribs. Jaime doubles over and gets a combo Muay Thai elbow and knee to his body and face!
Other Guy: COMBO NUMBER FIVE!
Jaime spits up a bit of blood from the attack, but he doesn’t get much time to recover, as Corey has the leg hooked up. He carries Jaime up and over and comes back down front side with the skull hitting the mat.
Eryk Masters: And he hits the Box Office Bomb…
Corey, almost worn out, goes for the cover…
Samantha Coil: Your winner… COREY LAAAAAAAAAAAZARUS
Corey releases the pinning situation, and as he does, he stands up with Willie Dean raising his arm. Jaime is holding his head from the impact. As he is, we see Corey move down and pick him up from the ground, holding him up. We see both men embrace as the crowd starts cheering the performance of both men.
Other Guy: I don’t know how this match will be remembered, but everyone shouldn’t question the heart and skill of Jaime Alejandro or Corey Lazarus on this night…
Eryk Masters: You have to admire the heart of these men. Corey Lazarus has risen to another level in SHOOT Project, OG.
Other Guy: But the legend of Alejandro continues, E… But we now have the legend of Lazarus. Perhaps he may live up to the name of that legend.
Deviant climbs the stairs leading to the abandoned skybox at the very top of the Epicenter, Isaac’s “den” known far and wide in SHOOT Project and avoided by almost all personnel during live Revolution broadcasts.
Deviant sports a tailored deep red suit and a white porcelain mask with black tendrils oozing back from the eyeholes. His gloved hand reaches out…and he pushes the door inward, listening to that eerie creak as a bit of ash floats down from the ceiling.
Entragian sits directly in one of the old leather chairs at the skybox window, gazing out at the capacity crowd from the smudged and ash-smeared glass.
Isaac’s back is to Deviant…and he doesn’t turn when he realizes his acolyte has entered.
There’s a small sound coming from Isaac’s chair.
The sound of paper slowing ripping…bit by bit…a pile of torn and shredded paper already lying around Isaac’s feet.
Deviant immediately pauses, his demeanor changing to high alert almost automatically. He’s seen Isaac do this before…tear paper like that…it’s almost like he falls into a trance and just lets that RIP sound lull him down into a state of false calm. Isaac does this…when he’s incredibly upset about something. It’s sort of a coping mechanism…and Gaunt once told Danny in his early days within SCAR if you see Isaac like this…best to steer clear.
Deviant wants very much to do that, but he can’t. That option isn’t on the table…
Because Isaac called him here.
Deviant: Isaac…? You wanted to see me?
For a long moment there is only silence…then Entragian’s voice seems almost to float into Danny’s ears.
Entragian: Hello, Danny.
Another long pause.
Entragian: Did you enjoy your trip to Reno?
Deviant: I did! I’m glad you sent me…everything is in place with the contortionist sisters…they’re eager to work as featured dancers at the Desert Rose. They’ll be arriving soon…and I can—
Isaac immediately cuts Deviant off.
Entragian: That’s good, Danny. Well done.
Another pause…followed by the sound of a scrap of paper being slowly ripped away from a blank sheet.
Deviant opens his mouth again to speak, stammering slightly as he does so.
Deviant: I…I heard about everything that happened while I was away. I don’t know what Erick could have been thinking, Isaac. Such an act shall not go unpunished, though! He’ll pay for his treachery…together we’ll—
Once again, Isaac cuts Deviant off in the middle of his rambling.
Entragian: Tell me something, Danny.
We hear the sound of papers fluttering down to the floor…and Isaac’s head slowly cranes around to look at Danny Evers.
Entragian’s eyes…are horrifying to behold. There’s a lethal mixture of paranoia and derangement in those eyes…and for the briefest of moments Deviant feels that his heart skips several beats while attempting to gaze into them.
Entragian: Would you ever fuck me?
Deviant’s breath seems to catch in his throat…and he is unable to even articulate a reply.
Entragian…is slowly rising up to his feet from across the room.
Entragian: I don’t mean that in a literal sense, of course. What I mean is…would you ever fuck me over, Danny? Would you ever…conspire against me? Take a sharp little blade…and stab me in the back with it?
Isaac takes a step towards his acolyte, his head cocking to the side in a twisted, unnatural angle.
Entragian: Would you do that?
Deviant is finally able to find his voice…the words seeming almost to flood out of his mouth at once.
Deviant: Never, Isaac. NEVER. I’ve served you from day one…I’ve done everything you’ve ever asked of me…I love you…I’d go to war with ANYONE as long as it’s in your name…my LIFE for you Isaac…I’m your servant…your prophet…SCAR is all I have left and all that I fight for…you took me in when I was broken…you fixed me…made me WHOLE…I’ll always be loyal to you…
Isaac takes a few steps closer to Deviant, white hair hanging down to obscure one side of his face.
Deviant…can’t help but take a step back towards the door.
Deviant: If you think…I had something do with this?? If you think I was involved in Erick’s plot? I SWEAR to you, brother…it’s not true. I had no part in that…I’d WANT no part in that…my allegiance belongs solely to you…you have to believe–
Isaac has come within inches of Deviant now…to the point where he’s backed the smaller man up against the wall.
Isaac brings up a pallid finger and rests it against the mouth slit of Deviant’s mask.
Isaac leans close…almost intimately close to Deviant. Those pallid lips are inches away from Danny’s ear…so close that he can hear that forked tongue clicking against razor-sharp teeth.
Entragian: I think you were in on it, Danny.
Deviant’s eyes widen in the eyeholes of his mask…becoming large and terrified.
Entragian: I think you’re a little liar…a worthless, pathetic little worm boy…you think I don’t know about how tight you were with Adrian and Erick in the days of the Vanguard? YOU THINK I’VE FORGOTTEN?
Isaac’s voice becomes a ROAR that blows Danny’s hair back away from his ear.
Entragian: EVERYWHERE I LOOK…TREACHERY…BETRAYAL…CONSPIRING WHISPERS…HOW MANY ARE OF YOU ARE IN ON IT?? YOU THINK…YOU CAN OUTPLAN ME? OUTSTRATEGIZE ME? DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE EVEN A GHOST OF A CHANCE??
Isaac suddenly takes hold of Deviant by the front of his coat and SWINGS him around wildly, proceeding to THROW him across the room where he SMACKS into the skybox window back-first…little spiderweb cracks traveling through the glass as Deviant sinks down to his knees on the floor.
Deviant coughs raggedly on the floor, his back arched in pain.
Deviant: Isaac…I…I had nothing to do with this! I SWEAR….
Isaac storms across the room like a rabid beast…and he pauses only to grab up the same rusty claw hammer he used at Master of the Mat from one of the leather chairs near the window.
Entragian: All of you…so fucking ungrateful. So unappreciative for everything I’ve done for you. Everything that I’ve done…for SCAR. You’re all just jealous, chattering HYENAS trying to displace the lion from his throne…you don’t know what’s GOOD FOR YOU…YOU’RE TOO SMALL-MINDED TO GRASP THE BIG PICTURE.
Deviant sways on his knees…and Isaac begins to just SWING that hammer left and right, smacking and pulverizing Deviant’s mask and face…chips of porcelain flying all over the room and blood POURING down from beneath the mask. A whole section of the bottom of the mask drops away…and Isaac WHIPS the hammer at Deviant’s jaw…causing a several of his TEETH to fly out if his mouth and splatter up against the wall…dripping downwards in a glob of messy blood.
Isaac throws the hammer to the side…and he DIGS his hands down into Deviant’s hair and just starts dragging him around the room like a corpse…leaving streaks of blood across the floor. Entragian is wild-eyed, all control seemingly lost…the rage and paranoia consuming his every move.
Entragian: DON’T YOU GET IT? I….AM….SCAR. NONE OF YOU CAN STOP ME. NONE OF YOU CAN KILL ME. I MADE YOU ALL WHAT YOU ARE! WITHOUT ME…YOU’RE NOTHING. WITHOUT MY LEADERSHIP…PROJECT: SCAR WOULDN’T HAVE LASTED A FUCKING WEEK!
Isaac finally lets Deviant’s hair go, and the broken, bleeding man starts to crawl towards the door…blood gurgling out of his mouth and nostrils.
Entragian: Instead…I ensured that Project: SCAR lived for YEARS. LONG, PROSPEROUS YEARS…FILLED WITH BLOOD, MEAT, AND HEROIC PREY…AND I LET YOU ALL EAT BESIDE ME AT MY TABLE. I LET YOU ALL GROW FAT ON THE SOULS OF EACH AND EVERY GOOD, HONORABLE SOLDIER IGNORANT ENOUGH TO STAND AGAINST US. AND STILL…after ALL THAT…you DARE to defy me??
Deviant finally reaches the doorframe, a smeared trail of blood left behind him.
He reaches out, weakly…and grips the side of the doorframe. He just manages to get his head all the way out of the door…his vision already starting to dim and darken.
Far down the steps, seeming a world away…he sees some backstage personnel moving a crate.
He tries to scream…but all that comes out is a dry gurgling sound, blood bubbles popping in the corners of his ruined mouth.
The backstage personnel show no signs of hearing him.
But one voice does answer him.
Entragian: No, Danny.
Deviant’s eyes squeeze shut…and in that single moment where the pain has brought him perfect clarity…he realizes he backed the wrong horse. Chose the wrong side. Put his trust…in the wrong man.
It’s a choice he’ll regret for the rest of his life.
Entragian: At this stage in the game…there is no helping you.
Deviant holds to the doorframe a moment longer…and then he’s VIOLENTLY pulled backwards into the fire-damaged skybox, two of his fingernails literally SNAPPING off…and that awakens his vocal cords just long enough for an ear-splitting scream to ring out.
It doesn’t ring out far though…because the door of the skybox immediately slams closed.
The door to Deviant’s salvation…forever closed.
We fade to the ring to find it occupied by the spiritual liaison of the Reverend Jerry Matthews, Deacon Jeremiah Robinson. He is wearing an all-black suit and shirt combination, his head sporting a bandage from the kendo stick shot he took from Johnny Napalm in his mentor’s title win on the last edition of Revolution. He has a mic in hand, and he begins to address the SHOOT Project Epicenter audience.
Deacon Jeremiah: Ladies and gentlemen, two weeks ago, the greatest event in the entirety of the SHOOT Project’s history occurred. Finally, the SHOOT Project has a champion it can be proud of. Allow me to introduce you to your future redeemer, your future savior, and your NEW SHOOT Project Iron Fist Champion, “The Evangelist” Jerry Matthews.
Josh Turner’s “Long Black Train” begins to play through the arena and the crowd begins to boo loudly. The song’s train whistle heralds out the good Reverend himself. He appears at the top of the entrance ramp, wearing a white suit, the Iron Fist Championship over his left shoulder. He holds his arms out to form the shape of a cross as the fans continue to boo relentlessly. He makes his way down the ramp towards the ring, stopping to jaw at a few fans, one of whom is holding a sign displaying “Go Iron Fist Yourself, Jerry!!!” Jerry rips the sign from the fan’s hands and rips it into pieces.
He slides into the ring under the bottom rope and takes the mic from the Deacon. He waits for the crowd’s boos to cease and he begins to address them.
Jerry Matthews: Two weeks ago, brothers and sisters, something monumental happened.
Matthews pats the Iron Fist championship belt.
Jerry Matthews: And that was that I finally found the key to the collective salvation of all of you and for the haven of sin that is the SHOOT Project locker room. For too long, the Deacon and I have been spilling the blood of the wicked here in Las Vegas. And, yet, it had never occurred to me that you cannot purify anything with the blood of the unclean. Which is why tonight marks the start of a new era.
He takes the title belt off of his shoulder and hands it to the Deacon.
Jerry Matthews: That championship provides me with an opportunity. An opportunity to spill my own blood, the blood of an innocent holy man. Only through the destruction of an innocent can the SHOOT Project become as pure as a freshly fallen snow once again. And, while I selflessly pledge myself to save each and every one of you…
He begins to point at some of the fans in the front row, and the crowd explosively boos him once again.
Jerry Matthews: …I will also be restoring the prestige this title once held until Laura Seton took out Jaime Alejandro. Since that fateful day, this title has been more of a curse than a blessing to all of its holders. But, now, the right man has come forward. God’s Broadsword shall wipe away each individual stain of this title’s past. Johnny Napalm’s false identity as a savior and his bastard daughter were only the first. Tonight, Lord-willing, Laura Seton’s treachery may also be washed away. And soon, perhaps even the horrific, godless reigns of Isaac Entragian and Jaime Alejandro may also become nothing but footnotes in history. Watch closely, my children, or you shall miss history in the making. The Word of the Lord, Thanks Be to God.
Matthews drops the mic to the ring floor, and he and Deacon Jeremiah exit the ring. They head up the entrance ramp, stopping at the top. The Deacon hands the Reverend his championship belt, and he holds it high above his head one last time for the crowd, who continue to boo as the pair of holy men head to the back.
Maya walks up and down the hallways, holding the SHOOT Project World Title up on his shoulder. He stops, staring up at the ceiling, and takes a deep breath in. The sound of a voice behind him makes him close his eyes and dip his head toward the ground, with an annoyed grimace.
As Maya turns, he comes face to face with Jacob Mephisto.
Mephisto: Don’t worry. I won’t touch you. And you won’t be touched by anyone else. I just wanted to extend you a little invitation tonight.
Maya can’t help but laugh for a moment, making a point to adjust the SHOOT Project Title on his shoulder as obviously as he can for Mephisto.
Maya: Oh I’m sure you won’t touch me, because every time you and I have fought… it’s ended with you begging for your life, so in that regard I have no fears. So, go ahead, offer up your little invitation… what you want me to go to some secluded corner of the Epicenter so you can get someone else to do your dirty work for you?
Mephisto scowls for a moment, absentmindedly rubbing his neck and shoulder. After a few seconds, he smirks.
Mephisto: Not at all… champ. I just wanted you to come on down to ringside to watch me go head to head with your best buddy, Donovan King tonight. You can watch first hand as I beat him… again.
Maya gets right in Mephisto face, as close as he can without having to touch him.
Maya: Yeah, you want me to be ringside when King rips you apart? Nothing would please me more than to be in one of my closest friends’ corner to fight a punk like you.
Maya turns away for a second, but looks back at Mephisto with a scowl.
Maya: You know what the saddest part of all this is? It didn’t have to be this way between the two of us, it didn’t have to end up like this. If you had just owned up to your failures like a MAN and taken some responsibility… I could respect you, Jacob. I could respect you and not look at you with complete disgust, everyone in the Epicenter right now could. But you…
Maya looks him up and down.
Maya: You couldn’t handle that, so self-centered and desperate… you blamed every one but yourself. You’re pathetic, and I relish the chance to see King, first hand, beat the hell out of you. And when he does… who’ll you blame then, me, for accepting your invite?
Mephisto: That belt’s given you some backbone. I don’t want or need your respect. I don’t want or need the fans respect. You can be disgusted all you want, kid. And as for King? Well, I WANT you to watch him beat the hell out of me. Because in the end, you’ll have a front row seat to the dawn of a new era in SHOOT.
Mephisto smirks, the gesture never reaching his eyes. He turns and stalks away, leaving the World Heavyweight Champion alone.
Other Guy: Oh boy, E. Our next match isn’t going to be for the faint of heart.
Eryk Masters: Or for anyone WITH a heart, E… Kenji has vowed to destroy Lionheart and make an example of him tonight. Valentine’s response; he welcomes Kenji’s brutality, it arouses him and he is out to tame SCAR’s rabid dog.
Other Guy: There is no love lost between what can only be described as, two of the most primal men to ever set foot in a SHOOT Project… And they are set to collide…NEXT!
The confident smile of SHOOT Project ring announcer Samantha Coil draws in the fans towards her as she stands in the centre of the ring, microphone raised and looking out into the crowd.
Samantha Coil: The following contest is scheduled for one fall…Introducing first…
IF DEATH IS SLEEP… WHY DO YOU DIE WITH YOUR EYES OPEN
The arena dims down and a dark purple and blue haze glows down onto the staging area as the eerie psychedelic sound of “Strange New World” By Lucy Monostone fills the arena.
Other Guy: Whose music is this?
Eryk Masters: I have no idea, OG.
A single spotlight hit’s the stage to reveal the silhouette of “The Omega Messiah”. His head and long dark hair hung down over his face…He throws his head back, his hair flowing down over his shoulders; revealing a trickle of blood running down the corner of his mouth.
Other Guy: There is something seriously wrong with this guy.
Eryk Masters: I don’t know… We saw a new attitude this week and now new music. Valentine said things have changed; thus far he is living up to his word.
Other Guy: He has blood around his mouth, E!
Eryk Masters: And by all accounts he has a kinky girlfriend. Go figure.
Valentine outstretches his arms either side of him, in a Christ-like pose, his head turning up towards the lights momentarily.
Samantha Coil: Weighing in at Two Hundred and Sixty Five Pounds and hailing from London, England…The Omega Messiah” VAAAAALENTIIIIINE LIOOOOOONHEAAAAAART
Other Guy: This music has a strange hypnotic feel to it. Very different from the low and ominous tones we have come to know from Lionheart.
Eryk Masters: This still seems pretty ominous to me, just in a different way.
With a sneer emblazoned on his face, Valentine lowers his arms and his gaze returns to the ring. He looks from side to side, as if scanning the arena before making his slow and methodical march down the ramp.
Other Guy: Valentine’s wounds seem to be healing nicely Eryk.
Eryk Masters: The bandages are off, there still seems to be some tape on that shoulder. But my guess is it’s just precautionary. Although it appears Valentine is donning a few new cuts and scrapes.
Other Guy: As you said, E. Rumour has it, he has a kinky girlfriend.
Valentine rolls into the ring and marches past both Samantha Coil and referee Austin Linam, choosing instead to head straight to his corner where he leans in elbows first against the ropes and looks out towards the SHOOT Project fans.
Samantha Coil: And his opponent
The lights in the Epicenter die out, bathing the SHOOT Nation in total darkness. The SHOOTtron flickers to life with the image of a man holding his daughter. He is surrounded by darkness, save for where the man is standing with his daughter. Scabbed, rotting hands reach towards the man from the darkness, trying to rip his daughter from his grasp. The man’s eyes narrow and he steps into the darkness. Gutteral and primal screams ring out from the darkness, as the opening of "You’ve Seen the Butcher" begins to play. After a few seconds, the man steps back into the light covered in blood, still cradling his daughter. The light where the man is standing expands to the rest of the scene, revealing a room covered in limbs and blood. Against one wall, smeared in crimson blood, is one single, solitary word…
Samantha Coil: Weighing in at Two Hundred and Twenty Pounds and hailing from Kyoto, Japan… “The Sociopath Pioneer” KEEENJIII YAAAMAAADAAA
Other Guy: I’m getting shivers; E. these two are going to try to kill eachother aren’t they.
Eryk Masters: Kenji is out for blood and I believe he will get it here tonight.
Other Guy: Given the rumours flying around. I hear that Isaac Entragian has personally asked Valentine Lionheart to Punish Kenji here tonight.
Eryk Masters: Have you been reading Now Wrestling again?
The song kicks into full gear and the lights in the arena flare to their brightest for a split second before plunging the Epicenter back into darkness, save for a lone spotlight on the entrance ramp. Standing in that spotlight, glaring down at the ring, is Project: SCAR’s Sociopath Pioneer, Kenji Yamada. The crowd HURLS down boos as Kenji stalks towards the ring.
Other Guy: I was reading…Now Wrestling…I mean, no…I was reading some wrestling blogs over the weekend Eryk. It seems there is a small collection of fans who are unhappy with this match up.
Eryk Masters: Why so?
Other Guy: It seems that Kenji Yamada and Valentine Lionheart share the same fan base and while these fans are looking forward to the match, many of them had hoped we would see these two men on the same page at some point in the future.
Eryk Masters: Normally I would say; never say never, OG. But given the harsh words these two had for eachother this week I think I’ll have to go with never.
Kenji races up the ring steps and into the ring, Lionheart turns out of his corner to face his opponent when Kenji charges at him and leaps into the air with a huge forearm that rocks Valentine into the corner; Linam calls for the bell and Samantha Coil quickly gets out of dodge.
Kenji slams his knee into Valentine’s mid-section and then follows this up with a knife-edge chop to the chest, the slap echoing loudly throughout the epicentre and drawing a reaction from the fans.
Other Guy: Kenji did not want to wait this one out.
Yamada whips Lionheart from one corner to the other, but Valentine puts on the breaks and reverses the whip hurtling Kenji to the turnbuckle, but Yamada springs up the turnbuckle pads and backflips over and behind Valentine. Kenji wraps his arms around Valentine’s waist ready looking for a German Suplex, but Valentine turns fully to the left and then spins back with a full rotation of his waist cracking the point of his left elbow straight into the brow of “The Sociopath Pioneer.”
Eryk Masters: What a brutal shot.
Yamada staggers backwards and Lionheart quickly storms in hitting repeated palm-thrusts to the chest. ONE. TWO. THREE. FOUR. FIVE. SIX. SEVEN. EIGHT. NINE. TEN! Shots that rock Yamada and back him up against the ropes .
Other Guy: Who does Valentine think he is; E. Honda?
Lionheart then locks a clinch behind Yamada’s head and then forcefully drives his knee up into the sternum, causing Kenji to fall to his knees. Valentine takes hold of Kenji’s head and yanks it to the side, but Kenji jerks his head free and then bites down into Valentine’s inner thigh!
Valentine lets out a roar and pushes Kenji and then backs away creating distance so he can check on his leg. Blood now trickles from a bite wound on Valentine’s thigh, but Lionheart begins to laugh manically.
Other Guy: Kenji just bit into his leg and this lunatic is laughing!?
Eryk Masters: The clue in the word lunatic, OG.
Other Guy: Unless he is happy to add another scar to his collection?
Yamada springs into action as Lionheart holds onto the wound on his legs, he charges at him with a quick Yakuza kick to Valentine’s face, knocking him into the turnbuckle for second time. Lionheart grins up through his hair at Kenji; who delivers a short sharp right hand to the face of “The Omega Messiah.”
Eryk Masters: Ouch, that one had to hurt.
Relentlessly Yamada fires a chop to Valentine’s chest, he follows this up with a punch to the face and then repeats the combination over and over. CHOP! PUNCH! CHOP! PUNCH! CHOP! PUNCH! CHOP! Yamada backs away and Lionheart stumbles forward…With a run up Kenji drops with a basement dropkick to the knee.
Other Guy: Valentine is big; he’s fast and incredibly strong. But even he can’t keep up with Kenji’s speed.
Eryk Masters: You won’t see Valentine run up the ropes and do a backflip OG. But he will knee you in the face.
Valentine falls to all fours and Kenji sprints to the ropes with a second basement dropkick, only this time both boots connect straight to Lionheart’s face. Lionheart falls flat and Kenji leaps onto his back and pulls up his chin; looking for a camel clutch variation. Yamada then pulls one hand out from under the chin and then hooks two fingers inside Valentine’s mouth, fish-hooking the corner of his mouth.
Other Guy: What will a move like that do to you Eryk?
Eryk Masters: Rip your mouth open, OG.
Referee Linam spots the mouth rake and calls for Kenji to let go of the hold; Kenji smiles and allows Linam to begin his count…ONE…TWO…THREE….FOUR…Suddenly the expression on Kenji’s face is that of utter shock when Valentine bites down on his fingers and begins to shakes his head around like a dog with a rabbit in it’s mouth.
Other Guy: First Kenji bit Valentine and now Lionheart is chomping down on Kenji’s fingers. These two will end up eating eachother before the nights through.
Kenji release the camel clutch and begins firing forearms down to the back of Valentine’s head; Linam begins a count for Valentine’s bite…ONE…TWO…THREE… Realising the count may not work Linam shoves Kenji from off of Lionheart’s back thus causing his fingers to rip from Lionheart’s mouth. Yamada falls down clutching his hand, blood dripping down his arm as Valentine rolls to the ropes.
Eryk Masters: Austin Linam needs to reel this one in. Otherwise this one will get away from him if he is not too careful.
Lionheart pulls himself up by the ropes, his toothy smile now a deep crimson while Kenji’s blood falls from his mouth, down his chin and onto his chest. The fans quieten down as Kenji uses the turnbuckle to catch his balance, still holding onto his hand. Valentine sweeps his hair back over his shoulders and then sprints from one side of the ring with an body avalanche, crushing Kenji in the corner. Once here Valentine scoops Kenji up and sits him on the top turnbuckle and takes a few steps back.
Eryk Masters: The sizes difference came into play there, Valentine lifted Kenji up to the top with ease.
Before Kenji can even blink, Valentine charges and leaps into the air with his patented Tiger Knee attack that smashes right into Yamada’s chin and knocking him down over the top rope, Kenji slams into the ring apron hard and then falls to the floor below. A huge Holy-Shit chant fills the stands, prompting Lionheart to pace around the ring with his arms raised; this show of arrogance is greeted with jeers, jeers that Valentine seems to relish in.
Other Guy: I Lionheart gloating?
Eryk Masters: It seems like he is.
Linam gets to a five count and Valentine exits the ring and stalks the fallen Kenji. He takes hold of Yamada and pulls him to his feet where we see that Kenji’s chin has been busted open from the Tiger Knee. With ferocity, Lionheart then whips Kenji with all his might towards the ring steps, but almost right before impact Kenji jumps up in the air up and over the steps; gripping hold of Valentine’s long dark hair…The force of the throw and Kenji’s weight slams Valentine face first into the ring steps, the thud echoing loudly!
“Holy Shit! Holy Shit!” the fans chant as Valentine rolls down the steps onto his back; his recently healed eyebrow scar now busted open once again.
Other Guy: These fans read my mind.
Kenji is quick to act and pulls a limp Valentine Lionheart up and pushes him into the ring. Lionheart rolls over, still feeling the effect of having his face smashed into the ring steps as Kenji scales the apron and up the turnbuckle.
Eryk Masters: Kenji, may be looking to finish this one off.
Yamada springs off the top rope with a Bosou Elbow, but Lionheart rolls out of the way in the nick of time forcing Yamada to crash and burn into the mat hard…Both men, bleeding profusely and clearly feeling the effects of the match roll to opposite sides of the ring.
Other Guy: What does either man have to do to put the other away? They both seem to be relishing in the pain they are causing eachother.
Eryk Masters: Normally I would say that both men are looking to bounce back after the events of last Revolution, if that were the case then they would be looking for a quick finish. But this one is personal…Kenji is fighting for Flay and wants to use Valentine as a message to Isaac. Valentine took things one step further and made accusations about both himself and Flay…So I honestly don’t know what will end this one.
Both men are back to their feet, both looking to destroy eachother and finish this match and so they simply clash in the centre of the ring, all wrestling holds and moves flying out the window as they chop, punch, knee, forearm and uppercut eachother time and time again.
Other Guy: They are just beating the hell out of eachother now.
Lionheart rocks Kenji with a European Uppercut. Yamada staggers back and then fires forward with a forearm to the face. Valentine winces and then plants Kenji with a palm thrust. Yamada spins his whole body with a back fist. He then knees Valentine to the gut and throws up an uppercut of his own. Lionheart dodges and slams a forward elbow strike to Kenji’s head and then hits a straight head-butt to Yamada’s face…Kenji sways and Valentine whips him into the corner and then charges at him with a shoulder block to the gut…
Eryk Masters: Valentine using that strength again.
Lionheart hits another shoulder block and another…But Kenji fires down rights and lefts to his back for good measure. Valentine slams his shoulder in again and then lifts Kenji up onto the top rope. Valentine then climbs onto the bottom rope and begins trading blows with Kenji again…
Eryk Masters: These two will not quit.
Kenji climbs onto the top turnbuckle to gain the height advantage, but Valentine matches him by climbing to the second rope. Yamada then hits a punch to the face and leaps up in the air…
Kenji attempts to diver over Valentine, but is caught and locked in over Lionheart’s shoulders…Then in one quick step Valentine steps up onto the top-rope and springs backwards throwing Kenji’s legs out as both men fall from the top rope to the mat below with an almighty Valentine’s Day Massacre! Yamada’s face bounces off the mat and Valentine’s back smashes down hard…
Eryk Masters: The wind was knocked out of Valentine there.
Lionheart rolls over with a cover, unable to hook the leg…
Samantha Coil: Here is your winner…VAAALEEENTIIINEEE LIIIOOONHEEEAAART
Valentine rolls out of the ring and falls to his knees looking up at the downed Kenji…
Eryk Masters: What a brutal fight that was.
Other Guy: Brutal? That doesn’t even begin to describe what these two just did to each other…
Camera man: Okay, we’re rolling.
The scene fades in. Jester Smiles is seated in a steel chair in some hallway in the backstage area of the epicenter. It’s not a commonly traversed hallway, as there seems to be no one around, and it is dimly lit. Jester Smiles sits right under one of the few working fluorescent lights, looking dazed. The dark circles under his eyes are very defined, and the whites of his eyes are covered in red lines. Sleep is clearly eluding the man. His black “Hail To the King” t-shirt is wrinkled, as are his blue jeans. His goatee is untrimmed and he’s sporting a very clear five o’clock shadow. He frowns as he looks past the camera, as if lost in a very sad thought.
Jester comes to life for a second, shaking himself back into reality.
Jester Smiles: What?
Camera man: We’re rolling.
Jester nods, cracking his neck. He now looks into the camera, more focused now, but the sadness is still very present.
Jester Smiles: I wanted…I wanted to talk to somebody. You know, speak my mind, say my piece, that sort of thing. I wanted to…to address everyone. Kinda let everyone know where I’m coming from. I thought about hitting up Abigail or Mary, maybe even see if Dutch still has a job, but I figured they’d be too busy. A lot of A and B listers running around here, there’s not really time for a D lister, huh? This will do, though, right? No stupid questions that don’t really serve any of my purposes. Just me talking and you listening.
I’m going to hurt you Donovan. I think that’s understood. I think everyone knows that, real soon, I’m going to get you face to face and I’m going to beat you up. You’ll beat me up too, I know that. I’m pretty ready for that. Because…because I want to hurt you so badly that I don’t care what happens to me in the process. I want to rip something out of you that you aren’t going to be able to replace, and I don’t care what the consequences are for me.
That’s the shit everyone knows. Everyone gets that, one way or the other, I’ll get you alone and I’ll hurt you. That’s…that’s obvious. Let’s talk about what isn’t obvious.
Let’s talk about why.
Jester lets out a long sigh before continuing.
Jester Smiles: I’m really angry, Donovan. I mean, once again, obvious. But…but why am I so angry? Not just at you, but…but everyone. You, SHOOT Project, the fans, hell, almost everyone!
You know the really weird thing?
I don’t know.
I don’t know exactly why I’m so pissed off. I don’t know exactly what it is that makes me want to hurt you, hurt this entire company so much.
You know, I heard tabloid rumors long before I was ever handed a secret envelope with a picture of you kissing her. People kept seeing Donovan King doing stuff with Jester Smiles’ ex-girlfriend. The wrestling world has gossip columns too, and though no one ever saw you doing anything particularly romantic except hanging out, they made their speculations.
And…you know what’s weird? I kinda figured it was true all along. It made perfect sense.
Because, years ago, when I invited you into my home? When I was helping you pay back your debt by giving you jobs in the gyms I was working at? When I was saving your ass while you waited for SHOOT to come back?
I saw it. I knew you thought there was something about her.
I also knew she thought there was something about you.
And the weird part was…it didn’t really bother me. If she thought you were cute and interesting, if you thought she was hot and exciting, it didn’t matter. She loved me and I loved her. We…we trusted each other.
And I trusted you. Considering our history, I shouldn’t have, but I did. I knew you were different. I knew you had changed.
Even when SHOOT came back and you started The Hierarchy, I knew there was something different.
It’s part of why I joined you, Donnie. It’s part of why I betrayed the fans and my own moral code.
You were different. You were…better.
Jester looks down at the ground, laughing a little. He looks back up. His eyes look wet.
Jester Smiles: And look at you now. Look at what you’ve accomplished.
I was right.
The smile fades away. Jester scowls at the camera.
Jester Smiles: And I fucking hate it. I hate what you have accomplished. What Dan accomplished. I hate that Maya Nakashima is the World Champion.
When I was World Champion, Dan Stein was an ally and a great competitor, but he wasn’t superior to me. You still had to use bullshit tactics to get what you wanted. Maya Nakashima was…was practically a fucking joke!
Now you all and several others have sky rocketed and…and here I am. Low as low can be. Not even a has been. People remember has beens. They remember what has beens did in the past. They remember why they used to cheer for that has been, or at least why they used to care.
No one…remembers…me. No one remembers caring about Jester Smiles. No one remembers Master of the Mat 2008. No one remembers the deafening cheers at the Richmond Coliseum. NO ONE FUCKING KNOWS WHAT A FUCKING ELEVENTH HOUR MATCH IS!
Jester takes a few deep breathes. His hands are shaking. His eyes are wide.
Jester Smiles: I’ve been…forgotten. It’s not like my time has passed.
It’s like it never happened. God, it’s like I’m some kind of new fucking hire. Like I’ve only been in this company for a couple of months, not since 2007.
And with all that, there’s you. Every day, I get to look at you. The man who tried to destroy my life. The man who came to me to help save SHOOT Project. The man who turned me from what I believed in. The man who’s been my greatest enemy and my dearest friend. The man who fucking started in SHOOT on the same day, during the SAME MATCH as me!
I get to look at you and…and it’s like looking in a mirror. Every thing you say you believe in are the things I used to believe in. Every stand you take is a stand I would have taken. Every time the fans cheer, it sounds like the cheers I used to get.
Fuck, you even do a superkick just like me.
And now…now you have her. Now she’s with you.
I know it’s crazy, I know it makes no sense, but…but…
But it’s like you stole my fucking life. It’s like this place robbed me of what made me great and gave it to you.
So…no, it’s not just that you are with her, Donovan. I can’t pick out ONE exact reason why I want to hurt you.
Except that, everything about you reminds me too much of what I once was.
And for fuck’s sake, I want to scratch you up a little, I want to break you down JUST A LITTLE, so that the comparison isn’t so great.
Or fucking die trying. Cuz then it wouldn’t matter either way.
There’s a silence for a moment. Jester just looks away from the camera. His hands shake. His legs shake. His breathing is somewhat fast, as if he just did a light work out
Jester Smiles: So…I’ll be watching your match with Mephisto. I want you to be safe out there. I don’t want you getting hurt. I’ll even leave you alone. You won’t have to worry about me attacking you out there.
But I deserve my shot at you, and when I get it, I want you at your best. I want you in top form.
But I’m going to take something away from you, Donovan. I’m going to take a piece of you away.
Shut it off. I won’t waist anymore precious air time.
The scene fades out.
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Samantha Coil: The following contest is scheduled for one fall
The slow industrial tones of “Ressurection” by Fear Factory begin to play in the darkend arena as the 3M logo flickers in stating on the Jumbo Tron
Consumed with memories that preceded today
Given a chance to bereave life that’s slipping away
The heavy flashing guitars kick in as 3M emerges from the entrance, cloaked in glowing lights, face fully exposed as the fans erupt into cheers.
Samantha Coil: The first competitor, weighing in at Two Hundred and Thirty-One Pounds, hailing from Chicago Illinois, he is the former SIN CITY CHAMPION!!! “THREE EMMMMMMMM!”
Suffered through tragedy of my slow decay
Deceptive tendencies dragged my soul away
He stands still staring down the ramp, looking towards the ring without any real feeling. He slowly walks to the ring, not even touching the crowd on his way down.
Other Guy: Is it Marcus Mirra or 3M? That’s the question people have been asking since his attack on Dan Stein at 119.
Eryk Masters: At ELITE, we had an idea. After Revolution, we don’t know. The attack on Dan Stein was one of the most heinous acts I’ve seen so far. I almost felt sorry for Stein.
All that I know
There was no God for me
Force that shatters all
Absence of mortality
Revive all my fears
Revive wasted tears
Revive void within
Revive once again
Again, again, again, again…
Mirage simply just slides into the ring and doesn’t even look at Scott Kamura All he does is turns back around and stares at the entrance way. You just see no emotion on the face of Marcus Mirra… You see emptiness…
Other Guy: Look at the lack of emotion, E.
Eryk Masters: You never know what’s on that man’s mind.
The fans turn to the entrance ramp as “They Are Lost” by Last Remaining Pinnacle begins to play. As the music hits the PA system, the electricity in the air amplifies the boos until Thomas Manchester Black steps out from the back, a scowl on his face, as you see the Rules of Surrender championship is no longer in his possession.
Eryk Masters: TMB had a very bad time at ELITE. Dave Marz took the title at ELITE. Then, in the rematch, Marz held dominance over the title.
Other Guy: Black has been silent as of this week, but he’s always been a man who’s taken his disagreements out in the ring.
Samantha Coil: And his opponent, hailing from the Queen City of Charlotte, North Carolina, he weighs in at two hundred forty five pounds, and he is the former RULE OF SURRENDER CHAMPION. Ladies and Gentlemen, here is “The Queen City Hitman” THOMAS MANCHESTER BLAAAAAAACK!
As you see TMB heading into the ring, he stares right at his opponent. Yet you see 3M gives him no regard…
Other Guy: And 3M isn’t even looking at him at all…
Eryk Masters: Makes you wonder what he’s thinking…
Scott Kamura doesn’t have to do a whole lot to keep them apart, as he looks over at Mark Kendrick and calls for the bell. TMB comes charging towards 3M, who ducks under and heads around the ring. As he sees this, Kamura yells at 3M!
Eryk Masters: What’s going on here?!!
Other Guy: I don’t have a clue, man… I mean, is that cat as messed up as we thought?
Eryk Masters: And Kamura doesn’t know what the hell is going on, either…
Kamura looks at TMB trying to calm him down. 3M just moves towards the ramp and waves off the action.
TMB starts protesting as Kamura throws the count, but 3M shows no signs of making it back into the ring.
Eryk Masters: You’re kidding me. I mean, first the attack on Stein. Then, his statements since then…
Other Guy: I don’t know what’s going on, but Marcus, you got a match in there. You gonna just walk out and let TMB get a win…
3M is already up to the entranceway. He looks back at the ring and shakes his head slowly. Then, turns back around towards the entrance.
Other Guy: Look at this, E! He’s not even gonna go back in the ring.
Eryk Masters: This is just utter disrespect towards a fellow Soldier, OG!
The camera cuts to the back, catching Mirage as he walks through the curtains coming from his confrontation with Thomas Manchester Black. The staff greets Mirage with a water bottle, and as he turns from the Gorilla Position, Dan Stein SLAPS the water out of his hand. Mirage, caught off guard, looks at Stein.
Mirage: I was dri—
Stein snaps forward, SMASHING the Sin City Championship into Mirage’s forehead, immediately dropping him to the ground. Dan lunges on the fallen Mirage, grabbing the back of his head. Dan slams his fist into Mirage’s face, over and over, busting him open. Dan drives his fist into the bloody gash once more, then throws Mirage’s head back. As Mirage looks around, dazed and confused, Stein brings himself to a standing position, looking down at his bloody fist. Stein dangles the Sin City Championship over Mirage’s face.
Dan Stein: It’s not nice to interrupt people, Mirage. I’m sure you can see that now.
As Mirage staggers back to his feet, Stein grabs him, swinging him against the far wall, where he stumbles, attempting to stay on his feet, but runs out of room, slamming into spare scaffold equipment stacked against the wall, sending it tumbling with the loud sound of metal clanking.
Dan stein: I’m sorry, were you going to say something?
As staff scrambles out of the way, Stein walks forward, once again grabbing Mirage and dragging him across the room where he sends him into a catering table, knocking over a massive display of food and drink. Stein’s eyes grow wide as he looks at the dip tray on the ground.
Dan Stein: Got to eat your veggies so you grow up big and strong, Bro.
Dan grabs a handful of baby carrots, shoving them into Mirage’s face as the former Sin City Champion scrambles to his feet but slips on the various items he’s covered in. Nic Ezra and Molly, Stein’s assistant, walk up behind Dan. Stein reaches back, handing the Sin City Championship to Molly and taking a crowbar from Ezra, who looks on, smiling.
Dan Stein: You know, this is the season… for giving thanks. And, really, Mirage, I’m thankful for you showing me… just how therapeutic a beat down can truly be.
Stein swings the crowbar at the back of Mirage’s leg, taking it out from underneath him. Mirage writhes in pain, clutching his knee. Molly timidly reaches forward toward the crowbar to take it from Dan, but Ezra slaps her hand away, giving her a bad look. Dan brings the crowbar down across Mirage’s thigh, the steel colliding with concrete. Mirage screams in agony. Stein pauses, looking around the hallway for nothing in particular. Looking back at Mirage, Stein speaks.
Dan Stein:: Hey, look at that. Nobody was here to save you again.
Stein looks over his shoulder at a collection of staff members watching on in silence. Pointing the crowbar at them, Stein chuckles.
Dan Stein: Sorry about the mess. Almost done here!
As Stein turns his attention back toward Mirage, Molly moves in his way.
Molly the Assistant: Don’t you think you’ve made your point?
Stein pauses for a moment, breathing heavily after the onslaught of action, looking from the staff members surrounding the area to Molly. He shoots his assistant an inquisitive look.
Dan Stein: Last week, this man tried to end my career, and you think he deserves anything less than the same?
Molly, watching as Mirage tries to slide away with a gimpy leg, speaks timidly.
Molly the Assistant: No, it’s just… he didn’t.
Molly rubs her hands as she looks away from Stein. Dan looks at Molly, then back at Mirage, slowly. Squatting down, Stein points the crowbar at Mirage’s face, bringing it to the man’s cheek. Stein stares at the man for a few moments, then leans in close to speak in a whisper.
Dan Stein: You come at me one more time, I’ll fucking destroy you, Mirage. You so much as think about Dan Stein, and it will be the last thing you ever do in SHOOT Project. I guarantee that.
Stein jabs the blunt end of the crowbar into Mirage’s cheek, shoving his head back against the wall. Admiring his handiwork for a moment, Dan stands, as Molly hands him the Sin City Championship. Dan gives Ezra the crowbar before slinging the belt over his shoulder. The emergency crew rushes over to Mirage as Stein turns Ezra and Molly around, holding them by their shoulders. Molly cringes as Stein’s fingers tighten on her collarbone.
Dan Stein: Pumpkin pie sounds good right now, yeah?
Dan walks down the hallway, as the camera turns back to a shot of the bloodied Mirage getting medical treatment. The camera cuts back to the ringside booth.
Eryk Masters: As you can see from the footage, Mirage was left in pretty bad shape as the Sin City Champion reminded us of just who he is capable of being.
Other Guy: Why did his assistant stop him from going on?!
Don’t miss Graystone on High Octane Wrestling’s Monday Night Mayhem, LIVE on High Octane Television!
The Epicenter fans are still pumped for Revolution 120 as more action is about to get underway. Samantha Coil steps into the ring and the fans let out a cheer.
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is scheduled for one fall and is for the IRON FIST CHAMPIONSHIP!
The lights dim and change to a purple/pinkish hue.
Ohhh, oh-oh-oh-ohhhh, o-o-o-o-o-ohhhh I’ll get him hot, show him what I got…
Purple pyro goes off at the top of the entrance ramp in time with the ensuing beat of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” before the lights return to normal. In the smoke of the fireworks is Laura Seton, being met with an enormous amount of booing and other verbal abuse. She stands in her standard shiny black leather sleeveless top and matching pants to go with nearly knee-high black boots. Standing in the smoke, her head is down, eyes closed, as if in deep thought.
Can’t read my
Can’t read my
No he can’t read my poker face…
She’s got me like nobody
Her eyes open and her head lifts. She stares at the ring, a harsh look at no one in particular.
Can’t read my
Can’t read my
She takes a deep breath before stepping forward and slowly walks down the ramp and aisleway leading to the ring.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first, the challenger! She hails from Oshkosh, Wisconsin. She is the one known as “Twenty Minutes of Terror.” Here is LAAAUUURAAAA SEEETOOONNN!!!
Eryk Masters: And here she comes, folks. Laura Seton gained her fame as a multiple time Sin City Champion. She changed her colors in her first pursuit of the Iron Fist Championship. Now, she has a new chance at the title.
Other Guy: Absolutely, E. But, she’s got a tall order to fill. The current champion is on a hot streak and he is looking to restore the Iron Fist Title to glory, E. But, if anyone can step up to the challenge, it’s Laura Seton, even if she is a cunt.
Laura rolls into the ring underneath the bottom rope. She pops to her feet as the crowd boos loudly. Seton stretches a bit as she awaits the champion.
Samantha Coil: And, her opponent!
Boos fill the arena as Long Black Train by Josh Turner begins to play over the speakers. Jerry Matthews steps out onto the entrance stage, the Iron Fist Championship clasped firmly around his waist. The crowd boos loudly as Jerry starts forward, his bible raised in the air. Deacon Jeremiah steps out behind him and the champion and his spiritual liason begin to walk down the ramp.
Samantha Coil: Hailing from Redemption, Alabama and weighing in at two hundred and seventy-five pounds! Accompanied to the ring by Deacon Jeremiah. He is the current REIGNING and DEFENDING SHOOT Project IRON FIST CHAMPION! Here is “The Evangelist” JERRRRYYYY MAAAAATHHEEEEWWWSSSS!!!
Matthews saunters down the aisle, Jeremiah in tow. He preaches out to the booing fans and taps the faceplate of the Iron Fist Championship around his waist.
Jerry Matthews: I will cleanse the history of this title tonight!
Eryk Masters: And here comes the champion! He won that title at the last Revolution, OG. And he is on a mission to bring glory to that title.
Other Guy: I’m all for that, E. But I just don’t like this guy. And these fans seem to agree. But, I won’t deny he’s a high quality SHOOT Project Soldier.
Matthews climbs the ring steps and steps into the ring. He unbuckles the Iron Fist Championship from around his waist and hands it off to the referee.
Eryk Masters: Looks like we’re about ready to go, here. Dennis Heflin is handing the title to Mark Kendrick on the outside.
Heflin calls for the bell and the match is on!
Matthews and Seton step out to the center of the ring, Matthews having the clear height and weight advantage. He spouts off a line of preaching as Laura rolls her eyes and smirks.
Eryk Masters: Looks like Matthews is delivering a sermon, but Laura is not amused.
Other Guy: I’m telling you, E, this guys is like a SHOOThova’s Witness. He’s always preaching.
Eryk Masters: A SHOOThova’s Witness? Really?
Laura eventually shakes her head and offers a handshake. Matthews stares at her for a moment before smiling and taking her hand. AND LAURA PLANTS her boot right into the champion’s groin! The crowd “ooohs” as Matthews doubles over clutching his family jewels!
Other Guy: OUCH! That’s the end of THAT sermon! And I think it’s safe to say that this one is underway.
Seton begins to fire right hands to the temple of the champ. She begins to send quick kicks to his midsection, staying on the offensive. She hooks his head and SNAPS down with a quick DDT, planting the champ. Laura pops back to her feet and begins to put the boots to Matthews.
Matthews rolls to his stomach and begins to slowly push himself up to all fours. Laura hits the ropes quickly and comes off, delivering a swift dropkick to the ribs, rolling Matthews onto his back. She gets back to her feet and LEAPS into the air, dropping both of her legs across his midsection. Matthews gasps for air as he clutches his ribs.
Eryk Masters: You may not like her methods, but remember, the only thing that counts in this match is keeping your opponent down for a ten count. And Seton is employing a smart strategy here.
Other Guy: The crowd has no love for either of these two, but they’re at least hoping for a good match. And Seton is delivering right now.
Laura drops down and clamps her hands around the champion’s throat, blatantly choking him. Dennis Heflin can do nothing but watch. BUT MATTHEWS reaches up and SMASHES Laura in the face with a HEAVY right hand! Seton releases her grip and rocks backwards, clasping her face. She removes her hands and a small trickle of blood begins to flow from her nose, eliciting a small cheer from the crowd.
Matthews pushes himself up and gets back to his feet as Laura GLARES at him and rushes forward, firing a forearm into his jaw! He staggers back and Seton presses forward. She grabs a wrist and Irish whips the champion into the ropes, BUT Matthews reverses, sending Laura into the ropes instead, catching her on the rebound with a BIG powerslam!
The Reverend snarls as he pushes himself back to his feet and looks down on Seton, who is rolling around in pain. He stalks forward and STOMPS down across Laura’s stomach, leaving his boot on her stomach and PRESSING down. He begins to shout out at the crowd, preaching his word.
Other Guy: A modified version of The Pulpit!
Matthews removes his boot and STOMPS down again! He reaches down, grabbing Seton by her hair and bringing her to her feet. He boots her in the gut, hooks her head, and HOIST her into the air before dropping STRAIGHT down with a brainbuster. Matthews rolls away and motions for the referee to count her out. Heflin begins his count!
Laura begins to stir, rolling to her stomach and pushing herself up onto all fours.
Laura shows an effort of will and SHOVES herself back to her feet, breaking the count! Matthews shakes his head and looks out to Deacon Jeremiah, who hands Matthews his bible. As Laura staggers around for a moment, Matthews raises the bible high into the air.
Matthews: I bring the word of the Lord to this would-be stain on the Iron Fist!
Seton turns around and Jerry RUSHES forward and CLOBBERS Laura with the bible, sending her crumpling to the canvas.
Eryk Masters: What the? What’s in that thing?!?
Other Guy: It’s the power of God, E!
Matthews motions for the referee to count and smirks as he opens the bible to reveal that it’s been hollowed out. In place of pages in the book is…
Other Guy: How did that get in there?
Eryk Masters: I’ll give you three guesses and the first two don’t count.
Other Guy: Divine intervention? That’s what I’m going with.
Heflin has gotten to the count of seven and Seton has pulled herself to her feet using the ropes on VERY wobbly legs. Matthews RUSHES forward, swinging that brick bible again, BUT Seton ducks! Matthews turns JUST as Laura LEAPS into the air and connects with the High Hurdle enziguri! Matthews hits the canvas HARD.
Laura takes a moment to regain her bearings before dropping to the mat and rolling out of the ring. She marches over to Mark Kendrick and demands he give up his chair, which he does, begrudgingly. Seton slides into the ring as the Iron Fist Champion begins to pull himself to his feet again.
Eryk Masters: Oh man, here we go. This woman is NASTY with a chair. Just ask Jaime Alejandro.
Laura taps the chair against the canvas as Matthews staggers and turns. Seton swings and CRACKS Matthews over the head with the chair. The champion staggers, but doesn’t fall. She swings again and CRACKS him again! This time, Matthews drops to one knee, his upper body swaying back and forth drunkenly. Seton drops the chair and swiftly moves behind him. She hooks his head and DROPS!
Other Guy: GOLD MEDAL! That could keep the Reverend down! We may have a new champion!
Laura pulls herself to her feet and demands Dennis Heflin count.
Matthews crawls to the ropes and begins to slowly pull himself up.
Matthews DRAGS himself to his feet JUST before the count of ten!
Other Guy: WOW! THAT was close!
Seton wastes no time and rushes back in, but doesn’t see that Deacon Jeremiah has handed something to Matthews. Seton LEAPS into the air, looking to plant her feet into the small of Matthews’ back, BUT MATTHEWS sidesteps and JAMS something into her leg! Seton DROPS to the canvas HARD, clutching her leg, which is now bleeding and we can see that the champion is holding a silver crucifix with the bottom end sharpened to a point.
Eryk Masters: What a diabolical human being! He’s using a relic of his faith to maim his opponent!
Matthews holds the crucifix high and mutters a quick prayer before handing the weapon back out to Deacon Jeremiah.
The champion moves forward, DRAGGING Seton back to her feet. He FIRES a right hand into her forehead, staggering her back before quickly grabbing a wrist and Irish whipping her across the ring. Half way there, she stumbles on that bleeding leg and falls to a knee. Matthews moves in, furious, and JERKS her back to his feet. He HOISTS her onto his shoulder set for a running powerslam. Matthews walks to the corner.
Other Guy: This is the move that put down the previous champion, E!
Matthews runs forward, but Seton slips out the back and SHOVES Matthews as hard as she can, sending him across the ring into the turnbuckles chest first! Seton reaches down and picks up the chair she dropped earlier. As Matthews turns back to face her, Seton RUSHES forward and HAMMERS Matthews over the head with that chair, sending him crashing to the canvas again!
Eryk Masters: WHAT A SHOT!
Laura glares out at the booing crowd before placing the chair over Matthews’ face. Laura steps to the outside and climbs to the top rope!
Eryk Masters: This doesn’t look good, OG!
Other Guy: Not at all. She could end this man’s career right here!
Seton LEAPS from the turnbuckle with a legdrop! BUT MATTHEWS THROWS the chair up into her legs and rolls away! Seton comes CRASHING down on that chair!
Eryk Masters: OH MY! What a bad landing for Laura Seton!
Matthew crawls to where Deacon Jeremiah is waiting on the outside. He hands a glass flask to Matthews, filled with a clear liquid. Matthews climbs to his feet at the same time as Laura. Both of them turn to face one another. Matthews SWINGS the flask, but Laura ducks it! Matthews turns and Laura LEAPS up for another High Hurdle enziguri! BUT Matthews ducks it! Laura lands on her feet and turns, but Matthews SMASHES the glass flask of holy water over her head, the glass shattering everywhere!
Other Guy: Good God, man! That was just BRUTAL!
Laura falls to the canvas in a heap and Matthews staggers backwards into the corner clutching his hand, which has shards of glass stuck in it. He nods to Heflin who begins to count!
Heflin calls for the bell! Long Black Train begins to play and the crowd boos loudly as Dennis Heflin raises the hand of Jerry Matthews, handing him the Iron Fist Championship.
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen, here is your winner, and STILL the SHOOT Project IRON FIST CHAMPION, JERRRRRRYYYY MAAAATTTTHHHEEEEWWWWSSS!!!
Eryk Masters: What a brutal match, OG. But, Jerry Matthews is successful in his first defense.
Other Guy: It was brutal, indeed, E. Can Jerry Matthews live up to his promise regarding the title? Time will tell, but for right now, he has defended that title is true Iron Fist fashion. But take NOTHING away from Laura Seton here tonight, she put up one hell of a fight.
The music continues to play as Matthews and Jeremiah walk back up the ramp, Matthews holding the Iron Fist Championship high in the air. EMTs rush to the ring to check on the downed Laura Seton as we cut away.
Always a busy night at the Epicenter, and the 120th edition of Revolution has been NO different. The show finds itself backstage where a familiar announcer is currently being joined onscreen by a VERY FAMILIAR, former SHOOT Project World Champion.
Dutch Harris, long time commentator and SHOOT Project journalist, is at the side of JONNY JOHNSON, whose series of deep, affirming breaths could possibly lead a human being to believe he’s not particularly happy. Jonny’s dressed to the nines for whatever reason, despite never once being scheduled to make an appearance. Grey suit jacket, Vanquish II, light grey pinstripes… matching pants, and shining black Edward Green Dover, Split toe shoes. He has a white, button-down shirt and grey skinny tie to finish off the outfit. His dirty blonde hair is product-ed up into a chic, bed-headed mess, a partial beard lining his defined, chiseled jaw.
The man’s in great shape.
Dutch nods at his guest and attempts to begin the interview.
Dutch Harris: Well SHOOT Project fans, it’s my honor to be here with our gest at this time, former SHOOT Project World Champion, multi-time SHOOT Project Tag Team Champion… Jon…
Jonny’s eyes roll and he sighs loudly.
Jonny: Former Iron Fist Champion. Why does EVERYONE always fucking forget that one. Former True Talent Wrestling Television Champion… Jesus, Dutch…
He frustratingly rips the microphone out of Harris’s hand.
Jonny: I’ll tell you what. You just stand there because lord KNOWS you’ll do whatever you can to bury me. I mean… seriously. GET OVER IT.
Jonny takes a deep breath, obviously aware that he may be unnecessarily losing his cool. He reaches over and pats Dutch on the shoulder.
Jonny: My bad. I just… look. I’m on some pretty annoying medication for this left wrist injury. I get really irritable. I’m sure you were gonna do a super great interview and next time I’m in town, I’ll give you the exclusive, but I just…. uhh… I just need this to go a certain way since I feel like I’m not totally being understood by people.
He puts his arm out and nudges Dutch out of the way.
Jonny: So stand uhhh… just likle… (still pushing him, to the edge of the camera’s view) Stand there, and… Ugh. This is going to sound like a bitch move, but I need this… Stand there and nod so people watching at home understand that it’s okay to UNDERSTAND ME.
Dutch is clearly not in love with anything about this interview and Jonny is also aware and very apologetic.
Jonny: Dude. I know. But… please. Nod. Nod your fucking head.
Dutch exhales and… nods
Jonny: Thank you. (Deep breath) Okay. Dutch. Thanks for having me out. I’ve made a lot of progress in the last couple weeks and I’d say, pretty strongly that I’m at about Ninety-Nine and maybe… Two Tenths. So… One… fifth? I’m at ninety-nine point two percent, Dutch. Two tenths in TWO WEEKS. I’m feeling the best I’ve felt, and I can’t WAIT to get back in the ring. I miss these great SHOOT Project fans and I am absolutely CHOMPING at the bit to get in the ring and kick the evil right the HECK OUT OF HERE.
Jonny stares at Dutch, who, while attentive, didn’t nod, which draws a raised eyebrow from the former World Champ. Dutch seems confused at first, which only serves to make Jonny visibly upset.
Jonny: COME THE FUCK ON, MAN.
Dutch Harris: Wha… oh…
Jonny rubs at his eyes and face, head lowering to the floor.
Jonny: Okay. Dutch. Just. Obviously I’m missing something. (Looking back up) What am I missing huh? WHY ARE THERE ONLY LIKE THREE POSTS ABOUT ME ON THE OFFICIAL MESSAGE BOARDS????
Jonny holds his hand out, stops himself and brings his right index knuckle to his lips and chomps down.
Jonny: Okay. That came out really fucking dumb. That was stupid. (Collecting himself) The fans clearly aren’t inspired by the product. That’s fine. It’s dark times around here. I mean… shit I barely even remember to check online for anything, myself. I’m just always suffering from despair from how dark it is… And… like, if I’m not more active how can… (More assured) How can I expect the fans to be. Sure. That’s petty, Dutch. I’m as much accountable as anyone else.
Having talked himself out of a panic attack, Jonny proceeds.
Jonny: This has just been… It’s been hard, Dutch. I’ve been… ya know, I’ve been going through a lot of life changes. I’m trying to change how I see the world… trying to take charge. It makes me sad to see SHOOT from this angle. I’ve never been on this side. I’ve always… well, I mean, you know my history, Dutch. I haven’t been the best person. So I’ve never… wow. I… I guess… I’ve never known what it is to hurt for this place. For… For SHOOT Project blood to… to… to be MY blood.
It’s as though he’s having an epiphany before everyone’s eyes.
Jonny: All I want is for people to know that I’m not giving up on them. I saw how Revolution ended last week… how it ends EVERY week. With a selfish anti-hero prolonging an ugly war with the World’s worst collection of humans. That needs to end…. It’s EIGHT TENTHS ONE PERCENT AWAY… from ending.
Dutch could not look anymore lost with what’s going on. It’s visible how miffed he is with this interview, which isn’t doing him any favors as it pertains to Jonny’s ire.
Jonny: (Scoffing) Whatever, man. I don’t…
He drops the microphone on the floor, which creates a VERY loud crashing sound.
Jonny: (Off Mic, but still mostly audible) I DON’T NEED THIS!
Dutch looks at the cameraman, and then back off to Jonny who’s out of shot, before awkwardly picking the microphone back up.
Dutch Harris: (Still very confused) I’m uhhh. I’m sorry for that folks. That was Jonny Johnson. Clearly going through. Well. Something. I guess back to Eryk and OG?
Dutch Harris: I don’t know.
The lights darken in the Epicenter and the crowd starts getting pumped as purple strobe lights start to flash through the stands. The SHOOT Video Wall goes black for a moment…and then it begins to flash with the large red “JN” logo, eliciting even more energy from the Las Vegas faithful.
“CAUSE HERE I COME”
HERE I COME…YEAH!!!!”
The lights flash back on in the Epicenter as Pop Evil’s “Trenches” kicks into the life, and on cue Johnny Napalm emerges from behind the curtains…and the crowd goes WILD for the big Violence Savior.
Johnny wears his old school purple tights and jacket, and he slides his signature mask off his face to look out at the sea of fans that are roaring in support.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first, he hails from South Boston, Massachusetts…weighing in at 290lbs…THE VIOLENCE SAVIOR…JOHNNY NAPALM!!!
Eryk Masters: Well for the first time in his three years in SHOOT Project…the big man Johnny Napalm will be stepping into the ring with The Ivory Terror.
Other Guy: And it’ll be one of the greatest tests this man has ever faced thus far in the company, E. Personally? I think he’s out of his league…
Eryk Masters: Really, OG? Napalm knows how tough Isaac is, not to mention the fact that he’s a former Iron Fist Champion AND former Tag Team Champion. This is the very same powerhouse that defined an entirely new era in tag team wrestling here in SHOOT via Sex & Violence…and that team will go down in history as one of the most dominant duos to ever grace the tag division.
Other Guy: I’ll give you that much…but the other major thing to take into consideration here is the fact that this isn’t an Iron Fist match…there are rules set in place here and these behemoths will have to adhere to them.
Eryk Masters: Well we’ve seen in the past that Napalm can deliver in the big matches regardless of rules or stipulations…this guy has only one speed and that’s BEAST MODE…and I’d say he looks primed and ready for the challenge he’s about to face tonight.
Napalm enters the ring, handing off his jacket and mask to the ringside attendant before going to corner to await the arrival of his opponent. Johnny stares at the top of his ramp, jaw set and eyes looking especially determined.
The lights immediately shut off, one by one, pitching the arena into darkness. Triggered blasts of hellfire start to burst into life on either side of the ramp, and the image of a flaming red eye surrounded by the SHOOT Project Helmet appears on the SHOOT Video Wall.
Tiamat’s “Sympathy For The Devil” roars through the Epicenter, and out from the back walks the towering form of Isaac Entragian. White hair hangs about Isaac’s face, and the blackened edges of the Helmet tattoo seem almost like blades stemming away from Isaac’s scarlet eye. The fans automatically begin to scream their disdain for the leader of Project: SCAR…and this serves only to bring a cold, sharp smile to Isaac’s face.
Samantha Coil: Introducing second, hailing from Mideon, Nebraska…he weighs in at 320lbs…THE IVORY TERROR OF PROJECT: SCAR…ISAAC ENTRAGIAN!!!
Eryk Masters: The vilest of the vile. Just when you thought Entragian couldn’t sink any lower…take into consideration the things he’s done in recent weeks to Corazon AND some of his own “brothers” within SCAR.
Other Guy: The tension within SCAR lately has been through the roof…some of Isaac’s own people starting to claim that he’s been the problem in Project: SCAR all along. Seems they’re finally waking up…and realizing just how SICK Isaac really is.
Eryk Masters: Well I’m sure Isaac has a lot on his mind right now…but he needs to put all of that on the backburner and focus purely on Johnny Napalm tonight. You don’t go into a match with the Violence Savior distracted…because that won’t end well for ANYONE.
Isaac stalks his way down the ramp, the fans booing louder and louder with each step that he takes.
He reaches the apron, proceeding to step into the ring over the top rope…and Napalm immediately meets him in the center of the ring, both men staring daggers into each other.
Other Guy: Napalm not to be intimidated, E. That’s a testament to the man’s resolve.
Eryk Masters: No intimidation from Isaac either, though. If anything…he looks more agitated than ever. Seems almost like he’s been unraveling since that Obsidian assault…
Both men stand at the ready, and the bell suddenly rings with a loud clang, signaling that we are OFFICIALLY UNDERWAY!
Isaac wastes no time in sending a HUGE kick into Napalm’s stomach, knocking him backwards into the ropes…and Isaac immediately boxes him in and irish whips him HARD across the ring…only to hit a low dropkick that connects with Napalm’s kneecap and sends him SAILING down to the canvas in a heap.
Eryk Masters: The athleticism of Isaac Entragian never ceases to amaze me…that’s a 300 plus pound man and he just made that low dropkick look easy.
Other Guy: That’s the thing about SHOOT Project, E…the big guys have been forced to evolve…you won’t see a slogging dinosaur pace in this one…both of these guys are known for their deceptive quickness.
Isaac goes to scoop Napalm back up to his feet, but he’s met with a HEAVY headbutt that sends him stumbling backwards into a turnbuckle. Napalm gets back up to his feet and takes that opportunity to get up a head of steam and CRUSH his body into Isaac’s own with a turnbuckle splash.
Isaac is reeling, seemingly about to fall down to a sitting position against the buckles…but Napalm doesn’t allow that. Instead he grabs the albino up from he buckles…walks towards the center of the ring…and PLANTS Isaac with an atomic drop!
Isaac’s legs give out and he falls to his knees, and Napalm quickly leans down and wraps a big arm around his neck…only to LIFT Isaac Entragian up into the air, holding him perfectly vertical for a moment with the crowd going INSANE!
The cords stand out in Johnny’s neck, his teeth gritted in exertion…and finally he falls backwards and PULVERIZES Isaac with a suplex of massive proportions!
Other Guy: My god…the sheer POWER of Johnny Napalm! Have you ever seen anyone lift Entragian up in the air like that and HOLD him there?
Eryk Masters: I think that’s a first, OG. There’s a reason Napalm is a former champion in multiple divisions here in SHOOT Project. This guy is IMPRESSIVE.
Napalm pops back up to his feet, and the Las Vegas faithful can’t help but shower the Violence Savior with love.
LET’S GO NAPALM!!!
LET’S GO NAPALM!!!
LET’S GO NAPALM!!!
Napalm goes to scrape Isaac back up to his feet by the hair…but Isaac winds up and CLOCKS him in the jaw with a massive uppercut! The force of the blow knocks Napalm clean off his feet…and Isaac follows that up with just a NASTY stomp that connects with Napalm’s sternum, forcing ragged coughs to escape his lips as he holds his ribcage.
Isaac takes that moment to ascend the nearest turnbuckle, working slowly and carefully to get the perfect amount of balance at the top.
Napalm is slowly getting up to his feet, one hand still wrapped around his chest. He wheels around to find Isaac…AND THE IVORY TERROR SOARS FROM THE BUCKLES AND CRASHES INTO NAPALM WITH A FLYING CLOTHESLINE!!!
Johnny is driven VIOLENTLY backwards, his body rolling before coming to a stop in the center of the ring. Isaac is quick to make the pinfall.
Johnny just managers to get the shoulder up while shaking cobwebs from his head.
Eryk Masters: Now that was CLOSE. Isaac scored with Wings of War…and that took the breath right out of Johnny Napalm.
Other Guy: I’m always in awe of that move…seeing that pale monster fly is scary in so many ways. Those Game of Thrones dragons have got nothin’ on him…
Isaac pulls Napalm back up to a standing position…and he snakes an arm down around Johnny’s neck and begins to just GRIND backwards with a standing dragon sleeper! Napalm begins to struggle, his arms pin wheeling…his face taking on an alarming shade of fire engine red as his windpipe gets constricted.
Other Guy: Uhoh. Isaac’s got one of those giant python arms wrapped across Johnny’s neck…and if this keeps up…could be lights out for the Violence Savior.
Napalm seems to be fading, his arms slowly dropping…and Isaac just seizes on this even more, pulling and grinding backwards on his neck as hard as he possibly can. The crowd starts to fire up, trying their best to get the Violence Savior back into the game.
Suddenly…one of Napalm’s arms comes up, his hand balling into a fist…and that fist starts to surge up and down with energy.
Eryk Masters: Seems there might be some fight left in Johnny Napalm after all!
Other Guy: He’s feeding off this capacity crowd…seems like he’s finding his second wind!
Johnny suddenly fires up and throws a few elbows into Isaac’s stomach, breaking his grip…and then he grabs his arm and BASHES a short arm clothesline across Isaac’s chest, knocking him down HARD!
Other Guy: The Pin Puller! Big arm like that crashing into your chest…that’ll get your lungs working overtime.
Isaac is down on his hands and knees, and Johnny proceeds to grab him by the head and pull him down into a headscissors predicament.
Napalm then gathers up ALL of his strength…and he LIFTS The Ivory Terror up onto his shoulders in a powerbomb position. Johnny’s whole body seems to tremble, his muscles twitching with effort…but instead of powerbombing Isaac into the canvas…
NAPALM FALLS BACKWARDS AND DRIVES ISAAC HEADFIRST INTO THE CANVAS!!!
Eryk Masters: Are you KIDDING me right now? How strong is this guy?!?
Other Guy: Napalm is going above and beyond tonight…he knows what a victory over Entragian could mean for his career in SHOOT Project…and he’s doing everything within the scope of his power to obtain it!
Napalm collapses on top of Isaac, breathing hard with sweat pouring down his face.
At the last minute, Isaac kicks out!
Johnny appears slightly frustrated, running one hand through his hair while shaking his head.
Eryk Masters: How in the HELL did Entragian kick out of that?
Other Guy: That move would have put down just about anyone for the count, E. But this is Isaac Entragian we’re talking about. He’s a different breed entirely…
Napalm rises up to his feet…and Isaac is slowly getting up too, using the ropes to pull himself up to his feet.
Isaac turns to face Napalm…and the Violence Savior puts all of his frustration into one punch…a WILD haymaker that slams into the top of Isaac’s head so hard that he FLIES backwards into the turnbuckles, his eyebrow split wide open by Napalm’s knuckles!
Blood seeps down into Isaac’s eyes from the split eyebrow…one pallid hand reaching up to press against the cut so that he can look at the blood on his fingers.
Other Guy: Holy crap…did you see that haymaker?? Busted Isaac clean open!
Eryk Masters: OG…I’ve got a bad feeling here. Look at Entragian right now. He is…SHAKING…with rage.
Isaac stares down at his bloody hand for a moment, and then his eyes drift up to alight upon Napalm. He bares his razor sharp teeth…and his forked tongue slips out to lick some of his own blood from his pale lips.
Entragian: My turn.
Entragian then runs forward directly at Napalm…AND HE DIVES FORWARD AND CRUSHES A RIGHT CROSS INTO NAPALM’S MOUTH AS HARD AS HE POSSIBLY CAN!!
Napalm FLIES to the side, blood FLYING out of his mouth from a split top lip AND a split bottom lip. The Violence Savior tumbles backwards into the turnbuckles and falls down into a sitting position…little streamlets of blood dripping down his chin.
Eryk Masters: JESUS…is Napalm’s jaw still connected to his face after that shot?
Other Guy: These guys literally just drew blood from each other with NOTHING but their fists…
Now it’s Napalm who looks incredibly pissed off…and he uses the ropes to PULL himself back up to his feet…only to barrel towards Isaac and CLIP him right on the face with a big boot!
Isaac is FLUNG backwards into the ropes, stunned and staggering, and Napalm marches forward and pulls him down into a headscissors, proceeding to lock up both arms and negotiate Isaac towards the center of the ring.
Eryk Masters: We know what this is, OG…Johnny is gonna try to load The Ivory Terror up for that Napalm Bomb!
Other Guy: And based on what we’ve seen of Napalm’s power so far in this match…I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that he CAN get Isaac up for it.
Napalm goes to lift Isaac up for his double underhook tiger bomb…but Entragian fights it, using one leg to stop Napalm from getting him up. Napalm tries again to lift Isaac, but this time Isaac shifts his weight…AND BACK BODY DROPS NAPALM OVER HIS SHOULDERS!!!
Other Guy: WHOA…ISAAC COUNTERED! HE SLIPPED OUTTA THE NAPALM BOMB!
Napalm is dazed, and he’s slowly using the ropes to get up to his feet.
He turns around to find Isaac…but Isaac finds him first.
The Ivory Terror RACES across the ring as fast as he can…AND HE SPLITS THE VIOLENCE SAVIOR IN TWO WITH A RING-ROCKING SPEAR!!!
Eryk Masters: CORRUPTION! Isaac scores with Corruption!!!
Other Guy: Napalm took that hit FLUSH…and he is OUT.
Entragian drops down…and he pulls back on both of Johnny’s legs.
Samantha Coil: Here is your winner…at a time of thirteen minutes and five seconds…THE IVORY TERROR OF PROJECT: SCAR…ISAAC ENTRAGIAN!!!
Isaac rises up to his feet, standing overtop Napalm. The referee tries to raise his hand, but he RIPS his arm free…staring down at Napalm’s body with those sharp teeth gritted.
Eryk Masters: Well The Ivory Terror stands tall and victorious in this one…but I’ll be honest, OG…it’s been awhile since we’ve seen anyone give Isaac the kinda fight that Napalm gave him tonight. That was TOOTH N’ NAIL to the bitter end…
Other Guy: One of the finest showings we’ve ever seen outta Napalm in SHOOT Project…and I gotta give that big Violence Savior all in the respect in the world for his performance tonight.
Entragian slides outta the ring and begins stalking up the ramp, the fans booing the hell out of him until he vanishes behind the curtains. Johnny Napalm has risen up to his knees in the ring with his arms wrapped around his ribcage…and the crowd gives him a standing ovation.
We close on the SHOOT Project fans cheering loudly for Johnny Napalm.
We cut backstage where Jacob Mephisto is seen pacing the hallway. The fans out in the arena unleash a flurry of boos. He walks back and forth past a closed and unmarked door. After a few moments the crowd explodes with cheers as the door opens and out steps the SHOOT Project COO Sean “OutKast” Kygon. The two men come face to face for a moment and the fans wait with bated breath.
Mephisto: So, looks like I’ve got your… protégé tonight. And I’m having a thought.
OutKast sighs, pinching the bridge of his nose.
OutKast: Really. A thought. I hate to ask.
Mephisto smirks, putting his hands up defensively.
Mephisto: No need to ask, Kast. I’m going to make things clear for you. You know, I’ve been doing some thinking. I mean, Maya really has you to thank for his current position. I mean, you were the one who gave him the opening to get into the Primus. And, therefore, you gave him the opening to become the World Heavyweight Champion. At my expense, both times.
The smirk widens.
Mephisto: It only stands to reason that I be extended the same courtesy. After all, King happens to be one of Maya’s best good buddies, right?
OutKast: Please just tell me what you want, Jake. This cryptic slow sell thing is…really annoying.
Mephisto sighs, the smile fading from his face.
Mephisto: Fine. Let’s play it straight. I want control, Kast. Maya’s been in control of his own destiny for too long. And putting his destiny in my hands has worked out for him so far. So, let’s put it in both mine and King’s hands. If I beat your poster boy tonight? Maya’s destiny is in my hands. I control who he faces and when he faces them. And, if I lose? Well, I’ll let you decide that consequence. What do you say?
OutKast: Why in God’s name would I EVER agree to something like that? Seriously, Jake.
Mephisto frowns and pauses for a long moment.
Mephisto: Because, Mr. Kygon, COO, if you don’t? I might have to file a suit regarding favoritism towards certain roster members. I mean, you took a guy who had no qualifier and put him in a match with me under the stipulations of him entering the main event Primus… simply because of a comment I made to him. Not to mention every opportunity he’s gotten compared to the rest of us. It could be argued that you and the rest of the SHOOT Project board deliberately positioned Maya to become the champion based on personal interests.
Mephisto: And, let’s face it. You and I both know Maya is inconsistent as a champion. Sin City? Rule of Surrender? You remember those uneventful reigns, right? Do you really want that as your World Heavyweight Champion? Do you really want the fate of that title left to him?
OutKast takes a few moments to consider what Mephisto is saying to him. His fists ball up at his sides.
OutKast: You beat King, you can book Maya, is that it? Got something in mind if you lose?
Mephisto seems to ponder the question for a moment.
Mephisto: If I lose? If King puts me down or makes me tap? I’ll leave Maya alone for real. I’ll make sure nobody touches him. I’ll ensure everything he does is protected. And, if you want more of an incentive? I’ll stay away from the World Heavyweight Championship. Because if I can’t beat Donovan King? I don’t deserve a shot at the title. We got a deal?
OutKast can’t help but grin.
OutKast: Now you’re talking. Okay, Jake. You got a deal. You win, you book Maya. King wins, you back down.
Mephisto: You’ve got a lot of confidence in your boy. I hope he can live up to it.
With that, Mephisto stalks away, a smile forming on his lips as he goes.
The ominous and infamous drums that open Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks” kicks in, bringing the fans’ attention to the entrance. The lights in the arena go pitch black as the drumming continues. A dim red light begins to emanate from the entrance as a massive form stands in the center of it. The fans begin to cheer as the light slowly come back up as Robert Plant begins to sing.
If it keeps on rainin’ Levee’s goin’ to break If it keeps on rainin’ Levee’s goin’ to break When the levee breaks I’ll have no place to stay
The fans begin to realize who stands on the stage and ERUPT. OBSIDIAN stands tall, his hood pulled over his head and his coat in tatters. The right shoulder ripped to reveal his bare flesh underneath. His jeans gouged and torn at the left knee. His hiking boots dusty and scuffed. He walks down to the ring without acknowledging the new love the fans greet him with. Beside him is none other than ADRIAN CORAZON.
Mean old levee Taught me to weep and moan Mean old levee Taught me to weep and moan Got what it takes to make a mountain man leave his home Oh well oh well oh well…
Obsidian enters the ring and is handed a microphone by Corazon. He waits for the music to die down before he finally raises his hand to speak, bringing the crowd to silence.
He lets the word linger in the air.
Obsidian: Why did Obsidian save Adrian Corazon. Why did Obsidian attack Isaac Entragian. Why did Obsidian betray Project: SCAR. The answer to those questions are simple, really
He lifts his head to face the camera.
Obsidian: I saved Adrian because he is my brother. He has always been my brother. He will always be my brother. From the very beginning of this civil war this…schism…I stood by his side
He turns to Corazon.
Obsidian: The rest of my days will be forever haunted by what I have done for this…for you, Adrian. To stand idly by while your flesh burned. To allow that…to allow Isaac Entragian the pleasure…
He cracks and Corazon embraces him. The two longtime friends, brothers really, embrace in the center of the ring and the fans begin to cheer. Obsidian pulls back and looks over the fans in attendance.
Obsidian: I swore to Adrian that I would remain with SCAR. I would learn SCAR’s strengths, its weaknesses, and I would cripple them from within.
I would target each of them. Isaac. Elizabeth. Daniel. Flay. Kenji. But I came to know them. Each of them. I told Adrian I could not cause Kenji or Flay any harm. I could not attack them. I could not destroy them. You see, SCAR has long been considered this vile creation. SCAR has driven men mad, damaged careers beyond reparation, and changed the course of professional wrestling
Obsidian: But SCAR was borne of a need to provide a haven for all of those lost souls who craved acceptance. A blanket against the cold rejection of the world. Those of us in the world called ugly were beautiful. And there are none more beautiful than Kenji Yamada
The fans give a decidedly mixed reaction.
Obsidian: Adrian knows how I feel about this. Adrian understands. I love Kenji Yamada as I love Adrian. They are my brothers. My heart aches to see the both of them in the position they have found themselves in. But they are where they are because of one man. One man has twisted SCAR to suit his vile desires. One man has done everything in his power to force a brotherhood into subjugation
Before Obsidian can continue, Tiamat’s “Sympathy For The Devil” cuts him off.
Out from the back emerges Isaac Entragian…white hair hanging stringy in front of his face, mouth pulled down into a twitching snarl…and eyes that seem almost to BLEED right out of his head…derangement, paranoia, fury…all of these emotions blending together in the doorways that lead to his unclean soul.
And Isaac…is not alone. Laying across his shoulders like a stripped deer carcass is all that remains…of Danny Evers.
The blood of Deviant drips down from Isaac’s pallid shoulders…the redness creeping down past his chest and becoming a steady little stream that runs along his abdominal muscles. Of Deviant’s features…there is almost nothing recognizable. His face is beaten, ruined hamburger meat…and the only signs of life to come from him are weak snuffled intakes of breath that cause blood bubbles to pop in his nostrils.
Isaac raises up his right hand…the microphone he’s holding already stained with the blood of his acolyte.
Entragian: I assume…I am that man
Isaac shakes his head slowly from side to side, pausing momentarily to scrub a hand across his mouth…little streaks of Deviant’s blood left lingering on his pale chin.
Entragian: Words…much like you, Erick…betray me at the moment. I…am a man under pressure. A leader…bedeviled by the plot you’ve set into motion. My ability to trust my OWN…is now broken. You succeeded on that front. As a result…I’m driven to BREAK…my own…(Isaac lightly pats the pitiful remains of Deviant on his shoulders, forcing a small, weak moan to escape his tattered lips)
The smile that creeps across Isaac’s face is horrible to behold…giving us the idea that something has “broken” within The Ivory Terror’s mind as well.
Entragian: I’m upset, Erick. Discouraged…and running out of options. I don’t want answers. You’ve already made your reasoning very clear. Time and time again…I’ve been called the cancer…the virus…the demon possessing the body of SCAR…contorting it and corrupting it…leading you all astray. I won’t argue those points because your mind is already made up about me. There’s really only one thing that I want now, Erick…
Isaac pauses…his sick, strange eyes rolling up in his head to glare at the arena lights for a moment.
Isaac slowly licks his lips.
Entragian: I want you, Erick. I want you one on one. None of my people will get involved….and none of yours will either. I want you next week, Erick. I want you…in a steel cage. I want you close…within reach…so that I can embrace you one last time as my brother…before I tear that big, loving heart outta your chest…and swallow it whole.
Obsidian glares down at Entragian, not backing down…and Isaac glares right back.
Entragian: The choice is ultimately yours. However…know this. If you decline…I’m gonna finish what I started with Danny Evers tonight. As you can see…his career in SHOOT Project is already over. But his life on this earth? That’s still in play, Erick. And right now…I’m putting it in your hands
Danny’s black, blood-drenched hair hangs in his eyes…and it seems like he makes the imperceptible movement of raising up his head to meet Obsidian’s eyes in the ring.
Entragian: Maybe there’s a part of you…a little piece of that big, beautiful heart…that still cares for Danny. And then again…maybe there isn’t. I don’t really give a fuck either way. But if you don’t give me what I want
Isaac shrugs, some of Deviant’s blood pattering down to floor at the top of the ramp.
Entragian: His blood falls on you regardless
There’s silence for a moment…Obsidian taking a few steps towards the ropes and gazing out at Deviant’s demolished form.
Something takes shape in the eyes of the desert hunter. Something…like pity for an old battle-brother that chose the wrong path and was deceived at every turn.
Obsidian raises up the mic, his eyes sparkling with anger as they once again fall on the pallid bastard that is responsible for so much corrosion of the family he once gave his heart to freely.
Obsidian: What you have done to him…is senseless. Your mind is rotting, Isaac. It worsens every day…and in the end it will be the death of you. To think…I loved you once
Obsidian raises his head and shoulders high, his stance proud, his words emphatic.
Obsidian: I see now that a THING like you…can never understand the concept of love. It’s beyond your abilities. There’s a well in your heart…and it is bottomless. And the only thing that anyone will ever draw from it…is hate. For that…I pity you most of all
Isaac grits his teeth, the fury seeming to pass through his expression like a wave across the ocean.
Obsidian: You have your match
Isaac nods…and then he gently lowers Deviant from his shoulders and lays him down on the ramp. He then presses his boot against Deviant’s body and ROLLS him down the ramp…his war-torn frame flopping and rolling before coming to sad end near the apron…Deviant’s bloody eyelids mercifully closed.
Isaac seems about to leave….but then he pauses. He brings up his left hand…and he casually tosses the cracked and blood-speckled porcelain Deviant mask into the ring where it clatters near Obsidian’s feet.
Entragian: A souvenir
Without another word Isaac stalks off into the back…leaving Obsidian and Corazon in the ring.
Very slowly…Obsidian kneels down and takes the shattered Deviant mask into his hands, bringing it up slowly to run his hands along the surface, fingertips trailing across the cracks and the dark crimson stains.
Corazon stands near Obsidian, and in the eyes of the Baddest Man Alive…there is something we rarely see.
Concern…for his best friend and oldest ally.
Corazon puts a hand on Obsidian’s back, whispering to him…and Obsidian continues to run his hands over the ruined remnants of the Deviant mask.
It’s on this unsettling sight…that we go dark.
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The night has been full of action, but the fans know they aren’t done yet. There’s still one big match left for Revolution 120. Samantha Coil comes center ring, microphone in hand.
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is scheduled for one fall and is the MAIN EVENT of the EVENING.
The crowd lets out a loud cheer!
Samantha Coil: Introducing first!
The familiar spotlight shines down on the entrance of the arena, the green hue and the fog billowing out from the stage, bringing the fans to their feet. Then, the smooth yet rugged stylings of KRS One’s “Step Into A World” kicks in.
Step into a world
Where there’s no one left
But the very best
No MC can test
Pyro EXPLODES on the stage as out from the back emerges DONOVAN KING, the hood already pulled off of his head. He shouts out to the crowd, pointing to each of them, slapping his chest. He nods his head to the beat of the song, the fans cheering for their hero.
Samantha Coil: Hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina…weighing in at 250 pounds…he is the former World Heavyweight Champion DONOVAN…KIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING!!!
Eryk Masters: This one is going to be very interesting, OG. Donovan King is now fighting for Maya’s future.
Other Guy: He sure is, E. But not only that, he’s fighting for Mephisto’s future as well. And I am sure Donovan is ready. The kind of man he is? I think he’s just ready for a fight either way.
King walks up the ring steps, slapping his chest one last time as he ascends the ring ropes to perch himself upon the top of the turnbuckle, his grin slowly twisting into a scowl as “Step Into A World” fades out.
Samantha Coil: And… his opponent!
The cheers from the SHOOT Nation melt into LOUD boos as the lights of the Epicenter dim. Then flicker. Then die completely. There is utter silence in the arena for a few seconds until a rattle permeats the air, followed by a hiss. And then…
TIIIIIIIIIME… IS ON MY SIIIIDE… YES IT IS…
A burst of silver pyro erupts on the stage and the light spring back to life as Jacob Mephisto stalks out onto the entrance stage. The boos grow even LOUDER as he begins to saunter down the ramp towards the ring, smirking.
Samantha Coil: Hailing from Nazareth, Pennsylvania and weighing in at 270 pounds, here is JAAACOOOOOB MEEEEEPHHHIIIIISSSSSTOOOO!!!
Eryk Masters: This man is pure poison, OG. But he’s effective.
Other Guy: I think that describes him perfectly. And now he’s gotten our COO so irritated that he’s talked him into another stipulation. It backfired on him once. Will it happen again?
Mephisto rolls into the ring underneath the bottom rope and stalks to his corner, waiting for the match to begin.
Tony Lorenzo prepares to call for the bell, but he pauses as the crowd begins to go CRAZY. There is no music, now glitz and glamor. But, the World Heavyweight Champion, Maya Nakashima is walking down the ramp, the World Heavyweight Championship draped over his shoulder. King glances at him as he reaches ringside and nods. Mephisto simply smirks. Maya positions himself on the outside, leaning against the ringside barricade. Tony Lorenzo turns back to the men in the ring… and calls for the bell!
Eryk Masters: And here we go! Looks like the champ is taking Mephisto up on his invitation!
The fans let out a cheer as Mephisto and King begin to circle one another. After a few cautious seconds, they step in hard and lock up! King an Mephisto jostle for position in the collar and elbow tie up, neither man being able to get the advantage. After a few extra seconds, they break the tie up. King nods and Mephisto pops his neck.
They circle again and step into another tie up, but Mephisto quickly drives a knee into King’s gut, BUT King brings his own knee up and BLOCKS it! Mephisto is surprised and tried to back up, but King drags him back in and takes Mephisto over with a QUICK armdrag! Mephisto pops back to his feet and turns into another arm drag from King! Again Mephisto pops up and turns to a waiting King who begins to FIRE rights and lefts into Mephisto, rocking the bigger man back. Mephisto reaches the ropes and ducks between them, shouting for Tony Lorenzo to get King back! The referee interjects himself, forcing the former World Heavyweight Champion back while Mephisto recovers his bearings.
Eryk Masters: What a start! Mephisto tried to take advantage of King with that cheap shot out of the tie up, but King’s got him scouted! And Mephisto elected to take the low road, tying himself into the ropes!
Mephisto stalks back to the center of the ring, holding his arms out to his side and practically daring King to lock up again. King obliges, meeting Mephisto in the center of the ring, BUT KING immediately tackles Mephisto to the canvas and begins to hammer away and the crowd is on their feet cheering! On the outside, Maya is cheering right along with them!
Other Guy: Donovan King isn’t here to play any games, E! He said earlier this week he was coming here for a good fight!
King continues to fire away on Mephisto for a few more seconds before letting up, bringing Mephisto back to his feet. King Irish whips Mephisto into the ropes and NAILS him on the rebound with a back elbow!
Mephisto hits the mat and rolls out of the ring! The crowd boos and he simply shakes his head. He turns to shout at the crowd, only to come face to face with Maya Nakashima. He ALMOST collides with him, but backs up quickly to the ring apron. AND KING reaches over the top rope, grabbing Mephisto by the hair and pulling him up onto the ring apron as the crowd CHEERS! BUT Mephisto reaches back, hooking King’s head and DROPS to a sitting position on the apron, draping King’s throat across the top rope! The crowd boos as King snaps backwards clutching his throat.
Eryk Masters: OH! What a DIRTY move by Mephisto!
Mephisto slides back into the ring, going on the attack. King recovers fairly quickly, but Mephisto MOWS him down with a HUGE lariat, dropping King to the canvas. The former Sin City Champion stalks closer to the downed King and begins to STOMP his legs. He stomps down a few times before grabbing King’s head and bringing him to his feet. He Irish whips King into the ropes and throws a clothesline, but King ducks, hits the far ropes, and comes off, connecting with a flying forearm! Mephisto hits the canvas hard as the crow cheers wildly!
Other Guy: Look how resilient Donovan King is! He was in a bad spot for a minute, but got RIGHT back into it!
King moves in on Mephisto, but quickly whips around looking up at the entrance stage for a second. That second is all that Mephisto needs and he DIVES forward, chop blocking King, sending him to his knees! Mephisto quickly gets back to his feet and hooks King’s head before SNAPPING down with a kneeling DDT!
Eryk Masters: I don’t know what happened there, OG. King had things well in hand. What was he looking for on the stage?
Other Guy: Well, despite what the man said earlier tonight, it’s clear that King is worried about Jester Smiles making an appearance.
Mephisto drops down with an elbow across King’s back before rolling away and getting back to his feet. He looks out at Maya, who has a look of concern on his face. Mephisto smirks. Maya scowls. Mephisto turns back and brings King to his feet, hooking his head and WHIPPING over with a snap suplex. Mephisto floats over for a cover and Lorenzo is right there!
Eryk Masters: You’re not putting King away that easily.
Mephisto wastes no time after the pin attempt, pulling King back up to his feet. He Irish whips King, but pulls him back in, LEVELING him with his patented short-arm clothesline!
Other Guy: PRIDE BEFORE THE FALL! He likes to use that to set up Godless!
Mephisto does, indeed, bring King back to a sitting position before hitting the ropes and coming off, looking for that nasty Yakuza kick, BUT King rolls away!
Eryk Masters: MEPHISTO MISSES!
Mephisto silently curses himself before turning, only to be met by King, WHO SNATCHES HIS ARM AND BRINGS MEPHISTO DOWN TO THE CANVAS!
Other Guy: CAROLINA CROSSFACE! He’s got it locked in!
The crowd ROARS with cheers as Mephisto SCREAMS in pain, his free arm flailing wildly! Even Maya gives a small leap for joy!
Eryk Masters: Listen to Mephisto SCREAM! Can he hold on here! He’s way too far from the ropes! He may have to tap!
Mephisto continues to shout out in pain. He reaches out, but can’t reach the ropes. He hangs his hand out over the canvas. And he taps! NO! NO! NO HE DOESN’T.
Because King RELEASED the hold! The crowd goes silent as King jumps to his feet and whirls around, glaring up and the empty entrance ramp.
Eryk Masters: I don’t get it. King HAD Mephisto there! This paranoia about Jester is NOT good, OG.
Other Guy: Agree, E. He had the match won right there.
King turns back to Mephisto, dragging him and turning his body to face the entrance ramp. He drops down to hook the crossface back in, but THIS time, Mephisto feels it coming and FIRES and elbow into King’s face, backing him away. Mephisto staggers to his feet. And King comes right back at him, but Mephisto catches King off guard with a quick drop toe hold! Mephisto floats around, hooking King in a front facelock. He moves to a standing position, bringing King up with him and HOISTS King into the air for a suplex, BUT King adjusts in mid-air, dropping down behind him! King wraps his arms around Mephisto’s waist and LIFTS, tossing Mephisto nearly out of his boots with a German suplex!
Eryk Masters: WOW! What a show of strength by King!
King drops down for the cover, but realizes he’s facing away from the entrance. He pops up and switches positions, and then covers Mephisto and Lorenzo is there!
Mephisto kicks out!
Other Guy: That second of hesitation may have cost King the three count there.
King is clearly frustrated and slaps the mat. He brings Mephisto back to his feet and FIRES a forearm into his jaw before Irish whipping him into the corner. He spares a quick look at the entrance ramp again before charging in, BUT that second of hesitation costs him as Mephisto CHARGES from the corner and LEVELS King with a lariat to a chorus of boos from the crowd!
Mephisto bring King to his feet and Irish whips him into the buckles chest first. He charges in right after him, planting his knee into the small of King’s back before reaching up and dropping straight down with a neckbreaker!
Eryk Masters: And there’s Faithless!
Mephisto drops down for the cover!
King kicks out!
Mephisto shakes his head before DRAGGING King back to his feet. He HOISTS King up for a bodyslam, BUT King slips out the back! King spins Mephisto around!
Other Guy: DEALBREAKER!
Eryk Masters: NO!
Mephisto SHOVES King away into the turnbuckles and staggers away. But King goes right back after Mephisto. Mephisto manages to point to the ramp, eyes wide before King reaches him and King WHIPS around to look! AND MEPHISTO rolls him up with a schoolboy!
Mephisto WRENCHES the tights!
The crowd UNLEASHES a chorus of boos as Tony Lorenzo calls for the bell! Mephisto SCRAMBLES away and slides out of the ring as King looks both shocked and angry! Maya’s jaw drops open on the outside!
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen, here is your winner, JAAACOOOOB MEEEEEPHIIIISTOOOO!
Eryk Masters: I don’t believe it! Mephisto STOLE one here!
Other Guy: Yes he did, E, and the fans know it! And what’s worse? Mephisto now controls Maya’s destiny as the World Champion.
In the ring, King turns to Maya on the outside and tries to apologize, BUT MEPHISTO slides into the ring and BURIES his knee into King’s lower back, eliciting boos from the crowd.
Eryk Masters: OH COME ON! That’s ENOUGH!
Mephisto begins to stomp away on King, motioning Maya into the ring shouting “Come on! Provoke me, Maya! And then the crowd begins to boo louder as Jester Smiles comes SPRINTING to the ring! He grabs Mephisto around the waist and THROWS him away from King! Mephisto and Jester GLARE at one another and the crowd CHEERS. Until Jester slowly turns back to King, who is clutching his lower back.
Other Guy: This could be VERY bad, E.
BUT MAYA slides into the ring, getting between Jester and Mephisto and King! The crowd CHEERS wildly but begins to boo as LAURA SETON comes from the crowd, bandaged and bruised and furious. She slides into the ring and LEVELS Maya from behind. Jester and Mephisto do nothing but watch as Seton pounds away on the now downed Maya. King struggles to get to his feet, but Mephisto RUSHES in and kicks him in the ribs but Jester AGAIN grabs Mephisto and pulls him away!
Eryk Masters: What the hell is going on here!?
The crowd EXPLODES with cheers suddenly as from the ramp, comes LOCO MARTINEZ sprinting to the ring! He LEAPS onto the apron and NAILS Mephisto with a springboard heel kick! He rushes forward and grabs Laura from Maya and WHIPS her across the ring! Mephisto and Laura bail and Jester calmly leaves the ring. The crowd is going crazy as Maya and Loco slowly help King to his feet.
Eryk Masters: What a night we’ve had here, folks! But we’re out of time! We’ll see you at Revolution 121!
The last shot of the night is Loco Martinez, Donovan King, and Maya Nakashima standing tall in the ring. Jester Smiles stares at King with cold, dead eyes. Laura GLARES at Loco. And Mephisto? Well, Mephisto has won. And as comprehension dawns on the World Heavyweight Champion’s face in the ring? A cold, calculating smile slowly forms on Jacob Mephisto’s face as he mouths three words at him…
”I own you.”