The arena is black, the crowd murmuring. The sound of a steel train bell is heard, it starts out faint, but gradually gets louder and louder. Then, a loud horn sounds and Halestorm’s “Freak Like Me” begins!
I’m on the train that’s pullin the sick and twisted,
Makin the most of the ride before we get arrested,
We’re all wasted,
And we’re not going home tonight.
The faces of Maya Nakashima, Corey Lazarus, Lunatikk Crippler, Dan Stein, and ANARCHY all occupy an even section of the SHOOT Project’s Epitron, blended with the championship belt that each holds.
Covered in black we lack the social graces,
Just like an animal we crawl out of our cages,
They can’t tame us,
So if you’re one of us, get on the bus
The faces disappear as a flag with the SHOOT Project Helmet takes over the screen. The Epitron splits into three views, one with Maya Nakashima when he first captured the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship… the other with Dan Stein squaring off against Trey Willett… the third, Lunatikk Crippler hitting the Lunatikk Sweet!
If you’re a freak like me,
Wave your flag!
If you’re a freak like me,
Get off your ass!
It’s our time now,
To let it all hang out
The flag catches fire, as new faces come into the fray. We see Cameron Ash, Ryan Shane, Kale Tanev, and Eli Storm standing across from each other on an abandoned train platform. Corey Lazarus stands off to the side, watching the other four while Kincaid watches a monitor with vested interest as Jerry Matthews dusts off an old foe, defending the Iron Fist Championship.
We’re underground but we will not surrender,
We’re gonna give them something to remember, yeah,
ANARCHY’s T. Rex and Arch Angel grin, holding the SHOOT Project World Tag Team Championships up as Vermont’s Finest look on. That image is replaced by the gruesome burn that Corazon suffered, the fire burning into his back, but this time the fire takes the shape of the SHOOT Project helmet.
So write your name in gasoline,
And set that shit on fire
The train platform disappears as the burning helmet takes over the rest of the screen, and the last thing you see are the flames illuminating the silhouettes of all the SHOOT Project Soldiers standing, riding on top of a moving train through the black of night.
So shout if you’re a freak like me,
They can’t hold you down,
You were born to rise!
It’s our time now to come out!
If you’re a freak like me!
Revolution 127 opens immediately on the ring and Samantha Coil.
She stands straight with the microphone near her lips.
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentleman the following contest is scheduled for ONE FALL with a TWENTY MINUTE time limit, and it is for the RULE OF SURRENDER CHAMPIONSHIP!
"All My Life" by the Foo Fighters begins to play and the fans respond with a decent cheer for the arriving RoS Champion, while also looking around the arena for where he might be coming from.
Eryk Masters: Boys and Girls, WELCOME to Revolution number One Twenty Seven, and thank you for watching us LIVE on stream at WWW dot SHOOT Project dot com. I’m Eryk Masters, alongside my colleague the Other Guy.. And, OG, we’re getting right into things tonight!
Other Guy: We are man. Rules of Surrender to kick it off. The champion making his somewhat unorthadox arrival through a sea of SHOOT Project fans. And it has been successful reign for the current champion, Kale Tanev….
The cameras find Tanev pushing his way through some fans at the back of the arena, choosing a more "personal" entrance.
Other Guy: Granted, it hasnot without some controversy. Tanev’s out of the ring problems have been well documented, and so we won’t get into it, but Eryk, this is a man who still has a lot of question marks. He’s a new talent and you have to wonder
Fans pat Tanev as he silently moves by them toward the barricade. He hops over, adjusts the Title on his shoulder and slides into the ring, where he’s greeted by official Dennis Heflin.
Eryk Masters: Can’t argue with that, but you also can’t argue that the man has come in and won some big time matches early in his professional wrestling career.
Heflin takes the belt from Tanev, who then walks over into his corner to wait for his opponent’s introduction.
Eryk Masters: He’s got a good body of work, and he’s getting the job done. I think Owens is going to test him, for sure, though.
Masters is of course referencing to Tanev’s opponent, Omar Owens. There’s a slight delay between Kale’s music ending and Omar’s beginning, but eventually "Oh" by Ciara blasts over the PA system. The reaction is slightly above tepid, but, given the newer name, it’s not unexpected.
Omar Owens wearing his black full-length singlet with skyblue trim. Behind him is Freak Nasty 1, wearing an all red jumpsuit with a black Kangol hat. He’s holding a piece of folded up cardboard, but isn’t revealing it yet.
Omar gets front and center on the stage before bending over and slapping his hands hard down on the ground and then raising them up in the air, making an "O" with his first two fingers and thumb and holding out his last two fingers. He’s all smiles as he makes his way down the ramp, acknowledging the fans, but he realizes something is up when there’s a murmur making its way through the crowd.
He turns around and sees Freak holding out the piece of cardboard with the words "Will Work for Food" on it
Eryk Masters: Freak Nasty 1 is mocking Kale Tanev!
Other Guy: Real humor is making fun of those less fortunate than yourself.
Once Omar sees the sign, he immediately starts yelling at Freak, whose broad smile is starting to go away. Omar grabs the sign from him and tears it in half and throws the pieces back at Freak’s chest before shaking his head and making his way to the ring. He greets Heflin and then nods across the ring at Tanev, who nods back.
Heflin does a quick pat down and goes over a few instructions, before turning to Samantha Coil, ready for the intros.
Samantha Coil: Introducing the competitors. FIRST, the challenger. He is from Dorchester Massachuesettes and weighs in at two-hundred, fifty two pounds… THIS IS OMAAAAAR OWEEEEEEEENS!
Owens throws his hands in the air and makes an "O" with his fingers. The fans applaud lightly.
Samantha Coil: And his opponent… He is the current Rule of Surrender Champion. Weighing in at two hundred, twenty five pounds.. KALE TAAAAAANEV
Tanev doesn’t so much as flinch at the announcement of his name. He just watches as Dennis Heflin raises the title into the air.
Eryk Masters: We are all set to go, folks. Tanev and Owens. Rule of Surrender Title, which means Rule of Surrender rules. You can only be awarded a victory if you get your opponent to tap out.
Other Guy: Should be good. Ready to rock n’ roll, Masters.
Eryk Masters: Don’t make that a thing you ever say again.
Other Guy: ROCK AND ROLL.
Heflin hands the title over to one of the ring attendants and calls for the bell.
At the sound of the bell, Tanev moves in on Owens. Omar puts his hand out. Tanev considers the gesture for a sec, nods and the two men quickly shake. He then moves back out to reposition and Owens begins circling as well. It is the CLASSIC wrestling waltz to open up. Omar looks for a starting point, while Tanev aggresses some what clumsily, but with authority.
Owens lunges forward and attempts an elbow collar tie-up. Tanev pushes him away and takes a hard swing at Owen’s midsection. Omar leaps back, and seems genuinely shocked. He shrugs and you can see him mouth, "okay" as he reassess the situation.
Tanev moves in with a wild forearm strike, but Owens sidesteps and Tanev’s momentum carries him stumbling forward. Owens sets in behind Tanev and attempts to lock in his version of a rear naked choke… THE LAST GASP! Tanev, however, astutely throws an elbow before Owens can get the move locked in. Owens reels back and Tanev spins to face his opponent. He throws a forearm up at Owen’s head and it connects. Tanev then tackles Owens to the mat with a sloppy, but successful double leg takedown. He mounts, or at least attempts to mount Owens, but Omar, the larger of the two men, is able to shove Tanev away. Tanev falls to the side but quickly scurries back up. Owens rushes to get back to a verticle base, but the champ is on him. He’s on his knees. Tanev charges WITH a knee, but Owens covers up and blocks the attack.
Eryk Masters: Tanev is unrelenting to start. Owens defensive, but managing well. Hot start so far.
Tanev tries to throw another strike with the left knee, but it’s a relatively uncoordinated affair and Owens blocks that attack easily. He then grabs a hold of Tanev by the front of his waist, pulls him back and whips around with a pretty nifty take down. ALMOST a snap belly to back suplex. He plants Tanev into the mat and strikes with a forearm of his own! Tanev eats the blow kinda hard, but shakes off the pain. He wiggles and manages to shake Owens off. Owens stays aggressive. He attempts a strike while Tanev is still down! Kale dodges the attack and counters by grabbing Owen’s arm and wrapping his legs around the back of his neck!
Other Guy: Triangle Choke!
There are too many moving parts in Tanev’s attempt and so he struggles to lock it in. Owens is pulling away. Tanev cinches his legs tighter, but Owens is able to MUUUUUUUUUSCLE Tanev up off the mat… and then DROPS HIM with a short power bomb on the back on his neck!
Eryk Masters: Ouch! Rough landing for Tanev! Owens might be able to capitalize.
Other Guy: Not the best attempt from Tanev, and it might have cost him. These gentlemen set a pretty frantic pace. This could literally end at any second if Omar can capitalize.
Owens shakes his head and lets out a quick exhale as he regroups. He eventually moves back over to Tanev and starts to pull him up off the mat. Tanev continues to try and fight away. He throws a forearm into the midsection. Owens fires back with a SHARP headbut to the side of Tanev’s face. Tanev staggers back a bit but rushes back. He throws out another wild strike and Omar actually looks sort of irritated. He blocks the attack, though and follows with a knee to the midsection. Tanev hunches over forward and Owens quickly executes a snap suplex! He keeps his grip and spins around, pulling Tanev up and doing it again! A SECOND snap suplex. Tanev holds at his neck. Owens picks him up by the back of his head and pushes him into the ropes! He swings him toward the other side, but Tanev reverses. He then tries to throw Owens across the ring. Owens, though, reverses back and pulls Tanev in close… then HOOOISTS HIM UP AND OVER WITH AN OVERHEAD BELLY TO BELLY SUPLEX!
Tanev hits HARD!! Owens is starting to feel the momentum.
Eryk Masters: Impressive display from Owens!
Omar stays on top of the situation and approaches Tanev who is finally slowed down. He stalks him from behind…
Tanev is up!
Owens moves in…
HE LOCKS IN THE LAST GASP!!!
But TANEV INSTINCTUALLY THROWS AN ELBOW INTO THE MIDSECTION…
BUT OWENS PULLS HIS ARMS BACK UP AROUND HIS NECK AND REAPPLIES THE HOLD!!
Other Guy: He’s GOT HIM!!!
Tanev is CLEARLY struggling. He waves his arms frantically and does whatever he can to break out. But Owens couldn’t have any better positioning. He pulls back HARDER!
Tanev shakes and jerks in every direction he can, trying to slip out of the hold! Owens keeps steady, though does appear to be losing his grip.
Other Guy: Owens trying to keep the hold locked in, but Tanev is ALL fight right now!
Tanev quickly JERKS to the right and Owens loses his grip. Tanev spins around and RUNS into Owens with a knee to the midsection! He applies a front facelock and drapes Owen’s arm over the back of his head!
Or at least at ATTEMPT! Tanev struggles with Owens! He gets him an inch or two off the ground, but Owens’ weight on top of a pretty banged up neck is too much… Owens plans his feet down on the mat!
He throws a punch to the midsection to try and break the front face lock!
Tanev, though, actually leans back and pulls harder!
AND THEN DROPS TO THE MAT INSTEAD
Eryk Masters: GUILLOTINE CHOKE!!! Out of NOWHERE!!!
Owens was clearly caught off guard!
Other Guy: Nowhere for Omar to go!!! Does Tanev have enough strength to end this one! WILL OWENS TAP???
Tanev continues to pull back, and Owens is really struggling!!!
Eryk Masters: This might be it.. It…
Eryk Masters: IT IS! IT’S OVER! Omar Owens TAPS!!!!
Heflin calls for the bell and rushes over to the grab the RoS title from an approaching ringside assistant. Tanev immediately releases the hold! Owens grabs at the back of his neck and SLAMS his hand into the mat.
Samantha Coil: LADIES AND GENTLEMAN… the winner of this match and STILLLLL Rule of Surrender Champion… KALE TAAAAANEV!!!
Heflin hands the title to Tanev who eagerly takes it and grips it tightly. There’s a sense of relief in his eyes as he clutches his prize. Heflin drops down to chat with Owens, who appears to be okay.
Eryk Masters: Fast paced technical affair to kick things off tonight! What a killer start to the evening.
Other Guy: Congrats to Kale Tanev.
Tanev checks back at Owens, who, though still gingerly holding his neck, is up to a knee and nods respectfully back at Kale. The champ, satisified that his opponent is being taken care of, ducks through the middle rope and makes an exit over the nearby barricade and through the fans.
"All My Life" by the Foo Fighters plays throughout the arena and the fans seem generally content with the finish to the contest.
Eryk Master: Lotta show to go tonight, folks. We’ll be back with ya at ringside shortly!
Backstage, Shawn O’Reilly stands with a random production assistant, Joe, chatting back and forth a bit.
Shawn O’Reilly: Okay, so just remember, if anything comes up, if a guy calls in sick, has a family emergency, has a hangnail…anything? Have them give me a call.
Joe the PA: No problem. What’s your number, in case they don’t have it?
Shawn pauses for a moment, giving the inimitable face of somebody trying to hide their being offended, and picks up a coffee cup from the top of a nearby crate, taking a sip.
Shawn O’Reilly: Sure. It’s 702…
Joe the PA: Uh-huh…
Joe hurriedly whips out his phone, tapping the numbers into a note.
Joe the PA: 702…
Shawn O’Reilly: 46…!
A hand comes into frame and pats O’Reilly on the shoulder, firmly rubbing it in for a moment. Shawn turns as the camera pans, revealing the owner of the hand to be one half of the SHOOT Project World Tag Team champions, Corey Lazarus. Corey, his gaze still drawn to his phone, laughs before he looks up, noticing O’Reilly’s (begrudgingly) outstretched hand.
Corey Lazarus: Hey, Shawn, how’s it going?
Shawn O’Reilly: Alright, I guess, and y…?!
Corey Lazarus: Sweet, sweet, rock n’ roll, uhhh…hey, have you seen Crip? I’ve been looking for him all day and he always seems to be on the other side of the Epicenter. He’s not a fan of answering his phone, apparently, so…yeah. Seen him?
Shawn O’Reilly: …what? Uh, no, no I haven’t. Why, what’s up?
Corey Lazarus: Not much, really, just trying to find him. Sucks that you’re not booked…again, babe. Like, really. You still doing the "card subject to change" thing?
O’Reilly looks down at his feet, slightly embarrassed.
Shawn O’Reilly: Ummm, yeah. I was just giving Joe over there my number to hit me up, you know, just in case, I’m needed.
Corey looks over, sliding his Ray Bans over his eyes for a moment just to slide them back up, and then turns his attention back to his phone.
Corey Lazarus: Over, uhhh, [i]where[/i], Shawn?
Shawn turns around to find Joe, the PA, has left. The frustration is evident on O’Reilly’s face, but he pushes it down.
Shawn O’Reilly: Uh, I guess it doesn’t matter. Hey, you need a second for your match tonight? Like, somebody to shout advice or even give you a quick spar before? Not to toot my own horn, but I can make sure that…
Corey Lazarus: HEY, WILLIE! You seen Crip?
O’Reilly trails off, turning to find Willie Dean hurriedly walking by.
Willie Dean: Sorry, Laz. Haven’t seen him.
Corey Lazarus: …alright, thanks, babe. Rock n’…yeah…
Laz turns back to O’Reilly, who is finding it harder to hold in is agitation.
Corey Lazarus: So, as you were saying…?
Shawn O’Reilly: I was just askin’ if you needed a second tonight. I can…!
Laz’s phone goes off, and he holds up a finger to hush the increasingly perturbed ring veteran before turning his back, answering the call.
Corey Lazarus: Hey, babe, where the fu…OKAY, OKAY, OKAY, no more "babe." Fine. Whatever. Listen, dude, I’ve been looking everywhere for you, and…hey, hang on a sec…
Laz turns to O’Reilly.
Corey Lazarus: Hey, slick, do you mind if I bounce? I kind of need to take this.
Laz, oblivious, walks away from a fuming O’Reilly, who shakes his head as he mutters to himself.
Shawn O’Reilly: Sure thing…slick.
The cameras shift over to the "Announcer Pod", where the familiar faces of Eryk Masters and Other Guy stare ahead at any fans watching the live stream from home. Both men are in their traditional SHOOT Project threads, looking as professional as always. Masters takes the lead and begins speaking first.
Eryk Masters: Well, gentleman and ladies, we are already off and running here at Revolution One-Twenty Seven. We kicked things off with a terrific bout between Kale Tanev and Omar Owens… Rules of Surrender Championship on the line, and, I’ll tell you what, Tanev was impressive again in retaining the title.
Other Guy: (Nodding, though with some hesitation) He was. No doubt, but Eryk, not without a hell of a fight from Owens. Tanev is going to have to improve on his move set in a division like the R.O.S because guys are going to start figuring him out… Counters and escapes are key with that ruleset, and I honestly think if given another shot, Omar might be able to make the man tap and take the belt away.
Eryk Masters: Definitely an argument to be had, OG… and, honestly, the next time these men meet, we might be talking Master of the Mat FINALS! Both gentleman are very much alive in this year’s torunament, as they wait to find out their round two opponents. Tanev gets the winner of the returning Buck Dresden and Dan Stein, while Omar Owens will have to wait until the very end of our broadcast, as he takes on the winner of tonight’s MAIN EVENT between Isaac Entragian and Lunatikk Crippler.
(INSERT LINK TO MOTM BRACKETS HERE)
Masters speaks over the image on the screen.
(VO) Eryk Masters: And, uh, folks at home can see how everything looks up until this point.
(VO) Other Guy: All three of the last round one matches will be decided by the end of tonight. We mentioned Crip and Entragian, as well as Dresden and Stein….
The graphic disappears, and we’re back on the announcers while OG finishes his thought.
Other Guy: And then you also have Aiden Miles and John Thomas, which is coming up very soon, and should be pretty damn competitive, Eryk
Eryk again agrees with Other Guy, both announcers expressing genuine excitement for all of the show still left.
Eryk Masters: Crucial circumstances tonight including our next bout… (Pausing, as if waiting on something, but moving along, regardless) Number one contendership to Dan Stein’s SIN CITY CHAMPIONSHIP… a triple threat between Ryan Shane, Chaos and Solomon Richards…
He pauses again, while obviously getting fed something into his headset.
Eryk Masters: But, uhh… First… (Nodding) Cool, okay. I think we’re all patched in….
Other Guy: (Laughing) Live TV, guys. STALL TACTICS!
Masters laughs as well.
Eryk Masters: We were SUPPOSED to go to a live satelite feed, but, umm… there were some technical issues… So I BELIEEEVE… (Confirming with a nod) Yes, folks, before we go to the ring for our next match, we have SHOOT Project HALL OF FAMER JONNY JOHNSON with us over the ollllllld timey phone line.
Masters and OG, still on camera, laugh together, having no real power in situations like these.
Eryk Masters: Jonny, we all good? Can you hear us?
There’s a delay as they await the response…
Eryk Masters: Jo…
The former SHOOT Project World Champion’s familiar voice interrupts in awesome 1990’s wrestling cell phone interview fashion.
((VOICE OF)) The DEFILER:Yoooo. Eryk. OG. We good?
Other Guy nods, and Masters replies.
Eryk Masters: We are indeed! Folks, former World Champ and Hall of Famer with us via phone. Jonny, how are ya tonight?
((VOICE OF)) The DEFILER: Doin’ A-OKAY, boys.. (With a breathy laugh) You guys nailed the cover, by the way. I’m watchin this shit on my laptop right now. Smooth transition with the graphic. Sorry the tech nerds over here dropped the ball. Heh. Sean or Josh going crazy in your ears?
Masters shakes his head as he and Other Guy can’t help but laugh at the inside.
Other Guy: It’s Josh tonight…
((VOICE OF)) The DEFILER: Do you just hear like a… like a shrug? Do the headsets pick up Josh’s legendary shrug’s of indifference?
Other Guy looks down and stifles a laugh, while Eryk, still smiling, proceeds with moving the interview forward.
Eryk Masters: Jonny you’ve been a busy guy, and we’ll chat about WHY in just a second, but uhh, first… as long as you’re here with us. Last week. Take us inside what happened at the end of the night. I know you’ve been irritated by the same questions, but your relationship with Jason Ri…
Jonny is quick to interrupt, the easy going nature of his voice pretty quickly replaced with repressed aggression and frustration.
((VOICE OF)) The DEFILER: (Sighing) First of all, I’m done defending myself against speculation. I think my actions stand on their own, and I get it… I’m not always the easiest guy to cheer for, and my track record is far from squeaky clean. But I BLEED SHOOT Project, guys, and last week I was simply standing up for this organization and making sure the right people were dealt with accordingly.
Masters hesitates going further down this particular line of questioning, but does so regardless.
Eryk Masters: …Can you elaborate at all?
((VOICE OF)) The DEFILER: Well, I mean… I think it’s pretty obvious that Trevor Worrens was a mole in this thing. Fits the bill. Dude who couldn’t cut it. Kinda whiny, dark… All that horseshit. I think once he started blowing up in the ring with the Zex kid… Those scumbags tried to ruin the tournament. Get uhh… Zex disqualified… Keep pushing whatever half agenda they think they got. But… But, uhh, no way, man. Not on my watch.
Other Guy: Yeah, but Jonny don’t you think…
Jonny is even quicker to cut OG off. It’s pretty clear this isn’t something he wants or planned to talk about.
((VOICE OF)) The DEFILER: OG, Eryk… Look. I’m not doing this. If people want to second guess me or invent these fucking… paranoid "agendas", they can. I refuse to waste my time on it. What I did last week… Ya know, it’s like… We joke, or whatever. We say like… "If I could go back in time, I’d kill Hitler". Yeah, okay. Awesome, but… But then, what if you could? What if you DID?
Here’s a time machine, dude. Get him.
What I did last week. That’s what it would like.
He pauses, but not long enough for anyone to have time for a response.
((VOICE OF)) The DEFILER: You’d kill him and someone would say "but why? He’s an artist. He’s a great artist. How could you do that? Why did you kill him?"
Cause I’m here to save the fucking world, man.
I just saved the world.
He sighs again, loudly, though tries to reel himself in with a deep breath,
((VOICE OF)) The DEFILER: Preventing evil before it can hurt someone is just as important as dealing with it head on after it already does. You lose sight of that in our society right now… And (exhaling)… and it’s… It’s one of the major reasons I came up with uhh… well with Project Hero…
Although Masters and OG both appear to be a little "taken back" by some of Jonny’s comments, Eryk nods and seems to agree to moving the interview toward it’s intended direction.
Eryk Masters: That’s the Nonprofit organization?
((VOICE OF)) The DEFILER: Yeah. News leaked a little earlier than maybe we wanted, but I’m shocked it didn’t happen sooner. So I’m fine with it. I’ve been doing paperwork and jumping through bureaucratic loops for almost eight months trying to get it off the ground, but, uhh… Ya know we uhh… We did it.
And I’m really excited.
Masters nods, and there’s almost a sense that he feels bad for having asked his earlier questions.
Other Guy: So what exactly IS Project Hero, Jonny? I know the site says something about preventing and protecting local co…
((VOICE OF)) The DEFILER: Guys, uh… (Pausing) You got a lot of show left, and there’s a lot to it so I’ll just say very briefly that we have a lot of great people helping out. We have a community chapter that’ll work with folks in Las Vegas and Southern Nevada to kinda… Just make "Good", or ya know… "Being good" cool. We want to promote active humanitarianism and… and try to get people excited about finding and seeing the bigger picture.
We have a "SHOOT Chapter" too. where we’ll be uhh… ya know actually working WITH the organization and the talent on some "Quality of Life" stuff.
He takes a quick second before finishing his thought.
((VOICE OF)) The DEFILER: I have a specific director for those operations who I’ll be working with closely because… like I’ve always said, this place means the world to me, and I’m going to do whatever I have to do to protect it and preserve it. I wanted to be able to introduce him tonight, but there’s uhhh… just some legal… contract stuff on SHOOT’s end kinda out of my control.
But at Revolution One Twenty Eight…
We’ll be able to key everyone in.
Masters’s interest is piqued at the mentioning of a possible "new face" in SHOOT.
Eryk Masters: Any hints for us, Jonny before we let you go?
((VOICE OF)) The DEFILER: I really can’t man. This shit gets really weird when you’re working out legalities… But… Heh… he’ll be a familiar face to fans who’ve followed my career and I think everyone will understand why I chose him. He’s a good dude. A really amazing friend… And uh… Just a…
…A beautiful person.
OG raises an eyebrow, while Masters professionally concludes the interview.
Eryk Masters: Well, Jonny, congrats on getting everything off the ground, and real quick… where can we go to get more involved or learn more about Project Hero?
((VOICE OF)) The DEFILER: Umm… You can go to W,W,W, dot Project Hero dot org. Some more detailed stuff there. We should have our Facebook page and twitter going soon, and I’m pretty sure The NOW Wrestling… or, The NOW, I think they’re rebranding… I sat down with them for an interview, but I don’t know when that’ll be up. Maybe in the next week? I’m not sure…
Otherwise just make sure you’re watching Revolution 128.
That’s probably your best bet.
Eryk Masters: All right, well, Jonny thank you so much for chatting with us, and… I guess we’ll see you in two weeks.
There’s no response.
Eryk Masters: Jonny?
Other Guy: We really killed the tech work on this one.
Eryk Masters: Well, thank you to our guest, SHOOT Project legend, The Defiler, Jonny Johnson, but, PEOPLE… let’s get on to doing what we do well! Professional Wrestling. We got Samantha Coil in the ring, and we our ready for some TRIPLE THREAT ACTION.
Other Guy: I LIKE IT.
Eryk Masters: C’mon, man! Not cool.
Other Guy: But I do!
Samantha Coil: The following contest is a Triple Threat match scheduled for one fall with a 20-minute time limit, and is for the number one contendership to the Sin City Championship!
The fans hoot and hollar for Samantha as "Victim" by Eighteen Visions cues up, drawing a solid round of jeers that grow louder as "Right Now" Ryan Shane walks out from behind the curtain, a sneer on his face.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first, he weighs in at 210 pounds and stands at 5 feet 11 inches tall…
Shane shakes his head and then limbers up as he makes his way down the ramp, halting only to swat away the hand of a little girl reaching out to him.
Samantha Coil: Hailing from Allen Park, Michigan…
Shane rolls into the ring and rises to his feet, quickly climbing up to the second turnbuckle and staring at an unappreciative Epicenter audience.
Samantha Coil: RYANNNNNNNNNNNN SHAAAAAAAAANNNNNE!!!!!
"Victim" dies down as Shane jumps back to the canvas, hitting the ropes quick to get the blood flowing. Guitars fade in as the first hook of Rise Against’s "Savior" comes in, the fans cheering for the appearance of Solomon Richards as he marches out from behind the curtain.
Samantha Coil: Introducing next, he weighs in at 320 pounds and stands at 6 feet 9 inches tall…
Solomon, similar to Shane, ignores the crowd as he makes his way down to the ring, his pace much slower and deliberate than Ryan’s. Richards stops halfway and stares at Shane mouthing off to him from the ring, his expression lacking any sort of defined emotion, but then begins his march to the ring again.
Samantha Coil: Hailing from Wichita, Kansas, he is a former SHOOT Project Rule of Surrender champion…SSSSSSOLOMONNNNN RRRRRIIIIIIICHARRRRRDSSSSSSSSSS!!!!
Solomon jumps up onto the ring apron and quickly steps over them, taking a step toward Shane who stares up at his much larger opponent.
Eryk Masters: Something tells me that these two are a bit mismatched.
Other Guy: It’s probably the same thing that’s telling you not to eat the chicken burritos from catering.
"Savior" dies down, and silence fills the air. A few seconds pass with nothing happening, but then “Circus” by Britney Spears suddenly punctuates the ambient crowd noise of SHOOT Project’s Epicenter. The arena lights dim to a reddish glow as the opening words of the first verse fill the arena air.
There’s only two types of people in the world
The ones that entertain and the ones that observe
Well baby, I’m a put-on-a-show kind of girl
Don’t like the backseat, gotta be first
A flash of blinding light erupts and the arena lights return to normal. Chaos is standing in the middle of the stage. He is wearing a full body morph suit. On the front of the morph suit is airbrushed the likeness of Solomon Richards. As he spins in a circle it can be seen that the likeness of Ryan Shane is on the back.
Other Guy: …this guy just gets weirder…and weirder…and weirder…
Samantha Coil: …uhhh…introducing next, weighing in tonight at 230 pounds and standing at 6 feet tall…
I’m a like the ringleader, I call the shots
(Call the shots)
I’m like a firecracker I make it hot
When I put on a show
He unzips the suit and emerges from his cocoon. He is painted completely red from head to toe, and is wearing red short shorts that match his body paint. Chaos stares at the crowd who are giving him a muted positive response, probably something to do with his relatively new status and absurd behaviour. Chaos spins in a complete circle before skipping to the ring.
Samantha Coil: …CHAAAAAOSSSSSSS!!!!!
I feel the adrenaline moving through my veins
Spotlight on me and I’m ready to break
I’m like a performer, the dancefloor is my stage
Better be ready, hope that you feel the same
All eyes on me in the center of the ring just like a circus
When I crack that whip, everybody gon’ trip just like a circus
Don’t stand there watching me, follow me, show me what you can do
Everybody let go, we can make a dancefloor just like a circus ahhhhha
Chaos makes his way to the ring and slides under the bottom rope, lying on his stomach in a rather provocative way, fluttering his eyelashes to both of his opponents. "Circus" dies down as Samantha Coil leaves the ring, and referee Willie Dean calls for the bell.
Eryk Masters: There it is, and neither Solomon Richards nor Ryan Shane seem to know exactly just what to do with Chaos.
Chaos slowly pushes himself up to his feet, drawing the confusion of both Richards and Shane, and Ryan takes advantage with a dropkick to Solomon’s knee. The larger man drops down, and Ryan hits the ropes, nailing a a running knee lift that knocks Richards back into the corner, raining down with stomps.
Eryk Masters: "Right Now" Ryan Shane is taking great advantage of Chaos being…Chaos.
Other Guy: And Chaos is taking advantage of being himself, as well.
Chaos, moving like a cat, slides over the top rope and crawls along the apron. Shane brings Richards up to his feet and fires off some quick jabs. He backs up and charges in, looking for a Stinger Splash, but Richards steps out and catches him, quickly tossing him into the corner with an overhead belly-to-belly.
Other Guy: I think the ring shook with that one!
Richards gets up, shaking out his knee, and then turns to find Chaos springboarding off the top rope and taking him down with a flying headscissors. Richards goes to the outside and Chaos sits cross-legged, "meditating" as Ryan Shane pulls himself to his feet in the corner.
Eryk Masters: Ryan Shane connects with a perfect forearm to the back of Chaos’s head!
Other Guy: I’m not sure he’s done too much long-term damage, to be honest.
Shane gets up, holding his back, and Chaos crawls out to the floor, holding the back of his head. Richards slides in and eats a few stomps from Shane, but then catches a foot and wraps him up like a pretzel as he wrenches his ankle. Ryan screams and pounds his fist into the mat, but quickly grabs the bottom rope.
Eryk Masters: Richards breaks the hold at 2!
Other Guy: …what the hell kind of a hold was that?
Eryk Masters: It looked to be some kind of ankle lock with a cradle…?
Richards drags Shane away from the ropes and stomps on his arm a couple times before locking on a seated armbar. Shane scrambles, but finds no way out as Richards grapevines his torso.
Other Guy: Richards has almost a foot in height on Shane, here, and he knows it.
Eryk Masters: Solomon now…he’s looking for a Dragon Slee…what the hell is he…?
In the ring, Solomon methodically hooks Shane’s head in a Dragon Sleeper, but what draws the attention away is Chaos pulling a steel chair out from under the ring, setting it up on the floor, and then sitting on it AC Slater-style, his back to the ring and face to the crowd.
Other Guy: That’s…ummm…
Chaos starts a slow clap, nodding and smiling, and the crowd near him follows suit. In the ring, Shane manages to break Richards’ grapevine and roll backward with a pin attempt.
Richards kicks out, quickly looking for a gator roll into a front facelock, but Shane breaks free and locks on an armbar, quickly gaining leverage as Richards attempts to fight him off. Chaos starts to boo the front row, giving a thumbs down. As before, some of the crowd follows, quickly turning to the majority.
Eryk Masters: He’s rallying the fans against Ryan Shane!
Shane, perturbed by the noise, finds Chaos in action on the floor. He wrenches back on the armbar a little harder, but then breaks it and marches to Chaos. He rolls out of the ring and slaps Chaos across the head, yelling at him, and Chaos sulks off, "crying." Shane, astonished, just gets back into the ring.
Eryk Masters: Shane back to his feet, AND RICHARDS WITH AN EXPLODER SUPLEX!
Solomon wrenches on Shane’s previously targeted arm, dropping his knee onto it a few times, but is stopped as Chaos slithers into the ring and taps him on the forehead. Richards looks up to eat a basement dropkick to his face, and Chaos wastes no time as he bounds to the top turnbuckle and flies off with a moonsault. He quickly covers Richards, purposefully shoving his groin into his face.
Richards kicks out, and Chaos then decides to crab walk over to the corner before heading back up top. Across the ring, Shane gets to his feet, and Chaos creeps down to the apron, quickly rushing over to the next corner. Shane, perturbed, heads back over to Solomon, but Chaos slingshots himself into the ring and gets Shane’s attention.
Other Guy: I’m not quite sure if Ryan Shane knows how to deal with this guy…
Shane steps forward and Chaos steps back, sucking his thumb. Shane charges in and wallops away with forearms, backing Chaos into the corner, and then unloads with a STIFF knife-edge chop.
Shane fires off a couple jabs and sends Chaos across the ring, but Solomon is back up and he goes for a back body drop. Chaos spins out and lands on his feet behind Richards, quickly smacking him on the rear, and Richards charges in, taking Shane down with a clothesline.
Eryk Masters: He almost took his head off with that one!
Richards turns to find Chaos applauding his efforts, and the two meet in the middle of the ring. Richards hits the ropes and Chaos does the same, looking for a criss-cross, but Richards catches him with a Samoan Drop. Chaos quickly rolls to his knees and Richards hits the ropes again, charging with a clothesline.
Chaos stands up, holding a hand up to halt Solomon’s advance. Richards stops, confused, and Chaos leaps up to hug him. Richards, shocked, doesn’t even see the attempted roll-up coming, and it costs him.
Richards kicks out with authority and Chaos hits the ropes, but Richards looks to catch him with a back elbow. Chaos, though, ducks under and goes behind, quickly pulling up on the waist of Richards’ trunks.
Other Guy: He just gave him a wedgie!!
Richards steps forward, pulling his trunks out, and Chaos laughs before rushing in with a dropkick, sending Richards into the corner. Ryan Shane pulls himself to his feet and charges in, but Chaos surprises him with a dropkick to his knee, putting him down to one. Chaos boots Shane in the midsection, hunching down to all-four’s, and then jogs over to the opposite corner before charging in, using Shane as a springboard for a spinning wheel kick to Richards…
Eryk Masters: Richards catches him AND DUMPS HIM OUT OF THE RING!!!
Chaos lands on the floor – HARD – and slowly starts crawling to the barricade. Richards turns and eats a flurry of lefts from Shane, culminating in Ryan drilling Solomon in the jaw with a discus punch.
Other Guy: He’s got him rocked from the Southpaw Shuffle!
Eryk Masters: Shane off the ropes…
Ryan looks for a clothesline, but Richards boots him in the arm, grabs him, and sends him shoulder-first into the corner post through the turnbuckles.
Eryk Masters: That’s gotta hurt!
Other Guy: Richards is looking to end it…
Solomon drags Shane out and locks him in the Cobra Clutch, drawing a huge pop from the crowd. Shane struggles and fights, but Richards tightens it up, falling down with it and grapevining his legs.
Eryk Masters: It’s locked in! Solomon Richards has got the Cobra Clutch locked in! Shane’s got nowhere to go!
Other Guy: Here comes Chaos!
Chaos flies off the top rope with a huge splash across both of his opponents, breaking up the Cobra Clutch. Chaos rushes out of the ring, holding his ribs as he runs around ringside, and then slides back in, quickly covering Richards.
Chaos looks up at Willie Dean, shocked, and then quickly covers Ryan Shane.
THR…RICHARDS BREAKS IT UP!!
Other Guy: Richards dragged Chaos off…HE’S LOOKING FOR THE COBRA CLUTCH ON CHAOS…!!
Chaos keeps fighting it and manages to kick off of the ropes, spinning around and taking Richards down with an armdrag. Solomon gets back up to his feet as Shane starts to stir again, and Chaos backs himself into the corner, all three men exchanging gazes.
Eryk Masters: Not a single one of them looks like they’re ready to back down.
Other Guy: Chaos does.
Eryk Masters: How do you figure?
Other Guy: Because he looks like he’s ready for everything.
Chaos swallows hard and then struts out in between both Richards and Shane, waving both men on. Richards raises an eyebrow and Shane catches Chaos with a dropkick to the knee, sending him down to one. Richards rushes over and looks for a clothesline, but Shane ducks under and dumps Richards with a German suplex.
Eryk Masters: PERFECT German suplex…the cover…!
Chaos kicks Shane in the back of the thigh, his toe curling around to the inside…
Other Guy: Oh, come on, that was low!
…and Shane grabs his crotch, crawling to the corner and holding himself. Willie Dean admonishes Chaos, but Chaos pleads innocence. Almost too overtly, even. Richards rises to his knees, holding the back of his neck, and Chaos nails a European uppercut that rocks him loopy. Chaos hits the ropes, but Richards rises up…
Eryk Masters: Dropkick…NO!
…and sends Chaos up with a flapjack, hooking him with the Cobra Clutch on the way back down to his feet. Chaos struggles, but Richards locks it in, wrenching Chaos around. Shane, however, charges in, chop blocking Solomon and bringing him down to a knee, breaking the hold.
Other Guy: Shane off the ropes…
Ryan DRILLS him with a Shining Wizard, the impact echoing throughout the Epicenter.
Eryk Masters: THE SHANING WIZARD!! THE SHANING WIZARD!!
Other Guy: BUT CHAOS…!!
Before Shane can cover Richards, Chaos boots him in the midsection, locking his arms like a straitjacket before scooping him up and dumping him with a SICK brainbuster.
Eryk Masters: CHAOS HIT THE WAFFLEJACK!! THE COVER!!
Chaos rolls away from Shane and sits up, letting Willie Dean raise his hand after the bell. He slowly creeps up to his feet and grinds up on Willie’s hip, playfully honking his nose as "Circus" cues back up.
Samantha Coil: The winner of the match, and number one contender to the Sin City Championship…CHAOSSS!!!!!
Willie Dean checks on Solomon Richards and Ryan Shane as Chaos walks in close to the nearest camera, smiling and nodding before blowing a raspberry and diving out of the ring.
We cut backstage where we find the very lovely Abigail Chase standing with a microphone next to Omar Owens, still in his ring attire, looking a little worn out from his match earlier with Kale Tanev. Next to him is his manager Freak Nasty 1, looking fresh as a daisy, as he didn’t endure a grueling test of wills with one of the hottest soldiers in SHOOT like Omar did.
Abigail Chase: I’m standing here with one of the newest members of the SHOOT roster…well, one of the newest that wasn’t a returning member, anyway…Omar Owens. Omar, you came up just a little short in your attempt to take the Rule of Surrender Championship from Kale Tanev. What are you feeling right now?
Omar Owens: I’m feeling pain in my shoulders, I’m feeling pain in my neck, I’m feeling pain in my elbows, I’m feeling pain in my knees, and I’m feeling pain in my ankles.
Abigail Chase: That’s it? Just pain?
Omar Owens: The pain feels twice as bad as it would if I had won because it’s magnified by the disappointment of losing. That was a long and tough match and I’ve got nothing to show for it. That kills me.
Abigail Chase: Do you feel like Tanev wanted it more?
Omar Owens: The kid is hungry, both literally and figuratively, but did he want it more? No. I wanted it just as bad. He was just better than I was tonight. To defend his title successfully against me like that and he’s only beginning to gain actual wrestling skills? The Rule of Surrender Championship is just the beginning of something big for him.
Abigail Chase: A consolation is you get to find out your next opponent in the Master of the Mat tonight.
Omar Owens: Some consolation. Hey Freak, I may not have won the Rule of Surrender Title, but at least I get to find out if I’m matched up against Lunatikk Crippler or Isaac Entragian. Let’s celebrate!
Freak Nasty 1: We should celebrate by going on vacation and never coming back.
Omar Owens: That’s taking it a little too far, but let’s put it this way, whoever wins in tonight’s main event, I’m the one who ends up with the short end of the stick. I knew coming back to the sport to enter this tournament would be a huge test, I just didn’t know the test would be this hard so quickly. Sorry to cut this short Abby, but I have to go study.
Freak and Omar walk off screen, but after just a few seconds, Freak returns and speaks right into Abigail’s microphone.
Freak Nasty 1: He means watch the main event match.
Abigail Chase: Yeah, we got it.
Freak flashes her a gigantic smile before leaving her yet again.
Earlier in the night…
Entragian is seen walking into the Epicenter, duffle bag slung over his shoulder as he heads towards his locker room. The gargantuan albino looks totally different compared to the sorry state he’s been in these past few weeks. His hair is tied back into a neat ponytail, he’s clean shaven…and his eyes gleam with rediscovered confidence.
He’s wearing new ring gear, a white tactical vest with silver buckles along the front embroidered with two cross scythes at the chest, and new white tights depicting a Reaper galloping on a white horse with “PALE RIDER” written down the legs.
"Ike, Ike, Ike, Ike…" a voice chants from nearby.
Isaac stops at the midway point down the hallway, cocking his head to the side while his eyes bore forward. JASON RILEY, TOM QUINN, and JORDAN WAILER have acquired their target. The trio casually swarms Entragian, with Riley mocking the celebratory cheers from Revolution.
"Ike, Ike, Ike, Ike" He gets a little bit louder, pumping his fist near his crotch in a masturbating gesture. All three men are in their street clothes. Riley in black skinny jean cut-off shorts (just above the knee) and white T-shirt that says "Can’t Touch This" scribbled in black marker. Quinn has a white Disney Land Tank-Top and black skinny jeans, and Wailer has a sleeveless Pantera T-shirt (or rather the sleeves have been ripped off) with crusted black boots and baggy black jeans.
Wailer moves the closest to Entragian, though doesn’t say anything. Isaac’s on guard, but not panicking. He’s calm under these circumstances.
Jason Riley: Soooooo fucking lame.
Riley blurts out.
Isaac Entragian: Pretty important match tonight, boys. Now I get the pack mentality…makes you feel kind untouchable, yeah? I’ve felt that. I know what it’s like.
Isaac’s gaze finds each member of the trio.
Isaac Entragian: Here’s the thing though. If you don’t get the fuck outta my way…I’m gonna touch all three of you. Inappropriately…and painfully. Probably gonna be blood involved.
Isaac stares at Riley, his razor-sharp teeth bared.
Isaac Entragian: And I’ll likely get torn apart in the end…but not before I sink my teeth into this mouthy little shitstain’s voice box and do a lil’ crude surgery on his vocal cords til he can’t even pronounce the word “FUCK” anymore…
Isaac takes another step towards Riley, but Wailer is right there to block him, the two huge men glaring at one another.
Tom Quinn: Yeah. We get it. You’re all good, man.
His tone is very matter-of-fact, mellow; a glaring contradiction to the anxious cadence of the scene.
Tom Quinn: It’s just that we… kinda feel like… (Thinking of the words) ummm… maybe people aren’t taking us seriously… which, I mean, actually, works out pretty well on our end. It’s easier this way. Buuuut…
Riley interupts with a middle finger into Entragian’s face.
Jason Riley: …But, "Fuck You". You’re on the wrong list, fa*****!
Although not the words he would have chose, Quinn nods in agreement.
Tom Quinn: More or less. Yeah. We just thought we should let you know.
Riley shakes his head, while Wailer simply continues to cast an icy stare on the Pale Horse. Isaac sneers, shifting his gaze from Wailer to Riley and the back on Quinn.
Isaac Entragian: Not much meat left on these dead bones, boys. But if you’re hungry enough…and if you’ve got the balls…
Isaac cracks his neck to the side…proceeding to drop his duffle bag down to the floor.
Isaac Entragian: Come get your scraps.
Riley’s smirk in response oozes with a certain obnoxious, brash arrogance.
Jason Riley: Soon enough, bitch.
Wailer finally speaks up.
Wailer: Calm before the storm.
Riley mockingly hisses at Entragian.
Jason Riley: We’re fucking OUT of here, bro.
Tom Quinn: Have a ni…
"HALT! IN THE NAME OF THE LAW YOU MUST HALT OR… "TCHA~!"
I STRIKE YOU LIKE SO!"
Riley, Quinn and Wailer turn around to see members VERMONT’S FINEST! The reception they receive from the crowd watching live is PRETTY loud. You can hear cheers from the ring area. El Asso Wipo, Silas and the ROOKIE, Reeve Timmons, approach in full riot gear. All three men have on a full-visor’d helm, along with a bullet-proof vests. Wipo is wielding a night stick and appears to mean business!
Riley: Oh FUCK ALL!
Quinn turns back to Entragian…
Who isn’t there.
Tom Quinn: Shit….
Wailer sighs loudly.
Wailer: Just what the HELL do you want?
Wipo pulls down his helmet visor.
El Asso Wipo: (Muffled) MMMHMMMUUUUHHHMMM
Silas shakes his head.
Jason Riley: Jesus fucking christ…
Wipo pulls the visor back up.
El Asso Wipo: JUSTICE! You have wronged us far too many times and I seek REVENGE~!
Wipo is speaking in especially epic tones tonight, but Riley just shakes his head.
Jason Riley: You’re not getting JACK SHIT, fa******! STOP FUCKING FOLLOWING US! This…. (motioning between him, Quinn, and Wailer and then toward Wipo, Silas and Timmons) … is NOT a fucking thing.
EAW is quick to respond back!
El Asso Wipo: We are not taking requests! THIS IS NOT KAREOKE! YOU CANNOT SING YOUR FAVORITE TUNES! We seek revenge, justice, and to do battle with you until OUR THIRST FOR VICTORY QUENCHED! We must "TCHA~!" you as such!
He makes a chopping motion at Riley.
Jason Riley: Ya know what… Fuck it!
Riley almost attacks, but Quinn pulls him back! Timmons and Silas ready themselves while EAW waves for Riley to follow through with his instincts.
El Asso Wipo: FIGHT US!
Tom Quinn: Whooooa… Dude. (To Riley) We’re fine…
Quinn looks back at Wipo.
Tom Quinn: Look… (Raising his hand, doing what he can to keep the peace) You guys are starting to get annoying. You want a match? Fine. Revolution One, Twenty Eight…
Riley does NOT like that.
Jason Riley: FUCK THAT, DUDE!
Quinn speaks through Riley’s rage.
Tom Quinn: ….BUUUUT, it’s our rules. (Pausing) So… NO rules.
He pauses again, while Wipo narrows his eyes in contemplation.
Tom Quinn: No arbitrary walls to confine us. No count outs, no disqualifications and pins and submissions count anywhere…
Riley is very quickly warming up to the idea that Quinn has laid out.
Jason Riley: And it’s all three of us… and all three of you. Even this fucking little bitch… (Pointing at Timmons) and when you FUCKING LOSE, you QUIT professional wrestling. You take your dumb fucking idiot act out of this business… and you don’t work HERE. You don’t work in Japan. Mexico…
Riley’s stamp on the sentence brings an uneasy silence. Wipo glowers back at the three men.
Reeve Timmons: (Breaking the silence, speaking calmly) And If YOU lose?
Riley simply laughs in his face.
Jason Riley: Pfffft! HA!
Wailer smirks and Quinn shakes his head.
Tom Quinn: Nothing. Nothing happens. You want this. We don’t. We get the incentive. That’s how deals work, man. You think some sort of organized fight is going to make you feel better? Fine. Then you get to be us for a week.
"You put everything on the line just for a chance to wake up in the morning.
Wailer: Sounds fair to me.
Wipo, normally jubilant and bizarre, is deathly serious in this particular moment.
El Asso Wipo: A pin or submit can count ANYWHERE. A loss and we leave SHOOT Project AND the sport of professional wrestling…
El Asso Wipo: But the chance… (Raising his voice proudly) TO BREAK YOUR BACK LIKE, TCHA~!
El Asso Wipo: Deal.
Riley’s smile is devilish and evil. Wailer’s eyes are cold and Quinn nods.
Tom Quinn: Cool. (Staring at Wipo) Deal.
Jason Riley: See you dumb horse sp*** in two weeks.
Riley turns around and starts walking away. Quinn gives a quick two finger salute and he and Wailer leave as well.
Vermont’s Finest. Riley, Quinn, and Wailer.</</p>
Eryk Masters: Our next contest is a first round Master of the Mat contest. It pits a newcomer to the SHOOT Project with a returning vet.
Other Guy: Been a theme here early in the tournament with the new wide open invite rules. Meant the door has been opened to faces we haven’t seen in the SHOOT Project, or have NEVER seen in the SHOOT Project.
Eryk Masters: And its led to some great matches and some amazing pairings. Lets go to the ring for our first competitor.
Other Guy: Plus its a battle of two guys who have TWO first names, Masters. You can’t trust a guy with two first names!
Eryk Masters: And on THAT note lets throw it to our colleague.
Samantha Coil: Our following contest is first round match for the Master of the Mat!!!
The bell rings as lights dim and smoke begins to collect on the entrance ramp. "One Track Mind" by Papa Roach plays through the speaker system, the smoke hovering ominously. A platform slowly rises from under the ramp, as Aiden Miles stands with his arms outstretched, with his head hung, almost like a rock star pose. As the ramp connects with the platform, Aiden Miles slowly walks down wearing a black army style shirt, arms cut off, unbuttoned flaps
Samantha Coil: Making his way to the ring, from Miami Florida. Weighing in at two hundred and six pounds. He is "The Standard", AAAAAAAAAIIIII. DEN. MIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILES!!!!!
Miles reaches the ring, rolling under the bottom rope. He hops to his feet and smirks out over the Epicenter and heads to his corner to wait for his opponent. "One Track Mind" fades away.
Eryk Masters: Miles looks like he might be a bit nervous.
Other Guy: He has to be a trip to the second round is at stake and while John Thomas may have been away from a SHOOT ring for more than a decade, he shouldn’t be taken lightly, and its his second match in a SHOOT Ring!
Samantha Coil: And his opponent…
A thumping, repetitive, non-descript bass-line starts thumping through the arena, with the lights fading on and off in time with the beat. After the fifth iteration, a hollow, echoing lyric:
The beat really starts to pick up, this obviously being a remixed version of Filter’s "Hey Man Nice Shot", because the whole intro with the rolling bass-line gives way directly to where the song starts building up at the minute mark.
"Good shot man…."
We then burst into the chorus of the song, and John Thomas steps through the curtain. He’s covered head-to-toe in white, his loose-fitting attire almost reminiscent of a monk. A hood covers his head, and as the camera zooms in, you can barely see his face through the opening. Stepping to the edge of the stage, he pauses momentarily and rolls his shoulders and then tilts his head side to side before making his way to the ring.
Eryk Masters: Back of JT’s robe repping his love of the Colts.
Other Guy: Better than sporting Andrew Luck’s neck beard.
When John gets to the apron, he reaches up and pulls back his hood, looking out over the crowd for a moment. One foot after another, John wipes the bottom of his feet on the apron and then steps in between the middle rope to enter the squared circle. As he does, the SHOOT crowd’s positive reaction intensifies for the somewhat monumental return.
Samantha Coil: From Poolesville Maryland, weighing in at two hundred and twenty two pounds, JOOOOOOOOOHN THOOOMMMMMMMAAAAAAAAAASSSS!
After walking around the ring a little bit, John reaches down and unlatches the rope-like hooks on his robe, then drops his shoulders backwards and the robe slips back down off of him, grabbing it in his hands to not let it completely fall. As he hands it to the ring attendant, he stares off into the crowd, stone-faced, then heads over to his corner.
The lights come up and referee Denis Heflin brings both men to the center of the ring.
Eryk Masters: Heflin giving his last minute instructions.
Both men nod and take a few steps back, and the ref calls for the bell. The two men circle. Tentatively. Sizing one another up. They lock up. Thomas quickly pulls Miles into a standing side headlock. Quickly transfers from standing sideheadlock to a standing hammerlock. He wrenches the hammerlock, leaning his weight down onto Aiden’s shoulders.
Eryk Masters: Thomas really using his size and weight there to both leverage that hold even more, but more importantly to neutralize any potential strikes like back elbows.
Other Guy: Yeah he also is making Miles carry his body weight which can wear a man down.
Thomas again wrenches on the arm. Miles wincing and trying to move to loosen the grip. He reaches up and grabs Thomas behind the head, and drops down and takes John over with a snap mare. Thomas lands in a sitting position and Miles buries his shin between JT’s shoulder blades. He then hops up, bounces off the ropes and hits a drop kick to Thomas’ head. He quickly makes a lateral cover.
Two-NO! Thomas up at two. Miles quickly transfers to a side headlock. Thomas gets up to a knee and buries an elbow into Miles ribcage, but Miles holds on like a tenacious pitbull. Thomas with another elbow, this one loosens the grip enough that Thomas can get to a more vertical base. Thomas goes for one more elbow, but Miles feels this one coming and leaps and traps that arm with his legs, grabs John’s other arm and pulls back with a Crucifix Pin!
Eryk Masters: He almost had him there!
Both men are up. Miles rocks Thomas with forearm. And a second. Thomas staggers back. Thomas comes in with a wild right, but Miles ducks it, and quickly grabs John and snaps a belly to belly. He stays on for a lateral cover.
Two… NO! Thomas up after two.
Miles gets up and looks at the corner. He climbs to the top rope, but doesn’t look comfortable. He has to pause as his feet aren’t steady up there. As Thomas gets to his feet, Miles tries to size him up for a missile drop kick. He leaps, but John is able to side step it. Miles lands hard on his left arm. Thomas wastes no time and immediately begins stomping away on that left shoulder.
Eryk Masters: Thomas methodically and coldly going after that shoulder after Miles seemed to go out of his comfort zone for that high risk move.
Thomas brings Miles up, scoops him up and drives his shoulder into his knee with a shoulder breaker. He continues to hold onto that arm. Ducks under with an arm ringer, and then drives his shin up into Miles’ armpit, then grabs Miles by the chin back into a reverse DDT type position. He then drops Miles down backwards onto his right knee, making sure its driven into that left shoulder.
Other Guy: Really working that shoulder. Maybe looking for a submission, but at the very least looking to soften Aiden up.
Thomas continues to hold onto that left arm. Does another arm ringer and heads to the corner. He goes to the top rope, holding that arm.
Eryk Masters: Looking for a little New School.
He launches himself and drives his knee into the back of that shoulder and rides it down to the mat, while still holding the arm. Miles crashes to the mat. Thomas rolls through once they land. He shoots a half nelson and hooks a leg.
THR-NO! Miles shoulders out. Thomas brings Miles up to his feet. Whips him off the ropes. Throws a clothesline, but Miles ducks it. Gets to the far ropes and leaps to the middle rope and spring boards off looking to his his signature spring board stunner, but Thomas DUCKS! Miles though rolls through and is quickly on his feet, and when Thomas comes in he is LEVELED by a superkick!
Other Guy: He got ALL of that!
Thomas is down. Miles goes to make a cover, but is unable to hook the leg with his left arm.
Th-NO! Thomas is able to get his shoulders up. He brings Thomas up to his feet. He uses his right arm to Irish Whip John chest first into the corner. Thomas crashes hard. Aiden charges in and steps up on the middle rope and drives his knee into the back of Thomas’s head. He then follows that up by grabbing Thomas with an reverse chinlock and dropping Thomas down across his own back with a backbreaker.
He rolls John over. Lays across his chest and hooks the leg with his right arm.
Aiden comes up stomps down hard on Thomas’ chest. Winds up drops a quick elbow. Pops back up and delivers a leg drop. He brings John to his feet. He hooks him looking for a cradle pile driver, but Thomas stands straight up looking to back body drop Miles out of the piledriver, but Miles grabs the waist and slides down the back into a sunset flip roll up!
THREE-NO! Thomas just shoulders out. Both men get up a flurry of adrenaline coursing through them. Thomas throws a right! Blocked! Miles throws a left, ducked. Thomas quickly snaps a boot to Miles’ midsection, doubling him over. JT then grabs Miles bum left arm and drops him with a single arm DDT!
Eryk Masters: A huge move for Thomas there. Buys him some time and works on that bad left arm.
Thomas is back up, he brings Miles to his vertical base, and puts him in a hammerlock. He then takes Miles and drives him hard between the middle and top rope, shoulder first into the ringpost! The crowd "oooh’s" in sympathy and boos the dirty tactic from John Thomas.
Other Guy: Alls fair in love and Master of the Mat, Eryk.
Thomas quickly drops down and rolls up Miles grabbing a fistful of tights!
THREE-NO! Miles just shoulders out. Thomas gets up. Whips Miles off the ropes. Throws a clothesline, but Miles ducks, hits the ropes comes up and nails a HUGE spinning heel kick!!! Miles quickly gets up. He goes to the top rope…
Eryk Masters: Miles looking to put it away.
He leaps looking for a diving knee drop! NOBODY HOME!!!!! Miles is up favoring that knee, Thomas is also up.
Thomas charges in looking for a big boot, but Miles captures that leg. He hoists him into a capture suplex, but then brings Thomas crashing down hard across that knee into a vicious high velocity backbreaker! He makes a cover. HOoks the leg.
Miles rolls off and gets up favoring the knee he just landed on. Denis Heflin holds his hand high.
Samantha Coil: The winner of this match at a time of thirteen minutes and seventeen seconds… AIDEN. MIIIIIIIIILES!
Eryk Masters: Miles with another impressive win here tonight over a SHOOT alumnus.
Other Guy: He continues to roll on in this year’s Master of the Mat. We’ll see what the tourney has in store for him moving forward!
Hulking white shoulders hunched. White hair cascading down. This position is familiar for those that have watched Isaac Entragian, but the reason he is slouched over is not the bottle, but the boot. He continues lacing up his wrestling boots as there is a knock at the door. He cocks an eye towards the door.
The door opens slowly as no on in their right mind would barge in even someone who is moderately friendly with the albino abomination like Loco Martinez. Loco steps in.
Loco: Hey Ike.
With a half nod, Isaac continues working on his boots. With Loco’s curt greeting Loco shifts slightly nervously.
Loco: I just wanted to come in here and… uh… just… you know… say thanks. For being there for Maya, when so many of us couldn’t. Especially me. As badly as I want to win that Championship? As much as a tiny part of me KNOWS that had you not shown up it would have been nothing but good for ME? I was thrilled when you went out there. Because our title match at Master of the Mat should be about that Championship, and the heart, determination, and skill it takes to earn it. So, thank you for two things. First preserving the integrity of that match, and second… and more importantly for protecting my friend.
Entragian: You don’t need to thank me, Loc. If anything…I should thank you. You came to me at a moment when I was feeling pretty god damn pathetic…and you offered a few words of encouragement. That’s a helluva lot more than most people would have done considering my…less than heroic reputation round here, ya know? Meant a lot at the time.
Isaac nods, maintaining eye contact with Loc for a moment.
Entragian: Now when it comes to Maya? I know he has something you want…and I know that the pursuit of a World Championship can push men to some really dark and nasty places. We both held the World Title back where we came from…and we’ve both been to those places before. I also know…that I don’t have to worry about you losing yourself in the pursuit. If there’s any man on this roster who can give Maya a good, clean…EPIC fuckin’ fight and go about it the RIGHT way?
Isaac cocks his head to the side, favoring Loco with a razor-tipped grin.
Entragian: It’s you, Freakshow.
Loco smirks and nods. He tilts his head to the side eyeing up Isaac.
Loco: You know, dudeman… You look good. Lot better than last time. You’re getting some of your color back!
Loco winks and turns on his heel. Isaac gives a half chuckle.
Loco: Good luck tonight.
Other Guy: just being told we have one of our soldiers in the audience tonight.
Eryk Masters: It’s not uncommon for our soldiers to take a seat and watch the action.
The camera pans to show none other than “The Artist” Zex further back in the stands with his wife Rain by his side and a plastic cup of beer in his hand; he shows up on the Jumbotron and the fans roar, many of them patting him on the back and cheering.
“The Artist” raises his drink in the air and a few fans randomly toast him before the camera spins away and back to the announcers.
Eryk Masters: I spoke to Zex recently and he said he was really looking forward to tonight’s matches, naming the next bout as one he was especially looking forward to.
Other Guy: Can you blame him? I’m excited. How excited are you for this next match, E?
Eryk Masters: Well, when you have one half of the SHOOT Project Tag Team Champions going up against the 2013 Master of the Mat, you already know you’re in for one hell of a contest. Not to mention that Loco Martinez is also the current Number One contender to the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship.
Other Guy: Both men will have something to prove in this contest, Laz is far from a tag team specialist and I look for him to make sure the rest of the locker room remembers that.
Eryk Masters: I don’t think any of them have forgotten, not that Laz would let them either way.
The lights drop out, ushering a hush from the crowd and announcers alike as Samantha Coils stands alone inside the squared circle, microphone in hand.
Samantha Coil: The following contest is set for one fall, coming to the ring first…
Gold pyro explodes from around the jumbotron and the four ring posts, illuminating the entire arena as the fans get to their feet, each of them bellowing and cheering for the arrival of one half of the world championship match at Master of the Mat 2014.
“Tonight we’re going har har-har ha-ha-hard
Just like the world is our our-our our-our-ours
We’re tearin’ it apart part-part pa-pa-part
You know we’re superstars, we are who we are!”
Loco Martinez explodes from the back as the Epicenter roars its approval for the “Freakshow.” He races down the entrance ramp, slapping a few hands as he bounces energetically to the ring.
He effortlessly slides under the bottom rope and rolls to his back, before kipping up onto his feet, much to the adulation of his supporters.
Samantha Coil: From Philadelphia Pennsylvania, weighing in at two hundred and eleven pounds. The 2013 Master of the Mat. LLLLLLLLLLLOOOOO. COOOOOOOOOO. MAR. TIIIIIIIIII. NEEEEEZZZZZZZ!!!
Flash bulb pops as the focused Martinez heads to his corner, jogging up and down on the spot and loosening up before the arrival of his opponent.
Other Guy: Every time we see Loco lately he has been dropping weight and altering his body shape, any insight on the sudden change, E?
Eryk Masters: It’s an old school mentality. Boxers, MMA fighters and Wrestlers have been known to drop or gain weight heading into a big bout where they want to match their opponent. Or if they need to drop or raise a division. This weight loss and clear stamina boost just goes to show how seriously Martinez is taking his match against Maya Nakashima at Master of the Mat.
An old fashioned, black and white film countdown scrolls on the VideoWall as the lights in the Epicenter die, drawing a building chorus of cheers.
I SAID, HALLELEUJAH!!!
Lo-Fidelity Allstar’s "Battleflag" cues up over the PA, and a sole spotlight shines on Corey Lazarus as he walks backwards out from the entrance curtain, sliding off the hood of his entrance jacket before turning and throwing a fist up into the air, eliciting a POP before dropping down to a knee with an exaggerated stage bow.
Samantha Coil: Introducing at this time, hailing from Casa del Caos in Malibu, California, he weighs in tonight at 235 pounds…
Corey jumps up to his feet and quickly unzips his entrance jacket, revealing his half of the World Tag Team championship around his waist as the houselights return. Lazarus adjusts his Ray Bans and then makes his way down the ramp, stopping for a moment to pose for a few pictures on the ramp.
Samantha Coil: …and stands at 6-foot-1, he is one half of the SHOOT Project World Tag Team champions…
Other Guy: C’mon, Corey, we don’t have all night. Stop taking pictures and start getting to the ring!
Eryk Masters: Are you trying to imply that you don’t care about the fans getting their money’s worth?
Other Guy: No, I…whatever.
Corey blows a few kisses out to the crowd and then walks to the end of the ramp, looking up into the ring. He hesitates, though, as a front row fan not paying attention catches his eye. Quickly, Lazarus snatches the cup of beer out of his hands and then walks up the ring steps, sipping it as he steps into the ring.
Samantha Coil: …he is "The Premier Attraction"…
Laz holds the cup up to the fan, his face turning red with embarrassment, and nods as he finishes it, tossing the cup down to the floor as he climbs the turnbuckles, facing into the ring.
Other Guy: And now he’s drinking on the job!
Samantha Coil: …COOORRRREYYYY LAAAAZZZZAAAARRRUUUUSSSSS!!!!!
Laz hops back down onto the apron and then steps in, turning to face every section of the Epicenter before removing his entrance jacket, Ray Bans, and Tag Team title, handing them off to a ringside assistant after backing into his corner. "Battleflag" dies down, and Corey stretches out over the top ropes, adjusting the tape on his wrists and then his kickpads.
The referee calls for the bell to get this one underway and the two SHOOT soldiers begin to circle each other, sizing one another up before stepping in with a collar and elbow tie, Laz, having the weight advantage powers Loco back towards the ropes, once there Corey whips Loco to the opposite side of the ring.
Martinez gains a massive amount of speed and comes charging back towards Lazarus, who swings a huge clothesline, Loco ducks and hits the opposing ropes as Laz turns and steps in with a slight leap, cutting off the momentum and catching Loco by the head and pulling him into a side headlock.
Other Guy: Loco has definitely gained a hell of a lot of speed recently, though it didn’t stop Corey cutting him off there.
Corey wrenches the headlock a few times before spinning out of the hold, catching Martinez by the left arm, twisting it up behind his back with a hammerlock.
Eryk Masters: Many wrestlers lose track of the “The Basics” as they gain fame and success, some even refer to them in a negative connotation; but this simply isn’t the case. A good grasp of “The Basics” means you can effortlessly take advantages of situations like this without using up too much energy in the process. Which is exactly what Laz is doing here.
Loco reaches up and back over his shoulder with his free hand, but Laz avoids being caught by rocking his upper body back, Loco switches gears and fires a low elbow shot into Corey’s ribs, followed by a second shot.
Martinez can feel the hammerlock slipping and spins out of the hold turning towards Lazarus, But Corey thinks quickly and pulls Loco in close with a front Facelock and then lowers himself down to one knee, centring his weight and pulling Loco down to his knees.
Eryk Masters: Again, “The Basics;” he’s keeping Loco in close and forcing him to exert himself.
Laz raises back to both feet, and then hoists Loco up with a vertical Suplex, Martinez flips out of the move mid-way through and lands down on his feet behind Corey firing away two hard forearms to the lower back followed by a third to the back of the neck and shoulder area.
Lazarus staggers forward and then turns, reaching out with both arms and forcing Loco to block and once again lock up with a collar and elbow tie, Laz once again uses the weight advantage, pushing all of his weight on Loco’s left arm and then stepping out, twisting Martinez by the wrist and into a standing Arm-bar.
Other Guy: Lazarus is in control in the early going and seems to be relying on good old fashioned catch style manoeuvres.
Loco instinctively spins his body taking a few steps towards the ropes spinning his body around to alleviate the pressure on his arm; but Laz steps forward towards Loco, spinning his arm around once again and keeping the hold in place and negating Loco’s breakout attempt.
Martinez however, goes for “Plan B” using his free arm to reach out for the rope, but before the referee can call for Corey to drop the hold, Loco while still holding onto the rope; backflips over reversing the pressure and tying Lazarus’ arm behind his back into a hammerlock of his own.
Eryk Masters: Great ring awareness from Loco, but you have to wonder if any damage has been done to the left arm, as Corey really focused on it in the early going.
Martinez then pushes Corey forward into the ropes. Laz hits them and fires back straight into at dropkick that flattens him. Loco kips up as Corey gets back to his feet and again eats a dropkick that, this time, sends him into the corner.
Feeling a little fired up now Loco charges at Laz leaping into the air and crashing into him with a forearm to the face, Loco whips Laz to the opposing ropes and then follows closely behind hitting a splash that he turns straight into a bulldog; Corey pushes out of the Bulldog, sending Loco to the ropes; but Martinez hits his feet on the middle rope and springboards back towards Lazarus with a Crossbody block taking him down.
Other Guy: These fans are on their feet, Martinez is feeling the momentum shift.
After the Crossbody, Loco rolls clean out and to his feet as Lazarus begins to pull himself up; Martinez hits the ropes and comes hurtling towards Laz, but Laz is ready for it and so, Loco turns any offence into an Irish Whip, Laz reverses and sends Loco into the corner and then rushes towards him with a splash of his own.
Loco steps out of the way and Corey crashes into the turnbuckle, hard. But before he can even react to the pain, “The Freakshow” aggressively slams his shoulder down into the lower back of “The Premier Attraction,” not once, not twice…But three times before reaching his arms around Corey’s waist and lifting him up and over with a picture perfect German Suplex.
Eryk Masters: Look at that bridge by Loco; that is a thing of beauty.
The referee drops to the mat counting the pin attempt.
Eryk Masters: That was one hell of a close fall.
Laz rolls out holding the back of his neck and begins to clamber for the ropes as Loco gets back to a vertical base; Austin Linam steps in making sure Laz didn’t injure himself after the German Suplex and Loco respectfully keeps his distance…Corey lets Linam know he’s okay to continue and pulls himself up to his feet.
The two men do no wait around and instead instantly step towards each other in the centre of the ring; Lazarus is the first to act by slamming a hard forearm into the chest of Martienz, followed by a second and then a low kick to the right leg. Loco takes a step back and then fires a hard kick straight to the mid-section; Corey catches the kick under his arm and Loco hops on his free leg with an Enzaguri, but Laz ducks the kick causing Loco to land down in reverse where he springs back with a reverse Enzaguri that connects square in the side of Corey’s head.
Other Guy: What a kick!
Loco isn’t done, he takes hold of Corey’s arm and pulls Laz towards him, cracking him square in the face with a Short-Arm Superkick that sends Laz back into the corner.
Other Guy: I wish I hadn’t just said what a kick, because it totally applies here too.
Eryk Masters: Loco nearly took Laz’ head off his shoulders with that one.
“The Freakshow” steps in with his guard slightly raised and then throws a wild kick cracking the cornered Laz in the chest, followed by a second to the mid-section, a third to the chest and then another to the gut.
Eryk Masters: Loco laying in those quick kicks. Driving his shin right into Laz’s liver!
Other Guy: Lightning fast, kicks. Like he’s the Flash! … or if you’re a marvel guy, Quicksilver!
Eryk Masters: So we’ve all seen Superman Punches, now we have, what… Flash Kicks!?
Loco continues to snap kicks with speed and ferocity, mixing up his blows from time to time. Corey’s knees give out and he begins to slump to a seated position, when Loco changes his kick attack beginning to stomp into Laz’s midsection repeatedly.
Other Guy: I was about to use the tired line about educated feet, but once Loco started stomping I’d have to change it from Harvard to Harlem.
After six hellacious Mudhole styled stomps, Martinez takes off and races to the opposite corner, and charges at his opponent, leaping into the air and driving a nasty hang time Dropkick to Corey’s face, before yanking him by his ankle and making a cover.
Instinctively Lazarus takes hold of the bottom rope causing Linam to thwart his pin count a mere millisecond before his hand hit the mat a third time.
Other Guy: Loco can’t believe it.
Eryk Masters: Neither can I, after all those kicks and stomps Corey Lazarus still had the wherewithal to reach the bottom rope.
Loco reaches down lifting the groggy and wobbly Lazarus up and to his feet and then swings his whole body looking for either a spinning back fist or spinning low kick; but out of nowhere Lazarus reaches in locking the shoulder and leg and then explodes up and over with an almighty CinePlex, the back of Loco’s head crashes into the mat before the rest of his bodyweight follows, folding him up like an accordion; as “Holy Shit” chants erupt throughout the Epicentre.
Other Guy: Holy!!!!
Eryk Masters: These fans agree, OG. That CinePlex just destroyed Martinez in brutal fashion.
Corey uses the last of his strength to turn and drape his arm over the chest of “The Master of the Mat” making a cover.
Eryk Masters: Somehow, some way Loco threw his shoulder up and saved this one.
Both men are down, both of their chests rise and fall in quick succession as they stare up at the bright lights above them, sweat drenching their bodies and pain running through every inch, Laz rolls to the side his chest lit up a bright red from the barrage of kicks. Loco on the other hand has rolled onto his stomach, clutching the back of his head and neck while trying to get back to his knees.
Other Guy: This match has literally taken it out of both men.
Loco and Laz pull themselves up on opposing ropes; Loco favouring the back of his head, still as Laz regains his breath and then rushes towards Martienz with every last bit of speed and strength he has in him. Loco, quick as they come spring boards off the middle rope, turning his body towards Corey his knee in perfect position to catch “The L-A-Z.”
Corey, however leaps up out of his charge, twisting his whole body as he gains height and spins into a modified roundhouse style kick; that catches Loco clean in the side of the head, just as Martinez knee collides with Lazarus’ chest.
Other Guy: Zombie Kill of the Week!
Eryk Masters: Modified End Credits!
Both men crash to the mat in a heap of humanity, Loco landing flat on his back, sprawled out with Laz laying on top of him, holding his chest and coughing up into the air.
Other Guy: Man, would you look at those two…
As the two combatants lay, limbs entangled and flayed out across one another; the fans inside the Epicentre almost blow the roof off the building after that exchange…Laz looks up from his crumpled position and then turns, laying his entire body across Loco’s chest and upper body, making sure that all of his bodyweight is cantered for the pin attempt.
Linam’s hand hits the mat!
Again, his hand hits the mat as the fans and Lazarus alike gasp for air…
Laz rolls onto his back as the referee calls for the bell; signalling the end of the bout.
Samantha Coil: Here is your Winner, by Pinfall…COOOREEEY LAAAZAAARUUUS!
Laz, who is still lying on his back beside Loco, raises his arm into the air before rolling over to his side and onto his knees, looking down at Martinez who is beginning to stir.
Eryk Masters: I think, that Loco wasn’t the same after CinePlex; combine that with the End Credits variation that we saw and you know what they say about fat ladies…
Other Guy: That their greatful for a good…
Eryk Masters: I’m going to cut you off there, OG. I was merely talking about singing.
Lazarus stands, wobbling on his feet as he raises both of his arms in the air; Loco now rolls onto his knees looking up at Corey while the fans shower both men with applause and cheers after what can only be described as a hard hitting contest…Before Revolution cuts to a commercial break.
Maya sits atop a sterile blue table, his face still shows visible blemishes from last week’s handicap match. His eye right eye still a fresh deep purple, still swollen shut. A medical personal brings a light up to the swollen eye, alternating from shining it in his eye then away from it.
Medic: Can you see that in your right eye at all?
Maya shakes his head, the medic sighs heavily, writing something down on a clipboard.
Maya: Listen, I’m fine, it’s just my eye. Soldiers have fought with much worse than this, all you need to tell anybody is that it’s a little swollen, alright?
The medic is about to protest when the door swings open. Loco Martinez steps in. He’s in his ring gear. Yellow "Greatest Show On Earth" t-shirt. He casts a quick glance at the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship that sits next to Maya before casting a worried eye in Maya’s direction.
Loco: Dude… how are you doing?
Maya: Never better.
Loco: Listen. I wanted to find you and say how guilty I feel for not being able to be out there to help you out. It… it was a shitty situation.
Maya forces a smile, but it ends being more of a wince.
Maya: Don’t be. There was nothing you could have done, you were specifically banned from ringside. I’m just lucky that I got through to Isaac, that he saw something worth saving in me. Otherwise I… I don’t know if I’d even be here.
Maya put a reassuring hand on Loco’s shoulder.
Maya: But that’s not on you, Loc.
Loco smiles and nods.
Loco: Yeah, dude. Thank god for Entragian.
Maya’s smile fades slightly, his hand drips off of Loco’s shoulder.
Maya: Yes, thank god for Isaac, but what worries me is how this whole thing even happened. I mean, I’ve been put in some crazy matches before, but never one that was such a blatant attempt to… to end my career. And if could happen last week, what’s to stop it from happening every week? For all I know some attendant is looking for me right now to…
Maya lets it hang in the air for a moment.
Loco: I know, man… its messed up. This is the kind of unnecessary B.S. I had hoped we’d avoid when it our match was announced.
Maya: I dunno, it feels like someone doesn’t even want me to make it to Master of the Mat. If it wasn’t for Isaac, if he wasn’t there… like, what happens when Isaac isn’t there next time? Or what happens when Isaac is banned along with you and everyone else who has ever stood by me? What happens when it’s twenty men instead of ten? I’ve always fought the odds, Loco, but this…
Maya tries to hide a limp as he walks towards the door.
Maya:Sorry, Loc, I… it’s not your problem. I really am looking forward to having a match with you, for the SHOOT Project World Title, really I am.
Eryk Masters: Let’s catch up with Mary Kelly as Revolution 127 and Master of the Mat rolls on!
The camera cuts backstage to capture Mary Kelly standing in front of the SHOOT Project helmet flag. Kelly looks stunning in her business professional dress, and holds the microphone up to her mouth to speak.
Mary Kelly: Thanks, Eryk. I’m standing backstage with the reigning Sin City Champion, Dan Stein, as he prepares to step into the ring against Buck Dresden in the first round of Master of the Mat.
The camera pans back, catching Dan Stein throwing the Sin City Championship over his shoulder. Dan smirks brightly at the camera.
Mary Kelly: Dan, earlier this month, you lost your grand-
Dan Stein: Whoa, whoa, whoa. No.
Stein cuts her off, waving his hands in the air in front of her face.
Dan Stein: No, you’re not going to do that.
Mary Kelly: I-I’m sorry? Do what? I’m just tryi—
Dan Stein: I know what you’re trying to do, Mary. You’re trying to endear me to the fans. You’re trying to make it so the fans see Dan Stein as battling adversity and coming out on top! You want to paint an entirely different picture than the canvas I’ve created, because you see me as a cash cow. You’re trying, like every other member of this company, to use Dan Stein to line your pockets.
Everyone loves a good redemption story, right Mary?
Well, I don’t need redeemed. I am just fine where I’m at. Sin City Champion for nearly a year. Top 5 grossing merch producer. Sexiest Man in SHOOT Project. Most Hated Man in SHOOT Project. Heel of the Year 2014. I don’t need redemption. I didn’t spend the last nine, ten, eleven years of my life training, working, busting my ass to get where I am just to get it all marginalized by some blonde bimbo slut of a reporter.
The fans in the arena boo the words. Stein stares at Mary to emphasize the words. Dan looks at the camera, holding the microphone that Mary holds in her hand.
Dan Stein: I’ve been in this business far too long for that shit. People die. That cancer kid I ditched at the airport? He’s probably laying in a casket right now. All you little babies out there watching with your Da-Das and Ma-Mas? Better enjoy your parents while they’re here, because sooner or later they’re going to go to the big disco in the sky, too. Hell, some of you are going to kill yourselves after I win this Master of the Mat tournament.
You live, you realize Dan Stein is the Sexiest Man in SHOOT Project, you die. That’s just how it goes. I’m not going to change who I am just because someone I loved now sits in an Urn on a mantel. I’m not going to magically see things the fans’ way. As a matter of fact.
Stein wipes the corner of his mouth.
Dan Stein: The one thi—PERSON that I loved more than myself…
Stein looks over his shoulder, as if off screen and at someone, then back to the camera.
Dan Stein: Is dead. The one person keeping me amongst you filth is dead.
All Hail King Stein.
Stein slaps the microphone out of Mary’s hand, causing it to crash into the ground. As it reverberates, Stein steps in front of the camera, letting the Sin City Championship gleam in the picture, then walks away. The camera fades away as Mary bends down to pick up the microphone.
We cut back to the infamous SHOOT Project Helmet backdrop and we see world famous SHOOT reporter Mary Kelly. She has the microphone in her hand and a smile on her face.
Mary Kelly: Ladies and gentlemen…Buck Dresden.
The fans pop as Buck Dresden steps into frame, wearing his black cowboy hat and matching black, white, and silver poncho. The bottom of the poncho can barely be seen, but it features a blue flame-like design, signifying the bluegrass of Kentucky, bitches. His hair is slicked back and held in place by the hat and his beard is ever-so-magnificent.
Mary Kelly: Later tonight, you make your return to a SHOOT Project ring when you go up against Dan Stein in a chance to begin a journey to Master of the Mat. What are your thoughts on being back by yourself and being thrown in at the deep end against somebody like Dan Stein?
Buck Dresden: Mary, you see this face?
He points to his face.
Buck Dresden: This face was made famous because o’ this here cump’nee. They took a know-nothin’ nobody like Buckley Dresden, slapped him with another nobody like Charles Brandon Magnus…
He waits for a pop. It…kinda comes. Good cheers, some applause. Even I’m not so stupid as to think Magnus was the star of this tag team, c’mon.
Buck Dresden: …an’ they put together the best damn tag team the world o’ wrasslin’ ever seen! So here I am an’ wouldn’t ya know…it’s Master o’ the Mat time an’ Buck Dresden is gonna face Dan Stein. Danny don’t hardly know much ‘bout me. I’m the guy who ran the tag team division here. I’m the guy that’s Southern Sexy an’ Country Crazy an’ darlin’? No matter what happens in this fight tonight…I go one on one with The Lights and I’m either gonna beat his ass…or I’m gonna come in second.
Buck nods his head, very happy with himself.
Mary Kelly: I…wait. That would mean you’d lose.
Buck looks to her, very confused.
Buck Dresden: Sweetheart…
He strokes her hair, slowly moving a strand behind her ear.
Buck Dresden: …when you’re Buck Dresden, there’s no such thing as losin’.
He winks at her and steps off screen. Mary shivers and bites her bottom lip.
Mary Kelly: Oh…heh…um…back to you guys.
We cut back to the ring.
I…AM THE MAN…OF CONSTANT SORROW
I SEEN TROUBLE ALLLLL MY DAYS….
“Man of Constant Sorrow” by the Charm City Devils brings the fans to their feet as out from the back emerges BUCK DRESDEN. Buck stands at the center of the entrance stage wearing his cowboy hat and BAB poncho. He rubs his bearded chin and begins his march down to the ring, listening to the cheers of the fans.
Samantha Coil: The following is a Master of the Mat qualifying match! Introducing first…from Hazard, Kentucky…he weighs in at two hundred and sixty pounds! He is one half of the Bad Ass Brotherhood, he is the Bluegrass Bad Ass…he is BUCK…DRESDEN!!!
Buck throws off his hat and poncho in one fell swoop, letting them fall to the ground and revealing his turn up blue jeans and wrestling boots underneath, his hands wrapped in black wrestling tape. With one jump, he LEAPS to the ring apron and into the ring! He nods his head, laughing and pointing to the fans as “Man of Constant Sorrow” dies back down.
Eryk Masters: Man, OG, Buck looks GREAT!
“YOU’VE GOT THE TOUCH! YOU’VE GOT THE POWER!”
The fans in the arena EXPLODE in boos once Stan Bush’s “The Touch” blares over the PA system. As blue and hot pink spotlights dance over the stage, Tina and Toni from Flex Magazine walk out from the back wearing Golden Boy workout shirts and yoga pants. The camera cuts back to Buck, who is staring at the women like a dog in heat. A woman with skinny jeans walks out from the back with Molly the Chimp in tow. The chimp has a baby blue Dan Stein t-shirt on, and blows raspberries out at the fans. Molly, Stein’s assistant, steps 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. The Golden Boy stops to shadow box at the top of the ramp. Samantha opens a piece of paper she held in her hand.
Samantha Coil: He is the former SHOOT Project World Heavyweight 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 TWO-TIME REIGNING SIN. CITY. CHAMPION….. The Golden Boy! DAAAAAAAAAAN STEIIIIIIIIN!!!!
Stein, raises his hands as the fans continue to rain down boos on him as the entourage begins to walk down the ramp. As Stein makes it to the ring, he stops, looking to his left, then his right, and…leaps to the apron. Dan ducks under the top rope into the ring. He bounces lightly on the balls of his feet.
Buck Dresden: Hey wait a minute…cut…cut the music for a second.
Stein glares at Buck as “The Touch” dies down.
Buck Dresden: You got a fuckin’ monkey?
Buck Dresden: That’s SO fuckin’ COOL, man!
The fans POP as Buck hands the microphone back to Samantha Coil as she exits the ring. The referee calls for the bell and the match is on!
Other Guy: Here we go!
Buck and Stein immediately circle one another in the ring. They quickly lock up and Buck immediately overpowers Stein, pushing him on his ass! The fans pop as Stein gets right back up, furious. He paces the ring still as Buck does the same. Stein goes for another lock up, but he pokes Buck in the eye! Buck staggers back and Stein goes after him, but Buck quickly NAILS him with a spinebuster! The fans ERUPT as Buck rolls over him, still clutching his eye!
Stein slaps the mat as Buck is still in pain, only hitting the spinebuster out of instinct. Stein waits until Buck is thrown off and SLAPS Buck in the chest with a chop! The fans WOOOOO as Buck is pushed into the turnbuckle. Stein gets himself ready, takes a few steps back, and CHARGES into the corner, hitting Buck with a Lariat! Buck takes a few steps out of the corner and is CLOCKED with the Ninjaguiri!
Other Guy: Shades of Cade!
Eryk Masters: Dan Stein picks up little bits of knowledge from each of his opponents and his partners over his career. He’s still young, but he’s got the skills of years of experience!
Buck is down on the mat, giving Stein the chance to NAIL a leg drop to the back of his head! Stein rolls Buck over and goes for the pin!
Stein shakes his head, chuckling as he picks Buck up and whips him to the ropes. He catches Buck on the rebound and goes for an abdominal stretch, but Buck counters into a hip toss but Stein lands on his feet and throws himself back for a Pele kick! Buck falls back against the ropes and Stein gets back on his feet and charges in, NAILING Buck with a Yakuza kick! Stein straddles the top rope as the kick sends Buck SAILING to the floor below! Buck lands on the mat outside hard as Stein sits on the top rope, staring down at the Bluegrass Bad Ass.
Other Guy: Dan Stein is showing everybody that this is the guy who took Donovan King down, this is the guy who took Corazon to the limit. You can’t take Dan Stein lightly, even with his monkey!
Stein watches as Buck slowly gets to his feet and he turns himself around so that he’s sitting on the top rope. He positions himself so that he can stand on the middle rope and LEAPS onto Buck and straddles Buck’s head for a Steinarana but Buck keeps a hold of him! Buck braces himself and SLAMS Stein into the side of the ring and then SLAMS Stein again into the side of the ring before dropping him to the ground. He collapses to one knee, trying to catch his breath. The referee begins his count!
Buck grabs a hold of the ring apron, trying to pull himself up to his feet.
Eryk Masters: This match could end in a count out and give Kale Tanev a straight shot to the winner of Corazon/Zex!
Stein rolls to his stomach and pushes himself off of the floor.
Buck slowly drags himself to his feet and enters the ring via the bottom rope, resting himself on his back as the referee continues his count!
Other Guy: Scratch that, E, because Buck Dresden’s in the ring and Stein’s the one counting sheep outside!
Stein starts to pull himself to his feet and then manages to get one foot up to the ring apron. Buck reaches over the top rope and grabs Stein by the hair! Stein, however, is quick to rake him in the eyes yet again! The fans boo as Stein leaps OVER Buck and goes for a sunset flip but Buck stands his ground! He looks down at Stein and drops to his ass but Stein manages to scoot away, making Buck land directly on the mat! Buck grabs at his backside as Stein comes up behind him and locks in a Dragon sleeper! He seems to think that’s going to do the trick, but before he can manage to get any sort of submission, Stein DROPS Buck’s head to the mat in a modified inverted DDT! Stein goes for the cover!
Stein gets up and picks Buck back up. He whips Buck to the ropes and catches him with a dropkick to the knee, taking his legs out from under him! Stein rushes over to the turnbuckle and leaps to the top rope. He balances himself measures Buck. He turns around…MOONSAULT onto Buck Dresden!
Eryk Masters: EXCELLENT moonsault from Dan Stein! That could be it!
Stein bends down to pick Buck back up, but Buck quickly counters with a small package!
Stein turns the small package over!
Buck kicks out and rolls away from Stein. Stein gets to his feet and holds his arm out. He kisses his bicep and then charges at Buck, LEVELLING him with a Lariat! Buck gets up and Stein hit the Lariat again! Buck gets back up and Stein goes for another Lariat, but Buck grabs Stein by the arm and FLIPS Stein over with a STIFF AS FUCK Lariat! Stein’s body FOLDS onto the mat!
Other Guy: Stein knows he has to keep his momentum alive, E. He just paid for his lapse with a HARSH Lariat from the self-proclaimed Lord of Lariats!
Buck starts to rotate his arm, stretching his shoulder out. He looks at the sea of fans and drops to his knees for the pin!
Buck shakes his head as he picks Stein up. He quickly grabs Stein and hooks him up…EXPLODER SUPLEX that lands Stein HEAD FIRST onto the mat! Stein crumples into a heap of humanity as Buck wastes no time going for another pin!
Buck picks Stein up and puts Stein’s head between his legs! Stein falls to one knee as Buck shakes his head, trying to shake his own cobwebs off. He picks Stein back up and hooks Stein’s arms up in a double underhook!
Eryk Masters: It looks like Buck’s going for a Tiger Driver!
Buck hoists Stein up, but Stein starts to WAIL on Buck! Stein’s on Buck’s shoulders, punching the Kentucky native as hard as he can!
Other Guy: He’s trying his best to avoid it!
Stein slips his legs off of Buck and in one swift motion, Stein NAILS an ACT OF INHUMANITY on Buck!
Other Guy: Dan Stein HAS been watching his opponents! Man! Buck looks DONE.
Buck is OUT on the mat as Stein sits up on his knees, looking down at Buck. He throws his arms out and yells to the fans.
Dan Stein: IT’S TIME!
Stein stands up and holds his two hands above his head. Both hands are formed in the peace sign, laid on top of one another to symbolize a hashtag.
Eryk Masters: He’s going for #Twitterbation!
Stein picks Buck up and puts Buck’s head between his legs. He reaches down and grabs Buck by the waist to lift him up! Stein’s showing impressive strength as he LIFTS the Bluegrass Bad Ass up! Buck’s legs are in the air, swinging violently to avoid the #Twitterbation! Stein drops him down and starts WAILING on Buck’s back to weaken him! Stein goes to lift him up again, but Buck drops to one knee and reaches his arm between Stein’s legs and his other arm up to Stein’s shoulder! In an EXTREMELY fast motion, Buck DRIVES Stein to the mat with a powerslam! Stein is hurting! Buck stands up, barely keeping it together, and his points his imaginary shotgun at Stein!
Eryk Masters: The Buck stops here if he can hit the Buck Shot!
Buck levels his imaginary shotgun as he and the fans shot in unison:
Buck picks Stein up, but Stein whips Buck to the ropes! Buck counters! Stein to the ropes, Buck catches him…BUCK SHOT! BUCK SHOT! Dan Stein is down and Buck goes for the cover!
Other Guy: WOW!!!
“Man of Constant Sorrow” kicks back up as the fans ERUPT.
Samantha Coil: Here is your winner and advancing to the next round of the Master of the Mat tournament…BUCK…DRESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSDDDDEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN!!!!!
Buck looks absolutely STUNNED as the referee raises his hand in victory!
Eryk Masters: That’s one HELL of an upset! Buck Dresden’s as tough as they come, but NOBODY had to have predicted that he’d be able to shock Dan Stein and hit him with the Buck Shot to eliminate him out of the Master of the Mat tournament!
Buck rolls out of the ring, hugging fans in his state of shock. Stein remains in the ring, unmoving.
Other Guy: Wow. Just…wow.
Eryk Masters: The road to Master of the Mat is just going to get harder for Buck Dresden, OG. He was able to put the world on notice against the Sin City Champion, but his next opponent is Kale Tanev and I’ve gotta tell you…the Rule of Surrender Champion is no easy target.
Buck aims his imaginary shotgun at the camera, his hair wet and matted to his bearded face. He fires off a round into the camera, grinning from ear to ear.
The scene opens to Eli Storm leaving his rehab center in Canada. You can see that his shoulder is still wrapped up, through his wife beater. A bit unshaven, Storm is forgoing the usual incredible nature you are used to seeing from him. No, the guy you are seeing now is a pissed off old man.
Storm: Revolution 125…the Sin City Champion, Dan Stein tried to end my career.
Storm looks at the bandages holding his shoulder in place.
Storm: At Rev. 125, Dan Stein dislocated my shoulder in such a away, that in all honesty…I should be staying away from the ring for longer than a few shows.
Storm: I lay in the hospital and thought about it. I was released from the hospital and thought about it. I’ve watch Revolution after Revolution and thought about it. And there was a time, Dan…there was a time that I WOULD OF DONE THE EXACT SAME THING!!! There was a time that I was known for such actions. But it’s been a long time right? It’s been a long time since I’ve been someone to worry about. It’s been a while since I’ve been a buzz worthy name.
Storm finally reaches his car and hits the auto-start button. He leans against the car and stares at the camera for a moment.
Storm: And that is my fault. I’ve allowed you all to forget, just who the fuck I am. Just what the Hell I’m capable of. But that is a problem that I am going to rectify soon enough. And Danny boy…I don’t give a fuck who you are beefing with. Or who is coming after that belt or who you may have pissed off. There is only going to be one thing that is going to matter in your life. And that is me…FUCKING YOU UP!!!
Storm gets into his car and speeds off as the scene fades back to the show.
The chilling sounds of fiddle, banjo, and a single voice hit the PA.
"In the deep dark hills of Eastern Kentucky
That’s the place where I trace my bloodline"
The lights go dark, and a yellow haze takes over the center of the Epitron. A single image takes the screen, telling the crowd and the world who’s about to enter. The Hillbilly Beast.
"You’ll never leave Harlan alive…"
Elgin Blair, accompanied to the ring by Billy Winter emerges onto the stage and the crowd lets loose with a pair of boos at the tandem. Winter carries his Iron Fist Championship over his shoulder. Blair is wearing simple jeans and a black t-shirt. He’s drenched in sweat.
Eryk Masters: No clue what Blair and Winter are doing here, but you know how it goes.
Other Guy: They’ll surely tell us.
Sure enough, Blair takes a microphone as he climbs into the ring and steps over the top ring rope before taking a moment to stare out to the crowd. The Ruby Friedman Orchestra’s haunting nocturne dissipates into the air and the lights come up.
Elgin Blair: Can’t say I blame y’all. ’round these parts, feathers get a little bit rustled if you got someone or somethin’ that someone else wants or you do a little somethin’ that shakes things up juuuuust a little bit.
Elgin looks at Billy Winter who nods and pats his Iron Fist Championship.
Elgin Blair: People been wonderin’ what exactly caused someone like Billy Winter to throw his lot in with someone like me, Elgin Blair. Answer’s real simple, though. Billy an’ I? We see eye to eye pretty good. We got some similar goals. We have a bit of an understandin’ between the two of us.
Elgin walks forward, leaning against the ring ropes and continuing to stare out into the crowd.
Elgin Blair: And with that understandin’ comes some opportunities that guys like me and Billy? We ain’t used to. Y’see, we stand here together because we mean to make an impact, and what better way… what better way to make an impact than to put a real hurtin’ on one of the SHOOT Project’s truly made men… Donovan King.
The crowd boos loudly, but Elgin’s expression doesn’t change.
Elgin Blair: I know, I know. Y’all hate that. But it’s like this… when you break it down, Billy and I? We both understand that sometimes? Sometimes you gotta do somethin’ you wouldn’t normally do to get somethin’ you wouldn’t normally get. Ya won’t ever see me partyin’ with Winter and Stein, but when time comes that things need to get a little bit dirty… maybe a little bit bloody… well…
He smiles and looks at Billy Winter.
Elgin Blair: That’s when ya call in the Hillbilly Beast.
Winter smirks and takes the microphone Elgin is offering, turning his attention to the fans for moment while sweeping back his feathered hair.
Billy Winter: That’s exactly what this is, folks. A mutually beneficial arrangement between two individuals who recognize that if they work together on this…the fruits of their labor will be fucking PLENTIFUL.
Billy sweeps his gaze across the crowd, taking a moment to adjust the weight of the Iron Fist Championship on his shoulder.
Billy Winter: Now it’s a terrible shame that Donovan King can’t be here with us this week…I’ve been told he’s still recuperating from that brutal, humiliating BEATING we gave him last week that has been taking social media by storm. The picture of King’s fugly mug just oozing with perspiration and agony has been all over Instagram, Facebook, Twitter…matter of fact…throw it up on the Epitron right now just for good measure!
Billy gestures to the Epitron, the fans booing he and Elgin practically out the building.
The selfie of Billy pulling back on King’s arms and throat last week with that lethal straight jacket submission hold with Elgin lurking in the background appears on the big screen, and Billy lightly applauds with amusement from the ring.
Billy Winter: See that facial expression? It tells me something. It tells me that SHOOT’s “made man” Donovan King got complacent. He became a fat, lazy ol’ Lion King up there on his Pride Rock without any challengers to come along and test his mettle. No more. No more resting on the foundations of your legacy and thinking yourself untouchable. While you’re dozing off and trying to scrape together a family for yourself and mend old personal relationships…new players have entered into the game. SHOOT Project…is a brave new world now, Donovan. I think your skull meeting the steel steps last week got that point across…
Winter turns to Elgin, and they two share a grin, Elgin with tobacco-stained teeth and Winter with shining white enamel.
“Man, look at y’all two arrogant ass muhfuckers.”
The fans POP as all eyes in the arena turn to the entrance stage, but there’s no one there. Instead Winter and Blair’s eyes slowly look up to the Epitron where Donovan King’s face is shown. There is some bruising that’s evident, but also his jaw is clenched tightly. His breathing is hard and labored, but that does not change the fury in his eyes.
Donovan King: Now…the two uh y’all…I don’t have no idea who the fuck y’all are. I don’t mean I don’t know your careers. I mean I literally have never met y’all, shook ya hand, none uh that. All I know is that Winter had to catch me by surprise an’ Blair had to catch me by surprise. Well…Elgin…Billy…that how y’all wanna play it?
Donovan King: Can’t nobody take the throne just by shovin’ the King off it. They gotta KILL…the King. An’ one thing I do know is that nobody’s gonna stab this King from behind. You comin’ to kill me, you comin’ dead ahead. Billy Winter…Elgin Blair…you guys wanna two on one? You wanna do the Disney thing and kill Mufasa? That what’s it gonna be?
He nods his head.
Donovan King: Sounds fine wit’ me, then. See me, boys? If I could take Sovereign down, you think a hillbilly an’ a prissy metrosexual’s a problem?
King grins from ear to ear.
Donovan King: Seems like I don’t have anything planned for the next few weeks, so Billy? Elgin?
His grin fades.
Donovan King: Let’s do the damn thing, then.
The fans POP as “King Unchained” kicks in. The camera turns to Billy and Elgin as Billy whispers into Blair’s ear.
Other Guy: You know, I can’t wait! The gauntlet’s been thrown down! King’s going to war with these two!
Eryk Masters: But the King we know would have been front and center in their face! Why didn’t he show up? Why just on screen?
Other Guy: You think he’s hurt more than he’s letting on?
Eryk Masters: No doubt in my mind. I’m psyched to see King go to war, but I think he has no idea what’s in store for him against THESE two.
Winter and Blair are both grinning as they exit the ring.
The fans are stewing in anticipation of the main event, the very air of the Epicenter seeming to tingle with unseen, electric voltage.
Eryk Masters: We know what time it is now, OG…Master of the Mat rolls on…and two MAJOR players are about to battle it out in this one!
Other Guy: I’ve got goosebumps already. This should be good…
“Sound of Madness” by Shinedown starts to blast through the arena audio system, and the fans give up a HUGE positive reaction as Crippler steps out from the curtains. Crippler wears black trunks and sports Tag Team gold on his shoulder, one hand gripping the belt tightly. He pauses to gaze out the fans, a smile resting across his features.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first, he is one half of the TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS…hailing from South Bend, Indiana…weighing in at 238lbs…THE WHOLE FUCKED UP SHOW…LUNATIKK CRIPPLER!!!
“Yeah, I get it…you’re an outcast”
“Always under attack, always coming in last…no one owes you anything.”
Crippler starts to make his way down the ramp with his theme blaring, and he slaps hands with as many fans as he can before reaching the apron.
“Bringing up the past, no one owes you anything.”
“I think you need a shotgun blast, a kick in the ass…”
Crippler hops up onto the ring apron and climbs one of the buckles, proceeding to hoist his Tag Team Championship belt HIGH into the air, much to the enjoyment of the crowd!
“So paranoid….WATCH YOUR BACK!!!!”
Eryk Masters: Nothing but respect for Crippler here tonight. The veteran has the support of the fans and a shiny Tag Team Championship on his shoulder…seems like things are going pretty good for The Whole Fucked Up Show.
Other Guy: Crippler’s the type of competitor that can win ANY match on any given night, E…you can never sell this man short, you can never predict his strategy…he’s just consistently good at putting the opposition down.
Eryk Masters: Crippler recently advanced in the Master of the Mat tournament due to a forfeit from Jonny Johnson, and I think it’s no surprise to anyone that that left a bad taste in his mouth. Crippler doesn’t want victories to be handed to him…he wants to come out here and FIGHT for it.
Other Guy: He’ll get a fight tonight. And then some…
Darkness descends on the Epicenter. A dry ice smoke creeps out from the curtains, and timed blasts of hellfire start to issue forth on either side of the ramp. We hear the sound of distant hooves slamming against desert earth…and some of the fans actually stomp their feet right along with the hooves, just adding to the impending moment.
A white horse appears on the Epitron, blowing steam from its nostrils with black eyes staring forward. Suddenly a scythe flies into the frame and PIERCES the desert earth before the horse, the blade gleaming in the moonlight.
We pan back up to the horse…and we see the smoking brand of the SHOOT Project Helmet has appeared around one of the black eyes. The horse rears up and SLAMS down its hooves…and on cue “Bad Moon Rising” by Mourning Ritual starts to play overhead.
Samantha Coil: Introducing second, he hails from Mideon, Nebraska…weighing in at 320lbs…THE PALE RIDER, ISAAC ENTRAGIAN!!!
“I SEE A BAD MOON RISING.”
“I SEE TROUBLE ON THE WAY.”
“I SEE EARTHQUAKES AND LIGHTNING.”
“I SEE….BAD TIMES TODAY.”
The fans are in an uproar at this point, some of them cheering heartily, others booing lustily…it’s the perfect storm of a mixed reaction.
Isaac Entragian steps out from the curtains amidst smoke and hellfire, his head slightly bowed. His toxic green eyes rise to stare forward…and we get our first look at his new ring attire. He wears a white tactical vest with cross bone scythes embroidered across the chest along with white tights patterned with a Reaper on horseback and the letters “PALE RIDER” written down the leg.
Eryk Masters: I gotta give it to this man; OG….he knows how to make an entrance.
Other Guy: New gear, new theme song…and based on what we saw last week, possibly an entirely new Isaac. The monster is back…and after the controversial and shocking events we witnessed last week involving Maya…it almost SEEMS like Entragian is trying to change.
Eryk Masters: I’m still floored by how that went down…all I know for sure is that if Isaac really is trying to turn over a new leaf…he’s got his work cut out for him. As you can hear via the crowd reaction…lots of boos and lots of people who still haven’t forgotten about the part he played in SCAR.
Other Guy: There are some cheers out there too, E. He’s won over some of the fans already…but I think a lot of people, myself included, aren’t convinced just yet. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt…we’ll see how things play out here.
Entragian stalks his way down to the apron, proceeding to step over the ring rope. He looks at Crippler for a moment…actually offering his opponent a brief nod. Crippler remains on guard, taking a moment to crack his neck to the side.
Eryk Masters: Crippler looks a bit distrustful of Entragian still…can’t really blame him. I think Isaac saving Maya last week really eclipsed all the hate people had for him for that brief moment due to how BELOVED Maya is…but now the people have had some time to let it marinate and they’re starting to remember Isaac’s dark past.
Other Guy: The key thing here is for Isaac to PROVE that he’s trying to leave the past in the past and start out on an entirely new path. A path that’s really foreign to a man like him…
Eryk Masters: I think another thing to consider here, all baggage aside; these two men have a singular focus tonight. They both WANT to advance in the Master of the Mat tournament. That’s the goal, that’s the endgame.
Samantha Coil steps to the center of the ring for a moment, looking at both men before staring out at the crowd.
Samantha Coil: THE FOLLOWING IS A MASTER OF THE MAT ROUND 1 TOURNAMENT MATCH…AND IT IS SCHEDULED FOR ONE FALL!!!!
The crowd pops HARD at this…and the moment Samantha exits the ring we hear the loud clang of the bell, signifying that we’re underway!
The two men meet in the center of the ring, proceeding to lock up and jock for position. Isaac’s height and weight advantage comes into play, the big albino bulling Crippler over into one of the far turnbuckles.
He makes a clean break, stepping back and staring daggers into Crippler.
Crippler bursts right back into it, locking up with Isaac again…and this time it’s Crippler who manages to use momentum and a spin of his heel to plant Isaac up against the buckles.
Crippler also makes a clean break, stepping back and offering a brief nod.
Eryk Masters: Evenly matched so far…and both men seem to be intent on keeping this a fair, clean match.
Other Guy: It’s so surreal seeing Isaac not take a cheap shot or something once he had Crippler backed into those buckles…
Isaac makes a beeline for Crippler, but Crippler manages to negotiate the big man down to the canvas with a hip toss. Crip then immediately drops down and latches onto one of Isaac’s wings with an armbar…pulling back HARD on the arm.
Isaac struggles to break out of the hold for a moment, and then he succeeds by RAMMING a forearm shot into the side of Crippler’s head. Isaac is back up to his feet, and Crippler scrambles up to meet him, still holding the side of his head.
Crippler tries a short arm clothesline but Isaac blocks it and sends him CRASHING down to the canvas with a back body drop!!!
Crippler arches his back in pain, and Isaac makes a quick cover.
Crippler shoulders out before it can even be called a two count, and both men start to climb back up to their feet.
Other Guy: Isaac attempting a quick pinfall…can’t really blame him due on the Master of the Mat implications.
Isaac makes a beeline for Crippler…but suddenly Crippler EXPLODES forwards and just WAYLAYS Isaac with a hard-hitting HEART PUNCH!!!
Isaac is flung back violently into the ropes, bouncing off of them while holding his chest….AND CRIPPLER GRABS HIM UP AND TAKES HIM DOWN WITH A T-BONE SUPLEX!!!
The 300lb beast lands HARD, and Crippler pulls back on a leg!
Isaac shoulders out, and the fans can’t help but cheer for the valiant effort by The Whole Fucked Up Show.
Other Guy: Damn…talk about a surprise volley there from Crip! Connected with that Rib Spreader and then put the monster DOWN with a t-bone suplex!
Eryk Masters: That’s a lot of weight Crippler had to negotiate…very impressive.
Crippler is pulling Isaac back up to his feet by the head, and he turns and just CHUCKS him hard into the ropes…but Isaac comes back on the rebound and NAILS A LOW DROPKICK TO CRIPPLER’S KNEE!!!
Crippler’s legs immediately get cut out from under him…and Isaac takes advantage with a HUGE leg drop right across Crippler’s throat!
Now Isaac goes for the pinfall!
Crippler kicks out violently before the three, his breathing hard as he massage his adam’s apple.
Other Guy: And there’s The Pale Rider getting right back into the game…deceptively agile dropkick from the big man!
Eryk Masters: And that log-sized leg coming down on your throat is bound to get the larynx burning…
Isaac is climbing back to his feet, and meanwhile Crip uses the ropes to pull himself back up to a shaky vertical base. Isaac moves in, but Crippler starts to ram some HARD body shots into Isaac’s torso, driving him back bit by bit.
Crippler aims for looping right hook to the ribs but Isaac catches his fist and just SLAMS downward with a headbutt into Crippler’s nose, knocking him backwards into the turnbuckles.
Entragian then runs forward and SPLASHES Crippler with all of his three hundred pound girth, sandwiching him up against the buckles…AND THEN ISAAC SPIKES CRIPPLER’S HEAD INTO THE CANVAS WITH A FALLING DDT!!!
Instead of going for the pinfall, Isaac ascends the turnbuckles slowly and carefully, climbing his way up like a great dragon finding purchase on a cliffside.
Crippler is slowly getting back up, stumbling and trying to shake off the spaghetti legs…BUT WHEN HE TURNS AROUND ISAAC SAILS FROM THE BUCKLES AND NEARLY BEHEADS HIM WITH A FLYING CLOTHESLINE!!!!
Some of the fans boo, and another percentage of the crowd cheers loudly!
Eryk Masters: WINGS OF WAR!!! Crippler took the brunt of that…is his neck even still intact at this point??
Other Guy: When that albino flies and connects the whole damn RING shakes!!!
Isaac crawls over into the cover, pulling back HARD on Crippler’s leg.
Crippler kicks out at the last minute, a noticeable reddening along his neck region from where the clothesline hit.
Isaac pulls him back up to his feet and YANKS Crippler down into a headscissors…but Crippler gets up a head of steam and runs Isaac forward, GORING him into the turnbuckles!!!
Isaac’s back arches in pain…and Crippler begins to just SLAM knee shots into Isaac’s body over and over again…before grabbing him by the head and running towards the center of the ring to connect with a bulldog!!
Isaac lands awkwardly, his eyes glazed.
Crippler drops down top of him and presses both hands on his chest for the pinfall.
Eryk Masters: Crip with the pin attempt there…he didn’t hook a leg though and that might have hurt his chances of getting the three.
Other Guy: I think Crippler is running on fumes right about now….truthfully both of these men have gone hard since the bell rang!
Both men roll away from each other, Crippler managing to get up his knees near one of the turnbuckles and Isaac using the middle rope to help him back up to his feet.
Crippler spins around and looks to ROCK Isaac with a haymaker…but The Pale Rider ducks!
Crippler stumbles and nearly trips, and Isaac takes advantage by grabbing him and pulling right back into a headscissors attempt…BEFORE LIFTING CRIPPLER UP HIGH AND RUNNING FORWARDS AND POWERBOMBING HIM INTO THE BUCKLES!!!!
Crippler flies off the buckles someone flying away from the remains of a CAR CRASH, his whole body folding up as he hits the canvas!!
The fans are going WILD at this point!
Eryk Masters: OH MY GOD…Crippler has been DESTROYED.
Other Guy: The back of his neck slammed right up against those buckles!!
Isaac literally DIVES into the cover, pulling back hard on BOTH legs!
Crippler kicks out hard at the last minute, and the fans go CRAZY with cheering for the resilience of The Whole Fucked Up Show!
Other Guy: How in the HELL did he survive that? Isaac can’t believe it!
Eryk Masters: That man is The Whole Fucked Up Show, OG…and he’s intent on going all that way in Master of the Mat! THAT’S how he survived it!!!
Isaac is shocked, and he reaches down to grab Crippler back up…but he’s met with a forearm shot that RAMS him backwards! Crippler gets up to his feet and just BOOTS Isaac square in the side of the face…
And then he drops down and starts trying to lock in his patented crossface!!!
Other Guy: Whoa…Crip not only survived that, plenty of fight left in this man!! He’s going for Bitchified…can he lock it in??
Eryk Masters: Now this time, OG! The Pale Rider is just too damn strong!
Crippler struggles hard to get his arms all the way around Isaac’s face, but the monster just POWERS out of the hold, knocking Crip backwards to the canvas.
Isaac and Crip struggle back up their feet at the same time, and Isaac hits the ropes for a big move…BUT CRIPPLER USES THE MONSTER’S OWN MOMENTUM AND DESTROYS HIM WITH A TILT-A-WHIRL PILEDRIVER!!!
Isaac’s head lands BADLY, his neck bending unnaturally to the side!!!
Eryk Masters: UGH…did you see Isaac’s neck??? That was a desperate and DANGEROUS move from Crippler…and it paid off in FULL!
Other Guy: Seemed like a modified version of that signature move Crippler called The Cross…and it laid this monster out quick!
Crippler puts all of his weight into the cover, digging his forearm down into Isaac’s throat just for good measure.
Isaac kicks out HARD, one pallid arm flying upwards and thrumming with life…and now it’s Crip’s turn to stare forward with disbelief!
Eryk Masters: This is just…surreal. The strength and endurance of Entragian coming into play here…he’s not dead YET!
Other Guy: The Pale Rider is still galloping…one hell of a match between these two.
Crippler is the first up to his feet and he looks at the crowd, proceeding to pump one fist skyward. He then begins to stalk Entragian, both hands resting against his thighs.
Eryk Masters: Crippler’s setting up here…looks like he wants to end this with the Lunatikk Sweet!
Other Guy: It’s definitely not a sweet that Isaac wants to eat right about now!
Isaac gets to his feet and turns around…and Crippler jumps up and grabs his head looking to drop him…BUT ISAAC SWINGS CRIPPLER AROUND TOWARDS THE ROPES!!!
Crippler amazingly hits the top rope with his feet and SWINGS Isaac around in the other direction to hit the move…but Isaac pushes him off into the opposite ropes!!
Meanwhile Isaac hits the ropes on the other side of the ring…and two men collide at the EXACT same moment…
ISAAC SPLITTING CRIPPLER DAMN NEAR IN HALF WITH A BRUTAL LOOKING SPEAR!!!
Eryk Masters: CORRUPTION!!! Isaac scores with Corruption!!!
Other Guy: Crippler is OUT!
Isaac falls down in exhaustion and pulls back on both legs, the crowd going crazy on all sides of the stands.
Samantha Coil: Here is your winner, ADVANCING in the Master of the Mat Tournament…he is THE PALE RIDER….ISAAC ENTRAGIAN!!!!
Eryk Masters: Talk about a BATTLE between these two men…they left it all in the ring and the fans can’t help but appreciate that.
Other Guy: MAJOR win for Entragian…and Crippler gave Isaac the fight of his life here tonight. Much respect for both of these Soldiers…
Isaac stands in the center of the ring for a moment, sweat POURING down his face with his hands on his hips. The fans are giving him that same mixed reaction from earlier, some booing, some cheering.
Crippler is staring to stir, holding his ribs tightly and using the ropes to gain his vertical base.
Entragian stares at Crippler for a moment, his toxic eyes damn near unreadable behind that white veil of hair.
Eryk Masters: Now come on, Isaac…you’ve won the match. No need to take this to a place it doesn’t need to go…
Isaac moves a move on Crippler, and Crippler immediately assumes a defensive stance.
It’s not the assault he expected though.
It’s a pallid hand…outstretched to Crippler in respect.
Crippler stares at the that hand for a moment, looking from side to side, very surprised by the gesture from The Pale Rider.
Finally Crippler extends his own hand…and the two men shake hands in front of the entire Epicenter crowd!!
The fans go INSANE at this moment of mutual respect, cheering the moment, the Soldiers, and more importantly the battle they just witnessed.
Eryk Masters: Well…I think I misjudged Entragian there. This man continues to surprise me.
Other Guy: Another step in the right direction for Isaac…dude is almost starting to convince me.
Eryk Masters: Well that’s another major Master of the Mat bout in the books…stay tuned over the next few weeks, folks…the tournament is far from over…and the brackets remain STACKED.
Other Guy: Can’t wait to see how the rest of this tournament shakes out!
The scene cuts out on Crippler and Isaac in the ring, both men stepping backwards after the handshake and nodding to one another.