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!
The Epicenter is eclipsed into darkness.
We hear the roar of the crowd like a living, breathing animal in the blackness…and numerous cell phone lights can be spotted out there in the abyss like glowing eyes. There is only one focal point of illumination in the entire arena right now…a spotlight that casts LONG shadows across the ring.
That spotlight shines down on Isaac Entragian.
The albino sits on a steel chair, his hands clasped and holding a microphone between his knees. His white hair is swept back from his face, and the shadows seem almost to dance across his wolflike features.
His theme music is playing to open Revolution, “Bad Moon Rising” by Mourning Ritual pounding through the crowd with dark intensity. Many of the fans stomp and clap right along with the drums and the silky vocals.
The microphone is brought up to pallid lips, intimately close to razor-sharp teeth.
Entragian: Life…is a lot like a circle. It’s an endless rotation, twirling and spinning…bringing you along a preordained path. You can’t really predict what you’ll encounter along the way. You don’t know what the path has in store for you…and you don’t realize the changes you’ll go through. And when you spend your whole life walking at night…you forget what light feels like when it touches your skin.
Isaac looks up, the spotlight catching in his white eyelashes.
Entragian: I forgot. I was like one of those deep sea creatures that hunts and kills and fucks and lives out every single day…in the absence of light…and the absence of HOPE. That all changed….when a selfless man handed me a lantern. Just a little flickering flame…but it awoke something in me. Something I thought was dead and gone.
Isaac wets his lips.
Entragian: Humanity…in all its flawed, complicated, fucked up glory. So I took that gift…a gift so very unfamiliar to me…and I let it blend with the animal inside. I let the beast and the man come together…and stitch a new soul for me. It’s still stained in sin and soaked in blood, but aren’t all souls a little tarnished? The important thing…is that you learn from your SCARS. Let em’ teach you somethin. Take a moral out of the story…take a lesson outta the SCAR.
Isaac runs his hand along a few of the pitted, ragged scars along his chest.
Entragian: So I took my newfound humanity, scarred and stained though it was…and I scraped and clawed and tore my way…through the Master of the Mat tournament. I wasn’t fighting for power…or dominion…or greed…any of that shit that used to spur me onward. I wasn’t shackled and hobbled by my own hatred…not this time. This time…I was focused. I was calm, collected…walking with worn boots down a ragged, rocky road….chasing after the smallest glint of redemption on the far horizon.
Some the fans actually CHEER for this, the sound still foreign to The Pale Rider’s ears…surprising him for a moment.
Entragian: Somebody’s standing in my road now. A blackened silhouette…blotting out that light. I know his shadow well. I once called him brother. The baddest of the bad…standing right there in the road. I think he’s been walking the same road…facing the same struggle…but just from the opposite end.
Entragian inhales deeply through his nostrils, leaning a little further back in his chair.
Entragian: Like I said…life is a circle. It all comes around in the end. Everything you’ve done…everyone you’ve hurt and hated…everyone you’ve loved…it all comes back. We’ve come back, Adrian Corazon. In the 2014 Master of the Mat tournament…
He pushes back a lock of wild white hair.
Entragian: ….we have found each other again.
Isaac’s expression remains somber, his eyes contemplative.
Entragian: Words…barely do justice to what is between me and this man. It goes beyond the physical. It reaches past the cuts…the burns…the ruined flesh and ragged scars. It transcends the old betrayals, the grudges, the jealousy…the innocent casualties that were felled in our war.
Isaac sighs, momentarily shaking his head as he stares at the canvas.
Entragian: We are different men now than we were then. Yet our roads…intersect. In this tournament…you remain my destiny, Corazon. And I…remain yours. I don’t hunt you now because of hatred in my heart…and I don’t think you hunt me because of that either. The past is petty…and we left that behind on this road.
Isaac grits his teeth, gathering his thoughts.
Entragian: Now…it’s what it always should have been. It’s a competition. It’s a fair fight…with that little light of redemption hanging in the balance. We’re like two survivors left on a scorched, dead earth…both of us fighting to the bitterest end for the RIGHT…to reach down into the dust and pick up that SHOOT Project Helmet…and carry it proudly a little bit further down the road.
His grasp tights on the microphone, his voice lowering.
Entragian: I intend to fight you with every ounce of fight I have inside of me, Adrian…and I intend to pick that Helmet up. I intend to become the Master of the Mat. And I know…because I know YOU…
Isaac stands, the spotlight starting to darken.
Entragian: ….that you intend to do the very same.
The spotlight fades and we hear the sound of Isaac dropping the microphone.
The commentators remain silent after this, The Pale Rider’s words still hanging in the air, almost prophetic for what’s to come at Master of the Mat.
And for Revolution 131…this is only the beginning!
One Track Mind" by Papa Roach plays through the speaker system, as smoke fills around the entrance ramp, hovering a few centimeters above the ground. 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. A black army style shirt, arms cut off, unbuttoned flaps a little in the wind from the smoke machines, as Miles reaches the ring, rolling under the bottom rope.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first…..Aiden MILES!
Other Guy: This guy tried going pretty deep in the Master of the Mat tournament. Since then? Well, we’re about to find out.
Eryk Masters: He scored a huge upset win over Rocky Stellar, but he’s got a whole different kind of beast to try and tame tonight.
The music shuts off, and is replaced with Joe Walsh’s "Turn To Stone". The cheers that a few people were sending to Miles have turned into a plethora of boos.
Cross Recoba makes his appearance, walking slowly across the stage.
Eryk Masters: This man. This man has not endeared himself to the SHOOT Project crowds as of late.
Other Guy: Jealousy! Bitterness! #CantbeCross
Eryk Masters: Did you…Did you just HASHTAG?
Other Guy: Yes, and printing that is like printing money.
Recoba is taking his sweet time getting to the ring. He grins out at the crowd and has begun to slowly circle the ring.
Samantha Coil: And his opponent, from Cicero, Illinois, weighing in tonight at Two Hundred and FIfteen pounds….Cross…..RECOBA!
Recoba blows a kiss at Coil, which seems to either take her by surprise or disgust her or both. He laughs and winks, before finally sliding into the ring. The music shuts off and the bell rings, and this one is underway!
Miles tries to get the jump on Recoba but he sidesteps, allowing Aiden to crash into the turnbuckles. Recoba laughs and tousels Miles’ hair before just DROPPING HIM with a right hand as he turns around!
Recoba slaps on a Dragon Sleeper, but Miles is still fresh, and quick to his feet. He turns and tries to fire a right hand but Recoba dodges. Cross turns Miles forcefully, putting them back to back before dropping to his ass, Miles’ neck crashing across the shoulder of Cross Recoba!
Recoba moves slow into a very lax cover, but Willie Dean Is in position first!
Miles kicks out easily. Recoba gives a mock look of surprise before turning back to his opponent. Miles is hunched over, trying to get to his feet when Recoba DIVES on top of him, diving both his fists into the base of his neck with a double axe! Miles hits the canvas like he’s been shot and slowly tries to crawl away.
Eryk Masters: That was a BRUTAL blow. The neck is nothing to joke around with, that could have CRIPPLED Miles!
Recoba crawls along side Miles, offering words of encouragement that I’m SURE is sincere.
Cross Recoba: C’mon, man! You’re almost there! You can do it! I believe in you!
This draws a litany of boos from the crowd, and a right hand from the ground position from Aiden Miles! The crowd reacts favorably, and Recoba reacts predictably. He shakes off the shot, and gets to his feet, STOMPING TWICE on the neck and back of Aiden Miles! Miles is face down on the ring apron, his head and neck underneath the bottom ropes, limp. Recoba steps between the ropes, careful to kick dust in the face of his opponent, before strolling into the corner. Without any further hesitation, he jogs over, and drops a VICIOUS leg across the neck of Aiden Miles!
Other Guy: Recoba’s game plan is simple, and VERY effective thus far!
Eryk Masters: This….This is a dissection! Aiden Miles’ neck is going to resemble a slinky after this is all over!
Recoba stands up tall, and takes a bow before a crowd that cannot stand him a bit. An empty drink cup sails over and catches him in the head. Recoba motions to security, and points in the direction of the projectile.
Eryk Masters: If you wouldn’t act like a pompous ass, you probably wouldn’t get hit with a plastic drink cup.
Other Guy: Hey, grab that cup! That’s a collectible! I’m missing Loco Martinez and Trey Willett!
Miles is starting to regain some strength, and Is trying to make his way back to the ring from the apron. Recoba looks over his shoulder and notices this, grinning. He trips Miles, who lands on his knees on the apron. Painfully, I might add. Recoba grabs the middle rope and pulls himself onto the apron, before casually hooking Miles’ head under his arm and DESTROYING HIS FACE with a skull splitting DDT!
Other Guy: Miles HAS to be unconscious!
Eryk Masters: That was Recoba’s Staten Island Drop, and yeah. Yeah, I hope he is.
Miles has one arm draped over the arpon, dangling toward the floor. He is also sporting a very faraway look in his eyes. Recoba shoves Miles back under the ropes and follows in, covering. Dean gets down to count, but Recoba puts his feet on the ropes! Willie Dean counts the ONE, but then sees the obvious cheating!
Eryk Masters: Insult after injury. Just finish this already!
Recoba mocks an argument, but goes back to Miles. He whips him to the turnbuckles, but SOMEHOW Miles is able to reverse it! Recoba hits the turnbuckles and Miles charges in!
Eryk Masters: YEAH! GET ‘IM, KID!
Miles goes for a monkey flip, but Recoba catches him, and brings him down across his knee with an inverted atomic drop! Miles stumbles backwards, giving Cross the space he needs to SNAP OFF AN ENZIGUIRI.
Miles face down in a puddle of his own pain, while Recoba gets to his knees, and wipes the sweat from his brow. For added measure, he flicks it at Miles. He goes back to the offensive, lifting the limp Miles from the canvas. Recoba looks for a backslide, but then instead lifts Miles up by his armpits, before leaping outwards, and NAILS a neckbreaker! Miles is weakly covering him his neck as Willie Dean checks on him.
Eryk Masters: Cross Recoba has been targeting the neck this entire match! I doubt Miles can take much more.
Other Guy: He’s got something left. Did you just see? He was ALMOST able to hit an offensive maneuver on Recoba!
Recoba saunters into another lazy cover.
Is what would have been counted had Recoba not pulled Miles up at two!
Eryk Masters: WHAT? You HAD him. Finish the damn match!
Other Guy: Man! Miles kicked out at the just the right time!
Masters is flabbergasted. Recoba is awed at Miles’ healing abilities. He lifts Miles up, but AIDEN MILES FIRES OFF A RIGHT THAT CONNECTS! The crowd cheers a little as he DOES SO AGAIN! Recoba is ROCKED! Miles quickly hits the ropes and rebounds full speed at his opponent, DROPPING CROSS RECOBA WITH A CLUTCH SPINNING HEEL KICK!
Eryk Masters: SAY THAT AGAIN? AIDEN MILES IS STILL ALIVE!
Other Guy: I TOLD YOU! I was being sarcastic, BUT I TOLD YOU!
The crowd is absolutely NUTS right now, cheering for Aiden Miles like never before! Recoba tries to get his bearings, grabbing Willie Dean for support as he gets to his feet, and Miles rushes in, claming his hands around Cross’s waist, going for a German! Recoba moves forward, trapping Willie Dean in the corner and FLINGING his leg back, connecting with the tender gonads of Aiden Miles! The crowd noise dies almost INSTANTLY as Miles collapses in pain, grabbing at his little Aiden.
Eryk Masters: A BLATANT low blow! What a slimeball!
Recoba turns back to Miles. The grin is gone. All that remains on his face is malice, cold and unyielding. He forces Miles to his feet, wrapping his arms across the man’s own throat, and runs up the turnbuckle, flipping over Miles’ shoulder, and driving him down into the canvas!
Other Guy: That’s the Sicilian Typewriter, or so Recoba told me earlier today!
Recoba puts his hands on Miles’ chest, and Dean makes the count.
The bell rings, and “Turn to Stone” hits one more time.
Samantha Coil: Here is your winner, Cross RECOBA!
Eryk Masters: Finally. Mercifully. This match is over.
Other Guy: Aiden Miles had NO answer for Cross Recoba tonight! Cross was just DOMINANT.
Eryk Masters: Miles is just one man. Recoba needs to check his ego at the door if he’s going to compete with the best of the best.
Other Guy: WHY? He was IMPRESSIVE.
Eryk Masters: He might have been, but he should have ended this match five minutes ago. He COULD HAVE. And he nearly blew it playing games with Aiden Miles!
Recoba stands victorious, grinning widely once again, in front of a sign that reads “STATEN ISLAND IS THAT WAY!”
We’re backstage with the members of ANARCHY! They’re sitting in their dressing room both taping up their wrists. Not a lot of smiles, laughs, or even conversation. Arch Angel looks up.
Arch Angel: Still haven’t heard from Loco?
T.Rex: Not since he hissy fitted and walked out during our “video session”.
Arch Angel sighs heavily.
Arch Angel: What…the… fuck?!
Arch Angel: And you texted him?
T.Rex: Yeah dude, like five times, AND called him twice. I have told just about every SHOOT employee and half the Epicenter employees that if they see Loco to send him our way. I mean… I know he has a lot on his mind, and its seemingly getting to him, but damn… You don’t see us totally losing our shit cuz it seems like SHOOT’s gonna pass us by for a rematch. They tell us to fight, and we fight. Even if we ain’t exactly THRILLED with the fight like a few weeks ago in that Handicapper versus Maya.
Arch Angel: Yeah. Well MAYBE if we didn’t snap and get DQ’d in matches, SHOOT might be more inclined to give us a rematch.
T.Rex: Yeah and MAYBE if we weren’t getting choked out we wouldn’t HAVE to “snap”.
Arch Angel shrugs.
T.Rex: So if we don’t see Loco before this match, what are we gonna do?
Arch Angel: Fight. Try to pin Omar, Zex, or Maya.
T.Rex: But what if Loco wants us to do something to Maya for him? What if he-
Arch Angel holds up his hand, stopping Teddy.
Arch Angel: We don’t KNOW if Loco is behind all that stuff. We don’t KNOW what is going on. So… IF Loco for some reason has some shenanigans up his sleeve?
Arch Angel shrugs.
Arch Angel: We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
The two continue to prepare themselves for the upcoming Main Event. We cut away.
“War is my Destiny” hits the PA and the crowd goes NUTS for the former World Heavyweight Champion, Adrian Corazon. Corazon appears at the top of the ramp, hair pulled back, all black everything, with nothing but business on his mind.
Eryk Masters: This should be interesting, especially after seeing Isaac Entragian’s comments earlier tonight.
Other Guy: Well, you’ve got the two finalists from Master of the Mat. Those finalists also happened to be embroiled in one of the most bitter, bloody feuds that the SHOOT Project has ever seen. Oh yeah, and those finalists? Isaac Entragian and Adrian Corazon.
Corazon catches a mic that was tossed at him as he heads up the stairs to the ring. “War is my Destiny” cuts abruptly and the crowd is VERY loud as they wait for the Brutal, Inhuman to speak.
Corazon: You have to wonder, SHOOT Project. You have to wonder…
The crowd waits as Corazon pauses.
Corazon: What are you all going to see at Master of the Mat? What will you find yourself involved in, when Isaac Entragian and Adrian Corazon square off? Will you see the culmination of a year long blood feud? Will you see an incredible match between two of the fiercest competitors to ever grace this ring?
Eryk Masters: I kinda want to see all of that…
Other Guy: Not gonna lie, me too.
Corazon: I don’t think either of us know that yet. I know that there’s a part of me that will always want to rip Isaac Entragian apart and raze his existence from this earth. That will always exist, that darkness. There’s also a part of me that wants to move forward. I want to cement my legacy. Win Master of the Mat. Go on to fight for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Make no mistake, I want to be the World Heavyweight Champion.
The crowd pops.
Corazon: I will see all shades of red when Master of the Mat hits. I will bring every ounce of chaos, anger, and rage that I have. But… it’s going to be focused. Pointed. It’s going to make sense. I will do what I do and make it my mission to systematically take Isaac Entragian apart. I won’t do that out of an overpowering sense of hatred. I won’t do it because I can’t control myself.
I’ll do it because he’s Isaac Entragian, one of the most iconic figures in the SHOOT Project. A man who, by all counts, should have held a World title by now.
I’ll do it because I’m Adrian Corazon. I am the Brutal and the Inhuman. The Baddest Man Alive.
And we both know those things about each other. What you’ll see? It’s going to be fight. There will most likely be blood. We won’t shed it because of old wounds, but we will shed it to open new ones.
Corazon stops and smiles.
Corazon: At Master of the Mat, whether we’ve found our humanity or not… we’re going to fight like we’ve never fought before, and Adrian Corazon? The brutal, inhuman? I will scorch the earth once more.
He drops the mic and “War is my Destiny” kicks up one last time, giving Corazon leave to make his exit.
Eryk Masters: Strong words, from both sides. Both men… shew. I can’t wait.
Other Guy: Who you got in this one, E?
Eryk Masters: I couldn’t even begin to guess, man. All I know is, it’s going to be awesome.
“God’s Gonna Cut You Down” by Johnny Cash hits the PA, and the arena gives a moderate reaction. The story here is that Max Wu is making his in-ring debut for the SHOOT Project, and while he’s generated some decent buzz, the fans aren’t quite sure yet how to react to him.
Wu appears at the top of the ramp after the words “THE COLLECTION” fade from the EpiTron. Wu is formidable. A tall 6’5” and a trim 235lbs. make him pretty solid, if not a touch imposing.
Eryk Masters: With Cash already in the ring, Wu is making his entrance here. What do you know about him?
Other Guy: Well, from what I’ve heard and read, Wu hasn’t been seen in some time and certainly not in a wrestling ring. He seems incredibly focused, naturally, as he hasn’t taken his eyes off of Cash since he got to the top of the ramp.
Climbing into the ring, Wu’s intentions are clear. He aims to hurt this man in front of him. Wu removes his trenchcoat, folding it across his arm before throwing it from the ring. Dennis Heflin checks in on both competitors and calls for the bell. With that motion, Wu tears across the ring and immediately takes the fight to Cash. Cash is caught off guard and is obviously overwhelmed immediately. Wu, a man who prides himself on his efficiency, puts the hurt on him with very little wasted motion.
The crowd is responding well to Wu, appreciating the strength of the newcomer. A small “Again! Again! Again!” chant broke out, but Wu didn’t even seem phased by it, opting instead to continue to bring the hurt to a nearly prone Gabriel Cash.
Other Guy: This guy is very technically proficient. He’s already imposed his will on Gabriel Cash.
Eryk Masters: Keeping his promise then, definitely.
Wu continues to beat Cash down, striking him mercilessly with kicks. Wu yanks Cash out of the corner and delivers a vicious knee into Cash’s midsection and then pulls him up and drives him down with a pump handle lift into a sitdown piledrivers, THE COLLECTION.
Wu covers for a ONE, TWO, THREE.
As “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” picks up again, Dennis Heflin raises Max Wu’s hand and we cut to the announcer’s desk.
Eryk Masters: That was INCREDIBLY impressive for Max Wu and not so much for Gabriel Cash.
Other Guy: It just seemed like Cash wasn’t prepared and Wu was VERY prepared. Great debut for him, and he’ll go on to be the #1 contender for the Sin City Championship!
The SHOOT Project Sin City Championship match has come to end and the new top contender, Max Wu, is making his way back up the ramp to backstage area when the Epicenter’s PA system is assaulted by the sounds of “Circus” by Britney Spears. Wu takes a defensive stance while he waits for the Sin City Champion, Chaos to appear.
Chaos walks out from the backstage area. He is dressed in a tuxedo; the Sin City Championship belt is inside out and around his waist. He is carrying a bunch of flowers in his left hand and what appears to be a sash of some kind in the right. He is wearing a Guy Fawkes mask. As he approaches Wu, he switches the sash to the left hand and offers his right to shake. When Wu does not accept the offer, Chaos tries to get a knuckle bump. And again Wu refuses.
He hands the bouquet of flowers over to Max Wu, who cautiously accepts the gift with a look of enlightened confusion growing over his face. Chaos then puts the sash over his head the words of the sash become evident – “Sin City Championship Top Contender”. Chaos leans in and kisses Wu, European style, on each cheek before slapping him on the ass and making his exit through the crowd.
Eryk Masters: I don’t… what??
Revolution 131: The "Go-Home Show" leading into Master of the Mat. It’s oddly serene in the employee-only corridors. No one wants to get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time when so much is at stake. Pay-Per-View bouts meant big paydays. They meant championships, fame, glory and honor.
Rule number one of "Go-Home Show", don’t leave yourself open for an unnecessary attack that might jeopardize a sure thing…
Mary Kelly, in a black SHOOT Project polo and skinny khaki pants, stands in front of a SHOOT Project backdrop along side all three members of Vermont’s Finest. El Asso Wipo, Silas Mitchell and the ever slender, ever pasty (or at least we assume he’s still pasty. He’s in a mask to match the others) Officer Reeve Timmons. They’re all in matching blue and red outfits, with blue and red glittery masks. They also all have capes on.
It’s quite festive.
Wipo slaps his hands together, while the other two appear just as jacked to be out tonight.
Mary Kelly: Ladies and gentleman, I’m here now with… Well, I guess, the only GUARENTEED contenders to SHOOT Project’s Tag Team Championships… Vermont’s Finest. El Asso Wipo, Silas Mitchell and Reeve Timmons.
She smiles and offers a sincere remark.
Mary Kelly: Gentleman, first of all, let me just say, on behalf of a lot of staff and fans, it is GREAT to see you back and healed up. I know there were some concussion scares, and (to Timmons) Reeve, you, specifically had to undergo some tests on a possible torn ligament in your knee, but everything checked out?
Reeve Timmons: (Maybe a little too pumped up) Miss Kelly, it SURE DID and I cannot even BEGIN to tell you how BADLY I’ve been waiting to be able to be back here! BACK HOME. IN THE EPICENTER, BABY!!! WOOO!!!
He pumps his fists, and the crowd watching on the big-screen at ringside offers an audible cheer.
Wipo reaches out, though, and puts his arm on Reeve’s shoulder.
El Asso Wipo: Timmons! This DANCE. Have you been?
Timmons raises an eyebrow and appears confused.
Reeve Timmons: I… wait… what?
El Asso Wipo: You have been to the dance!
Reeve Timmons: I mean… technically, I haven’t. You just recently said I could wrestle with you guys. This is my first time at the dance. Did I do something wrong? Am I doing the dance wrong?
El Asso Wipo: Yes. Sort of. Don’t do the fist pump, "wooo" thing. NO! You must say to Mary Kelly, instead…
He clears his throat.
El Asso Wipo: We have seen many evils, Mary Kelly. We have been through many horrors. They tried to take our backs and break them… LIKE CHA! They took our skulls and they tried to CRACK THEM… LIKE CHA! They went for our knees… LIKE CHA! They reached inside our bodies, tried to take our souls and strangle them… Like. Cha.
But we SURVIV…
In a FLURRY OUT OF NOWHERE, Jason Riley, Tom Quinn, and Jordan Wailer arrive with a violent assault! Mary Kelly IMMEDIATELY runs out of the shot. Wipo is DRILLED in the face with a forearm from Quinn, while Riley bullrushes at Timmons leg! Wailer slams a left hand into Silas’s face! Quinn then takes Wipo and slams him FACE FIRST into a nearby wall. Riley slams a downward thrusting, back elbow into Timmon’s head and Wailer begins throwing body shots into Silas, who is now pinned to the wall opposite of where Wipo just hit! Quinn spins around and leaps at Mitchell now! Riley throws ANOTHER elbow into Timmon’s head, but whips around!
Jason Riley: GET HER THE FUCK BACK HERE!! MARY!!!
He DRILLS Timmons with one final blow.
Jason Riley: MARY GET THE FUCK OVER HERE!
Wailer shoves Mitchell to the ground and runs off screen.
"Okay! Okay! PLEASE! GUYS!"
Kelly comes back into the shot.
Satisfied, Riley goes back to work, spins around and absolutely UNLOADS with a kick to El Asso Wipo’s face.
All three members of Vermont’s Finest are unmoving.
Quinn wraps his arm around Kelly, while Riley shouts at Wipo.
Jason Riley: YOU F******* JUST NEVER FUCKING LEARN!!! DO YOU??!?!?
He SCREAMS at Wipo even louder.
Jason Riley: DOOOO YOOOOOOU???!?!?
Wailer cracks his knuckles, standing to the right of Quinn and Kelly. Riley spits at Wipo, then turns and spits on Timmons.
Quinn tries to calm him down.
Tom Quinn: Dude. (Nodding over at Kelly and the "interview") You want this?
Riley is furious and shakes his head. He starts pacing.
Jason Riley:NO! FUCK! You take this one. I fucking hate these guys. I’m just going to say f****** a bunch. FUCK, FUCK, FUCK!! (Back to the unconscious Wipo) FUCK YOU FOR RUINING MY DAY!
Mary Kelly is mortified.
Quinn is calm.
Tom Quinn: Mary, it’s fine. You’re safe. (Reassuringly) You’re fine. We just had to make sure this… (Gesturing to the fallen members of Vermont’s Finest) was taken care of. We had to leave a message.
Kelly doesn’t say anything, and it’s clear Quinn would rather she consent to the interview, but he also realizes that probably isn’t going to happen.
Tom Quinn: (Proceeding, with a disappointed sigh) Look, we can only say this so many times in so many ways. SHOOT Project is going to become a vessel for something much bigger. There’s an evolved society. A BETTER world waiting to be birthed, Mary, and we can’t have things like this… (Motioning around the area with hand) We can’t have these… relics. Or… Well how do I want to say it so it doesn’t sound weird and dramatic…
He stops to think more clearly.
Tom Quinn: There can’t be any leftovers. It has to be a clean wipe. These guys… and not JUST these guys, but this organization, this sport… the people who have given their lives to it… it’s over. Pro Wrestling sucks, man. It’s something that carnival people did to trick idiots out of their money. It’s fucking awful and dying. BUUUUUT… But what pro wrestling CREATED… the incredible groundwork for a new evolution of HUMANITY ITSELF… that’s what we like, man.
He pauses again. Wailer is silent. Riley stews.
Tom Quinn: Thousands endure unspeakable, endless torture, while millions watch, dreaming… captivated. (Laughing) That’s fucking INSANE, Mary Haha, ha… And that’s why so many people keep trying to take this place over… keep trying to conquer it. Because the winner gets all of it. Every pair eyes. Every criminally directionless, rage-driven brain. YOU WOULD CONTROL THAT. They would answer to… to you.
He shrugs, which gives way to Riley stepping up and interrupting.
Jason Riley: I said we’re fucking taking everything. And we are. We’re gonna take the fucking tag belts, first… at Master of the Mat. Don’t give a shit who from or how. Or why. We’ll take them. Then I’m gonna cum all over them. I’m gonna hate fuck some bitch in her mouth and make her spit my load on the belts. (Staring directly at Mary Kelly) Am I painting the fucking picture you dumb slut?
He glares at her.
Jason Riley: HUH??? FUCK. YOU. This place is ours.
Still raging, Riley turns away and drops down to the floor, staring at the still unconcious El Asso Wipo.
"DIE! FUCKING DIE!!! DON’T EVER COME BACK!!!" Riley screaches.
Quinn sort of half shrugs at Mary.
Tom Quinn: He’s not wrong. (Pause with another shrug and shake of his head) Sorry, Mar.
Quinn tugs at Riley to get up, and the unhinged anarchist obliges, perhaps finally at peace. The two of them, along with Wailer, leave.
The scene ends.
Eryk Masters: Earlier this week, we heard from Kale Tanev for the first time since his loss to Adrian Corazon in the Master of the Mat semifinals.
Other Guy: To say the least, he did not seem to be doing well. The Rule of Surrender champion seems to be a physical and emotional wreck right now.
Eryk Masters: The SHOOT Project released a video of him earlier this week, and I’m told that we have additional footage from that day. You’ll remember that Tanev just told Amie that he would not be attending Revolution this evening at the Epicentre.
Tanev sits slumped against the door of the long-abandoned business, while Amie stares at him dumbfounded at his declaration that he wants her to tell the SHOOT brass he’s not going to Revolution.
Amie: Kale, listen. First of all, just because I care about your well being doing mean I’m going to be your errand bitch. I’ve been taken advantage of by too many men to deal with that shit.
Tanev: I’m not going…
Amie: Yes, Kale, yes you are. They’re going to fire you.
Tanev: Let’em. I don’t give a fuck.
Amie: Listen Kale. They’re not happy with you. You missed a bunch of scheduled mandatory appearances last week when you disappeared. They’re serious. You’ve breached your contract.
Tanev: I said. Fuck. Them.
Tanev: It’s over Amie. Don’t you get it? I NEEDED to win that tournament. It was the only way to get the money I need.
Amie: It’s not over, Kale. You’re a champion. You have a big match on the pay per view.
Tanev: She’s not going to make it…
Tanev: There’s no point…
Amie: Kale, listen. You need this. You need to be at Revolution next week. They’re going to take everything from you.
Amie walks over towards Tanev, heels clicking on the pavement. She bends over and picks up the RoS championship belt, before draping it across Tanev’s thighs, the SHOOT Project helmet logo shining brightly in his face.
Amie: I know you have some shit to work through. I know you need to explain to me why the hell you destroyed your apartment. I know you need to explain to me why you couldn’t get your head right for Corazon.
But this is yours, Kale. You need to protect it. And that means dragging your ass to Revolution on Monday night.
Other Guy: What a mess. Tanev’s falling apart.
Eryk Masters: That certainly appears to be the case. But we have received word that Kale Tanev has been spotted arriving at the arena not too long ago.
Other Guy: It’s almost too bad. The SHOOT Project shouldn’t have to deal with unreliable champions like Tanev. Who knows what important appearances he skipped out on just because he was having a bad day.
Eryk Masters: Come’on. This is clearly a man who is struggling with some demons. We learned prior to Revolution 130 that earlier in his life he was the driver in a car crash that resulted in the death of his wife and the mother of his child. He obviously has some additional things that he needs to work through.
The match was SUPPOSED to be Dan Stein versus "Jack"
That’s how it was written in a memo to the press about two weeks ago. Very simply. Very plain. A match. Why? Because. Is that all?
The SHOOT Project Booking Committee does, at times, work in debatably bizarre ways. People watch an episode of Revolution and think… "Why are those two people being asked to fight each other?" or, "Who is that guy? I’ve never heard of him before but now he’s fighting for a chance to be number one contender to the Sin City Title." Fair questions, sure, but there seems to be a method to the madness. Somewhere between the lines.
How else can you explain the organization’s consistent growth and success in an industry that dictates it probably should have been dead and buried otherwise?
Former World Champion, Dan Stein was booked to fight a man… or… woman… THING… named "Jack".
But as of 48 hours ago, that was no longer the case.
Tonight, it mere moments, "Jack", in no exact gender or numbers, has been inexplicably rebooked, instead, to fight Kale Tanev. Tanev was given that information 17 hours ago.
He actually RECEIVED IT… 4 hours ago.
He’s not ready, but he also didn’t have a choice to say "no."
"It is highly suggested you arrive on time, and prepared, or the organization may take further action, including, but not limited to – suspension without pay or termination."
Granted, that’s what every match contract said, but Kale Tanev isn’t exactly tenured.
So he arrived on time.
He looks like some sort of brawling hobo out of Brooklyn, but he’s here to fight…
Whoever "Jack" may be…
DING! DING! DING!
Samantha Coil: The following contest is scheduled for one fall with a specifically stated, twenty minute time-limit…
Tanev is introduced first, and he arrives to no entrance music.
Samantha Coil: Introducing the first competitor of the evening… Weighing in at two hundred, twenty-five pounds… He is the RULES OF SURRENDER CHAMPION. KALE TAAAAAANEV!!
Tanev pushes through the curtains. He’s groggy, dirty. He wipes at his eyes, and shakes his head and body in hopes to stay stimulated. He receives a decent amount of applause from the crowd, though he does little with their adoration. He moves, almost like a zombie down to the ring.
Eryk Masters: This is certainly not ideal for Kale Tanev. Of course, rumors began swirling that this bout had indeed been changed, but as I understand it, Kale just personally received the news about three or four hours ago. Guys get in the building FIVE OR SIX hours before a show to prep for matches they knew about for WEEKS. I don’t know who’s to blame or why this happened, but it is not a very pretty picture.
Other Guy: And do we even know who or what "Jack" is or how many of them there are? It’s all very strange, Eryk and it’s definitely not cool. Someone pulled some strings. A guy like Dan Stein is obviously NOT above something like this… of course we know he was at a charity event sponsored by Project Hero a week or so ago. The SAME Project Hero that keeps being linked to the… what… I guess, "anarchy movement" we’re seeing.
Eryk Masters: We can speculate all day, OG, but no matter what, it all ends with Kale Tanev being put in a pretty terrible position, just a few weeks removed from what might be his biggest title defense to date… against Dan Stein. That’s what it is. Did Stein cash in a favor? Who knows. Probably. But it won’t change anything. It’s happening.
It IS happening.
The lights go out the very SECOND Tanev hands over his Rules of Surrender Title to Austin Linam.
Various cell phones pop on, but it’s still exceptionally dark.
It’s uneasily silent for a good fifteen seconds.
And after that…
Only the sounds of an empty, dead-of-winter wind.
You can barely hear it.
AND THEN THE PIERCING SIREN SHRILLS…
"Empathy" by Crystal Castles begins to play throughout the arena, while white lights flash on and off in dizzying, strobe fashion. A few shadowy figures can be seen hopping the guard rails! Tanev charges, in the dark, at the other end of the ring! He appears to DRILL one of two guys in the face! It falls to the floor! Tanev turns and LEVELS the second one with an elbow!
Other Guy: GODDAMNIT!
HOWEVER, three more rush in from behind! They IMMEDIATELY take out Austin Linam! Tanev turns around and instinctively charges one of the three with a SPEAR!! However, the other ones pulls out what looks to be some kind of chain and WHIPS TANEV ACROSS THE BACK!!! A few ringside officials storm into the ring, but they are PROMPTLY taken down!
Eryk Masters: This is going to get ugly fast! We need help out here, folks in the back.
Tanev gets whipped with the chain AGAIN!!! AND THEN AGAIN! He screams, but somehow PUSHES THROUGH THE PAIN! He gets to his feet. The lights come back on, as apparently one of the production humans came to their senses! The music dies! Tanev KNIFES down one of the "Jacks" with a quick Judo thrust to the throat! He then spins and sweeps out the legs of the one with the chain! The third attempts to charge, but Tanev rears forward and SLAMS his head into the man/woman’s chest!!!
Two more "Jacks" (who were the first taken out) climb back in from the outside, though, and storm into the ring! The one of them, much smaller, leaps on Tanev’s back! This one "APPEARS" to be a woman? Tanev dips forward, grabs the "Jack" by the mask and SLAMS HIM/HER DOWN OVER HIS HEAD, BACK FIRST ON THE MAT!!! The other one follows forward with a forearm strike to the back!!! Tanev turns around! He goes to strike the one, but the one he just slammed crawls toward him and grabs his leg!!!! Tanev is distracted and tries to shake her off! In the meantime, he gets SLAMMED in the face with a forearm! His lip is BUSTED OPEN!!!
The "Jack" with the chain is back up and SWINGS AT HIS LEG!!! The chain-linked whip CONNECTS into the knee and Tanev falls down.
Eryk Masters: This is too much.
All five of these "Jacks" are in black body suits with black masks and blood-red trim around the mouth and eyes. They swarm like hungry zombies and Tanev is very quickly overwhelmed! A SLEW OF OFFICIALS AND AGENTS NOW STORM OUT FROM THE BACK as it’s been made very clear that "Jack" has no intention of making this an actual wrestling match!
The "Jack" with the chain, who also has long straggly hair coming out the back and front of his mask, notices and starts pushing the other "Jacks" off Tanev, directing them elsewhere.
Included in the group of officials is none other than DAN STEIN who, to his credit, appears moderately concerned with what’s happening. Six different officials charge the ring and "Jack" disperses in various directions.
Other Guy: And you want to convince ANYONE that this is a coincidence???
While the officials tend to Kale Tanev, Stein storms around the ring and RIPS the Rules of Surrender Title from Mark Kendrick at ringside.
Other Guy: No!!! GET HIM OUT OF HERE!
Stein, in a pink SHOOT Project "Breast Cancer Awareness" shirt and jeans, slides into the ring and SHOUTS COMMANDINGLY at everyone to "GET OUT!" They try to reason with him, but he ignores and brushes off anyone who gets nearby. A few "heroes" stick by Tanev’s side, but Stein more aggressively convinces them that this is NOT the time.
Dan Stein looks down at Kale Tanev, who, despite everything, is continuing to claw to his feet.
Stein shakes his head and smirks.
He drops the belt down on the mat in front of Tanev and walks right past him. Tanev lunges forward for the belt and pulls it in close.
Dan Stein: (Speaking into a nearby "action camera" in the ring) It’s mine soon enough. (Walking away) Take a fucking shower, Kale. You look awful.
The fans boo substantially and loudly as Stein exits the ring.
Other Guy: Disgusting.
Eryk Masters: Whether you love him or hate him, since setting his sights on that Rules of Surrender Championship, Dan Stein has simply outclassed Kale Tanev. Nefarious or otherwise, these are the aspects of Tanev’s game that need work, and I think we might see a new champ at Master of the Mat. Stein simply DOESN’T CARE how his work gets done, and I just… I mean. Look, I’m not a Dan Stein by a long shot. I just think don’t know if Tanev is far enough along in his training to know how to handle something like this.
Other Guy: He’s gonna have to, though, Eryk. Like you said. Stein CLEARLY doesn’t give a damn about the means. It’s the endgame. CAN it make Dan Stein Rules of Surrender Champion? CAN it make him a SHOOT Project GRANDSLAM champion? Then he’s gonna do it.
Tanev has managed to get to a knee and is being attended by some officials.
The last thing we see before shows cuts away elsewhere.
The focus on the Project: HERO emblem emblazoned on the door sets the scene and immediately lets everyone know that most likely within moments one of two faces will be seen.
So when the 400 plus pounds of blobbish man that is Bradley Boom steps out the fans are grotesquely reminded that there was, IS a third face. Boom surveys the hallway, first left, then right, then nods his head.
Bradley Boom: All clear Paul.
THE MIRACLE WORKER himself, PAUL JARVIS wedges his way out from behind Bradley dressed not as usual in his flowing white garments and brown sandals, but in black pants and shoes with a sky blue button up, and a pristine white tie.
Paul Jarvis: Of course it is Bradley, Project: HERO has really cleaned up the proverbial streets that are these mean hallways and that’s all thanks to
Bradley Boom: BOOM!
The giant man in all black and top knot hair cut dyed white suddenly tenses up, his fat muscles somewhat quivering
Paul Jarvis: You are an intimidating force but no, Bradley I was talking about me, I was talking about the HERO himself Jonny Johnson.
Jarvis pats Boom on what he thinks is part of his shoulder/upper arm.
Paul Jarvis:But you’re still important, integral even. So don’t forget that. And I, know, I know I was going to get you a match this week, to REALLY let you show off what you’re capable of, but it just wasn’t in the cards. You will get your match, though, there will be PLENTY of matches in your future. Victories, adoration… but for now… I just need you to watch my back as NOTHING can happen to me before Jonny and I get down to the ring to make our double blockbuster announcement.
Bradley Boom nods his head in compliance and the two begin down the hall but make it only a few steps before Jarvis stops… and smiles. Coming into frame is the GOLDEN BOY and Grand Slam Champion Hopeful, DAN STEIN. Dressed to casually impress in designer blue jeans and a pink SHOOT Project Breast Cancer Awareness T-shirt, Stein is walking away from all the hub and bub, but stops when faced with Jarvis and Bradley Boom.
Paul Jarvis: Daniel, danny, Dan the man. You look exceptionally well today… like an aura about you or something.
Dan Stein: Just one of those nights you know. (takes a deep breath) when you know everything is happening EXACTLY the way you want it to.
Paul Jarvis: I know that feeling, Dan. I do. And I’m surprised G-Man didn’t tell me himself, but CLEARLY he’s watching over you.
Dan Stein: You know what they say, Paul…. good things come to those who work for them.
The two long time friends share a knowing nod and then a very unnecessary but exciting high five.
Dain Stein Now if you’ll excuse me, buddy, I’ve got Molly waiting with the car. (stein starts down the hall but turns back as he walks) See ya at Master of the Mat and good luck with whoever accepts the Project: HERO challenge or whatever.
Jarvis waves after Stein and once out of sight, Paul Jarvis and Bradley Boom continue their way towards the ring area
Paul Jarvis: Super glad everything worked out for him, tonight.
Jarvis grins from ear to ear
Bradley Boom: Wait a minute, Paulie… did… did you have….
Paul Jarvis: SHHHHHHHHHH…. God works in mysterious ways, Bradley.
The show goes on from there with the unveiling of Project: HERO’S opponents still to come.
Dressed to the nine’s in a grey suit, slacks, white shirt and pink tie, the founder of Project: HERO, JONNY JOHNSON, strolls down one of the many backstage Epicenter hallways. His hair is perfectly tussled for that cool, bedhead look, dirty blonde with hints of grey along with a similarly shaded five-o’clock shadow. He’s on his cell phone, though, and appears more than slightly irritated.
The DEFILER: …Well that’s an understatement and you know it. What it IS, is a fucking infestation right now, and we have to fix it. (Pausing, shrugging) Fuck if I know. Maybe ID ticket holders or just… (Sighing) DUDE. You asked a question. I don’t know the answer. Okay? What I DO KNOW. (Cut off) Josh. What I DO KNOW is that shit like this makes me, and my nonprofit look REEEEEAL bad, and I don’t like looking bad. It hurts, man. It hurts my feelings when I have to listen to your announcers speculate like that… and then it’s on the internet and then my fucking daughter is…. (Stops talking, listens, nods) Uh, huh. Yeah. That’s… I know we’re on the same page. But… No. HEY. We just need to fix it.
He’s stops near a particular door, though the camera angle doesn’t pick up the nameplate so there’s no way to tell who’s door he’s at.
The DEFILER: And I get ALL of that. I’m not mad. I’m… I’m disappointed. It’s frustrating. But just… look, if you need me to be doing more, I’m your guy. We’ll get this under control.
He knocks on the door.
The DEFILER: I gotta go, though. We’ll chat more this week.
He presses something on his phone and slides the thin structure back into the side pocket of his slacks. At the same time, the locker door swings open…
“The Artist” is dressed down in his wrestling attire of grey faux-skinny fit jeans, complete with patches and bleach stains and a new SHOOT Project official Zex T-Shirt with the words “Zex, Lies and Videotape.” Emblazoned across the front. He shrugs with confusion at the former SHOOT World Champ. He pops out of the door, into the hallway and the two men shake hands.
Zex: What’s up, man? Not to be rude, but just tryin to kinda get in that mental-groove for tonight, and…
Jonny cuts him off.
The DEFILER: Oh. Yeah. This isn’t anything uhh… major. I was uhh… I guess I was just stopping by to see if you and Omar had any time to… to think over the shit we talked about.
Zex nods and replies pretty straight forward.
Zex: Yeah, man. We definitely appreciated the gesture, but we kinda just wanna roll out on our own. Find our own niche. O2 thought it was better in the long run and I gotta go with him on shit like this. I don’t really think about stuff like this, to be totally honest. (Laughing) That was cool though… that you offered to let us use the Beautiful People name. I heard nothing but good things and I woulda been honored to carr…
Jonny cuts him off.
The DEFILER: Wait… Hold on. So… You… DON’T want to use the Beautiful People? (Very confused) What’s your team name, then? I mean, don’t you understand that a sound marketing strategy and identity is…
Zex kind of laughs and cuts Jonny off.
Zex: Hey. Jonny, it’s not a matter of NOT wanting to be something, but rather WANTING to be something we created. You know? We’ll figure that shit out as we go. We were just happy to be out there at the last show and do our thing. People dug it. That’s rad to me, man.
The reply is clearly off-putting for whatever reason, but Jonny keeps his cool and nods in agreement.
The DEFILER: One hundred percent, man. Of course. It was just… It was just a gesture. Trying to give you guys that… umm… Fuck it. It doesn’t matter. What MATTERS, my friend, is that I’ve been chatting with the SHOOT Project Booking Committee… Or, well… texting. (Laughs) Cause, lord knows they’re a mysterious, unidentifiable bunch… And I gave them some input on the current tag scene and then suggested a match, and uhh… Well. Let’s just say they’re going to make it official for Master of the Mat.
Zex’s interest is piqued.
Zex: Okay? (Smiling, laughing a little bit) And that’s…Well, that’s mighty vague, man.. What’s the match?
The DEFILER: Now this was ultimately THEIR DECISION, all right? I don’t want to rehash any old "politics" garbage that I’ve dealt with in the past… I just had an idea… I emailed the proper channels. They said, "We’re gonna do it." End of story.
"But it’s going to be You and Omar versus Anarchy versus Lunatikk Crippler and Cory Lazarus…"
The DEFILER: Versus some combination of those idiot punks. Riley, Quinn, and Wailer… (Quickly) It was supposed to be Vermont’s Finest, but after what those assholes did tonight… what "Jack" did to Tanev. I thought it was high time we forced those boys to put up OR SHUT UP. (Even more quickly, as though glossing over their involvement) OH! And if they do anything to fuck the match up or ruin the spirit of competition. Seriously, ANYTHING. The committee has agreed to letting them go from their contracts and officially banning them from all future SHOOT Project events. And I’M the one they’ll go to for that final decision.
The DEFILER: It’s WIN, fucking win, man. The three best teams in SHOOT Project are not only gonna have a shot to be champs… they’re gonna get their chance to beat those guys down hard!
Zex smiles, letting the idea mull over in his mind, and Jonny nods.
The DEFILER: And the best part… it’s gonna happen in a ladder match.
“The Artist” lets out a chuckle, the ladder match has always been considered his “speciality” and instantly his mind is filled with crazy, creative ideas. Johnny smiles and pats Zex on the shoulder.
The DEFILER: You guys can go apeshit in there. Use any thing you want. Tables, hammers, chairs… fucking utility knives. (Laughing) NO RULES. Just two belts hung up about fifteen to twenty feet in the air.
The DEFILER: You want em? You just go get ’em.
In a case of perfect timing, OMAR OWENS arrives behind Jonny, carrying a couple of bottled waters and also in ring attire. He’s a bit miffed by his presence, but reaches out for a handshake, nonetheless.
Omar Owens: Yo… Jonny, right? Jonny Johnson? (Looking at Zex, tossing him one of the bottles and then back at Jonny) What’s goin on here?
Jonny and Omar shake hands, while Zex explain.
Zex: We got a tag title match at Master of the Mat. That’s what’s goin on.
Omar raises an eyebrow
Omar Owens: No shit?
Zex: No shit.
"OH FUCK TAAAAAAAG CHAMPS!!!!"
The obnoxious shouting belongs to Freak Nasty, who leaps at Omar! Owens laughs but also shoves him away, realizing the scene is rather unprofessional with Jonny around.
Jonny, however, takes the queue that it’s time to head out.
The DEFILER: They’ll probably announce this shit tomorrow morning with the Master of the Mat press conference shit, but umm… Yeah. I’m glad to watch new teams get a shot. And uhh… ya know the name. (Shrugging) If you change your mind at all, or even find yourself in a bind and need my help advice… I’m here for ya, guys. I’m a big fan.
They both nod.
Zex: Thanks, man.
Omar Owens: Yeah. Thanks.
The DEFILER: Well, I uhhh… I’m gonna… (Distracted, and still seemingly unnerved) I’m gonna go. I’ve got… I’ve got my own Master of the Mat business to announce. (Grinning. Sort of?) Big return to action and everything…
He trails off
The DEFILER: Good luck, and uhh… Heh. Stay out of trouble.
Jonny nods and gives a "peace sign" farewell, leaving the trio alone to their devices. He turns the corner and Owens cracks a huge grin and slaps Zex on the shoulder.
Omar Owens: So what’s the situation? Fill me in!!!
Freak Nasty: Poooole match I bet? Fiiiine ass bitches dance while you classy fuckers beat down some lame dudes?
Zex and Omar both give a "What the fuck?" look to Freak Nasty. Zex laughs, while Omar just thinks it was dumb.
Zex: Nah man. (he clears his throat) it’s a LADDER match. And it’s us, (motioning between he and Omar) Us against…
"YOU FUCKING FAILED!!!!"
In a SWOOP, Zex, Omar and Freak are RUN OVER BY A GROUP OF FIVE MASKED HUMANS!!!
Black masks, black body suits.
Omar is SLAMMED in the wall face first! Freak is DRILLED with a CHAIN TO THE FACE! And Zex is thrown HEAD FIRST into their locker room door! The five people switch off who is beating who, but it is BRUTAL! One of them grabs Omar’s head and slams the back of it OVER AND OVER AND OVER on the floor. Zex is scooped up takes a succession of DEVASTATING body blows, followed by a HUGE stomp to the back of his skull! Freak tries to run away, but they mow him over and WHIP HIM ENDLESSLY WITH A CHAIN.
It lasts about twenty seconds.
There’s commotion and shouting coming from down the hall.
But they’re gone before anyone can reach them.
Before anyone could possibly stop it.
Zex and Owens are OUT.
The cameras cut away at the first sign of help.
For fans streaming the show, Revolution 131 returns to ringside, capturing footage from another brimming ringside scene. The cameras pan around the ring, cutting to various areas in the crowd, providing some very candid moments. The announcers are silent in this moment, letting the images do the talking.
A couple flirting.
Hardcore fans waving HARDCORE signs.
"PROJECT HERO: WANTS YOU"
"I HATE VOTING"
"DONVAN KING > OBAMA"
Fans high-fiving fans. Fans shouting at fans. Kid fans chanting for kid stuff, while adult fans make fun of the kid fans.
LIVE WRESTLING CROWDS~!
Viewers are treated to about twelve seconds of this action before the lights go out and Ibi Dreams of Pavement (A Better Day) by Broken Social Scene begins to play!
A chorus of haunting chimes whispers over the PA system, interrupted by the single croak of a dissonant guitar chord…
WHIRRING ELECTRIC SOUNDS SWIVEL OUT from a second guitar!
The drums roll in…
And the sounds build into a DRIVING DISSONANCE!
SYMBOLS CLASH… The music swells into something more romantic…
DRUMS. SYMBOLS. THE DISSOANCE GROWS INTO BEAUTIFUL SOUND!
AN EXPLOSION OF PYROTECHNICS go off at the entrance curtains, accompanied with a bright white spotlight!
THE DEFILER. IS. HERE!
"Well, I got SHOT~! right in the ba-aaaaack,
And you were there! you were theeeeeere"
I said I was NE-VER coming ba-aaaaack,
And you were there, you were theeeeeere"!
Jonny Johnson storms out from behind the curtains. He seems a bit annoyed and distracted at first, but, as though catching himself in a mood, quickly shifts into a beaming grin. He pumps his right fist and points at the fans he soon approaches. Jonny zigzags between aisle sides, dishing out high-fives to any hand that happens to be reaching over the barricade. He stops by a few dudes with an "I TRUST IN PROJECT HERO" sign, pulls out his cell phone and snaps a quick selfie.
Eryk Masters: Looks like we are now moments away from Jonny Johnson’s official Master of the Mat announcement. We obviously just heard about the tag team situation, but now we will be finding out just WHO the DEFILER has selected to be his opponent at the upcoming pay-per-view!!
Other Guy: Yep.
Neither commentator makes mention to the brutal assault on Zex and Omar from just a mere short few minutes ago, which seems a bit peculiar considering how astute the duo normally is. Regardless, nothing else seems particularly out of the ordinary. Jonny slaps a few more hands and eventually slides into the ring.
"And if God is what they made
Cut their hands off believers
Don’t get high on what you create"
Jonny reaches through ropes near the announce table and is handed a microphone by Samantha Coil. In the meantime, his music slowly fades out, and is replaced with a nice ovation from the sold out crowd. Though, maybe not as loud as ovations in the past. A smattering of noticeable boos sneak out of the pack as well, but Jonny starts speaking before they gain any traction.
The DEFILER: Thank you guys so much. (Pausing. Applause Builds) I mean it. (Pointing at some fans bowing in the front row) Love it! (Laughing) Seriously, y’all… From the bottom of my heart. It means the world to be able to be out in front of you tonight… To FINALLY be able to say to you… Proudly. Honestly. "I’M FUCKING BACK!"
He gets a pretty large pop for the well presented line, and nods along with the adoration.
The DEFILER: (In a reminding tone) Now we still have TWO incredible bouts ahead of us… including an IRON FIST TITLE DEFENSE and the PERFECT SIX MAN TAG BOUT TO TAKE US INTO MASTER OF THE MAT! So reeeeal quick… Give it up for the AMAZING show you still have left to SEE!!
Give it up they do, indeed. The crowd gets louder and more supportive.
The DEFILER: So we’re gonna make this as efficient as fucking possible because I’m REALLY excited to announce my opponent for Master of the Mat, and if you guys are the wrestling fans I KNOW YOU ARE, you’re gonna be just as excited!!
He smiles and the crowd pops again, now pretty anxious to hear the announcement.
The DEFILER: The Project Hero wants YOU campaign was an AMAZING SUCCESS, and with over FORTY FIVE HUNDRED ENTRANTS I was able to connect with a lot of amazing talented from all over the planet. Having to pick only ONE human was tough. Almost impossible, to be honest. But we had to.
Paul, whose gonna join me in just a sec, chose one.
I chose one.
We appreciate EVERY. SINGLE. PERFORMER who partook, it proved to us that this business is MORE than just "hanging in there."
IT’S AS ALIVE AND VIBRANT AS IT’S EVER BEEN!!!
And that’s as much on ALL OF YOU (Gesturing to the fans in the Epicenter) (Looking into the camera closest to him) And ON ALLL OF YOU WATCHING AT HOME!
Jonny bows his head.
The DEFILER: For every man who ever fell through a table, fighting for YOUR respect… and YOUR adoration… THAN…
"GOO OONN!!! GOOO OON! LEAVE ME BREATHLESSS"
Although clearly the opening to "Breathless" by the Coors, the music suddenly stops just shortly after the airy, opening line. Jonny is cut off mid-sentence and could not possibly look anymore confused. He shouts something over at Coil and Kendrick.
Eryk Masters: Folks we… we’re not sure what that was.
Other Guy: Someone hit play a little soon? Do you think it’s…
Before OG can finish his thought the song changes.
A few drum beats and a real slow groove…
Jonny shakes his head, apparently MORE than aware of what’s happening, despite the crowd not.
There’s a slight backmasking effect…
The music PICKS THE FUCK UP, AND WE GET AN EXPLOSION OF FIRE!!!
"I FEEL I WANNA SMACK SOMEBODY!"
"BITCH SLAP SOMEBODY"
"BUT I AIN’T GOIN OUT BRO"
"Anxiety" by the Black Eyed Peas starts to play throughout the Epicenter! Jonny’s grin of disbelief and head shaking at the mat tells a very interesting story because only a second later does CHRISTOPHER DAVIS BUST OUT FROM BEHIND THE CURTAINS!!
The crowd RISES TO ITS FEET and once they see the returning hall of famer, and realize this isn’t some sort of troll or ruse… THEY JUST ABOUT LOSE IT!!!
Other Guy: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN… HE’S HERE! CHRISTOPHER DAVIS IS HERE!!!
Eryk Masters: I LIKE IT!!!
Other Guy: (Laughing) ATTA BOY, MASTERS!
Dressed in a grey suit, white shirt and pink tie. (The EXACT same outfit as Jonny) He pauses for a moment to take in the appreciation of the crowd. The cold grey eyes looking a bit warmer if only for a few moments.
Eryk Masters: What a totally awesome moment. And newer fans, you are looking at one of our great former World Champions, and arguably one half of the greatest tag teams in our sport, The Beautiful People.
Other Guy: I LOVE this man, Eryk. Straight up, one of the best dudes our sport has ever seen!
Davis strolls to the ring as the crowd continues to show him love. He bumps a few fists, shakes a few hands, but never takes his eyes off Jonny all the way to the ring. He hops on the ring apron and nods at his former tag team partner who gives him a slightly uneasy smile. He then steps through the ropes walks to the center of the ring, where he and Jonny share a very strange embrace.
Davis smiles and pulls a microphone out of his pocket.
The crowd roars.
Jonny’s eyes fall to the mat, clearly irritated.
CHRISTOPHER DAVIS: (turning his attention to Jonny) How you been man? Last time I heard from you it sounded like you were on some type of last ride, like you were ready to end it all.
Davis is more than aware of Jonny’s lack of eye contact, and glances down, shifting side to side trying to grab his attention.
CHRISTOPHER DAVIS: But look at you now…
He lowers his head, trying to sneak into his gaze, egging him on.
CHRISTOPHER DAVIS: How have you been?
Jonny at least looks up, and the lack of sincerity in Davis’s voice is amusing.
CHRISTOPHER DAVIS: I gotta say it’s good to see you back in a SHOOT ring man, it’s good to have Jonny Johnson back in SHOOT doing what he does better than most.
He takes a deep breath and releases.
CHRISTOPHER DAVIS: The thing is though, as happy as I am to see you in this ring right now I gotta tell you I’m a bit concerned. See man, I’ve been out of the country for a few weeks enjoying my free time. But every so often I get a text or a tweet or something from either Angel or Christian.
CHRISTOPHER DAVIS: You remember Angel and Christian right?
Jonny nods, knowing full well who the aforementioned humans are. Pals of Davis. Long time running mates on the road. Some people in the crowd clearly don’t know, but this doesn’t appear to be a moment for anyone but these two VERY, VERY longtime friends. In fact, Davis is ONLY looking at Jonny this entire time.
CHRISTOPHER DAVIS: Good. We can hang out later. Ya know, they’re here right now… hangin in the back… lookin’ around for anyone who might feel like ruining this for us.
He lowers the microphone and smiles.
CHRISTOPHER DAVIS: I mean… not that I think anything will go awry. I mean it’s just two old friends having a conversation right?
The implications of Davis’s remarks don’t settle well with Jonny, who’s apathy is slowly marked by a more obvious scowl.
CHRISTOPHER DAVIS: Aaaanyway… So I keep getting these texts, tweets, facebook messages, instagram, snapchats all that crap from my boys. And FINALLY I’m thinking… "what is going on that is so important to mess up my vacation."
Davis quickly shrugs, but quickly answers his own question.
CHRISTOPHER DAVIS: Turns out I see that my good friend and one half of the GREATEST TAG TEAM in the history of SHOOT is BACK in SHOOT.
He nods his head, while Jonny continue to listen in silence and contempt.
CHRISTOPHER DAVIS: Great news right?
Until I’m hearing that my friend and tag team partner is telling the world that he single handedly revolutionized tag team wrestling! (Quizzically looking at Jonny) He alone took tag team wrestling to a whole new level!?
He shakes his head.
CHRISTOPHER DAVIS: I’m thinking to myself that there’s no way he saying all of this stuff because how could a single man be responsible for revolutionizing tag TEAM wrestling?!?
I’m thinking to myself that someone forgot that time when HE was pinned in a match where WE… two people. A tag team. Were facing OutKast for the world title. Ya know, I’m thinking someone forgot about the beating he received after that loss.
I’m THINKING someone forgot that time that he pissed off the wrong group of people and they were laying him out in the middle of the ring and I came down to save his behind.
He pauses before making this final point. His eyes are cold, the smile off his face as he drives this home.
CHRISTOPHER DAVIS: I’m THINKING THAT SOMEONE may have forgotten that without ME there would have been NO Beautiful People! HELL, there might not have been JONNY JOHNSON. NO "DEFILER".
Jonny takes a very deep breath. Maybe the deepest breath of his career.
CHRISTOPHER DAVIS: See Jonny I’m all for you coming out here and doing your thing, I truly am. This isn’t my world anymore you want to do your thing then so be it. You wanna save the world? Hey man, you certainly got the charisma to try.
That’s not my problem…
The PROBLEM I have is that I don’t want you to forget. I don’t want you to try to get THESE PEOPLE (gesutring around him with a swirl of his finger, eyes SQUARELY on Jonny) to forget that the Beautiful People was the best TEAM to ever step into a SHOOT PROJECT ring!
And part of that TEAM was Christopher Davis!
He inches closer to Jonny, ramping up the intensity.
CHRISTOPHER DAVIS: (Continuing) …A man capable of beating anyone at any time! I want people… I want YOU to remember Jonny, what I DO TO PEOPLE IN THIS RING… as much as you might want to gloss it over.
Chris steps back and smirks.
He reaches into his suit coat and pulls out a piece of paper.
He begins reading.
CHRISTOPHER DAVIS: Project HERO want You!
In a special promotion in accordance with the SHOOT Project IN-RING return of Jonny Johnson and the SHOOT Project RE-DEBUT of Paul Jarvis at Master of the Mat, Project: Hero is offering performers all over the globe the opportunity of a life time!
BE THE OPPONENT!
That’s right! Jonny and Paul have issued open challenges to the BEST COMPETITORS IN THE WORLD to gear up and play the counter in their highly anticipated Master of the Mat appearances. To enter, all you need to do is send a copy of what you consider your most COMPETITIVE bout as well as a brief promo explaining why YOU would be the perfect opposition!
Chris returns the paper to his pocket and the fans begin applauding! Applause, followed by an INCREDIBLY POWERFUL POP OF ALL POPS AS THEY SEE WHERE THIS IS HEADED!
CHRISTOPHER DAVIS: (Very serious. Very real.) Mr. Johnson I feel I would be the perfect opposition because I’m Christopher Davis multiple time world champion, tag cham…
Jonny FINALLY barks back, having heard as much as he needs.
The DEFILER: ENOUGH!!! (Scathingly) CHRIS… GODDAMNIT!
He turns and paces in a short area for a second, trying to regain his composure, while Davis feigns "shocked and confused".
The DEFILER: (Shaking his head) You fucking… (Keeping his cool) NO! No. You’re not the fucking opponent. You didn’t submit a video. You didn’t call me. You didn’t email or text… NO, CHRIS! FUCK!
He takes a deep breath.
Jonny desparetly needs to regain his composure.
He lowers his voice after bringing the mic back to his lips.
The DEFILER: You’re a great friend and you were an amazing competitor. If you think that I’ve ever alluded to anything otherwise, I ASSURE YOU… That’s on Chris Davis. That’s on YOU. Okay? You’re a former World Champion. You and I WERE the best tag team that ever fucking walked the planet. I would NEVER try to dimish what you did for me or for our sport…
But you’re not the opponent.
You’re not gonna hijack this thing and make me look like some kind of fucking cowering jackass.
He takes another very deep breath.
The DEFILER: Because at Master of the Mat, I’m going to go one on one…
…WITH SHIDEKI AOMORI.
There is zero crowd response, and Jonny is starting to lose it.
The DEFILER: My former BROTHER IN LAW!
No one cares. The audience is turning.
Jonny can’t believe what is happening, and begins pleading with the crowd.
The DEFILER: A CURRENT WORLD CHAMPION FOR THE IJWF! GUYS! NO… NO GUYS THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST COMPETITORS ON THE FUCKING GLOBE!!!
The BOO BIRDS start to come out in FULL SWING!
The DEFILER: NO! (Turning away) DON’T! DO NOT FUCKING BOO! (Trying to reason) This is not… (Losing it) THIS IS A FUCKING INSULT! WATCH A FUCKING TAPE! GOOGLE SHIDEKI AOMORI YOU IDIOTS!!! YOU STUPID FUCKING WRESTLING MARKS!!!
GET SOME FUCKING CULTURE!!!
Jonny is ONE HUNDRED PERCENT beside himself… His anger swells. His eyes dart from the mat back to Davis.
He shakes his head and GLARES at his partner…
The DEFILER: You know what? Heh… Fine. Okay. Yeah. YOU FUCKING WANT THIS? (Pointing at himself) You wanna go out on this kind of note?? HUH???
IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT, CHRIS?
THIS IS A MOMENT THE FANS ARE WAITING FOR…
"REAL HUMAN BEING… (Being… Being… Being)
AND A REAL HERO (Hero…. Hero… Hero)"
BUT NOT THE MOMENT THE FANS… NEED!
Interrupting EVERYTHING, is a driving electric beat that is both dark and complex, yet laced with a sense of uplifting hope, takes over the arena and seems to reverberate in the very hearts of everyone.
The lights shift from standard luminosity to a hue of light blue and gold; twinkling dots scatter about the arena…
"A Real Hero" by College and Electric Youth kicks in full after the echoing word "hero" dissipates into the first verse.
Paul Jarvis, followed closely by Bradly Boom emerges from the back, live microphone in hand, and he is LIVID!
Paul Jarvis: CUT THE MUSIC!
It abruptly ends
Paul Jarvis: So you mean to tell me, that YOU Chris Davis, of ALL the people in this world, are going to waltz out here and challenge your good old PAST friend!? Yeah I said it… PAST. Jonny and I are friends NOW, buddy. Don’t make a fuss over it or anything, but truer words, ya know?
Davis actually shoots Jonny an "is this for real" look but Jonny doesn’t so much as look at his former partner.
Paul Jarvis: But that’s beside the point. The point is you two, you don’t have any loose ends. You split up, retired, you were done from everything I remember, Christopher. Yet tonight, of ALL the nights, you walk out here when the REAL LOOSE END…is standing in the back waiting to make HIS blockbuster announcement…
Well that announcement, now… just got a HELL of a lot more blockbustery!
With Jarvis close to the ring he sends Bradley Boom in first as to insure his own safety, but Davis doesn’t look like he’s in the mood to fight Jarvis at all, let alone ever.
Christopher Davis: Another one of your spectacles Jonny? I’d think that of everyone at least you and I…
Paul Jarvis: YOU LOOK AT ME, DAVIS!
Jarvis screams from behind Bradley Boom. Davis lets out an exhausting sigh, turns around just as Jarvis steps to the side of his large human Ba-Bomb looking bodyguard.
Paul Jarvis: You see I was going to come out here, announce that after everything that’s happened these past few weeks, that I, THE WONDER OF WONDERS, Paul Jarvis, would use my match at Master of the Mat to right some wrongs. that I would call out JACK himself, or however many decided to show up, and reason with the troubled soul and/or souls… I WAS GOING TO ANNOUNCE PAUL JARVIS VERSUS JACK!
He pauses, giving room for people to react.
They do not, but he doesn’t seem to care.
Paul Jarvis: And that will still happen, but not in the ring… not now. Not after YOU’VE shown up on Project: HERO’s door step and given me… nay… US the opportunity to finally give these fans an answer!
Jarvis nods his head intently.
Paul Jarvis: That’s right, Christopher. I might be a savior, I might be a miracle worker, but I’m also a wrestler and entertainer and that comes first sometimes for these fans to deliver the BEST Project: HERO has to offer.
And that best… just so happens to be 8 PLUS YEARS IN THE MAKING, DAVIS!
YOU have a victory over me, I have a victory over you….
The Intensity from Jarvis only increases as he locks eyes with the man, myth, and legend that is Chris Davis… he’s in his own world though.
The crowd has been deflated by the babble.
Paul Jarvis: Which means one thing and one thing only. At Master of the Mat it won’t be former tag team partners facing off… It WILL, however be PAUL. CHRISTIAN. JARVIS versus CHRISTOPHER DAVIS…
IN THE ULTIMATE RUBBER MATCH OF THE WRESTLING CENTURY!
Bradley Boom gets excited as he pumps his massive arms into the air, trying to get the crowd to get excited.
Davis, caught off guard, and having no time to put any of this together, stands in silence.
Meanwhile, Jonny very calmly speaks into his microphone.
The DEFILER: If you want a match at Master of the Mat… (Pointing to his nonprofit director) You can take Paul up on his offer. But that’s on you. Work that out on your own time…
He drops the microphone and walks by Davis without so much as another glance.
His head is aimed at the ground as he exits the ring.
The crowd is totally dead.
Jarvis and Bradley Boom pump their fists, as Jonny walks by in silence.
The fans start boo and shout some rather "harsh" remarks as Jonny sulks by, but the DEFILER never once looks up.
Paul makes the "belt" motion for whatever reason and continues to chide Davis, who shakes his head and laughs. He points to a few officials at ringside and seems to gesture for them to get Jarvis and Boom out of the way.
It’s pretty confusing to say the least.
And the cameras cut away.
“Let Me Take A Selfie” by The Chainsmokers BLAZES into the Epicenter, sending the crowd into a frenzy of distaste! Winter saunters out from the back with the Iron Fist Championship strapped across his waist, his hair dripping with water, his handsome features looking oh so chiseled with just a hint of well-groomed facial hair.
He’s accompanied by the hulking form of Elgin Blair, the cantankerous Kentuckian decked out in tattered jeans and a brown flannel shirt.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first, accompanied by Elgin Blair….he hails from Manhattan, New York…weighing in at 235lbs…THE IRON FIST CHAMPION, BILLY WINTER!!!
Other Guy: No love for Winter tonight. That’s pretty much the usual…
Eryk Masters: He’s a demented narcissist…not really a super likable guy, our Iron Fist Champ.
Other Guy: Now this is SCHEDULED to be an Iron Fist Championship match…but let’s face facts, E. We’ve seen the dirt sheets. We’ve heard the rumors. Trey Willett has not been seen or heard from since Revolution 130…and I don’t think the man is even HERE tonight…
Eryk Masters: I have no idea what’s going on with Trey right now. He’s been a VERY different man lately…and it seems his loss in the Master of the Mat tournament just fed into his bitterness even more.
Other Guy: Well that was his ONE SHOT at getting close to the World Championship again, E….and you and I both know, Trey WANTS that title. I’d be a little discouraged too if I suffered that kind of loss when I was so close to getting what I wanted.
Billy has entered the ring, microphone in hand. He says something to the referee, and the ref shrugs and motions to the curtains.
“Carry On My Wayward Son” by Kansas starts to play, and all the cameras focus on the curtains and the stage.
The theme song plays for almost a full minute…
And there is no sign of Trey Willett.
Other Guy: Well we kinda expected this…no Wayward Son to be seen.
Billy makes a “CUT IT” gesture before bringing the mic up to his lips.
Winter: Trey Willett obviously has other things on his mind these days…wherever he is…and he’s not going to be stepping into the ring to face the most dominant and sexually attractive champion to ever grace the Iron Fist division here tonight.
Billy sighs, shaking his head theatrically.
Winter: That’s a DAMN shame, you poor fans getting cheated out of the opportunity to see a force of nature like myself run the ropes and get SWEATY in the name of hard-hitting competition. I suppose I COULD just take the forfeit victory…let the referee raise my hand…take the rest of the night off to go party with Dan Stein or stick my iron-forged johnson into the kind of woman you kissless virgins only dream about…somethin’ like that.
Billy teases offering his hand to the referee to be raised…and the fans UNLEASH with loud, thundering boos.
Billy then rips his arm back, a smile dawning brilliantly on his face.
Winter: BUT I JUST AIN’T THAT KINDA GUY!!! You people DESERVE a fighting Iron Fist Champion…you deserve a warrior with fists like titanium, a heart full of fire…a smile that drops panties and a soul that BLEEDS BLUE BLOOD THAT POOLS BEAUTIFULLY ON THE GROUND IN THE SHAPE OF THE SHOOT HELMET!!!
Billy’s motivational speech isn’t really having the desired effect.
Winter: Halloween’s coming up, right? In honor of that…I’m taking on a GRAVE challenge. I face a WICKED, WISPY…WRIST-TAPE WEARING WRAITH!! It’s a dark spirit…an adversary that has haunted the hallowed halls of the Epicenter for many a long year. ON THIS NIGHT…I exorcise this demon not with holy water or a crucifix, but with irish whips and elbow drops!
Eryk Masters: What in the HELL is this lunatic talking about?
Billy leans to the closest camera, his prettyboy features contorted into a deranged grin.
Winter: TONIGHT…I defend my Iron Fist Championship….AGAINST THE GHOST OF RAY WILLMOTT!!!
There is a hushed, uncomfortable silence that overtakes the crowd.
When the boos start….they are BOOMING.
Other Guy: Is this…some kind of sick joke?
Eryk Masters: I’m legitimately disgusted by this. This man is dishonoring the legacy of Ray Willmott…and the crowd sounds just as disgusted as I am.
Billy tosses his belt to the outside and Elgin Blair stalks over and rings the bell himself!
Billy steps to the center of the ring…AND HE STARTS TO THROW LIGHTNING FAST BLOWS AT HIS INVISIBLE FOE!!!
Suddenly though his foe fights back…and Billy takes a BIG UNSEEN SHOT TO FACE…staggering back into the ropes while holding his eyes!!!
Winter: REF!!! MOTHERFUCKER SPAT ECTOPLASM INTO MY EYES!!!
The crowd is SCREAMING with distaste at this, many fans standing up in their seats to show how mortified they are.
Billy makes a DYNAMIC comeback, getting right back into fight with knife-edge chops that slice and dice through nothing but air!
Other Guy: ….
Eryk Masters: ….
Elgin Blair is WILLING Billy on from the outside, beating his fists against the canvas. There is CONCERN AND FEAR IN THE EYES OF THE BIG KENTUCKIAN!!
Winter nails a JUMPING, ROTATING UPPERCUT…AND HIS SUPERNATURAL FOE IS LAID OUT ON THE CANVAS!!!!
Billy sees his chance…and he climbs the closest turnbuckles, looking out at the fans for a moment…BEFORE FLYING TOWARDS THE CENTER OF THE RING WITH A MASSIVE ELBOW DROP!!!
HE HITS NOTHING BUT CANVAS.
He struggles to his feet using the ropes, roaring at the referee once he finds his feet.
Winter: COUNT HIM, REF!! COUNT THIS SINISTER SPIRIT BACK TO HELL!!
The referee leaves the ring, shaking his head silently.
Elgin Blair immediately slides into the ring and starts the ten count himself!
We won’t go all the way to ten since you probably get the idea by now.
Elgin Blair rolls back out of the ring and rings the bell himself…grabbing a microphone in the process.
Blair: THIS FELLER RIGHT HERE IS YOUR WINNER…A HERO AND VANQUISHER OF ALL MANNER OF DEMONS AND DEVILS…HE IS STILL THE IRON FIST CHAMPION, BILLY WINTER!!!
Blair seems to remember one last thing.
Blair: AND HE DAMN SURE AIN’T AFRAID OF NO GHOSTS!!
Winter holds the Iron Fist Championship HIGH above his head…breathing hard and wiping sweat from his brow after his battle with the paranormal.
Other Guy: Billy can play his sick little mind games now…but he’ll need to get serious pretty damn soon. Cross Reboca is now the NUMBER ONE CONTENDER to that Iron Fist Championship…and if Billy wants to be a fighting champion? Cross will make that happen. Now can we please cut…
Eryk Masters: On behalf of SHOOT Project as a whole, we apologize for this…
Delicate beads of perspiration drip down the chiseled flesh of William Winter, the Iron Fist Champion leaning with one hand braced against the wall near the gorilla position. He clings to his championship with one hand, breathing deeply to get some fresh oxygen back into his lungs. A backstage worker briefly appears on scene to hand Winter a bottle of water…and he stares at it in complete disbelief.
Winter: I said FIJI WATER, you hideous little beta-bitch! Don’t you know that kicking ghost ass gives you a powerful thirst?? I SHOULD RIP OFF YOUR NECKBEARD FOR THIS!!!
Billy FLIPS the generic bottle of water at the little man’s head, knocking him out of frame. The space the man was standing in doesn’t stay vacated for long though…because sauntering up next to Winter is a Soldier who’s been making BIG waves in SHOOT Project as of late.
The Hammer himself…Cross Recoba. He shakes his head as he steps into view and puts a hand on the shoulder of the Iron Fist champion. Winter casts his withering look quickly towards the hand.
Recoba: You know, it’s a sad fact of life – no matter how much of a winner you are in life you can guarantee that you’re never more than ten steps away from running into someone who makes you question why eugenics gets such a bad press.
Cross steps in front of Winter as the camera pans round to show them facing each other.
Recoba: But, what can we do? We’re winners, all that we can do is show the gulf in class between a Cross Recoba…and a Trey Willett. You know how that goes, right?
Winter bursts out a smile before quickly dropping his demeanor.
Winter: Look, Recoba, you’ve won your first match, congrats. Pardon me if I forgo sending out a parade. You’re going to be significant to me until that bell rings when you get your shot – after that? Well, you’ll always have the Vine of me beating you to remember that you were once relevant to me. At your best you’ll be Winter Lite…
Recoba takes the pause as an entry to a rebuttal.
Recoba: You know it’s funny, I always saw you as Diet Recoba. You, and the rest of the SHOOT Project, have one match to work out what I’m about. So now’s the time to remind you that neither one of us has a match for the Master of the Mat show coming up – so why don’t make go make this ‘Facebook Official’?
Winter raises an eyebrow quizzically.
Recoba: Master of the Mat, you, me and that title belt on the line? We can do the contract signing at The Sands, I’ll make you an offer I don’t make everyone, because I think you’re one of the few people in this company who can actually hang on my level – I’ll give you carte blanche of the hotel and it’s facilities – all you have to do is show up, sign a bit of paper and what you choose to do before and after that – it’ll probably keep the staff on their toes but I’m not going to lose any sleep over it.
A devilish little smirk creeps across Billy’s mouth.
Winter: Such generosity…tell you what, slugger…you’re ON. A reigning and defending champion of my caliber has to really SUFFER for his craft…so a little gentleman’s agreement like this might be just what I need right now to decompress a bit.
Billy leans in, sneering a bit.
Winter: Just remember though, Recoba…you won’t be fighting a FAN at Master of the Mat. You’ll be fighting….A MAN!
Winter flexes to emphasize his point, proceeding to hold the Iron Fist Title up high. Recoba just smirks while shaking his head…and we fade on Cross walking out of frame.
We walk behind the hulking whiteness that is the Ivory Terror. He turns a corner and heads through a door into a dressing room. He stops. His muscles coil and he snarls at the vision before him. Sitting at a table, smiling, hands folded as if he’s a bank teller waiting to work on mortgage paperwork, is Loco Martinez. Standing over each shoulder, stone faced, but confused at the situation they’ve abruptly been pulled into are the members of Anarchy. Loco senses the fury building in Isaac. He throws up his hands innocently.
Loco: Ike, I assure you. This is not about violence. These two men are not here to intimidate, or assault. They are here to protect ME, and everything that we have before us. Last week I assured you and Maya I had nothing to do with that attack… Assurances for weeks that were not believed by you, him, and probably the rest of the SHOOT-iverse. So? In case any shenanigans are afoot THIS week? I brought two… expert… eyewitnesses. Who double as protection. Someone is CLEARLY messing with Maya, AND ME. I may lack the physical trauma of our World Champion, but I have the emotional scars. SOMEone is torturing Maya and dragging my good name down into the dirt.
Isaac scoffs at this.
Entragian: Because your two hired meatheads are going to be impartial "witnesses" if something should happen to Maya?
Loco: They just need to vouch for my whereabouts. Plus with everything I have on the line at Master of the Mat? I consider these two an insurance policy.
He rolls his eyes. He walks to the table and leans both hands on it, eyeing up T.Rex.
Entragian: SO back to being his mute puppets, fellas?
Loco smirks and looks up at T.Rex.
Loco: No puppetry. No strings. *Loco pantomimes as if he is controlling a marionette.* You want to "cross examine" them? Go ahead. You can answer him Teddy.
T.Rex: Ike, we were just like you when Loco asked us to do this. We… uh… we wondered what exactly he wanted. He ALSO told us we didn’t have to do anything we didn’t want to. That handicapped match… well that was bidness, and Loco said he had no part in any of THAT, either. He said hang with him tonight and at Master of the Mat. Make sure there is no chance someone can mis… mis…
T.Rex: Yeah, dat! Misconstrue Loco’s deeds, acts, or intentions.
Arch Angel nods in silent agreement. Loco smiles proudly as if this will somehow vindicate him. Isaac isn’t buying it. He takes a deep breath through flared nostrils.
He takes a step towards Rex, making a big show of inhaling DEEPLY…the albino’s nostrils flaring.
Entragian: I’m detecting the strong aroma of something right about now…
Entragian: You shower today, Rexxy?
Isaac takes a step away from the scowling Rex, this time sniffing the air near Arch Angel.
Entragian: Wash under the sack this morning, old-timer? Gotta stay on that…
T.Rex tries to sneak a sniff of his own armpit. Arch Angel slaps him in the arm. Suddenly a light bulb goes on behind Isaac’s predatory green eyes…and he snaps his fingers together, turning his less than friendly gaze back to Loco Martinez.
Entragian: I’ve got it. That smell doesn’t lie. That smell…is all over you, Freakshow.
Isaac takes a step forward, his razor sharp teeth slightly gritted.
Entragian: The smell of bullshit….
Loco frowns. Looks up and makes eye contact with the Ivory Terror. The tension is palpable.
Loco: Sorry you think that. Because at some point in time the world will find out what exactly has been going on, myself included, and my name will be cleared of all of these accusations that everyone seems keen on dumping on my doorstep. Everyone is gonna look back and… EV. RY. ONE. Is going to have the pangs of guilt due to this never ending persecution and bias against THE Greatest Show on Earth. I just hope, Ike… for all of us, that it isn’t too late. That I won’t be too far gone. I don’t want to be THAT GUY again, but? He shrugs non chalantly… as if the power behind this decision is out of his hands.* Who knows? I could cave to the peer pressure to just go ahead and BE the monster everyone assumes I am…
He flashes his trademark Cheshire Cat grin and shakes his head with faux disappointment.
Loco: I thought I’d have a sympathetic ear of someone miscast as a "monster". If anyone KNOWS what its like to fight tooth and nail against public perception? It’d be you. I figured you’d understand and that I could convince you that ALL of THIS?! Isn’t me. That’s not how I roll in the SHOOT Project. But, the GREAT news? If you want to punish me for the crimes I haven’t committed? Well… BUDDY…
Loco stands up slowly, places his hands on the table and leans in. Entragian and Loco nearly nose to nose. Anarchy watches this unfold nervously.
Loco: We’re each a three count away from making that a reality. A three count I damn sure plan on scoring at Master of the Mat. And that’s it. That is Loco Martinez’s MASTER…PLAN. Since the shot was granted. I had ONE mission. Going to Master of the Mat and pinning Maya Nakashima and wrapping that beautiful gold belt around my beautiful tan waist.
Entragian: I want to believe you, Loc. I want SO desperately…to believe that this dramatic clusterfuck situation isn’t tied to you in ANY way. That’s getting harder and harder for me to do…because the evidence keeps on mounting. The “coincidences” keep piling up. Either some fucked up mastermind is playing BOTH of us…or you’re lying almost as much as you’re tanning these days.
Isaac’s voice becomes a low, silky growl.
Entragian: You go HARD for that three count…I have no doubt you will in the long run. I fully intend to do the same. Right now? I’m still on the fence. If I thought for CERTAIN that you were the culprit…I’d have both hands locked around the throats of your goons here…and I’d be aiming these chompers directly at your adam’s apple…
Isaac playfully SNAPS his teeth together a few inches away from Loc’s throat to emphasize his point.
Entragian: Consider me…highly suspicious at this point. Maya Nakashima has done A LOT for me…and I will always be eternally grateful to that man. I will never forget what he’s done for me…and I will never forgive his enemies for what they do to him. That’s the kind of twisted friendship we have.
Isaac steps backward, his head cocking to the side.
Entragian: No proof yet, Loc. No hard evidence to convict you. But if I find it? If I SEE it? You won’t just have the World Champ to deal with after you’re found guilty in the SHOOT courtroom. You’ll have me to deal with as well…
Isaac starts walking off, giving Loco a final dark, cold smirk before he goes.
Entragian: And just so you know?
The albino pauses.
Entragian: I’m fond of executions.
Isaac stalks off after this, leaving Loco and Anarchy to glower after him as he goes.
Eryk Masters:We’re set up for our Main Event. A match highlighting the increasing tensions of our Master of the Mat Main Event, and sprinkling a tag team rematch, but something has been delivered to the top of the entrance way.
We take a shot of the entrance way. A large wrapped "Present". The camera scrambles to the huge tag, its says "To: Maya From: YOUR FRIEND"
Eryk Masters: What do you make of that, OG?
Other Guy: Not sure, but I’m guessing its more ammunition aimed at softening up the World Champ moving into Master of the Mat.
The announce team is interrupted Ke$ha rips through the arena.
"TONIGHT WE’RE GOING HAR-HAR-HAR-HARD", and we hear more than half the Epicenter booing. We highlight a few signs, "WHY LOCO WHY?!", "LOW-co", and Loco storms from the back, almost entirely ignoring the present. Anarchy quickly following behind him. They both cock a worried look towards the "present"
Other Guy: Even T.Rex and Arch Angel don’t know what to make of that "gift", Masters.
Samantha Coil: Making their way to the ring, Loco Martinez, T.Rex and Arch Angel!
The crowd continues their mostly negative reaction.
Eryk Masters:Seems like most of the SHOOTiverse is weighing in on if they think Loco is behind everything Maya has had to deal with the last few weeks.
The music dies down. Loco scowls waiting in the corner. Anarchy stands near, but there isn’t much interaction between the three. “HORIZON” by D’espairs Ray and the Epicenter roars their approval as Maya Nakashima walks out. He glares down at the ring, then looks back at the present. Looks back down at Loco who throws his arms out to the side and yells, "I don’t know! Its not from me." Maya grabs the side and rips the wrapping paper off. , and taking a step back in a defensive stance in case an attacker would be inside. No attacker strikes, and as the paper falls away it reveals a familiar sight to Loco Martinez fans… a trophy case. Various championship belts that Loco Martinez has held in the past. Each shelf littered with awards and trophies. There is even a ratty ribbon for "2nd Place in a spelling Bee". With one notable spot open for the SHOOT Project World Championship. Maya turns and looks wide eyed at Loco Martinez.
Eryk Masters:Looks like Loco has just taken claim for everything Maya Nakashima has been through!
Other Guy: I’m not so sure Masters.
IN the ring Loco Martinez is wide eyed. He spins to Anarchy, and yells, "DID YOU YOU TWO FUCKING DO THAT?!?!" They both hold up their hands innocently and shake their heads "NO". Maya is storming to the ring Loco screams "THAT… WASN’T… ME-" but Maya isn’t in the mood to listen, He leaps to the top rope and launches himself nailing Loco with a seated senton. He quickly pops up and gets into a full mount and begins just wailing away on the #1 Contender. The Epicenter is LOVING IT! They’re roaring a huge "MA-YA! MA-YA! MA-YA!" chant.
Eryk Masters:THIS IS CHAOS!
Referee Tony Lorenzo is attempting to get Maya off Loco, but can’t budge the champ. Arch Angel and T.Rex both step into the ring and quickly scoop up Maya and roughly shove him into the corner, but don’t take any cheap shots. They just do their best to hold him there, attempting to restore some calm and order to this. Loco gets up slowly and runs and takes off leaping up over the shoulders of T.Rex and Arch Angel in a modified leaping splash and now Loco and Maya are exchanging WILD right hands.
Other Guy: Its a hockey BRAWL!
Arch Angel turns and grabs Loco and drives him back into the opposite corner. T.Rex using his mass to keep Maya subdued in the corner. Lorenzo actually nodding some appreciation to ANARCHY for helping him get things under control.
Eryk Masters:So Anarchy helps keep the peace they’re not taking liberties with Maya, and Arch Angel pulled Loco off of Maya?!
Lorenzo quickly informs Arch Angel and T.Rex that he’s going to call for the bell, and that when it happens to let them go and get to their corner. Both T.Rex and Arch Angel nod, understanding their current makeshift roles as bouncers.
Other Guy: Good thing we have two bouncers in the ring. Giving us the CHANCE to have an actual match.
Eryk Masters: Hold it there, OG. I’m getting word that Omar Owens and Zex are still receiving medical attention.
Other Guy: What!?
Both Lorenzo and Samantha Coil seem distracted as the very same message is delivered to them via their headset. Lorenzo steps towards Loco informing him that “Maya’s partners aren’t going to make it.” Martinez’ temper rises upon hearing the news.
Samantha Coil: I’ve just been informed that Omar Owens and “The Artist” Zex are unable to compete in this match tonight…There for this match will continue.
A resounding boo echoes throughout the arena as all four combatants look shocked at the announcement.
Eryk Masters: Continue? You don’t think Loco had anything to do with the attack tonight do you?
Other Guy: From the look on his face. No… And besides, what happened to Zex and Omar was clearly unrelated.
Lorenzo reluctantly calls for the bell, signalling the two members of Anarchy to back away. Maya without any hesitation steams in, the mental strain of the past few months clearly taking its toll on the champion as he relentlessly throws hard strikes at Martinez.
Other Guy: Nakashima is on fire.
Loco guards himself as Maya has him backed against the ropes, his flurry of strikes continuing to keep the number one contender at bay. Loco soon finds himself whipped to the opposing ropes, upon rebound Maya lands a perfect cross body block and rolls away.
Eryk Masters: The odds have been against Maya for weeks now, we can literally see his frustrations coming to the forefront.
Both men are back to their feet and Maya steams in again, only to have Loco stop a few strikes with well-timed blocks, Maya swings a high kick and Martinez ducks thus spinning Maya off course where he scoops him up and to the mat with a swift back-suplex.
Neither men are on the mat for long and instantly clash, Maya hits a right hand, Loco fires back, Maya connects a forearm, Loco staggers, Maya fires a second forearm and another…Loco doges the third attack and whips Maya towards the turnbuckle…The Champ hits the pads hard and turns as Loco splashes into him.
Martinez whips Maya to the opposing turnbuckle, but Nakashima reverse the throw and sending Loco hurtling towards his own corner…Martinez staggers out and walks straight into a dropkick pushing him into the corner again…Only this time Loco’s hand slaps back tagging in T-Rex, a move which irritates the crowd.
Eryk Masters: These fans are booing, but that tag looked accidental from this angle.
Other Guy: It LOOKED accidental…But was it?
T-Rex shrugs and climbs inside the ring, circling the SHOOT Project Heavyweight Champion. Nakashima makes the mistake of glaring at Loco, even for a second, thus giving Rex a chance to lock him in a headlock as the fans shower him with boos.
Rex keeps the hold in place for a second, looking out to the angry fans. There is confusion in his eyes, but the former Tag Champion shakes it off and rolls Maya down to the mat with a Headlock-Takedown, keeping the lock in place for good measure.
Eryk Masters: It seems to me that the crowd are getting to T-Rex here tonight.
Other Guy: They’re getting to me. My head is pounding already.
T-Rex changes his position by raising to one knee and lifting Maya with him before standing and keeping the headlock on. Maya drives his forearm into T-Rex’ back and then pushes forward out of the hold. T-Rex turns and Maya has already hit the ropes, flying through the air with a spinning kick.
T-Rex ducks and Maya lands on his hands and knees behind him. Rex spins and Nakashima leaps up with a kick to the chest. Nakashima rushes T-Rex trying to force him into the corner but the much larger man scoops his arms under Maya’s waist and then dumps the champion up and over with a slam.
Other Guy: What would you call that Eryk?
Eryk Masters: It was a gut wrench style manoeuvre, OG. Improvised but effective.
Maya is back to one knee when a Double Axe-Handle crashes into his spine, Nakashima attempts to stand when another hard blow connects knocking him down. Rex drops a leg drop across the back and quickly rises hitting the ropes and dropping for a second.
Nakashima dodges the Leg Drop with a roll to the side and then pulls himself up on the ropes, just in time to see T-Rex racing towards him and spring up and connect a modified Superkick to the chest. T-Rex stumbles back to his corner and tags Arch Angel into the fray.
Eryk Masters: This just went from bad to worse. There is no way Maya can overcome these odds tonight. It’s not like he’s in there with chumps. He’s facing off against the 2013 Master of the Mat and the 2013 Tag Team of the year.
Through gritted teeth The Champion swings at Angel, only to be side-stepped and locked into a Full Nelson. Angel glances back at Loco and T-Rex, who seem unhappy with the turn of events here tonight as the fans continue to scream blue murder at Loco’s team.
Other Guy: He’s in trouble, Eryk.
Eryk Masters: Maya’s all alone in there, he’s fighting but the numbers game is catching up with him.
Other Guy: They’re playing it classy, at least.
Eryk Master: But this is still a three on one situation. No matter how you look at it.
Other Guy: I don’t think anyone expected this match to go down like this.
Eyrk Masters: We still haven’t had word from the back on the condition of Omar Owens and Zex; and I have to think that things are looking desperate for our world champion in there.
Maya Nakashima is not willing to give up, despite the fact that Arch Angel has him locked in a Full Nelson, Angel tenses his muscles as he locks the hold in tighter as a pained expression befalls the champion. But, Maya isn’t fading, he’s fighting the pain and trying to figure out a way to worm out of the submission hold.
The SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion uses his smaller frame to his advantage; and as if out of nowhere he slinks clean out of the hold, making sure to hit some well-placed Elbows to the ribs of the tag team specialist. Maya instinctively heads to his corner, maybe he’s looking for a partner or perhaps simply trying to create distance; either way Arch Angel readies for action and charges towards the champ.
Nakashima uses the ropes to aid a boot straight into Arch Angel’s face, staggering the bigger man back a few paces. Maya takes a dash-step with two well-timed blows to the chest, Maya cracks Arch Angel with a hard kick to the thigh, a second to the hip and a third to the lower rib area, hitting a trio of kicks all along the left side.
Eryk Masters: And that’s why Maya Nakashima has the hearts of the fans, he never gives up. No matter the odds.
Maya does his best to keep the flurry going; striking and kicking at Arch Angel, slowing the big man down and wobbling him on his feet; Maya charges at Angel and is absolutely turned inside out with a blistering clothesline; an “Ooooh” cascades across the arena as Maya lands in a heap on the mat.
Other Guy: What a clothesline! Neither man is standing after that exchange.
Both men begin to drag themselves away from their fallen position, Nakashima clawing at the mat to create distance, while Arch Angel drags himself towards his corner. The fans clap and chant for Maya, willing him to stay in this one and make it to his feet before Arch Angel can make the tag.
A burst of emotional cheers race through the arena, heads turn, fingers point and eyes widen as two men charge down to ringside.
Eryk Master: Omar Owens and Zex are here!
Other Guy: They look a little groggy to me, Eryk. That attack took more than a little pep out of their step.
Maya spots the two men who now stand in his corner willing him to tag one of them in, Owens and Zex begin to stamp down on the mat, encouraging the fans to clap in time. Arch Angel crawls towards his corner, inching closer, his fingers nothing but a few inches away from T-Rex…
Angel stretches out. SLAP! Angel tags T-Rex just as Maya makes contact with the palm of Omar’s hand! The fans erupt with a deafening cheer as Omar and T-Rex collide in the centre of the ring fists flying and trading blows.
Eryk Masters: After T-Rex’ chair shot last week and the backstage attack on “O-Z” tonight; Owens is fired up.
Omar takes advantage of his adrenaline rush and hits a swift kick to the midsection and a knee to the gut. He whips T-Rex to the corner and then charges at him with an avalanche and a tag to “The Artist” a move which causes the female portion of the crowd to scream.
Zex races to the ropes and Omar drops to all fours, offering Zex a launching pad to leap off and crash straight into T-Rex… Rex falls to the ground and “The Artist” hops to the top rope and looks around the audience signalling for the “Zex-Appeal.”
LIGHTS. CUT. OUT!
Other Guy: What Now?
Flash bulbs and phone screens flicker in the darkness as the opening strains of Empathy by Crystal Castles kicks in, signalling a rave-like atmosphere a huge roar from the fans and flashing overhead lights throughout the arena.
Eryk Masters: Do you have to ask, OG? This one is about to break down.
There is movement within the flashing lights, yells, screams and profanity can be heard between the well-timed beats of the music, a scene that is both mystifying and well-known to the SHOOT faithful. The lights return to normal where we find that Loco Martienez and Arch Angel down on the outside of the ring.
Inside the ring facing off against Zex and Omar Owens is Jordan Wailer, Jason Riley and Tom Quinn; a group SHOOT Project fans have nicknamed “The Scavengers.” A deafening rumble begins to shake The Epicentre as the standoff continues, tensions running high and tempers beginning to flare.
Other Guy: These Scavengers have struck again; Loco is down, Angel is down…The only men standing are Owens and Zex and if they know what was good for them they’d high tail it.
Before any blows are stuck; the fans erupt with cheers and shouts, a wided eyed look befalls the face of “The Scavengers” as Lunatikk Crippler and Corey Lazarus hurtling out from the back, steal chairs in hands and ready to throw down.
Riley pats Quinn and Wailer and the three men quickly roll out of the ring and to the outside. Crippler and Laz make a beeline for them when three men hop the barricade and bum-rush the Tag Team Champions.
Eryk Masters: “Jacks!?”
The fans screams, cheers and yells literally explode as violence systematically breaks out around the ring side. Omar Owens and Zex are quick to get into it with “The Jacks” thus prompting The Scavengers, Anarchy, Loco Martienez and Maya Nakashima to join the fray.
Omar and one of the Jacks collide into the guard rail. Maya and Wailer begin trading blows. Zex and T-Rex are rolling on the ground punching the shit out of each other. Crippler, Arch Angel and another Jack are beating the hell out of each other. Loco follows Riley into the ring as Lazarus and the final Jack break away from the brawl.
Other Guy: This is complete chaos!
Arch Angel tosses Crippler to the side and then eats a right hand from Jack-2. Lazarus is tackled to the ground by Jack-3. Maya rolls Wailer into the ring. T-Rex whips “The Artist” towards the ring steps and Zex leaps over them. Jack-1 has Omar backed towards the ring and Loco and Riley are going at it right in the middle of the ring. Crippler pulls a ladder from under the ring apron and begins to turn towards the brawl.
Eryk Masters: Tensions have risen, cards have been dealt and Master of the Mat is on the horizon. We need security out here!
The stomping of the fans feet spur Lunatikk Crippler on as he charges at Zex, Arch Angel and Jack-2 smashing into them with the ladder. Maya Nakashima and Loco Martienez battle Wailer and Riley. Jack-3 and Jack-1 race into the ring closely followed by T-Rex and Corey Lazarus. As Owens and Quinn now go at it.
Other Guy: I don’t know where to look! Eryk.
Eryk Masters: I don’t think it matters where you look, something is happening everywhere.
T-Rex rushes at Jack-3 clotheslining him over the top rope and to the outside. Laz hits the ropes and then dives over the top onto Owens. Crippler slides the Ladder into the ring, but soon eats it to the face as Jack-1 baseball slides it back into his face. Quinn makes the save by aiding Riley and Wailer against Maya and Loco. As Jack-3 and T-Rex roll on the mat and to the outside.
Eryk Masters: Finally, officials are out here.
Other Guy: Yeah, and they are just standing there. Like they actually want to get involved in this one?
Quinn, Riley and Wailer dump Loco and Maya to the outside and quickly follow suit, trading blows with everyone. Omar backdrops Laz onto the Ladder, the The Scavengers regroup and duke it out with Crippler and Anarchy. All of the men are back up to their feet, everyone taking chunks out of the nearest man to them, fists, kicks, elbows, forearms.
Zex and Lazarus find themselves inside the ring; they glance at each other for a second before simultaneously hitting the ropes and racing towards the brawlers. Laz dives through the middle rope with a Tope Con Hilo as Zex dives over the top rope with a Front-Flip Senton…Both men come crashing down into the sea of humanity knocking everyone to the ground; except Loco, Maya and two of the “Jacks” who dodged the bullet by diving into the ring in the nick of time…Holy Shit chants fill the airwaves, security and Officials enter the mess now, attempting to make some form of peace…
Other Guy: This is insane!
Maya Nakashima and Loco Martienez enter the ring either side of the “Jacks” and then charge them…Maya knocking one over the tope rope and Loco doing the same with the other, completely clearing the ring as security finally get a handle of things.
Eryk Masters: Loco Martienez and Maya Nakashima are the last men standing tonight.
Other Guy: And there’s Lorenzo with the Heavyweight Championship.
Maya takes a few steps away from the ropes, dripping with sweat and panting with exhaustion. Loco on the other side of the ring backs away, wiping his brow and shaking his head at the chaos at ringside.
Champion and challenger step back a few more times, bumping into each other, they flinch, spin and turn to face each other. Eyes glaring, fists raised ready to strike. They glance towards the championship within Lorenzo’s grasp and then back to each other and trading a few inaudible words.
Eryk Masters: And that’s what this is all about. The SHOOT Project Heavyweight Championship. The Master of the Mat main event.
Maya takes the championship and lays it over his shoulder, never taking an eye off Martinez who taps his finger on the title as Revolution goes off the air.