The SHOOT Project Presents…
An Instant Heat Production…
The Call to Arms.
So much has happened here that to try and recapture the glory and the vulgar violence that was once celebrated inside of these walls would take a lifetime of words. Suffice to say that when the violence finally came to an end all those years ago, it was believed by the Soldiers that once waged war inside of these walls that they would never have to darken the doors of this place again.
They were wrong.
Years have passed since the SHOOT Project held its events here in the Epicenter. As with most companies built around fighting, the SHOOT Project breathed its last breath as a rattle, not a gasp. It fell into darkness and would be lost to time. The Soldiers that fought here moved on, fighting in various places around the world, and tried to put their pasts behind them.
Imagine their collective surprise when each of them were found, one by one, and given a single slip of paper with one symbol on it:
The SHOOT Project Helmet.
They came, one by one, back to Las Vegas. Some sought answers. Others sought blood. Still others came with no understanding of what drove them to this place but an underlying sense of…home.
The years have not been kind to Jonas Coleman and Diego Reyes. The longtime friends made their way back to Las Vegas after finding the Helmet posted around the small village they had taken up as their home on the Arizona/Mexico border.
Jonas stands in the entrance to the Epicenter, looking at the dark arena as it spilled out before him. He glances back to Diego, who snuffs out his cigar on the wall.
Diego Reyes: This place.
Jonas Coleman: This place.
Jonas repeats the words, but he isn’t sure why. His history is far more intertwined than Diego’s. Diego only achieved glory by Coleman’s side as a member of the tag team PERDITION. Jonas, however, achieved greatness several times over as a fighter in the SHOOT Project not just with Diego but with his close friends and confidantes Buck Dresden and Charles Brandon Magnus, as well as his own solo ventures. He inhales nervously before he sets foot into the abyss, confident only that Diego is behind him.
The lights immediately flare up, revealing the Epicenter in all of its wretched glory. Jonas and Diego try to focus their eyes on what lies before them. The seats are black and red. The ring in the center of the arena is black with red ropes. The walls are adorned with images of past glory. Jonas takes the time to notice each face he sees.
Adrian Corazon jamming a screwdriver into Jonny Johnson.
Diamond Del Carver covered in blood as he walks away from the body of Roland Caldwell.
Donovan King’s hand being raised as the referee reaches to hand him the World Championship.
Jonas continues to note each name until he finally stops on the man standing in the center of the ring. This man, dressed in black with a hood pulled over his head and a black mask on his face.
Diego Reyes: HEY!
Diego calls out in his guttural, throaty growl.
Diego Reyes: Who the hell are you? What the hell is going on?
He holds up the paper with the Helmet on it.
Diego Reyes: You send this shit?
“Gentlemen.” The man repeats.
Diego Reyes: You must not have a clue who the hell we are, friend.
Diego walks down the steps, hops over the guardrail, and rolls into the ring.
Diego Reyes: We ain’t no gentlemen.
Diego throws a quick right punch, but the man quickly dodges and shoves Diego to the mat.
Herald: I am called Herald. Please do not get up.
Diego cuts his eyes up at the masked Herald.
Herald: I was instructed to send out this small slip of paper to every man, woman, and child that has ever been affected by this place. Every Soldiers, every veteran, every hero, every villain, every fan, every associate.
Herald looks to Jonas. Jonas notes his voice is distorted by…something. Herald is going through great lengths to hide himself.
Herald: I do not know who will come. I did not know if any would come. You two…are the first.
Jonas Coleman: Thrilling backstory…Herald, is it?
Herald nods as Jonas makes his way to the ring.
Jonas Coleman: My friend and I aren’t big fans of people finding us. The fact that you did, well…
Jonas pulls the slip of paper from his jacket pocket and presses it into Herald’s chest.
Jonas Coleman: …it tends to fuck with our heads a little bit.
Herald: Apologies. If you would, please…none need be concerned. I and my master mean no harm.
Diego Reyes: Master? You some kinda slave or somethin’?
Herald: Not at all. I have given myself fully to this ideal. Indeed, I am mind, body, and soul loyal to this ideal. Now.
Herald holds his hand out to Diego.
Herald: Will you please come with me?
Diego looks to Jonas, who nods his head. He takes Herald’s hand and rises to his feet.
Jonas Coleman: Where are you taking us?
Herald turns his head to the entrance to the arena. He can hear the faint applause, the screams, the adulation of the masses. He can smell the pyro going off, the smoke filling the air. Underneath his mask he can’t help but smile.
Herald: The SHOOT Project.
The empty arena hums to life as the roar of the crowd slowly begins to fill your ears. You see the fans, the SHOOT Project Faithful, screaming at the top of their lungs. The camera zooms past the fans in the front row and settles on Samantha Coil, who is standing in the center of the ring. She is grinning proudly as she shares a brief moment with Tony Lorenzo, his hands on his hips and a smile on his face that even he can’t hide.
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen…
The fans begin to cheer for her. She closes her eyes to compose herself. It isn’t often Samantha Coil is given much praise for what she does.
Samantha Coil: …welcome…HOME.
CARRY ON MY WAYWARD SON
THERE’LL BE PEACE WHEN YOU ARE DONE
LAY YOUR WEARY HEAD TO REST
DON’T YOU CRY NO MORE
It’s almost too much for the Faithful to bear as TREY WILLETT steps out from the back, “Carry On Wayward Son” by Kansas blaring loudly on the PA system. Trey stands there, his glorious mustache and cocky demeanor on full display for all to see. He walks down to the ring, wearing only his wrestling gear and a smirk. Oh, and Aviators. We mustn’t forget his Aviator sunglasses. Trey stands in front of the ring and looks at it for a long moment, the fans chanting WELCOME BACK to him. He walks up the ring steps and motions for Samantha’s microphone. He stands there, breathing in the chanting masses.
He suddenly drops to his knees and bows his head to them, offering his own congratulations and thanks back to them. He says nothing. He lets his body do the talking. The fans respond with an even louder chant.
THANK YOU TREY
THANK YOU TREY
THANK YOU TREY
Trey smirks once more before he brings the microphone to his lips.
Trey Willett: There might be a dozen guys back there right now itching to come out here to see each and every one of you but as soon as I heard Samantha talking I blocked them in and told them there’s nobody that’s gonna set the Faithful off like hearing from ME.
The Faithful, naturally, respond.
Trey Willett: You don’t know who’s back there tonight. You don’t know what’s in store tonight. All you guys know is you got this slip of paper delivered to you and you knew Las Vegas was never going to be the same.
Trey Willett: Since nobody knows who’s doing what tonight, let me be the first to throw down the gauntlet and say Trey Willett: SHOOT Project Champion still sounds pretty damn good to me. How about you?
The Faithful rip into cheers once more. Trey holds his hand up.
Trey Willett: So let’s get this started!
Trey drops his microphone and removes his Aviator sunglasses, glaring at the entrance. He stands in the dead center of the ring, watching the entrance and awaiting just who is ready to welcome the Faithful back to the fold. Who would be strong enough, brave enough, strong enough, to set the tone for everyone to follow?
Trey and the Faithful do not need to wait long as “Holy Defender” by Primitai hits the PA system with an intense fervor. Out from the back comes none other than JONAS COLEMAN. Jonas stands at the entrance with Diego Reyes behind him. The two of them look out over the masses that make up the Faithful and slowly turn their attention to Trey Willett, who is stretching against the ropes. Jonas walks down to the ring, his hair wet and covering his face. He is wearing a simple black t-shirt with the Helmet emblazoned on the front with blue jeans and black boots.
He rolls under the bottom rope and pops back up quickly. He walks past Trey Willett and takes the microphone from Samantha Coil as his music dies down.
Jonas Coleman: Looking for somebody to beat the hell out of you?
Trey doesn’t seem to look fazed as Jonas stands in the center of the ring, pointing at him.
Jonas Coleman: I’m always ready to beat the hell out of somebody. Somebody ring the bell so we can show the world how SHOOT Project does it.
The fans pop as Tony Lorenzo points to the omniscient and ever impressive Mark Kendrick, who holds up his tiny Mjolnir for the Faithful to cheer before he brings the hammer down onto the bell, bringing the first match in SHOOT’s latest chapter to a beginning!
Eryk Masters: Ladies and gentlemen, I can’t believe I’m saying this but…welcome to the SHOOT Project! I am Eryk Masters and this, SHOOT Project Faithful, is the Other Guy.
Other Guy: And what a show this is going to be, Eryk! I can’t believe we’re back but here we are and we’re gonna start things off with…Trey Willett and Jonas Coleman?!
Coleman and Trey circle one another for a few moments before they lock up. Jonas grits his teeth and pushes Trey forward, trying to intimidate the longtime veteran as he brings him to the turnbuckle. Jonas whips Trey to the ropes but is countered by Trey, who attempts to bring the match to his favor. Trey has not had a match in ages and if it isn’t obvious to the Faithful, it is definitely obvious to Trey and Jonas. Trey Willett is a former SHOOT Project World Champion, but his story is not quite the happy story for a Soldier who fought from the bottom to the top. His time with SHOOT has been controversial, tainted, and his consistently good matches and attitude have kept the support from the masses on his side throughout.
It is this love from the Faithful that drives Trey Willett tonight. His desire to reciprocate that love, to show the fans he has what it takes to lead this company once more, drives him to compete. Several companies have attempted to hire both of these men, but it was the Helmet and the allure of glory under the SHOOT Project banner that led both men to Las Vegas, to the Epicenter, and to this crossroads. Trey controls Jonas with hard rights, hammering the Butcher with his heaviest blows before finally lifting him up and nailing him with a piledriver. A simple but devastating move that brings Coleman flat to the mat. Trey leaps to the turnbuckle, hoping to put an end to this match quickly and climbs the ropes to hit the Trey50, only to be caught in midair by a quick thinking Jonas Coleman, who counters with a well-placed European uppercut that brings both men down to the mat.
Other Guy: I can’t believe this, Eryk. Trey Willett and Jonas Coleman are trying to shake off that ring rust, but they’re both going to kill each other out here tonight!
Eryk Masters: Listen to these fans as they call out for blood, OG. This is a different place, you can feel it.
Jonas gets to his hands and knees and crawls over to Trey, trying to get him into a pinning predicament. Trey kicks out but only barely. He immediately rolls to the outside, trying to shake off the cobwebs in his head. Jonas rolls out of the ring after him but Trey immediately pokes the eyes, bringing more cheers from the Faithful. Trey looks around, unsure of how to take the response he is given. He slams Coleman’s head into the ring apron and rolls him back into the ring. He pushes himself onto Jonas and Tony Lorenzo calls for the count but only manages a two count.
Trey looks out at the fans as they grow in their bloodlust. His brow furrows at the cries for Coleman’s blood, for Trey’s blood. Trey picks Jonas up and scoop slams him back down onto the mat before he rolls out of the ring, his hands on his hips, clearly perturbed by what he is feeling. His years as a man of talent and instinct have afforded him many chances to understand the momentum a crowd can give you or take away…but this crowd…this Faithful…
Trey’s thoughts are stopped by a momentum shifting baseball slide from Jonas Coleman, sending Trey slamming into the guardrail. Coleman slides from the ring and clotheslines Trey over the guardrail into the laps of a few of the Faithful sitting at ringside. Coleman lords over Trey as he notices one of the fans trying to get a selfie with him. Jonas stops his attack and motions to the fan to hand him the phone. He aims the image down, offers a thumbs up with Trey in the background, and takes a selfie with the fan’s phone.
Jonas Coleman: How do you…hey…how do you get video?
The fans are cheering loudly as Jonas and the fan manage to turn the fan’s phone into a video recorder. Jonas looks into the phone and smirks a devilish smirk.
Jonas Coleman: Welcome, ladies and gentlemen…to the Jonas Coleman Butcher Bitchslap Cam!
Coleman takes the phone and SLAMS it onto Trey’s temple. He picks his hand up with the phone once more and SLAMS it back down onto Trey’s temple once more. Blood is trickling out of Trey’s temple from the hits and we can clearly see that the phone’s screen is broken. The fan screams at Jonas over his broken phone. Coleman takes one look at the phone and shakes his head, throwing it back at the fan.
Jonas Coleman: FUCK APPLE.
The decidedly pro-Android Faithful pop once more as Jonas picks Trey up and throws him over the guardrail back to the floor. He hops the guardrail and stands over Trey before he realizes something in him wanted to gouge Trey’s wound over and spill more of the Willett blood. He shakes his head, picking Trey up and rolling him into the ring. He rolls in behind Trey and picks Trey up, hooking the SHOOT Legend’s head in an inverted headlock.
Eryk Masters: He’s going for his finisher, the snap reverse neckbreaker he calls the Cataclysm’s Edge!
Jonas shouts out in defiance, hooking Trey’s arm and snapping Trey over, but Trey spins through! He shoves Jonas to the ropes, hooking Jonas by his midsection and rolling him backwards onto his shoulders, floating through and sprawling over Jonas. Jonas scrambles to break loose!
Jonas kicks out with authority, but it is too late! Trey lands against the ropes, resting with his arms draped over the bottom rope, staring at the fans with a grin on his face and blood trickling down his cheek as Jonas holds his face in shock. “Carry On Wayward Son” begins to play.
Other Guy: Jonas Coleman does NOT win tonight! I can’t believe it!
Samantha Coil: Here is your winner…TREY…WILLETT!!!!
Trey gets his arm raised in victory as Jonas rolls from the ring, stunned both at the loss and the heckling the Faithful are giving him. He walks up the ramp, his hands on his hips, as Trey watches him leave. Without warning, “Carry On Wayward Son” is cut off and is replaced by “Come Together” by Vitamin String Quartet. Jonas stops halfway up the ramp, Trey stares at the entrance as a man dressed in a blood red jacket with black hood and black pants and boots steps out. He is wearing the same mask as before.
Herald: Ladies and gentlemen…I am the Herald.
He stands there, his arms outstretched. His face is covered, but he wears a portable microphone with a voice modulator distorting who he is. Jonas stares at him, as does Trey.
Herald: Do you feel it, ladies and gentlemen? Do you smell it in the air?
He holds his hooded head up, closing his eyes with their ice blue contacts as he motions as if he smells the most pleasant aroma.
Herald: This is the dawn of a new age for this company. A new era. There are no OutKasts, no Real Deals, no Kings, no Carvers, no Johnsons. No, what you see before you is the home of butchers, of true outcasts, and of true carvers. Ladies and gentlemen…I am here to herald for you this bold, new era.
He begins to pace.
Herald: And how do we proceed? We proceed with the crowning of a new king. A new leader. A new champion. That begins tonight. Trey Willett?
Trey perks up at the mention of his name.
Herald: Go to the back, lick your wounds, prepare. You will be in tonight’s main event as you will compete for the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship!
The Faithful cheer loudly as Trey grins from ear to ear. He slaps a few hands as he leave the ringside area. He walks past Jonas and stops. He offers his hand in respect. Coleman slaps Trey’s hand and Willett begins to pump his fist in victory. Trey slaps Herald on the back as he walks past him to the back. Herald turns his attention to Jonas, who is now face to face with him.
Herald: Do you need to speak to me about something, Jonas? As you know, I speak on behalf of the Master.
Jonas says nothing. He does nothing. He merely walks past Herald and leaves him on the entrance stage as “Come Together” kicks in again.
Sitting on top of a unmarked turnbuckle, a young man rest his forearms on his well toned legs as he slowly circles his thumbs between one another behind his clasped hands. The hood of his black hooded sweatshirt is pulled over his head as the lights suspended from the rafters shine down on the hood individual. Slowly he lifted his head, as strands of his blond and brown hair poke from the bottom of the hood, looking up into the camera that has settled in the middle of the ring.
“My name is Markus Pascal.”
“And for those of you who don’t know who I am…”
“…in due time, you will.”
“I’m Canada’s First Son…the pride of Vancouver…the patriarch of the Pascal Family, but you might as well call me Canada’s King Midas because everything turns to gold. Everything I apply myself too…I succeed. When I step onto a football field…I’m unstoppable. When I step onto the rink, I’m undeniable..and when I step into a wrestling ring…I’m damn near ungodly.”
A arrogant smirk spreads over his lips.
“I refuse to accept failure.”
“I refuse to quit.”
“I refuse to surrender.”
“Flag Nor Fail.”
Markus casually leaps from his perch with his white and red wrestling shoes landing hard on the tightly pulled canvas of the empty wrestling ring. He keeps his eyes on the ring as he steps forward.
“I’m arriving to SHOOT highly regarded and recommended because I only want to be where the best of the best and anything else is unacceptable. So prepare yourselves for what’s to come and make sure that you take notes because you’ll be able to tell the children of your children the day that you all witness greatness and saw the rise of Markus Pascal and the day he took over SHOOT by storm.”
“I was trained for this business.”
“I was brought up in this business.”
“I was bred for this business.”
“My pedigree is this business.”
“And there isn’t a single person on this SHOOT roster who’s got the mineral to prove me wrong. But I implore you all to step right up and try because when I step into this ring…I’m more than just money.”
“I’m goddamn gold.”
Backstage once more finds us in a back alleyway. The smell of freshly falling rain is palpable but that’s not the smell that draws him here. Here, he smells blood, sweat, and tears. Here, he smells home. He walks down this alleyway that is all to familiar to him and he comes face to face with a door and two bouncers.
Bouncer 1: I dunno who you think you are, pal, but this here is a SHOOT Project event and since we can’t see you and you haven’t formally introduced yourself… well, hit the road, ya know?
Man: Oh. My apologies, I just thought this was where the soldiers came to ply their craft and to shed the blood of their enemies. I didn’t realize that the SHOOT Project had turned into a bar with a guest list? I thought this was a place where violence was bred and where the most violent and the most dangerous absolutely had to be.
Bouncer 2: We got a smart guy here. Look man, I’m not interested in what you think the SHOOT Project is or ought to be. It’s time for you to go.
Bouncer 2 lunges out towards the man, distracting him enough for Bouncer 1 to get behind him and hold his arms behind his back in a full nelson. The man begins to laugh.
Man: I see that you are both very serious. Very very serious. No worries, I will take my leave but understand something, gentlemen… I will return.
Bouncer 1: Who was that guy?
In the midst of everything, Herald had appeared.
Herald: He’s a former World Heavyweight Champion and one of the most vicious fighters in SHOOT Project history. You were both right for what you did I just hope this is the last time we see him.
Bouncer 2: Gotta say, Herald, this is a strange arrangement. I’m not much of a wrestling fan but why wouldn’t you want someone like that performing for you?
Herald: Dear boy, it’s simple. That man is chaos in human form.
Herald leaves the two, patting Bouncer 2 on the shoulder as the man walks away. Around the corner, he pulls a phone out and taps a single square in his contacts. The cameras are barely able to hear the conversation.
"Donovan, it’s Adrian. Something’s not right. I know you’re in town for the same reason I am, so maybe you’ll have more luck than I did. I’ll be in my loft. Let me know how it goes."
"Almost Famous" by Eminem begins to play, and a surprisingly welcoming chorus of cheers can be heard. Cassi Ryan steps through the curtain in a blue and white plaid pleated skirt with a black button down shirt tied off around the abdomen and her dark hair in pigtails. A microphone, of course, is in hand as Cade Sydal steps out behind her in a long blue and white jacket with a pointed hood pulled over his face. The nerves just begining to leave him.
Cassi Ryan: Holy shit, it feels so good to be back!
The couple begin making their way down the ramp as Cade pushes the hood back over his head revealing that he’s grown his hair and beard out. He looks around the arena and nods his head slowly at the reception, genuinely surprised by it.
Cassi Ryan: It seems like you remember us, but just in case…ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce my man. A former two-time Iron Fist Champion, of the World!
Some fans cheer as Cade starts to unzip his jacket, his eyes focused solely on the ring now.
Cassi Ryan: A former Rule of Surrender Champion! A former Tag Team Champion! And a former two-time Heavyweight Champion!
Some more fans cheer as they reach the bottom of the ramp and Cade tosses his jacket aside unceremoniously, to reveal his blue bioker tights with his initials on both legs in white, with a halo over the C and wings coming off of the S on each leg; his blue kickpads lace up the front like boots with white wings coming off the sides at the top of them.
Cassi Ryan: He is Heaven’s Hitman! The Technical Messiah! He’s my favorite…
She points at herself as Cade rolls his neck side to side and begins rubbing his wrists.
Cassi Ryan: He’s YOUR favorite…
She points out at the crowd, who begin to cheer some more, and Cade takes a short three-step run to the ring and slides under the bottom rope, skidding to a stop in the center he pivots off his right knee.
Cassi Ryan: He’s GOD’S FAVORITE WRESTLER!
Cade leaps off his knees and points to the sky as Cassi does the same from the outside.
Cassi Ryan: CAAAAAAADE SYYYYYYYDALLLLLLLLLLLL!
The music fades out and Cassi moves to the side, and Cade turns to face the entry way in anticipation of his opponent. A kid he didn’t know, had never even heard of. "Far Away" by 12 Stones begins to play, and Cade’s focus never waivers as the young Japanese man steps out from behing the curtain in his black and purple gear and mask.
Samantha Coil: And his opponent, from Tokyo, Japan! Weighing in at 192 pounds! KIIIIIIIITSUUUUUUUUUNE!
Cade takes note of the size difference, giving up almost twenty pounds and a couple inches brings a small smile to the bearded face of the former champion. The masked Kitsune hops onto the apron and slingshots into the ring into a somersault rolling right to his feet to stand in Cade’s face. Cade smirks at him and puts his hands in the air and Kitsune turns back to the middle of the ring and stretches his arms out to a mostly negative reception.
Eryk Masters: The crowd here tonight have chosen sides, already!
Cade looks Kitsune up and down, formulating a plan of attack as the referee begins to check both men for hidden weapons, even though any real veteran would know where to hide the foreign objects to avoid detection. As soon as the official backs out of Cade’s corner he grins, satisfied with his plan, and as soon as the bell rings Cade pushes out of his corner and comes right for Kitsune, forcing him to lock up without circling.
Kitsune pulls Cade into a headlock, but Cade almost expected as much as he quickly rolls to his hips, armdragging Kitsune off and as soon as he gets turns around from his scramble, Cade catches his wrist and twists under it for a wristlock, implementing his plan with efficiency out of the gate. Kitsune starts to roll forward to begin a counter but Cade rolls sidelong with him and both men get to their feet in unison, Cade still in full control beforfe bending Kitsune’s elbow down and moving behind him into a hammerlock. Kitsune quickly drops to the side and takers Cade down with a drop toe hold.
Cade blinks as he places he shakes his head while Kitsune rolls over Cade’s back and pulls his left arm back into a hammerlock himself. Cade rolls to his side to a sitting position and Kitsune maintains his pressure, even when Cade reaches his free hand back and grabs around the back of his head. Cade pushes off his feet to force Kitsune to stand and then leaps into the air before rolling back down to his knees to snapmare Kitsune off him, freeing himself of the hammerlock in the process.
Eryk Masters: Some of that versatile training coming in handy, I believe that was some lucha libre from the world traveled Cade Sydal!
Kitsune starts to sit as Cade picots off his left elbow and extend his right leg, kicking Kitsune in the side of the head with an unexpected roundhouse! Kitsune drops back to the canvas as the fans give a loud "OH!" Cade immediately goes for the quick cover, hooking both legs!
Other Guy: Good thing Kitsune’s wearing a mask! That kick did some serious damage!
Kitsune kicks out! Cade pulls Kitsune the rest of the way to his feet, though, knowing that wouldnt be enough to put him away. Sometimes you go for the cover to make your opponent use more energy to get your weight off of them, after all. Cade whips Kitsune into the nearest corner and rushes in only to be caught by a raised elbow!
Cade stumbles back then rushes back at Kitsune, who lifts his right foot up into Cade’s head, sending him stumbling back and to the side. Kitsune jumps up to the second turnbuckle then leaps off, catching Cade as he passes him with a bulldog, driving him into the canvas! Kitsune covers but only manages a two count!
Cade kicks out and Kitsune pulls him to a seated position and locks him in a neck vice from behind. Cade reaches for Kitsune’s hands, trying to pry them apart, and Kitsune does release quick enough to drop an elbow on Cade’s left collarbone! Kitsune locks in a cravate over Cade’s left shoulder quickly and Cade grabs Kitsune’s wrists, this time keeping then from unlocking as he starts stomping his right foot on the canvas.
Other Guy: It’s never a good thing when Cade wants you to keep your hands on him. He’s up to something…
Kitsune shakes his head as Cade turns his body toward Kitsune and begins to elbow Kitsune in the abdomen once they both reach their feet. Kitsune releases his grip as Cade releases the wrists of Kitsune as well. Cade starts to take off for the ropes and Kitsune reaches to yank Cade down by his hair! But Cade was expecting as much and backflips through the hair pull into a Pele kick!
Both men slowly get to their feet, and Cade rushes into Kitsune as soon as he turns around taking him down with a running back elbow! Kitsune scrambles back to his feet and turns around, right into a jumping calf kick to the chin! Cade pushes to his feet quikcly as Kitsune gets up a bit more disoriented and turns right into a reverse roundhouse to the side of the head! Kitsune drops to his shoulder in a heap, and the crowd gives another loud "OH!"
Eryk Masters: Cade with a thunderous reverse roundhouse! I think Kitsune might be paralyzed after that one, he got him almost right in the neck!
Cade pushes Kitsune onto his back with the ball of his foot and then seamlessly leaps up into a standing shooting star press ac ross Kitsune’s chest, hooking the outside leg upon impact!
Kitsune kicks out!
Cade looks at the official, who assures him that Kitsune got the shoulder up. Cade turns back to Kitsune and starts pulling him to his feet, but Kitsune grabs Cade’s head with both hands and drops to his knees with a jawbreaker that sends Cade stumbling back a bit. Kitsune grabs Cade and whips him to a corner, but Cade reverses and Kitsune crashes into the corner instead!
Cade looks at Kitsune and rushes in at him, but Kitsune lowers a shopulder and sernds Cade over the turnbuckles with a back body drop! But Cade holds onto the top rope and swings his legs sideways to land on the apron, shaking his head with a smirk. Kitsune turns around and is met with a high kick over the top rope to send him stumbling back. Cade points his left hand at Kitsune in the form of a finger gun and "shoots" him before springboarding to the top rope and off with a springboard spinning wheel kick! A third loud "OH!" from the crowd echoes.
Eryk Masters: This could be it!
Kitsune is hit so hard he backflips through onto his stomach and Cade rolls him over with a half nelson with his right hand, his left hand grips Kitsune’s left wrist as he pins him!
Other Guy: No! Kick out!
Kitsune kicks out! But Cade moves his right hand quickly over Kitsune’s shoulder and snaps his left arm back, roght into the Kimura Armbar as his legs swing around into the mounted position! Cade pulls back hard! Kitsune taps as the fans lose their minds and the referee calls for the bell!
Samantha Coil: Here is your winner, and advancing to the main event for the World Heavyweight Championship! CAAAAAAADE! SYYYYYYYYYDALLLLLLLLL!
Cade releases the hold and stands over the fallen Kitsune as he grabs he clenches his shoulder, Cade raises his arms in the air. Cassi Ryan climbs up the steps and steps into the ring, handing Cade the microphone in her hand. Cade looks out at the mostly cheering fans, then back down to Kitsune. He smirks, it’s time to say some things.
Cade Sydal: Good effort, Katniss.
Some of the more familiar fans laugh, as Cade’s smirk grows into a smile.
Cade Sydal: It was valiant, but allow me to tell you exactly who I am. I’m the most decorated wrestler in this, or any other, organization across the planet. I am the best pound for pound technical artist this side of the galaxy. And I am back to save SHOOT Project, and I didn’t come alone. I’m here, we’re here, on a mission. That starts with reclaiming what’s mine, what’s always been mine, and what will always be mine. You happened to be the first obstacle in my path, Kiasorento.
Cade looks up from the fallen Kitsune and out at the crowd. There is a random scream from a fan. “THAT’S RACIST!”
Cade Sydal: It doesn’t matter who I end up facing in the main event. It never did. I’m going to kick them into submission, and I’m going to become a three-time World Heavyweight Champion. It’s nothing personal. I’m just here to save this company.
Cade drops the mic as now "Almost Famous" by Eminem kicks up again. Cade holds the ropes open for Cassi, who steps through followed shortly by Cade. The couple make their way to the back as faithful fans continue to cheer.
Eryk Masters: Some strong words from the former…everything, I guess…champion.
Other Guy: What do you think he meant by "we"? Just him and Cassi, right? I mean, at least Cassi came back with him, what a smoke show!
Eryk Masters: Holy ADHD…
The camera opens backstage to show a very animated man wearing a large gold belt over his shoulder. This guy is the definition of a physical specimen and dressed as though someone visited the heavens, raided God’s closet, took a look at His wardrobe and then decided that he could do better. He is none other than Reality Check Wrestling’s Heavyweight Champion, Joshua Breedlove.
He clears his throat, grabbing the attention of whomever would listen and in this case, it’s none other than Abigail Chase.
Breedlove: Let me get this straight… Buck Dresden… that foul betrayer got a shot at holding one of professional wrestling’s most iconic achievements… and I, the SHOOT Project’s own liaison to the most magnificent corporation in the living world… am sitting here talking to… to you?
Abigail, ever the professional, manages to stay even keeled.
Breedlove: Why exactly aren’t you fawning all over me by now, anyway? That’s what you girls do.
She smiles and shakes her head.
Abigail Chase: I’ve been doing this for a long time Mr. Breedlove, and I don’t mingle with the pigs in the squalor.
Breedlove: THE PIGS IN THE.. WHAT DID YOU JUST…I WILL NOT BE REFERRED TO IN SUCH A HORRENDOUS MANNER. PLEASE, BEGONE. WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE? LEAVE.
Abigail Chase: For the both of us, I’m required to do this interview. It’s my job.
A voice clears his throat in the background and Herald happens upon the scene. He places a hand on the shoulder of Abigail Chase who takes the opportunity to get away from RCW’s World Heavyweight Champion. Breedlove looks at Herald with pure puzzlement, eyeing him up and down.
Breedlove: I’m not really sure what or who you are, but thank you for freeing me of that turgid woman.
Herald: Ah, I am Herald. The voice of the Master and you are Joshua Breedlove, the representative from Reality Check Wres–
Breedlove holds his hand up to stop Herald from speaking.
Breedlove: The representative from Magnus International. Or MI, if you’re being coy. As you’ve identified yourself as speaking for “the Master”, I think it’s become apparent to me that that’s who I need to be chatting with now. Not a glorified messenger with a weird mask on.
Herald: Right, well, I see that Mr. Johnson did not prepare you for the way that this works. The SHOOT Project is different from RCW, Josh—
Herald: Mr. Breedlove… with the Master, you are addressed when he deems it necessary and you are addressed through his vessel. I am his vessel. As you’ve made quite a bit of noise and caused somewhat of a commotion here in these hallowed halls, it is my duty to inform you that you will be in action on the next episode of Revolution.
Breedlove begins to speak, but now it is Herald who holds his hand up to silence him.
Herald: Your opponent will be Buckley Dresden.
Breedlove stands with his mouth completely agape.
Herald: That will be all, Mr. Breedlove. Now please, there is a press box waiting for you at your request. See yourself to it and enjoy the remainder of the show.
Cut to the back door to the Epicenter in an alleyway connected to the loading dock. The alleyway is dark, wet from the rain and the run off. Two men stand firm against the walls beside the door. A sole orange light shines down on the door. A man walks down the alleyway, his hood pulled over his head and his hands in his pockets. He stops, looks at the door and the two bouncers.
Bouncer 1: If you don’t have official business here, you need to keep walkin’.
The hooded man cocks his head to the side.
The Hooded Man: Oh, I definitely have official business here…
Bouncer 2: Look, mother fucker, he was being nice. I won’t be. Move the fuck along.
The bouncer pulls his business coat back to show the hooded man his gun. The hooded man reaches for the gun quickly and throws it away, punching the second bouncer and hooking him in a sleeper hold and putting him in the way of gunfire from the first bouncer.
Bouncer 1: LET HIM GO, MAN. LET HIM GO!
The hooded man shoves the second bouncer into the first and quickly charges forward, grabbing the first bouncer by the head and slamming it into the brick wall beside the door. Both bouncers are down. The hooded man reaches down and rummages through the first bouncer’s pockets and finds his ID keycard. He swipes the card and opens the backdoor. He steps and is quickly greeted by four guards, their guns aimed directly at his head. Standing in the center of the four men is none other than Herald, who has somehow come from across the arena dealing with Breedlove to here, near the loading docks.
Herald: May I ask your business here?
The hooded man looks around at the door men, thinking of a way to fight them.
Herald: Don’t. Do not do this. I hold no ill will towards you but you…are not allowed here.
The Hooded Man: I thought every Soldier was called.
Herald: Almost. You were not…Donovan.
The hooded man looks up, removing the hood from his head to reveal himself…
Donovan King: Once I heard ‘bout this, I had to see it for myself.
Herald: And? Have you seen it for yourself?
Donovan King: You mind tellin’ me why Donovan King, of all Soldiers, ain’t allowed to be here?
Herald: Oh, not at all. I don’t mind whatsoever.
Donovan King: And?
Herald: I said I didn’t mind, Donovan. I never said I would.
King grits his teeth.
Herald: Leave. Run away and never return to this place.
Donovan King: What the fuck do you think you’re gonna do, masked man? Aim guns at me? You think this is the first time that’s happened?
Herald: Not at all.
Herald reaches into his pocket and hands King a small envelope. King opens it and sees its contents. Crysta. His child. Him. He flips through the photos, various husbands, wives, children. He stops at the last one…Crysta tucking in their child, crosshairs drawn over the photo and pointed directly at his child. He drops the photos, his hands trembling.
Herald: I was told to keep these on my person in the event that an old Soldier such as yourself thought themselves capable of worming their way in here and causing issues. Be gone, Donovan. Don’t make me taint this night with your selfish sacrifice.
King looks down at the floor…at the photos…and he leans back against the door.
Donovan King: I…fine. I’ll go.
The guards put their guns away at Herald’s command.
Herald: One more thing.
The guards all pull out asps from their coat pockets, flicking their wrists to extend the weapons. They move towards King.
Herald: So you’ll remember your decision.
Herald holds his gloved hand up and…cut.
Other Guy: So the Master is not a fan of Donovan King.
Eryk Masters: Well, you heard Herald at the beginning of the show. There are no Kings here.
Other Guy: I don’t know how I feel about a SHOOT Project that doesn’t allow someone like a Donovan King to be here. Ah well, still, we have more to come here tonight, don’t we, E?
Eryk Masters: I don’t know if the people at home are aware or not but everything is truly random here tonight. We have no idea what’s happening next. People are showing up out of nowhere, we’ve got two world champions here at this point…
Other Guy: The only thing we know is that our title, the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship is going to be decided in tonight’s main event. We don’t know the participants beyond Trey Willett and Cade Sydal.
Eryk Masters: But I mean, EVERYTHING is random… I don’t even know who has been signed. I don’t know who even sits backstage tonight beyond who we’ve already seen. It’s all a secret.
Other Guy: We don’t know who “the Master” is, we don’t know who Herald is… we just know that they’re here, we’re here, and you’re here and that is what I am fu–
“I AM A MAANNNNNN OF CONSTANT SORRRROWWWWW
I’VE SEEN TROUBLE ALL MY DAYS”
“Man of Constant Sorrow” by the Charm City Devils cuts off the Other Guy and alerts the Faithful that a new competitor has entered the arena. He comes out wearing a cowboy hat, jeans, and boots with no shirt which is a surefire signal as to this man’s identity and the Faithful come alive!
Samantha Coil: Introducing first… from Hazard, Kentucky… he stands at six feet, six inches tall while weighing in at two hundred and forty pounds… the reigning Alienation-One Wrestling Champion… he is the KING OF SOUTHERN STRONGSTYLE… THE BLUEGRASS BAD ASS… BUCK. DRESDEN.
The Faithful LOSE their minds as the cowboy returns home. Buck walks down without the A1W championship on his shoulder, showing respect to the Japanese organization run by Sean Kygon and also to the SHOOT Project. He rolls under the ring ropes and immediately goes into the corner, claiming a microphone.
Buck Dresden: Now let me tell you something, LAS VEGASSSSS!
The arena goes black.
“YOU GOT THE TOUCH”
A golden light bathes the entryway and cuts Dresden off, who scowls towards the entrance. The Faithful, the ever, ever Faithful recognize the song immediately as the MIDI sounding organ tones blanket the arena and the golden light intensifies.
“YOU GOT THE POWER!”
The screen lights up as shots of various Evil Kanevil stunts play in a grainy quality except for a clear 1080p face that has been superimposed over Kanevil’s helmet and face in all the shots. The music picks up as the name DAN STEIN takes over in all of his fake stunt glory!
Eryk Masters: You’ve got to be kidding me.
The golden light is nearly blinding as Stein walks out to the top of the ramp. He’s dressed from head to toe in royal garb. Crown, robe, scepter, all of it. He very slowly makes his way down the ramp as Dresden stands in his corner, clearly flabberghasted by this entire thing.
Other Guy: It takes a special person to really stump Buck Dresden like this. He was literally JUST singing in the back with RINGO STARR and yet, here he stands in a relative stupor.
Eryk Masters: Anything that can be said about Stein is probably true, but the man is a true showman. Through and through.
Samantha Coil: Introducing second, he stands at six feet and one inch… he weighs two hundred and fifteen pounds… he is the GOLDEN BOY, a former SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion… HE IS DAN STEIN!
As Stein rolls to the ring, Austin Linam moves to stand between the two, cutting the palpable tension. The Faithful voice their appreciation and Linam nods to Mark Kendrick who signals for the start of the match. Linam gives last minute instructions and the two Soldiers meet in the middle of the ring with a tie up that Dresden gets the better of. Buck utilizes the significance of his height and weight advantage, but before he can capitalize further Stein pokes him in the eyes as the Faithful BOOOO and Buck retreats! Stein doesn’t mind the boos from the Faithful at all. He made his name from them.
Stein doesn’t give him much time to recover though, understanding that he’ll need to keep moving in order to have an advantage over A1W’s champion. Dresden reels as Stein comes in with a knife edge chop followed up with a swift low kick to the back of Buck’s leg. He does that one more time and Buck throws a wild punch, still off kilter from the poke to the eye, but Stein ducks it and drives Buck to one knee with a chop block.
Other Guy: Stein is moving like a little mosquito!
Eryk Masters: He’s VERY precise, even as he’s trying to act like a jackass.
As though Stein heard him, he gets up and motions out to the Faithful to give him more of the brand of encouragement that can only come from the men and women in the SHOOT Project stands. Stein takes a couple of steps back and motions like he’s drinking it in and the Faithful reward him with more boos, but those QUICKLY turn to cheers when Stein turns around into a seething Dresden who unleashes his frustration with the smaller Stein with a VERY hard lariat that turns Stein inside out.
The Faithful cheer Buck on as Buck goes to work, driving boot after boot into the downed Stein. Ever the aware ring technician though, Stein clings to the bottom rope as though his life depended on it and Austin Linam is forced to break Buck’s momentum, and the Cowboy Casanova takes two steps back. Stein immediately scampers to his feet and hooks Buck with a schoolboy rollup!
Buck manages to kick out and he seethes at Stein’s incredulousness. Both men get to their feet, but Stein is a bit quicker as he runs by Buck and rebounds off the rope. Dresden has seen this before though, so he’s prepared. He sidesteps Stein on his way back and then DRILLS him with another lariat, following him down.
Dan Stein: THAT REALLY FUCKING HURT, BUCK.
Buck Dresden: That’s the point, idiot! It’s supposed to hurt!
Buck slaps Stein in the face as the two get to their feet. Stein scurries away from Buck and runs up to the top turnbuckle. He flies off the top with a cross body, but with the size and strength advantage, Buck rolls through the cross body and stands up before turning it into a powerslam the fans love the sequence and Buck goes for the pin!
Other Guy: Is this ring SHORTER or is Dan Stein just really lucky!?
Eryk Masters: Whatever it is, Buck Dresden is as frustrated as frustrated can be. I can tell that much!
Again, Stein finds the bottom rope and Linam breaks the count. Buck expresses his discontent to Austin Linam who shrugs his shoulders. Buck snorts and turns as Stein gets back to his feet. He stalks over to the former World Heavyweight Champion. He wraps him up but Stein gets his eyes again and Buck is forced backwards much to his and the fans chagrin!
Dan Stein: This will hurt like it’s supposed to, just like you said!
Stein rebounds off the ropes behind Buck and takes him down with a bulldog. He stays down with it and then bites Buck in the ear! Linam immediately breaks it up and Buck is ANGRY. The Faithful are well behind Buck in this one and BOO the living daylights out of Dan Stein for that move. Stein gets up and grins, motioning to Buck and the crowd, loving every second of Buck’s anguish.
Not wanting to waste anymore time, Buck charges across the ring but Stein gets out of the way. Buck turns around and is hit with a dropkick to the knee that immediately brings Buck down. Stein goes off the adjacent rope and jumps over the down-on-one-knee Dresden while hooking his arms in a crucifix for the pin with momentum!
The crowd boos as Stein and Buck Dresden get to their feet.
Samantha Coil: Your winner by pinfall… THE GOLDEN BOY, DAN STEIN!!
Eryk Masters: That’s UNREAL. Dan Stein just BIT Buck Dresden and used the chaos from that to catch him with a crucifix. That’s INSANE.
Other Guy: Insane or not, that man is our winner and he’ll be joining Trey Willett and Cade Sydal in the main event tonight for the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship!
Buck shakes his head, clearly frustrated. He looks at Stein celebrating and walks over towards him. Stein turns around and is immediately met by Buck who DESTROYS him with a nasty headbutt. Unrelenting, Buck grabs his arm and pulls him back up before dropping him AGAIN with headbutt after headbutt! The fans’ bloodlust is taking over and Buck is seemingly possessed and Stein has started bleeding from his nose. Finally, Dresden lifts him up one last time and hits him with a headbutt that just THUDS. Stein is covered and Buck has Stein’s blood all over his face.
Buck Dresden: YOU WANTED A TASTE, YOU GOT ONE.
Eryk Masters: That was a despicable move by Stein but the veracity with which Buck responded? That was dangerous and a statement. That’s a different man than was last in the SHOOT Project.
Other Guy: You don’t fuck with the bluegrass bad ass, Eryk. That’s all I’m sayin’.
The Faithful cheer once more as “Man of Constant Sorrow” comes over the PA. Dresden leaves as Stein is left lying in the ring.
The scene shifts to the back suddenly. At the bottom of the screen are the words “Recorded Earlier.”
He stepped through the door and noticed it immediately. It felt like something… sinister was lurking around the corner, watching and waiting to attack. This wasn’t the Epicenter he was accustomed to and found his left hand digging into one of the many jacket pockets on his London Fog trench coat. He had kept the piece of paper sent to him. Then he noticed her. A lady with dark lively eyes but with a purpose and intelligence in her face. That was the usual hire for an interviewer. He pointed at her and curled his finger for her to “come hither.” She stood for a second, as if unsure, and then she looked all around, realizing she was the only one he could be interacting with. She smiled and scooped up her microphone then headed straight for him.
Mary Kelly: Yes sir, what can I do for you?
He shook his head and sighed.
Man: Has it really been that long?
At that precise moment he caught sight of Abigail Chase hustling past the two and he took his hand out of his pocket and waved, piece of paper gripped tightly in his hand.
Abigail Chase: I knew we’d see you back here one day, Cronos. She’s not new but new to you. Go easy.
Cronos Diamante: No promises, Miss Chase.
Mary Kelly tightened up slightly after hearing the name Cronos and the exchange between her co-worker and the man she’d only heard rumors about.
Cronos Diamante: Don’t worry, Miss Kelly. I don’t bite… hard.
Mary Kelly: Are you making a return to The SHOOT Project, Mr. Diamante? I can only guess that with your presence here tonight. What is it that brought you back?
Cronos Diamante: Yes I am. And I’d say it has to do with this piece of paper gripped in my hand with the helmet on it. Quaint little envelope. Knew it only meant one thing. I am intrigued to figure out how whoever sent this to me knew where I was though, considering I was off-grid and in Prague of the Czech Republic.
Mary Kelly went to ask Cronos a question but he continued on while taking a look around each and every corner very carefully. He did so with the sort of meticulous study he was known for.
Cronos Diamante: Curious to see what’s going on around here too. The only time I get this feeling, the feeling ever since I walked in here is when I’m about to attack someone or be attacked and it seems this is like some full-time aura.
Mary Kelly: What do you mean, Mr. Diamante?
Cronos Diamante: I mean something is amiss. You probably don’t notice it. Only a man who has done the things I’ve done and had things done to would notice this. I wouldn’t quite say it’s evil but it’s damn sinister and I aim to find out what it is. Be careful now. There be monsters around, Miss Kelly.
With that, Cronos disappeared behind the corner but not before placing the piece of paper with the helmet back into his jacket pocket.
We cut back to the ring, where we see Dan Stein being patched up from the cut on his eyebrow from Buck Dresden’s vicious assault. The EMT speaks to Tony Lorenzo, who has entered the ring now with a metal suitcase. A cable drops from the ceiling of the Epicenter as Tony Lorenzo opens the suitcase to reveal, to the Faithful’s delight, the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship. He hooks it to the looped cable and watches as it ascends high above the ring. Lorenzo looks over to Stein.
Tony Lorenzo: You good to go?
Stein smirks, pointing up.
Dan Stein: You know that’s mine, right?
Tony Lorenzo smiles at Stein’s stubborn sense of arrogance in the face of his wounds and his task before him. Suddenly, “Almost Famous” by Eminem kicks in once more, and the Faithful rise to their feet as Dan Stein looks on. Out from the back comes Cade Sydal, still dressed to kill. Cassi Ryan steps out with him, kissing him on the cheek, and disappears into the back. The both of them are very well aware of the dangers that are coming Cade’s way.
Cade makes his way down to the ring. He rolls into the ring and pops up, looking at Dan Stein who has risen to his feet. The two longtime friends and rivals circle one another before they exchange a quick hand slap of respect. Cade continues to walk around in circles, preparing himself for the biggest match he’s had in SHOOT in ages.
Eryk Masters: Think about this, ladies and gentlemen. Three men, all World Champions. All former SHOOT World Champions.
“Almost Famous” dies down and almost immediately is replaced with “Carry On Wayward Son” by Kansas, causing even more raucous cheering and merriment. Trey Willett steps out from the back, the most rested and the biggest grin of the three men in this match. Trey saunters down to the ring and walks up the ring steps. He looks at Stein and then to Cade. He offers both men hand slaps of respect. The three of them know how important this is. How important the World Championship is. Heroes, villains, faces or heels, the three of them easily put that aside for one singular moment to enjoy what they have come to do: fight for the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship.
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is your main event of the evening and it will be a LADDER MATCH and is for the SHOOT Project WORLD Heavyweight Championship!
The Faithful cheer.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first, our first qualifier for this match…he is SHOOT’s Wayward Son, The Willenium, the former World Champion…TREY…WILLETT!!
Trey stretches against the ropes as the fans cheer for his name.
Samantha Coil: And introducing second, our second qualifier for this match…he is the Teen Idol, the Technical Messiah, the former World Champion…CADE…SYDAL!!!
The fans cheer once more as Cade can be heard commenting.
Cade Sydal: That boring shit right there is why Cassi tells the world I’m in this bitch. Fucking ugh, Coil.
Samantha Coil: And third, our third and FINAL qualifier for this match…he is the GOLDEN BOY…the former World Champion…DAN…THE LIGHTS…STEIN!!!
A decidedly mixed response, but the respect is palpable as Stein staggers out of his corner, hurting still but willing to raise his arms in the air to soak in the adulation.
Other Guy: I can’t believe it, Eryk! What a redemption story for all three of these men, if you think about it! Trey Willett, the Wayward Son, being given the chance to lead SHOOT back to the promised land! Cade Sydal hasn’t sniffed the World Championship in years! Dan Stein’s reign only served to add to the chip on his shoulder! All three of these men are desperate to stake their claim and why they deserve to be the new World Champion!
Eryk Masters: And you can see, OG, these guys have the utmost respect for these fans, that title, and most of all…each other. I can’t wait for this match to…
“Come Together” by Vitamin String Quartet kicks in and the Epitron lights up to reveal the hooded masked face of Herald.
Herald: My apologies, ladies and gentlemen, as I have been present far too much for my liking this evening. I was unaware of just how much work it would take to make sure this evening went off flawlessly. We are so close to that pinnacle, Faithful, I can feel it. I’m sure you can as well.
Trey, Dan, and Cade all glare at the screen.
Herald: There is but one issue that remains for my Master. That issue pertains to the men in that ring about to fight for the glorious right to be World Champion. You see, ladies and gentlemen, the Master is unhappy.
Trey rolls his eyes.
Herald: He sees the amazing talent in that ring and don’t get me wrong, he is impressed. But, my dear Faithful, he does not see what is truly needed. Something that will give you all the blood you desire. The Master has requested an addendum to this match!
The Faithful cheer this announcement on.
Eryk Masters: What is it? Hardcore rules? It’s a ladder match, what more can…
Herald snaps his fingers as Eryk’s microphone fizzles out.
Herald: Ladies and gentlemen…there will be blood this evening. Oh yes, before this night is through, there will be blood. We have a Technical Messiah. We have a Golden Boy. We have a Wayward Son. All peerless. All ready. All unblemished.
Herald: How unfortunate for them that the Master has requested that they receive fresh scars if they are to fight for this beloved championship.
Herald’s image blinks out as Eryk Masters’ microphone hums to life, bringing with it an unearthly bloody glow throughout the arena.
Eryk Masters: What…what just happened?
Without warning, “DIM Scene” by the GazettE begins to play.
Other Guy: No…
Eryk Masters: Oh…my…God…
Appearing from the back, his icy empty eyes glaring down at the ring, stands the man who is intent on delivering those scars. The man who despites the unblemished. He glares dead ahead before he throws his arms out to the sides and howls bloody murder. The Faithful are almost eerily silent, almost out of fear than respect. He is ridiculously cut and muscular, almost inhumanly so. He is one of the closest things SHOOT Project has ever known to being a legitimate, cold blooded monster.
He is KENJI YAMADA.
And he is the fourth member of the main event for the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship.
Eryk Masters: This…this isn’t right. Kenji Yamada’s not even had a qualifying match to be in the main event tonight!
Other Guy: Yeah, but are you gonna argue with this Master guy? He says he wants blood, he wants a monster, I just hope this Master guy is ready for what this means for all of us if he’s unleashing KENJI YAMADA on SHOOT!
Kenji slides underneath the bottom rope, pushing himself up and glaring at all three men in the ring. Samantha Coil is quick to leave the ring, not even wanting to announce his arrival. Tony Lorenzo leaves as well. He doesn’t need to count a pinfall or submission here, all he needs to do is think about his wife and kids. Kenji stands in a corner, bracing himself against the ropes as the bell rings and “DIM Scene” finally dies down.
Dan Stein, who remembers Kenji at the end of the last run, walks over to Kenji and offers his hand in respect.
Trey Willett: Dude, are you nuts?!
Dan Stein: If I’m gonna shake your hand or Cade’s hand, I’m gonna shake Kenji’s hand.
Stein motions for Kenji to take his hand…and Kenji smiles! He takes Stein’s hand and pats Stein on the shoulder, happy to be allowed into the match…right? Kenji IMMEDIATELY headbutts Stein in the face, causing blood to spray out almost instantaneously. Cade wastes no time charging in to help his longtime associate, only to catch a Lariat that spins him over onto his back. Trey rushes at Kenji, but quickly changes course and slides from the ring, bringing the Faithful to applause and laughter.
Kenji glares at Trey but realizes he has other prey in front of him. He picks Cade up in a Dragon Sleeper, howling like a crazed banshee as he jerks the former Champion up to his feet and SLINGS him over with a reverse suplex, slamming Cade back down onto his stomach. He bounces off of the ropes and does a running knee drop to Dan Stein’s arm. There is no real psychology behind it, Kenji just knows that knees hurt when they hit arms. Kenji goes to pick up Dan but is clubbed from behind by Trey, who immediately regrets his decision once Kenji turns his head and locks eyes with him. Kenji begins to stalk towards Trey, who is backing off into a corner. Kenji has Trey backed into a corner and ducks quickly as CADE flies over Kenji and NAILS Trey with a Ninjaguiri! Trey wobbles out of the corner as Cade rolls to the ring apron. Kenji grabs Trey in a German suplex and Cade leaps to the top rope and SAILS over with a missile dropkick to Trey AS Kenji suplexes him! Trey crumples up into a heap as Cade quickly brings Kenji to the mat with a bulldog.
Cade wastes no time rolling from the ring and sliding a ladder into the match. His match with Kitsune was fast paced and kinetic, but if there is one thing that Cade Sydal has always possessed over his opponents, it is his peerless stamina. He is well aware of that, given his intimate knowledge of fast paced matches that can easily go over one hour in length. Participating in two matches in one night is easy for him. Easy, that is, if he isn’t faced with a monster and two talents like the men in the match with him. Cade has the ladder in hand and quickly goes to work hitting Stein with it to keep him down and then swinging it around and knocking Kenji back down to the mat.
Eryk Masters: Dan Stein has to be just completely out of this thing. His face is a crimson mask from the opening Kenji attack and the Buck Dresden assault
Stein lifts himself up, the blood dripping from his nose and eyebrow onto the mat. He sees the blood, he knows it’s his, but he can’t seem to muster up the strength to fight past the pain. It’s at that point he hears the ungodly roar from Kenji Yamada, more animal than man, as Kenji SPEARS the ladder with Cade on it, bringing Cade to the ground OUTSIDE the ring. Kenji lifts the ladder up and holds it to his chest. He begins to march towards the center of the ring when Stein finds his strength. He pops up and kicks Kenji in the chest through the ladder, forcing him to stumble backwards into the corner. He races at Kenji and dropkicks the ladder, wedging Kenji into the corner with the ladder to brace him there.
Trey by now has pulled himself together and has slid into the ring a steel chair from the outside. He moves towards Stein, who begs him off.
Dan Stein: Wait! Look!
Stein points at Kenji, who is shaking off the effects of Stein’s attack.
Dan Stein: We have to stop THAT guy! Wise the fuck up, Trey!
As if on cue, Kenji begins to laugh maniacally as Cade is up on the ring apron, punching at Kenji’s captive head. If he’s feeling the effects of the assault he isn’t letting Cade see it, which only serves to strengthen Cade’s resolve. Trey walks over and motions for Cade to move and he NAILS Kenji in the head with the steel chair! Kenji shakes his head and shoves the ladder from its position and frees himself, only to get NAILED again with the steel chair. Kenji staggers, the effects of the chair shots is evident, only for Cade to nail a SPRINGBOARD NINJAGUIRI!
Other Guy: Kenji is OUT!
Kenji falls flat to the mat as Cade lords over Kenji’s body as if he were a focused predator. Without warning, Stein quickly rakes Trey’s eyes and grabs the chair, hitting Cade in the head with it and bringing all of his opponents down! He grabs the ladder and sets it up in the middle of the ring, wiping the blood from his face and ripping the bandages off so he can see better. It doesn’t matter to him if the fans love him or hate him at the moment, all he wants is that title. He starts to climb up and gets a few steps from the top, only for Trey to climb the opposite side of the ladder. Stein tries desperately to punch at Trey through the ladder until both men are fighting at the top of the ladder. Trey manages to grab Stein by the back of his head and slam it into the top of the ladder. Stein is groggy, but he holds on. At least he holds on until he feels Cade positioning himself underneath him and he is POWERBOMBED to the mat!
Cade shakes off the effects of the chair shot and scrambles to the ladder as Trey reaches up valiantly, his fingertips brushing gently against the bottom of the leather belt. Cade tries to stop Trey, but Trey manages to hook Cade in a front face lock, both men teetering dangerously on the top of the ladder. With his free arm, Trey reaches up and unbuckles one set of buckles from the belt! The Faithful are cheering their heads off but there is something…distinctly different about their cheering.
They are not cheering for Trey’s impending victory.
They are cheering because Kenji Yamada is standing at the foot of the ladder, glaring at the two men. Cade and Trey both stop for a moment, their faces both twisting into a confusing mixture of fear and trepidation and disappointing anger that the monster isn’t dead. Kenji, however, shows no emotion.
He seems to literally SLING his foot into the ladder in what can only be described as a Yakuza kick mixed with a violent punt kick that sends the ladder falling…and Cade and Trey Willett to the mat OUTSIDE the ring!
We can clearly see bruising forming on Cade’s back as Trey’s nose looks almost…broken. At the very least, it’s busted. He is bleeding, Cade is bruised, Stein is bleeding, and Kenji is loving it.
Other Guy: Take note, Eryk. Trey and Cade are trying to outperform their opponents, Dan Stein is just trying to outlast them, but Kenji Yamada…there is no strategy there. He isn’t wearing people down. He isn’t really even going for the title. He just keeps…hurting people. He just keeps…on…hurting people.
Other Guy is almost at a loss for words at the visceral actions of Kenji as Kenji picks Dan Stein up, only to arch back as hard as he can for a punch, but Stein blocks it and delivers a punch of his own! Kenji grits his teeth and goes for another haymaker, but Stein blocks it and hits Kenji with a low blow! Kenji reels from the move, but Stein wastes no time grabbing Kenji by the head and lifting Kenji up for a #twitterbation! Stein holds Kenji there as the fans all are cheering and booing simultaneously. He looks around and slowly marches, holding Kenji up as he does so, until he aims him just right…and LANDS the #twitterbation ON THE LADDER. The ladder is broken, that much is plain to see, and Stein lets Kenji lay there…a broken and bleeding mess!
Stein slides from the ring and looks underneath the ring to find…another ladder! He slides the new ladder into the ring and steps over Cade’s reeling body and ON Trey’s body to get to the ring apron and reenter the ring. He slides Kenji’s body to the center of the ring and sets the ladder up onto the chest of Kenji. He is in full control. He knows it. He loves it. He slowly begins to climb the ladder as he notices Cade sliding into the ring. He sighs and hops back down. Cade starts to pull himself up again only to come face to face with Dan Stein’s superkick! Cade is slouched against the ropes, trying to hold himself up as Trey slides back into the ring and kicks Stein in the midsection, he pulls Stein over to the steel chair still lying in the ring and…DAWN OF A NEW ERA! Trey hits the Dawn of a New Era on the CHAIR and Stein is OUT!
Trey stands up and sees that Cade is on the ropes, trying to get to the ladder, but Trey is there first! He races up the ladder and makes it to the top quickly, only for Cade to nearly SPRINT up the ladder…NINJAGUIRI OFF THE TOP OF THE LADDER!!!! TREY AND CADE ARE DOWN!
Other Guy: NO! WAY!
Cade, running off of pure adrenaline, rushes back to the ladder and starts his climb to the top! He feels the tension in the air…this must be it! Cade is nearing the top of the ladder, his eyes constantly looking to the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship until he looks in front of him and…THERE STANDS KENJI YAMADA. Kenji has met Cade at the top of the ladder. A look of fear overtakes Cade but he swallows it down as Kenji goes for a haymaker, Cade ducks it, EUROPEAN UPPERCUT and Kenji FALLS! Cade’s alone at the top of the ladder! He reaches up, grabbing at the half unbuckled title belt only to feel the icy grip of death tighten around his waist! He looks behind him and KENJI is back! Kenji has come from behind, locked his arms around Cade’s waist and…
…DEEP SCAR FROM THE TOP OF THE FUCKING LADDER.
Cade’s body bends into a disgusting heap! Kenji sits there for a moment, looking at Cade’s nearly dead remains. He picks himself up off of the mat, clearly gaining what amounts to his second wind! He sees Stein starting to get to his feet and NAILS Stein with a Yakuza kick! In one fluid motion, he turns and sees Trey trying to get up and…LARIAT. The momentum from the Lariat sends Trey flying OVER the top rope to the floor. Kenji turns his head and charges up the ladder!
Eryk Masters: Kenji is alone up there!
Kenji Yamada stops, standing at the top of the ladder. He looks out at the Faithful…this sea of bloodlust, these people that swear their allegiance to devastation. He hears their cheers, their scattered boos, their shrieks, and their cries. He looks down to Dan Stein, who has fought undeniably hard. He spots Trey Willett on the outside of the ring, knowing that Trey will be up again to fight soon, as is his nature as the Wayward Son. Finally, Kenji looks at Cade Sydal, who is on his hands and knees, his head bowed in exhaustion. He knows that Cade will be running up the ladder as soon as he realizes Kenji is unaccounted for. Kenji then turns his attention upwards to the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship.
He tears it from its clasp, claiming it for himself.
The bell rings, he knows what Samantha Coil is saying. He assumes he can hear the wailing of Eryk Masters and Other Guy as they lament what has just occurred. It doesn’t matter. He hears “DIM Scene” playing and he can’t help but grin.
He runs his hand across his bloodied face.
He slaps the faceplate of the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship leaving a bloodied hand print disgustingly and defiantly for all to see.
Samantha Coil: HERE IS YOUR WINNER…
He stands atop the ladder, the World Championship locked in one hand as he lets loose a final excited howling laugh.
It is a horrible scene.
Bodies and blood everywhere.
It is one of the most beautiful things Kenji has ever seen.
The SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion.