The scene opens to a lone chapel in the middle of an empty desert. The building is decrepit, but there is obviously several people inside. In front of the congregation to this church, where there are no more windows as they have all been shattered, the orange sun creeps in violently revealing the level of disgust the building is in…all led by a single preacher. He is dressed in a tattered robe, and he stands at his pulpit, his eyes peering into each and every soul he sees.
It was the Apostle Peter who said…in this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials…
Suddenly, the orange gives way to black and white images, quick flashes of a bloody face: Jonas Coleman.
…so that the tested genuineness of your faith…more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire…may be found to result in praise and glory…
A quick flash now of Cade Sydal, grinning as he holds the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship belt high.
…so you rejoice… rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory…obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Another quick flash, this one of Stellar Insanity face to face with The Hierarchy. The black and white comes back to the orange bathed sanctuary. The preacher closes the Book, leather bound…the SHOOT Project Helmet on the front cover.
Let us pray.
His eyes close, and immediately the screen goes black, “The Fire” by The Roots and John Legend kicks in.
Ohhhh, the fire, the fire
A single shot of Donovan King, screaming to the heavens.
Ohhhh, the fire, the fire
VAS is up next, pushing the World Tag Team Championship belts in the camera before taking off running when suddenly The Bad Ass Brotherhood appears onscreen, chasing them off.
There’s something in your heart
And it’s in your eyes
It’s the fire, inside you
Let it burn
Ben Jackman looks down at his wrist as he tapes it up slowly, his jaw tight as he contemplates what’s drug him back into the battle. His eyes drift up momentarily.
You don’t say good luck
You say don’t give up
It’s the fire, inside you
Let it burn
Thomas Manchester Black glares at the camera, doing nothing. His fists are clenched tightly.
Yeah, and if I’m ever at the crossroads
And start feeling mixed signals like Morse code
Frontline II TURBO cross their arms, glaring at their partner, Crazy Boy, who is staring blankly up.
My soul start to grow colder than the North Pole
I try to focus on the hole of where the torch goes
Alex Brooks grins and waves to the camera, the Rule of Surrender Championship around his waist. He keeps smiling as he points to the skies.
In the tradition of these legendary sports pros
As far as I can see, I’ve made it to the threshold
X-Calibur and Azrael Goeren smirk at the camera, their Russian Assassin Yuri behind them…wearing the Potato Sack of Shame.
Lord knows I’ve waited for this a lifetime
And I’m an icon when I let my light shine
Speaking of ICONS, Stellar Insanity appear, the first image of actual fighting seen as Stellar Insanity make their return in Germany, in the middle of the ring.
Shine bright as an example of a champion
Taking the advantage, never copping out or cancelling
Isaac Entragian is shown spearing Lennox Ferguson through barbed wire while we see Jaime Alejandro holding the Iron Fist Championship high above his head.
Burn like a chariot, learn how to carry it
Maverick, always above and beyond average
Ichiro Seppuku is seen briefly before we go back to Cade Sydal planting Azraith DeMitri and becoming World Champion for a second time.
Fuel to the flame that I train with and travel with
Something in my eyes say I’m so close to having the prize
Jonas Coleman is shown, taking repeated attacks from Akuma Satsui, shifting quickly to Dave Dymond begging off any assault from Coleman.
I realize I’m supposed to reach for the skies
Never let somebody try to tell you otherwise
Tanya Black is shown, hooking Jester Smiles’ leg violently as the referee counts to three for her Sin City Championship.
There’s something in your heart
And it’s in your eyes
It’s the fire, inside you
Let it burn
We see The Gunslingers now, marching down to the ring the night they defeated Sovereign.
You don’t say good luck
You say don’t give up
It’s the fire, inside you
Let it burn
Mike Dexter is defiantly glaring at his Laws of Survival Championship, a bloody smiley face drawn onto it.
One love, one game, one desire
One flame, one bonfire, let it burn higher
Kenji Yamada, Adrian Corazon, and Isaac Entragian grin evilly to the camera before they glance upwards.
I never show signs of fatigue or turn tired
‘cause I’m the definition of tragedy turned triumph
Donovan King is shown snapping off a Dealbreaker to Thomas Manchester Black, quickly interspersed with Black attacking King from behind.
It’s David and Goliath, I made it to the eye of the storm
Feeling torn like they fed me to the lions
Alex Brooks stands tall, having survived the Rule of Surrender Gauntlet only to see that his next challenger is none other than Kenji Yamada.
Before my time start to wind down like the Mayans
I show ’em how I got the grind down like a science
Cronos Diamante is shown, his eyes closed as he sits in silence, deep in meditative thought, plotting his next several moves not just in the ring, but in his life. His head never tilts upward.
It sounds like a riot on hush, it’s so quiet
The only thing I hear is my heart, I’m inspired
Laura Seton stands tall in an empty ring, her eyes looking skyward to the heavens.
By the challenge that I find myself standing eye to eye with
Then move like a wise warrior and not a coward
Charles Brandon Magnus and Buck Dresden stand in the same empty ring, Buck on the turnbuckle motioning with his hands that the belts are coming home while Magnus holds his fist in the air.
You can’t escape the history that you was meant to make
That’s why the highest victory is what I’m meant to take
Ben Jackman finishes wrapping his wrists and he throws the tape to the side, picking himself up and walking out of the locker room.
You came to celebrate, I came to cerebrate
I hate losing, I refuse to make the same mistake
Cade Sydal is finally shown, the music dying off for a single moment, the SHOOT Project World Championship around his waist. He laughs an evil mocking laugh at the camera.
Ohhhh, the fire, the fire
That same empty ring is now shown, the ropes ablaze.
Ohhhh, the fire, the fire
The Crimson Riot is shown briefly, next are the Gunslingers. Jester Smiles sneers as he looks up. Akuma Satsui gouges into his own forehead, blood beginning to drip…only to pour as Dave Dymond grins.
Ohhhh, the fire inside you
The Flying Avengers look around at the flames in front of them, in awe. Thomas Manchester Black sits in the nosebleeds, the flames flickering in his eyes.
The fire inside you
The fire inside you
Rocky Stellar stands with his longtime friend and ally, Loco Martinez. They see The Hierarchy of Azrael Goeren and X-Calibur glaring across the flames at them. Kenji Yamada is shown, his eyes fixated on the flames licking across the Rule of Surrender Championship faceplate as it rests on Alex Brooks’ shoulder.
The fire inside you
A quick shot of Jonas Coleman, Buck Dresden, and Charles Brandon Magnus as they see Akuma Satsui and VAS through the flames. A single final shot of Cade Sydal hugging his World Championship tightly as we finally see Ben Jackman enter the arena, the flames completely engulfing the ring now.
The entire SHOOT Project is here now.
Let it burn…
“Had Enough” by Breaking Benjamin explodes onto the PA system and the fans raise to their feet.
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen… this… is the LAWS OF GRAVITY match… for the LAWS OF SURVIVAL CHAMPIONSHIP!!!
Mike Dexter steps through the curtains, wearing the Laws of Survival Championship snug around his waist. Nodding his head, fist bumping with some of the audience members, he makes his way down the ramp.
Samantha Coil: First, making his way down to the ring…. From Atlanta, Georgia… weighing in at 223lbs… he is the LAWS OF SURVIVAL CHAMPION… MIKE…… DEXTER!!!!
As he makes his way to the ring, he notices all of the ladders set up around the ring. There must’ve been about a dozen ladders set up for use in their path to destruction. Sliding into the ring, Dex acknowledges the crowd and takes a deep breath to clear his head as he prepares for opponent’s entrance.
An orange spotlight hits the top of the ramp, and then several orange strobes scour the arena, as the fans let loose the loudest boos of the night. Immortal Technique’s “Point of No Return” hits the PA as images of past conquests appear on the screen.
The destruction of Del Carver.
The annihilation of Jonny Johnson.
The cutting of Curtis Rose.
The smearing of Trey Willett’s blood.
Then, only the battle hardened eyes of the man known as Brutal and Inhuman are shown. Everything is in a grayscale, except for the green of his eyes. The image pans into his smirk, which transitions into a bloody smiley face.
This is the point from which I could never return
And if I back down now then forever I burn
This is the point from which I could never retreat
Cause If I turn back now there can never be peace
This is the point from which I will die and succeed
Living the struggle, I know I’m alive when I bleed
From now on it can never be the same as before
Cause the place I’m from doesn’t exist anymore
Corazon appears at the top of the ramp. His face covered by his long black hair. His eyes obscured by black, silver-rimmed sunglasses. His overcoat just barely stays off of the floor, as he takes a very methodical, slow walk to the ring.
His eyes never stray from Mike Dexter.
Samantha Coil: And the challenger… from Mexico City, Mexico… weighing in at 225lbs… he is a former Iron Fist Champion… a former World Heavyweight Champion… he is the BRUTAL and the INHUMAN… CORAZON!
Making his way up the steel steps, Mike Dexter LAUNCHES himself across the ring at Corazon with a full-on body tackle, spilling both of them awkwardly to the outside! Raining down the punches, Dexter breaks the silver-rimmed sunglasses on Corazon’s face in half!
Eryk Masters: Good God!
Other Guy: Dexcellently Dexecuted!
Eryk Masters: Stop. It’s too early for bad puns.
As Dexter brings Corazon to his feet, he rips the overcoat from his body and rolls him into the ring. Looking out at the capacity crowd, Dexter hocks a big one and spits it right into the overcoat.
Other Guy: Now is that really necessary?!
Eryk Masters: Dexter is riding on a lot of emotion right now.
Other Guy: As do most of Corazon’s opponent. And you know what usually happens to them? They lose.
As soon as Dex rolls into the ring, the official bell rings. Rushing at Corazon with wild haymakers, he continues to rain the punches down across Corazon’s face. Dex strikes flesh about seven or eight times and backs his opposition completely into the ropes before Dex finally grabs a wrist for an Irish whip.
Eryk Masters: Corazon looks utterly stunned at this juncture! I don’t think he expected Dexter to show up with this big of a fire lit under his ass!
Corazon reverses the attempt, though, and Dexter flies into the ropes with lightning quick speed. Not even giving Corazon enough time to react, Dexter once again LAUNCHES himself off the ropes, using the recoil of the ropes to propel himself into the air with a roaring elbow shot to the face!
Other Guy: Corazon is down again! This is insane!
Eryk Masters: Dex showing the world right now why he isn’t intimidated by Corazon! He’s really bringing it to the former 2-Time World Champion!
Other Guy: I don’t even know if Adrian knows where he is after that stiff forearm shot.
Looking a bit dazed from Dex’s unrefined hostility, Corazon gets up to his knees a little slower than last time he was taken down. Not taking his eyes off of Adrian Corazon, Dex reaches down to bring Corazon up to his feet once again. Going for another Irish whip, Corazon once again reverses the attempt. Only instead of allowing Dex to race into the ropes again, Corazon pulls Dex in towards him. Jumping up with his knees pointed skyward, while simultaneously cradling the back of Dex’s head, Corazon then DROPS flat to the mat!
Eryk Masters: WHAT THE….. ACT OF INHUMANITY?! ALREADY?! HOLY SHIT!!
Other Guy: I… can’t believe it! HE NAILED IT!
Dexter appears completely unconscious from the unexpected maneuver, and the crowd FILLS the arena with a chorus of boos. A smirk widening across the Brutal, the Inhuman’s face, and Corazon sits up for a moment. Just… laughing to himself.
Eryk Masters: Folks, I hate to say it but… this one could be over already. Corazon hit that favorite of his with such jaw shattering conviction.
Other Guy: I’m in shock. Dexter is no slouch… and Corazon still managed to completely surprise the hell out of him. It just shows you how much Corazon has been looking forward to this. Like everything before it has been a matter of… foreplay.
Getting up from the mat completely, Corazon exit’s the ring to the outside, where one of about a dozen ladders are all set up around the perimeter of the ring. Grabbing a normal sized ladder, Corazon slides it into the ring and follows it directly.
Eryk Masters: Well it didn’t take long for the employment of ladders in this match, now did it?
Other Guy: Not at all. Surprised it took this long, given the personal nature of this match, to be honest.
Eryk Masters: I can’t believe it’s about to go down like this. I’m just… ugh… disgusted.
Other Guy: Disgusted for what reason? Dex brought this on himself. Corazon has obviously scouted his opponent to perfection, while Dex has scouted what the fabric of the mat feels like against his face.
Setting the ladder up and ready to climb it, Corazon gets about two rungs up when he notices a peculiar sight. Dexter is… moving. Not only is he moving, but he’s climbing to his feet.
Eryk Masters: Wow. Have to give Mike Dexter some props here. I can’t recall anyone kicking out of the Act of Inhumanity… ever… let alone getting up from it.
Other Guy: I can’t either, Eryk. Yet, look at what’s happening.
Once Dexter gets to his feet, albeit unsteadily, Corazon sighs to himself and retreats from the ladder, understanding perfectly well that it wasn’t the right moment to try and climb the ladder. With Dexter rocked, Corazon closes the distance between them both and lays into the Laws of Survival champion with a nasty knife-edged chop. The crowd “WOOOOOing” out of reflex, Corazon follows it up with another. But something happens unexpectedly and Dex’s eyes go wide with fury.
Other Guy: Uh oh.
Eryk Masters: I think those chops just woke up The Dexecutioner!
As the smile quickly fades from Corazon’s face, one begins to spread across Dex’s. Nodding his head as if to say, “nicely done.”, Dex then throws some hard lefts and rights at Corazon, reeling him back. Taking the back of Corazon’s head, Dexter throws Corazon over the top rope. Corazon holds on, but it’s to no avail as Dexter knocks him off the rest of the way with a stiff European uppercut.
Eryk Masters: Whoa! I think we just saw a little bit of that Dex-Fu that Dex invented!
Other Guy: So you’re saying, Dex invented the European uppercut?
Eryk Masters: He just might have!
Other Guy: But he’s not even European!
Eryk Masters: … or IS he?!
As Corazon shakes the cobwebs, Dexter uses this opportunity to climb a few rungs of the ladder. When he has ascended mid-way up, Corazon hops up onto the turnbuckle. Turning around to face Corazon standing on the outside of the ring, Dex leaps from the middle point of the ladder with his legs extended. Leaping onto Corazon’s shoulders for a hurricanrana, Dexter instead rolls through with a sunset flip, pulling Corazon down HARD and power bombing him across the edge of the guard rail!
Eryk Masters: JESUS!!! SUNSET FLIP POWERBOMB FROM THE LADDER, TO THE APRON, TO THE BARRICADE!!!!
Other Guy: Oh Lord! Corazon hit that barricade with absolutely ALL of his body weight!! After that one, I don’t even know how this man is gonna WALK, never mind CLIMB A LADDER!!!
As the audience pops hard for the sunset flip-powerbomb, Dexter gets to his feet and rests a moment against the edge of the ring apron. With a few in the front row chanting indistinctly, (something along the lines of “THAT-WAS-SICK”), Dex slides back into the ring and sets his sights on the ladder he just leapt from.
Eryk Masters: Dex looks like he’s about to climb!
Other Guy: And Adrian looks like he’s in a metric shit ton of pain right now..
Dex climbs a couple of rungs towards his prize and Corazon slowly gets back to his feet. Holding his lower back and squinting with great pain, Corazon walks over to another average sized ladder and folds it back up. Once Dex climbs a few more rungs, inching his way closer and closer towards the top, Corazon decides to take unconventional procedures in preventing Dex from retaining.
Eryk Masters: He’s not gonna..
Other Guy: I think he is!
Launching the ladder into the ring like a missile, and with a bulls-eye clearly painted on Dex’s back, the cold edge of the ladder smashes right Dex. Groaning loudly, Dex falls forward into the ladder while the other ladder that Corazon threw falls flat to the mat. Keeping himself from falling, Dex holds onto a rung of the ladder and the small of his back with a free hand. Realizing Dexter was able to hold on, Corazon gingerly rolls back into the ring.
Just as Dex decides to once again continue his ascent, Corazon positions himself directly behind Dex with a powerbomb. Moments later, Corazon rips the champion from the vertical standing ladder and sends him SMASHING back first to the horizontal laying ladder on the canvas. The effect with the audience is spine-tingling as a hushed “ohhhhh” makes rounds through the audience.
Eryk Masters:Both men have connected with ladder assisted powerbombs. This is an “eye for an eye“ situation if I’ve ever seen one!
Other Guy: More like “back for a back”, Eryk.
Eryk Masters: Gay.
Other Guy: GLAAD’s not gonna like that very much.
Eryk Masters: Fuck if I care!
With Dex a writhing mess on the mat and ladder, Corazon once again exits to the outside. This time he sets his sights on a much taller ladder that had been positioned closer to the entrance ramp.
Eryk Masters: He’s not going for Big Mama?!
Other Guy: If by Big Mama you‘re referring to that big ass ladder over there… then yes, I think he is.
Folding the ladder awkwardly, due to its massive size, Corazon slides the ladder in between the middle and bottom rope. Mere footsteps behind it, Corazon is back in the ring and peels Dexter off of the ladder he had been unceremoniously tattooed to after the powerbomb. Positioning him up for a suplex with his back facing the ladder leaning against the middle rope, Corazon lifts. Dex promptly blocks the attempt, though, and instantly switches positions with the challenger. Heaving Corazon up into the air, Dex spins 360 degrees before SNAPPING down across the slanted ladder with a spinning front-facing suplex!
Eryk Masters: NO… Falcon Arrow across the ladder! Corazon’s back is in shambles!
Other Guy: Every time one of these men do damage to the other’s back, the other one manages to deliver some painful payback! They’re not gonna be happy until neither men have a spinal cords after all is said and done!
Picking himself up from the mat, favoring his considerably weakened back, Dex musters up the strength to walk towards the ladder. Climbing up a rung, Dex collapses forward into the average size ladder that was originally placed in the ring, his head resting between rungs. As he looks back at Corazon, he notices the challenger beginning to stir and get to his feet. Looking up at the championship swaying back and forth in the air like a proverbial carrot, Dexter struggles internally as to whether go for it or simply retreat and go after Corazon.
Eryk Masters: Dexter’s hesitation here could cost him.
Other Guy: Agreed. You don’t think about it in matches like these… you just GO for it.
Realizing how personal it has become between he and his opponent, Dexter shakes his head and hops back down. As Corazon stands back up fully, Dexter boots him in the gut. Doubling Corazon over, Dexter snaps down with a vicious DDT. Looking back at the average sized ladder, he repositions it so it’s standing more towards the ropes. Looking down at the massive ladder that he suplexed Corazon into, he lifts it up and positions it towards the middle of the ring.
Eryk Masters: What the hell is Dex DOING?!
Other Guy: It looks like he’s manufacturing some kind of makeshift torture chamber.
Eryk Masters: That’s Corazon’s game, though.
Other Guy: True… but Dex is fixin’ to give Adrian a taste of his own medicine here. You can see the vehemence etched in his pupils.
Looking at the second average sized ladder that Corazon had thrown at Dex like a missile, Dex picks that one up too and positions it horizontally between the other two ladders. Pointing towards the horizontal laying in between the ladders, Dexter brings Corazon up to his feet with fiery intent.
Eryk Masters: What the hell is Dex going for here?!
Other Guy: I‘m not even sure… and I‘m wondering if DEX even knows.
Lifting Corazon up for a back suplex, Dex takes a few steps towards the suspended ladder when Corazon fights out of it, rolls backwards from Dex’s shoulder and lands on his feet. As Dex turns around, Corazon lifts his leg for a super kick…
Eryk Masters: ACT OF REALITY!
Dex ducks the super kick, and Corazon spins around after hitting air. Upon facing each other again, this time it is Dex who lifts his leg for a super kick, and connects right in Corazon’s temple!
Other Guy: THE LAST MILE! THE LAST MILE! DEX HIT IT!
Collapsing to the mat, holding his lower back, Dex rolls outside of the ring. Looking up, he sees another average sized ladder positioned near the time keeper’s table and unfolds it like they have unfolded the previous three. Sliding it back into the ring, Dexter follows the ladder in and gets to his feet.
Eryk Masters: That makes four ladders in the ring. Something tells me that’s not good for either of these competitors.
Other Guy: Three of them are already set up forming some kind of… device… in there. So I’m a bit inclined to agree with you, Eryk.
Just as he sets the ladder up, though, Corazon is also to his feet. Smiling through the rungs at Dexter, Corazon sacrifices his own flesh and HEAD-BUTTS the ladder into Dex’s face. The impact from Corazon’s head-butt not only opens up a gash in his own forehead, but also opens up a few of the stitches in Dex’s, sending blood oozing out of both of their foreheads.
Eryk Masters: Sweet GOD almighty!!!
Other Guy: That was SICK. Ugh… I’ve never seen someone so committed to hurting another individual as I have with Corazon.
Eryk Masters: The level of disregard Corazon has for his own body is… disturbing.
Wiping the blood away from his face, Corazon looks ahead at Dex’s bleeding forehead. Reaching in with two fingers, he amply rips the rest of the stitches right out of Dex’s face, where blood begins to flow more freely from the re-opened wound. As fans jeer in disgust over Corazon’s brutal methods, Corazon simply absorbs their insults.
Eryk Masters: God… both of these guys are bleeding like stuck pigs. It’s getting real messy in there.
Other Guy: And as time goes on in this one, it’s only going to get messier!
Lifting the bleeding Laws of Survival champion into a fireman’s carry, he’s met with some elbows to the temple.
Eryk Masters: Look at Dex fighting out of the Fury of the Dark Heart!
Landing on his feet, Dex hooks Corazon up for a gargoyle suplex, lifts, and connects with it!
Other Guy: Dex with a variation of the Shockwave! Corazon is DOWN!
Positioning the fourth ladder so that it is standing right in front of the horizontal ladder laying between the other two, Dex begins making his ascent up the ladder. Rung by rung, the audience stands up with excitement. Blood trailing over each rung, Dex reaches up with a hand to grab the belt… but he’s still about a foot from his mark.
Corazon begins to get to his feet, using the ropes for support.
Dex climbs another rung, inching his way closer to the championship.
Looking up at Dex, Corazon steps between the ropes to the ring apron.
Climbing one more rung, only two from the very top, Dex reaches up and grabs the championship.
Eryk Masters: He has it!!!!
Other Guy: All he needs to do is pull down on the belt and this one’s over!!
Dex is about to rip the championship off of the hook when Corazon springboards to the top rope, and in one fluid motion, leaps from the top rope with his knee extended, SMASHING it right into Dex’s face. The impact from Corazon’s knee sends Dexter flying backwards… crashing THROUGH the horizontal ladder!
Eryk Masters:HOLY SHIT!!!!! ACT OF DEFIANCE!!!! ACT OF DEFIANCE!!!!
Other Guy: DEX IS DEAD!!! DEX IS DEAD!!!! LORD IN HEAVEN, DEX IS DEAD!!!
With Corazon still draped over the top of the ladder after connecting with the flying shining wizard, he looks forward at the wreckage of the broken ladder and Dex’s body laying contorted amidst the rubble below. Bleeding in his own right, Corazon looks up and wipes the blood from his face. Smiling, Corazon grabs the Laws of Survival Championship and calmly removes it from its hook. Linam immediately calls for the bell and the audience ERUPTS into boos.
Other Guy: He did it! Corazon is the new Laws of Survival Champion!
Eryk Masters: We need some help out here for Mike Dexter. Between those stitches being ripped out of his head, and his entire body crashing through a steel ladder, he could be seriously hurt
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of this match… at a time of 27 minute and 43 seconds… and NEEEEEEEEEEEW… Laws of Survival Champion….. AAAAAAAAAAADRIAAAAAAAAAAAN…. COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRAZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON!!!!!
Once “The Point of No Return” kick starts through the PA system once again, Adrian Corazon drapes the Laws of Survival Championship over his shoulder. He laughs to himself from atop the ladder, and the entire audience lets him know first hand their displeasure of him defeating Mike Dexter. Shaking his head, almost as if to say, “I told you, Mike..”, he descends from the ladder. Looking down at Dexter’s bloodied body, Corazon kneels down beside the unconscious Mike Dexter.
With a single finger, he draws something on his chest amidst the blood that has cascaded down from his forehead.
We pause now during the hard hitting action of the two day event known as Salvation for a pre-recorded segment. The grudge matches will continue, with Day One’s Main Event pitting The Hierarchy up against the newly reunited Stellar Insanity. Right now, we bring you a very special interview. The video wall flickers to life, and we see Abigail Chase sitting down, looking into the camera.
Abigail: Ladies and gentlemen, tonight I am pleased to bring you a sit-down interview with one of SHOOT Project’s newest stars, Lunatikk Crippler.
The camera pans out and now we see that Chase is indeed joined by "The Whole Fucked Up Show" Lunatikk Crippler. A cigarette smolders in an ashtray, while The Crippler swirls a dark colored liquid (presumably alcholic) in a glass with a couple of ice cubs. He looks strange, to say the least, dressed in a blue silk robe with black ascot. Also, the monocle in his left eye doesn’t quite seem like it belongs with the man who once set a pack of raccoons on two unsuspecting youths for following him home. The Crippler raises his glass to Abigail and then takes a sip.
Crippler: Good god, I love Pepsi. You hear that, Pepsi? I enjoy your carbonated beverages. They are refreshing and taste great. Also, I’d like to point out that the Porsche is the greatest car EVER MADE. EVER.
Abigail: I’m sorry?
Crippler: Abigail, my dear lady, you must know that the best way to get free things for free is by mentioning how much you enjoy them on television. These companies LOVE when you tell the world how great their product is and are not heavy handed when it comes to saying thank you. For example, I recently procured what seems to be a six month supply of Chicken McNuggets from McDonalds.
Crippler: No, but I thought it sounded impressive. Please, carry on, you fine example of a broadcaster, you.
Abigail seems a little bit taken aback by The Crippler’s manner, but she recovers nicely.
Abigail: Well, Mr. Crippler, I would like to thank you for joining me for this candid interview.
Crippler: Yes, not at all. Normally, I find these things to be, how do you say, VERY 1996, but in your case, I think you’ll find I made an exception. Please, continue.
Abigail: Umm, thanks? Well, let’s start off simple enough by asking a few questions about your career, shall we? I mean, you spent a great deal of your career wrestling for other promotions,`and there may be a quite a few people in the SHOOT fanbase that may not exactly be familiar with what you’ve accomplished.
Crippler: Alas, it is true! I did indeed hang by proverbial hat in countless other territories before finally placing my gigantic, foam cowboy hat here in SHOOT Project. Go ahead, young lass, and fire away. I have nothing to hide.
Abigail: I didn’t say that you did.
Crippler: Wait a minute. -The Crippler looks to his left and then looks to his right before settling back on Chase. He narrows his eyes in what is clearly supposed to be a suspicious gaze, but just makes him look like he has to crap.- Are you a cop?
Crippler: Are. You. A. Police. Officer?
Crippler: Because you have to tell me if you are. That’s the law, and we wouldn’t want to go breaking the law and getting certain incriminating evidence that may or may not exist thrown out of certain criminal trials that may or may not take place. Would we?
Abigail: I guess now. But I assure you, I am not a cop.
Crippler: Oh, well then you’re cool. Continue, please.
It’s obvious that Ms. Chase is having second thoughts now about this interview. She seems a little unnerved as The Crippler sips his ice cold Pepsi cola, so crisp, so refreshing that it will make you slap your momma. However, she is a professional, and she continues.
Abigail: Well, how did you break into the wrestling business?
Crippler: I am glad you asked! It really is a thrilling story, very heavy on the details, and very heavy on the irony too, I must say. It is a tale that took place so many years ago, must have been over a decade or so ago, that pits a young boy, such as myself, in a fight for his life, a bid for freedom against wrongful imprisonment, and a natural ability to hurt people for money.
The Crippler pauses and takes a long, slow drag on his cigarette, exhales the smoke, and then takes a sip of Pepsi to hydrate his vocal chords. Pepsi, the drink of the GODS.
Abigail: What do you mean, pass? You give me that whole build up and then you aren’t going to tell the story?
Crippler: But Abigail, that might hurt the chances of my future autobiography. I think it will be entitled "How I Hurt People For A Living and Also Pepsi Is Delicious". I will save that story for a later time, if you don’t mind.
Abigial: Oookay, well, can you talk about your first match?
Crippler: I could.
Abigail: Will you?
Crippler: Probably not.
Abigail: Why not?
Crippler: Because it was, how do you say, oh yes: horrible. How do you expect some green rookie, barely off his friends mom’s tit to have a five star classic in his first time in the ring. I don’t care if that person is going to go on to be one of the craziest mother fuckers in wrestling EVER. My first match was utter crap.
Abigail: How about your second match?
Crippler: A Five Star Classic!! I remember tying it up with Aramund Fury, who, coincidentally, would wind up become my very first tag team partner, in a barnburner of a contest to crown the very first American Wrestling Tournament Crusierweight Champion! It was a back and forth encounter, by which I mean I knocked Fury back and forth around the ring until I got a little woozy and pinned him to make PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING HISTORY as being the very first Lunatikk Crippler to win wrestling gold. That was a very high point in my career to that point.
Abigail: It was your SECOND MATCH!
Crippler: Yes, I said that. You were there, don’t you remember?
Abigail: (She ignores this and moves on.) What would you say was the highlight of your career?
Crippler: That would be when I first won the big one. Yes, that was a glorious day, besting five other great, great athletes to finally earn the crown that was rightfully mine.
Abigail: It must have been a huge thrill to finally become World Heavyweight Champion.
Crippler: Wait, what? Wrestling? No! I am talking about the night I FINALLY became Hooter’s Hot Wing Eating Champion! My goodness, what a contest it was! I think I led the pack with about 34 wings in six seconds..
Abigail: 34 wings in six seconds? That’s impossible!
Crippler: Yes, well, that night, I ACHIEVED the impossible! I celebrated that night as anyone else in my position would have: with three huge breasted waitresses and an ice cold pitcher of Pepsi! Pepsi: The Elixir of LIFE!
Abigail: Okay, I have TRIED to be professional here! You won’t answer questions about your wrestling career, all you want to do is plug a soft drink! If you can’t start taking this seriously I will have to-OH MY GOD YOU’RE ON FIRE!
And he is. The Crippler should have watched his cigarette a little more closely, because it has now ignited the sleeve of his robe. The Crippler doesn’t seem to mind. He merely takes a sip of his Pepsi, and then douses the fire with the rest of the glass. As fire safetly people come to check up on Crippler and make sure he’s alright, we are going to take this opportunity to break for the evening. Please stay tuned to Salvation and be sure to watch the culmination of this interview on Day 2! This segment was brought to you by Pepsi. Pepsi: Coke’s our bitch!
The scene shifts from the in ring action to the backstage area where we see SHOOT Project’s latest addition to the backstage workers: SHOOT Interviewer Extraordinaire Mary Kelly. Standing next to her is none other than one Donovan King. Both of them stand behind a NEW 48-Inch LCD TV with the SHOOT Project logo with the Helmet emanating an eerie red glow behind the word SHOOT.
Mary Kelly: I’m backstage tonight with the man who calls himself The Last Scion: Donovan King. Now, Donovan, tonight you’re going to go one on one with Thomas Manchester Black, in what people are calling the most personal feud that has come along in SHOOT in years. Do you have any thoughts about tonight’s match?
King leans in, his face tense and tight.
Donovan King: One thing…one thing I want SHOOT Project to take away from my battles with Tommy Black…is how our match tonight? Our match tonight doesn’t promise to be filled with buckets of blood. There might be no broken bones. There’s been no kidnapped children, no assaulted family members, no secret assaults meant to end careers. No no…what we have here tonight is something that rarely comes along in this here company…
King looks at her.
Donovan King: Two men with differing ideologies goin’ one on one to determine which of us is the better.
Donovan King: Now, Black might be a little bit bigger. Black might have a chip on his shoulder. Black might have gotten in my head a little bit…all that? That I can’t deny. I’ve put on my game face fuh dis long…but it’s time we laid out all the cards.
He faces the camera.
Donovan King: Tommy, I’ve ran from you for long enough. I turn around, I face you like a man, an’ tonight? Tonight…here in Wales…here at Salvation Day One…Donovan King takes care of one of the biggest weights on his back. Ya see, Tommy…I don’t have to beat you…to prove my point. I don’t have to get you to tap out…but I might. I don’t have to get you down for the one two three…but I might. I damn sure don’t have to knock you out for the KO…but still I might. No, Tommy…I don’t have to do any of that.
Mary steps away as King stands fully in front of the camera.
Donovan King: Tonight…all I gotta do…is survive you. And to quote an old school bad ass…believe me, Tommy…
Donovan King: I do whatever I have to…to survive.
Mary Kelly: Really quick, Donovan…before you go. Earlier tonight we saw X-Calibur speaking to you, essentially burying the obvious hatchet you two have had against one another. It would appear that…you know…The Hierarchy and Sovereign stand as one united force yet again. What do you have to say to that?
King looks at her, saying nothing. He sighs, gritting his teeth together before he walks past her. King steps out of frame as the camera focuses in on the SHOOT Project Helmet.
The camera picks up the hollow click of boots on concrete as Lennox Ferguson is tapping his feet, propped up against a wall backstage, his eyes surveying the cast and crew of Salvation: Day One as they scurry about getting lights to one place, food to another – while roster members take wide swaths of hallway to avoid their peers.
He shakes his head and sighs as he pushes himself off the wall and begins to walk down the length of the hallway
Lennox Ferguson: It’s like we’re on a goddamned movie set.
He turns a corner, coming into a shadowy area filled with crates and steel girders jutting down from the ceiling. He stops in his tracks as if something is not quite right.
Lennox looks up to see a pallid figure sitting on one of the crates. Its head hangs low, white hair obscuring features, shadows eating up what remains. Only those rabid green eyes catch the light, shining brightly as he watches his nemesis from the cover of darkness, his head cocking slightly to the left…
A voice flows out of the blackness, causing Lennox to grit his teeth, nostrils flaring, as he looks deeply into the stygian shadows.
The Ivory Terror: You look… distraught, Lennox. You look like you’ve lost something, perhaps a piece of your soul? To think that you gave these fans SO much, and they gave you…so little.
Lennox takes a step forward, his fists clenching and unclenching as the hint of a smile begins to appear out of the corner of his mouth.
The Ivory Terror: I guess I… corrupted you. It’s happened before, association with me often leads a man to embrace the darkest side of himself, to abandon ALL hope, to put all of his faith into himself and himself ALONE.
The albino rises to his feet, sweeping his white hair back with one hand, making no effort to emerge from the gloom.
The Ivory Terror: I’ve brought out the WORST in you, Ox. You could have been a hero. You could have had the support of millions at Salvation, but now? All you have is yourself, and you have to live with that. You have to live with the fact that no one will weep for you when you bleed, no one will urge you back to your feet when you fall…
A dim ray of illumination catches the albino, showcasing a smile made up of razor-blade teeth, a tongue hell-bent on weaving manipulation.
The Ivory Terror: All you have left is Seppuku, a pitiful consolation compared to the support you once garnered, to the strength of the masses that you so freely gave up. So basically… it’s just you now, Ox. It’s just you. Tell me, will that be enough? Will your greed for lost gold be enough to help you swim through the lake of fire? I won-
Lennox Ferguson: Oh CHRIST would you just shut up! This is SHOOT Project not Masterpiece Theatre.
Isaac Entragian looks slightly surprised at The Ox cutting him off but it is fleeting. He merely crosses his arms, encouraging his rival to speak.
Lennox Ferguson: You’re right. It’s just me… and you know what? I think that’s why, for the first time in a long fucking time in this company, I actually feel sane. I mean… look at you. Sitting up on those boxes and stalking out of the shadows like you’re either going to mug me or offer me an invitation to Mortal Kombat – Jesus.
Even as he speaks, his voice raised and terse, he is smiling from ear to ear, walking up to Isaac and closing the distance between the two.
Lennox Ferguson: You corrupted me? No Isaac. Not in the slightest. All you did was hasten my realization that this isn’t a wrestling company – it’s a fucking detention camp; an island of lost souls for those of us who can’t make it in the real world whether it be running companies or cleaning up restrooms.
We are the side-show entertainment for THEM. You think I want the support of the fans? Why? So they can cast me aside again? So they can cheer as my bones break and laugh as my muscles give out and my lungs burn like they were filled with gasoline? Why? So they’ll buy my fucking t-shirt? Huh?
The Ox looks Isaac Entragian up and down.
Lenox Ferguson: You’re right Isaac – you are nothing but a freak. A disgusting, piece of shit sociopath – but so are all the other so-called heroes of the SHOOT Project. If they aren’t now they will be… and then when the time is right they’ll see the light and go back to being a hero because that’s what the fans want. They could care fucking less if I beat you as long as blood gets spilled.
I don’t need their love. I don’t need their support. I don’t need their fucking t-shirt sales.
I just need to win — against you, against Jaime, and against anyone else that decides they want to try and tell me who I am.
Now it’s Isaac turns to smirk, scanning the determined face of The Ox with sickening mirth in his eyes.
The Ivory Terror: Win, huh? That is EXACTLY what you need. Shame it won’t happen. All you do is LOSE, you petulant brat. Without SHOOT Project? You’d be another self-destructive piece of excrement out on the streets spending up all of your Daddy’s money, wasting everything he built for you…
The monster takes a step closer, looming over Lennox.
Lennox Ferguson: And what would you be doing Isaac? Running around a traveling carnival again? Making the news every so often as a fall-back sap story piece? Working as a stunt double for those creepy twins in The Matrix?
Lennox takes a step closer as well.
Isaac is very obviously angry – his voice flowing in something akin to a raspy whisper.
The Ivory Terror: Heh. You got jokes, that’s cute. Would you like to know why I was so willing to accept Jaime’s challenge, Ferguson? Out of all of my SCAR brothers, I stepped up IMMEDIATELY. Is it because I want the Iron Fist Championship? That’s part of it. I could RULE that division…but there’s an underlying reason why, a personal reason…
Isaac leans down, his face mere inches from Ferguson’s own, locking eyes with the defiant young man.
The Ivory Terror: I accepted this match…to SPITE you, Lennox. I’m going to take that Iron Fist Championship because I want to see the look on the face of the BRAT when he doesn’t get what he wants. I want to see that pouty lip pushing out. I’ll win the Iron Fist Title so that YOU are denied the happiness of reclaiming your glory…because as far as I’m concerned, all you deserve is suffering.
He leans back, smiling ever so brightly.
The Ivory Terror: And when it comes to suffering? I can be a generous man.
Lennox opens his mouth to say something but stops himself and shakes his head, laughing.
Lennox Ferguson: True enough Isaac…
The Ox looks Isaac up and down before reaching up and putting his hand on Isaac’s shoulder, patting it gently. Entragian looks at Lennox’s hand, his mouth rising in a bitter snarl.
Lennox Ferguson: …but suffering has always been generous to you too.
The Ox smiles, leaving the Ivory Terror looking vexed, as he removes his hand and steps backwards, keeping Isaac in his sights before letting out another laugh with the shake of his head before turning around and casually walking back the way he had come.
All traces of a smile fade away from Isaac’s face as he watches Lennox go, his expression becoming grim, a hollow hiss flowing from his mouth.
The Ivory Terror: So bright-eyed and bushy-tailed…we’ll have to work on that…
The camera goes back to the ring to reveal a spotlight shining down on Samantha Coil and Dennis Heflin. The bell rings three times to get the attention of the fans.
Samantha Coil:Ladies and gentlemen this next bout is a Six Man Match, scheduled for one fall with a 30 Minute Time Limit! Already in the ring, standing next to me, is CRAZY BOY!
An excited cheer goes up from the capacity crowd, as Samantha continues…
The arena lights dim, and an old fashioned, black and white film countdown hits the screen, the film flickering and a beep heard after every digit.
Nachtmystium’s "Ghosts of Grace" cues up at the snare triplet leading into the first verse, the melodic and driving psychedelic black metal bringing forth Corey Lazarus, Hiro Takawa, and Gregory Price (in that order) from behind the curtain, a spotlight hovering over them as they make their way down the ramp, all three calmly walking to the ring.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first, at a combined weight of 450 pounds…
Corey hops up onto the apron as Hiro slides in under the bottom rope with Price walking over to their corner, chomping away on his gum. Hiro finds the hard camera and points to the black armband around his left bicep, nodding. Lazarus does the same with his matching black armband, taking a quick bow towards the camera.
Eryk Masters: As we learned earlier in the week, Hiro’s mother was one of those who lost their lives in the disaster that struck Japan last week. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Hiro, his father, and all of Japan.
Samantha Coil: Being accompanied to the ring by Gregory Price, they are the team of Corey Lazarus and Hiro Takawa…
Corey steps between the ropes and into the ring, walking into its center to drop to a knee, his fist firmly planted to the canvas as Hiro runs the ropes, stopping only to roll to a crouched position behind his partner.
Samantha Coil: …FCRONOSTLINE II TURBO!!
"Ghosts of Grace" dies down as both Corey and Hiro rise to their feet, backing up into their corner. Hiro adjusts the black armband over his left bicep again before looking up to the sky, kissing is fingertips and then pointing up to the sky.
“Devil’s Dime” by Black Label Society and the fans begin to boo loudly. Red Pyro shoots off, and Cronos Diamante appears at the top of the ramp, and makes his way down to the ring with a strange smirk on his face. Cronos enters the ring, and as Samantha holds the microphone to her mouth to announce him, he angrily slaps it out of her hand, and orders her out of the ring.
Samantha Coil exits the ring, and Dennis Heflin stands in the middle, as fans begin to stomp their feet and clap their hands in unison.
Eryk Masters: This crowd is JACKED, O.G. They want to see Corey Lazarus and Hiro Takawa and Crazy Boy. Cronos Diamante is here, but where the hell are The Flying Avengers?
The Other Guy: I just heard Samantha tell Mark Kendrick to ring the bell! I guess Cronos told her when he came in the ring that he wanted to start alone!
Hiro Takawa stands in the middle of the ring calling on Cronos. Dennis Heflin calls for the bell, which dings loudly, and the match is underway! Before Cronos can even figure out what stance to take, Hiro Takawa gracefully leaps high into the air and nails Cronos right on the chin with a picture perfect dropkick!
Cronos hits the mat, shocked. Hiro Takawa reaches down, pulls Lazarus back up, but at the same time fires up a lightening fast kneelift, catching him in the face and driving him back to the mat.
As Cronos lies on the mat, Takawa stomps on him for good measure. Cronos goes totally flat on the mat, and Takawa leaps into the air, and comes down, driving a sharp elbow smash right into Diamante’s sternum. His whole body shudders with the impact.
Hiro Takawa pulls Cronos to his feet, grabs him by the wrist, and whips him into the ropes. Diamante flies into the ropes, rebounds off, and ducks a lariat attempt by Takawa. He keeps going, hits the far ropes, and catches Takawa on the rebound with a lariat upside the head! Hiro Takawa takes the full impact because of the momentum, and crashes to the mat, holding his head in pain.
Eryk Masters: Hiro Takawa started this match off angry, pounding away at Cronos like a mad man, but the momentum has shifted and now the man who may be known as The Devil Himself, is in control!
The Other Guy: Cronos is one of the most intelligent superstars on the SHOOT Project roster. I have no damn clue what he is up to, but you know he has some sort of plan.
Cronos takes a minute to gather himself, and then pulls Hiro Takawa roughly to his feet, and shoves him back into the corner. Cronos starts to pound away at Takawa’s mid section, with both fists flying. The fans jeer loudly at the sight of Cronos Diamante beating on the popular Japanese star.
Cronos Diamante stops hitting Takawa, and the popular high flyer crumples to the mat, holding his midsection where Diamante had been pummeling him. Crazy Boy and Corey Lazarus starts to stomp his foot loudly on the apron, and the fans begin to join along, stomping and clapping in time.
Cronos Diamante pulls Takawa to his feet, and whips him into the ropes, Diamante almost takes Hiro Takawa’s head off with a violent clothesline. Cronos Diamante pulls Takawa to his feet, scoops him up, and violently slams him down to the mat! Hiro Takawa actually bounces on the mat from the impact!
Cronos Diamante grabs Takawa by the hair, pulls him to his feet, and throws one of Hiro Takawa’s arms over his shoulder. Cronos Diamante easily hoists Takawa up, high overhead in a back suplex! Takawa does a mini-spasm from the impact, and Cronos makes the cover, as he yells at Heflin to count…
Corey Lazarus leaps off the top rope, and breaks up the count with a flying double axehandle smash to the back of Cronos! The fans erupt, as Cronos goes sprawling!
Dennis Heflin leaps to his feet, and bellows at Corey Lazarus to leave the ring! As he does, Cronos Diamante decides to take advantage. He picks Takawa’s body up off the mat, and forcibly shoves him backward into the corner.
While Heflin is still shouting at Corey to back off, Cronos Diamante wraps the tag rope around Takawa’s neck. Cronos Diamante pulls on the rope, causing Hiro Takawa’s face to turn red, then purple, then blue. Takawa is kicking his legs mightily, but he cannot break free.
Cronos once again starts to pound away on the popular young star with a rapid barrage of shots to the solar plexus, as he chokes him with the other hand!
Eryk Masters: Takawa is in a bad way here, O.G.
The Other Guy: You know, I would have figured that Crazy Boy, Lazarus and Takawa would have superior team work, because they outnumber Cronos, but so far The Devil is having his day!
Dennis Heflin has finally succeeded in getting Corey Lazarus back to the corner, but now he turns around and sees Cronos choking Takawa with the tag rope. Heflin yells at Cronos Diamante to release Takawa. Cronos ignores the referee.
Cronos Diamante finally releases Hiro Takawa from the tag rope choke, and shoves him forward. He grabs Takawa, and props him throat first over the top rope. As Takawa lies there, Cronos Diamante scales the turnbuckles, until he hits the top rope. Cronos Diamante measures Takawa off, and then leaps…
Cronos Diamante lands leg first over the head of driving his neck down onto the rope! The momentum causes Takawa’s head to bounce back, and he hits the mat, flat on his back. As Takawa lies flat on the mat choking, Cronos lands across Takawa’s neck with an elbow smash! Dennis Heflin sees Cronos covering Hiro Takawa for the pin, and slides down to make the count…
Suddenly, Cronos disappears…he is grabbed by the ankle from the outside, and pulled from the ring! The fans cheer in relief!
Eryk Masters: Crazy Boy just grabbed Cronos by the ankle, from outside the ring and pulls him outside…just in the nick of time!
The Other Guy: Dennis Heflin has no control over this match, Eryk. He’s letting Cronos get away with murder, and he’s also letting Corey Lazarus break up the count every chance he gets!
On the outside, Crazy Boy is beside himself with rage. He pulls Cronos to his feet, and then grabs him by the back of the head. Crazy Boy has Cronos by the back of the head with his other hand and smashes him face first to the apron at full speed! The fans are going wild! Dennis Heflin is in the ring, yelling down at Crazy Boy to get back to his corner.
Dennis Heflin finally succeeds in prompting Crazy Boy to walk back over to his corner. Cronos Diamante rolls back into the ring and pulls the still gasping Takawa into the middle of the ring, flat on his stomach. Cronos Diamante walks around Takawa, then reaches down and tucks Takawa’s head in-between his knees. With one smooth motion, Diamante hoists Takawa high into the air, and hammers him back down to the mat with a bone jarring powerbomb!
As Takawa lays on his back stunned, Diamante grabs both his legs and locks them into a figure four with his arms, placing Takawa’ straight leg into his armpit. Diamante steps over, rolling him on his stomach and then sits back! Cronos Diamante has slapped on a grapevine submission hold! Takawa screams in agony and starts to thrash around, trying desperately to break the hold!
The fans are on their feet…
Eryk Masters: This is it. Cronos is actually going to beat three men in a handicap match!
The Other Guy: That shows you why the dude is considered a legend, Masters. He might be a jerk, but he’s not a coward.
Sweat pours down the face of Hiro Takawa, as he thrashes around, trying unsuccessfully to break the hold of Cronos Diamante. Cronos Diamante has a maniacal look on his face, as he leans back and adds even more torque on the hold. Hiro Takawa reaches out…straining…grasping…his fingers outstretched as hard and as far as he can…trying to break the hold and reach the ropes.
The fans are now on their feet, chanting…
Let’s go Takawa! Let’s go Takawa! Let’s go Takawa!
Corey Lazarus has his feet on the mat, but he is reaching out as far as he can, trying to tag in…but he can’t reach. Dennis Heflin drops down, and asks Takawa if he wants to submit. We cannot hear the response from Takawa, because of the crowd noise, but Heflin looks over at Samantha on the outside, shaking his head…indicating that Takawa will not give.
The pressure is intense. Cronos Diamante leaves the hold locked on tight, and pulls back with all his strength. Takawa is hollering in agony, but will not tap. Both Lazarus and Crazy Boy are on the outside, watching the action, pacing back and forth, and thumping on the turnbuckles, shouting support at their partner.
There is still no sign of The Flying Avengers.
Finally, Corey Lazarus has had enough.
Lazarus scrambles up the turnbuckles, measures Cronos Diamante off in the middle of the ring…
Flashbulbs pop all over the arena, and the fans gasp as Corey Lazarus gracefully sails through the air, halfway across the ring, and NAILS Cronos Diamante right across the back with a flying elbow drop from the top rope…breaking the hold!
Cronos Diamante sprawls out face first, as does Takawa. Corey Lazarus gets to his feet, and starts to stomp away at Cronos Diamante. Lazarus grabs Cronos by the shoulder, and spins him around and nails him with a short arm clothesline, but Cronos pops back up, and goes on the attack, hammering Lazarus with a rapid succession of repeated punches and kicks. The crowd is rocking, and so is Corey Lazarus.
Finally, Dennis Heflin physically inserts himself in-between Corey Lazarus and Cronos, and has to shove Lazarus back to his corner. Cronos Diamante is back up now, is laying the boots to Hiro Takawa. Dennis Heflin finally succeeds in once again getting the extremely frustrated Corey Lazarus back to his corner.
Diamante pulls Takawa into the ropes and throws another clothesline, but Takawa ducks underneath, somersaults, leaps forward…AND FINALLY MAKES THE TAG!
Corey Lazarus leaps over the top rope, and screams in rage! Corey Lazarus rushes into the ring…and almost takes the head of Cronos off with a clothesline! Corey Lazarus turns around, his eyes wild, and points down at Cronos Diamante, who is just starting to get to his feet.
Before Cronos Diamante can even react, Lazarus is on him like a wild man! Corey Lazarus jumps onto Cronos Diamante in a Lou Thesz press, and starts to rain down a merciless barrage of punches to the head. Cronos Diamante tries to cover up, but Lazarus is relentless in his onslaught. Corey Lazarus starts to literally bounce Cronos Diamante’s head off the mat.
Finally, Corey Lazarus gets up, pulls Cronos Diamante to his feet, and hurls him through the air in a wild hip toss. Cronos Diamante crashes to the mat, right on his tailbone. Lazarus starts to stomp and kick away, refusing to give the Diamante a chance to breathe.
Eryk Masters: Corey Lazarus is taking it to Cronos like a man possessed. This isn’t just about getting tagged in. He feels for his partner, and he knows that Hiro is hurting, and that Cronos took advantage of that. He’s doing this for Hiro.
The Other Guy: And we still haven’t seen Crazy Boy in this match, or The Flying Avengers!
Cronos Diamante struggles to his feet, and in desperation, he reaches up and violently rakes the eyes of Laz. Corey Lazarus backs off for a moment, temporarily blinded. Cronos grabs Lazarus by the back of the head, and hurls him toward his own corner.
Crazy Boy reaches out, and tags himself in, as the crowd reacts!
Eryk Masters: CRAZY BOY!
The Other Guy: Now we get to see Cronos and Crazy Boy face off, and there is some serious history here!
Corey Lazarus is arguing vehemently, but Heflin signifies the tag is legal and Crazy Boy rushes at Cronos, who simply lets Crazy Boy grab him around the midsection, but then he slaps on a front facelock, hoists Crazy Boy high up into the air, and spikes him backward, headfirst into the mat!
An impaler style DDT on Crazy Boy by Cronos!
Crazy Boy lands on his head, neck, and shoulders as Cronos pushes down, adding velocity to the drop! Cronos makes the cover on the nearly crippled Crazy Boy! Dennis Heflin is facing the corner of Crazy Boy’s team and is staring right at them as he counts, so they can’t run in this time.
Cronos stands up smirking and screams out:
“WHAT’S IN A NAME NOW, BITCH?”
The music of Cronos Diamante starts to play, and Cronos holds his arms over his head as the crowd is stunned by the fact that the man who is known as The Devil Himself just beat Crazy Boy with no problems, and held off three men by himself.
Eryk Masters: I can’t believe Cronos just won this match all by himself!
The Other Guy: I’ll do you one better. From the look on his face, and from what he said to Samantha, he KNEW The Avengers weren’t going to be here, and I bet he either told them not to come, or attacked them backstage or something. This guy is ruthless. Anybody who thinks Cronos is washed up just got proved wrong in a big way!
Eryk Masters: That was a hell of a surprising match, and probably not the first we’re going to see at Salvation!
Alex Brooks is in the locker rooms of Cardiff City Stadium. He is wearing one of "Red Hot" Ray Willmott’s "I’m Red Hot" t-shirts and his black wrestling shorts. He is currently in the process of strapping his ankles before putting his boots on and completing his warm up for his upcoming Rules of Surrender Championship Title match against Kenji Yamada tonight. The Rules of Surrender belt is sitting on the bench next to him.
???: Hey kiddo, you’ll need that bandage a little tighter if you wanna avoid rollin’ your ankle.
As if the Australian accent didn’t already tip everybody off… the camera pans across and we see "Daredevil" Dina Bryce, in her jeans and a Warpaint t-shirt, inspecting the strapping job from a distance. Alex looks up but doesn’t stop what he’s doing.
Alex Brooks: Thanks for the advice, Miss Bryce. I haven’t seen you around here lately… you’re not on the card tonight, are you?
Dina Bryce: Nah mate, been doin’ promotional stuff for the brass but that’s about it. I just wanted to offer my congratulations on winnin’ that strap there, Alex. Ya put up one hell of a fight against four of the toughest in the company.
Brooks finishes his strapping job and stands up, smiling at Bryce.
Brooks: Thanks a bunch, Miss Bryce, that means a lot. But really, I only beat three of them…
Bryce: You surprised a hell of a lot of people, is what ya did. But you’ll have to be careful tonight. Kenji’s a sick bastard and ya might have more than him to deal with, if ya follow me.
Brooks: Are you saying you think Kenji might cheat in our match, Miss Bryce? That Project: SCAR might get involved?
Bryce: *shaking her head* I dunno, Al, the nasty stuff those guys have come up with, they could have anything planned. Just… watch yer back out there, okay?
Brooks: I’ll be careful. I know Yamada is a handful, but I think I can take whatever he comes up with in the ring. So why are you here tonight, Miss Bryce?
Bryce grins and gives him a playful punch on the arm to punctuate her next words.
Bryce: Quit callin’ me that, ya goofball! Miss Bryce is what the doctor calls me. For you, mate, it’s Dina. An’ I’m here with a ticket to both days of the show! This is the biggest pay-per-view card I’ve ever seen! Even as a Soldier, I’m gonna be going nuts from the stands. I’ll let you get your head right for the match… good luck out there, Mister Brooks.
She offers her hand. Brooks shakes it.
Brooks: Thanks, Mi- Dina. Enjoy the show!
Bryce leaves the locker room as Alex Brooks bends down to put on his right boot, before beginning the process of lacing up as we cut away.
The camera shifts to the backstage area to see the incomparable member of Sovereign and The Hierarchy…X-Calibur.
Just X, with eyes keeping a look-out in all directions as best a lone pair of eyes could. His face devoid of any emotion whatsoever, with hair sopping wet from a recent shower. The dark glimmer in his black eyes suggested that he had been lost in a bout of stoicism for some time.
The sight, while itself peculiar, adds to a growing list of uncertainties when a plain metal door opens in a room adjacent to where X has been standing. Donovan King steps into view, wearing his ring gear for the evening, all green.
Before King even realizes someone was standing there, X steps right up into King’s path, places a hand on King’s shoulder and stops him cold. King instinctively reaches up with a defensive stance and a hard grip on the hand that touched him.
X stops King from speaking, and gently pushes him back against the brick wall X had previously been leaning against. King, looking completely taken off guard by X’s seemingly random visit, isn’t pleased with this. And yet, the curiosity within him allows him the patience to listen. The two men lock eyes and the tension…is palpable, to say the least.
X-Calibur: I’m not here to brawl with you. I came alone. I came here… to do something we should’ve done a long time ago. I came here to talk.
X looks over his shoulder, making sure no one was listening. Looking back at King, X forms a half-lipped smirk and cocks his head.
X-Calibur: Look. I’ve heard the whispers, man. Everyone’s heard them. Whispers of this kid named Donovan talking shit on X. And you know what? There was a time when I would simply say, "Yeah? Well get in line you fuckin’ nobody.”
King’s fist clench until the dark skin atop his knuckles turn a ghostly white.
X-Calibur: But I look at this motherfucker in front of me, and you know what I see? I see the blood of OutKast. A man I used to respect. A man I used to fucking roll with in this posse known as Law & Order. In this brotherhood known as Instant Heat. A man who became so jealous of my success that he actually had me committed to an institution to get me out of SHOOT.
X chuckles a disturbing laugh. Shuttering with this orgasmic gesture, he continued.
X-Calibur: And you? YOU gave that motherfucker a taste of his own medicine. His own conniving flesh and blood tossed his ass out of his own fucking tree. That… that impresses me, Donovan. It shows me that you’re not all hot air and this name-dropping motherfuckers who ain’t even in the same fed as you. You’re… heh… the real deal, kid.
X pats King on the shoulder roughly. But it was a pat in the affirmative. Like a soldier on the field impressed by a fellow soldier’s toughness.
X-Calibur: So you know what? I’m not really sure WHAT the problem is between us… or where it all stemmed from… or even if there WAS a problem at all… but the fact is we’re in SHOOT together now, man. You hear me? We’re both talented as all fuck. We rid this business of the weak and intimidated. We’re both world champion material, and have beaten some of the best names in this industry to prove it. Essentially, Donovan, the world is our oyster, and… it seems like a big fuckin’ SHAME to go and waste that on phantom differences when we COULD be eliminating the real problems. Problems like, Black. Problems like… Stellar Insanity.
King stares at X still, saying nothing.
X-Calibur: Soveriegn, Hierarchy…all that really matters is that a man like you…a man like me…we belong on the same side.
X’s smile changes, almost to one of a nurturing sort.
X-Calibur: So…you know…give it some thought. We’ve all been so concerned with our petty squabbles we’ve lost sight of our destiny as the dominant force in this company. Tonight, we have your back. No more silly backstage antics. The Hierarchy and Sovereign are one, Donovan. Like I said…tonight, we have your back.
King’s face relaxes and he…smiles back?
X-Calibur: Good…good. We have your back…and you have ours, right?
King sighs, looking down at the ground before he nods slowly.
X-Calibur: Excellent. So you and me…we’re good now. I won’t even care about you using the X-Terminator anymore.
Donovan King: Dealbreaker.
X-Calibur: Excuse me?
Donovan King: It’s called…the Dealbreaker.
X’s lips curve into that smile of his.
X-Calibur: …of course. See you tonight.
He slaps King on the shoulder one last time before he saunters off screen. The camera focuses in on King’s face as his own smile slides down into a small scowl.
Kenji sits alone on a bench in the Project: SCAR lockeroom. The ambiance is typical of the team’s usual demeanor; dimly lit and very low visibility. Kenji’s palms are connected, his fingers upright resting on the bridge of his nose. Opaque blue eyes focused forward on the lack of light. His eyes shift slightly upward at the slightest of sounds being heard from the opposite side of the room.
Kenji: I need a favor.
Corazon looks over at Isaac Entragian, and then back to Kenji. He tilts his head to the side with a smile.
Corazon: How can we aid you, Kenji?
He smiles again, hopefully. Entragian pauses on the other side of the locker room as he finishes pulling on his white strike gloves. He takes a step or two forward to stand by Corazon, all of his focus on Yamada.
Kenji: Stay away from ringside. Don’t come down to the ring. Not to help me. Not to aid me. Not to hurt Brooks. No matter what you see, no matter what you hear, and no matter what you think…don’t come to ringside. No matter what.
Kenji’s eyes narrow, they seem to be in a far off place. His hands slowly drop from his face and fall between his knees.
Kenji: No matter what.
The Ivory Terror studies Kenji very carefully, leaning back against a section of lockers with his inked and scarred arms crossed at the chest. His eyes so rabid, twinkling brightly as he searches the cold void of Kenji’s gaze for any sign of a motive.
Finally he shrugs his shoulders while shooting Corazon a look, speaking through razor-teeth in a solemn tone.
Isaac: As you wish, brother. His blood is yours. And yours…alone.
Kenji doesn’t respond in the slightest. His eyes don’t twinge, his fists don’t tighten…he simply gets up and makes his way for the door. However, he stands there for a moment, with his back to his brothers in Project: SCAR. His voice rings out in the locker room.
Kenji: No matter what.
The Cardiff Stadium goes to complete darkness, the sound of a heartbeat blasts through the arena speakers, followed by a throb of white lighting at timed intervals every few seconds. The sound of the tragic violin and guitar that starts "DIM Scene" by the GazettE haunts the arena. The words "PROJECT: SCAR" appears on the SHOOT Project Video Wall, the letters covered in blood and gristly meat. The violin and guitar slowly pick up, haunting ever still. Finally they climax as another guitar slams into its main rift, the lights turn completely on for but a second, then fade until they is only one spotlight shining on the entrance ramp, shining on Kenji Yamada.
Samantha Coil: Now making his way to the ring, representing Project: SCAR, he hails from Kyoto, Japan…KENJI YAAAAAAMAADA!
Kenji stalks to the ring, oblivious of the thunderous boos that come from all sides of the Cardiff Stadium. The spotlight follows Kenji into the ring, he doesn’t pose, he doesn’t raise his hand, he walks to his corner and sits with his back against the turnbuckle. His cold blue eyes staring forward at nothing.
Eryk Masters: Kenji is a frightening individual, the founder of the sadistic Project: SCAR. The group that, at Dominion 3, nearly crippled Mike Dexter in sickening fashion. This is not someone you want to see standing opposed to you, in the ring or not.
Other Guy: Not only that, this is match is for the Rule of Surrender Championship. This match has to be decided via submission. Kenji is a well documented glutton for pain…good luck, Alex, you’re gonna need it.
Samantha Coil: Now making his way to the ring, hailing from Denver, Colorado, he is the current RULES OF SURRENDER CHAMPION…ALLLLLEEEEEXXXXX BROOOOOOKS!
Suddenly, the lights flare back on and "Learn to Fly" by the Foo Fighters floods over the Cardiff Stadium. The crowd roars with cheers as Alex Brooks stands a top the entrance ramp, soaking in the love of the fans. Alex zig-zags back and forth down the entrance ramp making sure to tag hands with every fan he can. Once Alex gets down to ringside he stares towards Kenji, his smile dissipating. Alex nervously tags hands with the fans around ringside, his head always spinning to check on Kenji. Kenji, remains sitting in his corner, never even making eye contact with Alex. Alex rips off his shirt and hands it to a screaming girl with a big smile on her face. Alex looks hesitant to roll into the ring, but finally does…making sure it’s on the opposite end from where Kenji is.
Eryk Masters: Alex is looking a little…skiddish.
Other Guy: Can you blame him? If you think back to Kenji’s blood soaked past, this isn’t exactly just another day in the office. Kenji has the potential to seriously hurt you, especially with his current mindset. This week he said several times that he doesn’t even care about winning the match or the title.
Kenji finally stands up in his corner, his eyes staring a hole into Alex Brooks. When the bell finally rings Alex Brooks flinches as if he’s expecting Kenji to run right into him. Kenji, however, doesn’t move an inch. Kenji walks to the middle of the ring, no emotion on his face, and simply stands there waiting for Brooks. Brooks hesitantly walks forward and stands face to face with Kenji, Brooks looks visibly nervous. Brooks extends his hand, which seems to slightly shake to Kenji,
Eryk Masters: Brooks did say this week that he would shake Kenji’s hand out of respect, it seems like he’s attempting to stick to that right now.
Kenji doesn’t even look down at Brooks’ hand. It doesn’t even take Kenji a split second to fire his head forward and slam his forehead in Brooks’. Brooks falls backwards grasping at his face, Kenji quickly mounts Brooks and reigns down a flurry of closed fist shots. Austin Linam screams at Kenji about closing his fist, to which Kenji sadistically opens his fist and slams his palm into Alex Brooks’ throat. Alex lets out a hoarse cough as he clutches his throat while Kenji walks around him like a predator stalking its wounded prey.
Other Guy: Kenji is an absolute animal, I don’t think anyone has ever had the horrific presence that Kenji has had. Did you see the way he hit Brooks right in the throat? He could have crushed his windpipe and he shows absolutely no emotion about it.
Eryk Matsers: Brooks is definitely not in a good way right now, especially if Kenji decides to put on a submission that focuses on that throat area. Kenji has a number of devastation submissions under his belt, Brooks needs to turn the offense in his favor…and quick.
Kenji grabs Brooks by the hair and drags him to his feet, but Brooks CHOPS Kenji hard across the chest. Kenji winces and is forced back a few steps, Brooks follows with another wicked knife edge chop. A red welt can be seen forming on Kenji’s chest as he tries to nail Brooks with a forearm, but Brooks dodges underneath it and whips a stiff kick into Kenji’s ribs. Kenji absorbs the hit and tries to quickly grab Brooks, but Brooks doesn’t stand still long enough to let him. Brooks shifts behind Kenji and performs a dropkick so perfectly to the back of Kenji, that the sold out attendance in the Cardiff Stadium erupts with cheers as Kenji falls forward to the mat.
Other Guy: That has to be one of the most picturesque dropkicks I’ve ever seen, I honestly don’t think you could perform one better than that. Fundamentals, kids, fundamentals.
Eryk Masters: But don’t forget, performing a picture perfect dropkick will only get you so far in a Rules of Surrender sanctioned match. What Brooks needs to do now is focus on the back of Kenji and work on making it an easier task to make the Sociopath Pioneer of Project: SCAR somehow submit.
Brooks quickly rebounds off the ropes and drops a knee across the lower back of Kenji. Brooks quickly kips up and leaps into the air and drops a heavy knee onto the same lower back area on Kenji. Kenji moans in pain and reaches for his lower back as Brooks starts to climb the nearby turnbuckle. He waits for Kenji to get back up before he leaps off with an amazing missile dropkick…but Kenji rolls out of the way and Brooks crashes to the mat! Kenji grabs Brooks by the shoulders and hauls him to his feet, Kenji gets a grip on Brooks trunks and throws Brooks out of the ring through the middle rope, Brooks lands hard face first onto the padding on the outside.
Other Guy: This just got really bad. Kenji is a tactical monster in the ring, but outside the ring…it’s like giving a tub of gasoline to a pyromaniac.
Eryk Masters: Alex Brooks really needs to get this match back into the ring, the amount of damage Kenji can deal outside the ring…if someone like that has his way he could win this match with a headlock.
Kenji rolls out of the ring and stands above Brooks, just staring down at him with icy blue eyes. The crowd showers him with boos, but it seems completely ineffective as Kenji doesn’t even look up at the crowd, he just grabs Brooks and hauls him to his feet. Kenji powers Brooks forward crashing his back against the apron and side of the ring. Brooks cries out in pain, Kenji thrusts his shoulder into the midsection of Brooks forcing even more pressure to be put onto his back, which is pinned against the ring apron. Kenji looks up for only a split second and Brooks smashes an elbow right into his jaw with such force that Kenji falls straight backwards. The crowd erupts with approval when they see dribbles of blood coming from Kenji’s mouth! Brooks kneels for a second, clutching at his back. Brooks grabs Kenji and sits him up against the steel ring steps and takes a few steps back. The crowd going absolutely crazy as Brooks runs and performs a low angle dropkick right to Kenji’s chest, a sickening THUD echoes as Kenji’s body is impacted on the steel!
Other Guy: I have to give a ton of credit to Brooks, this kid is bringing the fight to Kenji in his own playground. I mean, Brooks came into this match looking like a nervous wreck and now he has Kenji on his heels and right where he wants him.
Alex Brooks holds up a single finger and mouths the words, "One more time". The crowd really gets pumped as Alex starts running again, but Kenji pops up and flapjacks Brooks, his face lands RIGHT on the base of the steel steps with a horrific THUD. Brooks falls awkwardly off the stairs, a nasty gash opened up on his forehead now dripping blood. The crowd falls into a hush as Kenji gets back to his feet, wiping the blood from his mouth, and dragging Brooks to his feet.
Eryk Masters: Things are really not looking good for Brooks right now, he had all the momentum in his favor but it looked like he went to the well once to often. Kenji caught him and just spiked him into those steel steps, both men bleeding now, but Brooks seems far worse for wear.
Other Guy: What worries me is that Kenji, while mostly in control so far, hasn’t gone for a submission hold yet. He seems to just be content trying to hurt Brooks, it’s like he doesn’t even realize this is a match and just wants to dish out punishment.
Kenji takes Brooks and rolls him back into the ring, but when Kenji rolls back into the ring he doesn’t even go after Brooks. He immediately heads for the nearest turnbuckle and starts to unravel the strings that hold the turnbuckle padding to the ring post. Austin Linam tries to stop him, but he simply isn’t strong enough to force Kenji to do much of anything as Kenji rips the padding off to reveal an exposed turnbuckle. But, before Linam can admonish Kenji anymore, Brooks comes flying from behind Kenji and SLAMS his head right into the exposed turnbuckle! Kenji falls flat on his back again and Brooks, with blood trickling down his face, is quick to lock in a basic STF! Austin Linam gets down to Kenji’s level, checking for a submission. Kenji’s forehead is almost covered in his blood now, but there is no sign of submission from Kenji.
Other Guy: Our first submission attempt of the night, not surprisingly it comes from Brooks as Kenji seems to not even be interested in ending the match.
When Brooks realizes Kenji isn’t giving up, he releases the hold. Brooks rushes to the ropes and springboards off with a moonsault, however Alex spins the rotation just a little more so that he lands knees first on Kenji’s back! A rare howl of pain erupts from Kenji as he reaches for his back. Brooks rushes to the nearby turnbuckle and climbs to the second rope, he points to all the fans and holds up a closed fist. Brooks falls of the second rope with a fistdrop…right to Kenji’s back!
Eryk Masters: The tide has completely changed here, Brooks is in full control and has seemingly targeted the back of Kenji with every move. You have to believe that he is closing in on possibly pulling off what some would consider a huge upset!
Other Guy: I don’t know about upset, Brooks proved to the world he could tango with the big boys when he won the Rules of Surrender title. I think he’s right where he wants to be and he’s proving again that he deserves that title.
Brooks looks completely exhausted, blood all over his face, and drops down and clutches in a basic half boston crab, hoping it’s enough. Kenji moans in agony, but shows no signs of quitting or giving up as blood continues to flow from the open wound on his forehead. Brooks leans back as much as he can, but the same result, Kenji, despite all the blood on his face, refuses to give and claws closer to the ropes. Brooks wrenches the half boston crab in as much as he can, but it’s just not enough as Kenji gets to the ropes and breaks the hold. Brooks falls backwards off of Kenji, holding his hands to his face in disbelief that Kenji was able to manage to get to the ropes.
Other Guy: Stay on the offense, Brooks! You can’t give someone like Kenji even a second to breath!
Brooks sits up and as soon as he does Kenji’s knee CRASHES into his face, blood squirting out on impact.
Eryk Masters: Just like you said, OG, all it took was a second to catch his breath and Kenji was already back on the offense. It’s scary how much punishment that man can take, it’s absolutely horrifying how quick Kenji went back on the offense.
Other Guy: That’s been his M.O for the longest time. Kenji can not only dish out pain, he can take it and at times…I think he damn well enjoys it.
Kenji stands above Brooks, the contrast of his opaque blue eyes against his blood laden skin was a terrifying sight. Kenji flips Brooks over onto his stomach and hauls Brooks up so that they are in a belly to back position, Kenji then SLAMS Brooks down to the canvas with a modified cradle piledriver!
Eryk Masters: DEEP SCAR! But remember, Kenji can’t win with that move. This is a Rules of Surrender match for the title. This has to be decided via submission.
Other Guy: Which I’m sure Brooks is really regretting right now, DEEP SCAR usually ends a normal match. Now Kenji has a defenseless Brooks…
Kenji just stares down at Brooks, he doesn’t attack him or try to lock in a submission. He just stares at him. Kenji’s head twists to both sides of the ring, staring at all the people in attendance. Everyone booing and showering him with their hatred. Brooks seems to finally be stirring, a blood stain on the canvas where his face was resting. When Kenji sees Brooks start to stir he completely turns his back to Brooks.
Eryk Masters: I’m not exactly sure what Kenji is doing here, he’s not even trying to attack Brooks. He’s not going for a submission or even a wrestling hold.
Other Guy: I’m as confused as you are. This should be like blood in the water for him, he should be trying to bring the Rules of Surrender Championship to Project: SCAR.
Brooks has made it back to his knees, Kenji still has his back to Brooks. Once Brooks gets back to his feet Kenji, with his back still to Brooks, simply holds his arms out horizontally. There is a surprised hush among the crowd who seem equally confused at Kenji. Brooks looks all over ringside to make sure it isn’t a setup, finally Brooks rushes Kenji from behind and locks in a crossface!
Eryk Masters: This is bizarre, Kenji just stood there for the longest time while Brooks recovered. He stood right in the middle of the ring and now…Brooks has that crossface locked in and Kenji has nowhere to go.
Brooks cinches back as hard as he can, blood now pouring from Kenji’s forehead. The crowd starts to cheer and roar as Brooks continues to pull back. However, Kenji isn’t struggling. He is making absolutely no effort to try to break the submission or try to crawl to the ropes.
Other Guy: Is it just me or…is Kenji not trying to escape?
Eryk Masters: I think you’re right, it looks like…it looks like he’s just taking the full force of that crossface.
The crowd continues to cheer, but there is a new sound as Brooks tightens the grip on his crossface. Laughter. Kenji is literally laughing. It starts off low, but it soon picks up and becomes more guttural. A shocked looked comes across Brooks, he looks just as confused as the rest of the crowd. Soon, all the cheering stops as the laughter becomes high pitched and psychotic. Kenji’s eyes are wide as blotches of blood spoil the white in his eyes.
Other Guy: I don’t even know what to say, Kenji is just…he’s laughing like a complete maniac. I don’t know…
Brooks starts to look almost scared as he keeps the submission hold locked in, Kenji just keeps laughing, the sound wailing through the now silent Cardiff Stadium. The laughing slowly starts to die down, Kenji’s eyes slowly start to fade. As it looks like Kenji is about to fade he lets out a thunderous cackle, that visibly jolts Brooks. Finally, Kenji’s eyes close and the laughter finally stops. Linam starts to check on Kenji. Linam gets one look at Kenji’s lifeless face and immediately signals for the bell.
Samantha Coil: Ladies and Gentlemen, I have been informed that Kenji is no longer fit compete. Therefor, your winner, and STILL RULES OF SURRENDER CHAMPION…ALLLLEEEEXXX BROOOOOOOOOKS!
Brooks stands up and just stares down at Kenji, his hands shaking and covered with Kenji’s blood. When Austin Linam grabs his hand to raise it, Brooks jumps backwards completely startled. The crowd is completely silent as well.
Eryk Masters: Ladies and Gentlemen, I…I’m at a loss for words for what just happened. Alex Brooks successfully retains his championship but…these guys in Project: SCAR…even in defeat they just…
Other Guy: I have to believe this is what Kenji was talking about all week. About how it wasn’t about winning, losing or even the Championship belt. Look at Brooks, he’s covered in blood and shaken from head to toe. Even the fans can’t cheer. This is…I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone as…I just don’t know.
Alex Brooks rolls out of the ring with his Rules of Surrender Title clutched to his chest, he stares at Kenji, unconscious on the mat, as he walks backwards up the ramp. The shocked and scared looks never leave his face as the crowd remains deafly silent. The camera zooms in on Kenji’s bloody and unconscious face.
He’s still smiling.
Rocky Stellar is sitting in front of his locker, lacing up a pair of wrestling boots while wearing his wrestling shorts and a T-shirt that reads Ic0n + Fr3AkSH0 = $I. After a second, the door swings wide open and Loco Martinez, looking all wild eyed, stands there panting.
Loco: Dude, I’ve been looking EVERYWHERE for you.
Stellar looks up at him with a smirk.
Stellar: Did you – you know – bother to look in the locker room? Specifically, the one with the sign on the door that reads "Stellar Insanity?"
Loco stops panting, thinks for a second, then leans out the door and looks at the sign on the door – that reads Stellar Insanity.
Loco: I DID NOW!!!
Stellar smiles and goes back to lacing as Loco walks in calming down.
Loco: I just wanted you to know that you can stop worrying about it…
Stellar: Thank God.
Loco: Yea. I knew you’d be relieved.
Stellar: What was I worried about?
Loco flips open his locker before turning to Stellar.
Loco: I have our theme song and entrance all worked out.
Stellar finishes lacing up the boots and stands up to get a roll of tape out of his locker.
Stellar: Oh, yea…forgot about that.
Loco: Well, I got it all taken care of…
Stellar grabs the tape.
Loco: Just the thing to get the crowd in Wales all pumped up for our official ring return. Glow sticks, fist pumping, jumping around while
that fresh techno beat goes blasting through the arena…
Stellar stops what he’s doing and turns around.
Loco finishes removing his shirt and hangs it up.
Loco: Technically its a pop song, but it has a decidedly dance club flair…. The pop goddess herself, Ke$ha, laying her fresh beats down…
Loco: Hell yea dude. It’ll be EPIC…just like us.
Loco starts busting a few moves humming a little ditty while doing so.
Stellar: Oh hell no. Absolutely not.
Stellar looks at him, clearly ticked.
Stellar: Dude, we are Stellar Insanity. I dont think Kesha EXACTLY is what we are looking for to represent us in song…
Loco: Dude, you have to open your mind. Kesha is AWESOME!!!
Stellar: Um….no. Kesha sucks – and not in a good way either.
Loco: Then what do you want. Neil Diamond?
Stellar cocks his head to the side…seeing the old joke in there.
Stellar: No – not Neil Diamond. Classic hard rock…you know, Halen… Aerosmith… maybe some Ozzy or Judas Priest.
Loco: *makes a gagging sound* So, you mean…old stoner music.
Stellar: Its not old stoner music.
Loco: Jesus…next you’ll want us to grow matching mullets or something, throw on your varsity jacket, and drive around in your T-Top Camaro.
Stellar smirks and continues on.
Stellar: Dude…I’m not going out to Kesha. Go change it.
Loco: No…I picked an awesome song, the people of Wales *waits for obligatory reaction* will love it, and its staying.
Stellar: Then you’re going out alone…
Loco turns to Rocky.
Loco: How will that look? Stellar Insanity – the most cohesive team in the history of wrestling – coming out to two seperate theme songs?
Stellar: It’ll look like you like Kesha.
Loco: No…it’ll make people think that we cant even agree on a song. Plus we each HAVE solo music… I just figured this would be a great way to get the crowd pumped. AND, if we can’t get on the same page pre match? How are we gonna get on the same page DURING the match.
Stellar: Well, I’m NOT coming out to Kesha, so we need to come up with another way to settle this whole thing.
Loco nods his head, then gets a smile on his face.
Loco: You know what? I can respect that. I don’t want to come out to Jurassic-Rock, you don’t want to be fresh and fun… SO? We settle it the way we’ve ALWAYS settled it.
Stellars eyebrows perk up.
Stellar: You mean, the Stellar Insanity Challenge?
Loco nods his head.
Loco: I get to pick this time because you picked first LAST time.
Stellar: That was like five years ago…
Loco goes rummaging into his travel bag.
Loco: So? I never forget who’s turn it is to pick the next Stellar Insanity Challenge.
Stellar: Fine…pick it.
Loco smiles and suddenly holds up a big box that has hippos on it.
Loco: HUNGRY HUNGRY HIPPOS!!!
Stellar: Fucker. I hate that damn game. YOU REALIZE THAT HIPPOS DONT EAT MARBLES, RIGHT!!!
Loco: One – who died and made you Zoomaster General? Two – It is documented that hippos will eat PEOPLE, and each other… so I’m guessing they’ll basically eat anything – Marbles included.
Stellar stares dumbfounded. Loco smiles sheepishly.
Loco: …There was a special on Nat Geo. Hippos are fucking nasty, dude… Very territorial. Don’t mess with them. Oh, and THREE – Quit bitching.
They both kneel down and Loco puts the game on the bench between them – Stellar taking the red hippo while Loco taking the yellow
hippo. They take the marbles out and put them on their launchers, and wait, poised to battle it out.
Loco: Winner gets to pick the theme song for tonight.
Stellar: Whatever…I’m surprised you didn’t pick the pink hippo, gay boy.
Loco: Says the guy who played the Brokeback cowboy…
Stellar: Says the guy who wants to dance out to the ring tonight to Kesha…
The marbles are set up and the both remain poised over the lever for their hippos…
Loco: and… here…we…GO!
The camera sudenly switches to Eryk Masters and the Other Guy sitting in the arena.
Eryk Masters: Looks like we won’t find out who won until they come out in the main event…
Other Guy: God, I hope it’s Stellar. Kesha sucks…
We cut to the massive parking lot outside of the Cardiff City Stadium as a long, white limousine slowly pulls up to the front doors. Before the limo can even come to a full stop, the door swings open as Azrael Goeren leaps out, clutching his rolling luggage in one hand while trying to remove his tie with the other.
Goeren: Dummkopf! You’re the worst sherpa ever! I’ve barely been in this city for twenty four hours and I know it better than you do! Do you have any idea who I am?!
Azrael slams the limousine door and rips off his tie, continuing his diatribe to nobody in particular.
Goeren: Those people inside that arena have paid their hard earned euros to watch The Hierarchy crush Stellar Insanity tonight, and YOU almost made me late! I knew I should have taken the taxi with X and Yuri…
Goeren starts to make his way up the steps, angrily mumbling German curse words to himself before he reaches the front doors, only to be stopped by a Southern drawl coming from off-camera.
Erichson: Rough day, sucks to have to deal with the problems of the common man like traffic and wrong turns. Of course those are minor problems compared to what you have to deal with tonight with Stellar Insanity.
Azrael turns and comes face-to-face with Stan Erichson and Jacob Fisher – The Gunslingers. Stan has a Marlboro cigarette in his hand and Jacob is leaning against the wall next to him. Stan is staring a hole right through Goeren but Jacob kind of has that look like he wishes he was somewhere else. Azrael stares back at Erichson and smirks, not even giving him a second glance before he turns and grabs the door handle. He looks like he’s about to press on inside…but something stops him. He tries to fight the feeling off, but ends up spinning around and shoving a finger right in Fisher’s face.
Goeren: Alright, this has gone on long enough. Where the fuck do I know you from, boy?
Erichson: Don’t get in the kid’s face Goeren…
Goeren: Calm down there Wilfred Brimley, I wasn’t talking to you. When I want to know what life was like back in the 50s, I’ll ask you. Get one thing straight, you two clowns never beat me. You beat Donovan King. I was just unlucky enough to be associated with him. But in that match, I noticed a few things about junior over here. Something about his style. Something familiar. I can’t fucking put my finger on it, so why not open up and tell me boy before I decide to open up your skull on the concrete?
Jacob stands up straight just in case something is about to go down.
Fisher: I don’t know you from who shot John.
Erichson: Boy has a familiar style, I’d like to say I taught him well, but he loves watching all the stuff he can get his hands on from all over the world. He especially loves that stuff from the Carolina territory.
Goeren: I honestly don’t care if he watches Sesame Street to pick up on his wrestling moves, there is something going on here with you two podunks and it’s only a matter of time before I figure it out.
Erichson: I think you need to focus on your match tonight Goeren, but if you ever want to avenge your loss and invoke your rematch clause…you know where to find us.
Azrael stares down Erichson once again, but the Oklahoman does not even show a hint of being intimidated.
Goeren: You’re right, I do have a match tonight. A main event match actually. You remember those, don’t you Stan? I think you had your last one during the Nixon administration.
Azrael turns his focus back on Jacob, pointing back at him once more.
Goeren: Come clean boy, I don’t like secrets in my locker room. I’ll find out, one way or another. Auf wiedersehen hündinnen…
Goeren pushes into the arena, leaving the Gunslingers staring coldly back at him as we fade out.
The scene is a dark room with a single light shining down on a tabletop. Slowly, the creaking of a rusted spring of a reclining chair is hard, and the hooded head of Donovan King comes into view. A clipboard is slid into the light on the table, and clipped to it is a sheet of paper. The opening beats of Linkin Park’s “New Divide” kicks in.
King looks down at the paper and the camera shifts over his shoulder to reveal it is a plea agreement. A pen slides into the light and he stares at it for a long moment. King glances over to the pen as the guitar picks up. He reaches over and picks the pen up as he slowly reads the paper…
The scene shifts to a wet and dark alley in Memphis, a thunderstorm roaring through the city. We see King slumped down against a dumpster, holding himself.
I remembered black skies, the lightning all around me
King looks up to the camera.
I remembered each flash as time began to blur…
The scene shifts to the back of Thomas Manchester Black, “QUEEN CITY KINGZ” airbrushed across the back of his vest.
Like a startling sign that fate had finally found me
A black and white image of a SHOOT Project ring. It is War Games, and Donovan King stands in the middle of the ring, bodies strewn about him, with Thomas Manchester Black on the opposite side, staring him down.
And your voice was all I heard that I get what I deserve
The screen freezes on Black charging at King before it shifts back to King walking away from the members of Hierarchy, disgusted with the way they’ve acted.
So give me reason to prove me wrong, to wash this memory clean
Let the floods cross the distance in your eyes
Black is shown, forcing Pestalance to submit.
Give me reason to fill this hole, connect the space between
Let it be enough to reach the truth that lies across this new divide
The next image is of Black staring up at a tied up and beaten Donovan King after Cronos Diamante had injured him.
In every loss, in every lie, in every truth that you’d deny
Black is shown standing with Jonny’s Friends while King is shown standing with the Sons of Liberty.
And each regret and each goodbye was a mistake too great to hide
The Sons of Liberty melt away and are replaced with The Sovereign while Jonny’s Friends melt away and are replaced…with no one.
And your voice was all I heard that I get what I deserve
The Sovereign melt away, giving way to darkness as well. All that are left is Donovan King…and Thomas Manchester Black.
So give me reason to prove me wrong, to wash this memory clean
We shift back to King sitting at the table, and we see who slid the plea agreement in King’s face as Thomas Manchester Black leans into the spotlight, locking eyes with his former friend.
Let the floods cross the distance in your eyes
We shift to King hitting the Dealbreaker on Black.
Give me reason to fill this hole, connect the space between
It quickly shifts to Black attacking King during his interview with Dan Stein.
Let it be enough to reach the truth that lies…
King slowly puts the pen to paper.
Across this new divide…
King signs it and the lights go up, and we see several law enforcement officers surrounding both men.
Across this new divide…
They put Black’s hands behind his back and handcuff him, shaking a reluctant King’s hand and smiling at him.
Across this new divide…
Black turns and looks back at King one final time before being led out of the room. The officers leave King alone, staring at a blank clipboard now, the lights going back down to a single spotlight shining down on King, who bows his head.
The fans in attendance become more and more agitated with excitement when suddenly…
NO ONE MAN SHOULD HAVE ALL THAT POWER
“POWER (Remix)” by Kanye West and Jay-Z plays, bringing the crowd to their feet. They are mixed in their feelings unsure of how to take the man coming out to greet them.
Rumble, young man, rumble
Life is a trip, so sometimes, we gon’ stumble
You gotta go through pain in order to become you
But once the world numbs you, you’ll feel like it’s only one you
King steps out, wearing his all green ring gear…from the trunks to the kneepads to the laces of his boots. He walks to the ring, not acknowledging the fans as they let him have it, both good and bad.
Samantha Coil: THE FOLLOWING CONTEST…IS SCHEDULED FOR ONE FALL WITH A THIRTY MINUTE TIME LIMIT!
Now you got the power to do anything you want to
Until you ask yourself, “Is this what it’s all come to?”
Lookin’ at life through sunglasses and a sunroof
But do you have the power to get out from up under you
King rolls into the ring as the lights start to come back up.
Samantha Coil: INTRODUCING FIRST…FROM CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA…WEIGHING IN AT 245 POUNDS…
Fuck Rollies, labels, fuck what everybody wants from you
They tryna Axl Rose you, welcome to the jungle
To be continued, we on that Norman Mailer shit
In search of the truth, even if it goes through Taylor Swift
Tell her this
Samantha Coil: DONOVAN…KIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING!!
At that exact moment, “POWER (Remix)” shuts off, and the arena is abuzz.
Samantha Coil: And now introducing…
The bassline from Filter’s “Hey Man, Nice Shot” starts to flood the arena as the lights go dim. Smoke starts to float up from the entrance way as Thomas Manchester Black makes his way through the curtains, towel over his head.
I wish I would’ve met you;
Now it’s a little late.
What you could’ve taught me,
I could’ve saved some face.
Samantha Coil: From Charlotte, North Carolina! Weighing in at 265 pounds!
TMB is wearing a “Mark H Luttrell Correctional” Prison jumpsuit that he had flown out to him from Memphis, TN. “The Mark H Luttrell Correctional” has been crossed out in Marker and under it the words “Queen City Kingz” has been written.
They think that your early ending was all wrong;
For the most part they’re right,
But look how they all got strung.
Samantha Coil: THOOOOOMAAAAAS MAAAANCHEEEEEESTEEEEEEEER BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!
That’s why I say "Hey man, nice shot."
"…a good shot, man."
That’s why I say "Hey man, nice shot."
"…what a good shot, man."
Eryk Masters: You wanna talk about a guy who is ready to get it started. I don’t think I have ever seen TMB this focused for a match.
Other Guy: Both these men have had this match in the back of their heads since the re-opening of SHOOT Project. You add that to how long things have been bubbling inside the two for all these years and you don’t have just a powder keg about to explode. You have a full fledge nuclear bomb about to go off and we all have ground zero ringside seats for it.
Black makes it to the ring and hops onto the apron. He wipes his feet on the apron then steps through the ropes, not even looking at the ref as he walks over to his corner. He rolls up his sleeves as he sits down in the corner. On his fist and forearm tape you see the words “Dark Sinner”. TMB’s eyes are unwavering as he waits for the match to start. Willie Dean looks at TMB and then over to King, who is in his corner, waiting patiently. Dean looks over to Mark Kendrick and he calls for the bell!
Eryk Masters: And our co-main event for Salvation Day One is underway!
Black pulls himself to a standing position as King stands opposite him. The two men say nothing. They do nothing. Black is rocking back and forth as King looks at the fans for one final moment before he walks to the center of the ring. He motions to Black and slowly extends his hand for a moment of respect. Black inhales deeply before he walks over to King and the two of them lock eyes.
Eryk Masters: In the opening moments here, Donovan King looks to put hate aside and shake hands.
Other Guy: A show of respect is the least he can do since he got Black and his people pinched, Eryk.
Eryk Masters: Pinched? What the hell kinda Nick at Nite cop shows are you watching?
Black purses his lips and continues to look down at the hand before he finally slaps it away and IMMEDIATELY levels King with the Chin Check! King is doubled over onto the mat as Black wastes no time in picking him back up and whipping him into the ropes and quickly rushing behind him and hitting a clothesline, sending King over the top rope to the floor! King shakes his head as Black steps out of the ring, pacing around King. He picks King up and throws him HARD into the guardrail in front of the announce table!
Eryk Masters: We want to remind everyone tonight that Willie Dean HAS been instructed to be as lenient as he can for this bona fide grudge match.
Other Guy: Lenient as he can? So he’s just gonna look the other way all match?
Eryk Masters: This is a war, OG, between two longstanding rivals. This is their FIRST one on one meeting…and it’s something Thomas Manchester Black has waited his entire career for. This is bound to get much uglier from here!
King catches a HARD shot to the face from Black, causing King to slump to the ground in a seated position. Quickly and violently, Black DESTROYS King’s face with a HARD running knee to the face! King is flat on the ground as Black wastes no time straddling his hated former friend and RAMMING elbow after elbow into King’s face! Elbow after elbow after elbow until the camera can see King’s nose and eyebrow are definitely busted open! Black gets up and shouts at a fan who is condemning his actions, prompting several in the audience to boo.
Eryk Masters: It would appear that, in all of this, Thomas Manchester Black has all but lost himself in the hopes of finally getting his piece of King tonight.
Other Guy: Good will is hard to get with wrestling audiences, Eryk, so I hope Black doesn’t piss it all away because of a tiff.
Eryk Masters: I’d hardly call this brawl a simple little…tiff, OG.
Black storms away from King, shaking his head, trying not to let the rage get the best of him. King shakes his head, trying to get the cobwebs out. Black storms back over to King and lifts him up, whipping him into the side of the ring. King grits his teeth in pain, but he reaches up and grabs the bottom rope to hold himself up. Black charges him and King kicks a leg up, hitting Black in the face. Black staggers backwards and turns back around to face King, only for King to throw his legs up and hook them around Black’s head! The fans are cheering as King struggles to hold his legs around Black’s head and Black quickly JERKS King off of the ropes…but King counters! HURRICANRANA!
Eryk Masters: Oh my! King pulled something out of his ass with that move!
Other Guy: King’s flyin’ by the seat of his pants, Eryk. Black’s out for blood and King’s gonna do all he can to avoid it!
King gets to his feet quickly and rolls Black into the ring. He rolls in after Black and quickly locks in a reverse arm bar! Black wakes back up fully as King sinks the hold in, no doubt setting up for a future Carolina Crossface. Black quickly gets his hand on the bottom rope and King releases the hold just as quickly, saying nothing to the referee Willie Dean. Black massages his shoulder as King backs the rest of the way away from Black, watching his opponent.
Other Guy: King could have just kept the hold on and done some serious damage. I mean, he has ‘til five, right?
Eryk Masters: The problem is that King isn’t out to beat Black unless he has to. Black is out to beat King here…and I don’t think you’re gonna see King worry too much about pulling out the victory tonight.
Black gets the rest of the way up, shaking his head as King comes up on him…BUT BLACK NAILS AN ARN ANDERSON-STYLE SPINEBUSTER! Black covers King!
Black picks King up and quickly hooks him back up…EXPLODER SUPLEX! King is tossed HARD into the corner! King pulls himself to a half seated position, trying to get himself picked up the rest of the way. Black charges at King and gets ready to try to flatten him with the Yakuza Kick, but King rolls past Black and dodges the move! Black turns around…KINGFALL II! King’s eyes narrow as he looks at Black trying to pick himself up yet again in the corner. King charges full throttle at Black, but Black uses all of his energy to meet King and quickly whip him HARD into the corner! King’s chest bounces off of the turnbuckle and he turns around…BLACK NAILS A VARIATION OF THE REALITY CHECK.
Other Guy: What the hell was that?!
Eryk Masters: Black sending a message to King and the fans are…booing!
Other Guy: That fat bastard barely got his foot off the ground!
Eryk Masters: King looks to be in pain!
Other Guy: I hope King’s kneecap is okay!
Black grins evilly as he picks King up and sits him on the top turnbuckle. King is trying to shake off the effects of Black’s hard hitting offense, but Black hooks King’s head and drags him away from the corner, leaving his feet dangling off of the ropes…DDT! Black grins at the crowd, enjoying his ruthless vengeance as he turns King over and goes for the pin!
Black shakes his head, growing more and more frustrated, as he picks himself off of the mat, rolls King over, and NAILS King in the back with an elbow drop! He gets up quickly…another elbow drop! He’s up…another elbow drop! He’s back up…and a rolling knee drop for good measure! He reaches down and picks King’s legs up, grapevining them around his waist…WHEELBARROW GERMAN SUPLEX. King is OUT. Black gets in King’s face.
Thomas Manchester Black: IT’S OVER, DONNIE! FUCK YOU!
Black hooks King’s leg as Willie Dean slides in for the count!
Thomas Manchester Black: FUCK!
Black is INCENSED as King powers out yet again! He quickly picks King up and quickly LEVELS him with the GET DOWN OR LAY DOWN!
Other Guy: Did you see King fold over right there?! Good LORD!
Black shakes his head and glares at Willie Dean as he hooks the leg!
Black covers his face in frustration as he picks King up…BUT KING SURPRISES BLACK WITH AN ELBOW STRIKE TO THE FACE! The fans POP as Black staggers back and answers with a HARD punch! Elbow from King! Punch from Black! King spins around…ROARING ELBOW! Black clutches his face, ANOTHER elbow! The fans are LOVING it until Black snatches King’s face…AND HE RAKES THE EYES! The fans are LIVID as Black drops to his knees…LOW BLOW! He’s up just as quickly…and he PLANTS King to the mat with a HARD AS FUCK DDT.
Eryk Masters: These fans are FURIOUS at Black tonight!
Black looks out at the sea of fans as he rolls King’s body over to his back and hooks the leg yet again!
THR…NO! KICK OUT!
The fans POP as Black pounds the mat in frustration! He looks out at the jeering fans, and he suddenly realizes how he’d been acting. He sighs, looking down at his exhausted foe. He slowly bends down and picks King up. Once he gets King to his feet…DEALBREAKER! KING SHOCKS BLACK WITH THE DEALBREAKER AND BOTH MEN ARE DOWN!!!!
Eryk Masters: Listen to these fans! If Donovan King wants to end this match, THIS is his chance! Get him NOW!
King and Black are BOTH out as Willie Dean begins to make the count!
King rolls to his side…
A replay is shown of the quick Dealbreaker that brought King and Black both down.
King is on his stomach as he slowly pulls himself to his hands and knees.
King rolls back to the ropes and begins to pull himself up…
King is up! He leans against the ropes as the fans cheer him on. He looks down at Black, who is still out. He shakes his head as he slowly walks over and picks Black up. He drags the half conscious Black over to the ropes, braces his arms against the ropes…and FRIES his chest with a KNIFE EDGE CHOP!
King looks at the fans and grins…and CHOP!
King bursts out with laughter as he looks out at the sea of fans…and CHOP!
Eryk Masters: Hilarious.
King backs off of Black and let’s Black sink down to one knee. King walks over to him…RIGHT into ANOTHER LOW BLOW. The fans ERUPT in boos as Black keeps the arm hooked, then locks his other hand in…he stands up…TAR HEEL SUPLEX!! King folds into the mat as Black quickly picks King up, whips King to the ropes, but King counters and sends Black FLYING over the top rope NO! Black catches himself as King leans against the ropes, trying to catch his breath! Black quickly hooks the weary King…AND SENDS KINGS OVER THE TOP ROPE TO THE FLOOR WITH AN EXPLODER SUPLEX OFF OF THE RING APRON STRAIGHT DOWN TO THE FLOOR!
Eryk Masters: WOW.
Other Guy: I can’t believe what I’m seeing, Eryk! Black’s turned King’s nuts to mush, and he gave King a brain to match!
Suddenly, the fans begin to boo LOUDLY as out from the back…comes HIERARCHY MEMBER GAVRILOVICH MIKAEL YURINOV.
Other Guy: Holy…The Russian Assassin’s coming down here now!
Eryk Masters: And the freak is STILL wearing that potato sack of shame X and Goeren make him wear!
Other Guy: Could this be the moment where Hierarchy and Sovereign are on the same page officially like X hinted at earlier tonight?!
Yuri charges down to see to King as Black is slowly getting up on his feet. Willie Dean demands Yuri leave, but he scoffs at the referee, picking King up and rolling him into the ring. He looks down at Black and slowly reaches into his pocket…TO UNVEIL A LONG LENGTH OF CHAIN. The boos RAIN down on Yuri as he picks Black up…AND LEVELS HIM WITH THE CHAIN TO THE FACE!
Other Guy: OH! GOOD GOD!
Eryk Masters: Black just got DRILLED by that chain wrapped fist to his face!
Black crumbles in a heap as Yuri wraps the chain around Black’s neck and picks him up…AND RAMS BLACK’S HEAD INTO THE MAT WITH A CURB STOMP!! The fans are booing LOUDLY as Yuri picks Black back up, blood coming from the mouth and nose of Black, and rolls him into the ring! Willie Dean seems furious as Yuri rolls Black onto his back and he drapes King’s arm on top of him!
Eryk Masters: NO! NO! NOT LIKE THIS, DAMMIT!
T…NO!!! BLACK KICKED OUT!!! BLACK KICKED OUT!! Yuri is FURIOUS as Black clutches his bleeding face! King starts to come to now, looking at Black’s bloody visage. He seems confused as Yuri slides into the ring now, and the Russian is face to potato sack face with King! King looks legitimately shocked to see Yuri in the ring with him. Yuri throws the chain to King and picks Black up, holding him up for a shot!
Eryk Masters: Donovan King has the chain…the weapon he’s used so violently efficiently in his career…
Other Guy: If that son of a bitch clocks Black NOW…to hell with his road to redemption. Seriously.
Yuri screams at King to do it as King saunters over to Black, holding his face up, talking serious trash to him. The fans are LIVID as King slowly wraps his fist up in the chain, glaring at Black, who is too weak to do anything about it. Black looks up at him one final defiant time as King points to the chain and then aims…AND NAILS YURI IN THE FACE WITH THE CHAIN!!! THE FANS ERUPT HUGE AS KING LEVELS YURI!!
Eryk Masters: YES!!! YES!!!
Black falls to a heap as King picks Yuri up, wrapping the chain around HIS throat! He holds Yuri up for all to see, and he cuts a glare of pure hatred towards that backstage area…AND DROPS YURI WITH A CHAIN WRAPPED DEALBREAKER!!!! The fans are LOVING this as Yuri is DOWN on the mat! King tosses the chain to the outside of the ring as Black gets to his feet behind him. The two men lock eyes as Black walks over to Yuri’s body…and BOTH men work together to kick the Russian Assassin from the ring! King looks at Black for a long moment before Black smirks at his former friend.
Other Guy: I think we just saw the turning point, Eryk! Maybe King’s legitimate about his desire to be a new man!
Without warning, Black whips King to the ropes, he drops down and King QUICKLY catches him…he hooks both arms going for the ALIENATOR…but Black powers out and hits a BEAUTIFUL Northern Lights Suplex! Willie Dean is there for the pin!
Black is back to his feet as King is as well! They lock up and Black ducks under, going for a German suplex, but King counters! Bulldog! NO! NO! KING LOCKS IN THE CAROLINA CROSSFACE!!!! Black cries out in pain but hooks his foot on the bottom rope! The fans BOO as Willie Dean demands King release the hold! King sits up, trying to catch his breath, when suddenly Black SURPRISES HIM and LOCKS IN THE DEATH ROW STRETCH!!! The fans POP as King quickly hooks HIS leg underneath the bottom rope! Black releases the hold and picks King up. He whips King to the ropes, but he keeps King’s arm and twists him around…INVERTED DDT NO!! NO!! VIOLENT PARTY! BLACK HITS THE VIOLENT PARTY! HE GOES FOR THE PIN AND WILLIE DEAN IS THERE!
KING KICKED OUT!! KING KICKED OUT!!! The fans are LOUD in the arena as Black is…STUNNED.
Eryk Masters: Thomas Manchester Black HAS to be wondering WHAT will it take to BEAT this man!!
Black shakes his head, looking up at the skylights as he is lost in thought, trying hard to figure out what to do next. He picks himself up and slowly picks King up as well. He hooks King’s leg up for perhaps another Tar Heel Suplex…HE’S GOT KING UP! KING COUNTERS!!! DEALBREAKER OUT OF THE TAR HEEL SUPLEX!!! BLACK IS DOWN!! KING SPRAWLS ONTO BLACK!
The bell rings?! The fans in attendance are STUNNED!
Other Guy: What the hell?!
Willie Dean walks over to Samantha Coil and Mark Kendrick, asking them for an explanation.
Eryk Masters: Ladies and gentlemen…obviously we’re going to get to the bottom of this immediately…
Samantha Coil: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN…THE THIRTY MINUTE TIME LIMIT HAS BEEN REACHED…THEREFORE…
The fans boo before she even finishes.
Samantha Coil: …AS A RESULT, THIS MATCH HAS BEEN DECLARED A…DRAW!!
The fans let the world know what they want as Willie Dean walks over to King, microphone in hand.
Willie Dean: What do you say, Donovan? Five more minutes?
King smirks, looking out at the fans.
Donovan King: You DAMN right!
The fans POP as Willie Dean walks over to Black.
Willie Dean: Five more minutes, TMB?
Black looks at King, still cradling his head. He picks himself up and walks to the center of the ring. He glares at his former foe, stunned and exhausted. He looks at the fans, listening to their chants, and he shakes his head. The fans start to boo as he takes the microphone from Dean.
Thomas Manchester Black: Sorry, Cardiff…I got what I…I got what I needed…
Black looks at King and extends his hand.
Thomas Manchester Black: That’s it, Donovan…s’all…no more…no less…
King looks at the booing fans and he shrugs his shoulders, taking Black’s hand. The fans who are booing still applaud as Black EMBRACES King, the applause slowly drowning out the boos. Black nods his head and walks away from King, leaving him alone in the ring.
Other Guy: Wow…so…King was ready for war…and Black decided…he was done?
Eryk Masters: He wanted to know King’s measure and I think he figured it out.
Other Guy: Wow.
King stared at Black as he exited the arena, leaving him alone completely. The fans begin to cheer when “POWER (Remix)” kicks back in. King stands there for a minute before he rolls from the ring and begins to saunter up the ramp. He looks over to the fans and sees a small child waving at him. He smirks and reaches over, rubbing the child on the head and ruffling his hair. He turns to the fans and holds his fists in the air before he disappears to the back.
The war between King and Black is now over. The camera then zoom to the entrance when we hear…
You can run on for a long time…
Run on for a long time…
Run on for a long time…
Sooner or later God’ll cut you down.
Sooner or later God’ll… Cut you down.
A man in a black hooded sweatshirt and white track pants is looking down at the ring. He’s clapping his hands, almost in approval. King and TMB look at him, wondering what’s going on.
Eryk Masters: Who is that man?!! Can we get a camera shot of him?
The Other Guy: Whoever this man is, he’s not making himself known to the world.
He slowly moves into view and nods to the ring.
TMB nods back to the man, as he has a realization of who the man is…
The Other Guy: TMB knows who the man is…
As quickly as he appeared, the man disappears back into the entrance.
Eryk Masters: Who was that, I have a feeling we’re going to find out soon…
Soundtrack: The Day the Whole World Went Away – Nine Inch Nails
The main guitar riff grinds in and the screen is set ablaze. The fire climbs higher and higher until smoke rises from the bottom and extinguishes it all. Then a word flies across the screen in burning letters:
The word fades out as the lyrics begin…
I’d listen to the words he’d say,
A large, fiery letter burns onto the screen:
Cold, gray eyes reflect the embers of a recently lit cigar.
But in his voice I heard decay,
Another letter burns onto the screen:
An over the shoulder shot of a man with jet black, shoulder length hair looking out over the neon horizon of Las Vegas, Nevada. He is dressed in an all black suit. Smoke drifts lazily skyward from his hand.
The plastic face forced to portray,
Hundred dollar bills rain from the sky. They are burning as they fall around the man in the black suit. He looks to the sky in silent laughter.
All the insides left cold and gray,
The man in black is shown in full relief. A scar runs down his cheek. Those pale gray eyes show an amused look. A smirk tugs at the corner of his mouth as fire begins to build around him.
There is a place that still remains,
The man is now garbed in what can only be described as wrestling attire. He wears no shirt, long, black tights with fire emblazoned down the legs. There are ghostlike faces twisted in fear and pain within the fire. The pants end in red and black boots with “JM” written in fiery letters. His wrists are heavily taped in black. The camera zooms out to show him in the middle of a wrestling ring.
It eats the fear, it eats the pain,
The man begins to throw combinations at the air. Fire once again begins to rise on the screen as the punches and kicks quicken in pace.
The sweetest price he’ll have to pay,
The man is shown wrenching back on some twisted version of a Half-Boston Crab. The person in the hold is obscured by the rising fire, but the man who’s executing the hold has his face twisted in pure hatred, his gray eyes burning.
The day the whole world went away.
The fire builds up, consuming the whole screen. Superimposed onto the screen is a mirror image of the man in his black suit and his ring attire. Both images are howling in silent laughter. The scene fades to darkness. Then, the main guitar riff kicks back in and the SHOOT Project logo bursts onto the screen. The word M-E-P-H-I-S-T-O burns onto the screen superimposed over the SHOOT logo. Then, two more words in smaller fiery font fade in under it all:
Fade to black as the music dies.
The lights drop, and we hear the bass drum and techno fueled synth from Ke$ha’s "We R Who We R" rip through the arena. On the big screen a chemistry equation begins pulsating with strobes all over the arena.
Ic0N + Fr3AkSH0 = SI
The crowd roars knowing who is about to make their entrance.
Eryk Masters: Uh… this is an… INTERESTING?… Choice for music.
Other Guy: Well… Loco won the Hungry Hungry Hippos. He must want to get this European crowd up and moving with this techno styled trash.
We cut to some European fans pogoing and pumping their fists into the air. After an extended intro we get to Kesha’s vocals.
"Hot and dangerous.
If you’re one of us,
then roll with us.
‘Cause we make the hipsters fall in love.
And we’ve got hot-pants on enough.
And yes of course because we’re running this town just like a club. And no, you don’t wanna mess with us.
Got Jesus on my necklace…
I’ve got that glitter on my eyes.
Stockings ripped all up the side.
Looking sick and sexy-fied.
So let’s go-o-o (Let’s go!)"
On the "Lets Go", Loco explodes from the back pogoing with the energy of Tigger on Red Bull with a Crystal Meth chaser. A second later, Stellar walks out behind Loco with a semi-smile on his face but shaking his head, clearly not happy with the music at all.
"Tonight we’re going har-har-harharhar-hard.
Just like the world is our-our-ourourour-ours.
We’re tearin’ it apar-par-parparpar-part.
You know we’re superstars….
We are who we are!"
Loco continues pogoing and fist pumping – working from one side of the stage to the other to get the entire crowd into it resulting in a lot of the crowd joining him. But, next to him, Stellar watches him go from right to left, with his arms crossed, not dancing or fist pumping.
"We’re dancing like we’re dumb-dumb-d-d-d-umb
Our bodies go numb-numb-n-n-n-numb
We’ll be forever young-young-y-y-y-young
You know we’re superstars
We are who we are!"
Loco runs back to the ramp next to Stellar, then start pogoing over to his tag team partner. Stellar over-emphatically shakes his head no, adding a sweep of his arms to emphasize the point. Loco stops dancing for a second and pleads with him to join in, so Stellar – clearly mocking Loco – jumps a couple of times, over emphasizing his partners fist pump. The crowd ROARS at the move…
Eryk Masters: Stellar definitely wants no part of this.
Other Guy: I cant blame him. Ke$ha is no Lady Ga Ga, Eryk.
Loco and Stellar start walking towards the ring, but Loco suddenly take a right turn, leaps up to the top of the barricade, turns around, and falls backwards. Stellar actually jumps at this, but flashes a relieved sigh when he see’s the crowd hoist Loco and begins crowd surfing him towards the ring.
Eryk Masters: Stellar wasn’t expecting that.
Other Guy: Martinez is gonna be exhausted or mauled before the bell even rings.
Eryk Masters: Love it or hate it, you have to give it to Loco who has gone all out here tonight to get this crowd going.
Other Guy: I’m betting Stellar is on the "hates it" side of that statement.
Stellar runs to the ring and jumps up on the apron and begins imploring the crowd to bring Loco toward the ring. The crowd turns Loco – who’s still pumping his fist in the air – toward the ring. As he gets near, Stellar jumps up and grabs Loco’s ankle, and yells "Freakshow, get back here!"
The crowd gently puts Loco on the ground, and Stellar starts shaking his head, half-laughing but half- angry at crowd surfing display. They climb into the ring, laughing, but clearly continue the argument about the theme music.
Once again, the lights go out. The familiar percentage count-up begins. Everyone in attendance immediately begins booing.
Eryk Masters: You probably don’t know this, but I really hate this entrance that the Hierarchy has been using.
Other Guy: Oh. Oh, I had no idea, Eryk. None at all. I mean, you’ve been really quiet about it!
Eryk Masters: Sorry, I’ll be less subtle next time.
Eryk Masters: Fuck this entrance.
WE’D RATHER BE IN ENGLAND!
The crowd boos the last brief statement on the SHOOTron as if someone just came in and collectively kicked their puppies.
Eryk Masters: Nice touch, Hierarchy.
Other Guy: I don’t get it.
Eryk Masters: ‘Cause the Welsh hate the English and the English hate the Welsh..
Other Guy: I still don’t get it.
Heavy orchestral music begins playing over the loud speakers as “Summer Overture”, the super awesome Lord of the Rings remix of course, begins playing through out the arena as both Herr Goeren and Mr. Van Warren come out to the ring inside a gilded coronation carriage being pulled by two beautiful horses clad in golden chain mail, with rubies forming a single letter on the left one(“A”) as well as the right one(an “X”) . The man sitting on a driver’s bench perched in front of the carriage looks scared out of his mind trying to direct the awkward carriage down the ramp-way. Oh yeah, he’s also draped in chain mail – only his letter(Y) is comprised of what looks like plain marbles.
Eryk Masters: This is… wow. A solid gold horse carriage? Chain mail? Wow… if we were back in the states I’d suspect the Blue Angels to fly overhead any second.
Other Guy: I know. I think it’s awesome, too!
Half-way down the ramp, one of the horses decides he doesn’t want to cooperate anymore and stops in his tracks. The other one follows suit, and there they sit halfway down the ramp. Both sides of the carriage open up and both members of the Hierarchy hop down from inside the diamond encrusted interior of the carriage to the steel ramp, basking in the contempt of the Welsh audience. Despite their epic entrance, they look rather unhappy.
Eryk Masters: Where’s Yuri at, I wonder?
Other Guy: I don’t know… could still be hurt from that wicked Dealbreaker he took from DK earlier. I mean, I don’t have that confirmed, though. Just guessing.
Once X and Goeren make their way into the ring, the music stops, and both X and Goren turn deadly serious. He makes the “eyes. Watching. You.” hand gesture towards Loco, who simply waves back sarcastically. While X rotates his shoulder cuffs to loosen up a bit, Goeren slinks down in the corner, eyeing up Stellar from across the ring.
Samantha Coil: Ladies gentlemen…. THIS… is our MAIN EVENT of the evening… and it is the NO-HOLDS-BARRED MATCH!!
The crowd cheers wildly for this much anticipated match. Goeren stands up right, X twists his back, cracking it a bit. Loco pulls out a piece of bubble gum from inside his waist seam and starts chewing it. After a few moments, he blows a gigantic bubble and pops it into a disgusting mess all over his face. Stellar simply shakes his head, doing his damnedest to stifle a smile.
Samantha Coil: First, the team to my left… from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by way of Germany, and Eberswalde, Germany, respectively… weighing in at a combined weight of 462lbs… AZRAEL GOEREN AND X-CALIBUR… THE HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIERAAAAAARCHYYYYYY!!!
They both raise their hands high, drawing a massive amount of heat from the capacity crowd.
And their opponents… standing to my right… from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Chicago, Illinois, respectively… weighing in at a combined weight of 507lbs… Loco Martinez and “The ICON” Rocky Stellar… STELLLLLLLLLLLLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR INNNNNNNNNNNNNNSAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANITYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!
The audience ERUPTS at this introduction. So much so that every camera lens set up in every corner of the arena quakes from the vibrations.
Eryk Masters: WOW… what a MASSIVE response from this crowd!
Other Guy: And on the flipside, I don’t think Wales is too fond of The Hierarchy. Heh.
Loco Martinez holds the rope open for Samantha Coil, and as she leaves the ring, the bell sounds.
Stellar Insanity. The Hierarchy. Both teams meet in the center of the ring, face to face. Goeren with Stellar. X with Loco. Jaw-jacking fires at a rapid pace as all four men lay into their opponents with venomous resolve.
Other Guy: Lord… this is gonna be good. I’ve been waiting for this match for months!
Eryk Masters: The whole entire WORLD has been waiting for this match for months, OG!
X is the first one out of the bunch to make a move and lunges with a fast right. Loco is ready with a forearm block, counters with a left, and reels X back a foot or so.
Eryk Masters: And here… we… GO!
Goeren is next to make a move, but Stellar, like Loco, is ready with a forearm block of his own. Goeren is sent reeling just like X, and Stellar Insanity both, in unison, motion their opposition to “BRING IT!”.
Eryk Masters: Stellar Insanity are FIRED up!
Other Guy: No kidding..
X and Goeren oblige their opponents by lunging at them. Goeren with a clothesline, X with a spinning haymaker. Neither of them connect. Loco ducks underneath X, and with great agility and wherewithal he dives forward while simultaneously hooking X’s leg and mid-section for an impromptu lucha-libre styled roll-up. Rather than following through with the pin, however, Loco pounds the living daylights out of X’s face!
Eryk Masters: Now you just KNOW that Loco has been looking forward to the opportunity to do precisely this to his former friend and teammate!
Other Guy: I think it’s unfair. Loco has probably been game-planning this perverse double-cross against X for MONTHS while X and Goeren have only just found out they were facing Stellar Insanity in the course of a few days… that’s bullshit if you ask me.
Eryk Masters: You’re so ridiculous that I don’t even think they have a name for that type of ridiculousness yet.
Stellar is much less sophisticated with his approach to countering the Hierarchy member by simply dropping Azrael Goeren flat on his back with a nasty hooking lariat. With both Loco and Stellar delivering some solid punishment, the fans ERUPT!
Eryk Masters: Listen to these fans! I think they feel a little vindicated of the last several months with seeing Stellar Insanity control their opposition in the opening moments here. These guys have been BEGGING for a beat down like this for WEEKS, and now they’re finally getting their just desserts!
Other Guy: Have to say, I thought I saw some tight-pulling going on there by Loco.
Eryk Masters: After everything Stellar has been through, you honestly think Stellar Insanity gives a SHIT about the rules?!
Other Guy: Just saying’. I saw what I saw!
Scrambling to escape the fancy roll-up turned mounted position by Loco, X manages to slip away from Loco’s flurry of punches and rolls out of the ring. Goeren also escapes, albeit a little groggy from the impactful lariat, eliciting massive jeers from the audience over their early regrouping.
Other Guy: Hey, a little regrouping never hurt anyone! These sheep are so blind that it SICKENS me.
X kicks the guard rail, , causing a few of the adolescent fans sitting ringside to jump back unexpectedly. He looks back at Loco and Stellar standing side by side in the ring and delivers a nasty gesture to them both which draws even more boos. As X points, cusses, lays the blame on a few of the fans sitting in the front row, Goeren knocks over timekeeper Mark Kendrick and folds up the steel chair he had been sitting on!
Eryk Masters: Oh now come on! No need to treat Kendrick like such a piece of crap.
Other Guy: Well, to be fair, Kendrick IS kind of a tool bag…
Eryk Masters: Pot. Kettle. Black.
Hopping up to the ring apron on one knee, Goeren closely guards his weapon of choice. Stellar and Loco cut him off before he can enter the ring though, and Goeren steps back down to the outside mat. Sputtering off some syllabic resentment in his finest Deutsch, Goeren decides to regroup with X-Calibur, who continues to stall and verbally assault his opponents from afar. Cupping his hand to X’s ear, Goeren whispers something that no one else can hear.
Two seconds later, both Goeren and X wave “bye-bye” to Stellar Insanity and proceed to head up the ramp-way towards the stage exit.
Eryk Masters: You have GOT to be kidding me!! After EVERYTHING they’ve done. They’re chickening out?!?!
Other Guy: Chickening out? Hardly. Obviously, PPV or not, they’re refocusing their priorities so they can live to fight another day. They know Stellar Insanity is emotional right now, and I applaud them for not giving into their game plan!
Eryk Masters: But The Hierarchy BEGGED for No-Holds-Barred!
Other Guy: Did they? We don’t know that!
Eryk Masters: LOOK! Stellar Insanity has had enough of the stall tactics and mind games!
Audibly shouting, “Fucking pussies!” into the camera closest to him, Stellar climbs out of the ring, slamming his hands against the edge of the ring apron. Chuckling at his partner’s intolerance for Hierarchy’s shenanigans, Loco climbs out as well and joins his partner in heading up the ramp towards both X and Goeren.
Eryk Masters: I don’t like this. It could be a trap.
Other Guy: Of course it is, E. Lest we all forget who exactly “Herr Goeren” and “Mr. Van Warren” are? They weren’t born yesterday.
Eryk Masters: Yeah. Neither were Stellar Insanity.
clap, clap, clap-clap-clap
clap, clap, clap-clap-clap
Other Guy: Listen to these idiots! They don’t even know the name of the team they’re cheering for!
Eryk Masters: Um, I think it probably has more to do with the fact that “Stell-ar-In-san-I-ty” is a little too awkward to chant than it does ignorance, OG.
Other Guy: I’m pretty sure you’re wrong.
Eryk Masters: So you’re the “one-man-wave” kind of guy at baseball games, eh?
Other Guy: No comment. HEY… wait… what does that have to do with anything?!
Once they reach the center stage area just before the backstage curtains, The Hierarchy turns around to stare at their opponents standing in the ring – but much to their chagrin, their opponents are charging down the ramp making a beeline for them. Bracing themselves for some fisticuffs, Stellar makes a lunging tackle at Goeren, taking the Megastar down on the steep ramp. Just as X goes to pry Stellar off of his partner, Loco takes HIM down with a spinning heel kick!
Eryk Masters: Good God, Stellar Insanity really came to FIGHT tonight! Not to bullshit around like the Hierarchy has been!
Other Guy: C’mon, Lorenzo! Count these fools out!
Eryk Masters: No-Holds Barred, OG. You won’t be seeing any non-finishes in this one!
Other Guy: LOOK!
Bringing X to his feet, Loco has a crazed look in his eye. The MoFo points towards the edge of the ramp-way where there is easily a ten-foot drop to the bare cement floor. The crowd egging Loco on to toss his enemy turned friend turned fabled nemesis over the edge, Loco makes a running shot with the back of X’s head supported in his grasp.
Other Guy: He’s not gonna do what I THINK he’s gonna do… ?!
Eryk Masters: I think he is!
Just before Loco reaches the edge however, X shifts the momentum and reverses the attempted throw from Loco by sending his opponent flying over the edge of the ramp in a hip-toss motion, sending the “MoFo” CRASHING through a catering table that had been set up for various production team members!
Eryk Masters: OH MY GOD!
Other Guy: YES! The Hierarchy just turned the tide significantly to their advantage!
Covered in lettuce, tomatoes, and various other ingredients from ruined sandwiches, Loco remains still amidst the splintered wood and messed up table cloth that had covered the table. X smiles with sinister intentions as he slowly turns to face Rocky Stellar, who is still mounted on top of Azrael Goeren, raining down the punches in fast succession.
Grabbing Stellar’s head, X twists and claws at Stellar’s eyeballs, gouging the Icon without mercy. Stumbling off of Goeren, Stellar tries to wipe the pain away from his impeded vision. Seeing Stellar momentarily blinded and distracted, X takes a hold of Stellar with a rear waist-lock, lifts up and DRIVES Stellar down to the steel ramp with thunderous force in a dangerously elevated German suplex.
Eryk Masters: Did you hear that sick smack from Stellar’s head and neck meeting the ramp? That could’ve done some irreparable damage to Stellar’s already damaged head.
Other Guy: Now that the Hierarchy has gained control of this “match” by incapacitating Loco Martinez, I think we’re going to see the systematic destruction of Rocky Stellar. In fact, I KNOW we’re going to see it.
Eryk Masters: Unfortunately, I think you’re absolutely right. This… could get ugly.
Helping his teammate back to his feet, X also raises his hand in victory like they’ve just won the match entirely. Educing yet even more outright derision from the Welsh audience, both members of the Hierarchy turn their attention to Stellar, who remains in a fetal position from the sick impact of the German suplex.
Grabbing him by the back of his head, they both bring him up to his feet. X situates himself behind Stellar for a Russian-leg-sweep, and Goeren places Stellar’s other arm over his shoulder while strategically placing his leg behind the bend in Stellar’s knee for an STO. In one fluid motion, The Hierarchy SNAPS to the cold, unforgiving steel of the ramp with a beautifully devastating tandem Russian-Leg-STO.
Eryk Masters: JESUS! They’re just trying to break Stellar’s neck! Take it to the damn ring already!
Other Guy: They’re striking while the best possible chance for destruction presents itself, E. I can’t really blame them for their brilliant tactics.
Eryk Masters: I don’t know about “brilliant” tactics, OG, but they’re certainly fortunate enough to have found a way to isolate Rocky. I wonder what kind of damage has been done to Loco, though. I don’t think he’s moved since his unceremonious landing through the table!
Just as Masters says this, as if on cue, Loco slowly begins picking himself up from the rubble of the catering table. Shaking the cobwebs, wincing in pain from his throbbing lower back, Loco reaches out to the nearby guard rail and picks himself up to his own two-feet. A bit dazed from the landing, Loco looks around, disoriented. X and Goeren, meanwhile, have begun rolling Stellar down the ramp like a couple of bullies pushing a fat kid down the hill inside a rolled up piece of carpeting. Laughing the whole way, X and Goeren high five each other to add to their already appalling behavior.
Eryk Masters: Did they really just high-five each other? What is this, the eighth grade?!
Other Guy: Look at Loco… I think he’s realized that the Hierarchy has taken things back to the ring!
Climbing up onto the ramp-way, Loco sees Goeren and X rolling Stellar into the ring. As Goeren finally turns this into the actual tag team affair it was supposed to be by staying in his corner, X drops to his knees and makes the “wiping of hands” motion to signify that he’s washed himself clean of Rocky Stellar. As X continues to waste precious time gloating, Loco has begun limping his way down to the ring, holding his lower back the whole way.
Hooking a leg, X buries Stellar’s shoulders deep into the mat by putting all of his body weight onto him.
THR- Loco pulls X’s leg from the outside just in the nick of time and breaks the cover!
Eryk Masters: Loco saved him!
Looking incredulous towards Loco’s intestinal fortitude, X curses at his former friend for presumably “preventing the inevitable”, or at least according to him. Turning his attention back towards Stellar, X grabs the head and neck of Stellar with brute force, not caring if he tears a muscle or ligament in the process. As he tries to bring Stellar to his feet, he’s taken off guard by a small package!
Eryk Masters: Small package!
Other Guy: That’s what she said!
THREE- NO! X manages to kick out at the last possible second.
Eryk Masters: X almost blew this one with his careless tactics. Just like when he blew the Gauntlet with brooks with his rampant underestimating!
Other Guy: IT WAS A CHOKE HOLD!
As Loco continues to shake the cobwebs, he hops up to the ring apron, pounding the turnbuckle in an attempt to rally behind his partner.
Wanting none no more of Stellar’s surprises, X tags out to Goeren, whose cocky façade has never been more apparent. Approaching Stellar with an air of confidence befitting royalty, Goeren raises both of his hands in the air for an axe-handle smash. But before he can deliver, Stellar drives a right hand into his forehead!
Eryk Masters: Stellar with some vigor left in his body, despite having it nearly squeezed out of him with the double teaming on the steel ramp.
Other Guy: I don’t like the look in Stellar’s eyes. He’s got… he’s got the crazy eyes!
Staggering Goeren, Stellar repeats the effect with another hard shot to the forehead. After another one, Stellar backs him into the corner. Pausing to look out at the audience, he whips him hard into the opposite corner. Following him in with a vicious head snapping clothesline, Stellar screams loudly with a shrill war cry, much to the appreciation and pumped up nature of this capacity crowd!
Eryk Masters: Stellar nearly decapitated him!
The ICON follows that up with a series of vicious shoulders each one doubling Azrael over.
Eryk Masters: Stellar is trying to disembowel him!
Other Guy: We get it, Eryk. Stellar likes using medieval corporal punishment.
Eryk Masters: What?
Other Guy: Because he’s old? Weren’t you trying to make old jokes there?
Eryk Masters: Nope.
Other Guy: Oh…
Eryk Masters: Yeah… don’t you feel like an asshole.
Stellar turns Azrael around and hoists him up onto the middle rope. He then sets up him so that Azrael is now sitting on Stellar’s shoulders.
Eryk Masters: Looking for an electric chair drop, perhaps?
Stellar yells out "FREAKSHOW!!", and Loco quickly ascends to the top turnbuckle. Moments later, Loco launches himself off the top with breathtaking agility and connects with a high cross body, nailing Goeren as Stellar begins to fall backwards. With the three men crashing to the mat, and Goeren taking the worst of it, X looks beside himself on the outside. Loco rolls off clutching at his ribs and lower back, while Stellar attempts a cover.
THREE-NO! NO! GOEREN KICKS OUT!
Other Guy: Goeren showing AMAZING heart right here!
Eryk Masters: Even if it is as black as night.
As Loco crawls back over to his corner, he reaches out a hand for Stellar to tag him in. With Goeren on dream street, flat on his back, X also begs for the tag… but it falls on deaf ears as Stellar lunges and makes the hot tag to Loco Martinez. The crowd ERUPTS as Loco jumps over the top rope, ready to do battle with the Hierarchy.
Goeren is up, but Loco sends him back down with a spinning wheel kick. X steps into the ring looking to take Loco down when he wasn’t prepared, but he is met with a spinning wheel kick of his own for good measure. Loco on a hot streak now, he guides both Goeren and X to their feet. Once he does, he points BOTH fingers directly in their faces and shouts “YOUUUUUUUU!” like a certain red and yellow maniac. Grabbing the sides of their heads, he conks them together in a double coconut masher.
Eryk Masters: Hahaha! Yes!
Other Guy: I can’t believe I just saw what I saw. Ridiculous.
Goeren flops down to the mat on his back, and seconds later, X does as well… only his head meets Goeren’s private parts for an impromptu diving head-butt. Realizing his face was buried in Goeren’s strudel, X quickly rolls out of the ring, spitting with disgust. Seizing the opportunity to strike with Goeren’s prone state, Loco leaps over Goeren’s prone body, hops to the middle rope, jumps up, extends his legs on both corners beside the turnbuckle, and finally back flips down to the mat on top of Goeren with his patented split-legged moonsault!
Eryk Masters: THERE IT IS! HAPPINESS! GOEREN IS FINISHED!
Other Guy: HE NAILED IT FLUSH!
NO!!!!! GOEREN SHOULDERS OUT AT THE LAST POSSIBLE SECOND! THE FANS ARE JUMPING IN THEIR SEATS THINKING THIS WAS OVER!!!
Eryk Masters: Holy mother of GOD. Azrael Goeren just kicked out of Loco’s Happiness! Un-freakin-believable!!
Other Guy: Look how disillusioned “The Greatest MoFo on Earth” is now!
Eryk Masters: What is X doing?!?!
Pissed off that Loco nailed one of his signature moves on Goeren, X-Calibur slides back into the ring and nails a stiff clothesline to the unsuspecting Loco. Equally pissed off over X’s ubiquitous and completely barefaced rule-breaking, Stellar decides to give him a taste of his own medicine by stepping into the ring himself. Once X turns around, Stellar delivers a clothesline of his own, and once X pops back up, Stellar delivers a clothesline so completely dazzling and powerful that X corkscrew somersaults from the impact!
Other Guy: Holy SHIT! He nearly decapitated X with that STELLAR-line!
Booting X out of the ring, Stellar focuses back on the legal men in the ring and starts clapping his hands together, prompting the audience to do the same. Retreating back to his corner, Stellar shouts, “LET‘S GO, FREAKSHOW!” to his tag team partner, as he starts to get up from the clothesline by X that put him down in the first place. Goeren stirring as well, the audience rallies loudly behind Loco.
Clap, clap, clap-clap-clap
Clap, clap, clap-clap-clap
As Loco gets to his feet, he looks out at the 15,000 Welsh-folk all chanting for him in unison. Grabbing the nearly unconscious Azrael Goeren by his arm, he drags him to the center of the ring before he starts pulling him in an upward motion to his feet. Once he does, Loco twists Goeren’s arm with the arm-scissors that usually precedes his patented short-arm super-kick.
Eryk Masters: Loco going for the LOCapitator!
Other Guy: NO!
Goeren pulls Loco towards him, and within inches from each other’s face, Goeren SNAPS down to the canvas with Loco’s arm in a precarious position. Pulling Loco’s arm up with both arms placed strategically in weak spots of the bone, Goeren begins applying pressure to the arm in a Juji-gatame!
Other Guy: The Hasselhoff Arm-Breaker!
Eryk Masters: The… what?!!
Other Guy: X has been telling people all day that Goeren would unveil some kind of arm submission hold, and when he couldn’t come up with a name for it, X named it for him!
Eryk Masters: Well, whatever it is… Loco looks like he’s about to TAP!!!
Screaming in agony, Loco shakes his head as Goeren lifts his entire body off the bad, placing it squarely in Loco’s shoulder joint and elbow joint. As X finally gains his bearings and gets back to his feet on the outside of the ring, X slinks down out of the peripheral view of Stellar while he creeps his way to his side of the ring.
Eryk Masters: Look out, Rocky! X is up to his usual no good!
With the ICON sternly yelling at Loco to fight through the pain, X yanks one of Stellar’s feet out from under him, smashing Stellar’s head against the edge of the ring apron. Then, after he hocks a wad of spit right down into the face of Stellar, X retreats back over to the other side to a chorus of boos. Loco, meanwhile, cries out in agony as Goeren tries to break his arm in about four different places.
Other Guy: Loco, and Stellar Insanity as a WHOLE, is in a very bad way here.
Eryk Masters: Loco looks extremely anguished… that is one deadly hold Goeren has applied.
After he retreats back to his corner, X wastes no time getting back INTO the ring where he begins viciously stomping the narrow portion of Loco’s wrist. As Loco agonizes over the torturous attacks from X, he raises his hand off the mat about a few inches where it looks like he’s going to slap it back down for the submission.
Eryk Masters: Come the fuck ON, ref! DO something about X’s bullshit!
Other Guy: No-Holds-Barred. Sorry!
Managing to fight through the pain enough to get to his knees, Loco begins to look more and more drained of spirit as the maneuver continues to be applied. But just when it looks like Loco has had enough and is ready to give it up, Stellar climbs back into the ring. Charging like a bull in a china shop, the ICON simultaneously mows down X out of the way and lands a boot directly into the side of Goeren’s head, effectively breaking the deadly submission hold.
Other Guy: That’s a bunch of garbage! Throw Rocky out of the match, Tony! He keeps entering the ring illegally and interfering!
Eryk Masters: Seriously?! I want to punch you in the damn throat sometimes, OG.
As the crowd rallies behind Loco once more, X gets back to his feet after being driven down into the bottom corner turnbuckle. With Stellar still in the ring, X throws a NASTY Yakuza kick that just about folds his target into an accordion down onto the mat. With Lorenzo quickly losing control of things again, X angrily grabs Loco by his bum arm, and whips him as hard as he can into the turnbuckles, just about compressing his spine from the crushing impact. As Loco’s knees buckle, Goeren goes in for the kill.
Other Guy: Between Loco’s hurting shoulder, torn back, and possibly bruised ribs, Loco is a sheer mess right now. This is what happens when experts like the Hierarchy target every part of your anatomy. You become… broken.
Grabbing Loco’s legs and turning him over into a supine position, he drags Loco to his own turnbuckle, where Stellar isn’t even present courtesy of the Yakuza kick by X. Sliding to the outside, Goeren grabs both of Loco’s legs and pulls him as hard as he can into the ring post, just about crushing his balls against the steel post.
Eryk Masters: I don’t like where this is headed… Goeren could be looking for the Iron Cross!
As the audience gasps out of fear for Loco’s ruined testicles, from the outside, Goeren folds one leg around the ring post. Motioning for X to catch his arm to prevent him from falling back to the outside canvas, Goeren jumps up to complete the figure-four around the post. However, X catches both of Goeren’s arms and actually HOLDS Goeren firmly with the post between them. As Loco’s knees bend in an unnatural way from the modified Iron Cross.
Eryk Masters: It’s locked in! I was afraid this was where it was headed. Since this match is no DQ, this match is as legal as a wristlock.
Other Guy: Who USES a wrist lock any more?
Loco flails his body, clearly in excruciating pain. Goeren lets out an evil cackle as X continues to pull Goeren forward as hard as he can. Timing it just right, X lets go of Goeren’s arms and the Megastar falls back to the outside matting as hard as he can, destroying the ligaments inside of Loco’s legs in the process.
Eryk Masters: IU never thought I’d say this but just give up, Loco! They’re going to KILL you!
Other Guy: I bet retirement looks like a better idea right now behind the eyes of Loco. Serves the bastard right for pulling a Foley and Flair and reneging on his retirement!
Loco is powerless to do anything as he cries out in agony to Lorenzo, who asks the inevitable question. Loco refuses though, and buries his teeth into the turnbuckle to stifle the groans and shouts coming from his mouth. At this point, Goeren actually does an impressive looking inverted sit up, not only showing the world that he is in incredible shape, but showing the world that the move he has Loco locked in is about to get a whole lot nastier. As X reaches from between the ropes inside the ring, he helps pull him the rest of the way up to once again add immeasurable pressure to the assisted Iron Cross.
Eryk Masters: I don’t know how much more of this Loco can stand. This is too much.
We see Rocky Stellar get back to his feet, finally, holding his head from the brutal nature in which X’s Yakuza kick connected. Just as X releases Goeren’s arms, allowing Goeren’s upper body weight to slam backwards and rip and tear at Loco’s knees once again, Stellar catches sight of this tandem torture. Making his way over to the nemesis that started this whole shit storm with a joyous glint in his eye, he waits for him to do another sit-up.
Other Guy: Behind you!!!
Eryk Masters: NO WAY!!
As Goeren reaches out for X’s arms, he quickly realizes they aren’t there to help pull him up the rest of the way. Instead, X is looking wide-eyed at Stellar standing directly behind his partner. Just as Goeren shouts a deflated and worrisome, “Scheiße…”, Stellar wraps his arm around the neck of Goeren while Goeren‘s legs remain intertwined with Loco’s. Two-seconds later, Stellar snaps down to the outside mat with an elevated reverse DDT – and seeing as though Goeren’s head didn’t quite touch the outside mat from how close he was seated against the steel post, the back of Goeren’s head SMASHES against the steel post with incredible force.
Eryk Masters: HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!!!!! AN ELEVATED STELLAR DROP!!!! AN ELEVATED STELLAR DROP… FROM AN IRON CROSS!!! RI-GODDAMN-DICULOUS!!!!
Goeren’s eyes are wide open… but as vacant as a Six-Flags parking lot in the middle of November. Just hanging there, unconscious from the elevated Stellar Drop that inadvertently connected straight into the steel post, Loco still cries out with immense pain as Goeren’s dead weight within the Iron Cross continues to demolish his knees.
Eryk Masters: Loco is still in a bad way here… he may tap out even with Goeren knocked out!!
Realizing the predicament they were still in, Stellar decided to take a page from the Hierarchy playbook and grab the steel chair that X had callously dumped Kendrick out of earlier in the match. Pointing the tip of it at Goeren’s throat, Stellar DRIVES the chair forward, just about crushing Goeren’s throat from the impact. This time, it is X-Calibur who looks powerless as his teammate absorbs the chair shots from Stellar.
Eryk Masters: God. Those are just some VICIOUS chair shots!
Looking down at Loco, who, despite writhing in pain from the Iron Cross, is smiling and directing a middle finger right at him.
Other Guy: Punch that man in the face, X!
Having enough of the torture, X finally removes Goeren’s legs from Loco’s, freeing his nemesis from the ungodly amount of pain he withstood from Goeren’s unorthodox submission hold. As soon as he does, he drags Loco to the center of the ring. Lifting him up, X-Calibur locks in a three-quarter neck-lock. Without even having the strength in his legs to push off out of the move, Loco is drilled into the canvas with X’s legendary ace crusher.
Eryk Masters: X-TERMINATOR!!! X-TERMINATOR!!! X-TERMINATOR!!!
With Rocky Stellar still on the outside of the ring, X hooks a leg.
Eryk Masters: HE’S GOT HIM!!!
Lorenzo signals “no”.
Other Guy: WHAT?!! WHAT THE HELL?!
Motioning that GOEREN is the legal man, X slams his fists on the mat out of sheer frustration.
Eryk Masters: It’s amazing how, in a match pretty much devoid of rules, X can still find one that’s able to bite him in the ass and prevent him from winning. That’s poetic justice, folks.
Pleading and barking orders at Lorenzo to make the count, X stands up and grabs Lorenzo by the shirt collar. When he refuses yet again, X clutches his hands around Lorenzo’s neck with the same three-quarter neck lock he held Loco in and SNAPS to the mat with another X-Terminator.
Other Guy: Oh SHIT… X just took out Lorenzo! Damn!
Eryk Masters: That’s gonna cost him some buco bucks. You don’t out your hands on a SHOOT official. EVER. And with Jason Johnson just looking for reasons to fine the Hierarchy and make their lives miserable, you gotta presume that that is gonna be the most expensive X-Terminator he’s ever delivered.
With Loco and Lorenzo unconscious on the mat, X-Calibur curses at the both of them for “screwing” the Hierarchy out of a victory well in hand. Unbeknownst to X, though, Stellar slides into the ring. Hooking him up from behind, Stellar goes for his signature Stellar Drop. X is ready for the attempt though, and slams a fist into Rocky’s temple, reeling him back.
Eryk Masters: Stellar looking for another Stellar Drop, but X had it well-scouted..
Other Guy: X-TERMINATOR!!
As Stellar holds the side of his head and stands up right, X jumps into the air for an elevated X-Terminator… but Stellar sees it, pulls his head back, latches his arm around X’s head and SLAMS X down into the mat for the reverse DDT he initially wanted!
Eryk Masters: NO!!!! STELLAR DROP!!! STELLAR DROP!!! X IS OUT!!!! X IS OUT!!!!
Other Guy: DAMMIT!!! WHERE’S THAT DAMN RUSSIAN WHEN YOU NEED HIM?!?!
Rolling X out of the ring, this leaves Stellar and Loco alone in the ring with one another. With Loco unconscious, and Goeren still in la-la land on the outside of the ring, Stellar sees no choice but to go back to the outside and forcibly lift Goeren back to his feet. Rolling his lifeless carcass underneath the bottom rope, Stellar quickly follows the Megastar back into the ring… when the lights go completely out.
The fans immediately begin booing this when the familiar percentage symbols appear on the SHOOTron the same as they did during the Hierarchy’s entrance.
Eryk Masters: Kill me. Please.
Eryk Masters: What the f-
The light switches back on and the audience gasps as they see a man standing directly behind an oblivious Rocky Stellar.
Eryk Masters: WHO THE HELL IS THAT?!
Adorned menacingly in a black and white body suit that covers every extremity from head to toe, a matching black and white mask, as well as a trench coat with matching tribal designs, looking like he crawled right out of an issue of Spawn, appears directly behind an oblivious Rocky Stellar.
Without even giving him a moment to realize what was happening, the man in black turns Stellar around, boots him in the gut, and delivers one of the finest looking double-arm DDT’s SHOOT project has ever seen. Despite this person performing the maneuver on their beloved ICON, half of the audience pops wildly for the move… only for the disappointment to eventually become engrained in their voices.
Other Guy: Oh my GOD… that’s not… that’s not…. no, it can’t be.
Eryk Masters: Please… God… no…. don’t let it be who I think it is….
With X-Calibur still trying to recuperate from outside the ring from the Stellar Drop, and Azrael Goeren stirring in the corner holding the back of his sore head from a Stellar Drop he himself had received… the man in black turns his attention to Loco Martinez, who is slowly making his way to his feet. All of a sudden, Loco stops… and looks right at the man in black, completely spooked and taken back by the figure’s unexpected presence.
Eryk Masters: NO!!!!
Booting Loco in the gut, the man in black lifts Loco up into a fireman’s carry. Looking out at the audience, who have begun booing and throwing trash into the ring over the manner in which the match has been violated by this person, the man in black shifts Loco’s weight from the fireman’s carry into a DEVASTATING Michinoku Driver.
Other Guy: I THINK IT IS HIM!!!
Looking up at the man in black, a big grin forms on the face of Azrael Goeren as he slowly crawls over to Loco Martinez and makes a lateral cover. By this time, Tony Lorenzo has gotten himself to his knees, while holding the back of his neck. Seeing Loco’s shoulders down… he makes the count very slowly.
Eryk Masters: Not like this…. Not like this….
Other Guy: It’s over! Loco isn’t moving!
Eryk Masters: He got him…
The bell sounds as trash litters the ring, surrounding the feet of the man in black as well as Loco’s unconscious frame.
Samantha Coil: The winners of this match, at a time of 54 Minutes and 21 Seconds… AZRAEL GOEREN AND X-CALIBUR…. THE….. HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIERARCHYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!
Clap, clap, clap-clap-clap
Clap, clap, clap-clap-clap
Eryk Masters: This IS bullshit!! Stellar Insanity HAD this match!!! After all that, they HAD THIS MATCH!!!
Other Guy: No. Actually, Eryk, as I look at this man in black… and I remember back to something that the Hierarchy had said earlier in the week about having an ‘ace up their sleeve’… I’m beginning to think Stellar Insanity never had this one at all.
Eryk Masters: What now, then?! What does this mean for the Hierarchy now? How powerful do they have to become before they’re finally stopped?! What… what the hell does this mean for SHOOT Project?!
The man in black looks directly into the sea of riotous fans throwing their trash into the ring. Unhooking several straps that connected the mask to the full body suit, the man in black reaches behind his head and begins pulling the mask off…
…when the lights go out again.
As the SHOOTron lights up once again, the same “99%.” symbol that was seen moments earlier finally makes the transition into “100%.”
The lights come back on, and the man in black has vanished as quickly as he appeared. By this time, the “Summer Overture” remix The Hierarchy came out to has begun blaring over the PA system once again. Azrael Goeren and X-Calibur embrace each other with a victory hug, before raising their hands to the capacity crowd in scene of absolute victory.
Sitting in the corner of the ring with hands on knees, Rocky Stellar simply looks up at the disgusting victory celebration happening in front of their eyes. Loco does the same in the corner parallel to Rocky’s.
Shock. Anger. Disappointment.
Despite said emotions running through the spirits of Stellar Insanity, all they can do is shake their heads in disgust while The Hierarchy marches down the ramp-way with their arms raised in the air.
Fade to black.