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Master of the Mat – 2023

Master of the Mat 2023


The blaring of a Viking horn echoes through the Epicenter arena as the lights dim and turn red, as if soaked with blood. A crescendo of drums and cymbals crash as an almost primal beat takes over the speakers.

With a guttural roar, the lyrics to “Cold Burn” by Cult of Luna are violently screamed, the bass shaking the seats of the SHOOT Project faithful as the curtains draping the stage underneath the jumbotron begin to lift like the opening to a heavy metal concert.

As the curtains lift on either side, we see the freshly painted visages of CYBER Superbeast and CYBER Power Devil who stand, a single fist pushed firmly into an open palm. The pair begin to make their way toward the rampway with clear purpose but as they do a third figure emerges up from a hidden platform at the top of the rampway.

Eryk Masters: We’re kicking things off IMMEDIATELY here at Master of the Mat 2023, and that means that we’re about to see something special, OG.


Other Guy: Yeah we are! The UNHOLY CYBER ARMY babyyyyyy.

She has shorn, red hair; black lipstick that bleeds into her facepaint. She wears a worn red-and-black leather halter top with matching leather pants emblazoned the UCA logo.

Eryk Masters: Holy shit. Is that?

Other Guy: Says on my call sheet here, Eryk that the Unholy Cyber Army aren’t joined tonight by Judy Punchinello; but I can’t quite tell with all the makeup.

Eryk Masters: Who does it say is on their team?

The trio meet at the head of the rampway and then proceed to march in unison down toward the ring as the blaring horns continue to pulse and the red lighting throbs along like heartbeats.

Other Guy: CYBER… Thunder Fist

Unholy CYber Army Vs. Furia Inviernal

Inside My Little Playground

The setup is simple.  A dimly-lit scene, with the richly-brunette Madison Seton, in her wrestling gear, standing at a slight angle, hands on hips.  A smile to her face.


Madison Seton: Who knows “5?”  I know “5.”  Five is the number of players on a basketball team.  Five is the number of stars a recruit or prospect gets when they’re supposedly can’t-miss.


Five is the number of people in my match… So maybe I don’t know “5?”


She has a small giggle as she moves her hips about a little.


Madison Seton: Inside the ring… inside my little playground tonight… 


She gives a heartier giggle as her smile widens.


Madison Seton: Where am I supposed to be in my career?  Three matches in and three wins?  No, I ain’t bragging.  It’s been rough out there.  We all saw I’m no stranger to blood.  Heck, I think I bled more against So Jun than I did my last period.  I’m not saying I’m going to win, but I have zero fears as I say this this evening.


Oh yes, that excitement within me is building.  Each passing second juices me further.  I get to step inside the ring… and have something on the line.  More than another opportunity to gain experience.  More than another chance to test my skills.  I win this one?  I get a title shot!  I get a chance at gaining gold.  Madison Seton with a Sin City Championship shot locked in by her fifth match?  Who has that on their SHOOT bingo card?


She blinks a couple times as she runs her hands through her hair before returning them to her hips.


Madison Seton: No guarantees on that, of course.  I have to do my part.  Just having an overwhelming passion and living every second like it was my last one inside that ring doesn’t guarantee a fuckin’ thing.  Just look at my WNBA team.  We got smoked… I mean smoked by the reigning champions.  But we got smoked because Las Vegas played their asses off.  Not just simply show up–but play as they were supposed to.  And that’s what I plan on doing.  I have a handful of people to outlast.  My first non-singles match?


Yeah, it’s a fucking doozie.


I’m bringing my “A” game, whatever that may be because even I don’t know yet, and let fate work itself out.  If I win?  I’m fuckin’ stoked at what I get to look forward to.  And if I lose?


I get back up and make myself better. 

Felix Mullens Vs. Pigpen Matsumoto

What's our strategy?

Backstage! Whoosh!


Mary Kelly is in the dedicated interview area, looking fancy (since it’s a PPV night) but also professional (because she’s a professional.) She’s flanked on either side by Dennis Colton (who is decidedly not fancy but still very professional) and Benjamin Colton (who is never either of those things.) Already in their gear and signature ring jackets; they’re obviously psyched up, even though their match isn’t for a while yet.


Mary Kelly: Hello, SHOOT faithful! Mary Kelly here, backstage with one of the teams making up the finals of the Masters of the Mat Tag Team Tournament: Benjamin and Dennis Colton. Gentlemen, how are you feeling heading into your match tonight against Fear & Loathing?


Benjamin Colton: Oooooooohhhhh Mary Kelly, we are riding HIGH! We walked into SHOOT Project at the beginning of the year with the goal of proving ourselves on the big stage, and we are just one step away! The finals are here, and there’s just one team in between us and that Masters of the Mat crown. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Fear AND Loathing? In this economy?”


Dennis Colton: I wasn’t thinking that.


Benjamin Colton: That’s ‘cause you’ve got your mind on business. And business is about to pick up, baby, but when we hit that closing bell tonight, you’ll see that there’s only one A-plus blue chip stock in the SHOOT tag division, and that’s the Coltons.


Mary Kelly: You’re coming into the match with a lot of confidence, considering you both lost singles matches against Rose and Vaka two weeks ago.


The lads share a brief grimace. Those matches won’t make their highlight reel any time soon.


Benjamin Colton: No need to sugarcoat it. We sucked out loud in those matches. We laid the bed, screwed an egg, crapped the pooch.


Dennis Colton: You may want to check your work there, cousin.


Benjamin Colton: NO TIME! Because a loss is only tragic if you don’t learn from it, and we learned a lot. It allowed us to put together a winning strategy for tonight’s match.


Mary Kelly: Can you let the fans know what that strategy is?


Dennis Colton: Well, you remember all the stuff we did in those singles matches?


Mary Kelly: …yes?


Dennis Colton: Our strategy tonight is “don’t do that.”


Benjamin Colton: More or less. Look, at the end of the day, fighting one-on-one isn’t our game. Tag wrestling is where we put our heart and soul. There’s nothin’ better than me and my cousin, my literal Day One Homie, rocking the ring and the crowd like only we can.


Dennis Colton: You’re like, my Day Seven Homie, but other than that, yeah.


Mary Kelly: Whoever wins tonight will be first in line for a title shot against the Carolina Lions, who have had plenty to say about you two since you joined SHOOT. Any words for our Tag Team Champions?


Benjamin Colton: Oh, we’re gonna have a LOT to say about the Cowardly Lions when the time comes. But they’ll get their turn. Tonight is all about us and F&L, tearing it up and burning it down. And when the smoke clears and the paint dries–


Mary Kelly: What?


Dennis Colton: What?


Benjamin Colton: –there’s gonna be two guys left; the guys who won the fight to win the right to call themselves Masters. And we all know who that’s gonna be. Big man! Let ‘em know.


Dennis Colton: We joined SHOOT ‘cause we wanted to take our place among the best in the world. Every time we set foot in that ring, we prove that we don’t just belong in SHOOT, we belong at the top. Tonight’s no different. Rose and Vaka? Absolute killers in that ring. Talented, dangerous, willing to break the rules. Suits us fine, ‘cause when the odds are at their worst, that’s when the Coltons are at their best. This time tomorrow, the whole wrestling world is gonna say our name.


Benjamin Colton: And anyone who don’t like it can die mad.


Mary Kelly: There you have it, folks! Strong words from the Coltons, heading into what should be an incredible tournament final.


Benny turns away from the camera, and towards Mary.


Benjamin Colton: So, what are you up to after the show?


Mary Kelly: I’m busy.


Benjamin Colton: Cool.


Previously Recorded…


We cut to a view just outside a farm. It’s not clear who it belongs to, but it does seem rather nice. There are many livestock wandering around including cows, goats, sheep and horses. Everything seems rather quiet until you hear a set of footsteps crunching against the dirt in the distance as they approach. The camera pans up to reveal the source, and it happens to be Lexi Gold. She glances at the camera with a smile on her face and walks toward the barbed wire fence, then stands behind it while watching some cows chewing on some grass.


Lexi Gold: It seems like these months are going by way too quickly. The thought of that terrifies me and excites me at the same time. You know what else gives me those same exact feelings? The Rule of Surrender championship being on the line at Master of the Mat. Then again, if competing in general doesn’t scare you, you are obviously doing it wrong. 


Lexi Gold: I know what you’re thinking, where is all this confidence you always display, Lexi?


She looks down at the barbed wire fence, then runs her hands through it a bit, careful not to cut her hands in the process.


Lexi Gold: My confidence has never left to begin with. In fact, I know exactly what I have to do in order to beat Laura, and if I play my cards right, I know I can be a champion again. With my recent losses except for the tag match, people are probably writing me off and expecting me to collect yet another loss.


She sighs and feels a slight breeze hit against her hair as she looks at the camera.


Lexi Gold: As difficult as it might be to hear that expectation from some of the roster members and the fans, I can’t allow that to cloud my mindset and interfere with my plans. Yes, I realize I agreed that I will be walking into one of the most barbaric matches in the history of professional wrestling, but for the sake of the championship it will be worth the sacrifice that I plan to put my body through. 


Lexi Gold: The question is to you, Laura, how much are you willing to sacrifice in order to walk away with the gold still in your possession? Less or more? Part of me believes that the only reason why you chose this particular match is that you believed I wouldn’t accept it. Maybe my opinion on your decision is totally wrong. This is going to sound crazy, but your choice intrigued me like a kid in a candy store, considering the many options out there. 


She giggles to herself as a friendly horse then decides to approach her, petting its mane as it gets close enough. 


Lexi Gold: Last year was a good run for me. I accomplished a lot and I got to face SHOOT Project’s best of the best. This year, however, I was hit with a decline in success and my name kind of became unnoticeable. Master of the Mat will mark my reclamation and place me back where I was meant to be all along.


She gives a nod of assurance before walking away from the view.

Rooster Vs. Blaze Claymore Vs. Chad Kyle Vs. Dan Stein (c)

Off the Deep (SHOOT) End

An exhausted and somewhat surprised Rooster backs his way into the corner of the ring as he is handed the Shut Up and Fight Championship, which he looks at with a mix of utter confusion and… a smile?

Other Guy: What an outcome, Eryk! We’ve got our first new Shut Up and Fight Champion in MONTHS and another second-generation star makes their mark here in SHOOT Project.

Eryk Masters: He’s made a mark alright… first by targeting Azraith DeMitri and then aligning himself with that conspiratorial prick Blaze Claymore. All this does is put another stain on what should be a cherished title!

Blaze Claymore slowly gets to his feet and begins walking over to Rooster who looks up and immediately takes a defensive stance. The other member of Delayed Heat is saying something to Rooster who shakes his head in refusal.

Other Guy: I think Blaze wants to hold the title. It was his once, after all, until Deep SHOOT took it away from him! It’s only fair that he gets the chance to hold it. In fact, Rooster should challenge Blaze right now and lay down so the title can go back to its rightful place around a TRUE champion’s waist!

Eryk Masters: You’ve got full Looney Tunes, OG.

Other Guy: Looney Tunes!? No way. They’re too woke.

Meanwhile back in the ring Dan Stein is helping up Chadwick Kyle and looking angrily over at Rooster and Blaze. He shouts something at the two of them that gets both of their attention. The pair stop whatever pissing match they were having as Blaze stalks over to Dan and Chad while the fans egg him on.

We Love Deep SHOOT!

We Love Deep SHOOT!

We Love Deep SHOOT!

Blaze is furious as he begins to point at Dan Stein trying to get him to shut the crowd up but he just shouts back something that looks like “HOW THE HELL WOULD I KNOW?!” and then…


The arena goes absolutely dark – no lights, no backup lights, even the announcer feed has been cut so the only thing present is the absolute roar of the crowd until the power comes back on with the ring lights spotlighting someone… some THING standing in the ring with our fatal four-way fighters.

The figure is shrouded in a white robe and black terry cloth covering their face. Without turning their head, they gesture to their right and as they do, members of the crowd begin to filter into their respective stairwells. With the flick of their wrist, the same thing happens to their left, a storm of audience members making their way up and over the barricades to surround the ring.

Eryk Masters: Hello? Hello!? Are we back?

Other Guy: Where the hell is security, Eryk!? This is a damned terrorist attack! We have to evacuate!

The SHOOT Project security team stand, arms crossed, looking directly at the robed figure and letting the swarm of fans fill the area floor until there is barely an inch between each of them standing shoulder to shoulder.

Eryk Masters: I have no idea, OG, I’ve never seen anything li-

The robed figure raises an arm and gestures a closed fist, seemingly once again cutting off the announce table’s audio feed as Blaze Claymore, Rooster, Dan Stein, and Chadwick Kyle look on in stunned shock.



The arena lights begin to strobe violently and the figure begins to point at each of the fighters in the ring one by one.


The strobes stop suddenly as a hush falls over the crowd.


The entire arena turns and looks as SHOOT Project CEO Josh Johnson appears from behind the curtain… pushing a stroller with Siobahn Stein resting comfortably inside. He nods down to the ring and then steps away, leaving the stroller behind.

Dan Stein looks around in absolute confusion and panic as he tries to leap over the ring ropes but is immediately thwarted and pushed back by the absolute sea of people who are surrounding the ring. He screams Siobahn’s name as Blaze’s eyes go wide, looking from Chad to Rooster and pointing wildly shouting something that sounds like “VOID WAS RIGHT! IT WAS THE BABY!”

The Lights spins around and looks directly at the cloaked figure, screaming something but is stopped as the figure holds up a hand in a “pause” gesture before using their other hand to reach up toward the cloth covering their face. Now the entire arena is turned in attention, so silent you could hear a pin drop.


The figure grabs a hold of the cloth and pulls it back, yanking off the hood of their robe…

As they do, the audience already not on the floor blows the roof off the Epicenter as MOLLY STEIN stands in the middle of the ring, grabbing a microphone that had been fastened to her chest and looking around at the scene.


The crowd roars in support as Blaze staggers backwards and falls to his knees. Chadwick Kyle’s mouth hangs agape while Rooster looks on with slight bemusement. But perhaps no one is more stunned than Dan Stein who is shaking his head wildly and pacing wildly around the ring looking between Molly, Siobahn, and Blaze as he does.

Molly Stein: It’s been a year. A YEAR of absolute madness all because NONE OF YOU had the balls to tell the Emperor he has no clothes!

Molly points to Chad and Rooster before turning to Dan.

Molly Stein: And Dan, do you know how much we’ve spent on medical bills!? On rehab? On … private security!? And you just keep coming back for more! I don’t understand it! Do you realize how RECKLESS you’ve been!?

Molly is shaking her head and Dan looks like he’s trying to say something but Molly stops him.

Molly Stein: No! I don’t want to hear another word out of your mouth unless it’s the words “You’re right, Molly. I’ve been a dumbass and I deserve to be publicly scolded at SHOOT Project’s biggest pay per view of the year!”

Dan drops his shoulders in shame and lowers his head. Meanwhile, Blaze Claymore begins to get back to his feet and tries to regain some sort of control of the scene. 


He goes to grab the microphone away from Molly Stein who just absolutely slaps the shit out of him, sending him sprawling to the mat with a surprised and high-pitched squeal which draws a HUGE cheer from the crowd.

Molly Stein: And YOU! You are an absolute waste of carbon! You’re so STUPID it might as well be a damned public health crisis. I can’t figure it out! Everyone you touch gets infected with your absolute dumb ideas! POISON CAKE? Delayed Heat? A literal baby pulling the strings of a multi-million dollar business? Is there anyone you DIDN’T accuse of being a part of the “Deep SHOOT” conspiracy?

Blaze looks up, holding his cheek, his shock turning to rage.

Molly Stein: That assumes you ever truly believed it in the first place. Because when someone finally did give you a taste of your own medicine you threw a bigger temper tantrum than Siobahn when she has a diaper rash! And because of what? Pranks that wouldn’t even make the Jackass movie gag reel? You’re not just an IDIOT Nathan, you’re a FOOL. And, forever and always, every time you think otherwise I hope that you remember all it took to outsmart you was an infant child and a pissed off mom who spent the afternoon searching DIY YouTube channels.

The crowd is eating up every second of this as Blaze looks like he is about to cry in the middle of the ring. He stands up on shaky knees and points at Rooster to take care of Molly but his partner and muscle just shakes his head, hoisting his newly-earned title over his shoulder, and steps out of the ring. The sea of people part to let him through, as they do for Chad Kyle who still looks dumbfounded but knows the “look” Molly is giving him, which means he’s in time out.

Molly Stein: So, if it isn’t already apparent, let me spell it out for you, BLAZE. This Deep SHOOT crusade is officially DEAD. Your career as a wrestler is officially DEAD. And your future as an actor of any value is most certainly DEAD. Goodbye and good riddance.

The fans errupt as Blaze pounds his fists violently on the mat, screaming something at Rooster and Chad as they leave, but Molly has already moved on. Molly, meanwhile, drops the microphone to her side as she reaches a hand out to Dan, placing it on his shoulder. He brings her in for a hug and leans against her as she gestures up towards the rampway where Siobahn is waiting for them.

Blaze meanwhile has once again pulled himself back to his feet and, with Dan and Molly’s backs turned, he roars with absolute rage and runs at full speed, looking to take the Steins down!

Eryk Masters: LOOK OUT!

Dan turns around and in a split second pulls Molly out of the way! Blaze’s attempt at a spear instead sends him diving through the middle rope and directly into the sea of people right below. Blaze screams in a mix of fear and anger as the mob surrounds him and begins to lift him up, crowd surfing him away from the rampway before he’s swallowed by the mass of humanity.


A shocked-looking Molly and Dan pull their eyes away from the scene as they leave the ring. As they do, the mass of humanity parts and every audience member who had come down earlier begins to make their way back to their seats with the remains of Blaze Claymore nowhere to be seen.

Love Hurts

A nervous-looking Daihm Ferguson stands in front of a locker room, ready to knock on the door – until it swings open to reveal an oily Chick Grillbreast wearing only a towel.

Daihm’s face flushes immediately as his hand swings forward and lands as a light tap on Chick’s massive chest.

Daihm Ferguson: Ahaitherechick.

The Dragon’s words all spill out at once while Chick looks on inquisitively.


Daihm pulls back his hand and runs it through his fiery red hair with a laugh.

Daihm Ferguson: It’s… Daihm. Actually.

Chick laughs.

Chick Grillbreast: Good one, Dan! HAH! HAH! HAH!

The muscular fighter laughs in short, awkward bursts as Daihm looks on, slowly becoming a bit more relaxed. He shifts his weight and sighs.

Daihm Ferguson: Uhhhh so, about tonight, I-


Daihm Ferguson looks on, clearly concerned.

Daihm Ferguson: Well… it’s the SIN City contendership, but only one of us can win and I just can’t… I don’t want to cause you any pain. I-

Chick Grillbreast throws his head back and laughs.


Daihm Ferguson: Yes, but you see… Ummm….

Daihm glows a bit red again as he looks up at Chick.

Daihm Ferguson: I want YOU to hurt ME.

Chick looks confused.

Chick Grillbreast: …what.


Daihm Ferguson: Exactly what you said. No pain, no GAINZ… and so I was thinkin’ the best way for me to truly get truly crackin’ and take the next step in the way of the GAINZ is if you, ya know, slap me around a tad but like… a lot. You know? Really just… pound me.

Daihm stops himself from saying more and chuckles nervously while Chick tries to piece together the context clues.

Chick Grillbreast: Friends don’t hurt friends, Dan Dragon. And we’re friends! Right?

The bulging brute look nervous, and someone sad, as if someone is about to tell him that his favorite pet just died.

Daihm nods, extending his arm out, trying to place it on Chick’s shoulder, but he’s too tall so it sort of just… lands on his bicep instead. Chick grabs Daihm’s hand in his own and smiles.

Daihm Ferguson: You know what? Just… forget I mentioned it. Just joshin’ with yez. Let’s just both go out there tonight and if you promise me that you won’t hold back on me just because we’re mates, then I promise the same. You’ve helped me on my journey to SICK GAINZ, but I want you to know, you’ve helped me so much more….


Daihm grabs a hold of Chick’s hand and puts it to the left side of his chest where his heart is beating furiously.


Chick puckers his mouth out like a fish sucking in air and blowing it out. His cheeks puff out each time and he looks genuinely concerned. All Daihm can think of to do is reach up and put a finger on Chick’s lips to stop his display. As he does, he smirks and lets out a dry laugh as his heart rate begins to slow.

Daihm Ferguson: Thanks, Chick. That did the trick. Don’t worry… I won’t explode. Not tonight anyways, it seems.

Chick beams as Daihm lowers his hand and squeezes Chick’s bicep.

Daihm Ferguson: You ready to go kick some arse, mate?


Daihm turns red again.

Daihm Feguson guides Chick out of his locker room as the pair begin to head towards the ring.

Daihm Ferguson: I’ll show you some day when you’re… older. Until then, though, let’s just take it one day at a time. Yeah?

Chick nods and smiles as the two head towards their match.

El Paria Vs. Madison Seton Vs. Miranda DC Vs. Chick Grillbreast Vs. Daihm Ferguson

Arrested Development

 Try to be best ’cause you’re only a man
And a man’s gotta learn to take it…


Try to believe though the going gets rough
That you gotta hang tough to make it


History repeats itself, try and you’ll succeed
Never doubt that you’re the one
And you can have your dreams


You’re the best around
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down!   


Joe Esposito’s hit from Karate Kid blasts over the speakers as the bell has barely rung from the Sin City contendership match with all five contenders at various stages of exhaustion looking up towards the rampway as Blaze Claymore turns the corner with a microphone in his hand.

Eryk Masters: Oh for fuck’s sake. I thought we had finally gotten rid of him.

A frazzled and shaken Blaze waves his arms wildly, cueing the music to cut as he looks around the arena, not even down at the ring but just… everywhere.

Blaze Claymore: Everyone! You have to listen to me, that what you saw earlier tonight… it was the clearest evidence of Deep SHOOT’s nefarious plans to silence me! THAT IS WHY YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO ME RIGHT NOW! I HAVE SOMETHING IMPORTANT TO SAY!

Other Guy: This is just… sad, Eryk. He knows… he knows we can… see him, right?

The fans begin to rain boos down on Blaze, so much so that he can’t even get his next words out, microphone or not. He tries to get better “microphone reception,” as if that were a thing, walking closer to the ring; meanwhile, each of the five fighters is now poised against the ring ropes, clearly annoyed but morbidly curious about what may come next.


Blaze Claymore: You … Molly… Crying… Stein… Baby…


  Who the hell said any of you get a taste? (This is stupid!)

Do you ever wanna get up all in your face? (You better t-t-take it!)

And nothing you can do could ever make me go away (fa-fa-fa-fa-fake it!)

Poor baby, I’m gonna make it all okay (pa-pa-pa-pa, pa-pa-pa-pa!)  


The fans’ boos immediately cease into stunned silence and then into raucous cheers as Mindless Self Indulgence’s “Lights Out” hits the speakers and Blaze Claymore turns around in genuine shock.

Eryk Masters: WHAT!?
Other Guy: You’ve gotta be shitting me!


Sure enough, Lennox “The Ox” Ferguson steps out at the top of the stage with TIMOTHY ROY AT HIS SIDE! And just about everyone looks like they are seeing a ghost – most of all Blaze Claymore.

The stunned crowd is topped only by an ecstatic Daihm Ferguson who hops over the top rope all the way down to the floor and begins to rush up the rampway towards his father, who he has been desperately searching for over the last month. 


Blaze lunges out, trying to block the Dragon’s ascent but gets a vicious elbow to the face that takes the fighter down HARD to one knee as Daihm bounds up the rampway to give his father a huge hug.

Eryk Masters: A tremendous sight here tonight, OG! We’ve all been so worried about Lennox over these past few weeks with absolutely no idea what where he may be but somehow he’s standing here right in front of us!

Other Guy: But what is Rooster doing there!?

Lennox welcomes his son’s affection without taking his gaze off of Blaze Claymore who is now getting back up to his feet, holding his jaw. As he does, Lennox raises a microphone to his lips.

Lennox Ferguson: You almost did it, Blaze. You ALMOST fuckin’ did it… but it seems like fate has a bit more use for me and absolutely no more use for you.

Other Guy: Wait… is he implying…

Eryk Masters: I don’t think it’s an implication, OG; I think Lennox is saying Blaze tried to get him out of the picture and that’s why he’s been absent for nearly a month! After how frustrated and unhinged Blaze has been – I wouldn’t put it past him, either…

Blaze looks horrified and tries to yell something into the microphone, but is cut off by the fans.


Lennox shakes his head and looks over his shoulder towards the back.

Lennox Ferguson: Get him the fuck out of here.

SHOOT Project’s Chief of Staff gestures as about a dozen police officers enter from the back, flanking the rampway, as they slowly make their way down towards Blaze.

Blaze’s eyes go wide as he screams “NO” and tries to flee the scene, running down the remaining length of the rampway, BUT HE’S STOPPED BY CHICK GRILLBREAST!

A furious-looking Chick yanks Blaze up into a giant bear hug and SLAMS the skinny fighter down onto the pavement with a vicious energy that reverberates throughout the arena.


Blaze chokes and gasps for air as the first array of police officers arrive and begin to put handcuffs around the disgraced Soldier’s wrists. He is too injured to protest, but he does begin to sob as the officers hoist him up and start to perp walk him up the ramp.

The cameras push in to capture the scene, their stick microphones picking up audio. Barely.

Officer: Nathan Lake, you are under arrest for … false imprisonment… credible terroristic threats… tax fraud… you have the right… can be used against you… entitled to a lawyer.

Blaze lowers his head as he gets perp walked up the rampway, the piercing gaze of Lennox and Daihm Ferguson shooting daggers as he’s shoved up and onto the top of the platform.

Eryk Masters: I can’t believe what I’m seeing, OG… this is…

Other Guy: A dark day for SHOOT Project.
Eryk Masters: Justice!

The Epicenter crowd is clapping in appreciation for law enforcement as Blaze gives one last look back out into the arena. As he is shoved behind the curtain the fans all begin singing along to a familiar tune:









Lucha Fitness Vs. The Murder Doves

I'm Not Stupid

We fade in to a setup of a SHOOT Project backdrop.  Wearing her red leather jacket with her blonde hair down is Laura Seton.  Over her right shoulder is the Rule of Surrender Championship–potentially for one of the last times.


Laura Seton: So I’m the worst person in SHOOT, am I?  Someone who tries bringing about the best from her opponent.  Someone who wants to see the bloom come to the rose of Lexi Gold.


Watch her breakthrough and become the next superstar of SHOOT.  The next winged angel of the people to beloved forever and ever…


Yup.  I’m such a heartless bitch.


She has a laugh to herself.


Laura Seton: I just want to see what you’re made of Lexi.  I know you have a fighter in you.  I’m not stupid.  I know you’re not as naive as you may appear at times.  You’re humble.  That’s great.  You don’t lose your temper easily.  Again, that’s a plus.


Seriously.  I’m not saying any of this to mock you or bully you.  I really do respect you.



She falls silent for a moment.  She looks upwards as if in thought before readjusting the title on her shoulder.  She looks back at the camera.


Laura Seton:  How serious am I?  Well, do you remember when I was locking horns–you know, my Satan horns since I’m supposed to be “the devil herself”–with Lindsay Troy?  Do you remember a comment I rolled off?  I mentioned she was one of two dream opponents I had as I returned to the wrestling world.  As I watched wrestling again before signing here, I noticed someone in a couple places I happened to consider.  A youngster.  Someone that was red hot, and I don’t mean physical appearance.  Someone that caught people’s attention with what they did and should have “Main Eventer” written on them soon enough.  So my other dream match?


Lexi Gold.


And it’s not even close.


Another readjustment of the title belt.


Laura Seton: That we’re fighting for this?  Pretty cool.  That it’s come to the point it has?  Well, I’ve had my own share of hardcore matches, including being thrown through a glass cell–even if that was 20 years ago elsewhere.  Regardless, you do what you need to do, Lexi.  Exorcise what demons you think you see.  I’ll do what I need to do to retain.  We’ll get bloody.  We’ll get hurt.  We’ll feel it tomorrow while the crowd loves it tonight.


Because that’s what we do.


Maybe it’s not my dream to fight you like this, but it is what it is.  Am I the bad guy here?  Really?  Whatever.  But we’re going to settle our differences.  And we’ll move on and eventually?  Meet again, with even bigger stakes than tonight.

Thane Vs. RAIKO

Lexi Gold Vs. Laura Seton (c)

Lindsay Troy Vs. Void

Fear & Loathing Vs. The Coltons

Jamie Johnson Vs. Kitsune

The lights in the arena go pitch black, leaving the crowd buzzing for what they know is coming.  Then, with no preamble, a thundering drum machine beat begins to rock the arena with timed lighting. 

I been buildin’ up my legacy /

Hunnids on hunnids on fold /

I been up so far, somewhere /

Stuck at the top and it’s nowhere to go

As Never Sleep continues to play, finally, emerging to deafening boos, is the spotlighted figure of Nate Robideau.  As is per usual, he’s in his gear with a Blackhawk Fight Gym hoodie on…but his demeanor is a little different.  Normally, he’s all business: eyes focused, stretching and staying loose, no real preamble.  But tonight…he’s smiling.  His smile is assured, it’s cocky, and it’s no bullshit: he looks genuinely loose, confident, and full of swagger.  He slaps the belt around his waist, his other fist in the air, celebrating even if the crowd is out for his blood. 

Why you tryna compete with me? Know you can’t see me /

I go the hardest and then I press repeat /

Give a headstart and they still ain’t gon’ beat me

He starts walking down the ramp, bouncing on the balls of his feet, rolling his shoulders.  Staying loose.  He throws slow shadowboxing strikes, locking eyes with Az and nodding good naturedly, even if there’s malice in his eyes. 

Samantha Coil:  Introducing…From Natakkoa, Elko County Nevada, weighing two-hundred and forty pounds…he is your SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion…The Blackhawk, NATE ROBIDEAU!!

I been going ghost and my doors on suicide /

Lookin’ in the mirror like, “I really am that guy” /


Still my gang, I don’t really like to choose sides

Robideau slides into the ring, walking in a bit of a looping circle, eyes locked with his opponent.  He walks very close, popping his neck, he and Azraith separated by the official.  The Champion strips off his belt and clambers to the middle turnbuckle, raising it high in triumph, before tearing off his hoodie and throwing both the shirt and the title at the referee with little care. 

Azraith DeMitri Vs. Nate Robideau (c)

Exclamation points


Nate pounces back on Azraith before the bell has even finished ringing, and the two men start trading blows on the canvas, Robideau from mount and DeMitri from guard!!  The champion has both the advantage in leverage and arm condition, and soon his barrage of fists transitions to burying, brutal elbow shots directly into Az’s mouth!!

Other Guy: If you really want to look at it, some of this is on your shoulders, ‘Ryk. 

Eryk Masters: The hell do you mean?!

Other Guy: If Nate didn’t have to prove haters like you wrong, he wouldn’t even be doing this!

Robideau stands to his feet, raising his arms to boos of hatred from the crowd–he acts mockingly as if this has caught him off-guard, and sneers as he turns, kicking the still-reeling Azraith in the small of the back!  The big man bows backwards, howling in pain, and Nate starts chuckling!  His eyes are wide, and his smile slowly fades, turning into another enraged sneer as he grabs Azraith by the hair and drags him up to his knees!

Eryk Masters: Oh will you give it up?!  You’ve made your point!!

Other Guy: Man, you know how it is with Nate–it’s not enough to make a statement, he has to throw on an exclamation point!

Nate grabs a handful of Azraith’s hair and rains down blows–one, two, three–taped knuckles burying themselves into his orbital!  The blows continue until Azraith, drops to his hands and knees, barely keeping himself aloft!!  Nate casually slams his knee into the back of Azraith’s neck, crumpling him!!  He circles his fallen opponent, flaring his nostrils, muttering to himself…then he drags Az up again, but DeMitri is limp, practically sitting on his own feet, his arms hanging dead to his sides!  Robideau considers him for a moment, scoots forward–twists his body–and SNAPS AZRAITH’S HEAD BACKWARD WITH A COMPLETELY UNPROTECTED SPINNING MULE KICK!!  Azraith’s head practically touches his spine, and he crumples to the mat in slow motion!!  The crowd is shunned, as Nate screams in triumph, hopping to the middle turnbuckle and pointing to his chest!!

Eryk Masters: That’s nothing to celebrate you sick son of a bitch!

Other Guy: C’mon man, he defeated a bonafide legend!

Eryk Masters: He won the match five minutes ago!! 

While Nate is celebrating, Azraith actually begins to stir!  His left eye is swollen shut and looking misshapen, and blood is pouring out of his nose!  He subconsciously spats, a shard of broken tooth sticking to his lower lip as he blinks with his one working eye, trying to gain some bearings–but it’s incredibly clear that no one is home!  Two medics slide into the ring, one flashing a light in Azraith’s eye, and Nate turns his head, taking notice and leaping back to the ring!  He screams at the Medics and pushes them away, dropping to the mat and rearing back—and DRIVING his head down into Azraith’s with a headbutt!!  Robideau shakes his head, blinking…then SLAMS his head into Azraith’s again!!  DeMitri clearly looks concussed at this point, Nate has a gash on his forehead and he casually spits in Azraith’s face before reastring back, clearly intent on headbutting DeMitri once more…

…And a massive hand wrapped around his neck stops him in his tracks!!

Other Guy: Yo, what?!

Eryk Masters: I don’t believe it!!

Other Guy: There–There’s no way!!  No way!!

Eryk Masters: He’s alive!  He’s alive!  Azraith has a hold of the champion!!

It takes a moment for the crowd to really register what’s happened, and as soon as they grasp it, the cheers start ratcheting up!  Azraith keeps his grip tight as his eye goes from glassed over to focused and fiery, and he clambers to his feet shakily, locking his Gaze with Robideau!  The medical team are pleading, Nate is clawing at Az’s arm, gripping his skin and landing heavy blows to DeMitri’s ribs that don;t seem to be slowing him down at all!  Azraith breaks into a smirk before rearing back and returning the favor–Three Headbutts in succession, pulling Nate into harm’s way by his throat!!  He turns, not even bothering to gauge the distance, before rushing forward, dragging Robideau…the medics tense, assuming he’s being thrown to them…but AZRAITH LAUNCHES NATE OVER THE MEDICS AND THE ROPES, THROWING HIM TO THE FLOOR WITH A MASSIVE BIEL TOSS!!  Nate lands HARD, crashing from well over twelve feet in the air to the entrance ramp with a sickening THUD, eating most of the impact on his right hip and shoulder!!

Eryk Masters: Jesus God!!  Nate Robideau sent over the medics, over the ropes–men that size don’t fly easily, ladies and gentlemen, and they land even harder!!

Other Guy: His body is in shock!  We need medical assistance!!

Eryk Masters: There is something monstrous in the eyes of Azraith DeMitri–I don’t know what Nate just woke up inside of him, but I think we should all be worried!!

It’s absolute pandemonium: the medical team rolls to the floor to meet with another pair of medics, who all swarm around the reeling form of Nate Robideau.  His face is stuck in a wince of agony as he rolls to one side, favoring the half of his body that took the landing!  Azraith is stalking at the ring ropes, face covered in blood, practically snarling one eyed as he considers his next move!  Once Nate has waved off the Medics, he shakily gets to standing, body crumpled and bowed, his eyes watching Azraith closely. 

DeMitri hauls off and spits in his direction–but it’s not a loogie.  With a splay a mouthful of blood lands on the entrance ramp between them…carrying with it two teeth.  Azraith grins in a demented rictus, clearly missing most of his molar along with one canine and it’s accompanying bicuspid–and motions at his waist. 

Motions for the title. 

And Nate looks, for the first time in a long time, terrified. 


MotM Graphics provided by: Ben S.