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An old 8mm projector sits in a darkened room. Sitting next to the archaic machine on a wooden stool is the man who’s been effectively running the show, “The Real Deal” Josh Johnson. He looks up, directly into the camera, pride evident in his eyes.

“SHOOT Nation, it’s time to pledge your allegiance… Bitch.”

With those simple, but effective words, the hall of famer flips the switch on the projector. Somewhere outside in the distance, thunder rumbles.

The sound of the film beginning to run on the reels takes over as the scene cuts to black for just a second. The entire scene is now dominated by the flickering, sepia toned screen counting backwards from 5…

The twang of an acoustic guitar begins to pick up, the music heavy, but not electric. The guitar is joined by bass and drums, all coming together for the acoustic version of “Death by Rock & Roll” by The Pretty Reckless.

The scene opens to an old wild west town in full technicolor. A sign at the entrance to the town proper reads: Redemption: A Rumbling Town.

A pair of boots step into the frame. The camera pans up slowly to reveal none other than Jonas Coleman standing with narrowed eyes and a tense posture. The SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship is clasped around his waist, two notches carved into the leather on one side.

Jenny died of suicide

With a candle burning in her eye

But on my tombstone when I go

Just put death by rock and roll…

Buck Dresden comes walking into the frame from around a building, jaw set stubbornly, chin up proudly. He wears a leather belt of his own, complete with cowboy belt buckle. A brief close up shows two notches also carved into the leather on one side for him.

The two men stop for a moment, sizing each other up, fingers twitching at the waist, though neither wears a gun at his hip.

John forgot what he was on

But he broke the needle dead and gone

But on my tombstone when I go

Just put death by rock and roll…

The scene shifts to the inside of a saloon. Dan Stein and Johnny Patriot sit at a poker table, the World Tag Team Championship belts sitting atop a pile of poker chips in the center of the table. Molly sits on Stein’s lap as Stein looks at his cards. We don’t get to see what he’s holding from this angle, but Patriot is holding a pair of aces, a bottle of Rolling Robbie resting next to his elbow.

The three card flop on the center of the table consists of three 8’s as the dealer lays them down one by one.

I wanna go with a shotgun blast

The doors of the saloon are kicked off their hinges, flying into the table where Make Championships Great Again are sitting.

I wanna go with a woman on her back…

The Unholy Cyber Army walks into the saloon with heavy footsteps and a purpose. The CURS all around have no choice but to bear WITNESS to their might.

I wanna go with balls I won’t pray…

Johnny Patriot immediately stands, grabbing his championship belt while Stein positions himself behind his partner. 

I wanna go with this bottle in my veins…

The Unholy Cyber Army stalks forward, shoving tables, chairs, and people out of their way as they approach the champions.

I wanna go

I wanna go

I wanna go out my way

Cut back to Jonas Coleman and Buck Dresden slowly beginning to circle one another in the street while onlookers begin to come out of their establishments.

Amy shot and killed a man

With a gun too heavy in her hand

But on my tombstone when I go

Just put death by rock and roll…

The scene abruptly cuts to Jacob Mephisto walking out the doors of the apothecary, a small bottle of black liquid in his hand. He pops the lid and downs it.

A stagecoach arrives a second later. The door opens, and out steps Azraith DeMitri, the Sin City Championship draped firmly over his shoulder. His eyes contain an unbridled anger as he looks directly at Mephisto, who smirks, the black liquid staining his lips.

Janey had steel in her bones

But she burned away blood into stone

But on my tombstone when I go

Just put death by rock and roll…

Cut back to the crowd outside watching Jonas and Buck circle. Familiar faces begin to emerge from the crowd. X-Calibur, The Blue Ridge Butchers, #TJOMD, Nemesis, Joshua Breedlove, and Robbie Bingo are all recognizable, among others.

I wanna go with a shotgun blast…

I wanna go with a woman on her back…

Back inside, The Unholy Cyber Army shove bystanders out of the way, a saloon brawl breaking out somewhere behind them. The ones brawling in the background are revealed to be Martial Law and GOOD JOB.

Stein cowers behind Patriot, while the latter refuses to back down. Stein turns to make his escape, but finds the windows have bars on them.

I wanna go with this sickness in my throat

I wanna go

Mephisto and Azraith each let out a silent war cry and charge forward towards one another.

Killed by rock and roll I wanna…


A loud burst of thunder cracks above as the sky darkens. All of the Soldiers stop and look up. Mephisto, Azraith, Jonas, and Buck look up to the sky. Stein, Patriot, and The Unholy Cyber Army look out the barred windows of the saloon.

Another Crack of thunder erupts. And then, a brilliant flash of lightning causes the scene to flare into pure, blinding, white light.

The scene changes suddenly to full 4K Ultra HD as Jonas, Buck, MCGA, the Unholy Cyber Army, Mephisto, Azraith, and all the other onlooking Soldiers are suddenly standing near the end of the Las Vegas strip facing the Epicenter.

The guitars blare as the sound of “Mayhem” by Halestorm cuts through the thunder.

It’s sunset and dark clouds swirl above the Epicenter, flashes of lightning illuminating the interior of the storm clouds.

All of the soldiers make a break for the Epicenter as Lzzy Hale begins to sing.

I’m so bored with

This world that spins around me

Used to make me dizzy…

Jonas and Buck reach the building first, leaping towards it, but they’re swept up in a whirlwind and carried to the roof of the Epicenter, champion and challenger facing each other seemingly on top of the world.

And I’m so tired of

These boys that hang around me

Used to drive me crazy…

Stein and Patriot are next, barreling through the front doors, with The Unholy Cyber Army hot on their heels.

Stein halts immediately as he runs into a chain link fence. He whirls around to see Patriot standing his ground and the UCA grinning ear to ear.

A little mayhem never hurt anyone

When am I gonna get some…

Jacob Mephisto slips in through a back entrance, while Azraith kicks open another door, daring anyone to get in his way.

A little bedlam til I’m coming undone

When am I gonna get some…

A big flash of lightning reveals an absolute horde of SHOOT Project Soldiers, some recognizable, others in shadow, surrounding the building.





The horde of Soldiers take off at a sprint to the building and begin to scale the building towards the two men clashing at the top.





Lightning begins to strike all around haphazardly as we flash from Jonas and Buck to MCGA and UCA to Mephisto and Azraith.

Ohhhhh oh oh ohhhh

The guitars blare again and a huge bolt of lighting strikes the top of the building and the screen flashes white for a brief moment before cutting to the interior of the building into the arena.

Cruel intentions

Got me in a spiral

I’m waiting to unravel…

Cut to Dan Stein and Johnny Patriot taking on The Unholy Cyber Army in their first encounter before flashing to the various interactions between the two teams, including the brief arm wrestling match and the now viral 3-legged race.

Twisted motives

Drive me in a circle

I’m dying to untangle…

Cut to Jacob Mephisto spewing black mist into Azraith DeMitri’s face followed by DeMitri throttling Mephisto before the Sin City Championship flashes onto the screen.

A little mayhem never hurt anyone

When am I gonna get some…

Quick-cut to Buck Dresden absolutely knocking Jonas Coleman senseless with the Buck Shot.

A little bedlam til I’m coming undone

When am I gonna get some…

Cut to Jonas Coleman dropping Buck Dresden with the Butcher’s Cleaver.





Cut to MCGA standing inside a cage holding up the World Tag Team Championships before The Unholy Cyber Army scales the cage with a ravenous hunger etched on their faces.





A flash of blinding light gives way to Azraith DeMitri standing center ring, the Sin City Championship held high in the air before Jacob Mephisto stalks down the ramp towards him, a predator sizing up prey.

Ohhhhh oh oh ohhhh

The guitars cry out yet again and we quickly flash to Buck Dresden walking to the ring with a purpose as Jonas Coleman lifts the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship into the air.

The instrumental kicks into gear and Coleman fades from the ring, suddenly replaced by a sea of humanity brawling hazardly. The scene shifts rapidly to shots of Rumbles past, previous winners raising their arms in victory. The scene picks up speed until it is a veritable blur of color, which blurs and shifts until it is a mass of neon color.

I wanna feel the chaos

I wanna hear the uproar

We start getting quick shots of each of the participants involved in tonight’s event.

A little pandemonium

I know I’m not the only one

The speed increases to a ridiculously fast time-lapse of every single SHOOT Project Soldier in rapid succession.

I wanna be blown away

I wanna feel the walls shake

I wanna feel the walls shake

The color blur shakes violently and explodes leaving a single shot of all of the Soldiers in the ring brawling violently.

Shake it Shake it Shake it

There’s another blinding flash and Jonas Coleman stands alone, raising the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship in pure defiance. 

As Lzzy Hale screams her guttural scream, we go LIVE to a sold out Epicenter. The music continues and the crowd is going nuts. Red and white pyro explodes on the ramp and stage.

Welcome to…

With an explosive pyrotechnic sequence, we cut right to the arena.  The stands are packed with the faithful, and as the explosions continue, the cheers only increase in volume and ferocity.  The camera cuts to the floor, running along the line of the front row seats, as fans excitedly smack the barricade, hold up signs, and yell directly into the lens.  This view keeps running until it settles on the announce table, where we see Eryk Masters and the Other Guy—Eryk looking dapper in his standard big-show tux suit, a SP Logo button on his lapel.  Other Guy has at least bothered to put on a sportscoat, his hair reading very ’04 Dane Cook.  But both men have a look in their eyes of genuine excitement.

Eryk Masters: That’s right SHOOT Fans, faithful, new and old!  Tonight promises to be one for the books as the SHOOT Project finally welcomes us to the return of REDEMPTION!

OG Slaps the announce table.

Other Guy: Eryk I’m positively torqued right now!  Look at this card!  Look at the Cage hanging high above the ring!!

The camera cuts to a long view, showing the cage awaiting in the rafters—then back to the table.

Other Guy: Eryk!  My good buddy!  Give the folks the rundown!!

Eryk Masters:  Not only will we see that cage attempt to contain the combined rage the Unholy Cyber Army as they attempt to unseat the champions Make Championships Great again, not only will we see the thrilling conclusion to the Best of Five series when Jonas Coleman defends the World Title against Buck Dresden, but we will be witness to one of the greatest returns in the history of our sport!

Other Guy: Strayt Jakit?!

Eryk Masters: Nope!

Other Guy: KillaCrowe

Eryk Masters: Not even close—the return of the REDEMPTION RUMBLE!  After nearly a decade remaining dormant, the ultimate fracas for the ultimate prize is BACK!!

Other Guy: Forty entrants and only one winner
, Eryk!  But don’t do a disservice to the real blood feud of the night, we’ve seen these two engaged in a war of escalation for weeks with one another, and it really seems like they’re both about to let the lid off–damn the torpedoes!!

Eryk Masters: Right you are, OG—Azraith DeMitri defends his Sin City Championship against Jacob Mephisto, and that’s LIVE, coming up next!!

With the return of “Mayhem”, the scene cuts away with a sweeping shot of the fans, and we are on our way!

As the music plays over the speakers, Mephisto releases his hold and collapses to the canvas, exhausted.

Eryk Masters: These two have absolutely set the pact tonight, OG. What a match!

Other Guy: Damn right, Masters. Azraith said he was the devil incarnate and wanted to go back to sleep. It looks like Mephisto gave him his wish. We have a new two-time Sin City Champion!

Eryk Masters: Indeed, the mind games caught up with Azraith here tonight at Redemption.

Mephisto drags himself to his feet, standing on wobbly legs as he is handed the Sin City Championship. He stares into the shining faceplate of the title, the lights dancing across it. There is elation in those pale, grey eyes of his. He nearly collapses again, but catches his balance.

And then his eyes narrow as he hears the crowd transition from raucous boos to LOUD cheers. 

Eryk Masters: I don’t know if Azraith is asleep, OG…

Mephisto slowly turns, the Sin City Championship held firmly in his grasp, and comes face to face with a sweat-drenched and absolutely seething Azraith DeMitri, a sick grin spreading on the latter’s face.  In a jerking, broken motion, Az THROWS Jacob into the corner with a strength that hadn’t been seen since the beginning of the match.  The Sin City Championship tumbles to the mat as Az closes the distance.  Jacob attempts to get his hands up but before he can do anything Az snaps forward and smashes a BRUTAL heatbutt right into the bridge of Jacob’s nose!  A torrent of blood spurts across the pale face of Azraith as Jacob screams out nasally!  

Other Guy:  Jacob wanted the Devil…it looks like he’s getting him here!

Az raises a hand to his face, smearing Jacob’s blood down it before slowly, methodically pulling Jacob’s arms away and smashing ANOTHER headbutt into his face!  This one crumples the new Sin City Champion, and even makes Az stagger back and take a knee, his own forehead now busted wide open.

Eryk Masters:  I don’t know what Az’s endgame is here, but he looks like he wants to absolutely dismantle Jacob Mephisto here.

Az pulls himself to his feet, and in short order gets back to the corner and kneels down beside him, and with slow methodical motions, starts raining down fists and elbows into Jacob’s face.  The crowd at first starts to chant along with it…

Crowd: ONE!!

Crowd: TWO!!!

Crowd: THREE!!

Crowd: FOUR….!

Crowd: Five…!


Crowd: Six

Crowd: Seven

Crowd: …eight…



Azraith looks around for a second, his hands dripping with Jacob’s blood.  With no where else to wipe them, Az nonchalantly wipes them onto Jacob’s own chest before wrapping both of his stained hands around Jacob’s thoat, ripping him off the ground, and spinning on his heel and SMASHING Mephisto down with a choking double-handed powerbomb!  The crowd groans, some still cheering the catharsis of finally seeing Azraith go off on Jacob, but some quieting as they realize that Az is getting right back up and yanking Jacob to his feet again.

Eryk Masters: I’m thinking that maybe security should start making its way down here before Az gets a bit too carried away…

Jacob is barely conscious, blood pouring down his face and dripping onto his chest and the mat as Azraith circles him, grinning through his own crimson mask.  After thinking about it for a second, Az wraps his left hand around Jacob’s throat, still taunting him.


Azraith once again rips Jacob off his feet, and spikes him down spine-first onto his now-outstreched knee with a chokeslam backbreaker!

Other Guy: DIE HAND DES GOTTES!  Azraith is LAUGHING, Eryk!!

In fact, Az never actually lets go of Jacob’s throat.  With a grunt of effort, Az gets to his feet once again and drags Jacob’s now limp body up again.  After a moment of glaring at him, Az lets him go in the center of the ring.  Mephisto can barely keep upright, visibly wobbling, his right leg shaking rapidly in an incredibly distressing fashion.  Az smirks as he rolls under the bottom rope, digging under the apron…

Eryk Masters: Okay at this point we NEED security out here, where is everyone?!

Other Guy:  Maybe nobody back there actually wants to stop DeMitri after all Jacob’s tried to do to him?

Az laughs sadistically as he pulls a KENDO stick from under the ring.  Wasting no more time, Az rolls into the ring and instantly lunges himself into the ropes behind Jacob, building up as much momentum as he can before CRACKING the kendo stick into the back of Mephisto’s skull!  In one swing the stick instantly crumples in half and the crowd gasps out before falling silent.

Azraith: …

FInally, Az seems to slow, simply staring down at Jacob for several seconds before dropping the remains of the kendo stick to the mat and rolling out of the ring.  He finally reaches up to wipe his face again, amassing a literal handful of moist and dried blood from both himself and Jacob, wiping it in dark crimson smears across his chest and stomach idly as he finally turns his back to his opponent, a small grin on his lips as he starts up the ramp slowly.

Eryk Masters: Finally, Azraith has enacted what he feels has been his due revenge on the new Sin City Champion, who is probably second gue-

Other Guy: What. The. Hell!?

Mephisto sits up. And he’s smiling. Not smirking. A full, ear to ear grin is on his face, cutting a line in the crimson mask.

Eryk Masters: My God, Jacob Mephisto just sat up and he’s laughing.

Mephisto rolls out of the ring and begins to stalk up the ramp towards Azraith, who hasn’t turned to look back. Mephisto reaches into his tights and pulls something out, putting it into his mouth.

The fans are beginning to come out of shock and are shouting warnings to Azraith, who pauses, head cocked to the side. He turns…

Eryk Masters: LOOK OUT!

Mephisto spews BLACK MIST mixed with blood into Az’s face! This time, Azraith doesn’t drop. Instead, he barrels forward, fury in his face.

Mephisto sidesteps and buries a knee into Az’s gut before driving an elbow into the back of his neck.

But, Azraith keeps coming. Both men begin laying in heavy shots at one another, a look of absolute loathing on both faces.

Azraith HEADBUTTS Mephisto. Mephisto rears for a moment, but then rushes forward and SPEARS Azraith onto the ramp.

The two men scramble on the entrance ramp firing elbows and fists, teeth gnashing, and clawing.

Finally, security comes rushing out and begins to pull the two Soldiers apart. It’s a difficult task, but they manage to get hold of the two. 



Eryk Masters: Folks, it looks like this is far from over between these two. God help us all.

Other Guy: I don’t think I’ve seen this kind of animosity and hatred since Corazon and Entragian, E. This is far from over.

In front of the familiar vinyl backdrop, coated in graffitied images of heavy metal, satanism, and various renderings of axes and swords, stand two giants: CYBER Power Devil and CYBER Superbeast.  Collectively, you know them.  In their finest electric neon green garb, they pop their massive necks and flex their muscles, before Superbeast steps forward first.  His tone is less screaming than we’re used to, almost approaching a somber growl. 

Superbeast: A Cage. 

Power Devil: No escapes?

Superbeast shakes his head. 

Superbeast: None.  Dan Stein, who calls himself The Lights but who would better be served to call himself The Jackal, has seen it fit to call our temerity, our very mettle into question.  He has said words that are the truest fighting words to any true warrior.  He has ducked confrontation, cheated, lied.  He has disrespected both of us and put a man who we consider brother in true danger of injury through his actions.  And Johnny Patriot?!

He hauls off and SLAPS Power Devil in the chest.  He steps forward, growling. 

Power Devil: A simpleton!  A Charlatan!  A weak man caught in the orbit of a jackdaw!  You waste your career, your life, following the lead of a being such as…Dan Stein?!  I can imagine no greater shame!  The very idea would turn my blood into ice!!  Thus…the Cage. 

Superbeast: No escape. 

Power Devils turns to his partner, his volume ratcheting up. 

Power Devil: Superbeast!  My Cyber brother!  Will they prance away with their peacock’s walk as the Tag Team Champions?! 

Another massive gunshot of a slap to the chest, tagging his partner in.  Superbeast walks forward, punching his fist. 

Superbeast: Never!  They won’t even be able to walk out of the ring, never mind preening, prancing, or strutting!  A promise was made to you, Make Championships Great Again!!  A promise that would rue the day you crossed us!!  And you have continued to cross us!  Insult us!  We have HOSPITALIZED MEN FOR LESS!! 

He takes a mighty slap on the shoulder and Power Devil throws his arm around his partner. 

Power Devil: COMBAT GANJU!

Superbeast: Broken!

Power Devil: Super Ghostface II!

Superbeast: Broken!

Power Devil: The Love Mummy!  Blood Boriqua!  The Demerol Nightmares!  Pigpen Matsumoto!!  Leathernecks Three and Four!!  The Church of Skull, Hazardous Waters, Death Shark, Machete Machete, The Murder Doves, Living Legend Benito Fujiyama?!

Superbeast: BROKEN!!

Power Devil points to the camera, his tone increasing in volume. 

Power Devil: We have all the names that we have conquered throughout the years, brick by brick building a CASTLE of PAIN!!  A Castle upon which we still have space for BUTTRESSES named Dan Stein and Johnny Patriot!!  SHOOT Project Faithful, sit back and witness–

Superbeast: WITNESS!!

Power Devil: –The architecture of violence, the masonry of sorrow, THE DECORATIVE SCROLLWORK AND DELICATE FILIGREE OF DESTRUCTION!!  We will leave the pretenders Bowed!!

Superbeast: Bleeding!!

Unison: BROKEN!!

Both men turn to one another.  Bump both fists—then their heads—and walk off toward their match hollering and growling.  We cut away…

We cut to the back where none other than X-Calibur is taping his wrists up, jogging in place from side to side.  A bag of nerves hanging over his head, X-Calibur inhales when he jumps to the left, and exhales to the right.  Jump left, inhale.  Jump right, exhale.  A routine pattern he has perfected to help kickstart his cardio.  A few moments later he goes to bend down to stretch, when a gigantic man appears in front of him.

He is tall.


He is… 

Eryk Masters: My God.  I… I know that man!  That’s, that’s…

Other Guy: Is that Yuri!?  That big ass Russian dude from the Hierarchy!?

X looks completely taken aback by the Russian Assassin’s presence.

X-Calibur: What in the actual fuckshit are you doing here!?  

The 6-foot-11 (and 3-quarters of an inch) former Russian Bodyguard of the Hierarchy from nearly a decade ago just shrugs.  Adorned in a leather jacket and a blonde high and tight looking like Drago from Rocky IV, Yuri lets a cigar hang from his mouth.  The orange embers smolder brightly as he speaks in a deep Russian accent, further accented by the cigar in his mouth.

Yuri: Business, old friend.

X-Calibur: You still a Merc?

Yuri: Da.

X-Calibur: Oh.  Oh, that’s cool.  He… hehe.  You… you hired by someone here in SHOOT?

Yuri: Da.

X-Calibur: How nice.  Somebody that’s… that’s a fan of mine, perhaps, maybe, or something?  Right?

Yuri: Nyet.

X-Calibur: Fuck.

Yuri: Like I said, Eryk.  Business.

He brandishes a curved flooring knife that looks sharp AF.  Oddly enough, the handle is red, white, and blue.

X-Calibur: Oh, dude.  C’mon, now.

He sighs.

X-Calibur: Sportin’ the American colors now?  Won’t the Bratva spank you for that?  Mother(land) will not be pleased. 

He points at the knife, twisting his fingers, cocking his head, raising his shoulders, absolutely struggling to come up with something to say.

X-Calibur: I mean, really!?  We have to do this right now?  I have a Rumble to fucking w-


X stumbles forward, right into Yuri’s clutches after being whacked in the back with an axe handle.  No, like, an actual axe handle.  Clutched by Boyd Walton.  Yuri clutches X’s chin with the edge of his massive fingers and raises him up to eye level as he bends over.

Yuri: Like said, Eryk.  Just business.  I’m sorry, old friend.

Yuri grabs X in a headlock and uses the flooring knife to carve a gash just below his scalp.  X is screeeeaming at this as Yuri sighs.  ‘Nother day at the office for The Russian Assassin.  Satisfied with the gash he put in X’s forehead, he shoved him to the ground.  Blood POURS from X’s face, and within moments he’s a crimson mask.

X, terrified, clutches his forehead, in a futile attempt to stop the bleeding.  Before X can even collect himself, Boyd Walton runs forward and delivers a rib crushing punt kick to X’s mid-section, sending him rolling forward with a pain-riddled grunt while dropping the axe handle.  The force of which sends Boyd stumbling awkwardly on top of X.  Boyd rebounds quickly though and grabs one of those metal equipment boxes on wheels and rolls it RIGHT into X-Calibur’s body.  


Other Guy:  I mean, I never liked X, but he hardly deserves THIS!!

Yuri, wiping some blood away from the tip of the flooring knife with the sleeve of his black leather jacket, kneels down next to X.

Yuri: Eryk, how is family?  I hear you have child now.  She is beautiful.  Pozdravlyayu, my friend.  I knew you would one day settle down.  Just needed time.  Khorosho. Ochen’ khorosho.  

He motions for Boyd to back up a moment… when Johnny Patriot comes into the picture!  

Eryk Masters: Here comes JP!  For the… save?

Other Guy: I dunno about that.

Johnny Patriot: God Bless America, our forefathers would be proud of this. Yuri! Hurry up and get this over with. 

Yuri and Boyd look at each other in disbelief.

Johnny Patriot: He can’t compete if he’s in the hospital, right?

They both look back at Patriot.  Still in disbelief.

X-Calibur: You… is this… (groaning)… E-Esper… B-Bonnie… A-Av… 

Patriot and Boyd then begin reigning the stomps down on X.  Defenseless, X curls up to try and lessen the damage being done.

Yuri: Da, da.  Okay, enough.  As you wish, Johnny.  Now we finish it.  Dasvidaniya, comrade.

Yuri removes the cigar from his mouth and places it gently on the ground.  Reaching down with one hand while still holding the flooring knife, Yuri grabs X by the seam of his purple and black tights, with a little help from Boyd and Patriot.  They place him on top of the equipment box, where Yuri grabs X’s throat in a simple side choke.  Boyd and Patriot STILL reign down punches to all different parts of X’s body.

Eryk Masters: I can’t… I-I can’t watch this.  I’m gonna be sick.

Other Guys: Ugh.  Not on me, please.   

Grunting in pain from each hit, X starts to choke and sputter from the head lock.  Yuri takes the flooring knife…

Eryk Masters: Oh my GOD.  Someone stop this!!  STOP IT!!!



Or at least, he would’ve if not for Dan Stein stopping him by pulling his massive arm back!

Eryk Masters: Thank God!  Stein stopped him!!

Other Guy: What the hell is going on here!?  This is batshit!


Eryk Masters: Wait.  Wait, a sec.  Is Stein coming to support X-Calibur here? 

Stein facepalms.  Then, outraged by their lack of restraint… 


Eryk Masters: Why do I get my hopes up?

Stein sighs, exhaling deeply. 

Dan Stein: I don’t know why I trust Patriot with anything, but I did, and…well, here we are. 

Stein shakes his head, squatting down and patting a beaten and bloodied X on the back.

Dan Stein: Listen, pal. I got a lot going on tonight, and as much as I’d love to sit and chat, I’m going to have to take a rain check.

X begins to stir, causing Stein to pop back up in fear. 

Dan Stein: …and, I’ve got my money on you winning the rumble tonight.

Stein pushes X back down with his heel.

Dan Stein: So, don’t waste your energy chasing me, yeah? Yeah.

Thanks, X. You’re a peach.

Stein snaps his fingers, and the four men turn to start walking away. The camera focuses in on the bloodied X-Calibur’s face. 

The scene fades into the muscular brown back of a man.  He is seated at a table–where exactly is not apparent–and arranged about him are various books and papers.  Perched upon a stack to his right is the calm-featured golden mask that only belongs to one man.  His head turns slightly, and then nods.  

Avarice: I must confess, I have a particular weakness for poetry.  I know!  I know.  I’m a big tough guy, it’s surprising!  

The shoulders shake with a chuckle.  

Avarice: It’s a bit of a puzzle.  Specific arrangements of words to elicit specific responses.  Different configurations gain different results.  Puzzle, puzzle.  I find it’s calming when I need to make the noise inside quiet.  

He holds up a threadbare book briefly.

Avarice: Take this one.  From a countryman, Castillo.

The sound of pages being turned, then an intake of breath.  

 “Dear Empire, I am confused each time I wake inside you.  

You invent addictions.

Are you a high-end graveyard, or a child?”

A pause.

“You wear a different face to each atrocity

You are un-unified and tangled

Are you just gluttony?  

Are you civilization’s slow grenade?”

His voice drops to a low hush, the hint of a tremor in his words.

“I am confused each time I am swallowed by your doors”

There’s a moment before we hear the book closing.  Nothing but slow breathing.  

Avarice: That one has always made me happy.  Has always given me a feeling of sunshine when the gloom gets too oppressive.  Thank the Lord!  Hahahaha

He reached over for his mask.  Taking some time, he pulls it on, arranging the strapping tightly first before pulling his hair through and to one side.  He turns in his chair, and we are greeted with the emotionless golden face.  

Avarice: “You wear a different face to each atrocity.”  

Cut to black.

We cut backstage where SHOOT Project newcomer Andromeda Flynn is stalking the halls, jaw set in apparent anger. She’s clearly not in the best mood, nor is she ever.

As she turns the corner, she spots none other than SHOOT Project’s resident Hoochie Coochie Man, Bobson Dugnutt. Her eyes narrow as she approaches the curly blonde haired charisma magnet.

Flynn: Hey, boyo, you’ve got a big mouth, puttin’ me name in it like ye did. And, since I didn’t get what I want in a solo match tonight, I’m gonna have te kick yer arse during the rumble instead.

Bobson: Hey, you’re that Andromeda Flynn person!  Lemme know cat and or kitten, what’s your pronouns?

Flynn: I…what?  She.  Her.  


Flynn: I’m a lady.  

Bobson: Hey that’s outta sight in it’s own right!  Now let me lay down a solid drumbeat for you, Daddy.  You can walk up with your hair and threaten me with your threats all you want and that’s gonna be water off a duck’s back–have mercy!!

Andromeda quirks an eyebrow.

Flynn: I have, literally, no idea what you just said. What I do know, is that it somehow still made me want to know those teeth down yer throat. Tell ye what. How about, after Redemption is all said and done, we have ourselves a match? It can be on Shut Up and Fight. It can be on Revolution. If you’re such a bad mamma jamma, that shouldn’t be any… what did you call it, water off a duck’s back, right?

Bobson: Listen at this fillie giving the Hootchie Cootchie man the bibbidy bing bang business!  Alright Rose of Tralee, tell you what you gonna know–Bobson walking out that ring tonight the number one contender.  Now if you want a man of such distinction to give you some of that golden shine, then you can step up to the plate and catch that Sweet Sassy, catch that Ooooh, Slam-a-doo!!

Dugnutt completes a spin, and gives Andromeda a friendly clap on the shoulder that she frankly recoils from with a closed fist. 

Bobson: Give em hell out there, Irish Spring!  Cause Bobson got some hell he givin’ too, bay bay!

He prances off, leaving Flynn looking wholeheartedly mystified.  

Flynn: What in the fook was he on?

She stalks away in the opposite direction.

“This is it.  Right here.  This.”

We cut to the go position in the back.  We see noted SHOOT production members sitting around, staring at their monitors.  Real Deal is there, staring dead at a monitor.  The looks of every single person is pure business.  This continues until we see none other than Buck Dresden.  He stands there, dressed to compete.  He is nodding his head, pacing back and forth, looking dead into the camera.

Buck: This is the pivotal moment.  The final clash of the Bad Ass Brotherhood and let me tell y’all somethin’ at home watchin’ this.  If you hear my voice right now you know plain as day who I am an’ you know plain as day what I’m about.

He continues his pacing as he pauses.

Buck:  Tonight, in front of everyone watchin’ an’ every soul that’s ever believed in me…I put it all out there.  Joe, my brother, I know you hear me.  I know you feel me.  I know I’m in yer heart just like yer in mine.  But we’re about to do this fer the final time.  Winner take all style, am I right?  This right here.  This is who we are, SHOOT.  This is what we’ve always supposed to be.  Combat evolved, combat redefined, combat refined.  That’s us, am I right?

He stops pacing and he looks off camera.  The camera zooms out to reveal Jonas Coleman, the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion.  He is nodding in approval at what he’s hearing.

Jonas:  You’re absolutely right.  Hey…

Jonas holds out his hand.

Jonas:  Take care of yourself out there, brother.

Buck quickly wraps him up in a hug.  His knuckles are white as he presses into his oldest friend in the world.

Buck:  You too.  I love you, brother.

Jonas:  I love you, too, man.

“Man of Constant Sorrow” starts playing and Buck looks up in the direction of the PA.

Jonas:  See ya out there.

Buck taps his fist against Jonas’ bare shoulder and grins at him as he steps off camera towards the entrance.

As Buck makes his way up the ramp to the entrance, he turns and holds the belt up, soaking in the adulation.

Eryk Masters: What more can be said?  Week after week, these two men—these two brothers—laid everything on the table night after night, and delivered an absolute classic to cap off what has been an amazing night.

Other Guy: I can’t even argue it.  What these two have done has left me in awe, Eryk. 

Buck backs further, making it to the entrance, his movements slow and exhausted.  The crowd noise shifts from cheers to screams of horror on a dime, and he drops his arms, confused and attempting to turn—and gets absolutely BLINDSIDED by Charlie Jay Hitchens, who clubs him in the back of the head with a ball-peen hammer!! 

Other Guy: Oh, shit!  Charlie’s back?!

Eryk Masters: That was a cheap shot, an out and out assault!!

Jonas turns his attention to the entrance ramp, confused at the shift in the atmosphere of the building.  He knows something is there, something sinister.  Charlie tosses the hammer aside quickly, screaming for all to hear.

CJH: “For she is a SERVANT OF GOD.  An avenger who carries out GOD’S WRATH on the wrongdoer!”

She grabs the back of his tights, and amidst screams from all in attendance, HAULS Buck down DIRECTLY ON HIS HEAD—with a pulling piledriver onto the title belt!!

Eryk Masters: No!  Charlie Jay Hitchens has laid Buck out with The Abattoir onto his newly won title!

Charlie disappears into the sea of medics, alerted to the attack quickly.  Jonas is on the ring apron when a soft, honeyed voice booms out over the Epicenter PA.  Familiar to all, the crowd reacts in loud confusion at the words. 

Avarice: Champions!  What excitement. 

Appearing at the top of the ramp is the figure: Golden mask placid, hooded sweatshirt undone, slowly walking.  He reached the medics attending to Buck and pauses—then does an exaggerated pantomime of blowing a kiss before slowly walking down the ramp.  Mic under arm, he slow claps with every step, his eyes locked on Jonas the entire time.  He stops halfway to the ring, laughing. 

Avarice: I would congratulate you both, but your friend seems a bit preoccupied.  Though “friend” is an understatement, is it not?  You two engaged in months worth of absolutely merciless bloodsport to prove just how much you love one another.  That’s past friendship…that’s family. 

He stops, shaking his head. 

Avarice: Family, family, family. 

Striding again, the crowd noise has begun to pick up.

Avarice: I am a mystery.  I am not so far gone yet as to not understand that you, Jonas—that you, bloodthirsty faithful—know so little about me.  Family.  For so long I held something inside of me.  A deep rage.  At myself, sure.  At the world, certainly. 

He chuckles, warmth and joviality tempered with an undercurrent of edge. 

Avarice: At the father who didn’t want me?  Of course!  Hahaha. 

He begins walking around the ring, Jonas’ eyes following him the entire time. 

Avarice: But rage doesn’t get you anywhere except back at the starting blocks.  No, you have to overcome!  Power of positive outlook.  And you have to achieve—and to achieve, you must have a goal.  And lofty goals cannot be achieved on a single man’s shoulders. 

He hops to the apron, opposite side of Jonas, and gets into the ring.  Not advancing any further, The Butcher eyes him with suspicion, his muscles tense.  A noise from the crowd draws his gaze away as two figures hop the barricades, their faces shrouded by hooded sweatshirts and black PPE masks.  They slowly stride to the ring and climb to the corners on Avarice’s side, framing him.  Jonas, facing now three individuals, scans each of them in turn, his eyes active even though he’s exhausted. 

Avarice: This building, this ring, the bones and struts and rafters…that title, which you feel such vigorous pride in defending…this business itself? 

His voice drops to a low, venomous register, whiplashing from his sweet customer service tone. 

Avarice: It all stands on a mountain of broken families.  Of heartbreak.  Of absentee fathers, of bodies crippled,  blood shed, and lives frankly ruined.  That’s why the mask.  That’s why the attacks.  Shed your identity and cast off the yoke of this industry and you will feel nothing.  No more tears.  No more sadness.  No more pain.

His eyes shine bright through the holes of his golden mask, and his shoulders shake with restrained fury.  

Avarice: No more SHOOT Project. 

His voice oscillates back to cheerful. 

Avarice: Warnings were given!  Warnings were ignored.  And now myself and my very best of friends—friends who I do not need to beat half to death to prove my love to—will begin dismantling this institution.  Piece…

He takes a slow step forward, and the shorter of the figured removes his mask and sweatshirt.

Eryk Masters: That’s Malice!!  Which means the other is…

Avarice: …by…

Another step forward and the taller figure steps in, tearing off his mask and revealing…

Other Guy: Void!  Avarice, Malice, Void—Jonas Coleman needs to run fast, he’s all alone in there!!

They all step forward, stopping midway.  Coleman stands tall, unwavering, but appears to be physically drained. 

Avarice: …piece.  Starting with you.  Don’t fret, Mr. Coleman.  Though it may hurt, we are paying you a compliment in this.  

They continue their walk to the ring as the crowd boos and Jonas looks on. He takes two steps back into the center of the ring, and takes the stance as though he’s going to fight. He waves his hand as though to say “bring it on”, breathing heavily. They get to the end of the ramp and start to fan out, but then…


Eryk Masters: Fucking THANK YOU. He’d called for more security, he’s gonna lead them on out, and we’re not going to see Jonas Coleman get destroyed by this group right after the incredible match he just had… right after he lost the World Heavyweight Championship.

The Real Deal steps onto the stage, microphone in hand, and the music cuts.

Real Deal: Yeah, let’s just… let’s just stop right there. There’s been weeks of this bullshit. You three just kinda… doing whatever you want in my Epicenter, and I’m here to tell you right now that that’s not happening here tonight. This was a great show, capped off by a great main event, and I’ll be god-damned if I’m going to let the three of you ruin it. So, let’s not wait. Security will come out, and I will walk down, and the three of you? 

He scoffs.

Real Deal: The three of you will crawl back into the hovel you came from. Security, if you will.

He stops talking and the crowd hushes, waiting. The trio is turned, looking at him, also waiting, but security is late. The crowd starts to stir, impatiently.

Other Guy: Where IS security?

Eryk Masters: Great fucking question, OG.

Avarice shrugs his shoulders and he turns his attention back to Jonas Coleman, who’s still showing that he’s ready to fight. The crowd pipes up when a new person shows up at the top of the ramp! 

Eryk Masters: It’s Real Deal’s son! TJOMD! 

Other Guy: No security, but that looks like BACKUP to me.

TJOMD: NO CLUE where security is, Dad, but I’m here. We’ve got this. You, me, and the Defender of Faith. 

TJOMD points to Jonas. Real Deal nods and turns away from his son. 

TJOMD: Just one thing.

Real Deal stops, there’s a quick, but loud snap and the camera zooms in on TJOMD, who smirks and then takes the asp and SWINGS IT INTO THE BACK OF THE REAL DEAL’S LEFT KNEE. Real Deal CRUMPLES to the ground, after crying out in pain! 

Other Guy: WHAT THE FUCK? 

Eryk Masters: Nonononono.

Real Deal tries to get to one knee, but TJOMD moves around to the front of him and holds the asp to his face, between his eyes. 


He gets right into his face, and almost whispers. 

TJOMD: …we’re going to dismantle your golden child, the former World Heavyweight Champion.

Real Deal sits in shock, as TJOMD stands over him and turns his back to walk down to the ring. Jonas is beside himself in the ring, as Avarice, Void, and Malice begin to circle. Malice steps towards Jonas first, but Coleman is quick to fight back against Malice.  Unfortunately for him, Void quickly sends the former World Champion to the mat with a HARD boot to the face.  Void claps for himself, giggling as he enjoys his handiwork.  Avarice mounts Jonas and pinches his cheeks as though he were a scolded child.  He lifts Jonas up and throws him to Malice, who catches him and hoists him high, slamming him down with a spinebuster.

TJOMD: While my friends in the ring do their work, I want to take a moment to explain to you, the audience and the viewing public at home just why this is happening. For weeks, of course, you’ve seen this play out. Attacks on random people in the hallways, slight escalations, even Samantha Coil got caught up in it. I know some of you may be wondering, why a civilian? Why Samantha Coil? She’s beloved by everyone… and you’d be right. She IS a civilian, and everyone loves her, but that’s… I guess that’s really it, isn’t it? 

You see, what this is, is about ending the SHOOT Project. I don’t mean leaving the husk of the Epicenter here so that we can return four years later, either. I mean a complete and total devastation, and I know… I KNOW that sounds weird coming from me, right? I’m the REAL DEAL’s SON! I’m Jason Johnson’s NEPHEW. OutKast’s NEPHEW. I should bleed for the SHOOT Project, I should love it, I should cherish it, but no. No I do not.

Malice wastes no time, hoisting Coleman up and throwing him over to Void to bat around like dying prey.  Void catches him and with a roar hefts Jonas up for a chokeslam.  Malice, however, isn’t quite finished and rushes up to catch Coleman and NAILS the Act of Malice on him as Void chokeslams him to the mat!

TJOMD: I HATE the SHOOT Project. I have grown up watching my father and my uncle pour everything into this wretched place, and I’ve seen it just continue to take, and take, and take from them like the LEECH that it is. I watched my father nearly DIE in Mexico. NOBODY KNOWS where my uncle is. Either of them, really. Every day, I would hear more and more about SHOOT’s inevitable return, what my dad was putting into it. You know him and IHM bought this entire fucking property and basically rehabilitated it into what it is now? 

That comes with a COST that goes beyond dollar signs. My sister and my mother… they never said it, but I KNOW they felt it. They felt the betrayal when he decided to dump money into this place. Just like I did.

So, why these men? Why Malice, Avarice, and Void? Well… their stories are for them to tell, but I think it’ll start to make sense as we set out to do our work. While I am SHOOT Project’s Last Scion, they are just as much its inheritors as anyone else, and they… they have their own axes to grind.

Avarice motions to Void to lock in his Atrophy submission and present Coleman’s face to him.  Void complies, draping his body over Coleman’s and locking Coleman’s arms away from his face, exposing him directly to Avarice.  Avarice slides down to one knee, grabbing at Coleman’s face to get him to pay close attention.  Coleman, however, is fighting to even stay conscious.

TJOMD: It’s beautiful, watching what they’re capable of, and knowing what I’ll contribute to them. They’ve forced the former World Heavyweight Champion to his knees. Look at him. 


We have been empowered, freed from our bonds, and enabled to come out here and make this statement, not… not just on our own, but we have help. Someone who understands the struggle and, you know, sees things the way that we do. So, we carry out our mission both for ourselves and in his name.

Avarice grabs Jonas by the sides of his head.  As Coleman calls out in pain from Void’s submission, Avarice slowly starts trying to work his thumbs into Coleman’s eyes.  Meanwhile, Malice hooks Coleman’s legs in an Indian Deathlock and uses his sheer might to lift the Deathlock up with his boot and SLAMS Coleman’s knees back down to the mat.  Avarice, meanwhile, is DIGGING his thumbnails into Coleman’s eye sockets as best he can, blood starting to drip down his thumbs.

TJOMD: Yes… look at Jonas Coleman’s face, the tears of blood streaming down his cheeks. I want this to be etched forever into your memory, “Joe.” I want you to understand what’s happened to you. This is not Project: SCAR abducting you and leaving you for dead in a desert. 


This is the New Vanguard. 




And me… Scion.

TJOMD or Scion, rolls into the ring as Avarice releases Coleman’s head and we see the blood dripping from his eyelids.  He is blinking, trying to keep the blood from clouding his eyes.  Void releases the Atrophy and stands with Malice and Avarice, the four of them looming over Jonas Coleman.  He doesn’t move, he quite honestly can’t.  Scion, still wielding the asp he used to incapacitate his father, points it into Jonas’ face. He smiles, rears back, and cracks him across the forehead.