The lights go out in the arena.
“Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni” by Eiko Shimamiya begins to play. Cell phones start to light up the arena as a single spotlight illuminates CICADA at the top of the entrance ramp. He stares at the ring, possibly feeling slightly more weight with this match-up than with others. He stands at the top of the entrance ramp for longer than usual.
Maria Madden: Are we seeing some rare hesitation from CICADA tonight?
Mark Kendrick: Hesitation, reverence, or maybe he’s just savoring the moment? He certainly didn’t show any hesitation in picking a fight with Ultimo Muerte after decimating Avalanche Anderson.
Maria Madden: Who knows, but I’d tend to think that the opportunity to hold gold for the first time in REIGN and SHOOT Project would weigh heavily on anyone’s mind.
Regardless of the actual emotions felt, CICADA stalks to the ring, as he always does, completely focused. He doesn’t get in the ring once he reaches the bottom. Instead, he sits on the apron, awaiting his opponent.
Mark Kendrick: Why isn’t he getting in the ring? I don’t like that he’s not getting in the ring.
“Inhumano” by Anna Fiori hits over the PA. Ultimo Muerte emerges, Pandora closely behind. She holds the Horizon Championship over her shoulder. CICADA is no longer sitting on the apron. He stands, staring ice into Ultimo Muerte, who stares back in kind.
Maria Madden: I’m not sure hesitation was the right word earlier. Neither of these men seems intimidated by the other.
Mark Kendrick: I don’t know if fear and intimidation are feelings that CICADA or Ultimo Muerte feel, but-oh god, they’re not waiting.
CICADA has met Ultimo Muerte in the center of the ramp. They exchange blows, Pandora screaming at Muerte.
Pandora: KILL HIM! SQUASH THE INSECT!
Though Muerte seems to try, he cannot get the upper hand on CICADA, who strikes with power and precision despite how chaotic the brawling is. With that said, Muerte takes everything that CICADA gives him and returns it, eventually catching CICADA with a knee strike that doubles CICADA over. Muerte tosses CICADA into the guard rail, but CICADA seems barely phased as he staggers Muerte with a back elbow. CICADA hits a leaping knee to Muerte, driving him into the opposite guard rail. The referee screams for the men to get in the ring, but CICADA has other things in mind. He grabs Muerte by the head and looks to slam him into the ring post, but Muerte blocks and reverses, driving CICADA’s face into the post!
Mark Kendrick: I’m not sure this match is even going to get started.
Muerte takes the staggered man and looks to suplex him on the ring floor, but CICADA launches a quick blow to Muerte’s stomach, causing Muerte to release the hold. CICADA backs up before launching a VICIOUS liver kick to Muerte. Muerte drops to a knee, clutching his side. CICADA backs up and runs at Muerte, looking for a knee, but Muerte burst forth with a leaping clothesline! Both men are down on the outside!
Maria Madden: Referee Alex Campbell hasn’t officially started this match, but I’m not sure a match is even what either of these men wants. This is just a fight.
Mark Kendrick: Jesus, they’re both back up.
Both men clutch the head of the other and proceed to exchange nasty blows back and forth. From behind their masks, blood can be seen flowing, but neither man notices. They just toss each other back and forth, delivering blow after blow, slamming against the ring, the steps, the guard rails, everything. Campbell is warning both men that if they don’t get in the ring he will call the match a no-contest, but they don’t hear him. Pandora screams for Muerte to annihilate CICADA while the crowd begins to chant.
LET THEM FIGHT! LET THEM FIGHT! LET THEM FIGHT!
Seeing that his warnings have fallen on deaf ears, Campbell calls for the bell, but even this does not stop either man. CICADA has mounted Muerte and rains down fists on him, but Muerte is able to catch one of the shots and looks to apply some kind of arm lock. In an attempt to fight away from this, Muerte is able to get on top of CICADA, and now it is his turn to slam CICADA with punches. CICADA scrambles though, and in a few moments, both men are back on their feet. At this point, the locker room empties with wrestlers, referees, trainers, and security, in a scene similar to the previous episode of REIGN. They are quick to leap on top of both men, separating them. Pandora shouts insults at CICADA, but CICADA is only focused on trying to get back at Ultimo Muerte. Muerte shares the same goal, but the sea of bodies is too much for either man.
Mark Kendrick: Jesus Christ, nothing was resolved here. Let’s…just…just cut to the back or something while we try to get this nonsense sorted out.