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Cromwell Yarbury Vs. Rapture



The voice on the microphone belongs to Johnny Brave, which immediately draws the boos out from the crowd.


Mark Kendrick: Crowd HATES this guy. Not sure how they feel about Rapture yet, but they don’t like this guy.


Maria Madden: Safe to assume that they’re not huge fans of either.


Brave rolls into the ring where Rapture is just standing over the fallen Cromwell Yarbury, who is unconscious and unmoving. Brave puts the microphone in front of Yarbury’s face, and nothing comes out but the sound of him exhaling and groaning.


Johnny Brave: THIS is what you can expect when you come up against RAPTURE. There’s nothing you can do. THERE IS NO HOPE. Only Rapture. So, Viento Helado? I hope you were watching… this man? 


He points to Cromwell Yarbury.


Johnny Brave: This man was part of SHOOT Project’s “Empire”. He ran with Joshua Breedlove. He stood with titans like KIMO. Now? 


He snorts.


Johnny Brave: Now, he is food for Rapture. He is fodder. He is not–


Before Brave can get the last of his words out, the crowd goes into a frenzy, as REIGN’s World Heavyweight Champion Viento Helado has appeared in the ring! Bullrushing down behind him are none other than REIGN’s World Tag Team Champions, Furia Inviernal! The three of them make up the group of the same name! 


Mark Kendrick: Furia Inviernal have heard enough! It’s fighting time! 


Maria Madden: They’re OVERWHELMING Rapture! 


And true to form, Furia Inviernal is executing a technical and brutal attack, which has brought Rapture down to his knees, but Rapture will not relent! He explodes back to his feet and sends Sangre Fria flying into the turnbuckle! Rapture is INCENSED and he turns to stare down Mordida, but before he can move, he’s clipped from behind by the World Champion, Viento Helado! 


Maria Madden: Numbers game always wins, Mark.


Mark Kendrick: Considering that the tag team champions have a match against the Willett Clan in just a few weeks, the numbers game is as strategic as it is ballsy.


Rapture goes back down to one knee and Helado bounces off the opposing rope and FLIES into Rapture with a running knee, sending the big man tumbling to the ground! “NOOOOO” is all you can hear from Johnny Brave as Helado goes to work, laying boot after boot into Rapture, who is TRYING to get back to his feet and nearly succeeding! The crowd is in a frenzy!


Mark Kendrick: This man is a MONSTER. What is he even made of?! 


Maria Madden: I don’t know, but if I’m Furia Inviernal, I make the decision to either cut and run RIGHT NOW or I double down and really lay into this guy.


Helado rolls from the ring and beckons the tag team champions out to him, making a strategic exit as Rapture is back on his feet and furious. Johnny Brave rolls back into the ring and attends to his client as all three members of Furia Inviernal look on, snide smirks across their faces.



As we approach the end of REIGN, the camera finds its way into the offices of Samantha Coil, who has decided to make a pre-Total Annihilation visit to SHOOT’s satellite location.

SHOOT’s VP of Talent Relations sits behind a folding table as her two guests opt to stand by the door… WOLF MAN is hunched down, knuckles to the ground as his manager, Dr. Străjer has perfect posture, his arm held across his chest as the other rests cooly on the top of his ornate cane.

Samantha Coil: Dr. Străjer we are about to head into some uncharted territory here for the REIGN brand and, despite your best efforts, your charge continues to…

WOLF MAN is sniffing around the floor of Coil’s desk. She gestures down as if to make her point. Străjer’s eyes follow, but quickly come back to attention as he taps his cane twice on the floor. When he does, WOLF MAN vaults up onto his feet and stands at attention.

Coil scoffs.

Samantha Coil: Nice trick… but as if you haven’t noticed, Wolfy here has injured quite a few of our talent. I don’t think I’ve encountered a ma-

She stops herself.

Samantha Coil: I don’t think I’ve encountered a fighter who has made each of their opponents bleed out in the middle of the ring.

Străjer holds up his free hand and shakes his head.

Dr. Străjer: Now Ms. Coil that is a very… accusatory tone you are taking with my friend – your employee – at this moment. Just look at tonight, WOLF MAN certainly did NOT make Señor Simbolo bleed in the ring tonight. Not a drop.


Dr. Străjer: I fail to see the issue here.

Samantha slaps her forehead and sighs as Străjer flashes a smile.

Samantha Coil: You promised us you could tame him, Străjer. He’s just as wild as ever!

Dr. Străjer: In the ring.

Samantha Coil: Excuse me?

Dr. Străjer: Only in the ring, Ms. Coil. Or are telling me it is common practice for you to neuter your talent so that they may only play fetch and come when called.

Samantha Coil’s expression turns sour as she stands up and slams her fist on the table.

Samantha Coil: I expect the talent we EMPLOY to not be walking liabilities! How can I know that your dog here won’t seriously injure someone? Attack a fan? He hasn’t done press. He isn’t out signing autographs. He’s more of a risk than a reward right now unless YOU can prove to me he’s going to begin to act more civilized…

Dr. Străjer: …Or?


Samantha Coil sits back down and nods over to the stoic WOLF MAN.

Samantha Coil: Or you get your pet to put more butts in seats. Winning matches isn’t enough in this business, Străjer, and novelty wears off fast. What is it that you and WOLF MAN bring to this new era of REIGN? Show it to me or you’re both out. You understand?

Dr. Străjer looks calmly over at WOLF MAN and then back to Samantha before tapping his cane three times. In a flash, WOLF MAN is perched on Samantha Coil’s makeshift desk, teeth bared, as he is growing and yapping inches away from her face. She screams and recoils backwards, falling out of her chair and scrambling to find the furthest wall she can cling to.

Coil looks up in fear at Străjer who taps his cane twice, at which point WOLF MAN jumps off the table and back to Străjer’s side. Străjer bows slightly, tipping his hat in Samantha Coil’s direction before proceeding out the office door and gesturing WOLF MAN out, following him as he softly, and gently, shuts the door as the pair exit. 


Avalanche Anderson Vs. Stan Jensen

The scene opens in a conference room in the back of the Epicenter. Pandora and Ultimo Muerte sit at a table. Muerte is stiff and upright, not really showing much in the way of emotions per usual, but Pandora is clearly antsy and annoyed. The Horizon Championship sits on the table. Pandora looks at her phone and then the door.


Pandora: We have better things to do than sit here all night, match or no ma…


The circumstance hits Pandora like a ton of bricks. She puts her phone away in the pocket of her pantsuit and looks at Ultimo Muerte, who stares at her. She nods. Both Muerte and Pandora rise. Pandora collects the championship as they turn for the door.


Pandora: Ultimo Muerte, go give that insect a little taste of Total Annihilation.


The lights flicker for a moment, white, black, and blue. Pandora seems a little surprised, but Muerte is unphased. As the lights normalize, they head for the door and Muerte tries to open it, but the door is locked. Pandora smirks.


Pandora: Locked from the outside? What is this…


Muerte moves Pandora out of the way before he slams his shoulder against the door, and while a man the size of Ultimo Muerte should be able to take down a simple, corporate office door, the door does not budge, causing Muerte some mild discomfort. The sound of static stops Muerte from further slamming into the door as they both turn to a large screen on the other end of the conference table. A screen that is not plugged into anything. A screen that is showing The Speaker.


The Speaker: Hello Hooorizon Champion, Ultimo Muerte, and his manager, Pandora. We are so happy to speak to you in a more intimate setting. Thank you for coming and we apologi-gi-gi-gi-gize for the wait.


Muerte throws a table out of the way. Pandora is quick to step between him and the TV. She puts her hand up on Muerte’s chest, instantly deflating him. Pandora looks back at the TV.


Pandora: You know, keeping us captive is only going to make Ultimo Muerte more violent.


The Speaker: Please take a seat and make yourself comfortable. I’m here just to t-t-t-t-talk, so feel free to share whatever’s on your mind. I’m all eeeeeeeears and ready to listen. Let’s have a nice, relaxed conver-ver-ver-versaaaaaaation.


Pandora chuckles to herself. She speaks as she looks around the room.


Pandora: This is asinine. Couldn’t even be bothered to show up themself. Pre-recorded message? How cli-


The Speaker: We have the utmost respect for Cipactli, so we would appreciate a user of the deep magick such as yourself showing a fellow being some respect. Nothing we do is asinine.


Pandora immediately sits down at a table, startled by the use of the name. Ultimo Muerte’s name. She’d heard it in a story the High Brujah told her, but she had never spoken it. Who was this “Speaker”? Muerte’s fist clenches. Pandora, oblivious to Ultimo Muerte’s body language, asks the only thing that she can muster to break the tension in her body.


Pandora: What is this?


There is a silence for a moment, broken only by the low hum of the large monitor. Lines of static cross the large monitor, almost as if whatever is inside the screen is barely contained in the digital world.


The Speaker: This is a meeting for understanding, clarity. When we say we respect you, myself and my client, REEEDAAAC-C-C-C-C-T̸̢͍̐̀͠ͅE̛̮͈͔͉͇̣̐̔͑͒D̛̲͖̫̝̲̔̃̈͜͏, we are being sincere. You, Ultimo Muerte, your brujahs, we respect and value your ways and the old magick. But…we want you to look around? You have been exiled here, yes?


Though the voice of the Speaker hasn’t really changed, something about it feels smoother, more human in some ways. Yet, in others, less.


The Speaker: Look at the competition in REIGN, so happy to be adjacent to a  company like SHOOT Project, but far too content to become anything greater. They want to bask in the sun, not embody it. They are jokes, clowns mimicking warriors. You…you are different, Muerte, you are a different being, a primeval being. We chose you to prove our power, but also to release you from your burdens. We wish to fully and totally annihilate you…


The screen zooms in on the eyes of the Speaker, eyes that have become hyper-realistic and deeply blue.


The Speaker: So that you may become what the High Brujah wants you to be.


The zoom stops. The Speaker is back to regular, no strangely realistic blue eyes any longer. 


The Speaker: As a show of respect, please, sit back, watch our client’s match, and enjoy.


A nearby mini-fridge opens. Inside is a strange, old-looking bottle with no label.


The Speaker: A bottle of pulque as a gesture of goodwill-will-will-will-will-wi-


Pandora looks at the mini-fridge slowly, then over to her client. Muerte’s eyes are narrowed and his fist still clenched.


Pandora: Muerte…Calm. Now is not the time! At Total Annihilation you can let CICADA feel the reason why we don’t use your name. The Speaker thinks they’re smart, Muerte. They don’t understand the Hell they just unleashed on their client.


Pandora looks at the TV.


Pandora: But, they will.


Pandora sighs, pushing herself up out of her chair. She walks stoically to the mini-fridge. 


Pandora: Pulque? I’ve always been fond of agave.


Pandora reaches into the mini-fridge, grabbing the unlabeled bottle. She then turns and walks back to the spot she just vacated, placing the bottle on the table in front of her. Both Pandora and Ultimo Muerte look at the TV, now showing the REIGN ring. Pandora sits down in the same chair and uncorks the bottle.


The scene fades.

CICADA Vs. Mystic Warrior