Eryk Masters: Ladies and gentlemen, we are here! It’s Revolution 157 and we have a WILD one tonight. A DOOZY if you will!
Other Guy: That’s right! Iron Will is right around the corner, and some of the matches here tonight could shake up the very landscape of that event! Including our opening contest! Plus, we’ve got some kind of rumored announcement from the Real Deal surrounding that upcoming event, and THAT should be interesting too. What do you think is up?
Eryk Masters: I think he’s brought Shaolin back from retirement and is slotting him against Buck Dresden and C.K. Butcher for the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship! That’s our VERY FIRST World Champion, folks!
Other Guy: Anything’s possible around here, I guess, but for now, we’re going to get to the action with the Unholy Cyber Army taking on–
Suddenly, the video wall kicks on and the face of the Sin City Scoundrels is shown, to the booing and admonishment of the crowd.
Mike Sexton: Yeah yeah, we get it. Whine whine whine, cry cry cry. Look, not everyone can do what we do and be the way that we are, so we understand the jealousy, the envy, all of that stuff, but those? Those are ugly looks on some already UGLY PEOPLE, right my brother?
Luke Sexton: Right you are. I’m going to get to the point, though, because while there is a LOT to look out at and insult, from the ugliness, to the lack of talent, to the stupidity, and otherwise ne’er-do-wellness of the crowd here… we’ve got some business to attend to. We KNOW that the lot of you really wanted to watch us emasculate and traipse all over the Unholy Cyber Army ONCE AGAIN, but alas…
Mike Sexton: We’ve opted out of that for tonight. But fret not, loyal subjects to the empire, you might remember that a salty Bone-like team may have said they were coming to Vegas on SOMEONE’s dime on Spitter. Mike de los Nuevos or whatever his name is seemed really excited, and frankly, we are too, because we get to see the Bone Brigade in action against the Unholy Cyber Army! WOW!
Luke Sexton: WOW indeed, my man. You see, we decided that we wanted to watch the carnage from the seat of our palace. Looking down amongst our subjects and especially our enemies, and so, we flew the Brigade in. I’m sure they won’t be happy once they realize all of this is because of us, but they’ve been, you know… chomping at the bit to get an opportunity and thus, opportunity has knocked.
The crowd continues booing!
Mike Sexton: So, sit back and relax with us, our serfdom, and enjoy what’s next! The Bone Brigade and the Unholy Cyber Army! OOoOOoOoOoOooOo…
Bone Brigade Vs. Unholy Cyber Army
The scene shifts to the SHOOT Project Helmet backdrop which suddenly falls to the floor, the air attempting to catch it but to no avail. Behind the backdrop appears the initials “PVz” encircled by…a circle. Stepping into view in his three piece suit is Victor Thane, followed by Mr. Ben Bronson, Kitsune, Akuma Lee, and Fuego Eterno. The Proper Villainz stand there, flanking their leader Victor Thane. He perches himself dead and center, his hair combed back and his hands resting on his cane.
Victor Thane: NC-17.
He cocks his head to the side.
Victor Thane: Such a funny and interesting little man. Named for a rating at the lowest of the low. I admit I don’t know much about this person. How tragic for him to have missed my attention. But, Mr. 17, I assure you you have it now. You see, you’re due to face one RAIKO. RAIKO, the beloved betrothed of our violent violet volpe.
Thane shrugs, his smile never leaving his face.
Victor Thane: Now, I’m not the type of man who talks tough merely to do so. I believe in solving these matters logically. Sometimes that logic falls to violence. Sometimes you are faced with someone that only knows violence. Mr. 17, what you are about to face is something beyond your knowing. Something that speaks the language of violence and only violence. An uncaged, unleashed, untethered force of nature that descends upon the ring to bleed and inflict bloody assault upon those unfortunate enough to be caught in the path. That unfortunate tonight, Mr. 17, is you.
Suddenly, the PVz step aside, parting like the Red Sea behind Thane to reveal RAIKO. She is unchanged from the last time she was seen… Save her being decked out in Proper Villainz colors. Her eyes are focused, her jaw clenched, and she glances to Thane who motions her forward.
Victor Thane: Win or lose, you will never forget what you face here tonight. RAIKO is no longer a roving beast destined to be put down. She knows her purpose. She knows she has an entire army that loves her, supports her, and will stand with her against the forces that would use her for their own intentions. RAIKO is more. She is better. She is…proper.
He turns to look at her and he smiles as she continues to say nothing. She merely glares dead ahead.
Victor Thane: Everyone who saw her as some undercard attraction, watch. Everyone who thought she was a joke or a sideshow, watch. She deserved better than you. She has that. Mr. 17, let’s have some fun.
Mr. Ben Bronson, Akuma Lee, and Fuego Eterno begin to chuckle as Kitsune nods his head in agreement. Thane looks back to the camera and then to RAIKO. He leans in and points to the camera. He whispers almost lovingly in her ear.
Victor Thane: Show them who you are.
RAIKO nods and marches to the camera, past it, and offscreen. We are left with the rest of Proper Villainz now, Thane standing proudly flanked by his growing army. He grins from ear to ear. He can’t help himself.
NC-17 Vs. RAIKO
We open up outside of the SHOOT Project Epicenter where Dan and Molly Stein are exiting their Atlas. It’s earlier in the day as there is still bright sun shining down on the couple. On the top right of the screen is a “RECORDED EARLIER” tag. Molly walks around the vehicle in her black pantsuit, and Dan wears a pair of designer jeans and a SHOOT Project t-shirt. Dan grabs his bag out of the backseat. The sound of footsteps grow louder, causing Stein to drop his bag to the ground, duck out of the Atlas, and scurry to the rear of the vehicle. Molly, observant as ever, laughs to herself as Abigail Chase comes into the picture, holding a microphone. Stein stands up straight, fixing his shirt and brushing off his sleeve, trying to hide the embarrassment.
Abigail Chase: Dan Stein, I think it’s safe to say you’re a little on edge tonight.
Dan Stein walks around the vehicle.
Dan Stein: A match with Crimson King Butcher should put anyone on edge. Guy’s a nutcase right now, sure, but he’s a DANGEROUS nutcase. Did you see what he did to Elgin Blair last Revolution? Ben Bronson? Blade McGuinness?
Abigail Chase: Dan, while it might be true that Crimson King Butcher is on a winning streak since losing to Buck Dresden, you’re a former World Heavyweight Champion and one of the most decorated men in SHOOT Project history. Do you think you’re going to suffer the same fate as those men?
Stein pauses for a second. Molly interlaces her fingers with Dan’s, putting her other hand over both of them. Stein looks at Molly, then back at Abigail. He stands up straight and rolls his head on his neck.
Dan Stein: No, Abigail, I don’t. And it’s time I start acting like it. I’m tired of running from fights. I’m tired of being a laughing stock, Abigail. Butcher is going to do everything he can to make a statement out of this match with Dan Stein, and I am going to do everything in my power to make sure that doesn’t happen. Butcher is dangerous, but…
Stein turns and puts his free hand over Molly’s stomach. Stein looks at Molly.
Dan Stein: …I’m fighting for more than pride tonight.
Dan drops his hand from Molly’s belly and picks up his duffle bag from the ground. He and Molly walk away from their vehicle and the scene fades.
Teresa Ames Vs. Clemson Dean
We cut to the office of The Real Deal, Josh Johnson. He absently looks over some paperwork, tapping his pen on his desk. The only noise provided is a steady ticking of an old-style clock on the far wall.
With a massive crash, the office door literally comes off of the hinges–and tumbling in and crashing hard are Michael and Lucas Sexton!! They appear to have been thrown physically through the door, and Real Deal registers genuine surprise, which is a rarity for him. Both members of the Sin City Scoundrels look worse for wear, their faces lumpy, their clothes torn, blood on their noses and lips. They scramble to the desk and each grasp one of the bosses lapels, their eyes wild with frenzy.
Michael: Call the security guy!!
Lucas: Those losers have gone too far!!
At this point they’re practically shaking him across the desk–Real Deal frowns, quickly yanks their hands from his suit jacket, and stands. There is a long moment where they’re simply sucking air and looking at him with pleading eyes. He takes his glasses off and sighs, looking at both of them.
Real Deal: Look, I–
With a stomp, in stalk Power Devil and Superbeast, clutching the tag belts. Michael and Lucas stumble around on either side, flanking the Real Deal, placing the desk between them and the Unholy Cyber Army. They step forward, murder in their eyes, and lay the belts on the wood– punctuating their point by jabbing the metal plates with their fingers for emphasis.
Real Deal: …Right. Cute bait and switch you guys pulled. But you know we’re in the business of putting on matches people want to see, right? On top of that, the Cyber Army are due a re–
Breedlove: Evil villains stand down!!
With a flourish of a literal fur lined ermine cape, Joshua Breedlove and Kimo Apana step through the open doorway, clearly having chased down the UCA as they alternately chased and beat their Holy Breedlove Empire compatriots. The Sin City Champion points an accusatory finger, and KIMO steps forward, rolling his shoulders. The Unholy Cyber Army, adopt fighting stances, grinning at the prospect of combat. Michael, Lucas, and Breedlove turn into a din of shouts of encouragement, with the low growl of Power Devil and Superbeast rumbling on the low end. They inch closer and closer, and just as they’re about to engage–
Real Deal: Hey!!
Everyone in the room halts what theyre doing–stances get dropped, muscles relax, screaming stops. They all look to Josh Johnson, who steps from behind the desk, waving his hands almost dismissively.
Real Deal: Separate, separate. Look. I respect that you guys are pissed off, and that’s going to be addressed, but right now I’m down one door and I don’t particularly feel like docking your pay to scrub blood out of the carpet.
Michael: Ha, yeah!!
Real Deal: Shut up. Don’t think because they’re catching the dad voice first that you’re out of the fire, boys. You promised a match. Fans tuned in to see that match. They didn’t get that match.
He casts a withering gaze in their direction.
Real Deal: I don’t appreciate champions representing my brand who duck out on defending their belts.
Breedlove: Which of course is why I, the greatest champion…
Everyone: The Sextons, Power Devil, Superbeast, Kimo and Real Deal all turn and stare at Josh Breedlove. He trails off and then shrugs his shoulders, gathering his regal cape around himself and looking away, having finally read the room. Real Deal paces for a few seconds, then lands at his desk, looking at the titles.
Real Deal: I could speak at length about this, but I have other things to do, including calling up facilities to get a quote on repairing my fucking door, so…
Real Deal: Iron Will. Scoundrels face the Army for the belts. No weaseling out of it–and Superbeast, Power Devil? You keep your hands off of them until the bell rings. Am I crystal?
The Scoundrels nod. The Cyber Army nods. Real Deal smiles, having restored order.
Real Deal: Good. Now all of you–get the hell out of my office.
The Unholy Cyber Army back up, giving the Sin City Scoundrels a wide berth. They gather their belts and walk backwards away from them, flipping them both off. As soon as they’re with Kimo and Breedlove, the Holy Breedlove Empire turn on their heels and storm from the office. Superbeast and Power Devil take a moment, offer Josh Johnson a slight bow, and then do the same in the opposite direction. The boss sighs, his shoulders slumping, and pops back into his chair, pinching the bridge of his nose.
“Last week, to put it plainly, was a massacre.”
The scene cuts to Lindsay Troy and Teddy Palmer backstage at the interview area. No Abigail Chase or Mary Kelly; just the two SHOOT Project warriors, dressed for their battle in the main event to come.
Lindsay Troy: I’m not going to stand here and recount what Arthur Pleasant did to Daryn Thompson. I’m not going to give him the satisfaction. What I will say is this: he failed.
A collective murmur rises from the crowd out in the arena proper.
Lindsay Troy: Arthur wanted to end Daryn’s career last week in order to send a message to me, and he failed. Her career is far from over. She’s going to recover from what he and his hired gun did to her and come back better and stronger than ever. It won’t happen overnight. It won’t happen in a week or two. But it will happen.
Teddy Palmer: And in the meantime, there’s a price that needs to be paid. There’s a receipt that will be given. You fucked up, Arthur; big time.
Lindsay Troy: The only message you sent my way is that you’re a cowardly piece of shit, but I already knew that. I knew that from the second you and I started this little waltz, and now that you’ve decided to bring someone new to the dance floor, it’s only proper that he and I get acquainted as well. I don’t want just you at Iron Will, Arthur. I want you and your not-so-little friend, in a tag match.
Teddy Palmer: So what do you say, Arthur? This is what you wanted, right? You weren’t content until you dragged everyone into your twisted little world. Well we’re here, and we’re ready to play.
Lindsay Troy: And after Teddy and I get through with you both at Iron Will? I’m going to make absolutely certain, Arthur, that you regret ever stumbling into my path.
C.K. Butcher Vs. Dan Stein
The locker room always offers a level of bare bulbed harshness to the lighting. Not because of the quality of the building–the Epicenter is top notch–but because these rooms aren’t lit for filming, Their purpose is different. Tape tight, pads on straight, face paint applied, boots laced. So they can feel…clinical. And under this clinical light sits Nate Robideau, the Iron Fist champion. He has changed–his signature mohawk has been buzzed off, and he has traded wrist tape for wraps and MMA-style gloves. He is constantly on a journey of getting himself into better shape, and looks as lean as his densely packed frame can, his shoulders and forearms almost rippling with definition. He sits on a bench, elbows on his knees, eyes closed, facing the floor.
Robideau: I am no fool. I know what is said about me–whispered and overt.
His voice too, has changed. Whereas he was always content with a terse, somewhat soft tone–he now speaks with more rhythm, relaxed. His voice is still a deep boom of thunder, but the storm is closer.
Robideau: That I have snapped. That I have turned. That CK Butcher was right about me. That I am a simple man in the thrall of the Devil himself.
He chuckles and raises his head, smiling. It’s genuine, but his eyes do narrow.
Robideau: That robs me of my agency. It robs you of the truth. These are decisions I have made. This is a path I have chosen to walk. This is the culmination of who I am, who I was, and who I want to be. Not some parlor trick being played on me. Not me losing some part of myself.
He rolls his shoulders, moving his spine erect, the drive in theater screen of his chest expanding–we hear a couple of deep pops somewhere in his back, and he then relaxes with a sigh.
He grins. Cracks his knuckles.
Robideau: I am a warrior. A gladiator. I am becoming more comfortable with what it means to put it all on the line to gain victory. And there are many of you who feel scared at that concept–after all, most of the roster has barely secured victory over who I was. A man who held back. A man who was afraid of himself. What does it mean when the filter is obliterated?
He stands up, hopping from foot to foot before raising his knees to his chest one by one. Age means you have to stay limber if you want to perform, and Blackhawk is on the wrong side of 30. He stops, placing his hands on his thighs, and considers for a moment before speaking up again.
Robideau: I am not here to denigrate Azraith DeMitri. I am not here to insult Teddy Palmer. I have no hate in my heart for Lindsay Troy. You will not hear that from me, proclamations about how they are weak or inferior or cannot possibly hope to contend with me. They are in the ring–that makes them strong, tough, and talented. No less than that. To discount them is an insult, and I do not insult. But the truth is…they have seen Avarice. They have seen Jacob. They know their maneuvers, their style, their pace.
He looks to the ceiling.
Robideau: I am not even sure what my form looks like now. I feel as if I’ve finally gotten my head above water for the first time in almost 15 years. I am now entirely unknown. To them, and to myself.
Dropping his head, he executes a couple of deep squats, then checks his wraps on his feet and the tightness of his gloves. He looks to the camera directly.
Robideau: I am excited to see who I am in that ring now. And I hope you fine warriors are prepared for it, though I know you cannot possibly be.
As he begins to stride off, the camera follows him. He throws the door open and begins to walk out, but turns and holds his arms out.
Robideau: Nate Robideau is dead. Long live Nate Robideau.
With that, he begins his purposeful stomp. From the locker room, down the hall, and off to do the one thing he knows how. We cut back to the announce table, where Eryk Masters and Other Guy sit looking at one another.
Eryk Masters: It’s a new look and certainly a new attitude, but does it really translate to them facing a new man?
Other Guy: ‘Ryk, fact of the matter is, the Nate we saw at the last show isnt a Nate we saw before! He’s already gotten one up on Azraith, so I’d be expecting him to come back with a response in tonight’s main!!
Eryk Masters: Robideau joins Jacob Mephisto and Avarice in facing Lindsay Troy, Teddy Palmer, and Azraith DeMitri in Battalion action, and that’s up next!
Lindsay Troy, Teddy Palmer, Azraith DeMitri Vs. Nate Robideau, Jacob Mephisto, Avarice
As the bell is called following Teddy Palmer tapping Jacob Mephisto, a very familiar song lyric explodes over the PA!
“I CAME TO TELL THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH, AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH!”
The screen lights up to show the Real Deal in his office, door still broken down, and office still not cleaned up from the debris situation as a result of the earlier issue between the Holy Breedlove Empire and the Unholy Cyber Army. He smiles, as the crowd cheers for him!
Real Deal: You guys thought I would leave this show with the ultimate blue ball scenario? Please. I’ve got a fucking nutty announcement for you guys, and you know how people come out and say crazy shit like “THIS IS GOING TO CHANGE EVERYTHING” and “THIS IS GOING TO BE A MAJOR SHAKEUP”…
The crowd quiets, as Eryk Masters says “Yep, that’s pro wrestling” into the live mic.
Real Deal: Heard that, Eryk. Either way, THIS IS GOING TO CHANGE EVERYTHING and it’s also going to BE A MAJOR SHAKEUP. That’s right, I went with the trope. You might be sitting there, cringing, being like “oh god he’s really turned into every other wrestling promoter that’s ever existed” and if it weren’t really going to change everything, you might be right. I do not under deliver, my friends, so I need the following people to come out to the ramp and join the rest of the class for a quick discussion: X-Calibur, Dan Stein, RAIKO, NC-17, Void, Avarice, and Scion!
The names called make their way out to the ramp, RAIKO is joined by Victor Thane as the screen splits between the Real Deal and the PPV graphic, showing Iron Will…
Real Deal: We’re going to have what Sean, Eddie, and I have agreed is a suitable name for this event, and that’s the Iron Will Classic! Hold your applause. I know that doesn’t mean anything to you right now, but once we’re done here? You’ll understand and you’ll be with me. At Iron Will, we will be having THREE, that’s right, three triple threat matches. Those matches will be contested between:
Void, Avarice, and Scion!
That trio looks at each other, Void smiling, Avarice’s face hidden, and Scion sighs almost dejectedly.
Azraith DeMitri, NC-17, and RAIKO — by the way, loved the NC-17 and RAIKO match tonight, that was some quality stuff.
NC-17 and RAIKO look at each other contentedly after the war they had this evening.
X-Calibur, Dan Stein, and Lindsay Troy!
Dan Stein’s jaw drops, X-Calibur shows very little emotion, and Lindsay Troy is still worn from the main event match, so she doesn’t offer a huge reaction either. The crowd also pops, but they’re still not sure what they’re popping for.
Real Deal: Okay so, that’s part one. Here’s part two. The WINNERS of those matches will then move on to later in the show, where we’re going to put them against Nate Robideau and Buck Dresden!
The crowd pops again!
Real Deal: But here’s where the real IRON WILL part comes in, you see… this isn’t just going to be triple threats feeding into a winner take all championship situation, ohhhhhh nooooo. We’re going to see TWO matches, one Iron Fist Championship match, one World Heavyweight Championship match, and those matches look something like this:
In the co-main event of the evening, you’ll see Qualifier 1 Vs. Qualifier 2 Vs. Qualifier 3 Vs. Buck Dresden Vs. Nate Robideau for the IRON FIST CHAMPIONSHIP!
Yep, that means Buck COULD become the Iron Fist title holder in addition to holding the World championship, and THAT would be crazy; however… he may lose that distinction in the next match, and the main event of the evening…
Qualifier 1 Vs. Qualifier 2 Vs. Qualifier 3 Vs. Nate Robideau Vs. Buck Dresden!
The crowd gives a HUGE reaction as they finally understand what this was all leading to!
Real Deal: Oh yeah, big time opportunities here for everyone. We COULD see Buck Dresden and Nate Robideau swap the titles OR we could see some brand new champions to the SHOOT Project. It is going to be pandemonium, life changing, and will SHAKE THINGS UP! Hahahaha. The only way to win is to find out who has the most grit, the most drive, and the most determination. WHO will win the first Iron Will Classic?!
We’ll find out on April 18th, RIGHT HERE at the SHOOT Project Epicenter!