Proper Villainz Vs. The Holler (c)
There’s an unexpected knock at the door.
Real Deal looks up from a stack of papers in his hand and sighs.
Real Deal: Yes?
His office door creaks open and the unfortunately familiar face of Sarah King peeks through, with a fake smile spread across her face.
Real Deal: What can I do for you, Ms. King?
Sarah steps into the office and closes the door behind her.
Sarah: So, I know I have a… reputation around SHOOT Project and I probably haven’t given as much as I’ve taken. And I want to rectify that.
Real Deal looks on, not swayed. He motions for her to get on with it.
Sarah: So, I know you’ve … expanded the product through a couple international locations and I want to let you know that I would be more than happy to serve in a consulting role. Maybe somewhere like Masterpiece Pro Wrestling? There’s a lot of raw talent there that I know I can help support and if we can come to an understanding… help make sure you get the right people transferred between promotions.
Real Deal leans back in his chair and crosses his arms.
Real Deal: I thought you were here helping Ayumi get settled? Now you want to abandon her to go overseas?
Sarah smiles, knowing Real Deal would ask about this.
Sarah: So, Ayumi’s already hitting the ground running, right? And I’m no dummy – she doesn’t trust me as far as she can throw me and that’s pretty far. She’s hitting off with that Lindsay Troy and I just think I’ve done what I can do for her and these new promotions are a great chance for me to step out and do more with my skills. You can’t deny that I’ve helped secure and develop some pretty impressive talent in my time here. Perhaps I can be your personal talent scout? Let you know who’s truly the best of the best in these new properties?
Real Deal thinks for a second before leaning forward and nodding slowly.
Real Deal: You know, Sarah… you’ve given me a lot to think about. Give me some time to work out some details and then we can get an agreement in place. Sound good?
Sarah nods, a bit too enthusiastically.
Sarah: Of course. Thank you, sir! We’ll be in touch.
With that, Sarah turns around and confidently exits Real Deal’s office.
Real Deal shakes his head a bit, returning his attention to the papers on his desk.
Void Vs. Devan Derbyshire
Void kicks Derbyshire out of the center of the ring and Derbyshire rolls to the apron before falling off. The fans start to jeer as Void stands in the middle of the ring with his fist in the air, throwing back a handful of black and blue hair from in front of his face.
Eryk Masters: Another dominating performance here from Void as he dismisses Derbyshire out of the ring!
Other Guy: I would not want to be in this man’s crosshairs, and that’s exactly where Dan Stein finds himself.
Suddenly, the fans begin to swell from behind the announcers. Void notices the fans getting louder and turns toward the noise, just in time to see Dan Stein jumping the guardrail!
Eryk Masters: Speaking of! Dan Stein is out here now!
Other Guy: And he didn’t come alone. That Louisville Slugger aims to even the odds between him and Void!
Stein slides into the ring and hops to his feet…just in time to see Void rolling out of the ring! Stein rushes toward the part of the ring Void rolled out of and slams the baseball bat down on the top rope, angrily. Security starts to pour over the guardrails now, filling up the ring and cutting Stein off from Void. A handful of the security guards stand outside of the ring, ready to keep Void from jumping back in. Dan runs at the security guards and leaps into them, trying to get at Void. They set his feet back on the mat and return to their position. Stein slams the bat against the opposite ropes and turns back to face Void, pointing at him and shouting obscenities. Void stands stoic in front of Dan Stein, crossing his arms over his chest.
Eryk Masters: Dan Stein wants a piece of Void here tonight, and I don’t think security is going to let Dan get his hands on him.
Other Guy: There’s nothing worse than a pissed off father, lashing out at you for attacking his family.
Void looks up at the ring and turns his back to Stein, walking up the ramp. Stein stands in the ring with the baseball bat high, allowing the SHOOT Project faithful an opportunity to…cheer him?
Eryk Masters: Here’s something Dan Stein probably never thought he’d hear.
Other Guys: He’s said that he doesn’t claim to be a good guy, or a bad guy, just a wrestler, but when you’re in a situation like this…
Eryk Masters: You’d be hard pressed to be public enemy number one when you’re defending your family, OG.
Void disappears behind the curtain, and the camera fades on Dan Stein in the middle of the ring.
Ayumi Seppuku Vs. Teresa Ames
Big, deep breaths. Inhale, exhale.
Push up, go down.
He stands, wiping sweat from his brow as the camera reveals the “Blackhawk Fight Gym” logo in the background. He’s exhausted, his hair is a mess, he’s got actual facial hair that he didn’t even know he could grow, and yet… there’s a smile on his face.
James Johnson: When I came here, I had no idea what I was in for. I had no idea what I was going to be put through. I didn’t know what it took to even be in a place like this, and here I am. Dog ass tired, feeling like I’m about to die, but the work… the work I’m doing, I know it’s going to pay dividends. It’s great, I can go back and forth between here and Mexico with relative ease…
He stops, realizing he’s rambling and takes a big breath in again.
James Johnson: Sorry, this shit excites me. I finally feel like I’m getting where I want to go. I have the benefit of working with two… TWO… World Heavyweight Champions… and I can’t waste this. I won’t waste this opportunity. The next time I appear in a SHOOT Project ring, I want to make a much bigger mark… a much BETTER mark than the one I left before. It was time to focus up, you know?
He’s by himself in the gym, it’s dark. Quiet.
James Johnson: If you’d asked me five years ago if a place like this would be where I’d find my “center” or whatever? I would have called you nuts. Crazy. A fucking idiot. Something like that, but man… that’s not what the deal is here. It’s all business here, and if I want to forge my own legacy? I have to take this seriously and use this chance… I thought I was doing Nate Robideau a favor by coming here, but fuck man…
James Johnson: I was wrong as fuck about that, so here’s what I’m gonna do… I saw my good pal Adrian, my former brother… Avarice… I saw him on screen at Ruination. I’m issuing a challenge for that REIGN Championship. I’ve got a standing flight waiting for me, and you’ve got a belt that I want, because whether you like it or not? My legacy begins. I don’t care where we go. Atlanta… Vegas… Mexico… England… Japan… you name the spot, and I’ll be there.
Kayden Paulton Vs. Joshua Breedlove (c)
“We’re ringside with the WINNER of the Sin City Championship Seri–”
He cuts Abigail Chase off immediately.
BREEDLOVE: The WINNER of the BREEDLOVE INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT!!!!! MEEEEEEEEEEEEE.
The crowd boos at how insufferable this punk is, and he relishes in it. He waves it in, harvesting the boos and smiling.
BREEDLOVE: Now, don’t get me wrong. Every single competitor in this thing? Wowwwwweeee were they tough. From Bobson to Cassidy to Paulton, I can’t believe that I was able to make it through this whole thing. You guys are incredible and you’ve made me what I am today, and that, my friends…
BREEDLOVE: IS A WINNNNNNERRRRR!!!!! WOOOOOOO!!!!!!! Let’s just go ahead and CHALK THIS ONE UP to some down home, Breedlove excellence. It’s been a tough cycle for my boys, Abberino! They took an L to the Army and some other guy, but leave it to me… the LEADER to bring it on home to us. Shout out to Sam Cooke.
Abigail Chase simply shrugs her shoulders and walks off to the side.
BREEDLOVE: As I am NOW the longest reigning champion in the SHOOT Project, allow me to make some statements. 1. I am the greatest Sin City Champion that has ever held this belt. 2. The Sin City Championship Series will now and FOREVER be known as the BREEDLOVE INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT and finally, 3. NOBODY… and I mean NOBODY is going to be taking this belt from me. EVER. You’ll have to cut a leg off, break some arms, and give me a concussion to even have a prayer. Now, Abby…
He looks around as Abigail Chase has now disappeared.
BREEDLOVE: Well, whatever. Didn’t need you anyway. Now then… who’s next for the Emperor? Maybe I’ll talk to my subordinates in the SHOOT Project offices and come up with a fun new idea to determine a contender, because the current crop?
He obnoxiously holds his nose as though he smells something bad. The crowd continues letting him have it due to his blatant and overt disrespect.
BREEDLOVE: Peeeeeeeyouuuuuu. Heh. So yeah, maybe we get a battle royal or something going, how does that sound?
The crowd cheers!
BREEDLOVE: Fuck you guys, no battle royal. I’m out. Get wrecked, nerds!
“Make Way for the King” hits the PA as the crowd immediately shifts back to booing, and Breedlove walks away, leaving a befuddled Other Guy and Eryk Masters sitting at the desk.
Eryk Masters: You wanna just… pretend that never happened?
Other Guy: Of course I don’t! What a GREAT win for the Emperor! The man in charge of the Holy Breedlove Empire! The Sin City Champion, JOSHUA BREEDLOVE! WOOOOOO! I am a loyal subject!
Eryk Masters: Ugh… you know what, though? Up next, we’ve got the main event of the evening, the Iron Fist Championship is on the line when Dan Stein challenges Azraith DeMitri in a two out of three falls match! That’s NEXT!
Dan Stein Vs. Azraith DeMitri (c)
The SHOOTron comes to life shortly after the match. Electricity runs through the arena after a battle for the ages between Azraith and Dan Stein. The camera cuts to the back. Our new camera bobs up and down as its operator races through the backstage area to the locker rooms.
Eryk Masters: W-what’s this?
Other Guy: Was someone…attacked backstage?
A group of people, security, staff, film team, all huddled around one of the rooms. Dan Stein, in the middle of the ring now, starts to recognize where the film crew are.
Eryk Masters: That’s Dan Stein’s locker room!
The camera pans down to show Toni and Tina both laid out, holding their heads.
Other Guy: And those are Molly Stein’s bodyguards!
Stein finds his hands up on his head as he starts to fear the worst. The fans are hushed, silence has befallen the arena. As the camera pans into the locker room, there doesn’t seem to be any life. A security guard can be heard from off camera.
Security Guard #1: All clear.
Another guard rushes into the room, bumping the camera operator and standing in front of the first, out of breath.
Security Guard #2: We looked everywhere. We don’t see Mrs. Stein.
The camera cuts back to the ring as Stein’s eyes start to water.
Eryk Masters: Where’s Molly?!
Other Guy: Where’s Molly Stein?!
The fans are absolutely beside themselves now. Dan dives under the bottom rope and races up the ramp to the backstage area.
Eryk Masters: Where’s Molly?!
We cut to the backstage area where we find ourselves in the boiler room. It is a little bit grimy, the lighting sucks, but in the middle of the room is a crib. It is pristine. Brand new. Cleaner than the rest of the room. The lights focus in on it. Amidst the running of machines, it sits still, like a statue in a storm. Out from the shadows behind it emerges Void. Behind him is his father Obsidian. Obsidian keeps a hood pulled over his head, but the beard gives it away. Void, however, is dressed for combat as ever. Void runs his fingertips along the crib, pressing down enough to hear the slide of his fingers on the wood. It squeals underneath his pressure and it brings a smile to his face.
Void: It has been said that one father is worth a hundred teachers. That fatherhood is the beginning of the greatest journey man can ever know. That the act itself is the art of being unqualified for a role but earning that qualification with time, patience, and love. It’s an honorable spot to be in, isn’t it?
Void turns his head to his silent father.
Void: Ah, you don’t know. I suppose I’m speaking into the abyss here. Then again, I’m not talking to you, Obsidian, but rather…Dan Stein.
Void: There is another side to that coin. I have seen the horrors of fatherhood, you see. To understand that your child will follow your example, not your advice. That who you are and the legacy you leave behind are never the teachings but the activities…the history. You see, tell your child to stay in school but you’re a dropout? Tell your child don’t take drugs but take them to buy some blow? Tell your child to love the mother that you berate or abandon? See those are basic examples of the hypocrisy of a father. Children need someone to look up to, to believe in, and when you take that from them they grow up…stunted.
Void curls his fists around the head of the crib, his knuckles growing white.
Void: Dan, Molly loves you. She has been there for you through thick and thin. When she left you, it must have felt so hollow. An unending pain. But she came crawling back, didn’t she? She came crawling back to you so quickly I don’t think either one of you is fully aware of what happened or why it happened. But, Dan, I know. It is as clear as her bulging belly. I know an abusive relationship when I see one. One of neglect, or callousness, where a raging narcissist manipulates and coerces the victim into loving them. Oh, now you’re cuddled close to her but has that often been the case?
He slowly shakes his head to answer his own question.
Void: You have treated her like a trophy. A prop to further your selfish agenda. If you were writing the screenplay of Dan Stein’s life, would that girl even pass the Bechdel test or is every waking moment she is around or given the chance to breathe it is in your best interests? Does Molly play any role besides puppet or victim to your incessant neglectful abuse?
He sighs as he releases the crib from his grip.
Void: So you ask why. Why do I continue this route. Why am I so focused on you?
He stops moving altogether and stares dead at the camera.
Void: Because you have never performed a single selfless act in your wretched little life and are undeserving of every single thing that has been given to you. Molly’s love, that unborn child, the titles and accolades. It’s why you see X-Calibur or Azraith in the Hall of Fame and you are not. It’s why you are never in the first list of names uttered when someone recalls a defunct company fondly. It’s why Molly is only given the chance to shine when she plays the role of doting secondary to your incessant primary. Every moment Dan Stein is not on screen every character should be asking where Dan Stein is, right?
Void: If this is your screenplay, Dan, then I am your antagonist. Moreover, I am not the villain. No, I am the one that sees you for what you are and I will make you suffer for it. This is the story of a terrible and pathetic human being whose cardinal sin of vanity and hubris brings about his own demise against an insurmountable threat. My violence, my domination, these are inevitable things. You will be bettered in the ring, bettered in the home, and bettered in life. You will submit to me, Dan. You will admit you can’t win. You will admit your place as the supporting character in your own screenplay. For, you see, Dan, if you were the hero…
Void slowly shines the light past the crib to a bound and gagged Molly. Her eyes are covered, her mouth stuffed with a rag, and duct tape wrapped around her head.
Void: …you could have stopped the inevitable.
Void slowly runs his hand across her pregnant belly. She winces in fear and her body begins to shake uncontrollably in fear.
Void: I saved Molly from you and it isn’t even the end of the first Act in our play, Dan. How do you think the rest of this is going to go?
Void reaches out and takes the camera, bringing it in close to his face as Obsidian moves to lift her from the seat. He holds her in his massive arms and carries her into the darkness as Void continues to stare blankly into the camera.
Void: You will submit to me, Dan. You will understand once and for all that no matter how bright the Lights shine into the darkness, the Void eventually consumes all.
Void smiles once again as his black, white, and blue hair fall into his face. With a grin and his arms outstretched, he walks backward into the black. Once he is fully consumed by the shadows, all we can see is the crib and all we can hear…are the whimpers of a frightened expecting mother.