Eryk Masters: What a way to kick off Revolution in celebration of the 20th anniversary of SHOOT Project. Even did it without Donovan King, who I was told “had to stay back and run the company while the old heads did their thing…” Hey! What the-
Other Guy: Who the hell is that?
A young woman has hopped the barrier and slid into the ring. She stops on all fours, long, black and red hair hanging over her face like some twisted homage to Japanese horror. She stares almost face to face with a confused Vaquero Barracho.
Eryk Masters: Folks, I’m not sure who this young woman is, but-
The woman lets out an absolutely ear-piercing, banshee-like scream and LUNGES forward, SNATCHING Vaquero by the sides of his head and SLAMMING him into the canvas face first! She repeats the motion over and over again, screaming like a demon.
Other Guy: What they hell? She’s clearly unhinged!
Eryk Masters: This woman has just come unglued here folks! Can we get someone out here?
Eddie Tate and Bobson Dugnutt manage to each grab and arm and begin to drag the woman off Vaquero, but she turns her head sideways and BITES into Bobson’s arm. He shouts and pulls back, releasing his hold as the woman seamlessly turns and DRILLS a forearm into Eddie’s jaw.
Finally having enough, Vaquero struggles to his feet while Bobson, Eddie, and now Chad Kyle surround the woman, seemingly trying to calm her down.
Eryk Masters: Look, fellas, I get you’re trying to help her, but maybe let security- oh what the hell!?
A man slides into the ring under the bottom rope, having come from the crowd. Where the woman is slim and lithe, he is stocky and more compact. His spiked hair is colored in red and black patterns. He rushes forward and chop blocks Chad Kyle as the woman SCREAMS again and pounces on Vaquero.
Other Guy: This is just nuts, E!
The melee in the ring is fast and furious. The four men who’ve just competed are putting up a fight, but the newcomers are something savage. Bobson and Eddie manage to drag the woman to a corner, but she fires a headbutt into the bridge if Bobson’s nose. Her hand disappears into her waistline for a moment and emerges with something sharp. She twists in Eddie’s grip and STABS a metal spike into his forehead, causing him to drop like a sack of potatoes.
Eryk Masters: My god! She’s got a weapon. Can someone PLEASE get out here?!
On the other side of the ring, the man is a whirlwind of punches and kicks. He BITES into Vaquero’s shoulder and then turns and absolutely soccer kicks Chad in the unmentionables! The two leave their respective brawls and come face to face in the center of the ring. They stare at one another as if mesmerized.
Other Guy: This is just bizarre. Oh, NOW what?
The lights in the arena complete die, leaving it in darkness. A few moments go by and the silence is broken by a single, clear sound. It’s the familiar shaking of a rattlesnake’s tail. And then…
TIIIIIIIIIIIME… is on my side… YES IT IS!
Eryk Masters: Oh, no…
The lights return and standing in the center of the ring is none other than Jacob Mephisto. He’s dressed in an impeccable jet black suit with a dark gray shirt and a blood red tie. The two newcomers stand on either side of him, looking at him with a sort of sick admiration.
Other Guy: Jacob Mephisto is back! And it looks like he brought trouble.
Mephisto smirks, the smile never reaching those pale, gray eyes, and then he nods. Both the woman and the man take off like rockets and deliver a pair of stereo shotgun drop kicks to Bobson and Vaquero respectively. They snatch Chad Kyle by his arms and drag him towards Mephisto, who has slowly and methodically removed his suit jacket.
Eryk Masters: I don’t think I like this…
Mephisto takes off, rebounding from the ropes and delivers a massive Godless kick that sends Chad into dreamland.
The trio stands in the ring, the newcomers leaning towards Mephisto. He looks down at each of them with a twisted sort of satisfaction, lightly patting them atop their heads as we cut away.
Voice 1: Three. Two. One… GO
Voice 2: Butterfinger!
Voice 1: Laffy Taffy!
Voice 2: Milky Way!
Voice 1: Life Savers!
Punky the Clown and Bubble Gum, a.ka. The Pop Punks, stand huddled over a vending machine somewhere in the SHOOT Project Epicenter – yelling out the names of confectionaries as if they were at an auction house.
Punky: We only have two dollars to spend on a snack between us – we’ve got to find something we BOTH like.
Bubble Gum: Ummm how can you NOT like Life Savers? There’s literally five different flavors to choose from.
Punky: Five TOSH flavors. They don’t have lemon, they don’t have sour apple, they don’t have grape!
Bubble Gum: Grape!? How dare you.
Punky: Well, I should get to choose because SOMEONE here forgot to parlay their pounds and euros for American money at the airport.
Bubble Gum: I got distracted by the pretty colors and sounds! Ching ching ching ching! BAZINGA!
Punky: Yes, yes, we were all mesmerized by the Big Bang Theory slot machine; but the fact remains we can’t use a quid to do anything here let alone heed Sheldon’s siren call.
Bubble Gum: Fine! Fine! Let me look here… there’s got to be something we can both agree on…. OH!
Punky leans in to where Bubble Gum is pointing.
Punky: Sour Patch Kids. Excellent!
Bubble Gum: Yeah! Sweet and sour; just like us.
Punky pulls back and looks at Bubble Gum cautiously.
Punky: Who is the ‘sweet’ one in this scenario, BG?
Bubble Gum chuckles nervously.
Bubble Gum: Oh bollocks! What time is it?
Punky: Hey, hey, hey! I’m not falling for that. You’re not getting out of this one.
Bubble Gum: No, Punky, seriously! What time is it? Isn’t our match starting right now?
Punky: Mother… This whole thing has gone to pot! We’ve gotta get to the ring, BG!
Bubble Gum: But what about the candy!?
Punky is already down the hall, yelling back over her shoulder.
Punky: We’ll come back for it!
Bubble Gum looks at the two dollars in her hand and pouts before shoving them into her bra and jogging after her teammate and shouting down the hall for everyone to hear:
Bubble Gum: Hey Punky!
Bubble Gum: If you lose this one for us we’re definitely getting a thing of Life Savers!
Alexandra Vergara: Good evening, everyone.
The crowd comes to a still as this beautiful woman takes over the RevoluTron. She’s donned in a familiar color scheme, black, maroon, and gold, the tell-tale colors of the Unholy Breedlove Empire. Clemson Dean and KIMO walk into view, KIMO sporting the Shut Up and Fight Championship.
Vergara: Hello, I am the fall intern for the Unholy Breedlove Empire and I have been tasked today to provide an update as to the condition of our leader, CEO, life coach, and otherwise invaluable man… the longest reigning Sin City Champion in SHOOT Project history… Joshua Breedlove.
The crowd boos as Clemson holds a finger up as though to shush them and KIMO just stands, stoically.
Vergara: Mr. Breedlove suffered a concussion at the hands of the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion at Ruination 15, and as such, he was not cleared to compete against Ms. Demitri and Ms. Troy, whom Mr. Breedlove wished to extend a specific and special hello to. So, hello.
She clears her throat.
Vergara: That being said, Mr. Breedlove hopes to be cleared by our next show and will address the crowd, the masses, the SHOOT Project faithful, VALOR, and more… at that time.
She drops a very slight bow towards the camera, Clemson Dean throws a thumbs up, and KIMO just walks away from the camera as the scene fades.
Blaze Claymore Vs. Courtney Hatchett
Courtney Hatchett begins to make her way out of the ring when, suddenly, a scream comes from the ring.
Blaze Claymore, sweating heavily from the match, is on his knees, clutching his chest and holding his left arm.
Eryk Masters: What is it now with this guy… Guy?
Other Guy: I… think something may be wrong here, Eryk.
Blaze screams again in pain hunched over on his knees and leaning forward, prompting a worried Courtney Hatchett to hop back into the ring and run over to her opponent.
Other Guy: I trust that Blaze character as far as I can throw him and I can barely throw a baseball over home plate in our SHOOT Project company league so that’s really not that far at all.
Eryk Masters: Courtney Hatchett may be walking into a trap here, for sure. BE CAREFUL!
The crowd falls silent as Courtney waves her hands, signaling for the medical team, who rush down to the ring with a stretcher and backboard.
Eryk Masters: I didn’t see what happened, did you?
Other Guy: If I had to guess, Eryk, Blaze may be having some sort of cardiac event. So it’s a good thing the medical team is here! Time is of the essence with these things.
Courtney stands over Blaze, arms crossed and face scrunched in concern, as the medical team straps Blaze down and slides him out of the ring onto a stretcher. The team quickly wheels Blaze past the announce table and up towards the ramp.
Eryk Masters: Wait… did Blaze just WINK at us?
Other Guy: Hard to tell Eryk, because all I could see was a shit-eating grin.
Eryk Masters: Son of a…
The crowd claps and cheers as, once at the top of the ramp, Blaze weakly raises an arm with a thumbs up gesture. In the ring, Courtney sighs with relief, watching nervously as the stretcher disappears into the back.
Kitsune Vs. Victor Thane
“Outlaws and Outsiders” plays as out from the back emerges BUCK DRESDEN. The fans rise to their feet in excitement as he doesn’t acknowledge them, but he is still dressed to compete regardless.
Eryk Masters: It looks like Thane’s in trouble now!
Other Guy: Where are the Proper Villainz!??!
He is laser focused, saying nothing and rolling into the ring with nary a wayward glance. He pops back up and requests a microphone. Thane watches him intently as Kitsune clutches his torn mask that he has successfully kept on his head. Kitsune rolls to the ring apron and Buck is face to face with Thane. “Outlaws and Outsiders” dies down.
Victor Thane: Mr. Dre–
Buck Dresden SLAPS Thane in the face and makes him stagger into the ropes! Buck goes for him and IMMEDIATELY someone rushes the ring in full gear, ready to fight! Buck is clobbered from behind!
Eryk Masters: Wait! That’s…that’s Ben Bronson!
Bronson is showered in boos as he pummels Buck, hitting him with vicious forearms to the back. He goes to whip Buck into the ropes but Buck holds on to the arm and NAILS him with a Buck Shot! Bronson is down! He reaches valiantly for Thane, who shakes his head and walks away from the ring, leaving his former employee alone with Buck. Buck picks up the microphone and looks at Bronson slowly coming back to life.
Buck Dresden: You just never learn. Ring the fuckin’ bell.
Obsidian Vs. Void
The fans are aghast at what they’ve seen tonight. Obsidian is bloody and his breathing is erratic. Void is sitting beside him, blood dripping from his chin and brow, staring dead at the camera. Referees and ring workers cut the barbed wire and push the exploded bombs aside to get into the ring to check on both competitors. As they slide over to Obsidian, Void leans over and plants his fist on the other side of Obsidian, blocking them from getting to his father. He looks at them through blood soaked hair, colored pink from the carnage.
He looks down at Obsidian.
Void: Don’t….touch him.
YOU’VE GOT THE TOUCH!
As Dan Stein’s music hits, so too do his feet to the stage. Dan stands at the top of the ramp, gesturing for his music to be cut almost immediately. Dan looks down into the ring, what’s left of the ring, and shakes his head.
Dan Stein: Do you feel better now, Thomas? Does this all make you feel like you’ve finally got that family you’ve always wanted?
Dan shakes his head again. Void remains locked in on Obsidian in the ring.
Dan Stein: Don’t do what you’re about to do, Thomas. Don’t end the last person who still cares about you. The last bastion of your humanity.
Stein stares at the ring, garnering no response.
Dan Stein: You want what I have? It starts right there, with Obsidian. Don’t do this, Thomas. Please.
Void glances down at Obsidian and then looks up to Dan at the stage. He blinks a few times, as though he were hearing a brand new language being spoken to him. He inhales sharply and exhales a long and deflating breath. He slowly stands up and stands over Obsidian. He looks at Dan while he does this, however, and he wobbles a little bit as if he were dizzied by something. Slowly, methodically, gently, he bends down and takes a hold of Obsidian’s body and lifts the dead weight up. His strength is able to deadlift his father’s body onto his shoulder.
He continues to say nothing, Dan Stein continues to watch him.
Void walks to the ring steps and steps onto the apron before he sets foot on the stairs, the barbed wire cut away to allow him to leave. The sea of referees, EMTs, and ring crew parts for him as though they were witnessing Jesus carrying the cross. He walks up the ramp, his head bent low, and he says nothing. After a beat, he stops and stands in front of Dan Stein, who is pleading with Void without the microphone to his lips. Even after the torment Void has put Dan through, he continues to try to call for the humanity within the man so named for the vast, black, emptiness he feels.
Void takes a step to move past him when Molly appears on the stage. She stands there, seeing firsthand the bloodied masses before her, and she pushes aside the shock and the horror inside of her. She reaches out her hand and touches Obsidian’s bloodied head with the gentle touch of an unwavering angel sent to protect this wayward soul from the damnation he’s set himself upon.
She pleads with Void as her husband did before. He looks down at her and his face twists and contorts, tears visibly dripping from his face where once blood had done the same. She feels her eyes burn and she begins to weep as well. Void starts to sob, his guttural weeping echoing in the near silent Epicenter. Dan slowly places his hand on Molly’s shoulder, pulling her from Void’s path. Void turns and looks at Dan, the two men having a moment of strange and terrible serenity. They both know this is a moment neither will come back from the same.
Dan pulls Molly into his chest as she cries for Obsidian. Void readjusts his father upon his shoulder and slowly walks past the two of them, down the steps on the side of the stage, and away from the backstage area. He disappears into the darkness whence both he and his father came. He steels himself in the dark. The weeping ceases.
We end on Dan and Molly alone on the stage. Dan watches the darkness, concerned only with what might come back out of it.