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Tonight, our journey continues.
The voice of SHOOT Project alum, Ben Jackman, returns to our ears.
This night is about choices. This night is about opportunity.
A digital grid fades into the scene, black background with red grid lines giving everything a retro look.
Welcome back to our season premier. Let the Revolution continue.
In the squares formed by the grids, digitized images of all of the SHOOT Project Soldiers appear, with a message flashing at the bottom.
Choose Your Soldier
The screen bursts with static before Killer Mike’s voice kicks in…
To the mother of my enemy I just killed your son
He died with his face to the sky and it cannot be undone
We cut to Buck Dresden taking someone’s head off with The Buck Shot before a burst of static takes us back to our retro grid. A digitized version of Jacob Mephisto appears, highlighted by a flashing square.
Dresden vs. Mephisto
He didn’t die hard in the end he just grinned and bowed
Another burst of static takes us to Pat Cassidy laying out an opponent with The Irish Goodbye before we cut back to our grid, Jamie Johnson’s sprite now highlighted.
Black Out vs. The Realness
Made him dig his own grave at the point of a gun while he laughed to the gods out loud
Static bursts and we’re taken to a shot of Lexi Gold raising the Shut Up & Fight Championship. We jump right back to the grid where Dan Stein’s sprite figure is selected.
Lexi vs. Stein
And it made me wanna jump out a window
And it made me wanna scream
We flash through static to The Broguns, the Battalion Championship titles firmly clasped around their waists. The grid flashes onto the screen with a silhouetted sprite with a question mark in the center.
The Broguns vs. ???
Tear my face off run through the streets
Pandemonium me fucked by decree
Another burst of static takes us to NEMESIS winning the final match of the ApeX tournament, the end of a long journey. We cut to the character select screen where the digitized sprite of Void is highlighted.
NEMESIS vs. Void
Came a long way from young and alive when I was not blind
Now I cannot see
A static burst takes us to the Sisters of Steel defeating the former World Tag Team Champions, Ria and Danni raising the titles in the air before we cut back to the selection screen with both Ayumi Seppuku and Lindsay Troy highlighted.
Sisters of Steel vs. Ayumi/Troy
Grace in reverse at best it gets worse and I wanted you to know
Since then I don’t sleep
We flash to the reigning SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion, Joshua Breedlove as he drops an opponent with the Burning Hammer. Another jump cut takes us back to the selection screen where Ignatius Albert Martin’s sprite is selected.
Breedlove vs. IAM
And the uniform, tags, side arm and ID that I wore when I got sent C.O.D
To the HQ note reading this is not me
And hate you for making me make a man bleed
The forms of each of the SHOOT Project Champions transform into their own digitized sprites, standing across from their chosen challengers. More letters flash below.
Press Start to Continue…
And before the man passed and his last gasp fled
And this is why I’m writing you now his eyes gleamed
Rapidly, the sprites flash and turn into their real-life counterparts, the pairs of opponents turning to face one another.
And he pointed to the part of his chest that still beats
Looked dead in my grill and then said this to me
We cut to various images of the current SHOOT Project Champions raising their titles high in the air.
There’s a tougher colder killer than
A tougher colder killer than
A tougher colder killer than you
One by one, we cut to the evening’s chosen challengers in rapid succession.
And he will wipe us from this place
You will learn to crawl
You will learn it all in just one day
The screen rapidly flashes from real-life to digitized sprites back and forth until an explosion of neon red light brings forth the Revolution logo.
Welcome to Champion's Choice!
The stage erupts with red and white pyro as “Tougher, Colder, Killer” pumps through the speakers and the crowd is on its feet causing a ruckus. The cameras on around the arena, now decked out in Revolution colors before settling on the commentary team.
Eryk Masters: SHOOT Nation! Welcome back to REVOLUTION! Last night was a wild ride for the Battalion division and we have crowned the number one contenders for the Battalion Championship! That match will be decided tonight as The Broguns defend their titles against the team of Daiichi, Ignatius Albert Martin, and Jamie Johnson!
Other Guy: You wanna talk about opportunity, E? How about IAM stepping up to the plate twice tonight? He’s got a chance to become a Battalion Champion and the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion because he’s also in the main event challenging Joshua Breedlove!
Eryk Masters: Every single title is on the line tonight! And IAM isn’t the only one pulling double duty. Jamie Johnson also challenges for the Sin City Championship against Pat Cassidy!
Other Guy: We’ve also got Lexi Gold defending her Shut Up and Fight Championship against Dan Stein as well as newly crowned Rule of Surrender Champion, NEMESIS making her first title defense against Void!
Eryk Masters: Not only is the Battalion title up for grabs, but The Sisters of Steel will defend the World Tag Team Championship against Ayumi Seppuku and Lindsay Troy!
Other Guy: Speaking of the tag team division, last night saw the, well, the debut… of The Carolina Lions. These guys put all of SHOOT Project on notice.
Eryk Masters: I haven’t heard an update on Donovan King yet, folks. But, once we have that, we’ll share it. But, let’s not forget! The Iron Fist Championship is on the line tonight! Buck Dresden defends against Jacob Mephisto. And that match is starting us off!
Jacob Mephisto Vs. Buck Dresden (c)
The lights immediately dim to near darkness as the electronic sound of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus” begin to pulse into the Epicenter arena. The lights begin to strobe steadily as Jacob Mephisto walks out onto the entrance stage.
Mephisto stands on the stage, taking in the boos and jeers of the SHOOT Project Faithful. He tilts his head back and smirks upward before locking his pale, grey eyes on the ring and beginning his walk down the ramp.
The music continues to play as Mephisto makes his way to the ring, climbing up onto the apron and stepping between the ropes. He goes center ring and throws his arms out to the side, tossing his head back and looking to the ceiling before slowly bringing his head back down.
Big Iron Arrives
The horns sound.
“American Venom” plays, bringing the fans to their feet.
Samantha Coil: And now…the SHOOT Project Iron Fist Champion!
The fans begin to cheer as Samantha Coil continues the introduction. The drums pound.
Samantha Coil: He is a member of the SHOOT Project Hall of Fame!
He steps out onto the stage, staring at the sea of fans, listening to their kind adulation.
Samantha Coil: He is BIIIIIIG IRON…the ALL-AMERICAN OUTLAW…BUCK…DRESDEN!
Buck Dresden stands on the entrance stage dressed in his All-American Outlaw red, white, and blue tights with the SHOOT Project Iron Fist Championship buckled to his waist. He walks down the ramp looking dead ahead at the ring. He stops just shy of the end of the ramp and looks over the fans before nodding to them and smiling. He unbuckles the Iron Fist Championship and climbs up to the ring apron, belt in hand. He wipes his feet off on the ring apron before stepping into the ring itself. In one quick motion, he is across the ring and to the middle of the ropes, staring into the camera. He steps up and braces his left leg on the middle rope and cocks his right leg to the top rope, lifting the Iron Fist Championship high. “American Venom” dies down as he asks for Samantha Coil’s microphone.
After a long pause to let the fans die down, he lifts the microphone to his lips.
Buck Dresden: I’m gon’ keep this real brief. There’s a buzz in the air tonight. A feelin’ like things are gonna be different goin’ forward. It’s why I wanted to open the show. Because I believe if I wanna be a leader I gotta lead by example. So tonight, I’m gonna set the bar. Each an’ every champion in the back, win or lose an’ each an’ every challenger, win or lose…watch what Buck Dresden an’ Jacob Mephisto are about to do. Then let me know if you got it in you to follow it.
He hands Samantha Coil back the microphone and walks over to his corner, stretching himself against the ropes.
A black and white security image of a locker room appears on screen. It’s just like one of those clips you see on 20/20 or Nightline as a shoplifter is caught stealing from a Target dressing room.
However, rather than a kleptomaniac we get an egomaniac. A pair of sunglasses wearing a ponytail peeks their head through the locker room door.
Blaze Claymore sneaks his way into the room like a Hannah Barbara villain, holding a SHOOT Project branded shopping bag in his hand. He sets the bag down, looking around nervously as he begins to empty the contents onto the table in the middle of the room.
He pulls out a large roll of paper that he rolls out on the table to reveal a poster of none other than Lexi Gold.
Blaze Claymore: Hehehehe the perfect crime.
Blaze, like an angsty high schooler with a yearbook, begins to draw a mustache on Lexi’s face, horns on her head, and blacks out her eyes. He snickers as he begins to write a message on the poster.
Blaze Claymore: Lexi “Fools” Gold… I hope your cat dies.
Voice: I don’t have a cat.
A confused-looking Lexi Gold is now standing next to an even more confused Blaze Claymore, pen cap in his mouth and sunglasses sliding down his nose.
Lexi crosses her arms and shakes her head, then grabs his sunglasses off his nose, and tosses him aside.
Blaze Claymore: Well, that’s uncalled for…
Lexi rolls her eyes.
Lexi Gold: What the hell are you doing here? First, you showed up after my match at ApeX with your foolishness and now you barge into my locker room uninvited. Are you looking for a fight or what? I am a busy woman, but I would not back down for a fight… EVER, especially from someone like you.
Blaze Claymore: Someone like… what does THAT mean?
Lexi looks unamused, gesturing towards the bag behind Blaze.
Lexi Gold: I’ve heard stories about you.
Blaze looks excited.
Blaze Claymore: You have!? I mean… of COURSE you have. That’s why you’re asking for a fight, huh? Only fair you’d want to test your might against the best this company has to offer.
Lexi laughs out loud.
Lexi Gold: Funny. You don’t look like Joshua Breedlove… or Buck Dresden… or NEMESIS. In fact, I’d wager you’re literally the WORST this company has to offer. Now, you can continue to make a fool out of yourself on camera here in my locker room or you can make a fool out of yourself in the ring. Either way, it’s time someone put you in your place.
Blaze ears perk up.
Blaze Claymore: Did you say… camera?
Lexi sighs, pointing over towards the audience through the video screen, revealing her hidden security camera hidden in the stem of an awkward-looking houseplant. Blaze’s expression drops – entirely focused on the camera now.
After several seconds of awkward silence, Lexi gestures wildly trying to get Blaze’s attention.
Lexi Gold: What’s wrong, buddy? It looks like you’ve seen a ghost or something. I don’t appreciate random people such as you barging into my locker uninvited. You seem to invite yourself to a lot of things that do not concern you. Do you want my attention that bad? It sure seems that way and this…
She grabs the poster and looks it over, then shakes her head, not impressed or finding humor in the situation, and instead feels disrespected.
Lexi Gold: I am all for showing respect to others, but the moment someone comes and disrespects me? They pay for it later. Now, is that what you really want?
A smile creeps up Blaze’s mouth as he turns back to Lexi, a new fire in his eyes.
Blaze: So what you’re saying is I bring you these GIFTS, to show my appreciation for you, and you THREATEN me with violence? Not only that, but you INSULT my skill in the ring? STEAL my glasses? YOU… Madam. Are a BULLY.
Lexi Gold: Honey, I’m far from a bully. Those days are behind me now. If anything, I am trying to inspire people, whether it is fans, or the rest of the locker room. I have come a long way and I’m pretty proud of the changes I made in my life, whether you want to believe it or not. The question is, have you done that? You know, changed for the better?
She crosses her arms, curious to hear his answer. Blaze, instead, raises his hand to his mouth, cackling like an anime villain.
Blaze: Oh my dear, dear Lexi… it is clear that you don’t realize what you’ve stepped into. I understand that you’re new here but you’re talking to THE Blaze Claymore. I’m the unofficial welcoming party to all new members to SHOOT and I’m quite frankly offended at your accusations.
Blaze Claymore begins collecting up the posters and his other materials, sighing heavily in frustration as he does so – much to the annoyance of Lexi. He huffs, indignant, at the situation he, himself, caused.
Blaze: Let me just say, Ms. Gold, if you are trying to INSPIRE people? If you are to try and be a role model for this company? You may want to start by being a bit more appreciative of those of us who just want to welcome you to the SHOOT Project family.
Blaze huffs, dramatically, as he works his way towards the door.
Blaze: I hate to inform you that this will reflect poorly on your initial annual review. Mr. Real Deal himself has charged me with evaluating his newest talent and while you may be a champion, you are certainly not showing us that “IT” factor that we are looking for… but if you are willing to apologize to me, and admit that – as your senior – I know what’s best for you, we can begin to move forward and make you a true star in this company.
Blaze jostles his bag of defaced merchandise, holding it in one arm as he extends his hand in an attempt at a handshake out towards Lexi.
Lexi walks more toward him and looks down at his hand for a bit, but thinks it over and refuses to shake it.
Lexi Gold: You have done nothing to earn my respect, so why should I shake your hand? If you want my honest opinion, I don’t trust you and I never want to see you anywhere near my locker room again. You and I are done here. Now, if you’ll excuse me..
She pushes Blaze out of the way as she exits her locker room, causing Blaze to stagger slightly.
He grabs his shoulder in feigned shock, eyes darting over to the security camera, before beginning to moan in pain and staggering out behind Lexi, screaming down the hallway at her.
Blaze Claymore: You’ve just made a big mistake, Gold! The biggest mistake of your life! You’ve assaulted a star! You’re DONE! You hear me!? DONE!
Blaze’s words echo down the hall but fall on deaf ears as Lexi continues on to the ring.
They've Come to Snuff the Sandman
The sounds of Mephisto and Buck Dresden’s Iron Fist title match echo through the halls of the SHOOT Project Epicenter, but in this particular pocket of the arena the only sounds that mattered were the tense breaths of two men standing face to face in the bowels of the building.
Timothy Roy, aka The Rooster, stood looking cautiously at Azraith DeMitri… a man of many names.
The blue-haired warrior looked the man up and down; taking extra time surveying Tim’s unmasked face.
Azraith: Surprised you’re not with your family right now…
Tim stiffens at Azraith’s words.
Rooster: That’s because you took my family from me. Choose your next words carefully, Sandman.
Azraith’s shoulders drop slightly, but still maintaining his defenses, not knowing who may be lurking in the shadows.
Rooster: There’s no trap here, Sandman. The Family is preoccupied… and so what I want to know from you, right here, right now is WHY you did what you did.
Azraith stares at Tim for several moments before shaking his head.
Azraith: Me and your uncle…me and Damien had a history. A long and storied one and you know a good chunk of it. He was the first person to ever really…challenge me, wrestling-wise. I won, and I lost before…but I never met someone who understood, like he did. He is…was…he was someone who deserved better than to know me when I was younger. I was fucked up, Tim. Big shocker, I know. I pushed the envelope because I could get away with it…and Damien pushed back because I think he wanted to see how far we could take it.
Tim glares at Azraith, grabbing him by the collar suddenly.
Rooster: Easy for you to BLAME him now, when he isn’t here to defend himself.
Azraith: No! NO! I’m trying to ex…no. What happened was my fault. Completely. Totally. I own that. He pushed me, and I overreacted. What happened next was on me. Because of what I did…he didn’t get to enjoy his retirement. Because of me his name was infamous, instead of famous. He didn’t deserve that. Your family sure as fuck didn’t deserve that. I…
Rooster: You built your CAREER on that! Azraith DeMitri was just some big asshole in a trenchcoat and a baseball bat before that…but after? You were The SANDMAN. You were feared…you got opportunities you never would’ve got because people KNEW YOUR NAME. You’ve been given so many chances…and after you he didn’t get SHIT!
Tim shoves Azraith back…and for his part Az just staggers back. He looks defeated. His hand covers his mouth as he stares at Tim, who is growing both more furious and also obviously distraught.
Rooster: DAMIEN should have been the one to be a SHOOT Hall of Famer, NOT YOU. DAMIEN should have had the chance to earn a Heavyweight Title, NOT YOU. DAMIEN should be standing here today… not… YOU.
Azraith just stares, silent.
Rooster: I could give a SHIT about Mephisto, Azraith… I’m here because I want to end your career the way you ended his. I tried and failed when I dropped you off that damned cage all those years ago! I saw you and even when I held you by your ankles you had this stupid fucking grin on your lips…I couldn’t hear you but you I know you were saying some stupid goddamn catchphrase or trying to taunt me-
Azraith: Wait…waitiwaitwait…you didn’t hear me?
Az’s eyes grow wide while Tim’s narrow.
Rooster: Why? What could you have poss-
Now it was Az’s turn to grab Tim, grabbing his arm gently. Tim recoils as if Az had burned him with his touch.
Azraith: I was saying I was sorry. Jesus, Tim, I was trying to apologize. I wanted you to know before you…well. If it was the last thing I was ever gonna say I wanted it to be that…so that maybe you could let this all go.
Tim stares at Azraith, dumbstruck, for several seconds. He can tell by the way Az is holding onto him that he’s not lying.
Azraith: It’s been what I’ve been trying to tell you this whole time. Jesus, Tim, I’m so fucking sorry. I’m sorry I took your uncle from you and I’m sorry I’ve forced you down this path. If there’s…anything…
Tim sighs and shakes his head.
Rooster: …anything you can do? No… Sandman. You’ve already DONE it… and you can’t UNDO it with an apology.
Azraith: Then tell me, what DO you want? It’s not like I’m a golden boy in the eyes of the executives…but my voice carries. Just tell me what you want for Damien…and even if it means me retiring tomorrow I’ll try my goddamn best to make it happen. That is a promise, Tim.
Tim takes a few steps back, giving one last look at Azraith before turning away and walking back down the hall from which he came, leaving Azraith on his own once again, shouting so his voice booms down the hall.
Rooster: We’ll be in touch, Sandman. That is ALSO a promise.
Jamie Johnson Vs. Pat Cassidy (c)
Breaking Down the Forbidden Door
Out of nowhere, ‘Woke Up This Morning’ by A3 hits the sound system and the fans boo as the gold lights flash around the arena. After a few seconds, Anthony Moretti steps onto the entrance ramp with his hands in the air, the massive figure of ‘the Problem Solver’ Joe Barone only a few steps behind as always. Wearing their ‘Blood Money’ t-shirts, Moretti & Barone survey the baying crowd for a few seconds, before slowly making their way down the ramp towards the ring, ignoring the loud boos of the fans.
Anthony Moretti cockily steps up onto the ring apron, before climbing through the ropes and into the ring. Acting like the superstar he thinks he is, Anthony Moretti raises both hands in the air, however receives nothing but boos from the fans. Barone stands silently behind Moretti, both arms folded across his chest whilst growling at anyone that dares to make eye contact him.
Moretti quickly calls over to the ring announcer for the live microphone, before looking unimpressed with the boos from the crowd, as he waits for them to subside.
Anthony Moretti: “Oh! SHOOT PROJECT!!!! What’s up?”
The crowd boo loudly for Moretti, as a small smirk grows over his face.
Anthony Moretti: “Always get such a warm welcome here in LAS VEGAS…..”
Cheap pop from the crowd….
Anthony Moretti: “Which is surprising considering this arena is filled with absolute schifosa’s!!!”
Back to loud boos from the crowd as Moretti laughs to Barone, who remains stony-faced.
Anthony Moretti: “I wouldn’t worry Las Vegas, because you have that in common with the management here in SHOOT Project! This is supposed to be the season premier I heard! The biggest event for some time….. Yet someone forgot to book the hottest tag team in wrestling today? Madone!!!”
More boos from the crowd who clearly disagree with Moretti’s point of view, along with a smattering of ‘you suck’ chants.
Anthony Moretti: “Don’t worry Las Vegas, me and the Problem Solver here….”
Moretti slaps Barone on the back, but still no expression from the big man.
Anthony Moretti: “…. we got you covered! We know you paid your hard earned money that you got from your crappy minimum wage jobs to be here tonight and see the best, and for your money you’re gonna get to see some BLOOD MONEY!!”
A loud ‘No! No! No!’ chant breaks out from the hot Las Vegas crowd, but Moretti chooses to ignore them.
Anthony Moretti: “Fuhgeddaboudit! Where the SHOOT Project management has failed you, we are here to step in. So we are officially throwing down an open challenge! Any two cazzo di merda’s in the back, you think you can hang with us then let’s go!!!”
All eyes turn to the entrance ramp to see if any of the talented SHOOT Project tag teams will answer the challenge, as Moretti and Barone strip off their ‘Blood Money’ t-shirts and get ready for battle in the ring.
Suddenly some unfamiliar music to the SHOOT Project fans hits, as the arena goes pitch black and the opening guitar riff from “Abominator” by Doyle plays over the sound system in the arena. Smoke billows up from the bottom of the staging area, as green laser lights dance across the stage. Just as the opening riff comes to a close, two large hits of a drum can be heard, and pyro goes off syncing with them. The fans rise to their feet as they realise who it is, as the song dives in, and the reigning sVo Champion William Vorheez makes his appearance at the top of the ramp, flanked either side by the masked sVo Tag Team Champions the Black Brothers!
Moretti & Barone look shocked as the Black Brothers stare across the arena at them from behind their intimidating skull masks, whilst the sVo Champion William Vorheez has a SHOOT Project branded microphone in his hand!
William Vorheez: “Boys, boys, boys…. We were lucky enough to be invited backstage to watch the show tonight… and I got to say there is a locker room of wrestlers back there that are happy, willing and able to come out and shut your mouths right now…..”
The fans cheer loudly whilst Moretti paces angrily around the ring at being upstaged.
William Vorheez: “However the guys and gals back there were graceful enough to let us cut the line, Las Vegas promotion to Las Vegas promotion….. Now there is supposed to be an sVo Tag Team Championship match on Sunday…. But we are here right now, you are here right now, the belts are here right now…. There seems to be a wrestling ring and a crowd here right now…..”
The fans cheer, seeing where the sVo Champion is going.
William Vorheez: “How about we get these sVo Tag Team titles defended right now on Ruination 24!!!”
The fans cheer and Blood Money looks on in shock, as the giant Black Brothers march down towards the ring with the sVo Tag Team titles in hand, whilst a SHOOT Project official climbs into the ring and calls for the bell!
sVo World Tag Team Championships
History Repeats Itself
Backstage, the Shut up and Fight Champion Lexi Gold is seen in her ring gear, smiling and posing for some cameras with the Shut Up and Fight Championship for the latest photoshoot on the SHOOT Project website. One of the cameramen tells her to try a different number of poses, she listens and follows orders as multiple flashes hit [i]The Golden Goddess[/i] at once. She continues this until someone walks in the door and causes a distraction for her. She stops, and walks toward this person with the people watching at home, unaware of who might have captured her attention…
Dan wears a brand new Dan “The Lights” Stein t-shirt and his wrestling attire. He smiles as he crosses his arms over his chest. As Lexi approaches, Dan speaks.
Dan Stein: Getting that championship photoshoot in before the big match, huh?
Lexi adjusts the strap on her shoulder and looks at him with a huge smile on her face.
Lexi Gold: You know it. I have been a busy woman, so figured I would squeeze in a little photoshoot time. Speaking of which, I have not seen you around much. You been good?
Dan looks back over his shoulder, where Molly Stein walks in, carrying Siobhan in her SHOOT Project debut. Molly bounces Siobhan in her arms gently. Dan kisses Molly on the cheek and turns back to Lexi. She was surprised by the appearance of not only Molly, but their child. At the same time, she appreciated the support that is shown, nodding her head slowly.
Dan Stein: Dad life. It’s been fun. A little distracting at times, but I assure you, that Shut Up and Fight Championship is all that I’ve been thinking about since you picked me. And with this being Siobhan’s first trip inside the Epicenter…
Dan steps forward, patting the Shut Up and Fight Championship. Lexi eyes him touching the championship.
Dan Stein: I’ve never been more motivated.
Dan crosses his arms over his chest once more.
Dan Stein: But you would know that of me. Which leads me to wonder why you’d pick me.
Lexi looks at Dan.
Lexi Gold: It’s simple, Stein, you not only impressed me when we faced off, but I felt you deserved a proper rematch, so it was only right that your name was brought up. Much like yourself, I’m motivated, then again that seems to be the case with every match I have been involved in.
Dan nods. He rubs his chin and looks at Molly. He looks back at Lexi and opens his eyes wide briefly, arms are still crossed over his chest. He taps his chest with his right hand.
Dan Stein: I “impressed” you? Hmm.
Dan looks away from Lexi, thinking. He looks back to her and smiles.
Dan Stein: Good luck, Champ.
Dan slaps the championship once again.
Lexi Gold: Good luck to you too. Can I expect the same Dan I met in the ring for the first time, or are you going to surprise me with something new up your sleeve? Curious question, that is all.
Dan rocks on his feet. He smirks at Lexi.
Dan Stein: I guess you’re just going to have to wait and see. C‘mon, ladies.
Dan turns around and walks out with Molly, putting his arm around her and cooing at his daughter. The camera focuses on Lexi.
She looks on, wondering exactly what he meant by that, before she looks down at her championship and walks away.
Dan Stein Vs. Lexi Gold (c)
Big Iron on His Hip
We cut back to the back where Buck Dresden is pacing in front of the SHOOT Project Helmet backdrop. He is still glistening with sweat. He is, notably, without the Iron Fist Championship. He looks up to the camera and then to someone offscreen. He nods his head, still breathing heavily from his match.
Buck: Folks, no excuses. I don’t like ‘em, won’t make ‘em. Jacob Mephisto!
He looks at the camera for a moment. He wipes his hand over his hair, brushing it back from his face before he starts to clap to the screen.
Buck: Congratulations, my brother. My hat’s off to ya. From November o’ last year, I held the Iron Fist Championship with as much dignity an’ pride as I could muster. I did what I could with it. Killed a god. Killed a dynasty. You know…simple easy shit.
Buck: I don’t respect a man if they ain’t got the guts to fight me an’ Jake, you got the guts to fight me head on. I’ll see you again down the road I’m sure. Besides, if you fuck this up? If you don’t do right by that title? Azraith ain’t gonna be the Big, Bad Wolf to yer Red Ridin’ Hood. You’ll see me again much sooner’n you’d like.
“What’s next for…what’s next for Buck Dresden?”
Buck glances off screen, listening to Mary Kelly’s quiet voice asking him a question to lead him further. He puts his hands on his hips and sighs.
Buck: Last year, I lost the World Heavyweight Championship at Iron Will. Ever since then, I’ve been lost. I’ve been searchin’ fer somethin’. Needin’ somethin’. Needin’ my retribution. Needin’ my redemption. It’s time to try’n climb the mountain one more time.
“Does it matter who the champion is? How will you get there?”
Buck: I can’t think about that right now. Jacob Mephisto rung my damn bell an’ took my Iron Fist title. I gotta sit back, recalibrate, get ready fer the next biggest fight o’ my life. I gotta redeem myself, y’know? If I can’t find my redemption in all this…then what the hell am I doin’ this for, y’know?
He looks at the camera, then to her offscreen, the back to the camera.
Buck: Y’all enjoy the show.
He leaves the backdrop and the camera, his face already conveying all the thoughts running rampant in his head.
Jamie Johnson, Ignatius Albert Martin, Daiichi Vs. The Broguns (c)
Void Vs. NEMESIS (c)
Ayumi Seppuku & Lindsay Troy Vs. Sisters of Steel (c)
Shaken and Shattered
We cut to the back, where we see Void sitting alone. His eyes are wide and vacant. He stares at the floor. His shoulders are slumped. He looks hollow, broken, defeated. One thing he for sure is…is alone.
The words drain out of him.
Void: I…tapped out.
He tries to measure his breathing. His body begins to tremble.
Void: I tried. I tried against Seppuku, I tried against Judy, I tried against the Lights, I tried against Scion. I tried. Really, I did. I tried so…fucking…much.
His head drops.
Void: How…how can it come to this. I failed in the ApeX. I failed to take the Shut Up and Fight title. I failed to take the Rule of Surrender Championship. What is it going…to take? What have I done to deserve this? I found people to care for beyond myself and now all that I get are loss after loss. I don’t…I don’t understand it. I was so untouchable before. I was powerful.
He slowly reaches back and unbuckles his mask. He pulls it from his face, revealing his scarred visage, the remnants of his war with Dan Stein.
Void: Maybe all I am is a…sideshow attraction. A bum off the streets who just happens to look good in a costume.
He reaches to the straps of his singlet top and tears them from his shoulders, revealing his massively scarred chest.
Void: I thought I gave enough. Didn’t I give enough? Haven’t I suffered…enough? Don’t I deserve something? Don’t I deserve to have some victory in my life? Tell me…
He turns to the camera, his hair slowly falling into his face providing a shroud to cover his old wounds.
Void: …do I need to burn the whole orchard down just to get to my piece of fruit? Must I cut off each finger one at a time until someone will take my hand? I do not have an army at my back. I do not have an empire. I do not have brothers. I have people I must care for and people I must see to. But no one sees to me, you see.
He slams the mask down next to him.
Void: NO ONE SEES TO ME!
He slams the mask down again, breaking it.
Void: I offer…I offer no ultimatums. No new mission. All I know is someone is going to suffer. Someone is going to break.
He stands up, leaving the camera to focus on the shattered mask.
Void: And I am tired of it being me.