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Revolution 197

Golden Burkhalter


Scott Jackson

Tell You What

Backstage, COMBAT Kabuto is pacing.  She’s dressed out for her match, her gear black with highlights of electric blue and nuclear, highlighter yellow.  Idly, she punches her own palm, and it’s evident that she’s had some things on her mind for a few.  Finally she speaks, her gruff tone still heavily accented. 

COMBAT Kabuto: Later tonight, COMBAT Kabuto has to face Albert Martin.  Make me sad, really.  Albert Martin have all the upside in the world, and you know what he do with it?

A shake of the head.  

COMBAT Kabuto: He complain.  Like he have anything to complain about. 

Kabuto steps forward, her brow furrowing and her lips curling into a sneer.  She points directly at the camera. 

COMBAT Kabuto: Tell you what, Albert Martin.  You work for twenty more year building something, building legacy, defining…ah, how you…

She shakes her head and flips off the camera, but she might as well be flipping off the concept of being professional. 

COMBAT Kabuto: [ I know I need to be speaking English, okay?  But I rehabbed an ACL that was shredded like Bonito flake at 43 years old.  And this…snot-nose, already has been a champion more than once, and he wants to be angry?  Angry?!  I was practically blacklisted from doing the thing I forged a path for in my home country.  Angry is being told you’re not marketable because teenagers don’t find you sexy enough.  Angry is knowing how many of your friends are struggling for work, and then seeing that your company hired some backyard scrub named Trailer Trash Terry instead.  Angry is–]


All of the sudden, she is cut off by EMTs, who rush plainly in the camera’s field of view!  They’re rushing one another, and COMBAT looks to the cameraperson before nodding her head in the direction they ran.  The camera and Kabuto follow the EMTs as they arrive at the side of…Buddy Amigo!!

He’s laying on the floor, a member of the production staff kneeling next to him–the person who found him, we can presume.  He’s bleeding profusely, but not just from his face!  There’s a spider web crack in a window that leads to a streak of blood…directly to where he’s laying, the crimson held in stark contrast to the yellow and blue of his headgear.  The EMTs start clearing the production assistant away, peppering her with questions, as the camera takes in not only the scene but also Kabuto’s reaction to it.  She places her hands on her hips and exhales. 

COMBAT Kabuto: Fuck.

We cut away…

I've Got Your (Healed) Back

We’re taken backstage where the On Godtourage chit chat not too far from catering.  The crowd’s cheering is audible through the thick Epicenter walls.  Their Premier champ is here!  Matty is slappin’ his lips on a coconut water while Georgie takes a chunk out of a chocolate donut.  The crew’s threads are fire.  Black Sheep, in an orange and blue Brooks Brothers suit, the Premier title glued to his waist, leans against a random table with his hand on his chin.  Orange and blue most likely due to his loyalty for his favorite baseball team. Georgie looks dope with a throwback 1966 Nolan Ryan jersey while Matty’s got that fire 2000 Mike Piazza.  Something tells us that these men are Mets fans.


Ya boi is deep in thought while chewin’ on a toothpick. 


Georgie: Yo fam these SHOOT bois know how it’s done, son.  The caterin’ spread is en punto, mi hermanos.  En fuego, borricuas.  This chocolate donut got that soft pillow like inside, too.


Matty Ice: Coconut water just aint hittin’.


Georgie: Bruh, it’s coconut water.  You gettin’ exactly what it says.


Matty Ice: Right.  This just aint hittin’.  Shoulda grabbed that last bottle of Fanta before that clown dude snagged it.


Georgie: Fanta? The fuck is Fanta?


Matty Ice: You aint ever heard of Fanta?


Georgie: I mean, I’ve heard of Fresca.  Is that what you talkin’ about?


Matty Ice:  No, estupido, FANTA.  


Georgie: Nah, never heard of her.


Black Sheep Baez: Aight.


The champ stands straight and pulls the toothpick from his lips.  That thought process is over, and he seems to have settled.  He looks over at his brethren and he’s got their attention.


Black Sheep Baez:  I know what I wanna do.  This a real complex scenario, and life just keeps throwin’ some Greg Maddux like bullshit at me on the daily right’naw.  


Georgie: Aye, nah nah, how about some R.A. Dickey knucklers yo?


Black Sheep Baez:  Sure, whatever the pitch is that shit is in playoff form ‘cuz it’s irritatin’ the Hell outta me.  Ya boi just gotta summon his inner clutch Keith Hernandez and – 


Georgie: The spitter from the grassy knoll yo!


He gets slapped in the back of the head by Matty Ice.


Matty Ice: AYE, you don’t disrespect the Keith Hernandez. 


Georgie: [cowering like a sad puppy and talking to himself] Y’all aint ever seen Seinfeld for fuck sake?


Black Sheep Baez: Ya boi finna have to be clutch es mi punto, familia.  This a whole new flavor of challenge.  Al mal tiempo, buena cara, mi hermanos.  Ya boi finna have to go harder.  La práctica hace al maestro.  The champ got time to relax, but I needed to use this time to observe.  Estudia a los que quieren tomar lo que he ganado.


Matty and Georgie become distracted by something, or someone, behind the champ.  Matty lifts his chin and nods his head as a signal for Al to turn around.  They’ve got company.


Coming up behind Baez is his now ex-challenger, Madison Seton. 


Madison Seton: Ay, mis hombres.  Que pas’?


She half-smirks, half holds a look of concern as she reaches out a thumb towards his lower back.  She expects a certain reaction.  Yet, doesn’t know if it’s what she’ll get.  Still, she jams the thumb into Baez’s lower back.


Black Sheep Baez: Sss – aye! [He speaks his primary language quickly without skipping a beat] ¿Verdadero? ¿Quieres probar mi estabilidad? Tu chico aquí tiene una constitución diferente.  My back is fine, chica.  You know just as well as anyone that Lexi would have to do a lot more to put me out.  I’m built different.  ¿Qué te pasa?


Madison Seton: Bueno… Soy bueno.  Just wanted to check in on you.  See if you’re todos bien o todos mal.


Black Sheep Baez: Muy, muy bien.  Yo you know how I do.  Ain’t not but another day in the life, feel it?  It’s a lil more interesante though.  Ya boi has more on his plate.  This just how life works so I ain’t mad at it.  Challenges are the name of the game, so ya gotta embrace’em.  Kinda wish those challenges weren’t missin’ chromosomes but beggars can’t be choosers.  This the hand the good Lord dealt me, on God.  Finna make the best of it.


Madison Seton: So you’re okay a friend turned on you?  I mean, like, not “okay,” but you know?  Cuz I’d want to kill that bitch.


That makes Baez chuckle, and he smirks.


Black Sheep Baez: Nah, ya boi ain’t ok with any of it, but that shit’s kinda out of my control right now.  She’s done gone sideways.  I gots family that’s flipped a switch.  You can’t just jump straight to the 1-8-7 on someone who went from light to dark at the drop of a dime.  Nah, don’t be the reason they fall deeper into that pit of despair.  Gotta be the reason they follow the light.  Make sense?  Now, if they just wanna stay in that darkness and fuck around?  Then that’s when they’ll find out.


Madison Seton: Si, si… Escucho y entiendo.  Look, if you need an ally?  I’m here.  Just like you’ve seen from me now twice on the court,  I’ve got my friends’ backs no matter the situation.


Black Sheep Baez: Hell yea?  That’s what up homie and know ya boi always got yours.  You in the on God level.


The On Godtourage agrees.


Matty Ice: Yee yee, Maddie Seton gets that high honor respect.


Georgie: Eres un auténtico amigo. Un cariño y mucho respeto.


Black Sheep Baez: On God.  Speakin of respect: when we gettin Seton-Baez round two?  Doesn’t have to be for this gold, but I ain’t gots no problema givin you another shot homegirl.


Madison Seton: Round dos comes whenever you want, tamalito… provided you get by NC-17… And stay healthy.  And if you need help, since you asked so nicely days ago, the powers transfer.


She turns just enough and lifts the back of shirt just enough to show the lower half of her tat.


Their eyes bulge out of their heads and their jaws slowly drop.  The toothpick dangles from ya boi’s lower lip, and then falls to the floor.


All three: ¡Ay dios mío!


Black Sheep Baez: Well, that’s a tat!


He needs to change the subject before someone gets too thirsty.


Black Sheep Baez: Yo, ya boi’s an iron man and you know this.  Title or no title: you and I finna need to boogie some more.  We gots priorities, but we will def make part two happen.  Good luck with the fam and let’s bump into each other more often.  On God.


Madison Seton: You make it seem like a good bye, amigo.  But seriously, we’re just getting started between us.  We’re gonna fight again.  And again.  And again.  We’re gonna be this generation’s match to watch.  Good luck.  Till we meet in the ring again, that is.


Black Sheep Baez: Naw fam, as ya boi said, let’s bump into each other more often.  You right though.  Baez-Seton finna be headlinin’ the biggest shows on the planet.  Bet.  Go big, Queen.  We got this biz on lock.  That’s on God.


The champ wants a little dap on the knucks before Maddie moves on with her evening, and she reciprocates accordingly.  She struts herself passed Georgie and Matty and side-eyes them with a smirk.  Georgie isn’t staring at her face though, his eyes are south, and Matty looks like he might start drooling.  Al is looking at his bois with his brow furrowed, and he reaches over to smack Georgie on the back of the head.


Black Sheep Baez: Aye, show a little respect, hermano.  Focus.  We gots one more thing to do before we leave the Epicenter.  So, let’s get ready.


Georgie rubs the back of his head and Matty shakes off his trance.  Ya boi reaches up to pull the toothpick from his lips but suddenly realizes it’s no longer there and he looks slightly disappointed.  The scene fades.

Daichi Oyama



Gentlemen, Start Your Engines

Eryk Masters: Tonight’s show has been fire so far, and it’s still heating up! We’ve got one of our champions set to come out and address the fans right now!


Other Guy: I hope it’s Black Sheep Baez. That guy’s great.


It is not, OG. No, judging by the music that just started playing–the Eagles’ “Out of Control”–it’s going to be the SHOOT Project World Tag Team Champions, the Coltons. Actually it’s only one of them; Dennis Colton walks down to the ring by himself. While his cousin isn’t there with him, he still has the other two things that let the crowd know who he is–his green satin ring jacket, and his SHOOT World Tag Team Title.


Eryk Masters: Dennis Colton on his way out here alone tonight…we’d been told that Benjamin wouldn’t be here, but we don’t know a lot of the details.


Other Guy: Probably nothing we can talk about until safe harbor hours.


Denny wipes his feet on the ring apron, then steps through the ropes and holds his arms up for the crowd. Let’s give him a microphone and see what happens.




A cheer from the crowd tells us that they are, in fact, feeling it.


Dennis Colton: Let’s get the obvious question out of the way right now. I dunno if you saw the Milo Flynn Cup last weekend…


Another sizeable cheer tells us that many of them did.


Dennis Colton: …then you saw what happened to Angel Quinley of the New World Trash. She got hurt really bad…she’s in stable condition now, but she’s not out of the woods yet. So if you’ve got thoughts, prayers, positive vibes, whatever you can spare for Angel, we’d really appreciate it. We built a bond with the New World Trash last year while we were beating the crap out of each other, so right now Benny’s still in St. Paul, doing whatever he can to help out.


A round of applause from the crowd, now.


Eryk Masters: That injury came at the end of the New World Trash’s match against Boomer Shooters.


Other Guy: It was gruesome. She probably already had a concussion from one of David Fox’s kicks, and then to see her fall like that…gaah.


Eryk Masters: David Fox also called for the medics as soon as it occurred; that quick thinking may have saved her life.


Dennis Colton: So rest assured that my cousin is doing what needs to be done, and he’ll be back in SHOOT before you know it. Which is good, ‘cause we’ve still got some tag titles to defend.


He pats the faceplate of the gold belt around his waist and puts on that confident smile.


Dennis Colton: Now, if Benny were here right now, he’d say…well, he’d say a lot of stuff that didn’t make any sense if you thought about it for ten seconds. Then he’d slap me on the chest and say, “Big man! Let ‘em know!” So…that’s what I’ll do.


Other Guy: Gotta say, it tracks. Benny Colton would do exactly that.


Dennis Colton: We had the fight of our lives at Eternal. We’ve been in the ring with the Unholy Cyber Army before, so we thought we knew what we were getting into…but I gotta admit, we were wrong. Thunder Fist brought a whole new kind of evil out of two guys who already call themselves “Superbeast” and “Power Devil.” But thanks to the man of the hour, and the REAL Sexiest in Shoot, Dan “The Lights” Stein…


Great big pop for Dan Stein.


Dennis Colton: …we took care of business, and the SHOOT Project Tag Titles stayed around our waists. Dan, we told you already but I’ll tell you again…anything you need us for, you just gotta ask.


More polite applause for this nice young man.


Other Guy: YAWN. Insult someone already, you dork!


Dennis Colton: And since we’re still the champs…I guess it’s time to talk about our next challengers. Don’t know who it is yet, but I’ll say what we’ve said since they day we walked into this company. The Coltons will take on any and all comers…and I know that’s a damn risky stance to take here in SHOOT, where there’s already a ton of great teams and more are coming in every day. But me and Benny came here to prove that we’re the best, so we want to face the best. If you think that’s you? Then all you gotta do is step up…and say our name.


Right on cue, the sound of engines revving draws the Epicenter’s attention. No music, no fireworks, no videotron…just raw horsepower, cutting the air obnoxiously. Dennis lowers the microphone and turns to face the entrance ramp; he doesn’t know what’s going on but he’s excited to find out.


Eryk Masters: What in the world?!?


Other Guy: Well that’s an interesting way of saying Colton.


Two outlandish motorcycles suddenly emerge from backstage at the top of the ramp, and a murmur goes up from the audience. Who the hell are these guys supposed to be? The motorcycles are not typical Harley Davidsons, but Kawasaki and Honda respectively. One is midnight black with neon green and pink trim. The other is firetruck red, and has a large, circus-like extension on the rear. Both riders appear to be Japanese, and one of them, the fatter one, is holding a microphone.


The other fellow, much taller and wider than his counterpart and a whole helluva lot uglier, brings the mic to his lips, revving his red motorcycle’s engine before saying the name.


Tafugai: COL-TON.


A mix of cheers and boos go up at the prospect of the Coltons competing and at the idea of these two grease monkeys being the challengers. Tafugai hands the mic off to his compatriot, who patiently awaits a response. 


Dennis Colton: Hey, fellas. Sweet rides…but Sturgis was a month ago. And…y’know. In Sturgis.


Eryk Masters: What’s Sturgis?


Other Guy: Don’t worry about it Eryk, they wouldn’t let you in with your scooter anyways.


The smaller of the two bikers wears a black bandana handkerchief around his neck and has a boyish face. When he speaks, it’s in crisp, clear English.


Sho Yoshida: I don’t believe he heard you, Tafugai…so I’ll say it a bit louder, for the people in the back. COL-TON.


This time both motorcycles are revving, and the sound is deafening. A smoky haze starts to waft through the Epicenter. It’s actually kind of hard to breathe in the first row. Security assistants start to rally from different points all over the stadium. Finally the two bikers cease their shenanigans.


Dennis Colton: I heard him just fine, hoss. How about you introduce yourselves? Try using less of your engines, and more of your words.


Sho Yoshida: Sho Yoshida, Tafugai…Midnight Cowboys MC. We’re new in town…blew into Vegas to do a little gambling…a little romancing…and to see the sights. And we’re the type that when we see something we like…we take it. Like those tag team belts you and Benny have been carrying around. I think they’d look better slung across the back of our bikes. What do you think, Tafugai?


Tafugai says something inaudible in Japanese.


Dennis Colton: Is that so. Well, I don’t know how you can call yourselves cowboys of ANY time of day. You don’t even have the hats. But more importantly, as for your challenge?


He looks around the arena, as if to gage fan reaction. But let’s be honest, he already knows what he’s going to say.


Dennis Colton: Hell yeah. Can’t wait.


Yoshida smirks.


Sho Yoshida: Neither can we.


Without warning, both motorcycles zip down the ramp before stopping abruptly at the base of the ring. But security SWARMS at ringside. None of this appears to be approved or planned. It doesn’t look like SHOOT staff was prepared to be dealing with motorcycles! The crowd is DEFINITELY reacting.


Other Guy: All this exhaust can’t be good for us! They almost drove through the ring!


Eryk Masters: And now security have gotten ahold of both Tafugai and Sho Yoshida. You know, OG, I didn’t quite recognize the names at first, but upon hearing Midnight Cowboys MC, I do seem to remember some new tag team absolutely DOMINATING in REIGN. Looks like they’ve stepped up to the big leagues!


An entire gang of officials in black shirts pull Yoshida and Tafugai off their bikes, though not without resistance. They take over the motorcycles and cautiously ride them back up the ramp while struggling to keep Yoshida from bum rushing the ring. The little guy is definitely animated. He’s pointing at Dennis and yelling some sort of threat on his way back up.


Eryk Masters: Looks like we’ve got new challengers for the World Tag Team Titles, and what a fight that’s going to be!


See something, Say something


We cut immediately to the backstage, the shaky handheld view once again, as a cameraman is running through a hall.  Someone from production, holding onto his headset as he hears more details, is leading the way.  Finally hearing what he needs to, he looks back to the camera, beckoning him with his clipboard. 

Production: Just through here, hang a left!

They hang that left, and what they see is out of a horror film. 

Elgin Blair–the giant, musclebound Kentuckian–is leaning against a wall, half out of it.  His face is coated in blood, but the worst of it is his left arm, which is hanging limply at an odd angle behind his massive torso–he seems to have no control from his elbow down!  The EMTs are swarming, and he absently spits out a chunk of tooth, groaning. 

Elgin Blair: …sumbitch came outta nowheres…

The medics are advising him that he’s going to feel some pain as they splint his arm, and he’s nodding, like he understands.  But that can’t prepare him, and no one is prepared for his howl of pain–it’s so loud it sounds like a prehistoric beast growling in rafter-shaking fury.  Lou Grimaldi is here, and he appears to be discussing things with one of his security staff.  The producer, forgetting it seems that he’s on a hot camera parabolic, taps him on his broad shoulder. 

Producer: Lou, what the fuck is going on, man? First an attack in REIGN, then Ruination, and now here?

Lou Grimaldi: Look, we’re doing what we can.  All exits are double-guarded, and we’re doing a sector by sector building sweep.  That’s all we can do right now, but just…

Lou looks over to Elgin, wincing. 

Lou Grimaldi: …keep your fuckin’ eyes peeled.  You see something, say something, even if you aren’t sure what it is. 

With that, we cut away…


Ignatius Albert Martin


Combat Kabuto

The Boys Are Back

Eryk Masters: Crazy action between IAM and COMBAT here tonight, with IAM picking up an important win. 


Other Guy: Yep, and after Eternal, we didn’t really know where IAM’s head was at, but it seems like he’s refocused and recommitted. Gotta wonder if being around the Sin City Scoundrels might have something to do with that.


Eryk Masters: You might, and I’ve got good news for ya, OG. We’re headed to the back where Abigail Chase is standing by with the Sin City Scoundrels right now! 


And just like that, the camera shifts, where Michael Sexton, Lucas Sexton, and Abigail Chase are all standing chatting. She gets the notice that they’re live and adjusts.


Abigail Chase: Mike, Luke. It’s been a couple of weeks since you returned at Eternal, having aligned yourself with former World Heavyweight Champion, Ignatius Albert Martin.


Michael Sexton: Yeah baby, we liked what we saw with ol’ Iggy, so, you know… we made it work.


Lucas Sexton: We see gold, Abs, and we want to be by Martin’s side and help him get there.


Abigail Chase: And targeting Mushigihara? 


Michael Sexton shrugs.


Lucas Sexton: Just the first step in the road back to glory, Chasey. Put ol’ Mushi down, help IAM make his statement, and it’s on to the promised land.


Michael Sexton: Yeah, it’s been a long time since we felt like we had a good spot here in the SHOOT Project. Some of that was on us with the injury, some of it was on SHOOT, but we like what we’re seeing here. 


Abigail Chase: Any designs on challenging the Coltons anytime soon? 


Lucas laughs, but immediately shifts to a more serious tone.


Lucas Sexton: I thought it’d be good to let the kids play in our pool a little longer before we make a play for those belts, you know, really establish themselves as a team that’s here to stay.


Michael Sexton: What he said, pretty much. The Sin City Scoundrels reclaiming tag team gold isn’t a matter of if, Abby. It’s a matter of when. Tell ya what, though. I know the world is clamoring to see the Scoundrels back in action, and we are nothing if not accommodating. Let’s put our man IAM and us together next Ruination. Us, IAM against Mushigihara, and hopefully he has some friends. Let’s get this party started. For now though, let’s get the fuck outta here and find our guy.


Abigail Chase: You heard it guys. The Scoundrels are back and are focused on making anyone who crosses Ignatius Martin miserable while marching towards an eventual tag team title shot. 


We go back to ringside, with Eryk Masters and the Other Guy.


Eryk Masters: Bold words from the former champs, OG. 


Other Guy: Yeah man, but those guys have a pedigree that’s pretty well rounded. I believe what they say, for sure. 


Eryk Masters: Sounds like we’re headed backstage once again though, as our cameras have caught up with some Premier Championship shenanigans.

Something's Fishy

The On Godtourage are on a mission.  Black Sheep adjusts the tie of his tailored orange and blue Brooks Brothers suit and adjusts a beautiful pair of aviator sunglasses.  The Premier Championship is snapped snug around his waist, per usual.  They trek the hall and then walk up to a door labeled: LEXI GOLD.  Ya boi cracks his neck to the right, and clears his throat.


Black Sheep Baez:  Ahem. Aight, let’s give this the college try.


Three knocks is all it took for the door to slowly open.  The champ’s eyebrows shift behind his eye wear.  Baez slowly removes his sunglasses.  The camera pans to see Lex…er…no?  Opening the door to Lexi Gold’s room is none other than scuzz in the flesh, the number one contender to Black Sheep’s championship: NC-17.


He’s shirtless and wearing his hot pink wrestling trunks and white tassels…does this guy ever wear anything else? The mohawked eighties throwback gestures for BSB to come in, like it’s his dressing room or something. On the opposite side of the room, NC-17’s manager Johnny Vignochi leans his back against the wall in a purple suit, smoking a cigarette. The whole room is bathed in a cigarette haze. Strangely, Lexi’s underwear drawer is open and looks…rummaged through. Seventeen smiles.


NC-17: Not who you were expecting? Come on in man, make yourself at home. Ya caught me by surprise, I haven’t had a chance to tidy up.


The cream of obscene closes the underwear drawer.  


Baez doesn’t look thrilled, but he also isn’t surprised.  NC-17 is, after all, scum of the Earth, so this is par for the course.  Ya boi has to put the shades back on and takes a moment to assess the situation.  He moves his lips in a way that makes it look like he’s sniffing his own mustache.  Perhaps that’s more an expression of annoyance?  Whatever it is: the champ isn’t having any of it.


Black Sheep Baez: Nah.  I’m Gucci.


Ya boi and his crew pivot to the left and are about to forward march, but NC-17 knows how to bring him back into the sitch.


NC-17: Hey, can’t say I blame ya. I see ya got the whole crew with ya today…prolly tired of gettin’ your ass kicked huh?


There’s a chuckle from Johnny Vig in the peanut gallery. Followed by a throaty smoker’s cough. Yech.


Oh, thems fightin’ words?  The champ grinds his teeth and slowly nods.  Yea, NC got his attention.  Black Sheep pivots back toward his future challenger, chin up, and comfortable.


Black Sheep Baez: Ha, bet.  Nah, I’m never tired of a fight.  And, don’t get it twisted.  My crew rolls with me everywhere I go.  Am I bein’ a tad more cautious? You know.  I wouldn’t wanna get jumped and possibly lose the chance to face off against the great NC-17!  You should see my boi’s as an advantage to get closer to this [he rubs the faceplate of the Premier championship] beautiful title.  


Black Sheep Baez:  I’m surprised though, homie.  That’s the first time you’ve said anything relevant.  Usually ya too busy sayin a whole lotta nothin.  Maybe you should start keepin’ it simple?  Ya know? Instead of tryin’ too hard to be edgy and over the top when, in reality, you’re just some guy who once was and most likely never will be.  Lack of self control, yo.  You may be the number one contender to my title, but the real fight is ya’self.  You might self destruct before ya can even meet me in the ring?  That be a got damn shame though.  Ya boi is highly lookin’ forward to finally wrestle an experienced SHOOT soldier from a bygone era.  Feel me?  Even if it’s someone who never really makes it every time he comes back.


NC-17 looks Baez up and down, clearly sizing him. He steps forward, as if he’s tentatively considering violence. 


Then he throws his head back and gurgles out an eye-watering belch…the kind that’s usually followed by a little throw up in the mouth. Johnny drops his cigarette on the carpet and puts it out with his dress shoe.


NC-17: Well stay vigilant pal. Confucius say “great success breed great enemies” or something like that. Never know who’s lurking in these hallways. Could be Lexi Gold…


Johnny Vig walks over, strategically placing himself between the two men. He smiles, revealing the glint of a gold tooth among the rows of rotten, tobacco stained teeth.


Johnny Vig: Hell…could be somebody meaner. C’mon Teen. Let’s get the fuck outta here.


Seventeen points at Baez, then taps his finger on his mohawked head.


NC-17: And thanks for that little web md therapy sesh. Ya think you can write me a scrip? Hahaha.


The two slime balls shove pass the On Godtourage, chuckling weasel laughs, leaving a musty cigarette fog in their wake.


The champ and his crew each provide a facial expression similar to one you’d give after dealing with an obnoxious member of human society.  Georgie coughs into his fist because the cigarette smoke is unappealing.  Matty leans into ya boi’s shoulder with his hand over his mouth like he’s about to whisper a secret.  He speaks out of the side of his mouth while side eyeing NC-17 and his manager as they trudge further down the hall.  


Matty Ice: Bruh needs to get a prescription for that halitosis.  His breath smelt like asschovies.


The champion rubs the faceplate of the Premier title.  A smirking Baez isn’t watching NC-17 and Johnny Vig strut down the hall, no siree, he’s on the lookout by the opened door.  His confrontation with NC-17 may be over, but Lexi Gold could be hiding around any corner.  He back hand taps Matty on the chest while his eyes still scan and examine Lexi’s dressing room from the doorway.


Black Sheep Baez:  Yee.  Definitely somethin’ fishy goin’ on.  Bet.  Got’s work to do, homies.  Lotta work to do.  But, first – 


He slowly removes his aviators and whips his tie out so that he can polish the frames while glaring into the fading smoke of the room.


Black Sheep Baez: – let’s go to the Waffle House.


Georgie: [Off in the distance] Waffle House is dope, yo!


Black Sheep Baez: On God.


There’s a lot on Black Sheep’s mind.  Plenty to talk about.  We finally got to hear from Lexi Gold at Ruination, the champ found some insurance in a developing friendship with Maddie Seton, and we got to witness the anticipated confrontation with NC-17.  All scratches on a very large surface.  Why was Al going to visit Lexi?  What, exactly, was the meaning behind confronting the dark and depraved madwoman?  Whatever it may be it’s no longer part of the discussion as ya boi slides his shades back on, and the scene fades away.

Maddie Seton/El Paria


Laura Seton/Realness

Picking a Fight

Suddenly, from the entrance, a body flies out, landing with a sickening thud!  The man is in a suit, and even though he’s swollen and bleeding, the announce team knows who he is almost instantaneously…

Eryk Masters: Is that…Josh?  Is that The Real Deal?!

Other Guy: Who the flip has beat up the bossman?!

Eryk Masters: Who has been tearing through the backstage?! 

As soon as he appears, it’s not like the air is let out from the room.  Quite the contrary.  His mere existence turns confusion into rage, electricity into jeers of anger, curiosity into rage.  The screams of hatred simmer at his appearance, hoodie pulled over his face–but his build, his stalking stomp, are notable.  When he throws the hood back, the roof nearly comes off. 

Nate Robideau.  

Fists scraped. 

Sleeves splattered with blood, dried and fresh. 

Johnson is trying to get to his feet, muttering something, but Nate rushes him and cuts him off with a fakeout shot–he telegraphs going for his head, and Real Deal is a savvy enough fighter to cover up…but as soon as his midsection is exposed, The Blackhawk kicks an absolute field goal with his solar plexus!!  The president collapses and rolls down the ramp a few feet, but Nate is uninterested in giving him any respite.  Paria and Jamie are both looking concerned, but they’re also both very much aware of what exactly Nate can do.  He snatches Johnson by the back of his suit jacket and lifts him to his feet, hauling him forward and throwing him so hard that he careens into the side of the ring!! 

Eryk Masters: Folks, Nate Robideau, former World Champion, has lost it!  He’s been beating the hell out of anyone who crosses his path, but he seems to have sought out the President of the SHOOT Project to bully! He signs the checks!

Other Guy: Ope, here comes the quote unquote cavalry.  Way to hustle, guys! 

Indeed a contingent of security, led by Lou Grimaldi, are making their way down the ramp double time.  Nate, as casually as if he was field butchering a deer, lays two MASSIVE punches into the side of Johnson’s head, then turns and RUSHES SECURITY!  He forces the entire group backwards, laying into the front line with front kicks, knees, and elbows, and an absolute buzzsaw of strikes!!

Eryk Masters: Nate not content with picking a fight with the face of the organization is picking a fight with the organization itself–and here comes his old running buddy El Paria to try and diffuse the situation!!

Indeed, Paria has slid out of the ring, holding up a stalling hand to his brother.  He runs up to Nate as he stands off with 30 some odd security, placing a hand on his shoulder–Robideau turns and back elbows him in the jaw!!  As he notices who he struck, one could almost expect a moment of apology or reconciliation, but Nate grabs him around the throat, actually physically lifts him off his feet, and then turns, throwing him head first into the gathered security squad!!  Nate turns, stalking to the mats outside of the ring, grabbing Josh by his hair and lifting him to his feet.  As he holds him from behind in a controlling, uncinched choke, we can really see the scope of damage he’s wrought–the boss’ lip and one side of his face are swollen so badly they’re sticking out from his skull, his eye practically shut.  Bloody drool pours from between his split lips as Nate catches eyes with Jamie, and though no words are spoken, the threat is implicit as soon as Robideau collars up on Real Deal’s throat.  Slowly, the former World Champion ascends the stairs, then drags his hostage in with him. 

Other Guy: There’s no way out here, though!

Eryk Masters: I’m not sure Nate Robideau is thinking with tactics in mind!!  Jamie Johnson is begging off, security are playing it slow…folks, I cannot reiterate this enough: we don’t know what he’s going to do. 

Jamie, hands up, hops to the floor.  Nate settles the president’s chin in the crook of his left elbow, letting the man slump to one knee.  With his right arm, he reaches high, his mouth curling into a grin as his gaze scans between Jamie and Paria.  His massive hand curls into a fist, his intent clear. 

Real Deal is defenseless. 

It seems to be in slow motion. 

And then the lights cut out.  



The video wall lights up a slight, light blue hue and the crowd starts to hush. An animated version of the SHOOT Project logo starts to repeat over and over again on the wall, while music takes over the sound system. Then, a voice.


“Bear witness to the return of a wrestling legend! 


From the deepest pits of adversity, through agonizing pain and the torment of rehabilitation, the incomparable, the inimitable, the superstar who was chosen by heaven has risen once again! 


Cast aside your petty doubts, for he didn’t just conquer injuries; he made them bow before him! 


Some say pride comes before a fall, but for our titan, pride is the very fuel that powered his comeback! 


Now, the SHOOT Project doesn’t just welcome a fighter; it welcomes back its very essence. Stand up, put your hands together, say his name when you pray – for the king is BACK, and he’s hungrier, mightier, and more ruthless than ever!”


At this point, everything has come to a SCREECHING halt in the arena. Nate has released Josh Johnson, who has managed to roll out to the floor. SHOOT medical has rushed to him to get him away from the ring. They bring him over the guardrail to continue giving him medical attention and they’re joined by two members of SHOOT security, including Lou Grimaldi. 


The crowd, Nate, Jamie, Paria, and everyone’s eyes are all transfixed towards the ring entrance which is just letting off a MASSIVE pyro display. Popping, exploding, and fire just shoot out from everywhere. 


A song begins to play, almost tribal chanting and clapping begins, and the the crowd starts to realize what they’re hearing! Then, two fiery comets begin a trajectory on the screen, and when the two meet in the middle of the screen, they give way to a logo, and of course… the big reveal. 




Eryk Masters & Other Guy: OH FUUUUUUCK!!! 


Eryk Masters: Is this REAL?! Holy shit IS THIS REAL?! 




A silhouette walks through the fire, and as the lights come back up, the crowd LOSES THEIR ABSOLUTE MIND!! JOSHUA BREEDLOVE STANDS BEFORE THEM. He wastes no time standing at the top of the ring and taking the reaction in, instead he locks eyes with Nate Robideau, who is absolutely wide-eyed at what he’s seeing. It takes no time at all for Breedlove to bolt down to the ring as Robideau waits for him. Breedlove takes him down and just starts laying lefts and rights into him, Robideau shouting out in pain! Breedlove is beating the absolute TAR out of him and SECURITY IS JUST WATCHING.


Eryk Masters: Ohhh, I bet Nate thought security was gonna step in, but NUH UH.


Other Guy: You put your hands on the boss. I definitely heard him tell Grimaldi not to get involved, and Breedlove is showing his gratitude in his own way! 


Eryk Masters: Wouldn’t you? Nate Robideau took nearly a YEAR from Breedlove’s career. A year from his prime! 


Nate is down on the ground, splayed out as Breedlove gets to his feet. He throws his hands to his sides in the air and the crowd pops for him. He goes to pull Nate to his feet and as Nate reaches a standing position, Breedlove just straight BITCHSLAPS him across the face. Nate is stunned and Breedlove kicks him in the back of the leg, dropping Nate to his knees, and he follows it up with a huge boot to Nate’s face! Breedlove takes a look at his boot, which is covered in Nate Robideau’s blood, causing Breedlove to smirk. The crowd continues to fucking lose it as Nate is getting his just desserts!


Eryk Masters: Breedlove is just kicking Nate’s ass! 


Other Guy: Yeah he is, and boy it feels like this is a long time coming! 


He scoops Robideau up and has him locked in, collared, much like how Robideau held the Real Deal, and he’s just smiling and talking trash to Robideau, who’s barely conscious. A “PRAY HIS NAME” chant breaks out as he pulls Robideau over to a corner and holds the battered Robideau’s face so that the whole world can see it, and he’s got something on his mind to say!




He drives a fist into the side of Robideau’s face.



Nate’s grimacing and very clearly in pain as Breedlove hits him again and while foaming at the mouth is just screaming at the former World Heavyweight Champion.