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Revolution 204

 

We see Ayumi Seppuku sitting alone on a folding chair outside of Dan Stein’s office. We can hear raised voices and yelling behind the door as Ayumi keeps her focus facing forward.

Walking slowly into frame is none other than El Paria, who finds an empty chair next to Ayumi and sits down. The two don’t speak initially, but eventually Jack Johnson breaks the silence.

El Paria: How did you know?

Ayumi Seppuku: How did. I know. What, Jack?

El Paria: That I would be next.

Ayumi sighs and turns to look at El Paria, who is looking Ayumi up and down with a clear sense of distrust.

Ayumi Seppuku: I never said. you were next. I said you. were a target. There is. A difference. Besides. Chick also. Figured it out.

El Paria scoffs and crosses his arms.

El Paria: You know, I heard what you’re asking for… in exchange. You must feel like, with that attack on me, you have my dad, Lennox, and Dan all over a barrel, don’t you?

Ayumi Seppuku: That attack showed. How serious. This is. Jack. If I can get NC. Seventeen to stop this. I will.

El Paria: But not without something in it for you, first? Huh? How noble.

Ayumi doesn’t respond.

El Paria: What? Now you’re too good to talk to me?

Ayumi shakes her head.

Ayumi Seppuku: I’m done. Trying to. Argue. My Worth. To this Company. I’m. Taking the opportunity.

She pauses.

Ayumi Seppuku: So kindly. Fuck off.

El Paria cracks a smile that turns into a sneer, but he doesn’t get a chance to respond before the COO’s office door opens. Ayumi stands up and looks on as Lennox Ferguson emerges and gives Ayumi Seppuku a cold stare before simply storming out and then down the hallway.

Next out the door is Josh Johnson who sees his son sitting in the chair next to where Ayumi was and smiles weakly. He crouches down and puts a hand on El Paria’s shoulder.

Josh Johnson: We’ll get Jamie back. We will.

El Paria looks over at Ayumi and just shakes his head. Josh Johnson stands up and reaches out to shake Ayumi’s hand.

Ayumi is shocked at first, but then returns the gesture.

Josh Johnson: Welcome back. Ayumi. Now… go fuckin’ get my son. You hear me?

Ayumi nods as the SHOOT Project President gestures for El Paria to get up and join him on a walk. The younger Johnson relents and follows his father down the hallway as Ayumi watches and then pushes open the COO’s door to find Dan, Molly and his their two children.

Dan stands up with a smile as Molly nods, cradling baby Matthew.

Dan Stein: I asked them to be here… for protection.

Ayumi Seppuku: I understand.

Dan taps his finger on a stack on white papers that has a pen sitting on top of it. He turns the stack to face Ayumi and pushes the documents toward her.

Ayumi Seppuku: Is this?

Dan nods.

Dan Stein: Everything you asked for, Ayumi. Probably our most generous contract to date, if I’m being honest. Far more generous than MINE ever was, at least. But… it’s all worth it if Jamie and Daihm can be returned safely.

Ayumi’s arm shakes slightly as she reaches for the pen; but just as she puts pen to paper, Dan interrupts her.

Dan Stein: Just so you know… I really had to fight for this for you, Ayumi. Lennox is paranoid right now and Josh still thinks you’re a legal liability to the company. If for some reason we can’t bring NC-17 in? If Daihm and Jamie are just… gone? You are going to regret signing that contract.

Ayumi looks up at Dan, pausing for a second, but then leaning down to confidently swipe her name across the contract as Dan just stands back and lets out a relieved sigh.

Ayumi Seppuku: Let’s start. The preparations. 

KAZNA MOROZOVA VS. J. J. ROBERTS

SIN CITY CHAMPIONSHIP

Singles Match

ELSEWHERE

THE CELESTIAL COWARD

The scene opens on a dimly lit gym, the sound of a heavy bag being hit echoes through the room. The camera pans over to reveal Archer Quincannon, “The Fist of Eire”, his fists wrapped, sweat glistening on his brow as he finishes a punishing combination on the bag. He stops, turns to the camera, his gaze intense, ready to deliver his message.

 

Elijah Cassius Starborne, you cloak yourself in the mysteries of the cosmos, speak in riddles of the stars and the fates they supposedly foretell. You stand there, in your sanctuary, surrounded by your followers, spouting grandioles about destiny and cosmic balance. But let’s strip away the starlight and see you for what you truly are—a hypocrite and a coward.

 

Archer takes a step closer, his voice firm, unwavering.

 

You call yourself a leader, a visionary, but when the time comes to stand and fight, who’s standing in your stead? Your followers, your disciples, those you’ve convinced to do your bidding. You hide behind them, let them face the fire that you’ve stoked. It’s easy to play the sage when you’re not the one taking the punches, isn’t it, Elijah?

 

He scoffs, shaking his head.

 

You talk about the wrath of the cosmos, the alignment of the stars, as if they conspire to do your dirty work. But here’s the truth—you’re too afraid to step into the fray yourself. You speak of cosmic retribution, yet you wouldn’t know the first thing about facing adversity head-on. You, Elijah, are no warrior of the stars; you’re just a man scared of his own shadow, using grandeur and mystique as a shield.

 

Archer’s expression hardens, his determination clear.

 

I’ve walked through storms, fought battles in the shadows and the light, with nothing but my fists and my heart. I don’t need the stars to align to know my path, and I certainly don’t need an army to fight my battles. So, hear this, Starborne, your celestial charade fools no one. Behind all that mysticism and those eloquent speeches, you’re just a man— a man I’m calling out.

 

He pauses, letting his words hang in the air.

 

Your reckoning is upon is and it won’t be the cosmos you’ll be facing, it’ll be me, Archer Quincannon, ‘The Fist of Eire.’ And on that day, we’ll see just how much fight you have in you when you’ve got no one to hide behind. No disciples, no followers, just you and me. It’s time to step out from the shadows, Elijah. Face me, if you dare.

 

Archer punches the bag one last time, a solid, resounding thud that seems to echo his challenge. He turns back to the camera, his gaze fierce, a warrior ready for battle.

 

Your move, Starborne. Make it count.

 

The scene fades out, leaving the echo of Archer’s challenge lingering, a call to battle that cannot be ignored.

 

PLANET MOTHERFUCKER VS. KINGS OF THE WILD FRONTIER

TAG TEAM MATCH

IN THE RING

A hush falls over the crowd as an incredibly large, parade float-like apparatus is wheeled out from the lower levels of the Epicenter rampway.

Initially, the crowd is unsure of what it is they are seeing. The thing that becomes visible is a massive volcano-like structure seeping what appears to be green slime. Perched on the edges of the palate, gazing into the volcano are massive kaiju-like beats in the form of a bear-wolf hybrid and a grasshopper-hornet-spider chimera, climbing up the edges toward each other.

At the base of the volcano are a massive set of amplifiers and lighting rigs, each rhythmically pulsing to a primal beat as the stage is fully pushed into place at the base of the ring by members of the SHOOT Project crew. As it comes to its final resting place, three figures emerge from the base of the structure. CYBER Power Devil arrives donning massive GWAR-like spikes up and down his arms and shoulders clutching a bass guitar. CYBER Superbeast emerges next seated behind a six-piece drum kit, his body cloaked in a midnight-black cape. And then, arriving stage left is CYBER Thunder Fist – microphone in hand.

As soon as the fans realize what is occurring, a roar courses through the arena and the members of the Unholy Thunder Army raise their fists in response.

Eryk Masters: These three certainly know how to make an entrance, don’t they Jason?

Jason Johnson: You can say that again, Eryk.

 

Eryk Masters: These three certainly know-

Jason Johnson: No. Just… no.

CYBER Thunder Fist: Hello SHOOT Project!

 

The fans cheer in response.

CYBER Thunder Fist: You may know us in the ring as the Unholy Thunder Army, but tonight on this stage we are YOUR halftime entertainment. We are… ULTIMATUM!

Jason Johnson: You know, Eryk, after their loss to the Coltons prior to the PPV, it may not be the worst thing in the world for them to branch off into other ventures.

Eryk Masters: I am willing to give anything a chance once, but making the transition from the squared circle onto a rock stage isn’t so easy – or need I remind you of the catastrophe that was Sammy and the Rochesters?

Jason Johnson: Point taken.

CYBER Thunder Fist has clear command of the crowd and the stage, letting a smile creep across her face as she leans into the microphone.

CYBER Thunder Fist: What you are about to experience here tonight is the first step on your journey. A clarion call to guide you toward a new way of thinking! A new way of living! A new way… of ROCKING!

The fans hoot and holler as CYBER Thunder Fist cues CYBER Superbeast to lay down a drum line, but before he can hit the first high-hat “Take Out the Gunman” by Chevelle hits the speakers.

Jason Johnson: Damn! I stand corrected; they’re good! They sound just like Chevelle!

Eryk Masters: Your taste in music aside, you better look again, Jason.

The fans begin to boo as the three members of ULTIMATUM turn, surprised and none too pleased, to see a manic Justin Moreno rushing down the rampway.

Justin Moreno: Stop! STOP this… this… ATROCITY right now!

 

The fans greet Moreno with full-throated boos as Moreno positions himself into the ring and starts his spiel.

 

Justin Moreno: THIS… is not music! THIS… is not wholesome! THIS… 

 

Moreno motions to CYBER Thunder Fist.

 

Justin Moreno: … is an abomination against the Lord!

 

The fans are full-force BOOING the hell out of Moreno at this point. Meanwhile, CYBER Thunder Fist just throws her head back in laughter.

Unabated, Moreno continues.

 

Justin Moreno: Instead of making wicked music for Satan, why don’t you make music that is more WHOLESOME and PURE! Stuff like Skillet and Lacey Sturm would make… both such FINE outstanding followers of Christ! 

 

The fans by this point are full-on chanting “SHUT THE HELL UP!!! (clap clap clap clap clap)” Moreno glares at the fans, shamefully shaking his head at them as he offers.

 

Justin Moreno: I, JUSTIN MORENO, will be praying for ALL you lost souls at my beachside Bible study meeting this week! And on THAT note, how about I pray for the members of your band to be led to the light and make more positive and uplifting music in the future, hmm?

 

CYBER Thunder Fist’s eyes narrow as she takes one step forward – and then another – making her way across the band’s stage and then up onto the edge of the ring with CYBER Power Devil and CYBER Super Beast flanking her just feet away.

Eryk Masters: Ultimatum and CYBER Thunder Fist CLEARLY are NOT about to let the overzealousness of Justin Moreno’s extreme beliefs rain on their parade!

 

Jason Johnson: You know, Moreno was a LOT cooler when he was more obsessed with surfing…

CYBER Thunder Fist steps over the ropes and begins to yell something at Moreno, who suddenly reaches over confidently and grabs her hand.

 

Justin Moreno: I implore you, my poor lost soul, to kneel before God and pray for Him to see the light…

 

CYBER Thunder Fist cringes at Moreno’s overzealousness as he tries to force her down on one knee with him.

 

Justin Moreno: PRAY WITH ME NOW! YOUR MORTAL SOUL DEPENDS ON I-

 

CYBER Thunder Fist has had enough as she knees Moreno right in the jaw to the delight of the fans! Moreno is knocked backwards, trying to regain his equilibrium. Meanwhile CYBER Thunder Fist composes herself before motioning to her teammates to stay back.

She smirks, pointing directly at Justin Moreno, her stage mic still in hand, as she yells to the crowd.

 

CYBER Thunder Fist: SHOOT PROJECT! It seems like our uninvited guest is intent on fighting for my mortal soul. A mortal combat if you will.

The fans cheer wildly.

CYBER Thunder Fist: And THAT can mean only one thing…

Justin Moreno looks up, horrified, just in time to see CYBER Thunder Fist let out a guttural, almost inhuman roar while her eyes burn with anticipation.

CYBER Thunder Fist: JUSTIN MORENO! YOUR SOUL IS MINE!

JUSTIN MORENO VS. CYBER THUNDERFIST

Singles Match

ELSEWHERE

A CELESTIAL DISMISSAL

The scene shifts from the gritty gym to the serene, otherworldly sanctuary of The Celestial Order. A figure steps into the light, not Elijah Cassius Starborne, but a spokesperson, an adherent draped in star-patterned garb. A smirk plays across their face as they begin to speak, the ambiance filled with the soft, eerie chant of followers in the background.

 

The Voice of the Stars: Oh, Archer Quincannon, ‘The Fist of Eire,’ how your rage echoes through the cosmos, a tempest in a teacup on the grand scale of the universe. Your words, so filled with venom and spite, have reached the ears of The Celestial Order, and oh, how they have amused us.

 

The spokesperson chuckles, a sound that seems to ripple through the chamber.

 

The Voice: You call our esteemed Elijah Cassius Starborne a hypocrite, a coward, yet it is you who stands alone in a darkened room, shouting at shadows. How quaint. Your accusations of cowardice are as misguided as your belief that your physical prowess can alter the course of destiny itself.

 

They walk slowly, their cloak trailing behind them, a smug expression on their face.

 

The Voice: Elijah has no need to hide, dear Archer. He stands above such mundane confrontations, guided by the wisdom of the stars themselves. It is not cowardice to choose one’s battles wisely, to see the futility in engaging in petty squabbles when there are higher truths to pursue.

 

The spokesperson gestures grandly, as if encompassing the entirety of the cosmos with their hand.

 

The Voice: And you, Archer, so enraged, so utterly consumed by your own indignation. It’s… entertaining, really. How you mistake your fury for strength, your belligerence for bravery. The cosmos is vast, and your temper tantrum is but a whisper in the void.

 

They lean closer, their voice taking on a mockingly confidential tone.

 

The Voice: Let me offer you a piece of celestial advice—calm down. Your anger will not sway the stars, nor will it intimidate those who walk in enlightenment. Elijah Cassius Starborne need not step into the ring to prove his worth; his battles are fought on a higher plane, one that you, unfortunately, seem incapable of reaching.

 

Pulling back, the spokesperson’s demeanor becomes dismissive, their words dripping with condescension.

 

The Voice: So, continue your little tirade, Archer. Your tantrum. It amuses us, truly. But know this; you are not battling against Elijah or The Celestial Order. You are battling against the inevitable, a force much greater than you can comprehend. Perhaps, one day, you will see the futility of your rage. Until then, we watch, we wait, and we marvel at the spectacle of your fury.

 

The spokesperson turns, walking away, their laughter echoing softly as the scene fades to black, the pettiness of their dismissal hanging heavily in the air.

 

ALEX KINCAID VS. IGNATIUS ALBERT MARTIN

Singles Match

COMMERCIAL

VERDANT EARTH

A serene, beautiful garden at dawn. Dew glistens on leaves, and the first rays of sun highlight the natural beauty. The camera pans over the garden, coming to rest on a wrestler, “Gaia,” meditating amidst the greenery.

 

Gaia: “Strength isn’t just about power. It’s about harmony. With Verdant Earth Organics, I find balance.”

 

“Gaia” practices yoga, transitioning smoothly between poses. Each movement is precise and graceful.

 

Gaia: “Pure, organic ingredients fuel my body and mind, keeping me grounded and ready for any challenge.”

 

Close-ups of Verdant Earth Organics products being used by “Gaia” – a sip of a smoothie, applying muscle balm, enjoying an energy bar.

 

Narrator: “Verdant Earth Organics. Harmony between body, mind, and nature.”

 

“Gaia” stands, arms raised to the sky, as the camera pulls back to show the lush landscape. The Verdant Earth Organics logo appears on screen.

 

“Verdant Earth Organics – Nature’s Strength for the Modern Warrior.”

 

THE PUNCHLINE VS. THE MURDER DOVES

TAG TEAM MATCH

Backstage

VICTORY

Victory doesn’t always look like victory.

If Alex Kincaid has noticed the SHOOT Project cameras following him through the cavernous hallways of the arena it doesn’t show on his face. The former champion, less than an hour after a successful return to the SHOOT ring, walks down the hallway far away from where his locker room would be. This part of the building is nearly empty. Some storage equipment. Not a staff member to be seen. Certainly none of his fellow wrestlers. He reaches an empty spot and leans against a wall. He stops, looking back over his shoulder. The SHOOT cameramen are well aware of Kincaid’s mercurial temper, even all these years later, and they duck into the dark so he doesn’t see them. He scowls and leans down, loosening the metal knee brace around his left knee and sighing deeply.

He puts one taped fist to the wall and leans his body weight on it. In the ring, he was different. In the ring he’d shown the new side of himself. He’d given pieces of himself that SHOOT fans had never seen him give before. But now, the weight of it hits him. He stares at his own fist through sweat soaked hair clinging to his face. He begins to tremble. The full weight of this return seems to hit him. He closes his eyes, drawing a sharp breath through his nose. Then he turns to the wall and rests his back against it. He lets the wall support his weight and melts to the floor.

Kincaid sits there, staring at his trembling hand. He opens his fist. Closes it. Open. Closed. Open. Closed. The fists that have won championships. The knuckles that have dug into flesh all over the world. He covers it with his other hand to stop it’s shaking. When it doesn’t work, his eyes narrow and he makes a tiny sort of grunt. There is no word for what he’s saying. For this loss of control once in the full sight of all the things he has done.

For him, this is awful, and it is all encompassing, and it is real in a way he has been able to explain to few people. What it isn’t…is new. There’s the sound of footsteps clicking against the tile floor. The cameramen pan up to catch sight of the new arrival, but the brunette woman is already slipping past them and shooting a dirty look to them for hiding in the dark. When Alex Kincaid left SHOOT, he didn’t leave wrestling. He’d been elsewhere. When Alyssa Paige, his wife and longtime manager, fully appears on camera for the first timein over a year there’s a gentle cheer from the more educated members of the audience. No one looks more relieved to see her than Alex does. He stares up at her, sniffs back a bit of frustration that he doesn’t know how to name.

They couldn’t look more different. He looks spent, old, tired and ready to fall apart in his ring gear even after his victory. She’s dressed in a comfy looking sweater, jeans and smiling warmly at him. She lowers herself to the ground and reaches out to his still shaking fist. She closes her palm over it and locks eyes with him. It takes a moment. He keeps staring at her…and the trembling stops. She takes his hand and pulls it over her shoulders, moving against him to cuddle up against the wall. She leans there for a minute, turned toward him and drawing a slow circle on his chest with her fingernail.


He takes a slow, heavy breath through his nose. Holds it in his chest. Then he lets it out through his mouth. He looks down at her and gives her a peck on the top of her head. She chuckles a bit and nods. He nods back and she leans against him again. The SHOOT cameras back up a bit into the dark to leave Alyssa and Alex Kincaid to their recovery. Our last shot is of a dim, flickering flourescent tube above their heads trying to keep the hallway light against the ever encroaching dark…

 

RYAN SAMUELS VS. JOHNNY PATRIOT

Singles Match

IN THE RING

MISTAKES WERE MADE

Ryan Samuels stands triumphantly. He spits down at the fallen Johnny Patriot, the referee taking his hand and holding it high in the air.

 

Jason Johnson: An impressive win by Ryan Samuels here.

 

Eryk Masters: I don’t think we’re going to hear the end of the ‘baby Stein’ jokes, though.

 

As Ryan Samuels aggressively pulls his hand away from the referee, the lights go OUT! The crowd begins to cheer excitedly, not sure what is happening. That is, until the SHOOTron comes to life.

 

With the face of The Speaker. 

 

Eryk Masters: Oh boy…

 

The Speaker: Mr. Samuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuels…

 

The blue light barely illuminates Ryan Samuels. His face is obscured, so it isn’t clear what he is feeling, but his body language looks tense. 

 

The Speaker: M̧̨̛͚͖͚̥͎͊̆̐̋i͓̣͔͊̊̐̚͢š̖̥̰̅͠t̬̟̭̄̏̆̕͞ȁ̵̛̘͖͚͚̅̈́ḳ̛̖͙͖͐͐̃̿͜e̷̛̮̞͎̜̹̮͂̐̉̀s̛͍̳̗͚͐͛̆ͅ͏ ̢̠̬̘͊̄̅w̝̝̦͇̲̱̾̋́̇̚͡è̘̳̪͉̗̂̏̕͞ȑ̘̱̘̗̎͋͊e̲̘͐͆͊̈̚͡ ̝̝̆̉͗͗̿͒͟͞m̧͔̥͂͂̈́̽̀͂a̢͙̲̮̓̽͊͜ḑ̳̬̳̝̓̓̈́̚͜e̸͏̼̪̥͒.̙̅͌͘͢͜͟

 

The Speaker disappears, the lights come up, and directly behind Ryan Samuels is CICADA. Samuels continues to stare at the camera, his eyes darting back and forth, but the energy of the crowd lets him know where he needs to look. Ryan begins to turn.

 

Jason Johnson: Yeah buddy, right behind you.

 

As soon as Ryan registers what is happening, he is STRUCK with a super hard, super precise punch that flattens him. Ryan rolls out of the ring quickly, avoiding more of an onslaught from CICADA. Ryan touches his nose, feeling a bit of blood fall from his nostrils. He yells profanities at CICADA and flips him off, but begins to back his way up the ramp. Johnny Patriot watches on from outside the ring, unclear of what exactly is going on and why this new masked man is here, but the fans are eating it up.

MAIN EVENT

THEY DESERVE IT

The crowd erupts as the chorus to Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” begins.

 

… I’ll get him hot, show him what I got…

 

A blast of fireworks go off at the head of the ramp.

 

Can’t read my, can’t read my, no he can’t read my poker face…

 

Laura Seton, in a white sweater, black pants and matching shoes with her blonde hair down and SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship over her right shoulder, makes her way out as the crowd cheers further.  She poses with a huge grin at the top of the ramp before heading to the ring.

 

Eryk Masters: Our World Heavyweight Champion making her way to the ring, and what a long journey she’s had to get this far.  We’ve both been around long enough to see the entirety of her SHOOT career.  This has been a long time coming.

 

Jason Johnson: It is, Eryk.  I still remember getting in touch with her agent the day after LEGACY closed.  She was always a special talent and what I saw in 2011… well, it happened at Reckoning Day.  I knew it was in her and while unorthodox in it taking 13 years to happen, this is what I always believed could happen for her.

 

Eryk Masters: We’ve always had the best in the world here, so that’s quite the compliment.

 

Jason Johnson: She more than earned it.

 

Laura enters the ring, posing on the corners for the fans before heading mid-ring, mic in hand.  As her music fades out, the crowd kicks in again.

 

LAU-RA SE-TON!! LAU-RA SE-TON!!  LAU-RA SE-TON!!

 

Her eyes pan the crowd as she looks up, almost in awe.  Her mic, even if barely, picks up her reaction.

 

Laura Seton: Wow…

 

She turns her head towards the SHOOT-Tron, catching sight of herself, championship belt in tow.

 

Laura Seton: Wow…

 

Her head turns back to the camera as she…

 

falls silent.

 

Her eyes dart around the arena again as her breathing picks up.  The crowd begins another known chant.

 

YOU DE-SER–

 

Laura quickly raises her free hand.

 

Laura Seton: Okay, hold it, hold it… just hold on.  Stop…!

 

The crowd quickly quiets.

 

Laura Seton: I know everyone loves doing that to veteran champs.  Azraith definitely earned and certainly numerous others, too.  I’m sure I more than fit that Bill too, but, uh… let’s not, okay?  I may have earned this–

 

She directs her attention to the title… and quickly loses focus.  Though she smiles, you can see her eyes begin spacing out.  She looks up again, a strange mix of confusion and delight.

 

Laura Seton: You know, it–…

 

 

 

I wondered…

 

 

A look of thought comes to her.  An odd time for her to stumble on words.

 

Laura Seton: So… I’m really sorry here.  I just… I’ve always dreamed… 

 

Another look of thought before a light appears to go off in the champ’s head.

 

Laura Seton: Let’s go back in time.  Maybe this it’s easier like this; let’s go back, all the way back to the late-90s.  What’s Laura Seton gonna be?  How is she gonna be successful?  How does this kid from Wisconsin use the potential she was lucky enough to be blessed with.

 

Let me tell you, this was the last place I thought I’d find myself.  I didn’t grow up a wrestling fan like so many in the back did.  My high school boyfriend and his friends adored the sport like each of you out there do today and I suppose I gained some respect for it from watching it when we hung out on Monday nights…

 

But it wasn’t for me.

 

And then fate stepped in and did her thing.

 

Because…

 

 

You know…

 

 

She again goes to deep thought, even letting out a chuckle as she starts again.

 

Laura Seton: They say a first love always hits the hardest.  I thought I had learned that first-hand in 1999… but…

 

I was dead wrong.

 

My first love wasn’t the person I spent fours of high school with.  It wasn’t the teenager who watched me play basketball and run track.  It wasn’t that teen that joked around and turned a simple study date into a late-night session of talking about what we loved and hated most.  Or that guy that I’d talk to for hours on end past midnight because we were supposed to be infatuated with one another.

 

No.

 

My first love kept pulling me back.  It kept entering my head on days off when I had nothing to do.  It was what gave me some of the best memories of my life; ones I would NEVER trade.  It gave me a few sucker punches too, but love’s not perfect and glorious, right?  It showed itself to me and let me in…

 

It let me be happy.  It let me share my happiness.  It let me do what I wanted because it cared about me.  It’s taken me almost a quarter-century to figure this out.  My first love wasn’t from high school after all.

 

 

It’s wrestling.

 

The crowd gives a cheer as she holds a smile of slight embarrassment.

 

Laura Seton: And I know that may sound a bit hokey, especially coming from me, the nearly-perennial good guy, but I’m being honest.  I could easily come out here and flip off my detractors and say “F You.”.  Say that I managed to get to the top of the greatest federation out there…

 

Another quick cheer.

 

Laura Seton: But that’s so immature.  And that’s not how I want to reward the sport that’s been so great to me.  And in a sense?

 

Has made me feel guilty.

 

Because I gave so long and so hard to it… and to all of you!  Even if you ever hated me at some point, I did what I could do in in this ring because everyone would still marvel at it.  And I kick myself because yes, I am at a point that was impossible for 18-year-old to reach…

 

But I could have had even more.

 

Because I didn’t realize what I loved.  It wasn’t until I re-signed here two years ago that I finally realized how awesome it was.  How awesome it was to showcase my ability every two weeks.  How awesome it is to be immersed in the spectacles of this sport…

 

… every fucking match…

 

Every fucking interview…

 

EVERY FUCKING TIME I STEP IN FRONT OF THE GREATEST FUCKING FANS THAT EVER LIVED!!

 

A monster of an eruption as the fans eat up the passion spilling from Laura, her voice lightly cracking.  A moment so emotional, her eyes indeed water as she speaks.

 

Laura Seton: I love that fate sent me this way.  I love that I had some struggle attaining the greatest fucking championship to ever exist because it made me love it more.  No one can say otherwise:  The world of professional wrestling is the greatest thing on the face of the fucking Earth and I fucking love my job!

 

“MAKE WAY FOR THE KING”

 

Ohana Bam’s most famous song explodes over the PA, announcing the arrival of the number one contender, the Nate Robideau killer, the inimitable Joshua Breedlove. The crowd goes nuts for the interruption, giving the former champion and current number one contender a welcome that he can only stand in awe of and appreciate.

 

Jason Johnson: Well, you had to know this was coming. He said he’d be here last night, he’s made it VERY clear that his next stop is that very World Heavyweight Championship that Laura Seton holds.

 

Eryk Masters: That’s right, and if there were ever a mega contender for your first defense? Breedlove is him.

 

Jason Johnson: Of note, though, Breedlove has not beaten Laura Seton. Ever. 

 

Breedlove has a microphone in hand and is wearing a black EMPIRE t-shirt over a pair of blue jeans and Jordan 1’s. He’s decked, naturally. 

 

Joshua Breedlove: I’m going to be really real with you right now, Setes. I’ve been watching you over the years, even before you came to SHOOT, and you look good holding that title. 

 

An immature “ooOOoOoOoOOoo” creeps out over the crowd, and Breedlove laughs, shaking his head.

 

Joshua Breedlove: Not like that. Just that being champion suits you. You earned it. One might even say… you… deserve–

 

The crowd cuts him off, FINALLY exploding into a chant they’ve been trying SO HARD to get going.

 

YOU DESERVE IT!!! 

 

Clap clap clapclapclap.

 

YOU DESERVE IT!!! 

 

Clap clap clapclapclap.

 

Laura lowers her head and does her best to keep from crying, but the appreciation is too strong for her.  Her head raises, a small grin to her face 

 

YOU DESERVE IT!!! 

 

Clap clap clapclapclap.

 

Breedlove smiles at the top of the ramp, holding the microphone up, giving the fans their opportunity before pulling it back down in front of his face, giving them a few moments to bring it back down, and then it’s promo time.

 

Breedlove: I’m not going to come out here, run you down, tell you that you aren’t a worthy champion, because as they and I have so plainly stated? You do deserve it. 

 

He doesn’t give them time to cut him off again.

 

Breedlove: And I know that I haven’t beaten you, so I can’t come out here and talk about how you’re the next dub in my column and that belt is something you’re holding for me until we meet. The fact of the matter is that you’ve had my number in every match we’ve had against each other, I haven’t been able to solve Laura Seton. 

 

That changes now, though. 

 

Before, you were a stop on the road to somewhere else. Now, you are my lone, sole focus. It’s funny, whether it was you or Azraith? I was going to have to beat someone I’ve never beaten before. It’s a real weird feeling staring your own failure in the eye, but it’s a new year, a new Breedlove, and a new champion. 

 

So, we’re going to face off, you and me. I’m going to put in the work, you’re going to put in the work, and you’re going to show the world why you were able to topple Godzilla. Why you were able to fell Azraith DeMitri. 

 

And me? 

 

I’m going to show the world why I’m Joshua Breedlove. Why I own every room I walk into. Why that title’s coming home to me. Number three, you know? Record tying. 

 

Don’t get me wrong though. You do deserve it. You deserve it about as much as anyone who’s ever walked through those doors, down that ramp, and into this ring. But here’s the thing… 

 

I deserve it too. 

 

With that, Breedlove smiles, the crowd pops though it’s a bit more mixed than it was when he came out, and the view shifts back to the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion, Laura Seton.

 

Laura Seton: You sound like this is a sure thing.  You and me for date night in this ring.  But, you know, there’s this really cool guy.  Got a cool name, too.  Azraith DeMitri.  Kinda owe him a rematch.

 

The crowd cheers, though with a little less enthusiasm, if only because they aren’t sure what to make of things.  Laura suddenly smiles.

 

Laura Seton: But we had a talk earlier today.  He congratulated me again.  Said he trusted me with what I wanted to do short-term as long as he gets his long-term.  So?  As long as I make it through a sure one or two other defenses?  Get the neon lights ready: 

 

Laura Seton versus Joshua Breedlove.

 

The crowd goes nuts as Laura nods his way.  Breedlove gives a motion of tipping an otherwise invisible cap her way as the show fades to black.