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Ruination 058

She stands in her wrestling gear of a red short-cut top with gold trim and matching red shorts.  The colors of The Empire shone brilliantly from her clothing and meshed well with the Sin City Championship slung over her right shoulder.  Her dark brown hair down, mostly over her left shoulder, a few strands covering the edge of the left side of her face.  A face featuring a smiling smirk.

 

Madison Seton: Ah, that feeling.  The feeling of something just fantastic, just brutally fucking awesome about to happen!

 

You know it.

 

Prom night, when you’re meeting your date, knowing what’s gonna happen about five hours later.

 

Waking up on your 21st birthday, knowing what’s to come once evening hits.

 

That anxious feeling that slowly dissolves over time before the amazing climax of the night takes over.

 

You know how crazy things are for me?  Because I can’t even describe the way I feel!

 

The way I tingle.  The way I shake.  The way I gasp for breath.

 

–She gives a quick look that says, “Smart ass”

 

Madison Seton: No, this time I’m not alluding to me and Jack after hours.  Heck, I’m not even talking about the Indiana Fever this time!

 

I’m thinking about my favorite job in the whole world and what it’s presented to me right now!  Because we are entering the second round of Master of the Mat.  The winners are a “Who’s Who” of championship wrestlers.

 

Reason number one I’m not taking this lightly.  Everyone is someone and the deeper I get?  The more real the competition gets.

 

The prouder I am to be able to successfully represent The Empire.

 

We stand now at a Sweet 16 inside the ring.  A sweet 16 of us that all feel we’re just weeks away from becoming a number one contender…

 

–Her confident smile grows huge

 

Madison Seton: To my sister.  I don’t think I need to expound any further how much that opportunity would mean to me.  

 

Reason number two I’m not taking this tournament lightly.  Just look at the grand fucking prize!  A name forever in lights, an accomplishment forever etched in stone…

 

An opportunity to have a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship.

 

Two weeks ago, went from 32 to 16.  By the end of tomorrow night, we’ll be down to eight.  Eight highly-talented wrestlers with so many intriguing reasons to be fighting each other, never mind the implication of Master of the Mat.

 

And oh yes, I intend to be one of those eight.  Just as I intend to be there for the final four.  Just as I intend–

 

I think you get the picture.

 

And there’s no reason it can’t be me.  I’m working at the Sanctum with some of the best trainers pro wrestling can find.  Even when I’m not in a wrestling environment, I’m with promising upstarts and the building of a championship culture in Indiana.  You can’t be hanging around what’s out there and not bleed “being the best.”

 

Oh yes, it’s time.  Let’s keep making history!

EP.: 058

DATE: 05.12.2024

ARENA: THE EPICENTER

We’re minutes away from the opening contest of the evening when doom piano chords and a haunting wail begin their ominous melody.

 

dunnn dunnn dunnn. dunnn dunnn dunnn. dunnn dunnn dunnn. dunnn dunnn dunnn

 

“Stranger fruit, how it grows and grows
We all saw the shoot, but we tend to the rose”

 

“Stranger Fruit” by Zeal and Ardor officially hits the Epicenter’s speakers and the SHOOT Project Faithful let out a loud roar. Cecilia Ryan walks out onto the stage, and just behind her, Kazuhiro Troy. The Heirs to the Throne stop there and look out into the crowd briefly, then at each other. Cecilia smirks, and they start their way down to the ring, not paying any attention to the fans reaching their hands out along the way.

 

Dutch Harris: The first match in the Tag Team Masters of the Mat is set to kick off here momentarily and I’m told that the Heirs to the Throne requested some air time before the bell.

 

Scott Kamura: These two were surprise signings to SHOOT Project, nevermind surprise entrants into the tournament. 

 

Dutch Harris: It was surprising enough that Lindsay Troy returned at Warrior’s Code; many thought she’d never return after that brutal match with Void a year ago. But then to bring both her son and niece with her? 

 

Scott Kamura: You’d think we’d have enough families running around these parts between the Johnsons and the Setons and the Steins and the Coltons and the DeMitris and X-Cal and the TEEF MAN and everyone else, but I guess not.

 

Dutch Harris: ….TEEF MAN?

 

Scott Kamura: I got a text from Richard Parker at PRIME that that’s what they called Arthur Pleasant, just go with it, Dutch.

Cecilia reaches the ring first and simply walks around the corner, climbs the steps, and steps into the ring.

She takes a few steps and then sprints into the ropes.

Behind her, Kaz Troy climbs into the ring and leans against one corner, smiling. Cecilia hits the second set of ropes on the rebound and then stops there, latching onto the top rope and peering out into the crowd. She looks down and holds out her hand, and within seconds, someone from the ringside crew is handing her a microphone.

Cecilia Ryan: SHOOT PROJECT!!

Another roar comes from the arena crowd.

Cecilia Ryan: This is, of course, our first time in front of the fine people of SHOOT, and my cousin and I here thought it would be… quite a shame if we didn’t at least say a little something to our opponents tonight. Truth be told, it was a long flight from Japan, I’m just now getting my legs under me, but my jet laggy mood has not yet improved, so here… is our introduction…

Cecilia pauses, turns, and looks at Kaz, who also has been given a microphone.

 

Kaz Troy: Now, I’m not much for talking, and no one wants to hear our life story. Most of you know it already. You’ve seen me around the Epicenter the past couple years, watching my mom compete. I’m on Spitter now, laughing it up with my sister Ami, but I’m not here for the big jokes tonight. Neither is Ceese. We got out our giggles watching the Collins Twins bumble through a promo worse than Trump at a campaign speech, which is appropriate, because just like the Tangerine Tyrant, nobody with any sense wants you around either. It’s too bad that all of Breedlove’s money in the world couldn’t buy you two speaking skills, nevermind a clue, but I’m not surprised…..dude’s too busy trying to swindle the world into believing he’s a “good guy” now to actually try and help you guys out. 

 

The Heir Apparent shrugs, and smirks.

 

Kaz Troy: That’s alright though. Ceese and I don’t mind taking up the mantle. We’ve got all the time in the world to show everyone out there what this family can do.

 

He gives a nod to his cousin and lets her have the floor.

Cecilia Ryan: Now, it’s my turn to talk to our good friends, the Collins Twins. Boys… (sigh) It’s funny. We listened to what you had to say, and we do have several observations, and you know, perhaps some helpful tips. But a couple of questions first… Are you boys, possibly… Irish? Look, I don’t want to mis-nationalize you, but we were thinking… Irish Spaghetti logo, Irish colors everywhere, bad breath, ugly, prone to wearing a sprig of four-leaf clover behind each ear to keep the banshees away… and St. Patrick’s Day is over, but you still have green teeth, so I can tell you guys are really committed to the bit. If you guys don’t dance a jig down to the ring, I’m gonna be really disappointed I think. You’re either Irish or we’re all unwittingly starring in Leprechaun 13. And I’m not in the Screen Actors’ Guild so I don’t think we’re in a movie. Are you in the Screen Actors’ Guild, Kaz?

Kaz Troy: No, and I’m not a pro-basketball player either, because I’m a wrestler and this is my job.

 

A small pocket of boooos for the obvious jab at Madison Seton.

Cecilia Ryan: I will say, I realize you two are part of The Empire, and that’s impressive. I do have to say also that you are the most colorful stormtroopers I’ve ever seen. And I’m sure you thought the little Nepo baby lines were nice and all, probably wanted to hit us hard right out of the gate… but like all Stormtroopers, you two can’t hit a damn thing. And I would think with all of that Empire money, you might be able to afford some public speaking lessons. Wait, Kaz already said that. It’s fine. It’s worth saying twice. Boys, I’ll tell ya, I’ve heard some really powerful speeches in my time, but you two put the ‘ass’ in passive-aggressive. What’s it like being twins? How do you decide who gets to suck more each week? And why is it always a tie? And my God in heaven, with the accents, I can’t tell if you’re trying to spit out the world’s least impressive trash talk in history or telling us we won’t be gettin’ your lucky charms.

A small murmuring of laughter from the audience.

Cecilia Ryan: Now, you two… clearly, the brain trust of the Empire… may not have had time to look into our fighting backgrounds, but we’ve had time to look into yours. That movie they made about your family… The Banshees of Inisherin?? It was SO good.

Cecilia looks knowingly at Kaz. He whispers back, “SO GOOD.”

Cecilia Ryan: And that one line…

She starts mock-laughing.

Cecilia Ryan: That one line where you…

Laughing.

Cecilia Ryan: Where you… where you… no I can’t… too funny… can’t… sides hurt…

Kaz places a hand on her shoulder out of faux-concern. After a moment, she takes a mock deep breath and continues.

Cecilia Ryan: That one line where you were like… if our opponents are nepotism babies I’m gonna have a very bad day… and then the other guy was like… with a name like Heirs to the Throne, nah they can’t be… Oh my God. See Kaz, the one guy set the other guy up and then the other guy hit the punchline. Oh man, that was so classic. They’re like Laurel and Hardy, only without the talent and charisma and lupus, probably. So funny.

Kaz makes a gun with his hands, points it to his head, and pretends to end it all.

Cecilia Ryan: Really good shit, fellas. Really good shit. Trash talk from a couple of guys in a group named after the bad guys in Star Wars. I bet Emperor Breedlove makes a mean Irish stew. The Collins Twins. What’s the matter? Was the name “Irish Ewoks of Evil” already taken? These are the creative minds we’re dealing with right now. Well, I hope the two of you know how to wrestle better than you speak, you ridiculously overcolored carny ass fuckwits. And guess what, we actually do know all about you, because, unlike Joshua Breedlove’s Boxty Boys, we do the goddamn work. Nepo babies? Sure, whatever you like. But if you know who our parents are, you’ll get your shit straight and remember what that fucking means, how people who run their mouths to our family end up French kissing the dirty end of the gutter outside the arena. We’re taking the family business to the next level. This isn’t nepotism. This is something else entirely.

The joking expressions are all gone, and she holds the mic to the side for a moment.

Cecilia Ryan: Oh but… you boys didn’t do the research…. Pity.

She spikes the microphone to the mat, and Kaz kicks it out of the ring to the attendant. He also tosses his mic to them as they both go to their corner and wait for the Collins Twins arrival.


TAG TEAM MATCH

Master of the Mat: Round 1

#13 HEIRS TO THE THRONE

#4 THE COLLINS TWINS

KAZ TROY

CECILIA RYAN

VS.

ROWLAND COLLINS

MICHAEL COLLINS

POST MATCH

Scott Kamura: What a hard fought win for the Collins Twins over The Heirs to the Throne! 

 

Dutch Harris: I have to be honest, Scott, I didn’t think they had it in them. 

 

Michael and Rowland roll out of the ring and embrace in a hug for a split second before Michael shoves Rowland off of him. Rowland smiles at the agitated Michael, but they both put their index fingers high in the air. First match down. 

 

Scott Kamura: The Heirs to the Throne live up to their family’s names here tonight, but come up just a little bit short. It’s understandable if they’re a little peeved on their way to the back.

 

Dutch Harris: Uh oh, Scott. Looks like Collins Twins Hair wants a microphone!

 

Michael reaches out to a roadie and takes a microphone from the person, gently. As both Michael and Rowland are exhausted, they fall against the ring apron, using their forearms as support. Michael struggles to get his words out.

 

Michael Collins: Not bad for a couple green-toothed Irishmen who can’t speak, I think, Rolly.

 

Rowland nods with a smirk, still exhausted.

 

Michael Collins: Welcome, ladies and gents, theydies and gentlethems, to the Tag Team Master of the Mat. Seems like one set of kids couldn’t get out of their parents’ shadows.

 

Rowland leans over and Michael puts the microphone to his mouth.

 

Rowland Collins: Hey, Wild Ones. We hope to see you in the ring in about a month, but don’t let a little thing like a bracket stop you from seeing us first. Tell Cormac he can come, too. Hell, bring the entire fookin’ clan for all we care.

 

Michael pats Rowland on the chest, feeling him starting to get hyped up again.

 

Michael Collins: Aye, but that’s a discussion for another time, my boy. Tonight, we’re gonna have a POST MATCH CELLY with the Empire because this Epicenter is STILL our domain, and that ring is STILL our throne.

 

Michael tosses the microphone back to the person that handed it to him.

 

Scott Kamura: Sounds like Michael and Rowland Collins haven’t forgotten about Lou and Jane Doe’s attack on them at Warrior’s Code.

 

Dutch Harris: The Wild Ones used The Collins Twins and Long Island Hardcore to set a tone for their arrivals in SHOOT Project.

 

Scott Kamura: After a bloody, violent match, that is, Dutch! Neither team could defend themselves.

 

Dutch Harris: Sounds like the perfect opportunity to strike, then, Scott!



Backstage

BOUNTY HUNTERS (PART 1)

We cut to the back to find HEXXX member Ayumi Seppuku is just arriving at the Epicenter. Even in the back you can hear the pure vitriol from the crowd as the live feed of her arrival is broadcast over the monitors.

Voice: Ayumiiiii… We need to talk.

Anger turns to jubilation as the colorful RIA steps into frame, a stark contrast to Ayumi’s black-and-white, gothic appearance. 

 

Ayumi looks the newly-returned SHOOT Soldier up and down.


Ayumi: No. We don’t.


A frustrated RIA steps forward to block Ayumi’s path as she tries to continue her trek into the Epicenter proper.


RIA: You were a hero, Ayumi. Not just to me, but to our community. You’re really willing to throw that away?

Ayumi’s upper lip curls into a sneer.

Ayumi: Hero huh? So where were you when I nearly broke my neck? Where were you when I was fighting for my career? Why weren’t you in front of Lennox Ferguson’s office every day demanding I be let back in to SHOOT?

RIA’s expression is one of pain and sadness.

RIA: Look, it ain’t like you stubbed your toe or something. What you went through… Of ANYONE here I wanted to see you back in the ring the most! When you came out, I was one of the ones cheering the loudest. You meant so much to people like me, still do. What you’re doing now, though? You’re…. You’re….

Ayumi: Say it, RIA. Call me a bitch. A monster. Just like everyone else.

RIA: No. I don’t believe that. You can’t be… not the same person who hosted allyship training. Not the same person who walked in the Las Vegas Pride Parade. Cut this shit out, Ayumi and come back to us. Come back to your fam-

Ayumi’s face goes from pained, almost… mournful, to absolutely blank, wiped of all sense of humanity as she snaps and points at RIA.

Ayumi: Don’t you dare. Don’t you FUCKING dare call yourself part of my family, because you’re not. And never were. Now get the hell out of my way, I have a match to prepare for.

RIA’s sadness turns to anger as she halts Ayumi’s progress once again.

 


RIA: Fine. You wanna walk that path? Be ready to have a 150 pound backpack beatin’ your ass every other step! Hell, I might even cash in on that bounty, since we’re apparently “not family”.

Ayumi steps back and raises her fists.

Ayumi: There we go. There are your true colors.

RIA crouches down, ready to pounce.

RIA: You wouldn’t know a damn thing bout my true colors, ya Hollow lookin’ bitch!

The pair launch at each other, wrapping each other in a vicious grapple with RIA hip-tossing Ayumi to the concrete floor. Ayumi groans in pain as RIA tries to pick her former idol up off the ground, but Ayumi raises her legs and locks RIA in a modified scissors hold and pulls on the fighter’s arm, trying to pull it out of it’s socket!

RIA screams in pain as Ayumi contorts, turns, and rolls over, dropping RIA to the ground. Ayumi scrambles to her feet as RIA also rises, holding her shoulder. RIA charges violently at Ayumi, looking like she’s going for a spear, but instead drops lower and takes out Ayumi at the knees!

Ayumi collapses in pain and tries to pull herself away from RIA, who is standing up and preparing for her next attack! As she does, however, a red blur appears from behind and sends RIA crashing head first into a nearby stack of chairs!

The red-masked member of HEXXX arrives just in time as they reach down and lift Ayumi up from the ground. The former Ronin Wraith hobbles up as RIA tries to untangle herself from the pile of chairs. Before she can, Red Mask lands a solid kick to the fighter’s chest, pushing all the air out of her lungs and causing her to collapse forward.

RIA struggles for air as Red Mask holds up Ayumi and the pair make a swift exit.

Backstage

A STAR RETURNS

Inside the wrestling ring, the arena buzzing with anticipation. Roy Vezina stands in the center, mic in hand, with Ryan Samuels looking annoyed at ringside.

 

Roy Vezina: Ladies and gentlemen, it feels great to be back in this squared circle! Now, as the captain of the Punch Line, I’ve got some news to share. You see, tonight was supposed to be Ryan’s big night, facing off against the mighty Combat Kabuto. But as fate would have it, I’ve been medically cleared for action! 

 

The crowd erupts in boos, unsure of what to make of Roy’s announcement.

 

Roy Vezina: Oh, don’t worry, Ry. I know you were very nervous for this match, but fear not! Captain Vezina is here to step in and show everyone how it’s done. After all, it’s all about teamwork, right?

 

Ryan looks angry but nods reluctantly.

 

Roy Vezina: Now, Ry, I want you to watch closely, maybe from the commentary desk. Consider this a learning opportunity. You’ll see firsthand how the Punch Line gets the job done! I’m not giving up on you, buddy. We are going to get you back on track and what better way to do it than by watching the master at work. Now let’s bring out my opponent, eh?

SINGLES MATCH

N/A

RYAN SAMUELS

VS.

COMBAT KABUTO

Backstage

BOUNTY HUNTERS (PART 2)

We cut to the back to find Judy Punchinello exiting the craft services area, looking to make her way to her locker room in preparation for her matchup with CK Butcher.

Thunder Fist: I try and I try and I try and they just never get the blood pudding right.

She stops in her tracks as she turns the corner toward the locker room area and sees the red-masked figure from HEXXX standing directly in front of her. Red Mask turns to look and sees Judy, but doesn’t move from his spot.

Thunder Fist smirks, pent-up rage boiling up inside her as she stalks forward.

Thunder Fist: You have a lot of fuckin’ nerve walking around here like you bloody own the place, you piece of shite.

Red Mask doesn’t budge as Thunder Fist closes the distance.

Thunder Fist: I think I may just take Stein up on his offer and collect a little bounty for myself. With how much he hates your guts, it must be a pretty decent reward; but frankly I’d kick your ass just to figure out where Daihm is at…

Thunder Fist doesn’t even wait for a response; she launches forward and begins to pummel Red Mask. The figure staggers backwards, trying to block but unable to keep up with the volley. One hit even places a crack in their mask.

The hardcore, punk, heavy metal fighter laughs as the figure reaches up to touch the mask fracture.

Thunder Fist: Come on! At least you could fight back! You’re not so tough!

Red Mask, however, lets out a pained roar, shoving Thunder Fist up and off of them before wiping off his arms and shoulders. Thunder Fist gets tossed fairly far, but manages to maintain balance, bracing herself for her next attack.

Thunder Fist: So that’s how it is, huh?

Thunder Fist sneers as she takes another run, and this time, finds herself eye to mask with her target. Almost immediately, she takes an immediate step back and shakes her head — trying to extend the distance now between her and Red Mask and hold the figure at bay.

She tries to say something, but she can’t find the words as Red Mask closes the distance. Like the T-1000, they increase their speed with each step until they hit a powerful running CLOTHESLINES Thunder Fist from behind as she continues to try and escape! Red Mask lets their momentum carry them forward, fully placing every bit of momentum into their attack before turning and watching as Judy Punchinello tries to pick herself up.

Thunder Fist barely gets stabilized before Red Mask bull-rushes her again, lifting a big boot to her face and sending her flying several feet backwards onto the cement floor.

Red Mask towers over his attacker as he steps forward, slowly, perhaps cautiously as he tries to check on her vitals. Yet, before he can get too close, the sound of running footsteps can be heard echoing down the hall.

Red Mask takes a final last down before turning and walking away, leaving a semi-conscious Thunder Fist trying to recover as a crew of EMTs and security approach with a slowly-moving Dan Stein right behind them.

Stein looks around at the scene and then over toward Thunder Fist, who is barely conscious. He searches for any trace of Judy’s attacker but nothing seems out of place; as if the attack was from some kind of ghost.

 


The SHOOT COO curses under his breath and clenches his fist in frustration.

Dan Stein: Dammit. 

Backstage

OR ELSE

Backstage at the Epicenter, we come across a familiar duo. A hulking mountain of a man, this time in a white t-shirt and gray sweatpants… for the ladies wink wink nudge nudge, instead of his ring gear, and his manager, a smaller man in his normal getup of a leather jacket, sunglasses, and a black porkpie hat. Moriton and Mr. Ho. Take it away, boys.

Mr. Ho: I’ve been searching all around the arena for you, Kincaid. I know you have a match to prepare for, and we don’t, but I thought you might want to gloat. Yet, you’re nowhere to be found. Curious. Curious indeed.

Moriton snorts

Mr. Ho: I don’t mean to be a lunatic conspiracy theorist here, but I’m wondering if Anna Daniels somehow besting my Mighty Garuda two weeks ago gave you the extra push to win your match. Why won’t you come face my stallion? Get what is deserved for you…

A Voice from Off-Camera: Because your stallion is a loser, Ho.

Waddling onto the screen is none other than SHOOT Project’s least favorite personality, and yes, that includes the people who are actively trying to kill the place at the moment, Felix Mullen, holding a plastic cup of boba tea and wearing cargo shorts and a t-shirt with Jimmy Dore’s face on it. If you don’t know who Jimmy Dore is, you don’t want to.

Felix Mullen: You come out here every other week and talk about how your beefy beefcake is going to run everyone over, and his record in this company is, well…

He takes a sip of his tea before finishing his thought, with mad exaggeration.

Felix Mullen: …baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.

Ho and Moriton simultaneously grumble.

Mr. Ho: Mullen, this is my promotional time that I asked for and received from the office. What are you doing invading it?

Felix Mullen: Oh, it’s your time? Funny, you’re acting like your time belongs to you when it actually belongs to me. You’re behind on your payments, you have my number blocked, AND the guard at your apartment complex has me banned from the premises.

Mr. Ho: You act like I’m the only person who has done all those things to you.

Felix Mullen: None of them owe me money though.

Ho tugs on his collar.

Felix Mullen: Anyway, you should really drop the whole tough guy act. Hard to do that when Big Beef here can’t get the job done when it matters. You know, I wouldn’t be so hard on you two if this place had equitable distribution of income between winners and losers.

Mullen takes another pull off the boba.

Felix Mullen: Besides, there can’t be winners without jobbers. And your big oaf here is nothing but a glorified jobber in my eyes. Pity. Anyway, if he keeps fucking up, I’m going to have to start putting hard deadlines on when I need that money. Maybe you could be an Uber driver or something. I don’t know. But I need to have it soon, or else.

Mr. Ho: Or else what, you orangutan’s anus?

Felix Mullen: Or else the world will know a thing or two about your past, Danny Boy.

 

Mullen walks off in the other direction, but not before slipping on a wet spot on the floor. He doesn’t fall on his ass, unfortunately, but is visibly shaken, at least until he composes himself and shrugs like he meant to do that. Ho turns around to Moriton, who only nods. They walk off opposite from where Felix did, and the camera cuts to another part of the building.

Backstage

WELCOME TO THE SMASHSHOW

We cut from elsewhere to find the interview backdrop all set up. The curtains match the #GrapePurple color assigned to Ruination, where we see Abigail Chase standing with a microphone.

 

Abigail Chase: Ladies and gentlemen, Vito Valentino!

 

There’s an audible pop for The Brooklyn Smasher as he walks into the camera’s frame. He’s geared up, ready to go, and looking pretty pumped up.

 

Vito Valentino: Thanks for the intro, Abigail.

 

A beat. Then Abigail throws him the hard-hitting questions.

 

Abigail Chase: Vito, coming into the SHOOT Project, you were a virtual unknown. You had been out of the business for two years and you had zero previous experience in a SHOOT Project win. And yet, you managed to secure a spot in one of SHOOT Project’s most prestigious events: Master of the Mat.

 

Vito nods, folding his arms while looking down, listening intently.

 

Abigail Chase: Now that you’ve silenced a lot of critics up by defeating an early favorite in “The Midwest Nitemare”, Ryan Samuels, do you feel that your participation in this event is justified, or do you feel like the one win you’ve had might’ve been a fluke and have a lot to prove yet? 

 

Vito Valentino: It’s true, Abigail. Not gonna lie. I came into SHOOT Project without a person in that locker room expectin’ me to do a damn thing in this tournament I mean, who is that guy? Some meatball droppin’ his g’s and lettin’ everyone know he was a World Champion a couple years ago in another promotion that’s not even around anymore? Shit like that doesn’t fly in a locker room with that much ego, warranted or not. But let me answer your questions by answerin’ another guy’s questions.

 

He pauses, then looks at the camera. Shades still on, of course.

 

Vito Valentino: Yo, who am I? I mean, seriously. Who the fuck am I that I’m even tryin’ to compete against a tall, lanky ass blonde pretty boy who thinks he’s the future of a game in which he doesn’t even understand it’s present? I’ll tell you exactly who I am, buddy. I’m the guy who smashed a 300-pound man into the mat and pinned him one, two, three in the first round. And I’m the guy who’s gonna smash a hundred-pound boy into the mat and pin him one, two, three. You asked, I answered. Pretty simple, no?

 

Vito takes a second and removes his pink and black sunglasses. He smirks.

 

Vito Valentino: You don’t get shit, kid. Yeah, I said kid again. Deal with it. Throw another fuckin’ tantrum if it helps you breathe easier. Which saddens me considerin’ that, from my primitive understandin’ here, you come from great stock. Two gyms that focus in creatin’ our stars of tomorrow. Yeah, makes sense. S’why you call yourself the Future. I get it. But the fact is, you assume a lot, but understand nothin’. So digest this, ya bitchy little diva. I ain’t tryin’ to teach you a damn thing in that ring. I ain’t some fuckin’ trainin’ school wizard lookin’ to make stars.

 

He pauses, looking back at Abigail for a moment before turning back to the camera. 

 

Vito Valentino: Nah, see, I’m the guy that beats stars and causes ‘em to fade out. But you can try to wrap me up into one of your fancy pretzels. Hit me with your mat skillz–that’s with a Z just for Gen Z little assholes like you– and try your best to prove to the world why a journeyman technical wrestler with a fourteen-inch waist can possibly beat a MASTER in raw power and Terminator-like focus with arms bigger than your endless ego. But hey, I’m not clueless or arrogant enough to think that you wouldn’t have a chance at catchin’ me in this little dance of ours. ‘Cause if you do? Mazels, baby. You’d deserve to go on and try to do the same thing in the next round.

 

Vito places his sunglasses back onto his face and smirks.

 

Vito Valentino: So good luck, paisano. ‘Cause it’s gonna be a good one, and all you’ve done at this point is motivate me into smashin’ you to fuckin’ bits in the center of that ring and leave you in a puddle of your own namesake, Golden Boy.

 

Looking back at Abigail, Vito bows with both hands.

 

Vito Valentino: Sorry, hun. Didn’t mean to take the interview away from you, but that snot-nosed little punk kinda pissed me off! (laughing at the irony of the word  ‘pissed’) No pun intended, of course. Hahaha.

 

Vito can hear “Life in the Fast Lane” by the Eagles begin to play inside the Epicenter.

 

Vito Valentino: Guess that’s my cue. Welcome to the SmashShow, baby!          

 

As Vito walks out of the picture, Abigail puffs her cheeks out and immediately pushes the air out as if to say, “Well, damn.”

 

Abigail Chase: Well, there you have it! Vito Valentino’s not taking his place in Master of the Mat for granted, it seems. Back to you guys!

 

We then switch to Scott and Dutch at commentary, ready to call the next match for Ruination. 




 

SINGLES MATCH

Master of the Mat: Round 2

#7 GOLDEN BURKHALTER

VS.

#15 VITO VALENTINO

Backstage

WITH INTEREST

 

Anna Daniels in black and white. Sitting on a steel chair, slipping on her work boots. Backstage. One take. Action.

 

Anna Daniels: Alex Kincaid is the most frustrating man to ever deal with. If you listened to his little rant and ramble, he sounds rather calm and all “taking the high road”-y, right? Sounds like a man who actually means what he says. He sounds ready. From an outsider’s perspective, he almost sounds like he knows what he’s talking about.

 

A smirk appears on the vessel’s face as she looks down the barrel of the camera lens.

 

Anna Daniels: But we do see you, Alex. We see you a little bit better than most.

 

The eyes just as quickly refocus back to her prep. But even from this angle, you can tell that gears are turning even when gear is being put on.

 

Anna Daniels: See, that big old speech you gave is nothing new. You said that to us a whole entire lifetime ago too. About how you want to be better. About how you want to make wrestling better. Pretty sure the fans have probably heard it so many times, they don’t hear the words by now. They wanna believe you but deep down, they all know it’s bullshit too. For a man that hates the promo, you pay nothing but lip service. SHOOT may be able to cash those checks, but they bounce right off of me.

 

She makes some sort of motion as if to display a bullet bouncing off of her. Like it’s nothing.

 

Anna Daniels: We also heard you still trying to make us feel shame after all these years. You try to make it subtle and failed miserably. We should’ve squashed that nonsense when we had the chance but we took all the whiny bitching of “you abandoned meeeee” to make you feel better. Not to mention we find it kinda sussy that you’re here talking about people going after your wife when we weren’t planning on doing that at all. Hell, our husband wants to kill you but we won’t let him because this isn’t between the spouses. But if you really want her to catch some strays, we’re willing to conjure some up on the quick.

 

She snags her faux-fur coat from the hook it was on.

 

Anna Daniels: Perhaps the worst part of it is you’re trying to “move on”, but we don’t believe for a second you really know what you’re moving on from, Alex. You think you know. You’ve concocted a whole ass fiction for yourself. Shame us for not asking questions. Why haven’t you asked any?

 

And this is the second time the Muse looks into the camera. As if expecting an answer. As if expecting the man who will watch this back to think. Her head tilts slightly as if listening to something…before once again breaking eye contact.

 

Anna Daniels: Don’t answer. We know why. Because then you would actually have to think about somebody that isn’t you. The answers would mean you would actually have to take some fucking responsibility and if there’s one thing Alex Kincaid can’t do, it’s carry the weight. Use your brain for five whole seconds. Do you really think this match is about Master of the Mat? 

 

Laughter. The coat is on her form.

 

Anna Daniels: Fuck that. This isn’t about the tournament or SHOOT Project or Ace Network or anything else. You have debts to pay, slash. They aren’t monetary in nature, not even close. One of them is a joint account and that debt, you can’t afford to pay. But the professional one? That’s different. That’s the one we’re here for and you can either pay for it with blood, sweat, and tears or you can stay out of business for good. And we wish we could say that either way would be fine with us, but it’s not.

 

A hair flip. Another look into the lens. This one holds.

 

Anna Daniels: Because you could be better and we want our investment back with interest.

 

Fade to grey.



Backstage

HEELS ON WHEELS

We cut to find the members of HEXXX standing outside the Epicenter’s loading dock, huddled closely together, the three members moving their attention back and forth between their teammates and their surroundings.

Ayumi Seppuku rubs the back of her neck, muttering something under her breath.

NC-17: Yeah, no kidding.

Ayumi Seppuku: I didn’t expect to have this much trouble trying to fend off Dan Stein’s guerilla army. We’re getting pinched from all sides.

NC-17: I mean… normally I like that kind of thing, but not like this!

Ayumi crosses her arms, trying to think. But, just then, an out-of-breath Johnny Vig pushes his way out the back of the arena and towards HEXXX. The trio of vigilantes look in his direction. Ayumi is the first to speak.

Ayumi: Any luck?

Vig smiles.

 

Johnny Vig: Third time’s the charm. Whatever Lennox said… it got through to Kellers. Not only is she dropping the charges, but she’s saying that the whole thing was just an accident.

Ayumi’s face shows the slightest pang of disgust, and oddly enough, guilt, but it turns quickly into anxiousness.

Ayumi: How does that impact the timeline?

Johnny Vig: Having the lawyers go through everything one last time tonight, but if Barb is saying that? Then SHOOT can’t point to any cause for Lars being banned and barred. He’s clean… in the eyes of the law, that is.

 

Ayumi and NC-17 let out a sigh of relief.

Ayumi: I knew Lennox was worth keeping on a leash a little while longer. Though, now that he’s persona non grata in SHOOT that may be the last bit of usefulness we’ll get out of him.

NC-17: Yeah, and besides, it’s only a matter of time before Mike O’Malley’s side piece decides to do something stupid with that flash drive. Then Lennox really becomes potatoes au gratin.


Ayumi and the red-masked member of HEXXX cock their head to the side, confused and trying to process the failed homonym.

NC-17: Nevermind. Vig. How quickly can Lars get here once the Ts are dotted and the Is are crossed? We need him to fend these goofballs off until we can get all the pieces in place for Phase II at Master of the Mat.

An exasperated Vig holds up his hands in a pleading gesture.

Johnny Vig: Look, it could be in 10 minutes, 10 hours, 10 days, or… who knows. Johnson and Stein absolutely do NOT want Lars roaming the Epicenter hallways again and they are going to fight this tooth and nail. We just have to hope that the justice system works the way it’s supposed to.

NC-17: You mean you hope the checks clear before the weekend?

Johnny Vig: You know damned well that’s what I meant.

Ayumi steps forward and puts her hands on the shoulders of NC-17 and Red. 

 

Ayumi: I figured this may happen and I have a contingency; and she should be arriving any minute now.

NC-17: She?

As soon as Ayumi says the words, a pair of headlights cut through the darkened back area of the Epicenter as a non-descript black van pulls up directly in front of the HEXXX members. Vig and NC-17 look confused until the driver’s side window rolls down and sitting behind the wheel is Ayumi’s partner Zee.

Zee: Santa Zee has arrived! Come on and get your presents.

NC-17, Red, and Vig follow Ayumi as she pulls open the back doors of the van to reveal stacks of crates overflowing with random objects. But not just any random objects… specifically these are instruments of violence… fluorescent light tubes, hammers, baseball bats, ice picks, meat hooks, crowbars, and even a damned cactus.

Vig: Christ almighty; you’ve got everything here from A to…

Ayumi: Zee. You’re the best.

Ayumi walks over and gives her fiance a peck on the cheek as NC-17 furiously digs through the assortment like a kid on, well, Christmas Day.

Zee: Yeah, yeah. Just stay employed long enough to pay off the Home Depot card for all this shit. And most of all, don’t give those fuckers the satisfaction of seeing you bleed. That’s something only I get to do.

Ayumi smirks as she walks to the back of the van while Vig just keeps shaking his head in a mix of disgust and admiration.

Ayumi: Hurry up, folks and grab something. Especially you, Seventeen. We’re going to need everything and the kitchen sink for our fight against those Mother Fuckers.

Ayumi pauses and smiles as she reaches down and pulls out something familiar from her native country… a barbed-wire-wrapped kanabō.

Ayumi: There we are…

She lifts the heavy weapon by its base and inspects it carefully. Her intense gaze is matched by the wide-eyed looks of NC-17 and Vig.

Ayumi: I think I’ll name her…. Barbie.

 

TAG TEAM MATCH

Master of the Mat: Round 1

#5 PLANET MF

#12 HEXXX

PIGPEN MATSUMOTO

TRAILER TRASH TERRY

VS.

AYUMI SEPPUKU

NC-17

Backstage

IN DUE TIME

There’s so much on his mind.  He’s being haunted by his past while fighting to secure his legacy.  That’s why CK Butcher is kneeling.  He’s praying.  The silence tells us that he’s in a conversation with his God.  His right forearm rests against the block wall of the Epicenter.  He pounds the side of his fist three times against the wall and then the prayer is finished.  Mary Kelly slowly walks into the picture as Butcher stands.  He adjusts the brand new CK Butcher “RISE” t-shirt that he’s modified to be sleeveless.  His match is soon, so he’s dressed to wrestle.  He smiles but does not make eye contact with the interviewer.  That’s most likely a result of the visions he’s seen, and perhaps not making eye contact will stall Evil Butcher from manifesting?  Mary cautiously side-steps.

 

Mary Kelly: CK – you are about to face off against Thunderfist in round two of the Master of the Mat tournament.  You’ve had a great start to your return, but there seems to be something else that you’re fighting as well…

 

A smirk from Butcher that’s followed with a brief moment of contemplation.  He scratches the sandpaper stubble on his chin.  He continues to look away.

 

CK Butcher:  Mary, I uh…I’ve been given a challenge, and I need to go at it head on.  You’re absolutely right – there is something else that I’m fighting.  Let’s not go into that right now.  Tonight I need to focus on Thunderfist.  Every person in this tournament wants to win it.  Especially her.  They want a chance to win the World Heavyweight championship.  I’d love to get back to where I was a few years ago, but I won’t dwell on that.  One match at a time.  One step at a time.  Win or lose – I will keep fighting and I will not fail.  I will not stop.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I don’t need to win this tournament to define my future.  I just need to be better than I was yesterday.  Not a damn thing can change that.  

 

Someone could change that, and it’s apparent from Mary’s reaction that someone is standing next to CK Butcher.  Are you expecting the Evil Butcher?  It’s Ultimo Muerte breathing through his mask like a raging bull.  He’s got this minor shake to him that makes it seem as if he’s ready to pounce.  Mary’s smart enough to understand that she’s standing in a minefield and she escapes before the bombs go off. Butcher turns to face the masked nemesis.  The tip of CK’s nose is just a centimeter from tapping Muerte’s mask.  He stares into the empty blackness that are Muerte’s eyes.  Butcher begins to breathe heavily, his brow furrowed, and his upper lip quivers with his chin.  Muerte releases a bitter grunt.

 

CK Butcher: I won’t dare you to make the next move.  I demand you make the next move.  Sending you into the fire may be against what I am setting out to prove, but I can repent tomorrow and all will be forgiven.

 

This isn’t going to happen tonight.  Muerte may have stoked the fire two weeks ago, but it’ll slow burn for now.  Pandora uses her hands like the jaws of life to spread both men apart from each other.  She stands between them.  Muerte looks at his handler as she nods.  She’s got Butcher’s undivided attention.

 

Pandora: Your faith allows you to repent and all is forgiven? How interesting. Ultimo Muerte’s faith has kept him tethered to our plane for centuries because of the things he’s done. Because of the things of which his creator knows he is capable. Unable to face his reckoning, because this is his reckoning. 

 

Pandora stares at CK Butcher. Her 6’3” frame is no slouch for the equally massive men around her.

 

Pandora: So, he must do as his coven wishes.

 

CK Butcher: And that’s to go after me? Or was that your doing?

 

Pandora nods, thinking for a moment.

 

Pandora: It’s true. I did cause Ultimo Muerte to attack you without the well wishes of the High Brujah, but I assure you she is very much in favor of our sights set on you once the Master of the Mat tournament finishes. 

 

CK Butcher:  What do you gain from it?  Not him.  I’m not concerned with your puppet right now.  I’m curious about you, since it was you that cast the first stone.  What’s in it for you?  You’re not doing this strictly because Ultimo Muerte wants to use me as a stepping stone.  A lot of this is you…doing this for you.

 

Pandora smiles at CK. 

 

Pandora: Yes, well, we all have our driving forces, don’t we, Mr. Butcher?

 

That’s a question that Butcher knows he’d rather not answer.  He stares at Pandora for a few seconds and then smirks.

 

CK Butcher: Stay focused on the tournament.  No matter the outcome…

 

He points directly at Ultimo Muerte.

 

CK Butcher: He and I will do this dance the right way. 

 

Butcher turns his back to Ultimo Muerte and pauses there. When Muerte doesn’t attack, he smirks again and walks away. Pandora looks at Ultimo Muerte, placing a hand on his chest near his shoulder to soothe him.

 

Pandora: In due time. 

 

She pats Muerte where her hand is, and the camera fades out.

Backstage

BOUNTY HUNTERS (PART 3)

We head backstage after the match to find Ayumi Seppuku and NC-17 briskly walking down a hallway and licking their wounds from the brutal tag team action they just competed in. Ayumi seems on high alert, considering HEXXX has already been confronted by multiple assailants earlier in the evening. NC-17 is distractedly trying to remove a fork from his back thigh.

 

NC-17: Does Pigpen Matsumoto have a whole dinner set in his underwear or what? God damn fucking forks.

 

Ayumi, no stranger to Pigpen’s Matsumoto’s patented fork attacks, gestures at her own leaky arm.

 

Ayumi: I’m bleeding like a stuck pig. I’ve got to get this wrapped up before somebody else tries their luck with us. You coming?

 

Seventeen crouches, trying to extract the dinnerware as slowly and painlessly as he’s able to.

 

NC-17: You go ahead-I’m right behind ya. I gotta get this fucking thing out, it’s KILLING me. 

 

Reluctantly, Ayumi heads through a set of double doors, checking down both sides of the hallway before she does, before ultimately leaving the cream of obscene on his own. He winces as is finally able to remove the fork, like King Arthur removing his sword from the stone.

 

NC-17 looks around to make sure nobody’s watching. Then he tastes his own blood and makes a face.

 

NC-17: Ew.

 

Meanwhile, “Street Fighter” Scottie Barnes is waiting around a corner. He douses a wooden chair in lighter fluid but he doesn’t have much in the bottle so he just kind of rubs it around the chair as best he can. With hate in his eyes he lights it up. The chair is mildly on fire, like a fire you would put out but wouldn’t really rush about if. As NC-17 turns the corner Scottie bashes him over the head.

 

Scottie: EXTREME!

 

As he swings it the flame goes out and the chair bounces off of NC-17’s head uselessly.

 

NC-17: HEY MAN, what the FUCK?!?!

 

Unfortunately, it seems like Scottie didn’t swing with enough force–while Seventeen is definitely smarting, he’s nowhere near incapacitated. If anything, he looks extremely agitated.

 

NC-17: NOT COOL, dude. Seriously, that fucking hurt. 

 

The king of crass squints, trying to ascertain WHO it was who actually hit him…and looks Scottie over with a disdainful eye and the sneer of a man who just smelled a fart on the city bus.

 

NC-17: Who–what are you even supposed to be? What, SHOOT’s letting the CAMERA GUYS try to collect on the bounty too?

 

Scottie pulls the chair back as if he’s going to try again but then decides against it and puts it down. Patting it and stepping back.

 

Scottie: I, I don’t know man, sorry, I thought this would, I thought it would be cool. Do you think it was like…bad ass?

 

Seventeen is incredulous.

 

NC-17: Bad ass? Stick to post-production or catering or…fuck, do you even WORK here?

 

The cream of obscene touches his forehead, then checks his hand for blood. There is none. He looks disappointed and disgusted as he walks off, shaking his head and muttering to himself. 

 

Scottie reaches for the chair again and looks towards NC-17. 17 shoots him back a quick glance as he drops it and slinks away. 

SINGLES MATCH

Master of the Mat: Round 2

#14 C.K. BUTCHER

VS.

#11 THUNDERFIST PUNCHINELLO

IN THE RING

CALLOUT

The lights go out, as video screens suddenly show a scene from 1953’s “The Wild One.”

 

Mildred: Hey, Johnny, what are you rebelling against?

Johnny: Whaddaya got?

 

Flames erupt from the edge of the stage as Skid Row’s “Youth Gone Wild” starts to blare through the Epicenter, and it doesn’t take long for the crowd to shower the Wild Ones in boos.

 

Dutch Harris: The crowd making it very clear just how much the Wild Ones got under their skin at Warrior’s Code.

 

Scott Kamura: No real surprise there, coming in and devastating both the Collins brothers AND Long Island Hardcore after one of the most brutal matches we’ve seen in a while. I wouldn’t expect the Wild Ones to care too much about that, though.

 

“The Deathmatch Debutante” Lou, in her “Profane Heart” merch T-shirt, stands at the front of the trio, kendo stick over her shoulder. Jane Doe stands behind her to her right on the stage, with Cormac Nelson, his face painted with a skull, on her left, all three in leather motorcycle vests with the “Wild Ones MC Las Vegas” patches on the back. They take their time getting to the ring, with all three jawing with fans at ringside, before Lou slides under the bottom rope. Jane moves to the side of the ring facing the hard cam, hopping up onto the apron, then doing a split and crawling backwards toward her tag partner. Cormac goes to the opposite side, jumping up and through the ropes as the three meet in the center of the ring. Lou stands behind Jane, holding the kendo stick up, with Cormac behind her, raising the opposite fist. Cormac calls for two mics, handing them over to the ladies.

 

Dutch Harris: Ugh, here we go.

 

Lou walks over to the ropes, letting her arms rest on the top rope she’s barely tall enough to rest on.

 

“The Deathmatch Debutante” Lou: Y’know, I thought things were gonna be different when we came back. SHOOT Project has such a reputation for being progressive and shit. Hell, three out of four champs are women, right? So yeah, I had high hopes.

 

When we first debuted in the EWA way back in 2015, we did something similar to what happened at Warrior’s Code. We came in, we beat the bloody hell out of Long Island Hardcore, and started what might be the single best tag team run in wrestling history. And yet… at every fucking turn, we were underestimated. We were put down. I can think of exactly two opponents we faced during our time there that didn’t try to demean us as “little girls in a man’s world.”

 

Even though we had beaten Sinnocence and Osbourne Kilminster in our second fucking match. And he was the World Champ at the time! And they were at the peak of their relationship!

 

Even after we broke the record for longest tag team championship reign in company history.

 

Even after we lost the belts, won them back, and broke our own record to do it again.

 

Jane Doe: And here we are, coming back to SHOOT Project, our second time here. Granted, our first run was nothing special, but this time, we show up and show out, and we make a fucking statement. We spoil the Collins Twins victory, and then send Long Island Hardcore back to the retirement home.

 

You’d think that would be enough to earn a little respect around here.

 

And yet, here we are.

 

Lou: Yeah, here we are, about to be across the ring from a couple of rejects from Disney historical films.

 

Jane Doe: Seriously. What the fuck is this bullshit? You have a, frankly, legendary tag team coming back, throwing their name in the hat for Master of the Mat, and you throw us against… Boone Daniels and Crockett Davies? Two reenactors who nobody’s ever heard of, and haven’t even had a match here? And you have the GALL to rank them above US?

 

It’s 1000% horseshit, and we aren’t going to take that kind of thing lightly.

 

Lou: No, we aren’t. I don’t know who made this decision, but let’s be honest, there’s only one person that the blame can truly fall on, and that’s you, Real Deal. The buck stops with the boss, don’t it?

 

Now, far be it from me to wish ill on the Coltons, who I would love to beat the piss out of in the next round, but I really, really hope you and Eddie take the win tonight, Josh.

 

Because I want nothing more than to show you two just how much you should regret disrespecting us.

 

But that’s for the future. First things first, bring out the fucking Frontiersmen or whatever.

 

Lou and Jane toss the microphones down, throwing their vests to Cormac, who slides out of the ring with the kendo stick.

 

Scott Kamura: Did… did they just call out the boss?


Dutch Harris: Seems that way. Ballsy move, and one I’m sure will not go unnoticed by the Brass.

IN THE RING

HELLO LOVER

The Wild Ones stand across the ring from the Kings of the Wild Frontier, everyone doing their final stretches and strategizing before the match begins. The referee takes the center of the ring, doing a final check to see if all teams are ready. As he is about to signal for the bell-

 

I Wanna Feel It Day and Night!

 

-”Pump It” by Electric Callboy hits.

 

Scott Kamura: Oh man, what are our illustrious champions doing here.

 

Dutch Harris: Scouting the competition, making their presence know, you know, everything that champions should be doing, Scott? 

 

Maximo Fisico emerges. He wears a large, garish pink sun hat, heart sunglasses, green bike shorts that say “JUICY” in pink letters on the butt, and a pink mesh shirt. Over both of his shoulders are slung title belts, one of which is his SHOOT Project tag team championship and the other is the Sexiest In SHOOT title. He has a sun umbrella in one arm and a fold-out chair in the other. The Kings of the Wild Frontier look flabbergasted. The Wild Ones seem mildly amused.

 

Scott Kamura: He knows this isn’t the beach, right?

 

Dutch Harris: Listen, Scott, when you’re the champion, and you look like Maximo Fisico, everywhere is everything you want it to be.

 

Maximo sets up his fold out chair, which is a pink and green “LUCHA FITNESS” branded chair. He opens the umbrella to reveal that it, too, is pink, green, and branded as Lucha Fitness. He blows a kiss to Lou. The mic picks up Maximo saying ‘hello lover’. Lou gives him a wink before returning her attention to her partner and the match. As Maximo sits to watch, he spots Cormac Nelson on the outside. The mic picks up him saying “Que Lindo”! Cormac ignores the luchador.

 

Scott Kamura: I guess this is one way to remind everyone that you are the champion and you are what everyone is fighting for in the tag team edition of Master of the Mat.

 

Dutch Harris: We’d like to remind everyone that the line of Lucha Fitness branded beach merchandise is available on shootproject.com/store, just in time for summer!



TAG TEAM MATCH

Master of the Mat: Round 1

#9 THE WILD ONES

#8 KINGS OF THE WILD FRONTIER

JANE

LOU

VS.

BOONE DANIELS

CROCKETT DAVIES

POST MATCH

As the Wild Ones are declared the winner, Maximo Fisico stands from his chair and applauds. He seems to try to get a “WILD ONES!” chant started, but the crowd largely ignores him.

 

Scott Kamura: It seems one of our tag team champions is pretty satisfied with the results of this match.

 

As Maximo starts packing up his beach gear to leave, “Out of Control” by the Eagles hits, and the crowd erupts. Maximo’s eyes go wide as THE COLTONS dart to the ring. Maximo’s eyes go wide. Dennis goes one way, Benny goes the other, leaving Maximo no choice but to leap on top of the announce desk and climb over Dutch Harris.

 

Dutch Harris: Oh god, dude, GET OFF ME! RUN AROUND US OR SOMETHING!

 

Maximo is over the barricade and gone into the crowd as fast as possible, leaving The Coltons flustered. They see the Lucha Fitness branded beach gear and begin to destroy it, which gets a pop from the crowd  

 

Scott Kamura: Not the beach merch…

 

Dutch Harris: Why was he so…greasy…

 

Cormac wastes no time sliding into the ring, and whipping Boone to the corner! Boone hits hard, and Cormac slides out, just in time for Jane to NAIL Boone with a shotgun knee strike! Boone crashes into the turnbuckle in a seated position, and Cormac grabs his arms!

 

Scott Kamura: He’s got handcuffs, Dutch!

 

Dutch Harris: What the hell are they doing?!

 

Following the brief distraction that is the Coltons chasing away Maximo Fisico, Cormac Nelson slides into the ring and throws Boone into the corner. Cormac handcuffs Boone’s hands under the bottom turnbuckle, immobilizing him! He tosses the kendo stick to Lou as he slides into the ring, and he and Jane pull Crockett to his feet! Boone is struggling against the handcuffs to try to help his partner, but Jane and Cormac hold each of his arms! Lou picks up a microphone!

 

Lou: I just want to make sure you’re completely aware… you did this to them, Deal.

 

Crockett is attempting to escape, but Jane and Cormac have him held tight! Lou raises the kendo stick–

 

Dutch Harris: It’s the Collins Twins!

 

Sure enough, Michael and Rowland come bolting down the ramp, sliding into the ring, where the Wild Ones scatter like cockroaches! Rowland checks on Crockett as Michael starts arguing with the trio on the ramp, leaning over the top rope!


Lou: You’re just delaying the inevitable, Mikey! I want blood, and I’m gonna get it!

SINGLES MATCH

Master of the Mat: Round 2

#5 KINCAID

VS.

#13 ANNA DANIELS

IN THE ARENA

RECORD SKIP

“Out of Control”  by the Eagles hits over the PA. The crowd pops as The Coltons come out, focus and determination on the faces of both. Benny takes a moment to pose for the crowd a little, while Dennis is lost.

 

Scott Kamura: A lot has to be going on the minds of the Coltons. They failed to get revenge against Maximo Fisico earlier, and now they have to take down two SHOOT Project legends to move on in the Master of the Mat tournament.

 

Dutch Harris: Please don’t remind me. The salt of Maximo Fisico is still in my nose. 

 

As the Coltons get to the bottom of the ramp, there is a sudden record skip and their music stops.

 

I Wanna Feel It Day and Night!

 

“Pump It” by Electric Callboy hits over the PA and is met with an eruption of boos. The Coltons turn as the lights dim and a pink spotlight shines on the ramp. The Cotlon boys look back at The Brass, shrug, an then proceed to walk back up the ramp, towards the spotlight, to meet Lucha Fitness.

 

Scott Kamura: Second chance here for the Colton boys, but it may not be the best idea to lose focus!

 

The Colton boys wait a second, realizing that it doesn’t seem like Lucha Fitness is coming out. They disappear behind the curtains for a moment but come back soon after, frustrated that Lucha Fitness isn’t there either. 

 

Kid Lucha: Hey, dumbasses! Up here!

 

The pink spotlight suddenly shines up to a skybox. Kid Lucha and Maximo Fisico are in the skybox, both of them enjoying those giant slushy drinks that are so popular in Las Vegas, both of them wearing the tag team titles on their waist, Maximo still with the Sexiest In SHOOT title on his shoulder. 

 

Maximo Fisico: We are not trying to fight you, hermositos. Wouldn’t want to ruin the fun of Los Jefes. 

 

Kid Lucha puts down his slushy and picks up a sign that he puts against the window. It reads “The Coltons Are Bad! BOOOOO!” He puts the sign down, picks up his drink, and toasts his tag team partner. The Coltons look flustered, especially Benny, who shouts threats and profanities at Lucha Fitness. Dennis pats his cousin on the shoulder and motions for him to focus up as they both head to the ring.

 

Scott Kamura: The mind games from Lucha Fitness continue, and you’ve got to think this is putting The Coltons in a head space they really don’t want to be in.

 

Dutch Harris: Did Lucha Fitness just get the entire AV team to set up a moment where they just…sit in a skybox?

TAG TEAM MATCH

Master of the Mat: Round 1

#1 THE COLTONS

#16 THE BRASS

BENJAMIN COLTON

DENNIS COLTON

VS.

EDDIE E.

REAL DEAL

Backstage

FOOLISH PEOPLE

Pandora is dressed in a red pantsuit as she walks in front of Ultimo Muerte through the backstage area. Muerte wears his traditional wrestling attire: long red pants with black and gold trimmings, but wears a black death mask for the Master of the Mat tournament, one with a large pink flower on his forehead. Stopping them from walking forward is Mary Kelly and her camera person. Pandora smiles politely, while Ultimo Muerte exhales through his nose like a bull behind her.

 

Mary Kelly: Pandora, earlier tonight and during the last set of shows, you and Ultimo Muerte have made CK Butcher well aware of your intentions to target him after Ultimo Muerte’s Master of the Mat by targeting him during Master of the Mat. Are you worried your attention on Madison Seton has waned while you concentrate on CK Butcher?

 

Pandora nods, looking around the backstage area. Mary holds the microphone out to her.

 

Pandora: First and foremost, Ms. Kelly, thank you for your time. Secondly, thirty seconds of distractions with Mr. Butcher does not negate two weeks worth of research, of training, and of dedication to Ultimo Muerte’s very, very gifted opponent, Madison Seton. There is a reason why she is Sin City Champion, and I have made sure that she will be getting Ultimo Muerte at his very best tonight.

 

Mary Kelly nods, pulling the microphone to her own mouth.

 

Mary Kelly: You’ve been in positions like this before, Pandora, where Ultimo Muerte has had runs of success marred by tough defeats that seem to sour SHOOT Project leadership on the massive man behind you. Should tonight not go your way, how do you expect your relationship with Ultimo Muerte to continue?

 

Pandora smiles at Mary Kelly, but something seems off. She takes a breath and her throat contracts hard, all while smiling still. Nervousness floods her pores.

 

Pandora: That, Ms. Kelly, can not happen. It won’t happen.

 

Pandora stresses the word “won’t”, as if she doesn’t believe it. Pandora pauses, collecting herself.

 

Pandora: Tonight will go Ultimo Muerte’s way, one way or another. 

 

Pandora nods slightly.

 

Pandora: Thank you, Ms. Kelly.

 

Ultimo Muerte’s music hits the PA system. He brushes by Pandora, leaving her to chase after him slowly down the hall. The camera fades on Mary Kelly.

MAIN EVENT

Master of the Mat: Round 2

#1 MADISON SETON

VS.

#9 ULTIMO MUERTE