Ben Bronson saunters into the Epicenter with a smirk on his face. Tonight is his night. He ignores everyone that tries to acknowledge him as he passes them by. He slings his duffel bag over his shoulder and makes his way down the halls until he sees the private Proper Villainz locker room. He swings the door open triumphantly and laughs a cocky little laugh as he locks eyes with Victor Thane, RAIKO, and Kintaro. Standing with the three of them is Thane’s security detail Leviticus and…Fuego Eterno?
Bronson: Wait, why is that guy here?
Fuego looks Bronson up and down. His hair is slicked back and his blue and orange mask is fresh to match his blue three piece suit and matching orange tie and cufflinks.
Eterno: Mr. Bronson, Mr. Thane asked me to come in and discuss a few things with him given my recent…elevation in stature among the wrestling community in Mexico.
Bronson: You’re…wait. You’re friends with Kitsune and his brood.
Fuego Eterno looks over to Thane and then to Bronson. He smirks.
Eterno: I am friends with them, yes. And I very much dislike Mr. Thane here. However, I am a…businessman first and foremost. I wanted to hear him out.
Thane: Mr. Bronson, take a seat.
Bronson’s smirk fades and he sits down by a locker. Leviticus moves to stand near him. Bronson looks at Kintaro, who looks away. Then he turns to RAIKO, who sneers and keeps her eyes locked on him. Fuego Eterno takes a step back and watches the events beginning to unfold.
Thane: It is safe to say your war of words with the roster on Spitter has caused a lot of people to have a very harsh opinion of us, wouldn’t you agree?
Bronson: Sir, I…
RAIKO: Agree, fuckface.
Bronson: Yes, sir.
Thane: Joshua Breedlove hates you. Lindsay Troy hates you. NEMESIS hates you. Kitsune hates you. Pat Cassidy hates you.
Bronson: I know, I know, I…
Thane: Mike and Dave hate you. The Unholy Cyber Army hates you. The only person who seems to like you is Chadwick Kyle, and nobody likes Chadwick Kyle. My point, Ben, is that our recruitment has shriveled since you became more…open mouthed on social media.
Bronson says nothing now. That open mouth is very much closed.
Thane: Tonight you are due to face Mike, correct? If you defeat him, we are one step closer to getting our Battalion Championship back where it belongs. But, unfortunately, you haven’t been able to beat anyone since I hired you. To call it a disappointment would be an understatement.
Kintaro: If we’re supposed to be the premiere faction in the company, we can’t keep looking stupid in the ring. I’ve gotta beat Dave. You’ve gotta beat Mike.
Bronson: And Mr. Thane has to beat Kitsune, right?
Thane: If you do your job and Kintaro does his, then there isn’t a need for my match with Kitsune. You two handle the Bone Brigade, we get our Battalion title shot back, we win it, and everything will be fine.
Thane: Fail this task, gentlemen, and we will need to re-evaluate your positions within our organization.
Bronson looks at Kintaro.
Bronson: He has this ultimatum, too?
Thane: Fail this task, Mr. Bronson, and I will reevaluate your position within the Proper Villainz.
Bronson slowly starts to nod. He begins to visibly shake. He looks over to Fuego Eterno, who has begun to ignore him. Fuego reaches out to Thane and the two men shake.
Eterno: I will be in touch, Mr. Thane.
Thane: Absolutely, Mr. Eterno.
Fuego walks out of the room as Leviticus starts unpacking Bronson’s bag for him. Bronson stares ahead, his eyes watery and his demeanor completely broken.
Justin Moreno Vs. Azraith DeMitri (c)
If she wants to dance and drink all night
Well there’s no one that can stop her
She’s goin’ ’til the house lights come up
Or her stomach spills onto the floor.
The opening lyrics to Against Me!’s “Thrash Unreal” kicks on over the speakers in the SHOOT Project Epicenter as Ayumi Seppuku steps out from the back and wastes no time making her way to the ring – microphone already in hand as she slides under the bottom rope.
The crowd buzzes, already knowing what’s coming.
With that, the crowd roars; excited to see that the Ronin Wraith is not wasting any time addressing the looming issue from CONQUEST. The assault of her friend Claire Voyant.
Eryk Masters: The rumor mill has been swirling all week, OG, that the assailant of that vicious attack was a planned effort between Johnny Vignochi and BOSS Koga.
Other Guy: Not only that, Eryk, but remember that this all started with a threat made against Ayumi weeks ago when her locker room was ransacked. Koga has been a shadowy figure in SHOOT, without much of an in-ring presence; but in targeting Ayumi Seppuku these past few weeks he’s definitely finding himself in the spotlight.
Ayumi paces the ring, furious. Her anger growing with each second that passes.
Ayumi: You yakuza piece of garbage! You want me? You want to try and make yourself feel big? I’m here. I’m waiting.
It doesn’t take long before the lumbering figure of BOSS Koga steps out from the back; standing at the top of the entrance ramp. Immediately behind him is Johnny Vignochi; eyeing his client to make sure he doesn’t do anything reckless.
Johnny, armed with his own microphone, raises it to his lips. But before he can utter a word, Ayumi points at Koga and then raises her arms at her side in a “come at me” motion. That’s all it takes for the large beast to break from his manager and rush down the ramp towards the ring.
Eryk Masters: HERE WE GO!
Ayumi doesn’t wait for Koga to close the distance. She runs and launches herself over the top rope and collides with BOSS Koga at the base of the ramp as the crowd goes wild. The weight difference between the two fighters doesn’t seem to make a difference as Ayumi mounts Koga, wailing away on his head. However, Koga quickly turns the tables and rolls over, pinning Ayumi to the ground, trying to quite literally rip her arm off as the Ronin Wraith screams in pain.
Ayumi somehow manages to slip away and slams her feet directly into Koga’s chin, causing him to reel back, his neatly-wrapped hair fraying as he does, a trickle of blood rolling down his nose. He wipes it away absentmindedly, instead reaching into his kimono and pulling out a pair of brass knuckles, fitting them on tightly and launching himself back at Ayumi.
Other Guy: This is a full-on brawl, Eryk! We’ve got to get some sort of security down here.
Eryk Masters: It’s not security, but it may be the next best thing!
Emerging from behind Johnny Vig are the members of VALOR – NEMESIS, Lindsay Troy, Kayden Paulton, Teresa Ames, Courtney Hatchett – they all run down and swarm the two fighters. Rather than go after Koga, they focus on separating Ayumi from Koga.
Other Guy: Good call by VALOR! Ayumi egged on this fight and needs to be held to account.
Eryk Masters: Well. Can’t argue with you there, OG, but Koga should be behind bars tonight for what he’s done; not walking the halls of the Epicenter!
HOLD IT! HOLD IT!
Other Guy: Wait! Really!?
Stepping out from the back is Josh Johnson, Real Deal himself, giving Johnny Vignochi the side eye as he steps out, microphone in hand with a disappointed look on his face.
Eryk Masters: We never hear from the boss. He must be PISSED.
Real Deal: You two! Cut that shit out right now. Do you realize how much it’s cost to repair the damage to this facility because of you? Now I have cops calling me at all hours and I am DONE with it. I don’t care what beef you have with each other but if you’re going to kill each other; at least let me promote that shit first.
The crowd roars.
Ayumi, held back by VALOR, looks up at Real Deal with anger while BOSS Koga begins to back away from the scene – realizing he can’t take on all of VALOR on his own; his eyes cast over his shoulder towards where the SHOOT Project CEO is talking.
Real Deal: I’m making it official. Revolution 166. Ayumi Seppku and BOSS Koga will face off in a Japanese Death Match so you both can hash this out with ANY tools you want to use to do it.
The crowd loses it at this announcement as the cameras cut to a split screen of Ayumi and Koga, each smiling – eyes locked on each other.
Eryk Masters: Holy shit! We haven’t had one of those in… when WAS the last one, OG?
Other Guy: I think it was almost a year ago when Buck Dresden took on Charlie Jay Hitchens! It’s a rarity, that’s for sure. And with THESE two in the ring? Holy cow.
Real Deal: UNTIL THEN you two need to behave. I hear one whisper that shit has gone sideways and the match is off and both of you are suspended until further notice. Got it?!
Real Deal looks at Johnny Vignochi, who looks around nervously and then nods in agreement.
Real Deal: Good? Good. Let’s get this fucking show going, then.
There is a small gym setup backstage. Several Soldiers come and go, preparing for their matches or just getting a good workout in while the gym is open. Ignatius Albert Martin is on a stair climber machine. He wears a large weighted vest, holding each hand on the corner under the arms. Two small earbuds stick out from his ears. He makes no sound, but the machine moves faster and faster. Ignatius looks downwards, seemingly summoning some extra strength, and pushes forward with the stair climb. As the machine begins to slow down, Iggy removes his hands from the vest and braces himself on the handlebars of the machine before vaulting himself backwards from the machine. He grabs a towel and dabs his forehead before tossing it over his shoulder. He makes his way to the Heavy bag. He doesnt even acknowledge the camera before begin combinations.
I sure am glad you looking at me, man. Same names. Ain’t it a funny world where two people could have some stuff in common and still be so far apart.
Punch, punch, kick. Kick, punch, kick. Punch, punch, punch, kick, backfist. The combo’s are crisp, precise. The bags snaps forwards and back towards Iggy with every combination. He exhales slowly on every hit. His speed increasing slightly with every landed hit.
We aint near the same man. You and me? Naw. You used to be a champion. But you ain’t no more are ya? I was born a champion. Y’all just don’t know it yet. But the biggest difference between you and me, Nate?
Iggy nails the back with a solid uppercut before catching it on the rebound, now looking towards the camera.
I don’t ever stop. I wont ever stop. True champions aren’t “unburdened” when they lose that strap. It fuels them. It pushes them harder. You dont step aside for the next generation or use your age as an excuse. You’ve either got what it takes or you don’t. I don’t know when it was that you lost that fire, or if you even had it to begin with. But dont sit there and pretend that you and I are alike in any way. I will alway reach the summit. And if I fall back down, I wont rest until I make my way back up that mountain top. That’s what winner’s do, Nate. That’s what I do.
Iggy walks away from the bag and finds a bench, pulling his towel back from his shoulder and leaning down, hands pressed into his knees. He reaches down between his legs and grabs a bottle of water before squeezing some into his mouth. After wiping the corner of his lips he inhales deeply, arching his shoulders back.
Tomorrow night at Revolution you’re gonna try and put me on the mat. You’re gonna try and slow me down, ground me. Is that right? That’s what your scouting has told you? Ou think I’ve never come across that before? You think your practiced skill is any match for my natural talent? Craig Ehlo trained his entire life. He was a serviceable member of a transcendent Cavalier’s team. Coach drew up a play. The game was in the bag, right? Then he met Jordan. Pause that screen like its been a million times. YOu see that generational talent Jordan, legs spread in the air, fist pumping in victory, a primal scream coming from his mouth? Where’s Ehlo, Nate? He’s in the background. Shoulder’s slumped, staring at the court.
Iggy puts the water bottle back on the floor between his legs. He drapes the towel over his head and leans backwards against the locker behind him. His posture relaxes. His vocal tone lowers.
A talent like me only comes around once in a generation, Nate Ehlo. You’re a challenge to be sure. But life’s a challenge. And a victory against nobody is a hollow victory indeed. No one cared when Ali beat Don Warner…But when he knocked out Sonny Liston? Then people started to listen. I got lucky. I drew a whale on my second fight in SHOOT Project. And I aim to harpoon you in the middle of the ring and let everyone know the I AM here and I AM SHOOT.
Chadwick Kyle Vs. UNHOLY CYBER ARMY (c)
Superbeast gets a hold of Chadwick Kyle by the arm, hauling him to his feet–and in one smooth motion, shooting him into the corner with a hard Irish whip! Kyle has barely had a moment to settle in the corner before Power Devil tears across the canvas and face washes him with a massive yakuza kick!!
Dutch Harris: Chad Kyle is learning just the size of the check his mouth wrote!
Scott Kamura: I think the point has been made, driven home, and beaten into submission at this point!
Power Devil gets a hold of the reeling Chadster’s forearm and looks to his partner, who has placed himself in the opposite corner. He bellows out “Cower!”–Superbeast responds with a definitive “Suffer!” Power Devil whips Chad just as Superbeast comes off of the opposite corner with a screaming hook lariat!! The bell gets rung again and again as the crowd boos in disapproval–and Superbeast is picking Chadwick Kyle back up!!
Dutch Harris: I don’t get it, Scotty! These same people were cheering them on not a month ago!
Both of the Unholy Cyber Army haul Kyle up and push him into the corner. Both members scale to the top, dragging Chad with them, perching the weight of all three of them perilously on the sagging top turnbuckle! The crowd buzzes, knowing what’s coming…Power Devil and Superbeast vault off and flip backward, taking Chadster with them…they BURY him in the mat with a double top rope Spanish fly!!
Scott Kamura: Heaven Torn Asunder!!
Dutch Harris: Exclamation point, Scoots!!
Superbeast and Power Devil stand, staring at the motionless Chad Kyle. “Body Hammer” queues up as the Unholy Cyber Army gather their titles and begin stalking to the back.
Kayden Paulton stands, bouncing up and down on his feet in the back area of the SHOOT Project Epicenter; his attention focused on the curtain in front of him – hearing the crowd reacting to the One. Two. Three. of the tag team championship bout.
His attention is so transfixed that he barely notices the hand on his shoulder attached to his opponent – Blaze Claymore.
Kayden Paulton: Oh hey man, haha you scared me! Good to see you again, Blaze!
Claymore looks Paulton over as if expecting a different response.
Kayden Paulton: Last time we met, I had to book an orthodontist appointment so thank you for that. Ended up finding out I have a cavity. Crazy, eh! Me? A cavity!
Paulton means this as genuine as possible, with no hint of sarcasm in his voice.
Kayden Paulton: I guess I had that coming, didn’t I? I interrupted you so I apologize. Anyway, bygones are bygones so it’s all good here. Did you bring a chair or another weapon this time? I can brace myself for what’s coming if you did…
Blaze, standing in a bright red track suit, lifts his arms to reveal empty hands. Kayden smiles back.
Blaze: Hey, I know we’re on stage next and so I just – you know – wanted to let you know that I had a lot of fun last time and the crowd seemed to love it so here’s hoping we can put on another great show.
Blaze smiles and Kayden nods.
Kayden Paulton: For sure, Blaze. You’re a fun guy… already one of my faves… and we have someone on the roster who summons demons! I love that kinda stuff!
Blaze: MUERTE! Yes! I love his work.
Paulton nods, once again, in agreement.
Kayden Paulton: Well, good luck to you, Blaze. Always good to have new talent here in SHOOT and I’m glad I get to be your first opponent! Now, just be careful – I won’t go easy on you just because you’re new, okay? Make sure you’re ready or you may get hurt.
Paulton can’t hold back his “serious” face.
Kayden Paulton: Who am I kidding? Let’s tear down the arena with wrestling. I’m not here to hurt anybody!
Blaze looks up – his eyes suddenly locking with the camera that had been catching their conversation. The realization of being filmed makes his eyes go wide as he stiffens up, deepens his voice, and laughs confidently, pointing a finger at Kayden Paulton.
Blaze: Listen here, Paulton, not only am I going to beat you, but I will give these fans a memory that will be seared into their brains for decades to come as I destroy you and break every bone in your body – your SCREAMS ringing throughout the arena as I do.
Kayden blinks, continuing to love the conversation.
Kayden Paulton: Okie dokie then! Whatever you think is best!
Blaze smirks and points down at the ground.
Blaze: By the way… your shoes are untied.
Kayden Paulton: Oh! Thanks, Blaze. I hardly notice-
As Kayden leans down to look at his shoes, Blaze shoves Kayden forcely backwards, sending him landing on the hard concrete floor. As he lands, wincing in pain, Blaze looks down at his opponent and shakes his head in disappointment, walking past Kayden towards the entrance ramp, shouting back over his shoulder:
Blaze: What are you waiting for, Paulton? It’s showtime.
Kayden pulls himself up and dusts himself off.
Kayden Paulton: I’m all thumbs today. Proper shoelace maintenance is important.
Blaze is already several feet away, ignoring his opponent as he makes his way toward the ring.
Kayden Paulton: Meet you out there, friend!
Blaze Claymore Vs. Kayden Paulton
Kintaro sits, silently and alone. He has behind him a spray painted “PVz” symbol in white on a large plain black wall. His dark hair with golden highlights is brushed to one side, dangling precariously off of his head. His goatee is highlighted gold as well. He is dressed in a black and gold ECLIPSE shirt, the gear he once sported when he was in the aforementioned tag team with Kitsune.
Kintaro: At Revolution, I’m due to face off against Dave. I don’t remember what the rest of his name is. De la Muerte or something like that, I think. But, yeah. I’m one of a series of singles matches between the Broguns and the Proper Villainz.
He clears his throat.
Kintaro: So what do I say to that? What CAN I say? We made our beds, now we lie in it. I’ve known Kitsune my entire professional career. He and I were a team. We were equals. Then, the company gets restructured and next thing I know, he’s on a plane to America to play solo while I’m left holding the bag. It’s bullshit. It’s bullshit.
He shakes his head.
Kintaro: I’m not here to give you a bunch of stories about our past. I don’t honestly even know what Dave and Mike look like underneath their skulls. But here’s what I do know. I know that I had to force my way to America. I had to convince SHOOT Project to give me a shot. I had to ask for the chance to work with Kitsune. He’s supposed to be my friend. I never bitched. I just came in and I did that. I did what needed to be done to get back to my friend. Never mind…
He stops himself. He’s getting emotional. He can feel it welling up in him.
Kintaro: …never mind that he never reached out to me. Never mind that he…that he didn’t call me. Didn’t get Real Deal to sign me. Didn’t get me a spot. Didn’t even try to tag team with me again. Never mind all that. Hell, never mind that when I got here he had four new friends in Mike, Dave, Fuego Eterno, and even our old rival Tadakatsu. He had all that. You know what I had? Hope. Faith that he was my friend. No evidence. No proof. Just a hope that Kitsune was still my friend.
His head drops. He is fidgeting in his seat.
Kintaro: I hate this stupid fight. I hate that Kitsune is so damn selfish. I hate that his selfishness killed his first faction GODSPEED. I hate that his selfishness led RAIKO to hate him. I hate that his selfishness caused him to rebel against Mr. Thane. I hate that he thinks none of this is really his fault. But, you know what I can do with that hate?
He looks at the camera.
Kintaro: I can take it. I can ball it up. I can look the Broguns in the eye and forget I’m looking at Dave or Mike. Mr. Thane gave me purpose. He gave me a chance. He gave me a spot on the team. He didn’t forget about me. He didn’t let me squander and flail off in the dark. You might ask why I stayed with him. That’s why. While everyone on Spitter mocks us and laughs at us, we get tighter and tighter together. Sure, Bronson’s abrasive. Sure, Mr. Thane’s not always personable. Sure, RAIKO’s…RAIKO. But we take care of each other. We look after one another.
He laughs to himself.
Kintaro: But hey, yeah, keep slapping us down. That’s cool. Keep giving us a reason to stay close together. Eventually, someone else will see us. Someone else will see us. For all the shit you give us, none of you ever bothered to see us. But I’m not angry like Bronson. I’m not looking at everyone’s disdain with ambivalence. Because I’ve been ignored before. By the very guy who swore he’d never do that. What’s the ignorance of people I don’t already know compared to that?
He looks dead at the camera now, swallowing down his emotions.
Kintaro: Sorry, Dave. Sorry, Mike. It’s nothing personal. Not for me. Not with you guys. You guys didn’t even know me like that. But Kitsune? My best friend? My brother from another mother like Mel Gibson and Danny Glover?
He nods his head.
Kintaro: It’s personal as fuck.
YOU’VE GOT THE TOUCH!
YOU’VE GOT THE POWAAAAAAAH!
Eryk Masters: It’s been over a month since we’ve heard that riff, OG, and boy… I can’t believe I’m saying this – I’m glad to hear it!
The crowd erupts as Dan Stein walks out from the back, carrying a Louisville Slugger on his shoulder. He wears a pair of blue jeans and a black SHOOT Project t-shirt. Dan stops at the top of the ramp, briefly.
Other Guy: Yeah, as Dan makes his way to the ring, let’s remember that he’s been away dealing with the premature birth of his daughter, Siobhan, and his wife Molly as she deals with the physical and mental side effects of such a trying pregnancy and labor.
Dan makes his way up the ring steps and ducks into the ring between the top and middle rope. He spins into the middle of the ring, holding the Louisville Slugger high in the air by the handle, causing the fans in the arena to pop. Dan lowers the bat slowly and pulls a microphone from his back pocket. He waits for the fans’ cheers to die down.
Dan Stein: Thomas Brooks, VOID, has been actively trying to destroy my family. On August 21st, 2021, he almost succeeded. Nobody here knows just how close we were to losing Siobhan before she was even born, and Molly along with her. Because of Thomas.
All because of Thomas.
The doctors told me to get ready to lose both of them. They told me the odds weren’t in my favor. That I would be going home alone. They told me that Molly and Siobhan were about to become statistics.
Stein pauses for a moment, collecting himself. He looks down at the mat, rolling the barrel of the bat across it. He looks back at the camera.
Dan Stein: Molly, she made it through the labor, she made it through the c-section delivery, and she made it through the night. She’ll recover.
The fans in the arena cheer for Molly.
Dan Stein: Siobhan… Siobhan isn’t going to give up. She’s going to see this one through to the end. She’s not going to quit. She’s a fighter. She’s a Stein.
The fans in the arena explode.
Dan Stein: Then, at the last Revolution, Thomas invaded my daughter’s safe space. Thomas was in her room at the hospital.
Dan drops the bat, tapping himself on the side of the head hard, repeatedly.
Dan Stein: Like a deranged fucking stalker. Thomas has crossed boundary after boundary and keeps elevating the stakes of the game.
Stein paces around the ring.
Dan Stein: I beat you at CONQUEST. I took everything you had to give, twice, and I still beat you 1-2-3 in the middle of the ring, Thomas. I knew you’d come back. I knew you’d be hurt. I just didn’t know you’d do something so damn stupid. But that’s what I get for thinking. There’s no thinking with you. You’re…you’re an animal.
And I’m going to be the one to put you down.
Stein stops pacing around the ring.
Dan Stein: Thomas Brooks, get your ass out here, NOW, and face me – man to…whatever you are.
Without any further provocation, “Red Death” kicks in and Void steps out onto the entrance stage. He is glaring at the ring, at Dan Stein, and his focus doesn’t waver. He stands there, deathly still. Slowly, his head cocks to the side and he raises a microphone to his lips. “Red Death” fades out.
Void: Daniel, how bold of you to assume you know me enough to say my name. How bold of you to assume you know my surname even. It’s a weak power play to try to find the man behind the mask, as it were, and it shows.
He paces the stage.
Void: When are you going to get it through your little soft shelled brain, boy? I’m not some tried and true dyed in the wool bad guy you can out muscle. I’m not some animal you can take out back behind the shed and finish off once and for all. I’m more than anything you’ve ever seen.
He stops pacing.
Void: I had our daughter in my sights and I showed her mercy. Mercy because I knew that, when she frees herself from that NICU, when she breathes on her own, eats on her own, walks on her own, and lives on her own…I will be there with her every step of the way. Daniel, listen to me.
He starts walking down the stage.
Void: This has to end, my friend. You do not belong here. You want to be a good father and while I don’t think you have what it takes, I’m willing to let you try. But good parents don’t do what we do. So here is what I believe we can do to fix this situation.
Void stops at the ring apron, looking up at Stein.
Void: I enter this ring. I break a few of your bones. I end your career once and for all. You go home, take care of your wife, our daughter. Be a family man. I’d ask how that sounds to you but honestly?
He shrugs and reaches for the bottom rope.
Void: I’m going to do it anyway.
A cry comes out from nowhere as Void releases the hold of the bottom rope and looks around, looking for the source of the thunderous voice. Out from the back marches none other than OBSIDIAN. He stands deathly still at the stage, breathing heavily. His adrenaline is pumping and he is doing everything he can to keep it together.
Obsidian: This…this has to end, Thomas.
The fans are silent, watching this unfold.
Obsidian: You have created a situation that continues to terrorize and traumatize a family. A father, a mother, a daughter. You cannot continue down this path.
Dan Stein is watching Obsidian now. All eyes stare at the older father of Void.
Obsidian: Your hate is a hell of my making, Thomas. It is a roiling maelstrom of despair and fury because of me. It is a regret I will have until my final breath but it is a regret I will not let harm others. Not anymore.
The fans pop.
Obsidian: I hereby challenge you, my beloved baby boy, to a match. To finish this. We shall be baptized in blood. I will face you in an exploding…barbed wire match.
Void’s eyes blink erratically as the fans begin losing it at this announcement.
Void: Whoa wait a second. That’s a little over the top, is it not?
Obsidian: Your time hurting this family is at an end, boy. Even if I have to die to do it, I will see you end this.
Obsidian drops the microphone and walks away from the stage before heading back to the back. Void stares in bewilderment at the stage where his father stood. He turns to Stein, who says nothing. The two men lock eyes before Void slowly backs away from the ring, visibly shaken. His head is dropped, his shoulders slumped, and he says nothing else and acknowledges nothing. He merely leaves.
Brogun Mike Vs. Ben Bronson
We cut to the backstage area right before Gorilla in front of a SHOOT Project “Est. 2001” Spartan helmet banner. Abigail Chase stands by with a microphone, looking as beautiful as always.
Abigail Chase: Ladies and gentlemen… X-Calibur.
X-Calibur walks into the camera’s view with the Iron Fist Championship draped over his bare shoulder. Poised to battle NC-17 over said title in just a few moments, X looks directly at Abigail.
X-Calibur: ‘Scuse me? Forgetting something, aren’t we?
Staring a hole through her, X waits rather impatiently for Abigail Chase to catch on.
Abigail Chase: Oh. Uhhh, ladies and gentlemen… the Iron Fist Champion, X-Calibur.
He looks down and away from her. Impatiently.
The iron Fist Champion X-Calibur: … and?
She looks at X, looking quite annoyed as she tries to think of what else she could be missing.
Abigail Chase: Ladies and gentlemen… the Hall of Famer and Iron Fist Champion… X-Calibur?
The HOFer AND Iron Fist Champion X-Calibur: You’re really starting to test my fucking patience here.
Abigail Chase: Oh for f…. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN… Hall of Famer, Four-Time Iron Fist Champion-
The HOFer and 4-Time Iron Fist Champion, X-Calibur: …right. And?
Abigail Chase: Hall of Famer, Four-Time Iron Fist Champion, 2-Time SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion, X-Calib-
The HOFer, 4-Time Iron Fist Champion, AND 2-Time SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion X-Calibur: …AND…?! Sssss…. Sssssssss… seven….
Abigail Chase: 7-Time World Champion… right?
The HOFer, 4-Time Iron Fist Champion, 2-Time SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion, and OVERALL 7-Time World Champion X-Calibur: AND… one more thing, Abigail Chase. C’mon. You can do this. Your… fill in the blank, now… has faith in you.
Looking like she wants to start crying, she nods, finally getting it.
Abigail Chase: Your-
The HOFer, 4-Time Iron Fist Champion, 2-Time SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion, Pro-Wrestling’s Overall 7-Time World Champion, and The Iron GOD known as X-Calibur: Hall of Famer, 4-Time Iron Fist Champion, 2-Time SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion, Pro-Wrestling’s Overall 7-Time World Champion, and YOUR Iron GOD… me.
The derision rains down upon him from the SHOOT faithful watching on the Epicenter’s SHOOTron.
The HOFer, 4-Time Iron Fist Champion, 2-Time SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion, Pro-Wrestling’s Overall 7-Time World Champion, and The Iron GOD known as X-Calibur: I’ll take it from here, Abigail Chase. You’re excused.
Looking directly into the camera, X’s nostrils flare.
The HOFer, 4-Time Iron Fist Champion, 2-Time SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion, Pro-Wrestling’s Overall 7-Time World Champion, and The Iron GOD known as X-Calibur: I want you to look into these eyes, Encee.
He steps closer to the camera, waiting for it to auto-focus on his countenance.
The HOFer, 4-Time Iron Fist Champion, 2-Time SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion, Pro-Wrestling’s Overall 7-Time World Champion, and The Iron GOD known as X-Calibur: I… own… you. You know how I know you know that I know you know I own your fucking ass?
He laughs after the blatant parody.
The HOFer, 4-Time Iron Fist Champion, 2-Time SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion, Pro-Wrestling’s Overall 7-Time World Champion, and The Iron GOD known as X-Calibur: Because it’s in your eyes. It’s in your voice. It’s in the way you trivialize my accolades when you yourself virtually have none. It’s in everything that has to do with your entire, pathetic existence here in SHOOT Project. Every time you throw together two words to say something “edgy” or “cutting” or “funny” something else entirely for a desperate sound byte that’ll be forgotten the next day, you sound like a watered down version of me from 2003. In fact, I’ll even go as far as saying you are, without a shadow of a doubt, the Wish-Ordered, 2003 version of me. The only difference is you were voted “class clown”… and me? I was fucking voted “most likely to succeed”.
He smirks and takes a few steps back from the camera, adjusting the beautiful Iron Fist Championship across his shoulder.
The HOFer, 4-Time Iron Fist Champion, 2-Time SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion, Pro-Wrestling’s Overall 7-Time World Champion, and The Iron GOD known as X-Calibur: Looks like we both lived up to our “Yearbook Awards”. ‘Cause I stand before you now as THE Iron GOD, with my Hall of Fame certified plaque enshrined here in Las Vegas. Where that very Hall of Fame exhibit is adorned with countless championships and accolades. Meanwhile… you? You insignificant speck on SHOOT Project’s 20+ year history? You stand there like the fuckin’ clown that you are. You… unspecial, uninteresting, unfocused background noise.
Folding his arms, the veins in his arms and neck begin to protrude. You can feel the intensity surging through his veins.
The HOFer, 4-Time Iron Fist Champion, 2-Time SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion, Pro-Wrestling’s Overall 7-Time World Champion, and The Iron GOD known as X-Calibur: You’re tired of me listing all my accomplishments every time I step inside a ring or in front of a camera? Haaaa. Join the loooong fuckin’ line trying to get inside THAT club, dickscab. ‘Cause you’re just like the million other mediocre crybabies who’ve showcased an unmatched jealousy when blessed with the opportunity to test their skills, or lack thereof, against their Iron GOD.
You scoff and shrug off my accomplishments over the last 25 years as if you don’t wish upon a SHOOTing star that you could constantly remind others how good you are… because that’s exactly what you do. And to be honest? It’s all you can do. ‘Cause BEATING me? It ain’t gonna fuckin’ happen.
‘Cause getting that career defining victory over the greatest professional fucking wrestler this company, or ANY company, has EVER fucking seen? That’s not something even a legitimate competitor like Azraith DeMitri OR his SHOOT World Heavyweight Champion daughter could do. Never mind a career-stunted, drug addicted, perennial loser who got demoted to the Indies and spent the last decade of his miserable ass life trying to get a foot back in the door to this place.
Fact is, clown, you’re about to face the biggest challenge of your insignificant LIFE. And when you blow— no pun intended— this chance at SHOOT Project immortality and go back to chasing the Shut Up and Fight Championship like the ignorant fucking goober you are? Those bruises all over your body, that gash; not the one between your legs, rather, the one across your forehead, and that arm which will no doubt feel like it’s hanging onto your body by just a few sinewy little tendrils? It’s going to be the painful reminder that you deserve the repercussions that the Book of Iron and it’s Almighty Creator expect you to reap.
X looks at Abigail Chase standing idly by while looking a bit lost. He continues after collecting his thoughts.
The HOFer, 4-Time Iron Fist Champion, 2-Time SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion, Pro-Wrestling’s Overall 7-Time World Champion, and The Iron GOD known as X-Calibur: So I hope making those vapid, shitty digs at my ring name were worth never being able to wrestle again, clown. I hope you can sit back some day soon, maybe as a high school gym teacher or a middle lunchroom monitor, and tell the stories through your missing teeth and caved in forehead about the time… you got dominated by X-Fucking-Calibur. Your Iron…Fucking… GOD.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, Abz, I gots me a clown to murder.
He harshly smacks the microphone into Abigail Chase’s chest and walks off, presumably getting ready to head to the ring.
Abigail Chase: Wow. Uhh back to you, gentlemen.
We cut from the interview area backstage back out to the ringside area.