All ya’ll better prepare yourselves as each and every one of them walk, NAY, saunter like the motherfuckin’ GODSPEED motherfuckers they are, down a nonspecific corridor in the Epicenter.
We are mere hours away from Ruination going live on the SP+ app. Like, the concession folk aren’t even there yet. The t-shirt stands are empty — which is kinda silly if you think about it since we always at the Epicenter. Regardless of weird continuity shit, all of them are geared up looking like some kinda extra version of West Side Story with SHOOT profiles. Only with a purple fox, a Mexican, a buff ass lookin’ Jin, and… well, whatever the fuck you wanna classify SKR as.
Kitsune: I’m feelin’ it. You feelin’ it?
Fuego: Si. I feelin’ it.
Kitsune: What about you, Jin? You feelin’ it?
Jin: I am certainly feeling it.
Kitsune: You fuckin’ white ass motherfucker. HAHAHA. I love it. YO. SKUUUUR. You feelin’ it?
Kitsune: Oh he feelin’ it. I know he feelin’ it. FUCK. I’m pumped.
They continue sauntering, NAY, amblin’ and promenadin’, around the backstage area as they come up on… Scott Kamura.
Scott Kamura: Oh hell no.
Kitsune lights up like midnight at Rockefeller Center on December 25th.
Kitsune: EYYY. The fuck you doin’ here!?
Fuego: Si! I feelin’ it.
Kitsune: What… yeah, no, we got that Fuego. SHH.
Scott Kamura: Well, for starters, it’s Ruination. I am the announcer. Dutch Harris is the color commentator. Why else would we be h-
Kitsune: Ey Scott.
Scott doesn’t want to say anything. He knows he’s about to get “got”. There’s a silence that fills the air as motherfuckin’ GODSPEED all just wait for Scott to sell the bit. He’s taking a little too long, though. Stubborn bastard, that he is. Kitsune sighs. Scott sighs. Kitsune sighs louder. Scott chokes on his spit which will not be cut from the editing room floor. Scott throws his hands up, causing the show notes he had clutched in his hands to ruffle as they hit his khaki-clad hip.
Scott Kamura: Ugh. Why me? Wh-
Kitsune: SHUT THE F-
???: OI! Ef et esn’t te purple feckin’ fox and his merry band of misfits!
Kitsune: … no…
Scott Kamura: HAHAHA. Yeah, I’m out. Priceless.
Kamura walks away as none other than SHOOT Project’s latest acquisition, Blade McGuinness, waltzes, NAY, walks the fuck up to all of motherfuckin’ GODSPEED.
Blade McGuinness: Ye thenk yer ruddy clever showin’ up early to te show, don’cha? Lucky for me, Oi’ve got te presence of me ole mind to show up early, too. Been waitin’ for this, Oi have.
Ignoring the rest of GODSPEED, Blade simply walks up to Kitsune. He towers over him like a red inferno. His slicked back Irish red hair looks like he just filmed an episode of Peaky Blinders. Clean shaven sides… the whole works. Only thing missing is a newsboy cap with a razor blade embedded in it. He sports a thick, ducktail-style red beard, combed and styled immaculately. His rubicund visage helps emphasize the various tattoos on his arms. All of which reveal themselves from the rolled-up sleeves of his old school SHOOT Project hoodie.
Jin, SKR, and Fuego take a step back, unintentionally leaving Kitsune in the lurch.
Kitsune: Fuck ‘chu want?
Blade McGuinness: Shut yer feckin’ mouth, ye ruddy git. Oi told ye that Oi wasn’t some internet troll hidin’ behind a keyboard. Oi also told ye Oi was genna come and look fer ye and kick te livin’ shite out of ye fer feckin’ sayin’ te things you’ve been bloody sayin’. Oi ain’t got no tol’rence fer feckin’ little gits like you. To be perfectly honest wit’cha, Oi’m surprised ye even have a good connection livin’ in that shitehole ye call yer Mom’s basement.
Kitsune looks pissed, but shocked all the same. He knew Blade said he was coming for him, but he honestly didn’t think nothin’ of it. Refusing to show intimidation to this 6’6” slab of Irish corned beef, Kitsune stood even closer.
Kitsune: What ‘chu gonna do about it, Bladeus O’Cockissey?! Gonna “smash me bake” like “me” name’s Mitch Bennett? That’s kinda gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with th-
Without warning and before Kitsune could finish, Blade pie-faces Kitsune so hard that he goes down to the cement flooring HARD, right at the feet of his GODSPEED brothers. They all look like they want to jump Blade for getting physical with their loudmouth mask wearin’ hot head of a brother, but Kitsune holds his hand up as he slowly gets up off of the concrete.
Kitsune: Et, tut, tut, tut, tut. Nah. Listen. Okay, fuck ass. I fucking brought this on myself. So here’s what I p-
Blade McGuinness: Yer feckin’ eh right ye did!! And now yer genna deal wit te bloody feckin’ consequences.
Kitsune: Ey Cormac.
Blade McGuinness: …
Kitsune: SHUT THE FUCK UP.
Blade McGuinness: Ye ruddy can’t help yerself, can ye?
Blade rotates his shoulder as if gearing up for a vicious lariat that could probably knock down all four members of GODSPEED. Kitsune steps forward, though, putting himself directly into “the fire”, away from GODSPEED.
Kitsune: Aight. This what we can do about this. We can either deal with our sitch right now, in front of my motherfuckin’ GODSPEED brothers, or we can have a fuckin’ match. Up to you, boo.
SKR: I’M GONNA BUTTFUCK YOUR FACE AND SHIT DICK YOUR NECKHOLE IN THE FUCKING TAINT!
All five of them turn towards SKR and just look in awe.
Blade McGuinness: He a’right?!
Kitsune: Not really.
Blade shakes his head.
Blade McGuinness: You thenk given’ me ultimatums es genna save ye here?! I don’t give a flyin’ bloody feckin’ feck if te rest of ye get yer licks in on me. Oi’m juss genna make sure Oi take me pelt from this feckin’ fox.
Blade shoves him back so hard that the rest of GODSPEED catches him. Kitsune looks amazed by Blade’s strength. Even with the size difference between them.
Blade McGuinness: Or? Maybe ye’d like to prove yerself that ye can back yer shite eatin’ words up, one on bloody one. Oi ain’t got nuttin’ goin’ on fer Rev’lution. So if ye want, we can walk, NAY, feckin’ walk, NAY, feckin’ crawl, NAY, feckin’ leap frog our way over to Real Deal and get it signed.
Surprisingly, Blade extends his hand to Kistune while eying up each and every member of GODSPEED.
Kitsune: Fuck it. Let’s do it. And when this midget fuck beats your Notre Dame lovin’ ass?
Kitsune grabs Blade’s much larger hand. Blade waits for him to finish.
Blade McGuinness: Yea? Ye were sayin’, lad?
He turns his hand into a vice grip for just a moment, before throwing it downwards in a rough, strength displaying manner.
Kitsune tries searching for the words, but Blade laughs at him.
Blade McGuinness: Right. Oi thought so. Get ready ye feckin’ git!!
Blade turns around to leave, but stops. Turning back towards Kitsune, he chuckles.
Blade McGuinness: ‘Cause when ye and Oi finally get in te ring? Ter ain’t no more words tradin’ between us on Spitter. Juss me and ye, middle of te ring, fightin’ like men. And whether ye want te believe et er not? Oi’m juss genna SMASH. YER. BAKE.
And maybe cut ye wit te Gallowglass while Oi’m at et.
Blade turns away from GODSPEED, adjusts his OG SHOOT hoodie, and makes his way, presumably, to Real Deal’s office. Kitsune, looking back at the rest of GODSPEED, just looks concerned at the situation.
Jin: You got this. I know you do. He’s underestimating you, one-hundred percent. He sees your size and doesn’t think about, how they say, it isn’t the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.
Fuego: Si! I feelin’ it.
They all look at Fuego.
Fuego: Si… si… shut the fuck up.:
RECOGNIZE Vs. The Unholy Cyber Army (c)
We fade in and are immediately brought to a scene of veritable chaos. Various SHOOT Officials all try to get in between Azraith DeMitri… and the towering Sammy Rochester!
Azraith pounds on Sammy’s back, who delivers a stiff upward motion headbutt that rocks Azraith in the jaw and causes him to stumble. With Azraith reeling, Arthur Pleasant jumps onto his back with a moistened piece of white cloth.
Humming the tune of “Mr. Sandman” by The Chordettes, Arthur squeezes tightly underneath his shoulder so as to hold onto something while he “rides to mechanical bull” of Azraith DeMitri.
Arthur Pleasant: Hmmm hmmm hmmm hmmm… hmmm hmmm hmmm hmmm hmmm hmmmmmmmmm….
Azraith swings wildly like a madman. He reaches up with his thumb and tries to find the eyesocket of his aggressor. Arthur is wise to his game, however, and dodges nimbly while clinging to his back. Mushing the cloth into Azraith’s face as hard as he can soon brings him to one knee. Knowing how Azraith is in a weakened state, he lets go of the cloth where Sammy is ready to run forward, foot extended.
BAM! Sammy connects with a sickening boot that knocks Azraith the rest of the way to the cement ground of the backstage area. Once again, Arthur positions the cloth into a facial cupping, and leaps down on top of him, straddling him. He pushes both hands deep into Azraith’s mug, not giving him a chance against the fumes of ether emanating from the cloth.
His arms flail and twist out of desperation as Sammy gets down on one knee and holds Azraith’s feet together.
Azraith is almost out when Arthur reaches back and drives a couple of forearms down onto Azraith’s windpipe. Azraith gasps, clutching at his own throat when Arthur takes the opportunity of Azraith’s loosened grip to sweep his hands away and reapply the moist cloth.
It doesn’t take long before even the pugilistic powerhouse is rendered unconscious.
Arthur Pleasant: WHEW! That was fun.
The Iron Fist Champion goes to get up, but Azraith suckered him into believing he was out and connects with a HUGE right fist!
Arthur spills off of Azraith, allowing his target to try to get up again, but he is once again met with an absolutely sickening big boot to the jaw that sends him back down onto the cement ground of the backstage area.
Arthur Pleasant: Hahaha… the fight in this one!!
He straddles him again, this time holding onto his Iron Fist Championship, putting the ether soaked cloth against the leather backing of the title. From there, he mashes the title down against Azraith’s face and reapplies the pressure of BOTH hands onto the faceplate.
Arthur Pleasant: Shhhhhhhhhh… shhhhhhhhhh…
Several moments later, Azraith succumbs to the effects of the ether and goes limp. Arthur still holds the belt tightly against his face when two security guards arrive on the scene. One, a black male, and the other, a white female.
Arthur Pleasant: Sammy? Would you please see to our guests?
Without hesitation, Sammy aggressively snatches the neck of the male security guard. Lifting him up, he slams him face first into the cement floor with the inverted chokeslam. The female security guard grabs her mace and sprays it into the eyes of Sammy… but the monstrous entity is seemingly unaffected by this and just headbutts her into unconsciousness. He stands there, his head cocked, surveying the damage done while Arthur grabs Azraith by his arms.
Arthur Pleasant: Little help here, maybe?
Sammy picks up the female security guard and slings her over his shoulder like a bag of presents. Then, with the weight of her on his shoulder, Sammy displays his incredible, scary power by reaching down and grabbing Azraith’s legs, helping Arthur move the SHOOT Legend.
Arthur Pleasant: To the van!
And just like that, the two fiendish friends haul off with their mark and make for their getaway.
Teresa Ames Vs. Devan Derbyshire
The SHOOT Faithful buzz with excitement as the second edition of Ruination rolls on! The fans await the next match when suddenly…
TIIIIIIIIME… IS ON MY SIIIIIDE… YES IT IS!
The sinful and soulful voice of Wilson Pickett booms into the Epicenter as “Time Is On My Side” plays. The crowd unleashes a hail of jeers and boos as Jacob Mephisto stalks out onto the entrance ramp.
The former two-time Sin City Champion stops to glare out at the masses before walking down to the ring with a purpose. He’s not dressed for competition, sporting a pair of jeans and a black t-shirt.
Mephisto snags a microphone on his way and rolls into the ring. The boos continue as he stands center ring and the music dies down.
Jacob Mephisto: Two weeks ago, I had some… mixed results.
The crowd’s jeers are merciless. But, Mephisto smirks and just shakes his head.
Jacob Mephisto: You see, I stood in this ring on back to back nights in front of all of you people. I graced this ring as the first ever match on Ruination. Unfortunately, I was bested by Jonas Coleman.
The crowd erupts with cheers at the memory of the former World Champion defeating Mephisto. Mephisto continues to smirk.
Jacob Mephisto: But, the very next night on Revolution I bested Scion. Which makes me three and one against The New Vanguard. Not that it matters.
Mephisto’s smirk begins to fade.
Jacob Mephisto: You see… it didn’t matter that I lost to The Butcher. It didn’t matter that I beat Scion… James Johnson… TJOMD… whatever. None of it mattered. All it did was serve the marketing of the SHOOT Project. It’s why I’ve been silent. Because, well, after Azraith DeMitri… after everything I’ve done… where do I go from here?
There’s an audible murmur throughout the crowd.
Jacob Mephisto: What purpose do I serve here in the new SHOOT Project? Maybe… maybe time… maybe time is running out for me.
Robideau: Hold on.
With a cheer, emerging from the entrance is Nate Robideau–no music, just standing. Holding a mic. He shakes his head, beginning to pace.
Robideau: There was a time not too long ago, Jacob, where I felt pretty down in the dumps. Do you remember that? I know that you do. Because you were there.
He begins walking towards the ring, his face leisurely.
Robideau: You were there every time I doubted myself. Every time I doubted if I ever had a place. Every time I wondered if maybe just crawling away into obscurity and anonymity would be better for me and the world. You were there.
Reaching the ring, he hopes to the apron and climbs in. He walks up to Mephisto, his face trademarkly free of emotion or animation, his eyes steady under his heavy brow.
Robideau: Simply put–if there is a place for me and things for a man like me left to achieve, then there must be a place for you, too.
Mephisto smirks, but there’s no humor or ill intent in it. He leans forward against the top rope.
Jacob Mephisto: Nate… I appreciate what you’re doing. I do. But, these people…
He gestures at the crowd, who mostly boo.
Jacob Mephisto: … these people don’t care. Not for me. My place in SHOOT has been one of manipulation and bad intentions. There’s plenty of that to go around these days.
He pauses for a moment and shakes his head.
Jacob Mephisto: But, maybe you’re right. Maybe, somewhere, there’s still a place for me. Maybe there’s something left to achieve. I just… I’m tired.
At this moment, descending xylophones usher in the techno remix of “Spooky Scary Skeletons”–and running from the back are two men in skeleton costumes complete with skull masks! They get half halfway down the ramp, and the smaller of them holds a mic up, shaking his head.
Mike de los Huesos: Ay could yall shut the entire fuck up? Fuckin wrestling show and we got a therapy session in the ring? Deadass miss me with that shit. Either move on or I’ll haul my big skeleton nuts up in that ring and get you outta there myself.
The larger of the two Bone Brigade members steps forward with his own mic.
Dave de los Muertos: Ay bruh, yall some ol’ washed up and never was ass dudes. Now get on up out the way before we take yall to the BONE ZONE, bruh.
Nate looks back at the two members of the Bone Brigade. He shakes his head slowly before methodically walking to the ring and rolling in, standing next to Mephisto.
The crowd begins to grow in volume, not entirely sure who they should be cheering. Mephisto’s expression goes from weary to cold in almost an instant. Those pale grey eyes gain a spark that’s been absent of late.
Jacob Mephisto: Perhaps you’re right, Nate. Maybe I do have a place. And right now, it looks like I have at least one thing to achieve.
A referee comes sprinting to the ring as the Bone Brigade saunters their way to the ring.
Jacob Mephisto/Nate Robideau Vs. The Bone Brigade
The camera cust to a frantic NEMESIS, mask on as she stalks the halls of the epicenter, an imposing looking lead pipe clutched in her hands. As soon she sees the camera crew, she points the pipe at them, her eyes wide
The shot stops in it’s tracks as NEMESIS races to meet them. She grabs one of the free production assistant with her own free hand, shoving them into a wall and yelling.
NEMESIS: Did you see where they took him?! HAVE YOU SEEN THEM?!
She snarls out and SMASHES the pipe into the wall next to the PA in frustration.
NEMESIS: AZRAITH! Did you see…where Arthur Pleasant…took Azraith fucking DEMITRI?!
His eyes wide, the PA shakes his head no vigorously. She glares at him for a few seconds before letting him go, screaming out in frustration as she turns around. The PA, apparently not smart enough to not press his luck, speaks out quietly
A glare cold enough to freeze fire catches the PA and he stops mid-word. He raises both of his hands in defense, expecting the pipe to crack down on him at any second.
PA: I just was supposed to let you know your match with X-Calibur is right around the corner at Revolution…we were just wondering if you had any thoughts…
The glare turns into confusion for a second, before realization hits her like a bag of bricks.
NEMESIS: Fuck. FUCK! GODDAMNIT FUCK!
A scream of absolute frustration escapes NEMESIS as she lobs the pipe across the hallway, stalking back towards gorilla position.
Other Guy: I…I don’t think I’ve ever seen NEMESIS actually lose it like that before.
Eryk Masters: Under the circumstances, I think it’s understandable, but unfortunately she has to re-focus and lock herself into a mindset that can go up against X-Calibur at Revolution!
Daryn Thompson Vs. Kowloon Zombie
There’s a gasp throughout the Epicenter as the Lord of the Flies, CK Butcher, the potential VILLAIN OF THE YEAR, is seen walking backstage at Ruination 2. He appeared at Ruination 1, but quickly left the arena when he felt a presence, or was apparently in a hurry to exit. The future World Heavyweight Champion isn’t dressed to perform, no, he’s wearing a signature outfit that doesn’t seem to change: a red and black lumberjack style flannel tucked into faded, torn at the knees, tight Wranglers that are also tucked into loosely tied Redwing boots. Since he’s a fixture with the SHOOT Project, and quite an impressive name, he has a room waiting for him no matter the show. He slaps his hand against a door with his nameplate on it and enters the room where two small couches surround a coffee table.
He takes a few steps forward but immediately halts when he sees a cast iron statue of the Virgin Mary sitting on the coffee table next to a small black leather couch. It’s obvious that the oddity has struck CK by surprise, or brought back a memory he’d much rather forget. He reaches toward the statue and picks it up. He studies it for a moment. His expression changes. His brow furrows. He flexes his nostrils and nose. His eyes scan the room.
CK Butcher: Quite the pungent aroma you’re wearin’. What is it? Skid marks and sweaty armpits with a hint of wet dog, halitosis, and urine? You’re like one of those Dior commercials if Charlize Theron was replaced with the year 2020.
CK smirks, and then spins around to confront his mammoth younger brother who towers over him by over a foot. We can hear a general reaction from the crowd. They realize that Alden has finally confronted his brother, and could easily end his reign of terror across the SHOOT Project. The giant’s eyes are wide. His lips are sealed. He breathes heavily, steady, from his nose. His trademark tunic is stained and disgusting. His hair is wet and stringy. He’s ready to…kill. CK stares down at the cast iron statue in his hand and then returns his attention to the colossus that could potentially end him.
CK Butcher: I know you’ve been looking for me, and I don’t blame you. You want to kill me; strangle me. You want to crush my skull, feel my brain between your fingers, stick your thumbs in my eyes and squeeze until they pop. I left you lying in the desert some couple hundred miles north. Left you looking like a seven foot course meal for the predators to pick your bones clean. It’s no surprise you were able to survive. That’s the Butcher way. We know how to survive the worst of the worst case scenarios. We are the strongest breed of man to ever walk this Earth. The litmus test for you and your brother was to withstand the pain and suffering and come back to the family strong, conditioned, and ready to devour anything and anybody in our path.
There’s a sudden snarl, a growl within the confines of sealed lips, coming from the mammoth Butcher brother. CK takes a step back and then turns his head to the right. He contemplates.
CK Butcher: Anger is understandable, and inevitable. I’d be angry, too. I was. Still am. I was mad that you and Elvis could not defeat the Unholy Cyber Army and Nate Robideau. I was torn. Do I let them walk this Earth knowing they’re losers? Who am I to make that decision? Simply put: you two needed divine intervention. God. You needed God to step in and show you what it’s like to suffer, and how to conquer suffering. I’ve been there before. You don’t know what I’ve been through. You will. I survived. You and Elvis? Survivers. Because we are Butchers. We are the greatest of the Butchers. Brothers of the Lord. Children of God. The King’s of the SHOOT Project. And, in case you haven’t noticed? The Butcher name is everywhere. So, anger is fine, but open your eyes. Our family is famous. The Lord has done it! You’ve defeated your fears and have strengthened your will to stand before the Lord a changed, smelly, …MAN.
CK takes a moment to nod his head. He’s inching backwards, slowly, knowing that Alden could strike at any moment.
CK Butcher: You heard it. I heard it. EVERYONE HEARD IT. Buck Dresden wants you to be your own man! You heard it straight from the champ’s mouth. Be…your own…MAN. How wonderful is that? I’m starting to see a trend with ole’ Dresden. Are you? He’s pretty smooth. He’s smart. He’s cerebral. That’s my fuckin’ cup of tea, right there! Mind games. Circles. Cat and mouse. Makin’ every single abstract move count until the final blow. Giving everybody title shots. Showing off his strength and durability. Showing off his charisma. Providing an image for that title that his buddy Jonas Coleman nearly destroyed with how terrible a champion he was. Then he pulls the wild card. A world title shot for THIS MAN…right here…
He points the cast iron statue of the Virgin Mary at his younger brother and delivers a dramatically enthusiastic cheer.
CK Butcher: …THE…ALDEN…BUTCHER…is going to step into that ring and break that man’s spine over his knee! Bane the fuck out that hero! KILL! Rip his throat out! Send his Adam’s apple to Corrine with a little note attached to it that says: From the Garden of Eden, with Love. Eat his heart. Gnaw into it! Just…save his head. I want it. I’ll turn his face into one of those Luchadore masks. Then, it’ll be you…big man…and the Lord. One on one. At Reckoning Day.
He briefly pauses and taps the head of the Virgin Mary on his lips. Alden Butcher continues to stand, stoic, still fuming, not absorbing any of CK Butcher’s dialogue. CK smiles and nods.
CK Butcher: Can you feel it? I can feel it. Here, this is how it feels…
CK takes a few steps forward and wastes no time to place his free hand on Alden’s chest. Alden suddenly begins to violently shake! The sounds of snaps, and crackles. The giant’s eyes shut, his teeth clench, and he lets out an excruciatingly loud roar! He’s being electrocuted! CK keeps his hand held tight against the mammoth’s chest for a couple more seconds as the sound of a stun gun is heard sending 50,000 volts and milliamps directly into Alden. CK retreats. Alden is still standing. The older brother tilts his head and seems confused. Alden shakes for a moment; and then there’s a few more quivers and vibrations. One final shock chill comes over him. His eyes pop open. His face is empty. He then falls forward toward CK! The older brother moves aside as his gigantic sibling crashes down onto the coffee table and shatters it to splinters. The Lord walks over and examines the fallen giant, and then looks at the stun gun he used to put him down.
CK Butcher: It feels ELECTRIC ya’big SON OF A BITCH! You’d think he’d grow to learn that the Lord always has something up his sleeve. Always. Good luck, brother. You’re gonna need it!
Then he looks at Mary. A smile from ear-to-ear. There’s a sudden glow about the Lord.
CK Butcher: We meet again, young lady…
The lights in the arena take on a purple hue. Cole Rolland’s “Fur Elise,” a rock remix of the Beethoven classic, kicks in and the fans in attendance immediately begin to shower the incoming SHOOT wrestling with boos.
Dutch Harris: Here comes a man who has not made many fans during his short time here in SHOOT Project…
Ned Reform emerges from the back, dressed in his usual ring attire of purple and white singlet and with the Shut Up and Fight Championship wrapped proudly around his waist. With one hand behind his back, gentleman-style, Reform smiles widely and waves to the fans as he slowly makes his way to the ring.
Scott Kamura: Do you think he even knows how much these people hate him?
Dutch Harris: I do. He’s not blind. Maybe a tad delusional, but not blind.
On his way to the ring, Reform shakes his head sadly at a group of young who appear to be gesturing rather rudely in his direction. The poor fools. Reform hops up the stairs and into the ring, motioning for a microphone as his theme dies down.
Dr. Reform: Hello my REFORMERS!
A showering of disapproval, which Reform completely no sells. He continues to grin that stupid grin.
Dr. Reform: As many of you know, two weeks ago, I won the Shut Up… excuse me, I won the Go Home and Read Championship.
Another round of boos for Reform thinking he can rename the championship just because he wants to.
Dr. Reform: Yes! I have re-christened this championship (he gestures around his very manly waist) as the “Go Home and Read” Championship to reflect the values of the new and improved SHOOT Project. Now, I had to defeat Courtney Hatchett…
A pop from the crowd for Courtney! Reform allows himself a brief moment of disgust before continuing…
Dr. Reform: I had to defeat Courtney Hatchett for this title. After the match, I decided to teach Ms. Hatchett a permanent lesson in what happens when you try to box above your weight class. Perhaps it would be helpful to have a look?
CAPTION: TWO WEEKS AGO…
Both competitors slowly get to their feet. With a sudden snarl, Ned Reform shoves the referee out of his way – and coming up behind Courtney Hatchett, he LOCKS her in the Ad Homineum!
Dutch Harris: This is uncalled for! The match is over!
Scott Kamura: We’ve never seen Ned Reform lack composure…
Courtney’s hands flail as Reform synches in the hold with an absolutely crazed looked on his face. While she screams out from the pain, Reform ragdolls her around the ring, turning her left and right as the fans reign down the jeers for this disgusting lack of sportsmanship.
A horde of SHOOT officalls hit the ring and attempt to pry Reform off, but he’s like a rabid pitbull and stubbornly refuses, continuing to twist Hatchett left and right.
Dutch Harris: Okay, this has gone too far. Courtney Hatchett’s eyes are fluttering. He needs to let her go.
But he does not! Reform falls to the mat, bringing Courntey down with him, and he wraps his legs around her in a bodyscissor as he bears down on the defenseless SHOOT competitor. Courtney is officially out cold, but Reform still refuses to be pried off her prone form.
Scott Kamura: We need someone to do something about this!
Dutch Harris: Look – he’s finally letting go.
Finally releasing the hold, Reform climbs to his knees. He’s red faced and disheveled as he pushes the referees away and doesn’t allow them access to Courtney’s down formed. Reform drops down to one knee, and grabs Courtney roughly by the hair. He lifts her up, shoving her unconscious face into the camera.
Dr. Ned Reform: Does she “deserve it” now??? DOES SHE??? This is what you idiots celebrate!!
Reform roughly shoves Courney’s face into the mat and finally allows the officials to check on her. With one last look of absolute disgust thrown her way, he grabs his newly won Shut Up and Fight Championship and holds it over his head to a cascade of boos!
The footage on the big screen fades out, and again Reform is showered with boos for his dickish behavior. Instead of smiling, he wears a somber look on his face. Reaching into his singlet, he draws a single notecard. Putting the notecard up to his face, Reform begins to read for all the fans in attendance. As he reads, he speaks with zero inflection or emotion in his voice.
Dr. Reform: “Ladies and gentlemen of SHOOT Project. I, the distinguished Dr. Benedict “Ned” Reform, on the advice of my expert legal counsel, hereby officially apologize for my actions at Ruination two weeks ago. Attacking Ms. Hatchett after the bell was unsportsman-like and unbecoming a man of my stature. I sincerely hope I did not cause any long-term physical or psychological damage to Ms. Hatchett, and I wish her all the best in her recovery and hope to see her in a SHOOT Project ring…” Here, he hesitates slightly, clearly holding something back… “very soon.”
Scott Kamura: Is he expecting us to buy this?
Dutch Harris: I don’t think he thinks much of us.
Reform tosses the notecard aside, and his mood brightens again.
Dr. Reform: With that unfortunate business out of the way… let’s turn to the in-ring action for tonight! Yes. At this time, I’d like to invite my distinguished opponent, Daniel Stein, to the ring.
Dr. Reform turns to the entrance, patiently awaiting Dan Stein.
YOU GOT THE TOUCH!
YOU GOT THE POWER!
“The Power” by Stan Bush blares through the epicenter. Stein races out to the top of the ramp. The fans see the hurry in Stein’s step and start to buzz. Stein slides in under the bottom rope, quickly. And walks over to Ned…but then slowly walks himself back to a corner.
Scott Kamura: I hate to say this, but I think…I’m glad? To see… Dan Stein?
Dutch Harris: That’ll change quickly, I’m sure.
Dr. Reform: Thank you, Mr. Stein. Now you’ll want to listen closely to this next bit, as it not only pertains to you, but to SHOOT Project as a whole.
Reform gestures to the championship belt.
Dr. Reform: You see, when this belt was the Shut Up and Fight Championship, a very unique rule was attached to it. The holder of this championship could lay out a challenge to anyone, for anytime, at anyplace… and the challenge had to be accepted. But, it stands to reason that since the SUaF title is no more, that rule would also be modified.
Reform unhooks the championship from his midsection and holds it high into the air.
Dr. Reform: The Go Home and Read Championship is a championship worthy of scholarly merit. A championship only to be held by the best of the best… in body AND mind. Therefore, the GHaR championship will ONLY be defended against competitors who hold a PhD. A REAL PhD, mind you, not one of those honorary titles like… well, I’m sure you know who I’m referencing.
The crowd instantly showers this asshat with boos!
Scott Kamura: Oh, come on!
Dutch Harris: Reform is essential sitting on the title and refusing to defend it! We can’t let him do this, can we?
Dr. Reform: Now I know this is disappointing to you, Mr. Stein, but I hope you understand. While you are a very fierce in-ring competitor, you simply lack the academic pedigree to…
Suddenly, Dan Stein snatches the mic out of Dr. Reform’s hand! Stein startles Ned by grabbing for the microphone so suddenly. Dan starts to pace the ring for a few moments, but before the crowd can lose their luster, Stein puts the microphone back to his mouth. The buzz from Stein’s entrance seems to be back.
Dan Stein: I…I don’t like this. I don’t like this at all. I’ve been in the ring with SHOOT Project royalty, I’ve beaten the best there is in the ring, and I deserve a shot at the SHUT UP AND FIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP, tonight!
Scott Kamura: I don’t know, Dutch, this seems like a new Dan Stein!
Dutch Harris: Give it a minute.
The crowd continues to buzz, as if waiting for something, anything, to let them cheer Dan Stein.
Dan Stein: I don’t like it, Ted. I don’t.
Dr. Reform moves to correct Stein, but Dan speaks quickly to interrupt him.
Dan Stein: I hate it. But, God dammit, do I respect it.
Stein smirks. Scott Kamura lets out a groan so loud it’s audible over the microphone in Stein’s hand. Dutch’s smirk itself is audible, but not more so than the boos of the crowd.
Dutch Harris: There it is. Never fails, like clockwork.
Stein starts to pace the ring again. The fans continue to jeer him.
Dan Stein: I respect that decision. As THE champion’s champion, I understand what it means to bring prestige to a title, to…craft it in your own image. I understand what you must be going through with all of your press events and title holder photo-shoots for the websites. I know, because I’ve done it many, many times before.
Stein smirks at the doctor again.
Dan Stein: It’s a stressful life, and you deserve to defend it against only the people you deem worthy.
Dr. Ned Reform speaks toward the microphone in Stein’s hand.
Dr. Reform: Correct! You understand!
Stein yanks the microphone away from Reform’s face, refusing to give up his time with the microphone.
Dan Stein: That’s your right as champion. And it is my right as the SHOOT Project Golden Boy to decide who and when I want to wrestle. And Fred? If that title isn’t on the line, I’m not wrestling.
Stein’s announcement sends the fans into a frenzy again. Stein takes a moment to let the boos rain in on him. Dr. Reform sees this as a great opportunity to rest up, and extends his hand for a hand shake. Stein thinks about for a moment, and shakes the good doctor’s hand! The crowd is driven mad by this show of respect. As the handshake ends and Dr. Reform pulls his hand back and turns to leave the ring…Stein doesn’t let go!
Dan Stein: Oh, I’m not sure you heard me correctly. I said that these sweathogs and plebeians wouldn’t see me wrestle tonight. I didn’t say anything about you getting the night off.
Dr. Reform is beside himself! He shakes his head saying “no!” The crowd begins…to cheer?
Scott Kamura: I think the crowd is as confused as we are, Dutch. If Dr. Reform isn’t wrestling Dan Stein tonight on Ruination, who is he wrestling?!
Dutch Harris: With all the returns and new signings, it could be literally anyone, Scott!
Stein lets go of Dr. Reform’s hand and starts to pace again, slowly rubbing his temple.
Dan Stein: See, I’ve got a bit of a situation myself. The holidays are coming up, I think we all know that. That means family is over, and if you know my family, Jed, you know that…well, we’ve got a bit of a blacksheep. He’s…a little out there some times, but his heart’s in the right place. Kinda makes me sick, to be honest with you.
So here’s the deal, Red. In exchange for me not beating you silly and taking that title from you to add to my collection, I’m going to step aside and have you…settle an argument Molly and I are having. If you win this match, my family dinner gets a little bit more expensive. But if he wins, well…he gets to come back to Las Vegas and we’re in a tag team again.
Stein quickly walks up to Dr. Reform and stands face-to-face with him.
Dan Stein: You won’t like me should he win, Ned. I’ve got plans, Ned. I’ve got big, Golden plans.
Reform looks absolutely disgusted with Dan Stein. Stein smirks, stepping back and turning to the entrance ramp.
Dan Stein: Hit his music.
Stein drops the microphone to the mat and slides out of the ring quickly, making his way over to Scott Kamura and Dutch Harris. Stein puts on a headset as “Born in the USA” blares through the speakers.
Scott Kamura: While we’re letting Dan Stein set up here…IT’S JOHNNY PATRIOT!
As Johnny Patriot makes his way to the ring, Ned Reform argues with the referee that this is not an official match… to no avail.
Johnny Patriot Vs. Dr. Ned Reform
“TONIGHT WE’RE GOING HARD… HARD…”
Ke$ha’s “We R Who We R” rips through the Epicenter as the crowd roars unexpectedly as former Master of the Mat, Jay Martinez steps through the curtain. Significantly lighter than last time we saw him make this entrance. Still with the big scraggly beard patched with greys. He smiles warmly as he walks to the ring in a pair of grey sweatpants and a VERY worn blue SHOOT Project hoodie.
Dutch Harris: Loco Martinez making his way to the ring to address the Epicenter tonight, and they sound happy to see him!
Scott Kamura: Looks like ANARCHY! Academy is doing some decent work. He might not be back in prime “fighting weight”, but his dad bod has definitely been reduced.
He bobs to the ring, sliding under the bottom rope. Heads to the corner and jumps to the middle rope to bask in the warm reception. He grabs a mic.
Jay Martinez: I didn’t say anything last time I was out here, and it probably feels a bit… we’ll make up a word… “pander-y”, but DAMN it feels good to be out here tonight.
He pauses as the crowd cheers back their approval. A faint “LOCO” chant starts up and he smiles sheepishly, not entirely sure how to feel about it.
Jay Martinez: Thanks, yeah… Quite honestly, this is the best Christmas present I could have received. Which is why I came out here to say how much this has meant to me. That I don’t know what I’d be doing right now, but I know it wouldn’t be healthy, and I know I wouldn’t be a quarter as happy as I am currently. SHOOT took a chance on someone who really brought nothing to the table more than a name –
The crowd again kicks into a “LOCO” chant. He smiles awkwardly again and nods.
Jay Martinez: And some long LOOOONG history inside this and many other rings across my two plus decades in the wrestling business. And lets be real. I had to be dragged kicking and screaming. Not because of anything other than what rests between my two “not as cauliflower as they once were” ears, but… BUT… Thanks to SHOOT taking a chance. Thanks to YOU and fans all over I felt something I hadn’t felt in a long — LONG ass time. AND, most importantly –
Jay is cut off as “25 Years” by Pantera hits the Epicenter’s speakers and the crowd immediately “SHOOT Pop-Pops” as the lone X that is synonymous with X-Calibur himself, appears on the EpiTron. Various moments from his SHOOT Project career are highlighted. From title wins to gruesome sins, from Diamond Del Carver to Jacob Mephisto, moments in his storied career come to life in conjunction with the brand new theme
Jay smiles huge as his long time friend steps through the corner.
Dutch Harris: Ohhhhh man! The other half of Profanity & Insanity!
Scott Kamura: And he’s got himself a new theme song, too! Gotta say, this works better than his old Fear Factory one. But I mean, I wasn’t going to say anything!
X-Calibur does a quick throat cut motion before throwing his arms to the ramp, and popping back up with both arms extended. Pyro immediately goes off from both sides of the EpiTron, followed by a single X hanging above the former 2-Time World Heavyweight Champion, burning ablaze in a spectacle fit for a legend.
Dutch Harris: Sweet Jesus! They really went all out for this entrance!
Scott Kamura: No matter how you might feel about X… he’s definitely earned this.
Dutch Harris: True. But if I see the Vienna Boys Choir and doves, then I’m done.
His theme eventually dissipates into the sea of buzzing fans.
X-Calibur: Damn. Josh said that I would be getting a new entrance but… holy fuck. That was bad ass. Thanks, brother!
The audience cheers this on and a quick “You Deserve It” chant tries to break out. X puts the kibosh to it real quick, however, and speaks into a microphone he had tucked inside of the waistline of his jeans.
X-Calibur: But, allow me to get to the point as quickly as I can.
He turns to Loco and sighs.
X-Calibur: You know, I was standing back there in Gorilla with Real Deal and Samantha Coil, just watching this in-ring speech unfold… and I couldn’t help but feel the need to stop you. See, I don’t know how to put what I’m about to say delicately, so I’mma just fuckin’ say it.
When I tried getting you to come back to the wrestling business? I didn’t do it for me. I didn’t even do it for SHOOT. You know who I did it for, Jay? I did it you.
Jay nods knowingly. X paused, collecting his thoughts. His eyes told the story of a man who felt bad for a family member, but wanted to punch their lights out all the same.
X-Calibur: Why? Because, man. You need this. They *pointing out at the audience* need this. When I first contacted you, the idea really was just to have someone watch my back while I dealt with Dan Stein and his minor league minions. But then I saw you out there. Holy shit, bro.
And just fuckin’ LOST. I mean… WOW.
And the craziest thing about this is that you didn’t do the kinda drugs and binge the fuckin’ nights away with Jack and Cokes like I did for the better part of a decade and a half. I’m the one who should be lookin’ like I’m the one who’s one Twinkie away from the goddamn grave! And like how you nailed me with it on Spitter? You’re fuckin’ younger than me! Jesus Christ!
He shakes his head and stops himself for a moment. Looking out at the crowd, a Loco chant starts. X nods, smiles, and actually claps in support and rhythm to it. Once it dies down though, he continues.
X-Calibur: I saw you in those size 42 jeans, wheezing down the ramp, just standing in the corner looking embarrassed at yourself. It made me wanna fuckin’ CRY, man. Hell, Bonnie thought you were some stagehand or a member of the camera crew who forgot his equipment.
Some of the crowd boos the more things get personal, while some of the others just laugh.
X-Calibur: Look. For real, now. I’m not trying to run you down or bury you or bully you or do anything of the sort. I’m just… for fuck’s sake, man. I’m just over this whole… current, 2020 version of you. ‘Cause here’s this legend, who still has years ahead of him, who looks like he wants to give it all up. Fuck bankruptcy — pretty sure most of us in this biz have gone through that it at some point in our lives. Fuck living with your Mom — Breedlove still lives with his and he’s the goddamn Sin City Champion!!
The crowd laughs at this. X turns towards them all and shrugs, laughing at his own words.
X-Calibur: I mean, what the fuck happened in your life that was just so fuckin’ terrible, man? Your wife or girlfriend have a miscarriage or somethin’? No? What about… did your fiancee give birth to a beautiful daughter only for your kid to never see you ’cause her Mom decided to fuck some other thirsty cocksuckin’ piece of shit on Thanksgiving? No?! Oh that’s right, that happened to me. Heh.
So… what is it then, Jay?! What the FUCK is it?!
Jay looks away. Half in shame, half in anger. You could tell just by the look on his face that he didn’t even know where to begin in addressing his friend’s harsh words. He thought for a moment, looking at the mat when…
X-Calibur: Nah. You LOOK. AT. ME.
The entire crowd comes alive after listening to X’s tough love. Jay’s eyes narrow with the fire of someone who’s about to throw down. He runs his free hand across the growing welt on his bearded cheek.
Jay Martinez: Did you just come out here and berate me in front of a live studio audience, and those viewing at home? Make fun of my weight. My mental health. Cuz despite the overly nasty, there isn’t a whole lot of actual shit coming out of your mouth that I myself haven’t thought and thought and thought about. You can come out here and pissily dismiss my feelings and try to goad me into… whatever the fuck you’re trying to goad me into, but I was simply out here to thank these people. Thank SHOOT, and most importantly thank YOU. You know as well as I do these opportunities don’t grow on trees, and I haven’t done the greatest job showing appreciation. We’re an industry built on toxic bravado and ego… see: basically every word you said to and about me in the last 3 minutes, one of your closest FRIENDS, that absolutely hurt more than that slap. I’m not here to play into THAT shit anymore. Hell I may not even be sure what exactly I’m going to continue to do with SHOOT. But I asked for some time. They kindly gave me it. Now if you’d like to continue this browbeating backstage, and let me finish? That’d be great.
X chuckles to himself and shakes his head. He takes a moment to think…
X-Calibur: Nah. You got it all wrong, man. Well, maybe parts of it, anyway. Look, I’m sorry. I know my words were cutting and hurtful. But, you know me. The only reason they were so cutting and hurtful is because I needed/wanted to put some fuckin’ fire in that belly… sorry, tank of yours. ‘Cause you know something? I’ve missed it. I truly have. There ain’t a damn soul in this place that comes close to touching who you are as a SOLDIER… as a PERSON. But that said? I’m sorry to say but, I still hear alot of crying coming from you, and to be perfectly fuckin’ honest here? I don’t think you quite got the message I was trying to deliver. My bad. That’s on me. Next time I won’t be so subtle. Soooo… know what? I guess I’m done with the subtleties.
X goes for another slap, but Jay catches his hand.
X smiles. Jay’s eyes narrowed, focused, and fiery. He mouths “NOT. THIS. TIME.”
Jay hooks X’s arm up for his patented short-arm superkick, but he stops just before hitting it, causing X to flinch.
Dutch Harris: WHOA! This just escalated in a hurry! I… holy… I don’t even know what to think about all of this!
Scott Kamura: I can’t believe Loco held back from hitting him with the Locapitator.
Letting go of X’s arm gives X the opportunity to wrap Loco’s arm up in the same short-arm motion, but as he brings Loco Martinez in… he doesn’t think twice about dropping him with the 2020 version of his patented cutter.
Dutch Harris: X-TERMINATOR!!! X-TERMINATOR!!! WHAT THE HELL!?
Half of the arena is booing incredulously, while the other half is popping for X hitting the exciting maneuver on Loco, hearkening back to their countless battles over the last decade-plus.
X-Calibur sits up.
He rolls to his feet and grabs the microphone.
X-Calibur: GODAMMIT, LOCO!!! You should’ve just hit me with it!!!
He kneels down, attempting to help Loco up… but Loco shoves him away! Disoriented from the impact of the X-Terminator, Loco collapses back to the mat.
X-Calibur: I was really hoping it didn’t come to this, man. But it has. So here it is.
The fans wait with baited breath.
X-Calibur: YOU. ME.
For the first time in our careers.
For the last time in our careers.
The fans SHOOT Pop-Pop hard.
X drops the mic. Realizing Loco does not want his help getting to his feet, X leaves him there to think about everything that just transpired. Meanwhile, with his hands on his hips, X lowers his head down, cursing at the events that just unfolded in front of the world with his best friend in the whole wrestling world.
Dutch Harris: What a HUGE turn of events! X-Calibur has just challenged Loco Martinez to have a match with him… at RECKONING DAY!
Scott Kamura: These two have fought each other all over the damned planet. But they have never had a match against each other at SHOOT’s biggest PPV of the year! I for one, cannot wait!
Dutch Harris: Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though, Scott. Loco has not even accepted the challenge. We don’t even know what kind of shape he’s in to have a match with X-Calibur!
Scott Kamura: True that. But, oh my GOD… the level of chemistry, familiarity, and just legendary awesomeness that these two bring out in each other when they’re in the ring with one another? Here’s hoping, Dutch!!
Adrian Corazon Vs. Scion
Dutch Harris: Tough loss for Scion, but good experience?
Scott Kamura: You have to know though that the kid wanted that win. Corazon’s fucked with him hard for MONTHS without him realizing it and then there was the assault on him the last time we were on the air.
Rachmaninoff’s Prelude cuts off as Corazon goes to pick Scion up once more! He kicks Scion in the back of the knee, bringing the son of the Real Deal down to both knees. He motions around him, and then out to the crowd, before brandishing a box cutter! There’s an audible click as Corazon unsheathes the blade and just SMILES, looking down at the injured Scion’s forehead with a faked sad and sympathetic look across his face.
Dutch Harris: NOPE. Not again! Corazon’s a PSYCHOPATH.
Scott Kamura: Is he about to try to scalp Scion just like he tried to scalp Jonas Coleman?!
It was no sooner than the word Coleman was out of Kamura’s mouth that “Holy Defender” by Primitai explodes over the PA and Jonas Coleman RUSHES out from the back. Corazon tries to break away from Scion and escape from the other side of the ring, but with the distraction, Scion managed to wrap Corazon’s leg up, hugging it and preventing him from escaping. Coleman grins as he sprints down the ramp and he FLIES into the ring! He demolishes Corazon with a HUGE clothesline, as Scion releases the hold and rolls out of the ring himself.
The box cutter goes flying and Corazon is at Coleman’s mercy, having just fought. Coleman drags Corazon to his feet and shoves him HARD into the turnbuckle. He takes his whole hand and just grabs Corazon’s face!
“You’re FUCKING DONE, you MONSTER.”
Dutch Harris: Oh HELL yes. PLEASE.
Scott Kamura: I know we’re supposed to be impartial, but FUCKING GET HIM.
“I’M GOING TO FUCKING KILL YOU.”
It wasn’t even him shouting, just a very stern, very meaningful statement and behind Coleman’s hand, Corazon smirked. Jonas wastes no time in pulling Corazon forward and shoving him back into the turnbuckle once again! You can hear the wind leave Corazon’s lungs as he grimaces. Jonas does not release the hold on Corazon’s face and just begins slamming fist after fist into Corazon’s stomach, causing the SHOOT Project’s Black Death to shut his eyes and wince in pain! Coleman doesn’t let up, reaches into his pocket, and pulls out his own box cutter! He frees the blade and holds it right up to Corazon’s eye! Coleman stops for a moment, brings his face closer to Corazon’s, and just says…
“I’m going to take WHATEVER I want from you.”
Boos ring out as security spills out from the back, accompanied by the Real Deal, who’s sprinting out behind them. Security hits the ring and IMMEDIATELY restrains Jonas Coleman, who drops his box cutter and tries to push forward in a rage!
Dutch Harris: It’s… I hate to say it because I REALLY wanted to see Adrian Corazon get his tonight, but it’s probably for the best that security hit the area on this. Jonas had murderous intentions on his mind FOR SURE.
Scott Kamura: I mean, can you blame him? After everything that Corazon has done?
Dutch Harris: I can’t, but man…. yeah.
The scene fades with a stoic Corazon standing amongst the security on his side of the ring, staring across at Jonas Coleman who is continuing to fight security AND the Real Deal to try to reach him.