Table of Contents
Loading Dock I: Lil Wyte
You want to know where the Bone Dudes go?
Hit that loading dock.
They’re resplendent in fine Avirex leathers, enjoying a shared blunt of fine spacegrass, Dave rocking a black and brown bomber and Mike in a varisty cut in bright, ferarri red. Devastating Dave is in his finest electric blue mask, while Mike chills with shades on above the facepaint. They’re nodding to a beat that seemingly only either of them can hear, and Mike is finishing off a line as we approach
Mike: …Multimillionare status, bouri, I sell dope. Got that fresh product, just came off the sailboat, yeah…
Dave nods and they dap it up—and then the door flies open, revealing a somewhat backlit figure. He steps out, scrawny, cocky, defiant. His leather jacket is suspiciously shiny, and he takes a strong guzzle from a tall can.
Mike: Ay hey hey, look who it is.
Dave: The chump.
Mike: The cautionary tale.
Dave: Jokes bruh jokes.
Mike: Eminem with less talent.
Dave: Buuba Sparxxx?
Mike: Nah he more like…
Both Brigadiers: Lil’ Wyte!
Chad executes an overblown, looping jackoff motion with the hand that isn’t currently clutching a can of Steven Seagal’s Lightning Bolt Energy. Chad swagger towards two of the SHOOT Project Battalion Champions rocking a white A-shirt, pair of gray sweat pants, and his finest red white and blue Reebok Pumps sitting over the cuffed legs of his joggers. He adjusts the orange lense shades that cover his eyes.
Chad: Oh thank God. I was hoping I would run into you two tonight.
Chad takes a swig of his energy drink and feigns a very concerned look on his face as he walks up to Dave and Mike.
Chad: I’ve been thinkin’ a lot about this beef we got going on. And I couldn’t put my finger on why you two accomplished Superstars got such beef with a lowly guy like me.
Chad flicks a finger from his can hand to tilt his shades down onto the bridge of his nose.
Chad: See I get it finally. Follow me here, boys. If The Broguns is my junk here…no wait, don’t stop listening…then Kit would prolly be my pistol here right? He in charge. Tha boss if it will.
Chad is having difficulty getting through his analogy without chuckling to himself at his infantile reference.
Chad: See that’s make you two, Tha Boney Bros, the little dangly bits here.
Chad grabs a handful of his junk with his non-can hand.
Chad: Y’all got your use, as long as Kit says you can still play. But Kit’s a modern man. He ain’t the kind a guy to make his woman take all the responsibility for family planning. That’s some straight misogyny shiz, guys. Y’all afraid now that ya Boy is seeing Rai Rai he gonna get the snip, then y’all just be for show.
Chad sticks his tongue out and raises his middle finger in his Ca-hand while still grabbing his crotch with his non-can hand.
Dave pauses for a moment and looks to Mike with overly exaggerated fake concern. He tilts his head up slightly and starts sniffing the air heavily.
Dave: Ay bruh, you smell that? Smell like…
He sniffs toward Chad.
Dave: Yep. I knew it. Smell like bitch. I like to call it eau de Kyle. Well, ‘cept for Momma Kyle. She smell like every dude ever done been balls deep.
Dave: You ol’ desperate ass, ho momma havin’ ass fuck. We ain’t got beef witchu. You just easy to make fun of. Ol’ take a nap during a match ass muhfucker.
Dave hits the blunt he’s holding and becomes a smoking skull for a second.
Dave: Now, you got a reason for being here, or are you late for gettin’ pegged by Ria? Ol’ takes after his ho momma ass muhfucker.
Mike: Chad you fuckin’ toilet seat, you trying to rumble out here? Fulton and Hemlock style? I mean not for nothing but we could get it on right–
Chad literally holds his hand up in Mike’s face, who is too stunned to even offer a retort. Chad’s normal jovial look turns deathly serious. He does his best to keep his serious face, but it contorts into a smirk.
Chad: Before I say anything else, I want you to know two things. Thing one, you gonna keep my mommy’s name out-cha mouth or I’m gonna give you a titty twister so hard you gonna think I’m milking ya for my coffee. Second. I’d give you shit for draggin’ my girls name in this, but I can’t do anything worse to y’all than she can. I’ll have you know we haven’t spoken about bedroom stuff yet. But if we do, I’ll be sure to never let you know about it.
Dave starts to open his mouth to retort, but Chad drops his can to the ground specifically to stick his hand in Dave’s face as well.
Chad: So why don’t you two tag team champ washouts take your skeleton-asses on over to catering and find someone else to bother. Elsewise imma have to take the hands and put um upside your big dumb heads.
Chad Kyle turns, shakes his arms out, and struts through the doors again, leaving an entirely nonplussed pair of Boned-out Broguns. Mike puts his hands on his hips, and Dave takes a second before pointing to the door.
Dave: How…bruh how he gonna tell us to not bother him when he came out here?
Mike: Man…fuck Chad Kyle. Let’s hotbox with God.
Tastes like fruit when you hit it.
Gotta have bread to get it.
Some people have grand ambitions and master plans. Two thirds of the Groguns just wanna chill on their loading dock, spit some silly rhymes, and maybe Doordash a party sub.
Sisters of Steel Vs. Smashtown
A Random, Yet Awesome Encounter
The camera’s show some pre-recorded video footage of Lexi Gold standing outside a dive bar building. She seems in happy spirits as she looks at the camera, adjusts her Red V Neck dress she currently has on and fixes her blonde wavy locks before walking inside. Once inside, The Golden Goddess looked around the place, realizing it wasn’t as busy as she assumed. Regardless, she just wanted to unwind and enjoy herself with a drink in hand and possibly some good company, so with that in mind, she walked over and found herself a seat on an empty stool.
While she waited for service, her eyes darted around when she spotted a familiar face sitting three seats away from her. That man was Trashcan Tim, wearing his usual tattered jeans and beaten baseball cap. She got up and went to sit next to him, using this as a way to introduce herself to him, so that’s what she did. She greeted him with a smile as she was seated comfortably in her chair, looking at him as she spoke.
Lexi Gold: This sure is a cool place for a first timer like me. It helps when a familiar face such as yourself is joining me for company. I’m Lexi Gold. No need to introduce yourself. I know exactly who you are, Tim, or do you prefer to be called Trashcan Tim?
She laughed at her own question, but at the same time didn’t want to be rude and address him wrong. Trashcan Tim, finishing a swig from his mug, slams the glass back down on the bar and wipes a hefty froth from his lips. His wide smile reveals two prominently absent front teeth.
Trashcan Tim: Tim’ll do! Nice to meet ya, Lexi!
He extends his giant mitt of a hand, callused and obviously hard-worked over the years.
She extends a hand of her own and the two shake hands for a bit before Lexi pulls away, then she looks down at his mug curiously. Perhaps, maybe, wanting to try the same thing.
Lexi Gold: What are you drinking, if I may ask? I have never been here before, so I don’t know what the popular choices are.
Tim laughs and flashes a wink that would be creepy from anybody else, but seems genuinely wholesome from him.
Trashcan Tim: Let me show ya a trick.
He taps the bottom of the mug on the counter.
Trashcan Tim: Barkeep! The lady’ll have the cheapest you got on tap!
Tim belly laughs at himself. The bartender fills a glass and sets it down in front of Lexi.
Trashcan Tim: Miss Gold, I’m a man of many things, but fancy taste ain’t one. Plus, after ya drink enough uh this stuff, taste don’t matter much.
She laughs at his choice of words, admiring his honesty as she thanked him and picked up her drink and took a few sips, then set it down.
Lexi Gold: I enjoy fancy things in life, but I also enjoy cheap shit too. This dress I’m wearing right now? Is thrifted. I just added some stuff to it to make it fit more of my style. I dig your style, Tim.
Her eyes glance down toward Tim’s worn work boots, which are held together with equal parts leather, duct tape, and optimism. He catches her looking.
Trashcan Tim: Had ‘dem boots since I was picking up trash in Merigold! Mama always said if it ain’t broke, ain’t no need to fix it. I figure they got me this far, let’s see where else they take me.
Tim lifts his glass and downs the remainder. It seems like he was about to let out a hefty belch, but remembers his company and instead stomachs it uncomfortably. He speaks with a little strain in his voice from the pressure.
Trashcan Tim: Looks like you ‘n me got a match coming up?
Lexi Gold: Yes, we certainly do. You seem like a cool cat, and I’m looking forward to seeing what you can do in that ring. I don’t know if you saw my debut match, but it got so intense that I started bleeding during it. Seeing it definitely motivated me to keep on going, and I even picked up a nice little win from it.
Trashcan Tim: I did see that! Looks like we both comin’ in with some wind in the sails.
Tim grabs the brim of his tattered Ole Miss baseball cap. With a slight downward tug, he flashes the big toothless smile at Lexi and slaps a few bills on the counter.
Trashcan Tim: Ma’am… enjoyed the company. I’ll be seein’ ya.
Lexi finishes off her drink and gets up to give him a friendly hug, then places a hand on his shoulder and looks him in the eye.
Lexi Gold: Thank you for your company as well, sir. I see a lot of potential in you in the ring, so just continue to work hard and prove to everyone that you got what it takes to rise to the top of SHOOT Project. I know this is funny coming from someone who is still new to the company, but I stand by my words. Good luck and let’s give the fans everything we got out there!
She nods her head and allows him to leave as she watches on, happy their conversation went well, and she has prepared herself enough when that match takes place.
Loading Dock II: Pipes of Peace
Like you even need to ask? Where will you find the skeletons in repose? Fine leathers and fine marijuana?
Better hit the loading dock, player.
Now things are a smidgen different. Mike is sitting down, nodding his head as he splits open a backwoods with alarming dexterity. Dave is bopping and pacing at once, checking his phone for private messages from honeys on Spitter, mumbling some raps to himself.
Dave: Davey boy a custom truck, call me Chevy Blazer, been holding it down since we would text on the Razr…Devastating Dave come straight from the barrio, blunts laced with fire flower, plonka plonka, bitch I’m Mario….
The door opens as Mikey lets out an authoritative “yerrrrr”. But this time, Chadwick Kyle isn’t here to jaw at the boys. The person who emerges walks with purpose, but his pose if conciliatory. If anything, he radiates calm self assuredness and peace. It is Braddock Kyle. The Shaman of the Kyle Family. He nods his head to Dave’s raps and offers a small smile.
Braddock: Dave, those bars are fantastic.
Dave looks at Brad and then looks at Mike.
Dave: Bruh, Ion know who you think you are but if you here, where the rest of them Kyleses?
Mike: Specifically Momma Kyle.
Dave: Phew. Yessir.
Braddock: Guys, I get it. I have a mom. She’s beautiful. Attractive.
Dave: Bruh call me a Pitmaster cuz I wanna smoke that Boston Butt, feel me?
Braddock reaches over and touches Dave’s shoulder.
Dave: …the fuck.
Braddock: Hey, I feel you, man. Not for, you know, my mother, but when a beautiful energy wafts into my life it draws me in, too. Momma Kyle’s always had the finest aura.
Mike: That what you call it?
Dave: I wanna make her…I want her to…
Mike and Brad look at Dave.
Dave: ‘Ey look, I wanted to take the word aura, right, and then I wanted to fuckin’ make it like a sound effect she’d make if we made sweet sweet funky monkey kinda love. We talkin’ like coccyx type love.
Brad and Mike continue to look at Dave.
Dave: Aura sounds kinda like a moan. Coccyx is the booty bone and it sounds like cock so there’s just…look, there’s so much meat on that bone I had to try’n eat.
Mike looks at Brad.
Mike: Yo this particular strain real good, bruh.
Braddock: You can tell, I think, that if my brothers haven’t come to fight you now after those sexual innuendos at our Mom that…
Dave: In yo’ momma’s endos.
Braddock: …I’m here alone.
Mike nods and looks over to Dave.
Mike: So if we fuck you up right now, nobody’d pop up like a muppet and try to save you.
Braddock nods. He presses his hands together and nods once again to the two of them.
Braddock: Gentlemen, I want to earn a title shot against you. I want to earn such a shot with my brothers. But, Mike, Dave, it isn’t fair to engage in vile Spitter spats while trying to provoke you into a battle.
Mike: You don’t even know how much I enjoy yo’ family goin’ off on social media because they can’t handle us.
Braddock: The fact is, gentlemen, we are a large brood. We are all different.
Dave: Got that right.
Braddock: But, no matter what, we love one another and will support one another. Vlad, Chad, Mad…die, and Russ. We always support each other. I’m the oldest of us and I’m taking it upon myself to step in right here to tell you that it’s for the best if we don’t go to war with the Broguns. We can face you in combat on a respectful battlefield, but we can’t just coerce a title shot out of Momma jokes and online disdainful discourse. So, gentlemen, please. I will go back, talk to my family, put a stop to this on our end. I am asking that you do the same on yours.
Mike and Dave look at each other and then look back to Brad. Mike extends his arm and offers Brad the blunt.
Mike: Smoke up.
Braddock: Excuse me?
Dave: Smoke up with us, bruh.
Mike: We don’t do handshake deals, doggie, we puff it out.
Dave: How do we know you ain’t a cop?
Braddock: How do you know I’m not a…I work for SHOOT Project! I’ve trained under SAIGO! My body is a temple, a symbol of purity that I’ve maintained for the entirety of my existence on this planet of ours!
Dave: Inhale or go to hell, bruh.
Mike offers the stickiest of the icky again to Brad.
Mike: My body a temple, too, homie. It’s just cloudy in there.
Dave: My body a wonderland.
Braddock: I do this and the Kyles and the Broguns are officially okay?
Braddock takes the blunt and closes his eyes. He swallows back his fear and he lets the sweetest smoke fill his lungs. He pulls in as much as he can and it’s enough to bring a smile to Mike’s face and a…well, Dave’s got a skull for a face, so assume he’s smiling, too. Brad immediately starts coughing violently. Mike grabs the blunt and Dave puts his arm around Brad. Brad looks down at his hands.
Braddock: Oh my God.
Dave: I know.
Braddock: OH MY GOD.
Dave: I don’t understand it, either, bruh. Are you, like, adopted or…?
Dave: You black.
Mike grins from ear to ear, putting his arm around Brad, the two of them flanking the elder Kyle.
Mike: This shit is GOODT, right?
Brad keeps looking at Dave.
Braddock: What…did you say I’m…I’m…
Dave: Black. Seriously.
Mike: It’s so fuckin’ good, bruh.
The Bone Brigade, the Broguns that they are, the Battalion Champions that they are, embrace their former foe and a new friendship is formed. Tears are shed for these heroes solving their problems the best and most mature way possible.
With the kushiest of the kush.
The way God intended.
SAIGO Vs. The Murderdoves
Post Match Fracas
From the crowd there’s a roar of activity, and the floor seats stand and ripple like water that has had a boulder thrown in it. Running through the fans are two hulking figures in zubaz and tank tops, zooming past and jumping the barricade, all muscles and facepaint.
Dutch Harris: The Unholy Cyber Army is here! We’ve seen them respond to challenges in many ways, but I think this is going to be purely physical!
They slide into the ring, standing tall, both men barking out jeers at either team. SEGATA and Asesino immediately begin to yell back at them and flip them off, while Keiji and Daiichi, covered in blood, look unsteadily between the two teams. There is a long moment of tension—and then Power Devil rushes both members of SAIGO!! He lays out wild, unfocused haymakers at both members, but Daiichi begins to throw back as Keiji ducks out and turns to focus on Superbeast…and catches a MASSIVE Yakuza kick right into the side of his neck!
Scott Keith: Keiji Tokugawa just got turned inside out neck first! This is what happens when you call down the thunder!!
Dutch Harris: Big men coming in here totally fresh after these two teams just went to war!
Superbeast begins to lay stomps into Keiji as Power Devil and Daiichi continue to trade blows. The crowd screams in excitement as SEGATA rushes the dueling members of SAIGO and the UCA, aiming a rushing dropkick right into Power Devil’s Midsection and sending him stumbling backwards. Daiichi cocks back almost on instinct and dives at Power Devil with a hooking lariat, taking the champ to the mat…then turns and nails SEGATA right in the face with a discus elbow!! Asesino de Luto II runs up to Superbeast and rears back with his trusty fork in his fist and BURIES it into the big man’s back, causing him to scream in pain and turn his attention to his old foe!! He breathes heavily, his eyes burning with murderous intent—and Asesino slaps him square in the mouth!! The maksed half of the Murder Doves then gives him the double bird and gets his throat gripped—Superbeast begins to walk forward, outright screaming, fork still in his shoulderblade area!!
Scott Kamura: Whoa, that’s…whoa!!
Dutch Harris: Folks this has gotten out of hand and fast, we’re looking at legitimate—Here comes Daiichi!!
Daiichi roars and runs forward, getting his leg up high and BOOTING THE FORK, causing it to drive deeper and Superbeast to drop to his knees!! He gathers the rising Keiji up, and they nod to one another, then book it for the opposite ropes…they bounce off at full speed, each gripping the other’s wrist, and LAUNCH themselves over the recovering Asesino, almost DECAPITATING Superbeast with a leaping Red-Rover Lariat!!
Dutch Harris: SAIGO! SAIGO!!
SEGATA Grabs the rising Keiji and hauls him backwards for a German—But Keiji adds momentum and lands on his feet from a backflip, adopting a fighting stance. Power Devil rushes Daiichi and forcibly throws him over the top rope to the floor, then attends to Superbeast, yanking the fork from his body. Keiji looks at the ring, realizing he’s alone against two teams who do not care for him. He sets his jaw and nods slightly, as if asking them to bring it—then begins running towards SEGATA!!
Scott Kamura: Bloodied, beaten, obviously hurt, and he’s not letting them have any breathing room!!
SEGATA Tries to intercept him with a boot to the midsection, but Keiji sidesteps him and BLASTS him in the face with a forearm!! Asesino runs at him with a spear and gets him, but Keiji catches him midair and SPIKES the other half of the Murder Doves with a DDT, then pops right to his feet!! He doesn’t give the Unholy Cyber Army any room, rushing them with a roar and forearms, but they’re both far more fresh and shrug the strikes off!! They both boot him in the midsection, then flip him up onto both of their shoulders…
Scott Kamura: They’ve got him up for a double powerbomb—shouldn’t have called them out, dummy!
Superbeast and Power Devil scream and run forward a few steps before BURYING Keiji Tokugawa into the Mat with a massive two-man powerbomb—BUT KEIJI POPS TO HIS FEET AND TAKES THEM BOTH TO THE MAT WITH A DOUBLE CLOTHESLINE!! He stands tall amidst cheers…then promptly collapses, the move catching up. Both members of the UCA reeling, the Murder Doves sight in on the exhausted Keiji, rushing over and laying in hard, Goodfellas-style kicks to the downed member of SAIGO. Suddenly there’s a roar from the crowd, and the camera cuts to the entrance—Ria Lockhart and Dani Johnson are running down the ramp, both gripping chairs!!
Dutch Harris: Sisters of Steel coming equipped with the sisters of steel, here to even up the playing field!!
Scott Kamura: More like here to take easy shots at the already hurt Tag team Champions!! Cowards!
As they slide into the ring, Asesino and SEGATA aim to cut them off—but they both catch boots to the gut, then chairs across the back in perfect sequence!! Ria’s chair is unadorned, but Dani’s has a big pink set of lips painted on the back, and she turns with a sneer, rushing to the still rising Superbeast—who leaps to his feet and socks her right in the nose!! Dani reels back, then swings the chair full force! Superbeast blocks the strike with his arm, then stumbles backwards, clutching his elbow!! Daiichi makes it into the ring, sneaking behind the reeling member of the Cyber Army…and snatching him to the mat with a neckbreaker from behind!! Power Devil is stalking Ria, and he shoots for his signature standing spear, but Ria moves her chair to cover her midsection!! Power Devil dents the chair and knocks her on her ass, but now he’s rolling around on the mat, clutching his skull!! SEGATA hits Ria with a running dropkick to the head while she’s down! Daiichi wastes zero time and headbutts Dani, causing her to stumble backwards, then falls on top of Superbeast and starts bashing him in the face with a double fisted punch flurry!! Asesino grips Power Devil from behind in a chokehold and starts jamming another fork into his forehead!! The bell is ringing repeatedly and not a soul in the ring is heeding that, as Ria and SEGATA begin to trade blows, and Dani dropkicks Daiichi in retaliation!!
Dutch Harris: This is a war!! Can we please get some semblance of order out here?!
Scott Kamura: It’s total anarchy!! Much as I love seeing my guys run wreck, this is quickly getting out of hand!!
From the seating, from the back, from seemingly all over, SHOOT Epicenter security makes their presence known, being directed by the weary-looking Lou Grimaldi himself. They feed into the ring and start separating bodies, notably Daiichi and both members of the Unholy Cyber Army taking multiple individuals to contain. As some semblance of order is being established amidst the weapons and blood, the feed cuts away to backstage to give this fracas some room to be cleaned up…
Let's Give Them Something to Talk About
Johnny Patriot, clad in a red, white, and blue tuxedo as well as his mask, huffs and puffs as he walks through the SHOOT Project Epicenter’s hallways with his arms loosely carrying large sheets of poster board and an artist’s easel.
He gets awkward looks as he finally stops outside of his destination: craft services.
Patriot knocks on the door – so in a hurry and out of breath he forgets he can just walk right in any time he wants.
Opening the door is Blaze Claymore, his hair back in a ponytail and wearing a lime green suit and pink corsage.
Johnny Patriot: Oh! Blaze! Exactly who I was looking for. Are you on your way to prom?
Blaze looks Patriot up and down.
Blaze Claymore: No…. are you going to a board meeting?
Johnny smiles and gives Blaze a thumbs up.
Johnny Patriot: Haha, very funny. Wait, actually, yes. A board meeting of sorts. Why don’t you sit yourself in that seat right over there and grab some poutine or something?
Patriot points to the chair in the middle of the room, forcefully.
Blaze Claymore: Johnny, they don’t have ANY hot food here let alone pout-
Patriot puts a finger up to Claymore’s face, millimeters from touching Blaze’s lips.
Johnny Patriot: Just wait, my maple-sucking friend!
Johnny stands on his toes and scans the room, seeing that joining Blaze in the room is KIMO, Lexi Gold, Go Gensai, and of course, Chadwick Kyle. Patriot sets the easel upright and places the poster board on said easel. The first sheet of poster board is a title page. “WHY YOU SHOULD WEAR A MASK” is written on the page. Patriot stands to the side of it as he addresses the room.
Johnny Patriot: Thank you for joining us today, ladies and gentlemen and Chad.
Patriot looks at Chad and nods. He then looks back out at the people in the room, a tuft of orange beard poking out from behind his mask.
Johnny Patriot: Blaze, as you are all well aware, beat me at Master of the Matt. Not to be outdone, I challenged Blaze for a rem-
Blaze Claymore: That’s not true, I challenged yo-
Johnny Patriot: That…that makes no sense, you beat me first. Why would you challenge me? I challenged you for Master of the Mask!
Blaze Claymore: Sure. Whatever. What… happened next, oh great narrator.
Patriot extends out a pointer from his hand and swats Blaze with it. Blaze rubs his arm where Patriot swatted him.
Blaze Claymore: Ow!
Johnny Patriot: My presentation! You’re ruining it!
Johnny huffs again. Blaze throws his hands up and gives in. Patriot, seeing the defeat in Blaze’s eyes, continues.
Johnny Patriot: I challenged Blaze to Master of the Mask, and I was VICTORIOUS. And according to the rules agreed to by Mr. Claymore here…
Johnny yanks a sheet of paper down from the easel to reveal a photo of Blaze Claymore with some sort of Zorro-style bandana with eye-holes cut out.
Chadwick Kyle coughs into the crook of his elbow involuntarily.
Johnny Patriot: Quiet Chad!
Blaze Claymore: Quiet Chad!
Johnny Patriot: Now… I know you’ve been off globetrotting as part of this tag team invitational thing with Jacob Mephisto, of all people, but this time it’s ME… I mean… I… who will get his man. Mount-ME… will get their man.
As Johnny fumbles for his words Blaze gets a worried look in his eyes.
Blaze Claymore: Don’t try and sexually assault me with your words, Patriot. I’m not going to mount you.
The other SHOOT Project soldiers in the room have begun to pull out their phones to begin recording whatever happens next.
Johnny Patriot shakes his head and goes to swat Blaze with the pointer again but he dodges out of the way. A frustrated Patriot returns his attention to his presentation and flips the first page back.
Johnny Patriot: Page one: You said if I beat you I got to choose a new persona for you.
Patriot swats the first page, which has a crude drawing of Blaze Claymore with a bunch of country’s flags and arrows pointed toward him, with his pointer. Then he quickly flips the page over, then another, then another, reading off names at a rapid pace accompanied by more crude drawings.
Johnny Patriot: Pages two through forty!
Blaze Claymore: FORTY!?
Johnny Patriot: EXACTLY! I Went through every possible combination of American allies that need, no deserve, their own Johnny Patriot.
Johnny Patriot: Pierre la France! Gunter the German! Scotty 2 Hotty!
Blaze Claymore: Uh….
Patriot waves his pointer back in Blaze’s face with a smile.
Johnny Patriot: That’s when it hit me!
Blaze Claymore: Right now I want to hit you.
Johnny Patriot: Two years ago – you were in a movie, some David Cronenberg knockoff called Kitty-o-Drome?
Blaze looks shocked.
Blaze Claymore: You saw that?
Johnny Patriot: Of course! But that’s besides the point.
Blaze Claymore: I feel like that’s entirely the point.
Everyone else in craft services groans as the two keep prolonging the situation.
Chadwick Kyle: Get on with it!
Johnny Patriot: Quiet Chad!
Blaze Claymore: Quiet Chad!
Johnny flips over the final page and swats his pointer against his presentation documents to show a more thoughtfully-constructed drawing of a luchador in red and white with a large maple leaf on the front of their uniform. Then, in big red letters above the drawing is the name:
Johnny Patriot: Who better to assist America’s greatest wrestler than a representative of our kindly neighbor to the north!
Blaze can’t believe what he is seeing as the rest of the wrestlers are stifling back laughter, which immediately sets the SAG Award-Winning* Actor on edge.
Blaze Claymore: So… you’ve decided to dress me up as a joke? Of all… of all the things you could have chosen…
Johnny waves his hands in protest.
Johnny Patriot: No, no, no, my friend! This isn’t a joke because you see… I’ve already cleared it with Talent Relations.
Blaze Claymore: Cleared WHAT with them?
Johnny points dramatically towards Blaze Claymore.
Johnny Patriot: You can keep being Blaze Claymore in singles competition … but you and I? I mean… Johnny Patriot and Kenny Canuck? We’re going to be SHOOT Project’s newest tag team.
As if on cue, everyone else in craft services stands up and begins clapping, or at least as much as they can while still recording on their phones, with some getting more rowdy than others.
And then, also as if on cue, both members of SHOOT Project’s newest, strangest team turn to look and shout, once again, in unison:
Johnny Patriot: Quiet Chad!
Kenny Canuck: Quiet Chad!
Lexi Gold Vs. Trashcan Tim
Triple the Threat
Ah, catering. The great gathering point at any wrestling show. And tonight, it’s certainly getting its fair share of action.
Daihm “The Dragon” Ferguson, hot REIGN talent, is looking star struck at the assortment of SHOOT Project Soldiers in the room snacking on stale popcorn and cold cuts when out of the corner of his eye he catches yet another person walking into the room. The same person who, two weeks ago, offered to do what SHOOT Project World Champion Joshua Breedlove refused to do: fight him.
Lindsay Troy’s not dressed to compete tonight; she’s only here to support her VALOR teammate NEMESIS in her ApeX tournament match against Dan Stein. She grabs a couple bottles of water and, sensing eyes are on her, looks around. Her hazel orbs settle on Daihm and, giving the youngster a smile, she heads over to him.
Lindsay Troy: Hey. Daihm, right?
Daihm nearly drops his SOLO cup full of iced tea as the Queen of the Ring and reigning Master of the Mat steps up with her hand outstretched towards him.
Lindsay Troy: I’ve seen you in REIGN, you’re a hell of a fighter. Your dad was too, I remember him from back in the day.
Daihm isn’t quite sure how to take the compliment; he bristles at first but then lowers his guard and smiles, taking Lindsay’s hand and returning to gesture.
Daihm: That’s very kind of you. I… just wish I woulda had the opportunity to know’em. And part of me hopes that I’ll still be able to if I can just get the right chance.
Lindsay Troy: Well, no better chance than fighting me since Breedlove wouldn’t give you the time of day. How about it?
Daihm looks the veteran up and down in a bit of shock as he lets out a short, nervous laugh.
Daihm: You’re bloody serious? I heard ya made a big stink about Breedlove doing me and a couple other folks dirty, but I wasn’t expecting a legit offer. I can’t tell ya what that’d mean to me – even if it does mean I’d risk not being able to woo the fine young gentlemen of Los Angeles with my looks before I get the chance to open my mouth and make a fool of myself.
While the two stand near the catering table talking, Malice steps into the area. He is wearing his face-paint, but not any actual wrestling gear. He walks towards the table, pours a small cup of coffee then walks to Lindsay and Daihm.
Malice: Ms. Troy? I’m Malice. I’ve heard so much about you, and have enjoyed watching you succeed in SHOOT. I was hoping for a moment of your time.
Both Lindsay and Daihm turn to the new arrival.
Lindsay Troy: Sure. You want to take me up on my match offer too?
Malice looks at Daihm and Daihm reaches a hand out towards Malice for a handshake but Malice simply smiles at him and turns his attention back towards Lindsay.
Malice: It’s not exactly a World Championship match, is it? But then again, you could end up beating Breedlove. It wouldn’t do me too bad to have a win against you in my back pocket if that were to happen.
Daihm looks between the two of them and raises his hand.
Daihm: Sorry, mate; you’re not the only one with a blood connection to this business. Ms. Troy and I already came to an agreement about a match. But, I’m sure there is something we can figure out as a group to be fair to everyone involved.
Malice: Listen man, I know you were here first and all, but I don’t really see how beating you is going to do anything for me. But if you want to make this match a triple threat, I don’t really have any problem with that either. As long as Lindsay doesn’t use it as an excuse as to why she lost to me.
Daihm crosses his arms.
Daihm: Don’t write a check your ass can’t cash there, mate. But, you’re right that this one is totally up to the Master of the Mat here.
Lindsay Troy: I think it’s very adorable that you’re squabbling over fighting me when I was the one who put the challenge out to both of you in the first place. If you kids want a triple threat, then let’s do it. And Malice…
The Queen smirks.
Lindsay Troy: You won’t have to worry about me using anything as an excuse. Don’t know if I’ll be saying the same for you when this is all said and done.
Malice tops his cup up. He nods to Daihm and addresses the Master of the Mat.
Malice: You don’t have to worry about me. You two just come up with the when, and I’ll be there.
Malice turns as he is elbowed by Chad Kyle thumbing past him through the donuts on the table.
Chad Kyle: Oh hey, Lindsay! Didn’t see you there. I heard you mentioning something about throwing out challenges, and uh…I don’t know if you just forgot to send me my challenge or if it got lost in the mail…
All three look at the Master of Chadanomics like he’s sprouted three heads before replying in unison.
Lindsay, Daihm, Malice: Shut up, Chad!
Molly Stein walks several feet in front of her husband, carrying a cell phone. His cell phone. Dan wears a purple button down dress shirt with light blue pinstripes, and is pulling up his ring tights as he hops along behind her, fumbling with the Shut Up and FIGHT! Championship over buckled over his shoulder.
Dan Stein: C’mon, Molly. I swear I’ll be good.
Molly Stein: I told you, Dan. After your match with Judy-E, you can have the cell phone back.
Dan finishes pulling on his ring gear and catches up to Molly. He jumps in front of her and stops her dead in her tracks. He adjusts the championship.
Dan Stein: I have to see what Mike and Kitsune are up to.
Molly sighs, putting her hand up on his free shoulder.
Molly Stein: Dan, look at yourself. I’ve seen more self control out of a toddler than I have you since I took this thing away.
Dan Stein: It was one night, alright? It didn’t mean anything, Baby.
Stein looks at her with puppy dog eyes. Molly snickers to herself, putting a finger up to stop him.
Molly Stein: Don’t you go calling me “Baby” now, Mr. Stein. I said what I said. After your latest escapade on Spitter, you don’t need your phone. Now it’s all you can think about. Going to get yourself hurt against Judy-E if you don’t pay attention to what’s important, Mister. You don’t really use it for anything BESIDES Spitter anyways, and that’s few and far between.
Molly slides the phone into her purse. Stein laughs, putting his hands on his hips.
Dan Stein: Like that’ll stop me from trying to get it back.
Dan reaches for the purse, but Molly slaps his hand away. Dan rubs his hand gingerly.
Molly Stein: Now go back to your room and put your boots on, Mister. You’ve got a match to win tonight.
As Dan bobs his head in agreement, a familiar face appears from off camera. Dan sees her first, causing Molly to turn around and look at her.
Dan Stein: Lexi! Thank God you’re here, tell her to give me my phone back.
Lexi looks at Dan stoic faced.
Lexi Gold: As much as I’m enjoying you and your wife playing the cat and mouse game, you should consider defending that title of yours. You are a great champion, don’t get me wrong, but as a champion your job is to defend it proudly no matter what.
Lexi crosses her arms and leans against the wall, eyeing his title and the both of them. Dan adjusts the Shut Up and FIGHT! Championship again, this time out of awkward nervousness.
Dan Stein: H-hey, you’re right.
Molly steps forward, trying to cut him off. Dan nods to her, reassuring his wife, then looks back at Lexi. Molly steps back.
Dan Stein: I’ve got the ApeX going on, but that’s no reason not to defend this championship. You claimed your shot at it. I should be giving it to you.
Dan pulls his tights up a little higher.
Dan Stein: You’ll get your shot in two weeks. I promise you that.
Lexi licks her lips and nods her head, happy to hear the news.
Lexi Gold: Sounds good, but try not to get yourself killed before our match. I want you alive and at your very best.
Dan laughs at her. Lexi is in no laughing mood. Dan rubs the back of his head. He asks her the next question, nervously.
Dan Stein: K-killed? You know something I don’t?
Lexi Gold: Nah.. you got a title, so you gotta be careful. There are snakes around here that will do anything to get what they want. I was one of them, but those days are behind me. I’ll see you in two weeks, Dan..
Lexi eyes the both of them once again before turning to walk away. Dan watches his challenger walk away, then looks to Molly.
Dan Stein: Keep the phone. I’ve got a match to prepare for.
The camera fades on Dan and Molly, with Dan rubbing his wrist.
Josh Conway Vs. Jacob Mephisto
Who Is It?
The crowd suddenly lets out a ROAR, causing Mephisto’s head to whip around towards the entrance ramp.
Dutch Harris: Here comes Azraith!
Azraith DeMetri comes barreling toward the ring with reckless abandon and rolls in. Mephisto immediately tries to bail, but Az SNATCHES him by his hair and stops him in his tracks!
Dutch Harris: Not this time! Azraith has him!
Mephisto whirls around and swings wildly, connecting square with Az’s jaw, but The Avatar doesn’t so much as flinch! Azraith biels Mephisto nearly across the ring and stalks forward.
Mephisto backs into the corner and pulls himself up holding out his hands.
Mephisto: Hold on now, Sandma-
Azraith throws a right hand and clobbers Mephisto across the jaw a single time. Mephisto’s head snaps to the side.
Azraith: Who is it?
Mephisto’s shoulders shake and, as he picks his head up, we see him laughing.
Mephisto: It’s the Rooster, Sandm-
Another right hand rocks Mephisto’s jaw. He winces in pain but still chokes out another laugh, leaning back into the turnbuckles.
Azraith: Who. Is. It?
Mephisto wipes the small trickle of blood that falls from his lip and begins to sing.
Mephisto: Ooooo Ooooo Ooo Oo Oo Ooo…
Azraith loses his cool. He SNATCHES Mephisto around the throat and begins to throttle Mephisto in the corner.
Azraith: YOU THINK THIS IS A GAME? WHO THE FUCK IS IT?
Mephisto claws at Azraith’s hands, trying to pry them off, but Az keeps it up, SCREAMING into Mephisto’s face.
Dutch Harris: Azraith is determined to get answers here tonight. Oh! Look out!
Scott Kamura: Reinforcements!
The crowd unleashes a chorus of boos as Patience and Decius Montgomery slide into the ring and make a beeline for Azraith.
Patience leaps onto Az’s back and begins to smash her head into the back of Az’s head and neck area. Decius rushes in and chop blocks Az, causing him to release Mephisto. Mephisto immediately drops down and bails out of the ring. He immediately backs up the ramp.
Dutch Harris: And Mephisto has unleashed the Montgomery Twins like a pack of wild dogs onto Azraith!
Azraith begins to thrash around, kicking Decius away and flipping Patience off his back. Patience charges forward again, but Azraith stops her in her tracks with a right hand! Decius becomes incensed and HURLS himself forward into a huge lariat!
Dutch Harris: The Twins have bitten off more than they can chew with Azraith DeMetri!
Scott Kamura: Yea, I’ve got to agree here. Mephisto plays some great mind games, but the Twins are in for an education tonight.
Azraith stops for a second as the Twins stalk him. He ducks between the ropes and calls for a mic.
Azraith: You know what? You want to fucking do this? Fine.
He points up to Mephisto.
Azraith: Pay attention, Jacob! You wanna fuck around with family? I’m gonna fuck around with family. GET ME A FUCKING REF!
Dutch Harris: What? We’re gonna have a handicap match right now?
Here Comes the Rooster
Azraith stands again, his arm raised in victory. Mephisto stands on the entrance stage, pale, gray eyes calculating. He slowly claps. After a few seconds, he smirks down at a seething Azraith DeMetri. Mephisto retrieves a microphone and holds it up.
Mephisto: You know, Azraith, this is just more fun than a barrel of monkeys!
The crowd lets out a loud boo.
Mephisto: I mean, I just love watching you squirm. “WHO IS IT?”
Mephisto laughs like a maniac at his own imitation of Azraith.
Mephisto: You know what? I’ll give you a hint. It’s about pride. It’s a dangerous thing, you know? And pride comes before the fall.
Azraith’s eyes narrow, seemingly trying to comprehend Mephisto’s words.
Mephisto: But, then again, it’s never really been about the fall for you, Azraith… just the sudden stop at the end.
Azraith’s left eye twitches just for a fraction of a second, but the minuscule gesture holds a million emotions.
Mephisto: You see, you’ve always kept that beast of yours in a cage, always making sure that your friends… even your enemies, are always on the outside.
Azraith starts to pace in the ring, running his hands through his hair. His face is a mask of ever-changing emotion.
Mephisto begins to whistle again. He whistles that godforsaken tune that worms its way into Azraith’s ears.
And then the lights go out.
Mephisto: WAKE UP, SANDMAN!
A second later, the lights come to life in the same dull orange as last time and a slow, dull roar begins to emanate from the crowd that builds into a frenzy.
Eryk Masters: Holy…
The Rooster, a beast of a man, is standing at the top of a row of steps as he slowly, methodically begins walking down to the ring.
Other Guy: How… how long was he there Eryk? How did no one SEE him?
Azraith’s eyes are glued to the scene of this… thing. Making his way towards him like a slow-moving natural disaster that you can see but are powerless to stop.
Suddenly, a booming voice comes through the speakers in the Epicenter – there is no microphone in his hand, but there is no mistaking who is speaking. A voice like hissing air escaping a tire fills the arena.
Rooster: Mr. Ssssssssandddddddddddman.
A dry, caustic laugh follows as the figure continues his descent down the steps – fans in the aisles recoiling in waves as he passes them.
As this happens, Mephisto’s voice cuts through the din as he cackles with laughter. His manic reaction is a stark contrast to the slowly escalating terror that is eminating from the scene. The Twins have made their way to their “father’s” side, sullen looks on their young faces, but Mephisto pays them no mind, lost in his glee.
Rooster: Not ssssssooo long ago… I used to look up to you…
Other Guy: Jesus Christ. What’s happening here? I feel like I’m in a horror movie right now.
Eryk Masters: Sorry, OG, but if push comes to shove I will not hesitate to sacrifice you if it means I have a chance of survival.
Now Rooster has reached the barricade separating the audience from the ring. Azraith is seething as the enormous figure, clad in a plague doctor mask, Stetson hat, and leather vest, orange hair falling over his shoulders as he points a finger towards the ring.
Rooster: That is… until I was looking down at you.
With that line, Azraith bolts from the ring, making a beeline for Rooster, but as soon as he steps through the ropes, the lights in the arena go pitch black. Mere seconds pass before all the normal lighting returns and we see Azraith standing at the edge of the barricade with a tuft of orange hair gripped in his hand – but absolutely no sign of the Rooster… and no answers.
Mephisto laughs into his microphone as a frustrated Azraith turns to look and seethes with anger.
Eryk Masters: The mystery of who The Rooster is – and what he means to Azraith – continues, OG. But Mephisto can only tempt fate for so long before the Avatar comes to collect his pound of flesh.
Other Guy: After what Azraith showed us tonight, I would not want to be on the other side of the ring with him if I were Mephisto or Rooster. I’d make a joke about chickens coming home to roost but I feel that would be in poor taste.
Eryk Masters: Good call. Good call.
Cal Crawford Vs. X-Calibur
A Silent Confrontation
We cut backstage, where Abigail Chase is standing by with the Sisters of Steel.
Chase: Danni, Ria, thank you for joining me! You two have been on a roll fire awhile now. You’re the number one contenders to the Unholy Cyber Army for the tag team titles. I wanted to get-
Before Abigail could continue, the three women look to their right… UCA has decided to join them. Chase takes a step back. Danni ends up behind Ria, almost looking like she’s hiding behind her friend. Ria just stares at the two massive men. She can’t help but swallow hard as she seems to be trying to keep her composure.
Chase: Uh, Unholy Cyber Army have joined us, gentlemen…is there something you wanted to say?
She holds the mic out to Power Devil, who ignores her and leans closer to Danni. She visibly gulps, but then shakes her head slightly and tries to puff her chest up. Abigail Chase looks at that, then extends the mic to Superbeast, who calmly pulls it from her hand and throws it over his shoulder before getting closer to Ria. He points to his eyes. Points to her.
And the Unholy Cyber Army walks off. Abigail recovers her mic and walks back over to the Sisters of Steel.
Chase: Strong word–well, looks, from the Unholy Cyber Army. Ria, Danni, what kind of strategy are you hoping to use against the champions?
After taking a moment to compose themselves, Danni finally steps from behind Ria.
Danni: Strategy? I’m thinking… try not to die.
Danni: What? Each guy weighs more by themselves than we do combined. They’re power hungry, battle hungry and don’t really have a shred of mercy in their bodies. The tag titles are what drives them and we’re trying to take those away.
Ria looks at her friend for a moment.
Ria: Danni… Are you scared of UCA?
Danni gives Ria a baffled look.
Danni: Am I afraid of them? Uh, yeah. I’m pretty damn scared of them. Terrified, even.
Just saying the words seems to have put Danni back in that mindset. She looks uncomfortable, paranoid. Ria lets out a sigh.
Ria: Yeah… I’m scared too.
Ria: Yeah… Everything you said is true. In most of our matches, I want us to fight hard and win. I’m not usually worried about what might happen. If we beat UCA, it’ll be because we survived. They’re gonna hurt us. There’s no maybe there. We can’t run, though. We don’t have a choice. We’re gonna have to face them.
Hearing those words spoken out loud leads to a look of dread crossing Danni’s face.
Danni: Sorry Abby, we gotta get outta here. We have some planning to do.
Ria gently puts an arm around her friend’s shoulder as the two walk off whispering to each other.
You're a Hero
Abigail Chase: Joining me now is none other than “The Realness”, Jamie Johnson. Jamie’s got an ApeX match coming up tomorrow night against none other than SHOOT Project Hall of Famer, Ayumi Seppuku!
Jamie Johnson: He sure does. A big, big match. Abigail Chase: So far, you’ve gone down 0-1 in this tournament. You dropped one to your mentor and friend, Nate Robideau. You picked one up over him at Master of the Mat, so you guys are kinda going a little bit back and forth, it seems like. How is that loss weighing on you? Jamie Johnson: Well, I hate losing in general, but losing to Nate is a special kind of burn just because of how much he and I have gone through together and how much we’ve put each other through. Obviously no hard feelings or anything like that, but it’s tough to lose to someone who you’re chasing. Just gotta dust yourself up and move on, I guess.
Abigail Chase: Only thing you can really can do in a tournament like this. You’re up against former SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion and Hall of Famer Ayumi Seppuku next. You were oddly quiet in the time leading up to this match. You have anything you want to say now? Jamie sighs and turns to look into the camera. Jamie Johnson: I’ve been quiet because I needed to focus. Needed to get my eyes reset so that I can put my best foot forward in this tournament. Ayumi Seppuku is not just a former champion and a hall of famer, but she’s a legend. A bonafide, SHOOT Project, homegrown legend. Her name is spoken amongst all of the greats, and where she’s at is where I want to be when this is all said and done. And on top of all of that? Jamie shrugs. Jamie Johnson: Ayumi Seppuku is a hero. You see how she connects with the fans out there. They LOVE her. She has everything you need to be a favorite to win this thing, and I am still working it all out. 2022 has gotten off to a rough start for me, wins and losses wise, but whether it’s Nate, Ayumi, Void, Gensai, or IAM… I’m going to fight my ass off to belong in the ring with them. Thanks, Abby.
Jamie smiles as the camera re-focuses on Abigail Chase.
Abigail Chase: Brief, yet poignant remarks from one of the up and coming stars here in the SHOOT Project! For now though, it’s main event time! NEMESIS Vs. Dan Stein… NEXT!