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Ruination 30

Ruination 30

Best of LUck

“You’ve GOT this, man,” the show opens to Sin City Champion, Jamie Johnson, walking backstage towards gorilla with someone who looks JUST like him in tow. They come up on gorilla and see Real Deal, headset on focused on the monitor. He turns and is surprised at what he sees.

Real Deal: Jack? …what are you doing here?

He casts a suspicious eye towards Jamie, who simply shrugs his shoulders and smiles.

Jamie Johnson: Jack showed up a couple of weeks ago after I got sidelined with the concussion. I’m surprised you didn’t know he was in town.

Real Deal: Very surprising, indeed.

Jack Johnson: Yeah dad, thought you knew about eeeeeverything that happens around these parts?? Hmm?! I saw that Jamjam got hurt, so I figured I’d drop in and check on him. You know, make sure he’s okay and recovering well.

Real Deal looks at the two of them and shrugs his shoulders, turning his attention back to the monitors.

Real Deal: Music’s starting, Jamie. Best of luck out there.

Haseo Karasawa Vs. Jamie Johnson (c)

A Soul for the Nganga

Taped on August 4th, 2022

 

The scene opens up in a graveyard in front of a large tombstone. It is late at night, with only a small, battery-powered lamp to light the scene, obscuring the tombstone’s words. There is a large hole in front of the tombstone. The camera zooms into the hole and films down, revealing two men. One of the men is older, his beard and long hair grey and unkempt, while the other is younger, also bearded, but much more trim and put together. They are both digging deep into the ground. The younger man suddenly stops his digging, frustration on his face.

 

Young Man: Why are we doing this? It’s late, this sucks, and if we get caught, we’re done working for this cemetery.

 

The old man stops, wiping sweat from his brow.

 

Old Man: The money we are being paid is better than this damned cemetery pays us. Fuck the city. Let’s finish the job, make our money, and get out.

 

The old man drives his shovel into the ground, but instead of just hitting the dirt, he hits something hard. He looks up at the young man, smiling, and with an end in sight, they both get to work more vigorously. They quickly uncover a casket, which, after a little more dirt is cleared, they open, revealing the skeleton, mostly decomposed, but still with a moderate amount of decayed, fleshy bits.

 

Young Man: Alright, we found him.

 

The two men climb out of the hole. Upon exiting, the camera reveals who they are speaking to. A giant, masked man stands before them both. The camera pans around to reveal the face of El Cuco, who grins a vile smile.

 

El Cuco: Excellent. You’ve done well, mi panas

 

El Cuco reaches into his pocket and pulls out a large wad of cash, clearly all one-hundred-dollar bills. He hands the money to the older man, who nods, but it is clear that, despite the term of endearment used by El Cuco, the two men are made very uncomfortable. Having been paid for the job, the two men exit quickly. El Cuco grabs the electric lamp, looking down at the mostly decayed skeleton.

El Cuco: Finally, I have you. The soul I need for my Nganga. El guerrero por mi ritual. Yes, my sleeping friend, you will awaken, and what you give to me, I will give back to you.

 

El Cuco laughs. He holds his lantern to the tombstone. The light illuminates the marble just enough to read…

 

Erik Boyer

 

The scene fades to black.

The Dragon's Lair

The camera cuts from black to what looks to be a television studio set of some kind.

A three-wall setup is made to look like a castle dungeon with various weapons strewn about the floor and a pile of gold sitting off in the corner.

 

Hanging from the walls are skeletons on shackles featuring name plaques above each: “Josh Johnson,” “Sean Kygon,” “Donovan King,” and “Lennox Ferguson.”

 

Breaking the entire illusion is a high-definition television set dropped squarely in the middle of the room.

Seconds after the scene registers, a confident-looking Daihm Ferguson steps into frame wearing a flowing blue and white cape and robe over his usual ring gear. His natural red hair has grown over time and how rests just above his shoulders as he sweeps the cape behind him and sits onto a large, but auserte throne and nods to the television set which comes to life with an elaborate graphic that reads:

 

 

Daihm Ferguson: SHOOT Project, for too long certain members of our roster have not had their chance to speak to you directly. Too often blokes just grab a microphone, scream incessant ramblings, and then hit you with a chair or a block of food or stab you with a fork and THAT is what passes for constructive discourse.

The Dragon shakes his head.

Daihm Ferguson: But that ends tonight! Because I am inviting ANY member of our roster to come speak their piece here in The Dragon’s Lair. You’ve got something you want to get off your chest? Something the prats in the C-Suite won’t let you say? You’ve got an open forum here.

Daihm nods to the television screen, which flips over to a direct-to-camera shot of a familiar face with blue streaks through his black hair – smirking despite some still clearly mending bruises.

Daihm Ferguson: And on that note let me introduce our inaugural guest, the one and only Azraith DeMitri. Thank you, Az, for agreeing to be here today.

 

Azraith DeMitri: Oh without a doubt, Daihm, honestly it’s an honor being a part of the first show.  My apologies if I sound a bit different, I…this is my first real public conversation since the match and I’m still not quite up to where I’d like to be.

 

Az smiles, dark bruising still evident around his neck.  His normally deep voice has a rasp to it now, something like a whisper in the back of his throat.

 

Azraith DeMitri: Regardless of all that, though, I hope I can keep y’all entertained as best I can.

 

Daihm nods and gestures towards the screen.

 

Daihm Ferguson: I know many of us here are wishing you a speedy recovery and miss havin’ yeh’ in the back – regardless of whether you’re on the bookings sheet or not. Which leads me to my first question, which has been gnawing at me a bit, and the blokes watching: Now that you’ve finished your clash with Jacob Mephisto…what is there left for Azraith DeMitri to do in SHOOT Project?

 

Az blinks a moment, letting that sit in for a second before chucking awkwardly.

 

Azraith DeMitri: Right to the meat and potatoes then.  Whooh…well…right now the doctors still say I have about three to six weeks recovery time minimum before I’m back in the ring.  I’m working on keeping my cardio up, breathing has been a bit more of a struggle the last lil’ bit, but we’re getting there.  Nothing broken, nothing irrevocably torn up, just banged up, bruised…just fuckin’ hurt, Daihm.  To get back to your point though…what’s next?  What’s left?  I try not to think about it that way.  I got some stuff on my bucket list definitely…there are some names I’d like to get crossed off my bar napkin.  At the same time, there are so many amazing new talents coming into SHOOT like yourself.  Some young, some new to the industry, some just new to SHOOT…and it’s awesome to see them work.  I’d love to step into the ring with some of them.  Beyond everything else, though?

 

Az pauses a moment, looking down

 

Azraith DeMitri: I ain’t one to skip my place in line…and as far as I see it I’m at the back of it at the moment…but when my time comes and I’ve earned my place…

 

He looks back up to the camera, a stone-serious face creeping across his features.

 

Azraith DeMitri: I want a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship.

 

Daihm smiles slightly before chuckling, nodding.

 

Daihm Ferguson: I wouldn’t expect anything less, Azraith. That would be a bloody statement, wouldn’t it? While I am sure you feel it’s a lofty goal, it’s one I have absolutely no doubt you will reach. Speaking of… do you have any thoughts on the current champion, Joshua Breedlove?

 

Az’s face blanches a bit, and he shakes his head a little.

 

Azraith DeMitri:  Honestly?  Not really.  He can be charming at times, off-puttingly so when he isn’t being an ass on the internet.  I’ve learned over the span of my career that men like Josh live on engagement.  They thrive on the attention their opponents bring them.  He’s had my number at least once, he knows he can beat me in theory.  If…when I eventually get around to getting my shot…he’s still champion?  Then I’ll have more to say.  Right now, it’s his championship.

 

Daihm nods and leans in towards the screen.

Daihm Ferguson: And heading into Iron Will 2 there is a LOT that can change. As you are well aware. 

 

Azraith nods.

 

Daihm Ferguson: Which is why I have to ask – when you were talking just there about getting back into the ring, have you ever thought about…well…not?  Not takin’ the piss, mind you…but you’re a personable guy, probably one of the most recognizable faces in SHOOT. Have you thought about leveraging that into being an even bigger celebrity?

Azraith laughs at that, though instantly regretting it as he coughs a little right afterwards.

 

Azraith DeMitri:  I’d be lying if I said I never thought about it.  I’d like to think that even if everyone here doesn’t necessarily like me, they respect me, and know that I understand the business.  I’ve already been doing work behind the scenes over the last few months.  I’ve done some narration work for some SHOOT television projects and documentaries that have been gestating.  I do a lot of charity and benefits work.  Lots of events, stuff like that.  I enjoy it, really, being able to do some stuff and engage with the business I love without being dropped on my skull every couple of weeks…but…

 

Daihm Ferguson: …But?

 

Azraith DeMitri:  I dunno.  Like I said…I got some stuff left to do.  Some names to cross off my list.  Sometimes it feels like I’m this ghost…Ghost?  Heh.  A wandering spirit of Wrestling Past.  I didn’t get to finish some shit in a previous life, so now I haunt this place, waiting for my moments to rectify unfinished business.  All that flowery prose to say I don’t quite know why I still do it Daihm…but I’ll know when I get there.

 

They both let that hang in the air a second before Daihm nods, his smile fading before he continues.

 

Daihm Ferguson:  Pivoting a bit…to say you’re a wanderin’ spirit isn’t inaccurate.  You’ve been through several companies’ doors, not just SHOOT.  RDWF, DIWF, numerous stints in SHOOT, a brief failed run in LEGACY, and your infamous time in OPW.  During that career you, at least it seemed, to burn a lot of bridges, some leadin’ to the most storied names in our career.  Several of them currently run SHOOT Project…how do you realistically see your legacy in SHOOT with those names pulling the levers… writing the next chapter of SHOOT’s history, so to speak?

 

Azraith blinks before looking down.  His jaw sets…not particularly in anger, but more in a quiet contemplation for a moment before he looks back up.

 

Azraith DeMitri:  I make no excuses for any of my previous behavior.  For a long…long time in my career…hell, in my life, I’ve been a piece of shit to a lot of people that didn’t deserve it.  Friends, loved ones…family.  Co-workers especially.  I don’t think re-litigating that shit in public is particularly healthy for anyone involved…but I do want to say this.  Josh Johnson asked me to come back.  He gave me an opportunity knowing full well what I’ve done…and what I’ve said in the past.  So if he’s still bent out of shape about any of that shit, and I wouldn’t fault him for it…my door is always open.  I’ll talk to him personally about it, and we’ll get it settled.  Same for Sean…and same for Donovan.  However they want to square things…I’m around to make it happen.  As for any concerns that’d get in the way of my personal career here in SHOOT…or hell, my family’s legacy in SHOOT?

 

Azraith shakes his head, a smirk forming on his face.

 

Azraith DeMitri:  They know that at a moments notice…if this company is in danger and they need a pillar…a fucking atlas to hold the world up on it’s shoulders until things get back to normal…they have me…and not to brag but they have my daughter, who could do it twice as well with half the complaining.  My legacy is fine.  

 

Daihm’s expression gets a tad more serious as he lets Azraith’s words hang in the air.

Daihm Ferguson: Last question for you, then, Azraith… you mentioned a lot of names there but you seemed to leave an important one out. Lennox Ferguson. Now… you rightfully said that you’ve been a pillar of this company for years. And that Josh Johnson asked you back because he trusted you to lift this company up. Why, then, would he ask Lennox Ferguson back after he abandoned SHOOT Project? A common trend I’m finding in his history… After all, you were close with him before he ghosted this company – what do you think is going on there?

 

Azraith DeMitri: Look, Daihm… I know Lennox is your dad and all so I’m going to choose my words carefully.

 

Daihm Ferguson: Don’t.

Daihm grips the arm rests of his seat visibility while Azraith sighs.

Azraith DeMitri: Lennox is like a lot of people who’ve come and gone through SHOOT in its history. He’s not the first and certainly not the last to leave this company without a word. Hell, I did it more than once. But now that he’s back – I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Not that I wouldn’t anyways, but anything less would make me a hypocrite.

Daihm gets visibly frustrated.

Daihm Ferguson: So you don’t think it’s a little mental that he’s targeted certain roster members to fight for their livelihood? Has that EVER happened in this company’s history… or is it just some ego trip that Lennox is on?

 

Azraith lowers his head and chuckles slightly.


Azraith DeMitri: Kid… I know you’re invested more than anyone in Lennox rejoining SHOOT, but I don’t have some sort of window into his mindset. We fought, yeah. Hell, we even teamed together for a short stint but…damn, Daihm. A decade is a long time,and I ain’t gonna pretend to know what Ox is thinking all these years later. But… do I agree with making you and Muerte fight to secure a roster spot? Assuming that’s what you were meaning? Well, honestly I’m not sure… I’m sure as fuck that if it were me? I’d be pissed as hell and that I’d fuckin’ make sure I do ANYTHING to make sure I made a clear and declarative statement so whoever put me in that position knew they made a HUGE mistake…

 

…but hey, that’s just me.

 

Daihm smirks and nods towards the screen as Azraith steels his expression.

Daihm Ferguson: Well, Azraith, thank you so again for taking time to check in with the SHOOT Project faithful and let us know you’re on the path to recovery. I think I speak for everyone – except maybe Mephisto – to say that we can’t wait until ye’re back in action and chasing that Heavyweight title.

Azraith DeMitri: Fuckin’ A, right back at ya, Daihm. You better raise some hell, OK? And protect your neck if you know what I mean. Make sure you’re always. ALWAYS doing what’s right for you and not for anyone else. You got me?

 

Daihm nods, gesturing to cut the feed as the “Dragon’s Lair” logo reappears on the screen as the camera dollies in on the blue-and-white, regal-looking fighter.

Daihm Ferguson: Thanks for tuning in to “The Dragon’s Lair” and thanks to our guest Azraith DeMitri. We’ll be back soon with another special guest so – until then – keep your eyes to the sky and don’t be afraid to speak your truth.



El Cuco Vs. Tiberius Blade Vs. Boston

Open Challenge

The camera opens on Dan Stein, standing in the backstage area of The Moody Center. There’s only a camera pointed at him, no interviewer. Dan wears an old SHOOT Project t-shirt with one of the retro logos across the chest in blue font. Dan smirks as he looks at the camera.

 

Dan Stein: At Ruination 29, my shot to prove my Iron Will came and went out the door, thanks to Danni Johnson. There’s no second chances for me. I haven’t done enough in the last year to warrant it, and I knew that going into the match. I went in there hoping for one more shot, one more opportunity at glory. Danni Johnson and Curtis Rose were just…better than me that night.  No way to sugar coat that.

 

Dan pauses, letting his words marinate in the air. 

 

Dan Stein: But that doesn’t mean I’m giving up on Iron Will 2. Right now, I don’t have anything on my dance card. I don’t do that Spitter crap so there’s nobody with a chip on their shoulder gunning for me, that I know of. But I’ll be damned if I’m left off that show the first week of September.

 

I might not have a championship over my shoulder, but I’m still a Hall of Famer. You want to prove your worth to the Powers That Be? To the boys and girls in the back? To the fans? To yourself? Face me at Iron Will. I don’t care who you are, I don’t care how long you’ve been in SHOOT Project, I don’t even care if you’ve never stepped inside a SHOOT Project ring before.

 

Dan pauses again.

 

Dan Stein: I’ll be at the next tour stop. Meet me in the ring, face-to-face, and you’ll get that opportunity at Iron Will 2. Or, don’t. Just hide in the back, away from greatness. One way or another, I’ll have a match at Iron Will 2. I’ll put on a show for the SHOOT Project Faithful, and if you doubt my ability, my resume precedes me. It’s guaranteed to be a banger.

 

Will it be against you? Or someone who wants it more?

 

Dan shrugs. 

 

Dan Stein: Lights…out.

 

The camera cuts.

Making Her Intentions Known

“5 out of 6” hits, and Lexi Gold steps out from behind the curtain to hear the usual cheers from the crowd. She is wearing a gray snake dress, black pump heels and her hair is neatly braided back. She makes her way down the ramp and runs over to clap a few fans’ hands at ringside before heading up the steps and enters the ring through the bottom rope, then walks over to the ring attendants, asks for a microphone and waits for her music to die before raising a mic to her lips.

 

Lexi Gold: Last show things do not go as planned for yours truly I lost my respected match, but there is a silver lining to this story and that is that I made my intentions known very clearly when I came out to the ring after Mephisto’s match and basically put him on notice that I want his belt. There is a huge target on his back and deep down I think he is worried, but he won’t tell you that, and instead he will cover up his emotions, that way no one thinks less of him.

 

She pauses and the crowd boo’s him. She nods her head, agreeing with their reaction tonight.

 

Lexi Gold: I will make something clear right now. While I appreciated Ignatius Albert Martin and Haskell Payne trying to make a save when I was on the receiving end of Mephisto’s devastating move, it was not needed. I am more than capable of handling business on my own. I understand I am teaming with you both tonight in the main event, but understand this I’ll gladly be a good team player when that bell rings, but when it’s over I’m going to be back to operating things solo.

 

She brushes a hand through her hair and paces the ring a bit before stopping.

 

Lexi Gold: I know for a fact you both have your eyes dead set on that Iron Fight Championship as well, so if I have to go through the both of you, or the entire roster to earn my rights to facing Mephisto for it, then line up the competition, because I’m ready and willing to not only knock some teeth out, but knock out a win as well. Bet on that. 

 

She drops the mic and her music hits again. She walks over and leans against the ropes before deciding to exit the ring and head to the backstage area. 



Joe Quinn Vs. Power Devil

After the Bell

 

Quinn pops to his feet and rushes Power Devil, laying into him with hard rights!  The bigger man is reeling backward, surprised, and Joe doesn’t let him get away, using his left to hold onto the back of his massive head and continuing to deliver Don Frye rights across the eyes and nose!

Scott Kamura: There’s no shortage of bad blood between these teams, but for the life of me, I don’t understand why!

Dutch Harris: Because Spinebuster Island are a tag team, and the Cyber Army only know how to sleep and commit attempted murder on tag teams? 

Power Devil somehow gets his wits about him despite the flurry of blows, and breaks through during a pause in the strikes to knee Quiin in the midsection!!  They trade back and forth, separating slightly: right cross, knee to the ribs.  Right cross, knee to the ribs!  Quinn rears back for another big right, but Power Devil cuts him off with a boot to the midsection, and lays him to the mat with a quick DDT!  He stands, gritting his teeth, getting ready to haul him up for something–when a cheer from the crowd draws his attention!

Dutch Harris: Oh shit, I didn’t even know he was medically cleared!

Scott Kamura: Knowing him, he may just as well not be…Dan Richards is in the building and he’s not standing on ceremony, he’s moving!! 

Richards BOOKS it to the ring, sliding under the rope, and he’s on his feet instantly, knocking Power Devil off of his feet with a big hooking lariat!  Power Devil attempts to get to his feet, but Richards is fired up, laying boots into the side of his head–but the big man keeps rising!  Quinn gets to standing, and Spinebuster Island force Power Devil to the corner, making him cover up as they unleash a torrent of lefts, rights, uppercuts, forearms, boots–Joe staggers Power Devil with another right, and his guard drops long enough for Dan to back up a few steps, then LEAPS at him with a BIG elbow right to the jaw!!  The crowd is piping hot, cheering for the triumph–and then the blaring opening note of “Cold Burn” blasts across the speakers!!

Scott Kamura: That can only mean one thing, Dutch!

Dutch Harris: The mouth of hell opening? 

Scott Kamura: Close enough, Power Devil’s partner has decided he doesn’t want to be left out of the fun!!

The second blare hasn’t even had a chance to hit before Superbeast is halfway down the ramp, a freight train of rage–as he slides under the bottom rope, Richards and Quinn attempt to cut him off, but he launches himself upward and BACKFLIPS them both with a Double Lariat!!  He doesn’t bother to check on them, getting to his brother in arms, who is shaking himself steady.  Richards helps his partner up, and we’re in an old-fashioned standoff, both teams eyeing one another.  The fighting stances soften, and Superbeast slowly strides forward, as does Dan Richards, both men leaving their more exhausted halves in opposite corners.  Dan points to both members of the Unholy Cyber Army, yelling something that causes Superbeast to smirk.  The big man points to both members of Spinebuster Island, then slowly draws his thumb across his massive neck–and spits on Dan’s sneakers!  He nods, then locks eyes with one of the Demons of Cyber-Roppongi…and points to the ring!  Superbeast nods and points at it himself, and both men back up to their corners to attend to their teammates…

Dutch Harris: What…what are we seeing, here? 

Scott Kamura: If I could hazard a guess, it seems like Spinebuster Island and the Unholy Cyber Army have elected to settle this war in the ring!

Dutch Harris: Fab, I’ll bring a tarp like I’m at a Gallagher show!

Scott Kamura: Plenty of action still to come folks, including what promises to be a wild main event–but up next, the battle of the Blazes!

The NEW Delayed Heat

We open to the ring.  The lights are down in the house, with two spotlights sitting on a pair of wingback chairs in the center of the ring.  We hear a man clear his throat as Blaze Claymore emerges from the darkness to drape his arm over the back of one of the chairs.  He holds a microphone in the other hand, pulling it dramatically up to his lips.

 

Dutch Harris: Here we go again.  Does this guy ever get tired of hearing himself speak?

 

Scott Kumura: Well Now hold on for a second, Dutch  He’s a little bit irritating, but have you stopped to think that he may be stepping onto something here?

 

Dutch Harris: You do realize that he considers both of us to be a part of the SHOOT Conspiracy, right?

 

Scott Kumura: I didn’t say he wasn’t crazy, I just suggested that it was… entertaining is all.

 

Blaze Claymore: Good evening to you… the ignorant masses. 

The crowd roars back in disapproval.

Blaze Claymore: Hey hey hey… there is nothing wrong with ignorance as long as someone is willing to learn. And I hope that someone is you.

 

Blaze slowly takes a seat in his highback chair and leans forward, gripping the microphone with both hands as he does. 

 

Blaze Claymore: For weeks now I’ve been trying to educate you all on how those in Deep SHOOT have been puppeteering this federation from behind the scenes. Calling every shot like it’s their own personal straight to video on demand title.  But none of you have listened to me. Willfully or not, you have been keeping your eyes closed to the truth. 

 

The crowd boos in response but Blaze continues on, ignoring them.

 

Blaze Claymore:  That is why Chadwick and I formed Delayed Heat. Because it is apparent now that the tendrils of Deep SHOOT go far deeper than we could have imagined and the proverbial weeds, the vines of misinformation have strangled the voices of the downtrodden. Chad and I have been putting our collective heads together trying to figure out just what it is that we need to tip the scales – to really turn the tide in the war.  And make no mistake my friends, it is a war, whether you want it or not.

 

Dutch Harris: Oh now there is absolutely no way that there is any good that comes from the two of them putting their heads together.

 

Scott Kumura: Well, let’s hear them out.  Maybe they put their heads together so hard it knocked some sense into them?

 

Dutch Harris: We could only be so lucky.

 

Blaze Claymore: What we realized was that there was no way we were going to be able to win this war alone. We knew we needed to bring some new blood into Delayed Heat.  

 

Dutch Harris: Oh god, they’re multiplying.

 

Blaze Claymore: But that just brought out a whole new problem.  You see, like any proper leadership team there is an executive and a vice. A hero and a sidekick. A Nixon and an Agnew.

 

Scott Kumura: That’s a horrible analogy.

Blaze Claymore: And so… as the founding member and fearless leader of Delayed Heat, I cannot abandon my post.  So let me be the first to be the one to give you the unfortunate news that Chadwick Kyle has graciously agreed to cede his posting as the number two of Delayed Heat.

 

The crowd begins to boo loudly at the mention of The Chadster being let go from Delayed Heat.  Blaze Claymore tries for a few moments, unsuccessfully, to quiet the crowd before he just brings the microphone back up to try and talk over the crowd.

 

Blaze Claymore: Now listen, I understand.  We all love Chadwick.  He’s a delightful young man, and he has a bright future ahead of him.  But at this vital juncture Delayed Heat needs someone with a proven track record. We need someone who was once on the inside, seeing the rot and decay, and has decided to finally fight on the side of the just. We need someone who can be the face of a revolution and do so in an INSTANT.

 

Scott Kumura: He can’t possibly mean…

 

Dutch Harris: Has he managed to bring in a member of…

 

Blaze Claymore: That’s right folks.  Allow me to be the first to introduce to you, the new No. 2 of Delayed Heat.  Former member of Instant Heat…

 

“Church of Execution” by Fear Factory begins to blare from the loudspeakers.  Half of the crowd erupts in cheers while the other half of the crowd stares in stunned silence at the unexpected return.

 

Scott Kumura: There’s no way! X-Calibur is here!?

 

Dutch Harris: HOLY CRAP!  How did Blaze Claymore manage this?  I don’t know how he swung this, but this is a MAJOR swing in momentum for Delayed Heat against… against…

Scott Kumura: Just let it go, man.

 

Blaze Claymore: Ladies and Gentlemen…I give you…X-Chadlibur!

 

The roaring cheers of the crowd quickly turns to a sour mix of laughter and boos as Chad Kyle emerges from the curtain, a smile beaming from ear to ear.  He begins to walk down the ramp with a purpose before sliding under the bottom rope and taking his place in the chair across from Blaze.

 

Scott Kumura: There it is.

 

Dutch Harris: I’m not gonna lie, I feel a little dumb for getting myself excited there.

 

Blaze Claymore: So now that you’re out here, X, why don’t you let these folks know just how DEEP the rot goes? And how we are going to take back control of SHOOT Project?

 

X-Chadlibur: You know, Blaze I remember the day you called me up.  I was sitting around the house, not doing anything but admiring all of my 547 SHOOT Project Championships and accolades.  I keep them all on a single wall in my living room, and I just sit in a chair, kind of like this one, and I look at them all day.  But I was thinking to myself, “What is missing here?”  You see, I’ve done it all.  I’ve been in the SHOOT Project since the dawn of time, and I’ve seen nearly everything there is to see.  I thought that I was done.  I was happy in my retirement thinking that there was truly no mountain left to climb.  But then it hit me…

 

Dutch Harris: I…I think Chad really believes that he is X-Calibur…

 

Scott Kamura: Maybe they did really put their heads together too hard.

 

X-Chadlibur: I saw how terribly my former brothers in arms Real Deal and OutKast were  abusing their power. I tried to keep going, keep fighting here in the ring but it became too much. I had to leave. But ever since that day I’ve felt… empty. But it wasn’t until you called, Blaze, that I felt that there was a kindred spirit, a partner out there with the raw skill and ability needed to help me to finally take down the establishment.  I realized that out of everything that I have done in my career…I haven’t had the opportunity to be led into battle by Blaze Claymore.  

 

Blaze Claymore: Well I’m definitely glad to have your pedigree standing behind me, three paces back and to the left, of course.  The two of us? As Delayed Heat? We will educate those that are willing to listen, and we will beat back those who seek to perpetuate this vile, evil, Deep SHOOTSpiracy that has taken root. 

 

X-Chadlibur: That’s an excellent point Mr. Claymore.  You see, the one thing I learned in my time here is that sometimes the quickest way to make a statement is with a checkbook… and if there is anyone in this federation that is willing to sell their ideals, it’s the Real Deal Josh Johnson.  So…I gathered up the money that I have saved over the length of my contract…and I bought it.

 

The Crowd seems to be a little confused, and there is some spattering of boos coming from the back of the arena, making its way to the front.

 

Blaze Claymore: Please…explain that to the crowd here and the millions at home, X.  I don’t think they really get the gravity of what is going on here.

 

X-Chadlibur: You all may think that you’re seeing Chadwick Kyle in an X-Calibur costume standing before you, but that’s not true. I bought it.  I bought the X-Calibur name and legacy from the SHOOT Project, and more specifically, Josh Johnson.  I own it. I am, now and forever, legally X-Calibur. I

 

Scott Kamura: Oh my god no.

 

Dutch Harris: He… He really is X-Calibur. Legally speaking.

 

X-Chadlibur: So now the fun can really begin! Blaze Claymore and X-Calibur – a rebel outsider and a whistleblower joining forces to rip the mask off of this Eyes Wide SHOOT debauchery… and the first step is to begin rallying people to our cause. And who is in more need to see the TRUTH of this company than the Carolina Lions?

 

Blaze Claymore nods along but as soon as “Carolina Lions” gets mentioned he does a double take.

Blaze: Uhhhh. Well, let’s hold on a minute, X.

 

X-Chadlibur: These LIONS? They are LYING to you all. They shove their stupid foots in their mouths not even realizing they are mouthpieces for the greatest evil this company has ever known! But Delayed Heat will SAVE these wayward Lions by showing them what true champions look like. And then after the Lions we’ll take on the woefully corrupted Lux Aeterna who have been blinded by the gold around their waists. And THEN we’ll take our fight directly to the top brass in SHOOT Project themselves and FINALLY get what we deserve.

 

The crowd pops a little at the idea of Delayed heat “Getting what they deserve” while Blaze Claymore slaps X-Chadlibur on the back and, in doing so, deftly pulls the microphone from his hand and claps his hands a bit too forcefully.

 

Blaze Claymore: X-CALIBUR everyone. I think I speak for everyone when I say WELCOME BACK and THANK YOU for your service to draining the Deep SHOOT swamp.

Chad tries to reach for his microphone to respond but Blaze turns away and begins waving to the crowd.

Blaze Claymore: Remember everyone. YOU deserve better a life under the thumb of Deep SHOOT. You deserve more. You deserve… CLAYMORE.

 

Chad leans into Blaze’s microphone.

 

X-Chadlibur: AND X-CAL…IMORE!

 

Dutch Harris: For the love of god, please let us go to commercial. I don’t care what we’re selling. Dog food. Cat toys. Bear repellent. Tigerblood. Just do it!

 

High Octane Wrestling presents DEAD or ALIVE

Blaise Blaze Vs. Blaze Claymore (c)

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.The bell rings and a winded Blaze Claymore tries to get up from the mat. Blaise Blaze reaches down to pull the fighter up but Claymore slaps his hand away.


Dutch Harris: Congratulations to Blaise Blaze on an AMAZING win. First match in this company and he earns a title. That’s gotta be some sort of record.

 

Scott Kamura: Definitely impressive, Guy. It’s hard to think of someone whose stepped up so fast so quick!

 

Dutch Harris: Well, I certainly hope this puts to rest any delusions Blaze Claymore has had about being a face of this company. He certainly won’t go down as the weakest, or shortest Shut Up and Fight champion in SHOOT history, but he’s a long ways away from standing next to Lexi Gold or Courtney Hatchett.


Scott Kamura: Uh…. Dutch.

 

Dutch Harris: You know I’m right, Eryk. This guy comes in here from Hollywood and goes on these rants about a conspiracy in SHOOT and-

CRACK

Scott Kamura: OH GOD!

 

The cameras swerve around from a celebrating Blaise Blaze to find Blaze Claymore standing above a prone Dutch Harris, dropping a shattered coffee mug on the ground.

 

Scott Kamura: Security! We need security out here!

 

Blaze Claymore grabs Dutch Harris’ headset and places it on, stalking around the recovering announcer.

 

Blaze Claymore: YOU SEE EVERYONE!? THE FIX WAS IN FROM THE BEGINNING! THESE MOUTHPIECES FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT WANT YOU TO IGNORE HOW I DEFEATED LEXI GOLD IN THAT CAGE. THEY WANT TO ERASE ME FROM THE HISTORY BOOKS. THEY WANT TO COMMIT CLAYMORECIDE!

 

The fans boo.

 

Blaze Claymore: EXACTLY! YOU GET IT! I PLEASE! CONTINUE TO SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER AND LET EVERYONE KNOW THAT DEEP SHOOT WILL. NOT. WIN!

 

A hoard of security comes rushing down the ramp and from the audience causing Blaze Claymore to look quickly for an exit.

Blaze Claymore: REMEMBER EVERYONE! THIS IS NOT THE SHOOT YOU DESERVE! YOU DESERVE MORE! YOU DESERVE CLAY-

Blaze drops the headset in a hurry as security closes in on him and he vaults over the barricades, running through the crowd to try and escape as the fans in the stands roar and clap in approval as arena security follow him in full force.

Daihm Ferguson Vs. Ultimo Muerte

New friendship formed

A pink Limo pulls into the arena. The License plate says “EPIC 1”. The view switches to inside the limo and we see High Octane Wrestling hall of famer the Queen of Epicness Bobbinette Carey! Bobbinette is a caramel skinned plus sizes woman with long black hair. She’s wearing a pink pants suit with a black blouse under it. She has on a pair of simple ballet flats and seems to be smiling brightly. The wrestling vet herself is not alone in her custom limo she is sitting next to the well known SHOOT Projects own beloved Lexi Gold. The two exchange smiles at each other before Lexi looks around, impressed by what she saw, then turns her focus back on her new friend. 

 

Lexi Gold: So I have to ask, do you always arrive in this everywhere you go, or only on special occasions such as this?

 

Bobbinette laughs and grabs out a bottle of water from her mini fridge offering a bottle to Lexi.

 

Bobbinette: Show days always arrive in style. After the incident a week ago I’m only trusting my limo driver and my jet pilot. If I’m not driving it’s one of those two or nothing. But I also wanted to give you a ride and say thanks for inviting me tonight. I’m looking forward to it 

 

Lexi takes the bottled water from her and takes a sip, then puts it down.

 

Lexi Gold: You have your own jet pilot too, huh? That’s pretty impressive. I appreciate the fact that you allowed me in here and can only hope you will enjoy the show. Me and my team plan to give our opponents some serious ass kickings, so if I were you, I’d stick around for the entire show. We are in the main event.  

 

Bobbinette claps her hand with a smile and look of pride

 

Bobbinette: very impressive. I’m excited to see your match I’m excited to see the entire show and I think I’m going to be backstage watching from the monitors but I’m excited for this. Yeah I’ve been doing this for two and a half decades, leaning closer to three decades, but it never gets old to me. When you stop losing your love of the ring is when you should stop being in the ring. Wrestling’s been the consistency of my life. I’ve been wrestling longer than I haven’t.

 

She jokes 

 

Bobbinette: It is just nice to see a different product than home. 

 

Lexi Gold: Wrestling is one thing that has remained in my life and that has been a passion of mine for years, but at the same time, I’m still learning. Maybe you could teach me a few things. Show me what I’m missing. 

 

Bobbinette’s eyes light up nodding in agreement.

 

Bobbinette: I’m training my daughter Majandra, I would be more than happy to help out the young generations. Let’s get in there and see how tonight goes and we will go from there. Who knows you may show this old gal a few things.

 

Bobbinette offers as the limo door opens by her chauffeur Alton.

 

Bobbinette: I think you and I are on the verge of a powerful friendship. I have an idea… I’ll tell you about later.

 

Lexi Gold: I completely agree. I can’t wait to discuss this more in private. I have a feeling a lot of things will be brought up. 

 

Lexi smiles as the two women step out of the limo and walk away talking, but the camera can’t pick up what was said as the scene fades. 

 

The Wicked

The arena lights dim to complete darkness, the crowd letting out an immediate buzz. A softer guitar begins to play, softer than anyone anticipated with this arrival.

 

The Wicked by Blues Saraceno

 

The image of a burning Joshua tree flares onto the SHOOTtron, eliciting immediate and violent boos to erupt from the jam-packed crowd as the lyrics begin to float through the speakers.

 

Save yourself

For the devil’s on his way

So you pray

So you pray

But you can’t hide

But you can’t hide

When evil calls your name

 

A single spotlight shines down on the entrance stage, illuminating The Patriarch. Jacob Mephisto stands, head bowed, Iron Fist Championship strapped firmly around his waist, the golden faceplate gleaming in the light, a beacon in the dark.

 

The light strumming is joined by the drums as words form on the SHOOTtron:

 

Family. Is. Forever.

 

The words fade and are replaced by the familiar logo we’re used to seeing.

 

Salvation

When the heavens meet the grave

So you wait

So you wait

But you can’t hide

 

Mephisto looks to his left, a spotlight illuminating Decius Montgomery.

 

But you can’t hide

 

He looks to his right and a spotlight shines down on Patience Montgomery.

 

When evil calls your name…

 

The lights die again and the music goes with them. There’s booing in the arena for a long moment as phone screens light up and flashlights wink on.

 

🎶Wicked Gonna Come by Blues Saraceno🎶

 

A lighter blues guitar picks up in the arena as “Wicked Gonna Come” by Blues Saraceno begins to play. The SHOOTtron springs back to life with the logo, except this time it’s… upside down, words appearing underneath.

 

The Wicked

 

Something wicked

Wicked gonna come

Something wicked

Wicked gonna come

What have you done

What have you done

Wicked gonna come

 

The lights flare to their absolute brightest for a moment before settling back to normal, The Montgomery Twins and the All-Father standing on the entrance stage staring down at the ring. The music hits its pause and a short burst of fire erupts from the ends of the stage to the left and right as the trio steps forward in unison as the song kicks back in.

 

Something evil

Evil gonna rise

 

Jacob Mephisto and the Twins, the family, The Wicked, make their way to the ring steadily, Mephisto with a look of bad intentions, Decius wearing a mask of anger, and Patience appearing aloof behind predatory eyes. They climb into the ring, going to its center and standing tall. Mephisto throws his arms to the side as Patience and Decius drop to their knees. The Twins rise as Mephisto’s arms come down and the music fades.

The Multitudes

The lights in the arena suddenly dim back down to darkness, causing a curious buzz to swirl throughout the crowd.


Dutch Harris: Yeah, yeah. I’m okay. I wrestled for years and went through worse. But more importantly, what’s going on here? Did we have a lighting malfunction back there?


Scott Kamura: I’m not sure, Dutch. Their opponents aren’t known for entrances with the lights out. You’re sure you’re good?


A Darkness in My Soul by Solid Space


The opening guitar chords play softly through the arena as “A Darkness in My Soul” by Solid Space emanates from the speakers. There’s an excited buzz in the crowd as die hard fans of professional wrestling recognize the tune.


Dutch Harris: Wait a minute! 


A spotlight pierces through the darkness onto the entrance stage and PRIME’s very own Anna Daniels stands in the light, a small smirk playing at her lips.


Scott Kamura: That’s Anna Daniels from PRIME! Folks, if you haven’t been tuning into the ACE Network, Jacob Mephisto also competes in PRIME. On their last show, ReVival 12, Mephisto and the Twins crossed paths with this woman. And she has made herself known here at Ruination!


The lights slowly come up to normal as The Time Lord steps to the side, steel chair in hand. She positions the chair to the side of the stage and smiles wide, waving obnoxiously at Patience Montgomery.


Dutch Harris: Oh man, it looks like The Multitudes are playing mind games with Patience Montgomery here. Look at Mephisto!


Patience immediately attempts to leave the ring, heading towards Daniels, but Mephisto grabs her around the middle and slings her back. He whispers to her furiously as Patience slowly regains her composure. Decius shakes his head angrily, glaring up at the PRIME competitor. Mephisto turns towards Anna and offers a smirk that drips with poisonous tidings before adding a cordial nod to her.


Scott Kamura: This just got a whole lot more interesting. It looks like Anna Daniels is gonna get a good look at The Family right here on their home turf.

The Wicked Vs. Lexi Gold/Haskell Payne/IAM