The Story Begins... AGain
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen…welcome the NEW SHOOT Project WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION!
The horns sound, bringing the fans to their feet. “American Venom” kicks into high gear and the fans begin to cheer loudly. No SHOOT show intro yet, no big pyro, just the sounds of “American Venom.” Out from the back emerges BUCK DRESDEN. Buck stands at the entrance to the arena, dressed in a black zip up hoodie and blue jeans with a ratty old Bad Ass Brotherhood shirt on underneath. On his shoulder, however?
The SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship.
Buck walks down the ramp, nodding his head to the audience. He walks up the ring steps and flings his leg in front of him to enter the ring and takes the microphone from Samantha Coil. He gives her a kiss on the cheek and she gives him a hug. He turns to the Faithful and allows “American Venom” to die down.
He says nothing for a few brief moments.
Then, he lifts the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship belt high in the air, bringing the fans to cheer once again. He slings the belt back onto his shoulder and brings the microphone to his lips.
Buck Dresden: Y’know a wise man once said this thing about lightnin’. He said it don’t strike twice.
He chuckles to himself.
Buck Dresden: I’m here to tell ya, Detroit, I’m feelin’ pretty electric tonight!
The fans cheer once again, bringing a smile to Buck’s face that he quickly lets fade out.
Buck Dresden: I ain’t here to tell y’all that even if I lose this thing tomorrow, I’m here to stand firm, stand tall, an’ tell each an’ every person in the audience, watchin’ at home, or sittin’ in the back, or hell…one o’ them other promotions Josh Johnson’s workin’ with. My name is Buck Dresden. I am the All-American Outlaw. I am a member of the SHOOT Project Hall of Fame. And, most importantly, most relevant, I am…the World…Heavyweight…Champion.
He lets the fan cheer once again, giving himself time to breathe. He starts to pace around the ring now, taking a hold of the title in one hand and the microphone in the other.
Buck Dresden: Story time, y’all. This company has been alive since 2001, folks. It’s closed up, it’s opened up, it’s seen talent come ‘n’ go, it’s done it all. Names like Eric Wolfson, Cronos Diamante, Erik Boyer, JD Ice, there’s maybe one guy in the whole company who even remembers what they look like. Names like Jonny Johnson, Christopher Davis, Diamond Del Carver, Ben Jackman, Benjamin Biggs, names people may not even know even though they’ve seen the posters on the walls. History here’s rich, y’all. When I got here, I was a joke. A walkin’ gimmick. I wasn’t supposed to make it. I wasn’t supposed to do jack shit.
He continues to think back as he pauses, letting his words sink in.
Buck Dresden: I won my first title in this company in 2010. Twelve goddamn years ago. Aside from a dalliance in one other place, SHOOT Project or one of its offshoots has been my home. I’ve been proud of this place, I’ve been sick of this place, I’ve wanted to quit an’ I’ve wanted to let my bitterness overtake me.
He shakes his head, telling himself and the audience the same thing: no more.
Buck Dresden: We need a reboot around here. No more Empires.
Buck Dresden: No more corruption. No more bullshit clogging this place. Nah, as long as I’m champion of this damn place, you’d better get those workin’ boots on. I’m done lettin’ people try to fuck around with my life to get fans to hate them. I’m done lettin’ people with no goddamn idea how to act in the main event an’ with the World title have their way with this an’ with me.
He points to the locker room.
Buck Dresden: You want this belt? You wanna beat the shit out of me an’ take this gold? You better earn it, Soldiers. It’s time to show an’ prove, SHOOT Project. I am back among the gods an’ if you don’t earn your place in the pantheon…enjoy the view up here while you can because SHOOT’s Zeus is back to prove just how many damn times lightnin’s about to strike.
He holds the title up high as “American Venom” kicks in. He throws the microphone down and stands on the middle rope, glaring at the camera, slapping the face plate of the title and pointing to the fans and the camera as we introduce for everyone…
Chick Grillbreast Vs. Blaise Blaze (c)
The camera cuts to a tight shot of an absolutely overflowing platter of nachos slathered with an unconscionable amount of nacho cheese sauce. As the shot slowly pans back, we see SHOOT Project newcomer Tommy Knuckles balancing the platter in his comically oversized palm. His eyes remain hungrily fixed on the perilous platter of preservatives–so much so that he does not see Chase Gold hurriedly rounding the corner. Chase is hustling, clearly on his way to something important, and doesn’t have enough time to hit the brakes, instead crashing into Knucks and sending the aforementioned perilous platter directly into his chest. The impact staggers Chase, causing him to nearly fall to his butt. He looks ahead and slowly raises his head in horror until he locks eyes with Knucks.
“Oh, sh-” Chase begins. “I’m so sorry! I really need to get to this, oh man.. I just didn’t see you!”
The massive newcomer stares incredulously at the cheese slowly sliding down his shirt (though, to be honest, it hardly looks out of place with how filthy he generally is). He takes a step toward the retreating Chase, chips crunching under the enormous weight filling his size 16 boots. He claps a meaty paw on Chase’s shoulder, his knees buckling slightly.
“Kid,” Knucks begins with a smile, scanning the area to ensure nobody is around. “I’ll tell ya what! Today? Today ol’ Tommy is feelin’ especially friendly.”
Tommy straightens Chase’s shirt and ruffles his hair.
“Honest mistake right, kid?”
Chase’s relief is palpable, the air somehow feeling lighter.
“Totally honest! Again, I’m really sorry.”
The smile slowly fades from Tommy’s face, replaced with a scowl. A quick flicker of ill will flashes in his eyes.
“Second thought,” he began before grabbing two handfuls of Chase’s shirt and absolutely ramming his head against Chase’s with a vicious headbutt that sends Chase crumpling to the floor in a heap. Tommy takes a moment to shake the impact before literally picking Chase one handed by the seat of his pants. Tommy takes the barely conscious Chase, props him to his feet, and manipulates his left arm over his head. He cocks back and drives a hammer of a fist directly into his chest!
Chase hits the ground hard and gasps desperately for air as he clutches his chest. Tommy reaches down, scoops up a pile of crushed chips, drags his palm across his cheese-laden chest, and promptly deposits the pile into his mouth. He leaves the scene, apathetically stepping over the writhing body of Chase Gold. As he walks away, the camera catches a glimpse of the former SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion, Joshua Breedlove. Breedlove apparently witnessed the whole thing and has a satisfied smile on his face, as he claps his hands.
Curtis Rose Vs. Sun Jo Lim
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“I know you. I’ve seen you. I’ve been you.”
The voice is clearly the low-end, thunderous baritone of Nate Robideau. Even with his newfound attitude, his voice always carries with it a righteous rumble. The screen is black with those words, and they hang pregnant over ambient background music before the view changes.
“The world has a tendency to just…grind you down, doesn’t it? It’s not that you’re a pushover. You’ve got rage inside of you that makes you powerful. But you also know better than to use it needlessly. You know how to be proper. How to be civil.”
Black and white. An extreme closeup, so tight that we can see the minute scrapes and scratches in the leather of a punching bag. Beads of sweat hang on the fibers. Moving into the frame, slow motion and with the sound cranked so high that it feels like a jet fighter roaring into the proceedings, a bare fist buries itself in the bag, full cannon rapport. When it retractis, a vaguely knuckle shaped smear of blood is left.
“But the world doesn’t want your civility.”
The fist continues it’s assault, and it fades to a view behind a man who is jogging up a mountain trail. While we can’t see who it is, the broad shoulders, plain sweats, and mohawk lead us to believe it is the man himself.
“The world sees your civility as weakness.”
His footpads bring with them the crunch of the earth. He hunches his head, throws a few punches, bobbing and weaving his upper body as he keeps driving, forward and upward.
“This land was colonized. Colonies need walls. Walls make us feel safe. We built cities within them. And all of that allowed us to think we were better than the animals. But we’re just animals with enough ego to think that those days are behind us.”
He turns a bend and the frame is bathed in so much light that the pure white of it washes the frame out entirely. We are left with this pure white frame for an uncomfortable moment before the view changes with his next words.
“So when the world grinds you down, you need to respond.”
Finally, a cut. Nate stands at a ledge overlooking Las Vegas, his shoulders rising and falling as he takes gulps of breath. His next words in the voiceover are harder edged. A threat, a promise, an instruction.
“You need to show them that the animal still thrives.”
He places his hands on his hips. The view holds here, before beginning a slow fade to black.
“Animals are dangerous.”
Now the screen holds on black, as it did in the opening.
“And the world thinks twice before attempting the same when it’s been bit.”
The music begins to fade, and the black screen is replaced with a message and a graphic.
Grand Re-opening Soon Accepting new student applications.
The Twins Vs. RIOT Patrol
Dan Stein Vs. El Paria
El Paria slaps the mat in frustration, as Dan Stein rolls from the ring, smiling and waving sarcastically at the fallen competitor. Suddenly, the lights go out!
Dutch Harris: Big win from Stein and now the lights are out! What’s happening here?!
Scott Kamura: Well, we saw Pandora and Stein interacting on Spitter, so maybe it’s something to do with that? Ultimo Muerte is gone, but Pandora remains…?
Flash bulbs are going off, allowing the slightest bit of light into the ring. If you squint, you can see a figure standing over El Paria, holding an asp. He brings it down into El Paria’s ankle over and over again, with VICIOUS strikes and the speed of the attack increasing every time.
Dutch Harris: You’re seeing it about like we are, folks! El Paria is getting attacked, his leg is just… getting obliterated!
Scott Kamura: I have no idea who this is, either. It’s similar in build to…
As Kamura trails off, the lights come back on, revealing Paria’s attacker! It’s SCION, or, well… Jamie Johnson, who is wearing an old Scion mask. The crowd pops HARD for Jamie who rips the mask off and motions to the crowd!
Dutch Harris: Oh shit. Oh shit oh shit.
Scott Kamura: For those who don’t know, Jamie Johnson was here under the name Scion for a LONG time, part of the tutelage he received from one of the worst people on earth, Adrian Corazon. Former SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion.
Dutch Harris: That’s right, and the group he was in TERRORIZED the SHOOT Project not long after we returned. That group included Malice, included Void, and included Jamie Johnson himself as Scion!
Jamie picks El Paria up off the ground, but Paria can’t put any of his weight on his left foot. Jamie helps Paria over to the ropes and then wraps him in the top and middle rope, effectively rendering Paria helpless! With barely any delay at all, Jamie extends the Asp once more and starts driving it into Paria’s ribs! Paria, already bleeding from the match with Dan Stein, coughs and blood spurts out onto Jamie’s chest.
Dutch Harris: This feels like it was something that was a long time coming, Scott.
Scott Kamura: I hate to agree, but I agree. You can only push a man so far before he breaks, and it would appear that Jamie Johnson has reached his breaking point.
Dutch Harris: Something interesting though… Jamie’s avoiding shots to Paria’s head.
Scott Kamura: Smart kid. Doesn’t want to get suspended.
Jamie takes his free hand and wipes the blood from his chest and then smears part of it down his face and then smears the rest across his chest. Paria is out cold as security finally hits the area. Jamie IMMEDIATELY drops the asp and backs off, smiling and glaring at Paria the entire time.