The show opens to a raucous, packed SHOOT Project Epicenter crowd, and as the camera pans you see the ravenous Faithful, ready and willing to kick off this very first Ruination of the year!
Dutch Harris: Scott, we did something wild at the beginning of the year and had a big ass Revolution, which meant that you and I basically got an extended vacation of the extended vacation, but we’re here now and I’m ready to get back to work!
Scott Kamura: You think we’re gonna get a big Ruination like the Revolution boys got?
Dutch Harris: I’ve heard rumblings of something just like that, and with the SHOOT Project Soldiers starting to come back online after their time off, we’re starting to see some fireworks! Spitter’s alive and well, and–
“One for the Money” by Escape the Fate interrupts Dutch Harris, signaling the start of the show and the entrance of the 2022 Champion of the Year, the Sin City Champion… The REALNESS, Jamie Johnson!
“Are you ready?
Are you ready? Let’s go!”
Jamie runs out from the back with his title in hand and the crowd pops for him, as purple and gold pyro shoots off!
“Everybody in the world are you with me
It’s too late to try to run, we run the city
It’s my time it’s your time held me down, now it’s don’t give a fuck time
It’s go time, it’s show time
Sing it with me everybody let’s go”
Jamie’s fired up, and the crowd is with him as he’s rocking out at the top of the ramp, Sin City Championship held high over his head!
“Cause it’s one!
It’s one, one for the money!
It’s two, cause two is for the show!
It’s three, three get ready, are you ready motherfuckers are you ready let’s go!”
He breaks into a full sprint and slides underneath the rope as he’s met in the middle of the ring with a microphone. Clasping the belt around his waist, he speaks.
Jamie Johnson: God DAMN it feels good to be back out here in front of a live crowd, with a live mic! I had a GREAT match against Lexi Gold at Revolution 186, and I was mega fortunate to come away with a win. She’s an incredible competitor, but SHOOT Project? FAITHFUL?
I want MORE.
I’ve got a lot of frustrations built up, everyone. I watched my freaking brother unmask as El Paria and then go on to win the Battalion Championship. I thought when I beat him at Reckoning Day that that would be the end of it, but it seems like… it seems like it’s just simmering instead. I’m so conflicted, because he’s put me through absolute hell over 2022, but I also want to congratulate him. He didn’t want to be in this business, but he’s succeeding.
It’s the Johnson way, I guess.
The crowd isn’t sure how to respond, so Jamie continues.
Jamie Johnson: BUT. We’re not here to talk about that, we’re here to talk about THIS.
He pats the Sin City Championship around his waist.
Jamie Johnson: By my count, I’m sneaking up on ol’ Breedlove’s record, and I really… really want to break it. I want to defend this thing. I want to fight. I want to win, but SHOOT Project?
Jamie does an overexaggerated sniffle.
Jamie Johnson: Nobody wants to fight me.
He frowns and the crowd boos.
Jamie Johnson: I’ve put it out there, I will take on literally ANYONE in the back, from anywhere, ever, but I can’t get any bites. So, to the Soldiers in the back… consider this an open call out.
Stop being a bunch of scared ass little bitches, and fight me.
My dance card is open. Ruination 37.
??? Vs. Jamie Johnson, Sin City Championship on the line.
Let’s stop fucking around and kick this year off right!
The crowd pops huge for the open challenge! Jamie shrugs his shoulders, flipping the microphone to the ground and rolling out of the ring as “One for the Money” hits the PA once more, ushering him out.
Dutch Harris: Well, you heard it here. That’s an open challenge from the Sin City Champion to the locker room. Who do you think is gonna answer the call?
Scott Kamura: I hope it’s literally anyone except for El Paria, frankly.
Dutch Harris: I vibe with that.
Scott Kamura: You… what with what?
Dutch Harris: Nevermind, Scott. We’re headed to the ring now as Anthony Moretti and Joe Barone’s Blood Money take on Decius Montgomery and Patience Montgomery, in our opening bout!
The Twins Vs. Blood Money
Damned If You Do
Dutch Harris: We’ve got word that there’s been some sort of assault on the other side of the arena! We… hold on…
Scott Kumura: GET ON WITH IT!
Dutch Harris: We’re going live to Abigail Chase who is on the scene. What’s happening Abigail!?
The feed cuts to a crowd of EMTs and backstage officials all trying to attend to a figure who is collapsed on the floor. As one of the crew steps out of the shot we see none other than DAN STEIN being propped up and given medical attention.
You can hear the reaction from the crowd all the way in the back as Stein’s identity is revealed.
Abigail Chase: Yes, Dutch; apparently none other than Chadwick Ky.. I’m sorry, X-Chadlibur reportedly stumbled upon an unconscious Dan Stein and called for medical attention. I haven’t been able to ascertain what – if any – injuries Stein may have but it looks like our medical staff is engaged in concussion protocols.
Scott Kumura: Wait… so are you saying…
Abigail Chase: I think so, Scott. This close to tomorrow’s opening contest I can’t foresee how Stein gets medically cleared to compete but-
X-Chadlibur suddenly steps into frame and genuinely looks concerned as he watches EMTs attend to a barely conscious Stein. As stein begins to stir, the camera can catch the glassed over look that he is displaying in his eyes. As Chad leans in to check on Dan, Stein’s eyes suddenly dart towards Chad, a glint of fire can be seen just beneath the surface. Chad reaches a hand towards Dan who suddenly lunges towards him!
Dan Stein: You slimy Son of a…
Before Stein is able to et ahold of Chad, he crumbles back down against the wall, nearly losing consciousness. The medical personnel begin to shove a very confused looking Chad back away from Stein.
Dutch Harris: Did…Is Chad Kyle responsible for this!?
Scott Kamura: There’s no way, Dutch. I just cant see a world where Chad…X-Chadlibur is capable of doing this kind of damage to Dan Stein and come out unscathed.
Dutch Harris: Well, regardless of what actually happened here, it looks like Dan Stein is more than a little hurt, and it definitely seems like he seems to think that X-Chadlibur is responsible for it. Abigail, can you give us anything else here?
The camera attempts to move away from the medical staff trying to get Dan Stein to his feet and towards Abigail Chase. X-Chadlibur is speechless in the background, slowly backing away from the scene until he begins to blend into the oncoming wave of additional personnel.
Abigail Chase: Guys, I’m getting word that Tomorrow night’s contest between Dan Stein and Blaze Claymore is definitely going to be canceled, pending a full medical review of Dan Stein. We’re going to have to wait for him to get an evaluation for the full story, but the staff here are telling me that Dan is going to be transported to a local medical facility for a full neurological review. Right now, the feeling amongst staff is that indeed, Chad Kyle is responsible for this attack, and will be investigated as such. Unfortunately that is all I have here, but I will be sure to update you with any developments that arise.
The camera fades on Abigail Chase as we see Dutch and Scott sitting at the announce desk. Both men appear a little taken aback by the sudden development.
Dutch Harris: Well, there you have it, folks. X-Chadlibur is a cowardly monster that attacked Dan Stein from behind. Who would have thought that he was capable of such senseless violence!?
Scott Kamura: I…You know there is absolutely no way that Chad had anything to do with this right? That kid looked more scared than accomplished. There is more to this, and it reeks of Blaze Claymore.
Dutch Harris: Well, agree to disagree, Scott! X-Chalibur is a dastardly villain and we’re going to get back to the action as we get back to the triumphant return of SHOOT Project, LIVE!
BRONSON Vs. Curtis Rose
Blocking the Stream
The crowd lets out a cheer as “brutal” by Olivia Rodrigo hits the PA. Out from the back comes Peach Backshots, one half of the Zoomer Love tag team, dressed in her wig, but in a pink halter top, gray yoga pants, and sneakers instead of her ring gear.
Scott Kamura: Wow, Peach Backshots on her way to the ring! She’ll be teaming with Felix Mullen again at Revolution against Good Job!, but it looks like she’s going to be talking to Mary Kelly tonight.
Dutch Harris: Well, I for one definitely subscribe to her OnlyFans to hear her talk so this should be interesting.
Scott Kamura: Behave, Dutch.
Peach steps through the ropes and grabs her microphone.
Mary Kelly: I’m here with the fierce rookie Peach Backshots! Peach, how are you doing tonight?
Peach Backshots: Mary, I’m doing fantastic! Glad to be back in SHOOT Project after the winter break!
Mary Kelly: Well that’s great. I understand you have an announcement tonight, but first, I want to ask you, you competed at the Belmont Classic, LUCHA ESPECIAL 1, and PWA-1. What did you learn keeping yourself busy during the break?
Peach Backshots: giggling Well, first thing, I need to find a better mask maker, that’s for sure.
A muted laugh shoots up from the crowd.
Peach Backshots: But seriously, I’ve been able to pick up some big wins. PRIME’s FLAMBERGE at the Belmont, Jacob Mephisto at PWA-1…
Boos at the mention of the All-Father.
Peach Backshots: …so I think I’m ready to make my dream a reality. And that’s what leads into my announcement. I talked to the office. They wanted to give me a full-time SHOOT Project deal! Raise and everything! And because of that… I’m going to be giving up streaming.
Dutch Harris: Oh no!
An audible boo from the male audience members rises up, but it’s soon drowned out by cheers and claps. The men in the crowd come around since they can’t boo a woman for following her dreams.
Peach Backshots: I know, I know. It was a hard choice. Really hard. But I figure, if I’m going to wrestle, why do I need to be the streamer who wrestles. Dual occupation wrestlers are so 1993 anyway. This is 2023!
Another cheer from the crowd.
Mary Kelly: That is big news! But what about Felix?
Peach Backshots: What about him?
The crowd oohs like during a salacious moment in a sitcom.
Scott Kamura: Trouble in paradise?
Dutch Harris: Paradise? If their home life is anything like Felix says it is, she causes him T-R-O-U-B-L-E trouble!
Mary Kelly: Did he get his contract renewed and extended?
Peach Backshots: Oh, uh, I don’t know. I didn’t want to speak for him. You know, we’re still an item, but we are independent people too. I didn’t want to step on his toes.
Mary Kelly: Okay! Well, thanks for coming out here Peach. Best of luck to you in 2023!
The crowd cheers as “brutal” fires back up on the PA. Peach raises her arms and leaves the ring as the camera cuts to commercial.
Lexi Gold Vs. Void
Watch Your Six
The monstrous brute known as Void skulks through the curtain and down the stairs of the gorilla position following his match with Lexi Gold. His hair is matted with sweat, his clothes cling to his body like a second skin, and a venemous smile plays at the corner of his mouth. Producers and tech hands alike give him a very wide berth as he reemerges backstage, and the Goliath of the Underground watches them scatter like insects.
He probably should have checked his six, however, as he’s clobbered from behind by a pair of flying double knees courtesy of his target two weeks ago, Lindsay Troy.
Void crashes hard onto the tile, while Troy rolls through and immediately scrambles back to her prey. The Queen wrestles Void up to a sitting position and drives knee after knee into his face, opening up a cut above his eye and forcing a spray of blood to erupt from his nose, then switches tactics and snaps off several Muay-Thai kicks to his kidneys.
SHOOT Project security descends on the scene, some pulling Troy off Void and others standing between them. The Lady of the Hour glares maliciously at the big man and, as she’s hauled away, fires one last shot in his direction.
Lindsay Troy: Your move, dickhead.
The remaining security staff glance down at the monster. Void simply stares after Troy and begins to chuckle, gleefully.
Food for Thought
Judy Punchinello was sitting alone in the SHOOT Epicenter craft services room – a long line of tables featuring luke-warm tortillas, Swedish meatballs, and artichoke dip sat behind her as she looked up at the CCTV attached to the wall in front of her, which is tuned to the Lexi Gold and Void matchup.
Clearly not interested in the match, Judy takes the opportunity to stand up and serve herself up some food.
As she does, a familiar voice calls out from the other side of the room where the entrance out to the hallway was.
Laura Seton: You alone?
Judy looks up and instinctively closes her eyes with a wince.
Judy Punchinello: In the literal sense of the word, yes. I suppose I am, alone, at this moment in time. Did you bring your posse to rough me up and humiliate me by dousing me in lukewarm artichoke dip?
Laura looks confused.
Laura Seton: What posse? Pretty sure you would have met them by now…
Judy completes filling her plate up with food, undeterred by Laura’s appearance as she sits back down and gestures to Laura to join her.
Judy Punchinello: It was a joke, princess… You here for the food or here for me?
Laura Seton: You, actually.
Judy begins getting defensive as Laura makes her way over.
Laura Seton: Ease up, Hoss. Goal isn’t to fight you.
Judy Punchinello: Then what is your goal?
Laura walks over, gently handling the Rules of Surrender championship in the process.
Judy Punchinello: If you’re here to rub it–
Laura Seton: Not the intention either.
She sits and the two look each other in the eye. Judy’s look is as tense as ever while Laura’s… isn’t.
Laura Seton: This isn’t about insults. It’s not about “I’m better than you.” I just… I know we’re never going to like each other, but?
Judy Punchinello: …but?
Laura Seton: You’re one hell of an opponent.
Judy rolls her eyes.
Judy Punchinello: Ah, the participation trophy, honor just to be nominated speech. I can soothe my own wounded ego, Laura, I don’t need you to do that for me. Besides… I’ve already moved on to other priorities.
Laura sighs as she looks up at the TV screen as the ring is being cleared for the night’s main event. She stands as she speaks.
Laura Seton: You do you, Judy. I wanted to have a moment, just one, of niceties, but never mind. Be fine here without a championship. No group to co-lead. All alone with nothing.
Judy grabs the remote for the CCTV that had been sitting in front of her and turns off the feed. now finally giving Laura her full attention.
Judy Punchinello: Here’s the thing, Laura. I TRIED nice. I TRIED being friendly. I TRIED being a ‘team’ player and you know what it got me? Laughed at.
Laura goes to interject but Judy cuts her off.
Judy Punchinello: No no no. You wanted to come here to talk to me? REALLY talk to me, Laura? Then here it is… growing up I was smart – got good grades – but I didn’t get along with people so well – got in a lot of fights because it’s always the outcast who ends up getting dragged down. And by God they sure accomplished their goal. I wanted to go to University; but all they cared about was how many kids I beat up in secondary school, so I get the only job I can – a barback – at shitty dive clubs where men ogled my breasts, slapped my ass, and wanted to be given the Nobel Prize for being “complementary. The only thing that kept me from drinking myself into an early death was not wanting to give those Chavs the satisfaction of seeing how angry – how worthless their “complements” made me feel.
Laura’s expression falters.
Judy Punchinello: Then by sheer dumb fuck luck I get into a wrestling school run by a legitimate icon of the business but once again get laughed at – told to ‘play the part’ and take my licks because “that’s the business, Judy” and so then I wind up in SHOOT and I have to carry this dumb-as-rocks tag-along who doesn’t know her ass from her elbow and lose match after match until I randomly get placed with two other actually talented women and think – FINALLY – here is my chance. But then I get laughed at AGAIN. I get angry AGAIN and do something stupid… AGAIN. And then I get cut from this company. But “don’t worry” I thought … surely SOMEONE will step forward and defend me. After all, that’s what teammates did, right? What FRIENDS did. But after days turned into weeks I knew that despite all the pomp and circumstance, all the niceties as you called them, at the end of the day, even after ‘playing the part’ I was still just the butt of the joke.
Judy hits her hand on the table in a mix of frustration and exhaustion and then just lets her body sag and throws up her hands.
Judy Punchinello: So, yes, Laura, Ms. Basketball prodigy, WNBA star, Mom of the Year, former World Champion, future Hall of Famer… I get why you keep wanting us to be “nice” to each other… but the least you can fuckin’ do is make an attempt to understand why “nice” is the four-letter word that offends me the most. So… let’s start over, hmm?
Judy looks to Laura and gestures for her to continue.
Judy Punchinello: What was it you came to see me about?
Laura Seton: I’d like to see you happy. I really would, that’s not empty nonsense; it’s legit. But the more you lash out the more you’re going to just keep driving people away. If that’s what you want, which you must since you keep living the way you do, then I’ll leave you alone. But I just you promise me one thing.
Judy looks on, interested.
Laura Seton: If nothing else happened in my career here in SHOOT, I still think I could retire happy, but I’ve also made no mistake about why I came back: to win the Heavyweight Championship here. You, Judy? I have no idea what your goals ultimately are… but I am willing to bet even if you did somehow make it to the top spot in this company, you’d still be as angry and miserable as you are now.
Judy watches as Laura reaches over and turns the CCTV back on as RAIKO and Chick Grillbreast begin to make their entrances and she begins to leave the table.
Judy Punchinello: What’s the promise?
Laura Seton: Get there. And then prove me wrong when we find ourselves across from each other again in the ring.
Laura crosses her arms as Judy tries to process what Laura just said, but ultimately nodding with seems to be a genuine smile. Laura nods back and makes her way out.
Laura Seton: Hope to see you again sooner rather than later, Judy.
Judy Punchinello: Don’t worry. You will.
Laura finally leaves the green room while Judy turns her attention back to the main event, a smile still on her face.