Ruination 4

The show opens to the backstage interview location where Abigail Chase stands in front of the camera. The crowd pops for the unconventional start to the show!

Abigail Chase: Hello everyone, and welcome to RUINATION 4! I’m very excited for my guest right now. He’s recently joined SHOOT and done very well for himself. So well, in fact, he’s going for the Shut Up and Fight Championship tonight! Please welcome, “The Easy-Going Grappler”… Kayden Paulton!

Paulton walks into view, a warm smile on his face. He greets Chase with an honest handshake and waves through the camera lens.

Kayden Paulton: Wow, thank you for the interview! I hope I don’t take too much of your time, there are a lot of amazing wrestlers here!

Chase smiles back at the newcomer.

Abigail Chase: Kayden, this is a huge opportunity for you. A championship match against Courtney Hatchett! What are your thoughts going into this contest?

Paulton is nodding along, hanging off every word the interviewer says. When she’s finished, he leans back and puts deep thought into his answer before responding.

Kayden Paulton: First off, it’s an honor to have this title match. Like I said, there are so many amazing wrestlers in SHOOT pew, pew, heehee. Teresa Ames and Daryn Thompson to name a few, who are also new and helped put on a show at Reckoning Day. It’s because of them I have this match so I won’t let them down! Courtney is a mighty fine wrestler, way out of my league in terms of talent. She said some super swell things about me and I wanted to say publicly: thank you Courtney! You’re an unreal wrestler and I really hope we can tear down the house tonight! I promise I will abide by the championship rules… Play Nice and Have Fun!

Abigail is somewhat taken aback, since that’s not the name of the championship. She stares at Paulton and raises an eyebrow, trying to determine if he’s serious or not. Paulton, all smiles, certainly is as he thumb-ups the camera.

Abigail Chase: Kayden, you mentioned Teresa Ames and Daryn Thompson, the two you successfully beat at Reckoning Day…

Chase trails off, seeing Kayden’s expression turn to concern. He looks over at the interviewer and immediately apologizes.

Kayden Paulton: Oh sorry, Ms. Chase, I didn’t mean to interrupt you. It was a fun match and I am so thankful to wrestle them both! It’s just… well, there’s one thing I can’t seem to shake…

Abigail Chase: What’s that?

Paulton raises a hand to his chin and nods.

Kayden Paulton: It was supposed to be a four way contest but Mystery Opponent didn’t show.

Chase wants to interject but Paulton is still in deep thought.

Kayden Paulton: I looked at the online roster page and I asked as many people as I could, -without bothering too many of course. It seems as though no one has even seen Mystery Opponent this entire time!

Paulton is speaking as if Mystery Opponent is the actual name of someone. It’s clear The Easy-Going Grappler hasn’t grasped the concept of it.

Kayden Paulton: So it ended up as a triple threat match instead but no worries, Ms. Chase, I won’t bother you or anyone else with it anymore. I will, however, try to get to the bottom of this myself!

Paulton turns to Chase and rolls his eyes at himself.

Kayden Paulton: I’m sorry about that. Gosh, I should be more focused on the PNHF Championship match! I won’t do Courney Hackett wrong! I’ve been training hard and I’m ready to go. Win or lose, I hope we both have fun out there and entertain you at home and all of you in attendance!

Paulton bows to Abigail.

Kayden Paulton: Thank you so much for the interview. It’s humbling to be here. I hope you have a super swell night, Ms. Chase. This was a blast!

He walks off as Abigail turns to the camera.

Abigail Chase: You’re welcome, Kayden. There you have it, let’s go back to ringside!

Dutch Harris: There you have it indeed, folks! Kayden Paulton seems ready to rock, and good news! That match is going to kick us off tonight, as Courtney Hatchett defends the Shut Up and Fight Championship against Kayden Paulton and that’s gonna be our opening match! Scott?!

Scott Kamura: As Ms. Chase said, Paulton has had quick success here, and we’ll see if that continues tonight. Courtney is very, very well equipped in the SHOOT Project ring, so this’ll be a tough task for sure.

Kayden Paulton Vs. Courtney Hatchett (c)

The broadcast resumes backstage as a visibly irritated Teresa Ames verbally whips her social media strategist, Jocelyne.

Teresa Ames: Jocelyne, do you need to take a fifteen? I need you to focus. Now help me set this thing up.

The two work on erecting a cardboard booth in the middle of the promenade. It’s a labor of love for the dynamic duo who finally get everything set up. Teresa breathes a sigh of relief as she dusts her hands and allows her gaze to read the poorly painted sign.

Teresa Ames: Kissing Booth, five cents each. That should do it.

The IT Gurl struts into the power position of the booth as Jocelyne awkwardly sits off to the side.

Teresa Ames: I need you to stay there so everyone knows it’s me they’re kissing. Not some snivelling little pre-teen college bumpkin.

Jocelyne: But I’m almost 20.

Teresa isn’t having any of it as she shuts out Jocelyne completely and begins to focus on the foot traffic.

Teresa Ames: Heyyyyyyyyy. Hiiiiiiiiiii. Hi there. Hello, hello, hello.

She greets people of various statures and genders as they scoot on by. She even throws in a smile or two and some patented ASMR finger flutters in an effort to attract some customers. Meanwhile, Jocelyne hangs her head as she thumbs away on her phone.

Teresa Ames: Why isn’t anyone stopping? I am a pure delight. I should be making a killing right about now. I need to forget about that devastating loss at Reckoning Day to that overly nice buffon, Kayden Paulton and kissing others is just what the doctor ordered.

Suddenly, two men move into view, carrying a makeshift booth oddly similar to Teresa’s. They place it down right next to the confused Ames. One of the men, “Black Out” Pat Cassidy, waves the other.

Pat Cassidy: Thanks a lot for the help, Mike. I’ll swing by with the thirty rack after the show.

The other man, presumably Mike, waves back and walks off. Cassidy grabs a nearby chair and pulls it up to his booth. Reaching into the booth, he pulls out a cardboard sign that reads “Take A Valentine’s Selfie With Pat Cassidy – $1.00.” He hangs it over his booth as a disbelieving Teresa makes her way over to him.

Teresa Ames: Ummmm, excuse me? What do you think you’re doing?

Cassidy turns, pretending to just notice Ames was there.

Pat Cassidy: Oh! Hey there. Was just setting up my new selfie booth. A buck for a selfie. Seems reasonable.

The Cute N Qwerty Gurl huffs and puffs in frustration.

Teresa Ames: What the actual!? You’re trying to steal my clients! With a selfie booth, no less!? That’s my schtick!

Pat Cassidy: Hey now! A little competition is healthy for the market. I’ve been reading up on this business stuff since… well, you know. Becoming a successful entrepreneur-type. I think my booth is going to be offering…

Cassidy glances over at her booth’s sign. Cassidy stifles a laugh.

Pat Cassidy: …a superior product. May the best business type person win, huh?

Cassidy sticks out his hand for a shake. Furious, Ames pouts like an eight year-old and stomps back to her booth.

Teresa Ames: Jocelyne! Get off your phone and start directing people my way.

Ames mans her booth as she vindictively stares over at Pat.

Teresa Ames: The audacity.

Over the next several minutes, she notices people flocking towards Pat’s selfie booth while hers remains as sterile as a surgical room. A wrinkle breaks across her nose at the sight of Cassidy’s instant success.

Teresa Ames: I am supposed to be the social media mogul and this prominent-shouldered, wide-eyed, rugged smelling man just takes all my business away. Enough. JOCELYNE! We’re moving.

The broadcast transitions elsewhere as Ames and Jocelyne pathetically move their booth away from the overly busy selfie station with their tails tucked between their legs.

Scott Kamura: I appreciate the hustle that those two both have, even when you take into consideration that they’re in matches tonight! Matches with implications and whatnot!

Dutch Harris: I kinda love that Pat Cassidy really is just trying to get under her skin, and it seems to have worked. We’ll see if that affects Teresa Ames as she goes into her match with Blade McGuinness.

Dark screen.

We hear Ned Reform’s voice, but we don’t see him.

Ned Reform: Great men.

Suddenly, flashes of historical figures: Socrates. Alexander the Great. Jesus Christ. Charlemagne. Christopher Columbus. Captain John Smith. Copernicus. Thomas Paine. George Washington. Abraham Lincoln. Albert Einstein. JFK. Martin Luther King. Stephen Hawking. 

Ned Reform: Great men accomplish extraordinary feats. Great men change the world.

We fixate on a single photo: Ned Re… excuse me, DOCTOR Ned Reform. He stands on a podium, seemingly giving a lecture to an unseen crowd. Behind him is a dry erase marker board with copious markings and notes. This image remains, and we slowly pan in closer as Reform continues to narrate over it.

Ned Reform: But sometimes… less discussed, less recorded in the annals of history… great men fail. We like to think of our heroes as infallible. But in truth, the movers and shakers of history often tasted defeat more than success. It’s a part of the burden of being a visionary. 

We’re still slowly panning into the picture of Reform.

Ned Reform: At Reckoning Day, Dr. Ned Reform failed. I am no longer a champion in SHOOT Project. And not only that, but I was not successful in the most humiliating way possible, with Courtney Hatchett seeking to debase me at every opportunity. I know many of you expect me to walk away. Expect me to fold to the pressure, to admit that the humiliation was too much, admit that Dr. Ned Reform has been all talk.

Stiiiiill panning.

Ned Reform: Of course you want me to do that. Because it would mean that I was wrong. It would mean everything I said, all the discourse I exposed you to, all the deep reflective soul searching of yourselves I pulled out of you… well, that could all be discounted. You want me to walk away because YOU would walk away. And you’d like nothing more to believe that I was never any better than all of you.

Now the picture switches: it’s Ned Reform, flat on his back, in the ring after his match at Reckoning Day. 

Ned Reform: I am… a great man. And unlike the majority of the people listening to this, I will not pack it in after a failure. The fact is… I am going to use this opportunity to reflect. To contemplate. To grow. And in two weeks, Dr. Ned Reform is coming back. He’s coming back wiser. He’s coming back with greater focus. And he’s coming back… as always… to make the world a better place.


Fade out.

Dutch Harris: I don’t necessarily agree with his methods, but I like the good doctor.

Scott Kamura: He’s an interesting cat, for sure. I’m here to tell you that I think he’s going to be a big time player here in the SHOOT Project. I know his career here is just getting started, but I’ve got majorly good vibes from him. Personality? Eh, I dunno, but it seems like he’s got the tools to succeed.

Dutch Harris: Speaking of tools, up next, we’ve got Blade McGuinness taking on Teresa Ames in a match that, in my opinion, will truly test Ames’ mettle here in SHOOT. Blade McGuinness is a brawler, and he’s got a significant size advantage on Ames, so I’m really interested in seeing how this all plays out, PLUS you have to take into consideration that Pat Cassidy is playing head games with her. Lots of things going on around here, and that match is next!

Blade McGuinness Vs. Teresa Ames

“In just a few short moments, I will defend my Sin City Championship against the slayer, Nate Robideau. But first…”

The scene opens, showing Joshua Breedlove, SHOOT Project Sin City Champion, sitting on what looks to be some kind of royal throne, or a chair made up to look like a royal throne. In his lap rests the Sin City Championship, and in his hand is a martini glass that is filled with… sparkling cider, as the bottle of Martinelli’s sits off in an ice bucket to his right.

JB: First, I’d like to talk about the Joshua Breedlove Invitational Tournament, or the Sin City Championship Series as you plebeians are referring to it. We’ve just seen Teresa Ames etch her entry into the “SHOOT Project” side of the field, and soon, we’ll find out if it’ll be Devan Derbyshire or Patrick Cassidy, Paddy as I’ve been told, who will be joining her. I’m simply aflutter at the possibilities. You see, the Breedlove Invitational Tournament is a chance for all of you folks to become part of something amazing… something historic.

Breedlove pauses and takes a sip of the Martinelli from his glass and stares pensively into the camera.

JB: I would be remiss if I didn’t, with my picks, include people who were just as historic and amazing as part of the Breedlove Invitational field, and so… I’m here to let you all know who I will be selecting for the Breedlove bracket. They are…

Suddenly, REIGN’s Stan Jensen appears dressed in some kind of weird uniform, holding a snare drum and a pair of drumsticks. He begins to execute what can only be called… the worst drumroll of all time. Still, Breedlove is unphased.

JB: The first Breedlove pick for the Breedlove bracket in the Breedlove Invitational Tournament is… SHOOT Project’s slick daddy himself… BOBSON DUGNUTT!

An obviously fake cheer goes out from what can only be a bluetooth speaker behind Breedlove and his throne.

JB: And finally, the second pick for the Breedlove bracket in the Breedlove Invitational Tournament is… a roaring tiger, a guy who is ALL IN, and fights with GRIT. Hailing from REIGN, you’re welcome by the way, CLEMSON DEAN!

Fake boos come out from that same speaker.

JB: Now, the Breedlove Invitational Tournament will begin on the next set of shows. I’ve been told that this is a round robin affair and any match that I’m involved in will be for the Sin City Championship. Apparently, any points and rules and things like that will be kept by the front office, and at some point there will be an elimination, but I honestly can’t be fussed with all of that since I know that I’ll be the one standing tall at the end, and that’s the important thing. Now, plebeians and Breedlovers alike, please join me in wishing the competitors in the Breedlove Invitational good luck!

Joshua Breedlove leans forward and smiles.

JB: They’re going to need it.

Cut.

Pat Cassidy Vs. Devan Derbyshire

An unmarked, unmasked Scion, otherwise known to the SHOOT Project world as James Johnson, is backstage in the lockerroom. He’s got his bag and is packing stuff from it into his locker, taking care to look at the things as he places them. He’s not booked, so he’s doing what he considers “admin” work while taking in the show.

Avarice: Am I to still term you brother, brother?  It all seems so long ago.

Scion: Shit!  Av?! 

He unfolds himself from his almost fetal position in the corner and steps from the shadows.  His look has not changed much, still in his cheap sweatsuit, but the most striking change is that his mask is nowhere to be seen.  What isn’t covered by the curtain of his hair is a strikingly young looking face, nursing multiple scars, including a long one across his cheek that was clearly more jagged slash than cut.  His eyes remain as soulful and dark as ever.  He doesn’t blink as he looks his former compatriot in the face. 

Avarice: So much favor visited to one man!  It’s enough to make a person wonder.  Hahaha

He smiles, which is the first time we can see it and his laugh.  His mouth and jaw make the motions, but the rest of his face cannot follow suit.  His eyes remain placid and dead as he chuckles. 

Avarice: He goes.  I should, too.  But I keep thinking…see, Malice has someone, Void has someone, you have someone.  So when our Father goes…you are, every one of you, to the man, safe.  Praise be to God. 
 
Scion: Av, look, I don’t know–

Avarice shoots his arms out, grasping Scion by the shirt and backing him against the lockers, closing the space between their bodies.  He runs his nose along Scion’s cheek, closing his eyes.  His words are a whisper, his lips close to his compatriots ear.  

Avarice: What is left for Adrian, brother?  Sweet Adrian who only ever did what he was told and has so much love inside of him and nowhere for it to go?  Is he just left to rot, or did your family never consider the outcome when they used me like they did?  My loving brother.  You’re threatening to break what’s left of my heart.  

He kisses Scion on the cheek, and gets shoved away for his troubles.  Taking a step back, he smiles with dead eyes again.  

Scion: Look man, I’m not sure I can help you. I want to help you. I want to help you, I don’t know man, learn how to be someone else? I don’t even know if that’s the right sentiment. This whole thing… it spiraled way beyond what I was expecting or anticipating. I had no idea what you really had been through and what he did to you. I just…

Scion takes a breath.

Scion: I’m really sorry, man.

He places his hand on Avarice’s shoulder, sympathetically.  Avarice recoils for a moment, then lays his own hand on Scion’s cheek.

Avarice: An apology.  For a whole life.  You’re such a sweet man.  Such a sweet man.  

He sighs.  

Avarice: I have always…swallowed it all, brother.  Any pain gets devoured.  It turns into a beast inside of yourself, but I starve and starve and starveAhahaha–no more!  Brother, no more!!  I will not swallow this.  I will not.  

He smiles again.

Avarice: My life was burned.  You don’t appreciate the enormity of that.  But you will.  Because I love you so.

Scion sighs. 

Scion: It’s not an apology for… ugh. You’re right man, I don’t. I couldn’t possibly empathize with you on that level. I don’t know what to say. You shouldn’t “swallow this”, man. You should… I don’t know. 

Abruptly, Scion pulls the bag over his arm and begins to walk to the door. He looks back at Avarice, who is just standing there watching him walk away from him and through the door. 

Scion: I… don’t know how to help you, but I wish I did. 

Black.

Dutch Harris: What’s your take on that?

Scott Kamura: I don’t have one, but it’s clear that Avarice is dealing with some major stuff as a fallout from what happened with Adrian Corazon at Reckoning Day. I feel bad for him, but we can’t dwell and we have to see how it plays out, right?

Dutch Harris: Indeed we do, and in the spirit of not dwelling, it’s time for the main event of the evening, as Nate Robideau challenges Joshua Breedlove for the Sin City Championship! It should be REALLY interesting to see how this one plays out, and I’m looking forward to it. That match is now!

Nate Robideau Vs. Joshua Breedlove (c)

Robideau rolls to his feet, clutching his arm.  His normally stern demeanor has been replaced with gritting teeth and an enraged look in his eyes, as he stares at Josh Breedlove celebrating with his title belt. 

Dutch Harris: I think this is the rare moment when I can speak for both myself and Scott when I say I’m shocked!

Scott Kamura: Not by the win–the win I expect–but I’m not hallucinating, right?  Josh Breedlove just made Nate Robideau tap?!

Dutch Harris: As authoritative as I’ve seen out of him, and no one seems as shocked as Nate Robideau himself, who–whoa!!

Nate in a flash of rage bull rushes Breedlove, taking him to the mat with a spear!  The crowd erupts into rollicking screams as he gains a mount easily, then starts DRIVING 12-to-6 elbows into the champion’s forehead!!

Scott Kamura: What the hell is this?!  Nate Robideau is captain honorable combat!

Dutch Harris: Has he lost it?! 

He passes to side mount, then gets the still reeling Josh Breedlove by the head and drags him to his feet.  Josh swings a dazed haymaker, which Nate dodges with a quick lean, before locking on a Muay Thai clinch and peppering him with high knee strikes!!  Clark Fledman attempts to intervene, placing his hand between the two men–and Nate shoves him away!!  Breedlove still has enough of his wits to attempt to get through the ropes to the floor, but Robideau hauls him into the ring and locks him into an armbar!!  The crowd noise is deafening, cheers and boos intermingling, as Josh Breedlove screams and taps repeatedly–but Nate isnt letting the hold go, WRENCHING back on the arm, hyperextending it backward!!

Dutch Harris: I can’t believe I’m saying this, but can someone please help Josh Breedlove?!

The crowd noise ratchets even higher as three figures emerge from the back, rushing to the ring…

Scott Kamura: The Sin City Scoundrels I expect but…is that fucking Kimo Apana?!

The REIGN Champion and the Tag Team Champions slide into the ring from the bottom rope, and the Sextons instantly dive onto Nate, breaking his hold from Josh Breedlove and laying in wild grounded punches!! The Scoundrels and KIMO have ahold of Nate as Breedlove takes a microphone. 

Breedlove: Are you…kidding…me? Right now…with…this…sorry…let me catch my…breath.

Breedlove delivers a hard boot to the midsection of the restrained Robideau, and goes back to the microphone. 

Breedlove: Sorry. What you’re seeing here, right now, is the dawn of a new era in the SHOOT Project… nay… the WORLD. Where we pluck wretches like this from their ivory towers and throw them down into the MUCK where they belong. This is the beginning, my friends. My new, well old, pal KIMO, my pals the Sin City Scoundrels… we all stand before you as champions in this company. We… are an empire.

He pauses and looks directly into the hard camera.

Joshua Breedlove: THE HOLY BREEDLOVE EMPIRE.

Robideau struggles against the men holding him with futility, unable to break free, his mouth open as he attempts to catch his breath.  KIMO Smirks and drives a massive fist into his ribs, stopping any struggle he might have had left. 

KIMO rears back, set to deliver another huge fist into Nate’ ribs. Just before impact, the lights cut out, plunging the arena into darkness.

Dutch Harris: What the hell?

A few seconds of silence are suddenly broken.

TIIIIIIIIME IS ON MY SIIIIIDE… YES IT IS!

The lights flick back on and standing behind The SCS holding Nate is the trio of KHARRION and Jacob Mephisto!

Scott Kamura: Holy hell! Mephisto is here! And he’s got KHARRION with him!

Dietrich and KC immediately charge forward and begin clobbering the World Tag Team Champions! The Sextons release Nate and turn, fighting back.

Dutch Harris: And it is ON!

KIMO moves forward only to be met directly by Mephisto, who steps in front of a still-downed Nate Robideau. The two pause briefly, staring eye to eye. The gaze of the beast meets the pale grey gaze of Mephisto. 

As the two men lock eyes, the reigning Sin City Champion bails from the ring as KHARRION and the Sin City Scoundrels brawl across the ring.

Dutch Harris: Jacob Mephisto and KHARRION have returned! And they’ve just saved Nate Robideau!

KIMO slowly backs up, stepping out of the ring as the SCS roll out of the ring. Nate has gotten to his feet and LUNGES forward in Breedlove’s direction, but Mephisto snags him around the middle and drags him back.

Scott Kamura: And Mephisto is preventing Robideau from going after Breedlove here. I don’t know what’s come over Nate, but he is seething!

Mephisto holds back a furious Nate Robideau as the newly minted Holy Breedlove Empire backs up the ramp, Joshua Breedlove slowly raising the Sin City Championship in the air.

Mephisto whispers something to Nate, who is struggling in his grip, that causes the furious Blackhawk to begin collecting himself. Mephisto turns to face the HBE and simply smirks, the gesture never reaching those pale greys.

Our final shot of the night is a seething Nate Robideau alongside the Empyrean Codex staring daggers at a regrouped Holy Breedlove Empire dripping in gold.