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Ruination 45


Pigpen looks down the hallway, his weary eyes narrowing.  He pulls the smoking filter of a Seven Stars from his lips, snuffs it in his own palm, and pops another in his mouth.  He fires it up, no smoking signs be damned, and leans his stiff back against the concrete, putting on a pair of sunglasses.  Minimum, we assume, for dealing with the odd adoring fan–and for Pigpen, it is odd.  


He’s essentially an extremely niche celebrity back home by virtue of his dogged refusal to ever hang his boots up, but here?  Here he was a freakshow act brought in on the strength of a good reference from two men he has no love for.  That eats at him, but he’s learning to let it eat at him less–and learning to embrace that his bloody wars with the likes of Felix Mullen have given his career a fifth encore.

A figure emerges from the shadows – a tall and burly figure that Pigpen immediately clocks as his opponent for the evening.

Timothy Roy rounds the corner and the two fighters are now within mere inches of each other. Pigpen looks upward but otherwise doesn’t react as Tim extends a hand outward.

Tim bristles slightly at Pigpen’s lack of reciprocation, but he opts to retract his gesture and lean forward instead – in a bow of respect.

Pigpen’s lip curls as he is unceremoniously presented with the top of Tim Roy’s head, but he holds his composure as Tim raises his body and meets Pigpen’s steel gaze – the two locking eyes before Tim continues upward and reclaims several inches over the older Japanese fighter.

Pigpen Matsumoto: Nani?


Tim nods slightly as he regains composure and tries to play off his eagerness.

Timothy Roy: I just wanted to say it’s an honor to compete against you tonight. Your legacy precedes you and-

Pigpen raises his hand, stopping Tim in his tracks.  He takes a long moment, and a long drag on his cigarette, looking Roy up and down, quite literally sizing him up.

Pigpen Matsumoto: [ Let me guess: another shitheel gaijin young boy looking to make his name by ending the career of Pigpen Matsumoto?  The great beast Power Devil failed, Thad Thumbscrews failed, ‘Psycho Thriller’ Dave Dubrowski failed, Felix Mullen failed–you’re going to be the victor?  Fuck you, and fuck you.  I’m immortal like cockroaches.  You’re nothing. ]

We at home have the benefit of subtitles.  Tim doesn’t, meaning he responds to this shotgun blast of gravelly Japanese with a look like a confused dog, head cock and all.  Matsumoto sighs as if he’s being terribly inconvenienced, and leans forward. 

Pigpen Matsumoto: You, shit.  Whole gaijin United States, shit.  Cannot kill Pigpen Matsumoto–no matter how hard you want. 

Tim’s excitement drops as he mutters something under his breath about never meeting your heroes.

Timothy Roy: My uncle. Damien Roy. Maverick. He respected you… told me a lot about how you influenced him when he chose to go into wrestling. Loved your matches.

Pigpen glares.

Pigpen Matsumoto: No Maverick here. Why you?

Tim’s expression drops.

Timothy Roy: He… died. A long time ago.

Pigpen scoffs, waving his hand dismissively.

Pigpen Matsumoto: [ Figures.  Typical sob story.  You’re here to throw me off my game, pig fuck.  And I’m not going to have it.  No weeping about your uncle who loved you, no big embrace because we’re fighting in his memory.  Fuck that. ]

His dismissive hand curls to a semi-arthritic middle finger. 

Pigpen Matsumoto: He was weak.  Fuck you Uncle. 

In a flash, Tim’s expression turns from solemn to seething. He steps forward, encroaching into Pigpen’s personal space – eyes glowing.

Timothy Roy: You take that back. NOW.

Pigpen smirks, knowing he’s hit a nerve.

Pigpen Matsumoto: Make me, gaijin.


Tim can barely register the words; he is frozen in place as Pigpen pulls the smoldering filter of his cigarette from his lips and tosses it to the concrete.  Limping backwards, he adds another middle finger to the already extended one, giving Timothy Roy the ole double deuce. Roy looks on in disbelieving rage as we cut away…

Timothy Roy Vs. Pigpen Matsumoto

Watch Tapout Wrestling on the XHF Network!

Paria's New Groove

Stacy Ng.


She was Breedlove’s personal Seamstress, so when he’d reached out into the ether to get her contact information, he was really delighted when that info showed up via text message from a number he didn’t recognize.


So El Paria threw her a message, had a project that he wanted to employ her for. He wasn’t sure her availability, didn’t know if she’d even be interested, but he had to try, and he’d been delighted when she came through for him, because here he stands… El Paria, or Jack Johnson. 


Adorned in green and yellow, matching the colors of one, Madison Seton. And naturally, Mary Kelly was there to get the tea.


Mary Kelly: So, green and yellow? Seattle Storm/Madison Seton? 


El Paria: You got it, Mary. I wanted to show my support in a different kind of way, and I think when we tag up together, like we’re doing tomorrow on Revolution, this just fits.


Mary Kelly: Does Madison know about it? 


El Paria: Nah, this’ll be a surprise to her. So, hey babes, check it out! 


He smiles, and the crowd pops a bit before Mary continues.


Mary Kelly: Any thoughts before your match against Alex Baez and Lexi Gold tomorrow night in Revolution’s main event? 


 El Paria: Just this, Mary. I’ve been working VERY hard in the last several weeks. Adding some new tools to my game, you know? I think Baez and Gold are going to be a little surprised by the changes I’ve made. I get that Lexi’s doing the losing streak thing, and I’ve not been super successful either. I get that Baez is the fresh Premier Champion and that Madison is going to be squaring off with him sooner rather than later… 


He shrugs.


El Paria: But tomorrow night? You’re gonna get a new, improved El Paria. Good luck, folks.


Mary Kelly: You heard it, guys! El Paria’s got a renewed interest in all of this and he’s claiming he’s going to make some waves. Back out there to you all, as we get ready for the Unholy Thunder Army and The Holler, which is NEXT! 

Unholy Thunder Army Vs. The Holler


We go backstage to…the bathrooms? Where a sizable group has gathered outside of them. Looks like mostly SHOOT Project officials. But there are two men seated against the wall on steel chairs who look awfully familiar…


Scott Kimura: I’ve got word we’ve got some sort of pow wow going on backstage? Not sure exactly what…wait a second! Is that…? Dutch, is that who I think it is?


Of the two men seated, one is clearly a professional wrestler. He’s heavily tattooed and well-muscled, and wears a bright red mohawk and garish pink wrestling tights. The other fellow is scrawny in comparison, and sports a greasy brown topknot and scraggly beard to go with his own loud, over-the-top purple suit.


The suit is smoking a cigarette, which there’s most definitely a rule against, while the wrestler sits with his arms folded, as if he’s bored with this whole proceeding.


Dutch Harris: I may be mistaken, but I wanna say that’s former SHOOT Project superstar NC-17 and his manager, Johnny Vignochi! What’re those two miscreants doing backstage?


Scott Kimura: For those at home who may not recognize this gentleman, NC-17 was a veteran talent here at one point, as well as a former SUAF champion. The guy was super talented, Dutch, but he struggled with substance abuse problems nearly his entire tenure. I believe he went straight into rehab after his last run…


Dutch Harris: After showing up high for a presser for that Lindsay Troy SUAF championship bout he was scheduled for! They’re not seriously considering letting this clown back on the roster, are they? What a joke!


After a couple of minutes of idle chit chat between the officials, Mark Kendrick and a referee exit the men’s bathroom holding a test strip and a plastic cup full of what is more than likely piss. Johnny Vig flicks his cigarette at one of the officials nonchalantly and gets to his feet.


Mark Kendrick looks pleased with himself.


Mark Kendrick: Well son, test came back negative. You’re cleared to return. Welcome back to SHOOT Project, NC-17.


A small pop goes up from those in the Epicenter who remember the “cream of obscene”. Seventeen nods and gets up to shake Kendrick’s hand. His manager immediately springs into boisterous salesman mode.


Johnny Vig: What’d I tell ya, boys? Clean as a whistle, completely reformed. NC-Seven-CLEAN, BAY-BAY. Nothin’ but OJ and sunshine, ain’t that right Teen?


NC-17: You can keep the piss, fellas. Shit’s practically  champagne. Vig, let’s get the fuck outta here.


The ex-soldier winks and blows a kiss at the camera has he strides off set, while Johnny Vig clasps and rubs his hands together.


Scott Kimura: Well I’ll be damned…you heard it here first, folks! A former SHOOT champion looks to be making his return! And he appears as clean and healthy as ever, Dutch! Maybe he’s turned over a new leaf?


As the camera follows Johnny Vig down the hallway, it catches him chuckling and mumbling under his breath.


Johnny Vig: Suckers…


The scene fades.


Chadwick Kyle Vs. Miles Miller

Coulda Been an E-Mail

The Coltons are champions, which means even when they aren’t working, they’re always working

The belts aren’t just a representation of how good you are, that’s a misconception.  The belts are also a big gold and leather job requirement that means you need to show up to be available for press and the fans, even if you don’t have to lace your boots up.  So that’s where we find Benny and Denny, somehow color coordinated even though they’re in street gear, talking with someone in production backstage. 

Until we hear a hard, rapping rapport–like wood smacking into concrete, as loud as a gunshot. The Colton family and the production person look down the hallway, concerned…and then the lights shut off with the loud sound of a breaker switch being thrown.  There’s a moment of pure chaos, including what sounds like the member of SHOOT staff scurrying in a direction and dropping his clipboard.  There’s a few more seconds of absolute confusion before the safety lights click on…

…And the Coltons are no longer alone. 

Standing behind them in a row, the combined might of the Unholy Cyber Army–Superbeast and Power Devil clutching two-by-fours, Thunder Fist casually cracking her knuckles–make their presence known. 

The cousins wheel around and immediately take up defensive positions. As terrifying a sight as the UCA may be, especially with weapons and superior numbers, another important part of being a champion is not letting the fear show.


Benny Colton: You’re too late, kids. Autograph signing was yesterday.


Denny Colton: I don’t think they’re here for autographs, cousin.


Benny Colton: I know. I was being flippy.


Denny Colton: Flippant.


Benny Colton: S’what I said.


At this, Superbeast and Thunderfist begin pacing around the team in a circle.  Power Devil leans down close to Denny–frankly far too close for comfort–and takes in a big inhaling huff.  Denny, for his part, recoils slightly into his cousin. 

Power Devil: Know what I smell, demon lords? 

Superbeast: Weakness. 

Thunder Fist: Sweat? 

Super Beast: The cheap, copper stink of a liar’s crown. 

Thunder Fist: Piss and shite? 

Power Devil: I smell prey.


Benny Colton: Nah, that’s just the big man’s cologne. I keep tellin’ you dude, Hugo Boss ain’t it.


Denny Colton: Not now, Benny.


They stand back to back, trying to keep all members of the Unholy Cyber Army in sight.


Benny Colton: Wanna know what I smell, other than your breath?


Denny Colton: For real, man. Mouthwash ain’t expensive.


Benny Colton: I smell a bunch of jokers who were hoping to get the drop on us in the hallway, ‘cause they know they can’t hang with us in the ring.

At this, Superbeast stops his pacing.  All three members arrange themselves across from the coltons, Power Devil and Thunderfist keeping a mean-mug while their gigantic Japanese companion looks…offended?  As offended as someone in a mask can be.  At least sneering.  He tosses his two-by-for to the side with a wooden clatter, and leans in close to Benjamin, shaking his head. 

Superbeast: You think we would…threaten you and then beat you? 

He crosses his massive arms. 

Superbeast: You’re both more foolish than I thought.  We would not threaten you and destroy you. We would simply turn you into Colton paste across all these cinderblocks with zero warning.  But this is…new time.  New era.  New Lord of Hell.  This isn’t a beating, Ben.  This is a negotiation.  


Denny Colton: Sorry, I guess we should have expected more subtlety from a guy who calls himself “Superbeast” in public.


Benny Colton: Also, you suck at negotiation. You don’t have pens, or a fancy leather briefcase, or a bullhorn…hell, I bet you didn’t even bring any snacks.


Denny Colton: Rude.


Benny Colton: So rude.


Denny Colton: Let’s get on with it. What’s your offer?

Thunder Fist steps forward and puts one hand on each of the Coltons’ shoulders.

Thunder Fist: Our “offer” Benjamin. Dennis. Is your titles in exchange for your lives.

The two Coltons look at each other as Thunder Fist squeezes each shoulder lightly.

Thunder Fist: Now, before you get any of the wrong ideas about what I mean here, let me set the stage. We’re not threatening to harm you; not physically. But as you must understand, carrying those belts comes with a sense of responsibility, right?

Benny tries to say something but Thunder Fist keeps going.

Thunder Fist: I understand that you are very attached to those titles – as well you should be. But tell me, Dennis. Benjamin. Are you so attached that you would, say, give up ever sleeping again for them? Are you so attached that you would be willing to hire police to guard your residences 24-7 to stop someone from dropping by and saying hello? So attached that you would always make sure the other was within eyesight just in case? So attached to your title as champions that you would be willing to risk your fans’ safety every night?

Denny Colton: What does-

Thunder Fist: All we are saying, Dennis. Benjamin. Is that you have a simple choice to make. You either meet us in the ring with those belts on the line, willingly, or the Colton legacy as tag champions will forever be overshadowed by the damage left in its wake. You will never – ever – rest knowing peace or pride; just… desolation.

Thunder Fist lifts her hands and steps back into line with her partners, eyes burning a hole in both Coltons who are trying to find their composure.

Power Devil: No mercy for you, Coltons. 

Superbeast: No rest. 

Power Devil: Your pain will pave our path to immortality. 

Benny Colton: You get a title shot and a path to immortality; we get…pain? Doesn’t sound like a strong offer to me, but let me run it past our agent.


Benjamin leans back toward his cousin, so they can whisper back and forth.


Benny Colton: What do you think?


Denny Colton: Stall ‘em. I’m holding out for a big sandwich.


Benny Colton: Good call.

Their internal discussion complete, the champions return to the negotiating table.


Benny Colton: Give us some time to put together our counter-offer. We’ll be in touch.


Power Devil’s chest shakes with silent laughter…and then, the lights go out again.


Benny Colton: I got one of ‘em!


Denny Colton: That’s ME, you–


Flicker flicker.


As the darkness is banished, the champions find themselves alone in the hallway; the only things remaining from the Unholy Cyber Army’s intrusion are their discarded weapons.


Benjamin, as he often does, shouts at nothing.



Daichi Oyama Vs. Miranda DC (c)