Payaso de la Muerte
Always the Maverick
X-Calibur: SO HOW THE FUCK ARE Y’ALL DOIN’ TONIGHT?!
“X-CAL! X-CAL! X-CAL!”
Catching his breath after bringing it to Payaso de la Muerte’s seven-foot clown ass, X continues.
X-Calibur: You know it, guys and gals. And now? So does Payassolé. Considering this was my first booked match in almost two-years, I’d like to think that I still got it. But, I dunno. What do you think? Not that I want to be that guy buuuuuut-
“YOU STILL GOT IT!
CLAP, CLAP, CLAP-CLAP-CLAP!
“YOU STILL GOT IT!
CLAP, CLAP, CLAP-CLAP-CLAP!
Other Guy: I feel like I’m going to throw up. I don’t care if you’re a Hall of Famer or not, pandering to the crowd is one of the douchiest things ever.
Eryk Masters: Oh shut up. If there was any time where that chant felt appropriate, that was it!
Once the chant dies down a bit, X-Calibur continues speaking.
X-Calibur: Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way? It’s time to get real. I came back for one reason, and one reason only: I’m a goddamn prizefighter, see. And now that my daughter counts on me to provide all the best things in life for her? As a single Dad? You better fucking believe I’ve got my sights set on a couple of things.
The Epicenter listens intently on everything X is saying, wondering where exactly this is going.
X-Calibur: There’s not much I haven’t accomplished here in SHOOT, but what I haven’t accomplished is significant to me. Take Master of the Mat, for instance. It’s one of my white whales, if you will. I’ve only been in a few of them since the inception of the tournament, and have yet to have my name added to the trophy’s list of winners.
X chuckles, looking down at the mat while he collects his thoughts.
X-Calibur: Then, of course, there’s the Rule of Surrender Championship. To become the beacon, that General Patton of submission warfare, has always been a dream of mine. Aside from one clusterfuck of a match that re-introduced it back in… what, 2010? Say 2010… I’ve always wanted that chance. Considering how I’ve tailored my in-ring abilities to fit what I’m more capable of doing these days, as seen with what I’ve done to both Chaddy and Spanish Clownshoes, I’ve never wanted it more. So imagine my disappointment when I realized how that title championship merged with the Iron Fist into the Premier Championship.
X-Calibur: No, no! No booing needed! I take nothing away from the ever-evolving nature of SHOOT Project’s array of championship gold, and moreover, I take nothing away from the champion who currently holds the title. Am I disappointed the Rule of Surrender Title isn’t around anymore? Sure. But that doesn’t mean I can’t go after what’s in its stead. But I’m not going to get involved in the bullshit happening there. Our resident Black Sheep needs to step up and figure out how to deal with the Lexi issue on his own if he wants to earn some serious Soldier points around here. So, for now, just consider me an avid watcher of the Premier Championship division.
The fans are buzzing, wondering where exactly he’s headed with this.
X-Calibur: Then there’s the Sin City Championship. Another championship I’ve never been given the chance to fight for. A title that represents everything this great city stands for. Other Hall of Famers, like our current World Heavyweight Champion himself, Azraith DeMitri (massive pop at the mere mention of The Avatar), have made this title into the highly sought after title that it has become today. Simply put, this title has become the essence of competition within the SHOOT Project.
Pausing, he winks at the camera as if to say “Hi, Az!”.
X-Calibur: That said? I don’t know this Miranda DC, I don’t know her situation, and I don’t even know if she’s worthy enough to hold onto such a historic piece of gold. BUT, what I do know is that her name, and a well captured photo-op, are currently showcased on SHOOT’s website, advertisements on the ACE Network, and in an oddly placed bench at Symphony Park. So as far as I’m concerned? Her situation does not matter to me the slightest bit. I just may make my way over to her and go through whoever I have to finally become the face of Las Vegas.
The lights flicker. Some of the fans in attendance are startled by this. X looks around for a moment, but the lights are back to normal.
X-Calibur: Ooookay? Not sure what that was, but anyway. Speaking of the Avatar: then there’s the match everyone has always wanted to see. And I’d be lying if I didn’t-
The lights flicker again.
X-Calibur: Hey production. Get your shit together!
This time, the lights go completely out.
X-Calibur: For fuck’s sake. It’s always something.
A voice synthesizer begins laughing over the Epicenter’s speakers. The SHOOTron lights up, and the words appear in a comic sans font, following the HAHAHAHA to what the voice is saying.
A bright light then shines down on X, blinding him.
Eryk Masters: ALIENS!
Other Guy: God that would be great.
Synthesized Voice: Typical X-Calibur. Waltzing into SHOOT Project, leapfrogging an entire roster full of people who are more deserving of a shot at whatever championship he wants. This is why nobody likes you. This is why SHOOT is better off without you, Hall of Shamer.
The fans boo this, but are more interested in seeing, and hearing, where this is going.
Synthesized Voice: You are but a novelty from a forgotten era. A flavor of the month that keeps coming back– and not even a good flavor, at that. You’re the McRib of SHOOT Project. Some like you. Some hate you. But nobody loves you. And everyone would be okay living their lives knowing you vanished from the menu. Forever.
X is really heated at this point, and before this cybernated voice can continue, he interjects.
X-Calibur: I’ve heard it all before, man or woman who sounds like Evil Stephen Hawking. (crowd laughs) So what makes what you say any different than what legions of other shitmongers have said to me in the past? My fuckin’ boots are stained with the blood and tears of those very same resentful assholes. Now why don’t you knock this smoke and mirrors bullshit off and come out and face me if you have a problem with me? I’m standing right here. Under YOUR spotlight. Come fuckin’ take it from me!
Synthesized Voice: Hahaha. So angry. Always the Maverick in this business. Aren’t we?
X-Calibur: Wait. Hold up. WHAT the FUCK did you just say?
Synthesized Voice: A reckoning is coming, X-Calibur. Be prepared… to be… exterminated.
The lights shut off again. The audience is so quiet you could hear a pin drop.
X slams the microphone down, looking over at Eryk Masters and Other Guy. He marches in their direction, post-haste.
Grabbing one of the spare headsets next to Other Guy, X puts it on haphazardly.
X-Calibur: What the fuck is this? Do either of you know what that was?!
Eryk Masters: I have no clue, X! Swear to God!
Other Guy: I have no idea, man.
X slams the headset down on the table, shattering it and creating a horrific, piercing sound of interference.
Walking to the back, sans theme music, X shakes his head, pissed off that someone is already fucking with him upon arrival.
A Golden Ticket?
“You think things are different with us now?”
The question comes out of nowhere, as El Paria or Jack Johnson stands in the locker room with his older brother, Jamie. Jamie’s a little taken aback by the question, but considers it honestly before answering.
Jamie Johnson: I mean, I think we’ve reached kind of a neutral state.
El Paria: What do you mean?
Realness: Well, when I came in, I did kind of a similar thing to you. It was a little larger in scale and a lot dumber all things considered, because I went after Dad and I went after SHOOT as a whole.
Paria: It really was dumber. I watched that shit and couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
Realness: Not my finest moment, but like I said, you did kind of the same thing. Came in, targeted me, we did our thing, and now we’re here.
Paria: Yeah mine wasn’t dumb at all though. Mine made perfect sense.
Realness: I think the important thing is that you decided to get serious about all of this and embrace the talent we all knew you had.
Paria: I’m gonna be a dad, Jamie. I can’t keep fucking around.
Realness: Yeah that’s still wild to me. Prolly won’t ever be normal to me, if I’m being real with you, Jack. Either way, neutral state. We weren’t ever super great best friends. We looked out for each other, we’re blood, and that won’t change.
Paria nods, thinking about what Jamie is saying. They’ve transitioned to a somewhat calm silence when Abigail Chase appears at the entrance to the lockerroom door. She eyes Jamie up and down and very obviously licks her lips.
Abigail Chase: Didn’t expect to come in here and find two Johnsons for the price of one.
She giggles. Paria smirks. Jamie blushes.
Abigail Chase: Been waiting on your call, James, and we’ll talk about that away from all of this…
She motions towards the cameras in the room.
Abigail Chase: But I was asked to deliver these to the both of you. The deal with it is that you don’t open them until the cameras stop rolling.
Jamie and Paria look at one another, confused, as Abigail Chase hands them two envelopes with nothing more than a golden logo embossed onto the front of it.
Jamie Johnson: Any idea what this is about?
El Paria: I got nothing for you, but I did see Hanzo and Yarbury have this same thing happen to them, off camera and everything, a few weeks ago.
Jamie Johnson: Oh yeah, on REIGN.
Abigail Chase: Anyway, did my job. Jamie, you know how to find me if you want me, and I know you want me.
Paria laughs as Abigail takes her exit. As she leaves, Paria turns and looks at his brother, who is as red as a cherry.
El Paria: What’s the deal with that?
Realness: You know that Jennifer Lawrence movie where she’s supposed to seduce the young kid before he goes to college?
El Paria: Yeah. Fun movie. I heard she tried to get Breedlove to do the wrestling training for that one scene. You know the one.
Realness: That… sounds like a great rumor to come out of the Sanctorium, but uhh… I think that’s the vibe she’s got going on. I think she thinks I’m all work and no play. Or maybe she’s just fucking with me, I have no idea. She’s kinda got cougar energy.
El Paria laughs LOUDLY.
El Paria: Dawg she’s not even 40. Or barely 40. I’m not gonna be so crass as to say that you should hit that, but I mean… you kinda are all work and no play.
Realness: Ooooookay. We’re done here, Jack.
Paria smiles and stands up, taking the envelope with him.
El Paria: That works out. I wanna see what the deal is with this anyway. Guess I’ll see you in the ring, ladies man.
Realness throws an errant towel at Paria, who is laughing as he leaves the room. We cut back to the ringside area.
Dutch Harris: Man, I’m so jealous.
Scott Kamura: Of the virgin or…?
Dutch Harris: Abby is a baddie, Scott, but I don’t wanna get distracted. We’ve got the Kings of the Wild Frontier debuting against the Willett Clan, and THAT match is next.
Scott Kamura: She IS a baddie though.
The Willett Clan
Kings of the Wild Frontier
The cut to backstage is a smash one, a handheld camera view shakily following SHOOT Project backstage interviewer Abigail Chase as she rushes toward something.
Abigail Chase: SHOOT Faithful, while we were preparing for a backstage segment, a loud commotion erupted down the hallway. We’re getting closer to see if we can figure out–oh, my god!
Her surprise is understandable: as they turn a corner, the absolute bull in a china shop mass of Avalanche Anderson barrels past them, stumbling half-blindly, pinballing from wall to wall, positively screaming.
Avalanche Anderson: Where the fuck is you, huh?! Where the fuck you go?!
From behind, chasing him down, are security and medical staff. And it’s easy to see why, now that his energy is dying down. Anderson’s eyes are nearly swollen shut, he has a nasty gash on the back of his head, but those pale in comparison to the sick sight of a man his size with a shoulder entirely out of socket!! He finally slows down, the magnitude of his injuries taking hold, and slumps against the concrete on his good arm, his breath coming out haggard. The EMTs begin their work, as two members of security begin barking into their earpieces.
Abigail Chase: Excuse me–what happened?!
Security: We’re trying to figure that out. He was crashing through a production area, but all of this had already been done…Anderson!
Avalanche Anderson: What?!
Security: You see who got you?
Avalanche Anderson: No he–ah, shit…got me from behind, bashed my face real good ‘fore he snapped my shit outta place…
The security team take this information and begin barking into their earpieces. We are left with the image of the gigantic Anderon, eyes almost swollen shut, reeling against a concrete wall.
Trailer Trash Terry
From Gold to Black
This SHOOT Project crowd is wild tonight, and it’s currently a ticking time bomb. They’ve been waiting patiently for the Eternal fallout because we all know that wrestling fans yearn for the continuity. “Close Your Eyes (And count to fuck)” by Run the Jewels hits and (remember that ticking time bomb?) this crowd explodes! Signs shoot up above heads that say “Marry Me BSB”, “Baez is Fly-ez”, “ON GOD”, “NC-17 smells like cat poop”, and more, but it’s all topped off with a gigantic cut-out of Azraith DeMitri’s head that people keep passing around like a beach ball in the stands. All eyes are on the stage because ya boi has made his way out to greet the crowd, and (you guessed it) he’s still wearing that SHOOT Project Premier championship.
Scott Kamura: Here he is, Dutch, it’s about damn time that Ruination got a look at the Premier champion because it’s most certainly been a while since we’ve seen Black Sheep Baez. The champions focus is on addressing the situation that occurred after the Premier title match at Eternal.
Dutch Harris: No doubt, and this is the first time Ruination has seen the Premier title. These fans are curious about what he’ll say. He was absolutely destroyed by Lexi Gold. Manhandled, if you will. She beat the snot out of him.
Scott Kamura: Yea, she came out of the dark and laid him to waste with no remorse. If the officials had not made their way out when they did then there’s no telling what else she may have done. But, why? A lot of unanswered questions.
Ya boi isn’t dressed to wrestle because he was graced with a cycle off after his grueling battle with Maddie Seton. He’s wearing a tailored blue Brooks Brothers suit and it’s straight fire. Let’s not forget the Cartier Aviator Frame sunglasses, hot damn! But, wait! The champ isn’t alone? No, and that’s because he’s brought the On Godtourage with him. Georgie and Matty Ice are right behind him lookin’ just as fly, but dressed more appropriately for the occasion; you know – rockin’ Black Sheep Baez t-shirts. The fans cheer as Black Sheep and his crew make it to the ring.
Scott Kamura: I’m assuming the reason he’s got his On Godtourage with him is to halt any attempt of a re-enactment from Eternal.
Dutch Harris: Yea, I don’t think you’re wrong there. On Godtourage is such an odd name. Kids these days. Too difficult to relate.
Scott Kamura: Yea, yet it’s not the worst thing we’ve ever heard in this company.
We all know that the champ has to gloat a little, right? So, before he enters the squared circle, he’s scaling the turnbuckle, unstrapping the gold, and holding it high for all to see. Baez is definitely a fan favorite, albeit there’s a few haters in the crowd because that’s just how the world works. He slaps his chest three times and then pans his index finger across the crowd to show them his love and appreciation. Georgie and Matty step into the ring and ya boi leaps over the turnbuckle, lands onto the canvas, spins like a tornado toward the center ring, and then faces the hard camera to pose with his belt held high above his head. Matty grabs a microphone from the time keeper as the crowd’s volume decreases and it’s time for ya boi to address the elephant in the room.
Baez removes his sunglasses and briefly closes his eyes to either soak in the moment, or to try and reflect on what occurred two weeks ago. It doesn’t last long. His eyes snap open, and he smirks.
Black Sheep Baez: Got DIGGITY dayum. Bet! Boys [he looks at Georgie and Matty] I must say that the SHOOT Project fans are the best in the world.
You better believe they ate that up. Baez responds with a pearly white grin as the fans shower the On Godtourage with cheers.
Black Sheep Baez: Now, lemme get right down to it ‘cuz ya’ll know for a damn fact that ya boi aint happy with someone. I’d love to stand here and talk about how amazing Maddie Seton is for what her and I went through at Eternal. Y’all definitely know I wanna celebrate winning the greatest match of my career. I can still do all of that, but lemme say somethin’ about Lexi Gold first.
Scott Kamura: Well, we all knew that Lexi was teetering on some kind of mental breakdown, but we didn’t expect that she would attack the champ.
Dutch Harris: She didn’t just attack the champ. She literally ruined a beautiful moment for him, and the phenomenal sportsmanship shown by the champ and Maddie Seton.
Black Sheep Baez: Yeah, boo Lexi, but I’ll be perfectly honest with you: ya boi aint finna waste his energy to boo Lexi. Honestly, I don’t know if I even wanna go on giving a shit about’er. Lemme take it straight to ya chin: some people are born into this life havin’ to go through hardships. Ya know what I’m sayin? Ya boi tried with her, and the thing is – she didn’t want any help. She kept spiraling further and further down a hole and no matter how many life lines she was thrown: ya girl was straight up duckin’ everyone. We get it, Lexi. You gucci just the way you are. Maybe this is just how ya life was supposed to go? Maybe it’s a menstrual thing? I don’t fuckin’ know? Here’s what I do know…
The champ walks toward the ropes and leans against them. He’s chillin, and taking a moment to gather his thoughts. He looks directly into the hard camera.
Black Sheep Baez: Imma let this one slide and ya boi finna forgive’er.
The crowd is slightly stunned. He’s going to forgive her? Is he nuts? Hell, even Georgie and Matty are shocked.
Dutch Harris: Well, that was unexpected.
Black Sheep Baez: Yessuh. Imma forgive. Why? Because everyone is fightin’ in a Fight Club that we all know nothin’ about, and we all know we don’t talk about Fight Club. Ya feel it? Peoples just got problems, and problems most of us don’t even understand. Lexi Gold got problems, and if she wanna take it out on the one man who showed any form of kindness toward’er then whatever. I’m a man of the people, and people make mistakes. Now make the same mistake twice and this a different convo.
Black Sheep Baez: So listen fam, imma switch it up and talk about priorities because ya boi got some new ones. Not Lexi Gold. I can’t be sweatin’ the bush league shit. Forgive and let’s live. THIS [he holds the championship above his head again] this belt right here is my priority, and I’ve gotta ensure that I continue to be the greatest SHOOT Project Premier champion. Ever. Periodt.
Suddenly, the lights in the arena turn off. The crowd is left wondering what is going on, then creepy music starts playing.
Dutch Harris: Wha-wha-uh oh.
Scott Kamura: Oh boy.
Dutch Harris: [In his best creepy voice] Sheeeeees heeeeerreeeeee.
After a few moments, the lights turn on and the music stops. The camera pans back to the ring where a figure stands across from Black Sheep Baez as there is speculation from the crowd on who it could be. It’s Lexi Gold. However, she is appearing darker now with a long lace dress, combat boots and heavy makeup. With her head down, she cradles her doll in her arms, then looks up at BSB with a creepy look and slowly walks up to him to rip the mic from his hands.
Matty and Georgie quickly take steps forward when Baez stops them. Black Sheep looks at both men and shakes his head. He wants to give her time.
Before she could speak, the crowd boos her. She smirks in response, and raises the mic to her mouth and makes eye contact with him.
Lexi Gold: You are willing to forgive me that easily, despite the fact that I beat the shit out of you? I’m surprised to hear that. Perhaps I should repeat history again right now, but this time end your career, and we’ll see how much you are willing to forgive me afterward.
She laughs like the wicked, evil witch that she is.
Lexi Gold: You can disagree all you want, but without your current premier champion, things would be a lot better around here. Less bullshit, but that’s not why I decided to come out here. You see everyone, including you Baez are wondering why I resorted to attacking you. We are supposed to be friends, right? Newsflash, friends are nonexistent to me. See, I was stupid enough to believe that everyone was my friend, but I know deep down they were laughing at my failures behind closed doors. You laughed at my failures.
She shakes her head and grips the microphone tighter in anger as she looks down at her doll once more.
Lexi Gold: You know who opened my eyes to all this? She did. If it wasn’t for her feeding me all this information and telling me what is considered the right thing to do, I’d probably still be this vulnerable, sad woman with no direction. I finally saw the light and I realize I don’t need you, these fans, or anyone to help me. I only need her.
Scott Kamura: This isn’t Lexi Gold, Dutch. This can’t be her. This cannot be the same former champ who had this company in the palm of her hand and the fans wrapped around her finger.
Dutch Harris: Something just isn’t right, Scott. She’s way gone right now. This is hard to watch.
Ya boi is confused. He’s baffled. All three men look as if they’ve just smelled a dog fart. Georgie grabs another microphone from the timekeeper and hands it to the champ. Baez strokes his chin in contemplation. He’s unsure of what to say.
Black Sheep Baez: Wha – ummm – hmm. The fu…?
He’s got to share another look at Matty and Georgie who shrug and shake their heads. The champ shakes it off like snapping out of a trance. It’s time to get serious.
Black Sheep Baez: Nah. Your silly shit ain’t worth my time. I’ve got nothin to prove to you that you ain’t already know about ya boi and I ain’t finna stand here and listen to your stupid ass [said in a high pitched voice] “ohhhhh I’m dead inside ‘cuz my friends suck and my doll told me so” bullshit.
The crowd loves it, and he smirks as they clap and cheer for their Premier champion.
Black Sheep Baez: It’s selfish as hell, yo. You just mad ‘cuz you couldn’t win a damn match. Here’s ya newsflash, homie: sometimes we lose. That’s for real life. Imagine a world where everyone wins. Ya can’t, ‘cuz that shit would never exist and it would be borin as hell. So, imma get on with my priorities, you’re not one of’em, and imma ghost you for bein’ a simple ass back-stabbin’ bitch. Ya boi don’t mess with triflin goth tricks that get their 411 from a dumbass doll. Feel me? Ya made your statement and ya done did what you needed to do. Now get the hell outta my face.
Oh, you better believe the crowd is hype. This is about to be a face off. Black Sheep shoots his chin up and all three are ready to scrap if necessary in the case Lexi decides she wants to recreate Eternal.
Scott Kamura: The look on Lexi Gold’s face right now can be described as one of genuine anger, but her eyes look empty. It’s as if she is being controlled.
Lexi Gold: I could easily take you all down despite the numbers game right now, but gram is getting angry with me standing here, so she is demanding that I leave this ring and I must obey her orders. You and I aren’t done. We will play again soon…
Dutch Harris: Gram? This woman needs help.
Lexi giggles and turns slowly around to exit the ring. Her eyes gaze at the stage. A doll resembling ya boi, a tiny replica Premier title and all, is sitting in the middle and at the mouth of the ramp. Baez and the crew share a few looks and are baffled by this woman’s current state of mind. Gold hops down from the apron, her feet smack against the floor, then she throws her arms up as the Black Sheep Baez doll spontaneously combusts!
Dutch Harris: Oh my God! What the hell is going on?
Scott Kamura: I think everyone in the Epicenter is sharing the same look of confusion, and slight fear, that’s on Black Sheep Baez’s face.
Dutch Harris: Scott, have you ever seen gold revert back to coal? Gold has reached peak black. She needs to change her last name.
Her hysterical laughter fills the arena like nails on a chalkboard. The On Godtourage are speechless as they watch. Lexi walks backward up the ramp, taking one final sinister look at the champ, and then turns to the side so that she’s got the doll and ya boi in her peripherals. She points a hand gun toward the engulfed plush, her eyes on Baez in the ring, and then pulls the trigger. The flames grow higher, intense, and her cheshire grin is more profound. She puts her hand over her mouth as if she’s made a boo-boo, and then skips past the charred remains of the doll to disappear backstage.
Two of the three men in the ring could pop their eyes out of the socket because they’re so blown away. Not the champ. He raises an eyebrow and continues to watch the fire devour his look-alike. So many questions, and they will not be answered here. Not yet. The doll is nearly deduced to ashes as the scene fades.
Following the back-and-forth exchange, Daihm Ferguson and Kid Lucha retreat to their respective corners. It looks like each is planning to make a tag, but instead, the fighters lower their heads and run full speed at each other!
As they reach the center, the pair vault up, trying to get more height than their opponent but ultimately neither gets much of an advantage as they try to clothesline each other and end up collapsing to the mat in a heap.
Dutch Harris: Holy crap!
Scott Kamura: These two just expended seemingly every last ounce of energy to pull off that move! A rare double-clothesline has left both DAIHMBREAST and Lucha Fitness seemingly at lagerheads. Whoever makes the next move may win!
The awaiting members of both teams outstretch their arms, trying to call for a tag as their partner lays winded and gasping on the mat. The fans begin to clap for the inevitable double tag, but NO!
Scott Kamura: Oh! I think both men are trying to secure a pin, Dutch! I can’t quite tell because of how jumbled they still are. Both men’s shoulders are to the ground and they’ve seemingly thrown a free arm over their opponent’s chest!
The referee certainly thinks a pin is being made and slides down to make the count. As he does, the other members of DAIHMBREAST and Lucha Fitness vault themselves into the ring and run to try and save their partner.
Dutch Harris: This is madness!
Daihm Ferguson and Chick Grillbreast link up just as Maximo Fisico and Kid Lucha connect and before the referee can even lay his hand down for a second count, the four fighters are in an all-an brawl!
Daihm swings wildly at Kid Lucha, who is trying to get his bearings while Chick wraps his arms around Maximo’s waist and chucks the fighter several feet into the air! The acrobatic assassin manages to land on his feet, albeit shakily as Daihm’s wild swing connects not with Lid Lucha, but with the cheekbone of Maximo!
Scott Kamura: I can’t follow this action, Dutch! There’s too much going on. I think- wait!
The crowd explodes as a roaring Chick Grillbreast SPEARS Kid Lucha so hard the pair fly through the middle rope and onto the cement floor below. Within seconds, a recovering Maximo finds one last burst of energy and LAUNCHES himself up onto Daihm Ferguson’s shoulders in a modified headlock. Daihm flails wildly, completely muffled by Maximo’s thighs and pelvis, as he claws to find any way out of his situation. Meanwhile, the forward momentum of the Maximo, propels them both towards the ring ropes.
Scott Kamura: I uh… I really hope Maximo used some extra baby powder before this match! I don’t envy Daihm right right now!
Dutch Harris: Well, I’m sure quite a few men and women actually do envy Daihm right about n-
Scott Kamura: OH GOD!
Daihm grabs a hold of Maximo’s tights and YANKS them down, exposing Maximo’s ass to the SHOOT faithful! As the crowd erupts at this, Maximo stops pummeling Daihm.
Maximo Fisico: Oooo hermoso!
Maximo begins to try and get his booty shorts all the way down while Daihm changes tactics to keep them on. As he does, Daihm loses his balance and the two TUMBLE over the top rope and onto the outside, both landing awkwardly.
The referee, who had first been watching Chick and Kid Lucha, gets distracted from the commotion and sees the carnage now on both sides! Without anyone in the ring, he does the only thing he can do and begins to count!
Dutch Harris: No one is moving, Scott!
Scott Kamura: Well… I think Chick is… nope. Nevermind. He just rolled from his back to his belly. I think Kid Lucha may be legitimately unconscious, Dutch.
Scott Kamura: Daihm and Maximo are struggling to find their footing! It looks like Daihm may have the advantage, but he’s running out of time!
Dutch Harris: I forget who the legal men are. Does Daihm need to get in the ring, or Maximo? Or does it even matter!?
Daihm does manage to get to his feet and begins to try and pull himself up onto the mat. As he does, Maximo Fisico reaches up and yanks at Daihm’s foot, causing the Scottish warrior to lose his balance and tumble DIRECTLY INTO MAXIMO’S WAITING ARMS!
The fans aren’t sure how to react as Daihm looks shocked to be embraced by an exhausted, but smiling, Fisico!
The referee calls for the bell as all four men remain out of the ring! Chick manages to sit up at the sound of the bell while Kid Lucha remains prone. Daihm shoves Maximo Fisico away as Samantha Coil takes to the microphone.
Samantha Coil: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, DUE TO NEITHER LEGAL MAN BEING IN THE RING AFTER A TEN COUNT THIS MATCH ENDS IN A DISQUALIFICATION FOR BOTH TEAMS!
Dutch Harris: Make them keep going! I want to see more!
Scott Kamura: Rules are rules, Dutch!
Dutch Harris: You’re no fun! But… wait. Wasn’t the condition of the match that if DAIHMBREAST lost, Daihm would need to go on a date with Maximo Fisico? What happens in the case of a count out?
Scott Kamura: I think they may be discussing that very thing, Dutch!
Daihm is yelling something at Maximo Fisico who simply smiles and runs a hand through his hair. He points down to his trunks and winks at Daihm. Furious, Daihm goes in for another shove, but he’s caught off guard as Maximo opens his arm for a HUG!
Dutch Harris: Wait… WHAT!?
The crowd goes ballistic as the hug turns into a passionate embrace – at least for Maximo – who grabs Daihm and leans him back for a kiss! Daihm flails wildly as the fans cheer.
Scott Kamura: Chick is not going to like this.
Dutch Harris: No need to talk in future tense, Scott! Here he comes!
Indeed, Chick runs full bore at Maximo, who releases his hold on a very confused Daihm Ferguson and shoves him into Chick’s path. Chick grabs a hold of Daihm as Maximo speeds around the other side of the ring toward his partner who is finally getting himself up.
Maximo grabs a hold of Kid Lucha, pulling him up as the pair retreat backwards up the rampway. A glaring, seething Chick Grillbreast screams in anger at Maximo, who simply blows kisses to his opponents as Lucha Fitness exits the arena.
So, what do you say?
We head to mid-ring and find the wonderful Mary Kelly, mic in hand.
Mary Kelly: Ladies and gentlemen, at this time, please welcome one of SHOOT’s greatest Sin City champions as well as the final Rule of Surrender champion… Laura Seton!
The crowd gives a huge cheer as Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” begins playing.
Scott Kimura: It hasn’t been a common theme since she returned to SHOOT a year and a half ago to come into the arena outside of a match, so whatever it is must be important.
Dutch Harris: One of a handful still left that go back to the early ’10s incarnation here. I’ll admit I wasn’t sure she would be able to keep up with this new age of wrestlers here, but she’s MORE than proved me wrong.
Laura, in jeans, black boots and her red leather jacket, has a number of high-fives with aisle-seated fans, though her smile isn’t as big as it normally is.
Scott Kimura: Very true. Always one for an entertaining match, she’s battled her heart out here every time, win or lose.
Dutch Harris: And she hasn’t tipped her hand, so to speak, on what she’s wanted to say tonight. A couple rumor sites broke word that Laura wanted to make an announcement, but when we tried getting a preview of it, she stayed tight-lipped.
Laura reaches mid-ring and throws her blonde hair over her left shoulder.
Mary Kelly: Laura, good to have you out here this evening.
Laura Seton: Thank you, Mary. It’s still something to be able to come through that curtain after this long and still hear that kind of reaction.
The fans cheer as Laura gets an expression almost acknowledging her successful cheap pop attempt.
Mary Kelly: Now, two weeks ago you entered the ring for the first time since losing the inaugural Premier Championship match. After defeating Roy Vezina, where is your mind at?
Laura Seton: A better spot than if I lost.
She chuckles to herself before taking a big breath.
Laura Seton: This is a spot I’ve wanted to be in for a long time, Mary.
Mary Kelly: What would that be?
Laura Seton: I look around out here in the Epicenter and memories are abound. Good and bad, mind you–lord knows I haven’t always been an angel here. But… what I’ve managed to do consistently is win. And with that, many people have had expectations for me. They want to see me with gold around my waist.
Mary Kelly: Which you’ve done here. On multiple occasions.
Laura Seton: Which has been awesome, don’t get me wrong. And it’s why I’m out here right now. A handful of people have speculated I was–especially with tomorrow night’s match against Maddie and her hubby to be–going to announce my retirement. To the haters? Too bad, so sad…
Instead, what I’m doing is looking for more gold. I’ve eyed up the champions here. The obvious choice?
Go after Black Sheep Baez.
The crowd cheers as she stands with a grin.
Laura Seton: Why not chase back down the last guy that beat me for gold? After all, I put a finishing touch on him and I’m standing here Premier Champion right now. Why not give him a second chance to see if he can outdo me again? Or…
I go after the belt that made me famous, or maybe the other way around. Why not chase down Miranda and get the Sin City Championship back a fourth time?
Again, a huge cheer.
Laura Seton: I know I’d get their best and it would be fascinating for you all to watch. Either way an awesome fight that makes everyone’s blood rush! And I thought it over repetitively. At the dinner table. Jogging in the morning. I need–well, no, that makes me sound desperate… I want another belt around me. A number around here say I’m a Hall of Famers to be and…?
Maybe I’m humble but I’m still not sure. I do need a little more added to that so-called “laundry list” of achievements. And so I throw out my challenge… leaving it up to him as to what to say next. So what do you say…
A moment of silence before the crowd erupts.
Scott Kimura: Whoa!
Dutch Harris: Did she say Az? Like, DeMitri? The World Champ??
Laura waits with a smile for the cheers to die down.
Laura Seton: Because I have waited patiently the last year and a half. And then I looked at the calendar– just a year ago? I was fighting for it all at Iron Will 2. Then fought tooth and nail with Judy P. Then defended that Rule of Surrender Championship until it’s end. Then…
Felt like I was entering Wrestler Purgatory. The feared place where we lose a big match and lose ground. Watch from the side as we’re bypassed. It happened the first time I was here and I’m making sure it won’t this time. Maybe I open up a devil’s playground for myself…
But what better way to see if I’m really as good as people want to believe? Ball’s in your court, champ.