The sound of feet shuffling gets closer and closer as the show fades in from black to find a fleet footed Mary Kelly chasing down a man making his SHOOT Project debut this evening, Salvador Olivares. She catches up to him and spends a few moments catching her breath. He looks at her and smiles.
Olivares: They told me that women in America were beautiful, but they also seem to be quite athletic, too…
She smiles, finally having caught her breath.
Mary Kelly: Tonight you make your in-ring debut against another SHOOT Project newcomer named Jackson Jeffries. Are you familiar with Jackson? I’m sure you’re aware that he comes to us from Japan as a representative of Sean Kygon’s wrestling promotion?
Olivares nods his head.
Olivares: Indeed Mary, I am aware of Jackson Jeffries origins. There is a lot of mutual respect that exists between Reality Check and AlienationOne, as I’m sure you can understand, though there’s also a bit of a competitive rivalry.
Mary Kelly: With those two at the helm, I can’t say I’m surprised. Be that as it may, what are you looking out for when it comes to Jackson Jeffries tonight?
Olivares: I’m looking out for his aggression. Jackson is a tenacious beast when he gets into that ring, as am I. I believe in his will to win and succeed and I can only hope that he believes and respects in mine. I have nothing ill to say about the man, I am just eager for a fight.
Mary nods as Salvador turns towards the locker rooms and begins to walk away.
Mary Kelly: One last question, Salvador! What are your goals here in the SHOOT Project? What’s driving you to compete here, a little out of your element, versus staying in Mexico City where you’re a household name?
He stops and turns.
Olivares: It’s easy, Mary. A man’s legend grows as he does. Mexico City is home, but now, I want to challenge the American west and grow my legend here.
With that, he turns back to the locker rooms and walks away.
Dutch Harris: Well there you have it. That guy is pretty no nonsense, wouldn’t you say?
Mark Kendrick: I’d agree with you for sure, man. It will be interesting to see how both he and Jeffries do tonight, both making their SHOOT Project debuts, and I have confidence that they will embrace the spirit of the Nittany Lion and give us a great show.
Dutch Harris: Nice plug. We’re getting under way here at Dominion, our first match coming up is the returning Curtis Rose taking on Reality Check Wrestling upstart Atlantis X!
The match started out fast paced with both men attempting to get a feel for one another. This was Atlantis’ first appearance on an official SHOOT Project stage, so Curtis Rose has an experience advantage that he looked to tap into as we got under way.
Atlantis was first to attack, utilizing his speed against Rose. With this, Atlantis started to build some early momentum. He was a blur, practically, drawing great appreciation from the crowd. Rose, who is no slouch himself, struggled to keep up but finally managed to slow Atlantis down when he dropped him with a suplex that rocked the ring and drew an Ooohhh from the Faithful.
X and Rose both experienced advantages throughout the middle portion of the match, but it was clear as time went on that Rose was starting to carve out a larger lead. Using his experience in the SHOOT Project, Rose would start to clip Atlantis’ down, slowing the younger and faster rookie down. Atlantis, no stranger to high risk, dangerous situations, attempted to hit the top ropes and recapture some of his lead, but Rose was ready and waiting.
With an incredible fluidity, Atlantis comes off the ropes, but instead of taking a high impact move, Rose catches him and uses the momentum to drag him into a crucifix pin for the three count! The crowd goes nuts at the surprising conclusion to the match and Rose stands up to have his hand raised!
WINNER: Curtis Rose (8:49)
Dan Stein stands inside his Mandarin Oriental condominium, behind the bar the his kitchen. Stein spins a glass of Jameson whiskey in the tumbler, looking across the room at nothing in particular.
Dan Stein: You know, when SHOOT Project came back, I was fucking excited. A year off, get my shit in order, start new chapters, closed old ones. Gave up modeling, despite what the rags tell you. I fully recommitted myself to the job.
Stein took a sip of the drink. His face contorted as the alcohol stung his throat.
Dan Stein: I knew that if I came back to SHOOT Project, it’d be the best shot I had at getting back to the top of the mountain. Fresh legs and all that. I didn’t know that Donny and Adrian would be pariahs in this new bastardization of SHOOT Project, but I hoped they’d be here, too. Bring back all the names. Kale Tanev would’ve been nice to see, haven’t seen that guy since I took the belt off of him at Master of the Mat. Lou, that would’ve been nice we had our battles. Laura Seton, arguably the best athlete on the roster at any given time given her athletic history.
Stein took another sip of his drink, again feeling that sting. Dan paused for a moment, then slammed his tumbler down.
Dan Stein: Instead, we got Markus Pascal.
Stein turned to look at the camera, placing his hands down to lean on the bar.
Dan Stein: And I am so fucking thankful for that. So thankful, because I forgot what it’s like to have this rush, and that’s something NONE of them could ever give me.
Dan stepped out from around the bar, walking into the middle of his apartment, to look at the camera.
Dan Stein: Maybe it’s the concussion talking from when you kicked that chair into my skull, but I really feel…alive again. It’s the same feeling I had every time I fucked a virgin, Markus, because that’s exactly what you are. You’re trying out new things and you’re jumping into the thick of things feet first, literally… You’re even using toys.
Dan Stein: But Markus, we all know who’s the more experienced one between the two of us. And sure, you have that first blush right now. Popping your cherry on Zex, then rolling over right away to hop on Dan Stein isn’t something to scoff at. You can have your fun, you can use your toys, and you can play the dominate one in this relationship for as long as I’ll let you, but believe me…
At some point, Markus, you’re going to get fucked.
Dan winks at the camera.
Dan Stein: You caught me with my pants down once, Mark. Don’t expect it to happen again, no matter how fucking clever you think you are.
Stein runs his hands through his hair.
Dan Stein: Buck Dresden knows the tag business, J-Breezy knows him, you know me, and Markus? I know fucking. At Revolution, someone is going to get bent over.
Bro, I’m just glad I’m teaming with the guy named “Breedlove”.
Stein exhales through his nose a little harder than usual.
Dan Stein: Stay Sexy, SHOOT.
Jeffries and Olivares start their match out a lot more slowly paced than the previous match. Olivares is more of a brawler and Jeffries is a technician, as the two get under way under the supervision of Austin Linam. Even though there’s a mutual respect between the two promotions, Jeffries and Olivares don’t hold back. Jeffries is a bit of an in-ring trash talker as he does his work, opening up an advantage against Olivares, the Mauler of Mexico City.
True to his name, Olivares starts to counter some of Jeffries work, blasting him over and over with strikes that seem to have an incredible amount of speed behind them. Olivares catches Jeffries in a near fall that ends when Jeffries barely kicks out after taking a barrage. Olivares continues to press his lead, working over Jeffries body, attempting to gas out the younger competitor. There is nothing pretty about Olivares offense, where everything with Jeffries is crisp and tight.
Not long after the near fall, Olivares makes a mistake and Jeffries is there to capitalize, as youth and technique take over. Seemingly effortlessly, Jeffries puts Olivares through a suplex gauntlet, hitting him with a vertical, a belly to belly, and a german. Jeffries gets his own near fall, but Olivares kicks out, embodying the spirit that he spoke to Mary Kelly about previously .
Jeffries is a little surprised by the resilience after hitting Olivares with the three moves, but doesn’t allow himself to dwell on it. He goes back to work, stretching Olivares out, doing damage to the man’s upper back and neck, as the Faithful start to get behind Olivares for a comeback. Their efforts, unfortunately, are all for naught as Jeffries hits a downed Olivares with a running knee right to the face, knocking Olivares out and allowing Jeffries to pick up the pin! After the match, Jeffries helps Olivares up and the two shake hands, drawing a somewhat mixed reaction from a bloodthirsty crowd, but showing the respect that exists between the two.
WINNER: Jackson Jeffries (13:28)
Coming off of his re-debut win, the camera finds it’s way into the parking garage of the Epicenter. Curtis Rose stands in front of a maroon 1984 Dodge Aeries Wagon. The camera focuses in on the large, airbrushed rose on the back of Curtis’ denim jacket. Curtis throws his bags into the back seat, then turns to face the camera.
Curtis Rose: SHOOT Project! Years go by. Things change, but SHOOT Project remains ever faithful to the city of Sin. The more things change in the world we live in, the more that I know that I can count on this beacon of pure spectacle to stand strong through the years.
Curtis shuts the door and leans against the side of the car. He reaches into his mess of blonde hair and removes a dislodged, pink hair-tie. He pulls his hair back into a ponytail and restrains it with the hair-tie.
Curtis Rose: Not many people consider Vegas to be a city of second chances, and even fewer consider is to be a place for third or fourth chances. I don’t suspect that many of the SHOOT fans to remember the most handsome person named Curtis Rose to ever compete in SHOOT. Half the time I have trouble remembering him myself.
Curtis reaches into his pocket for a cigarette. Leaning into the passenger side window, he presses down on the in-car lighter. He waits for a few seconds until he can hear the familiar “click” of the lighter. He takes two long draws to ensure that his cigarette is lit. Looking upwards he exhales.
Curtis Rose: But the Master remembered. Herald Remembered. They remembered and they pulled me from the hole in the ground that I had buried myself in. The Epicenter remembered my sacrifices. The Epicenter welcomed me back with open arms. Curtis Rose is back in SHOOT Project.
Curtis opens the driver’s side door and sits behind the wheel. He pulls closed the door, cranks the ignition, and rolls down the window.
Curtis Rose: It’s about to get a whole lot more awesome around here.
The vehicle nearly backfires as Curtis sputters his way out of the parking garage. Camera fades.
Jonas Coleman and Masato Kasai find themselves in the ring now, with Dennis Heflin as the referee in charge of the bout. Kasai and Coleman both found success in their respective promotions and Coleman is obviously known for his bloody feuds with Project: SCAR and Akuma Satsui. He’s a bit banged up from his match at Revolution with Kenji Yamada, but as is expected, he is a man of the people and will always try to give them the best match he can.
Kasai is a different animal, though. He is a consummate veteran and one of the most respected wrestlers in Japanese wrestling history. He has a style that he has perfected throughout the years and he’s looking for a huge win against Jonas Coleman as the match kicks off. It’s slow to start, with Coleman trying to avoid as much early damage as possible. Kasai, though, is not one to relent as he ups the pressure and lands some early hits onto Jonas Coleman, even picking up a very fast near fall.
This seems to wake Coleman up, still bruised from his encounter with the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion, and he kicks up the pace of the match and begins to overwhelm Kasai. Coleman keeps up the pressure, not letting Kasai fight his way out of his disadvantage, as though Coleman was possessed. Unexpectedly, Coleman draws blood on Kasai and takes a half hearted warning from Dennis Heflin.
Kasai, though touched by his own crimson, does not give up so easily. He brings the fight right back to Jonas, showing the ins and outs of the style that he has made his own. He catches Jonas with another near fall, but Coleman authoritatively kicks out and gets back to his feet at the same time Kasai does, surprising the Japanese legend. It’s not five moves later that Coleman puts Kasai away with the Cataclysm’s Edge and captures the pinfall, to the exaltation of the Faithful and peculiarly, the Herald, who made his presence known at the top of the ramp; a surprise to Jonas Coleman.
WINNER: Jonas Coleman (14:45)
Dutch Harris: This is a very strange thing that just happened here, with the Herald coming out to effectively congratulate Jonas Coleman.
Mark Kendrick: It’s almost like he’s rubbing everything in Jonas’ face, hiding behind his and the Master’s own anonymity, as Jonas knows that he can’t put his hands on either of them. He can only hope.
Dutch Harris: And you know what they say about hope…
The scene shifts to the back where Mary Kelly is standing by with Salvador Olivares, after his debut loss to Jackson Jeffries. Olivares has his head draped by a black towel, ice on his shoulder, and his looking down at the floor.
Olivares: Mary, I appreciate you coming by to check on me. My debut… it didn’t go quite the way I planned for it to.
Mary Kelly: Which is definitely a shame, Salvador. Though, you’re no stranger from having to dig deep and pick yourself back up. How do you come back from a loss like this?
Olivares: You just keep pressing, Mary. I never had a perfect record in my fight career and I don’t have one in my wrestling career either, obviously, but I can look myself in the mirror tonight knowing that I will get back up, stand tall, and walk back down to that ring for another shot. A loss is just a setback, it’s not a definition.
Mary Kelly: Any words to your opponent?
Olivares: Congratulations on your win, Jackson. You earned it and you deserve it. I hope that we get the opportunity to square off another time. I learn from every fight I’m in, especially the ones I lose, and I think we learned a lot about each other tonight.
Mary Kelly: And finally, thoughts about the atmosphere here in the SHOOT Project?
Olivares takes a deep breath and stands up. He looks at Mary and shakes his head, surprisingly declining to answer her question.
Mark Kendrick: Dutch, I’m a little surprised that he didn’t want to answer that question. For a lot of people, competing in the SHOOT Project is a dream that they carry.
Dutch Harris: As someone who had that same dream and got to compete, I can tell you that this SHOOT Project looks nothing like the SHOOT Project I was in, and I’d imagine that’s the reality for a lot of these same guys, whether they’re young or they’re older, like Salvador Olivares.
Mark Kendrick: Be that as it may, we’ve got one more match to go to tonight and it’s the main event of the evening! The new Iron Fist Champion, Zex, will take on a man that many people can’t seem to wrap their head around just yet in Eric Rohkar.
Dutch Harris: Here’s what we know about Rohkar. He used to be Jester Smiles. He’s fighting an addiction. He seems to have angered two former members of Project: SCAR, through jealousy or some other happening… not really sure on that. I just know that he and Trey Willett took a beating from Kenji Yamada at Revolution right before Kenji put a serious hurting on Jonas Coleman.
Mark Kendrick: It’ll be interesting to see how Rohkar works here tonight with that in mind.
There is no animosity between Zex and Eric Rohkar, so they spend the first part of their match going through some chain wrestling. Rohkar is noticeable in his lack of speed, showing the effects of wrestling Isaac Entragian and Trey Willett, and getting beaten up by Kenji Yamada. Zex, on the other hand, is a bit fresher, having had some time to rest between his Iron Fist title win and this matchup here.
The two are very evenly matched, even with Rohkar’s struggles. Zex does manage to keep on top of him, attempting to close the match out very early. Rohkar doesn’t let that happen though, still in the fight. He’s puzzled the crowd and his opponents by his spotty willingness to engage in the wrestling aspect of the SHOOT Project, though he seems to be doing a decent job on this occasion. The crowd definitely didn’t expect to see Yamada come out at the end of his Revolution match and are even more surprised when the Herald makes his second appearance of the evening, walking out onto the ramp.
Zex pays no attention to the Herald, instead focusing on Rohkar, whose eyes seem to be drawn to the masked figure that has been involved with him since he returned. Rohkar, focusing back up, starts to pick up the pace against Zex, though quickly is slowed back down when he takes a shot to the face in the same spot the chair Kenji threw hit him and also the same spot where he nearly got decapitated with the World Heavyweight Championship. Zex recognizes the opportunity and catches Eric, driving him to the ground with a lariat.
The Herald is pacing back and forth, hoping to see a Rohkar explosion, but that doesn’t come as Rohkar seems to wait for the inevitable end. The Iron Fist Champion doesn’t disappoint, hitting Rohkar with the Zexplosion and capturing the three count to put him away.
The Herald seems to smile under the mask and applauds Zex’s effort, drawing the curiosity of the Iron Fist Champion, and a split screen of the two staring each other down with Rohkar fallen in the background is how Dominion ends.
WINNER: Zex (12:51)