The scene fades to the Herald’s office. There is a glass decanter of some kind of brown liquor on the table. The Herald is dressed in his usual, totally concealing attire, rummaging through some papers. The door opens, so the camera pans over to see Eric Rohkar entering the office.
Eric Rohkar: You wanted to talk about something?
The Herald motions for Eric to have a seat. Eric rolls his eyes, but does as he is commanded. There is a solid ten seconds of no speech. Eric just stares vacantly at the Herald, occasionally glancing over at the decanter.
Herald: You haven’t been very active since your match with Zex, Eric.
Eric Rohkar: Yeah…I was sorta dealing with a concussion and what not. You know, from being obliterated by Kenji and then being forced to wrestle a week later?
The Herald looks up from his papers.
Herald: I don’t hire people to make excuses, Mr. Smiles. You haven’t been active. You need to be more active.
Eric leans back in the chair. He is clearly tense and is attempting to loosen up.
Eric Rohkar: I promised you blood. I have delivered on that promise. My own gets spilled, but I’ve beaten up everyone you’ve put me against real good. The fans cheer when I fight, because I fight violent, and that is all they really want. I’d say they are like sharks, but they aren’t so predatory. More…more like scavengers if you really think about. As soon as they smell that blood, as soon as they can see a carcass rotting, they get hungry, and they go a little nuts. Vulture-like really.
The Herald now leans back, giving his full attention to Rohkar.
Herald: So who is the carcass, Mr. Smiles? Your opponents? Or is it you?
Eric Rohkar: You know what this place has in common with Hell, Herald?
The Herald gives an inquisitive shrug.
Eric Rohkar: Everybody in here is already dead.
Eric Rohkar stands up and begins to leave, but he is stopped at the door by The Herald’s voice.
The Herald: Wouldn’t that give it something in common with Heaven as well?
Eric turns around, a dull grin on his face.
Eric Rohkar: I suppose it could. But that isn’t how I see this place. And…
He locks eyes with the Herald.
Eric Rohkar: I don’t think that is what you want either.
The Herald nods, motioning that Eric can leave, which he does. The Herald turns back to his papers, but is interrupted when he notices the decanter. He picks it up, stares at the brown liquor for a moment, and then throws it in his trash can. The scene fades out.
Part of RCW’s agreement with the SHOOT Project includes the defense of their titles on SHOOT Project shows. This RCW World Tag Team Championship match defines that, as reigning champions AzteX take on their number one contenders, Spinebuster Island, as the opening match on this Dominion. The match starts off slowly, with Joe Quinn of Spinebuster Island (SI) controlling the pace early, across from Julio Gomez.
The pace starts to quicken, though it’s SI that are in control. The ramp up is on purpose, as they start to maneuver well as a tag team, working in their own corner and utilizing quick tags. Dan Richards is the larger of the two members of SI, so his moveset rests more in the powerful, brawling type moves where Quinn is more of a finesse, technical guy. This keeps Julio Gomez grounded and away from his brother and partner. Julio has a couple of moments where he seems like he’s about to break free, but his momentum is quickly halted by one or the other member of the challenging team.
Javier is visibly frustrated on the other side of the ring and is working hard to keep the crowd into it when Julio breaks free and makes the hot tag! Javier hits the ring like a house of blazing glory and starts to take it to Spinebuster Island, in some cases fighting them off one on two. His momentum is building and building and the Faithful are getting louder and louder, but an on-the-apron Joe Quinn hits Javier in the eyes with an eye poke that gives Dan Richards a minute to get to his feet and wrest the momentum away.
It’s not long before Spinebuster Island hits their finisher, the Spinebuster Island Express, a lariat to the back of an opponent into a waiting partner that lifts the opponent up and drives him down with a hard spinebuster and capturing the three count, crowning brand new RCW World Tag Team Champions!
WINNERS: Spinebuster Island (13:43)
The champions don’t get to celebrate long before Lucy Blaylock runs down to the ring. SI scatters, leaving the fallen members of AzteX in the ring. Blaylock goes straight to town on Julio and Javier, absolutely DESTROYING them both as the Faithful go CRAZY for her. She holds up the unconscious, bloodied brothers, as the scene cuts to a pre-recorded video.
The scene opens to TMB standing in the middle of a MMA dojo. The busy motion of everyone around provides a perfect back drop. People looking to build or rebuilding. To claim glory or reclaim it. TMB knows that feeling all too well.
TMB: It took a while for me to come to terms with certain things in what is my SHOOT career. The fact that I was overlooked, I understand. The fact that I have gone to war for and against the company…that is something I can live with.
TMB: I watched as people who I defeated went on to gain shots at the most important title in this business. So when the company finally closed its door, I felt a little bit empty. Because while I came to terms with what happened, I felt like I didn’t gain any closure.
Like I wasn’t able to get the last word.
The fighters behind him are focused on claiming whatever goal that is in front of them. Some want to prove that they still got it…that time hasn’t past them by. Others want to prove that they have what it takes to survive in a combat sport.
TMB: But then the invite came…and the stage was set. A door once closed, now reopened. And now I return to handle some things left open ended. Things that must be ended in order for me to move on. So the list goes a little something like this…I will force them to give me my shot at the SHOOT World Heavyweight Championship. But before that…there is something that I must correct first…a thing that I must revisit.
TMB can relate to these feelings. He has been in both positions. He knows what it will take and what needs to be done.
TMB: And that thing…that thing is to step back in the ring with the Pale Rider and show him the fruits of the seed he planted many months ago. No excuse me…the hunt knows no rest.
As the scene fades, TMB turns to join the fighters. Focused on getting back that which he has lost…and preparing for that which he must take.
Up next is the debut of Victor Thane as he takes on current RCW Television Champion, HISTERIA. HISTERIA is a big time brawler and takes it to Thane immediately, going hard at him with really serious overhand rights, stunning the newcomer. HISTERIA doesn’t let up, working Thane over. He pulls Thane up and drops him down again with suplexes and a DDT, but is surprised when Thane manages to kick out, and even more surprised when Thane gets back to his feet, ready to fight some more.
The Faithful pop hard for Thane’s resilience, and pop harder when the two start to exchange blows evenly. Thane takes over, working HISTERIA’s right leg. The RCW TV champion goes from a house of fire to having a visible limp as Thane continues his work, precisely striking and zeroing in, rendering that leg nearly useless.
Thane gets a shock though when he locks in a half Boston crab on the injured leg and HISTERIA doesn’t tap, while the Faithful get more and more into the match. Thane pulls HISTERIA to his feet, HISTERIA still limping, and just open hand SLAPS him across the face. HISTERIA stumbles backwards and then comes right back with a HARD right hand that staggers Thane, but Thane ducks the next one and hits his finish on HISTERIA before covering the RCW Television Champion for the three count!
WINNER: Victor Thane (9:49)
"Where is he? Why haven’t I heard from him?"
Those are the words you hear as Mary Kelly walks up on Jonas Coleman, who is pacing back and forth, quickly and deliberately.
Mary Kelly: Jonas? Got a minute?
Jonas stops, surprised he’s been approached, turns and looks at Kelly, revealing a man who hasn’t shaved in over a week and needs a haircut, clearly a bit haggard and unkempt. He’s clearly worried and stressed out. He quickly clears his throat and adjusts himself, playing off the stress.
Jonas: Of course, Mary. Anything for you.
He offers a half smile that she returns.
Mary Kelly: I just overheard you asking where someone was and wondering why you hadn’t heard from ‘him’. Are you referring to Diego Reyes?
Jonas: I am, Mary. Diego left for Mexico City weeks ago. I haven’t heard from him or seen him since then. There were some questions as to whether or not we’d have contact, but I figured I’d have heard something by now.
Mary Kelly: Can you go into any specifics about what he was doing there? Why wouldn’t you have contact?
Jonas: I can’t really talk about it. We just wanted to utilize some of our contacts down there to get some information. That’s all I can really say.
Mary decides to press.
Mary Kelly: Information about what? The SHOOT Project? Josh Johnson? The power structure here?
Jonas holds his hand up.
Jonas: I really can’t say, Mary. I’ve probably already done the cliché thing and said way too much already. I wish I could shed more light on it, but I can’t. I’m sorry.
She starts to follow up, but he turns and walks away abruptly, clearly ending the interview.
Elgin Blair was known for being a brutal addition to the SHOOT Project roster. One of a few men who matched up in size with Isaac Entragian, Obsidian, and the like, Blair debuted and then quietly disappeared before the SHOOT Project would close its doors. Here, he’s making his return against Cade Sydal, a former SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion, and leader of the Just Us League with Cassi Ryan and the Suicide Test Dummy.
The match starts with Cade pressing his speed advantage, looking to damage Blair quickly and often. Blair is unphased by Sydal’s early offense, though it starts to take its toll on his legs and psyche as he clearly gets frustrated by not being able to get ahold of the former champion. Sydal works around Blair, hitting him and running constantly, but finally gets caught with a hard clothesline that crumples him to the ground. Blair takes over at this point, with his offense as ugly as ever, and starts to put the hurt on Sydal.
Ryan and S.T.D. are out and attempt to distract Blair, though the Kentucky native seems focused. Blair keeps hold of Sydal, not letting him get free and create space between them. Blair is just slamming Sydal in the corner over and over again, the air leaving Sydal’s body, before Sydal manages to slip under the mass of flesh in front of him and then goes back on the offensive, though noticeably slower. It doesn’t take long from then for Sydal to establish a larger advantage, coupled with the antics of the rest of the League on the outside, Blair seems to get overwhelmed. He gets hit with the NINJAGURAI and is put down for the count.
WINNER: Cade Sydal (11:22)
Total destruction is what follows the Sydal/Blair match, as Kenji Yamada faces Ronan Delaney, from Reality Check Wrestling. Delaney is game for about 10 seconds before Yamada takes over and just beats him into oblivion. Delaney doesn’t even have a chance, offering no offense for the remainder of the match. Kenji beats him, picks him up, whips him into the ropes, drops him, and beats him down again.
At one point, Delaney started to get to a knee, but Kenji was right there to stop him and dropped him one more time. It got to the point where the bloodthirsty Faithful even started to turn away, watching a rookie get decimated in such fashion. Kenji takes an obvious pin and defeats Ronan Delaney.
WINNER: Kenji Yamada (4:51)
After the match, Kenji grabs the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight titles and rams it, with a horrific thud, right into Delaney’s face. Kenji’s eyes have a sort of feral excitement to them when a warm coat of blood from Delaney begins to coat the once lustrous title, now a disfigured and brooding maroon color from all the caked on blood of his victims. When Kenji is finally satisfied with the fresh and vibrant red color dripping from his crown, he holds it up for the SHOOT Project faithful to see.
Stunned silence had become the appropriate reaction for Kenji’s bloodletting of SHOOT Project Soldiers, and today was no different. The fans watched, wide eyed and horrified, as Kenji held up his bloody crown for the world to see.
Kenji: I hear the whispers in the back, they grow scared of their king and scared of his crown. They run and hide looking for shelter from the bloody rain, ANYTHING to save them from being fed to my crown. They look high and low, for a spot in the kingdom, a blind spot, if you will. And some have thought that Dominion was that blind spot, some thought they would be SAFE here, that I would never come find them ! Rest assured…
Kenji’s voice eerily echoes through the arena of silence, only a few isolated groups would cheer or occasionally
Kenji: That was a mistake. It DOESN’T MATTER if it’s Revolution, Dominion, or a GOD DAMN HOUSE SHOW… this is my kingdom and I rule over ALL of it. Not JUST Revolution, not JUST a Pay-Per-View, ALL OF IT, DOMINION AND ALL. It doesn’t matter if you’re Pale Coward, Butcher, or just Ronan Delaney. I’ll find you and I’ll feed you to my crown…one by BLOODY ONE! If you EVER felt safe from me then that was your own pathetic delusion. So take heed, SHOOT Project…
Kenji slaps the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Title, splashing a few droplets of blood onto his sickeningly grinning face.
Kenji: There’s nowhere to hide from me.