We go open to the black background. Slowly, the faint light of a dying fire begins to illuminate the darkness. Standing there with his head bowed and his arms outstretched is none other than one of the latest signings to the SHOOT Project. He is…Victor Thane. He stands there, his long slender black trench coat and black top hat. He lifts his head to reveal his thick stubble sideburns and clean chin, a smirk on his face.
Victor Thane: Ladies and gents…this right here is your friend and confidante, Victor Thane. Those of you who don’t know me may know what I have done with the man known as HISTERIA. I beat the Reality Check star at Dominion and the powers that be saw fit to give me a second chance at the man. How, you may ask? By putting me in the ring with him and putting the RCW Television Championship on the line.
Victor Thane: HISTERIA, my friend, allow me to tell you a little bit about what’s coming. You are learning as everyone else in the world is learning…and that is that Victor Thane is not a man to trifle with. I bring people to their feet…and I bring them to their knees. I repel foes…and I compel friends.
Suddenly, Jackson Jeffries steps into the scene. He is wearing a black leather jacket and a pair of burnt orange trunks. His black hair is pulled back into a ponytail and his beard cut short to a stubble with the exception of his goatee.
Jackson Jeffries: This man right here? He doesn’t need friends. He doesn’t need people to watch his back. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my life and one thing he’s learned in his…it’s that when there’s a fight coming…you stand with the guys who keep their fists clenched and their eyes open. My name…is Jackson Jeffries.
Thane puts his arm around Jeffries’ shoulder.
Victor Thane: This man, ladies and gentlemen, is a man to be proud to stand with and to fear standing against. He is my associate, my friend, my…tag team partner. He clenches his fists to hide his claws. He stays humble because he is well aware of his prowess. He is a lion, ladies and gentlemen.
Jackson Jeffries: He is a lion.
Victor Thane: And lions fight together. We are the American Lions, my dear friends.
Jackson Jeffries: Prepare yourselves, SHOOT Project. We are here to hunt.
Thane chuckles as the scene fades.
“You’re going down” by Sick Puppies blasts over the Public Address system and the crowd reacts with a mix of cheers and boos. Cronos Diamante appears at the entrance way with a microphone already in hand, looking out at the crowd with a stern countenance. The usual pyrotechnics don’t go off and Cronos wastes no time bringing the microphone to his mouth as he walks toward the ring.
Cronos Diamante: I AM THE SHOOT PROJECT!!!
This statement transforms the mixed reaction he received moments ago into a chorus of boos, not a single fan in attendance mixed about their response. Cronos smirks at the response but doesn’t let him phase him as he ascends the steel steps and ducks between the ropes to enter the ring.
Cronos Diamante: I get it. I wouldn’t cheer for me either. This entire situation with Suadade has been orchestrated by my own hand. The sins I’ve committed in the past have caught up to me. I don’t deserve your sympathy and I don’t deserve your cheers. I’m not worthy of it. I won’t argue that. But before you try to boo me out of the Epicenter, I want you to see where I’m coming from and maybe you’ll understand. Can we all do that?
Cronos pauses for a moment and waits for the crowd, receiving a few boos but mostly silence. The crowd obviously wants to see where this is going as Cronos has never been one to ask the opinion of the fans. It’s all a little shocking.
Cronos Diamante: Good. I’ve been here since day one of The SHOOT Project. I’m the only one left around that can actually claim that. Back when we were fighting out of Japanese warehouses for the amusement and greed of The Yakuza. There was no Ivory Terror, Brutal and Inhuman, Kings or Kenji Yamada’s in those days. There were Devils, Wolfs, Ravagers and Shaolins. It hasn’t changed much from then to now. We’re all still a bunch of psychos trying to kill each other for our own enjoyment and for your enjoyment, good guys just as much as the bad guys. That’s what The SHOOT Project has always been. The faces may change but the theme never has. I’ve been the good guy, the bad guy, and everything in between throughout the years this place has been open. I’ve done some good things and some really heinous, evil shit throughout my stay. But regardless of what side I’ve been on, I’ve been here since day one and the second I received that little envelope I came running and answered the call like I always do. This place… it’s my home. It always will be. And I will protect it. It may not be the same way all the other guys here would but I have my ways and they have theirs.
Cronos lowers the mic for a moment and much to his surprise he starts to receive some cheers from the fans. He hasn’t won them over completely but it’s a start.
Cronos Diamante: Now you all know what’s happened to me thanks to Suadade’s little mind game last show. He murdered my family and done it up to look like an accident. Obviously to torment me. I’m not asking for your sympathy. What I am asking, however, is what would you do in my place? Think about it. Every single one of you would want some measure of revenge for your family and you can’t deny that. If you say otherwise you’re only lying to yourself… or you’re Canadian. Heh.
This gets a laugh out of the crowd but not much of one. Cronos looks down at ringside where a family of four is standing and smiles.
Cronos Diamante: Point of fact is that none of you are any different than I am. Not anymore. What I mean by that is I’m struggling with the good and evil inside me every single day. I’m not some extreme on the color spectrum any longer. I’m not a good guy. I’m not a bad guy. I’m right in the middle. I make good decisions and bad decisions every day. I’m human. And I may be a devilish bastard sometimes but don’t think for one second that I don’t struggle like all of you. The misconception you all have of me needed to be addressed. I have in me the capability to do good and evil. It just depends on the situation whether I decide to do the right thing or the “wrong” thing. And all of you make decisions like that every single day. I make no excuses for my behavior in the past. None. I am a devil. I am an honorable man. I embrace both, neither one more than the other. In the future you may see more of one than the other but here’s the deal folks… I will punish any mother fucker that threatens to make another feel the way I feel right now. And I will employ whatever tactics I have to in order to ensure that doesn’t happen. I don’t want anyone to feel the loss I feel right now. The means justify the end to ensure that never happens.
The crowd erupts into cheers as Cronos says this. Mere moments after the cheers erupt, the tron turns on to reveal Suadade hidden in the dark.
Suadade: Cronos, Cronos, Cronos… you always were one to play into the dramatics. I expected you to find me by now but your little stint in jail threw you off my scent. You can stand there in that ring and keep talking about preventing others from feeling this way but you won’t get out of this alive, old friend.
Cronos stands in the ring, shaking with anger. The crowd reigns down boos on Suadade for what he’s said and his interruption of Cronos’ spiel. Cronos cracks his neck and pushes the anger off, calming himself down.
Cronos Diamante: Why don’t you stop hiding in the shadows, Suadade? Come out here and face me like a man!
The crowd cheers for the idea of Suadade and Cronos finally coming to blows. Suadade, however, reacts with a simple clap and moments later twenty men in masks come running out to ringside and surround the ring. Cronos turns in a circle and examines the masks carefully then chuckles.
Cronos Diamante: Is this supposed to be a threat, Suadade? Men in masks come to… wait a minute. That mask. No it can’t be. You. It’s not possible.
Suadade: Did you finally figure it out, Cronos? Realize how wrong you were thinking I’m a weakling like Eric Wolfson.
Cronos holds his chest as if he’s been punched in the gut, the wind knocked out of him.
Cronos Diamante: Erik Boyer. How?
Suadade steps into the light now, revealing the face of one Erik Boyer. The crowd is completely shocked having not seen or heard anything about Boyer since OutKast crippled the man.
Erik Boyer: Oh I regained my ability to walk a few years ago, Cronos. OutKast wasn’t quite successful in finishing me off. And now that you know who I am, your greatest pupil… it’s game on. Happy hunting!
Boyer claps and the twenty men leave the ringside area and return to the back. The screen shuts off and Cronos is left standing in the ring absolutely stunned. Cronos’ anger begins building up again and this time he doesn’t dismiss it.
Cronos Diamante: You don’t get to do a reveal like that and run away, Boyer.
Cronos spikes the mic and slides out of the ring, making a beeline for the backstage area.
We cut to the ring following Curtis Rose’s entry to the ring. He stands alone with microphone in hand. The fans seem to give him a mild reaction, but maintain interest in what he has to say. Attempting to avoid any dead air, he goes on to give a short speech about his time away from professional wrestling. He touches on a few instances where he tried his hand at other entertainment driven professions, but that everything seemed to lead him back towards wrestling.
He name drops his time with Fear and Loathing at the Thomas and Mack arena to moderate fan reaction. He speaks briefly about his first decision to go into singles competition and how this time he plans to make his name stick in the minds of the SHOOT Project fans. This garners a bit more of a reaction. He ends with talking about the fear that sticks in the back of his mind every time he comes down to the ring and that he is able to push through thanks to the positive influence of his mentor, Trey Willett. This gets the biggest reaction of the promo.
Just as he appears to be ending things, the music for SHOOT’s newest acquisition Lucy Blaylock this the PA system and the massive woman pushes through the curtains. She stands towing over most fans seated at the head of the ramp. She stands motionless, staring straight at the Style Warrior in the ring. The doll-mask clad giant gently clutches her chest and makes her way towards the ring. Rose looks absolutely terrified. He begins to back his way out towards the ropes. When Blaylock climbs the apron, Rose slides out of the ring and to the commentary table.
Kobayashi Maru makes his way to the ring to quite a few cheers from the A1W fans in the arena. Blaylock does not break eye contact with Rose, who gives a bit of commentary on how uneasy this competitor makes him feel. Dennis Heflin calls for the bell and Blaylock removes her porcelain mask.
Maru starts the match off quickly with a flurry of heel strikes to the larger competitor attempting to take out her legs from under her. She stands still, staggered a slight bit, taking the onslaught from Maru. The fans start to get behind him, cheering with increasing volume on ever strike. He launches himself into the ropes and springboards towards Blaylock attempting a diving elbow. Blaylock catches Maru and falls forward, slamming him into the mat.
The match takes a more vicious turn from there as Blaylock puts on a show of terrific power. She tosses the much smaller competitor from post to post, peppering in a few big boots for good measure. Maru attempts to get some offense in from time to time, only to be shut down by the force that is Blaylock. After several minutes of this, Maru is able to get a suprise amount of momentum his way after a flurry of connected strikes staggers the big girl back into the ropes. Attempting to capitalize on this he leaps to the top rops and soars towards Blaylock for cross bod splash. In a terrifying feat of strength, Blaylock catches Maru and hoists him into the air before driving him to the mat with a Gorilla Press Slam. She looks towards the commentary booth and jumps into the air, falling on Maru for the One…Two…Three.
Following the ringing of the bell, she reaches down and grabs the porcelain mask and places it back on her face. Her demeanor instantly changes. She stares back towards Rose at the booth and begins to trace the outline of a smile face on her chest with her finger, similar the scar that Rose bears. Rose, uneasy, makes his way back to the back, taking great care to avoid the monster in the center of the ring. We cut away with Blaylock standing in the ring, still clutching her chest.
WINNER: Lucy Blaylock(10:23)
The cameras open in on a dark corner somewhere in the arena. Pacing back and forth before his match is the man known as The Queen City Hitman. Black looks up at the camera for a moment.
TMB: I get it…I understand Issac. To you, I’m nothing more than a mere insect, buzzing around your head. At the most it bothers you, but you refuse to acknowledge it. That is until it flies into your eyes and blinds you. Then you curse your choice of letting it live. Then you find yourself wishing to deal with it…but by then it’s too late. By then it has already done its job of giving you regret.
To quote one of my fav. movies.
…“You should of ghost me when you had a chance, johns.”
Black turns towards the camera.
TMB: But I am going to do more than just buzz around you, oh pale one. I will do more than just take an eye away from you. I will do more than just get on your last nerves. Just like I did with Pestalance…I will beat you in a way no one thought possible. Because as we all know, monsters are meant to be destroyed. Beast are meant to be hunted.
He pushes back his head. His unshaven face piercing the view of the camera.
TMB: And myths were meant to be proven wrong.
…Those will either be on my tombstone…or what I will say over yours
Thomas starts to make his way towards the go area as the scene begins to fade.
Before Zex could even close the door to his 1970 classic Dodge Charger, he finds himself instantly swamped and subdued by a rush of body mass, what feels like thousands of hands gripping him at once, suddenly slam him face first into the dark green hood, the crack echoing out across the parking garage as the upper body of “The Artist” leaves a sizable dent from the impact.
Zex struggles, fights even, but to no avail. The mass of humanity, a sea of ten to twenty ragged and moth-eaten degenerates hold him in place. Their clothes torn and rotten, teeth jagged, broken and sharp.
The smells that linger from their bodies and mouths is an unwashed, dingy stank; a mix of decay, blood, sweat, alcohol, piss and shit.
He gags as the largest of the vagabonds breathes closely into his face, a whistle emanating from between his toothless gums, saliva dribbling down his unkempt beard. The vagrant reaches forward to Zex’ face and peels “The Artists” eyelids back with his cracked, fungus coloured fingers; thus forcing the SHOOT Project Iron Fist Champion to stare into the dark abyss that is the parking lot.
A figure emerges from the darkness, followed by an abhorrent hyena-esque laugh from the collection of degenerates that have Zex pinned and displayed like a butterfly in a glass box.
The large figure that looms, closes in; his leather jacket glimmering in the dim lights, his long dark hair cascading down over his shoulder…
Zex: You son of a…
Before Zex can finish his sentence; the figure rushes in gripping “The Artist” around his chin and mouth, clamping it between his massive hands and rendering him mute. Zex’s eyes flicker with wildfire and rage as he looks up into the snarling face of Valentine Lionheart.
Valentine: Is that anyway to greet an old friend? *he chuckles through his side-smiled snarl.*
Zex struggles but to no prevail.
Valentine: There’s a good little boy. *He stands, letting go of “The Artist.”* And to think, I merely wanted to engage with a little tête-à-tête.
Zex: Fuck you. *His words met by a hard thump to the back of his head from one of the many that surround him.*
Valentine: Such a cliché, Zack. *Valentine cracks his knuckles* Why the hostility? Surely you can’t still be bitter about the neck?
Zex: I said…FUCK YOU!
Before one of the hobo’s can strike Zex again, Valentine catches his wrist, preventing another blow.
Valentine: There, there. We want to leave more than just scraps for Entragian now don’t we?
The degenerates laugh again, their voices echo like the howls of wild dogs. Valentine takes a few deliberate steps to the side, his ice cold eyes never leaving his prey.
Valentine: You know Zack. I haven’t come to end you… No, no, no… This, this “thing” *he motions his hands back and forth between him and Zex* it doesn’t end here. In fact, this is more of a new beginning between you and me.
“The Omega Messiah” strokes his short beard as if to say “I’m musing over an idea” before returning to his position standing over the Iron Fist Champion.
Valentine: While you lay there, helpless; hating my fucking guts down to their very core… I stand before you without an ounce of judgment for your sins. In fact, an ex-junkie like you, who has continued to ruin his own life through excess and debauchery would fit in rather well among these Coyotes.
Zex: What part of FUCK YOU, do you not understand?
Without a second thought, Valentine clubs Zex clean across the face with the back of his hand, the blow splitting Zex’ lip and bloodying his mouth.
Valentine: Get him on his knees.
The Coyotes hoist “The Artist” up off of the Hood of the Charger and slam his flailing body into the hard asphalt below. Zex struggles once his body smashes into the ground; but before he can scramble any distance the Coyotes shut him down and drag him to his knees.
Zex: Get the fuck off me! *he cries in defiance.*
Valentine: Somebody quieten this incessant noise. *A notion which prompts one of the Coyotes to shove his fist inside Zex’s mouth.* that’s much, much better… I always knew you’d turn out to be a polite chap one day.
The Coyotes laugh and howl again, some of them banging their hands on nearby cars, creating a tribal war drum.
Valentine: I come here offering you MY HAND! And all you can do is shout profanities? I’m disappointed, Zack. *He pats Zex on the top of his head.* I expected you to welcome me with open arms, THANK ME and my ilk for saving you from yourself… Yet it seems you are unable to get past a few little hiccups from our past.
Zex tries to speak, his words lost behind the fist wedged in his mouth.
Valentine: Perhaps I should pay Rain a visit. See if I can mend a few broken fences between the three of us? Taste her bloody cunt? Slip my tongue deep into her asshole? FORCE YOU TO WATCH!?
Zex convulses with rage, his head and teeth gnawing like a rabid animal on the hand of the Coyote, his arms and legs kicking and reaching for Valentine; who, once again delivers a backhand to the face of his foe.
Valentine: Look around you Zack and make sure to take it all in. I HAVE THE NUMBERS, I HAVE THE POWER AND I HAVE YOU IN THE PALM OF MY FUCKING HAND. As brazen as you are, you will do one of two things… BOW DOWN BEFORE ME AND ACCEPT ME AS YOUR GOD… OR… JOIN ME, ISAAC AND THE COYOTES. Because a wild dog like you, deserves to run in a pack.
Lionheart slicks his hair back over his shoulders and growls loudly.
Valentine: Tonight. This little performance. Was nothing but a whisper in the wind in comparison to the typhoon coming your way. You have a choice, seek shelter from the storm and join us or crash against the eternal shoreline that is my wrath.
With a click of his fingers, a hellacious right hand ploughs into Zex’ face knocking “The Artist” down into the ground, his consciousness fading and the last thing to enter his ears; the sound of Valentine and the Coyotes mad laughter.
Two pillars of SHOOT Project and former title holders squared off in the middle of the ring, each of them chasing their own demons down this season, but this isn’t the first time they’ve squared up against each other. Thomas Manchester Black and Cronos Diamante locked up in the Iron Fist Championship tournament with Cronos picking up the victory and advancing to face Zex. Tonight, Cronos must keep his mind off of the mysterious Saudade, and TMB must remember that he’s facing The Devil, not The Pale Rider.
Both men are known for their Mixed Martial Arts acumen, and almost before the bell rang, they began to wage war with each other in the ring. Locking up and immediately taking swings at each other’s heads, sending the Faithful into a frenzy, both men driving the other cross the ring with strikes, still locked up. Even after the referee separated the two of them, Cronos and Manchester Black took after each other, neither man managing to get a leg up on the other. Only after a properly placed throat punch that took TMB back to the ropes, Cronos was able to take control of the match with a snap suplex and a beautifully placed kick to the back of the head, dazing the larger man.
Cronos Diamante slipped behind TMB and applies a rear naked choke to the man, tasting a victory and another step toward Saudade, but as Austin Linam raised TMB’s hand for the third and final time, the Faithful managed to will TMB to catch his hand before it the mat, not wanting the bout to reach its climax. TMB was able to drag a toe just under the ropes to break the submission attempt, bringing the the fans into an absolute craze.
Quick not to let the Queen City Hitman get back to his feet, Cronos drug him back to the mat and took a hold of his arm, but TMB was able to pull himself from harm. Both men rolled around on the mat, putting on an excellent display of jiu jitsu prowess, neither man wanting to take the match to the feet. The SHOOT Project Faithful roar for the men as submission attempt after submission attempt gets slapped on, and somehow slipped out of. In a beautiful sequence of maneuvers, the men covered the entire length of the ring.
After both men reach what can only be called an impasse, the fans begin to chant for their approval. Linam manages to stand both men up on their feet, but Cronos immediately pushes TMB back to the ropes, starting the Countdown to Extinction on the more exhausted Hitman. Every strike harder than the next, each strike landing flush, Cronos drives his foot up toward TMB’s head, the Queen City Hitman deflects the boot and stumbles out of the way to the other ring. Cronos would look to take advantage of the situation and knock TMB out of the ring, bouncing off of the far ropes and running toward TMB, but Manchester Black would catch Cronos in a black hole slam, using the man’s momentum against him. As Cronos hits the mat, TMB floats over him and completes the Wake 2 Nightmare with an Anaconda Vice, that sends the Faithful out of their minds!
Cronos fights hard to break the hold, even going so far as to dig his thumb into the eye of TMB, but TMB moves his head out of the way, and Cronos is forced to tap!
WINNER: Thomas Manchester Black (11:49)
Sitting on top of a unmarked turnbuckle, a young man rest his forearms on his well toned legs as he slowly circles his thumbs between one another behind his clasped hands. The hood of his black hooded sweatshirt is pulled over his head as the lights suspended from the rafters shine down on the hood individual. Slowly he lifted his head, as strands of his blond and brown hair poke from the bottom of the hood, looking up into the camera that has settled in the middle of the ring.
Markus Pascal:Feel better about yourself now, Daniel?
Do you feel as if that you’ve accomplished something because of a tag team match which was nothing short of a two on one assault?
You take solace in those cheap victories because in your eyes and victory is a victory is a victory?
Markus scoffs and slowly rolls his eyes at the simple thought.
Markus Pascal: Typical American attitude…take the easy route because actually having to work for something that’s worthwhile is too much like work for you, Daniel. And it’s a shame especially coming from someone who holds the moniker of The Golden Boy so near and dear. It’s a shame that for someone of your caliber you wouldn’t dare sully your own hands or climb down that Ivory Tower or better yet that you are untouchable.
With the mention of the word ‘untouchable’ Markus smiles to himself as he reaches off screen for the splintered kendo stick. The same kendo stick that was used on the initial assault on Stein so many weeks ago. The thin strips of bamboo are slightly warps and it’s small fibers sprout from it’s sides after being formed against the body of Stein.
Markus Pascal: Actually, Daniel…you are very much touchable. I showed you how much so when I wrapped this kendo stick around your back and wrapped a steel chair around your head. You say that I ‘mad’, you want to cut jokes as if your stale humor will actually try to persuade me otherwise when in actuality…I’m focused. A focus that was once reserved for my most despised rival…but now I save for you. I save it because I want you to see, I want you to see a young you…a better you…a more successful you…I want you to see what could’ve been and I want to take everything that you’ve ever worked for and I want to bring all crumbling down around you.
Systematically eliminated one by one.
Erased and replaced by yours truly.
Marred in black ink when I show the rest of the wrestling world what Daniel Stein truly is.
He’s no saint…he’s no sinner…he’s just a man. A man who bleeds like the rest of us, a man who’s scared to let go, a man who’s past his prime and afraid to be put out to pasture.
I’m going to pull you from that Ivory Tower…I’m going to bring back down where it all began. In the middle of that very ring, I’m going to get your dirty…I’m going to put blood on your hands not because I want to..
Markus turns his head slightly with a chuckle before turning back to the camera.
Markus Pascal: …because trust me, I most definitely want to.
But because if you ever plan on stopping me from ending you and destroying everything and everyone that has ever associated with you…you’re going to have to leave that Golden Boy persona behind and become that monster that we all know you can be.
Until Daniel, take care of yourself will you? Because if anyone is going to beat Dan Stein…
…it’s going to be Markus Pascal.
Buck Dresden asked for the match against Kitsune with a strap attaching the two Soldiers to one another. Their shared history as members of Magnus International meant that Buck was well aware of the man he was facing and what he would have to do in order to defeat the Purple Fox that calls himself Kitsune. Kitsune was guided to the ring by none other than Joshua Breedlove, but Breedlove was stopped by the referee who demanded that he leave. Buck, meanwhile, informed the referee that he wasn’t interested in Breedlove leaving. He wanted Breedlove to watch what happens when you fuck with a Hardcore Hayseed like the Bluegrass Bad Ass Buck Dresden.
Kitsune attempted to take control of the match early, using his showmanship and attitude to control the flow of the match and the impact of his maneuvers were as sharp as ever. Kitsune seemed just as interested in defeating Buck as he was putting on a show for Faithful, proving that he deserved to be in the SHOOT Project and that he was not simply hired for his connection to A1W as an enhancement level talent. Unfortunately, he was facing the AlieNation-One Champion Buck Dresden, and Buck was not about to let Kitsune get the better of him after being constantly outsmarted and humiliated by Breedlove.
Buck’s demand that Breedlove not be allowed to interfere in the match led to an interesting dynamic for his strap match against Kitsune. Kitsune made his name in Japan with his high flying ways, but being strapped to the King of Southern Strong Style led to Buck stiffly decimating Kitsune. It was a Buck few had ever seen before. Gone were his jokes, his smile, and it was replaced by a man possessed. Kitsune managed some spectacular and innovative uses of the strap against Buck, but Buck ultimately prevailed after bloodying Kitsune with SEVEN straight Lariats leading into a Buck Shot, wrapping the strap around Kitsune’s throat, and dragging the prone body of the masked Purple Fox around the ring as a showcase to Breedlove that Buck Dresden was not to be trifled with.
Buck took several minutes post match to lord over his prey and glare at Breedlove, who had come out to the ringside area to watch the match. Neither man spoke to one another. Breedlove seemed to be stewing as Buck led Kitsune to the ropes. He wrapped Kitsune’s arms to both sides of the rope with the strap and stood behind Kitsune’s crucified form until he finally managed to grin a devious grin. Breedlove’s machinations had brought out a demon in Buck Dresden. Where once Buck was fun and happy go lucky, always willing to get in front of the camera…this Buck Dresden was ruthless, violent, and ready to bludgeon the Japanese star to prove a point. He demanded the strap be removed from his wrist and he left Kitsune tied up on the top rope, his legs dangling off of the apron. He slid from the ring and sauntered past Breedlove, who only stared at Kitsune’s hanging body, another victim in the ongoing war between the two Champions.
WINNER: Buck Dresden (10:23)
Mary Kelly stands in the back of the Arena, next to the entrance ramp. The camera is tight on her as the Faithful boos, obviously for her guest. Mary puts the microphone to her mouth and begins to speak.
Mary Kelly: Ladies and gentlemen, my guest at this time…Dan Stein. Dan?
Stein steps into the picture as the Faithful’s boos peak for him. Next to Dan, we can seem a glimpse of Molly, his…assistant? Stein gives the Faithful a moment, straightening the shoulder on his red, white, and blue Patriotic muscle shirt tank top. Stein decides he’s had enough of their boos and turns to Mary.
Dan Stein: Mary, you don’t come out from the backstage much, do you? You don’t mingle with the Faithful during the shows. You can’t feel their emotions as you’re honing your craft in that ring, proving night in and night out that you’re the best strategist in the company. You don’t get those goosebumps every night standing around in the back. You don’t get
Stein holds up his arm, showing Mary the bumps on his forearm.
Dan Stein: …back there. That’s why I wanted you to come out here with me, Mary. I wanted you to experience what I’m about to say, just like I want Markus Pascal to experience what I’m about to say.
Stein’s attention turns to the camera.
Dan Stein: I put on my tank top today because I thought it was a nice day. I threw on these shorts because I thought it was a nice day, I even decided that I was going to wear sandals today because I thought it was a nice day. Hell, Mary, I know you don’t care, but I’m even wearing underwear right now, because I thought it’s THAT nice of a day.
But then I got to the Arena. Then I got here. Then, I watched Markus Pascal’s brilliant, artistic piece of promotional material back there, and that made my day…not so nice. See, I was going to head my happy ass up to Herald and demand a match for myself tonight. I was going to make him tell his non-existent “Master” that I demanded a match, and I was going to deal with whomever they put in front of me. I’m not dumb. It was probably going to be Ultimo Muerte, but that didn’t bother me because I was getting tired of sitting on my ass for so long.
Shit, Mary, I even talked shit to Markus on Twitter because I was getting bored just sitting at home.
You know what I want now, Mary?
I want Markus to get a match. Not just any match. I want Markus to get an Iron Fist Championship match, and I hope he gets it soon.
Stein looked at Mary, then back to the camera.
Dan Stein: See, Markus is coming in here, talking about how he’s going to “erase and replace” Dan Stein. That (sing-songy) “anything I can do, he can do better!” That’s bullshit, Mary. Anything I can do, took a whole lot of fucking work and dedication to accomplish.
You know I did some shit the “Technicos” of R-C-W wouldn’t dare do. Olivares wouldn’t be caught dead up in the stands dressed like a Roman emperor, cursing the Faithful beneath him. I get that.
But I worked my ass off. I never quit on SHOOT Project, I never quit on Molly, and you know what, Molly? I never quit on…on… God, I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I never quit on the SHOOT Project Faithful.
Donovan King and Adrian Corazon aren’t here in SHOOT Project, but Dan Stein is. Isaac Entragian is. Kenji Yamada is. Names that this place built, names that built this place. Trey Willett, God fucking dammit, Trey Willett is even back there somewhere doing God knows what.
SHOOT Project isn’t fun. SHOOT Project isn’t easy. SHOOT Project isn’t a joke. And if Markus Pascal thinks he can just walk in off of the mean streets of Canada, waltz into the company and dethrone Dan Stein?
Herald, I say you let him try.
Give that boy a match. Let’s see what he can do in the ring against the men your “Master” handpicked.
And when you find that you’re a small dog in a big yard, don’t leave, Markus. You best believe that (lifting the fabric of the shirt off of his chest) these colors don’t run.
Markus, you owe me one. And if you get this Iron Fist match, you’ll owe me two.
And trust me, Markus, I always get what’s owed to me.
Stein turns around allowing the camera to pan back, grabbing Molly’s hand as Toni and Tina flank him on either side. Mary Kelly looks at the camera raises her eyebrows as the camera cuts.
Mary Kelly is standing in front of the ever famous SHOOT Project Helmet backdrop with her microphone firmly in her hand.
Mary Kelly: Ladies and gentlemen…AlieNation-One Champion…Buck Dresden.
The Faithful cheer as Buck steps onto the scene, A1W title slung over his shoulder. His dirty blonde hair is in his face. He brushes it over the back of his head and chuckles.
Mary Kelly: You just went toe to toe with Kitsune, you had Joshua Breedlove out there…and yet you did nothing to him. What’s on your mind, Buck? What do you want to have happen?
Buck leans in, kissing her on the cheek. She blushes because of fucking course she does.
Buck Dresden: Let me tell you somethin’, Mary Kelly!
He shakes his head.
Buck Dresden: I put my hands on that little bastard an’ you know what happened? I whipped his silly little bitch ass! That’s what I gotta do to get my point across, babygirl, an’ you know what that point is?
Mary Kelly: I…no. No, I don’t.
Buck Dresden: I’m a champion, girl. I’ve been SHOOT Project World Tag Team Champion, AlieNation-One Tag Team Champion, and I’m currently AlieNation-One Champion. I hold gold, girl. I hold it real close like. I caress it. I make it love bein’ with me. So when I get the chance to go toe to toe with a guy who was actually right there with me when I won this belt on my shoulder? I go toe to toe with that sumbitch and I make him damn REMEMBER who the hell I am.
Buck Dresden: Mary Kelly…I’ve done a lotta stuff in my career. Made a lotta people smile. Made a lotta people cry. A while back, I came into this business from Hazard, Kentucky, an’ I promised that I’d reach out to my people an’ they’d love the kinda man I represent fer them. Along the way…I lost my way a little bit, but you know what?
Buck Dresden: I can’t lose sight. I was born in Hazard, ain’t no doubt ‘bout that. But you know what? I’m a Kentucky Bad Ass. I’m a West Virginia Bad Ass. I’m a Virginia Bad Ass. I’m a North Carolina Bad Ass. I’m a South Carolina Bad Ass. I’m a Georgia Bad Ass. I’m a Florida Bad Ass. I’m a Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, Maryland, AND EVERYWHERE IN BETWEEN…BAD…ASS.
Buck Dresden: I am Southern Strong Style. Joshua Breedlove! Lissen close to me, boy. Lissen real close. I know who the hell I am. I’m the AlieNation-One Champion. Ain’t nobody like me. Ain’t nobody can be like me. You wanna represent Charles Brandon Magnus? I know Charlie Magnus, boy. I wanna smack the taste outta his mouth, but I love that man. I know that man and if you wanna run with him after he done lost his way? That’s fine. I know you know where he is and I also know you ain’t gonna tell me so you know what, Josh? You know what?
Buck Dresden: I’ll just settle fer beatin’ the hell outta you. Last time we faced off, you had me locked down. You knew my moves. You knew me. Bottom line is this. You know who I am. You know what I’m about. I won’t change that. Yer gonna know how to beat me. So I guess…I guess I gotta add a new foundation to this here House o’ Buck. Somethin’ new to this ol’ Bad Ass. Ha ha ha…
With that, he hugs Mary tightly and gives her a kiss on her forehead. He leaves her there.
Mary Kelly: I…I..uh…thank you, B-Buck. Back to you guys?
A groggy and downtrodden Zex, still feeling the effects of his run in with Valentine Lionheart earlier this evening, finds himself centre of the ring, his green eyes watching as “The Ivory Terror” Isaac Entragian drifts methodically to the ring, Zex looks around the crowd, watching as a large group of vagrants and degenerates close in, mingling within the crowd, watching and spurring on one of the men of whom they’d follow into the pits of hell.
With the arrival of Entragian and the growing number of Coyotes in the crowd, the mood inside the SHOOT Project Epicentre drastically changes; the warm loud environment is drained and replaced by a cold tension. Chants and cheers dwindle, giving way to howls and shrieks.
“The Pale Rider” stands outside the ring, looking out at his followers whose war cries now echo out through the arena, suffocating everything in their wake… Before Entragian can even blink, “The Artist” hurls himself across the ring, bouncing off the opposing side and diving up over the ropes, twisting a full corkscrew down onto the menace before him, both men collapsing to the ground.
The rage and anger from the ambush that took place earlier tonight still fresh in his memory, Zex begins hammering down rights and lefts to the kneeling Entragian.
Chaos isn’t far away as “The Artist” is sent reeling by the pale giant; who gives chase planting an enormous boot into the face of the Iron Fist Champion. Zex staggers into the security barricade, where the Coyotes scratch and claw into his arm and neck, they elbow, spit and pull at his hair as the “Ivory Terror” continues his methodical approach.
With a raise of his arms, the animalistic Coyotes stop their assault; Zex tries to regain his composure, but before he can even blink Entragian smashes a hellacious fist down into the temple of the Canadian.
Like a ragdoll, Zex is now tossed around the outside of the ring; his body bouncing off the ground with a thud after each throw. Isaac lifts Zex again whipping him into the stairs, but by hook, crook or blind instinct “The Artist” plants a hand down on them, scooting over the steal and lands on his feet on the other side.
Entragian charges forward and Zex dropkicks the ring steps into the knees of the ghost white behemoth. With desperation at hand and the match not officially underway, Zex creates a little distance as the Coyotes at ringside throw a few miss timed punches in his direction, Zex sees his chance and races towards “ The Pale Rider,” leaping up, through the corner ropes and into a swinging DDT, Dropping Entragian head first into the ground.
As Zex rises, he is cracked across the back with a beer bottle from the crowd; he turns punching the nearest Coyote and dropping him to the ground, only to see two others instantaneously take the place of the first.
Before Zex can turn his attention to Isaac; “The Ivory Terror” wraps his massive arms around his waist and launches “The Artist” up and over with an improvised German Suplex, Zex bounces off the ground and clutches at his surgically repaired neck.
Zex is given no respite, as Isaac lets loose an unrelenting barrage of boots and stomps which Zex is unable to defend.
The referee calls for Entragian to bring Zex into the ring and get the match over with. These pleas fall on deaf ears as Isaac hoists Zex up off the floor and onto his shoulders before pointing at the ring post.
With a charge, Isaac races towards the post, Zex slips down off of his shoulders and uses “The Ivory Terror’s” own momentum, sending Isaac face first into the post; despite the hard blow, this does nothing to deter Entragian from attack as he swats back a wild arm, whacking Zex in the face and knocking him down.
Zex backs up against the security rail, where once again the Coyotes pull at his hair and thump down hammer fists to his head, neck, chest and shoulders. Isaac reaches in grabbing Zex by his neck and lifts him off the floor, tossing the smaller man across the outside of the ring with ease.
Zex lands on his feet as Isaac charges towards him, ducking a big boot and slamming his fist into the crotch of “The Pale Rider;” Isaac falls to his front and the dazed Zex seems to snap into fight or flight mode and repeatedly kicks Entragian in the side and ribs.
In what is a poor judgement by Zex, “The Artist” attempts to lift Isaac from off the ground, only to be pushed back into the barricade and the arms of the rabid Coyotes. A bottle comes crashing down but misses, falling out of the Coyotes hand and onto the ground.
Zex spins, throwing punches into the sea of vagrants and misfits, before turning back to Isaac and kicking him in the ribs once again.
But the inevitable storm catches up with the Iron Fist Champion as two large arms reach over the barricade, wrapping themselves around his waist; Zex struggles catching a glimpse of the man behind him, none other than Valentine Lionheart.
Lionheart sinks his teeth down into “The Artist’s” shoulder, his large canines piercing skin causing a rush of blood to trickle out as Zex screams out in pain… Valentine pushes Zex forward and into the path of “The Ivory Terror” who hoists Zex up over his shoulders with an effortless ease before bringing him back down again across his knee with his patented manoeuvre…The Disemboweler!!!
Isaac then rolls Zex into the ring, following closely behind.
The referee calls for the match to begin and Isaac, without hesitation pins the limp body of “The Artist” for the three count.
Isaac stands tall, looking down at his fallen foe, his chiselled and sharpened teeth flashing a stomach-turning serpentine smile, pleased with his handwork…
WINNER: Isaac Entragian (0:03)
When a blood thirsty roar erupts from the crowd, signalling the arrival of SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion, KENJI YAMADA ; who races towards the ring with vicious intent and eyes filled with malice.
But as Kenji dives through the ropes; his former Project SCAR brethren Isaac Entragian, exits the ring as fast as is humanly possible; and begins to back his way up the ramp.
Kenji paces around inside the ring, moving back and forth like a caged animal as Isaac laughs to himself, wagging his finger back and forth and uttering the words “Not Yet!”
A primal scream pierces the ears as Revolution fades to black.