Table of Contents
Azraith DeMitri/??? Vs. Jacob Mephisto & Timothy Roy
The Family Arrives
The SHOOT Project Faithful become restless as they wait for the next match of the night. The Epicenter lights flicker once, dim twice, and then die altogether, plunging the hallowed arena into total darkness. Cell phone lights dot the blackness that shrouds the arena.
An acoustic, yet familiar tune begins to play through the speakers. It’s catchy, but it’s not one that we’ve heard recently in the SHOOT Project.
The acoustic guitar plays the tune and the late, great Johnny Cash croons his version of “Personal Jesus.”
Your own… personal… Jesus
Someone to hear your prayers
Someone who cares…
A spotlight shines down on a space to the right of the entrance on the stage, revealing Patience Montgomery, dressed in a clean, white robe with a red cord belt. Half of her face is covered, as usual, with her red and black hair.
Your own… personal… Jesus
Someone to hear your prayers
Someone who’s there…
Another spotlight, this time on the left side of the entrance shines down. Decius Montgomery stands with an identical white robe and red cord belt.
The acoustic tune continues playing as more spotlights begin to shine down on either side of Patience and Decius, revealing the dregs of Las Vegas. They are the unwanted, the ones formerly known as Coyotes. They are the Pariah.
Almost to the very tune of Cash’s strings, the men and women, with the exception of The Twins, begin to walk out of their spotlights and into the darkness directly in front of the entrance. The lights blink out as each one leaves their space. The edges of The Twins’ spotlights show the figures forming some kind of shape.
The chords fade and the remaining spotlights blink out, leaving darkness once again. The crowd is already booing, knowing who is about to make his appearance.
REACH OUT AND TOUCH FAITH!
The lights flare to their absolute brightest as the more modern, electric guitars and drums of Depeche Mode’s original version of “Personal Jesus” begin to pulsate through the arena.
The light dim back down, changing colors and bathing the Epicenter in a pulsing, ugly, strobing blue color.
The Coyotes have formed a twisted, human throne. Sitting on that throne of flesh is none other than Jacob Mephisto, flanked on either side by Johan Dietrich and KC Rockefeller.
Your own, personal, Jesus
Someone to hear your prayers
Someone who cares
Mephisto slowly stands, bringing his arms out to the side in a twisted mockery of crucifixion.
Your own, personal, Jesus
Someone to hear your prayers
Someone who’s there
Mephisto steps forward and The Twins fall into place at his side, with KHARRION just behind. He wears a long, sleeveless jacket, made to look like a mockery of a priest’s vestments.
Feeling unknown and your all alone
Flesh and bone by the telephone
Mephisto turns to face The Family, revealing the image of a twisted tree on the back of his robe/jacket. He signals to them and the four family members, along with the Coyotes slowly make their way to the back.
Lift up the receiver
I’ll make you a believer
Mephisto turns back, facing the ring. The smirk on his face slowly vanishes as he stares at the empty ring with cold, calculating, cruel, pale, grey eyes.
Eryk Masters: I swear, this man gets more and more twisted every time we see him, folks. He’s got his family firmly under his sway. Tonight though, he’s got to deal with Azraith DiMitri and, we’ll, we don’t know who.
Other Guy: That’s true, E. But, don’t forget two things. One, Mephisto is just about as dangerous as they come. And two, he’s not here alone tonight.
Mephisto stalks his way to the ring, slithering in underneath the bottom rope and pushing himself to his feet. He sheds his entrance attire and throws his arms out to the side, tossing his head back as the lights return to normal.
Mephisto smirks again, awaiting his partner, as boos rain down from the crowd when suddenly…
Every light in the Epicenter arena cuts out and causes a low, rumbling roar to emanate from the crowd as they wait in anticipation of the man – the monster – they know is about to arrive.
After several moments of anguished silence, a whistle cuts through the arena and the lights fade up into a deep, saturated orange.
Ooooooo ooooo oooo
The opening lines to “Rooster” by Alice in Chains play, but slowed down in tempo – almost like the start to a hymn as the Epicenter screen comes to life and we see a slide show of black-and-white photos appear.
A young, smiling child in a school photo is shown first before it fades into another photo, this one of a teenager in a wrestling singlet standing next to a much taller, older looking man with short white hair… then we see a photo of a coffin that pans out to show a grieving crowd. A photo of the same teenager is then shown – wiping his eyes as he gives a eulogy.
The screen fades to black.
Ooooooo ooooo oooo
As the screen reappears, we see the same teenager – a bit older now – standing at the top of a ramp wearing a long black trench coat and stetson hat. A quick cut to the young man throwing haymakers inside a cage… at Azraith DeMitri. Another cut to men and women outside the cage looking up in horror as the two fighters struggle 15 feet above the mat. Then one final shot of Azraith DeMitri in mid fall – the young man – Timothy Roy – watching proudly from above.
Eryk Masters: Holy…
Ain’t found a way to kill me yet….
Eyes burn with stinging sweat…
Seems every path leads me to nowhereeeeeeeeee
The line hangs in the air until a loud THUD, a war drum, hits and the lights go back out causing the crowd to go into conniptions.
YOU KNOW HE AIN’T GONNA DIEEEEEEE
A rearranged, rocking chorus slams over the speakers as the lights undulate black to orange to black to orange and a hulking figure in a black trenchcoat, Stetson hat, and white mask with an elongated beak appears at the top of the ramp and slowly, methodically begins to make his way down to the ring. The strobe effect, making it feel like phasing in and out of existence like a ghost.
Other Guy: What… what is this?
Eryk Masters: …there’s no doubt that Rooster is going to milk every second of this time, OG. He wants the world to know that, as far as he’s concerned, Azraith DeMitri is a villain that deserves to be wiped from the face of SHOOT Project. And he’s the one who is going to make sure that happens.
Yeah, here come the rooster, yeah
You know he ain’t gonna die
No, no, no, you know he ain’t gonna die
Rooster pulls himself up in one fluid motion, stepping over the ropes and into the ring to join his partner Mephisto. As he does, the song fades and the lights turn back from orange and black strobes to their normal fluorescent white.
After surveying the crowd, Rooster joins Mephisto in turning toward the ramp as the team awaits their opponents.
There’s several moments of silence before the lights dim to darkness, the crowd riling up quickly after. A soft piano plays through the speakers of the Epicenter as a familiar voice, to some, croons out to them…
Say your prayers little one,
Don’t forget my son
To include everyone…
A spotlight drops down to the entrance ramp and the stage in front of it, specifically just to the right. At first there’s nothing there, but a figure slowly starts to step into it. Glorious, immaculate skull/corpse paint and coiffed back black hair along with a clean, dramatic black suit and white gloves. His motions to the crowd are theatrical and large, obviously someone who is used to being in front of a large crowd.
Other Guy:…is that?
I tuck you in, warm within, keep you free from sin
‘Til the SANDMAN he comes…
The crowd erupts at the name, and the figure standing on the stage flashes a broad grin. The giant screen above the entranceway cuts to a staging area backstage where four individuals seem to be wired to play sets of instruments, but stand stoic and calm. All four wear the same suit as the man on stage, and all four wear featureless, chrome masks that somewhat resemble faces with eyes, but nothing else.
Eryk Masters: I can’t believe this…the absolute madman!
Sleep with one eye, Las Vegas
Grip that pillow Oh So Tight!
The crowd roars out as they sing along with the next part of the song while the announcer on stage speaks over them.
Ladies and Gentleman, I’ve had…many names, but you can simply call me…Papa. Now I’m not your Personal Jesus…
But I can speak on good authority from a truly…transcendent power, that It is our singular privilege tonight that I can introduce you to a man you know so very well.
(Take my hand…)
He is the Avatar of SHOOT Project, The Ghost…he is The Sandman…
(We’re off to Never-Never Land…)
The band on-screen blasts out a beautiful rendition of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” as a second spotlight drops in front of the entrance ramp. A beast of a man stands there. Black T-shirt, black leather pants, heavy black combat boots and…for the first time since many have seen since the re-opening of SHOOT, a dusty looking black trenchcoat. He wears the same faceless ghoul mask as the band, and for a moment he points to Papa Emeritus as the crowd cheers before reaching up and slowly pulling the mask off, flashing everyone a truly sinister grin before gingerly placing the mask to the ground, and throwing his arms up in the air triumphantly as he spins around slowly, walking down the ramp as he does, Papa Emeritus still snarling out the lyrics on stage…
Dreams of war
Dreams of liars
Dreams of dragon’s fire
And of things that will bite YEAH!
As he spins to observe the crowd, You can see emblazoned on the back of the trench coat in bright, furious blue, what looks to be a pentagram, but the lines that make up the inside of it are an overlapping A and Z. Along each arm are various similar grams and marks.
Other Guy: Only Azraith goddamn DeMitri could get GHOST to play him out tonight.
Eryk Masters: Some would call this a return to form for Azraith…but just as many others have a nervous feeling in their gut seeing all this pageantry from “The Sandman”…he hasn’t done anything like this in nearly a decade and the last time he did…well…he was a really different person.
As he makes it about halfway down the ramp, Az’s arms lower and he turns to face the darkened ring. He can see Jacob fuming in the middle of the ring, and Tim standing stoically beside him. The grin only grows as the chorus comes around one more time, this time both Papa Emeritus, the crowd, and Azraith singing all in unison.
Take My Hand
WE’RE OFF TO NEVER-NEVER LAND!
And just like that, all the lights drop again and the screen goes dark once more. The crowd still is chanting and cheering, and in a matter of seconds all the lights go up in the Epicenter, and Azraith is standing on the apron of the ring, staring holes into Jacob! Jacob motions for Az to get into the ring aggressively, but Az just laughs, shaking his head before hopping backwards, off the apron and taking a few steps back to the bottom of the ramp.
A Mystery Solved
As Azraith stands at the foot of the ramp grinning, the fans keep cheering wildly. After a few more seconds, the lights cut out once again, plunging the Epicenter into total darkness.
The SHOOTtron flares to life with a view of a barren wasteland of desert. Animal carcasses litter the ground as if something has been carelessly feeding on them. The sand-covered ground seems to move like something is just beneath the surface.
Suddenly, as if an invisible scalpel has cut into it, the ground splits open. Dark, crimson blood begins to seep from the desert’s wound, the edges turning purple and infected.
The scene fades to black, but the blood remains on the screen, dripping and running downward.
A red spotlight shines down on the black silhouette of a figure standing on the entrance stage, its head bowed. No features are visible.
The blood on the screen begins to come together, forming a single, solitary word…
The crowd absolutely loses its mind as the ominous opening to DIM Scene by The Gazette begins to play. The spotlight strobes wildly before plunging the arena back into darkness as the opening tune plays.
The guitars hit and the lights flare back to life as Kenji Yamada stands on the entrance stage, dead eyes staring down towards the ring.
Eryk Masters: Holy hell! If you are new to the SHOOT Project, the level of history that has just walked onto that entrance ramp is absolutely legendary. That man is one of the most dangerous individuals to ever set foot in a SHOOT Project ring.
Kenji begins to stalk forward down the ramp, the crowd going batshit crazy all the way.
Other Guy: Kenji Yamada is the man who gave birth to Project: SCAR. He is responsible for some of the worst deeds done by the likes of Adrian Corazon, Isaac Entragian, and even some of what Obsidian has done. This man is the original Sociopath Pioneer.
As Kenji reaches Azraith, the two men stare at one another for a long moment. In the ring, Jacob Mephisto’s jaw is hanging open, rage brewing in his eyes, while the Rooster throws his head back in what looks like… laughter?
Other Guy: But you want real history here? The fact that Azraith was willing to dig up Kenji? At one point, Kenji Yamada wanted to literally murder Azraith DiMitri – even agreeing to be a lumberjack in Rooster’s match against Azraiths all those years ago. But tonight, they’re joining forces!
Kenji and Azraith jump up to the apron and step into the ring. Mephisto immediately bails, but Rooster stands his ground, almost begging the two to move in closer.
Kenji and Azraith stand in the center of the ring, a united force of absolute killers ready to face Mephisto and The Rooster.
The music dies down and Mephisto paces back and forth shaking his head outside the ring. After a moment, The Rooster turns his attention away from Azraith and Kenji to motion that it’s time to get down to brass tax. The two take a moment to collect themselves before regrouping in the ring.
Eryk Masters: We’ve got history in the making right here! Let’s get this going! Jacob Mephisto and “The Rooster” Tim Roy versus The Sandman Azraith DiMitri and, I can’t believe I’m saying it, Kenji Yamada!
Eryk Masters: We just witnessed something incredible, OG. We saw the RETURN of KENJI YAMADA to the SHOOT Project, and while he was unsuccessful in his tag team encounter with Azraith DeMitri, you have to understand… this man is a legend. A horrifyingly violent legend.
Other Guy: I remember Kenji’s run back in 2016, man. It was scary. He was scary. Mephisto and Roy pulled off something crazy tonight, and I have to imagine that this is not the end of all of this. With Timothy Roy in the fold, there’s just all sorts of wildness going on.
An image takes over the SHOOT Epicenter’s video wall, showing Reginald Dampshaw III and Lexi Gold, the next matchup of the evening. The crowd cheers and the lights dim.
Eryk Masters: That’s our signal, folks. Up next, we’ve got a Shut Up and Fight Championship defense, when Lexi Gold defends her title against Reginald Dampshaw III.
Other Guy: Does Dampshaw creep you out? He creeps me out.
Eryk Masters: In a word, yes. He is very creepy. I don’t understand it, I won’t understand it, but I WILL look forward to watching him and Lexi Gold square off, and that match? That match is NEXT.
Reginald Dampshaw III Vs. Lexi Gold (c)
As Good as Gold
A tired, but elated Lexi Gold raises her fist in victory as she grabs the Shut Up and Fight title and holds it close and slowly walks over to the turnbuckle.
Other Guy: What a victory for Lexi Gold, Eryk. She just proved her victory against Dan Stein to earn that title wasn’t a fluke.
Eryk Masters: Exactly, OG. Dare I say we’re witnessing the emergence of..
A commotion behind the announcer’s desk cuts Eryk off and draws Lexi’s attention away from her well-deserved celebration.
Blaze Claymore: Oh, congratulations, Lexi! What a Hollywood ending! After all… if anyone would know it’d be me.
Eryk Masters: Oh shut the hell up…
Standing just feet away from the announce table, Blaze lowers his sunglasses and begins to walk over to the announce table causing Eryk and OG to quickly scatter, drawing a laugh from the SAG Award Winning Actor.
Blaze Claymore: Good one, Eryk. You’re a regular Waldorf to this… Other Guy.
Other Guy: Come on now.
Blaze smirks as he turns his attention back to Lexi Gold, who has walked to the other turnbuckle and is leaning over the ropes, locking eyes with Claymore.
Blaze Claymore: Sorry to crash your party, Lexi. I know how important it is to have your moment in the sun after a big victory…
Lexi motions for her own microphone as the ringside announcer rushes over with one, handing over to the SUAF champion who looks on with a mix of amusement and annoyance.
Lexi Gold: That’s funny. I don’t SEE you with any sort of title. I mean… who are you again?
The crowd roars as Blaze Claymore’s expression turns from confidence to fury at Lexi’s comment.
Blaze Claymore: Who am I? Who AM I?! Listen here you neophyte! You.. charlatan! I’m the one who is going to make you the FORMER Shut Up and Fight Champion. That’s who I am.
Lexi smiles at this and shakes her head.
Lexi Gold: Sorry, dude. My dance card is full. Come back around when you proved you deserve a shot just like everyone else.
The crowd loses it at Lexi’s retort as Blaze screams in frustration.Looking around wildly, Blaze locks his attention onto a cheering fan with a neon green sign that says “GOOD AS LEXI GOLD”
Lexi watches in shock as Blaze walks over to the fan, ripping the sign out of her hand and begins ripping it to shreds in front of everyone.
Other Guy: Hey now! That’s not right! If his beef is with Lexi, then she’s right there!
Eryk Masters: We’ve seen Blaze turn over a new leaf – a Maple Leaf – in recent weeks, but it seems like his alter ego Kenny Canuck getting all of the attention as of late has taken its toll.
Blaze screams in frustration as he takes all of the ripped up pieces of construction paper and violently throws them into the face of the fan he stole the sign from. The young woman bursts into tears, which prompts Lexi to finally leave the ring and make her way after Blaze Claymore.
Laughing maniacally, Blaze claps his hands and waves at Lexi who tries to jump the barricade but can’t get there in time before the fighter slides away, shoving audience members as he scurries to the back amidst a chorus of boos.
Josh Conway Vs. Pat Cassidy (c)
Malice Vs. Trey Willett
Carry on my wayward suuuuuun…
There’ll be peace when you are dooone…
Lay your weary head to reeeeest…
Dont you cry no more…
The crowd roars as Trey Willett makes his way from the curtain. The older fans, cheering louder than the new. Trey Willett stands at the entrance ramp as a shower of pyro falls from the top of the SHOOTTron, falling behind him. He takes a few monets at the top of the ramp, soaking in the reaction.
Eryk Masters: SHOOT Project’s Wayward Son is here, OG!
Other Guy: I was wondering if Trey would accept Malice’s challenge. Not like it’s exactly out of character for him to be booked and just stay home.
Eryk Masters: Looks like we can put that mystery to bed, OG. He’s here, in gear, and ready to go!
Trey walks from one end of the ramp to other, enjoying the applause, and motioning to the fans in attendance.
Samantha Coil: This match is scheduled for one fall. Introducing first…He is SHOOT Project’s Wayward Son. The Willenium…Trey WILLLLLETTT!
Trey settles at the center of the entrance ramp and begins to walk down. Without warning, he is absolutely FLATTENED from behind with a steel chair!
Eryk Masters: That’s Malice! He can’t wait until this match even begins??
Other Guy: This is a long time coming. Trey has been ignoring Malice for what seems like two years now. And Malice did tell him that if he didn’t answer his challenge by last Revolution that there would be consequences. Looks like here they are.
The crowd turns on a dime, with a chorus of boos raining down on Malice. He stands over his father, not moving, not blinking. The fans continue to boo Malice, but he doesn’t seem to notice. As Trey begins to stir from the chair shot, Malice brings the chair back over his head before sending it crashing back down across the head of Trey. Malice brings the chair back up and furiously slams it back down over and over again against the head of Trey.
Eryk Masters: This is just disgusting. We need to get someone down here and put a stop to this.
Other Guy: I’m going to have to agree with you, there. I think this is about to get real ugly, real quick.
Malice tosses the chair over to the side, and looks at the body of Trey lying before him. The music has died, the lights have come up, and the boos of the crowd have subsided to an eerie silence as Trey lies motionless on the entrance ramp. Malice reaches down, grabbing Trey by the hair. The fans continue to look on shocked as Malice drags Trey’s body all the way down the ramp, picking him up and tossing him under the bottom ropes. Malice reaches under the ring and pulls a table out, tossing it over the rops, striking the bod of Trey in the process as it crashes into the ring.
Eryk Masters: This is disgusting. Absolutely detestable.
Malice sets the table up in the center of the ring and picks Trey up, laying his body out across the table. Malice looks at Trey, then the crowd. He climbs the turnbuckle to the top rope. The crowd begins to boo again. Malice can barely be heard over the crowd shouting, “This is for you, Dad.” Malice leaps from the top rope into a 450 splash, falling through Trey and the table.
Other Guy: Oh my god…
Eryk Masters: A Trey50 splash through a table! That has to be enough, Malice. That has to be enough…
Malice lays on top of Trey, grabs his hand, and slams it onto the mat, mimicking a three count. Instead of rising to his feet, Malice slides to the feet of Trey, and begins to pull his boots off of him.
Eryk Masters: Dear god, What is he doing now?
Malice removes Trey’s boots from him and rises to his feet. “Saturn Barz” begins to play over the loudspeakers as Malice raises a hand in victory. Trey has still not moved. Emergency personnel have begun to make their way down the ramp with a stretcher. Malice boots Trey off of the table, sliding him to the corner of the ring towards them and clears the remnants of the broken table out of the center of the ring. Malice raises Trey’s boots in the air to a shower of boos before placing them in the center of the ring. Malice slides out of the ring and grabs Trey by the face, his voice breaking as he screams at his father.
Malice: Leave them there, old man! Leave them! I told you I’d retire you for good. Lay here and die! This is your home…Die in it!
Malice gives Trey one final slap in the face before turning and making his way back up the ramp. His music is cut before he can even get through the curtains, leaving the concerned rumblings of the fans the only soundtrack to the Emergency Crews tending to Trey.
SAIGO Vs. The Twins
The Ultimate Showdown
Well nobody wants to burn in hell
But everybody’s got a soul to sell
When I was young my mama gave me some advice
She said girl don’t you know everybody’s got a price?
I make lots of money, I make more money than you
I drive around in my limo that’s what I was born to do
And I might like you better if we fought together
If it’s not to be noted, I got somethin’ better for ya
Naked pictures, of your mother
Naked pictures of your mother
Naked pictures of your mother; GO!
A confident-looking Sarah King strides out of the back in a form-fitted pinstripe suit – microphone in hand as the lyrics to a modified version of Electric Six’s “Naked Pictures of Your Mother” fade out.
The crowd reacts coldly to the manager’s entrance as she steps into the ring calmly and greets the animus crowd with a wave of her hand and mock bow.
Sarah King: LAAAADIES… and I guess gentlemen and everyone in between. I am here tonight for one reason and one reason only.
Eryk Masters: Please let it be her retirement…
Sarah King: And no, it isn’t my retirement.
Eryk Masters: Shit.
Sarah King: SHOOT Project faithful, I am here because there is only one way that shit gets done around here and that’s to plant a flag and make a statement – so THAT is exactly what WE are doing here tonight.
Other Guy: We?
Old Godzilla was hopping around
Tokyo city like a big playground
When suddenly Batman burst from the shade
And hit Godzilla with a bat grenade
Godzilla got pissed and began to attack
But didn’t expect to be blocked by Shaq
Who proceeded to open up a can of Shaq-Fu
When Aaron Carter came out of the blue…
A confused-looking trio of Punky the Clown, Bubble Gum, and Daihm Ferguson appear from the back to a huge pop from the crowd as “The Ultimate Showdown” plays out.
Eryk Masters: I definitely have to say the Pop Punks’ manager has a… different vibe going on here tonight than the team she’s representing. But sometimes opposites attract, right OG?
Other Guy: Just like Batman and Joker. Like Hobbs and Shaw. Like Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson.. Like….
Eryk Masters: We get the idea, OG.
A confident-looking Sarah King gestures to the trio at the top of the ramp while the trio themselves honestly look confused.
Sarah King: TONIGHT we have the pleasure of seeing the first Battalion showdown in WEEKS. But let me assure each and every one of you that you won’t have to wait long to see the next one because the Pop Punks are here to stake their claim as the number one contenders for the Battalion championship.
Punk and Bubble Gum both look at Daihm who shrugs his shoulders in confusion.
Sarah King: No matter who wins tonight – the Broguns? the Kyles? – they are just biding their time because the team the SHOOT Project has been waiting for, the ones who will REVITALIZE a division that has LANGUISHED and quite frankly been FORGOTTEN…
A confident looking Sarah King turns her attention to the Pop Punks and, more specifically, Daihm Ferguson as she glares at him with laser focus.
Sarah King: …is the POP PUNKS!
A roar goes up from the crowd as the trio of friends from the other side of the pond aren’t quite sure how to react. But Sarah King, for her part, begins earnestly clapping in support and trying to get the crowd into it.
Sarah King: If I say Pop, you say Punks? OKAY!? POP!
Sarah King: POP!
Sarah King: POP!
An unusually energetic Sarah King throws a fist into the air before turning and pointing directly at Daihm, Punky, and Bubble Gum. The nervous trio can’t help but meet the crowd’s enthusiastic reaction with smiles and waves.
Eryk Masters: I’m not sure, OG, but from the looks of things – the Pop Punks don’t seem like they were expecting the gauntlet to be thrown tonight.
Other Guy: Whether they were expecting it or not – the toothpaste is out of the tube so to speak and whoever wins the matchup between the Kyles and the Broguns tonight are going to have their eyes set on taking out the Pop Punks next… and they’ll have Sarah King to thank for that.
A smiling Sarah King waves to the crowd as the Pop Punks look on nervously, trying to make sense of everything that just happened.
The Kyle Family Vs. The Broguns
The Grateful Champions
The Broguns stand at the entrance stage, the music continuing to play. Mike, Dave, and Kitsune are huddled around one another, embracing after a hard fought match. Mary Kelly comes out, microphone in hand, hoping to get a word with the successful Battalion Champions.
Mary Kelly: Mike! Dave! Kit! What a…
She tries to push through the three of them.
Mary Kelly: …what a GREAT match! You have to be on cloud nine to have put this feud with the Kyles to rest!
Dave leans in.
Dave: AY! AY BRUH!
He points to the audience.
Dave: This…right here?
He points to Mike and to Kitsune.
Dave: S’what it’s all about Murry. Broguns. We champs. WE CHAMPS. WE RIGHT HERE!
Mary swings her head around as Mike leans into the microphone.
Mike: Girl…ever since I was a pequeno escueleto…I wanted a squad to have my back. From…
He laughs, nodding to something Dave said.
Mike: From Proper Villainz to the Kyle Family…this what we do, baby. This…this what we do!
The fans cheer as the Bone Brigade holds their Battalion Championship up for all to see. Mary moves to Kitsune, who is nodding to the fans and pointing to some of them, smiling over and over again.
Mary Kelly: Any thoughts about this war coming to a close, Kitsune? Do you think you and Chad will settle your Spitter beef now that this is over? What’s next for the Broguns and the Battalion division?
Kitsune leans in to hear what she says to him and then he smiles.
Kitsune: Hey, real quick. Can I…d’you mind if I…
He pulls the microphone from Mary’s hands.
Kitsune: LAS VEGAS!
The fans POP.
The fans pop even louder than before.
Kitsune: I got…a lot on my mind but I ain’t wanna take up all y’all time. I’mma keep this real brief. Anybody know…
He looks to the entrance.
Kitsune: Anybody know where RAIKO at? Can RAIKO come out? RAIKO!
The fans cheer as RAIKO steps out from the back. No fanfare, no music. She seems confused and even a little bit cautious as Kitsune motions for her to step out onto the stage. Mike and Dave step aside and put their belts on their shoulders, nodding to her as she joins Kitsune on the stage.
Kitsune: Yo. So listen. I ain’t no good at this sort of thing so I gotta be real…real honest with you.
RAIKO crosses her arms on her chest and listens, an eyebrow raised as she continues to watch him.
Kitsune: I ain’t a smart fox by no means. Heck, I’m lucky that I’ve gotten this far in my life. But you? You…you’re the proof that no matter how bad I fuck up, if I can earn someone’s trust…if I can earn your trust…then I can do anything.
The fans start to applaud as Kitsune continues. He drops his Battalion Championship on the ground by his foot.
Kitsune: Last night, I couldn’t think about fightin’ the Kyles. I couldn’t think about defending these titles. All I thought about was you. All I thought about was just…like…how fuckin’ PROUD I am of you. How you…how you killed it in the ApeX.
Mike and Dave begin to clap as the fans pop BIG for RAIKO. Kitsune motions to the audience and then looks back at RAIKO.
Kitsune: Mary Kelly askin’ me what our plans are, what our future is as a team an’ I told them boys right there after the match…win or lose…I just wanted to see you. I wanted you to hear it from me. Not from a text, not from Spitter, but from me. I wanted you to know how proud I am of you an’ how grateful I am to have you in my life.
There are a few “AWWWs” springing up. Mike whispers in Dave’s ear and smirks at their partner and friend. Kitsune takes a step towards RAIKO and presses his forehead to hers. He reaches out and takes one of her hands, keeping the microphone in his other. RAIKO swallows hard and looks away, but the reddening in her cheeks can’t be hidden.
Kitsune: Thank you. I ain’t got much to give back to you for this trust you’ve given me, so I’mma give you my heart an’ hope that’s enough.
He drops the microphone and continues to talk to her. Mike and Dave point to the crowd as a small “KISS HER” chant tries to pick up. Kitsune takes a hold of her hand and holds it up in victory. The four of them stand together. Mike and Dave point to her and to Kitsune, RAIKO continues to look at Kitsune and Kitsune can’t take his eyes off of RAIKO. She suddenly grabs Kitsune by the top of his mask! A hush falls over the crowd… Before it explodes, as RAIKO leans up on her toes and plants a powerful kiss on Kitsune’s mouth!
KIMO Vs. Buck Dresden (c)
Sisters of Steel Vs. Unholy Cyber Army (c)
Eryk Masters: We have new Tag Team Champions here, OG! And not to take anything away from the Sister of Steel, but what an upset!!
Other Guy: ‘Upset’ is right, Masters! I’m very upset!!
Eryk Masters: I’m going to ignore that, because we need to focus here! Countless attacks, threats, blood shed, and we are here now, Ria and Danni triumphant–wait a second!!
As Ria and Danni hold onto one another’s shoulders, they raise the Tag Team Championships in the air, their faces some cross of exhaustion, relief, and joy. The crowd cheers are almost deafening–but they turn sour, as both Power Devil and Superbeast are making their way towards the new champions, neither of the demons looking pleased.
Other Guy: See?! That win was a flash in the pan at best!
Eryk Masters: Oh, shut up, will you?!
Ria and Danni turn, sizing up the Unholy Cyber Army. Power Devil looks nothing so much as upset, hands on his hips, and he shakes his head. Superbeast, on the other hand, looks practically emotionless. But he grips his partner by the shoulder, and says something to his ear. The Sisters of Steel look at one another, then back to the Demons of Cyber Roppongi. Finally, Power Devil furrows his brow, and nods. Superbeast steps forward…and extends his hand to Danni!
Other Guy: Wait, what? No!
Eryk Masters: Are…are the Unholy Cyber Army trying to show respect here?
Danni is hesitant, but her hesitation gives Superbeast a moment to realize that his partner hasn’t extended his hand. He turns to Power Devil, and the two have a heated conversation for a brief moment, before the other half of the Cyber Army begrudgingly steps forward and extends his hand to Ria! The Sisters of Steel gingerly reach out…and the teams shake hands!! Both sides of the war relax, and there are genuine smiles between them, as the crowd begins an ovation for their sportsmanship! Power Devil and Superbeast grasp Ria and Danni respectively by the wrists and raise their arms in victory!!
Eryk Masters: I’m stunned, frankly.
Other Guy: It’s not really computing…
Eryk Masters: Through a lot of blood and war and combat, these two teams have emerged, and possibly they’ve emerged as…well, perhaps not friends. Not ever. But they do respect one another, that much is evident, and–you son of a bitch!!
The crowd ERUPTS into boos as Superbeast turns and BURIES his elbow into Danni’s skull!! Power Devil grips Ria’s wrist and spins, whipping her right into her tag partner, and they crash into one another in an ugly pile!! The boos continue as we hear a bellowing “WITNESS!!” from both of the Unholy Cyber Army, and they begin to walk in a predator’s circle around the new champions.
Other Guy: That’s what you get!
Eryk Masters: An absolutely despicable display, just a gutless move by two bullies who can’t handle a loss!!
Superbeast hauls Ria to her feet, and she immediately kicks into action, rushing him against the ropes and peppering his ribs with punches! Power Devil grabs the considerably more hurt Danni by the head–she’s sporting a bleeding lump right under her eye from that blindside elbow shot–and drags her to the ropes on the opposite side, pulling her to the apron! She shakes her head, trying to get to her feet as Power Devil steps through the ropes, and when he tries to lay a shot into her to keep her down, she blocks it! Danni scowls and ROCKS Power Devil with a rising uppercut! His head snaps backwards, and he has to hold onto the ropes to keep from falling, furiously shaking his head and blinking his eyes, trying to get his wits about him. She advances to capitalize, but he cuts her off with a desperation midsection kick! Power Devil ducks his head under her arm, and summoning a reserve of will, grasps her by the hip and LAUNCHES HER INTO THE RING POST WITH A RELEASE EXPLODER SUPLEX!! Danni’s lower back catches the steel and the momentum sends her upper body like the end of a whip, and she lands HARD onto the steps with her head and right shoulder, folding and crumpling!! Power Devil is lying on the apron, still shaking his head, trying to clear his vision!!
Eryk Masters: Medics, now! Danni just took that full force!!
Ria continues to batter superbeast in the ribs, and he SHOVES her away–but she stumbles back only a couple of feet before diving right back at him, this time laying shots directly into his face!! Superbeast growls and grasps her by the hair before DRIVING his forehead into her nose!! They separate finally, both reeling, and Ria stances up, ready to fight–but her attention is drawn to the far side, where weaponry is sailing above the top rope and landing into the ring! Looking at least half dazed still, Power Devil has begun throwing into the ring anything he can get his hands on: a steel chair, a length of chain, the hammer that the bell gets rung with! Ria notices this and backs up, then takes notice of her fallen comrade, and her face transitions from no-nonsense to full on apocalyptic rage. She backs up as far as she can, watching as Power Devil grabs a monitor from the announce desk…Superbeast stumbles forward to snatch her, but she takes off, escaping his grasp…Ria FLIES THROUGH THE ROPES AND ROCKS POWER DEVIL IN THE JAW WITH A SUICIDE ELBOW!!
Other Guy: Whoa! Ria damn near took his head off!!
Eryk Masters: A strike so hard you’re actually providing competent commentary–but Ria is all alone here, and Danni is trying to wave off the medics!
Ria gets to her feet, while Power Devil is slumped against the announce table, sitting on the floor. She doesn’t even consider her surroundings, and takes two quick steps before leaping in the air and BURYING her feet in his head!! Power Devil slumps to the side, gripping his skull, and Ria grabs him by the arm, trying to haul him to his feet–but stumbles back into a waistlock from Superbeast, who WHIPS her backwards onto the floor with a release German!! The crowd’s energy for booing is renewed fresh as Superbeast helps Power Devil to his feet–and then both men start laying stomps into Ria’s body with authority!!
Other Guy: They’re inhuman, man–even you gotta admit it, ‘Ryk! They only have two speeds! Resting and beating people into mush!!
Eryk Masters: Much though I hate to agree, I don’t see a good outcome here for the Sister of–Wait a second! Wait just a damn second!! It’s SAIGO!!
BOOKING IT down the ramp is Keiji Tokugawa, followed by Daiichi, clutching a chair of his own!! The crowd screams as they both circle the ring: Daiichi takes the open path, while Keiji works his way around the medics. Superbeast rushes to meet Daiichi with a lariat, but he ducks it and twists his body, catching the demon in the side of his KNEE with the edge of the chair!! Superbeast crumples but doesn’t fall, turning in a rage, only to be met with a HARD overhead chair swing from Daiichi–but he catches the chair and rips it away! Superbeast throws a wild haymaker, and it connects in a big way, but Daiichi walks forward, gritting his teeth! Another punch, and he screams and walks forward, actually backing Superbeast up! Superbeast reaches back for a big punch, and Daiichi braces himself…and the Demon of Cyber Roppongi takes him off his feet with a MASSIVE headbutt!! Daiichi drops to one knee, and Superbeast falls against the apron, gripping his head!
Eryk Masters: We have absolute pandemonium here, folks! SAIGO have promised to make their mark on the tag division, and so far, they’ve been true to their word! Daiichi has drawn Superbeast away from Ria, and Keiji has just brought Power Devil to the floor with a backdrop!
Power Devil is reeling, but he keeps standing back up, full of rage. He screams so loud that his growl can be heard over the crowd, as Keiji goes up the steps and leaps off with a headscissors, which Power Devil sidesteps! Thinking fast, Keiji Tokugawa lands a HUGE Mule kick with into the bigger man’s solar plexus, causing him to stumble backwards, benign over…as he raises up, Keiji comes flying at him with a leaping neckbreaker lariat, and Ria simultaneously chop blocks him! Power Devil goes inside out and lands HARD, clearly having gotten the worst of things. In the ring, Daiichi and Superbeast have made their way inside the squared circle and are trading blows, and Keiji and Ria roll Power Devil in. Daiichi roars and catches Superbeast with a big time elbow, and the big man responds with a fast axe kick RIGHT to the side of his neck!! Daiichi drops to his knees, and Superbeast hobbles forward and BOOTRIDES his skull down to the mat!! Ria is slowly getting into the ring, but Keiji makes it in and grasps the rising Power Devil–AND GETS CRACKED RIGHT IN THE JAW WITH THE BELL HAMMER!!
Other Guy: Holy shit!
Eryk Masters: Keiji Tokugawa looks like he’s out cold–that was a direct hit to the jaw!!
It’s absolute chaos. Ria blocks a hammer blow from Power Devil, who then boots her into the corner and begins raining down blow after blow, screaming in a bloodshot rage. Daiichi is taking punches from Superbeast, but cuts him off by gripping his massive throat one handed and rising to his feet. Superbeast grabs him by the throat and raises him up, clear off the ground, and Daiichi starts punching him directly in the nose and eyes, measured hits that are doing serious damage. Keiji is starting to rise himself, but seems dazed. Danni breaks free from the medics to an ENORMOUS cheer, and limps into the ring before leaping up and grabbing Power Devil from behind in a bodyscissors sleeper!! And then…two figures emerge from the crowd, both holding onto barbed wire bats!!
Other Guy: That isn’t…
Eryk Masters: It couldn’t be…
Other Guy: It’s Mike and Luke!!
The Sexton brothers, the Sin City Scoundrels themselves, slide into the ring!! Michael gets a good running start and LAYS the bat RIGHT INTO SUPERBEASTS LOWER BACK!! He drops Daiichi, and then to his knees–and Michael throws Daiichi the bat to a HUGE cheer!! Lucas takes the bat to Power Devil’s thigh, and he drops down, giving one half of the Sextons an opening…Danni releases the demon in just enough time to avoid a downward strike with the barbed wire bat right to his head!! Superbeast tries to get to standing, and Daiichi considers his position, then brings the bat into his midsection!! Keiji stumbles forward and grasps his partner’s shoulder, and they share a silent nod before both grabbing the larger man by his waist while he is bent over. They flip him up, not without a little struggle, and hold him aloft in a crucifix…as he kicks and tries to break free they rush forward and LAUNCH HIM TO THE FLOOR WITH AN INFERNO FIRE THUNDER BOMB OVER THE TOP ROPE!!
Eryk Masters: WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT!! Folks, fans, faithful, I have seen some brawls in my day, but nothing can compare to this!!
Other Guy: That was sickening!
Eryk Masters: Power Devil is all alone!
Ria hauls up Power Devil, and boots him in the midsection before punching him. Danni follows suit and begins ROCKING him backwards, feeding him elbow after elbow, moving him backward towards the ropes! SAIGO and the Sextons give them all the room in the world, as Danni keeps hitting him–four, five–and he keeps looking more and more punchdrunk!! Finally, she fights through the pain and dashes forward, burying a punch RIGHT into his bleeding face before dropping to a knee!! Ria helps her up, and they both nod and run off for the opposite ropes…they bounce off and come back again FAST…and BOTH HIT POWER DEVIL WITH HIGH SPEED FLYING SUPERKICKS!! His head snaps back over the top rope and HIS BODY FOLLOWS SUIT as he lands on the floor in a HEAP!! The crowd is nuclear!!
Other Guy: That’s it, that has to be it!!
Eryk Masters: Both members of the Unholy Cyber Army on the outside, and while Superbeast seems to be trying to get his wits about him, Power Devil is on dream street!! SAIGO, the Sin City Scoundrels…what a donnybrook!!
Superbeast shakily gets to his feet, bleeding from his midsection, and exhaustedly hauls Power Devil to standing. He throws his partner’s arm around his shoulder and yells something to the ring that he punctuates with a thumb across his throat. Then, with a limping gait, the Unholy Cyber Army retreat! There’s a calm moment in the ring–Daiichi is supporting Keiji, who is holding his swollen jaw and shaking his head, still reeling. Ria is supporting Danni, who looks to be in a bad way. Michael and Lucas gather one Tag Team Championship belt apiece, and the buzz in the crowd is palpable as they consider the belts they used to hold…and present them to Danni and Ria!! “The Greatest Show” by Panic! At the Disco cues up and the Sister of Steel raise their belts high as the feed cuts away…
A Quiet Moment
NEMESIS is backstage, carefully applying her corpse paint in a side mirror next to the guerilla position. Her eyes are solemn and intense, her jaw tightly clenched as every possible avenue for stress is slowly starting to creep into her.
???: You doing okay?
NEMESIS snaps around, half expecting a Family member ready to jump her, only to see Ayumi Seppuku. Ayumi smiles mildly and places a hand on NEMESIS’ shoulder.
Ayumi: You a look a bit…
NEMESIS: Stressed out of my mind?
Ayumi: That’d be a way of phrasing it, yes. Funny how things shook out, huh? I can only imagine what this would be like if VALOR were more… ya know.
NEMESIS nods quietly, patting Ayumi’s hand with her own.
NEMESIS: I get it. It’s just…everything happening at once. I shouldn’t be surprised. Listen…I’m glad you’re here. I just wanted to say that this whole thing…Apex…it’s felt like I’ve been in a tunnel this whole time. Just kind of…existing inside it. Now that it’s over, now that it’s just you and me? It feels like this whole thing has opened up. I can see the sky again. I am so…so glad it’s gonna be one of us.
Aymumi nods, and smiles a bit brighter.
Ayumi: Of course. I’ve been in my own tunnel a bit and, quite frankly, that crack to the jaw last night by Ignatius woke me up a bit. If it had to be anyone else … at least I know if I can’t cut it, it will be against the best in the business and someone who will know how to defend it with honor.
I’m glad to hear that hopefully you’re seeing past the haze… I’d say I’m expecting you to give it your all, but based on that look on your face earlier, I doubt I should be concerned.
NEMESIS grins a little, nodding eagerly.
NEMESIS: Having a goal, working towards it…having it right in front of your fingertips. It’s what I’ve been missing for quite a while. Knowing it’s gonna be you and me, putting on a clinic for everyone else to see? I know it’s gonna be worth it.
NEMESIS squints, and stares at the intricate makeup crossing Ayumi’s face. She almost reaches out to trace it with a finger, but shakes her head and chuckles.
NEMESIS: You gotta teach me how to get that kind of detail. I feel like I’m smudging on warpaint over here.
Ayumi laughs and nods, looking over to the guerilla position.
Ayumi: It’s funny… I started using this as a way to hide my face and keep it hidden from others – it was the only makeup I felt comfortable putting on for a very long time. Now I WANT people to see my face and know that it’s me across from them in the ring…
A pause hangs there for a second and Ayumi tries to lighten the mood with a chuckle.
Ayumi: So… Maybe after the match?
NEMESIS’ face grows more somber, and she nods in return.
NEMESIS: Good luck, Ayumi.
Ayumi: You too, NEMESIS.