EWA Entertainment Presents: Battlelines 26
Friday, February 17, 2017
The Combat Zone
Mike Malone: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to a historic edition of Battlelines! It’s Battlelines 26, and we’re live from the Combat Zone in beautiful downtown Boston for the first time since before Champions Summit II!
Vincent Ashe: And I already want to puke, Malone!
MM: Indeed, standing in the ring right now is none other than the new EWA World Heavyweight Champion, Ray Willmott!
VA: You mean Ray Seton, Malone! Laura’s right up there with him!
MM: Let’s go up to Nikki Rogers in the ring!
Nikki Rogers: Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming our new EWA World Heavyweight Champion, ‘Red Hot Ray Wi–
(The show opening excitement grows to the point of drowning out Nikki’s announcement as Ray Willmott steps forward and lifts the world title high above his head to thunderous cheers. Behind him, both Nikki and Laura Seton applaud the new champion as the fans show their appreciation by repeatedly bowing down at ringside.)
MM: What a moment for such a deserving champion…
‘You deserve it…’
‘You deserve it…’
(As the chant breaks out and begins spreading across the arena, an appreciative Ray Willmott shakes his head, overwhelmed by the magnitude of the response…)
‘You deserve it…’
*Clap clap* *Clap clap clap*
‘You deserve it…’
*Clap clap* *Clap clap clap*
(Handing Ray Willmott the microphone with a smile as the chant continues, Nikki Rogers vacates the ring leaving the champion and his fiancee to bask in their moment of celebration. Turning toward Laura for a moment, the two hug ever so briefly as they patiently wait for the overwhelming crowd response to calm. Turning back, Ray takes a deep breath as he looks out across the sea of fans celebrating and lifts the mic.)
MM: Wow! What an outstanding reception for Ray Willmott!
Ray Willmott: …(comes out almost like a mutter as Ray appears quite emotional) … Thank you so much. …I … wow … jesus, fuck….
VA: These people won’t let him speak. This is actually insane!
(Willmott sucks in a deep breath and collects himself by adjusting the EWA World Heavyweight Championship over his shoulder with a satisfied shuffle.)
Ray Willmott: I’ve wrestled since I was sixteen, fought everywhere on this Earth, won many other world titles before this one, but last Battlelines was THE greatest wrestling moment of my LIFE. God knows, it’s not been easy, but I have my wonderful family, my beautiful fiance (he turns to smile at Laura Seton) and each and every single member of the EWA Community to thank for it!
(The crowd continues to go wild as Willmott smiles at the belt which glints right back at him.)
Ray Willmott: As we all know, though, the time for talking is DONE and the hard work starts TONIGHT in front of you, Boston, Mass.
(The capacity crowd explodes at the excitement of hearing the champion hype his title defense in their own home town.)
Ray Willmott: For months, I’ve been preaching that the EWA needs change, that I’m going to be the one to usher in that change. And while it’s no secret that I don’t have the respect of that locker room, I’ll be damned if that stops me from coming to this ring now and every night here after to EARN it.
(The crowd is electric tonight, still buzzing over Willmott’s shocking win and eagerly anticipating his first defense. Laura Seton remains silent, however, pressed up against the ring buckle, catching a sneaky glimpse of the World Title herself as her man speaks. Ray remains surprisingly unaware.)
Ray Willmott: I did not go to hell and back to lose this at the first hurdle, so Eliz….
(Suddenly, the opening strains of the Who classic “Behind Blue Eyes” starts to play, but the man behind those blue eyes cuts them off before the vocals begin.)
Sean Boden: Yes, such a lovely couple you make, Ray. You certainly deserve it. I hope you plan on treating this title a slight bit better than we know you’re used to.
MM: What does that mean, Ashe?
VA: Like you don’t know, Malone.
Sean Boden: I say that because I hope to not have to sanitize it when it comes to me. And rest assured, “Hotpants,” at Asylum’s end, it WILL end up in my hands.
(Boden starts to stride down the rampway, speaking, ignoring the crowd, but with his trademark smirk.)
Sean Boden: This moment is one I’ve waited far too long for, Ray. This moment is a reckoning. This is what all the work I’ve put into destabilizing this motley crew was for. The first step to ending the ugly charade that is the EWA is to take that very prize right there. And in the Asylum, there won’t be a damn thing you, your fiance, or any of these other so-called contenders can do about it.
(He steps into the ring, getting face to face with Willmott.)
Sean Boden: You holding that belt, Ray, is everything that is wrong with this federation, and ultimately this industry. Ending this farce is paramount to everything I’ve planned, and I will not be denied. You, and everyone else who thinks they’re going to walk into the Asylum… a match that might as well have been MADE for me… and come out victorious? They’re all going to FEEL… MY…
HAIL TO THE KING
HAIL TO THE ONE
KNEEL TO THE CROWN
STAND IN THE SUN
HAIL TO THE KING!
VA: BOW DOWN, MALONE!
(Cutting off Boden, ‘Hail to the King’ plays over the PA system, and the members of 3K – Martin Robertson, Alyssa Marie Haven, Alexander Haven, and Michael Draven – storm out from behind the curtain, standing at the top of the entrance ramp. Somewhat surprising is that leading the group out from the curtain is Martin Robertson, who is already holding a microphone, as the jeers from the crowd build up at the sight of the second generation superstar…)
Martin Robertson: Feel what, Sean? Feel like they’re falling asleep listening to you? Feel like we’re hearing the same song and dance over and over? Because the way I see it, right now, is the only thing these people out there should be feeling right now… is sorry, for me, out of having MY World Heavyweight Championship belt stolen from me two weeks ago by that man in the ring holding it!
GET ME SOME POLICE OFFICERS OUT HERE, RIGHT NOW!
(Martin waits for a moment…)
Martin Robertson: C’MON! GET THEM OUT HERE! BOSTON POLICE… BUFFALO POLICE… KARMA POLICE… I DON’T CARE WHO IT IS… ARREST THIS MAN!
(Obviously, no police officers are coming out from behind the curtain to go into the ring and arrest Ray. Ray smirks in the ring as the crowd continues to boo Robertson, almost in an attempt to drown him out…)
Martin Robertson: Figures. Just because a senior citizen committed the crime, folks, doesn’t make it excusable. A crime, is a crime, and it’s a crime for Ray Willmott to be walking around with the EWA World Heavyweight Championship! Just like it’s a crime that Sean Boden is allowed to be in my ring, and just like it’s a crime that I even have to attempt to qualify for the Asylum match against Dan Stein tonight!
Listen to me, Ray… Identify theft is not a victimless crime. You committed the crime of the century back in Buffalo, and there was one very big victim involved… ME! I’m the victim here, Ray! You don’t deserve that belt. It’s not in your destiny to be the EWA World Heavyweight Champion… it’s mine! Your destiny involves being discovered by robotic paleontologists 35 million years from now as they sit there and try to figure out how someone like you survived in an era that was anything more than chalk cave drawings! My destiny…
(The crowd really starts to get on Martin now, as he turns towards the fans for a moment…)
Martin Robertson: Oh, shut it! He’s old, alright!
(Martin turns his attention back towards the ring… before turning his attention back to the fans one last time…)
Martin Robertson: And stop chanting ‘He deserves it’, too! The only thing he deserves…
(Martin turns back to the ring again…)
Martin Robertson: … is his punishment. Because Ray, he’s old, and he’s not very smart. Because stealing from a King, Ray… that’s not a very smart thing to do. In medieval times, that’d get you an instant visit to the guillotine. But for you, Ray, your fate is one far worse than the guillotine. Because at Asylum, with this man by my side inside that structure (pointing to Haven), I take back what was stolen from me!
You know what… forget Asylum. I’m coming to take what’s mine right now…
(Martin and the rest of the Kings start to make their way down towards the ring. Ray, to his credit, hasn’t moved very much in the ring, despite the fact that he also has Sean Boden eyeing him right now as well. Martin and the Kings reach the midway point of the ramp before…)
It seems strange that my life should end
in such a terrible place…
(The camera swings up through the crowd, and we find that the hive of HATE is now represented in this gathering of hungry wolves. The Purveyor and The Stranger stand near a darkened alcove with fans roaring and screeching all around them. NOTHING’s wild hair hangs about his face and that familiar hood obscures most of Calder’s hollow features.)
Indrid Calder: That resplendent artifact you hold in your hands belongs to us, Mister Willmott. It is like a living creature born of leather and gold, and it has been taught to sup on blood and HATE while under our care. You’re not fit to bear it. It sings to me now. It sings in tortured verse…and it LONGS to come home.
(Calder shares a thin grin with The Purveyor.)
Indrid Calder: NOTHING and I will ensure that the hive reclaims what it never lost. We will be a scourge to that Asylum…and one of us will bring that object back to the House of HATE.
(Indrid hands off the microphone to NOTHING while glaring down at the ring.)
NOTHING: Yeeeees, yes yes yes… my confidant, Indrid Calder, speaks and delivers nothing but delicious morsels of truth for all of the non-believers to eat up. What you hold in your hands, Ray, is a symbol. It is a symbol of power. A symbol of defiance. A symbol of triumph. But most of all…?
(The Purveyor licks his lips and runs his hands through his hair, looking across the crowd who continues to buzz as the various savages, both lone and in escalated numbers, focus their attention on the current EWA World Heavyweight Champion in the ring.)
NOTHING: Most of all, sweet Raymond… that championship is a symbol of HATE. Through our war with the defiled and defunct Youth, we brought glory to that championship. And when The Stranger overcame our adversaries and strapped those ten pounds of leather and gold around his waist, we brought fear to the EWA. That fear, Raymond, is sorely missing with that belt in your possession.
So, I’ll let you know right now – your days are numbered. Just like your love for Laura Seton, your honor will fade. You’ll find out, just like all of the others before you, that glory fades… adoration burns out and fades away… but HATE? My dear boy… HATE Never Die–
????: HATE never really shuts the fuck up now, do they? Do us all a YUGE favor lil’ Indy and go play with your Monster High dolls somewhere else while the REAL World Champion grabs y’all by the scrotes and tells you what’s what.
(The camera scans the crowd, trying to desperately find the source of the extremely familiar voice. It finally spots the culprit standing in one of the few box seats that the Combat Zone has capacity for. GRACE GOEREN stands defiantly with a microphone in one hand, her other hand pointing down towards Willmott with disdain. Flanking her is Lucy Blaylock to the left and the White Angel, Elizabeth Gaunt to her right who stares daggers down at the man she will be fighting later tonight for the EWA World Heavyweight Championship.)
VA: YES! Oh praise Grace, she has bestowed her glory onto thee! Praise the God Queen! Praise the Fallout!
MM: I swear, every week you get further and further up Grace’s butt you’d think she’d start walking funny. But check it out, Vincent…notice anyone missing from The Fallout up there?
VA: Only the dead weight, Malone.
(Grace lets the boos and intense hatred of the EWA fans wash over them for a second, rolling her eyes as she looks out at the gathered crowd.)
Grace Goeren: So ain’t this a nice little circlejerk we got assembled here. We got the Wildman, Wildcard Boden looking to cut the van’s brakes at a moment’s notice. We got a King in name only, about as close to royalty as Burger King is to real food. We got Victor Von Creepypasta himself, still brooding about Showtime cancelling Penny Dreadful…
(Pointing back down at Willmott and Seton, Grace curls her upper lip in disgust.)
Grace Goeren: And then we have the fucking thief himself, in the flesh. S’funny, I don’t agree with Calder on…well fuck me sideways, just about anything…but he’s got a point Ray-Ray. See, you stole his belt from him…he never lost it.
(Grace holds up her index finger to drive a point home.)
Grace Goeren: Just like HE stole that belt from ME at the Warrior’s Trial. I never was pinned for that title. I never submitted. Shitdogs, I wasn’t even counted out or disqualified. I was thrown over the top rope by someone who will remain nameless in a match against the entire roster. Now is that fair? Is it? Naw, it aint. Seems to me like all of YOU are fighting over something that rightfully belongs to ME.
(Grace takes a step back and smiles over at Elizabeth Gaunt who has shown absolutely no emotion throughout Grace’s address. She refuses to take her eyes of Willmott. A cold, piercing stare from a woman who has convinced herself she has ascended into purity.)
Grace Goeren: So later tonight, my White Angel…my perfect creation…my beautiful, heavenly, saintly and divine worshiper Elizabeth Gaunt will right that wrong and win the World Title from you. She will bring it back into the Fallout, lay it down at my feet and relinquish it back to me like the good little soldier that she is. Won’t you, sweetheart?
(There is a brief moment of recognition on Gaunt’s face…almost a hint of emotion…before it fades away and Elizabeth returns to her death stare of Willmott.)
Grace Goeren: Of course she will. And then, after the title has been returned to where it belongs we’ll allow all of you boys to keep up with this dick measuring contest you fuckheads have going on. All of this bitching has been super impressive boys, you all really know how to make a gal swoon, amiright Laura? Well the fuck you know, you riding Ray-Ray’s stick…that’s like slamming down on a piece of cooked spaghetti, amiright?
(Nearly doubling over with fake laughter, Grace gives Lucy a hard smack on the back. Lucy does not respond.)
Grace Goeren: That belt is coming back to me tonight, Willmott…so get your promo shots in while you can so you got some 8X10s to sell at the Comic Cons after Gaunt cripples you later tonight. It’s about time all of you sloppy-ass betas out here realize that there is only ONE dominant force here in EWA and it is, and always will be The God Que…
(Suddenly, the lights in the arena drop once again, but this time, they stay out for a little longer than the previous times. Slowly, series of lights along the stage, entrance ramp, and the ring begin to build a white brightness, illuminating all of the other figures that have made their way towards the ring, before they quickly turn bright red and orange, flickering as if they were fire…)
SEE THE FIELDS BURNING…
SEE THE FIELDS BURNING…
WELL I SEE THE FIELDS BURNING
‘CAUSE HELL IS COMING THROUGH
I CAN’T STOP…
THE DOGS OF WAR…
MM: OH! MY! LORD!
(“Dogs of War” by Blues Saraceno begins to play as the camera pans up to the right, looking out amongst the fans standing on the floor of the arena. The image looks like an ordinary fan shot until it reaches the back of the section, where one individual stands out amongst the rest. The black cowboy hat stands out amongst the rest of the fans, slowly moving towards the ring as the fans part to the left and right of him, creating an aisle for…)
MM: Grady Smith! He’s here in Boston tonight!
VA: Obviously here to ruin another show for the Kings of Wrestling, I’m sure!
(Grady’s now in full view as the fans create a semi-circle around him. No longer sporting the leather duster, but now dressed almost all in black — the white button down shirt, unbuttoned at the collar being the only thing not black — Grady stands a few feet from the guardrail. Not even acknowledging any of the other people around the ring, his focus is solely on one man: Ray Willmott, and the EWA World Heavyweight Championship, the simple motion of the belt around his waist giving signal to what he is truly there for.)
MM: Grady’s already qualified for the Asylum match in Mexico City, and he’s focused on becoming an eleven-time World Heavyweight Champion, Vince!
VA: Can you imagine how easy this will be for Martin when he’s in the Asylum? He’s going to run circles around these old dinosaurs!
MM: But the major difference, Vince… Grady’s already qualified, and Martin still has to beat Dan Stein tonight!
(The music cuts off as the fans immediately around Grady start up a “GRA-DY SMITH!” chant, which then begins to encompass the entire arena. Some of the fans come up behind Grady, patting him on the shoulders, but Grady’s stare remains focused on the World Champion as…)
Grace Goeren: Whoa, whoa, whoa…the fucking early bird dinner buffet let out at the Cracker Barrell? Get the fuck outta here, Smith. Wheel yourself out of MY Combat Zone, mmkay? Your ass is at the back of the line! My White Angel will win the belt for her God Queen tonight. My White Angel loves her savior! My White…
(Grace lifts the mic back up to her lips to continue, but a BLINDING spotlight blazes down from the rafters and shines directly onto Elizabeth Gaunt in the box seat. It snaps into life with a heavenly glow, and Grace’s face flashes with the briefest bit of irritation. It’s clear that she wasn’t expecting this kind of egotism from Gaunt. Grace and Lucy watch from outside of the spotlight circle…as The White Angel steps forward and allows her serpentine arms to spread outward.
There’s something self-possessed about her body language, a creature…burning with pride.
She basks in the warmth of the light, the bone-wings inked into her flesh seeming almost to contract and expand with each movement of her arms. A smile cracks open across her mouth, those metallic fangs gleaming ever so bright.
Her turquoise eyes bore into Ray Willmott…and silent words form on ruby lips.)
Elizabeth Gaunt: Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword…
(The camera lingers uncomfortably long on the crazed zealot features of Gaunt…and then we pan back to Ray Willmott in the center of the ring. So many threats to his World Title reign…and the gauntlet begins tonight.)
Joe Lemon vs Josh Kaine
MM: Folks, we’re all set here for our opening contest, so let’s take you up to Nikki Rogers with the call!
Nikki Rogers: Ladies and gentlemen, this is the opening contest live here at Battlelines 26, and it is scheduled for one fall! Currently in the ring, from Lemon City, Florida, weighing 240 pounds…JOE…LEMON!!!
VA: I thought we were finished with this guy! Look at him dancing in the ring like a fool!
MM: Joe Lemon, always a crowd favorite here in Boston, and he’s gotten the call here tonight against a new Warrior!
The opening to Alice in Chains’ “Them Bones” blasts through the Combat Zone, as Josh Kaine bursts out from behind the curtain, a frenzied energy about him. The crowd gives a small pop, knowing that he has the name of a legend to live up to. Kaine has a huge grin on his face, jogging down the ramp and toward the ring.
NR: And his opponent! From Lenoir, North Carolina, weighing 190 pounds…JOSH…KAINE!!!
MM: Josh Kaine kicks off his professional wrestling career here tonight, ladies and gentlemen, and boy, does he have some big shoes to fill, being the son of the former two time EWA World Heavyweight Champion, Sinnocence.
VA: Malone, he’s not nearly as attractive as her, so I hope he has some actual talent.
MM: Are you implying that she didn’t have talent, and got by on her looks?
VA: Is she here?
MM: We’re in Boston, Vince. She can’t be far.
VA: Then nope, I’m not implying anything like that whatsoever. How dare you slander my good name!
The bell sounds, and we’re underway. Josh jumps in place before springing forward, walking circles around Lemon as the two look to lock up. Kaine locks up, and Lemon quickly transitions to a side headlock – Kaine shoots Lemon out of the headlock to the ropes, hitting the mat as Lemon springs back. Kaine leapfrogs Lemon on the second comeback, racing after him and executing an O’Connor roll, but Lemon quickly kicks out. Kaine rushes Lemon, but Lemon ducks the clothesline attempt, turning around and lifting Kaine into a bridged fisherman’s suplex! Rick Iley slides into position!
VA: OHMYGOD LEMON’S GOING TO BEAT HIM!
Kaine kicks out! The two quickly scramble to their feet, and Kaine leaps into the air, planting Lemon to the ground with a high-arcing dropkick. Kaine quickly scrambles over to Lemon, pulling him to his feet and whipping him into the ropes, sending him flying over with a back bodydrop. Kaine pumps a fist to the crowd, bringing a cheer as the Combat Zone shows appreciation for the rookie’s athleticism. Kaine grabs Lemon, pulling him back up before positioning himself behind the Lemon City native, and grabs Lemon around the waist…
MM: Big move there from Josh Kaine! He calls that one the Berzerker Slam! And Kaine hooks the leg!
NR: Here is your winner…JOSH…KAINE!!
MM: Josh Kaine with a big victory here tonight in his debut!
VA: Bah, call me when he has some real competition, Malone!
MM: And while Kaine celebrates with the crowd here tonight, let’s head backstage!
YOUR WINNER BY PINFALL: JOSH KAINE (1:16)
(We cut backstage into what appears to be a small conference room. There’s a long table set up, and sitting at the table are the members of 3K – Alexander Haven in the center seat, with Michael Draven and Martin Robertson flanking them. Behind Haven, an annoyed expression on her face, stands the EWA’s Chief Operating Officer and ‘Queen Bitch’ – Alyssa Marie Haven. Across from Haven, a tiny orange plastic chair, much like you would see in a kindergarten classroom, is pushed up to the table.)
Martin Robertson: …so she’s cleaning the apartment, listening to god knows what, and I’m banging away on the door yet again, trying to get back in.
Alyssa Marie: Maybe if you didn’t sleep in so late, you wouldn’t be jostled out of bed by these ladies.
Martin Robertson: It’s not my fault I was up so late the night before.
Michael Draven: So who’s first on the list for this thing, anyway?
Alexander Haven: Your toy.
Alyssa Marie: If she asks you for one more goddamn favor, Michael…
Michael Draven: Relax. They’ve all been harmless so far, haven’t they? And it’s not like we’re not benefitting from it…
Martin Robertson: You mean, it’s not like you’re not benefitting from it. I haven’t seen anything.
Alexander Haven: That’s what Sahara says when Mikey here drops his pants.
Michael Draven: Asshole.
(Suddenly the door opens, and a very annoyed looking blonde enters. Taking one look at the tiny little chair set up, Sahara rolls her eyes and kicks it out of the way.)
Sahara: I ain’t sittin’ on that tiny little chair for your amusement…bring another stooge in here if that’s your game.
Martin Robertson: That’s funny. From what I hear about you and Michael, I assumed you’d be used to sitting on small things.
Alexander Haven: Zinger!
Alyssa Marie: I still have the ruler.
Sahara: That ruler? Totally bullshit, Alyssa, and you know it.
(Alyssa Marie rolls her eyes.)
Michael Draven: You’re one to talk, Marty. Didn’t you lose your first match to Joe Lemon?
Martin Robertson: Says the man who lost every match to Alex.
(Draven extends a middle finger to Martin – meanwhile, Sahara climbs onto the conference table, lying down and facing Michael Draven with her elbow propped on the table, palm against the side of her head. Alyssa Marie rolls her eyes yet again.)
Sahara: I told you I ain’t sittin’ on that chair, Lyssa…so I may as well get comfortable…
Alyssa Marie: This is a business meeting, dear. You know what, fuck it. Whatever. Let’s get this over with.
Alexander Haven: Anyway, we called you here tonight for your performance review, Sahara. There was an incident that occurred the other day that we need to discuss…
(The blonde rolls her eyes before looking at Michael.)
Sahara: So you’re going to base my … performance on one little incident?
Martin Robertson: Isn’t your entire sex life with Michael based on one little incident?
Michael Draven: At least I have one, Marty.
Martin Robertson: Oh, you have no idea, Draven.
Alyssa Marie: Enough!
(Alyssa glares at the two, before turning her gaze downward to Sahara, who’s looking up over Michael Draven’s head at her with a fiendish smile.)
Alyssa Marie: Your incident took money out of my pocket, Lauren. I’m not too thrilled about that. Then there’s the way you storm into the off–
Alexander Haven: What she’s trying to say is that you were wrong to hawk bootleg merch in front of the EWA HQ. That being said…if I were in your situation, it’s 100% what I would do. Not that I’d ever be dumb enough to sell off my likeness to someone. No offense, of course.
Sahara: I didn’t sell it so much as it was stolen…and I needed money, Lyssa.
(Returning the favor, Sahara was sure to emphasize the shortened reference to the EWA COO. Turning onto her back, she rolls off the side of the table and instead stands before the Kings of the EWA.)
Sahara: I don’t sleep in Motel 6’s, and without my royalties, I can’t afford my old place. And without that rematch I was supposed to be guaranteed for my Combat title, I’m not exactly rolling in payouts. So that’s it? You called me in here because I sold some shirts? I did what I had to do.
(Glancing at Michael, Sahara smiles.)
Sahara: There’s just some things I enjoy … doing … more than others.
Martin Robertson: Yep. Definitely didn’t need that visual.
(Alyssa remains visibly annoyed – meanwhile, Haven regards her with a blank expression. After a moment, the owner laughs, shaking his head.)
Alexander Haven: You know, you and I…I think we got off on the wrong foot. Truth is, I admire that. You did what you had to do. That’s exactly what I did when I turned on my best friend and beat him within an inch of his life. I did what I had to do to survive this business and advance myself forward. Michael here, he did the same thing. I mean, two months ago the mere thought of us sitting in the same room together would’ve been incomprehensible. And Marty…Marty did what he had to do when he assaulted his own father to cement his own legacy, instead of being known as Grady’s kid.
Michael Draven: He’ll always be Grady’s kid to me.
Martin Robertson: Fuck you, needledick.
Michael Draven: Ask her about that needledick comment.
Sahara: Look, I’ll admit the ruler thing was funny…but it’s also not true. So maybe it’s time to move on. As for doin’ what I have to do, in the EWA you can be predator or prey…and I ain’t prey. So if I gotta take a few shortcuts to get ahead? Fine.
Michael Draven: I told you she gets it.
Alexander Haven: Like I said…I was wrong about you. So…no, Sahara. My wife may be pissed at you, and I can understand why…but you’re good in our eyes.
Alyssa Marie: Just stop using your fuckbuddy to gain special treatment around here. If you want your rematch, go out and prove yourself worth against Boden tonight. Show us you’re more than what your reputation says you are.
Sahara: Why? Would you?
(Alyssa stands, expressionless, as Haven looks back and up at her. Finally, after a moment, she cracks a faint smile.)
Alyssa Marie: I can’t argue with that.
(Sahara turns to leave, but is stopped by the words of Martin Robertson. She stands still, her back to the 3K members as Martin speaks.)
Martin Robertson: You know, Sahara, for a long time I believed in something. A higher power, if you will…the power of family. And what I learned over the last few months is that it’s a fallacy. I believed in it for far too long. Everyone believes in something, you know…and often times, they grow to find out that whatever they believe in ends up being a load of bullshit.
(Sahara slowly turns, regarding Robertson, but it’s Alexander Haven that breaks the silence.)
Alexander Haven: What Marty’s trying to say is…don’t ever let anyone – anyone – in this business take from you what you’ve fought for and earned. No matter who they are. There’s only one Sahara, and that’s ultimately who you’re fighting for. Remember that, because it’s the best advice you’ll ever get.
(Sahara seems to carefully study Robertson before glancing over at Haven.)
Sahara: I’ll keep that in mind. So…did I get an ‘A’ on my report card?
Alexander Haven: Michael can give you your final grade later tonight.
Martin Robertson: Gross…
Sahara: So then an ‘A’ it is.
Alexander Haven: Well, I was thinking more like a D but…whatever kinky shit you two are into is none of my business.
Alyssa Marie: And one more thing, “Hara“…
(She smiles devilishly, crossing her arms over her chest as she stares across at the former Combat Champion.)
Alyssa Marie: If your career here is going to consist of you continuing to bend the knee to what you perceive is a “higher power“? You’d be wise to reflect on who it is around here that actually holds the power.
(Looking back to Alyssa, Sahara locks eyes with the Queen Bitch, seeming to contemplate her words. A slight smirk comes to the Crimson Queen’s face.)
Sahara: Even the most powerful of kings … need their queens.
(And with that, Sahara turns on a dime, strolling out of the room…leaving the 3K members to regard each one another with curious expressions. Fade to ringside.)
(We cut to the backstage area, watching Laura Seton as she walks toward the locker room she shares with her husband-to-be. The former EWA World Heavyweight Champion is confident in her stride, a bag slung over her shoulder. She has to get changed for her match against William West yet.
As she rounds the corner, Seton very nearly bumps into someone and it takes her a moment to recognize the form of none other than the Viking Queen herself, Sinnocence! The sable-haired woman immediately smiles as the roar of the crowd is heard throughout the Combat Zone. The pair of former champions have not met in person since last year’s Asylum de los Muertos event…when Laura Seton was the first person in EWA history to pin Jada Kaine.)
Sinnocence: Holy shit, if it isn’t the woman who pinned me!
Laura Seton: Well… you’re one of the last people I expected to actually run into tonight. You ready for later?
(She finishes her sentence then realizes she never extended a hand for a friendly shake. Jada gladly takes it, shaking that offered hand firmly before pulling back to cross her arms over her chest.)
Sinnocence: Well, I’ve already seen my Heir get off to a good start…Azrael’s up soon against the Boogeyman, but I’ve little doubt he’ll handle himself well. He better, or I won’t handle him later. How about you, Laura? Hungry enough to kick Ray’s ass for the Championship yet?
Laura Seton: That’s… one way of putting it.
(She was becoming apprehensive with the question thrown out there like that. She didn’t mind running into Jada, but this was an uneasy topic for her–even when thinking to herself.)
Sinnocence: That’s the only way to put it, Sweetcheeks. That belt is like…the cherry on top of the best sundae you’ll ever eat, but there’s only one cherry.
(She winks playfully.)
Sinnocence: One cherry, one king, one ring to rule them all. You can’t be two hungry tigers fighting over the same dangling carcass and keep a happy relationship. You’ll think you’re able to for a while, but the hunger for it eventually takes over. It’s just the way of things.
(She knows better than most, Seton watched Jada go through it with her ex-husband, Osbourne Kilminster. Laura stares her down, but not with anger. The thoughts ran through her head. So many things to ask. But sometimes it’s best to keep it simple.)
Laura Seton: How did you do it? Did you want to tear him shreds but restrained yourself for so long… or what? Does this HAVE to end like a nuke blowing up?
(Sinn looks long and hard at the woman who finally pinned her, looking for something in her eyes…her posture. Something that Laura couldn’t quite put her finger on. The Viking Queen clears her throat before locking her gaze with the taller woman.)
Sinnocence: Oh, I made no bones about it. He knew how much I wanted that belt. He was the one who threw me out of the ring the first time. I can handle some healthy competition, but it eventually comes down to one question. Which do you want more? That belt around your waist one more time…or a happy marriage? One lesson I learned only after I retired…
(The mother of Josh Kaine cracks a wry smile.)
Sinnocence: You don’t get to have both.
Laura Seton: But why? Is it written that way? I get the conflict of interest… but why are you so positive both can’t happen? There’s a first time for everything.
Sinnocence: You’d think that, especially in your case. You’ve tasted the forbidden fruit, Laura, and you’re jealous that belt is his and not yours. That’s easy enough to see in you. The nature of this business is competition. You’re not with Ray because he bows to your every whim, you’re with him because he pushes you to be better. You push him to be better. There is a first time for everything, but–
(Laura cuts her off.)
Laura Seton: But that’s the thing Jada… I barely had a taste of it! It slipped through…
(She stops, knowing she’s digging herself a bigger hole. Jada exhales softly.)
Sinnocence: That hunger will overtake one of you. Jealousy will overtake one of you. It’s just a matter of time, is all. You wait and see.
Laura Seton: So I can only have one?
Sinnocence: So says the past.
(A tense quiet fills the air. Laura looks to the ground, then back at Jada. Jada just looks at her nonverbally saying ‘I don’t know what to tell you’. Laura sighs.)
Laura Seton: … I can’t stand this indecision… … married with a lack of vision…
Sinnocence: They weren’t wrong, you know. Everyone does want to rule the world.
(She nods curtly to the blonde, but still manages a smile. There’s no need to be rude, after all. Sinn has an obvious fondness for the woman who managed to dethrone her. The camera cuts to Laura’s curious expression before we cut back to ringside.)
Kharrion v Jacob Mephisto & NOTHING
NR: The following tag team contest is scheduled for one fall!
REACH OUT AND TOUCH FAITH
“Personal Jesus” kicks on and the fans roar as out comes Kharrion, EWA Tag Team Championships displayed prominently.
NR: Introducing first, they are the EWA WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS… KHAAAAAAAAAAARRIONNNNNNNN!
Kharrion stands in the ring, handing off their Tag Team Titles, awaiting their opponents in this non title match. The crowd is abuzz, waiting to see how their opponents can possibly coexist.
NR: And, their opponents…
It seems strange that my life should end
in such a terrible place…
The lights in the arena go out, as the pulsing opening of Placebo’s ‘Without You I’m Nothing’ remix blares through the KeyBank Center. A faint spotlight shines down, where the Purveyor of HATE now stands, head down on the entrance ramp. He slowly lifts his head, looking out at the capacity crowd, who surprisingly have a mixed reaction for the NYSWF legend.
NR: Introducing first, from Albany, New York, weighing in at 255 pounds, he is the Purveyor of HATE…NOTHING!!!
NOTHING begins to make his way down to the ring, when he is suddenly blindsided from behind by his would be partner for the night! Jacob Mephisto fires forearms to the back of The Purveyor’s neck, sending him stumbling forward as the lights return to normal and the crowd lets out a loud series of boos.
MM: So much for coexisting! NOTHING predicted this leading up to Battlelines, Vince!
VA: Yea, but he can’t stop it from happening, Malone!
NOTHING spins around as the two men reach ringside and completely rocks Mephisto with a haymaker right hand! The crowd lets out a loud cheer as The Purveyor fights back.
MM: And NOTHING is prepared for war! Mephisto is being driven back by The Purveyor of HATE!
As NOTHING fires yet another shot to Mephisto’s jaw, sending the Network Champion skittering backwards, he’s hammered from behind by Dietrich! KC joins the fray, the two men each taking and arm as they LAUNCH NOTHING into one of the steel ring posts!
VA: Well, you get what you pay for, Malone! And it looks like Mephisto has paid for Kharrion’s services again! Brilliant!
MM: More like cowardly, Vince.
Mephisto recovers and stalks forward as Kharrion whips NOTHING into the ringside barrier. They hold him there, forcing his head up to look into Mephisto’s face.
NOTHING’s maddened eyes meet Mephisto’s cool gray gaze. Mephisto smirks and backs away, motioning to Kharrion.
MM: This is just overkill, Vince.
VA: Mephisto is sending a message, Malone.
Kharrion drags The Purveyor away from the barrier, Dietrich setting him up, while KC climbs onto the ring apron, getting into position.
MM: OH! GREETINGS FROM ROTTENBERG!
VA: Right on the floor too, Malone!
Kharrion brings NOTHING to a seated position, The Purveyor barely conscious. Mephisto RUSHES forward and blasts NOTHING with that sick running yakuza kick!
MM: Oh! And Mephisto with Godless!
VA: Message delivered, Malone. Mephisto is done playing games.
Kharrion simply makes their exit, yet another job complete. Mephisto smirks as he slowly backs up the aisle, eyes never leaving the prone NOTHING.
MM: Sooner or later, folks, this one is going to break down. And, when it does, it’s going to be ugly.
THIS MATCH ENDS IN A NO-CONTEST (0:00)
(We fade into the office backstage of the EWA’s Chief Operating Officer, Alyssa Marie Haven, busy typing away on a keyboard. Tonight is a big night for her, as one of her Three Kings, Martin Robertson, has his qualifying match for the Asylum later on in the evening. In addition, she’s working on “performance reviews” for various EWA talent. Dressed to kill in a form fitting blue dress, Alyssa pauses typing, looking over her monitor before clicking a button, seemingly satisfied with the results of whatever she’s typed. She’s interrupted by a soft knocking at the office door. Exasperated, she rolls her eyes, clearly annoyed by the intrusion.)
Alyssa Marie: What?
(The door opens, and the Southern Belle, Natalie Burrows, steps inside. She’s dressed in her wrestling gear, clearly prepared for the possibility of having to compete tonight despite not being booked on the card.)
Natalie Burrows: Good evening, Missus Haven. A word, if I may?
(Alyssa lets out a sigh, not exactly thrilled with the idea of discussing this with Burrows. Nonetheless, she motions to the seat across from her, leaning back in her chair and crossing her legs.)
Alyssa Marie: Have a seat. Make it quick. What can I do for you?
(Settling down across from the executive, the smile that the Southern Belle wears is polite… but there is no denying the steel that lives beneath it. After her exchange with Alyssa Marie’s secretary, after all, Natalie knows what she’s dealing with.)
Natalie Burrows: I’m willing to… overlook the entire confusion surrounding my status of being cleared to compete since mistakes happen. However, I am not remotely in the mood to allow Sahara’s words and actions both to be unchallenged. I want her in the middle of the ring next show so I can teach her a lesson in respect.
Alyssa Marie: So let me get this straight. You think you can just walk in here and demand a match with a former EWA Combat Champion? Help me understand the logic here. Why should I give you this match?
(Natalie leans forward slightly, knowing exactly what card she needs to play to make this happen. Her own interests likely mean nothing. Alyssa Marie’s, on the other hand…)
Natalie Burrows: Because not only do I deserve the opportunity to set things right, tell me–do you truly want someone like Sahara feeling like she is above reproach? Hasn’t she been causing you problems as well? That incident with the bootlegged merchandise surely wasn’t easy to deal with, not to mention how I hear she’s been interfering with your job as COO.
(Alyssa ponders Natalie’s response for a moment, then nods her head.)
Alyssa Marie: I think we might be able to reach an agreement that’s mutually beneficial. I’m not giving you a one-on-one match with Sahara at Battlelines. If you want her in the ring alone, you can wait until Live From London. I’m willing to grant you that. But in the meantime…you’re clearly not looking to wait a month and a half to knock that bitch silly, and I can appreciate that. And since Michael’s fucking her – clearly the man’s fallen off in taste since me – and since he wants McIntyre in the ring…
(She claps her hands together, a fiendish smile on her lips.)
Alyssa Marie: Battlelines 27 in Mexico City. You’ll tag with the little bitch, Maggie McIntyre, and face Michael Draven and Sahara. How’s that sound?
Natalie Burrows: Like a suitable compromise. Thank you, Missus Haven, for your time.
(Alyssa waves her hand dismissively.)
Alyssa Marie: Yeah, yeah, fine, whatever. I’ve got work to do. See yourself out, please.
Natalie Burrows: Of course. Have a good evening, ma’am.
(Natalie stands up, heading toward the door. Alyssa watches her leave, a smirk on her face, and then turns her attention back to the monitor as we fade to ringside.)
Lunatikk Crippler v Laura Seton
It seems strange that my life should end
in such a terrible place…
THEY WANNA SEE BLOOD
THEY WANNA SEE HATE
“America” by Deuce kicks on as the red strobe begins to flicker in the entrance ramp.
William West stands in its center, the fangs on his mask seemingly glowing with a blood red hew. Eyes sparkling with malice.
Ready for war.
NR: The following contest is set for one fall! Introducing first, representing the Pillars of HATE….he is the Masochist…..Lunatikk CRIIIIIIIIPPLERRRRRRR!
MM: It’s official. In two weeks, at Asylum de los Muertos, Lunatikk Crippler and Sean Boden will go one on one, and finally look to settle things once and for all.
VA: This whole thing started with Crippler seeking revenge on Boden in place of Maggie McIntyre, but I have a feeling it’s going to end in bloodshed.
Crippler removes his hooded jacket, and is set for battle, awaiting his opponent.
“Gunboat” kicks on and the crowd ROARS as the former two time EWA Champion makes her appearance.
Laura Seton steps out, eyes locked on Crippler, psyching herself up for this battle.
NR: And his opponent, she is a former two time EWA World Heavyweight Champion…..LAUUUUUUUURAAAAAAA……… SETONNNNNNNN!
Seton enters the ring, and the crowd is still loud for Twenty Minutes of Terror.
VA: It seems to me that there’s some tension between the happy couple ever since Mr. Seton won the World Heavyweight Championship.
MM: I doubt very much that’s going to come between Laura and Ray Willmott. These two are engaged to be married!
VA: Yeah, but the one thing Laura wants most in this world isn’t going to fit around her finger. It’s going to go around her waist.
Crippler and Seton lock eyes in the center of the ring. Crippler is shaking with an uncontrolled laughter. Seton’s eyes shine with determination and grit.
Then… The bell rings.
MM: And here we go!
Crippler throws the first blow, a heavy right hand that Laura ducks easily. She begins to pepper him with a combination of back hands to the face and chops to the chest. The crowd goes wild as the former two time EWA Champion lights into her old rival, backing him easily into the corner with her assault. She spins and goes flat out at him with a forearm!
Crippler ducks! Their positions change, and so does the crowd. The reaction is mixed, with more boos than cheers as Crippler begins lacing into Laura with rights and lefts, alternating between body shots and blows to the head and face. Laura tries to cover up, but Crippler’s fists change targets with alarming speed. Kazuya Ito finally steps in, anxious to do his job and bring the match back to the center of the ring.
VA: Let them fight! Who doesn’t enjoy a good slugfest?
MM: This isn’t boxing. Ito is making the right call, getting Crippler off of Seton in the corner.
VA: Yet he did nothing when Seton had cornered him. I smell bias.
Crippler argues with the referee, which gives Seton time to recover and explode out of the corner with a huge spear! The fight moves to the ground now, both competitors rolling around, attempting to punch any part of exposed flesh that their fists can find!
MM: There’s a lot of bad blood here, going back to their bitter feud in the SHOOT Project. These two can’t stand each other.
VA: I find that when a woman hits me in the face, it’s a sign of respect and admiration.
MM: Yeah, keep telling yourself that.
The fight spills onto the arena floor, both crashing into the concrete, causing separation. Crippler is first to his feet, eyes squinted as if he was grimacing in pain. He grabs a handful of Laura’s hair and goes to pull her up, but Seton surges forward, charging Crippler into the steel barricade! Crippler’s body tenses, frozen in agony as Laura gets up and spears him again!
Crippler drops to his knees, his back in bad shape. Laura slides back into the ring under the bottom rope as Ito begins his count.
The count barely makes it to two as Laura sprints across the ring and rebounds, diving through the ropes at Lunatikk Crippler!
But Crippler sidesteps, and uses Seton’s own momentum to hurl her onto the barricade chest first! Seton hangs across the barricade, gasping for air as Crippler begins to lift his boot and plant kick after kick into the ribs of Laura Seton.
Ito has seen enough and comes to the outside and breaks it up. Crippler doesn’t protest this time, the corners of his grin breaking the surface of his mask. He reenters the ring as Seton frees herself from her painful perch.
MM: I think Crippler is enjoying this a little too much.
VA: Why not? That’s his fiercest rivals bride to be! Crippler is probably thinking about the EWA World Heavyweight Champion right now, and hoping he feels every blow!
MM: You might be right.
Seton slides herself slowly into the ring, and thats when Crippler takes over. His primary focus is the center of her body, which he begins to punish from both sides. Crippler uses his power advantage and his knowledge of suplexes to brutalize Seton. A beautiful t-bone suplex leads to a two count, followed by another nearfall out of a Northern Lights suplex with a bridge. Crippler’s eyes shine with frustration as he lifts Seton up and cracks her in two with a backbreaker, with no release.
He muscles her back up and drives her spine into his knee again, before powering her limp frame up, rotating, and slamming her down with a gutbuster!
MM: And another close fall! Laura Seton is nothing if not resilient!
Crippler whips Seton into the ropes and goes for a discus clothesline!
But Seton ducks! She rebounds off the opposite ropes and catches Crippler with a surprise cross body for the pin!
Crippler gets out right at two! He gets up to turn back to punishing Seton, but she surprises him with a small package!
Another two count! Crippler looks shocked! He drives a forearm into the chest of Laura, who got up clutching her back, but she valiantly fires back with one of her own that rocks Crippler! Crippler shakes it off and fires back, snapping Laura’s head back with a right hand! She staggers in time to catch a huge DDT!
But she hangs onto the bottom rope! Crippler crashes to the canvas, to the delight of most of the crowd!
Laura wraps him up in a pinning combination.
Seton gets out, and wraps Crippler up again!
Crippler busts out, only to be wrapped up in a school boy!
Crippler is out at 2. He gets to his feet first, Laura right behind, clutching her back. He turns…..RIGHT INTO ANGELS FURY!
VA: How in hell did she manage that??
MM: She nailed her deadly kick but look!
The momentum takes Crippler to the ground and he rolls to the arena floor, motionless.
MM: Laura might not have to worry about the pin! Crippler might but out enough to get counted out!
Ito’s count gets to four when Seton goes out to get Crippler.
VA: This is a mistake! Let him get counted out, idiot!
MM: Crippler was beginning to stir! And besides, Laura wants to beat Lunatikk Crippler! Not let him beat himself!
VA: A win is a win!
MM: To you, maybe.
Seton pays for it as Crippler jabs his thumb in her eye and slams her face first on the apron! The ref gets up to six as Crippler rolls Seton back into the ring.
Crippler goes to follow but seems to get caught on something. He is trying to yank himself free as the ref counts seven.
MM: Is that…?
VA: That’s Sean Boden! Where the hell did he come from?!
MM: Sean Boden is underneath the ring, holding Crippler’s foot!
Crippler finally breaks free!
The bell rings right before Crippler is able to slide under the bottom rope.
NR: Here is your winner, as a result of a countout….Laura Seton!
Crippler is under the ring, looking for Boden, but comes up empty.
MM: Sean Boden playing mindgames with Crippler. These two are going to settle things, and settle them soon.
Laura raises her arm in the air as a very frustrated Lunatikk Crippler enters the ring again.
MM: And what now…..OH!
Seton turns around and gets cut in half with a massive Blood Drive!
VA: Why not? Maybe he’s not satisfied with Seton taking the cheap victory by count out!
MM: YOU JUST CALLED HER AN IDIOT FOR NOT DOING THAT!
VA: Don’t think I did.
MM: It was sixty second ago!
VA: Doesn’t ring a bell.
Crippler stands over his rival a moment more as a few referees are out to check on Laura Seton. Crippler then makes his way out of the ring.
MM: Crippler leaves the ring now with a purpose.
VA: That purpose is to find Sean Boden. But if I can offer him advice? Don’t.
YOUR WINNER BY COUNTOUT: LAURA SETON (8:58)
(Entering the Fallout’s private dressing room, Sahara slowly closes the door behind her and acknowledges the larger than life Lucy before tentatively looking to the God Queen herself. Taking a nervous breath, Sahara silently observes their leader for a few moments before mustering up the courage to approach.)
(Slamming her gloved fist into her palm, Grace ignores the blonde, laser focused on her upcoming fight against the Vice Squad. Moving a step closer, Sahara reaches out her hand to get Grace’s attention.)
(Just as Sahara’s hand is about to brush her shoulder, Grace snatches her outstretched arm by the wrist and twists it behind her, slamming the blonde face first up against the lockers, rattling the room. Snarling in the blonde’s ear out of a combination of annoyance and anger, Grace repeats the same question over and over.)
Grace Goeren: What Sahara? What? WHAT?! WHAT?
(Standing at attention, Lucy merely watches and does not move to interfere. Grace spews venom at Sahara through clenched teeth.)
Grace Goeren: You talk. And you talk. You talk too much. You know that? You think I don’t have enough shit to deal with tonight? This isn’t about you, it’s NEVER about you. Every time I’m gracious enough to make it about you, yoooooooooooouuuuuu fuck it up! So you need to stop questioning me at every…
(Grace stops in mid-sentence, her eyes narrowing as she leans in closer to Sahara’s ear.)
Grace Goeren: Come to think of it, I should be the one asking questions…such as where were you earlier tonight when Willmott was perverting MY World Title?! Liz and Lucy were with me…they had my back. They always do. But you? My right fucking hand?! Nowhere to be found. Tell me, were you with that goth cunt you’re obsessed with instead of by my side? Or perhaps you were choking on someone’s cock for favors, such as you do?
(Twisting her arm even more, Grace presses the blonde’s face up against the lockers.)
Grace Goeren: What do you want, you non contributing whore?! Huh?! Can’t you see I’m focusing?! I’m in a zone. I don’t have time for your incessant whining right now…
(Unable or unwilling to fight back, Sahara simply pleads with her God Queen.)
Sahara: Grace, please…you-you’re hurting me.
(There’s a brief pause.)
Grace Goeren: …and?
(Grabbing Sahara by the shoulder, Grace spins her around and slams her up against the lockers, looking her once most trusted and loyal follower in her piercing blue eyes. Wrapping a gloved hand beneath Sahara’s chin, she forcefully shoves the frightened blonde’s head to the side to see the almost healed bruise that still remained on her cheek. Necessary punishment from the previous show to teach her baby that she needed to know her place. Shoving her head back into the lockers for good measure, Grace immediately turns away and sits back on the bench, running her gloved hands over her scabbed head, knowing Sahara wouldn’t dare retaliate against her Queen. Her voice made a sudden return to calm as if nothing had happened.)
Grace Goeren: You’ve healed nicely, darling. Now, what is it you want?
(Sahara swallows nervously, seemingly shaken by the sudden change in demeanor from Grace.)
Sahara: I uh, I wanted to talk to you about Duane.
(Clasping her hands behind her head, the God Queen’s ire simply seems to grow again. Moments pass before Grace looks up.)
Grace Goeren: Speaking of which, where the fuck is Duane?
(Turning toward Lucy, Sahara snaps her fingers to get her attention.)
Sahara: Lucy! Find Duane…bring him to us.
(For a moment, the room falls into absolute silence as Grace slowly removes her hands from her head and looks up at Sahara with a look of absolute disdain and amazement. Did she have the audacity to command one of her babies to do her bidding? Did this bitch hav–)
Sahara: Forgive me, I don’t mean to overstep my bounds but such trivial matters are beneath you. This is what you have me for…Lucy can find Duane while we talk…can’t you, Lucy? We have an important matter to discuss…
(Seeming to ponder Sahara’s words for a moment, with a mere nod from the God Queen, Lucy complies with the order and exits the room with a purpose. Breathing a bit heavier than what seemed necessary, Grace once again runs her hands over the still healing wounds that cover her head.)
Grace Goeren: Speak.
Sahara: It-it’s about Duane.
Grace Goeren: No fucking shit. I got that. What about him?
Sahara: I-I know a lot of what happened to us as of late was my fault, but–I–I–
Grace Goeren: Spit it out you obtuse blonde! What about him?!
Sahara: Since we–uh, you I mean, since you formed the Fallout…he’s been an absentee manager at best. He’s failed us at every turn. I–uh, we…we all tried to help you against your father, that pig headed shit, but tell me Grace…where was Duane when our…when your empire crumbled at Champions Summit?! He wasn’t there when you needed him most.
(Her words seem to hover over the room uncomfortably for an extended period before Grace finally looks up, her brow furrowing at the thought.)
Sahara: I’ve sat back and watched as we’ve drifted apart. But we were never stronger than when you and I stood together. You and I, Grace. We were champions together. I’ve made some mistakes, as children are prone to do, mistakes you’ve beaten me for and I’ve taken it. I deserved it. I’ve learned from it. We’re falling apart at the seams and it’s because of him, Grace, not me. I tried to help you. I did more to help you at Champions Summit than anyone else…just watch the tape. You know I’d do anything for you. Anything. And if that means risking my place to bring this to your attention, I’m willing to do that. While the others will simply say yes when you need to hear no, I’m the one you brought in to tell you what you don’t wanna hear. Please Grace, please…I’d kill fo–
(The simple whisper escapes Grace’s lips as she brings her index finger to her lips.)
(Sahara falls nervously silent exactly as requested and stands there, unable to move a muscle while Grace seemed to contemplate her words. Grace lets out a demented chuckle, sliding her hand gently over Sahara’s cheek.)
Grace Goeren: You’ve done good. You did the right thing.
(Grace looks off to the side for the moment before turning back to Sahara who instinctively pulls away, expecting another hard slap like after the Champions Summit. Instead, Grace gives her a gentle pat on the cheek and lowers her forehead against Sahara’s. Grace speaks in a hushed whisper, almost like a lullaby as she cradles Sahara’s head against her own.)
Grace Goeren: There’s the girl I know. There she is. There she is…
(She pulls her head back and looks directly into Sahara’s eyes, flashing a horribly twisted and demented smile.)
Grace Goeren: We will make things right, won’t we? Together. Tonight is a night for The Fallout.
(A slight knock is heard at the door as Lucy Blaylock entered interrupting what looked like a shared moment between Grace and Sahara.)
Lucy Blaylock: I couldn’t find Duane, and I finally got through to his cell…he said he’s in some sort of business meeting on your behalf, that’s why he isn’t here.
(We fade on Grace’s face, pondering Lucy’s news.)
(We fade backstage, where we’re once again inside the conference room where Sahara’s “performance review” took place earlier. Sitting at the table are the three members of 3K – EWA owner Alexander Haven, along with Martin Robertson and Michael Draven, with Alyssa Marie Haven standing stoically behind the trio. The small chair, clearly meant for a child, has been placed back in front of the table, after having been flung aside by Sahara earlier.)
Martin Robertson: Is this asshole ever on time for anything?
Alexander Haven: He’ll be here. He’s stalling. Probably assuming he’s walking into a trap.
Michael Draven: Isn’t that the idea?
Alexander Haven: No. He has something to offer to us. I’m not ready to give up —
(Haven is interrupted by a knock on the door. Martin turns to Alyssa, rolling his eyes, as Draven calls out.)
Michael Draven: Come in!
(The door opens, and Tyler Morris steps in cautiously, leaving the door open behind him. He steps behind the small kiddie chair, folding his arms and looking upon the Three Kings with a glare. Haven motions to the chair.)
Alexander Haven: Have a seat, Tyler.
(Morris looks down at the chair, holding his gaze for a moment…before looking back up at the three men. He makes no move to sit in the chair.)
Alexander Haven: Can we get you anything? A beer? Alyssa, get us some beer, would you?
(Alyssa Marie reaches behind her on the counter, grabbing four bottles of Pabst Blue Ribbon – conveniently located within arm’s reach – and hands three to the 3K members before offering the fourth to Morris. Tyler remains still, unmoving.)
Michael Draven: Oh, come on, kid. You think we’re going to poison you? Christ…
(Draven cracks open his bottle, taking a big swig.)
Michael Draven: Happy now?
(Tyler, expressionless, pops open his own bottle, taking a drink as Haven begins to speak.)
Alexander Haven: Chris was so high on you when I came back, Tyler. I told him I needed a foot soldier, someone to come in and scope things out with Michael here before I made my big return. You remember that moment, right, Michael?
Michael Draven: As much as I hate to admit it…I never saw it coming. I hated that fucking ruler, though.
Alyssa Marie Haven: I still have it.
Alexander Haven: Come on, you have to admit that was funny.
(Haven turns back to Morris.)
Alexander Haven: Anyway, Chris was right about you. He wasn’t right about much, in hindsight, but about you, he was dead on. But I’m disappointed in you, Tyler. I know you’re a smart man. You see where this is heading…this thing here, with the three of us. I gave you an opportunity in Buffalo, and you snubbed your nose at me…for what? Chris Kage? He’s a ghost, Tyler. I understand you’ve learned a lot from him…but the fact is, I taught Chris everything he knows. There’s a reason he was always considered my sidekick back in New York. I made Chris Kage everything he was today…and I can do that for you, too.
(Tyler takes another drink of beer, continuing to listen.)
Alexander Haven: I’m a forgiving man, Tyler, and the EWA is a dangerous place. Don’t misunderstand me, we’re fully capable of handling our own business…but we could use a man like you to…take care of some things. You could stand behind the Three Kings. Learn from us. Learn how this business truly is…and how to dominate it. How to grab it by the throat and make it your bitch…just as the three of us have done. I’m a man of my word, Tyler. I told you back in Las Vegas to do what’s best for yourself…and I’m telling you, this is what’s best for Tyler Morris.
Tyler Morris: So I’m just supposed to forget about what happened in Las Vegas? And in Buffalo?
Michael Draven: Christ, kid, look who you’re talking to here. We beat the shit out of each other for 18 years!
(A loud bang is heard, as Martin Robertson suddenly slams his fist down on the table.)
Martin Robertson: Come on, Alex! We’re wasting our time here. We don’t need him! We —
Alexander Haven: So you’re fine with not having an extra man backing you up tonight against Stein? How about in the Asylum?
Martin Robertson: You’re damn right I’m fine with it, because I’m better than Stein. I don’t need some former jarhead with mental issues trained by a second rate nobody watching my back!
(Haven sighs, appearing to be somewhat annoyed with Martin’s outburst.)
Alexander Haven: Look at the kid, Marty. We turned his world upside down, destroyed the only reality he knew. But we can mold him into something that Chris coul–
Martin Robertson: Still don’t care. Chris Kage isn’t here, Alex. We drove him out of the business, and we didn’t need this punk kid’s help doing it. Right now our focus should be solely on getting me into the Asylum toni–
Tyler Morris: I thought you said you were better than Stein? That you didn’t need help?
(The room goes silent, and Martin slowly stands up, glaring at Morris – who, for the first time, shows emotion, flashing a smile at Martin.)
Tyler Morris: Easy, Marty. It was a joke.
(Morris turns back to Haven.)
Tyler Morris: He’s right, though. Chris Kage isn’t here. I haven’t been able to get ahold of him or Stacy since Las Vegas…I have no clue where they are, and HK has been shuttered, apparently. I’m guessing you knew that part already.
(Haven says nothing – just continues to watch Morris, who nods.)
Tyler Morris: Yeah, I thought so. But…you’re not wrong. I learned a lot from you over the past year and a half…about the business, about life in general. So…maybe you’re right.
(Haven claps his hands together, rising to his feet – Michael Draven follows. Martin still appears to be annoyed with the situation, looking over at Draven.)
Alexander Haven: Now we’re talking! A toast, to Tyler Morris – the Kingsguard!
(Haven holds his bottle out, joined by Draven, and after a moment, a reluctant Robertson. Morris clinks bottles with them, and they all take a drink.)
Tyler Morris: I do need to get something out in the open, though…I wasn’t totally honest about something. I did actually speak to Chris…just yesterday. He wanted me to pass along a message.
Alexander Haven: Of course, the coward didn’t have the nerve to do it himself. What’s the message?
(Morris takes a long swig of his beer, and then suddenly SPITS it out right into Martin Robertson’s face! A livid Martin scrambles to get across the table, but Haven grabs him, holding him back as he tries to lunge at Morris.)
Tyler Morris: Like I’d tell you. I’d rather follow Chris’s lead and walk away forever then join you assholes. But hey…thanks for the beer!
(And with that, Morris walks out, leaving a seething Martin to scream after him. Haven continues to hold Martin back as we fade to ringside.)
Azrael Goeren v Indrid Calder
ASYLUM QUALIFYING MATCH
NR: The following contest is scheduled for one fall, and is a qualifying match for the Asylum de los Muertos!!
The rabid Boston faithful cheer in excitement as Subway to Sally’s “Sieben” cues up, the scripted “AG” swirling around on the Jumbotron above the entrance. The crowd begins stomping and clapping to the beat of the music, erupting in a massive celebratory chorus as the man himself, one Azrael Goeren, steps through the curtain.
NR: Introducing first, weighing in tonight at 215 pounds, hailing from Eberswalde, Germany, he is the MegaStar…AZRAELLLL…GOERRRRRENNNNNNNN!!!!!!
Azrael seems almost surprised by the reaction for him, feigning a step back before laughing it all away. Quickly, he makes his way to the ring, sliding under the ropes and kipping up to his feet.
VA: You know, Malone, Azzy and I have something in common.
MM: Besides the number of illegitimate children that want to end your lives?
VA: …shut up, Malone…
Goeren stretches out over the ropes as “Sieben” dies down, looking up the ramp before darkness falls over the Combat Zone.
It seems strange that my life should end
in such a terrible place…
Puscifer’s “Smoke & Mirrors” creeps through the PA system as the former EWA World Heavyweight champion lurks through a barrage of fog that pours from behind the curtain. He stands still atop the ramp, staring down at Azrael with blank, cold eyes, and cocks his head to the side before making his way down.
NR: Introducing next, weighing in tonight at 225 pounds, hailing from Nothing, Arizona…
Calder drags clawed fingers over his waist, feeling for the World title belt that no longer calls him its owner, and his face contorts into feral lunacy for a brief moment. He leaps onto the apron and, never blinking in his stare at Goeren, steps between the ropes.
NR: …he is “The Stranger”…INDRIIIIIIIID CALLLLLLDERRRRRRR!!!!!
Calder rips his hood away and lunges at Goeren, swiftly taking him down to the mat.
MM: We’re off right away! Calder with a double leg takedown, looking for a juji gatame…Goeren blocks it, up to his feet…
Azrael hits the ropes and throws a dropkick toward the rising Indrid’s face, but Calder narrowly avoids it and rolls to his feet. Goeren quickly leaps to his own and the two lock up, Goeren going behind and snatching Calder to the mat with a school boy.
VA: It’s going to take more than that to keep the former, and rightful, World champion down.
Calder bails to the apron and leaps to his feet, his cold, hollow blue stare scanning every inch of Azrael’s body. Herr Goeren, meanwhile, backs away, all thanks to referee Kazuya Ito’s interference.
MM: Kazuya Ito keeping both men apart, letting Calder back in…
VA: He’s being smart about this, Malone. He’s taking his time, adjusting his game plan, and making Azzy sweat.
Ito turns and beckons Indrid back into the ring, but the Stranger fails to move. Instead, Calder offers Goeren a glimmer of a smile, shaking his head.
VA: Mind games. It’s always about the mind games.
Goeren, having enough, pushes Ito out of his way and charges Calder. Indrid surprises Azzy with a slingshot shoulderblock, knocking the mad German to the mat. With the quickness, Calder slithers around Goeren’s body, locking him tightly into a rear naked choke.
VA: He’s gonna make Goeren tap! He’s gonna tap! Calder is set to reclaim the title he never actually…!
Azrael throws an errant elbow into Indrid’s ribs, weakening his grip enough for Goeren to turn over, slamming an elbow into the Stranger’s face. The fans go crazy as Indrid temporarily falls limp, much to the surprise of Azrael. He covers…
…but Calder, like a spider evading a predator’s grasp, creeps his legs up, pulling Goeren down into a sliding crucifix.
MM: Azrael kicks out with authority!
Goeren scrambles to his feet and nails Indrid with a knife-edge chop.
A whip to the ropes finds Azrael readying for a back body drop but Calder leap frogs over him, catching the back of his knee with a basement dropkick. Instantly, Calder is on his leg, cranking in a side leglock.
VA: Very sound strategy from the rightful World champion, Malone. Azrael’s getting up there in years, he’s put his body through hell over the past two months alone, and those knees are bound to be sore. If you take away a man’s ability to walk then you take away most of their chances at winning the fight.
MM: True though that may be, Vincent, experience always finds a way to rear its head, and Azrael Goeren has made a career out of escaping the impossible.
Azzy boots Calder’s knee and twists his body over, reaching for Calder’s face.
MM: Goeren trying to escape…
VA: He’s a wounded animal already, Malone, just looking to get put out of his misery.
Azrael’s fingers touch Calder’s jaw, and the Stranger has none of this, wrenching the hold in tighter before…letting go of his own accord?
MM: What’s…does Calder have some sort…?
Indrid crawls backward to the corner, allowing Azrael to get to his feet. The two stare at each other, all mirth drained from Azzy’s eyes as Calder looks on. Blank. Expressionless. Plotting.
MM: Calder back up…BIG CHOP TO GOEREN!!!
Azrael reels back from the impact and Calder continues in, slamming a pair of right crosses to Azzy’s jaw. Goeren crumples into the corner as Indrid fails to relent, each chop and right hand somehow landing harder than the one before it. Goeren drops to a knee and Calder hooks his arm, leading him away from the turnbuckles…only to drill him shoulder-first into the canvas with a single-arm DDT.
MM: Calder with the Divorce Court!
VA: Something Azzy knows all too well.
Indrid stretches Azrael’s arm out on the canvas and drops a knee across the elbow, gripping his fingers and pulling back on them, hyperextending his elbow. Azrael screams and tries to kick away, but Calder maintains all the leverage, closing his eyes to calmly enjoy the horrendous chamber music forged of his own device. Soon, Calder releases the hold, casually driving his heel into Azrael’s elbow and grinding it in. Ito pulls Calder away to reinforce his authority, to which Indrid merely stares.
MM: There is something deeply wrong with this man.
VA: For once we agree, Malone.
MM: Oh great, what’s next…
VA: He doesn’t have that beautiful fifteen pounds of gold!
Azzy pulls himself to his feet, cradling his arm, and starts slapping his shoulder to get some feeling back. Calder shoves Ito aside and charges in with an elbow strike…
MM: Goeren…BICYCLE KICK OUT OF NOWHERE!!!
Calder falls to the mat clutching his mouth, quickly rolling over to avoid a pinfall attempt. Azzy offers no quarter, however, and begins stomping on Calder’s back, dropping a knee into his spine before locking him in a Camel Clutch.
MM: Will Calder tap?! Is he going to tap?!
VA: Not just yet, Malone! Calder’s never tapped out to anything!
MM: But what about…!
VA: NEVER. TAPPED. OUT. Malone.
Ito checks on Calder as he’s locked in the hold, and Goeren releases the hold with his hurt arm, transitioning it into a seated sleeperhold. With his free hand, though, Azzy starts playfully slapping Calder off the side of his head, pulling on his hair with a growing smile.
VA: Pulling his hair? Really?! Jesus, Azzy…and people like this guy?!
Calder finds little joy in the situation, hooking his arm around Azrael’s leg and spinning free, looking for an ankle lock. Goeren kicks him away and both men jump to their feet, immediately slamming fists into each other’s faces. Calder lands a solid right hook and Azrael stumbles back, catching Indrid with a spinning back chop to the face as the Stranger looks to close the gap.
Neither man relents on their attack, punches and chops and elbows flying from all angles as they duel for every inch of the canvas. Calder halts Goeren’s momentum with a thrust to his throat, whipping him into the corner before following him in with a running back elbow, the impact slumping Azrael face-first to the mat in a heap. Calder, then, looks around the arena, letting each person in the Combat Zone know what’s coming next as he, very casually, hooks Azzy’s arms in a surfboard.
VA: For the Horseman, coming right up!!
Indrid yanks Goeren back, calmly sliding his boot against the back of Azzy’s head, and then stomps away…
MM: GOEREN SAW IT COMING!!
…only for Azrael to move his head to the side, allowing Indrid to plant his foot firmly on the mat. Using the temporary confusion to his advantage, Goeren pulls Calder’s arms down and slides behind him, leaping to his feet before a Hangman’s Neckbreaker takes Indrid down to the mat.
**clap, clap, clapclapclap**
**clap, clap, clapclapclap**
Azrael pounds the mat before jumping to his feet, grabbing each of Calder’s legs and hooking them around into the Goeren Cloverleaf! Indrid fights back, though, kicking his legs about and scrambling his shoulders to prevent Azzy from turning him over. Azzy keeps trying but Calder counters every turn, inching his way to the ropes before hooking his arm around the bottom. Ito calls for the clean break…
…and Goeren obliges, ignoring Ito’s request to allow space and diving atop Calder, raining down with forearms as Indrid covers up. Calder boots Azzy away and pulls himself to his feet, ducking a clothesline attempt and slamming a chop into the back of Azzy’s neck. Goeren drops to a knee but doesn’t stay there long, forcing himself back into the fight. Soon, as has happened already, the two trade shots back and forth, neither man relenting as, once again, they find themselves battling into the corner.
MM: This is just turning into an all-out brawl!
VA: Just the way I like it!
Ito braves the thunder, forcing his way between both men to push them apart, and a stray elbow from Goeren catches him square on the jaw. Ito, practically moving in slow motion, falls to the mat, his eyes rolling around in his head.
MM: DOWN GOES ITO!! WHERE’S THE BELL?!
VA: Well, without an official to call for it…
Calder slams Goeren face-first into the top turnbuckle, stunning him long enough for the Stranger to crawl over the ropes, hooking Azrael as he goes.
VA: It looks like it’s time for a little bit of Spidersilk, Malone!!
As Calder reaches for Azzy’s legs to finish off the Tarantula hold, Goeren steps forward and turns, grabbing Calder in a rear waistlock. He deadlifts Indrid over the ropes and bounces him face-first against the top turnbuckle, quickly snapping him back with a vicious German suplex that lands Calder on the back of his head.
**clap, clap, clapclapclap**
**clap, clap, clapclapclap**
MM: What an amazing move! Calder looks like he’s completely out! Azrael is stirring, he’s up on his feet…
VA: I don’t even think Calder has any idea where he is right now. HATE better get their asses out here or Calder’s chance to win back the World Heavyweight Title is GONE.
The fans are absolutely electric as Azrael slowly stands in front of a completely dazed Calder, working through what he wants to do next. He suddenly smiles and looks out at the crowd before he starts waving them on.. He plants his leg, lines up his shot…
MM: We’ve got a Blitzkrieg incoming!
VA: Calder better turtle shell his ass right now or his head is coming clean off…wait…what the hell?
MM: Who is that?
VA: Is that a fan? We got a fan in the ring?! SECURITY!
MM: A…fan…or…someone has just jumped the barricade and has hit the ring! Someone get him the hell out of there!
Scurrying into the ring behind Azrael Goeren is a fan dressed in a pair of jeans and a black hoodie. He’s wearing a ski mask and a pair of dark-tinted sunglasses as he grabs hold of Azrael’s shoulder and spins him around. In a flash, the fan hooks Azrael’s head in a facelock and DRIVES him face first to the match with a devastating cutter!
MM: WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?! A MASKED FAN HAS JUST ATTACKED AZRAEL GOEREN IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS MATCH!
VA: ITS CHAOS IN BOSTON, MALONE!
The masked man stands defiantly over a blindsided Azrael Goeren, heavy boos raining down from every section of the cheap seats. The man takes a step forward, looking down at Goeren’s body before firmly driving his foot into Azrael’s back and staring out at the seething audience.
MM: We need to get security in here NOW! This fan…this…whoever it is…has just attacked an EWA superstar!
The masked man glares down at Azrael one last time before stepping over him with zero respect given. He climbs through the middle ropes to the outside and jumps the barricade again, disappearing into the mass of fans as security finally hits the ringside area and starts their pursuit of him.
MM: Security is hot on this fan’s tail…but that doesn’t change what he just managed to do! This is absolutely insane! This match has just completely broken down, our ref is down…Calder is down…and now Azrael has been laid out!
VA: Wrong again, Malone! Looks like Calder is on his feet!
Slumping up against the ring ropes, Calder has managed to pull himself back up in the middle of all of this chaos. He looks out in the direction of the crowd that the masked man escaped into and then back to Azrael who has not moved an inch since being hit with the cutter.
MM: Calder looks just as confused as everyone else here in the Combat Zone…I don’t think he had any involvement in this attack…but wait…is he…?
VA: He’s waking up the ref! YES! I LOVE IT! THE STRANGER IS TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE SITUATION LIKE THE MANIPULATIVE SON OF A BITCH HE IS!
Calder shakes the ref by his shoulders violently, dragging him over to the side of a motionless Azrael. Grabbing the back of Azrael’s arms, Calder pulls his dead weight body up off the mat, puts his boot behind Azrael’s skull and DRIVES it hard back into the ground!
MM: OH MY GOD! WHAT A VICIOUS ‘FOR THE HORESEMAN’ FROM INDRID CALDER! THE STRANGER GOES FOR THE PIN…
VA: AND THE REF IS AWAKE! AND COUNTING!
MM: Damn it!
VA: And THAT is how you get into the Asylum match, Malone! Calder has just punched his ticket to Mexico City!
NR: Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of this contest and newest entrant into the Asylum Match…IIIIIINNNDDDDDRRRRRIIIDD CAAAAAAALLLDDDDEEEERRRRR!
Calder slowly rolls off Azrael as the referee weakly raises his hand, still smarting from getting crushed earlier. Calder does not take any time to savor his victory, he quickly rolls underneath the bottom rope and heads up the ramp. The camera cuts back to a stunned Malone and Ashe as medics flood the ring to help Azrael Goeren who still has not moved after taking Calder’s brutal curb stomp on top of the earlier fan attack.
VA: Listen, I know you hate the guy and everything but that was some NEXT LEVEL opportunistic thinking right there!
MM: Will you listen to yourself? All he did was just pin a guy who was unconscious! And what the hell was all of that? Who was that fan? Why did he attack Azrael Goeren?
VA: The list of people who want to smack the crap out of Goeren is at least 20 pages long, I’m on there twice in fact…could be anyone! A pissed off fan who didn’t get an autograph…maybe someone in The Fallout…who cares? All that matter is that Calder is on his way to the Asylum and that scumbag Goeren isn’t! Best. Day. Ever!
MM: This is an absolute travesty, Vincent. If that…person…didn’t hit Azrael with the…the…
VA: What’s up, Malone? You lost your train of thought? I told you not to mix vodka and Sweet Tarts before we go on the air. Friggin amateur…
MM: No, Vincent…I just…I just thought about something. Where have we seen that move before?
VA: What move?
MM: The move that fan hit Goeren with.
VA: What? That cutter? The X-Termin…
Vincent’s eyes go wide.
VA: Holy shit…
MM: Yeah. Holy shit.
The camera cuts back to the ring as the medics have sat Azrael up, shining a small penlight in his eyes before we silently fade backstage.
YOUR WINNER BY PINFALL: INDRID CALDER (12:33)
(We fade backstage once again to the conference room where the 3K members are conducting EWA performance reviews. As Robertson growls to himself after the Tyler Morris evaluation, in walks ‘Red Hot’ Ray Willmott with the EWA World Heavyweight Championship slung over his shoulder. Robertson’s blood immediately starts to boil. He looks as if he’s about to stand and get up in Ray’s smiling face, but Haven places a hand on his shoulder, mouthing a silent ‘not now’. Michael Draven, meanwhile, sits in silence.)
Alexander Haven: Ray, welcome. Take a seat.
(Haven gestures towards the vacant seat and Willmott obliges.)
Alexander Haven: How’re the kids? Hope the ex-wife isn’t making things too difficult?
(The question stings a bit but Ray keeps his guard up.)
Ray Willmott: My kids are fine.
(Haven lets out a semi-satisfied grunt. Draven and Robertson already look bored.)
Alexander Haven: I bet they’re all so pleased you’ve got a nice new wedding to prepare for. Set a date yet, Mr Seton?
(He’s trying to get under the champion’s skin. So far, it isn’t working.)
Ray Willmott: In time, Alex. No need to rush a good thing.
(With a smirk, Ray places the World title on the desk in front of him as a means of goading 3K.)
Alexander Haven: Having a hell of a 2017, aren’t you?
Ray Willmott: Still a long way to go yet, but it’s started well …..
(A deathly silence fills the room as Willmott’s words hang on the air. When no one speaks up, he continues.)
Ray Willmott: You know, as nice as it’s been to catch up, can we be done with this little charade? I’ve got a big match to prepare for and nobody in this room particularly gives a shit about the other, so it’d probably save time if we just drop the act.
(Having seen enough, Martin finally cuts in and tries to snatch the World title off the table before Draven and Haven can react. Willmott, however, takes it out from under him, much to Martin’s dismay. He glares and grimaces at the champion, angrily.)
Martin Robertson: You think you’re funny, huh? You want to stop the games and be serious for a moment? Alright, you know what, I’ll take the first question since you’re so sure of yourself. What makes you think you’re worthy enough to be World Heavyweight Champion, huh big boy? What makes you think you can walk around with MY title? Why do you think that belongs to you when you’re nothing more than a Land Before Time twenty-seven posterboy?
Ray Willmott: …Sorry to correct you, but I think there’s only been 14 films. I mean, don’t quote me on that, but Elyshia’s a big fan, absolutely adores Ducky…..
(Martin looks angry, but before he can reply Draven interjects.)
Michael Draven: Is he back to the dinosaur references again?
(Alex turns and looks at Martin…)
Alexander Haven: Does that make us dinosaurs as well?
Ray Willmott: Oh, no, Ray’s Jurassic….and not like the special attraction theme park, either. You guys are totally Cretaceous.
(Both Haven and Draven look perplexed.)
Michael Draven: What the hell does that even mean?
Martin Robertson: Look it up, would ya? God, do I have to spell everything out for you two?
(Willmott snorts with laughter at the ridiculousness of all this.)
Martin Robertson: What’s so funny, big shot? You think this is a joke, huh? This is your performance review, pal! And right now, I’m thinking I’m going to check off the box for Relationships with Peers as ‘Serious Concerns’. You know why? ‘Cause you’re a thief! You stole that championship from me – one I will get back in the Asylum, by the way – but you will take this seriously.
(Willmott’s expression suddenly turns incredibly serious. )
Ray Willmott: You think because you beat Grady Smith one time that makes you champion material, Marty? No doubt you’ve got all the tools needed to be the best this business has ever seen, but you’re not owed a road to the top because you pinned your dad.
Sure, guys like Grady and I have been around a long time, but there’s a damn good reason for that. We didn’t rest on our laurels. We scraped and scratched and clawed our way up every mountain, sometimes facing the same people week in, week out. But by the time we did reach the summit, nobody was ever in any doubt that we actually deserved it!
There’s a reason I didn’t quit six months ago when I was being screwed out of every opportunity by every fucking faction in this building. Because I am a gladiator and over the years I’ve learned how to fight for what I want and… *he taps the World Heavyweight Championship* …EARN IT.
Martin Robertson: Earn? By stealing my pinfall when I had the title won? You mean, that kind of earning? You think that makes you a worthy face for this company?
(Ray leans forward, title over his shoulder, almost nose to nose with Robertson. Willmott seems to be keeping his composure, but Martin is growing angrier.)
Ray Willmott: I went into Buffalo with a gameplan and a strategy. I knew it would work if the right opportunity presented itself. I believed in victory if I just kept fighting. If I stayed surviving.
Was I fortunate? Perhaps.
But I came out the better man. On that night, the stars did align and standing before you IS the EWA World Heavyweight Champion. Like it or not, unlike the last time I vied for a title, nobody can take that away from me.
(Willmott stares at Haven, still remembering the saga with Sahara and the Combat Championship.)
Martin Robertson: You just said it yourself, Raymond… you were lucky… you were fortunate… you survived long enough to snake your way in and steal MY belt! Well, congratulations, Raymond, because now you’re a dead man! You’re dead, I tell ya! So what are you going to do now, Raymond? Because I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to beat Dan Stein tonight, and I don’t care if you make it to the Asylum or not… I’m getting my title back! So what are you gonna do, big man?
(Willmott seems to smile)
Ray Willmott: What I do now, Martin, is exactly what I said I was going to do the moment I got here. Strip this company bare of all the so-called Kings, Queens, and Monsters who’ve been trying to sit on each other’s throne the past year.
Arrogance caused them all to see each other as the only threat. No one saw me coming. Nobody expected this!
(He raises the World title aloft)
Ray Willmott: Now, one by one, I scrub away the tarnish and turmoil that has afflicted this federation. Piece by piece, I restore the heritage and legacy to this belt by making it actually MEAN something again.
And whether that’s you, Marty …(he turns to Draven) … or you …. Or Elizabeth Gaunt … The Fallout …Indrid Calder … HATE … Sean Boden …. WHOEVER STEPS IN THAT RING …. I’m going to make sure that Excellence actually rises around here once again by being the fighting champion this company needs and deserves.
Alexander Haven: Ok, I think we’re done here.
Martin Robertson: Oh, we’re not done… not by a long shot! He has my property, and I intend on getting it back, one way or another.
Ray Willmott: Then you’d better make sure you beat Dan Stein tonight and get yourself qualified for The Asylum. If you can, that is. I mean, he made a pretty decent tag partner against The Fallout the other week.
(Willmott adjusts the World Heavyweight Championship title back on his shoulder and starts to stand up.)
Ray Willmott: I’m sure that won’t be an issue for a man of your talents, though.
(Willmott smirks as Martin glares.)
Ray Willmott: Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a White Angel waiting on the other line….
(Willmott turns and opens the door, exiting the interview room. Martin looks over at both Alex and Michael before taking the stack of papers in front of him and throwing them into the nearby wall, sending a snow shower of eight and a half by eleven white snow falling around the room as the camera cuts back to ringside…)
(We cut backstage and find Tyler Morris, a smile on his face after his “performance review” earlier in the evening.. He makes his way through an empty corridor, thoughts stewing around in his brain before he stops.
Something is not quite right. This is backstage at Battlelines.
There’s none of the usual staff. Nobody near the door to catering.
Nobody hanging about in either direction.
No sound or lighting techs running about, making sure that things run smoothly.
No hustle. No bustle.
That’s when he hears the laughter.
It’s low. Guttural. Full of mirth, yet none of the normal humor.
Tyler looks around, but he cannot locate the source of the sound.)
Tyler Morris: You gonna just play games, huh?
(The laughter grows even louder now. Morris shakes his head in exasperation.
Tyler Morris: Suit yourself.
(Tyler goes to walk away, and the voice speaks. A voice Tyler recognizes. A voice he knows well.)
Lunatikk Crippler: We are the Youth, we’ll take your fascism away.
(Tyler freezes in his tracks. His fists clench.)
Lunatikk Crippler: We are the Youth, apologize for another day.
(Tyler doesn’t turn, though he seems to be quaking with rage with every line West creepily sings.)
Lunatikk Crippler: We are the Youth, the politicians are so sure.
(Tyler takes a deep breath, trying to keep his cool.)
Lunatikk Crippler: We are the Youth and we are knocking on-
Tyler Morris: You gonna come out here and look me in the eye with that bullshit?
(Morris is greeted by a reply of silence. He wheels back around, searching for the location of the “music”.)
Tyler Morris: You wanna come out here and serenade me to my face? Maybe bring me flowers? I’d sure be appreciative if you showed your ugly face right about now, so I can rearrange it, you little bitch.
(Nothing. Tyler scoffs.)
Tyler Morris: Keep hiding in the dark like a pussy then.
(Tyler turns on his heels and walks off. The hallway remains empty for a moment, before the low laughter begins again.
From the side of the camera, the masked profile of Lunatikk Crippler comes into view.)
Lunatikk Crippler: And we are knocking on Death’s Door.
(The laugh now is louder. More uncontrolled. Crippler looks on down the hall, where Tyler Morris has now disappeared.
Fade to ringside.)
The Fallout v The New Vice Squad
NR: This tag team contest is scheduled for one fall!
The heavy drum beat of the Pretty Reckless’ “Heaven Knows” plays through the arena, and the crowd starts to stomp and clap along. A single purple spot hits the entranceway as the house lights die, and four figures stand at the top of the ramp. Lagrima has her head in her hands, Minxy has her hands in a Sailor moon pose to her left, Sangria stands with her arms crossed to her right, and Hueso himself stands in the back, leaning on his cane. As the chorus hits, the lights explode into brightness, and Lagrima looks up, as pyro explodes in series all the way along the edge of the stage!
NR: Introducing first, at a combined weight of 350 lbs, accompanied by Hueso, Lagrima, Sangria, and Minxy Jones, the VICE SQUAD!
MM: I’m looking forward to seeing what the New Vice Squad can accomplish here tonight! As you know, Ashe, both Ainsley Lake and Marisol Cortez-Walsh are veterans in the industry, and together with Jane Doe they should make for an interesting combination!
VA: First of all, Malone, who the hell are you even talking about? I see Lagrima, Sangria, and Minxy, not those other weirdos. Secondly, why are you even bothering to talk about these people when our GOD is coming out to fight in this match? Glory to Grace in the Highest!
The three make their way down the ramp, with Minxy chatting up the ringside fans, and Lagrima running to the ring! She hops onto the apron and vaults over the ropes! Sangria slides in, standing behind and to the left of Lagrima as she faces the hard cam, and Minxy slides in front of her in an HBK-esque bicep flex! Lagrima traces the tear lines of her mask, leaning over Minxy, and Sangria raises a fist with a half-smile when the lights go out once more.
VA: YES! WELCOME OUR GOD QUEEN!
MM: Speak for yourself, Ashe.
VA: Someday you’ll accept her as your own, Malone.
Sister Sin’s “Chaos Royale” begins, and Grace Goeren makes her way out from behind the curtain, alone. She looks down the rampway at the ring, and simply points a finger at the trio… and immediately, Lucy Blaylock steps through, the eyes of her mask fixated on the ring! She stomps her way down to the ring, sliding in, and the Vice Squad slide out! Sangria drags Hueso to the guardrail, telling him to leave through the crowd, and Grace shakes her head, smiling. She steps into the ring, and Lucy falls to her knees in prayer.
Grace puts a hand to Lucy’s cheek, and the giant woman stands.
MM: The amount of control that woman has, Vince…
VA: It’s called LOYAL DEVOTION, Malone, not that you’d understand what loyalty is.
MM: Says the man who’s been married three times.
VA: And none of them to Grace, Malone, no matter how many times I offered!
Referee Juan Cardillo awaits the Vice Squad’s return to the ring, and all three hop onto the apron. He puts a hand up to stop them, putting up two fingers. Minxy shrugs, looking at Lagrima and Sangria, and Sangria makes the decision that she and Minxy will be the ones to take this match. Lagrima looks slightly disappointed, but after a few words, she hops down to the floor, and it looks like Grace and Minxy will be starting this one off!
Cardillo calls for the bell, and they circle, finally locking up. Grace tosses Minxy with an armdrag, but she rolls through, swinging back with a clothesline– Grace ducks it, tossing Minxy over her head with a German suplex, but Minxy lands on her feet! Minxy hops up fro a hurracanrana– Grace tosses her off, but Minxy lands on her feet! Grace sweeps the legs, dropping Minxy to her back, but she rolls backwards, hopping toward Grace and dropping her with a wheelbarrow armdrag! The crowd EXPLODES, and Grace looks peeved! She stands up, locking up with Minxy, and quickly thumbing her eye!
Minxy staggers back, and Grace pounces on the bit of ring rust, crushing Minxy with elbows to the face, before dropping her to the mat with a huge European uppercut!
MM: Minxy’s time away from the ring is definitely not working in her favor right now.
VA: She could’ve never left, Malone, and she still would not be anywhere near the caliber of Grace!
Grace puts Minxy across the bottom rope, stepping on her head and pulling up on the top rope to choke her across while she yells at the Vice Squad! Cardillo reprimands her, but Grace only breaks the hold to do it again! Minxy coughs as Cardillo forces Grace to let up!
Grace pulls Minxy up by her mask, but Minxy drops Grace down with a jawbreaker! Grace looks more angry than hurt when she gets up, but it’s enough to give Minxy the time to get some momentum, as she flies off the ropes with a corkscrew lariat! She quickly tags in Sangria!
Minxy pulls Grace to her feet as Sangria steps in, whipping her to the Vice Squad corner! Before she can hit the turnbuckle, Sangria flattens her with a clothesline!
Sangria has a decent height advantage over Grace, and it’s even more obvious when she pulls her to her feet! Sangria whips her to the ropes, but Grace comes back with a jumping knee slam that sends Sangria reeling! She hangs on the top rope as Grace gives chase, but Sangria ducks a clothesline! Sangria wraps her arms around Goeren, and TOSSES her with an overhead belly to belly! Grace hits the mat hard, and Sangria just smiles!
MM: Sangria might have been the largest person in this match were it not for Lucy Blaylock.
VA: I hear Lucy’s twenty feet tall!
MM: Can she shoot lightning from her eyes and lightning bolts from her arse?
VA: What are you even talking about?
MM: You’re quoting–
Sangria drives a pair of kicks to the face of Grace as Grace stumbles into the ropes! Sangria jumps over the top rope, putting a hand on Grace’s head– Grace drives a shoulder into her gut, and Sangria hits the floor!
Lagrima is there to try to get her to her feet, but referee Cardillo is yelling for her to stop! Sangria gets up, waving Lagrima away, before rolling back into the ring. Grace is on her immediately, throwing heavy punches and huge knee drop to Sangria’s face!
Grace pulls Sangria to her corner, driving her shoulder into Sangria’s gut, and finally tagging in the monster Lucy Blaylock. Lucy steps over the top rope, her porcelain mask unsettling, and Sangria tries to get out of the corrner… but no luck, as Lucy makes a GIANT splash against the turnbuckle! Sangria collapses to the mat, and Blaylock tries to cover!
TWO! Sangria tries to kick out, but she can’t seem to lift her!
THR– Minxy hops into the ring, kicking Lucy in the back of the head!
MM: Huge mistake.
Lucy stands up, grabbing Minxy by the throat! Minxy’s eyes go wide as Lucy picks her up off the ground– Sangria kicks Lucy in the back of the knee! She doesn’t let go of Minxy, but Blaylock turns around, grabbing Sangria by the throat as well! The Vice Squad goes up, and they come down in a double chokeslam!
Hueso steps over the guardrail, just in time to see Minxy sail over the top rope from a guerrilla press! Blaylock focuses back on Sangria as Hueso and Lagrima try to get Minxy standing.
Blaylock picks Sangria up– jawbreaker! Blaylock doesn’t fall, just stumbles a bit, and Sangria whips her to the ropes! Blaylock comes back– Sangria with the big boot! No! Countered! Blaylock pulls her into a capture suplex!
VA: I told you, Malone!
Minxy dives into the ring and chases Blaylock, but Blaylock seems invincible! Minxy dives at Blaylock for a cross body– but Blaylock catches her! And she swings Minxy up into a MASSIVE fallaway slam!
Lagrima hops up onto the apron as Sangria gets to her feet, and Cardillo starts to chew her out! Grace yells her way as well, telling Lucy to take care of it! Lucy turns around, and Hueso tosses his cane to Sangria! Before Lucy can get very far, Sangria slams her in the back with the cane! The cane is bent in half, but Lucy just looks angry! She grabs Sangria up, who drops the cane, and pulls her into the Loveless! Grace is livid, and she charges past Cardillo, spearing Lagrima to the floor! She throws punches at Lagrima’s face on the outside! Minxy hops onto the apron, springboarding to attack Lucy with a missile dropkick!
Cardillo takes a look around and realizes he’s lost all control! He doesn’t even know who the legal man is! He calls for the bell as the two teams try to tear each other apart!
NR: This match has been declared a no-contest!
VA: NO! I’m counting this as a win! The Vice Squad cheated!
MM: It’s pandemonium out here!
Security swarms the ringside area, as Lucy is holding her own without a problem against the two oldest Vice Squad members! Grace drives fists into Lagrima’s face until a man in a black uniform pulls her away! It takes another five security members to keep Blaylock at bay! More officials start to pour in, and Hueso, the Vice Squad, and a pair of security start heading to the back, confused and a little scared!
VA: The Vice Squad didn’t know what hit ‘em in Blaylock!
MM: I have a feeling this isn’t over yet, Vince.
THIS MATCH HAS BEEN RULED A DOUBLE DISQUALIFICATION (9:44)
MM: Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve just gotten a medical update on Azrael Goeren who was savagely attacked by a masked fan earlier this evening, costing him his chance at entering the Asylum Match.
VA: I don’t know who that fan was but I’d like to buy him a drink for keeping that dirty Kraut out of the World Title picture, that’s for sure.
MM: Apparently Azrael was diagnosed with a concussion by Dr. Furman soon after making it backstage but has since refused any further medical treatment…in fact, we’ve received word for the past ten minutes that he’s been tearing up the backstage area and looking for the man that attacked him.
VA: What a sore loser, honestly how the fans can like this guy is beyond me…
MM: Shut up.
VA: How rude!
MM: I’m…yes, I’m being told we’ve got a camera backstage and we are…we are following Azrael right now. Is this right? Can we cut to that?
(The camera cuts backstage to reveal the catering area in complete shambles. Food, drinks and trays are just scattered everywhere as Azrael Goeren is shown standing in the middle of the anarchic scene. He grabs hold of a nearby coffee carafe and hurls it into the nearby wall, shattering the glass into thousands of pieces. Interns and other backstage EWA officials scatter for cover as Azrael reaches the end of the hallway, screaming out wildly to an unseen individual.)
Azrael Goeren: Come on out, du schwanz lutschen stück New York mül! I know you’re back here, come on out!
(Hesitantly stepping into the camera shot is backstage reporter Terry Bull who, despite Azrael’s strange behavior towards him, has built up a rapport with him lately. Terry very nervously approaches Azrael who seemingly doesn’t take notice of him at first.)
Azrael Goeren: I can wait all fucking night, come on out!
Terry Bull: Az…Azrael?
Azrael Goeren: Make it quick, Ter-Bear. I’m hunting arrogant, loud-mouthed assholes who can’t STAND for me to be successful without them. You see any of them around here? About 6’3? Probably wearing a mask to cover his coward-pussy face?
Terry Bull: You know who attacked you? You know who that was?
(Azrael turns towards Bull angrily, grabbing him by the shirt collar.)
Azrael Goeren: Of course I know who that fucking was. I’m not blind. This is the same story, over and over again. Just when I THINK I’ve finally sorted out all of the crazy shit that goes on in my life…just when I THINK I’ve got it all under control…some asshole from way back when decides to put the screws to me for something I did to them YEARS ago. I just know it!
(Goeren lets go of Bull’s collar and looks directly into the camera, his eyes somewhat glazed over and still obviously suffering from the concussion. He turns back to Bull and smoothes out his shirt, taking a deep breath.)
Azrael Goeren: Apologies, mein freund. We shall venture to the Boscovs after the show to buy you a new shirt. In the meantime, I’m going to find my dear Jada and talk about my next move…
(Azrael’s demeanor suddenly turns cold and extremely serious.)
Azrael Goeren: Because what happened out there will NOT go unpunished. I don’t know what the fuck I did to deserve that from him…apparently ALL of the titles we won and the years of friendship we have doesn’t mean dick. He wants to come back? Fine…but if he thinks he can do it at my expense then he’s wrong.
(Azrael looks off down the hallway, seemingly lost in thought.)
Azrael Goeren: Dead fucking wrong.
(With those words, Azrael walks down the nearby hallway to presumably find Sinnocence before the camera cuts back to ringside with Malone and Ashe.)
MM: Well that’s pretty cut and dry, isn’t it? I mean if that person who attacked Azrael…if that’s who we think it is…and apparently who Azrael thinks it is then…
VA: You know what? Don’t. Just don’t. This place is already a zoo without him, I don’t want to imagine what it would be like with HIM back here.
MM: All I know is that Goeren is justifiably pissed off at what went down here tonight. He lost his chance to get into the Asylum match because of this attack and he’s going to do everything he can to make this individual pay.
VA: Still though, no Azrael in the Asylum match. Let’s all be grateful for that. Small victories, Malone. Small victories.
MM: Let’s go to the ring for our next match!
Maggie McIntyre v Hank
EWA COMBAT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
NR: This contest is scheduled for one fall, and is for the EWA Combat Championship!
MM: After last show, Vince, I’m wondering if Hank can keep his eyes on the prize long enough to not DQ himself.
VA: He got a little excited against Boden, Malone. Like… professional courtesy, or something.
The loud bell at the intro for “Red Right Hand” rings out, and Hank steps onto the stage into a blood-red spotlight. The house lights shift to match the red, bathing the arena in a bloody light, and Hank lifts his head with a disturbing smile.
NR: Introducing first, the challenger, from Lincoln, MT, weighing in at 295 lbs, HANK!
He slowly stalks to the ring, keeping his hands down. Looking closely, one can see blood dripping from his middle fingers.
MM: As we mentioned, at Battlelines 25 Hank faced the former EWA Network Champion Sean Boden for a spot in the Asylum, seemingly losing sight of the fact that it was NOT a no-disqualification match.
VA: Forget last week, Malone, can we talk about the fact that his hands are bleeding all over the place right now? I mean… I think they’re bleeding anyway…? I… I hope they’re bleeding? All of this sounds terrible.
MM: Given the little we know about Hank over the last year plus of EWA action, Ashe… I hope that’s his blood, too, for everybody’s sake.
Hank steps into the ring, reaching into his pocket and drawing out the infamous fork! He raises it into the air, before handing it over to Danny Smith, smearing blood onto the referee’s hands. Smith looks a little terrified, but he takes the fork… and then Hank reaches into his boot, pulling out another! Smith looks somewhat mortified, taking the second bloody fork… until Hank pulls off his Akubra, pulling another fork out of the inside brim! Danny Smith holds all three forks now, and he looks at Hank expectantly. Hank nods, and Smith turns around to get rid of them– and Hank turns him back around, pulling a fork out of the inside of his shirt!
VA: Malone, this would be hilarious if it were literally anyone else.
Smith steps out of the ring to get rid of the forks (and find something to clean his hands with) as the lights begin to flicker.
I got two letters from you
Last words of the runaway
Your love was written so true
And now I can’t speak your name
The heavy opening drum beats of AFI’s “I Hope You Suffer” reverberate throughout the arena and the lights flicker in time to the beat as the Banshee of HATE, Maggie McIntyre, appears at the top of the rampway, the EWA Combat Championship strapped to her waist.
NR: And his opponent, from Albany, NY, weighing in at 155 lbs, representing HATE, she is the EWA Combat Champion, the Banshee, MAGGIE MCINTYRE!
Dressed in a tight black top, buckled corset and fishnets tucked into knee high boots, she begins to stride down the ramp, her long black hair braided with raven’s feathers bouncing as she moves.
I faced destruction and you
Just killed me and walked away
I gave my heart to the cruel
Now, it will not beat again
She climbs into the ring, stepping through the ropes and raising fist to the roar of the crowd before shedding the leather jacket to the outside. Hank rubs his hands together with a smile as she hands the belt to Smith, and Hank’s eyes follow the big gold belt as Smith raises it into the sky. He hands it off, and calls for the bell, and immediately, Maggie charges, crashing against Hank’s head with a vicious spinning wheel kick!
Hank stumbles back, but doesn’t drop, and Maggie attempts to capitalize, throwing elbows to the big man’s face before whipping him to the ropes– reversed by Hank, into a HUGE short-arm clothesline! Maggie drops to the mat, but Hank doesn’t let go, pulling her into another one! He picks her up again, but Maggie ducks, pulling him into a floatover DDT that drops him to the mat!
VA: Good comeback from those clotheslines, but I think frustrating Hank at this stage of the game is a really bad idea!
MM: I think Hank’s gonna be frustrated with any kind of offense, Ashe.
VA: Exactly! Maggie should just lay down! It’ll be easier for her! And as an added bonus, it gets the belt out of the hands of HATE.
MM: And you think it’s somehow better with Hank?!
Hank pops up faster than a man his size should be able to, spearing Maggie to the mat! He starts driving fists into her face as she lays on the mat, and Danny Smith starts a five count, but he gets to a four before crushing her with a headbutt! Hank takes time out to lecture Smith as Maggie gets to her knees, but he drives a HUGE knee to her face before she can really get up!
Hank runs off the ropes, and dives onto Maggie with a splash– but the Banshee rolls out! Hank gets nothing but mat, and McIntyre straddles his back, slamming his head into the mat! Smith chastises Maggie this time, who ignores him until a count of four as well! Hank tries to shrug it off, but Maggie comes off the ropes with a huge shining wizard to put him on the mat, and makes the cover!
Hank kicks out, tossing the lighter woman aside like a sack of potatoes!
VA: I think this is a good time to note that if Hank ate a big dinner, he’d be literally twice Maggie’s size.
Hank gets to his feet, and he bears down on Maggie! Maggie throws a kick to the gut that barely fazes him, and Hank barrels her into the corner, slamming her hard into the turnbuckles!
Hank: Here, piggy piggy…eheheh
Hank starts to stalk Maggie, and pulls another fork from his other boot!
MM: He’s gonna do it again, Ashe!
VA: I feel very ambivalent about this!
He raises the fork in the air, looking at it… and he hands it over to Danny Smith, putting his hands up in apology!
Danny Smith takes the fork, but as soon as he turns around, Hank SQUEALS, charging Maggie in the corner and starting to absolutely brutalize her with fists, feet, elbows, and even teeth! Danny Smith starts a five count, but suddenly the lights go out!
VA: Oh no.
The lights come back up… but nobody’s there! Hank looks around confused, and Maggie slides out of the ring, a concerned look on her face!
MM: I’m getting word from the back, Ashe!
(The Tron comes to life with live footage from the parking lot, where we find Cal Rayner’s masked face being rammed through a car window by Johan Dietrich.)
MM: WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON BACK THERE?!
(Jacob Mephisto swings a brass knuckle-aided right hand that connects with the already-battered NOTHING’s face, sending the Purveyor of HATE to the concrete. Lunatikk Crippler jumps him from behind, throwing Mephisto over the hood of a car and raining down with elbows across his chest, but KC Rockefeller blindsides him with the screwdriver, jabbing it again and again into his forehead.)
VA: Is this what those rumors were all about?
MM: What do you mean? What rumors?!
(Indrid Calder and Sean Boden fly across the screen as they trade punches, Indrid’s grip on Boden’s tie firm and unrelenting, and the camera pans through the chaos to find Mephisto now holding the screwdriver, digging it into Crippler’s wounds made by Rockefeller.)
VA: Don’t you read the sheets, Malone?!
(Rayner grips Dietrich by his throat as blood stains his mask from the inside, shards of glass protruding through, and hurls him onto the windshield of the same car. The former Dredd slams his fist into Dietrich’s face as the Hired Gun beckons him…)
Johan Dietrich: C’MON, OL’ MAN! THAT ALL YA FUCKIN’ GOT?!
(…until Rockefeller leaps onto his back, choking him with a handful of zip ties. Rayner stumbles about trying to shake the Young Gun, passing by Calder and Boden as Sean wraps his neck tie around the former World champion’s throat, using it to guide him back to the fray.)
MM: I…what the hell are you talking about?!
VA: The entire internet was up in arms over it, Malone! Jeez…do some research once in a while!
(Crippler shoves Mephisto away and lands a shot square to his jaw, forcing him to drop the screwdriver, but is caught off-guard as Dietrich hurls a handful of broken glass at his face. Crippler scurries back and Dietrich follows in, the two trading shots as Rayner whips Rockefeller over his head, slamming the smaller man’s lower back against the side fender of a Ford Taurus.)
MM: What rumors are you talking about?!?!?!?!
VA: God dammit…MICHAEL DRAVEN, OUR BOSS, ALLEGEDLY PAID OFF BOTH KHARRION AND PARIAH TO MAKE SURE MAGGIE McINTYRE WAS LEFT ALONE!!
MM: So that necessitates this…this…CARNAGE?!
(Rayner’s glory is short-lived, however, as Boden springboards off the rear bumper of the Taurus, driving his knee into the aging giant’s face. Johan hurls Crippler face-first against the side of a production truck as Calder stomps away on KC, the Stranger caught off-guard with a punt to the face from Boden. Blood spurts from the former World champion’s busted lip while Mephisto casually strolls back to NOTHING. Collins, his face a bloody mess, looks up at him, defenseless.)
Jacob Mephisto: You thought it was your HATE that has kept you going, but it is despair that manipulated your every move.
(Jacob slowly dons the brass knuckles once more, slamming another right hand into NOTHING’s face. He kneels over the fallen Purveyor, fishing a dog collar from his back pocket.)
Jacob Mephisto: I. Own. You.
(Mephisto envelopes NOTHING as Rayner begins to stir, gripping a nearby Volkswagen’s bumper for leverage.)
MM: All of this…and Michael Draven is the one behind it?!
VA: Yes. Well, again, allegedly.
(KC crawls to his feet, limping over toward Rayner, and picks up the scattered bundle of zip ties, looping a few of them together. He rolls the giant over, straining to pull his arms behind his back before tying them together, and then makes his way toward Calder to let him meet the same fate.
Dietrich grinds the heel of his boot into Crippler’s jaw, laughing all the while, as Boden grabs the zip ties from Rockefeller. Soon, Crippler finds his ankle bound to the production trailer’s rear axle, the four attackers converging on NOTHING.)
MM: This…I’m not making any excuses for what HATE have done in this company, but…
VA: Buuuuuuut. Jeez, Malone, how’d I know there’d be a buuuuuuuut?
(Security finally rushes in as Dietrich retrieves his screwdriver, snatching Rockefeller up over his shoulder. Kharrion are quick to make dust, fleeing the scene as they’ve done so many times before, and Boden has disappeared as well. All that remains is Mephisto, a satisfactory smirk on his face, and he casually walks by security, revealing what’s become of NOTHING.
The dog collar around his neck connects to a long chain, each link of heavy steel, that wraps around his body, locking his arms behind his back. He rests on his knees, beaten, left with only the knowledge of this defeat and the embarrassing position he finds himself in.)
Jacob Mephisto: Now obey.
MM: With nobody to save her, what does Maggie do now?!
VA: Maggie’s the Combat Champ, Malone, she doesn’t need saving! Look!
Hank smiles as the camera cuts away from the carnage in the parking lot, and turns– Maggie drops him hard with the Banshee’s Wail! She quickly scales the turnbuckle– Outlaw Star! Maggie covers!
THREE! Hank with a kickout, but it’s too late!
NR: Your winner, and STILL EWA Combat Champion, Maggie McIntyre!
Hank looks absolutely shocked! He argues with Smith, who is adamant that she got the three count! Hank angrily gets to his feet, stomping out of the ring and to the back!
MM: Quite the victory by Maggie McIntyre, and Hank is livid!
VA: One place I would not want to be is in his crosshairs, Malone, and Maggie might just have found herself there!
MM: So Maggie McIntyre celebrates in the ring, and —
HAIL TO THE KING
HAIL TO THE ONE
KNEEL TO THE CROWN
STAND IN THE SUN
HAIL TO THE KING!
(Suddenly, ‘Hail to the King’ plays over the PA system, interrupting Maggie’s music, and the members of 3K – Martin Robertson, Alyssa Marie Haven, Alexander Haven, and Michael Draven – storm out from behind the curtain, heading straight down the ramp toward the ringside area. Draven has a wild look in his eyes, and Maggie freezes in the ring, looking down to the men keeping her trapped with an understandably nervous gaze. Robertson, Haven, and of course, Michael Draven stalk around the ring, keeping their quarry exactly where they want her.)
MM: 3K has our Combat Champion trapped! Maggie McIntyre has nowhere to go!
VA: Like this is any surprise, she took a baseball bat to Draven at Battlelines 25 in retaliation for what he did at Champion’s Summit II! She should have known better!
MM: No wonder Pariah and Kharrion put the rest of HATE out of commission just a moment ago! Michael Draven wanted to get his hands on Maggie and the rest of 3K is going to help him!
(Maggie’s dark eyes flit to and fro, looking for an opening…for an escape.)
MM: Just run, Maggie!
(Though she can’t hear him, she takes the chance just as Michael Draven has passed and Haven is to her right. She knows she’s faster than the EWA CEO, so Maggie bolts from the middle of the ring…only to have her ankle caught by Martin. The former Network Champion pounces on their prey, quick to hold down her feet while his fellow Kings climb into the ring. The Banshee screams as she struggles, but cannot overpower them.
It doesn’t take long for them to pull her thrashing form up and drag her over to the ropes. Haven pulls a pair of handcuffs, grinning all the while Draven and Martin hold her still. Alex manages to cuff her to the ropes and the second the locks clicked into place tightly around her wrists, he jumps down goes to the announce table. Haven snatches up a microphone and hands it up through the ropes to his once long-time rival and now brother-in-arms, Michael Draven.)
MM: What the hell is going on! LET HER GO!
(Malone jumps up, outright yelling up at Maggie’s ex-boyfriend. The smallest Pillar of HATE continues to scream, shaking the ropes as she thrashes about to try and free herself.)
Michael Draven: Fourteen swings of a bat, Margaret. Four…teen…swings.
(Draven pulls his shirt off gingerly, showing an ugly cascade of purple and tan bruising all over his stomach, back, and ribcages. There’s an audible gasp from the crowd as they behold the damage that McIntyre’s vicious baseball bat assault did to the 3K member at Battlelines 25.)
Michael Draven: You could’ve just left it alone, you know. An eye for an eye. You ruin me, I ruin you. That’s the nature of this business. But nooo…precious little Margaret just had to take it one…step…further.
(With each word, Draven leans in closer to the thrashing Maggie, until he’s just inches away from her face. The tendons in her neck strain as she tries to get at her ex-boyfriend, a HATEful expression on her face. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Draven pistons out an arm, slapping her open-handed across the cheek. The crowd gasps and the boos begin to rain down.)
MM: That’s enough! Stop it!
VA: Malone, she did this.
MM: I don’t really care! There’s certain lines you just don’t cross, and…
(Malone’s rant is interrupted by a low, dry chuckle from Michael Draven.)
Michael Draven: That’s just the beginning. Fourteen swings, Margaret. My arm hurts, but…
(He leans in once again.)
Michael Draven: I think I can make that work.
(Slowly, methodically, Draven reaches toward his waist, unfastening his belt as he steps back. With the grip of Robertson and Haven on her ankles, she can only just turn to look at Draven. Maggie’s screaming stops momentarily as she turns her head, seeing what her ex-boyfriend is doing.)
Michael Draven: I know what the problem is with you, Margaret, you weren’t given enough discipline as a child, so I think it’s high time I picked up where “Big” Ed Johnson and your dead mother so obviously failed. Those daddy issues of yours really came back to bite you in the ass, you bitch…but that won’t hurt nearly as much as this will.
(He pulls the heavy leather belt from the loops, folding it in half and nodding to his cohorts. They reach out from the ground, grabbing ahold of Maggie’s ankles to keep her still.)
Michael Draven: It’s time for your performance review, Margaret.
Maggie McIntyre: No no no! Please! No!
(The microphone just barely picks up her pleas as Michael brings his arm back. A moment of uncertainty passes over Draven’s face, his resolve appearing to crumble in the moment. He looks down to his right at Martin, then down to his left at Haven and Alyssa Marie – the latter of whom can barely contain her excitement over seeing McIntyre handcuffed to the ring ropes. With a sigh, Draven’s hand lowers to his side. Maggie’s former lover regards her with an icy stare…and then suddenly begins to laugh. Alexander Haven and Martin Robertson follow, and Alyssa Marie joins in, climbing into the ring, until the four of them are all laughing together. Maggie looks on, wide-eyed and almost terrified, as Draven begins to speak through fits of laughter.)
Michael Draven: Did we get you? Oh, man…we totally fooled you! This was a lesson in respect, Margaret. You crossed a line two weeks ago in Buffalo…and you crossed a line last year when you tried to intimidate Alyssa here. And that’s part of proper discipline, you know? Teaching someone when they’ve crossed the line and correcting their behavior. I’m sure you won’t do that again after all of this, right?
(Maggie whips her head up and down, nodding, likely in order to go along with Draven and get herself out of this predicament. Draven smiles, reaching into his pocket.)
Michael Draven: I’m glad we cleared this little misunderstanding up, Margaret. Now you can go back to that cockroach that calls himself the Stranger, and I can continue running this business with an iron fist along with these three. Now, let me just find the key…oh, there it is.
(Draven pulls a key out from his pocket. He stares down at it, speaking a little softer now.)
Michael Draven: You know, there’s one thing I appreciate about you, Margaret…you always knew when enough was enough. You always knew when to stop. All those times in bed, when you clearly just couldn’t get the job done…you stopped, knowing that you’d never be good enough. Back in Tokyo, you gave me that one hard shove – just one shove, though! – and then left the issue alone, knowing that’s all you needed. And even in Buffalo, with the bat…fourteen swings was a lot – but you didn’t finish me off! You let me walk away…because you knew when to stop. I admire that, Margaret…
(Draven takes a knee next to Maggie, who now has a relieved look on her face, and leans into her ear, speaking softly into the microphone.)
Michael Draven: …but I won’t stop.
(Draven leaps to his feet, rearing back and launching the key to the handcuffs high into the mid-level seating of the Combat Zone. The crowd comes to life with another chorus of boos, as Draven unfurls the belt in his hand, folding it in half once more…only this time with the buckle facing outward at the end of the loop.
Maggie looks rightfully terrified as his arm goes back again and she tries to struggle against the iron grip of Haven and Robertson, but to no avail. She can only watch in horror as Alyssa pulls out her phone to record the pain on Maggie’s face as Draven brings that belt down on her skin, the resounding THWACK echoes throughout the arena.)
Michael Draven: That’s one.
(The Banshee of HATE shrieks, a long red welt almost instantly appearing across her bared lower back and her thigh.)
Michael Draven: Here’s how this is going to go, Margaret. For every time you swung that bat in Buffalo, you’re going to get a lashing with this belt, each one harder than the last. Your “pillars” can’t save you from this, we’ve seen to that. The only person that can save you…is yourself.
(Draven leans down, smiling into the sobbing face of Maggie McIntyre.)
Michael Draven: Beg me to stop, and I will. Until then…
(Alyssa cheers him on as Draven raises the belt again and again, striking Maggie’s skin with surgical precision. Maggie cries out with each one, grasping for purchase at the ropes and trying desperately to get away.)
Michael Draven: That’s four! Ten more to go, Margaret! You can do it!
MM: SOMEONE GET OUT HERE! STOP THIS! STOP IT RIGHT NOW!!
VA: I mean…Michael…I think you might have made your point?
(Draven lifts an arm again, bringing the belt across the lower leg of Maggie, as she shrieks in pain, tears streaming down her face.)
Michael Draven: YOU DID THIS, YOU BITCH!! THIS IS YOUR FAULT!!!
(An audible thump is heard, and suddenly we see Mike Malone approaching the ring, pleading with Draven to stop. But before Malone can step up onto the steps, Alexander Haven lets go of Maggie and stalks toward him, yelling and pointing at the commentary position. Malone, with slumped shoulders, heads back to commentary as Draven delivers another searing strike with the belt, this time catching Maggie flush across the chest as she writhes back and forth, trying to get away from the punishment the belt is inflicting upon her.
Even the mass of people in attendance have gone silent in disgust with the actions of Michael Draven, save for the few pockets of angry fans still yelling for this to end.)
Michael Draven: HOW DOES IT FEEL, MARGARET?!? HOW DOES IT FEEL??
(Alyssa redirects one of the cameramen to film Maggie’s face for the jumbotron, showing off her running make up, the blood shot eyes and flushed face, and the now steady stream of tears. She bounces, clapping her hands in glee at the Banshee’s suffering.
Draven pays it no mind and brings that belt and buckle down hard twice again in rapid succession, grinning gleefully when Maggie’s crying overtakes her and she just starts sobbing. He clearly relishes the fact that the buckle has opened up numerous cuts along her stomach, back, and thighs.)
Michael Draven: Six more, Banshee, only six more! BLEED, BITCH! BLEED!!
MM: You said it, Vince, this needs to stop! Where is HATE?!
(Draven spits at his former girlfriend in disgust, going to strike her bleeding form again before he’s stopped–surprisingly by his own stablemate. Martin Robertson has been watching all of this with a steady expression on his face, as opposed to the excitement of the Havens, but he above them all has recognized when enough is enough, sliding in the ring to silence his partner.)
Martin Robertson: That’s enough, Mike.
(Martin holds the right arm of Draven at his fellow 3K member’s side, first looking at him, then down at Maggie, not with a look of any type of remorse… but just, blankly, as if she were nothing more than a punching bag.)
Martin Robertson: Save the rest for another day.
(Draven hesitates for a moment, looking down towards Alex and seeing the CEO nod in agreement. He rolls his eyes before shrugging. Martin takes a few steps back from Draven towards the corner as Michael lifts the microphone to his lips.)
Michael Draven: Margaret, Margaret, Margaret…Marty and Alex here think you’ve had enough. I don’t agree with him, though. You’ve taken the first eight so well. I wonder, Margaret…
…if I hit you in the back of the skull with this belt, how much damage to your face will the wrap-around cause? I think it’s time to find out!
(Draven drops the microphone, rearing back, and at that moment we hear Maggie shriek loudly. Draven grabs the microphone again, walking toward Maggie and leaning into her ear – we can hear the sobs into the microphone at this close range.)
Michael Draven: What was that, my dear? Say it again, so the world can hear?
Maggie McIntyre: Stop! Please, please stop!
(Draven smirks, nodding, and drops the microphone, stepping back and replacing the belt in the loops of his slacks. Michael takes a long moment, staring down at the sobbing Maggie McIntyre as medics flood the ring, and then reaches into his jeans pocket, fishing out another key to the handcuffs. He drops it, almost absent-mindedly, in front of the horde of medical workers tending to Maggie, whose entire slim frame is heaving with sobs. Draven, a blank expression on his face, exits the ring, heading to the back as Alyssa Marie, Haven, and Martin Robertson follow behind.)
MM: I can’t…I can’t put into words. This was…
VA: Sickening, Malone. I’ll say it for you. Even I have my limits. That was…over the line.
MM: Let’s take you to an advertisement.
(We cut back from the Live From London advert to a harrowing scene – the arena, eerily silent, watches on as a slew of medics and officials help Maggie McIntyre up the ramp, to the back. Bleeding from multiple welts across her body, the Banshee of HATE’s face is one of pure agony and seething rage. Suddenly, the crowd rustles, as we see a battered Indrid Calder, clearly still suffering from the attack inflicted by Kharrion and Pariah, walking out. The Stranger meets the horde of officials halfway down the ramp, staring coldly at the group, before gently taking Maggie from their clutches. Calder picks his Banshee up in his arms, turning back toward the curtain, the look of relief spreads over her face as she collapses against him.)
MM: Folks, what we’ve just witnessed defies all summary, all explanation. There’s been some horrible things done in this industry, but what we’ve just seen goes down as one of the most disturbing instances of sheer violence that I’ve seen in all of my years in this business.
VA: Malone, normally I’d point out how wrong you are…but…I can’t, this time. I just…I can’t.
MM: As much as I loathe this expression, folks, as you see Indrid Calder carrying Maggie McIntyre through the curtain there…the show must go on. We’ve cleared the ring, and it’s now time for our next contest.
VA: Hold on a moment, Malone. I want to say something.
MM: The floor is yours, Vince.
VA: Listen, I’m an avid supporter of Alexander Haven and the Three Kings. I don’t try to hide that, I make no secret of it…I am who I am. But I don’t see how you can stand by and allow something like that to happen. That’s just…it’s unconscionable. But here’s the thing, Malone. If my litany of paternity suits have taught me anything over my life, it’s this one, undeniable truth…
Hell hath no fury like a Banshee scorned.
MM: Let’s go to the ring for our next contest.
Sahara v Sean Boden
Nikki Rogers: The following contest is scheduled for one fall!
As the opening riff of In This Moments ‘Adrenalize Me’ hits, the lights flash and momentarily bathe the arena in blinding white light. The jumbotron springs to life with a staticy white background as a reddish hue slowly descends over the rampway and blood begins dripping down the screen and highlighting the name ‘SAHARA’.
Looking down at her cue card, Nikki stifles a smile as she begins reading the latest Sahara introduction.
NR: Introducing first, at a perfect weight of 175 beautiful pounds, from Chicago Illinois, the one already known as The Crimson Queen and the Defender of the Gates of Valhalla, and soon to be known as the the Dancing Destroyer, the Queen of Sting, the Countess of Monte Fisto, the Princess of Punch, the Master of Disaster, the one and only…Sahara!
VA: Those are amazing nicknames to add to the growing list, but if she keeps up this nonsense with the Fallout, I may have to change my tune…
MM: She literally had Nikki read off Apollo Creed’s introduction…
VA: Uh, I highly doubt Apollo Creed called himself a countess or a princess, but nice try, Malone.
MM: You realize you flip-flop your opinion on Sahara it seems from minute to minute? One minute she’s perfect, then she’s never good enough because she can’t live up to your “God Queens” impossible expectations.
As the Crimson Queen finally emerges onto the rampway, she stands at the top of the rampway looking out across the sea of fans before shoving off and charging down the rampway straight for the ring. Using her momentum to slide in through the bottom rope, she crawls across the ring before finally jumping to her feet.
Nikki: And her opponent, weighing in at 229 pounds, from Las Vegas Nevada, Sean … Boden!
‘Behind Blue Eyes’ by the Who begins playing over the PA as the lights black out. A barely visible silhouette stands on the ramp as a single spotlight hits it on the ‘sad man’. Sean Boden stands, hands together in front of him, looking down. A pair of red flares shoot up next to him and he raises his head with a smirk. He carefully adjusts his suit jacket before calmly walking down toward the ring, keeping his eyes on Sahara at all times.
As he approaches the ringside area, he walks up the steps, stopping at the corner to stare down the blonde that returns the steely glare. Slowly walking the ring apron, Boden steps through the middle rope, never taking his eyes off Sahara, holding his smirk. Pulling off his jacket, tie, and shirt, his eyes never leave his prey, and the smirk never leaves his face.
Calling for the bell, Rick Iley quickly reminds both competitors of the rules governing the match and the two begin to slowly circle each other. Reaching forward to grasp each other, Sahara ducks beneath and wraps her arms around Bodens waist, RELEASE GERMAN SUPLEX! The crowd almost accidently pops at what happened.
MM: Where the hell did that come from?!
VA: Sahara’s done more wrestling moves the past two shows than she has in her entire career.
Rolling through the move, Boden lands near the turnbuckles on one knee looking up at Sahara who holds her arms out to purposefully elicit response from the crowd and taunt Boden. She returns a smarmy looking smirk just in spite.
MM: Look at the look on Boden’s face! It’s almost an odd measure of respect mixed with annoyance because it was so surprising!
Nodding toward the blonde, Boden pushes himself back to both feet and brushes off his shoulder. Storming out of the corner, Boden locks up with Sahara and powers her back against the turnbuckles. Iley immediately pushes himself between the two to break the hold. Backing up toward the center of the ring, Boden motions Sahara forward. Tentatively approaching Boden, the two lock up again, and HIPTOSS on Boden!
MM: What the hell is going on here?!
Slamming both palms down on the mat, Boden looks out toward the audience and a number of fans can be seen laughing at what they see unfolding before their eyes. Boden snaps his head back toward the blonde and glares at her only to have Sahara return a proud grin as she returns the favor and dusts off her shoulder.
VA: So I gather the Sinnocence rumors are true?!
MM: It’s like watching Happy Gilmore learn to putt!
Going in for a another tie up, this time Boden lifts his knee doubling the blonde over before raining down a couple of solid forearm shots to her upper back out of anger. Moving aside her, he yanks her back and connects with a fluid russian legsweep. Picking her up, Boden sends her into the ropes and swings a huge clothesline that Sahara ducks, rebounding off the ropes, Sahara is sent sprawling as she slams into a brick wall of a shoulder block from Boden. Her larger opponent stares down at her as she rolls to the side.
MM: Physics will get ya every time.
As Sahara scrambles to her feet, Boden immediately grasps her and throws her head over heels with a huge belly to belly suplex. Sahara rolls through the move and drops beneath the bottom rope and falls out of the ring.
VA: Uh oh…the God Queen’s liege is learning…
MM: Wise move, taking a bit of a breather to slow Boden’s anger and momentum.
VA: Sinn didn’t raise no fool, Malone.
Backing away from the ropes to keep Boden in her line of sight, Sahara stands behind the corner steps, getting her bearings about her.
MM: She doesn’t appear winded in the least…and I gotta comment on how amazing she looks. One thing’s certain, she’s been putting in some work.
VA: And Boden looks none too happy being her guinea pig here tonight.
Slowly climbing the steps, Sahara arrogantly waves Boden back which simply appears to annoy him further as she steps one foot through the ropes. Finally entering the ring, Sahara begins circling as the two once again go in for lockup. Grabbing each other, Sahara steps to the side and wrenches Boden’s arm behind him.
VA: ARMBAR! ARMBAR! SHE GOT HIM IN AN ARMBAR!
MM: Let’s pump the breaks here a bit, Ashe…it’s an armbar.
VA: I know, I’m just excited…I’ve never seen her use one!
MM: That’s a far cry from earlier tonight when you called her dead weight to the Fallout.
Wrenching his arm again, Boden slips behind her, reversing the hold only to have Sahara do the same. Shoving him toward the ropes, Sahara drops to the mat and Boden leaps over her, getting to her feet she charges the rebounding Boden and plants him with a perfect dropkick, sending him between the top and middle ropes to the outside. Boden immediately springs to his feet and slams his hands against the ring apron out of exasperation.
Looking down at Boden from inside the ring, Sahara once again dusts off her shoulder and raises her eyebrows at her opponent.
MM: She’s playing with fire here.
VA: She’s getting under his skin…and he’s usually very calm.
MM: That’s my point, it’s probably not a good idea to get under this guy’s skin!
The second Boden gets into the ring he scrambles to his feet as Sahara charges, Boden leaps and both nail each other with a massive clothesline.
MM: Wow, Sahara took the the worst of that.
VA: That’s what around 70 extra pounds of bodyweight does for ya, Malone.
MM: She’s lucky she didn’t get busted open there, it looks like Boden’s elbow hit her right in the temple.
Boden gets to his feet first as the blonde pushes herself up, stumbling as she shakes off the daze effect as Boden grabs her by the arm. Twisting her arm, Boden yanks her in for the short-arm clothesline and Sahara ducks underneath, wrapping her arms around his waist, she again tries to lift him for a german suplex but Boden kicks out his legs and drops down hitting her with a modified stunner eliciting an ‘Ohhhhhh’ from the capacity crowd. Grabbing her chin she slightly turns and falls to one knee. Boden seizes the moment and instantly leaps on her back, wrapping his arm around her throat and trying to tie her up!
MM: She went to the well one too many times with that German suplex and now he’s going for the Wrath!
VA: She needed to get out of the ring and take another breather, that shot to the head rattled her…don’t let him lock that in, Sahara!
MM: Like a true veteran, Boden wastes no time when he sees an opportu — oh, oh…he got it! He’s got it locked in!
Locking the Wrath on the blonde, Boden yanks back as she frantically grasps at his arm in an all out panic to no avail. Reaching out toward the ropes Boden kicks her in the back of the leg, buckling her knee and using his weight to push her down.
MM: He’s got it locked in…she can’t afford to go down all the way or he’s got her dead center of the ring!
Using her knees to push forward toward the ropes, Boden rears back with a menacing howl as Sahara collapses to the mat. Reaching out, she grabs the referee Rick Iley’s shirt and yanks him forward, yelling in agony. Pulling away from the blonde Rick Iley clears the way for Sahara as she reaches out, clawing the mat and Boden’s forearm before clawing at the mat again, yanking herself and all of Boden’s weight toward the ropes.
VA: She’s not giving in!
MM: Even if she doesn’t it’s just a matter of time before she’s out, Boden’s got it locked in good and he isn’t letting go!
As Sahara frantically scrambles toward the ropes, Boden once again cinches the hold on tighter and can be overheard repeatedly commanding Sahara to “Submit or Sleep!”. Reaching out toward the ropes, she scratches at his forearm, then reaches back trying to grab anything she can get a hold of, his hair, his face, his shoulder.
MM: She’s fading, Ashe, she’s fading fast and her desperate attempts to escape have failed!
VA: It’s not over until it’s over, the Crimson Queen is almost there!
Her eyes flutter back as she reaches out, her fingertips barely missing the bottom rope, Boden once again screams “Submit, BITCH!” as the blonde’s body convulses as she reaches out with one last breath of desperation as her body falls limp — her hand lands on the bottom rope but slides off…
VA: She touched the rope!
MM: I couldn’t tell from this angle.
Rick Iley kicks the bottom rope and calls at Boden to release the hold!
MM: Confirmed! Rick Iley’s making Boden release the hold! I can’t believe she made it!
As Iley begins counting to five to relinquish the hold, Boden rears back and let’s out a yell of frustration, locking the hold on even stronger to her now limp body. Sahara, completely passed out in the Wrath begins turning a dark shade of red as the blood supply is cut off.
MM: He’s not letting her go!
Grabbing Boden by the arm, Iley issues a final warning before he starts the count.
“Let her go!”, Iley can be heard shouting.
VA: Disqualify him, Iley!
Restarting the count, Iley yells it in Bodens face.
“Let her go, Sean!”
“This is your final warning!”
“That’s it…the match is over!”
MM: Iley’s had enough, he’s calling for the bell!
VA: Sahara’s gonna win this one via disqualification!
As the blonde turns a slight shade of blue, the menacing Boden finally drops her out of the hold, standing over her prone body. Having doled out his brand of punishment for her refusal to submit, Boden jaws something inaudible toward Rick Iley about his decision. Having no love lost for Sahara, the crowd boos both of the competitors fervently.
MM: You know what’s even more interesting, Vincent? No Fallout. They’ve left the Right Hand of Grace to fend for herself against Sean Boden.
VA: The God Queen is obviously testing Sahara…in the end, this will be for her own good.
MM: Yeah, well, after last week, I hope Natalie Burrows is watching from the back and enjoying this…because I know I am.
Nikki Rogers: The winner of this match due to a disqualification, Sahara!
Glaring at Nikki Rogers after making the official announcement, Sean Boden walks back over to Sahara and grabs her by the back of her shirt, dragging her limp body to the center of the ring. Lifting her by the shirt, he drops her. Repeating the motion, he lifts her again, yanking her up by the back of the shirt before dropping her as she suddenly begins to stir.
MM: Wh-what’s Boden doing?
VA: Looks like he’s trying to wake her up!
MM: What’s this now?
Reaching down to grab Sahara in the Wrath again, Rick Iley steps in and grabs Boden only to lift his arms up and back away.
MM: That look from Boden made it clear Iley was to step away.
As the referee backs away the audience boos, as a quite upset looking Sean Boden yells something at him. Looking down at Sahara, Boden goes to grab her once again when she’s suddenly yanked out of the ring from beneath him by none other than Michael Draven. Looking up at Boden, Michael merely shrugs as he helps carry Sahara toward the rampway.
MM: I didn’t even see Draven come out here!
VA: And what’s he of all people doing saving her?! I mean, we’ve seen the photo of him and Sahara courtesy of Maggie McIntyre on the EWA Network, but–
MM: Clearly Draven didn’t want to sleep alone tonight…
VA: Objection, speculation.
Draping her arm over Michael’s shoulder, he slowly backs up the rampway assisting her while keeping his eyes locked on the always unpredictable Sean Boden. As they approach the top of the rampway, Sahara finally appears to come around enough to carry her own weight, but briefly bends over holding the back of her neck.
MM: Boden could have really hurt her in there refusing the relinquish that devastating finisher of his.
The crowd suddenly boos again as Sahara finally lifts an arm in the air, celebrating her victory much to Draven’s amusement. Boden almost laughs to himself in the ring watching her holding a hand up, Boden shows a sliver of space between his thumb and index finger as if to say, “you got this close.”
VA: Well, that makes her 1-0 in the Sinn era.
MM: She’s shown improvement without a doubt, but has a long way to go…now if only we could do something about that attitude and demeanor.
VA: I still have a place in my heart for the right hand of Grace, but she’d better right this ship before she sinks it. And you’re just mad because she threatened you last week when she pounded that prissy little Natalie Burrows into the mat.
MM: Natalie will get her chance at redemption in two weeks when the team of Sahara and Draven face Maggie McIntyre and Natalie Burrows!
VA: It’s the team of Saharaven … probably the greatest tag-team ever constructed, Malone…that won’t be a match so much as a bloodbath!
MM: If you say so…
YOUR WINNER BY DISQUALIFICATION: SAHARA (11:02)
(We cut backstage, where we see Michael Draven and Alexander Haven, sitting in the office where Alyssa Marie Haven was conducting her work earlier this evening. There’s no sign of Alyssa Marie or Martin Robertson – the latter likely preparing for his upcoming match against Dan Stein, and the former ready to accompany him to the ring. Haven sits at the desk, motioning to the computer monitor, where he’s cued up the video from the aftermath of Draven’s assault on Maggie McIntyre that took place a short while ago. Draven watches, his expression void of all emotion. As the video concludes, Haven turns to Draven.)
Alexander Haven: I have to admit, Michael…I was wrong about you. All the years we’ve been at each others’ throats, and I never thought you had that in you. I’m impressed.
Michael Draven: Do you think it was too much?
(Haven rolls his eyes, shaking his head.)
Alexander Haven: Are you kidding? Don’t be weak, Michael. She deserved every bit of it. Remember what she did to you.
(Draven sits in silence, pondering Haven’s words. The owner of the EWA stands up, cracking his neck.)
Alexander Haven: I’ve got the munchies. Think I’m going to get some food from catering, and watch Marty kick Stein’s ass. You in?
(Draven continues to stare at the monitor, now showing Calder helping Maggie through the curtain. After a moment, he replies.)
Michael Draven: Sure. Food. Let’s do it.
(Draven stands up, following Haven out of the door…but not before taking one last look at the monitor.
Fade to ringside.)
Dan Stein v Martin Robertson
ASYLUM QUALIFYING MATCH
MM: Up next, Vince, we have another Asylum qualifier…
VA: I don’t even know why we’re having this match. Martin got screwed out of his world title last Battlelines. He should have gotten an automatic pass into the Asylum!
MM: Well, he didn’t, and so now…
(The opening guitar riff and drum solo to Avenged Sevenfold’s “Hail to the King” begins to play as the strobe lights flash all throughout the arena, giving the building that rock concert feel to it. As the beat picks up and continues, the strobes slowly shift their focus towards the entrance ramp and, once they are all centered on a single spot on the ramp…)
HAIL TO THE KING
HAIL TO THE ONE
KNEEL TO THE CROWN
STAND IN THE SUN
HAIL TO THE KING!
(Bursting through the curtain as the words sound through the system is “Perfection” Martin Robertson, striding to the spotlight on the stage, basking in its glow as it shines down upon one of the Three Kings. Black sequin jacket unbuttoned save the last button at the bottom of the jacket, Martin extends his right arm out, and stepping through the curtain is the “Queen Bitch” herself, Alyssa Marie Haven. She grabs the hand of Robertson, spinning once under his arm before kneeling next to Robertson…)
NR: This next match is an Asylum qualifying match, scheduled for one fall! Making his way down to the ring now, accompanied by the Chief Operating Officer of the EWA, Alyssa Marie Haven, he is a member of the Three Kings of Wrestling… this is… “PERFECTION”… MARTIN… ROBERTSON!
VA: Look at this royal couple, Malone… BOW TO THE KING!
MM: The aggressiveness of Robertson has bee….
VA: I SAID BOW, MALONE! KNEEL BEFORE THE CROWN!
MM: Are you just repeating the lyrics to the entrance?
VA: Those words are truth, Malone, and the sooner you realize that, the better off this whole company will be!
(Martin and Alyssa reach the ring, with Martin up the stairs first. He holds the ropes open for Alyssa, who enters the ring before Robertson leaps into the ring and poses on the second turnbuckle, Alyssa clapping for the King behind him. Martin hops down off the turnbuckle, taking off his jacket and handing it to Alyssa before the lights in the arena go out once again. The jeering that was deafening for Robertson has now turned into a silent hush before…)
YOU’VE GOT THE TOUCH!
YOU’VE GOT THE POWAAAAAAAAH!
(The left side of the stage lights up baby blue as the opening of “The Touch” begins to pick up over the speaker system. As the second wave of the song picks up, now the right side of the stage is glowing in that baby blue light as well. After a few more seconds, and the song is in full force now, stepping from behind the curtain is Dan Stein, towel over his head, shadow boxing his way to the center of the ramp…)
NR: … and his opponent! Accompanied b…. By…. umm…. He hails from Las Vegas, Nevada, weighing in tonight at 225 pounds… here is… “THE LIGHTS”…. DAN… STEIN!
(Stein looks over his shoulder for a moment, then leaps into the air a few times before starting his walk down to the ring…)
MM: Here comes Dan Stein, folks… but conspicuous by her absence, Vince… where’s Molly?
VA: You saw that vicious attack on her a few weeks ago, Malone. If I were Stein and I didn’t know who the attacker was, I’d keep her backstage as well!
(Meanwhile, Robertson is down on the floor next to Alyssa, and the duo are right by the announce table, where we can hear Martin yelling over to Malone and Ashe…)
MR: He’s scared of me, Vince! Tell them he’s scared of me!
(Vince stands up, smiling…)
VA: That’s right, Marty! He’s scared of you alright!
(Vince leans over to give Martin a high five, which Martin… fakes him out, leaving Vince hanging…)
MM: Would you sit down!
VA: Wow… what a guy, Malone! He acknowledged me! HAIL TO THE KING!
(Martin climbs back up onto the ring apron as Stein drapes the towel over the back part of the turnbuckle before stretching out on the ropes a few more times…)
MM: Two competitors, one spot in the Asylum match in Mexico City… here we go folks!
DING! DING! DING!
Stein starts to walk over towards Martin in the corner, but before Dan can reach him, Martin ducks under the top rope, leaning his head away from the ring, yelling at Juan Cardillo (the referee) to get Stein to back up. Stein continues to try and force his way forwards past Cardillo, but that just causes Martin to lean back further, now even stepping a leg outside of the ring as well.
Martin Robertson: Get him back, Johnny Cakes! BACK UP!
Stein raises his arms, slowly backing away from the corner, with Cardillo staying between him and Robertson. Martin slowly climbs back into the ring, but Stein charges again, and Martin is back leaning outside. Stein is barely able to graze him with a fingertip before Cardillo steps in once again. Stein takes a step back, but continues to complain to Cardillo about getting Martin in the ring for the match…
Martin Robertson: I’m not ready, Johnny! GET HIM BACK!
Cardillo is now physically pushing Stein back away from Martin…
MM: What the hell is Martin doing?
VA: You heard him… we all heard him… he’s not ready yet!
… but the bigger Stein pushes past Cardillo and charges at Martin…
… who catches Stein with a thumb to the eye!
MM: What a… how do you justify that, Vince?
VA: Me? I’m not the one that did it!
MM: So you don’t, the…
VA: … I’d have used two thumbs instead.
MM: Oh good lord!
Martin, with Stein stumbling backwards shielding his eyes, starts to pound away on his opponent, driving him back to the opposite corner of the ring with right hands. Stein finally gets his wits about him, but just as Martin begins to launch an onslaught of right hands and back chops in the corner. He pulls Stein out of the corner, draping his arm over his head and sending Stein to the mat with a snap suplex, before standing up and extending his arms out, looking for the adulation from the fans. Instead, he receives a healthy chorus of boos as you hear him shout out “Pure Perfection!” to the fans. He turns around back to his opponent and begins to pick him up, only for Stein to catch him quickly in a small package…
MM: See that? His cockiness almost cost him!
VA: There’s no way Martin would ever let himself get pinned by a small package!
MM: Does the name Joe Lemon ring a bell?
VA: Is he one of the guys in the car from the Sonic commercial?
Both men stand up at about the same time, but Martin is the first to act, sending a knee to the gorgeous stomach of Stein, doubling him over. Martin drags Stein to the corner, slamming his head into the turnbuckle as Stein spins around, putting his back to the corner. Martin lands a few right hands to the side of the head of Stein, then whips him across the ring to the far turnbuckle, with Stein hitting back first. Martin charges, and lands a hard clothesline to the chest of Stein! Martin with another whip back across the ring. He charges just as Stein hits the corner, but this time, Stein is able to get a boot up, drilling Martin right in the kisser! Martin spins around, facing away from Stein, as Stein comes charging out, sending Martin down to the mat with a running bulldog. Stein stands up, a little weary, but now he starts posing out for the crowd with a big, cheshire cat smile before dropping a jumping elbow across the chest of Martin.
Stein stays on the mat, locking in a side headlock on Martin. Dan starts to lean back in the hold, really cranking on the neck of Martin as he paws at the arms of Stein, looking for an escape. After a few moments, he manages to get himself to his knees before pushing himself back up to a standing base. But just as he gets to his feet, Stein snap mares him back to the mat, holding onto the headlock the entire time. Instead of continuing with the headlock on the mat, though, he floats around, placing Martin in a hammer lock before standing up, stomping on the elbow of Robertson, then landing a beautiful standing moonsault to the back of Martin!
MM: What a series of moves here early from Stein!
VA: I still don’t think Martin was ever ready to start this match… he’s had a very busy night so far…
MM: You mean with those fake performance evaluations?
VA: There’s nothing fake about them! They’re real people, and the Three Kings are trying to solve real problems!
MM: You’re really a problem…
Stein pulls Martin up by the sides of his head, smashing him with a European Uppercut that staggers Robertson back to the ropes. Stein whips Martin across the ring, but Martin manages to reverse it, sending Stein into the ropes. Stein ducks the clothesline attempt by Martin, continuing on to bounce off the ropes once again. This time, Martin ducks Dan’s attempt at a clothesline, running underneath it and continuing into the ropes. Stein on the rebound tries for a running knee, but Martin, charging towards Stein, catches the knee and throws Stein over his head and onto his back! Stein gets up, but is immediately caught by Robertson and slammed to the mat with an overhead belly to belly suplex! Martin stands up, and now he’s the one showboating again for the fans!
MM: Look at how vein both of these men are! There’s no need to showboat after every move!
VA: They have EVERY reason to showboat after a great move, Malone! I would too!
Stein rolls under the bottom rope and lays on the ring apron as Martin walks over, pulling him up to a standing position. He drapes Stein’s arm over his head and attempts to bring him back into the ring with a vertical suplex, but Stein uses the ropes to block it. Martin tries a second time, but another block by Stein. Stein now tries to suplex Martin over, but only manages to get him outside the ring, as both men are now standing on the apron! Martin rears back and lands a huge right hand to the side of Stein’s head. Stein retaliates with a right of his own, staggering Martin backwards. Martin goes to swing for a right hand, but before he can, Dan Stein kicks Martin in the stomach, doubling him over.
Stein turns and forward flips over the top rope back into the ring, landing on his feet, and immediately bounces off the far ropes. As he charges towards Martin, Robertson grabs the top rope, leaping up and springboarding himself back into the ring over Stein! Stein stops and grabs the ropes as now Martin runs back across the ring, bouncing off the ropes and charges at Stein. Dan Stein lunges forward, but Martin baseball slides underneath Stein, sending Martin all the way to his feet outside the ring. Stein turns around to see Martin on his feet, grabs the top rope and launches himself outside of the ring onto Martin! But somehow, Martin catches Stein mid air, and, while holding him, charges into the ring post, drilling the lower back of Stein into the ring pillar!
MM: What a series of moves by these two men!
VA: … and what a catch by Robertson! WOW!
MM: This might have been that opening that Robertson has finally been looking for.
Alyssa comes by over towards Robertson, applauding at his latest move while the fans at ringside all boo at Robertson. One fan in particular is attempting to get into Robertson’s face, and as Robertson finally notices him, he reaches over and steals the fan’s water bottle! He takes a quick sip from the bottle before closing it up…
MM: Good lord! He just spit that water into the fan’s face!
VA: Wrestling’s not a participation sport for fans, Malone! He should have kept his mouth shut and stayed out of the King’s business!
Martin tosses the water bottle back to the fan, who is even more livid than before! But just as he does, here comes Dan Stein, charging at Robertson and dropping him with a forearm across the face! Cardillo’s count reaches an exaggeratedly slow three as Martin stumbles away from Stein around the ringside area. He gets far enough away that, as Stein catches up to him, Martin is able to turn around and put another thumb to the eye of Stein! But this time, Stein is ready, and pushes the hand away with his left arm, before poking Martin in the eye himself!
MM: These two are trying to one up each other in who can fight dirtier, Vince!
VA: This is great, isn’t it?
Alyssa has been following the two men around the ring, and just as she tries to get closer to Martin to see if he’s ok, Stein turns around and flexes for her!
MM: Is he trying to goad Alyssa into attacking him?
VA: If he is, it’s a smart play. A disqualification here would get him into the Asylum!
Alyssa, realizing what’s at stake here for Martin, backs away a few steps. Stein turns around to Martin, who is down on one knee, and is immediately blasted in the stomach by a punch from Robertson. Robertson lands a second punch before reaching up, grabbing Stein by the tights and throwing him face first into the barricade around ringside!
MM: Martin with the quick move, but these guys need to get back into the ring… Cardillo is already at seven in his count.
VA: There goes Martin… and he’s back out! He just broke up the count!
Cardillo continues to yell at Martin from inside the ring, but Martin pays no attention to him as he, instead, drops a double axehandle across the back of Stein. Instinctively, though, Stein throws a back elbow towards Robertson, catching him… a bit low.
VA: Look at that blatant cheating by Stein!
MM: I can’t tell if he hit him below the belt, but that back elbow was definitely low!
Stein stands up, his back still towards Robertson. He reaches up, grabbing Robertson by the top of the head, leaps and comes back down, nailing Robertson with an effective jawbreaker! Martin stumbles back, leaning against the ring post being the only thing keeping him standing at this point. Stein staggers his way back to his feet and sees Martin leaning against the pole. He steps back and charges. But before Stein can connect with Martin, Robertson moves out of the way. Stein, fortunately, is able to side step running into the ring post knee first and, instead, continues on behind Martin, sending him back down to the floor with a clothesline!
We hear Cardillo shout out “SIX!” as Alyssa slowly tries to come back over again and check on Martin, who hasn’t moved from the clothesline. But before Dan Stein can see her, she backs away and slowly passes by the announcers table, heading to the opposite side of the ring. Stein slowly rolls back into the ring underneath the bottom rope, standing up as Cardillo comes over to instruct him to go to the opposite corner of the ring.
MM: Referee Juan Cardillo is up to seven now in his count, Vince… Is Robertson going to get back up!
VA: I don’t know, Malone… he looks out like a light on the floor… GET UP MY KING!
MM: And Stein, he’s leaning up against the turnbuckle, relaxing, watching this, Vince!
VA: If Cardillo gets to ten, he’s going to the Asylum!
MM: It’s any type of victory here, not just pinfall or submission…
MM: Cardillo is up to eight now… and now there’s some slight stirring by Martin Robertson, but does he have enough time…
VA: C’mon… get up! Alyssa…. Alex…. Michael…. Someone help get him in the ring!
MM: I don’t think any of them cou…
MM: I don’t think there’s enough time to ge… WHAT IN THE HELL?
At that instant, on the far side of the ring, Alyssa Marie Haven hops up onto the ring apron, stomping way, and yelling as loud as she possibly can…
MM: What in the world is she doing on the ring apron?
VA: I think… if I hear her right… she’s telling Cardillo that his shoe is untied. What an unbelievable person she is!
MM: Yeah, unbelievable alright! She just broke up the count for Robertson!
VA: Oh, is that what happened?
MM: What do you mean ‘Oh, is that what happened’? Of course it is! It’s a cold, calculated move by Alyssa because she knew her man was about to lose his second opportunity to be in the Asylum in Mexico City!
VA: That… that doesn’t sound like something Alyssa would do.
MM: That’s EXACTLY what Alyssa would do! And now Dan Stein is trying to yell at her to get down off the apron!
VA: He can’t yell at her… she’s the Chief Operating Officer… she’s your boss! And your boss too, Malone!
MM: Cardillo pushes Stein away slightly as Dan Stein… he now sees Martin starting to stand up… WHAT IN THE WORLD… GOOD LORD NO! MARTIN ROBERTSON, YOU BASTARD!
VA: Easy with the language, Malone…
As Stein turned to see Martin Robertson starting to stand up on the outside, Stein started to sprint towards the ropes for a suicide dive through the ropes onto Robertson. What Dan Stein didn’t see, though, and neither did referee Juan Cardillo, was that Martin Robertson also had a steel chair in his hand, and as Stein made it through the ropes, Robertson took a baseball-style swing at the head of Stein, knocking him out cold!
MM: That no good, dirty, rotten, filthy, cheating, lying…
VA: Geesh… got anything nice to say about our King?
MM: No! No I don’t, not for a man that can’t win a match on his own without cheating! And look at him showboating on the outside now!
VA: He should, Malone! He outsmarted everyone once again!
MM: He didn’t outsmar… WAIT A MINUTE…… WHAT? YES!
As Alyssa was climbing down off the ring apron, and while Cardillo still has his back turned, the roar of the crowd changes from boos and jeers to cheers as Tyler Morris leaps over the ringside barricade! Alyssa stood back up to yell at Cardillo about what was happening on the other side of the ring, but before she could realize all she was doing was distracting Cardillo even more, Tyler caught Martin Robertson, just as he turned around to see his former Youth partner, dropping him to the floor with his PTSD running knee finisher!
MM: Out of nowhere, Tyler Morris just got his revenge on Martin Robertson, knocking him out cold!
VA: Alyssa, help him!
MM: Cardillo now, looking at both men out on the floor, and Morris, gone like a fart in the wind, starts his count once again!
VA: Get up Martin! Alyssa, get him up!
MM: Neither man has started to move an inch, Vince! I think we’re getting…
DING! DING! DING!
NR: Ladies and gentlemen, neither man was able to get back into the ring by the referee’s ten count. Therefore, this match is a double count out!
VA: WHAT? NO WAY!
MM: Neither man won, Vince! Does that mean…
NR: As a result of the match, NEITHER MAN will be entered into the Asylum match!
VA: NO! This is a travesty!
MM: And in the most ironic twist of fate, once again, Martin Robertson has not qualified for the Asylum match in Mexico City next Battlelines!
(Vince stands up from the announcer’s table, looking at Alyssa as she paces around the ringside area, looking for something. Vince extends out to her a bottle of water, which she takes over to Martin and throws on top of him.)
VA: Alyssa… fix this!
(Alyssa turns to Vince, mouthing the words “What do you want me to do?”, shrugging her shoulders towards Vince)
VA: This is a complete outrage, Malone! Tyler Morris, who had absolutely no right to be down here, just interfered in a match he had no part in!
MM: I think after his performance evaluation earlier from the Three Kings, he decided to give Martin one of his own!
(Alyssa finally gets Martin awake enough that she is able to start helping him up, draping an arm around her shoulders and using every muscle in her body to pull Martin up the ramp.)
MM: Doesn’t look very king-like now, does he Vince?
VA: You’re just loving this, aren’t you?
MM: To be honest, yes… yes I am. I think Martin totally deserves getting this treatment here tonight after all of the crap he’s been putting so many other people through the past month. Good for Tyler Morris to take actions into his own hands!
(Finally, at the top of the ramp, Martin is able to stand on his own two feet as Alyssa lets go of him. He looks towards the ring, where Dan Stein has somehow managed to get back into the ring and is standing up, looking out at Martin. Martin feins for a second about heading back to the ring, but Alyssa starts to pull him back towards the entrance curtain. Reluctantly, Martin follows as Stein is still holding his head from where Martin cracked him in the skull a few moments earlier…)
VA: So… does this mean we’re only going to have five people in the Asylum next Battlelines, Malone?
MM: I have a feeling that Haven might have something up his sleeve, if history has proven anyt… WHAT IN THE HELL?
(The tron becomes a blinding white star in the darkened EWA sky. Blistering illumination pours from the screen, and Stein has no choice but to shield his eyes against the powerful glow. A voice blasts out from the arena speakers, musical words seeming to emerge from preternatural vocal cords.)
“She whimpered, Daniel. I sent that sour rogue to touch her, to taste her, and to defile her. She was helpless. She was dirt beneath the fingernails. She was SHIT…smeared across the rectum of the universe. I did it, Daniel. I made your Molly…feel like she was absolutely nothing. Did she think of killing herself when it was over? I was hoping…very much…that she would choose that option.”
(A lyrical laugh resounds, and Stein’s teeth grit together in a fuming rage.
Elizabeth Gaunt’s face appears, the light shining from behind her and creating multiple sharp rays. That ivory hair frames regal features, and the silver fangs shine in a grin to rival that of God the Mother.)
Elizabeth Gaunt: I’ve always felt like nothing, Daniel. I spent ten years of my life…as scum of the lowest kind. And the worst part? I KNEW I was scum. I knew I was weak…and I knew that I wasn’t in the same league as the greats. I used to watch you in all the promotions we came up through together…and you can’t even imagine how COVETOUS I was.
(The White Angel sighs, her eyelashes fluttering.)
Elizabeth Gaunt: Dan Stein has always been perfect. The Golden Boy…was born flawless. He is beautiful; he is capable, and best of all? He knows it. YOU know it, Daniel. You’ve never known strife. You’ve never experienced…true suffering. Do you know what suffering is? It’s an UGLY, NASTY, HELPLESS thing that chews on your mind like a parasite. It is a horror, Daniel…and for too long a perfect being like you…has managed to effectively avoid the horrors of this world.
(Stein leans onto the ropes and practically BEGS Gaunt to make her way down to the ring, but the sermon continues…and The White Angel does not sway.)
Elizabeth Gaunt: I want to show you horrors. It’s time to reverse the roles. I’m the one that has RISEN now, Daniel. I am pure, I am sacred, and I am destined for the divine. You’re nothing but a pretty mortal that lives on arrogance…but when standing beside an actual SERAPH?? You pale in comparison…you wither…and you will KNOW for the first time in your pampered career…the true meaning of human suffering.
Molly was made to feel less than human…but now?
(Gaunt blazes forward with insane quickness and presses her entire face against the camera lens, her fangs spreading wide and her turquoise eyes full of nothing but feral madness.)
Elizabeth Gaunt: It’s your turn.
(Just as soon as it came, the light winks out…leaving Dan Stein alone in the ring, fuming and raging at the tron.)
THE MATCH ENDED IN A DOUBLE COUNT-OUT (9:12)
NEITHER MAN QUALIFIES FOR THE ASYLUM MATCH
(The camera follows Martin just as he gets past the production area of backstage, still visibly upset after what just happened in his qualifying match against Dan Stein. Reaching out and knocking a random water bottle to the floor, his death march back towards his locker room takes an unexpected pause, turning to his right and looking at the door where his 3K group had been performing their ‘performance evaluations’ earlier. He looks around for a second, before kicking the door in…)
(Sitting at the table, with only a single light on over the table, is none other than Martin’s father, the legendary Grady Smith. Dressed in the same clothes we saw him earlier in, and still wearing the black cowboy hat, he looks up at the fuming Robertson, sweat still glistening off his chiseled frame. Grady looks up, glass of whiskey in his left hand…)
Grady Smith: Hello, I’m Grady Smith.
Martin Robertson: Yeah, I kno…
Grady Smith: Surprised, ‘king’?
Martin Robertson: What the hell do you want?
Grady Smith: I heard you were doing performance evaluations here tonight. I’m here for mine.
(The deadpan in Grady’s voice confused Martin. Was he serious? He wasn’t originally part of the list of people that the Three Kings were going to do the evaluations on. It had been merely a smoke screen to continue building their level of control over the EWA. But yet, here sits, according to Martin, anyways, this delusional old man, expecting a performance evaluation.)
Martin Robertson: Well, you’re in my chair, if you’re looking for an evaluation.
Grady Smith: Why don’t you go ahead and have a seat?
Martin Robertson: I said…
Grady Smith: Go on, have a seat.
(Ahhh, the old Chris Hansen from Dateline trick. Martin was adamant that he wasn’t going to fall for it.)
Grady Smith: (raising up his glass of whiskey, pointing at the small seat…) Why don’t you have a seat right there?
(Damn… it worked. Martin sits down in the small chair that they had made the others sit in earlier. As much as he resisted and claimed that he was the one in control, all of the evidence pointed otherwise…)
Grady Smith: So I’d like to start with my performance last week where I qualified for the Asylum match, and compare and contrast that with your match you just competed in where you… didn’t…
Martin Robertson: Just shut it, old man! Just shut your face, right there! I just got screwed out there by some wannabe G.I. Joe toy soldier that THINKS he has what it takes to take on the Three Kings…
Grady Smith: Ahhh, yes. I forgot. The Three Kings… such a dominant force…
Martin Robertson: We are, thank you very much for noticing.
Grady Smith: Sarcasm, my dear boy.
Martin Robertson: I get screwed out of reclaiming MY title, and you fancily waltz your way in because of two people who don’t work here anymore!
Grady Smith: That… and I did beat Michael Draven.
Martin Robertson: What do you want, Grady?
(Both men, at this point, were leaning forward on the table, elbows resting in front of them, propping up the remainder of their frames. Grady, though, at the conclusion of the question, leans back into his chair, taking a sip from his glass before smiling…)
Grady Smith: Isn’t this what you wanted, son?
Martin Robertson: To be sitting here, bantering with you? No. You’re supposed to be at home, sitting in a recliner making mom miserable with your obnoxious demands. Or you’re supposed to be at that Future Factory of yours, telling high school kids to stay off of drugs…. YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE!
Grady Smith: My dear boy…
(The two men, as if on cue, trade positions. Now it’s Grady who’s leaning forward on the table, resting on his forearms, as Martin is the one who leans back in his chair, almost comically falling over because of the size. But he catches himself, instead now sitting straight up…)
Grady Smith: This is exactly what you wanted. But unlike Charlie with the Chocolate factory, you’re not going to get everything you ever wanted. You..
(Grady, now pointing at Martin, rocks glass in right hand, finger extended out towards Martin…)
Grady Smith: … You specifically asked for the old Grady Smith back. (Grady smiles, extending his arms out) Well, here I am, sunshine.
Martin Robertson: NO! You were supposed to go and crawl back into your hole back in Cortland after I attacked you…
Grady Smith: Now, here’s where your calculations were just a bit off. See, the quote-unquote ‘new’ Grady Smith… he might have done that. He might simply have said that it’s time to stay home. But the old Grady Smith, well…… He’s just a stubborn old son-of-a-bitch, now isn’t he? Thinking he can just come back around here at 43 years old and win himself the World Heavyweight Title. But if, somehow, Ray Willmott can win it, well…
Why can’t Grady Smith win it as well?
Now THAT’S what the old Grady Smith… the one you so desperately wanted to come back, even as far back as Final Solution… that’s what he’s going to do.
(Grady, too, now sits up a little straighter at the table, taking another sip from his glass…)
Grady Smith: Now, truly you’ll understand that, as the old Grady Smith, it’s nothing personal against you. With the old Grady Smith back in New York, it was never anything personal against those guys as well. It was simply what’s best for Grady Smith. And what’s best for Grady Smith, is to take my black hat, set it on the table here…
(Grady removes the black hat, setting it on the table in front of him, revealing the short hairstyle that accents nothing more than a receding hairline. He reaches down next to him on his right side, bringing up…)
Grady Smith: … put on my brand new black mariachi hat, travel down to Mexico, enter the Asylum and win myself the World Heavyweight Championship.
(Grady stands up, finishes the last bit of whiskey remaining in his glass before setting the glass down on the table, and walks around to the door, opening it up ever so slightly before turning back towards Martin…)
Grady Smith: Now that… that’ll be a performance you’ll be able to spend the rest of your life evaluating, son. Adios, hijo.
(The camera follows Grady as he exits the room, closing the door behind him. Just walking up to the door, however, are Alexander Haven and Michael Draven, each carrying with them a bottle of water. They look at Grady for a moment…)
Michael Draven: Why are you wearing a stupid mariachi hat?
Grady Smith: I’m on my way to Mexico, gringos…
Alexander Haven: Where’s… Martin?
(Just as he asks the question, a series of loud bangs, slams and crushes can be heard through the door next to them. Alex and Michael jump once or twice at some of the sounds coming from the room. Grady, however, just smiles, patting Alex on the shoulder…)
Grady Smith: I don’t think he’s happy with the performance evaluation I just gave him.
(Grady starts to walk away…)
Alexander Haven: Hey, Grady…
(Grady, only a step away from Alex, takes off the mariachi hat, tossing it to the side, and turning back towards the duo)
Alexander Haven: For what it’s worth, I had no idea Martin was going to attack you after your match at Champions Summit la…
Grady Smith: (interrupting Alex, putting his hand in the air) Alex, don’t. I know you didn’t. That was all Martin.
(The two men look at each other for a second. That moment where you can feel that the two men have a good deal of respect for each other, but would never admit as much… at least not at this moment. But along with that respect, there’s also the palpability that, given the appropriate opportunity, each one would no doubt prove that they’re better than the other. But they’re the old guard, so that won’t happen. Not here, not now, at least. Grady, once again, begins to turn away…)
Alexander Haven: What he’s doing right now… that’s what’s best for him.
(Grady continues to walk away, but having to shout to cover the distance…)
Grady Smith: I know… And you’re right. I’m just doing what’s best for me.
(Grady walks out of the picture as Michael and Alex look at each other, wondering if they should open the door. The noises have stopped, so assuming that it’s safe to do so, they slowly open the door to see that the room has been totally destroyed, save the small kids chair that was used for the evaluees. Martin sits in that chair, holding the black cowboy hat in his hands, which he’s squished together a couple of times already…)
Alexander Haven: You ok?
Martin Robertson: (breathing heavy) Yeah, why?
Michael Draven: We just… saw your father.
Martin Robertson: Oh… good. Was he still wearing that stupid hat?
Alexander Haven: No, he took it off.
(Martin stands up at this point, dropping Grady’s cowboy hat before stomping on it one final time.)
Martin Robertson: I think… I think I might just head back home for the night. You guys don’t need me to stay behind and watch the main event with you, do ya?
(Michael and Alex look at each other for a moment)
Michael Draven: Nah, kid… Go home. We’ve got this.
Martin Robertson: Ok… good. I’ll…. I’ll talk to you later. Let me know who wins.
Alexander Haven: Sure thing, sport.
(Martin smiles as he passes the other members of 3K, turning down the hallway towards the parking garage. Alex turns towards Michael, who strugs, as the camera cuts back out to ringside…)
Main EventElizabeth Gaunt v Ray Willmott
EWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
NR: Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is our main event of the evening! It is scheduled for one fall, and it is for…the EWA…WORLD…HEAVYWEIGHT…CHAMPIONSHIP!!
The crowd’s ovation quickly turns to boos as a massive BOOM sounds through the Combat Zone, and the familiar mushroom cloud envelops the jumbotron suspended above the entrance ramp. The opening drums of Lions’ ‘White Angel’ begins to echo through the Boston arena as a blinding white spotlight suddenly shines down from the rafters, illuminating the White Angel herself, the Left Hand of Grace, Elizabeth Gaunt. Her arms are stretched outward as she gazes up into the light, and slowly saunters toward the ring.
NR: Introducing first, the challenger! Representing the Fallout, and hailing from Las Vegas, Nevada…she is the White Angel…ELIZABETH…GAUNT!!
MM: And the story of the night is centered around this woman. The White Angel, reborn after the Fallout’s devastating losses at Champions Summit II. Can Elizabeth Gaunt bring home the World Heavyweight Championship, and capture her first championship here in the EWA? And more importantly, will she do as the leader of the Fallout, Grace Goeren, has stated, surrendering the title to her “God Queen”?
VA: Of course she will, Malone! She is the emissary of Grace, and after that horribly unfair stipulation that was put into place by our God Queen’s dickbag of a father, there’s no doubt in my mind Lizzy will do the right thing.
MM: This is assuming she can even overcome Ray Willmott in the first place, who comes off arguably the biggest win of his career in capturing the EWA World Heavyweight Title two weeks ago. The winner of this match goes on to the Asylum in Mexico City at Battlelines 27…but first, they have to get through this one here tonight.
As Gaunt rolls into the ring, the spotlight continues to shine down…but suddenly begins to flicker, and shuts down entirely. Another large BOOM is heard, with another mushroom cloud appearing on the jumbotron…but after a moment, the jumbotron slowly begins to turn to static, eventually going out altogether, leaving the Combat Zone in pitch blackness. Our attention focuses on the entrance as ‘Moth Into Flame’ begins to blare over the soundsystem, and the crowd roars in anticipation for the World Champion’s entrance. The lights remain out, however, and there’s no sign of Willmott.
MM: Where is he?
VA: He chickened out! Some champion he is! Ray Willmott couldn’t handle the pressure of LOOK OUT LIZZIE!!
The lights cue up as Vincent Ashe is speaking, and to the utter roar of the crowd, Willmott’s already in the ring, standing right behind Gaunt, who continues to stare at the entrance ramp! Ray smirks, then WHIPS Gaunt around by the shoulder, kicking her in the stomach, and twisting himself into position for a reverse cutter…
MM: He’s going for the Echoes in Eternity! This could be over before it even starts!
But Gaunt is able to shove Willmott off, and Ray goes flying into the ropes. On the rebound, Gaunt leaps into the air, pummeling the side of Ray’s head with a flying forearm, dropping the champion to the mat as the bell sounds. Gaunt mounts Ray, raining down punches on the Wales native, who tries to cover up and block the blows from the Left Hand of Grace.
MM: An incredibly clever move by Willmott to start this match off, trying to counter any potential Fallout interference, but it’s now the White Angel with the upper hand!
VA: Get him, Lizzy! Bring the title home to our Grace!
Gaunt lifts Ray to his feet, whipping him sternum-first into the corner turnbuckle. Gaunt charges at Ray, but Ray propels himself into the air with his hands on the ropes, and Gaunt crashes into the turnbuckle. Ray rolls Gaunt up from behind, and senior official Danny Smith is there for the count!
Gaunt kicks out. Both competitors scramble to their feet, and Gaunt delivers a swift kick to Willmott’s ribs. The champion hunches over, and Gaunt capitalizes, grabbing him and lifting him up before planting him head-first into the mat with a floating DDT! And now it’s Gaunt hooking the leg!
Willmott kicks out! But Elizabeth Gaunt is undeterred, pulling Willmott to his feet and shoving him back into the corner. She delivers a series of kicks to the ribs and stomach of Willmott with pinpoint precision, before stretching her leg out, pressing her boot against the throat of Willmott and choking him. Danny Smith begins a five count, and Gaunt releases the choke just in the nick of time to avoid being disqualified.
MM: Elizabeth Gaunt is a dangerous, methodical tactician in the ring, ladies and gentlemen. She’s also clinically insane. Her mind is no longer all there.
VA: Clini–what? Malone, are you out of your mind? Elizabeth Gaunt’s sanity is as intact as a schoolgirl at a Catholic school!
MM: And you’re sleeping with Sahara.
VA: You weren’t supposed to just blurt that out, Malone!
Gaunt whips Willmott into the ropes, catching him in a sleeper hold. Willmott tries to fight out of it, but quickly drops to one knee, and Gaunt takes the opportunity to wrap her legs around Willmott’s waist, transitioning the sleeperhold into a full-body vice. Gaunt wrenches back, stretching Willmott’s muscles as he slowly begins to fade.
VA: She’s doing it, Malone! Elizabeth Gaunt is bringing the championship home! Praise be to Grace!
MM: Ray…looks like he’s fading, ladies and gentlemen!
Danny Smith grabs Willmott’s hand, holding it in the air, and then releases…and Willmott’s hand falls to the mat!
VA: He’s out, Malone! Lizzy did it!!
MM: This certainly doesn’t look good!
Smith lifts Ray’s hand for a second time…and it crumples to the mat!
VA: ALL HAIL GRACE GOEREN, ONCE AGAIN YOUR HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORLD!!
Danny lifts Ray’s hand for a final time…
AND RAY HOLDS IT TRIUMPHANTLY IN THE AIR! The Combat Zone explodes as Ray wiggles his arm around, trying to get circulation back, and slowly gets to one knee, Gaunt still hanging onto him. Willmott, in a tremendous display of power, is able to get to his feet, and quickly runs backwards, smashing the Fallout member into the corner turnbuckle. Gaunt recovers quickly, racing at Willmott, but Willmott ducks, and goes for a kick to the stomach. Gaunt catches his foot, but Willmott is lightning quick, catching the back of her head with a wicked enzugiri kick!
MM: Never underestimate the heart of a champion!
VA: Never underestimate the Fallout, Malone! This isn’t over!
Willmott picks Gaunt up slowly, setting her up for Echoes in Eternity once again, but Gaunt rushes forward, propelling Willmott backwards into the corner – and squarely into the path of referee Danny Smith, who crumples to the mat! Gaunt races to the ropes, going for a running clothesline, but Willmott rushes forward, and the two warriors both catch each other in midair, falling to the mat! As both warriors struggle to get to their feet, a chant rings out inside the Combat Zone…
“LET’S GO WILLMOTT!!”
“LET’S GO WILLMOTT!!”
“LET’S GO WILLMOTT!!”
MM: This crowd is firmly behind Ray Willmott here tonight!
VA: They won’t have reason to celebrate for long, Malone! Look!
Indeed, the chanting has devolved into a chorus of boos as the Crimson Queen herself, Sahara, is jogging down to ringside, a look of pure malice splashed across her face.
MM: Dammit, what the hell is she doing here?
VA: She’s clearly here to root her fellow Fallout member on to victory!
MM: More like doing whatever she can to ensure Grace Goeren is rewarded with the World Heavyweight Championship here tonight! What a travesty!
Sahara climbs into the ring, crouching in the corner as Willmott and Gaunt both get to their feet. She rushes forward, leaping into the air to blast Ray Willmott with the Ride of the Valkyrie….
…BUT WILLMOTT PULLS GAUNT INTO HER PATH, AND SAHARA KNOCKS GAUNT OUT COLD!!! Sahara stands in shock, mouth agape at what’s happened, and Willmott grabs her by the shoulder and hair, launching her over the top rope. Willmott, with the crowd roaring at a fevered pitch, pulls Gaunt to her feet…and delivers Echoes in Eternity!! Willmott makes the cover, hooking the leg as Danny Smith slowly crawls over, finally getting his wits about him…
NR: Here is your winner…and STILL the EWA World Heavyweight Champion…RED…HOT…RAY…WILLMOTT!!
VA: NO! NO NO NO THIS IS A TRAVESTY! THIS IS NOT RIGHT! I DEMAND JUSTICE!!
MM: Ray Willmott once again overcomes the odds, and retains the EWA World Heavyweight Champion!
Sahara scrambles around to the side of the ring, pulling Gaunt out by the ankles as Danny Smith hands Willmott the EWA World Heavyweight Championship belt.
MM: Sahara is supporting the weight of her fallen comrade as they make their way to the back, and now Ray Willmott looks to the Asylum, where he’ll step into the most barbaric structure in professional wrestling with not one, not two, not three, not four, but FIVE worthy challengers, all hungry for the title he holds!
Suddenly, out of nowhere, Gaunt SHOVES Sahara off of her, sending Sahara sprawling into the guardrail! Gaunt looks up at the sky, breathing heavily, her face contorted with anger as she slowly heads up the ramp. Sahara follows behind, frantically trying to explain herself…
…and the God Queen steps out from behind the curtain.
The fury on Grace Goeren’s face is visible even to the fans at the very top of the Combat Zone, and she grabs Sahara by the shirt, violently shaking her around and begins verbally laying into the blonde as the trio exit through the curtain. Back inside the ring, Ray Willmott, laughing, shrugs his shoulders before climbing to the top rope, holding the championship belt high above his head.
MM: Ladies and gentlemen, Ray Willmott now goes into Mexico City as the defending World Heavyweight Champion at Battlelines 27. It’ll be Ray Willmott, Sean Boden, Alexander Haven, Indrid Calder, Grady Smith, and NOTHING, all locked inside the deadly Asylum! And we’re out of time! For Vincent Ashe, Terry Bull & Allison Haines, I’m Mike Malone…we’ll see you south of the border in fourteen days!
We fade to black as Willmott celebrates his championship defense, holding the belt high above his head.
YOUR WINNER BY PINFALL, AND STILL EWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: ‘RED HOT’ RAY WILLMOTT (9:58)