(The Four Pillars of HATE march into the Combat Zone before the official start of Battlelines, the quartet moving in unison, each step guided with purpose. HATE has arrived before the fans, all of the stands just empty chambers for the moment, each footstep echoing.
NOTHING nods to Calder, and West slaps a hand across Rayner’s gigantic back, and then the hive splits directions. NOTHING has to prepare for his match with The Banshee, and West follows along behind The Purveyor. Calder and Rayner head towards the barren ring, The Stranger intent on getting one last sparring session in with the Titan before his match with Sahara later in the night.
The Titan is the first to enter the ring, climbing atop the apron and stepping over the top rope with his log-sized legs.
Rayner’s voice croaks out from beneath his leathery mask, a gruff rasp warped by his many years of tobacco and alcohol abuse. His vow of silence broke the night Maggie McIntyre defected from the hive, and his voice is needed now. It’s a welcome sound in The Stranger’s ears.)
Cal Rayner: Indrid…you better get in here. You ain’t gonna fuckin’ believe what I’m seeing right now…
(Rayner’s gaze is locked on the canvas beneath his feet, and Calder wastes no time sliding into the ring to find out the source of his distress. It becomes apparent as soon as Calder sees the ring canvas for himself.
Indrid once saw something like it in an art gallery while scouting waystations in NYC. It reminds him of a painting brushed exclusively in human blood, each portrayed image etched into the canvas with iron oxide. He doesn’t know if the artist responsible for this used blood or just some stark red liquid, but the iron oxide smell is strong, and it tells him he’s standing on a labyrinth of plasma. Drawn from some animal? Stolen from a blood bank? He doesn’t know.
He’s looking at an incredibly intricate design of a maze dominating the entire white ring canvas. Multiple twisting red corridors and dead ends leading towards a centerpiece image.
It’s a huge scarlet Minotaur’s head, the horns snaking forward and the eyes blazing crimson orbs. A golden ring is pierced through the nostrils of the image, and a message is scrawled within. Each horn bears a word, the left “INDRID” and the right “CALDER”.
Beneath this appears to be a plume of red smoke gushing from the Minotaur’s mouth, and jagged letters are etched into the smoke as well. The message is blunt.)
“FIND ME IN THE CENTER OF THE MAZE.”
(Calder stares down at this, his arms hanging at his sides, the tattered gray tape along his wrists and forearms seeming almost to dance with an unseen breeze. The mental cogs are turning in his head, and Rayner picks up on it immediately.)
Cal Rayner: What the fuck we dealing with here? This a promise of retaliation? We got lots of mad cunts looking to do us in, Indrid. Could be 3K. Could be that sly little shit Mephisto. Hell, you think this is Sahara’s answer to your offer?
(Indrid’s head shakes slowly from side to side.)
Indrid Calder: No. This isn’t Lauren’s style. She’s impulsive, and we won’t know which way the wind blows with her until she’s standing face to face with me later tonight. This…is something else entirely.
The most remote glimmer appears in Calder’s lifeless eyes.
Indrid Calder: What if it’s her, Cal? Maggie reaching out…giving me a chance to make things right. Prove myself. Atone. That piece of shit Draven might be keeping her from contacting me directly, so she decides on a cipher. A puzzle. A maze that only I can navigate.
(Rayner sighs, one paw of a hand coming up to fall on Indrid’s shoulder.)
Cal Rayner: I don’t think this is Mags, Indrid. She’s made it clear what she thinks of us. She’s aiming to be a knife through the butter of the hive…and after how you snapped up Draven, she can’t be thinking of coming back to us.
(Indrid’s eyes feel dry in the sockets. He swallows deeply. Down in the tortured remnants of his heart he knows Rayner is probably right, but he desperately WANTS this to be Maggie’s handiwork. Hope. Another emotion that he feels burning through him, and oh how it tears at the insides…)
Cal Rayner: I dunno who’s behind this. Friend, foe, or just some fucker with a deathwish. But somebody has taken an interest in you. Someone…wants to be noticed by HATE.
(Indrid’s gaze remains locked on the curves and subtleties of the maze, already trying to work out the passages in his mind. The Titan’s voice seems to come from far away.)
Cal Rayner: Whatever it is, don’t get lost in this, brother. We need that twisted fuckin’ brain of yours to face the wave of retribution that is sure to come knocking on our door soon. Back in the day when everyone thought me nothing more than a fossil, an old broken beast…a fuckin’ dinosaur ready for the dirt…only ONE motherfucker believed in me.
(A meaty index finger presses into Calder’s chest.)
Cal Rayner: That motherfucker was you. You believed in me then…and I believe in you now. Heart or no heart, we’re fixing to endure this shitstorm. You’re hearing me in there?
(Indrid seems to wake up from something bordering on an obsessive catatonic state. He locks his gaze on Rayner, and he clasps the giant’s hand at the wrist, something akin to a Norse warrior handshake.)
Indrid Calder: I hear you, Cal. Let’s do what we do best tonight.
Indrid pauses, taking one last look at the maze.
Indrid Calder: Let’s HATE.
(Fade to ringside, where our commentary team sits.)
Vincent Ashe: What do you make of that, Malone? Some artist reaching out to Calder? HATE has a ton of enemies, and I’m just wondering which one is responsible for this.
Mike Malone: I don’t have the first clue. And are we sure it’s an enemy? Right now it just seems like SOMEONE is intent on getting The Stranger’s attention.
VA: Pretty damn ironic since it’s Calder that has always taken this path in the past. Somebody is flipping the script and turning the tables.
MM: It appears so. Someone on this roster…has made a project out of Indrid Calder and HATE. Nonetheless, ladies and gentlemen, after that bizarre opening to our program, it is my pleasure to welcome you all to Battlelines 30! I’m Mike Malone, alongside Vincent Ashe, and for the first time ever tonight, Chris Kage and Alexander Haven will enter the ring…and face one another.
VA: Malone, bizarre has long since become the norm around here, but I can’t wait for Alexander Haven to permanently retire his former “best friend”. But more importantly, I want to find out if it’s true that the EWA’s resident call girl herself, Sahara, has actually aligned herself with the House of HATE! How low she’s fallen after her expulsion from Grace’s paradise kingdom, Malone!
MM: Indeed, the rumors have been running rampant all week long, ladies and gentlemen. Let’s take you up to the ring at this time, where I’m told we’re awaiting words fro–
Nikki Rogers: The following is the opening contest, live from Battlelines 30, and it is scheduled for one fall! Introducing first….
They choose the path where no one goes…
(The haunting sounds of Led Zepplin’s “No Quarter” pounds through the speakers suddenly, causing the crowd to immediate begin to boo loudly.)
MM: What have we got here? We’re scheduled to have Sean Boden taking on Nikki Caldwell right now.
VA: It’s PARIAH showing some unity, Malone!
(Jacob Mephisto, Sean Boden, and Sammy Rochester step out onto the stage. The men stand side by side. Boden and Mephisto wear their usual suits, the ties blood red and poisonous green respectively. Sammy stands between them in a pair of faded blue jeans and a crisp white t-shirt. The three men make their way to the ring with purpose.)
MM: I don’t like the way this is looking for Nikki Caldwell tonight, Vince.
(They step into the ring, Boden simply going to a corner and removing his tie and jacket in preparation for his upcoming battle, finally sitting down in the corner. His arm and chest still have nasty scars from his injuries. Mephisto takes a microphone and stands center ring, Sammy right behind him.)
Jacob Mephisto: Tonight, PARIAH shows unity.
(Mephisto smirks a little at the crowd reaction.)
Jacob Mephisto: I don’t expect any of you to understand the concept. You see, we don’t jump into each others’ business unless the support is needed. I’ve left Sean to his own devices, and vice versa. But, Ryan Cuddihy, you stuck your nose into PARIAH business and you got choked out for your efforts. We’re being assaulted from all angles. It’s time to circle the wagons.
(The crowd continues to boo and jeer. Mephisto sneers as he slowly looks out at the sea of humanity.)
Jacob Mephisto: Typical. You see, you boo us because you’re conditioned to do so. Yet, you cheer men like Cuddihy and NOTHING and William West when they come after men like Sean, Sammy, and I. But, these are men who have committed atrocities of their own. Was Ryan Cuddihy not a part of HATE? Did William West and NOTHING not participate in the maiming of Michael Draven? Didn’t they just hold down your beloved Banshee and make her watch?
(The crowd falters for a moment, but the boos and jeers don’t stop.)
Jacob Mephisto: That’s what I thought. But, to the point. Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, in a few short moments, my colleague is going to send a message using Nikki Caldwell as his notepad. But first, I want to address two things. First, is the man standing behind me. Meet Sammy Rochester.
(A loud boo erupts from the crowd and Sammy looks around with a seemingly permanent scowl on his face. All the while, Boden waits in the corner patiently, those piercing blue eyes seemingly calm and collected, but betraying a hidden rage inside.)
Jacob Mephisto: If you’ll recall Live From London, this is the man that absolutely decimated Prudence Collins. You people call him a monster, or the manster, or a rage-fueled, planet-sized monster, or the monster child. You see this man tear through individuals like paper and you think him a beast. But, do you know what I see when I look at Sammy Rochester?
(Mephisto glances back to Sammy as the crowd begins a “monster child” chant. Sammy covers his ears, but Mephisto gently places a hand on his arms.)
Jacob Mephisto: I see a man. I see a man that’s been manipulated and controlled. I see a man who’s been forced into the role of an outsider… a PARIAH. But, let me tell you people something! We haven’t promised Sammy Rochester the world. We haven’t given him ideas of winning titles and being a champion. We’ve promised our new friend one thing! We won’t hold him back. Here, in the EWA, Sammy Rochester does what he wants. Let’s see who can stop him.
(The crowd let’s out a loud boo as Mephisto chuckles.)
Jacob Mephisto: Now, I’ve been informed that, at Champions Summit 3, I’ll be involved in a 3 Stages of HATE match against the very man I defeated in London. I’ve also been told U get to choose a stipulation. I’ve thought long and hard about it. And, my choice… will be revealed at Battlelines 31! But, rest assured, NOTHING, I’m going to make you regret your choice to go to your brother-in-law for this match. Now, without further ado, I’m going to do Ms. Rogers’ job for her. Ladies and gentlemen, introducing first, representing PARIAH, he is the man who will destroy Ryan Cuddihy at Champions Summit. He is the man who tonight, sends a message to everyone who would date stand against PARIAH. He is the man behind blue eyes. PARIAH’s own… executioner… ladies and gentlemen, SEAN BODEN!
(Mephisto drops the microphone and leaves the ring, followed by Sammy Rochester. Boden’s eyes don’t leave the entranceway as the lights die down.)
SEAN BODEN VS NIKKI CALDWELL
ANYBODY TELL YOU I’M A FIGHTER?
WANNA START A FIRE, I’M THE LIGHTER.
THINK YOU BURN BRIGHT? I BURN BRIGHTER.
DID THEY TELL YOU I’M A FIGHTER?
NR: And his opponent, from Los Angeles, CA, weighing in at 147 lbs, NIKKI CALDWELL!
MM: Nikki Caldwell fresh off of a victory against Tanya Black at Battlelines 29… I would not say that match prepared her for what she’s getting into here, Vince.
VA: Tanya Black and Sean Boden aren’t just like apples and oranges, Malone, they’re like apples and candy bars with razor blades in them. You don’t want to get either of them trick or treating, but one’s a hell of a lot more dangerous.
MM: I don’t even know where to begin with that metaphor.
The guitar riff of Sumo Cyco’s “Fighter” winds up and erupts over the arena, met with a burst of multicolored lights. Nikki Caldwell charges onto the stage, pausing at the top of the ramp where she hops a couple times and rolls out her neck, wrists, and shoulders. She runs down the ring and three quarters of the way around it, stopping just short of where Sammy and Mephisto stand on the outside. She ducks into the ring, and steps up on the bottom and center ropes, raising her fists and yelling. She jumps down, finding her corner and grounding herself as David Tucker calls for the bell.
Boden pulls himself to his feet, and he and Nikki circle each other, locking up. Boden takes the size advantage early, pushing Nikki into the corner, and before Tucker can break them up, he drives an elbow into Nikki’s face. Boden backs off, Nikki putting a hand to her nose as Tucker gets between them. Boden stands in the middle of the ring as Nikki pushes out of the corner, waving her on.
Nikki growls a little, but doesn’t get goaded into charging this time. They circle, and as Nikki goes to lock up, Boden pulls her into an arm drag! Nikki rolls to her feet quickly, but Boden slides behind into a rear waistlock! Nikki throws an elbow to Boden’s face, and rolls him up with a wheelbarrow victory roll!
MM: Nikki going for the quick win here tonight!
VA: She got one over on Black in a similar way, Malone!
Boden kicks his legs out, kipping back to his feet, and as Nikki gets up, Boden hits a handspring, his legs hitting the top rope, coming back with a back elbow that takes her by surprise! She drops to the mat, and Boden starts throwing kicks to her face, in an effort more to piss her off than actually hurt her. He drops to the mat, pushing his forearm into her throat, and Tucker gets to a four-count before he lets off, Caldwell thrashing the whole time.
Boden steps away, scoffing at her, as Nikki coughs and gets to her knees. He grabs her by a handful of hair, pulling her head to look at him, staring down at her coldly. She swings for the fences, but Boden catches her hand before the low blow lands, and he shakes his head with a sneer, pulling her up into a suplex– Nikki blocks it, hooking her leg around, and pulling him into a small package! Tucker drops to the mat!
VA: Boden’s spent most of the match trying to goad Caldwell into a mistake, but she’s the one making HIM mad!
MM: I don’t think the Dead Soul was expecting her to have any real technical skill, but her reversals have been on point!
Boden stands up immediately, and turns– HUGE roundhouse from the rookie! Boden stumbles back, and Caldwell tries to capitalize, charging in with a spear! No! Boden catches her, pulling her into a guillotine choke! He wraps his legs around her waist, and drops to his back, pulling tight! Caldwell swings wildly, barely grabbing the rope! Tucker starts a five-count, but Boden’s off by 4!
Nikki rolls onto her back, coughing again, and Boden grabs her legs, positioning her under the bottom rope, and catapulting her up! Nikki’s throat hits the rope, and she starts to cough again, flopping onto her stomach! Boden puts Nikki across the bottom rope again, laying a leg across her shoulders and pulling on the top rope! Tucker counts to four, and Boden steps off, letting Tucker hear how he really feels!
While Tucker is arguing with Boden, Sammy grabs Caldwell’s head and SMASHES her with a headbutt, while Mephisto laughs!
MM: Oh, come on!
Boden puts his leg across Caldwell’s back again, and Tucker counts once again, with Boden getting up at the four once more, and he shouts at him once again! Tucker and Boden have a screaming match… as Mephisto fires the Black Mist into Nikki’s eyes!
Nikki hops to her feet, holding her face in pain! Tucker doesn’t have time to process what’s going on before Boden capitalizes, pulling her into the Wrath! He pulls her to the mat, locking his legs around her waist! Caldwell’s hand stays up, desperately trying to stay in the match, but it’s too much! Nikki pounds the mat like a madwoman, and Tucker calls for the bell!
NR: Your winner by submission, SEAN BODEN!
VA: A hard loss for Nikki Caldwell tonight, Malone, as Pariah proves their unity.
MM: What was the need for that? Why did Nikki Caldwell deserve that kind of treatment?
Boden looks at the hard cam, cold, dead eyes staring it down as Mephisto and Rochester enter the ring, Caldwell sliding to the outside, still clearing her eyes. Boden talks just loud enough for the camera to pick it up as “No Quarter” starts to play again.
Sean Boden: I’m not afraid, Ryan… but you should be.
VA: Is he implying Pariah is going to play some sort of role in the Human Torch?
MM: I don’t know, Vince, but that would make Ryan’s job a whole lot harder.
YOUR WINNER BY SUBMISSION: SEAN BODEN (9:39)
(We open to the features of Sahara. It’s a close-up shot depicting all the healing wounds and little scars that dominate her ravishing features. Her sapphire eyes flash from side to side, and her freshly fixed platinum blonde hair frames an expression of conflicted inner turmoil.
The lighting is dim, weak bulbs swinging overhead, and Lauren MacKay sits on a wooden chair with her hands folded in her lap. She plays nervously with those hands, seeming uncertain what to do with them.
We pan backward…and all becomes clear. Pillars are looming over her on all sides. The enormous Titan known as Rayner with the slightest tombstone teeth grin shining from the mouth-hole of his mask. West leaning against a kendo stick like it’s a cane, his disfigured jaw seeming to shine with scar tissue in the poor lighting. NOTHING with his wild white hair hanging across his brow and his arms crossed at the chest.
And from the shadows behind her…A Stranger comes. He’s shirtless, his undercut swept to the side and his wrists and arms taped up with frayed soot-gray cloth. He approaches Lauren from behind with catlike caution, and his hands slowly lower to rest across her bare shoulders. Those commanding blue eyes find her, and there’s such an inquisitive glow in them tonight.
A little gasp leaves Lauren’s mouth at the coldness of his flesh touching hers, but she remains where she is. And the most telling part of this? It appears that she sits in this room willingly.)
Indrid Calder: I admire a woman who braves the bees for just a little taste of honey. You’re familiar with us through rumor and conjecture, but allow me a proper introduction, Sahara. We are the hive. We are HATE. And we…are so happy to see you.
(Indrid begins to slowly massage Lauren’s shoulders, drawing the tension from the blonde’s nervous figure. She stares off into space while he does this…)
Indrid Calder: I’ve called up Pillars from dust, Lauren. I’ve called them back from vice and ruin. (He looks to Rayner for a moment, and the giant nods approvingly) I can build them up from a sea of salt or a desert of grit. And it will be my absolute fucking PLEASURE…to sharpen all your edges just that much more. Do something for me, Sahara. Close your eyes.
(The blonde inhales deeply through her nostrils, but then those sapphire soul-windows close, the eyelashes fluttering. Indrid kneads her shoulders even harder, her entire body seeming to reach a languid state of calm.)
Indrid Calder: See what I see, and know that all of these things will come to pass. Picture an entire legion of Pillars smashing down boots and fists onto the pitiful little body of Grace Goeren as she curls herself into the fetal position and sucks on her overgrown toddler thumb. Envision her bleeding, broken, and writhing in a pool of vomit and shit. Imagine yourself LORDING over that bitch…and making her lick your boots clean. Worship for Sahara. Empowerment for Sahara. After all you’ve been through…it’s deserved, isn’t it?
(Sahara’s mouth opens into a pout, her eyes rolling beneath her closed lids. She’s seeing it. The promise…of power eternal.)
Indrid Calder: Pleasures of the flesh. Mastery of the mind. An entire theme park of dark human delights given over to you. No boundaries. No servitude. You do what you please, and you do it until you swoon with the revelry of doing it.
(Indrid leans down closer to her, brushing a lock of blonde hair behind her ear so that his serpentine whisper can be closer to her. A little purr emerges from Sahara’s mouth, a dreaming kitten…just aching to get her claws bloody.)
Indrid Calder: Walk with me. Sit with me on the roots of tangled trees. Old trees…full of knowledge. And when the time comes later tonight? When all eyes are on you and the path you choose to take?
(A final whisper to seal a Faustian deal.)
Indrid Calder: Take my hand. Your expulsion from paradise ends…because we’re gonna march right back to the gates of Eden…and reshape it as our own.
(Sahara’s eyes remain closed, a devilish grin slowly spreading across her face as we fade out.)
(We fade backstage to find Allison Haines standing in a corridor with the former three time EWA World Heavyweight Champion and a man that will try and make that number four at the end of tonight, ‘The Incomparable’ Chris Kage. Kage is wearing his normal in-ring attire with his new best selling tee-shirt that reads ‘I Will Not Bow’ across the chest piece, he is currently busy taping his wrists as the young EWA reporter begins.)
Allison Haines: First off, I just want to thank you, Chris, for taking the time to do this. I know that tonight is a huge night for you, because for the first time in your storied careers you and Alexander Haven will meet one on one in a professional wrestling ring.
Chris Kage: Not a problem, Allison. I’m sure after what you were put through down under that you could use a break from the normal bullshit you have to deal with around here.
(Allison looks away for a moment and sighs loudly, before reaching into her pocket and pulling out a small index card. She peers at the card quickly and rolls her eyes in obvious disgust.)
Allison Haines: Yeah, about that. So, Mr. Kage, after your inevitable defeat to our CEO and heralded World Heavyweight Champion, will you do the proper and decent thing, and finally leave the EWA for good, making sure to take with you that talentless fame whore, who is willing to sleep with…
(Allison stops mid sentence, and looks into the camera with pure disbelief, raising her hands in the air with a sense of pure astoundment.)
Allison Haines: I can’t…this is..
(Kage quickly pauses from his wrist taping work and reaches over to quickly pluck the index card from the hands of the EWA reporter.)
Chris Kage: Let me see that…
(He begins to read the card with a smirk forming across his face, before crumpling it up and throwing it over his shoulder.)
Chris Kage: So this is how far Alex is willing to go now to push is overarching agenda in this fucking place. What the fuck kind of organization are we running around here, this is worse than goddamn White House. It’s like Alex is taking all his PR cues these days from fucking Trump. We are one pudgy douche bag away from having Sean Spicer standing in front of me asking these asinine questions. Seriously, what the fuck, this is how you treat your reporters, asshole? Enough is enough. First, Terry Bull gets suspended for no goddamn good reason and now he has you asking these fucking ridiculous questions. Let me just do you a favor, Allison, I’ll take over from here, take a break, have a whiskey or two and give Chip Masters a call, I got this.
(Allison shrugging her shoulders hands the mic over to Kage and walks off. Kage offers a large smile and turns to stare directly into the camera.)
Chris Kage: As far as tonight goes, yes, it’s going to be monumental, there is no denying that. Because for the only the second time in the history of the EWA a man will be crowned EWA World Heavyweight Champion for the fourth time. And while doing so that same man will finally show the world what a fraud Alexander Haven’t truly is. I’ve spent my entire life believing his lies and following along with his rhetoric, but only recently have my eyes been opened to the truth about Alex. And tonight I will show the world what that truth is, I will expose him for every falsity he preaches. It’s times for the EWA to rise from the ashes and take back glory that this company once stood for. Because no longer will the EWA be Alex’s tool for his own self aggrandizing glory, no longer will we see these backhanded politics forced on reporters to spread his abhorrent lies.
The King’s reign of treachery ends tonight. Alexander Haven will be slain, and his leg spreading slut along with his minions will fall beside him. That’s not just what I think is going to happen, not at all…
That is a FACT.
See ya soon…”best friend”.
(Kage throws the mic down and walks off as we head back to the arena.)
JACOB MEPHISTO VS LUNATIKK CRIPPLER
As we cut back to ringside, we see Jacob Mephisto is back in the ring, still in his full suit and tie, while Sammy Rochester stands on the ring apron behind him. The crowd is letting him have it with loud boos.
MM: Well, folks, while all of that was happening, Jacob Mephisto came back out here and, well, he had a few more choice words for the EWA Universe, none of them which best repeating.
VA: Why, Malone, because he exercised his constitutional right to free speech?
MM: Vince, he said some vile things. Even you have to admit that.
VA: Vile or not, those words had some truth to them. And that’s what gets these people so heated.
MM: As referee Rick Iley makes his way to the ring, ladies and gentlemen, let me quickly recap for you. Jacob Mephisto walked to that ring and accused the EWA Universe of being nothing more than sheep. He went on to, and I’m paraphrasing here, say that no matter what anyone in the EWA does, you, the fans, are nothing more than a distraction and don’t deserve to breathe the same air as the warriors of the EWA. Now, these views are not shared by the majority of the EWA and are not the beliefs of this company.
VA: Oh shut up, Malone. Look, Mephisto spoke his mind. And to an extent, he’s right!
The lights cut out in the arena and the fans immediately let out a raucous cheer!
VA: See?! This guy coming out here now assisted in annihilating Michael Draven in front of Maggie MacIntyre. And they’re cheering him!
it seems strange that my life should end
in such a terrible place…
They wanna see blood!
They wanna see HATE!
Deuce’s “America” blares over the speakers as William West emerges from the back, the lights bursting back to normal. He stalks down the ramp with deadly purpose in his eyes.
MM: In any event, folks, here comes The Crippler!
West slides into the ring and tries to go right for Mephisto, who has yet to even remove his coat and tie, but Referee Iley steps in. The music fades and, once again, Mephisto grabs a microphone, this time from Nikki Rogers.
Jacob Mephisto: Before this gets started, I have a couple more things to say. I’ve been quiet for a while now. I don’t release promos. I show up, do what needs to be done, and I leave. Well, I’m done being silent. You see, I came here tonight with a unified PARIAH. I came here to make a statement. But, William, not at your expense. We’ve fought on more than one occasion. I’ve put you down too many times. And the sad part is, somewhere inside that twisted mind of yours, you enjoy it. But, not tonight. I have no desire to take a trip down memory lane. So, referee Iley, I’m exercising the clause in my EWA contract that allows me to deny one match, so long as I find a suitable replacement. William, tonight, you go one on one with Sammy Rochester!
Mephisto drops the microphone and rolls out of the ring as Sammy steps in over the top rope.
MM: Oh, come on! Rick, you can’t seriously be allowing this!
VA: I don’t think he has a choice, Malone. Mephisto has a contract.
Iley calls for the bell and Sammy simply stands center ring, daring West to bring the fight. West scowls at Mephisto, who’s taken a seat on the outside with a smirk on his face.
MM: William West came out here to fight Mephisto, but I don’t think it matters to him as long as he gets to hurt someone!
VA: He’s gonna have a hell of a time doing that to Sammy Rochester, Malone!
West begins to cautiously move in towards Sammy, and the crowd let’s out a LOUD booing warning as Mephisto slides into the ring behind Crippler!
Mephisto swings as hard as he can, slamming a steel chair into West’s spine! The bell rings immediately as Iley has clearly thrown this one out. Mephisto removes his suit jacket and begins to stomp away at Crippler savagely, Sammy joining in quickly. Mephisto pulls West up, but West begins to fire back, rocking Mephisto backwards!
Unfortunately, Sammy Rochester snatches him by the back of the neck, rocketing him skyward and driving him face first into the canvas with a huge reverse chokeslam!
MM: Oh man. This is going to be bad. The House of HATE has been fractured and now one of their pillars is about to be decimated unless someone steps in!
It doesn’t take long. The lights cut to darkness for a long moment. When they come back on, NOTHING is in the ring and he CHARGES Mephisto, tackling him to the ground and reigning rights and lefts into his face. Sammy charges in, but The Purveyor rolls away and sends a dropkick to the Monster Child’s knees, buckling the big man.
MM: The Purveyor of HATE has evened the odds here!
VA: Not by a long shot, Malone. Look!
The crowd’s cheers turn to boos as Sean Boden jumps the guardrail, sliding into the ring. He catches NOTHING from behind, cinching in the katahajime!
VA: Wrath! It’s hooked in!
Mephisto gets to his feet and begins to tee off on NOTHING while Sammy chokes West in another corner.
MM: I’ve called these men a pack of animals before, and damn if they aren’t living up to it right now! Wait a minute!
The crowd lets out a huge cheer as Ryan Cuddihy sprints toward the ring, sliding in and making a beeline for Boden. Boden releases the hold on NOTHING and rolls out of the ring. Cuddihy glares daggers at him before turning to come face to face with Sammy Rochester. The crowd goes crazy as the two begin to bare down on one another, but a loud boo erupts from the crowd when Mephisto chop blocks Cuddihy!
Boden slides back into to the ring but is blindsided by NOTHING!
MM: PURE HATE! NOTHING,just dropped Boden cold!
Mephisto gets to his feet after firing shots into Cuddihy’s face and turns.
VA: OH! Lunatikk Sweet!!! Mephisto is down!
The two HATE brethren turn triumphantly, but are absolutely mowed down by Sammy Rochester!
VA: Don’t turn your back on the planet sized rage monster!
MM: Don’t turn your back on Ryan Cuddihy either!
Sammy turns and catches a huge boot to the face rocking him back. Cuddihy wraps both hands around Sammy’s neck!
MM: Are we about to see Mjolnir?!
VA: No way!
The crowd erupts with cheers, but they quickly sour as both Mephisto and Boden clip a knee. Cuddihy releases Sammy. Mephisto and Boden motion Sammy out. Rochester turns and drives a nasty knee to Cuddihy’s temple, but steps out over the top. PARIAH backs up the ramp, Mephisto and Boden with pale grey and piercing blue eyes looking at the ring with carefully contained rage. Sammy’s mud brown eyes sparkle with unbridled fury as he stands in front of his cohorts shouting obscenities.
In the ring, Cuddihy, NOTHING, and West stare out at the EWA’s growing cancer cells, PARIAH, as the back up the ramp.
THIS MATCH ENDS IN A NO CONTEST.
(We cut back to ringside as Mike Malone and Vincent Ashe are standing by. Mike starts to talk but quickly stops and puts a hand up to his ear and listens intently on his headset.)
MM: Folks, as we stand by waiting for things to clear out here, we…we…we’ve got something of a…disturbance? Is that right? Can someone let me know what’s going on back there?
(Ashe smirks at his broadcast partner’s flustered behavior.)
VA: See, this is why we need to start looking for new on-air talent. Give it up, Malone…the business has passed you…
(Vincent stops and his face contorts in confusion as he reacts to something that was just told to him over the headset.)
VA: What?! Goeren? Which one?! WHICH ONE GOD DAMN IT?!
MM: Ladies and gentlemen, we’re trying our best to sort this out…but apparently Azrael Goeren has showed up to the arena here tonight…he’s trying to get into…is that right? He’s trying to get into the building…
VA: What the hell do we have security for?! Someone get back there and stop him!
MM: Oh God…this is bad…
VA: Someone keep that junkie away from me! I mean…away from the fans…but mostly me…
MM: Do we have…yes…yes I’m being told we have a camera back there right now. Let’s see if we can find out what’s happening…
(We quickly cut to a shot of absolute chaos in the back as EWA officials and security swarm the back doors of the Pepsi Center, forming a semicircle of bodies around a disheveled and demented Azrael Goeren who’s wildly swinging a tire iron at anyone who comes within arm’s reach of him. He nearly stumbles over his own feet before regaining balance and whipping his hair back, showing crazed eyes with busted blood vessels and laughing hysterically.)
Azrael Goeren: Come on, come on you schwein! Wolfgang wants to make some friends! Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia! Goonies Never Say Die! She’s Elora Dannen, the future empress of Tir Asleen and the last thing she’s gonna want is a hairy chest!
(Stumbling forward, Azrael connects the crowbar with the shoulder of a security guard who crumples to the backstage floor in agony. Azrael surges forward but gets swarmed by the black shirted EWA security who choke him from behind and drag him to the ground. The entire time, Azrael is screaming like a madman and wildly thrashing around the floor.)
Azrael Goeren: Bring me Alexander Haven! I WANT MY MATCH! I WANT MY FUCKING MATCH! I’M HERE TO WRESTLE! I’M HERE! THE MEGASTAR IS HERE! THE MEGASTAR IS HERE!
???????: Pick him up. Now.
(Stepping into the camera shot is the Head of Public Relations for EWA, Shawna Jackson. She remains firmly behind a row of security guards despite Azrael being dragged to his feet and having his arms pinned behind him. The moment Azrael spots her, he runs his tongue across his teeth and manages to blurt out a few sentences.)
Azrael Goeren: Frau Jackson…you’re looking extremely cunty, as usual. Have you seen Herr Haven? Tell him I’m here and reporting for duty…can’t have a show without The Megastar…
Shawna Jackson: Jesus Christ, Henrik. You’re a complete mess. Get him out of here before he hurts anyone else.
Azrael Goeren: NEIN! NEIN! I AM UNDER CONTRACT! I DEMAND A MATCH! I WANT TO WRESTLE! GIVE ME KING! GIVE ME KING!
Shawna Jackson: You are in absolutely no condition to wrestle here tonight. Look at yourself! We gave you this show off in the hopes that you’d clean up after embarrassing yourself and the company back in Boston. Obviously that was wishful thinking and we need to take more drastic steps with you.
Azrael Goeren: Shawna?
(Annoyed, Shawna rolls her eyes.)
Shawna Jackson: What?
(Without warning, Azrael clears his throat and disgustingly spits directly into her face followed by a barrage of uncontrollable, drug-fueled cackling.)
Shawna Jackson: SON OF A BITCH! GET HIM THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!
Azrael Goeren: Love ya sweetheart, give my regards to Donovan King! Ta-Ta!
(The security guards yank Azrael violently backwards and pull him out into the parking lot. Shawna looks completely shellshocked as she reaches into her pocket and pulls out a tissue before she kicks open the door and yells out towards security.)
Shawna Jackson: Send him to jail! YOU HEAR ME? Send him to jail! Assault! You’re all witnesses! We are pressing charges!
(Closing the door, Shawna takes a deep breath and wipes away the spit from her face. She spots the camera and puts a hand up to it, shoving it aside.)
Shawna Jackson: Get that out of my face!
(The camera goes black before we cut back to ringside to Malone and Ashe, the former shaking his head in disbelief.)
MM: Fans, on behalf of everyone here at EWA, I deeply apologize to you all that you had to witness that. Obviously Azrael Goeren is dealing with a lot of personal issues right now and we hope and pray he receives the help he needs.
VA: Oh my god, stop covering for him! The guy is just a pathetic loser addict! He doesn’t belong here anymore. Not that he ever did in the first place…
MM: Vincent, everyone knows that Azrael Goeren has a long history of narcotics abuse that we thought he had put behind him. But with word this week that him and Jada have split up along with the stress of dealing with Donovan King’s attacks…well…it’s clear that he’s relapsed and we can only hope that…
VA: …that this is the LAST time we’ve ever seen that freak’s face in EWA. I completely agree. Praise Grace on that. And huge thanks to Donovan King for making this all happen!
MM: Let’s just head to our next match…you are unbelievable, you know that?
RAY WILLMOTT & LAURA SETON VS THE VICE SQUAD
#1 CONTENDER MATCH
We fade back into the Pepsi Center with the sounds of ‘Them Bones’ by Alice in Chains blasting through the arena. Our camera view is focused on our commentary team of Mike Malone and Vincent Ashe, but they’re not alone, as two men have joined them on headset, sitting to Malone’s left.
MM: And ladies and gentlemen, it’s my honor and privilege to be joined here tonight by the EWA Tag Team Champions – some would say the unlikely EWA Tag Team Champions —
VA: Everyone would say that…
MM: Mojave and Josh Kaine, the team of MoJo. Gentlemen, welcome to the broadcast position!
Mojave: Not everyone would say that, thanks. We wouldn’t have the belts if we hadn’t earned ‘em. I think you’re just a skeptical old fart.
Josh Kaine: Oh come on, Moe. We got lucky. Just admit it..
Mojave: Yeah no. We’re the Champs. We earned this gold fair and square.
VA: Blah blah blah nonsense! I hope you two are watching this match closely, because to be perfectly honest, it doesn’t matter who wins. Do you hear that noise? That’s the sound of the clock striking midnight, and the Cinderella story’s end begins right here tonight!
Josh Kaine: So you’re gonna lose a shoe and hope I chase you? I mean, you’re okay, Mr. Ashe, but you’re not really my type.
VA: Yeah, well —
Vincent Ashe’s monologue is cut off by the opening of Vixtrola’s ‘Gunboat’, and the fans in the Pepsi Center roar to their feet as the EWA’s favorite engaged couple make their appearance at the top of the entrance ramp!
NR: The following contest is scheduled for one fall, in which the winners will receive an EWA Tag Team Championship match at Champions Summit III! Introducing first, at a total combined weight of 375 pounds…LAURA…SETON…and RED…HOT…RAY….WILLMOTT!
MM: And these two are no strangers to championship gold! Josh, Mo, the question is cliche, but do you have a preference as to who your opponents will be at Champions Summit III?
Mojave: They’re all horrible. I mean, the Vice Squad is just…horrifyingly–
Josh Kaine: Horrifyingly hot. Like…I would totally let ‘em have me. No offense to Ms. Seton, but she’s old like my mom.
VA: Oh, give me a break. You two are as sickening as those two up in the ring! Hey Malone, what do you think will happen first – those two bozos tying the knot, or these two successfully defending their gold? Because neither one is likely! Hahaha!
MM: You’re disgusting.
‘Gunboat’ fades out, replaced by the opening chords of the Ramones’ classic ‘I Wanna Be Sedated’. Again, a flurry of cheers inside the Pepsi Center as Minxy Jones bursts out from behind the curtain, followed by Lágrima, her tear-stained mask standing out, and Hueso bringing up the rear. Minxy sprints to the ring as Lágrima makes her way slowly to the ring behind her, almost robotic-like.
NR: And their opponents! Accompanied to the ring by Hueso, at a total combined weight of 321 pounds…Minxy Jones…Lágrima…THE…VICE…SQUAD!!
MM: And The Vice Squad know all about the EWA Tag Team Championship, as arguably one of the greatest tag teams in the history of the sport! They’ve held the belts for the majority of the EWA’s run since it reopened in 2015!
VA: Oh, come on, Malone, that wasn’t even the same team! Lou has gone missing in action, Minxy Jones is like the ultimate MILF, and Lágrima’s went all…I don’t know, crazy? I mean, look at that mask!
Mojave: Please don’t say MILF again. I just vomited a little in my mouth.
Josh Kaine: Cut the ladies some slack though. I know they been through some rough stuff lately. I mean, if we do lose the belts…I’d rather lose ‘em to crazy masked women.
VA: You’re all weird freaks.
The bell sounded as The Vice Squad entered the ring, and the match would begin with a nice display of sportsmanship, as Laura and Minxy shook hands at the onset. This was a technical wrestling marvel, with Laura and Minxy wowing the crowd with a variety of technical holds and submission based offense. Laura would finally get the upper hand, forcing Minxy to tag in Lágrima, who quickly amped up the pace with a series of high flying moves, including an incredible dive over the top rope at one point to both Willmott and Seton on the outside. The match would continue on in a back and forth flurry between the two teams, with neither gaining an advantage, until finally we would see Laura Seton and Lágrima back in the ring together…
MM: What an incredible match we’ve had here!
Josh Kaine: Dude. Seton is old but she can seriously move.
Lágrima has Laura Seton hooked for a vertical suplex, and lifts her up, but Laura’s able to float over, and springs forward into a handstand…
MM: ANGEL’S FURY! She just planted Lágrima with that kick!
Mojave: YES. BOOT TO THE HEAD.
Minxy quickly enters the ring, but Ray Willmott is there, clotheslining her and spilling both of them over the top rope! And suddenly the crowd rises to his feet…
VA: Oh, what the hell is this guy doing out here?
Out walks Dube to a massive chorus of boos, calling out to Laura as he quickly descends the entrance ramp. Laura, confused, yells at him to go into the back.
VA: I can’t even defend this douche. Josh, your mother may not receive any Christmas cards from me, but it was badass when she beat the hell out of him a couple of weeks ago, I have to admit.
Josh Kaine: I think my mom would rather get the black plague than get cards from you, but I gotta agree with ya there. He deserved that for makin’ Seton cry and shit.
Dube appears to be attempting to explain something to Laura, who is irate…but here’s Lágrima from behind with the schoolboy!
MM: Are you kidding me? Dube just cost Willmott and Laura Seton the Tag Team Championship!
VA: And he knows it, Malone! Look at him get out of Seton’s sight!
Mojave: Yeah, run! Run, little man!
MM: Ray Willmott is not going to be happy when he realizes what just happened, folks!
NR: Here are your winners, and the new #1 contenders to the EWA Tag Team Championship…THE VICE SQUAD!!
Josh Kaine: YES! MY WISH COMES TRUE!
And with that, both Kaine and Mojave take off their headsets, sliding into the ring. ‘I Wanna Be Sedated’ cuts off as the two teams exchange a staredown…before Mo and Josh offer their hands in a form of sportsmanship.
VA: I was really hoping they were lying, and were going to blindside them, Malone. I might have actually liked them for that.
MM: They have way more class than that, Vincent.
VA: I know. It’s awful.
Lágrima and Minxy exchange glances for a moment…and then return the handshake! MoJo bow out of the ring, allowing the #1 contenders to have their spot in the limelight.
YOUR WINNERS, AND NEW #1 CONTENDERS TO THE EWA TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP: THE VICE SQUAD (13:38)
(As the ring empties, Laura slides back in, Ray following her. She stands and takes a few seconds to catch her breath before calling for a mic.)
Laura Seton: Dube? You… here…
(Dube wastes little time getting in the ring. Whatever it was he was trying to say to her moments ago, he continues trying to explain to a short-patienced Seton. As he makes his way to mid-ring, Laura fires her mic at him. Not expecting the hard throw, he fumbles it to the mat. Laura gets a second mic as Dube picks up the other. Instead of trying to still explain his reason for coming out, he needs just one look at her to know to be quiet.
A fierce eye-to-eye stare on her end.)
Laura Seton: Now that–
Dube: Look, you’re about to flip out again. I know you and I recognize that look in your eyes.
Laura Seton: Shut up!
(She takes a deep breath.)
Laura Seton: I don’t want to hear any comments or excuses or just about anything you want to say. For yet another time in 18 years you’ve managed to come along and screw with my life.
Dube: I told you a couple weeks ago not to air all that. I saw that breakdown 10 miles away.
Laura Seton: Think I’m supposed to care about that? If you cared about me, you never would have struck me in the first place.
(She gives him a hard shove to a mixed reaction, as if hoping to start something. Dube just stands his ground in peace. She starts breathing fast and hard from excitement. Her glare towards him remains cold. A snarl comes to her face as she speaks.)
Laura Seton: It’s like you take some sick joy in upsetting me because that’s all you seem to do. Ever since you hurt me? Let’s just say I’m not the innocent girl you took advantage of back then. As I grew older, it continued sticking in me like a painful thorn in the side. I’ve been waiting. Waiting for the right chance. The right moment. And it’s finally come up.
(She lowers the mic as the crowd noise begins swelling. They can sense her direction. She slowly lifts it back up.)
Laura Seton: Let’s have it out.
You and me.
(A large pop comes from the crowd!)
MM: Seton apparently ready for another round of action!
VA: The first time that sentence has been uttered, Malone.
MM: Ugh–You know what I mean… and that look of hers is still as cold as ever.
(Dube looks in her eyes, an expression of his own meaning business.)
(The crowd boos not getting the reaction they wanted.)
Dube: I’m not ready to fight. YOU of people should know what it’s like to be thrown into a fight without advance notice.
(He has a look at her waist and laughs to himself.)
Dube: Those two World Championship reigns sure know what I mean.
(The crowd “OOOH”s at the cheap shot which elicits a new glare of anger.)
Dube: Still can’t take some honest feedback, can ya?
Laura Seton: You get no right to say that to me!
Dube: Oh? Why not? Because I’ve never won one? Because I’ve never let such a victory be washed away from my hands just as quick?
Laura Seton: Because? You’re a piece of crap. And someone like you, a low gutter rat, doesn’t get to talk to me in a such a way.
(Dube to her confused. She’s angry, but this seemed to be going to a new depth. Even the crowd begins lobbing a few boos her way.)
Laura Seton: You felt so lucky in high school with me. Like you finally caught the one break in your life you looked for. You know something?
Maybe you were cute at first, but boy did I ever make a terrible decision. You were a weak man, Dubey.
You don’t stick up for yourself. Never did before me and still didn’t have any guts even after I tried encouraging you.
You didn’t care about anything.
You wanted Laura Seton, but you were too much of a loser to make her forever want you!
(A few more boos come from the tongue-lashing. Dube runs a hand through his hair as he lowers his mic and turns his head away from her for a moment. He speaks, barely audible.)
Dube: Jesus Christ, Laura. It’s a wonder you ever kept going out with me….
(She didn’t hear the whole thing, but caught a couple words.)
Laura Seton: Huh?
(He turns back to her, raising the mic again.)
Laura Seton: And now you’re standing here all high and mighty. You want to control me again–
Dube: Not true.
Laura Seton: And you want to see this end just like a fairy tale. You had your mistake and now you’re trying to be a hero by admitting it. Like that solves everything.
Dube: Not what I’m doing.
(He appears genuine with his words. There is no wavering of his voice nor opposing look in his eye that may clue us in on an ulterior motive. Laura continues getting heated.)
Laura Seton: You’re going to accomplish that dream! You’re going to land me once and for all! Because that’s what your destiny is! Well…
(She attempts to let her emotions run through her before continuing, but in continuing, she gets further caught up in it all.)
Laura Seton: You must really take me as a piece of work. I don’t know if you noticed this, but–
(She motions between herself and Ray.)
Laura Seton: Strong as ever. You haven’t made a dent in us.
Dube: And I told you when I first got here: I don’t want to do that.
Laura Seton: THEN WHAT DO YOU WANT!?
(Her eyes open wide. She’s so caught up in this blind rage that she appears almost helpless as she looks towards him. She gives him another rough shove, causing a few more boos to come at her. Dube stands quietly.
He knew it would be an uphill climb to ever have a chance of making her smile one way or another, but this outright rage wasn’t in his expectations. He looks to be at a loss for words. A puzzled look comes to his face.
Laura gives him another strong push, trying her best to start something.)
Laura Seton: TALK TO ME, DUMMY!!
(As a more fluid booing comes down, even Ray appears taken aback by this. He puts a hand on her shoulder and turns her around.)
Ray Willmott: Hey, Laura, take it easy. He…
(Her cold glare transfers to Ray’s direction. She shrugs his helping hand off her. Though it’s a calm tone, it’s a business-like one.)
Laura Seton: You’re free to stand here next to me, but unless you’ve ever been fucking hurt by someone you loved, shut the fuck up.
(Ray looks to her in surprise, not sure what to do as the crowd again boos her. Dube gets a look of disappointment. Laura turns back to him as he shakes his head.)
Dube: The Laura Seton of SHOOT.
Laura Seton: What’s that supposed to mean?
Dube: Listen to yourself! You’ve got everyone here either booing you or ready to do so any second now!
Laura Seton: These people? These fans? They’re the last people on my mind! I don’t give a care in the world what any of them think!
(And that opens the floodgates of the negative fan reactions.)
Dube: You like this? Enjoy it?
Laura Seton: Oh, shut up!
Dube: No, Laura. YOU shut up!
(A handful of fans actually… cheer that.)
Dube: I look at you here and now– most people… you know, as you snapped at Ray in Mexico City… Remember that? I know you do. Before he failed in defending the World Championship, and mind you–I don’t know how many people could have beaten Grady that evening no matter how hard the effort they put forth. I’m not trying to short-change you, Ray. That was a Match of the Year candidate from where I am.
But before all that–you showed that side of you, Laura, that barely has seen the light of day. Most people had the same reaction. The one you did–
(He points towards Ray, raising his eyebrows as if trying to get him to recall on the spot.)
Dube: “The real Laura Seton.” Your exact words, Ray.
(He looks back at Laura.)
Dube: The Laura Seton everyone figured was the real one because that “Milk & Cookies” showcase you’ve provided can’t possibly be real. NO ONE can possibly be that wholesome! Even with a couple flaws, you’ve been–I don’t know…
The heroine everyone has dreamed of.
(He stops for a moment, hoping it can sink into her. But it can’t. As Laura continues looking with disdain towards him. A bit of hair falls over her face, which she brushes away as she takes a step back towards Ray.)
Dube: And I see you acting like you are now. Combined with back then. Now, not a single person here knows you like I have. Not even Ray. So when I see you acting like this, I wonder:
Where is the real Laura Seton?
Because the real one isn’t the one that’s allegedly hidden. She’s not the one that wants to break anyone in half–
(Laura rolls her eyes and readies to lose it again.)
Laura Seton: OH SHUT UP!! You are the most pathetic man I have EVER MET! I’m supposed to listen to anything you say!?
(Dube has a giant sigh as his head drops. There was no getting through to the normally beloved star. As he raises his head, a new look is in his eyes.)
Dube: What makes you this great thing you think you are, anyway? Look at your life! Look at your career the past year! A World Championship coughed up not once, but twice! Who the Hell does that!? You get to the pinnacle of the sport and you become a dumpster fire. Heh… you know what? You call yourself “20 Minutes of Terror.” You take a good look in the mirror and you’ll see what you really are:
The Human Dumpster Fire.
(A handful of fans laugh. Laura’s eyes again bug open. So much anger within them that it’s so ironic that her expression again becomes so helpless as who knows what angry thoughts churn in her head.)
Dube: I’m not trying to be funny here, either. You’re an absolute mess, Laura. Congratulations on being engaged to Ray. That’s great. But what else has gone on here?
You climb, claw and scrape your way to face Chris Kage. And you beat him for the World Championship! TWO TIMES! And what do you have to show for it?
What do you have to show for ending arguably the greatest reign by an EWA World Champion?
Unending adulation? A handful of successful defenses? Maybe at the least a bouquet of flowers and a box of those Tagalong cookies you love?
Nothing but a footnote in history.
Because you lost to Grace Goeren literally just minutes later!
WHO THE HELL DOES THAT!??
(The crowd has a few cheers for Dube trying to rile her up but most now sit in anticipation of what could happen as Laura looks on. If smoke could literally come from her head, it would be pouring out by now.)
Dube: Then you fall off the face of the Earth. You barely get another stab at it and look where you are now. Do you even have a direction? Or are you going to float around here aimlessly like you’ve done in places for probably a good 75% of your career? Your career’s a mess and trust me, I’m saying that as politely as I can.
On a personal level, you look like an emotional disaster. I don’t know what you and Sinn talk about–
Laura Seton: DO NOT take a dig at Jada!
Dube: Heh… understandable. I can tell you’re close friends with her, you certainly have started using the same amount of colorful vocabulary she does.
(Laura’s face begins turning a new shade of pissed-off red.)
Dube: You know what really sucks? Everyone always loves a great “Where Are They Now” story. It just really crushes you when you actually realize one is developing right before your eyes every single show. Laura Seton, you were at the pinnacle of the wrestling world. You were the person everyone wanted to be in EWA. You had that spot every… single… wrestler… ever wants to be in.
And you pissed it all away.
Because apparently you forgot what it was like to the best.
Which is ironic given you, because that’s really all you ever were, right? The best?
And now you’ve hit some downhill slope or you did something to become this utter… mess… you’re turning into.
(Breathing hard again and beginning to shake a little, she raises her mic as Dube receives a mixed reaction.)
Dube: No, Laura. Do us a favor and stop talking. I know what you’re going to say. Something about things clearing up. You’ll get back on track. You’re going to win the World Championship again some day. Probably sooner than later. And everyone will again love you as your critics again are silenced.
And that would be great. Because yeah, you probably deserve that final storybook ending to your career. After all, what better way would there be to come out of that awful low of such short-stinted reigns than a great one or maybe two reigns. A way to give that career a brilliant luster. The problem is–
You don’t have it in you.
You say you “want it” but do you really?
All I see here is a helpless little girl.
Who throws a tantrum when someone calls her out on her profound ability to always come up short.
And doesn’t have that real aptitude anymore to become as great as she wants to be. Because that time is gone. She can’t give it all any more.
Age and injuries have gotten her.
Laura Seton did morph away from the “never-was” label for a short time, but now?
You’ll be lucky if anyone even mentions you as a Top 5 World Heavyweight Champion contender ever again.
That Championship is only meant for people that can take it just as well as they dish it out. People that have courage behind their convictions. The greatest of the truly great.
But that’s not you.
You’re an emotional wreck. You don’t deserve everything that comes with being a rightful Champion! That’s why you lost it so quick both times. You can’t stand on your own two feet at the top of the mountain because in the end?
This you just isn’t World Championship material.
(The crowd ‘ooh’s at the words while he scoffs in her direction. The camera focuses on her face.
Her hair is at either side of her face, giving a small tunnel through which to gaze at Dube. Her breathing is heavy. She looks every bit the worse for wear from this verbal on-slaught as she would from a 60-minute Iron Person Match.
She looks on with a cold stare. He pushed every single button in her he possibly could. She speaks as if all emotion has been drained from her.)
Laura Seton: You fucking piece of shit…
(She stands still for a second before suddenly dropping the mic and lunging towards Dube!
Lucky for him, Ray reacts almost as fast and is able to wrap his arms around Laura and keep her from getting to him.)
VA: Let her go, Ray! Let them fight! Let them fight!
(Dube jumps back, startled at her reaction. He looks at her but catches Ray in his glimpse. Ray looks ready to let go of the young lady struggling in his grasp, but for the minute, gives Dube a raise of his brows. Dube gets the message and escapes the ring, heading back up the ramp. Laura then turns her attention to Ray, glaring at him and shoves herself away. Ray appears absolutely baffled and confused by what’s taken place.
(The camera moves to the back. We see Ethan Leers in his usual state of disarray, but at least this time he seems fully clothed, specifically in his wrestling attire. He seems to be spending plenty of time getting ready for his big opportunity at the Combat Zone Championship. And by getting ready…he is drinking a 40 oz of Olde English. And by the looks of the bottles around him, this isn’t his first. In fact, it looks like his third. He sits on a spare egg crate, leaning against the wall, singing his own little song in what can only be described as the furthest thing from on key.)
Ethan Leers: Fuck you and fuck you and fuck YOUUUUUUUU! Fuck everyone and fuck this place! EWA can suck fucking balls! Tanya Black was better than all of you, and Tanya Black sucked, so fuck this bullshit!
(Ethan takes a big drink from his bottle, but as a crew member walks by, he suddenly spits it in the crew members direction, causing the guy to yell “what the fuck!” before quickly walking away.)
Ethan Leers: Yeah, fuck you you fucking minimum wage poser ass piece of shit. FUCK I hate this goddamn place. Everyone and everything is so goddamn…goddamn fucking BORING.
(As Ethan takes a swig of his beverage, Rachel Ellsworth walks into frame. She stops suddenly, doing a bit of a double take, staring inquisitively at the drunken man.)
Rachel Ellsworth: That depressed at havin’ to face the Holy Roller, are you? Not that I blame you, but really– you shouldn’t be makin’ your liver such an obvious target.
(Ethan spits malt liquor at Rachel’s shoes.)
Ethan Leers: Why don’t you go suck Joe Lemon’s cock or something…whoever the fuck you are…
(Ethan stands up, but as he does so, Rachel gets right in his face–her lips quickly tugging into that Jack-O-Lantern smile that means trouble. They both lock eyes.)
Ethan Leers: You ain’t got the fucking stomach to fuck with me, bitch. I’ll take you to fucking hell and back, cunt.
(Rachel doesn’t say anything. She lashes out and quickly, lightning quickly, takes the half full bottle of Olde English from Leers. She quickly puts it to her lips and chugs the entire half down! She then smashes the bottle against her head and puts the remaining glass to Leers’ throat. Leers looks wide eyed as she smirks, her tone amused.)
Rachel Ellsworth: Got anythin’ else you wanna recite from the Book of 4Chan insults there, Ethie?
(Leers stands there for a minute, feeling the glass against his throat. He then leans in, getting a small cut on his throat that drips a small amount of blood. He suddenly backs away and begins laughing raucously.)
Ethan Leers: HOLY FUCK! Where…the…FUCK did you come from?! I mean, you fucking CHUGGED my shit…then fucking broke it on your head, which, I mean, kudos, that shit usually takes me a couple of fucking tries to break that shit. And then you put fucking GLASS to my throat! FUCK… you and me, I feel like we could be friends.
(Leers extends his hand.)
Ethan Leers: I’m fucking Ethan.
(Rachel looks down at the hand, questioningly. She then shrugs, drops the glass, and takes Ethan’s hand.)
Rachel Ellsworth: Rachel… Miss Ellsworth if you’re nasty.
(Ethan enthusiastically shakes Rachel’s hand. It is a little over exaggerated, but Ethan is drunk, so it is to be expected.)
Ethan Leers: Fuck dude, it is just super fucking great to meet you. Uhhh…I guess I should sober the fuck up anyway. Gotta go take that Combat Zone Championship from Grace “I’m A Fucking God So I’m Not Fucking Real” Goeren. But…fuck man…it was super great meeting you.
Rachel Ellsworth: Hah, go show her what for.
(Watching him walk away, the Atomic Redhead cants her head to one side before her gaze turns to the camera.)
Rachel Ellsworth: …well, that was a thing, wasn’t it folks?
(The camera cuts back to our commentators.)
MM: Weeks ago, it looked as if Sahara — cast out from the group known as The Fallout — was left for dead. Earlier tonight, however, it seems she may have found second life…
VA: Pffft. The God Queen created Sahara…the God Queen uncreated Sahara. It’s just like this whore to glom onto the next group of guys that’ll take her in…
MM: We all know the allure of Indrid Calder, but after what happened to Sahara, one would have to hope she’s smarter–
(As the opening riff of In This Moment’s ‘Adrenalize Me’ hits, the fans turn their attention toward the rampway as the Crimson Queen emerges from the back, her wounds still on the mend many weeks after the incident in London. Gone is the bloodstained t-shirt she wore throughout her Fallout run, replaced by a new white t-shirt that hangs off one shoulder.)
VA: It’s about time she changed her shirt…
MM: For once I actually agree with you.
VA: Oh, how I can’t wait for Grace to squash this … you know what once and for all.
MM: I got a feeling that’s not gonna be so easy anymore, Ashe, she’s surrounding herself with an army.
VA: We don’t know that for sur–
(Ashe’s words act as a cue for a dark act to unfold, and with Sahara posing with her hands on her hips, those familiar lyrics blast out from the Combat Zone speakers.)
It seems strange that my life should end
in such a terrible place…
(Rayner lumbers out, the Titan’s leather mask looking horrid. West follows, using his fashionable kendo stick cane to guide his steps. NOTHING comes next, and something akin to a fatherly smile warms his face. The last to appear behind Sahara…is the shrouded Spider King himself, Indrid Calder.
The entire HATE collective flanks The Crimson Queen, and a twisted grin corrupts the scarred and beautiful features of her face.)
VA: NO! PLEASE…say it ain’t so. Grace, if you can hear me back there…get Alice trained as fast as humanly possible. Seal Heaven’s gates and allow me to pray for your salvation. How DARE this blonde minx align herself with these demonic ravagers…
MM: This sight chills the blood in my veins. Has Sahara really done this? Has she traded one devil in…for an entire LEGION of devils?
VA: If that’s the case, it isn’t just my precious God Queen that needs to be worried. It’s the entire EWA WORLD.
(The hive walks down to the ring in unison with Sahara walking in the center of them like a prized prospect.
Raising her eyebrows at Nikki Rogers as she exits the ring, Sahara makes a somewhat dismissive face and climbs onto the ring apron before stepping through the ropes. The Pillars enter the ring as well, each of them taking up a protective stance around The Crimson Queen.)
VA: Did you see how she looked at Nikki Rogers? Good to know she’s still a bitch. I can’t believe these guys took her in…just when I thought we were rid of her.
(NOTHING is the first to step forward, that warm smile resting across the HATE patriarch’s features as he brings a mic to his lips.)
NOTHING: Well… well, well, well…
I already told everybody in the EWA that the rebuilding process had only just begun – that you would begin to see The Resurrection of HATE. What you see before you is the beginning of that very Resurrection.
I won’t stand here and preach to you about family because that’s not what this is. That’s never been what this is. We can save that for the retrospectives on The Youth if we want teary-eyed remembrances of “the way things used to be” – but that is not, nor has it ever been, what drives the Warriors who stand before you in this ring.
No, we’re driven by much more than the flimsy excuse of family. Because, despite the old adage, you can choose your family, can’t you? You can decide to abandon those with whom you are related by blood… leave them in your rear-view mirror and move onward without so much as a glance back in their direction. And for those with whom you fall into love and build a life, that can always end either by your doing or by theirs. There is always a way to escape from those with whom you have crafted emotional connections.
But again, I tell you… this… (he motions to the cadre standing around him) this is not a family. We’re not a group of people drawn together by emotion, no… no, no, no. What you see before you is a group of individuals collected together by a higher power, a greater purpose than any of us can begin to understand.
That higher power, that greater purpose… that is the HATE we speak of so often. The one thing that bonds us together and drives us forward all at the same time. And sometimes, yeah – sometimes emotions get mixed up in all of this. I’ve seen it happen before and it will happen again, I’m sure, but it has never, never been so blatantly repugnant as it was with our Banshee.
Maggie, my dear… we had faith in you. Trust in you. And you threw it all away because of the feelings you have for that sycophant Michael Draven. You ripped the heart from the chest of The Stranger because your emotions caught you off guard and you could no longer fight them.
Well, Maggie, I want you to listen very clearly to the words you hear in this ring tonight and pay even closer attention to the actions you take in response. I want you to think about how your actions — past, present, and future — have led to the walls crumbling down around you. It started with the shattering of Michael’s leg, but… you know us, Maggie. (The Purveyor flashes a grin as he glances around at the other members of HATE.) You know we won’t stop there.
And looking at your former Pillars with puppy dog eyes or pleading with us to stop the pain will be useless efforts, Banshee. What you would have learned had you not parted ways with us is that… when you really become one with everything we are? Your actions aren’t guided by emotions or feelings or that lump of flesh beating in your chest. No, Maggie… everything we do is instinct. Warriors beckoned by the ever-growing power of HATE to tear down the ones who stand in our way or stray from our path.
When your time comes, Maggie, don’t look to Michael Draven for answers… don’t even look to the sky for answers. Look in the mirror, Maggie – because you have asked for everything that is about to happen to you.
The Resurrection of HATE… will come through The Destruction of Maggie McIntyre.
(West nods in recognition of The Harbinger’s words, and The Masochist steps forward while casually twirling the silver-tipped kendo stick cane.)
William West: Whenever….
(West chuckles momentarily, more of a high pitched, throaty giggle.)
William West: Whenever you see HATE, well, all I hear about is betrayal. I hear about fear and I hear about how despicable we are.
(Another giggle from West. He seems to be enjoying himself tonight.)
William West: You are right. You should fear us. I have the unfortunate habit of….ending careers, personally. Why, in a two week period alone, I shredded the knee of Tyler Morris, and aided The Stranger in the dissection of Michael Draven’s leg. It will be difficult for either man to ever even walk again. It will be next to impossible to see them compete inside these hallowed ropes once more.
(West bows his head, his mask leaving no emotion showing as he seemingly takes a moment of silence.)
William West: I am….. Sorry….about Tyler Morris.
(West lowers the mic for a moment. He raises it back to his lips, and raises his head. His eyes shine with malice.)
William West: But Michael Draven deserved everything he got!
(West pauses, as the crowd at large gives him a mixed reaction. Sahara briefly glances over at West, but remains expressionless as West returns the glance. We see the corners of his mouth rise above his mask in a sick grin.)
William West: My only regret is that I didn’t get to do any of the breaking myself. Maggie. Sweet Maggie. Don’t you see? It wasn’t just Calder’s heart you broke when you fled from the Hive. When you forsook HATE, and ran back into the arms of the man who humiliated you with his public display of his affections towards Fifty Shades of Grey, you broke all of our hearts.
(West gives pause, choosing his words carefully.)
William West: This isn’t easy for me. I loved you, Maggie. You were the sister I never had. I shared with you things that I only share with those closest to me. And you proved that meant dick to you. You proved you’d rather get beaten with a belt while your boyfriend’s buddies laugh at you.
(West shakes his head.)
William West: Maggie, you broke my heart. Tonight, Mephisto tried to break my spirit and Sammy Rochester tried to break my body. Next person to cross me? To cross HATE?
(West steps forward, eyes locked in determination.)
William West: I’ll break your fucking neck.
(Rayner stomps forward with West’s words still ringing throughout the arena.)
Cal Rayner: Lots of sullen cunts on this roster gunning for the HATE boys. Take your shots, but make damn sure you don’t misfire. We don’t stay buried. I ain’t nothing more than a pile of resurrected dinosaur bones…but I ain’t too fuckin’ keen on going into my grave until I’ve taken a few of our enemies with me.
(The Stranger glides forward next to his giant compatriot, and he pauses while studying Sahara.)
Indrid Calder: The Purveyor speaks the truth. His truth is everlasting, and even when we lose the HATEful path, it is NOTHING that helps us find it again. My hive-kin and I will not falter in the face of adversity. I’ve lost the woman closest to me…
(Calder’s expression deadens for a moment, his eyes losing some of their shine.)
Indrid Calder: But I’ve gained a new apprentice. A fellow lost soul. A Crimson Queen…looking to paint the EWA in the sweetest shade of red.
(Calder’s hand reaches out, his fingertips lightly threading her platinum hair, and the Crimson Queen seems to take some sadistic pleasure in being fawned over in such a way.)
Indrid Calder: So later tonight, instead of the match between us…there will be a coronation. And I shall introduce the new Queen of HATE to the world.
(As an arrogant smirk forms on her face, Sahara steps to the middle of the ring and stares into the hard camera. and stands silently for a few moments before she begins to knock the mic against the side of her leg…the other pillars of HATE stand resolute and perfectly still.)
VA: What’s she doing?
(As the thumps repeat, the time between them grows longer and longer…)
MM: I don’t know, but that angry scowl on her face looks like it’s coming from a place well beyond hatred…it’s like she’s building tension…
VA: Well? Say something already!
MM: I thought you didn’t want to listen to her?!
VA: Well…it’s giving me anxiety.
(As a nervous energy spreads across the arena, the blonde finally lifts the mic…)
Sahara: The greatest trick the devil ever pulled…was convincing me she was God.
(The crowd cheers fully understanding who the target of her ire is.)
Sahara: I’ll spare you the empty apologies. I’m not sorry for the person I was, nor the person I’ve become. One lesson I’ve already learned from Calder already is that life is more complicated than the black and white you wish to paint us with. I spent the last couple of weeks reflecting on the things I’d done…and the things I’m about to do. They say there’s a special place in each of us reserved for the deepest and darkest shit thrown our way. A place where we bury all the pain and misery that slowly eats away at our dreams. The more we bury there, the more it consumes us. It’s a place that starts small, reserved for the worst of the worst. But it grows, spreading it’s wispy tendrils like an infection, and before ya know it, it’s no longer this small place…but the only place. It makes us say and do things we never imagined possible.
It fills us with … HATE.
You created that place in me, Grace…cultivated it. And a lot of people suffered in my wake. One of em’ even “left Boston” on your behest. Then, for no reason at all…you cast me out from “paradise”…and you did so by embarrassing me in front of the world.
I know yer back there, Grace…and I know you’re hearin’ me, and I know you can see me. Look at me now you little teenage cumstain…and behold my new place in the house of HATE.
(Tapping her chest, Sahara gazes directly into the camera.)
Sahara: For months, you convinced me that you made me…and all that while I ignored those closest to me. Maggie. Jada. Michael. My baby brother Moe. I ignored ‘em all, I used ‘em, I abused ‘em, or worse. If you made me, Grace Goeren, the only thing you made was an arrogant, self-absorbed, selfish piece of shit. And the worst part is? I loved every second of it…
MM: Wait, what?
VA: At least she’s telling the truth.
Sahara: You took the worst parts of me, threw em’ in an incubator and created … this.
(Reaching down, Sahara pulls out a bloodstained t-shirt, the same t-shirt she wore the night she ripped out Azrael Goerens throat and became ‘The Crimson Queen’. Holding it up for all to see, she opens her hand and drops the last remnant of her time with the Fallout on the floor of the ring, kicking it to the side as if moving on.)
Sahara: You destroyed the very person that made you possible…
Sahara: Without ME, there never was a “God Queen”.
VA: (Sputters) Double blasphemy!
Sahara: But I gotta hand it to ya, Grace. You whipped me. You berated me. You treated me like absolute shit…and ya did it for months, and ya know what?! I loved you for it. Like I said at the start, the greatest trick you ever pulled was convincing me you were God.
(Sahara pauses a moment, once again glaring into the hard camera.)
Sahara: But the worst mistake you ever made was burying me in front of the world and not finishing the job. Because tonight, I am reborn from the ashes of HATE…
And I am coming for YOU.
(Sahara drops the mic and holds both arms arms out to the side and leans her head back. The sinister smile of Indrid Calder seen behind her.)
MM: Sahara in the house of HATE…I don’t like it…not one bit!
VA: Nobody does, Malone…nobody does.
(‘Adrenalize’ kicks in once again, as the HATE collective, with the Crimson Queen in tow, slowly begin to exit the ring. We fade out to an advertisement.)
(We fade into the private locker room of Grace Goeren as we show her sprawled out on a red leather couch, flipping casually through a few manila folders. Standing at the head of the couch is Grace’s newest trainee, the deeply dissociatively disturbed Alice who broods over her God Queen and keeps a watchful eye on the proceedings. The EWA Combat Championship belt is draped over the arm of the couch, hanging precariously off the side.)
Grace Goeren: Hahaha, oh fuck…check out this chick!
(The God Queen holds up a folder for Alice to see but the massive woman doesn’t register anything that Grace is doing. Grace pulls down the folder and points accusingly at something inside of it.)
Grace Goeren: Says here she wrestles “conservatively” and has had “tremendous experience wrestling in and around Prince Edward Island, Canada”. If that’s not the fucking volcano hotbed of wrestling action, I don’t know what is! We gotta bring this one into The Shelter just to see what wrestling “Canadian-Style” really means. Is that like wrestling in a baby pool full of beer and gravy? I gots to know!
(The door to Grace’s locker room pops open as Alice suddenly reacts, taking a step towards the sound like an angry attack dog ready to rip the intruder to shreds. Grace doesn’t even flinch or look up from the folder, seemingly knowing she’s safe from whoever just came in.)
Shawna Jackson: You would not BELIEVE what your asshole father did to me earlier tonight!
(Grace calmly puts the folder down and waves Alice off as the Head of Public Relations for the EWA storms in. Grace plays it coy, sitting up and folding her hands on her lap.)
Grace Goeren: I saw, we were watching it back here. Hope you got an STD test kit somewhere in the arena…
Shawna Jackson: Funny. Real funny.
Grace Goeren: Lighten up, we should be celebrating! That fucker hit rock bottom a lot harder and faster than I could ever have dreamed to do to him. Remind me to send King a malt liquor and weed cupcake next chance I get. Dude totes did the work of his God Queen, love that guy.
(Shawna disgustingly puts her hands on her hips, glaring down at the brash and delusional champion.)
Shawna Jackson: So since you’ve been just hanging out back here all night…did you happen to see what Sahara said about you? And what she did? With HATE?
(Grace goes deadly serious, her face grim. She stands up slowly and moves towards Shawna, her eyes emoting an icy shift in attitude.)
Grace Goeren: I did see that. And I just have one question for you…
(Shawna raises an eyebrow.)
Grace Goeren: Who the fuck is this Sahara chick again?
Shawna Jackson: Come on, Grace…
(The God Queen bursts out laughing but still tries to keep up the routine.)
Grace Goeren: Nah, I’m serious. Does she work here or something? I mean I saw some bitch out there talking shit about me but I just assumed it was some crack whore that HATE dragged in off the streets. Or maybe they conjured her from a Ouija board or something. Did anyone check to see if she had a +1 Mana boost? Did she come from the Upside Down? Someone get that bitch some Eggos, STAT!
Shawna Jackson: Glad to see you’re taking this seriously.
Grace Goeren: Puh-lease!
(Grace tosses herself back onto the couch, taking up as much room as she can and nearly kicking over her title belt in the process.)
Grace Goeren: We’ve got SO much bigger fish to fry tonight than that whining little traitor. Who honestly gives a shit who she starts slumming it up with? Her crew is just as sad and pathetic as she is. SO beneath me. SO not worth my time and effort. Once you’re out of my good graces…heh…you’re fucking dead to the world.
(Shawna shakes her head and feels her phone buzzing in her pocket. She retrieves it and scans a few messages before casting another glance in Grace’s direction.)
Shawna Jackson: I think you’re wrong about her. I think we need to deal with Sahara now and keep her from becoming a bigger problem down the road.
Grace Goeren: Yeah, cuz you’ve spent so much time in the ring and you know all about these things. Listen, do what you do. Work the front office. Get me the matches I want and keep me squeaky clean for sponsorships and advertisements. And I’ll do what I do best…besides…
(The God Queen looks up at the stoic Alice who eerily stands guard near her, emotionless and unflinching.)
Grace Goeren: I am untouchable.
(We slowly fade as Grace smiles over at her devout new beast, giving her a reassuring pat on the hand before we cut out completely.)
MAGGIE MCINTYRE VS NOTHING
DING DING DING!!
NR: The following contest is scheduled for one fall!
The opening chords of AFI’s “I Hope You Suffer” blast through the Pepsi Arena, and the crowd roars to its feet as Maggie McIntyre bursts out from behind the curtain, pumping a fist high in the air as she stares out at the sold out arena, an exuberant look on her face.
NR: Introducing first, from Albany, New York, she is the Banshee…MAGGIE…MCINTYRE!!
VA: That’s ridiculous, Malone. She should’ve lost that title the moment she decided to step on poor Indrid Calder’s heart…the way he stepped on Michael Draven’s leg two weeks ago! Hahahaha!
MM: That’s uncalled for, Vince. Michael Draven sustained a serious injury and you’re out here making a mocke–whoa!
As Maggie marches down the ramp, the lights in the arena begin to flicker, with her entrance music distorting. Clearly on edge, Maggie whips around, trying to keep an eye on her surroundings. After a moment, though, the lights and music return to normal, clearly leaving the sable-haired beauty unnerved as she enters the ring.
VA: That’s right, Maggie. Your Stranger, the man you left behind for that useless bag of piss…he’s coming for you. You just opened Pandora’s box, little girl.
MM: I think if anything, Maggie’s proven over her career that she’s more than capable of handling herself against her opponents.
VA: This is different, and you know it, Malone. She’s openly declared war on HATE, and HATE knows no boundaries, no rules. You saw what they did to The Youth last year, what Calder did at Battlelines 29 to Michael Draven. Maggie’s bit off way more than she can chew by leaving the hive.
it seems strange that my life should end
in such a terrible place…
NR: And her opponent! Also hailing from Albany, New York, weighing in at 255 pounds…he is the Purveyor of HATE…NOTHING!!
Placebo’s ‘Without You I’m NOTHING’ plays over the Pepsi Arena’s sound system as the faint spotlight shines down on the entrance ramp, illuminating the originator of HATE. He slowly brings his head up, takes a look around the arena, and then begins a slow and deliberate walk to the ring as the spotlight follows him. Maggie paces in the ring, awaiting the Purveyor’s arrival.
MM: NOTHING has had his hands full in recent weeks with Jacob Mephisto and Pariah as a whole, but tonight he has a different type of score to settle. From hearing NOTHING’s words on Combat TV leading up to tonight, I think he takes Maggie’s departure from the hive of HATE as a personal insult, Vincent Ashe.
VA: Of course he does, Malone! The Hive is a family, and Maggie turned her back on that family for…what, exactly? A man that beat her with a belt? A man whose genitals has been publicly documented as being the length of one of the first few hashmarks on a ruler?
MM: Classy, Vince.
VA: Fine, ignore the ruler part. The man beat her on live television with a belt and she chose him over the Stranger.
MM: And you think Indrid Calder is the personification of all that is good and right with the world?
VA: Not at all, Malone, but Indrid Calder frightens me, and I’m not about to come out here and piss him off.
MM: At least you’re honest for a change.
VA: I value my life, Malone.
NOTHING gets into the ring, slowly slipping out of his long coat as he stares across the ring at Maggie. Maggie approaches him cautiously, yelling out to him as Placebo fades out.
Maggie McIntyre: I did what I had to do, Prudence!
NOTHING regards her with an emotionless expression, his cold eyes glaring at her…before hauling off and striking her right across the face, as the bell sounds!
NOTHING would go on to control the match at the onset, punishing Maggie with a methodical, overpowering offense. Maggie would make a handful of rally attempts, only to be knocked down a peg by the Purveyor as he continued his punishing onslaught. The tide would finally turn after Maggie would duck a running knee lift in the corner, and the Banshee would take the fight to her former fellow Hive member, rocking him with a series of rights and lefts in the corner, and even hitting Michael Draven’s Downfall for a near fall. Prudence, though, would regain control, and looked to have the match in hand…
MM: NOTHING now, gearing up for Pure HATE, as Maggie’s down on one knee!
VA: She’ll bend the knee to Calder when it’s all said and done, Malone…he’s going to paint the entire planet with McIntyre’s blood!
MM: That’s a…disturbing…image, but nonetheless, NOTHING races toward Maggie…but she ducks! And now Maggie with the inside cradle as NOTHING turns around!
NR: Here is your winner, Maggie…McIntyre!!
MM: What an incredible victory out of nowhere for the Banshee! And NOTHING is beside himself!
VA: I can’t believe it!
Maggie, breathing heavily, pulls herself up on a knee…just in time for NOTHING to race in and hit Pure HATE! Prudence stands over Maggie, looking down at her with a shameful expression on his face, before slowly exiting the ring and heading toward the back.
MM: Prudence Collins delivered a message to Maggie McIntyre here tonight, regardless of the outcome of this match…and you have to believe, ladies and gentlemen, that a Stranger was behind that messa–
VA: I don’t think the message has finished yet, Malone!
The lights flicker again, and once illumination returns there is a Stranger in the ring lording over Maggie.
MM: Oh god. Here’s that ominous specter we’ve come to know as Indrid Calder…and this young woman is completely at his mercy right now.
Indrid remains motionless, standing over Maggie as she shakes her head from to side to side, struggling to crawl up to her hands and knees.
VA: Wake up, babycakes! You’ve got tall, dark, and HELLISH waiting for ya! Carve up that little traitor, Indrid!
Calder stands there for a moment longer, gazing down at the woman who once stood with him in the hive. And then just as suddenly as he appeared…he slides right back out of the ring and starts to trudge up the ramp along with NOTHING.
VA: Wait…what? He had every opportunity to stomp her brains in there!
MM: That catches me by surprise too, Ashe. Calder seems almost reluctant to put his hands on his former lover and hive-mate.
VA: I don’t know what to make of that. Calder is like a great white shark when it comes to almost ANY piece of prey on this roster, but Mags here gets a free pass? Don’t let that heart steer you wrong, Calder!
MM: A rare bit of humanization from The Stranger. Perhaps there are still lingering effects from his time at McIntyre’s side. But if this situation continues to escalate…the two of them are going to be FORCED to fight it out sooner or later.
YOUR WINNER BY PINFALL: MAGGIE MCINTYRE (13:44)
(We cut to the backstage area, where we find ourselves in the office of EWA CEO, Owner, and a World Champion Alexander Haven. Haven is dressed in his ring gear and a new t-shirt with a picture of the brand new EWA World Heavyweight Championship beneath stylized gold script reading “HAVEN.” Terry Bull is standing somewhat awkwardly to the side of the champ, who is leaning back in his office chair, feet on the desk. Noticeable on the desk is both the brand new belt and a…sword? Bull seems a little extra sweaty, no doubt nervous that his first assignment back from suspension is with the man who suspended him in the first place.)
Terry Bull: Ladies and gentleman, I am here with the one, the only, and as he has asked to be referred to as going forward…”The Incomparable” Alexander Haven.
(Haven nods with a satisfied smirk, as Terry awkwardly holds the microphone towards Alex who has made no effort to get up.)
Alexander Haven: Let me be the first to welcome you back, Terry. I’m sure your suspension was well spent reflecting upon the biased journalism you had been presenting and that we will have no issues going forward. You’re a legend, Terry, and I hate that it had to come to that. Guess you could say I just felt absolutely…terrible about it.
(Haven laughs at his own obvious joke, as Terry manages to force an obviously fake laugh as well to appease the champion.)
Terry Bull: As required by the terms of my reinstatement, I’d like to apologize humbly for my transgressions and promise to hold myself to a higher standard of journalism in the future.
(Haven smirks, obviously enjoying the “apology” from the long time EWA staff member.)
Terry Bull: Now then, onto the matter at hand and your match later tonight, where for the first time ever, you will go head to head with Chris Kage in the squared circle. How are you feeling heading into tonight’s main event?
(Bull extends the microphone towards Haven, who is still seated with his feet on the desk. Instead of answering, he twirls the sword in his hand. It has a large hilt and a cross guard, with a long straight blade. He stares at the sword intently, ignoring Bull entirely. )
Terry Bull: …Alex? May I ask what the sword is for?
(Haven continues staring at the sword and waving it gently in the air as he answers.)
Alexander Haven: Every rightful King needs a weapon, Terry. A symbol of strength to demonstrate his power and rightful authority over his Kingdom. When a true King orders a man to death for his crimes against the Kingdom, the instrument is almost as important as important as the executioner. And a true King always handles his own Executions.
(Haven pauses, never breaking gaze with the sword. Bull swallows noticeably, wondering if the sword is for him. Haven finally glances at him, and laughs.)
Alexander Haven: Relax, Terry. It’s not for you. They say when you cut a man’s head off and gaze into their lifeless eyes, you can see the very moment they realize it’s all over. That no one is coming to save them. Tonight, I will see that look in Chris Kage’s eyes. While modern laws unfortunately prevent me from cutting his head off, the result will be the same. A broken man who realizes his place in this world, beneath me.
Terry Bull: Does the sword have a name?
(Haven stares at Bull incredulously.)
Alexander Haven: No, Terry, it does not. It’s a sword. It’s an inanimate object. What should I call it? Steve? Kyle? Horace? Who the hell names a weapon?
Terry Bull: Well, King Arthur was known to wield the legendary blade known as Excalibur. That certainly seems fitting for a man such as yourself.
(Bull smiles, obviously feeling he’s handling the situation smoothly. Haven stares at him with a disgusted look on his face.)
Alexander Haven: …don’t ever say that name again. Did you even read the terms of your reinstatement?
Terry Bull: I…browsed them.
Alexander Haven: Page 3. You are strictly prohibited from mentioning the performer known as Eryk Van Whatshisface under any circumstances. Especially by that god awful name.
Terry Bull: Who? Ohhhh…you mean X-Calibur!
Alexander Haven: You’re suspended, Terry. Get out.
(Terry stares blankly at Haven, silent. Haven finally stands from his chair, turning to Bull.)
Alexander Haven: I SAID GET OUT!
(Haven grabs the sword once more and points it at Bull, who scurries out of the room. Fade out.)
(We fade backstage, where Maggie has returned after her successful match against NOTHING, having avoided the wrath of the HATE collective. Making the walk toward catering while on her phone, she turns the corner – and halts. She mumbles something quickly into her phone, hanging it up, and then stares forward, shaking her head.)
Maggie McIntyre: It doesn’t suit you, ya know…
(An arrogant smirk forms on Sahara’s face at the sound of Maggie McIntyre’s voice. As she turns from the catering tables to look at her former best friend, she shakes her head ever so slightly. The braided hair, the raven feathers…the black attire. Maggie almost sneers at the mere sight of her new wardrobe.)
Maggie McIntyre: Wow. You even used black nail polish–
(It’s almost routine to fall into rhythm to ruffle the blondes feathers, but she made a promise to Michael. Stopping herself, the former Banshee of HATE shakes her head.)
Maggie McIntyre: Listen, I’m not here to fight with you. You need to listen to me while we have a second. Lauren, he’s lying to you. Believe me, I know. I’ve been there…he’s appealing to that insecure little girl in you–
(Holding up a hand, Sahara rolls her eyes.)
Sahara: Save it, you has been…why don’t you do everyone a favor and just disappear? Go back to your broken little boyfriend and stay the fuck outta my business. This is what you wanted anyway…
(Taking a step toward Maggie, Sahara stares down at the shorter woman, knowing full well the Hive of HATE would swarm her in a second had she simply called for help.)
Sahara: You’re yesterday’s news…you and Michael both.
Maggie McIntyre: You don’t mean that, Lauren…I know how you really feel about him. Please…listen to fucking reason! Calder’s in your head…and he’s–
(Without another word, Sahara walks off, leaving Maggie to shake her head in disappointment. Looking down at her phone, she quickly presses a series of buttons, and then lifts it to her ear…)
Maggie McIntyre: She’s gone…it’s not even her talking…it’s Calder.
(Fade to ringside.)
ETHAN LEERS VS GRACE GOEREN
EWA COMBAT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
MM: Alright ladies and gentlemen, it is TIME for the Combat Championship Match!
VA: Y’know, I feel a little bad for Ethan Leers. He seems like such a good guy, and it is unfortunate that he will have to suffer a loss to our God Queen, Grace Goeren tonight. But, hey, he shouldn’t take it too hard. Against anyone else, he’d probably be the victor.
MM: Ethan will have a tough time ahead of him. What we are uncertain about is if this is going to be a wrestling match, that favors Grace Goeren and her MMA and Submission style, or if Ethan will even be allowed to bring his hardcore antics into this affair.
As the ripping guitar riff of “Fuck Everything” by Suicide Silence kicks in, Ethan Leers emerges from the back wearing black cargo shorts, black wrestling boots, a black jersey that says “FUCK YOU” in big white letters, and a black hat that says “CUNT” in big white letters. He has pushed a shopping cart out with him, and inside the shopping cart is an unhealthy amount of lighttubes, along with a six inch cardboard tube filled with unknown horrors. Also, there is an unopened bottle of Olde English in the cart. The crowd boos heartily, but Ethan just stands at the top of the ramp smiling cruelly at them.
MM: Well, we know what Ethan’s intentions are, but will he be allowed? The rules can get pretty lax in a Combat Championship match. I guess that all depends on our official, Juan Cardillo.
VA: I think Juan should mind his own business. Ethan wants to get hurt, and Grace is entitled, as a GODDESS, to hurt him.
NR: Ladies and gentlemen, this contest is scheduled for ONE FALL and will be for the Combat Championship! Making his way to the ring first, he hails from Columbus, Ohio and weighs in at ONE HUNDRED and NINETY POUNDS…ETHAN…LEERS!
The crowd boos as Ethan’s name is read off. He laughs as he pushes his cart down to the ring. He leaves it at the bottom. He locks eyes with Juan Cardillo, who says nothing, simply returning Ethan’s glare. Ethan takes out his Olde English, opens it, and takes a long drink. He starts to walk around the ring towards the announcers booth.
VA: Quench your thirst, Ethan, you deserve it!
MM: It looks like he is coming over to us.
Ethan stands in front of the announcing table, smiling his vicious smile at Vincent and Mike. He then shouts “Hello Fuck Boys!” before taking a big swig of his drink. With a big mouthful, he turns in the direction of Vincent and SPITS the malt liquor all over him!
VA: WHAT THE HELL! WHAT THE HELL!
Mike Malone can be heard laughing as Ethan chugs back the rest of his beverage and slides into the ring.
MM: I guess Ethan Leers is not a fan of you, Vincent.
VA: FUCK THAT GUY!
“Chaos Royale” by the Sister Sin hits over the arena’s loudspeakers as Grace Goeren makes her way out from behind the curtain. She stops in front of the curtains, glaring out at the crowd and gives a quick smirk. Grace is wearing a black t-shirt with the blood-red lips logo of The Fallout, a pair of red MMA combat gloves, a red compression top and a pair of black vale tudo shorts. Her hair is pulled back in a tight ponytail and the initials “GG” are printed on the sides of her black Diablo boxing shoes.
VA: KILL HIM GRACE! KILL THAT MAN IN THE RING! BRING ABOUT YOUR RIGHTEOUS FURY ON HIS HEAD!
NR: And his opponent, hailing from Dortmund, Germany. She is the former EWA World Heavyweight Champion, the leader of the Fallout, and is the CURRENT EWA Combat Zone Champion! She weighs in tonight at ONE HUNDRED and FORTY pounds…GRACE…GOEREN!
Grace locks eyes with Ethan in the ring. She then removes her Combat Championship from her waist and raises it high in the air. The crowd boos, though there seems to be some confusion, as no one is exactly sure who they are supposed to hate more. She stops and slaps a fan’s hand away, flipping off the entire arena in the process. She finally hits the ring and rolls underneath the bottom rope before pulling herself up to her feet. After taking a few moments to glare out at the seething audience, Grace cracks her knuckles and starts stretching out her legs in the center of the ring, taking up as much space as she needs with no regard for anyone else. She stops for a moment, because she sees that Ethan is checking out her ass. She gets little grossed out and walks away, removing her Championship and handing it to Juan Cardillo. Cardillo walks over to Nikki Rogers and whispers something to her. Nikki nods and raises the microphone to her lips.
NR: Ladies and gentlemen, your referee for this match, Juan Cardillo, has just informed me that this match can only result in a disqualification if anyone who is not Ethan Leers or Grace Goeren get involved in the mach. Therefore, aside from assistance from another wrestler, this match is NO DISQUALIFICATION.
The crowd cheers loudly. Ethan smiles ear to ear. Grace looks unaffected.
MM: I guess we got our answer! It might be assumed that this announcement benefits Ethan Leers, but Grace Goeren is as cunning and vicious as they come, so I think all that is certain about this announcement is that it means we are going to see some blood!
VA: It means that Grace Goeren, the TRUE World Combat Champion, is going to absolutely MURDER Ethan Leers!
The match, despite the announcement, starts off pretty tame. Grace is on the advantage early on, using her submission prowess to get Ethan into various arm and wrist locks, keeping the match to a slower pace and grinding down early on the joints. Ethan is able to get a few elbow strikes in, but otherwise, the first few minutes is all Grace, with the first big move being Grace countering an attempted clothesline after an Irish Whip with a Leg Lariat. Grace transitions this into a front facelock and works the neck of Ethan for a time. Ethan, being the larger, is able to power back to his feet, but Grace is more agile and more athletic, and she is able to transition the facelock into a standing guillotine, wrapping her legs around Ethan to make the move stronger.
MM: Early on and this match is ALL Grace right now. She has been working the neck and arms of Ethan in a very smart attempt to wear down his upper body, thus eliminating his size and power advantage.
VA: Ethan is WAY outclassed by the superior athlete. This match is going to be over in NO TIME, and the Goddess will avenge my shame!
Ethan is able to get his neck loose, and Grace is quick to jump off, landing a European Uppercut to keep Ethan from gaining momentum. She then kicks him in the stomach and hits the ropes, going for something, but Ethan reacts quickly and catches Grace, SLAMMING her to the ground with a Spinebuster! Grace is up fast, but she is clearly hurt, and Ethan is on the attacking, slamming her with powerful lefts and rights! Grace is backed up into the corner, and she tries to cover up, but Ethan stays on the attack. He Irish Whips her into the opposite corner and SLAMS her with a dropkick! Grace falls and Ethan is up quick, feeling the momentum shifting in his favor!
MM: Ethan takes the early onslaught and waits for his opening, and now Ethan Leer is firmly in control of this match!
VA: Come on Malone, you idiot! Grace is just biding her time! These moves are barely affecting her!
Ethan has control of the match for the next few minutes, hitting Grace with various DDTs and Suplexes. Unlike Grace’s onslaught that targeted specific body parts, Ethan is more just hitting big moves that are painful, but sloppy. There are a couple of pinfall attempts, but none of them get more than a one count. Ethan throws blows at Grace, backing her into the ropes. Ethan hits the opposite ropes and comes roaring towards Grace, looking for a big Yakuza Kick, but Grace ducks! Ethan racks himself on the top rope, grimacing in pain. Grace spins quickly and catches Ethan in the face with an Enzuigiri…knocking him down onto his shopping cart filled with light tubes! The glass explodes as Ethan rolls off of the cart in a heap on the outside of the ring. The crowd gasps, and a “HOLY SHIT” chant starts up.
VA: YES! DEATH AND MAYHEM FROM THE GODDESS HERSELF! I TOLD YOU MALONE! I TOLD YOU!
Leers rolls on the ground, in pain, but he is chuckling to himself. Grace regains her composure and goes to the outside, taking full advantage of the glass mayhem outside. She drops Ethan on his face on the glass. She grabs a few unbroken light tubes and smashes them on Ethan. She whips him into the steel steps and the ring post for good measure. Ethan is a bloody mess pretty quickly, but he never stops laughing. Grace rolls him into the ring and then walks over to the ring bell, taking a chair. Grace seems absolutely emotionless and calm, not reacting to the boos, cheers, or anything. Grace gets in the ring with the chair. Ethan is up, but he is staggering around. Grace throws the chair to him and quickly dropkicks it into his face! Ethan goes down, but he is back up quick, though he is super wobbly, so Grace proceeds to pepper him with very precise shots.
MM: This hardcore atmosphere seems to be worthless to Ethan Leers. Grace Goeren is not even bleeding, while Leers is a stumbling, bloody mess.
VA: That idiot can’t stand up to a Goddess like Grace Goeren, Malone. He was stupid for every even talking to her.
Ethan is taking the shots, still smiling and laughing, but he seems unable to actually respond to Grace’s blows. Grace starts getting cocky, changing her punches to slaps. She starts talking shit to Leers as well, her serious demeanor changing to a smile. After sufficiently slapping him around, Grace starts getting her palm ready for the Patricide!
VA: HERE IT COMES! This one is OVER, Malone!
As Ethan turns around, Grace comes in for the Patricide, but Ethan suddenly throws his foot out and catches Grace in the stomach! He hooks her into a standing facelock, lifts her up, and drops HER with a sit-out powerbomb…ON THE CHAIR! Grace writhes in pain as Ethan sits there for a moment, smiling through his crimson!
MM: Grace got cocky, and Ethan took advantage with a HUGE move there!
Ethan stands up, still a bit wobbly from the blood loss, but still present. Grace is starting to get up, clutching her back, so Ethan grabs the chair and waits. Grace turns around and is caught with a chair assisted flying knee! Grace goes down, a little bit of blood coming from her nose! Ethan grabs Grace and pulls her to the apron, placing her neck underneath the bottom rope, her head resting on the edge of the mat. Ethan grabs the chair and begins to climb to the top rope with the chair. He gets to the top and looks down at Grace. He places the chair under his armpit and leaps off, slamming Grace in the face with a chair assisted elbow drop! Grace grabs her face and begins to roll around on the mat, blood starting to flow from her face! Ethan is still on the outside, having landed badly on the outside. He is up before Grace, though, and he goes over to his shopping cart. He slides the chair into the ring and then digs through the broken glass, pulling out the cardboard tube. Ethan slides into the ring and opens the tube. Some in the crowd gasp. Others cheer.
VA: What…what are those?
MM: Oh my god…I think that is a bundle of knitting needles.
Ethan smiles brightly down at Grace. He bends down and locks Grace into a camel clutch, but instead of cracking back on her head, he takes the needles and presses them against her skull! Grace begins to grimace and cry out in pain, but Ethan makes it worse when he takes his fists and slams it down on the top of the needles, driving them further into her skull! Grace’s eyes go WIDE with pain! Ethan releases her and steps back, enjoying his handiwork. Grace frantically claws at the needles that are protruding from her skull, pulling them out, blood pouring down her face. Some in the crowd are cheering, perfectly happy at what is happening to Grace.
VA: This match needs to be stopped! What is that idiot Juan Cardillo doing in there!? Leers should be DISQUALIFIED!
MM: All this brutality is perfectly legal by the rules established at the beginning of the match. Ethan said he was going to show Grace pain, and I think he can say he has accomplished that.
Ethan pulls Grace up to her feet, a couple of the knitting needles still in her head. He hits her with a few punches before hitting the ropes, looking for a big knee…Grace dodges! Ethan turns around…PATRICIDE!
Ethan is on the ground, coughing and sputtering after Grace’s devastating move. Grace looks down at him, a sinister rage on her face. She looks down at the chair, grabs it, and then grabs Ethan by the hair. She pulls him up and turns him around. She places the chair against his back, grabs both his arms, and forces them over the chair so that he is holding it in place on his back. She then grabs his back, leaps up…
MM: Fall From Grace with the chair!
Grace goes for the cover, to exhausted to hook the leg.
Grace rolls off of Ethan, grabbing her still bleeding head. Juan Cardillo reaches down to help her up, but she slaps his hand away.
NR: Here is your winner…and STILL EWA Combat Champion…Grace Goeren!
Grace hoists herself up with the middle rope. She snatches the Combat Championship away from Juan Cardillo. She then looks down at Ethan Leers, who has already gotten up to his knees. He clutches his back and…laughs. The two lock eyes. Grace glares at him, Ethan continues to laugh.
VA: Kill him Grace! Kill him for what he did to your beautiful face!
MM: Did…did you mean for that to rhyme?
VA: Shut up, Malone.
Grace holds up her title and exits the ring. She walks backwards as she leaves, still looking back at the ring. Ethan is standing, covered in blood, and still laughing. He wipes a bunch of blood from his glass-cut up face and waves goodbye to Grace, his hand covered in red. Grace shakes her head, a small smirk forming on her face. She then turns around and walks behind the curtain, leaving the arena.
MM: That was an…interesting finish to an absolute bloodbath of a match. You would think Grace would be angrier, but she seemed rather calm about what happened.
VA: She doesn’t need to make any more statements. She is DONE with Ethan Leers. She absolutely destroyed him tonight and doesn’t need to drag on her “relationship” with him. I would be surprised if Ethan still even has a job after his embarrassing performance.
MM: Still really mad he spit beer on you, huh?
VA: It STINKS!
YOUR WINNER BY PINFALL, AND STILL EWA COMBAT CHAMPION: GRACE GOEREN (12:49)
MM: Folks, at this time we’re going to take a special look at one of the matches signed for Champions Summit III…one of the deadliest matches in the history of our industry, and I say that without an ounce of hyperbole. Take a look here…at the Human Torch Match.
(The camera pans around a ring in a dark arena, a cell over the top of it. Inside the ring, tables are stacked three-high, coming very close to the top. As we zoom around the corner of the ring, we slow down a little, taking in the spectacle, with the introductory bassline of Rage Against the Machine’s “Bombtrack” in the background.)
Ryan Cuddihy: (voice-over) I’ve heard a lot over the last couple of weeks. I read the dirtsheets. Hell, I used to write some of ‘em. And people keep asking one question in particular.
(We see a ramp, leading up to the top of the cell, just wide enough for two people to walk side-by-side.)
Ryan Cuddihy: (v/o) “After what he’s done… how could you seriously answer Sean Boden’s actions by challenging him to a wrestling match?”
(A scene flashes, no more than a fraction of a second: Josh “ICE” Osbourne, throwing Jason Phoenix from the top of a cell much like this one, through a table on the outside, the NYSWF logo visible. Cut to the face of Ryan Cuddihy, his blond hair tied back, his beard long and neatly groomed, with piercing blue eyes looking at someone on the right side of the frame.)
Ryan Cuddihy: To those people, I just say, look at the tapes. Look at the tapes of any of these matches, and tell me you don’t have your answer.
(Another set of flashes: first, Sean Boden pulling Chris Kage through the top of the cell with the Entropy into an inferno below from the EWA archives, then Crimson Kidd putting Dropkick Murphy through the top as well from OPW. We focus on a full view of the side of the structure, as the tables slowly start to flare up.)
Ryan Cuddihy: (v/o) Since its inception, there have been six Human Torch matches. Out of the twelve participants, six called it their final match, including, at one time, Sean Boden.
(This time, it isn’t a flash. We see X-Calibur pull Sean Boden into a powerbomb, driving him through the top of the cell across one of the support posts. Boden falls into a stack of burning tables below as X-Calibur barely keeps standing.)
Ryan Cuddihy: (v/o) I was there the night Sean broke his back. I still have scars on my palms from where I pulled those burning tables off of his body. I still hear it like it was yesterday: the crack as he hit the cell, and his first words to me when I finally freed him from the fiery wreck: “I can’t feel my legs.”
(We see Ryan digging through the rubble as fire extinguishers hose down the flames. Cut to Ryan speaking again.)
Ryan Cuddihy: I’ve known Sean Boden for a long damn time now. I’ve seen him at his best, and I’ve seen him at his worst. And when he’s like this? There isn’t anything he’s afraid of…
(Cut to the exterior shot of the cell once again. The tables are ablaze, flames licking the sides of the cell in slow motion.)
Ryan Cuddihy: (v/o) …except this. This isn’t just a match. This is an ending.
(The feed dissolves into black.)
Ryan Cuddihy: (v/o) And it’s time I ended what I started sixteen years ago.
BURN, BURN, YES YA GONNA BURN
(Cut back to ringside.)
MM: Tonight’s gonna just keep on trucking, ladies and gentlemen as–
(Malone’s microphone gets hit with static. The camera cuts to him trying to speak, tapping his headset. Vincent begins to laugh.)
VA: Oh man…HAHAHAHA…whoever just did that back there? GENIUS! It’s finally MY time to–
(Vincent finishes his sentence and freezes. Malone looks at Vincent, shrugging his shoulders. The arena is bathed in darkness and a fog begins to emanate from the entrance. The fog is lit in an eerie gold giving way to purple.)
I TORTURE YOU
Take my hand through the flame
I TORTURE YOU
I’m a slave to your games
I’M JUST A SUCKER FOR PAIN
(Out from the back emerges a man adorned in a trench coat, a loose fitting hood over his head. He stands in the fog, resting on a cane. The camera pans up his body to see a man dressed in black pants, black boots, a black shirt, wielding a black cane with a chrome Helmet on the head.)
I WANNA CHAIN YOU UP
I WANNA TIE YOU DOWN
I’M JUST A SUCKER FOR PAIN
(“Sucker for Pain” by Imagine Dragons featuring Lil Wayne, Ty Dolla Sign, Wiz Khalifa, Logic, and X-Ambassadors plays in the PA system as the camera settles on the all black eyes of DONOVAN KING. He marches down the ramp, ignoring the fans and their HUGE response, a mixture of cheers and boos. He maintains his stern grimace as he ascends the ring steps. He enters the ring and stands there in the center of the ring. He lifts the cane above his head like a trophy, glaring dead ahead as his free hand removes his hood, revealing his freshly shaved head and his long black beard as a single spotlight falls upon him. He reaches into his coat and withdraws a microphone. “Sucker for Pain” dies down. He stands there, letting his appearance sink in for the EWA fans.)
Donovan King: Before I begin…allow me to apologize to Mr. Malone and Mr. Ashe.
(King turns to the two commentators.)
Donovan King: You don’t know me. As a matter of fact, there are many people in this company that don’t know me. It was at my request that for this time, you don’t speak. You don’t give the world any filter or any bias. You don’t get to tell anybody how to feel. Not right now. Those watching at home…you will hear my words as I mean them to be heard.
(King turns back to the camera.)
Donovan King: When I first made the agreement for this company to have me, to count me among its numbers, to call me an EWA Warrior, I did not intend on standing in the ring after walking down the aisle. I did not intend on being some form of entertainment. I did not come here to be some top talent. I sat there and I read the rulebook cover to cover, looking over the roster again and again, and one thing stuck out to me. It was a small comment made as a part of the description of the EWA World Heavyweight Championship.
“If your goal isn’t to one day win this title…then you’re in the wrong line of work.”
(King nods his head, thinking about the statement.)
Donovan King: Fortunately for the gentleman currently preparing for his match in the back…the EWA feels I am in the wrong line of work. You see, Donovan King does not walk down this aisle and step into this ring because he wants to hold a piece of leather with gold plates high no no. Donovan King has a greater trophy in mind.
I intend to hold Azrael Goeren’s head high and let the world see the remnants of that cowardly little wretch be crushed into oblivion where he belongs.
(There are a small smattering of boos.)
Donovan King: You don’t approve? You sit in your seats and you jeer me? Why, because Goeren plays himself like a family man? Because he hugs and kisses his lady goodnight? Because he has cool t-shirts?
Donovan King: You cheer this man because he conditions you to do so. You cheer him because this man has done to you what he has done his entire career. He lies to you. He toys with you. He gets what he wants from you and do you know what he will do after he is through? Jada, I hope you get his boy to watch this piece. He will hurt you and he will leave you.
(King points to the audience.)
Donovan King: Think about it. What kind of man will have an alliance like the one he had with X-Calibur, sell so many t-shirts and get the fans to rally behind them…only for him to immediately assume a mystery attacker must be his former ally? I’ll tell you. The kind of man that knows nothing of loyalty. He knows nothing of friendship. He knows nothing of love. Oh, don’t get me wrong. He can fake it with the best of them. When he holds his son at night, when he kisses him on the forehead or he bonds with the boy…I bet he makes that boy feel amazing. I bet that boy can look past his father’s deficiencies and, for the smallest of moments, feel connected and love for him.
But the moment he felt my hand around his throat, he already began to betray you.
(King points to the fans in attendance with his cane.)
Donovan King: All of you. That’s why when I came here to EWA, I made a promise to myself. I swore I wouldn’t hunt his family down. I wouldn’t find his child. I wouldn’t stalk Jada. I wouldn’t even toy with Grace, regardless of their relationship. Because, you see, there isn’t a single wound I can inflict upon the Goeren brood that their paterfamilias won’t do for me.
No, Azrael…I’ve only come here…for you.
(King points the cane to the camera.)
Donovan King: All I’ve done is hit you with a few wrestling moves, haunted your life, and now you’re not even able to make it to your own place of employment. When you felt my grip slide across your throat you felt the tightening hatred of countless bones and endless skeletons finally tumbling out of your closet. The EWA has its fair share of monsters, heroes, and villains. Devils, angels, Valkyries, and above all else…warriors.
But I am the legend whispered about. The last name you would ever see wandering the hallways. I am who you will learn not to fear…not to respect…but who you will learn to bow down to.
I will not stop until you beg me to. I will not stop until you cry out, a broken shell crumbling to dust on the floor at my feet.
So I issue this challenge, boy.
At Champions Summit III, Azrael Goeren will have the highest honor his drug riddled carcass could ever muster when he faces the man who, for the first time in his career, shall set foot inside the squared circle outside of his home. Azrael Goeren will have the distinction of stepping up to face the Urban Legend that haunts him at night.
I, Donovan King, challenge you, Azrael Goeren, to face me at Champions Summit III.
(Immediately, the fans ERUPT. King stands there, listening to the fans cheering the idea of this dream match finally coming to pass after years and years of false starts.)
Donovan King: All you have to do is accept. Well…all you have to do is make it to work…and THEN all you have to do is accept.
If you don’t accept this challenge, Azrael, I will do what I said I would not. It is unfortunate, this battlefield we fight upon, that sometimes innocence is lost. But if you will not be courageous for once in your life and face me man to man…then I am afraid I have no choice but to burn your life down around you.
Maybe I am in the wrong line of work, EWA. Because I’m not here to wrestle for your titles.
I’m here to cut out your disease.
So accept, disease. Accept and prepare…to bow…down.
(“Sucker for Pain” kicks back up as the lights go out. The fans begin to boo just a little bit more than before as suddenly, we can hear static kicking back in.)
MM: I think we’re back.
VA: Oh man, what a weird guy that is. I mean, awesome as hell, but that’s still not a guy I’d want to run into in a dark alley. Or a well lit alley. Or anywhere.
(“Sucker for Pain” abruptly stops and the lights come back on to…an empty ring.)
MM: And just like that, Donovan King is gone. He may have disappeared into the night, Vincent, but he’s given us plenty to think about.
VA: I’d really rather not, though. Can we, like, go to something else? Because the thought of King disappearing and us not knowing where he is kinda makes me want to pee myself.
MM: I think the last thing on King’s mind when he talks about cutting out EWA’s disease isn’t your burgeoning morbid obesity, Vincent.
VA: Oh thank God. HEY.
The ominous notes of “Smoke & Mirrors” by Puscifer graces the Combat Zone, and The Stranger wastes no time in pushing through the curtains. The rigid musculature of his upper torso is bare, nothing but a tattered shroud resting across his head and shoulders. His forearms are wrapped up in strips of gray battle cloth, and he twirls a microphone in one gray-clad hand.
His knife-blue eyes scan the crowd slowly. There’s a mixed reaction for the Spider King tonight. There are fans that support what he did to Draven for all of the man’s sins, and then there are those who condemn his gruesome methods.
VA: This man is a complex creature. A part of me sees him as a soulless arachnid that masterfully manipulates people for his own purposes, but another part of me sees a conflicted lost soul that’s reaching out to that little turncoat Sahara simply because she’s in a dark place right now.
MM: Don’t try to read Indrid Calder, Ashe. If he were a book, he’d be written in incomprehensible ciphers. It might be true that he rides that razor’s edge between light and dark, but after what we saw him do to Draven last week? The dark FAR outweighs the light. There’s no justification for an act that vicious.
His words drift out over the Combat Zone with the smoke from his entrance still clinging to him.
Indrid Calder: She’s felt it. She’s crawled through the gutter of her darkest moment, but I won’t let despair eat her up. She’s stronger than that. BETTER than that.
Indrid Calder: Tonight the cocoon breaks open…and a Crimson butterfly drinks in her first taste of new life. Welcome her. Bask in the scarlet glow of her transformation. The hour has come, and the desert itself will TAKE MY HAND…
He sweeps his arm to the curtains, his voice becoming a passionate roar.
Indrid Calder: THE QUEEN OF HATE…COME TAKE MY HAND!
MM: Originally, this looked to be a rematch a year in the making, with the Crimson Queen looking for revenge on Calder for his actions against Michael Draven at Live from London–
VA: She’s an opportunist, Malone, and always has been. She knew she didn’t stand a chance in hell against the God Queen on her own, so she enlisted the help of these circus freaks to lend a hand.
In This Moment’s ‘Adrenalize Me’ hits the PA as attention turns toward the rampway as a new look Sahara emerges from the back, white light bathing the stage she stands upon. Multiple rows of Nordic style braids, woven with black ravens feathers tie her platinum blonde hair back and dark eyeliner accentuates her magnificent eyes. Gone is her signature Fallout look, replaced by inky black attire with silver trim. Black wrestling boots blending into knee pads of like color blending into black and silver tights with a strappy black top. Her name is emblazoned down the front of one of her boots in silver lettering, the other, however…
MM: Aww God, don’t tell me…no! She’s dressed in the dreary colors of HATE!
VA: It’s over, Malone, she’s joined ranks with the horsemen of the apocalypse to storm the gates of Heaven. Wait a minute, does that walking, talking venereal disease have F. U. V. A. written down the front of one of her boots?!
MM: She sure does…but did you wanna say something to her about it knowing who she’s aligned herself?!
VA: No thanks, Malone…Grace save us all.
Walking toward the ring, Sahara smiles arrogantly as the approaches ringside. She stares with a look of marvel in her eyes at the man known as Indrid Calder. Climbing the steps, she walks out onto the ring apron and briefly looks down toward Mike Malone and Vincent Ashe, flashing a knowing smile.
MM: Did you see the way she looked at you, Ashe?!
VA: Grace needs to do something about this…
The Stranger looks at his newest creation, and that fateful moment comes. His gray-clad hand extends to her. The crowd is BUZZING with sound, but Sahara blots it all out. She stares into the eyes of a Spider King, and she places her own nimble hand into his. Their fingers interlock, and she takes a deep breath in through her nostrils. The path is chosen.
For Lauren MacKay…it will be HATE.
Stepping in, the Spider King claps his arms around the blonde and the two bask beneath the arena lights as it all sinks in.
When they finally break, Calder exits the ring, following by the newest pillar of HATE, Sahara.
The pair starts up the ramp together, hand in hand, but about halfway to the curtains something stops Sahara in her tracks.
MM: Wait, what’s this?
The blonde’s gaze locks on Indrid’s right boot. Something in her facial expression scrunches up. Her brow wrinkles with inner conflict. The name “DRAVEN” begins to swirl in her mind, and it’s immediately followed by the haunting memory-sound of a breaking tibia, flashing back images of the person she was. Images of the careers destroyed. Images of Michael Draven.
For Sahara, this was the Fallout all over again…
She’s looking at the boot that did the deed.
She’s holding the hand of the monster that broke Michael Draven.
She has been willingly seduced into JOINING the Stranger, and for the first time tonight, she starts to realize the weight of this choice. Sahara comes to her senses with a wave of frustrated anger building up inside of her. Calder tilts his chin to the curtains, the implication clear. It’s time to go. HATE is waiting.
Very slowly…The Crimson Queen shakes her head from side to side, pulling back. A whisper falls from her darkly painted lips.
AND THEN SHE DRILLS CALDER INTO THE FACE WITH A BRUTAL FOREARM TO A RAUCOUS POP FROM THE FANS!!!! The Stranger reels, and Sahara uses her hold on his wrist to get up a running start and VIOLENTLY irish whips his body into the ring apron.
Stumbling forward, Sahara rushes forward with a head of steam and collides with the Stranger, sending him back into the ring apron with authority, the crowd response simply builds with every blow that lands!
MM: What the hell is going on here?!
Barely staying on his feet from the impact of his lower back smashing against the ring apron, a snarling Sahara charges again and leaps, throwing the weight of her entire airborne body into Calder, knocking him back into the ring apron for a third time! Sahara lands on the edge of the ring apron and catches herself with the ropes.
Getting to her feet, the blonde backs up as she sizes him up and waits, standing on the ring apron — she charges and leaps feet first with a sit down dropkick that sends caller splaying into the ringside steps, knocking them off kilter with a resounding echo.
MM: Don’t you let up on him!
VA: What the hell am I witnessing?!
Charging down to ringside, referee Rick Iley slides into the ring beneath the bottom rope and signals for the bell!
INDRID CALDER VS SAHARA
*DING* *DING* *DING*
MM: Looks like we got our match after all!
Climbing the turnbuckles, Sahara waits as Calder stumbles to his feet, trying to get his wits about him, SHE LEAPS! FLYING BODY SPLASH OFF THE TOP! The fans go crazy as the fired up blonde rolls off Calder and springs to her feet and grabs the Stranger, yanking him up–
MM: OHH! POSTED!
VA: This is unbelievable!
Throwing him shoulder first into the ring post, Calder stumbles around to the other side of the ring and falls to a knee…fleeing the relentless blonde, he rolls himself into the ring as Sahara leaps onto the ring apron across from him. Grabbing the top rope, still standing on the outside…she waits as the stumbling Calder who had been caught completely off guard attempts to clear the cobwebs…
VA: She’s gone absolutely ballistic on Indrid Calder!
As Calder finally gets to his feet, he stumbles back and Sahara leaps up, springing off the top rope — RIDE OF THE VALKYRIE!
MM: SPRINGBOARD RIDE! SPRINGBOARD RIDE OF THE VALKYRIE! THAT’S IT! HE’S OUT! HE’S OUT!
Grabbing her fist in the corner, Sahara shakes it out with a grimace on her face, opening and closing her hand to ward off the pain from the impact of the blow. Calder’s prone body convulses as he stares up at the lights with blank glassy eyes…Sahara goes for the cov–
MM: No, no…cover him! Cover him!
VA: She’s completely snapped, Malone! I always told you this bitch was crazy!
Stopping before Calder’s prone body, Sahara notices he’s fallen near the corner and she looks up at the turnbuckles. The crowd cheers as she suddenly steps over Calder and begins ascending the ropes!
VA: What the hell is she doing?!
MM: Ohhh myyy Goood! We’ve heard whispers of Sahara tirelessly practicing the Spiral Tap…don’t tell me she’s gonna–
Finding her balance up top, Sahara turns toward Calder and takes a deep breath. Leaping off the top, the blonde spirals through the air and CONNECTS!!!
The crowd OOHHHHHHHHH’s, as Calder somehow lifted a knee in desperation at the last possible second! The ohhhhhh’s quickly turn into a massive “Holy Shit” chant as both competitors are down!
MM: Damnit! She had him!
VA: Not anymore! And not only that, but she just burned the last bridge she had in her battle for Heaven!
Landing quite a few feet away from Calder from the sheer momentum of the move, Sahara grabs at her lower back as Calder rolls to his stomach, one eye open…gazing across the ring at the now injured blonde.
MM: She was one move away, Ashe!
VA: She’s one crazy bitch, I’ll give her that…but she didn’t think this through!
The referee lifts both hands for the count —
Sahara kicks her legs in agony but still shows little sign of being able to get up.
Calder slowly crawls toward the ropes.
Blood drips down Calders brow, spattering against the ring, busted open from that massive Ride of the Valkyrie he took earlier.
Touching his hand to his head, Calder sees his blood on his fingers as he pushes himself to all fours…his head suddenly snapping toward what should have been his finest acquisition since Maggie McIntyre…
Reaching out toward the ropes, Sahara misses the bottom rope as Calder attempts to push himself to his feet but stumbles against the bottom turnbuckle. Blood continues to trickle down his face.
Finally forcing herself to her knees through gritted teeth, Sahara reaches out blindly, desperately searching for the ropes.
Using the turnbuckles, Calder lifts himself into the corner stopping the ten count, Rick Iley checks if he’s okay to continue…but the Stranger merely stares him down as Sahara crawls blindly toward the center of the ring. Pushing himself out of the corner, Calder charges forward — FOR THE HORSEMEN!
Stomping the blonde’s face down to the mat, the crowd unleashes a torrent of boos as Calder slowly turns out toward the crowd, a face of conflicted emotions…
MM: This is just insane…
VA: This is one of the best things I’ve ever seen, Malone. That turncoat bitch getting exactly what she deserves, AGAIN.
MM: She had him, Vincent…she allowed her emotions to get the better of her. All she could think of was injuring Calder as he injured Michael.
VA: And it cost her…again. Because like they say, the whore of the EWA doesn’t think. She could have scored the upset of the century here tonight…instead she’ll pay the price.
Falling to his knees before her, Calder drops down to make the cover…
THR–NO! Calder shakes his head as he yanks the blonde’s shoulders off the mat with a fistful of her platinum hair.
MM: Oh come on…
Calder grabs her by the face, his blood smearing on her cheeks as he does it. Shoving her head back in abject disappointment, the Spider King gets back to his feet and makes motion for her to get up. After a moment, he once again motions for her to get up.
Rolling onto to her stomach, she reaches out and grasps one of Calder’s boots, pulling herself forward, she hugs herself, clinging to his boot as he gazes down at her…he shakes his head as he slowly lifts and places his other boot on the back of her neck.
MM: Don’t do it–
Nearly devoid of emotion, Calder leaps from her grasp and smashes her down with a second For The Horsemen, this time drawing blood from her old wounds still in the process of healing. As Calder callously stares down at Sahara, referee Rick Iley grabs him by the arm to get his attention, he can clearly be overheard.
“Pin her! PIN HER RIGHT NOW!”
MM: Have mercy, Indrid…the girls been through enough.
VA: Speak for yourself, I hope he shoves another mic down her stupid throat.
Shoving Rick Iley back, Indrid Calder bends down and grabs the blonde by the hair, forcing her to her feet, blood running from a split lip, staining her teeth red.
Rick Iley can be overheard demanding Calder stop, “CALDER, PIN HER NOW! THIS IS YOUR LAST WARNING!”
MM: The Stranger isn’t hearing a word Rick Iley’s saying right now…he looks completely devoid of all emotion…it’s like he’s blocked out the world surrounding him…
Shoving Sahara up against the ropes he yanks Sahara’s head back by her hair before flipping forward and hooking his legs in her arms and grabbing her legs, wrenching back, he locks her in the Spidersilk submission. Sahara is writhing in terrible pain from the submission, and Calder snakes his hands into her open mouth and FISHHOOKS her mouth wider with his thumbs, the screams of excruciation pouring out with little streams of saliva.
He positions her tortured head in front of the nearest camera and pulls back harder while ROARING at the top of his lungs.
Indrid Calder: LOOK AT HER, MICHAEL! THIS IS ALL…FOR YOU!!!
As Sahara howls in pain she madly shakes her head as Rick Iley attempts to unhook Calders legs and the crowd boos…
MM: A clear message sent straight through the heart of Michael Draven.
VA: I bet Grace is celebrating in the back, this is simply amazing!
MM: Rick Iley’s powerless to get him off her here…the torque on her shoulders, five seconds in a move like this is usually enough to floor the toughest of competitors and this is going on a minute now!
Having had enough, Rick Iley calls for the bell as he motions to the back for assistance to get Calder off of Sahara.
MM: Here comes Danny Smith and Juan Cardillo…they’re gonna need everyone they can get, Calder isn’t giving an inch to Iley here.
As the referees fight with all the their might to unhook Calder from Sahara and the ropes, the crowd suddenly goes absolutely insane…
MM: MAGGIE MCINTYRE!!!
…as The Banshee charges down the rampway!
VA: Of all the damn people–
MM: And she brought the equalizing bat with her!
Unhooking himself from Sahara as Maggie slides into the ring and charges toward them, taking a decisive swing with the bat as Calder drops to the outside and backs away in a hurry. Retreating on the outside as the referees attend to Sahara, Maggie points the bat directly at Calder and yells something toward him as he slowly backpedals up the rampway. The Pillars of HATE join him but he holds his arms out as to keep them back. He continues retreating up the rampway as if calling off the dogs.
MM: Of all the people to save Sahara! Look at that dead stare The Stranger is giving Maggie McIntyre right now…absolutely chilling.
VA: But is there still that brief glimmer of conflict, Malone?? It’s like Calder’s malevolent side is subdued whenever Maggie appears in front of him. And look at how he’s holding the rest of HATE back from storming her…Rayner in particular looks to be licking his chops!
NR: Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of this match at the result of a disqualification —
Upon hearing the news of a disqualification, the crowd pops huge!
MM: Rick Iley awarded her the win!
As the referees assist Sahara to her feet, she stumbles against the ropes and runs into Maggie McIntyre, who reluctantly catches the blonde, holding her up. Helping the referees stabilize the blonde, Maggie suddenly raises Sahara’s hand in victory to a massive ovation.
MM: The fans are loving this!
Maggie turns to the blond, holding her face and breathing heavily. Maggie leans in, clearly whispering something to the Crimson Queen, who nods vigorously in return. Maggie turns and hops over the top rope, heading up the ramp and never looks back. ‘Adrenalize Me’ cues up over the PA system once again as Sahara, still recovering in the ring, has an almost confused expression on her face as she recognizes to the noises around her…sounds she hasn’t yet heard in her career up to this point.
The sound of fans cheering for her.
Fade to backstage.
YOUR WINNER BY DISQUALIFICATION: SAHARA (7:43)
(Rachel Ellsworth is in the backstage area, chatting with a few crew members and such.)
Rachel Ellsworth: –and it wasn’t until after Sahara damn near swallowed the thing that the nurse told her that it was a rectal thermometer!
(The crew members laugh, but their grins quickly turn to looks of concern. They begin to back away. Rachel picks up on the vibe and turns around. SMASH! A light tube shatters over her skull, knocking Rachel to the ground! Ethan Leers appears, an absolute bloody mess from his match with Grace earlier, another light tube in hand, and he SMASHES it on the downed Rachel!)
Ethan Leers: Oooo boy, girl, we are going to be BEST FUCKING FRIENDS!
(Ethan plants a hard kick to Rachel’s head.)
Ethan Leers: Just two fucking kids, playing on the fucking playground! Gonna be SO MUCH FUCKING FUN!
(Ethan reaches into his pockets and pulls out a Kenzan, a small plate of spikes. He grabs hold of Rachel’s hair and pulls her up to her knees, wiping the sweat, blood, and hair out of her face.)
Ethan Leers: Shhhhhh…shhhhh…don’t worry…it’s all a fucking game…
(Ethan takes the Kenzan and SLAMS it into Rachel’s forehead! He grinds it down, Rachel reaching up and clawing at Ethan, wincing and screaming in pain. Ethan releases Rachel and punches right on her forehead, pressing the Kenzan DEEPER into Rachel’s skull. Rachel falls forward, clutching her forehead in pain, blood pouring down her face. Ethan just laughs, giddily, looking down at his handiwork.)
Ethan Leers: Fuck yeah, Rachel. Fuck yeah. See, Grace and I, we are going to take some time off. Absence makes the heart grow fucking fonder and shit. So, the two of us, we are going to be fucking friends, Rachel. Super fucking stoked about it. SUPER fucking stoked!
(Ethan spits on Rachel, exiting the scene.)
NATALIE BURROWS VS ELIZABETH GAUNT
EWA NETWORK CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
NR: Ladies and gentlemen, the following match is scheduled for one fall for the EWA Network Championship! Introducing first, the challenger, from Durham, North Carolina, the Southern Belle of the EWA, Natalie Burrows!!!
As Nikki finishes the introduction, the arena descends into a lasting darkness until the opening chords of ‘Monster’ by Paramore play as the screen comes to life. Aged footage of the Southern Belle fighting her way back up to her feet after being knocked down plays and as the chorus hits with a vengeance, Natalie Burrows emerges onto the rampway to thunderous cheers.
MM: Listen to this reaction.
VA: What can I say, the EWA fans are desperate.
MM: Yeah, it wouldn’t be because she seems like one of the few decent people around these days…
As coral and white lights flash along the rampway, Natalie slaps a few of the hands that are offered to her as she walks toward the ring. Speeding up at the bottom of the ramp, she slides into the ring on her stomach and hops to her feet, approaching the nearest turnbuckle and stepping up onto the second ropes, she looks out over the crowd, raising her fists in the air to evoke more cheers. She lingers there for a few moments before hopping down, doing a couple stretches to prepare for the match at hand.
NR: And introducing next from Las Vegas, Nevada, the White Angel of the Fallout and reigning EWA Network Champion … Elizabeth Gaunt!
Gaunt emerges from the back as the Fallout’s mushroom cloud explosion hit’s the screen, rattling the rafters with thunderous sound. Her white disheveled hair almost glows beneath the lights as silver fangs flash from beneath a sinister smile. As she steps down the rampway, she gazes at Natalie Burrows and charges the ring, dropping the EWA Network Title just before she slides into the ring and charges, Burrows steps to the side and throws Gaunt into the turnbuckles and follows it up with a number of successive punches and kicks rattling the platinum angel of the Fallout. Grabbing hold of Gaunt’s arm, Burrows charges the opposite corner and launches her head first into the corner, flying right through the ropes, Gaunt slams off the ring post and falls to the ring apron before hitting the floor on the outside clutching her shoulder.
MM: And with a reckless start, this match is well underway!
VA: Burrows sure is fired up!
Juan Cardillo quickly motions for the bell to get this underway officially.
VA: Gaunt wasted no time trying to put an end to Natalie Burrows and it cost her dearly. Unlike Sahara who not only failed to recruit Burrows into the Fallout on orders from the God Queen Grace and then failed to finish her off in their last match together, Gaunt went straight for the throat to show Grace how much she adores her.
MM: Yeah, adores…that’s the word.
VA: Plenty of other apt words, Malone. Reveres. Worships. Loves. Take your pick.
MM: How about despises with a passion?
Stepping through the ropes while being fully aware as to how the Fallout operate, Burrows wastes no time getting back onto the White Angel to take advantage of the early going. Sizing her up, Natalie Burrows charges around the outskirt near the ringside barricade and gains momentum — AND BURROWS IS PLANTED HARD WITH A CLOTHESLINE OUT OF NOWHERE!
MM: That was Cronos Diamante from ringside!
Cronos holds his arms up as if to signal it was an accident, prompting Juan Cardillo to point at Cronos and then motion to the back!
MM: He just ejected him from ringside!
VA: Can he even do that?! Cronos was merely reaching out to pat Natalie on the shoulder for a job well done and she ran right into his outstretched arm for no reason!
MM: Oh, yeah, I’m sure…
Holding his arms out, Cronos shrugs and hops the guardrail, slowly backpedaling up the rampway without so much as a second look at the now fallen Burrows.
MM: The resident gun for hire just turned the tide of this match in an instant, Burrows had Gaunt reeling until he got involved right there…
Capitalizing on the moment, Elizabeth Gaunt charges at Natalie and lands a vicious knee, sending her head back into the barricade. Grabbing Natalie, Gaunt sends shoulder first into the ringside steps dislodging them with a clang. Rolling onto her back, Burrows grasps her shoulder and winces but Gaunt gives her little room to breath as she grabs and and sends her back into the ring beneath the bottom rope.
MM: Well, we now know what he was out here for…but why Natalie Burrows?!
VA: I’m sure Cronos will explain his motives when asked, Malone…why don’t you be the one to ask him?!
MM: No thanks…back to the action, now both Gaunt and Burrows are nursing sore shoulders, and you get the feeling watching this that any little mistake or miscue could spell the end.
VA: They both do sport devastating finishers that can be hit at a moment’s notice.
The crowd suddenly boos as Cronos is passed half way up the ramp by the current Combat champion, Grace Goeren. Walking down to ringside with the Combat title prominently on display over her shoulder, she merely nods to Elizabeth Gaunt and stands ringside, observing the match.
MM: The odds couldn’t be stacked against Burrows any more than they are now. First Cronos, and now Grace?!
VA: You may address her as the God Queen or your Majesty, Malone…have some respect for the WORLD Combat Champion of the Solarverse.
MM: Yeah, I won’t be doing that…and really?
Following Burrows into the ring, Gaunt rattles the Southern Belle with a quick stomp before picking her up and sending her into the ropes, Burrows ducks, and hits a DIVING SHOULDER BLOCK that sends Gaunt stumbling! Rolling to her side grasping her shoulder again, Burrows tries to shake off the pain.
MM: Wow! She nearly took Gaunt’s head off with that follow through!
VA: Yeah but that was her hurt shoulder, that’s instinct working against her right there!
Slamming her hands into the ring apron, the God Queen can clearly be overheard yelling orders to “quit playin’ with her, Lizzie.” Saying something to Juan Cardillo about the presence of Grace Goeren, Natalie goes back to work, shaking out her arm she grabs Gaunt and sends her into the turnbuckles hard, following it up with a vicious strike to the gut that doubles her over. Reaching over Natalie lifts Gaunt and drops back with a samoan drop!
No! Powering her shoulder up, Gaunt pushes herself to her side as the relentless Southern Belle scrambles to her feet — and stops…
MM: What’s this now?!
After disappearing to the back, Cronos suddenly emerges back onto the rampway staring down the aisle at Natalie Burrows mouthing something from the rampway. Grabbing hold of the referee Natalie points up the entry ramp as Juan Cardillo once again points to the back, delivering a “final warning” to Cronos Diamante.
MM: Any more interference and this could lead to a suspension!
VA: Cronos was–OHH!
Turning back toward Gaunt, Burrows falls right into the Codebreaker and springs back into the ropes, the sheer force shoving her forward as Gaunt scrambles to her feet and delivers a devastating Heartless to follow it up!!!
Natalie Burrows falls flat back clutching her chest.
MM: Oh, come on!
VA: The writings on the wall, folks!
MM: Due to Cronos Diamante of all people…getting distracted by someone that was already ejected is just flat out bull you-know-what, Ashe!
VA: I do believe we can say bullshit on the EWA Network, but I disagree, Malone…the God Queen’s will be done…
Dropping to make the cover, Elizabeth Gaunt hooks the leg to thunderous boos as Grace Goeren cheers her on from the outside.
Rolling off Natalie Burrows, the White Angel, Elizabeth Gaunt holds both arms up in victory…
MM: I just…I can’t believe this…and this crowd is none too happy with the result.
As the referee goes to raise Elizabeth’s hand, Grace suddenly reaches through the bottom ropes and yanks Burrows by the boot, tossing her foot over the bottom rope.
Grace immediately backs away from the scene with a bit of a smirk on her face as she says something inaudible.
MM: What the hell is Grace doing?!
VA: Hahaha! YES! The God Queen giveth, the God Queen taketh away, Malone! No mas, Juanito! Her foot was on the ropes!
MM: I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I’m okay with this…Burrows never would have gotten hit with those moves had it not been for Cronos’ distraction!
VA: Whatever, Malone…all I know is Gaunt is about to receive herself some whore Sahara treatment!
MM: No-not a minute ago you were one-hundred-percent behind Gaunt!
VA: Yeah, well…times change.
Yelling up toward the referee, Grace shrugs her shoulders and points back toward Natalie Burrows. Seeing the situation, Juan Cardillo immediately waves off the pin when he notices her boot on the ropes! Grabbing Gaunts arm, he throws it downward and points toward Burrows boot on the bottom rope!
VA: Aww, too bad “White Angel”, but it looks like this one’s gonna continue! Just another unruly child in that doesn’t belong in the Queendom of Heaven…maybe she can join that other whore in the unemployment line now that HATE already used her up and spit her out, if ya know what I mean…
MM: …we both know that’s NOT what happened…for the first time tonight Sahara showed everyone something they’d not seen in her before, and I for–
VA: Yeah, yeah, whatever.
Rolling herself out of the ring, Natalie almost bumps into Grace Goeren, now joined by her new larger than life companion, Alice. Burrows slowly backs away as Grace looks up at Elizabeth Gaunt and shrugs, pretending as if she doesn’t know what happened.
MM: Gaunt still has no idea what Grace did!
VA: Of course not, Malone, she’s dumber than Sahara…and believe me, that girl is DUMB with a capital D. Okay, I take that back, Gaunt’s probably not THAT dumb. Now get the hell back in the ring and finish the job you started, Burrows!
MM: In either case, this match is gonna continue…
Sliding back into the ring, the rejuvenated Burrows runs into Gaunt like a freight train as the two trade vicious blows in the corner. Gaining the upper hand, Burrows grabs Gaunt and yanks her forward before delivering a solid shot to the sternum sending her back into the ropes, she grabs her in a bearhug and hits an exploder suplex! Bounding off the ropes, Burrows leaps, flailing and lands a solid elbow on her opponent!
MM: Lizzie is reeling! The confusion over what’s happened still has her completely off her game and Burrows isn’t letting up!
VA: As she shouldn’t!
Sending Gaunt into the ropes, Gaunt reverses, Burrows rebounds, ducking a clothesline attempt, Gaunt leaps from the rebounding Burrows who bounces back sidestepping a standing dropkick from the White Angel who’s quick to get up and CLOSURE! Burrows brings the heel of her boot down on Gaunt’s skull with a massive scissor kick out of seemingly nowhere!
MM: She hit the Closure kick right to the top of Gaunt’s head, Ashe…she’s nearly out on her feet!
VA: I can’t believe Gaunt is still standing from that!
Grabbing Gaunt, Burrows lifts her and slams her down with the Rydeen Bomb!
MM: HITTING BOTTOM!!!
VA: MAKE THE DAMN COVER, BURROWS!
Juan Cardillo slides into position!
MM: BURROWS GOT HER…WE GOT A NEW NETWORK CHAMPION!
VA: Pack yer bags, Fallen Angel…because that’s strike three and yer outta paradise!
NR: The winner of this match and NEWWWWWWW EWA Network Champion, the Southern Belle, NATALIEEE BURROWWWSS!!!
MM: I can’t believe it!
YOUR WINNER BY PINFALL, AND THE NEW EWA NETWORK CHAMPION: NATALIE BURROWS (12:49)
Grasping the Network title and hugging it close, Burrows is nearly in tears as Cardillo raises her hand. Hugging him, Burrows jumps onto the second turnbuckle and holds the title up to thunderous cheers!
VA: Even the God Queen is applauding…get up and applaud, Malone!
MM: Listen. To. This. Reaction! I’m as happy as anyone the interference didn’t decide this match, Ashe…but we both know what’s about to happen to Elizabeth Gaunt…
As Grace and Alice ascend the ringside steps the new Network Champion approaches the ropes and Grace smirks, merely motioning through the gap in the ropes created by Alice holding them open for her. Glancing down at Elizabeth Gaunt, the Southern Belle shakes her head at Grace as she steps through the ropes and drops off the ring apron, slapping hands with random fans at ringside in celebration.
MM: What a win for Natalie Burrows and what a situation Elizabeth Gaunt finds herself in.
VA: Excellent match, Malone…now let’s get the post game show and see what’s in store for the other bitch not named Sahara that dared question the God Queen.
(Grace steps into the ring with Alice at her side, Gaunt just starting to shake the cobwebs away while on her knees against the canvas. The God Queen approaches Lizzie and immediately comes to her aid, pulling her firstborn archangel up to her feet. Grace lovingly pats the back of Gaunt’s head and supports her dazed frame before leaning in close to her.)
Grace Goeren: Tough break, bae…but ya know what they say, right?
(Elizabeth just stares at her, not understanding. Goeren’s lips curve up into a smirk that borders on lethal.)
Grace Goeren: There’s always pride before the fall.
(With these words still fresh on her lips, Grace nods from across the ring…AND ALICE HITS THE ROPES AND SMASHES INTO GAUNT FROM BEHIND LIKE A FREIGHT TRAIN!!!!)
VA: Holy shit…YES!
(Lizzie gets absolutely CRUSHED into the canvas from Alice’s massive charge, and Grace begins to just violently kick her in the ribs over and over again, each boot finding a soft spot to brutalize. Grace sadistically screams down at Lizzie before yanking her head up violently, her face flush with rage.)
Grace Goeren: You arrogant…prideful…STUPID little cuntface. How DARE you say the shit you said about me in Boston?! That Network Title was MY FUCKING TRIBUTE! Have you forgotten who MADE you? You’re prison trash with delusions of grandeur…and now MOMMA BEAR has to fucking maul you!
(With absolute malice, Grace shoves Lizzie’s face back down into the mat and grinds the heel of her boot against the back of Gaunt’s skull. She pulls back and screams over at Alice, motioning wildly towards the prone Gaunt. Lizzie coughs against the canvas and tries to push up just before Alice hits the ropes and SPLASHES down onto her with all of her weight!)
MM: Oh my god, this is insane! Get medical down here right now! Elizabeth is not moving…she’s…oh god…she’s not moving…
(With the air crushed from her lungs, Grace drops down, rolls her onto her back and begins to just rain down fists on Lizzie’s vacant face from a mounted position. The knuckles make loud meaty sounds that resound through the arena, and Grace continues to just shriek at the top of her lungs.)
Grace Goeren: What do ya have to be prideful about, Lizzie? HUH? YOU’RE SHIT…you’re not an angel, you’re human fucking WASTE. You think you’re better than me?! NOBODY IN THIS FUCKING PROMOTION IS BETTER THAN ME!! I AM THE GOD QUEEN! PRAISE ME BITCH! PRAISE ME!
(With each gut-churning punch, Grace starts raining down blows faster and faster, completely lost in her assault. Lizzie’s blood covers her knuckles and clothing as Grace has absolutely succumbed to her sadistic, zealot rage.)
Grace Goeren: You’re scum that this benevolent God scraped from Heaven’s GUTTERS! You’re a defective fucking tool…with a defective fucking brain…and I’m am fixing to lobotomize your WORTHLESS loony-bin ass!
(Grace reaches down and DRAGS a limp Gaunt up to her feet…and she BLASTS her with an open palm strike right in the side of the head! The modified Patricide strikes Lizzie awkwardly on the temple and busts her open…plasma oozing down from her slashed brow.)
MM: When is this madness from Grace Goeren going to stop?! Gaunt is undoubtedly concussed after taking those early hits from Alice…and now that savage Patricide to the skull! We need help and we need it now!
VA: How dare you speak ill of that ethereal Goddess among insects! Gaunt shouldn’t have opened her mouth and popped off so much last week…now her crazy ass is paying the God Queen’s sacrificial price!
MM: You switch sides pretty damn fast, Ashe. There was a time when you openly cheered for both Sahara and Elizabeth.
VA: That was before they turned stupid and betrayed the most loving and kind human being to ever take up a roster spot! MURDERIZE HER, GRACIE BABY!!! PRAISE GRACE!
(Grace makes a motion to Alice, and the humongous woman rolls out of the ring and starts rummaging underneath the ring. She finally finds what she’s looking for and holds them up to hand them to Grace, letting the fans here in Denver see what she found.)
MM: I can’t quite…make that…oh my god…oh god…no, no…this is nuts. This is beyond crazy! Someone stop this lunatic! She’s got a pair of pliers! A pair of pliers!
(The fans at ringside and all throughout the arena go quiet as Grace holds the pair of rusty pliers up for the world to see. She sizes Gaunt up, forming a square with her hands as if she’s taking Gaunt’s picture. She moves in slowly, opening and closing the pliers sadistically as she yells over at Alice to get back in the ring.)
MM: Is this the woman you defend each and every week? Is this the type of stuff you want to see her to do to other people here in EWA?! To her friend?!
VA: This is what happens when you betray the God Queen, Malone. It’s divine justice!
(Goeren kneels down next to a nearly unconscious Gaunt and screams at Alice to force her mouth open. With sadistic glee and laughter, she then drives the pliers into Lizzie’s mouth…and YANKS her fanged grill clear away from her teeth in one disgusting twist.)
MM: Jesus Christ…please…someone help!
(Laughing hysterically, Grace places the grill over her own fist like a pair of brass knuckles and starts to just PUMMEL Lizzie with haymaker punches to the stomach, each peppered shot tearing at the material of her latex suit and crushing up against her abdominal muscles.)
Grace Goeren: HAPPY HALLOWEEN ya dumb fucking bitch! Wait a sec, wait a sec…I totes should pull out my phone and Snapchat this shit…give your ugly bleeding face the puppy filter just for shits n’ giggles. This is how the ONE TRUE GOD does it in the EWA. Hearing me, you saggy-tit havin’ NUTCASE??
(Grace pulls back on Gaunt’s white hair one last time…and then she FLINGS The White Angel into Alice. Alice runs forward while Lizzie is in midair and DRILLS a headbutt into Gaunt’s chest, her body crumpling down to the canvas afterwards like a ruined doll. Gaunt does not move from the horrible concussive blow, she just lays in a bloody heap in the middle of the ring.)
(Grace lifts up the fanged grill high in the air as a totem, smiling to the crowd as boos and jeers literally shake the arena. She screams for a microphone to address the crowd, one that the disturbingly stoic Alice quickly procures and hands back to her. Grace glances down at Gaunt and sneers, holding up the fangs once more.)
Grace Goeren: Worshippers at the Altar of Grace…I have saved you once more. Saved you from this false prophet, this disgusting Judas who sought to lead you astray from my benevolence and lead you into the temptation of free thought. Praise be to me. Glory be to GRACE.
(The EWA Combat Champion lowers her head in a solemn reverence which Alice instinctively follows suit. She slowly lifts her head…and that sadistic smile is back on her wicked face.)
Grace Goeren: So hey Haven…how bout’ you send the janitorial staff out here to mop up this messy bitch and all of her stinking bodily fluids for me? Cause let this be a lesson to everyone who THINKS they are in charge here or that they have a voice outside of my own. EWA is and always will be MINE just like the Fallout was always MINE. And just like what happened with the Fallout, when you stop being useful and start putting your own selfish needs above your God Queen’s…
(The demented young woman stares back at Gaunt’s motionless body behind her, shaking her head in disappointment.)
Grace Goeren: …you become ex-communicated.
(EWA medical staff and security have flooded the ringside area but are kept at bay by the monstrous Alice who charges anyone who even attempts to slide in and give aid to Gaunt. Grace continues with her diatribe, casting an accusing glance up towards the ramp.)
Grace Goeren: Both Lizzie and that wasted, used-up cuntcake Sahara committed high treason by not putting my needs above their own…and they both paid dearly for it. That’s the price of selfishness here in EWA. I cast them both out for their sins and made sure they were replaced by a true follower of the faith…The Fallout is going through an enlightening transformation right now and will soon be completely pure and totally devoted to me. Just as it was written, so it shall be.
(Taking in a deep breath, Grace composes herself and lowers her head.)
Grace Goeren: I take no joy in punishing Lizzie here tonight. But her sins were becoming far too great to be ignored. As the the only TRUE World Champion here in EWA…I needed to act now before her cancerous intentions ruined my beautiful EWA and the plans I have for it…cause I am this company. I am the future. I am now. I am the alpha. I am the omega.
(Grace raises her head and grins one last, horrible time.)
Grace Goeren: And I am YOUR EWA World Combat Champion.
(Tossing the microphone up and over her shoulder, Grace looks back at Gaunt one last time before laughing and wiping the heels of her boots in the unconscious Gaunt’s direction. She waves Alice off and demands she hold the ropes for her as Grace quickly exits and the EMTs flood the ring and quickly attending to Lizzie. Grace callously walks up the ramp, flipping off and jawing with a few fans at ringside before disappearing behind the curtain with her monster in tow.)
MM: Folks, it looks like our medical staff are finally able to get to Lizzie…hopefully they can get her out of there and to a local hospital where they can…
VA: Don’t give that freak any help! Just let the bitch suffer! That’s what our God Queen decreed…
MM: I’m not even going to start with you again. I’m just not. I honestly don’t know if you’re just supporting that sociopath because she’s kicking back money to you or if you are actually brainwashed by her but Grace Goeren’s actions cannot be tolerated any longer. She is not above any law here in EWA and something has to be done to stop her!
VA: Hey, I got an idea…maybe Sahara and Lizzie can start bringing the fight to Grace and then she might have to start taking them seriously and…hahaha! Oh man, I almost made it through that with a straight face. Almost! Man, I’m really funny!
MM: You joke about that but if you think for one second that Gaunt…or Sahara for that matter…are done with Grace after what she did to them, you’re just as delusional as she is.
VA: Oh please. Sahara is batshit insane and Gaunt is never going to wrestle ever again after what Grace just did to her. Time to just admit that Grace won. She’s our World Champion for a reason, Malone.
MM: She’s not the World Champion!
VA: Blasphemer! Blasphemer! Praise Grace!
(The camera cuts to a backstage hallway. Allison Haines stands with a microphone in her hand, clearly lying in wait for the newly-crowned Network Champion to come through the curtain and as soon as Natalie Burrows steps into view? Allison pounces.)
Allison Haines: Natalie! Can I have a word?
(Despite her exhaustion, there’s the faintest bit of amusement in the Southern Belle’s eyes as she nods–though it doesn’t stop her from taking on a playfully chiding tone.)
Natalie Burrows: You’re too good at finding me in moments like this, Miss Haines.
Allison Haines: Guilty as charged, though I suppose it’s what makes me good at my job. Speaking of good–that has to be how you’re feeling after you came out on top after a hard-fought victory over Elizabeth Gaunt. Am I right? How does it feel to be EWA Network Champion?
(Natalie sighs, adjusting the unfamiliar weight of the leather and gold that she has on her left shoulder.)
Natalie Burrows: Yes, you’re right Miss Haines–it does feel good. Great, actually. But I also know that this belt isn’t going to be something that’s kept easily, so while I will be celebrating tonight? First thing in the morning tomorrow, it’s back to training. I want my reign as Network Champion to be memorable, and that’s not going to be easy. But you know what?
(The newly-crowned Network Champion turns her gaze to the camera.)
Natalie Burrows: I’m not here for easy. I’m not here to take shortcut. I’m not here for cheap wins or to pad my record by any means necessary. I’m here to legitimately prove that I can not only survive in EWA, but thrive here–and the Network Championship is a great place to start.
Allison Haines: So you’re going to be a fighting champion?
Natalie Burrows: Absolutely. What makes a title worthwhile isn’t just putting it on a shelf and only defending it a couple times a year–it’s defending it against high-caliber talent, which I know I’m going to be running into match after match after match. EWA is a murderer’s row, and I fully intend on showing the world that I deserve to hold this title every chance I get.
Allison Haines: Not only did you stand toe-to-toe with Lizzie, but you also overcame the interference of Cronos Diamante, whose presence at ringside was first thought to be on account of his history with Lizzie Gaunt… but his focus wound up being centered on you. Why do you think you’ve caught his attention?
(The Southern Belle frowns faintly.)
Natalie Burrows: Well, I–
Allison Haines: Look out!
(Allison’s warning comes too late for Natalie to react as Cronos Diamante makes contact with a steel chair to the back of Natalie’s knee. As her knee buckles and she falls forward, Cronos catches her by the side of the head and knees her in the face sending her flying backward onto her backside. He attempts a stomp to her chest but Natalie manages to roll out of the way and get to her feet, ready to go one on one with Cronos.)
Natalie Burrows: Bring it on!
Cronos Diamante: Don’t take it personal, Natalie.
(With that, Natalie launches at Cronos throwing punches attempting to take the man down but Cronos manages to block them all and throw her behind him.)
Cronos Diamante: Perhaps if you weren’t–
(Before Cronos can finish his sentence he is hit with a stiff kick that Natalie throws at him, catching him in the jaw. Cronos stumbles backward and Natalie launches at him again, this time landing more kicks before she attempts to slam Cronos into the wall, but Cronos uses his weight to stop Natalie’s offensive push and instead throws her against the wall. He then very quickly grabs the EWA Network Championship and smashes it as hard as he can against the side of her head. Natalie crumples to the ground dizzy from the shot but tries to get up to take the fight back to Cronos only to be hit head on by the Network Championship and knocked out cold.)
Cronos Diamante: You have heart, I’ll give you that.
(With a sort of respect and reverence, Cronos drapes the EWA Network Championship over Natalie’s shoulder and props her up against the wall. He nods and walks away. The moment he’s clear of the shot, Allison and a couple trainers are at Natalie’s side, checking on her to make sure that she’s okay.)
MM: What a brutal and cowardly attack from Cronos! He was fresh as a daisy, and even then he needed to go for the cheap shot to take Natalie down.
VA: He’s doing Grace’s work, Malone. She clearly needed to be taken down a peg, so he did exactly that.
MM: Considering how she reacted when Sahara pulled similar nonsense, though… I think Cronos just made a big, big mistake.
VA: Yeah, yeah… whatever you say. Natalie’s going to be nothing more than a transitional champion. Just watch.
Main EventCHRIS KAGE VS ALEXANDER HAVEN
EWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
MM: Folks, it’s now time for our main event…and this one is personal. Alexander Haven and Chris Kage are two names synonymous with one another in this industry. They’ve been involved in one capacity or another since 1998, always as best friends…until the events of Champions Summit II. Tonight, they face each other in the ring for the first time ever, and with our sport’s biggest prize of all on the line – the EWA World Heavyweight Championship.
VA: Let’s walk that back just a bit, Malone. Chris Kage is a fraud. He’s a phony. Everything he’s ever had in his pathetic excuse of a career has been because he rode the coattails of Alexander Haven. Haven graciously stood aside so that Kage could reap the benefits of his tutelage, and when it was time for Haven to take his turn, Kage wasn’t having it, and so he had to be removed, like the poisonous cancer that he is. I can’t wait for this.
MM: Okay, so…that’s not at all how things happened, and…remember last year, when you were practically worshipping Kage’s every move?
VA: That was before I accepted our God Queen Grace as my savior. Her Gloriousness has shown me the error of my ways. I am a better man now that I bask in the lights of her Holiness.
MM: Oh my…(sighs)
VA: Blessed be her name, Malone.
And the crowd EXPLODES as two streams of pyro shoot up on either side of the entrance ramp! ‘I Will Not Bow’ pulsates through the Pepsi Arena as the lights in the arena go out, and after a moment, a red spotlight shines down at the top of the stage, showcasing two figures…
NR: The following contest is scheduled for one fall, and it is for the EWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP!!!
MM: Here we go!
NR: Introducing first, from Buffalo, New York, weighing in at 225 pounds, and accompanied to the ring by his lovely wife, Stacy Vandervort-Kage…he is the three-time World Heavyweight Champion…
Nikki hesitates before the next word…
NR: THE INCOMPETENT…
MM: Oh come on! Haven got to her too?!
At the conclusion of Nikki’s announcement, Kage leaps into the air, letting out a primal scream. Another burst of pyro goes off as he lands, and marches down the aisle. Stacy Vandervort quickly follows him, dressed in a red blouse, black leather pants and red heels, ready to root her husband on against the man that unceremoniously turned his back on the two of them. Kage slides under the ring, running the ropes before vaulting toward the corner turnbuckle, leaping to the second rope in one fluid motion, arms outstretched.
MM: Chris Kage is clearly fired up for this opportunity here tonight, and this is something he’s been waiting nearly four months for!
VA: Yeah, an opportunity to get his ass kicked…
The lights in the arena go out…
VA: …by this man!
Flames shoot up from the entrance ramp, illuminating the stage in a golden orange hue as we jump straight to the opening lyrics of Avenged Sevenfold’s hit…
WATCH YOUR TONGUE I’LL HAVE IT CUT FROM YOUR HEAD
SAVE YOUR LIFE BY KEEPING WHISPERS UNSAID
CHILDREN ROAM THE STREETS NOW ORPHANS OF WAR
BODIES HANGING IN THE STREETS TO ADORE
NR: And his opponent! Hailing from Buffalo, New York, and weighing 245 pounds…he is accompanied to the ring by the Chief Operating Officer of the EWA, Alyssa Marie Haven. He is the CEO and controlling owner of the EWA, and he is the EWA World Heavyweight Champion…
Again, another hesitation…
NR: THE INCOMPARABLE…
MM: Oh for God’s sake!
VA: I love it, Malone!
The champion steps out slowly from behind the entrance, graced in a golden robe tied at the neck, with the World Heavyweight Championship strapped firmly to his waist. Alyssa Marie slithers from behind him, arm snaked around his waist, wearing a scowl on her face and a short black dress with flames imprinted on the side that leaves extremely little to the imagination.
HAIL TO THE KING
HAIL TO THE ONE
KNEEL TO THE CROWN
STAND IN THE SUN
HAIL TO THE KING!!
Haven begins his march down to the ring, not for a moment taking his eyes off of his former best friend, who is cracking his neck in the ring.
MM: This match has been called a dream match by many. What if these two best friends were to ever lock up in the squared circle? Who would be the victor? What would happen? And thanks to Alexander Haven’s despicable actions at Champions Summit II, we’re about to find out!
VA: And I think we’re going to find out before we’d planned to Malone! Ahh!
Indeed, Chris Kage has slid under the ring, and races up the ramp toward Haven, and the fight is on, with Haven still wearing his robe and belt! Both men begin to throw a fury of right hands at each other, but Kage begins to gain the advantage over Alex, but not before Alex raises a knee up to the midsection of Chris Kage. The robe has started to come undone as Alex grabs Chris by the head and is about to throw him into the ring, but Chris reverses it, and he throws Alex into the ring under the bottom rope instead!
DING! DING! DING!
VA: Why are they ringing the bell? Alex isn’t ready! He doesn’t even have his robe off!
Chris slides into the ring right behind Alex as Haven tries to get to his feet, but is a bit caught up in his robe. Alex staggers over to the far corner, getting one arm out of the robe, but not before…
MM: Chris Kage with the clothesline in the corner! He’s not letting up in his pursuit of his former best friend!
The World Heavyweight Championship belt has finally fallen off from around the waist of Alex and sits now on the mat in the corner. But neither man pays attention to it as Chris continues to rain down right hands to the temple of Alexander Haven. Chris grabs Alex by the right hand and whips him towards the opposite corner, just as the robe finally falls off as well. Alex hits hard back first into the corner…
MM: Here comes Chris Kage… Oh, Alex with the boot up, but no! Chris stopped in time, catching the leg! And now he’s pulling Alex out towards the ring by that boot!
VA: What ever happened to a clean break, Malone?
MM: Kage not wasting any time… drops the leg… shoots for the double leg takedown, and now he’s mounted on top of the champion, pounding away at him!
VA: All illegal blows, Malone! He should be disqualified for each blow!
MM: How would you disqualify someone multiple times?
VA: They’d carry over… for like the next five or six matches!
Kage bounces up and pumps his fists as the crowd has erupted in applause for the challenger. Kage quickly bends down and picks up Haven, throwing him back into the corner. But as Kage goes after him, Haven ducks his head under the top rope to the outside, and the referee quickly steps in between Haven and Kage, preventing Chris from continuing on his onslaught any more. The referee backs Kage up to the middle of the ring as he points towards Haven, wanting to get at his former best friend. But Kage makes a swim move over the ref, heading back towards the World Heavyweight Champ, but not before…
MM: Alyssa Marie Haven! What’s she doing up on the apron?!?
VA: Maybe if ‘Mr. Incontinence’ won’t lis…
MM: You mean ‘The Incomparable’?
VA: Yeah, that’s what I said. If ‘Mr. Incontinence’ won’t listen to the referee, maybe he’ll listen to the wife of the CEO!
Just as Kage gets to the corner, he sees Alyssa pointing and yelling at him to stop what he’s doing! Kage looks at Alyssa, pausing for a moment, flashing a smile at him before…
MM: Stacy Vandervort! She just pulled Alyssa off the apron!
VA: YES! CAT FIGHT!
MM: Apparently the ref thought the same thing might happen, as he’s now on the outside trying to keep the two from attacking each other!
VA: Who told him to do that? Fire him Alyssa!
MM: These two women will do anything to defend their man, and you’re seei…OH! In the ring! Kage was distracted by the fight on the outside, and Haven just snuck up behind him and dumped him to the outside of the ring!
Haven drops down to a knee in the ring, holding onto the second rope as he looks at Kage on the outside. Alyssa has backed up to the opposite side of the ring as Stacy looks down at Kage, who’s holding his head. Haven drops down to the mat, rolling to the outside, causing Stacy to back away to the far corner. Haven picks up Kage by the head, dragging him towards the far side of the outside ring area, causing Stacy to back up even further. Haven brings Kage to the announcers table, slamming his head down onto the table right in front of Malone and Ashe.
VA: Get him, my liege!
MM: What are you doing, Alex?
Haven slams Kage’s head down onto the table two more times before going behind the table and taking a seat next to Malone, putting on a separate pair of headphones from the table…
Alexander Haven: So what do you think of the match so far, Ashe?
MM: What the hell is going on here, Alex?
Alexander Haven: Is your name Ashe?
VA: He never listens to me, either, your highness!
Alexander Haven: It’s a disease around here, Vincent. Grady Smith didn’t listen to me, and Marty and I permanently put him in an adult home. Just like Chris Kage didn’t listen to me, either, and now look at him!
Alex stands up, headphones still on, leaning over the table to punch Kage, who’s still leaning against the table.
Alexander Haven: And now, I do the same thing I did to Grady Smith, and I put an end to the career of ‘The Incompetent’ Chris Kage!
Alex throws the headset down, grabbing Kage by the head, and chucking him head first into the ringside barricade! Haven follows up with some stomps to the midsection of Kage as he sits up against the barricade, trying to cover up from Haven’s onslaught. Haven is relentless at the moment, though, and grabs Kage by the back of the head again, pulling him up before throwing him into the ring post, then right back into the barricade again. The crowd has started to try and get into Haven’s face, but he’s just laughing at them. Haven grabs Kage again and, this time, rolls him underneath the bottom rope and back into the ring. Haven slides underneath and immediately goes for a cover…
MM: Haven pulled him up!
VA: Of course he did! He’s not done punishing Kage yet! You don’t disrespect the king and get away without any repercussions!
Haven pulls Kage back up to a standing base and slaps him across the face! Immediately, Kage swings back with a right, but Haven easily ducks the punch and sends Kage back down to the mat with a standing dropkick.
MM: And look at the level of disrespect by Haven! He’s looking down, yelling and screaming at Kage!
VA: That’s right! He needs to be taught a lesson!
MM: But these two men were best friends… I’d never treat someone I considered a best friend or a brother like that.
VA: Malone, we know you don’t have any friends!
VA: Name one friend you have, and Barney doesn’t count!
MM: I really hate you.
Haven drops down to one knee behind Kage, sitting him up before driving his knee into the back of Kage, pulling his head backwards with his hands interlocked under Chris’ chin. Kage reaches out for the ropes, trying to escape the painful hold, but Alex is content with just torturing Kage at the moment, wrenching back even further on his head.
“LET’S GO KAGE!”
“LET’S GO KAGE!”
“LET’S GO KAGE!”
MM: The crowd is really starting to try and rally behind the challenger here!
VA: Of course they are! They always root for lovable losers!
Kage starts to pump himself up, shaking his arms, trying to draw the energy from the crowd. Kage turns towards his side, trying to get back up to a vertical base. The reverse chinlock from Haven has now turned into a side headlock as Kage reaches his feet, driving the point of his elbow into the midsection of the champion. Kage lands two elbows, but Alex smartly pushes Kage back down to the mat by pressing on the back of his knee with his boot, and starts to grind away on the headlock.
Alexander Haven: (audible) He can’t touch me! I’m the Incomparable one!
MM: Listen to Alex screaming at Kage!
VA: But is he wrong?
MM: He’s mocking Kage by using his own moniker!
VA: I don’t see any trademarks on it.
MM: What do you know about trademarks?
VA: It’s like a check mark, right?
The crowd starts to chant and stomp around the arena again, trying to implore Kage to get back to his feet and continue this fight. Kage gets back to a vertical base again, landing another couple elbows to the midsection of the champion. Kage finally breaks the hands of Haven, bouncing off the ropes. Alex goes for a knee to the midsection, but Kage rolls over it, pulling Haven backwards into a pinning combination…
KICKOUT BY HAVEN!
MM: Kage with the quick rollup, but can’t get the three…. OH! Just as both men got to their feet, Haven just blasted Kage with a forearm shot to the temple…. But Kage just returned the forearm!
VA: C’mon, my king!
MM: Haven staggers backwards, but now he charges with a forearm for Kage, and he just absolutely blasted him! But Kage bounces off the ropes, and lands his own in retaliation again!
VA: These two are just throwing bombs at this point!
MM: Haven comes back… and now they’re both holding each other’s heads, just landing right hands to each other’s temples! And Kage… Chris Kage! He’s getting the better of Haven! Backed up to the ropes… Irish whip of Haven across the ring… HUUUUUUGE Back body drop by Kage! Haven up quickly, but a clothesline sends Haven back down. Up again, and another clothesline sends Haven down!
MM: Haven is back up and charges at Kage, but he ducks, and Haven spins around… atomic drop! Haven doesn’t go down… inverted atomic drop… DISCUS CLOTHESLINE! And the champion is down, folks!
VA: This is not good!
Haven slowly gets to this feet as Kage takes a second for a breather. As Alex gets to his feet, though, Kage reaches out, grabbing Alex by the arm and whipping him across the ring. Haven, though, reverses, sending Kage in the ropes. Alex stands there, arms out waiting to catch Kage, but Kage instead charges and jumps, taking Alex down with a Lou Thesz Press, before now starting to pound away at Alex!
MM: Chris Kage with a second wind, and the Incomparable One is in control!
VA: Stop trying to sound so one-sided, Malone!
MM: Kage back up to his feet now… STANDING SHOOTING STAR PRESS! That’s impressive! COVER…
KICKOUT BY HAVEN!
MM: That was close, Vince!
VA: Alex had it… I hope.
Kage picks up Alex and throws him through the middle ropes and to the outside. Haven hits hard on the mats on the outside, rolling all the way to the barricade. Kage starts bouncing up and down in the ring, waving his hand up and down in the air, trying to get the crowd even louder. Alex starts to mull around the outside, eventually getting to a standing base as Kage bounces off the ropes…
MM: Kage… SUICIDE DIVE TO THE OUTSIDE! He just drove the champion back into the barricade! He looks hurt, Vince!
VA: They both look hu… NO! How is he even up?!?
MM: Kage looks like a man possessed right now!
Kage high fives a fan standing on the other side of the barricade, and both the fan and Kage are looking down at Alexander. Kage stomps away at Haven against the barricade as…
MM: Kage is star…. WHAT THE HELL? Alyssa just walked up and slapped Kage!
VA: YES! Get him, Alyssa!
MM: Look at Kage! He’s smiling, laughing at Alyssa! The slap did not phase him!
VA: Kage is used to getting slapped by women all the time!
MM: Alyssa winds up again… STACY! GET HER, GIRL!
VA: She can’t interfere in the match!
MM: But it was ok for Alyssa to?
VA: She runs the company… she can do whatever the hell she wants, Malone!
MM: Look at these women! They both have handfuls of hair, pulling each other around the ringside area! And look at the ref! He’s got to chase these two around, trying to get them to stop!
VA: Poor ref? I’ll take his job and chase them!
MM: And look at the challenger, Chris Kage! He’s just loving watching those two!
VA: Listen to these fans… they’re loving watching these two as well! There isn’t a red-blooded American male right now that isn’t loving it, Malone!
MM: Meanwhile, Kage turns his attention back towards Haven, pulling him up to his fee… WHAT IN THE HELL?!?
VA: What the hell was that?
MM: That fan… that fan right in front of Kage, he just hit Chris in the head with… something, as he was trying to pick up Alex! Kage is woozy, but he’s looking for the fan…
VA: We need to get control of these fans here in Denver, Malone!
MM: You got that right! Here comes security, just as Kage leans over, looking for the fan… OH DEAR LORD! That fan just hit him again, and this time, he just about knocked Chris Kage out! With… with tha… WAIT JUST A DAMN SECOND!
MM: That fan, and his arm…. THAT AIN’T NO DAMN FAN! THAT’S MARTIN ROBERTSON!
Sure enough, as security reaches the area right next to where Alex, who’s on his feet, but leaning against the barricade, and Chris, who’s seated against the ring, barely conscious at the moment, the fan that hit Chris throws off the trucker-style hat he was wearing to reveal that he’s none other than Three Kings member Martin Robertson, complete with the white cast on his right forearm from the injury he sustained two weeks ago in Boston!
MM: Look at that damn weasel… that scoundrel! He just interfered in this World Heavyweight Championship match while the referee was on the complete opposite side of the ring dealing with Alyssa and Stacy!
VA: What a wonderful plan! If he couldn’t wrestle, why not get a ringside seat!
MM: Yeah, but he didn’t need to get involved in this match! Especially not for the World Heavyweight Title! And look… look at Alexander Haven, acting like he has no clue what the hell just happened! This is despicable, Vince!
VA: Hey, Alex can’t control every single fan they allow in the arena…
MM: But he’s not a damn fan, Vince!
VA: How do you know? Maybe he’s got a ticket and is a paying customer!
MM: You’re awful!
VA: And you smell… we can’t control any of it!
MM: Alex now, picks up Chris Kage, who was probably knocked unconscious from that second forearm shot with the cast, and Alex rolls him back into the ring…
VA: Kage is dead weight, just like he’s been for the past twenty years for Alex!
MM: It’s got to be academic at this point… Alex has Kage up… FALL FROM GLORY! The ref slides back in the ring, and it’s all over at this point…
NR: The winner of this match, AND STILL… EWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION… ALEXANDER HAVEN!
MM: Haven just stole this matchup! A matchup people have waited almost twenty years to see! A match that, up until six months ago, people would have thought only existed in fantasy video game scenarios!
VA: What do you mean stole? Alex worked his ass off in this match, proving that, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he has always been the better man in the Youth, and he’s the better man tonight!
MM: Better man? He only won because Martin Robertson damn near decapitated Kage with that plaster cast on his right arm!
VA: No, Alex won with the Fall from Glory, which HE hit on Kage, not Martin Robertson! Time after time after time, legend after legend after legend, Alexander Haven is proving that he is the greatest wrestler on the planet!
MM: You are ridiculous at this point!
(In the ring, Alex has been handed the belt from the referee as Alyssa joins him in the ring, hugging her man as he raises the title in the air, with one foot on a prone Chris Kage in the center of the ring.)
VA: Look at him celebrate! And he deserves to, at this point! Being the kind of champion he is, it’s like he’s conquering Mount Everest every two weeks! First he sends Grady Smith into his inevitable retirement, and tonight, he just buried the career of the eternal lackey, Chris Kage, once and for all! Plant your flag, Alex, you have conquered the world!
MM: I… what?
VA: Alex is on top of the world!
MM: Well, whether we like it or not, Alexander Haven is still the EWA World Heavyweight Champion, although most of us probably feel like this match proved absolutely nothing other than he can’t win a match without the help of someone else.
VA: I don’t see anyone else around that helped him.
MM: Of course not! Martin took off like a dog with its’ tail between it’s legs after delivering that vicious forearm!
VA: No, Martin’s probably in the back, preparing the celebratory feast after tonight’s decisive victory!
MM: Call it what you want, but unfortunately, one thing we still have to call Alexander Haven is the EWA World Heavyweight Champion. For the Ignorant Vincent Ashe, Nikki Rogers and everyone else in the back, I’m Mike Malone… We’ll see you again in two weeks at Battlelines… good night everyone!
(The last image we see, along with hearing “Hail to the King” blaring over the loudspeaker, is Alexander Haven leaning against the ropes, standing on the bottom rope, still holding the belt up in the air with Alyssa standing next to him and clapping as the credits appear on the bottom of the screen before fading to black.)
YOUR WINNER BY PINFALL, AND STILL EWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: ALEXANDER HAVEN (16:47)
EWA Wrestling – a Division of EWA Entertainment
This event may not be rebroadcast without the expressed written consent of EWA Entertainment.
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Sean Boden -v- Nikki Caldwell – Sean Boden
Jacob Mephisto -v- Lunatikk Crippler – Tim Reeves
Ray Willmott & Laura Seton -v- The Vice Squad – Gates/Val Kyrie
Maggie McIntyre -v- NOTHING – Gates
Ethan Leers -v- Grace Goeren – Eric Mann
Indrid Calder -v- Sahara – Harlan Heubaum
Natalie Burrows -v- Elizabeth Gaunt – Harlan Heubaum
Chris Kage -v- Alexander Haven – Chris Furman