Mike Malone: Ladies and gentlemen, after the EWA’s reduced schedule, it pleases me greatly to say these words…welcome back! And welcome to the thirty-fourth edition of EWA Battlelines! I’m Mike Malone, alongside Vincent Ashe, and tonight, we crown a new EWA World Heavyweight Champion in the fourth ever Warrior’s Trial!
Vincent Ashe: That’s right, Malone! Twenty four warriors enter, and only one walks out as the EWA World Heavyweight Champion!
MM: We have a monumental night ahead of us–
VA: Oh great…
MM: Sahara’s here! The Crimson Queen has arrived!
(Stepping out onto the rampway beneath the blinding white light that washes over the stage, the platinum blonde points out across the explosive crowd as she makes her way toward the ring, slapping the outstretched hands of the fans gathering at the rails.)
MM: Who ever would have thought she’d be touching hands with the fans? What an unbelieveable transition this woman’s made these past months…
VA: Hope they have hand sanitizer, Malone.
MM: Are you like hoping she overhears you?
(As she approaches ringside, Sahara briefly smirks and points over toward the announce table immediately causing Vincent Ashe to stand up and back away from the table.)
VA: If she attacks me again, Malone, I swear she’s done … I’ll sue her ass–
MM: (Laughter) She’s just messin’ with ya, Vincent!
VA: Yeah, that’s funny, Sahara…real funny. Laugh it up. Can’t wait for Grace to get her hands on you again.
(Seeing Ashe’s reaction causes Sahara to laugh as she jumps up onto the ring apron and steps through the ropes. Stepping across the the ring, she reaches through the middle ropes and motions for a mic. Pacing the ring, she lifts the mic to her lips and tilts her head back holding one arm out.)
Sahara: Boston, Mass — the Crimson Queen Goddess Supreme is back!
(The crowd roars.)
VA: The Crimson Queen Goddess Supreme? She’s not full of herself or anything…
MM: She learned from your idol, Grace.
Sahara: Twenty days from tonight, in Sydney Australia — destiny arrives.
(Sahara nods her head, a most serious look crossing her face.)
Sahara: It took me over a year to get here. Some of you might not remember it — some of you will — but back when I entered the EWA and lost to the likes of Johnny Napalm, that fat fuck Duane Gates told me to give up on my dreams of becoming a champion and to walk away. He said I’d never be anybody in this business. And he wasn’t the only one.
(Walking toward the ropes, she points down at Vincent Ashe, prompting a brief “Ashehole” chant at ringside.)
Sahara: So did he…
(She then points to Mike Malone who raises his eyebrows in response.)
Sahara: And so did he.
(The crowd boos.)
Sahara: No…nah, don’t boo ‘em. They were right. You were right. Anyone that felt I wasn’t good enough was right. I was just a starry eyed girl that’d grew up in the business and watched it on television and said ya know what?! I bet I could do that!
(The crowd laughs along with her.)
Sahara: It’s a lot harder than it looks, lemme tell ya. And then this … this blonde bitch backstage by the name of Stacy Vandervort decided she believed in me. Said she believed in my drive. She had a hell of a way of showin’ it, lemme tell ya. But she put my back against the wall. Quite simply, she said, either make an impact or pack your bags…
(Sahara nods before pointing directly at the hard camera.)
Sahara: Impact. Fuckin’. Made.
(There is a brief cheer from the crowd.)
Sahara: In the ensuing months, I did somethin’ crazy. Okay, I probably did a lotta crazy shit. Had a lotta ups and downs. From the Fallout, to Grace, to my girl Maggie–
(Sahara kisses her fingers and holds them out to the camera in reference to her wife.)
Sahara: But I did have someone that believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself.
(Running her hand through her platinum locks, she fights back the emotional tone seeping into her voice.)
Sahara: Michael Draven … my man … my husband … my heaven … we may have started on a rocky road, but you were there for me when I needed you most–and baby, the road ahead is paved with gold.
VA: Good God, this is gonna make me sick.
MM: Let her have her moment, Ashe, nobody ever thought she’d be here for it…and it’s a side of Sahara we seldom get to see.
Sahara: And then I did the craziest thing of them all when I approached a woman you all know by Sinnocence…
(The mere mention of the name pops the hometown crowd of Boston.)
MM: Listen to this reaction!
VA: Whatever. Bitch created a monster, nothing more.
Sahara: And then I had the audacity to ask her to train me.
(Sahara lowers her head and glares into the camera.)
Sahara: And she did. And I now stand before you as one of the number one contenders for the EWA World … Heavyweight … Championship! And you all know there ain’t nothin’ I won’t do to win. I–
(“Monster” by Skillet suddenly hits, prompting the boo birds to come out. Sahara looks toward the entryway with a smirk and a shake of the head. Stepping out onto the rampway, Cronos glares down toward the ring. Cronos is proudly displaying a Grace Goeren T-shirt, obviously aimed at getting under the blonde’s skin.)
VA: He looks pretty good in that Grace Goeren t-shirt.
MM: Sahara doesn’t look pleased at all to see him wearing it either.
(Cronos lifts a mic as he slowly makes his way down the rampway.)
Cronos Diamante: Tsk. Tsk. And here I thought you to be a student of the game, Lauren. That is who I’m talking to right now, is it not? Listening to you go on and on about your dreams and the people you love and how hard you worked to get here? You’re so busy looking to the future at your title shot in Sydney that it seems you’ve forgotten what’s right in front of you tonight.
(As he approaches ringside, he slowly walks toward the stairs and takes a step up onto them.)
Cronos Diamante: Do me a favor little girl and go get Sahara. You know, the bitch that ran down submission wrestling and my finisher, the Ne-Han, at the restaurant a couple of weeks ago? She’s the one I need to talk to. The carbon copy of the legend that is Jada Kaine. You know her right?
(The crowd lets out a loud “Oooooo” in response to Cronos calling Sahara a copy of Sinnocence. Stepping through the ropes, Cronos stares her down for a few moments only for Sahara to lower her head ever so slightly and narrow her gaze in return.)
Cronos Diamante: There she is. Let me tell you a little something about the Ne-Han, since it seems your memory is about as small as your tits!
(Sahara’s jaw drops at Cronos’ comment of her lady parts in disbelief, not quite able to believe that came out of his mouth. Cronos briefly allows a smirk to surface before he continues on, not allowing the shock to turn into anger.)
VA: Not to defend Sahara here, but is he blind?
MM: He’s just making a joke, Ashe.
Cronos Diamante: The Ne-Han is a move that people copy from me in order to win Championships, little girl. I invented it. I forged it, on my own without one ounce of help. Unlike you who has has to emulate…what’s that move you use, the Flight of the Valkyrie?
MM: Is he actually accusing Sahara of being a success only because she copies her trainer, Sinnocence?
VA: Not exactly sure why that matters, but whatever…I’m already hating this guy for making me defend this whore.
(Rolling her eyes, she shakes his comments off.)
Sahara: First, old guy, nice shirt … glad to see Grace sold at least one of ‘em. Second, maybe you need to meander your blind ass on down to LensCrafters because if you can’t see these—
(Sahara motions to her chest.)
Sahara: Then you need to get your eyes checked. Maybe next time they unplug you from the dialysis machine you could get that done. I hear they give senior citizens a discount.
(Sahara laughs along with many of the fans.)
Sahara: And third, I don’t care how strong you claim yer little “He-Man” submission is, I said it was boring. Because it is. And as for emulating the woman who trained me, if you knew anything about Sinnocence you’d know how much of a “BAMF” she is … and since you do know, and I assume you’ve paid some attention around here…
(Sahara takes a step toward the center of the ring.)
Sahara: Then you’d know I’m even worse.
(Cronos stares blankly at Sahara for a good ten seconds before cracking a rather large and genuinely amused smile. He shakes his right index finger at her as a bit of a laugh escapes him.)
Cronos Diamante: You should listen to yourself sometimes. There’s a real chance at a comedy career after wrestling.
(Sahara’s eyes narrow, not understanding what Cronos finds so humorous, but before the blonde can lift her microphone to respond, Cronos cuts her off.)
Cronos Diamante: Please. Allow me to explain. The thing is, Sahara, I know all about Sinnocence. I lost to her, and that boring fighting style you abhor so much is how I lost. Sinnocence made me tap in the middle of the ring in The SHOOT Project. I won’t deny it. But honey, you aren’t her. You aren’t half the cunning monster she is. That’s pretty evident by the fact she cashes your paychecks.
(Sahara’s face turns a shade of red and a scowl forms on her face when compared to her mentor. How she’s able to keep her well-documented temper under control at this point is a testament to how far she’s actually come.)
Cronos Diamante: AND!!! You will care how strong the Ne-Han is, Sahara. How do I know? The Real Deal didn’t care at first either but his neck sure did when I was done with him. X-Calibur had the same egotistical thought process you have right now before I put him out of commission for a month and some change. Del Carver disappeared from professional wrestling altogether. Azraith DeMitri had his back broken and was never heard from again. And your husband? Well we know what happened to him at the end of Legacy, don’t we? Those are just the names you and some of these people in EWA know. You made the mistake of making this personal and treating it as anything other than business as usual. Now you’re just another opponent for me to crush.
(The former Combat champion takes a step back and nods her head.)
Sahara: Nice history lesson. Anyone on that list under 50?! The Real Deal? Diamond Del Carver? I mean … really? And not to sell your little move short, you know I respect all you’ve done in this industry, but that was then, and this is now. And my husband … is named Michael. Fucking. Draven. Maybe you haven’t heard? I’ll tell you what, Jurassic Diamante, I’ve heard just about enough of your delusional bullshit, so how about we stop talkin’ and start doin’?!
(Cronos nods his head as he steps forward after spiking his microphone into the mat. The crowd comes to life as Sahara tosses her mic and steps up, her head tilted back, staring up at her much larger opponent. Both competitors start jawing at each other, standing nearly nose to nose before Cronos SHOVES her away! Backing up into the turnbuckles, she nods, a devious smile coming over her face as she steps out from the corner, ready to engage!)
MM: They’re not gonna wait for later tonight, Ashe! They’re gonna go right now!
VA: Go Cronos! Destroy that walking STD!!!
MM: You’re unbelievable.
VA: Can we get a referee out here before these two start?!
SHE’S GOT LEGS!
SHE KNOWS HOW TO USE ‘EM!
VA: Oh god, just when it was about to get good.
MM: It’s the Executive Assistant!
(The Boston crowd pops as Stacy Vandervort strolls out from behind the curtain, shaking her head in disdain as the two warriors inside the ring divert their attention, Sahara rolling her eyes in the ring. Stacy has a microphone, and begins to speak.)
Stacy Vandervort: Hold on just a minute here. Sahara, Cronos…back off. You have a match scheduled for later tonight, and there’ll be all the time in the world to have your little pissing match at that time, but right now, we need to get something clear.
MM: Stacy’s out here to lay down the law!
VA: About the only time she accomplishes anything is when she’s laying down, Malone.
MM: I’m sure her husband, the retired Chris Kage, won’t have any issue with that comment.
VA: What’s he going to do, hop down here on one leg and hit me? Please.
Stacy Vandervort: Here’s the situation. Sahara, you referenced it earlier, but we have a huge show, Live From Sydney, in just 20 days. It’s the EWA’s first foray into the Australian market, and I’ll save all of the great EWA fans the boredom from hearing me talk about why this is a big deal for the company – just understand that it is. The Australian fans are excited for the EWA, and…these are probably words I never thought I would ever utter a year ago, but they’re excited to see Grace Goeren–
(Stacy is immediately interrupted by a loud chorus of booing from the Combat Zone crowd. She chuckles, nodding, as if to say, “I know, I know.”)
Stacy Vandervort: …NOTHING–
(A more mixed reaction, with some definite boos – but some cheers as well, for the Harbinger of HATE.)
Stacy Vandervort: …and Sahara–
(And a loud pop from the crowd, as Sahara sneers at Cronos in the ring, who stands bereft of emotion.)
Stacy Vandervort: …compete for the EWA World Heavyweight Championship against the winner of tonight’s Warrior’s Trial. And given that this is my first major event being back in charge of things around here, quite frankly, I’m not willing to put that main event in jeopardy. So, forgive me, Mr. Diamante, but you may have just shot yourself in the foot a few moments ago. You see…I’m a wrestling girl at heart. I may not be able to do what you all do, but I’m a big fan. It’s in my blood. And as much as my husband–
(Another pop from the crowd, a show of respect for the retired Chris Kage.)
Stacy Vandervort: …as much as my husband once showed his disdain for the SHOOT Project on EWA programming, I was actually a fan. I’m aware of the Ne-Han. I’m aware of its history. I’m aware of the careers you’ve shortened with that move, the bones you’ve broken.
You see, my original intention was to give Sahara the night off tonight, in preparation for Sydney, just as I would’ve given both NOTHING and Grace a free night as well. But then you two had to go off and start a metaphorical game of “My Dick is Bigger Than Your Tits”, and so…here we are.
VA: Get to the point! How does Chris Kage deal with her rambling?
Stacy Vandervort: Nonetheless, I will not put the main event of Live From Sydney in jeopardy here tonight, not when your Ne-Han has such a violent connotation behind it. Therefore, for tonight’s match, and for one night only, I am officially banning the Ne-Han from being used!
VA: WHAT? This is an outrage! You can’t just ban his signature hold! This is ludicrous! How is this even remotely fair?!
(Sahara pumps a fist in the air inside the ring, laughing openly while Cronos remains motionless.)
Stacy Vandervort: That being said, I already see Vincent Ashe having a stroke down at ringside, so let me make this clear – I’m not trying to put you at a disadvantage, Mr. Diamante. Therefore…Sahara’s patented STD “spiral tap” maneuver will also be banned! So you two will have to find another way to win tonight.
MM: That’s how, Vince! That’s completely fair!
VA: I mean…I guess so…but…
(Cronos nods in approval, and Sahara joins in, clearly confident in her abilities.)
Stacy Vandervort: If either of you try anything funny in this match that goes against the decree I just issued…believe me when I tell you…this will be the last EWA show you ever attend. Your match is later on…so for now, kiss and make up, and you can tear each other apart later tonight. To everyone else watching here and at home on Combat TV, we hope you enjoy tonight’s event!
(And with that, Stacy turns and heads toward the back, as Sahara and Cronos exchange determined looks. We fade out into a commercial package…)
Ethan Leers vs Maggie McIntyre
EWA NETWORK CHAMPIONSHIP
We fade back in from the Live From Sydney advert to see the menacing presence of Ethan Leers, already in the ring. Leers hits the ropes as the bell sounds, signifying Nikki Rogers’ announcement.
NR: The following contest, scheduled for one fall, is for the EWA Network Championship! Currently in the ring is the challenger, from Columbus, Ohio, weighing 190 pounds…ETHAN…LEERS!
MM: Ethan Leers has been rather quiet as of late, with no recent transmissions on Combat TV, but make no mistake about it, this man loves violence.
VA: I’d love to see him beat in the face of the Network Champion here tonight, Malone.
As if on cue, AFI’s ‘Miss Murder’s blasts over the PA system, bringing the capacity crowd to their feet in a frenzy!
MM: Listen to this ovation!
NR: And his opponent! From Albany, New York, she is the reigning and defending EWA Network Champion…MAGGIE…MCINTYRE!!
Maggie bursts out from behind the curtain, a huge smile on her face and the Network Championship fastened securely around her waist, clearly soaking in the energy from the frenetic audience as she makes her way toward the ring.
MM: Ladies and gentlemen, I truly believe right now that you’re looking at one of the favorites to walk out of the Warrior’s Trial IV later tonight as the new EWA World Heavyweight Champion, and perhaps make history as the first person in EWA history to hold two championships at once.
VA: I’ll tell you what, Malone, if by some miracle she gets by Ethan Leers here, she’s the odds-on favorite to receive the beating of her life in Sydney at the hands of the greatest Network Champion in history, Martin Robertson!
Referee David Tucker takes the championship from Maggie, displaying it in the air, and calls for the bell…and Leers immediately rushes at Maggie with a clothesline! McIntyre ducks, though, and quickly spins around…
MM: BANSHEE’S WAIL! SHE CONNECTED WITH EVERY BIT OF THAT SUPERKICK!
Maggie drops down, hooking the leg…
NR: Your winner, and still EWA Network Champion…MAGGIE…MCINTYRE!!
MM: For the second show in a row, Maggie makes short work of her opponent, and this time without the assist from Sahara!
VA: I assure you, Malone, Martin Robertson won’t go down so quickly!
MM: As Maggie celebrates, and Ethan Leers goes back to the drawing board, let’s take you…wait…yes, let’s take you backstage!
YOUR WINNER BY PINFALL, AND STILL EWA NETWORK CHAMPION: MAGGIE MCINTYRE (0:08)
(The camera quickly cuts to the backstage loading dock of the Combat Zone, typically where all of the equipment trucks park and unload the ring. Standing at the top of a small flight of stairs near the back door is EWA Executive Assistant Stacy Vandervort, seemingly looking annoyed as she glances down at her watch.)
Stacy Vandervort: Come on, come on…
(The door leading into the arena suddenly pops open and emerging from the building is the head of EWA’s Public Relations department, Shawna Jackson. The two women exchange a tense glance, clearly not expecting the other to be there.)
Shawna Jackson: Miss. Vandervort.
Stacy Vandervort: Miss. Jackson. Getting some fresh air?
Shawna Jackson: Not exactly…
(Shawna reaches into her pocket and pulls out a small tri-folded note on yellow paper, holding it up for Stacy to see.)
Shawna Jackson: This was delivered to me by a courier earlier today. It says…
(Shawna clears her throat and begins to read off the piece of paper.)
Shawna Jackson: “It would be advantageous for you to be present at the loading dock tonight exactly thirty minutes after the show begins. There will be a…”
(Stacy interrupts, her expression grim and deadpan.)
Stacy Vandervort: “…a special delivery that you will not want to miss out on. Please be on time. Signed, A Friend”
(Stacy reaches into her pocket and pulls out another tri-folded piece of yellow paper, matching Shawna’s note.)
Stacy Vandervort: I received the exact same letter in my mail this morning.
Shawna Jackson: Huh. Well that’s…weird.
Stacy Vandervort: Nothing ever weirds me out about this place anymore. You have any idea who sent these?
Shawna Jackson: Not a clue, Miss. Vandervort.
Stacy Vandervort: Because if I find out this is a trap or a ploy by Grace I swear to God I’m…
(Shawna holds up her hands and waves off her boss.)
Shawna Jackson: Hey, as far as I know she has nothing to do with this. Besides, she’s trying to stay on your good side these days. I have no idea who sent these letters or why we’re out here or what we’re going to…
(The piercing sound of screeching tires suddenly cuts through the night air as both women stare off in the direction of the abrasive noise. Tearing into view from down the street is a black luxury car that comes barrelling towards their direction with zero regard for anything in its way!)
Stacy Vandervort: GET BACK!
(Stacy pulls Shawna back towards the door as the car peels by them, but not before the passenger’s door pops open and a body tumbles out onto the ground! The body ragdolls on the ground and rolls over twice before the car speeds away into the night, leaving the two EWA executives standing shaken at the top of the stairs.)
Shawna Jackson: What the hell was that?!
(Stacy pops open the door and starts screaming towards an unseen employee.)
Stacy Vandervort: Get me security back here! NOW! Find out who was driving that car!
Shawna Jackson: Miss Vandervort…look!
Stacy Vandervort: Oh my god…is that…?
Shawna Jackson: That’s Azrael Goeren!
(The camera quickly pans over to the body that was shoved out of the car, revealing a disheveled, beaten and bloodied Azrael Goeren who weakly rolls onto his back and coughs violently. Stacy’s eyes widen as she screams back towards the employee inside the building.)
Stacy Vandervort: CALL AN AMBULANCE AND GET DOCTOR FURMAN OUT HERE RIGHT NOW!
(Both Stacy and Shawna race down the stairs and move closer to the sprawled out body of Azrael Goeren who, despite being tossed from the moving vehicle, is still slowly stirring. He glances up at both women and actually forces a smile before passing out on the concrete. EWA officials suddenly swarm the scene and kneel down to attend to Azrael. Stacy can only watch and shake her head before we fade back to our stunned announcers at ringside.)
MM: I can’t believe what we just saw, Azrael Goeren was just shoved out of a speeding car and dropped off at the loading dock like a sack of garbage! We haven’t seen him since Donovan King abducted him at Champions Summit III! Has King been holding him for this long?
VA: Sure as hell seems that way, but why in the world did King have to send him back? Things were so damn good around here without that German freak!
MM: You are just the worst type of person, I hope you know that. I honestly don’t know what to say. Folks, we’ll try our best to keep you all updated on Azrael Goeren’s condition if we ever get any official word, I would suspect he’s going to be taken to a local hospital as quickly as possible.
VA: Call the coroner instead!
MM: Will you please be quiet? We all need to just hope that he’s going to be okay…
Josh Kaine & Lagrima vs NOTHING & William West
SPECIAL ATTRACTION TAG TEAM MATCH
The raspy and electric voice of Alice in Chains’ Layne Staley and those distinctive guitar riffs suddenly starts over the speakers of the arena, igniting a pop from the crowd. The heir to Valhalla himself appears from backstage, a grin on his face as he jogs to the ramp with his arms extended, basking in the attention from the people in the audience.
Giving nods and slapping a few fans’ hands on the way down, the EWA Tag Team Champion climbs up onto the ring apron and smiles before climbing through the ropes. The son of Sinnocence retreats to his corner, EWA Tag Team Championship belt draped on his shoulder, hands on the ropes to await his opponent’s arrival.
NR: The following tag team contest is scheduled for one fall! Introducing first, hailing from Lenoir, North Carolina, he is one third of the EWA Tag Team Champions…..Joooooooooosh Kaaaaaaaaaaaine!
MM: This matchup is certainly going to be interesting. Two teams, partnered up with people they have been at odds with.
VA: Wake me up when something important happens.
MM: You’re an idiot.
A purple spot in the shape of a horned skull drops onto the entrance ramp, and the masked figure of Lágrima stands, back to the ring, head in her hands. The opening chords of Melanie Martinez’s “Pity Party” play through the arena, and Lágrima turns to look over her shoulder, the tear-streaked mask staring toward the ring. She moves almost robotic, her torso shuddering with sobs as she turns around, putting her arms out in a cross pose, before slowly walking to the ring, swaying back and forth.
NR: And his partner, hailing from New Orleans, Louisiana…..she is one third of The Vice Squad……Laaaaaaaaaaaaagriiiiiiiiimaaaaaaa!
MM: In just a few short weeks, MoCaJo will square off with The Vice Squad at Live From Sydney, and the EWA Tag Team Titles will be up for grabs!
VA: But tonight, the incredibly attractive Lagrima will team up with one of her future opponents, the Heir of Valhalla, to face off with two Pillars of HATE!
MM: Correction. One Pillar, and the EWA Combat Champion.
As she reaches the ring, she slides in, luridly crawling across the canvas on her belly, looking at the hard cam, putting a hand out, almost pleading with the audience… She rolls back, popping to her feet and heading to the corner, awaiting her opponents.
The music shuts off, replaced with Disturbed’s “Who Taught You How To HATE”.
The Masochist himself appears to applause, the EWA Combat Championship strapped around his waist. Around his neck is the very noose he used to strangle Cal Rayner at Champion’s Summit III.
MM: West is ready for war! But will he have it on all sides?
NR: Introducing their opponents, first, he is the EWA’s Combat Champion…..The Masochist! Williaaaaaaaaaaam Wesssssssssst!
West remains focused, eyes never leaving Kaine and Lagrima as he enters the ring. The rope is removed and placed in the corner, as is the Combat Championship.
VA: Oh, that’s where that thing is!
MM: The Combat Championship?
VA: Yeah. I almost forgot West was Champion. It’s not like he’s actually defending that title, you know.
MM: This is the first show since he’s won the title! Barring a victory in tonight’s Warrior’s Trial, I’m sure he will be defending that title when we are Live From Sydney.
VA: I hate to say it, but I miss the days when Sahara wore that title. At least she would put it on the line.
it seems strange that my life should end
in such a terrible place…
The lights go out with that interruption. A dim, red strobe begins to pulse at the entrance ramp.
There is a new sound accompanying the arrival of The Purveyor tonight…
The sound of scraping chains on concrete can be heard over the pulse. Then all sound, all light dies.
The lights glare back on, and the Partiarch of the House of HATE stands atop the entrance ramp, thick metal chain draped across his shoulders, glaring down at the three foes he sees in the ring.
NR: And his partner, from Albany, New York….The Purveyor…….NOOOOOOOOITHIIIIIIIIING!
VA: That’s a cold, cold dude walking to the ring right now.
MM: He wears that chain almost like a trophy over his recent eradication of Jacob Mephisto. We shall see what role the Patriarch of HATE will play in the proceedings tonight.
VA: One thing is for certain. He and West AIN’T gonna get along!
The bell rings, and NOTHING makes no effort to enter the ring, leaving West as the legal man, facing off against Josh Kaine.
The two men tie up, with the Masochist quickly transitioning the Heir into a hammerlock. Kaine quickly tries to reverse, but West uses his own momentum to switch to a standing headlock, then takes him down with the same hold.
Kaine slides out, only to have his head scissored by West. Josh tries nipping up, but West has a solid hold on him.
Kaine transitions, and rolls forward, slipping his head out and wrapping West up in a pinning combination!
West quickly rolls forward, pinning the Heir in a sunset flip!
Kaine rolls out of it, bending West’s legs back in a pin!
West grabs Kaine by the head and arm and wraps him up in a small package!
Kaine easily escapes and twists West’s arm, rolling him up with a Magistral cradle!
West breaks free, and now both men are standing, staring each other down. The crowd roars to life in appreciation for both men!
MM: The Boston crowd certainly appreciates good wrestling! There are few better technicians in this business that William West, but Josh Kaine is keeping pace with him so far!
VA: What? Sorry, I got a little distracted.
MM: You’re staring at Lagrima’s ass again, aren’t you? You’re not even listening to me!
VA: No, my mom is fine, dude. Thanks for asking though!
The two men move to lock up once more, but Kaine surprises the veteran with a European uppercut! West is rocked backwards as Kaine follows up with a drop kick that takes the Combat Champion off his feet!
MM: And the young gun surprises the vet with a couple of quick strikes! Speed is definitely on the side of Kaine and Lagrima in this one!
VA: Don’t count out the experience of HATE! West and NOTHING are former NYSWF Tag Team Champs together! The longest reigning in fact!
MM: But these two are not on the same page! They aren’t even in the same book right now!
VA: It would surprise me greatly to learn that the Masochist can read.
MM: Oh, knock it off!
Kaine takes control of West now, lighting him up with strikes, including a spinning back fist that knocked West crosseyed! Kaine wrenched the arm of the Combat Champion, and tagged in his partner for the evening!
Lagrima springboards into the ring, nailing a vicious double stomp to the collar bone of West! The champ drops to a knee, in serious pain, and catches a running knee to the face for his troubles! Lagrima then wraps West up in a crucifix pin before he can hit the ground!
West breaks free! Lagrima uses her light frame and speed to run circles around the stronger and bulkier Masochist, stinging him with kicks and an aerial assault ending in a picture perfect springboard moonsault into a pinning combination!
MM: Oh! Almost got him!
VA: I wish she’d get ME.
MM: I wish she’d get you with one of those kicks so I don’t have to listen to your nonsense anymore!
Lagrima climbs the turnbuckles and leaps down with a huge cross body block, but West simply catches her and in one fluid motion, drops her down onto his knee with a gut buster!
MM: West had that one well scouted! This is his opportunity to make a much needed tag!
VA: Lagrima needs to tag out as well! He may have just shattered her ovary with that one!
MM: You are disgusting and know nothing about anatomy!
VA: I know plenty about Lagrima’s anatomy, thanks!
MM: You’re a pig.
Both West and Lagrima begin to crawl their way to their respective corners. Lagrima makes the tag to Kaine as West is nearly to his corner! He dives, reaching for the outstretched hand of NOTHING!
WHO DROPS OFF THE APRON!
MM: I knew it! He’s going to leave his former friend out to dry!
VA: By the look on West’s face, he knew it too!
West is grinning through the pain, sort of realizing what he already feared would happen. NOTHING stares back at him, expressionless, as Kaine makes it over and pulls West out of his corner.
West fights back, kicking Kaine in his chest to back him off enough to get to his feet. NOTHING climbs back up to the apron, but walks away from his corner as West moves to demand a tag!
In the distraction, Josh Kaine nails a running knee to the back of the Masochist! West collapses into his corner, and Kaine quickly pulls him out of there before the Purveyor can change his mind about entering the match.
The team of one third of the current Tag Team champs and one third of the longest reigning tag champs electrify the crowd for a few minutes with solid chemistry in the ring, lighting up West with an assault that utilizes quick tags and a multitude of high impact strikes!
VA: The Traitor of HATE is dead in the water! Kaine and Lagrima are working very well as s tandem, and West is in there all alone because his foolish pride won’t allow him to tag his partner!
MM: Are you serious?! West has tried to tag in the Harbinger of HATE, but NOTHING won’t take it!
VA: You say potato, I say West is an idiot.
West begins to fight back, nailing both Kaine and Lagrima with fists to back them off! He moves toward his corner, in tremendous pain from the assault he’s facing, but NOTHING moves away from the corner again!
West has had enough, and runs and SPEARS THE HELL OUT OF NOTHING THROUGH THE ROPES! NOTHING lands on the arena floor while West is draped across the middle rope, grinning like a madman! The crowd roars as The Purveyor writhes in pain, clutching his rib cage!
MM: Blood Drive by West on his own partner!
VA: That’s how you show gratitude for the man watching your back? What a disgusting display!
MM: NOTHING has not made a single move to aid West in this match, and the Combat Champion has had enough of it!
West gets up and ducks a double clothesline from his foes, and bounces off the opposite ropes, executing another Blood Drive that nearly rips the Heir of Valhalla in half!
MM: Oh, God what a spear!
Lagrima shakes off the assault, and begins booting West as he tries to get to his feet! The Masochist absorbs the pain and clotheslines the former Jane Doe out of her boots!
VA: I don’t know where he’s getting this energy from with all the punishment he’s absorbed, but West is answering back with his power advantage here!
West picks Lagrima up and drives her back down into the canvas with a Lunatikk Sweet! She’s motionless, but the referee informs West that Josh Kaine is the legal man!
West turns to find the Heir….
MM: PURE HATE! God dammit!
NOTHING has finally entered the ring, and has taken the head off of William West!
VA: Was this the plan all along, or simply revenge for the spear the Purveyor ate earlier?
MM: I don’t know, but NOTHING is leaving!
Indeed, NOTHING is heading back to the locker room, leaving West unconscious in the ring as Josh Kaine is crawling over towards him!
Finally, he makes it to the Masochist and drapes an arm across his chest!
THR-NO! Just barely, West gets the shoulder up!
MM: Too much time to get to the cover! But West is still in a bad way! Kaine needs to capitalize NOW!
Lagrima is stirring and Kaine helps her to her feet. He points at West and she nods.
Kaine picks West up to his feet, and ducks a wild haymaker! Kaine clutches West around the waist and takes him over with a release German suplex!
AND LAGRIMA RUNS FORWARD AND PLANTS BOTH FEET INTO THE MASOCHIST’S FACE WITH A DROPKICK IN MIDAIR!
West crashes to the mat and both Lagrima and Kaine scurry over to make the cover!
The bell rings!
NR: Here are your winners, Lagrima and EWA Tag Team Champion, Josh Kaine!
MM: That finish was just brutal! If West’s jaw wasn’t already broken, it is now!
VA: That’s a huge win for these two that surprisingly stayed on the same page! They knocked off the Combat Champion!
MM: And when he wakes up, there is going to be one fuming mad Masochist looking for payback! Congrats to Lagrima and Kaine, they deserve this victory!
West groggily rolls into a seated position on the ring apron, as Kaine and Lagrima remain in the ring. He gets to his feet unsteadily, and begins to stagger up the entrance ramp, a look of vengeance in his eyes.
MM: You have to believe he’s going after his former friend, his former partner!
VA: Or maybe he’s going after catering. Maybe he’s got a hankering for-
MM: Shut. UP!
YOUR WINNERS BY PINFALL: JOSH KAINE & LAGRIMA (12:21)
(As the ring clears from the tag match, Josh Kaine and Lágrima remain. Suddenly, two pyro shoot across the stage in the shape of an X, and a single white spotlight hits the entrance, forming into the shape of a horned skull! The opening chord to Faith No More’s “Epic” blares through the arena, and the one and only Hueso steps through, in his bone-white mask, powder-blue suit, and cane! He takes a couple of steps onto the stage, looking at the adoring crowd, before lifting the cane, spinning it in his fingers, and walking confidently down the ramp!)
MM: Hueso is here, presumably to congratulate his protege on the win, but the real story here, Vince, is that he’s walking without that cane!
VA: It was just over a year ago that Sean Boden and CJ Nelson ruined his leg at Live From Tokyo! He’s back on his feet, for real!
(He walks up the steps into the ring, smiling at the pair, and brings a microphone to his mouth!)
Hueso: First off, I want to congratulate you two for a fantastic match tonight. NOTHING and Billy West are nothing to sneeze at, even when they’re at each other’s throats. So great job.
And it’s perfect that you’re both here for this, because what I’m here to talk about pertains to both of you. Or, more accurately, your match coming up, live from Sydney, Australia, for the EWA World Tag Team Championship.
The more I got to thinking about that match, after we made the decision that the belts would be defended under lucha libre trios rules, the more I realized a thing.
For starters, the EWA is not a lucha libre organization. And why would they be? They’re headquartered in Boston, after all. No offense, Boston.
And with that thought, came the understanding that, as an American wrestling organization, and not a Mexican wrestling organization, the knowledge of what, exactly, those lucha libre rules are is likely to be low. There’s a lot of similarities, yes, but there’s a few crucial differences, too, that might need to be addressed.
But who can address them? None of the referees here have much in the way of lucha experience… even the associate senior referee, Mr. Cardillo, is a Mexican boxing champion.
MM: Where is he going with this, Vince?
Hueso: So who? Who best to officiate this match? I spoke long and hard with Ms. Shawna Jackson about who would be the best option. We scoured the country, looking for someone with the requisite experience, and the reputation to match. Someone who could represent the pride of Mexico, and the spirit of lucha libre. So if I could take a minute and request that your teammates come on out here, because I think they deserve to be here when I introduce the guest referee for your match.
(The house lights drop, and Fallout Boy’s “The Phoenix” starts to play, as a slightly confused but eager Nikki Caldwell and Mojave step through, Mojave carrying his EWA World Tag Team Championship belt. They don’t pause for the crowd, just keep an eye on Hueso in the ring. To her credit, Lágrima looks just as confused.)
MM: Is this really necessary? Just make the announcement, man!
VA: Cut the guy some slack, Malone, he’s trying to hype it up!
(As the champions get into the ring, the Pretty Reckless’ “Heaven Knows” thumps through the arena, and Minxy Jones and Santa Muerte step through cautiously, Minxy in her mask, a tank top, and jeans, and Santa Muerte in her robes but without face paint. They walk slowly to the ring, waiting with bated breath for Jared’s announcement.)
Hueso: Now that I have everybody here, I want to say how much of an honor it is for me to be able to introduce this person… your special guest referee for Live From Sydney…
(Hueso presents an arm toward the entranceway, and a single spotlight hits the stage, before taking the form of a white horned skull! Faith No More’s “Epic” thrums through once more!)
(The crowd boos hard, as even the Vice Squad seem unimpressed.)
MM: Oh, come on! How can that be even remotely fair?
VA: Hey, Hueso knows his way around lucha libre, Malone! I have all the faith in the world that he’ll call it down the middle.
Hueso: Don’t worry, I promise to remain completely impartial. It’s really elementary, honestly. Who, in this locker room, in this organization, knows the rules of la lucha better than me?
(Santa Muerte raises her eyebrows.)
Hueso: That isn’t already in the match, I mean, of course. The answer is nobody. So, like I said, after a long talk with Ms. Jackson, we came to the conclusion that I was just the best candidate for the job. I look forward to working with you all in Australia!
(“Epic” blares through once again, and Jared gladhands his way through all of the competitors in the match, before stepping out of the ring, raising his hands to the crowd, seemingly ignoring the fact that they’re booing him like crazy. The six competitors in the ring discuss amongst themselves, as Lágrima grabs a mic, and a second one gets tossed to Josh Kaine.)
Lágrima: See, I fucking called it. I knew you were gonna do something like this, Jared. We all did.
(The music cuts out, and Hueso turns around, confused. He mouths “What? What’d I do?”)
Lágrima: You inserted your feelings into this match, just like you’ve overridden us on everything since we came back. Somehow, we knew that you’d take some sort of measure to give us an unfair advantage. I don’t know if you know this, but my teammates? They’re two of the best wrestlers who have ever set foot in this ring. Not two of the best women wrestlers, two of the best wrestlers, period. We don’t need to be coddled. We don’t need you stepping in to protect us. Trust me, we’re fully capable of taking care of ourselves. What the hell do you think I did while you were hurt?
(Hueso puts his hands up, as if to say “it’s not like that.” Kaine cuts him off.)
Josh Kaine: And since we’re on the subject of lucha libre rules, we been studyin’ up. And I’m pretty sure, Lágrima, lemme know if I’m wrong here, but I’m pretty sure that most trios matches usually have not one, but two referees, ain’t that right?
Lágrima: That’s right.
(Hueso rolls his eyes on the outside, speaking to the crowd in the ring, but it’s inaudible to the camera.)
Josh Kaine: So we went ahead and did a little scouting of our own, to try and find someone to take that second referee spot. We figured, hell, if you did the right thing, we wouldn’t have to worry about it, but here we are, huh?
Lágrima: But of course, you did like we expected, and here we are.
Josh Kaine: We did our research, we did our homework, and we found ourselves another ref. Someone who is fully capable of standing up to you, no matter what nonsense you might try. Someone who has a longer list of accolades here in the States than you have in Mexico. So it is my honor to introduce the second referee for our match at Live From Sydney…
(The crowd EXPLODES as “Comanche” by In This Moment hits the speakers, and the one and only Sinnocence steps through the entranceway! Hueso looks around, almost enraged, as the Viking Queen smiles, standing at the top of the ramp!)
Josh Kaine: Sinnocence!
MM: Unbelievable! Former EWA World Heavyweight Champion, Sinnocence, is here in the Combat Zone tonight, Vince!
VA: And just like that, Hueso’s plans are foiled!
MM: What happened to him calling it down the middle, Ashe?
VA: C’mon, Malone, you know I don’t mean what I say easily 75% of the time.
(Hueso walks up the ramp, stopping in front of Sinn, who just chuckles at him. He stares a hole in her, before waving the cane in her face. She shoos him away, and Hueso stomps backstage in a huff.)
MM: This place has gone insane! Right now, as Sinnocence exits with MoCaJo and the Vice Squad, let’s take you backstage!
(We cut backstage to see the hustle and bustle that goes into setting up a show. Camera men and women running from one side of the backstage area to the other with heavy equipment in tow, staging directors preparing the talent ahead of their big introductions. Interviewers preparing for the next segment and wrestlers heading to the showers and locker rooms after their match. It’s unclear why we’re here at first, until we see a plain-clothed Ray Willmott come into view with a half smile on his face, to the roar of the crowd watching from inside the Combat Zone. As the camera follows him, we see him extend his hand out to Terry Bull, shaking it heartily. There’s a warm exchange between the two for a lingering moment.)
Ray Willmott: Hey Terry, I had to come by. You were so important to my comeback. Your interview let me tell the world my story and I’m so grateful.
Terry Bull: You kidding? It was my pleasure. But are you sure this is it? Like, there’s nothing you can do?
(Ray holds his shoulder and turns his lip up.)
Ray Willmott: It’s fucked, Terry. Christ, I was struggling to carry shopping home last night. I just … *scoff* … of all the ways I thought my career would end …
Terry Bull: Jesus.
Ray Willmott: I can’t put any weight on the damn thing. The physiotherapists did everything…
Terry Bull: I’m so sorry, Ray. I can only imagine. Do you even know what you’re going to say out there?
Ray Willmott: I….
(He seems to lose his train of thought, appearing distant all of a sudden.)
Ray Willmott: …How do you sum up a career of twenty years in a few words, you know? Where do you even start…. (he blows out his cheeks)
Terry Bull: Beer after the show?
Ray Willmott: Good a place as any.
Ray Willmott: Thanks Terry. For everything.
(They hug for a few moments before Ray slaps Terry on the back and pulls away.)
Terry Bull: Speak from the heart. You always have. People appreciate your honesty more than anything you’ve done in that ring. That’s why they love you, man.
(Willmott nods in acknowledgement, a wry smirk creeping onto his face before walking away.
Terry watches him go, a solemn look in his eyes, as we fade.)
(A massive black 1996 Ford Bronco with a sexy as hell lift kit and massive tires comes roaring onto the scene. The camera zooms in on the jet black tinted windows and then to the hood where we see, of course, the illustrious and flawlessly gorgeous emblem of the Bad Ass Brotherhood. That means, also of course, that we are in the presence of the EWA’s latest signee. The one. The only. The Bluegrass Bad Ass.
The driver’s side door of the Bronco opens up and Buck stands tall, king of all that he surveys. Buck nods his head, looking out at…well, nothing really. Buck points to the camera.)
Buck Dresden: HEY! YOU! YOU THERE. COME HERE.
(The cameraman walks towards Buck as Buck drops from the height of the Bronco’s open driver’s side door.)
Buck Dresden: I hope y’all payin’ real close attention. Y’all out there in TV Land an’ in the EWA locker room been too damn upset lately. Bummin’ people out. The fuck’s that about?
(Buck starts to march through the docks and towards the locker room.)
Buck Dresden: I’m here to let y’all know that things gotta change ‘round here. Where’s the love fer this business? Where’s them folks what used to do this just fer the roar o’ the crowd? Hey, CROWD. ROAR.
(The fans pop in applause and cheers as Buck shakes his head disapprovingly.)
Buck Dresden: God damn it, I ain’t said no damn purr! LET ‘EM KNOW WE HERE, EWA! ROAR!
(The fans pop BIG, a small “BUCK, BUCK, BUCK, BUCK” chant begins faintly as Buck continues his walk.)
Buck Dresden: All y’all smart ass guys what ain’t understood what y’all have in these fans finna learn. Buck Dresden’s here to do some Robin Hoodin’. I’m gon’ steal from all y’all.
(He stops, counting on his fingers.)
Buck Dresden: I’m gonna steal yer titles, I’m gonna steal yer money, I’m gonna steal yer matches, an’ ya know what else? Y’all fuck around so much, I’m gonna walk down to that ring an’ I’m gonna steal all yer fans. Ya wanna stop me? Hey, ya can’t. These fans deserve competition, they deserve to go home happy, they deserve somebody who’ll give his left nut fer them.
(Buck thinks for a moment.)
Buck Dresden: Not my right. Sorry, folks, too many girls out there wanna taste the Dresden Drizzle an’ I’m not the kinda guy what turns my back on what any fan wants, particularly if’n ya wanna go fer a ride in the big black Buckin’ Bronco, unnerstand?
(Buck busts out laughing, shaking his head as he thinks of some dirty little joke he’s got on the brain.)
Buck Dresden: Y’ain’t never seen a mother fucker like me before, EWA. I promise you beyond a shadow of a damn doubt…y’ain’t ever gonna wanna forget me, neither.
Buck Dresden: See ya out there.
(Fade to ringside.)
VA: What…what in the actual hell did I just witness?
MM: Buck Dresden! Former SHOOT Project tag team champion, and one hell of an athlete!
VA: I can’t even with this place, Malone.
MM: You know, Ashe? Go Buck yourself.
VA: Did you…did you just…
MM: I’VE FINALLY DONE IT! I’VE MADE VINCE SPEECHLESS!
MM: Let’s take you now to some pre-recorded comments from some of the competitors in tonight’s Warrior’s Trial IV!
(The camera cuts into a shot of a black wall, covered in the EWA logo. Sitting in front of the wall is Martin Robertson, wearing his black “Unbreakable Perfection” t-shirt, which almost makes him look like he’s blending into the wall. But there he sits, just blankly staring ahead at the camera, the look of teenage boredom on his face. After about fifteen seconds, Martin looks down and starts scrolling through his phone….)
Cameraman: Martin, we’re rolling.
(Not interested in the warning from the cameraman, Martin continues to scroll through his phone, not even taking a second to acknowledge the cameraman’s statement.)
Cameraman: Martin, we just need a one or two sentence statement on your feelings about the Warrior’s Trial tomorrow night.
(Martin, finally acknowledging the cameraman and his request, looks up at the camera for a brief second, before looking back down on his phone one more time.)
Cameraman: We can be done here just as soon as we get a statement from you. Stacy aske….
(Martin, now his interest finally piqued, looks directly into the camera, holding his phone off to the side for a moment.)
Martin Robertson: Oh, Stacy asked, huh?
(Martin stands up from the chair, the cameraman having to quickly react to keep Martin in the shot…)
Martin Robertson: Sure, lemme give you a stat…
(The final part of Martin’s words — “…statement about the Trial…” — trail off as he removes the microphone from the collar of his shirt, throwing it back towards the camera before storming out of the camera’s view. The camera tries to follow him as he’s walking away from the curtain wall and down the hallway of the arena, but Martin makes a quick left and is out of the picture, as the camera turns back towards the EWA wall…)
Cameraman: I hate my job…. NEXT!
(We cut to somewhere backstage in the Combat Zone as a black flag is draped in front of a wall. The camera pulls back to reveal the massive body of Alice who is swaying very slowly from left to right. She addresses the camera but keeps her head down, not wanting to make eye contact.)
Alice: Mistress Grace says that the Warrior’s Trial tonight is the most important thing to her. She says that I have to do well or else I don’t get to play.
(Alice’s hands squeeze into huge fists as her swaying becomes more erratic and frantic.)
Alice: I like…playing with everyone here in EWA. I like hearing them scream. I wanna fingerpaint with their red-red. I don’t wanna be bad and miss out on all of those things.
(Her head sinks lower, almost to her chest.)
Alice: Mistress Grace says that if I win this match, I’ll make it easier for her to take back her stolen World Title when we’re in kangaroo land. Getting that belt back will make her happy. She says I’ll be a good girl if I can win tonight…
(She slowly raises her head and stares at the camera through her stringy black hair.)
Alice: So I’m gonna be a very, very good girl.
(The camera zooms in on her dark, emotionless eyes before we slowly fade to black.)
(We fade in to a shot of Josh Kaine standing in front of a black backdrop, EWA Tag Team Championship belt slung over his shoulder.)
Josh Kaine: You know, I spent the last couple of weeks vacationing in Hawaii with the rest of MOCAJO, but it wasn’t all fun and relaxation. We worked our butts off for this. I know Nikki’s gonna clock me good, but ain’t no one–not even the two I love most gonna take this from me. I’m the Heir to Valhalla, y’all. I’m the son of Sinnocence…best bitch to ever step in the ring and those are footsteps I’m gonna follow in!
(As various members of EWA production are seen resetting the area reserved for Warrior’s Trial promos, Sahara strolls past with a plate of fresh fruit from catering as she eyes the scene in passing.
Moments later, she re-emerges, poking her head into view before taking her place — uninvited — in front of the camera.)
Sahara: What would it mean to me to win the Warrior’s Trial?! Well, it’s kinda hard to win the Warrior’s Trial when you aren’t in it–
(Someone clears the throat from behind the camera, addressing the blonde.)
“Uh, Sahara, these promos are meant for people actually competing in the Trial, could you please–”
Sahara: I literally just said that, moron. Tell me. Do the Dodgers bench Clayton Kershaw when they need their ace to pitch game one of the World Series? No. No they do not. Do the Packers bench Aaron Rodgers when they play the Bears?! Hell to the fucking no–”
(Looking behind the camera, she yells in an exasperated tone.)
“Again. You aren’t in the Warrior’s Trial…”
(Standing in silence for a second, the blonde scowls and shakes her head before she storms off the set.)
Sahara: Why would I be?
(Her parting words leave the production crew befuddled, and a few of them shrugg it off as Sahara being Sahara, something the veterans of the production crew have grown accustomed to over the past year.)
(The camera fades in and we see Maggie McIntyre, EWA Network Championship strapped around her waist. She smiles at the camera as she speaks, standing in front of a black backdrop.)
Maggie McIntyre: I know a lot of people see me as a favorite to win this and I’m not sure why, considering the caliber of talent in it…but I’m going to do my damnedest to win…not just for the two people I love the most, but for myself. I’ve been called a rookie long enough. With all I’ve endured over the past two years, this is going to be my time to shine…and unless God himself tells me otherwise, I’m winning this.
(Fade to ringside.)
I…am a man…of constant sorrow
I’ve seen troubles all my days…
(The lights dim and the Jumbotron shows the infamous symbol known the world over…)
(The fans cheer as smoke billows from the entrance to the arena. “Man of Constant Sorrow” by Charm City Devils kicks in, bringing the EWA fans to their feet so they can see the man they call the Bluegrass Bad Ass. Standing in the entrance, his black cowboy hat dusty and worn and his head bowed, is BUCK DRESDEN. Buck wears a long black duster coat, just as worn and ragged as the hat. He looks up to the audience and grins ear to ear with his stubbled jawline. On the front of the hat is the old symbol of his tag team, the Skull of the Bad Ass Brotherhood. On the back of his coat? The same. He wears no shirt, his hands are taped up, and he wears his blue jeans, a hole through the right knee revealing his black kneepad, and we can assume there is a matching one on the other knee, and black work boots with a giant BAB belt buckle.)
MM: Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to none other than the man who calls himself the Bluegrass Bad Ass…Buck Dresden!
VA: This guy’s been a tag team master for years, Malone. He’s a damn idiot, but he can get the job done in the ring.
(He walks down the ramp and talks to several fans as he saunters past. He slides under the bottom rope and gets to one knee in one fluid motion, removing his hat and holding his arms outstretched, nodding his head to the camera.)
MM: His claim to fame right now is his success in Japan after leaving the States. He came back to participate in the Warrior’s Trial tonight.
VA: So why the hell is he out here right now? See, I’m guessing it’s because Southerners struggle with technology. Buck probably saw a clock, got asked to tell the time, and didn’t have a clue what to tell it.
(He gets to his feet and winks at Nikki as he slides his hat out of the ring. He slings his coat off of his shoulders to the mat and leans against the ropes, again talking and pointing to some of the fans, laughing and joking around with them while running his hands over his dirty blonde hair. He nods his head as he begins to stretch against the ropes before he asks Nikki for her microphone. He stands there, grinning as he looks around at the audience. He holds his free hand up to the sky before he reaches out to the audience.)
Buck Dresden: BROTHERS…AND…SISTERS!
(Buck curls his free hand into a fist and pounds it to his chest.)
Buck Dresden: THE DAY HAS FINALLY COME…AND HERE…RIGHT HERE…RIGHT NOW…IS BUCK…DRESDEN.
(The fans cheer as Buck stands still in the center of the ring, looking out at the sea of faces.)
Buck Dresden: I chose tonight, TONIGHT…to show the EWA what a tried and true BAD ASS can do!
(The fans pop as Buck nods his head to their applause.)
Buck Dresden: I was in the back and you know what I said to myself? What I said to the guys in the production truck backstage? I said to ‘em I said “Fellers, there ain’t but one thang missin’ from this here Battlelines an’ y’all…yer talkin’ to him.” They told me, “Buckles, you need to wait yer turn in that dang match yer in.” So you know what I told ‘em?
Buck Dresden: Fuck waitin’, I’m here for my family an’ let me tell ya, brothers an’ sisters…this is one reunion I’m too damn excited to be a part of to just wait fer some match. So, I told ‘em, tell ya what. Give me somethin’ to do. Give me somethin’. Want me to shoot shirts out of a cannon? Want me to put on a mascot suit? Want me to host a Diva Search or somethin’? Lemme tell ya, Buck Dresden is game. But then it hit me, y’all. Hit me hard. I realized what good is a showcase fer me if’n I ain’t even showcased?
(Buck shrugs as he ponders his words.)
Buck Dresden: So, before I come out to the main event an’ I ruin all them people’s nights by takin’ this company by storm, I told them boys give me yer best shot. I don’t care who. I don’t care what. Buck BY GAWD Dresden ain’t here to play with the Fuck Around Gang. Let’s get it goin’. What y’all think out here? Wanna see Buck Dresden’s debut in an exhibition one on one against the best EWA can offer?
(The fans ROAR their approval. Buck nods his head and hands Nikki back her microphone. He leans against the ropes and stares at the entrance.)
MM: Wait…so…yes, I’m getting word that Buck Dresden has indeed signed for an impromptu one on one match tonight against whoever!
VA: An open challenge? That’s so stupid, Malone! He won’t be 100% for later!
(Suddenly, the arena finds itself lit in a familiar…lemon hue.)
VA: Never mind.
(“Lemonade” by Alex Boye begins to play, bringing the fans to their feet. Buck looks at the entrance almost confused as out from the back steps none other than…JOE…LEMON. Lemon gets the fans to clap somewhat along with his theme song as he walks down the entrance ramp. He takes off his baseball cap and slides into the ring, popping up to his feet as he claps his hands in excitement.)
MM: What kind of show would this be without the one and only Joe Lemon!
VA: Calling it now, Malone, this could be Joe’s night against this Bad Ass Buffoon.
Buck Dresden vs Joe Lemon
NR: The following contest is scheduled for ONE FALL! Introducing first from Lemon City, Florida, he is…THE MOST REFRESHING MAN ALIVE…JOE…LEEEEEEEEEEMONNNNNNN!!!!!!
Joe excitedly holds his arms up in the air.
NR: And his opponent…he hails from the Great American South, he is the BLUEGRASS BAD ASS…BUCK…DRESDEEEEEEEESSSDENNNNN!!!!!
Buck aims his imaginary shotgun at Joe and then pounds his fist to his heart, nodding his head to Joe as a referee steps into the ring.
VA: I can’t believe we’re letting this guy get MORE camera time. Now he gets a match, too?!
The referee calls for the bell and Buck immediately walks to the center of the ring and offers his hand to Joe in a sign of respect, and Joe takes it, shaking and bringing much elation to the audience as the two Warriors lock up in a collar and elbow tie up. Buck pushes Joe to the corner, but the referee separates the two, Buck holding his arms up to show a clean break. Joe steps out of the corner and goes for another collar and elbow tie up which Joe transitions into a side headlock, but Buck pushes Joe away, bouncing him into the ropes. Joe comes at Buck and Buck immediately wraps him up in an abdominal stretch, which he transitions into a pumphandle!
MM: Buck going for the kill early!
VA: He can’t hit the Cattle Driver yet! Joe’s too smart, right? Please tell me Joe’s too smart for Buck.
Buck lifts Joe onto his shoulder, but Joe slides down Buck’s back and keeps a hold on Buck’s arm, spinning Buck around and lifting Buck onto his shoulders!
VA: HAHAHAHA! You HAVE to be kidding me!
Before Joe can get Buck secured, however, Buck slides down off of Joe’s back, keeping a hold of Joe’s arm and SLAMS into Joe with a HARD BUCK SHOT! Joe is OUT as Buck nods his head, looking down at his opponent. The fans pop HARD as Buck’s stiff as hell clothesline flattened the Most Refreshing Man in the World. Buck cocks his imaginary shotgun and aims it down at Joe!
MM: Things aren’t looking so good for our resident King of Citrus Style!
VA: Don’t let that become a thing, please don’t let that become a thing…
Buck locks up the wrist and lifts Joe back to his feet, whips him around, and NAILS the Buck Shot on him once again! Buck drops down, rolling Joe onto his back, and looks out at the sea of fans as they count along with the referee…
Buck rolls off of Joe Lemon as “Man of Constant Sorrow” by Charm City Devils kicks in yet again. Buck lets the referee hold his arm in the air as he grins to the fans, winking at some of the Lemonheads possibly turned Buckheads in attendance tonight. He points to a few of them and chuckles along with them.
MM: What a quick and impressive debut from Buck Dresden here tonight, Vincent.
VA: I can’t believe it. Gets to show up in a big ass Bronco. Gets a shot in his first match in. I just don’t get it.
MM: And he goes into the match later tonight undefeated in EWA competition, don’t forget that!
VA: SHUT UP, MALONE. That isn’t even REMOTELY fair.
Buck helps Joe to his feet and gives the groggy Warrior a hug and thanks him for the chance. Joe nods and laughs, not even sure if he’s even in the world after those ridiculously hard Buck Shots from Buck. Buck rolls from the ring and gets in the camera, talking.
Buck Dresden: That’s one, EWA. Ready fer two?
Buck saunters past the cameraman and up the ramp, slapping hands as he exits the arena to prepare for the next go round later on tonight.
MM: Folks, let’s head backstage!
YOUR WINNER BY PINFALL: BUCK DRESDEN (2:09)
(We cut to the back and find Ms. Stacy Vandervort hard at work. She seems frustrated with some paperwork she’s going through, but luckily, a distraction has come her way.
The EWA Combat Championship is clattered onto her desk, nearly knocking over the contents of her coffee mug.)
Stacy Vandervort: Haven’t you heard of knocking?
(The camera slides over, and we find a none too happy Masochist staring daggers at his boss. The sneer on his face tells us that the events of earlier tonight with NOTHING are still fresh in his mind.)
William West: I’ll knock later if it makes you happy.
Stacy Vandervort: You’re joking, right? What is it you want, West? I’m pretty damn busy here.
William West: Me? I want nothing.
(Stacy stares blankly at the Masochist.)
Stacy Vandervort: You barge in here, throw your title on my desk and nearly spill my tea, and you want nothing?
William West: Believe me, Mrs. Kage, I mean that in the most…..literal fashion.
(It clicks. A look of annoyance creeps upon her face.)
Stacy Vandervort: You’ll have to wait your turn. He’s already got his title shot lined up for-
(West slams his fist on Vandervort’s desk, causing her to flinch slightly, due to the sudden movement and sound.)
William West: I want NOTHING. I want him NOW!
Stacy Vandervort: And I TOLD YOU, he’s already lined up for a shot at the winner of tonight’s Warrior’s Trial. You want him that bad, go win yourself a bigger prize.
(West grabs the Combat Championship. He holds it up, allowing the nameplate bearing Sahara’s name to dangle near Stacy’s face.)
William West: I plan to. But I want a guarantee. Right now, no disrespect to Maggie and the Network Title, but I am the highest profile champion you have got. You give NOTHING a shot at this.
(West shakes the title for emphasis.)
William West: And he’ll bite, especially if he has the chance to win the World Heavyweight Title…and my Combat Title. Give me what I want. Think about it: for the first time ever, William West versus NOTHING for the Combat Championship, at Live From Sydney. You want to look good at your job? That’s how you do it. Give the people something they’ve never seen before.
Stacy Vandervort: I don’t need you to tell me how to do my job! But you do have a point. I mean, this is what? Almost twenty years in the making? For the first time, The Purveyor versus The Masochist.
(Stacy thinks about it, as West stands there, impatient.)
Stacy Vandervort: You’ve got your match. AND your first title defense. And for what it’s worth, despite the fact that you barged in here throwing things, and had the nerve to demand anything of me?
(Stacy lets out a deep breath.)
Stacy Vandervort: I hope you can do that mantle justice, and not squander this opportunity. Now get out.
(West’s grin spreads across his face.)
William West: Thank you.
(The Masochist takes his title and exits Vandervort’s office.)
MM: The brutal war between The Masochist and the Pillars of HATE comes to a head, when we are Live From Sydney!
VA: And Stacy Vandervort can’t help but stick it to NOTHING! TWO title matches?
MM: How’s that sticking it to him? Some people would do anything for ONE title shot!
VA: She holds a grudge against HATE for what they did to her husband in the Youth!
MM: You do remember that West was a part of HATE at that point, right?
VA: No comment.
Elizabeth Gaunt & The Cherub vs Grace Goeren & Alice
NR: The following contest is scheduled for one fall and is a tag-team match!
MM: Two very unlikely teams coming together here to rekindle old feuds.
VA: This is the fallout of the Fallout, Malone, excluding the whore.
MM: I–right. The self-proclaimed God Queen and her henchwoman known as Alice versus The White Angel, Elizabeth Gaunt and her henchman, knowing as the Cherub.
NR: Introducing first, hailing from Las Vegas Nevada and uh, parts unknown respectively, the team of Elizabeth Gaunt and the Cherub!!!
Gaunt emerges from the back wearing a tight black latex bodysuit with her shock of white-blonde hair pushed to one side, one side shaved and the other long. Red rose petals fall down from the entrance as the static fills the Jumbotron, replacing what was once the Fallout explosion. A deranged grin is fixed on her face as behind her emerges the behemoth known as the Cherub.
VA: That’s a big … thing. Or man. Or whatever you want to call it.
MM: You aren’t kidding, Ashe. I’m not sure where Elizabeth found this monster, but she should have left him there.
Making their way to the ring, the Cherub followingly ever so slightly behind Gaunt, the two slowly step up the ringside steps and enter the ring.
NR: And their opponents–
Nikki pauses a second, looking down at the card.
NR: Introducing the only woman that matters in the history of the EWA, along with her partner Alice and the others, the soon to be two time World Heavyweight champion, and slayer of the traitorous whore of whores known as Sahara, the one and only God Queen of the EWA … Grrrrace Goerennnn!
MM: I’d like to point out she never “slayed” Sahara, but in fact lost to her–
VA: It may be hyperbolic, Malone, but c’mon, you can’t slay the unslayable.
MM: Well I’m glad to hear you admit–
VA: Right. She’s totally immune to penicillin, amoxicillin, ampicillin, flucloxacillin, ticarcillin, and all the other cillin’s we don’t even know exist.
MM: Good one.
VA: Just stating the facts. Don’t believe me, just ask anyone backstage, they’ll tell ya.
“Chaos Royale” by the Sister Sin hits the arena’s loudspeakers as Grace Goeren makes her way out from behind the curtain flanked by Alice. Grace is wearing a white t-shirt featuring a purple cross erminee design, a pair of purple MMA combat gloves, a purple compression top and a pair of white vale tudo shorts. Her hair is pulled back in a tight ponytail and the initials “GG” are printed on the sides of her purple Diablo boxing shoes. Alice looks like … Alice. Her long stringy hair sticks to her face as she skulks behind Grace, ready to pounce into action at a moment’s notice.
As Grace starts walking toward the ring, her eyes lock on the White Angel, Elizabeth Gaunt. As the approach ringside, Grace climbs the ringside steps and steps through the ropes, followed by Alice. After taking a few moments to break eye contact and 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 as Alice calmly watches over her, resting back against the turnbuckles.
MM: This looks like war ready to pick up where it left off after Champion’s Summit III where Sahara overcame all–
VA: Yeah, yeah, the whore got lucky and besides, like Grace already said, she’s targeting the REAL world title right now. And this is about Grace and Alice, not you know who.
MM: And it’s just as much about a returning Elizabeth Gaunt and the Cherub, whatever this … thing even is.
As the Cherub steps through the ropes to the ring apron, Gaunt steps up to the center of the ring with referee Danny Smith, awaiting Grace. Looking Gaunt up and down, Grace steps back and motions Gaunt away from her like some sort of pesky gnat. Stepping back to the turnbuckles, Grace motions Alice to start the match as she leans back, staring at her former angel, Elizabeth Gaunt as the referee goes over the rules of the match.
MM: Oh come on!
VA: God Queens don’t sully their hands on the wretched likes of Elizabeth Gaunt, Malone.
MM: If you say so … listen to this crowd, they’re none too happy with this decision, either!
VA: Right. Because God Queens care what the peasants of their Queendom think…
Danny Smith motions for the bell as Gaunt mouths something toward Alice as Grace flattens Elizabeth Gaunt from behind Alice from out of nowhere!!!
MM: She wasn’t even starting the match!
VA: She never stepped out of the ring, Malone, who knew who was starting the match?!
Taking Gaunt by surprise, Alice steps out of the ring as Grace nails the Cherub with a running dropkick, knocking the monster off the ring apron, crashing into the ringside barricade. Turning her attention back to Gaunt, Grace stomps down on her former angel with fury, before lifting her up and sending her into the ropes–
MM: MY GOD! SHE ALMOST TOOK HER HEAD OFF!
Dropping to the canvas holding her face, Elizabeth Gaunt rolls on the mat in agony after Grace nailed her with a flying knee to the face.
VA: She’s gonna feel that one in the morning.
MM: I’m surprised she’s not busted open from that, but she’s gonna have severe bruising if not something worse. Look at that collision, Ashe…a knee right to the face, that could have broken her face, quite literally.
As a shocked and surprised Gaunt tries to get to her feet, she stumbles, crashing back down to the mat. Grace steps through the ropes and stands on the ring apron, sizing up the Cherub. Running full speed across the ring apron, Grace launches herself with a sit down dropkick to the monster Cherub sending him crashing back into the barricade again!
MM: Where is Grace getting this from?!
VA: After Sahara woke her up at Champions Summit, the kid gloves are off, Malone. The God Queen is BACK and she doesn’t even need Alice!!!
MM: Glad to see you finally admit Sahara did something.
VA: Every once in awhile a blind blonde squirrel finds a nut. Or in Sahara’s case, she finds them all the time.
Rolling back into the ring just as Gaunt gets her her feet, wobbling back on legs of jello, she falls right into Grace!
FALL FROM GRACE!
MM: Wow! No way! This is like a damn handicap match, and it’s been all Grace!
Straddling Gaunt, Grace leans back and hooks a leg, holding up a hand to count along with the Danny Smith.
Holding three fingers up with a smarmy smirk on her face, Grace stands up, Gaunt between her feet, glaring down at the former Fallout member. Reaching down, Grace grabs Gaunt by her short platinum hair and yanks her toward the ropes, draping her neck across the middle rope. Leaning a knee across the back of Gaunt’s neck, Grace motions for the camera to come closer.
Grace Goeren: To you and the rest in Sydney … consider this place on notice. And as for you, you’ve been a naughty little girl, Sahara, and what you saw here tonight was just a taste of what’s to come. I’ll see you AND my World Title down under, bitch…and I don’t mean in your cum dumpster of a vag, either. I’m back, motherfuckers!
Jumping up, Grace smashes a knee across the back of Gaunt’s head, whiplashing her neck across the rope before she turns to a chorus of boos, which merely brings a smile to her face. Lifting her hands up on either side of her, she motions to the crowd to give her more.
MM: A not so thinly veiled threat toward her former Fallout sister.
VA: Message sent. Message received. I’ve had my moment of doubt, Malone … I thought Grace hath forsaken me, but I can see the light again. Grace Goeren the God Queen has RETURNED!
MM: Maybe so, Ashe, but she still has to get through NOTHING, Sahara and whomever the new champion is at Live from Sydney, and that’s no small task no matter how you cut it. That said, there is no doubt Grace made a here statement tonight…she took Elizabeth Gaunt by surprise in a way in which I’ve never seen and left her laying tonight…
VA: She made short work of both Gaunt and that Cherub and proved to the world she’s back on top of her game. She didn’t even need Alice for this one…
MM: Meanwhile, we’d like to take you now to some more pre-recorded comments from participants in the Warrior’s Trial IV!
YOUR WINNERS BY PINFALL: GRACE GOEREN & ALICE (3:57)
(The black cowboy hat slowly lifts up to face the camera and we see the gorgeous visage of none other than the Bluegrass Bad Ass himself…Buck Dresden.)
Buck Dresden: Ladies and gentlemen, I came here in my truck, walked my happy ass to the locker room, and ya know what happened? EWA producers, road agents, chaplains, security guards, catering, EMTs, they all saw it. Fuck, they felt it.
(Buck nods, chuckling.)
Buck Dresden: Do y’all out there?
(He reaches his hand out.)
Buck Dresden: I’m tired o’ seein’ it an’ I’m sure y’all are, too. This is THE EWA. What good is it without some o’ that hope? That optimism? Let’s stop actin’ like we’re gonna find it in Warriors of old. Let’s stop actin’ like them folks in the back wanna really bring smiles to each an’ every one o’ y’all out there. Nah, they wanna fill they coffers, get fat an’ happy.
(Buck shakes his head.)
Buck Dresden: Ain’t me, baby. Ain’t me at all. See, I’m gonna go out to that ring, I’m gonna go head to head with the best this company’s got ta offer, an’ win or lose, y’all ain’t gonna ferget who the fuck I am. I’m here to have some fuckin’ fun, EWA. I’m here to win. I’m here to slap hands, sign autographs, hug moms an’ kiss babies an’ make dads question their choices in life. If that means Buck Dresden is the next man in line to become the EWA World Heavyweight Champion?
Buck Dresden: I reckon I can handle that. Question is, EWA…can you?
(Buck tips his hat to the camera and steps aside off camera, leaving the camera to look at the black backdrop in front of which Buck previously stood.)
(We fade into Mojave, standing in front of the black backdrop, the EWA Tag Team Championship belt dangling from one hand. He flashes a grin at the camera as he begins to speak.)
Mojave: We were in Hawaii from the last show until pretty much…yesterday. Daaaamn good vacation. Damn good chance to celebrate our Amazon’s birthday, which you should congratulate her on, btw. …I mean, I love ya, Nikki…but this kinda match it’s every man for himself and I’m gonna take it!
(The camera rests on a close up of the EWA Combat Championship. It slowly pans out to reveal, to no surprise, William West.
His face is set with determination. Eyes are steely, and his jaw almost looks normal.
There is no grin on his face.)
William West: I’ve given warnings, you’ve paid no heed. My victory is your loss, indeed. To all that fall by my veteran hand? It’s time to make your final stand. I speak to you now in prose and rhyme. In the Trial, no one has spent more time.
(West cracks a grin, and points at himself in an obvious fashion.)
William West: Be you royal, or be you Heir. You won’t find glory anywhere. The time for talk has long since past. Whether you be a Terror or Bad Ass. What surprises could be in store? I promise you nothing matters more. Than the Combat Champion standing tall, having outlasted each and all.
(The grin disappears once more. West raises the Combat Championship level with his face.)
William West: I’ve warned you once, now the time is near. Your failures have become more clear. Be you masked or bare your face, you don’t want to be in my path in this place. Be you a hero, or a friend so dear…
(West lowers the title again, and inches closer to the camera.)
William West: Your time is lost. The Masochist…… is HERE.
(Alexander Haven stands in front of a generic EWA banner, staring dead into the camera. Already in ring attire for the match later this evening, he takes a breath before speaking.)
Alexander Haven: A lot of men and women will come across your screen tonight, each claiming to be the inevitable victor of tonight’s Warrior’s Trial. Many will claim to be a Champion, but only one one will hold the title high at the end of the night.
I am not a man to be trusted. My reputation precedes me, so I realize my proclamation here this evening will fall on many deaf ears, belonging to those who think I will do anything and everything in my power to insure the playing field tips in my favor somehow.
Tonight, it will not. I acknowledge the sins of my past and grant you the right to doubt me – as any reasonable person would – when I say that tonight, a true champion will be crowned. A champion who truly deserves to carry that title and represent the EWA as its best.
And if that person is not me? If I am unable to rightfully secure the EWA Championship, on a fair battleground?
Consider it my last battle.
(The camera fades abruptly to ringside, and back to the commentary team. )
VA: Malone?! Does that mean…
MM: I…I don’t know! Did we just hear…this may be it? For Alexander Haven?
VA: What a…wow. This isn’t something I expected to hear.
MM: Me either, Vince. I guess we’ll find out later on…but for now, let’s go to the ring!
Cronos Diamante vs Sahara
NR: The following contest is a grudge match and is scheduled for one fall! Introducing first, from New York City, weighing in at 290 pounds, Cronos Diamante!!!
MM: A true heavyweight in every sense of the word, he easily outweighs his opponent by over a hundred pounds…
VA: Good, I hope he flattens her.
Heavy guitar riffs boom over the arena as ‘Monster’ by Skillet begins to play, bringing the crowd to it’s feet. Emerging from the entryway sporting his usual combat boots and leather pants, Cronos stands at the top of the rampway as purple pyrotechnics shoot into the air.
MM: Keep in mind folks, by order of Stacy Vandervort, Cronos is not allowed to use his submission finisher the Ne-Han during this match…
VA: Obvious favoritism. That’s like banning Sahara from spreading her legs–
MM: It’s–Sahara’s also banned from using her finisher, the STD, in the interest of fairness.
VA: (Laughs.) Oh, so she did ban her from spreading her legs, nevermind then.
MM: When she watches this replay, let it be known I did not laugh at or agree with anything my partner said.
VA: Let her touch me again, Malone, and watch what happens…
MM: Yeah, I’m sure you’ll hide behind an army of lawyers…
VA: Damn right.
Slowly making his way toward the ring, the crowd suddenly explodes as Sahara charges down the rampway and leaps onto Cronos’ back causing both of them to crash into the barricade! Scrambling from the ring, Nikki Rogers heads toward the timekeepers table as referee Danny Smith jumps to the outside to gain control of a match already spinning out of control!
MM: Sahara’s not waiting for the opening bell!
VA: It’s a grudge match, Malone, not to defend her here, but start the damn match!
Reaching back, Cronos grabs a handful of her blonde hair as she tries to avoid his grasp. Wrapping her legs around his midsection and squeezing her arm around his throat, she wrenches his head back as Cronos gasps for air, trying desperately to throw her off of him but she refuses to let go and hangs on!
VA: Shake her off, Cronos!
MM: She’s stuck to him like glue and he’s wavering…no man, and I don’t care how big you are, but no one can stand for long without oxygen!
Stumbling toward the center of the aisleway at the bottom portion of the rampway, Cronos falls to a knee as the Crimson Queen cinches in the sleeper even harder, dropping her feet down onto the floor for additional leverage.
VA: Ironic she’d bitch about using submissions and then do this…
MM: Ironic? It’s exactly like her. She does anything that’s to her advantage in the ring.
Grasping at her forearm, Cronos lets out a roar as he stands up on wobbly legs reaching back for her hair again! Moving her head back as to avoid his grasp, Cronos nearly falls to a knee again–
VA: WOW WHAT IMPACT!
In desperation, Cronos drops back on the rampway and flattens Sahara with all 290 pounds of his frame! Rolling to his side on all fours, Cronos gasps, clutching at his throat, filling his lungs with air. Sahara rolls onto her stomach holding her lower back, kicking her legs in pain.
MM: He absolutely crushed her on that unforgiving surface.
VA: Almost three hundred pounds crashing down on her on that steel rampway. Talk about a momentum swing. Brilliant awareness by Cronos there.
MM: No doubt he had to do something to get her off of him, and he did exactly that.
Finally back to his feet, a very enraged Cronos Diamante stalks toward the blonde that took him by surprise and grabs her by the back of her strappy top, easily yanking her to her upward. He turns and launches her toward the ring where she flies through the air and lands on the thin padding surrounding the outside of the ring with a thud.
MM: Good God that impact. He threw her like she was a weightless ragdoll!
VA: If he was smart, he’d keep utilizing that size and strength advantage to keep her grounded here. He can’t allow her an opening to start hitting those high impact moves, since they’re the only weapon she has against someone of his size.
Reaching down, Cronos picks Sahara up and lifts her over his head tossing her over the top rope into the ring where she lands with impact, rolling to a stop. Finally getting back into the ring, Danny Smith calls for the bell officially starting the match.
*Ding* *Ding* *Ding*
Pulling himself up onto the ring apron, Cronos steps through the ropes and grabs hold of Sahara, once again yanking her to her feet. Spinning to gain momentum, he launches her into the corner turnbuckles where she lands solidly as he follows it up, ramming a shoulder into her midsection, crushing her into the corner. Falling to her knees, she grabs him by his legs to hold herself up.
VA: Her favorite position, Malone.
MM: These–I’m ignoring that. These crushing moves are just too much–
Shaking his head, Cronos grabs her by the neck and lifts her with ease, choking her with both hands as the referee begins the standing five count!
Fi–at five, Cronos launches the blonde out of his grasp and she bounces against the mat, rolling herself toward the ropes. She instinctively grabs at the bottom rope, wrapping her arms and legs around it, gasping for breath.
VA: She’s gotten so much smarter in the ring, I’ll give her that.
MM: What, no funny innuendo laiden comments?!
VA: Look, Malone, it’s no secret I absolutely loathe this woman, but there is no denying what she’s willing to do in order to win. Which is anything. And I do mean … anything.
MM: I’m not sure if that’s a compliment or not…uh oh, Cronos doesn’t appear to be letting up!
Grabbing Sahara by a leg, he yanks her back, but she refuses to let go of the rope. Stomping down on her back, the moment she releases her grip he yanks her back from the ropes and forcibly stomps down on her again for good measure. With a bit of a smirk on his face, Cronos hoists the blonde onto his shoulders but she instantly scrambles, kicking her legs wildly to counterbalance and grabs hold of the top rope the moment it’s within reach, yanking herself off, landing on the ring apron before falling to the outside.
VA: Clever girl…he was setting up the Lucifer’s Honor there and she instantly recognized it.
MM: A year ago and this match is over.
VA: Her awareness has become otherworldly, Malone! Wait! She just rolled herself beneath the ring!
MM: The last time she did anything like this, it was against Maggie McIntyre, but for very different reasons. She was running scared back then–
As Cronos steps through the ropes and drops to the outside, he yanks the ring apron up, revealing — nothing…
MM: She’s gone!
Taking a closer look into the darkness beneath the ring, he throws the ring apron back down and stalks around to the other side of the ring and lifts it again, looking–
VA: She’s hiding! God I hate admitting it, but she’s become brilliant, using the ring to her strategic advantage. Very resourceful. She learned that from Grace, no doubt, praise be her name.
MM: Of course she did…because there’s no way her actual trainer would teach her to utilize the ring and everything about it’s design to her advantage or anything.
VA: So we agree!
As Cronos storms around to the third side of the ring to check for her, Sahara emerges from the opposite side of the ring to an ovation as she keeps herself low and hurries around the side of the ring out of plain sight, launching herself off the staircase and hitting Cronos with a falling dropkick that sends him right into the ringpost!
VA: Woah! He hit the post HARD! He’s busted open, Malone!
Dazed, Cronos grabs hold of the ringpost to keep his balance, bringing his hand to his head, staring in disbelief at the blood on his hands. Jumping up onto the ring apron, she charges and holds the top rope as she lands a vicious kick to his chin, sending an echo across the arena!
MM: What impact!
VA: Vicious bitch coulda’ kicked his teeth out there! They felt that one in the cheap seats!
Stumbling back, Cronos falls against the ringside barricade as Sahara gets back into the ring and points to the outside.
MM: She’s going for the countout victory!
VA: Smarter than she looks. A victory is a victory.
Danny Smith points to the outside, lifting both hands in the air.
Cronos, wipes his forehead with the palm of his hand, shaking his head out. He once again looks at his hand, his blood smeared on it.
VA: This ain’t over!
Walking toward the ring apron, Cronos slams both hands down on the mat before rolling in beneath the bottom rope. The moment he does, Sahara rushes against the opposing ropes and lands a dropkick to his knee the moment he’s getting to his feet, knocking him back down.
MM: And she’s not letting up!
VA: She’s slowly chipping away here, Cronos can’t let this keep up!
Charging off the ropes again, Sahara leaps only Cronos launches a fist out, catching her in the jaw, knocking her clean to the mat! Shaking her head out, she starts getting up only Cronos falls on top of her back!
VA: He’s going for it! FULL NELSON! HE’S–HE’S GOT IT!
MM: Yeah but he can’t!!!
Instinctively locking the full nelson in on Sahara, Cronos sits down and leans back as the referee grabs his arm, waving off the move. Remembering the Ne-Han was banned, he releases her and shakes his head, clearing the cobwebs as Danny Smith gets in his face, reminding him of the stipulations.
MM: Instinct kicked in, Ashe.
VA: Yeah, he clearly got caught up in the moment and forgot he couldn’t–WOAH WOAH WOAH–OHHHHHHH!
Nodding to the referee as he once again wipes his brow, Cronos turns right into the crushing fist of Sahara crashes down off the ropes, hitting the Flight of the Valkyrie amidst the confusion!!!
MM: SHE’S GOT HIM!
Staggering, Cronos falls to a knee and attempts to stand again, once again dropping to one knee.
VA: WHAT A SHOT HE JUST TOOK AND HE’S STILL NOT DOWN!
Sensing her moment, she quickly gets back to the outside on the ring apron and sizes up her target. Waiting for the perfect moment, she springs up to the top rope and launches high into the air, nearly turning sideways as she pistons her arm out!
MM: FLIGHT OF THE VALKYRIE! BOOM! NAILED IT FOR THE SECOND TIME!
VA: CRONOS IS OUT, MALONE!
MM: A one second lapse and she took advantage, landing two Valks in a row…just WOW!
Dropping down onto Cronos, she takes no chances and hooks the leg, rolling him back onto his shoulders, she bridges up onto her feet for added leverage as the crowd counts in unison with the referee!
As the referees hand hits three, the arena explodes!
MM: She got him!
VA: Wow. Just. Wow.
Rolling to the outside, Sahara slowly walks backwards up the rampway with an arrogant little smile on her face as the fans continue to cheer the outcome. She points out in both directions at the fans as they reach across the barricade to touch hands with her.
Sitting up as Danny Smith talks to him, Cronos shakes his head in disbelief.
NR: The winner of this match by pinfall, SAHARAAAAA!
VA: Look at that cocky little look on her face, Malone … and you wonder why I hate her so much? It’s like she knew she’d win the entire time when a one second lapse in judgement gave her the opening she needed–
MM: Yeah, but isn’t that wrestling in a nutshell? Being able to recognize and take advantage of those split second lapses of an opponent?
VA: Whatever, Malone. Another victory for gonorrhea, I guess.
MM: And now Sahara goes on to Sydney for her first ever shot at the EWA World Title.
An audible sigh can be heard from Vincent Ashe.
VA: Please, precious God Queen and all that is holy in the EWA … PLEASE — I BEG OF YOU — do not allow Sahara to capture that title. The world will never hear the end of it. Ever. I don’t care what you have to do. Be it NOTHING, whoever the champion is at the time, or if Grace herself must be our savior–
MM: Tell us how you really feel, Ashe!
VA: Hang on, Malone, I have to do this. Hail Grace, full of … uhh, Grace, the lord is with thee. Blessed are thou among men and women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, something or other…please Grace, hear my prayer. Do not allow that whore to capture the World Title. The end. Amen, or whatever it is you say, father, son, spirit thing. Thank you Grace, and praise be to Grace.
MM: That prayer was … surreal not to mention sacrilegious, and I’m pretty sure that’s not even how it goes.
VA: Close enough. Can’t take any chances, Malone. I don’t know what Stacy Vandevort was thinking putting her in that match…I really don’t, but I have faith Grace will save us all.
YOUR WINNER BY PINFALL: SAHARA (10:49)
(We cut backstage to a private locker room as we get an extremely tight and uncomfortable close up shot of Alice, her long matted black hair sticking to her sweat-soaked face. She says nothing, just stares off into the distance before a hand comes from off-camera and SLAPS her hard across the face. Alice does not react. This time, a backhand comes and slaps the other side of her face as hard and as viciously as possible. From off-camera, a very familiar voice can be heard.)
Grace Goeren: You don’t like that, do you?
(Stepping into the shot is Grace Goeren, still wearing her ring gear from her earlier match against Gaunt and The Cherub. The camera pulls back as Grace walks around her burly monster, acting like she’s mentally taking notes at Alice’s lack of reaction to those humiliating slaps.)
Grace Goeren: That’s the way you always were treated, right? Like some crazy-ass dumbfuck bitch? You’re not a fucking person, you know that right? You’re an animal. You’re just some growling, whacked-out retard who should be locked in a fucking cage!
(Grace reaches back and slaps Alice again across the face, this time with so much force that Alice’s head jolts violently to the side.)
Grace Goeren: You think just because we fucked up Gaunt and her Ookie Cookie Monster earlier tonight that I’m happy with you? Cause I ain’t. Oooooo no. I ain’t happy with you until I’ve got the World Title belt back around my waist! And let’s see…hmmm…nope, not there yet…sooooooo…
(Another hard slap.)
Grace Goeren: What the fuck is wrong with you? Get tough! Get angry!
(Slap. Slap. Slap.)
Grace Goeren: Why won’t you fight back you dumb shit?!
(Grace’s hand moves to slap Alice again, only to have Alice’s huge hand wrap entirely around Grace’s wrist. Alice leans forward so she’s directly in Grace’s face.)
Alice: Not against you, Mistress Grace.
(A horribly twisted smile spreads across Grace’s face as she pulls her hand back and excitedly nods her head in approval.)
Grace Goeren: Oh yeah, you’re fucking ready. You’re fucking thirsty. Go out there and just tear apart these trash slags, baby. You get your ass in that Fatal Fourway in Sydney and then there ain’t NO WAY I don’t win back my World Title. Do whatever it takes…no limits tonight. Just get in that goddamned match for me.
Alice: As you say, Mistress Grace. But may I have a reward? If I’m good?
Grace Goeren: What did you have in mind?
(Alice stares off into the distance again, her voice now full of hope and desire.)
Alice: If I’m good, all I want to do is play with their insides. Can I play with their squishies? Please? Their chewy bits? All slippery and yummy and red…
(The God Queen lets out a nervous laugh and gives a hesitant nod of her head.)
Grace Goeren: Ya, sure bae. Sure. Do whatever you want to them. Just remember…
(Grace points towards Alice’s eyes and then back at her own.)
Grace Goeren: I’m always watching.
(Fade to ringside.)
Main EventTHE WARRIOR'S TRIAL IV
FOR THE EWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
MM: Well, ladies and gentlemen, it’s now time for our main event of the evening, and what a blockbuster this is going to be. Chris Kage shocked the world at Battlelines 33 when he revealed he’d suffered a career-ending injury during his EWA World Heavyweight Championship victory over Alexander Haven at Champions Summit III, forcing him to vacate the title.
VA: That’s right, Malone, and that boneheaded Executive Assistant, Stacy Vandervort, had the opportunity to hand the belt back to Alexander Haven and make things right. But instead, she’s set up this match instead.
MM: Indeed. Twenty four warriors are about to collide in an epic showdown, with only one walking away as the EWA World Heavyweight Champion. For the official ring introduction, let’s take it up to the ring, and the lovely Nikki Rogers.
DING DING DING!
NR: Ladies and gentlemen, this is the Warrior’s Trial IV…for the EWA…World…Heavyweight…Championship!
The crowd inside the Combat Zone explodes at the announcement, anxious to get the match underway.
NR: The rules of this match are as follows. Every two minutes, a new combatant will enter the ring. The only way to be eliminated is to be thrown over the top rope to the outside, with both feet touching the floor. When the Warrior’s Trial is down to the final two participants, the Trial turns into a traditional match, with a winner being determined by pinfall or submission.
VA: We call that the Grace Goeren Rule, Malone.
MM: That doesn’t even make–nevermind.
NR: Now, here is the entrant…who drew #1!
The lights go out in the arena as the buzz from around the arena starts to build. As the screen above the entrance ramp begins to flicker, we start to hear the opening guitar riff’s to Avenged Sevenfold’s “Hail to the King” begin to play as the screen shows the image of the Skull King rotating around, crown tipped slightly to the side. The strobe lights continue to flash on the stage, enhancing the feel of the rock concert-like atmosphere until a solo spotlight hits the center of the stage and we see entrant number one walk out onto the stage…
MM: Oh my lord!
HAIL TO THE KING
HAIL TO THE ONE
KNEEL TO THE CROWN
STAND IN THE SUN
HAIL TO THE KING!
NR: Introducing entrant number one! He refers to himself as the “Youth King” of professional wrestling, here is… “PERFECTION”… MARTIN… ROBERTSON!
VA: This is a travesty!
Standing under the spotlight is Robertson, wearing his royal purple robe with the word ‘Perfection’ bedazzled on the back in silver sequins. He spins around under the spotlight once before slowly starting his walk down towards the ring.
MM: What, this entrance music?
VA: What? No, not the entrance music. This is the greatest entrance in the history of professional wrestling! I mean, just look at the pomp and pageantry! Plus, “Hail to the king?” Uhhh, hello Malone, like the greatest rock song in modern rock history ever! It’s been voted best entrance in the EWA in online social media balloting for something like 87 straight weeks…
MM: He’s only been using it since January…
VA: Whatever. GREATEST. ENTRANCE. EVER. No, what I’m talking about is that Martin Robertson is the first entrant! You mean to tell me that this “drawing” of numbers is all on the up and up and that, somehow, Robertson just so happened to draw number one, with no foul play whatsoever from Stacy Vandervort? No, I call bullshit. I want to see the KPMG audit of the drawing.
MM: I have no doubt that Stacy was very impartial in the drawing.
Robertson, after berating a couple of fans at ringside, finally climbs up into the ring and up to the second turnbuckle, opening up his robe, exposing the black “Youth King” t-shirt he’s wearing with the same Skull King logo on the front. He removes the robe first, then the t-shirt before climbing down off the turnbuckle.
VA: Yeah, well, if it’s anyone other than Joe Lemon at number two, I’m calling shenanigans!
MM: Well, let’s head up to Nikki and see just who entrant number two is!
NR: Introducing entrant number two…
The lights go back off in the arena and… the same spotlights begin to flash around the arena once again. And, just like a minute earlier, we begin to hear the opening guitar riff of Avenged Sevenfold’s “Hail to the King”. But this time…
MM: Are you kidding me???
VA: YES! HAHA!
Watch your fruit to have it cut from the tree
Save your cup make it easy on me
Children roam the streets looking for more
Lemons hanging in the streets to adore
Lemon heads will carve the path in cane fields
Bringing sugar for the drink
Kids are riding in the town all thirsty
Joe’s got a drink to make it right
HAIL TO THE FRUIT
HAIL THE LE-MON!
KNEEL TO THE DRINK
STAND IN THE SUN
HAIL TO THE FRUIT
NR: Entrance number two… He is the leader of the Lemonheads… JOE… LEMON!
The image of the “Skull King” on the screen is replaced with a similar image, but instead of a skull wearing a tilted crown… it’s a lemon. Out on the stage is probably the happiest person in the building, Joe Lemon, wearing his ‘Nomelhead’ t-shirt with a huge, grinning lemon on it, and his red, white and blue trucker cap with a huge fuzzy lemon on the brim. Joe’s carrying a lemon-shaped basket, tossing the same fuzzy lemons as last time out to the kids in the crowd…
MM: Wha… How did you..?
VA: I didn’t. But I forgot how much I hate this circus act. This is one time I wish I was wrong.
MM: Well, Vince, you were right, and Joe Lemon is entrant number two! What an opportunity for Joe!
VA: An opportunity? Do you really think he can outlast 23 other competitors and become EWA World Heavyweight Champion?
MM: Did anyone ever think you would hold onto your job this long? OH! BURN!
A long pause from Vince…
VA: (muted) Grow the fuck up, Malone.
MM: Well, while pissy pants over there is pouting, we’re getting a rematch from a few weeks ago! Remember, folks, in the irony of this whole thing, both Robertson AND Joe have a win over the other. So, in sorts, this is kind of the tie breaker between the two.
VA: Are you seriously comparing the careers, thus far, between Joe Lemon and Martin Robertson… and putting them on the same plane?
MM: It’s a fact, Vince, that each competitor has one win and one loss against each other.
VA: Your stupidity continues to defy me, Malone.
As Lemon enters the ring, still tossing out the fuzzy lemons to the fans, Robertson continues to stand in disbelief that Lemon is in the ring. Martin starts to go over towards Joe, but the referee in the ring stops him. Joe turns for a brief second before tossing Robertson a fuzzy lemon. Robertson catches the lemon, and goes to throw it back at Joe, but the ref actually holds back Martin’s arm.
VA: Is this idiot ref actually arguing with Robertson about a lemon?
MM: Joe deserves the same amount of time in the ring as everyone else!
VA: Joe deserves to get squeezed and poured down the drain! See what I did there?
MM: Yes, that was a very sour joke by you, Vince.
Joe puts the basket down in the corner, and just as the ref leaves the ring to start the ring…
DING! DING! DING!
MM: … and this match is underwa…. OH GOOD LORD!
VA: It might be over just as quick as it started, Vince!
At the sound of the bell, Martin charges towards Joe and, just as Joe turns around to look at Martin, Robertson is there to clothesline him back into the corner!
VA: That clothesline had momentum, speed and violence behind it!
Martin pulls Joe out of the corner, who staggers around for a second, before Martin wraps his arms around Joe and throws him backwards with a release German Suplex! Martin bounces up immediately, wiping his hands as he turns and looks back at Joe, struggling to get back to his feet…
MM: The amount of disrespect being shown by Martin right now…
Just as Joe gets back to his feet…
MM: … PURE PERFECTION!
VA: Joe’s frozen stiff from that kick! But not for long… BYE BYE JOE!
Martin grabs Joe by the back of the neck as he’s standing stiff legged after the superkick, and easily Robertson tosses Joe over the top rope.
JOE LEMON ELIMINATED BY MARTIN ROBERTSON (0:34)
VA: So now will you say Marty is the better wrestler than Joe Lemon?
MM: He certainly did dispatch of him quickly. Now what is he doing?
In a matter of seconds, Martin has called for, and received, a microphone from the ringside area.
Martin Robertson: ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?
MM: What the hell is this?
VA: The Youth King is entertaining us between eliminations. Shut up, Malone!
Martin Robertson: Boo me all you want to, but this is your fault! It’s your fault that you all encouraged that third-rate, out-of-work, can’t-even-get-hired-at-a-Buffalo-stripclub Stacy Vandervort…
Martin points out at a few fans ringside.
Martin Robertson: Yeah, I said third rate, she wouldn’t even touch you if you paid her a dollar, so sit down, fat boy!
Martin backs up to the middle of the ring again.
Martin Robertson: You mean to tell me that this isn’t rigged? That, not only was I not included in the main event already for Sydney, but I’m also the first person to enter this Warrior’s Trial? It’s an abuse of power, and I…
The crowd begins to increase the intensity of their jeers towards Robertson.
Martin Robertson: … I plan to file a workplace grievance with Alyssa over this! She’s hated me ever since I stepped foot in the EWA, and she’s made no bones about her jealousy…. Yeah, I said jealousy…. Her jealousy of how great of a legacy wrestler I am! I mean, look at this…
Martin turns and points towards Joe, who’s finally getting helped back up the entrance ramp by two EWA officials.
Martin Robertson: Are you serious? You mean to tell me that you’re putting 24 of the greatest competitors into this match, and you include Joe Lemon in this? It’s all a screw job to keep me from obtaining the level of greatness that I deserve! I am the Youth King, and I am taking my rightful place at the top of this company… Hell, at the top of the entire wrestling world!
A fan throws one of the fuzzy lemons that Joe had tossed out earlier into the ring towards Martin, but it misses.
Martin Robertson: Nice toss, fat ass! That’s why you had to win that front row ticket from a radio station pie eating contest, and I’m in the ring making millions of dollars! So who’s next? Serpent Man? ‘The Immortal’ KG? Doesn’t matter… bring them out, and I’ll toss them out just as fast as I did with that Nomelhead. Let’s go, Stacy… what other suuuuperstars do you have coming out ne…
The lights in the arena go out all at once, as Martin’s tirade on the microphone is cut off. A swirling sound of wind is heard in the air, and all at once, the jumbotron comes to life with an eerie message scrawled across it…
Y DRAID GOCH
MM: No way!
VA: I thought he was gone forever, Malone!
The opening chords of Metallica’s ‘Moth Into Flame’ cue up as the Combat Zone crowd explodes, and a line of fire runs up each side of the entrance ramp, culminating in an explosion of pyro as the figure steps out from behind the curtain…
NR: Introducing entrant #3! From Cardiff, Wales…RED…HOT…RAY…WILLMOTT!!!
MM: The last we’d heard, Willmott had suffered a potentially career-ending shoulder injury exacerbated at Champions Summit III, and was here in Boston to announce his retirement…and yet here he is!
VA: Well, he’s going to wish he’d stayed away once Marty’s done with him!
Willmott stands at the top of the entrance as the lights shine bright, before sprinting toward the ring, sliding underneath the bottom rope. Robertson rushes toward him with a clothesline as he springs to his feet, but Willmott races toward him, ducking the clothesline, and hitting Robertson on the rebound with a shotgun double dropkick that rocks Martin into the ropes. Willmott rushes at Martin to clothesline him over the top, but Martin lowers his head, backdropping Willmott high into the air over the top rope…but Ray, with his masterful agility, manages to land on the ring apron!
MM: Close call there for the former EWA World Heavyweight Champion! And his shoulder looks absolutely great!
VA: He isn’t out of the woods yet, Malone!
Martin immediately whirls around…turning right into a Pele kick from Willmott, sending the longest reigning Network Champion in EWA history staggering backwards. Ray quickly races to the corner, scrambling to the top rope, and leaps off the top rope, catching Robertson as he turns around with a missile dropkick!
MM: Listen to these people! Ray Willmott is on fire!
Willmott picks Martin up off the ground, and grabs him by the back of his tights and his collar, flinging him over the top rope…but Martin catches himself on the rope, rolling back in under the bottom. Willmott picks him up…and Robertson uppercuts him between the legs to a chorus of boos from the crowd.
VA: Yes! Great counter, Martin!
One fan in particular at ringside continues to shout expletives at Martin, who whips around, glaring at the young man.
Martin Robertson: Sit down and shut up, fat boy!
Robertson begins to stomp away in the corner on Willmott, and the crowd comes to life as the countdown begins to flash on the jumbotron!
The blues riff of Motorhead’s ‘You Better Run’ blasts through the Combat Zone as a white horned skull shines down onto the entrance ramp, and fades to a reddish color as the black-robed figure steps out onto the stage…
NR: Entrant #4, representing The Vice Squad…SANTA…MUERTE!!
MM: And Hueso’s here with her!
VA: I really like that guy, Malone. Have you ever seen any of his films?
MM: I have never watched a Jared Walsh film in my life, Vince.
VA: You should’ve seen the one he did with Sinnocence. There was this part with a banana–
MM: Annnnd that’s probably a lie, and even if it isn’t, we’re not going to discuss it.
VA: You’re no fun, Malone.
Santa Muerte hits the ring, and the woman known as Marisol Cortez outside of the squared circle immediately goes after Robertson, driving him back into the corner with a flurry of chops. Santa Muerte grabs Martin’s hand, attempting to whip him into the opposite turnbuckle, but Robertson reverses it, rushing after her. Santa Muerte leaps into the air as she approaches the corner, both hands on the top rope propelling her into the air as she vaults over Robertson, who slams sternum-first into the turnbuckle. Martin turns, catching a foot to the stomach, before being caught in a picturesque fisherman’s suplex!
MM: Santa Muerte has a chance to win her first EWA gold at Live From Sydney when The Vice Squad takes on MoCaJo for the EWA Tag Team Championship, but tonight, she could defy the odds and become the EWA World Heavyweight Champion.
VA: You sure you don’t want to hear about that banana, Malone?
MM: You wouldn’t be saying this if Sinnocence still competed.
VA: You’re a hundred percent correct there, Malone.
Santa Muerte grabs Martin Robertson, pulling him to his feet, but Martin lashes out with a headbutt, leaving a trace of the Vice Squad member’s red blood-paint on the Youth King’s forehead. Martin fires off a crisp punch, but Santa Muerte ducks it, and takes Martin back down with a swinging neckbreaker. Willmott approaches, and the two grab Martin, trying to get him over the top rope at the far end of the ring as the countdown begins for the next entrant!
Fall Out Boy’s ‘Phoenix’ echoes through the Combat Zone, and the crowd pops as the next entrant comes blazing out from behind the back.
NR: Entrant #5, from Chicago, Illinois, he is one of the EWA Tag Team Champions…Mojave!
VA: Tainted blood!
MM: And Mojave makes a beeline for Santa Muerte!
Indeed, the tag team champion breaks up the attempt to throw Martin over the top rope, firing away on Santa Muerte before whipping her into the ropes. Mojave leaps in the air, delivering a hurricanrana that sends the lucha specialist careening under the bottom rope and to the outside.
Hueso scrambles over to check on his liege as Mojave goes after Willmott, driving the veteran back into the corner with a series of rights. Mojave mounts the former champion in the corner, firing off punches down onto Willmott…but Willmott grabs the tag team champion, walking out to the center of the ring with Mojave in a powerbomb position.
VA: You know what they say, Malone. What goes up….
Willmott drops Mojave with a thunderous sit-out powerbomb!
VA: ….must come down!
Willmott flings Mojave off, climbing to his feet and turning around…
MM: SUPERKICK FROM MARTIN ROBERTSON! HE CAUGHT EVERY BIT OF IT!
VA: Look out, Marty!
Santa Muerte has slipped in the ring, and she catches him by surprise, grabbing Robertson and flinging him over the top rope – but Martin hangs on, his feet frantically avoiding the mat, and he’s able to slide back under the ropes. Willmott, meanwhile, continues to try and dump the tag team champion over the top rope, but Mojave clutches to the top rope for life, holding on valiantly as the countdown begins anew!
Ear piercing static fills the arena, causing denizens in the Combat Zone to cover their years as white snowy static fills the jumbotron. The next entrant walks out toward the ring, slowly, yet confidently.
NR: Entrant #6! From Aurora, Colorado…ALEX…BROOKS!!
MM: The former Rule of Surrender Champion from the SHOOT Project facing the biggest opportunity in his young EWA career to date.
VA: I like this guy, Malone. Doesn’t take any bullshit from anyone. We need more guys like him around.
MM: Does anyone here really take any BS? Besides myself taking yours, of course.
VA: Malone, there’s lots of–HEY!
Brooks slips under the ropes, quickly going after Ray Willmott and pulling him off Mojave. Brooks locks Willmott in a front face-lock, before sprinting toward the corner turnbuckle and springboarding off, planting Willmott face-first into the canvas!
MM: White Noise!
VA: Ray, time to go back to whatever cesspool you came from!
Santa Muerte continues to try to push Martin Robertson to the outside with her foot, only to be grabbed from behind by Alex Brooks, who delivers a sleeperhold neckbreaker, sending the Vice Squad member to the mat. Brooks walks over to Martin Robertson, and extends a hand, pulling the Youth King to his feet!
MM: What the hell is Alex Brooks doing?
VA: He’s making an ally, Malone. That’s the smartest thing he’s done in his life, aligning himself with the Youth King!
Brooks is speaking to Martin, our cameras unable to pick up the dialogue. Martin wipes the sweat from his brow, listening and nodding, and Brooks then extends his hand out to the former Network Champion. Martin stares at Brooks, then looks down at his hand…and after a moment, accepts the handshake, to a raucous ovation of boos from the Combat Zone audience.
MM: And now Alex Brooks and Martin Robertson, the unlikely duo, are eyeballing the other three members in this match, who could be in a lot of trouble.
Brooks and Martin turn toward Ray Willmott…only to have Robertson yank Brooks backward, kicking him in the stomach…
MM: PERFECT ENDING! WHAT A LOWLIFE!
VA: I know! He’s great, Malone! Hahahaha!
Martin laughs at the fallen Alex Brooks, only to be leveled by a dropkick from Mojave! Mojave begins to work on throwing Robertson over the top rope, and the countdown begins once more!
I CAN SMELL YOUR FEAR, THE ONLY REASON THAT I’M HERE
IS TO WREAK HAVOC
EVERYBODY PRAYIN’ THAT I’LL CHANGE, YEAH
MAYBE ONE DAY, BUT TOMORROW I’LL BE BACK AT IT
NR: Entrant #7! From Los Angeles, California, she is one of the EWA Tag Team Champions…NIKKI…CALDWELL!!
MM: And the Amazon sprints toward the ring!
VA: And it looks like Santa Muerte’s waiting on her!
Indeed, Santa Muerte is beckoning Nikki Caldwell into the ring. Caldwell happily obliges…and a fight has broken out as Nikki and Santa Muerte exchange rights and lefts! The two women begin brawling, and Mojave stops trying to throw Robertson over the top rope, attempting to help his tag team partner out. But Santa Muerte catches him with a swift kick to the ribs, staggering Mojave against the ropes, before delivering a strong forearm across the jaw of Nikki Caldwell. The Vice Squad member gets a head of steam, bouncing against the ropes and racing toward the two members of MoCaJo, ready to clothesline them over the top rope…but Caldwell and Mojave duck, simultaneously, backdropping Santa Muerte over the top rope and to the floor below!
VA: Did you see the air she got on that, Malone?
MM: What an amazing display of teamwork! Santa Muerte has been eliminated!
SANTA MUERTE ELIMINATED BY NIKKI CALDWELL / MOJAVE (10:44)
The Amazon leaps into Mojave’s arms for a quick celebration as Hueso slams his fists on the ring apron in frustration on the outside, moving to escort Santa Muerte to the back. Meanwhile, the team of MoCa set their sights on Martin Robertson – still recovering in the corner – and work toward trying to dump him over the top rope. Ray Willmott, meanwhile, has just begun to mount a comeback in the opposite corner against Alex Brooks, pushing him back with a flurry of punches.
MM: Willmott looks pretty good in the ring for not having wrestled in almost three months.
VA: Especially considering his fiance beat his ass the last time he was in the ring.
MM: There’s absolutely no shame in losing to Laura Seton, Vince.
VA: Speak for yourself. I would never let a woman kick my ass. If she tried anything, I’d be like…”hey! You get your bitch-ass back in the kitchen–”
MM: Are you seriously copying an Eric Cartman bit?
VA: I…I don’t know what you’re talking about, Malone.
MM: And not just any Eric Cartman bit, but a twenty year old one–
VA: Shut up!
Martin Robertson topples over the top rope, thanks to the efforts from Mojave and Caldwell, but again manages to hold on, and on the other side, Alex Brooks regains control of Ray Willmott with a stalling DDT, as the countdown begins once again!
Melanie Martinez’s “Pity Party” cues up as the next entrant races out from behind the back, casting aside her tear-streaked mask as she quickly slides into the ring…
NR: Entrant #8! From New Orleans, Louisiana…LAGRIMA!!
Lagrima RACES across the ring to meet Mojave, taking him quickly down with a leaping clothesline. Mojave pops right back up, only to be floored with a dropkick from the former tag team champion. Alex Brooks makes his way over, hooking Lagrima from behind for a side suplex, but Lagrima’s incredible gymnastic-like athleticism allows her to float over, landing on her feet and chop-blocking Brooks at the knee. Caldwell rushes at the Vice Squad member, but Lagrima sees her coming, dropping to the mat and pulling the top rope down…and Nikki Caldwell spills over the top rope and to the outside!
VA: What an impact Lagrima’s already having, Malone!
NIKKI CALDWELL ELIMINATED BY LAGRIMA (12:56)
Lagrima turns around…straight into Ray Willmott’s grasp!
MM: ECHOES IN ETERNITY!! WILLMOTT HIT IT!
Willmott scrambles to his feet to throw Lagrima over…but he’s met by Martin Robertson…
MM: PERFECT ENDING!
VA: He spun him around in mid-air! What a move!
Mojave, meanwhile, races over to Alex Brooks, trying to dump him over the top rope. Martin Robertson watches, chuckling to himself, and hops up on the turnbuckle, taking a seat as the countdown begins again!
HAIL TO THE FRUIT
HAIL THE LE-MON!
KNEEL TO THE DRINK
STAND IN THE SUN
HAIL TO THE FRUIT
VA: What the hell is this moron doing? He’s already been eliminated!
MM: I don’t understand…
Indeed, Joe Lemon steps back out on the stage, cheerful and as full of energy as ever. Martin Robertson hops off the turnbuckle, beckoning Lemon into the ring to come back for more, but Lemon stops at the edge of the ramp. He smiles, producing a microphone, and begins to speak.
Joe Lemon: Hey, easy there, Marty! I’d love to come down there with you and trade fisticuffs once again, but I’m out here for a different reason. Now, obviously I was eliminated from the Warrior’s Trial…
A chorus of boos rise up from the Combat Zone, as Lemon nods.
Joe Lemon: I know, I know! I really thought this was gonna be my time. But cheer up, Lemonheads! I’m here for a greater purpose! A bigger cause! I’m here to welcome back a great, personal friend of mine… and he’s a friend of yours too! Now, you might not recognize him at first. I mean, it’s been a minute since we’ve all seen him. But, hoo boy… here he is
The lights in the Combat Zone immediately dim, and the heavy synthesized beats of Le Perv’s ‘Carpenter Brut’ pulsate through the arena. After a few seconds, neon green laser beams scatter and strobe across the entrance ramp, and a singular black light spotlight shines down on a figure, standing at the ramp, arms outstretched. The figure is wearing a pair of pink and baby blue shutter shades, that have an intense glow under the spotlight.
MM: Is that…
And as if on cue from Malone’s comments, the jumbotron suddenly comes to life, and the Combat Zone explodes at the graphic on screen…
VA: OH NO!
MM: It’s PHILIP DONOVAN! PhD is here! We haven’t seen him in over 18 months! The former four-time Network Champion is back!
PhD steps forward out of the dimming spotlight, stopping to survey the crowd. He turns his palms upward making a subtle “come on” gesture before crossing his forearms at his chest and making a two-handed “OC” gesture, before heading down the aisle, slapping hands with fans and even stopping to take a selfie with another fan.
VA: This loser is pandering to these morons just like Lemon! By the time he gets to the ring it’s going to be time for the next entrant, Malone!
Donovan hits the ring steps, leaping over the top rope with a scissor kick – and at that moment, Martin Robertson rushes him! Donovan ducks the clothesline attempt, spinning around…
VA: Someone take him out!
Willmott rushes toward Donovan, but PhD ducks, and immediately sprints forward, delivering a crushing ripcord knee strike to Alex Brooks’s face! Brooks staggers backwards, toppling over the top rope and to the outside!
VA: Do something!
ALEX BROOKS ELIMINATED BY PHILIP DONOVAN (15:39)
A chant quickly fires up from the crowd…
Donovan turns around, only to be met with a clothesline from Willmott. Donovan springs back to his feet, and the two begin exchanging blows – Martin Robertson recovers in the corner, while once again, Lagrima attempts to eliminate Mojave…and the countdown begins once again!
I HEAR THE VOICES ECHOING AROUND ME
ANGERED EYES THAT DON’T EVEN KNOW WHO I AM
LOOKING TO KILL AGAIN
THEY WILL KILL AGAIN
NR: Entrant #10! From Las Vegas, Nevada, he is the EWA Combat Champion…WILLIAM…WEST!!
MM: And William West has the chance to leave tonight with double gold!
VA: Not a chance, Malone. He’s going to last about four seconds in this ring before he’s tossed out, and then at Live From Sydney, he’s going to kiss that Combat Championship goodbye when NOTHING takes it away from his cold, dead corpse.
MM: Indeed, NOTHING has two championship opportunities at Live From Sydney, and–
Most of the entrants in the ring were awaiting West’s presence from the entrance ramp, but instead, West has slipped into the ring from the crowd, and is right behind Martin Robertson! The crowd pops as West grabs Martin, flinging him over the top rope – but Martin, for the umpteenth time in this contest, manages to stave off elimination. Philip Donovan quickly runs over to try and push Martin out, and West turns around…
…and goes face to face with Ray Willmott.
VA: This is how we started the last Warrior’s Trial, Malone!
MM: These two have a long, sordid history, dating all the way back to Willmott’s first night in the company back in November 2015!
Willmott and West go nose to nose, staring daggers into each others’ guys. West speaks first, followed by Willmott. The two seem to be having a dialogue with one another, nodding and responding in kind.
VA: Are they going to make out or something?
Willmott and West continue their conversation, and Willmott punctuates his final comments with a nod….and the two both extend a hand at the same time!
VA: What the hell? LAME!
MM: I think they’ve just buried the hatchet!
Willmott turns…only to be met with a side thrust kick from PhD! West turns around, and sees Lagrima working on Mojave in the corner. The Masochist taps Lagrima on the shoulder, and as the Vice Squad member turns, he leaps into the air…
MM: LUNATIKK SWEET!!
VA: Judas! HATE DESERTER!
Mojave leaps into the air as West gets to his feet, going for a hurricanrana – but the Masochist is able to hold on, carrying Mojave on his shoulders and powerbombing the Tag Team Champion down to the mat. West lifts the young champion up, with a fistful of his hair, and sends him flying over the top rope and out to the floor!
MM: William West is on fire!
MOJAVE ELIMINATED BY WILLIAM WEST (17:26)
West turns around, and Philip Donovan immediately leaps up…
MM: Poison Rana! He calls that maneuver The Flashback!
VA: His entire career is a freaking flashback, Malone!
In the corner, Martin Robertson – holding strong 16 minutes into the match – is working over Ray Willmott once more, and has the former champion on the top rope, while Lagrima rests in the corner, waiting for the next entrant. Donovan delivers a vicious tiger suplex to West, and on that note, the countdown for the next entrant begins!
Gunboat’s ‘Vixtrola’ blasts through the arena, and the Combat Zone crowd EXPLODES as the next entrant shows up from behind the curtain.
NR: Entrant #11! From Oshkosh, Wisconsin…LAURA…SETON!!
MM: Former two time EWA World Heavyweight Champion, and maybe even more importantly, ladies and gentlemen, the winner of the Warrior’s Trial II! She knows exactly what it takes to win this match!
VA: And that starts with throwing her worthless fiance, Ray Willmott, right the hell out of the ring!
Laura strips off her trademark red leather jacket before sprinting down toward the ring, sliding in. Martin Robertson takes a step toward her, and Laura immediately hits a handspring Au Batido kick!
MM: Angel’s Fury!
The force of the kick sends Robertson sprawling backwards, and the Youth King spills through the middle ropes to the outside of the ring!
VA: He’s still in this match, Malone! He’s not eliminated!
MM: That’s right, he has to go over the top rope and to the outside, so Martin Robertson is legally still in this match.
Laura stands, looking at Willmott, who’s recovering in the corner. The duo smile at one another, before Ray pulls her in for a quick embrace…and then shoves her out of the way, taking the full brunt of a spinning heel kick from Lagrima!
VA: Ray just took a bullet for Laura Seton! Unbelievable! When is Ray Willmott going to get a clue?
MM: It’s called love, Vincent, not that you’d have a clue.
VA: I know all about love, Malone. Just ask Mimi the stripper from Mexico City. I miss her…
Laura tackles Lagrima, pummeling the Vice Squad member on the mat as, across the ring, the former Lunatikk Crippler shoots Philip Donovan into the ropes. Donovan leaps onto West’s back as he ducks, rolling off of it and landing on his feet. West turns around, and Donovan goes for a superkick, but West ducks that, and drops Donovan to the mat with a hard lariat!
MM: If you remember your EWA history, ladies and gentlemen, you’ll remember that these two have a storied past, with William West defeating Philip Donovan for the EWA Network Championship in December 2015, and Donovan winning it back from West at the inaugural Champions Summit event.
VA: These two should’ve stayed in the past where they belonged, Malone. A judas traitor of HATE, and a man who used to play with a doll.
MM: That was the Cheat, and it was a plushie, Vince.
VA: It was a — WHATEVER! IT’S ALL THE SAME!
Lagrima and Laura Seton continue to trade shots on the opposite side of the ring, as West tries to dump Philip Donovan over the top rope…and the crowd begins to buzz as the countdown sounds once again!
OHH, AFTER MIDNIGHT
The crowd buzzes as Dorothy’s “After Midnight” claps through the Combat Zone. A curtain of sparks rain down over the stage as the white lights strobe!
Ooh, set me on fire
Ooh, kerosene eyes
Ooh, lookin’ right through me
Selling my soul for one night
Ooh, doin’ me dirty
Ooh, tellin’ me lies
Ooh, provin’ unworthy
Telling myself it’s the last time
As the chorus blares in, the strobes stop and the stage lights turn teal. The crowd roars as a logo appears on the video screen:
VA: SHE’S BACK, MALONE!
NR: Entrant #12! From Forest Park, Alabama….LOU!!!
Lou steps onto the stage, her teal hair slicked back, in a getup reminiscent of the Walking Dead’s Negan, in a black leather motorcycle jacket and red scarf, denim short shorts over black fishnets, black motorcycle boots and a pyramid-studded belt low on her hips… and completing the costume as she hoists Lucille over her shoulder!
MM: And she brought a little friend!
She points the barbed-wire baseball bat toward the ring, looking at the occupants, and mouthing “Eeny, meeny, miney, MOE!” before charging the ring!
MM: One half of the original Vice Squad, possibly the greatest tag team in EWA history, and she hasn’t been seen for months!
VA: This new look is hot, Malone!
William West rushes at Lou as she slides into the ring…and takes the barbed-wire bat right to the stomach! Donovan comes at her, ducking the bat swing…but she drives the rear of the bat immediately backwards, sending him kneeling over to the ground. The returning tag team legend stalks over to where Laura is teeing off on Lagrima, grabbing the former World Heavyweight Champion by her hair and flinging her off of Lagrima…and stands above her former partner, looking down at her!
MM: It’s a reunion of Lou and the former Jane Doe!
VA: Listen to this place, Malone! I can’t hear myself think!
Lou continues to glance down, baseball bat in one hand…and she extends a hand to Lagrima! Lagrima pauses for a moment, looking out at the crowd, and grasps Lou’s hand, her former partner hauling her to her feet…and the two embrace in a hug as the crowd explodes!
VA: OG Vice Squad reunion!
Laura Seton, out of nowhere, fires off a right on Lou, knocking her back, but is assaulted by Lagrima. Lou joins in, and the two drive Laura back to the ropes. Lou and Lagrima grab each side of Laura, shooting her off into the ropes, and Lagrima steps in front of Lou, lifting Laura on the rebound into the air, right as Lou leaps, driving Laura down to the mat with her Diamond Cutter!
MM: This place is going bananas!
Lou nods at Lagrima, dropping the bat, and the two rush over to Philip Donovan, who was trying to haul Willmott to his feet…the Vice Squad grab Donovan, flinging him over the top rope, and PhD lands on the outside of the ring!
VA: Go back to the 80’s, Donovan!
PHILIP DONOVAN ELIMINATED BY LOU / LAGRIMA (21:29)
The crowd roars, as Lagrima nods her head…
AND SUDDENLY LOU GRABS HER, THROWING HER OVER THE TOP ROPE AS WELL!!
VA: Hahahaha! It’s every warrior for themselves, Malone! Hashtag bye!
LAGRIMA ELIMINATED BY LOU (21:38)
Lagrima looks up in shock as she lands on the outside of the ring, hand on her hip with a pouty expression on her face. Lou smiles, shrugging her shoulders, as she turns to William West, only to have West hook her, flinging her arm over his shoulder and lifting her in the air for a falcon arrow!
MM: William West has looked really impressive so far in this Trial, Vince.
VA: Not as impressive as Martin Robertson, Malone.
MM: Martin–wait a minute, where is Martin?
The camera views switch to the area outside where Martin had been…and is now nowhere to be seen.
VA: He’s probably getting a beer, Malone. Kicking ass is hard work.
Ray Willmott comes over, trying to help West work over Lou, and Laura Seton recovers in the corner as the next countdown begins!
The ripping guitar riffs of Suicide Silence’s ‘Fuck Everything’ kicks in, as the next entrant stalks out from behind the curtain…
NR: Entrant #13! From Columbus, Ohio…ETHAN…LEERS!!
VA: Ethan Leers may not be the largest male on our roster, Malone, but make no mistake about it, he’s one tough son of a bitch!
MM: And I’m sure that pipe in his hand adds to that toughness factor, right?
The crowd boos as Leers makes his way to the ring. West has moved on to going after Laura Seton, trying to dump her over the top, and meanwhile, Lou manages to hit the Trendkill on Willmott! The former Vice Squad member eyes Leers as he approaches the ring, and picks up her baseball bat, beckoning for Leers!
MM: Lou is fearless, Vincent!
VA: That may be true, Malone, but if there’s one thing I know about Ethan Leers, it’s that this man loves violence. He practically gets off on it!
Ethan enters the ring, a twisted grin slowly forming on his face as his eyes move from Lou to her bat. Nodding and grinning, he beckons Lou forward, and as she charges, he swings the lead pipe in his hand! But Lou ducks it, spinning around and swinging the barbed wire bat, connecting squarely with Leers in the stomach! Leers goes down to one knee, a howl of what sounds like a mixture of pain and glee escaping him, as Lou brings the bat high over her head – but Leers grabs the pipe, slamming the end right into her stomach. Lou drops to her knees, now on Leers’ level, and the two begin trading punches as the crowd explodes!
MM: Things are getting out of hand here at the fourth Warrior’s Trial!
William West, meanwhile, whips Laura into the ropes, picking her up on the rebound and catching her with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, as he drives her down into his knee. Breathing heavily, the former HATE Pillar grabs Laura by the hair, preparing to throw her out of the ring…but is whirled around suddenly by Ray Willmott!
MM: This tenuous alliance may be at its end!
VA: Ray, she kicked the crap out of you at Champions Summit! Let him throw her over!
Willmott and West begin having words, much more heated than before…and suddenly it’s Ray drawing first blood with a hard right to West’s face! West slowly turns, looking back at Willmott…and there’s a double leg takedown as both men are hammering one another!
MM: It’s completely broken down here at the Combat Zone!
And the countdown begins again…
Fog begins to billow across the entrance ramp, and the lights dim as the opening to Avenged Sevenfold’s ‘Coming Home’ cues up…
I’VE BEEN AWAY
SEARCHING FOR A REASON
ANOTHER PURPOSE TO FIND
I’VE SAILED THE SEAS
FOUGHT MY MANY DEMONS
I’VE LOOKED TO GODS IN THE SKIES
I’VE STOOD IN HELL
WHERE MANY HAD TO SUFFER
I STARED THE DEVIL IN THE EYES
WALKED MANY ROADS
TO WITNESS ANCIENT IDOLS
AND FOUND THE GREAT GATES OF FIRE…
VA: What the hell is this?
The music cuts off abruptly, and a loud burst of pyrotechnics goes off as a new, more familiar song kicks in…
I’M THE HAND OF GOD
I’M THE DARK MESSIAH
I’M THE VENGEFUL ONE
VA: NO WAY, MALONE!
The crowd inside the Combat Zone explodes as the dimmed lights on the stage reveal a shadowy figure, now standing at the top of the ramp, head looking down. Another burst of pyro goes off, as the man raises his head to a roar from the audience…
MM: IT IS!
NR: Entrant #14! From Charlotte, North Carolina…MICHAEL…DRAVEN!!
VA: You should’ve stayed gone, Michael Draven! You’re not wanted here!
MM: It was over four months ago that Indrid Calder snapped the leg of Michael Draven. Calder has since vanished, but ladies and gentlemen, the Vengeful One has made his long-awaited return to the shock of this crowd!
Draven stalks down the entrance ramp, soaking in the response of the crowd – even appearing a bit emotional. He makes it three steps before being AMBUSHED from behind – but this is no attack, as Maggie McIntyre sprints out, leaping onto his back, a look of pure joy on her face as she kisses him on the cheek. She speaks to him excitedly, grinning with what appears to be a shocked look on her face…
MM: I don’t think Maggie McIntyre even knew Draven was coming back here tonight!
VA: What a horrible husband Michael Draven is, keeping secrets from his wife. SHAME!
Maggie points toward the ring, and the two begin walking together. Halfway down the ramp he breaks into a jog, and slides under the bottom rope, meeting a charging Ray Willmott with a thunderous clothesline! Maggie remains on the outside, cheering on Draven. Ethan Leers sees an opportunity, lunging at Draven, but the former Tapout Champion ducks the punch, kicking Leers in the stomach…
MM: DOWNFALL! DOWNFALL!
VA: This is horrible, Malone! This idiot should’ve stayed at home with his little boo-boo!
MM: Listen to this place!
Maggie pumps her fist on the outside in unison with the crowd…but Lou, from behind, chop blocks Draven, taking out his previously broken leg!
VA: Hahahaha! Now let’s test that leg once and for all!
Lou stomps away at Draven’s bad leg, as Maggie looks on in concern on the outside of the ring.
MM: That’s a bit more underhanded of a tactic than we’re used to seeing from Lou, folks…
VA: This is for the World Heavyweight Championship, Malone. You don’t hold back. You pull out every last stop here.
As Lou continues to work over the leg of Michael Draven, Ethan Leers joins in, grinning as Lou as he stomps down on Draven’s chest. Lou takes it as a challenge, stomping even harder on Draven’s bad leg, which leads to Leers slugging her across the face – and now Lou and Leers are back at it!
Meanwhile, William West is recovering near the ropes, and Ray Willmott, seeing the dazed Masochist, races toward him, intending to clothesline him out of the ring…but West hits the floor at the last possible minute….
…and Ray collides with Laura Seton, knocking her over the top rope and to the floor!
VA: Yes! Yes! Ray finally wised up! Laura Seton, you’re ouuuutta here!
LAURA SETON ELIMINATED BY RAY WILLMOTT (25:46)
Laura looks up at Willmott – who’s clearly apologetic inside the ring – with a mixture of shock and disbelief. William West suddenly appears from behind, and spins Willmott around…only to have Willmott DDT him to the mat! And Willmott’s furious, stomping away at West. Looking up toward the jumbotron as the countdown begins, Maggie reaches into the back of her wrestling shorts, pulling out the skeletal mask given to her by William West, and begins to fasten it to her face.
‘Miss Murder’ by AFI barely even begins to play over the PA system before Maggie McIntyre rolls under the bottom rope, leaping to her feet and leveling Lou with a hard clothesline! Leers, her opponent from earlier in the night, attempts to lunge for her, but Maggie ducks him, turning around and flattening him with a huge dropkick. She quickly pulls Michael Draven to his feet, and the two grab Leers, lifting him in the air together for a double vertical suplex!
MM: Apparently Maggie McIntyre was the fifteenth entrant into the Warrior’s Trial!
VA: Gee, Malone, what was your first clue?
Maggie begins to work on Lou, stomping on her leg, just as she’d watched the former Vice Squad member doing to her husband, while Draven shoots Leers off into the ropes. Leers grabs onto the ropes to stop his own momentum, throwing Draven off long enough for Leers to spear him to the mat.
On the other side of the ring, Willmott continues to work over William West, fighting with a new vigor and sense of urgency after having accidentally eliminated his fiance. Willmott picks West up, hanging him upside down in the corner, legs draping over the top rope. Willmott gets a head of steam, and delivers a crushing knee straight to the stomach of West, who bowls over in pain, falling off the top rope and to the mat.
MM: These two seemingly had patched up their long-held differences earlier in this match, but that’s all gone out the window now.
VA: I know, Malone. Isn’t it great?!
Willmott drags the Masochist to his feet, lifting West up to the top turnbuckle, and climbs up after him!
MM: That’s a dangerous spot to be, for both Ray Willmott and William West!
Willmott precariously balances himself on the top rope, preparing to lift William West up for a superplex…and out of nowhere, a blur races across the ring, shoving Willmott off the top rope and to the outside of the ring!!
MM: What the hell??
VA: Hahahaha! Yes! He’s back!
A chorus of boos spills throughout the Combat Zone as Martin Robertson mockingly bows toward Ray Willmott on the outside of the ring, laughing as he gloats about his sneaky elimination of the former World Champion!
MM: Martin…that lowlife must have hidden under the ring!
VA: By any means necessary, Malone! What a brilliant strategy from the Youth King!
RAY WILLMOTT ELIMINATED BY MARTIN ROBERTSON (27:33)
Martin climbs up to the top rope, pointing and laughing at Willmott on the ground, before lifting West up, driving him backwards with a devastating superplex as the countdown begins once more!
The Combat Zone is filled with dead silence – absolutely no music is played over the PA system whatsoever. Instead, a man – or woman, we presumably have no idea of the sex of the individual – walks out onto the stage, carrying a laptop. The fact that this individual is carrying a laptop, amazingly, isn’t the strangest thing about this person.
The person is dressed in a giant panda suit.
With one fell swoop, this panda slams the laptop onto the ground, smashing it to pieces, and begins to stomp on it.
NR: Entrant #16! From the Bamboo Forest…
MM: The bamboo forest?
VA: Hahahaha! It’s the Angry Panda, Malone! This is great!
MM: What the hell am I even watching…
The Angry Panda kicks aside the laptop, flexing on top of the stage…and suddenly a loud burst of static fills the arena. The lights begin to flicker, then dim, followed by those haunting words…
it seems strange that my life
should end in such a terrible place…
MM: Oh no!
VA: I think we’re about to see the Angry Panda driven into extinction, Malone!
The Angry Panda turns around to look toward the entrance…and stumbles right into the massive grip of Cal Rayner, staring down at the Panda through his twisted leather mask as he tightens his grasp around the throat of this panda-costumed individual. The Purveyor himself, NOTHING, enters from behind the curtain, holding the dog-collar in his hand from his sound defeat of his own personal demon, Jacob Mephisto, at Champions Summit III. Rayner begins to slowly stalk toward the edge of the stage, as the Panda flails its arms in horror.
MM: No, Cal, don’t do that! Don’t do that, dammit!
It’s doubtful that if Rayner could actually hear Malone that’d he even listen. Alas, we’ll never know, as he can’t – and Rayner lifts the Angry Panda high into the air, chokeslamming him off the stage!!
MM: HOLY CRAP!
VA: He can’t enter the match if he never gets to the ring, Malone!
Rayner and NOTHING set their sights on the ring, and begin their trip down the ramp. Michael Draven and Maggie McIntyre continue to battle against Lou and Ethan Leers, while Martin Robertson stands cautiously over the fallen William West as the monstrous Rayner steps over the top rope. Robertson slowly looks up at Rayner, taking a step back…and then gestures down at West. Rayner doesn’t even acknowledge him, grabbing West by the neck. NOTHING tosses the dog collar in the ring, and Rayner fastens it around West’s neck, stepping to the outside of the ring and dragging West underneath the ropes to the outside.
MM: What the hell are they doing to William West?
VA: Malone, it’s just like Prudence said! You don’t just “leave” the Hive!
Rayner wraps the chain around the steel cable that attacks the ringpost to the top turnbuckle…and slowly begins to pull, essentially hanging William West, suspending him over the cable!
MM: STOP THAT! STOP THAT RIGHT NOW!
With West clawing desperately at his throat, NOTHING pulls a steel chair out from underneath the ring. He looks at West, screaming “FOR THE HIVE!”….AND SLAMS IT INTO WEST’S SHOULDER! We hear a sick crack as the chair collides with West’s shoulder. NOTHING swings the chair twice more, slamming it into the Masochist’s flesh, and Rayner finally releases him. As the countdown to the next entrant begins, the Harbinger of HATE looks at Rayner, pointing down to the fallen former Pillar…and then to the announce table.
VA: They’re coming over here? Don’t come over here!
The lights go out completely and a lone white spotlight shines down onto the stage. Red lights shine upwards, illuminating the fog as it rolls in. An older Japanese man walks out onto the stage wearing dark robes emblazoned with gold Japanese symbols outlined in burgundy, and a matching Toppai jingasa hat. He is followed by four women, each wearing similar robes. Though the man travels slowly towards the ring, the women stand at four equidistant spots around the circle formed by the spotlight. From the back emerges another figure, wearing a similar dark robe, though his has white stitch detailing, making it far more ornate. He is not wearing a hat like the others, but rather his robe comes up over his head as a hood which blocks a large portion of his face.
NR: Entrant #17! From Miora, Japan…KATSURO…YOSHIDA!!
MM: Katsuro Yoshida, a new signee to the EWA, looking to make a huge impact here tonight in the Warrior’s Trial IV!
VA: Malone, I’ve heard a lot of scary stories about this man through my contacts in Japan.
MM: You have contacts? In Japan?
VA: I do, actually. I met them at Live From Tokyo last year.
MM: Are they geisha?
VA: …only two of them, dammit, Malone.
MM: Wait a minute…that’s enough, Pru!
As Yoshida enters the ring, trying to help Ethan Leers eliminate Michael Draven, NOTHING has arrived at the commentary position, followed by the masked Rayner, who’s now literally dragging William West behind him. Rayner yanks West to his feet, clearly in a great deal of pain with a large bump on his shoulder, possibly an indication of it being dislocated. The Purveyor snarls at West, gripping his face with one gloved hand and screaming at him. He shoves the Masochist back toward Rayner, as the Titan drops the chain leading to the dog collar strapped around West’s neck. With one swift motion, Rayner grabs West by the neck, lifting him high in the air, and Malone and Ashe both scatter as Rayner drives West through the announce table with a huge chokeslam!
A flood of officials come pouring out of the locker room as the former Dredd grunts laughter, and Prudence, white hair dangling in his face, slams the chair down once again on West’s back. NOTHING and Rayner take their leave, heading up the ramp as EMTs make their way down with a stretcher, alongside Dr. Mark Furman.
MM: –we on? Are we back?
VA: –hear you, Ma–ne
MM: William West has just been savagely attacked by HATE, and this looks serious, ladies and gentlemen. Our officials and EMTs, along with Dr. Mark Furman, are loading the man onto a gurney–
VA: Do you see his shoulder, Malone? I think it may have been dislocated by those chair shots. This is what happens when you try to leave the Hive of HATE. You saw what Indrid Calder did to Maggie McIntyre, and William West is the latest casualty.
MM: And that man that just orchestrated this, the Harbinger of HATE himself, NOTHING…he could be our World Heavyweight Champion in just 19 days, ladies and gentlemen. What a dark day we could have upon us in Sydney.
The EMTs finally load West up, and begin to wheel him toward the entrance ramp area, as Dr. Furman walks alongside the stretcher, speaking to West, who’s clearly in a great deal of pain. Our camera view switches back toward the ring, where Lou and Maggie continue to fight it out. Ethan Leers and Katsuro Yoshida continue to work on Michael Draven, but Martin Robertson steps over, and begins working over Leers!
MM: Are we seeing a bit of a 3K reunion here?
VA: God, I hope so. It’d be nice to see Michael Draven discover his balls again.
The countdown to the next entrant begins!
Skillet’s ‘Monster’ blasts through the Combat Zone, and the fans come alive with boos as the next entrant makes his second in-ring appearance of the evening…
NR: Entrant #18! Hailing from the Bronx…CRONOS…DIAMANTE!!
MM: And we witnessed one hell of a fight between Cronos Diamante and Sahara earlier tonight, and we could see it again at Live From Sydney if Cronos wins the EWA World Heavyweight Championship in this Warrior’s Trial!
VA: I guarantee you, Malone, if Cronos had been able to use the Ne-Han, we’d have been scraping Sahara’s disease riddled carcass off the canvas with a damn shovel. Stacy Vandervort robbed Cronos tonight!
MM: Nonetheless, the temporary ban on the Ne-Han is no longer in play…and here we go!
Cronos enters the ring, immediately going after Yoshida, and the two begin throwing heavy blows at one another.
MM: Both of these men utilize a hard-hitting, impactful style–
VA: They’re beating the hell out of each other, Malone!
Ethan Leers, meanwhile, begins to fight back against Martin Robertson, driving him against the ropes. Michael Draven, however, spins Leers around, picking Ethan up and planting him with an atomic drop. Leers spins around in pain, turning right into a superkick from Martin Robertson, who falls back into Draven, kicking him in the stomach…
MM: Downfall! Draven just hit the Downfall on Leers!
VA: And now Martin and Draven are having a staredown!
Indeed, the (former?) Three Kings members stand toe to toe, motionless, each regarding the other. Martin says something, speaking to Draven, who simply nods…and the two bump fists! Martin and Draven both grab Leers, pulling him to his feet…and both men toss Ethan Leers over the top rope together!
VA: HASHTAG THREE KINGS, BAYBAY!
ETHAN LEERS ELIMINATED BY MICHAEL DRAVEN / MARTIN ROBERTSON (32:58)
Martin nods toward Michael, before hitting Cronos from behind with a cheapshot, as he and Yoshida begin trying to dump the gun for hire over the top rope. Meanwhile, Draven moves over to Lou, pulling her off Maggie and whipping her into the corner to give the Banshee some breathing room. Draven charges Lou, but the former Vice Squad member side-steps Draven, causing the returning warrior to slam sternum-first into the turnbuckle. Lou grabs Draven by the head, springing off the second turnbuckle and driving him into the mat with a tornado DDT – just as the countdown begins again!
TWENTY FOUR, TWENTY FOUR
HOURS TO GOOOOO
I WANNA BE SEDATED
VA: Oh my god, I feel like there’s 47 members of the Vice Squad!
NR: Entrant #19! From Wantagh, New York…MINXY…JONES!!
The familiar pink spotlight in the shape of a horned skull shines down as Minxy bursts out from behind the curtain, making a sprint straight for the ring! She slides under the bottom rope, coming to her feet right next to Lou, who eyeballs her up and down, before shrugging and nodding. Unspoken, the two immediately turn toward Michael Draven, hooking him as they lift him up for a double suplex!
MM: Vice Squad past and present unite here at the Warrior’s Trial IV!
VA: I wonder if Jared Walsh could get these two to do a video together?
MM: I think you’re focusing on the wrong thing…
VA: Oh no, Malone. I’m definitely focusing on the right thing.
Maggie McIntyre immediately rushes over, and begins brawling with Minxy as Lou grabs Draven by the hair, attempting to work him over the top rope. On the other side of the ring, Martin Robertson and Katsuro Yoshida continue to work on trying to eliminate Cronos Diamante, but Cronos is able to get a thumb to the eye of Martin, staggering him backwards. Cronos fires off an elbow to Yoshida, staggering him backward, but the Japanese warrior hits Cronos with a hard chop to the chest. Cronos stumbles back into the corner, and Yoshida hooks Cronos’s leg, lifting him up into a vicious looking Fisherman’s brainbuster!
VA: Look at the power of Katsuro! This guy’s a beast, Malone!
Katsuro ducks a clothesline from Martin Robertson, hooking the Youth King’s arms behind his back and lifting him up into a belly-to-back double-underhook suplex!
And the Japanese warrior lets out a primal yell as the countdown begins!
AM A MAN…
OF CONSTANT SORROW…
I’VE SEEN TROUBLES ALL MY DAYS…
The lights dim, and the Jumbotron sparks to life with an infamous symbol known the world over to anyone familiar with the SHOOT Project…
VA: Oh god, not this tool again! You’ve got to be kidding me!
NR: Entrant #20! From the Great American South, he is a member of the Bad Ass Brotherhood…BUCK…DRESDEN!!
The crowd breaks out into a chant before the man even makes an appearance on the stage…
“Man of Constant Sorrow” by Charm City Devils kicks in, bringing the EWA fans to their feet so they can see the man they call the Bluegrass Bad Ass. Standing in the entrance, his black cowboy hat dusty and worn and his head bowed, is the aforementioned BUCK DRESDEN. Buck wears a long black duster coat, just as worn and ragged as the hat. He looks up to the audience and grins ear to ear with his stubbled jawline. On the front of the hat is the old symbol of his tag team, the Skull of the Bad Ass Brotherhood. On the back of his coat? The same. He wears no shirt, his hands are taped up, and he wears his blue jeans, a hole through the right knee revealing his black kneepad, and we can assume there is a matching one on the other knee, and black work boots with a giant BAB belt buckle.
MM: The Bad Ass Brotherhood has arrived!
VA: Oh, stop pandering, Malone! This is awful!
Buck discards his jacket, followed by his hat, and makes his way down to the ring, where Katsuro Yoshida awaits. Buck slowly steps into the ring, and Yoshida charges, firing off heavy rights and lefts at Buck, staggering him back. Yoshida shoots him across the ring into the ropes, but Buck ducks the clothesline, spinning around on a dime and pantomiming firing an imaginary shotgun, before grabbing Yoshida by the hand, and delivering a SAVAGE short armed clothesline!
MM: BUCK SHOT FROM DRESDEN!!
VA: Doesn’t this guy have a cousin or something to sleep with? Get him out of here!
Dresden immediately heads over to Michael Draven, attempting to help Lou toss him over the top rope, but Martin Robertson pulls Lou away, and shoots her into the ropes, before sprinting at her and delivering a high knee-lift that nearly takes her head off. Martin then rushes at Maggie and Minxy, and Maggie pulls the top rope down, but Minxy manages to duck, nearly sending a surprised Youth King flying over the top rope! Martin manages to put the brakes on, shooting Maggie an angry look before turning around…right into a dropkick from Minxy, who’s then laid out by a superkick from Maggie!
MM: The Banshee’s Wail!
VA: GET HER, MARTY!
Unseen by Michael Draven – Martin’s Three Kings partner – Martin grabs Maggie, who he’s scheduled to face at Live From Sydney for Maggie’s Network Championship, and tosses her over the top rope! Maggie manages to land on the ring apron, saving herself from elimination, but Lou, having recovered from Martin’s knee-lift, delivers a swift uppercut straight to Martin’s nether regions!
MM: The next time he berates a fan at ringside, it’ll be in falsetto!
VA: That’s inhumane, Malone!
Lou pulls herself to her feet, quickly hitting a spinning heel kick on Maggie, leaving her the only person standing in the ring, as Draven and Dresden both find themselves tied up in the ropes attempting to eliminate one another…and the countdown begins again!
A sudden deafening BOOM is heard over the PA system as a mushroom cloud develops on the jumbotron, and Sister Sin’s ‘Chaos Royale’ blasts through the Combat Zone, as the audience begins to boo vociferously.
VA: YES! YES YES YES!! THE APOSTLE OF GRACE!!!
MM: Oh boy. Here we go.
NR: Entrant #21! From Brooklyn, New York…ALICE!!
The monstrous Alice steps out from behind the curtain, head down with her long, stringy hair in her face. She walks silently toward the ring, never looking up at anyone as she approaches.
VA: Our Grace is so smart, Malone! She entered Alice into this Trial to set fire to her enemies and cast them out into the wilderness! Praise be to Grace! PRAISE BE TO GRACE!
Alice enters the ring, staring blankly at Lou, who rushes at Alice! Lou fires off a couple of hard shots, but Alice barely flinches before grabbing her by the throat! Alice slowly begins to back Lou against the ropes, towering over her, and finally shoves forward, launching Lou over the top rope and out of the ring!
MM: The raw power of Alice!
LOU ELIMINATED BY ALICE (38:40)
Alice doesn’t even have time to turn around before Minxy Jones leaps on her back, putting her in a sleeperhold! Alice stumbles a bit, then reaches over her head, FLINGING Minxy off her back and over the top rope to the floor as well!
MM: Alice is a force to be reckoned with in this match!
MINXY JONES ELIMINATED BY ALICE (38:56)
Alice stares down at the two Vice Squad members from the ring…
AND CRONOS DIAMANTE FROM BEHIND LOCKS A FULL NELSON ONTO ALICE!!
VA: Oh, you really shouldn’t have done that, Cronos!
Alice flails her arms, her eyes bugging out in shock as Cronos cinches the hold in! Alice desperately claws at the air, trying to reach something, anything…and Cronos sticks a leg out in front of her, tripping her and allowing her to fall face-first onto the mat. Cronos cinches the hold in as he climbs onto her back…
MM: OH MY GOD! CRONOS HAS THE NE-HAN ON ALICE!!
Alice’s eyes are like massive saucers, and in this moment she looks like a terrified child, shrieking in pain as Cronos cinches the devastating hold in! She taps the air, desperate for release, but Diamante offers none as he snarls down at Grace’s apostle. Finally, he releases the hold, dragging Alice to her feet and throwing her over the top rope to the awe and shock of the Combat Zone audience!
ALICE ELIMINATED BY CRONOS DIAMANTE (39:49)
The countdown begins as Cronos stands alone in the ring, with Draven and Maggie recovering, and Martin, Yoshida and Dresden all fighting it out along the ropes!
VA: Malone, can you believe Martin’s still in this thing? He could win from the #1 spot!
WE ARE THE YOUTH
WE’LL TAKE YOUR FASCISM AWAY
WE ARE THE YOUTH
APOLOGIZE FOR ANOTHER DAY
MM: Oh my!
The lights dim, and a single spotlight shines down on the owner and Chief Executive Officer of the EWA, as a very, very mixed reaction greets the former EWA World Heavyweight Champion, dressed in his golden robe…
NR: Entrant #22! From Buffalo, New York…ALEXANDER…HAVEN!!!
MM: The man that ended Chris Kage’s career looks to atone for it tonight by becoming the two time World Heavyweight Champion of the promotion he helped propel to new heights as its owner!
VA: Who told you to say that, Malone?
MM: What? Nobody…
VA: Yeah, not buying it. He should be proud of the fact that he wiped Chris Kage out of existence! The EWA is a much better place without him.
MM: That’s on par with the most ridiculous things you’ve ever said.
VA: Your face is ridiculous.
MM: Nonetheless, as we heard earlier tonight, Haven has proclaimed that he’ll retire from the ring if he doesn’t walk out of the Warrior’s Trial IV with the EWA World Heavyweight Championship!
VA: He’s the rightful champion, Malone, and I have a feeling he’ll prove it by the end of the night.
Haven sheds his robe on the stage, walking down the aisle as the various fights continue inside the ring. Cronos beckons toward Haven as he climbs the steps to enter the ring.
MM: Cronos Diamante showing absolutely no intimidation when it comes to facing Haven–
VA: And why should he, Malone? He just manhandled Alice! This man is a living, breathing machine of terror with zero remorse. I hope you’re ready, Alex!
Haven steps right into Cronos’s face, and the two immediately begin jawing back and forth. Haven smirks after a Cronos comment, looking away…and then slugs him in the face, and the fight is on! Both men begin trading blows and forth. Cronos gains the quick advantage, backing Haven toward the ropes…and Martin Robertson comes from behind out of nowhere with a forearm to the back of the head, staggering Cronos toward Haven! Haven lifts Cronos up on his shoulders for the Fall From Glory, but Cronos is able to float off…only to be kicked in the stomach by Michael Draven….who hits the Downfall on Diamante!
VA: THREE KINGS! THREE KINGS! THREE KINGS!
Draven, Robertson, and Haven all regard one another, not having been in the same ring together in nearly six months. The crowd begins to buzz as the three men look back and forth between each other, slowly exchanging glances…before finally each raising a fist into the air in a show of unity! A mixed reaction settles in the Combat Zone, some clearly enjoying the Three Kings reunion, while others still disliking these three men, who set their eyes now on Buck Dresden and Katsuro Yoshida, still brawling near the ropes!
MM: Dresden and Yoshida couldn’t care less about what’s going on – these two are tearing each other apart!
Indeed, Dresden and Yoshida continue to hammer away on each other, a small cut having opened above the Bluegrass Bad Ass’s eye. All at once, Robertson, Draven & Haven rush toward them, lifting both men up and dumping them over the top rope to a stronger ovation from the crowd! 3K celebrates in the ring, watching on the outside…as Dresden grabs Yoshida, slamming him into the steel steps on the outside!
VA: We’ve got a brawl out here now, Malone!
BUCK DRESDEN & YOSHIDA KATSURO ELIMINATED BY THE THREE KINGS (41:04)
Officials step in to try to separate Dresden and Yoshida…
…AND SUDDENLY HAVEN AND DRAVEN GRAB MARTIN ROBERTSON, THROWING HIM OVER THE TOP ROPE!!
VA: Oh my god! They threw Marty over, Malone!! What the HELL?!
MM: He landed on the ring apron, though!
Martin Robertson’s face shows an absolutely stunned expression of pure disbelief, as he screams toward Draven and Haven. Haven shrugs, laughing, saying “it’s every man for himself, Marty”. Marty looks toward Draven, as if to ask him for an explanation as well…AND OUT OF NOWHERE, MAGGIE MCINTYRE DRILLS HIM WITH THE BANSHEE’S WAIL!! Martin falls backwards, landing flat on his back outside of the ring!
MARTIN ROBERTSON HAS BEEN ELIMINATED BY MAGGIE MCINTYRE / ALEXANDER HAVEN / MICHAEL DRAVEN (41:34)
VA: WHAT?!?! What an injustice! Alexander Haven, Michael Draven and Maggie McIntyre just conspired to eliminate Martin Robertson! What kind of a friend is Alexander Haven?! This is–
MM: –every man for himself, Vince! Even Martin has to understand that!
And Martin Robertson is absolutely livid at ringside, kicking the broken pieces of the announce table and screaming in fury as he heads toward the back!
Maggie and Haven, incredibly, begin working together, in a scene we thought we’d never see, to try and eliminate Cronos, and Michael Draven takes a breather as we begin the countdown to the twenty-third entrant!
NR: Entrant #23! From Lenoir, North Carolina, he is one of the EWA Tag Team Champions…JOSH…KAINE!!
Kaine pops out from behind the curtain to a big ovation from the crowd, holding his tag team championship up high before dropping it on the stage and running down to the ring.
MM: Kaine has been mostly a tag team wrestler in his career, but he has undeniable talent, and has championship gold in his blood, given the fact that his mother is the legendary Sinnocence.
VA: Probably a lot of other things in his blood as well, given the fact that he used to date Sahara…
Kaine slides into the ring, and MIchael Draven charges at him, but Kaine ducks the clothesline, turning around and shoving Draven! Draven, an amused and surprised look on his face, chuckles, before shoving Kaine right back. Kaine shoves Draven once again…and Draven reaches out with a big right hand, slapping Kaine right in the mouth!
VA: Hahaha! That’s great, Malone!
MM: Did you hear the force of that slap? And look…that Kaine temper is rising!
Indeed, the anger works its way through Josh Kaine’s face, and a moment later, he spears Draven, throwing down rights and lefts! Draven rolls the man over, trying to gain an advantage, and Maggie McIntyre leaves Haven and Cronos to come over and separate the two…but Kaine slugs her with a punch that’s intended for Draven, and the brawl escalates even further!
MM: Things have really broken down here between Josh Kaine and Michael Draven!
VA: Jealousy, Malone. That’s all I’m going to say. Petty nonsense if you ask me.
Draven gets Kaine on the ropes, trying to eliminate him, while Maggie goes back to work over Cronos with Haven…and suddenly the crowd begins to buzz, looking up toward the entrance…
VA: Malone, it’s not time for the last entra–
MM: OH MY GOODNESS!!
The camera quickly cuts to the entrance, where WILLIAM WEST is staggering toward the ring! His shoulder is in a sling, and his face is already showing signs of a wicked bruise along his deformed jawline…but he’s nonetheless heading back toward the ring!
VA: Is he insane, Malone?! He only has one arm!
MM: What an incredible display of heart and determination from the Masochist!
West rolls into the ring, pulling himself to his feet with one good arm, as Maggie looks on in bewilderment. West shrugs, before turning toward Alexander Haven, kicking him in the back of the knee to take him down. Maggie shakes her head, the skeletal mask given to her by West disguising her features, and turns back, only to be grabbed by Cronos and planted with a huge spinebuster. As these three fights continue, the countdown begins for the final entrant into the Warrior’s Trial IV!
The entry begins to fill with purple and green fog, as the familiar chorus echoes through the Combat Zone…
NR: Introducing the 24th and final entrant into the Warrior’s Trial IV…from Richmond, Virginia…JESTER…SMILES!!
‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ plays over the PA as Jester runs out, making a dash toward the ring!
MM: And here we go, ladies and gentlemen. One of these six individuals will be the next EWA World Heavyweight Champion, and only one of them has held that championship before!
Cronos runs at Jester, but Jester ducks a clothesline attempt, hitting the ropes. Jester ducks a second clothesline, spinning around and locking Cronos into a half-nelson chicken wing, before lifting him up and suplexing him in an incredible display of strength!
MM: The Last Laugh!
VA: It’s not funny, Malone!
West runs at Smiles, who dropkicks him back to the ground, followed by Draven, who Jester sends flying over the top rope – Draven holds onto the rope and rolls back in. Josh Kaine grabs Maggie, trying to throw her over the top rope, as Cronos unexpectedly slips behind Jester, grabbing him by the back of the head and racing toward the ropes…but at the last moment, Jester’s able to hold onto the top rope, and Cronos spills over the top and to the floor!
CRONOS DIAMANTE ELIMINATED BY JESTER SMILES (45:58)
MM: What a huge elimination for Jester Smiles!
VA: Cronos does not look happy on the outside, Malone!
Indeed, Cronos scowls up at Jester for a moment before turning to head toward the back. Jester, meanwhile, heads over to Alexander Haven, fighting with him, while Maggie McIntyre continues to work on Josh Kaine. Josh takes the advantage with a knee to Maggie’s gut, though, and pushes her toward the ropes – Michael Draven, meanwhile, hits the opposite ropes, leaping with a forearm toward Kaine…but Kaine ducks at the last minute, and Michael just BARELY avoids hitting Maggie!
VA: It would’ve been so awesome if he’d knocked Maggie out of the ring there. It’s been too long since we had an epic husband and wife fight, Malone!
MM: Vincent, of course, referring to the epic encounters between Osbourne Kilminster And Sinnocence…
The two exchange a nervous glance toward one another, and Draven backs up slightly, turning around just to see Josh Kaine rushing at him! Draven hits the duck, causing Kaine’s missed clothesline to throw him off balance, and Maggie ducks her head, lifting Kaine up and over the top rope and to the floor!
JOSH KAINE ELIMINATED BY MAGGIE MCINTYRE (47:02)
Draven leaps to his feet, meanwhile, and rushes toward William West, who sees Draven coming, leaping into the air…
MM: LUNATIKK SWEET!!
VA: With one arm, Malone! How the hell is he doing this?!?
Alexander Haven blindsides West out of nowhere, stomping him on the ground before pulling him to his feet. Haven slips behind West…
MM: Asphyxia! He’s going for that rear-naked choke!
VA: He doesn’t quite have it locked in, Malone!
Indeed, West is fighting with his one arm, agonizing in pain as Haven tries to leap into the air and take him down. Haven grapevines his legs around West’s waist, but at that moment West begins backpedaling as hard as he can, slamming Haven’s back into the corner turnbuckles. West staggers out of the corner…
MM: BANSHEE’S WAIL! WHERE DID MAGGIE MCINTYRE COME FROM?!?
West takes the full brunt of the superkick from McIntyre, falling backwards over the top rope and to the floor!
MM: What an incredibly gutsy performance from William West!!
WILLIAM WEST ELIMINATED BY MAGGIE MCINTYRE (48:56)
Jester Smiles, meanwhile, gets a running start, looking to clothesline Haven over the top rope…but Haven ducks, backdropping Jester up and over the top as well!
JESTER SMILES ELIMINATED BY ALEXANDER HAVEN (49:07)
Maggie grasps the top rope, breathing heavily, as Michael Draven slowly pulls himself to his feet…looking across at Alexander Haven, leaning against the turnbuckle in the corner.
MM: This is our final three, folks!
VA: Unbelievable, Malone! This is amazing!
Maggie looks at Haven, and then back to Michael Draven, who’s also glancing back and forth between the two.
MM: You can see the wheels turning here. On one hand, Michael Draven’s greatest rival, now turned friend, in Alexander Haven. On the other, his own wife, Maggie McIntyre – and they’ve certainly went at it in the past before.
VA: And Maggie McIntyre has no real love lost for Haven, Malone, putting aside their earlier cooperation!
Maggie takes another long stare at Haven, and then turns toward Michael, a look of resignation in her eyes as she takes a step forward, closer to him…
….AND LEAPS OVER THE TOP ROPE, DROPPING DOWN TO THE FLOOR?!
MM: What the hell?
VA: What is Maggie McIntyre thinking?!
MAGGIE MCINTYRE ELIMINATES HERSELF (50:01)
Maggie looks up at Michael, smiling, and suddenly, it dawns on the arena what’s happened, as a thunderous ovation begins to rise from the ground to the ceiling of the Combat Zone.
MM: Ladies and gentlemen…I think Maggie McIntyre just eliminated herself to give Michael Draven another shot at Alexander Haven! The man he’s never defeated before!
VA: What an idiot! She just passed on the EWA World Heavyweight Championship so that her husband can get bitch-slapped again!
MM: And now this Warrior’s Trial IV turns into a one-on-one contest for the most prestigious prize in our sport!
Maggie takes a seat at ringside next to Nikki Rogers, leaning forward to watch the match in nervous anticipation. Alexander Haven stares across the ring at Michael Draven, now meeting him in a one-on-one match for the fourth time in the EWA, the fourteenth time in their storied rivalry – but for the first time as friends. Haven shakes his lead, laughing, as if to say, “Really? We’re doing this?” Draven shrugs, chuckling to himself. Haven nods in understanding, and the grins are erased from both of their faces as they approach one another.
MM: What a moment!
The two former rivals exchange words in the ring that we’re unable to hear, before taking a step back, sizing each other up…and Alexander Haven and Michael Draven lock up, like so many times before! Draven quickly slaps on a side headlock, and Haven flexes an arm before shooting Draven off into the ropes, knocking the taller man down with a shoulderblock. Haven quickly grabs the weary Draven, pulling him to his feet and shooting him into the corner turnbuckle. Draven’s back crashes into the corner, and the force of impact sends him staggering out toward Haven, who promptly picks Draven up on his shoulders!
MM: He’s going for the Fall From Glory!
VA: Well, it was a valiant comeback attempt, Michael, but–
–but Draven slips off! Michael Draven kicks Haven in the stomach just as he spins around, placing Haven’s head between his legs and hooking the owner’s arms…
MM: DOWNFALL! HE HIT IT! MICHAEL DRAVEN HIT THE DOWNFALL!
MM: COVER HIM! COVER HIM!
Draven hooks Haven’s leg…
THR–HAVEN KICKS OUT! HAVEN KICKS OUT OF THE DOWNFALL!
MM: And this is the situation that’s repeated itself so many times in the past. Alexander Haven can take everything Michael Draven throws at him, and just keeps coming!
Draven slams a fist on the mat in frustration as Maggie McIntyre looks on from ringside, nervously twirling the ends of her hair. He quickly gets to his feet, grabbing Haven’s legs and stepping a foot between them to go for a Sharpshooter…but Haven quickly reaches up, rolling Draven into a small package!
TH-DRAVEN KICKS OUT! Both men jump to their feet, and as Draven lunges toward Haven, Haven ducks, once again lifting Draven up onto his shoulders for a Fall From Glory. And again, Draven’s able to float off, but this time, Haven’s prepared, kicking the man in the stomach and planting him with a DDT!
MM: Both men are leaving everything they have in that ring tonight. This is about more than just the EWA World Heavyweight Championship. This is about twenty years of a hated rivalry, and while that rivalry may be over, there’s no denying that these men, over the years, have brought out the worst in each other outside the ring, and the best in each other inside it.
As both men slowly start to get to their feet, a chant picks up inside the Combat Zone…
“LET’S GO DRA-VEN!
LET’S GO HA-VEN!
LET’S GO DRA-VEN!
LET’S GO HA-VEN!”
Haven makes it to his feet first, pulling Draven up…but Michael Draven kicks Haven in the stomach, and goes for the Downfall once again….but Haven hoists Draven up on his shoulders for the THIRD time…
MM: FALL FROM GLORY! HE HIT IT!!
VA: Good night, game over, drive home safely!
Haven collapses onto Draven, hooking the leg…
THR-DRAVEN KICKS OUT! DRAVEN KICKS OUT OF THE FALL FROM GLORY!!
VA: What the hell?
MM: What is it going to take?
Haven slams his hand on the mat three times, glaring at senior official Danny Smith, before pulling Haven to his feet and shooting him across the ring into the ropes. Haven grabs Draven on the rebound, lifting him up and spinning around to plant him with a devastating spinebuster! And again, Haven makes the cover!
DRAVEN KICKS OUT!
VA: I can’t even hear myself think in this place, Malone!
Clear frustration on the part of Haven, shaking his head as he pulls Draven to his feet. A clearly exhausted Draven struggles to clear the cobwebs as Haven smoothly moves behind him, and tries to lock on his Aspyhxia rear-naked choke! Draven flails his arms before Haven has it fully applied, and manages to reverse around to Haven’s rear with a wristlock, spinning him around and pulling him in. Draven uses Haven’s momentum, ducking down and lifting the CEO onto his shoulders!
VA: He’s going for the Fall From Glory! He’s going to try and beat Haven with his own move, Malone! This is madness!!
Draven lifts Haven up for the Fall From Glory, but gets too much elevation on the move, and Haven’s able to flip out of it, landing on his feet. The EWA owner shoves Draven chest first into the turnbuckle, and as Draven stumbles out, Haven spins him around, kicking him in the stomach…
MM: And now Haven’s going for the Downfall! This is madness!
Haven starts to hook Draven’s arms above his back, but Draven frees himself, sweeping Haven’s legs out from under him. Draven, with a grip on Haven’s legs, falls backwards, sending the owner catapulting behind him into the corner – and Haven CRACKS his head right on the ringpost behind the turnbuckles! Woozy, Haven staggers out…and Draven lifts Haven up on his shoulders, and in one fluid motion, plants him with his own maneuver!
MM: Michael Draven just hit the Fall From Glory onto Alexander Haven!!
VA: Why isn’t he covering him, Malone?
Indeed, Draven doesn’t even attempt it, immediately grabbing Haven by his head and pulling him back up to his feet. He stares at Haven for a moment, who’s clearly dead on his feet, and then quickly makes the sign of the cross on his chest, as if to say, “please let this be enough”. Draven then kicks Alexander Haven in the stomach…
MM: DOWNFALL! DOWNFALL! DOWNFALL! COVER HIM!!
VA: It’s still not enough, Malone! It’ll never be enough!
Draven hooks the leg, and Danny Smith slides into position…
MM: HE DID IT! HE DID IT! MICHAEL DRAVEN FINALLY DID IT!
NR: Ladies and gentlemen…the winner of the Warrior’s Trial IV…and…NEWWW… EWA World Heavyweight Champion…MICHAEL…DRAVEN!!
MM: I can’t believe what we’ve just witnessed! Michael Draven, for the first time, has defeated Alexander Haven, and for the first time in his career, he’s become a world champion!
VA: This is the worst thing I’ve ever seen happen here, Malone!
Referee Danny Smith hands a stunned Michael Draven the World Heavyweight Championship as he slowly gets to his feet, and he stares at it, emotion in his eyes, clearly overwhelmed by the moment – and is nearly bowled over by Maggie McIntyre, leaping into his arms and wrapping herself around him in celebration. Maggie hugs Draven tightly, letting go after a few moments to allow Draven to soak in the moment…and it’s at that exact moment that Alexander Haven spins him around, holding the back of his head, a look of disbelief in his eyes. Draven’s entrance theme fades out, and once again, the two men go face to face.
VA: Wipe his ass out, Alex! Do it!
In one quick movement, Haven’s hand pistons out, snatching the World Heavyweight Title from Draven. He stares down at it as Draven takes a step closer to him….and then places it on Draven’s shoulder, extending his hand. Draven quickly accepts the handshake, wrapping an arm around his long-time rival and muttering something to Haven that our cameras can’t pick up. ‘The Vengeful One’ pumps in again over the PA, and Haven gracefully bows out of the ring, allowing Draven to have his moment as he stares down, still in clear disbelief, at the EWA World Heavyweight Championship.
MM: Twenty years in the making, ladies and gentlemen, and against all odds, in his very first match back from a devastating injury.
VA: You have to wonder if Indrid Calder is somewhere out there, lurking in the night, watching this, and what he thinks about it. I personally want to throw up.
MM: And in the meantime, have we possibly seen the last of Alexander Haven, based on his words later tonight? That question will be answered another day, but right now…Michael Draven is the World Heavyweight Champion!
VA: This is like every loser’s dream rolled into one awful nightmare, Malone!
Fireworks go off in the ring as Draven poses with the belt, and then exits the ring – Maggie McIntyre holding the ropes open for him, in a bit of a role reversal, but clearly proud of her husband – and the two make their way slowly up the ramp…only to be joined at the top by Sahara, who races toward Draven, leaping into his arms with a smile plastered on her face.
MM: Ladies and gentlemen, what an unbelievable night tonight! In 19 days, it’ll be Michael Draven defending the EWA World Heavyweight Championship, but for now, we’re out of time! For Allison Haines…
MM: …and Vincent Ashe, I’m Mike Malone…
MM: …saying so long!
VA: Malone! He defends against Grace, NOTHING, and Sahara!
Our final shot is of the World Heavyweight Champion, both arms in the air holding the title, with Maggie and Sahara on each side holding his arms up.
Fade to black.
Michael Draven defeats Alexander Haven to win the Warrior’s Trial IV & become the NEW EWA World Heavyweight Champion (58:41)
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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Ethan Leers vs Maggie McIntyre – Gates
William West & NOTHING vs Lagrima & Josh Kaine – Will Santa
Buck Dresden vs Joe Lemon – Brandon Hughes
The Cherub & Elizabeth Gaunt vs Alice & Grace Goeren – Harlan Heubaum
Cronos Diamante vs Sahara – Harlan Heubaum
The Warrior’s Trial IV – Gates, Chris Furman