Mike Malone: Ladies and gentlemen, once again we welcome you live to another edition of Battlelines, live from the Moda Center in beautiful downtown Portland, Oregon! I’m Mike Malone, alongside Vincent Ashe–
Vincent Ashe: Portland sucks, and the God Queen shall be avenged. That is all.
(Malone stops, and looks at the unusually grumpy Ashe for a moment, before continuing on.)
MM: What a night of action we have in store for you, ladies and gentlemen, as the road to This Means War continues. We have a championship match, a #1 contender’s match, and a handful of non-title matches–
VA: What we should be having is a goddamn coronation for our God Queen in the center of the ring, Malone! (Ashe slams his palms down on the table.) You hear this, blasphemers…your day of reckoning awaits. Tonight, it starts with the Eyenays, or the Vice Eyes, or whatever the hell their name is now! The God Queen’s wrath shall know no boundaries!
MM: In any event, we’ll also see our new World Heavyweight Champion in action, as Sahara takes on–
VA: Sahara! Let me tell you something about Sahara, Malone…
MM: It’ll have to wait, Vincent, as right now we’re scheduled to go up to our ring announcer, Nikki Rogers, in the ring! Take it away, Nikki!
(Taking her place in the center of the ring, Nikki Rogers glances down at her cue card and gives a bit of a knowing smile.)
Nikki Rogers: Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming the NEW EWA World Heavyweight Champion … the Crimson Queen, Valkyrie Supreme and the NEW defender of the Gates of Valhalla … SAHARA!!!
MM: The defender of the Gates of Valhalla? Is that even a thing? Does she think she’s Danny freaking Rand now?
VA: It must be a thing, Malone, otherwise Nikki couldn’t say it!
(The lights suddenly dim as a single white spotlight drops on the entrance and that all too familiar opening riff of In This Moment’s ‘Adrenalize Me’ hits. The EWA World Heavyweight Champion slowly strolls out onto the rampway with the world title draped over a shoulder, still dressed in street clothes, she makes her way down to the ring and touches a few of the outstretched hands.
As she arrives ringside, she picks up the mic sitting on the ring apron before ascending the steps and stepping through the ropes.
As the crowd calms itself, Sahara readjusts the EWA World Title draped over her shoulder and stands beneath a single spotlight in the otherwise darkened arena in the center of the ring. Eyes closed, she leans her head back and slowly raises the big gold belt above her head as she beckons the crowd to make some noise with her free hand.)
VA: She looks like an angel again, Malone. Look at her basking in the light–
MM: Aww, tell me you aren’t back on the Sahara bandwagon?
VA: As I was trying to tell you before you so rudely interrupted me, Malone…the bottom line is that she’s a winner, and I back winners.
Sahara: Thirty-five years. That’s how long it took.
(Holding the title out to the side, Sahara gazes at it lovingly.)
MM: If she could make love to that title, she would.
VA: …and I’d pay to see it!
Sahara: This title right here is the pinnacle of wrestling. Which means I … am now the pinnacle of wrestling. A little over a year ago when I started out as a lost little girl with an impossible dream, the idea of ever holding this looked–well, it looked impossible. Legends have held this title.
Legends like Laura Seton.
(The crowd cheers.)
Sahara: Actually, she held it for like 25 seconds, so … that one barely counts.
(The crowd boos her snark, but a smattering of laughter can be heard.)
VA: She’s not lying, though.
MM: Yes, she is.
Sahara: Ray Willmott.
(The crowd cheers.)
Sahara: Chris Kage.
(The crowd cheers even louder.)
Sahara: Some bitch that once led the Fallout, can’t remember her name, though.
(The cheers turn to laughter.)
VA: Don’t make me have to hate you, Sahara!
MM: She’s not lying, though.
VA: Hilarious, Malone.
Sahara: Alexander Haven.
(Sahara raises her eyebrows at the rather surprising mixed reaction.)
Sahara: Ohh, that’s right, I almost forgot. Some of you sheep actually like Alex now that his wife or whatever was cheating on him. Fuck Alyssa Marie, though, right? That bitch never had anything nice to say to me anyway, so I’m glad she’s not the COO anymore! Alright, calm down, I’m still listing names. How about Indrid Cal–
(The thunderous boos drown her out as a proud little smirk comes across her face, and she waits for the crowd to calm itself before continuing.)
(The cheers suddenly return, even louder than before, prompting an eyeroll from the champion.)
Sahara: Yeah, yeah, whatever. Even my husband, Michael Draven–
(The crowd cheers again, causing her to scoff.)
Sahara: Okay, we get it. You love some people, you hate some people. But the list of legends that have held this title goes on, but the bottom line is it’s a who’s who of professional wrestling. Both historically — considering some of those Jurassic era names I mentioned — and of the present day.
And now … you can add a Valkyrie to that list.
(The mixed reaction to her announcing herself as a “legend” and a Valkyrie slowly converts into a resounding, “You deserve it” chant, only Sahara shakes her head.)
Sahara: Stop! Stop it. I deserve nothing. It’s a bullshit chant and this is why–
(Holding the title up, she continues.)
Sahara: Nobody deserves this. They earn it. So if yer gonna chant something, chant you earned it. Because I did, just like every one of those legends before me did.
(Turning toward the crowd, Sahara beckons them to repeat after her.)
Sahara: C’mon, you can do it. You-ou earned it.
I know you can do it! You-ou earned it!
(While the chant is slow to start, a satisfied smile comes to the Crimson Queen’s face as it slowly spreads across the arena.)
“You-ou Earned It.”
“You-ou Earned It.”
“You-ou Earned It.”
(Leaning on the top rope, Sahara drapes the title over it and absorbs the adulation. Suddenly, the speakers in the arena begin to crackle and hiss. The noise catches the new EWA World Heavyweight Champion off-guard and she glances toward the crew at ringside with a half-confused, half-annoyed look on her face.
Then we hear it.
Filling one side of the arena a voice coos softly, “Sahaaaarrrraaaaaaa…”
She swings to her left gazing toward the darkened crowd to see if the source of the sound is visible as her championship gleams and sparkles under her spotlight.
Filling the opposite side of the arena the same voice beckons again, “Laaaauuurrrreeennnnnnn…”
The Crimson Queen whips around again as the crowd’s anticipation begins to grow wondering what is happening. Again, from one side of the arena, we hear the voice, “Sahaaaaarrrrraaaaaa…”
She turns once more and as she does, the voice on the other side returns much more quickly.
The pause is momentary before we again hear the voice echoing, “Sahaaarrrrrraaaaaaa…”
The pause between the repeating of the names is soon non-existent as the two blend over one another creating a cacophony of syllables. Sahara stomps back and forth in the ring again looking for the source of the voice, calling its owner out with her body language before…
The crackle and hiss abruptly disappear and the voice cuts out completely. Sahara stands in the center of the ring, her spotlight still shining down upon her, adjusting to the silence from the loudspeakers and the murmur of the crowd. With a snap, a second spotlight materializes on the stage – a spotlight in deep red.
Standing in the center of the spotlight is the man who will challenge Sahara for the EWA World Heavyweight Championship at Battlelines 37. The Purveyor stands tall and still, a Pillar overlooking the masses and eyeing the champion in her domain. In one hand he holds a microphone and in the other he grips the chain he has become so fond of. His Vanquisher.
He begins to stride slowly down the ramp, the microphone picking up the noise of the chain dragging along the metal with each step.
Sahara has not moved; her eyes are fixed on her future challenger, the rage beginning to burn within her.
NOTHING raises the microphone to his mouth and begins to speak.)
NOTHING: Sahaaaarrrraaaa… Laaaauuurrreeeennnn… which one is it, my dear? Do you even know, at this point? Is it easy to distinguish the two…? Or are the lines becoming as blurred for you as they have been for Michael Draven? I can see it starting to pull at you, Champion. Your two sides fighting for control, battling to see who will be the lone survivor.
Well, we all know who would win in a fair fight between Sahara and Lauren. We saw that come to pass in The Asylum when you nearly took your husband’s head off of his shoulders with a steel chair. Unfortunately for all of us… he ducked your swing, but it was oh so close. Now, Lauren would never have done that. She would hold that putrid, broken down fool deep within her heart and seek to never do him harm.
But not Sahara.
Sahara is out for blood. Out for pain. Out for agony. She’s out to cause pain and wreak havoc and prove to everybody in the EWA that she is no longer the joke she was seen as just a year or so ago.
But that can only happen if you let her overtake you, darling. You have to give in to the side pulling with the most force. Give in to the side moving forward and ignore the side standing still or, perhaps, falling behind. But… you must be willing.
(NOTHING reaches ringside and begins to ascend the steps, his eyes focused on the eyes of the Champion. Sahara stands tall and stares daggers right back at The Harbinger of HATE as he slowly enters the ring. She takes a measured step backward as NOTHING steps forward, still under the glow of a red spotlight while Sahara stands under a spotlight of white. He grins at the champion and begins to speak again.)
NOTHING: You’ve said one thing out here that I agree with. Just one thing in your little diatribe that screams of the truth. These people chanted for you and you told them to silence themselves. You told them that what they were chanting was bullshit. And for one fleeting moment, Champion, you let the truth spill from those well-traveled lips. Those three words rang out and sent chills through my body… your own words, darling… “I deserve nothing.”
And you’re right.
You deserve NOTHING.
You deserve me… standing across the ring from you, challenging you for a prize that has avoided me since I’ve stepped foot back in the EWA. You deserve me standing above you as I claim what is rightfully mine – what was stolen from me by the glory hog Grady Smith.
More importantly than all of that, though…
(He points out toward the crowd with his free hand, his chain still wrapped around his hand and wrist. It dangles in the air and catches the red light, Sahara’s focus momentarily shifting toward the chain before turning back toward NOTHING.)
NOTHING: They deserve NOTHING.
(The crowd responds with a mixed reaction; most boo his assertion, but there are clearly members of the Hive in attendance this evening cheering on The Purveyor.)
NOTHING: They deserve this just as much as I do, and what eats you up inside is that you know it’s the truth. So at Battlelines 37, it doesn’t much matter to me if you’ve solved your split personality dilemma… I don’t care if you show up as Sahara or as Lauren. When we step into the ring with the EWA World Heavyweight Championship on the line, I will pull Sahara out of you. I will drag her out and leave her lying in a pool of her own sweat and blood in Seattle.
Your prize is coming back to the House of HATE, my dear.
And, who knows…
(He reaches out with his chain-wrapped hand toward Sahara. He extends his index and middle fingers and runs the back of them along her jawline. Perhaps caught off guard by his brazenness, she doesn’t move at first. As his fingers reach her chin, she pushes his arm away to roar of approval from the crowd. The fans, whipped into a fevered pitch, begin chanting “SA-HAR-RAH! SA-HAR-RAH! SA-HAR-RAH!” as she stands defiant in the face of HATE. A sly grin begins to emerge on NOTHING as he stares back at her.)
NOTHING: Perhaps I’ll bring Sahara with me, too.
(She scowls, a mixture of disgust and disbelief on her face, as The Purveyor drops the microphone to the mat and slowly backs out of the ring. He backs up toward the guardrail, all the while maintaining eye contact with Sahara, whose gaze is also unbroken. He turns and leaps over the railing then turns, backing away into the darkness as Sahara continues to stare from the ring, her spotlight still shining bright overhead.
After a few moments of silence, she finally lifts her mic.)
Sahara: He’s right, ya know…
MM: He is?!
(Proudly holding up the EWA World Heavyweight Title, she looks at it lovingly.)
Sahara: He’s right when he says this has eluded him. Never in his days has he held something so precious. And no, his days in that bingo hall of an organization called the NYSWF don’t hold a candle to this title right here. Which means I’ve accomplished more in my short career, than he has in over two decades.
(Slowly lowering the strap, Sahara directs her piercing glare at the hard camera.)
Sahara: He’s NOTHING.
(A twisted little smile curls on one side of her face.)
Sahara: And he will always be … nothing.
(Reaching out her hand, she opens it allowing the mic to drop before stepping through the ropes and dropping to the outside.)
MM: Pointed words from our champion about her upcoming challenger at Battlelines 37. Talk about an amazing matchup, Ashe. Sahara versus NOTHING will be for the EWA World Heavyweight Championship! And as the new champion takes her leave, let’s go to the ring for our opening contest!
JESTER SMILES VS WILLIAM WEST
EWA COMBAT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
VA: Well, this sucks.
VA: We have to sit through 8 hours of Jester Smiles entering the ring and then another 80 hours of William West trying to be a wrestler. This sucks!
MM: Great job selling the match, partner. Listen folks, don’t listen to this guy. This is an interesting matchup, as we are basically watching a striker take on a grappler. They say great matchups are made by styles, so it’ll be interesting to see these opposing styles go at it!
VA: No it won’t. Shut up Malone.
Nikki Rogers: Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is scheduled for ONE FALL and is for the EWA COMBAT CHAMPIONSHIP!
The entryway begins to fill with green and purple fog. “Emperor’s New Clothes” by Panic at the Disco begins to play as the various titles and trophies throughout Jester’s career cycle through on the big screens.
A platform shoots JESTER SMILES up as gold and silver sparks shoot out! Jester stands there a moment, looking at the crowd. He then extends both his fists out and looks up at the sky!
Gold and silver sparks shoot out on both sides of Jester. Jester then looks at the crowd, beaming brightly. He takes off his golden jester mask and tosses it into the crowd before leaping for the guard rails, high fiving and hugging as many fans as possible. He then runs for the other side and repeats this process.
NR: Introducing first, THE CHALLENGER, from Richmond, Virginia, weighing in tonight at TWO HUNDRED and SIXTY FIVE POUNDS…JESTER…SMILES!
Jester begins to take his sweet time getting to the ring, high fiving and interacting with as many fans as possible. When he finally reaches the bottom of the ramp, he holds his hands out and does a sprint around the entire ring, high fiving any extended hands as quickly as possible. When he gets to the front of ring he leaps onto the apron in one jump before climbing into the ring between the top and bottom rope. Once in the ring he goes to the corner and holds both arms out, taking in the cheers of the fans. He then goes to the opposite corner, takes off his trademark “Legends Never Die” shirt and throws it into the crowd.
VA: UGGGGGGGH…GET ON WITH IT!
Jester, having sufficiently warmed up the crowd, now does some shadow boxing and practice knees and kicks to warm up as he awaits his opponent. The music changes to “Who Taught You How to Hate” by Disturbed hits. William West emerges from the back, holding the Combat Championship. He holds it high with one hand as the crowd responds with raucous applause.
MM: The crowd sure does love both of these men.
VA: I know…morons.
NR: And now, THE CHAMPION, making his way to the ring, he hails from Las Vegas, Nevada and weighs in at TWO HUNDRED and THIRTY EIGHT pounds…the EWA Combat Champion…WILLIAM…WEST!
West makes his way to the ring quickly, sliding into the ropes and pausing to lock eyes with Jester. West doesn’t seem to be smiling like he was last week. He seems on edge, anxious even. West passes off his belt to Cardillo. Jester walks to the middle of the ring as Juan Cardillo reminds both men to have a clean bout. Jester offers his hand to West as Cardillo signals for the bell, but West simply looks down at the hand and doesn’t respond.
VA: UGH! I’m so tired of this sportsmanship crap! God, just kill each other, will you!
After a few moments, it becomes clear that West is not going to shake Jester’s hand. Jester shrugs, backing off and motioning “okay, fine”. The two men begin to circle, West taking a traditional wrestling stance while Jester holds his hands up like a boxer.
MM: You can see in just the stances that these two men have very different approaches to this match. This will be a battle of styles.
VA: You already said that Malone. God you suck at this.
Jester is the first to go in, throwing a jab that causes West to back up. Jester throws a front kick with his right leg, but West sees it coming and catches his leg! West does a dragonscrew leg take down, holding onto the leg and locking in an ankle lock! Jester is right by the ropes and grabs them quick, but West releases before Cardillo can begin the count. Both men are up quick, with Jester favoring his right leg just a touch, but it quickly goes away as they circle. West shoots for a takedown, but Jester stuffs it and throws a right hand…West ducks under and gets away! The two again circle, and now Jester takes the advantage, going for a Superman punch that misses entirely. West takes this opportunity to grab hold of Jester and drops him with a belly to belly suplex, going for the pin!
Jester kicks out! West floats over and grabs Jester’s head, rolling him over and locking in a front facelock! Jester scrambles, getting to his feet and pulling away, trying to get out of a potential Guillotine Choke, but West keeps a hold, not quite able to get his arm around Jester’s throat. Jester throws a punch to West’s gut, and this is enough to cause West to release the hold. Jester hits West with a jab that staggers West, but when he tries for another, West is able to block and move away. The two, having test each other, again circle. The crowd cheers for both men.
VA: Is this it? Is this all we are going to see? Some basic holds and a couple of week punches?
MM: They’ll build up to it, Ashe. Right now they are feeling each other out.
Both men lock up in the ring. Jester takes the power advantage and pushes West to the ropes. Juan Cardillo tells the men to break, which Jester does. Both men walk to the center of the ring and again lock up. This time, West shoots for the takedown, but Jester is able to stuff it. He grabs hold of West and places him in a front facelock, lifting him back up. Jester tries to lift West up for a vertical suplex, but West floats over and grabs Jester by the back. He tries to toss Jester with a German Suplex, but Jester gets his legs wrapped around West and blocks.
VA: Oh my god, I wish something INTERESTING would happen in this match!
Jester elbows West, which causes West to release the hold. Jester hits the ropes and CRUSHES
West with a running big boot! The crack is heard loudly and the fans respond with a loud “OOOOH”
MM: Was that interesting enough?
Jester goes for the pin!
KICKOUT! Jester grabs hold of West and picks him up. He plants a hard leg kick that smacks loudly in the arena. He then hits a right jab and a left jab, softening up West. Again Jester runs back for the ropes, but so does West…
MM: BLOOD DRIVE!
William West covers!
Jester gets the shoulder up shortly after two! West floats over and mounts Jester, throwing punches at his head. Juan Cardillo is quick to admonish West, but West ignores, beginning his 5 count!
West gets off Jester before he is disqualified. Jester rolls to the apron, clutching his head.
VA: There we go, West, get vicious! Attack attack attack!
MM: West seems frustrated that his moves aren’t as effective as they’ve been in the past. I have to imagine hitting Indrid Calder with three Lunatikk Sweets and still not putting the man away has to get into a person’s head.
The camera pans away from the action for a moment, and we see the EWA’s newest hire, Murphy Doyle Maher, sitting at ringside. Wearing what seems to be a brand new EWA T-shirt, he munches on popcorn and waves to the camera, only taking his eyes off the action for a moment.
Jester is up on the apron now, still looking dazed. West comes forward and throws a fist, but Jester blocks and throws a punch of it’s own. It is nasty accurate and knocks West backwards and onto his knees. Jester is quick to grab the top rope and leap up, springboarding off and hitting West with a seated Senton!
MM: That’s called the BOOYA!, and that is a big man to go flying like that!
Jester hooks the leg!
NO! West rolls out!
MM: We almost had a new champion right there. That was a super close call.
VA: We almost had a new champion based on one dude sitting on another dude’s face. Pretty gay if you ask me.
Jester looks frustrated, but he doesn’t let it affect him. At this point, a crowd chant as started.
LET’S GO JESTER!
LET’S GO WEST!
LET’S GO JESTER!
LET’S GO WEST!
Jester feels energized by the half of the crowd chanting his name. He stands up and measures West as West tries to get to his feet. West takes a second to stand up, but his back is to Jester, and he doesn’t know where Jester is! West turns around and Jester fires off with the Virginia Sidekick!
But West dodges and slams Jester with the Lunatikk Sweet!
MM: There it is! Lunatikk Sweet!
West immediately pins Jester!
NO! Jester kicks out right before three! West looks in shock. He stands up and begins arguing with Juan Cardillo. Jester seems to wake up, but he is only able to roll on his arms and knees. West continues arguing with Juan Cardillo, but Juan continues to hold his ground and not back down from West. Finally West, frustrated, gives up the argument and turns around.
Into a small package roll up!
West kicks out at the very last second. West is up quick, furious, and he begins putting the boots to Jester. Juan tells West to stop, but he ignores Cardillo. Some in the crowd begin to boo West’s poor sportsmanship.
VA: Don’t listen to these idiots, West. If they had their way, you’d just be lying down and allowing Jester to pin you out of “good sportsmanship”.
West finally stops after Cardillo threatens to disqualify him, but West is clearly angry, and the damage is clearly down. Jester clutches his stomach with one hand and his head with the other. West grabs a hold of Jester and lifts him up. He kicks him in the stomach and drops Jester with a DDT. He pins!
No! Jester kicks out! West stands up, lifting Jester with him. He grabs Jester around the waist and lifts him up, dropping him with a Northern Lights Suplex! West bridges for the pin!
THREE- NO! Jester again kicks out!
MM: West needs to keep his cool here, because he is DOMINATING right now. He can clearly out wrestle Jester, so as long as he can keep this chain wrestling going, Jester will eventually be out long enough for that three count.
West is again frustrated, but he just lifts Jester back up-JESTER COMES TO LIFE! Smiles starts firing rights and lefts into West, peppering with hard, precise shots to the face! West is backed up into the corner! Jester moves away and comes running, looking for a turnbuckle clothesline, but West gets his feet up and boots Jester in the face! West lifts himself up to be seated on the top rope. He stands on the second rope. Jester turns and West leaps off for a double axe handle, but he gets caught, square on his orbital bone, with a big right hook! West goes flat and Jester falls backwards!
MM: Golden Punch!
VA: Ooooh, damn! I guess credit where credit is due, but that was one hell of a punch!
Jester crawls over to West and drapes his arm over the man for the pin!
THREE- NO! West kicks out. Jester rolls over, a look of shock on his face. West still looks dazed and out of it. Jester goes back over and pins again, this time hooking the leg!
THR- West kicks out faster! Jester grabs West’s head and picks him up, but West comes to life, grabbing hold of Jester’s arm and dragging him down for the Bitchify! Jester fights it though, doing his best to not get pulled into West’s submission finisher!
MM: If West locks in the Bitchify, this is probably over!
VA: Do it! Break the clowns…uhhhhh…break something!
MM: You…you don’t know which part of the body the Bitchify targets?
VA: Uhhhh…yeah, I do, I just don’t care which part of the body gets broken. Shut up Malone!
Jester continues to fight and begins to use his power advantage to get in a better position. West, seeing that he probably won’t be able to get Jester in the move, releases the hold and kicks Jester in the stomach. West hits the ropes and comes charging at Jester. He leaps and attempts to hit another LUNATIKK SWEET, but Jester pushes him away! As West lands on his feet, Jester spins suddenly and hits a spinning back kick DIRECTLY in the same spot that he punched West in earlier! West goes down hard!
MM: Wipe The Smile! That came out of nowhere!
VA: West’s face is going to be even uglier than it was before after that.
Jester drops down for the pin and hooks the leg!
The crowd goes nuts as Jester rolls off West in exhaustion. West stares up at the lights, looking dazed and uncertain about what exactly just happened.
I’M TAKING BACK THE CROWN!
“Emperor’s New Clothes” starts playing as Juan Cardillo helps Jester up, raises his hand, and puts the belt on him. Jester looks teary eyed as he beams happily at the adoring fans.
NR: Ladies and gentlemen, your winner, at a time of FIFTEEN MINUTES and FORTY SIX SECONDS…AND NEW COMBAT CHAMPION…JESTER…SMILES!
West has rolled over to the ropes and is up to his knees, using the ropes as support. Jester walks over, the Combat Championship around his waist. He smiles down at West and extends his hand again. This time, West slaps the hand away, standing up suddenly and exiting the ring. Jester looks confused, but shrugs it off, taking the belt off his waist, climbing to the second turnbuckle, and holding the belt up high for the world to see.
VA: A clown…is a champion in this company. An Angry Panda fought for the World Title, and a clown is our Combat Champion. Welp, this show will be cancelled in three months, tops.
MM: Come on, Ashe, don’t be like that. Both men put everything on the line in that match up, and Jester came out on top using both his wiles as a veteran of this sport and a tremendous amount of heart.
The camera focuses in on William West at the top of the entrance ramp. He glares at the ring, a combination of fury and shock on his face. He spits on the ground before the camera turns away from him.
Despite all his anger, this moment isn’t about him. It is about Jester Smiles, who is now on the opposite turnbuckle, holding up the Combat Championship, a smile on his face and the cheers of the crowd in his ears.
YOUR WINNER BY PINFALL, AND NEW COMBAT CHAMPION: JESTER SMILES (15:46)
(We open up with Stacy Vandervort walking backstage in the Moda Center, briskly moving through a hallway and talking into her phone.)
Stacy Vandervort: That’s great, that’s absolutely great. Tell everyone at the KeyArena we are extremely excited about the card for the next Battlelines show and thank them in advance for their hospitality.
(Stacy nods her head and turns a corner, waving to a few production crew members as she passes by.)
Stacy Vandervort: Oh it’s going to be a huge show, remind them to forward over to me their appearance requests by tomorrow so I can get a media schedule drawn up. Uh-huh. Yes, that will be perfect.
(The camera shot remains in front of her as she turns down another hallway, only to stop suddenly in her tracks. Her eyes narrow and she cautiously takes a step forward, not saying a word. Whomever she is speaking with must have picked up on her silence as she continues to stare dead ahead, her focus on something…or someone…just in front of her.)
Stacy Vandervort: No, everything is fine. Just…do me a favor, okay? Get security on standby and send them to my office. Yes now. No…no problem. Not yet anyways. Right. Okay. Bye.
(Stacy hangs up the phone and takes another step forward. There is no fear in her, just caution. She’s been calling the shots here for long enough to know that EWA is a powder keg only needing a simple spark to set things off. She’s been doing her best to defuse these situations and this circumstance is no different. She clears her throat and the camera finally swings behind her to reveal…)
Stacy Vandervort: Alice.
(The hulking and mentally fractured Alice is resting up against the side of the door that leads into Stacy’s office for the night. The office door is cracked open a bit already as Alice sneers over at Stacy, looking her over with disdain.)
Alice: Ms. Vandervort.
Stacy Vandervort: You want to explain what you’re doing lurking around my office? I don’t like unannounced visits, I get enough of that every show. Why don’t you tell me what you want and get moving, I’ve got a show to run tonight.
(Alice folds her arms across her broad chest, giving Stacy the once over. Alice looks down the opposite end of the hallway, apparently no longer dignifying Stacy with any eye contact.)
Alice: I don’t want anything to do with you at all, Ms. Vandervort. Nothing at all. This just seemed like a good place to lean, that’s all.
Stacy Vandervort: How about you go “lean” someplace else then?
Alice: Unfortunately I cannot. Not until you two have…words.
Stacy Vandervort: Who? Me and who have words?
(Alice rolls her eyes and motions with her head inside the office. Stacy gets the picture and opens up the door only to reveal Grace Goeren sitting in her chair, her feet kicked up on her desk and holding a cosmopolitan in her right hand.)
Grace Goeren: There she is! There’s my girl, come on in Stacy V. Hope you don’t mind, I helped myself to your mini fridge. Want a cosmo? I make em’ extra strong. JK, LOL. I already drank yours. Fuck me, it’s good to see you!
(Stacy stands silently in the doorway, processing everything she sees. The audacity of Grace Goeren to break into her locked office and then casually go through her things is not a surprise…there is hardly a depth that the God Queen won’t sink to…but it’s still difficult to take when she so flippantly disregards Stacy’s personal space like this. Still, Stacy somehow maintains her professional demeanor and very calmly addresses this disrespect with class.)
Stacy Vandervort: What do you want, Grace?
(Grace kicks her feet off of Stacy’s desk, making sure to dig her heels in and leave scuff marks in the process. She walks around to the front of the desk and leans up against it, giving Stacy nothing but smiles.)
Grace Goeren: I’m just here for my apology, that’s all.
Stacy Vandervort: What on Earth are you talking about?
Grace Goeren: You know, my apology. The one I know you’re absolutely DYING to give me.
Stacy Vandervort: I don’t owe you anything, Grace. Now get out of my office before I have security drag you out.
(While the artificial smile still remains on Grace’s face, her piercing blue eyes tell a different story. One of anger and hate.)
Grace Goeren: Oh see, that’s where I totes gotta disagree with your holiness, see cause…last Battlelines? You know, the one where you said everything was gonna be squarseys and nobody would be able to cheat and interfere with the match? Well…
(Grace takes a step forward, letting out a little laugh right in Stacy’s face.)
Grace Goeren: Shit didn’t go down like that, did it sweetie? Naw…see, the way I remember it was I was the only one standing and the rest of those cocksuckers were flat on their backs. I could have covered any single one of em’ for a fucking 100 count but when I go for the pin…oh, fuck me rotten…guess what happened?
Stacy Vandervort: This is not the time for…
Grace Goeren: No, no, no. Guess! No guesses? Kay’, I got you fam. I’ll refresh your memory. When I go for the pin THERE IS NO FUCKING REFEREE TO COUNT BECAUSE OF INTERFERENCE FROM THE SHITSTAINS AT RINGSIDE. Big fucking shocker, right? Oh but when I get cheapshotted and blindsided, suddenly referees start raining down from the mountaintop like jizz on a cookie. Ain’t that a fuckin’ HA-HA-LARIOUS coinkydink?
(Whatever faux joviality that existed in Grace’s voice before has completely evaporated as she glares back into the composed face of Stacy.)
Grace Goeren: Oh but I ain’t done just yet…so after I get fucked over…AGAIN…out of my World Title, all of a sudden I hear that I’m not even in the #1 Contender’s Match later tonight. Or the one next week in Seattle. So that means you’ve got something else in mind to make things right by me, don’t it?
Stacy Vandervort: I don’t respond well to ultimatums. Or threats. What happened to you during the match was regrettable but…
(Grace waves her off, not like the direction of the conversation that Stacy is heading down.)
Grace Goeren: Nah, see…an apology isn’t going to cut it anymore. Just decided that. It’s time EWA starts to recognize what they got in me and treat me with the respect I deserve. Because right now I’m the best god-damn wrestler you have in this shitty backwards-ass promotion and if you don’t woman-up and make this right…
(Grace takes another step towards Stacy, the two women almost nose to nose. Grace lunges forward but Stacy doesn’t flinch…which causes Grace to chuckle and walk past her towards the door.)
Grace Goeren: …then maybe I’ll take my talents elsewhere. Lets see how all them advertisers and investors handle the news of you letting the youngest and most talented World Champion in wrestling history walk out on your watch. Make it fucking right, Stacy…or I make sure this place dies. Either way…I win.
(Grace moves her hand to patronize Stacy with a condescending pat on the cheek, only to have Stacy slap her hand away. Grace smiles and nods, feeling like her message was heard loud and clear. The second that Grace leaves the room Stacy SLAMS the door closed behind her and takes a deep breath before we slowly fade back to ringside.)
PHILIP DONOVAN VS MARTIN ROBERTSON
MM: Let’s send it back up ringside to Nikki Rogers, who’s ready with our next contest!
NR: The following contest is scheduled for one fall!
HAIL TO THE KING
HAIL TO THE ONE
KNEEL TO THE CROWN
STAND IN THE SUN
HAIL TO THE KING!
NR: Introducing first… he hails from New Rochelle, New York, but currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts… accompanied to the ring by Alyssa Marie Haven, he is the “Youth King”… “PERFECTION”… MARTIN… ROBERTSON!
VA: Get on your knees, Malone!
VA: BOW TO THE KING!
MM: That’s not where I thought you were going with that. Thankfully, I was quite wrong.
VA: Acceptance is the first step, Malone.
As “Hail to the King” by Avenged Sevenfold continues to play, the symbol of Martin Robertson, the skull king, begins to rotate on the jumbotron. Stepping through the curtain first is Alyssa, wearing a flowing black dress outfitted with sequins all along the front, reflecting the spotlight like a disco ball. She stops at the top of the entrance ramp, turning towards the curtain to watch the Youth King step through, wearing once again his royal purple sequined robe with the word “Perfection” in shining silver on the back. He meets Alyssa at the top of the ramp as she tucks herself underneath his outstretched arms before looking up at the Youth King and kissing him. The two clasp hands as they begin their walk towards the ring.
VA: This is the true power couple of the EWA, Malone!
MM: They were, at least. That was before our new acting Chief Operating Officer, Cameron Black, the personal lawyer to Alexander Haven, stripped Alyssa of her duties last Battlelines.
VA: I’ve heard there’s pending litigation to get Alyssa her job back.
MM: Whether or not that’s true..
VA: Why would you question me, Malone?
MM: Oh, so many reasons…
As Martin enters the ring, he climbs the turnbuckle, undoing the rope to show the black “Youth King” t-shirt he’s wearing underneath the robe. He removes the rope and hands it over the ring ropes before removing the t-shirt and tossing it out to the crowd as he climbs back down and heads to a corner to talk with Alyssa.
As Martin reaches the corner, the lights begin to dim once again as the familiar graphic “WELCOME TO THE NEW WAVE” flashes up on the jumbotron as Carpenter Brut’s “Le Perv” blasts through the arena.
NR: … and his opponent! He hails from Newport Beach, California… accompanied to the ring by the Lemonheads, this is … PHILIP… DONOVAN!
Neon green laser beams scatter and strobe across the entrance ramp as PhD steps out underneath the single black light shining down on the stage, arms outstretched. Running out from the curtains behind him is the Lemonheads, Joe Lemon and Serpent Man. The duo engage with the fans before running back up to PhD, offering high fives to the veteran from California. The crowd roars as Donovan slowly steps out from underneath the spotlight onto the ramp and begins to walk down to the ring, with the Lemonheads slowly following behind him.
MM: PhD has gotten on a nice roll here since his return back to the EWA at the Warriors Trial, racking up wins against Alex Brooks and, last Battlelines, against Katsuro Yoshida.
VA: Yeah, but he’s facing a BIG step up in competition going against the Youth King, Malone!
MM: True, but Donovan has been in numerous battles throughout his career.
VA: And what the hell are these two idiots doing out here with him?
PhD climbs into the ring as Joe Lemon and Serpent Man run around the ringside area, interacting with many of the fans looking to either slap hands or get a selfie.
MM: They’re quite an odd couple, I’ll admit that, but they’ve been Donovan’s biggest supporters since his return. I’m sure he’ll… OH GOOD LORD!
VA: I don’t think he was ready for that, Malone!
MM: Robertson with a helluva kick just as Donovan turned around! The bell hasn’t even rung yet, damnit!
VA: Ask Martin if he cares!
DING! DING! DING!
MM: There’s the bell, but I don’t think this one will last long…
KICKOUT BY PHD!
MM: I know PhD has been through many wars, but I’m surprised he got out of that, Vince. Robertson caught him flush with that!
Robertson quickly picks up Donovan, whipping him across the ring before catching him with a clothesline, sending him back down to the mat. Martin drops an elbow across Donovan’s chest and goes for another cover, but PhD manages to kick out right at 2 this time, slowly regaining some of the senses that Robertson tried to knock out of him just a minute ago. But Robertson stays on the attack, quickly pulling Donovan back to his feet, landing a stiff chop to the chest of Donovan, backing him towards a corner. Martin climbs to the second turnbuckle to start raining right hands down to the side of Donovan’s head, but after the third punch, PhD pushes the Youth King off the turnbuckle, causing him to land on his back. Robertson gets back up quickly, but as he reaches the corner, PhD spins him around, and how Donovan is on the second rope, landing right hands of his own to Robertson’s head.
MM: That advantage didn’t last long… and now Robertson’s paying the price as PhD is taking control!
PhD hops down off the ropes and whips Martin to the opposite corner. PhD comes flying across, following Martin, and nailing him with a flying forearm smash just as Martin hit the turnbuckle! PhD, looking to move fast, rolls Robertson out of the corner into the middle of the ring. But just as Martin sits up in the middle of the ring, PhD is right behind him, landing a leg strike right to the small of the back of Robertson.
MM: PhD on a roll here, Vince… OH MY GOODNESS! That knee strike by PhD might have just knocked out the Youth King!
VA: It can’t end this quickly!
KICKOUT BY ROBERTSON!
MM: Not a very convincing kickout by Robertson, Vince.
VA: It’s a kickout, Malone. It’s not meant to be convincing… it’s meant to not lose the match, dumbass!
MM: And now the Lemonheads are trying to get this crowd into it!
VA: Look at these two idiots.
Serpent Man is banging down on the mat at Joe Lemon is running around, firing up the crowd as PhD wastes no time pulling Martin back to his feet. Donovan wrings the arm before knocking Robertson back to the canvas with a short arm clothesline. As soon as Robertson hits the mat, PhD is pulling Martin back to his feet, before knocking him down with a second clothesline. A little slower this time, but not on PhD’s part, as he’s pulling to get Martin back to his feet. But as soon as Martin reaches his feet…
MM: Oh! Robertson with a thumb to the eye!
VA: That’ll stop any momentum, Malone!
MM: But can Robertson capitalize on his pause of Donovan’s momentum here?
Robertson, still smarting from the earlier attack, has to pause after the thumb to the eye of PhD, but he finally gets enough energy to charge at PhD with a clothesline, but PhD, still holding his eye, is able to duck it, sending Martin into the ropes. Martin rebounds towards PhD, but Donovan has enough wherewithal to get his knee up. But Robertson rolls over it, bringing down PhD into a roll up pin… but Martin continues to roll, giving up the pinning combination, rolling towards PhD’s head. Martin latches on with an inverted facelock, pulling PhD to his feet, still holding onto the inverted facelock, lifting Donovan up….
VA: You see that move, Malone?
MM: A beautiful inverted suplex sends PhD down to the mat! Nice counter by Martin, there… but the Youth King can’t capitalize to get the pin as PhD has enough smarts to roll under the bottom rope and out to the ringside floor!
PhD lands on his feet on the outside, but is a bit groggy as he leans on the ring apron.
Martin looks over seeing PhD, then bounces off the far ropes. But as Martin starts to baseball slide out of the ring, PhD slips back into the ring, and begins charging off the far ropes himself. Martin lands on his feet and spins around, just in time to see PhD starting his charge off the far ropes..
MM: Baseball slide by PhD, and he connects square with Robertson!
VA: Martin got his head up, but just in time to read the bottom of Donovan’s shoes!
Joe Lemon and Serpent Man are over for a group high five, but PhD doesn’t waste too much time, reaching down for Robertson, pulling him to his feet, only to slam him into the corner post. Martin bounces hard, going around Alyssa as PhD quickly follows behind. Robertson goes to slide into the ring, but PhD pulls him back out of the ring, landing a couple of quick forearm smashes to the temple of the Youth King.
MM: What’s PhD doing now? He’s on the ring apron…
VA: Move Martin!
MM: He did! PhD went to kick Martin, who was leaning against the ring post, but Martin moved… But PhD pulled up short… What… No… NO!
VA: OH My GOD!
MM: Springboard shooting star press by PhD on the outside to Robertson! He might have started quickly, Vince, but this match has been mostly Philip Donovan since that time!
A quick chant of “HO-LY SHIT!” rings out through the Portland crowd, as PhD pumps his fists. Alyssa, meanwhile, is screaming at the top of her lungs at Robertson from the other side of the ring. PhD pulls Robertson up and rolls him into the ring, then climbs up on the apron…
MM: What’s PhD looking to do here… Springboard diving elbow drop onto Robertson! He got all of him here… COVER…
MM: Kickout by Robertson, but just in the nick of time!
VA: That was too close, Malone!
MM: The man who will be in the number one contender’s match next Battlelines has got his hands full tonight with PhD!
VA: This isn’t the match I think Robertson was expecting tonight, Malone!
PhD shows a small amount of frustration, thinking he had Robertson, but is quickly back to his feet, pulling Robertson back up with him. A couple of forearm smashes sends Robertson back to the corner, very groggy on his feet.
MM: What’s Donovan looking to do now? He’s back at the opposite corner, charges… running knee strike in the corner to Robertson! Donovan backs up again… another running knee strike!
VA: Move Marty!
MM: Alyssa’s screaming the same thing, Vince!
VA: Shut up, Malone!
MM: Donovan… a third running knee strike! This kid looks out, folks! PhD, running bulldo… no! Robertson pushes Donovan off…
VA: PURE PERFECTION!
MM: From out of nowhere, Martin Robertson just caught PhD with Pure Perfection out of pure instinct, folks! But he’s nowhere near capable to make the cover, Vince!
VA: True, but this might just be the opening Robertson needs to finally get back into this match, Malone!
MM: I don’t know, Vince. Robertson collapsed just as soon as he hit that move. But listen to this crowd rally around PhD…
VA: I wish those Lemonheads would shut up… Alyssa’s trying to rally Martin!
As the in-ring count gets to six, Donovan is the first to start to stir, rolling over onto his hands and knees, crawling his way towards the ropes nearest him. He pulls himself up to his feet just as Robertson now starts to move around as well. Donovan, with a shake of his head, heads over to Robertson, who has finally made it to his kne…
MM: OH GOD DAMNIT! Robertson with a cheap low blow on PhD! That’s completely uncalled for!
VA: Winners do what they need to do to win, Malone!
MM: Winners don’t need to hit their opponent in the groin, that’s for damn certain! Robertson to his feet… overhead belly to belly suplex by Robertson! All release… all impact!
VA: Atta boy, Marty!
Martin, still struggling to find his feet, is slow to get up, but a bit faster than the pace PhD is moving at currently. Robertson gets to his feet, and stands over Donovan, who’s just rolling over onto his stomach. The Youth King pulls PhD to his feet, but is shoved backwards by the more experienced Donovan, giving himself a little bit of breathing room. Robertson swings with a right, but it’s blocked by PhD. A boot to the midsection doubles over Robertson, and PhD is quickly off the ropes and a running knee strike sends Robertson down! PhD, quick as a cat, back to his feet and off the ropes again, and this time lands a running leg drop before making a cover…
THR… NO! KICKOUT BY ROBERTSON!
MM: Another close pinfall attempt, Vince…
VA: Yeah, and if they start to get any closer, PhD is going to pull off the win!
PhD is back to his feet, pulling Robertson up with him. A forearm smash by PhD spins Robertson around, and Donovan locks in a sleeper hold. He starts to spin, but Robertson is able to slip to the side, lifting PhD up for a headlock suplex. But PhD lets go in time, flipping over and landing on his feet behind Robertson. Waist lock by PhD is easily broken by Robertson, who spins around and applies the same. Martin goes to lift PhD for a German suplex, but PhD flips over again, landing on his feet a second time behind Robertson. Donovan lands a forearm strike to the back of Robertson’s head, sending him face first down to the mat.
MM: Robertson’s down, and PhD grabs his legs… Wheelbarrow supl… no! Robertson lands on his feet, and a vicious back elbow to the temple of PhD!
VA: That one had to leave him dazed!
MM: Robertson off the ropes, but PhD ducks the clothesline attempt…. Robertson back again… Slingblade by Robertson! And now Robertson seems to be gaining some momentum here…
VA: All just a game, Malone…
MM: Robertson, now up, poised, waiting for PhD to get to his feet. Donovan’s up, and Robertson charges at him… but a push by PhD sends Robertson back into the ropes. Robertson leapfrogs Donovan and stops, and now Donovan goes off the ropes. He charges at Robertson, who just turns around, and a rana by PhD sends Robertson back down to the mat.
VA: Lot of energy by these two, Malone.
MM: Indeed, Vince. PhD is now up, waiting for Robertson, who slowly makes it back to his feet. A push from PhD sends Robertson into the corner chest first….
VA: This could be it…
MM: PhD behind Robertson… leaps onto his shoulders for the FLASHBA…
MM: Robertson, quick witted, drops PhD down with an electric chair drop before Donovan could hit his finisher… what a match we’re seeing!
VA: I know! I can’t believe Martin is continuing to let PhD think he can win this match!
MM: Give Philip Donovan a lot of credit… after being out for more than a year, he’s been on quite a run since his return at Warriors Trial 4.
Both men slowly make their way to opposite sides of the ring to pull themselves up to a vertical base. The Lemonheads are, once again, trying to rally the crowd support around PhD while Alyssa Marie Haven is right next to the Youth King, shouting instructions at him to finish the match. Both men get to their feet at around the same time, and stagger to the middle of the ring. Robertson is the first to fire, sending a right hand to the side of PhD’s temple. But Donovan is quick to fire back with a forearm smash of his own. Robertson returns the favor, which is met by another shot from Donovan. PhD’s shots are having more of an affect, though, as Robertson stumbles back towards the ropes.
MM: PhD here… Irish whip… NO! Reversal by Robertson, and now Martin’s got a sleeper hold on PhD… PhD to the side…. PHOTOBOMB! COVER…
MM: Robertson out at the last second!
PhD looks at Iley, imploring him that it had to be a three count, but he’s adamant that Robertson did indeed get his shoulder up before his hand hit the mat for a third time. Alyssa starts banging her hands on the mat towards Robertson, doing anything she can to revive the Youth King.
MM: Listen to Alyssa on the outside… a real nervousness coming out in her screams towards Martin.
VA: She’s just being encouraging, Malone.
MM: Maybe, but…. wait a second… why is she climbing up on the ring apron?!?
VA: Just because she’s no longer Chief Operating Officer, Malone, doesn’t mean she still doesn’t have some influence over these incompetent referees!
MM: How has Rick Iley been incompetent thus far?
VA: I… uhh… look! Martin’s up!
MM: Martin from behind… Small package on Donovan!
VA: Alyssa, get down!
MM: But now Donovan reverses it, and now he’s pinning Robertson!
VA: Alyssa, stay up!
MM: She’s not paying attention to you, Vince, just like that incompetent Iley is still distracted by her! And now here come the Lemonheads to talk her down off the apron!
VA: Like they’re going to do anything!
MM: Well, she’s, for some reason, climbing down, and now arguing with them! But it doesn’t matter at this point, as Donovan is now back to his feet, trying to figure out what’s going on! He had the three count on that small package reversal…
VA: See, told you Iley was incompetent!
MM: PhD is asking him where he was for tha…
VA: MARTIN FROM BEHIND!
MM: Robertson, taking advantage of this, with the running knee to the back of PhD, sending him chest first HARD into the corner! Robertson’s back up again… ANOTHER RUNNING KNEE! Straight to the small of the back of Philip Donovan. Robertson up quickly…
VA: PURE PERFECTION!
MM: He caught PhD square on the jaw with that superkick!
VA: COVER HIM!
MM: Iley with the count…
NR: Here is the winner of the match, the “YOUTH KING”… MARTIN… ROBERTSON!
MM: Robertson somehow pulls off the win here, clearly with the help of Alyssa Marie Haven!
VA: No, Martin did this all on his own. The Youth King needed no help whatsoever!
MM: So you didn’t see Alyssa on the ring apron, distracting Rick Iley?
VA: I saw the Youth King show just how resilient he is in the ring, able to rope a dope Philip Donovan into thinking he had control of this match, only to pull the rug out from the aging veteran when he least expected it.
MM: You are unbelievable..
VA: To the pit of misery! DILLY DILLY!
YOUR WINNER BY PINFALL: MARTIN ROBERTSON (14:11)
MM: In any event, Martin Robertson was able to take home the victory tonight, setting himself up for his confrontation next Battlelines with Michael Draven to determine the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Title at This Means War!
VA: At the rate Martin is sending these old folks to the retirement home, we should start calling him Doctor Youth King!
MM: Good lord… let’s send it to th…
(Interrupting Malone, we hear the sound of heavy breathing coming through the arena’s speaker system…)
Martin Robertson: Shut your mouths for a minute!
(The camera cuts to the ring where Martin, standing in the center of the ring with Alyssa, has somehow gotten ahold of a microphone. Doubled over, attempting to catch his breath, Martin has his hands on his knees for a moment before standing up to look out at the crowd…)
Martin Robertson: Piece of cake! Piece of cake…
(Martin walks to the ropes…)
Martin Robertson: Not like the whole cake that this fat boy in the front row would eat if given the opportunity…
MM: Every week with the fat references to the fans…
VA: Hey, maybe he’s testing out motivational statements to be a personal trainer after his career in wrestling ends…
VA: You don’t know, do you?
Martin Robertson: I took care of that washed up has been, Philip Donovan, just like fat boy here clears out the Golden Corral buffet once a week! So now…
(The jeers from the arena continue grow the more Robertson talks…)
Martin Robertson: Oh, don’t boo me for speaking the truth. I’m the only ray of realism that you have around here. I’ve told you from day one that I’m the greatest around here, and I prove it every single time I step into this ring. I’ve beaten the “legendary” Grady Smith, I’ve sent Chris Kage and Alexander Haven to retirement homes, the Lemonheads are probably in the back using PhD’s tears to make their next batch of lemonade as they speak…
MM: He’s unbelievable…
VA: Shhh… The King is speaking!
Martin Robertson: This ring is my kingdom, and I continue to show why I am the one and only Youth King in this kingdom! And come next Battlelines, I’m executing the last fake king that remains on my property, Michael Draven!
MM: Fake king? He just lost the World Heavyweight Title…
VA: Exactly! Fake kings don’t deserve titles…
Martin Robertson: Michael Draven, everything that’s happened for you over this past year is all due to one man… ME! I’m the one that made you actually believe you belonged in the same ring as me. I’m the one that put you in a position to become World Heavyweight Champion. But next Battlelines, I’m coming to collect the debt owed to me for all of your fame and glory! Midnight has struck, Michael, and I’m coming to colle…
I’M THE HAND OF GOD
I’M THE DARK MESSIAH
I’M THE VENGEFUL ONE
VA: Oh god, I was hoping we were through with this idiot after he lost the title, Malone.
MM: Michael Draven is here!
(Indeed, as ‘The Vengeful One’ plays, Draven steps out onto the entrance stage to a thunderous ovation from the Portland crowd. Martin Robertson, clearly annoyed, leans over, talking animatedly with Alyssa Marie while jabbing a finger toward the stage. The music dies down, and Draven produces a microphone, walking slowly toward the ring.)
Michael Draven: How’s it going, Marty? Been awhile since we’ve had a good talk. After all, we’re the only remaining members of the Three Kings, aren’t we? And you, Alyssa. Looking slutty as ever, aren’t we?
VA: He can’t say that about Alyssa Marie!
MM: He can! She’s not even employed in the front office anymore, thanks to her estranged husband!
(Alyssa points at Draven, shouting something at him, but the former champion merely smirks.)
Michael Draven: I mean, I get it, Alyssa. I do. You faked a relationship with me and slept with me two years ago to lull me into a false sense of security. All one big happy plot of the Youth. I accepted that a long time ago, and I considered us friends, even…until…this.
(Reaching the bottom of the ramp, Michael points exaggeratedly at Martin Robertson, a look of hatred on the Youth King’s face.)
Michael Draven: So we’ve established your motive for myself. Obviously, you were married to Alex…but Martin?! You’re really robbing the cradle here, darling. But you’re the only person that can legitimately say that they’ve been able to pin down all Three Kings, at least!
(The crowd pops as Alyssa crosses her arms over her chest, expression full of fury, as Draven begins to climb the steel steps.)
Michael Draven: Maybe instead of ‘The Queen Bitch’, these people should just start calling you…oh, I don’t know…a ring rat!
VA: That’s out of line, Michael Draven! You’re going to pay for that!
(But it’s too late, as the crowd’s already picked up on it…)
“YOU’RE A RING RAT!”
*CLAP CLAP CLAPCLAPCLAP*
“YOU’RE A RING RAT!”
*CLAP CLAP CLAPCLAPCLAP*
“YOU’RE A RING RAT!”
*CLAP CLAP CLAPCLAPCLAP*
(Alyssa paces back and forth in anger, screaming obscenities, as Michael Draven stops on the ring apron.)
Michael Draven: Now you’ll notice that I’ve said everything I have to say to you, Alyssa, before entering the ring. Because as much as I make light of you and your positions in this industry – missionary, doggystyle, reverse cowgirl, etc, etc…
VA: Dammit, Malone, do something!
VA: Stop laughing!
Michael Draven: As much as I make light of it, the fact is, you’ve got one hell of a slap, and my head’s still ringing after Grace Goeren bashed it with a chair in Albany two weeks ago. I don’t need that kind of headache here tonight.
(Michael Draven steps into the ring, stepping right up to Martin Robertson, nose to nose.)
Michael Draven: But I’ll say what I have to say to you right to your face, because you don’t have the balls to do a goddamn thing, kid.
(The crowd ‘ooohs’ as Robertson glares into the eyes of his former partner, but doesn’t say a word, and Draven continues to talk.)
Michael Draven: The fact is, Martin, you’ve been pulling this dog and pony show for long enough already. It started when you debuted. You lost to everyone those first two months. Names that aren’t even a part of the EWA anymore. SmirtDogg, Jublome…you even lost to Joe Lemon! And so what did you do?
You grabbed the coattails of the Youth. Chris Kage, Alexander Haven…and you rode those coattails to success. Longest reigning Network Champion of all time, main event after main event, a blood feud with HATE…and then the Youth started to show cracks in the foundation. And Martin Robertson knows that he’s incapable of doing things on his own, so what does he do?
He jumps off the sinking ship, and climbs aboard another one with two more veterans of the business. Alexander Haven, once again…and myself, as part of the Three Kings. And all you did the entire time was bitch and cry, and bitch and cry, and bitch and cry, and bitch and cry, and bitch and cry, about the title shot you “deserved”!
(The crowd again picks up another chant, much to the chagrin of a seething Martin Robertson…)
“BITCH AND CRY!
BITCH AND CRY!
BITCH AND CRY!”
Michael Draven: But then, things started to unravel. I had my leg broken. Alex lost the World Heavyweight Championship. And once again, Martin jumps off the sinking ship. But does he decide to do it alone this time? Prove to the world that the son of the legendary Grady Smi–
Martin Robertson: Don’t you say his fucking name!
(Draven laughs, shaking his head.)
Michael Draven: Whatever you say, Marty. Sure. The point is, you didn’t do it alone. No, you somehow ended up with Alyssa Marie at your side, and god only knows how long you’d been going at it behind Alex’s back.
The point I’m trying to make here, Marty, is this. You’ve never been able to accomplish anything on your own your entire career. You’ve accomplished nothing and demanded everything. Alexander Haven has done some pretty disgusting shit in his lifetime, but what you did to him is shameful. And while he may not be here anymore, I am, and Marty, at Battlelines 37 in Seattle, I’m the man that stands between you and a championship opportunity that, quite frankly, you haven’t earned. So it’s time to prove yourself, Marty. For once in your pathetic excuse of a career, it’s time for you to shut your fucking mouth and do something!
(Martin smirks for a second, before starting to shake his head. He pauses for a moment, before bringing his microphone back up to his face…)
Martin Robertson: Ladies and gentlemen… Michael Draven, everyone! Standing here, lecturing me, telling me how awful of a human being I am for what I did to Alexander Haven. When I… I’m not the one who started an entire company, just to finally try and beat someone I hadn’t beaten in twenty years!
(Michael, feigning shock, covers his mouth with his hands, playing up the reactions to Martin’s comments…)
Martin Robertson: You… you want to talk about riding coattails, Mikey? Take a look in the mirror, because you’ve been riding coattails your entire life! Your brother… Alexander Haven… hell, the only reason you’re standing in this ring right now, even somewhat relevant today, is because I … oh, you know this is true, don’t shake your head at me…. Is because I put you on the back of MY coattails when I put together the Three Kings!
(Michael’s face begins to show that he’s started to grow tired of Martin’s game, turning much more serious than a few seconds ago…)
Martin Robertson: You’ve been riding coattails your entire life, and come Seattle, the only thing you’ll be riding is…
MM: OH GOOD LORD!
(Mid-sentence, Martin just popped Michael Draven with the microphone on the top of the head, staggering the former World Heavyweight Champion backwards. Martin throws the microphone down and charges straight for Draven…)
VA: Take that, Draven!
MM: What has come over Robertson? Whip across the ring, Martin ducks….
MM: DOWNFALL BY DRAVEN! He just planted Robertson in the middle of the ring!
VA: Get him Alyssa!
MM: She did! She just went to slap Draven, but he ducked, and Alyssa just fell flat on her face!
VA: What a despicable human being Draven his, putting his hands on a woman like Queen Alyssa!
MM: He didn’t even touch her, though!
(Alyssa, clearly embarrassed, begins slamming the mat in frustration as she turns and looks over at Martin, who’s still out face first on the mat. Draven exits the ring, pointing and laughing at Martin and Alyssa…)
MM: Is this what we’ll see at Battlelines 37 as these two men square off to become the number one contender to the World Heavyweight Championship?
VA: He got away with it once, Malone. Don’t expect the kingdom to be too kind to Michael Draven when they meet in Seattle!
(We fade backstage to a view of Michael Draven, having just emerged backstage from the curtain, alongside and the EWA Network Champion, Maggie McIntyre, rapidly walking toward the person they’ve just spotted – none other than the EWA World Heavyweight Champion, Sahara.)
Michael Draven: Lauren! Thank God you’re alright!
Sahara: Of course I’m alright, you saw me in the opening segment!
(A look of relief crosses both Michael and Maggie’s faces, seeing their wife in seemingly good spirits. The Crimson Queen is still dressed in her street clothes, but that’s of no concern to them. As Michael and Maggie step into the World Champion’s dressing room, she snatches up her World Title and moves to exit. Giving each of them a quick hug and peck on the cheek, she backpedals through the doorway.)
Sahara: Aww, thanks so much you two! But hey, I — I gotta go see Stacy right now about my match with Josh. The show must go on, right?! Hey, I’ll catch up with you guys later tonight, right?
(Not really waiting for a response, the blonde turns and walks off as Michael holds his arms out in a state of confusion.)
Michael Draven: Seriously?
(Maggie simply shakes her head.)
Maggie McIntyre: Mike, she’s got a lot on her mind tonight. Let’s … let’s just wait until after the show. We’ll talk at the hotel.
(Draven sighs, leaving the locker room. Maggie stands alone for a moment, lost in thought, and then follows as we fade.)
KATSURO YOSHIDA VS NOTHING
The music comes on, and out comes Katsuro Yoshida, closely followed and in discussion with his advocate, Kevin Oppenheimer.
MM: It looks like the World Wide Bushido Buntai preparation for this match is going to go right up to the bell!
VA: Ain’t gonna be enough, Malone. I guarantee Yoshida ain’t met no animal like the Purveyor of HATE.
NR: Introducing first, being accompanied by Kevin Oppenheimer, weighing in at two hundred and sixty two pounds……Katsurrrrrroooooo Yoooooooshidaaaaaaa!
MM: Yoshida has a lot to prove tonight, coming into this match against a top contender for the Heavyweight title!
VA: He’s 0-2 here so far, so he’s gonna need to show his worth here tonight. I think he can.
VA: What? I mean, NOTHING is still gonna take his head off, but Yoshida will look good while he does it!
The song ends, and Yoshida stands alone in the ring, as the lights dim and die.
it seems strange that my life should end
in such a terrible place
Placebo blares to life suddenly and the Harbinger of HATE throws the curtains back, power walking, no. Power stalking to the ring.
NR: And his opponent, he is one of the Pillars of HATE……he is The Purveyor…….NOOOOOOOOTHIIIIIIIING!
MM: NOTHING is focused. He looks to be on a mission tonight.
VA: After coming up empty in the Asylum? I’d say his mission is destroy anything he touches. And he’s about to touch Katsuro Yoshida.
NOTHING steps between the ropes and is met with a swift kick to the ribs by an overly aggressive Yoshida! The bell rings and the match is underway!
MM: I wasn’t expecting that!
VA: Neither was NOTHING! But I’d say if he wasn’t focused on hurting this man from Japan, he is now!
Yoshida follows up with a headbutt to the ribs as NOTHING tries to get his footing, knocking the HATEful one back to a knee! A swift kick to the ribs is followed by one more to the back and NOTHING is face first on the canvas!
VA: It seems Yoshida has found his area of attack tonight, and if he has his way, NOTHING is gonna be coughing up and pissing blood!
Yoshida gets a running start and dives, driving both knees into the chest of NOTHING, and staying in that position, and the cover is made!
NOTHING shoves Yoshida off, breaking the count!
MM: I think this is the aggression Yoshida was lacking two weeks ago, when he lost to Philip Donovan!
VA: Bad luck to Pru Collins that he found it tonight!
Yoshida continues his focus on the ribs and midsection of The Purveyor, taking full advantage of his blitz attack early on. He furiously drives the elbow into the rib cage of NOTHING, before bringing the man to his feet. Yoshida applies a top hammerlock, before shoving NOTHING into the turnbuckle, allowing Collins’ exposed rib cage to take the brunt of the impact!
MM: A vicious assault by the newcomer here tonight!
NOTHING staggers out of the corner, only to be met with a spear like shoulder block, right to the back, level with the ribs, that sends his sprawling back into the middle turnbuckle face first! Yoshida pulls the Purveyor away from the ropes and makes the cover!
NOTHING rolls the shoulder up!
MM: I’m noticing that NOTHING is wincing just taking a breath right now. Which is, I’m sure, Yoshida’s aim.
VA: If you can’t breathe, you can’t kick out.
Yoshida picks up the Purveyor to inflict more damage, but is met with a fistful of fingernails, right in his eye socket! Yoshida writhes in pain as NOTHING attempts amateur eye removal, but gets the job done in creating distance and an opening!
MM: HATE is never beneath using cheap and dirty tactics to gain the advantage, and NOTHING proves it here tonight.
VA: I don’t think that was so much cheap, as it was painful. That is ALWAYS NOTHING’s focus. Hurting people.
MM: That’s true.
NOTHING holds his rib cage, but is able to loose an arrow like kick to Yoshida’s chin that sends him into the turnbuckles! NOTHING moves in as quickly as his shallow breaths will allow him and begins to work over Katsuro in the corner, chaining together an impressive array of strikes that seem to find its way through the moving guard of Yoshida!
VA: Working through defenses is like baseball for NOTHING: he hits them where they ain’t.
MM: Yoshida is battered and beaten, and NOTHING is masterful in working through the pain and discomfort he’s got to be feeling right now!
NOTHING snaps off a kick to the side of Yoshida, followed by a huge forearm that nearly caved in the cheek bone of Katsuro, and NOTHING casually steps away and allows Yoshida to fall like a redwood tree, right on his face!
NOTHING gets a hobbling start, due to the difficulty breathing, but plants his feet to the side of Yoshida’s head with a basement dropkick! And the Purveyor covers!
Yoshida powers out, causing NOTHING to wince slightly. NOTHING digs his elbow into the jaw of Yoshida as he gets to his feet, probably just to be a dick.
MM: NOTHING needs a quick strategy here for the larger opponent. He’s even more limited now thanks to the pain his his ribs!
VA: I’d kick him in the balls. Probably the face too.
MM: We know, Vince.
NOTHING scales the middle rope, and takes Katsuro down with a huge bulldog! The cover!
Yoshida kicks out! NOTHING shows no sign of frustration, save for a cold glance at the referee. He gets to his feet and perched himself on the middle turnbuckle once again.
Yoshida gets up and charges, but eats a knee! NOTHING hooks him around the neck, and we know what’s coming next!
VA: Looks like Darkness is about to Fall on Katsuro Yoshida!
As NOTHING sets to deliver the fatal blow, KEVIN Oppenheimer reaches up and grabs the Purveyor’s foot!
VA: IS HE STUPID?
MM: He’s simply trying to prevent a third loss for his client!
The distraction works, as Yoshida is able to break free of NOTHING’s grip, and hits the Purveyor with a palm strike to the chest! NOTHING grabs the ropes to slow his fall, but still toppled over to the floor!
MM: Not a good landing, but NOTHING is on his knees now at least! And-OH!
NOTHING snapped up and obliterates Oppenheimer before he can react with Pure HATE! The advocate is down, and the client stares with fury in his eyes!
Yoshida quickly exits the ring and drives NOTHING into the barricade, beginning to rain down strike after strike, not caring where his hands and feet land!
MM: Yoshida has lost it! That’s not only his advocate that NOTHING just beheaded, but it’s Yoshida’s closest friend!
The referee has begun his count, with neither man making a move to reenter the ring!
Yoshida continues to rock NOTHING against the barricade, rattling the jaw of the Purveyor with an open hand uppercut!
NOTHING is seated now, and Yoshida has his boot planted firmly on Collins’ windpipe!
VA: Yoshida isn’t letting up! He sees red!
Yoshida is still choking out the Purveyor and NOTHING is….grinning?
The bell rings, which captures the attention now of Katsuro Yoshida!
NR: Ladies and gentlemen, due to neither man answering the referee’s count of ten, this contest is ruled a DOUBLE COUNT OUT!
MM: And it looks like we’re not getting any resolution to this first encounter between these two warriors!
VA: NOTHING is nearly unconscious, Malone. I’d say Yoshida made a strong statement here tonight.
Yoshida leans down to check on his advocate. NOTHING has a slight trickle of blood coming from a split lip, but he gingerly gets to his feet.
MM: Yoshida! Look out!
Katsuro can’t hear him as he attends to Oppenheimer, but he realizes what happened a moment too late!
VA: Pure HATE from behind! Yoshida’s face is hamburger!
Yoshida lays unconscious next to a barely moving Oppenheimer and NOTHING gets to his feet, still grinning. He clutches at his ribs as he begins to make his way up the ramp.
MM: This wasn’t at all about victory here tonight. Yoshida came here to make a statement, and NOTHING ends up with the last word!
VA: You don’t turn your back on HATE is a good lesson for Yoshida to learn tonight, but depending on how badly those ribs are hurt, I don’t think NOTHING is going to forget Katsuro Yoshida any time soon.
THIS MATCH IS DECLARED A DOUBLE COUNTOUT (10:34)
(The scene opens up to the backstage. Jester Smiles is signing some autographs of some lucky VIP fans. His newly won Combat Championship is slung over his shoulder and he is, despite looking a bit battered from his match, beaming with pride. A young fan, no older than 10, holds up a “Legends Never Die” t-shirt, radiating excitement and happiness. His dad stands behind him, happy to see his kid happy.)
Kid: THAT PUNCH WAS AWESOME! AND THE WAY YOU KICKED WEST IN THE FACE!?
(Jester laughs, signing the t-shirt.)
Jester Smiles: Aren’t you a little young to be at one of these shows?
(The dad laughs.)
Dad: Well, he has parental guidance…
(The kid looks at the signature on his shirt, jumping up and down.)
Kid: This is so cool!
(The dad reaches out his hand and Jester shakes the man’s hand.)
Dad: Thanks for doing this. You know…I’m also a fan. I’ve watched you since OPW. Hell, I was at Animosity 2008.
(Jester’s eyes go wide.)
Jester Smiles: Wow, that was a weird night. Kinda…bittersweet for me.
Dad: Yeah…but we were all super stoked to see you beat Donovan King in that cage. It was so weird seeing you team up with him later.
(Jester laughs, but his energy goes down a little at the mention of King. The man picks up on his and shuffles his feet a little. His son is still in his own world, thrilled to have a signed shirt.)
Dad: You know…I’m glad…I’m glad you are happy again. The stuff with you and Sammy Rochester, and the beatings you took before SHOOT closed…I’m just…I’m just glad to see you okay.
(Jester nods, smiling warmly.)
Jester Smiles: Thanks dude. I appreciate tha-
Kid: DAD! IT’S MICHAEL DRAVEN!
(The camera pans over to reveal that, indeed, Michael Draven is walking past the corridor that Jester and the father/son duo are standing in. Draven turns at the sound of the kid’s voice, and chuckles, walking over.)
Michael Draven: You’ve got a sharp eye, kid. What’s your name?
Kid: Bobby Mathison! Wow, I watched you win the title and it was crazy! The way you…
(The kid begins pantomiming punches as he talks.)
Bobby: You hit Haven like this, and then with the rights and lefts, and BOOM with the Downfall…
(Bobby jumps into the air as he yells it out, and Draven laughs, looking up at the dad.)
Michael Draven: You got a phone? Let’s take a pic for Bobby here.
Dad: Sure thing! Thank you, thank you both.
Michael Draven: Hey, Jester…you get in here too.
(As Jester steps into the picture, Michael extends his hand out.)
Michael Draven: We haven’t formally met, but now’s as good of a time as any, right?
(Jester takes the hand and shakes it, firmly but friendly, grinning.)
Jester Smiles: I mean, it’d be rude to say it isn’t. You can call me Eric, though.
(Jester leans down. He makes a crazy face while Draven holds up a fist and looks tough. Bobby can barely contain his excitement, he just sorta vibrates while he tries to hold still for the camera. The dad takes the photo.)
Jester Smiles: Ah, that can’t be it. Here, that looks like it can take selfies. Get in here dad!
(Dad runs over, looking only slightly more excited than Bobby. Again, Jester makes a stupid face while Michael Draven poses like a real wrestler. Dad holds Bobby up with one arm and takes the photo with the other. Dad then shake both Jester’s hand and Michael Draven’s hand again.)
Dad: You guys are the best! Can I get you to sign my sons’ shirt, too?
Michael Draven: For sure. Hey, while we’re here…(Draven nods toward the glistening Combat Championship on Jester’s shoulder.) Hell of a match tonight. And for that matter, one hell of a match last week against Maggie. We work in a place that can be pretty fu–
(Draven catches himself, smiling at the waiting father.)
Michael Draven: …pretty dark. It’s nice to see someone else fighting against…well, fighting against all of the hate around here.
Jester Smiles: Yeah, dude, it’s rough, but that’s the industry. But, listen, we can talk after you give this kid a signature on the PREMIUM “Legends Never Die” EWA EXCLUSIVE Jester Smiles t-shirt.
(Draven laughs, taking Jester’s sharpie and signing the shirts. Bobby and the Dad say thanks again before walking away.)
Jester Smiles: Oh good, I can curse again. Fucking great!
(The two men share a laugh.)
Jester Smiles: So, yeah, thanks for the match kudos dude. Kinda glad you aren’t salty at me about fighting your wife.
(Draven sorta glares at Jester for a second. Jester looks confused, but then his eyes go wide with realization.)
Jester Smiles: Oh shit, sorry! That…that wasn’t a Sahara joke, bro. I totally wasn’t trying to make a salty/Sahara comparison!
(Draven shakes his head in laughter.)
Michael Draven: Understood. No, not at all. Maggie can take care of herself, and you handled yourself with dignity and with class against her. Nothing to be…salty, about. And now I get what’s left of West tonight…and you get the winner between Dresden and Calder as your new challenger. Let me give you some advice, Eric….
(Draven leans against the wall, folding his arms as he regards the new Combat Champion.)
Michael Draven: If Calder wins, and you have to face him next month…believe nothing he says. He sits on a throne of lies and preaches the word of betrayal and of hatred. He’ll try to manipulate you, twisting and turning you around until you don’t know what’s right and what’s wrong. I’ve seen it myself. But if he does win tonight…with any luck?
(The former World Heavyweight Champion shrugs, a smirk on his face.)
Michael Draven: He’ll never make it to face you.
(Jester doesn’t not return the smile. In fact, he looks concerned. You can see the change in Michael’s face, uncertain of why Jester looks uneasy.)
Jester Smiles: I…I can’t be okay with that, Michael. I understand you have every reason in the world to outright cripple that man. I’m not judging you, but…I don’t want to face a crippled Spider King. I want him at his nastiest, at his meanest, at his most conniving.
I want to bring the Indrid Calder who held the EWA World Championship into the light…and I want to crush him underneath it.
Guys like that, they thrive on this blood feud, war shit. The more anyone fights him on his terms, the stronger he and his group will grow.
But if I beat him, in the middle of the ring, clean, fair, and without any question of who was better, at his best…
He’s no longer a Spider King.
He’s no longer The Stranger.
Jester Smiles: He’s Indrid Calder…some dude who got knocked out by a Legend…
(Draven nods in understanding, a small smile crossing his face.)
Michael Draven: I can appreciate that. But something you need to understand is that, for me, this isn’t about beating Calder in the center of the ring. This is about vengeance. And, besides, even if it were? HATE doesn’t do clean battles in the center of the ring. The Hive prides itself on total cohesion. You hurt one, the rest are right behind the one. They spread corruption like a cancer around here.
(Draven turns to leave, but hesitates, turning back toward the new Combat Champion.)
Michael Draven: In this environment, Je–Eric…it pays to have allies. People alongside you, fighting for a common cause. Just something to think about.
(Jester nods in agreeance.)
Jester Smiles: On that, we are in agreement. Like I told your wife last time, if you need me, you give me a call. Our methods might be different, but we have the same goals. If you need these…
(Jester holds up his fists.)
Jester Smiles: You say the word.
(Jester holds his hand out. Draven takes it. The scene fades out on the two men shaking hands.)
GRACE GOEREN & ALICE VS THE ERINYES
NR: The following tag team contest is scheduled for one fall!
The crowd already starts to boo as the single white spotlight forms into a horned skull, the thumping beat of “Heaven Knows” signalling the arrival of the Tag Team Champions.
MM: The Erinyes have their work cut out for them in this match, Vince.
VA: Honestly, Malone, if they were facing anyone else, I’d think this match was a foregone conclusion, but we’re talking the God Queen herself and… whatever Alice is.
MM: She’s a person, Vincent.
VA: I’m just saying, Malone, there aren’t too many people who can do the things she’s done.
The silhouetted figures of the champions stand on the entrance ramp, and as the spotlights hit, Lágrima raises her head, belt on her shoulder, eyes intense under the black mask with blood-red tears. Minxy Jones stands with her hands on her hips, her belt around her waist, the red hourglass painted on the front. Behind them, Santa Muerte stares coldly down the ramp, her face painted in a bloody Dia de Muertos skull under the black hooded robe, with her white roses in hand. The masked pair start toward the ring, with Santa Muerte slowly gliding down the ramp behind them.
NR: Introducing first, at a combined weight of 321 lbs, accompanied by Santa Muerte, the EWA World Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, Minxy Jones and Lágrima, the ERINYES!
MM: After a victory, if you can call it that, at Live From Sydney, the champions were handed a surprising defeat at the hands of Nikki Caldwell last Battlelines in that triple threat match with Alice and Santa Muerte.
VA: Shocking? More like unbelievable. Caldwell got lucky that Minxy and Lágrima were more focused on keeping Alice occupied.
MM: Are you saying Santa Muerte should’ve won?
VA: I’m saying in a perfect world, Alice would’ve won, but the Erinyes know how to play the numbers game. And Nikki Caldwell should not have come out of that match with a W. She got a lucky break and caught Santa Muerte on an off day.
MM: I think you’re giving Caldwell way too little credit, Vince. She and Cerberus have proven themselves extremely capable.
VA: Whatever, Malone, Alice and the God Queen are going to destroy both teams anyway and bring home more gold, Praise Be to Grace.
The masked champions get to the ring, with Minxy sliding into the ring and Lágrima hopping onto the apron, turning around to look at the crowd with disgust, before stepping over the middle rope and into the ring. Santa Muerte glides around the ring to the commentary table, sitting down next to Vincent Ashe.
MM: OK, apparently we’re being joined by Santa Muerte. Welcome.
VA: May I say, the way you handled your husband in Sydney was superb.
Santa Muerte: …
She turns her head to stare at Ashe, but doesn’t say a word. She just leaves her eyes on him, boring into his soul with her glare.
MM: Did you want a headset?
Santa Muerte: …
VA: O… kay.
She turns her attention back to the ring, where Minxy and Lágrima hand the belts down to the timekeeper, their antipathy toward the Portland audience damn near tangible. As “Chaos Royale” starts to play, the crowd’s boos are rejuvenated, and Minxy and Lágrima look at each other, rolling their eyes. Grace steps out onto the ramp, giving a smirk, and Alice follows close behind, her eyes dead-set on the ring. Grace waves on the fan’s hatred as she starts to move down the ramp, Alice following close.
NR: And their opponents, at a combined weight of 345 lbs, GRACE GOEREN AND ALICE!
VA: Praise be! The God Queen and rightful EWA World Heavyweight Champion has arrived!
MM: This is almost disgusting to watch. The way she controls Alice… even the Fallout had more agency.
VA: Alice has plenty of agency, Malone. She chooses to worship at the altar of Grace.
Santa Muerte glares at him.
VA: I take it you’re not one of the Graceful.
Grace flips off the crowd, and as a fan attempts to touch her, Alice glares at him with hatred. He immediately backs off as Grace laughs at him. Grace rolls into the ring, Alice rolling behind her, and as Grace looks around at the audience, Alice sits down in the corner, pulling her knees to her chest. The former World Champion starts to stretch, ignoring everyone else as Rick Iley moves to start the match. Grace shrugs, whispering a few words to Alice before stepping out of the ring. Lágrima nods, looking across at the larger woman as Minxy steps to the outside. And Iley calls for the bell!
As soon as it rings, Alice charges forward, rage in her eyes! But Lágrima is too quick, and she sidesteps the monster, running to the ropes and coming back with a spinning wheel kick that cracks Alice square in the face! But Alice is barely stunned by it! Lágrima doesn’t take any time, rolling back to her feet and hitting a handspring, her legs bouncing off the top rope, and coming back with a gamengiri kick to Alice’s face again! Once again, it gets her nowhere! As Lágrima gets back up, Alice grabs her by the waist before she can get away! Lágrima tries to grab for the ropes, but Alice just manhandles her, throwing over her head in a giant German suplex! Lágrima crashes to the mat, rolling over and nearly out of the ring!
VA: Good Grace! This match may already be over, Malone!
MM: Somehow I doubt Alice is done with the Erinyes, Vince.
Alice walks to where Lágrima is attempting to get back to her feet, kicking her in the ribs! The force flips her in a 360 back onto her stomach, and Alice puts a foot on the side of her head! Lágrima screams in pain as Alice tries to crush her head like a watermelon! Iley drops to the mat to check on her, but Alice steps off, pulling Lágrima up to her feet and into a full nelson, and driving her hard to the mat! Lágrima is almost unconscious! Alice makes the cover!
THR– broken up by Minxy!
Alice barely feels the foot on the back of her head, as she turns her attention toward the interloper! Iley tries to coax Minxy out of the ring, but Alice brushes past him, wrapping her massive hands around Minxy’s throat! Before she can do anything with her, though, Minxy quickly thumbs her in the eye! Alice drops her, and Minxy gets back out of the ring as Lágrima gets to her feet, trying to shake off the cobwebs! Alice turns around, and Lágrima ducks a wild haymaker, running to the ropes! She comes off and ducks a clothesline, reversing it into a floatover reverse STO!
MM: And down goes the giant!
VA: How is that even possible?!
MM: Well, Lágrima is very good at changing her momentum to–
VA: Oh my god nobody cares, NERD.
Grace looks on, wide-eyed, before her face contorts in rage! Alice pushes herself up to her hands and knees, but Lágrima catches her in the head with a basement dropkick! Lágrima rolls backward as Alice hits the mat, and before Alice can move again, Lágrima lands a picture-perfect standing corkscrew moonsault! Alice is reeling, and Lágrima tags in Minxy!
Minxy walks down the apron to where Alice is in the ring, and hops onto the top rope, driving her feet into Alice’s chest with a double foot stomp! Minxy goes for the cover!
TW– Alice TOSSES Minxy off before Grace can get in the ring!
Minxy flies backward, hitting the mat and rolling back, her eyes wide! She gets to her feet as Alice gets to her hands and knees, shaking out the cobwebs! Minxy runs at Alice, kicking one knee out from under her! She throws a solid roundhouse kick to Alice’s face– Alice catches her foot! Minxy shakes her head furiously as Alice stands up! Alice smiles wickedly– enziguiri from Minxy! Alice stumbles back into the ropes, and Lágrima is there! She grabs Alice’s foot, and Alice turns around, trying to reach down for her! Minxy charges across the ring, grabbing the ropes and swinging through them, catching Alice with a headscissors that manages to pull her over the top rope and to the floor!
MM: I don’t even know what to call that move!
VA: What’s the area code on Long Island?
Iley starts to count as Minxy drops down from the apron and Lágrima starts stomping on Alice on the outside! 1! Minxy and Lágrima pull Alice up, whipping her into the ring steps with a crash! 2! Lágrima runs to the guardrail, leaping off with a moonsault that connects! 3! As Lágrima gets to her feet, Grace LEVELS her with a massive running knee strike to her face! 4! Minxy turns around, and Grace catches her with a European uppercut that staggers her! 5! Before she can collect herself, drops her with a short-arm clothesline that nearly takes her head off! 6! Grace helps Alice to her feet, yelling at her to get back in the ring! Alice rolls in, and Grace goes to Minxy! 7! Grace slams Minxy’s head into the ring post, then the apron, then rolls her into the ring!
Grace gets back up on the apron, reaching a hand out to Alice! The big woman is back on her feet, and she tags in Grace Goeren!
VA: Now it’s time for the real deal, Malone! Praise be to Grace!
Santa Muerte: …
VA: Will you stop staring at me?! It’s creepy.
MM: Now that’s a role reversal.
Minxy is trying to get her bearings, but Grace isn’t about to give her the time! She kicks Minxy in the face, and Minxy drops to her back! Grace mounts her, throwing massive fists to Minxy’s face! Iley does his best to break it up, but Grace gets in more than a few shots before finally relenting at Iley’s four-count! She yells at Iley for a second, before grabbing Minxy’s arm, and pulling her into a triangle hold! Minxy reaches for the ropes, a tag, anything to break the hold, but Grace has her locked in! Iley drops to the mat to check on Minxy, but Lágrima steps through the ropes! Iley hops back up, trying to get Lágrima out of the ring, and Grace motions to Alice!
Alice steps through the ropes, as Grace lets Minxy go, and deadlifts the champion into a massive sidewalk slam! Grace shoos her away just in time for Iley to finally get Lágrima out of the ring, and Grace covers!
THR– kickout by Minxy!
Grace looks up at Iley with anger, holding up three fingers! Iley shakes his head, and Grace scoffs, pulling Minxy to her feet, and tossing her to the corner, where Alice is waiting! Minxy hits the turnbuckle with a crash, and Grace charges in after her, landing a leaping double knee to Minxy’s chest! Minxy drops to a seated position, and Grace crushes her with a kick to the face, before pulling her back to her feet! Grace gets on the bottom rope, driving elbows into Minxy’s face, one after another! Iley tries to get her away, and finally Grace drops down, starting to get in Iley’s face! She keeps his focus, as Alice grabs Minxy’s arm, turning her around and slamming it into the ring post! Minxy grabs her elbow as Iley turns around at the clang!
MM: And the Erinyes learning that they’re not the only ones who know how to use numbers to their advantage!
VA: That’s what you get, Erinyes! A little taste of your own medicine!
Santa Muerte: …
VA: Please, just say something already!
Grace pulls Minxy out of the corner just long enough to drive her shoulder back into the ring post! Minxy falls to her knees, holding her arm again, and Grace smiles, tagging in Alice! Alice steps into the ring as Grace pulls Minxy up once again, whipping her around and directly into a clothesline from Alice! Minxy flops to the mat, and Iley tries to get Grace to vacate the ring! Grace argues with him, but before the fight can go on too long, Lágrima SPEARS Grace through the ropes!
MM: Where did she even come from?!
Grace and Lágrima spill to the outside! Lágrima and Grace start to duke it out on the arena floor, but that leaves a badly beaten Minxy alone with Alice! Santa Muerte stands up from the commentary table, as Alice wraps both hands around Minxy’s neck, lifting her high into the air!
VA: Grace Under Fire! Minxy Jones is dead, Malone!
Santa Muerte starts to walk around the ring as Alice covers Minxy!
Santa Muerte pulls Iley to the outside! She turns him around, planting him on the floor with a Sombrabomb! Iley is unconscious! Alice looks around, confused, as Santa Muerte gets into the ring!
Alice looks up at Santa Muerte, finally realizing what happened! Alice stands up, going nose to nose with Santa Muerte as Danny Smith runs out, calling for the bell! Alice swings at Santa Muerte! Santa Muerte takes the hit, barely budging, and whipping back to face Alice! Santa Muerte kicks Alice in the knee, dropping her down, before catching her with the Naja de Sangre! Alice is dazed, but she doesn’t drop! Santa Muerte swings her foot again, catching Alice with ANOTHER Naja de Sangre! Alice still refuses to fall, but she’s basically out! Santa Muerte grabs Alice, pulling her down for a Sombrabomb– Grace slides into the ring before Santa Muerte can lift her! Grace leaps up, pulling Santa Muerte into the Fall From Grace! Goeren pulls Alice out of the ring, backing up the ramp as Lágrima gets into the ring, and Santa Muerte gets back to her feet! Lágrima helps Minxy up as Santa Muerte stares down the pair!
NR: Your winners by disqualification, GRACE GOEREN AND ALICE!
MM: It looks like Grace and Alice are going to get a victory over the champions, if only by disqualification, but it looks like Alice may have met her match in Santa Muerte!
VA: Not a chance! There is no match for Alice! There’s no match for Grace, either, hallowed be her name!
MM: That said, the Erinyes using the opportunity that their third member provides them to full advantage tonight. But will that be enough to keep the belts?
VA: No. Sooner or later, all gold comes to the God Queen, Malone.
YOUR WINNERS BY DISQUALIFICATION: GRACE GOEREN & ALICE (12:19)
(We fade backstage to the office of the EWA Executive Assistant, Stacy Vandervort. The EWA World Heavyweight Title drops down on her desk, prompting the blonde executive to look up at the already scowling face of the Crimson Queen. Dropping her head in annoyance, Stacy Vandervort moves to pick up and move the EWA title…only Sahara stamps her index finger down on its faceplate.
She then taps on it a number of times–)
Sahara: Can you read that, Stace?
(The EWA World Champion doesn’t wait for a reply, nor does she appear to actually want one–)
Sahara: That reads EWA World Heavyweight Champion. Let me repeat that. EWA. World. Heavyweight. Champion. Does that not mean anything around here anymore? You book me to show up here tonight yet you stick me in an undercard match against Josh fucking Kaine? I’m the champ, Stacy–
Stacy Vandervort: I’m well awa–
Sahara: You’re aware of nothing. Indrid Calder and Buck Dresden are the main event? No offense to Calder, or even that Buck kid, but the only reason that Combat title even means anything is because of ME!
(The Crimson Queen points to herself.)
Sahara: I’m the fucking main event, title or no title. I am the EWA, Stacy. ME! So get it through your thick blonde skull. Anything I touch around here turns the gold. Yet — and this is the best part — I remain one of the lowest paid stars on your roster, and–and don’t even start in with the Sinn contract bullshit. I’m talkin’ my downside money. I’m the World Champion yet I barely get by–and that’s another thing. Tonight against Kaine? I don’t do non-title defenses. So this match tonight, I don’t care if it’s a fucking dark match because I wouldn’t wanna interrupt your snoozefest of a main event, but this belt is on the line.
And I don’t care if you sanction it as a title match or not. If I lose, I’m leaving the belt behind and you can find yourself a new champion, because if I can’t beat that kid, I don’t deserve to carry this belt or call myself a champion.
(Snatching the title off Vandervorts desk, Sahara holds it out with one hand and slaps the faceplate of the title with the other.)
Sahara: I’m the best you’ve ever seen, Stacy, and you will not bury me. I’m gonna steal the show tonight, main event or not. My match is the match everyone’s gonna remember, because I’m gonna beat that kid so bad they’ll be calling it torture porn on the ‘Net. And you’ll be the one they blame for booking that little puppy dog against the world … fucking … champion!
(Stacy stands up, smirking before letting out a chuckle.)
Stacy Vandervort: You know, I stood up for you all of those times because I thought you’d changed. I thought you’d grown up. But no. You’re still a 35 year old stuck in a 25 year old’s body with the maturity of a teenager. So here’s the deal. You want to defend the title against the Heir of Valhalla tonight in your match? That’s fine, Sahara. You’ve got yourself a World Heavyweight Championship match. But don’t take Josh Kaine lightly, Blondie, or else you’ll find yourself looking up at the lights as the EWA once again makes history, with the first mother-son combination to ever hold that…
(Stacy reaches across the desk, and much to Sahara’s shock, raps her middle finger sharply on the gold faceplate of the championship belt.)
Stacy Vandervort: …World Heavyweight Championship.
(In a fury, she yanks the title away from Stacy’s touch and the Crimson Queen nearly stammers as if Stacy touched a nerve.)
Sahara: Wh-who you callin’ Blondie, you … you c–
(Cutting her off mid-sentence, Stacy fires back without hesitation.)
Stacy Vandervort: I dare you to finish that sentence, Lauren! You what?!
(Thinking better of the EWA executives threat, Sahara takes a deep breath and retreats a step.)
Sahara: Ya know what? That’s fine. But there ain’t gonna be no mother-son combination to hold this belt anytime soon. Those people out there are here to see ME, and tonight, I’m gonna show ya why. I’m gonna make that kid beg me to stop. I’m gonna give that boy the beating of his entitled little life. And when I’m good and ready? I’ll end his suffering. But believe me — and this is a promise — his screams are gonna be heard throughout every corner of this arena, and his blood is gonna be on your hands, Stacy!
(Taking another step back through the door, the Crimson Queen smirks.)
Sahara: Enjoy the show.
(We fade to ringside on Stacy’s face, appearing somewhat troubled.)
MM: Wow, I think it’s pretty clear Sahara dislikes being called Blondie.
VA: Ya think? She nearly lost her mind when Stacy said it. I’ll have to keep that one in mind. I’ll tell ya what, though, Josh Kaine better be ready for tonight because she’ll be looking to make a statement in that match! I can’t wait to see that one!
NIKKI CALDWELL VS MAGGIE MCINTYRE
EWA NETWORK CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
NR: This contest is scheduled for one fall, and is for the EWA Network Championship!
A scream followed immediately by the machine-gun percussion of Skylar Grey’s “Wreak Havoc” shocks the arena, gold gerb-mine pyro erupting from the stage in punctuation as the fans rise to their feet in excitement. Nikki Caldwell walks onto the stage under a burst of green and red lights.
MM: The challenger here coming off of an impressive win against Santa Muerte and Alice at our last show, Vince.
VA: You mean lucky win, Malone, as in “lucky the Erinyes were there to keep Alice occupied.” She would’ve made her ground beef.
MM: Santa Muerte is just as tough, as she proved tonight, Vince, and Nikki Caldwell still got the win over her.
VA: Yeah, well, let’s see how she fares against the Network Champion.
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: Introducing first, the challenger, from Los Angeles, CA, weighing in at 147 lbs, representing Cerberus, NIKKI CALDWELL!
Her face is streaked with black warpaint, the large scale-armor of Sinnocence’s heirloom black-and-red Doom Jacket juts from her shoulders. She pauses at the top of the ramp with her feet braced and her arms slightly spread at her sides, eyes flickering over the crowd and then focusing intensely on the ring.
‘CAUSE BAD HABITS, THEY DIE HARD
WE LIVE FAST, WE DIE HARD
GO AGAINST ME, YOU’LL DIE HARD
Nikki runs down the ring and three quarters of the way around it, sliding into the ring and rolling to her feet in one motion. She steps up on the bottom and center ropes, raising one fist and yelling out a warcry. The fans answer her back with a cheer of their own, and after letting them have their due, she steps down and sheds her jacket to prepare for the fight. Danny Smith steps over to check her as the lights begin to flicker.
HEY MISS MURDER CAN I
HEY MISS MURDER CAN I
MAKE BEAUTY STAY IF I TAKE MY LIFE?
NR: And her opponent, from Albany, NY, weighing in at 155 lbs, she is the EWA Network Champion, the Banshee, MAGGIE MCINTYRE!
The opening riffs of AFI’s “Miss Murder” reverberate throughout the arena and the lights flicker in time to the beat as the Banshee, Maggie McIntyre, appears at the top of the rampway. Dressed in a tight black top, buckled corset and fishnets tucked into knee high boots, the Network belt strapped around her waist, she begins to stride down the ramp, her long black hair bouncing as she moves.
HEY MISS MURDER CAN I
HEY MISS MURDER CAN I
MAKE BEAUTY STAY IF I TAKE MY LIFE?
MM: The Network Champion retained her title last Battlelines after taking Jester Smiles to a double count-out, which was the first match she did not win since April, Vince.
VA: Maybe it’s a sign, Malone. Maybe the domestic life has made her soft.
MM: I highly doubt that, Vince, it’s–
VA: Probably from all that doin’ it.
MM: You’re disgusting.
VA: C’mon, not even gonna respect the callback?
She climbs into the ring, stepping through the ropes. She unstraps the belt, raising it high in the air with one hand, basking in the crowd’s adoration. Danny Smith takes the belt from her, holding it in the air as Maggie prepares for the fight, before passing it down to the timekeeper and calling for the bell! Maggie and Nikki circle, feeling each other out, before locking up– Caldwell drops her with an armdrag! Maggie doesn’t stay down for long, but Nikki doesn’t let up, either, dropkicking Maggie’s leg out from under her! Nikki kips up, and as Maggie gets to her hands and knees, Caldwell sends a kick to her ribs– caught! Maggie sweeps Nikki’s leg out from under her, holding on to the other, and drops an elbow across Nikki’s femur!
Maggie pops up, grabbing Nikki’s leg once again, and somersaulting over her body, and Nikki’s leg snaps back! She rolls over, holding her thigh!
MM: A great strategy from the champ, work on the legs to slow Nikki Caldwell down.
VA: Yeah, and she’s got a lot of experience with spreading legs.
MM: Christ, Vince, seriously?
VA: Uh, I’m not the one married to a woman!
MM: You ever think that comments like that are why?
VA: You sound like my first ex-wife.
McIntyre pulls Caldwell up, but Nikki puts her back down with a jawbreaker! Nikki shakes out her leg as Maggie stumbles back into the ropes, and Nikki catches her with a spear that puts both competitors through the ropes and to the floor!
Danny Smith starts a ten count as Maggie and Nikki try to get back up! Maggie clearly took the brunt of the fall, laying on her stomach and clutching her back and the back of her head, while Nikki is on her hands and knees, trying to shake out the cobwebs! 1! Nikki pulls Maggie up, whipping her into the guardrail– Maggie reverses it! 2! Nikki doesn’t hit, though, and leaps up onto the guardrail, and springing off with a massive roundhouse kick that drops the champion to the floor! 3! Nikki’s still shaking out her leg as Maggie attempts to get to her feet! 4! Nikki pulls Maggie to her feet once again, whipping her into the ring steps! Maggie hits with a clang! 5! Nikki pulls Maggie up by the hair, rolling her into the ring and following close behind!
MM: And Caldwell just swung the pendulum the other way, Ashe!
VA: She’s… um… used to pendulums?
MM: That’s all you got?
VA: Stop being so metaphorical and maybe I can keep up, jerk. Oh! I could make a joke about pendulums, like those metal balls that–
MM: STOP FOR THE LOVE OF GOD
Nikki steps around Maggie, still trying to work out her leg, as Maggie is trying to pull herself up! Nikki waves for her to stand, and Maggie manages to pull herself to a vertical base, before turning around… right into a tilt-a-whirl headscissors from the challenger! Maggie drops back to the mat, and Caldwell lets out a war cry!
Maggie is barely there, trying to pull herself to her feet on the ropes! Caldwell pulls her up, and whips her to the other side– reversal by the champion! Nikki comes off the ropes and ducks a McIntyre clothesline, and as Maggie turns around Nikki is back– tilt-a-whirl armbar!
MM: The Lasso of Truth!
Maggie howls in pain as Nikki wrenches the arm back! Caldwell screams another war cry, applying unbelievable force! Danny Smith calls for her to break it up!
MM: What?! Caldwell has this one!
VA: Maggie got her foot on the ropes! Ring positioning will do you in, Malone!
Sure enough, the champion’s foot is hooked over the bottom rope, and Caldwell throws Maggie’s arm back down in frustration! She grabs Maggie by the hair, pulling her off the ropes and closer to the center of the ring! Caldwell doesn’t let go as Danny Smith starts to admonish her for it, but she gets Maggie to her feet! Nikki wraps her arm around Maggie’s face!
MM: She’s going for it! The I Of the Storm!
VA: Could we be looking at a new champion?!
Nikki swings Maggie forward– no! Maggie slips out, dropping to her back and rolling Nikki up! Caldwell kicks wildly, trying to escape!
THREE! Maggie collapses to the mat in a heap, and Nikki Caldwell looks absolutely shocked!
NR: Here is your winner, and STILL EWA Network Champion, the Banshee, MAGGIE MCINTYRE!
MM: Unbelievable! Nikki Caldwell had this match won, but Maggie McIntyre pulls the victory out of nowhere!
VA: But it looks like this fight took a lot more out of Maggie!
As Maggie McIntyre celebrates in the ring, We cut to Murphy Doyle Maher, standing and cheering loudly. He nods to the person next to him who is also cheering, but also trying to be louder than them, which makes everyone in their section smile.
MM: Nikki Caldwell with a fantastic showing tonight, but it just wasn’t enough to take down the Banshee, who has now been undefeated for 7 months!
VA: But how long can that last, Malone? As a former friend of hers likes to say, nothing lasts forever.
MM: Perhaps the next time these two meet, Vince, we’ll be seeing Nikki Caldwell holding EWA gold once again!
YOUR WINNER BY PINFALL, AND STILL EWA NETWORK CHAMPION: MAGGIE MCINTYRE (9:58)
(The camera cuts backstage to the locker room of Martin Robertson. Sitting on the wooden bench in front of the lockers is Martin, still in his wrestling gear from the match earlier tonight. Ice bags are wrapped with clear plastic around his shoulder as he holds a second back on the back of his neck. Alyssa is not in the picture, but as soon as the camera shot cuts in, you can hear her quite well in the background…)
Alyssa Marie Haven: … and those two buffoons he brought with him to ringside. Iley should have NEVER allowed them to be at ringside! They don’t have a manager’s license…
Martin Robertson: Technically, neither do you…
Alyssa Marie Haven: Who’s side are you on? I didn’t need one because I was the Chief Operating Officer of this company, and I could do whatever I damn well wanted!
(Martin, with his free hand, rubs the temples of his forehead for a moment…)
Alyssa Marie Haven: … and another thing…
Martin Robertson: Alyssa… sweetheart… relax…
(Alyssa steps from the room just off to the side of the locker room, dress pulled up enough to see she’s thrown on jeans underneath the dress…)
Alyssa Marie Haven: Relax? Don’t tell me to relax! Not with Cameron running around here as the Chief Operating Officer… MY position…
Martin Robertson: Cameron isn’t even here, Alyssa. Besides, that incompetent boob couldn’t find his way out of a wet paper bag…
Alyssa Marie Haven: That incompetent boob has my job!
Martin Robertson: Yes, but ranting and raving to me isn’t going to do anything about it. Look…
(Martin stands up, turning around to the room behind the lockers where he gets a glimpse of Alyssa pulling the dress over her head. Censors appreciate that she’s got her back to the door at the moment, but the view causes Martin to pause for a moment to stare at Alyssa, who doesn’t realize that Martin is behind her. Alyssa finishes putting on her bra and a form-fitting t-shirt before finally turning around to see Martin standing in the door…)
Alyssa Marie Haven: What?
Martin Robertson: You need to relax.
Alyssa Marie Haven: Ironic coming from you.
(Martin sets the ice pack from his neck down on the counter just inside the room before walking over to Alyssa, putting his arms around her, looking down at the Queen of his kingdom…)
Martin Robertson: I know you’re still upset about the COO stuff, and that’s fine. But we got through tonight, and at the next show, I wipe out what’s remaining of Michael Draven for good, and then we go to This Means War, and we get the World Heavyweight Championship. But you… for right now, you need to relax.
Alyssa Marie Haven: And you… you need to stop dripping on me.
(Martin looks down to see the small puddle of water dripping from the ice bag right onto Alyssa’s bare foot. He winces for a second before looking back up at Alyssa, giving her a kiss before stepping back to retrieve the second bag of ice.)
Martin Robertson: The next time I hear you complain about the past, I take this entire bag of ice and pour it down the front of your shirt.
Alyssa Marie Haven: Is that a threat or a promise?
(The pair smile at each other before she leans in and gives Martin another kiss)
Alyssa Marie Haven: Don’t sandbag Draven next show like you did Donovan earlier tonight.
Martin Robertson: Don’t you worry. Draven will bow, and I’ll use him as a stepping stone on my ascension to the throne.
Alyssa Marie Haven: Good. Now, about that idea you had with the ice…
(Martin smiles at Alyssa as she lets out a smirk before Martin raises his hand up, placing it over the lens of the camera…)
WILLIAM WEST VS MICHAEL DRAVEN
MM: Folks, our next contest comes to us with two former adversaries apparently renewing a heated rivalry, after having words last week inside the ring.
VA: Of course, Malone, think about it. If you’re William West, you’ve got Indrid Calder on the ropes…
VA: …and some moron comes out and costs you the match, wouldn’t you be upset? But hey, it’s all in the name of revenge, right? If Michael Draven’s proven one thing, it’s that he can do any goddamn thing he wants in the name of revenge, and apparently there’s never any consequences.
MM: He lost the EWA World Heavyweight Championship…
VA: To one of his wives, Malone. Emphasis on one of. To hell with Michael Draven.
‘Who Taught You How to Hate’ blasts through the arena, and the Portland fans rise to their feet as the Masochist comes out, a scowl on his face as he heads down the aisle.
NR: The following contest is scheduled for one fall! Approaching the ring, from Las Vegas, Nevada, weighing in at 238 pounds, he is the Masochist…WILLIAM…WEST!!!
MM: And West looks to be in a foul mood after competing earlier tonight and losing the EWA Combat Championship to Jester Smiles, ladies and gentlemen.
VA: Can you blame him, Malone? I’d be pissed off too if a clown was walking around with my championship. A clown. What’s next, the Angry Panda as World Heavyweight Champion?
MM: It almost happened.
VA: No, Malone. It didn’t.
The music fades out, replaced with ‘The Vengeful One’ as the fans once again roar in approval. The lights go into a strobing effect as Nikki Rogers introduces the former World Heavyweight Champion.
NR: And his opponent! From Charlotte, North Carolina, weighing 246 pounds…MICHAEL…DRAVEN!!
MM: Michael Draven put in a valiant effort at Battlelines 35, but came up short in the Asylum, and at Battlelines 37, he’ll get another shot when he goes one-on-one with the Youth King himself, Martin Robertson, for the right to gain a World Heavyweight Championship match at This Means War.
VA: And Alyssa Marie’s going to see a very familiar sight, one that she’s seen for years upon years while at that tool Alexander Haven’s side, Malone. And that’s Michael Draven staring up at the lights!
MM: You’re eloquent as alwa–what the hell?
Static bursts through the PA system, cutting Draven’s music off as he reaches the ring. Confused, he looks around, shrugging his shoulders toward Nikki Rogers, who obviously doesn’t understand what’s going on.
MM: We apologize, ladies and gentlemen, but we’re apparently having some technical difficul–
it seems strange that my life should end
In such a terrible place
VA: That’s no technical difficulty, Malone! HATE is here!
(The glow of red strobe lights falls across the arena, and the trio of Pillars emerge from the curtains as one tight-knit hive. NOTHING stands in the middle, his arms crossed at the chest. The enormous Rayner flanks him on the left while grinning lecherously through his mask, and the calculating creature known as Indrid Calder flanks him on the right. They move as one down the ramp, allowing the men in the ring to sweat it out a bit.)
MM: These jackal-hearted bastards have no reason to be out here right now. Jester Smiles made a great point about them recently. They are a CANCER here in the EWA, and the saddest part is they’ve outlasted almost all the other big factions. HATE just doesn’t die…
VA: Have some respect for the HATEful, Malone! The hive is a well-oiled machine. These are selfless Pillars devoted to a common cause. They are fluid in their attacks and their methods. They’ve endured all forms of opposition, and HATE still stands tall as ever! HAIL TO HATE!
MM: So does HATE pay you to fellate their egos just like Grace Goeren does?
VA: Nah, they just scare the absolute hell outta me…
(As HATE draws closer, both Draven and West come together.
They look at each other, and Draven nods.
And West nods back, as both men turn to face the oncoming storm, side by side!)
MM: It looks like these two are going to put aside their differences in order to fight a common enemy!
VA: They’re still outnumbered! Besides, Rayner counts as three or four by himself!
(The former EWA Champion steps forward, beckoning HATE into the ring. Indrid Calder smirks.)
MM: I- what the HELL?!
VA: What just happened?!
(A fist appears between Draven’s legs, in a forceful, upwards trajectory. The low blow doubles the Vengeful One over, and then to his knees.
He looks ahead, at the grinning Hyenas of HATE, and takes roll, looking for answers.
He sees the Titan, masked, cracking his knuckles in preparation for a beat down.
He sees The Purveyor, staring coldly at what will soon become his prey.
And he sees the Stranger, smiling jovially, as he has found something he has long been awaiting.
Draven turns, and is now looking up at his assailant, eyes wide with shock.
And there stands The Masochist, eyes ablaze with maniacal fury. Lips and teeth clenched shut, jaw jutting out at its usual grotesque angle.)
VA: What….what did we just see?
MM: William West just…..why?
(The Masochist pie faces Michael Draven, shoving him down to the canvas as Indrid Calder slithers into the ring like a serpent. He stands alongside West, both men looking down upon the fallen Draven.
And The Masochist begins to laugh!)
VA: The House of HATE……its whole once again!
MM: William West has betrayed Michael Draven! And now-oh, I can’t watch this!
(NOTHING enters the ring next, followed by Rayner. The Purveyor saunters over and embraces William West. The Masochist continues to laugh, high pitched and cold, as he returns the embrace from his estranged brother!
Rayner slaps a companionable log-sized arm across West’s upper back, and the Spider King steps forward to shake West’s hand with a frigid rictus grin pulling at his features.)
MM: This is a damn travesty. West has shown his true colors here tonight. He’s a twisted lunatic, and he belongs among his own rotten kind. I actually thought he was on the road to redemption…but he threw that all away for the false warmth of the House of HATE.
VA: How dare you speak ill of the noble William West, Malone! This man is SMART. He knows deep inside that he belongs with HATE. He is a Pillar at his core, and it brings tears to my eyes to see him come home. What a beautiful HOMECOMING!!
MM: Look out…there’s a BANSHEE coming to break up this little hive party!!
(MAGGIE MCINTYRE is indeed sprinting down to the ring, and she slides in like a bat out of hell! She goes right for West, but NOTHING and Calder grab her and hold her in place. NOTHING digs his hand into her long sable locks and wrenches her head back, and Calder tweaks her jaw a little…teasing the part of her that took damage from the baseball bat recently.
Both men look to West and nod together…AND THE MASOCHIST LEAPS INTO THE AIR AND DROPS MAGGIE WITH A BRUTAL LUNATIKK SWEET!!!)
VA: Hell yeah! West is BACK…and better than ever!
MM: This makes me sick to my stomach. That’s a woman West claimed to call a “friend”…
VA: A fairweather friend, Malone! She never gave a damn about West. She’s too busy living in her own little triangle world with Draven and Sahara. West’s real friends are the Pillars of HATE!
(Draven is stirring, reaching for Maggie with gritted teeth…and Calder saunters over and just SNAPS a kick straight into his face, forcing his body to go limp once again.
The HATEful stand tall again, but not for long…because JESTER SMILES hits the rings and begins to just pepper fists into Calder, causing him to reel towards the ropes! This lasts all of a few seconds before Rayner just barrels into Jester and BEHEADS him with a clothesline!! Jester struggles up to his hands and knees…but NOTHING races across the ring and snaps his neck to the side with PURE HATE! Smiles is gasping now, crawling across the ring…and Calder leaps up and high and just violently CURB STOMPS him with For the Horseman!
The Pillars of HATE take a moment to roll their victims into a messy pile in the center of the ring, Draven, Maggie, and Jester all lying across each other in a tangle of twisted limbs.)
VA: You see what happens when you fight HATE, Malone? THIS HAPPENS. Best course of action is to be respectful and submissive around them. You bow your head, and maybe they’ll let you live. Remember that.
(Rayner has taken up a mic, and he chuckles while glaring down at the bodies.)
Cal Rayner: Bodies at our fuckin’ feet. Ain’t this a familiar sight for the HATE boys! You’d think they’d learn. But some of these cunts got thick fuckin’ domes. You ain’t ever putting a dent in us. You’ll die if you try. You’ll die..if you fuckin’ try. And how I–
(Rayner is interrupted by the late arrival of the WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION, SAHARA!! The blonde charges down the rampway to raucous cheers and slides beneath the bottom rope, but Rayner immediately drops his mic and grabs her up into his massive arms, her world title falling to the mat during the scuffle. He drags her back to the turnbuckle, kicking and screaming and holds her there. The blonde looks from Michael to Maggie helplessly as Rayner’s grip tightens around her much smaller frame.
Struggling to shake free, Rayner leans back against the turnbuckles as she slowly calms herself, realizing there is no escape from the massive arms of Rayner.
But the Pillars make absolutely no effort to descend upon her like they did the rest…)
MM: The fans can’t make up their minds whether they love her or hate her! Good to see Sahara do the right thing and coming out here to help, but why isn’t HATE ravaging her like the others?
VA: Ol’ Rayner better be careful, if you squeeze a hoe too hard, you’ll get syphilis right through the clothes! ZING!
MM: Not the time, Ashe. They’re making her watch the aftermath of the destruction of her own husband and wife, Ashe…the sick cowards!
(Indrid Calder steps forward and retrieves a microphone. He returns to the pile of bodies, and he casually plants his boot on the back of Michael Draven’s head. He just rests it there, digging his heel against his temple a bit to get a better stance.)
Indrid Calder: You EWA fans are shrieking like you expected another outcome. This is how it always ends when you take the defiant road against HATE. We dehumanize you. We belittle you. We make you small and worthless. We tenderize your flesh…and we add you to this tangled pile of miscellaneous limbs. Your name means nothing. It can be Maggie, or Michael, or Jester. You are nameless when faced with HATE. You are just a body…and your place is in the pile.
(Indrid casually gestures down to the bodies at his feet. He digs his boot a little more into Draven’s hair to emphasize his point. His gaze drifts over to Sahara…and it locks there.)
Indrid Calder: HATE shapes the future of the EWA. HATE molds the next generation of success. HATE handpicks the chosen, and the chosen rise up to live a certain kind of life. A life of power. A life of privilege. A life in which you are feared, respected, and made grandiose in scale. We are the shadows that whisper into the ears of kings and queens, and we have the ability to lift you up to entirely new heights…or tear you down to blood-soaked depths. The choice belongs to the individual. Be chosen and walk with us…or falter, and fall into obscurity…
(Calder’s eyes fix on the World Title that fell to the mat during her scuffle with Rayner, and then his knife-blue gaze flicks back to her eyes.)
Indrid Calder: But even the chosen must be tested. We must determine if the mettle is worthwhile. We must see if the iron can be shaped, or if it is resistant to change. It’s important for us to KNOW…that each project we choose…is capable of existing within the hive..
(Calder and NOTHING share smirks. The #1 Contender to Sahara’s World Title smiles at her, and NOTHING seems ever so eager to act as the test-master…)
Indrid Calder: But such matters can wait. Tonight we celebrate our wayward brother finding his way home. William West is welcome. He wandered far, as I too have wandered, but in the end…the House of HATE sang him back to the threshold. He is the cornerstone we have been missing. THE PILLAR that returned. And the House…longs to embrace her Masochist again.
(West slowly raises his hand, taking the microphone outstretched in the hands of Indrid Calder. His gaze is fixed on Michael Draven.)
William West: You came to me, Michael. You came to me and you offered trice. You offered the joining of forces. After all, I came to you, first. Remember that? I sought you out. Wasn’t easy, given your condition, but I got the job done. I found you, and I dared not ask for what I sought: your forgiveness. Yet, you offered it freely.
MM: Some way to show your gratitude here!
VA: Quiet, Malone! He’s not done yet!
William West: And then, poof! You were gone! I told you what I planned to do. I gave you those plans in writing for your dutiful little wifey laying on the ground next to you. And neither of you offered me any help. No aid. No support. I fully planned on tearing through each and every man I called brother in this ring tonight. Yet, you left me hanging, so to speak. Tossed aside like junk mail.
(West clenches his fist tighter around the microphone, leaning down, closer to Draven.)
William West: No, it wasn’t until the Spider King re-emerged. THAT was when you wanted to go all in with me. Too little, way too late. Thanks, in part, to her.
(He points behind him, where Rayner still holds the EWA World Heavyweight Champion.)
William West: I told you she came to visit me, and I told you what she wanted from me, but I didn’t tell you what she did for me. Did I? She made me see what I had become: an expendable soldier in a fruitless war. I had no allies. I had no friends. In fact, I had betrayed them all. Sahara made me remember who in the hell I am, and I’ll ever be grateful for that.
(West stands up straight, looking directly at Sahara and bows.)
William West: You didn’t want to give me anything. All you wanted to do was take. Take the fight of the soldier, the will of the Masochist, the body of HATE’s fallen son, and use it for your own personal quest of revenge against the man who broke your leg.
(West moves to stand over Jester Smiles.)
William West: And you wanted me to give you forgiveness for what you did to my ex wife. And you took it. And you took MY title!
(West jabs his foot into the ribcage of Jester Smiles, causing him to roll on the ground.
Finally, West crouches down in front of Maggie McIntyre.)
William West: And you. I gave you everything. I gave you release when times got too stressful, in the form of you beating on my body. I gave you a friendship that you took for granted! I gave you my fucking mask.
William West: And you took them. And when I needed a friend? And when I needed encouragement? You were too damn busy playing housewife to the man who beat you like a fucking mule for the amusement of his friends! To play sister wives with the woman who betrayed you in the name of a false deity! Well, I found my way home again, Mags. I followed you down a lonesome path, and you couldn’t be bothered to even drop a bread crumb so I could follow. Your message was clear, even if you didn’t utter a word, Mags.
(West stands up straight once again. He looks down on his former friend and there is no love there. Only contempt. He nearly spits his final words.)
William West: Your marriage is all that matters to you. To hell with everyone else.
(NOTHING places a hand on the shoulder of Calder, his smile beaming as he pats The Stranger’s frame with congratulations. He walks over to William West and throws an arm around The Masochist, the two grinning sick smiles as they look out across the crowd. NOTHING settles his sights directly on the EWA World Heavyweight Champion being restrained by The Titan of HATE.)
NOTHING: This guy… this fuckin’ guy! For all the Hell we put one another through, and for all the Hell he put the rest of the House of HATE through… I never doubted him for a second. I never doubted that he would find his way back home. Because, at the end of it all, we all find our ways back home. You grow up in a small town just aching to break out and live in the hustle and bustle of the city’s streets, but as you grow… and as you age… and as you learn more about yourself and the world around you, you find yourself drawn to that small town. Drawn to the seclusion and the quiet.
Well, this is no small town… but it is a place of comfort. A place where each of us has a purpose and works to serve the greater good. Nobody – no man, no woman – will ever truly make it to the top all their own. You need that support system… regardless of how strong you think you may be, you need someone to fall back on. Someone to hold you up and push you forward when you feel the weight of the world beginning to crush you.
William West has that support system once again.
And with our Masochist back in our ranks… amongst The Titan, The Stranger, and The Purveyor… there isn’t a single force in the EWA or elsewhere that can stop us from achieving any goal we set out for ourselves.
Right now… that goal is the EWA World Heavyweight Championship and the woman who proudly holds that championship. It’s almost time, Sahara. In just fourteen short days, we will meet again. We will meet again and I will have the full, unbridled, unbreaking passion of HATE behind me.
(He glances around the ring taking stock of the massacre around them. Specifically, he eyeballs Maggie McIntyre as she writhes on the mat. He shifts his gaze over to Michael Draven, similarly grimacing in pain along side Jester Smiles. He turns back toward Sahara with a smile on his face.)
NOTHING: What will you have left in fourteen days, darling?
(He slowly walks toward Sahara, Rayner’s grip tightening ever so slightly as she begins to try and break free. The Purveyor leans in close, inches away from her face, to answer his own question.)
NOTHING: You… will have… NOTHING.
I hope you’re looking forward to it.
(Reaching down, NOTHING picks up the EWA World Heavyweight Championship and looks at it for a few moments before he says something inaudible to Rayner who nods and releases the struggling blonde.
Ripping herself from Rayner’s grasp, she steps up and locks eyes with the Purveyor of HATE, only Calder and West step up behind him. Holding the title out to her with an extremely calm demeanor, NOTHING’s expression does not change, he simply stares into the depths of her sapphire eyes.)
NOTHING: Don’t be a hero, darling. As you can see by the pile of bodies in this ring, it’s a losing proposition. We could add you to the pile, or you can take what’s yours and walk away.
(Glancing down at her fallen husband and wife, the Crimson Queen swallows hard and reaches out, taking possession of her title.)
NOTHING: Don’t do it, Lauren…
MM: Listen for once, Sahara.
(Seeming to take a tentative step toward the hive of HATE, Sahara thinks better of this and suddenly retreats a step. Staring at the blonde, NOTHING motions toward the ropes with the sweeping gesture, Rayner stepping to the side giving her room.)
VA: He’s letting her go, Malone!
MM: And she’d be wise to take the out, nobody in that ring is gonna blame her.
(As Sahara reluctantly steps through the ropes, she glances back at Maggie and Michael, a great deal of worry in her eyes–)
MM: She has no choice, Vincent, they’d wreck her.
VA: She’s not stupid, Malone, Sahara knows a lose/lose situation when she sees one, and that’s pretty much a situation Sahara doesn’t put herself in. She’ll walk–
(A few moments later, she drops off the ring apron, as a few boos emerge from the crowd. Sahara stares up at the house of HATE and slowly backs up the rampway, the strap from the World Title dragging on the floor. Her gaze fixates on the group that beat down her husband, wife, and even Jester Smiles.)
VA: I told ya she’d walk.
MM: She had no choice. HATE has welcomed William West back into the fold, and there may be no stopping these sadists now, ladies and gentlemen. HATE has departed the ring, and…as these three – Maggie, Jester, and Michael Draven – exit the ringside area, let’s have a word from one of our sponsors.
THIS MATCH IS DECLARED A NO-CONTEST (0:00)
THE LEMONHEADS VS THE TRUE BROTHERS
(The thunderous chords of ‘Stormbreather’ by Mastodon blare out over the PA system. Storming out from the back come the two imposing figures of Fury and Turmoil, The True Brothers. The crowd looks up in awe at the two monsters dressed in camoflague pants, vest tops, dark robes, and heavy, hockey style masks to conceal identity. The two behemoths just seem content to stand on top of the ramp, surveying the scene.)
????: HOLD IT! Hold it…hold it…hoooooold. IT!
(The voice is a semi-familiar one to the crowd but not one they pick up on immediately. As the man emerges from the curtain, it starts to become obvious why. Nick Willmott, one of the newest additions to the EWA and Ray Willmott’s older brother sidles past them, wearing a Red Hot T-Shirt and a pair of dark denim jeans. He has a microphone up to his dark, greying beard and runs a free hand along the back of his neck and just below the man bun.)
Nick Willmott: I am Nick ‘Wildfire’ Willmott. THESE two men are the most dominant, imposing athletes in tag team wrestling, The True Brothers, and WE have a huge announcement to make!
(Nick is wearing the most sinister of smirks on his face as he allows the crowd time to settle, sit down, and shut up.)
Nick Willmott: See, let’s be real here, this was going to be a good old fashioned squash match. A nothing on this stacked card. A throwaway contest where you get to see these two beat the snot out of a pair of jobbers. So we can put the division on notice. So we can show why your hero is fucking DOOMED.
Blah, blah, fucking blah. Just take a look at these two. Do you REALLY think we need this match to happen to know they’d fuck you up for looking at them wrong. Huh?
(Nick rolls his eyes, then runs a hand across his beard.)
Nick Willmott: So the good news for the Lemonade factory is that they’re going to get the night off. They’re going to avoid a trip to the hospital and permanent retirement because … WE DID IT.
MM: What’s going on, Ashe?
(The crowd want to know the same thing, awaiting Nick’s words with nervous apprehension.)
Nick Willmott: We conquered Ray fucking Willmott. WE crushed and finished the man nobody else in this company had it in them to do.
Oh, haven’t you heard? The poor thing’s slipped discs in his neck. Sounds awful if you ask me. Pressing down on his nerves, affecting his mobility. He’s fucked, you guys.
No more acrobatics, no more high flying or death-defying. It’s OVER! All you’re ever going to remember is that joke act lost to Joe Lemon in ten seconds and got the absolute shit kicked out of him. Those will be his final moments in THIS RING and EVERY … OTHER.
(The crowd chants ‘No’ repeatedly, booing heavily. Shocked and surprised by the sudden revelation.)
VA: Is…Is Ray Willmott done?
Nick Willmott: You’ll soon forget him, though. Just like you forget everyone else. He’ll fade from memory, his legacy will mean nothing, and he won’t be able to do a damn thing about it because he’ll be paralysed. Powerless.
For the rest of his life, Ray Willmott will have to watch as the wrestling world says goodbye to him all over again!
MM: Oh my God…
Nick Willmott: You’re not even going to see us because, quite frankly, you don’t deserve it and because our work is done.
From this moment on, there will be no association, no memories. No links. As far as you’re concerned, from this moment forward, the Willmott name is FINISHED!
And this time, it will STAY DEAD!
(Nick Willmott drills the microphone into the entrance ramp and storms backstage without looking back. The two monsters soon flank him, ducking behind the curtain in pursuit. Just like that they’re gone to no exit music, no fanfare, and barely an explanation.)
VA: I…I don’t know what to think any more.
MM: Just like that, it’s over? Ray’s gone…th-they’re gone?
VA: I … guess?
MM: Well, if this is the end then I just want to say thank you for the memories, Ray. It’s been a pleasure calling some of your incredible matches the last two years. I’ll never forget the night you won the World Title.
VA: I thought we were supposed to forget? Eh, well, no matter. I guess, cheers Ray. You were alright.
MM: This is…wow. So I guess we’re moving on?
(We have a slow pan of the sold out Moda Center here in Portland as the fans are on their feet, going crazy and getting ready for more EWA action.)
MM: Folks, we truly hope you are enjoying this great episode of Battlelines. We’ve got a lot left on our plate though, including an individual who has requested a chance to come out and address the EWA fans here tonight.
VA: Really? Who?
MM: You’re not going to like it.
VA: Come on, tell me! Wait…how do you even KNOW who’s coming out? I know Halloween was a few days ago…which makes you a witch! BURN THE WITCH! BURN THE WITCH!
MM: They’re called “run sheets” and we get them every week. You know, to tell us what match and interview is coming up next?
(Vincent glances down at the pile of papers in front of him, untouched from the start of the show.)
VA: I thought they were just doodling paper.
MM: Look here.
(Mike leans over and points out the interview schedule for the night as Vincent’s eyes widen.)
VA: What?! Now? NO!
(Right on cue, Subway To Sally’s “Sieben” hits over the arena’s PA system as the lights dim and a red and gold laser show starts at the top of the ramp. A revolving “A.G.” logo starts spinning on the video screen as the crowd cheers wildly before Azrael Goeren emerges from behind the curtain, smiling out at the energetic crowd.)
MM: The Megastar is here in Portland! And I know for a fact I’m speaking solely for myself here in the announce booth but it’s great to see Azrael Goeren here tonight!
VA: Why in the world would you ever be excited to see this chump?
MM: Because he’s turning his life around, Vincent. That’s why. If you’ve been staying up to date on the EWA website you’ll know that he’s checked himself into rehab and we’ve already heard rumors of him and Sinnocence repairing their relationship. I say great job, it takes a real man to admit he has a problem with drugs and alcohol and Azrael is finally getting the help he needs.
VA: A real man wouldn’t have been such a disgusting degenerate in the first place, Malone.
(Azrael is definitely not dressed to wrestle here tonight, wearing a Navy pinstriped suit and a pair of red-tinted sunglasses. He begins his slow descent down to the ring, taking the time to slap hands with the fans at ringside and pose for a selfie or two. He makes it to the ring and rolls underneath the bottom rope before Nikki Rogers hands him a mic.)
VA: Wake me when this is all over. Or when he falls off the wagon again.
MM: Shut up.
VA: How rude!
(Azrael takes a second and waves to some fans high in the nosebleed section, smiling broadly from ear to ear. He takes a deep breath and addresses the crowd with a grin.)
Azrael Goeren: Mein freunds, it is SO good to be with you all here tonight.
(The crowd erupts with another chorus of cheers as Azrael runs a hand through his blonde hair and exhales a bit into the microphone.)
Azrael Goeren: And what I mean by that is when you’re an addict you never really know if this day is going to be your last. It’s been a very trying last few weeks for me. Let me tell you, rehab is nothing like they show you on TV. Not ONCE has a nurse come into my room late at night to tie me to the bed and “give me my medicine”! I don’t know what to believe anymore!
(The Megastar grins and walks around the ring a bit, letting out a chuckle.)
Azrael Goeren: All kidding aside, I just wanted to come out here tonight and tell you all that I’m doing much better. Rehabilitation is not easy and it’s not fast. The only way it works is if you are ready to accept help and for the first time in my life…I’m ready. I just want to thank all of you for the kind words on social media and the lovely cards you’ve sent me, it really is appreciated. Danke, from the bottom of my heart…thank you all so very much for your support.
(Azrael nods in gratitude out to the crowd as the familiar “AZ-RA-EL” chant starts from somewhere in the balcony and comes cascading down throughout the arena. Azrael smiles and waves out at the crowd again, nodding his head in thanks.)
Azrael Goeren: I’m working my way back both mentally and physically. I was able to compete in the ring during the last Battlelines and I look forward to getting back to what I do best on a regular basis…and that’s making everything in EWA joygasmically delicious. Thank you all again and…
“Addict, addict, addict, addict, addict, addict…”
(The fans begin to boo as the voice of none other than Donovan King can be heard throughout the arena. Goeren looks around, trying to find the source of the voice.)
Azrael Goeren: Donovan?
“All I ever heard from you or your overrated cunt of a girlfriend is that word. Addict. Addict. Addict. Addict. God…we get it. We ALL get it. You love your drugs. And all these fans….all you people here in Portland? Are you seriously…SERIOUSLY…going to support this man and his vices?”
(The tron comes to life now with the visage of Donovan King staring down at the masses and at Goeren. He has a full beard now, bags under his eyes, and his eyes bloodshot. He keeps his hood pulled over his head.)
Donovan King: I thought…we were done, man. I beat you. I didn’t just beat you, man, I…broke you down. I took you with me, I kept you hidden, I filled you full of your pathetic little gimmick and you know…I thought that was it. I dumped you off and started planning my own world again.
Donovan King: But you can’t just…FUCKING…DIE.
(He bows his head.)
Donovan King: You can’t die and these people? They blindly just…cheer you on. How? Why? Just…let me be rhetorical here. Why do you continue to…be? What do you have left? You think the world wants you to be a World Champion somewhere? You think they want you hogging up room in the EWA? No, Henrik. You’re a nostalgia act who just can’t stop talking about being an addict.
(He shakes his head slowly.)
Donovan King: No…no, see, I won. I won. I won, I won, I won, I won, I beat you, God damn it, I WON.
(He starts to chuckle.)
Donovan King: So…heh…if making it so you can’t compete ain’t an option…
(The screen flickers out, bathing the arena in darkness.)
“I guess I’m just gonna have to keep hurtin’ you until you quit.”
(The lights come back on suddenly, and Goeren is face to face with King in the center of the ring! Goeren goes to punch, but King quickly blocks the shot and NAILS Goeren in the face with his fist!)
MM: Good God! King’s fist has his old trademark chain wrapped around it!
(King stands there above Goeren, his cane in one hand, his chain dangling from the other. He puts his boot on the back of Goeren’s head He bends down, taking the microphone Goeren dropped.)
Donovan King: I want you to know, Henrik…
(King bends down, whispering to Goeren.)
Donovan King: …you started this.
(King aims his cane like a putter going for a hole in one…and SLAMS the head of his cane into Goeren’s forehead, blood immediately coming from a fresh gash in the middle of Goeren’s forehead. The fans continue to boo as King wraps the chain around his cane and starts WAILING on Goeren’s head again and again and again until the chain is saturated in blood from Goeren’s head and face. The fans are relentlessly booing now as the chain falls from the cane. King continues his assault on Goeren’s head and back until finally…his cane snaps. The top half flies from the ring, a small string of blood splatters on the canvas as King stops his attack.)
MM: That’s…that’s gotta be enough. Goeren isn’t moving and King’s walking cane has been shattered from the vicious assault.
VA: All opinions aside about Azrael Goeren…nobody deserves this sort of hateful…beating. I mean, damn.
(King starts there, breathing heavily. He wraps his chain around Goeren’s head and face, holding both ends in each of his hands. He FORCES Goeren to his feet and puts Goeren’s swollen and bloody face on his shoulder. Then, he DROPS Goeren with a Kingbreaker! He quickly rolls over Goeren’s body and locks in a Carolina Crossface with the chain wrapped around Goeren’s throat and face!)
MM: We need security out here! This is getting out of hand!
(King arches back HARD, but no response from Goeren. He releases the chain and Goeren falls, limp and lifeless. King sits up as security officials storm the ring, clamoring to remove King from Goeren’s side. King doesn’t put up a fight as he is pushed to a corner. King reaches down to the mat where the microphone rests and grins as he speaks into the microphone.)
Donovan King: I torture yoooOOooOOOooou…I torture YOOOoooooOoOOooOOOOOuuuuUUU…
(King bursts into laughter.)
Donovan King: HAHAHAHAHA!!! Ah…God…ah, fuck…Henrik? Henrik, my brother, my friend, my fellow fighter…you okay?
(EMTs are scurrying around Goeren now, trying to bring him back as security restrains King.)
Donovan King: Awww, Henrik! Hanky! Azzy! What’s wrong, man?! ARE YOU OKAY?! INQUIRING MINDS WANNA KNOW!
(King cackles as the security pins him down, the microphone landing near his face as his hands are cuffed behind him.)
Donovan King: OHHHH MAAAAAAAX…MIGHT WANNA SEE IF THIS ADDICT IS ADDICTED TO HAVING HIS WILL BE UP TO DATE!
(Goeren is being loaded onto a gurney, still unresponsive.)
Donovan King: HEY…HEY…AZZY…WHEN YOU WAKE UP…IF YOU WANNA FINISH THIS IN THE RING, IN THE STREETS, OR IN HELL…I’LL BE WAITING!!
(King is lifted to his feet, still cackling like a madman as the security hauls him up the ramp. Goeren is being stretchered out behind him.)
MM: Despicable. Donovan King has been on a journey to break Azrael Goeren…only to find that he himself…has been broken.
VA: And not in a charming kind of way, either. Dude is fucked up.
MM: Let’s..(sigh) Let’s go to the ring for our next contest.
JOSH KAINE VS SAHARA
EWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
NR: Ladies and gentlemen, earlier this evening, at the request of the EWA World Champion, the following contest has been changed from a non-title match to a EWA World Heavyweight Championship match!
The crowd cheers the announcement, a reminder of what transpired earlier in the evening between the Champion, Sahara and the EWA Executive Assistant, Stacy Vandervort.
NR: Introducing first, the challenger, from Lenoir, North Carolina, weighing in at an even 190 pounds, The Heir of Valhalla, Joshua Kaine!
Aaah! Aaah! Aaah! Aaah!
The raspy and electric voice of Alice in Chains’ Layne Staley and those distinctive guitar riffs suddenly roar over the speakers, igniting a pop from the crowd. The Heir to Valhalla himself appears from backstage, with a rare and serious look of determination on his face. He jogs up to the ramp with his arms extended.
MM: Not quite the happy go lucky Josh we’re used to seeing, Ashe. He knows exactly how big this opportunity is.
VA: It’s not just an opportunity for the world title, Malone, but one of revenge. After what happened on the last Battlelines where Sahara attacked both Rick Remington and Josh Kaine, what an upset it would be if he dethroned Sahara here tonight.
MM: And I have to commend her for being a fighting champion this time around. Insisting that if she cannot beat an opponent, any opponent, that she doesn’t deserve to call herself champion.
I believe them bones are me
Some say we’re born into the grave
I feel so alone, gonna end up a
Big ole pile of them bones
Giving nods and slapping a few fans’ hands on the way down, Josh climbs up onto the ring apron steps through the ropes. The son of Sinnocence retreats to his corner, hands on the ropes to await his opponent’s arrival.
VA: Look at the look on his face, Malone, Josh knows the sheer magnitude of this match, and he looks ready.
The lights suddenly dim as a single white spotlight drops on the entrance and that all too familiar opening riff of In This Moment’s ‘Adrenalize Me’ hits. The EWA World Heavyweight Champion slowly strolls out onto the rampway with the title securely fastened around her waist and as she stands center stage, she leans her head back and basks in the bright blinding light. As the music picks up, she slowly lifts her hands on either side, and seems to breath in the atmosphere.
As the light dims, and the Crimson Queen can be seen more clearly, she sports her usual black and silver ring attire with her long platinum Nordic braids pulled back, the right half of her face smeared in eerie red greasepaint and her boots emblazoned with silver lettering.
VA: The NEW Viking Goddess of the EWA has arrived, Malone!
MM: Did she pay you to say that? This is in obvious mockery of Josh Kaine’s legacy, the true Heir of Valhalla, in honor of his mother, of course, the legendary former two-time EWA World Heavyweight Champion, Sinnocence.
VA: You can’t inherit something like Valhalla, Malone, just like Sahara said. It’s something you take by sheer force of will, you don’t just wait around and receive it because you happened to be born the son of Sinnocence.
As she slowly strolls down toward ringside, she reaches out to touch a number of hands, a decidedly mixed reaction greeting the champion. She keeps her eyes locked on Josh Kaine the entire way down to ringside, an arrogant little smile on her face.
MM: It’s amazing how polarizing she can be. The same fans you see cheering her will then boo her, and then turn around cheer her again a few minutes later. It’s truly baffling.
Sitting up on the ring apron, Sahara yanks on the second rope, bringing her upright, where she stands on the outside of the ring looking in at the son of Sinnocence. Finally stepping through the ropes, she approaches the center of the ring and unbuckles the Heavyweight title and drapes it over her shoulder and a smirk on her face, Sahara mouths something to Josh Kaine as she smacks the faceplate of the title.
MM: How’s it feel to stand with greatness?
VA: I don’t know, Malone, you tell me!
MM: (Sigh.) That’s what she just said to Josh, Ashe, I sure as hell wasn’t calling you “greatness.”
VA: Well, that’s rude.
Back in the ring, Sahara takes the title off her shoulder and kisses it before handing it off to referee David Tucker. Bumping chests with Josh, Sahara holds her arms out for some animated trash talk to her opponent. As David Tucker holds the title up for the crowd to see, he hands it off to the timekeeper and returns to the center of the ring to go over the match stipulations.
David Tucker: You both know the rules in a no disqualification match; there are none.
Sahara: Whatever. Just make sure you don’t stop the match, David, let the whelp show the world what he’s got.
Josh Kaine: Fine by me, Sahara.
Nodding reluctantly, David Tucker backs away and calls for the bell as Sahara continues running her mouth at Josh when they suddenly lock up. Pulling back briefly, Josh shoves the blonde backwards and Sahara lands flat on her ass, to a surprise pop from the crowd that leaves her looking up at the Heir to Valhalla with a look of surprise on her face!
VA: The whelp took her by surprise there, Malone, she wasn’t ready for that lockup!
MM: No, because she was too busy jaw jacking him, and so she got what she deserved. Maybe now she’ll take him a bit more seriously.
VA: I doubt it.
Scrambling back to her feet, Sahara rushes in and they lock up again, only this time Sahara forces them back against the ropes, where Josh breaks the hold only to receive a knee to the gut, doubling him over. As Tucker gets in her face, Sahara shoves the referee back and can easily be heard yelling in his face, “It’s no DQ dumbass — get outta my face!”
VA: She’s got a point.
MM: Still shouldn’t be touching referees, this is a recurring theme with her.
VA: She’s unstable. Why do people act surprised when she shows us that repeatedly?
As Josh stumbles away from the ropes a bit, holding his midsection, Sahara winds up and kicks the Heir to Valhalla straight in his ass, nearly taking him off his feet, bringing a bit of laughter from the crowd.
VA: Well that was … embarrassing.
MM: Josh has to keep the stipulations he himself asked for in mind, since this is no disqualification, Sahara has no obligation to follow the standard conventions of a rope break. It’s not like she can be disqualified for disregarding the rules here.
VA: That’s because there are none.
As Josh gets back to his feet, Sahara winds up with a huge right but the Heir to Valhalla ducks it and as she spins through, Josh returns the favor and kicks her straight in the ass, causing her to jump up and grab her backside! Laughter spreads across the audience as a seething looking Sahara slowly turns around, glaring at her former lover.
MM: (Stifled laughter.)
VA: The kid is showing off his playful personality here, but he’d better watch himself, she sure as hell ain’t playing.
The two lock up in the center of the ring again and Sahara twists the lockup into a side headlock. Patting her on the back, Josh sends her off into the ropes where she comes off with a clothesline he ducks under, and as she comes off the rebound, Josh spins and nails her with a huge discus clothesline, taking her clear off her feet, flipping her from the sheer force of the blow!
MM: What a shot!
VA: That stunned her!
Scrambling over, Josh quickly makes the quick cover–
MM: Woah, that was close! He almost shocked the world right there!
VA: That was too close, Malone!
Scrambling back to her feet, Josh follows with another clothesline that takes the blonde off her feet. Immediately springing up, Sahara charges and Josh drops her with a quick drop-toe hold, slamming her face off the mat!
Before she can recover, he grabs Sahara and yanks her upright before sending her into the ropes and leaps, hitting a perfectly executed sling blade as she rolls immediately herself beneath the ropes and wraps her arms around the bottom rope to take a quick breather.
MM: Look at the look of shock on her face, Ashe, she doesn’t even know what hit her!
VA: Yeah, but her ring awareness was just as impressive. She’d better take the whelp seriously.
Seemingly angered by the cheers of the crowd, Sahara uses the ropes to pull herself back to her feet but falls against the ropes as Josh approaches–
MM: What’s she doing?
VA: She’s stalling out his momentum is what she’s doing. It’s brilliant.
Stopping just before unleashing a heavy right on the blonde, Sahara collapses down the ropes to the mat and clutches her knee with a look of anguish on her face. David Tucker instantly pulls Josh back a few steps to check on her.
MM: Come on, guys, don’t fall for this…
VA: Oldest trick in the book…and of course Tucker has no choice as referee but to issue the required safety protocol.
MM: Just be mindful, Josh.
Grabbing hold of her knee brace — a remnant from the lead pipe attack she suffered at the hands of Rick Remington weeks earlier — she yanks up on it as David Tucker seems to lean down on one of the ratchet buckles.
MM: Oh, my apologies fans, but it appears her brace broke free during that sustained assault from Josh Kaine.
VA: And here you thought she was just faking an injury. Really nice Malone. Good to see what you think of our World Champions integrity.
MM: Me?! You just–
VA: Real nice.
Helping Sahara back to her feet she tests out the brace and nods to the referee who motions back toward Josh Kaine, he steps forward to commence the match–
Doubling over against her, the blonde grabs Josh by the sides of his face to keep him on his feet, her boot firmly planted between his legs.
MM: And of course she takes advantage. Ya know, why does she still have that brace on? Hasn’t it been weeks since that injury?!
VA: I think we just found out why she’s still got it on, and I hope Nikki didn’t want kids, Malone, because damn what a shot he just took in the toolbag.
MM: Good god, look at this…
Leaning her head back, Sahara makes a show of it and slowly rubs her leg up and down between Josh’s legs with an exaggerated look of pleasure on her face. A few moments later, she grabs him beneath both legs and lifts, hitting him with a crushing inverted atomic drop that collapses the Heir to Valhalla to the mat. Writhing in pain while holding his nether region, Sahara grabs both of his legs and stands between them before she follows it up by stomping down where the sun don’t shine. HARD.
VA: She really knows how to work a groin.
MM: You couldn’t resist, could you?
VA: Hey, I’m just stating the facts.
Bending down, Sahara slowly lifts Josh to his knees, yanking him up onto legs of jello. Grabbing him by the arm, he nearly collapses back to the mat, only the Crimson Queen keeps him up before launching him into the turnbuckles with a force that sends her horizontal. The Heir to Valhalla slams chest first into the turnbuckles and collapses in the corner, slowly sliding down the ropes.
Grabbing him by the back of his shirt, Sahara drags him out from the corner a bit before she turns around and walks over him by stepping on his chest in an act of outright disrespect. Jumping up to a seated position on the top turnbuckle, she slowly climbs to the top, bringing the fans in attendance to their feet.
MM: She’s going for the STD–
VA: Josh isn’t moving, Malone, this is a foregone conclusion.
Launching herself off the top, spiraling through the air, Sahara crashes back first down across Josh’s midsection and rolls through onto her feet to a wave of boos from the fans. Holding her arms out, she mockingly curtsies the crowd, drawing even more heat from the fans.
VA: SPIRAL TAP! Nailed it!
MM: This one’s gotta be over…he put up a good fight, but didn’t use the rules he had set for the match to his favor, Ashe, which is exactly what she did do.
VA: I wouldn’t be so sure this is over yet–
Pointing down at Josh, referee David Tucker commands Sahara to make the cover only she moves toward a neutral corner and lifts herself up onto the top rope again … but this time she simply sits there … waiting.
Holding up both hands, Sahara signifies “10”, and points down at the Heir to Valhalla.
MM: She’s playing with him like a cat who’s captured a mouse.
Throwing his hands up, David Tucker reluctantly begins the ten count.
MM: He’s stirring, Ashe…
Jumping off the top turnbuckles, Sahara motions ringside for a mic.
MM: Aww, God, she’s gonna talk … again.
Sahara: Hold up, David. Lemme take it from here…
The crowd boos.
Sahara: Oh whatever. Get bent. One minute you love me, then you hate me. Make up yer damn minds. The whelp wanted this, so I gave it to him. He thought he was ready to step into the ring with me?! Oh, I almost forgot — SEVEN!
The crowd boos even louder.
VA: Ya know, she’s got a point, Malone. He did ask for this. He stormed Vandervort’s office demanding a no-disqualification match with Sahara, and of course because of who his mother is, Vandervort caved to his demands.
MM: She caved to his demands because Sahara assaulted him earlier in the night during one of her reckless tantrums. A stipulation she of course used to her advantage by kicking him in the nuts.
VA: So in other words, she’s smart?
Sahara: EIGHT! Oh, look everyone … the little Viking that could isn’t gonna give up!
Lifting himself off the mat with a glassy look in his eyes, Josh Kaine slowly pushes himself to his knees, the crowd cheering the effort.
Sahara: C’mon Josh, you can do it! Get up you son of a bitch, cuz Jada loves ya! NINNNNNNNNNNNE! One to go!
Taking the final count purposefully slow, Sahara shakes her head no at David Tucker as the Heir to Valhalla finally staggers up onto his jello-like legs.
Sahara: TE–ohhhhh no! HE GOT UP!
Looking out toward the crowd, Sahara makes a lifting motion with her hands.
Sahara: C’mon people, applaud him.
The capacity crowd slowly begins to applaud his efforts.
MM: She’s truly enjoying this.
VA: I gotta be honest, so am I.
Tossing the mic to David Tucker, Sahara steps through the ropes, slowly running her hand across the top rope in an almost sensual manner.
MM: She’s telegraphing the Flight of the Valkyrie…
VA: This is outright decimation at this point, Malone. She used his stipulations against him, and has just chopped this kid down piece by piece since taking control. This is what happens when you put a tag-team talent in the ring against the top dog in singles competition.
MM: I’d like to point out he was doing well until she kicked him where the sun don’t shine. It was just the wrong choice of stipulations against someone that’d take advantage of the lack of rules, someone like … like her!
Lining herself up with the Heir to Valhalla, Sahara grips the top rope and watches as he staggers around, slowly turning her direction. The crowd stirs, getting louder by the second.
Springboarding to the top, Sahara launches herself almost horizontally into the sky and comes down, planting her fist into Josh Kaine’s skull, instantly collapsing him to the mat where she lands lands on top of him. The crowd’s incessant boo’s suddenly turn to cheers as Moe and Nikki, obviously having seen enough, come storming down the rampway.
MM: The cavalry has arrived!
As Moe and Nikki arrive at ringside, Sahara takes position behind Josh Kaine on her knees and sits him up, cinching in a headlock as she drives a knee into his back while looking out at both Moe and Nikki.
VA: She’s gotta be aware this is no disqualification and there is nothing stopping Nikki or Moe from lending a hand.
MM: Integrity is stopping them, Ashe, and no matter what we’re seeing happen in the ring right now, Josh wouldn’t want it.
VA: Which Sahara’s likely aware of.
Looking from Moe to Nikki, a twisted little smile comes to Sahara’s face as she drops him to the mat and drags him closer to the corner.
MM: For christ sake, just stop the match, Tucker.
VA: He can’t! They agreed at the start of the match there’d be no referee stoppages.
MM: He’s had enough, though.
Slapping her hand on the top turnbuckle as she looks down at Nikki with a smile, Sahara scales the ropes.
MM: She’s going for a second STD!
Looking across the ring and through the ropes at Moe nods to Nikki–who with a shake of the head reluctantly throws a white towel into the ring.
VA: She’s throwing in the towel for her teammate! That’s a forfeit, Malone!
Waving it off, David Tucker jumps in front of Josh as Sahara, perched on the top rope screams at him to get out of the way. Snatching up the white towel Nikki tossed in, David holds it up to the World Champion and motions for the bell as Nikki and Moe jump up onto the ring apron.
MM: Thank God for Nikki and Moe. Have some damn mercy, Sahara.
NR: Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of this match by forfeit, and STILL the EWA World Heavyweight Cham–
As Nikki Rogers continues making the call, David Tucker momentarily moves to reach through the ropes for the EWA World Title when a smile comes to Sahara’s face and she seizes the moment, launching herself off the top and coming down with a double stomp on the prone body of Josh Kaine!!!
MM: Good God, Coup de Grâce!
Lurching to the side with a violent cough, blood spatters from Josh Kaine’s mouth as Nikki Caldwell and Mojave jump through the ropes. Scrambling back to her feet after hitting the devastating Coup de Grâce off the top, Sahara holds up both hands, begging off both Nikki and Moe. When she backs herself into the ropes — BOTH NIKKI AND MOE CHARGE!
Ramming into Sahara with a huge double clothesline, they send her flying over the top to the floor below to a massive pop! Scrambling back to her feet, and yelling out at the fans to shut up, Sahara storms around the outside of the ring and snatches her World Title away from David Tucker, hugging it close to her body as she retreats up the rampway, a devious little smile on her face. Moe is tending to the son of Sinnocence as Nikki Caldwell makes sure Sahara retreats and doesn’t return.
MM: She coulda’ hurt him bad there, Vincent. She came down hard and the sheer impact could have–
VA: He asked for it, Malone. Don’t put this on her. The Viking Goddess of the EWA simply does what she does. Victory for her, Valhalla for him!
We cut away from the action in the ring, to see Murphy Doyle Maher handing out beers and waters to everyone in his section. He then sees Sahara, walking past, and tries to offer her one, but is completely ignored, so he hands to the beer to someone else, and shrugs it off.
YOUR WINNER AS A RESULT OF THE TOWEL BEING THROWN IN, AND STILL EWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: SAHARA (9:42)
(We cut to the backstage area and we get to see the beautiful Allison Haines. She stands there, microphone in hand and a smile on her face.)
Allison Haines: Ladies and gentlemen…Buck Dresden.
(Stepping into view is none other than Buck Dresden. He has a giant shit eating grin on his face, his cowboy hat pulled low and his duster coat pulled tight.)
Buck Dresden: Hey, girl. You ready ta…like…chat? Whatcha wanna talk about?
Allison Haines: Well, that’s the thing, right? You know, in just a few moments, you have a match against the former World Champion Indrid Calder for the chance to become number one contender for the EWA Combat Championship.
(Buck shakes his head, chuckling.)
Buck Dresden: Allie, girl…let me talk to you.
(He turns to the camera.)
Buck Dresden: Let me talk to y’all. Each an’ every person out there tonight, each an’ every person listenin’ to my voice right here. Now…
(He looks down for a moment before looking back to the camera.)
Buck Dresden: I’m but a lowly man, ladies and gentlemen. I don’t know anythin’ about anythin’ but I do know this. Once upon a time, my daddy once told me that life always has its ups and its downs. I’m not just any man, y’see, I’m Buck Dresden. An’ you know what? My daddy…he was right. Life has its ups and its downs. One day I’m laughin’, I’m lovin’ things, I’m SHOOT World Tag Team Champion with my brother in arms, Charles Brandon Magnus.
(He chuckled again, looking down. It is clear he is regaining his composure.)
Buck Dresden: Then, one day…I’m cryin’ my eyes out on an airplane after I gave the eulogy at my brother in arm’s going away celebration. One day, I’m AlieNation-One World Champion, celebratin’ two years plus. Then, one day…I’m by myself on my birthday. Nobody to call. Nobody to laugh with. But, you know what? I come here, I come to EWA, I listen to these fans, an’ even with the lows, even with the highs…and I’ll tell ya, Allie. I’ll tell ya right now. I’ll smile in the face of all of it. Every last thing. So, when I’m goin’ up against this sociopathic mother fucker an’ he brings up my brother? He brings up all these feelings in me? He wants me to hate him, Allie. He wants me to hate.
(Buck points to his grinning face.)
Buck Dresden: Love this face. Hate this face. You know what, though? Buck Dresden gives absolutely zero of what they refer to in the business as…a fuck. Nobody in that shitty little group of overly emotional sons of bitches what sit around all day listenin’ to the Cure mashed up with Nothingface or somethin’ has what it takes to kill this smile. None of ‘em. So he can try an’ God knows he’ll try, but the bottom line is this, babygirl.
(Buck holds up his arm, looking it up and down.)
Buck Dresden: It’s only gonna take one. One single Buck Shot. I’m gonna grab that son of a bitch by his wrist and I’m gonna let that bastard know. Indrid, hope yer watchin’.
(He points to his eyes.)
Buck Dresden: See these eyes, brother? Yer gonna see ‘em again. I’ll shake yer hand because that’s what a man does. But, the bottom line is this. These same eyes you see on yer screen right now? Oh yeah, they’re gonna look at you one more time an’ then? An’ then? You’ll see a sudden yank. You’ll go forward, then you’ll see…this here bicep.
(Buck turns back to his arm.)
Buck Dresden: An’ then yer gonna have this instance of…blackness. You’ll black out. It happens, brother, it happens. Then, you know what happens next? You come to. You hear “Man of Constant Sorrow” playin’. You see the lights an’ scaffolding. You hear fans cheering. Then…you’ll hear Nikki Rogers lettin’ you know that no level of hate or HATE…is gonna break Buck Dresden an’ no level of hate or HATE…is gonna save yer sorry ass. Allie.
(He tips his hat and disappears off screen. Allison shrugs her shoulders and giggles for the briefest of moments before she turns to the camera again.)
Allison Haines: Uh…well, there you have it. Buck Dresden is ready for tonight!
MM: Fans, we’re getting some breaking news from the back straight from one of our resident journalists, Terry Bull. Terry?
(As the shot switches backstage, Terry Bull is seen standing with a very concerned looking Doctor Mark Furman.)
Terry Bull: Fans, moments ago EWA Warrior Josh Kaine was loaded into an ambulance and transported to a local medical facility, and I’m here with Doctor Furman for more on this breaking story. Dr. Furman, is there any additional information you could share with us on the status of Josh Kaine?
Dr. Furman: As a precaution, I’ve requested additional testing at a medical facility that has access to equipment I simply do not have available at this arena. While Joshua Kaine was adamant that he was fine, he was clearly showing signs of distress, as seen earlier in the night, and I fear he could have suffered from internal hemorrhaging–
Terry Bull: You mean from when Sahara jumped on him from the top rope after the match had already been ruled a forfeit?
Dr. Furman: I’m sorry, Terry, I’m not at liberty to speculate as to what caused this, or whether Sahara is even responsible. Without further testing it would be impossible to determine the cause or effect, and it would be medically irresponsible for me to leverage accusations. While I expect everything to be fine, we at the EWA take the health of our warriors extremely seriously, and therefore until I receive conclusive test results, Joshua Kaine will not be competing in an EWA ring. Thank you.
(As Dr. Furman turns and walks off, a shocked looking Terry Bull continues the questioning.)
Terry Bull: Dr–Dr. Furman! To be clear, does this mean you’ve placed Joshua Kaine on medical leave pending the results?
(As no further answers come, Terry turns back toward the camera.)
Terry Bull: I guess we have to wait and see what those tests show. Mike, Vincent, back to you.
(As the camera switches back ringside, Mike Malone shakes his head.)
MM: Wow! Our thoughts are with Josh Kaine tonight. I’m sure his family and friends, like Mojave, Nikki Caldwell and, of course, his mother, Jada Kaine, are all equally concerned after what we witnessed earlier tonight.
VA: Furman may want to play it safe, Malone, but I’m under no such obligation. We all know who and what caused it. When the Valkyrie known as Sahara descended from the heavens and landed her full weight onto the midsection of the son of Sinnocence, that’s right when he spit up the blood, and that had to be the blow that caused it.
MM: While Josh is being forced to visit doctors and hospitals, I can tell ya one doctor Sahara should be forced to see, and his name is Dr. Charles Pope. Fans, we still have our main event to bring you tonight that you won’t want to miss, when Buck Dresden faces off one on one against Indrid Calder to determine the number one contender for the EWA Combat Championship. And that match is coming up…now!
BUCK DRESDEN VS INDRID CALDER
WINNER RECEIVES COMBAT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH AT THIS MEANS WAR
I…AM THE MAN…OF CONSTANT SORROW
I’VE SEEN TROUBLES ALL MY DAYS…
The fans get to their feet as “Man of Constant Sorrow” by Charm City Devils begins to play.
MM: It is TIME…for our main event!
BUCK DRESDEN appears at the entrance to the arena, smoke billowing behind him and underneath his black trenchcoat. Tonight, he wears black jeans and matching boots and a brand new Buck Dresden Approved t-shirt, with the words “BUCK SHOT” on the front, the O replaced with crosshairs.
NR: The following is scheduled for ONE FALL and is for the number ONE contendership for the Combat Championship! Introducing first…weighing in at 260 pounds!
He takes his cowboy hat off and removes his trenchcoat, nodding his head to the fans in the arena as he makes his way down to the ringside area.
NR: He is the Bluegrass Bad Ass!
He throws his coat and hat down, sliding into the ring as he does so. He stares at the camera with a smile on his face.
Buck Dresden: Y’all ready?
NR: HE IS BUCK…DRESSSSSSSDEN!!
Buck gets to his feet and leans against his corner, staring at the entrance as “Smoke & Mirrors” by Puscifer begins to play.
VA: Love him or hate him…and man I hate him…but Buck Dresden should’ve worn his brown pants tonight!
Smoke billows from the entrance as INDRID CALDER arrives, the camera catching a glimpse of his eyes as they glisten, light desperately getting caught in them.
NR: And his opponent…from Nothing, Arizona…he weighs in at 225 pounds!
Caldera slowly walks to the ring, inhaling deeply as the fans either boo or are generally unnerved by the man known as the Spider King.
NR: He represents HATE…he is the STRANGER…INDRID…CAAAALLLLLLDER!!
Calder enters the ring, his eyes locked on Buck Dresden on the other side of the ring. Buck shakes his head, sighing as the referee Danny Smith checks in on him. Smith walks over to Calder and does the same.
MM: This is, without a doubt, Buck Dresden’s biggest match to date here in the EWA and what a challenge he’s got in front of him!
Danny Smith calls for the bell and the match is on! Buck walks to the center of the ring and offers his hand to Calder. Calder looks down at the open hand and slowly smiles at the offering in front of him. Calder goes for Buck’s hand but quickly strikes Buck in the face with a hard elbow strike! Buck staggers back and Calder follows with an open hand strike! Buck staggers back yet again, but Calder is quick to whip Buck to the ropes, catching him with a flying knee lift, bringing Buck to the mat! Calder looms over Buck as Buck begins to stir once again.
VA: You think he sees a guy like Indrid Calder, who he outweighs by like fifty plus pounds, and he underestimated him just a little bit?
MM: You’re at least fifty pounds heavier than me and I definitely overestimate you.
VA: OH SHUT UP.
Calder drops to his knees and gouges at Buck’s eyes, Buck’s legs flailing about on the mat. Calder looks to Smith, who pulls him off. He shakes his head as he picks Buck up. Calder is in complete control as he takes Buck’s arm, brings his foot to Buck’s armpit, and drops down to the mat, snapping and stretching Buck’s fabled Lariat arm and causing him to howl in pain! Buck clutches his arm in pain as Calder drops a knee to Buck’s sholder and tricep. Calder is slowly and methodically breaking down Buck’s weapon of choice.
MM: Calder has been in complete control thus far and it shows in how he is trying his best to dismantle the arm of Buck Dresden.
VA: He didn’t become EWA World Champion by chance, Malone, Indrid Calder is a merciless sociopathic monster. Buck shoulda just forfeited and ran back to Japan when he saw he was gonna face off against the Stranger!
Buck tries to get to his hands and knees, but the pain in his arm causes him to collapse just as Calder quickly kicks him in the shoulder, bringing him down to the mat. Calder is in complete control, having taken advantage from the very beginning when Buck showed that one final attempt at sportsmanship. Calder picks Buck up and hits him across the face with another open palm strike, causing the Bluegrass Bad Ass to stagger back into the ropes. Calder kicks Buck in the midsection and he hooks Buck’s head underneath his arm. He goes to hook Buck’s arm up for a vertical snap suplex, but Buck hooks his foot on the bottom rope! Calder pulls Buck off of the bottom rope, but Buck uses his immense strength to HOIST Calder up and over, causing Calder to topple to the ring apron, but Buck keeps his hold of Calder’s head, dropping him with a neckbreaker onto the top rope! Calder lands on the ring apron and Buck quickly gets to his feet. He grabs a hold of the top rope and uses it to PROPEL him over the top and NAILS Calder with a senton bomb! Buck falls to his knees on the outside, clutching his back as Calder clenches his teeth in pain on the apron before falling to Buck’s side.
MM: Buck has a few tricks up his sleeve and he pulled a big trick right there!
VA: That was 260 pounds of cornfed crazy flying over the top rope onto Indrid Calder!
Buck pulls himself up onto his feet by the guardrail and he kicks Calder once in the back for good measure. He picks Calder up and drops him throat first onto the guardrail, causing Calder’s head to snap up suddenly. Buck rolls into the ring and back out again to break the referee’s count before going back to Calder. Buck grabs Calder and SLAMS him into the guardrail. Calder looks up at Buck, his bottom lip busted, and he smiles as Buck rolls him into the ring.
VA: Did you see that, Malone?!
MM: Did Indrid Calder just…smile at Buck while Buck was beating him down on the outside?
Buck grabs a hold of Calder’s wrist and it looks like he’s planning to end the match right here and now. He picks Calder up and whips him, ready for a Buck Shot, but Calder ducks underneath and snatches Buck’s arm and NAILS him with a Lungblower TO the arm! Buck’s arm hyperextends and Buck howls in agony as Calder lies on the mat, a smile crawling across his face.
VA: Oh…damn. Calder definitely played Buck like a fiddle right there. Well, Buck, you played pretty good, but you gotta give the Devil his due!
MM: Don’t. Don’t try to quote a song right now.
VA: Fire’s flying from Calder’s fingertips as he rosins up his bow!
MM: I bet you rosin your bow nightly…
Calder paces around Buck as Buck cringes in pain. Calder picks Buck up and throws him to the corner. He saunters over and ascends the turnbuckle and then he begins to rain down vicious rights to Buck over and over and over and over and over and over.
MM: Calder is back in complete control here tonight. Buck has had moments of greatness that’s for sure, but he hasn’t been able to overcome the intellect of the Spider himself!
Calder slowly holds his arms out as he looks at the sea of fans. He stands there over Buck until Buck grabs Calder’s legs. Calder’s eyes grow wide as Buck staggers two steps forward…AND POWERBOMBS Calder to the mat! Buck holds the pin down!
Calder rolls away to a standing position but Buck plants him with a HARD SPEAR! Buck goes for the pin again, unable to hook the leg with his hurting arm!
Buck slaps the mat with his good arm in frustration.
MM: Buck can tell he’s not got a lot left after the assault from Calder on his arm! Buck needs to take Indrid Calder out and his time is running out!
Buck picks Calder up and Calder immediately nails Buck with a HARD leaping Muay Thai knee to the head! Buck falls back to a knee and Calder bounces against the ropes and connects with a STIFF Shining Wizard! Buck is FLAT on the mat! Calder slowly drags himself onto Buck and hooks the far leg!
Calder grimaces as Buck lies on the mat, not so much kicking out of the pinning predicament as much as lifting a shoulder to try to survive. Calder breathes heavily, shaking his head at Buck’s stubborn tenacity.
MM: Both of these men have thrown some hard shots at one another for a shot at the EWA Combat Championship and you’ve gotta believe this is all gonna come down to which of these men can take advantage of the slightest missteps from here on! Buck’s survived this long, Calder’s withstood some of Buck’s harshest offense, and both men are still going!
VA: It’s only a matter of time, Malone! Buck’s first ever loss in the EWA is going to come! You can smell it in the air!
As the Stranger pulls himself to his feet by the ring ropes, a voice suddenly calls out over the PA system.
MM: What the hell was that?
VA: What was what?
???: Oh, Stranger!
MM: That, you moron.
VA: Malone, personal attacks are not necessary. Besides, I heard it. I was just testing you.
Calder’s cold gaze snaps upward, and almost immediately finds the source of the voice. Our cameras follow the direction he’s staring in, and moments later we notice a group of fans surrounding three figures at the entrance to the lower level. Standing just under that corridor are Jester Smiles, Maggie McIntyre, and the man who holds the microphone, Indrid Calder’s nemesis, Michael Draven. The three warriors wear grim looks of determination on their faces, still dressed in their ring attire. Jester holds his golden mask in hand along with his newly won Combat Championship, while Maggie has the Network Championship draped over her shoulder.
VA: Oh, look, it’s the loser brigade! Back for another beating from HATE, are we?
Michael Draven: Do you really think that’s going to be enough to get rid of us, Indrid? You snapped my leg in half, and you still couldn’t keep me down. Willy may be back home with you in HATE, Stranger, but this war…(Draven chuckles), oh rest assured, my strange friend, this goddamn war has just begun. The things you’ve done to me…the things you’ve done to Maggie…what you’re trying to do to Sahara…and now you’ve brought Jester here into this?
Calder stares blankly up at Draven, stepping up onto the bottom rope and leaning over to get a better look as Draven laughs again.
Michael Draven: Let me tell you something, Indrid Calder. You may not know this about me, but I have somewhat of an obsessive personality. I don’t…let things go…very easily. Ask Alexander Haven all about it, he’ll tell you. And you’ve been a thorn in my side…chipping away, eagerly trying to ruin every minute detail of my life you can…for far, far too long. And I may have a date with Martin Robertson in Seattle in two weeks for a shot at getting back my title at This Means War…but rest assured, Indy…you have my attention, loud and crystal goddamn clear. So go ahead. Bring West back into your HATEful band of minions, Calder. Do whatever you think you need to do, but rest assured, this war doesn’t end until one of us is lying in a pool of their own blood, piss, and shit–oh, hey!
Buck tries to get to Calder and goes for an Irish whip, but Calder counters, only for Buck to counter with his wrist guard.
Buck Dresden: GOTCHA, BITCH!
Calder’s eye go wide as Buck FLATTENS him with the Buck Shot! Buck springs up to his feet, cocks his imaginary shotgun in the air and fires off a round before he sprawls over Calder’s prone form, the referee going for the count!
Michael Draven: Guess you should’ve been paying closer attention, Stranger! See you soon!
MM: And Michael Draven is leaving with Maggie and Jester! What a turn of events we’ve just had here tonight!
VA: COME ON. YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS!!
NR: Here is your winner and the NEW Number One Contender for the Combat Championship…BUCK…DRESDEN!!
“Man of Constant Sorrow” by Charm City Devils kicks back in as Buck leans against the ropes, glaring at the trio on the entrance stage. Jester Smiles stops for a moment and turns back to Buck. The fans are cheering LOUDLY as Calder is lying flat on the mat, Draven and Maggie saunter to the back, and Jester and Buck lock eyes, a smirk forming on Buck’s face.
MM: HATE has left their mark on tonight, Calder’s loss be damned! No matter that, however, we now know that Buck Dresden has his eyes set on the Combat Championship for This Means War!
VA: But what’s all this mean for this alliance with the Clown and two thirds of Whores ‘R’ Us?!
MM: No matter what it means, it means we’re out of time tonight! Buck Dresden, the NEW Number One Contender for the Combat Championship and he’s got Jester Smiles in his sights!
Buck looks down at Calder as he stirs. Buck exits the ring as his smirk fades. He slaps a few hands as the camera watches him saunter up the ramp, “Man of Constant Sorrow” playing triumphantly, as we fade out on the new #1 contender to the EWA Combat Championship.
YOUR WINNER BY PINFALL: BUCK DRESDEN (13:30)
EWA Wrestling – a Division of EWA Entertainment
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Jester Smiles vs William West – Eric M.
Philip Donovan vs Martin Robertson – Chris F.
Katsuro Yoshida vs NOTHING – Will S.
Grace Goeren & Alice vs The Erinyes – Sean B.
Maggie McIntyre vs Nikki Caldwell – Sean B.
William West vs Michael Draven – Gates, Jeremy M., Corey C., Will S., Harlan H.
Lemonheads vs True Brothers – Ray W.
Josh Kaine vs Sahara – Harlan H.
Buck Dresden vs Indrid Calder – Brandon H.