Mike Malone: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the first of two nights of epic EWA action! Welcome to the Staples Center here in beautiful Los Angeles, California, and most of all…welcome to Champions Summit III! I’m Mike Malone, alongside Vincent Ashe, and what a show we have for you tonight!
Vincent Ashe: That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. Tonight is the night that Grace Goeren completely wipes out the remnants of the Fallout once and for all, when she annihilates Elizabeth Gaunt and Sahara in the ladder match for her World Combat Championship!
MM: We also have the long-awaited rematch between the legendary Grady Smith and his son, Martin Robertson, as well as the Three Stages of Hell match between Jacob Mephisto and NOTHING!
VA: Cal Rayner and William West collide in a Last Man Standing match, and best of all, Malone, Laura Seton and Ray Willmott get to beat the crap out of each other! I love watching happiness fall apart!
MM: You’re a sad man, Vincent. Let’s go to the ring, for our opening contest here tonight!
CRONOS DIAMANTE VS NATALIE BURROWS
EWA NETWORK CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Nikki Rogers: The following match is scheduled for one fall and it’s for the EWA Network Championship!
MM: A submission master versus a vicious striker that’s made a bit of a name for herself so far in the EWA…Natalie Burrows somehow musters up surprising impact with a variety of blows that can chop down even the biggest of competitors…
VA: This all dates back to that walking scandal Sahara who seems to hold grudges against anyone and everyone that doesn’t tell her she’s the greatest thing ever.
MM: Who according to rumor is the one that set the wheels into motion of Cronos attacking Natalie backstage–
NR: Introducing first, the challenger, from the Bronx in New York City, Cronos Diamanteeee!
Heavy guitar riffs boom over the Public Address system as “Monster” by Skillet floods the arena. As the lyrics blend into the music, Cronos Diamante emerges from the entrance way sporting his usual combat boots and leather pants. Purple pyro explodes into the air as Cronos passes through them and makes his way to the ring. Ascending the steel steps, he stops momentarily on the ring apron before stepping through the ropes and makes his way toward a neutral corner where he throws a few lefts and rights followed by fierce elbows and hops up and down before cracking his neck to the left and right.
MM: I’ll tell ya this, Cronos looks ready to go here tonight…and after the scathing words he had to say about the Network Champion, I’m sure she’s going to be here to respond in kind.
VA: He knows this is an opportunity of a lifetime, Malone. Since her entrance in the EWA, Natalie Burrows has never looked more vulnerable than she does right now with so many people coming at her from so many different angles…the people she seems involved with just won’t go away. She has to have the looming threat of Sahara on the back of her mind, this odd Wolf family that seems involved deeply with her life for some reason, and last but not least, Cronos Diamante himself.
MM: Very astute observations from my co-host…are you feeling alright tonight, Vincent? No funny quotes…no snarky comments?!
VA: Hmm, well…Cronos does supposedly share a tight friendship with Chlamydia, err, I mean Sahara, so fuck him, I hope he loses. How’s that?
MM: Sorry I asked.
NR: And introducing next, the reigning EWA Network Champion, from Durham North Carolina, the one, the only, Natalie Burrows!
The arena suddenly descends into a lasting darkness until the opening chords of ‘Monster’ by Paramore play as the screen sparks to life. Footage of the Southern Belle fighting her way back up to her feet after being knocked down plays and as the chorus hits with a vengeance, Natalie Burrows emerges onto the rampway to thunderous cheers, the Network Title proudly draped over her shoulder.
Coral and white lights flash along the rampway as Natalie slaps a few of the outstretched hands that are offered to her as she walks swiftly toward the ring. Speeding up at the bottom of the ramp, she jumps onto the ring apron and slowly lifts the Network championship as Cronos eyes her intently from across the ring.
MM: Cronos is all business tonight.
VA: Natalie better keep an eye on the ball, she appears to be scanning the crowd, maybe to see if any of those people are watching?!
MM: I don’t know, Ashe, but I agree…eyes on the prize, Natalie!
Stepping through the ropes, Natalie carefully folds up the Network championship before handing it off to Danny Smith who shows it off to Cronos before holding it up for the audience to see.
The bell rings as Cronos stalks toward the much smaller competitor, the Southern Belle ducks from a grapple and swipes past Cronos with a vicious blow to the ribs. Standing upright, Cronos shakes it off with a smirk before motioning her closer. Using the space available in the ring, Burrows evades locking up for obvious reasons.
MM: Cronos playing it smart by refusing to let her strikes make him lose his cool here, slowly and methodically trying to cut the ring off and back her into a corner where he can turn this into a brawl.
VA: The last thing Burrows can do is get into a grapple contest with a man the size of Cronos, he’s just too big, and the last thing he can allow is Burrows unleashing unanswered strike after strike against his ribs…after a while he won’t be shaking it off quite so easily.
Stepping forward, Cronos grabs hold of Natalie only to have her reverse the hold and unleash a quick kick to the back of his knee before she backs away. Flexing his knee, Cronos nods at his opponent, fully understanding her strategy.
MM: If Natalie can continue to chip away like this–
Just as Cronos is about to lock up, Natalie drops down to one knee and hits him with a thunderous strike to the midsection and quickly drops to the mat and rolls out of the ring before jumping back onto the ring apron staring down her opponent.
VA: That was a nice series of strikes…and she’s smart for getting the hell outta there moments after. Cronos must outweigh her by over one hundred pounds here…this is sheer brilliance on display by the Southern Belle.
MM: Cronos’ frustration level still seems in check, this is something that can only come from someone with the years of experience he has, most opponents quickly get frustrated with her quick strike ability–ohh, he got a hold of her that time!
Backing away with his hands up in the air to give Natalie some space to get back into the ring, she steps one foot through the ropes when Cronos suddenly lunges forward and reaches over the ropes, launching her clear over the top and tosses her into the middle of the ring where she rolls through and comes to a stop against the middle rope. Danny Smith admonishes Cronos for reaching over and grabbing Burrows who was holding the ropes and not yet in the ring.
VA: What a display of power! I think he’s had enough of this chop down the giant strategy–
Cronos pushes past the referee and grabs hold of the Southern Belle sending her into the ropes for a back body drop! Dropping his head, Burrows pulls up and plants a vicious kick to his face sending him staggering.
MM: Nice reversal!
Bouncing off the ropes, she follows it up with a dropkick to the knee, dropping him to a knee. Rolling to her side, she again bounces off the ropes to gain momentum and nails a sit down dropkick to the head sending Cronos all the way to the mat!
MM: My god, where is this coming from?!
VA: She’s got him down! After he threw her into the ring like he did he left himself open for that shot to the face!
MM: Talk about a momentum swing!
As Cronos staggers to his feet, the Southern Belle follows up with another NO — ONE HANDED CHOKESLAM from Cronos!
VA: ANOTHER momentum swing!
MM: He pulled that move off blind, and with one hand put a halt to her assault there.
VA: Cronos entered this match saying he didn’t appreciate how she all but ignored him these past weeks and he was none too happy about it and tonight, and he’d make her pay.
MM: And he said so in no uncertain terms, that’s for sure, but like most of her past opponents, you cannot underestimate the Southern Belle, there’s a reason she’s the EWA Network Champion, and if Cronos thinks one move is going to stop her, he’s got another thing coming.
As both scramble back to their feet, Cronos instantly locks up with Burrows, pushing her back against the turnbuckles using his weight to his advantage. As Danny Smith gets between them both competitors put their hands up for a clean break when Cronos shoves Smith to the side and smashes into Natalie with a huge elbow, crushing her up against the turnbuckles!
Danny Smith grabs Cronos and yells something in his face about touching an official!
MM: Smith giving Cronos some words of warning here!
VA: I don’t think Cronos cares…he came here to dole out punishment, and that’s exactly what he’s doing right now.
Grabbing Burrows by the shirt, Cronos launches her head over heels out of the corner, slamming her down in the center of the ring. Going for a quick cover–
Burrows easily powers out of the pinfall as Cronos brings her back to her feet going for a lockup, she knocks his hands away and nails him with a huge uppercut to the jaw that sends him back holding his chin!
Grabbing hold of Cronos, Natalie ties him up and rolls back into a quick pin!
Kicking out with authority, Cronos shakes his head to rid himself of the aftereffects of the uppercut he took moments ago.
MM: That came outta nowhere!
VA: It’s truly astounding the power she generates off these punches and kicks for a person her size. That echoed up into the rafters here and sent the big man reeling…and believe me if you can make Cronos feel it like that you know you hit him flush!
Bouncing back off the ropes, Cronos steps right into a follow up elbow shot from Burrows which once again sends him staggering back, she spins and knocks him in the gut with a roundhouse!
MM: This is as classic of a fight as you’ll likely see tonight…this is old school, old fashioned wrestling with the clash of two opposing styles. No gimmicks, no BS, just a fight, Ashe!
VA: Yea, but the crowds don’t always like that these days. This match has stayed on the ground, as expected considering their styles…but this has been as even keeled as I’ve seen!
As Cronos staggers toward the center of the ring, Burrows unleashes a torrent of punches and kicks that drops the big man to one knee trying to catch his breath!
MM: She’s just too fast!
VA: Cronos better get outta there she’s setting him up for the Closure!
Bounding off the ropes, Natalie jumps for the Closure kick, BUT CRONOS CATCHES HER LEG, LIFTS HER AND SLAMS HER OFF THE MAT! Refusing to let go, Cronos uses his immense strength advantage and powers Natalie back up onto his shoulders into a human torture rack!
VA: He was playing possum!
MM: HE’S GOT IT ON! DEATH VALLEY DRIVER!
VA: Lucifer’s Honor! That’s Lucifer’s Honor!
Picking Natalie back off the mat, he hoists her back up for the second time, Natalie rolls off his back and kicks him in the back of the knee! Still on wobbly legs, the Southern Belle grabs hold of Cronos and sends him into the ropes, she JUMPS BUT CRONOS CATCHES HER MID AIR AND POWERS HER INTO A MODIFIED TORTURE RACK FOR THE SECOND TIME!
Going for the Lucifer’s Honor, Burrows somehow finds a way to grab the top rope!
MM: No! He can’t get it! HANG ON NAT!
VA: What ring awareness by the Southern Belle!
Yanking her away from the ropes, Burrows screams out but finds a way to hang on!
VA: He can’t get her off!
MM: DO. NOT. LET. GO–DO NOT–
Danny Smith begins making the five count yelling at Cronos to drop his opponent as she has the ropes!
MM: BREAK THE HOLD, SMITH!
VA: Let em’ fight is more like it.
As the referee gets to four, Cronos once again pulls toward the center as her hand finally slips off the rope and Cronos immediately drops her with a second Death Valley Driver, right on the back of her neck!
MM: That landing looked bad!
VA: That’s it! TWO Lucifer’s Honor’s in a row…that’s gotta be it!
MM: Danny Smith is losing control of this match, but Cronos just seems hellbent on doing whatever it takes!
Bending down slowly, Cronos grabs a handful of the Southern Belle’s hair and yanks her to her feet for a third time, Cronos hoists her up in the torture rack before turning toward the hard camera and drops her with a third death valley driver for good measure!
Yelling something toward the camera about business being concluded, Cronos approaches the downed Natalie Burrows who’s still holding the back of her neck.
MM: My God…not one, not two, but three Lucifer’s Honors? It’s safe to say Cronos didn’t take being removed from the Burrows contract by the Wolf family very well, because he seems to have done exactly what Sahara asked of him…at least, according to rumor.
VA: Of course he did, most men in her life do whatever she says for pretty obvious reasons.
MM: Not necessary, Vincent.
Dropping down on top, Cronos hooks the leg…
VA: Foregone conclusion!
MM: And Cronos Diamante has just won the EWA Network Championship…wow…while a decisive victory, Burrows got hold of that rope–
VA: Is this for real? This is wrestling, Malone…on one of our biggest shows of the year. Danny Smith made the right decision and let the fight go on…you’re a champion, so be a champion and find a way to win.
MM: That’s easy for you to say…
NR: The winner of this match, and the NEWWWWW EWA Network Champion — Crrrrrronos Diamanteeeee!
Danny Smith approaches Cronos who rips the Network Title from his grasp holding it up to a rousing chorus of boos as he stares down at the fallen Burrows. His voice is clearly overheard by the cameras surrounding the ring, “Consider the contract closed…I’ve made your life a living hell, as promised.”
MM: The EWA fans really took a liking to Miss Burrows, but Cronos was relentless at the end there…just too much for her to overcome.
VA: It’s not like we’re talking about some loser here, Malone, this is Cronos Diamante…one of the most dominant superstars of this or any era. Burrows strategy almost worked, but almost isn’t enough in this sport.
The crowd boos the crowning of a new champion, as a man climbs over the guardrail as EWA security immediately converge on him. The man that was briefly seen a few weeks ago named Riven holds his hands up talking briefly to security as he steps forward and reaches beneath the bottom rope, grabbing hold of Natalie Burrows.
MM: That’s the man we saw calling Cronos off the contract post Live From London a few weeks back, I believe Riven Wolf.
VA: And a chapter of EWA history closes…
Looking down at Riven as he carries Natalie in his arms, Cronos smirks down at him and slowly lifts the EWA Network title high above his head.
MM: This man is just an absolute beast in the ring, Ashe…he came ready to send a message to the EWA and he did exactly that with a powerful statement here tonight.
VA: Anyone that knows anything about Cronos Diamante over the years knows exactly how dangerous this man can be when he sets his mind too it.
YOUR WINNER BY PINFALL, AND NEW EWA NETWORK CHAMPION: CRONOS DIAMANTE (12:41)
(We’re backstage and see several pairs of black boots walking on the tile floor backstage at The Staples Center. The camera begins to pan up the group, all clad in black, slowly revealing that we are looking at three of the four remaining Pillars of HATE.
NOTHING walks in front with Indrid Calder over his left shoulder and The Titan of HATE Cal Rayner over his right shoulder.
The three men look solemn yet… mostly focused. NOTHING looks to be prepared for his match with Jacob Mephisto and while The Stranger has been plagued by heartache and intrigue as of late, he is here to support his brothers in HATE. Rayner, of course, dons the mask and his expression can not be read, but the three men walk with focus.
Silently, they turn the corner and push open the door to a dressing room marked with their namesake.
NOTHING takes a seat on a bench in front of a row of lockers while Calder does the same across from him. Rayner positions himself in the corner and leans against the lockers causing them to creak and bow as he puts his full weight into them.
The three men remain here mentally preparing and hushed for several moments until the door swings open yet again… and William West walks in.
NOTHING is the first to stand and Rayner takes a step forward before Calder steps between The Titan and West.
The three men stare at West, and he moves his gaze from Calder… to Rayner… and finally to his old friend, NOTHING.
The two lock gazes without saying a word and then, as quickly as he came, West exits the room.
Rayner takes a step back and leans back up against the lockers and Calder waits a moment before taking a seat.
NOTHING stands somber, his mind racing over what to do about “The William West Problem”. He runs his hands through his hair and lets out a long sigh before taking his seat on the bench once again.
The three men remain solemn but, suddenly, slightly less focused after the visit from their fellow Pillar who seems to be on shaky ground.
Without any of them uttering a word, we cut back to ringside.)
ETHAN LEERS VS RACHEL ELLSWORTH
VA: Well, let’s move on to the boring stuff. Some drug addict and some red head are going to fight. If you want to use the bathroom or get a snack, now would be a great time.
MM: Great way to sell the match, Ashe.
VA: If a match is worth selling, I’ll sell it.
LOOK ALIVE, SUNSHINE!
The overhead lights dim as spotlights in shades of orange and red swirl over the crowd, the monologue of Doctor Death-Defying laying itself velvet-smooth over the building of ambient noise that may or may not have been piped from some sort of high-tech future world. As it gathers momentum, the energy in the arena builds, cheers rising up to fill the air in anticipation of the woman that’s about to come out.
NR: Our next bout is scheduled for ONE FALL!
LISTEN UP – THE FUTURE IS BULLETPROOF!
THE AFTERMATH IS SECONDARY!
IT’S TIME TO DO IT NOW AND DO IT PROUD…
KILLJOYS, MAKE SOME NOISE!
As ‘Na Na Na’ by My Chemical Romance properly starts, the Atomic Redhead all but zooms out from behind the curtain, energy levels turned all the way up to eleven as she scampers from one side of the stage to the other. It’s impossible to hear what she’s shouting at the crowd, but mercifully for the production guys in the back? In her hand is, oddly enough, a cheese grater.
NR: Introducing first, weighing in tonight at ONE-HUNDRED and FIFTY-ONE pounds…THE ATOMIC REDHEAD…RACHEL…ELLSWORTH!
She doesn’t linger on the stage for long, instead choosing to run down the ramp. If she remembers to reach out and smack the hands of the fans, then hey neat. If not? No biggie–as soon as she slides beneath the bottom rope and pops up to her feet? She’s making a couple laps of the ring, almost poinging like a ferret during a war dance before finally settling in her corner, the music fading as she does a rudimentary stretch or two.
MM: Rachel Ellsworth is looking as excited as ever. There is a kinetic energy in the room tonight, as Champion’s Summit is a big night for any member of the EWA roster.
VA: I’m glad someone is excited.
MM: Can you stop?
“Fuck Everything” by Suicide Silence takes the place of MCR. Rachel Ellsworth loses her energy for a moment, staring directly at the top of the ramp. Ethan Leers emerges from the back. He has already taken off his usual jersey and hat. He stands in his black cargo shorts and wrestling boots. He glares down at Rachel, who glares right back. Juan Cardillo cracks his neck, looking ready to officiate, as the tension is palpable.
NR: And her opponent, weighing in tonight at ONE-HUNDRED and NINETY POUNDS…ETHAN…LEERS!
Ethan mouths fuck you and darts for the ring, sliding under the bottom ropes. Rachel, however, takes advantage and begins to put the boots to Leers. Cardillo calls for the bell as Rachel kicks the crap out of Ethan Leers. Leers keeps trying to get up, swiping his fists at Rachel, but she has the advantage and just puts the boots to him. She grabs Ethan by the head and picks him up, but Ethan swings and catches her in the stomach. Rachel goes back and Ethan swings for her head, but Rachel ducks under and catches Ethan’s arm. She yanks it behind his arm and cranks hard on it. She then pushes Ethan forward and sandwiches him in-between the turnbuckle, shoving his arm into an even worse angle. Ethan grimaces, but since he is in the corner and against the ropes, Juan Cardillo begins the five count. Rachel releases her hold at the 5 count.
MM: Rachel taking the fight to Leers QUICK. Leers got a little too heated and Rachel is taking full advantage of this. Ashe, we are looking at a…what are you doing?
VA: I’m writing down the top five things I want for dinner tonight so I can pick something by process of elimination. I’ve had a little bit of diarrhea today, so I think I’m going to rule out Thai.
MM: That is…really gross.
Ethan goes for Rachel, again trying to brawl with her, but she catches him with a drop toe hold and floats over, locking Ethan in an STF. Ethan tries to use his weight, so Rachel releases the hold and catches Ethan with a few punches from the back. She then relocks in the STF and yanks back hard on Ethan’s neck. Ethan still fights and struggles and gets his hand on the ropes, and again, Rachel holds the hold until right before the 5 count. Rachel gets up fast and is quick to hit a baseball slide dropkick on Ethan. Ethan rolls out of the ring, clutching his ribs, and Rachel follows suit, grabbing Ethan from behind and slamming his head into the the railing!
MM: Ellsworth is NOT letting up and has been firmly in control of this match from the start.
After being slammed into the railing, Ethan falls and sits against the railing. Rachel places kick after kick into Ethan, really beating him down. Once he sees sufficiently beaten, Rachel takes a few steps back and runs forward, slamming Ethan with a Yakuza Kick! At this point, Rachel hears Juan Cardillo yell seven. She grabs Ethan and throws him back in the ring, sliding back in and breaking the count. Ethan gets up, but he is wobbly, clearly not fully aware after the beating that Rachel has given him. Rachel gets behind him and catches him in a double underhook. She then leaps and flips, driving Ethan to the ground and locking him in the Cattle Mutilation!
MM: The Red(head) Death! Rachel has her signature finisher locked in!
VA: Oh, good, does that mean this snoozer is almost over?
Ethan squirms, clearly in pain, stretching himself out and looking for the ropes. Unfortunately, he is in the middle of the ring, so he has no ropes to get a hold of. Juan Cardillo checks to see if Ethan wants to tap, but Ethan adamantly refuses. Ethan twists and turns, trying to use his strength to get out of the hold, but Rachel keeps poise and keeps her hold. Ethan continues to twist and fight, though, fervently denying Cardillo’s offers to submit. Rachel slightly shifts, trying to put more force on Ethan’s arms and put them at a worse angle. Ethan continues to fight, rolling and shifting.
MM: Things are not looking good for Ethan right now. He has been in that hold for quite a bit, and his arms have to be giving up.
As Ethan continues to roll and shift, he starts to gain some traction and begins to make some movement. He pulls his knees forward and gets some elevation, which clearly makes him hurt more, but gives him more leverage. Suddenly, Ethan gives a shout and lifts himself up to his knees, now hold Rachel upside down. Rachel tries to roll and get out of this position, but Ethan holds his ground. He stands up and drops backward, slamming Rachel with a vertebreaker! Rachel hits hard on the back of her head and releases the hold.
MM: Amazing counter by Ethan! He held out and was able to use his size and power advantage to his favor!
Ethan stands up, shaking his arms to loosen them up. Rachel clutches her head on the ground, clearly in pain. Ethan smiles brightly, looking down at the hurt Rachel. He then rushes forward and leaps in the air, driving both his knees down on Rachel’s back! Ethan is up quick, and he picks up Rachel. He places a couple of hard punches to her head before Irish Whipping her into the corner. Ethan runs forward and jumps, placing both knees forward and slamming Rachel in the chest with his knees! Rachel falls forward, but Ethan doesn’t let up. He stomps on Rachel’s head before picking her back up and kicking her in the stomach. Ethan hits the ropes, leaps in the air, and…
MM: REAL Backbreaker!
Ethan goes for the pin!
Ethan pulls up Rachel at the last second. Juan Cardillo glares at Ethan, but he unfortunately can’t do anything. The crowd boos this showing.
MM: Oh, come on Leers! You have the win, just end the match!
VA: Yeah, end the match so we can move on to better stuff.
Ethan lifts Rachel up. He kicks her in the stomach again and locks her in a standing headscissor. Ethan lifts Rachel up into the Widow’s Peak position, but flips her over and drives her down with a Piledriver!
MM: That’s the Face…well…I’m not going to call it what it is called.
Ethan again pins Rachel.
Juan Cardillo calls for the bell as the crowd boos. Ethan stands up, looking down at Rachel. He then spits on her, grinning as the crowd jeers and boos.
MM: COMPLETELY disrespectful showing by Leers here. He picks up the win, but the extra finisher and the spit was completely unnecessary.
Ethan looks out at the booing crowd as Juan Cardillo, reluctantly, lifts his hand up in victory.
NR: Here is your winner, at a time of TEN MINUTES and TWENTY-TWO SECONDS…ETHAN…LEERS!
The announcement causes the crowd to boo loudly. Ethan flips off the crowd, laughing at their boos. He gives a hard kick to the unconscious Ellsworth for good measure before exiting the ring. As he walks up the ramp, he holds his middle fingers out to both sides, smiling as the crowd boos his showing.
VA: Well, thank god that is over.
MM: Ignore my, and I say this with great distaste, colleague here ladies and gentlemen. A great showing by Rachel Ellsworth here tonight, but an amazing counter was the difference maker to give Ethan Leers the win. Unfortunately, though I don’t think Leers cares, his win is undercut by his pathetic showing at the end. Someone, hopefully, will show this guy some respect eventually.
YOUR WINNER BY PINFALL: ETHAN LEERS (10:22)
MM: Folks, I’m told that we have Allison Haines standing by backstage with some breaking news regarding our Triple Threat Ladder Match later this evening.
VA: Wait, what’s happening? Did one of those dirty bitches try to attack our God Queen before the main event?! I’m coming, Grace! I’m coming to help!
MM: Well go on then, nobody is stopping you.
VA: I’d love to but I can’t. I was implicitly told by Grace to stay out here tonight to make sure you didn’t’ get out of line with all of your dirty little anti-Grace propaganda.
MM: Let’s go to the back and see what’s up.
(We cut backstage to Allison Haines who is standing outside of a locker room. The camera tilts to show the name “Grace Goeren” taped to the door as Allison starts to speak.)
Allison Haines: Thanks, Mike. We’re here outside of Grace Goeren’s personal locker room tonight and we’ve been told that earlier tonight there was a huge backstage altercation between Grace and EWA officials. We’re not exactly sure what the incident was about but we’re hoping to…
(As Allison finishes her thought, the locker room door opens and a very frustrated Shawna Jackson steps out and adjusts her suit jacket. She glances up and spots Allison, letting out an annoyed sigh as Allison darts over to her side.)
Allison Haines: It’s the head of Public Relations for the EWA, Shawna Jackson! Miss. Jackson, were you in there talking with Grace Goeren? What were you two discussing? Did it have anything to do with this argument we’ve been hearing about between Grace and the EWA earlier in the night?
(Shawna clears her throat and seemingly does her best to put on her “public” persona, smiling warmly at the camera before maintaining perfect eye contact with Allison.)
Shawna Jackson: You’re doing a great job, Allison. Really you are. Very happy with you these last few weeks. You’re a positive contributor to our team synergy and your outside the box thinking helps foster the company’s core competency.
(Allison forces a weak smile.)
Allison Haines: Thank you…I think…but can you shed any light into what happened earlier tonight with Grace?
(Seeing that her buzzwords aren’t going to distract anyone, Shawna lets out another sigh but still remains as cordial as ever.)
Shawna Jackson: There was a very minor situation earlier in the evening between several EWA officials who shall remain nameless and our Combat Champion, Grace Goeren. Apparently these “officials” wanted to procure Grace’s championship belt for tonight’s main event and Grace very politely and calmly refused to do so.
(A skeptical Allison Haines pushes forward.)
Allison Haines: Shouldn’t she have to give up the belt? It’s a ladder match…
Shawna Jackson: Grace Goeren is the EWA Combat Champion up to, and in my humble opinion, long after the main event. As such, she refuses to give up the championship belt until she is contractually obligated to do so. That’s called a champion’s advantage, sweetheart. When Grace is good and ready, she’ll hand over the title and they’ll attach it above the ring properly. Now then, let’s not make a mountain out of this molehill, shall we? Run along now and enjoy the rest of the show. We’ll talk later. Great job, Allison. Great job.
(As she walks off-camera, Shawna’s facade briefly falters and she mouths something insulting towards Allison under her breath which is inaudible to the camera. Allison gives a shrug of her shoulder as we cut back to Malone and Ashe at ringside.)
MM: Absolutely incredible. How in the world are they going to hang the Combat Championship belt for the ladder match if Grace refuses to give it up? This woman is something else, it’s always something with Grace Goeren!
VA: I don’t see a damn thing wrong with this. Grace probably just wants to hang the title herself to make sure there are no EWA hijinx involved. Everyone is out to get her, you know.
MM: Everyone’s out to get her because she’s burned every single person on this roster dozens of times over!
VA: Listen to you. So negative. If you just accept Grace into your life you would be so much happier. Praise Grace.
MM: Let’s get to our next match and move past this insanity…
JACOB MEPHISTO VS NOTHING
THREE STAGES OF HELL MATCH
MM: This next one promises to be absolutely brutal, Vincent.
VA: You don’t have to tell me twice!
MM: Well… I’ve only said it once. So I think we’re okay there.
VA: Only said what once?
MM: That this next one promises to be absolutely brutal!
VA: I said you don’t have to tell me twice, you idiot!
MM: You are… you are literally impossible to deal with.
VA: Focus on the matters at hand, man – be a professional! What may be impossible is one, or both, of these men even walking away from this match tonight!
MM: On that, Vincent, we can agree. Let’s head up to the ring!
The lights begin to flicker wildly before cutting out completely. The haunting notes of “No Quarter” by Led Zeppelin begin to float throughout the arena as smoke begins to fill the entrance way. The lights continue to flicker dimly as the intro plays and the crowd buzzes in anticipation for the first of two participants.
As the song kicks in the stage is completely illuminated and Jacob Mephisto makes his way slowly through the curtain. He peers out across the crowd who are now showering him with boos and lets a sly smirk cross his face as he pauses. After a moment spent soaking in the negativity from the raucous crowd he begins his descent toward the ring.
NR: The following contest is a Three Stages of Hell Match! The first fall will be fought under Pure Wrestling rules. The second fall will be fought under Falls Count Anywhere rules. And, if necessary, the third fall will be fought under rules determined by Alexander Haven.
Making his way to the ring first, from Nazareth, Pennsylvania… weighing in at 270 pounds… JAAAACOOOOB MEEEEPPHHHHIIIIISSSTTTTOOOOOO!
MM: Here comes a man who has given not only The Purveyor a run for his money, but all of HATE!
VA: You’re right about that, Malone. I haven’t been the biggest supporter of NOTHING or HATE since they’ve been here in the EWA, but even I can’t agree with some of the lengths Mephisto and PARIAH have gone to in this feud.
MM: It all culminates in this war, Vincent – everything that has happened between NOTHING and the various members of PARIAH comes to a head tonight when Mephisto and The Purveyor settle the score!
Mephisto continues his saunter toward ringside and calmly steps up the ring steps. He walks slowly along the apron with the same sly grin painted across his face and pauses briefly before stepping into the ring. Mephisto looks focused and in control in his entrance as he nestles himself back into a corner and awaits his opponent.
MM: The one thing you can say about Mephisto is that he has his emotions in check, Vincent – something I don’t think we’ve been able to say about NOTHING for quite some time.
VA: Yeah, maybe fifteen to twenty years?
MM: Good point…
VA: As calm and collected as Mephisto appears to be, he better be prepared to go to war as well.
MM: I believe he is, Vincent – and I don’t think we’ll see either man hold back an ounce!
The lights black out once more and we hear the crackling of a record player over the loudspeaker. It echoes one phrase over and over again…
… without you …
… without you …
… without you …
The single phrase repeats as the arena is bathed in a red light which begins to rhythmically pulse. The phrase begins to fade out but the crackling remains until we hear another familiar phrase replace it.
it seems strange that my life should end
in such a terrible place
The crowd erupts into mostly cheers with a small mix of boos – members of the EWA universe still aren’t quite sure how to take NOTHING and his Pillars as of late. As the crowd noise continues to grow we spot The Harbinger of HATE himself at the top of one of the lower sections of the arena surrounded by members of the crowd. The scruff on his face from when we last saw him is no more. The bags under his eyes have receded. His hair still stands tall and white, but he looks like a different man.
As the pulsating noise pummels the eardrums of those in the arena, NOTHING begins making the walk down the stairs, through the crowd, and toward the ring. His eyes are locked on Mephisto the entire time and in a matter of moments he stands behind the guardrail staring at his rival.
NR: His opponent, from Albany, New York… weighing in at 255 pounds… “The Purveyor” NOOOOTTTTHHHHIIINNNNGGGG!
MM: Well, Hell, Vincent – as focused and clear-headed as Mephisto looks, NOTHING finally looks the same!
VA: And that spells bad news for everybody within a ten mile radius, Malone!
MM: Absolutely… few things are more dangerous than NOTHING and HATE when they have their sights set on something.
VA: I’m almost afraid to see this one get underway, Malone – for the sake of both of these men!
NOTHING hops over the barricade and quickly slides into the ring and pops up to his feet. He stares daggers at Mephisto across the ring and Mephisto stares the same daggers straight back.
MM: There is an intensity hanging in this arena that I haven’t felt in quite some time, Vincent!
VA: There are a lot of things you haven’t felt in quite some time, Malone… true love’s touch, pride in your own appearance, a woman’s breasts–
MM: ALRIGHT, ENOUGH! Let’s maybe just stick to the match, okay?!
VA: Hey, you brought it up! You made that choice, not me!
MM: Anyway, Vincent… what’s telling about this so far is that neither man has anyone flanking him at ringside. No PARIAH… no HATE.
VA: We’ll see how long it stays that way.
DING DING DING!
MM: And as the bell sounds, we’re underway!
Both men begin circling one another careful not to let themselves make a bad first move. Even their simple movements are calculated and pointed as they begin to feel each other out. In an instant, both men dive forward into a collar and elbow tie-up!
MM: They’re right into it and locking horns here, folks!
VA: Let’s see who gains control first, Malone – and see if it lasts through the rest of this and the other falls.
MM: NOTHING swiftly shifts his body weight and clamps down with a headlock on Mephisto… and Mephisto even more swiftly pulls himself and NOTHING toward the ropes!
VA: I guess he didn’t like the way this one started!
Mephisto pulls himself and his opponent into the ropes and the referee begins the count to force NOTHING to relinquish the hold. NOTHING lets go of the hold just before the five count and begins to back away from Mephisto, who is holding onto the ropes and smirking at The Purveyor.
MM: This all seems like another game for Mephisto, Vincent.
VA: Of course it is – that’s all the guy has been doing the past few months! He plays a game, sends NOTHING into a spiral and capitalizes. Why change what works??
NOTHING stands in the center of the ring calling Mephisto onward. Mephisto slowly lets go of the rope and moves toward the center where the men lock up once more. Both men struggle for position before NOTHING shifts into a headlock once more, then into a hammerlock!
MM: NOTHING taking control for a second time out of the lockup here.
VA: That look of focus he had as he made his way to the ring wasn’t just for show, Malone – he’s sharp as a tack so far!
NOTHING wrenches on the arm of Mephisto… who again pulls the duo towards the ropes!
MM: Another rope break from Mephisto!
VA: He’s not letting NOTHING get an advantage, Malone!
MM: And we saw during Mephisto’s “War of Nonviolence” that when NOTHING can’t get his hands on someone… he begins to lose it.
Mephisto holds onto the rope once more and yells at the referee to force another break. NOTHING, a wily veteran in his own right, puts some more torque on the arm as the referee counts before finally letting go just before the five. He backs off again, his hands in the air, as he shoots a frustrated look toward the referee.
MM: NOTHING is yelling at the ref to get Mephisto off of the ropes so they can get this one going – and I don’t blame him!
VA: It’s all strategy, Malone.
MM: Is it? Or does Mephisto truly not want to get into this fight with the man he’s tormented for almost a year?
Mephisto, another grin on his face, pulls himself off of the ropes and slowly moves toward NOTHING in the center of the ring once again. He calls for NOTHING to lock up a third time and The Purveyor turns his head to the side in frustration before diving into the lock up!
MM: A third time and both men are fighting for the advantage in the center of the ring.
VA: Let’s see if we can keep this one in the center this time…
NOTHING moves into a headlock again, then quickly into a hammerlock! He spins back around Mephisto into a headlock then drops to the ground and snaps Mephisto down with a drop toe hold! NOTHING floats up the body of Mephisto and clamps on a front facelock!
MM: A short flurry from NOTHING and Mephisto is down on the canvas!
VA: But not for long – he’s got his legs under him and he’s already getting to his feet!
MM: Mephisto has his base beneath him, forcing NOTHING to his feet as well… and he backs into the corner! Come on!
VA: You’re getting just as angry as NOTHING – take a pill, Malone!
MM: I just want to see this match get going, Vincent, and Mephisto is refusing to let it happen!
NOTHING cranks on the front facelock in the corner as the referee does his due diligence with the five count. NOTHING again waits until just before the five and releases, backing up into the center… but he charges back in!
MM: Mephisto moves!
VA: And there it is, Malone! The plan comes together!
MM: NOTHING charged in and Mephisto side-stepped sending The Purveyor careening into the steel ring post!
Mephisto wastes no time – he grabs the left leg of NOTHING and places his foot on the second rope. He leaps into the air and – BAM!
MM: Oh, that’s gotta hurt! Mephisto comes down with his knee onto the back of NOTHING’s knee, and NOTHING is down in the corner!
VA: You could look at Mephisto grabbing the ropes in the opening moments as an act of cowardice, Malone, but it was actually genius!
MM: I think you’re right about that now, Vincent – Mephisto has again played NOTHING directly into his hands and now he’s got The Purveyor clutching at his left knee on the canvas!
NOTHING writhes on the mat and pulls his left knee close to his chest as the referee pushes Mephisto out of the corner so he can check on The Purveyor. He shakes his head to let the referee know he’s good to continue fighting and as soon as the ref backs up, Mephisto launches an attack!
MM: There’s blood in the water and Jacob Mephisto is on the attack! He’s stomping away at the knee of NOTHING who can’t do anything to cover up – he’s trapped under the turnbuckle of the bottom rope in the corner!
VA: He’s going to make sure NOTHING can’t walk out of here one way or another, Malone!
MM: And the attack serves two purposes, Vincent – not only does it give Mephisto a target but it also limits NOTHING’s ability to hit Pure Hate.
VA: If the man can’t run, he can’t very well hit a Shining Wizard!
Mephisto drops to the mat and rolls to the floor grabbing a hold of NOTHING’s foot on the way out. He wrenches hard on the leg to get him into position then lifts the leg… and slams the back of the knee down on the edge of the apron!
MM: This one may be academic at this point. Mephisto lured NOTHING in and now he’s going to destroy that left knee – NOTHING may do well to just take a quick loss here and hope he can make it up in the next two falls!
VA: I don’t think that’s likely to happen, Malone. I have a feeling if NOTHING were to lay down for Mephisto he’d need to have every one of his limbs ripped from his body first.
NOTHING lays on his back with his leg draped over the apron. Mephisto begins walking around the ringside area gloating over his attack on the man whose number he’s had for months on end, then turns quickly and charges in – dropkick to the side of the knee! NOTHING howls in pain as he sits up and clutches at his leg through the ropes!
MM: The referee may even want to consider stopping this one if this type of damage keeps up, folks! It’s almost inhumane!
VA: But really, Malone… is this guy even human? Are any of the members of HATE? Better yet, is Mephisto or anyone else in PARIAH? They’re all sick!
MM: But still technically human… technically.
Mephisto rolls back into the ring and drags NOTHING to his feet, pushing the one-legged man back into the corner. Mephisto grabs a hold of the top rope and begins laying in boot after boot to the inside of NOTHING’s knee until the referee forces him to back away for a rope break.
MM: He only has a four count before he’ll risk disqualification, but I think that may be enough time to really make a difference in this match.
Mephisto moves back in toward NOTHING and grabs a hold of his left foot forcing his injured foe to hop on one foot as he’s dragged toward the center of the ring! NOTHING swings wildly to try and slap or punch Mephisto, but he’s just slightly out of reach.
VA: Here come some more games, Malone! Mephisto loves to get under the skin of NOTHING and he’s just going to keep poking the bear for as long as he can.
MM: With hopes of sending that bear into permanent hibernation, Vincent!
VA: Jesus Christ, are you a professional? Really? That’s the best off-the-cuff remark you can make about a bear?!
MM: I thought it was pretty good!
VA: Yeah, that’s the sad part.
MM: What’s sad is what we’re seeing happen to The Harbinger of HATE at this point. Mephisto is forcing him to balance on one foot and… OH!
VA: Not for long!
NOTHING finds it within himself to leap up and nail Mephisto with an enziguri to the side of the head! Mephisto collapses to a knee and NOTHING begins scratching and crawling toward the ropes!
MM: NOTHING connects with a huge blow and this could be his chance to get back into it!
VA: It could, but even after that kick Mephisto is still looking to be in better shape than the man who delivered it!
NOTHING is pulling himself up with the aid of the ropes, but Mephisto is already back to his feet and shaking the cobwebs loose. He moves towards NOTHING and pulls the man up to his feet spinning him around, pushing him back against the ropes and throwing his arms over the top rope.
MM: A slight reprieve for NOTHING, but Mephisto catches up with him…
MM: And delivers a thunderous knife-edge chop to the heart of The Purveyor!
MM: And another!
VA: He already has a bum leg, now he’s gotta worry about his chest caving in!
Mephisto reels back for another chop – AND NOTHING SPITS IN HIS FACE!
MM: Mephisto stopped dead in his tracks as NOTHING pays him the ultimate disrespect!
VA: And what a loogie it was, Malone! Thick, viscous, a vibrant mix of colors–
MM: OKAY, ENOUGH!
Mephisto stands still for a moment before a smirk crosses his face and he slowly wipes the spit from his face. He looks down at his hand, wet with NOTHING’s saliva, and slaps him across the face!
MM: A game of one-upmanship, I guess… or maybe one-downmanship with the way these two are beginning to disrespect each other.
VA: NOTHING had that receipt coming to him, Malone, but I doubt Mephisto is done with him just yet.
NOTHING hangs onto the top rope dazed and still balancing on one and a half legs. Mephisto reaches up and grabs a handful of his wild hair and drags him toward the corner once again. Mephisto lifts NOTHING up for a slam – and plants him into the corner tying him up in the Tree of Woe!
MM: NOTHING is tied up tight in the corner and he’s tied up by the left knee. All of that pressure is pinpointed in one place, and NOTHING isn’t sure if he should try and escape or reach for his knee!
VA: Well, he better make up his damn mind soon because Mephisto isn’t going to wait around for him to figure it out!
True to that statement, Mephisto charges toward the opposite corner. He bounces off of the turnbuckle and charges back in – CANNONBALL! Mephisto nails a diving cannonball into the precariously placed knee of NOTHING!
MM: That’s it, the knee’s got to be done for! He just launched all of his body weight into NOTHING’s left knee pressed up against the top turnbuckle!
Mephisto pulls himself to his feet and grabs hold of NOTHING, pulling him up until he’s sitting on the top rope.
MM: I don’t like the looks of this at all! It looks like Mephisto wants to go high-risk in Los Angeles, Vincent!
VA: And who’s going to stop him? Certainly not NOTHING – the man can barely stand!
Mephisto begins climbing the ropes behind NOTHING… but he’s caught with a sharp back elbow! Mephisto is phased and NOTHING connects with a second sending Mephisto back down to the canvas!
MM: You may have spoken too soon, Vincent – there’s fight left in him yet!
Mephisto shakes his head and moves toward the corner again, this time grabbing NOTHING by the hair before beginning to climb – WHAM! NOTHING scores with a frankly horrific looking headbutt smashing the back of his head into Mephisto’s face!
MM: And Mephisto is down again!
VA: That headbutt was sick, Malone!
MM: Mephisto is more than just stunned – he may be knocked positively loopy or have a broken nose!
Mephisto is wobbly in the ring as NOTHING turns himself around to face the inside of the ring. He takes a moment to collect himself and Mephisto sees him recovering… so he charges in!
MM: NOTHING with a boot!
VA: He catches Mephisto flush on the front of the face again!
MM: Mephisto is taken aback, but he brushes it off and charges again – NOTHING leaps!
VA: The Purveyor flies!
MM: And he catches Mephisto in a HUGE tornado DDT!
NOTHING spikes Mephisto head-first into the mat and the crowd erupts as it appears he’s about to mount his comeback! Both men are down but with the crowd firmly behind NOTHING, could he be the first one to his feet?
MM: NOTHING is beginning to show signs of life, finally, as he rolls to his stomach and begins to push himself to his feet.
VA: And it looks like he’s a step or two ahead of Mephisto for the first time in several minutes, Malone!
MM: This could be his opportunity to turn this thing around if he can stay on track!
Both men are struggling to get to their feet, but NOTHING barely beats Mephisto back to a vertical base. He hobbles in toward Mephisto and hammers him across the jaw with a forearm shot… and another… and another… and another! He’s hammering away at Jacob Mephisto!
MM The crowd is erupting with each blow, Vincent, and it seems to be powering NOTHING!
NOTHING pushes Mephisto backwards and he hits hard in the corner. NOTHING shakes his leg loose and charges in – but Mephisto is ready!
MM: Mephisto bends down and backdrops NOTHING over the top rope!
VA: But NOTHING lands on the apron, and on one leg!
MM: Great awareness from NOTHING!
As he lands on the apron NOTHING nails Mephisto with another hard forearm, this one to the base of his skull! Mephisto stumbles forward and NOTHING leaps into action, literally!
MM: NOTHING is up!
VA: He’s taking a huge risk, Malone!
MM: Springboard from NOTHING into the ring – crossbody block on Mephisto as he turns around!
VA: NO! HE CAUGHT HIM!
MM: He did – Mephisto catches NOTHING in mid-air, and spins him into a devastating spinebuster!
NOTHING hits the mat hard but Mephisto isn’t done – he reaches down, hooks NOTHING’s legs up and…
VA: DESPAIR! He’s got Despair locked in high and tight, Malone!
MM: He’s pulling down hard and NOTHING can’t be long for the first fall now, folks!
NOTHING is fighting it, but Mephisto continues to pull down hard on the hold with a knee planted into the base of his neck. With the damage done to the knee earlier in the match, NOTHING has to break this soon or risk permanent injury!
MM: NOTHING is trying to pull himself toward the ropes but Mephisto has it perfectly applied in the center of the ring, and he doesn’t look like he’s planning on letting NOTHING go anywhere!
VA: He’s inching, though, Malone – ever so slightly!
With each breath, NOTHING is pulling himself toward the ropes but he may just be too far away. The crowd is on their feet for NOTHING, cheering him on as he battles to break the hold.
MM: The referee is right in there and… NOTHING stops crawling! He lifts his hand into the air – could this be it?!
VA: He’s gotta tap, Malone – he’s gotta tap to save the leg and fight the rest of this match!
MM: But does he have it within himself to just give up right now, or will his desire to put Mephisto down get the best of him??
NOTHING lifts his hand high into the air and… slams it down onto the canvas before pushing himself upward!
MM: There’s your answer! NOTHING isn’t done yet, and now he’s got more leverage to crawl toward the ropes!
VA: He’s still miles from breaking the hold, Malone, but he’s moving more quickly now and Mephisto is off-balance!
After pushing himself up to gain more ground, NOTHING has Mephisto struggling to keep the hold locked on and is moving at a rapid speed toward the ropes! Mephisto is trying to pull back down on the hold but The Purveyor won’t be stifled!
MM: He’s crawling hand over hand and… he stops again! He’s had it!
VA: He reaches up and slams the hand down… GRABBING THE BOTTOM ROPE! He made it!
MM: Unbelievable! NOTHING pulls himself to the ropes and that’ll force the break from Mephisto!
It will force the break, but Mephisto is using every bit of the 5 count – just as NOTHING did earlier in the match – before releasing the hold. He stomps forward and gets admonished by the official for not breaking earlier, but it was well within the rules of the match.
MM: Mephisto looks furious – that was the best chance either man has had so far at putting someone away!
VA: He might still have that opportunity, Malone – NOTHING is on the mat with his hands grasped around the middle rope just trying to stay in this one!
MM: Well, Mephisto is coming in fast so that may not be the case for long…
Mephisto charges to attack NOTHING in the ropes and – NOTHING grabs him by the tights and pulls him through the ropes and to the arena floor!
MM: Mephisto is pulled out and to the floor – and he hits HARD!
VA: NOTHING is pulling himself up in the ring as Mephisto lifts himself up outside. Creating space like this is exactly what NOTHING needs.
MM: It doesn’t look like he wants the space for long, though, Vincent!
NOTHING is on his feet and Mephisto just barely gets to his feet… BEFORE NOTHING FLIES!
MM: NOTHING leaps over the top rope with a somersault plancha!
VA: And he crashes down hard on top of Mephisto! Both men are on the hard arena floor!
MM: And NOTHING isn’t done – he’s hammering away with fist after fist at the head of Mephisto!
There’s a new fire lit under NOTHING who is swinging wildly at Mephisto on the arena floor. He stops the onslaught long enough to grab Mephisto by the hair, and now he’s slamming his head onto the floor over and over again!
MM: He could knock him out on the arena floor, Vincent, but then he’s still got to get the big man back in the ring!
VA: And that’ll be no easy task, that’s for sure. Mephisto is a big guy and NOTHING is on one leg!
The referee hops out of the ring to give NOTHING a warning and he slows down the assault on the arena floor. NOTHING pulls himself up to his feet using the ring apron… and wastes no time in laying into Mephisto with boot after boot!
MM: He’s using his environment wisely here, leaning against the apron so he can deliver boot after boot to Mephisto without having to put the pressure on his left leg.
VA: He’s as wise as he is scary, Malone, and that makes him dangerous!
NOTHING pauses the series of boots on Mephisto long enough to reach down and pull Mephisto up by the hair. He pushes Mephisto back into the steel steps causing a loud collision at the corner of the ring.
MM: It’s not officially a Falls Count Anywhere match yet, but NOTHING is certainly looking to use his surroundings to his advantage.
VA: Hey, if he doesn’t get disqualified it’s technically still Pure, right?
MM: I suppose so, Vincent… technicalities, technicalities.
Mephisto is leaning against the edge of the steps with his arm planted on top of them for balance. NOTHING reels back and leaps into Mephisto with a huge forearm to Mephisto! He falls back against the steps and his left arm slips through the gap between the steps and the corner of the ring!
MM: Oh, that’s a tough spot to be in, Vincent! Mephisto’s arm is trapped between the ring and the steps!
VA: And it hasn’t gone unnoticed to NOTHING – you can see the gears running in his mind!
NOTHING takes a second to appreciate the scene then snaps into action as he crams Mephisto’s entire arm into the gap in the steps. He nails Mephisto with a series of blows to soften him up and then… walks away?
MM: NOTHING is just leaving him there! What’s he thinking?
VA: I can’t imagine he’d want to grab a countout victory, Malone… he must have a plan.
And it looks like he does – NOTHING turns around at the other corner of the ring and makes direct eye contact with Mephisto who is still stuck. NOTHING grins at his opponent and powers through the pain in his leg to charge toward him!
MM: HERE GOES NOTHING!
VA: OH GOD! The arm, it’s gotta be broken!
MM: If it’s still attached at all, Vincent!
NOTHING hurls himself into the steel steps at full-speed and sacrifices his body to send the steps into Mephisto’s arm, which was pinned up against the corner of the ring! He had nowhere to go and is screaming in pain as he tries to wrestle his arm out of the wreckage!
MM: I’d say this may just about even things up, folks – Mephisto is down an arm and NOTHING is down a leg!
Mephisto has his arm pulled loose but NOTHING is right there and rolls him into the ring… quick cover!
Mephisto kicks out, but just barely!
MM: And a smart move by NOTHING – not only did he cover quickly, but he positioned himself in a way that would force Mephisto to use that injured left arm to get a shoulder up!
VA: Like I said, Malone – wise and scary equals dangerous!
Mephisto is rolling toward the corner with his arm pulled tightly against his body. He may have lost all use of the left arm!
MM: Mephisto has placed himself in the corner and the referee is rightfully checking on him to make sure he can continue.
VA: There’s no way Mephisto calls it quits here, Malone – but the referee needs to make sure that arm is still functioning!
MM: NOTHING, meanwhile, is shaking out the leg and looks like he may officially have a second wind in this one.
VA: And he’s not wasting any time!
NOTHING marches toward Mephisto who is down in the corner clutching at his arm. As he gets closer Mephisto grabs a hold of Rick Iley’s shirt…
MM: Well, what the hell? Mephisto has a handful of Iley–
VA: And plants a low boot on NOTHING!
MM: Aw, come on! He just kicked the man low and he dropped like a ton of bricks!
VA: A desperation move from Mephisto who now lets go of Iley and begins to pull himself to his feet.
MM: Desperate and disgusting, Vincent!
VA: Hey, if he was so worried about getting nailed in the balls he should’ve worn a cup!
MM: Why, I never! I’ve never heard such victim blaming before!
VA: That’s my specialty, baby!
NOTHING is down on the mat and Mephisto pulls himself up with his one good arm. He doesn’t even try to shake life into it at this point – he’s just got it pulled tightly to his body. Mephisto advances toward NOTHING on the ground and grabs his leg with his good arm… and he’s going for the submission again!
MM: If Mephisto locks it in, this could be it!
VA: He had Despair locked in once before and NOTHING nearly tapped – if he wrenches it in the way he had it on earlier in the match, NOTHING will have no choice!
MM: Mephisto lifts the legs and… no, he drops both legs! His left arm just gave out on him when he went to hook both legs!
Mephisto looks to be in serious pain as he recoils into the ropes. The referee checks on him and Mephisto shoves him away!
MM: He’s got to be careful or he could get himself disqualified! Not a smart move!
VA: I’m sure it’s a part of some kind of plan – he’s had one the entire match!
Mephisto is massaging his arm attempting to get feeling back into it and stands up straight in an attempt to refocus himself.
MM: Mephisto is moving toward NOTHING again who is still on his back on the canvas.
VA: Things aren’t looking good for The Purveyor…
MM: OH! But that kick may change things, Vincent!
As Mephisto stalks NOTHING on the canvas, NOTHING kicks Mephisto in the inside of the left elbow! Mephisto spins halfway around and… NOTHING rolls him up!
MM: Schoolboy, and the cover in the center!
VA: Somehow Mephisto muscles out of the schoolboy with one good arm!
MM: But NOTHING’s not done – he spins straight into a cross-armbreaker! He’s got a submission of his own locked on Mephisto dead-center!
Mephisto is in agony as NOTHING pulls back on the arm! The Purveyor has full extension on the hold and Mephisto has no place to go!
MM: Iley is right in there asking if Mephisto can go on, but so far he’s not giving in!
VA: With how he’s been favoring that arm, Malone, he’s going to need to get to the ropes and FAST!
As if on cue, Mephisto begins to flail his body in an attempt to scoot himself toward the ropes. NOTHING retains the grip on the hold and pulls back with everything he can muster!
MM: He’s going to snap his arm in half! I don’t know if I can watch this!
Mephisto is still writhing on the mat and… he makes it to the ropes!
MM: Mephisto gets a foot on the rope, just barely!
VA: He was saved by those long legs! If he were just a few inches shorter I think we’d have seen him tap out!
MM: Thankfully for Mephisto that isn’t the case, and now Iley is pulling NOTHING off of him.
NOTHING isn’t letting this opportunity slide, though – he pulls Mephisto to his feet and rocks him with a stiff European uppercut! Mephisto rebounds off of the ropes and swings wildly with his good arm but NOTHING ducks and leaps into the air… LUNG BLOWER!
VA: But how smart was that?! NOTHING just pulled the full weight of a near-300-pounder onto his knees!
MM: A valid point, Vincent, but he looks to be fighting through the pain!
Mephisto’s body bounces off of NOTHING’s knees and The Purveyor scurries to the cover!
MM: Mephisto gets the right shoulder up, again being sure to keep his injured left arm to his side!
VA: NOTHING is staying on him, though – he’s already got Mephisto back to his feet!
Indeed he does, and NOTHING hits the ropes… coming back with a diving European uppercut! That move is equalizing the playing field between the two men! Mephisto staggers back into the ropes again and as he stumbles forward NOTHING is back on his feet – jumping knee!
MM: Now that is smart – NOTHING nails a huge jumping knee, this time using his good leg!
VA: And Mephisto crumbles to the canvas!
MM: Another cover from NOTHING!
THREE – KICKOUT!
MM: SO CLOSE! Mephisto just gets the shoulder up again!
VA: Wisely he rolls to his stomach to avoid being pinned again – but NOTHING is right there!
MM: Fujiwara Armbar! NOTHING has another submission locked onto the damaged arm and Mephisto is in no-man’s land!
Mephisto is in pain but this time his long legs aren’t saving him – NOTHING has him positioned in the center of the ring and is applying enough pressure to keep him from sliding across the mat!
VA: The crowd is at a fever pitch here as NOTHING wrenches back – bridging up onto his toes!
MM: MEPHISTO ROLLS HIM OVER! HE’S GOT A COVER!
MM: NOTHING is out and rolls backward and onto his feet!
VA: Mephisto is starting to sit up and – NOTHING with a field goal kick to the chest!
MM: He drops into the cover!
THR… Mephisto gets the shoulder up!
MM: NOTHING is going for broke, ladies and gentlemen! We’ve seen more near falls in the past couple of minutes than we’ve seen in the entire rest of the match so far!
VA: He knows Mephisto is hurt and if he can put him away here, he can capitalize in Falls Count Anywhere!
Mephisto rolls toward the corner and begins to pull himself to his feet. NOTHING is watching and as soon as the larger man is to his feet he charges in and nails a dropkick to the left shoulder! Mephisto bounces chest-first into the turnbuckle and he stumbles backwards as NOTHING gets to his feet… in time to lock in a crossface chicken wing!
MM: NOTHING has yet another submission locked in, this time from a standing position with Mephisto’s arm sickly bent backwards!
VA: And he doesn’t have it locked in idly – he’s yanking and pulling on that arm!
Mephisto is grasping with his free arm in an attempt to break the hold but he can’t quite do it! NOTHING has it cinched in tight and Mephisto looks like he may be fading!
MM: Mephisto is starting to wane, Vincent! He’s wilting forward and… waitaminute – he uses the momentary break as he bent forward to spin around NOTHING!
VA: Mephisto is behind NOTHING and has a hold of his wrist with his good arm – spins him out… PRIDE BEFORE THE FALL! JESUS CHRIST, HE TOOK HIS HEAD OFF!
MM: NOTHING just spun in mid air and landed high on the back of his neck!
Mephisto nails the short-arm clothesline but he uses the bad arm in a last-ditch effort to gain some separation between the two. Both men are down on the canvas as the referee begins his count, and the crowd is ballistic!
LET’S GO NOTH-ING!
*clap clap clapclapclap*
LET’S GO NOTH-ING!
*clap clap clapclapclap*
LET’S GO NOTH-ING!
*clap clap clapclapclap*
MM: It’s always strange to hear the EWA fans chant for any member of HATE, but how could you not appreciate all the man has gone through at this point!?
VA: How can you not appreciate the clothesline that just went through his head?! These people should be showing the same admiration for Jacob Mephisto!
Both men are struggling to get to their feet and look like mirror images of one another – each planting a foot on the canvas and getting to a knee at the exact same time. And now a second foot and both men are back up!
MM: Both men are on their feet again but they are certainly on spaghetti legs, folks! There’s not much left in those tanks!
VA: What tanks? Marinara tanks?? Stop mixing your metaphors!
Both men meet in the middle of the ring… and it’s a slugfest! A right from NOTHING!
And a right from Mephisto!
NOTHING lands a blow!
NOTHING connects again!
The Purveyor winds up again and swings wildly – Mephisto ducks!
MM: He shoves NOTHING away and he bounces off of the ropes… tilt a whirl headscissors on the rebound!
VA: NO! He stops halfway!
MM: OCTOPUS HOLD! NOTHING HAS HIM LOCKED IN!
NOTHING wraps himself around the body of Mephisto and he’s got him tied up in the Octopus Hold, pulling back on that damaged left arm yet again!
MM: And this hold is almost as immobilizing as a hold on the mat – he’s got half of Mephisto’s body tied up like a pretzel!
VA: But that’s not stopping him from trying! Mephisto is starting to move toward the ropes!
Mephisto IS moving, but slowly – and he’s got a long way to go! NOTHING is pulling back on that left arm almost visibly bending the elbow in the complete opposite direction!
MM: Mephisto is trying to power his left arm down so he can have more of a reach when he gets to the edge of the ring, but he’s got to make his way there first!
VA: I don’t know if he can stand the pain that long, Malone!
Mephisto is carrying NOTHING to the side of the ring, but the hold is not weakening!
MM: If he can make it about another foot I think he might have a chance!
VA: But that’s a lot of space when you’re facing this much torture!
Mephisto is closing in on the ropes and… he’s starting to straighten out his left arm! He’s pulling away from NOTHING and could be on the verge of breaking the hold!
MM: Unbelievable! Mephisto is pulling his arm away and… waitaminute!
VA: NOTHING underhooks the arm! He just doubled the distance Mephisto has to travel to get to those ropes!
MM: NOTHING has the left arm hooked under his armpit and he’s pulling back even harder now! The referee is right in there and…
VA: HE TAKES THE FIRST FALL IN THE STIPULATION MEPHISTO CHOSE!
MM: This has to get into the head of Jacob Mephisto!
The bell rings and NOTHING releases the hold, falling to the mat as Mephisto does the same.
NR: Your winner of the first fall… NOOOTTTTHHHIIIINNNNGGGGGG!
NOTHING quickly rolls out of the ring and reaches under the ring… he’s grabbed a roll of athletic tape, and he’s wrapping up his knee!
MM: A great move from NOTHING – use the time in between falls to bandage yourself up!
VA: And Mephisto is still down inside… NOTHING could have this whole thing won in a matter of moments!
NOTHING is back on his feet and shaking his leg out, slapping the side of his knee to get the blood flowing properly. Ref Iley sticks his head out through the ropes to ask if he’s ready to go… and he responds with an emphatic yes!
DING DING DING!
MM: Here comes fall number two!
VA: HOLY SHIT, AND HERE COMES MEPHISTO!
MM: SUICIDE DIVE!
Mephisto hears the bell ring and hurls his body through the ropes and into NOTHING’s chest like a poison dart! Both men crash into the barricade hard, but Mephisto is pounding away on NOTHING’s head with a series of fists!
MM: Mephisto taking advantage of a recovering NOTHING and now he’s laying into The Purveyor on the arena floor. This time, there won’t be a countout or a referee’s warning to stop it!
Mephisto is quick to his feet and pulls NOTHING with him… whipping him into the steel barricade! He charges after NOTHING and grabs him again. He runs the entire length of the ring and sends NOTHING flying into the barricade on the other side of the ring!
VA: Jacob Mephisto has been awakened and that’s goddamn horifying to think about!
MM: And he’s not done yet – he whips NOTHING into the railing on the third side of the ring!
VA: He seems like a completionist to me, Malone… I think he might have one more left in him.
Vincent Ashe is correct as Mephisto pulls NOTHING to his feet and charges the length of the ring with him before sending him careening into the guardrail on the fourth side of the ring. NOTHING has been laid to waste on the arena floor!
MM: And now it’s back to the knee – Mephisto is wedging NOTHING’s left leg in between two of the sections of the barricade and NOTHING is stuck upside down!
VA: This looks bad… and just got worse! Mephisto pulls a steel chair from the crowd, and I don’t think he’s about to take a load off!
Mephisto rips a chair from beneath a ringside fan, and the fans nearby begin pelting him with trash. Mephisto seems to savor it as he turns his attention back to NOTHING. He eyeballs his shot and places the chair on top of NOTHING’s knee before winding back and… he drops the chair?!
MM: Mephisto drops the chair and he’s clutching at that left arm!
VA: He swing back too hard, Malone – he swung back too hard and triggered that injured arm!
Mephisto turns away from NOTHING and clutches at his left elbow as he doubles over in pain. He needs eyes in the back of his head, though, because NOTHING is shimmying himself free from the railing!
MM: With Mephisto distracted, NOTHING has pulled his leg out of the railing and is getting back to his feet!
VA: He’s coming for Mephisto quickly and grabs him from behind…
MM: OH MY GOD! STRAIGHTJACKET GERMAN SUPLEX ON THE FLOOR!
VA: His head just bounced off of the floor like a bowling ball!
MM: Do bowling balls bounce?
VA: I think… I think if you throw ‘em hard enough, yeah! Everything bounces!
Mephisto crumples into a pile against the railing but NOTHING is still recovering from that early attach and can’t quite make the cover!
MM: You’ve gotta believe, Vincent – if NOTHING hadn’t just been whipped into every part of the railing he’d have the cover and this match would be over!
VA: I don’t think you’re wrong, but it just doesn’t matter! He’s too hurt to cover immediately and… wait… here he goes!
NOTHING is crawling toward Mephisto on the floor! He reaches out and grabs him, straightening his body out and pulling himself on top!
MM: Mephisto somehow finds a way to kick out!
VA: With the rules for this fall, one of these guys is going to have to be unconscious or dead before the other can take the win!
NOTHING rolls off of Mephisto and toward the ring. He’s reaching underneath again, looking for who knows what… and pulls out a table!
VA: Now the fun is going to start, Malone! It’s gonna be a bloodbath!
NOTHING pulls a table out from under the ring as the excitement courses through the crowd. He pulls the table up and sets it diagonally against the ring apron.
MM: He already threw Mephisto onto the hard floor once, and he looks like he’s prepared to do it again!
NOTHING has the table in place and turns back to Mephisto who is just now beginning to stir. NOTHING wastes no time – he pulls Mephisto to his feet and lifts him up onto his shoulders!
MM: Amazing! NOTHING lifts the beast Jacob Mephisto onto his shoulders and he’s… he’s leaving?!
VA: He’s walking right up the entrance ramp! What’s he doing?!
NOTHING has a plan, though – the table he has set up is right in front of the entrance ramp and once he reaches about halfway up the ramp he turns back toward the ring.
MM: Oh, no… oh, I don’t like the looks of this.
VA: What?! Are you nuts? I LOVE the looks of this!
NOTHING eyes the table at ringside… and sets off into a full sprint! He’s going to nail the Spicolli Driver through the table!
MM: He’s about to finish this once and for all, Vinc-
VA: No! Karma’s a bitch, and NOTHING’s knee just gave out like Mephisto’s arm moments ago!
Just before reaching the table, NOTHING’s left knee buckles and he drops Mephisto behind him!
MM: Mephisto falls behind him but lands on his feet… and now he lifts NOTHING onto his own shoulders!
VA: Torture Rack from Mephisto!
MM: But he’s not done there, Vincent… GOOD GOD!
VA: BURNING HAMMER!?
MM: Mephisto just drove NOTHING through the table head-first with a disgusting Burning Hammer!
VA: That’s it! That’s gotta be it, and then we can find out what kind of genius Alexander Haven truly is with the third fall!
MM: Mephisto isn’t going for the cover, though! What a huge mistake!
VA: I’ve got to agree with you there, Malone – what’s he thinking?!
Mephisto is thinking about regaining some composure and getting his bearings back as he rolls away from what used to be a table and from who used to be NOTHING. The Purveyor is somewhere amidst the wreckage and he has not moved an inch since being driven through the wood.
MM: Mephisto is crawling toward the ring himself now, sucking wind and trying to get back on his cardio game.
VA: These guys are lucky to be breathing at all at this point, man – this has been a war!
Mephisto is indeed crawling toward the ring and reaches his arms under the ring looking for some goodies of his own. He pulls his arms back out and… the crowd audibly gasps!
MM: Oh, he’s got a dog collar on a long chain, Vincent! Remnants of this feud are coming into play tonight!
VA: He’s not only got the collar and chain – he’s got a smile on his face and sick intentions!
Mephisto walks toward NOTHING’s carcass on his knees and begins fidgeting around with the head and neck of The Purveyor. There’s no question about what he’s doing – he’s wrapping the collar around NOTHING’s neck!
MM: Mephisto is to his feet now and… he’s just dragging NOTHING around ringside! He’s pulled NOTHING from the wreckage and – oh, dear!
VA: NOTHING is busted wide open! That drop through the table did its damage and The Purveyor is wearing the crimson mask!
Mephisto pulls on the chain almost like a game of tug-of-war, inching his hands closer and closer to the center of the chain. By pulling on the chain, he’s also pulling a dazed NOTHING to his feet.
VA: He could go for the cover at any point, Malone, and this one would be over.
MM: But we all know that’s not what he wants. He wants to continue to punish NOTHING.
NOTHING is now completely vertical due to Mephisto… and eats a big fist wrapped in the chain! NOTHING reels back but only inches as Mephisto maintains a tight grip on the chain!
MM: Now it’s Mephisto who’s taking a walk, this time hopping over the railing and into the crowd.
VA: Let’s not underscore what’s happening here by just admiring its brutality – Mephisto has essentially leveled the playing field again. He’s got that massive chain wrapped around his right arm and he’s going to have all the leverage he needs – he won’t even need his left arm at this point!
MM: A solid point, Vincent! Mephisto is now in the crowd after giving NOTHING some slack on the chain… but… he’s pulling on it again!
Mephisto pulls NOTHING right into the steel railing and almost takes out the first few rows in the process!
MM: NOTHING’s body goes limp against the railing but Mephisto keeps pulling and eventually his adversary is pulled OVER the railing and into the crowd!
VA: This one could go anywhere now, Malone – but only where Mephisto wants it to go!
Mephisto is casually walking through the crowd now as NOTHING’s body drags and rolls behind him, the pressure of the chain around his neck causing the blood to flow from his head with every passing second.
MM: Mephisto finds a good stopping point, I guess, and he’s pulling NOTHING back up by the neck.
VA: There’s no protection out there – no padding around the ring, no stopping the people from doing something stupid… this is where things get extremely dangerous!
Dangerous is right, and as Mephisto pulls NOTHING to his feet he suddenly whips him BY THE NECK into a row of seats in the crowd!
MM: For Christ’s sake, someone check on those fans! Mephisto just whipped NOTHING into an entire section of people and chairs!
VA: And there’s no rest for the wicked, buddy! Mephisto is continuing to walk and simply dragging NOTHING through the wreckage and even more chairs!
MM: It looks and sounds like a car crash out there! The chain is bouncing off of the chairs and NOTHING’s body is just being dragged on the hard concrete and slamming into those hard steel chairs!
Mephisto finally reaches the end of the row and pulls NOTHING completely free from the wreckage, but the scorched earth behind the two men tells the whole story. Mephisto forcefully yanks NOTHING to his feet once again and locks him in a front facelock.
MM: I don’t know what’s about to happen, but I already know I don’t like it…
SNAP SUPLEX INTO THE CHAIRS! Mephisto with a devastating snap suplex onto the bent and twisted steel chairs which are now only more bent and twisted!
VA: He’s not through with him yet, Malone!
MM: Mephisto is keeping hold of NOTHING and rolls through the suplex and to his feet… GOOD GOD!
FISHERMAN BUSTER ON THE CHAIRS!
MM: Mephisto kept control and rolled through nailing a HUGE Fisherman Buster on the chairs!
VA: That’s it, he’s dead!
MM: NOTHING’s head and neck connected HARD with those chairs and… Mephisto is rolling over into a cover!
Mephisto drapes an arm across NOTHING, about the best he can do with the pile of chairs surrounding them, and the referee counts!
MM: SOMEHOW! SOMEWAY! NOTHING KICKS OUT!
VA: I’d say Mephisto can’t believe it, but I don’t think he’s even taking a second to contemplate it!
Mephisto is back up to his feet quickly, trying to keep his balance on the busted chairs beneath his feet, and once again begins to pull NOTHING around the arena floor.
MM: A return trip for The Purveyor but these aren’t the kind of frequent flyer miles you want to rack up.
VA: Not to mention, these chairs have been sat on by the filthy asses of the EWA fans… that’s insult to injury for NOTHING!
Mephisto clears NOTHING from the wreckage by way of dragging him by his neck and continues to march through the arena with the chain slung over his shoulder. He’s taking some wide turns and whipping NOTHING around behind him, being sure to bounce him off of barricades and chairs as the two continue to terrorize The Staples Center.
MM: Mephisto looks like he’s on a mission here, but what’s the endgame?
VA: The endgame is simply to destroy NOTHING by any means necessary!
Mephisto suddenly stops in his tracks as he spots a section of the arena cordoned off from the fans… a section full of EWA production equipment.
MM: I think he may have just had a lightbulb moment, Vincent!
VA: And NOTHING had better hope he doesn’t take that lightbulb and smash it into his face!
Mephisto starts walking toward the production area and moves with purpose toward a trunk on wheels. He continues to pull NOTHING behind him and then… throws the chain underneath the trunk?
MM: Mephisto just whipped the chain under the trunk… I don’t know what he’s planning here!
Mephisto walks around the trunk and picks the chain up slowly, eyeing the crowd before setting his sights on NOTHING who has begin to stir on the concrete floor.
VA: He’s just waiting, Malone! It’s like he’s got a trap set and he’s just waiting for NOTHING to do something.
Mephisto does seem to be waiting for something… and as NOTHING gets to his feet, it’s beginning to become clear!
MM: NOTHING is up and Mephisto is starting to wrap that chain around his arm once again.
VA: He raises his arm in the air and then… PULLS!
Mephisto pulls hard and NOTHING goes crashing head first into the side of the trunk!
MM: I think he just knocked him out cold! He can’t be conscious after this – there’s no way!
VA: Mephisto is on the move!
Mephisto leaps over the trunk with the chain still in hand and… drops into a cover on NOTHING!
VA: He’s going for the cover, and he’s got NOTHING basically tied to that trunk!
MM: NOTHING can’t even move!
MM: NOTHING gets the shoulder up! Not a full kickout, but enough of a movement to get the shoulder off of the floor for the briefest of moments!
VA: A brilliant move by Mephisto, though! He had NOTHING essentially tied to that trunk – he had nowhere to go and no way to sit up!
Mephisto is furious at this point and tosses the chain clear over the other side of the trunk before ripping NOTHING back up to his feet.
MM: NOTHING is doubled over and… that seems about the speed Mephisto is looking for, because he’s got NOTHING’s head between his legs!
VA: He’s going to break his spine, Malone!
Mephisto has NOTHING in position and… lifts him up… POWERBOMB!
MM: NOTHING is holding on! He’s not letting Mephisto complete the move – he’s got Mephisto by the hair and is up on his shoulders!
VA: And now he’s pounding away with fist after fist wrapped in that chain! Mephisto is getting a taste of his own medicine!
NOTHING is nailing Mephisto with repeated blows to the head with the chain wrapped around his fist, and Mephisto falls backward onto the trunk!
MM: Mephisto is down on the trunk, and NOTHING continues to pound away!
VA: No, he’s choking him! He’s got the other end of that chain and he’s choking Mephisto!
MM: Or… or is he? What’s he doing??
NOTHING has the chain around Mephisto’s head and neck but we can’t quite see what he’s doing… until he rolls off, revealing that he’s wrapped the other end of the chain around Mephisto’s neck and has tied it off!
MM: Jesus, he’s tied the other end of that chain around Mephisto’s throat!
VA: Now he’s got a hold of the slack and he’s whipping Mephisto all over the body! The back, the chest, the legs, the arms – every time Mephisto turns, NOTHING whips him somewhere else!
MM: He’s brutalizing Mephisto with the chain! Look at the welts already forming on his body!
VA: NOTHING has come unglued, and this crowd is rallying behind him as he mounts a comeback!
NOTHING suddenly stops whipping Mephisto with the chain and climbs on top of the trunk… and he pulls Mephisto up with the chain!
MM: Now it’s NOTHING’s turn to pull Mephisto around by the neck!
VA: A much shorter trip, though – NOTHING just pulls Mephisto up onto the top of that trunk.
NOTHING has Mephisto up on the trunk and he’s on his hands and knees trying to recover from being blasted with that flurry of chain shots. NOTHING isn’t giving him any time, though… he hooks the arms!
MM: Double underhook from NOTHING… what’s he thinking??
VA: HOLY SHIT!
MM: TIGER DRIVER ON THE TRUNK!
VA: HOW DID HE GET MEPHISTO UP FOR THAT?!
MM: I have no idea, Vincent, but he just drove the back of Mephisto’s head and neck onto the trunk – not to mention the length of chain that was pooled beneath them!
VA: And… he’s not going for the cover!? What gives??
NOTHING rolls Mephisto off of the trunk and then rolls off of the opposite side of the trunk himself. NOTHING is stepping away from the trunk but pulling on the chain as he does.
MM: NOTHING is backing up now but dragging Mephisto to his feet. I’m afraid to even guess what might come next!
VA: Mephisto has been forced to his feet and is doubled over the trunk… and NOTHING is charging!
NOTHING charges at top-speed and pushes the trunk straight into the lower half of Jacob Mephisto’s body, pushing him up against the wall of production equipment behind him! Mephisto is sandwiched between the trunk and the rest of the equipment!
MM: Mephisto is barely moving! He’s been crushed between this equipment and NOTHING is just backing away!
VA: What now, Malone?! What next??
MM: NOTHING runs a hand through his hair and smiles in Mephisto’s direction… that’s unsettling to say the least!
VA: And he’s off!
NOTHING charges in and… PURE HATE!
MM: HE JUST CRUSHED HIM! CRUSHED HIS FACE WITH PURE HATE!
VA: Mephisto had nowhere to go and NOTHING just nailed Pure Hate with an assist from that trunk!
NOTHING lands hard on the trunk but rolls off and backs away again.
MM: I have a feeling one just isn’t enough…
VA: Once ya pop, ya just can’t stop!
NOTHING charges again and… PURE HATE! He nails it again, and Mephisto has gone limp!
MM: Mephisto isn’t moving! A second Pure Hate and NOTHING hit it even harder, his knee crushing the face of Jacob Mephisto!
VA: He rolls off of the trunk again and… he’s ripping that dog collar off of his neck – he’s done being tethered to Mephisto!
MM: Not just that, Vincent – he’s backing up again, but this time he’s going even further!
NOTHING is walking back from the trunk and is now about twice the distance he was the last two times he set off. NOTHING looks out across the crowd, cheering him on at blistering levels, before focusing his gaze back on Mephisto.
MM: NOTHING takes a moment to soak it all in and… he starts running!
VA: And he’s picking up a hell of a lot of speed, Malone!
MM: From twenty feet out, NOTHING is charging and…
MM: For a third time, NOTHING hammers the face of Jacob Mephisto!
VA: And this time, he’s calling it!
NOTHING rolls off of the trunk and pushes it hard to the side as Mephisto’s body falls to the arena floor.
MM: He’s wasting no time – he covers him on the floor!
MM: HE DID IT! NOTHING defeats Mephisto in two straight falls!
VA: This is utter insanity, Malone! I can’t believe what I’ve just seen!
NR: Your winner of the second fall… and the winner of Three Stages of Hell… NOOOOTTTTTHHHHHIIIINNNNNNNGGGGGG!
NOTHING rolls off of Mephisto and pushes himself back up against the production equipment. Mephisto is not moving and blood has begun to pour from his nose where NOTHING connected three times over with Pure Hate. The medical staff rushes in and begins assisting Mephisto while NOTHING pulls himself to his feet, pushes the medical staff away, and begins making his way through the crowd and away from the ring.
MM: NOTHING has vanquished perhaps his greatest foe, Vincent! The one man who has had NOTHING’s number for the greater part of a year has been laid out here in Los Angeles and NOTHING survives to walk away on his own power!
VA: If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it! This was unreal!
MM: The medical staff is down here attending to Jacob Mephisto who has still not moved, but NOTHING is just walking through the crowd who are more on his side now than ever before!
VA: That may be even MORE unbelievable, Malone – these people love this sicko!
YOUR WINNER BY A COUNT OF 2 FALLS TO 0 – NOTHING (28:39)
MM: Folks, we’ve got a lot more action to come tonight, and so while we get the ringside area cleaned up, right now we’d like to show you some exclusive footage, filmed on location at EWA Headquarters in Boston earlier this week. I had the privilege of sitting down with Michael Draven for an in-depth interview, discussing a variety of topics, including his horrific injury at the hands of Indrid Calder, and if he plans to return to the squared circle.
VA: Malone, why did you waste your time talking to that has-been? Indrid Calder wiped him off the face of the planet, and he’s a nobody that doesn’t even deserve our air time.
MM: And who would you have had me interview in his place?
VA: Me, obviously.
MM: Because you’re such an interesting subject?
VA: I’m fascinating, Malone. Simply fascinating.
MM: Right. In any event, let’s go now to this pre-recorded interview.
(We fade into the posh headquarters of the EWA, where a black backdrop has been set up, serving to contrast the two men seated in front of us – Mike Malone on the left, and Michael Draven, dressed in a sleeveless black EWA shirt and gym shorts, seated on the right. Draven’s leg shows two scars, one directly below the knee, and one at his lower shin. Malone begins to speak, nodding at Michael Draven.)
MM: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and I hope you’re all enjoying the events of Champions Summit III, when this interview is scheduled to air. As of this recording, it’s currently Monday, July 10, and I’m seated here with the former co-owner of EWA Entertainment, and one of the founders of this company’s rebirth, Michael Draven.
Michael Draven: Thanks for having me, Malone.
MM: Let’s get right down to it, Michael. The question on everyone’s mind, and I want to take everyone back to two months ago, on Friday, May 5. Indrid Calder assaulted you, Michael, and in one of the most vicious, sickening things we’ve ever witnessed in this industry, snapped your leg, causing you to be rushed to the hospital for surgery that night. The most important question, Michael Draven – how are you doing?
(Draven chuckles, absently massaging his shin as he begins to speak.)
Michael Draven: I’m doing as well as someone whose bone was sticking out the skin a few months ago can do, Malone. But joking aside, I’m doing great. I had a visit with my surgeon on Friday, who told me that the fractured tibia has healed completely alongside the rod inserted here (pointing to his shin), and he cleared me for normal day-to-day activities. I’ve been rehabbing it, and I have my days when it hurts like a bitch – I don’t do rain very well, as you can imagine. (Draven chuckles again.) But overall, I’m doing well, Malone.
MM: Let’s move on to other topics for now, such as what I’m seeing there on your left hand.
(Draven laughs, shaking his head.)
MM: I believe congratulations are in order?
(The former Tapout Champion looks down at the ring, smiling.)
Michael Draven: Yeah, you could say that. I’ve…I’ve done a lot of terrible things, Malone, but the fact is, some people refuse to give up on me, and stand by me regardless. It’s meant a lot to me, especially during this recovery.
MM: Let’s talk about that. The rumor mill has been churning away while you’ve been gone – you know the way this business works. You were known to be, at least prior to Live From London, in a…should we call it a relationship? Of some sort, nonetheless, with Sahara. If the rumors are to be trusted, and they’re certainly out there, you’re engaged to Maggie McIntyre, and yet Sahara is still living with the two of you as well. Would you care to comment on any of these rumors?
Michael Draven: Not particularly, Malone. Look, I’ll say this. I have a great deal of love for both Lauren and Maggie. They’re two completely different people who were there for me when no one else was. Our living situation as it currently stands…I believe unique would be an appropriate term for it. The situation has been…not without its challenges, but I believe right now everyone’s satisfied with the current arrangement, and I’ll leave it at that.
MM: Fair enough. Let’s move on to your greatest rival in your storied career, and that’s Alexander Haven, the EWA owner and World Heavyweight Champion. What is the status of your relationship with Mr. Haven?
Michael Draven: Alex and I…
(Draven pauses, searching for the correct words.)
Michael Draven: I don’t know that I would go out and say Alexander Haven is my friend, per se. What I will say is that after nearly eighteen years of this bad blood between us, we found a common bond with one another at, and not to speak for Alex, but I think this is fairly accurate, at a dark time in both of our lives. I wouldn’t go as far to say that Alex is a good man, but there’s a mutual respect between the two of us, after everything we’ve been through, that simply wasn’t there nine or twelve months ago. So in short, I respect the man, and we’re certainly on speaking terms.
MM: Are the Three Kings still a thing?
Michael Draven: You’d have to ask Alex or Marty that. I haven’t spoken with Marty since my injury.
MM: And Mr. Haven?
Michael Draven: I speak with Alex about once a week. He and Alyssa, to their absolute credit, have been great to me during my recovery from this injury.
MM: Do you believe he did the right thing in turning his back on Chris Kage?
Michael Draven: I…
Michael Draven: Alex has to do what’s best for Alex. He feels that Chris Kage was not what’s best for Alexander Haven, or the EWA. Does that justify what Alex did? Does my mindset during Tokyo last year justify what I did when I drove a vehicle into my brother? I think that’s really a question you’d have to direct at Alexander Haven, although quite frankly, I wouldn’t expect an answer.
MM: Fair enough. Let’s address the elephant in the room, then, and that’s your in-ring career and Indrid Calder. Are you looking to get back into the ring and exact revenge against Indrid Calder? Or…is this the end for Michael Draven?
(A long pause, as Draven bows his head, contemplating the question. A few moments pass, and Malone starts to open his mouth to retort, but Draven cuts him off.)
Michael Draven: I’ve given that question a lot of thought, Malone, and I’m not prepared to answer it at this time, but I’ll go through my thought process with you.
On one hand…this business is destructive. I met an absolutely wonderful woman here, almost two years ago, and this business nearly drove us apart. The wrestling industry has destroyed my family, my relationship with my brother, my leg…you name it, it’s found a way to wreck it. We go out there weekly and put our bodies on the line. We make a lot of money and entertain a lot of people, but…is it worth it? Something happens along the way, Malone. This business corrupts us all, eventually. Look at someone like Laura Seton. A wholesome, wonderful woman. I have nothing but kind words to say about her…and now she’s out there fighting her fiance, cursing and dropping f-bombs, which is completely out of character for her. Look at Grace Goeren. Alexander Haven. Azrael Goeren. Myself. Maggie. Even Sahara. We’ve all done vile, wretched things in the name of professional wrestling. When does it end? When is it enough? Couple that with the fact that, for the first time in a long time, I’m happy right now. I’m content in life.
MM: And yet..
(Draven laughs, nodding.)
Michael Draven: Exactly. And yet..
(The laughter fades, and his face becomes serious, passionate, even.)
Michael Draven: The thrill of competition. The rush of hearing the fans roar, whether they’re booing or cheering…I’ve never understood why anyone in this business could ever become addicted to drugs, Malone. Being out there? That’s the fix. That’s the drug. It’s intoxicating. And there’s the matter of not wanting to go out with your leg dangling from a cement block. It’s a shitty way to end a career. I’ve never won a World Heavyweight Championship, Malone. Not once in my life. So I don’t have that knowledge of what it’s like to stand at the top of the mountain. And I’ve accepted that. Once upon a time, that was what drove me. I came close, many times, but never quite pulled it off.
MM: So in a hypothetical return to the ring for Michael Draven, what would drive you?
(A grim expression falls over the face of the former co-owner.)
Michael Draven: You’re an intelligent man, Mike Malone. I don’t think I have to answer that question.
MM: Indrid Calder.
Michael Draven: Exactly.
(Malone reaches across, shaking the hand of Michael Draven.)
MM: Whatever you decide, I wish you nothing but the best, Michael Draven. It’s been an honor to speak with you today.
Michael Draven: The pleasure’s all mine.
(The two men stare at the camera, as we fade back to ringside, with Malone and Vincent Ashe.)
MM: I certainly had an enlightening conversation with Michael Draven, who revealed for the first time that he truly doesn’t know if he’s going to come back to the EWA at all.
VA: Of course he’s not, Malone. You saw it in his eyes during that entire interview. The man is absolutely terrified of what Indrid Calder would do to him. He’ll never step foot around here again!
MM: I hardly think that terrified is the appropriate word here, Vincent. He seemed very resolved that if he were to come back —
VA: — he’d get absolutely destroyed. You know it, I know it, and the whole world knows it. “I never won a World Title!” Boo-frickin’-hoo! Joke. Washed up. Has-been. Stay away, Draven. Leave your little harem here to do your dirty work so they can get destroyed too, and I’ll at least have something nice to look at in the process.
MM: You’re disgusting.
VA: So is Sahara. What’s your point?
MM: (sighs) Let’s go backstage once more!
(Cronos Diamante sits in his locker room, covered in sweat from his recent contest with the now former EWA Network Champion; Natalie Burrows. The honor and privilege of the championship now fell to him, the former Mercenary for hire turned Champion for hire. The EWA Network Title hangs on his shoulder, proudly displayed even if his only company in the room is his associate, and partner in crime, Slade Volkov. Slade tosses Cronos a bottle of water wearing a proud smile on his face. He never doubted the ability Cronos had to defeat Natalie but that he would do so in such a dominating fashion is something he didn’t consider.)
Slade Volkov: I’m still stunned by the fact that you didn’t finish her off with the Ne-Han, Cronos. I assumed you finish every big match of your career with your definitive move.
(Cronos smirks and takes a long swallow of his bottled water, almost half of it in fact.)
Cronos Diamante: No disrespect intended to Natalie but if I can finish an opponent without resorting to my most devastating weapon in my arsenal, I most certainly will do so. I just didn’t feel there was a sense of urgency to resort to the Ne-Han.
(Slade nods and holds up his hand for a high five and Cronos instantly offers up his hand to his partner.)
Slade Volkov: You did it man! Now that you’re a Champion for hire like you said you would be, we can begin to exploit that with our clients from here on out.
Cronos Diamante: You can bet your ass we’re going to do that, Slade. Others see a championship as a place where you can only decline from. I see it as exactly the opposite. We can now use this to launch our business to greater heights.
(Cronos finishes off his water and throws it at the trash can near the door but it bounces off the lid and falls to the floor.)
Cronos Diamante: Drats. Missed. Now that we’re on the other side of this, however, we can focus on the new job you were contacted about. You wanna give me the lowdown on that, Slade?
(Slade meets the gaze of Cronos with a look of concern and worry about the mention of the job that he previously wouldn’t have. Cronos cocks his head to the side trying to understand where the concern is coming from.)
Cronos Diamante: Slade?
(Slade doesn’t answer at first and instead stands up to pack up. In the short months that Cronos has been involved in EWA, Slade has come to know the man much better than he ever did at Paladin International and he’s obviously quite concerned with what the new job may mean for Cronos’ state of mind.)
Slade Volkov: The new job should be discussed back at the hotel, away from prying ears. Even the slightest chance that it gets out to the locker room would prematurely end the contract.
(Slade’s professionalism seems to be enough to sate Cronos’ apprehension with Slade’s concerned countenance. For the time being.)
Cronos Diamante: Good call. Perhaps the win over Burrows has dulled my business sense, da?
(Slade offers up a smirk at Cronos mimicking Slade’s Russian nuances.)
Slade Volkov: Da, com… Champion.
(Fade to ringside.)
CAL RAYNER VS WILLIAM WEST
LAST MAN STANDING MATCH
NR: The following contest….. is the LAST! MAN! STANDING MATCH!
The crowd lets out a cheer, anticipating the violence about to come before them.
MM: A lot of people have been waiting for this for a long time. Despite NOTHING’s big triumph earlier tonight, it seems that HATE is starting to crack at the seams.
VA: I think it’s more that Cal Rayner is getting set to cut away the dead weight in the form of Crybaby Crippler.
MM: So the man has a battle with his conscience, and he’s a crybaby?
VA: I’ll just put it this way: my friends and I have a drinking game where we do a shot every time West cries.
MM: So you and whatever hooker you happen to be paying for?
VA: What I do with my friends is none of your business.
Just then, the lights cut out.
Many in the audience being out cell phones, and use the flashlight feature to get a glimpse of what’s going on. It isn’t long before a familiar voice hits the PA.
It seems strange my life should ennnnnnnn-
The audio stretches, and then is cut, followed by static. The crowd buzzes with anticipation, and is met with a new song to play.
I hear the voices echoing around me
Angered eyes that don’t even know who I am
Looking to kill again
They will kill again
The lights come back on, but not one man is present.
As the unknown enemies surround me
Wicked laughter resonates inside my head
And I am filled with dread
Instead, there are nearly fifty. And not just men. There are some women and even a couple children.
What did I do, why do I deserve this?
So we’re different, why do I deserve to die now?
Give me a reason why.
The crowd filling the entrance ramp are all dressed differently, but the one thing that ties them all together is the mask of The Masochist adorns each of their faces.
Then it all goes a blur
Let instinct take flight
Find my hands at his throat
Yet hear myself say tell me now
One man moves through the crowd, hood pulled up, but face clearly visible. There is no mask on this man.
Who taught you how to HATE?
Cause it isn’t in your blood
Not a part of what you’re made
So let this be understood
The jaw of William West is clenched tight, jutting out at a grotesque angle as he makes his way through the crowd, not one of them looking away from the ring. There are fading bruises on his face and his wrists, but his teeth are clenched and his eyes echo with fury.
Somebody taught you how to HATE
When you live this way, you become
The Masochist is ready for pain.
Dead to everyone
NR: Introducing first, hailing from Las Vegas, Nevada, and weighing in at two hundred and thirty eight pounds…
West has made his way through the crowd and pulls himself up to the apron, spinning around and hooking his arms on the ropes. The hood has fallen, and his face and all of his anger is clearly visible.
NR: He is The Masochist…..Willlllllllliaaaaaaam ……. WESSSSSSSSST!
MM: Has William West recruited an army?
VA: He’s gonna need an army to take down a Titan here tonight.
Disturbed’s “Who Taught You How To Hate?” fades out as West enters the ring. He faces the entrance ramp, waiting for his former brother in arms. As if on cue, each of the masked people on the ramp turn one eighty, facing the entrance as well.
END THIS SUFFERING
“Monster” kicks on, and any adulation saved for William West promptly dies. The fans are vocal in their distaste for the Titan of HATE, as Cal Rayner lumbers through the curtain.
MM: Rumor has it there was an altercation, of sorts, this week between Rayner and West.
VA: Probably why Crybaby looks like a pound of hamburger. Now he’s gotta do last man standing with a man twice his size? A real life monster? This idiot has zero chance.
Something slips from Rayner’s arm, dangling in his hand.
The Titan of HATE has brought a noose with him to battle.
MM: I don’t like the look of that rope. Seems like Rayner is planning a public execution.
Rayner begins his march to the ring, approaching the mass of Masochists standing before him. They don’t move, but the masked Titan begins to shove the men out of his way, a loud, dry cackle being heard from under the burlap.
VA: Hahahaha! Those idiots are getting knocked over like Bowling Pins!
Rayner continues his walk, nearing a small group of masked people, mainly the women and children in the center of the ramp.
William West has seen enough. He blazes through the ropes, and heads straight towards his former ally!
MM: Nikki, you can sit on down! This fight is ON!
West collides with Rayner, leaping up and peppering the giant with right hands to the facial area! The former Dredd staggers back from the blows, not loosening his hold on the rope in his right hand! The bell rings, and the match is now officially started!
West doesn’t waste time, taking the fight right to his much larger adversary! His assault to the head and face of Cal Rayner continues, as West seems to pay no heed to the pain in his knuckles with every blow that connects!
Rayner, to his credit, stands his ground. He blocks a right hand, and connects with one of his own, knocking the former Crippler off his feet! All of the masked men and women have scattered now, leaving the two Warriors to duke it out!
VA: Did you see that? All those punches West threw, and it took ONE SHOT from Rayner to take him down! Get your stopwatch ready, folks!
West tries to get quickly to his feet, but Rayner plows into him, driving the heel of his boot into the side of the Masochist’s head.
West crashes into the guardrail, and falls to the arena floor! Referee Juan Cardillo is right there in the middle of the action, ready to count!
MM: God, could it be over already?
VA: I hope it! Rayner’s just getting warmed up!
West pulls himself upright, only to be tackled into the guardrail once more! Rayner unloads another stiff right hand, that thick rope clutched tight in his first, and finds the mark! West’s head snaps back, and he slumps into a pile of hurt as the crowd at large tries to rally him early.
MM: The people are firmly behind The Masochist tonight, but is that going to be enough?
VA: Ell oh ell. Not a chance!
Rayner wraps the rope around his fist now, and is pummeling West as he sits. West can barely even attempt to cover up as punch after punch finds it’s mark on his head and face.
Rayner lifts West, nearly lifeless already, to his feet and begins to practically drag him to the ring.
MM: West is busted open already! You might have been right, Vince. This might not last long.
VA: I told you, Malone! And McIntyre is gonna learn herself tomorrow night, you can’t just leave HATE unscathed!
Rayner tosses his rope onto the apron of the ring and grabs West by the hair. He violently slams the Masochist face first into the steel ring stairs!
MM: West is just prone, after that horrible shot to the face! Rayner is gathering some distance here. I don’t like the look of things here.
Rayner turns and charges towards William West!
West moves! Rayner crashes knees first into the steel stairs!
MM: The Titan of HATE has crashed and burned!
VA: The history of knee injuries might come into play! Lunatikk Tearjerker might have lucked into an opportunity!
Blood runs down the face of West in thin lines, as Rayner is on the ground, writhing in pain! West is on his feet, propped up against the ring as Cardillo begins a count for Cal Rayner!
RAYNER SITS UP!
MM: Pain or no, Cal Rayner isn’t gonna give up that easy!
The count stops as Rayner brings his large body to his feet. West sees this and gets a running start, leaping off the steel stairs, fist cocked for a knockout shot!
But the Titan of HATE catches the former Pillar, and quickly drives him into the ringpost!
VA: Hope West likes Jello. Not only is his spine now made of the stuff, but it might be the only thing he’s able to eat when Rayner is through!
The audible gasp of pain send shivers through the crowd the moment in leaves the mouth of William West. Rayner’s grip doesn’t slacken, as the huge monster charges forward again, and once more rams West spine first into the unforgiving steel post!
VA: It think the ring just moved on that one!
Rayner turns, West still in his clutches, and just FLINGS the Masochist into the barricade, and West is limp on the floor!
MM: The former Dredd is just…..manhandling the former Crippler!
VA: Kid’s gonna regret opening his big trap now, Malone!
Referee Cardillo gets between Rayner and West, a dangerous spot to be, and begins to count!
West tries to push himself up, but to no avail.
West begins crawling to the nearby announce booth.
VA: Don’t bring the fight over here! The ring is that way!
West makes it to the announce position, at the feet of Vincent Ashe!
MM: Dear god, I hope he washes his hands after this! He’s using Vincent Ashe to pull himself up!
VA: Let….. me…. GO!
Ei- West is on his feet!
MM: It seems the, ah, weight of my colleague has provided something stable enough for West to pull himself to his feet!
VA: We’re about to get run over and you make a fat joke? LOOK OUT!
Rayner charges the announce booth, but luckily enough, both West and Ashe are able to escape Cal’s path!
Rayner charges straight through, tripping over Ashe’s chair and hanging himself on the stomach over the barricade! A bloodied West moves fast, snatching up a nearby steel chair and swings!
The THWOCK echoes across the arena as West brings the chair down in the monster’s back! A second shot finds its mark, and West connects with the left knee of Cal Rayner!
VA: Am i back?
MM: Unfortunately. No. Vince. Don’t get too close to the action.
VA: He actually…. he fucking broke that chair on Rayner’s knee!
MM: Language, Vince! He- holy crap, he DID!
One of the legs has broken off the chair in West’s iron grip. The rest of the chair hits the ground with a clatter, West still hanging onto the leg!
And Cal fucking Rayner is limping, BUT STILL ON HIS FEET!
VA: He’s an actual monster!
West doesn’t hesitate! He uses the leg of the chair like a baton and begins hitting any spot on the Titan’s body he can! His teeth are clenched and there’s cold fury in his eyes! But William West keeps swinging!
VA: He’s going all LAPD on Dredd!
Knee! Shoulder! Ribs! Knee! Face! Face! Face! So many lows but Rayner is only STAGGERING! Cal Rayner’s legs look as steady as pudding as West throws down the chair leg in frustration. He goes underneath the ring and find something special.
A silver tipped Singapore Cane!
He raises it in the air, and the crowd ROARS!
VA: Here comes the Albert Pujols blast!
West swings hard!!
AND CAL RAYNER CATCHES THE CANE UNDER HIS ARM!
VA: If I cared enough to offer West some advice, it would be FLY, YOU FOOL!
The color drains from West’s face as Rayner pulls on the cane and brings West hurtling into his grasp! West hits Rayner full force and falls to the ground! Rayner audibly snarls and grabs a fist full of West’s hair, while still cradling the cane, and yanks the Masochist to his feet!
VA: Someone get that man so Rogaine! He’s gonna need it! Search Grady Smith’s dressing room!
Rayner CARRIES West on his shoulder and dumps him into the ring! Rayner rolls under the bottom rope and is still the first to his feet, even with West’s attacks to the knee!
MM: What is Cal Rayner planning now?
With one arm, Rayner shows his power, hefting the two hundred and thirty eight pound man back to his shoulder. With his free hand, he uses the Singapore cane to call his shot!
VA: Malone! He’s gonna cherry bomb him!
VA: You know. When you wanna play baseball but you don’t have enough guys to pitch? He’s gonna throw that HATE reject in the air and beat him with his own cane!
Rayner gets set to do just that, but West grabs for the Titan’s eyes!
MM: The mask! Cal Rayner’s mask is off!
West slips off the back of the Titan, bringing the mask off with him! Rayner, shocked, drops the cane!
West is almost too quick to oblige! He takes one swing, catching Rayner right between the eyes!
The crowd cringes, waiting for the crack, but it doesn’t come! Rayner drops to the mat like a sack of potatoes and West disposed of the cane!
VA: Where’s the sound? Ooooooooh! Look!
The camera gets a good shot at the tips of the cane, but they aren’t just tips.
ITS PART OF THE CANE ITSELF!
MM: That cane is FILLED with steel! There’s no crack because metal doesn’t making a cracking sound!
VA: Unless you crack a skull with it!
Juan Cardillo is checking on the motionless Rayner, and now he makes the count!
MM: No movement from the Titan of HATE!
VA: This has got to be it!
CAL RAYNER SITS UP! He is rising to his feet, and the camera gets a good hard look at his bare face!
VA: Oh god! It’s hideous! Disgusting!
MM: Folks, this is the first time in a long time we’ve seen the face of Cal Rayner! All those scars. Those cuts…
VA: Wait, what? No, some douchebag just sent me a picture of Maggie and Sahara making out from the last Champion’s Summit. It’s vile! Boo!
MM: You disgust me.
VA: Every woman not named Grace Goeren disgusts me. Hallowed be her name!
West has collapsed back to a seated position, the burlap mask still clutched in his hand. Rayner is unsteady, a trickle of blood running between his eyes from the Singapore Cane shot moments ago. But he still stands, clutching onto the top rope. West is a positively bloody mess, and he can barely see through all the crimson.
He groped around, ditching the burlap for something else. Something that lay forgotten in the corner of the ring.
William West has found Rayner’s noose.
MM: Oh, no! Don’t do it, Will! He can’t be thinking-
VA: He is! Oh my god, I actually like this! He’s going back to his HATEful ways!
West is back to his feet, but barely. Rayner turns around and sees the Masochist, a look of fury and incredulousness on his face.
The Titan charges!
West somehow dodges Rayner, and leaps onto his back!
MM: He’s got that noose around Rayner’s throat!
VA: Don’t sound so appalled! You know damn well Rayner brought that down here to do the very same thing to this Judas!
MM: You’re absolutely right! The monster Rayner is about to go down at the hand of his own sword so to speak!
VA: Say that part about me being right again, my recorder wasn’t going. Imma make that my new ringtone.
West is struggling to tighten the noose, as Rayner is fighting it. Rayner surges backward, crushing West between his massive frame and the turnbuckle he exposed earlier! West bellows in pain, but he hangs on! Rayner is flailing his arms out now, as West begins to tighten the rope. The Titan steps forward a bit, and charges back once again!
This time, the impact causes West to slip from Rayner’s back. Cal goes to move away, but is jerked to the ground!
MM: OH MY GOD I CAN’T BELIEVE IT! Dropping West gave the Masochist the opportunity he needed to tighten that noose! William West is strangling Cal Rayner!
Rayner is struggling frantically, grasping at the rope around his neck! West pulls with all his might, hooking his arm around the ring rope, clasping his hands together around the rope, pulling as hard as he can!
MM: This is…this is hard to watch!
VA: This is AWESOME to watch! This is desperation in its fullest capacity! This is vengeance! This is HATE!
Both competitors’ faces have gone red: West from effort to keep the rope in his grasp, Rayner from lack of oxygen.
Rayner continues to struggle as his tongue begins to swell and protrude from his mouth. His flailing arms become slower, as his face turns from red to a sickly shade of puce.
Some of the crowd turns away, unable to watch. The more rabid of fans are cheering West on, as finally….FINALLY…. the Titan is still!
West relinquished his grip on the rope, and nearly collapses in the corner.
Cal Rayner has not moved.
Juan Cardillo checks on the monstrous Rayner, and begins his count!
VA: Wait, I changed my mind! He cheated!
MM: West has just choked the life out of his former friend! Cal Rayner hasn’t even twitched!
VA: GET UP CAL!
Cal Rayner’s leg twitches slightly, but he does not try to rise!
The bell rings, and West finally does collapse in a heap in the corner.
NR: Here is your winner……the Masochist! William West!
MM: The Titan has been slain! God, what brutality!
YOUR WINNER: WILLIAM WEST (19:13)
West crawls out of the corner, and once again finds the burlap mask of Cal Rayner. He struggles over as “Who Taught You How To Hate?” blares on.
He reaches Rayner, who still lays prone in the ring, and pulls the mask awkwardly over the Titan’s head.
MM: William West helped to create the monster that Cal Rayner had become after the Final Solution. And tonight, that monster has been slain by one of his creators!
VA: I got to give it up for this prick. He took a major beat down at the hands of Cal Rayner and-wait wait WAIT!
West plays to the crowd, soaking in the cheers from the at large Californians, but there are several cries of shock drowned out from behind him.
Cal Rayner isn’t just stirring.
He has just sat bolt upright!
MM: How is that possible?!
Rayner climbs up to his feet, and wrenches the noose free from his neck. He quickly approaches William West from behind and grabs a huge handful of the man’s hair!
VA: Look at your winner now! He can’t believe what he’s seeing!
MM: Neither can I!
Rayner hoists West into the air and drives him into the canvas with a thunderous reverse choke slam! The Masochist lays motionless in the ring, his last bit of energy expended.
VA: I don’t think Rayner cared about winning or losing here! He only cares about one thing and we’re about to see it!
Rayner has looped the noose around the neck of William West, who is unable to fight back! The Titan steps on West’s back and begins to pull! West is now feeling the same suffocation he just inflicted upon Cal Rayner himself!
VA: Who’s gonna save this dope now, Malone? He’s got no friends! Nobody’s gonna stop the Monster from finishing this guy once and for all!
Just when it seems like things are truly hopeless and William West is going to be choked unconscious, or worse, the lights go out.
VA: Did someone forget to pay the power bill? I mean, you know how forgetful these LA potheads can be…
MM: I don’t think that is what is going on here.
When the lights come back on, in the ring stands a man clad in gold, silver, purple, and green. He stands six feet and six inches tall. The crowd begins to pop loudly, recognizes the man in the ring.
VA: OH MY GOD! NO WAY!
MM: That’s the former SHOOT Project Soldier and World Champion….
THAT’S JESTER SMILES!!!
Jester gives Cal Rayner a wink before spinning around and catching him RIGHT on the jaw with a spinning back kick! The big man releases his hold on the noose and crumbles to the ground, unconscious! West coughs and sputters, finally able to breathe. He looks up and sees Jester. He becomes…uneasy. He scrambles to his feet, wobbly and weak from the match and the post assault, but he takes a defensive stance.
MM: West and Smiles have a history together! Apparently, during West’s time in SHOOT Project, the two had a very bitter and personal feud!
Jester backs away from West, holding his hands up and making it clear he is not there to fight him. West doesn’t drop his defensive stance, but his expression shows confusion. Jester leaves the ring, the crowd cheering for his arrival and West’s victory. Jester high fives some fans as he leaves, but when he gets to the top of the ring, he turns around and locks eyes with West. He applauds him for his victory before leaving the back. West, clearly feeling safer, and also not wanting to risk another resurrection of Rayner, exits the ring and limps towards the back, winded and battered, but still victorious. At the top of the ramp, he holds his hands up high, the crowd popping again for his victory.
VA: Well, what an idiotic way to debut. We have another SHOOT Project part timer here, but this idiot has decided to start a war with HATE.
MM: I don’t fully understand Jester’s actions here, but he has made a strong statement, laying out Cal Rayner. Let’s also not forget that William West, before any of the post-match shenanigans, laid out Cal Rayner for a ten count, and that victory cannot be discounted. Let’s head to the back!
(The time for talking is over as far as Laura Seton and Ray Willmott are concerned. Both have been at each others’ throats for months. Lovers one minute, seemingly enemies the next. But all that seems to be ready to come to a head at Champions Summit 3. Ray Willmott has been tense backstage, his head all over the place, his heart in conflict. But he knows what awaits him. He knows what he has to do. The biggest test of his mental resilience lies in wait.
Backstage, Allison Haines is standing by, microphone in hand, gently moving a long blonde lock out of her eyes. With a smile, she begins to talk.)
Allison Haines: Up next, one of the most personal battles on a card filled with personal rivalries. An unexpected match months in the making between the seemingly former power couple in the EWA. Laura Seton vs Ray Willmott.
(She clears her throat.)
Allison Haines: With me, I have former EWA World Heavyweight Champion, ‘Red Hot’ Ray Willmott, and I have to ask you, outright, how are you feeling?
(The camera pans across to a despondent looking Ray Willmott. His body language looks frozen, his face seems to have dropped. He barely looks like he’s slept, but he’s here and he’s ready.)
Ray Willmott: Hey Allison.
(He clears his own throat and runs a hand through his hair.)
Ray Willmott: Honestly? I feel like shit. I feel like a broken man that has been put through the ringer and left out to dry. My heart hurts, my soul itches, my head is spinning. But I am here. I am ready to do battle if that’s what it takes. Because that’s what is expected.
(He wipes his face with the back of his hand.)
Allison Haines: But nobody really expected this. I mean, you seem to truly love each other and care about one another. How can you actually go out there and just … fight?
Ray Willmott: I’ll be honest, Allison. I don’t know how to do this. I’m willing to bet most of the men and women in this locker room couldn’t fathom fighting the person they love. Sure, we see a lot of grudges between people who used to be in a relationship. But when you’re kissing, holding hands, cuddling, feeling things for the person in the opposite corner, that’s enough to mess with anyone’s head.
Allison Haines: So how do you compete with that? What do you do?
Ray Willmott: I can’t hesitate. I can’t blink. I can’t … I can’t be afraid to do the things that come naturally to me in there. The people I’ve beaten, the places I’ve visited, the matches … Wars I’ve been in. I know her game plan as well as anyone, I know what the Twenty Minutes of Terror are capable of and … it scares me, Allison. I’m not going to lie. But I can’t retreat. I can’t hide or shrivel up and surrender. For her sake and mine.
Allison Haines: Why did you take this match? What possessed you to even do this if you don’t want to even be in there.
Ray Willmott: I know what this match can do for Laura’s career, Allison. I know she needs to reset and get back into the title picture. I know that drives her more than anything else in life right now. More than family, more than me and our engagement. She’s at peak fitness. She’s in the shape of her life. She’s not ready to burn out and fade away as some might predict.
I know those two EWA World Title reigns HURT her. More deeply than any of you know. She’s capable of better. She deserves better. And she will get that tonight when the dust settles.
Allison Haines: And what about you? What about your title aspirations?
Ray Willmott: I have them, of course. I’m still hungry. I’m healthy. And the world will see that tonight, whether I want to be in that ring or not.
Allison Haines: You say healthy but there’s been speculation you’re not as fit as you’d like us to believe. Care to comment?
(The former World Champion just smiles at Allison Haines and gives her a nod.)
Ray Willmott: I’m as ready for this as I’ll ever be. Hope you enjoy it.
(With that, Ray Willmott walks out of shot leaving Allison all alone again. She just shrugs as the camera pans out.)
(Sahara rolls her neck on her shoulders and stretches out, the ravishing blonde mentally and physically preparing herself for what will be one of her greatest tests within the squared circle tonight.
She’s so focused on stretching that she never even notices the dark silhouette of a Stranger watching her from an open doorway. His approach is swift and graceful, almost like a tomcat in the mood to play with his absolute favorite mouse.
Sahara’s gaze narrows when she notices him, those sapphire eyes flashing warily. Calder merely adjusts the sleeves of his immaculate gray suit before favoring her with a familiar thin smile.)
Indrid Calder: You’re looking good enough to eat, Lauren. But that’s the usual for you…
(He brings his fingertips together while studying all the little movements of her facial expression.)
Indrid Calder: Might I offer my congratulations? My little spiders witnessed the ceremony firsthand with their many sets of eyes, and I’ve been told that it was an extravagant affair. Unique. Progressive. A beautiful event to commemorate a true 21st century power couple in the form of Maggie McIntyre and her hobbled husband…
(Calder watches closely as the confusion spreads across Sahara’s face. For the briefest of moments she looks wounded, but it’s clear she has no idea what he’s talking about. He bites his bottom lip just slightly, his knife-blue eyes transforming into seas of endless blue sympathy.)
Indrid Calder: Oh, Lauren. Surely they included you? I mean…you’re an important part of their little polyamorous experiment. Perhaps your invite got lost in the mail? I wouldn’t worry. I’m sure it’s nothing. I’ve been told they wanted a very…intimate ceremony.
(She shivers in her place as gooseflesh covers her skin while she stares into the eyes of the Stranger. It was the way he spoke. The way he moved. Everything about him made her skin crawl.
But what he said couldn’t be true.
It just couldn’t be.
She shakes her head in defiance.)
Sahara: N-no. No. Ya know what?! Nice try, but I ain’t lettin’ you get into my head, creepy little Stranger. I know what you’re doing, and it’s not gonna work. Michael, Maggie and I are the best thing that’s happened to me…you already tried to get at me but couldn’t get the job don–
(Calder suddenly takes a step forward silencing her. The suddenly jumpy blonde backs up a step to keep distance between them. Staring at her a moment, he takes notice of her defensive demeanor and then takes another step forward. And another. She suddenly feels the wall behind her, glancing to her left and right, wondering if the Hive would suddenly swarm her.
Calder can’t help but grin at how nervous Sahara has become. A beautiful woman in distress…like some work of macabre art for him to appreciate at his leisure. He sighs, casually lifting up one arm and placing a hand against the wall, his pallid and hollow-cheeked face almost inches from her own.)
Indrid Calder: All things considered, I think you made the right choice, Lauren. The safe choice. If inducted into the ranks of HATE, you would have been your own god. There would have been worship, and blood sacrifices ever so plentiful. You’d indulge in all the delicious earthly sins…wrath, lust, greed…ya know…all the really FUN ones. A taste of pleasures unimaginable…but alas, that is a path you spurned. You’ve chased another destiny. Life as a glorified…side piece. Maggie and Michael’s luscious toy…to be played with occasionally, and discarded and ignored when they REALLY want to enjoy their newfound relationship.
(Indrid shrugs and takes a step back, his expression wistful.)
Indrid Calder: Shame. I wonder if the fires beyond those sapphire eyes will ever truly be fed by such…minimalistic passion. I hope so. Even though you denied me, I’ll never deny the potential in you. It’s there for those with the right eyes to see. Such a pretty inferno…and will it burn even brighter tonight when you face Gaunt and Grace?
(Sahara looks left and right, but no other hive-kin make their presence known. It seems The Stranger intended for this to be a private meeting.)
Indrid Calder: Good luck. I really mean that, Lauren. I hope you tear out Grace Goeren’s throat and dance in a waterfall of her plasma. And give my best to Michael? I had hoped to get him a wedding gift, but I suppose he’ll have to settle for a shattered tibia…
(Indrid’s smile just grows larger.
Backed into the wall, she sucked in a sudden gasp of air, having forgotten to breath beneath the blanket of Calder’s suffocating presence. Until he backed away and gave her space, her thoughts had drifted to Michael and Maggie ever so briefly before she suddenly shakes it off, as if shaking off some sort of spell she’d fallen under. She stutters for a moment but finds her voice…and it brims with rage.)
Sahara: L-like I told you, Calder, it ain’t gonna work! I’m NOT some third fucking wheel with Michael and Maggie! You don’t know em’ like I do. You got that?! I’M NOT! And ya know what?! Good luck yourself when Maggie sticks it up yer ass tomorrow night, bitch.
(Sliding away from the wall, she slowly backs away from the Stranger, the expression on her face distant and cold.
Calder’s placid composure breaks for the briefest moment at the mention of his match with Maggie tomorrow night. The Banshee is his kryptonite, and that look of conflicted uncertainty passes ever so subtly across his face. He banishes the thought with a shake of his head, and he slowly begins to back up in the direction of the shadowed doorway from whence he came.)
Indrid Calder: Not the third wheel. Not the rickety, rusty, and replaceable third wheel…are you trying to convince me of that, Lauren?
(The shadows eat the Stranger up, and all that’s left is his lingering voice as his figure fades.)
Indrid Calder: …or are you trying to convince yourself?
(Fade to ringside.)
'RED HOT' RAY WILLMOTT VS LAURA SETON
Nikki Rogers: The following contest is scheduled for one fall! From Cardiff Wales, at a height of an event six feet tall, weighing in at exactly two-hundred pounds, the Welsh Warrior … Ray Willmott!
The crowd cheers as the lights dim and the opening riff of ‘Moth Into Flame’ by Metallica begins to play, red pyro bursts from either side of the stage as the graphic imagery of fire spreads down the rampway leaving Ray Willmott standing amidst the smoke on the stage. Dressed in the latest Willmott t-shirt with black tights, fire is emblazoned down the outside of his legs.
MM: I’m not sure Ray Willmott wants this match to happen, but he offered it, and Laura accepted. The look in his eyes. He just not … all there.
VA: It’s a showdown with the love of his life, Laura Seton, who seems hellbent on making a statement about who she is and was in regards to her fiancé and her standing in the EWA. I’ve almost never seen a similar course for two superstars on our roster in their meteoric ascent to the top and the subsequent fall…most of it through their own undoing.
MM: It’s a match I never thought we’d see, Ashe … and you can see it on his face, and the faces of many in this capacity crowd tonight. There’s just something tragic about all of this. It truly is sad, and after tonight, it’s safe to say things will never be the same between them.
VA: Maybe that’s what they wanted, Malone…to sabotage their own relationship.
As Willmott approaches the ring, he steps through the ropes and approaches the nearest corner and steps up onto the second rope, raising his chin to the ceiling, he spreads his arms out in an angelic pose, but mostly seems to be going through the motions.
MM: He’s definitely at war with himself here, Ashe…from what was once a friendship that blossomed into a memorable proposal to becoming one of the most amazing love stories in the EWA to what we’re about to witness tonight, I have no idea how we got from there to here.
VA: One word, Malone. Dube. Not that I’m on anyone’s side when it comes to this Lifetime trainwreck of a movie that is Ray and Laura, but everything was great in their relationship until Dube came back into the picture and dug up the past.
MM: We all have our skeletons, Ashe, and some are better left buried where they are.
With a visible sigh, Ray Willmott rests against the ropes as he awaits the woman he loves to step through those curtains to do what she does best.
NR: And the challenger, from Oshkosh Wisconsin, standing in at five foot eleven inches and one-hundred seventy-five pounds, former two-time world heavyweight champion, Lauraaaa Setonnnn!
A decidedly mixed reaction of cheers and boos spreads across the arena as the lights change to pink and purple, pulsating with the opening sounds of ‘Gunboat’ by Vixtrola and Laura Seton steps onto the rampway. Sporting a red leather jacket and full-length pants, covered by knee-high boots, she stands at the entrance overlooking the crowd, a look of sheer determination on her face as she gazes directly at the ring, her eyes locked on none other than Ray Willmott.
Laura suddenly begins walking toward the ring with a purpose, saying something to Ray along the way. Merely shaking his head, Ray watches as she approaches ringside. Walking up the ringside steps, Laura steps through the ropes as Rick Iley stands between the two competitors with his arms spread out, holding Laura away from her opponent.
“You wanted this, Ray…so let’s do it. Once and for all, let’s do it.”
MM: Laura means business…and her words to Ray are clear.
VA: She’s still gotta follow the rules, Malone, Iley hasn’t even called for the bell yet!
Stepping to the side, Iley calls for the bell as Laura instantly rushes forward and locks up with Ray, shoving him back into the corner with relative ease.
MM: He’s not even fighting back!
VA: Well, he’d better start, because she doesn’t appear to be holding back.
Releasing him, Laura says something as he takes a step out from the turnbuckles only to be shoved right back into them with authority. Shaking his head in response, Laura can be easily overheard, “Fight you coward … you said you’d fight, so FIGHT!”
For a brief moment, upon being called coward the look in his eyes change as the competitive fire emerges, but is quickly pushed back down as Ray waves her off, telling her this is a mistake.
MM: He’s literally pleading with her to think this through, but she’s having none of it. He asked for it, and now she’s bringing it.
VA: The things that have happened to her these past months have taken their toll physically and psychologically. What Grace Goeren and the Fallout did to her, ending her title reign such as they did, affected her in a way she’d long buried, and it’s bubbling up these past few weeks…
MM: Between that and Dube, and her relationship with Ray … I can’t say I blame her.
Stepping forward again as the two lock up for a third time, Ray shoves her back once again and shakes his head.
An “Ohhhhhhhhhhhh” washes over the crowd as Seton unleashes a flustered slap across Ray’s face leaving a red hand print in it’s wake. His head tilted to the side from the sheer impact before lifting his eyes and staring her down.
MM: Ya know, I have to wonder aloud, as I’m sure many of our fans are doing the same, what exactly happened that pissed Laura off to this extent? I just, I’m not sure I understand why she’s taking this out on Ray–
VA: If I understood women to that extent, Malone, I wouldn’t be a wrestling announcer.
MM: You can say that again…
VA: If I understood women to that extent, Malone, I wouldn’t be a wrestling–
MM: Very funny.
Stepping forward, Ray suddenly shoves Laura back into the turnbuckles which finally brings a smile to her face.
MM: Uh oh, this just got serious with a quickness!
VA: Did you say with a quickness?
The hesitation suddenly gone from Ray’s demeanor, Laura charges out from the corner and the two lock up, Ray eliciting a roar before SHOVING Laura back into the turnbuckles for a second time only Laura rebounds from the force of the shove and charges forward and SPEARS Ray to the mat! Getting up she begins raining down fists in a somewhat modified Thesz Press only for Ray to shove her off and scramble to his feet, falling against the ropes, wiping his mouth.
Immediately recovering, Laura grabs him by the arm and whips him off the ropes — hooking the top rope with his arm, Ray stops his momentum and quickly slips out through the bottom rope and drops out of the ring!
The fans ringside boo and a chant of, “Kick her ass”, starts to break out, slowly spreading across the capacity crowd.
“Kick her ass!”
“Kick her ass!”
MM: The fans seem have to had enough of Laura Seton tonight!
VA: I don’t think they can relate to her, Malone! Ray Willmott did what to her?!
MM: Pissed her off, that much is certain. Maybe she just wants to prove she’s his equal.
VA: She’s been EWA World Champion twice, what more proof does she need?
MM: We keep blaming her, but he’s just as much at fault here, he’s the one that issued the challenge!
Waving off the fans, which simply elicits more boos, Laura sits on the middle rope as if inviting Ray back into the ring. On the outside, Ray can be heard repeating the question, “Why are we actually doing this?”, a number of times as he paces ringside.
MM: At this point I think the fans just wanna see a fight, Ashe. I say get in there and give her what she wants, Ray!
VA: We finally agree! If she wants it, give it to her Ray — just not like everyone gives it to Sahara.
MM: Can ya just for once … stop?!
VA: What?! What did I say?
As Ray continues to question himself and the match on the outside, Laura Seton looks down at Ray, shaking her head, “You said let’s do this at the last Battlelines, that’s why…so let’s do it! Let’s get this out of the way…once and for all so we can get past this and just move on.”
“NOW GET IN THE RING, MOTHERFUCKER!”
The words ring loud and clear over the capacity crowd, bringing a bit of a hush to the fans.
VA: Guns n’ Roses, 1991, Malone.
MM: Thank you for such useless music trivia, Ashe.
VA: You’re welcome.
Looking up at Laura, Ray finally nods as he takes a step onto the stairs leading to the ring apron. The fans get louder as Ray steps through the ropes and locks eyes with Laura Seton.
After a brief staredown, Ray and Laura suddenly charge each other, locking up in the center of the ring. Lifting a knee to her midsection, Ray doubles her over and wrenches her over with a pump-handle slam into a pin.
Back to her feet in an instant, Laura goes for a closeline, which Ray ducks beneath, jumping up Ray hits her with a dropkick to the roar of the crowd.
MM: Ray’s bringing it now!
VA: It’s what she wanted.
MM: Maybe it’s what she needed. Maybe it’s what they both needed.
Grabbing Laura by the arm, Ray yanks her to her feet and sends her off into the ropes — REVERSAL! Laura sends Ray into the ropes and leaps up with a huge shoulder block takedown! Jumping up, Laura drops down with a elbow, before getting her to knees and dropping with another quick elbow. As Ray scrambles to his hands and knees Laura is there, yanking him up in a headlock!
MM: Snap DDT!
VA: Perfectly executed.
Planted head first into the mat, Ray literally stands upright on his head for a few moments before flipping onto this back. Springing up to her feet, Laura rushes to the corner and begins climbing the ropes!
VA: She’s going for the splash!
MM: NOT SO FAST!
Despite being groggy, Ray wobbles to his feet and falls back into the ropes, shaking them just enough to knock Laura off balance for a moment. Sliding his way across the ropes into the corner, Ray reaches up and knocks Laura for a loop with a huge right, slowly climbing the ropes to greet her at the top! Grabbing her around the waist as she steps to the top rope Ray wrenches back!
The crowd explodes!
MM: EXPLODER SUPLEX OFF THE TOP!
Landing on the tops of her shoulders, Laura rolls through, laying face down as Ray lays on his back clutching his shoulder.
VA: Ray landed awkwardly on that, Malone. He may have injured that shoulder on that, like they say…high risk, high reward.
MM: It’s said he’s been having difficulty with that rotator cuff, but let’s see how serious this is…Rick Iley is checking on him now.
As Ray gets to a knee, he rotates his arm, wincing in pain but nods to Iley who motions back to the center of the ring for the match to continue!
Standing over Laura Seton who finally begins to stir, Ray hooks his arms around her waist and pulls her up and over, GERMAN SUPLEX INTO A PIN!
VA: Almost isn’t enough!
Rolling over to the side, without releasing her, Ray lifts her again, A SECOND GERMAN SUPLEX INTO A PIN!
MM: AGAIN! HOW?! Where’s she getting this?!
VA: I don’t know, but he’s landing on that injured shoulder every time he does it–it’s taking it’s toll on both!
Rolling through Ray lifts her for a third time and drops back with third german suplex into a pin!
The crowd counts with referee Rick Iley…
MM: How is she doing this?!
Sitting up, running his hands through his hair, the look of disbelief on Ray’s face says it all!
MM: It’s this tenacity…this kind of fight that made her a champion, Ashe!
VA: There is no denying the punishment they’ve both doled out here tonight, but a person can only take so much before there’s nothing left to give.
Getting back to his feet, Ray stands above Laura before reaching down and grabbing her by the shirt, forcing her back to her feet. Bending her backwards he wraps his arm around her neck!
MM: He’s going for Echoes of Eternity! He’s gonna finish this once and for all!
VA: That’ll end it, Malone, she’s just got nothing left in the tank.
Holding his arm out, Ray looks up at the lights and lets out a roar and swings through, LAURA TWISTS OUT AT THE LAST SECOND AND SHOVES HIM OFF INTO THE ROPES LEAPING UP, LAURA CONNECTS!
MM: ANGEL’S FURY! ANGEL’S FURY!
Landing in a heap on top of Ray, Rick Iley slides into position!
MM: SHE DID IT! SHE DID IT!
A mixed reaction from the result has many fans on their feet cheering while others rain down the boo’s of disappointment.
VA: Unbelievable! Just when you thought she was done, she somehow reels off that last second desperation cartwheel kick…wow!
MM: It isn’t often my partner is wow’d by much in this business, so congratulations to you today, Laura Seton. Well fought match that could have gone either way.
VA: She wanted it more, plain and simple…
Laying back first over Ray as both stare up into the lights, Laura can be seen saying something — likely something to Ray Willmott — but what she said cannot be heard.
NR: Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of this match by pinfall, Laura Setonnnnn!
Rolling to his side, clutching his shoulder as Laura slides off his body, both slowly get to their knees. Leaning back looking up at the lights for a moment, Ray forces himself to his feet, nearly falling against the ropes in the process. Stepping back toward the center of the ring, Ray looks down at his hand before extending it out toward Laura Seton, who looks up at him.
MM: Finish this, Laura, finish this now. Take his hand and move on.
Looking from his hand up toward his face, Laura slowly shakes her head no as the fans begin to boo louder.
VA: She just can’t let this go, even in victory…
MM: It’s sad end to such–
Knocking his offered hand out of the way, Laura suddenly stands up and clasps Ray into her arms whispering something to him. Hugging her back, Ray leans back, slightly lifting her feet off the mat.
MM: Class, pure class!
Many in the crowd can be seen covering their faces, happy looks all around.
“Ray and Laura.”
MM: To some of you this may have just been a wrestling match, but to many of us that watched these two over the course of many months, or even years, it means so much more.
“Ray and Laura!”
MM: I’ll let the fans take it from here…
“Ray and Laura!”
*Clap* *Clap* *ClapClapClap*
“Ray and Laura!”
*Clap* *Clap* *ClapClapClap*
MM: We don’t get many happy endings here in the EWA, so for once, thank you. While the ecstasy may not last forever, it’s given us a moment too long in the making.
VA: Are you done narrating this Lifetime movie or what? We still got plenty of action left tonight!
MM: Can’t you ever just … shut up?!
VA: I’m literally paid to speak, Malone…so that’s a no. Anyway, congratulations to Ray and Laura…jokes aside, you two put on one hell of a show tonight.
As the two exit the ring talking to one another, they walk up the entrance ramp together. Just before disappearing into the back, Ray suddenly grabs hold of Laura’s wrist and stops her. Turning back toward the capacity crowd, Ray lifts Laura’s hand in victory and points at her to a thunderous ovation as Gunboat by Vixtrola hits the PA.
Releasing her hand, Ray holds his hands up and as the two competitors nod at each other, and take a bow before disappearing to the back with one final wave to the crowd.
YOUR WINNER BY PINFALL: LAURA SETON (13:01)
(The camera cuts backstage near the garage area where we find Allison Haines standing there with a cameraman focused on her.)
Allison Haines: We’re just moments away from the steel cage match between Grady Smith and his son, Martin Robertson. We’re expecting Grady to be coming through here any second…
(Right on time, wearing his traditional ring gear, but missing his infamous hat and duster, is Grady Smith. He stops when he sees Allison standing there with the microphone.)
Allison Haines: Grady… er, Mr. Smith…
Grady Smith: Grady is fine, Ms. Haines.
Allison Haines: Oh, ok. Grady, as you can see, the EWA staff is getting ready to start lowering the cage for your match coming up next. Do you have any final thoughts going into this match?
Grady Smith: Oscar Wilde one quipped ‘To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.’ One thing I’ve learned over the past eighteen months here is that the unexpected has become commonplace. So heading into any contest here, a person must know two things: themselves, and that something they could only imagine happening in their wildest dreams more than likely will occur at some point.
Allison Haines: What do you mean know themselves?
Grady Smith: It means knowing everything you’re capable of… and everything you’re not. I know one thing I’m not capable of is something like a 450 splash off the top rope. But I do know everything else that I’m capable of, and if I know what I can do, I know what I need to do in order to be victorious.
Allison Haines: You mentioned being victorious, so… if I may be so bold, all the speculation tonight has been around whether or not tonight is your last match. So I’ll ask the question: is tonight your last match.
Grady Smith: As I said earlier, a person must know two things: themselves, and to expect… the unexpected.
(Allison looks up at Grady with a blank stare, unsure of how to respond to Grady’s last statement.)
Grady Smith: However, I will leave you with this quote from the longest serving First Lady of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt: “You rarely achieve finality. If you did, life would be over. But as you strive, new visions open before you, new possibilities for the satisfaction of living.”
(Grady looks down at Allison, tipping his head towards the reporter before walking past Allison, leaving the garage area and heading towards the locker rooms.)
Allison Haines: Mike, Vince, back to you.
MM: Thank you Allison. It’s now time for the co-main event of the evening, Vince, as we watch the steel cage get lowered for the first time during our two nights here in Los Angeles… It’s time for Martin Robertson versus Grady Smith!
VA: I know over the past two years I’ve said a lot of really harsh things about Grady Smith, but knowing that this is probably his last match ever, I do feel kinda bad about it.
MM: That’s… very noble of you.
VA: Yeah, that I won’t get to do it anymore! So long, pops!
MM: … aaaaand there it is, folks.
VA: Out with the old, in with the new, Malone! That’s what I always say!
MM: When do you say that?
VA: I said it last night when the transvestite hooker from East Lo…
MM: Let’s go to the ring!
MARTIN ROBERTSON VS GRADY SMITH
STEEL CAGE GRUDGE MATCH
DING! DING! DING!
The lights in the arena dim, save a few spotlights shining down from above the steel cage as we watch it makes it final descension from the rafters and down around the ring.
NR: Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is scheduled for one fall, and will take place inside an enclosed steel cage! The only way for a participant to win is by either pinfall or submission.
As the lights go out in the arena, the glow from the jumbotron is the only brightness we see as the image on the screen shows a church setting. The stained glass window that resides in the back of the church is what is first visible. As the image stretches out, we start to see all of the other traditional items that you would expect to see in a church: a large cross with the figure of Jesus Christ hanging from it, a table clothed in beautiful drapes where an enormous bible rests open on it. Candles lit also sit on the table, with a golden chalice standing in the middle of the table.
As the image comes to rest, a single spotlight shines down upon the top of the entrance ramp. Standing in the middle of the spotlight is the Youth King, “Perfection” Martin Robertson. Wearing a black suit top, Martin stands behind a podium, adorned in purple cloths and the symbol of the Three Kings, the skull king, on the front of the podium. Martin closes his eyes for a moment before stepping up to the podium.
Martin Robertson: As I stand before everyone here tonight, I see many friends and family that have traveled vast distances to be here tonight to pay their respects to one man… Grady Smith. I am deeply humbled to see how many people’s lives he has touched throughout his life. However, I regretfully inform you that there is one person who’s life he has not touched or had a positive impact on during his life… and that’s mine.
MM: What the hell is Martin doing?
VA: Shut up, Malone. Bow your head and pay respects.
Martin Robertson: Now, I could list off all of the many accolades that Grady Smith has reached throughout his life… but I know a lot of people have flights to catch in the near future. There is one accolade you would never hear me speak of, though, and that is the accolade of being a devoted and loved father.
The boos coming from the crowd are building throughout the arena.
Martin Robertson: Because Grady Smith had love for only one person in his life, and that was himself. He was only concerned about the accolades of one person in his life, and that was himself. So everyone that has come here to pay their respects to Grady Smith, please begin to form an orderly line to the left of the stage, because in a short time, you will all bear witness to the final nail in the coffin of Grady Smith…
Martin, in a mocking manner, takes a tissue off the podium, batting it on his eyes before setting it back down on the podium and staring straight forward towards the ring with a stern look on his face.
Martin Robertson: Hail to the King.
“Hail to the King” begins to blare across the loudspeakers as Martin steps around the podium and rips off the tear away suit top, revealing his black “Youth King: Crowned Perfection” t-shirt. He starts to scream at the crowd, yelling at them as they yell right back at him before he starts to make his way down towards the ring.
VA: What an incredible eulogy given by Robertson!
MM: That was utterly ridiculous!
VA: Who cares… look at the determination plastered all over the Youth King, Malone!
MM: All Martin Robertson has talked about for the past three weeks is the chance to have his star shine brighter than his father ever had during his illustrious career. If there ever was an opportunity for that to happen, Vince, tonight has to be his night!
VA: You said it, Malone! His star WILL shine brighter than Old Man Yells at Clouds, and we’ll get to see just how bright it can get starting tonight!
Martin, with no hesitation, speeds up the steps and immediately climbs into the cage, bouncing off the ropes, anxious to get the match underway.
VA: Look at him, Malone! You can’t tell me that this kid isn’t going to be the biggest star our business has ever seen!
MM: Vince, I have never doubted the ability that Martin Robertson possesses, nor his potential for this business. But big time fighters prove themselves in big time matches, and this is definitely one of the biggest matches he has had so far in his young career!
As Martin starts to stretch himself out on the ropes, the lights in the arena go out once again…
MM: … But he’s going to be in for the fight of his life tonight, Vince, against this man about to come out!
With the lights out, the jumbotron comes to life again, but the image we’re seeing is of the hallway backstage near the wrestler’s locker room area. The white cinder brick wall illuminated by a number of fluorescent lights. EWA crew members are all scurrying around, working very busily until, suddenly, they all stop. Into the picture we see Grady walking down the hallway from his interview a mere two minutes ago as we hear a guitar playing over the loudspeaker (the song playing is “Casey’s Last Ride” by Johnny Cash)…
Casey joins the hollow sound of silent people walking down
The stairway to the subway in the shadows down below
Following their footsteps through the neon-darkened corridors
Of silent desperation, never speakin’ to a soul
Grady looks around at everyone, who’s just simply staring back at him as he continues to make his way towards the entrance ramp, giving us a rare glimpse of a wrestler’s movement from the locker room area towards the arena.
The poison air he’s breathin’ has the dirty smell of dying
‘Cause it’s never seen the sunshine and it’s never felt the rain
But Casey minds the arrows and ignores the fatal echoes
Of the clickin’ of the turnstiles and the rattle of his chains
Grady reaches the curtains blocking the backstage area from the rest of the arena. He stops for a moment, and as the camera turns, we see what he’s staring at. Janelle Smith, Grady’s wife, is standing there, a somber look on her face, holding both Grady’s black leather duster and black leather hat. A single tear starts to stream down her face as she extends her arms out towards Grady to hand him his ring gear, but Grady first reaches out with his right hand, wiping away the tear from his wife’s face.
“Oh!” she said, “Casey it’s been so long since I’ve seen you!”
“Here” she said, “just a kiss to make a body smile!”
Grady leans in, kissing Janelle right where the tear trail was before taking the duster from her and throwing it around his massive frame. He takes the hat from her hand, holding it by the top of the hat in his right hand. We see Janelle mouth the words ‘I love you’ to her husband before he leans in, giving her a hug that envelopes her within his frame. One final kiss before he places the hat on his head and steps past her and up the steps into the black curtain.
“See” she said, “I’ve put on new stockings just to please you!”
“Lord!” she said, “Casey can you only stay a while?“
The camera follows Grady through the curtain where we see a small catering set off in the corner of the brightly-lit room. The only person in the room is Grady, who reaches for a bottle of water. He then steps through another set of curtains, where we see a number of EWA production people, both standing and sitting, all who turn and look at Grady, stopping whatever they were planning on doing.
Casey leaves the under-ground and stops inside the Golden Crown
For something wet to wipe away the chill that’s on his bone
Seeing his reflection in the lives of all the lonely men
Who reach for any thing they can to keep from goin’ home
Grady looks around at everyone, who is looking right back at him. He takes the bottle of water, taking a quick drink before closing the bottle and setting it down on a table. He nods towards the group before making his way through the next set of curtains on the opposite side of the room.
Standin’ in the corner Casey drinks his pint of bitter
Never glancing in the mirror at the people passing by
Then he stumbles as he’s leaving and he wonders if the reason
Is the beer that’s in his belly, or the tear that’s in his eye
The final images are a split screen. On the right side is Grady, standing behind the final curtain that separates him from the arena where he’s about to battle Martin Robertson. On the left side is Janelle, walking through the backstage hallways until she reaches the door for Grady’s locker room.
“Oh!” she said, “I suppose you seldom think about me
“Now” she said, “now that you’ve a fam’ly of your own”
“Still” she said, “it’s so blessed good to feel your body!”
“Lord!” she said” “Casey it’s a shame to be alone!”
The image on the jumbotron goes black for a few moments, before the entire entrance stage is illuminated in orange and red lights…
See the fields burning…
See the fields burning…
Well I see the fields burning
‘Cause hell is coming through…
I can’t stop…
The Dogs of War…
“Dogs of War” by Blues Saraceno begins to blare throughout the arena as Grady steps through the curtain and out to the entrance stage, slowly striding to the top of the entrance ramp, where he stands, head down, but facing towards the ring, the steel structure, and his son, Martin Robertson.
MM: The legendary Grady Smith, making most likely his last appearance as an active wrestler in a professional wrestling ring, looks as great and ready for this match has he did for his first match nearly twenty years ago!
VA: The old man looks focused, Malone, but I’ll put money on it’s probably some new, uncontrolled substance the nursing home threw in his Metamucil drink earlier today more than anything!
MM: And knowing that his wife, and Martin’s mother, Janelle, is here backstage, there’s has to be a HUGE amount of pressure, on both of these men!
VA: For Grady, it’s not pressure… it’s probably just a full adult diaper. He better not poop in the ring like that chick fighter a few weeks ago!
MM: Why do you hate how old Grady is so much? If I remember right, he’s still younger than you!
VA: It’s only the second biggest thing I hate about Grady.
MM: Dare I ask what the first thing is?
VA: Everything else is tied for first!
MM: Vincent Ashe, ladies and gentlemen.
Grady pauses at the base of the entrance ramp, looking around at everything: the cage, his son Martin standing inside the ring already, the fans in attendance. For as stone-faced as Grady typically is, for probably the first time during this current run, we’re finally starting to see a bit of emotion come over the veteran.
MM: Listen to this ovation the crowd is giving Grady!
Grady, looking out at the crowd, gives a single wave to each side of the arena before making his traditional slow march up the steps and into the ring, holding his hat as he steps through the top and middle ropes. He steps to the middle of the ring, laser focused on Martin, who is in the far corner, uncharacteristically allowing Grady to have his moment in the ring.
“THANK YOU, GRA-DY!”
*clap, clap, clap clap clap*
“THANK YOU, GRA-DY!”
*clap, clap, clap clap clap*
That tiny bit of emotion we saw a minute ago, that momentary break from character for Grady is now gone, as the stoned face of the grizzled veteran has returned, even more evident as he removes the leather cowboy hat and duster without breaking eye contact with Martin, who continues to lean back in the corner.
MM: You can feel the animosity between father and son, here, Vince!
VA: Regardless of the fact that they are family, Malone, they do not like each other one bit!
MM: And that’s why we’re here tonight… Martin Robertson versus Grady Smith, locked inside of a steel cage…
DING! DING! DING!
MM: … and here we go, folks!
Grady slowly backs up to the corner, setting his hat on the ring post and his jacket over the exposed metal turnbuckle, never breaking eye contact with Martin, then marches straight back to the center of the ring. Martin begins to circle around his father, feigning attacks, but Grady stands stoic, following Martin around with his eyes. Martin lunges forward, but Grady dodges to the side, as Martin, using his wrestling background, spins in one motion and is back facing Grady again from one knee.
Martin stands up and begins to circle again, and quickly ties Grady up with a collar and elbow tie up. Martin spins to take Grady in a headlock, then around to a hammerlock, then back to the opposite side with a headlock on Grady. But Grady, the larger of the two Smith men in the ring, simply lifts Martin up and throws him out of the headlock and halfway across the ring, with Martin landing on his back!
MM: What power by Grady!
Martin is quickly off his back, though, and back to a knee, looking up at his father, who is still in the center of the ring, simply staring down at his son. Martin charges at Grady with a shoulder tackle, but neither man budges. Martin stares at Grady for a second before bouncing off the opposite side ropes with another shoulder tackle, but again, there’s no movement from Grady, but Martin takes a step back.
MM: Martin looks like he’s trying to tackle a mountain right now!
Martin bounces off the ropes a third time, but Grady sidesteps the shoulder tackle this time, sending Martin into the far ropes. Robertson rebounds back, but Grady simply ducks the clothesline attempt as Martin hits off the opposite ropes. Robertson charges again but as he reaches Grady, the elder Smith spins around Martin, wrapping his arms around Robertson’s waist, and sends him flying backwards with a release German suplex before bouncing right back up to his feet, still in the middle of the ring, still staring down at Martin, who finally pauses for a moment, looking back up at Grady.
MM: The first time these two men faced each other, back at Champions Summit 2, we saw how very similar these two men are in their styles…
VA: Well, they are family, Malone. Duh…
MM: … But right now, you’re seeing the differences between them. Martin, quick to attach, almost reckless. But Grady, methodical… calculating… showing Martin that the old man, less than one week away from his 44th birthday, can still be a dominant force in the ring!
VA: See, you called him old, too!
Martin gets back to his feet, but now, slowing down his pace as he continues to circle Grady. The elder Smith, looking just as fresh as he did when he stepped into the ring, continues to follow Martin, watching as the son now simply walks up to Grady, putting the two men nose to nose!
MM: For someone who’s been bounced around for the first couple of minutes in this match, Martin is getting awful cocky with the legend! Look at him jaw Grady!
As Martin continues to almost yell at Grady, Grady simply just stares down at him, until Martin swings a right at Grady’s head! The punch snaps Grady’s head back, but only for a split second as he’s back looking at Martin! Martin swings a second right, but it’s the same result as Grady continues to stare right back at him, unfazed by the blow.
MM: This, Vince, this is what you get when you have a determined Grady Smith in the ring! Nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, Martin is doing has an affect on Grady!
VA: Well, you can’t punch a Rock and expect to get results, Malone.
Martin swings a third time, but on this attempt, Grady ducks the blow before smacking Martin up side the head with his own right! Martin attempts to surprise him with a left hand punch, but Grady ducks that before connecting with his own left on the opposite side of Martin’s head! Martin swings the right again as Grady ducks…
MM: Grady ducks… oh! Martin faked him out with the shot, and a thumb to the eye finally gets Martin a possible opening!
VA: See how much smarter the son is than the father!
Grady stumbles back a step, trying to regain the vision in his right eye as Martin shakes off the earlier blows from Grady. Martin is the first to react, though, kicking Grady in the stomach and doubling him over. Martin pauses for a second, before bouncing off the ropes and nailing Grady with a running kneelift, standing Grady back up. Martin uses the momentum to continue off the opposite side ropes before hitting Grady with a clothesline. But the blow doesn’t send Grady down. Instead, it staggers him into the corner.
MM: Martin charges into the corner, leaping…. Monkey flip by Martin….
VA: What the….??
MM: … but Grady lands on his feet! Martin turns around… OVERHEAD BELLY TO BELLY BY GRADY!
VA: Holy cow!
MM: I swear Martin’s feet almost hit the top of the cage on that throw! Good lord! And listen to this crowd!
VA: You’re not supposed to cheer him! He’s old and can’t hear you anyways!
Grady stalks over, looking down at Martin has he turns to face Grady, still seated on the mat, trying to recover from the suplex. Grady bends down to grab Martin by the head to pick him up…
VA: There you go!
MM: Martin just suckered Grady in, and pulled him into the second turnbuckle, and now, for the first time, I think we’re seeing an opening that Martin can take advantage of.
VA: It was the old ‘rope a dope’ maneuver…
VA: Yeah, like what Muhammad Ali did to the stronger Foreman in Zaire. I know Grady doesn’t remember it because he was probably like 75 when it happened.
MM: He turns 44 on Tuesday, Vince.
VA: I heard one hundred forty four…
Grady, holding his head, attempts to pull himself up using the ropes as, just a few feet away, Martin gets back to his feet. He walks over to Grady and sends him back down to his knees with a double axehandle to Grady’s back. Grady reaches up with both hands to get himself back to his feet, but is sent back down again with another clubbing blow to the back. Grady stays on his feet this time, but is reaching for his back as Martin grabs his father by the head, spins him around and throws him head first between the middle and top ropes and into the steel cage!
VA: There’s that ruthlessness that Martin has!
MM: That’s the first time we’ve seen the steel cage come into play so far in this match… and, oh, good lord! Martin just sent Grady head first into the cage again! And a third time!
VA: And now you’re going to start to see age take it’s toll on Old Man Winter!
Martin reaches through, spinning Grady around and pulling him through the ropes so his feet are resting on the second rope…
MM: DDT by Martin! And Grady’s already busted open, right in that same spot where Grady was split open a few months ago from that glass championship case!
VA: Nurse, can we get two bags of O-negative to the ring, stat?
Martin, proud of his handiwork, begins to parade around the ring to the chorus of boos coming from the crowd. After his lap around the ring, he walks back to Grady and stomps away at back of the legend twice before Grady rolls over, and Martin stomps on Grady’s midsection. Grady sits up, finally realizing that the blood on him is coming from his own head.
MM: It’s definitely not the same as the cut from three months ago, but that small trickle is starting to run down near his eyes, which could affect his vision later on in the match.
VA: He’s already got glaucoma, Malone. I don’t think a little blood in the eye is going to change anything.
Grady rolls onto one knee, but he’s immediately met by a right hand from Martin. Grady gets back up to both feet. Martin grabs Grady by the right hand, pushes him back against the ropes, then whips him across the ring. He watches as Grady bounces off the ropes, then sprints forward, catching Grady in a slingblade. Martin’s right back up, arms extended outward.
MM: This is what gets wrestling purists fired up about Martin. He just hit a great maneuver on Grady, and rather than continue to take the fight to him, he has to stop and pose.
VA: The Youth King is, above all else, a showman… appreciative of his own handiwork! And look at Grady… you think he’s going anywhere anytime fast?
Martin walks back over to Grady, stomping on him with a boot to the right shoulder before leaping up and dropping a knee across the forehead of the legend. Martin rolls through the maneuver, bouncing off the ropes and following up with a senton, crashing down on Grady. Martin back up quickly again, and lands a beautiful standing moonsault across the chest of Grady Smith.
VA: There… how was that, Malone?
MM: That was an incredible series of maneuvers by Martin, but here’s what I’m talking about! He’s not going for the cover! He’d rather start jawing with the fans at ringside through the cage!
VA: The Youth King demands respect from everyone, Malone! Even those ingrates at ringside!
Martin, taking a break from yelling at the fans, walks back over towards Grady, pulling him back to his feet by his head. He stands up the legend, berating him with some more verbal jabs before slapping Grady across the head, which snaps the legend back to life!
MM: That might not have been the smartest move, Robertson!
But before Grady has an opportunity to do anything, he’s met with a knee to the midsection by Martin before being whipped into the corner, crashing into the turnbuckles back first. Grady stumbles forward out from the corner, but is immediately hooked by Martin and taken back to the mat with a snap vertical suplex. Martin is quickly back up and through the ropes to the outside of the ring, climbing the turnbuckle. He reaches out to the cage for a moment to balance himself before leaping off the top turnbuckle, crashing down across Grady’s chest with a top rope elbow drop! Referee Juan Cardillo, who’s let these two fight it out so far, is called into action for his first pinfall attempt…
KICKOUT BY GRADY!
MM: Grady’s still got a bit of fight left in him!
VA: Yet earlier you were questioning why Martin wasn’t going for pinfalls!
MM: You… damnit.
VA: HA! YES!
Martin is in the face of Cardillo, asking why the count wasn’t faster, but Cardillo is not having any of it. Martin turns back around towards Grady, who’s back to a knee, and is immediately met with a punch to the midsection by the veteran. Martin pauses, slightly doubled over, before he’s met again with a second fist, but Martin introduces Grady’s chin to his right knee, and Grady’s back down on the mat.
Martin quick to rebound, though, bends back down to pick up Grady, only to throw him over the top rope towards the cage! But Grady catches himself enough to land on the apron and avoid crashing into the steel mesh. Martin fires off a right hand, but Grady blocks it and returns his own right hand to Martin. Grady swings with another right, but this time, Martin ducks and drives his shoulder into the midsection of Grady through the second and third ropes. Martin stands back up and pops Grady in the head three successive times with his right forearm.
MM: Looks like that broken forearm from two months ago isn’t bothering the youngster one bit!
After the forearm shots, Martin grabs Grady by the ears and SLAMS his head back into the steel cage! AND AGAIN! AND A THIRD TIME! The steel cage, bouncing with each hit against Grady’s head, is now holding up the veteran. Martin looks at Grady and takes off for the opposite side of the ring….
MM: What’s Martin doing here? Bouncing off the ropes… Dropkick to Grady, sending him crashing back against the steel cage!
VA: Did you see the force Martin hit Grady with on that dropkick?! I swear that cage moved three inches from the impact!
MM: Martin back to his feet again, back off the opposite ropes… Another Dropkick! And I think this one was harder than the last one!
VA: Old Spice is out on his feet, Malone!
MM: Grady has definitely taken a beating these past number of minutes, but he’s still standing there, looking at Martin… almost daring him to keep hitting him!
VA: Don’t ask for something you don’t want, Grady!
MM: He is! Look, he’s waving on Martin to hit him again!
VA: Don’t piss off the Youth King, Grady!
MM: That’s exactly what he’s done! Look at how furious Martin is! Martin, off the far ropes again….
MM & VA: OH MY GOD!!!!!
MM: MARTIN ROBERTSON AND GRADY SMITH JUST CRASHED THROUGH THE CAGE TO THE FLOOR!!!
VA: I’ve never seen a steel cage do that, Malone… Never! And both men are out!
MM: Take a look back at the replay here, Vince. Martin came off those far ropes with a full head of steam, and I don’t know what he was thinking, Vince…
VA: I don’t think he was thinking anything, Malone!
MM: … but he just shot off those ropes and speared Grady through the ropes and into the cage, knocking that cage panel off the frame!
VA: How are either of these guys going to continue??
MM: I don’t have a clue, Vince! And think about Grady’s wife, who’s backstage as we speak. You have to wonder if she’s watching this and, if she is, what has to be going through her head! We’ve got EWA officials out here now, looking at the steel cage structure trying to figure out what happened. Dr. Furman is also out here taking a look at both Martin and Grady, who are both lying in a heap against the ringside guardrail. Grady clearly took the worse from that shot, but the way Martin crashed down after bouncing off of Grady, he looks to be hurt as well!
VA: Come on, get up Martin!
As a series of EMT’s reach the ringside area, a couple of them grab a plastic backboard and walk the long way around the ring to get over towards Grady to start looking at him as Dr. Furman turns around to check on Martin, who has actually started stirring around a bit. Dr. Furman goes to hold Martin’s head to look into his eyes, but Martin pushes Furman aside, crawling on his knees over towards his father, who’s still out flat on his back, the blood trickling a little harder than before from the wound on his forehead. Martin kneels over his father’s head, looking down at the legend. An EMT attempts to move Martin back, but Martin shoves the EMT…
MM: What’s Martin doing here?
Another EMT comes over, but Martin pushes him away as well.
Martin Robertson: BACK OFF! That’s my father!
MM: What the hell is Martin doing?
VA: I haven’t got an idea, Malone.
The EMT’s continue to try and get close to Grady to check him out, but now, Martin’s popped to his feet and is chasing them, along with Dr. Furman, away from the legend, who still hasn’t moved since landing on the floor.
MM: You can clearly hear the level of distress in the voices of the medical personnel at ringside, deeply concerned about the welfare of Grady Smith at the moment.
VA: If that’s the case, why does Martin keep chasing them off?
Martin Robertson: I said stay back! That’s my father, for christ’s sake!
MM: Is he… is he trying to protect Grady?
VA: I… maybe?
MM: But he’s the one who just sent him crashing through the cage!
VA: You can’t think that Martin knew that the cage was going to collapse!
Martin drops back down to his knees next to Grady’s head, looking down towards his father’s head with a concerned look on his face. He takes his right hand and pulls back what little of Grady’s hair actually exists, almost examining the wound opened on his forehead earlier.
MM: Are we seeing a change in Martin? Almost some kind of awakening?
VA: Grady’s made almost every indication over the past few weeks that this was his last match. Is this…. Is Martin recognizing that now? I can’t think that this is how Martin expected the match to end. I know from talking to the kid the level of disdain that he has for Grady, but I don’t think ANYONE would have hoped the match — Grady’s final match — would end like this.
The camera zooms in on the faces of Martin and Grady, and the empathetic look on Martin’s face as he looks down at his father.
Martin Robertson: Dad… I’m sorry.
Martin looks up at the EMT’s to his left, and then towards Dr. Furman on his right…
MM: WHAT THE HELL?!?!?
MM: Martin Robertson has just started to unload right hands to the forehead of Grady Smith! This was a setup the whole time!
VA: I knew it! I called it! The Youth King strikes down with all his vengeance on the non believers!
MM: Good lord… Robertson continues to blast Grady right on that open wound, and now the legend… his father… Grady’s a bloody mess here, folks! I certainly hope Janelle is not backstage watching this, because I cannot possibly fathom what this would do to a mother, watching her son doing this to her husband… his father!
The EWA officials come over and pull Martin back away from his father, stumbling over the section of the steel cage that’s still leaning against the ring apron from before. EMT’s are quickly back down towards Grady with towels and gauze, trying to get the bleeding to stop from his forehead as the wound from a few months ago has been reopened. Two EMT’s together try and close the wound up: one placing gauze squarely on the opening while the other quickly wraps six or seven layers of roll gauze around his head before a few additional layers of tape to try and keep it from moving.
MM: There have been some pretty despicable acts that I’ve seen in all my years of professional wrestling, but that right there, folks, that has to be probably one of, if not, the worst I have ever witnessed. And look at Martin! He’s smiling and laughing at the whole thing!
VA: What do you mean despicable? He played everyone for the sympathetic fools you all are! He has no sympathy for anyone, especially the man who’s made his life hell for almost all of his life! I applaud the man!
MM: Well, I imagine that this match is going to get thrown out here, since it doesn’t appear that Grady can continue…
VA: What a great ending to too-long of a career! Sing it with me now! Na na na nah…
Grady, who is somewhat awake now, is starting to be helped up by the EMT’s as Martin stands on the entrance ramp, guarded by EWA officials.
MM: I hope Martin Robertson is proud of himself here! I hope he takes joy in this, because this is the foulest thing… the worst ending to this match that could have possibly happened…
VA: I think you’ll get your wish, Malone! I don’t think Martin’s going to let this end!
As Grady gets to his feet, Martin sprints through the officials and makes a beeline straight for Grady, throwing right hands towards the head of the legend again, who immediately slumps back down to a seated position against the guardrail. But Martin, not wasting any time, pulls him back to his feet before throwing him face first into another section of the steel cage on the outside. Grady stumbles away, dropping to a knee before popping back up, with Martin in chase behind him.
Malone stands up from the announcer’s table as Grady bounces off the table before continuing to try and get away. Martin continues to chase him, but comes near the table…
MM: Leave him alone, Martin! Haven’t you done enough damage? He’s your father for christ’s sake!
Martin turns towards Malone, who reaches out and snatches the headset off of Malone’s head and puts it on his own while staring directly at the lead announcer.
Martin Robertson: Shut up, Malone! That man is not my father. That man is Grady Smith. “The legendary” Grady Smith. But right now, look at him!
Martin points off towards the ring in no real general direction, never breaking eye contact with Malone.
Martin Robertson: Doesn’t look like much of a legend, does he? Looks more like Old Yeller. And you know what happens at the end of the movie to Old Yeller? Spoiler alert, they put him down… for good!
Malone can be heard shouting towards Martin, “give me back my headset!”
Martin Robertson: Oh, you want this back? Sure, I’ll just set it down right here, and…
Just as Martin set the headset down on the announcer’s table, from behind, Grady Smith CRACKED a steel chair across the back of Martin! Robertson howls in pain as Grady leans over, using the chair to help hold him up on his feet. With the bandage on his forehead bright red, Grady winds back up and cracks Martin across the back again with the steel chair, sending the Youth King staggering around the ringside area.
MM: You get him, Grady! Whoop his ass!
VA: Malone! Such language!
MM: I don’t care at this point! For a mother backstage to have possibly seen this despicable display by Martin… I hope Grady whoops that boy’s ass from here to Pasadena!
As Martin continues to try and get away, Grady, still woozy from before, continues to follow after him, nailing him with a third chair shot across the back. Martin goes to try and roll back into the ring, but realizes that the cage is up and has to continue walking around the ring. He makes it to the section that collapsed earlier and starts to climb the fallen piece of steel mesh back into the ring. Grady catches up to him, dropping the chair and reaching out for a foot. Robertson kicks away the hand of his father once he reaches the ring apron.
MM: Look at Robertson, running like a scared dog!
VA: No he’s not… look!
Martin, once he’s standing on the ring apron, turns around towards Grady…
MM: OH MY GOODNESS! URA-NAGE SLAM BY GRADY ONTO THE STEEL MESH!
MM: Robertson, hoping to catch Grady off guard, jumped off the ring apron towards Grady, but the legend caught him and slammed him damn near through the steel!
VA: Martin looks like he’s hit rock bottom!
MM: And now Grady, he’s slowly making it back to his feet, and now he’s pounding away at the forehead of Robertson with some of the stiffest shots I’ve ever seen! Punch! Elbow! Punch! Good lord that was a stiff elbow shot!
VA: And you can see why now… he’s busted Martin open as well… almost in the exact same spot Grady’s cut!
MM: Good! Good for Grady!
Grady picks up Martin and rolls him back into the ring under the bottom rope. Grady climbs back into the ring behind Martin, who is trying to just roll away from the legend. But Grady continues to follow, eventually catching up to Martin and picking him up to his feet. He potatoes him with three more stiff right hands to the forehead, and now Martin is the one using the ropes to stay upright.
MM: Grady, he’s got Martin by the head… YES! He just bounced him off the steel cage! Opposite side now… again off the steel cage!
VA: Robertson looks like a human pinball in there!
MM: For what felt like an eternity, Martin showed no mercy towards his father. Now, the father is issuing his own brand of punishment towards the son!
Martin, trying to get away from Grady, staggers towards the nearest corner, but he gets about two seconds of a breath before Grady is right back on him with fists to the temple. Grady whips Martin across the ring to the opposite corner…
MM: Martin into the corner, and he hits HARD against the turnbuckles! He stumbles out…. HEAD AND ARM OVERHEAD SUPLEX BY GRADY! COVER!
KICKOUT BY MARTIN!
VA: That was close, Malone!
MM: Not close enough! But look at these two men and the war they’ve been through!
Grady, exhausted, stays kneeling next to Martin for a second before grabbing Martin by the head and pulling him up to a standing position. He lands another right hand to Martin’s skull, causing the Youth King to spin around. Grady pushes Martin chest first into the turnbuckle..
MM: Could this be the end for both Martin Robertson AND Grady Smith?
VA: Not like this, Malone!
MM: Grady has Martin on his shoulders… CHO.. Damnit, NO!
MM: Robertson rolled off Grady’s shoulders and right through to the ring apron on the side of the ring where the steel cage is missing a section.
Martin slowly pulls himself up to a knee as Grady stalks Robertson on the other side of the ring. As Grady reaches him, Martin is up to his feet and nails Grady with an enzuigiri! Grady stumbles along the ropes but manages to stay on his feet as Robertson follows him along the apron. They get to the turnbuckle (which is now inside the cage) and Robertson throws a right, but it’s blocked by Grady, who responds with his own right, staggering Robertson. Grady with another right, and this one sends Robertson leaning against the cage, right near where the opening is in the structure. Grady with a third right, but Robertson ducks and latches on a front headlock on Grady.
MM: Robertson now, with that front facelock, almost like a choke hold… he looks like he’s trying to put Grady to sleep!
VA: Such an intelligent maneuver, Malone! With the amount of blood loss Grady has already suffered tonight, it might not be long before grandpa takes his final sleep!
Grady, with great ring awareness, starts to climb the ropes and is now on the ring apron alongside Martin. Grady punches Martin in the stomach twice, and Robertson starts to loosen his grip around Grady’s neck to the point where Grady can now stand up.
MM: Look at these two battling on the apron! Grady with a punch, but Martin ducks, and lands a punch of his own!
VA: I’m getting nervous, Malone!
MM: Robertson with another punch, and this one spins Grady around. Martin…. Vicious shove towards the ring post! But Grady puts on the brakes… and a back elbow by Grady, connects square on the jaw of Martin!
VA: Not the moneymaker!
MM: Grady… another hard back elbow! Now Grady, looking around…
VA: For the nurses from the senior home?
MM: Grady… no…. No no no…. GRADY….. GRADY FUCKING SMITH!
VA: OH MY GOD!
MM: GRADY SMITH JUST NAILED MARTIN WITH DEAD WRONG OFF THE RING APRON AND ONTO THAT STEEL CAGE PIECE!
VA: Old men can’t do that!
MM: Well Grady fucking Smith just did! That three-quarter falling facelock inverted DDT… off the apron….
VA: Just because he’s got a date with death relatively soon doesn’t mean he has to bring Martin with him!
MM: And look… Grady’s already trying to get up!
VA: Wha… how??
MM: This man, Grady Smith, has been through so many legendary matches in his career. Off the top of my head, there’s the 60-minute iron man triple threat against Jack Daniels and Harding Cash… there’s the Buried Treasure match against Daniels where they destroyed a yacht… all of the wars over the course of a couple years with NOTHING. But these battles with his son, Martin Robertson, I imagine they have to trump all of those.
VA: Yes, but the difference is that he won all of those. And yet, he’s zero for one against Martin, and hopefully he’ll be oh for two…. Hopefully.
MM: You say that, but here he is, standing up, trying to drag Martin back into the ring, at almost 44 years old!
VA: Shut. Up. Malone.
Grady, standing on the cage piece, slowly pulls Martin back to his feet before rolling him into the ring, following right behind. Grady pops up, trying to get Martin back to his feet once again, but the Youth King is out… dead weight at the moment. Grady, pulling with all of his might, finally gets Robertson back to his feet, who drops immediately back down to his knees.
MM: Robertson is out, folks. He can’t even stand.
Grady, again, pulling as hard as he can, works to get Martin standing back on his feet. He finally does so, and this time Martin stays up, but it is purely on instinct at this point. The facial expressions from Martin are non-existent. He is out.
MM: Look at Grady… he’s so conflicted right now. You know he would like nothing more than to end his career with a victory. But as a father, you can tell he’s so torn about the damage he’s done to his son tonight. And you still wonder if Janelle has seen any of what has transpired so far here tonight, and what could possibly be going through her mind.
VA: And, objectively… THAT… that is the difference between old Grady and new Grady. Old Grady would have dropped Robertson three more times in the past minute. But the new, compassionate Grady…
MM: Well, also, there’s a difference between someone that’s your peer versus your own flesh and blood, Vince. Yes, every wrestler wants to be victorious in every match they compete in. But at the risk of nearly ending your son’s career at such a young age.
VA: Martin is one of the toughest kids I’ve ever met… but the beatings he’s taken over the past eighteen months here in the EWA… some professional wrestlers don’t go through that many hardships in their entire careers!
Grady, hands on his hips, continues to look at Martin, still out on his feet. Grady wipes his hands down his face, clearing some of the dried blood off, clearly anguished.
MM: This is truly a heartbreaking moment.
VA: I’ll never be a Grady Smith fan, but please Grady, just end the match already.
Grady walks up to Martin, pulling his head down to Grady’s shoulder, realizing that Martin has absolutely no energy left, as we see him whisper something in his son’s ear before kissing him on the temple.
MM: Grady, mercifully, drapes an arm over Martin’s head, locks Martin’s leg, looking for a small pa…. WAIT…. What?
VA: NO WAY!
MM: Martin slipped out! Spins Grady around…. NO WAY!
VA: YES! I KNEW IT!
MM: Martin Robertson has Grady up for a CHOKEBUSTE….. NO! Grady floats over! Now he’s got Martin up…. CHOKEBUSTER! CHOKEBUSTER BY GRADY ON MARTIN ROBERTSON! COVER…
MM: HE DID IT!
NR: The winner of this match….. GRADY… SMITH!
MM: In what is most likely his final match, Grady Smith has avenged his loss at Champions Summit 2 against his son, Martin Robertson!
VA: Yeah, but look at what it took in order to accomplish that!
MM: As we go back and look at the highlights of this match… the first turning point was here, when Martin and Grady crashed through the cage to the outside with that hellacious spear from Martin. And here… we think that Martin is having a compassionate moment with his father, but that was all a ruse. But then, Grady is able to turn the tide, and first it’s the ura-nage slam on the steel cage piece, then a few minutes later, he hits Dead Wrong from the apron onto that same steel cage piece. And finally, Grady thinks he’s going to be able to end it with a small package, but Martin, with one last burst of energy, thinks he’s got Grady in the Chokebuster, but the wily veteran is able to float over and reverse it, and land his own Chokebuster to get the victory.
VA: I… I don’t know what to believe anymore.
MM: Don’t take anything… anything away from Martin Robertson here tonight. He put Grady through one of the most hellacious beatings I’ve ever seen anyone be put through. But the will and resolve of Grady Smith was just not going to be denied tonight, here at Champions Summit 3!
Grady, who like in recent matches, has stayed kneeled next to Martin ever since the pinfall. He leans over, kissing Martin on his bloody forehead before standing up and having his arm raised by Juan Cardillo. A couple of EMT’s have come to the ring and, with the help of Grady, they’re sitting Martin back up, who is completely dazed at the moment.
MM: As we see the EWA staff quickly remove the loose cage side so they can get it raised up, the EMT’s are really taking a look at Robertson here.
One EMT wipes away the blood from the face of Martin, which has dried up at this point as the EWA staff have removed the broken cage side and we see the structure start to rise to the rafters. After a few seconds, the EMT’s pull Martin up to his feet and stand him up in the ring.
MM: Listen to this ovation these wonderful fans are giving Robertson at the moment.
VA: Robertson has no clue what’s going on. The fog in his eyes at the moment is as thick as pea soup. He probably thinks they’re booing him!
MM: The EMT’s have Robertson sitting on the ring apron now… Martin, just let them help you!
Robertson, once his feet hit the ringside floor, starts to push the EMT’s away, trying to stagger up the entrance ramp by himself, not even turning to look back in the ring.
MM: While we hope Martin is ok, the night right now belongs to the legend, Grady Smith, who stands victorious here tonight. And the relief that has to be going through Janelle’s mind backstage…
VA: What the hell is he doing now?
As the cage reaches the rafters and the EMT’s and Martin have cleared the entrance ramp, the stage truly belongs to Grady Smith. The arena goes silent for a moment before Grady raises his hand in the air, waving to the crowd before heading back to the center of the ring and sitting down on the mat.
VA: We get it, Grady… you won! Now leave the ring! Why… what is he doing?
As Grady sits down, he wipes his face, which we can see that he’s actually starting to tear up. He rubs his eyes before reaching down towards his ring boots.
MM: Well, if anyone ever had any question whether or not tonight would be Grady’s last match, what he’s doing now certainly indicates that he truly is done.
VA: By taking off his shoes?
MM: It’s one of the most revered traditions in the sport of wrestling, where wrestlers will leave their shoes in the middle of the ring, indicating their retirement.
VA: I… I’ve never seen it before.
MM: Well, remember, Grady has a long history in traditional amateur wrestling, a former NCAA wrestling champion. These competitors… these… gladiators, have such pride in always competing, continually showing their talent, that it’s a very, very rare tradition.
VA: That’s stupid.
MM: No, it’s one of the greatest acts a wrestler can do. It’s even more rare when a wrestler can do it going out on a victory. I can only think of one person in recent history that’s done that, and that was Rulon Gardner after he won the bronze medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics.
Grady, having removed both boots, stands up, placing them in the center of the mat as he takes one last lap around the ring, bowing towards the fans on each side of the squared circle…
“THANK YOU GRA-DY!”
“THANK YOU GRA-DY!”
“THANK YOU GRA-DY!”
After bowing on the final side, Grady walks back to the corner where he originally started the match, grabbing both his leather hat and duster. Placing the hat on top of his head and draping the duster across his right forearm, he steps through the ropes, down the steps and starts to head up the entrance ramp.
MM: I won’t speak for Ashe, but I think I can speak for every other person that has had the privilege of working with Grady Smith over the past two decades in the business of professional wrestling when I say… Thank you. Thank you for everything you have given to the sport of professional wrestling. It was truly an honor to see you perform at perhaps the highest level that we have ever seen anyone perform at. Thank you for spending nearly twenty years of your life with us. Grady Smith, sir, it has truly been an honor.
Grady, reaching the top of the entrance ramp, turns around one last time, looking out towards the fans, and with a slight tip of his hat, turns back around and disappears behind the curtain for the last time.
YOUR WINNER BY PINFALL: GRADY SMITH (24:19)
(We cut to a skybox at the top of the arena, Night 1 of Champion’s Summit and the main event is due to start any minute. We pan to one of the windows and the form of former two-time EWA World Heavyweight Champion Sinnocence comes into view, a glass of something in her hand as she smiles. The arena erupts in cheers before the camera shot widens, her leggy and beautiful manager of Valhalla stepping up beside the EWA legend to kiss her cheek.)
Sinnocence: What do you guys think?
(Mojave steps up next to them, a plate of food in his hand from their own private buffet spread and one half of the EWA Tag Team titles around his waist.)
Mojave: It ain’t my first time in a Skybox, c’mon.
(Josh Kaine soon appears at his side, munching on his own plate of food with the other half of the titles around his waist. He talks with his mouth full and Jada rolls her eyes.)
Josh Kaine: I think she means the show, Moe.
Mojave: Oh, well…it’s been brutal. Really good, but is it just me or is anyone else really looking forward to seeing my sister getting her butt whooped next?
Josh Kaine: Why you gotta be like that? I thought you two had made up.
Mojave: Yeah, no. Not really. I love her, but she’s a bitch. Nikki, come on, back me up here.
(The brunette, standing closer to the buffet, is caught unexpectedly mid-crunch, but never short on opinions.)
Nikki Caldwell: Well, she is a bitch… just can’t say I wanna see either of the other two getting the upper hand in there. They’re a lot worse than sassholes.
Josh Kaine: Dude, if I didn’t have you two, I’d totally be vying to join the Vice Squad. They’re hotttt.
Mojave: Please don’t try. They’d eat you alive and you promised us.
Nikki Caldwell: Srsly, not even a good joke, dude.
(Sinnocence heaves a sigh at the antics of her three and shakes her head. She’s had a hand in training all three of them to some extent…as well as one of the competitors in the main event.)
Sinnocence: Actually, I was asking what you think of the whole experience. You two are going to be competing against the Vice Squad tomorrow…a team, mind you, that managed to knock Ozzy and myself on our asses. You’ve spent weeks in New York preparing for this match…and you’re stuffing your faces with shit.
(Josh Kaine shrugs his shoulders.)
Josh Kaine: Gotta eat, Jada.
Mojave: It’s not like we’re not takin’ it serious. Nikki’s gotta face Santa Muerte tomorrow too. She ain’t nothin’ but serious. She’s gonna look the best tomorrow anyway.
Josh Kaine: Yeah, ‘specially with the doom-jacket you gave her and not me. I’m yer kid, for chrissakes.
Nikki Caldwell: Oh, stop pouting. Your shoulders’d be too wide for it anyway. I’ll get you one of your own for your birthday.
Mojave: Yeah, don’t stress yourself out about it, Jada. We’ll be ready. You don’t gotta worry yourself into the ER again–OW!
(He isn’t fast enough to avoid the smack upside his head.)
Sinnocence: I may be old and falling apart, but I’m still strong enough to kick your fuckin’ ass, Moe. Christ, you’re just like your sister.
Nikki Caldwell: That’s a little harsh, Jada.
(Mojave cringes and frowns, rubbing at the back of his head.)
Mojave: Yeah, just like my sister, only I got one thing she doesn’t. (He pats the gold faceplate of his belt.)
(Josh outright laughs at his tag partner’s misfortune and moves out of range of Jada’s stinging headsmacks.)
Josh Kaine: You ain’t gotta worry ‘bout us, Jada. We’re MoCaJo. We got shit handled.
Mojave: We’re what?!
(Josh nods back to Nikki.)
Josh Kaine: We talked about it while you were passed out on the plane. Gonna be three of us from now on, in and out of the ring. Me, you, and Nikki. MoCaJo.
Mojave: Ugh, that sounds horrible.
Nikki Caldwell: What, you got something better?
(Moe’s silence is answer enough. Jada turns to the three of them before moving back to her seat, the blonde in stilettos joining her.)
Sinnocence: Clearly not. Now come and watch…and pray you don’t fuckin’ embarrass yourselves tomorrow. This is not the minor leagues anymore.
(We cut back to ringside.)
Main EventELIZABETH GAUNT VS SAHARA VS GRACE GOEREN
TRIPLE THREAT LADDER MATCH - EWA COMBAT CHAMPIONSHIP
MM: And up next, ladies and gentlemen, we have what’s going to be a brutal, savage affair.
VA: This is not going to be something for the faint of heart, Malone. Not by a long shot. Our Grace is a cruel god, but she is just and righteous and–
MM: For months, The Fallout ruled the EWA with an iron fist, terrorizing countless wrestlers, ending championship reigns, and ruling supreme over the EWA. That all ended with a bang earlier this year, when Grace Goeren, the self-proclaimed God Queen–
VA: THE ONE TRUE GOD QUEEN!
MM: –cast her “babies” out of the kingdom. First Duane Gates, followed by Sahara, and culminating with Elizabeth Gaunt. That led us to this moment tonight…
Malone is interrupted by a buzz from the crowd, and Vincent Ashe’s eyes suddenly grow wide.
VA: Hey! What’s that Judas doing here?!
The camera immediately pans across the ring to the entrance ramp, where the man that started the EWA back in 1998, Duane Gates, has made his way to a ringside seat. He ignores various fans trying to get his attention, concentrating his focus on the ring.
MM: We haven’t seen Duane Gates since he was unceremoniously cast out of the Fallout by Grace Goeren, and arguably thanks to Sahara’s meddling!
VA: Well, you’re certainly right about Sahara’s meddling, but I want to know why he’s here, Malone! There’s been a lot of rumors swirling around this man and his future plans as of late, but he’s here as a paying customer!
MM: Perhaps he wants to get an up-close look as these three – the three women who brutalized him and left that scar on his face – brutalize each other, Vince. Perhaps this is just his way of getting revenge!
VA: It could be, Malone, but if history has taught us anything, it’s that Gates is not quite that easy-going when it comes to vengeance.
DING DING DING!!
MM: Here we go!
NR: Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is our main event of Night #1 of Champions Summit III, and it is the Ladder Match…for the EWA Combat Championship! There are no pinfalls, no countouts, no disqualifications, and no submissions. The only way to win this match, is by climbing the ladder and retrieving the EWA Combat Championship!
The lights dim in the Staples Center, and several men and women begin to file out from the curtains. The men wear white dress shirts tucked into white slacks, and the women wear plain white dresses, their bare feet slapping against the metal of the ramp.
VA: What the hell is this? Is there a revival tent somewhere in town?
MM: I have it on good authority that these people are parishioners of New Eden, Ashe. That secretive survivalist compound that Elizabeth Gaunt erected sometime last year in the outskirts of Boston…
The parishioners of New Eden line up into a stoic row, the men on one side and the women on the other. The crowd begins to rumble with anticipation, and the haunting vocals of “Send Me An Angel” by Highly Suspect drift out from the speakers.
“Do you believe in Heaven above?
Do you believe in love?
Don’t tell a lie, don’t be false or untrue
It all comes back to you
Open fire, on my burning heart
I’ve never been lucky in love
My defenses are down
A kiss or a frown
I can’t survive on my own
It gets in your eyes, it’s making you cry
Don’t know what to do, don’t know what to do
You’re looking for love
Calling Heaven above…”
A blaring spotlight clicks on and highlights the center of the ramp, and we see a platform rising up slowly, inch by fateful inch.
The White Angel stands in the center of the platform in full gleaming Crusader armor. Her hands gloved in iron gauntlets, her head adorned in hooded chain mail, and a shining breastplate painted white with a blood-red Crusader cross in the middle. Enormous limp feathered wings extend from the armor along her upper back, and they drag behind her as she takes a step forward off the platform.
The denizens of New Eden all move into position and take hold of wooden poles attached to the wings…and just as Gaunt lifts her head and gazes into the spotlight, the parishioners lift up the poles and those MASSIVE white wings extend outward from her back, rising and fluttering with an unseen breeze, their span so impressive that each tip reaches to the far corners of both sides of the ramp.
A look of fanatical pride shines in Elizabeth’s eyes as she tilts her head back down, the chainmail hood making her features even more surreal. As if on cue, the song picks up speed and BLASTS out the line with the most meaning…
“SEND ME AN ANGEL…
SEND ME ANGEL…
PLEASE SEND ME AN ANGEL…
The capacity crowd is losing their shit at the theatricality of Gaunt’s entrance, a huge uproar traveling throughout the Champion’s Summit stands.
MM: This is awe-inspiring. The White Angel is sparing no expense to make her presence known here tonight, and the sheer pride associated with this entrance is enough to freeze the blood in the veins.
VA: Don’t be fooled, Malone! I’ll admit that she’s an incredible sight to see right now, but remember, wasn’t Lucifer once the most magnificent Angel to ever rule in the ranks of Heaven? Elizabeth is FALLEN. This brainsick Seraph fell into a lake of burning pain…and what has risen back up from the tar is an AFFRONT to the one true God Queen!!
MM: Uh, sure, Ashe. I’ll tell you what amazes me about all this. It seems that Grace’s greatest creations have taken on many of her traits since the Fallout dissolved. Sahara has become a master manipulator, just like Grace herself, and it seems Gaunt has inherited that sense of stubborn pride that the younger Goeren has always had.
The New Eden followers are working to detach the armor plates and wings from Elizabeth as she stands motionless with arms and legs extended, and once this is done Gaunt starts to stalk down to the ring, her pure white vest also bearing the crimson Crusader cross. Her snow-white hair is slicked back from her head, and her mouth is grimly set for the battle to come.
As the opening notes of Adrenalize Me hits, the lights flash and bathe the stage in a blinding white light. The jumbotron simultaneously fades in from black to white, leaving a staticy white background on the screen. The voice soars over the audience as the words of the song flash on the screen along with the music.
Sahara emerges onto the rampway beneath the lights with multiple rows of Nordic style braids tying her platinum blonde hair back, she gazes out across the audience before tilting her head back toward the lights, she spreads her arms out somewhat behind her and stands center stage awash in the glow of the lights above.
Tilting her head down, dark eyeliner accentuates her baby blue eyes, applied almost as if wearing warpaint around her eyes. Her inky black attire is laced with silver trim, black wrestling boots blending into knee pads of like color which blend into black and silver tights with a strappy black top.
MM: Would you look at that, Her boots read <3 Michael on one and <3 Maggie on the other…
VA: Switch Hitting Slut.
MM: I think it’s an amazing gesture to–
VA: I hope they’re both watching from wherever the hell they are and they see this bitch get what’s coming to her tonight…
As she walks toward the ring, she actually reaches out and touches the outstretched hands of the fans that have seemingly embraced her over the past weeks…upon reaching the bottom of the rampway she stops and gazes at Duane Gates.
MM: Uh oh!
Feigning as if she were crying, she can easily be overheard, “Hope you enjoy the view of me main eventing, Duane.” Holding up her hands with her thumbs touching, she creates what appears to be field goal posts before throwing her hands up and yelling, “and the kick is good!” as fans surrounding Duane laugh along with her, patting him on his shoulders much to his dismay.
MM: In obvious reference to when she designed a coup d’état to rid the Fallout of Duane Gates and she kicked him right in the — well…you get the idea with her field goal gesture…
VA: Interesting how she can’t seem to keep some part of her off other people’s private parts, Malone.
As Sahara rolls underneath the bottom ropes and settles into her corner, she stares daggers back at the icy cold stare of Elizabeth Gaunt who stands defiantly in the opposite corner. Suddenly, the arena lights here at The Staples Center start to flicker before going out completely. Instead of the normal mushroom cloud explosion that signals the entrance of the Combat Champion, a single spotlight shines down and illuminates a particular spot at the top of the ramp.
MM: What is all of this now? Where is Grace Goeren?
VA: It’s called “making an entrance”, Malone. Strap yourself in.
MM: Hold on. Do you know something we don’t?
MM: Way to be a broadcast journalist.
VA: Way to be a godless heathen. Get on your knees, peasants!
The spotlight remains at the top of the ramp before slowly fading from a bright white hue to a light purple one. The curtains begin to flutter as suddenly a prayer altar is pushed from the backstage area into the spotlight by two young men dressed identically in white and purple suits. The altar is ornately decorated with a white microphone, purple roses and elaborate script initials “G.G.” emblazoned in gold on the front of the wooden paneling. The fans erupt with thunderous boos at this strange sight before the two men take their place at each side of the altar and fold their hands across their laps.
VA: You have got to be kidding me…what is Grace Goeren up to now?
The curtains begin to rustle again as stepping out from the shadows is a third man. This strange individual is dressed in a white robe with purple trim and appears to be much older than the other two men at his side. He steps up to the altar and stares out at the heavily booing crowd with disdain before casting a vile glance towards Sahara and Gaunt in the ring.
Robed Man: In the beginning, there was nothing. There was simply an empty, shapeless dark void where evil remained unchecked and licentiousness reigned supreme. There was no meaning beyond pain and no reason beyond suffering.
The robed man holds his hands up high and smiles longingly up towards the heavens.
Robed Man: And then, a light shone through the wicked darkness. The devils and sinners were cast aside and the sacrament of illumination and peace was brought to all those who dwell inside these hallowed halls. Through Her beauty, wisdom and kindness…we were all saved. Our God Queen gave us purpose when there was none and we pray to Her glory and thank Her for Her gifts.
All Three Men : Praise Grace!
VA: Praise Grace!
MM: Someone end this now…good grief.
The Robed Man closes his eyes as the booing only intensifies. When he opens them, he turns his attention back towards the ring and points an accusing, damning finger at both women inside of it.
Robed Man: However some were not ready to accept our God Queen’s selfless benevolence. Some were not ready to be saved. Lauren MacKay-Mirra. Elizabeth Gaunt. You stand before the Altar of Grace tonight accused of crimes against the Faith! You have broken the sacred commandments that were given to us by Her blessed spirit!
The robed inquisitor hangs his head in shame as he begins to ready the laundry list of charges.
Robed Man: You, our God Queen’s most trusted apostles, turned your backs on her teachings and struck at her with malice and short-sighted hatred. You have stolen an era of enlightenment and acceptance from all of mankind for your own personal gain. You terrorize worshippers of the faith and undermine their efforts at every turn…
A disgustingly rancid and infected smile spreads across the old man’s face, his rotted teeth a stark contrast to the beauty around him.
Robed Man: There is no defense before this tribunal. Your crimes speak volumes and can no longer be ignored. Prepare to receive the divine punishment! Prepare to be cleansed in the fires of purity! May our God Queen have mercy on your wretched souls!
The spotlight suddenly goes out and the thunderous, bone-shaking nuclear explosion echoes over the arena’s loudspeakers as the familiar mushroom cloud fills the video screen. Sister Sin’s “Chaos Royale” starts to play as Grace Goeren is suddenly standing at the top of ramp, her head down and bathed in a purple light. Standing directly behind her with her arms crossed is the massive and severely deranged woman known as Alice, her long stringy hair swaying as she rocks her head back and forth. The arena is shaking with boos and jeers as Grace looks up at her former Fallout members with absolute disgust before slowly making her way down the ramp and pulling away from any of the fans who dare to reach out and touch her.
MM: That was one of the most absurd things I think I’ve ever seen in my entire career here in EWA. And that says a lot. Who does this woman think she is? What gives her the right to…
VA: Malone, do yourself a huge favor and just stop right there before Grace pounds your face into jelly.
MM: I didn’t think you cared.
VA: I don’t. I just don’t want any non-believers blood on my new shirt. Just picked this baby up on clearance, you know.
Grace runs her hand over the EWA Combat Championship she refused to hand over earlier in the night, instead proudly and defiantly wearing it down to the ring. She stops at the foot of the ramp and gives an extremely brief glance over at Duane Gates before sliding underneath the bottom rope and into the ring. Alice moves slowly to Grace’s corner on the outside, keeping a watching eye on Gates and standing guard at ringside.
MM: If the surprise appearance of Duane Gates is upsetting Grace, she’s definitely not showing it. She looks focused and determined headed into this one!
VA: Of course she does. The God Queen is ready to punish these heretics for betraying her, this is a long time coming. Praise Grace!
Grace slowly unstraps the Combat Championship belt from her waist, looking down longingly at it. In the opposite corner, Sahara is jogging in place, practically frothing at the opportunity to get her hands on Grace. Gaunt, standing across from Sahara, just stares straight ahead at the God Queen as she cracks her knuckles. Danny Smith goes to retrieve the belt…but Grace refuses to surrender it to him.
MM: Oh, come on!
VA: What, Malone? That’s the World Combat Championship, and that moron just tried to snatch it away from a deity! What’s wrong with him?
MM: Shawna Jackson told Allison earlier tonight that nobody in EWA had the right to make Grace hand over the belt until she was ready and it looks like Grace is sticking to her guns!
Grace actually shoves Danny Smith backward, but to his credit, Danny doesn’t back down, stepping right back up and demanding she hand over the championship. Grace finally looks down at the belt, taking a moment to kiss the golden faceplate before surrendering it to Smith.
MM: And that could be Grace kissing her championship goodbye, ladies and gentlemen!
Danny Smith heads to the center of the ring, beginning the process of attaching the belt to the hook that suspends from the ceiling of the Staples Center…and at once, Sahara and Gaunt both rush Grace! The White Angel and the Crimson Queen rain down fists and forearms on the helpless God Queen as Alice shrieks on the outside!
VA: This is uncalled for! This match hasn’t even started yet! Danny Smith hasn’t even attached the belt!
MM: Lizzie and Sahara have apparently decided they’ve waited long enough!
Gaunt and Sahara grab Grace, whipping her into the ropes, and both drop her to the mat on the rebound with a tandem double back elbow! Smith finally gets the belt attached to the hook, and tugs on it, giving the cue for the rope to be pulled up, suspending the Combat Championship high above the ring! Smith calls for the bell, and this ladder match is officially underway!
VA: This is unfair, Malone! It’s two-on-one! Get in there, Alice!
MM: Alice isn’t even part of the match!
VA: And these two don’t deserve to be either! How dare they defy the God Queen!
Gaunt lifts Grace up by her hair, mouthing something to Sahara, who nods in agreement. The former right and left hands of Grace both grab Grace by the shoulders, and in one fluid motion, dump her to the outside of the ring to a thunderous ovation!
MM: This crowd is certainly behind Sahara, and to an extent Elizabeth Gaunt, but I think they mostly want to see Grace Goeren get what’s coming to her!
VA: So they want her to retain the World Combat Championship? At least these idiots in Los Angeles know to show proper respect to their God Queen!
Sahara pumps a fist in the air, and turns around…only to come face to face with the White Angel herself. Gaunt and Sahara stare at one another, alone in the ring, and then slowly gaze above them to the object hanging fifteen feet in the air.
The EWA Combat Championship.
Both drop their gaze to each other once more, and Gaunt mouths something to Sahara, who actually smiles at her, before rolling her eyes…and slugging Gaunt right in the face! And now Gaunt returns with a shot of her own!
MM: The fight is on! Elizabeth Gaunt and Sahara are tearing into one another!
VA: Look, Malone! Look! She loves it!
Indeed, the camera pans over to the side of the ring to Grace Goeren – on her knees on the outside, peering up at her former babies brawling inside the ring, a smug look of satisfaction on her face.
VA: She could be in there right now, Malone, but instead she’s going to let those two tear each other apart and reap the benefits! Oh, what a wonderful God Queen we serve! O, Hallelujah!
Sahara lands a blow directly on the chin of Gaunt, staggering her backwards and splitting the skin open. A trickle of blood begins to flow from the opening that the Crimson Queen inflicted as Sahara shoots Gaunt across the ring into the ropes, and Sahara jumps into the air for a leaping knee strike – but Gaunt quickly slides underneath her, delivering a swift kick to the blonde’s back!
MM: And the force of that kick sends Sahara straight to her knees!
VA: A place she’s very, VERY familiar with, Malone!
Gaunt hits the ropes hard, leaping toward Sahara and snapping her neck toward the mat with a forward somersault cutter…and Grace Goeren slips into the ring behind Gaunt! Grace leaps into the air…
VA: FALL FROM GRACE!! FALL FROM GRACE!! OH YES HALLELUJAH!! PRAISE BE TO GRACE ALMIGHTY!!!
MM: And now Grace is eyeballing one of those ladders out here surrounding the ring!
VA: Why are there four ladders, Malone? Grace only needs to climb one!
Grace heads toward the rope, but Sahara’s back to her feet, and she dives toward Grace, grabbing her by the hair and yanking her back into the ring! Sahara, with a head of steam, rushes toward the turnbuckle, slamming Grace’s head against the turnbuckle repeatedly as the crowd counts!
But instead of slamming the God Queen’s head against the turnbuckle for a tenth time, Sahara pulls Grace back, holding out her own hand and licking it from fingertip to palm, before SMACKING Grace directly across the face! The crowd explodes as the loud SMACK echoes throughout Staples Center!
MM: WHAT A SHOT!
Alice indeed makes a move toward the ring, but Danny Smith tries to talk her down, and finally she relents. Meanwhile, Sahara has exited the ring on the other side, and folds up the ladder, sliding it into the ring!
MM: Sahara’s looking to climb the ladder of success here in the EWA, quite literally, and regain the EWA Combat Championship! She held that title for a record 119 days before losing to Maggie McIntyre back in January at Champions Summit II!
VA: Come on, Grace!
Sahara sets the ladder up squarely in the center of the ring, taking a deep breath as she looks up at it. She plants one foot firmly on the first of eight rungs, beginning the slow climb to the EWA Combat Championship suspended high above the ring.
MM: Could Sahara end this match before it really even gets started? It certainly looks possible!
VA: Get up, Grace!
As Sahara reaches the third rung, perhaps the God Queen hears her rabid follower at the commentary position, as she does indeed get to her feet, grabbing Sahara by the waistband of her tights and yanking her back off the ladder, nearly giving the crowd an eyeful! Sahara acrobatically lands on her feet, only to be absolutely floored with a huge lariat from the God Queen! Grace picks up Sahara, and flings her shoulder first into the corner! The Crimson Queen cries out in pain as her shoulder impacts directly with the steel bar holding up the turnbuckle, and Grace slaps her hands together, as if to say, “Taking out the trash!”
VA: NEVER lose faith in your Almighty God Queen, Malone!
Grace turns her attention to the ladder, and actually laughs out loud as she realizes she’s alone in the ring. She points to the championship belt above the ring, grabbing either side of the ladder with her hands, and slowly takes a methodical stop onto the ladder!
VA: Climb faster, Grace! Go!
MM: She’s savoring the moment! What a display of arrogance by the reigning Combat Cha–
VA: WATCH OUT!!
Ashe’s scream is well warranted, as Elizabeth Gaunt slips into the ring directly behind Grace, and in her hands is a steel chair! Gaunt rises to her feet, looking up to the skies as she also savors the moment of Grace’s arrogance, before swinging the chair as hard as she can, cracking the God Queen squarely across the back! Grace topples from three-fourths of the way up the ladder, landing with a resounding crash on the mat below!
MM: THE GOD QUEEN HAS BEEN EXPELLED FROM THE HEAVENS!!
VA: Oh, you’re going to pay for that one, Malone. Just you wait.
Gaunt remains still, eyes closed, her arms outstretched, the chair dangling from one hand as her head is cast toward the sky, reveling in the reaction of the capacity crowd.
MM: I’m not sure if these people are cheering Gaunt, or cheering the fact that she stopped Grace…and I’m not sure The White Angel cares!
VA: All of these people are going to regret the moment they cheered that, Malone. Ours is a vengeful God Queen, I can promise you that.
Gaunt finally drops the chair, snapping back to attention, and quickly scoops up Grace, dumping her over the top rope and to the outside, where Alice quickly scurries over, checking on her beloved God Queen. Gaunt, meanwhile, exits the ring as well, heading for one of the other ladders on the outside of the ring.
VA: What’s she doing, Malone? There’s already a ladder in the ring!
MM: I don’t think Elizabeth Gaunt is looking to climb the ladder and win this match right now, ladies and gentlemen. The White Angel has blood and vengeance on her mind, and evil intentions in her heart!
VA: Get up, Grace!
Gaunt retrieves a second ladder located in the opposite corner on the outside from the first one, and quickly slams it shut, sliding it underneath the bottom rope. She starts to follow underneath the ring…and then stops, as she notices the monstrous form standing above the fallen Grace Goeren on the outside, staring across at her.
The two share a long stare, before Gaunt finally hisses at the behemoth, forking the sign of the evil eye at her and spitting in her direction before rolling into the ring. Gaunt grabs the ladder, moving it to the corner turnbuckles. The Staples Center crowd begins to buzz as Gaunt works to wedge the ladder between the top and middle turnbuckles. Finally satisfied with her efforts, Gaunt crosses the ring, folding the original ladder up and leaving it lying on the mat as she pulls the blonde bombshell known as Sahara up by her golden locks.
Sahara throws a forearm into the face of Gaunt in an attempt to avoid whatever the White Angel has planned, but Gaunt is not easily deterred, as she snaps, throwing a series of punches straight into Sahara’s face! One of the punches catches Sahara right above the eyebrow, opening a small cut above the Crimson Queen’s eye. The blood trickles down her face as Gaunt drives her shoulder into Sahara’s stomach in the corner, letting out a guttural howl.
VA: Gaunt is on fire right now, Malone!
MM: Indeed she is. Elizabeth Gaunt feels that she has evolved to a higher level of being, and judging from the way she’s performing in the ring tonight, it may be hard to argue her beliefs! And look at that woman on the outside! Look at that evil woman! Damn her!
VA: She’s not evil, Malone! How dare you!
Malone is referring to Grace Goeren, who now stands on the outside next to Alice in front of the commentary table, applauding wildly as Sahara and Gaunt tear into one another. Back inside the ring, Gaunt grabs Sahara with the intention to whip her across the ring and into the ladder lodged into the corner…but Sahara is able to reverse the irish whip, and the White Angel crashes back-first into the ladder! Gaunt lets out a scream of pain as Sahara races toward her, driving her shoulder into Gaunt’s stomach and smashing her against the ladder a second time!
MM: I think Sahara might have taken some of the brunt of that as well, folks!
VA: Yeah, Sahara’s certainly used to taking a pounding.
MM: I mean, really, Vincent, you can’t give it a rest?
VA: What? She’s taken a pounding in the ring as of late! Indrid Calder, Grace Goeren, Elizabeth Gaunt…
MM: For a moment I thought you were going in another direction. I can’t argue that.
VA: And she sleeps around. A lot.
Grace continues to applaud on the outside of the ring, clearly pleased with Gaunt and Sahara tearing into one another. Alice, standing beside her, suddenly notices that they’re standing only a few feet away from the former Fallout manager himself, Duane Gates, sitting at ringside. Alice tugs at Grace’s arm, frantically pointing this out, but Grace pays it no mind, speaking sharply to Alice – and then in one motion, without ever turning around to look at Gates himself, extends her arm behind her, throwing up the middle finger in the direction of her former right-hand man to an explosion of a mixture of cheers and boos from the Staples Center crowd.
VA: That’s right, my God Queen! Shun the non-believers! Cast out of heaven, he art nothing!
MM: Just stop it, Vincent, you’re embarrassing yourself.
VA: SHUN THE NON-BELIEVER! SHUN!
Grace looks up toward the ring just in time to see Sahara racing toward the ropes! The Crimson Queen LEAPS into the air, putting her body completely at risk as she flies over the ropes, somersaulting in mid-air before crashing down toward Grace…
…BUT THE GOD QUEEN CATCHES HER, DRIVING HER DOWN WITH A POWERBOMB ONTO THE OUTSIDE AS SAHARA COMES DOWN!!
MM: WHAT AN UNBELIEVABLE MOVE!!!
VA: GRACE GOEREN, HALLOWED BE THY NAME!!
Grace lets out a scream over the fallen Sahara, but is quickly attacked by a rushing Elizabeth Gaunt, snarling as she drives a fist directly into Grace Goeren’s nose. The God Queen’s nose instantly begins to bleed as the force from Gaunt’s fist connects squarely on the button, rocking Grace backwards against the commentary position as Gates looks on in smug satisfaction from the crowd. Vincent Ashe reaches out, patting Grace on the shoulder.
VA: Grace, in your name I pray, please vanquish this hateful demon with the bleached white hair from our path, ye, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of Champions Summit, I shall fear no evil, for Grace FREAKING Goeren is here to massacre her enemies!
MM: Oh knock it off!
Gaunt stalks toward Grace, but Grace catches her with a boot to the stomach as she leans onto the table. Moving swiftly forward, the God Queen grabs Gaunt by a fistful of her hair, pulling her forward and slamming her face hard against the announcers’ table! The force from the blow immediately splits the forehead of the White Angel open, and the crimson begins to flow as Grace slams her down a second, and then a third time. Grace holds her arms outward to the sky, mocking a couple of jeering fans at ringside, before grabbing Gaunt and forcefully whipping her directly into one of the ladders remaining at ringside!
MM: Oh my God!
VA: Oh my Grace, Malone. Get it right, at least for tonight?
The force from the collision with the ladder sends it toppling over, landing at ringside, and drops Gaunt like a ton of bricks. Grace, undeterred, stalks over, grabbing the fallen ladder and positioning it as a bridge, with one end straddling the ring apron, and the other end balanced precariously on the top of the guardrail.
VA: Malone! I think we’re about to see a sacrifice to our God Queen! This is going to be amazing!
MM: Grace certainly has something awful in store here for one Elizabeth Gaunt.
Grace drags Gaunt to her feet, climbing up onto the ring apron and pulling the White Angel up there. She faces the ladder, smirking as she prepares to lift Gaunt up…
MM: Oh my god, don’t do that–
MM: GOOD GOD! FALCON ARROW ONTO THE LADDER!! THE LADDER JUST BROKE UNDER THE IMPACT OF GRACE GOEREN AND ELIZABETH GAUNT!!
Grace and Gaunt lie, limbs dangling and sprawled out across the wrecked ruins of the ladder that had been braced between the ring and guardrail. Grace flexes her fists, but remains motionless as Alice checks on her, while Gaunt slowly rolls off of the ladder, pounding her fists on the protective mat covering the concrete floor on the outside.
MM: Thankfully, these two warriors seem to be alright, but good god, the impact from that move!
VA: Of course Grace is alright, Malone, she’s a freaking God Queen! Now she’s – hey! Stop her, Grace!
Ashe’s frantic cries are directed toward none other than Sahara, who’s crawled back into the ring after recovering from the vicious powerbomb she took from Grace Goeren after attempting a somersault over the top rope. The blonde pulls herself slowly to her feet, wincing as she holds her back, and grabs the ladder leaning in the corner, setting it upright!
MM: Sahara’s going to make a run at the championship! And why not? This is the perfect opportunity to do it!
VA: Don’t choke, Sahara! I know that’s a common reflex for you given your track record in big matches, but – oh hell, who am I kidding! Choke on it like you’re used to choking on di–
VA: Don’t “Vince” me, Malone, it’s true and you damn well know it!
Sahara positions the ladder, looking up to make sure it’s aligned correctly before taking a deep breath and slowly beginning her climb. At the same time, though, Elizabeth Gaunt slips into the ring, getting to her feet and reaching the ladder as well – and Grace Goeren is right behind her!
MM: All three women are heading to the top!
VA: There’s only room for one God Queen, though, Malone!
Sahara makes it to the fourth rung, but Gaunt is climbing just a bit faster…but Grace climbs up behind Gaunt, grabbing Gaunt’s legs and putting the White Angel on her shoulders! Gaunt climbs back down, falling backwards, slamming Gaunt into the ground with the electric chair maneuver and nearly whiplashing her neck against the ropes! But meanwhile, Sahara’s fingertips are grazing the Combat Championship!
MM: Sahara nearly has it! And listen to these people!
VA: I can’t hear myself think in here, Malone!
Sahara reaches up, slowly climbing to the seventh of eight rungs….
….AND GRACE GOEREN SHOVES THE LADDER OVER! Sahara teeters for a moment before landing crotch-first on the top ring rope, screaming in pain!
VA: Oh great, now we’re going to have to decontaminate the ring ropes! Someone call the exterminator, god only knows what’s living there now!
MM: Will you stop?!
Grace soaks in the boos from the capacity crowd at Staples Center as Alice looks on in delight. The God Queen eyes her Combat Championship, swinging slightly from the hook suspended above the ring, and then looks over at the sprawled out Sahara and Gaunt at opposite areas of the ring. Grace straightens the ladder upright once more, and starts to climb it, but then pauses for a moment, and hops back down off the ladder.
VA: Grace, my queen, grab your title! Do not delay!
MM: What the hell is she doing?
Grace drops to one knee, and slowly begins…unlacing her right wrestling boot? After the first few strands, she shoves a hand in the side of her boot, digging down deep as if she’s searching for something, and finally pulls out an object. Grace begins laughing as our cameraman frantically begins to zoom in on the object, revealing a small, slender cannister with a spray nozzle at the end of it…
MM: Oh for god’s sake.
VA: IT’S HOLY WATER! OUR BELOVED HAS BROUGHT US HOLY WATER!
MM: Holy water? That’s a damned can of pepper spray! Grace Goeren smuggled a can of pepper spray into her boot! This is absolutely uncalled for!
Grace laughs, turning around toward Gaunt – AND GAUNT PROMPTLY DRILLS HER WITH HEARTLESS!! The can of pepper spray goes flying out of the ring as the crowd explodes!
MM: What a superkick straight to that cold black heart of Grace Goeren!
VA: All she wanted to do was cleanse the sins of her babies! YOU UNGRATEFUL HEATHENS!
And now Elizabeth Gaunt grabs the ladder, and begins her climb to the Combat Championship! She reaches the second rung….the third rung…the fourth rung…
MM: OH MY GOD!! UNBELIEVABLE!!!
Sahara, out of NOWHERE, springboards from the ring apron to the top rope, leaping off and DRILLING Elizabeth Gaunt right across the jaw with her Flight of the Valkyrie superwoman punch! The force of the punch sends Gaunt flying off the ladder, and Sahara’s momentum sends the blonde crashing into the ladder as well, leaving all three women in a broken heap in the middle of the ring, the ladder toppled over! And the crowd explodes as a chant slowly builds across Staples Center…
*CLAP CLAP CLAP-CLAP-CLAP*
*CLAP CLAP CLAP-CLAP-CLAP*
*CLAP CLAP CLAP-CLAP-CLAP*
MM: What an incredible performance from these three women! The former triangle that made up the Fallout, putting it all on the line tonight! Bruised, battered and bloody, these three are certifiable badass women!
VA: Even Duane Gates at ringside seems impressed, Malone!
MM: But who will be the first to get to their feet after all of that?
The answer to Malone’s question comes a couple of moments later in the form of the White Angel herself, as Elizabeth Gaunt pulls herself to her feet. Gaunt attempts to set the ladder up again, but somewhere along the way, the steel has twisted and warped, rendering it useless. Gaunt lifts the ladder over her head, flinging it toward the entrance ramp and out of the way. The White Angel casts a glance toward the ladder still wedged in the corner, and then dismisses it, exiting the ring and crawling underneath the ring apron.
VA: Where the hell is she going, Malone? There’s two more ladders sitting at ringside!
MM: I have a feeling she’s not looking for a ladder, Vince–oh my! OH MY!
Indeed, Gaunt is not searching for a ladder, as instead she drags a table out from under the ring, much to the delight of the Los Angeles crowd. Gaunt sets the table up near the entrance ramp, positioning it halfway between the foot of the ramp and the ring itself. She glances back at the ring, seeing that Grace and Sahara are still motionless, and then drops down to her knees again, searching once more underneath the ring.
VA: Malone, she could’ve won the match by now!
MM: I don’t think winning is the primary objective for the White Angel here tonight, Vincent. I think she’s out to punish Grace, and I think she’s out to hurt Sahara as well, at this point.
VA: Not Grace! Anyone but Grace!
Gaunt gets back to her feet, and what she has in her hand now is enough to make the toughest warrior’s heart skip a beat. The fans audibly explode at the sight of the object – or rather, what the object represents.
A small brown burlap bag.
VA: Oh no. No no no no no Malone! I don’t like the looks of this at all!
MM: I think we all know what might be in that bag!
VA: I hope it’s stuffed animals, Malone! Fuzzy cute adorable stuffed ani-NOO!!!
As Gaunt empties the contents of the baggie all over the table, we see that Vincent Ashe is completely wrong, as expected – instead of stuffed animals?
Hundreds and hundreds of thumbtacks, scattered all over the table.
VA: This is absolutely insane, Malone! Thumbtacks aren’t allowed! HAVEN! GET OUT HERE AND STOP THIS MADNESS! Alyssa! SOMEONE!
MM: It’s a ladder match, Vince! There are no rules!
VA: SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING RIGHT NOW!!!
Gaunt grabs the God Queen by the back of the neck, literally dragging her to the mat with a smug look on her face. Gaunt places Grace’s head between her legs, lifting her up into position for a running powerbomb. The White Angel begins the short run toward the table…but at the last moment, Grace floats over, landing on her feet, and quickly pivots, leaping into the air and PLANTING Gaunt on the outside with the Fall From Grace!
VA: YES! I TOLD YOU THE GOD QUEEN WOULDN’T BE PUT ONTO THOSE THUMBTACKS!
Grace – possibly for the first time – sees the disaster that she was about to go through, and smirks, flinging Elizabeth Gaunt into the steel ringpost in the corner. She crosses over to the other side of the ringside area, grabbing Sahara and dragging her under the bottom rope and to the outside by her hair.
VA: Yes! Put that HPV infested parasite through that table, Grace! This is going to be great!
The God Queen drags the blonde over near the table, lifting Sahara high above her head in a gorilla press in one fluid motion. Grace moves to drop Sahara face-first onto the table!
MM: DON’T DO THAT!
Sahara, however, manages to also float over, landing behind Grace! Grace turns around just as Sahara aims a punch, and Grace manages to duck it – but her momentum nearly causes her to fall backwards on the table! Panicked, Grace quickly ducks back under the top rope and into the ring, getting to her feet and hitting the ropes just as Sahara slides in, springing to her feet. The blonde kicks a surprised Grace directly in the gut…
MM: DOWNFALL!! SHE HIT IT!! GRACE GOEREN IS OUT COLD!!! CLIMB THE DAMN LADDER, LAUREN!!
Grace Goeren’s body lands almost perfectly on top of Gaunt’s prone body toward the center of the ring, and now Sahara looks up at the Combat Championship, realizing this is her chance! The blonde exits the ring, shoving the ladder out from the corner turnbuckles and effectively dislodging it from its previous location. Sahara grabs it, looking up…and then looks toward the two women, still out cold.
MM: What are you doing, Sahara?
VA: She’s probably reminiscing about the last time she got laid, Malone. I’m sure it was about 35 minutes ago. Joe Lemon’s backstage somewhere, right?
Sahara takes a deep breath, and sets the ladder up…in the corner?
VA: Unless Sahara’s somehow developed the ability to fly, she’s not going to capture the Combat Championship from there, Malone!
MM: I…I think she may have something else in mind, ladies and gentlemen! Yes, indeed, I think she means to put the nail in the coffin once and for all!
Sahara climbs the turnbuckles to the top rope, and then steps from the top rope to the sixth rung…the seventh rung….and now Sahara precariously balances herself at the very top of the ladder!
MM: Oh my god…
VA: No way, Malone! NO WAY!
Sahara takes one deep breath, and then leaps off the top of the ladder, body twisting and contorting in mid-air as she connects with her version of the spiral tap!
MM: STD!! STD!! SAHARA JUST HIT THE STD ON GAUNT AND GRACE BOTH!!
VA: This can’t be happening!!
And Sahara gets to her feet, holding her stomach, but eyes fixed directly on the Combat Championship! She lets out a scream, pumping her fist in the air, and the crowd explodes as she pulls the ladder toward the center of the ring!
MM: This is it! Sahara’s going to win the Combat Championship! What an incredible performance from the Crimson Queen here tonight!
Sahara sets the ladder up, positioning it just right, and turns around…DIRECTLY INTO A HUGE LARIAT FROM ALICE!!!
VA: YES! ALICE IS HERE TO SAVE THE DAY!!
MM: Oh come on! She’s not even in this match!
Sahara’s body did a full flip in mid-air from the force of Alice’s monstrous clothesline, and now, she drags Sahara to her feet, whipping her into the ropes and planting her with a thunderous powerslam. Elizabeth Gaunt is back on her feet, and she goes for Heartless, but Alice catches her foot, and transitions into a T-Bone suplex, sending Gaunt flying nearly halfway across the ring!
VA: This is beautiful, Malone! This is a woman who understands that you reap the benefits from following the God Queen! Look at her! She’s massive, she’s ripped, and she’s loyal to the end! Everything one of our God Queen’s babies should be! PRAISE YOU, ALICE! PRAISE YOU!
Alice grabs Grace Goeren, and literally lifts Grace onto her shoulders…and now Alice is climbing the ladder!
MM: This is absurd! The woman is literally adding three feet to Grace’s height! This is not right!
VA: Of course this is right, Malone! Grace is —
Grace Goeren is reaching towards the Heavens from Alice’s shoulders, a smug grin spreading across her face. She knows in her heart she’s won. Sahara is laid out on one side of the ring, and Gaunt is plastered against the bottom turnbuckle with her ivory hair hanging around her face and dripping with sweat.
The White Angel doesn’t have the strength to rise just yet, but she has just enough energy to place her fingers into her mouth to unleash an EAR-SPLITTING wolf whistle.
With Grace Goeren’s fingertips INCHES away from the Combat Championship…the lights flicker out, plunging the arena into a stygian abyss.
A gurgling children’s choir begins to sing overhead on the speakers, something that sounds so profane and wrong.
The light returns, momentarily blinding Grace and forcing her to shield her eyes. Once the God Queen gains her bearings, she becomes aware of some repugnant presence somewhere below the ladder.
Grace Goeren slowly looks down, and her mouth falls agape in equal parts shock and disgust.
VA: WHAT IN THE SHIT IS THAT THING?!?
The Cherub stands below the ladder, his malformed body hunched and aggressive. Burn scars decorate his skin like ritualistic tattoos, and a fiery red branded cross splits the meat of his face from brow to chin. He wears a tiara of braided thorns and dead flower petals, and a grin of malignant idiocy seems to dominate the lower portion of his face.
He’s not tall, in fact the beast is quite short, but his build is EXTREMELY wide and muscular…almost like a tank in human form.
The Cherub remains perfectly still, his beetled brow furrowed as he looks to Elizabeth Gaunt for guidance. She pulls herself up just slightly against the bottom turnbuckle, and she lifts her hand up into that familiar “gun” motion. She points that gun at Grace Goeren before offering her former God Queen a wink, and then she drops her thumb and pulls the trigger.
The Cherub reacts like a violent force of nature. He CHARGES across the ring and begins to just SMASH clubbing blows into Alice’s back, battering her over and over again, the sheer velocity of his assault sending the big woman CRASHING down from the ladder.
Grace Goeren tumbles from her shoulders amidst the carnage and FACE PLANTS in the center of the ring, her skull bouncing from the impact.
MM: I believe that’s The Cherub that serves Elizabeth Gaunt, Ashe! Some sort of disfigured acolyte that Gaunt had hidden away in New Eden. We’ve never seen him this close before, and it’s apparent that he’s damn near FERAL.
VA: SCUM OF THE PIT!!! LUCIFER’S IMP!!! That damn dirty Gaunt had an insurance policy from the very beginning, and we’re seeing it come into play right now. This is the same…creature…that took out Blaylock!
MM: Look at him go! I’ve never seen anyone take the fight to Alice on this kind of level before…
VA: This thing isn’t human, Malone! I’m tempted to throw off my headset and go in there and take that lovely God Queen into my arms and carry her off to safety! I’ll just…wait a bit though. That Cherub looks like he’s crawling with diseases…
The Cherub hits the ropes and CRUSHES a running knee into Alice’s head, knocking the big woman out of the ring and over the ropes. She somehow lands on her feet and reaches in to grab The Cherub’s ankle, pulling the beast under the bottom rope.
The two gargantuan monsters begin just slugging it out, ham-sized fists flying as they make their way up the ramp in the direction of the curtains.
MM: And this is pandemonium! Alice and The Cherub have left the ringside area, presumably still fighting, and all three former Fallout members are completely laid out!
VA: I can’t believe this, Malone! Grace had this match won until that disgusting Cherub came out here!
And finally, after a few moments, both Sahara and Elizabeth Gaunt begin to stir. Both begin to crawl their way over to the ladder, and in the meantime, Grace Goeren too gets to her knees. Grace sees what’s going on, and quickly exits the ring, grabbing a second ladder from ringside and sliding it into the ring as well. Sahara and Gaunt are beginning to climb the ladder on either side, and Grace sets her ladder up right next to the one Sahara and Gaunt are under!
MM: This crowd is absolutely bonkers right now! All three women are making their way to the top of their ladders!
VA: I can barely hear myself think, Malone!
Gaunt and Sahara reach the top simultaneously, and Gaunt fires off a hard right hand to Sahara, immediately opening the cut above her eyebrow even more! The blood flies as Sahara fires off a left hand to Gaunt – and then is immediately hit with a hard punch to the temple from Grace Goeren, who’s reached the top of her own ladder! Grace stretches a hand out, reaching for the Combat Championship belt, only to be socked with a punch from Elizabeth Gaunt! And now all three women are trading blows at the top of the ladders!
MM: I’ve never seen anything like this, ladies and gentlemen! They’re tearing into each other at the top of the ladders!
VA: This is war, Malone!!
Gaunt and Sahara finally turn to Grace and simultaneously hit her with punches on either side, causing her to wobble for a brief moment. Sahara glances toward Gaunt, and the two former Fallout members lock eyes for the briefest of moments —
VA: Oh no.
— and both begin to fire away on Grace at the same time! Grace tries to cover up to absorb the repeated punishing blows from Sahara and Gaunt, both of whom now are screaming at their former God Queen – and you have to believe this is some sort of therapeutic beating being delivered by Elizabeth Gaunt and Grace Goeren. The ladder continues to wobble, and at the same moment, Sahara and Gaunt reach out…
AND SHOVE THE LADDER! Grace falls, almost in slow motion as the ladder tips over….
AND GRACE SPILLS OVER THE TOP ROPE AND THROUGH THE THUMBTACK COVERED TABLE ON THE OUTSIDE!!!!
MM: OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! THE GOD QUEEN IS DEAD!! THE GOD QUEEN HAS BEEN SLAIN!!
VA: NOOOOOOOOO! GET UP GRACE!!!
The shattered pieces of table surround Grace Goeren, with thumbtacks protruding from her skin in multiple places, leaving tiny little trails of crimson! The crowd explodes as Sahara and Gaunt take a moment to catch their breath…but only a moment, as Gaunt fires off a right to Sahara! Sahara fires one back, and Gaunt’s arm pistons out, grabbing Sahara by her blonde locks…but Sahara’s arm flings up, breaking Gaunt’s grip, and Sahara reaches out, grabbing Gaunt by the head…slamming her head-first into the base of the ladder…
AND GAUNT TOPPLES OFF THE LADDER! GAUNT CRASHES TO THE FLOOR BELOW, BUT THE LADDER BEGINS TO WOBBLE AS SAHARA REACHES FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP BELT…..
HER HAND IS ON THE TITLE, AND GAUNT BEGINS TO SHAKE THE LADDER….
AND THE LADDER BEGINS TO TIP….
BUT SAHARA GRABS THE BELT! SAHARA UNCLASPS THE BELT JUST AS THE LADDER TIPS HER OVER!!! The Crimson Queen crashes to the mat…
…COMBAT CHAMPIONSHIP IN HAND!!!
DING DING DING!!!
NR: Here is your winner…and….NEWWWWWW…EWA COMBAT CHAMPION….SAHARA!!!
MM: SHE DID IT! THE CRIMSON QUEEN HAS DONE IT! BY GOD WHAT A MATCH!!
VA: I’m gonna be sick, Malone! This can’t be happening!
Referee Danny Smith races over to Sahara, Combat Championship in hand, and gently hands it over to her prone body as ‘Adrenalize Me’ cues up. The crowd roars as Sahara slowly sits up, tears brimming in her eyes as she cradles the championship, looking down at it. The battered Elizabeth Gaunt slowly rolls out of the ring, heading up toward the entrance curtain, while Grace Goeren remains motionless on the outside.
MM: Sahara has done it, ladies and gentlemen! The first ever two-time Combat Championship, and both she and Elizabeth Gaunt have conquered the God Queen, serving their own fiendish version of justice!
VA: This…there will be hell to pay for this, Malone. I swear to Grace, there will be hell to pay!
Sahara slowly pulls herself to her feet, crossing over to the turnbuckle and slowly climbing to the top rope. Sweat pours from her body, dried blood smears a good portion of her face, but the smile that forms as she thrusts the Combat Championship high into the air shows only one emotion – pride.
MM: What an incredible night of action, and it only gets hotter tomorrow night with Night #2 of Champions Summit III! The Human Torch match, the Tag Team Championship match, Donovan King vs Azrael Goeren, and former best friends collide for the World Heavyweight Championship! All that and so much more!
VA: (slams headset on the desk)
MM: Haha! And I think Vince’s reaction says it all tonight! Ladies and gentlemen, for Allison Haines and Vincent Ashe, I’m Mike Malone, and we’ll see you tomorrow night, when we do it all over again here in the City of Angels!
We fade on the image of fireworks exploding above the ring as Sahara stands on the top rope, Combat Championship in hand.
Fade to black.
YOUR WINNER, AND NEW EWA COMBAT CHAMPION: SAHARA (29:44)
EWA Wrestling – a Division of EWA Entertainment
This event may not be rebroadcast without the expressed written consent of EWA Entertainment.
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Cronos Diamante vs Natalie Burrows – Harlan Heubaum
Ethan Leers vs Rachel Ellsworth – Eric Mann
NOTHING vs Jacob Mephisto – Corey Collins
Cal Rayner vs William West – Will Santa
Ray Willmott vs Laura Seton – Harlan Heubaum
Martin Robertson vs Grady Smith – Chris Furman
Grace Goeren vs Sahara vs Elizabeth Gaunt – Gates