(A Crystal White 2017 Escalade rolls up into the scene. The cameraman doesn’t need to zoom in, because he is a man of action and walks over to greet the passenger as the back door opens. Out steps the immaculately dressed Kevin Oppenheimer. The distinguished and respected insignia of the World Wide Bushido Buntai emblazen on his jacket, which Oppy straightens after getting slightly dissheveled on the drive over. He shuts the door behind him, then glances back. A second identical Escalade rolls up.)
Kevin Oppenheimer: Sexy as hell, innit? Doesn’t have a “lift kit”, and the tires are fairly standard size, but the springs in the seat don’t jab you in the arse as you hit speed bumps. Of course, maybe that’s what “floats it” for some, eh Cowboy?
(After getting a wink from Oppy and a mime’d “tip of the cap”, Kevin starts slowly walking. From around the car, Katsuro Yoshida joins him on the slow walk, letting some of their entourage from the other car come join them.)
Kevin Oppenheimer: So what do we do to get Mr. Terry Bull all on our jock to “get a few words before tonight’s match”? Oh, right, that interview was being saved for our second segment of the night, right before we issued the open challenge, or after we beat Tommy Kumquat. Right, right, sorry, sorry, I should’ve rememb’d.
(Amusing himself, Oppy slows to a stop, letting the entourage catch up and figure out where to go for their locker room area.)
Katsuro Yoshida: We might not be flashy. We might not have a half-dozen catchphrases. We won’t be greeting you like this every week. We won’t be begging for extra work on the card, we won’t do multiple interviews or participate in extra crash television segments. And if that means the fans gravitate to the louder, obnoxious alternatives? For now, that is what it will be.
(One of the members of the entourage gives a nod and starts walking off, and Katsuro follows them. Oppy gives a smirk and a wink and then follows as well, as we fade to ringside for the start of Live From Sydney.)
Mike Malone: Ladies and gentlemen, we are coming to you live from Sydney, Australia! We are–
Vincent Ashe: WE COME FROM A LAND DOWN UNDER!
MM: Would you stop it? In any event this is the season premiere of EWA action, and this is EWA Live From Sydney! I’m Mike Malone, alongside my broadcast colleague, and what a huge event we have in store for you tonight, including–
VA: –including the only thing that matters, Malone; the God Queen ascends to her rightful throne tonight! PRAISE BE TO GRACE! PRAISE BE TO GRACE! PRAISE BE TO–
MM: Every championship is on the line tonight, including Maggie McIntyre defending the Network Championship against Martin Robertson, MoCaJo defend the EWA Tag Team Championship against the Vice Squad in a Trios Match, and folks, we’re going to kick off this show with a title match right now! Let’s go to the ring!
NOTHING VS WILLIAM WEST
EWA COMBAT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
VA: Don’t you EVER interrupt my worship again, Malone!
The lights begin to flicker across the arena, until eventually….they die.
VA: So what, we get the spooky shit out of the way now? There better not be any clowns coming out here! I hate clowns!
There’s a crackling of electricity heard around in the crowd, and a pure white spot of light begins to form above the top of the entrance ramp.
MM: I feel like I’ve seen this before…
The silverish strobe of light begins to pulse, a faint hum stretching across the Sydney crowd.
And then the light explodes downward.
The ball of light has become a full beam, with one man standing dead center in it, a single solitary wing stretched wide.
A wing that is now bare of feathers.
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 Masochist begins his march down to the ring, the house lights being raised somewhat. The tips of his hair are bright red, as if the color had grown out and faded.
As the unknown enemies surround me
Wicked laughter resonates inside my head
And I am filled with dread
West stands tall at the foot of the entrance ramp, arms outstretched, the barren wing stretching out even further.
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?
Then it all goes a blur, let instinct take flight
Find my hands on his throat, yet hear myself say, tell me now
The wing retracts as West steps up to the apron, entering the ring.
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
Somebody taught you how to hate
When you live this way you become
The EWA Combat Champion stand on the middle turnbuckle, wing outstretched to its full span, looking down toward the floor, almost as if in mourning.
Dead to everyone
Disturbed’s “Who Taught You How To Hate?” continues to play, as the former Lunatikk Crippler raises his head to the cheering crowd, jaw set at a grotesque angle, shadows of pain and rage etched on his face.
MM: That right there is a man whose soul has been torn in half, waging war against his former brothers in arms.
VA: His body is gonna match his soul reeeeeeeeal soon, Malone. Mark my words.
West retreats back to the canvas, his wing stretching and retracting with a nervous type of energy, as he awaits his challenger for formal ring introductions.
The music is killed.
it seems strange that my life should end
in such a terrible place….
The lights die once again.
VA: Oh, I hate this every time.
We hear muffled laughter coming over the headset as the light begins to gather once more, this time, with a rough, static sound.
And this time, the light is pulsing red.
A heartbeat, almost mechanical, begins to thrum, even being heard over the static.
The pulsing light stops suddenly. The static, the heartbeat, both gone.
The arena is plunged into silence with the exception of random crowd noise.
The red beam of light EXPLODES onto the entrance ramp with such force, the steel seems to vibrate.
Standing dead center of the beam as his favorite Placebo tune begins to play, is the number one contender to the EWA Combat Championship. One of the three challengers for tonight’s World Heavyweight Championship match.
His wing is on the opposite side as that of William West. Much like his former partner, the wing is bare of feathers now.
The Purveyor stares emotionless at his former Pillar.
And he does not stand alone.
MM: That’s Cal Rayner! The Titan of HATE has no business out here!
VA: You might be right, Malone, but, uh, are you gonna tell him that?
NOTHING looks to his side at the wing sprouted from his back, the significance of which is not lost on many.
MM: NOTHING and West, the two Angels of Death that battled Pariah at Champion’s Summit Two, they both seemed to have the same idea about their fractured kinship.
NOTHING smiles coldly down at West, and shrugs off his harness containing the wing. The Purveyor begins to march to war, the constant guardian Rayner close behind.
As they near the ring, West unstraps the EWA Combat Championship and undoes his own harness.
The moment he removes his wing…..HE FLIES!!
William West runs and leaps over the top rope, taking down BOTH Pillars of HATE with a plancha!
MM: The Champion is not even waiting for his challenger to get into the ring! This fight is on RIGHT NOW!
Referee Danny Smith begins his fruitless reminding that the match needs to start in the ring as William West is the first to his feet! He picks up a stunned NOTHING and Irish whips him into the steel guardrail at ringside!
The Purveyor hits the steel with a spine shaking crash, and collapses back to the floor!
VA: Yeah, good job there, Crip, but haven’t you forgotten something?
The giant Rayner is on his feet, mask hiding what is surely a look of seething rage. He charges West, who turns around and sees the lumbering behemoth coming at him!
MM: West with lightning like reflexes, and deadly aim with that drop kick!
Both of West’s feet are planted firmly in the kneecap of the former Dredd, and Rayner goes down, his momentum causing the steel stairs to be knocked away from their post!
MM: Rayner may be unconscious!
VA: Doubtful. West had to literally strangle the man to keep him down when they met last!
West turns back to NOTHING and catches a sharp left hand! West quickly fires back with a fist of his own, rocking the dazed challenger! West fires off a right hand now, and NOTHING is jerked backwards, trying to create distance.
MM; West follows NOTHING now, trying to press his advantage.
VA: If West had stuck to following NOTHING, like he did for most of his career, he wouldn’t be fighting the man he owes his career to!
West continues to wallop NOTHING around the ring, and doesn’t notice the giant form that has appeared in front of him until its way too late!
Rayner has made it back to his feet and he just enveloped West with a huge avalanche! The Combat Champion hits the ground hard, and NOTHING grins as he backs away, catching his breath!
MM: And the monstrous Titan of HATE has floored the Masochist! I wonder, was this the plan all along?
VA: It might just have been! Why in the hell would NOTHING risk his own well being when he is hours away at attempting to wrest the World Heavyweight Title back to the House of HATE?
MM: Maybe for the prestigious Combat Championship, Vince! Maybe to settle a personal score with the man he deemed a traitor? Maybe for personal pride! One thing is for sure; the numbers game has put William West at a huge disadvantage!
VA: Yeah, poor Willy West is out here all alone. Maybe now he will see what happens when you turn your back on your friends and your family!
Rayner grabs West by the threat and lifts him to a standing position with ONE HAND. Rayner tightens his grip and just HURLS West into the ringpost with a massive one handed throw!
MM: Flesh versus steel. Flesh loses. Every. Time.
West lets out a very audible gasp of pain, and a slight grin. The Masochist lives up to his name, grasping the bottom rope to pull himself up to his feet. Rayner runs full force and plants his boot into the side of West’s head, nearly knocking him in a three-sixty spin!
West hits his knees and NOTHING follows up Rayner’s brutality with a vicious snap DDT on the concrete!
VA: This idiot is going to have the top of his skull match his jaw if he just doesn’t give up now!
NOTHING fish hooks West’s mouth with both hands, and pulls back hard. The coldness in the Purveyor’s eyes matches the grin on his face as West’s muffled screams begin to echo across the building, washing over the Australian crowd!
MM: With the viciousness NOTHING is showing here, you’d never guess these two men were once like brothers!
VA: He broke the man’s heart, Malone! West chose the wrong side! They tried to tell him!
NOTHING savagely slams West’s face into the arena floor, the Masochist smacking in the concrete with a sick thud.
VA: You can’t just leave! Look what Rayner would have done to the man had Jester Smiles not intervened! Look what happened to Maggie McIntyre!
NOTHING instructs Rayner to pick West up, and he does so, rolling the limp body of the Combat Champion mercifully into the ring.
VA: When HATE claims you, its in you forever! West is going to learn the hard way what happens to betrayers!
The Purveyor calmly slinks into the ring, and the bell rings, signifying the actual start to the match.
MM: West has been busted open after having his face slammed into the concrete floor! This…. this is all academic from here, folks.
West groggily begins to get to his feet, a stream of crimson flowing on the right side of his face. NOTHING waits, beginning to shed his patience, as he readies for the kill.
West gets up and turns. The Purveyor charges!
MM: Pure HATE!
But West ducks!! NOTHING slides to halt his momentum and quickly gets back to his feet, planting the heel of his boot against the chin of West with a beheading superkick! West falls, his limbs flailing as he crashes down into the canvas! NOTHING goes for the first cover of the contest!
MM: And West gets his shoulder up!
NOTHING grits his teeth in disbelief, but nonetheless keeps on his assault! He lifts West up off the canvas and absolutely obliterates him with a swinging fishermans neckbreaker!
MM: Spineshank! The Champion landed on the bridge of his neck, and NOTHING clasps his hands together! Shoulders down!
Th-West breaks free!
VA: That’s one of NOTHING’s go-to moves! West still got out of it!
NOTHING unleashes his rage now, raining down left hand after left hand, opening the cut on the Masochist’s forehead into a gash, smearing his fist with the blood of his brother!
MM: Is Prudence Collins looking to end the reign of William West here, or end William West himself?
NOTHING now with a vicious headbutt, and West hits the canvas spread eagle, not moving. The Purveyor is dazed, and there’s a splotch of blood on his forehead now.
MM: Folks who are late turning in, that isn’t NOTHING’s blood he’s almost covered in now. William West is busted open badly now, and the Purveyor is just splattered with the stuff!
NOTHING grabs the red tips of the Masochist’s hair and drags the man to the corner. The Purveyor of HATE gets a running start and drives BOTH knees into the face of West!
MM: West has been so savagely assaulted, how is he even still conscious!?
VA: He’s gotta be running on fumes right now.
NOTHING doesn’t go for the cover. He lifts the Masochist up to a half-assed standing position and then scales the turnbuckles behind him.
VA: We know what’s coming here! Darkness is about to Fall on the career of William West!
NOTHING hooks West’s head under his arm and flips over him!
But West grips the top rope tightly! The Purveyor crashes painfully to the canvas to the roar of the Sydney crowd!
MM: And the Combat Champion still has a little strength left!
VA: Instinct, Malone! It’s gotta be pure instinct!
West pulls himself upright, looking out to the crowd. The blood covers the right side of his face and is still flowing, but the look in his eyes show that he is indeed very much alive!
NOTHING gets to his feet and turns back toward his pray, ONLY TO BE CUT IN HALF BY A WICKED SPEAR!
MM: Blood Drive by William West! The champ is gonna retain!
West tries to hook the leg in the cover!
NOTHING kicks out forcefully! West pulls the Purveyor back up, but NOTHING swings with s right hand!
West ducks! He hooks NOTHING by the head before he can spin back around and drives him down with a falling reverse DDT! Another cover!
NOTHING kicks out again!
VA: All these prideful champions, always wanting to get the win. West needs to realize that he DOESN’T have to beat NOTHING here! The Purveyor has to beat HIM!
MM: This is war between West and HATE, Vince! West absolutely has to win here! This is the first time these two have ever squared off, and this would be one hell of a blow against the Pillars!
West picks NOTHING up again, but this time gets caught by the wild right hand The Harbinger of HATE throws! West stumbles backward, nearly falling through the ropes, but hangs on! He pulls himself back up with the top rope, and uses the momentum from the swing to knock NOTHING into Melbourne with a brutal lariat!
VA: Crikey! What a lariat!
MM: Did you just….never mind. Another pinfall attempt by West!
Th-NOTHING gets the shoulder up! West signals to the crowd, and the roar back at him!
MM: I think West is calling for the end! Lunatikk Sweet coming up!
West lets NOTHING get to his feet, and leaps in the air!
NOTHING catches him, driving William West across his knee with a back breaker!
MM: Somewhere, El Asso Wipo is smiling after that vicious backbreaker!
VA: Who gives a shit?
West is in agonizing pain as NOTHING gets unsteadily to his feet, backing into a corner. He leans down, staring at his former partner with heart stopping malice.
VA: Who’s in trouble now, Malone? West is about to feel Pure HATE!
West is up and NOTHING charges!
MM: West blocked it! He could have had his forearm snapped, but he just blocked that deathblow!
NOTHING uses his agility to land on his feet, but West hooks him for a Flatliner!
And drops to one knee, driving the chest of NOTHING into his other!
MM: Just like a stake through the heart of the Purveyor! What an impact!
VA: NOTHING is motionless! This is NOT good!
West rolls NOTHING over and hooks both legs! Danny Smith slides over to make the count!
There is no third count, as the Titan of HATE grabs the leg of Danny Smith and YANKS HIM from the ring! Smith IMMEDIATELY calls for the bell, and the crowd roars!
NR: The winner of this match, as a result of a disqualification, and STILL EWA Combat Champion-
Nikki Rogers doesn’t get to finish her announcement, as Rayner has entered the ring and absolutely floored William West with a big boot! West hits the canvas with a splat, and the crowd is very vocal in their displeasure!
MM: And now the real plan comes to fruition. The destruction of the Masochist.
Rayner lifts West up by his throat, much like he did before the match began, and rockets him back into the mat with a thunderous chokeslam!
VA: The champ retains, but it may still be his only defense!
NOTHING is unsteady, but back on his feet, clutching his chest.
MM: Look at the face of one of the contenders for the World Title! NOTHING is seething with rage!
He barks his orders at Rayner to lift West to his feet, and the Titan happily complies, doing so with ease. West is lifeless in the Titan’s grasp, and NOTHING runs and drills the Masochist with Pure HATE!
MM: The match is over! What does this prove!?
VA: That you don’t walk away from the House of HATE.
The Purveyor sneers down at the Masochist and begins to leave the ring. Trainers rush into the ring to tend to the bleeding Combat Champion, and the crowd continues to boo the Pillars of HATE on their exit.
MM: The Combat Champion is in rough shape once again at the hands of his former brethren!
VA: It’s what he deserves!
MM: Regardless of your irrelevant opinion, this situation is far from resolved!
VA: Right. West isn’t smart enough to let things be.
MM: As they tend to the injuries of William West, lets go ahead and go backstage, where one of the EWA’s newest Warriors is standing by with our very own Allison Haines!
YOUR WINNER BY DISQUALIFICATION, AND STILL EWA COMBAT CHAMPION: WILLIAM WEST (13:09)
(We go back to the backstage area, where we see the one…the only…Miss Allison Haines. She is standing in front of an EWA backdrop with the microphone clutches in her hands, a smile on her face. She looks her usual stunning self.)
Allison Haines: Ladies and gentlemen, my guest at this time…the Bluegrass Bad Ass, Buck Dresden.
(The fans are heard cheering loudly as Buck Dresden appears in view. He is wearing his BAB Cowboy hat, pulled tightly over his eyes, his stubbled face smirking as he enters the frame. He is also wearing his black BAB trenchcoat, but his chest is bare. On his shoulder, however, is a championship belt. He looks down at it and the back to Allison.)
Allison Haines: Buck, tonight, you’re going to go one on one with Katsuro Yoshida. Rumors have flown about your history in and around Japan, not to mention your prior knowledge of World Wide Bushido Buntai, the organization that Katsuro is the leader of. What are your thoughts heading into tonight?
(Buck adjusts the belt on his shoulder.)
Buck Dresden: Allison? You hear them people out there?
(The fans can be heard cheering as Allison looks off screen, presumably in the direction of the fans.)
Buck Dresden: What you hear is respect. Appreciation. Love. Loyalty. Them folks out there don’t know me from Adam, but what they DO know about Buck Dresden is that Buck Dresden puts in that work. Each day, EVERY day. So when they see a man like me standing there in that ring face to face with a man built like a brick shit house, you know what they think?
(He pauses, staring blankly at Allison.)
Allison Haines: I…no, no I don’t.
Buck Dresden: That was rhetorical, darlin’. Keep up.
Allison Haines: But you paused…
Buck Dresden: They think Katsuro Yoshida’s gonna put the hurt on anybody what got in the ring with him, but here’s the big news, darlin’. Here’s the scoop. You know what this belt is on my shoulder? No worries, I’ll tell you. It’s the AlieNation-One Pro Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship. I’ve been A1W’s World Champion fer two years plus. I’ve taken on any an’ all comers. I’ve loved each an’ every minute, too. Bottom line, darlin’, is simple.
(He looks at the title and then back to her.)
Buck Dresden: This belt don’t mean a damn thing to the EWA Warriors in the back. It means the world to me because I earned it, but these Warriors what never fought me fer it? It don’t mean diddly.
(Buck hands the belt off to a stage hand off screen.)
Buck Dresden: See, nobody knows a damn thing about World Wide Bushido Buntai, Kevin Oppenheimer, Katsuro Yoshida, or that dumb mother fucker Osamu Hayashi. Nobody knows anything so they don’t care. I knew that at the Warriors Trial, so I challenged anybody to come fight me. Joe Lemon heard the call, we went toe to toe, so when the time came fer me to set foot in the Trial itself, EWA fans who hadn’t seen me or loved me before were invested in me. It’s a matter o’ show, not tell, sweetheart.
(Buck turns to the camera.)
Buck Dresden: One thing I do in my life is both. I show. I tell. I don’t give a damn the outcome o’ that. I’m proud o’ bein’ A1W’s World Champion but I’m not out here tryna be the representative fer that company. I’m out here to show the world an’ show EWA that Buck Dresden loves what he does, he loves what he does it for, an’ he loves who he does it for. Katsuro, you sit in the back an’ take zero initiative to showcase World Wide Bushido Buntai so you know what I damn do? I shit all over it. You want these fans to want to see you? To want to expect better entertainment that you seem so convinced you show them?
(Buck rolls his eyes, scoffing.)
Buck Dresden: Ya dumb summabitch, all you done is talk. All you done is tell. Well, buddy boy, tonight’s your time fer show an’ tell. Show an’ prove. You think you got what it takes to prove Bushido Buntai can hold a candle to the Bad Ass Brotherhood? You think you got what it takes to prove to the EWA faithful, the Warriors in the back, that Katsuro Yoshida can whip the Bluegrass Bad Ass Buck Dresden?
(Buck turns to Allison and then back to the camera.)
Buck Dresden: Prove it, bitch.
(Buck steps off screen, leaving Allison by herself. She shrugs her shoulders and smiles, happy with how that went.)
Allison Haines: Buck Dresden, with some choice words for his opponent coming up here in a few moments, Katsuro Yoshida. Right now, let’s take you to a word from our newest sponsor!
(The camera fades into a sunny afternoon setting of a massive car lot – dozens and dozens of shiny new cars, as far as the eye can see. As we continue to pan back from the cars, our focus takes us to a beautiful new Chevy Malibu, where we see three individuals standing. One is a middle aged Italian-American, who sort of looks like a cross between a mafioso boss and your drunk uncle who always tells the same stories over and over. He’s wearing a black button-up shirt, slacks, and a pair of sunglasses, and holds a large microphone in his hand.
The second individual is an attractive full-figured blonde woman, wearing a red dress and black sunglasses, also with a microphone of her own.
And the third person…is Joe Lemon. Decked out in his hat with the fuzzy lemon on the bill, he holds a glass of lemonade in one hand and an oversized microphone in the other.
In a sudden burst of very low-budget advertising, the names of these individuals suddenly appear in large block letters below them.)
Billy Fuccillo: This is gonna be our biggest giveaway yet, folks. $500,000 in cash and a trip to Sydney, thanks to the generous folks at the Eastern Wrasslin Alliance. Tell ‘em all about it, Caroline.
Caroline: That’s right, Billy, head on down to the brand new Fuccillo Chevrolet just two blocks from beautiful Boston Harbor. Every test drive in one of our gorgeous stock of new 2018 vehicles gets you an entry into the biggest contest in our history! And if you come down Saturday from 10-6. EWA wrestler Joe Lemon will be here to sign autographs and play with your kids!
Billy Fuccillo: Joe Lemon?! Wow! That’s h–
Joe Lemon: That’s right folks! I’ll be right here alongside Billy and Caroline, spreading joy and helping you find the car you’ve always been looking for! I’ll even be handing out free glasses of lemonade!
Billy Fuccillo: Lemonade? Whoa, let me try that, Joey.
(Lemon hands Fuccillo the glass of lemonade, and he slowly sips from it, smacking his lips.)
Billy Fuccillo: Caroline, this is some good lemonade. Better than those cocktails you love to knock back at the bar. Here, have some.
Caroline: I’m good, thanks. Head on down this Saturday to Fuccillo Chevrolet for the biggest contest ever, folks!
Billy Fuccillo: It’s gonna be HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE.
(Fade to black.)
(We cut back to our announce crew at ringside as Mike Malone and Vincent Ashe are getting ready for the next match of the evening.)
MM: Folks, considering everything we’ve already seen tonight I’m not quite sure how we’re going to top it…but our next match…
(Before Malone utters another word, the arena lights go out before a thunderous explosion happens at the top of the ramp. The video screens come to life with a revolving “A.G.” logo as a red and gold light show begins in the arena. The opening chords of Subway to Sally’s “Sieben” can be heard as AZRAEL GOEREN steps out from behind the curtain and stands at the top of the ramp, smiling out at the packed crowd here in Sydney.)
MM: My God! It’s Azrael Goeren! He’s here!
VA: What?! COME ON! This guy is worse than a cockroach, can someone please get rid of him? My day is now officially ruined.
MM: I can’t disagree with you more, it’s great to see Azrael again…especially since the last time we saw him he was being shoved out of a moving vehicle back in Boston, it looks like he’s recovered and is on his way to the ring!
(Azrael puts his hands up to his eyes and peers out at the nearly 20,000 fans packed into the Qudos Bank Arena, giving them a nod and then slowly making his way down the long ramp. He’s dressed far more modestly than most EWA fans are used to seeing, wearing a very stylish striped Navy suit with a watch chain attached. His face still shows the wear and tear from his brutal fight with Donovan King and subsequent “incarceration” at his hands but he’s all smiles here tonight as he hits the ring and rolls underneath the bottom rope.)
MM: Listen to the ovation that our great Australian fans are giving this wrestling legend! I think we’re all relieved to see him here tonight…say what you will about Azrael…
VA: Oh I’ve got a LOT to say about this crackhead, trust me…
MM: …but no matter what you think of him on a personal level, nobody should have gone through what King put Azrael through after the Champions Summit. King beat Azrael every possible way and for all intents and purposes got the revenge he was looking for…and then he just took it way, way too far.
VA: Not far enough if you ask me. You got a weak stomach, Malone. Azrael ruined King’s life and exploited his legacy when they were together in SHOOT. Hell, Goeren basically killed that entire promotion when he was on the board of directors. He took away King’s livelihood when he had a family to take care of!
MM: I’m not defending what he’s done in the past, I’m just saying getting even is one thing and becoming infatuated with hurting another human being is something entirely different.
(Azrael reaches through the ring ropes and politely asks for a microphone as the lovely Nikki Rogers hands him one. He quietly thanks her and moves to the center of the ring, looking out at the cheering crowd. He tries to speak but they quickly drown him out as Azrael lets out a laugh and shakes his head.)
(Goeren gives them another big smile and nods his head at the cheers, acknowledging the incredibly warm welcome he’s received from the EWA faithful.)
Azrael Goeren: Danke, danke. Thank you all so very much for that, although to be completely honest with you I don’t think I quite deserve all of that.
VA: No shit…
MM: Quiet, you. Let him talk.
Azrael Goeren: For the past few months, I’ve been dealing with a lot of personal issues…both internally and externally. I guess you could say it’s been a domino effect that started when Donovan King came back into my life.
(At the sound of King’s name there is a very mixed reaction from the crowd to say the least. There are some cheers but there is an overwhelming amount of boos upon hearing the name of the SHOOT Project legend.)
Azrael Goeren: Seeing him again and knowing that he held a very justifiable grudge against me forced me to make some very stupid and rash decisions. Decisions that I’m not at all proud of and ones that I wish I could take back. You see…Donovan King was completely right. I did ruin his career and his life back when we were both in Las Vegas. I did so maliciously and with zero regard for his or his family’s well being. I did it for profit. I did it for power. Because back then?
(Azrael shakes his head despondently and closes his eyes.)
Azrael Goeren: I wasn’t a man. I was a fucking coward. I thought I could get to the top by keeping everyone else down and what did it get me in the end? An empty trophy case in a house I don’t even own any more. At the time, milking the SHOOT Project for all it was worth meant the world to me and only now do I realize just how many people I hurt in my pursuit of power. And for those people who are still out there…it might not mean anything to you now or it might mean the world to you…but I truly am sorry for what I did to all of you. I am so very, very sorry.
(The fans in the arena respectfully applause Azrael’s honestness as he continues, opening his eyes and looking out at the crowd once again.)
Azrael Goeren: I’ve always been an open book with you all so I see no need in sugarcoating this. Seeing King again after all of these years caused me to relapse back into heavy drug and alcohol abuse. I thought I had buried those demons with the help of a woman who understood me better than anyone I’ve ever met in my life. She gave me her love unconditionally, despite all of my faults and eccentricities. I turned away from her because that’s what cowards do. I cast aside a chance at having a relationship with my son Max again just so I could fight a man who I should have shown compassion towards, not anger. I did these things because I was weak…physically, emotionally and spiritually.
(The Megastar raises his head towards the arena ceiling and then slowly back down.)
Azrael Goeren: Donovan King was always able to bring the worst out of Azrael Goeren and he did it again at the Champions Summit. Maybe that was his goal all along. I’ve never been beaten that badly in my entire career and that’s saying a hell of a lot. But that wasn’t enough for him…he wasn’t after revenge anymore…he was consumed with something else, something far darker…
(Azrael walks around the ring a bit, appearing very agitated and clearly not comfortable with the thoughts inside his own head.)
Azrael Goeren: I’ll spare you the gory details, but my time being King’s “guest” after the Champions Summit was not a pleasant one. That’s what we call a polite euphemism, by the way. In truth…mein Gott, it was a daily Hell that was unflinching and unbreakable. And make no mistake, he had broken me…body and soul. Until…I had myself what addicts call a moment of clarity.
(Goeren waves his hands frantically about with a smile, seemingly growing more confident and bold with each passing second.)
Azrael Goeren: I thought that what King was doing to me throughout this entire ordeal and losing my beautiful Jada and my son Max in the process was some sort of divine punishment…and not that pseudo-religious bullshit my daughter talks about either. But real scorched earth right out of the Bible type of punishment that I rightfully deserved. But here’s the thing…only one entity in this world can cast judgement on me and despite what Donovan says…he’s no fucking King of Kings.
(The crowd pops big time for that last sentence as Azrael starts moving about the ring more freely, the smile returning back to his face.)
Azrael Goeren: Oh I will be judged one day for everything I’ve done but definitely not by him. So as far as King and I are concerned? We’re even. We’re done. He got his chance to beat the ever loving piss out of me and he did it. So why is he still fighting me? He’s won…he’s beaten me…what is this really all about? Well my dear freunds…I’ll tell you…it’s about one thing…
(Azrael stops and holds up his index finger towards the audience.)
Azrael Goeren: Obsession. It’s a funny thing. It can guide you to all of the fruits life has to offer or it can poison your soul. And Donovan has let his obsession with hurting me rot his insides into such a black, heartless mess that he can’t see that he’s already won. It consumes every bit of him, like a cancer. He’s built up his hatred towards me to such a degree that if it was ever taken away from him then he would just be an empty vessel. Devoid of any feeling or sense of direction in life. That’s why he kept me. Not for my punishment…but for his purpose.
(The German Megastar shakes his head and looks back up towards the ramp.)
Azrael Goeren: Well Donovan…I refuse to play your game any longer. You won. You’ve beaten me. And I accept that. I hope you do too. Let this go and find your peace because that’s what I plan on doing. Since I was shoved out of that car in Boston, I’ve done my best to stay away from everyone in my life who I cared about before my relapse. But tonight? Tonight I’m going to start making things right again in my life. And I know exactly who I want to start with…
(Azrael steps through the ropes and hops back down onto the arena floor, still holding the microphone in his hands. He stops and soaks in his surroundings one last time, taking it all in.)
Azrael Goeren: And as for EWA…this sport is the greatest sport in the world and one that I’ve been competing in since I was 18 years old. I’ve taken so much from it and given so little in return. Maybe one day I can pay it back but for the first time…I need to take care of my life out of this ring instead of in it. So I guess what I’m trying to say is…
(Before Azrael can finish his sentence, he glances up towards the ramp and drops the microphone. He tenses up almost immediately and shakes his head again as the crowd EXPLODES upon seeing DONOVAN KING exit from behind the curtain, standing at the top of the ramp with his hands tucked into the front of his black hoodie.)
MM: Oh no…oh God no…Donovan King is here too?! This is not good, things are going to get real messy around here real fast!
VA: Look at you, always jumping to conclusions. Maybe he’s just here to watch the show.
MM: Or maybe he’s here to start another brawl with Azrael! We need to get security out here now! Neither man is booked tonight and we can’t allow things to get out of hand between them again. Not after what happened last time.
(The two longtime foes stare each other down from their spots on the ramp, King at the top and Goeren near the bottom. Slowly, Azrael takes a step forward. And then another. And then another. King remains motionless, just eying Goeren with an icy cold stare.)
MM: What in the world is Azrael doing? Does he think he can just walk by King and leave? If King traveled all this way just for another shot at Azrael, no way he allows that to happen without repercussions.
VA: Oh man, please Donovan King…PLEASE…knock this kraut bastard out again. Remember Champions Summit when Goeren was bleeding all over the place? Looked like a Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie up in there…let’s get the sequel tonight, baby!
(Azrael continues his slow ascent up the ramp, this time only a few feet away from the stoic King. The fans are on their feet and the cheers are deafening as Azrael takes another step towards King and is almost nose to nose with his longtime adversary.)
MM: I think Azrael is saying something to him…
VA: What the hell do we pay our camera crews for? Get over there!
(Azrael mouths something to King, pointing back at the ring and then shaking his head. King continues to say nothing, just staring back into Azrael’s eyes before he slowly nods his head.)
VA: Wait, what just happened? What just happened, Malone?
MM: I have no idea…but Azrael is walking away and King is letting him go! Did Azrael just talk some sense into him? Did King finally realize that this war is over and…
VA: Holy shit, look out!
(The second that Azrael turns his back to King and starts headed through the curtain, King surges forward and lariats the back of Azrael’s skull and drives him headfirst into the cold steel! Azrael crumples to the ground and King starts violently putting the boots to him, driving the heel of his boot directly into Azrael’s jaw and screaming down at him amidst the thunderous boos from the sold out arena.)
MM: Donovan King with a horrific sneak attack on Azrael Goeren and now the former SHOOT Project World Champion has a handful of Goeren’s hair and is dragging him away from the curtain. This is insane, Donovan King just can’t let this go!
VA: Can you blame him, Malone?
MM: Yes! Yes I absolutely can! Goeren was right, this isn’t about revenge anymore! These are just the sick actions of a demented man!
(King pulls Azrael up to his feet so his back is facing the ring and nails him across the face with a vicious elbow, causing Goeren to tumble off the ramp and into the barricade. King takes aim and jumps from the ramp down onto the prone Azrael, letting loose with a barrage of left and right hooks into Azrael’s face.)
MM: This needs to be stopped, things are really getting out of hand here.
VA: No! Come on, we haven’t seen Goeren’s face get pureed yet! Let’s give the people what they want to see!
MM: Only you want to see that!
VA: Hey, I’m a man of the people.
(King stands up over Azrael and holds his fists up for the crowd to see, the white tape on his hands now covered with Azrael’s blood. As he glances back down to sneer at the German, Azrael suddenly surges forward and headbutts King directly in the crotch!)
VA: That cheap son of a bitch! Where the hell is security? Get them out here now!
(King bowls over from the pain and Azrael springs to life and connects with a stiff uppercut right to King’s jaw. King stumbles backwards and Goeren spears him into the ramp, driving his shoulder violently into King’s gut. Azrael whips his blood-stained hair back and climbs back onto the ramp, grabbing hold of King’s hoodie and dragging him up with him.)
MM: King and Goeren are both exchanging lefts and rights, they’re fighting their way back towards the ring. A brutal uppercut from Goeren and King is against the ring apron now!
VA: So much for Goeren calling things even between them, I’ve always told you he was a hypocrite!
MM: King attacked him first!
VA: Again with the excuses.
(Azrael rolls King underneath the bottom rope and slowly climbs in the ring after him, only to have King’s knee slam into the side of his head when he tries to enter the ring. King tucks Azrael’s head underneath his arm and then drives him to the mat with a sickening DDT, rolling over and throwing some malicious punches into the back of Goeren’s head.)
VA: There we go, King! Oh man, can anyone in the production truck just make a video loop of this for the next 3 hours so I can watch it over and over again? This is great!
MM: King is not letting up at all, he’s dragging Goeren back to his feet and…
VA: WHOA! DAMN!
MM: WHAT A SPINEBUSTER! King nearly drove Goeren right through the damned mat! Wait…where’s he going?
VA: Oh yeah, looks like he’s going to get some toys. Hey! Mr. King! Hey! Take my chair! Take my chair! Oh please wise and benevolent Grace in the sky, take my chair and beat the ever loving crap out of him!
MM: Sit down, you’re making an even bigger ass out of yourself than usual.
(With conviction and hatred, King makes his way to ringside and shoves a nearby EWA attendant out of his chair and folds it up, slapping the metal with the palm of his hand. He rolls back into the ring and stands behind a weary Goeren who is on his hands and knees, trying to get back to his feet.)
MM: King’s got that chair…he’s lining Azrael up…this is sick, this is sick! This is just like the Champions Summit all over again, Azrael can’t defend himself!
(King patiently waits for Azrael to get to his feet as the German uses the ropes for leverage. King gets a running start for momentum and…CRACK! The steel chair smashes over Azrael’s back as he crumples back down to the mat in a heap with King screaming down at him.)
MM: We need to get some help down here and we need it now! Goeren is…oh god, he’s coughing up blood now…we need some help!
(Azrael rolls around on the mat, one hand reaching back to cover the impact spot of the chair while the other holds his ribs tightly. He coughs and dry heaves in the corner as King is absolutely relentless. He kicks Azrael’s head while he’s in the corner, driving his face down into the mat before he walks back over to the center of the ring with the chair still in hand.)
MM: King is setting up that chair in the middle of the ring…I don’t like this…I don’t like this at all…okay…okay, I’m getting word that security is on its way. Thank God. Apparently Ms. Vandervort has seen enough!
VA: Yeah well as usual Vandervort is a day late and dollar short. No way they get to the ring in time before King finishes him off!
(Grabbing a handful of Azrael’s hair again, King yanks him to his feet and positions him over the set up chair. He points a finger directly into Goeren face and mouths something to him before hooking his arm around his neck and spinning towards the chair!)
MM: MY GOD! DONOVAN KING GOING FOR THE KINGBREAKER OVER THE STEEL CHAIR! HE’S GOT HIM HOOKED AND…
VA: NO!! GOD DAMN IT, NO!
MM: GOEREN SHOVES HIM OFF!
(King stumbles forward as Goeren squirms out of his grasp, shoving King off of him. King quickly turns to stay on the offensive but is met with a picture perfect European uppercut that staggers him backwards into the ropes. King adjusts his jaw and tries to shake the cobwebs loose, giving Goeren enough time to yank the steel chair out from the middle of the ring and take aim…)
MM: GOEREN’S GOT THE CHAIR NOW, KING IS STILL REELING AND…
(Goeren swings for the fences and absolutely blasts King across the side of the head with the steel chair, the violent momentum of the swing even causing the chair to fly out of his hands and onto the mat below. For a second, King does nothing…he stands defiantly in front of Goeren before the reality of the blow sinks in and he drops to his knees in a glassy-eyed glaze.)
MM: What a chair shot from Azrael Goeren! How is Donovan King even still conscious after that?!
VA: Here comes security! They’re rushing to the ring!
(Swarming towards the ring is the black-shirted EWA security officers who are running down the long ramp as fast as they can. King slowly rocks back and forth on his knees, clearly not all there after taking that chair shot as he looks up at Azrael in a daze. Goeren stares back down at him, shakes his head…and NAILS HIM WITH A BLITZKRIEG BUZZSAW KICK RIGHT TO THE SIDE OF HIS HEAD!)
VA: HOLY SHIT!
MM: SECURITY HAS JUST HIT THE RING AND THEY ARE PULLING AZRAEL OFF INTO A CORNER…KING HAS JUST COLLAPSED AFTER THAT BLITZKRIEG!
VA: AND NOW GOEREN IS DOWN!
(Security and medical personnel flood into the ring as Azrael slumps down in the corner, keeping his eyes locked on King but heaving wildly and still spitting up blood. The medics quickly attend to both men as the crowd has absolutely lost their minds at this impromptu brawl, wildly cheering and screaming at the violence that just erupted here between Donovan King and Azrael Goeren.)
MM: Both men are now being seen to…folks, this has been absolutely surreal! We thought that this heated rivalry between these two was over at the Champions Summit but tonight proved otherwise.
VA: Yeah, it showed that Azrael Goeren just can’t stay out of the spotlight. You know how these druggie prima donnas are, they just don’t know when to quit!
MM: Are you sure you’re not the one who’s high? Azrael only defended himself after Donovan King took a cheap shot at him. King just…he just can’t let this go and he ended up paying for it tonight here in Sydney!
VA: I would not want to be Azrael when King wakes up, he made this entire situation way, way worse for himself by doing this to Donovan here tonight. Stupid move. He’ll pay for this, trust me. By Grace as my witness, he’ll pay!
MM: It looks like they’re trying to clear the ring right now to get ready for our next match…wow…this has just been insane everyone. And I know this is far from over…
(More medics hit the ring as Azrael slowly gets to his feet, giving a smile out towards the crowd and holding his hand up in appreciation. He quickly lowers it and holds onto his ribs as he’s helped out of the ring. Meanwhile, King is slowly stirring inside the ring before we cut backstage as the chaos from the brawl fades away.)
(Our camera fades into the scene backstage, where Stacy Vandervort sits at her desk inside the office of the Executive Assistant. She’s furiously typing away at a keyboard, frowning for a moment, when suddenly a loud crash is heard.)
Stacy Vandervort: What the…HEY!
(The door flings open, and in walks the warrior who made, well…a memorable debut at the Warrior’s Trial IV back at Battlelines 34….
THE ANGRY PANDA.
The Angry Panda stomps in, grabbing Stacy’s keyboard, and begins smashing it viciously against the desk.)
Stacy Vandervort: What the fuck? Stop! STOP IT RIGHT NOW!
(Amazingly, the Angry Panda listens, putting what’s left of Stacy’s keyboard back on the desk.)
Stacy Vandervort: (sighs) Look. Whoever…you are, underneath all of that? I get it. The Warrior’s Trial didn’t go quite as you’d planned, right?
(The Angry Panda…angrily….begins pantomiming a chokeslam, followed by a motion that can only be construed as throwing someone over the top, followed by gesturing around his waist in the classic “championship belt” gesture, and then stabs a finger directly down at the ground.)
Stacy Vandervort: Oh no. No, no, that’s taking it too far. If I put you in that title match tonight just because you were never eliminated from the Trial, they’ll annihilate you–
(The Angry Panda grabs the keyboard back off the desk, and once again begins beating it against the surface. Stacy screams out at him/her/it.)
Stacy Vandervort: OKAY! STOP! You…
(She lets out an exaggerated sigh.)
Stacy Vandervort: You can be in the championship match tonight. But I’m not going to be held responsible for what they do…to….
(The Angry Panda storms off, clearly…less angry now?)
Stacy Vandervort: …you…whoever the hell you are.
(Fade to ringside.)
VA: Malone, does this mean we have a fatal fiveway now? Holy crap!
MM: I…I can’t believe what I’m about to say…but apparently the Angry Panda…gets a shot at the EWA World Heavyweight Championship tonight.
KATSURO YOSHIDA VS BUCK DRESDEN
The lights go out completely and a lone white spotlight shines down onto the stage. Red lights shine upwards, illuminating the fog as it rolls in. An older Japanese man walks out onto the stage wearing dark robes emblazoned with gold Japanese symbols outlined in burgundy, and a matching Toppai jingasa hat. He is followed by four women, each wearing similar robes. “Koto” by CloZee kicks in.
NR: The following contest is scheduled for ONE FALL!
Though the man travels slowly towards the ring, the women stand at four equidistant spots around the circle formed by the spotlight. From the back emerges Katsuro Yoshida, wearing a similar dark robe, though his has white stitch detailing, making it far more ornate. He is not wearing a hat like the others, but rather his robe comes up over his head as a hood which blocks a large portion of his face.
NR: Introducing first…accompanied to the ring by his business partner and advocate Kevin Oppenheimer…he hails from Miura, Japan!
Coming out behind him is Kevin Oppenheimer, wearing his blonde hair spiked up, dark sunglasses which reflect like a mirror, and a suit which coordinates very nicely with that of the other individuals on the stage, the dark fabric utilized for his pants and jacket and tie, and a deep burgundy-colored shirt. Embroidered into the left breast pocket portion of his jacket is the symbol for the WorldWide Bushido Buntai.
NR: He weighs in at 262 pounds!
A huge grin on his face, Oppenheimer stands next to the legendary Katsuro Yoshida, then pats him on the shoulder and then follows two steps behind him as they make their way to the ring, following the spiritual leader who is already en route, the four women following behind Oppenheimer.
NR: He is the leader of World Wide Bushido Buntai!
Upon reaching the ring, the spiritual leader waits outside the ring while the women and Oppenheimer follow Katsuro Yoshida into the ring. Oppenheimer looks out over the crowd as the women help disrobe Katsuro Yoshida, who is wearing loose-fitting dark pants underneath which coordinate perfectly with his dark robe. They exit the ring, and then after smacking Katsuro Yoshida in the chest with two open-handed strikes to help awaken the legend to the time of combat, Oppenheimer exits the ring as well.
NR: He is…KATSURO YOSHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDAAAAAAAAAA!!!!
VA: Dude, that is one ornate and spectacular entrance, Malone.
MM: For a guy that insults American wrestling fans and their choices in entertainment, Katsuro Yoshida is really buying into theatrics.
I…AM THE MAN…OF CONSTANT SORROW
I’VE SEEN TROUBLES ALL MY DAYS…
The fans get to their feet as “Man of Constant Sorrow” by Charm City Devils begins to play.
NR: And his opponent, hailing from the Great American South!
Standing at the entrance, garbed in a pair of faded blue jeans with a torn hole in the knee revealing the kneepad underneath. His chest is bare, chiseled, and properly oiled. He wears a black trenchcoat, the bottom of which is ratty and torn, the BAB badge adorning the back, which he shows to the audience.
He turns to face the audience, his black cowboy hat with the BAB skull badge on the front.
NR: He is the Bluegrass Bad Ass!
Buck throws both of his arms into the air, his fingers curled into the infamous long horn symbol as two shots of pyro go off on either side of him, giving the fans a good pop.
NR: HE IS BUCK…DRESSSSSSSDEN!!
Buck walks down to the ring, a smirk on his face as he looks at Oppenheimer and then to Yoshida. He walks up the entrance steps and steps through the middle ropes. He tears the coat off and throws it from the ring, tossing his hat out with it. He looks over the crowd, pointing at fans and joking with them. He turns to Yoshida as his theme music comes to an end.
MM: The fans here in EWA are really taking to Buck Dresden, Vincent.
VA: Dear God, why? Why people?! Katsuro Yoshida is trying to cultivate a new cultured look at professional wrestling! I, for one, am subscribing to each and every streaming service Yoshida tells me to if it means getting the je na sais quoi!
MM: That literally means you don’t have any idea what it is he’s trying to sell you on.
VA: It’s better than whatever Buck Dresden is selling!
David Tucker calls for the bell and we are off! Buck and Katsuro circle one another in the ring, both men pawing at one another, lightly tapping at one another to find the right moment, the right spot, to lock up. Eventually, Katsuro goes for a collar and elbow tie up, locking Buck in his extremely strong arms. He whips Buck to the ropes but Buck counters, whipping Yoshida to the ropes. Yoshida ducks a back elbow from Buck and bounces off of the opposite ropes, hitting Buck with a shoulder tackle that puts the Cowboy Casanova on his back. Yoshida goes to pick Buck up but Buck rolls away, pulling himself up on the ropes. Oppenheimer is there, jawing at Buck as Buck ignores the advocate for Yoshida, trying to focus on the Japanese beast in front of him.
MM: Make no mistakes, ladies and gentlemen, Katsuro Yoshida is a tough as nails competitor. Like him or not, the leader of World Wide Bushido Buntai is focused on making an impact and if Buck Dresden isn’t careful that impact is going to be upside his head!
VA: Maybe it’ll turn Elmer Fudd into Good Will Hunting or something. Anything to shut that loudmouth redneck up!
Yoshida strikes at the side of Buck’s neck with an open hand slap, causing Buck to grimace in pain. Yoshida takes that opportunity to hook Buck into a gutwrench and power him over with a suplex! Buck clutches his back and Yoshida is right there, leaping into the air and hitting a kneedrop on Buck’s arm. Buck cradles his arm and Yoshida goes for a pin attempt.
Buck throws his arm into the air, seemingly trying to summon the energy from the fans as Yoshida picks him up. Katsuro whips Buck into the ropes and goes to hip toss Buck, but Buck counters and plants Yoshida with his own hip toss! Yoshida grimaces for a moment before Buck picks him back up and hooks him up for a vertical suplex! Buck lifts the leader of World Wide Bushido Buntai up into the air and falls backwards, sprawling over Yoshida and going for his own pin attempt!
Buck rolls to his knees as Yoshida rolls to his stomach. The two adversaries lock eyes for the briefest of moments as Buck finds it in himself to grin at his opponent. Buck lets Yoshida get to his feet and the two evenly sized men lock up once more, this time, Yoshida powers Buck into the corner. The referee gets in between the two men to allow Buck to leave the corner, but Yoshida immediately peppers Buck with slaps on the face and neck! Buck is trying to block as the fans boo their displeasure at what they are seeing. Yoshida takes a step back and DRIVES a knee into Buck’s midsection, knocking the wind out of Buck! Yoshida grabs a hold of the ropes and starts kicking his leg full force into Buck’s chest and midsection one…two…three…four…FIVE times in a row! Buck is completely shaken up from the full force assault from Yoshida, and Yoshida uses that opportunity to hook Buck up in a vertical suplex, but Yoshida hooks the leg…he lifts Buck up…FISHERMAN’S BUSTER! Yoshida drops Buck STRAIGHT down on his head and neck! The fans audibly gasp at how STIFF the drop was and Yoshida rolls the limp body of Buck over, hooking the leg!
TH—Buck’s foot is on the bottom rope!
VA: Aw, COME ON!
MM: Excellent ring awareness there by Buck Dresden, even with the devastating assault he just endured at the hands of Katsuro Yoshida!
Yoshida turns to Oppenheimer who is shaking his head at Buck’s wherewithal and stubborn nature. Yoshida picks Buck up and hooks Buck’s head in a front head scissors, he lifts Dixie’s Favorite Son up…PILEDRIVER! He picks Buck up, fireman’s carry…SAMOAN DROP! Yoshida is back to his feet and NAILS a diving headbutt to Buck’s sternum! He goes for another pin attempt!
Yoshida looks at David Tucker, confused and frustrated that Buck yet again kicked out. He picks Buck up again, and Buck quickly and instinctively hooks Yoshida in a release Northern Lights suplex! Yoshida bounces across the ring and Buck falls down to the mat himself, trying to catch his breath. Yoshida rolls to his side and Oppenheimer rushes to Yoshida, trying to talk to him and tell him what Buck is doing on the other side of the ring. Buck, meanwhile, slaps the bottom turnbuckle, getting the fans in Sydney energized. They clap along with each SLAP Buck does to the bottom turnbuckle, then the middle turnbuckle, and finally the top turnbuckle and Buck is right back on his feet! Buck slaps the hell out of the top turnbuckle and then points to the fans, running backwards as he points to the audience in Sydney. He screams for Yoshida to get up as Yoshida starts to get to his feet slowly but surely.
VA: Oppenheimer! Tell your man to stay down! Don’t let the guy who uses a short arm Lariat as a finishing maneuver get him on his feet!
MM: Wow, it’s almost like you pay attention during the matches and understand ring psychology, Vincent!
Yoshida pulls himself up and Buck charges at him, punching and kicking and throwing elbows to try and throw Yoshida off of his game. Yoshida matches him blow for blow, both men trading elbow strikes! Eventually, however, Yoshida backs into the corner and the referee gets in the middle of the two men, pulling them apart. Buck throws his arms up to follow along with the referee’s demands. Buck lets Yoshida step out from the corner and beckons him to come to him, the fans cheering for the exchange.
MM: No matter how hard Katsuro Yoshida has hit Buck Dresden, the Bluegrass Bad Ass just won’t stop coming back for more!
VA: It’s almost like Yoshida wrestles with respect for his opponent and I’ve gotta tell ya, Malone, that respect is gonna cost him if he doesn’t wise up to how Americans do things! You know you can’t trust a guy like Buck Dresden!
Buck goes for a clothesline but Yoshida ducks the attempt, turns around to catch Buck with a spinebuster but Buck follows through, floats over Yoshida and rolls through for a sunset flip!
Yoshida rolls away, getting to his feet quickly, and he NAILS Buck in the temple with a HARD kick! Buck falls flat to the mat, but Yoshida won’t let Buck rest, picking the Cowboy Casanova up off of the mat, spinning him around, hooking Buck’s head in a reverse DDT, kneeing Buck in the back once, twice, and then, while keeping the reverse DDT in, HITS a Lungblower! Buck cries out in pain, but Yoshida isn’t done! He picks Buck up and immediately he hooks Buck’s arms in a double underhook belly to back and he hoists Buck up for a suplex, but Buck uses his weight to flip over Yoshida’s back, landing behind Yoshida! However, Buck’s got Yoshida’s wrist, he spins Yoshida around…BUCK SHOT!!!
MM: BUCK SHOT! Buck Dresden just hit the Buck Shot!
Buck looks down at the levelled Katsuro Yoshida, turning to Oppenheimer who is looking on stunned at what he’s seeing. Buck cocks his imaginary shotgun in the air and levels his sights directly down at Katsuro Yoshida and he FIRES off a round into Yoshida’s head! Buck picks Yoshida up, keeping the wrist guard, BUCK SHOT! Yoshida is back down on the mat. Buck, however, keeps the wrist locked in his grasp. He looks over the fans in Sydney and staggers a bit before he points to them and holds up his finger.
MM: No way! Buck is going for a THIRD Buck Shot!
VA: This is overkill! Disqualify him, Tucker!
Buck LIFTS Yoshida one more time…AND LEVELS him with a THIRD Buck Shot! Buck drops to his knees and hooks the far leg, the referee getting into position!
The bell rings as Oppenheimer quickly slides into the ring to check on Yoshida, whose eyes are glazed over staring up at the lights of the arena. “Man of Constant Sorrow” kicks back in as Buck lets David Tucker lift his arm up in victory.
NR: Here is your winner…BUCK…DRESSSSSSSSSSSDEN!!!!
VA: There’s no way! Horrible officiating! Tucker, Buck was trying to injure Katsuro Yoshida!
MM: Oh shut up, Ashe! Buck took a SEVERE beating from Yoshida tonight, Buck wanted to make sure Yoshida was going down and staying down! He let Yoshida put some serious moves on him, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he knew Katsuro Yoshida wasn’t going to just go down without one hell of a fight!
Buck calls for the microphone, motioning to cut his music. He waves off the cheering fans, getting them to calm down.
Buck Dresden: Hey…hey…Katsuro.
Buck squats down, a grin on his face.
Buck Dresden: Brother…anytime you wanna go again…you let me know.
The fans applaud as Oppenheimer gets Yoshida to a seated position. Buck claps his hands as “Man of Constant Sorrow” kicks back up again. Buck rolls from the ring, slapping hands with some of the ringside fans as he walks up to the entrance stage.
MM: Buck Dresden with a legitimately impressive victory tonight here in Sydney and I’ve gotta tell you…the rest of the EWA is on notice that this guy can take a beating and give one right the hell back!
VA: God can somebody please…PLEASE…slap the smile off that hillbilly’s smug face?!
YOUR WINNER BY PINFALL: BUCK DRESDEN (11:40)
(We cut to the parking lot entrance of the Qudos Bank Arena to see a large black SUV pull into an empty parking space and the engine is cut off. The driver’s side door opens, revealing the heir of Valhalla himself, grinning as the rest of the doors begin to open. Josh Kaine steps out, pocketing the keys as his tag partners Mojave and Nikki Caldwell slide out out as well each carrying their ring gear bags. The roar of approval from the crowds at the first signs of the EWA Tag Team Champions, MoCaJo, is audible even in the garage.)
Josh Kaine: You guys ready to go?
Mojave: You really gotta ask us that again?
(Nikki just rolls her eyes at the two of them, smirking as Josh goes back to the driver’s side rear door.)
Nikki Caldwell: Let’s just go get ready and show ‘em how sharp our teeth are, Puppy.
(Mojave cracks a grin and nods as he begins to follow her into the arena, obviously headed for their locker room. The EWA Tag Team Champions don’t need to wait for their third partner. The rear door opens and Josh holds out his hand, helping the third passenger from the car. The crowd’s further pop as the passenger’s face is revealed.
The second special guest referee in the trios tag team match…SINNOCENCE!
She steps from the car, a smile on her face at the noise.)
Sinnocence: Go with Nik and Moe. I’ll catch up.
Josh Kaine: You sure no one’s gonna be stupid?
Sinnocence: I’m never sure of that, but just go. I can get myself inside. I want a few minutes to myself.
(The son of Sinnocence just nods, grabbing his bag and heads in the direction of his tag partners. She pauses a moment, pulling her own bag from the SUV before closing the door behind her. Sinnocence stands there, taking deep breaths and just smiles as she watches her son and heir walk away. It’s clear the Viking Queen has very little quiet space to herself nowadays, but the look of pride is obvious.
She should be proud. Her progeny is a champion, unlike her protege.)
(Her silent reverie is broken by a familiar voice. From out of frame, the EWA Network Champion, Maggie McIntyre, appears already in her ring gear with the title belt around her waist. She approaches slowly, her hands up in a truce.)
Sinnocence: Oh what the fuck do you want?
Maggie McIntyre: I just wanted to talk, really quick. I know you’re busy and I know you’ve got to get ready for the tag match, but what you said–
Sinnocence: What I said still applies.
(Sinnocence takes a few menacing steps closer to the Banshee, a snarl on her lips as she speaks.)
Sinnocence: There’s no stopping it. You’re going to lose everything.
Maggie McIntyre: Damn it, there’s a chance! She’s not you–
Sinnocence: No, she’s not. I told you that already. She’s worse. She’s far worse and there’s no stopping what’s coming. Now get the fuck out of my way.
(Maggie is pushed to the side as Sinnocence heads into the arena and we cut away.)
(We fade backstage, and the crowd inside the Qudos Arena pops for the first sight of Michael Draven, walking down a corridor with the EWA World Heavyweight Championship slung over one shoulder. Draven turns the corner…and stops abruptly. Our camera quickly pans to the side to reveal the reason Draven’s stopped, as standing in front of him is none other than…
The two regard each other with serious expressions, Haven dressed to the nines in a clearly expensive suit. Finally, after a moment, Haven smirks, extending his hand for a handshake.)
Alexander Haven: Well, well, well…if it isn’t the World Champion himself. Looks good on you, I’ve gotta say.
Michael Draven: I appreciate that. Listen…are the rumors true? Is tonight really it for you? I tried reaching you and Alyssa both, but never had a call back…
Alexander Haven: Don’t take it personally, I needed some time to sort some things out. I figure if I lost to you, I must really be losing it.
(What once would have incited hostility between the pair only amounts to shared laughter at the ridiculousness of their decades long feud.)
Alexander Haven: But seriously…I made a promise to Alyssa that if I couldn’t bring this home…
(He taps the belt on Draven’s shoulder.)
Alexander Haven: …and I’m sure you can understand why I’d rather not be on her bad side.
(Draven nods in understanding.)
Michael Draven: In that case, listen…I just wanted to say…thank you. As much as I hated your fucking guts over the years…you drove me to get better. Without Alexander Haven, there is no Michael Draven, at least not in this form…(motioning toward the championship)…so I want to thank you for everything you’ve done for my career over the years. I can stand here now, after everything, and say to you, Alexander Haven…it was truly an honor to share the ring with you.
(Haven pauses, reflecting upon Draven’s words. )
Alexander Haven: The feeling is mutual, Michael. I’d be lying if I said this is how I pictured it ending, but at the end of it all, there’s no one else I’d rather have shared the ring with in my final match. If it couldn’t be me one more time, brother…I’m glad it was you.
(Draven nods, and the two men shake hands once more, departing to carry out their respective business. Fade to ringside.)
CRONOS DIAMANTE VS JESTER SMILES
Standing behind Nikki Rogers before the start of the match, Cronos Diamante bounces slightly from foot to foot, readying himself for his latest opponent, Jester Smiles.
NR: The following contest is scheduled for one fall! Introducing first, weighing in at 290 pounds from The Bronx in New York — Cronos Diamante!
MM: Cronos doesn’t look like himself as of late, Ashe, since his devastating loss to Sahara at the previous Battlelines to today–
VA: Time has finally caught up with the aging superstar, Malone, as it does with us all. As much as I’d hate to admit it, Sahara and others are rising, while the old guard is falling to the wayside.
MM: Well put, Ashe. And next up it doesn’t get any easier from Cronos, as he’s going to be facing the very dangerous Jester Smiles.
VA: Good, so let’s have Jester come on out and usher in a change of the seasons, because frankly, Cronos had a golden opportunity to do some damage to Sahara, and he failed to get the job done.
MM: Easier said than done.
NR: And the challenger, weighing in at 265 pounds, from Richmond Virginia, Jester Smiles!
As the entryway begins to fill with green and purple fog, “Emperor’s New Clothes” by Panic at the Disco begins to play as various titles and trophies throughout Jester’s career cycle through on the jumbotron.
A platform suddenly shoots Jester Smiles up as gold and silver pyro fires off on either side of the stage. Landing on his feet, Jester stands there a moment, looking out across the capacity crowd. He then extends both his fists out and looks up at the sky!
Tilting his head back down, Jester looks out at the crowd, beaming brightly. He takes off his golden jester mask and tosses it into the crowd before making his way toward the ring, high fiving and hugging as many fans as possible. He then runs for the other side and repeats this process.
MM: Jester really enjoys this these days, an industry veteran that still has all the time in the world for the fans.
VA: I could do without all the grab-ass with the fans.
MM: Those fans are what this business is all about, and Jester knows it. Frankly, I find it rather refreshing.
VA: You would.
As Jester takes his sweet time getting to the ring, high fiving and interacting with as many fans as possible, Cronos stands in the ring, shaking his head. When he finally reaches the bottom of the ramp, he holds his hands out and does a sprint around the entire ring, high fiving any extended hands as quickly as possible, to the roar of the crowd.
When he gets to the front of ring he leaps onto the apron in one jump before climbing into the ring between the top and middle rope. Once in the ring he goes to the corner and holds both arms out, taking in the cheers of the fans. He then goes to the opposite corner, takes off his trademark “Legends Never Die” shirt and throws it into the crowd as quite a few hands reach out to grab it.
Jester, having sufficiently warmed up the crowd, now does some shadow boxing and practice as Cronos, having head enough of the fanfare, suddenly charges across the ring only Jester moves!!! Twisting, Jester tosses Cronos through the top and middle rope right into the post! Cronos’ own momentum combined with Jester throwing him creates a loud crashing sound as he impacts the post, staggering out of the corner, holding his shoulder!
Calling for the bell, Juan Cardillo skips the usual pleasantries of explaining the rules of the match.
VA: POSTED!!! Devastating hit, Malone!
MM: That’s 290 plus pounds being thrown into the corner with momentum! That could have broken something!
Falling right back into Jester, the legend locks Cronos into a half chicken wing and lifts the 290 pound monster! Sometimes size is most definitely NOT an advantage.
MM: LAST LAUGH!!! THE LAST LAUGH!!!
VA: That’d be two matches in a row Cronos was caught completely off guard!
Juan Cardillo slides into position.
MM: That’s it!
VA: What is it with these near record breaking matches of of late???
MM: Maggie McIntyre and now Jester Smiles with, I don’t wanna call these matches upsets, but — I mean — that wasn’t more than twenty seconds!
NR: The winner of this match by pinfall, Jester Smiles!!!
VA: It’s pretty clear to me that certain members of this roster need to start taking the competition in the EWA a bit more seriously. As much as I wanna say otherwise, Sahara is no joke. Maggie McIntyre is no joke. Jester Smiles … is NO joke. Wake up, people.
MM: We’ve seen upsets before, Ashe, and some can step up and overcome those upsets, and others just fade away. We’ll see what happens, I presume…
VA: It’s called the age of extinction, Malone. The guard is changing around here, and these legends that are living off the past better recognize the EWA is the best in the world. Either step your game up, or step the hell out.
MM: Let’s head backstage!
YOUR WINNER BY PINFALL: JESTER SMILES (0:36)
(We cut backstage to Allison Haines who looks extremely frustrated as she glares back into the camera. Haines is standing in front of a black backdrop with a giant EWA logo printed across the front of it. She distressingly looks off to her left and rolls her eyes before addressing the camera in a very hesitant voice.)
Allison Haines: Ladies and gentlemen, it is my…privilege…and…
(Haines lets out a disgusted sound of displeasure and glances off-camera once again, throwing her arms up in frustration.)
Allison Haines: Do I really have to say all of this? I just came back here for an interview and I don’t need…
(Something barely audible is muttered off-camera but even in a dulcet tone it can easily be understood as a threat. Allison apparently gets the message and nervously looks back into the camera.)
Allison Haines: It is my privilege and honor to be able to introduce everyone to the woman who exemplifies everything that is good and pure with wrestling today. She is a role model for all little girls everywhere and teaches us all to pursue our dreams and reach for the stars. She is the former…and…
(Allison gives a not so subtle shudder.)
Allison Haines: …soon to be again EWA World Champion…please welcome the God Queen herself, Grace Goeren!
(Stepping into the shot is an absolutely beaming Grace Goeren, dressed in her ring gear with her wrists and fingers already taped. Looming behind her is the monstrous Alice who keeps her head dead and rocks slowly back and forth. Grace reaches out and snags the microphone away from Allison, giving her a gentle pat on the cheek.)
Grace Goeren: There you go, was that honestly so fucking hard? All I wanted was a proper introduction, you didn’t have to go all Hurricane Sandy on me. Seriously girl, wash that beach ball out of your vagina, y’all crabby up in my business.
Allison Haines: Yeah, sorry…I guess I get like that when some delusional psychopath spots me backstage, steals my cameraman and equipment and then force feeds me lines.
Grace Goeren: Watch it, princess. I don’t care who you fucked to get this gig, you’re talking to the once and future queen here. Don’t go steppin’ up to me.
Allison Haines: Just give me my mic back so I can get out of here…
(From out of nowhere, Alice whips her matted hair back away from her face and glares wild-eyed back at Allison who quickly picks up on the hint and backs out of the shot. Grace gives her heavy a reassuring nod and turns back around, smiling back towards the camera.)
Grace Goeren: Sorry about that my little darlings, you know how jealous people can get when they are around your God Queen. Now that it’s just you and me, we can totes chat all laid back and shit. So here we are…fuckin’ Australia. Home of koalas and boomerangs and…fuck…I don’t know what else. Dirt? You people like dirt? Sure you do, we’ll go with that. Home of dirt.
(The boos from inside the arena are absolutely deafening right now and clearly Grace can hear them from wherever she is backstage. She simply chooses to ignore them and moves right along.)
Grace Goeren: It’s all come down to tonight, my babies. After being wrongfully banned from competing for a World Championship that I never lost, I reclaim what was stolen from me tonight. Soon EWA’s worst nightmare will be over…the horrible, icky-wicky ball-crunching world we’ve all been living in without yours truly as the World Champion comes to an end. I know it’s been tough on all of you…trust me, it’s been even worse for me…but it’s over now. Your real World Champion has returned to you. Praise Grace! Praise Grace!
(Alice clasps her hands together at the oft-repeated phrase, staring up towards the ceiling and repeating the slogan as if she’s in a trance.)
Alice: Praise Grace! Praise Grace! Praise Grace!
Grace Goeren: Now, a lot of people would say that I shouldn’t be counting my chickens before they hatch. These people are fucking noobs. Not only am I going to take back my World Title here tonight but I’m gonna do it by making that salty cunt-shake Sahara, that Mormon Draven and that creepypasta sucking NOTHING fucking beg me to do it. They will be raptured, right in the middle of that ring…surrounded by their own blood and fluids. They’ll see the light and beg their God Queen to end EWA’s suffering…and I will oblige for I am a loving and benevolent God Queen. Praise Grace.
Alice: Praise Grace!
(Grace cracks a smile and glances down at her feet for a moment before returning back to the camera.)
Grace Goeren: So…let’s get ready for the celebration, shall we babies? Cause we gonna turn this shit up here tonight after the main event, I’m talking fubb levels of cray-cray. I mean, not all of you are invited of course, that would just be silly…but you can show your love for your NEW World Champion in a different way…
(Grace snaps her fingers and Alice dutifully springs into action, hauling a giant cardboard box that was unseen at Grace’s feet up into view. Grace pops open the top and pulls out a handful of…t-shirts?)
Grace Goeren: Now, I never learned a goddamn thing from my pig fucking father. Azrael Goeren is and always will be an abortion-baby dumpster fire, no matter what he said here earlier tonight. But…I gotta admit…that fucker knew how to market himself. So consider this me ripping a page from his book and making it ten…NO! Twenty times fucking better! Right after the main event, even though I know you’ll all want to stick around and get pics of me with my belt, head on down to the merchandise stands and pick up THREE BRAND NEW GRACE GOEREN T-SHIRTS! FUCK ME, LOOK AT THESE BEAUTS!
(Grace unfolds the first one and shows it to the camera with pride.)
Grace Goeren: I mean, doesn’t that just look amazing? Also, for all of my gay boi fans out there, it even comes with an extra sew-on “s” just in case you want it to read Holy Ass Fuck. Cause I don’t discriminate, I love all of your money. Next up, something for all of my Twitter followers….
Grace Goeren: These are all of the hashtags that are going to be trending after tonight, so if you want to be ahead of the curve make sure to snag this baby early. And finally…the literal coup de grâce…
Grace Goeren: That’s right babies, praise me.
Alice: Praise Grace!
Grace Goeren: Praise me. Your new World Champion. The leader of the EWA. The sexy ass train that is barreling down the tracks and about to steamroll three pathetic fucksticks and take my rightful place on top of this company once again. Remember, these shirts go on sale immediately after I win the title tonight so get em’ while they’re hot in the arena on on EWA’s official website. And to Draven, Sahara and NOTHING…just one last thing…
(Grace cracks a smile.)
Grace Goeren: The future is now, bitches.
(With that, Grace motions for Alice to follow her as the duo walk off-camera with a laugh. We shift and focus on the EWA logo once more before we slowly fade back to ringside.)
MARTIN ROBERTSON VS MAGGIE MCINTYRE
EWA NETWORK CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
MM: Vince, I can’t wait for this next matchup, where we’ll get to see two of the premier second generation wrestlers in the world vie for the Network Championship.
VA: Vie? What do you mean ‘vie’? Maggie is going against the Youth King! There’s no ‘vie-ing’… it’s going to be a slaughter!
MM: A slaughter? Vince, they both have a victory over each other.
VA: Yeah, but Maggie’s win was by disqualification, so that doesn’t count. Plus, after being eliminated by her at the Trial a few weeks ago, you know he’s out for blood… and to win back his Network Championship!
MM: Wow… I’m actually impressed. That, despite the biases, was actually an astute analysis.
VA: Plus, I don’t like Maggie… she doesn’t make me crack a fat.
MM: Crack a… what?
VA: Look it up, Malone. We’ve been in Australia for a week. Learn the lingo.
MM: Well, let’s just head up to ringsi… (pauses) Wait, it means what? To get an ere… ewww, enough. Just go to the ring.
As the lights go out in the arena, the opening guitar riff and drum solo to Avenged Sevenfold’s “Hail to the King” begins to play as the strobe lights flash all throughout the arena, giving the building that rock concert feel to it. As the beat picks up and continues, the strobes slowly shift their focus towards the entrance ramp and, once they are all centered on a single spot on the ramp…
HAIL TO THE KING
HAIL TO THE ONE
KNEEL TO THE CROWN
STAND IN THE SUN
HAIL TO THE KING!
Stepping through the curtain is the challenger, ‘Perfection’ Martin Robertson. Draped in the royal purple robe that he’s been wearing to the ring recently, he steps towards the center of the entrance ramp before lowering his head and extending his arms out, the robe opening up to show Martin wearing a black “Three Kings” t-shirt along with his wrestling trunks. As he stands there, stepping through the curtain and joining him at his side is the Chief Operating Officer of the EWA, Alyssa Marie Haven. Wearing a short black dress that accentuates every curve on her body, she slides up under the outstretched arms of Martin, posing alongside the Youth King. Martin brings his arms down, his right arm resting across the shoulders of Alyssa, as the two look out at the crowd. Alyssa is smiling, but Martin’s face has a much different tone to it before Martin reaches down, grabbing Alyssa’s hand and beginning to make their way down to the ring…
MM: Take a look at the challenger, Malone!
VA: Forget the challenger, I’m taking a look at who’s walking with the challenger! Hot damn!
MM: Yes, Alyssa is very stunning tonight, but a very stone-faced look on Martin Rober…
VA: Stunning? Malone, your wife wouldn’t kick her out of bed if she showed up at your house looking like that!
MM: My wife and I are very happily married, thank you very much.
VA: That’s not what she tells me.
MM: Wait… What?
VA: Stop distracting me, Malone. You need to focus on the match, and more specifically, look at the challenger, Martin Robertson! You can tell how serious Martin is taking this match tonight… very restricted on the theatrics that normally comes with the brash challenger He’s got one thing on his mind tonight, Malone, and that’s winning back the Network Championship!
As Martin reaches the ringside area, these Australian fans are letting their feelings be known about the challenger, with one fan in particular leaning very far over the guardrail, attempting to get into Martin’s face. Martin ignores it for a while, but the persistent fan continues on with his tirade, eventually getting Martin to jump quickly towards the fan, who falls backwards into his seat…
Martin Robertson: That’s right, sit down, fat boy! It’s my time!
MM: Tell me again about how restrained Martin is.
VA: You saw the fan. These rude people here in Australia have no respect for royalty!
Martin enters the ring, holding open the ropes for Alyssa as she saunters towards the middle of the ring, while Martin sprints up the corner post, undoing his robe and motioning that a title should be around his waist before hopping down off the corner post and meeting Alyssa in the middle of the ring.
The lights in the arena go down again, turning the space pitch black…
HEY MISS MURDER CAN I
HEY MISS MURDER CAN I
MAKE BEAUTY STAY IF TAKE MY LIFE?
The crowd erupts in an enormous cheer as the heavy opening drum beats of AFI’s “Miss Murder” reverberate throughout the arena, and the lights flicker in time to be beat as the Banshee, the current EWA Network Champion, Maggie McIntyre, appears at the top of the runway. Dressed in a tight black top, buckled corset and fishnets tucked into her knee high boots, the EWA Network Title wrapped securely around her waist, she pauses for a moment to look out at the capacity crowd, smiling before she begins to stride down the ramp towards the ring.
HEY MISS MURDER CAN I
HEY MISS MURDER CAN I
MAKE BEAUTY STAY IF TAKE MY LIFE?
MM: The challenger may be focused, Malone, but here comes the champion!
VA: Yeah, you want to talk about someone who’s not focused, Malone… here’s your poster child! She’s worried about herself, she’s worried about HATE, about her husband, about her wife… hell, she probably adopted three kids and a kangaroo from the Outback on her way here just so she could worry about them, too! She is completely unfocused on this match!
MM: Well, with the way she’s staring straight ahead at Martin and Alyssa in the ring, I highly doubt she’s not ready for this epic battle tonight!
VA: The only thing epic is how Michael Draven is able to keep her and Sahara happy at the same time!
MM: Would you stop!
VA: Only if you say please.
MM: Ok, would you please stop?
VA: Not a chance, Malone. Root off!
Maggie jumps up onto the ring apron before climbing into the ring and, climbing up the same corner post that Martin did just a moment ago, raising a fist in the air before hoisting the Network Championship high above her head to the raucous applause of this crowd in Sydney. She hops down off the turnbuckle, turning around and shedding the leader jacket, dropping it over the top rope to the outside.
DING! DING! DING!
NR: Ladies and gentlemen, this following contest is scheduled for one fall, and is for the Network Championship! Introducing first, the challenger… he is accompanied to the ring tonight by the Chief Operating Officer of the EWA, Alyssa Marie Haven…
An immense level of jeers immediately attempts to drown out Nikki, as Martin places his hands over the ears of Alyssa.
NR: …hailing from New Rochelle, New York, USA, weighing in tonight at 236 and one-half pounds. He is the former Network Champion and the longest-reigning singles title holder in EWA history… He is the Youth King of professional wrestling… “PERFECTION”… MARTIN… ROBERTSON!
The jeers pick up even louder, if that’s possible, as Martin stands there, staring straight across the ring at his opponent.
NR: And now introducing the champion…
The jeers quickly turn to cheers, as the camera pans around to find a couple of pro-Maggie signs in the crowd.
NR: She hails from Albany, New York, USA. She is the reigning, defending EWA Network Champion! She is “THE BANSHEE”… MAGGIE… MCINTYRE!
MM: Listen to this crowd get behind Maggie!
VA: Of course they’re trying to get behind her… when all of your other options are marsupials…
MM: Good lord…
DING! DING! DING!
MM: There’s the bell, and this contest is underway!
Maggie and Martin stare at each other for a moment before beginning to circle each other around the ring. Each competitor feigns a lunge forward before slowing up their attack.
MM: Martin and Maggie, who both normally prefer an up-tempo pace to their matches, taking their time, sizing each other up, neither wanting to make the wrong first move.
VA: Sounds like most of your dates, Malone.
Martin and Maggie circle once again, this time locking up in a collar and elbow tie-up. Martin, clearly the stronger of the two competitors, is able to back Maggie into the corner with ease. Cardillo is over to administer a five-count, which Martin breaks at four, backing up while wiping his hands back and forth.
MM: Vince, Maggie is on a seven match win streak here, not having lost a match in over six months!
VA: Yes, but already, at age 25, Martin Robertson has already been in some of the biggest battles in wrestling history! NOTHING, Grady Smith twice, and he actually won the Final Solution match.
The two competitors tie up again, and Maggie continues to push back against Martin, but just as Maggie gets some momentum, Martin lets go of the hold, and Maggie stumbles forward towards the corner.
MM: I think Maggie has just as many big matches in her career as Martin has!
VA: Let’s be seriou…
MM: I am serious, Vince! Two of Maggie’s seven wins in a row were against NOTHING and Indrid Calder, Vince. Those are just as big of matches… and here they go!
Just as Martin went to tie up Maggie for a third time, Maggie ducks under the lunge, and just as Martin turns back around, Maggie is waiting there, drilling the challenger with three rapid right hands in succession. She bounces off the ropes, but Martin stands stoic as Maggie runs into the challenger, dropping to her backside on the mat. Maggie slides backwards on her behind into the corner as Martin bounces back and forth in the middle of the ring, encouraging the champion to get up and attack him.
VA: See, Malone, how is Maggie going to be able to compete against the pure athleticism that Martin Robertson possesses? He’s bigger, he’s stronger…
MM: She beat Cal Rayner a couple months ago.
VA: Cal Rayner is not the athlete Martin Robertson is.
Maggie pulls herself back up to her feet and starts to circle around Martin once again. Martin, unexpectedly, shoots towards Maggie and before the champion realizes what happened, Martin is standing back up, holding onto the left leg of the champion. Maggie swings wildly, trying to hit Martin, but the challenger is toying with the champion, imploring her to hit him. Martin begins to lift the champion up with her leg, but as he’s doing so, Maggie uses her momentum to land her right knee against the chin of the challenger, knocking him backwards, causing him to release her other leg.
Martin staggers back a couple of steps as the Banshee charges towards Martin, and she lands a chest-high dropkick, sending Martin back-first hard into the corner. Maggie gets back up quickly, charging once again at the challenger, and landing a vicious flying forearm smash into the same side of Martin’s jaw as the knee just landed! Martin staggers along the ring ropes a few steps before taking a controlled tumble between the second and third ropes to the outside of the ring, landing on his feet, looking up at the Champion who’s staring down at him, imploring him to get back into the ring.
MM: What a series of strikes by the champion! And the challenger is forced outside to regroup!
VA: It’s going to take a lot more than that to keep the challenger down, Malone…
Alyssa comes over to check on Martin to make sure he’s ok. But just as she gets there, she’s forced to back up quickly as Maggie, sprinting from the other side of the ring, leaps over the top rope onto Martin, taking him down to the ringside floor!
MM: Maggie takes to the air!
VA: Where’s Cardillo to stop that one, Malone? He was quick to jump in and stick his nose in earlier when Martin was on the advantage!
MM: Juan Cardillo is an excellent official, and he’s doing his job right now by starting to administer the ten count to both individuals on the outside.
VA: If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge to sell you…
Maggie is up quickly, slowly picking up Robertson and tossing him back into the ring. She takes a quick glance over at Alyssa, who is shooting daggers with her eyes at the champion. Maggie rolls back in, looking to make a cover on Martin, but he’s able to kick out even before Cardillo can get down to start making a count. Maggie gets to a knee quickly and applies a rear chinlock on Martin, pulling him back down to the mat as she grinds the pocket of her elbow against the chin of the challenger.
MM: The champion controlling the challenger now, trying to wear him down on the mat.
VA: Malone, if you think the smartest place for Maggie to be right now is on the mat with the TWO-TIME national collegiate wrestling champion, you’re as dumb as she is!
Martin, much to Vince’s credit, is easily able to slide out of the chinlock after a few seconds, taking control of Maggie on the mat by placing her in a hammerlock. Wasting no time, Martin reaches forward with his right arm, using his power and leverage to pull Maggie over while still holding the hammerlock, putting her into a pinning position. Cardillo drops down and barely gets off a one count before Maggie breaks the pin with a knee to the midsection of the challenger. Martin slides towards Maggie’s head, applying a head and arm lock around the champion and delivers a couple of stiff knees to the kidney area of the champion before focusing on applying more pressure with the lock.
VA: See Malone, this is exactly what I said. There is no way Maggie can compete with the TWO-TIME…
MM: I never disputed your statement, Vince… and I actually agree. If Maggie is to keep the title here tonight, she cannot try to outwrestle Martin Robertson. She needs to use her speed and striking skills, because there are very few people here in the EWA that can compete with Martin Robertson on the mat.
VA: I… oh, you agree. Thanks.
Maggie, using the power in her legs, tries to slide herself towards the ropes. Just as she’s about to reach the ropes with her left hand, Martin releases the hold, picking up the champion by her head and whipping her across the ring. Maggie rebounds off the ropes, floating over the raised knee of Robertson, and pulling him down into a roll up pin…
KICKOUT BY ROBERTSON!
MM: Robertson kicks out at two… OH GOOD LORD!
VA: What a shot!
MM: Did you hear that right hand connect to the side of the champion’s head!?! Robertson absolutely drilled her with that right hand, and Maggie looks out, folks!
VA: Martin caught her square with that one… belly to belly suplex!
MM: Beautifully executed suplex by Robertson… COVER!
KICKOUT BY MCINTYRE!
MM: The champion is still alive, Vince, but I don’t know if she knows where she is right now!
Martin, attempting to seize the advantage, picks up the champion, locking his arms around her waist and sending her halfway across the ring with an overhead belly to belly throw. Maggie instinctively rolls towards the edge of the ring after landing, as Martin climbs out of the ring on the opposite side. Maggie throws her feet out of the ring, landing on the floor, but still leaning against the ring. Martin charges from around the opposite side, lands a splash against the unsuspecting champion, slamming her midsection against the ring apron. Maggie stumbles away from the ring apron, where Martin charges and takes down the champion with a running lariat!
VA: What a clothesline!
MM: Martin’s starting to fire on all cylinders now.
Martin starts to pick Maggie up from the ringside mat, but as she gets to her knees, Maggie fires off a right hand to the midsection of her challenger. Martin doubles over as Maggie fires a second right, but Martin smashes down a double axehandle across the back of Maggie, and she falls back down to the mat.
MM: Martin looking incredibly focused on the match here…
The Australian fans have been on Martin’s case the entire night, and now that he’s ringside, they’re making no exception. A couple of young Australian males, probably a bit intoxicated, have started harassing Martin, who was focused on pulling Maggie back to her feet, has finally turned around and acknowledged them.
Martin Robertson: Sit down and shut up… I’m working here!
MM: Well, there goes that…
Martin drops Maggie and turns towards the gentlemen, who have just increased the amount of profanities that they’ve been shouting towards Martin.
VA: Look at how disrespectful these fans are!
MM: We do have some passionate fans, that’s for sure, but Martin doesn’t need to egg them on here..
Martin Robertson: C’mon! What are you going to do, huh? Nothing, that’s right!
MM: Is he… is he really encouraging them to come after him?
VA: He did beat all of HATE in one night… surely a couple of Aussie’s shouldn’t be too much trouble for him.
MM: Are you… really encouraging him to beat up fans? People who have paid their hard-earned money to come watch this show?
Martin has taken a few steps back away from the guardrail, actually encouraging the fans to hit him right in the jaw. Alyssa has come over at this point, reaching Martin and the fans as we start to see security begin to make their way over as well. Alyssa turns her back to the fans, telling Martin to stay focused on the match…
MM: Alyssa may be the voi…
Just as she finished talking to Martin, Alyssa whipped around and slapped one of the unruly fans as she now begins arguing with them! As we hear Vince get giddy on the microphone, security reaches the fans just in time to hold them back from going after Alyssa.
VA: What a woman!
MM: You got that right! How dare the COO of our company attack our fans!
VA: Attack our fans? Did you not see them go after her?
Martin, now trying to restrain Alyssa, pulls her away from the group, pushing her back towards the other side of the ring. But just as Martin turns back around…
MM: BANSHEE’S WAIL! Martin just walked into that superkick from the champion! And listen to this crowd support for Maggie… I think they’re even louder than before!
VA: She can’t do that! It’s like Martin’s fighting more than one person here!
MM: Well, she just did, and good for her! But now she needs to get Martin back in the ring.
Maggie, still smarting from earlier, gets back over to Martin, pulling him up and rolling him back into the ring. She immediately follows and goes for a cover…
TH…KICKOUT BY ROBERTSON!
MM: That was a close one, Vince!
VA: Yeah, well, when you sneak attack someone with a kick like that, it’s going to be a close one!
Maggie, sensing the tide has turned, doesn’t lament on the kickout. Rather, she picks up Robertson and pushes him back into the corner, landing three massive double handed chops across the chest of Robertson before climbing up to the second turnbuckle to deliver numerous forearms to the side of Robertson’s head. Maggie climbs down quickly, whipping Robertson across the ring, where Robertson crashes hard against the turnbuckles. Martin stumbles forward, where he’s met with a boot to the midsection by the champion, before she reaches down, grabbing Robertson by the head and hitting a swinging neckbreaker.
MM: The champion’s on the offensive now, and she’s firing on all cylinders!
Maggie picks up Robertson, but sends him back down to the mat with another swinging neckbreaker.
MM: This must be her Bete Noir… those repeated swinging neckbreakers!
Maggie picks up Robertson, and lands a third swinging neckbreaker…
VA: Did Martin knock her so loopy that this the only move she knows how to do now?
MM: I highly doubt it, Vince.
Maggie gets up, looking down at Robertson, who has rolled over to his side, clutching his neck. But nevertheless, Martin gets to his knees and starts to try and stand up…
MM: .. and a fourth swinging neckbreaker!
VA: (shouting) DO ANOTHER MOVE!
Maggie, slightly winded, backs up a few steps to analyze the situation a little more, as Alyssa is banging on the ring apron, imploring Robertson to get back to his feet. Robertson reaches out with his hand for the ring rope, attempting to pull himself back up. But before he can get to a solid base, Maggie rushes over, grabbing him with a front facelock again, and landing a fifth swinging neckbreaker!
VA: We get it, Maggie, you know how to do a swi…
T… KICKOUT BY ROBERTSON!
Maggie takes a moment to look at Cardillo, who emphasizes that it was only a two count. Without hesitation, Maggie gets back to her feet and begins to pull Robertson back to his feet. The challenger, somehow, breaks Maggie’s grip and lands a right hand, staggering the champion back. Maggie steps forward again, but right into a second right hand from Robertson. Robertson winds up for a third right hand, but Maggie ducks under, spins around and kicks Robertson in the midsection…
MM: A sixth swinging neckbreaker!
VA: Oh… my god…
MM: Maggie, now quickly onto the ring apron, and up to the top rope…. OUTLAW STAR! COVER…
THR… NO! KICKOUT BY ROBERTSON!
MM: Robertson just got out by the skin of his teeth, Vince!
VA: You idiot… you don’t have skin on your teeth.
MM: It’s a… nevermind. And Maggie’s starting to get a little frustrated… she thought she had the three count there.
Maggie pleads with Cardillo for a moment about that being a three count, but Juan is insistent that Martin got the shoulder up just in time. Maggie gets to her feet and starts to pull Martin up, but Robertson, out of instinct, grabs the trunks of the champion and pulls her back, sending her between the ropes and down to the ringside floor. Despite the suddenness of the move, Maggie is still the first one back to her feet as Robertson, still in the ring, is resting on his knees against the ring ropes. Maggie climbs back up on the ring apron and starts to enter the ring between the middle and top rope…
MM: OH GOOD LORD! Martin just nailed the champion with an unsuspecting knee strike as she was getting into the ring!
Robertson, still clutching his neck and not exactly walking in a straight line, heads back towards the stunned champion, who is kneeling on the ring apron holding her head. Robertson reaches over the top rope, pulling Maggie to her feet…
MM: What’s Robertson doing here? He’s got Maggie…
VA: PERFECT ENDING FROM THE OUTSIDE!
MM: Leg’s hooked! Cover…
TH… NO! KICKOUT BY MAGGIE!
VA: How’d she kick out?
MM: Robertson had that bridging cradle suplex locked in, but the champion won’t stay down! She’s still in this match!
The crowd begins to applaud both competitors, but are clearly still in Camp Maggie…
“LET’S GO MAGGIE!”
“LET’S GO MAGGIE!”
“LET’S GO MAGGIE!”
VA: He does not suck!
MM: He doesn’t, but he’s not exactly fan friendly, either.
VA: Would you be with these kind of fans?
Maggie is actually the first person back to their feet, but staggers backwards towards a far corner. Martin gets to the near corner, pulling himself up to his feet in the corner. Both Maggie and Martin look up at each other from opposite sides of the ring, and they both start to walk towards the center, fire in each competitor’s eyes.
MM: Look at these two! Maggie’s not afraid of Robertson!
As the two come face to face, we start to pick up some of the conversation…
Maggie McIntyre: Is that all you got?
Martin Robertson: I’ll be taking my title back now!
Maggie McIntyre: Bring it, SMITH!
Martin smirks, shaking his head, turning away from Maggie for a second, before…
VA: HERE THEY GO!
Both Maggie and Martin begin to fire off right hands at each other, using their opposite hand to hold their opponent in place. After a couple of blows, though, Martin starts to take the advantage with the more powerful blows. He backs the champion against the ropes, whipping her to the far side of the ring. Maggie rebounds with a flying forearm smash that staggers Robertson back against the opposite ropes. The challenger, though, uses his momentum to come off the ropes and clothesline McIntyre down to the mat. The champion is right back up and in the face of Robertson, who pushes her back to the ropes again. He whips Maggie, but Maggie reverses, sending Robertson to the ropes. As Martin rebounds…
MM: BANSHEE’S WAI… NO! Robertson held on! Now he charges at Maggie.. Maggie ducks as Robertson leap frogs her… now Maggie off the ropes..
VA: PURE PERFECTIO…
MM: NO! Maggie holds on! Now she charges at Robertson… slingblade! But Martin’s right back up…
VA: HEAD AND ARM OVERHEAD SUPLEX!
MM: And both competitors are down! What a war we’ve got!
The normally-partisan Australian crowd is now standing, applauding both competitors as we begin to hear various chants pop up throughout the arena.
MM: These two competitors are putting it all on the line here tonight! Maggie, the defending champion, attempting to hold onto the belt she won back in August. Martin, the former champ who lost the belt a little over one year ago in Japan, trying to win the belt back for a second time.
VA: I still say Robertson was robbed in that match against NOTHING in Japan.
Both competitors pull themselves back up to their knees, looking at each other in the center of the ring once again. Martin nails Maggie with a right hand, but Maggie responds right back with a right of her own to Robertson! Robertson fires off a second right, and Maggie responds this time with a forearm to the temple. Robertson lands a third right hand to Maggie, which forces her to roll backwards…
VA: What force behind that right hand…
MM: SHINING WIZARD! Robertson wasn’t expecting that!
Maggie pops right back up to her feet as Martin is laying flat on his back. Maggie, seizing the advantage, starts to run up the turnbuckle nearest him, climbing to the top rope. She turns around to face back towards the ring, looking at Martin, just in time to see..
MM: What the hell is this?
VA: Alyssa’s helping out Martin… what did you expect?
Alyssa, reaching in the ring and grabbing Martin’s ankle wakes him up just enough to get him to roll towards the corner and underneath the bottom rope, preventing Maggie from going for her Outlaw Star maneuver. Juan Cardillo comes over to talk to Alyssa, who is now up on the apron yelling at Cardillo.
MM: Get her off the ring apron!
VA: She has a right to protest the officiating of this match, Malone.
MM: Just because she’s the COO doesn’t mean she can abuse it!
Maggie jumps down from the top rope, reaching over the top rope to pick up Martin…
MM: Behind the scene… a thumb to the eye by Martin! Was this a ploy all along?
Maggie, holding her eye, staggers towards the far corner of the ring. Martin climbs through the ropes back into the ring.
VA: No, but he’s an opportunist, Malone!
MM: Martin… far corner… running knee to the back of the champion!
VA: She hit that turnbuckle hard, Malone! I think I even saw her head crash against it!
MM: Maggie’s still slumped in the corner… Another running knee! This time she staggers out…
VA: PURE PERFECTION! He absolutely drilled her with it! She’s out!
MM: Cardillo is over for the count…
MM: WAIT! NO! Maggie got her foot on the ropes just at the last second! And Cardillo is waiving off the three count!
VA: He can’t do that!
MM: He can, and he just did!
Martin, thinking he won, has headed over to the corner nearest the timekeeper, reaching for the belt. Juan Cardillo, though, has come over to tell Martin that Maggie’s foot was on the ropes and that the match will continue.
VA: See, this is the same injustice that Martin’s been speaking about for the past month and a half!
MM: It’s not injustice. It’s the right call. But Martin doesn’t need to belittle Cardillo like this!
Martin, at this point, has cornered Cardillo and is screaming at the referee, who is doing the best he can to maintain his composure and tell Martin that Maggie’s foot was on the rope. Alyssa, from the floor, is screaming at Cardillo as well. Cardillo, with a move that would make NFL running backs jealous, ducks under Robertson and out of the corner.
MM: Martin needs to focus here…
VA: TURN AROUND!
Maggie, having enough time to clear the cobwebs and make it back to her feet, charges towards Robertson in the opposite corner. But at the last second, Martin sidesteps the charging Banshee, and Maggie crashes into the corner chest first once again. Alyssa, on the opposite side of the ring, implores Martin to finish it. Martin, in full sprint, runs to the opposite corner where Alyssa is, then charges again…
VA: Running knee…
MM: NO! Maggie use the second rope to springboard over a charging Robertson…
MM: BANSHEE’S WAIL! She got all of Robertson, just as he turned around!
VA: But he’s not down, Malone!
MM: Robertson went flying into the corner… he stumbles out…. A SECOND BANSHEE’S WAIL!
MM: Martin is out, folks! Maggie falls down to cover…
MM: Is it?
Juan Cardillo pops up…
NR: The winner of this match, and STILL EWA Network Champion… MAGGIE MCINTYRE!
MAGGIE MCINTYRE DEFEATS MARTIN ROBERTSON (16:27)
MAGGIE MCINTYRE RETAINS THE EWA NETWORK CHAMPIONSHIP
MM: Maggie has done it!
VA: NOW WAIT JUST A MOMENT! You’re going to tell me Cardillo, that blind idiot, isn’t going to call this?
As Vince is screaming into the microphone, the camera pans over to the fallen Robertson, focused primarily on his left foot, which is solidly resting on the bottom rope.
MM: The camera is showing Martin’s foot on the bottom rope, but I don’t think Cardillo saw it.
VA: He didn’t see it?!? How could he not see it?!?
MM: I don’t know… I’m not Cardillo. But he just handed Maggie the Network Championship, and the referee’s decision is final.
VA: That’s such a load of horse crap, Malone, and you know it!
Maggie, holding the back of her neck with her left hand, raises the Network Championship high in the air before rolling under the bottom rope, out of the ring, heading back up the ramp. Meanwhile, Alyssa has now entered the ring, and now she has Cardillo cornered, berating him for the call.
VA: FIX THIS, ALYSSA!
MM: Fix what, Vince? She can’t tell the referee to reverse his decision!
VA: She’s the COO! She can do whatever she wants!
MM: Cardillo is trying to tell Alyssa that, from the angle he was at, he couldn’t see the foot on the rope.
VA: It’s because he didn’t want to look, Malone! Everyone tried to tell Robertson he was crazy for thinking there was some sort of conspiracy theory going on from the office of Stacy Vandervort, but this is the second show in a row where he’s been proven right!
Martin, slowly making it back to his feet, stands up in the corner, looking over to see Alyssa screaming in the face of Cardillo. Martin starts to stagger his way over..
MM: Alyssa, don’t!
VA: She might as well!
But just as Alyssa was about to slap Cardillo, Martin grabs her hand from behind, preventing her from striking the referee. She looks up at Robertson, who’s also holding the back of his neck. Robertson pulls her away from the corner, whispering something to her, which causes her to exit the ring. Just as Cardillo breathes a sigh of relief…
MM: NOW WHAT’S ROBERTSON DOING?
Just as Alyssa re-enters the ring with a microphone, Robertson grabs Cardillo by the referee shirt and starts shaking him around with it, causing the shirt to begin to rip into pieces. Cardillo flops down to his knees, facing the entrance ramp where the screen is as Alyssa hands Martin the microphone…
MM: This is uncalled for!
Martin Robertson: Show the footage!
MM: Footage? What footage?
Robertson wipes his eyes with his forearm, all while standing behind Cardillo, holding him down on his knees, forcing him to look at the screen.
Martin Robertson: Can someone tell the idiots in the back that are too drunk from Fosters and too fat from eating shrimps off the barbie to show Cardillo exactly what he missed?!
Everyone in the arena is turned towards the jumbo screen over the entrance ramp, but it remains black.
MM: What is Robertson doing?
VA: I think he wants to show Cardillo what he missed. But like good little co-conspirators in the back, Stacy’s not allowing them to show anything!
Martin, frustrated, turns his head towards the sky and takes a deep breath before spinning around, now in front of Juan Cardillo, dropping down to his knees so he can be face to face with the referee. Martin grabs him by what’s left of his referee’s shirt as Alyssa looks on from the corner.
Martin Robertson: So you… you’re going to sit there and tell me that it’s not a god damn conspiracy that you, for some miraculous reason, were able to see when Maggie got her foot on the rope, but all of a sudden developed glaucoma and couldn’t see when MY foot was on the rope?
Cardillo pleads inaudibly with Robertson. Martin mocks Cardillo with a few crying faces before getting nose to nose with the referee.
Martin Robertson: (in a soft voice) This… this is a conspiracy. It’s a conspiracy against Martin Robertson, and there isn’t a damn thing you or that damn marsupial in charge, Stacy Vandervort, can do to convince me otherwise. Because there is no way…
Martin shakes Cardillo..
Martin Robertson: Stay with me, John. There is no way that any… any of these instances that have happened against me over the past couple of weeks are a mere coincidence. You screwed me out of the World Heavyweight Title. You screwed me out of the Network Title. Fortunately for me, because of her husband… (Martin points over to Alyssa) … and the contract I signed a couple months ago, you can’t fire me, or else I’m sure that aardvark in the back would be looking for a way to do that as well.
Martin switches the microphone to the hand he’s using to hold onto Cardillo, and uses his now free hand to slap Cardillo before switching the microphone back to that hand.
Martin Robertson: Stacy, I hope you’re back there behind me listening. Because tonight… Tonight, John, I am about to unleash a hell upon the EWA unlike one you have ever seen. I am going to destroy all that this company holds near and dear to its’ heart. I have been patient for far too long, John, and starting tonight, there is no more patience. There is no more waiting in line. What I’m about to do tonight will bring order to the EWA, through chaos. Be sure that, when I’m done, Stacy makes sure to thank you, for serving in her court well. Because tonight…
Martin tightens his grip on Cardillo even more, bringing him nose to nose once again with the second generation superstar.
Martin Robertson: … the Youth King takes his throne.
Martin throws Cardillo backwards to the mat before throwing the microphone down on the mat as well. Alyssa runs up to Martin who, without turning around, simply begins to exit the ring and head up the steps.
MM: What in the world has gotten into Martin Robertson?
VA: You heard him… he’s tired of getting screwed over!
MM: But what’s this talk about unleashing chaos and taking his throne?
VA: I don’t have a clue, Malone, but if I’m any… any of the other superstars in the arena tonight, I’m watching my back, because Martin Robertson looks fit to go on a rampage tonight!
MM: Do you think any of this is Alyssa’s doing?
VA: By the looks of the way she’s trying to talk to Martin as they head up the ramp, I think this is all a Martin Robertson production.
MM: Let’s head backstage!
(We fade backstage, where Terry Bull – apparently reinstated by EWA Owner Alexander Haven – stands by, next to a man in white hair, looking down at the ground, his ivory locks covering his facial features.)
Terry Bull: Ladies and gentlemen, Live From Sydney is roaring along, and right now, I’m standing here with one of the competitors who will challenge for the EWA World Heavyweight Championship tonight, in what is now apparently a Fatal Fiveway match for the championship. NOTHING, if I can bring you in here…what are your thoughts regarding this huge contest here tonight?
(Seconds pass uncomfortably as the Purveyor says nothing. Bull begins to get noticably impatient, when finally, NOTHING lifts his head up, running a hand through his white hair. He stares into the camera…)
(And with that, the Purveyor walks away, leaving a befuddled Terry Bull to throw back to ringisde.)
ALEX BROOKS VS PHILIP DONOVAN
Bouncing back against the ropes, Alex Brooks already stands ready in the ring, warming up for a showcase match as Nikki Rogers lifts the mic.
MM: Alex can’t wait to get this show started, he came out without so much as an introduction!
VA: He’s all business, which can be refreshing in this era of entrances and music.
NR: And his opponent, weighing in at 212 pounds from Newport Beach, California in the United States, P.H.D. Philip Donovan!
As the lights dim, a graphic reading “WELCOME TO THE NEW WAVE. PHD” wipes across the jumbotron and the synth sounds of Carpenter Brut’s ‘Le Perv’ fill the arena. Neon green lasers scatter with a strobe effect, filling the arena in a dazzling shower of brilliant light. Emerging onto the rampway, PhD steps out beneath a blacklight, his shades glowing in the darkness. Stopping at the front of the rampway, he surveys the crowd before making an OC hand gesture to the cameras.
VA: Can we stop with the gang signs?
MM: Gang signs, Vincent? I believe that’s an homage to his home town.
VA: I wouldn’t know, I’m not an Crip or a Blood.
Walking down the ramp, PhD acknowledges the fans with a couple of hand slaps as he approaches ringside, his eyes on his opponent, Alex Brooks. Climbing the ring steps, he hops over the top rope and heads directly for a corner, brushing past Brooks, who merely shakes his head. Jumping up onto the second turnbuckle, PhD points out across the audience to a nice pop.
MM: Quite the showman.
VA: Whatever, Malone.
Jumping back off the turnbuckles, PhD approaches the center of the ring where a waiting Alex Brooks stands with referee Rick Iley. Going over the rules really quickly, Iley points both competitors to neutral corners and calls for the bell.
MM: Here we go! Fans, this is continuing action at Live from Sydney and the kickoff to the new season of EWA Wrestling!
VA: They’ve already bought the PPV, Malone.
MM: And here we go!
Locking up in the center of the ring, PhD ducks under, and wraps his arms around Brooks midsection, wrenching him up, he twists it into some sort of a side slam!
VA: That was … interesting.
MM: I don’t even know what you call that, but it worked!
VA: Brooks seems, distracted, Malone … not quite himself here tonight.
MM: Well, this was the wrong event and the wrong opponent for that!
Grabbing Brooks by the arm, PhD wrenches it into before ramming a shoulder into him, yanking him back, Donovan yanks him into a short arm clothesline!
MM: That’ll take the wind outta ya.
As a very surprised Brooks gets to his feet, his legs almost fail him, sending him sprawling into the ropes as he tries to gain his footing. Turning from the ropes, he steps right into a devastating superkick from PhD!
But he doesn’t go down!
Staggering out from the ropes, Philip Donovan waves him in closer.
VA: He caught Brooks off guard thus far in this one, Malone, Brooks needs to bail and get his wits about him!
MM: ANOTHER SUPERKICK!
VA: BUT HE WON’T GO DOWN! HOW THE HELL IS HE STILL ON HIS FEET?!
The crowd ‘Ooohhhhhhh’s’ as PhD hit’s a stunning THIRD superkick which finally drops Brooks flat on his back!
VA: Look at poor Rick Iley, even he can’t believe this stunning turn of events!
MM: It happens to the best of them, Ashe…
VA: Yeah, like you remember when Sahara lost to Johnny Na–
Vincent Ashe trails off in a fit of laughter as Malone can be heard audibly sighing.
MM: WOAH! WOAH! WHAT’S PhD DOING?!
As Brooks slowly staggers to his feet, PhD lines himself up behind his opponent and the moment he stands up straight, Donovan leaps up onto his shoulders!!!
VA: POISONRANA! YEAHHHH. Did you see that, Malone, he dropped him right on his coconut!
MM: He calls that move the Flashback, Ashe, and if PhD came to Live from Sydney to make a statement to the EWA? Statement made.
Slowly crawling over to Alex Brooks on his knees, Philip Donovan grabs him by the shirt and pulls him onto his back. With both hands, he holds his chest down and Rick Iley drops into position.
MM: This is … what’s the word I’m looking for, Vincent?
MM: Over will do.
VA: Yeaapp, over.
MM: I don’t mean to take anything about from PhD here, but you have to think Alex Brooks was just taken by surprise … I just, wasn’t expecting that kind of performance.
VA: The EWA is on a different level today, Malone, and it’s safe to say only the strong will survive.
NR: The winner of this match by pinfall, PhD, Philip Donovan!
MM: Multiple superkicks led to that devastating Poisonrana–
VA: Let’s not beat around the bush here, Brooks wasn’t ready and he paid the price. Next!
YOUR WINNER BY PINFALL: PHILIP DONOVAN (3:38)
As we cut backstage, we find Martin Robertson, fresh off his match against Maggie earlier tonight, walking down a hallway. Carrying a water bottle in his hand and with a towel wrapped around his neck, he pays no attention to the small pockets of EWA workers that are huddling around in their own conversations. Just as Martin goes to open the water bottle, we hear a roar from the crowd as, standing directly in front of him, is the Executive Assistant of the EWA, Stacy Vandervort.
Martin, shaking his head with a smirk on his face, attempts to walk past Stacy. But as Martin sidesteps to the left, Stacy follows him, obviously blocking his path.)
Martin Robertson: Are we really going to play this childish game, Stacy?
Stacy Vandervort: Not until you tell me what the hell that was all about in the ring earlier?
Martin Robertson: I don’t have time for this…
(Martin attempts to walk past Stacy again, but just as before, Stacy steps in front of Martin. This time, however, she places her right hand on the chest of Martin.)
Stacy Vandervort: You’re going to make the time for it, or else I’ll make sure that you have a lot, lot more free time on your hands!
(Martin smirks at Stacy as he casually brushes her hand off his chest.)
Martin Robertson: I don’t have time for your idle threats, Stacy. Unless, of course, this is what you were talking about back at Battlelines 33 about being “fair and impartial”. Because since Alex dragged your gutter-trash ass back into this position you hold now, you’ve been anything but “fair and impartial”, especially when it comes to me!
Stacy Vandervort: You need to seriously watch your tone when you speak to me.
Martin Robertson: Or what, you going to get your husband to come beat me up?
Stacy Vandervort: I don’t need Chris to fight my battles for me.
Martin Robertson: Of course you don’t. Plus, it’s not like he’s fighting a lot of anything right now…
Stacy Vandervort: Laugh all you want, Martin, but you’re not going to be laughing when I say this… You violated EWA Rules and Regulations when you placed your hands on an official…
Martin Robertson: (interrupting) An incompetent official…
Stacy Vandervort: … and therefore, you leave me with no choice but to…
(As if on cue, the sound of a cell phone ringing interrupts the Executive Assistant. Stacy begins to look around to find the source of the sound, but within a second, Martin pulls out the cell phone that’s making the sound.)
Stacy Vandervort: Where did you just pull that from?
(Martin, ignoring the question, answers the phone.)
Martin Robertson: Oh, hey… Look, I’m trying to make my way down there, but some giraffe on a power trip stopped me in the hallway.
(There’s an icy glare coming from Stacy towards Martin…)
Martin Robertson: Oh, I think she was about to say something, but apparently, the Assistant hasn’t studied the organizational chart of the EWA and doesn’t realize that there are people to overrule her. Hold on…
(Martin holds out the phone towards Stacy.)
Martin Robertson: Would you like to tell your boss what you were about to say?
(Stacy stares at the phone for a second, then back up to Martin. Reluctantly, Stacy shakes her head, and walks past Martin.)
Martin Robertson: I didn’t think so.
(Martin turns his head to look back at Stacy.)
Martin Robertson: Good talk!
(Martin puts the phone back up to his ear.)
Martin Robertson: I’ll see you in a minute.
(Martin hangs up the phone, smiling, as he continues his walk down the hall.)
(As the scene transitions, a smiling Allison Haines nods to the camera.)
Allison Haines: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Sahara.
(The fans in the arena can be heard cheering through the halls of the Qudos Bank Arena as the Crimson Queen steps into view. She looks up and around, slowly closing her eyes, lost in the moment as she can feel the roar of the crowd.)
Allison Haines: Sahara, later tonight, the moment you’ve been waiting for will finally arrive. It’s the moment so many of us have been waiting for. We may not have always agreed with your methods, but in hindsight, you did what was necessary to make it in a business that’s unkind and unforgiving–
Sahara: I won’t bother with the excuses, Allison. I’m a survivor, and since my arrival in the EWA, I’ve done what I had to do to survive. Later tonight, I’ll complete the impossible dream when I capture the EWA — World — Heavyweight — Title.
Allison Haines: You can hear by these cheering fans that they’re behind you in a way you probably never imagined as you face Grace Goeren, NOTHING and your own husband, and reigning champion, Micha–
(As her knee gives, the Crimson Queen opens her mouth and lets out a yelp that sends Allison Haines scrambling. The sound of a hollow pipe clanging against the concrete floor sends an echo rattling through the backstage area, eliciting jeers from the fans that are watching the scene unfolding on the jumbotron. Sahara clutches her knee as a familiar figure steps into view.
With a smirk on his face, she looks up in horror and also sees a young man she hasn’t seen in some time lording over her.
Duane’s words are cold and even, yet venomous.)
Gates: When we first met, I told you to run away, little girl. You should have listened to me.
(Crouching down, Duane grabs a fistful of her platinum hair and yanks her head back violently, gazing into her blazing sapphire eyes. Though he looks directly at her, it’s clear he’s addressing his new hitman.)
Gates: Now I take away everything you’ve ever cared about. Richard … calf crush this bitch.
(After a few moments passed, Gates senses the hesitation and glances up at the rookie.)
Rick Remington: We talked about this, Mr. Gates. I’m not looking to cripp–
Gates: You wanna be a star in this business, or a never was? This is your moment, kid. Right here. Right now. Either seize it, or step the fuck aside. She’s your ticket to stardom … now … do as I said! Calf crusher. NOW!
(Holding her hands up, Sahara pleads with the kid.)
Sahara: Please–my kne–
Gates: Tell me, did you show him the same mercy you’re asking for now? I’m guessing no. And now it comes full circle. Do it, kid.
(Remembering the moment she snapped his leg as he looks at Duane, Rick Remington scowls as he drops down on Sahara’s leg and locks her in a calf crusher, eliciting a blood curdling scream from the blonde. Duane yells at her through the agony…)
Gates: Can you hear that, you little bitch?! The snap, the crackle and the pop of your knee? That’s the sound of your dreams collapsing. And to think you came this close…
(Duane holds up his hand, his thumb and index finger a mere millimeter apart.
Tapping the ground furiously, Sahara reaches out and grabs Duane by the pant leg, murmurs of pain emanating from her lips. She forces a scream of the only name that pops into her head.)
Gates: That’s right. Beg, you miserable little whore. Did you really think you’d win? DID YOU REALLY THINK I’D LET THAT HAPPEN?!
(Tears of pain stream down Sahara’s face as she claws at Gates’s leg, and he gently kicks her hand away as Remington finally releases the hold. Security officials flood the area, checking on Sahara and creating a bit of a barrier between Remington and Sahara…but Gates slips through, spitting down on the blonde with a smirk on his face.)
Gates: This war is just beginning, bitch. Come on, Richard.
(On that note, Remington and Gates depart the area, as the officials tend to Sahara. Moments later, a furious Stacy Vandervort enters the scene, parting her way through the wall of officials to see Sahara on the floor, clutching her knee. Turning toward the direction Duane and Remington left the scene, Stacy runs a hand through her hair.)
Stacy Vandervort: I want Duane and whoever the hell did this found and brought to me.
(Silence lingers for a few moments until she speaks up again, her voice booming.)
Stacy Vandervort: NOW!!!
(As a few of the official spring into action, we fade to ringside.)
RAY WILLMOTT VS LAURA SETON
“Gunboat” kicks in, bringing the fans to their feet to see Laura Seton make her entrance. The arena is bathed in black for a moment before popping back up to reveal Laura herself, dressed in her usual gear. Her head is bowed and she faces away from the audience.
NR: The following contest is set for ONE FALL! Introducing first, from Oshkosh, Wisconsin…LAURA…SETON!!
Laura glares down the ring as the makes her entrance, not acknowledging the fans of bothering to acknowledge the camera trying to catch a glimpse of her face. She slides into the ring and ties her hair back into a ponytail before she gets to the middle turnbuckle, finally locking eyes with the fans in attendance here tonight in Sydney.
MM: Laura Seton has become something of an enigma of late, Vincent. Both competitors in this match have been through just…so much both inside the ring and outside the ring.
VA: Call it what you will, but let’s be honest. Laura Seton’s gone quiet. Her head’s not in this anymore, you can tell!
Laura hops down off the turnbuckle and watches the entrance as “Gunboat” dies down. “Moth Into Flame” kicks up as flames shoot into the air, causing a raucous reaction from the audience as Ray Willmott appears at the entrance. His eyes are focused directly on Laura.
NR: And her opponent…from Cardiff, Wales…he is the Welsh Warrior…RAY…WILLMOTT!!!
Willmott also doesn’t acknowledge the fans as he walks down to the ring in his tunnel of fire, opting to focus solely on Laura herself. He enters the ring and gives a small nod to the fans before going to his corner and begins to stretch. The referee checks on Laura and then walks over to Ray, who stops stretching long enough to get checked himself.
MM: The bell rings and we are off!
VA: Talk about off, look at Laura’s face right now!
Laura starts to say something to Willmott, who seems transfixed and trying to focus on the task at hand. Laura has finally had enough and marches to the center of the ring and starts to try to get Willmott involved and ready to fight. After a few beats, he inhales deeply and walks to the middle of the ring, face to face with her.
MM: The tension between these two Warriors is growing to a palpable level, Vinnie! Once the first move is made, the first punch thrown, this could be either a respectful and technical masterpiece of a bloody brawl!
Laura moves to touch Ray on his controversial shoulder when all of a sudden, Ray grabs her arm and yanks her around, hooking her head, AND DROPS HER WITH ECHOES IN ETERNITY.
Willmott touches his shoulder for a brief moment as he sits up next to Laura’s now prone body. He looks over to the referee and then sprawls over onto Laura, allowing the referee to get a full view of her shoulders down on the mat…
MM: WOW! Just like that it’s over!
Willmott rolls from the ring, not waiting for the referee to hold his hand up or even for the announcement to be made.
NR: Your winner…RAY WILLMOTT!!
“Moth Into Flame” starts back up again as Ray Willmott walks up the ramp, his face distant and his eyes staring dead ahead as the referee checks on Laura, who is coming to. She looks to be in a daze as Willmott stops, shaking his head as he turns back to Laura. He watches her coming to and nods his head in approval.
MM: I don’t know what the next chapter says for Ray Willmott or Laura Seton, but one thing’s for sure…tonight didn’t even make it to a full page!
VA: After how stiff that Echoes was on Laura, I’m guessing she probably is gonna be sticking to books with pictures and big font from now on!
We end on Laura rolling from the ring, holding her head and neck after the one hit wonder that was her match against Ray. Fade backstage.
YOUR WINNER BY PINFALL: ‘RED HOT’ RAY WILLMOTT (0:41)
(We fade backstage to the medical offices at the Qudos Bank Arena to see the previously attacked Sahara sitting on an examination table. As Dr. Furman carefully feels the tissue surrounding her knee, Sahara openly grimaces. Placing a hand on the back of her knee, he lifts her leg and attempts to flex it, which again prompts her to clench her teeth and lean her head back in pain.)
Dr. Furman: I’m sorry, I just can’t tell if you tore something or not–
???: “What’s going on?”
(Entering the room, a visibly upset Stacy Vandervort immediately shakes her head upon seeing Sahara on the trainer’s table and noting Dr. Furman’s body language.)
Stacy Vandervort: Bottom line me, Furman. Is she going to be able to go tonight or not?
(The doctor merely sighs.)
Dr. Furman: It’s hard to say. She’s got swelling, but without x-rays and possibly even an MRI, I can’t tell if she tore something up in there or if it’s partially torn or if it’s just a bruise.
(Slicing her hand through the air, Stacy Vandervort reiterates her question.)
Stacy Vandervort: Mark, can she go or not?!
(As Dr. Furman slowly begins to shake his head, Sahara chimes in.)
Sahara: Please, don’t do this to me. Not tonight. I can go. I can–
(Stacy Vandervort shakes her head, the sound of exasperation in her voice.)
Stacy Vandervort: Goddamnit!
Sahara: Stace, please! I’ve waited for this match my entire life, please — please don’t take it away from me now.
(As the blonde’s eyes well up with tears, the EWA executive does something few thought they’d ever see; she reaches out and grabs the blonde pain-in-the-ass by the hand showing a gesture of sympathy.)
Stacy Vandervort: I’m so sorry, Lauren, I know how long you’ve wanted this, and I know the work you put in to get here, but it’s my job to look out for the long term interest of the EWA. If you tore something, as Dr. Furman thinks is possible, and I let you go out there, I could be jeopardizing the remainder of your career for the sake of saving my main event.
(Stacy Vandervort shakes her head.)
Stacy Vandervort: I’m afraid I can’t do that. There’ll be other opportunities…
(The crowd boos in unison at the decision.)
???: “What the hell happened?!”
(As the EWA World Heavyweight Champion, Michael Draven, enters the room the crowd pops, prompting Stacy Vandervort to to turn toward him. A visibly distraught Sahara sat on the trainer’s table, tears in her eyes.)
Michael Draven: Aww, no, c’mon. That son of a bitch isn’t even under contract, Stacy! He shouldn’t have even been able to get into the fucking building!
Stacy Vandervort: You think I don’t know that?!
(Pinching the bridge of her nose, the EWA executive sighs.)
Stacy Vandervort: Duane’s gonna answer for this, one way or another, trust me on that. In the meantime–
Michael Draven: In the meantime?! My wife’s been injured because you failed to protect your talent–
(Stacy whips her head up, cutting off the champion.)
Stacy Vandervort: Don’t you fucking dare, Michael Draven.
Michael Draven: Don’t what? Point out the truth?! I was in my locker room getting set for later tonight, and I get the news–
(The blondes voice cuts through the tension as she scoots herself toward the edge of the trainers table.)
Sahara: Look, I don’t care what I gotta sign to absolve the EWA in case something happens to me out there … I ain’t missing this.
(The crowd pops at Sahara making it clear she plans to compete as the the Executive Assistant turns toward her.)
Stacy Vandervort: Lauren–
(Stacy glances at Dr. Furman who simply shrugs.)
Dr. Furman: If she wants to sign a waiver, it’s — whatever. I’m just a doctor, it’s not like I know anything, right?! She’s a grown woman … do what you want, Lauren.
Stacy Vandervort: I don’t know, even with the waiver, I gotta look out for the EWA’s interests, and your long term–
Sahara: Then I quit.
(Everyone turned and looked at Sahara in unison.)
Michael Draven: What?!
Sahara: Now you don’t gotta worry about the EWA’s future interest when it comes to me. I either compete in this main event, or I quit, Stacy.
Michael Draven: This is insane, Lauren – Stacy? You’re not buying into this shit, right?
Stacy Vandervort: (sighs) I mean…it’s business, right? If she’s that adamant about a waiver…
Michael Draven: I can’t fucking believe this shit. This is–
Sahara: Michael, look at me.
(The champion turns, staring down at the blonde.)
Sahara: I’ve waited my entire life for this moment. If she takes it from me, I swear I’ll quit on the spot.
(Draven shakes his head in disbelief, reaching over and placing his hand on Sahara’s shoulder.)
Michael Draven: Lauren, stop. There’s no reason for this. Let me get through tonight, and as soon as your knee is ready I’ll give you a shot–
(Brushing his hand off her shoulder, the blonde jumps down from the table, visibly landing most of her weight on her good leg.)
Sahara: I want the fucking waiver. And yer damn right you’ll give me a shot … tonight!
(The crowd pops, as Draven glares at the blonde in disbelief. After a moment, he steps in close to her, almost as if he’s going to kiss her…but instead speaks.)
Michael Draven: We could’ve worked together tonight, taken Grace and Prudence out and faced each other for the title….but I can’t watch your back if your knee is busted.
Sahara: I don’t need your fucking help–
Michael Draven: Do you remember what you told me back in Boston? “Don’t hold back, Michael.” And now you’re doing this?
(He motions down at Sahara’s injured knee.)
Michael Draven: You just ensured you won’t be leaving with the World Heavyweight Championship tonight. Stupid fucking move, Sahara.
(Draven turns, clearly angry, and loudly thrusts an open hand into the door as he vacates the room, slamming it shut behind him. Sahara lowers her head, staring down at her injured knee, gingerly attempting to add some weight to her bad leg.)
Stacy Vandervort: Sahara, are you sure you want to do this? You can barely walk…
Sahara: You got the best sports medicine doctor in the world standin’ next to me, Stacey. Surely he can do something about that.
(Sighing, Dr. Furman shakes his head as he looks at the blonde.)
Dr. Furman: Get that camera outta here.
(Fade to ringside.)
(As the camera begins to pan around the arena, waiting for the next match to take place, suddenly, a familiar guitar riff begins to play over the loudspeakers here in the arena that instantaneously brings the crowd to their feet…)
WE ARE THE YOUTH
WE’LL TAKE YOUR FASCISM AWAY
WE ARE THE YOUTH
APOLOGIZE FOR ANOTHER DAY
WE ARE THE YOUTH
AND POLITICIANS ARE SO SURE
WE ARE THE YOUTH
AND WE ARE KNOCKING ON DEATH’S DOOR
VA: NO WAY!
(The familiar tune, to many in the audience anyways, of “Anthem for the Year 2000” by hometown band Silverchair begins to blast throughout the arena, as the image on the jumbotron flashes with the name “Alexander Haven” in gold lettering on a black screen…)
MM: We know that there had been talk about Alexander Haven officially retiring from professional wrestling… Is this really going to happen?
VA: I hope not, Malone. Alex has been one of the rare breaths of fresh air in the business, always telling it how it really was, whether you agreed with his assessment or not.
MM: Alex has played such an integral part to the growth of the EWA over the past two years. Who knows where this company would have been without him.
(To a continued raucous ovation, Alex and Alyssa step out on the stage. Alyssa still has on the tight black dress from when she was ringside with Martin Robertson earlier tonight. Alex, meanwhile, is dressed in a black sports jacket with a white t-shirt on underneath, and a pair of denim blue jeans. The couple walk out to the center of the stage, holding hands as Alyssa does a little twirl to the excitement of the fans, flashing a huge smile to the crowd. Alex, however, is fairly somber, a slight smile on his face, but definitely not as jovial as we might have seen him in the past when he steps out into an arena.)
MM: Look at Alex… does he look like a man that’s ready to retire?
VA: Alex looks like a man who always has a plan, whether it’s in the ring or behind the scenes. I think Alex knows exactly what he’s doing here.
(Alex and Alyssa stride to the ring hand in hand. As they reach the steps, Alex climbs up the stairs first, holding Alyssa’s hand as the follows behind. Alex holds the ring ropes open, allowing his wife to enter the ring first, before following right behind. Alyssa strides to the center of the ring, waving to the fans as Alex does a couple of laps around the ring, showing that he’s still in good physical shape before joining his wife in the center of the ring.)
MM: This, Vince… I’ll be honest, with the way Alex was able to come in here and compete at the level he did, I never thought I would see this day.
VA: Alex is on a level that very, very few other wrestlers will ever get to. I’ve maybe seen two, at most three, other wrestlers ever obtain the level of success that Alexander Haven has achieved. So if he is actually retiring tonight, I highly doubt we’ll see another Alexander Haven in this business again. There’s a reason they call him the Mastermind, Malone.
MM: Shockingly, I couldn’t agree with you more, Vince. He has been so cerebral throughout his career.
(As the song continues to play, Alex walks over towards Nikki Rogers, who hands him a microphone before shaking her hand through the ropes. The music begins to fade out as Alex heads back to the center of the ring. Recognizing that this is his moment, Alyssa takes a few steps towards the corner of the ring, giving Alex the floor. But before he can say a word…)
“THANK YOU AL-EX!”
*clap, clap, clap clap clap*
“THANK YOU AL-EX!”
*clap, clap, clap clap clap*
“THANK YOU AL-EX!”
*clap, clap, clap clap clap*
(Alex pulls the microphone away from his face for a moment, unable to speak while the crowd continues to give him this incredible ovation. He looks up, out at the crowd, smiling for a moment, before looking back down and raising his hand, asking the crowd to give him a moment before he begins to speak…)
Alexander Haven: Thank you, Sydney. Well, most of you anyways. But I get it, I honestly get it. You, the EWA faithful, have not always seen eye to eye with me, and for good reason at times. I know you may doubt me when I say this but…everything I’ve done since becoming owner of this company was done with the best of intentions for the EWA. While they may not have always turned out in ways I’m proud of, one thing I’m proud of for sure is how far the EWA has come under my leadership.
(Haven glances at Alyssa, who gives him a smile.)
Alexander Haven: Excuse me…our leadership. Alyssa and I have always made decisions as a team, and this one has been no different. I needed some time to think about it. Time to come to peace with the decision, and I’ve found that peace. You see, make no mistake – I am a professional wrestler at heart. I was born to compete in this ring – and I think I’ve done a pretty damn good job of it during my time.
I have a profound respect for this business, and it’s been admittedly surreal to find myself as head of the EWA. While I have always been driven to incite change in this industry, it’s been pointed out to me, by the people I love most…
(Alyssa puts her hand on Alex’s shoulder.)
Alexander Haven: …that if I truly want to change the EWA, and this sport, I have a greater opportunity than ever to do so So, with Alyssa by my side, I’m here tonight to make the rumors official. I am retiring from active competition, effective immediately, to focus entirely on the day to day operations of the EWA.
(The crowd let’s out a sigh and quickly starts a good natured booing. As Haven wipes a tear from his eye, Alyssa steps out in front of him, kissing him on the cheek and taking the mic.)
Alyssa Marie Haven: Alright, alright, we are only just getting started here tonight, so let’s save some of the tears for later, shall we? A few of your closest friends and family wanted to be here for you tonight to celebrate your incredible in ring career coming to an end.
First off…who else would it be? Like it or not, wherever you are…this man is never far behind.
(“Anthem for the Year 2000” begins playing once more, as one man makes his way into the stage with assistance from a walking cane. The crowd goes wild, recognizing the former champ as he waves and high fives a few fans while making his way towards the ring.)
MM: Speaking of shocking events, Chris Kage is here in Sydney!
VA: The Incontinent one has returned!
MM: Would you stop… Chris Kage, the former four-time EWA World Heavyweight Champion, who had to retire recently, but under much different circumstances, has come all the way to Australia for his lifelong friend, Malone. Now tell me that isn’t true friendship!
VA: Sure, but the difference is that Alex could still go. It’s not his fault that Kage is a cripple right now!
MM: Well, the primary injury to Kage did during their match at Champions Summit, Vince.
VA: Pure coincidence.
(Chris Kage makes his way up the ring stairs, a little slower than before, stepping through the ring ropes. He gives a half hug to Alyssa who hands him the microphone, as the crowd quiets to hear what the four time EWA Champion has to say.)
Chris Kage: Well, not to rain on the parade here, but…I’m not here to tell you how great a wrestler Alexander Haven is. I’m not gonna come out here and guzzle his spout with a list of accomplishments, but I am gonna tell you what I know about the man…and quite frankly, no offense to Alyssa Marie, no one knows Alexander Haven like I do.
Whatever Alex sets his mind to…whatever fucking scheme or plan he puts into motion, no matter how crazy, he puts every fiber of his being into making sure it gets done according to plan. And if he fucks up along the way, he will not rest until he has made it right. Being second place, to Alexander Haven, is a death sentence. Just ask him about all that resentment he harbored for me when I was the Champ.
I’m kidding…but I’m not, really. I have been to war with this man on both sides of the battlefield – as enemy and as ally – and I know, at the end of the day, there’s no one I’d rather have watching my fucking back…or watch me fucking, for that matter.
(Haven and Alyssa exchange an awkward glance with Kage, who shrugs.)
Chris Kage: The EWA is in good hands, and I’m proud to call Alexander Haven my brother.
(Kage walks over to Haven, with the assistance of his cane, embracing his best friend warmly. Haven reaches for the microphone, shaking his head with a chuckle, when suddenly, once again, ‘Anthem for the Year 2000’ plays. The camera quickly pans to the top, showing a man in a black ‘Youth’ shirt, jeans, and a black knee brace walking out toward the ring…)
MM: What?!? No way!
VA: What in the hell is he doing here?
MM: Tyler Morris, former member of the Youth, has returned to the EWA, and is here tonight in Sydney!
(The former Tapout Champion rolls underneath the bottom rope, with Chris Kage extending a hand to help him to his feet. The two make a joke, inaudible to the fans but obvious from the laughter and gestures, about their injuries, before Tyler takes the microphone from Haven’s hands.)
Tyler Morris: What’s up, Sydney?
(The crowd responds with the cheap pop, and Haven laughingly rolls his eyes.)
Tyler Morris: I’ll make this quick, Alex, since you’re an old man now, and it’s probably way past your bedtime. Alyssa, make sure you get this man started on a prune juice diet, stat, alright?
(Alyssa’s expression never changes, but Haven and Kage both laugh aloud as Tyler continues.)
Tyler Morris: Alex, I just…I just wanted to come out here and thank you. You did some shit last year that obviously Chris and I didn’t agree with, but after talking with you privately, I can accept your reasons for what you did, and I can forgive you. But you know, I’ve had a lot of time to think during my injury, and the thing I’ve reflected on a lot is just how much of an influence Alexander Haven was on my life.
You see, Alex, when Chris Kage dropped my name, you didn’t necessarily believe in me. You needed a soldier, and luckily enough, that’s exactly what I was. It’s what I was trained to be. But being a soldier can bring a lot of baggage with it…especially when you’ve seen some of the shit that I have. But…being around you on a daily basis. Watching you. Getting tips and pieces of advice on matches, relationships, hell, on life in general? It’s really helped me pull myself together and get my life on track from a lot of the shit I saw in Afghanistan. I have a wonderful woman back home – love you, Misty – and I’m actually content in life for the first time, maybe ever?
And I have you to thank for it, Alexander Haven. Congratulations on an amazing career, and don’t be a stranger, brother, alright?
MM: This is incredible! What a reunion for Alex to see tonight!
VA: I was told that those cheap bastards, the Latino Powers were supposed to be here tonight as well, but they couldn’t afford the flights from Mexico.
MM: You do realize that the Latino Powers…
VA: … are the greatest tag team of all time? Of course I do, which is why I’m disappointed the EWA couldn’t spring to get them here tonight for this!
(Haven and Morris embrace in the center of the ring, with Morris saying something that brings an uproar of laughter from the men in the ring. Morris teases keeping the microphone away from Haven, but finally hands it over to him.)
MM: It looks like Alex is about to get a final few words in now.
(But once again, before Alex can speak, the PA system crackles to life…as ‘The Unforgiven’ begins to play! The Australian crowd absolutely explodes as a massive man – walking without the aid of a cane or crutches for the first time in a long time – makes his way out from behind the curtain…)
MM: The former owner of the EWA and the five-time former EWA World Heavyweight Champion, ‘The ICON’ Erik Draven, is here tonight as well!
VA: What, was there a group discount from the crippled wrestler’s home to get them all here?
(Erik Draven – dressed in a suit with his hair pulled back in a ponytail – steps over the top rope, cringing slightly with his hand going to his leg briefly before making the rounds, shaking hands with everyone in the ring – even Alyssa Marie, who politely nods in his direction. Erik motions for the microphone, and Haven shrugs, laughing, before handing it over.)
Erik Draven: Between Morris, Kage and myself, we’ve maybe got a good leg and a half, so I apologize in advance that we’re dragging this thing out for you, Alex.
(More laughter inside the ring.)
Erik Draven: Chris called me and asked if I’d like to film anything for your big ceremony here tonight. I told him there’s not a chance in hell…I wanted to be here in person for the retirement of the biggest pain in my brother’s ass of his entire life.
(Haven laughs, and even Alyssa Marie cracks a small smile at this comment.)
Erik Draven: Joking aside, though. You and I certainly haven’t always seen eye to eye, and even though I was more than ready to call it quits and turn the company over to someone more capable of growing and expanding the EWA…I was hesitant to sell it to the man who’d originally came here to…how did you put it? “Destroy” the EWA? But the truth is…you succeeded, Alexander Haven. You did – you destroyed the EWA. You tore it down, and you rebuilt it in your vision – a vision that was larger, grander, and more successful than I’d ever imagined it could be. You tackled ownership of this company with the same ferocity and dedication that you carried yourself in this ring, and I couldn’t be more proud to say that I sold my majority share in EWA Entertainment to you.
(Alex nods, listening intently, as Erik continues.)
Erik Draven: I know my brother feels the same way, and I think a lot of the hatred and animosity that Michael – and to a lesser degree, myself – had toward you over the past two decades has finally been put to rest. And that’s not because he finally beat you – although I’m goddamn proud of Mikey for that one. (Erik grins, and Haven shakes his head, laughing.) I think it’s more because we both did something that’s increasingly rare in this screwed-up business of ours…we sat down, and we talked to you. We learned what makes Alexander Haven tick…and I feel like I can truly say that myself and Michael…we respect you, and we understand you.
Congratulations on a kickass career, Alex. I can’t wait to see what new heights you carry the EWA to in the future.
MM: This is becoming a real “This is your life” moment here, Vince.
VA: Yeah, real nostalgic here.
MM: To see all of these great competitors in the ring for Alex, it’s incredible. It’s a breath of fresh air from what we normally see around here.
(Alex, deeply touched by all of the moving tributes so far, looks over towards Alyssa.)
Alexander Haven: Did you know about all of this?
(Alyssa nods towards Alex, smiling)
Alexander Haven: I… I just really don’t know what to say, which is kind of shocking, since I always know what to say. I mean…
(Alex takes a second, pulling the microphone away from his face before composing himself.)
Alexander Haven: The one thing I’ve always talked about in regards to whether I was a part of the Youth or the Three Kings is that it was all about family. It was always about looking after one another, knowing that if one of us succeeded, everyone succeeded. But to listen to you guys here, tonight, I feel like, because of all of you, I was able to succeed. And now…
???: And now, Alex, you need to just shut up for a minute, and listen to what I have to say!
MM: What in the hell???
(Suddenly, the image of the Three Kings appears on the Jumbotron, the three skulls wearing crowns that rotate in a circular manner as “Hail to the King” by Avenged Sevenfold begins to play over the loudspeaker. Stepping through the curtain, still wearing his ring trunks but a fresh black “Three Kings” t-shirt is Martin Robertson. The crowd jeers at his sighting, but Alex is in the ring trying to tell the fans to give him a chance to speak. Martin comes out to the center of the entrance ramp, holding a microphone in his hand.)
Martin Robertson: … because I’ll be damned if I let my mentor… and quite possibly my best friend.. Get away with not letting me say a few words here tonight!
MM: What is Martin Robertson doing?
VA: He was a part of the Youth and the Three Kings as well, Malone… he has just as much of a right to be out here as all of these other people!
MM: I just hope he realizes what he’s doing here, and realizes what tonight is really all about, especially after his loss earlier tonight to Maggie McIntyre.
VA: Oh, you mean that loss where he was screwed out of the Network Championship?
(Martin reaches the ring, entering on the far side away from everyone else. Most of the other people in the ring stare across at Martin, hesitant of what the brash youngster might be out here for, especially after his antics earlier tonight. But Martin has a smile on his face, and he walks up to Alex, shaking his hands before the two engage in an embrace. Martin backs up to the ring ropes, as Alex has the other three gentlemen in the ring behind him.)
Martin Robertson: I’ll be honest here in saying that I can’t believe we’re actually standing here in a ring talking about the retirement of Alexander Haven. I mean, I know I went through a war earlier tonight, and when this was first mentioned, I had a very, very hard time believing this wasn’t just some other trick that Alex was going to pull over everyone, both inside the locker room and in the stands here tonight. Because when you and I first started talking nearly two years ago, I just naturally assumed that we were going to dominate the wrestling world for many, many years. Sure, you might be older than I am by a few years, but you always had this youthful energy about you, like you were the guy that could be fifty years old and still hang with guys half your age.
(Alex smiles at Martin, nodding, almost reminiscing about their first conversations a few years ago.)
Martin Robertson: You taught me so much, not only about myself, but about this business and how important it was to find just one or two people that you could absolutely trust. Those people that wouldn’t lie to you, no matter how bad the news was, or how bad the situation you got yourself into was.. You were a mentor, Alex. Not only to me, but I know how much you meant to Tyler as well. We were rookies that you took under your wing, showing us not only how to be great competitors inside the ring, but how to survive outside the ring as well.
(The camera focuses in on Tyler, who is nodding with what Martin is saying.)
Martin Robertson: I’m not saying all of this to gas you up, Alex, because the last thing you need is someone standing here just blowing smoke up your ass. But I think I can speak for almost everyone here that when you talk about the true, all time greatest wrestlers in professional wrestling… the Mount Rushmore of the industry… if someone doesn’t mention Alexander Haven within the first two breaths, they’re lying to themselves. So…
(The crowd starts to break out into chants once again…)
“THANK YOU AL-EX!”
*clap, clap, clap clap clap.*
“THANK YOU AL-EX!”
*clap, clap, clap clap clap.*
“THANK YOU AL-EX!”
*clap, clap, clap clap clap.*
MM: Listen to these people, Vince!
(Alex starts to look around at the entire crowd, as the three men behind Alex have started nodding in approval.)
Martin Robertson: They said it, Alex. Thank you. Thank you for what you’ve done for me personally, thank you for what you’ve done for this business… thank you for what you’ve done for these people. Because you… you’ve done so much over for almost two decades now. As tough as it is for me to think that the man I’ve looked up to these past few years is leaving this business…. now it’s time to think about yourself, and do what’s best for Alexander Haven, and to ride off into that glorious sunset!
(The chants from the crowd continue to grow louder and louder. The signs around the arena thanking Alex for everything he’s done in professional wrestling. Alex, smiling while a few tears start to come down his face, wipes away the sadness from each eye.)
Alexander Haven: Wow… I mean, how do you follow up all of this? I’m seriously asking, because I think all of these gentlemen in this ring right now are playing some cruel joke on me, trying to see who can get me to cry the most!
(Everyone in the ring laughs as they also start to clap at the same time.)
Alexander Haven: At this point, I have so much to say to so many people, but Marty… man, oh man, Marty. You know just as well as everyone else here how much I care for family, and worry about them, and always try to be there to protect them. But if there was one person I never really had to worry about… it was you. Sure, I may have taught you a few things, but you, son… you are at such an advantage over everyone else in this business with the pedigree that you’ve grown up with. Everyone… is jealous of the gifts that you possess, including myself.
(The crowd has a mixed reaction to Alex’s statement. While the people feel it was pure and genuine, they’re having a tough time forgetting about earlier tonight at the end of Martin’s match with Maggie. )
Alexander Haven: Between the physical talents that you have, and everything I’ve been able to teach you, I have no doubt that the legacy Chris and I built with the legacy of the Youth will carry on forever. I…
(The crowd, once again, cheers for Alex, as everyone in the ring begins applauding.)
Alexander Haven: You don’t have anything to worry about, just like the EWA doesn’t have anything to worry about. You’re both going to be alive and well….. For a long time. The one thing I’d like to say to you, after tonight, though…
(Just as Alex goes to try and continue that thought, Alyssa walks over to her husband. She places her hand over Alex’s microphone, slowly pulling it away from his face. She looks up at her husband as the two lock eyes together. She starts to talk inaudibly to Alex — the microphone is covered — as the microphone starts to pick up.)
Alyssa Marie Haven: .. don’t need to say anything
Alexander Haven: What are you talking about?
Alyssa Marie Haven: This… this was too much. I…
(Alyssa locks eyes with Alex once again.)
Alyssa Marie Haven: I’m sorry, Alex.
Alexander Haven: You’re sorry? What do you mean?
(Alyssa backs away from Alex, once again saying the words “I’m sorry” to Alex, as he starts to scream “WHAT DO YOU MEAN?” before…)
MM: WHAT IN THE HELL?!?!?!
MM: I CAN’T BEL…
VA: MARTIN ROBERTSON JUST ABSOLUTELY DRILLED ALEXANDER HAVEN WITH PURE PERFECTION!!!
MM: NO! This…. This is…
VA: This is awesome, Malone!
(As everyone else in the ring looks over at Robertson in absolute disgust, Chris Kage is the first to walk over and get in Martin’s face, screaming at him, asking him what in the hell he thinks he’s doing. Martin starts to go down towards Alex, who is sprawled out on the mat, but Kage pulls him back up, standing face to face with him again as Erik starts to exit the ring, and Tyler drops down to check on Alex…)
MM: This… after all… Get him Chris!
(Martin starts to turn around to get out of the ring, but Chris whips him back around to face him again. This time, however, Martin kicks Chris in his surgically repaired hip, causing Kage to start hobbling around the ring, clutching at his side. Martin grabs Kage by the head, pulling him towards the ropes and dumping him over the top rope!)
MM: And now he’s just attacked the former four-time World Heavyweight Champion as well!
VA: This, Malone… this is incredible.
MM: I don’t know if incredible is the word, Vince. The poor man just retired because of the injury he sustained to his hip, for christ’s sake! This… this is…
(Just as Martin turns back around after dumping Kage over the top rope, Tyler Morris is now up, and he’s staring directly in the face of Martin Robertson.)
MM: Kage was Tyler’s mentor, Vince. You know he’s certainly not going to stan…
VA: PURE PERFECTION BY ROBERTSON AGAIN!
MM: What has gotten into the head of Martin Robertson?
VA: I don’t think anyone knows, Malone!
(As Tyler got in Martin’s face, he went to swing at his former partner in the Youth. But Martin was able to duck the punch and as Morris staggered to turn around, Robertson was waiting there for him with that vicious superkick! Seeing Haven starting to get up in the center of the ring, Martin runs over, kneeling over the body of the owner of the EWA.)
MM: Good lord, Martin, just stop already!
(But Martin, holding Haven down by kneeling over top of his body, holds Alex’s head in his left hand as he starts to strategically place right hand after right hand square, just above the bridge of Alex’s nose. The soft tissue spot on Alex’s forehead, just between the eyes and just above the nose, slowly starts to trickle blood after the fourth shot to the skull by Robertson.)
Martin Robertson: I…. I am the king!
Martin Robertson: I’m the greatest wrestler alive!
Martin Robertson: It’s my time now!
(As Martin continues to rain down blows on Alex, Erik, who has been outside the ring this whole time, has managed to get EWA security to trickle down to the ring. The first security guard enters the ring, and just as quickly, Martin stands up and sends the person over the top rope, landing right next to Chris Kage, who is still holding his side. A second security guard comes into the ring, and Martin kicks him in the midsection before tossing him between the middle and top rope, straight through the ropes and into the turnbuckle!)
MM: Martin… he’s gone insane here!
VA: No, Malone. He’s not insane. He said earlier tonight he was bringing chaos to the EWA, and he was coming to claim his throne tonight, and that’s exactly what he’s doing!
MM: But what does Alyssa think about this? She’s just stood in the corner watching this all take place! Martin’s just ruined her husband’s retirement party… the one she’s been pushing for!
(At this point, multiple security guards have entered the ring, and they’ve managed to corral Martin into the far corner, with at least one security guard holding onto each of his arms while two other guards help keep him pinned in the corner. Erik at this point has slid back into the ring with a few more security guards, who are down looking at Alex, checking on his condition.)
MM: I apologize, ladies and gentlemen. Martin Robertson has completely lost it here tonight! First after his match against Maggie McIntyre, and now here tonight with Alexander Haven’s retirement!
VA: I… I’m completely shocked as well, Malone. I’ve always been a huge proponent of Martin’s meaner side, but I… I never dreamed that this would happen!
(As the guards are slowly helping Alex back up to a vertical base, Alyssa, still in shock, walks between the guards and past Erik to her husband, who can barely stand on his feet at the moment, only the strength of the security guards truly holding him up. Alyssa places her hands on either side of Alex’s face, looking at the wound that Martin opened up on her husband a few moments ago. She looks up at Alex as he slowly opens his eyes down towards his wife. She leans in, kissing the wound on his forehead before taking another look into his eyes…)
MM: NO! NO! NO!
MM: Alyssa Marie Haven… just slapped the taste out of Alex’s mouth! WHY?
VA: WHY ASK WHY!
(Alyssa smiles as the security guards turn towards her..)
MM: Alyssa… what are you doing…
VA: PURE PERFECTION BY ROBERTSON AGAIN!
MM: No… this can’t be!
(As everyone was focused on Alyssa, Martin was able to break free from the guards holding him in the corner, and he absolutely leveled Alexander Haven with a second superkick, and Alex just dropped to the mat like a sack of potatoes. Security guards are trying to grab a hold of Martin, but he keeps shrugging them off as he stands over top the motionless body of Haven before turning over to Alyssa…)
MM: Now what… Martin has his hand out…
VA: NO WAY!
(Alyssa reaches out, grabbing Martin’s hand as he pulls her over towards him, so that both of them are now standing over top of Alex. Alyssa and Martin gaze into each other’s eyes, before engaging in a passionate kiss.)
MM: This.. this has to be one of the truly most awful things I have ever seen in my career in professional wrestling.
VA: What are you talking about, Malone… THE KING HAS TAKEN HIS THRONE! AND HE HAS A QUEEN TO BOOT!
(Both Alyssa and Martin stare at the hard camera as the building continues to erupt in a chorus of jeers…)
“FUCK YOU, MAR-TIN!”
“FUCK YOU, MAR-TIN!”
“FUCK YOU, MAR-TIN!”
(The pair kiss one more time before they head to exit the ring as “Hail to the King” begins to play over the loudspeakers again. Erik is down on a knee next to Alex, and with Tyler and Chris Kage outside the ring, they all stare on in astonishment at what just transpired.)
VA: You can just sit there like a stump and shut the hell up, Malone… I’ll handle this. Alexander Haven has officially retired from professional wrestling, ladies and gentlemen… Not because he can’t handle it anymore, but because he has been massacred! His career is over at the hands of not only his prize student, Martin Robertson, but also at the hands of his wife, Alyssa Marie Haven! The Mastermind is dead, and the heir to the Youth throne has been found! LONG LIVE THE YOUTH KING!
MM: Just… just cut to something else. Anything…
(Martin and Alyssa stop at the top of the ramp, turning back to look at the ring, where Alex is still laying on the mat, but he’s turned over to his stomach, and is resting on the bottom rope, looking up towards the top of the ramp, where Martin and Alyssa share another kiss. Martin smiles back towards Alex as Alyssa gives him a wink and a wave before turning back to the curtain.
Fade to backstage.)
???: Laura! Laura, come back! Just come and talk….Laura!
(The voice is unmistakably that of Ray Willmott but all we can see is Laura Seton dragging her carry-on case behind her, walking out of the arena.)
Ray Willmott: Laura!
(She doesn’t look around once and the camera pans around to see a despondent, dejected looking Ray Willmott, hopelessly looking ahead. The victory is essentially meaningless to him as his relationship appears to be in tatters. Seton is clearly embarrassed, upset, and frustrated, and there is nothing he can do to console her. Allison Haines starts to filter into shot and places a comforting hand on his shoulder.)
Allison Haines: Ray…if there’s anything I can do….
(Ray runs a hand through his hair, clearly fighting back the tears. His breathing is erratic and juddery as he tries to find an appreciative response to Allison’s gesture.)
Ray Willmott: Why…
(Out of nowhere, Ray Willmott is steamrollered to the ground by a huge, hulking presence. Allison yelps and runs out of shot as the large frame stands over the former EWA World Champion. Dazed and confused, Ray tries to get himself up off the ground, pushing himself up and off the ground using his hands and knees. We can only see the back of the person, partially blocking the camera shot of Willmott, but we can see that Ray has gripped his arms around what seems to be a giant sized leg.)
(The large person’s other leg flexes and flies forward, launching a devastating knee strike to the side of Ray’s head, sending a tooth sailing out to the side. The sound of knee connecting with skull is sickening enough in its own right.
Ray is disorientated and confused as he tries to retain consciousness and confront his attacker, but is fading fast. In one last ditch attempt, he stumbles forward as if going for a double leg takedown but is instead pulled up by the back of his head, held up on his feet.)
(From out of his blindside, Willmott is turned inside out by a thunderous lariat clothesline from another individual of similar size and stature. This time, the wrestling legend appears to be out cold and unresponsive. The two monsters glare down at him, their identities completely concealed by skull hockey masks and thick black robes covering their bodies. The former EWA World Champion’s body appears limp and broken as he lies face first on the hard concrete floor.
Who these individuals are to Ray Willmott is an absolute mystery and they refuse to say a single word or perform another action to give away the slightest clue.
A third person ventures into shot, another tall individual hunched over the fan favourite, glaring down at him through the eye slits of another nightmare-inducing hockey mask.
This one, however, opens his mouth to speak just two words that will live on and haunt Willmott and the EWA Community forever.)
(There is the longest, most uncomfortable pause as the three individuals stand over the broken former champion, waiting for him to give off the faintest flinch. But there is no reply, no motion. No nothing.
The camera focuses in on an unconscious Ray Willmott as we pan back to ringside.)
VA: What the hell was that, Malone?!
MM: “Found you”?
VA: But who the hell’s been looking for Ray Willmott? Unless…you don’t think…
MM: Oh. Oh no.
VA: I’d hate to speculate, but…
MM: I’m…I’m just truly disgusted by what we’ve witnessed here tonight. Ray Willmott with that sickening attack by…let’s just not speculate on that right now. And then…Martin Robertson, turning his back on his mentor, Alexander Haven…
VA: And Alyssa Marie Haven finally left her loser of a husband for a real man, Malone!
MM: You just have to wonder how long something like this has been in the works? We’ve certainly noticed Alyssa and Martin’s bond growing stronger over the past year, but we never could’ve imagined…I’m sick to my stomach, ladies and gentlemen. But the show must go on, and so let’s go up to the ring for our next contest.
LOU VS ETHAN LEERS
SYDNEY STREET FIGHT
The crowd stirs as “Fuck Everything” hits the speakers, and Ethan Leers steps out to a heaping helping of boos. He spits on the stage, scowling at the audience in his “CUNT” hat, “FUCK YOU” jersey and black cargo shorts, before turning back around to the entranceway and stepping through again.
MM: It’s time for the Sydney Street Fight here, but where is Ethan Leers going?
VA: Who knows, Malone? Maybe he’s scared.
MM: Lou’s tough, Ashe, but I somehow doubt she’s got Leers running.
An EWA staff member pushing a cart full of “toys” is shoved through the entrance, with Leers following behind, yelling at him. He throws the poor guy out of the way after deciding he isn’t going fast enough, which once again prompts the crowd to boo like crazy. Leers laughs joylessly, throwing middle fingers at the crowd as he pushes the cart forward.
NR: This match is scheduled for one fall, and is a Sydney Street Fight! Introducing first, from Columbus, OH, weighing in at 190 lbs, ETHAN LEERS!
VA: What does he have in there?
MM: From here I can see… light tubes, a two-by-four, a kendo stick… I don’t even want to say that one…
VA: It’s a double-headed dildo, Malone. What’s he gonna do with that?
MM: I shudder to think.
Leers sends the cart rolling into the apron, where it crashes and rolls back a little. He grabs it and tosses the cart out of his way, the various implements spilling out of it onto the floor. Leers walks to the other side of the ring, grabbing the timekeeper by the head and tossing him into the barricade!
MM: What the hell, man?!
Leers cackles, grabbing his chair and tossing it into the ring! He slides under the bottom rope, and as he stands he throws up another pair of middle fingers, before tossing his hat and jersey just outside the ring, out of the reach of the fans. He hops up onto the turnbuckle, reclining in the corner between the ropes, as the lights die down.
OHH, AFTER MIDNIGHT
A curtain of sparks rains down from the rafters and the crowd goes INSANE, and clap along with Dorothy’s “After Midnight,” as the lights strobe across the Qudos Bank Arena. The strobe stops, turning teal, as the Deathmatch Debutante steps on the stage, dressed up in a Sailor Mercury costume complete with tiara, her teal hair hanging loose around her ears! She throws her hands up in a diamond, swinging her hands back to her sides as the chorus comes in!
NR: And his opponent, from Forest Park, Alabama, weighing in at 121 lbs, the Deathmatch Debutante, LOU!
VA: She is the one named Sailor Lou, Malone!
MM: …did you just paraphrase the theme song?
VA: Don’t act so surprised, Malone, it’s a show about teenage girls.
MM: You’re right. I should’ve known better.
VA: That’s bet– HEY!
She starts to walk toward the ring, taking the time to talk to fans, and specifically looking at the camera as she goes.
Lou: He says I’m a slut. Fuckin’ duh.
She’s too busy mugging for the camera to see Leers sprint across the ring, flying through the ropes with a suicide dive! He catches her hard, driving her to the floor, and immediately starts slamming punches into her face as Rick Iley calls for the bell!
MM: Ethan Leers wasting no time here, and just manhandling Lou.
VA: Leers seemingly trying to test her claim to being the toughest in the EWA!
Lou barely has time to react as Leers pulls her up by her head, and just tosses her into the barricade! Lou hits back first, pushing the guardrail back, and drops to the floor in a heap! Leers spits obscenities as he grabs the kendo stick, as Lou gets to her hands and knees, and he SLAMS it onto her back with a loud crack! The crowd lets out a loud “OOH!” as Lou hits the floor!
Leers gets in Lou’s face, pulling her closer by her hair, and mocking her!
Ethan Leers: Oh, you think you’re so tough?!
He slaps her across the face!
He slams her head down on the floor as he stands up, giving her a kick to the ribs for good measure! He grabs the kendo stick again, and starts yelling at a fan at ringside– low blow from Lou! Leers doubles over in pain, something halfway between a smile and a grimace on his face, and Lou gets to her feet, grabbing his head and driving both knees into his face! Lou shakes out the cobwebs as Leers staggers backwards, wiping a trickle of blood from her mouth! She charges, leaping up onto the ring steps and flying off with a diving clothesline– Leers catches her, and slings her over the guardrail and into the crowd! Lou lands in the chairs with a clang!
Leers hops the guardrail, shaking his head, as Lou gets to her knees among the wreckage! Leers pulls her up by her hair, and she grabs his hands, kicking as he hoists her into the air! He brings her face level with his!
Ethan Leers: Fuck you!
Lou: You wish!
Lou spits in his face, a bloody wad right into his eye! He drops her back to the floor, wiping his eye, and turning back in rage! Lou thrusts a chair up into his gut, doubling him over again, and slamming it across his back! He drops to the floor, and Lou grabs the kendo stick, sliding it under Leers’ neck, and yanking back!
MM: Rick Iley looking on, but not a damn thing he can do about the choke, Ashe!
VA: Iley should stay in the ring where it’s safe, Malone! Leers certainly doesn’t care about hitting a referee, and depending on how long this match goes, Lou might not be able to tell the difference!
MM: Somebody’s gotta be there to call the– woah!
Leers stands up, and Lou wraps her legs around his waist, still trying to crush his windpipe with the kendo stick, but Leers drops onto his back! Lou is crushed against the concrete floor, barely missing hitting her head on the guardrail! She lets go of the kendo stick, and Leers rolls onto his hands and knees, coughing! Lou flops over, holding her back, and Leers pushes himself to his feet, grabbing a chair!
He steps onto Lou’s hand, pinning it to the ground! Lou howls in pain, trying to get out from under him, but she can’t get away as Leers drives the top of the chair into her elbow!
VA: Leers capitalizing on Lou’s past injury!
MM: He’s a savage, Vince! He doesn’t care about winning here, he just wants to hurt someone!
VA: Isn’t it awesome?!
MM: (long sigh)
Lou tries to recoil, but Leers keeps his foot on her hand! He chuckles, looking down at her, before driving the chair into her elbow again! Lou screams, and as Leers gets off of her hand, she retracts it under her body! He shakes his head again, almost offended, as he grabs her by the head, throwing her into the guardrail! Lou hits and falls over the top to the ringside floor!
VA: Lou’s got a couple of shots in, but so far Leers is dominating this fight.
MM: If she wants a chance at winning this, Lou’s going to have to pull out some offense, Vince!
VA: And she can’t even flash her boobs as a distraction, Malone.
MM: You’re terrible.
Leers steps over the guardrail, and lays a solid boot to Lou’s ribs as she tries to get up! Lou flops over, and Leers drops a knee onto her face! He arrogantly puts a foot across her chest, yelling at Iley to count!
THR– Lou pulls her legs up, pulling Leers to the floor into a leglock! Before Leers can escape, she breaks the hold, running up to mount him and slamming his face with fists! Leers puts up his hands to block, but Lou slams them away, latching her teeth onto his nose! Leers tries to open her mouth with his hands, and finally just resorts to punching her in the ribs to get her off of him! Lou rolls off of him, rolling back to her feet as Leers stands up, blood trickling down from the bridge of his nose! Lou spits on the floor!
MM: And for the first time in this match, these two are on even footing!
VA: Even?! He’s got 70 pounds and 9 inches on her, Malone!
MM: 9 inches seems unlikely.
VA: I was talking about height! I’m the only one allowed to make dirty jokes, Malone, it’s in my contract!
Leers pulls his hand away from his bleeding nose, and charges Lou! Lou ducks the grapple, and springs off the apron with a flying roundhouse kick that connects as soon as Leers turns around! Leers stumbles into the guardrail, and Lou runs up the steps onto the apron! Leers steps forward as Lou leaps with a tornado DDT– no! Leers catches her and stops her momentum, putting her on the floor with a Northern Lights suplex!
MM: So much for a comeback!
Leers gets back up, walking to where the fallen cart sits, pulling random objects out until he finds the one he was looking for: a cheese grater! He smiles, raising it in the air to boos from the crowd, before turning around– Lou charges, but Leers puts her down with a boot to the face! Leers sits her up, grabbing her from behind with a rear chinlock, the grater in his other hand! Lou puts a hand on his wrist, trying to stop what’s coming– thumb to the eye from Lou! Leers releases the hold, dropping the grater, and Lou scoops it up, slamming it into his forehead! She didn’t get much force on it, but it still did the job, cutting a gash into Leers’ head! He gets to his feet and runs at Lou, but Lou drops him with an arm drag– right across the cart! The metal buckles as he hits, and he flops off and onto his front, clutching his back, laugh-screaming!
Lou digs into the cart, pulling out a barbed-wire-wrapped 2×4! She raises it into the air with her tongue out, before rolling Leers over, and kicking him between the legs! He clutches his groin, and she spreads his legs again, driving the 2×4 down! His legs reflexively close around it, but before he can get away, she spreads him one more time, the 2×4 laying on his groin, and LEAPS into the air with a double leg drop! Leers howls, tossing the weapon away as Lou flops over, holding her calves!
She brushes it aside, getting back to her feet, and grabbing the grater! She straddles Leers’ back, pulling his head up by the hair, and she drags the grater across his forehead! Blood POURS into Leers’ face, and Leers drops to his face as Lou lets go!
MM: It looks like Lou’s evened it up a bit!
VA: She got the blood flowing, and abused Leers’ genitals, Malone, but Leers gets off on that sick shit! She’s got an uphill battle still!
MM: I’m pretty sure Lou’s enjoying herself, too, Vince!
VA: Not like Leers! Look at him, he’s practically creaming his shorts!
Leers is smiling while wincing, as he pushes himself up to his hands and knees, leaving a spot of blood on the floor. Lou grabs him by the head, throwing him HARD into the ring steps, moving them away from the ring! Leers clutches his head, and Lou grabs the top half of the steps with a smile, tossing them away to reveal… a Hello Kitty messenger bag? She smiles like a schoolgirl, holding it up in the air!
MM: There’s gotta be something to this.
She opens the bag, overturning it onto the floor– thumbtacks! The crowd explodes as the tiny metal shards rain onto the floor, and Lou turns around– Leers kicks her in the gut and drops her with a snap DDT into the concrete!
VA: I don’t think he even saw the tacks, Malone!
Lou rolls over, barely conscious, as Leers grabs a fluorescent light tube! Lou sits up, trying to stand, but Leers SMASHES the tube across her head with a puff of dust! Lou flops to her back, holding her face, and Leers finally spots the thumbtacks! He laughs, pulling Lou up by her head, blood flowing down her face! He pulls her over to the bottom half of the ring steps, and picks her up into a powerbomb! No! Lou wraps her legs around his neck with a hurracanrana! Leers doesn’t go down! He laughs again as he dives off the steps with an inverted mat slam into the thumbtacks! Leers rolls away, as does Lou, and her face and torso are covered in metal!
MM: GOOD GOD, VINCE!
Blood starts to trickle from the pinholes, Lou’s body shaking as she tries to pull tacks out of her arms and face! Leers just laughs, wiping blood out of his eyes, and Lou barely sees him coming with a Yakuza kick square to her face! Leers covers!
Leers seems just as shocked as everyone else, and covers again!
MM: Lou has taken a massive amount of punishment here, but she just won’t quit!
VA: It’s clearly getting under Leers’ skin!
Leers is on his feet, screaming in Rick Iley’s face about a slow count! Iley doesn’t back down, yelling back! Leers reaches back to swing, but Lou turns him around, slamming him in the face with a chair! Leers stumbles, and Lou swings again, catching him on the top of the head! Leers drops to a knee, and Lou tosses him the chair! He catches it, and Lou plants a dropkick to the chair, into Leers’ face! Leers drops to the floor, and Lou grabs the chair before she hops onto the apron!
Leers is barely conscious, his face covered in blood, and Lou gets a running start off the apron, sliding the chair under her as she flies off!
MM: CHARM SCHOOL DROPOUT!
VA: She had to have just PULPED Leers’ face!
Lou flops over, clutching the backs of her legs, before barely getting an arm across the apparently unconscious Ethan Leers!
THR– Leers gets a shoulder up!
Lou rolls off, crawling to the cart! Leers is still not quite there, but he’s moving around, and Lou grabs the dildo! She looks back at him with a scowl, before stomping over to where he’s laying, and pulling him up to sit! She opens his mouth, shoving it as far down as he can!
Lou: Is this a fucking joke, Leers?! What was your plan, huh?!
The lack of breath immediately wakes him up, and he scrambles, yanking the phallus from his mouth and slamming back with a headbutt to back her off! He stands up, spitting and coughing, and he whips her in the face with the dildo, tossing it to the side! As she turns around, he doubles her over with a kick to the gut!
MM: The REAL Backbreaker! Is he trying to kill her?!
VA: If he was, what would we really be able to do to stop him?!
Lou rolls over, unmoving! Leers scowls back at her, nudging her in the ribs with his foot, chuckling. He leaves her, stepping over the guardrail and throwing a fan out of his seat! He brings the chair back by Lou, setting it up, and grabbing the chair she had used on him, setting it up facing the other one! He stops back at the cart, pulling a bundle of light tubes out, duct taped together!
VA: This does not look good for Lou!
MM: He could have the match won right now, if he just covered her! What is he trying to prove?!
VA: He’s sending a message, Malone!
MM: What message could he possibly be sending, Ashe?!
VA: Don’t get in a hardcore match with Ethan Leers if you value your life!
He places the tubes across the chairs, making a nice little bridge! Lou hasn’t moved an inch as Leers brings the half-stair in front of the tubes! Leers scoops Lou to her feet, dragging her over, standing on the stair and planting her head between his legs!
MM: Good lord, is he gonna…
Lou tries to struggle out, but Leers hoists her up– Lou rotates herself quickly, swinging her legs past his shoulders! Leers loses his grip, and Lou lands on her feet on the stair! Leers doesn’t quite have his balance, and Lou takes advantage grabbing his head and leaping forward!
MM: DIAMOND CUTTER!
VA: Out of nowhere!
Lou pulls Leers face first through the light tubes with the Diamond Cutter, and rolls on top of him for a cover!
THREE! Leers kicks out just a second too late!
NR: Here is your winner, the Deathmatch Debutante, LOU!
Leers rolls over, looking at her through his blood- and glass-covered face! Lou stands up, raising a hand in the air, smiling through the blood, glass, and thumbtacks, her Sailor Mercury costume red with blood and with thumbtacks still stuck in it! She looks down at Leers’ angry face, blowing him a kiss and ending it with a middle finger!
MM: What a win from the returning Lou!
VA: What a win? What a beating! Just look at her, Malone, she looks like ground beef!
MM: Maybe so, but to pull out a street fight victory over Leers? You’ve gotta be impressed.
VA: I’m more impressed that she can still walk after that REAL Backbreaker! And you gotta wonder how Leers feels about it!
It’s hard to get a handle on Leers, with his face a thick crimson mask, but he calmly gets to his feet as Lou makes her way to the back, watching her leave!
YOUR WINNER BY PINFALL: LOU (23:20)
(We cut backstage, where Allison Haines stands in front of a black “EWA” backdrop, smiling.)
Allison Haines: Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming the EWA World Heavyweight Champion, Michael Draven.
(Draven steps into the frame, receiving a nice pop from the crowd out in the arena. He wears a look of focus on his face, with the EWA World Heavyweight Championship slung over one shoulder.)
Allison Haines: Michael, tonight–
Michael Draven: First off, Allison, before we go any further, I want to address the cowardly son of a bitch that calls himself Martin Robertson. Martin, what you did out there tonight…I don’t have the words to convey how disgusting your actions are. Rest assured, kid, that if you think you’re going to make a bigger name for yourself because you ruined the retirement of one of the legends in this industry, Alexander Haven, the owner of this company…you’re sadly mistaken. And as for you, Alyssa…you know, after Alex and I patched things up, I’d came to believe that I was wrong about you, all of those years. Turns out everything I ever said about you being a gutter-trash whore was completely 100% true.
Go ahead with your questions, Allison.
Allison Haines: Michael, tonight is your very first championship defense. What’s going through your mind heading into this huge Fatal Fourway contest?
Michael Draven: Allison, holding this belt…(he pats the gold plate of the championship, taking a moment to slowly trace over the letters of his name on the faceplate)…it’s something I never thought would happen in my career. It’s an honor and a privilege to be the World Heavyweight Champion, and I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure I hold this championship for as long as possible.
Allison Haines: You’re facing three very formidable opponents tonight. You obviously have a history with NOTHING, while Grace Goeren, on the other hand, is a bit of an unknown factor for you–
Michael Draven: Listen, Grace is a hell of a competitor. She’s manipulative, cunning, and more or less a psychotic cunt…(the crowd gives a big reaction to this statement)…but when the bell rings, she’s balls to the wall. And the same goes for NOTHING, tonight. This won’t be an easy task, Allison.
Allison Haines: You obviously have a very close bond with Sahara, the fourth person in this match. Michael, are you really prepared to fight Sahara, if that’s what it takes, to retain the EWA World Heavyweight Championship?
(Draven looks up toward the ceiling, pausing for a long moment. He looks toward Allison, opening his mouth…but then quickly snaps it shut. Another moment passes, and Draven turns, walking out of the shot altogether, as Allison shrugs, facing the camera as we fade out.)
(We fade backstage to the EWA’s Executive Assistant, Stacy Vandervort, pacing in her office. A knock at her open door brings her head up sharply.)
Stacy Vandervort: Well, well, well, Duane Gates and … the kid who tried to wreck my main event.
(The disdain in the Executive Assistant voice is evident as she looks the duo up and down with a shake of the head. Duane Gates and Rick Remington stand before her, smug looks on their faces, escorted by four security guards who remain standing behind them.)
Stacy Vandervort: Considering what just happened earlier in the ring with my husband, you picked the wrong night to piss me off. You look awfully pleased for a couple of idiots that are gonna spend some time in jail–
(Rick Remington’s eyes open wide–)
Rick Remington: Jail?! For what?!
Stacy Vandervort: How about we start with trespassing and assault?
Rick Remington: No offense, Mrs. Vandervort, but I’m under contract. You can’t arrest me for trespassing or assault if I’m a contracted member of the EWA roster. We–
(Stacy Vandervort looks at the kid in annoyance.)
Stacy Vandervort: Contracted? Kid, I assure you you’re not contracted and you’ve jeopardized my main event. You took out one of my main players on a show in which we promised the fans she’d be on–
Rick Remington: What the hell is she talking about, Mr. Gates?
(Glancing at Duane Gates, Stacy does a double take before glaring at him.)
Stacy Vandervort: What the fuck do you find so funny?
(Shaking his head with a bit of a proud smile, Duane cleared his throat.)
Gates: Mrs. Kage. Or are you still going by Vandervort? No matter. Stacy, all due respect, but we both know I won’t spend any time in jail because technically, ehhhh, I didn’t do anything.
(Gates motions to Rick Remington.)
Gates: He did.
(The look on Rick Remington’s face is incredulous.)
Rick Remington: What?! What the hell is going on here?!
Gates: That little bitch got what was coming to her, Vandervort. I took the biggest night of her miserable life, I bent over, took a giant fucking shit on it, and I flushed it down the toilet where it belongs — and I like to call that mission accomplished.
(Gates looks over at Remington.)
Gates: And I couldn’t have done it without you, kid.
Rick Remington: But…you told me we do this, we take Sahara out…and it’d be fine, because I was under contract…because you’d met with Stacy and…and….
(Stacy glares at Gates, before stepping over in front of him. She shakes her head in absolute disgust…before rearing back and slapping him across the face. Gates whips his head back in fury, struggling against the grip of the security guards.)
Stacy Vandervort: Arrest this son of a bitch. We’ll let the Australian authorities deal with him. Jail time or not, Mr. Gates, enjoy your night with the police.
(The security guards haul Gates out the door, and two grab Remington by the arms, dragging him out as well – but Stacy holds up a hand.)
Stacy Vandervort: Hold up, let me talk to the kid for a minute.
(The guards release their hold on Remington, albeit roughly, sending him staggering forward, stopping inches away from Vandervort, who doesn’t flinch.)
Stacy Vandervort: What’s your name?
(The kid – normally arrogant, bordering on cocky, looks up, clearly having been humbled at the mechanisms of Gates’ manipulations. He slowly sighs.)
Rick Remington: Name’s Rick….Rick Remington.
(Stacy raises an eyebrow, leaning back against her desk and crossing one leg in front of the other, her palms braced against the desk’s edge.)
Stacy Vandervort: I’ve heard some things about you, Mr. Remington. Are the rumors true? You were training under Grace, and she told Blondie to snap your leg during a training session?
(The shame on the rookie’s face is apparent to anyone watching – and it’s mixed with anger. His hand subconsciously falls to his leg, absently rubbing it as he speaks.)
Rick Remington: It’s true. Told me she’d tell everyone she could that I raped her if I said anything, so I refused to press charges–
(Stacy shakes her head, letting out a sigh.)
Stacy Vandervort: Wow. What a bitch.
Rick Remington: I’ve been training and rehabbing ever since, and Mr. Gates said he’d get me a contract and a match with Sahara at the next show so I could prove to her that I’m not some nobody scrub…that…she could…why are you laughing?
(Indeed, Stacy can’t disguise the chuckle that she’s let out at this point.)
Stacy Vandervort: Oh, kid, you’ve got a lot to learn about this business. First of all, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but he used you to get his own revenge on ol’ Blondie. And even if he’d told you the truth about the contract? There’s no way we’d book you with a talent of Sahara’s caliber in your first match. Things just don’t work that way, Mr. Remington.
(Remington sighs, running a hand through his hair.)
Rick Remington: He wanted me to cripple her. His exact words. And I…I wanted to. But I had a long talk with a close friend before coming to Sydney, and I realized that’s not the way. I just…I want to prove I belong here. I’ve always been the best of the best in my life at everything…and she humiliated me. Broke me in ways I didn’t think were possible. I can’t even describe it. I just…I want a chance, y’know? I was so eager for revenge…and everything Mr. Gates said sounded–
Stacy Vandervort: He preyed on you, kid. I get it.
(Letting out another sigh, Stacy pushes herself off the edge of the desk, looking at Remington – with her heels, she’s nearly as tall as the muscular athlete she stands before. She folds her arms across her chest, nodding.)
Stacy Vandervort: I should listen to my brain right now. My brain’s telling me to throw you the fuck out of here and let this be a hard life lesson.
But…my heart tells me to give you a break. Believe me, I know what Blondie’s capable of, so I don’t doubt your story. So here’s what I’m gonna do.
(Stacy nods back toward the security guards, dismissing them outright. She crosses the room, sitting back down at her desk, and begins typing away on her laptop, speaking as she talks.)
Stacy Vandervort: I’ll take care of your flight back to the States, since I’m sure that sniveling little fuck has your travel plans. Be in Albany for Battlelines 35. I’ll give you one chance to prove you belong here. You’ll have a tryout match. Do well, and I’ll consider giving you that contract that you thought you were already under.
(She looks up at Remington, a stern look on her face.)
Stacy Vandervort: But if you make me look foolish for doing this, I promise you, I’ll bury your career so far underground that you’ll never be able to claw your way out.
Do we have a deal?
(Remington nods, lurching forward to extend his hand in a handshake.)
Rick Remington: Yes ma’am. I promise you’ll be impressed. I won’t let you down…thank you for this chance.
Stacy Vandervort: Fine. Stop by after the show and I’ll give you your flight information.
(Remington heads back toward the door, opening it, but stops when Stacy calls after him.)
Stacy Vandervort: Let me give you some advice, kid. What you’ve done tonight? Whether you earn a contract or not…you crossed a line. I’ve…I’ve heard that things happen to people who cross that line. Some things I’ve seen…others I’ve only heard about. Do your research, and you’ll understand what I mean. What I’m trying to say…
Watch your back.
(Remington nods, gravely, and then exits the office. The Executive Assistant lets out a loud sigh, running a hand through her hair, and begins to type again when yet another knock sounds at the door. She looks up, exasperated, but her expression quickly changes to one of anxiousness as Dr. Furman walks in.)
Stacy Vandervort: Give me some good news, Mark.
Dr. Furman: Well…I think she can go–
Stacy Vandervort: Wait.
(Stacy turns toward the camera, slashing her thumb swiftly across her throat – and a moment later, we cut abruptly to black for a second, before the feed switches back to ringside.)
THE VICE SQUAD VS MOCAJO
AUSSIE RULES TRIOS MATCH FOR THE EWA TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
NR: This match is an Australian Rules match for the EWA World Tag Team Championship!
MM: Listen to this crowd, Vince! They’re pumped for some lucha libre action!
VA: They’re pumped to see four hot women about to duke it out. And I guess there’s a couple dudes there, too.
MM: Oh please, we’re about to witness an amazing athletic contest, Ashe, can’t you, just this once, show a modicum of respect?
VA: Would you believe it if I said I’m actually not allowed?
MM: …yes, honestly.
VA: Then we’ll go with that.
MM: I hate you.
NR: Introducing first, our special guest referees for this contest!
Two pyro shoot from opposite sides of the stage, forming an X shape, and a single, powder-blue spotlight hits the entranceway, coalescing into a horned skull, as Faith No More’s “Epic” BLARES through the arena! The crowd explodes as Hueso, in his bone-white horned skull mask, steps through, throwing his arms over his head in an X! He’s wearing his usual powder blue suit pants, along with an official EWA referee shirt! He laughs as he walks to the ring, slapping hands with fans, and generally hamming it up.
NR: From Westhampton Beach, NY, he is a former 3-time SHOOT Project Tag Team Champion, former OPW Tag Team Champion, HUESO!
Jared makes his way around ringside, talking to fans, and clearly enjoying himself, before he finally walks up the steps into the ring, leaning in a corner.
VA: All this pomp and circumstance for a guy who’s had, what, 4 matches here?
MM: Well, he is a legendary tag team superstar, Vince.
VA: Not in the EWA, he isn’t. LIHC was a joke in the EWA.
MM: That was nearly seventeen years ago, Vince. Things change.
VA: I dunno. Still seems like a joke to me.
The crowd is buzzing, waiting patiently for the music to change. When the opening chords of “Comanche” begin, though, they’re immediately on their feet, with a pop that could take the roof off the place!
NR: And our second guest referee, from Las Vegas, NV, she is a 2-time former SHOOT Project Revolution Champion, and 2-time EWA World Heavyweight Champion, SINNOCENCE!
Sinnocence steps through, basking in the crowd’s adoration on the top of the stage, a (heavily doctored) EWA referee’s jersey over her old ring gear: black leather, with “Victory or Valhalla!” stitched across the rear! She smiles, looking around, before nodding and making her way down to the ring!
MM: And if you thought Hueso’s entrance had this crowd going… it feels like we’re on the verge of a riot here, Ashe!
VA: I’d riot for, like, thirty seconds with that woman.
MM: She would destroy you, Ashe.
VA: Oh, definitely, but what a way to go, am I right?
The former World Champ confidently strides down to the ring, enjoying the overwhelming response of the crowd, before sliding into the ring, and running to the corner, hopping up on the turnbuckle and raising a fist in the air, to a HUGE pop! Hueso nods and claps along with the audience, and as Sinn hops down, he puts his hands out to “present” her, getting another pop! He opens his arms, waving her in for a hug with a smile, and they embrace for a moment, before breaking away, sharing words that the cameras just can’t quite hear.
The lights die out, and once again a single purple spotlight hits the stage, forming into a horned skull, as the opening beat of the Pretty Reckless’ “Heaven Knows” starts to pound through the arena! The crowd stomps and claps along with the beat, and we see the Vice Squad on the stage in silhouette: Minxy in a Sailor Moon pose on the left, Lágrima with her head in her hands on the right, and Santa Muerte behind and between them, in her robe with her hands clenched tight around a bouquet of white roses. As the chorus hits, pyros shoot off in series from the center of the stage to the outside edges, and the lights come up bright white, as Lágrima lifts her head up!
NR: Introducing the challengers, at a combined weight of 519 lbs, the team of Lágrima, Minxy Jones, and Santa Muerte, THE VICE SQUAD!
The trio make their way down to the ring, Minxy taking the time to slap hands with fans, Lágrima charging toward the ring, and Santa Muerte taking up the rear, moving slowly.
MM: Lágrima looking to capture her third EWA Tag Team Championship tonight, Vince, and with those two veterans in her corner, I think it’s distinctly possible.
VA: Of course it is, Malone.
MM: …that’s it? That’s all you have to say?
VA: Look, I can’t find insults for everybody every time, Malone, I’m not a machine.
MM: I mean, I’m just surprised, is all.
VA: Well, look at who the champs are. Mojave and Josh Kaine have a great pedigree, sure, but they’re walking into a setup. A lucha libre contest with legitimate Mexican wrestling royalty? I don’t want to say the Vice Squad has this in the bag, but they’re definitely at a major advantage.
MM: You’re not wrong, Vince. This is an uphill climb for the champs, but if they’ve shown anything so far, it’s that they’re adaptable.
VA: And that Kaine will fuck anything with a pulse.
Lágrima vaults over the top rope, and Minxy slides underneath it! Santa Muerte steps into the ring behind them, as Minxy drops down into a leaning double-bicep flex, and Lágrima leans over her shoulders, tracing her tear lines with her hands. Santa Muerte stands behind the two, pulling a single white rose out of her bouquet, kissing it, and dropping it over the other two onto the mat! Santa Muerte removes the robe, and hands it and the bouquet off to a ringside staffer, and the trio head to their corner. Hueso stops to confer with them, as the house lights drop, and a red phoenix lights up the stage!
NR: And their opponents, at a combined weight of 535 lbs, they are the EWA World Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, the team of Mojave, Josh Kaine, and Nikki Caldwell, MOCAJO!
As Fall Out Boy’s “Phoenix” pumps into the Qudos Bank Arena, the trio step out onto the stage, Mojave on the left, Kaine on the right, and Caldwell in the middle, holding up the pair of EWA Tag Team Championships between them! The three walk down to the ring together, with Mojave hoisting the belt onto one shoulder, while Josh Kaine holds the other next to him, and Nikki smiles a dark smile, the red and black Doom Jacket flowing behind her!
VA: The champions look absolutely intense tonight, Malone. Maybe I’ve misjudged these three.
MM: That’s a surprising comment coming from you, Vince, I’m glad to hear–
VA: Nah, nevermind, they’re gonna get crushed.
MM: You’d think I’d learn by now.
The trio slide under the bottom rope as a unit, and Mojave and Josh go to opposite corners, with Nikki leaning over the top rope toward the hard cam! As the trio gather in the center of the ring, Sinnocence approaches with her final words of advice, and she and Hueso take the belts from the champs, holding them high in the air! Caldwell passes the Doom Jacket to ringside staff, and our referees do the same for the belts!
Lágrima is in the ring on the Vice Squad side, with Santa Muerte and Minxy now on the apron, and she points toward Josh Kaine, beckoning him to get in the ring! Caldwell puts a hand up, blocking him from approaching, and sending the male members of MoCaJo to the outside!
VA: Uh-oh, looks like someone’s a little upset.
MM: As this match gets started, Vince, now would be a good time to go over a summary of the rules for our audience who might not be familiar with this kind of match.
VA: Well, to start, each team has a captain, Malone, in this case Lágrima for the Vice Squad and Josh Kaine for the champions. The match is decided when one team defeats either the team captain, or both his or her partners, via pinfall, submission, countout, or disqualification.
MM: Speaking of countouts, Vince, lucha libre is very liberal with how much it allows for out-of-ring action, to a count of 20.
VA: Which usually doesn’t even get started, Malone. If the legal participant’s feet hit the floor, whether they’re thrown to the outside or leave of their own accord, another teammate can take their place, just as if they were tagged in. It’s one of the many ways Mexican wrestling keeps the action fast-paced.
MM: It’s also common for falls to be counted simultaneously, Vince, which is made easier by the two referees.
VA: Good, that’s out of the way. Can we get to the action now?
Lágrima and Caldwell circle each other, the slightly bigger Lágrima going for a lockup, but Caldwell ducks to the side, dropping her to the mat with a drop toe hold! Lágrima rolls back to her feet, frustrated, but Caldwell is right on top of her with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors that drops Lágrima back to the mat! Lágrima slams a hand on the mat, and as she gets back up, Caldwell charges once more– Lágrima leapfrogs, straight into a blind backwards dropkick that catches Caldwell square in the jaw! Lágrima rolls forward, into the ropes, before hitting a back handspring into a corkscrew senton that crashes hard on Caldwell’s torso!
MM: Caldwell with an early advantage, but Lágrima is just so fast, Vince!
Lágrima rolls through again, vaulting over the ropes and onto the apron, before leaping up into a springboard splash– Caldwell’s up, and connects with a SOLID roundhouse kick to Lágrima’s face!
VA: Speed isn’t always a good thing, Malone! Especially if you’re gonna go airborne!
Lágrima staggers back into the ropes, and Caldwell charges across, sending her over the top rope with a clothesline! Lágrima hits the floor, and before Caldwell can react, Santa Muerte stomps through the ropes, with Hueso calling the tag! Caldwell turns around to a massive clothesline from the Mexican legend, and Santa Muerte follows up with a legdrop across the champion’s throat! Santa Muerte grabs one of Caldwell’s arms, pulling her into a majistral cradle! Sinnocence drops to the mat!
Kickout by Caldwell!
Santa Muerte gets to her feet, followed closely by the Amazon, and they lock up, Santa Muerte getting the advantage, and pushing her into the corner. Santa Muerte releases the hold, immediately slamming a knife-edge chop into Caldwell’s chest! Caldwell withers in response, the smack audible in the cheap seats! Santa Muerte hops to the second rope, driving fists into Caldwell’s head!
VA: I told you! This match favors the luchadoras, Malone!
MM: We’re still too early in this match to really tell, Vince!
Santa Muerte whips Caldwell to the other corner– reversed! Santa Muerte hits the turnbuckle hard, and staggers out, as Caldwell lands a HUGE spinning wheel kick to her face! Santa Muerte hits the mat, and Caldwell lands a somersault legdrop across Santa Muerte’s throat, before making the cover!
Santa Muerte kicks out hard, obviously frustrated already! She gets to her feet, and goes for a lock-up– ducked by Caldwell! She grabs Santa Muerte in a rear waistlock, but Santa Muerte drives an elbow into her head, loosening the hold and reversing into a rear waistlock of her own! Caldwell tries hard to stop it, but Santa Muerte gets her up into the air with a release German suplex– Caldwell overrotates, landing on her feet! Santa Muerte turns around, and the champion levels her with a spear! Nikki straddles Santa Muerte’s torso, driving fist after fist into her face! Santa Muerte puts her arms up with limited results, and Caldwell screams at the sky before boxing Santa Muerte’s ears! Caldwell gets up, as Santa Muerte rolls onto her stomach, holding her head!
Caldwell pulls her to her feet– low blow by Santa Muerte! Sinnocence admonishes her, but no DQ called this time!
MM: I wonder if it wasn’t called as a DQ because that low blow was against a woman?
VA: I don’t know how that works. Does that still hurt as much? What’s the deal?
MM: Vince, I’m also a dude. I have no real idea, but I’ve heard it’s pretty painful.
VA: Real helpful, Malone.
Santa Muerte whips Caldwell to the ropes, but Caldwell reverses! Santa Muerte hooks her arms over the top rope, and Caldwell telegraphs a back body drop, so Santa Muerte kicks her square in the nose! Nikki stumbles backward into the ropes, and Santa Muerte steps through the ropes onto the apron, hooking Nikki’s head!
She lifts the champion into the air, sending her to the floor with a vertical suplex! Santa Muerte stays on the apron, and as Mojave steps through the ropes, charging into the ring, she sails off the second rope with a springboard moonsault to Caldwell, who’s barely getting to her feet! Mojave turns around to see Minxy Jones running toward him!
VA: And now with Santa Muerte and Caldwell touching the floor, Minxy and Mojave are the legal participants! This is crazy!
MM: It’s part of what keeps these kinds of matches interesting, Vince!
Mojave gets out of the way just in time for Minxy to miss a dropkick, landing on the mat with a crash! Mojave immediately runs to the ropes, sliding into Minxy’s face with a baseball slide! He gets back up to his feet, running back to the ropes, and coming back with a huge hurricanrana– Minxy doesn’t fall! Mojave comes back up, but Minxy drops him to the mat with a powerbomb, and holds it for a cover!
THR– kickout by Mojave!
The champ rolls backwards, a little surprised, as Minxy springs to her feet, and the two circle! They lock up, with Minxy getting the early upper hand with a rear waistlock, but Mojave reverses it into a hammerlock of his own! Minxy somersaults, before turning her situation around and dropping Mojave with an arm drag! Mojave pops up, but Minxy puts him down with another arm drag! She holds on, swinging over to him and hooking him into a side headlock, but Mojave bridges, pushing himself out of the hold! As soon as he’s on his feet, he runs to the ropes, and Minxy leapfrogs him on his way back! Minxy drops to the mat, but Mojave held on to the top rope! As Minxy pops back to her feet, Mojave CRUSHES Minxy’s face with a superkick!
Minxy hits the mat, and Mojave makes the cover!
THR– kickout by Minxy!
On the outside, Caldwell and Santa Muerte are still trading blows, going back and forth with fists and fury! Mojave takes notice, as does Lágrima, coming to her teammate’s aid! She and Santa Muerte double team Caldwell, levelling her with a double clothesline! Mojave locks up with Minxy, who sends him to the ropes! Mojave ducks a clothesline from Minxy, before DIVING over the top rope with a plancha that lays out the other two Vice Squad members on the outside! Lágrima and Santa Muerte are laid out, but so are Caldwell and Mojave! Minxy is shocked, but she doesn’t get too much time to be, as Josh Kaine drives her to the mat with a gore!
MM: Mojave with the high risk maneuver to the outside, and it looks like Minxy wasn’t expecting the champs to be as comfortable with the stipulations of this match as they are!
VA: Neither was I, Malone! And MoJo taking the entirety of the Vice Squad by surprise, giving Nikki Caldwell some breathing room!
Kaine has Minxy’s legs, and he catapults her up into the bottom rope! Minxy flops on the mat, coughing, while Hueso tries to admonish Kaine for the illegal move! Kaine rolls his eyes, pulling Minxy to her feet! He whips her to the ropes– Minxy reverses, before running to the other side herself! She hits a handspring, her legs bouncing off the top rope, turning it into a crossbody that plants Kaine to the mat! Minxy rolls off, landing a standing shooting star press onto the champ, and making the cover! Sinn drops to the mat!
Minxy looks at Sinn with her hands in the air, complaining about a slow count! Sinn argues back, and Hueso steps over to keep Minxy in line! She shakes her head, before grabbing Kaine by the head, pulling him to his feet! She tries to whip him to the ropes, but Kaine holds on, LEVELLING Minxy with a short-arm clothesline! He holds on to her arm, pulling her back to her feet and dropping her with a second! He still doesn’t let go, pulling her up and into a belly to belly suplex that rocks the ring!
On the outside, Caldwell and Lágrima are still going at it, with Caldwell gaining the upper hand, dropping Lágrima with a massive superkick! But Santa Muerte is still around, and as soon as the kick connects, she crushes her with a clothesline from hell! Caldwell does a near-360, hitting the floor face first! Mojave hooks Santa Muerte’s arms from the back, but she drives a back headbutt into his face! He stumbles, dropping to a knee, and Santa Muerte CRUSHES him with a Naja de Sangre! Mojave goes down, and as Caldwell gets to her feet, Lágrima is getting to hers, grabbing her by the leg! Santa Muerte hops onto the apron, and starts to get into the ring!
Kaine sees Santa Muerte, but it’s Sinnocence that tries to stop her! Santa Muerte argues, and Hueso steps closer, trying to keep the peace! Kaine even gets involved, the three trying to keep Santa Muerte out of the ring!
MM: What the hell is Santa Muerte trying to do, anyway?
VA: Better question: what is Minxy Jones doing right now?!
Minxy slides out of the ring, while Mojave is out and Lágrima keeps Caldwell occupied! She grabs a chair from under the ring, rolling under the bottom rope with it in hand!
MM: I’m pretty sure that’s still illegal in this match, Vince!
VA: I never thought she had it in her!
Minxy smiles through her mask, lining up a shot on Sinnocence! Kaine doesn’t even see it!
Minxy swings– Hueso catches the chair! He yanks it out of her hands as Sinnocence turns around!
Minxy drops to her knees, hands up, trying to play innocent, as Sinnocence and Hueso yell at her! Kaine turns around, astounded!
Santa Muerte hooks Kaine’s arms behind him, holding him in place!
Sinnocence turns to look at Kaine and Santa Muerte–
HUESO CRUSHES SINNOCENCE WITH THE CHAIR!
MM: WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!
VA: I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again! Jared Walsh is the biggest snake in this business! I knew this was a setup!
Sinn goes down, and Kaine looks just as shocked! Caldwell hears the crack, and rushes toward the ring! Santa Muerte lets go of Kaine and he charges toward Hueso, but he gets CRACKED by the chair as well! Mojave gets to his feet on the outside, and he’s wide-eyed! He slides into the ring as Caldwell gets in! Before Caldwell can get her hands on Hueso, he slams HER with the chair as well! She doesn’t fall, but turns around into a kick to the gut from Santa Muerte, now in the ring! She pulls the champion into the Sombrabomb! Mojave gets a chairshot to the face as well, and Lágrima is right behind him as he starts to fall– Victimizer! Minxy covers Kaine, Lágrima covers Mojave, and Santa Muerte covers Caldwell! Hueso drops to the mat, calling all of the pins at once!
He gets back to his feet, laughing hysterically!
NR: Here are your winners, by pinfall, and NEW EWA World Tag Team Champions, the VICE SQUAD!
MM: How despicable can you get, Vince?! After a truly competitive match, where MoCaJo seemed to really be starting to come into their own, and the REFEREE breaks the rules?!
VA: How did you not see this coming, Malone?! How did you not know that the moment that detestable human being put his stamp on this match, that this was how it was going to turn out?!
Minxy and Lágrima get to their feet, as Hueso raises both their arms in victory, and Santa Muerte slides to the outside, looking for her bouquet! Minxy steps forward, raising her hands–
–and nails Hueso with a superkick! He stumbles backwards, shocked, right into Lágrima’s hands! She puts him on the mat with a Victimizer!
MM: Instant Karma, Vince!
VA: For who, Malone?! The Vice Squad already won it!
Both Minxy and Lágrima hook their legs with Hueso’s, and bridge into their double Muta lock!
MM: Down to Seize the Means of Fucking Production! Hueso helped them win, but there’s clearly still trouble in paradise!
VA: And here comes Santa Muerte, Malone! That’s her husband they’re fucking up!
As soon as Minxy and Lágrima notice Santa Muerte getting back into the ring, they scatter, sliding to the outside! Santa Muerte rushes to her husband’s side, bouquet of white roses in her hands! She looks to her teammates with shock!
Hueso gets to his hands and knees, looking up at his wife!
MM: Naja de Sangre! Unbelievable! Santa Muerte just laid out her husband in his hour of need!
As Hueso hits the mat, unconscious, Santa Muerte pulls a single white rose out of the bouquet, kissing it, and dropping it on his face! Lágrima and Minxy slide back in the ring, belts in hand, raising them high in the air to MASSIVE boos, revelling in the carnage in the ring!
VA: I don’t understand, Malone! Hueso just helped them win! Why would they turn on him like that?!
MM: It doesn’t look like we’re going to get answers tonight, Vincent!
“Heaven Knows” blares through the PA as the new champions slide out of the ring, raising the belts high on their way to the back!
YOUR WINNERS, AND NEW EWA WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: THE VICE SQUAD (18:11)
(As the camera cuts to the back, we see Martin and Alyssa, arm in arm. Alyssa is on Martin’s right, holding onto his arm like a teenager in high school who’s walking down the school hall with the starting quarterback from the football team finally on her arm. The smile on her face goes ear to ear as she looks up at Martin, talking to him as he looks back down at her, smiling as well.)
(As they get closer to the camera watching them, suddenly, Alison Haines comes in front of them, stopping them.)
Alison Haines: Martin! Alyssa!
(The pair stop. Martin rolls his eyes while smiling as Alyssa stares directly at Alison, also smiling like the cheshire cat.)
Alison Haines: What do you guys have to say for yourselves?
(Martin looks down at Alyssa, smiling, nodding his head towards her, indicating that he’s got this.)
Martin Robertson: (slightly singing the words, as if a melody) I’d listen to the words he’d say. But in his voice I heard decay. The plastic face forced to portray. All the insides left cold and gray.
(Alison slightly cocks her head, looking at Martin, trying to process what he is saying as he continues without stopping…)
Martin Robertson: (still in a melodic tone) There is a place that still remains. It eats the fear, it eats the pain. The sweetest price he’ll have to pay…
(Martin pauses for a moment, looking down at Alyssa, the grin now going ear to ear again…)
Martin Robertson: The day the whole world went away.
(Alyssa leans over, across Martin, blowing a kiss towards Alyssa with a wink. She then turns towards Martin, and plants a kiss on the Youth King. She smiles, kicking her right foot back, just like a schoolgirl. Martin stands up a little straighter as the duo walk past Alison and continue down the hallway.
Fade to ringside.)
Main EventGRACE GOEREN VS SAHARA VS ANGRY PANDA VS NOTHING VS MICHAEL DRAVEN
FATAL FIVEWAY MATCH FOR THE EWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
DING DING DING!!
VA: Here we go, Malone! The coronation of our God Queen is imminent!
NR: Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is our main event of the evening, and it is Fatal Fourway match for the EWA World Heavyweight Championship! The first competitor to gain either a pinfall or submission will be declared the winner of the match…and the EWA World Heavyweight Champion!
And on the touch of those two words, the crowd explodes to its feet, peering toward the entrance ramp as they wait for a sign of the first warrior to enter the Quodos Arena.
NR: Introducing challenger #1! From Chicago, Illinois, she is The Crimson Queen…SAHARA!!
MM: But the question on everyone’s minds here tonight, ladies and gentlemen. How badly is the knee hurt after the vicious assault by Gates and his new henchman, Rick Remington? We’ve certainly heard all of the rumors in the past about Remington. A former wrestling student of Grace Goeren, who Sahara allegedly dealt a severe injury to during a skirmish.
VA: An eye for an eye, Malone. Or in this case, a leg for a leg! Hahaha!
The blonde warrior emerges from behind the curtain to a thunderous ovation from the sold-out Sydney crowd. She walks with only a slight limp, her left knee covered by medical wrap, as well as a brace over the wrapping. Sahara looks undeterred, pumping her fist as a volley of pyro goes off behind her.
MM: This could’ve be the biggest night of her life, but you have to figure that the possibility of her bad knee interfering with her shot at glory is a great one now.
VA: Now she’ll be an easy target for the others in this match, Malone. It’s going to be so wonderful to watch!
As Sahara enters the ring, she crosses to one corner, and carefully climbs up to the second rope to gaze out into the crowd. Her music fades out, and all eyes immediately shift to the entrance stage…
MM: I can’t believe this…
The Angry Panda makes its way out from behind the curtain, exaggeratedly pumping a single fist (paw?) in the air. The Panda, clearly excited/angry to be a part of this contest, takes one step forward…
it seems strange that my life should end
in such a terrible place
VA: Oh no! RUN PANDA RUN!
The Angry Panda turns around as the lights dim…and turns right into the big boot of Cal Rayner! The monstrous man formerly known as Dredd immediately drags the Panda to its feet, lifting it up…AND POWERBOMBING IT OFF THE STAGE IN A MASSIVE DISPLAY OF STRENGTH!!
VA: There goes the Angry Panda again!!
The crowd’s chanting is cut off, as Placebo’s classic begins to echo through the arena…
NR: Challenger #2! Accompanied to the ring by Cal Rayner, from Albany, New York, weighing in at 250 pounds…he is the Harbinger of HATE….NOTHING!!
NOTHING stands at the top of the entrance ramp, visible under the spotlight that now illuminates the entrance ramp. He slowly raises his head, gazing out at the jeering audience, before starting his walk down to the ring, Rayner trailing some distance behind.
MM: And Sahara’s not the only hurt warrior coming into this match, Vincent Ashe, as NOTHING had quite the battle earlier tonight with William West.
VA: That’s right, Malone, and that’s the thing about the Purveyor. He just never stops coming at you, no matter the circumstances. This man is relentless, and he could carve a path through every competitor in this match here tonight.
NOTHING enters the ring, eyes focused on the Crimson Queen, who returns the stare in kind…but the two are interrupted by the upbeat sound of Sister Sin’s ‘Chaos Royale’ as the Australian crowd explodes into a deafening chorus of boos.
NR: Challenger #3! Accompanied to the ring by Alice, formerly from Dortmund, Germany, and now residing in Tampa, Florida, she is The God Queen….GRACE….GOEREN!!!
Grace storms out from the curtain, marching toward the ring on a determined path, as the deranged Alice follows behind, stringy hair nearly obscuring her face.
VA: ALL PRAISE THE GOD QUEEN! LET US BATHE IN THE GLOWING RAYS OF HER ETERNAL PRESENCE! LET US BASK BEFORE HER SUPERLATIVE AURA! ALL HAIL THE GOD QUEEN! ALL HAIL GRACE GOEREN!
MM: I can’t even.
Grace rolls into the ring, immediately getting into the face of NOTHING and beginning the trash talk. The Purveyor just smirks, and Sahara comes over, getting nose to nose with Grace for a moment before referee Danny Smith separates the two. As Sahara and Grace retreat to their respective corners…
I’M THE HAND OF GOD
I’M THE DARK MESSIAH
I’M THE VENGEFUL ONE
MM: Here comes the champion!
NR: And their opponent! From Charlotte, North Carolina, weighing 247 pounds, he is the reigning and defending EWA World Heavyweight Champion…MICHAEL…DRAVEN!!
Draven stands on the entrance ramp, nodding in approval at the ovation he’s receiving from the Sydney crowd. He unclasps the championship belt from his waist, holding it high in the air with one hand…and a brilliant display of pyro goes off behind him!
MM: At Battlelines 34, Michael Draven shocked the world, pinning Alexander Haven in the finals of the Warrior’s Trial for the first time in the history of their rivalry to become the EWA World Heavyweight Champion.
VA: But this isn’t the same, Malone. Three of the most dangerous competitors in the sport will share that ring with him tonight, and I for one think this reign ends right here in Sydney.
Draven enters the ring…only to have Sahara immediately step right in front of him! The blonde looks up at the champion…her head slowly turning down toward the belt hanging at Draven’s side…and at that moment both Grace and NOTHING strike, delivering simultaneous blows from the side that send Draven and Sahara staggering. Danny Smith quickly swoops in, grabbing the championship belt…and he calls for the bell!
MM: This match is for the most coveted reward in all of this industry, and we’re about to find out who wants it the most!
Grace Goeren stalks after Sahara, who tries to pull herself to her feet against the ropes. But the God Queen is relentless, slamming her boot down repeatedly into the side of the Crimson Queen. On the other side of the ring, the Purveyor works over his old nemesis, Michael Draven, in the corner, firing away with hard lefts and rights. NOTHING grabs the champion’s arm, intending to fling him into the ropes, but Draven reverses it, sending the HATE leader hard into the opposite corner. NOTHING, however, rushes back out at Draven, and gets a kick to the stomach…
MM: Draven’s going for the Downfall already!
VA: But NOTHING quickly slips out of it!
Indeed, NOTHING scrambled away the moment he realized what Draven was doing, and rushes Draven once again, hitting him with a high knee lift that staggers Draven back toward the ropes. On the other side, Grace drags Sahara to her feet, and delivers a HUGE punch to the side of her face…which somehow brings the blonde to life, eyes blazing with fury! Sahara reaches back, and SLAPS her former leader right across the face! Grace rushes toward Sahara, but she ducks, whips around, and dropkicks the God Queen, sending Grace flying over the top rope! NOTHING, meanwhile, rushes straight at Draven, who lowers his head, backdropping NOTHING over the top rope as well!
MM: Listen to these people, on their feet for the crowd favorites!
VA: Uh…oh…Malone! Trouble in paradise!
Indeed, as Malone was speaking, Draven and Sahara both began backing up slowly…until their backs collided in the center of the ring. Both warriors whipped around, and now stand face to face. Sahara begins to talk animatedly inside the ring, pointing out to the championship belt and making a gesturing equating to “strapping it around her waist”, while Draven angrily points toward Grace and NOTHING, yelling something out at Sahara. Sahara looks toward the champion, shaking her head, and makes eye contact, mouthing the words, “I love you” toward him…
….and shoves him in the chest!
VA: Oh man, it’s going down already, Malone! We’re not even two minutes in and they’re already gonna throw down!
Draven shakes his head, chuckling, and shrugs…and then shoves Sahara back, hard, into the ropes. Sahara springs off the ropes…and ROCKS Draven across the face with a huge slap!
MM: Oh my! And I have a feeling he’s not going to turn the other cheek on that one!
VA: She’ll turn it for him! Her knee hasn’t phased her yet, Malone!
Draven’s head whips to the side from the impact, and he slowly places it up to his jaw, rubbing the point of impact as the former Combat Champion yells at him, “Come on!”. Draven nods…and with a surprising burst of speed, rushes toward the blonde! Sahara ducks the clothesline, turning around…and Draven shoves her back into the ropes now!
MM: A little cat and mouse game here between Michael Draven and Sahara!
Michael Draven stands tall ….
and that is when the dark descends on Sydney.
The blackness overpowers, but soon gleaming spotlights pierce through and illuminate the head of the ramp.
The lights offer no real warmth. They seem dead. Lifeless. Their glow nothing more than a hollow shine that moves across the curtains. These deadlights draw back, and enormous shadows edge out from both sides of the ramp to play across the entrance walls.
The shadows depict gigantic spider legs with bristles jutting forth, and they dance and cavort, pointing to the billowing gray curtains. Something has changed. They’re not curtains at all…
A figure emerges from the sea of dark gray cloth, the material clinging to both shoulders like some endless tattered cape. The cloth unfurls with each step that he takes, affixed to something in the backstage area…the rippling material stretching taut.
Two iron clasps hold the cowl to his shoulders, and the figure reaches up to pop the clasps. The hooded cloth is pulled back, vanishing into the darkness from whence it came…and what remains in the deadlights…
…is Indrid Calder.
VA: YES!!! Rise up, Malone! He’s come to gather the HATEful…look upon me with favor, Spider King!! I’m worthy of a talisman!!
MM: Things just got dark around here yet again. Indrid Calder has returned, and this man is nothing but bad news for the EWA. And we have a World Heavyweight Championship match going on right now!
“The Devil Within” by Digital Daggers begins to play overhead, all the while the man in gray saunters slowly down the ramp, his gaze fixed purely on Michael Draven.
“I will keep quiet
You won’t even know I’m here
You won’t suspect a thing
You won’t see me in the mirror
But I crept into your heart
You can’t make me disappear
Til I make you…”
“I made myself at home
In the cobwebs and the lies
I’m learning all your tricks
I can hurt you from inside
You’ll never know what hit you.”
Calder has made it to the apron, the Spider King lording there and grinning up at Draven. His upper torso is bare, the musculature gleaming in the deadlights, and his hands and forearms are taped up with bits of ragged gray cloth.
Sahara stares down at him while clinging to the ropes, her mouth slightly agape in awe. Grace Goeren has staggered up to her feet as well after rolling into the ring, and NOTHING catches sight of The Stranger on the outside before entering through the ropes ahead of The Stranger.
The two HATEful ones exchange smirks, and Calder makes some gesture in Goeren’s direction. Before Grace has even a moment to recover from the distraction of Calder’s presence NOTHING just races across the ring and BEHEADS Goeren with PURE HATE…the force of the blow so cataclysmic that she goes flying out of the ring over the ropes. NOTHING follows her out to continue the assault, and only after Calder is satisfied with the occupants left in the ring does he finally enter.
The only two left to greet him are Michael Draven and Sahara. One a doe in the headlights, and the other a fuming vessel of Vengeance.
MM: The last time these men were in the presence of one another, it ended with Michael Draven suffering a badly broken leg and being put on the shelf for five months…and now he’s the World Heavyweight Champion. Oh my, what a moment here in Sydney!
Calder makes a beeline for Draven, and the two meet in the center of the ring with foreheads pressed together. Calder grins a knowing rictus, and his whisper finds the World Champion’s ears.
Indrid Calder: “I’ve come back for you, Michael. There are things left in your life that still give you pleasure, yes?”
He leans even closer, those knife-blue eyes full of frigid fire.
Indrid Calder: “I’m here to take them.”
Draven doesn’t even have time to react before Calder rears back and PISTONS a boot into Draven’s bad knee, the Vengeful One screaming out in pain as his leg buckles beneath him.
Indrid then leans down and grabs a handful of his hair, wrenching Draven’s neck back ever so slowly. He stares directly at Sahara as he does this…and The Crimson Queen remains motionless. It’s almost like she’s frozen in place, her soul being torn in two different directions.
MM: I’m shocked that Sahara isn’t rushing to Draven’s aide. She seems almost traumatized or enchanted. Perhaps a combination of both?
VA: The Spider King has his fangs in her, Malone! She likes how it feels. That gutter slut might actually make the right decision for once. She might just let the HATE bleed through…
MM: Has he gotten to you too, Ashe? What’s with all the HATE speech?
VA: I’m a guy that LOVES pursuing his darkest desires, Malone. I’m picking up on what Calder is putting down. Indrid is preaching some hard truths…and I’m sold!!
Calder reaches beneath the cloth on his forearm and retrieves a handful of blackened feathers, and he proceeds to just STUFF these into Draven’s gasping mouth. The Vengeful One coughs and sputters, a mixture of saliva and oil-colored slime dripping down his chin. He begins to claw at his throat, and Indrid releases him, his attention returning to Sahara.
The Crimson Queen just gapes at Calder, and The Stranger…extends his hand to her. The implication is clear. Come with me. Be of me. Taste all the pleasures to be offered…
A primal roar exits The Vengeful One’s mouth and he spits the last of the feathers out, proceeding to CHARGE into Calder and just WAYLAY him with a clothesline of incredible force! Draven’s wife watches as the clothesline knocks Calder clean over the top rope, but the spidery HATE Pillar lands on his feet and drags Draven out under the bottom rope.
The two arch enemies begin to just slug each other in the face, neither of them getting the upper hand, and soon their brawl takes them up the ramp and clear through the curtains.
MM: Well look at this, The World Champion may very well be removed from this contest thanks to that infernal Stranger!
VA: NOTHING is LOVING it! It’s a good night to be HATEful! But leave my precious God Queen out of this, Pru. She’s an innocent tulip and she doesn’t deserve rough treatment like this.
The Purveyor’s wolfish smile just grows, and he proceeds to toss Grace back into the ring beneath the bottom rope to continue the match. NOTHING climbs up to the ring apron…only to be met with a vicious superkick that connects square in the jaw from the Crimson Queen!
MM: And let’s be realistic here, ladies and gentlemen. With Michael Draven seemingly out of the equation, the odds of one of these three leaving tonight with the EWA World Heavyweight Championship just improved tremendously!
VA: Malone, Indrid Calder coming out here and removing Michael Draven from this match is like cleaning the dirt and dust and grime off of a new LED television. It’s now a beautiful thing to set my eyes upon!
NOTHING drops back to the outside, and Sahara screams down at him, a smile crossing her face…only to be grabbed from behind…
MM: FALL FROM GRACE!!
VA: ALL HAIL THE GOD QUEEN!! LET THE CORONATION BEGIN!!
Indeed, Grace leapt into the air, driving Sahara back-first down onto the God Queen’s knees as she completely laid the blonde out! Grace with the lateral press, and from here it’s simply academic…
THR–FOOT ON THE ROPE! SAHARA GETS A FOOT ON THE ROPE!!
VA: MALARKEY! That’s nonsense, Malone!
MM: Did you just say…malarkey?
VA: Of course not. I would never say something as uncool as that. I don’t even know what it means. God you’re a loser. GOD!
And in the meantime, Grace is absolutely livid, screaming in Danny Smith’s face and backing him into the corner! Finally, Grace backs down, and turns back toward the Crimson Queen, delivering a hard stomp to Sahara’s knee, injured earlier tonight at the hands of the debuting Rick Remington. Sahara yelps in pain as Grace pulls her to her feet, and shoots the blonde into the ropes, driving her forcefully to the mat with a hard spinebuster!
MM: Say what you want about her methodologies, her manipulations, and on and on, but make no mistake about it…Grace Goeren is by far one of the most dangerous individuals perhaps in the history of this business, and she has years ahead of her in her career, ladies and gentlemen.
VA: It’s about damned time you start singing the God Queen’s praises, Malone! Now you just need to repent for your behavior the last few months.
Grace drops to her knees, this time hooking the leg as Danny Smith slides into position….
CAL RAYNER PULLS DANNY SMITH OUT OF THE RING! And now Rayner grabs Smith, throwing him like a rag doll straight into the guardrail!
MM: What the hell is that?!
VA: That’s the Titan of HATE at work, Malone! HATE’s mission is clear tonight – Calder’s removed Michael Draven from this match, and now they’re going to do everything possible to ensure the Purveyor leaves the EWA World Heavyweight Champion.
MM: There’s nobody to make the three count!
VA: I’m sure they can wake him up when they’re ready for him. As ugly as he is, at least we don’t have to look at him for a bit now.
Furious, Grace begins jawing at Rayner, who motions toward his crotch, presumably grinning from underneath his mask. Grace turns around, and NOTHING, having gotten back to his feet, kicks her in the stomach…and delivers a huge double underhook tiger bomb! And now it’s NOTHING who makes the cover – Rayner scrambles to grab Danny Smith, but he doesn’t need to, because RICK ILEY is sprinting toward the ring! Iley slides in, and begins the count!
THR—AND NOW ALICE PULLS RICK ILEY OUT ON THE OTHER SIDE! Alice grabs Iley by the hand, swinging his body toward her, and nearly decapitates Iley with a massive lariat!
VA: Two down!
Alice immediately rolls into the ring as NOTHING sprints at her, going for Pure HATE – but Alice catches NOTHING by the foot, and shoves him backwards…straight into a german suplex from Grace Goeren! Grace and Alice begin to put the boots to NOTHING, which brings big Cal Rayner in! Rayner steps over the top rope, and begins throwing meaty forearms in Alice’s direction. As the Titan and the deranged Alice begin to brawl to the side of the ring, their momentum actually carries them, causing both behemoths to fall through the ropes to the outside of the ring!
MM: This is absolutely chaotic out here! This match has really only just begun, and it’s pandemonium!
VA: Everyone’s willing to do whatever it takes to become the EWA World Heavyweight Champion, no matter the cost! They’re like sharks in bloody water, Malone!
Grace pulls herself to her feet…and the crowd in the sold-out Qudos Bank Arena immediately begins to buzz as Sahara appears on the ring apron, flexing her hands against the top rope, hopping in place. Grace, holding her head, finally turns, just as Sahara leaps into the air, springboarding off the top rope…
MM: FLIGHT OF THE VALKYRIE! SHE HIT ALL OF IT!
VA: But there’s no referee! Too bad so sa–WAIT!
MM: Here comes David Tucker!
Referee David Tucker, now the THIRD official in this match, slides into the ring as Sahara hooks the God Queen’s leg!
And Alice again intervenes, dropping a huge elbow onto the back of Sahara – but no sooner does she do that than Cal Rayner, following right behind her, pulls her to her feet, and sends her back over the top rope! Rayner helps NOTHING to his feet, and the two begin to approach Sahara. The Crimson Queen looks nervously between the two, and to her credit, doesn’t back down, firing off a right on NOTHING, another right onto Rayner, a left onto NOTHING…and then eats a big boot from Rayner, sending her flopping to the mat.
MM: This is supposed to be a four corners match, not a six person match!
VA: The rules are out the window here, there’s no disqualifications and this is bedlam!
Rayner reaches down, pulling Grace to her feet by the back of her neck and holding her in place as NOTHING hits the ropes…and NOTHING connects with Pure HATE!!
MM: And the ring is cleared! Rayner stares down at Sahara, and Alice is laid out on the outside! And NOTHING makes the cover!
THR–WILLIAM WEST FROM OUT OF NOWHERE DRAGS DAVID TUCKER OUT OF THE RING!!
VA: Are you kidding me?! Is this really happening?!
MM: And now William West dives into the ring, and he’s got a chair…
MM: WILLIAM WEST JUST CRACKED THE CRANIUM OF THE TITAN!!
NOTHING tackles West, and the two wail away on one another with punches, rolling out of the ring as they continue to brawl on the outside.
MM: This has been an interference-laden brawl from jump street, ladies and gentlemen!
VA: 21 JUMP….STREET!
Sahara slowly pulls herself to her feet, the only person in the ring…although after a few seconds, she’s joined by Juan Cardillo, who’s incredibly still putting his referee shirt back on as he jogs down to the ring! Sahara tests the weight on her knee, seemingly satisfied with it…and as she turns around, Grace Goeren, who’d just managed to slip into the ring, takes a low dive, clipping her knee and sending her sprawling to the mat, shrieking in pain!
MM: Oh, and this is an unfortunate situation here for Sahara —
VA: She’s getting exactly what she deserves, Malone. She could’ve pulled out of this match and lived to fight another day, but instead, she’s about to face the judgment of our God Queen.
Grace reaches down, jerking at the knee brace and swiftly unbuckling the straps holding it in place over the injured knee of the Crimson Queen. With a couple of swift movements, she unsnaps the brace, tossing it out into the crowd for one lucky Aussie to take home as a macabre souvenir. Grace balls up her fist, and begins to POUND away at the side of the blonde’s knee, causing her to cry out, slamming her hands against the mat in pain. Referee Juan Cardillo, keeping a close eye on the proceedings, leans in as Grace hooks Sahara’s leg underneath her arm, falling back onto the mat and wrenching against the knee as Sahara shrieks.
MM: And this is going to get out of hand really soon if Grace continues to target that knee, folks.
VA: I think Juan Cardillo should clearly call it, Malone. Sahara’s in no condition to continue. Award the God Queen her championship!
Grace gets back to her feet, still holding Sahara’s ankle…and quickly spins around, locking her into a Figure Four! Grace drops to the mat, cinching back as Sahara SCREAMS in agony…and on the outside, Alice, having gained the advantage over Rayner, reaches her mammoth paws in, grabbing Grace’s arms and pulling them back for leverage! Sahara’s cries of agony pierce the ears of the fans at the Qudos Bank Arena, and she raises an arm in the air, preparing to tap out, unable to take the pain anymore….
…but she fights back, sitting up and pawing at Grace, trying to slap her, hit her, do anything that might cause the God Queen to break the hold, but Grace ducks her head backward, mocking Sahara as she continues to cinch in the hold. Sahara collapses to the mat, and Cardillo counts her shoulders down…
…and Sahara sits up, another ear-splitting scream emanating from her lips! She claws at the mat, trying desperately not to tap out, but she raises an arm in the air as the crowd begins to roar….
AND MICHAEL DRAVEN SLIDES BACK INTO THE RING! The champion is back, and he stomps Grace squarely in the head, causing her to break the hold! Alice lumbers up to the ring apron, but a hard left from Draven sends her tumbling back to the outside, and now the World Heavyweight Champion heads over to check on Sahara!
VA: What is this moron doing, Malone? Pin her! Win the freaking match!
MM: I think the heart of Michael Draven is in control on this one, folks.
Draven drops to a knee, a spot of dried blood underneath his nose from his brawl with Indrid Calder that’s apparently concluded, and tends to Sahara, rubbing her knee. He extends her hand as he stands back up, and Sahara grasps it, allowing Michael to pull her to her feet…
MM: SMALL PACKAGE FROM SAHARA!!
VA: Brilliant, Malone!!!
Juan Cardillo is in position!
THR–DRAVEN KICKS OUT AT TWO AND THREE QUARTERS!!
MM: We nearly had a new World Heavyweight Champion!
VA: This is the ruthlessness I love to see, Malone!
Draven gets to his feet first, standing in disbelief as Sahara pulls herself up, grabbing at her knee. Draven has an incredulous look on his face, but a hint of a smile as well, and —
MM: FALL FROM GRACE! GRACE GOEREN JUST NAILED DRAVEN FROM BEHIND! And now Grace makes the cover!
THRE–SAHARA BREAKS IT UP WITH A DOUBLE AXHANDLE!!
VA: But did she break it up to help Draven or preserve the championship for herself?
Sahara drags Grace to her feet, slamming her head against the opposite turnbuckle, and turns back to Draven, pulling the champion to his feet…but Draven unexpectedly kicks her in the stomach, positioning her for the Downfall!
VA: Finally, he found his balls!
But Sahara has the ring presence to drop to her feet and scurry away, and just as Draven turns around toward her, he’s flattened with a massive lariat from Alice! The mammoth Alice turns toward Grace, trying to help her to her feet as Sahara tries to pull herself up in the corner. Draven gets up on all fours, trying to shake the cobwebs off…
VA: Malone! MALONE!
…and INDRID CALDER sprints down the aisle, sliding into the ring and in one fluid motion, leaps into the air, driving Draven’s face into the mat with his boot!
MM: FOR THE HORSEMAN!!
VA: Indrid Calder just curb-stomped that idiot through the earth’s crust! Hahaha!
Calder turns to look at Sahara, motioning toward Draven with a grim expression on his face…
MM: Is he…offering Michael Draven to Sahara?
VA: No, you fool, he’s offering her the World Heavyweight Championship!
Sahara takes a long moment, looking back and forth between Calder and Sahara…and then scrambles over, hooking the leg of her husband as Cardillo slides into position!
THR–GRACE GOEREN JUST STOMPED CARDILLO IN THE FACE!!
MM: What the hell? This place looks like a safari hunter went on a zebra killing expedition! There’s black and white stripes down all over the place!
VA: Serves him right! He should’ve counted at the proper speed!
MM: What the — his cadence was perfect!
VA: Not for Grace it wasn’t.
Grace Goeren grabs Cardillo by his collar and the back of his shirt, dumping him over the top rope. Sahara lunges toward Grace, and the two begin trading fists, much to Calder’s amusement…when suddenly Calder faceplants onto the ground, thanks to William West pulling his legs out from underneath him from the outside! West rolls into the ring, stomping away on his former HATE brethren, but is quickly stopped by NOTHING and Dredd, who enter the ring and pull West off. The Titan of HATE holds West in place, as NOTHING and Calder take turns teeing off on him…only to be interrupted by Michael Draven, as he tackles Calder to the ground, throwing down punches!
MM: There’s supposed to be a match going on here!
VA: I think everything’s gone completely out the window, Malone!
Meanwhile on the other side of the ring, Grace Goeren and Alice are brutalizing Sahara – Grace holds the blonde down as Alice drops a huge kneedrop right down onto Sahara’s injured knee. The crowd suddenly roars in approval as MAGGIE MCINTYRE sprints out from the back, and now the Network Champion begins firing away on both Alice and Grace, desperately trying to even the odds for Sahara!
MM: I…I don’t even know what’s going on, who’s in the match…this is insanity!
At this point, the timekeeper begins furiously ringing the bell at ringside, although all four EWA referees are still down at ringside. An absolute ARMY of security officials flood the ring from the back, desperately trying to restore order. We’re treated to scenes of the security officers trying – in vain – to separate Michael Draven and Indrid Calder. Grace and Alice continue to fight against Sahara and Maggie, Calder and Draven are practically foaming at the mouth as they repeatedly break through human barriers of security to get at one another, and NOTHING and Rayner continue to work over West, despite the valiant efforts from the Masochist to fight back.
VA: I can’t believe what we’ve seen tonight, Malone! The referees…they’re all down! We’ve absolutely lost control out here!
MM: I don’t…I don’t think we can even finish the match, right? They’re all fighting out here, security is trying to break up the various skirmishes…it’s absolute mayhem, and…
Malone pauses, listening into his headset.
MM: Okay, I’m being told we’re going to cut back to Allison Haines right now, standing by with EWA Executive Assistant Stacy Vandervort. Allison?
(We quickly cut backstage, where we see Allison Haines waiting next to a clearly stressed-out Stacy Vandervort, who’s barking orders out backstage to individuals off-camera.)
Stacy Vandervort: I don’t give a shit! Get them apart and get them the fuck out of here! And get the paramedics down to check on the officials, for god’s sake!
(Stacy turns back toward Allison, running a hand through her long blond locks.)
Allison Haines: Stacy, after what we’ve just seen…
(Vandervort cuts her off with a sigh.)
Stacy Vandervort: First off, to the people of Sydney in attendance, I apologize. I know you wanted a clean finish and a World Heavyweight Champion to emerge victorious, but as you can see…it’s absolute chaos out there. I take full responsibility for this…apparently I underestimated the volatility of the individuals involved, along with their allies, and…(sighs)…I’m sorry, Sydney. We’ll be back, that’s a promise, and I hope you all enjoyed this show nonetheless.
Allison Haines: So…is the match over?
Stacy Vandervort: I mean, you see what’s gone on out there. It’s utter chaos. Even if security could somehow get control of the situation, I don’t even have a conscious referee that can continue the match at this point. And rest assured, every single individual that put a hand on one of our officials tonight? Prepare yourselves for hefty fines from your next paychecks.
Allison Haines: So where does this leave the EWA World Heavyweight Championship?
Stacy Vandervort: Well, with the match being declared a draw, Michael Draven is technically still the EWA World Heavyweight Champion. But…I feel awful about what’s gone on here tonight. Awful that the EWA fans didn’t get the match they paid to see, whether it be here in Sydney or on Combat TV. So we’re going to fix that. Battlelines 35, Thursday, October 12, inside the legendary NYSWF Arena. Michael Draven will once again defend the EWA World Heavyweight Championship against Grace Goeren…against Sahara…and against NOTHING, in a Fatal Fourway match. One fall to a finish. Only we won’t have another incident like tonight, with everyone and their goddamn mother coming down to get involved. Because at Battlelines 35…
…this match will take place inside the Asylum.
(Indeed, the Sydney crowd even pops at the thought of this, although there’s clearly some who are disappointed with not getting a conclusion to the match tonight.)
Allison Haines: What about the Angry Pan–
Stacy Vandervort: No.
Allison Haines: So why the Asylum, then? Isn’t that usually …
Stacy Vandervort: You got any other ideas on trying to contain that chaos out there?
Allison Haines: Fair enough…Stacy, what is your solution to the officiating issue, though? Who will step in and referee that match?
(Stacy shakes her head.)
Stacy Vandervort: That’s not a question I can answer at this time, because frankly, I don’t know yet. But I can tell you this. There WILL be a winner at Battlelines 35.
Allison Haines: Do you have any comments on the fact that the COO of our company, Alyssa Marie Haven, has apparently left her husband, EWA owner Alexa–
(Stacy cuts her off, shaking her head.)
Stacy Vandervort: I have a job to do, Allison, a job that Alexander Haven hired me to do. He’s the owner of the company, and he’s who I answer to.
Allison Haines: How’s Chris?
Stacy Vandervort: Chris will be fine. He’s a little banged up…and we’re all shocked. I don’t think the future is as bright for Martin Robertson and Alyssa Marie as they might think, though, to be honest.
Allison Haines: Thank you for your time, Stacy.
We fade back to ringside, with a quick view of security finally restraining Michael Draven and Indrid Calder. Referee Rick Iley is being stretchered out, while referee Juan Cardillo is being assisted by paramedics. Grace Goeren is stomping up the ramp, her mouth bloodied, screaming at the top of her lungs. We get a quick few cuts of these scenes before focusing in on Malone & Ashe.
MM: A monumental announcement, ladies and gentlemen. At Battlelines 35, a rematch for the EWA World Heavyweight Championship, only it’ll be inside the most feared structure known to the EWA. For only the third time in EWA history…we’ll have a match inside the Asylum.
VA: And finally, the God Queen shall ascend to her rightful throne!
MM: Regardless of the outcome, the Asylum is certain to keep Rayner, West, Calder, and the litany of others out of the contest, at the very least. Folks, we’re out of time, and security’s still trying to sort this whole mess out. For Terry Bull, Allison Haines, and the one and only Vincent Ashe, so long from Sydney, and we’ll see you in 16 days, live from the NYSWF Arena in Albany for Battlelines 35!
We fade to black on the chaotic scene at ringside.
THIS MATCH HAS BEEN DECLARED A DRAW (21:33)
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This event may not be rebroadcast without the expressed written consent of EWA Entertainment.
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William West vs NOTHING – Will Santa
Katsuro Yoshida vs Buck Dresden – Brandon Hughes
Cronos Diamante vs Jester Smiles – Harlan Heubaum
Martin Robertson vs Maggie McIntyre – Chris Furman
Alex Brooks vs Philip Donovan – Harlan Heubaum
Ray Willmott vs Laura Seton – Brandon Hughes
Lou vs Ethan Leers – Sean Boden
The Vice Squad vs MoCaJo – Sean Boden
Sahara vs Angry Panda vs NOTHING vs Grace Goeren vs Michael Draven – Gates, with special assistance from Jeremy Megargee