Professional wrestling television is famous for capturing candid moments in human lives: a secret conversation with a dubious associate, preparation for a match, or even idle chit-chat with a pal. Wrestlers have to be aware that the moment they step into an arena, or, in the case of SHOOT Project, the Epicenter, their lives are on display, and that their actions will be fodder for a weekly narrative. They're comic book heroes and villains, willing participants in brutal voyeurism. There's a camera around every corner... in every corridor, every room.
The Epicenter is a living, breathing entity and it will find your secrets.
Every Monday night.
It's a grueling, gritty world.
"We must hit them like, "TCHA!" with our knees."
...And also sometimes it's just absurd.
With clanging slot-machine sirens audible in the distance, this particular edition of Revolution opens "cold" in one of the many, generic backstage crawls the SHOOT Project Epicenter has to offer. El Asso Wipo, with both hands firmly on the shoulders of his long time partner, Silas Mitchell, appears to be in mid-motivational speech.
EAW: They will try to fight us! But we must "TCHA!" (he roughly slaps Silas's shoulders) again with our knees. On their backs!
Wipo's speech is as grand as his apparel. Full luchador. Vibrant blue and gold colors, shirt, pants, mask and cape; THE WHOLE DEAL. In a telling note, Mitchell is also in his ring gear, black leather pants, black mask with a zipper over the mouth.
EAW: Yes, I am aware that this is the same strategy of strategies that usually forms up our strategy! BUT TONIGHT. We. Must. Never. Give. In.
EAW: TONIGHT. We. Take. Back. The. Night.
Silas Mitchell: (Still nodding) ....
EAW: YES! YEEEESSSSS! TONIGHT. Vermont's Finest ta...
Frantic commotion follows an unexpected strike. J.K. WAILER slams a sickening forearm blow to the back of Silas Mitchell's neck and skull. In most cases, El Asso Wippo would retaliate, but is also hit from behind by TOM QUINN and Jason Riley. Mitchell slumps to his knee, while Riley and Quinn CHUCK Wippo back first into the concrete wall behind them. Wailer straight kicks Mitchell in the side of the face, knocking him out completely.
Wipo grimaces, while Quinn and Riley keep him sufficiently pinned up against the wall.
Jason Riley:What's up you stupi* ****.
"AHHH!" Wipo screams out.
Tom Quinn: Shhhhh...
All three men are in street clothes. Riley has a loose fitting, black "Slayer" Tank-Top and cut off black jean shorts. Quinn has a white Tank with four dollar signs drawn on it in sharpie marker and black skinny jeans, and Wailer has a sleeve-less leather jacket, black shirt and black jeans.
Wailer rubs at his nose and looks down at the unconscious Silas Mitchell.
Wailer: He's done.
Riley and Quinn SLAM Wipo into the wall again. Riley grabs a handful of his mask and gets very close to his face.
Jason Riley: This isn't a fucking joke, dip shit.
Riley grabs harder Wipo's mask, raking his face in the process and grinding his skull against the wall.
Jason Riley: See you in a few minutes, f******.
They throw Wipo forward, toward Mitchell.
Tom Quinn: I hope your other partner shows up to save the day.
Quinn shrugs, while Wipo huddles over Silas.
Jason Riley: THEEEEERE goooooes my He-ro...
Riley sings off key while also flipping Wipo an unnecessary middle finger. He and Quinn and Wailer then depart unceremoniously, leaving Wipo with about two minutes to find a partner...
Pyro EXPLODES as the SHOOT Project Epicenter lights up! The burning SHOOT Project helmet remains on the screen, and the text “Generations Collide” appears underneath it. The crowd pops and the camera shifts to front row, with the unmistakable… unforgettable… irreplaceable announce team, the Other Guy and Eryk Masters! Opening Blurb Goes Here
The lights die.
"Empathy" by Crystal Castles begins to play throughout the SHOOT Project Epicenter. A shrill, synthetic, siren-esque loop flirts endlessly into insanity, paired with a deep, thudding, syncopated bass beneath it. White lights flicker on and off throughout the arena, in rhythm with the music, flipping a wresting universe into a seedy, underground, drug-fueled rave.
Eryk Masters: Folks on the internet, Welcome to Revolution 123. And, well... here we are already swimming in controversy.
"Premise to interlude
Wait til all bones pretrude"
The lyrics act as a supplement more than a driving force, ghosted beneath layers of beats and sounds. A woman's voice, haunting. Wailer is the first out from behind the curtains, followed closely by Quinn and Riley, who are chatting back and forth with each other.
"You're convexed, you're convert
There's a stain on your shirt."
Other Guy: I get that a lot of things happen in pro wrestling, but, man... I just can't get behind these three and what they're doing. They have no intention of wrestling. Look at 'em. They don't CARE what happens out here, Eryk. How do they have work? How are they getting this platform to put their garbage out there?
Eryk Masters: I don't think we're in a place to chat about contract situations, OG, but I would by lying if I said I didn't agree with you. Not sure what this contest is going to look like. We have NO update on Jonny Johnson, who was booked in this bout as El Asso Wipo's partner... And...
Other Guy: (Interrupting) Yeah why is THAT going under the radar by the way?
Eryk Masters: He's simply a no-show. We don't have any notes, though I'm sure the situation is being handled internally. And, then, just to update our fans watching the stream... Silas Mitchell, Wipo's Vermont's Finest partner, has been taken to a local area hospital and is being treated for a concussion after the kick he took from Wailer not more than ten minutes ago.
The driving beat fades… Wailer slows his pace, at which point Riley leaps at his back and gives a quick hug, while Quinn pats him on the shoulder. Riley hops down and then slaps a poster out of some fan's hand dangling over the black barricade.
The remorse you can't hide"
The song is left with only the synth-snare claps.
"now we molt past our skin
And make room to begin."
The lyrics tremble off like an earthquake sinking into an ocean, and a WAVE of sound rushes back to shore.
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentleman, the following tag-team contest is scheduled for one fall with a time-limit of FIFTEEN MINUTES. Introducing first, from CHICAGO, ILLINOIS. At a combined weight of Three Hundred and Eighty-Nine pounds... TOM QUINN and JASON RILEY!
Quinn, Riley and Wailer seem entirely uninterested in their intros. Quinn and Wailer stop walking just shy of the steel steps leading up to the ring, while Riley parades around the barricade at ringside, galloping side-to-side as he flips off audience members. A few guys shout at him, which only elicits more obnoxious Riley-jaw-jacking.
You must work in symmetry
You must earn their empathy"
Other Guy: If I were El Asso Wipo, I think I'd stay in the back and call it a night...
Eryk Masters: Have to agree, all things considered, but I don't see it happening. The man is alarmingly proud.
Other Guy: Then things are gonna get ugly.
The music fades, and a haunting sense of doom sets in over the Epicenter. All three men are still outside the ring. Riley is waving his hands up and down, in some kind of mocking attempt to "pop the crowd", while Quinn casually chats with a girl in the front row just a few feet away. Wailer's on the other side of the ring, his dead gaze glued on the curtains. Austin Linam, the official assigned to the bout, shouts at the trio to get ready, but he is predictably ignored. Linam shakes his head and says something to Samantha Coil.
"Wonderboy" by Tenacious D blares over the PA system and a stream of fireworks explode at the top of the ramp! At that exact moment, Riley grabs a stock folding chair from under the ring and pats Quinn on the back. Quinn nods and they both start walking toward the entrance area. Wailer follows behind like a wandering ghost.
Other Guy: Damnit...
OG's frustratingly mutters on the air. The curtains rustle and El Asso Wipo DOES INDEED emerge.
Samantha Coil: And their opponent...
She intentional leaves off the "S". It doesn't look like there was a partner in time.
Quinn BOLTS up the ramp, as does Riley. Wailer picks up his pace a bit too. Wipo gingerly steps out, holding his back and sees the men rushing in his direction.
Samantha Coil: From...
Coil abruptly stops and Austin Linam sprints out of the ring. The fans react with nervous anticipation and a BUZZ is nearly immediately created.
Eryk Masters: LOOK OUT!!!
Wipo proudly charges head on but is met with an improvised kick from Quinn and a CHAIR SHOT to his right shoulder from Riley! Anticipating the blow, Wipo is able to absorb a decent amount of the chair shot at first! But that's about as good as it ever gets for him. Quinn fires off a STINGING kick to the Wipo's left hamstring, causing the luchador to lose his balance and focus. Riley then SLAMS A HOMERUN SHOT over Wipo's head!!!
"OOOOOH" the crowd reacts.
Other Guy: JESUS!
Wipo falls down in a heap! Linam is SCREAMING at the trio, but they could not have any less respect for his authority.
Other Guy: Linam... just get out of there.
Linam keeps his distance, realizing things can only get worse if he moves in closer. Riley grabs EAW by the mask and lifts him up, screaming in his face. Wailer glowers at Linam, who stays back, before moving up to join the onslaught. Riley shoves Wipo's face back down to the ramp and Quinn drops to a knee and slams a FOREARM right into his face. He and Riley then lift Wipo up and hold him in front of Wailer. The wraith of a human moves into position and begins ABSOLUTELY UNLOADING a series of rights and lefts to just about ANYWHERE he can land a blow.
Other Guy: This is disgusting...
He hits Wipo in the chest and the face and ribs... the kidneys. BLOW, after BLOW AFTER BLOW. Linam wisely backs away, heading over, instead, to the production staff at the ring, clearly calling in for help. Wailer eventually stops and Quinn and Riley let go of the unconscious EAW who slinks to the floor immediately. Riley throws up the double-bird salute to the crowd and Quinn smirks.
The crowd is surprisingly vocal in their disapproval of the situation. Quinn gives Wailer a little side hug and says something, while Riley insists on antagonizing the situation even further. He points his middle fingers at his "crotch region" and dances around like a fifteen year old who scored a touchdown in a pickup football game. Quinn glances at EAW and shakes his head. He then gestures at Riley and Wailer and the three humans decide they've accomplished their goals for the night. They hop down off the top of the ramp and head over to a nearby barricade.
Riley leaps into a hostile crowd without warning. A real vocal dude gets in his face and Riley actually stiff arms him out of the way. The dude FREAKS out, but security gets into place before anything more can happen. Quinn flips the guy off as they walk passed him and Wailer glares ahead, perhaps dissuading anyone from taking similar actions.
The cameras go back to Wipo on the ramp, being looked at by a few doctors as well as some local, nameless talent that had made their way out to help.
Masters and OG are eerily silent, letting the moment speak for itself.
The fans are still in a bit of an unexpected tizzy and El Asso Wipo is not moving.
Weird way to start a show.
It’s a breezy night outside of the Hall of Champions, a pack of SHOOT Project security standing outside and lining the entryway. No one knows exactly when the renovations were completed or who is even responsible, but that doesn’t matter much. What matters is that glory is restored to the Hall, and now the need to protect the place that houses SHOOT Project’s history is more important than ever.
There are over ten guards standing several feel apart in front of the entrance, all of them standing at attention on their posts. They remain still, vigilant…even as the figure starts walking through the lot towards the Hall.
It’s a familiar figure.
A tall, pale abomination, his white hair whipping back behind his head beneath his plain black baseball cap.
Isaac Entragian approaches the entrance, his gaze flitting over the men who bar his path.
Entragian: Stand aside.
The guards make no move to comply. One of them steps forward, looking up into the face of the monster.
Guard: We won’t, Isaac. You’re not welcome here. Some good samaritan actually fixed this place up…and you won’t be ruining it all over again.
Entragian: I just want to have a look around. That’s all.
Isaac looks over the guard’s shoulder, seeing the banners bearing the Helmet billowing in the wind. Ornate torches have been set into the walls of the Hall, an especially majestic sight on this Revolution night.
The guards shakes his head again.
Guard: You need to leave. We can do this the easy way, Isaac…or the hard way. What’s it gonna be?
A few of the other guards step forward, all of them reaching down for the weapons on their belts. Isaac closes his eyes, his head tilting slightly backwards.
The Pale Rider sighs, a mixture of frustration and lamentation.
Entragian: Well you know me, boys…
His pallid fists ball up at his sides, his eyes starting to fill with old, familiar fire.
Entragian: It’s gonna be the hard way.
"I never did get a chance to see the Hall of Champions".
The soft, gentle, voice wafts in the air like sweet perfume to the two sides about to wage war. All eyes divert to Isaac's side, as if nothing was wrong Maya stands there with a bright smile on his face, almost eclipsing the SHOOT Project World Title hoisted on his shoulder.
The guards all suddenly let out a sigh of relief at the same time, arrogance in their eyes directed towards Isaac.
Guard: Nothing you need to concern yourself with, just making sure the wrong sort don't go wandering in where they don't belong.
Isaac's fist tightens, if his knuckles could have become anymore white they would have. Maya looks towards Isaac and gently puts a hand on his trembling fist.
Maya: I'm sorry, I should have told someone about this but, like I said, I've never actually seen the Hall of Champions for myself and since SHOOT re-opened I've been really anxious to take a look and... I wanted Isaac to show me around.
The smile never leaves Maya's face, the reaction of the guards, and Isaac, however, could not have been more opposite from what they previously were.
The lead guard shrugs, and out of respect for Maya…he and his men step aside. Isaac and Maya are allowed entry, and for a few moments they just walk together side by side through the Hall, displays passing on either side of them.
The torchlight flashes across Isaac’s pallid face as he walks, and finally the albino turns to Maya and breaks the silence, both men still walking slowly forward.
Entragian: Speaking up on my behalf, Maya? I don’t understand…
Isaac’s eyes fall momentarily downward, genuine confusion shining in them.
Entragian: You didn’t have to do that. So…why did you?
Maya stops in place, nothing particularly special around them, but he turns and gives Isaac the respect of looking him in the eyes.
Maya: I saw what you did here, how you rebuilt it from the ground up.
Maya: You didn't have to do that. So... why did you?
For a moment Isaac is speechless while looking at Maya, his jaw falling slightly open.
Isaac’s gaze lowers, and he scrubs a hand across his scraggly white beard. Isaac looks like he hasn’t had a good night’s sleep in a VERY long time.
The albino takes Maya by the shoulder, walking him a little further into the Hall so that the guards outside are totally out of earshot.
Entragian: Maya…I need you to keep this quiet. I’m asking you for a favor. Don’t let it get out that I did this. Just…let the people enjoy this place. I don’t want it spoiled. They can’t ever know that it was me…
Isaac’s voice is kept low, his eyes shifting from side to side.
He takes a step away from Maya, looking at some of the historical displays detailing the greatest Soldiers to have ever laced up their boots in SHOOT Project.
Entragian: I don’t really…have an answer for you. I don’t know why. Just something about this place lying in ruin…and me having a major hand in that…felt wrong. This Hall was built to honor the legacies of all the good men that came before us. Men like that…Soldiers like that…deserve better than a Hall of ruin.
Isaac stares into a display case that shows Real Deal standing tall in a SHOOT Project ring after some great, hard-fought battle that occurred in SHOOT’s past.
The torchlight glints in the monster’s haunted eyes.
Entragian: I’m not a good man, Maya. I’ve never been a good man.
One pale hand reaches up to touch the glass, Isaac’s back still turned to Nakashima.
Entragian: This place commemorates the careers of those rare, special few who were brave enough to make a stand even with an ocean of darkness swirling around them. Men who stood against the abyss with nothing but a single candle to light their way. Good men, Maya.
Isaac looks over his shoulder through a few strands of wavy white hair. The broken monster sees the World Champion standing there in the torchlight…the very symbol of SHOOT Project made flesh.
Isaac offers him as small, weak smile.
Entragian: Men like you.
Maya walks up to Isaac, reaching upward to put a hand on his shoulder.
Maya: I won't tell anyone, for no other reason than because you asked me to. But, the Isaac I knew... he wouldn't have done this. The Ivory Terror, he would have made sure this Hall remained in shambles, that the great heroes and champions forever lived in ruin and discord, would have been a dream come true before. That's not the man I see here, and now.
Maya takes a few strides past Isaac, gliding his hand across the history of SHOOT Project.
Maya: The way I see it, it's going to seem pretty dark in SHOOT Project for you. People aren't going to be so quick to forget Project: SCAR, they're going to cast you into an overwhelming darkness. You can let it consume you, and everything you've done for this Hall, and go back to being the Ivory Terror, be the monster they expect you to be... or...
Maya: I've got a candle I'm willing share.
Isaac actually chuckles at this…and he returns Maya’s smile. It’s a genuine smile…but with tragic undertones.
Entragian: I see why people like you, Maya. In the past…I never would have admitted it, but I have always admired your courage. Takes a strong will to carry HOPE on your shoulders for as long as you have.
Isaac’s walks forward with Maya a bit more, his hands shoved down into his pockets.
Entragian: Thank you…for trying to help me, kiddo. It’s a testament to your nature…and it means a lot. Unfortunately…I can’t accept it.
Isaac notices one of the torches that got snuffed out. The total absence of light in one section of the Hall. Just a place for shadows. It’s here that he stops.
Entragian: Hold that candle high, Maya. Be a role model. Be the hero that SHOOT Project has always deserved.
Isaac pauses, turning to look at Maya.
Entragian: I’d just drop it, champ. It would slip from my hand…and set fire to everything around me. Everything would burn like it always does…until nothing is left but ash. Some men aren’t meant to hold the candle. Some men just don’t belong in the light…
Isaac actually reaches out…and places a pallid hand on Maya’s shoulder. The monster actually looks proud. Proud of everything this young man has accomplished, everything he has endured, and the Champion that he has become.
Entragian: Thank you for trying…but also be willing to understand…
Isaac’s hand slips from Maya’s shoulder.
Entragian: I am a lost cause.
Entragian starts off into the section of the Hall that remains dark. All the torches are unlit here. It is a doorway to blackness…and this blackness reclaims Isaac as he wanders into it. He doesn’t seem to want to take this path…but it’s the only one that he knows. Maya watches Isaac drift back into the blackness, he wants to reach out but Isaac seems to have his mind set. Maya slinks against the wall.
Maya: No one said you had to carry the candle on your own...
The cameras cut backstage, where Dan Stein and Molly, his Assistant, walk toward the Gorilla position. Stein winks and shoots finger pistols at the ring crew as he passes, using his left hand to motion to the Sin City Championship belt strapped to his chest as a bandolier. Molly wears a quaint business suit, with a conservative knee length skirt. In her hand, Molly holds Dan’s vest.
Stein looks to his left as he walks, staring at Mary Kelly probably a touch longer than a professional should. As Dan turns around to look forward, a strong shoulder clips him, knocking him a bit off balance. Dan struggles to regain his footing, and looks to the figure that bumped into him: Corey Lazarus.
Dan puts his hands on his hips, squinting at the face of the Iron Fist Champion for a moment.
Dan Stein: You look familiar to me, and that makes me want to figure out who you are before I put you through the wall. Who are you?
Molly perks up, trying to interject.
Molly the Assistant: That’s Cor-
Dan Stein: Not now, Molly. Hush.
Stein throws a hand up in her face, as he looks at Lazarus. Reaching out, Stein grabs Laz’s bicep, drawing a raised eyebrow and a crack of the Hollywood Kid’s neck.
Dan Stein: A little too lean to be Donovan King…
Molly the Assistant: Donovan King is black, Dan.
Stein’s eyes widen as he looks over his shoulder.
Dan Stein: I spotted the racist in the group, jeeze.
Molly facepalms and Lazarus tongues the inside of his cheek, his hands on his hips (or, at least on the belt of the Iron Fist title around his hips) as he immediately grows tired of this unwanted interaction. Dan looks back at Corey, then to the Iron Fist Championship. Dan laughs and snaps his fingers, and Corey smirks.
Dan Stein: I got it. You’re the guy whose chick I slept with the night I beat Osbourne Kilminster for my second Iron Fist Championship! How you doing, man? Molly, get me a marker, I need to sign this kid’s belt.
Dan holds up his palm for Molly to put a writing utensil in. Corey slaps Dan’s hand down and slides off his Ray Bans, resting them on the top of his head.
Dan Stein: Ohhhh, I know those shit brown eyes.
Dan Stein: My mom’s dead for all you know!
Molly looks at Dan and raises an eyebrow, mouthing “for all you know?”
Corey Lazarus: Well, that would most certainly explain why she didn’t move around too much, sure, but she seemed pretty lively before the drinks really started flowing. Then again? I was hanging with Joe Rogan that day.
Stein exhales deeply through his nose. Trying to brush off the joke, Stein smirks and pats Corey on the shoulder.
Dan Stein: How are ya, Ex-Lax? Nice belt, I would’ve thought it was real if you didn’t look like such a fucking pussy.
Corey carefully pulls Dan’s hand off his shoulder, firmly grasping it and shaking it before shoving his hand away, Stein trying to inconspicuously rub his hand after.
Corey Lazarus: Strong words coming from a guy like you, Daniel-San. What’s next? You’re going to say something about pussy tossing and sweeping my leg?
Corey Lazarus: Anywayyyyyyy, I’m just passing by on my way to catering, babe. I hear they finally started using a legitimately good burrito recipe.
Dan Stein: Chicken or beef?
Stein looks at Corey, curiously. Corey just looks at Stein for a moment.
Dan Stein: I’m just curious, I’ll be hungry after I defend my belt tonight against TWO people compared to your, you know, one per-
Corey Lazarus: Beef.
Dan Stein: Fuck. You don’t know how hard it is to keep this figure with beef tacos.
Corey, again, just looks at Dan. Dan raises his hands exasperatedly realizing he’s the only one that knows how hard that it truly is to keep his figure. Stein rolls his hand, gesturing at Corey.
Dan Stein: Go on.
Corey tussles Stein’s hair and then pinches his cheek, speaking in a baby voice.
Corey Lazarus: Awww, widdle Danny Steinenburger Burgersteinen needs his chicken boweeto. How adowabull!!
Corey Lazarus: Hey, babe, when you decide that you’re sick of the douche chills? Give me a call. I’ll show you the Magnum XL.
Dan Stein: Yeah, Molly, you can finally be with the trust fund baby you’ve always wanted to be with.
Stein pats Molly on the shoulder, knocking her forward a bit. Molly just cringes, faking a laugh. Corey shrugs, pushing his hair behind his ears.
Corey Lazarus: Well, it looks like you’ve got enough on your plate, champ.
He emphasizes “champ,” letting it linger in the air for a few seconds.
Corey Lazarus: So I’ll just be getting my burrito and then doing that thing that you’ve never been good at and, you know, go be a man and do that “defending the most beautiful title in SHOOT Project” stuff.
Stein laughs, pointing at the Iron Fist Championship.
Dan Stein: That thing? Ha! I’ve held that thing. This Sin City Championship belt is far better for photo shoots. You wouldn’t believe all of the compliments the hunnies give me when I wear it arou-
Corey Lazarus: Hey, look at that!
Corey points to Stein’s right and Dan turns his attention that way, allowing Corey to smack his palm to Stein’s cheek. The THWACK~ draws the backstage crew’s attention, and Stein lets it sting for a second before rubbing it as Corey whistles the Looney Tunes theme and walks off.
Dan furious rubs his cheek as Corey snaps his fingers, pointing them at Dan like two pistols before he disappears around a corner.
Dan Stein: LLLLLLLLAAAAAAAAAAZZZZZZZZZZAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRUUUUUUUUUSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!! I’LL GET YOU FOR THIS!
Corey peeks his head around the corner and replies.
Corey Lazarus: NO YOU WON’T.
Dan stomps his foot.
Dan Stein: YES I WILL!
Corey Lazarus: NOOOOOO…
The “no” trails off as Corey completely disappears on his way to catering, leaving Stein and Molly alone. The camera tightens in on Stein’s beet red face, mostly from the anger but with a splash of cherry from the slap. Molly’s voice is heard as the camera fades.
Molly the Assistant: The shit was that?
Eryk Masters: Up next Dan Stein defends his Sin City Championship against newcomer Ryan Shane and SHOOT journeyman Eli Storm. And you’ve got to know Stein isn’t happy about this predicament one bit.
Other Guy: Well, it’s a little unfair. Stein didn’t even know who is opponent was last week and now he has to face two guys, one of whom was only just in a three-way-dance the other week.
Eryk Masters: Stein’s qualified enough, he needs to make with the cards he’s been dealt. We all know this isn’t Stein’s first three-way.
Other Guy: I don’t think it’s very professional of you to bring up Dan Stein’s sex-life on TV, Eryk.
The fans get to their feet with cheers as Samantha Coil stands in the centre of the ring, she smiles and nods politely as a group of eager fans in the front row hurl few wolf-whistles her way. She raises the microphone to her lips, preparing to get this match underway.
Samantha Coil: The following contest is a TRIPLE THREAT MATCH for the SIN CITY CHAMPIONSHIP!
A roar erupts throughout the crowd, signalling the fans anticipation to see some action.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first, weighing in at Two-Hundred and Ten Pounds; from Allen Park, Michigan… “RIIIGHT NOOOW” RYAAAN SHAAANEEE!
“Victim” by Eighteen Visions kicks in over the speakers as Ryan Shane walks out onto the stage and throws his arms up in the air to a mix reaction from the crowd.
Eryk Masters: Ryan Shane impressed everyone here in SHOOT in his debut against Cameron Ash, this week Shane steps into the lion’s den by going up against two former SHOOT Heavyweight Champions.
Shane walks down the ramp, gazing into the vacant ring, his mind clearly focused on the sizeable task at hand; he climbs the ropes and makes his way to his corner.
Samantha Coil: And his opponent…Weighing in at Two-Hundred and Twenty-Five Pounds, from Calgary, Alberta, Canada…THE INCREDIBLE ONE…EEELIII STOOORM!
The lights dim in the arena and smoke begins to creep through the building. "Safe to Say (The Incredible)" by Fat Joe blares through the speakers and the red pyros explode through the arena.
Eryk Masters: Storm is looking to cement his legacy tonight by becoming a Grand Slam Champion, knowing how dangerous this guy can be, that can only spell bad things for his opponents.
The crowd gives a mix of boos and cheers as Eli Storm walks out and down the rampway. Storm pauses and points at a sign that a fan is holding. The sign simply reads "The Respect Storm Deserves". Storm nods at the sign as he continues walking down the rampway. Other Guy: How much do you think Storm paid that guy to bring that sign into the building tonight?
Storm looks at the cameras and screams "I WILL NOT BE IGNORED!!!" and then slides into the ring. The ref checks Storm and Eli just goes to his corner. Focused...ready to wrestle the match of his life.
Samantha Coil: And their opponent…
The fans in the arena EXPLODE in boos at the INSTANT that Stan Bush’s “The Touch” blares over the PA system. As blue and hot pink spotlights dance over the stage, Molly, Stein’s assistant, steps out from the backstage area with Molly, the Chimp, leading Dan Stein out from the back. Dan has the Sin City Championship belt strapped like a bandolier over a baby blue vest and hood. Behind Stein are Tina and Toni, his new bodyguards from Flex Magazine. The Golden Boy stops at the top of the ramp, his entourage collecting beside him.
Dan Stein: Cut it. Cut my music.
Stein makes the cut gesture over his throat, and the music stops. Molly, the Chimp, looks back and reaches out for Stein’s hand. Dan swings her up into his arm. Stein points down at the ring with the microphone. The fans continue to boo Stein as he pulls the microphone back to his mouth.
Dan Stein: Look at the two of you goons. Look at them.
Stein commands the fans and the camera to look at his opponents. Storm flexes a bit, Shane simply eyes down Stein. Dan slowly turns the microphone around and points at himself, that trademark devilish grin crossing his face.
Dan Stein: Now look at me.
The fans EXPLODE once more. Stein looks at Molly, the Chimp, and then Molly, his Assistant, and finally to Tina and Toni. Looking back at the ring.
Dan Stein: That is all.
Stein hands the microphone to Molly, his Assistant, and walks down to the ring with Molly, the Chimp, in his arms. Samantha opens a piece of paper she held in her hand.
Samantha Coil: He is the former SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion, a former Sin City Champion, a TWO time former Iron Fist Champion, former World Tag Team Champion and the 2012 Redemption Rumble winner. Weighing in at two-hundred and fifteen pounds, from right here in Las Vegas, Nevada! Here is YOUR DEFENDING SIN CITY CHAMPION….. The Golden Boy! DAAAAAAAAAAN STEIIIIIIIIN
Eryk Masters: Dan was pretty vocal about not being in the opening match tonight. I wonder if that’s going to throw him off of his game, OG.
Other Guy: If he can handle his former best friend being the mystery opponent at Revolution 122, I don’t think there’s a lot that can distract him. He looks like he’s in the zone lately!
Eryk Masters: And that’s not a good thing for anyone but Dan Stein.
Stein, raises his hands as the fans continue to rain down boos on him as Molly begins to walk down the ramp. Walking down to the ring, Stein smirks up at his opponents, playing around with the young chimpanzee.
Eryk Masters: Is he actually going to have that chimpanzee at ring side?
Other Guy: As long as he has the proper permits, why not, E?
As Stein makes it to the ring, he stops and hands Molly, the Chimp to one of the body guards. Dan rolls his shoulders quickly, and looks to his left, then his right, and…leaps to the apron. Dan climbs to the top of the turnbuckle and raises a fist high in the air, proudly displaying the Sin City Championship belt.
Eryk Masters: He looks so proud of himself right now.
Other Guy: Haaaave you met Dan Stein?
Referee Dennis Heflin calls all three men to the centre of the ring; where he warns Stein about his entourage, especially the chimp. Stein shrugs it off and looks around for sympathy to which he receives none.
Other Guy: Hey, Heflin! Leave the chimp alone!
Suddenly, from out of nowhere Eli Storm cracks Ryan Shane square in the face with a hard sucker punch that staggers the SHOOT newcomer. Heflin quickly calls for the bell and Dan Stein scoots away to the corner; leaving Storm and Shane to go at it.
Storm, doesn’t let up and steams into Shane with rights and lefts, backing him into the corner where he locks him in a clinch and throws some heavy knees to the gut before locking his arms around Shane’s waist and lifting him up and over with a clean, overhead Belly-To-Belly Suplex!
Eryk Masters: Picture perfect Belly -To-Belly by Storm. I may not agree with the sucker punch, but Storm is looking aggressive tonight.
Other Guy: And did you see the way Shane landed, right on the back of his head and neck.
Eli turns to see Stein standing back and charges towards the Sin City Champion, Stein ducks back through the ropes creating a little space, Heflin steps in ordering Storm to back away and allow Stein to get fully back inside the ring. Storm turns and walks straight into a dropkick from Ryan Shane. Shane stands after the kick and Dan Stein rushes into the ring with a quick Roll-Up on “Right Now Ryan.”
After the kick out, Stein creates distance again by rolling to the ropes and sliding out of the ring.
Other Guy: Dan Stein is a tactical mastermind; he’s not allowing either of these guys to get close.
Eryk Masters: That’s one way of putting it, though our fans are calling it something else entirely.
“Coward” chants rain down on Stein as he parades around the outside of the ring. Inside the action picks up again as Shane and Eli get back to their feet, this time Shane strikes first and rocks “Mr Incredible.”
Shane hits a forearm, then another, followed by a third; backing Storm into the ropes; he reaches in and with an Irish Whip; Storm reverses and sends Ryan towards the ropes where Stein hops up from the outside pulling the top-rope down, thus sending Ryan Shane tumbling over the ropes where he lands awkwardly on the side of his neck.
Other Guy: Like I said, tactical mastermind.
Stein quickly grabs hold of Shane and throws him into the barricade, the back of his head cracking against it. “The Golden Boy” walks away slapping his hands together as if he was wiping them clean, pleased with his assault on the SHOOT newcomer; Stein marches around the ring feeling pleased with his handy work, but Storm has other ideas and rushes to the ropes with a baseball slide, kicking the Sin City Champion down to the ground.
Eryk Masters: Seems like Storm has had enough of Stein’s “tactics” OG.
Eli then climbs onto the apron and leaps off the moment Stein gets back to his feet, whacking him across the back with an Axe-Handle-Smash, Stein arches his spine in pain as Eli pushes him into the barricade and then delivers a series of forearm shots to the chest of “The Golden Boy.”
Eryk Masters: nasty blows by Eli; he took the wind out of Stein there.
Stein reels in pain, pulling himself along the barricade to create distance, but Storm continues with a hammer blow to Stein’s left shoulder area; when the referee reminds them to get back inside the ring.
Storm turns and walks straight into a lunging clothesline from Ryan Shane thus giving Stein enough time to roll back into the ring. Shane pulls Storm to his feet and tosses him under the bottom rope where Stein drops a big leg drop and makes a cover.
Ryan Shane slides into the ring breaking the cover and then goes for a cover of his own.
Stein pulls Shane by the ankle half away across the ring and then leaps down with an Elbow Drop to the back of Ryan’s neck; here Stein applies a Crossface-headlock and wrenches back applying all his weight to neck muscles.
Eryk Masters: Shane has taken a quite a few blows to the neck and head, this one could be over in a matter of seconds.
As if right on cue, Eli Storm hits a running basement dropkick to the face of “The Golden Boy” breaking the submission attempt. Storm then lifts Stein to his feet and whips him to the corner and out of the way before getting to work on Shane.
Other Guy: Match could have ended there if it wasn’t for Storm.
After a few quick punches, Eli lifts Shane back up to his feet and whips him towards Stein, but Stein moves out of the way sending Shane crashing into the corner. The Sin City Champion turns Ryan around and hits a lighting quick chop to the chest, Storm shakes his head and steams in slapping Shane with a chop of his own as the fans erupt with noise.
Stein pushes Storm, mouthing a few choice words before hitting another chop on Shane. Eli Pushes him back and he too cracks Shane with another chop. Stein-Chop! Eli-Chop! Stein-Chop! Eli-Chop!
Eryk Masters: Would you look at these two idiots.
Other Guy: Idiots, this is great.
Stein-Chop! Eli-Chop! Stein-Chop! Eli-Chop! Stein-Chop! Eli-Chop! Stein-Chop! Eli-Chop! Stein-Chop!
Storm and Stein get face to face; almost butting heads while jaw jacking about the impactfulness and grace of their chops; before simultaneously hitting a double chop to the now blood-red chest of Ryan Shane.
“Mr Right Now” falls to his knees and then down to the mat, Stein quickly hits a thumb to Storm’s eyes and makes the cover on Ryan Shane.
Ryan Shane somehow lifts his foot onto the bottom rope.
Other Guy: How on earth did Shane do that?
Storm rushes in with a stomp to Stein’s back and then reaches down taking “The Golden Boy” by the head and whipping him across the ring; Stein leaps into the ropes, catching himself like a spider in a web. Eli rushes at Stein ready to blast him through the ropes but Dan drops down sending Eli through the ropes and down to the ground below.
Other Guy: Who needs to see the Amazing Spider-Man Two, when you have Dan Stein?
Eli rolls on the ground in agony as Ryan Shane begins to pull himself up with the ropes, Stein sensing the end is near for Shane heads directly towards him and eats rope-aided enziguri for his troubles, Dan backs away holding his head as Shane rushes towards him and Stein is quick to lift Shane with a back body drop.
Sin City Champion rushes to the opposing ropes as Shane gets back to his feet, Ryan goes to attack but Stein leapfrogs over him and walks straight into a hellacious turning Spinebuster from Eli Storm who just slid back into the ring.
Eryk Master: Storm’s timing was impeccable.
Eli then blasts Shane in the back of the neck with a forearm smash, sending him staggering into the ropes and then drops a hard knee down to the mid-section of the fallen Dan Stein, followed by a second, a third and then a hook of the leg.
Shane leaps down with a front elbow, for the save before attempting to cover Stein himself.
Storm pushes Shane out of the pin and quickly gets to work on “Right Now Ryan” with a few clubbing blows, Eli stands pulling Ryan to his feet and whips him towards the ropes, Shane reverses and whips Storm, but Storm leaps over the top rope with a hand-plant, landing down on the apron.
Eryk Masters: What a show of agility and ring awareness from Storm.
Ryan turns around and Storm springboards back into the ring with a clothesline that simply flattens Shane; Storm kips up and lets out a war-cry before lifting Ryan Shane by the waist and locking him in position for a German-Suplex…
Other Guy: Here it comes…
Storm rushes Shane into the ropes and then rolls backwards, keeping the waist-lock in place rolling Ryan through with him up and then over, the back of Shane’s neck crashing into the mat before bridging into a pin.
Other Guy: The Ratings Boost!
Stein comes crashing down from out of nowhere, landing across the arched stomach of Eli Storm with a springboard splash…Storm rolls to the side in agony as “The Golden Boy” rolls across Ryan Shane with the cover.
Samantha Coil: Here is your winner, and STILL the SIN CITY CHAMPION… DAAAN STEEEIIIN!!!!
Stein rolls off of Shane, gazing up at the lights, his chest lifting and falling as he pants for air. Stein’s entourage enter the ring, Molly the chimp joins his side as Molly the assistant passes him his championship.
Stein continues to gaze up at the ceiling, cradling the Sin City Championship and his chimpanzee in his arms as he continues to catch his breath.
Eryk Masters: Eli Storm was half a second away from winning the Sin City Championship. Dan Stein pulled this one out of his ass to retain the Sin City Championship.
Other Guy: Out of his ass? I’ve already said this tonight, but Dan Stein is a tactical master; he let Storm do all the heavy lifting and inserted himself when need be. Stein played the game and he won!
The SHOOT Project is proud to affiliate itself with some of the best promotions in the world of professional wrestling. One such promotion is none other than EXODUS PRO!
Abigail Chase is backstage at the Epicenter. SHOOT Project helmet logo on proud display behind her. Standing next to her is Chaos. He is munching down on a pretzel. Chaos is dressed in a morph suit covered in fake muscles. He is also holding a stick with the skull of a cow on top of it.
Abigail Chase: I'm here with new SHOOT Project Soldier, Chaos.
Chaos: Why did Sally fall of the swing?
Chase gives Chaos a look of confused bemusement.
Chaos: Because Sally had no arms.
Chase stares at Chaos dumbfounded, while Chaos takes another bite of his pretzel.
Chaos: Knock, knock.
Abigail Chase:Who's there?
Chaos: Not Sally.
More bewilderment from Chase who tries to precede with her interview.
Abigail Chase: Chaos, you have you first match in the Epicenter tonight against Billy Winter and Elgin Blair. Are you worried?
Chaos: What do I have to worry about. I'm teaming with Cameron "Cash Money" Ash and I'll taking on two madmen. I ain't worried. No not at all. I'm just taking a crap every twenty minutes.
Abigail Chase:Do you have any plans on accomplish a debut victory?
Chaos: Plans, plans, plans. I have plans. I plan not to be turned into a pretzel by the wizard Willy Winter and I plan to get a measure of revernge for Elvis on Elgin Blair, those are are my plans.
Abigail Chase:What did Elgin Blair do to Elvis?
Chaos: Well you see this skull here.
Chaos thrusts the skull on a stick into Abigail's face.
Abigail Chase: Yes.
She recoils slightly
Chaos:Well this is the skull of a cow that was possessed by the spirit of Elvis. And Elgin Blair, he killed it. Now it has come to me to save it's soul.
Abigail Chase: Ok. Thanks for your time.
Chaos: Thundercats are GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Chaos runs off leaving Abigail Chase dumbfounded.
“Love Lost in a Hail of Gunfire” by Bleeding Through blazes through the Epicenter audio system, and out from the back emerges Cameron Ash. The SHOOT Project newcomer pumps his fist skyward, earning some cheers from the crowd. He is quickly followed by Chaos, the two men standing together at the top of the ramp and gazing at the crowd…before sprinting down to the ring, slapping hands with the fans as they go.
Other Guy: These two making their entrances together…already showing some early teamwork.
Eryk Masters: Two new, fresh faces on the SHOOT Project roster…gotta love that. Cameron Ash spent some time down in SHOOT’s Ireland based CDW before coming to the main roster and this young man can definitely GO. And Chaos is pretty eccentric, we haven’t seen what he can do yet…but the sky is the limit here.
Both Ash and Chaos enter the ring to await their opponents.
“You’re So Vain” by Manson starts to play from….somewhere. Suddenly we hear the purr of a powerful engine….and a sleek black Lamborghini pulls in directly next to the head of the ramp. The theme music is playing in the car’s audio system…and just as it pulls up the Epicenter PA system picks up the song at maximum volume.
Billy Winter exits the car, pausing to slick back his hair before stepping up to the top of the ramp. He’s followed by the hulking frame of Elgin Blair emerging from the curtains.
Winter and the Hillbilly Beast exchange looks, and then the two men start down the ramp. Elgin stalks, Winter saunters.
Other Guy: Two polar opposites here. I wonder if they’ll be able to coexist for this tag team match?
Eryk Masters: Hard to say, OG. Elgin is a rough, backwoods beast of a man…and Winter is a sadistic narcissist. They have a few similarities…but also plenty of differences.
Elgin enters the ring by stepping over the top rope, and Winter slides beneath the bottom rope.
Both teams go over to their respective corners for the moment.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first, the team of CAMERSON ASH and CHAOS!
The fans pop a bit for these two.
Samantha Coil: And their opponents…the team of ELGIN BLAIR and BILLY WINTER!
The fans boo a bit for these two.
Other Guy: Neither team getting a huge crowd reaction…all of these guys are relatively new to SHOOT Project.
Eryk Masters: Now is the time for them to carve out names for themselves here.
The bell rings, and Elgin and Chaos start things out. Elgin runs forward and BLASTS a knee-lift into Chaos’s stomach, doubling him over. Blair then locks his hands together and sends a mean axle handle into the back of Chaos’s neck, knocking him to the canvas.
Chaos struggles to rise, and Blair goes for a kick to the ribs…but Chaos ducks out of the way. Chaos pops back up and sends a few kicks into Elgin’s legs, staggering him backwards a bit. Chaos then GRINDS into Elgin with a brutal looking WRISTLOCK!
Eryk Masters: That’s one hell of a wristlock, OG.
Other Guy: I heard a story that one of Chaos’s wristlocks killed a man back in his training days. The strain on the opponent’s wrist was just too much and he promptly dropped dead rather than continue the match.
Eryk Masters: Seriously?
Other Guy: Yup.
Elgin proceeds to pump an elbow into Chaos’s face, breaking the dreaded wristlock. Elgin then FLOORS Chaos with a haymaker punch.
Chaos crawls over to his corner and tags the outstretched hand of Cameron Ash, and Elgin moves to the side and slaps the hand of Billy Winter.
Ash beats Billy to the punch, starting to light up his chest with knife-edge chops. Ash then grabs Billy’s hand and tosses him HARD into the ropes with an irish whip…but on the rebound Winter DESTROYS ASH WITH A SPINNING WHEEL KICK!!!
Other Guy: Ouch. Looks like that caught Cameron right across the jaw…
Cameron struggles to his feet, holding his jaw. Winter meets him head on and just starts to SLAM knee strikes into his face and jaw, one after another, battering Ash’s head and rocking him from side to side.
Eryk Masters: Winter’s style would best be described as just…relentless? Dude just keeps coming for you.
Other Guy: He’s very quick…and very lethal.
Ash manages to block a few knees…and he fires back up with a European uppercut to the chin! Winter falls to the canvas, dazed…and Ash hops up onto the ropes and springboards off them…landing on Winter with an Asai Moonsault!
Other Guy: Damn, Ash took a major risk there…but it paid off!
Eryk Masters: Pinfall attempt…
Ash hooks a leg and leans back hard.
Other Guy: Close, but no cigar.
Winter is moving, albeit slowly…and Ash attempts to bring him up to his feet, but Billy just begins NAILING Ash in the face with forearm shots, staggering him into the ropes. Winter then runs forward and RAMS a shoulder into Ash’s gut as hard as he possibly can, dropping him down to the mat.
Billy then drags him over to his corner and tags the big hand of Elgin Blair.
Elgin comes in strong, proceeding to SMASH Ash into the canvas with a trio of scoop slams…before dropping a HUGE leg across his throat!
Elgin then leans backwards again and tags Winter right back into the match.
Other Guy: Smart strategy, isolating Ash and keeping him from making the tag.
Winter comes back in and WRENCHES back on Ash’s arm, twisting it up into a hammerlock…and then he runs him forward and just CRUSHES Ash into one of the turnbuckles. Ash slumps downward against the buckles…and Billy takes that opportunity to run backwards, get up a head of steam and then race forward for a body splash…but Ash moves!
Winter catches nothing but turnbuckle…and he flies backwards from the impact and slams down onto the canvas.
Other Guy: There’s an opening! Ash needs to capitalize!
Cameron Ash considers tagging Chaos back in…but instead he climbs up onto the buckles for another big time top rope maneuver. Ash scouts Winter’s downed frame from the buckles…and then he LEAPS skyward and attempts a flying leg drop…but Winter knocks him right out of the sky with a perfectly timed dropkick!
Ash lands HARD….and Billy immediately scrapes him up and DRILLS his skull into the canvas with a jumping piledriver!!
Winter immediately goes for the cover.
Samantha Coil: Here are your winners…the team of BILLY WINTER & ELGIN BLAIR!!!
Other Guy: Ash took another risk…but this time he crashed and burned!
Eryk Masters: And Winter scored that that game changing piledriver…he calls that…*ahem*
Other Guy: He calls it what?
Eryk Masters: Billy calls that…and I quote…”JUST CAVED YOUR STUPID FUCKING SKULL IN AND MADE YOU A VEGETABLE LOL. BTW ANY ATTRACTIVE SHOOT FANGIRLS CAN ADD ME ON FACEBOOK AND SEND ME NAKEY SELFIES WITH “WINTER IS COMING” WRITTEN ON YOUR TITTIES LOL”
Other Guy: That…is the name of his finisher? Are you shitting me?
Eryk Masters: Afraid not. He wanted it to be even longer but SHOOT Project’s marketing division told him only a certain number of words are allowed in a finisher name.
Winter pops right back up to his feet, taking a moment to wipe some sweat off his washboard abs. He gazes out at the crowd, smiling brilliantly. He yells out “THAT WAS ALL ME. ALLLLL ME!”
Elgin Blair steps into the ring behind him, glaring at Winter for a moment.
Winter immediately cowers down and appears to find the canvas interesting, whispering “him too” while twirling a lock of brown hair between his fingers.
Other Guy: Well we learned a few things here tonight. #1….Elgin Blair is a force to be reckoned with. #2….Ash and Chaos both fought hard, and they’re going to just keep getting better and better with each show.
Eryk Masters: What’s #3?
Other Guy: #3 is that Billy Winter’s finisher is almost a full paragraph long.
We go back to the ring for a moment. Winter has his phone out and he’s attempting to get Blair to stand beside him for a selfie standing over Ash’s motionless body. Blair just grimaces and roughly pushes Winter away when he tries to put his arm around him…
So Winter just snaps the selfie solo overtop Ash’s body, making sure to smile brightly as he does it.
Eryk Masters: Earlier tonight we had another unusual scene featuring SHOOT Project newcomer, and Rule of Surrender challenger, Kale Tanev. Let’s go back to something that took place after the doors opened to the Epicentre, but before our show got underway.
The SHOOT Project fans mill about in the concourse wrapping around the arena, lining up to buy their beer and hot dogs before the show begins. The place is packed, and it’s difficult to move without bumping into someone. Across from the chili vendor is a portly man selling official SHOOT Project merchandise at a table. A customer completes a credit card purchase, buying a replica SHOOT Project helmet. Shortly afterward a tall, lanky man approaches the table. It’s Kale Tanev, dressed in his retro basketball shorts and a plain black t-shirt. His duffel bag is over a shoulder, and his wrists are already taped up. He takes a look at the merchandise, and pauses at the small pile of Kale Tanev t-shirts, with the K and T inside a circle.
Kale Tanev: Can I get one of those KT shirts?
Worker: For sure. Twenty-five bucks.
Kale Tanev: Excuse me? But that’s my shirt. I am Kale Tanev.
Worker: Listen buddy, that’s my t-shirt right now. It doesn’t matter who you are, I need to make sure my numbers match up at the end of the night. Sorry pal, but them’s the rules. I don’t make’em.
Kale Tanev: I guess I need something to wear to the ring.
Tanev sighs and hands the man a small pile of crumbled up bills. The camera reverts back to Masters and the Other Guy.
Eryk Masters: It looks like Tanev is starting to expand on his limited wardrobe. And fans, don’t forget to order your own KT Kale Tanev shirt at www.shootproject.com!
We cut backstage, moments before the Rule of Surrender title match is going to take place, and we have Dutch Harris standing by with the Rule of Surrender Champion himself, Lunatikk Crippler!
Dutch Harris: I’m standing here, obviously, with Lunatikk Crippler. Crippler, we’re moments away from your first ever title defense for the Rule of Surrender championship, and some are saying this could very well be your ONLY title defense. What are your thoughts?
Lunatikk Crippler: My thoughts? Trying to psyche me out before the match even begins, eh, Dutch?
Dutch Harris: No, I wasn’t trying..
Lunatikk Crippler: Just messing with ya. My thoughts are simple, Dutch. I’m thinkin’ I’m gonna go to that ring, and I’m gonna beat Kale Tanev, just like I beat Dave Marz two weeks ago. But whatever happens, happens. This..
Crippler motions to the Rule of Surrender title across his shoulder.
Lunatikk Crippler: Defines you as a Soldier here in the SHOOT Project. It laid dormant a few times. Nobody there to defend it, or nobody CARED to defend it, or it laid dormant while SHOOT itself laid there as well. I’m not gonna let this title lay dormant again! This title is going to define me as a man, as a Soldier, as a wrestler. I am a Submission Specialist, Dutch, and whether it’s my first or my last, I’m gonna go out there and be just that: a specialist. I’m gonna FIGHT, Dutch, and I’m gonna hope that Kale Tanev is gonna bring the fight to ME.
He shuffles the title belt off his shoulder, holding it up for Dutch to see a bit more clearly.
Lunatikk Crippler: This is my trophy. My spoil of war. It’s a double edged sword, Dutch. I won this by submission, and I can only lose it by submission.
Crippler grins and slings the title back over his shoulder.
Lunatikk Crippler: Good thing I don’t plan on losing tonight.
Crippler walks off. Dutch looks into the camera.
Dutch Harris: Back to you guys at ringside!
Other Guy: I wonder what bizarre behaviour rookie Kale Tanev will have for us tonight?
Eryk Masters: I think he’s just trying to get used to how things work around here.
Other Guy: Well it’s weird, that’s all I can say.
Samantha Coil: Our next bout is a Rule of Surrender championship match! Introducing first, the challenger, weighing in at 225 lbs, Kaaaaaaaale Taaaaaaaaaan-eeeeeeev!
The crowd pops a little bit, but much of the Epicentre remains quiet, eyes focused on the entrance area. After a few moments, it’s clear that no music is going to start to play, although the Kale Tanev “KT” logo is appearing on the big screen. Suddenly the camera switches to a crowd shot, where fans are rapidly disbursing from the stairs. Kale Tanev is making his way through the crowd, wearing his old basketball shorts and his new t-shirt. He’s still carrying his duffel bag over his right shoulder.
Eryk Masters: Tanev coming to the ring from within the audience here tonight.
Other Guy: This guy really just doesn’t get it.
Tanev gets to the bottom of the stairs and hops a guard rail. He leaves his bag at the base of the ring and rolls under the bottom rope into the ring.
Eryk Masters: He impressed last week with his draw with Kincaid. He impressed so much, he is being rewarded with a shot at the Rule of Surrender title here tonight!
Other Guy: Reward? I think at this point in my career, I’d pass on getting in the ring with Lunatikk Crippler.
Yeah, I get it
“Sound of Madness” continues to play, and the fans collectively roar as Lunatikk Crippler, the Rule of Surrender Champion, appears from the curtains. He has the RoS title hooked around his neck, where the title belt is covering most of his face. He raises his arms in the air, and the crowd follows suit, popping for the champion.
Other Guy: Can he…can he see?
Eryk Masters: You heard him a few moments ago, OG. That title is what currently defines him. When people see Crippler, he wants them to see the Rule of Surrender Champion!
Other Guy: After the way he submitted Dave Marz last week, I would think THAT would be enough!
Crippler makes his way down the ramp and toward the ring. Kale Tanev is loosening up in the ring, not taking his eyes off his adversary.
Samantha Coil: And introducing from Las Vegas, Nevada!
Samantha Coil: Weighing in at Two Hundred and Thirty-Eight pounds, he is the REIGNING and DEFENDING Rule of Surrender Champion……Luuuuuuunatikk CRIIIIIIIIIIPPLER!
Other Guy: Crippler showed a new level of viciousness last time with Marz. Kale Tanev needs to be especially wary about that.
Eryk Masters: I think Kale showed in his match with Kincaid that he has what it takes to hang with the level of talent here in SHOOT.
Other Guy: Well tonight he has the opportunity to show he knows how to finish a fight. And he’s gonna have one on his hands!
The music shuts off and the bell rings. Crippler removes the title from around his neck. He hands it off to Dennis Heflin, who holds it in the air. Tanev steps forward, going nose to nose with Crippler to start. Crippler ends it quickly with a surprise right hand that staggers Kale Tanev! The crowd goes OOH, and Tanev rubs his face where he was struck. He quickly gets his bearings and steps back, and hauls off with a right hand to Crippler! The crowd goes OOH again! Crippler quickly fires back!
Tanev replies in kind!
Other Guy: STOP SAYING OOH!
Eryk Masters: They paid their money, they can say what they want!
Crippler buries a knee into the midsection of Tanev, doubling him over! Crippler bounces off the ropes and goes for a running knee lift, but Tanev quickly counters with a leg sweep! Crippler hits the ground hard, and Tanev quickly tries to lock on a kneebar! Crippler tries to kick away, but Tanev stays with him, locking the hold in! Crippler reaches out and grabs the bottom rope, pulling himself away! Tanev gets to his feet, eyes on Crippler, as Crippler pulls himself up. Heflin leans in to Crippler, holding up two fingers.
Eryk Masters: I guess that’s going to count as a rope break. Crippler’s got two left.
Crippler looks none too pleased, but he nods shortly and advances on Tanev. Tanev tries to avoid the tie up attempt, but Crippler hooks his head. Crippler raises his knee up, colliding with the forehead of Kale Tanev! A second knee and Crippler releases his foe, allowing Kale to fall dazed in a seated position to the canvas. Crippler runs the ropes and comes back firing with a shining wizard that sends Kale flat to his back! Crippler gets to his feet, but before he can ponder his next move, KALE TANEV HOOKS THE KNEE AGAIN! He pulls Crippler to the canvas, wrenching on the leg as hard as he can, but Crippler is RIGHT NEAR THE ROPES! He grabs the ropes, and Dennis Heflin calls for the break! Tanev releases the hold quickly and Crippler escapes the ring, clearly frustrated.
Other Guy: Now, you see…Kale Tanev just let his inner rookie show right there. He should have kept that hold locked in!
Eryk Masters: And get disqualified?
Other Guy: He’s got a five count to take advantage of! Four seconds in a hold like that could do tremendous damage!
Crippler is on the outside, shaking his leg out, trying to assess the damage. Heflin is leaning through the ropes, telling Crippler to bring it back into the ring. Meanwhile, Kale Tanev has ascended the top turnbuckle!
He leaps HIGH and connects with a HUGE Missile Dropkick that floors Crippler on the outside! Tanev takes a tough break, however, landing on his left shoulder!
Eryk Masters: A huge aerial move connecting, but Tanev finds out the hard way why they call those moves “high risk”!
Tanev gets up, holding his arm close to his body, but pumping his fist in excitement. Adrenaline pumps through him as he grabs Crippler by the hair and picks him up, and rolls him back into the ring! Tanev follows him in as Crippler tries to clear the cobwebs. Kale runs across the ring, bouncing off the ropes. He passes Crippler and springboards off the ropes behind him, and goes for the crossbody!
Other Guy: CAUGHT! The deceptive strength of Lunatikk Crippler pays off!
Crippler grasps Kale and switches him to more of a standing north/south position, and DRIVES the left shoulder across his knee! Kale hits the mat, grabbing his limb, but Crippler smells blood. He grabs Tanev’s hand and starts putting boots to his shoulder, hitting his neck and collar bone in the process! Tanev gruns in pain with each blow, until Crippler ties his arm up and drops down with a cross armbreaker!
Eryk Masters: The Submission Specialist sinking in that hold, going for the kill!
Tanev grits his teeth, unwilling to allow a painful scream to escape his lips, but the hold is excrutiating! Crippler leans back as far as he can, rocking back and forth as if to try and rip the left arm from Kale’s body! Tanev kicks his feet blindly and brushes the bottom rope! He uses his ankles to cling to that rope for all he can, and Dennis Heflin moves in to force the break! Crippler, however, does not release the hold!
FI-Crippler breaks the hold. Heflin admonishes him, but Crippler simply holds up five fingers. Heflin checks on Tanev, letting him know he’s got two rope breaks left. Crippler shoves Heflin out of the way and drags Tanev back to the center of the ring by his arm.
Eryk Masters: Crippler showing off the new found viciousness he displayed last week. He’s not letting up on Tanev an INCH.
He hooks Kale’s arm upward in a top hammerlock, wrenching back on the shoulder that was injured earlier. Crippler grits his teeth and pulls, and Kale Tanev has no choice but to yell out in pain this time.
Other Guy: That shoulder’s been worked on a lot during this match. Sound psychology by the champion, real grit and tenacity from the challenger for not giving in!
Crippler digs his knee into the back of Tanev for a little extra pressure. Kale tries to fight out, and he succeeds to getting to his feet! Crippler quickly transitions into a new hold, a much more painful one: the Crossface Chickenwing! Tanev struggles around, trying to free himself but Crippler stays with him, keeping the hold on.
Eryk Masters: This is a painful hold! Crippler is wrenching on the shoulder and the neck! The more you struggle, the more pain you put yourself in!
Tanev tries moving toward the ropes, but Crippler pulls him away! Kale tries to go to the other side, but Crippler yanks him back! Kale seems to be fading a bit here, and his knees are shaking! He goes to the left, and Crippler pulls back! But Kale uses that momentum to go right, and grasps the top rope with his free hand! Crippler releases the hold, and drives his forearm into the left shoulder blade of Kale Tanev! Tanev crumples, draped on the ropes. He doesn’t have long to rest, as Crippler STEPS ON HIS LEFT SHOULDER with both feet, standing straight in the air! Crippler wobbles and jumps back to the canvas, and Kale falls to the ground, clutching his shoulder!
Other Guy: Both men only have ONE rope break remaining!
Crippler pounces on the injured Tanev, hooking on an armbar, but Tanev QUICKLY grabs the ropes. Crippler breaks clean, grinning.
Eryk Masters: You spoke too soon, OG! Kale’s all out of breaks now!
Crippler goes over and helps Kale to his feet. He whips Tanev into the ropes, and he hits the turnbuckles. HARD. Kale grabs onto the ropes to keep himself from falling to the mat, but Crippler charges in, full speed! Kale MOVES AT THE LAST SECOND and Crippler crashes sternum first! Crippler backs up in pain, not realizing that Kale has hit his second wind! Tanev bounces off the ropes, coming back on Crippler with a spinning heel kick that lands flush in the kisser of the Rule of Surrender champion! Crippler hits the mat HARD and Tanev is on his feet! He looks out to the crowd, who are cheering him on!
Eryk Masters: The fans are behind both men but right now, Kale is on the comeback trail!
Other Guy: Hope that’s not like the Oregon Trail. I always die of cholera!
Kanev moves toward Crippler, who kicks up at him, catching him in the stomach. Kale doubles up, but suddenly POUNCES, raining rights and lefts upon Crippler’s face! Crippler’s trying to cover up, but a blow here and there finds it’s mark! Crippler’s nose is bloodied quick, but Kale is trying to finish this with fists!
Eryk Masters: The MMA background of Tanev is coming through! He’s trying to finish this with brute force!
Other Guy: There’s no TKO’s in wrestling! He better hope Crippler just won’t be able to take it!
Crippler tries to squirm away, but Kale keeps pounding away! Crippler reaches out, desperately, and FINDS THE BOTTOM ROPE! Kale keeps trying to pepper the face of the champion, but Heflin PHYSCIALLY shoves Kale off Lunatikk Crippler!
Eryk Masters: That’s it! No more rope breaks!
Other Guy: Look at the face of Kale Tanev! The man is starting to get MANIC! He’s desperate to finish this, and claim the Rule of Surrender title as his own!
Crippler gets to his feet and Tanev rushes him! Crippler puts his head down for a back drop, but Tanev puts the breaks on and quickly slaps on a Peruvian Necktie, dropping down to the canvas!
Eryk Masters: Kale calls that hold the Descender! Crippler is TRAPPED!
Kale grapevines his legs around Crippler’s waist, and there’s nowhere to go! Crippler is reaching desperately and grabs the bottom rope, but that’s not gonna help him anymore! Crippler is shaking the rope, trying to get the ref’s attention, but Dennis Heflin advises him that he’s out of breaks! Kale cinches in the hold even deeper, and Crippler is trying to push himself off.
Eryk Masters: That’s not gonna do it! He’s allowing Tanev to sink in a little deeper!
Crippler raises his hand dramatically! Tanev is shaking hard, rocking back and forth, trying to choke Crippler out! Crippler’s arm is raised in the air high, but he clenches his fist and lowers it back down! Kale rolls, taking Crippler with him, and now they are in the center of the ring! Crippler’s fist is shaking, and the fans are behind him, as well as the challenger! A small “CRIPPLER!” chant breaks out, but Crippler’s fist is starting to droop!
DING DING DING!
Other Guy: That’s it! IT’s over! New Champion!
Eryk Masters: What? I didn’t see a submission!
Dennis Heflin taps Tanev on the shoulder, advising him to break the hold. He does and gets to his feet, arms raised in the air! Heflin waves it off, lowering Kale’s hands!
Eryk Masters: What’s going on?
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen, timekeeper Mark Kendrick has informed me….that the fifteen minute time limit has EXPIRED!
Eryk Masters: Oh no! Not again!
Samantha Coil: Therefore the match is ruled…
Coil is cut off by Lunatikk Crippler from the ring! He’s waving her over to him from the ground, and she obliges. He takes the mic from her hands and raises it to his lips. He takes a seated position in the corner.
Lunatikk Crippler: If you ask me, and I’m sure Kale Tanev will agree…..DRAWS are BULLSHIT.
The crowd pops LOUD.
Lunatikk Crippler: Last week, you gave Dave Marz and myself the chance to fight, and fight for that title right over there. Let me make a request.
Crippler pulls himself to his feet, using the ropes. He can be heard audibly grunting into the mic.
Lunatikk Crippler: It’s a simple request: FIVE. MORE. MINUTES.
Crippler drops the mic, and the crowd EXPLODES! Tanev can be seen nodding across the ring from Crippler. A chant starts up.
FIVE MORE MIN-UTES! *CLAP CLAP CLAPCLAPCLAP*
FIVE MORE MIN-UTES! *CLAP CLAP CLAPCLAPCLAP*
FIVE MORE MIN-UTES! *CLAP CLAP CLAPCLAPCLAP*
Eryk Masters: The fans want it! The challenger wants it! The CHAMPION demands it! LET THEM GO!
Other Guy: Looks like another instance of Tanev not being able to finish things!
Heflin looks like he’s thinking it over. He looks over Tanev. He then goes across and checks on Crippler. He moves in between them…
AND SIGNALS FOR THE BELL!
Other Guy: WHAT?
Eryk Masters: Dennis Heflin making a call on the fly! This is the Rule of Surrender Championship we’re talking about here! We’re in overtime!
Crippler IMMEDIATELY charges, going for a spear, but Tanev counters, going back to the Descender!
He’s got it locked in! No rope breaks! Crippler is trapped in Tanev’s version of the guillotine once more! He’s got nowhere to go!
Other Guy: Crippler’s gonna look DAMN FOOLISH if he loses his title after demanding extra time!
Eryk Masters: It’s FAIR! The spirit of competition! Being a fighting champion!
Other Guy: Yeah, I said that. Foolish.
Crippler’s fists raise up, shaking, trying to get the crowd support to will himself out of the hold.
TOO LATE! Crippler’s right hand pounds the canvas! The bell rings once again, and this time, for real, it’s over!
Samantha Coil: Here is your winner….AND THE NEWWWWWWW RULE OF SURRENDER CHAMPION…
Tanev releases the hold, this time holding his hands up in a true victory.
Samantha Coil: KAAAAAAAAALE TAAAAAANEEEEEV!
Eryk Masters: A new champion crowned! Crippler held on for as long as he could, but Kale Tanev has wrestled the Rule of Surrender title away from the Submission Specialist!
Dennis Heflin goes to hand the title to Tanev, but Crippler is on his feet, and RIPS it away! He then drapes the title over Tanev’s shoulder himself. Crippler nods at the new champion, and walks away, obviously angry and frustrated.
Eryk Masters: A tremendous display of sportsmanship by the now FORMER Rule of Surrender champion!
Other Guy: Congrats to Kale Tanev, shame on you to Lunatikk Crippler. I wonder if that title is going to fit in Kale’s bag.
Eryk Masters: I’m sure he’ll find out as the celebration continues for Kale Tanev!
Tanev exits the ring, grabbing his bag up, and holding it and the Rule of Surrender title over his head to a cheer from the crowd!
We cut pretty abruptly to the back, at the main "interview" area in the Epicenter. SHOOT Project's Mary Kelly is on the scene and at her side is SHOOT Project Hall of Famer, "The DEFILER" Jonny Johnson. Jonny, in a grey suit jacket, matching slacks, white shirt and salmon-pink tie appears genuinely concerned and frustrated. He runs his hand through his bed-head dirty blonde hair and shakes his head.
Mary Kelly: Ladies and gentleman, my guest at this time, at his request, he's a former SHOOT Project World Champion... JONNY JOHNSON.
Jonny nods and Mary gets right to the pressing question of the evening.
Mary Kelly: Jonny, we'll cut to the chase. You were supposed to wrestle tonight. You were not here. What happened and have you had an opportunity to speak with El Asso Wipo... is he okay, is he...
Jonny interrupts Mary and begins answering the questions before she asks too many.
The DEFILER: Mary, I'm both embarrassed and horrified with what happened tonight. In my entire career, I've not ONCE had anything like this happen. I've never missed a match in my life, but there was some miscommunication. I was seeing a specialist back home in Chicago regarding my wrist. That was Sunday. I did NOT get cleared. In fact, I found I had a set back in the procedure. I of course, IMMEDIATELY, contacted Jason and Sean... Unfortunately, they were out for the Memorial Day holiday and somehow this just slipped through the cracks.
He takes a brief pause before proceeding.
The DEFILER: My flight got delayed and we landed about forty-five minutes ago. I had a lot of texts and missed calls from concerned friends, which I appreciate... They explained what happened and I rushed over as quickly as I could. I literally just got into the building two minutes ago and wanted to find you as fast as I could. To the people here in attendance and the fans watching on our live stream and SHOOTProject.com, I just want to say how sorry I am. This is NOT an indication of who I am as a human being and I feel ter...
Before Jonny can finish his sentence, he's interrupted by a very familiar voice.
Loco Martinez: Terrible? You feel "bad"?
Martinez casually strolls into the interview area, but this doesn't look like a friendly visit, despite these two normally being on pretty good terms. Jonny does not appear pleased.
The DEFILER: Umm. Yeah. Yeah I feel really bad about what happened; Hi, by the way, Jay. How are you?
He asks coldly, an ironic response to Loco's arrival.
Loco Martinez: I'm good. Just here. At Work. Enjoying the show. Appreciating all the hard work that everyone's been putting into this place. Oh, and dudeman... doctor’s note, huh? Kinda high school of you, no?
Jonny sighs and turns back toward Mary Kelly.
The DEFILER: I'll chat with you more soon. We can get a Backstage Pass piece put together or something...
She's no dummy. Mary nods her head and leaves the two "pals" alone to chat.
The DEFILER: Is there uhhh.... is there a problem here. Or... you just doing your Walmart Greeter gimmick again?
Martinez smirks at the remark.
Loco Martinez: I just think SHOOT's in a really great place right now, and I don't want that ruined...
Jonny peers back quizzically.
The DEFILER: We're on the same page, then.
Loco tilts his head.
Loco Martinez: Oh we are? That might be a first.
Jonny is not happy about being questioned like this and shakes his head.
The DEFILER: I've never missed a match in my life. You know that... and what happened to El Asso Wipo... what happened to that great, amazing competitor was HORRIBLE. What happened to his partner was ALSO horrible.
Loco doesn't seem to be buying what Jonny's selling.
Loco Martinez: So... a doctor appointment on a Sunday?! Okay... Weird, but, hey, you know people. You're "someone". You can pull strings. But you couldn't have called him? Email? Call other people? Text? Tweet? Instagram? Vine? Facebook? ICQ? Smoke signal? We live in this brave, new, wonderful world where communicating is pretty easy, dudeman. Two weeks. Nothing. THIS, right now is the first time we hear from you?!? Couldn't be bothered to say anything about the match?
Jonny is quick to take the conversation back after that last comment.
The DEFILER: Whoa… wait. Heh. Are you… Are you calling me out because I didn't cut a FUCKING PROMO? (Very irritated) Look, man...I don't owe a SECOND of my time to empowering those scumbag punks or anyone like them, and if this place is smart, it'll handle all of its (making air quotes) "threats" the same way. (Shaking his head, frustrated) We are ONE HUNDRED PERCENT done with this conversation.
He wants to leave, but Loco actually puts a hand on him and stops that from happening.
Loco Martinez: I'm just saying that MAYBE something seems weird about this. And that MAYBE...
"There are plenty of us DOING the things you keep SAYING you want to do for this organization."
Jonny looks at Loco's hand and then to Loco directly.
The DEFILER: ...Cool story.
Jonny Johnson simply leaves after that.
Everyone knows the SHOOT Project is considered the "big leagues." But, don't forget about the International Initiative! Be sure to check out Mexico's greatest professional wrestling show presented by Reality Check Wrestling!
As we cut back to the arena, the SHOOT Faithful are still absolutely buzzing with excitement. Random chants break out in pockets of the arena and we come to rest on our ever faithful commentary team.
Eryk Masters: Well folks, we’ve had one hell of a night so far! Every match so far has been absolutely thrilling. Dan Stein managed to hang on to the Sin City Championship and we’ve got a BRAND NEW Rule of Surrender Champion in Kale Tanev! But, we’re not done yet. Not by a long shot!
Other Guy: That’s right, E. Right now, SHOOT Nation, it’s time to see who’s guts are made of iron. The Iron Fist Championship is coming up right now. Let’s go up to Samantha Coil.We cut to the ring where none other than Samantha Coil stands ready.
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is scheduled for one fall and is for the IRON. FIST. CHAMPIONSHIP! Introducing first…
The guitar riff and beat begins to play over the speakers and the crowd begins to cheer. It’s not a cheer born of love for the man about to make his entrance, but one born of respect. Several pockets of fans begin to clap along in time with the beat. It’s not the whole crowd, but enough of them to be heard.
Eryk Masters: And listen to the fans! At Revolution 122, this man put it all on the line and the SHOOT Nation is showing its appreciation!
“I am the shadow,
“I am the ghost,
The riff changes, getting harder. The song kicks into gear and the fans cheer loudly as Kincaid steps out from behind the Epitron and stands on the entrance stage, staring down at the ring, a look of pure determination etched on his face. He nods once and begins to walk down the ramp into the aisle towards the ring.
Eryk Masters: It was on March 4th, 2013 that Kincaid earned the right to be called number one contender to the Iron Fist Championship. But, injury and personal issues prevented him from taking his shot. Now, here we are, one year, two months, and twenty-two days later. Tonight, he’s got his chance.
Samantha Coil: He hails from Bearing Falls, New Jersey and weighs in at two hundred and thirty pounds! He is the number one contender to the Iron Fist Championship and the CHALLENGER! Here is KIIIIIINCAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIID!!!
Kincaid reaches the ringside area and stops. He stares up into the ring, his eyes focused and determined.
Other Guy: He’s been waiting for this moment for a long time. The landscape of that championship has changed since he became the number one contender. Thomas Manchester Black, Ja Gi Kygun Moon, Johnny Napalm, Jerry Matthews, and now Corey Lazarus have all held that title. You’ve gotta wonder if Kincaid’s feeling his name should already be on that list, E. After all, Ja Gi Kyung Moon, the man who took the title from TMB in Kincaid’s place, was the man Kincaid pinned to become the number one contender last year.
Eryk Masters: I don’t know if that’s what is running through his head, OG. He looks incredibly determined. But, you just gotta know he’s nervous. We’ve seen that much over the last ten days from the challenger. But, will he be able to overcome those nerves and take the title home tonight?
Kincaid rolls into the ring and gets to his feet. He takes a few seconds to look out at the cheering fans before walking to a corner and waiting for the champion to emerge. “Diamond Eyes” fades and cuts off and the crowds cheers begin to grow louder in anticipation of the champion’s arrival.
Samantha Coil: And, his opponent…The well known and all too familiar old fashioned black and white countdown appears on the Epitron and the crowd lets out a loud cheer, many of them counting along!
The fans explode with cheers as "Battleflag" by Lo-Fidelity Allstars cues up and Corey Lazarus bursts out from behind the entrance curtain, his eyes hidden behind his trademark pair of silver-rimmed Ray Bans. The Iron Fist Championship is firmly clasped around his waist. He stalls and looks around, his trademark devilish grin creeping up as he slaps the the championship belt a few times, and then strolls to the top of the ramp, flings the hood of his entrance jacket off with a jerk and falls to his knees, his hands spread out wide to bask in the adulation.
Eryk Masters: And just LISTEN to the ovation for the champ! Corey Lazarus has really earned the respect and admiration of the SHOOT Nation and they are showing him the love tonight!
Other Guy: Can you blame them? The Hollywood Kid is in full effect and he looks as ready as ever!
Samantha Coil: Introducing next, he weighs in tonight at 235 pounds and stands at 6-foot-1…
Corey pops back to his feet and shakes out his left knee, laughing a bit as he slaps a few hands reaching out to him on his way to the ring. He stops momentarily and removes his Ray Bans, looking to his left at a sign held by a girl sporting her sorority letters: "I WANT COREY’S IRON FIST."
Eryk Masters: Really? Last time it was “I Cum for Corey.” Now we’re getting sex puns about the title?
Samantha Coil: He hails from New York City, New York by way of Hollywood, California…
Corey walks over to her, giving her a wink, and then quickly plants her with one hell of a kiss. She swoons and fans herself off, blushing, and Corey just smiles before rushing up the ring steps and onto the apron, hooking the top rope behind him with one arm as he forms the "hang loose" sign with his other hand, dragging his thumb across his throat.
Samantha Coil: He is "The Premier Attraction"...CORRREEYYYYY LAAAAZZZZAAARRRUUUUSSSSS!!!!
Corey blows the nearest camera a kiss, slaps the Iron Fist Championship again, and slingshots over the top rope, tumbling to a raised knee in the center of the ring, taking a perfect stage bow. "Battleflag" dies down and he rises up, sliding off his entrance jacket and gently placing it in his corner.
Other Guy: You think Kincaid’s starstruck right now after that entrance?
Eryk Masters: Not likely. And I think Corey knows he’s in for a hell of a fight. He shows a lot of bravado on his way down to that ring every time, but he’s not stupid. Laz looks extremely focused.
Laz removes the Iron Fist Championship from around his waist and hands it off to referee Scott Kamura. Kamura raises the title high in the air for all to see before handing it off to Mark Kendrick on the outside.
Other Guy: That’s what this one’s all about. There’s no blood feud here. No personal war. The champion wants to keep what he earned two weeks ago. The challenger wants to take it after over a year of waiting for this shot. This is what SHOOT Project is all about!
Kamura calls for the bell and the match is on!
For just a moment nothing happens. The fans packing the Epicenter are cheering loudly for both men. The anticipation grows as Kincaid nods slowly before beginning to circle to his left, with Corey following the motion cautiously. The two circle for a few seconds, coming closer and closer. Finally, both men step into a tie-up, BUT Kincaid drops down and SHOOTs in for a quick double leg takedown! Corey spawls back with lightning fast reflexes, stuffing the attempt, but Kincaid is quick as well, snatching an arm and zipping behind Laz, locking in a hammerlock. Laz quickly reverses the hold into a hammerlock of his own, but Kincaid continues the motion seamlessly and transitions to a rear waistlock, but Laz wastes no time a FIRES an elbow right into the nose of Kincaid that staggers the challenger backwards. Corey quickly turns to face him and backs away!
Eryk Masters: That elbow caught Kincaid square on the nose. You gotta be careful taking those shots. At the very least, Kincaid’s eyes are likely watery right now!
Other Guy: No doubt about it. Kincaid didn’t waste time with a tie up. He decided to go right for a takedown to put the champ on the mat, but it backfired in what could have been a big way. Looks like Laz is being careful here.
Kincaid shakes his head quickly, trying to get his head together, while Laz takes a stance in preparation for another attack from his challenger. Kincaid moves in quickly, but Laz steps out of the way and plants a snapping kick to Kincaid’s thigh. Kincaid turns back toward him and moves in again, only to catch another snapping kick to the thigh, right in the same spot.
Eryk Masters: Gotta be careful rushing in like that. Kincaid needs to take a moment to regroup, I think.
Other Guy: But that’s the thing, E. He doesn’t feel like he has a moment. He’s been waiting for this opportunity for a long time and now that he’s here he’s determined to make the most of it.
Kincaid steps in again and Laz sidesteps, but THIS time, Kincaid adjusts his position quickly, grabbing Laz’s leg as he kicks and WHIPS him to the mat with a perfectly executed Dragon Screw! Laz is up quickly and Kincaid moves in. Just as Laz turns, Kincaid SNATCHES his arm and brings him over with an armdrag! Laz pops up again quickly and gets met with a second armdrag. This time Kincaid keeps the arm and wrenches JUST as the champion hits the canvas.
Eryk Masters: Kincaid in control now after that nicely done feint! He’s got to keep the momentum going though!
Kincaid brings the champion to his feet and twists the arm to keep Laz under control. He backs him into the nearest corner and sends a vicious chop to the champ’s chest, bringing the “WOOOOs” from the Epicenter fans. Kincaid takes a step back and then begins to PEPPER Corey’s chest with roundhouse kicks! The challenger snaps off three consecutive shots to the champion’s chest before sending another pair of chops to the same spot, backing up and delivering STIFF spinning back kick to Corey’s gut, doubling the champion over!
Other Guy: Man! Did you HEAR those chops and kicks?! Kincaid is taking it to the Iron Fist Champion right now! And this crowd is really showing it’s approval!
Kincaid fires a quick forearm shot to the exposed neck region of Laz while he’s doubled over and then drags the champion from the corner. He hooks the head and brings him up and over with a textbook suplex, floating over as he lands! But, instead of floating over into a pinning combination, Kincaid SNATCHES Laz by the hair and RAMS a forearm right to his nose! The crowd “OOHH’s” at the vicious shot and Kincaid goes to work, firing ANOTHER forearm, this time to the jaw!
Other Guy: Talk about a receipt! Kincaid is a master of that ground and pound matwork, but that shot to the nose looked like a little payback for that elbow from Laz at the start of this thing!
Laz manages to roll to his stomach, but Kincaid stays on the offensive. He GRINDS his forearm into the back of Corey’s neck before throwing a forearm across the side of the champ’s face. Kincaid raises up slightly, but then drops a knee right to the lower back! The challenger begins to UNLOAD on Laz, firing forearms and elbows to the head and neck area! Laz gets his arms up to deflect some of the shots, but Kincaid continues the barrage and several still land on target. Laz begins to scramble forward towards the ropes, attempting to move away from his challenger and Kincaid is right on his tail!
Eryk Masters: That matwork from Kincaid is just NASTY! He’s looking for the big knockout here! You can see the fire in his eyes, OG! Kincaid is determined to put Laz down!
Other Guy: He is, E. But, look at Laz fight! He’s the champ for a reason and he is not going to be denied! Look at him fight towards the ropes, OH!
JUST as the champion reaches out to snatch the bottom rope and possibly pull himself to safety, Kincaid SPINS around to the front of him and PLASTERS Laz with a forearm to the back of the neck that bounces Corey’s head off the canvas! The crowd “OHH’s” as Kincaid SNATCHES Laz by the hair and brings him to his feet. He drags a very dazed Iron Fist Champion back towards the center of the ring and then boots him in the gut before WHIPPING him over with another quick suplex. Kincaid floats back over and begins to lay forearms into Laz again!
Eryk Masters: This is very smart on Kincaid’s part, OG. He’s keeping Laz grounded and just pounding away at that defense. And those shots are HEAVY, folks!
Laz begins to scramble forward again, blocking as many of those bombs from Kincaid as he possibly can in his bid to reach the bottom rope. Kincaid spins to the front again, but THIS TIME, Corey rolls sideways as he does and Kincaid misses with the forearm! Laz grabs the bottom rope JUST as Kincaid hooks his head in a front facelock, BUT COREY slides out of the ring, dragging Kincaid with him!
Laz DRIVES and elbow into Kincaid’s gut, catching the challenger off guard and causing him to release the front facelock. Corey quickly reaches up, grabbing a Muy Thai clinch and begins to send HARD knees into the chest and face of Kincaid! The crowd cheers LOUDLY as Corey lets LOOSE with knees! He releases the clinch and fires a series of elbows at Kincaid as well, stunning the man! Laz grabs the head again and this time NAILS Kincaid right in the jaw with a jumping Muy Thai knee strike! Laz grabs a wrist and the back of Kincaid’s head and LAUNCHES him into the ringside barricade! The force of the throw doubles the challenger over and he hits the barrier with a loud THUD, eliciting a cheer from the crowd! Laz brings a wobbly Kincaid to his feet and RAMS the challenger’s head into the ring apron before rolling him back into the ring and climbing up onto the apron!
Eryk Masters: That defensive mindset from the champion saved him there! And now Laz has some control!
Other Guy: He sure does. Those knees and elbows were just NASTY! And for good measure, he put him into that barricade. These two guys are throwing bombs at each other every chance they get! One of them is gonna end up tasting the canvas for a ten count soon!
Eryk Masters: What’s Laz going for here?
The crowd seems to already know what’s coming as Laz positions himself on the ring apron, gripping the top rope with both hands. Laz leans back and LEAPS! Kincaid glances up and sees Laz jumping! Kincaid rolls away! BUT Laz merely hops up and over the top into the ring. He hits the ropes and RUSHES forward before LEAPING into the air and DRIVING both feet down into Kincaid’s left knee with a VICIOUS double stomp! The crowd cheers the move, but it isn’t as loud as it might be against another opponent!
Other Guy: Now THAT was smart, E! The mark of a true champion! Laz knew Kincaid probably had that springboard double stomp well-scouted. He faked it and lured Kincaid into position for the running double stomp instead!
Eryk Masters: Can’t argue there, OG. And now, Laz is getting on the offensive, folks! Looks like he’s going to work over that knee. If you can’t stand, you can’t answer a ten count. Solid strategy!
Kincaid rolls around clutching his knee in pain. He grabs the ropes and DRAGS himself to his feet. BUT, just as he turns, Laz comes off the ropes with a somersault basement dropkick to the same knee, dropping the challenger back to the canvas!
Laz STOMPS on the knee, bringing a shout of pain from Kincaid. The champion STOMPS down again and then drops his own knee down, causing another shout of pain! Laz DRAGS Kincaid back to his feet, but then HOISTS him up and DRIVES him back down with a kneebreaker! Kincaid rolls around holding that knee! The challenger’s eyes are wide as he FIGHTS to the ropes, pulling himself back to his feet. But, Laz is in position and stalks Kincaid!
Eryk Masters: He better watch out! Laz is poised to strike and he’s already wobbly on that knee!
Kincaid turns around and LAZ LEAPS up for that enziguri he calls END CREDITS! BUT KINCAID DROPS DOWN! Laz misses and hits the canvas HARD. Kincaid drags himself back to his feet, grabs Laz and hooks him up!
Other Guy: He’s got him set for that Gotch Driver! He’s gonna end it right here out of nowhere!
Eryk Masters: No! No he’s not! Laz counters!!
Laz uses his weight and the hurting knee of Kincaid to his advantage and rolls him up, landing on the canvas with a triangle choke locked in on Kincaid! The crowd takes a few second to realize what happened and begins to cheer LOUDLY, a chant breaking out!
THIS IS AWESOME! THIS IS AWESOME! THIS IS AWESOME!
Kincaid fights wildly to try and escape the choke, but Laz begins to DRIVE elbows into the crown of his head for good measure! Slowly, Kincaid begins to fade as the champ wrenches on the choke and continues to fire those elbows in! Finally, Kincaid goes limp and Laz releases the hold, rolling away and motioning for Scott Kamura to count!
Other Guy: Could this be all? Will that choke be the end for Kincaid?
Kincaid begins to stir and rolls to his stomach.
He grabs the ropes and begins to pull himself up.
Kincaid gets to his feet, breaking the count! Laz moves RIGHT in, firing a forearm shot to the face! He backs Kincaid into the ropes, the crowd’s cheering growing louder at the resolve of the challenger. Laz Irish whips Kincaid to the far ropes. Kincaid comes off the ropes ducking under a lariat attempt from Laz and comes off the opposite ropes! Laz turns to defend himself but TOO LATE and Kincaid SMASHES into Laz’s face with a roaring elbow! Laz goes down HARD and the crowd SCREAMS its approval!
Eryk Masters: What resolve from the challenger! He made it back to his feet and now he’s just DROPPED the champion! He’s got to capitalize though! Is the damage to that knee too much?
Other Guy: It may be, E! That elbow was nasty, but it looked like it was out of desperation! Kincaid needs to move in and attack if he wants to have a chance of victory here!
As if he heard the commentary, Kincaid struggles to his feet and stumbles forward. Laz is shaking out the cobwebs on the canvas, but Kincaid DROPS a knee right to the lower back, causing the champion to shout out in pain and surprise! Kincaid struggles back to his feet, bringing Laz up with him. He LIFTS Corey up and DROPS him down with a backbreaker! It’s Laz’s turn to roll around in pain on the canvas as Kincaid continues to advance. He SNATCHES Laz by the hair, bringing the champ to his feet and PLANTS a roundhouse kick right to the chest!
And LAZ returns fire with a roundhouse of his own!
Kincaid FIRES back with another kick to the chest! Then Laz! Then Kincaid! Laz! Kincaid! Laz! Kincaid! LAZ! KINCAID! The crowd “OHHHH’s” with the thunderous impact of each shot as BOTH me send those snapping kicks to each other’s chest! BUT THEN LAZ surprises Kincaid with a rolling sole butt right to that left knee! Kincaid hits the canvas clutching at his knee in agony!
Eryk Masters: And again, folks, we’re seeing the story of desperation versus defense here. Kincaid is throwing everything he’s got at the champion, but Laz just seems to have an answer for all of it!
Kincaid struggles to his feet and Corey is RIGHT there waiting for him. Laz cinches him up and DRILLS him back to the mat with a Uranage Suplex! The crowd lets out a HUGE cheer for the move and Laz signals for the end!
Other Guy: Looks like the champ is trying to end it all here!
Laz brings a very wobbly Kincaid back to his feet! He HOISTS Kincaid up into an Argentine rack position!
Eryk Masters: Looking for the Mercury Driver!
At the LAST second, Kincaid slips out behind Laz, wraps his arms around his waist and LAUNCHES him with a HUGE German suplex!
Other Guy: What a reversal! Kincaid with a big , big move there! Can he capitalize and put the champion down?
Kincaid gets to his feet, and brings Laz up with him. Kincaid hooks his head and arm!
Eryk Masters: Twisted Perception! NO!
Laz manages to scramble, breaking Kincaid’s grip! Laz fires a shot to the challenger’s ribs and staggers away. But KINCAID spins Laz back around, boots him in the gut and DROPS down with a SPIKE DDT! BOTH men are down!
Eryk Masters: Laz avoided that single underhook brainbuster, but Kincaid hit that desperation move and just SPIKED Laz. And now Scott Kamura is counting on BOTH men!
Both men begin to stir. Laz starts to crawl for the ropes while Kincaid rolls to his stomach, trying to push himself to his knees.
Laz begins to pull himself up using the ropes as Kincaid pushes himself to a kneeling position.
NI-Laz and Kincaid BOTH drag themselves to their feet almost simultaneously, breaking the count!
Other Guy: Now THAT is resiliency, E! Both of these guys want that title! Laz wants to keep it and Kincaid is showing just how hungry he is!
Kincaid staggers forward JUST as Laz turns around and Laz looks for a quick dropkick, BUT Kincaid grabs the legs and Laz hits the canvas HARD. Kincaid steps through and wraps the legs!
Eryk Masters: SHARPSHOOTER! What a brilliant move! Kincaid has that hooked in tight! He’s putting pressure on the back here and Laz may have difficulties getting to his feet after this!
Other Guy: It’s almost as if Kincaid is acting on instinct here, E! He went for the technical move! And he’s wrenching on that hold now!
The crowd begins to cheer wildly as Kincaid WRENCHES on the SharpSHOOTer, with Laz screaming out in pain! A few moments pass and Kincaid releases the hold. He IMMEDIATELY drops a knee across the back of the champion before bringing Laz to his feet, HOISTING him up and DRIVING him back down with a VICIOUS backbreaker!
Kincaid staggers back to his feet and brings a dazed and hurting Laz up with him. He hooks the head and leg before WHIPPING Laz up and over with a fisherman’s suplex! Again Kincaid gets to his feet, looking down at Laz with desperation in his eyes as the champion is already pushing himself back to his knees. Kincaid DRAGS Laz to his feet by the hair and SLAMS him into the nearest turnbuckle. Kincaid LIFTS Laz up onto the top turnbuckle facing out towards the crowd. He climbs up behind him, looking out over the wildly cheering crowd!
Eryk Masters: Looking for a back suplex? This could end it all right here!
Kincaid hooks Laz up, BUT LAZ FIRES an elbow into Kincaid’s face. The challenger FIRES of a few forearms to the back of the neck and cinches up again. BUT LAZ CONTINUES to fire elbows back into Kincaid’s face! After one HUGE shot, Kincaid FALLS BACK, BUT HIS LEGS ARE TRAPPED IN A TREE OF WOE!!
Laz maneuvers himself off the top turnbuckle and backs up across the ring. The crowd gets LOUD as he looks around.
Other Guy: Kincaid is in a BAD way right now! And Laz looks like he’s going for something big!
Laz TAKES OFF running towards the entangled Kincaid and LEAPS into the air!
Eryk Masters: REEEEEL TOOOO REEEEEEEL!! Laz connected right on that left knee!
Laz pops back to his feet, still a bit dazed and backs up again. He RUSHES forward and LEVELS Kincaid’s left knee with a NASTY Yakuza kick!
Other Guy: And the Hollywood Kid continues the assault on that knee! But, I tell you what, that was CLOSE!
Laz advances again a RIPS Kincaid’s legs from the tree of woe, dumping him on the canvas! He drags Kincaid to his feet, hooking the far shoulder and leg. Laz LIFTS!
Eryk Masters: THERE’S THE CINEPLEX! He just dumped Kincaid right on the back of his head!
Laz struggles up to his feet and motions for Kamura to count!
Kincaid stirs and rolls to his stomach as Laz shakes his head in disbelief!
Kincaid reaches the topes and PULLS himself upward, gritting his teeth!
NIN-Kincaid gets to his feet, but he’s extremely wobbly!
Eryk Masters: And AGAIN Kincaid is up! But that knee may not hold out much longer!
Laz RUSHES forward and FLOORS Kincaid with a lariat! The crowd is in a near frenzy, anticipating the end! He grips Kincaid by the sides of his head and brings him back up before delivering three consecutive leaping Muy Thai knee strikes! Laz backs away as Kincaid wobbles and Laz SNAPS of a spinning wheel kick that sends Kincaid CRASHING back to the canvas!
Laz drops down, staying on the offensive and begins to HAMMER away with forearms and elbows! He brings Kincaid to a seated position and DROPS a knee right into Kincaid’s spine!
Other Guy: Oh, crap! LOOK AT KINCAID!
Kincaid comes ALIVE! He rolls to his side and STRUGGLES to his feet, shaking with fury. Laz swings with a right hand and misses and Kincaid OPENS UP with a HUGE right hand that rocks the champion. He moves in firing shot after heavy shot into the face of Laz! Kincaid LASHES out with a pair of QUICK kicks before nailing a HUGE spinning wheel kick of his own! He quickly DRAGS Laz back to his feet, pulls him in and PLANTS Laz with a spinebuster!
Eryk Masters: Shades of the match against Tanev two weeks ago, folks! That knee to the spine woke Kincaid up and he is a man possessed! He just PLANTED Laz with that spinebuster!
Laz pushes himself up to his knees and Kincaid has murder in his eyes. He backs up a step and LUNGES forward, snapping off a LETHAL superkick to the champion’s jaw and the crowd ROARS!
Other Guy: The BIG FAT KILL! That’s the move he hit right before the time limit two weeks ago! And Laz looks OUT!
Kincaid stumbles to the corner and motions for Kamura to count!
Laz shakes his head and rolls to his stomach, trying to push himself up to his knees. Kincaid looks SHOCKED!
Laz pushes to his feet, but falls forward into middle rope before he can get up all the way!
LAZ PULLS HIMSELF TO HIS FEET! And Kincaid is IRATE!
Eryk Masters: What a WAR this is! And the champion is back up! Kincaid can’t believe it!
Other Guy: He better believe it, E. Corey Lazarus is the champion for a reason. For all his posturing, Laz is incredibly hard to keep down!
Kincaid moves in as quick as he can on his hobbled left knee. He cinches Laz up and DRILLS him to the canvas with a falcon arrow. Kincaid moves to the corner and poises himself to strike as Laz begins to stir and push himself back to his feet! JUST as Laz reaches his feet, Kincaid RUNS forward and PISTONS Laz with another roaring elbow!
Wasting no time, Kincaid DRAGS Laz to his feet and hooks him up for that single-underhook brainbuster, BUT LAZ FIRES A PAIR OF RIGHT HANDS IN TO KINCAID’S MIDESCTION! Laz staggers back and Corey a low kick to the inside of Kincaid’s thigh and then follows that up with a mid-roundhouse kick to the ribs. He then leaps into the challenger and sandwiches his head with a downward Muay Thai elbow thrust to the top of the head, and a rising Muay Thai knee to the jaw! He steps back and then delivers a BRUTAL chop right to the upper lip of Kincaid!
Eryk Masters: OH! Combo #5 and a FACE CHOP! And Kincaid looks out on his feet!
Laz moves in on a dazed Kincaid, hooks him up and LAUNCHES him with an Exploder Suplex! Laz pulls himself to his feet amidst the fans SCREAMING with cheers! Kincaid isn’t moving and Kamura begins his count!
Kincaid stirs on the canvas and Laz can only shake his head with disbelief as the challenger DRAGS himself to the ropes!
Kincaid reaches up a SNATCHES the top rope!
Kincaid is UP!
Eryk Masters: My GOD! I thought that was it, but Kincaid will NOT stay down! He’s a desperate man, folks. He’s been WAITING for this shot and he is NOT willing to let it go!
Laz, looking incensed, stumbles forward and FIRES an elbow into Kincaid’s face, backing him to the corner. He HOISTS Kincaid onto the top turnbuckle, climbs up, and hooks the head!
Other Guy: SUPERPLEX! NO!! NO! Kincaid is fighting it!
Kincaid is FIRING shot after shot into Corey’s midsection, finally doubling him over. Kincaid steps up onto the top and DIVES forward, grabbing Laz and SLAMMING him into the canvas with a sunset flip powerbomb! The crowd EXPLODES with a chant!
HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT!
Kincaid drags himself up again, using the ropes for support and nods to Kamura, a hopeful look in his eyes!
The champion rolls towards the ropes slowly.
He reaches up, grabbing the middle rope and getting a knee under him. Kincaid is shaking his head wildly!
Laz reaches up to the top rope!
And pulls himself back to his feet!
The crowd lets out a HUGE cheer, but Kincaid is INCENSED! He IMMEDIATELY rushes forward, FIRING a heavy shot to Corey’s jaw. He DRAGS him off the ropes, boots him in the gut, and sets him up!!
Other Guy: GOTCH DRIVER! HE NAILED IT! HE GOT HIM!
Kincaid CRAWLS to the corner and DRAGS himself back up, breathing heavily. His eyes wide, he nods to Laz and Kamura begins his count again!
Laz begins to stir, slowly rolling to his stomach and he starts to scratch and claw towards the ropes! Kincaid slowly begins to shake his head in disbelief!
Laz makes it to the ropes, reaching out and grabbing hold of the middle rope.
The champion reaches up and grabs the top rope, getting a knee under him. Kincaid’s eyes are so wide, it looks like he’s seen a ghost!
Laz gets another knee under him, gritting his teeth is pure determination!
TE-LAZ YANKS HIMSELF TO HIS FEET AT THE LAST POSSIBLE SECOND!-N
Eryk Masters: Did he get him? We have a new champion?!
Other Guy: No, No, No! Laz made it up! Kamura is signalling that Laz is STILL in this! And LOOK at Kincaid!
Kincaid is in SHOCK, his hands grasping the sides of his head and his eyes on the verge of tears with disbelief and what could be fear. The look is replaced by anger as Corey sags against the top rope. Kincaid drops to the mat and rolls out of the ring.
Eryk Masters: What’s he doing? I don’t like the looks of this, OG!
Kincaid demands Mark Kendrick get out of the way and SNATCHES the steel chair he was sitting on. The crowd CHEERS, sensing more brutality in their near future. Kincaid slides back into the ring behind a still-dazed Corey Lazarus!
Other Guy: He’s a desperate man, E! He hasn’t been able to keep the champion down, so now he’s gonna use every means available to him! And it’s legal!
Kincaid, eyes wide with anger and desperation, slams the chair onto the canvas before raising the chair, poised to crack the champion. Laz staggers away from the ropes and turns to face Kincaid! Kincaid SWINGS the chair!
BUT LAZ DUCKS IT! Laz turns. He LEAPS!
Eryk Masters: END CREDITS! LAZ HIT THAT JUMPING ENZIGURI!
Other Guy: But did he get all of it!? He connected with the chair and Kincaid’s arms might’ve been up! In any event, Kincaid is DOWN and he is NOT moving!
Laz stumbles and staggers back to his feet, wobbling his way to the ropes, he holds himself up using the top rope as Kamura begins ANOTHER count!
Kincaid begins to slowly roll to his stomach, and DRAGS himself forward! Laz slowly raises his head, HIS eyes going wide now as he sees Kincaid moving!
Kincaid grabs the chair that fell from his grasp on the way down.
Kincaid turns the chair vertical, jamming it into the canvas and gets a knee under him, using the chair for leverage. Laz staggers away from the ropes, coiling himself for another strike!
Kincaid gets his other knee under him, WINCING in pain!
Kincaid gets one foot under him!
KINCAID SURGES TO A STANDING POSITION!
Eryk Masters: NO! KINCAID IS UP! HE BEAT THE COUNT! HE IS STILL IN THIS!
Kincaid stumbles forward and then, in a daze, turns around. And Laz LEAPS UP AGAIN!
BUT KINCAID DUCKS THE SECOND END CREDITS ATTEMPT! Laz staggers quickly to his feet and turns!
The crowd GASPS as Kincaid CRACKS Corey with the chair right in the face! But Laz doesn’t go down!
Kincaid SMASHES Laz over the head with ANOTHER hellacious chair shot and THIS time Laz crumples to the mat! Kincaid unfolds the chair, setting it up! He grabs Laz by the hair, bringing him up to his feet. He hooks the head and grabs a single underhook and LIFTS!
Other Guy: TWISTED PERCEPTION! He just CRUSHED Laz with that single-underhook brainbuster THROUGH that steel chair!
Kincaid scratches and claws his way to the ropes, pulling himself to his feet. He slowly points to Laz and Kamura starts his count!
Laz SLOWLY begins to stir, rolling onto his stomach. Kincaid SAGS against the ropes, dropping his head and shaking it slowly, as if PLEADING for Laz to stay down!
Laz CRAWLS forward to the ropes! He reaches up and grabs the middle rope!
Laz reaches up and grabs the top rope! He YANKS and pulls himself up!
BUT COLLAPSES BACK TO THE MAT!
The crowd EXPLODES with cheers as Scott Kamura calls for the bell! Kincaid collapses to his knees, tears in his eyes!
Eryk Masters: HE DID IT! KINCAID HAS DONE IT! AFTER OVER A YEAR OF WAITING, KINCAID HAS CASHED IN ON HIS SHOT!
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen, here is your winner, and NEEEEEWWW SHOOT Project IRON FIST CHAMPIOOOON… KIIIIIIINNNCAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIDDDD!!!!
“Diamond Eyes” begins to play as the crowd lets out a raucous cheer and Scott Kamura raises Kincaid’s arm in victory. He hands the Iron Fist Championship to Kincaid, who cradles it in his arms!
Other Guy: What an incredible match! Both of these men put EVERYTHING on the line here tonight! And Kincaid has done what he set out to do back in March of last year! Kincaid is the NEW Iron Fist Champion!
Eryk Masters: Indeed he has. And the former champion put up one HELL of a fight! Congratulations to Kincaid!
Kincaid staggers to his feet, raising the Iron Fist Championship high in the air, a look of peace and accomplishment crossing his face as the music continues to play!
Eryk Masters: I know this one was wild, folks, but we’re STILL not done yet! Don’t go anywhere because we’ve still got the Main Event to come for the World Heavyweight Championship between Maya Nakashima and Zex! Stay tuned!
“The Artist” Zex stands alone in the backstage area clad in his wrestling attire, of Mock-Skinny-Fit jeans; complete with sewn on patches and embalms and studded leather belt. Music blares from the large set of headphones atop his head as he mouths along to the lyrics.
He takes a deep breath and runs his hand across the wedding ring on his finger, playing with it a little while closing his eyes, his thoughts racing to the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship match.
Zex opens his eyes to find that his wife Rain is standing coyly in front of him, with one leg tucked behind the other and her hands held together behind her back. “The Artist” slowly pulls his headphones down, but is cut off by Rain before he can speak.
She smiles widely; her bright blue eyes almost sparkle in the bright backstage lights.
Zex: But, you hate watching me wrestle.
Rain: I don’t hate it, I worry too much. But, this match is a big deal to you…I can’t miss it, not when it means so much to you.
Zex: I don’t know what to say.
He slips the wedding ring off of his finger, exposing a single raindrop tattooed underneath, he places the ring into her hand and pauses for a moment.
Rain: You don’t need to say anything. I’ll see you out there; break a leg.
“The Artist” pulls his wife close, they kiss momentarily before he holds her in his arms and looks out towards the stage entrance, his nerves being replaced by confidence in his own ability…
Eryk Masters: Well, folks, our main event is coming up, but first, we promised you a big announcement from the SHOOT Project!
Other Guy: Yes, we did. And that announcement, I'm being told, is about to be made!
The Epitron flares to life, causing the jam-packed crowd to turn to it. They let out a cheer as on the screen is none other than the CEO of the SHOOT Project, Jason Johnson.
Jason Johnson: So, everyone's been wanting to know exactly what this big announcement is gonna be. Well, I think we've kept you waiting long enough. For years, the SHOOT Project has brought the fans the absolute very best in professional wrestling competition. And, to this very day, that's something we pride ourselves on. In 2014, we're gonna take it to the next level. Right after this announcement, we're going to have a World Heavyweight Championship match. The winner of that match is gonna have the honor of being the man to be in the SHOOT Project.
The crowd lets out a cheer for the two Soldiers set to face off in the main event. Jason smiles before continuing.
Jason Johnson: We all know who the true number one contender is. And we all know exactly how Loco Martinez earned that spot. Well, he's going to get his shot. And after him? Well, we're gonna need to determine a new number one contender, aren't we?
The fans begin to cheer in anticipation. Jason smiles again.
Jason Johnson: Wait for it, wait for it.
Many members of the live crowd laugh, but continue to cheer anyway.
Jason Johnson: So, I think it's time we eased all the tension and suspense. Ladies and gentlemen of the SHOOT Nation, the SHOOT Project is proud to present...
The crowd ERUPTS with cheers as the graphic takes over the Epitron!
Eryk Masters: Oh my! Master of the Mat is BACK!
As the crowd settles down a bit, Jason comes back on the screen.
Jason Johnson: Now, that's A big announcement, but it's not ALL of it. For the first time ever, the SHOOT Project is going to make this year's tournament OPEN SIGN UP! That's right, ANYONE can sign up to enter. And, this doesn't end with ONLY SHOOT Project Soldiers!
Other Guy: What?
Jason Johnson: That's right, guys. Free Agents, members of other promotions, you name it. If a wrestler wants to try and earn a shot at the World Heavyweight Champion? All they have to do is sign up. BUT, there's just one little catch. The MAX amount of participants in this year's tournament is going to be 32. So, you know, first come, first serve. Ladies and gents, you have until the day after Revolution 124, that's June 10, 2014, to sign up. Good luck.
The crowd cheers loudly as the Epitron cuts out, going back to the Revolution logo.
Eryk Masters: WOW! This is huge! And it's a great opportunity for everyone! I can't WAIT to see who signs up!
We cut back to the ringside area where the fans are starting to heat up again. The buzzing of the crowd begins to grow as they know the main event is moments away.
Eryk Masters: It’s been a wild ride here tonight at Revolution 123: “Generations,” folks. We’ve crowned TWO new champions in Kale Tanev and Kincaid. And Dan Stein has managed to hold on to the Sin City Championship. And, BOY did we get a major announcement! Master of the Mat is returning and THIS year, it’s open sign up. And not just for SHOOT Project Soldiers. It’s been a night to remember. And, we’re not done yet!
Other Guy: No, we’re not! Because, SHOOT Faithful, up next is the Main Event! And, I don’t know about you, but I have been looking forward to this match maybe more than any other!
Samantha Coil steps into the ring, microphone in hand and the crowd grows a bit louder before subsiding as if saving their collective energy for the two men about to make their entrances.
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is the Main Event of the Evening! It is scheduled for ONE fall and it is for the SHOOT Project WORLD. HEAVYWEIGHT. CHAMPIONSHIP! Introducing first…
The melodic tones of “Wait” by DIIV start up and “The Artist” Zex makes his debut appearance in the SHOOT Project! A lot of fans seem to be behind him already, as the big cheer rises up from the crowd! Zex pauses for a moment, throwing his arms in the air, bobbing his head to the tune of the music.
Samantha Coil: He hails from Toronto, Ontario, Canada and weighs in at two hundred and twenty pounds! Here is the challenger, “The Artist” ZZZEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEXXXXX!!!
He drops his arms and begins to run down to the ring, taking some time to slap hands with some of the fans at ringside. He gets near the ring, stopping only to hug a woman sitting close to the ring steps behind the barricade.
Other Guy: And there’s the young challenger’s wife, Rain. This is a HUGE match for him and it’s only right she be here.
Eryk Masters: Absolutely, OG. We’re about to see an instant classic here tonight!
Zex leaps onto the apron, and then swiftly springboards into a flip, sticking the landing in the center of the ring, garnering another reaction from the fans in attendance.
Samantha Coil: And, his opponent...
The lights die down again and then the fans begin to cheer wildly as the start of HORIZON by D'espairs Ray fills the arena. Spotlights search through the seats as the fans rise up from their seats in boisterous anticipation.
The words “CAN YOU FEEL THE NEW WORLD?” scribble across the SHOOT-Tron in elaborate silver script for a moment. The searchlights converge on the ramp, on Maya with his head bowed downward. The script on the SHOOT-Tron fades slowly into light particles, the moment Maya lifts his head, along with the SHOOT Project World Title, as the word “HOPE” etches its way across the video screen, and the spotlights SHOOT out in all direction as the lights in the Epicenter surge on to their most brilliant and brightest.
Other Guy: LISTEN to this crowd! As always, they’re going absolutely CRAZY for the champion!
Samantha Coil: From Nagasaki, Japan and weighing in at one hundred and twenty pounds. He is the current REIGNING and DEFENDING SHOOT Project WORLD. HEAVYWEIGHT. CHAMPION! Here is MMMAAAAAYYYYAAAAAAA NAAAAAAAAAKAAAAAAASHHHIIIIIIIIIIIMMMAAAAAAA!!!
Maya walks down the entrance ramp into the aisle, touching hands with EVERY possible hand on his way to the ring.
Eryk Masters: This is going to be a great contest. The champion had a great night two weeks ago and now he’s defending the title!
Maya climbs into the ring and raises his arms in the air as the LOUD crowd continues to cheer. The music fades out and Maya removes the World Championship, handing it to Tony Lorenzo. Lorenzo holds the title high in the air for all to see before handing the title off to Mark Kendrick.
Other Guy: And here we go, folks!
Lorenzo checks with both men and calls for the bell!
Maya and Zex step out towards one another and stand inches apart for a few moments as the crowd continues to build. Zex extends a hand and Maya smiles before taking it as the opponents shake hands.
Eryk Masters: And there’s the classic show a sportsmanship.
The two men step back and begin to circle. They step in and tie up, but Maya quickly steps in and drops Zex down with a quick drop toehold. He transitions quickly to a side headlock and cranks down on it. Zex gets his knees underneath him and gets to his feet. He uses his weight to push Maya back into the ropes and FIRES him off across the ring. Maya hits the far ropes and comes off with blinding speed. He LEAPS up and WHIPS Zex over with a lightning fast hurrancanrana!
Eryk Masters: What a beginning to this one! We knew it was going to be fast and furious and right out of the gate, that’s what we’re getting!
Zex scrambles to his feet and turns right into a waiting Maya, who delivers a quick series of knife-edged chops to the challenger’s chest. Zex staggers backwards, his hands quickly covering his chest. Zex continues to back up until he hits the ropes. Maya moves in quickly and Irish whips Zex across the ring. THIS time, Zex comes off the ropes with amazing speed of his own and BLASTS Maya with a spinning heel kick!
Other Guy: And THIS time it’s Zex with the surprise move! These guys aren’t messing around, E! They’re prepared to lay it all out there for the World Title!
Maya rolls away from Zex and pops to his feet. He turns prepared for an assault, but Zex doesn’t advance and the crowd cheers the stand off! Zex and Maya give each other a polite nod, but their eyes are tense. Another second passes and the two begin to move in on one another. Maya begins to send SNAPPING kicks to the legs of the bigger Zex. The challenger winces with pain from each shot, but steps in and delivers a knee to Maya’s gut. He quickly snatches the champion’s head, HOISTS him up and drops him down with a suplex! Zex pops to his feet and drops an elbow across Maya’s back.
Other Guy: And now Zex in control here. But never count out Maya Nakashima.
Eryk Masters: We’re just getting started in this one and the challenger has a long way to go before he can put Maya away.
Zex brings Maya to his feet and fires a forearm to his chest. He FIRES Maya into the turnbuckles. The champion hits the corner HARD and Zex is hot on his heels. The Artists COLLIDES with Maya in the corner with a big clothesline! Maya staggers out of the corner and Zex rushes behind him to the corner, scales the turnbuckles and WALKS the top rope like a tightrope before LEAPING off and onto Maya with a moonsault! The crowd lets out a WILD cheer at the amazing display of athleticism!
Eryk Masters: WOW! I don’t know if I’ve EVER seen that before!
Zex makes the cover!
Maya kicks out! Zex stays on the offensive, bringing the champion back to his feet. He CHOPS Maya across the chest before booting him in the stomach and DROPS him down with a snap DDT! Zex covers again!
Maya shoulders out again! And again Zex brings Maya back to his feet. Zex Irish whips Maya to the ropes again. The champion comes off the ropes and ducks a wild clothesline. He hits the opposite side and Zex turns to face him. Maya comes off with even MORE speed, ducking another clothesline and hits the opposite ropes. HE LEAPS up ontp Zex’s shoulders!
Other Guy: FOR JAPAN! WOW! That came from freaking NOWHERE!
Maya quickly crawls over and covers Zex!
Zex shoulders out! The crowd cheers WILDLY!
Eryk Masters: ALL the stops are out in this one!
Maya brings himself to his feet he hits the ropes as Zex sits up and SMASHES into his face with a front dropkick! The champion drops down, crossing Zex’s arm around his throat like a straightjacket and rolls him over and CRANKS back with an Aoki Hitari!
Other Guy: And the champ’s got that hold cinched in! Let’s not forget Maya’s a former Rule of Surrender Champion!
Tony Lorenzo is RIGHT there asking Zex if he wants to give it up, but Zex shakes his head in the negative as best he can. The pain is etched on his face as Maya cranks back!
The challenger begins to use his feet to drag himself backwards towards the ropes. Maya tries to use his weight to halt the movement, but Zex is the bigger man by about a hundred pounds and he is able to drag himself to the ropes, hooking the bottom rope with his feet. Lorenzo immediately tells Maya to release the hold and the champion complies almost immediately.
Eryk Masters: The fighting spirit of the challenger is really shining through here. It takes a lot of willpower to drag yourself to the ropes like that!
Maya poises himself as Zex pulls himself up using the ropes. As soon as the challenger is on his feet, Maya RUSHES forward, but Zex ducks down and sends the champion up and over to the outside! Maya hits the floor HARD! Zex hits the far ropes, coming off with amazing speed and LEAPS up and over the top with a suicide plancha!
BUT MAYA MOVES! Zex crashes and burns on the outside and the crowd “OHHH’s” Maya gains his bearings and climbs up onto the apron. He glances back at Zex and SPRINGBOARDS off the top rope and turns in mid air, coming down HARD on Zex with a splash to the delight of the crowd! Maya gets to his feet and DRAGS Zex up to his feet. He FIRES a few chops to the chest before rolling Zex back into the ring. Maya climbs back onto the ring apron and as Zex staggers back to his feet, Maya LEAPS up, springboarding again, coming off with a crossbody. BUT ZEX catches him and WHIPS him over with a powerslam! Zex covers immediately!
Maya gets the shoulder up!
Eryk Masters: See-saw action, back and forth! Zex is usually the high flying type, but he’s got Maya by a hundred pounds. HE’S the powerhouse in this one!
Zex backs himself into the corner and waits as Maya begins to push himself up to his hands and knees. Zex CHARGES in and plants his boot RIGHT into the Maya’s rear end! The crowd CHEERS!
Other Guy: OH MY! ANAL ZEX! MAYA GOT ANAL!
Eryk Masters: YES HE DI-wait. What? Did you just make a gay joke? Really?
Maya winces in pain and Zex brings hims back to his feet. Zex LIFTS the champion and DROPS him down with a backbreaker! He hits the ropes and SPLASHES down across Maya’s chest with a senton splash! Zex covers!
Zex shakes his head in a bit of frustration, but doesn’t argue the count. He brings the champion back to his feet and fires a forearm into Maya’s jaw. He Irish whips Maya into the ropes and on the rebound he CATCHES Maya in a tilt-a-whirl, BUT Maya hangs on and locks in Cristo!
Eryk Masters: Another submission attempt! That one’s a favorite of his!
Zex shouts in pain as Maya cranks on the hold. Tony Lorenzo is in perfect position to check on the challenger, but Zex is already shaking his head in the negative.
Other Guy: I don’t know if Maya’s gonna get a submission here, E. Zex seems like the type to be too stubborn to quit. ESPECIALLY in a match of this magnitude.
Maya, seeming to realize this fact, releases the hold. Zex drops down to a seated position as Maya releases the hold. The champion quickly moves to his front and swings a buzzsaw style kick, but Zex ducks it, BUT MAYA quick hits a back kick to the jaw! Maya turns quickly and SNAPS off a buzzsaw kick to the side of Zex’s head! Zex drops straight to the canvas in a heap. Maya drops down for the cover!
Eryk Masters: That NASTY combination of kicks is called Kaishaku and it might have just won this one for the champ!
Zex JUST gets his shoulder up!
Eryk Masters: And the challenger is STILL in it!
Maya pops back to his feet and brings Zex up with him. He backs away and CHARGES forward posting onto Zex’s shoulders in a handstand, BUT ZEX REACHES UP AND HOOKS MAYA’S HEAD AND DROPS DOWN WITH A BRAINBUSTER!
Other Guy: I have NEVER seen Ode to Shinya counter like that!
Zex takes a moment to regain his bearings and gets to his feet. He brings Maya to his feet and scoops him up, slamming him down with scoops slam. The challenger steps through the ropes and scales the top turnbuckle. He LEAPS from the top and comes CRASHING down with a legdrop from the top rope! Zex covers!
The champion kicks out! Zex brings Maya to his feet and sends him back into the corner, chest-first this time. He HOISTS Maya up onto the top rope and climbs up after him. He hooks Maya up for a back suplex, but Maya FIRES a pair of elbows into the bridge of Zex’s nose, causing the champion to release the suplex. The champion fires another pair of elbows and then a third BIG one sends the challenger from the turnbuckles into the canvas below!
Eryk Masters: THAT was close! But Maya showed GREAT ring awareness there!
Maya stands up fully on the top rope, his back to the ring. Maya puts his hands together as if in prayer. The crowd begins to get EXTREMELY loud in anticipation. And then Maya LEAPS from the top rope in a backflip, but rotates TWICE before CRASHING down onto Zex!
Other Guy: HOLY HELL! A… a… a DOUBLE rotation moonsault!?
Eryk Masters: I have NEVER seen that before! I don’t even… I have no idea what he calls that, but it did a number on BOTH of these men!
Maya rolls around on the canvas in agony, but crawls forward and cover Zex! Lorenzo is there!
Lorenzo calls for the bell and the crowd CHEERS!
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen, here is your winner and STILL the World Heavyweight Champion, MAAAYAAAAAAAAA NAAAAAKAAAAAASHHHIIIIIIIIIMMMMAAAAAA!!!!
Horizon begins to play again and Tony Lorenzo raises a pained Maya's arm in the air, handing him the World Heavyweight Championship. Zex rolls on the canvas in pain as Maya staggers to his feet holding the title high in the air as the crowd CHEERS!
Eryk Masters: What a GREAT match! Take absolutely NOTHING away from Zex here, but Maya Nakashima is STILL the World Heavyweigh-WHAT THE HELL?!
Maya is CLOBBERED from behind from out of nowhere! The music cuts off abruptly and the fans begin to HURL down boos as Jerry Matthews stands over Maya sneering down. He begins to STOMP away at the World Heavyweight Champion, relentlessly planting his boot on every single PART of Maya he can. He reaches down and SNATCHES Maya by the hair, bringing him to his feet. Matthews FIRES a BIG right hand into Maya's jaw, rocking him back.
Other Guy: What the hell is Matthews doing out here!? He has absolutely NO business with either of these men!
Matthews considers his onslaught, booting Maya in the gut, placing him in a standing headscissors, HOISTING him up and DRIVING him into the canvas with a sitout powerbomb! But he's not done there! The crowd boos even LOUDER as Matthews DRAGS Maya back to his feet.
But ZEX IS BACK UP AND LAUNCHES himself at Matthews. The good reverend is rocked backwards as Zex swings wildly trying to defend Maya.
Eryk Masters: And Zex is doing the right thing! Look at him go!
The crowd cheers loudly as Zex continues to lay into the intruder. But then, the begin to boo again as a man climbs over the ringisde barrier and slides into the ring behind Zex.
Other Guy: Is that? I think that's Gabriel Knight! He's been following Zex everywhere! It's as if he's obsessed with hurting this man!
At ringside, Zex's wife, Rain's, eyes go wide with worry and fear. Knight CLOBBERS Zex from behind, throwing him off balance and Matthews MOWS DOWN Zex with a lariat! Knight and Matthews GLARE at one another for a long moment before IMMEDIATELY putting the boots to both Zex AND Maya! Knight brings Zex to his feet, hooks his head and arm and LIFTS Zex into the air with a vertical suplex before dropping back into a cutter! He then brings Maya to his feet and holds his arms behind his back. Matthews reaches into his jeans pocket and brings out a glass flask of holy water.
Eryk Masters: Oh, this is SICK!
Matthews sprinkles the water at Maya's face and mutters something inaudible. He then CRACKS the glass flask over Maya's head! Maya SLUMPS to the canvas, rolling around in sheer agony. Blood begins to pour down his head and the crowd is nearly riotous, SCREAMING for their heroes.
Other Guy: For God's sake, can we get some HELP out here?!
As if in response, a sillouhette appears on the entrance stage. The crowd begins to buzz loudly. They look to the stage full of HOPE that the calvary has arrived.
But that HOPE soon dies. The calvary is not coming. Instead...
The faces in the crowd says it all. Jaws drop. Eyes water. And then Jacob Mephisto steps into the light of the Epitron. He wears a pair of faded blue jeans, a black t-shirt with the word deSPair splashed across the chest in silver text, and a sick smile on his face. His pale gray eyes seem to glitter with delight as he begins to saunter down towards the ring.
Eryk Masters: Oh NO! Oh God NO! Not him. Not now!
Other Guy: This is NOT good.
Mephisto rolls into the ring and quickly embraces Gabriel Knight. He turns and comes face to face with Matthews. The two sneer at one another for a few seconds before shaking hands. The music fades and Mephisto grabs a microphone.
The crowd rains down boos, but Mephisto only smiles.
Jacob Mephisto: Honey, I'm home.
Jacob Mephisto: I'm not here for you people. I'm here for him.
Mephisto points at Maya, who is now being placed in a sitting position by Knight and Matthews. Mephisto kneels down almost gently in front of the World Heavyweight Champion.
Jacob Mephisto: Hi champ. Did you think I was gone? You see, I watched as the SHOOT Project announced its grand return. Two weeks ago, I watched the resurrection. And, you had this sickeningly perfect moment.
Mephisto smirks, the gesture never reaching those pale gray eyes.
Jacob Mephisto: Now, it's my turn. This is my resurrection. I've gotten my perfect moment. And I had to remind you... I own you. I decide your fate. And tonight, I decided you needed a lesson. So I gave you one. And I did it all while STILL keeping my word. I haven't laid a finger on you... yet.
With that, Mephisto steps back to the far ropes and RUSHES forward, bringing his boot up for Godless!
Eryk Masters: NO!
BUT Mephisto stops his boot JUST short of connecting with Maya's face. He smiles as he slowly places his boot back onto the canvas and kneels back down. The crowd boos LOUDLY, but a definite air of relief washes over them.
Jacob Mephisto: No. You don't get off that easy. But, all the same, I DO need to let off some steam.
Mephisto climbs to his feet and nods at Knight. Matthews slaps Maya a few times, rousing him. Knight moves over to Zex and brings him to a sitting position. Mephisto backs up, looks out directly as Rain, who is crying and SCREAMING at Zex to get up. He smirks and blows her a little kiss. And then he RUSHES forward and OBLITERATES Zex with Godless!
Other Guy: That son of a bitch!
Mephisto grabs the microphone again.
Jacob Mephisto: Let this be a lesson to you all. HOPE is fucking dead. Now comes the age of despair.
He drops the microphone and Matthews releases Maya, who immediately crawls over to Zex, covering him. Mephisto laughs and takes Matthews' and Knight's wrists before raising all of their arms into the air. "Time is on My Side" by The Rolling Stones begins to play again.
HOPE has been dealt a blow tonight. Despair has come to SHOOT.