THAT'S RICH...COMING FROM YOU!
Last week at The Rich Family residence in Dallas, Texas.
Freddie Rich, looking much more casual than usual, sporting a plain white t-shirt and blue jeans is stood in the middle while he is surrounded by his fellow stablemates: Todd, blue jeans, and a green shirt, to the left of the sofa, Declan in the middle with a yellow hoodie and beige cargo pants, and Donny, who’s in his red tartan pajamas and hefty Yorkshire Pudding slippers that he purchased following Domination 3.
“Guys, Alex Reyn was here last week. Before,” Freddie holds his left hand up, waving away voices of dissent from Donny and Declan, while Todd remains silent and composed.
“Before you interrupt, listen. This stays in here, and by here, we’re not telling the girls or even our dads, right? I didn’t want to freak anyone out.”
“Speaking of freak…what did HE want?”
Freddie looks frustrated, hands on hips, at Donny’s interruption.
“He told me that he wants a match to close what we started in SCW, but he won’t stand in our way of challenging The Master Sisters,” Freddie starts, only for Donny to interject, “Which we lost.”
“YOU lost? When do you ever lose, or win, for that matter?”
“It explains why you were distracted, BIG BRO,” Donny remarks jokingly, but Freddie isn’t in the mood to debate him.
“We’ll get another match, one way or another. Yes, I was distracted, and I apologize…DONNY, SHUT UP. He says he won’t interfere for now, but for every month that passes, he’ll…”
Declan is sat on the edge of his seat, “Or what, Freddie? Spit it out,” the middle brother states matter-of-factly.
“He’ll attack one member of our family,” comes the frank admission from Freddie.
Cue bedlam, with Declan and Donny standing up, followed up by Todd, who still hasn’t uttered a word while the younger members are up in arms and speaking so quickly and loudly that Freddie can’t make anything out.
“Freddie, why don’t we just face him,” reasons Todd.
“I have thought about that, Todd. And we will,” Freddie whispers.
“Better us than them,” Donnie chips in.
“DON’T YOU THINK I KNOW THAT?”
Freddie walks out of the room, leaving Donny to shrug his shoulders at Todd and Declan, who stay silent, contemplating the news that Freddie has just broken to them.
MUM'S THE WORD
An hour ago.
I’ll be right back mom,” Amber says as she leaves her dressing room.
She walks down the hall to a pop machine and got two bottles of Pepsi and headed back towards her dressing room.
“Amber! Man, I needed somefing nice to ‘appen, and well, this is it. You okay?”
Amber’s head snapped up as she saw Alfie Button approaching her from the other end of the hall. She breaks out into a big smile as they stopp in front of her open dressing room door.
“Listen Amber, sweet’eart, before your mother gets ‘ere, I just wanted to talk to ya abaht last week.”
“What about it?” Amber asks innocently as her cheeks blush.
“So, is this the young man that kissed my daughter?”
“Mom!” Amber exclaims as they were both startled.
Seldom do you see Alfred Button turn red, but he does in this instance.“Mrs. Lee! I can explain honestly…”
Amber’s mom looks at the two of them and starts to laugh.
“Oh don’t look so scared Alfie! And please call me Ava!”
Alfie gives a small bow to Ava and reaches for her hand to kiss it. Ava allows it and he raises her hand to his lips. A proper English gentleman, indeed.
“A pleasure to be meeting you Ava, I can certainly see where Amber gets ‘er beautiful looks from, if ya don’t mind me sayin so.”
“Oh Amber! I think this one is a keeper. I really like him!” Ava exclaims as she looks up at her daughter.
Amber hands the second bottle of Pepsi to her mom who immediately looks at Alfie and flashed him a smile that reminded him of Amber’s smile.
“Could you open it for me. Alfie, please?” Ava asks and Amber rolls her eyes and smiles.
“My pleasure, Miss Ava,” Alfie says as he cracks open the bottle for her and hands it back.
“You are too kind, Alfie,” Ava replies as she took a sip and sighed. “Nothing like an ice-cold Pepsi,” She adds.
“I prefer it to Coke…and Coca-Cola, too. Sorry, I should never ‘ave said that. I’m a little bit nervous. Well Miss Ava, Amber and I were thinking that the three of us could go out for dinner after the show if you were feeling up to it.”
I would love to Alfie,” Ava cheerfully responds.
The cheeky Cockney claps his hands and then rubs them together. “Excellent, I know of a really nice place not too far from the arena that we can go to.”
“Absolutely wonderful,” Ava says with a big smile.
“Well mom, security is going to start letting people in soon. We should get you out to your seat at ringside,” Amber said as she fussed with the lap blanket her mother had draped over her waist and legs. “Are you warm enough, mom?”
Her mother nods. “Yes, Amber dear, I feel fine.”
“I’ll take Miss Ava out to her seat for you Amber, you still need to get ready for your match,” Alfie offers.
“You don’t mind Alfie?” Amber asked.
“Not at all Amber,” He replies as he smiles at Amber and then down to Ava.
“Okay mom, I will see you out there for my match. Wish me luck, mom,” Amber replied as she leans over and both women hug each other tightly.
“You don’t need luck my dear, I have complete faith in you tonight,” Ava said as she kisses her daughter’s cheek.
Amber waves goodbye to her mom and Alfie and closed her dressing room door, so she could change and finish enjoying her Pepsi.
“So Miss Ava, tell me abaht Amber?” Alfie asked as he wheels her through the arena.
“Are you trying to curry favor with my daughter?” She asks as she looks over her shoulder at him.
“And if I were by any chance?” Alfie asks with a wink.
“Well her favorite colors are pink, purple and blue. Her favorite flowers are roses and she loves to read just about anything she can get her hands on, she’s been that way since she was a little girl,” Ava replies with a smile.
Alfie taps the side of his nose with his left index finger. “Mum’s the word, innit?”
Thereafter, Alfie wheels Ava down the steel ramp and Ava is in awe of how huge the arena looked with nobody in it.
“Wait until you see it full of people Ava!” Alfie says as he sat her in her assigned seat space. “If there’s anything you need Ava, don’t ‘esitate to grab someone from security, alright?”
“Thank you so much Alfie for making this an enjoyable night for me,” Ava replies as Alfie leans over and she hugs him.
“See you later Miss Ava!” Alfie replies as he hugs her back and then headed back up the ramp and disappeared behind the curtain.
HIT THAT ALERT BUTTON!
A pixelated low quality image is seen of a hooded figure approaching a white door attached to what seems to be a very expensive house. From the date and time stamp in the corner of the image, it soon becomes apparent we are looking at footage from a security camera. The feed cuts to one of the doorbell cameras where we can see more clearly the man approaching. About 5 foot 6, he looks young, mid-twenties, with a well groomed beard, short hair and an expression that clearly conveys his disinterest in being at the house. He tentatively presses the doorbell and takes a large leap back, cautiously looking around as if for hidden intruders. What he fails to notice however is another figure, dressed all in black and wearing a balaclava, emerge from a bush close by brandishing a handgun.
“Get your damn hands up!” Screams the weapon-wielding maniac: “No dumbass moves you hear? You this guys friend or something? You’re gunna die!”
“No! No!” Comes the frantic reply: “I can’t stand the guy! Please I don’t have anything on me!”
An obnoxious snigger can start to be heard from behind the balaclava as the man pulls it back revealing one Ezra Johnson aka E Z Rah. He can’t hold back his laughter as he continues to wave the gun in his visitor’s face.
“Ezra! For Fucks sake! That isn’t funny!”
E Z’s laughter fades into a smug look as he approaches: “Nah man that’s hella funny, the house dash cams caught it all, you gunna go viral Chudders! Oh, but you know I aint Ezra no more. Deadnaming people and shit is disrespectful so I don’t wanna hear it no more yeh?”
The man, possibly called ‘Chudders’, smiles nervously and nods.
As Ezra places his arm round his guest, he starts to lead him to the back garden as he continues the conversation: “And why you gotta be joking about not standing me and junk, I know you love me man.”
“Hey E Z? Is that gun real?”
“Don’t worry about it man, you gotta loosen up, you’re so uptight.” The two walk out of the camera’s vision.
The next time we see E Z, it’s a close-up of his face as we move to the handheld camera on his phone. His eyes are half closed and he’s smiling his usual obnoxious grin.
“Hey yo wassup it’s the big E Z here just chillin at my mansion!” He moves the camera around and shows off a large house, lavish garden and extravagant looking pool. There is no-one around the pool but two extremely attractive looking women in bikinis on some sun loungers near the back door to the house, the camera moves closer to them.
“My girl Mai is here looking fly as hell, bringing another honey over to see just how big E Z is.” He laughs again and leans to kiss one of the girls, presumably Mai, she moves so he only gets her cheek and winces as he does, then smiles politely at him after.
“And you all know who this fool is, he’s the dude in charge of all my bangin’ content, the man himself it’s Ch-ch-ch-Chudley!”
The camera moves to the man we saw earlier, he gives a little sheepish wave to the camera.
“They round here today to see the results of the poll we dropped last week. Now some fools started adding their own responses thinkin they jokers or something but hey, E Z is always up for some jokes y’all. Hey Chudley, let’s see them results.”
Chudley pulls out his phone and starts scrolling through.
“Okay, so we asked people what we should fill your pool with, in last place is Jelly, then champagne, next is sharks, tears and then in third place we have fire, in second place is vinegar and then the winner by overwhelming majority is acid.”
E Z chuckles and nods his head as he responds: “Man everyone a prankster on the web eh? Look not everyone got what it takes to be funny, Jerry David certainty didn’t, fool got straight up ratioed out of existence. Maybe y’all should stick to your little message boards. But E Z always gives his fans what they want eh? I aint getting in no acid pool, but we managed to find the next best thing! Hey Chudders tell these homies what’s all up in my pool”
Chudley carefully steps closer to the pool, his face winces and contorts as he gets closer. He replies cautiously: “So yeah you filled up half your pool with vinegar.”
E Z laughs and gets closer: “Ah man this stuff is foul yo. Hey girls you wanna jump in this?”
He moves the camera round to the two girls who casually flip him off.
“Nah they aint down” He moves closer to Chudley, “Ey Chudders how bout you?”
Chudley takes a step back from the pool.
“No E Z I aint jumping in the vinegar pool.”
The obnoxious laugh of E Z starts ringing out over the video: “You ain’t? Oh you got some other fool paying your rent this month?”
Chudley opens his mouth to say something but thinks better of it, instead he takes a step closer to the pool.
“Yeah thas what I thought, C’mon man you love fish and chips.” And with that, E Z’s hand reaches out and pushes Chudley into the foul smelling pool, who immediately starts to cough and splutter as he flails about in the vinegar, his eyes are closed as panic starts to set in, “I can’t see!” Chudley cries out, “ Help!”
E Z laughs hysterically for a moment but it gradually starts to fade as the scene unfurling before him gets grimmer. Chudley continues to be unable to see or find an exit and his breathing is becoming harder as it gets replaced by retching and heaving. E Z’s laughter fades to a stop.
“Oh shi..” The camera feed cuts out.
As the camera comes back, we see E Z and Chudley sat on an outdoor sofa together in front of a table with two bottles of beer on. Chudley has his head lowered but it’s obvious to see he has an eye patch on one eye and the other is almost bright red. E Z is of course the first to open his mouth.
“Hey yo wassup it’s the big E Z here comin atchu with an update on my main man, Mr Charles Dudley aka Ch-ch-ch-ch-chudders!!” E Z repeatedly points at the man next to him who doesn’t even acknowledge him: “So yeah we back from A&E, all expenses paid obviously, my man gets to be a pirate for a while so that’s pretty sick and more importantly we got some crazy content for y’all so don’t say I never do nothing for ya.”
Chudley reaches forward and takes a swig of his beer, silently.
“But now the fun’s over I wanna keep it real for a bit, real talk. I’mma bout to make my grand debut on Global y’all. Now I dealt with that boomer fool Larry I can make my way through those other crusties who should be at home wearing they slippers. Man, who wants to be watching a buncha has-beens’ week-in week-out acting all moody and serious n’ shit. Nah fam Global should be makin’ that E Z money. They gon see, the world gon see what E Z can do. Might as well call me Mr Sesame cos I’mma be teaching all the kids and fools out there about rackin’ up them letter W’s and the numbers 1. 2. 3.”
Chudley shakes his head in embarrassment and disbelief.
E Z gestures towards the camera with an outstretched arm: “So listen up y’all. You got nuthin’ on me. If you think you entertaining? You ain’t. You think you got mad skill in the ring? You ain’t. If you think you in for an E Z ride with me? You ain’t. Larry found out the hard way you don’t cross me and y’all are gunna too. Consider that your first and only warning. E Z out. Like and subscribe!”
The Civil War relentlessly rages on. For three years now the soil has been watered by the blood of a nation, spilled in the name of political difference. Monuments have not yet been erected, but in years to come the nation will stand in silence to honour those who have fallen during these years of turmoil.
Finally, the nation sees an end in sight.
A Hill – Noon – Today
A crimson dew grips the grass and a light morning mist hangs low across the ground as the sun begins to rise behind greyed clouds overhead.
Atop the hill, straddling a noble black steed a well-dressed man sits, a red bowtie tied around his neck. He has a well-groomed moustache decorating his oval face, neatly waxed and turned up at the edges. His brunette hair is short and parted in the centre. At his side a sword is sheathed and behind him an army of foot soldiers stand neatly in formation.
At the bottom of the hill, quietly nestled within a small grove of oak trees, men conceal themselves amongst the shadows cast by the overhead canopy. Their leader crouches, an AK-47 strapped to his back, dressed in a full tuxedo.
The undergrowth rustles gently as a wisp of wind blows through.
A thin young man slowly approaches his leader from behind, crawling on his hands and knees, being careful not to make any noise. He is covered from head to toe in dirt. What once was a white shirt is now covered in mud and blood. His camouflage trousers are additionally camouflaged by the muck of battle and the guts of his opposition. He looks too young to be dragged into war, and too skinny to do well in it, and yet he stands as one of the final survivors of a lengthy Civil War.
“Sir, we are outnumbered ten to one. They out armour us, their soldiers are larger and better trained. We simply cannot win this battle.”
There is another rustle as the tuxedo wearing man turns his head to look at his fighter. On his head he wears an emptied bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos. When he speaks, his voice sounds familiar but robotic, as if he was an AI construction of an old friend, long since passed. He is Doritos Man.
“We shan’t win with that,” and here he drives a long hunting knife up through the chin of the young boy, one long enough that it pierces his face, the roof of his mouth, and penetrates his brain, “attitude.” he finishes.
The boy slumps to the side, his face sliding off the knife as his limp, dead body collapses to the damp ground.
Doritos Man turns and peers back through the undergrowth at the army atop the hill, then turns back to his small army of young men and boys.
“In millenia previous I have feasted on the flesh of my enemies. Their nutrients have sustained me for many battles. But today we sit in the dirt starving. No more. Today we shall dine.”
Over Doritos shoulder a sound echoes from the top of the hill.
Doritos stands and straddles the red horse by his side. He swings the AK-47 around from behind his back and raises it in the air.
“And once we start to dine, we shan’t be able to stop.”
Suddenly, the hill explodes. A heavy, loud, bright explosion. Men scream in pain, but only very briefly. Their suffering is short.
A few seconds of silence pass, Doritos and his men remaining in their spots, as calm as a herd of cows standing in a field.
Doritos clicks the trigger of the AK-47 and from its barrel extends an umbrella, which opens out to cover his head.
Thwap. Thwap. Thwap.
The guts of those from the hill rain down onto the small sheltered army. Amongst the brains and guts, a single red cylindrical tin nestles itself, the pale round face of a man familiar to Doritos stares without emotion up into the tree canopy.
The war was over. But Doritos knew that in short order there would be a famine to follow. And so he and his men must ready themselves.
Tonight, they shall dine.
A DANGERFIELD MOMENT
The screen is black and the small white print fades up in the corner of the screen…
“A few days ago at Benny’s Diner in Detroit, MI”
The words fade out quickly and the screen lights up as if showing a video recorded on a cell phone. There are no tiktok logos or anything of the like, just the masked face of Gemini filling the screen (or most of it anyway). He looks a little upset.
“There is no respect for greatness,” he begins. “None at all. You see those kids over there?”
He moves out of the way and shifts the phone’s view where we see several young teenagers laughing and joing around. Gemini then moves the camera back to our original view of his face.
“I walked in here and the first word I hear?” Gemini pauses for effect as he looks back at the kids and then looks back at the camera.
His eyes bugging out a little as he continues. “Then they added more like loser, Dollar Tree Avenger, and I just don’t get why punks like this even exist!”
Obviously not realizing his mask in public would garner such reaction, Gemini continues to rant.
“These kids don’t recognize greatness,” he states, “I have fought wars inside the ring and taken on people they wouldn’t even hope to fend off in a dark alley. That was me, for crying out loud!”
He pauses and then explodes loud enough for the entire diner to hear.
“I BEAT ALEX REYN TWICE!” bellows the masked enigma as he finally settles back down and continues. “The man who has terrorized everyone he has ever encountered. The man who never lets anything go. The man who i smor ethan a man when he is in a fight. I beat him. and I’m one of the few in all the goddamn earth who can say they did it more than once.”
“Order for G-Dawg!” We hear the clerk announce.
Gemini walks over while still recording and grabs the bag from the clerk and looks over at the group of kids.
“You should show more respect,” he tells the group.
One of the boys finally pipes up, “Old man you wearing a fucking mask in a diner! You are lucky we don’t just beat you down.”
“Try it,” Gemini turns and takes a very strong pose.
The talker of the group replies, “Pops, you mentally disturbed or something. We ain’t getting no battery charge for beating down a person like you. Get ouf of here.”
Gemini turns and slowly begins pushing the door. He turns around and says, “Fuck you, kids.”
He walks out of the diner and the camera stops recording suddenly and the screen goes black.
JUST FOR KICKS
“So”, Angel takes a bite of her chicken leg that tears half of the meat off, “you know that Rudolph song?”
“…the Christmas song?” This kid’s thought patterns never cease to amaze me.
“Yeah.” Another bite and Angel throws the bare chicken bone over her shoulder, before wiping her mouth with her sleeve. “You ever notice how ‘all of the other reindeer’, or whatever, are all fuckin’ fake-ass punks?”
“Huh?” Never a dull moment with this kid…
“Yeah.” Angel pauses only to help herself to another piece of chicken before continuing.”’Cause they all like, punkin’ Rudolph out or whatever, ’til Santa gives him a job, an’ then they all kissin’ ass tryna get in with him.” Another half a chicken leg disappears in one bite, Angel once again talking through her chewing. “If I’m Rudolph, an’ that happens, I’m tellin’ all them fake-ass ‘pendejos’ to get the hell out my face!”
I…actually have no argument against that. She’s absolutely right – even if she could have said it with a few less F-bombs.
“Kind’a like that Queen Bianca chick”, Angel continues. “Everybody kissin’ up an’ shit ’cause they wanna hang with the popular girl…but watch her ditch they asses when she don’t need ’em around no more.”
Again, I have nothing to say. I’m just surprised she was able to do an association like that. Maybe her thought patterns aren’t as random as they appear.
“Man, that ‘puta‘…’ Angels demeanor suddenly becomes sombre. “Still can’t believe she pulled that shit Her AND that ‘pinche pendejo‘ that carries her purse an’ shit!” Angel takes her anger out on another chicken leg, which does not so much get bitten as ripped into. “We need to get ’em back, man! Like, for real!”
She looks up at me, and a worrying smile slowly spreads across her face as she snatches my mobile phone from where it is sitting on the sidewalk between us. “Yo…lemme hit up my homie from the ‘barrio‘ real quick…”
“NO!” That was maybe a bit TOO loud, but I need to get her mind off this course any way I can. “We do NOT work out issues that way, Angel!”
It works. She glares at me, but stops typing. Seeing my chance, I try to keep my voice as calm and even as I can. “Besides, that’s a little OTT, isn’t it? All they did was cheat to win a match…we don’t have to order a freaking HIT on them!”
“A hit?!” Angel looks at me again, this time in genuine shock and surprise. “What’chu talkin’ ’bout, Saul?”
It’s my turn to be surprised. “Wasn’t that what you were going to call your homeboy about?”
Angel barks with laughter. “WHAT?! Nah, fam! I was finna ask him how much for a pair of kicks like these!” She holds her legs out, admiring the pair of shoes she was given by Valorie and has been smitten with ever since, and laughs again. “You a racist piece of trash, white boy!”
I laugh as well, though mostly out of embarrassment, as she clarifies. “See, ‘member back last week we hit up Foot Locker, and I looked up them kicks, and they was like a hundred-fifty? Well, my homeboy always brings back kicks an’ shit when he goes to see his cousins in Tijuana, so I know he ain’t ’bout to ask for no hundred-fifty dollars.” I nod. This makes sense. “So I was gonna call him real quick, an’ if he told me, like, eighty, I was gonna give Val like, sixty for these. ‘Cause they ain’t new, y’know?”
What I do know is that, for a street kid, that wasn’t bad math at all. I’m actually impressed.
“Look, I saved up an’ everything! See?” She pulls out a wad of notes from somewhere in her clothes to show me, and I am even more impressed. I sure wouldn’t have held on to sixty bucks for two weeks when I was her age.
“Wait…is that still from two weeks ago?”
“You know it, homes!” Angel smiles again, big and genuine. “I was shit-scared somebody at the shelter or whatever gonna find out an’ try an’ take it from us…so I stuck it where the sun ain’t shine!”
Suddenly, I am less particular about knowing details; what’s more, I feel a strange urge to change the subject as quickly as possible.
“So, um…we got a couple of hours before we need to get to the arena. You wanna try out a couple of moves?”
I didn’t think that smile could get any bigger; I was wrong.
“Hell yeah! Let’s fucking gooooooo!”
Happy that that particular conversation has been avoided, I pull myself to my feet and get ready to teach my young partner some more of the little I know.
EL PRINCIPE V 'QUEEN' BIANCA DAVIS
The next match pits two unabashed ‘dirty’ fighters against each other, leaving the fans torn about who to cheer for – the technician calling himself royalty and who staunchly refuses to utter a word of English, or the Malibu blonde calling herself royalty and putting on a British accent. El Principe’s usual ramble in aggressive Spanish, as he walks down the entrance ramp, temporarily helps them make up their minds, however, and boos rain down on the Prince of Lucha as he makes his entrance.
“El Principe refusing to use English, as always”, Allie Reece notes, “but I’ll tell you what, if Angel Ramirez was here, she could translate it for us…”
“Who?!” Mark Deltzer is either genuinely confused or a very good actor.
“Angel Ramirez…? Bianca’s first opponent, two weeks ago?”
“Ohhhh”, Mark utters. “HER! You should have just said ‘that Latina kid’, I would have known who you meant then…”
Any response Allie might have had in store is interrupted by the sound of trumpets and the proclamation of ‘ALL HAIL QUEEN BIANCA!”, which precede the first few chords of Bebe Rexha’s “Bad Bitch”.
“And here comes the Queen”, Mark Deltzer barks, hardly able to contain his excitement.
And indeed, a moment later, Queen Bianca Davis is carried through the curtain by her throne-bearers, gracing the crowd with a royal wave as she ‘royally’ ignores the heat raining down on her.
“Bianca aced the tutorial level of this wrestling game last week”, Deltzer states. “But this week, she’s up against somebody a little more tricky than a high-schooler. Still, I think she can take Principe. Grace and poise always prevail over…whatever HE’s got to offer.”
“Technical prowess, a cunning mind, and more tricks than a magician’s hat, that’s what he has to offer”, Lucas Quinn puts in. “Bianca will probably struggle here tonight…although, she’s not short on tricks herself…”
“…or afraid to use them, as we saw last week.” Allie’s tone is probably sharper than it needs to be as she recalls the ending of the match against Angel Ramirez.
“Are you STILL banging on about that?!” Deltzer oozes sarcasm as he chuckles at his broadcast partner. “Talk about a sore loser…am I right, Quinn?”
Lucas wisely chooses to stay out of that particular conversation as Bianca’s throne is placed down and a member of her entourage grabs her hand and helps her down. She looks at the people in the audience, then locks eyes with one particular audience member and points down, ordering them to bend the knee. However, unlike the fan from two weeks prior, this audience member – a redhead with strawberry-red hair – does not seem at all keen to comply, instead giving the ‘Queen’ a mouthful of abuse. Never losing her poise, Bianca calls her head manservant, Simple Simon, over and holds out a hand, as if asking for something. Seeming to understand what she desires, the servant produces a white glove, which Davis promptly uses to symbollicaly slap the young girl. Then, as the latter’s comments raise in volume and intensity, the ‘Queen’ turns around and begins to ascend the ring steps, displaying her royal grace as her servant holds the ropes out for her. A moment later, she is inside the ring and squaring off against her South-of-the-border counterpart, whom she seems less than impressed by.
“The two monarchs are face to face”, Deltzer notes, in hushed tones. “You could almost say it’s time for a…Royal Rumble…”
Allie’s groan of mental anguish is only partly obscured by the sound of the bell ringing, which signals the start of the match. As such, the self-proclaimed Queen and Prince are forced to engage one another – and, unsurprisingly, it is the Mexican monarch who fires the opening salvo, lunging forward with a clothesline! The Queen, however, uses her lower gravity point and lighter weight to dodge this, all while screaming at Simon that the Mexican had the gall to try to attack her!
“Well, yeah”, Allie scoffs. “It’s called a combat sport for a reason, Queenie…”
Undeterred, Principe whips around and once again steps in toward Bianca, who manages to dodge again. When this happens a third time, the first signs of impatience begin to show on the Mexican’s face.
“Principe is not amused by Bianca’s strategy…but it’s as sound a plan as any other”, Deltzer points out. “She’s smaller and faster, so why not use that in her favor?”
Unfortunately for the blonde, while she does indeed have the speed and agility advantage, her opponent is not without cunning, and manages to catch her when he feigns as if to advance, then goes for a leg sweep instead. Caught out, Bianca falls back-first to the mat, and Principe quickly scrambles to apply a single leg lock.
“Principe finally managing to catch Bianca there…but she’s too close to the ropes for that to really be effective”, Lucas surmises.
Still, despite the referee’s warnings, Principe does the most out of his four and a half seconds, wearing down Bianca’s leg as per his tactic of choice. As such, when the Queen gets to her feet, with the help of the ropes, she is shaking her leg irritably, as though attempting to ‘wake it up’; Principe, however, does not give her that chance, slyly raking her back to make her release the ropes, before connecting with another leg sweep, which leaves Bianca draped across the bottom rope. Not wasting any time, the Prince of Lucha climbs the nearest turnbuckle and – before the Queen can regain her bearings – connects with a seated senton to the back of her knee, drawing an audible scream of pain from Bianca.
“That has GOT to hurt”, Allie winces, as Principe continues to capitalize on his chosen tactic by pulling Bianca away from the ropes and attempting to lock in another leg hold in the centre of the ring; this time, however, the Queen mule-kicks her way out, rattling her opponent just long enough for her to scramble to the ropes and slide under them to the outside, looking to regroup.
“Bianca takes a breather in a match she has been struggling to get into”, Lucas states, “but that is not always AGOODIDEAAGAINSTPRINCIPE!!!”
The commentator cannot hide his surprise as the Lucha royal takes advantage of the perfect setup the Queen has given him and connects with a Tope Suicida to the outside, crashing onto Bianca as they both hurtle onto the arena floor!
“The Queen is obviously not familiar with Lucha, or she would have seen that coming”, Allie quips in delight.
“Well, that takes a toll on both wrestlers, you know, Allie”, Lucas points out. “Principe has almost certainly felt that one, as well…”
That does appear to be the case, as the Mexican wrestler is moving somewhat more gingerly as he rolls through to his feet at the referee’s four-count and goes to pick up Bianca; as he brings her to her feet and turns her around to throw her across into the apron, however, the Queen finally sees her chance, and rakes her opponent’s eyes, sending him stumbling back and buying herself a precious few seconds.
“Bianca just out-cheated the cheater”, Mark Deltzer remarks.
“Yes, both of these wrestlers are well-versed in opportunistic tactics, and neither one is shy about using them”, Quinn states.
Exhorted by Simon to get into the ring before the referee reaches his count, Bianca does just that, all while keeping an eye on Principe, who is himself attempting to roll himself back under the ropes. As it is, both wrestlers end up entering the squared circle at the exact same time, and each in a diminished state of awareness as a result of the events outside.
“Both contenders back in the ring now…but who can shake the cobwebs off first?”
Lucas Quinn’s question gets answered when Bianca, finally seeing a window of opportunity, rushes forward with a spinning heel kick, which connects flush! Principe collapses to the mat, and Bianca, finally fully regaining her composure, graces the crowd with another royal wave before dropping an elbow on the luchador!
Rather than cover, however, the blonde takes the opportunity to have a breather, before bringing herself to a standing position and slyly raking Principe’s face with her boot, only to proclaim innocence when the referee confronts her about it. She manages to defuse the situation quickly enough that, by the time Principe is fully vertical again, she is ready and waiting with a running bulldog, sending him face-first into the mat again!
“Bianca’s gamble paid off, and the Queen is beginning to come into her own here”, Lucas observes, “but she has to take care to ensure Principe isn’t able to turn the tables again, or she WILL find herself in trouble!”
Davis appears to know this, and seeks to maintain her momentum by connecting with a running knee lift to Principe as he brings himself to one knee once more; then, as he hurtles into the corner, she connects with a low seated dropkick and, seeing yet another chance to sneak one past the referee, promptly stands up and chokes the luchador out with her foot across his throat. This time, however, she openly berates the referee when he calls her out, distracting him long enough for Simple Simon to choke him out for a few more seconds with the help of the royal scepter!
“Ohhhh, boy”, Allie sighs, “HERE we go!”
The distraction tactic having paid off, the Queen is now presented with a significantly weakened opponent – though one she would still struggle to lift to his feet. As such, she leaves Principe to pull himself up to his feet as she grandstands to the crowd, giving them a chance to exalt her magnificent self – or almost boo her out of the building, as the case may be. This, in turn, proves to be a mistake, as Davis gets somewhat lost in her pageant performance and does not notice Principe sneaking up behind her to apply his trademark Dolores Bell clap! Caught by surprise, the Queen cries out as she covers her ears and reflexively turns around to see what has transpired…only to get pulled up into El Tricolor!! One…two…three belly-to-belly suplexes later, Principe has well and truly found a way back into the match!
“I did warn that this might happen”, says Quinn.
“Yes, well, that’s what you get when you choose vanity over violence”, Allie remarks, visibly proud of her turn of phrase.
Meanwhile, in the ring, Bianca is still in trouble, as Principe pulls her up into a Northern Lights suplex, which he bridges into the first pinfall attempt of the match. Referee Gabrielle Harris slides in for the count!
“…no! Kickout from Bianca, who remains in this match”, comes the call from Lucas.
Indeed, the Queen is still alive and literally kicking – but also still at the mercy of her opponent, who pulls her along back to a vertical base and promptly lifts her up again, this time into a vertical backbreaker attempt…
…which Bianca manages to wiggle out of, landing on her feet behind Principe and promptly raking his back to throw him off!
“This really is a battle of underhanded tactics”, Lucas puts in, as Bianca tries – and fails – to apply a sleeper hold.
“What…what is she THINKING?!” Allie is all but gasping at the Queen’s choice of offense. “She can’t…he’s twice her width!”
And, indeed, Principe is easily able to shake off his much smaller and lighter opponent, causing her to stumble back slightly; Bianca, however, actually uses her off-balance stance in her favor, gathering momentum to hit Principe in the back of the head with a vicious Brazilian Kick!
“RED BOTTOM SHOT OUT OF NOWHERE!!” Deltzer almost leaps out of his chair as the strike hits flush, sending Principe to the mat face-first.
“I have to admit, that WAS impressive”, Allie says – high praise indeed coming from her. “Though, she still has to actually cover…”
This, the Queen promptly does, turning her opponent onto his back and hooking the leg. Harris slides in…
“Wait a minute”, Lucas pipes up. “Is Principe’s foot under the ropes?”
“Yup”, Allie says. “WAIT, no it’s not! Bianca’s butler or whatever he is just moved it!”
“What?” Deltzer actively splutters in indignation. “You’re delusional!”
“He DID”, Allie protests. “He pushed it away!”
And just in time for…
A VERY mixed reaction greets the announcement from ‘Downtown’ Jason Brown.
‘Ladies and gentlemen…the winner of this match…QUEEEEEEN BIANCAAAAA DAAAAAYYYYYYVIIIISSSSSS!”
“CALLED IT! I TOLD YOU! I TOLD YOU! BWAHAHAH!”
“Down, boy”, Allie quips in response to Deltzer’s excitement.
“Well, Bianca had a sizeable challenge here tonight, and by hook or by crook, she pulled through”, Quinn says. “But this loss is as much on Principe as on his opponent. He gave up trying to weaken Bianca’s leg in favor of the back, and it cost him. He should probably have scouted this girl’s moveset a little better…he would have known that was likely coming at some point. “
“Mostly by crook”, Allie offers, in disgust, as the Malibu blonde has her hand raised by referee Harris. The Queen seems mightily pleased with herself, and the cocky grin on her features grows even larger when the fans suddenly and somewhat surprisingly give a rather loud ovation!
“That’s right, peasants”, Deltzer spits. “Show some respect to your Queen!”
“…I don’t think was aimed at her”, Allie counters.
And indeed, Bianca’s smugness quickly turns to indignant irritation as two figures appear on the entrance ramp, revealing who the cheers were really meant for.
“It’s that street trash kid again”, Deltzer splutters. “How DARE she interrupt the Queen’s Jubilee?”
Angel Ramirez, however, does not seem too fussed with her perceived lack of respect; quite the opposite, in fact – judging by the grin on her features, she is rather enjoying it.
“That’s right, ‘p—a‘”, she calls out after a moment, once she has procured and been given a microphone. “Think I was just gonna get outta your way? Think again!”
Despite her lack of a mic, Bianca’s retorts to this statement are faintly audible, such is the Queen’s volume. The blonde immediately dispatches Simon to deal with the pair, but Saul Morgan is quick to place himself across the servant’s path, cutting him off as he nods for Angel to continue.
“Thanks, Papi”, the youngster says, before quipping: “Oops! Not s’posed to say that! White guys on Facebook ain’t like it…”
The crowd laughs along with the teenager, who – surprisingly – manages to cut her tangent short and go straight back to business, as she once again stares down the Queen,
“Easy to be gettin’ Ws when you always cheatin’”, she spits, much to the Queen’s irritation. As the Queen shouts that the Latina “can’t, like, PROVE that”, Angel calmly speaks up once again.
“Yeah, yeah, whatev’. Listen…I ain’t ’bout to stand here an’ listen to you. I ain’t got all week…know what’m sayin’?” Another laugh from the crowd, as Angel motions with her hands to indicate Bianca talks too much. “So let’s cut the s—t. You like to play that way? A’ight. We gonna play that way.” The grin on the teenager’s features grows wider as she lays down her challenge. “Me’n’you gonna settle this the way people at the ‘barrio’ settle this kind’a s—t…”
“…with a shootout?” Deltzer sounds somewhere between derisive and genuinely terrified.
“…with a Street Fight.”
The crowd erupts, and the Queen is the only one who does not appear excited by the prospect, as she promptly begins to shake her head in denial, all while ranting at the Latina some more about how touching her again would be unhygienic. Once again, however, Angel takes it in stride, seeming almost amused as she once again addresses the blonde..
“’Aww…that’s cute. Queen S—t scared of me…!”
Once again, the denials are vehement from Bianca, prompting Angel to offer up one last, defiant challenge.
“Then prove it. Come at me, bitch.”
For a moment, it appears the Queen is about to take Ramirez up on her challenge, bringing the crowd to a low boil; ultimately, however, the Queen chooses to be the bigger woman, merely stepping out of the ring and back onto her throne, much to the amusement of Angel on the ramp. Not wanting to overstay her welcome, however, the teenager soon motions to her partner, and they both make their way back to the personnel area, leaving Bianca’s procession to see itself out, under a shower of boos and chants of ‘FIGHT THE KID! FIGHT THE KID!, ‘STREEEET FIIIIGHT! STREEEET FIIIIGHT!’ and ‘YOU’-RE-A-CO-WARD!”
“Well, the crowd certainly seem up for the prospect of a Street Fight in a few weeks”, Quinn comments, “but somehow I don’t think Bianca shares that opinion…”
“Why SHOULD she do it?!” Deltzer is, as ever, animated in his defense of the Queen. “She’s wrestling royalty! She doesn’t have to respond to every low-life piece of trash who mouths off at her! Heck, she doesn’t have to respond to ANYBODY! She can have her team do it for her!”
“That’s called a coward, Deltzer”, Allie retorts bitingly.
“Not necessarily…You think Princess Meghan responds to HER haters when they challenge HER to a street fight?”
“…not really the same thing, Mark…and you know it..”
Any further discussion between the two younger members of the GLOBAL announcing trio is inaudible to the fans, however, as the broadcast soon cuts away from the ringside area.
MAKE NO BONES ABOUT IT
A caption appears reading “THAT DAY, BEFORE THE SHOW…”
A cooler opens. It’s filled with ice dotted with a variety of different bottles and cans. A right hand grabs the only Gatorade in the cooler. We hear someone say “Nice.” under their breath.
It’s Crusader X, dressed in full gear, shirtless, with a towel wrapped around his neck. He lifts the bottle out and cracks it open before taking a long drink. He’s alone in GLOBAL’s catering room.
“Excuse me! X!” A voice familiar to X sounds behind him from the entrance. X turns to face The Informer, who’s walking towards him, microphone in hand.
X smiles. “Ahhhh, Informer! Good to see you again! Hey, I read our interview as soon as you published it! Great read! You got a little… creative here and there with the framing, but on the bright side, I do remember saying pretty much everything you wrote, so hey! Good job!”
The Informer seems unsure whether to take his words as a compliment or an insult. “Uh… well… thank you! Do you have time to answer a couple questions?”
X sets the cap of his Gatorade on a nearby table. “Of course! Fire away!” He takes another drink.
“So, Crusader X, tonight you make your long-awaited debut against Kid Chameleon. Now, based on your record, it’s been about three months since you last wrestled. Are you worried about ring rust?”
X shakes his head. “Ring rust? That’s the least of my worries! Since I moved to LA, I’ve been either training or working out at least 5 days a week, sometimes more. I’m in the best shape of my life and my muscle memory’s as sharp as ever. I have never been more ready to wrestle.”
“Now, we just got word that, during this match, Alfie Button will be on commentary. Did you know about this? What are your thoughts?” He holds the microphone toward X.
X’s eyes brighten. His smile gets wider. “REALLY? He’ll be out there? I didn’t know that! That’s great! I can’t wait to show him, and everyone else here in GLOBAL, what I’m capable of.”
X takes another drink.
The Informer nods. “Now, I’m not going to mince words. There’s a lot of pressure on you tonight. Kid Chameleon did take a loss last week, but he’s a seasoned veteran and is, historically, a tricky opponent for high-flyers. Some GLOBAL fans on social media believe that you’re the clear favorite, but others… think that you’re all hype. They think that Kid Chameleon has a clear advantage over you from a stylistic standpoint. What do you have to say to these-“
X holds up his hand to cut him off. His smile fades. “Nothing. Nothing at all. Wrestling fans are entitled to their opinions. Without the fans, this sport would not exist. Everything I do, I do for them. They have the right to express their beliefs. But at the end of the day? It’s all just words on a screen. And words on a screen have no impact on how I wrestle or why I wrestle. I’ve studied Kid Chameleon’s game. I have full confidence in my ability to defeat him tonight, and that’s all that matters.” X makes direct eye contact with The Informer. “And let’s make one thing clear, Informer. Kid Chameleon isn’t just ‘tricky’ because he’s a veteran, or because he can counter high flyers, or because he can execute dozens of moves that he saw on those Youtube move compilations 15 years ago.” He raises his voice. “Kid Chameleon is ‘TRICKY’ because he’s a slimy, cheating parasite who will do ANYTHING to win a match. Fortunately for ME, that makes him the PERFECT man to make an example out of! AND-“
X pauses. His eyes lock onto something behind The Informer.
The Informer looks puzzled. “…And?”
Crusader shakes his head and says, “And this is why I met you at the bar.”
Kid Chameleon approaches X and The Informer, clad in his ring gear, ready for the opening match.
The Informer tilts the microphone toward Kid. He adjusts his sunglasses. “Heard you talkin’ about me.”
X makes dead eye contact. “Nothing I wouldn’t say to your face.”
“So say it,” says Kid, not missing a beat.
X raises his voice again. “You’re a parasite, Kid! You’re an embarrassment to this sport! And the worst part is? You don’t have to be. You’re good! You don’t NEED shortcuts! You want to make a mark on GLOBAL?! Wrestle me honestly tonight. Don’t cheat. You can show the world what you’re capable of. We can show the world pro wrestling as it was meant to be. And when the winner’s arm is raised at the end, no matter who it is, that win will actually MEAN something.”
X extends his right hand, with the open Gatorade bottle on his left. “What do you say?”
Kid Chameleon extends his hand…
And then slaps X’s left hand, knocking the Gatorade to the floor.
It splashes everywhere. Some of it gets on the floor. Some of it gets on the table. Some of it gets on the two of them. A lot of it gets on The Informer.
Kid stares X dead in the face through his sunglasses. X looks down at the Gatorade, closes his eyes, inhales, and looks back up. He stares back at Kid. They get right in each other’s faces.
The Informer bails. Neither of them notices.
“Did you know that there are 27 bones in a human hand?” X asks, calmly.
Kid stares at him wordlessly.
“A year and a half into my career, I was in a tag match in my home fed, L3. I was on the top rope. I had my opponent dead to rights. Just as I was about to jump, I felt his partner grab me from behind. He shoved me off the top rope and onto the apron. All of my weight came down on my right hand. I fractured 19 of those bones. Out of 27. One of them was compound. Pierced the skin. Fractured my wrist, too. I was screaming. Was bad enough that the ref had to call the match. I was rushed to the hospital for surgery. It took me two months to come back from it.”
Kid continues staring, but swallows nervously without changing the expression on his face.
“I’ve had concussions. I’ve separated my shoulder. I have two slipped discs in my back. But to this day, breaking all of those bones in my hand is the worst pain I have ever felt.”
X’s voice drops low. “If you ever put your hands on me outside of the ring again, I’ll make sure you know exactly how it feels.”
A strange expression creeps across Kid’s face. A mix of rage and apprehension. He appears… conflicted. He clearly wants to hit him. He wants to shut him up. He wants to call his bluff and knock him to the floor right there. Yes. His bluff. He is bluffing, right?
Kid exhales sharply. He turns to leave. “I’ll see you in the ring.”
X nods. “Damn right you will.”
Cut to black.
Backstage, we see Alfie Button, decked out in a technicolor dreamcoat featuring the colors of the rainbow and then some, with Steve Blaine. By contrast, the bald interviewer, as ever, is in a black suit, matching tie and white shirt.
“Alfie Button, tonight, you face Sean Darring…”
Button puts his arm on Blaine’s shoulder, “Steve, don’t give me the favourite and underdog stuff, mate. Bof ‘eard it all before. It’s a big opportunity for me, I get it, and I’m gonna have fun wiv it, believe me. Wrestling Darring, even for this big-‘eaded git, is a privilege, and Darren paid ‘im too much respect last week. But Darren and I are different cats, and my ‘igh-flyin’ is different gravy, mate. I’m gonna ask Sean different questions altogevver, Stevie B.”
Blaine nods with a wry smile, “I’ve heard you call yourself the bridesmaid, and not the bride. What do you do mean by that?”
The Cockney removes his hand from Blaine’s shoulder and caresses his chin, pensive and perhaps bullish.
“You know the expression, Stevie B. You’re just actin’ the goat, aren’t ya? But, I like ya, so I’ll go along wiv it. I lost to Daniel Dream at Domination Two and ya all expect it ‘ere an’all on Domination Four. Whenever Button’s stepped up, ‘e ‘asn’t done it when it’s really cahnted. And, ‘ey I get it. Up to me, ole AB, to prove ya all wrong and I intend to do it tonight by running rings around the ole geezer from Florida, ‘oo probably should be back there in one ov ‘em retirement ‘omes they’re famous for, but he ain’t because ‘e’s still a don, beating people ‘alf his age. Why? Greatness. I admit it, but Sean Darring, Alfie Button is daring to be great, and that’s why we’re gonna ‘ave a row, a war, a straightener, a scuffle, ruffling each ovver’s feavvers in the middle of the ring, innit?”
Button smacks Blaine hard on the back, “Stevie B, pleasure. Gotta run, my man. I’m gonna go and take a look at Crusader X, up close and personal, and you can ask me abaht it next week. Peace out, geezer.”
And, as quick as a flash, Alfie flees the scene and heads out into The Globe to do as he says.
Crusader X v Kid Chameleon is next.
Button v Darring is your main event on Domination 4.
CRUSADER X V KID CHAMELEON
“We are joined by Alfie Button on commentary,” Quinn gestures towards the technicolor dreamcoat-clad Cockney, who is careful with putting his headset on and not spoiling his carefully assembled mane.
“Fellas, let Allie ‘ave a bit more time during the show, she’s wicked smart,” Alfie suggests.
“Thank you, Alfie,” Allie graciously accepts.
“Welcome. Let’s see what this Crusader X can really do,” Alfie says, rubbing his hands bullishly, backing Kid Chameleon to do the business tonight.
“Should you be out here?”
“Quinn, it’s early doors. I can watch Crusader X, and still ‘ave a row wiv Darring later on,” Alfie quashes Quinn’s question with ease.
Before The Mark pipes up, Alfie also crushes his line of enquiry, “Mark, we’ll ‘ave a chat afterwards, mate. I ‘ate it when commentators talk about the main event during the first match, so let’s not be like ‘em, right? This is abaht Kid Chameleon and Crusader X, and no one else,” Button says modestly, uncharacteristically some might argue.
“Quite right,” Quinn confesses.
Sporting sunglasses indoors, ripped denim jeans, a plan white t and that black leather jacket which makes him looks like The Fonz, or in Kid’s mind, Spider from Micro Machines, Kid Chameleon gets a half-decent reception, walking out to Mr. Bungle’s ‘cover’ of the Super Mario Bros. theme.
“From Windelm, weighing in at one hundred and ninety pounds, Nintentdo’s Number One, X-Box’s X-Factor, Kasumi’s Secret Crush, Lara’s Boyfriend, Mario and Luigi’s Other Brother, Gouken’s Third Disciple, Bass Armstrong’s Future Son-in-Law and the Saturday Night Slam Master, KID CHAMELEON!”
When the blast of feedback at the start hits, the lights go out on the main stage. If there’s a screen, a black X on a white background goes up on it and flickers a bit. Once the guitar riff kicks in, CRUSADER X, also in black on a white background, appears onscreen. When the lyrics kick in, a spotlight flicks on and shines in the center of the stage. In it is X, standing with his back facing the crowd and his arms crossed above his head in an X. As he makes his way to the ring with an exaggerated stride, he high-fives every fan he possibly can on the way there. Once he gets to the ring, he climbs every turnbuckle and poses with the X. After he climbs the last one, once the “THAT’S the way the guillotine claps” lyric hits in the chorus, he backflips off the turnbuckle, lands on his feet, and stares into the camera.
Crusader X and Kid Chameleon commence the contest with a Collar-and-Elbow, which after four to five seconds of struggling, sees SEGA’s Ambassador take the first physical and psychological point leading his opponent into the top left-hand corner. He lets go, and then lets his hands go, alternating slaps with either hand. However, before Kid can finish, not only does Crusader X dodge the punch, but he also sneaks in a Wristlock and then an Armdrag to create some separation.
Kid Chameleon climbs to his feet and walks straight into a gorgeous Dropkick from Crusader X, whose technique impresses our commentary team and the fans to boot.
“Smooth,” comes the assessment from Lucas Quinn.
“I’ll give ‘im that, as someone who frows a mean one myself, that was bang on the money,” Alfie admits.
While Kid is down, Crusader capitalizes on his fine form with a Thrust Kick and is clearly causing Chameleon problems here in the early going.
“The hype surrounding Crusader X appears to be real,” according to Lucas Quinn.
“Early days, Quinn,” The Mark rebuts.
Far from resting on his laurels, X picks Chameleon up and sets him up for a Crucifix Bomb. While Crusader X isn’t particularly known for his power, he elevates the 200-pound ‘Player’ into the air. Nevertheless, Chameleon desperately climbs out of the back window and spins the newcomer around to get his attention, which he definitely does a moment later with a quick one-two of an Atomic Drop and German Suplex Hold combination, allowing The Mark and Alfie Button to perk up on commentary.
“The ‘ype train might just ‘ave got derailed, Lucas,” Alfie remarks smugly.
“Come on, Kid!”
Kid doesn’t let that deter him, thankfully. Instead, like Crusader moments ago, he runs the ropes and gets on with business, scoring with a sensational Soccerball Kick to the face as The Mark exclaims ‘It’s in The Game! Welcome to GLOBAL, Crusader X.’
Chameleon catches Crusader with a nasty-looking Spinning Backfist to the neck. He then forms a baseball bat with his two hands and nails X with an Enzui Larit, again targeting the neck.
“Blazin’ Tornado, and now Kid’s, what do you say, Alfie?”
“Cookin’wiv diesel,” Alfie confirms.
As Crusader X nurses his neck, Kid readies himself for another Spinning Backfist, this time intended for the face, until Crusader X CATCHES it. And if you have been reading the show, you’ll understand why there’s an ‘oh shit’ look written all over Chameleon’s face. There’s also the element of Kid using a figurative baseball bat moments ago, and X catching this in his mitt, but you get the picture.
Mercifully, Crusader lets go, eyeing Kid through the holes in his mask, like saying ‘I could have had you there, and you know it.’
“Alfie, your thoughts on Crusader,” Quinn queries.
Button’s mouth is wide open, as if he has been rendered speechless. The Mark has nothing to offer either, and no wonder. Meanwhile, the pair of them circle one another. A Tie-Up sees Crusader X attempt a Go-Behind, which he gets and with no wasted motion, he hops up onto Kid’s back and pulls off a breathtaking Leaping Posioned Frankensteiner.
Unsurprisingly, Chameleon is woozy off that and has no idea where he is. Rather than hanging around and sucking eggs, X nails Nintendo’s Number One with a Swinging Neckbreaker to compound Kid’s misery, a mood that’s reflected by half of the commentary table.
As Crusader scoops the hapless Chameleon up, Mark and Alfie are completely dumbfounded and silent by the demolition job that has been done on ‘their boy,’ the confident debutant holds his hands up in an X fashion. Crusader sprints towards Lara’s Boyfriend and cleans his clock with…
The Sega Ambassador is spiked on his head by the devastating Running Canadian Destroyer and is rendered unconscious. Crusader X puts one finger on Kid Chameleon’s midriff, and Shane Staggs doesn’t have much to do, counting slowly, which only serves to to reinforce the dominant display…
The camera pans to Alfie Button, whose mouth is AGAPE in shock, and the man with more rabbit than Sainsbury’s is reduced to being mute, at least momentarily. Crusader X proudly has his hand raised in the air.
“No one has ever done that to Kid Chameleon,” The Mark just about manages to muster.
So, the silence continues. Crusader X steps through the ropes and back up the aisle, calmly and casually as you like, as Alfie stares at the still static Kid Chameleon, who causes him all kinds of problems when he meets. And it is true what The Mark said. No one has ever dominated Kid Chameleon quite like that.
Welcome to Global, indeed, Crusader X.
Heavy grey clouds have drifted over this land for many years now, though rarely have they been heavy enough to rain. When they have rained, the rain has held in it the blood of the nation’s ancestors. The sun is a distant memory as day and night blend into one dimly lit permanence.
The land is parched and barren, the dirt dry and cracked. Trees have long since dropped their leaves. Grass has yellowed, dried, and died. The livestock, what remains of it, is too thin to be eaten. The water springs ran dry some time ago.
What was once a flourishing land now relies on relief packages airdropped by countries around the world who greedily overcharge the nations government and drive them deeper into an already unassailable debt.
The food parcels fall less frequently now. When they do fall a great riot breaks out as the weak proletariat wrestle one another for the scraps of rice within.
A young boy walks up the deserted road, not a car in sight. Behind him he drags an empty, well-used potato sack. His clothes are torn and dirty. His face is gaunt and grey. He can be no more than eight years of age and yet his eyes tell the story of a man ten times that.
Suddenly, he collapses.
A rustling. Faint and distant at first distant, grows louder, and louder.
From a small alleyway a tuxedoed man slowly steps out. His dress shoes, perfectly shined, clip and clop with the sound of importance. Covering his head is a black Cheeseburger Flavour Doritos bag.
He stops at the side of the boy and crouches, sitting himself on his calves.
He reaches into his dinner jacket pocket and pulls out a swiss army knife as he audibly salivates.
* * *
Some time later – A dark room, no larger than a shed
“We are the remaining few. The rebels. The outliers. We walk alone in this vast urban wilderness. If we scream, none shall hear, for we are forsaken by our Gods. Unwanted, unwashed, and unloved. We may be weak, we may be hungry, but here we stand. Strong. Unwavering. Unfaltering.
“For we are the victors of this war, regardless of what the worlds media may say. We stand atop the hill, our collective foot on the chest of our fallen enemies> Our arms aloft, we scream our victory cry for all of time.
“We may not eat.
“We may not drink.
“We may not be merry.
But we are, if nothing else, victorio–”
Doritos lets out a raspy cough, gasping for air and sucking in the black bag as he sucks in a mouthful of air.
The weak cheers of the small gathering of dirty, thin men, many wearing flat caps, are interrupted by Doritos Man collapsing on the floor.
* * *
Even further in the future, but not by much – A restaurant
In this timeline the future is a bleak, grey existence for many. But for the privileged few life remains filled with abundance. At a price.
A long table stretches the length of the banquet hall, the room lit by candles. On the table a man lies naked. His ribs protrude from his pale skin like small white pyramids. His shin bones are visible through his thin, pale skin. His genitals are covered by a small patch of dried hay and his face is covered with a black Cheeseburger Flavour Doritos bag.
A grotesquely fat man sits at the table. In one hand he holds a large fork and in the other he holds a steak knife. Around his neck he has a handkerchief which protects his crisp white shirt beneath. He scratches his balding, greasy scalp and flakes of skin flutter in the candlelight, resting on the shoulders of his navy blue suit jacket. He sniffs a gob of phlegm and swallows.
For the love of Doritos controls us, having concluded this – that one died for all. Therefore all died.
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
For Doritos hath come to pay the penalty for your sin. And until ye comprehend the fact that you are a sinner, separated from your Gods. And under their condemnation, salvation doth not await you.
The penalty for your sin is not church membership.
The penalty for your sin is not baptism.
The penalty for your sin is death.
Doritos Man is the One who gave Himself for your filthy sins so that He might rescue you from this present evil age, according to the will of your Gods. It is Doritos that gave Himself for your sins, who paid the penalty and who provided atonement.
He redeemed you from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us. So it is written! Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree!
For whilst you were still helpless, at the right time Doritos died for you ungodly people. For one will hardly die for a righteous man. Though perhaps for the good men, do any roam these streets anymore, someone would dare even to die. But your Gods demonstrate their own love toward you in that while you were yet sinners. Doritos died for your sins.
The fat man readies his knife and fork, licking his lips. But suddenly a cold hand grasps his thick neck, squeezing hard.
“This is the body of Doritos. Take it.” Doritos says firmly as the man gasps for air. “Do this in remembrance of me, you fat bitch.”
The fat man’s eyes swell as he chokes, becoming bulbous as the capillaries burst and the whites of his eyes turn blood red. Soon enough what little fight his body had is over and his limp carcass collapses face down onto the table in front of him.
Doritos sits up.
THE DREAM JOB
Jabari Crossover walks confidently through the GLOBAL Studios lot in Hollywood, the bright lights and bustling activity doing little to dampen his excitement. The sun had just set, casting a warm orange glow over the sprawling complex as he made his way toward the gym. He could feel the energy of the place thrumming through his veins, his heart beating with anticipation.
As he approaches the gym, he sees his friend ‘Big Aug’ August Lazar, a towering seven foot four man, standing outside the entrance. Big Aug had dirty blonde hair tied back in a bun, his broad shoulders and thick chest were accentuated by the red and black sleeveless bodysuit that he wore. He turns and breaks into a grin as he sees Jabari approaching. Just then Jabari’s phone rings, interrupting his greeting.
Jabari jumps slightly in surprise as the piercing ring of his phone echoes through the hallway. His hand reached for the buzzing device, nestled deep within the pocket of his red and black spandex bodysuit. The suit clings tightly to his toned and muscular frame, accentuating every curve and bulge of his biceps. The suit has the bold, black letters MVP emblazoned on the back, standing out in stark contrast to the bright red material.
As he answers the call, Jabari paces back and forth with nervous energy, his excitement bubbling just beneath the surface. “Hello?” he answers, trying to steady his voice.
“Yes, speaking,” he replies, his heart pounding with anticipation.
“I’ve been a fan of wrestling for as long as I can remember,” he exclaims, the words tumbling out of his mouth in a rush.
The voice on the other end was a representative from GLOBAL and they were offering him a position as a match analyst. Jabari felt like he was on top of the world.
“Yes, absolutely, I’m interested. Thank you so much for considering me,” he exclaims, unable to contain his excitement any longer.
“Excellent. I can’t wait to see what the future holds in the exciting world of GLOBAL,” he said. Hanging up the phone, he immediately turned to his friend Big Aug, his eyes alight with excitement. “Guess what that was? GLOBAL wants me to be a match analyst!”
“My dude!” Big Aug exclaims. “Congrats! That’s amazing!”
The big lug named Big Aug offers up a fist bump to Jabari.
“Big Jabari and Big Aug back together again! We conquered the court, now we conquer the wrestlings!” he says excitedly. “So what they gonna have you do when you analyze matches? They give you one of those telestrator things where you can like, draw things on the screen? They don’t let Big Aug near one of those. I drew dong on coach’s face on TV once. Everybody but him think that was funny.”
“Aug, my job as a match analyst starts with me being on commentary for Daniel Dream’s next match, I am so excited, and I can’t wait to share my insights with the audience,” Jabari explains to Big Aug with a big smile on his face.
“Dope,” Aug replies. “I’m about four years into wrestlings career now, but if you need to know the names of the moves, I gotchu. I know difference between wristlock and wrist watch… even though I don’t like watches…”
“And I never do wristlock. Johnny Slather tell me when I’m big, don’t do that stuff… but you be okay. I think you do good things, Jab!”
Jabari replies, “Hey Aug, you know Kevin Durant is nearly seven feet tall, and he can shoot three-pointers, if you want to do a wristlock, don’t let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t because of your size.”
“Fair point, my friend, fair point! But congratulations on a big opportunity. I know you do good things. Think we might see you in the ring sometime?”
Jabari responds, “I don’t know. I’ve never wrestled before.”
Jabari checks his wristwatch.
Jabari says, “Speaking of wristwatches, I need to go, or I’ll be late. It was nice meeting up with you again, Aug.”
“Don’t worry. I was only gonna be some dude’s bodyguard not even in business, anyway, but you get hit by that bug. You see. Nice to see you too, friend. Take it easy!”
Jabari gives a big wave goodbye to Big Aug, before hustling away, abandoning his plans of going to the gym. Jabari picked up the pace, eager to get to his new job as a match analyst.
DANIEL DREAM V THE GREAT WALL
Mark Deltzer remarks, “We’re back here on DOMINATION and joining us on commentary is Jabari Crossover. Jabari, thanks for joining us.”
Jabari responds, “Thanks for having me.”
Smoke fills the entrance ramp. A platform rises from the top of the entrance ramp. A slim athletic Caucasian man with blonde hair comes from the entrance ramp. The man wears a blue shirt, jeans, white cowboy hat, and American flag for a cape. The titantron shows an American flag pattern with the words ‘THE AMERICAN DREAM’ in red, white, and blue lettering. “American Idiot” by Green Day blares over the PA system in the arena. Daniel Dream walks down the entrance ramp.
Daniel points to a fan in the crowd before walking up the steel steps to the top of the turnbuckle. Daniel raises his hands to pump up the hype of the crowd. Daniel gets in the ring and walks around to face the commentary table. Daniel mouths off to Jabari about being the MVP and not Sean Darring. Jabari remains quiet and has a look of confusion on his face as Daniel mouths off to him.
Two men of Asian descent emerge.
“Standing at seven feet, two inches tall…” ‘Downtown’ Jason Brown starts.
Xiang hypes up The Great Wall by clapping as The Great Wall lifts both fists in the air with a mighty roar.
“The Great Wall!” Jason Brown finishes.
Xiang walks alongside The Great Wall. The Great Wall gets to the ring apron, grabs the top rope with both hands, steps on the ring apron, and then steps over the top rope with ease. Once inside the ring, The Great Wall turns to the hard cam then lifts both fists in the air with another mighty roar. The Great Wall turns to Daniel in the corner. Daniel is bouncing around on his feet. Duncan Sullivan calls for the bell to ring. The bell rings.
Daniel raises his hands for a Collar-and-Elbow tie-up as he steps closer. The Great Wall also puts his hands up for a Collar-and-Elbow tie-up as he steps closer to Daniel. Daniel quickly hits a shoot kick to The Great Wall’s right knee. Daniel circles around The Great Wall before hitting another shoot kick to The Great Wall’s right knee. The Great Wall steps closer and as soon as it seems like Daniel is on the backfoot, he hits another shoot kick to The Great Wall’s knee. Daniel follows up with a shoot kick from his left leg to The Great Wall’s midsection but it has no effect. The Great Wall finally manages to clinch Daniel’s head, throws him backward into the ropes, as Daniel rebounds off the ropes The Great Wall lands a punch to the top of Daniel’s head causing Daniel to drop on his back. It was like Daniel had bounced off a brick wall. Daniel sits up in shock, rubbing his head where he was punched. The Great Wall picks up Daniel and slams Daniel’s face into the upper-right corner turnbuckle. Daniel grabs his face in pain. Xiang walks closer to the upper-right corner as The Great Wall grabs Daniel by the face.
The Great Wall chops Daniel’s chest, causing The American Patriot to collapse to a knee before rolling on his back in pain. The Great Wall jumps for a stiff Leg Drop but Daniel rolls out of the way. The Great Wall crashes to the mat with a sickening thud, his massive frame slamming down hard on his tailbone. The Great Wall grunts in pain. Daniel gets to his feet and hits a shoot kick to The Great Wall’s chest. Daniel alternates his shoot kicks to The Great Wall’s chest and back.
Daniel goes to the ring apron as Jabari comments, “Dream is a muay thai expert, he is a striker. Hands, knees, elbows, fists, and head.”
Daniel launches himself over the top rope with a Springboard Clothesline knocking down The Great Wall. Daniel pins The Great Wall.
The Great Wall TOSSES Daniel off of him and almost over the bottom rope. Daniel manages to get back in the ring and to his feet while the taller man struggles getting to his feet.
Jabari notes, “The Great Wall has a one hundred percent Pinfall Percentage, higher than anyone already.”
Every time The Great Wall has pinned someone in GLOBAL, he’s won the match. Daniel, probably desperate to not be the next one pinned, hits a shoot kick with his right leg to The Great Wall’s chest then hits a shoot kick with his left leg to the chest.
The Great Wall is in the corner as Daniel takes a few steps back to the center of the ring. Daniel charges and hits a Corner Knee Strike to The Great Wall’s jaw.
Mark Deltzer remarks, “Now Dream with a knee and he had to go a long way to get that under the jaw of The Great Wall.”
Daniel charges again but The Great Wall counters with an elbow strike. Daniel stumbles away, holding his face in pain again. Daniel turns around right into a stiff clothesline by The Great Wall.
Mark exclaims, “Ginormous. Seven feet, two. The Great Wall.”
The Great Wall outstretched his arms to soak in the moment before banging his chest in a show of dominance. The camera cuts to Jabari’s worried expression. Daniel gets to a knee and then stands up, turning around. The Great Wall hits an open-hand chop to the top of Daniel’s head, causing Daniel to collapse to his side.
Mark remarks, “Even Jabari Crossover is in awe of the size and the power of The Great Wall on ‘The American Dream’ Daniel Dream.”
As the match continues, Xiang becomes increasingly agitated at Daniel’s striking skills and The Great Wall’s struggles in the ring. Seeing an opportunity to give his client an advantage, Xiang slides a steel chair into the ring on one side of the ring while the official is not looking. Xiang then walks to the other side of the ring and Xiang begins to distract the referee. While the ref is occupied, The Great Wall quickly takes advantage of the situation by grabbing the steel chair and waiting for Daniel to turn around before smacking him on the back with the chair, causing Daniel to collapse to the mat in pain.
As Daniel struggles to get back to his feet, The Great Wall takes the opportunity to hit a Two-handed Chokeslam on Daniel, driving his head into the mat with all his might.
Suddenly flames on the stage burst and the lighting turned red. Benedict Beel Zebub slowly walks down the entrance ramp with a steel chair in hand.
Mark remarks, “The only thing more intimidating than Benedict Beel Zebub is Benedict Beel Zebub carrying a steel chair.”
Jabari says, “Benedict isn’t coming out to rearrange furniture, but one can assume Benedict is coming out to rearrange the brain cells of The Great Wall.”
The Great Wall looks up at the stage, a look of shock and nervousness crossing his face as he glances over to the side, unsure of what to expect from the newcomer.
Daniel quickly turns The Great Wall around and hits him with a powerful ‘The American Revolution’ Ripcord Elbow Strike to the jaw. The Great Wall’s head snaps back from the force of the strike and he falls to the mat like a brick wall collapsing.
As Benedict Beel Zebub reaches the ring, he hands Daniel Dream the American flag that had been draped over his shoulder. Daniel looks at it, then looks at Benedict and nods in gratitude before he turns back to The Great Wall, who is still lying on the mat, groggy from the powerful elbow strike. Daniel then drapes the American flag over his fallen opponent.
“Another BIG win for Daniel Dream AND America against The Great Wall, here on Domination Four,” gushes Lucas Quinn.
“Jabari, pleasure to have you out here, and you’ll be taking that clown’s job in no time at all,” jokes The Mark.
“Guys, it was an honor. Thank you so much, and Daniel Dream brought that wall down and that highest winning percentage is no more,” Jabari rounds off.
OLD MAN YELLS AT CLOUD
The night of Domination #3.
Somewhere in the California desert.
“Jooooohn Jacob Jin-gle-hei-mer Schmidt…”
“…his name is my name too…”
“I said, SHUT. UP!”
“Whenever we go out, the people always shout…”
“I mean it, asshole! You’re THIS CLOSE to a knuckle sandwich!”
“…there goes Jooooohn Jacob Jin-gle-hei-mer Schmidt, la-la-la-la-la-la-la-laaaah!”
“Got your kicks? Got it outta your system?”
“’K, so. My idea was…”
“JEEEEEOOOHN…! Jacob Jin-gle-hei-mer Schmidt…”
“CUT IT OUT, you goddamn prick! You wanna listen to my idea or not?”
“I have to go now. My planet needs me.”
“What?! Your planet…?! THIS is your…?! Waitaminute! NO! NO, you goddamn son of a bitch! You DON’T get to Poochie your way outta this one! You—”
“—have the sub-atomic teleporter. Of course you do.”
The irate half of the freshly concluded exchange – a grubby, oily man in his mid-40s, with vestiges of an athletic built in his otherwise seedy figure, and dressed in a battered leather jacket and mid-wash blue jeans – is left holding a napkin bearing the insignia of the bar and grill directly behind him, as his interloper and almost exact opposite (a flashy young man with a chiseled physique and wearing trendy sunglasses) literally vanishes into thin air. His already irritable expression only contorts further into a seething frown once he reads the words on the sole remaining vestige of his companion’s presence:
CRUZE DIED ON HIS WAY BACK TO HIS HOME PLANET.
“Fuckin’ asshole”, the man grumbles, as he rips the piece of paper into as many shreds as he possibly can. “I didn’t need him, anyway. I don’t even like the prick. I was doin’ him a favor outta respect for Hop. Well, to Hell with that. I’ll just do it myself.” The man holds out his arm and points a finger at the sky, as if addressing a higher presence. “YOU HEAR THAT, HOP?! I’M GONNA DO THIS, BUDDY! I’M GONNA DO THIS FOR YOU!”
“Hey, look, dude! It’s IRL ‘old man yells at cloud’!”
The man turns around, startled, at the sound of young voices, only to find two boys – probably a few years too young to frequent the establishment outside which they all stand at the moment – giggling as they film his monologue on their phone. Their laughter quickly dies on their lips, however, as the man takes a menacing step towards them.
“The hell you doing?” His tone is a menacing, low growl as he addresses the youth. “Who the hell are you?” The boys attempt to answer, but find themselves cut off once again. “You with Them?! Huh?! You two of Them?!”
With this, to the boys’ increasing, slightly frightened befuddlement, the man reaches into his jacket pocket to retrieve what looks like a cross between a supermarket scan-gun and a walkie-talkie, somehow equipped with what appears to be a tiny functioning radar at the top. The bleeping and beeping of this device is the only sound to fill the night sky for the next few moments, as the man extends the contraption towards the two teenagers and runs it up and down the length of each boy’s body, as if running airport security, all while squinting one-eyed at the unit’s LED display. Only after a long moment does he appear satisfied, finally taking a step back and allowing his expression and body posture to relax ever-so-slightly.
“Fuck outta here”, he growls at the two boys, who are happy to oblige. “And ditch those goddamn cellphones! The 5Gs’ll make you sick!”
The teenagers, however, are no longer listening, happy to have regained the safety of their car. After a long moment of staring after them as they peel out of the car park, the man once again reaches into his pocket, this time to retrieve a napkin, identical in every way to the one he shredded moments earlier, on which some contact details have been hastily scrawled in blue ink:
Hollywood, CA 90027
Only then does the man finally turn around and take off walking in the opposite direction – a small, dark, lonely shape inching along the highway shoulder, heading towards the spot where, in the near distance, what appear to be the remains of a crash-landed spaceship can be seen…
THE PRICE OF FRIENDSHIP
Alone in the GLOBAL Boardroom in more ways than one, Giovanni Ferrari, the CEO of the company, presses his cell phone to his handsome tanned face one more time, looking on anxiously. Predictably, his call goes unanswered.
“You’ve reached VIP. Leave a message after the tone.”
Giovanni sighs, digging his nails into his forehead.
“Victor, this is killing me, man. Can you please get back to me? How many times do I have to say I’m sorry? It wasn’t me who signed off on the match with Alex Reyn. Vic, please, I just want to set the record straight and know you’re okay.”
After hanging up, Giovanni then makes another phone call. This time, there is a response.
“Hello, who is that? Brady or Strauss? Hi, Brady. This is Giovanni Ferrari from GLOBAL, and I’d like you to investigate a case for me. What? What do you mean you’re investigating GLOBAL, already?”
THE LEGEND SPEAKS
We are backstage at the Globe. The camera has tracked down “The Legend” Sean Darring, as it’s his assigned camera time on Domination. “The Legend” Sean Darring has just removed his black suit jacket. He has turned to the camera, and the salt-and-peppered Italian-American veteran smiles warmly before addressing the GLOBAL roster and nation.
“It’s another great night here in GLOBAL. At this stage in my career, I never take them for granted. Last Domination, I had another bell-to-bell match with one of the best in GLOBAL, Darren Best. It was an actual classic wrestling war. Darren Best lived up to his last name as one of the best technical wrestlers I have faced in a long time. A true class act, and we had a match filled with respect, honor, and some of the best technical wrestling you will see anywhere.”
The Legend nods as you hear Darring’s respect for Darren Best in his voice.
“It was an honor, friend. I look forward to following your success here in GLOBAL and the chance to share the ring with you again. Here in GLOBAL I have already had the chance to share the ring with two of the best in Daniel Dream and Darren Best, but tonight I look to face Alfie Button. Alfie and I have tiptoed around each other before in a past league. We aren’t strangers, and I know him quite well. The Englishman is no stranger to success, and I know stepping inside the ring with him with be another test. We I agreed to return to the business, the one demand I made to Giovanni Ferrari was to face the best. And in the first four shows, it looks like they are keeping that promise.”
The Legend pauses as he continues to reflect on his match later in the night.
“Alfie, there is no doubt you are faster than I am. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out you are much younger than me. Nobody wants to get hit with that DDT or Chuck Kick. And the icing on the cake right now is you are walking around like Casanova of GLOBAL with Amber Lee at your side. Things are going really well for you right now. By all means, you might be the envy of GLOBAL right now.”
The Legend holds up his index finger.
“But, when that bell rings, the younger, faster, better looking, and better accent man doesn’t always win. I’ve made a career out of beating faster wrestlers. It’s been quite some time since I have faced anyone older than me. So tonight, even though the deck appears a bit stacked. I plan to lace these boots up, hopefully not for the last time. The Final Countdown will blast throughout the arena. I will walk down to that ring and give Amber Lee a little wink. And we will continue to write that final chapter as I test myself against the top wrestlers in professional wrestling today … until I can’t do it any longer.”
The legendary confident grin of Sean Darring returns.
“It would be rude of me not to address the elephant in the locker room here tonight. The chaotic return of an old “friend,” Alex Reyn.
The smile fades.
“Reyn, I know what it’s like to play your games. I know what it’s like to feel your rage. It nearly broke me. I also know how to beat you. We all know eventually, our paths will cross again. Don’t worry; I hear you. I see you. But I don’t fear you. Not if, but when that time comes. This time, I will be ready. Will you?”
A serious tone by the legend before the camera fades.
A CHAT WITH THE MASTER SISTERS
The three inaugural tag team champions sit comfortably on a couch. Aurora in the middle, with both belts resting on her shoulders, on her left, with crossed arms and laying back was Moonlight, and to her right, the smaller sister sat wiggling her feet, which seemed to be slightly annoying Aurora, but not enough to tell her to stop.
On the other side of a short table was yet another British person, as they love to conglomerate together, it seems. Tobias Bellamy had a small computer right in front of him, laying on the table.
“Master Sisters, pleasure to meet you in the flesh finally.” He starts, gesturing at them. “Real quick before we begin, is it alright if I call you Aurora, Moonlight and Carnival Dawn, for the clarity’s sake, or would you prefer any other names during the interview?”
“Aurora, Moonlight and Dawn is fine.” Aurora starts, before being interrupted by Dawn, a normal occurrence.
“Or… Dawn.” Adds Aurora, with a tone of someone who’s clearly tired of this discussion in particular.
“Or Carnival!” Dawn… I mean, Carnival insists.
“Whatever…” Aurora gives up. “Those are our names anyways, you’re free to call us those. Just don’t overuse them.”
“Alright, just had to get that out first.” Notes Tobias. “New fna, by the way. That might be a little controversial, but I have a soft spot for family teams. Speaking of family, who’s actually the oldest of you three? There’s been a bit of a debate over that for the past few weeks now.”
The sisters seem slightly confused at the question, and then they look at the tallest of the trio.
“Well, I think the confusion comes from one simple fact.” Aurora comments, looking back at their interviewer. “The younger sister is huge. Moonlight had a massive growth spur compared to Dawn, for example, who only grew as big as a peanut.” Aurora chuckles at her own joke, which Carnival didn’t seem to like as much.
“At least I’m not as salty as a peanut, like SOME people.” Dawn comments looking at her sister.
“Peanuts aren’t salty, you know. Unless you put salt on them.” Aurora tries to correct.
“Which people do! So they’re salty!”
“By that dumb logic everything can be salty!” Screams Aurora sounding quite more annoyed by this than any normal, sane person should be.
“You’re emitting real heavy doses of peanut energy right now.” Carnival calmy comments over Aurora’s annoyed screams. Tobias seems to be enjoying the sisterly bickering as he quietly snorts at their antics.
“I…” Aurora starts, clearly not knowing very well how to finish that sentence, but she thankfully doesn’t need to as she is interrupted by the bigger sister who has the face of someone who sees this various times every day for decades.
“You should just answer the question.” Moonlight comments.
Aurora collects herself rapidly and turns to Tobias again.
“Right. What was the question again?” She seems lost for half a second. “Oh, yeah. Who’s older? Despite the size Moonlight is the youngest of the group. As for the oldest, now it’s me.”
Tobias Bellamy makes a note of the reply on the computer and quickly moves on to the next question.
“Here’s one of my standard questions, seeing you three have a long history in the field already; Any favourite matches from the past, or a story you’d like to share relating to that?”
The sisters took a moment to share looks and, for a rare moment in their life, they all seem to be in agreement.
“I think that’s an easy answer, no?” Aurora asks her younger sisters.
“Yeah, it’s gotta be the ladder match against that hot asian girl and that greek Moonlight!” Agrees Dawn.
“Gaia.” Corrects Moonlight. “Her name is Gaia. It was a ladder match for the tag titles.”
“They were some old friends too! And we won!” Reminisces Aurora. “It was our first tag titles too. Of course…” She looks at the belts on her shoulder and smirks. “They were far from being the last ones.”
“It was also the first time we heard people boo us.” Remembers Dawn, lying in the couch.
“Another reason why I love it! I love hearing cry baby audience members cry about us winning matches! Don’t you?” Aurora asks Dawn, but it’s her older sister who replies, unamused.
“I don’t really care.”
“You’re no fun, you know that?” Aurora comments right back.
“I do have to clear one rumor real quick, if you don’t mind?” Tobias takes control of the interview again.
“Sure, we don’t have any secrets.” Says Aurora confidently.
“They say you have a secret sponsorship going on with chairs. Have you really gotten offers for something like that?” He asks.
Before Aurora has any time to reply to the weird question, Dawn jumps in the couch, disrupting the other two.
“We have a sponsorship with chairs?!!” She screams.
“Chairs isn’t a brand.” Aurora tries to add in-between jumps.
“Holy non-swear word on public television! The famous Chairs!”
“Please stop.” Begs Aurora, still shaking from all the jumps her smaller sister is doing.
“How much do they pay?” Dawn asks, getting closer to her ‘leader’. “Do they pay you enough to not be so stingy with your precious ‘rare vinyl’?”
“No.” Aurora pushes her sister out of the couch, so she can calm down even if only a little bit. “Buy your own vinyl, I’m not lending you anything anymore since what you did with my copy of Daydream Nation!”
“That was an accident!” Pleads Dawn.
“I know for a fact that it wasn’t!” Insists Aurora.
Dawn decides that this discussion isn’t worth her time and turns her back on her sister and decides to give her full attention to the male on the other side.
“So, no, we don’t have a sponsorship with chairs. What a dumb question.” Dawn replies, sounding weirdly normal for a second.
“Don’t change the subject!” Says Aurora, pulling Dawn back to her.
“Now, now. We should really be listening to Huckleberry Finn here, I’m sure he has more questions for us!” Dawn pats the smiling Tobias, who seems to be somewhat fine with all the derailing that is happening in between his questions.
“Alex Rider.” He adds. “If you’re going to name me after a book character, I’d prefer one from our country.”
Dawn seems surprised for a second before smiling widely. “I like this one.” she comments.
“Why Global? Out of all the places, what got your attention here?” Proceeds Tobias, not wanting to focus on Dawn’s sudden interest in him.
“I’m the one who tends to decide where we go.” Aurora starts once again. “I always wanted to check Hollywood, plus, this had a Tag Team Division that seemed fun to destroy. From familiar faces like the Best of British, to new ones like The Rich Family, they all looked like they would be very fun to smack with chairs.”
“Check the link in the description below for a 20% discount on your seventy sixth chair purchase. Back to the segment!” Adds Dawn looking straight at the camera. She does see you, you know? Well… let’s not dwell on that, this segment is big enough as is.
Tobias moves to the next question:
“Is there anyone specific you’d want to have a match against? Be it a rematch or just to test yourself against someone?”
“Anyone and everyone is welcome to try to face us. I don’t have specific enemies and we’re not the ones who need to prove ourselves here. We’re already the champions afterall.” Answers Aurora.
“I would like to face Aleczander.” Adds Moonlight.
“That so? Mhmmm…” Aurora seems to ponder the possibility for a second before shaking her head and moving on. “I’ll be okay if we don’t.”
“Now if you’ll let me indulge myself a bit here. I do want to ask about that soda contraption in your first match in Global… What happened to it? Do you still have it? And how on Earth did you get that much soda that quickly?” Tobias questions the sisters, but this time the one who takes the first action is Dawn, jumping from her sitting place to right beside Tobias. She puts her arm around him, and while he doesn’t take any immediate action, he seems a bit confused by how comfortable she is in invading his private space.
“Oh, you wanna know my methods, Ghost Rider?” She asks. Tobias shares a glance at Aurora who shrugs and mouths something to the effects of ‘don’t bother correcting her’. “I do still have that machine, of course. I made it myself! As for how I got that much soda, you have no idea what people will do for a signed copy of Daydream Nation!”
This comment seems to light up something in Aurora who quickly jumps to strangle Dawn, but Moonlight grabs and pushes her back, whispering “Just let it go… just let it go.” to her ear, trying to calm her older sister down.
“I got this dude to go to every Walmart in the state and literally buy all the cheap soda he could find. It only took a month, a couple thousand dollars and some pools! The funniest part is that I still don’t know what a Walmart even is!” Continues Dawn.
“It’s a store.” Clarifies Aurora, still being held down by Moonlight.
“I still don’t know what a Walmart even is!” Insists the other sister.
“Your last match… Any comments on that?” Tobias moves on.
“I was not a fan of the end.” This time it is Moonlight’s time to start.
“I was not a fan of most of it.” Agrees Aurora.
“I was not a fan of Aurora hitting me with a chair to my face.” Dawn throws shade at her sister as the writer desperately tries to find more synonyms to the word ‘says’.
“Oh yeah! I liked that part!” Are the words that come out of the sister named Aurora Master.
“When we eventually betray you, the readers will come back to this part and call it foreshadowing.” Dawn notes.
“You guys haven’t betrayed me in ten years of this, you’re not gonna do it now.” Smirks Aurora “But to bring it back to the topic at hand. I’m not really the kind of person who gets mad at victories like that, Champions advantage exists for a reason, blame the system, not us… But what I don’t like, the thing that’s hard to swallow…”
“Ah! Cum!” Shouts Dawn quite loudly interrupting her sister.
“…is… I hate you so much…” Aurora tries her best to compose herself again. “The thing I don’t like is who’s behind it. The Best of British… That was not them helping us, that was them telling us that we need their help. And that’s what I don’t like. The Masters survived this long with nothing but each other, and I’m not sure I want that to change.”
Aurora finishes and Tobias writes everything down, then he turns to Dawn, who’s still sitting by his side, looking at, but not really reading, what he’s writing on his laptop.
“Do you actually have a doctorate?” He asks, trying to make some distance between them.
“What a dumb question, Mr. Nicholas Cage!” She replies. “Of course I do! I didn’t spend five years in medical school for nothing. UCL Medical School in London!”
“Worst part is that she’s serious.” Adds Aurora, confirming what nobody would believe on its own. “It almost makes her sound smart.”
“I know where bones are!” Dawn smiles with a macabre innocence behind her comment.
“Thank God she never actually practiced it professionally.” Finishes Aurora.
“Well, this has been a pleasure, and I thank you for your time.” Tobas smiles and decides to finish the interview, not having anymore questions to ask. “Any closing statements you want to share before I take my leave?”
“Not much, just… Pay attention to your champions.” Aurora comments raising her titles.
Tobias nods and closes his laptop, signaling the end of the interview.
STARTING THE FIRE
Date: January 14th Time: 3:50pm
Valorie smiles as she watches her students standing in a single-file line as they wait their turns to jump on the trampoline and show off their skills. She is glad that she is finding time to not only wrestle on GLOBAL but also still take care of her students who also tend to ask her what it’s like to be in a wrestling ring, surprising her to know that her students watch GLOBAL and thus saw both of her wrestling matches. As the students make their way one by one onto the trampoline and do several tumbles and twirls in the air for a moment before Valorie calls for the next student, a fellow instructor is heard calling out to someone who is apparently not supposed to be on the gymnastics floor. Valorie turns to see Jed Johnson approaching, all healed up and mobile as ever, but still with that same scowl and sickening glare in his eyes. The students immediately recognize him and are about to bombard him with questions but Valorie stops them, asking them to sit and behave while she handles things.
“A pleasure as always to see you Jed. Healed up mighty fine too, if I may say so myself.” Valorie greets her fellow opponent with a sweet smile.
Jed however ignores her and looks to the small children behind her, sitting patiently and eagerly while wondering if they will actually get a front row seat to what Valorie did to him at the second GLOBAL showing.
“Save it. I simply came to remind you that what you did in the ring was NOT a win. It was just you shoving GLOBAL–… no, the ENTIRE sport of wrestling into the mud. I won’t stand for this for another moment. You keep telling these kids that what you did was wrestling. You are BRAINWASHING them, Valorie” he spits at her, venom laced in his words as the children look around in confusion.
Valorie simply stares in utter shock, unsure WHY he decides to come and just belittle her more, and in front of her students no less. Her face begins to flush with embarrassment and anger as she steps forward, motioning her head back towards the kids behind her as she mutters softly, “Why don’t we talk somewhere else? Maybe somewhere out of earshot of the chil’en?”
“Oh? You don’t want the children to know you don’t know how to actually WRESTLE? Is that it Valorie? Is what I’m saying FINALLY getting into that thick-ass head of yours?” he retorts with a bit of a malicious grin on his face.
The flush only grows as well as the anger inside of her, but she has to remain professional and try not to stoop to man’s level.
“Pot, meet kettle” is all she says before she turns her back to him, prepared to usher the children back to the trampoline.
It seems like Jed isn’t going to pursue this any further and Valorie can resume her focus on her students’ advancements, but all of that comes to a crashing halt as Jed opens his mouth yet again, spurring her on even further.
“Turning your back I see huh, Valorie? Is that what those four years in the military taught you? To just turn your back on an enemy that seems too hard to beat? Seems like your training and instruction was all for naught, wasn’t it then? I knew the military was full of good-for-nothings” he calls out to her with an endearing grin.
Valorie simply stands there, staring at the ground and her hands clenching into tight, shaking fists. The children all step back and without a second to spare, Valorie quickly strides over to Jed and grabs onto the left junction of his neck and shoulder, squeezing upon a pressure point that causes an enormous amount of pain. Jed lets out a shout of pain as he is suddenly dropped to his knees, trying to move away from Valorie but she keeps a hold for another solid minute before letting go, letting Jed move away quickly and seeing the intense gaze in her eyes.
“Listen, sugar… you can mock me… you can mock the way I wrestle… but when you mock the military, you have officially messed with the bull. Try that again, sweetheart, and you’re most definitely getting the horns…” She growls, her hands still balled up into fists.
Jed stands to his feet slowly, dusting himself off as a fellow coach comes and hurries him out. Jed can be heard still yelling but it just becomes muffled for Valorie, letting the anger within her start to cool and she takes a deep breath. A few of the children approach her, wanting to check on her and ensure that she isn’t a “good-for-nothing” and is their hero. Valorie can’t help but smile as she kneels to the children and let them all hug her tightly, the anger leaving completely.
AMBER LEE V PAUL SANDERS
On Domination 3, Amber Lee and Alfie Button teamed up to see off the returning duo of The Players, Paul Sanders and Kid Chameleon.
That night saw Amber Lee pin Paul, and GLOBAL officials quickly decided to book a return featuring just these two in a singles affair, giving Paul Sanders the opportunity to avenge a disappointing defeat after several years on the shelf.
Repeat or revenge?
Let’s find out, shall we?
‘Sexy Boy’ by Air.
The 6’3 ladies man with a fine blonde mop on his head, combed and gelled vigorously, emerges with his customary yellow shorts and boots to match, with a black leather jacket, but not zipped up. He smiles at first, and then cuts a more serious figure the closer he gets to the squared circle, probably just content to hear ‘Downtown’ Brown announcing his name after a lengthy spell on the side lines. Redemption is the order of day against Amber Lee.
‘Lose Control’ by Poe The Passenger allows some audience members to do just that, particularly when Mr. Brown announces, “From LOS ANGELES, California, weighing in at one hundred and seventy pounds…AMMMMMMMMBEEEEEER LEEEEEEE!”
The local lass gets a great ovation on appearing, making that two leggy blondes in a matter of moments. The undefeated Amber, who has racked up a couple of wins with Alfie Button and a singles success at the expense of El Principe, waves to the crowd, confidently strutting down the aisle with a swagger in her step, and understandably so.
She glides up the stairs and on the apron poses, but more to get the crowd going than seeking accolades, and she steps through the middle ropes. Sanders doesn’t take his eyes off her, and that is purely from a ‘I want to beat this woman’ rather than being a male gaze camera shot.
Gabrielle Harris signals that this one has started and immediately, the Roundhouse Kick, which Amber used to devastating effect on both Sanders and Kid Chameleon on Domination 3, is dangerously directed at Paul for the second successive show. Seemingly having learned from that, Paul narrowly ducks the sure-fire knockdown from the get-go. Amber smiles, knowing it would have had the same effect, and also that it may yet get another airing later on in the contest.
“I like the confidence this woman has,” Lucas Quinn confesses.
“I LOVE it. Amber Lee is an amazon of a woman. I feel her power overshadows her excellent wrestling skills, and she can fly when the occasion calls for it. She’s got it all,” raves Allie Reece.
A Tie-Up gives Sanders the opportunity to express himself and exert his power, which he does with a Side Headlock. Unfortunately for him, Ms. Lee is also well-blessed in the power department, and she takes Paul for a ride with a Belly-to-Back Suplex. However, equally impressively, Sanders keeps hold of the Headlock despite the back of his head crashing off the canvas.
“Great presence of mine, but I do worry about Paul. He was off for two years because of damage done to his head, and he made questionable choices in the tag team match on Domination Three that arguably cost him and Kid Chameleon the match,” states The Mark.
Paul shakes the cobwebs loose, as does Amber. She makes her way to her feet, and shoves Sanders off into the right-hand set of ropes. On the rebound, Sanders sends her to the mat easily with an affirmative Shoulderblock. Sadly, he misses with the subsequent Elbow Drop attempt, telegraphing it terribly.
“He’s not with it,” The Mark says, shaking his head.
Nevertheless, Paul is back to a vertical base quickly and the pair circle each other, primed to tie up again when Amber, from out of the blue, extends a long leg and catches Paul cold with a right-footed Capoeira Kick. Paul buckles for a moment, and then nods his head as he moves forward with his left foot, having clearly listened to Mister Regal, an acknowledgment that Amber’s shot had got through and had an impact on him at the same time.
A Collar-and-Elbow gives Sanders the opportunity to retake the lead, and he does so with a big Scoop Slam. That has been the gateway for Paul’s fleeting moments of success so far, and while he’s got his woman down, he keeps her down with a couple of harsh and rather loud kicks to the point of the spine. Now, it’s Lee’s turn to be hurt.
“That hasn’t happened to Amber Lee too many times in GLOBAL so far,” Lucas observes.
Amber grits her teeth and stands up, shoving Sanders and goading Paul into missing with a Clothesline. He finds nothing but air, and then has the air taken out of him via a big boot just underneath the chin and Sanders goes down like a pile of rubble.
“It looks like she has a response to everything,” analyses Allie.
Lee drags Sanders to the corner, resting him on the bottom turnbuckle and kicking Paul to keep him in place before turning round and then back again with a CANNON BALL in mind, which she detonates all over the chiselled chest of ‘The Player.’
Sanders is breathing through his backside, and struggling once again at the hands of Amber Lee, who lifts him onto the top rope like a toddler being place on top of a slide. Suddenly, when Amber joins him up at the summit, Paul has a surprise in the form of a headbutt waiting for her, hardly welcoming. A MASSIVE right hand sends her to the floor immediately, and the fall adds further concern for any Amber Lee fans out there. This gives Sanders some space to plot his next move, and he elects to exploit his location, and use the top rope as a base.
“I have to say, I don’t get this from Paul Sanders. This is not his forte, and he suffered a very bad head injury, I wonder if he should be back in the ring because I never saw him go to the top rope when he was healthy, let alone now. He’s a great athlete, but it has always been mixed with power and done intelligently from a standing position. I have a bad feeling about this,” The Mark laments.
Lo and behold, Sanders takes a leap of faith, his 250-pound frame bolting towards Amber Lee, who CATCHES him in mid-air like Wilt Chamberlain with a rebound.
“I knew it,” The Mark grumbles, smacking his hand down on the desk.
“Awesome power by Amber Lee, though,” Allie Reece enthuses.
Amber stoops for a second, preparing herself for one almighty lift, hoisting Sanders up onto her shoulders and then throwing him Paul into mid-air again, only with a hell of a worse landing as Sanders immediately has to…
Allie gushes, “That was AMAZING!”
“It really was,” Lucas agrees.
“I can’t argue with that, though I can’t help wondering if Paul should be in the ring, and before you interrupt Allie, Amber is fantastic, she really is,” The Mark squeezes in, sensing Reece’s wrath.
Amber hooks Paul’s right leg, not that it’s necessary, as Gabrielle Harris confirms what we already know…
“Go to Sleep is right, and Paul will still be that way for several seconds to come,” gloats Allie.
Amber Lee has her hand raised before leaving the ring and celebrating with some fans in the front row, hugging one blonde-haired fan, approximately 5 to 6 years old, and slapping the hands of adoring fans as she heads up the ramp, turning back to wave and blow kisses to the GLOBAL Nation.
“Mark, I know you’re disappointed.”
“I am, Lucas, and it’s a shame because Paul Sanders WAS a heck of an athlete, guy and tag team wrestler, and capable in singles action, as well. I question whether he should have come back, or if he should’ve been allowed to return for his own well-being. Amber Lee has annihilated him on both occasions, and that’s testament to her, like Crusader X did to Kid Chameleon earlier on. It can happen. But some of Paul’s decisions are not Paul, and I’d implore him to have a serious think before returning to the ring,” The Mark explains.
“And, I’d implore Amber to think about dumping Alfie and embarking on a singles career, exclusively,” Allie concludes, making sure the last word is about Amber Lee, as it should be.
THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH
The afternoon before Domination #4
The Man Who Fell To Earth reaches his destination at precisely 5.55PM on the afternoon of January 22. At that time, things are still mostly quiet around Studio 49, with only a small line of early-bird fans already queuing up outside the venue. The Man Who Fell to Earth does not acknowledge them, or indeed anyone else, even after the security guard calls out after him; instead, he simply navigates his way to a side door, almost as if he has known where he is going all along.
After establishing the door is, indeed, unlocked, and does, indeed, lead to a small reception area, The Man Who Fell To Earth promptly lets himself in, immediately drawing the attention of not only the attractive woman behind the reception desk – blonde, mid-twenties or early thirties, a real peach, The Man surmises – but also the two young girls waiting in the seating area a few feet away. For a moment, there is total silence; then, the receptionist breaks it.
“The soup kitchen is further down a ways, sir. This is an entertainment venue.”
“Soup kitchen?” The Man’s tone is harsh, borderline rude. “I don’t care about the goddamn soup kitchen! I want to see your boss!”
“Excuse me?” The receptionist seems torn between gawping at the stranger or wincing in disgust.
“You heard me, sweetheart. Your boss. Or whoever the hell’s in charge of the whole wrestling joint.”
“The…?” It is all the receptionist can do to maintain composure. “Mr. Ferrari? He…isn’t here, sir…You’ll need to come back tomorrow…”
“Yeah…and have a shower in the meantime”, one of the two waiting girls – the one with bright pinkish-red hair – calls out. “We can smell ya from all the way over here!”
The Man Who Fell to Earth does not waste more than a glance on the mouthy child before once again turning to the woman at the desk, leaning over it to look her directly in the eye. “Listen here, sweetheart. I know they tell you to say that when somebody asks to see ’em…but I ain’t buying into that bullshit. You mean to tell me that with a show on tonight, the boss ain’t here?” He laughs, a mirthless bark. “How dumb do you think I am?”
“Pretty dumb, if you can’t take a hit, dude”, the girl with red hair chimes in again, unwillingly making herself a factor in The Man’s reasoning.
“Besides…if the big kahuna ain’t here…what are THEY waiting for?”
“A try-out, jackass”, the redhead pipes in again. “You don’t need to see the boss for a try-out!”
This time, her statement catches The Man’s attention, as he once again leans in towards the increasngly uncomfortable secretary.
“Ya don’t, huh? And how do you go about getting one of THOSE?”
“Well, you…” Once again, the poor blonde can only just maintain professional composure. “…you need to fill in one of our online sign-up forms…or you can download the app…”
“Nope.” The Man does not even let his interloper finish. “Not gonna happen. I know you want to infect everybody with the 5G’s, but you ain’t getting’ ME with that crap. Not old John J. I’m smarter than that!”
“Oh, great, a Redpiller”, the redhead sighs, drawing a huff from her blue-streaked brunette companion. “Hey, buddy…you think you spooked that lady enough yet? You think maybe it’s time you effed off back to that dumpster you crawled out of?”
“Yeah…zip it, sweetheart”, The Man snaps. “The grown-ups are talking.”
“I don’t see any grown-ups talking right now”, the girl retorts. “Just a big, giant manbaby!”
“Uh…that’s all right”, the receptionist cuts in, sounding vaguely panicky at the prospect of a fight occurring in her front lobby. “Thanks, but…um…it’s fine.” Then, grabbing a few sheets of paper from a pile beside her, she hands them to The Man. “You can fill those in, and I’ll see if there’s anyone available to talk to you about try-outs.”
“That’s more like it, honey”, The Man drawls, approvingly. “Good to see you know your place, and you’re not one of those millennial snowflakes…” Here, the man glances towards the two girls, causing the redhead to stick her tongue out at him.
“Um…sure. Would you like to have a seat?” At this, the duo in the seating area motion as if to cover every empty chair on either side of them, but The Man simply shakes his head, pointing at the girls’ cellphones.
“Nah. I ain’t going near those things. I ain’t looking to get 5G poisoning. I’m gonna go across the road and get a sandwich. Tell ’em I’ll be back in ten.”
The receptionist, who is still making an effort not to pinch her nose with two fingers, seems more than agreeable with this. “Sure. What’s your name, by the way?”
Instantly, The Man’s demeanour reverts back to suspicion. “Nice try, sweetheart. I’m not telling you my personal information. Good luck trying to track me NOW!”
The Man cackles derisively, but the receptionist seems less amused.
“It’s only so I can tell them who to ask for when they go into Subway. But if you DON’T want them to find you…” The blonde shrugs. “…suit yourself.”
This gives The Man pause, and he visibly considers his options for a long moment before nodding, his mind seemingly made up.
“Fine. I’ll tell you my name. But that’s ALL you’re getting from me. Understand? No socials, no address, no NOTHING. You got that, sweetheart?”
Then, as the secretary nods in agreement, he stands up a little straighter, his intense frown momentarily replaced with a cocky, almost smug smirk.
“It’s Truth. John J. Truth. The Man Who Fell To Earth.”
ALECZANDER THE GREAT VS. BIG AUG
“Downtown” Jason Brown is now in the ring with referee Duncan Sullivan standing by with the ring having been fixed up with some props for the upcoming challenge.
“Greetings, GLOBAL Nation!” Jason Brown greets the crowd to loud cheers. “Up next, we have the best of three strength challenge between Aleczander The Great and “Big Aug” August Lazar! Two of GLOBAL’s largest and most powerful athletes, respectively! We have here, a Best of Three Challenge!”
The vibrant ring announcer turns his attention to the center of the ring where an arm-wrestling post is currently set up.
“The first challenge will be an arm-wrestling contest!”
He motions to Duncan Sullivan who gestures to a large rope hanging on the edge of the ring.
“The second challenge will be a tug of war contest! The competitor that pulls the other over this red line taped across the ring will be the winner! And should a third contest be needed…”
Brown points to the ring under his feet.
“And in the event that we have a tie… the winning contest will be decided by way of a body slam challenge! Where the first person to successfully body slam their opponent will be the winner!”
Brown gestures to the entrance.
I go by the name of Dame Jones
I’m with my crew
And we gon’ show y’all what we be snacking on
“Hot Cheetos and Takis” by Da Rich Kidzz.
TOWERING through the entrance, the dirty-blonde monster with hair tied back in a bun! Tonight, he’s wearing a sleeveless red sweatshirt, red and white track pants and a red headband keeping his long hair in place! His manager and best friend, Del Waterstone, is filming the proceeding as the giant makes his way down the red carpet!
“GLOBAL WRESTLINGS! IT’S TIME TO SHOW HOW STRONK AUGIE IS!” yells Big Aug to the hard camera in front of him.
“Let ‘em know, Augie, let ‘em know!” Del shouts. “STRONK, baby! Let’s go!”
Big Aug pulls himself up to the ring apron.
“Introducing first…” “Downtown” Jason Brown makes the announcement. “from Clearwater, Florida, by way of Romania… accompanied by manager, Del Waterstone… he stands SEVEN-FOOT FOUR and weighs in at THREE-HUNDRED NINETY-NINE pounds…
Big Aug holds a finger for every nickname he’s been given…
“He is Everyone’s Zest Friend… Boss of the Sauce… Mr. Spice Guy… One Giant Tasty Snack… The Man with an Appetite For Life… The Man With The Iron Stomach… and The Largest Athlete in The GLOBE…”
Brown takes an exaggerated breath as Big Aug poses in the ring.
“BIG AUG” AUGUST LAZAR!”
Big Aug poses to cheers from the crowd and gets The GLOBAL Nation fired up!
“Big Aug been fasting for this challenge!” Big Aug shouts. “That hard work eating NOTHINGS!”
After the fanfare dies down, it’s time for Aleczander to arrive.
“And his opponent… from right here in Hollywood, California by way of Manchester, England… he weighs in at 264 pounds and he demands to be referred to as GLOBAL’s First-Ever Hall of Famer…”
The opening piano intro to “Hall of Fame” by The Script feat. will.i.am starts to play and already, the crowd starts booing.
On stage, an unnamed pair of blonde female presenters are on stage much like his debut with a bouquet of yellow flowers and a plaque respectively. The music plays as two fountains of golden pyro start to shoot out from either side of the stage…
“ALECZANDER THE GREAT!”
The Gilded Great has on a pair of golden-hued Adidas track suit of his own with a black tank underneath! With it, he has his far gaudier attire of gold-tinted sunglasses, a golden bandana and about four or five gold chains around his neck. He holds his arms out and steps around in a circle to show off his admittedly fantastic physique. Once he’s finished, the female presenters each take an arm and then walk on either side of the self-proclaimed Hall of Famer before heading to the ring.
The booing is louder the longer this goes on until Aleczander is handed his flowers and Hall of Fame plaque. Big Aug rolls his eyes and Del can’t help but look annoyed at ringside as Aleczander walks up the steps, hands over his plaque and flowers, then enters the ring. He unzips the coat of his track jacket to reveal an extra-oiled up physique for tonight. He hits the flex, then points to Aleczander. He offers him a handshake, which Big Aug takes very tentatively.
After the unexpected show of sportsmanship, Duncan Sullivan tells both men to get ready.
“I got this one, wanker!” Aleczander yells to the official. “I’ve got muscles on these muscles? See that, mate? That’s a vein!”
Sullivan rolls his eyes before Big Aug puts his elbow on the table and his other hand ready to arm wrestle. He tells Aleczander to do the same.
“Arms up!’ Duncan yells.
“Hold on a minute! I’m getting meself ready!” The Gilded Great shouts.
He psyches himself up with some rather exaggerated breathing exercises while Big Aug is now starting to look annoyed.
“Come on, big boy!” Aug bellows. “You want this work, you get it! Let’s go!”
Everyone’s Zest Friend raises an arm and The GLOBAL Nation starts cheering for The Largest Athlete in The GLOBE as he puts an elbow down. Aleczander The Great gets his hands in the chalk, then flexes… and now he’s ready. Duncan Sullivan checks to make sure both arms are where they need to be…
“You don’t want none of this greatness, mate! Hall of Fame level strength right here!” Aleczander boasts.
Duncan Sullivan points…
The test of strength begins!
Both Big Aug and Aleczander are straining quickly, trying to get the arm of their opposition to go down first! The crowd are making noise for Big Aug to win as he looks to be struggling quickly against the admittedly impressive arm of Aleczander.
“Give up, Augie!” Aleczander screams. “Veins for days, mate! All that garbage you eat makes you soft!”
He continues trying to power Big Aug’s massive tree trunk-like arm over, but Big Aug is still holding his own.
“Hall of Fame Strength…” Big Aug yells. “… But grade school trash talk!”
Aleczander’s arm starts moving the other way against his will! His eyes start to bulge when The Boss of the Sauce starts to move his arm over again! He continues getting him over with the GLOBAL Nation firmly behind him!
He’s almost there…
But Aleczander appears to have found himself some reserve strength! Now he and Big Aug are back to the center of the table before Aleczander starts to move Augie’s arm downward.
“I told you! Strongest man in GLOBAL! You’re done!”
Alecz ALMOST has his arm down… but the crowd will Big Aug on…
Then he starts moving the arm back the other way!
The GLOBAL Hall of Famer can’t believe it! He gets pushed the other way. Then Big Aug strains…
ALECZANDER’S ARM IS DOWN!
DING DING DING
Aleczander can’t believe it! He snatches arm away in shock as Jason Brown makes the announcement.
“Here is your winner of the first Test of Strength… “BIG AUG” AUGUST LAZAR!”
Big Aug basks in the positive reception from the crowd, then reaches over to high-five Del on the outside. Another referee comes in to help remove the table while Duncan Sullivan ignores the bitching from Aleczander The Great and brings out the rope to be used for the tug of war competition!
“He cheated! He’s tall, but he’s not strong!” Then starts in on Duncan. “You’re dead from the neck, you gormless tit! I won! He lost!”
“Grab the rope or we’re done here!” Duncan yells back.
Big Aug goes to take his end of the rope. The Largest Athlete in The GLOBE heads back to his corner while a pissed-off Aleczander starts to go back with his end. He threatens to slap Duncan Sullivan’s non-existent cock-eye back into place if he mouths off again, before he tries to psych himself up for the second contest.
“The second contest is a tug of war competition!” Jason Brown announces. “Whoever pulls their opponent across the red line that has been placed in the ring will be declared the winner!”
While Mr. Spice Guy looks as relaxed as he can be getting ready for this competition, Aleczander seems to be taking things a bit harder and snatches Jason Brown’s microphone from him!
“You got lucky! That’s all that was!’ Aleczander scowls.
“Not really!” Big Aug shouts off-mic. “Won many arm-wrestling competitions! That’s how boys passed some of the time on the road! These guns, buddy! Registered weapons!”
“SHUT UP!” Aleczander barks back. “I’m a GLOBAL Hall of Famer AND I’m a Tug of War Hall of Famer! That’s right! Nobody is a better tugger than me! Tugging all day! How do you think these bloody arms got as big as they did?”
The crowd start laughing as everyone but Aleczander appears to be in on the last words to come out of his mouth.
“SHUT UP! ALL OF YOU! YOU’RE JUST MAD NONE OF YOU WORK AS HARD AS I DO AT TUGGING!”
He shoves Jason Brown’s mic back into his chest and grabs his end of the ropes. Duncan Sullivan tells both men to get ready…
“GO!” Duncan yells.
The Gilded Great and The Boss of the Sauce start pulling on the ropes from their respective sides, trying to do what they can to gain some ground early!
“I got this! I got this!” Aleczander shouts, almost trying to convince himself he does, indeed, got this.
Big Aug is trying to pull on his own and for now, both men appear to be even steven.
“Get his ass! Go, Augie!” Del shouts as he films the competition from his phone. “You got this!”
Aleczander continues to pull on the rope and seems to be faring better! The GLOBAL Nation are jeering as the self-proclaimed GLOBAL Hall of Famer is pulling Big Aug towards his corner slowly.
“You are NOT bloody stronger than me!” Alecz screams. “This game is MY game, you knob!”
The Gilded Great continues to pull on the rope with Big Aug appearing to get close to the line! His feet inch closer…
But at the last second, Big Aug looks up at Aleczander… with a cheeky grin.
Then PULLS Aleczander! Aleczander’s eyes go wide again as Big Aug appears to have been baiting him just a bit! Everyone’s Zest Friend starts to pull the ropes more and more with the Mancunian Muscle inching ever so closer to his side of the line!
“No! No!” Alecz shouts.
The Largest Athlete in The GLOBE continues to pull him closer towards the line!
He’s almost there…
Aleczander tries to pull far away from the line…
THEN TACKLES BIG AUG INTO THE CORNER!
DING DING DING DING DING
The crowd is booing WILDLY as Aleczander The Great snaps! Big Aug is caught off-guard by the tackle in the corner! Duncan Sullivan is calling for the bell as Aleczander attacks Augie with a stiff series of shoulder thrusts in the corner! He keeps on firing with a number of punches and kicks in the corner, trying to hit Big Aug anywhere and everywhere!
The bell ringing and the crowd jeering don’t appear to be stopping Aleczander as he winds up part of the tug of war rope and starts to WHIP Big Aug with it in the corner!
THWACK! THWACK! THWACK! THWACK! THWACK!
The self-proclaimed GLOBAL Hall of Famer winds up and then muscles Big Aug over the top rope! After he takes the fall, Aleczander climbs the middle rope and listens to the jeering crowd.
“I’M the bloody strongest man in GLOBAL Wrestling! Not this giant NBA failure! Me! Me!”
Del Waterstone tries to help Big Aug get back to his feet as he’s on a knee on the outside, still trying to stand! Aleczander climbs off the buckles and goes to the floor as he gets ready to launch another assault on Big Aug!
He charges for the spear that he calls the Hall of Fame Induction….
…BUT BIG AUG STRIKES FIRST WITH A BIG SHOULDER TACKLE OF HIS OWN!
Aleczander gets skipped across the ringside floor like a rock across the water. The Largest Athlete in The GLOBE is now fully upright and he looks PISSED.
When Aleczander sees him coming, Big Aug grabs the arm wrestling table from out of the ring…
AND HURLS IT IN ALECZANDER’S DIRECTION!
Aleczander just BARELY moves out of the way as the table breaks apart! The Mancunian Muscle quickly makes a hasty retreat back up the red carpet and towards the back!
“GET BACK HERE AND FIGHT, LITTLE MAN!” Big Aug shouts to the cheers of the crowd!
Del Waterstone goes to check on his large friend. There are two big red marks on his arms from where Aleczander The Great whipped him with the rope, but he’s otherwise upright and starts charging backstage after the GLOBAL Hall of Famer!
“I… I can’t believe what we just saw!” Allie Reece says from commentary. “Aleczander The Great promised this was a friendly competition, but that was anything but!”
“We’ve seen nothing but a playful Big Aug thus far in GLOBAL,” Mark Deltzer points out, “but THIS is the Big Aug I think we need to see!”
“This is the LAST Big Aug that Aleczander wanted to see,” Quinn says, “and Aleczander The Great’s antics look like they just woke up a sleeping giant!”
ALEX REYN V GEMINI
The East Wind, Alex Reyn, is already in the ring. No ceremonious entrance this time, he had simply walked into the ring, and now awaits his opponent.
There’s a grim tone to Jason Brown’s voice as he makes the announcement.
“The following contest is scheduled for one-fall! Making his way to the ring, weighing in at 244 lbs. Gemini!”
“Hey, come on guys. This might not be so bad.” The Mark, on commentary says. “I mean, Gemini’s already beaten Reyn twice already.”
“Back in 2020, after a loss to Sean Darring, Alex Reyn suffered two back to back losses to Gemini.” Allie Reese gives some more context to the audience.
“Yes, but that was an Alex Reyn who was severely rattled by his loss to Darring and completely off his game. Gemini’s up against a focused and motivated Alex Reyn… this may not end well.”
The bell rings, and well… it had worked the last two times.
The double axe-handle. The move that had stunned Alex twice before!
…The move that Alex Reyn easily sidesteps.
Gemini stumbles, then swings it again. But again the East wind ducks. Another swing, another effortless dodge. With a yell of frustration, Gemini begins swinging his fists madly! Trying to take the East Wind’s head off, but Alex Reyn is toying with his opponent as he ducks and weaves between the blows.
“This isn’t good, Gemini needs to keep his cool!” Quinn warns.
Gemini tries for another swing. But this time Reyn counterattacks.
A palm strike hits Gemini square in the nose and he stumbles back! Eyes watering up and obscuring his vision.
Reyn doesn’t give him time to recover.
“CALF SLICER!! CALF SLICER!!” Quin calls, “WE ALREADY KNOW GEMINI HAS A BAD LEG!!”
Gemini is already tapping, But Reyn doesn’t let go. Instead, he wrenches back HARDER on the leg. His face is still eerily calm as he applies more pressure on the hold!
“That could rip Gemini’s calf muscle clean off the bone!” Quinn yells.
“This is punishment,” Allie says somberly. “We all know how humiliated Reyn felt from losing to someone like Gemini twice in a row… He’s looking to remove that black mark…
“…By removing Gemini.” The Mark finishes for her.
Alex Reyn has released the hold now and stands up.
Gemini, however… can not.
He is lying on the mat, clutching at his leg in clear agony, as Reyn stalks closer. Gemini tries to stand up, but his leg just can’t support his weight.
Reyn stomps Gemini’s head into the mat!
The commentary winces! The speed of the stomp had been like a whip crack, and blood is now dripping from a gash on Gemini’s forehead.
Then Gemini coughs up blood as Reyn stomps on his THROAT!
There’s a cry of horror and disgust. A call for security!
But security doesn’t come.
The doctors don’t come.
Even the referee has backed away as Reyn stomps down again. And again. And again. His expression is cold and dispassionate. His strikes are like a cobra’s bite or a scorpion’s sting. Lightning fast and aimed at the most vulnerable areas; temple, mouth, eyes, throat.
He doesn’t stop until Gemini lies unmoving in a pool of blood.
And as Reyn leaves the ring, disappearing into the crowd like a ghost… only THEN do the EMTs arrive to take Gemini away.
The Future – Elsewhere.
As the years passed so too did the grey clouds overhead. It is said that the resurrection of a living God brought about the miraculous recovery of the nation. But who can really say for certain?
Clear glassed High-rise buildings reach ambitiously towards the blazing sun, crisp green trees and bushes running around their perimeter. Electric cars follow the weaving streets, hovering at various heights, traffic neatly stacked on top of itself in tiers.
In the centre of the swirling junctions and high rise buildings a narrow building, taller than the rest, climbs towards the midday sun.
* * *
Doritos Man stands in the centre of the boardroom at the top of the nations tallest building. He is wearing a hemp toga, a pair of flip flops and a Cool Original flavour bag of Doritos on his head.
Holographic images surround him of millions of people, all no more than an inch tall and dotted around the nation, attending the meeting virtually.
“Consider the problem of overpopulation. Rapidly mounting human numbers are pressing ever more heavily on natural resources. What is to be done? “The annual increase of numbers should be reduced. But how?
“We are given two choices – Pestilence and war on the one hand, birth control on the other.
“Brothers and sisters – most of us choose birth control.”
Laughter echoes around the room, each of the audience having been encouraged to participate with input such as laughter and applause for their Lord and saviour, but canned laughter being piped into the room nonetheless by a hapless sound production assistant.
“Do I sound like I’m fuckin’ jokin’ bro?” Doritos spits, his words like venom.
The sound production assistant cuts the canned laughter so that the room falls immediately silent.
The presentation was being broadcast directly to the minds of the entire nation, all of whom froze in place and beamed themselves virtually, whether they wanted to or not, into the meeting room. Now they will be forced to hear what Doritos Man has to say to them, in full.
“Most of us choose birth control. But not me, man. For I am the Lord of the maize. Keeper of the cheeses. Praise be upon me! And I choose pestilence!”
With a wave of his arms a swarm of locusts buzz across the windows behind him. There are so many that the room turns black.
Outside, the sun is eclipsed by the locusts and the sharply green grass is now replaced by the dull green-brown of frogs.
A number of explosions blast from the bases of several of the buildings, flames quickly rising up the sides of the tall structures.
Meanwhile, the entire nation stands, sits, or lies completely motionless. They are gripped by Doritos Man, unable to move.
Powder falls from the sky, covering first the locusts, but then swirling around in the breeze like light flakes of snow.
“I will send famine and wild beasts against you, dude. And they will rob you of your children and your wallets and shit. Pestilence and blood shall pass through you. Especially your bottom. And I will bring the sword upon you. I am Doritos; I have spoken.” Doritos proclaims to the paralysed masses, once again waving his arms.
The holograms disappear from in front of Doritos and, between the flutters of locusts lightening begins to strike.
Even from high in his tower, Doritos hears their screams, and he heard that it was good.
‘Giiiiirl, you seein’ this?’
The brunette woman in an Ed Hardy hat currently front and center on Ross Hanson’s phone screen smacks her gum with a dirty cackle as the other person on the call, a blonde, nods.
“Daaaaamn, Madbaby, you an’ babygirl got some mad moves, yo!”
“Mostly her. I just stand there and do the heavy lifting,” The Son of a Madman smiles and nods appreciatively as the trio continue to appraise the Dirty Birds’ last appearance in a wrestling ring.
“So, you sayin’ this place pays good?”
“We don’t have to borrow money for gas. Or food. Or rent. Or anything else ”
“So why you tryn’a quit, then, baby boo?”
Hanson sighs. “It’s a long story, Tammy. I’ll explain it later. I know y’all ain’t got shit else to do until March, and you’re both going to be right down the street from the GLOBAL Studios. What do you think?”
“Yeah, we can turn up for y’all”, the brunette says, her tone now more serious. “Right, Moll?” The blonde nods again, and her interloper smiles. “Just slide them deets in my Inbox, boo boo.”
“I’m looking, I can’t remember where I saved all their contacts..okay, I found it, either this is the person you call for GLOBAL, or this guy is going to try and sell you a gym membership,” Ross says, just as a fourth party literally crashes into the conversation, bursting through Hanson’s apartment door like Cosmo Kramer inviting himself over to Jerry Seinfeld’s.
“Daaamn, H!” Ross studies his girlfriend with a look of concern. “You OK? You been running?”
“Yup,”, Hayley Robinson pants, “Done ran all the way here. Done had to show you this shit.” The blonde takes another deep, gasping breath, still recovering from what was obviously a sizeable sprint to the apartment. “You want somebody to fight? I done got us somebody to fight. Say howdy, y’all.”
‘The Raven’ turns her mobile phone around so that it faces her partner and boyfriend. From the screen, two nearly identical young men, who appear to be in their late teens to early twenties, smirk at Hanson.
“’Sup, Taylor Hanson”, one of them quips.
“That’s funny”, Ross retorts, no less sarcastically. “Especially ’cause it’s the two of y’all who look like the Hanson brothers…”
“You a funny one, boy”, the second young man deadpans. “Raven says y’all fixin’ to find somebody to fight. That right?”
“Yup.” Ross nods. “I got a couple people lined up, though… Probably easier than all y’all coming all the way down here from Arkansas…”
“Fuck outta here”, the first boy says. “No sweat off our backs. Make a road trip of it, be there in a couple days. Y’all just scared a’ getting y’all’s asses whupped by the METAL MILITIA!”
The two boys flash devil horns at the camera, before joining them together in a sort of custom hand gesture or sign. Ross only looks over at Hayley with a worried face.
“So, when are you planning to tell me that you’re adopted?”
“I AM adopted.” Robinson gives her partner a look of somewhat shocked disbelief. “I done TOLE you that when we done met the first time, jackass!”
Ross looks at Hayley as if he is trying to solve an advanced algebra equation.“Was I high when you told me? I thought we’ve been through this. Don’t tell me important shit when I’m on dabs. That’s how I forgot to tell people it was my birthday like…” Ross stares off into space. “How long ago even was my birthday?”
“The Raven”, however, is not feeling the slightest bit lenient towards her partner’s usual brand of shenanigans.
“That’s it. You sleepin’ on that couch tonight, asshole.”
With that, and ranting semi-coherently about “dumbass men who ain’t never pay ‘ttention to nothin’”, the blonde retires to the apartment’s one and only bedroom; before Ross can so much as utter another word, the door has slammed shut and a key has turned in the lock from the inside, causing the Madson to sigh. It is going to be a long night.
EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE
These are the first words Aurora, Dawn and Moonlight Master hear as they come through the curtain into The Globe’s backstage area, courtesy of a smiling, open-armed Nigel Kensington III.
“Well WHAT?!” Dawn, in particular, seems less than receptive to any advances from her fellow Brit.
“Well…? Was that sufficiently useful?” The Best of British member seems absolutely unaffected by the Sisters’ unfriendly demeanour as he once again addresses them.
“Hm”, Aurora grunts noncommittally, as Carnival glares at Kensington and his partner, sulking silently and stand-offishly a few feet away.
“For your information,” Dawn snaps, “we would have won that match ANYWAY. With or without your…” The redhead gestures for air-quotes. “…’help’.”
“I…see”, Kensington utters. “Well, at least now you are aware of what you can expect should you align with our group. Full co-operation, whenever necessary.”
“Hm”, Aurora vocalises once again.
“Hopefully, after tonight, you will be more inclined to consider our offer…?”
“Hm”, comes a third sound from the oldest of the three sisters.
“Excellent”, Kensington exclaims. “Shall we discuss this matter again in two weeks’ time?”
Aurora remains nothing if not consistent with her answer, merely uttering another “Hm” before she and her sisters resume their way to the Women’s locker rooms, leaving a visibly satisfied Kensington to join his still silent partner and walk off in the opposite direction.
These are the first words Aurora, Dawn and Moonlight Master hear as they come into The Globe’s workout and performance area, courtesy of a smiling, open-armed Nigel Kensington III.
“Well WHAT?!” Once again, Carnival Dawn seems less than pleased to see the persistent Londoner standing in her and her sisters’ way.
“Have you given our potential alliance any further thought?”
“NO”, Dawn snaps, only to be surprised when Aurora signals for her to stand down.
“Now, now! Let’s not be… hasty.” Aurora replies. “Even if it is your forte.” Then she turns to Nigel. “You’ve shown results, I have to admit.”
“They interrupted our match” Grunts Moonlight, throwing glares at Nigel.
“A match we…” Aurora stopped just before saying ‘would lose’, carefully choosing the words that would come out of her mouth. “… could require some assistance with. Things weren’t going our way.”
“Must be the sudden ghostly chair that hit my face out of nowhere.” Points out Carnival.
“Yup, damn those ghosts.”
“So, you’re accepting the deal? You want to work with THEM?” Shouts Moonlight, in a very out of character show of emotions.
“I… well, I don’t want to, especially having in mind who’s the dumbass that tags with him.” Aurora comments.
“That ugly, horrible, disguting bastard who smells of poop.” Adds Carnival.
“Smells of poop!” Agrees the older sister.
“I do NOT smell of…” Rupert Royston-Fellowes is heard for the first time in two weeks. “I will have you know I exclusively wear Kilian perfume! Seven hundred pounds a carafe!”
“Seven hundred pounds and you still smell like that. I’m sorry.” Aurora says under a smirk. “But yes, I’d be more willing to accept the offer if it came with a restraining order that stopped you from ever being in the same room as me. Can we add that in? I’ll sign right away!”
Kensington ponders this for a moment, much to Rupert’s disbelief, then shakes his head slightly, drawing frowns from all three Master Sisters. When he speaks again, however, it is to offer a compromise.
“I’m afraid that would not be viable. Stella requires everyone involved be present at team meetings.” He looks up at the GLOBAL Tag Team Champions. “However, we might be able to come to an agreement under slightly different terms.” He scans the girls’ faces and, seeing no more resistance than before, quickly proceeds. “Simply put…let us settle our differences in the ring. Any two of you against the two of us.” He gestures towards himself and Rupert, then grins mischievously as he adds in an extra wrinkle. “Should we emerge victorious…you accept our deal. Should you obtain victory…you have our word on how we shall not ask again. Is that agreeable?”
“AND Rory gets to kick HIM in the nuts”, Dawn counters.
Despite Rupert’s vehement head shakes, Kensington agrees, drawing a hiss from his partner.
“Are you out of your MIND?!”
Nigel, however, raises his hand in an appeasing gesture, giving the blond a slight head shake as he once again turns towards the three sisters.
“In two weeks. At Domination #5.” Then, after another moment’s thought, he adds some reassurance. “Your titles shall be safe. The challenge is intended simply as a way to facilitate a business agreement.” He smiles again, this time at Aurora in particular. “So, then…do you accept our terms?”
Aurora listens to the end, but doesn’t reply right away, instead she looks at her sisters.
“Do it! We can punch Rupert Grint in the face! Let’s go!” Says Dawn.
“I thought we had reached the conclusion that he was not Ron Weasley and that joke was overdone already.”
“I hated him in the Prisoner of Azakaban!”
“You know what? Fine, we accept. You two versus me and…” Starts Aurora, before being interrupted.
“Me.” Says the younger sister pushing herself to the forefront for the first time since joining Global. “You interrupted my match. Let me prove to you why you didn’t need to.” She raises her arm for Nigel to shake, which her fellow Brit promptly does. Surprisingly, Dawn does not in any way try to trick him, instead just returning the handshake and sealing the deal for two weeks in the future.
“Good to see you have some business sense, even in anger”, Kensington states. “We look forward to working with you in the very near future.”
With that, and without giving the Tag Team Champions a chance to reply, the dark-haired Brit gathers up his fairer partner and walks off, leaving the Sisters to exchange telling glances amongst themselves.
E Z RAH Vs ALF ALFERSON
In the ring stands Alf Alferson. A rotund man wearing a white t-shirt, torn below the left nipple, along with some ill-fitting pale denim jeans. He doesn’t appear to be well-prepared for the forthcoming matchup, and the audience are taking the upcoming opportunity to head to the bars and merchandise stands, bracing for what has become known to internet marks as an Al Snow match.
“Ladies and gentlemen, making his way to the ring,” ‘Downtown’ Jason Brown begins, as “Power” by Kanye West booms throughout the arena, “hailing from London, England. E Z Rah!”
E Z steps through the curtain, a boxing robe draped over his shoulders covered with NFT characters. He jogs on the spot for a moment before stomping down the ramp, holding his hand out for high fives from the audience, none being forthcoming. As he reaches the bottom of the ramp he flings the robe off his back and raises both arms in the air, turning to what he sees as his adoring fans, a big grin covering his face.
E Z rolls himself into the ring and the timekeeper raises his hammer.
The timekeeper is interrupted! The match has NOT started!
Instead, Jerry David has appeared, snatching the timekeepers hammer in mid-air.
In his other hand Jerry is holding a microphone, and he isn’t afraid to use it.
“Ladies and gentlemen… I implore you.” he says, gesturing with his hammer filled hand broadly at the ring. “I told you this man looked like a criminal, and hey look, I was right.”
The audience are noticing that despite Jerry being well dressed as always in a smart navy blue sports jacket over the top of a crisp white shirt, dark blue denim jeans and dress shoes, that he is also bandaged up. A thick gauze over his left eyebrow, and a noticeable bruise to his right cheekbone.
E Z stands in the ring with an expression of pure rage, holding onto the top rope and glaring down at Jerry, who now steps from behind the timekeepers area into the ringside area.
“You know, if I was so inclined, I could have you arrested for assault, Edward.”
“If that is your REAL name.”
Is E Z Rah’s first name Edward? It seems unlikely, the crowd collectively must be thinking.
E Z steps back from the rope shaking his head. It isn’t his real name, he is indicating.
“In the ring, fine, do your worst. But in the middle of a comedy set? Well, that’s worse than heckling.”
Jerry hops up onto the apron.
“And I HATE hecklers. Do you know what I do to hecklers, you piece of shit? Let me sho–”
And here, E Z launches his attack, swinging wildly at Jerry, who quickly drops back off the apron and smashes E Z in the achilles with the timekeepers hammer!
E Z howls in pain as he falls flat on his back, grasping at the ankle.
Jerry slides into the ring and leaps on top of E Z, smashing him in the face with the hammer! Over, and over, and over!
Blood gushes from a wound on E Z’s head as he tries to cover up initially, but soon becomes limp.
Jerry drops the hammer and wipes the blood from his hand on his crisp white shirt. He grabs E Z by the hair, dragging him to his feet.E Z counters, showing Jerry’s arms away and swinging a wild right hand, which Jerry easily ducks. Jerry charges past E Z, bounces off the ropes and flies through the air.
SUPERMAN PUNCH! THE PUNCHLINE!
NO! E Z ducks.
Jerry spins around, E Z spins around, SUPERKICK! E Z counters with a superkick!
NO! Jerry’s turn to duck now.
SUPERKICK! Jerry counters the superkick with a superkick of his own.
NO! E Z drops backwards and rolls out of the ring. He taps the side of his head indicating how smart he is as he walks around the ring to the opposite side of the ring to the ramp.
Jerry charges against the ropes near the ramp, then back across the ring. He dives through the middle ropes and takes E Z down, shoving him into the barricade, which E Z soars over the top of.
Jerry is quick back to his feet and takes a moment to look around, soon realising he has sent E Z into the crowd. He slides over the barricade and CRACK! A steel chair makes contact with Jerry’s entire face. E Z has righted himself and scooped up a fans seat to assault the standup comic with. Jerry falls flat onto his back with a thud as E Z tosses the chair to one side.
E Z grabs hold of the top of the barricade for support before laying boots into Jerry. One, two, three, four, five aggressive stomps to the general body area. Not settled with leaving Jerry there on the ground, E Z grabs Jerry by the hair, yanking him slowly to his feet, Jerry’s head now appearing much heavier than it had been earlier.
E Z hooks his arm around Jerry’s head, holding his head under his armpit and looks around at the audience. A red plastic cup bounces off the back of E Z’s head, beer spewing into the air on contact, but E Z just grins at the audience, blood trickling between the gaps in his teeth. He readies himself to suplex Jerry on to the concrete floor of the arena.
Unfortunately for E Z, Jerry has used the time spent showboating to slightly recover. He drops to his knees and BAM! LOW BLOW!
E Z stoops over, grabbing his crotch and staggers around, falling through a few of the crowd members and collapsing in to a small row of chairs, knocking them over.
Jerry staggers back to his feet and moves a few audience members to one side before scooping up two chairs and chucking them on top of E Z. Then another chair, folded flat and lay on the floor is collected and tossed onto the pile. And another chair. And another. Soon E Z is buried under a dozen chairs just beneath the concrete wall leading up to the next level of the arena. Jerry looks at the pile of chairs burying E Z, then up at the wall. Then back to the chairs. And back up to the wall. “Yes,” he thinks to himself, “this is a fantastic idea.”
Jerry heads up a small flight of stairs and hops over the metal barricade, standing himself between the barricade and the thin air which falls twelve feet to a pile of twisted steel, under which lies his nemesis, E Z Rah.
Jerry takes a deep breath. He whips his blazer off and tosses it on top of the chair pile.
“Yes,” he thinks, “I still believe this to be a good idea.” and soars through the air, his elbow out, hitting a diving elbow drop into a pile of chairs! The clatter of metal is sickening!
Now standing where Jerry flew from, but standing on the much safer side of the barricade, his mobile phone flashing, is E Z Rah.
He has climbed from underneath the pile of chairs discretely, without Jerry or the cameras picking up his movements!
E Z Rah, blood dripping down his face, his teeth, his chin, stands grinning, videoing the carnage below.
More cups of beer rain down on the Internet superstar as he shuffles across the barricade and down the stairs. He tosses chairs left and right out of his way until finally he gets hold of Jerry, falling on top of him. Both men immediately throw fists, each pummeling one another without discrimination of where the blows land.
E Z gets to his feet and Jerry follows him. Jerry clumsily falls into E Z, tackling him to the ground. Both men continue flailing at each other as they roll over the trashed steel chairs until they find themselves standing back on the concrete floor. Each man standing. E Z bleeding. Jerry beaten and bruised. They both stand as straight as their bodies will let them, each huffing for air, each gritting their teeth.
These men HATE one another.
They race towards one another and again exchange standing blows. Jerry is the first to stagger backwards. He steps backwards a few more times as E Z punches him in the face over and over, until his back is against the handrail leading up the stairs of the arena.
E Z took a few steps back.
Jerry moves out of the way, meaning E Z’s foot flies over the handrail and his calf is caught, leaving him stood in a frozen superkick.
A SECOND LOW BLOW FROM JERRY DAVID!
Jerry swings a swift kick of his own right into E Z’s nether regions from behind!
E Z’s leg falls from the handrail and he collapses onto the bottom few steps.
Jerry still isn’t done. He rakes the back of E Z with his finger nails and E Z arches his back in pain, stepping up the arena steps. He is half a dozen steps in the air now.
A clubbing blow from Jerry to the back of E Z’s head, and E Z takes another few steps in the northern direction.
This continues until the men find themselves at a black curtain. E Z stumbles through the curtain and Jerry follows immediately behind.
The men find themselves in the corridors that loop infinitely around the circumference of the arena. Drinks stall. Merchandise stand. Toilets. Drinks stall. Merchandise stand. Toilets, ad infinitum.
Jerry roars as he charges at the back of E Z Rah, grabbing him by the back of his head and hurling him into a large circular pillar that supports the roof of the arena and signposts the nearest toilet. E Z’s head bounces off the pillar and he flips through the air, landing heavily on his back.
Jerry sees this as an opportunity and walks towards E Z, leaning over to grab his head. BAM! E Z kicks Jerry in the head, sending him stumbling backwards. This gives E Z time to get to his feet, but only just that amount of time. Jerry regains his composure and again rushes towards E Z. E Z quickly counters with an overhead belly to belly suplex, sending Jerry firstly hammering the cold, hard, unforgiving floor, and secondly skidding several feet across its waxed, smooth surface towards the exit doors.
E Z gets himself back up using the pillar for support, his breathing laboured. He tries to swagger as he walks towards Jerry, who also is gasping for air but not giving in. Jerry is also getting to his feet. He grabs E Z’s waistband and E Z is happy to help him to his feet.
THWACK! E Z drives his head into Jerry’s, sending Jerry staggering back even further. E Z advances once more but Jerry swings his foot as if he were punting for a popular American football team.
THIRD LOW BLO—NO!
E Z slaps the leg away, causing Jerry to spin and show E Z his back. E Z gives Jerry a hard shove, sending his face into the exit door.
“Nah. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice… shame on…”
And here E Z trails off, instead grabbing Jerry’s shoulder and spinning him around. But Jerry is ready for him. Kick to the abdomen! SNAP SUPLEX THROUGH THE DOOR!
Some time passed, but both men eventually struggle to their feet and try to catch their breath as they take in their new surroundings. In their current mindsets, this is no mere parking lot, this is a playground of destruction filled with an endless number of ways to do each other serious harm. Jerry is the first to react, he runs at E Z, grabbing him round the waist and lifting him off his feet as he charges forward. E Z tries a few clubbing blows to his back but to no avail, he is thrusted into a nearby 4×4, driving all the air out of his lungs and leaving the vehicle heavily dented.
E Z slumps down, holding his injured ribs as Jerry continues his wild assault. Taking E Z by the head, he starts to slam it into the side of the car, leaving small dents as he goes, before leaving him propped up against the cars door, his face leaning against it.
E Z takes a moment to catch his breath, breathing heavily across the dented metal. He hopes Jerry has considered this as over, maybe he could get the drop on him as he’s walking away or…
Jerry’s knee connects with the back of E Z’s head forcing it further into the indented car door. E Z falls onto his back, disorientated and nose now streaming with blood. Jerry stands over him out of breath, contemplating if he should continue his assault or not. He takes a look at the young man writhing in pain and considers leaving it there, a lesson learned. Then he remembers his first loss at Global, E Z’s obnoxious laughter playing throughout the arena as he was forced to tap out. The way E Z smiled in glee as he was bashing his head in with his phone. Jerry see’s red.
No. This doesn’t end here.
He makes his way onto the bonnet of the 4×4 and then further up till he’s standing on top of the massive vehicle. Jerry looks down at E Z’s bloodied hands clutching his face and smiles. He extends his elbow forward and leaps high off of the car, aiming directly for E Z’s exposed chest.
Jerry’s elbow makes a sickening crunch sound as it connects with the bare concrete. E Z had just enough sense left in his head to roll out of the way of the oncoming body and get to his hands and knees. He struggles to get to his feet, propping himself up on a nearby concrete pillar as Jerry desperately clutches at his elbow.
E Z spits out a mouthful of blood and makes his way over to Jerry, grabbing him by the leg and dragging him across the cold hard floor. Jerry attempts to kick his leg free but E Z responds with a standing leap into a two footed stomp directly onto the chest of Jerry. It takes E Z off balance as he lands on his ass beside him but manages to immediately follow up with some hard right hands to Jerrys skull.
Jerry attempts to shield his face as E Z’s relentless pummelling continues, both men now fuelled by rage and hatred, neither wanting to leave the other standing by the end of things. E Z stands and pulls Jerry to his feet, dragging him closer to a concrete pillar. He wraps his arms round Jerry’s waists and flings him hard in an overhead belly to belly, Jerry’s back hits the pillar hard then he falls to the floor, narrowly avoiding landing on his head and neck. E Z remains on his back, satisfied that he’s done enough to end things.
Both men lay motionless for a moment before E Z manages to drag himself to his feet. He can’t help himself but to look Jerry in the eyes one more time before he walks away so he picks him up and smiles directly in his face before feeling the full force of Jerrys forehead against his own.
E Z stumbles backwards clutching at his head as Jerry regains his composure, he runs at E Z and leaps into the air, connecting with the punch line and sending E Z reeling to the floor. Jerry marches over to E Z, grabs his shirt by the neck and starts to lay into him with everything he has, his hand becoming bloodied from the state of E Z’s nose.
Jerry looks around for a way to end this, surveying his surroundings as a smile creeps across his face. He hoists E Z onto his shoulders in a fireman’s carry and makes his way over to one of the vehicles parked up. Again he starts to climb it but this time E Z is along with him for the ride.
Jerry places E Z on his feet on top of the car and places his arm around the back of his neck but this might be harder than he thought. E Z starts trying to punch his way out of the situation but his injuries are still taking their toll. With great effort, Jerry manages to lift E Z from the top of the car high into the air above him in a suplex position before dropping him down directly onto the top his head with a thunderous brainbuster.
There is a sickening crash as E Z drops directly through the car’s sunroof, landing face first in between the two front seats in a crumpled heap, blood still gushing from his head. Both men remain still as the car’s alarm blares out, neither having the power or energy to move.
Backstage staff and a pair of EMT’s rush to the scene all of a sudden.
Back at ringside the referee is leaning through the ropes talking to the timekeeper and ‘Downtown’ Jason Brown, the ring announcer.
“I don’t think they’re coming back.” the referee shrugs.
The timekeeper has no hammer, so improvises a quiet ring of the bell with a teaspoon that was lying around.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of this match, Alf Alferson.”
Alf scratches the underside of his man boob and gives the fans a thumbs up without any facial expression.
Alf Alferson goes 1-0 in his GLOBAL record.
The future, again.
A pale horse stands motionless, surrounded entirely by darkness. At its feet a thick, cold mist has gathered. Sitting on the horses back is Death. But more terrifying than that, standing nose to nose with the horse and wearing his familiar Nacho Cheese flavoured bag, is Doritos Man.
Doritos, your time has come. Death booms.
“Ah! A talking horse!”
A silence passes as Doritos stares at the horse.
Doritos, your time has come.
”Oh. That. Yeah. Seems fuckin’ unlikely don’t you think? You’ve not managed to kill me in any timeline for the last Idon’tfuckin’knowhowlong. What makes you think this time will be any different?”
Because Doritos. Your time has-
”Yeah, yeah. My time has come. Christ. Get a new catchphrase you bony prick.”
Now, now. That is unkind.
”Listen. We’ve done this how many times now?”
One thousand eight hundred and seventeen times.
”And how many times have you managed to get me to come along with you?”
”None. That’s right. None. And you know why?”
”Because I’m a smart mother fucker, that’s why.”
”And I know the rules, and I know how to get around ‘em.”
”So. A game.”
”Come on we both know the routine. Death comes along, tells you to come with him, you challenge him to a game and if you win, you carry on living. I should know. It’s currently 1,818 to fuckin’ zero.”
One thousand eight hundred and seventeen Death hesitates, to zero.
”Right. Sure. So the game. I set the rules, you beat me, I die. I beat you, you fuck off. Deal?”
”Great. In which case, the game I choose is this. Whoever can run around this horse here,” Doritos points his finger in the face of the horse, “the fastest, wins.”
Death pulls from his cloak a large hourglass filled with white sand.
”Count me down then dickhead.”
Very well. Three. Two. One.
Doritos walks slowly around the entirety of the horse.
Twenty seven seconds.
”Is that good?”
It’s not great. Death admits.
”Fuck. Your turn then. Hop down.”
Death swings his leg over the horse and lands on his feet. He hands the hourglass to Doritos.
“Ready. 3, 2, 1, go!”
Death sprints around the horse, but as he reaches the horses rear end the animal bucks, kicking Death in the head and sending him flying through the air.
Doritos hops on the horses back and the horse takes off in a sprint.
“See you later, bitch!” Doritos yells over his shoulder before whispering into the horses ear, “Good boy, Sparkles.”
PHYSICAL CHALLENGE COMPETITION
Cut to the ring, and a party has started to gather inside the ring. GLOBAL’s interviewer Steve Blaine stands in the center of the ring as the “MC.” GLOBAL’s most jacked tag team has already joined him – Greg Matthews and Damon Somner known as the Health Fanatics. The chiseled gym disciples pace the ring wearing a muscle shirt with GLOBAL’s gym – the Fit Factory logo.
The commentators discuss the heated issues the Health Fanatics have been having with Prime Time Athletes. Allie Reece mentions that testosterone can sometimes escalate issues in the gym. Lucas Quinn agrees but places the blame on the attitude of the Prime Time Athletes. The Mark mentions that the young, arrogant team went out and found the biggest dogs in the gym to cause issues with to make an early statement.
Before Steve Blaine can speak. Legacy by Dirty Palm & Benix hits the PA system. Outsteps the young and arrogant duo, the Prime Time Athletes. Jimmy Classic is dressed to impress, wearing an over-the-top fur coat that is wide open, wearing luxury sunglasses. Right behind him is his partner, “The Suplex Ninja” Trae Larkin, dressed more for action, wearing his green Prime Time Athletes singlet and golden sunglasses.
The young duo receives a unanimous negative reaction from GLOBAL nation, which they cough up to pure jealousy and envy. The arrogant duo finally makes it inside the ring, and Lucas Quinn focuses on the loud nature of the team entrance.
Steve Blaine stands between the two teams, and the appointed “MC” announces that tonight is the first of TWO physical competitions. Tonight, the Health Fanatics hand-selected the competition and chose a PUSH-UP competition.
The fans roar into support, assuming that there is no way the Prime Time Athletes will be able to compete with the impressive strength and conditioning of the Health Fanatics. Lucas Quinn and The Mark hype up the physical conditions of all four men but laminate that while the Prime Time Athletes may be more impressive athletes, it will be challenging to beat the Health Fanatics in a physical strength and endurance competition.
The Prime Time Athletes back up to the corner of the ring, huddling up and discussing their game plan as the Health Fanatics hype GLOBAL nation up as Steve Blaine stands in the center of the ring continuing.
“How this will work is each team will select a representative, and he will get down in the push-up position, and once the bell rings, they will start their push-ups. Once you stop repetitively doing a push-up, you will be eliminated, giving the other team the victory.”
Jimmy Classic accepts the challenge for the Prime Time Athletes, while Damon Somner takes the mantle for the Health Fanatics. The two men glare across the ring at one another while Greg Matthews hypes his partner up. “You got this, Damon. You can do twice as many as these clowns in your sleep.” Like a pit bull, Trae Larkin stands ready to strike at any moment, but Jimmy Classic removes the fur coat and sunglasses, handing them to his partner.
The Mark comments that it’s time to get down to business when Jimmy removes the fashion. Lucas Quinn responds that the coat costs more than a month of his salary. Allie responds with a zinger saying perhaps a year!
Steve Blaine continues to hype up the competition as Damon Somner, and Jimmy Classic begin to take the “push-up” form. “Alright, at the sound of the bell. We will begin. Remember, there are no breaks. When one man stops, the other team becomes the victor. Ring the bell!”
GLOBAL nation fully supports the Health Fanatics as the bell rings and the push-ups commence. It’s early in the competition, and both men rifle down in a series of perfect-form push-ups. Steve Blaine continues the hype as both men perfectly push down and up one after another.
“Look at the form. Both Jimmy Classic and Damon Somner are in great form, easily destroying these push-ups.” Greg Matthews fires off support to his partner, shouting, you got this, Damon!” While Trae Larkin has sat down, Classic’s coat and glasses and stands there watching with his arms folded.
The fans continue to support the Health Fanatics as Greg Matthews sometimes turns to fire the fans up as the competition wages on. Both men continue to flawlessly keep their perfect forms as they reach around the 100 mark. Steve Blaine continues the hype, “These men are showing no signs of slowing down. We might be here for a while as neither man wants to show any sign of struggle or quit.”
Lucas Quinn questions how long this perfect form is going to last. With each push-up, both men come closer to quitting. The Mark mentions he can do a few hundred push-ups in his sleep. These guys could be going all night. Allie laughs, saying she would like to see that.
The push-ups continue, but after the first hundred, the second set shows signs of slowing down. Greg Matthews continues to encourage his partner as grunts and sweat begin. Trae Larkin stays confident and focused as his partner snarls as he tries to keep pace with Somner.
Steve Blaine chimes in as the struggle begin to set in. “Looks like we are going to have a winner soon. These two men are in perfect peak physical condition, and you can see the struggle setting in, but they aren’t ready to quit yet.”
They aren’t speed push-ups; we are well over the 200-hundred mark. Both men have slowed down, but they are fighting off the “pause” and avoiding quitting. Lucas Quinn reminds the fans that they aren’t usually one after another in a row like this when you do sets of pushups. The Mark snarkily responds this is how I tend to do them. The exact form and everything.
Some shaky push-ups start to happen as the fans cheer pick up. Steve Blaine chimes in, “It looks like we have some close calls!” Trae Larkin’s confidence looks a little shakey in his partner as he shouts encouragement to his partner. Greg Matthews is down on the mat now, pounding his fist on the mat, telling his partner to keep going!
Things are starting to come to the final handful of push-ups as both men struggle to keep pace. Damon Somner pushes his weight back up, but without struggle. Jimmy Classic follows suit. Damon Somner drops back down, but with the fan’s roar, he fights through the pain with another one. Jimmy Classic tunes out the doubt and fires back up, refusing to be outdone.
Steve Blaine tries to move this along. “We are in the final lap! Who will be the one to stop? Will it be Damon Somner? Or will it be Jimmy Classic?” You can tell who the fans “want” it to be.
Damon Somner barely pushes himself up, and then the focus turns to Jimmy Classic, who gets himself back up, but Damon Somner goes back down. Jimmy Classic makes a slight pause adjusting his left arm and shaking it to get some traction, giving Damon Somner the victory as Greg Matthews leaps up celebrating.
Steve Blaine shouts into the microphone. “We have our winners – THE HEALTH FANATICS!!!”
Somner stumbles to his feet now in celebration with his partner Greg Matthews who will be set to compete in the second physical competition next Domination. Trae Larkin offers a hand helping his partner to his feet in defeat.
Lucas Quinn marvels at the number of push-ups both men did before having to pause. Allie agreed that neither man wanted to quit, but both showed how fit they were.
As the Health Fanatics continued to celebrate. Damon Somner has now climbed the turnbuckles pumping his feet. Greg Matthews stood in the ring cheering his partner on until both the Prime Time Athletes saw an opening and took out a leg each of Greg Matthews from behind, cheap shotting a cut tackle.
The fans gasped as Matthews crumbled down, shouting and reaching down to his legs as the Prime Time Athletes were like rabid dogs stomping away on those legs until Damon Somner quickly turned and dropped down, chasing the two opportunists out of the ring before checking on his injured partner.
Lucas Quinn questioned the morality of the Prime Time Athletes, calling them cheap shot artists trying to get an early advantage injuring Greg Matthews, who is set to compete in the next competition. The Mark responds by saying there weren’t any actual rules against what the Prime Time Athletes did. Allie piped in and said there wasn’t just a lack of sportsmanship.
The Prime Time Athletes retreated up the aisleway as Greg Matthews shoved officials and trainers away as Damon Somner helped his injured limping partner to his feet.
Lucas Quinn was the last one heard before cutting away from ringside, saying things are escalating between the Health Fanatics and the Prime Time Athletes. It’s only a matter of time before these two teams will have to fight it out.
MAIN EVENT - 'LEGEND' SEAN DARRING V ALFIE BUTTON
Over the previous 3 Dominations, only 3 singles competitors have headlined a GLOBAL show and these two men are part of that exclusive club.
The third man, Daniel Dream, is a common denominator, having lost to ‘Legend’ Sean Darring on the inaugural episode before rebuilding with a triumph over Alfie Button on the following show.
Then, there is last show: Sean Darring recorded a victory at the expense of the debuting Darren Best, one half of a tag team called The Entertainers with the other member being one Alfie Button.
There is also another mutual rival, but without poring all over the details, Darring did what Button could not and relieved that particular individual of a World title.
While Marcus Anthony Newman is geeing up the crowd, readying them for the show-closer, in the ring at least, the sound of ‘Let Me Entertain You’ by Button’s countryman, Robbie Williams, blares out and the technicolor-coat-wearing Alfie Button emerges. His tights match, containing various shades of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet, all designed to test the pixels and resolution of your widescreen televisions, just as a wildlife documentary or Pixar feature film would. After high-fiving some fans close to the rampway, he sprints the rest of the way, right around the time Newman starts spitting the vitals.
“From London, England, weighing one hundred and ninety pounds…The A to B of Professional Wrestling, The Man The Guys Wanna Be and The Girls Wanna See, The Viewers’ Choice, The Host with The Most, from Afghanistan to Milan and back again…HEEERRREE’S ALFIIIIIIIIIIE BUTTTTTTOOOOON!
A great response accompanies Newman’s antics as Alfie scales the top turnbuckle, bowing to and then applauding some 2,500 fans gathered at The Globe for the fourth straight show.
“Like his partner, Darren Best, Alfie Button comes into this main event clash with ‘The Legend’ Sean Darring as an underdog, but Mark, for you, what can Alfie do differently to Darren?”
“Lucas, are you okay? A lot of things. They may be good friends and former teammates, but Button and Best are like Freddie Mercury and Brian May, Kobe and Shaq and Ben and Jerry, totally different. Button is a different test to Best in that Darren is a wonderful wrestler in his own right, while Alfie spends more time on the mat in gym class than he does in the wrestling ring. Button will try – and has to – wrestle a totally different style, one that doesn’t cater to Darring at all, staying elusive, ramping up the tempo and constantly going to the ropes, above all, the top rope.”
From Los Angeles to Europe…
Musically, anyway. The epic and universally known start to The Final Countdown brings out one Sean Darring.
A red robe with ‘THE LEGEND’ emblazed on the back in white is seen first as Darring steps out onto the ramp while fireworks are set off all about him. He smiles before walking down the aisle, appreciative of the fabulous applause, as he exchanges high-fives with eager fans, predominantly down the left side before switching to the right, the legendary grappler breathing the atmosphere in, and enjoying the tail end of a phenomenal career. Although it has to be said, he isn’t going quietly, is he?
“But it’s still farewell? It doesn’t seem to be. Sean Darring is right in the mix when it comes to being the first-ever GLOBAL champion, who’ll be crowned in this very arena around a month from now, and in fact, many would claim he’s the favorite. However, he knows he’s got a young lion across from him, who has everything to gain from claiming his scalp, but if there’s one man who doesn’t look past opponents, it’s Sean Darring. Allie?”
“You’re right, Lucas, which made me just throw up internally. Alfie Button strikes me as someone both perfect and dangerous for Darring, though. Mark, we know he can fly and has scintillating speed, but will that lack of basic mat skills count against him?”
The Mark takes up the mantle, “Yes, it will IF he allows Sean Darring to get him on the canvas too many times, because it will happen at some point in the match, there’s no question of that. Alfie and Darren, quite honestly, need to mix the styles of each other against someone like Darring. Best played to Darring’s strengths whereas Alfie won’t, and that’s the key here, but can Alfie overcome Darring without using any wrestling whatsoever?”
Newman is doing his thing, “Weighing in at two hundred and forty pounds, from Miami, Florida, one of the few men who may just beat Father Time himself, the multi-time World Heavyweight Champion, and a Hall-of-Famer the world over as well, the MAN, THE MYTH AND YES, THE LEGEND…SEEEEEEANNNNNN DAAAARRRRRIIIIINNNNG!”
Darring jogs up the ring steps, ducking his head so he can enter via the middle rope, setting off more fireworks in the process. Darring then removes his gold robe, which he hands to head referee Barry Snider while showing a matching singlet and boots, and a massive roar goes up for the exceptionally talented LSD, accompanied by chants of ‘DARRING, DARRING, DARRING.’
Sean hands his jacket to Snider, revealing a light blue singlet, and ‘The Final Countdown’ dies down, the volume decreasing too, giving way for excitement at seeing Sean Darring v Alfie Button in an intriguing clash of styles. The bell sounds and yes, after all of that furor, this one is officially underway.
“I’m going to enjoy this one,” reveals The Mark.
Alfie darts at Darring, only to get floored with a Knife Edge Chop right out of the gate. As the brash Brit gets up, Darring lets him have it with another chop and whips Button to the opposite buckle so hard that Alfie goes up, over and out onto the apron.
As Darring prepares a Suplex back inside, Alfie doesn’t go for it. Sean settles Alfie down with a couple of rib-ticklers, softening the speedster up enough to negotiate the Suplex, though Alfred throws a last-minute spanner in the works by not only landing on his feet but taking LSD down with a hell of a German Suplex!
And that’s all for now. A brief clap from the audience ensues as both men circle one another. A Tie-Up is the next port of call, which Darring predictably wins with a Waistlock, but Alfie throws up a standing switch, which Darring reverses only for Alfie to counter that before Sean re-counters, and they must both be a wee bit dizzy after all that, prompting some appreciative applause from the audience. Unfortunately for him, Alfie can’t get out of it this time despite trying and sticks his hand out to touch the top rope, prompting a break from Barry Snider, which Darring releases on 2. The Cockney cuts a relieved and frustrated figure at the same time.
The pair stand opposite one another, seemingly poised for another Collar-and-Elbow, which The Mark advises against on commentary, “Sean clearly got the better of Alfie in the end, we know he’s the better out-and-out wrestler, so I’m baffled why Button is putting himself back in this situation,” he reasons.
However, just before they collide, Button surprisingly uncorks a ferocious European Uppercut, the force and presence of mind taking the veteran, commentary team, and crowd aback.
“Never mind me,” The Mark jokingly confesses.
Button gives Darring a further taste with a second and third European Uppercut. Darring finds his range, firing back with a chop, make that two, and not to be undone, Alfie unleashes a fourth European Uppercut, which Sean answers with his third chop as they exchange heavy leather early doors, getting the audience into it.
Darring clinches the exchange with a couple of chops before changing Larry Tacts with a Snap Mare and slowing the tempo down with a Chin Lock.
“This will sap Alfie’s energy, and is a nice break after exerting some energy,” Lucas Quinn tells us.
“And the punishment they both took,” Reece adds.
“Plus, Alfie will find it hard to get out of this, affecting him more physically and psychologically,” The Mark offers.
Sean reiterates his control, grinding Alfie down repeatedly. Button is clasping at air and gasping for some by the same token. When Alfie makes his way to one knee, Sean pulls him back down to the canvas, causing Button to kick his feet on the mat in frustration.
“The perfect example of taking candy away from a baby by Darring there,” Lucas muses.
Darring uses some elbows to inflict further punishment on Alfie, but then Button’s pace comes to the fore as he escapes with a back roll and is on his feet, albeit holding his head, as quick a flash.
“And that was the baby taking the candy back from its mom,” The Mark beams, rather proud of his own dig aimed at Lucas and at Alfie for proving himself worthy in some way.
“He’s getting restless and will take a major chance soon. Watch this space,” predicts Mark.
Right on cue, Alfie runs at Sean, having not learned his lesson at the opening bell. However, this time, Alfie avoids contact in the form of a Clothesline and runs the northern set of ropes closest to the commentary team, leaping into ‘The Legend’ on the rebound, only to eat a well-timed Backbreaker for his troubles.
“And again, the quicker Button falls prey to the experience and intelligence of Darring,” Lucas laps up.
Darring doesn’t go for the pin, and instead, calls for a Double Underhook Suplex, which he also had success with against Button’s former partner, Darren Best, on Domination 2.
Darring uses an Irish Whip on the Englishman, sending him to the right-hand set of ropes, wait, a reversal by Button, who picks up the pace and scores with a wonderful Wheel of Fortune, that’s a Corkscrew Elbow folks, right on the money and The Mark is there, too, “That’s one of his go-to moves because it turns the tide, and that’s true here, even against some as great as Sean Darring.”
Alfie hops onto the apron, perched and ready for a Springboard Firearm Smash, I’m Alfie Button, BITC-OUNTER…
Knee to the breadbasket!
“The extra two yards Alfie has in his legs are countered by those that Darring has in his head,” Quinn quips.
No wasted motion by either man whenever they exchange the lead, and Darring doesn’t let Alfie digest the stern knee, pulling off a Snap Suplex and in a fluid motion, LSD is poised to apply a Figure Fo-rearm smash by Alfie from a sitting position, desperate to avoid being put in the infamous submission. With Darring reeling from that forceful blow, the Cockney chances his arm with an Inside Cradle…
Reversed by Darring…
“Nice try by both men, but it’ll need much more to put the other away,” claims Quinn.
Another Tie-Up goes in Darring’s favor, surprise surprise, dragging Button to the canvas far easier than his former partner Darren Best, but Button has something Darren doesn’t and uses the nearby ropes to complete a backflip, reversing the Arm Wringer and cashing it in for an Arm Drag to cause some momentary separation.
Alfie can’t help but ‘run the gauntlet’ again and he sprints right into a Drop Toe Hold on the middle turnbuckle, which looks rather painful.
Again, LSD doesn’t let the ‘A to B of Professional Wrestling’ rest for a moment, hauling Button out of the top left-hand corner with a big-time Belly-to-Back Suplex.
Before Button can process what’s going on, he’s tied up in knots and going for a short ride with impact, courtesy of an Inverted Russian Legsweep, as Darring transitions into a cover.
Button shoots a shoulder up, and is looking rather worse for wear. It’s at this time, having got Alfie used to one thing, Darring pulls the rug from out underneath the brash Brit with a Chop Block.
Allie asks, “Should Darring have done this earlier?”
Lucas wonders, “Was he lulling Alfie into a false sense of security?”
Darring drills Alfie with a Dragon Screw Leg Whip, and for lack of a better term, Button is fucked.
To reinforce that feeling, Sean smoothly moves into a Figure Four, and there is nothing that Alfie can do this time. He’s hapless, prone on the ground, and to compound the perilous situation he finds himself in, it’s Sean Darring on the other side of the submission that apparently puts pressure on seven parts of the leg, and that doesn’t bode well for Button.
Alfie immediately sits up, refusing to allow Snider to count him down from a submission move, especially in a main event. He would never live it down, though it may have been wise to lie down an extra second rather than exerting energy, especially with the knowledge that he’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Darring ups the pressure, and Alfie’s in the same boat.
No more, your honor. Everyone knows the reversal to this ubiquitously used maneuver, even Alfie, but can he muster it against such a skilled opponent? He’s going to give it a go, encouraged by the audience, who like both of tonight’s main eventers. Before Button can turn Darring, sensing that Alfie’s making inroads, roared on by the capacity crowd here in California, Sean grabs the middle rope and Snider unties their legs.
“That was advantage Darring, with zero upside for Alfie Button,” Quinn claims.
“Hard to argue with you on that, Lucas,” The Mark states resignedly.
Back to basics for Darring, who climbs to his feet first, and he drags Alfie up with him, poised to inflict more damage on the Londoner’s left leg with a Knee Breake—NZUIGIRI by Button!
Reece wonders, “Where did that come from?”
The Cockney crawls over and drapes a hopeful arm across Darring’s beating chest…
Darring’s still very much alive, not that you’re surprised by that, Dear Reader.
What you may or may not be surprised by is that Alfie has just kipped up, and you can’t really call it a second wind. Again, Allie questions where that has come from, but Button gets on with the task at hand and steps back, urging Darring to get to his feet. When LSD does Alfie steps back and uses his other for a Superkick! Button flops on top…
“Alfie’s set to take another chance. He can’t help himself,” The Mark mentions.
So, it proves in the form of a Springboard Thesz Press! A quarter of punches show some much-needed aggression by Alfie. Then, he peels off Sean, going back to what he knows.
The Standing Shooting Star Press detonates all over Darring’s chest and stomach, and Alfie seems to be building some serious momentum here.
In fairness to him, he isn’t slowing things down, which is wise given the tempo he tends to set and his superiority in the speed stakes. A whip sends Sean to the buckle, and Alfie follows up with a Forearm Smash in the corner, and a series of European Uppercuts, four in total, until Darring is powerless to respond and finds himself in the unusual position of lying on the bottom rope, tired and on the receiving end of a…
Commercial break in the middle of a match?! In the MAIN EVENT, no less?
No, we’re not that daft. It’s Button’s Hesitation Dropkick and it finds its target, catching Sean square in the face.
Button drags Darring out of the corner, and into the centre of the ring, hooking the leg for all he’s worth…
Alfie comes to the outside and goes to the top, hundreds of spectators rising in unison to see what the risk-taker has got in mind. He steadies himself, takes a deep breath and takes off with a fabulous Frogsplash that CONNECTS!
Despite nursing his ribs, Alfie then heads to the diagonally opposite corner and scales the ropes. He has another Frogsplash in mind, which also LANDS!
“Action Replay,” The Mark cheers excitedly.
His nearest fall thus far.
“Has Button fared better against Darring than Best?”
In response to Quinn’s question, “Yes,” Reece replies.
“Definitely,” The Mark remarks enthusiastically.
With Darring down on the deck, but crawling, Button delivers a DDT from short-range, spiking Sean’s head from just inches above the canvas, and another hopeful hook of the leg…
2.75, or somewhere in that territory. Alfie is making headway. Perhaps not, according to Lucas, “Are the constant covers a sign of desperation on Alfie’s part?”
“Lucas, shut up,” Allie advises him.
Alfie unloads with another pair of European Uppercuts, but his subsequent Irish Whip is reversed as Darring sends Button to the bottom-right buckles, sternum-first, and another timely Chop Block means Button hits the deck like a ton of bricks. After all that effort and endeavor, Darring has hung in there and Alfie looks as vulnerable as ever.
Barry Snider commences a double-down.
To quote Matthew, one two, miss a few…seven, eight…
Another standoff starts. Darring opts for punches rather than chops on this occasion, and still wins, a BIG right splattering all over Alfie’s nose after two apiece. Another massive shot rattles Button, and sends him crashing to the canvas, only for the Cockney to come back with a Bobby Dazzler Kip-Up Hurricanrana, and a cover to boot…
TH-AT’S ALFIE’S BEST ATTEMPT YET!
Even though Darring has seen it all, Button’s blinding and dazzling speed catches the legendary grappler by surprise. However, there’s no doubt that Darring won’t be panicked, given the number of occasions he has pulled it out of the bag during his lengthy, storied, and illustrious career.
Once again, Button bashes Darring with a couple of European Uppercuts. Sean, however, turns the tables on Button with a pair of chops of his own, and then hoists the Cockney cruiserweight with heavyweight aspirations onto the top rope and joins him there momentarily.
Alfie won’t come quietly, giving Darring a ‘warm welcome’ with a trio of punches and a European Uppercut that sends Sean to the floor, thwarting LSD’s Superplex attempt.
We’ve seen a couple of Frogsplashes already. What we haven’t seen is a Frogpump Elbow, and that’s in the Englishman’s thinking. Alfie Button…
COME ON DOWN!!!
DARRING WON’T LIE DOWN!
Alfie tosses Darring out of the ring, partly out of frustration, it would seem. However, not one to sit on his hands, Button is busy, and looking for the next high, diving through the middle rope, seeking what most of you will know as Sami Zayn’s Suicide Dive-cum-Tornado DDT, but Button dubs ‘Jumping The Shark’ and that might be an apt name for it tonight, lads and lasses…
“NORTHERN LIGHTS SUPLEX ON THE FLOOR,” Lucas exclaims in case people in Row T couldn’t hear him.
Snider is handed the perfect opportunity to do his job and start a count, with both men feeling the effects of a rather physical affair and a coming-together of their contrasting styles.
Darring rolls in and then back out, which prompts discussion between our announcers on who this favors the most.
“You’d think Alfie for his high-flying, but Darring’s so experienced and never used to blink when he broke the rules,” offers The Mark.
“I’d say Darring overall, but I get why it could benefit Button,” according to Allie Reece.
“I’m not sure either, so let’s find out what unfolds,” the instigator, Lucas Quinn, surmises.
Darring dials up the violence by whipping Alfie into the steel steps, KNEES-FIRST, and Alfie goes flying – not for the first time, but it is usually of his own volition. Has the debate been decided that the action on the outside is favoring one Sean Darring at the moment? One would think so. Alfie’s lower extremities have certainly taken a pounding, and how will that impact the rest of the contest? Tune in next week…or just wait around and finish the match.
Darring returns to the ring. Button may struggle to rejoin him anytime soon, as the veteran takes a breather. He’s in incredible condition, both men are, but this wrestling lark will take its toll.
Speculation is rife that Button may lose this via countout.
Feebly, he gets up onto the apron and hears ‘nine’ from Snider before rolling back in underneath the bottom rope and Darring’s ‘welcome back’ leg choke, which Barry lightly reprimands LSD for.
Darring focuses on bringing Button back in the hard way, and down to earth again, with some sort of Suplex, which we never find out because Button lands on his feet, then buckles for a moment, before regaining his vertical base, composure, and awareness with an almighty…
…Superkick! Could that be the ticket?
Button is beside himself. The Cockney comes out of the squared circle, stepping between the ropes, presumably for a final roll of the dice and that’s his patented 720 DDT, otherwise known as Season Finale. But, Darring’s up quicker than the Englishman expects, so Button decides to go for a Springboard Crossbody, which finds its mark. However, Sean uses Alfie’s momentum against him and rolls through with a pinning predicament of his own, Alfie’s weaker left leg hooked…
Before Button has to bite down on his imaginary gumshield and kick out, using the left leg Darring has worked on so effectively and magnificently at different stages in this contest. For now, though, Darring changes direction and keeps Alfie guessing by picking Button up for the Backbreaker, but Button turns it into a fantastic Headscissors takedown instead.
“Just when you think Button is down and out, he finds a quick counter of some sort,” Reece beams.
“The same could be said for both men,” The Mark concedes.
Button comes to the outside again, like before when he was seeking Season Finale, in front of the commentary desk and our three-strong team gets a good look at Darring’s vast experience and knowledge up close as he closes the gap, not giving Button the room he craves and needs to unleash another daring, pun absolutely intended, high flying move to potentially cause an upset. Instead, Alfie takes a different path and shoots through the ropes and Sean’s legs in the process, grabbing a roll-up and looking to beat the world-class wrestler with a wrestling move…
Reversed by Darring…
Th-at was close!
The Londoner leans in with a European Uppecut, though after the umpteenth time of utilizing one, Darring reads it and takes Alfie down, looking for the Legend Lock. However, perhaps because he did watch Darring v Best a fortnight ago, Alfie is wise to it and executes a front roll to show the presence of mind as well as the agility and speed he’s renowned for to get out of Ryan Harms way.
Just as he did at the start of the contest, Alfie darts at Darring, and jumps over the veteran, seeking a Sunset Flip. Sean simply drops down and folds both of Button’s legs up in a crucifix-like position, the Englishman desperately scrambling to avoid being on the other end of a move that once decided the most famous match to ever take place on British soil…
Darring falls forward, and Button backward, mirroring their trajectory as a result of this bout. Both are worn out following a hard-fought affair, and Alfie still appears to be in shock with what has just transpired. Barry Snider raises Darring’s hand, Sean still on his knees, as Marcus Anthony Newman reads out the official result.
Sean climbs to his feet, and Alfie, on his knees too, but in more ways than one, is offered a helping hand by the victor.
“A gracious gesture by the winner, Sean Darring, and a gracious reply by Button, who accepts the handshake and offer of help to his feet, as this crowd joins in with the display of respect,” Lucas muses, lapping up the sportsmanship on offer.
Button vacates the spotlight, having lost his second successive main event appearance, and Crusader X emerges when Alfie is halfway up the aisle. While Button has just paid Darring his dues, he doesn’t extend the same offer waving his hand to X, not unlike a Hollywood actor being hounded and harassed by a rabid pack of paparazzi, and Crusader X follows Alfie to the back, arguing his corner and trying to offer comfort to the downbeat Cockney.
Meanwhile, done to the backing track of The Final Countdown, Darring thanks the crowd for their support before, throughout, and now, humbled by the immense respect afforded to him, and in pole position to fight for the GLOBAL Championship in just over a month’s time.
The Legend continues.
PREPARE FOR TROUBLE...AND MAKE IT DOUBLE
Outside the Globe, a roving cameraperson tasked with obtaining live reactions from fans about the only-just-concluded show captures a pair of attractive college-age girls as they walk towards it from a side door somewhere in the arena.
As the cameraperson walks towards them, eager to get the thoughts of such a photogenic pair, the girl walking in front – a dyed redhead in a leather jacket and jeans, a motorcycle helmet dangling from her arm like a purse – comes right up close to it, her nose practically touching the glass.
“Hey, GLOBAL…just so you know…there’s Trouble comin’ your way!”
Her companion, who has blue streaks dyed into her long dark hair and is dressed in a vaguely emo style, holds up double metal horns as she adds her own two cents. “Yeah…Trouble Roxx!” With that, and with a double whoop of sheer, unbridled joy, the two youngsters promptly walk off, giving each other high-fives and hugs all the way across the parking lot.
“How the hell had we not heard of this place until now? It’s literally down the road from us”, the redhead is heard saying as the pair don their helmets and climb onto a Harley-Davidson motorcycle parked nearby.
A few moments later, they speed off atop the hog, the impressive roar of the engine echoing across the Los Angeles night as the cameraperson finally directs their attention elsewhere…