The camera is set up backstage at the Globe. Steve Blaine is frantically rushing towards the underground entranceway with an assignment. The door swings open, and entering is Sean Darring. The Legend is dressed in style, ready to represent as in a grey tailor-made suit. The Legend notices Steve Blaine quickly approaching him and, with a warm smile, tells his old friend to slow down and take a moment.
Steve Blaine bends over, catching his breath, and with Sean Darring’s hand on his shoulder, he looks up, ready for his assignment. “Sean, are you ready for tonight?”
Darring, taken back by the directness of the question, responds, “It should be an easy night, Steve. Last night, I got off the phone with Kelly. She is always so nice with my arrangements. I have a few minor business-related dealings to handle, but that’s it.”
Steve Blaine tries to stop the legend. “No, I just heard you have been scheduled to face the unpredictable Christian Pierson tonight!”
There is a slight pause, but Sean Darring keeps that legendary smile and says, “The one thing about this business. You never really know your schedule until you arrive at the arena. This is why you always keep your wrestling boots in your bag.”
Steve Blaine presses Sean Darring a bit more. “Do you have any thoughts about Christian Pierson? The few times we have seen him, he has been dangerous.”
Sean Darring nods in agreement. “The kid has talent and perhaps a few screws loose, but we all do; otherwise, we wouldn’t sign up to put our bodies through this business. My schedule was apparently open, and if Pierson needs a dance partner, I am happy to give him a lesson or two.”
Steve Blaine nods eagerly and asks one final question. “What happens if things get a little dangerous inside that ring?”
Sean Darring thinks for a few seconds, then responds. “Don’t worry about me, Steve. The ol’ legend still has a few tricks up his sleeves.”
The Legend gives a wink to his old friend and continues to walk down the aisle toward his locker room.
BACK IN BUSINESS
The week after GLOBAL Domination #4
Somewhere in Hollywood, California
The Man Who Fell to Earth is still a few doors away from his room when he finds his path temporarily impeded by a gaggle of noisy children. Most of the hell spawn run directly past, howling like demon wolves, barely taking notice of anything or anyone standing in their way; two boys, however, linger behind, studying The Man curiously.
“Hey, look”, one of them calls after a long moment, “it’s that caretaker dude from Harry Potter! Where’s your cat, man?”
The Man Who Fell to Earth briefly ponders whether or not to acknowledge what can either be open mockery or a simple case of mistaken identity; eventually, he settles for a compromise, scowling darkly at the boys. The strategy works, and the pair soon scarper off to rejoin the rest of their hellion gang, allowing The Man to continue on his way towards the place he will – at least for the time being – be calling home.
He does not have long to go, however – around another corner, a couple more doors down, and he is standing outside the room he has exchanged for his GLOBAL Wrestling advance at the front desk. As he pushes the door open, he once again considers what might have happened to him had he not come across that employment opportunity, or indeed impressed the trainers at the facility enough for them to agree to a provisional developmental contract; soon, however, he pushes those thoughts out of his mind, scolding himself for almost losing sight of what matters. He takes no more than a cursory glance around the room – run-down, bare, basic, but containing a bed and, most importantly, free Wi-Fi – before focusing on the truly important task.
He slides his duffel bag off his shoulders and rummages in it, retrieving a small laptop, a cheap microphone headset, and what looks for all the world like a mousetrap made out of computer parts, which he connects to the main device; one system boot and a few clicks later, a radar graphic is taking up most of the screen real estate, pulsing green as it scans its surroundings for any airborne activity.
“All right, you bastards”, the man growls, “let’s see you try to sneak up on me now…”
He then connects the microphone to the laptop and boots up the audio program, allowing his mouse cursor to hover over the ‘Record’ button for a moment as he allows himself a grin.
“I’m back, bitches”, he states and presses the big red button.
“All right, motherfuckers, you know who this is. It’s Daddy John J., back again with another Dose of Truth. And yeah, I know it’s been a while since the last one. Kind’a hard to broadcast from up there in the Orion Nebula… Speaking of which, my main man Hop is currently MIA, so if any of you sees a weirdo in a raincoat wandering ’round your neighborhood, don’t just go calling the cops straight away – let me know first. It might be my buddy.” The Man pauses for a moment, to compose himself, then continues. “Actually, don’t call the cops, period. You can’t really trust ’em. They work for the Deep State. The Lizard People. You call ’em saying you saw a man from space outside your house, you may well end up institutionalized for a fucking decade. Fuck knows it happened to ME, and I didn’t even see any spacemen anywhere….only thing I did was speak my mind, and fight for what I believed in. Which of course is the worst fucking crime of all.”
The Man stops again to clear his throat, before proceeding to his next point. “Speaking of fighting, I’m gonna be doing that. On national television. Place called GLOBAL Wrestling, outta Hollywood. That’s where I am right now. Hollywood. Right near Rodeo Drive. Big fucking mansion. That’s all I’m gonna say, in case those bastards try to hack into my shit and track me. And yeah, I know what you’re thinking – TV? In front of everybody? Ain’t that basically just opening myself up to get located and abducted and thrown back in the loony bin? Well, yeah…but it’s worth the risk, if it means the Truth can reach more people! It’s also the only thing I know how to do that actually makes me money, so, you know…you got anything to say to that, stop being a goddamn SJW keyboard warrior and come say it to my face in the ring.”
The Man pauses once more, this time purely for effect, before continuing.
“And speaking of the ring, I know what you’re thinkin’…you’re thinkin’ that ring’s probably owned by the Lizard People, or the Illuminati, or somebody like that, and I’m putting myself on their radar on purpose just by stepping onto it. And yeah, you’re right. But you know what the best way to sabotage something is?” The Man pauses again, his slightly manic grin once again creeping onto his features. “To have an inside man…”
He lets that thought linger in the silence for a long moment, the better to be taken in and processed, before moving on to his signing-off spiel.
“All right, that’s all you’re getting for today, bitches. I’ve had a busy couple of days, and I’m still working on Orion time. Until next time, this is Big John J, the speaker of Truth, saying be like Fox Mulder…trust no one.”
With that, The Man presses the button to stop the recording, opens his browser, and accesses his preferred podcasting platform; a moment later, his job is done – the Truth is out there.
SIGN OFF MEETING
The day after Domination #4
Stella Chalmers-Blythe sits with her feet propped up on her antique wooden desk in her spacious, lavishly appointed home office, her second post-lunch glass of wine and cigarette in one hand, her phone glued to her ear.
“An investigation?!” She laughs, a tinkling, musical sound. “Gigi, darling…what happened? You used to be EVER so good at keeping your affairs private…including OURS…”
She giggles, then pauses a moment, as the person at the other end expounds further. “Well, darling”, she then purrs, “if you need help, I would be perfectly happy to fly over and lend you a hand with all that unpleasant business. Do let me know, won’t you?”
The Brit’s attention is momentarily diverted by the arrival of a blonde woman, who gestures and mouths silently, clearly attempting to convey a message.
“You will have to excuse me, I’m afraid, darling”, she says to her telephone interloper. “Kerry requires my attention….yes, ta-tah for now!”
Indeed, no sooner has she disconnected than Kerry Buckingham, her blonde, slightly camp Public Relations officer and personal friend, speaks up. “The boys are here, Stella, darling Shall I send them through?!”
“Oh?” The brunette appears genuinely surprised. “I did not expect them until tomorrow morning…but yes, send them in.”
This, the PR agent promptly does, and it does not take more than a few moments before Stella is in the presence of both members of the team known as Best of British. Nigel Kensington III and Rupert Royston-Fellowes’ demeanour as they stand before their investor and employer is at once collected and slightly anxious, prompting Stella to ask what the matter is, and whether they have anything they would like to tell her.
“You’ve done WHAT?!” These are the first words out of the normally perfectly poised Brit’s mouth once her two associates are done expounding on the events of the fourth GLOBAL Domination event. “Have you lost your MINDS?” The attractive brunette pinches the bridge of her nose with two fingers, as she takes a moment to collect herself. “I asked for ONE thing. ONE. THING. Yet you have not only not done what I requested, but you have actively endeavoured to make accomplishing it MORE difficult. I must admit, that is rather impressive.”
The sarcasm of this later statement is not lost on Kensington, who seeks to appease his boss’s truculent mood. “I understand your concern, Stella. Let me assure you, however, that everything is perfectly under control, and—”
“…under control?” Stella’s tone is now a low, growly, dangerous husk, which soon rises back to a borderline scream. “Under CONTROL? I asked you, WEEKS ago, mind you, to approach the Master Sisters and secure their cooperation. Not only did you fail to do that, you also staked their participation in our endeavor on the outcome of a match. A match with the current holders of that company’s Tag Team Titles. Please, do enlighten me, Nigel, darling…how, exactly, does that translate to the situation being ‘perfectly under control’?”
Even his employer’s escalating anger does not faze Kensington. “Aha. See, therein lies the rub. For you see, Stella, the outcome of that match is not – will not – ever be in any doubt/”
Stella laughs icily. “You think that highly of yourselves?”
“Well…yes…but that is not the reason for my statement”, Kensington clarifies. “What I meant was that we have devised a fool-proof, fail-safe strategy to ensure we emerge from that particular confrontation victorious and see to it that the Master Sisters are made to uphold their end of the bargain.”
The confidence in her associate’s words appears to intrigue Stella, who leans forward, studying first the pony-tailed man, and then his partner.
“Rupert? Do you share your partner’s belief in this matter?”
“Yes.” The blond half of the team nods loyally. “I will vouch for Nigel’s strategy.”
“Oh.” Again, the leader of The United Kingdom (the group, not the country, though she would, one suspects, jump at THAT chance) appears slightly puzzled by the duo’s unwavering confidence. “In that case, would you be so kind as to provide details of this…” The brunette clears her throat. “...’fool-proof, fail-safe’ arrangement?”
A few minutes later – once the two men have finished laying out their plan – the expression on the Brit’s face has changed from her former intense scowl to a beaming smile.
“Well, well! I must admit, I am rather impressed.” Then, her countenance once again darkens for a moment, as an idea occurs to her. “Though, I DO hope this approach is now a certainty, as opposed to a concept?”
Kensington nods. “Naturally. Everything has been arranged”
“Including an agreement between all parties involved?”
“Verbal, yes,” Kensington admits, as his partner winces slightly. “Strictly a handshake type of deal at this point, I’m afraid…but a deal, regardless.”
“Hm.” This knowledge brings a slight furrow to Stella’s perfectly styled brow. “Well…I suppose that will do, for now.” She once again looks up at the two men. “Very well. Proceed. Do, however, seek to make the present arrangement official at earliest convenience, won’t you, darling?”
Kensington nods again. “Of course, Stella. Thank you.”
“No, darling…” Stella’s increasingly rare radiant smile once again shines through, aimed at the darker-haired half of the Best of British duo. “Thank YOU. Well done.”
Their update delivered and praise duly received, the two men turn to leave but stop short when Stella speaks up again. “Oh, darlings? Do send my regards to our…new associate.” The brunette flashes her predatory grin again, a dangerous twinkle in her eye. “As well as to the girls. Tell them I shall expect them here with you in rwo weeks.”
Nigel and Rupert return evil grins of their own, which Stella acknowledges with a nod. “Thank you. Kerry will see you out.”
With this, and after ensuring her subordinates are well out of earshot, the Brit picks up her phone again and retrieves the latest called number.
“Gigi, darling! SO sorry about that…now, where were we…?”
TWO GIRLS, ONE DEBUT
“Iz! Check this out!”
The girl with bright red hair enthusiastically gestures to her best friend and tag team partner, currently lying on the bed behind her, engrossed in her own phone.
“Seriously”, she stresses. “You can text Miles back in a minute. You GOTTA come see this!”
The brunette with blue-streaked hair rolls her eyes and huffs slightly, but nonetheless pulls herself up to all fours to crawl across the bed and look over her partner’s shoulder; a moment later, her eyes visibly widen, as she takes in whatever is on her friend’s phone screen.
“See?” The redhead cannot suppress a smug grin. “I TOLD you it would work!” She taps her temple with one finger. “It’s all about presentation, dude. You make yourself out to be a big deal, people believe you. Well, at least until you goof it up…”
She averts her eyes from her friend’s for a moment to quote directly from her screen. “’Ending the show indicates it’ll be something big.’ ‘Makes them feel like a big deal.’ Dude! We NAILED it!”
The two girls share a whoop and a double high-five, before the redhead adds another point.
“They’re right, too…we totally ARE Jessie and James. Red hair, blue hair…blue hair is totally red hair’s bitch…”
‘Shut up, Teagan”, comes the quip from the redhead’s partner, at the same moment as a flying pillow suddenly cuts her off by nearly hitting her in the face.
“HEY!” The girl named Teagan bats off the offending object, much to her partner’s amusement, then resumes her train of thought. “Anyway…yeah…all we really need is a Meowth.”
“Except it wouldn’t be a Meowth”, the blue-streaked girl offers. “It would be…”
“…a BIDOOF.” It is the redhead’s turn to roll her eyes. “Seriously, Isabelle, I don’t know why you’re so obsessed with that dumbass Pokémon!”
“DON’T call me that, ‘MISS QUINN’”, her friend snaps.
“Oh no, you DIDN’T”, the redhead gasps.
“YOU started it!”
“Well, YOU hit me with a pillow, ISABELLE”, Teagan teases, narrowly avoiding a repeat of that exact incident. “Oh, it’s like that, huh?”
With that, the redhead jumps her friend, engaging her in a tickle fight which ends a few seconds later, amid panting giggles.
“Seriously, Iz”, Teagan states, once the two are lying face-up next to each other on the bed, recovering; “I love having you as a bestie.”
“Dude…same”, her partner retorts.
“And I am SO HYPE to be doing this with you!”
“Yeah..same…” This time, however, the dark-haired girl does not seem so convinced, prompting her friend to push herself up on one elbow, the better to look at her.
“What’s up, girl?”
The girl with blue streaks sighs. “It’s just…what if this ends up like last time?”
“Like last…?” The redhead rolls her eyes again. “IZZY! That was like, SEVEN years ago, dude! You NEED to get over that already!”
“Yeah.” Izzy shrugs. “That’s right. Seven years. Seven years since the last time I wrestled. And I wasn’t even that good back then.” She sighs again. “For all I know, I can’t hit Rocketship Izzy AT ALL anymore…”
“Which is why we’ve been TRAINING, doofus!” The redhead puts an arm around her friend’s shoulders. “Besides…you did a LOT better last time than you remember…you won a belt and everything, dude! If anything, it’s ME you gotta worry about…I’m the one who always gets you in trouble…”
“It’s in your name”, Izzy quips.
“Heck yeah, it is!” Teagan smiles, happy to have defused the situation, but it turns out to not be that simple.
“Nobody liked me back then, though…”
“So?!” Teagan sounds genuinely surprised. “Since when do people have to like you?” She releases her grip on her friend to count off points on her fingers. “Did anybody ever like us at school? But we found our own clique, didn’t we? AND we had a kickass band, AND you wrestled ON TV when you were still in HIGH SCHOOL! How many cheerleaders or whatever did that?” She taps her friend lightly on the shoulder. “Dude! You gotta own your own accomplishments! You know what I mean?” She then straightens herself up, preening slightly. “Besides, this time around, we have MY scintillating personality to make up for how boring YOU are…”
A third flying pillow cuts the would-be pep talk short, and the conversation soon shatters into another shower of giggles from the two girls.
THE MASTER SISTERS V BEST OF BRITISH
The ceremonial tones of British martial anthem “Rule Britannia” announce the arrival of the duo known as The Best of British, in what is their first official appearance in a GLOBAL arena since competing against Team United at Domination 3. Unlike that time, however, the two men who make up the controversial duo appear to have no interest in self-aggrandizing or mugging to the fans, instead conferencing in hushed tones with one another as they make their way down the ramp with remarkably little fuss.
“A bit of a different demeanor from these two men here tonight, when compared to our first show”, Quinn confirms. “All their swagger seems to be gone, or at least put aside for the moment…”
“They’re about to go up against the Tag Team Champions, Quinn”, Deltzer notes. “That’s not exactly a time to be hotdogging and grandstanding…”
“From guys like this? I would TOTALLY expect it”, Allie chips in. “If anything, I’m surprised they have enough between their ears to actually DEFY expectations…”
Both male broadcasters are quick to agree with their female counterpart on this point, just as the two men reach the ringside area and soberly make their way up the steps and through the ropes.
“Oddly enough, this is a situation these two apparently put THEMSELVES in”, Allie continues. “I was talking to The Informer earlier, and he said he overheard them challenging the Master Sisters in the workout area, two weeks ago…”
“IF that’s true…” Deltzer puts extra emphasis on the ‘if’. “…I have to ask, WHY? Why would you voluntarily give yourself THIS big of a mountain to climb?”
“Well, some people just like a challenge, Mark”, Lucas offers.
“Some people just have no brains, that’s what”, The Mark grumbles.
“Actually, Mark, I think this is some kind of wager, or challenge, or something. According to Informer, if the Best of British win tonight, the Master Sisters have to sign some sort of contract…I don’t know what for, though…”
“Probably to be in their group”, Deltzer surmises. “They look like the type that would require contracts before they let you hang out with them…”
“Actually, Mark, that makes sense”, Allie retorts. “And I can’t believe I just said that…”
At this point, the announcers’ patter is interrupted by the first few chords of “Love is a Parasyte by Blanck Mass , which draw a somewhat surprisingly sizeable cheer for the three women who pass through the curtain a few moments later.
“Yeah…up against THESE guys, I’d cheer for the Sisters too”, Allie reckons.
The fans ought to have known better, however, as Carnival Dawn – up on her tallest sister’s shoulders, as usual – sees the sea of open mouths all around her as an invitation for some soda-fountain target practice, immediately initiating a game of Water Gun Balloon Pop, only without any balloons, and with cheap supermarket-brand soda standing in for water. The tiny wrestler’s cackles as fan after fan gets drenched by her hand are audible even above the ambient noise, which has almost immediately changed from the previous sympathetic support to a chorus of enraged and indignant boos.
“Did you know they traded a signed copy of Daydream Nation for that soda fountain? I still can’t believe it myself”, Lucas muses. “If I had known they had one for sale, I would have bid on it myself!”
“…what’s Daydream Nation?” Mark and Allie’s unison question draws a groan from Lucas, who feels the generational gap for what is far from the first time.
As the announcers discuss iconic 90s records, the Sisters have made their way to ringside, and are staring daggers at the two men inside it. Even Carnival appears to have forgotten her game of Soak the Crowd, in favor of directing a few choice words at the duo, and at its blond half in particular.
“No love lost between these two parties, that much is clear”, Lucas states. “We could have a brawl on our hands here…”
“Yeah…because we’ve had SO FEW of those lately”, Deltzer snarks.
“Well, this one is as personal as any of those”, Allie pipes up. “Apparently, the grudge between these two teams dates back to an incident in a league in their home country, back in 2016…”
“Oh?” Deltzer and Quinn both sound genuinely curious.
“Yeah…there weren’t a lot of details, but apparently, it may have been something personal…”
“Ooooh…” Lucas’ knowing utterance is offset by his younger partner’s sarcastic observation.
“Six years and they haven’t let it go? Geez! And my ex said I was holding a grudge…”
“Like I said, Mark”, Quinn retorts. “We could be in for a rather intense match here…”
“I guess we’ll see in a minute”, Allie states. “We are underway!”
Indeed, the bell has just rung, drawing fans’ and announcers’ attentions alike to the center of the ring, where Dawn is squaring off against Rupert Royston-Fellowes – and appears to have a single objective in mind.
“THIS ONE’S FOR RORY!” The attempted low blow misses its target, however, as the blond steps swiftly out of reach, while making nearly caricatured attempts at appeasing his opponent.
“WOW”, Deltzer splutters. “She was willing to get herself disqualified just to take him to Dick Kick City? I guess it IS personal!”
Indeed, unfazed by the failure of her first attempt, the smallest member of the GLOBAL Tag Team Champions makes a second attempt at that most hurtful of blows to the male physique…only for Rupert to literally hop out of range once again! A third attempt has the same outcome, visibly testing the patience of the fans in attendance – and, apparently, also Mark Deltzer’s.
“Is anybody gonna wrestle any time soon?”
That thought could not seem further from Dawn’s mind, however, as she suddenly has an idea, stepping back towards her team’s turnbuckle to tag in her sister, stating “YOU do it, Moonie!”
Unsurprisingly, the entrance of the biggest of the Masters sends Royston-Fellowes scarpering to the hills – or rather, the outside of the ring. Here, however, he has the misfortune of literally running into Aurora, who follows her Sisters’ lead, lunging forward with a heeled boot which forces her fellow countryman to put some distance between the two of them, sharpish.
“What is he playing at?” At the announce table, Allie sounds not-so-vaguely annoyed. “Freaking men, man…!”
Before either of her broadcast partners can offer an answer, or even a comment on her quasi-outburst Royston-Fellowes’ motives become somewhat more clear, as the match is disrupted by the arrival, from the entrance ramp, of an outside figure, whom Aurora attempts to intercept at the ramp, but who manages to slide into the ring before the eldest Master can make her own way around it.
“What?!” Deltzer’s surprise is now of a totally different nature. “Aleczandar the Great?! What is he…?! Why is he…?!”
A moment later, however, everything becomes clear, as Alecz very lightly taps Rupert in the back of the head with a piece of foam, causing referee Gabrielle Harris to immediately call for the bell, and the Brit to collapse dramatically to the mat as if hit by lightning, and – from that position – promptly roll out of the ring. Alecz himself quickly follows suit, having become the new target of a livid Dawn and Moonlight.
“…WHAT just happened?” At the announce desk, Deltzer is still as confused as ever – at least until he sees Rupert, microphone in hand and a cocky smirk on his features, shrugging at the Master Sisters from ringside, quipping “oh, dear…we appear to have earned a victory by disqualification…what a shame…”, while, behind him, a similarly smirking Nigel and Aleczander tap their temples with their index fingers, in the universal gesture that indicates intelligence and cunning. Realizing what has happened – and suitably fuming over it – the three Sisters promptly give chase, spurring the men to beat a hasty retreat up the ramp; after a moment, the ringside area is, once again, totally empty, as fans all around The Globe (as well as the announce trio) are left wondering what just transpired.
The sandpit lies low on the floor, wooden railway sleepers surround it, holding the sand in place. Garbage trucks and buckets lay strewn across the sand. Sat in the middle, holding a yellow plastic cup and a pink plastic shovel, a girl is innocently playing. The sun beats down on her curly locks, gently warming her young skin.
A lady with long blonde hair sits on one of the railway sleepers, a plastic smile plastered on her face.
“SAND. Do you like SAND? Do you like how it feels in between your TOES?” A voiceover actor reads, “Do you like how you get it in the footwell of your car, where it stays for six months after a day trip to the beach with the kids?”
The lady leans in, showing an interest in the girls activity, pointing at the sand and speaking to the girl, but her voice cannot be heard, only the voice of the voiceover artist.
“SAND is the bones of dead sea creatures. SAND can be accessed free of charge at your local beach. But SAND can also be BOUGHT, for KEEPS. It’s a bit like how WATER falls from the SKY for FREE but when you put it in a BOTTLE it costs MONEY.”
“Have you made me a cup of tea, Matilda?” the lady asks.
“No.” the little girl replies.
“If you want SAND somewhere that isn’t the beach, you’re going to need our BAG’O’SAND. It’s like the beach, but in a bag!”
“Oh,” the woman says, “is it a hot chocolate with marshmallows?”
“No.” the little girl replies.
“It’s just like the beach. Same stuff. SAND. But in a bag.” the voiceover continues.
“Hmm,” the woman says, stroking her chin, “then what drink are you making me?”
“None. It’s SAND.” replies the child.
“SAND! SAND! SAND! SAND! SAND!” yells the voiceover man.
I am the rustling in the dead of night I am the reason you run up the stairs after you flick the light off I am the smell on the tip of your fingers I am the name on the tip of your tongue I am the reason your IBS flairs up I am the repeating burp I am a night in alone I am the feeling you have lost your keys when they were always in your pocket I am the reason you think of someone before they call I am the breeze I am the cupboard that won’t quite close I am your mother in law I am anarchy I am your ingrowing toe nail I am a bad hair day I am the love of your life leaving you I am the papercut on your knuckle I am the lack of milk in the refrigerator I am flight delays I am a broken bathroom lock I am the jeans that no longer fit I am the word moist I am the sex scene in Titanic when you are watching with your mother aged 12 I am hunger I am thirst I am the dragon you chase I am the person you want to be I am enlightenment I am the sound of a fax machine I am the bus that runs early I am Schrödinger’s cat I am the Amazon man not waiting I am the phone call just missed I am sale ends tomorrow I am the clicking noises on your mother left active on her mobile phone I am your dying fish I am a hole in your sock I am eczema behind the knees I am a solitary pile in the anus I am itchy ear wax I am water in your ear after a swim I am athletes foot I am Piers Morgan I am a hot day to a pregnant woman I am a parasitic worm I am waking up falling I am a popping balloon I am the moldy last slice of bread I am standing in dog shit I am a hair in your eye I am a full bladder in a traffic jam I am a jar that won’t open I am a barking dog in the distance I am a bad haircut I am a window left open with the heating on I am wet socks I am the cold walk to the shower I am a power cut I am 1% battery I am the broken egg in your crate I am a leak in your gym bag I am internet connectivity issues I am a dream you can’t quite remember I am a song stuck in your head I am the falling tree in an empty forest I am the thing you walked in the room for what was it again? I am your friend who always runs late I am the thing your wife asked you to do I am the lunch you left on the side at home I am your toe hitting the coffee table leg I am a knot in your hair I am the gum on your jeans I am a running nose with no tissue I am food poisoning I am soup I am back pain I am the sound you make as you bend over I am the yawn you can’t finish I am eye bogies I am belly button fluff I am body odour I am every red light I am a late fee at the library I am the old lady counting out her change I am the queue at the doctors I am the default voicemail of mobile telephone providers I am radio jingles I am QVC product demonstrators I am the itchy label in your new shirt I am a staple without staples I am error TVP-832 on Netflix I am the flecks of dirt that the dustpan won’t catch I am a bath run too cold I am a nail bitten to short I am gravy down your shirt I am rolling your ankle when everyone can see I am an untied shoe I am hitting your head off a cupboard corner I am the missing toilet paper in a toilet cubicle I am the itch you cannot reach I am the smell you can’t quite place I am the actor you cannot name I am a spilled drink I am wall paint on your carpet I am a childs puke I am the damp smell of the bus I am a delivered to your neighbor note I am a splinter in your finger I am greasy hair I am the chocolate bar left on the dashboard I am earache I am puking on an empty stomach I am reCAPATCHA I am poems that don’t rhyme I am rap music I am next door having sex I am pain I am anger I am ridicule I am anxiety I am shame I am regret I am loathing I am horny I am rage I am fear I am sorrow I am the first thing you think of in a morning and your last thought at night.
I am everything you fear.
I. Am. Doritos.
TEA FOR THREE
Last week somewhere in LA.
Amber Lee and Alfie Button have matching leather jackets, which may just be a coincidence, and Lee is wearing a white t-shirt, ripped jeans, and sneakers while Alfie has a smart black shirt, white suit pants, and a rainbow-colored scarf, more in line with what GLOBAL fans are accustomed to when it comes to Button.
Amber Lee helps her mom out of the car and into her wheelchair, her mom is still grinning from ear to ear after the performance just a short time ago at the arena. “I like Alfie, he seems like a very nice young man,” Ava says as Amber pushes her across the parking lot, both women smile when they see Alfie waiting for them by the front door to the restaurant. “Thank you, Alfie,” Ava says as Alfie holds the door open for them and smiles up at him. “Are you sure you’re up to this, Mom?” Amber asks as the three of them step inside.
Alfie smiles from ear to ear, “Well, well, well, aren’t you two a saht for sore eyes, Ava, you look gorgeous, and Amber, you don’t look bad yaself, love,” he compliments them, nodding at the waiter and holding Ava’s chair out for her first as Amber brings her mom to the table.
Amber makes sure her mom is comfortable before she sits down and smiles up at Alfie as he holds her chair out for her. “Thank you, kind sir,” she says with a smile. The waiter asks them what they’d like to drink. “Tea for me please,” Ava says and Amber asks for a Pepsi.
The Cockney claps his hand, “A cup of Rose Lee, Ava, a girl after ma own ‘eart, aren’t ya? I feel like I’m back in England, and a Pepsi for Amber, like I couldn’t ‘ave guessed that. For me? Make it two teas, yeah, let’s ‘ave it, Ava. Cheers, mate,” Alfie remarks chirpily.
Button sighs before recounting his early beginnings in Britain, “Well, you’ve gotta be a bid mad, ‘aven’t ya? I’ve been a fan since I was a nipper, free, four years old, and I was jumpin’ off sofas and tables, drivin’ me mum mad, and I knew I was a cracking aflete from a young age. I was into football, soccer to you lot, but I preferred gymnastics ’cause I was better at it, and I was always a fan of wrestling, watched it on and off as a teenager, and at fifteen, sixteen, I decided I’d give wrestlin’ a go and signed up to Keegan’s class, and we bonded immediately. For me, ‘e was a ‘ero, someone ‘oo ‘ad made it over ‘ere in The States, and he saw immediate potential in me and, AW MAN,” Alfie’s voice breaks, rubbing what may be a tear from his left eye with his index finger and using the serviette in front of him to make sure he isn’t bubbling.
Ava and Amber inquire if Alfie’s okay, and he dismisses their concern in a courteous manner, “Yeah, I’m sorry, that was an ‘ard and wonderful time, I’ve got great memories and it makes me realise I need to be grateful for being ‘ere, whevver I win or lose, I’ve already won by being here as a wrestler and sitting here wiv you lovely ladies. Amber, sweet’eart, back at ya. Tell me ‘how you got started,” wonders Button.
Ava smiles and then chuckles as Amber begins to speak. “My dad and I used to watch wrestling when I was little. he would encourage me to jump off of the sofas as well as diving over chairs, nearly giving mom a heart attack more than once or twice. My dad was a bodybuilder, I too did gymnastics for a couple of years, but it got too awkward for me, I found as I got taller, so I moved on to weight lifting, I competed in several competitions over the years and won first place on a few of them. I think I was around twenty when I finally decided that I was done with weightlifting and wanted to move on to something else. I got into kickboxing and from there I got into wrestling, one of the instructors thought I’d make a perfect wrestler. I stopped though after mom was diagnosed with cancer to help take care of her, my dad walked out on us” Amber replies.
The three of them have been so busy talking that they haven’t even bothered to order food, and have seemingly forgotten about their drinks not arriving either. Amber notices that her mom is getting tired and that her hands were starting to shake a little bit. “Mom? Are you okay?” Amber asks. “I think I’m just tired out from all of the excitement tonight dear but yes I am getting rather tired. I’m sorry to spoil things, Alfie.” “We can always go out again another time, right Alfie?” Amber asks as she tucks the blanket more snugly around her mom’s lap and adjusts her sweater before standing up.
Alfie holds his hands up and snaps them forward dramatically, indicating that there is no problem, “Don’t be daft, I’ll ‘old you both to it, I’ll get the teas to go and bring them to you in the car. Amber, put ya money away, my treat. Give me a cuddle,” Alfie demands, getting a BIG hug from Amber.
“Easy, we’re not wrestling, are we? God, you’re strong. Ava, angel, I’d love an ‘ug off you too, but please, don’t BEAR ‘UG me, like your daughter just did. I’ll be feelin’ that for a week. Aw, Ava, a pleasure again, lovely,” Alfie chuckles, cuddling Amber’s mother and smiling at Miss Lee, too, clearly delighted to have spent some time with them while secretly wishing it could go on a bit longer. He watches them leave the restaurant, Amber with her arm around her mother, aiding Ava to the door. He tells the waiter, ‘Fank you,’ and waits patiently for the tea, secretly hoping for it to hurry up, so he can get back to Amber and Ava as quickly as possible before they leave.
PHONE CALLS AND HOT DOGS AND STREET FIGHTS, OH MY!
The week before Domination #5
Somewhere in Los Angeles County
“…and let me know if you need any help with that Jed guy. I can’t believe he dissed the Corps! …Yeah, I know, right?”
“’SUP, VAL? THANKS FOR THE KICKS, YO!”
“…aaaand that was Angel, who has her own phone now, but still needs to yell into mine, for some reason…” I glare at my partner as I say this, but as ever, she has an explanation ready.
“Man, Saul, You KNOW I ain’t got nobody’s socials on here yet! I ain’t even had this shit a week!”
Oh, is that how you want to play it, huh?
“Hey, uh, Val? If I give you Angel’s number, will you text her yours? For the sake of me not going deaf? …Cool, thanks. My ears appreciate it.” I cover the phone momentarily and turn to Angel. “What’s your number, so I can give it to Val?”
“Shiiiit, I ain’t know”, she says, with a shrug. “I tol’ you, ese, I ain’t even hád this shit a week!”
“Well, hold on…Val? Give me your number, Angel’s gonna call you. She doesn’t know hers.” I say each number out loud as Valorie calls them out, and soon Angel is sending Val a DM on WhatsApp, no doubt in her particular brand of extra-broken teenage text-speak.
“Ask her if she got it”, she calls out urgently the moment she presses send.
“Val? Did you get it? Great!” I give Angel a thumbs-up, and her big, goofy smile instantly appears. “Thanks for that.” Suddenly, somebody demands Val’s attention on the other side of the line, and I realize she must be busy with her own stuff. Time to hang up. “Hey, listen…sounds like you’re busy, so I’m gonna let you go. Think about what I said, though. About Jed. You need any help, me and Angel are ready to roll. OK? …Cool. See you Sunday, all right? Cool. Take care.”
No sooner have I hung up, than Angel is giving me grief about spending the best part of fifteen minutes talking to Valorie.
“Ooooh, see you SUNNNNday, VAAAAAlerie…slurp, slurp, slurp!” Angel hugs herself and puckers up, her eyes closed, in a pantomime of kissing, complete with wet sounds. This earns her an empty can of sausages to the side of the head, which is only partially successful in keeping her from collapsing on her side with laughter.
“You wouldn’t even mind that, either”, I point out, “you like Val.”
“Yeah, but you LIKE like her”, Angel declares, still giggling.
“Do I really? And what’s it to you if I do?”
“HA! I knew it! You LIKE her!” Angel stands up and does a stomping dance around the camping stove, chanting, “SAULlikesVALerie…SAULlikesVALerie…”
I throw another couple of sausages onto the fire and patiently wait for her to finish – which does not take long, once she realizes she is not really affecting me in any way. Only once she has sat back down, opened up a bun from the family pack between us and made herself another hot dog do I finally speak up again.
“So…you sure about this?”
“Huh?” She swallows her first bite. “Uh, sure…I ain’t think these hot dogs are off yet…they taste pretty good…”
“I meant about the street fight”, I clarify, realizing I hadn’t.
“Oh, that?” Another bite goes down. “I’m EXTRA damn sure about THAT. Queen ‘Puta”s got it comin’.”
“I mean, though”, I counter, “we know she cheats…and you’re giving her an open chance to do whatever she wants, and have it NOT count as cheating…”
Angel, however, does not appear concerned by this reasoning. “Yeah…*I* can do whatever I want too, tho’! She wants to play dirty? I can play dirty right back. Besides…” She takes another bite, and the next few words come through a mouthful of crumbs. “…I know street fights. Way better’n I know wrestling. Been getting into ’em since I was a kid. They my thing, man. Queen ‘Puta’ come at me on Sunday, she gon’ end up like this hot dog…she ’bout to be smashed.”
“You still are a kid”, I point out, and the empty sausage can comes flying in the opposite direction, giving me just enough time to block it before it strikes me in the temple.
“Fuck you, Saul”, she grumbles, but she is smiling as she takes another bite of her hot dog. And somehow, at that moment, watching her slobber her way through the bun, her lips ringed with mustard and her shirt stained with ketchup, I know her confidence is not misguided; whatever happens two weeks from now, the kid’s going to be all right.
The trio of sisters known as the Master Sisters, due to the fact that their family name is Master and they are, as previously mentioned, sisters, enter a locker room, still in their wrestling clothes after their very short match with the Best of British.
Aurora is drinking water, despite the fact that she’s the one who didn’t wrestle at all, and goes to sit on a table that’s near the corner of the room. She puts the bottle on the table, but before she can sit, the smaller sister, Dawn, grabs the table and turns it over completely.
“How dare those dumb dumb-dumbs, idiotic, pieces of absolute defecating garbage, trick me, Doctor Carnival, and my sisters, Doctor Carnival’s Big Sister and MoonMoon, like that. We will crush them before the moon rises tonight.” Screams the sister, shaking her fist, to the moon outside.
“Bottle…” Aurora says, defeated, looking at her water bottle, now on the other side of the room completely spilled.
“No, that’s bad for you. You should spill all of it when you can. My therapist told me that once.” Commented Dawn, still shaking her fist. “I know. Let’s go find them and beat them all up with chairs.”
“Or… we could not.” Suggested Aurora.
“You’re right. You’re smart. We won’t beat them up with chairs… and then we’ll beat them up with chairs!”
Aurora sighs and sits in one of the chairs of the now fallen table. She looks at Moonlight, who’s currently just posing angrily near the door and signs for her to sit by her, which Moonlight follows.
“I can tell you want to say something, so just do it. I don’t do well with angry stares.”
“Alright, so what’s your plan now?” Moonlight asks. “We join them? We become part of this United Kingdom Faction with two people that you dislike and Aleczander? We just follow them around now? And like really, are we meant to represent Britain. Dawn can’t even name two cities in England.”
“Yes, I can. London and…” Dawn ponders a bit before replying with confidence. “Londonshire.”
“Case in point.” Moonlight points at her sister. “And you…”
“Yorkshire and Hull” Replies Aurora
“Right… I wasn’t going to ask that.”
“I figured, I just wanted to prove I knew.” Aurora smirks for just a brief second, but then she returns to be serious. “I hate London and everyone in it as much as I love it. But that is not the point. They outsmarted us and we are going to respect it, and you know why?”
“Why?” Moonlight asks, genuinely curious.
“Because this is actually the best case scenario. These guys really, REALLY want us, and two people and a decrepit son of a bitch on our side can help assure us that these titles will not leave our hands anytime soon. They proved that when we faced the Rich Family two shows ago. Moonmoon, we have proven time and time again that we can have title runs that last for more than a year. Since we won our first title we spend less time as contenders than champions. And we’ve always done that alone. So now… I think now is the time to show the world what we can do when we have people on our side. Moonlight, this IS the year of the Masters. This is our ticket for us to reach our peak.”
Moonlight and Dawn stare at Aurora, clearly not buying it at first, but after a bit they look at each other and nod.
“Alright” Says Moonlight shrugging. “Let’s see our peak.”
'THE FAT MAN' STEVE DANN V THE GREAT WALL
Between them, The Great Wall and Steve Dann have lost 3 of their 4 matches thus far in GLOBAL.
The only success is hardly anything to shout about either, what with The Great Wall mowing down whipping boy Joe Public, albeit in record time.
Having said that, the Chinese skyscraper was dropped by Daniel Dream, GLOBAL darling and the odds-on favorite to grab the GLOBAL title in three weeks, while Steve Dann has had tough outings against VIP and Aleczander The Great, indicative of his career as ‘an opponent’ and being on the B-Side.
At a combined weight of over 700 pounds, and something to prove to themselves and the GLOBAL audience, let’s see who wins what is unlikely to be a mat masterpiece.
On commentary, Xiang, The Great Wall’s ‘partner,’ has just joined our typical 3-pronged unit and is welcomed by Lucas Quinn, “Can you hear me, everyone? I certainly hope so.”
“Unfortunately,” The Mark boldly snipes.
“I heard that, and I may just get The Great Wall to take that out on you, Paul Sanders, Kid Chameleon or all three of you at the same time, you little degenerate,” Xiang bites back.
Allie pokes fun at The Mark, who sensibly opts out of embroiling in a verbal exchange with ‘The Artist of War’ Xiang, and by extension, his 7’2 surprise in the form of The Great Wall, who you’ll see momentarily.
Accompanied by the vocals of Fats Domino, uttering his nickname, ‘The Fat Man’ Steve Dann gets a half-decent applause, presumably because of who he’s facing, somewhat like his two previous tests against VIP and Aleczander The Great respectively. Dann is, for you reading the show, the de facto face.
Steve doesn’t do high-fives or hand slaps, so his entrance is pretty routine. Greasy shoulder-length hair, an all-blue get-up that makes him look like Akeem, 2.0, and a black jacket. The rotund wrestler doesn’t look like a star in any promotion, particularly one based in Hollywood, and realizes he’s here to ‘make up the numbers,’ even if he refuses to accept it.
“Steve Dann looks ready for business and has done well in his two previous matches. The Great Wall is also coming off a defeat, so this could be an interesting and important clash for both,” Lucas sells it.
“It’s not, it’s a chance for The Great Wall to make up for the freak incident a fortnight ago,” Xiang says, setting him straight.
Steve Dann runs the ropes as the Chinese national anthem brings out one of its biggest exports, at least in the way of height, as Xiang rises to his feet and applauds the arrival of his ‘meal ticket.’
The Great Wall stands tall, and looks every bit the 70s wrestling ‘evil foreigner’ gimmick, red tights (not unlike The Great Khali) with yellow stars, keeping the Chinese theme going. His crewcut haircut, evident gigantism, and sheer height make him an impressive yet colorless figure, not the kind to star in Hollywood films, but a definite threat to anyone and everyone on the roster.
Boos emanate around The Globe and Lucas Quinn launches into salesman mode.
“You hear he’s seven-two, and still, it doesn’t quite do him justice, until you see him in the flesh. No doubt, The Great Wall is a formidable force, owner of the quickest victory in GLOBAL history and yet coming off a disappointing defeat to Daniel Dream, which in itself is no disgrace, but the manner of it was surprising,” Lucas checks himself, feeling Xiang’s gaze on him.
“That’ll be corrected tonight,” Xiang brags confidently.
The Great Wall has almost completed his slow journey to the squared circle. He ascends the stairs and before he can emphasize his size by stepping over the top rope, Steve Dann is there to give TGW a not-so-warm welcome, rocking the Chinese Colossus with a MASSIVE right hand, which gets the crowd’s collective approval immediately, and a rousing cheer goes up at the sight of The Great Wall wobbly here in the early going.
The Mark winds Xiang up, “Could Dann pick up where Daniel Dream left off?”
“Typical American trailer park trash,” Xiang scoffs.
“Sound strategy on the part of Steve Dann, don’t you think, Xiang?”
Xiang chuckles at The Mark’s question, “If The Great Wall had done it to Dann, would you have said that? Be honest.”
Allie mocks The Mark, “Why don’t you just offer to get him a cup of tea?”
Xiang doesn’t miss a beat, “That would be lovely, Allie. Two sugars, please.”
Dann is solely focused on the 7’2 skyscraper in front of him and rocks the giant with a couple more shots that would have had most competitors on the canvas already, but at least the Asian behemoth has been steered to the corner. Steve has the space and opportunity to deliver a sensational CCS Enzuigiri, Samoa Joe style, and that forces The Great Wall to take a knee.
“Superb work from Steve Dann, despite Xiang’s disapproval, and let’s not forget that Dann is three hundred and seventy pounds in his own right, so there’s some meat behind the bone,” Quinn claims.
“He’s fat,” Xiang interjects.
Sensing daggers in his direction, Xiang looks straight ahead, “It’s even in his name, and there’s no getting around it. He’s a foot smaller than The Great Wall and yet somehow outweighs him. That’s disgusting,” reasons Xiang.
An Irish Whip builds on the Shreveport superheavyweight’s momentum, or is supposed to until The Great Wall reverses it sending Dann to the diagonally opposite set of buckles. Unfortunately for him and the 4th individual on commentary, Dann gets out of the way of the late Lariat attempt, and Steve, who’s easily the quicker of the two, throws mud at ‘The Wall’ with a Body Avalanche that sticks, and speaking of stick…
DDT on the follow-up!
And that’s all.
“Dann will be, and should be, disheartened by that,” Xiang beams.
“Steve has done well so far,” Allie bites back, rising to the plate.
“He gave it everything he had, and that’s all he could muster – one!” Xiang giggles.
Dann heads to the west side of the apron, hundreds of observers at The Globe standing in unison, eagerly anticipating to see what Steve’s brainchild is.
Slingshot Spl-egs up by The Great Wall!
The Great Wall, clearly affected by Dann’s early assault in spite of his colleague’s claims to the contrary, gingerly rises. In a bid to keep the pendulum swinging in his direction, Dann rushes towards The Wall, only to see his momentum used against him as the Asian unearths a bone-crunching Powerslam that takes the air out of Dann’s lungs, and subsequently, drains the crowd of its enthusiasm for a double whammy.
“No way back for Dann now. It’s over,” Xiang declares somewhat prematurely.
The Great Wall rises, posing for the crowd, which boos him except Xiang, who rises and applauds, “Show respect to the biggest and strongest man in this hellhole known as Hollywood, you cretins,” muses the supposedly well-spoken Chinese import.
Dann’s downfall can be traced back to his Slingshot Splash on the left side of the ring. The Great Wall goes back there, and uses his lower extremities again, firing off a Leg Drop that Dann has no answer to…
“Dann still has some fight left in him, judging by that count,” Allie Reece lauds enthusiastically.
The Great Wall glares at Aaron Powell for a moment, but when he sees no change in the 6’8 official’s eyes, he takes his frustration out on ‘The Fat Man’ instead. An Irish Whip to the top-right corner closes to Xiang and company goes unanswered. On this occasion, The Great Wall’s Clothesline finds its mark, and a follow-up OVERHEAD CHOP gets everyone’s attention at The Globe.
“Good grief, I think your countrymen could hear that back in Beijing, Xiang,” Lucas Quinn says, paying lip service to The Xiang Dynasty.
“Loud and clear, Lucas.”
Quinn ignores Xiang’s pride in order to do his own job, “Snake Eyes on the turnbuckle and now Steve’s struggling to keep up. It feels like a matter of time before The Wall makes him crumble,” Lucas resignedly claims.
Xiang compliments Quinn, “I like you, Lucas.”
The Mark queries, “Why isn’t he going for the cover?”
“You’ll see why in a moment, Mister Deltzer,” Xiang brags.
The Great Wall aids the heavily breathing Steve Dann up, though not in the form of a helping hand. He places the 370-pound bruiser between his legs, no, that’s not what she said, and shouts something out in Mandarin. Xiang stands up, saluting his glorified bodyguard and gets a great view of The Great Wall effortlessly elevating the hefty Dann into the air.
“GOOD GOD, WHAT POWER,” Quinn shouts, genuinely impressed.
Xiang points at the sight, “Look at that. Can August or Aleczander do that?”
The Jacknife Powerbomb sees Dann dumped like last night’s kebab. The Guangzhou Gargantuan makes the trip to put his left boot on Dann’s chest, and Powell’s job is an easy one.
Before joining his steed in the squared circle to celebrate, Xiang spits, “Steve Dann has been in the ring with VIP and Aleczander The Great, and neither did that to Dann. Last week was a freak, a one-off. The Great Wall has been rebuilt as many times as the Yellow Crane Tower. Us Chinese? We’re resilient people, always have been and always will be, and WE. WILL. PREVAIL,” he declares angrily, smacking his hand into the commentary desk prior to removing his headset and rolling into the squared circle, somehow getting his hand raised by Powell, along with The Great Wall, as boos reverberate around The Globe, particularly when the Chinese national anthem gets its second airing in the space of several minutes.
“Impressive performance by The Great Wall,” Quinn concludes.
“Not so much by Xiang over here,” Allie adds.
“Amen,” The Mark agrees.
Take it away, ‘Downtown’ Jason Brown, “The winner of this match…THE GRRRRRRRREEEEEATTTTT WAAAAAAAAAL!”
“Is The Great Wall back? Time will tell. He goes two and one here in GLOBAL, making up for last week’s defeat to Daniel Dream, at least momentarily,” Quinn informs the viewers at home.
“They’re not over it, and won’t be for a while,” The Mark remarks dubiously.
Xiang pats The Great Wall on the back just before they vacate the spotlight, getting what they came for.
The Mark wonders, “When is HE going to get in there?”
“Xiang? He’s not in a hurry, is he? My guess is he’ll milk The Chinese cash cow for as long as he can,” according to Allie Reece.
“Same as always then,” Deltzer responds.
Xiang flips the crowd off towards the tail end of their journey and encourages the fans to raise the volume when they start chanting those three initials, ‘USA, USA, USA!’
“I can’t stand him,” moans The Mark.
Allie complains in kind, “Pity, you didn’t tell him when he was RIGHT there.”
NURSE, NURSE! (1)
The screen is completely black except for a small section reserved for a live chat. Gradually it begins to become more populated as the messages start:
“The hell is going on?”
“E Z? Dat u?”
“He ded? F”
A muffled voice can soon be heard, from what we can tell it is that of a middle-aged woman:
“I’ve told you before Mr. Johnson, you may not broadcast from a hospital. Other patients will not appreciate being included in your little shows and it could disrupt all manner of important equipment.”
“Hey yo it’s E Z.” Comes the agitated reply.
“I don’t care how easy it is, if I catch you recording in here again I will be confiscating your mobile device.”
This time there is no reply, just a large exhale of air. Footsteps are heard gradually getting quieter followed by the sound of a curtain being drawn. At last some visuals start to come into focus and we see E Z Rah sitting in a hospital bed looking in a very sorry state. His face is slightly swollen and there are stitches across his cheek and face tattoo. It’s hard to tell his expression due to the injuries but the tone of his voice instantly conveys his anger and annoyance, albeit in a whispered and hushed tone:
“So yeah it’s E Z, this ain’t one for the E Z Cru yo. This one goes out directly to Jerry David.”
E Z takes a moment to compose himself:
“Jerry man, what the hell you think you’re doing tryin’ to mess with the big E Z, eh? Our beef was over man. I beat you into a damn pulp in that run down little club and that was that. I was willing to be the bigger man and leave it there. All you had to do was accept the L and move on with your pathetic little life. But nah, you couldn’t do that.”
E Z’s face contorts into what could be a smile, he winces slightly:
“I get it man, hanging around E Z gave you a taste of what fame and success actually looks like. Just by being near me your hits are going up, your likes going up, you got mad peeps subbing to see what the deal is. You think your star is rising? It ain’t. Listen boomer, they only checkin’ to see what the noise is ‘cos you got lucky enough to be mentioned in the same breath as E.Z. Rah. They ain’t stickin’ around. They ain’t laughing wit’chu, they laughing at’chu, they seeing…”
All of a sudden the sound of a curtain is heard and the camera rapidly starts to get fumbled under the covers, there is just enough light to see that E Z’s body is covered in bruises, almost obscuring his tattoos. The voice from earlier is heard.
“Mr. Johnson, I’m getting people tell me they can hear voices. I warned you about recording.”
“Nah that ain’t me.” Comes E Z’s response: “I’m just chillin’ watching some TikTok. You on TikTok?”
“No Mr. Johnson I’m not on ‘Tick Tock’ And I suggest if you are that you please keep the volume to a minimum. People are trying to get some rest. Now, have you been able to urinate painlessly yet or is the bruising on your penis still causing discomfort?”
“Woah nah my dicks fine.” Comes E Z’s rapid response.
“Really? Because only earlier you were almost in tears complaining about…”
“Nah fam that’s something else, I’m all good down there. Better than good ya know? Big and strong.”
There is an awkward moment of silence as the chat bar on the screen starts to fill up with eggplant and laughing emojis and messages like:
“RIP E Z’s dick”
“Looks like he’s staying a virgin forever”
“We will give you a full body exam again later” The middle-aged woman continues: “For now, please try and get some rest, or at the very least allow the other patients to get some.”
The curtain is heard again as the camera starts to move around, when the footsteps have all but faded, we see E Z’s swollen face again as he whispers, “She trippin’, gotta be talkin’ ‘bout someone else.”
E Z scans the chat bar.
“Man this ain’t about me. The only thing that matters right now is Jerry. Listen, you crusty old fuck. Enjoy the fame whilst it lasts, ‘cos soon as I beat your ass in the ring ain’t no-one even gunna remember your name.”
E Z closes his eyes, it almost looks like he’s fighting back tears but again, with injuries it’s difficult to tell.
“And you know what the worst part is? You cost me my first match, man. That was my damn debut! My chance to show everyone what I’ve been doing for the last two years of my life! That L is on my record forever. I was s’posed to go on an undefeated streak the likes of which GLOBAL aint ever seen. ‘stead I lost to some fat hairy asshole! I even tweeted the bosses and they ain’t resettin’ it.”
E Z looks directly at the camera.
“You cost me my dream man. I was gunna retire undefeated. W’s all the way man. No L and no D.”
The chat again gets flooded with laughing emojis the moment E Z mentions ‘no D’
“I ain’t ever forgivin’ that man. You in trouble now. You woke the dragon in me and lemme tell you sumtin’; that ain’t a thing you ever wanna do. Next week at GLOBAL’s big event, Jerry versus E Z. I’mma make sure your dank ass career ends right there without a single win. The dragon’s fury is an endless rampage of fire and…”
At that moment the curtain quickly flies open and we see the nurse attending to E Z flanked by two burley security guards.
“Phone. Now.” She demands.
“Ah no please my whole life on here! Please I ain’t using it again I swear!
“You can hand it over or we’ll take it by force.”
The camera starts to shake around violently as we hear the occasional, “No!” and “Pleeeease” from E Z. The last thing we see is a grimace from a security guard as he looks down at the screen, moves his finger towards it and the feed shuts off.
IT WON'T REYN...
The screen goes dark, and then it goes to the penthouse in 212, Fifth Avenue, New York where the Son of Malta is sitting in the living room together with Gino Di Maggio, El Asasino, and Joe Dutch. As the camera zooms toward the fireplace, one can immediately see a nice photo of William Arthur Reagan celebrating the nBW World Title win in the middle of the ring with the rest of the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse.*
“On Domination 5 you are up against Alex Reyn. I hope you didn’t forget what happened in nBW between you two” Gino Di Maggio tells Son of Malta.
“Of course, I didn’t forget. How could I? I was this close to winning the Keystone title at Scorched and then what happened at Sin and Retribution left a huge scar here.¨ Son of Malta says pointing to under his eye.
“It was one of the worst things I ever suffered in the ring” replies Son of Malta.
“Son, that day he took advantage of the No DQ rules, but that was the only day I was ever disappointed with you. Prior to the match, I told you that he would be using the dark arts and told you to use what I learned in prison. If you had just used some of the things I thought you, you would have walked out of Sin and Retribution with the belt and Reyn on a stretcher or worse”, declares El Asasino.
“Don’t worry El Asasino, I learned my lesson. It was the first and last time I showed mercy to anyone. Life has cost me a lot. I have lost my father, I have lost my son and due to Reyn I almost lost an eye. But this time it will be different. If he wants to go dark, then I will show him the dark arts. I am the Son of Malta, the father of a murdered son, the prodigy of a murdered hero and I will show Reyn that if you mess with the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse it won’t rain, but it will pour!”, concluded Son of Malta.
'LEGEND' SEAN DARRING V CHRISTIAN PIERSON
“This one will be interesting simply because we finally get to see if Christian Pierson is really a contender,” The Mark states as the viewpoint is on the ring and the beloved ring announcer “Downtown” Jason Browne standing at center, microphone in hand.
Allie Reece pipes up immediately, “This is just as big of a test for Darring as the veteran seeks to continue an undefeated string in Global. I don’t think anybody saw him being undefeated at this point when everything kicked off here.”
“Speak for yourself, Allie,” Quinn quips, “Let’s have Jason do his job now!”
On cue, Browne raises the microphone, “Ladies and Gentlemen, this contest is set for one fall. Introducing first, a man that truly needs no introduction, a man that has many times climbed the mountain of success and greatness, hailing from Miami, Florida, and weighing in at two hundred-forty-two pounds, here is the man, the myth, the “LEGEND” SEAN DARRING!”
As the first notes of the classic “The Final Countdown” by Europe begin to play, the fans erupt into cheers and chants for the legendary mat technician.
A blue 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. He enters the ring and raises his arms to an ovation before removing the robe and handing it out to the attendants at ringside.
“He still looks like a champion and nobody would be surprised if he walks out of Magnum Opus with the win,” Lucas states.
“I agree with you,” The Mark chimes in, “But who thought of that event name?”
“And his opponent!,” Browne continues without missing a beat. “Standing at six feet, three inches tall and weighing in at two hundred and twenty-four pounds, hailing out of Burlington, Vermont, here is CHRISTIAN PIERSON!”
Blacklite District’s “Cold As Ice” begins playing as the yuppy Christian Pierson walks out. The fans seem to have a mixed reaction for the enigmatic performer and the view point changes to a close up of him entering the arena. He is wearing black tights and blue boots with gold on the heel and tongue of the boot. As if not in the same universe, the crowd noise dims and Pierson stares into the camera and starts talking.
“This is the kind of thing I was talking about when I said I wanted to wrestle,” he states
“Oh yeah?” Manny, now suddenly standing next to him in his blue jeans and black leather jacket, questions.
“Absolutely,” replies the yuppy, “Darring is one of my heroes. I grew up watching him…”
The screen goes into a fog of smoke and as the smoke clears, we see a young boy looking at the TV screen, Pierson’s voice is heard as we watch the scene unfold.
“Every week I tuned in and watched some of the best wrestling you could ever hope to see and one of the young stars then was HIM.”
The TV screen becomes the center point of view for the screen and we see a young Sean Darring, jet black hair no wrinkles, and looking like he literally just became an adult. He is wearing a green robe and takes it off.
“There was nobody like him. He was fresh, he talked like nobody else could talk and moved like nobody else could move.”
We see Darring take his opponent and spring him over with a suplex that turns into a submission hold.
“Not a single man could tame him in the ring. He was a legend from the moment he walked into an arena.”
The Television screen shows Darring getting the submission victory and his arms now raised in victory. The announcer stating that “Sean Darring with yet another impressive win tonight!”
“That is when I knew what I eventually wanted to do when I grew up.”
The fog returns and we are back to a slowly walking Christian and Manny.
“And here you are, mejo,” Manny states with pride.
“And its time to show what I can do,’ Pierson states as he reaches the ring steps.
The screen view switches to the normal wide view of an entrance, and of course, Manny is nowhere to be seen. Pierson enters the ring, stepping through the middle and top ropes and walks directly toward the middle of the ring. The largest referee in Global, Aaron Powell, holds out a hand to stop his progress and calls for the bell to get this one started.
DING! DING!! DING!!!
The moment the bell rings, Pierson surges toward Darring and the lock up near the corner Sean was standing in. They grapple for control of the lock up with a lean each way before Christian manages to get hold of the Legend’s arm and wring it into an arm bar. Darring doesn’t sit still and he quickly reverses out of the arm bar and chain wrestles to a position in Pierson’s back and drops him to the canvas. As Darring backs off, you can see a small smile curl on Pierson’s face.
“Is he smiling?” asks Allie.
“That seems strange for him,” The Mark points out. “Usually, he only smiles if he is inflicting pain.”
“Poor Joe Public,” laments Quinn.
Pierson stands to his feet and the smile slowly disappears and the moment the referee moves out of the way (because let’s face it, Powell blocks out everything you could see when he stands in front of you), Darring charges in with a barrage of punches as the crowd erupts in cheers. The two men back into the corner as Darring continues being the aggressor. The moment he hits the corner, we suddenly see Manny standing on the apron.
“Stop letting him punch you like that!” He yells at the yuppy. “Either get into the match or I’m going to take you out of it!”
This exchange must have lit a fire under Pierson as he shoves Darring back and Powell again puts his massive trunk of an arm between them as Pierson is in the corner ropes. Christian steps out of the corner and Powell removes his arm. This is like a starter’s gun for the Legend, who rushes forward and looks like he will throw a punch, which gets Pierson to raise a hand to block.
But it was a ploy.
Darring takes advantage of his fake out and lands a nasty kick to the exposed ribs. Pierson again finds himself in trouble and over corrects his posture, which gives another opening that only a veteran like Darring would notice. In this moment he plants another kick to the opposite set ribs, which causes Pierson to grab his sides in pain and be slightly doubled over.
Not to slow down at all, the Legend quickly rushes to grab Pierson by the arms and lifts for a double underhook suplex that gets a pop from the crowd and he hooks a leg quickly…
Pierson gets his shoulder up relatively easily and now we see Darring smiling as he looks down at the upstart.
“Game recognizes game,” Quinn smartly assesses. “The legend knows Pierson won’t be a pushover.”
Darring pulls Pierson up and whips him across the ring into the opposite corner where he hits the turnbuckles against his back with a loud thud. He stumbles forward and Sean rushes in with an elbow right to the forehead that sends Pierson stumbling back into the corner.
The Legend rushes in and lands one knife-edge chop. Then another, and then another. He starts throwing them in quick succession as the crowd counts along. Finally at the thirteenth chop, Pierson takes a step and falls face-forward to the canvas.
The screen switches to a view of Pierson’s face as he sees Manny standing outside the ring, barking at him again.
“Listen you soft little piece of shit,” Manny screams, “Don’t make me have to teach you another lesson. I won’t have you lose to this old douchebag like this. Get the fuck up!”
Pierson does get up, but it is not by his will as Darring pulls him up by the hair and lands a nasty European Uppercut that staggers the younger man. Darring grabs the arms and sends Pierson on another Irish Whip into the corner, and follows him in right behind. Christian grabs the top ropes and licks his legs up to force Darring to miss his attack and then lands behind him. Pierson swings, but Darring moves sideways and all the young man hits is the top turnbuckle. Sean seizes the moment and grabs the young man for a side Russian Legsweep. Then he jumps up and looks down at the kid, putting his finger to his temple as if to kind of taunt his opponent.
“Darring telling the kid he has plenty to learn in there,” Quinn states.
“If anyone is qualified to be a teacher in the art of the squared circle, it is that man right there,” The Mark points out. “His name is ‘Legend’ for a reason.”
Suddenly the screen changes and we don’t see the ring at all. We are now in a white room and we see Manny standing there with Pierson, still in his ring gear, but not looking like he is in a fight or anything. Talk about a weird Matrix-style viewpoint.
“What is going on in there?” Manny inquires.
“It isn’t like I thought it would be,” Pierson admits. “I thought I would be faster and maybe even stronger, but he just seems to know everything I’m going to do before I do it!”
“So what are you going to do about it?” Manny asks, “because if you don’t stop acting like a bitch, we might as well end this right fucking now and that is that.”
“I…uh…I don’t know.”
“Figure it fucking out, kid,” Manny forcefully states. “My patience is running out for this bullshit. Now get to work”
The screen flashes white and we see Pierson starting to try and stand to his feet as Darring works the crowd a little from the ring. The fans love him and rightfully so. Darring moves slowly toward Pierson, who is up to a knee now and ready to try and stand. He plants a forearm to the side of the younger man’s face and then whips him into the ropes for an Irish whip.
Darring runs into the opposite ropes, but Pierson is faster and gets to the middle first, grabbing the veteran and lifting him for a spinebuster slam that gets a moan from the crowd. Pierson stands with no expression at all on his face now and starts stomping on Darring as Sean tries to get to his feet.
Pierson stalks over and grabs Darring by the face as he stands to his feet, raking his eyes that get him screams from the crowd and a quick warning from the monster of a referee, Aaron Powell. That small smile again comes across his face as he grabs Darring again and forces his face against the top rope and walks him down the entire top rope on that side, scraping his eye against the top rope. Powell finally forces a break.
“Pierson finding his footing,” The Mark observes.
“And every step is illegal it seems,” Allie adds.
Christian continues his attack and grabs Darring for a whip into the opposite corner. Darring hits with a thus and stumbles out of the corner toward the younger man. Pierson rushes and loads up with a clothesline, but Darring catches it elbow-to-elbow and wheels him around for a crucifix. Sean lifts to get Pierson off his feet, but Christian leverages his slight height advantage to avert the lift and tries to lift his side. The two men fight for control of this, standing back to back with arms entangled as the crowd cheers Darring on.
Finally, PIerson kicks a foot back and it connects between the legs of the Legend, allowing for Pierson to gain control and lift Darring over for a pin attempt.
In a good for the gander moment, Darring managed to return the favor of kicking down against the backside of Pierson and get enough connection to cause the pin to break. The two men roll away from each other as the crowd starts cheering for Darring yet again.
The two men get to their feet and rush towards each other. Pierson has already loaded a haymaker and takes his swing, but the Legend ducks under with the momentum swinging Christian around and exposing his back to the veteran. Sean takes advantage immediately and grabs Pierson for a belly-to-back suplex that releases Pierson towards the corner and gets the crowd on their feet.
“What is he doing?” Allie asks.
“Taking a risk against somebody he sees as a potential threat if this keeps going,” The Mark answers. “At least that is my guess.”
Sean slides out of the ring and walks to the corner, sliding Pierson’s legs under the ropes and wrapping them around the ring post. He gets into position and falls back into a figure-four submission hold around the ring post and Pierson begins flailing his arms wildly in pain. The crowd cheering with every pulse of pain hitting Christian’s body.
Referee Aaron Powell moves over quickly, a fact noted by the shadow that comes over the wrestlers from the overhead lights due to his stature, and starts calling for a break. He starts to count for a disqualification…
FOU……Darring lets go of the hold!
Sean quickly slides into the ring and explains to Powell he wasn’t going to hold it the entire five count and then pulls Christian to his feet slowly. Pierson has a bit of a limp now and Sean takes the leg that was most affected by the submission hold and pulls it behind Pierson’s body, lifting and then dropping Pierson’s knee right onto the canvas.
Christian rolls around clutching his knee and Darring is calling for the Legend Lock and the crowd reacts with a cheer. He walks over, but before he can reach out to Christian’s upper body, the young man immediately pokes him in the eye as forcefully as it has ever been done in the squared circle. This sends the Legend stumbling away and holding his left eye with both hands.
The young man gets to his feet and limps over to Darring. Sean quickly throws a jab to try and stave off the youngster, but it is grabbed in mid punch by Pierson and then yanked into a short-arm clothesline, which sends Darring to the canvas yet again.
Manny is seen at ringside, “Do it!”
Pierson quickly gets into position and applies a scissor lock on Darring’s arms. He starts trying to roll Sean over to put the appropriate pressure, but Darring is trying to fight it off.
“I can’t believe Pierson is trying to apply the ‘Legend Lock’ on Sean Darring himself!” Quinn yells.
“He better get it or Sean will be pratty angry and it will come back to haunt him,” The Mark points out.
“This is the ultimate form of flattery, right?” asks Reece.
“Sure,” Deltzer responds, “But if it doesn’t work, don’t be surprised if you get in trouble. Remember Coolio hated Weird Al’s cover of ‘Gangster Paradise’.”
Christian continues trying to roll the veteran over for his own finisher and finally does manage to pull it off, but Darring’s foot hit the middle rope on the roll and Powell starts calling for the break. Without a five count, he forcibly breaks the hold because of the pressure on the neck could cause major damage and with it now being illegal, he was protecting all involved.
Pierson is livid with Powell and jumps up, limping over to the behemoth of a referee and he starts yelling at him for breaking the hold and how he had five seconds to really let it have an impact. Powell explains himself and Pierson is not happy about it at all.
Suddenly everything stops. Time and space in the arena are not happening and we see Manny step out from behind Powell.
“I’m sick of this whining,” he states matter-of-factly.
“Hey, I’m in the right here,” Christian defends himself, “I had the hold and yeah maybe it should break, but I had five more seconds to really clinch it in.”
“You’ve had the whole match and you haven’t used the strategy we discussed one single time,” Manny replies. “All I hear is excuse after excuse and you must think that your gameplan is better than the one I came up with.”
Pierson walks over to Darring, who is still not to his feet yet before time froze, and points down to him.
“I have him,” Christian exclaims, “your plan or my plan, it is working and I’m beating down one of my absolute idols!”
“I guess it is time to teach you a lesson.”
“What do you mean?” the yuppy asks.
But as he turns around to face Powell again, Manny is gone and time suddenly is restored. A suddenly stricken face is recorded on Pierson’s face as he looks right and left. He has not moved his arms at all as Darring stands to his feet. The veteran stalking towards him and he unloads a set of rapid chops, each one sending Pierson stumbling back step by step into the corner.
Darring grabs Pierson and whips him into the corner and Christian flips up over the top turnbuckle and over the top rope, landing awkwardly on the arena floor as the fans erupt yet again.
The screen switches to show Manny standing over the downed youngster.
“Why can’t I move my arms?” He cries out.
Manny simply looks down at him and says, “Punishment is a bitch, mejo. Maybe you will learn now.”
The screen switches view just as Darring drops off the apron and lends a knee to the shoulder of Pierson. Manny nowhere in view as Sean pulls the kid up and grabs him from behind, dropping him with an inverted DDT on the outside of the ring. Referee Aaron Powell begins the count out inside the ring with a thunderous call out of each number.
Darring starts to get to his feet and just looks at Powell with a laugh and nods at him.
Sean pulls Christian up and rolls him into the ring, sliding in right behind him. Powell ends the count as the fans cheer. Darring pulls Pierson up to his feet and then lifts him for a vertical suplex. He holds it for a second before dropping it straight down for a brainbuster in the center of the ring. The crowd erupts as the Legend jumps up and signals for his finish yet again.
“Show him how it’s done, Sean!” exclaims Quinn.
In a fairly quick move, Sean applies the scissor hold to the young man’s arms and rolls him over, cross the arm across as he applies the pressure on the neck.
“Legend lock engaged,” yells Allie.
There is not even a second into the hold before Aaron Powell swoops in and calls for the bell and ends the match. Darring lets go immediately and gets to his feet as the crowd erupts again.
Jason Browne’s voice nis heard over the PA system, “The winner of this match by submission is THE LEGEND SEAN DARRING!!!
Darring takes in the adulation of the crowd after the victory and even makes some belt hand gestures with a nod to his cheering public.
“This guy is going to be tough to beat at Magnum Opus,” The Mark states.
Quin responds, “You can say that again!”
PARTY AT APARTMENT 3F
A few days before GLOBAL Domination #5, a run-down, rusty pick-up truck pulls up outside a nondescript apartment building somewhere in the Greater Los Angeles area. Heavy metal music blares from inside, only to abruptly stop as the engine coughs, splutters and finally dies just inside the lines of a miraculously available parking spot directly in front of the building; a moment later, three of the four doors fly open, and a group of young man climb out to look up at the building quizzically.
“Doggone truck!” The driver, a dark-haired youth in his mid-twenties, kicks the nearest tire in frustration. “Must’a done ran outta fuckin’ oil again!”
“Shyyyeeeeettt”, the smallest of them, a trim blond teenager with long hair in a ponytail, drawls, paying no attention to his companion’s ramblings, “why this place gotta have so many doggone floors? Cain’t folk ’round here make do with just one, same as everyone else?”
“What floor Raven say they was at?” The third member of the group – another blond, remarkably similar-looking to the teenager beside him, though perhaps slightly older – looks over at the boy’s mobile phone.
“She ain’t”, he grumbles. “Fuckin’ figures, don’t it?”
“How we gonna know, then? She want us to guess or sumthin’?” The darker-haired man makes as little of an effort to conceal his frustration about this latest development as he had about the truck’s performance moments earlier.
“Hell if I know, bro”, his interloper replies. “Hol’ on, lemme hit her up real quick…”
As the youth is dialing the relevant number, however, a few words from a couple of passers-by cause him to stay his hand.
“What floor Ross live at, babygirl? You know?”
The three men’s heads whip round as one, taking in the two girls strutting down the pavement toward them. The one talking is a flashy brunette, sporting an Ed Hardy cap, large hoop earrings, impossible spike heels, and a short, cheap white faux-fur coat over clashing skin-tight prints – leopard at the top, zigzags at the bottom – which highlight all her best assets; her companion, a mousy blonde, is somewhat more discreet and considerably more color-coordinated, yet also decidedly appealing, in a trucker hat, torn jeans and a red plaid work shirt under a green bomber jacket. She is shrugging at her partner as the visiting trio makes themselves known, the blond with the cell phone stepping onto their path to address them.
“Hey, did y’all say Ross?”
“Uh, yeah”, the brunette retorts in a broad New Jersey Italian accent, giving him a once over. “Why you wanna know, boo thang?”
“Hell yeah, boo. We don’t know no other Ross, do we, babygirl?” The brunette looks at her partner, who shrugs again. “I mean, the guy from ‘Friends’ prolly lives ’round here, but his name ain’t Ross for real. It’s like, Matthew or somethin’, right?”
“…y’all know what house he at?” The boy gestures vaguely upwards, to indicate the building’s various apartments.
“Yeah…think he texted it to Molly…ain’t he, babygirl?”
The girl named Molly nods enthusiastically, flicking rapidly through her phone until she finds the relevant piece of information.
“3F”, Tammy states, leaning over to look at her screen.
“Awesome. Y’all wanna…”
Before the youth can finish, Molly has stepped forward and rung the bell for apartment 3F; after a moment’s delay, a familiar voice comes through the intercom.
“This you guys? C’mon up!”
Another moment and the door buzzes open, admitting not only the two girls, but also the three men whose acquaintance they have just made. As the group makes their way towards the elevator, one of the blond out-of-towners nudges his almost-twin. “Doggone Hanson fixin’ to have hisself a party an’ ain’t even tell us!”
Somehow, despite the youth’s low tones, the girls manage to overhear him, the brunette turning around briefly. “Party? Who’s havin’ a party?”
The youth chuckles. “C’mon…y’all here for Hanson’s party, right? Both y’all strippers, ain’tcha?” His tone suddenly becomes harsher. “Mufucka prolly home alone, an’ fixin’ to watch some hot chicks dancin’ when Raven ain’t there. I ought’a whup his ass!”
Before he can deliver on his promise, however, his own ass gets figuratively whupped – by a slap from the girl called Molly. The gesture is so sudden that the boy, stunned, takes a few moments to speak once again.
“What the hayull?!”
“Yeah, you had that comin’, baby boo”, the brunette quips, somewhere between offended and amused. “My girl ain’t no stripper. Or me, neither. I did used to do it back in the day, but not no more. I play baseball now.” She looks the boy in the eye. “So don’t assume. Y’all know what they say ’bout assumin’…”
“Yeah”, the youngster says, cowed by the girl’s chastisement and his companions’ unabashed laughter. “Sorry, y’all.”
The girl, however, is not done yet. “An’ next time…introduce yaself before you go callin’ a girl a ho. You feelin’ me?”
“I ain’t done called nobody a ho”, the boy splutters. The brunette, however, has no reaction other than to hold out her hand, a grin on her features and a playful twinkle in her eye.
“Nice to meet’cha. I’m…”
Without anyone noticing, the elevator has reached the third floor, the automated doors opening directly into the familiar grinning face of a curly-haired twentysomething.
“Holy hell…you made it! You actually made it!”
Ross Hanson steps forward to give each girl a hug, which they both reciprocate.
“So, we doing this? Let me go get Hayley…”
Only here does Ross appear to notice the three men standing behind his friends.
“Oh, y’all here, too?” He looks at Tammy and Molly. “Y’all met one another?”
“We was just about to”, Tammy says, before turning back to the boy she had been talking to on trip up. “Like I was sayin’…I’m Tammy. What’s y’all’s names?”
“Um…Chris.” The boy gestures behind him. “An’ them’s my li’l brother Aiden ‘n’ my big brother Drew.” He then looks past Tammy, a genuine smile lighting up his features. “An’ that there’s my sister Raven!”
“Howdy, y’all!” Hayley Robinson takes the time to hug each of her brothers before shooting the two girls an icy, borderline poisonous stare. “Y’all must be them two he ain’t stop talkin’ ‘bout…”
“Yeah…” Tammy returns the glower, her lip curling into a sneer. “Nice to meet’cha too, boo thang.”
Sensing a potentially disastrous situation brewing, Hanson is quick to step in to try and prevent it from escalating.
“Well, since everybody’s all here…” Ross looks around the circle, and grins. “Let’s make it a triple-threat tag? Everyone gets paid…”
“Hell yass! You in, babygirl?” Tammy looks over towards Molly, who nods. Tammy turns back towards Ross. “We in like a two-sided dildo.”
“What about y’all?” Hayley looks over at her two baby brothers, who gawp at her.
“You for real, Raven? What, you think we done drove two whole days out here, with all our gear, just to come hang out with y’all? ‘Course we mufuckin’ in!”
“Great”, Hanson says. “That settles it, then. Us versus you guys versus you girls, at the GLOBAL supershow in two weeks. My last-ever wrestling booking.”
“Hol’ on, tho’”, Robinson cuts in. “Wasn’t you fixin’ for that to be Gaia?”
“Gaia wouldn’t have had something this match does. Something important.” Hanson looks his girlfriend straight in the eye. “It wouldn’t have had you in it.”
It takes Hayley Robinson a moment to process these words, but once she does, something unusual happens; something so seldom seen as to be considered a rarity.
Hayley Robinson smiles.
You are an undisturbed sleep you are a night light you are the smell of a rose you are a name recalled you are a warm glass of milk you are a night in good company you are a cinema trip with friends you are the wallet safely in the pocket you are the reason someone calls when they think of you you are a gentle summers breeze you are a neat kitchen you are nothing like your mother in law you are relaxing you are a paperclip you are a fresh pedicure you are a good hair day you are a happy relationship you are a full jug of milk you are flights running on time you are comfortable jeans you are the word calm you are Toy Story 2 you are the fullness of a hearty meal you are the rehomed pet you are the person you want to be you are zen you are the sound of silence after a busy day you are a bus just on time you are certain you are the Amazon man with a trackable map you are a phone call just caught you are sale ends Tuesday you are a silent phone you are a majestic koi you are fluffy socks you are soft skin you are a comfortable seat you are clean skin you are a nap after a swim you are David Attenborough you are an ice lolly on a summers day you are relief you are a party you are the smell of a fresh loaf of bread you are a comfortable bed you are an afternoon stroll through the long grass you are crystal blue eyes you are an empty bathroom when relief is desperate you are a jar ajar you are a silent night you are a great haircut you are a warm home you are dry socks you are a warm shower you are clean energy you are a full battery you are an extra nugget in your happy meal you are a dry towel at the gym you are four bars of WiFi you are a dream that wakes you wish a smile you are my favourite song you are a strong oak tree in fall you are remembering the thing I forgot you are a friend arriving just in time you are a completed DIY project you are a lunch bag neatly packed you are a pair of comfortable slippers you are the touch of soft hair you are new jeans you are a deep breath of fresh air you are a home cooked meal you are a warm cup of tea you are a freshly mopped floor you are a good stretch you are the feeling of warmth behind eye lids as they gently close for the evening you are a flat stomach you are an aromatic smell you are hitting every green light you are the smell of a new book you are empty checkouts you are empty queues you are a funny voicemail from a friend you are my favourite song coming on the radio you are skippable adverts you are the sound of Netflix loading you are a freshly swept pavement you are a warm bath you are a fresh manicure you are a crisp white shirt you are striding confidently into a room you are the smell of freshly polished shoes you the satisfaction of a clean kitchen you are quilted velvet toilet paper you are the feeling of relief from scratching an itch you are the smell of lavender you are my favourite actor you are an ice cold drink on a summers day you are a fresh lick of paint you are a child’s kiss you are an empty train you are a hand delivered package you are the gently touch of a soft hand you are freshly washed hair you are my favourite maize snack you are a warm hat you are health you are instant access you are a rhyming couplet you are jazz you are a slow climax you are pain you are anger you are ridicule you are anxiety you are shame you are regret you are loathing you are horny you are rage you are fear you are sorrow you are the first thing I think of in a morning and my last thought at night.
You are everything I love.
You. Are. Doritos.
A couple sweat in the heat of the cramped wedding fair being held in a local hotel lobby. They are unsure, both having been unmarried previously, and nervous on account of their diagnosed and medicated anxiety. But hand in hand they walk through the hotel lobby, browsing ideas for their forthcoming nuptials.
“Hey, an Ed Sheeran tribute act. Look. He looks just like him!” the man says, knowing his partner is a fan of the young ginger guitarists back catalogue.
“That’s all he does though.” she replies, nodding at the banner dangling from the front of the folding table.
EDWARD SHEARING: LOOKALIKE
“But he’s wearing a guitar.” the man says, “Look! He’s about to play it.”
Edward’s hands move as if he is about to strum out a chord, but then he leans one arm back on the body of the acoustic guitar and gazes across the hotel lobby, smiling sinisterly.
“Oh. Never mind.” the man corrects himself.
Around the perimeter of the lobby there are countless stalls. Bakers offering ornate cakes, table dressers offering elegant materials, singers, DJ’s, florists, and bizarrely Costco.
The couple stand almost paralysed in the middle of the room until, suddenly a poof of smoke blasts from the ground in front of them.
After the coughing stops and the smoke disperses a man stands in front of them wearing a black waistcoat, a white shirt with the sleeves turned up, skinny jeans and black ankle-high desert boots. He is holding a card between his index and middle finger, and holding it out to the couple.
“Maaaaaaahhhhhhh-jik!” he whispers loudly.
He jiggles his fingers a little, indicating to the couple that they should take the card. The man takes it and looks down at it. It appears to be an ordinary playing card on the back. A geometric shape in red ink. He turns the card over and on it is printed a very simple message:
555 (032) 1534
The couple look up from the card to find the magician has disappeared.
“Wow.” says the man.
“No.” says the woman.
GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN
It is a break in-between matches at GLOBAL’s fifth Domination show, and the fans are doing their thing: buying refreshments, going to the toilet, texting their crushes, posting a reel of the show to Instagram, and other such downtime-at-a-live-event activities. Before too long, however, an unfamiliar theme song comes through the arena PA, demanding their attention, and causing those still in the toilet or in line for concessions to come running back to the main floor, clutching their pretzels, sodas, and sometimes trousers, to ensure they do not miss any of the action.
As these stragglers regain their seats, out on the floor, two college-age girls – in their mid-twenties at the oldest – with a distinctly rock’n’roll look have emerged to the curtain, grooving to the driving rhythm of their song of choice, Cockpit’s ‘Mission to Rock’. The one with longer, darker, blue-streaked hair strikes a rockstar pose as she air-guitars to the song’s opening riff with abandon, while her partner – taller and with brightly dyed strawberry-pink hair in a short, wavy bob – taps the pair of drumsticks in her hand against each other as she joins in with the singer’s count-in of ‘ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR!’ A moment later, those same drumsticks go flying into the crowd, allowing the girl to point, wink and direct a few words at nearby fans, before stepping back to exchange a double-high-five with her friend. The two then set about requesting microphones, as the commentators pass judgement on their entrance.
“Two incredibly fired-up young ladies, who appear to be making their debut here”, Lucas surmises.
“Good for them”, Abby adds. “The more empowered girls doing their own thing, the better! Plus, I REALLY like that hair color…you think I could pull that off, Mark?”
“Yeah…I think so”, Mark replies, with uncommon earnestness.
“Thanks. I might actually go for it…”
As the announcers exchange thoughts, in the platform, the redhead girl has now retrieved a microphone, which she promptly brings to her grinning lips, painted to match her hair.
“Prepare for Trouble…”
She holds the mic out towards her partner, who promptly steps in to complete the phrase.
“…and make it double.”
The redhead once again takes the lead, as the two girls proceed to take turns going through a spiel that a fair few in the audience immediately recognise, and chant along with them.
“To protect the world from devastation…”
“To unite all peoples within our nation…”
“To denounce the evils of truth and love…”
“To extend our reach to the stars above…”
Here, the girl each strike a pose as they shout out their own names.
Then, they gleefully complete the recitation in perfect unison.
“Trouble Roxx, blast off at the speed of light!
Surrender now, or prepare to fight, fight, fight!”
Then, as if by magic, and perfectly on cue, a video appears on the arena’s screen, depicting two Pokémon plushies being made to talk, presumably by the girls themselves.
“BIDOOF! THAT’S RIGHT!”
This last is nearly drowned by a huge cheer from the crowd, which leaves both members of the team with big, genuine grins on their features.
“I…am not sure what that was about, but the fans here at the Globe seem to have liked it”, Quinn surmises.
“*I* know exactly what that was, and I marked the eff out”, Deltzer counters.
“Yeah, me too”, Allie confesses, before realizing what she just said. “Oh my gosh, did we just agree on something TWICE in a row? Who are you, and what have you done with the real Mark Deltzer?”
For once, a commentator interaction ends in chuckles, just as, at the entrance, the redhead girl, Teagan, once again brings the mic to her lips, her free arm shooting up in the air.
“HOLLYWOOD, MAKE SOME NOOOOOIIIISEEEEE!”
The Globe promptly complies, and Teagan is forced to wait a fair few moments before her next intervention – not that she, or indeed Izzy, seem to mind.
“Shout-out to the backstage guy who hooked that up for us…” She points at the screen behind her, drawing another cheer and a brief chant of ‘THANK YOU TECH GUY!’. “…and shout-out to those guys over there, that we went to school with! I even dated the middle one for a while…’sup, Brandon?”
The camera pans to catch three young twentysomethings in the typical act of mugging to the camera, sticking out their tongues and flashing metal horns, then zooms in on Teagan just as she gives them a little handwave, ahead of speaking again.
“A-ny-way…in case you haven’t heard…I’m Teagan Q. Trouble, Esquire!”
A brief glance is all that is needed for her friend to catch on, and join in with her own line.
“And I’m Izzy ‘Isabelle’ Roxx!”
“And together, we’re…TROUBLE…”
The girls look at each other and promptly engage in a bout of air guitar, before once again high-fiving.
“How many references are these girls going to make here?”
Abby’s question is countered by another one from Deltzer, who is slowly becoming his sarcastic self again. “And how many times are they gonna say their NAMES? They’re starting to sound like actual Pokémon!”
As if she had heard the announcer, Teagan speaks up again.
“By the way…the ‘prepare for a fight, fight, fight‘ part was for real. ‘Cause I don’t know ’bout anybody else, but I’m ready for a fight! Are YOU ready for a fight, Iz?”
She once again turns to point the microphone at her partner, who does not disappoint.
“Teags…call me SpongeBob, ’cause IIIIIII’M READYYYYYY!”
The girl then draws a laughing cheer from the crowd as she begins to stomp around like the popular children’s character, chanting “I’m ready, I’m ready, for our first match, for our first match…”
Teagan grins as well, nodding approvingly before piping up again. “Good. ‘Cause…” She deepens her voice to a raspy growl, adding yet another pop culture reference to the team’s growing pile. “…BOOOOONESAW IS REEEEEAAADDDYYYYY!”
She then turns to face the ramp, her tone becoming more serious.
“So if anybody back there feels like having a match right now or whatever…” She shrugs. “…let’s do it.”
With that, she finally drops her mic, as she and her partner wait expectantly to see if their challenge will be answered.
“A challenge laid down here by these newcomers, Trouble Roxx”, Quinn offers, stating the obvious.
“Yeah, and they’re gonna look pretty stupid if nobody answers”, Deltzer snarks.
Fortunately for the two youngsters, somebody is willing to unknowingly help them save face, as their call is soon answered, and a team appears on the ramp, ready to take on them!
TROUBLE ROXX V ???
The two youngsters are all smiles as two rather plain-looking men walk through the curtain, already in ring gear, and walk right up to where they stand in the middle of the entrance ramp, where Teagan trouble is ready to greet them with yet another pop culture reference.
“Who are you two? The Ghostbusters?” The redhead ribs her partner. “Get it? ‘Cause they answered our call?”
Izzy feigns a groan, as the two newcomers grin, the ever-so-slightly bulkier one taking advantage of the mic being held out towards him to answer the youngster’s question.
“Hi. I’m Ade. This is my mate Ant. You two wanna do this, then?”
Teagan, who is openly giving the duo a once-over, lifts her eyes to meet the man’s, her grin now even wider than it was previously.
“Hi Ade. I’m Teagan. This is my bestie Izzy. And we want to do A LOT of things with you…” Izzy does a genuine spluttering double take as her partner winks at the similarly taken-aback Ade. “Tell you what…how ’bout we start with this match, and you two can take us out to dinner after?”
This bit of boldness draws a cheer from the crowd at The Globe, only for it to die just as quickly with Ant’s first few words.
“Bit on the short side for us, love. Sorry…”
Teagan pouts and runs a finger down her cheek to indicate a tear. “Oh, well…guess we’ll just have this match, then…”
With this, the four contenders begin to sprint down to the ring, once again amping up the crowd, who are clearly looking forward to a clean and exciting confrontation between these four competitors. A moment later, referee Gabrielle Harris emerges through the curtain, officially sanctioning this impromptu match!
TROUBLE ROXX V TEAM UNITED
“Well…they wanted a match and they got it”, Quinn states.
“Yeah”, Deltzer quips. “You know what they DIDN’T get, though? A double date…you could say they…fell *short* of that goal…”
A groan from Abby is heard a split-second before ‘Downtown’ Jason Brown’s booming announcement makes further dialogue impossible.
“Ladies and gentlemen…the following is a tag TEAM match scheduled for…one fall! Introducing first, from Beverly Hills, California…” A huge cheer almost drowns the announcer out, but he staunchly presses on. “…at a combined weight of two hundred and forty-five pounds…the team of Teagan Trouble and Izzy Roxx….TROUBLEEEEE ROOOOXXXXX!”
“Wow. What an original and not totally obvious name”, Mark snarks, as the two girls make victory gestures with their hands clasped above their head.
“And their opponents…from England…at a combined weight of three hundred and sixty-three pounds…the team of Ant Rushton and Ade Flowers…TEAAAAMMMM UNITEEEED!”
“Team United, of course, came out at the losing end of a six-man effort against their fellow countrymen in The United Kingdom at Domination #2”, Quinn helpfully exposits. “But they’ve clearly not let that get them down, and they are ready to square off against these young newcomers here…”
“Probably a more fitting place for them than the Main Event”, Mark quips.
“Don’t be an ass, Mark”, Abby retorts curtly, before the trio’s attention turns to the ring, where the match has just gotten under way, with Ade Flowers and Teagan Trouble as the legal fighters for their respective teams. Ade prepares to tie up, but Teagan has other ideas, stepping in for a high-five, which Ade returns, and a sneaky grope, which he does not. She is then seen winking at her male counterpart and giving him a thumbs up, while clearly mouthing the words “not bad”. Ade is, therefore, perhaps more flustered than he should have been as the two finally square off – which may have been Teagan’s plan all along, as she promptly capitalises with a jumping forearm smash, which catches Ade unaware and sends him reeling. Seizing her chance, the redhead then runs forward to connect with a jumping crescent kick, which draws an ‘ooooh’ from the crowd – and gasps of indignation from Mark Deltzer.
“I don’t know, Mark”, Abby counters, “judging from what we saw before, I don’t think that was a trick. I think she just wanted to check out his butt. Which, I have to say…good on her for seizing the moment…”
“She seized SOMETHING, all right”, Mark grumbles.
“You’re just jealous because you wish it had been you”, Abby teases.
As the two announcers discuss what just transpired, in the ring, Teagan shows impressive strength by whipping Ade Flowers over to her team’s corner; however, when she rushes in looking for another kick, she connects only with the turnbuckle, as the Team United member displays his reflexes by spinning out of the way! Teagan spins around quickly, but is still too late to prevent Flowers from handing her a receipt for her earlier move, with a spinning heel kick of his own!
“Oof! That has GOT to hurt”, Abby states, her wince coming through in her tone.
“Flowers needs to follow up now, though”, Lucas puts in.
Ade appears to know this, and is quick to capitalise on his opponent’s prone position against the turnbuckle, connecting with a low dropkick to her midsection, much to Izzy’s chagrin. He then backs up a few steps and sizes up his opponent, before rushing in looking for a running dropkick this time; however, it is Teagan’s turn to dive out of the way, causing the Team United member to crash feet-first into the turnbuckle.
“Four very athletic young people here”, Lucas surmises. “And these two are certainly asserting themselves well so far…”
Back on her feet, Teagan takes no more than a moment to assess the situation before rushing in and taking the kneeling Flowers back down to the mat with a leg lariat, which she transitions into a pin attempt! Harris slides in for the count…
—Kickout from Ade!
“…from a leg lariat? Yeah, right”, Deltzer snarks.
“Hey, you miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take, Mark”, Lucas counters.
Meanwhile, in the ring, Ade has managed to come back with a series of punches to Teagan Trouble’s side, which suceed in rocking her just enough for the Team United fan to regain the upper hand with an European Uppercut, which sends the redhead hurtling into the ropes. She somehow manages to bounce off them, almost on instinct, only to be caught by Flowers’ jumping cross chop, which takes her down to the mat, and brings about a pinning predicament!
“What is with these guys and trying to cover off regular-ass moves? That’s not how it works! You use this kind of stuff to wear your opponent down so you can hit ’em with the big guns later on”, Mark points out, indignant.
“Not necessarily, Mark”, Lucas retorts, the picture of calm. “Back in my day, I won a few matches off moves like that…”
“Yeah, well, what can I tell ya? Wrestling was different in 1874…”
As this back and forth exchange is taking place, in the ring, Flowers once again displays his reflexes by kipping up to his feet off the failed pin attempt, only to immediately leap off into a standing moonsault! The move connects flush, and he instantly covers his opponent again.
“Sure”, Deltzer grumbles, “you guys just keep doing that. It’ll probably work eventually…like on the thirtieth of Never…”
“Impressive athleticism from Ade Flowers yet again…and yet AGAIN”, Lucas exclaims as Flowers pulls himself to his feet, runs towards the ropes, and leaps off with a springboard lionsault! This time, however, Teagan sees it coming and rolls out of the way, causing the Team United member to crash and burn! With a few seconds on her hands to assess her options, the redhead takes a moment to do just that…before stepping back towards her turnbuckle and bringing her partner into the match! The tag made, she then tells Izzy to “get up there”, which the smaller half of Trouble Roxx promptly does, scurrying up the turnbuckle. Teagan then positions herself underneath her friend, arms held above her head, bringing the crowd to a slow simmer of anticipation – which explodes when Izzy takes a trustfall and Teagan acts as a human springboard, using her friend’s momentum to launch her into the air! Izzy soars in midair for a moment, then begins her descent…
…only to be met halfway by a jumping uppercut from Flowers!
“HOLY S—CHNITZEL!!” Mark Deltzer has just about enough composure to redact himself – not that the curseword would have been audible above the din of the crowd, who (unlike the announcer) are not shy about using colourful vocabulary.
“HO-LY-SHIT! HO-LY-SHIT! HO-LY-SHIT!”
As Teagan argues with referee Gabrielle Harris, insisting that she HAS to get back in the ring and check on her partner RIGHT NOW, Ade takes the opportunity to take a page from the redhead’s strategy and retreat to his team’s turnbuckle, where his partner awaits, hand outstretched. One tap later, Ant Rushton is the legal man, and making a beeline for the prone Izzy, seeking to continue what his partner has started!
“Here comes Rushton now, and Team United have a fresh pair of legs in there”, Quinn states.
The fresh pair of legs in question opts for a baseball bat slide, which sends his still groggy opponent to the outside, then nimbly climbs onto the ropes and launches off with a springboard frog splash onto the outside! The move connects, but Rushton feels it, too, and for a moment neither competitor budges, prompting referee Harris to start the required ten-count.
“You have to ask yourself if that was wise from Rushton”, Quinn points out, as Gabrielle indicates TWO! “He was the fresh man, and he voluntarily wore his own body down performing that move. That is the kind of choice that can cost you matches.”
“Well, people like these guys aren’t usually very smart when it comes to thinking ahead”, Deltzer retorts, as the referee gets to FOUR! “It’s all now-now-now. And sometimes now becomes ‘later’…as in ‘see you later, you’re outta here’…”
For once, nobody has anything to say about one of The Mark’s statements; as such, announcer patter momentarily gives way to ambient noise, and Gabrielle’s continued count:
By this point, both competitors are beginning to come to, with the fully conscious Rushton having a definite advantage over his still dazed opponent. The RAF member promptly seizes on this, picking Izzy up and throwing her back into the ring before jumping onto the apron himself. Rather than re-enter the fray through the ropes, however, he elicits to do so via the closest turnbuckle, atop which he perches, measuring the distance between himself and his prone opponent; after judging it sufficient, he then launches off with a springboard lionsault…which connects, if only just about!
“Slight miscalculation there from Ant Rushton, but it worked out in the end”, Abby points out.
“He’s not fighting with a lot of intelligence out there today”, Deltzer states, “if he doesn’t shape up, he’s gonna get his team embarrassed by a couple of girls. I mean, losing to The United Kingdom is one thing, but these chicks?”
“And what, exactly, is wrong with them being girls?” As ever, Abby is ruthless in calling out her broadcast partner; this time, however, The Mark has a good retort.
“Well, for one, they’re smaller than them…for two, they look like they just left school last semester…and for three, they look like they should be on TikTok making Pokémon videos. It’s like…” It takes The Mark a moment to find a good simile, but he gets there in the end. “…it’s like you losing to a ten-year-old girl, NOT on purpose.”
This seems to appease Abby, who turns her attention back to the ring, where Rushton has once again picked up Izzy – after shaking off his own cobwebs – and flung her towards the ropes. As she bounces back, however, the Trouble Roxx member rolls out of the way of her opponent’s dropsault attempt, letting her momentum carry her over to the far turnbuckle; by the time Ant has pulled himself back up and regained his bearings, he is being hit with a BIG high crossbody from the otherwise petite wrestler!
“WHAT AN IMPACT”, Quinn enthuses, as Izzy hooks the leg and Gabrielle slides in.
“Not quite yet”, Abby states, “but she got herself back into this match. Good on her!”
Knowing she must act quickly, Izzy is promptly back on her feet again, Izzy gives Rushton just enough time to bring himself back to his feet before leaping up and connecting with a headscissors! Ant goes sprawling across the ring, and Izzy monkeys her way back up the turnbuckle again to connect with a missile dropkick, just as he is getting back up to his feet! Down goes Ant again, as Izzy follows up with a standing moonsault for good measure!
“Good spell of offence from this young lady”, Quinn praises. “And what is she looking for here?”
Indeed, rather than go for the pin, Izzy has pulled herself back up and is longingly eyeing the turnbuckle again. Before she can act upon her thoughts, however, a shout diverts her attention to her own team’s turnbuckle, where Teagan Trouble has her hand outstretched, as she advises “not yet”. Izzy appears reluctant, but upon being asked by her friend to “trust her”, she decides to do just that, and walks over to tag Trouble back into the match.
It soon becomes apparent why the redhead was steering her friend towards this course of action, as she holds an arm up in the air and declares “let’s kick it into Overdrive!” With that, she rushes at the recovered Rushton, and connects with a surprisingly impactful superkick!
“WHOA!” Even Deltzer appears impressed. “That chick can KICK!”
“She sure can, Mark…” Abby is not hiding the pride in her voice, either. “But I don’t think she wants the credit for this one…”
Indeed, no sooner has she levelled her opponent than Trouble steps back towards the turnbuckle to tag Izzy back in, encouraging her to “do her thing”. As she takes stock of the situation, the blue-haired member of the team appears a little uncertain, urging her friend to finish it herself, but Teagan will not hear it, and continues to insist until Izzy finally relents and gets up onto the turnbuckle. There, and after steeling herself for a moment and probably saying a silent prayer, she turns around so her back is to the ring, and launches off with a stunning corkscrew shooting star press…
….which CONNECTS! Rocketship Izzy has landed!
Behind the buckle, Teagan seems delighted about this, unabashedly throwing her arms in the air and jumping up and down as the move lands and Izzy covers, bringing Gabrielle Harris sliding in once again.
Seeing what is about to happen, Ade Flowers dashes in from his corner…
…only to be met halfway, and tripped up, by Teagan Trouble, the better to ensure her friend gets the…
As the bell rings, indicating a win for the newcomers, and the crowd erupts in appreciation, the Beverly Hills redhead is seen playfully shrugging and saying “sorry” to her opponent, who she then helps up. To his credit, Flowers does not appear at all upset, and he and the recovered Rushton promptly hold their opponents’ hands up, celebrating their win right along with them and the fans in attendance.
“They DID lose to the girls”, Mark splutters, incredulous.
“They certainly did”, Abby says. “Though, it’s the girls’ merit more than their demerit…”
“I agree”, says Lucas. “A big win for these two young women here, and everyone inside that ring knows it.”
Their celebrations concluded, the four performers leave the ring together under a warm, positive reaction from the fans, chatting amicably and interacting all the way up the ramp. As they are about to disappear backstage, however, Teagan Trouble once again requests a microphone, in order to get one last word in:
“We’ve been Trouble Roxx, from Beverly Hills. Thanks for coming. Goodnight!”
With that, in true rock star fashion, the two newcomers walk away from a suitably impressed audience, who, were this actually a music gig, might gladly have sat through an encore performance…
RICHER AND BETTER? NAH...
It has just gone 12, so go back to bed then, and Alfie Button arrives at The Globe, ring gear on and with a squeaky gray and black Puma bag that looks like it has seen better days.
A complete contrast to the six-figure black 2023 Lexus LC that Freddie Rich has just pulled up in, blowing Button’s rental away. Alfie observes Freddie lock the car, shaking hands with one or two ‘grey suits’ he doesn’t recognize, before putting his hand on The Informer’s shoulder. Freddie makes his way in, unaccompanied by any of his brothers, but clearly involved in a conversation with the masked interviewer as Alfie looks on with a combination of envy and shock. Just as he looks down at his watch, and then back up, he sees Darren pull in, and then come out of a Porsche 911 Dakar 2023, and Alfie does a double take before approaching Darren, who’s happy to see him, but taken aback by the Cockney’s uncharacteristic snarl.
“What’s going on here?”
Darren is puzzled by his former partner’s query, “What do you mean?”
“I saw Freddie come in a crackin’ car a couple ov minutes ago, and now you. Not bein’ funny, Dazza, the two ov ya look like you’re on much better money than me, but I’ve been in more main events ‘ere than you’ve ‘ad matches, so enlighten me geezer, ‘ow does that work?”
Best shrugs his shoulders, “I have no idea.”
Button parrots Darren, “You ‘ave no idea, exactly. Couldn’t it ‘ave somefing to do wiv what I mentioned to ya at the first show, could it? It’s awful convenient ‘ow you and Freddie are bof ‘ere, and coining it in, while I’m getting me arse ‘anded to me by Dream and Darring, ‘ardly fair in my book,” the Londoner laments.
“Take it up with management, Alfie,” Darren shoots back.
“I intend to, son. I intend to. After you,” Button insists, holding the door open for Darren.
T.N.T V ALF ALFERSON
The lights in the Globe suddenly go out and, inexplicably, all of the fans stand up. Why they would stand up before anything happens who can say? Also, they cheer. A rapturous, roaring applause accompanied by screaming loud cheers. It makes absolutely no sense. Then, TNT by AC/DC plays, and the collective psychic ability of 15,000 people becomes completely understandable.
“Oi, Oi, Oil” sings the singer from AC/DC, opening one of modern rock histories most famous songs with those recognisable lyrics, which, one more time, are, “Oi, Oi, Oil.”
TNT, short for Taylor Nicole Tyler, steps out onto the stage. Fortunate initials, really. They lend themselves not only to a ring name but also to theme music. It’s genius.
She has a 35C hour glass figure, which means she was either invented by a man or photoshopped for the gram. Audiences prerogative. You decide.
Her long black hair cascades down her back, leading down towards her black soccer shorting, sporting a yellow scorpion inside a circle. And also a number 7 somewhere around there. Also yellow. The number 7 being her lucky number, or her body count. Please see the end of the previous paragraph.
Her finishing move has become famous across the entire world. Detention, she calls it. No reason for that. Detonation would make way more sense. But no, detention it is. But put that thought to one side for the moment, because it’s time for the introductions.
“Ladies and gentlemen, making her in ring debut for GLOBAL Wrestling, hailing from Tampa, Florida. The one, the only, T.N.T!” ‘Downtown’ Jason Brown announces.
The crowd roar with appreciation. A young man is tended to in the third row by a team if EMTs having seemingly succumb to the excitement.
“And in the ring already, Alf Alferson.”
Alf points one finger in the air. The crowd do not give a shit. TNT is here! Forget Alf.
TNT, the song by AC/DC, not the person TNT, is abruptly cut and the arena lights come back up. This makes TNT, the person, not the song by Rock and Roll Hall of Famers AC/DC also abruptly come to a stop. She looks around her, wondering what happened.
Then the lights go out. Even the lights they leave on when the lights go out, like when a character on a soap opera is in bed and yet still perfectly lit. Those ones. They have also gone off. Only the fire escape lights remain lit, which is a shame as it ruins the atmosphere created by the lights having gone off, but safety is important, whether we like to hear that or not.
When the lights come on TNT is gone.
Alf isn’t. Alf is stood in the ring picking at his belly button fluff, having lifted up his stained white T-shirt to get at it.
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot
Nothing is going to get better.
TNT stands in a field of corn. Her nose has a single, dark trickle of blood. She wipes her nose and sees the blood, then looks up. She sees something else. She screams.
And the one speck of food that was left in the house
Was a crumb that was even too small for a mouse.
TNT is strapped to a chair in a deserted warehouse. Moonlight peeks through the cracks in the wooden structure. Her nose is no longer bloodied, but her mouth is duct taped shut. She sees something. She screams an inaudible scream. Powdered cheese falls from the sky in great volume.
But that’s not all. Oh no!
A large industrial oven flicks its flames high. The heat is suffocating. TNT lies on the conveyor belt that leads directly into the flames, her arms and legs bound to the hot metal belt with electrical tape. She is covered in powdered cheese, her mouth bound with duct tape, but her screams continue nonetheless.
Today was good.
Today was fun.
Tomorrow is another one.
Blackness and the blood curdling scream of a young woman.
TNT lies in the bottom of a large metal vat. Her skin is charred and orange. Beneath her are thousands of maize based bite sized snacks.
Crunch, crunch, crunch.
Footsteps across the chips.
TNT weakly opens one eye. She can’t muster a scream now. And besides, it’s too late.
Back to the ring.
Ding, ding, ding.
Back in the ring the referee and ring announcer are having a conversation through the ropes.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of this match as a result of count out, Alf Alferson.” Jason Brown shrugs.
Alf Alferson looks around for a second then, without any change in his expression, points one finger high in the air.
THE GHOSTS OF CHRISTMAS PAST
December 25th– Time: 2:50pm
“Glad to see you’re back to your normal self. Hopefully, you’ll be well enough for your next match. Take care and I hope to see you in the ring again, so I can kick some more common sense into that thick head of yours.” Valorie says as she gives a very quick two-finger salute before pushing on the door handle and leaving.
Jed Johnson mumbles ‘bitch’ to himself before putting his own fingers to work in spite of his injuries.
“Brady, how are ya, my man? Yeah, Jed here. I’ve got some work for you and Strauss if you’re up for it. Not sure on a date, but if I had to say, at the end of February sound good to you? It does? Excellent,” Jed chirps, upbeat and looking rather satisfied with himself before hanging up.
“NURSE,” he screams in the next breath.
“Not again,” the tall mid-30s nurse with a mole on her left cheek and looking rather sleep-deprived mumbles to herself, annoyed that she’s missing out on Christmas with her kids, and having to deal with a man-child in the form of one Jed Johnson.
DEATH AND LIFE
The screen shows backstage where Christian Pierson is standing there feeling his arms and he still has a confused look on his face. He lifts one arm across his body to stretch it and just shakes his head. As he brings the arm down, Manny steps from around the corner.
“How did that feel?” Manny muses with a hint of laughter in his voice.
“You really fucked me over,” Pierson states with a scowl on his face.
Manny shakes his head, “No, No, Mejo. YOU fucked YOURSELF over.”
He points at Pierson’s chest and makes contact.
“YOU decided your way was better.”
He jabs his chest again.
“YOU decided that you wanted to try and use your idol’s finisher.”
He does it yet again and Christian’s face is getting red with anger.
“And YOU paid the price for not following the plan.”
“How in the hell did my arms stop working though?” Pierson inquires because, let’s be honest, we all want to know really.
“I’m always in control, mejo,” states Manny with yet another chuckle afterwards. “You get to do things because I allow them. I control death and life for you kiddo.”
Manny interrupts PIerson immediately, “Death AND Life, Mejo. And don’t you ever forget it.”
Christian’s face goes from anger to dejection.
“Now let’s hit the showers and see if some of those ring rats are around,” Muses Manny. “That is my favorite part of all of this.”
Christian shrugs and starts to walk away and as he passes the camera, we see Manny is not seen at all. The screen fades to black as he limps down the hall.
CRUSADER X V DARREN BEST
Crusader X and Darren Best have both made impressive starts to life in GLOBAL, albeit with contrasting fortunes.
The masked Crusader dispatched Kid Chameleon in sensational style after a tasty pre-match encounter, dominating Chameleon in a way that nobody ever has, stretching multiple promotions. Kid has a habit of moving like your CAW, but on that night, Crusader did to Kid what Chameleon has done to many, including Darren Best.
Meanwhile, Darren’s debut was one against ‘Legend’ Sean Darring and while the latter rather predictably took the duke, Darren can take plenty of encouragement just by being in the ring with a mat master.
“I call you when I need you, my heart’s on fire. You come to me, come to me, wild and wired.”
The iconic anthem of the legendary Tina Turner kicks in and respectable applause for Darren Best, when the budding star emerges smack bang on cue, looking to build on momentum generated by a praiseworthy performance against ‘Legend’ Sean Darring on his debut, despite the defeat.
Dressed in a black jacket, and blue tights with ‘BEST’ emblazoned down the left leg in red, Darren’s medium-length hair glistens as he walks to the squared circle, occasionally reminding himself to mingle with the fans, and exchanged high-fives, though he’s clearly in the zone and ready for what he expects to be a TOUGH encounter against Crusader X.
“YOU’RE SIMPLY THE BEST – BETTER THAN ALL THE REST.”
“Well, Lucas, Darren Best may not be the best yet – or ever – for that matter, and it pains me to say he may give Crusader X a better test than Kid Chameleon, but we certainly hope so. Every time you go out there, and you know this better than I do, it’s different,” offers The Mark.
Perfect timing, just like when I’m Kung Fu Fighting, Darren steps through the ropes and holds both his arms outstretched, asking for and getting plaudits, albeit in a grateful manner, and Darren may need all the help he can get to combat, let alone conquer, Crusader.
Quinn draws on his own experience as an ex in-ring performer, “There isn’t a normal day at the office, that’s for sure Mark, although Crusader X looked completely comfortable against Kid Chameleon, but Darren Best fared well against one of the best to ever do it, and can certainly take heart from that. He should.”
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 on 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.
Quinn seems impressed, “That’s confidence personified right there. Despite Darren’s credible performance against Darring, would you rule out Crusader X doing the same again this evening, Allie?”
“No, I wouldn’t. Where would that leave us? Crusader X would surely be one of the first in line to meet the first GLOBAL Champion, whoever that may be,” Reece reasons.
“We’ll find out February twenty-fifth,” plugs Quinn.
In the meantime, the bell sounds and thoughts of Magnus Opus are put to one side as we gear up for Crusader X versus Darren Best, which has a ring to it.
Best definitely looks ready for the test and meets Crusader X in the middle of the ring with a good, old-fashioned Collar-and-Elbow that doesn’t last long as Crusader X quickly converts it into a Snap Mare. Immediately, the enigmatic and charismatic Crusader signals his intent with a Thrust Kick to the head, one of his signatures, and so early on in the outing. That can’t bode well for Darren. Anyone who knows Crusader X’s repertoire might think he’s hell-bent on ripping The Great Wall’s record away from him, and that would be a statement against someone like Darren Best, who competed against ‘Legend’ Sean Darring admirably on Domination 3, despite ultimately being outclassed.
Darren holds his head in a mixture of minor pain and major embarrassment. Crusader X invites him to come get some more, and Darren dusts himself down before climbing to his feet. He seems to want a second round and lunges for the Collar-and-Elbow once again, which sees Crusader X walk off casually in a manner many of you would expect of Samoa Joe simply saying, ‘NOPE!’
“That’ll anger someone like Darren Best, who takes wrestling as seriously as anyone you could ever meet,” The Mark passionately puts it.
“Is that testament to Crusader X’s extraordinary natural ability?”
“It is, Lucas, and I hate admitting that” confesses The Mark.
Alfie is seen watching on the TV backstage, popcorn in hand and shouting ‘C’MON DAZZA, GEEZER’ at the screen, which should be heard by his former partner given how loud it was, but Darren is so focused on the task at hand, which already looks like an awfully-complicated assignment that sadistic math (s) teachers like giving you if you’ve decided to pursue it beyond compulsory education, and it shows. Darren, hands on hips, shakes his head.
Contrastingly, Crusader X looks comfortable in the corner, resting on the top rope like a sun lounger, and is that what this is? A day at the beach? That would bruise Best’s pride, ego you could call it, massively. X waves the New York native in. Darren decides he’s going to take Crusader up on his informal invitation, but does so cautiously, slowly stepping forward with HIS LEFT FOOT. Once in range, Darren again undoes his patience with a desperate grab that Crusader anticipates from Darren’s hometown, and he escapes out of the corner, patting himself down, like water off a duck’s back, which this has been thus far.
“This guy, like him or not, and I don’t, maybe as quick as Alfie Button, which Darren Best knows all about,” The Mark muses.
“Quicker, Mark, and I know you won’t like it. Alfie is fast, no doubt, but I’ve seen him get hit plenty. Your hero and Darren Best haven’t so much as laid a glove on Crusader between them,” Allie observes.
“Great point,” Lucas affirms.
Once again, we go back to the Collar-and-Elbow and Best takes this exchange with an Arm Wringer, wrenching on it so hard that X immediately goes to the ground. While he may be down, he is most definitely not out and he proves that by going through the rigmarole of a front roll, kip up, and then a SLAP! Needless to say, that breaks Best’s grip and possibly his heart along with it. Darren, SEETHING, is known for his composure and patience inside the squared circle but is visibly struggling to maintain his cool and just about holds it together.
“A slap in the face – in more ways than one – to such a proud professional wrestler,” Quinn says, somewhat smugly.
“You’re proud of yourself, aren’t you? Crusader X would do that to you too, Lucas,” Reece hisses, bringing Lucas down a peg or two, which seems to be part of her job description.
Perhaps predictably, though unbecoming of Best on a normal day at the office, Darren loses his cool, only for Crusader X to take him down with a Drop Toe Hold, a move you would associate with Darren, before walking all over him.
“Someone has been watching Alfie Button, for sure,” The Mark reacts immediately as the camera pans back to the Brit, who cocks his head as if it to say ‘Not bad, mate.’
Before Best can really lose his temper, which wouldn’t work in his favor at this juncture, Crusader X capitalizes on Darren’s state and lets Darren have it with a HARD kick to Best’s right side, hammering the ribs unforgivingly.
Darren grimaces, looking up at X, who graciously allows the grappler back to his feet. Best holds his ribs, looks at Staggs, and then charges again, not thinking properly, only to be put in a Sleeper on the way in. However, Darren’s Belly-to-Back counter may suggest he is the one in control here, that is until Crusader clips out of the back door, landing on his feet like some of Darren’s former partners and rivals. Best, undeterred, again heads towards Crusader, who executes a perfect leapfrog and a mule kick to the ribs to create some distance.
SUPERK-CAUGHT! Darren has seen this on countless occasions and takes X down with a trip before mounting the masked man and firing off with some ferocious punches. Crusader covers up, and although some shots breach his defenses, he absorbs some punishment on his arms, wrists, and forearms as well as the forehead, cheeks, and nose. It could have been worse as Stagg drags Darren off, warning him that if he doesn’t break on 5 next time, he will be disqualified. Realizing Staggs is right of course, Best apologizes to the official.
Darren decides to channel his aggression in a different way, hurting Crusader X not once, nor twice but THRICE with a trio of Armbreakers to the canvas, causing Crusader to clutch at his arm. “This is more like it,” The Mark perks up, sounding more upbeat about Darren’s chances here.
Best can’t, and doesn’t, rest on his laurels and uses the left-hand set of ropes to score with a point-blank Basement Dropkick.
That’s all, I’m afraid.
Quinn questions, “What will that do to Darren’s confidence, which is already delicate?”
The Mark, Allie, and, above all, Darren choose to ignore Lucas, and Best sticks it to his opponent with a Bulldog and a hopeful hook of the leg.
“That looks desperate by Darren, I hate to say,” Deltzer belatedly agrees.
E tu, Mark?
Alfie throws some popcorn at the screen, “MARK, cut ‘im some slack, geezer.”
After The Mark directly apologizes to Alfie, who waves back at him, we resume in-ring action and Best extends his momentum with a Single-Arm DDT and doesn’t waste any motion, cashing that in for a Cross Armbreaker, which finally gives the fans something to cling onto in terms of Darren potentially grabbing a first win in GLOBAL and handing Crusader a defeat in their second matches respectively.
In spite of the excitement being exhibited by The Mark and Allie Reece at the commentary desk, Crusader X knows where he is and inches towards the ropes with clever footwork and causes a break by using his free arm. Darren does what he’s told, wary of crossing Shane Stagg’s line, and breaks not long after two, giving X somewhat of a reprieve.
Both men hurry to their feet, possibly more rapidly than they would have liked, but also keen not to give an inch to their opposite number. X nods at Best, while holding his arm, and the two look cagey, as Best tends to his head as a result of X’s earlier offense.
Blink and you miss.
A ROUNDHOUSE KICK out of nowhere floors Best, “That would give Amber Lee a run for her money,” The Mark beams, giving the unbeaten 170-pound Amazon her due while also sparing Paul Sanders and Kid Chameleon’s blushes in the process. I see what you’re doing, Deltzer!
Crusader X rams Best into the corner, shoulder-first, giving Darren a taste of his own medicine. He drags him back out, like a teenage bully dunking a first grader’s head down the toilet, and fires off with quick punches to the ribs in the corner while Best is in the brace position. Sneaky!
While Staggs gives X a bit of a telling-off for that, Crusader profusely expressing regret, Best is back on his feet and avenges that, leaning in with a nasty headbutt of his own prior to unleashing a couple of chops that echo around The Globe! Staggs is caught unaware and knows two wrongs don’t make a right, but opts to let it go unanswered, knowing that Best doesn’t deserve disqualification.
An Irish Whip to the diagonally opposite corner gets the crowd even more behind Best, but Crusader X deflates Darren and the audience in one fell swoop with a gorgeous Koppu Kick as the native New Yorker comes in.
No messing around, though clearly messing with ‘The Best,’ Crusader takes Darren for a walk with a Springboard Armdrag and as Darren feebly attempts to rise quicker than he should, X follows up with a fantastic Frankensteiner.
Out of contempt, or just because he can, only Crusader X will know. He throws Best clean out of the battleground, right in front of our chatty trio, who all rise to their feet in case Crusader and Darren end up trampling all over their notes. Darren, normally aware of where he is, doesn’t have his radar functioning properly and has no idea where his opponent is until X splatters all over him with a daring Suicide Dive that sends Darren stumbling back, knocking his head off the edge of the commentary desk with a crowd-inducing ‘OOH’ and rather concerning THUD.
Well aware of Darren’s concussion problems in the past, The Mark calls the fallen star’s name a few times, inquiring if he’s okay. Best is unable to reply as Staggs starts a count, Crusader crossing his hands to form an ‘X’ and basking in a mixture of cheers and jeers heading his way.
We’ll skip to five to spare you the bother. As soon as Best is up on the apron, Crusader X comes to collect, but Best butts X to the abdomen and shoots in, akin to Alfie, with a Roll-Up attempt, which Crusader X reads, falling to his knees. Can he beat Best in a similar fashion to the way that Darring defeated Alfie Button in our last main event?
Lucas stirs the pot, “Has Darren done better than Kid Chameleon a couple of weeks ago?”
The Mark adamantly butts in, “No, definitely not.”
At the same time, Allie exclaims, “Yes, absolutely!”
Best has his back turned to Crusader, who jumps up and wows the commentators and fans alike with a fantastic…
Darren looks lost and all over the place. Crusader X stays calm yet primed, like a boxer who knows he has his man hurt, but is still wary that they may get tagged themselves, something Anthony Joshua didn’t heed when in Darren Best’s home state back in the summer of 2019.
X follows Best to the corner, where Darren is still trying to regain his bearings.
Crusader X scores with a couple of Overhand Chops, and an Irish Whip, which Best instinctively reverses. Unfortunately, and The Mark covers his eyes upon seeing it, Darren makes the cardinal mistake, perhaps unconsciously of LOWERING his head at the worst possible time…
“OH NO, what are you doing, Darren?”
The Mark, Allie Reece, Lucas Quinn, and the vast majority of the 2,500 fans in The Globe know what’s coming in spite of this being only Crusader X’s second appearance. He even has time to throw the X up before punishing Darren Best with his patented Running Canadian Destroyer, AKA…
And THAT also represents the end of Darren Best’s night, lads and lasses.
“This is academic,” The Mark says in a deflated manner.
Alfie has his hands on his head, shocked at his mate’s major mistake.
“He had to know,” Reece states, almost apologetically for insulting Darren’s intelligence.
“He did, but I don’t think he was of sound mind,” Quinn offers.
Lucas continues, “Either way, another impressive performance – and win – by Crusader X. Mark, you look despondent. What do you take from that?”
Crusader has his arm raised by Shane Staggs while ‘Downtown’ Jason Brown reads out the official result. Crusader X takes his plaudits, using his X-like pose a third – and final – time up on the top rope, some appreciative of his extraordinary talents.
The Mark appears boastful and, by the same token, bullish, “He’ll take some stopping, but Alfie Button will be up for the challenge, guaranteed,” he
“Darren, like Paul Sanders, has some issues that haven’t fully gone away, and I believe this match highlighted that. He doesn’t usually lower his head, and for some reason, he did at exactly the wrong time to the wrong person and move, which is one of the most spectacular in the sport. Admittedly, in the end, Darren did give it a better try than Kid Chameleon, I can’t lie about that, and Alfie presents another test altogether at Magnus Opus. Alfie has fought Darring and Dream and looked good, but Crusader X has been awesome against Kid Chameleon and Darren Best. It could be an amazing match,” The Mark gushes, overcoming the disappointment and looking forward to the match-up.
“What worries me is Crusader X didn’t even need his athleticism as much tonight,” The Mark laments, possibly sticking up for Kid Chameleon, but making a valid point, nevertheless.
The victor, who interacts with Shane Staggs, steps forward and helps a bewildered Darren Best up. Crusader X extends his hand, which Darren looks down at, holding the back of his head. Ever the gentleman, Darren accepts the gesture and wishes Crusader ‘congratulations.’
We see Alfie turn the television off and mentally switch his attentions to facing Crusader X three weeks from now, here at The Globe.
The Mark has the final word as Crusader X steps through the ropes, acknowledging the fans before dropping down off the apron. “Both of these men are capable of putting on a masterclass, and they’ve got their work cut out for them.”
PHYSICAL COMPETITION (2)
Steve Blaine is again back in the middle of the ring, dressed in a nice professional suit. Lucas Quinn assumes it must be time for the second physical challenge. Allie seems excited as she says seeing the Health Fanatics at the ringside is always exciting.
Dirty Palm & Benix: Legacy plays over the PA system, which means only one thing. It’s prime time! Out comes the young, brash, cocky, or confident, depending on who you talk to. The fashion is dialed back a bit as both members sport their new GLOBAL t-shirt merchandise, “You wish you were PRIME TIME.” Half the fans give them the thumbs down, and the other half give them a different finger. Jimmy Classic and “Suplex Ninja” Trae Larkin reach the ring, and Jimmy Classic heads straight for Steve Blaine and leans over into the “MC’s” microphone.
Jimmy Classic says, Steve, I have heard a rumor swirling around backstage that Greg Matthews may not be able to compete in the physical competition. He suffered some knee injury trying to prepare or something. That would be a shame.
The fans boo as Trae Larkin tells them all to shut up. Lucas Quinn cuts in from the announcers’ table accusing the Prime Time Athletes of trying to injure Greg Matthews after losing the first competition to avoid this second one. The Mark wonders if Matthews will even be able to go tonight. Allie hopes so!
The Prime Time Athletes find their place in the ring, waiting for their rivals as Call On Me by Eric Prydz plays over the PA system, and the tone from the fans changes quickly, cheering on their physically fit white knights. Damon Somner steps out first, pumping his fist and exciting the fans. Followed by his partner Greg Matthews where all eyes are on him, waiting to see his health. Matthews seems to be in good spirits, but a clear black knee brace is around the injured knee from last Domination.
Lucas Quinn immediately notices the brace and questions what kind of condition Matthews will be to compete tonight.
The two men slap the hands of the fans as they work their way up the aisle to the GLOBAL ring, where Steve Blaine and the Prime Time Athletes are waiting. The Mark says you can cut the tension with a knife right now. Jimmy Classic sits on the middle ropes and opens the ropes inviting the Health Fanatics inside the ring, but Somner and Matthews aren’t up for playing any of the Prime Time Athlete’s games as they head towards the ring steps and enter the ring that way. Trae Larkin grabs his knee and mimics limping around, poking fun at Greg Matthews and his injury.
Lucas Quinn questions Larkin’s motives and admits it will be difficult to compete with him in a physical competition with a knee sprain.
All four men are now inside the ring. Steve Blaine again has the difficult task of trying to not only MC the competition but keep order and tension at a minimum. Steve Blaine begins; it’s time for the second and last physical competition! While the last Domination was themed around strength and endurance. We will hold a cardio and agility competition tonight when Trae Larkin represents the Prime Time Athletes against Greg Matthews, who will represent the Health Fanatics in a burpees competition.
The fans cheer in support of Greg Matthews, who gives the heart symbol with his hands, expressing his thanks for the GLOBAL nation’s support. The Mark questions how Greg Matthews can compete on one good knee in a burpees competition. He then remarks how Trae Larkin could do them for hours in his sleep.
After the cheers die down, Steve Blaine continues, The Health Fanatics won last week and are in the lead. The rules are just like the last competition. Once it starts, both men must continue to perform legal burpees one after another until one pauses or stops.
Both teams nod, agreeing and understanding the rules. Jimmy Classic pats his partner on the back, telling him he got this. Damon Somner gives his partner a fist bump in support as Steve Blaine points toward the timekeeper and says – Ring the bell!
DING DING !!!
The bell sounds, and the burpees begin. Both men start in a flawless burpee form, dropping down to the mat and hopping right back up. Lucas Quinn compliments Trae Larkin on his form, saying that you can tell that Larkin has been a top-tier athlete his whole life. The Mark chimes in with an attempt of humor, saying it’s almost like he is a prime time athlete.
There is an awkward pause before Allie breaks the silence pointing out that Greg Matthews is wincing a bit as he drops down to that mat favoring that knee.
Steve Blaine continues to hype up the event as both men continue. Look at these athletes! Both of these teams are in peak physical condition.
Damon Somner continues to bark support for his partner. Jimmy Classic gives a fake yawn as he drops down on the mat and acts as if he is tired and going to take a nap.
Lucas Quinn is disappointed in Classic’s antics. Oh, come on. Greg Matthews is fighting through an injury and is staying burpee for burpee with Trae Larkin, who nobody argues is one of the top athletes in GLOBAL.
The burpees continue as Trae Larkin drops down and back up at a nice pace as Greg Matthews struggles to keep the same pace favoring his knee but fighting through it. The Mark asks Lucas and Allie what happens if the physical competition is tied.
Steve Blaine continues to fill the dead air with hype getting the fans to start chanting – MATTHEWS! Supporting the injured Health Fanatic. Jimmy Classic has rolled outside and engaged in trash-talking with the rabid GLOBAL fans.
Lucas Quinn defends the GLOBAL nation questioning the maturity of Jimmy Classic.
As the competition fiercely continues, the fans and Damon Somner’s support continue to push Greg Matthews to keep up with Trae Larkin. Steve Blaine continues to hype up the competition by saying – We are well over one-hundred burpees for both men! The big question is just how many can these men do!
The Mark chimes in, asking when will Greg Matthews knee give out.
With the competition in high gear and Greg Matthews doing his best not to give up and keep up with Trae Larkin. Jimmy Classic has had enough, picked up an outside chair, and rolled in behind Greg Matthews.
Greg Matthews quickly crumbles to the unexpecting chair shot by Jimmy Classic. Damon Somner charges, throwing bombs on Jimmy Classic, but Trae Larkin has stopped the competition, grab Somner from behind, and tosses him backward, folding him in half with a belly-to-back suplex.
Lucas Quinn shockingly adds commentary that Jimmy Classic has decided the competition is over, and he just hit Greg Matthews with a chair. The Prime Time Athletes are now taking it to the Health Fanatics! The Mark says I guess you can say while the Fanatics have won the competition, the Prime Time Athletes are making a statement.
Jimmy Classic rubs his chin shaking the cobwebs from the big shots from Damon Somner. Somner gets back up, holding his back from the suplex, and both members, Larkin and Classic, nail him with double superkicks.
The Mark adds that they call that the Prime Time Kick, and we can see why!
With Somner now down after that double superkick. Jimmy Classic puts that chair around Greg Matthews injured knee, and Trae Larkin comes off the turnbuckles stomping down on it!
Lucas Quinn cries out that somebody needs to stop this madness! And it’s like Lucas Quinn has the GLOBAL officials’ attention as they fill the ring, gathering around the Health Fanatics as the Prime Time Athletes have done enough damage and roll out of the ring.
Allie confirms that the Health Fanatics win the Physical Competition due to a forfeit. The Mark asks, but at what cost?
With the Health Fanatics down inside the ring. The fans boo the hated tag team as they point and smile while backing up the aisle way. Lucas Quinn adds that the GLOBAL nation hates these guys, and they haven’t even had an official match yet.
ALECZANDER THE GREAT V PAUL SANDERS
“We’ve got our next matchup on deck,” says Lucas Quinn. “Aleczander The Great takes on The Players’ Paul Sanders! On DOMINATION 4, we saw Aleczander take on “Big Aug” August Lazar in a Contest of Strength! Unfortunately for him, it didn’t go his way. Aleczander was bested in an arm-wrestling contest by The Boss of the Sauce, then when he was about to lose a tug-of-war competition, things got physical between them!”
“And that was the first time we’ve seen someone anger Big Aug and that did not look good at all for GLOBAL’s self-proclaimed Hall of Famer,” Mark Deltzer adds. “Now tonight, I’ve got it on good authority that Aleczander is not in a good mood. He’s been thinking about that strength contest since it happened, and he has a plan to right that injustice!”
“How exactly was it an injustice?” Allie Reece asks. “He got beat fair and square in arm wrestling. He was about to lose the tug of war, too, before he attacked him!”
“Guys, let’s get to the action! Paul Sanders was cleared for competition tonight after that loss he took on DOMINATION 4 to Amber Lee, now looking to get in the win column against Aleczander tonight!”
And it’s on down to the ring with “Downtown” Jason Brown.
“The following is a singles match set for one fall!” Brown announces. “Introducing first, from Portland, Oregon, weighing in at 250 pounds… this is “PRETTY” PAUL SANDERS!”
‘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. After the loss to Amber Lee, the young blue chipper wants to make an impact tonight and a win over a man who has been turning heads like Aleczander could do just that for him. He enters the ring, throws off his jacket and gets ready for competition.
“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…”
“Hall of Fame” by The Script feat. will.i.am.
The piano intro plays and the crowd is already jeering! 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 is rocking his signature wrestling attire. Golden thigh-length trunks and knee pads, pristine white boots and white wrist tape, 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 as he walks on down to the ring slowly.
Paul Sanders looks annoyed at having to wait for the pompous oaf to make his way to the ring, but when they finally make it down The Red Carpet, Aleczander waves a hand and demands a microphone. When he gets it, the presenters leave.
“BIG AUG!” Alecz yells.
The crowd starts cheering at the mention of the giant’s name. This irritates the Gilded Great to no end.
“YOU. STUPID. NOB. That Strength Challenge was MINE! That equipment was FAULTY! Clearly, it was, cause that’s the only way that some giant sack of nothing like YOU would ever defeat an amazing, career-making, breathtaking GLOBAL Hall of Famer like ME! I am the strongest man in GLOBAL! I’m the…”
But he gets cut off by a chant.
“BIG AUG’S STRONGER!” Clap clap clap-clap-clap!
“BIG AUG’S STRONGER!” Clap clap clap-clap-clap!
“BIG AUG’S STRONGER!” Clap clap clap-clap-clap!
The sour grapes continue as Aleczander The Great continues to walk up the steps.
“NO, HE ISN’T! I’M STRONGER!” He turns to his opponent as he tries to get some chill back to him. “Paul Sanders… Paulie, if you don’t mind me saying so… mate… you look great. You’re a young blue-chip prospect! If it were any other night, I might even give you a chance to sit under the learning tree and take lessons from a great… nah, mate, THE great! But tonight, Paul, I’m gonna show Big Aug what I do to people who disrespect a HALL OF FAMER! And the only thing that you’re getting from me, mate… is a case of CTE…”
Them’s fighting words as Paul Sanders looks ready to go after that classless remark. Aleczander brushes past him to be rid of the microphone and shed his chains, sunglasses and bandana. When he finally does…
…He’s met with a HUGE dropkick by Paul Sanders right on the button! The GLOBAL Nation cheer as Aleczander goes down after the unsuspecting shot from the Oregonian! Paul lands on his stomach after the dropkick and scurries over for the cover right away on The Mancunian Muscle!
Aleczander kicks out, but a fired-up Paul Sanders stays on him! After both losing out to Amber Lee two weeks ago and having to put up with remarks about prior head injuries, Sanders is in no mood to mess around. He waits for Alezander to stand up, only to come off of the ropes quickly behind him…
The Pretty Boy attacks once again with a running bulldog headlock! Aleczander gets faceplanted into the mat and once more, the fired-up Sanders makes a cover!
The Global Hall of Famer kicks out again!
Paul tries to stay on him, but the more experienced Aleczander rolls away to the safety of the ropes. Sanders grabs him by the arm and tries to pull him away. He finally gets him back up and then tries for a neckbreaker. He has the neck turned, but before he can fully execute it, the self-proclaimed GLOBAL Hall of Famer shoves him away to the corner.
“Get away from me, arsehole!” Aleczander yells. “Enough of this! I got better things to do with me time!”
The crowd start jeering when Aleczander starts to try and take a walk from this match, but Sanders continues to attack! When Aleczander is between the ropes, the Portland native tries to go all-in on The Mancunian Muscle. He attacks him with a few right hands in between the ropes, and the referee finally has to intervene.
“Break it off! Now!” the official yells.
Sanders reluctantly listens and backs off, but Aleczander finds an open shot and then DECKS Paul with a stiff right to the temple of his own. Sanders stumbles back and gets caught, allowing for Aleczander to come back into the ring and SLUG him right in the chest with a big running double sledge!
The wind gets knocked out of young Paul Sanders as Aleczander runs to the other side of the ring to collect himself after the opening barrage from his opponent. He grits his teeth and waits for Sander to try and stand again, but the second that he does…
Aleczander runs at him from the other side with a big leaping back elbow off the ropes! Sanders goes down and Alecz sits up to kiss his bicep.
“That’s how it’s done, Paulie!” Aleczander yells.
The GLOBAL Nation start to jeer The Gilded Great loudly. He gets up and then grabs Paul by the neck. He slowly twists and turns his head around first and then DROPS him down to the mat with a huge swinging neckbreaker! Paul is left reeling and feeling possibly out of it!
After the big move, Aleczander stands up…
Then delivers a big jumping stomp to the chest!
Sanders is hurt now, but Aleczander picks him up a second time, then rocks him under the jaw with a huge uppercut! Sanders collapses to the mat, not looking good at all! The official tries to step in and intervene…
“Hey hey hey! The Greatest Move in GLOBAL is about to happen! Step aside, wanker!”
The referee is still trying to check on Sanders, but when he sees Aleczander running off the ropes, he has no choice but to move…
ALL POWER TO YOUR ELBOW!
He delivers a big driving elbow to the head! Another big blow hits Sanders, but Aleczander quickly goes into a pin…
And pulls him up off the mat!
The crowd jeers him again as he rubs a hand across his chin.
“Nah… not yet, I told you, mate! You’re gonna be an example!” Aleczander shouts.
He slowly pulls Paul by the arms and then hoists him up. He throws Paul Sanders into the ropes before coming off the opposite side…
THE GOLDEN TOUCH!
The brutal Axe Bomber connects and Sanders is now stumbling around the mat, looking punch-drunk! The referee goes to check on him. Aleczander wants to do some more damage to Sanders, but the official steps in between them to check on Sanders. Paul is clearly on, but very slow to get up. Sanders is glassy eyed…
Slow to get up…
But he doesn’t stop and tries to keep the official from calling for the match. He wants to keep fighting… but Aleczander doesn’t wait around to give him the chance…
HALL OF FAME INDUCTION!
The Oregonian takes one last brutal shot in the form of the mighty Spear that Aleczander has used to slay every wrestler he’s been up against so far… Would this be his third victim in GLOBAL?
Yes, it would be.
DING DING DING
The bell rings as “Hall of Fame” plays again. Aleczander half kneels over Paul Sanders as the official gets the chance to finally check on him. After a very spirited start and a couple of attempted falls on the self-professed Hall of Famer, he gets back up…
Jason Brown can barely get the two words out to announce Aleczander The Great as the winner when he snatches the microphone!
“BUGGER OFF! NOW!”
FREDDIE GETS SHOT...
A few days ago at The Rich Family residence in Dallas, Texas.
In the living room, the heart and soul of many a home the world over, Freddie sits in the same chair where one Alex Reyn placed a sickening paw on his shoulder. Dressed up in a gray suit, white shirt, and blue tie, he cuts a more formal figure than when we have seen him here, opposite the masked interviewer, The Informer, who is also wearing a white shirt, combined with cream pants and brown leather shoes, eagerly scribbling some last-minute notes on his grey notepad before receiving the ‘in 5’ shout from one of the crew members.
The Informer smiles, holding his hands together, and snaps into a different mind space as soon as he hears ‘ACTION.’
“Freddie, I’ve known you for years, but for those who don’t know much about you, how would you describe yourself?”
Rich gives that question some thought, arm over the rest, resting his right fist across his chin, “As someone who hasn’t achieved what he set out to, but someone who still believes he can. I’m more experienced, far more focused on family than ever before, and realizing wrestling has probably given me more opportunities than I ever deserved, or my brothers and cousin, without the success.”
The Informer doesn’t let that slide, “You mean in terms of championship reigns?”
Freddie nods, “Right. We’ve technically had two shots already in GLOBAL, and we’ll get a third in a fortnight’s time at Magnus Opus. It has to be now or never. Then again, it always is,” he confesses, affording himself a wry smile.
“Can you do it?”
Freddie tilts his head and then leans forward, “We can if we get the shot, we’ve always been able to, but we just need to go out there and do it. The Master Sisters are a hell of a team, and we’ll take confidence from a win on Domination Three, even if it doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things.”
“Have you given up on achieving singles success?”
“No, no way. But this would mean so much more to everyone, and we’ve been close on many, many occasions, as you well know. This would give everyone in the family a boost. It’s been a tough time,” Rich says, holding his hands up.
Freddie snickers, “I’m not getting into that now. Maybe in the future, who knows? But, yes, we could all do with this.”
“Who has impressed you in GLOBAL?”
“The usual suspects. Sean Darring’s an inspiration, Daniel Dream is a fantastic athlete, even if I don’t always approve of his attitude or approach, and Auggie…man. That guy is legitimate. I also think our opponents, The Master Sisters, and the tag team on the whole is filled with talent. It’s a blessing to be in the position we’re in.”
“Alex Reyn, someone you’re familiar with, was missing from your list. Why is that?”
Freddie stands up, “You know what? I don’t need this right now. Interview terminated. You can see yourself out,” Rich angrily snaps, removing his wire-up microphone and slinging it on the floor before walking out of the room, clearly unhappy with The Informer’s question. The masked man looks at his cameraman and ponders, “What did I say?”
Unbeknownst to The Informer, Reyn has not only psyched Freddie out, but the entire Rich Family, way beyond the in-ring quartet of Freddie, Todd, Declan, and Donny.
DANIEL DREAM V EL PRINCIPE
American Idiot blasts over the Globe, and the fans immediately know what that means as the mood in the Globe changes to a chorus of boos. “The Chosen One” Daniel Dream emerges from the back waving his American flag as Dream marches down the aisle way the fans give him the universal thumbs down. Dream stops and speaks with a rowdy young adult who appears to have a few adult beverages. Dream waves his flag in front of the fan, then turns and rolls inside the ring, continuing to wave his flag and talk trash towards Global Nation.
Lucas Quinn quickly defends Global Nation saying that Daniel Dream is as disrespectful as they come. He is the self-anointed chosen one, and Global Nation refuses to choose him. The Mark quickly defends Dream, saying it doesn’t matter what the fans think as long as the board backs him.
The music changes as Los Consejos De Un Padre by Gerardo Reyes plays over the PA system. Global Nation, which isn’t known to show support for the Luchadore, roars in support. The Mexican legend, El Principe, emerges from the curtains with his flag. He proudly raises the Mexican flag, which gets even more support as Global Nation is a diverse nation in the southwestern USA.
Daniel Dream isn’t happy inside the ring as he points to his USA flag. Lucas Quinn says that the fans’ support may be a little more to do about their dislike for Daniel Dream than a change of heart towards El Principe. Allie chimes in, saying the timing is everything. El Principe is a reoccurring character in a popular local telenovela.
El Principe joins Daniel Dream inside the ring. Both men proudly hold their country’s flag high in the air. The GLOBAL official stands between them, trying to get them to lower what could quickly become a weapon and nasty situation.
Lucas Quinn claims there appears to be a standoff. Neither man wants to give up their national pride. The Mark responds or their weapon.
Finally, the GLOBAL referee wins the debate, and both men reluctantly hand their flags to the outside as the bell rings.
As El Principe was still handing his flag to the outside official, all folded up and with national care and pride, the snake saw his opening, and Daniel Dream struck, attacking the Mexican legend from behind with a double axe handle. Dream continues to attack the luchador, dropping him down to the mat and stomping on him as Lucas Quinn accused Daniel Dream of being a complete opportunist.
Daniel Dream pulls up the dazed luchador who didn’t see the attack coming, lifts him straight up quickly, and slams him down with a powerbomb.
The Mark exclaims that Daniel Dream has been chosen by the board for a reason, and he is backing it up right away tonight. While Lucas Quinn questions his methods claiming that Daniel Dream has made his career in GLOBAL thus far, looking for every opportunity to make things easier on himself.
Daniel Dream is fired up as he soaks up the boos from the crowd shouting – I AM THE MAN! Allie agrees hesitantly with Daniel Dream, saying it’s hard to argue with results.
Daniel Dream pulls El Principe up by his mask, sets him up for a big vertical suplex, and drops him down hard on the mat.
Lucas Quinn talks about Daniel Dream’s focus and intensity. Last week he picked up a massive win over The Great Wall. In the early going, he is bringing it to the Mexican legend tonight. Daniel Dream pulls the masked superstar up again and lifts him up, and sits him up on the top ropes in the corner. Daniel Dream follows him up the turnbuckles. He goes to set El Principe up for a superplex, but the legend fights out. El Principe looks to be setting him up for head scissors, but Daniel Dream shoves him down.
El Principe fires back up, throwing punches at Daniel Dream, who is saddled on the top turnbuckles. Daniel Dream with a headlock, then leaps off with a big crushing DDT.
The Mark shouts that Daniel Dream looks like the veteran inside the match with the El Principe. Allie recognizes that Daniel Dream isn’t well known for his high flying, but he landed perfectly.
Daniel Dream smiles, grabbing the boot of the dazed luchador. and pulls him towards him stepping over him and standing over the masked superstar, shouting – I AM THE MEASURING STICK!
The cocky superstar pulls El Principe back up by the mask one more time and goes to lift him up for another big powerbomb, but the veteran shows his experience by sliding out of the move behind Dream. He drops down with a dragon sleeper, and the fans go wild as Daniel Dreams slings his feet around, trying to get loose from the hold.
Lucas Quinn shouts that El Principe has the hold locked, but Daniel Dream slides himself to the ropes forcing a rope break. Allie laminates that it could have been a close call for Daniel Dream if El Principe could have kept him from the ropes.
The referee forces El Principe to break the hold, but not before the masked legend held on for a nearly five count. The Mark reminds the GLOBAL nation that El Principe is known for breaking the rules.
Daniel Dream pushes himself up, rubbing his throat, and stumbles into a belly-to-belly suplex.
El Principe holds on for a second one!
… AND A THIRD!
Lucas Quinn shouts, EL TRICOLOR! EL Principe hooks a leg!
The Mark says that was close. Daniel Dream just shot his shoulder up. El Principe shakes his masked head and pushes Daniel Dream’s shoulders down again for another count.
This time with more authority. El Principe grabs the back of Dream’s head and turns him over, and uses the bottom ropes to choke the proclaimed chosen one.
Lucas Quinn hesitates to agree with El Principe’s actions as he breaks the chokehold before a five count. The Mark reminds the folks at home that El Principe doesn’t care if you cheer him. He has his style, and the rules don’t usually matter to the masked legend.
El Principe shakes off the official, pulls Daniel Dream off, sends him across the ropes, and spins him around with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker.
Allie hypes up the move talking about how El Principe kept Daniel Dream on his knee for a few extra seconds for show and extra pain.
El Principe grabs the right leg of Daniel Dream and swings it around, and locks in an old-school classic figure four leg lock; as the fans cheer in support as the chosen one swings his arms wildly in the center of the ring.
Lucas Quinn shouts that Daniel Dream is in some real trouble. The Mark chimes in, saying that this is the first time Daniel Dream was in real trouble since his first match with Sean Darring.
Daniel Dream struggles but breaks out of the figure four leg lock refusing to give up. El Principe notices that Daniel Dream is favoring his knee. So do the announcers as they debate if that will come into effect later in the match.
Daniel Dream is back up gingerly and into the waiting veteran, who lifts him up and drops him down hard on that knee with a brutal knee breaker.
Lucas Quinn compliments the smart planning of El Principe, saying that he noticed a weakness and is taking advantage of it. Daniel Dream showing his toughness, is right back up but is taken right back down by the masked superstar with a picture-perfect dragon screw leg whip.
Daniel Dream rolls out of the ring, upset that his knee is bothering him, and waves off the masked legend inside the ring. Lucas Quinn questions if Daniel Dream wants any more of the Mexican legend.
And with Daniel Dream not paying attention to the technician inside the ring, he turns just in time to eat a perfect suicide dive by El Principe as the fans roar, chanting – Santa mierda!
Lucas Quinn apologizes for the language of the GLOBAL nation. Allie doesn’t know Spanish, so she questions what they are saying. The Mark says he hasn’t seen El Principe this motivated in years. He wants to end Daniel Dream’s golden run.
El Principe pulls Daniel Dream up on one wheel and rolls him under the ropes and back inside the ring. El Principe takes his time soaking in the moment as he returns inside the ring. Daniel Dream pulls himself up and stumbles into El Principe, who goes for his Crowning Moment (Quacken Driver II).
Lucas Quinn excitedly says things are about to go from bad to worse for Daniel Dream.
However, Daniel Dream’s instincts kick in, and he counters out of the move. Instinct continues to kick in, and he fires into a superkick, but the veteran sees it coming and ducks under it. El Principe turns, but Daniel Dream comes off the ropes and hits a desperate spinning heel kick that takes the masked luchador down!
The Mark laminates on how well these two are matched up. These are two of the best in pro wrestling today, and you can only see action like this on GLOBAL! Allie then points out that Daniel Dream is pissed off about his knee. He is still favoring it and trying to shake the pain off.
Daniel Dream then mouths F – it and charges forward the best he can and uses that injured knee as a weapon and crashes it into the masked skull of El Principe with a high running knee.
Lucas Quinn questions if that was a smart move, as Daniel Dream is in pain with that knee. The Mark questions how El Principe is feeling even though we can’t see his face.
Daniel Dream waves his arms and points to the top ropes. He slowly begins to move up the turnbuckles again. Allie questions if this is a smart move by Daniel Dream with a hurt knee. Lucas Quinn responds, especially since this isn’t playing to Dream’s strengths.
Daniel Dream sits on the turnbuckles waiting for the veteran to get back to his feet, and as he does, he takes him right back down with a flying dropkick.
Lucas Quinn compliments Daniel Dream, saying he has more guts than brains. That move hit, and even though Daniel Dream is holding his knee, the impact has El Principe down and in trouble. The Mark adds that Daniel Dream is showing the heart of a champion that forces Allie to roll her eyes.
El Principe joins Daniel Dream on his feet but is dazed and walks right into a waiting Daniel Dream, who drops him with a double underhook DDT.
The Mark says Daniel Dream calls that Night Killer, and he might have just killed El Principe’s hope of winning the match!
2 1/2 …
Lucas Quinn marvels at how El Principe got his shoulder up. The fans are thankful with a sigh of relief.
Daniel Dream sets up for the Patriot Lock and grabs the ankle of the masked legend. However, El Principe is able to shake his ankle and kick Dream off and into the corner. Dream hits the corner and bounces into a waiting El Principe, who rolls him up!
… KICK OUT!
Lucas Quinn calls that a sneaky near fall. A heads-up move by the veteran almost gave El Principe the win.
Both men are up, and they rush at one another, both going for a clothesline, crashing into each other and taking both men down.
The fans fully support the masked luchador as the referee begins the daunted count as both men lie motionless on the mat. Allie marvels at the back-and-forth action and intensity of this match. The Mark says this is the kind of action we have all grown to expect in GLOBAL.
The referee reaches seven as both men slowly react and reach their feet. El Principe strikes first for that injured knee, but Daniel Dream has it fully telegraphed and lands his devastating high-impact elbow strike known to the world as his American Revolution.
The fans groan, knowing the end is near, as Daniel Dream drops down and makes the cover.
Marcus, my man: “YOUR WINNER…THE AMERICAN PATRIOT…DAAAANIEL DRRRREEEAM!”
Lucas Quinn praises the effort of El Principe. The Mark responds that Daniel Dream has defended our homeland against two hostile nations, China and Mexico! Allie is confused and asks when Mexico has ever been considered hostile.
Daniel Dream yanks his arm away from being raised and grabs his American flag. El Principe slowly gets to his feet as Daniel Dream isn’t finished charging forward with the flag.
Daniel Dreams misses as El Principe pulls the flag away and looks to return the favor, but Daniel Dream drops down and rolls under the ropes, high-tailing it away from the ring limping on one bad wheel.
Lucas Quinn questions Daniel Dream courage saying that he isn’t that tough without his flag!
El Principe is handed his Mexican flag and raises the American and Mexican flag high in the air as the GLOBAL nation cheers, and Daniel Dream glares, mouthing – You Son of a B%&^H!
NURSE, NURSE! (2)
Beep. Beep. Beep…
The sound is familiar to all. A heart monitor beeping rhythmically alongside a hospital bed. Lying in the bed is a man. Or, what appears to be a man. It’s difficult to tell, because their entire head is bandaged with the exception of one blackened eye. Some brown hair pokes from the top of the bandages. This person is wearing a hospital gown and is hooked up to an IV drip, with cables also linking them to the heart monitor.
Whoever this is, they’re in a very, very bad way.
Beep. Beep. Beep…
A nurse enters the private room of the patient.
“Mister David, it’s time for your sponge bath.” she says, pouting her lips and leaning over just enough.
“Not now, Sharon.” Jerry David moans from beneath the bandages, his voice hoarse and cracked, “can’t you see I have company?”
Nurse Sharon turns and covers her mouth.
“Oh, my. I’ll come back later.” she says with a giggle, and skips off in the red heels that are too tall for her to be comfortably doing a 12-hour shift in.
Was she even a real nurse?
Not now, narrator. Focus.
Jerry begins to slowly unravel the bandages on his face.
Beneath them is a gruesome sight. And his injuries look pretty traumatic, too.
Both of Jerry’s eyes are black. His eyebrow has butterfly stitches holding it together. His forehead has a plaster across what would assumedly be stitches. His nose isn’t quite where it used to be.
“E Z Rah,” Jerry rasps, “you want to challenge me to a match? Buddy, you got it. In fact, I already beat you to the punch. See, as soon as I woke up here I got myself a private nurse, a private room, and a private landline.
“A landline is like a mobile phone, but it’s attached to the wall. Ask your mother – I know she has one.
“Anyway, this landline, I used it to call the top brass at GLOBAL and I demanded a match with you at the Pay-Per-View. And not just any match. I’ve set us up a match alright. But it has a stipulation.”
Jerry coughs a wet, chesty cough, catching it in his hand. He inspects the contents of his palm and wipes a palm full of blood on his hospital gown.
“You son of a bitch. You put me in here for two weeks! I missed eighteen gigs. Eighteen! Then you have the nerve to say I am in this battle to leech off your fame? Your fame? What goddamn fame would that be, you self-entitled millennial piece of shit?
“You want to be famous? I’ll make you famous.
“At GLOBAL’s Pay-Per-View, you got your match. And you want to fight until your last breath? No problem. I can make that happen. So I’ll see you soon, for our Last Man Standing match!”
Jerry rips off the heart monitor and yanks the drip out of his arm. A small spurt of blood flies through the air as the long needle is dragged from his vein. He swings his legs out of the bed and hops to his feet.
“And no matter what happens, E Z, I promise you this… I will have the last laugh.”
He slides his feet into his Ugg slippers and heads for the door.
“Sharon! Call me a taxi!”
“You’re a taxi.”
JED JOHNSON V VALORIE VITALITY
“Shortly after an impressive triumph over El Principe on the inaugural Domination, Valorie Vitality followed up with an even better display against Jed Johnson, making her two and oh. We suspect, though don’t know, Jed riled her backstage before the bout because she was much more aggressive from the outset. Since then, Jed has been recovering from injuries while Vitality combines wrestling with giving back to her community as a teacher and a former solider who fought for this country. That’s what she does, and yet, she’s capable of taking away, too. Tonight, Jed Johnson gets a shot at redemption against Valorie Vitality, and may the best person win. We all know who that is,” Reece confidently predicts.
“Jed is a good wrestler, and he has experience, size, weight and technique on his side, so I wouldn’t bet against him, but Valorie brings a lot to the table AND her first win against Jed was a beatdown, so I don’t know. It could go either way,” reasons Lucas Quinn.
“It could, and the smart money is on Valorie, but because Allie has predicted her, I’ll go Jed just to be different, and if he can get her down, military experience or not, Johnson’s mat skills are pretty special. It’s a big if, and I’m not sure if he wants to engage with Valorie after what she did to him last time. Like my partner said, that could go either way, but I’m looking forward to it,” The Mark professes.
Jed Johnson suddenly appears, no fanfare or music, perhaps reflective of his ‘no-nonsense’ style in the ring, a firm believer in the fundamentals of professional wrestling being just that – wrestling.
Johnson, who is dressed in all-white tights, still sports a plaster on his nose, broken from their previous encounter, making Jed look like a mini Booker T from his WCW days.
Lucas sounds equally excited, “Well, you won’t have to wait much longer. Here he comes, and what would you call it? A brave face or a game face?”
The Mark isn’t sure, “Both?”
“A broken face,” Reece adds, far more decisively.
Jed rolls underneath the bottom rope and stands cross-armed, apparently ready for action, basking in the boos heading his way, secretly seething yet determined to prove everyone wrong, especially Valorie.
“Blow Me Away” by Breaking Benjamin.
Quinn sets the table for the imminent arrival of a rising star, “So far, she has blown her opponents away, not to mention the fans here at The Globe.”
As the male vocals and bells chime, the arena goes dark. Once the first guitar riff hits, the lights flash on as the words VITALITY flash on the screens above the entrance. Smoke fills the arena as Valorie makes her reveal. Simply staring ahead at the arena, she simply salutes at her opponent in the ring before making her way over. Getting to the ring, she jumps onto the apron and using the top rope vaults herself over, landing on her feet before taking a moment to look at the dog tags around her neck. She would smile and kiss the dog tags before giving them to someone to hold onto before taking her place in the corner of the ring.
Reece waxes lyrical about Valorie Vitality, “An amazing ambassador for GLOBAL, the sport in general, girls everywhere and this country. We could do with a few more of her, that’s for sure.”
Not intimidated, externally at least, Jed steps forward, rotating his neck muscles and winding his arms up, ready to try and avenge one of the most draining and humiliating defeats of his career, back on Domination 2, a distant memory for some, but not Johnson, who still bears some scars – and surely some that can’t be seen – from the beatdown perpetrated upon him by Valorie Vitality that night, right here at The Globe.
“I don’t know whether Jed has fully healed, but he sure looks ready,” beams The Mark.
“To get his ass handed to him,” Reece interjects, not missing a chance to put Deltzer and Johnson down, killing two birds with one snarky comment.
A knee to the gut seems to surprise Jed Johnson yet again, which is how Valorie kicked things off on Domination 2, and JJ falls for it again.
“He should have been prepared for that,” Quinn states matter-of-factly.
Allie asks, “Yes, he should have, but is it arrogance on Jed’s part?”
An attempted Axe Kic-aught! Jed Johnson has Vitality trapped and ups the ante very early on here with a BIG-TIME Belly-to-Belly Suplex that gets everyone’s attention.
“Was it a trap, guys,” The Mark contemplates, stirring the pot, having remained quiet thus far.
“It could have been, to be fair,” concedes Reece.
A Snap Suplex, perfectly executed by this pure wrestling veteran of more than a decade, builds on his breakthrough and a point-blank Leg Drop sees Jed hook the leg for an early lateral press…
“We know it’ll take a hell of a lot more than that,” spews Allie.
Jed isn’t hanging around, though a wry and sly grin betrays his inner confidence, having started much more brightly than he did over a month ago in the very same ring against Valorie Vitality. However, like then, he seems to underestimate his opponent, with a Swinging Neckbreaker broken by a Backslide attempt by Valorie, who’s pushing hard, akin to a solider with a backpack, trekking through the mud and on a mission…
Jed regains his bearings in the nick of time to avoid embarrassment.
“She is so driven,” Allie says admirably.
Johnson’s already up and looking to snatch back the baton so to speak, but his Lariat is too slow, showcasing Vitality’s advantage in the speed stakes. She ducks underneath and takes a page from the technician’s playbook, which in fairness has a place in her own, with a Cobra Clutch, allowing Allie to gush over Valorie, not that she needs much encouragement, “She can even beat him at his own game, guys, come on,” Reece exclaims incredulously.
“Wait, a beautiful transition into the Russian Legsweep by the ex-American soldier, and THAT paves the way for some ground punches, which this crowd laps up, counting along. Up to four, make it five and the official asks Valorie to restrain herself, which she does,” Quinn breathlessly narrates, doing his best to keep up with Valorie’s fire, intensity, and the tempo she has set.
“Both competitors are in phenomenal condition,” The Mark reminds us.
As Vitality vacates the battleground to go high, in the form of the top rope, and Quinn throws the question out there, “How would Jed Johnson feel about this?”
“WHO CARES,” Reece snaps.
“I’m sorry,” Quinn shouts back playfully.
“Honestly, who gives a rat’s what Jed Johnson thinks about anything? There’s more than one way to skin a cat, and Valorie can beat him hundreds of different ways, trust me,” Allie proclaims.
“Rats and cats, gotta love Allie,” The Mark jokes.
“You don’t, OH NO,” yells Reece.
In hope, she attempts to appeal to Vitality up on the top rope, for Valorie hasn’t detected Jed is now on his feet and he THROWS her off the top rope, not too dissimilar to the way hundreds of people have done to Ric Flair over the years, causing a HUGE fall, and a camera operator catches Vitality grimacing in pain and nursing her bag, folded up like a deck chair for a moment, upon impact.
Not willing to stay down, Valorie gets up more quickly than she should and JJ steams in…
Soccerball Kick to the ribs by Valorie, catches the grappler unaware.
“That knocks the stuffing out of Jed, and he still couldn’t keep her down, even after a massive throw like that,” Reece muses.
“Valorie goes to town with hard punches, and Jed sensibly chooses to cover up, but more of these shots are getting through than not, unlike when Crusader X deployed the same tactic against Darren Best,” Quinn recalls.
Vitality peels herself away on the count of 4, desperately trying to stay on the right side of the law, no pun intended. She looks in a trance, laser focused on handing Jed Johnson another defeat. As he climbs to his feet, he is blissfully unconscious of Vitality’s decision to bust out a Spinning Back Kick, the first stage of Sweet Chin Remix, and it lands perfectly.
A Spinning Back Elbow, however, goes astray as Jed catches and converts it into a takedown of his own, seeking a Crossface. A front roll is Vitality’s rapid-fire answer before Jed can cinch it in, and she’s not done there.
SECOND Soccerball Kick…Jed rolls out of the way and out of the ring, searching for a breather outside of the battlefield and some much needed space from Vitality, who is now most certainly in the ascendency.
It doesn’t stop Jed from pointing to his head, rather proud of his spatial awareness, something others have praised him for in the past.
“Mark, we’ve seen some more of the same in some manner of speaking, but we’ve also seen changes, too. Would you agree?”
“Yes, for sure,” The Mark begins before being interrupted by Allie warning the two men on the team to keep their eye on Valorie, who is on the move and looking to land a stunning…
VAULTING HEADSCISSORS TAKEDOWN ON THE OUTSIDE!
“That’s different,” Lucas laughs.
“Is that all you’ve got to say, Quinn? You were talking about the differences, and that’s one of them right there. Valorie used more flying against El Principe than she did versus Jed on the following show, probably because, as we predicted, something enraged her about Jed Johnson, which we’re still not sure on. But, tonight, she’s back to showing that side to her game with a gorgeous move and that’s all you can come up with? Well done,” fumes Allie.
Before Quinn can apologize, Valorie tosses Jed back into the squared circle, but opts not to join him, pursuing a different path by heading to the top rope once again, and doing so in such fast fashion that the hundreds of people in GLOBE have barely made it to their feet when she’s perched, primed and ready to fly, taking a major chance in the form a sensational 630 Sen-knees up by Jed!
“In fairness, he knew exactly where he was that time, along with Valorie,” The Mark observes.
“And, he’s not done there, taking advantage with an Inside Cradle, which he also used in their first battle,” Quinn contributes.
“That’s the closest Jed has come to beating Valorie so far,” according to Quinn.
“That’s pathetic,” Reece responds.
Jed chances his arm, holding up three fingers, knowing fine well it was a near-fall, but not THAT close. He sees Valorie back up on her feet, her right hand draped across sore ribs, and Johnson takes her down with a Thesz Press of his own, wailing away with a pair of punches, which serves to wind Valore up, and she effortlessly shoves him off.
Foolishly, he goes back for more, and the ‘wrestler’ gets countered by a simple Drop Toe Hold, Valorie showing she has multiple facets to her game, including Jed’s particular favorite. Mind you, there’s not much that screams ‘technical wrestling’ when she flips Jed over landing half a dozen alternating palm strikes, eventually being ordered to get off by our official, who has to talk to her in the corner.
“Valorie, break on five or I’ll disqualify you next time,” Duncan Sullivan warns her.
Vitality doesn’t say anything, taking in the warning, her blood pumping from the thrill of the fight, undoubtedly aided by doing that in front of 2,500 fans and a great atmosphere. But, there’s something to be said about that ‘audience of one’ even if his eyes are not open, following the beatdown put on him by Vitality, and not for the first time.
“Is her aggression a blessing or a curse?”
“Both,” The Mark answers.
“Lucas, I find you tiresome right now,” Allie begins, only for it to be cut short when Jed, someone else who grates on her, complains to the referee now that he’s back in the land of the living, or just about. Valorie steps towards him, but Jed pretends he doesn’t see her, directing all of his attention to the official.
“Surely, you’re going to disqualify her, ref.”
“She’s been warned once more, and let me officiate, Jed. You concentrate on wrestling, it’s hard enough without refereeing too, I should know,” comes the all-knowing response, and it’s true. Duncan Sullivan speaks from experience.
Jed nods, clearly put out, and takes it out on Valorie with a kick to the ribs, which are still sore following the crash-and-burn 630 Senton in the not-so-distant past, and a nasty Side Headlock Takedown, though it doesn’t bother Valorie, who’s used to combat in spite of her rookie status in wrestling, not that you’d know it.
“Every time Jed does something, Valorie has an answer,” insists Allie, and yes, Vitality has already turned this into a Headscissors until…
“Well, I never,” Lucas chuckles.
“Surely, that’s against his code,” Allie complains.
A KIP UP by one Jed Johnson, not exactly an aerial move, but enough of an anomaly in the grappler’s ground-based game to raise an eyebrow – and questions – all the same.
Jed leans into Valorie with a headbutt to the ribs, and that’s enough to move Vitality back a step or two, clasping for air, and gives Jed enough room to unleash a flawless Russian Legsweep. Johnson floats over, neglecting to hook the leg on this occasion, and the casual cover is rebuffed at one and a half, ladies and gentlemen.
“Johnson making some inroads here, but there’s still no question Valorie has landed the more eye-catching offence,” Lucas says, keeping an eye on Allie in case of a reaction.
“When you’ve got a technician against a high flyer, the latter will usually land the more eye-catching offence, Lucas. Stop puckering up, Allie doesn’t like either of us anyway, so just do your job,” The Mark scolds him for paying lip service.
“True,” affirms Reece.
JJ drops an elbow to the inside of the leg, perhaps changing tact, and doubles up with another. He’s about to step through for an…ANKLE LOCK BY VALORIE VITALITY?!
“She’s learning so fast,” Reece remarks.
“A quick trip by Valorie and you’re right, Allie, she not only keeps adding different things, using Jed’s own moves against him from their first encounter, but she has an answer to everything he throws at her,” Lucas admits.
However, just as Jed looks like he might be forced to tap out, he pulls one out of Vitality’s playbook, and uses her counter from six weeks ago, shoving her back with a Mule Kick. Johnson rises to his feet, but Valorie cuts him off with an Elbow, taking them both to ground before she pops back up with a kip-up of her own.
“Anything you can do Jed, Valorie can do better.” Do I need to really indicate who that is?
The crowd applauds Valorie, as they have done on so many occasions in her three-match-old career, and the fuzzy feeling emanating around Stage 49 is compounded by Jed’s misery in all of this, as he slaps the canvas he’s so fond of, livid with himself and resentful of Valorie’s success against him, not to mention the very well-rounded game she possesses.
Jed loses his cool and darts right towards Valorie, who puts him back where he belongs and gains even more plaudits with an elementary yet effective BIG BOOT to the chops, and Jed goes down like your average footballer in the penalty area, except this is for good reason.
There IS contact, and he’s getting a lesson.
Jed retreats to the ropes closest to the commentary desk, and manages to reverse Valorie’s momentum against her as she sprints directly at him, and sends her to the outside with a Back Body Drop. But Valorie somehow lands on her feet. Johnson slumps forward, dropping to one knee, oblivious to Valorie’s whereabouts, and I’ll let you make your own jokes about that.
Johnson turns round to find Vitality up on the rope, and she leaps off with a superb Springboard Hurricanrana!
Th-at is not too far away!
Valorie is up again, coming to the top-left set of ropes, hopping up onto the top and launches herself at Jed with a Crossbody, but Johnson rolls through, turning Vitality’s momentum against her and converting it into a cover…
Valorie rolls through, using Jed’s own trick against him…
“Did she get it? That was close,” Lucas asks aloud, capturing many people’s sentiments in that moment.
Our official raises two fingers to confirm. Even from a grounded position, Jed complains, “She was grabbing the trunks.”
“I can’t believe him,” Reece reacts, shaking her head profusely at Johnson’s shamelessness.
Valore, unsurprisingly, is up on her toes first, being the quicker of the two and that pay dividends as she goes through three phases:
A Double Roundhouse Kick – check.
With Johnson evidently reeling, Valorie closes the gap and scores with a superb Scorpion Kick and sends Jed clattering to the canvas, courtesy of a luscious Spinning Back Kick, thus completing…
“Jed is OUT,” Allie declares.
“It’s over,” Lucas concludes.
So, why is Valorie heading towards the right-hand corner? She drags Jed Johnson’s limp body a little bit nearer to her destination, steadying herself and coming off the bottom rope with her first Moonsault.
She catches her breath and repeats the feat, this time from the middle rope, fighting through the pain she’s causing herself to send a message to Jed, who is motionless. She then bypasses both scenes to head to the top rope for the cherry on the cake, can she get it…
YES, SHE CAN!
The third and final phase is complete.
And, surely, the end of this fight…
Valorie immediately heads back to the top rope where she has just been to wave to the 2,500 fans gathered at The Globe for the go-home show ahead of Magnus Opus, having racked up a ‘repeat’ win, and looking impregnable in the process.
Quinn gives his instant reaction to what he has just witnessed, “It was never in doubt from the moment she hit Sweet Chin Remix, but Valorie Vitality made absolutely certain with Soldier’s Final Flight, putting three exclamation points on her third victory here in GLOBAL, and at this juncture, Jed Johnson would be foolish to request a trilogy.”
The camera shows Jed, barely conscious and unresponsive, wondering where the hell he is or what just happened.
The Mark shakes his head, “I wouldn’t put it past him. Should he? No. And, Valorie had the job done once she hit him with Sweet Chin Remix, I agree, but the fact that she pinned him with Soldier’s Final Flight, let me tell you, Jed will deny her the victory,” The Mark believes.
A shot shows Valorie scale the adjacent set of ropes, all smiles and grateful for the great support, here in Hollywood.
“I’ve already said it, but no one cares what Jed Johnson thinks, least of all Valorie, and listen to that reaction. They love her here, as they should,” Allie gloats.
Vitaly has one final look back at Johnson as she leaves, happy to collect high-fives and embrace one little girl in the second row on her right-hand side, before heading up the ramp, and Johnson gets to one knee, only to fall back to the floor, hapless.
“Jed is worse for wear, she hurt him badly six weeks ago, and she has done it again tonight in a different yet equally convincing fashion,” claims Quinn.
It’s not until Vitality, who gives everyone a final wave before exiting stage left, that Johnson can stand unattended, dizzy and demoralized by another defeat to the multi-talented rookie.
“Johnson may want to consider retirement rather than fight Valorie again,” Allie chips in.
“Not happening,” The Mark replies.
Jed leaves the ring, booed as he does so, adding insult to further potential injury as the team debates where he goes from here.
“Valorie has done it – AGAIN,” Allie raves, revelling in Vitality’s second victory over Jed.
“Jed won’t acknowledge it, I bet you a dollar that she’ll rematch him again when he claims that it wasn’t a fair victory, because she won with a move from the top rope. A dollar, Allie,” The Mark shouts, putting his hand out, expecting a bill to fall into his hands.
“If she does, she’ll give him another beating and then he’ll never wrestle again. I raise you Mark, TWO dollars,” she says, breaking into a laugh, slapping Deltzer’s hand as if to shake on a deal.
HALL OF FAME WHINING
A pair of officials help assist Paul Sanders out of the ring as Aleczander continues to pace around the ring. “BIG AUG!” Aleczander’s voice booms over the microphone. He waits… but no answer. Aleczander continues.
“Big Aug, you giant ponce… you took away me spotlight two weeks ago! That strength competition was MINE to win! That was supposed to be ME showing why I’M the biggest and strongest in GLOBAL! And since you took that opportunity from me, I want to return the favor and take away something from you and that’s beating you in this ring…”
The Gilded Great balls his free hand up into a fist.
“You! Me! Magnum Opus!” Aleczander screams. “If you got the balls, mate… march your big arse down that Red Carpet and give me an answer!”
And thankfully, he doesn’t have to wait long.
The curtains part and rising up from the curtains to show his full, towering height to the masses…“Big Aug” August Lazar! The angry and PO’ed Boss of the Sauce is dressed in a black sleeveless “CHOW DOWN!” tee-shirt and jeans, looking more ready for a fight than a match! He has a microphone in hand with his manager and best friend, Del Waterstone, behind him.
“Aleczander!” He shouts back. “I thought you were cool dude. I thought you just wanted friendly challenge… but no… you’re a sore loser! And… YOU ARE GIANT DICK!”
The crowd roars in approval!
“You want to fight Big Aug one-on-one? You couldn’t even get me off feet in ring, Aleczander! I accept challenge for Magnum Opus!”
Another cheer from the crowd as Mr. Spice Guy looks to be No More Mr. Nice Guy.
“Oh… and Aleczander?” Del adds. “Just cause we accepted your challenge… don’t mean Augie’s gonna wait until then!”
Big Aug cracks the bones in his neck as he stomps towards the ring. Aleczander drops the microphone and goes so far as to climb between the ropes and hold them open.
“Come on, you giant arsehole!” Aleczander screams. “Let’s finish this now!”
Everyone’s Zest Friend is close to approaching the ring when Aleczander backs away from the ropes! Big Aug quickly steps over! Both big men are in the ring…
The crowd starts…
That’s because out of nowhere, Del gets bowled right over on the outside! Standing over him are Rupert Royston-Fellowes and Nigel Kensington III!
Big Aug turns around, only for Aleczander to go in for the shot on the giant with a forearm to the back! The crowd is BOOING as he runs a series of shoulder thrusts into the midsection of Big Aug in the corner, trying to get the former NBA player off his feet! Kensington and Rupert both slide into the ring and assist in the assault!
The jeering from the GLOBAL Nation is LOUD as they gang up, three-on-one on Lazar! The big Romanian-American tries to defend himself, but Aleczander slugs him with a big european uppercut! And another! And another!
After several more shots from the GLOBAL Hall of Famer, Big Aug is slumped over the corner! Alecz points at both Nigel and Rupert and then gestures to the big man in the corner.
“Hold him!” Aleczander shouts! He ducks out of the ring for a weapon as Nigel and Rupert try and keep hold of the monster! The crowd is rallying for him to fight back when Nigel tries to attack Big Aug with stomps in the corner…
BIG AUG GRABS THE LEG AND FIGHTS BACK!
He takes him down with a big forearm!
Royston-Fellowes runs at him as well and tries to attack Big Aug, only for the giant to land a HARD forearm that knocks him down as well! He goes down…
But a massive chair shot from Aleczander The Great catches Big Aug in the back! He flinches and doesn’t go down at first…
Three more shots finally double him over and have Big Aug on his knees! The big monster for the first time in GLOBAL Wrestling has been brought down… The Best of British both regroup and nod before they come together…
DOWNTRODDING BY RUPERT AND NIGEL!
The double Curb Stomp puts Big Aug down on the ground! After being left writhing in pain, Big Aug is down on the mat. Aleczander The Great and The Best of British all stand tall as Aleczander looks down at his fallen body.
“SEE YOU AT MAGNUM OPUS, AUGIE!”
Del is still down on the outside as the trio climb out of the ring and walk away from the scene of the crime, getting booed all the way back up the Red Carpet! Once the reach the top of the stage, Aleczander raises an arm of each of his newfound accomplices!
This deadly new alliance, however it came about, already seems to be bearing fruit as Big Aug has been left beaten and battered…But he manages to look up from the mat, eyes locked on Aleczander as the show moves on.
AMBER LEE V KID CHAMELEON
“Amber Lee against Kid Chameleon in our next contest, and I have a feeling that this may be the least objective commentary you’ll hear in GLOBAL, because The Mark is a massive fan of Kid Chameleon’s while Allie Reece has been known to trumpet Amber Lee’s cause from time to time,” Lucas Quinn states, setting up our next featured bout.
“Plus, she doesn’t like me,” The Mark adds, somewhat immaturely.
“I’m pro-Amber, not anti-Kid, whatever that means,” Allie admits, realizing that may not have come out the way she intended.
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.
Over to you, ‘Downtown’ Brown, “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!
‘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 hometown girl gets a great ovation as she confidently steps out, standing tall and proud, The undefeated Lee, sporting blue trunks and a yellow t-shirt, waves to the crowd with a spring in her step, confident in her power and technique, fresh off dismantling Kid’s partner, Paul Sanders, in short order on Domination 4.
Quinn increases the volume to combat the Californian crowd’s loud cheer, “Listen to that for LA’s own, Amber Lee, who technically has beaten Kid Chameleon in a tag team match on Domination Three. Allie, you’re a big fan of Amber’s, how do you see playing this out?”
“Easy and early, just like his fellow Player,” Reece boasts.
“Did someone say something?”
The 6’2 Amazon glides up the stairs and once on the apron poses for the sold-out Stage 49, but more to get the crowd going than seeking accolades, and she steps through the middle ropes.
“What will be going through Kid’s mind right now, having heard that ovation for Amber,” Lucas poses to Mark.
“How does he look, Lucas?”
“Totally calm,” admits Quinn.
“Exactly, he’s fresh off finishing off Deliver Us Mars, which only came out on Friday, and he’s going to do the same to Amber Lee’s streak, you’ll see.”
Allie can’t quite believe what she’s hearing, “The two of you live on Mars.”
The bell sounds and Amber blows a kiss to some fans at ringside. Chameleon finally removes his sunglasses, and Quinn cuts the tension briefly, “Expect this to be the least impartial match in GLOBAL history so far.”
A Collar-and-Elbow commences the contest, and immediately, Kid Chameleon goes for the jugular with a European Uppercut, reminiscent of a certain Englishman, which isn’t lost on the fans or commentators, though The Mark has to call ‘AKI Uppercut’ before Button’s name can be brought up.
Lucas throws it out there, “Is that a shot at Amber, Alfie, or both?”
“It hit Amber, didn’t it? The European Uppercut is not trademarked by Alfie Button, and it belongs in many wrestlers’ lockers, including Kid Chameleon,” The Mark reasons.
Having caused separation, the SEGA Ambassador sweeps Amber’s legs from out underneath her and then runs the ropes for added momentum, coming back to score with a Blockbuster, also known as a Beckbuster.
“This is more like it,” The Mark applauds what is seeing out of Kid Chameleon here in the early going.
“Give it a rest,” complains Allie.
Chameleon doesn’t, though, well not immediately. He plants Amber with a terrific two-handed Bulldog, also known as..
“Gat out of Hell, in tribute to the great Jonny Gat of Saints’ Row fame, and oh yes,” The Mark exclaims.
Kid is relaxing now, showing signs of Mister Naitor or even Shawn Michaels if you recall that RAW cover where he only had the WWF Championship covering his modesty. No? Better for you. Anyway, he looks as if he’s sunbathing, basking in his handiwork as Allie berates him for it, “Amber Lee isn’t a day at the beach, Mark, and Kid Chameleon has done nothing in GLOBAL while Amber has done plenty. Who does he think he is? Both of you think he’s God’s gift, and I fail to see it. He hasn’t proven anything yet.”
A lateral press is an afterthought, and when Mario and Luigi’s Other Brother does get around to it, he barely scratches 2.
“He took way too long to make the cover,” laments Allie.
“To make the cover of what? Playgirl?”
“He, not YOU, wish,” scoffs Reece.
The Saturday Night Slam Master is finding his range though, letting an upright Amber have it with alternating slaps, two lefts, and rights each before polishing the combo off with a fantastic right cross, which floors Miss Lee.
“Dynamic Punch, and what were you saying, Allie? Kid is doing what he wants when he wants to. Amber’s an awesome opponent, but give him his props. There is nothing she can do right now because Kid is taking care of business,” claims Deltzer.
Miss Reece pleads the fifth on this occasion. Chameleon grabs both of Amber’s arms and his ‘Unprettier’ attempt is reversed by Lee, who sharply turns a negative into a positive, two in fact, with a power-packed pair of Short-Arm Clotheslines, and Kid looks like he’s just been through a car wash backward after that, and he’s not standing of his own volition right now, let me tell you. Amber decides to finally pull the button, pun intended, with a delicious Dropkick and cue applause from large sections of the 2,500-strong crowd gathered in The Globe for Domination 5.
“Before you say anything, Allie, that was a great counter and Amber has just busted one of her big moves out early on,” The Mark readily admits.
“Always early because she destroys opponents, Mark, and she’s going to do that to Chameleon. It’s only a matter of time,” reckons Reece.
Kid retreats to the corner, which doesn’t provide refuge for too long, as Amber’s Cannon Ball detonates all over the curled-up Chameleon. She effortlessly hauls him up onto the top rope, sitting him down like a parent having a heart-to-heart with one of their offspring, and momentarily joins him for company, not like dinner with their mutual ‘friend’ in Alfie Button, but still. And they’re not still for long, lads and lasses, because Lee’s tremendous strength comes to the fore with a…
That raises the stakes early on, doesn’t it?
“Both of these competitors are down, and we’re seeing different sides to them,” Quinn opens up with.
“Amber has made short work of Principe and Sanders,” Quinn reminds everyone.
“And in tag team bouts, she has excelled alongside Alfie Button,” Lucas continues.
“Kid Chameleon has been on the receiving end of that, plus Crusader X’s amazing debut on Domination Four shocked everyone, The Mark above all.”
FIVE…Amber starts to stir.
SIX…So does Kid, refusing to lag behind.
“The crowd in The Globe is into this one,” enthuses Allie.
“Amber’s up,” cries Reece, unashamedly biased.
“So is Kid,” The Mark butts in, even less partially.
“Not long left,” tips Reece.
Lee drags Lara’s Boyfriend to his feet, ushering in a trio of unanswered knees to the gut, before using the ropes as leverage for her Irish Whip attempt, which doesn’t work, Kid being an unwilling participant. However, Amber quickly convinces Nintendo’s Number One to play ball, softening him up with a couple of Chops that members of the audience could hear and possibly even feel from the nose-bleed seats. The second whip goes off without a hitch, and Amber follows Gouken’s 3rd Disciple, keeping control of the situation with a Kitchen Sink at the diagonally opposite set of ropes, right in front of Reece, Quinn, and The Mark.
“Amber has ridden the storm, and is now home and dry,” quips Reece, not really buying into her own commentary, but more to jibe at Mark Deltzer, who looks fed-up and concerned this match is going to go the way it did on Domination 4.
Lee drags Kid to a more central position and showcases that aforementioned power, picking him up by the jeans once again, and holding Chameleon up in the air for everyone to get their cameras and phones out. Kid is up, and Amber holds him there for the audience to count to ten, before predictably bringing Lara’s Boyfriend back down to earth with a bang after milking that DELAYED Vertical Suplex for all it’s worth…
…Until Kid slips out of the backyard like a criminal legging it for his/her life, and grabs Lee in a Waistlock, resulting in a German Suplex for The World’s Greatest Gamer, and The Mark is already on the edge of his seat.
Kasumi’s Secret Crush doesn’t stop there, holding on to deliver a technically brilliant Tiger Suplex. Lee looks like she doesn’t know what has hit her.
Chameleon delivers the coupe de grace, not Finn Balor style, with a third and final Suplex of the Dragon persuasion, successfully completing…
Could the triumvirate of Suplexes lead to a 3-count?
Let’s have a look…
Kid doesn’t give Lee a second’s peace, seeing the defiant Lee shake the cobwebs loose, tucking her hair back. Chameleon greets her, placing his legs up on her shoulders, swiveling twice, Tilt-a-Whirl style, before pulling off a beautiful Hurricanrana, and The Mark yells, “Amber may have power, but she doesn’t have Alfie Button’s speed, does she, Allie? Nor Kid’s by the looks of it,” The Mark proclaims, throwing shade at Allie.
Following the Becky-Rana, which is what it’s known as, Kid keeps his legs wrapped around Lee’s head, flipping her over and then grabbing her up by the tights, which causes some back-and-forth on commentary, standing Lee on HER head before BOOTING her between the neck and the back, and bowing before an appreciative audience. The Mark turns to everyone, joining in with the applause, “Too easy, Allie, and I thought this would have been over by now,” Deltzer jokes, mockingly looking at an imaginary watch and telling the good people at The Globe to raise the noise.
“SIT DOWN, DELTZER,” Reece barks, scaring The Mark into retaking his rightful place.
Just as Amber gets to a leaning position, Chameleon hops on her back and grabs both arms, rocking back and forth like a jockey riding a Triple Crown winner, stretching her shoulder joints into a position a Monday morning workout just doesn’t go.
However, Amber summons the strength from somewhere to DUMP The Saturday Night Slam Master with a fabulous Samoan Drop counter, and, in fairness, The Mark is first to hold his hands up, “That might not have been the best idea by Kid, and Amber’s strength, hands up Allie, amazing in that exchange.”
“I know, right?”
“This has been pretty physical thus far,” Quinn says, barely above the noise reverberating around The Globe.
“Credit to both of them,” comes Deltzer’s assessment.
“I agree, for once,” confirms Reece.
“They’re UP, and so is the crowd,” Quinn exclaims excitedly.
Amber nails Nintendo’s Number One with a right hand, and a left too, plus a Chop before planting him with a Scoop Slam.
“A Kimura attempt, which we’ve not really seen Amber use yet,” quips Quinn.
“That’s because she’s desperate,” The Mark argues.
“What nonsense. If she locks it in, Kid will be desperately practicing his door-knocking technique to get out of it,” promises Reece.
Alas, for Allie at least, Lee can’t quite cinch it in the way she wants, and Kid’s proximity to the left set of ropes bails The Player out momentarily, meaning we’ll have to wait even longer to see Lee’s first proper airing of the potentially deadly submission.
“It’ll be worth it when she does, and just because it didn’t work out that time, doesn’t mean it won’t later on,” Reece reckons, making her point sound more like a threat.
Both combatants are now upright and engage in another Tie-Up, and Lee gets her own back with a European Uppercut, even calling out ‘I PITY THA FOOL’ as she does.
Allie applauds that, enjoying it immensely, “Aw, he deserved that, and it was aimed at Alfie, no matter what you say. We all know it. That was amazing, Amber. The Ship is floating and heading home while Kid Chameleon and The Mark are sinking. This reminds me of Valorie Vitality and Jed Johnson,” Reece beams.
“It’s nothing alike,” moans The Mark.
Kid holds his kisser, and pretends to lower his shades, which he is no longer wearing.
“We’re indoors, and he’s NOT wearing sunglasses,” Reece complains, lambasting Kid Chameleon’s behavior.
“Unlike you, he’s COOL,” The Mark shoots back.
“I don’t know what that says about you. Sunglasses indoors? Pathetic,” spews Reece.
Another Tie-Up and Amber’s power prevails again, forcing Kid back to the ropes. Both wrestlers, who respect the rules 99 percent of the time, observe the clean break.
As Kid comes out of the ropes, Amber kicks Chameleon to the gut, setting up another Irish Whip, which she succeeds in negotiating. Kid, however, has other ideas when Lee looks to capitalize with a Lariat, and he ducks underneath, returning full throttle with a fabulous Flying Clothesline, Undertaker style, of his own to punish Lee’s lapse.
“Morning Star, and who said gamers can’t be athletes,” The Mark hisses, punching the air.
“Er..no one said that, you’re just making it up,” rallies Reece.
Continuing with the sports-related theme, Kid hits the ropes in the hope of punishing Lee with a Soccerball Kick to the face, only for Amber to rise from the ashes with an out-of-nowhere Capoeira Kick to Kid’s temple, paving the way for an excellent one-two combination and a Push-Up Flap Jack, which lends itself to the following call from The Mark, “I was just about to shout IT’S IN THE GAME, and then Amber gets herself back in the game in a great way, I have to say.”
“Very gracious of you,” Allie states sarcastically.
Amber capitalizes on this by taking The Player down again with a Snap Mare before setting off to the right set of ropes and returning with a Basement Dropkick of her own.
Kid kicks out! Lee doesn’t leave him be, though. She scoops him up before unleashing a Shinbreaker, which visibly rocks Chameleon to his core, perhaps more than Lee realizes as she’s more focused on the next port of call, an Irish Whip to the top left-hand corner.
A Running Corner Big Boot…
Chameleon swivels Lee around to hit her with a flying…
Yes, you may recall that from your youth if you played Street Fighter as Sagat. It hits Amber flush on the chin, and not veering away from the beat-em-up classic, an even more famous manuever complements step 1…
“That might just do it,” Lucas comments, trying to remain impartial and enjoying the bout and bickering between Deltzer and Reece.
A shoulder up at 2 and ¾ keeps Lee in the game, for how much longer, no one knows.
“Will you sit down,” Allie orders The Mark, who’s up on his feet, living this match as if he were an active participant, and not for the first time in this hard-fought scrap.
A Daydream Headlock out of the corner…NO, AMBER shoves Kid sternum-first into the other buckle!
“That was beautiful AND brutal at the same time,” quips Allie.
Lee lets SEGA’S Ambassador sway, stagger, and stumble before planting him with a brilliant Belly-to-Back Suplex, and she’s not done, holding on.
“Look at the strength,” Lucas raves.
“A SECOND, this is not going to end well Mark, and still, she holds on. What power by Amber. She’s the BOSS in there,” Reece tells her despondent broadcast partner.
“Another Belly-to-Back Sup—no FACEBUSTER on the third go and could this be the elusive three count that Lee is seeking,” waxes Lucas.
“So close,” states Quinn.
“So dominant,” claims Reece.
“So resilient,” counters Deltzer.
A Full Nelson Slam seems to cement Allie’s claim rather than anyone else’s, but Kid then shows up for his buddy at the desk by slipping out of Lee’s grip, that being impressive in itself, before wrestling back control with a quick Atomic Drop-German Suplex double, dubbed ‘Maxel Suplex’ in tribute to Max and Axel from Streets of Rage.
The latest cover proves to be close, though no celebratory cigars just yet.
Chameleon’s Irish Whip attempt goes unopposed, and while the sight of SEGA’s Ambassador doing the splits in jeans may well be impressive, it doesn’t get its just desserts. Let’s hear The Mark cover the action as it unfolds, “THE NUT PUNCH, coming up, to a person with no nuts to speak of, but oh no, Amber sees it coming and BUSAIKI KNEE at point-blank range.”
“That could have been it, but alas, not to be. Amber Lee looking to take that one step that would keep her impressive and unbeaten streak alive and well,” says Quinn, clearly enjoying the action, especially being the only neutral party at the table.
Lee lifts Kid up, clearly looking for Go To Sleep, though Kid lands on his feet and CRACKS Amber with a Crescent Kick, reminiscent of Shawn Michaels in the early 90s when a certain move was a signature rather than a finisher.
“Just when you think Kid is out, he pulls Amber back in, and vice-versa,” Lucas half-laughs, shocked at what they’re doing to one another and getting carried away like some of the spectators, as well.
“Darkness Sword,” adds The Mark coolly.
The next move is also a former finisher of a rather famous wrestler on the follow-up, from a seated position, Chameleon connects with an amazing…
Sorry, Aleczander. You ARE great.
Chameleon flops on top, daring to be great…
Kid attempts a Rolling Elbow, dedicated to Aki Man, but Amber shoves him back just before Chameleon can pull the trigger. Kid hits the ropes as a result, coming back with a boot to the abdomen instead, one that Amber catches instinctively, and obliviously, that she is supposed to…
“Ha, she fell for that,” The Mark wails.
Indeed, Amber’s inexperience in spite of her sensational start in GLOBAL might have been a factor there, Kid intentionally feeding her the leg as a decoy for the Enzuigiri, and Lee is facing a greater challenger than any of her previous performances, which have claimed impressive singles wins at the expense of Kid’s partner, Paul Sanders, and El Principe, plus terrific work alongside friend/potential love interest, Alfie Button, in doubles action as well.
Lara’s Boyfriend guides one-half of ‘The Ship’ to the top left-hand corner of the squared circle, and places Amber up on the top rope, her back to Chameleon, who gingerly climbs to accompany her as an unwanted aide. He grabs underneath her armpit and prepares for a crash landing, looking for an Avalanche Belly-to-Back Suplex. Lee, however, has other ideas and converts it into a mini Crossbody Block in mid-flight, forcing The Fonz lookalike to hit his head HARD off the canvas, which is not cool…
The nearest fall thus far, and judging by Lee’s expression, she cannot quite believe it, but she stays patient, waiting for The World’s Greatest Gamer to get up, just so she can mow him right back down again…
“She got it,” cries Reece.
Looking through his hands, The Mark seems resigned to seeing Kid lose for the second successive show…
“NO, Kid kicked out,” Quinn reacts, lowering The Mark’s hands, and Deltzer breathes a major sigh of relief.
“Impressive resilience,” Reece concedes.
The Spear, though to have taken Kid out of his boots and, by extension, the bout, may not have got the job done, but Amber is still very much in control and isn’t hanging around.
Lee hovers closely to the south side of the squared circle. When she sees Chameleon, dead center, rise, she jumps up onto the middle rope and presses THE RED BUTTON.
“That’s it, she and Alfie ARE in a relationship,” presumes The Mark.
“No, they’re not,” Allie denies.
“Straight out of Alfie’s playbook, they’re snogging, and not accidentally,” The Mark insists.
The Flying Chuck Kick, and a rather dashing version I may add, cleans Chameleon’s clock.
But he hangs in there – just about. Amber whips Chameleon to the left bottom corner and explodes on him with a stiff Lariat, straight from Japan, knocking Kid to the bottom of the rope. Right now, he looks like he’s at the bottom of the barrel, and that isn’t about to change as Lee turns her way for a split second, turning round and hurtling towards the former multi-time WVBA, BWA, and CWA Champion with serious intent…
The Mark is adamant, “They’re definitely dating.”
Lucas throws his weight behind Deltzer, “Again, that’s right out of Alfie’s arsenal. Those rumors will only grow more intense.”
As Amber, looking strong again, pulls Kid Chameleon out of the corner, Kid fights free of the Californian woman’s clutches and stuns her with, this of all moves…
“She has had so much joy, peppering people with that, Chameleon included, and he has felt it once again at exactly the wrong time,” Quinn says, remaining impartial in a sea of bias.
Kid falls to the mat like a Deontay Wilder victim.
“Why isn’t Amber going for the pin,” wonders Quinn.
“I believe she wants him to GO TO SLEEP,” emphasizes Allie.
“You’re right,” Lucas admits, seeing Amber setting Kid up for the most devastating impact move in her impressive arsenal of weapons.
“Again, Kid slips out of the back yard, like a thief in the night,” Lucas exclaims, amazed that Chameleon has a 6th or even 7th sense surrounding the move.
“She cannot pin him down with that or the Kimura,” says Reece, frustrated and impressed at Chameleon’s never-say-sleep attitude.
“Sleeper, perhaps it’s Amber’s turn to go to sleep,” Quinn states in astonishment.
“SPENCER SUPLEX,” The Mark informs everyone.
It’s a Sleeper Suplex, and it gives Bass Armstrong’s future son-in-law some breathing space in what is proving to be a see-saw battle.
“Kid is relentless here, and if this Chameleon had shown up, I wonder what the result may have been,” Quinn wonders.
“Don’t take anything away from Crusader X,” Reece reminds Lucas, who acknowledges that.
“KING of the Backbreaker,” Chameleon’s Sccop Slam-cum-Delayed Backbreaker.
“Shades of the great Ray Young,” Lucas points out, presumably for younger fans watching.
“Is Kid stealing moves from Ray, Mark,” Allie insinuates.
“No, King Slender on the NES, who might be even older than Ray,” The Mark answers without even a hint of sarcasm.
Moving on, and a change of pace for The Player, who takes a few backward steps in a bid to take a massive leap forward, heading to the North-Eastern set of buckles, settling on the second one as a temporary resting place.
“Is this usual for Kid Chameleon, Mark? To go to the middle rope?”
“It’s not, but it’s not uncommon either,” affirms Deltzer.
Chameleon doesn’t look the most natural up there, and so it proves…
The sound of The Mark’s disappointment is a direct result of Amber countering the Leaping DDT with a Northern Lights Suplex, the same move that Alfie Button suffered when taking a chance during the Domination 4 main event, getting caught by the vastly experienced and iconic grappler, ‘Legend’ Sean Darring.
Straight into a pinning predicament…
Another Suplex, but this time, Amber opts for straight-up power rather than precision…
“That’s Amber showing off,” Allie laughs.
“Kid hit that before,” Mark snaps back.
Reece’s amusement continues, “Not anywhere near as good or hard as that though, was it?”
Someone from the crowd times their shout of ‘I LOVE YOU, AMBER,’ perfectly, drawing laughs from all sides, and a smile from the shy Lee, a grin that soon disappears as Kid, who appears to be in a vulnerable position, following a gorgeous and gigantic German Suplex, recovers with a swift kick to the knee. The Player then pounces on Amber with a Front Facelock, dragging her to the ground, and Chameleon is now in control. From there, he raises both of his knees, but it’s the right one that does the damage with one that catches the local LA lass square on the nose, and the sound makes a fair few fans squirm.
“Vanessa Lewis’s Raid Bomb may just have broken Amber Lee’s nose,” The Mark speculates.
A double down commences. Let’s skip forward to four, and Amber Lee, mindful of her nose, decides to throw the first punch just as Chameleon joins her upright, Lee making her reach and height advantage pay with a superb straight right that brings Lara’s Boyfriend closer to her, where she uncorks…
I PITY THA FOOL!
A cracking European Uppercut from Amber is promptly answered with a superb Spinning Backfist by Chameleon, which rocks Amber and sends her to one knee.
“Crusader X would have caught that. Sorry, I should apologize to Amber, and even Kid, for mentioning that,” The Mark chuckles nervously.
But, as Kid tries to catch Amber, perhaps greedily, a second time with the same move, Lee does have a reply ready, though different to Crusader X, trapping Chameleon with a Belly-to-Belly Suplex. Amazingly, she holds on and pulls The Player up, Chameleon is powerless to resist Amber’s overtures, something else he has in common with rival and friend, Alfie Button.
Quinn is clearly in awe of what he is witnessing, “Amber with ANOTHER Belly-to-Belly Suplex, and that will take its toll on anyone in GLOBAL. Kid Chameleon must shut this down, I don’t know how he goes about it, but Amber’s sheer strength is causing him all sorts of problems.”
Upon seeing her still in control of the Belly-to-Belly, having not released on the second go-round either, Quinn contemplates, “She changed direction on the last trifecta, and will she do it again here? Yes, she will. A Cutter instead of a third Suplex! Could THAT be game over for Kid Chameleon,” Quinn says excitedly, sounding as much a fan as a commentator at this stage in the match.
“I see what you did there,” nods Reece.
“How is Kid Chameleon still in this,” Allie remarks, sounding begrudgingly respectful towards the resilience on display.
“I told you, last week was a one-off,” The Mark reminds her.
Meanwhile, Amber has a Running Liger Bomb in mind, picking The Player up with ease, but by the same token, he counters her easily with an…
Based on AKI Man, Kid Chameleon’s Hurricanrana counter throws another spanner in the works and gives him and Deltzer hope he can atone for the crushing defeat to Crusader X.
Kid runs towards Amber again, which may sound foolish, but it’s all a diversion. Lee willingly catches him, unbeknownst to the fact that Chameleon is keen to be scooped up, using Lee’s strength against her to negotiate a Wheelbarrow Small Package, known as Noble Truth, and the crowd counts along…
The Akicanrana started this latest sequence off. Kid goes back to the popular invention’s playbook for one of his most punishing moves, the STF, as The Mark SQUEALS…
“AKI’S REVENGE, AKI’S REVENGE. AMBER’S IN TROUBL…”
He doesn’t get to finish his sentence, Lee uses her unbelievable leg strength to reject Kid’s advances, and Chameleon lands face-first in a heap a few yards farther forward. Everyone is shocked at how powerful that counter is, no one more so than Kid himself, who looks round. He decides to get back on the horse and regain the advantage, running at Amber, who catches him, and this time, it isn’t a ploy. Kid is GOING TO SLEEP!
“No, Kid drives down with a nasty elbow, and then another with his right, and a third elbow drops Amber, and they’ll both need aspirin in the morning. Lee is now on the ground and at Kid’s mercy, and he makes the most of it with a HARD Double-Axe Handle to the back, causing Amber to fall face-first, a position she hasn’t found herself in thus far in GLOBAL,” states Quinn.
“No, she hasn’t, and OH. MY. GOD. What about this?!”
Reece is SHOCKED and with good reason. Kid lifts Lee up into a Gorilla Press position and launches her into the top turnbuckle. Reece covers her eyes as The Mark’s pending rant kicks in, “Look at THAT power, Allie.”
“Kid is getting his kicks and licks in, taking it to Amber and beating her up pretty bad,” brags The Mark.
Lucas appears impressed, “He hits hard when he gets going,”
Lee nurses her ribs as she falls in a heap from the top turnbuckle to the bottom rope, and Kid, sweating profusely, fights through the pain and comes to collect, looking to lift Lee up one last time, and now is the time, not to choose Volvo, but to close the chapter on this unexpected encounter that has asked questions of both warriors…
MEGA D-ENIED! INSIDE CRADLE….
“Great thinking on the part of Amber, and that wasn’t too far away, worth a try. She has proven, beyond any doubt, she can take punishment as well as giving it out,” Allie determines.
Kid’s Michinoku Driver is reversed, as you can see, and the crowd cheers as both are back on their feet, compounded by the revelation that we only have two minutes left on the clock. One final flourish could decide it either way as this bout hangs in the balance.
What is the last thing Lee would expect out of Chameleon right now?
A Roundhouse Kick, which doesn’t floor her, but knocks Amber off balance. Lara’s Boyfriend slides through Alfie’s potential girlfriend’s legs, and executes an Edge-O-Cution to complete Judgment Call, and isn’t that aptly named right now?
Chameleon lets out some caveman-like aggression, mounting Lee and unloading with four punches, again alternating between both hands, implored by The Mark to go for something big with the clock running down.
We cannot ascertain whether Kid can, in fact, hear his dear buddy, but crosses Miss Lee’s legs, looking to break the deadlock with one of the most fearsome moves, a Running Fisherman’s Driver or Ki Krusher if you will, to spin the wheel and seal the deal…
“CLEMET’S BUSTER…. WAIT?! WHAT?!”
“BUSTED,” interjects Allie as she hands over the baton to the true voice and impartial announcer, here at least, in Lucas Quinn.
“UNBELIEVABLE! Amber turns it into a KIMURA, and Chameleon has just gone from being in pole position to the back of the track, no he hasn’t, you know! Desperate headbutts by Kid, two, three, break the deadly submission. WOW!”
That last exclamation is at the sight of seeing Chameleon come on strong, elevating Amber into the air with a Chokebomb, Quinn incredulously watching, mouth wide open, seeing Gouken’s 3rd Disciple match power with Amber.
“MASSIVE Headbutt from that position by Kid,” yells Quinn.
“Splitting Headache, and yes, Amber will feel that in the morning,” The Mark educates us.
This is no time for a double down, not with a minute remaining, but their bodies have betrayed them in this instance. OR have they? Kid crawls over, agonizingly, roared on by The Mark, and a mixture of screams, both for and against, accompany every little sudden movement. Can Kid get there in time to cover Amber’s heavily breathing chest?
“Amber Lee, my goodness, what a woman and warrior she is,” Reece remarks.
“Indeed, she is,” Quinn concurs.
“Okay, Kid! Do it!”
The Mark, buoyed by the sight of Kid picking Lee up for perhaps the final time, visions of the Mega Drive dancing in his mind, and a massive war cry goes up as Chameleon composes himself and finds the strength to lift Lee into the Michinoku Driver position, The Player poised to take Amber’s unbeaten streak away from her, surely…
Undertaker style, Amber falls back, and now, all of a sudden, the roles are reversed. In fact, she could hit him with the Tombstone here and there, but hasn’t quite made her mind up which path to pursue, at least to the naked eye, and with time running out, she’ll have to make a snap decision.
Allie praises Amber, “Back from the dead, and she could set him up for a Prism Trap here or put him to sleep, Amber’s got options. It depends on her, but I wouldn’t like to be Kid either way,”
In one ALMIGHTY effort, Amber elects to lift Kid up onto her shoulders, and not thinking too much where he lands, no one knows…
Kid Chameleon, you can now REST IN PEACE.
“THAT TIME, SHE GOT IT,” Allie screams, banging her hand onto the desk for emphasis.
“She wanted that all along, Allie, and MY GOD, she sure did get it. Talk about a hard-fought victory, only time can deny her. OH NO! Ten seconds on the clock, as the crowd starts to count along,” Lucas panics, conveying concern for Amber as opposed to playing to favorites.
“I can’t look,” whispers The Mark.
Amber takes a second to cradle her ribs with her right hand, but the rush of the crowd forces her to jump over and raise Chameleon’s left leg…
4 seconds to go for a 3-count. Can she secure it?
DING, DING, DING!
Amber rolls off, victorious, as the audience goes wild in the immediate aftermath of her victory, though in debt to both Lee and Chameleon for going to war in a fight that probably defied most people’s pre-match expectations. However, The Mark isn’t going quietly, it seems.
“WAIT A MINUTE. Did that three-count take place before or after the bell rang?”
That’s because Deltzer believes that the bell MAY have rung as our official’s hand strikes the mat for the third time, and it is touch and go.
“Surely not, Mark. Amber won that fair and squared,” states Reece.
“Did she, though? Let’s have a look at the action replay.”
Amber gets her hand raised and takes a second to ruffle her own hair, checking her nose to see if it’s bleeding or not, and getting her breath back, all before she allows herself a smile and a nod to the crowd, reveling in the raucous backdrop they have provided to complement the hard-hitting action on display.
“THE WINNER…AMMMMMMBEEEEEEER LEEEEEEEE!”
That announcement sparks another cheer, Amber circling the ring and waving to all four sides, delighted with the win, one she has worked harder for than arguably all the others combined, making it all the sweeter. By contrast, The Mark sounds bitter on commentary, refusing to say anything else until he sees the replay, which he keeps demanding to witness.
“Here it is, THERE, the bell sounds JUST BEFORE, and the match is a draw, plain and simple,” The Mark ‘reasons.’
“Lucas, can you believe him?”
Quinn holds his hands up, “I’m not getting involved guys, it looks close either way, but I’m sure the GLOBAL Board of Directors, who do watch the matches, will reach a decision and let us know. Right now, it looks like an Amber Lee victory, right, wrong, or indifferent and I have to say, I’d personally like to see them run that back in a rematch.”
“As this was a draw,” The Mark insists.
“…A DRAW?! Come on, Mark! Be a good sport, and hey, I’ll say it. Kid Chameleon was good, very good in fact, perhaps even GREAT tonight, but accept Amber won and don’t be a jerk about it,” Allie advises Deltzer.
“Rematch,” he simply responds.
“Something for the powers that be to decide, but wow, yeah, I’d like to see that again. Amber Lee, victorious right at the death, in a match that may have taken more out of them both than it should have, and the true winners, all of us here at The Globe,” Quinn rounds off, as Domination 5 heads into a well-overdue advertisement.
We are the nightmare that wakes you.
We are the chains on the fire escape.
We are the reason your phone line is disconnected.
We are static on your television.
We are the darkness.
We are the feeling you are being watched.
We. Are. Doritos.
SON OF MALTA V ALEX REYN
“L -innu Malti” hits the airwaves and the fans, normally on the fence about this particular wrestler, cheer in full support of the Son of Malta as he walks stoically to the ring.
“The Son of Malta is laser-focused tonight and looking to play spoiler to his old rival Alex Reyn’s championship ambitions!” The Mark calls.
“Malta gave Dream one hell of a fight on our third show.” Quinn says “If Alex wins tonight, it will cement his place in the main event at Magnum Opus!”
“But if Malta wins tonight against Alex Reyn, it could put HIM in that contention.” Allie says as Malta steps into the ring.
A soft chant begins to spread throughout the arena. Starting as a whisper but growing into a chorus as the lights darken while images begin to flicker on the viewers screens. Images of violence, war, and a solitary figure watching it all.
The chanting has grown louder now and the drumbeats of Nightwish’s “Seven Days to the Wolves” rise in volume as mist spreads throughout the stadium, ghostly images of great heroes and villains forming two parallel lines along the ramp.
The rock part of the song kicked in and thunder roared while fire erupted on the stage, revealing the cowled form of the East Wind Alex Reyn, his hands outstretched over the flames. He’s shirtless, save for an open black cloak with a wolf skull mask. His body covered in ancient symbols and markings that seemed almost to glow and move in the firelight.
“Looks like Reyn has chosen to make an entrance tonight.” The Mark comments.
“Guess he feels Malta’s worth it.” Allie says.
Reyn begins to walk forward, and the ghostly figures kneel as he approaches them, only to rise up as he passes them as if more energized, turning to watch as he walks, Reyn himself never breaking eye contact with the ring.
“Howl! Seven days to the wolves
Where will we be when they come?
Seven days to the poison
And a place in heaven
Time drawing near us
They come to take us”
Reyn climb atop the top rope and stares down at Malta who returns the stare unflinchingly.
Coldly, Reyn steps down. Removing the cowl and placing it on the ring post before turning to face the Son of Malta.
DING! DING! DING!
The bell rings and Malta immediately takes Alex Reyn off his feet with a double-leg takedown and starts lighting the East Wind up with mounted punches as the fans cheer!
Reyn is quick to fight back with a guillotine choke, but Malta uses his technical experience to shift into a lateral press on his opponent!
Reyn uses the momentum from kicking out to roll on top of Malta now, laying into him with precise and violent palm strikes! Malta manages to catch one of the arms and Reyn IMMEDIATELY retreats!
“Reyn very wary of Malta in the early going of this match.” Quinn notes and Allie nods.
“The two have had some wars in the past. Reyn knows he has to respect Malta’s submissions.”
Malta is on his feet and Reyn tries to get him with a roundhouse, but SoM ducks and catches the leg for an ankle lock atte-
Enzuigiri by Reyn!
“A NASTY blow to the head!” The Mark winces
“Malta’s doing better than Reyn’s last two opponent’s, but he better be careful!” Quinn says as the Son of Malta stumbles into the corner “Reyn will take advantage of ANY opening to cause damage.”
And true to prediction, Reyn comes charing in with a running knee!
…Only for Malta to block it and TOSS Reyn into the corner with a capture Suplex!
“And apparently so will Malta!!” The Mark cheered, echoing the fans!
A NASTY saito suplex dumps the East Wind on his head! Reyn tries to fight off the sudden shock and pain, using the ropes to quickly pull himself off the mat. He ducks a knife-edge chop rom Malta and RAMS his shouler into Malta’s gut to stun the opponent.
“That looked almost like Reyn’s typical spear.” Allie notices.
“Yeah, but without the range or speed needed for momentum.” Quinn informs us. “I think Reyn was just trying to stun Malta and create space.”
As Quinn says, while Malta is bent double for a second, Reyn takes that second to roll his neck and shake off the in-ring cobwebs.
“The Son of Malta is a former cage fighter. His moves, his style, it’s all designed to do as much damage as quickly as possible.” Allie says.
“And considering he lost his last match to Reyn due to the time-limit, I think he wants this one to be over as fast as possible.” The Mark adds.
Malta barely gives Reyn time to recover though as he charges the east Wind and shoves him into the corner. He’s about to punch Reyn, but Alex lashes out with a sharp headbut that catches the Son of Malta in the temple!
Malta stumbles out of the corner and Reyn hits a POISONED RANA INTO THE TURN BUCKLES!!
The commentary cringes, but fortunately…
“Okay, good. He hit the top buckle with his shoulders.” Quinn says.
“That would have been nasty if he had hit his head.” The Mark says.
Alex is all over Malta now though as he crushes Malta in the corner with a running stinger splash, whips him into the opposite corner and hits a spear in THAT corner!
“That took the wind out of him!” Mark yells.
As the Son of Malta lies on the mat, holding his stomach, Alex Reyn climbs to the top of the turnbuckle. Eyes fixed squarely on his target.
Shooting Star Press!!
He doesn’t go for a pin though. Malta is too close to the ropes. Reyn doesn’t want to risk it. He drags Malta’s deadweight to the middle of the ring, but that buys enough time fo Reyn’s resilient rival to recover and snare Alex Reyn with a sudden small package!
REYN KICKS OUT!!
But Malta maintains the facelock and rolls to his feet. Keeping the hold, he drives repeated knees into the East Wind before attempting a vertical suplex that Alex slips out, landing behind Malta.
Alex with a hook kick to the back of Malta’s head! Malta ducks! Calf Slicer!
“Calf Slicer! Calf Slicer from Malta! This had an effect on Reyn in the past!” The Mark calls, but Reyn is able to shit to the side to lessen the pressure an escape the lock.
“But ever since Malta used it on Reyn, Reyn’s adopted it as his own move.” Allie says “He’s become proficient enough to fight against it.”
“Still…” Quinn muses. “Hook kicks, Shooting Star, Poisoned Rana. Reyn’s been doing in these last two minutes than he’s done in the entire last two MATCHES.”
“He’s actually having to TRY.” Allie agrees. “He can’t just toy with Malta like he did Price or Gemini.”
With Reyn now back up and Malta lying flat on his stomach, Reyn aggressively stomps on the back of Malta’s head before hitting the ropes for a running punt to Malta’s sku-
No! Malta catches Reyn’s leg, rising to his fee-
Reyn jumps up and kicks out Malta’s knee with his free leg, catching Malta in a DDT on the way down!
“That looked devastating to Malta’s leg AND head!” The Mark calls.
Reyn maintains the hold, locking in a guillotine choke, but the second Malta tries to fight out of it, Reyn releases, slips out behind and grabs the wounded leg for a vicious, Tanahashi style Dragon screw!
“That looked like he was trying to rip his leg off!” The Mark winced.
“Classic diversionary tactics.” Quinn added. “Reyn used the choke just long enough to have Malta dazed and unable to stop Reyn going after his REAL target.”
And Reyn is certainly going after that target. Three Dragon screws, one after the other. Each more painful than the last, as though he really DOES want to rip the leg from Malta’s socket!
On the commentary, the team can do little but wince as the fans boo Reyn.
Grabbing the ankle now, Reyn tries to rag MAlt towards the corner, but wanting NO part of whatever Reyn has planned, SoM lashes out with his good leg, kicking Reyn square in the jaw! The blow stuns Reyn long enough for Malta to toss him overhead with a one-legged monkey flip and lock in an…
“Arm bar! Armbar on Reyn!” Quinn calls!
Reyn scrambles to get his foot on the ropes, but the merciless Malta isn’t breaking the hold! Even as the ref starts counting, Malta starts twisting Reyn’s FINGERS!!
“Yeah! How’s that payback taste!!” The Mark cheers!
So instead of trying to get a ropebreak. Reyn uses his feet n the bottom rope as a bace to push forward and Roll INTO Malta, schoolboy style!
Then he stomps down on Malta’s throat!
There’s a cry of horror from the crowd as the blow forces Malta to relinquish, and Reyn DDT’s Malta’s FOOT into the mat!Slowly, gingerly, Reyn stands to his feet. Watching as Malta takes longer to do the same. Looking at his own hand, Reyn notices one of his fingers is bent at an awkward angle.
So he calmly pops it back into place and SMILES down at Malta.
WHO RETALIATES BY SLAPPING THE TASTE OUT OF REYN’S MOUTH!!!
The fans explode into a roar of cheers as Reyn stumbles back in a shock before the Son of Malta takes him down with a violent headbutt!
Malta in the mount now and starts raining down punches, but the East Wind manages to roll HIM over and start laying in shots, only for Malta to reverse it again as the to are brawling on the mat like a pair of hockey players!!
“Malta’s taking the fight to Alex Reyn and the fans love it!” The Mark calls.
The two separate and Reyn is on the offensive with dagger-like knees to Malta’s face. Malta catches the knee and ries to hit another capture suplex, but his knee buckles!
Spinning back kick from Reyn! Right on the jaw!
..But Malta powers THROUGH the kick to throw Reyn overhead with a Northen Lights Suplex!!
“What toughness from Malta, just EATING that kick from Reyn!!”
MALTA’S LEG GIVES OUT!!
Lying flat on their backs now, both wrestlers are trying to get some ar back into their lungs as the fans applaud. Serenading the Son of Malta with his country’s national anthem in full support of the tough as nails fighter.
Malta and Reyn make it to their knees, then gingerly to their feet. Malta tries to grab Reyn in his INFAMOUS Satan of Side Headlocks, but Reyn slips out the back and kicks Malta in the back of the knee! Malta fights back with a headbutt, but Reyn dodges and-
Wait! Malta caught his wrist! MALTESE CROSS (Straightjacket Crossface)-!!
Reyn delivers a kick to Malta’s knee and manages to pull him don into a guillo-
Malta blocks it! He’s got Reyn’s legs! Going for the Maltese Clover (Texas Cloverleaf)!
Reyn slips a leg free and AGAIN kicks Malta in the bad leg!
Reyn gets some separation..
CALF SLICER!! CALF SLICER ON MALTA!!
“Reyn’s using the move he copied from Malta against him!!” Allie screams.
“Normally Malta would be able to counter easily, but his leg’s in a bad way!” Quinn calls
“Come on, Malta, get out of there!!”
The fans are in an uproar! Desperately trying to will on Malta whose face is pale with agony!
“He’s trying to get to the ropes, but they’re too far!” Allie calls.
“This move is literally ripping his ligaments apart!” Quinn yells.
Gritting his teeth against the pain, Malta pushes his fist into the mat, manages to brace himself and…
TURN THE CALF SLICER INTO A MALTESE CLOVER ON ALEX REYN!!!!
“WHAT A REVERSAL!” Quinn applauds as the fans cheer!
Malta has Reyn on his stomach! He leans back on the hold!
…And immediately collapses as his leg gives out!
“That leg was in the calf slicer too long! It can’t support his weight like that!” Allie calls.
Still defiantly crawling on his hands and knees, Malta throws himself at the prone Reyn with a forearm to his back. Then a second as Rey rolls out the ring.
“Reyn was only in the Maltese Clover for a second, but we’re already seeing the effect it had on his lower back.” Quinn notes as Malta rolls out after Alex, using the apron to support his weight.
Grabbing Reyn , Malta tries to whip him into the rings steps, but Reyn leaps onto the ring steps, then backwards onto Malta’s shoulder before dropping down behind him!
“How did he DO that??!!” The Mark yells.
“I hate to give him credit, but that wasn’t just a display of athleticism, it was smart too.” Quinn admits.
“…How do you mean?” Allie asks.
“Check the replay.” Quinn says. “Right now, Reyn’s most damaged area is his lower back, even if mildly, that means those are the muscles he needs to avoid using the most. Tisting, lifting, any of his normal flips are going to strain that area. But just now, he kept his back straight on both jumps and bent with the knee. Taking the strain off of his back.”
Back to the fight, Reyn had pulle Malta down into a Dragon Sleeper,but Malta had rolled backwards so he was lying over reyn and is now driving his good knee into Reyn’s crown , while Reyn grabs Malta by the head to do the same!
Malta gets the better of the exchange, having more power behind the blows and a better angle. However h realises the referee’s count is at eight and hurriedly picks Reyn up. Rolling him into the ring at nine!
He tries to get in himself, but his knee buckles!!
“Is Malta about to lose by count out?!”
No! Malta dives in JUST before the count!
“He could not have cut that any closer!” The Mark calls.
Meanwhile, Reyn has rolled to the opposite side of the ring and lets his legs fall to the floor so he’s now standing on the outside.
“Again, taking the pressure off his back as much as possible. Letting that wound recover.”
Alex braces himself then attacks with a springboard crossbody! Malta tries to jump up for a dropkick, but his leg isn’t strong enough to jump and Reyn crashes into him, sending Malta t the mat!
“A NASTY impact!” Quinn winces.
With Malta stunned, Reyn jams a knee into Malta’s inner leg, but instead of following up, he backs up AWAY from Malta.
“Malta’s submission and ground-fighting make him lethal in close range.” Quinn explains “Right now, Reyn once to give him as little chance to target his back as possible. That means keeping his distance and using hit and run tactics to take advantage of mobility.”
Back in the ring, and Reyn is stretching to get rid of the kink in his back from the clover. Malta tries to stand, but even with the ropes, he stumbles.
Malta and Reyn lock eyes. Malta glaring. Reyn looking almost amused.
Then Malta sits cross-legge on the mat and motions Reyn to bring it!
“Brilliant!” Allie cheers “We know Reyn has a twisted form of honour, and Malta knows Reyn eventually HAS to try and attack. Malta isn’t playing Reyn’s game! He’s making Reyn play HIS!”
Reyn snarls and dashes towards Malta, only to suddenly veer PAST him and slide out the ring!
He springs onto the apron! Springboard dropkick to the back of Malta’s head!!
Malta saw that coming! He dodges and Reyn lands on his feet, only to stumble back and cry out as the awkward landing jars his back!
Leg sweep from Malta takes Reyn down! Malta tries to get in the clover! Ushing past the pain in his leg, but Reyn snares him with a guillotine!
MALTA LEANS INTO IT!! REYN IS PINNED!!
THR-EYN KICKS OUT!!
“That looked like it hurt Reyn!” The Mark calls.
“It DID.” Quinn confirms. “The position he was in meant he was forced to use those back muscles when kicking out. That just exacerbated his injury.”
And Malta has seen the blood in the water! Maltese clo-
A VICIOUS boot to the jaw from Reyn!!
“I think Malta’s teeth just hit the front row!” The Mark yells.
Both are near the ropes and Reyn uses the same trick as before to roll out and go for a springboard, but a resilient Malta, still spitting blood from his mouth, is right there to intercept him! The two of them are near the ropes, both using them for support. Reyn is on the apron, while Malta is inside the ring. Hooking his injured leg around the middle rope to brace it, Malta tries to suplex Reyn, but Alex drops off the apron and pulls Malta’s throat down across the top rope!
“Hotshot by Alex Reyn!” Quinn calls.
With Malta dazed, Alex steps back and superkicks Malta’s GOOD leg from the floor!
“Reyn hurt his back doing that, but it was a good strategy.” Quinn says “Malta’s right leg is almost useless. If he takes out the LEFT leg too…”
“Then Malta goes from an amputee to a paraplegic.” The Mark finishes.
Reyn is up on the apron now, putting the pain in his back to one side as Malta is collapsed over the ropes.
No! Malta dodges! Clothesline! Reyn dodges! Springboard poison rana-
No! Malta throws Reyn forward, electric chair style, to drop him throat first on the top rope!
Malta goes for a one-legged german suplex! But Reyn twists in midair to land flat on his stomach!
“That’ll knock the wind out of him!” The Mark cheers.
“Yeah, but he took the impact on his front to avoid taking it on his spine!” Quinn calls.
Still, with Rey winded, MAlta tries to take advantage. Hopping over to try and grab Reyn’s wrist fro the Maltese Cross, but his reduced mobility let’s Reyn swing a hard kick into Malta’s one good leg!
Reyn rolls to his feet, pushing past the ache in his back to hit a sp-
No! Malta dodges the spear with a dropdown! Reyn hits the ropes!
ONE-LEGGED NORTHEN LIGH-
“Malta’s leg buckled!” The Mark calls!
“It wasn’t as hurt as the other one, but it had just been superkicked! Malta put it under too much pressure too early!” Quinn relays.
Reyn takes the chance. Slipping behind Malta!
EAST! WIND! CUTTER!! (Lifting, rolling cutter)
“It’s over.” Quinn says.
DING! DING! DING!
Jason Brown makes the call
“Here is your winner! Alex! Reyn!”
The fans boo, as on commentary, Quinn breaks it down.
“Malta had so much damage done to his right leg, he was forcing the left to work over-time. It became a battle of attrition and in the end… the East Wind won out.”
“Damn… Malta had a great showing against Dream, he took Reyn to the limit, and even HE couldn’t beat this guy!” The Mark groaned.
“I’m just glad we didn’t see another person hospitalised.” Allie says “Malta might not be the most likeable guy, but he’s NO-ONE’s victim! He forced Reyn to use his strongest move just to get the win.”
Reyn is pulling himself to his feet when…
Europe’s Final Countdown hits the speakers.
And Reyn finds himself staring down a ghost from his past.
Out steps “The Legend” Sean Darring, who immediately grabs the attention of his long-time rival Alex Reyn, who is still feeling the effects of the battle against Son of Malta. Sean Darring makes his way down the aisle and to ringside. Reyn’s eyes never leave the legend as he is handed a microphone and enters the ring with his dangerous rival.
Lucas Quinn hypes up the Magnum Opus main event but questions if Sean Darring should risk getting in the ring with Alex Reyn so close to their GLOBAL title match. The Mark says the answer to that question is always no!
Alex Reyn tilts his head as if welcoming the legend to speak.
“Alex, it’s been too long. After all, we have been through, and you haven’t written. You didn’t call. No visits to the legend ranch. Not even a single Christmas card!”
Alex Reyn continues to listen unamused as the legend playfully shakes his head.
“For shame, Alex. I thought we had a bond that this ring forged for us. The good news is we have a second chance to work on that bond.”
The fans roar in support of the future Magnum Opus match.
“We knew it would eventually happen again. Guys like us don’t take vacations well. This time, the stakes are higher than the blood and guts inside this ring. GLOBAL’s first pay-per-view. The Global Championship is on the line. Your playground, mind games, and chaos will be submerged by the hype and glory of representing GLOBAL and becoming the first champion.”
Sean Darring smiles, lowering the microphone as if inviting his former rival to respond. There’s a low chuckle from the East Wind.
“You know… normally I’d think this talk of companionship mere sarcasm, but with YOU, Sean… I could almost believe it from the man who’s spent the last ten weeks practically begging for the pity of others.”
He begins to circle Darring now, who keeps his composure, not flinching even when Reyn gets uncomfortably close.
“‘I’m past my prime!’ ‘I barely survived Dream!’ ‘I just got lucky!'” Reyn’s voice turns into a low growl. “Is this pathetic display an attempt at a joke? I have FOUGHT you, Darring. I know full well you’re not the simpering wretch you pretend to be. I should be proud to have lost to a warrior with your talent and tenacity, but I feel nothing but disgust every time you open your mouth.”
He’s returned to the front and looks Sean dead in the eyes.
“This is a battle between the greatest warriors around. If you’re truly the wretched, pathetic old man surviving on luck that you call yourself, then LEAVE and do not disgrace this battle with your presence. Otherwise, stop trying to beg for the pity of the inferior and show us who you REALLY are. You are a veteran. You are an Alpha of your kind. You are a man who bested the East Wind. Act like it.”
The fans roar to support a fight as the intensity grows inside the ring! The Mark says you prodded the devil, Sean. Now you have to answer him!
The smile has left the legend’s face. He ponders for a moment, but unwilling to let the master of words prod him into action, he raises the microphone to respond until they are interrupted.
Daniel Dream slowly makes his way to the top of the entrance ramp, favoring his right knee. Despite the pain, he stands tall and holds his head high, determination in his eyes. The crowd roars as he stops at the top of the ramp and takes in the moment, his eyes fixed on the ring where his opponents stand. Daniel raises a microphone to his lips.
Dream starts, “My name is Daniel Dream. Lately, I started…to look at the path that I left behind me. And when I look at it…it’s covered in ashes…and blood. And I start to think, why do I do the things that I do?! And can I actually change?“
The Legend and Alex Reyn have now adjusted their focus from each other and towards the proclaimed GLOBAL chosen one as he slowly makes his way to the ring and continues to speak.
“But I wanted to come out to do this. And I feel really strongly about it. I wanted to apologize to Sean Darring for what I did to him…I had a moment of weakness. And I strayed from my path. We all care about championships and accomplishments, that’s what we compete for in this industry. But what matters more is our legacy. And I regret that my actions last year, the slap, will be a part of my legacy. When we are gone, our names will be with the championship history. You are looking at the real MVP. I watched as everybody, EVERYBODY, tried to live up to my legacy. And surprise, surprise, everybody failed. I hear you claiming that I’m not worthy, I’m not deserving of my position here in this company. I’m beginning to think people have forgotten just exactly who the hell I am and just exactly how the hell I became your MVP. Darring, here’s what you don’t seem to understand, since you and I have crossed paths, you have only been dealing with ‘masked Daniel.’ But you’ll find the further we go on this journey, the closer we get to the Magnum Opus, the match you THINK you want, and the more my mask is going to begin to slip off. You see, you might think you’re the Legend. But even the Legend is no match for the Carnivore behind the mask. The truth is, you’re not Daniel Dream. This company has done everything to make you feel special. You got the cool music, the entrance, the robe. You know what they do to make Daniel Dream feel special? They ring the bell. You are not special, I’M special. I think that we typically forget that once upon a time, we were just wild animals.”
The fans give a small POP as Daniel Dream finally joins the two men inside the ring. Lucas Quinn shouts – For the first time ever, these three men are now inside a GLOBAL wrestling ring. The Mark adds one of these three will be your first Global Champion at Magnum Opus. While the fans are thirsty for the action to start early, Daniel Dream continues.
“Alex Reyn, I’ve certainly improved from the lamb that you last saw me as. You want to talk about survival of the fittest? You’re looking at him. Spiders eat flies, even to this day. Snakes eat rats. But nobody looks at this like an act of violence, it’s simply just animals trying to survive. Some must die, so others live. We don’t dare talk about these things, even though these primal instincts are ingrained in every single one of us, we don’t dare talk about it. They’re still there. But in the ring, we embrace those primal instincts and unleash them on our opponents. We are the modern-day warriors fighting for survival and glory. And I, Daniel Dream, am the ultimate carnivore. I didn’t change pro wrestling. I didn’t blaze a new path or redefine a wrestling style. I wrestle like Daniel Dream. Then I will retire. And there will be nobody like me.”
Daniel drops the microphone, and the three men stand inside the GLOBAL ring. Each man ready to strike at any sudden movement. The fans rise to their feet and begin to chant – FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!
Lucas Quinn is barely heard over the GLOBAL Nation as he says, folks, here is your Magnum Opus main event! While Global Nation wants it to happen tonight, join us as we crown our first champion! The Mark questions if it will ever get any bigger than this!
We have one final moment of the three men trading intense glares. Alex Reyn stands welcoming the fight right now. Daniel Dream gives a motion around his waist that the title will be his. The old legend has been here before, but knowing that this may be his last time, soaks up the moment and gives a slight nod as the camera fades.