A LESSON IN REALITY
An hour before GLOBAL Domination 07 begins
Hidden in an alleyway just outside of the arena, a man breathes deeply as he shivers in the cold night air. His black hair is messy with dirt and rain, his clothes and beard are caked in filth. It looks like he hasn’t washed in days.
He’s one of the many… unfortunate people to suffer at the hands of society. Budget cuts, lay-offs, rent arrears and evictions. These are all words painfully, intimately familiar to this lonely man standing out in the cold.
And like many of his kind… he has found someone to blame.
It had been a breath of fresh air, a warm ray of hope when Daniel Dream appeared on his tv. He was a TRUE hero, a true AMERICAN. He was just what this country needed to save it. A leader, a champion to pull them free of this rotting, dying economy, but then…
HE ruined it.
The man grips the hilt of his Glock as he growls at the memory. Sean Darring, that unamerican, lying coward, had fooled everyone with his nice guy act and stolen ANOTHER title. Just like he had done when he was The Natural. A leopard never changes its spots. The man knows it. Sean Darring is as fake and hollow as his ex-wife.
A manic grin lights up his eyes as he fingers the trigger. No one had noticed him as he waited outside the building wrapped in a filthy trench coat. No one cared about him.
But that all will change tonight.
He smiles as he imagines it now. Walking up to the “champion” as he gives those fake smiles, his weapon concealed in his jacket. He imagines pointing the barrel at Darring’s lying face. “For America!” he would yell. The fans would scream, and the weapon would fire-
“It’s not going to work.”
The man whirls around in a panic! Someone had seen him? Seen him armed? Who?!
He hears the sound of footsteps echoing off the alley walls.
“Freeze!” he snarls. Aiming his weapon at the sound of the voice. “I won’t hesitate, I swear to God!”
The voice that responds is female. Smooth, deep, and as cold as the night winds.
“You fire, and everyone in the block is going to hear it. What happens to your plan when every security guard in the building comes running?”
The man’s arms tremble. She’s right. If he fires now, he’ll blow his chance, but if she screams for help, he…
“Besides. It wouldn’t work anyway.”
That takes him off guard for a second as the source of the voice comes into view, some freak wearing a mask. One of those Italian face masks he’d seen on tv. This one is made of silvery, reflective material like a mirror, except cracked. Giving a broken, shattered reflection of the world. She’s taller than average, her body concealed by silken black robes that flutter ethereally in the wind as she steps closer.
“You’re a fan of the Nephilim.” she says. It isn’t a question, but it sparks one in response
“The wrestlers.” She clarifies.
“How did you-?”
She points her finger at his chest and the man almost feels embarrassed as he remembers he is still wearing his now months-old “Bet on Dream, Bet on America” t-shirt beneath his trenchcoat
“And now, you have some petty idea of glory or revenge in your head and you plan to take it out on one of the Nephilim once they arrive. Don’t bother asking how I know, people like you are as common as head lice.”
Her insulting words provoke a growl from the man. “What, you think those lazy rent-a-cops can stop me? I’ve snuck past them before, I can do it again!”
“No, I mean THAT.” she points at his gun “Isn’t going to work.”
At the uncomprehending look on his face, she sighs.
“You don’t know much about physics, do you?
With a growl, the man swings his pistol at the bitch’s face! Hoping to smash her stupid mask along with her teeth!
He almost trips over as the blow hits nothing but air.
“Physics lesson number one. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Therefore, whatever force something exerts, it must be able to withstand that SAME force or be pulverized by the reactive force. A boxer, for example, must be durable enough to withstand the force of their own punch without their own arm shattering.”
He whirls around, and the bitch is now behind him. Arms folded.
“Now, my first question. Did you watch Death Wish 2015?”
He’s about to make another charge, but the odd question stops him in his tracks.
“Excellent. Now tell me: How much does Darren Best weigh?”
He tilts his head in confusion. Where on EARTH is she going with this?
“Two hundred and twenty pounds, why?”
“So a two hundred and twenty-pound man fell from a fifty-foot high Titantron and not only SURVIVED an impact of over fourteen thousand joules of force but was able to stay conscious for three seconds afterwards. And yet… despite withstanding an impact force comparable to a small explosive, Sean Darring inflicted enough damage to him to make him tap out. In OTHER words… Sean Darring exerted force comparable to tens of thousands of joules of energy, and based on lesson number one, if he can EXERT that force, he can…”
“…Withstand it.” the man completes. Horrifying realization dawned on his face.
“Don’t be fooled by their appearances. Despite what they may look like, despite what they may have convinced themselves, the Nephilim are NOT human. I have seen them perform feats of strength, speed, and endurance beyond ANY human, regularly using moves that would be impossible for a normal human to use without cooperation. I have seen their kind fall from twenty-foot cages and keep fighting. I have seen entire rings shattered and broken from the impact of their bodies while the wrestler survived. I have seen them wield sledgehammers and steel chairs with enough force to crack bone and cave skulls, I have seen them shrug off moves over and over again that would cripple your kind. I have seen them crash through walls, windows, furniture, and even bulletproof glass and be only temporarily stunned. So tell me…”
She points at the weapon that now feels very small in his hands.
“What, EXACTLY, do you expect a mere pistol to do?”
The Glock clatters to the pavement as the man flees in horror.
For several seconds after, the only sound is that of papers fluttering in the alleyway and the passing traffic.
“And here I thought you would have enjoyed seeing him cause anarchy.”
There is a hard edge to the Lady in the Broken Mirror’s voice as he addresses this newcomer.
“There is a DIFFERENCE between random violence and true anarchy, brother. The first is quickly quelled and forgotten about by society. The second can bring civilization to its knees. A difference YOU seem to have forgotten Alex!”
Dropping down from his perch on the windowsill. Alex Reyn stands in front of the lady who does not flinch at his presence. Despite her words though he doesn’t seem angered. If anything, his expression is curious
“I find myself… incredibly… VEXED by your recent choices, brother. Instead of using the opportunity handed to you on a silver platter and taking that title, you waste time on a personal vendetta with the Rich family from two years ago, and doom your OWN chances at that belt for… WHAT, exactly? Your pride?”
Alex actually gives a low growl.
“I am the East Wind of Adversity, sister. My losses and victories must be untainte-”
“You’re beginning to annoy Her too. Alex.”
Alex Reyn falls dead silent.
“Pride? Honor? You sound like one of the mortals.I wonder if you’ve been in that body too long, O’ SPIRIT OF CONFLICT.”
Her words drip with sarcasm as she repeats his title back to him.
“Remember, brother. The only thing you “must” do. The ONLY thing Adversity NEEDS to do is test the mortals before we remake their world. THAT is your purpose. Not to safeguard your own wounded pride at the EXPENSE of your duties.”
She’s looking at him hard in the eyes as she continues.
“Do you have ANY idea how many strings I’ve had to pull to keep the humans off your back? You no longer have the veil of relative anonymity to protect you. This is not a small league where your actions could fly under the radar. GLOBAL is run by the human elite.’
“Scoff all you like, brother. But you’d be a fool to ignore the power they have. Their resources in many ways rival our own and if they decide to call in a full manhunt on you… Even YOU cannot defeat an army. If we are to remake the world once again, we NEED to bring the elite to their knees and that requires gaining their resources. For that, I need you in a position of influence. We NEED to make you their champion Alex. No more of these self-destructive games.”
There is a long pause before Alex Reyn inclines his head.
“I… apologize for disrupting your plans and…”
He hesitates for a second like a man avoiding an uncomfortable subject.
There’s a moment of almost reverent silence from both before he continues.
“That said, my code serves a purpose beyond my pride. If I am to test them. If I am to truly fulfill my role as spirit of Conflict, I must be a TRUE warrior. How can I expect to bring them to a higher level of valor if I myself am tainted by cowardice? How can I promote the strong without exterminating the weak? And how can I TRULY test their courage and tenacity, if they don’t fear for their lives when facing-”
The Lady holds up a hand and her brother stops speaking.
“I know all of this, brother. I’m not telling you to stop your ways outright. I am telling you you need to be CAREFUL. You’ve become more and more reckless these last few years. More arrogant. You need to remember to pick your moments. If you had just WAITED for the right moment to go after the Riches once you were champion, I could have pulled strings, froze their assets like I did Mr. Price. The elite doesn’t care when those poorer than them come to harm, but Frank had status, power in the industry. You attacking him makes the elites feel unsafe. You haven’t stirred up the hive yet, but you DID agitate it. You need to be careful not to provoke a swarm.”
She takes a long sigh.
“So far, the situation isn’t unsalvageable. The Rich family is going to try to send Law Enforcement after you, but my resources in that area, and our reputation, should close off that avenue to them. That only leaves attacking you in the ring as an option. I take it you’re NOT going to finish them off before they become a threat?”
“No. I gave my word that I would not harm them.”
“And I don’t suppose I could persuade you to break your word?”
She shakes her head, but there’s a small chuckle “You and that code of yours. Very well. I’ll just have to pluck some threads to keep them distracted. Good luck in the tournament, brother. I have some things to arrange.”
There’s a body a few paces away – hidden between the corner and a dumpster, back pressed against the bricked and dirty wall.
He hadn’t dared to breathe the moment Alex Reyn had appeared in the scene, and even now that the coast is clear, his breaths came out as quiet wheezes, as he can’t stop his arms from shaking violently.
His hands are pressed against his chest, and in them, is his trusty recorder – one that he clicked on out of habit the moment the discussion had started, even as he hid himself into the shadows and stench of the alley.
One hand detaches from the mess, twitching and trembling before he carefully combs through his hair with the fingers – hoping it will calm him down enough to get out of this rather compromising position. A few shaky breaths later, he finally manages to swallow at least some of that big lump inside his throat down, before taking a look at the recorder.
“… The heck am I supposed to do with this?” he whispers, before forcing himself to stand. Busted leg or not, he needs to get somewhere safe and rethink his career choices – this? Is way above his pay grade. Especially since this sounds like a conspiracy he can’t just uncover, shove into the limelight, and then let the more experienced people deal with the fallout of everything – the truth might be a weapon but in this situation…
He doesn’t even know who he can turn to. Who to warn? Who to stay away from, aside from Reyn.
‘Nope, nope, focus Tobbs.’ he shakes his head, breaking himself out of the fear and shock. Another deep breath of the disgusting air around him, and he focuses his eyes forward.
He has some research to do.
NOW YOU'RE IN NEW YORK...
The evening has not long crept in, and the initial camera shot shows the lit-up white uppercase letters: MANHATTAN CENTER.
From there, the GLOBAL camera crew surveys the wooden balconies and captures the electric atmosphere synonymous with this well-renowned venue, as well as panning up to take in the highlight, 75 feet above, the hand-painted angels up on the ceiling.
“If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere, and this is one giant leap for GLOBAL. After one night in Miami, we’re here in The Empire State, New York, in the hallowed halls of the Hammerstein Ballroom at the Manhattan Center on West Thirty-Fourth Street for another amazing night of action.” Lucas beams.
“Welcome to one of the most famous ballrooms and bingo halls in the world, welcome to New York, and WELCOME to Domination Seven.” Quinn greets the viewers excitedly.
As the camera focuses on Quinn, looking sharp in a black suit but with a light red tie decorated with stars and the Statue of Liberty, he smiles. “Fresh off the first round of the tournament to crown a new number one contender, we’ll see all four semi-finalists in action for our main event, and if that weren’t enough, each man will be working with their upcoming OPPONENT. Daniel Dream will join forces with “Big Aug” August Lazar to face EZ Rah and Alex Reyn.”
The Mark, wearing a gray t-shirt with YANKEES printed in the middle and black jeans, gets an ovation as the fans here see him addressing the viewers at home. “Daniel Dream, the corporate darling, coasted to an easy win over Joe Public, while everyone else had it rough and tough, particularly Alex Reyn, who had to practically kill Freddie Reyn to advance in a much-talked-about main event. This is a really dangerous assignment for any of the four, and something they could do without heading into the semi-finals on Domination Eight and Nine respectively.”
Allie, who tells the crowd to stop cheering for The Mark, affords herself a laugh as they give her similar treatment. Out in a black leather jacket, silver earrings, black dress pants, and a sky-blue blouse, she waves to the crowd, easy to see due to her dyed pink shoulder-length hair. “There’s much more than just that tag team match, though, so stick around because we’ve got a lot up our sleeve for you at home and these fantastic fans here at the Hammerstein Ballroom, where we’re right on top of the action tonight. This has to be the smallest, most intimate, and YET potentially the loudest venue we’ve been in. You’ll see, hear and FEEL the action tonight, our table being just yards away from the ring.”
Quinn corrects her. “The same capacity as The Globe.”
Reece does a double take. “Really? But, much smaller, right? I mean, if someone sneezes in that ring, I’ll catch a cold tonight.”
Lucas nods on this occasion. “The Globe can be expanded, but yes, two and a half thousand fans, this place is jam-packed.”
Reece reacts. “You’re not kidding. That main event won’t be for the faint-hearted. FOUR big hitters and I can hardly wait, but we’d like to wish Freddie Rich, if you’re watching at home, our condolences and wish him the healthiest and speediest recovery possible. What an effort we saw from him last week.”
The Mark nods. “Brave beyond belief, and if it was his final match, he went out like he said he would – swinging. Unfortunately, a swinging chair is what might have sealed his fate, and it’ll be interesting to see how The Rich Family reacts to the news.”
Allie makes a prayer gesture before focusing on the here and now. “Our tag team division, man, that is bubbling nicely. Crusader X and Alfie Button will be teaming up together tonight to face a tandem of Crusader’s choosing and WHAT a speech by Saul Morgan, who we hadn’t heard from much until last week. Trouble Roxx, PTA, who we expect to be here, even The Rich Family still, Amber Button, Saul and Angel, Best of British and so many more are champing at the bit to get a crack at The Master Sisters.”
The camera comes back to Quinn. “Every week, Jerry David and EZ Rah, the latter coming off an excellent victory over Alfie Button heading into tonight’s main event, seems to get bigger and bigger, and expect no less tonight. The hottest rivalry in GLOBAL history so far shows no signs of slowing down. While there’s a competitive rivalry amongst a lot of the men and women in the back, these two hate each other and I cannot wait to see them get their hands on each other again, given they’ve also had some of the most thrilling encounters in GLOBAL history, too.”
Reece nods before shaking her head. “Last, but not least, what about the man, the legend, the champ, Sean Darring and Aleczander The Great, flanked by The United Kingdom? We got a great taste as they opened the show up in Miami, and Aleczander HAD TO gatecrash Darring’s moment in the sun, his happy homecoming. We know the GLOBAL Champion is ready to do battle anytime, anywhere, but is Aleczander?”
The Mark scoffs. “The biggest ego in GLOBAL in the most famous city in the world? Oh, he’ll be here, FOR SURE.”
Reece snaps back. “But will he get his hands dirty?”
Quinn stares down the lens, ignoring the ensuing bickering between Deltzer and Reece. “A great question amongst many others, let’s find out the answers to many of them, here in The Big Apple.”
PROTECTING THE TRUTH
The day after GLOBAL Wrestling takes Miami, a hand raps on a nondescript door somewhere in the neighboring state of Georgia. A few seconds pass with no answer, prompting the hand to knock again, more firmly this time.
“Alright, alright, I’m comin’!” The grumble from within is followed by a curt question. “Whozat?”
“Are you the wrestling security guys?”
A moment’s silence elapses.
“Who wants ta know?” The accent from the other side of the door is pure New York Brooklyn and seems incongruously out of place literally across the country from the Big Apple.
Once again, the knocker chooses to deflect.
“I want to hire your services.”
This time, the door does open, revealing a tall, lithely muscular man somewhere in his thirties, with a prematurely receding hairline in a widow’s peak, a long, aquiline nose, and thin, austere lips, clad in a dark suit and wraparound shades which give him a look somewhere between a mortician and a member of the Men in Black. He gives the shabby, seedy man across from him a long once-over, before speaking up again.
“You gonna pay for it? We ain’t no charity ‘ere, buddy!”
The would-be client does not miss a beat. “Depends if you’re the guys I heard about from my contacts, who specialize in wrestling security…”
The dark-suited man nods, wiping the other’s spittle from his cheek. “That’s us, all right. Best in fifty-one states.”
It is the second man’s turn to appraise his interloper, whom he squints intently at for a long second before stepping in closer and lowering his voice. “Yeah. That’s what I heard. Heard you see things my way on other matters, as well.. So, tell ya what…” He reaches into his pocket and produces a large wad of cash, waving it in front of the security expert’s nose. “…this right here’s an advance. You do good, there’s more where that came from. I can get you hired where I work too – nice bundle like that every couple weeks…”
The sight of actual money clearly piques the interest of the man in shades, who jerks his head towards the inside of the building, motioning for his interloper to come in. The shabby man promptly complies, stepping out from the landing into the somewhat dingy, dimly lit office on the other side of the door… He barely has time to take in the one high window, the couple of cheap prepacked desks, and the overall grubbiness of his surroundings, however, before a female voice calls from what is presumably a second room in the back.
“Who is it?”
“Bring him through, won’t you?”
“Sure thing, Miz D.”
Before the weaselly man can turn his attention back to his prospective employer, however, he is distracted by the sight of a third figure – a hulking, broad-shouldered man hunched over a desk too small for him, his elbows jutting out in either direction as he makes his way through an overstuffed deli sandwich.
“Jesus tapdancin’ Christ!” The thinner man steps forward, angrily swatting at the sandwich wrapper. “Look atcha, ya fat goddamn slob! Embarrassin’ yaself in front’a a client! Sit up straight, willya? And wipe ya mouth, you look like a goddamn cow chewin’ cud!”
“Sorry, man!” To the shabby man’s surprise, the broad-shouldered giant meekly shuffles to a more straight-backed position, before accepting the napkin his co-worker is handing him and using it to wipe his mouth. “I didn’t think nobody was gonna come in…”
“Yeah.” The thinner man scoffs. “That’s ya problem. Ya don’t THINK.”
Here, he finally turns back to his would-be client. “Fat slob over here’s my partner. We’re a package deal. You hire me, you hire him, too.” He side-eyes the thicker man. “Though some days I ain’t too sure WHY I keep the sumbitch around…
The shabby man shrugs. “Fine by me. More the merrier.”
The man in shades nods curtly, before indicating a door at the end of the room. “Right. Let’s go meet the boss.”
The two men then promptly cross over into what turns out to be a separate, much brighter, and much better-appointed office. In sharp contrast to the main room, the furnishings here are high-quality and immaculately preserved, with the obvious centerpiece being a single, large oak desk at the far end, behind which sits an attractive twenty-something brunette in an impeccably cut cream-colored business suit, her well-groomed appearance and composed demeanor almost diametrically opposed to those of her prospective client. The man’s unkempt, worn-out look does not, however, seem to faze her for more than a second before she offers him a warm if somewhat plastic, smile.
“Afternoon. Please have a seat.” The man promptly acquiesces, as the brunette continues to study him intently. “How can I help you, Mr…?”
The woman’s attempted eye contact fails, as her prospective client appears intent on scanning every inch of the room around him. Only after he is seemingly satisfied does he finally reply.
“Truth. John J. Truth.”
“Pleasure to meet you, Mr. Truth. My name’s…” The woman leans over the desk, clearly intending to shake her interloper’s hand, only to be left more than a little surprised when he doesn’t return the gesture.
“Sorry, sweetheart. I thought I was gonna be talkin’ to the boss of this joint.”
A perfectly plucked eyebrow goes up. “You…are…Mr. Truth.” The genteel tone, which had vanished for just a moment, promptly makes a return. “Now, what can I do you for?”
The man, however, remains guarded. “No, no…I don’t think you’re getting it, darlin’. I need to see the BOSS. The BIG boss.”
“I AM the big boss, Mr. Truth.” The brunette’s tone has suddenly lost its honeyed edge and become sharp and curt. “If you wish to hire my two associates’ services, you’re going to be dealing with me. There is nobody else for you to talk to.” A little of the previous Southern belle charm then returns to her tone. “And trust me, I am more than capable of addressing any concerns or requirements you might have with regard to our operation.”
It is Truth’s turn to lean forward, squinting at the woman in front of him. “Is there really nobody else? No one at ALL?”
“Afraid not, Mr. Truth. Just little old me, and those two strapping young men you met out there. You know how it is with small firms…”
“Yeah…they’re strapping, all right.” The thought of having the two men he just met run security for him – ESPECIALLY the hulking sandwich enthusiast – seems to overpower some of Truth’s misgivings, as he gives the briefest and most imperceptible of nods.
“Fine. I guess you’ll do.” He leans forward, his voice dropping to a conspiratorial tone. “Thing is, darlin’…I’ve been having some issues with a couple of green-card dodgers. Pretty sure they’re terrorists, too. This one motherfucker never takes off his mask…y’know?” The brunette nods, giving Truth all the encouragement he needs to continue. “To be honest with you, sweetheart…at this point, I’m fearing for my life. Way I see it, there’s way too many motherfuckers those two sons of bitches could be working for. People who don’t want the Truth to get out there. Hell, I got a notion a couple of them are hitmen for the Chinese government. Or those bastards from the Orion belt. Either way, they’re probably just using wrestling as a cover to take a hit out on me.”
The woman affects a suitably concerned expression as Truth sits up straight once again.
“So, I asked my contacts in the Dark Web, and I got told your boys specialize in dealing with that sort of thing. I was even sent a couple of videos, but to be honest, darlin’…it looked like they were wrecking a couple of kids. So, what I wanna know is…are they the real deal?”
Truth once again reaches into his jacket to retrieve the wad of notes he previously presented to one of the firm’s seemingly two employees. “So here’s what I’m gonna do. I wanna hire your boys on for my company’s next show. As a kind of trial run” The GLOBAL wrestler throws the stack onto the table. “I told your man out there – this here’s an advance to cover that one. They do well, I’ll be looking to take ’em on full-time. I’m pretty sure I can get ’em hired at the place where I work. Fancy place outta Hollywood. Bunch’a bastards, but at least they pay you.” He points at the stack of bills on the desk in front of him. “That there’s what I made this past couple weeks. Would’a been more, but assholes slapped me with a fine for speaking my mind. Like I said, some people don’t want the Truth to get out…”
The brunette woman studies the offer for a moment, her body language perfectly neutral, then calls out to her associate, still looming just below the threshold, and who almost immediately pops his head around the doorjamb. “You wanted me, boss?”
“I did, Washington, yes. “The smile the woman directs up at the besuited man is warm, but the glint of something icy in her eyes offsets it. “Why don’t you go on ahead and run Mr. Truth through the welcome packet?” She turns to her brand-new client, the devilish grin still on her features. “Sounds like his workplace is in dire need of some Border Control…”
READY PLAYER ONE
Somewhere on the Internet, another Twitch stream is in progress, hosted by GLOBAL Wrestling’s only officially sanctioned streaming hosts, the ebullient duo known as Trouble Roxx. As the chat begins to pick up, one of the members of the pair – red-haired self-appointed leader Teagan Trouble – takes advantage of a break in the videogame being played to glance over at the text box and greet those just joining in.
“All right! The chat’s poppin’ right now! If you’re just joining in…hey, what’s up, guys? You know who this is.” The girl points at herself, then her partner. “I’m Trouble, she Roxx, and right now, we’re getting the moves put on us by a couple of Players!”
“That’s right, baby!” In a split screen, fellow tag team hopeful Kid Chameleon glances up from the game for a quarter of a second to acknowledge the host. “That’s how we do! We keep it up allll night long!”
“In case you haven’t noticed, we’re talking about Fornite.” Teagan Trouble rolls her eyes at her opponent’s antics, then turns her attention back to the game, just in time to kill one of the characters on screen.
“Paul! Come on, man! I gotta carry your ass here too? Keep up, dog!”
Paul Sanders’ only response to his partner’s goading, however, is to get up and move towards the back of the hotel room the two partners are currently lounging at. As he bends over to retrieve something from the mini-fridge, Kid continues the campaign by himself, single-handedly taking on both members of Trouble Roxx, as well as the remaining AI players taking part in the arena Battle Royal. As luck would have it, Sanders comes back just in time to see the skilled gamer pull out a particularly impressive move, which causes Teagan and Izzy to reel back in their respective seats, each of their faces an over-the-top caricature of shock.
“WHOOOOAAAA!” Despite her mugging, Teagan sounds genuinely impressed. “How d’you pull THAT off, dude?”
“Skillz, baby!” Kid Chameleon takes a moment to dab in acknowledgement of his own awesomeness, currently being paid similar homage in the chatbox. “You know I’m PogChamp!”
“’Skillz’, huh?” The Roxx redhead gives her counterpart a playful side-eye. “As in HACKER skillz? The ones you used to hack into the game and put Aimbot on there?”
“Nah, baby. I’m talking GAMER skillz! Gamer skillz for daaaaaayyyyssss!”
Teagan, however, does not let up the ribbing. “Come on, dude. Be honest, now. ARE you a hacker? Do you be like…” The redhead strikes a surly pose, comically deepening her voice and furrowing her brow. “…’I’m in’?”
Predictably, variations of the meme in question immediately begin to be posted in the live chat, prompting Teagan – who, like her partner and two opponents, has momentarily returned to the Fortnite lobby – to turn to that section of the stream.
“All right, chat, listen up – we’re CANCELLING the Players right now, for being DIRTY CHEATERS!” Almost instantly, the memes are replaced by variations of #cancelled, which scroll by so rapidly as to be almost indiscernible. Amidst all the comment spamming, however, one viewer drops a slightly different observation, which garners Teagan’s attention.
“fight it out in the ring lol
losers have to buy the other team VBucks”
Again, follow-up comments are almost immediate, as more and more stream watchers get behind the idea.
“THIS OMG 100 PERCENT THIS!!!”
“FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!!”
“CAGE MATCH OR GTFO!!!”
The redhead, however, is still assessing the initial comment, from user “thedropkickking”.
“Losers buy the other team Vbucks? I can definitely get behind that!” She then turns back to her partner and opponents. “How ’bout you guys? You down?”
Izzy is the first to answer. “Yeah, why not? Les do eet!”
Teagan then turns to the Players. “Guys?”
Sanders gives no answer either way, other than a shrug, while Kid Chameleon gives back as good as he got a moment earlier.
“Sure…if you wanna get schooled in there as well…”
“Yeah…I don’t think so, buddy.” Despite the trash talk, Teagan is smiling through the obviously playful exchange. “You can’t use your hacker ‘skillz’ in the ring…” Then, turning to the camera, she makes the announcement semi-official. “You heard it here first, guys! TROUBLE ROXX VERSUS THE PLAYERS, for all the Vbucks!”
Izzy echoes her partner, “ALL of the Vbucks. ALL of them!”
“And, heck, since this is all about Fortnite…why don’t we have the match in a FORTNIGHT?” The redhead grins big at her own clever play on words. “Yeah! Sounds like a plan. Right, guys? We good?”
The three remaining streamers acquiesce, causing the chat to explode with exclamations of unbridled excitement. With that and one last call of “make it happen, GLOBAL” from Teagan Trouble, all four streamers turn their attention back to their Nintendo Switches, in preparation for another round. Soon, the two teams are once again engrossed in the virtual Battle Royal, leaving the fans in the chat to digest and discuss the prospect of the real, live match between them hopefully happening at Domination a couple of weeks in the future.
WHAT IS NORMAL, ANYWAY?
Crusader X! There you are!” The Informer races down the hallway to catch up to the white-and-black-clad luchador, already in his ring gear.
“Hello, Informer! What have you got for me today?” His tone is jovial.
The Informer holds the microphone to his mouth. “I wanted to ask you about the Number One contendership tournament…”
“THERE HE IS!” The familiar voice of Darren Best booms down the hall.
“Dammit!” swears The Informer under his breath.
X turns to look in the direction of the voice. He sees Best walking briskly in his direction… with Alfie Button and Amber Lee in tow. The Informer backs up and disappears around the corner he’s just come from… while still peeking out from behind it.
X starts. “AH, hello, everyone! Now, you’ve probably seen the card for today, and-“
As they step into the frame with X, Alfie cuts him off.
“WHAT THE ‘ELL IS YOUR GAME, GEEZER? Is this your doing, Crusader? Did you ask for THIS match?”
X puts his hands up. “Yes. I did. But…”
Alfie cuts him off, putting his hands up and ruffling his hair. He points his index finger at X, and sighs, speaking more slowly than usual. ‘You’ve ‘ad a fortnight to rack your brains, and this is what you came up wiv? You’re a troll, man. You’re screwed up in the ‘ead, how on earf you fort this was a good idea, two ov my besties in the world, and let me know before’and? I’ve wrestled Dazza, and ‘e gets it, but AMBER?!”
X starts to speak. “I-“
It’s Darren’s turn to cut him off. He points at X. “I told you, Alfie! This is what people like him do. They worm their way into your head, they start making you think that their way is the right way, and then they try to cut you off from your friends. Especially those who don’t trust them-“
X cuts in explosively. “I AM NOT trying to cut Alfie off from you! Or from her!” He points at Amber. “Why would I want to do that?! If I’m being honest, I’d love to work with all three of you, not just Alfie. You’re exactly the kind of competitor this sport needs. How the hell would we ever be able to work together if I tried to drive a wedge between you and Alfie?”
He inhales, then exhales. “I requested this match to bring us together.”
Alfie and Amber have similar puzzled expressions on their faces. Alfie scoffs while Best rolls his eyes and says, “Oh, come ON-“
X cuts HIM off. “We’re wrestlers. Competitors. Your friendship is important, but the day often comes when friends will have to face each other in the ring. Alfie, Darren, you know this. Yes, it can test that friendship… but it can also STRENGTHEN it. And it can strengthen you as a wrestler, as well.”
He continues. “I requested this tag match because it gives us all a chance to get to know each other better… as WRESTLERS. Think of it as a sparring session, an opportunity to learn. Especially you, Amber.” He smiles and looks directly at her. Alfie inches closer to her when he does. “If GLOBAL management ever books you in singles matches against any of us, you can think back to this match and-“
Best cuts him off once again. “Are you LISTENING to yourself? Do you actually think we buy this? You-“
“Darren.” Amber speaks for the first time. Darren says. “Amber-“
“DARREN,” she says with more force. She has a pained expression on her face. “He’s right.”
“…What?” Darren is puzzled.
Alfie looks at Amber. He’s shocked.
“He’s WEIRD. But he’s RIGHT. You and Alfie have wrestled each other. You’ve both wrestled X. But I’ve never wrestled any of you. You’re veterans. I’ve been wrestling for less than a year. I have so much to learn from all of you. This match could be HUGE for me and for my career. I get to team with one of the best technicians in GLOBAL. I get to face two of the best highflyers in the game. And I get to do it in the HAMMERSTEIN BALLROOM. I’ve been dreaming about wrestling in the Hammerstein for years! And in a match like this?” Amber’s voice breaks a little bit, surprising the other three.
Best is taken aback at first. He has never thought of it like that before. Then he nods, silently. He understands. He’s been where Amber’s been.
In trying to respond, Button begins to splutter, which is a rarity for him. “I…I ‘aven’t got the foggiest what ta say. I mean, if you’re sure, let’s ‘ave a ball in the ballroom, I guess. I just didn’t fink I’d be wrestlin’ ya, and I’m not ‘appy abaht it, Amber.”
“Alfie,” Amber turns to him. She puts her hand on his shoulder. “You’re my… best friend. I don’t WANT to wrestle you, but it’s not always about what I want. What if there’s another tournament? What if management puts you against me?” She has a pleading look in her eye. “If that happens, this match can… soften the blow.”
Alfie swallows nervously and looks at the ground. X turns to him. “If you really don’t want this match, I understand. I can request a last-minute change.”
“Well, I’m not ‘appy, but I’ll do it for Amber and Dazza, if they bof agree to it.”
X turns to Darren Best. “And you?”
Darren shakes his head. “… Fine,” he says. “But I’m not accepting this because I approve of all this. And I’m not accepting thus because of you, Amber. I’m accepting this… because it gives me another shot at YOU.” He points at X. He gets in his face.
X smiles a wicked smile. “And that’s the other reason why I asked for this match.”
Darren nods furiously and laughs a bit. “Oh, you’re GOOD. Alright. Amber, get changed and meet me in the practice area in about 10 minutes. We have a lot to go over.”
“Okay, great!” says Amber.
Darren turns to X and Alfie. “Alfie. Nutcase. I’ll see you out there.”
X is still smiling the wicked smile. “Brace yourself.”
Alfie points down the hallway. “I’m gonna hit catering sharpish, but I’ll be back pronto. But, geezer, Jesus, ask FIRST NEXT TIME, will ya?”
“See you out there!” X shouts to Alfie.
“I won’t go easy on you because you’re cute!” shouts Amber.
X turns to Amber. “Amber, I can’t wish you good luck, but I know you’ll bring your best. It’s an honor to face you.” He holds out his hand.
Amber shakes it. “Thank you for the opportunity, X. This is a big one for me.”
“My pleasure. See you out there.” X tries to drop his hand and leave…
But Amber holds on. X turns around, puzzled.
Amber’s looking at the ground. “X?”
With enough force to nearly tug X off of his feet, she pulls him in close. She’s standing face to face with him… about as well as a 6’2″ woman could stand face to face with a 5’9″ man.
Amber speaks with an unwavering, steely fury in her voice. “Stop. Messing. With Alfie. And if you do try to come in between us? I will break you in half without a second thought.”
X stares back with a stunned expression on his face. Amber’s kindness was already legendary in the locker room. X had begun to wonder if anything could push her beyond that.
And now he knows.
“I promise you. I won’t. If you do really want to break me in half…” He stares her in the eye and growls. “You’re welcome to try in the ring.” He drops the growl and continues. “But if I’m being honest, in the future, I’d rather work with you than against you.”
Amber drops his hand and scoffs. “Yeah. Okay. Maybe if you can learn how to be normal. See you in the ring.”
X looks down at his hand as she walks off. He mutters to himself.
“Normal. Ha! What even is normal, anyway?
CRUSADER X & ALFIE BUTTON Vs. AMBER LEE & DARREN BEST
“Well, big news here,” Allie reads breathlessly.
“Crusader X and Alfie Button, well I believe it’s Crusader X’s choice in all honesty, have decided to face Amber Lee and Darren Best here tonight in our opening match, momentarily.”
That is the collective sound of Lucas Quinn and The Mark. “You go first.”
Lucas paves the way for The Mark to go over the permutations first. “There’s no way that Alfie Button would chose that line up…”
Reece interjects. “I said I thought it was Crusader X’s choice.”
“You said think, and I’m saying I KNOW he wouldn’t have chosen that, thank you Allie, so I’m wondering what Crusader X’s angle is here.” The Mark rather aggressively counters.
Reece responds to Lucas. “I don’t know, the know-it-all over here has all the answers, but yes, we actually agree it was Crusader X’s choice, we KNOW it is, and I for one have to say I’m interested to see how Amber and Alfie deal with facing each other, because whether they’re friends or more, they’re close, that I will say. They’ve won matches together; some fans are speculating on whether they should make a run for it at The Master Sisters.”
“What do YOU think?” Lucas asks.
“I think Alfie needs Amber, and Amber can do whatever she wants. She’s undefeated in singles AND tag team action whereas Alfie has only been able to get the job done with Amber beside him, proving that behind every great man is a great woman, thank you and you’re welcome.”
“Proving? Personally, I think that’s a load of BS right there.”
Reece scowls. “How would you know? You’ve never been with a woman before.”
The camera catches Reece giving Deltzer ‘the evils’ before breaking into laughter, exposing that tongue piercing of hers. Yes, you read that correctly, you filthy animals.
Per the stipulation at Magnum Opus and following his first-round exit to EZ Rah from the first round of the tournament to crown a new contender to the GLOBAL Championship, Alfie Button has agreed to honor the wager struck with Crusader X to join forces and judging by their opposition this evening, anyone would think that Crusader X is trolling his (temporary) tag team partner.
Darren Best, the former long-term partner of Alfie Button and a loyal friend, even now.
Amber Lee, who may or may not be more than just a friend to Alfie.
Will Crusader X and Alfie work as well as the former hopes, turning this one-off into a regular relationship?
How will Alfie and Amber interact when they inevitably face off?
Could Darren’s knowledge of Alfie and/or determination to pay Crusader X play a crucial role in this opening contest in The Big Apple?
Let’s find out.
“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 native New Yorker emerges smack bang on cue: “YOU’RE SIMPLY THE BEST – BETTER THAN ALL THE REST.”
“Downtown” Jason Brown introduces Darren, the first to walk the aisle fittingly, to his best reception in GLOBAL so far. “From New York City, weighing two hundred and twenty pounds, DARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRREEEEENNNNN BEEEEEEEESSSSSSST!”
Darren graciously and gratefully waves to his people, and stands at the top of the aisle, waiting for his tag team partner to arrive.
Quinn takes the time to hype Best up. “A great reception, as you may, expect for a hometown favorite who is, unsurprisingly, in there against DIFFICULT opposition once again. Darren Best certainly tests himself against the best, having shared a ring with the likes of the champion himself, Sean Darring, Son of Malta, and Crusader X, who is unbeaten.”
Reece counteracts this by pointing out that Amber Lee is also unbeaten, and she has carried Alfie Button thus far.
Speaking of Amber…
‘Lose Control’ by Poe The Passenger allows the audience to do just that, any East-West coast rivalry being put to one side, as Amber gets a splendid reception, sporting a blue top and matching shorts with white knee-length boots, prompting some wolf whistles from some admiring audience members, as she greets Best with a tap on the shoulder and they fist-pump before walking the aisle way, both respectfully slapping the hands of fans, Amber leaning towards the left with Darren treating those on the right side of the aisle.
“From Los Angeles, California, weighing one hundred and seventy pounds…AMMMMMBBBBBBEEEEERRRRRR LEEEEEEEEEEEE!”
‘Let Me Entertain You’ by Button’s countryman, Robbie Williams, blares out, and the technicolor-coat-wearing Alfie Button emerges. His tights match, containing shades of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet, all designed to test the pixels and resolution of your widescreen televisions, just as a wildlife documentary or Pixar feature film would. After high-fiving some fans close to the rampway, he sprints to the ring, and somersaults over the top rope, being applauded by Amber, who he hugs before exchanging a handshake with Darren. Alfie climbs to the top left-hand turnbuckle, where his team will be stationed, and poses for the 2,500 fans on hand.
“That already gives Darren and Amber an advantage. Darren stayed, they walked out together as a team and I honestly feel they’ll walk out of here as the winners, as well,” Allie predicts.
“I see what you mean, but I believe Crusader X and Alfie will, surprisingly, work well together, too, and have a bit too much for Amber and Darren, but it’ll be close,” The Mark retorts.
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 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 shines on the center of the stage. In it is X, standing facing the crowd with his arms crossed above his head in an X, extracting a mixed reaction from the Hammerstein Ballroom faithful.
“Everyone else had had a positive response from these fans, Crusader X’s…about fifty-fifty, I’d say, but he’s probably used to that by now. It’s difficult to deny how talented he is, he’s an incredible athlete and has dazzled and impressed us every time he has been in there, and I don’t expect tonight to be any different, but could Allie be right? Alfie is a reluctant partner, as I am sure Darren and Amber are, but they’ve got a common denominator in Alfie. I wonder if Alfie and Crusader will struggle, Mark thinks otherwise, and it’s tough to say. We’re going to find out as Crusader X is poised to arrive momentarily.”
As he makes his way to the ring with an exaggerated stride, he high-fives every fan he can on the way there. Once he gets to the ring, he climbs every turnbuckle and poses with the X.
All three of the other participants in the match, along with the capacity crowd, pay Crusader X close attention.
“I’m sure he’s basking in this right now, and he should be,” Allie assumes.
Lucas Quinn reacts to the bell by reminding fans of the history Button and Best share. “Alfie Button and Darren Best, former tag team partners and still very close friends, are set to start things off for us here. Mark, you know these two better than anyone else at the table, what are you expecting to see out of the team formerly known as The Entertainers?”
Darren negotiates and wins a Collar-and-Elbow, transitioning smoothly into a Side Headlock, though Button steers him back to the ropes on the right-hand side nearest Button’s friend/girlfriend and Darren’s designated partner, Amber Lee, who is intently looking on.
“A fast-paced clash of styles with Alfie favoring the air, Best trying to clip his wings and ground him, which is what anyone should look to do to Alfie, irrespective of their style, because he’s lightning-quick and when he gets in a groove, he can be hard to stop. I really believe Alfie Button, as much as anyone I’ve ever seen in the ring, is a confidence athlete and wrestler, both outwardly and inwardly.”
Button shoves Best off, and drops down to greet Best, who steps over the grounded Cockney and grinds to a halt, looking to punish the usually unpredictable Londoner’s telegraphed tactic with an Elbow Drop, however, Alfie himself has seen that one before and kips up, making a statement to Best as much as anyone else in the Hammerstein Ballroom, only for Best to boot Button the gut and take Alfie back down with a simple, embarrassingly so, Side Headlock Takedown.
“Is this playing out the way you thought, Mark?” Quinn asks.
In the meantime, a Headscissors by Button averts his predicament, albeit temporarily, and it’s Darren’s turn to show that anything Alfie can do, Best can do better with a tasty kip up, drawing some applause from the native New Yorkers who have grown up riding the subways, running with people, up in Harlem, down on Broadway.
“Pretty much.” The Mark seemingly times his line after the audience’s brief and appreciative applause has died down.
They circle one another for a couple of laps before clashing together, dead center, courtesy of another Collar-and-Elbow, which Best breezes through easily with his third Side Headlock Takedown, talk about going back to the well, but Button does keep falling for it. However, Darren spins out of his favorite move, in this match at least, and grabs the Londoner’s left leg, wrenching at it, seeking an Ankle Lock attempt. Button feigns a yawn before a forward roll takes him away from danger and he blows Best a kiss from the other side of the ring. Button can’t see Amber’s laugh, though he does hear it, as he has his back to her. He affords her a thumbs-up, never taking his eyes off Darren, who nods, impressed and embracing the challenge the cheeky speedster and ex-partner provides him with, every time they square off, competitively or in training.
“Is that what you were alluding to, Mark, when you spoke of Alfie’s confidence?” Quinn enquires.
“Well, if it’s not Quinn, I’d hate to see Alfie firing on all cylinders and full of himself, wouldn’t you?” Reece reacts scathingly.
Alfie circles Best again, and as they rotate so they’re in their respective halves of the ring, Crusader X stretches over and tags himself in, prompting a mixed response from the 2,500-strong support. Alfie’s annoyance is apparent, though there is one person happy to see Crusader X, and that’s Darren Best who visibly perks up, licking his lips at the prospect of testing his skills against Crusader X, who owns a clean, clinical, and comprehensive victory at Darren’s expense.
Crusader X appears to go in for a Tie-Up, which Darren has lapped up opposite Button thus far, but X stops short, firing off with a couple of shoot kicks to soften up Darren’s left knee, forcing Best to retreat towards the ropes where Lee stands. Crusader attempts an Irish Whip, but it is reversed and thankfully, Best doesn’t lower his head like he did, fatally, in their one-on-one encounter when X punished him massively for the cardinal mistake, especially at this level. Instead, Best’s Clothesline attempt is somewhat off, not by much, but he catches up to Crusader X, following him to the other set of ropes, seeking Kitchen Sink, and getting it as Amber applauds from the other side. Alfie waves at her, which she returns in kind, before stroking the hair behind her right ear.
“She definitely wants Alfie’s Button.” The Mark reckons.
“Did you say she wants Alfie’s Button or Alfie Button?” Reece checks.
A whip by Best is now reversed by Crusader X, however, in the form of an Arm Wringer. He guides the native New Yorker to the ropes nearest Alfie, performing a Springboard Arm Drag, which annoys Best, particularly the sound of Alfie applauding it.
“I think that hurt Darren’s ego more than it did any part of his body.” Reece remarks.
Crusader X darts towards Darren, compounding Best’s misery with a Hurricanrana and a pinning predicament.
“I’m surprised Darren didn’t kick out of that earlier, but I think the element of surprise took him by…surprise.” The Mark observes.
Allie mockingly applauds the way Deltzer finishes that sentence. “Top class commentary and analysis by the so-called Britannica of wrestling commentators. Someone, anyone, please help us.”
Before Best can try and exact revenge, Crusader X tags Alfie back in, and then Darren, while holding his neck, mirrors Crusader X’s decision, only for Alfie to suddenly race over and ‘twirl’ Darren around, and walk away with his former partner, as if they’re having a chat. In fact, they come over to a neutral corner and Button has a little heart-to-heart with his BFF.
“Look, don’t make me face ‘er. Not only do I not wanna ruin it, but I don’t want me arse kicked, innit?”
Allie weighs in. “Smart move, he’s not as dumb as he looks.”
The Mark can’t resist the urge. “He’s pandering to her, and to you, Allie, as well as all these fans. He’s a showman.”
Darren nods, surveying the crowd, and then points at the sea of humanity. “They can hear you, and I’m pretty sure Amber can.”
Button swivels Best round and then shoves him off like a javelin, with Best ‘stumbling’ towards Amber for the HOT tag. Alfie does a double take when Amber, smiling at him playfully, enters. Alfie draws some laughs as he sneaks towards Crusader X like a drunken teenager trying to bypass their parents’ bedroom, but Crusader X doesn’t seem to want to make the tag. Crusader X points back at Amber, and applauds, trying to get the crowd to ‘want’ to see the clash between ‘Amber Button’ as they have affectionately been dubbed.
Alfie looks over his shoulder and holds his hand out repeatedly to Crusader X. “Come on, geezer, don’t mess abaht.’ X shakes his head, pointing at Amber, who suddenly spins Alfie around. He doesn’t know what to do, and she calls for a handshake. As he accepts her gesture, she pulls him in rather hard for a HUGE hug, squeezing the life out of the Londoner, whose expression combines pain and pleasure perfectly. The Viewers’ Choice pretends to stumble for a moment and then staggers towards a disapproving Crusader X, who gladly takes the tag this time.
“X looking annoyed with Alfie there.” Quinn comments.
As soon as Crusader X enters, Amber takes him off with guard and off his feet with a BIG boot. Suddenly, the tempo skyrockets and she grabs him by the hand, not to lead him through the streets of London or to show him something that’ll make him change his mind, but Crusader X catches her unaware with a short right hand, a sharp left as a follow-up and an Irish Whip, which Amber nips in the bud with a Reverse Elbow and a Standing Dropkick that has the undefeated “MAN IN THE MASK, you Rice Krispy treat, you” floored and frustrated.
Crusader glares at Alfie, who drops down off the apron, telling him ‘not to even bovver, mate.’
That message is received loud and clear. Crusader X changes tact and looks to take Amber aback with a superb Superkick, or it would have been, had Amber not caught it. X improvises excellently with an Enziguiri, sending Amber to one knee. X doesn’t need a second invitation to capitalize on the opening, particularly against the powerful Amber, taking it to Lee with a Thrust Kick to the head of his seated opponent, extracting a mixture of cheers and jeers of Crusader X in control.
A Swinging Neckbreaker by Crusader X doesn’t go according to plan, though, and rips off her Magnum Opus opponent, Kid Chameleon, reversing it into a Backslide and milking it…
Crusader X is back on his feet quicker than you can say. “IS THAT IT?”
This time, he DOES connect, drilling Lee with a Seated Superkick.
She throws him off, assertively and emphatically. He backs up a bit, giving himself some space before performing a forward roll…ROLLING CUTTER!!!
Best isn’t taking any chances there and pulls Crusader X off Amber’s chest. There’s something not right with that sentence I’ve just written. Crusader calls for a double team, causing some boos, and they quickly turn when Alfie rather loudly shouts. “FUCK THAT FOR A POP-TART.”
Crusader X holds Amber, believing Button will eventually change his mind, and Alfie simply walks back and forth on the apron like a bear in a cage. This allows Amber to counter Crusader with a couple of shots to the breadbasket and a Full Nelson Slam.
Amber takes a moment before chancing her arm with a cover…
2 and a half. Crusader X is back on his feet, though not of his own volition, and Amber’s got the bit between her teeth. Lee hoists X high up into the air and keeps him there long enough for the crowd to count along, predictably reaching ten before pulling the trigger and dropping him with a mightily impressive Delayed Vertical Suplex.
“Amazing by Amber Lee,” Allie raves.
“Hard to disagree. Not many have treated Crusader X like that in GLOBAL, and she brings so much confidence and an aura that Darren Best doesn’t, simply by being undefeated in any type of action, just like X,” The Mark reiterates.
Amber then hears a call from Best and turns around. She scurries over to tag a grateful Best, itching to get his hands on Crusader X.
“After all that, he has gone and undone Amber’s work,” Reece complains, throwing her hands up.
Crusader X rolls to safety, and now it’s X’s turn to seek an exit route, which Alfie provides, with Amber out on the apron again. Just as Darren stands up, he’s mowed back down with a gunshot-sounding SUPERKICK!
Alfie helps Darren up, not as a friend, but one sensing blood in the water. He takes it to Darren with a trio of European Uppercuts, exclaiming ‘I PITY THA FOOL’ as he goes, and Best is being held up by the buckles at this point. A Monkey Flip sends Darren flying across the ring and a bow by Button has the cheeky Cockney’s confidence levels soaring through the ceiling, so much so that he detects neither the crowd nor Crusader X’s calls for him to turn around, notifying an oblivious Button that Best has ‘done a Reyn’ and landed on his feet. But rather than wasting time, Best lets Alfie know of his presence with a present of his own…
A BACKDROP DRIVER dumps his so-called friend on his head.
“That could be it, you know.” The Mark claims, knowing how much of a Best specialty this move is.
Crusader X doesn’t take any chances, saving Alfie. Unlike X, Darren doesn’t ask Amber to double-team Alfie, perhaps because of his loyalty to and real friendship with Button. Having said that, Darren does want to break his own personal deadlock here, and he steers Alfie back to the corner where the Monkey Flip flipped the match on its head before Button was dropped on his. However, Darren’s Wrist-Clutch Exploder has Alfie on high alert as elbows his way to freedom, European Uppercuts himself back to being large and in charge and a Super-Caught…Enzuigiri attempt, to make that two out of two by Best, avoiding Alfie’s superior speed smoothly.
Ankle Lock, and this time Alfie has nowhere to forward roll to, wait a minute, he flips around and kicks Darren off. Too keen, Best returns to the scene and a Bobby Dazzler Kip-Up Hurricanrana hands that ‘round’ and exchange to the exuberant Englishman as the Hammerstein Ballroom gives a hand to the former dance partners.
Alfie isn’t resting on his laurels, mind, and a sublime Springboard Arabian Press, named Al Jazeera, is next on the agenda for one Alfred But-Best rolls out of the way, and is now up. He encourages Alfie to get up, and when Button does, Best gives it back to Alfie in spades with a fantastic Superkick of his own. Alfie falls flat on his back, and Crusader X knows he cannot interrupt. Best goes for the cover…
Alfie’s foot is on the rope.
“He did that to kick out at Magnum Opus, and for all the criticism that is leveled at Alfie Button, he knows where he is most of the time when he’s in that ring, and that comes from experience and learning from mistakes. Has he fulfilled his potential? No, but to say he hasn’t learned along the years is something I see a lot, and that is also wrong.” The Mark laments.
In fact, Crusader X applauds Alfie’s ring and spatial awareness.
Meanwhile. Best comes to collect. He sends Button in Amber’s corner, not interested in playing matchmaker, but professionally trying to get one over on Crusader X and Alfie Button, providing Darren with a launchpad here in GLOBAL. Alfie shows off in front of Amber with an up and over, and he exploits Darren’s timing being off by a hair with a LOVELY yet DEVASTATING Leaping Poisoned Frankensteiner, something that does bind Crusader X and the A to B of Professional Wrestling.
Quinn comments. “Shane Staggs, our referee, has a moment to breathe, along with the wrestlers themselves.”
“Darren Best and Alfie Button know each other so well, they came up together, and it’s strange they’re looking to tag out, not looking to the other for help, at least for the time being,” The Mark muses.
Alfie is closer to his part of town. Darren is only now just starting to stir.
Button is close. He makes a leap for it and TAG! Crusader X is the legal man. His first port of call is to cut Darren off from making the tag, and he does so, JUST, denying the eager Amber the chance to come in like a wrecking ball, and has she ever hit so hard in love.AAAALFIE!
“Surfboard Stretch by Crusader X.” Quinn states, thinking he’s the dog’s bollocks because his words ‘remotely’ rhyme.
Best cries out in pain, and his night is about to get worse when Crusader X converts it into a Dragon Sleeper, extracting some begrudging cheers in the process. Darren isn’t dead in the water, far from it in fact, and rallies back with some feeble right hands that start to pick up the pace and power, and after seven shots, he frees himself from the clutches of the ‘evil’ Crusader X. Tune in next week on Domination Eight…
…Anyway, Crusader X is seeking some sort of Suplex here, which one we never find out, as Best somehow manages to back flip over X’s head and land on his feet, grabbing Crusader X in a Dragon Sleeper of his own. Quick thinking on X’s part gets Crusader out of a pickle, a pair of knees finding Best’s forehead and a Pele Kick rubberstamping the handing of the baton back to Crusader X as boss inside that squared circle, at least for now.
X takes off, heading towards the bottom set of ropes closest to the aisle, and he appears to be attempting an Asai Moonsault, but it’s a diversion for the Stylin’ DDT, Best powerless to resist Crusader in full flow, and his patented Parasite’s Bane plants Darren, raising concern for the hometown boy on commentary as The Mark reminds everyone of Best’s history of concussion issues, brought on by a certain guy whose surname begins with ‘R’ and ends in ‘eyn.’
Crusader hooks the leg and nods along with Shane’s count…
Crusader X questions the call, and the peace sign reiterates it wasn’t a match-winning lateral press. Out of frustration, Crusader tosses Best to the outside in such a way that it visibly annoys Alfie. The X sign doesn’t get too much fanfare, though the spectators are still on their feet, curious and keen to see what X has in store. Crusader X puts his foot on the accelerator and gets ready for take-off with a Suicide Dive until he spots Best move out of the way, Crusader pulls on the brakes with a spin, and he peers out at Darren back inside the ring.
A Slingshot Splash is in Crusader’s thinking, and Darren also anticipates that again stepping away. However, Crusader reads Darren’s reaction, landing on the apron. Could it be the third time lucky? He’s primed and ready to strike with a Jumping Hurricanrana from the apron-NO! Best has countered with a POWERBOMB onto the edge of the apron and a second gust of wind to go along with it, by the looks of it, rolling Crusader X straight back in.
Darren fights through the pain, and this time, YES, he lands ALL of his OutStanding Moonsault!
Darren drags Crusader X up, looking for Best of Both, the Wrist-Clutch E-lbows by Crusader X, three in total and one in particular, the final blow, knocking Best for six and leaving him a little bit shaken.
Alfie and Amber alike do a double take, surprised at how fast that unfolded. Alfie is prepared to get in there anyway, but it certainly becomes a matter of urgency when he sees what happens next.
“Crusader X got him with the Schoolboy, and wait a minute, Darren’s already back on his feet and shoves Crusader X, not very sportsman-like of Best there, though these fans are supporting their own,” Quinn states.
X looks somewhat surprised but affords himself a smile, which only serves to annoy Best even more. Alfie runs over to push Crusader X away, and X is slightly annoyed by that as he doesn’t feel he has done anything wrong while Shane Staggs serves as a barrier, and Amber Lee also hurries to hold Darren Back. Amber puts her strength to great use and diffuses the situation.
“X is in Darren’s head, I don’t know if it’s because of the defeat or the relationship with Alfie, but Darren Best does not like Crusader X one bit,” Reece concludes.
Best yells. “YOU DON’T THINK I SEE WHAT YOU’RE DOING? STAY AWAY FROM ALL OF US,” Darren warns Crusader X.
Alfie leans in, and Crusader X raises his arm in triumph just as the official word is read out by Jason Brown, but Alfie cuts a bemused expression. In the meantime, Darren storms off in a huff, walking down the aisle, cursing at himself, uncharacteristic of Darren to say the least, and not giving anyone in the battleground a second look. Alfie, hands on hips, is sad to see Darren depart in such a way.
“I’ve never seen Alfie Button so unhappy to win a match, and without criticizing him too much, it’s overdue, but that’s testament to his relationship with Best as much as anything,” The Mark shares.
Alfie swaps words with Crusader X before Amber comes over to put an arm around him. He whispers in her ear, which makes fans cheer at first because they think he has given her a kiss, and a wave of the index finger tells them it isn’t, causing a few laughs and light boos. “Alright sweetheart, I’m fine, and ‘ow are ya? I’m sorry you’ve got caught up in this mess. Again, I ‘aven’t got a scooby what’s goin’ on ‘ere, but let’s go and ‘ave a coffee, or somefing, yeah?”
She nods her head and steers Alfie away, Button insistent on holding the ropes open for Lee, who graciously accepts his offer and then repays the favour. They both jump down off the apron and chat, waving to the fans as they leave. Crusader X mounts the four corners, again dividing the crowd, who are appreciative of his individual brilliance but not sold on his behavior.
Amber takes one look back at him, one of suspicion and discomfort before “Amber Button” disappears.
Anyone for a brew?
A man smiles. He is sitting on a comfortable-looking swing on the porch of an old wood-paneled house, looking out over dried grassy land that stretches out over the horizon. In his hand, he holds a white metal mug, some of the paint flaking away from the enamel mug.
As he gazes over the horizon, the sun setting slowly, oranges and purples slowly filling the sky, he takes a sip of his drink.
“Ahh,” he sighs, “a lovely decaffeinated cup of GREEN TEA.”
GURGLE. GURGLE. GURGLEGURGLEGURGLE.
“Oh boy.” The man says, his smile dropping and his spare hand pressing on his stomach.
He pops the mug down on the boards of his porch and sprints into the house.
The rest can be left to your imagination.
GREEN TEA: NATURE’S LAXATIVE.
Backstage – “The Legend” Sean Darring is standing by in a gray suit and gold tie, with the matching golden prize known to the world as the GLOBAL Championship sitting on his right shoulder. He is talking to the ever-so-popular Jackie James. The two men seem to be laughing and reminiscing about the “glory days.” GLOBAL’s press officer, Alicia Fawkes, tells Sean Darring that the committee will see him in just a bit.
Jackie James takes the cue and tells the legend, “Chat later tonight. Good luck!”
As Jackie James exits to the right. The Legend turns to the camera and addresses GLOBAL Nation while waiting for his meeting.
“I have been fielding many questions about what is next for the GLOBAL Championship title and, more importantly, the number one contender, Aleczander The Great.”
Not only are fans around the globe more than likely booing … even the cameraman lets out a soft boo from behind the camera (talk about heat!).
Darring acknowledges the soft boo playfully, “We all agree.” Then he continues, “I am headed into a meeting with the GLOBAL Championship committee in just a few minutes. I am looking for their blessing to issue a Global Challenge.”
The Legend pauses, letting the moment sink in.
“Long past are the days of champions defending their titles only on big shows. Long past are the days of champions saving their defenses for only those deemed eligible by a ranking system. Who knows how long I left in this industry? I will not carve my last bit of legacy sitting on the merits of my past accomplishments. Next Domination – I want to defend this title.”
The Legend points to the illustrious golden prize on his shoulder.
“I want to earn the right to continue to be called champion. So that brings us to Aleczander The Great, The Hall of Famer ….”
The Legend grins, most likely thinking about the opportunity of eventually wrestling him.
“You interrupted my moment. You wanted to make your status, your name… your intentions known.”
The Legend nods reflecting on the last Domination.
“Mission accomplished. You are right, and you are the number contender. Hell, you are the Hall of Famer! You deserve the first shot at this championship belt.”
The cameraman zooms in on the gorgeous golden title. The GLOBAL logo proudly sits across the center of the championship belt.
“How about next Domination? Be the first man to step in the ring and challenge me for the Global Championship. There is nobody I would rather face than the man who earned the spot of number one contender. Be the first in my Global Challenge. Let’s make history, Aleczander.”
Alicia Fawkes returns and tells the Legend the championship committee is ready for him.
“Aleczander, I will await your response.”
The Legend pats the championship gold one final time, and with a legendary smile, he turns to discuss his plan with the GLOBAL championship committee.
AN OPEN CHALLENGE
In the middle of the ring lay Global’s very first, and so far the only, Tag Team Champions, Aurora, Dawn and Moonlight Master. Dawn and Moonlight carry the titles, which is a very, very rare sight, as the belts can normally be found being hoarded by the older sister, but fear not, because she still seems to be the centerpiece of todays’ segment.
“Did you like that tag team match?” Aurora asks the audience, holding a microphone and standing imposingly and perfectly in the center point of the ring.
“It was a good match. That reminds me of another good tag team match that happened during Magnum Opus! The Health Fanatics versus Prime Time Athletes!” She starts walking around the ring. “What? You expected me to mention our match against the Rich Family? Oh no, I’ve heard you, I know what you’ve been saying about us. Horrible matches! Cheating! A lack of showing off! And very, very unfair!”
Aurora sits in the turnbuckle and speaks directly to her smaller sister. “There was even a fan that ranked it 2.5 out of 5 stars! The worst match of the show, he called it! Can you believe it?”
“Man, these judgemental pricks rank everything on the internet! Reminds me of this girl who spends days ranking music albums on a website, she sucks.” Dawn comments.
“What I do with my free time is mine to decide.” Aurora eyes her sister clearly annoyed. “Anyways, I have no problem with people rating things online, rate away, talk away, judge away, but don’t forget that at the end of the day WE are the tag team champions, and the reason why we have the titles, and not the Rich Family, Team United, The Prime Athletes, Trouble Roxx or any of the four idiots that were in this ring a bit ago is because we don’t care about ‘great matches’, and we don’t care about giving you guys a ‘show’. Frankly speaking, I hate each and everyone of you guys far more than I’ve hated anyone backstage. Because the other guys I at least get, they want to be at the top as much as we do, and that’s a rough ladder to climb. But you…”
Aurora points to the entire audience in the Hammerstein Ballroom.
“You! You come here, you pay money to watch us fight and climb and fall, like we’re all a bunch of monkeys for your own entertainment, and when we go there, put our bodies on the line and win an easy win, you tell us our match is the worst match of the show. But when two guys almost kill themselves at the end of a show, you call it the match of the year. Because you don’t care about Freddie or Alex, or their bodies, you care to see their lives end for your entertainment. And the sad part is that… we need you. We need you to come here and watch us. I need you assholes to buy the ticket and come here despite the fact that every single one of you boos us, and this is the pay we get.”
Aurora pauses to listen to the disproving boos from the audience, but she doesn’t seem to be bothered by it.
“You’re just proving my point… and yet, I need you guys to buy the tickets to see us, so I have a proposition, we’ll be the monkey, and we’ll have a match, a GREAT match, an open challenge!” Aurora seems to have more to add, but the audience actually seems happy to have the chance to see someone beat the crap out of this girl. Those hopes are cut short when she adds. “But not today!”
“What?” She asks, confused at the amount of booing that just returned. “You baboons already bought your tickets, you’re already here, your money is mine already. No, our next show is in a far better place than… this. We’re gonna be on our home turf! The UNITED KINGDOM! Yes! Domination Eight! Main Event! The Master Sisters Open Challenge! And hey! Since we’re all here and I’m feeling nice I will give you that little bone of dopamine you guys so desperately want. We’re going to decide our opponents right here, right now! This is an open challenge to ALL teams, the very first team to come out of that entrance is the team we’ll face next sh-”
Aurora doesn’t even get the chance to finish, instead being interrupted by music! Rule Britannia blasts through the speakers as the team the theme belongs to comes through the entrance. Once people understand exactly who they are and what this means, they begin to boo.
“Our very own business partners…” Aurora shakes her head as she sees The Best of British walk down the ramp. “Never would’ve guessed.”
“I’ll kick your balls again, blondie boy!” Screams Dawn at Rupert.
“You have yet to kick my privates, and I will make sure you never do!” Says Rupert in the exact same tone, but Nigel tries to stop the confrontation by putting his hand in front of his partner, taking the lead.
“Well, Aurora, you said any team! Well, we just so happen to be a team! So…are you a woman of your word or not?” He asks, to which Aurora replies with a smirk.
“Fair enough! You are indeed a team! And to be fair, what better team for us to fight in our home country than two of our countrymen? Nigel… The other guy… You’re on!”
“Glad we have a deal,” Nigel says before turning around and leaving the ring.
“Well, it appears we will be having a tag team title defense on the Main Event at Domination 8…although, does this not feel quite right to anybody else?”
“Yes, Allie. There’s something odd about it, all right. Who knows, though? They may well be earnest about wanting to defend their titles…”
“I wouldn’t bank on that, Lucas. But as I think I’ve said once before tonight, we’ll just have to wait and see…”
Those are the last words fans at home heard before the feed transitions elsewhere.
DO YOUR DUTY!
The scene opens with “Big Kid” Chris Smith standing in the forefront of what looks to be a basic living room. The 390-pound mastodon has a wry smile on his face and almost presentable attire as he begins speaking.
“Parents, do you worry about your kids online?” He begins. “You really should be if you aren’t because there are cyber threats all around us. They can attack a cell phone, a laptop, or even wireless GPS devices!”
He starts walking slowly as he continues to speak.
“I feel it is my duty to explain the dangers of being on the internet to you because, from what I can tell these days, you parents are doing a piss-poor job of taking care of things on your end.”
He walks through a door and in the background we see Gemini sitting at a desk. On the computer screen behind him is a scantily clad lady, obviously doing a web cam show for her “fans.” He seems very intent on the show and doesn’t even notice his friend walking in.
“Like this right here,” says the Big Kid as he motions toward the masked cam fan.
Gemini jerks around. “Would you quiet down?”
“Right now, Gemini is thinking that he is having a night to remember with a girl focused on him, but…”
He pauses for effect.
“But,” Smith continues, “the girl is actually not private with him, but broadcasting to…well, let’s just find out.”
He walks over, and the camera zooms on the “Consuela” show, and it shows a number 1,384 next to the small cam icon. Suddenly, Gemini snaps and turns and starts slapping at the camera guy.
“GET THE HELL AWAY FROM ME!!!” He yells. “I’m on a date with my girlfriend!”
The camera moves away as Smith steps away also and just shakes his head in disappointment.
“This is what allowing unfettered internet access can cause,” he adds. “And it is a danger to the bank accounts of our adults and the morality of our children. So do what you know you should do and cut off that internet to your young people.”
He takes another look back just as Consuela starts the motion to remove her top and then turns back to the camera, blocking the view from the Global viewpoint.
“It really is the least you can do to protect them,” He states as he puffs out his chest a little for his tag line. “This message was brought to you by me, Chris Smith. I’m doing it for the kids.”
And from the background, we hear Gemini yell out
“Man, FUCK THEM KIDS!
As the screen starts to fade out, we hear him continue muttering, “Kids always messing with my life and trying to keep me from getting down the way I want to get down. I tell you….”
Black screen for the end.
A SLIGHT DETOUR
The scene begins with a view of Global headquarters and the following timestamp showing in the lower right corner of the screen…
EARLIER THIS WEEK AT GLOBAL HQ
All we hear is generic chatter and the camera swivels to the right to show us Hank Wright and “Too Cool” Chris Hopper walking next to Giovanni Ferrari.
“Listen, I signed up for the steak dinner and cigar bar, but this doesn’t look like either of those,” Hank states loud enough for the entire bullpen area to hear.
“Totally,” Hopper adds. “This looks like it is turning into more than just a friendly get together.”
Ferrari holds up both arms as he keeps power walking down this hall and speaks, “I assure both of you that this is just a short stop over.”
“Yeah, sure it is.” Chris muses. “I swear it feels like I’m being led to a pitch meeting. You feel that way, Hank?”
“Yup,” Wright answers.
“I assure you, it is not that at all,” the Global CEO answers. “We will hit the cigar bar and everything else after I make this quick stop. Now if you’d follow me.”
He opens the office door and the two wrestling legends look at each other and shrug before walking inside. Before following them in, we see Giovanni take a deep breath as if he just got away with lying to a pair of his friends. He then walks into the room and the camera fades as the door closes.
THE LAW Vs. THE ANGEL & THE JERK
The upbeat chords to Green Day’s “The Angel and the Jerk” echo across the Hammerstein Ballroom, announcing the arrival of the team by the same name. In stark contrast to their chosen theme song, however, Angel Ramirez and Saul Morgan appear in rather sombre moods as they emerge through the curtain and begin to make their way down to the ring. The Latina, in particular, is a far cry from her effervescent self, barely acknowledging her partner’s double-fist low-five and appearing somewhere between incensed and terrified; Saul, on the other hand, is clearly just angry, his intense glare being worth about a thousand words. At the announce table, Lucas Quinn does the honours, as usual.
“The Angel and the Jerk are set to have their first match as an actual team here, as they take on the duo calling themselves The Law. And ladies and gentlemen, this match was personally requested by Saul Morgan two weeks ago, following an attack on him and his partner on the part of Brady and Strauss at Magnum Opus. So expect these two to be out for revenge tonight, and for things to get personal between them and their opponents.”
“It could be personal for more people than just the two wrestlers there, Quinn. We’ve got Barry Snider as a referee here tonight, and from what I heard, Powell was scheduled to officiate this one, and Snider specifically asked to take over from him so he could stick it to the two fake cops. That’s what’s going around backstage, anyway…I didn’t have a chance to ask Snider yet.”
“Well, Mark, hopefully, he will manage to retain the professional neutrality he is known for, and call it straight down the middle, as he should.”
As the veteran announcer and his younger counterpart set up the stakes for the upcoming bout, in the ring, “Downtown” Brown does his thing.
“The following contest is scheduled for…ONE FALL! Introducing first, from Great Barrington, Massachussets, SAAAAAULLLL MOOOORRRGAANNNN! And his partner, from Los Angeles, California, ANGEEEEELLL RAMIIIIREZZZZZ! The team of THE ANGEL AAAAAAND THE JERK!”
The crowd erupt for the two fan-favourite fighters who, once again, only just acknowledge the ovation, both their gazes fixed on the entrance curtain as they wait for their opponents. After a moment, an inkling of initiative is finally seen from the two, as Angel requests, and is thrown, a microphone, which she promptly puts to good use.
“All right – we’re here, ‘pendejos’! Where the [BLEEP] are YOU?!”
No sooner has the youth dropped the mic than her question is answered, as “Police Truck” by the Dead Kennedys begins to blare through the speakers, eliciting a chorus of boos from the crowd; however, while the song does continue on for several seconds, Brady and Strauss are nowhere to be seen, causing Angel and Saul to give each other puzzled, and not altogether pleased, looks. At the announce desk, Quinn is equally confused.
“Well…The Law SHOULD have been here by now…but I guess they decided this match was not worth the effort…?”
“Well, if they DID, that proves Saul and Angel right in everything they’ve been saying about them.” The disdain in Allie’s voice reaches levels usually reserved for the likes of John Truth as she assesses the situation at hand.
Before anyone can react further, however, the two wrestlers in the ring – as well as referee Barry Snider – are surprised by the sudden appearance of Brady and Strauss, not from the entrance ramp, but from one of the access doors of the arena itself! The two supposed LAPD officers pelt it down to the ring, pushing and shoving hapless fans in their way, entering the ring at Saul and Angel’s back while the two are still waiting for them to emerge through the curtain. A cry from Snider alerts the fan-favourites to this situation, but they still have just enough time to turn around before the two behemoths are on top of them, and clubbing them with blows!
“The Law wasting no time showing their true colours here…typical.” Allie is once again disgusted as the two men brought in by Jed Johnson effectively and successfully create separation between themselves and their opponents, Brady throwing Saul out of the ring and continuing the beatdown on the outside, while his partner stays in the squared circle, working over the helpless Angel. Seeing two people in the ring – albeit not in altogether normal circumstances – referee Snider calls for the bell, officially getting the grudge match underway.
“Not the most orthodox start here, but Snider is a consummate professional…he had to ring the bell there, so he did.”
“Good on him!” Allie is quick to reply to Quinn’s comment. “Now, at least, Angel and Saul will have SOME rules to make use of against these brutes!”
“And it looks like they’re going to need all the help they can get…”
Quinn’s accurate observation was brought about by Strauss’ gleeful throwing of Angel Ramirez from literal pillar to post: the Lawman has the young Latina trapped in one corner, where he is landing repeated blows to her head and knee strikes to her midsection, then whips her across to the opposite turnbuckle, and runs in as if going for a splash. Angel makes as if to dodge, but Strauss stops short, snorting mockingly at the teenager for falling for his ruse, before tackling her to the ground with an indulgent shrug of one shoulder. With his opponent down, he begins to lay hard stomps on her, until Snider cuts in and tell him, in no uncertain terms, to stop it or be penalised. Surprisingly, Strauss abides – but only because that gives him the chance to grab Angel’s frizzy ponytail and force her to her feet that way.
“This guy is a real piece of work, isn’t he?”
“He is, Allie. He really is.”
With Angel back to a vertical base, Strauss now pulls her up for a vertical gorilla press splash, which sends the teenager right back down to where she started from, and causes the fans’ booing to intensify even further – right along with Allie’s vitriol.
“HOW is this legal? She’s a TEENAGER! And even if she wasn’t, she’s half his size!”
“I guess you sign up for that when you become a wrestler, Allie.” Deltzer’s counterpoint is, however, quickly prefixed with a mitigating addendum. “Still, this is really not a very good look for Strauss here…”
The supposed LAPD officer, however, would probably not care even if confronted with these facts, as he appears to be enjoying himself a little too much throwing the Latina around – even as, outside the ring, her partner has managed to somewhat even the exchange with the second Lawman. Despite his size difference, Saul Morgan is once again making use of his military toughness to at least fend off Brady’s attacks, thus avoiding being completely overrun by his opponent. Still, the much bigger Brady shows no signs of slowing down, let alone backing down, and the two men, therefore, continue their now-lengthy strike exchange all around the ringside area, preventing Morgan from coming to his partner’s rescue.
As such, Angel has to do what she has learned to do so well in her less than two decades on this Earth and attempt to fend for herself against overwhelming odds. Fortunately, she has an opening in which to do just that when Strauss brings her up for another gorilla press, which the youth slips out of, landing on her feet and promptly dropping into a surprise rollup! Barry Snider drops down to count!
—Strauss kicks out with authority!
“All that, and he almost gets rolled up…” Allie can barely contain the glee in her voice – nor, arguably, is she trying.
“Was…was Snider SMILING as he counted there?”
Deltzer’s query goes unanswered, however, as his two colleagues turn their attention back to the ring, where Angel’s stunt has had little effect other than to make Strauss angry. Still, free of her opponent’s clutches, the teenager is putting her agility to good use, constantly dodging Strauss’ various strike attempts, and successfully riling the Lawman up even further. She gets a little TOO into it, however, and becomes careless, allowing herself to get caught by Strauss with another shoulder tackle, which sends her flying back-first into the ring post. Strauss then leans in to grab her by the hair again, the better to move her out of the way so he can sneakily expose the top turnbuckle. He then backs up so he can get a running start and inflict extra damage on the teenager when he hits her head on the steel…and this is his mistake. Presented with a favourable set of circumstances, Angel showcases her parkour skills by running vertically up the turnbuckle and pushing herself off into a backflip, so that she lands behind Strauss. Angel’s sacrifice of a good chunk of her hair (lost to Strauss’ hand whilst prying free from his grasp) is, therefore, worthwhile, as it is the Lawman’s head that connects with the exposed turnbuckle a moment later, bringing cheers from the Hammerstein Ballroom stands – and from Allie and Lucas at the announce table.
“THERE’S my girl!”
“Impressive display of agility from Angel Ramirez, who is finally managing to find her feet in this highly uneven matchup.”
“Yeah, Quinn…the question is…where can she go from there?”
Mark Deltzer’s question is answered a moment later by Angel herself, as she lands a dropkick to the back of Strauss! She goes for another, but the Lawman – now almost fully recovered – swats it away, blocking the strike and causing Angel to go sprawling across the mat. This time, however, that fact turns out to her advantage, as she profits from having landed near the ropes to slip to the outside and help her partner, whose seemingly endless brawl with Brady is still going on nearby. Without hesitation, Angel gains the bigger Lawman’s back and connects with a low blow, which catches him completely by surprise and allows her partner to gain the upper hand at long last! Concerned with evading her own assailant, however, Angel has time for little else than to throw her partner a wink and two-fingered salute, before rushing past him and Brady, the better to put some distance between herself and Strauss, who has predictably given chase.
Here, her agility and acrobatic skills once again come in handy, as she scales the ring steps, shimmies up the turnbuckle directly above them, and launches off with a BIG Angel’s Flight crossbody! She did not, however, account for Strauss’ veteran awareness, which allows him to catch the crossbody and reverse it into a HUGE fallaway slam onto the concrete! The fans GASP as Angel crumples in a heap, and Strauss rushes over to help his partner double-team Saul Morgan! Ever the stickler for the rules, referee Snider initiates a standard ten-count.
Still no response from Angel, as the two members of The Law work on wearing down her partner.
The youth begins to stir, gingerly pulling herself up onto one shoulder.
Angel pulls herself up to a seated position and takes a moment to shake off the cobwebs…
…before noticing her partner is in danger, and immediately, without hesitation, rushing in to help!
The four wrestlers engage in an all-out brawl, Angel liberally making use of all her streetwise strikes and attacks while Saul attempts to lock either Lawman in a hold! No one, therefore, appears to pay Snider’s count any heed as it reaches
leading GLOBAL’s head ref to throw out the match as a double count-out!
“Well, that was predictable…Disappointing, but predictable.”
“I agree, Mark. With the way tensions have been escalating between these teams, there was very little chance we were going to have a regular matchup here tonight.”
“Tell you what, though, Lucas – if Powell HAD been the referee, I bet he would be in there trying to break that brawl apart!”
“I don’t know if even he would be able to do that, Mark…”
In fact, the fight between the four wrestlers has reached fever pitch, with Saul now attempting to fend off both Lawmen at once, while his partner is a flurry of movement, weaving in and out of the brawl to land opportunistic blows. Even still, it is hardly a fair contest between the regular-sized man, the undersized teenager and the two hulks – at least until a third figure comes dashing down the entrance way to get stuck right into the fray!
“VALORIE!! VALORIE VITALITY IS HERE!!”
Allie’s enthusiasm is, however, tempered by a typically snide remark from her youngest broadcast partner.
“Three-on-two…is that really fair?”
This, in turn, prompts a gasp of disbelief from the pink-haired announcer.
“Are. You. SERIOUS right now, Mark?! Look at the size of them! Now, look at the size of THEM! Three of Saul, Valorie and Angel barely make up two of The Law!”
Even Deltzer is hard-pressed to disagree with this logic – especially since the appearance of Valorie has only helped the fan favorites even the contest, as opposed to gaining the upper hand. Even still, the presence of her idol and friend frees Angel up for one of her trademark street-smart moves – the same one she used moments before on Brady, and which she now applies to her in-ring tormentor, Strauss!
“OUCH! Right on the family jewels!”
“Serves him right, though, Mark. He had it coming, after how he manhandled her in there.”
Once again, Deltzer is hard-pressed to disagree with Allie’s assessment, instead keeping his silence as, a few feet away, Valorie profits from Angel’s smart tactic to bail her out of the fight and up the entranceway. Reluctant at first to leave her partner behind, Angel only relents when she sees Saul extricate himself from his own predicament – by way of the roundhouse kick he has dubbed Better Call Saul – and come running up to join them by the entranceway. Together, the three gratefully make their exit through the curtain, leaving The Law to pick themselves up and be subjected to the boos of the fans, while, at the announce desk, Lucas Quinn muses on the nature of their alliance.
“It appears those three continue to be a tight-knit unit, and it will be interesting to see how Valorie factors into this rivalry going forward. She was the catalyst for all this, of course, but so far, she seems to be paying Saul and Angel’s concern back in kind, and she COULD prove to be a key asset in their battle against The Law.”
“I guess we shall have to wait and see, Lucas…”
For once, it is Allie, and not Mark Deltzer, who has the last word, as the feed transitions elsewhere.
A RICH PROBLEM
Backstage, The Bro stands by with Jimmy Classic and “The Suplex Ninja” Trae Larkin. The young, arrogant, and brash duo are dressed in their usual loud fashion: fur Coat and sunglasses. Before the Bro can speak, the microphone is taken by Jimmy Classic, who turns and spits his gum out and speaks.
“Let’s get a little serious here. It’s no secret we have made our intentions clear. We have set our sights on the famous and legendary family – The Rich Family.”
The Bro attempts to lean over, but Trae Larkin quickly pulls the young reporter back and in his place as Jimmy Classic continues.
“We were celebrating on the beach of Miami last week, and just like all of you, Global-Nation, we also saw firsthand the destruction of Freddie Rich. It was a heartless and shocking display of violence on a battle-tested legend.”
Jimmy Classic slowly nods, shockingly sympathizing with the Rich Family.
“That … we … absolutely … loved.”
Trae Larkin and Jimmy Classic howl in laughter to the point that The Bro is uncomfortable.
“It must have been hard to watch Alex Reyn start the process of exterminating GLOBAL of the dastardly “Rich” problem. Trae and I plan to continue what Alex Reyn started on the next Domination. Rich Family, you have been ducking, dodging, and weaving us since the opening night in GLOBAL. The disrespect you have shown us shows what kind of family you are.”
Jimmy Classic removes his sunglasses, talking straight into the camera as if he is talking to the Rich Family themselves.
“Declan, Todd, and Donny … you have ignored us just like you did Freddie as we all watched his legendary career end.”
The Bro doesn’t want any part of this “interview.” even though he hasn’t been a part of it from the start, he has now slid away from the duo as the firey Trae Larkin speaks.
“Next Domination, we challenge ANY Riches. We don’t care if it’s Donny, Declan, Todd, or Freddie rising from the hospital bed. We want two Riches inside that ring, and we aren’t going to accept being ignored anymore.”
The disrespect for the legend has made everyone in the arena and probably watching at home uncomfortable, which fuels the disrespectful duo.
“We are tired of hearing about how good the Rich Family is. It’s time for the future to become the present. And, hey, for the rest of the Rich Family, maybe you can celebrate the rest of the Rich retirement party, just like you did Freddie’s hospital visit.”
More laughs … disgusting.
“We look forward to seeing at least two of you next Domination.”
Trae Larkin looks at the Bro, who is shaking his head, and he tosses the microphone towards him as the Prime Time Athletes walk away laughing.
CANCELLED PARTY PLANS
Aleczander The Great.
A man that has the look of the champion. The gear of a champion. The shoes of a champion (YEAH!). A man that has a date looming to be a champion…. Specifically, for the GLOBAL Wrestling Championship.
A man that has prided himself on nothing short of ridiculous egotistical proclamations. Calling himself a Hall of Famer, despite GLOBAL being relatively new in the wrestling world. Calling himself head and shoulders above the rest.
A man without a care in the world right now.
The camera is on said “Hall of Famer” as he finishes walking out of the locker room wearing a snappy golden blazer (no sleeves to let his muscles breathe), black slacks, and a lit cigar in hand. He exits the locker room, stepping out and briefly bumping fists with both Nigel Kensington III and Rupert Royston-Fellowes after discussing some business. He puts the cigar in his mouth and starts walking. Behind him, one of GLOBAL’s crack team of interviewers, The Bro, jumps out from the shadows as he goes walking.
“Bro? Aleczander The Great, bro?” He starts. “Can I get a word, bro?”
The Gilded Great – for once – has his game face on as he tries to brush past him.
“I’m busy, mate. Go away,” Aleczander yells, taking the cigar out of his mouth. “Got big plans tonight! I showed up, now I’m taking the rest of the night off cause I got big, Hall of Famer-y things to do! Pressers, junkets, podcasts! I’ve got all these things on me plate, yeah? My people will try and call your people… but don’t call my people first. That’s rude.”
The Bro tries to stop him as he keeps walking.
“Wait, one question, one question, bro! Do those big plans have anything to do with GLOBAL Champion Sean Darring talking to GLOBAL’s Championship Committee to make your future title match official for DOMINATION 8?”
Aleczander comes to a stop in his tracks instantly. He spins around and turns to face The Bro, annoyed.
“What’s that?” Aleczander asks. “If you’re here to take the piss, you can get your ass out of here right now.”
“No, no, bro… my sources say it’s true! Sounds like this match is all but official!”
Aleczander inches closer towards The Bro and casually drops the remnants of his cigar before stomping it out on the floor. Cautiously, the interviewer tries to move back a step.
“Bro? Uh… just looking for a quote her…. AHHH!”
The Gilded Great HOISTS The Bro by his collar and pins him to a wall. Aleczander clinches his teeth together and gets right in The Bro’s face.
“That… that’s BOLLOCKS! That little arsehole, Sean Darring, trying to pull rank on ME? He’s a Legend, but I’m a Hall of Famer! I outrank that stupid arsehole! Title or no! I’M the man carrying GLOBAL on me boulder-like shoulders, not that stupid politicking ARSEHOLE! Who does that? That’s someone CLEARLY abusing their power behind the scenes! This is GLOBAL, mate! We don’t do that here! We’re classy!”
He continues ranting and shaking The Bro… then stops. The gears seem to be turning.
“Mate… I mean, BRO… you want a little sound bite from GLOBAL’s Hall of Famer, yeah? Want a scoop? Something that’s gonna outdo that favoritism-playing wanker, Steve Blaine and… tHe InFoRmEr?”
The Bro shakes his head in a hurried affirmative.
“Good… here’s your little clip.”
He turns to the camera to address the viewers directly.
“I’m gonna move EVERYTHING else I got going on in me busy time… and I’m gonna set up a match of me OWN! Tonight! I’m gonna show Darring, I’m gonna show MY GLOBAL Nation and I’m going to show the people watching all around the world EXACTLY why I am the NEXT Global Champion! Two weeks ago, he had the AUDACITY to call me? The only GLOBAL Hall of Famer… a coward? Tonight, I’m gonna find the toughest competition I can to show what I’m capable of! Tonight, Bro… someone will get what they deserve…”
Then he turns back to The Bro.
“Then I’ll show that wanker who the coward REALLY is…”
He finally releases The Bro and drops him against the wall before storming off. He looks relieved to have not been stomped, but also having gotten an exclusive first.
At the very end of the Hammerstein Ballroom parking lot, an idling, battered car is tightly guarded by a pair of muscular, bouncer-looking men, who become momentarily dislodged every few seconds as the vehicle bumps and rocks.
“Hey, uh…boss?” One of the men – the shorter and leaner one – directs his words at one of the car’s windows. “D’you wanna maybe go in there an’ do that? Y’know, in the locker room?”
“Nope.” While muffled by the window, the voice emanating from within is still perfectly discernible. “Don’t trust locker rooms. Too many goddamn bastards in ’em all the time.”
At that, the door pushes open, and a ratty-looking man steps out, clad in a worn-out vest top and equally shabby wrestling pants. “Besides, I’m ready now.” He looks at either of the two individuals guarding the car in turn, then nods towards the door of the venue a few yards away. “Let’s go.”
As the trio begin to make their way into the historic event room, the shorter man – none other than divisive GLOBAL roster member John J. Truth – once again addresses his two companions.
“Right, here’s the plan – you two lay low until I say so. And if I don’t say so, we’ll just meet back here afterward. You got that?”
“Yes, boss!” The two men respond almost in unison, bringing a grin to the superstar’s features.
“Great. Get the hell outta here, then.”
With that, the three men go their separate ways, the better to carry out their battle plans.
THE C WORD
The GLOBAL Wrestling interview backdrop comes into focus.
And in said interview area?
Steve Blaine, ready to say all the things for the viewers at home.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” Blaine begins, “we’re about to get some words with two men who will be competing in tag team action tonight as unlikely partners before they are scheduled to meet one another in the semifinals of the GLOBAL Championship Contender’s Tournament. Please welcome first… Daniel Dream!”
Daniel Dream, wearing a yellow smiley face mask, slowly, methodically steps into the interview area as he’s introduced.
“And your partner for the evening… with his manager, Del Waterstone, please welcome “Big Aug” August Lazar!”
The camera pans back to reveal the mammoth form of The Largest Athlete in The GLOBE in his ring gear, along with Del Waterstone.
“Hey, hey,” Del begins. “What’s going on, Blaine?”
“Hello, Steve,” Big Aug’s voice booms. “How go your day, Stevie B? Get enough to eat?”
“Not bad, thanks for asking,” Blaine replies. “Now, before the two of you are scheduled to face off with one another in the ongoing tournament, the two of you are going to be teaming up tonight against another unlikely duo of E Z Rah and Alex Reyn. Reyn has shown himself a very dangerous wrestler and E Z Rah showing himself as young, but very capable. How do the two of you see this match going?”
Del pats Big Aug on the chest.
“It’s gonna go with Daniel Dream and THIS tall, dark handsome beast with the big appetite being victorious in the ring tonight, that’s how. E Z Rah? He can get it done. He and Jerry David beat the tar out of each other at Magnum Opus. Alex Reyn? He’s a psycho and he’s piling up bodies like a Halloween movie franchise. But one thing we got that they don’t?”
He looks up.
“Let ‘em know, Augie.”
Big Aug leans down to the microphone.
“HUNGER.” Big Aug snarls. “That asshole, Aleczander The Not-Great-At-All took a win from me when I had him beat. He a DICK… but I not complain and waste energy. Instead, GLOBAL Wrestlings put another opportunity to get to the GLOBAL Championship and Big Aug plan on making good of that title. I already beat Son of Malta. And Big Aug is HUNGRY for his first World Championship in the GLOBAL Wrestlings. And Big Aug will rip up the competition like me ripping through chip bag to get another shot.”
He looks down at The Dream.
Daniel Dream steps forward until he’s chest to chest with Big Aug, looking up at him.
“Hold on there, big guy. You’re going up against the best in the west in the GLOBAL Championship Contender’s Tournament, and you’re already looking past your opponent’s tonight. Maybe you should focus on actually making it to the World Championship match before you start talking about winning it….However, I do have to agree with you on one thing. We both have a hunger, a carnivorous hunger. And tonight we’re going to sink our teeth into EZ Rah and Alex Reyn, tearing them apart piece by piece. So, let’s show the world what we’re made of, Big Aug.”
Daniel ends, turning to Steve Blaine, the wicked grin on his mask staring at the interviewer. The two men stare at one another.
“You say all right things,” Big Aug says. “We’ll see you out there.
Both men depart in separate directions. Del looks up at Steve Blaine.
“Del, with the tournament looming and both men being opponents, do you personally think Big Aug and Daniel Dream can possibly coex–”
“NAH NAH NAH NAH NAH Nobody wants to hear the c word, Steve,” Del says. “We ain’t doing that bull. They’re gonna tag and they’re gonna win. That’s your news, bruh.”
Del leaves to follow Big Aug as Steve shrugs.
“Thanks for your time.”
JOHN J. TRUTH Vs. THE GREAT WALL
The feed returns to the ring just as the first few chords of ‘Paranoid’ herald the arrival of GLOBAL Wrestling’s most controversial athlete, who even “Downtown” Brown puts as little effort as possible into introducing, delivering his usual spiel in a flat, deadpan monotone.
“The following contest is scheduled for one fall. Introducing first, from parts unknown, weighing in tonight at two hundred pounds…The Man Who Fell to Earth…John J. Truth.”
The moment he emerges onto the platform, the man known as John J. Truth is pelted with a veritable deluge of boos, as the camera goes out of its way to look for signs protesting his very existence in the company – of which it finds several.
THE TRUTH SHOULD BE OUT THERE
CANCEL THIS MAN (with a large cut-out photo of John’s face)
JOHN NEEDS GONE
From the announce desk, the reaction is no less vitriolic.
“Uggggghhh…not THIS guy!”
“I think this New York crowd shares your opinion, Allie. Unfortunately, he IS scheduled to fight here tonight…”
“Maybe so, Lucas, but I think you’ll both agree management needs to do something about this man’s opinions and actions towards other members of our roster.”
“Absolutely, Al. Don’t count on it, though. If they’re STILL keeping Reyn around after he seriously injured Victor Ingram Price AND Freddie Rich, building a safe workplace environment is obviously low on their list of priorities…”
Unfortunately, none of his two counterparts has a counterpoint to Deltzer’s argument – and even if they did, they would have been interrupted by Truth, who is now standing in the center of the ring, microphone to his lips, jeers still showering him from all sides.
“Oh, no! And we’re going to have to LISTEN to him, too? UGH!”
The negative reaction Allie becomes the official voice of does not, however, deter the controversial superstar, who proceeds with his address regardless of any reaction.
“My name is John J. Truth…and I call bullshit.”
The booing becomes deafening enough to almost drown out Truth’s next few words, which he pushes out regardless.
“I call bullshit on a company that lets one of its employees get attacked, not by one, but by TWO other guys…and not only does not fire them but forces THE OTHER GUY to FACE ONE OF THEM in a match! So it’s fine for you snowflakes to demand your little ‘safe spaces’, but ol’ John J. here can go [BLEEP] himself – is that how it is?”
“Actually, yeah…that sounds about right. In fact, I wish The Great Wall would hurry up and get here and take this guy’s safe space away!”
Once again, no one has any arguments to brook against Allie’s observation – much to the contrary, almost the entire arena is now answering Truth’s question with a chant of “YES!” This visibly irks the controversial superstar, but he seems adamant to let nothing stand in the way of the Truth.
“Oh, yeah? Well, [BLEEP] you people too!”
Nuclear heat presumably generates by these words from the opinionated wrestler, who, once again, simply raises his voice to speak over them.
“Yeah. I said it. [BLEEP] you too. You people just can’t wait to see old John get hurt again. Well, you can FORGET IT. I’m not wrestling here tonight. I know my rights! This is workplace harassment and discrimination, and I do NOT have to put up with it!”
“Did he really just bring up—”
“Yup. Yes, Lucas. He did. Pot, meet kettle.”
“Too right, Allie.”
Still entirely unaware of how he is coming across, Truth is now lowering himself into a seated position in the middle of the canvas.
Lucas’ exasperated question is answered a moment later when the wrestler once again brings a microphone to his lips.
“That’s why, right here tonight, I’m having a sit-down protest. Starting right now, I’m parking my ass right here on this canvas, and I ain’t moving until the suits back there do something about those two illegals that attacked me.” The camera catches his cocksure smirk in close-up as he smugly concludes. “Ball’s in your court, assholes. Fire those two jackoffs, and you can have your ring back, so you can give your precious little Main Event slot to that other illegal asshat who goes around throwing people in hospital but doesn’t even get fined. As long as you keep up this discriminating double-standard bullshit, though…I ain’t moving.”
With that, John puts down his microphone, staunchly refusing to fight even despite referee Powell’s intimations that he needs to go to his corner and prepare to fight.
“Even Powell can’t make this guy budge. He has willpower, I’ll give him that…”
“Yeah, Al, but you can tell by the look on Powell’s face that he would snap this sucker in half if they let him…”
As Lucas, Allie, and Mark reach an uncharacteristic consensus about the latter’s observation, an odd thing happens. Rather than the barrage of boos they have been directing at Truth, the fans begin…to cheer? A moment later, however, it all becomes clear, as the controversial wrestler finds himself being lifted off the ground by the scruff of his shirt, and spun around so that he is face to-face with both his opponent for the evening, and his smirking manager. It is Xiang who speaks first, his tone just as honeyed, polite, yet also menacing as the last time he addressed Truth.
With that, he once again fires a few quick words to The Great Wall in their native Cantonese, causing a grin to spread across the big man’s features. The Chinese hulk takes a step forward, his hand reaching for John’s throat, Powell’s hand reaching for Wall’s arm, and the timekeeper’s hand reaching for the bell…
…only for two figures to come vaulting over the audience barricades on either side of the ring, bowling over Powell and knocking him unconscious as they rush forward to engage the towering Asian and his manager directly!
“What the—who are THESE guys?!”
“I don’t know, Lucas, but that one fighting The Wall is almost as big as he is!”
“That’s right, Mark. And he seems to be quicker, too!”
In fact, the larger of the two men appears to be holding his own remarkably well against the imposing Great Wall, while the smaller one appears to have had no issues subduing the Chinese colossus’ manager, whom he has rendered unconscious. He is, therefore, free to join his larger colleague, as well as John Truth, in a three-on-one assault on Wall, which has the unlikely effect of getting fans to cheer for the Asian behemoth – much to the announce team’s surprise.
“Is this really happening right now?”
“I guess when you’re fighting John Truth, it doesn’t matter what the fans think of you – you’re going to get cheers. I gotta admit, that’s impressive. Imagine getting THAT MUCH hate anywhere that ISN’T the Internet?”
“Sadly, Mark, this is no laughing matter.” Lucas sounds positively repulsed. “It appears Truth has found himself some…ugh…ALLIES. Because ONE of these guys wasn’t bad enough, apparently…”
“Whatever the situation is, it looks like Wall has finally met his match…matches?”
As Deltzer tries to figure out how to refer to the situation, a roar emerges from the stands once again, as yet another figure comes pelting down the ramp and into the ring at full speed, swinging a steel chair.
“PRINCIPE! EL PRINCIPE is here, and he’s out for blood!”
Indeed, the luchador comes in like a wrecking ball, swinging for the fences, though not altogether indiscriminately; on the contrary, he definitely has a target, and that target just happens to have his back turned to Principe right at this moment. Seeing his opportunity, the divisive GLOBAL superstar swings as high and as strongly as he can…
…and The Great Wall goes down from not one, but two blows to the back of the head, prompting a somewhat appropriate cry from Mark Deltzer.
Even with one obstacle down, however, Principe still has three to contend with – and, unlike with Wall, he does not have the element of surprise against them; nor are they about to stand idle and wait for him to make his move, as evidenced by Truth immediately barking “get him, boys”, and the two newcomers rushing at the luchador. Thinking on his feet, Principe swings the chair at the one closest to him…
…only to feel it get wrenched out of his hand by the second one, who comes in at his blind angle! Taken completely by surprise, the luchador is not quick enough to react and soon finds himself crumpling to the mat, hoisted by his own petard; predictably, Truth’s two acolytes – as well as the man himself – waste no time profiting from the opportunity, and promptly pounce on the Prince of Lucha, punishing him with stomps, and once again causing the stands to erupt with hate.
“Oh, great! And they get to come out on top, as well…” Lucas makes no attempt at disguising the disgust in his voice as the three men continue to punish the downed luchador, then congratulate each other on a job well done, completely ignoring the nuclear heat descending upon them from all around the Hammerstein ballroom. As they begin to walk up the ramp, the jeers are reinforced by an assortment of flying objects, from soda cups to sauce packets and half-full boxes of french fries, some of which even manage to hit their target.
“This New York crowd going out of their way to show their displeasure here, but those three men don’t look too bothered by any of it…”
Sadly, Lucas’ remark rings true, as the overwhelmingly negative reaction only seems to embolden the three men, with Truth not hesitating in flipping several birds at the crowd, while the smallest of his two opponents jawjacks to front row fans; still, as they line up on the ramp and look around at the chaos they created, their clothes are definitely bearing the marks of the crowd’s hatred. Their attitudes, however, remain unfazed and unaltered, with Truth in particular exuding smugness as he requests a microphone and brings it to his lips to address the crowd.
“That’s right, you bastards. Things are about to change around here. Starting right now, all you illegal sons of bitches are on notice. ‘Cause from now on…GLOBAL Wrestling has Border Control.”
With that, the three men promptly turn and disappear through the curtain towards the backstage area, leaving the furious and hate-filled New York crowd, whom they deprived of what might have been a highly satisfying and cathartic match, to attempt to regain composure, so that they may enjoy the rest of the show.
A large, round cocktail glass waves in the air, the slithers of ice slushing around in its base. A pink paper umbrella and a long white (paper) straw swill around. Beyond the glass, the baking hot sun beats down on the golden sand of the beach, but before the sand ten hairy toes reach toward the clear blue sky.
“Garçcon. Garçcon.” the man says, the fingers of his spare hand snapping in the air.
A boy no older than ten rushes over, a thin silver platter in hand.
“Mister Doritos, you called?” he says, his bare feet burning on the sand.
The man has a blue packet of Doritos on his head – Cool Ranch Flavour.
“Get me another of these little cocktails, man.”
The boy takes the empty glass from Doritos still-raised hand and places it onto his tray.
“Yes, Mister Doritos. Yes sir.”
He scurries off up the beach.
“Ahh. This is the life.” Doritos exhales, his fingers interlocking behind his head, the Cool Ranch bag rustling as he does so.
This is a journey of self-discovery, and is marked by three things; a dirty looking suntan, the filthy green rucksack leaning against the sunbed, and the colourful braid peaking from beneath the bag of maize-based snack.
“I wonder how she’s doin’.” Doritos half asks himself.
The Boiler Room of Hammerstein Ballroom
Deep within the dimly lit boiler room, amongst the occasional drip of steam from the ceiling, behind the red pipes running horizontally and vertically, crisscrossing the room, a hooded figure stands, her face almost entirely covered, her body concealed from head to toe in the black robe. Her chin is pot-marked, and from it protrude a few sharp orange powdery shards.
She is standing completely motionless, except her mouth, which is mumbling something over, and over, and over.
“I am Doritos. You are Doritos. We are Doritos. I am Doritos. You are Doritos. We are Doritos. I am Doritos. You are Doritos. We are Doritos. I am Doritos. You are Doritos. We are Doritos. I am Doritos. You are Doritos. We are Doritos. I am Doritos. You are Doritos. We are Doritos. I am Doritos. You are Doritos. We are Doritos. I am Doritos. You are Doritos. We are Doritos. I am Doritos. You are Doritos. We are Doritos. I am Doritos. You are Doritos. We are Doritos. I am Doritos. You are Doritos. We are Doritos. I am Doritos. You are Doritos. We are Doritos. I am Doritos. You are Doritos. We are Doritos. I am Doritos. You are Doritos. We are Doritos. I am Doritos. You are Doritos. We are Doritos. I am Doritos. You are Doritos. We are Doritos. I am Doritos. You are Doritos. We are Doritos. I am Doritos. You are Doritos. We are Doritos. I am Doritos. You are Doritos. We are Doritos. I am Doritos. You are Doritos. We are Doritos. I am Doritos. You are Doritos. We are Doritos. I am Doritos. You are Doritos. We are Doritos. I am Doritos. You are Doritos. We are Doritos. I am Doritos. You are Doritos. We are Doritos. I am Doritos. You are Doritos. We are Doritos. I am Doritos. You are Doritos. We are Doritos. I am Doritos. You are Doritos. We are Doritos. I am Doritos. You are Doritos. We are Doritos. I am Doritos. You are Doritos. We are Doritos. I am Doritos…”
She lifts her head, and looks deep into your soul.
Her face is a mess of orange shards and powder, one eye is completely white, the other a deep brown as it always has been.
She opens her mouth to speak.
“Yeah, I’m sure she’s just fine.” Doritos mutters to himself just in time for the little boy to return, a cocktail resting on his metal tray.
“Mister Doritos, your cocktail, sir.”
“Ah, grassy ass, mother fucker. Grassy ass.”
THE DUDE PATROL
A LONG TIME AGO…
THERE WAS A DUDE…
Courtesy: All-Star Championship Wrestling.
The original wearer of The Dude In Mask… mask in action. Ladder matches. No DQ matches.
THAT DUDE WENT AWAY…
The original mask of the DIM OG being thrown in a trash can….
More footage appears.
Courtesy: No Brand Wrestling
A NEW DUDE EMERGED…
Scenes depict the seven-foot Dude In Mask II with battles against some of wrestling’s largest and dangerous men, delivering ring-shaking chokeslams…
The monster known only as Omega.
“Big Talk” Jake Tockwell.
A MONSTROUS top rope splash on The Great Wall!
AND THAT DUDE WAS PRETTY DOPE…
BUT EVENTUALLY, THAT DUDE RODE INTO THE SUNSET AS WELL…
Almost a shot-for-shot as the first Dude In Mask, but with the giant throwing his DIM II mask in the trash instead.
THAT GUY NEEDED TO MAKE SOME MONEY…
SO… HE GOT SOME FRIENDS…
The faceless giant returns, reaches into the trash can, dusts off the mask and then groans.
“Shit, I need to wash this…”
The camera pauses.
NO… WAIT… THAT’S NOT HOW THIS HAPPENED…
Now there is grainy footage from 1970’s lucha libre. The Dude In Mask in question has a lucha libre mask in tye dye colors with a question mark on the face.
Quick clips of the original Dude In Mask hitting aerial moves for days. A different voice now narrates the story… of The Dude…
THE ANCIENT SECT OF MASKED DUDES HAVE PROTECTED WRESTLING FROM THE UNJUST AND THE CRUEL FOR CENTURIES…
More grainy footage from the 1980’s with Dude In Mask dressed up like he’s straight from the “Video Killed The Radio Star” music video in a tie and yellow dress shirt… but still hitting moves. Then the original DIM clipped into behind the scenes footage of The Big Lebowski, dispensing advice to Jeff Bridges.
DUDES HAVE EMERGED FOR YEARS IN TIMES OF TROUBLE…
Now more clips of the the more “modern” giant Dude In Mask II stomping around in a ring on December 31st, 1999 with the Y2K Championship belt, then DIM II in the mid-2000’s with a mask exposing hair… with frosted tips.
Then in the early 2008 with a DIM II MySpace page. Then 2010 with FaceBook.
DIM and more stock footage in nbW…
HERE IN GLOBAL WRESTLING…
Dude In Mask II stands tall.
With two more shadows in masks behind him. One luchador. One luchadora.
“WE… ARE… DUDES!”
THEY LIVE AGAIN!
THE DUDE PATROL
The sound of a steel chair against bone echoes around the small locker room of Jerry David, who staggers forward, falling to the floor, blood already gushing from his head. This battle appears to have been raging for a while now.
E Z Rah steps forward with a steel chair dangling from one hand. He looks down at Jerry, who rolls onto his back and stares up at E Z.
“Abso-fucking-lutely not?” E Z asks, repeating Jerry’s answer from last week when asked if this blood feud was over.
“Never.” Jerry hisses before spitting a mouthful of blood at E Z.
E Z lifts the chair in the air again, aiming to drive the edge of the chair into Jerry.
Jerry raises a boot.
E Z arches over in pain, grasping at his bruised, calloused penis. He leans on the chair for a moment, but Jerry kicks it from under him. E Z collapses to the ground. Jerry rolls up to his feet and launches himself across the room, landing on the back of E Z, choking him.
The men roll around on the floor, E Z’s arms wave around, looking for anything he can grab hold of to give himself some leverage. His head is as red as Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler mid-heart attack. He is fading.
“Choke, mother fucker!” Jerry is repeating as E Z falls unconscious.
Jerry tosses E Z to the ground, stands up, dusts off his blazer and opens the locker room door.
However, as he leaves the locker room he is again set upon by E Z, who screams, and hops on Jerry’s back, forcing the piggyback! Jerry takes a few steps forward into the corridor of the arena, flinging his body first hard-left, then hard-right, but E Z has a tight grip on the piggyback and isn’t showing signs of releasing the devastating hold any time soon.
Then E Z raises his head high in the air and thrusts it down, into Jerry’s shoulder, biting him!
Jerry lets out a scream and rushes backwards, back towards the locker room, which has a window to the right of the door. He drives the back of E Z’s head into the window, which cracks on impact. E Z’s vice-like grip of the piggyback is broken and he slumps to the ground, holding the back of his head.
Jerry isn’t done. He stomps E Z right in the ches–NO!
E Z grabs Jerry’s foot and gives it a hard twist, sending Jerry tumbling to the ground, his knee and ankle twisted. He groans in pain as E Z now gets back to his feet. Jerry gets onto all fours, but E Z takes a few steps up, trying to run but just not having the steam for it. He punts Jerry in the ribs and sends him rolling down the corridor.
“Nah, it ain’t over,” E Z huffs, his breathing labored like the exhausted gasps of a COPD patient climbing a flight of stairs, “you right man.”
E Z walks towards Jerry, his legs feeling like they are made of lead. Jerry has managed to get up to all fours.
Another weak punt from E Z! He sends Jerry rolling further down the corridor towards a loading bay, the shutter of which is open.
Neither man has anything left after the months of brutal brawling. They are exhausted.
Blood smears the concrete floor of the corridor as Jerry crawls towards one of the walls, pulling himself up. He turns towards E Z who has continued his advance and the two start to exchange lazy, exhausted blows to one another’s face and body.
Jerry shoves E Z weakly, and E Z’s back hits the wall. E Z rebounds and shoves Jerry, who hits the opposite wall of the corridor in the same way. Jerry rebounds from the wall and boots E Z in the midsection. E Z crouches over and Jerry grabs his head, but E Z launches himself upwards, hitting a European uppercut! There is barely a slap, but Jerry staggers back towards the loading bay. Teetering on the edge.
Below, a drop of at least ten feet promises only a hard landing on either the concrete floor, or a poorly parked dusty black car.
Jerry sees E Z jogging towards him, but there’s nothing he can do. It’s too late, and besides, he’s so tired.
E Z spears Jerry David off the loading bay!
They SOAR through the air, bracing for their landing.
They MISS the car and land directly on the concrete floor.
Medics, referees, and backstage staff all rush out to the scene.
“Someone call an ambulance!” one of the medics yells.
A referee rushes off to make the call.
Neither man has moved in the moment following the massive spear into the concrete. But now… One man is twitching, groaning, and rolling onto his stomach.
E Z Rah rises to his feet, standing above the medics, the referees, the backstage staff and Jerry David, like a phoenix rising from the ashes. His body is broken, his penis is without doubt throbbing in an unpleasurable way from the months of trauma, and yet his hatred continues to push his body onwards.
A medic tries to grab hold of E Z, but E Z grabs him by his lapels and, powered entirely by hatred, finds the energy to hurl him out of the way, tossing him to the concrete.
Referees shout at E Z, who is limping towards Jerry. The referees try to block his path, but E Z punches one, then another.
Meanwhile, Jerry David is dragging himself to his feet using the car bumper, then bonnet for support. As he turns around, a medic approaches him, but Jerry kicks the medic, slamming his head into the car bonnet! The medic collapses to the floor, having been knocked out by a man powered only by his loathing for E Z Rah.
Each of the men goes on to assault every single staff member standing between them, punching, throwing and in one instance headbutting the innocent bystanders, until only the two men remain. Jerry bleeding profusely from his head, E Z huffing for breath and swollen in ways you cannot imagine.
“I fucking hate you, Jerry David.” E Z says between heavy breaths.
“I fucking hate you, E Z Rah.” Jerry says between heavy breaths.
Then E Z walks right by Jerry, opens the car door and sits in the driver’s seat of the car.
Jerry spits blood on the windscreen of the car, but E Z simply starts the car up, and reverses away from the loading bay.
Jerry glares at the car as E Z retreats.
“Yeah.” Jerry huffs, leaning his hands onto his knees, “You better run, you PUSSY!”
The car stops.
The window opens.
The head of E Z Rah pops out.
“I said,” Jerry huffs, “I said you better run.”
E Z’s head pops back in the car. Then back out.
“What else’chu say?”
“Then I said you’re a PUSSY!”
E Z Rah’s head pops back in the car again.
The car tyres screech and spin, smoke coming from them and the car is no longer in reverse.
It’s in DRIVE!
The car hurtles towards Jerry. Jerry steps to one side, but not quick enough. The car clips his legs and sends him flying into the air, the back of his head cracking the windscreen before his body rolls over the car and to the concrete floor.
The car doesn’t stop. E Z spins it around and heads off up the street towards the arena exit.
Nobody is left to help Jerry, who lies motionless on the ground amongst a group of other injured people – those who came to help him – referees, staff, medics.
YEAR OF THE RABBIT
'QUEEN' BIANCA DAVIS Vs. ALF ALFERSON
“Bad Bitch” by Bebe Rexha signals the entrance of ‘Queen’ Bianca Davis. At the top of the ramp, two men stand, each holding a long trumpet horn, which they blow in unison. A few moments later, ‘Queen’ Bianca Davis steps through the curtain wearing a long robe, her tiara, and holding a scepter, which she raises in the air.
‘Downtown’ Jason Brown stands in the center of the ring, microphone in hand.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is scheduled for one fall!”
“One fall!” the audience shouts back at him. Hilarious. Very clever.
“Making her way to the ring, ‘Queen’ Bianca Davis!”
Bianca continues down the ramp, waving at the peasants in the audience. An entourage of four men, all dressed in crisp black suits and wearing sunglasses, followed closely behind her.
“And in the ring, Alf Alferson.”
Alf looks up from his belly button when he hears his name mentioned and appears a little bit surprised to find himself standing in a wrestling ring. He points one finger in the air.
The entourage hurries in front of Bianca, one lying face down on the floor near the ring apron, another even closer to the ring apron crouching on all fours and the remaining two men stand at opposite sides of their entourage colleagues, where they each take the hand of Bianca. Bianca steps first on the man lying face down, then on the crouched man, using them as steps, before getting up onto the apron. Facing the ring, she holds both arms out. Her scepter is taken from her before the two standing entourage members take her gown from her. Beneath the gown, she wears a sports bra and matching tights in a regal purple. She is also wearing matching high heels.
Bianca steps through the ropes and stretches out her arms, goading the fans, who respond by booing her.
As the bell sounds, a lute strums a chord.
“What is a lute?” asks nobody – a lute is like a small, acoustic guitar from yesteryear.
‘Queen’ Bianca Davis turns and looks up the ramp where she sees, at the same time as the audience, that a man dressed in regalia not dissimilar to Henry VIII stands, holding a lute.
Then all at once, the lights go out in the arena.
A few moments pass. The crowd murmurs quietly.
A single spotlight illuminates the stage where the lute player once stood, but in his place is a man, kneeling, a huge grin plastered across his face and JAZZ HANDS.
“Thou hast rejected your jester
and left him to fester.
Yee hast cast him aside
even though he has tried
to prove that his love is real.
“Now you will find
that a lady unkind
will be punished in ways of the crown.
“PAHHHHHHHHHH!” he finishes his poorly rhymed poem, his tongue lapping around the black face paint around his lips. He drops to a knee and JAZZ HANDS!
The spotlight is extinguished just as The Jester hits a backward roll, rolling away from the light.
A few seconds later, the arena lighting is restored. Bianca is already out of the ring, running up the ramp and screaming at her entourage.
“He can’t have got far! FIND HIM!” she screams at her entourage as she runs up the ramp, through the curtain, and into the backstage area.
In the gorilla area, Bianca scans her eyes around and grabs a stagehand by his shirt.
“Where did he go?”
The stagehand grabs at his headset to stop it from falling off and shrugs, having only been paid as an extra without a speaking part.
The entourage fans out, searching the area. Bianca tosses the stagehand to one side and continues her search.
Back in the ring, the referee shouts “Ten!” and signals for the bell.
‘Downtown’ Jason Brown makes the announcement.
“Ladies and gentlemen, your winner via countout… Alf Alferson!”
The crowd applauds as Alf Alferson finishes digging in his ear with his index finger, inspects what he has found in there, then points that same finger in the air.
Alf Alferson goes 3-0.
NAKED & AFRAID
A blinding light gives way to a pair of hands. On the left wrist there is some sort of jewel embedded and the right hand scratches as we hear a grunt of confusion. As we see these pictures, a deep voice is heard.
“He has arrived in unknown surroundings…”
The screen widens, and we see a chiseled man in a simple loin cloth. He is standing on a beach and takes off running up one side of the coastal area.
“Not knowing exactly why, he begins to run even though he knows not what the path might bring…”
The man leaps over a fallen tree trunk and into the brush. The view changes to watching him from head on as he is just running.
“There is a fear of the unknown and a desire to understand whatever he can in this moment…”
The view changes, and we see him running on a pile of rubble and an area that looks like the corner of a room built in stone. He sees a trunk and runs to it, opening it and a note is inside. He lifts it and it says….
#You are the one sent to find him, and only you can stop him before it is too late. The orange dust is the path and haste is the order. Now, away!#
He puts the note back in the trunk and looks curious, but notices some orange dust. He takes off running toward it. The narrator is at it again.
“Fueled by the desire of discovery, he chases the note’s clue to the fullest and discovers just who he is to stop and just why he is so nefarious…”
He follows the orange hue over the bluff, where he is greeted by an orange glowing animal. It looks like the pictures of raptors he has seen in books and movies before, and the animal notices him and hops to a beeline in his direction, moving faster by the second.
“In an instant, there is the worry that this was not the correct move and flight was the correct decision…”
He takes off running, managing to stay ahead of this alpha raptor. He rounds a corner and sees an opening within the hillside and ducks inside. It is a cavern with an opening big enough to walk further inside. He takes a few steps and sees another orange glow. This one is different. It is a large oval.
“Curiosity gets the better of our hero, and he decides the mystery of the oval portal is better than the disaster of facing the menace chasing from outside the cave…”
He steps into the portal and the entire screen flashes orange. Then suddenly black as the narrator speaks again.
“Where does this portal lead our hero? And what will become of this…”
The words of his name appear and disappear as we fade completely to black.
The scene opens up to a somewhat dimly lit bar. At the bottom of the screen, white letters appear briefly…
The night before Domination 6
And then they disappear. The bar is not a seedy one, but rather one connected to a swanky hotel. The camera moves slowly around until it focuses on a solitary man sitting at one end of the bar. As we get closer, we see it is “The Legend” Sean Darring nursing his favorite drink.
“Well, if it isn’t a fellow CWF hall-of-famer.”
Darring bristles a bit and then turns to see “Too Cool” Chris Hopper with a grin on his face, knowing how such an accolade resonates between them as if it is a private joke between them.
“Yeah,” Darring says as he stands up, “The hand those out like hot dogs at baseball games. Damn, how you doing, Chris.”
The two men shake hands and yank into the “bro hug” before sitting down. Chris motions to the bartender with a single finger, and the low rent chemical engineer goes to work on his shot of Jack Daniels.
“Same old thing, really.” Hopper answers. “So, you know what you plan to say tomorrow?”
Darring slowly nurses his scotch before responding.
“Some. It’s going to be good to be home. I am going to let the moment dictate most if it. I stopped planning these things years ago. The one thing I learned about a wrestling show is that you never really know anything.”
The two men have a good laugh. The Legend then tosses a hard ball question towards his old friend.
“So when are we going to get Too Cool back in the ring, my friend? Don’t tell me you don’t miss it. Don’t tell me you wouldn’t like to slap a few of these young kids around?”
“Honestly,” he slowly starts his answer before taking a sip of his drink and then finally continues, “I don’t feel I need to jump in anywhere since I’m still at nineteen, and I honestly can’t remember where you are by comparison.”
There is obviously a brotherly connection, and the chiding is part of their normal dance.
“But as a wise man once said,” He continues grinning, “the only thing that is for sure is that nothing is for sure.”
The Legend grins and mutters, “It’s probably best since you would have to face me.”
A serious moment? Nah… both men shake their heads and continue to sip their drink.
“You know, in all my years, I never once got to be in my hometown with the big strap,” the King of Cool laments. “It really would have been fun to be in Indianapolis or even Louisville with the belt and have the chance to celebrate with my friends and family. Anybody special coming in?”
The Legend thinks for a few moments, and you almost see a small moment of sadness on his face, but it’s quickly erased.
“It’s no secret I traded every meaningful relationship for this business. But, those who still love me will be on hand and I can’t wait to thank them for sticking with me. God knows, I don’t deserve it.”
A big drink this time as the Legend finishes his glass.
“The things we sacrificed for our legacy.”
The two share a moment of silence, both seemingly thinking of the depth of that statement.
“Well buddy,” Chris steps up from the chair, “Congrats on the title. You have earned it, and I’m happy you have it. Go out and do us old heads proud, alright?”
The Legend nods towards his good friend … maybe his oldest friend left. He turns as Chris Hopper begins to head out and says, “By the way .. I am pretty sure this was number twenty.”
The look of disbelief on the 19-time World champion’s face is palpable, then just as fast his face turns to a look of nodding agreement with a hint of mockery. We see him mouth the words, “If you say so, champ.”
With that, Darring is again left at the bar, grin on his face, knowing he got under his buddy’s skin. The legendary smile returns as he says …
“Bartender, one more.”
The screen fades out slowly.
SON OF MALTA Vs. DECLAN RICH
The “The Maltese National Anthem” hits the PA system, and the fans give a respectful thumbs down to the hard-nosed veteran, except one. Who has become the traveling Malta mark – we have seen this guy at the Globe holding up his homemade Malta flag and wearing his “Malta Tough” shirt.
Lucas Quinn comments, “We all have our favorites, and no question this guy loves Son of Malta.”
The Mark jokingly responds, “He may be the only one.”
The dangerous Son of Malta emerges from the curtains, standing and looking around the arena. He finally begins walking down the aisle way, only stopping to salute the homemade Malta flag and fist-bumping “Malta Mark.” He then turns and walks up the ring steps heading into the ring, preparing for his match.
No music, no fanfare needed … and outsteps the third brother of the legendary Rich Family, Declan Rich.
Allie says, “Listen to those fans, Lucas and Mark! These fans support Freddie and the Rich Family after Freddie was taken to the hospital after his war with Alex Reyn.”
Lucas Quinn questions, “You have to wonder what kind of mind frame the youngest Rich is in after watching his big brother get decimated,”
The Mark pipes in, “Declan has long been rumored to be the most talented of the Rich family, but rough around the edges. It will be interesting to see how he rebounds mentally against a veteran like Son of Malta.”
Declan Rich taps his heart, thanking the fans and their reaction as a small – “Freddie” chant breaks out in respect. Declan Rich slaps the hands of Global-Nation as he walks down the aisle way, only stopping in front of the camera and saying – “This is for you, Freddie.”
Allie gushes, “Declan is wearing his heart on his sleeve here tonight. All of our hearts are with Freddie and his recovery, and it’s hard not to be a Declan fan here in this match.”
Lucas Quinn responds, “Will that be enough? Son of Malta is always ready to fight, and Freddie’s situation isn’t going to affect him one way or another.”
Declan Rich joins the Son of Malta in the squared circle and raises his hand, causing GLOBAL-Nation to roar in full support of the young Rich brother. Except for the one Malta mark, the camera focuses on him booing Declan Rich and waving his Malta flag proudly for his favorite wrestler.
The Mark laughs adding, “I bet this guy’s bedroom would make us all uncomfortable. I bet there is Son of Malta merchandise all over it.”
Allie asks, “What is wrong with that?”
Lucas Quinn somewhat agrees with Deltzer saying, “He looks nearly thirty.”
Referee Shane Staggs has the assignment for the night. He stands between the two GLOBAL wrestlers and calls for the bell.
DING DING DING !!!
In a mutual sign of respect for Freddie and what Declan is going through, the Son of Malta uncharacteristically holds his hand out for a respectful handshake as Declan Rich nods, accepting it as both men back away and start to circle.
Lucas Quinn comments, “The Son of Malta rarely shows any emotion and is about as close as an iceman as this industry has seen just showed a little bit of emotion and understanding for what Declan is going through.”
The Mark adds, “The Son of Malta understands Alex Reyn and his reign of terror all too well.”
The two men continue to circle around as the Son of Malta looks for that opening. Declan Rich, full of emotion, is hesitant, sidestepping and dodging any attempt that Malta attempts. Finally, the two men lock up, and Malta quickly locks a headlock. He uses his body to send him to the mat keeping the headlock locked. Declan Rich uses his legs to lock head scissors on Malta as they go to the mat. Malta quickly positions himself to break out as both men are back on their feet.
Lucas Quinn says, “Son of Malta may be the standard bearer when it comes to being a warrior and technical wrestling. Declan Rich is far from a slouch. Some have wondered if, in a few years if Declan may be one of the top wrestlers and a top contender for a singles title.”
The two men go to lock up, and Malta has an arm, but Rich reverses it and locks the arm behind the Son of Malta.
Malta counters it …
Rich counters …
Malta counters …
Roll up behind by the Son of Malta.
… KICK OUT!
The Mark says, “A few mind games going on in there as both men not wanting to make the first mistake. The Son of Malta went for that pin knowing that it wouldn’t win, but to slow the match down and get more into the head of Declan Rich.”
Both men right back up, but Declan Rich responds with a dropkick that backs the Son of Malta up. Then hits an armdrag takedown. The Son of Malta is back up and is taken right back down with a hip toss. Malta is back up and is taken down one more time with a running clothesline, and the fans love it as the Son of Malta rolls under the bottom ropes to reset.
Allie says, “Declan Rich is full of emotion and adrenaline. It’s hard to game plan for that.”
And just as Allie says, Declan Rich puts his body on the line as he hits a plancha on Son of Malta.”
Lucas Quinn says, “Declan Rich just put his body on the line and took Malta out, and listen to these fans!”
Declan Rich leaps up, full of emotion and adrenaline, and lets out a Rich Family scream.
The Mark says, “Declan has been holding that in for weeks. You can see it in his eyes tonight.”
Declan Rich rolls the warrior, Son of Malta, under the ropes and back inside the ring. As Rich climbs to the ring apron outside the ropes, Son of Malta stumbles to his feet and is quickly taken back down with a springboard missile dropkick. Rich grabs the right leg of Malta and hooks it for the cover!
… KICK OUT!
Declan Rich is right back up, pulls the Son of Malta up, and whips him into the corner with a big Irish whip. Declan is right behind Malta, but the veteran gets a boot up to slow the Rich brother down. He pulls Rich in close and lands a stiff high knee, followed by Malta locking a hammerlock slowing the intensity of Declan Rich down.
Lucas Quinn says, “The Son of Malta slowing the match down and putting out the fire with which Declan Rich entered the match.”
The Son of Malta trips Declan Rich and has him face-first on the mat. The Son of Malta locks on a cross knee lock.
Allie, “The Son of Malta is known for keeping matches at a comfortable slower pace. He works the limbs until he has an opening for that deadly Maltese Cross.”
The Mark asks, “Is there a more automatic submission move in GLOBAL? Even Sean Darring’s legend lock doesn’t match the Maltese Cross.”
Declan Rich fights, refusing to give up as the Son of Malta keeps that deadly cross knee lock hooked.
Lucas Quinn says, “While I agree the Maltese Cross is automatic, it appears Declan Rich is fighting through the knee lock, and the Son of Malta lets it go and STOMPS on Rich’s back.”
… brutal stomp by the Son of Malta stops Declan Rich from reaching the ropes. Malta yanks Declan up with force, lifts him, and flattens him with a German suplex.
Even the force of that suplex didn’t keep Declan Rich down as he popped back up, holding him back only to eat a flying spinning heel kick by Malta.
The Mark shouts, “Son of Malta is like a cannon ball coming at you at nearly 250 pounds.”
The Son of Malta grabs the ankle of Declan Rich and twists locking on an ankle lock!
Lucas Quinn asks, “I know Declan came out fired up, but I wonder if his inexperience is quickly showing as the Son of Malta is having his way with different limbs on the younger Rich brother.”
Allie sympathizes, “I think we all hoped that Declan could come out here and fight in his brother’s spirit, but it may have been too much to ask with such a huge challenge in singles action with the Son of Malta who just picks apart every weakness you have.”
The fans continue to support Declan refusing to give up, and neither does Declan. Declan is able to maneuver himself to spinning out of the ankle lock and back to his feet into a waiting Son of Malta, who brings him right back down with a snap and throw.
The Mark says, “Impressive counter by Delcan, only to find himself back on the mat again.”
This time the Son of Malta pulls up Declan Rich and hits a bridging northern lights suplex for the cover.
… KICK OUT!
Allie agrees with the fans, “So close! We are all thankful Declan was able to kick out there. It would be heartbreaking to see him come out and fall like that after all the emotion and support Global Nation is giving him.”
We now have a split screen for those watching at home. The Prime Time Athletes are in the back watching the TV monitor as they laugh and point at Declan Rich’s misfortune. Meanwhile, in the ring and on the other side of the split screen, The Son of Malta is returning to work on Declan Rich, sitting on the back of Rich with a chin lock.
Lucas Quinn disgustingly asks, “What do these two hooligans want? Nobody is amused. You said your peace earlier tonight.”
Allie agrees saying, “They are just here to rub salt in the wounds of everyone, and now is not the time.”
The Mark adds, “Not that I agree with these two’s words or actions. But, if you want the Rich Family to notice you, this is how you do it.”
The Son of Malta now transitions the chin lock into a half-nelson as Declan Rich approaches his feet. The Prime Time Athletes continue to mock the Rich Family and, most notably, Freddie Rich as they hold their throat, mocking his injury.
Lucas Quinn angrily says, “Come on now! Whoever is working production – cut their feed.”
The Son of Malta continues to work Declan Rich over keeping the match at a pace that he is comfortable with. He pushes Rich against the ropes and sends him across, and as Rich roars off, he ducks under a clothesline. Declan Rich hits the opposite side, and baseball slides through the open legs of Malta. As the veteran turns around, Malta eats a boot to the head from an enzuigiri!
… The Son of Malta stumbles staying on his feet, but not for long as Declan Rich lands a double knee face breaker!
Allie shouts, “Declan Rich isn’t going away easy! How convenient the feed to the Prime Time Athletes cut as soon as Declan mounted a comeback.”
Declan Rich is back on his feet, shaking the cobwebs and hitting a leg lariat!
Lucas Quinn marvels, “Listen to these fans! They are willing Declan to a comeback here!”
Declan Rich is now entirely in the zone hitting his triangle dropkick as Son of Malta rolled to the outside ring apron and used the ropes to get to his feet!
The Mark says, “There is that Triangle Dropkick. We have seen Declan use that to lead to finishes many times!”
Lucas Quinn says, “Declan isn’t wasting any time, understanding fully that any second he wastes is a second the Son of Malta’s brain thinks of the next series of moves.”
Rich rolls out quickly pulls up and rolls the Son of Malta back into the ring. He follows Malta back in, pulls Malta up, and sends him hard into a corner with an Irish Whip. Declan quickly follows Malta, and as the veteran comes off the ropes, Declan scores a fast, point-blank dropkick!
… THE FANS GO WILD!
Lucas Quinn shouts, “AN ODE TO FREDDIE! DECLAN RICH HITS A FREDDIE RICH MOVE, FIRST CLASS!”
The fan’s support fires Declan Rich up even more as he calls for the veteran to get to his feet, and as the Son of Malta does, he is taken right back down with a brutal, sick kick!
Allie now shouts, ” FREDDIE’S NIGHTMARE! WE LOVE YOU, FREDDIE!”
Global Nation is now chanting – FREDDIE !!! FREDDIE !!!
Allie follows up, “This is tearing my eyes!”
Declan Rich drops and hooks the leg as the fans go insane, and the announcers scream!
….. INSANE DISAPPOINTMENT POP as Shane Staggs waves the win away as he points to the Son of Malta’s boot on the bottom ropes.
Lucas Quinn questions Staggs, “What!?!?! I don’t know about that. I am not one to question a referee but come on, Staggs, you can’t break our hearts like that!”
The Mark backs Staggs up, “I know we all want to will Declan to a victory tonight, but Malta with a heads up veteran move surviving Freddie’s nightmare.”
Declan Rich pounds his fist on the ground, but he begins nodding as he gets back to his feet and gives the “heart” sign to the camera as a message to his brother.
Allie, “That heart sign can only mean one thing! Will we see Filthy Rich?”
The fans are in full support of Declan as he sets up for the piledriver part of the cradle piledriver … However, the veteran blocks it … then hits the superstar kick, stunning Declan Rich!
Then, Son of Malta lands a snap belly-to-belly overhead suplex folding Declan Rich in half and deflating the fans, except one, the Malta mark, who finds himself on camera waving his homemade Malta flag in joy.
Lucas Quinn sounds down, saying, “That suplex took the air out of the arena and Declan Rich.”
The Mark adds, “The Son of Malta is a true warrior. If he weathers the storm, then you are all but doomed.”
… piggybacking off what Deltzer just said, The Son of Malta locks on the double undercut … cross face as the fans go silent.
Lucas Quinn says The Maltese Cross is hooked. Nobody survives the Maltese cross.
… however, Declan Rich is refusing to give up! He adamantly shakes his head no, giving Global Nation hope and the roar of their cheers in support and encouragement for Rich!
Allie hopefully says, “Declan has the fighting spirit of the Rich Family and all of Global Nation! He is fighting through the insane pain of possibly Global’s most dangerous submission hold!”
Referee Shane Staggs continues to check in on Declan Rich, who refuses to give up. The Son of Malta rears back, showing some concern in his eyes as Declan Rich continues trying to fight and reach and edge his way to the ropes.
Lucas Quinn excitedly shouts, “I can’t believe it! Declan is surviving the Maltese Cross!”
… The fans are going wild as Declan shakes his head no last time, forcing the warrior … the veteran … the Son of Malta, to give it his all one final time, locking the Maltese Cross the unsurvivable finishing move one final extension.
Allie says, “What heart … I know Freddie is at home proud of his brother tonight. So much emotion and Declan fought one of the toughest men in GLOBAL and took him to the limits.”
The Winner of the Match …. THE SON OF MALTA …..
The Son of Malta raises his hand as he notices Declan Rich, disappointed, still on his knees on the mat. The warrior extends his hand in respect and helps Declan to his feet.
Lucas Quinn says, “The Son of Malta won, but Declan Rich has earned the warrior’s respect and all of ours around Global Nation! What heart, what toughness, what a display of what we all hope to become, Mark and Allie.”
The Mark agrees, “The Son of Malta goes into the record book the winner, but there are no losers tonight. We all witnessed a breakout performance by Declan Rich.”
Allie adds, “The Prime Time Athletes better be careful. They may get what they ask for.”
STATE OF THE NATION
Giovanni Ferrari, President of GLOBAL Wrestling, sits behind his desk in his office at GLOBAL headquarters. He is well dressed, as always, but this time is addressing the audience directly, his hands folded calmly and neatly in front of him, resting on the desk.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, the carnage caused by E Z Rah and Jerry David over the tenure of GLOBAL Wrestling has been costly both on a financial and physical basis. And it is on this basis that I have come to a decision.
“Neither man may lay a hand on the other until our next Pay-Per-View, Gold Rush.
“Any man who lays his hand on the other will be fined six months salary.
“Regarding the Pay-Per-View, it seems appropriate that I now make arrangements for a match to take place between the two men so that they might finally settle their differences. And to keep things exciting, there will be a special stipulation for this match.
“What that stipulation will be, I have deferred both the decision and the announcement to a man who has undergone life-altering injuries during the course of this blood feud. He, and he alone, will decide the stipulation for this match, and will announce it himself in due course.
That man is E Z Rah.”
Backstage at the Hammerstein Ballroom, the luchador known as El Principe puts the last of his gear inside his sports bag, zips it up, and heads out of the locker room, heaving a sigh of relief. As much as he likes what he is lucky enough to be able to do for a living, there is always an element of satisfaction about packing up for another night and getting to go home and relax with a six-pack in front of the crappiest ‘telenovela’ Mexican TV has to offer – which, flight time notwithstanding, is exactly what Principe intends to do with his upcoming day off. Hell, he thinks to himself, if he is lucky, he may even be able to find a ‘telenovela’ to watch on the plane.
So absorbed is the masked wrestler in his visions of the flight home and subsequent downtime that he fails to notice when three figures come rushing up from a dark corner to jump him from behind; as such, before he is able to so much as react, he is being pinned down against the concrete floor by someone much heavier than him, and punished with repeated, clubbing blows to the back of the head.
“Hold him down, boys.” The familiar voice causes a ripple of unbridled rage to pass through Principe’s body, and he redoubles his efforts to break free. Every time it appears as though he might be able to overpower his assailants, however, another blow lands, and he feels himself getting pressed up even harder against the cold, hard arena floor. He is, therefore, unable to do much more than glare as the owner of the voice stands directly in front of his face, smirking down from six feet above him.
“Payback’s a bitch, you goddamn BLEEP.” The man smirks at the nerve he knows he just struck with the use of the ethnic slur. “You wanna jump me? Guess what – I’m gonna jump you right back. Eye for an eye, motherBLEEPer. That’s how we do things on the LEGAL side of the border.” The man’s smug tone, coupled with his casual, wanton use of unforgivably racist and demeaning terminology, cause Principe’s anger to flare up once again, leading the luchador to respond in the only way he can: by spitting on the other man’s shoes, while uttering a few choice words of his own.
“Pinche gringo pendejo!”
This, in turn, draws a gasp from what Principe deduces to be two figures holding him down, while the man he so vehemently loathes appears too stunned and shocked to speak, a grimace of sheer fury slowly contorting his face as he realises what just happened. That mask of hatred ends up being the last thing Principe sees before his face gets repeatedly smashed into the concrete by the man’s boot, even as his accomplices resume the assault on Principe’s back and neck. It is, therefore, through a mask of blood and bruises – mercifully hidden underneath his physical mask, on which dark pools have begun to spread – that Principe next sees his opponent, his own face now inches from the luchador’s, whose mask he is tugging on, the better to ensure he is seen and heard.
“Looks like this pinscher gringo just whupped your ass, ‘amigo’…” The man’s cackle is as odious as his words as he directs a casual kick at the luchador “I oughta make you spit-shine these goddamn shoes, since you like hockin’ loogies on them so much…But I think you learned your lesson, didn’t you, you BLEEPing BLEEP?” Another casual kick from the steel-caps crunches Principe’s nose, as the man chuckles mirthlessly. “After today…I think you’re gonna remember us. Ain’t he, boys?”
The man’s two accomplices snicker nastily as he once again addresses Principe directly. “Tell you what, ‘compadre’…why don’t I help ya, just in case?” He smirks. “The name’s Truth. John J. Truth. But you can call me Boogeyman. ‘Cause from now on…I’ll be your worst nightmare.”
With that, Principe’s hated rival finally lets go of his mask, causing the worn-down luchador’s head to crumple back onto the concrete, its thud muffled by the man’s call of “better watch your back, ‘ese’”. He then calls for his accomplices to join him and, a moment later, all three can be heard walking away, cackling, hooting and hollering, leaving the crushed and weary Principe to seethe on the floor, all thoughts of six-packs and soap operas long gone from his mind, and replaced by a single other: revenge.
Do you want to SAVE THE WORLD?
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You’re killing dolphins, etc.
(this has been a message from the PRF, sponsored by SHELL.)
ALECZANDER THE GREAT Vs. ???
“Coming up next, we’ve got a match that was only made a little bit ago!” Lucas Quinn tells the audience. “Aleczander The Great seemed like he was ready to take the night off until The Bro informed him of Sean Darring going to the championship committee for an approval of the GLOBAL Championship title match for next week. To that end, Aleczander has challenged anyone to meet him in the ring to show he’s ready for that match!”
“We found out earlier in the evening that the GLOBAL Championship match is official, despite the challenger’s protests!” Mark Deltzer says. “However, this is official… “The Legend” Sean Darring defends the title on DOMINATION 8 against Aleczander The Great!”
The graphic appears for the audience to show champion and challenger.
“Aleczander seems really keen on making this match happen on his time as the #1 Contender,” Allie Reece tells the viewers. “But he’s not getting his way. Earlier, he seemed hellbent on showing people what Sean Darring is in store for, so I have to give him that at least. Aleczander The Great in an open challenge is up next!”
Now down to “Downtown” Jason Brown in the ring!
“The following singles match is set for one fall! Introducing first…”
“Hall of Fame” by The Script feat. will.i.am.
The arena lights go gold across the Hammerstein Ballroom. The Manhattan Center starts filling up with jeers for the #1 Contender to the GLOBAL Championship making his arrival. But what the crowd is noticing is that Aleczander is out in his typical ring gear… but no ladies. No handoff of the Hall of Fame plaque or the flowers. Tonight, he looks all business as he storms to the ring with a straight-up look on his face as if tonight, he’s dead set on proving people wrong about Sean Darring’s recent comments about Aleczander The Great.
“…from Manchester, England and residing in Hollywood, California… weighing in at 264 pounds… he is the self-proclaimed GLOBAL Hall of Famer… ALECZANDER THE GREAT!”
“Sean Darring called him a coward because he walked off from the title challenge two weeks ago,” Lucas Quinn says. “Do you think those words might have inspired this?”
“I don’t know,” Allie says, “but from where I stand, it looks like he’s out here to prove something.”
Aleczander climbs into the ring quickly and then paces around, barking at official Gabrielle Harris to bring him someone to hurt. His music goes quiet.
The jeering continues, with Aleczander The Great standing mid-ring, waiting.
“Come on! If you want to come out here and make a name for yourself right here and now? Now’s the time!”
More of the chest-puffing from Aleczander The Great as he slaps his muscular pecs and waits for whoever wants to step up.
“Break Da Internet” by Moneybagg Yo.
The smile then forms on the face of Aleczander The Great… then the crowd knows what’s going down as he slaps a knee, laughing to himself!
An opponent shows up that hasn’t been seen since the first two shows of GLOBAL Wrestling. The music hits and out comes a masked man with a black mask and gray eyeholes to where only his face is visible. A black singlet in pants and black boots with blue check marks running down the sides. He holds out his cell phones and starts posting some nonsense on Youtube… and his response?
“Take this ratio.”
With a smile on his face, he holds the cell phone out again and then heads to the ring, talking more online trash and ignoring the fans.
“And his opponent… ” yells ring announcer “Downtown” Jason Brown. “Introducing first, not telling you about his height and weight because he won’t give his info to data miners or spambots… <B>“VERIFIED” CHETT MARX!”</B>
Marx happily slides onto the ring apron and points to the live stream on the tron with his final thoughts on the match.
“GLOBAL Hall of Famer ‘bout to get bodied. LMAO.”
He slides into the ring and refuses to give his phone up to the official, so he can finish whatever absurd theory he has about the moon landing on some Subreddit. He’s looking pretty confident in his chances while Aleczander laughs at the GLOBAL Nation with some of them now realizing it’s another stupid Aleczander fakeout stunt. The Mancunian Muscle looks ready while Chett Marx is finishing his last thoughts on his phone.
Chett Marx hands his phone over to Gabrielle Harris and then turns around to take a full-on Hall of Fame Induction from Aleczander!
The MASSIVE spear sends Marx spinning in midair before he crashes to the canvas! Aleczaner gets booed as he slightly nudges Marx over with a smug look on his face and lightly hooks a leg.
DING DING DING
Aleczander The Great stands up on his feet with his music playing! He grabs Chett Marx by the back of the head and his collar before THROWING him through the ropes and out of the ring with a loud thud!
“Here is your winner of the mat…”
The microphone is snatched right from Jason Brown’s hands from The Gilded Great. He looks out to the angry crowd in the Hammerstein Ballroom and motions for his music to shut off.
“I told you all earlier that someone was getting exactly what they deserved… and that’s YOU people. You DESERVED what you got just now because I’m not going to waste my time trying to wrestle for people like YOU! New York? One of the greatest supposed wrestling crowds in the world? That knows everything about everything? Do they think they deserve to see a GLOBAL Hall of Famer like me put on a thirty-minute classic with Sean Darring? Please! Me doing that for you would be like a Harvard professor reading Shakespeare to a dog!”
The New York crowd boos louder.
“Just like Sean Darring tried to get me to wrestle in HIS hometown of Miami? They can kiss me arse, too! Those ingrates are used to their superior talent leaving for greener pastures and the second they do, they’ll forget all about you, so I forgot about all of them tossers first!”
He leans towards the ropes.
“Sean Darring… I’m a coward? I’M a coward? Me? The man CARRYING this promotion? Of course, you would say that, Seanie… cause you know, I know and our esteemed gLoBaL nAtIoN knows… YOU’RE the coward.”
The crowd buzz loudly at Aleczander’s proclamation.
“I fucking said it, mate… YOU’RE the coward, cause YOU wanted this title match when it benefitted YOU! YOU wanted that title match right then and there because when you’re in the ring with someone stronger… more powerful… younger… more Hall of Fame-y… you would need every little advantage you can. Cause you need it! You need all of it! Cause you know that when we get into this ring once and for all, and it’s for that title… your title reign is one and done.”
He looks down at Chett Marx, who is still being helped out of the arena after the deadly spear collided with his rib cage.
“And now you’re going to everyone backstage and telling everyone our title match is in two weeks, trying to make me look like a coward if I don’t accept… but it’s gonna blow up right in your face. If you really want this match against GLOBAL’s only Hall of Famer in two weeks? If you want this? GLOBAL Hall of Famer versus GLOBAL Legend for the GLOBAL Championship?”
“You’re on, Seanie!”
The GLOBAL Nation roar with approval for the announcement! Aleczander holds up a finger and cuts through the reception of the promotion’s first major title bout announced for television.
“Hey, hey, hey… you gormless dickheads better not be getting your hopes up! At DOMINATION 8, *I* am going to carry this promotion into the future! And when I do, I’m gonna show everyone out here that The Legend is the real coward, but I will show all of you that The Legend is nothing more than a bullshit fairy tale.”
He throws the microphone at Jason Brown, causing him to almost jump and trip trying to catch it. Aleczander gets to the ropes and yells at Gabrielle Harris to open the ropes for him. She shakes her head, then he goes through the ropes himself, shoving his way past the young official as he makes his way to the back amid a sea of jeers!
The Informer stands backstage, holding a microphone. Flight cases and scaffolding poles line up against the corridor wall behind him.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I have a medical update on Jerry David.
“Jerry was taken to a local medical facility to have his injuries assessed by medical professionals. They have found that he has several broken ribs but is expected to make a full and speedy recovery.
“My sources indicate that Jerry has heard about the match at the Pay-Per-View, which he welcomes, but feels that the stipulation being set by E Z Rah is, and I have to stress that this is a direct quote, ‘absolute fucking horse shit”.
“It sounds like the GLOBAL fans are in for quite the fight come Gold Rush.”
COMATOSE CONVERSATION (2)
The scene opens to the same hospital hallway we saw last episode. The camera pans to the left and there is the open door that gives way to a view of a hospital bed. We see Christian Pierson in the same state as before – hooked up to machines to check his basic numbers and an oxygen tube curled around the ears and under his nose.
As the nurse in the room continues documenting the levels she sees on the screens, the camera begins to zoom in closer and closer to Pierson’s face and right to his forehead before the screen goes black for a second and we are back in the pink room. Pierson stands there in his hospital gown and his hands locked in handcuffs and connected to a heavy chain that keeps him in one spot.
“You realize this can all just end if you let go and let me lead,” the familiar voice of Manny rings out as he walks around from behind a wall and stands there with a menacing grin on his face.
“And where does that leave me,” Pierson defiantly responds. “A walking dead man because my life is not my own anymore? Why would I give you that power?”
“You want to know why?” Manny slowly shakes his head as he takes a few steps toward his victim. He leans in close, but still out of the range where he could be touched and whispers, “Life.”
Manny stands up straight and begins to walk toward a wet bar that just suddenly seems to appear by the wall of the room.
“You mind a little feedback, my friend,” Manny asks as he grabs the bottle and pours some liquid into the solid, short glass.
“Feedback from someone like you doesn’t interest me,” Pierson spits back.
“We all need to be critiqued from time to time. It is important for everyone.” Manny states right before he sips his drink. He takes a little breath after his sip and then continues, “All of your life, you took what people threw at you and you were miserable. You hated yourself. You wanted nothing more than to shuffle off and never be heard from again. But someone changed that! Someone came along and continued to help you better yourself. Someone helped you become the man you are today. Who was that? Remind me.”
Pierson stares at his captor and refuses to say a word, but his pursed lips show that his anger is truly burning inside him.
“Aww c’mon and say it for me,” Manny goads.
A disgusted Pierson calms his fuming head enough to utter one word, “You.”
“And yet,” Manny picks up without missing a beat, “you see yourself as going against my every notion for your well-being! This is why you are here right now. I am done trying to help and now just want to live for something greater than helping a scared little boy become something more. I want to live for MYSELF!”
Manny throws the glass against the pink wall and it shatters loudly.
“And I will guarantee you something, hijo,” he rants, “I will kill this body before I let you leave me behind. Life or death is your choice. But I’m not going to wait much longer.”
He walks away.
“MAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNYYYYYYYYYYYY!” Pierson yells angrily.
But Manny is gone and Pierson is left looking defeated.
The camera begins to pull back and goes black for a second before we see his face and continue back, showing him in the hospital bed. The beeps of the equipment the only sound as the screen fades to black.
YET ANOTHER CHALLENGE
Lucas Quinn chimes in excitedly, “I am getting hot off the press breaking news from backstage!.”
The Mark questions his partner, “What? Why you?”
Lucas Quinn continues, “Folks! Next Domination, we will have our FIRST official GLOBAL Championship defense. The GLOBAL Champion, “The Legend” Sean Darring’s GLOBAL Challenge, has been granted!”
Allie asks, “Does that mean it will be against the number one contender, Aleczander The Great?”
Lucas Quinn responds, “I have been told that Sean Darring has agreed to face anyone on the active roster but requested that Aleczander The Great be given the first chance at accepting the challenge!”
Allie shouts out, “This is exciting!”
The Mark wonders, “We now wait to see the strategic decision by the Hall of Famer. Does he take the first challenge? Or does he make the champion wait?”
Lucas Quinn says, “There is no wrong answer for Aleczander. He earned the chance to challenge for the title. Suppose he passes the opportunity to the next challenger on the next Domination; who is to say that Sean Darring defends the title? He could be preparing for a whole new champion!”
Allie asks, “Maybe that is what he would want?”
The Mark says, “If there is one thing we have learned about the Hall of Famer. Aleczander will do what is best for Aleczander, and most likely, it will be great.”
Lucas shakes his head, “For now, all that we know is there WILL be a GLOBAL Championship match. Sean Darring will be defending the title next Domination against somebody. Who that will be? Well, right now, that all depends on Aleczander The Great.”
Allie says, “Good on Sean Darring. This will be great for the fans and GLOBAL. I can’t wait!”
The Mark wonders, “But will it be good for Sean Darring?”
Lucas Quinn says, “We must wait until the next Domination to find out!”
DANIEL DREAM & AUGUST LAZAR Vs. ALEX REYN & E Z RAH
Lucas Quinn raises his hands, gesturing towards the electric atmosphere that the Hammerstein Ballroom offers. “They’ve certainly enjoyed themselves tonight, and we hope you have, too. And it’s not over yet – not quite anyway. The main event is another tag team affair, and we’ve had a few of those tonight, but with serious implications surrounding the GLOBAL Championship. On Domination Six, we started an eight-man tournament and these men were the four victors. August Lazar had ‘tough work’ in the form of the veteran Son of Malta, while in complete contrast, Daniel Dream in his Carnivore persona ate Joe Public out, and those two will meet in what will be a fantastic semi-final. On the other side of the coin, EZ Rah and Alfie Button had a hard-fought battle that went EZ’s way and Alex Reyn survived a war with Freddie Rich in the main event and ended their bitter rivalry with a chair shot to the throat. How well will Rah and Reyn co-exist?”
“Dream and Lazar have some history, so I think they’ll fare better when it comes to teaming together, personally. All of these men are exceptional athletes in their own right, but the agility has to go with Reyn and Rah, as well as the speed, not because of Dream, but Big Aug. However, there’s no doubt who the powerhouse of the four is, and Aug has the potential to be the difference-maker in that regard. Ain’t no one wants that work!” The Mark boasts, praising Big Aug to the hilt.
Allie shrugs her shoulders. “I agree with him, it happens occasionally, but there are other factors at play, obviously. First of all, who will go further than anyone else to win? My money, and so is anyone else’s, is on Alex Reyn and EZ Rah wouldn’t be far behind him. He and Jerry David have gone to pretty long lengths to annihilate each other, and they’re the perfect pair to represent the ‘it’s not the size of the dog in the fight’ argument.”
Quinn comes back in. “Daniel Dream is the freshest. Who’s the most vulnerable?”
The Mark and Allie respond with a resounding “REYN” between them.
“Of course. I’d say Aug and Rah might be around the same level of fitness, but Freddie Rich gave Alex Reyn everything he had, and it took a toll on The East Wind, but he has shown remarkable powers of recovery, and I’d still expect him to be his usual and incredibly dangerous self, and Dream and Lazar had better be prepared for that.”
As the cameras survey the crowd, Quinn puts one final question out there. “Will the winners benefit from a psychological boost ahead of our two semi-finals, both reserved for separate shows, with a win here tonight?”
Reece goes first. “They will, but I’m sure they’d rather wrestle on Domination Eight and have five weeks to recover instead of three. They’d take that now. To me, it’s more of an interesting exercise, it’s sort of a scouting mission I guess, and learning more about your opponent by teaming up with them.”
The Mark points to Allie. “She’s right, but I would say any and every win breeds confidence. Whoever gets their shoulders pinned to the mat tonight, regardless of who it is, will be at a disadvantage going into the final four,” he says, pointing towards the squared circle where it’s all about to go down momentarily. Speaking of which, a roar goes up at the sound of music, though I’m not sure if the hills are alive or not.
“Power” by Kanye West plays on the speakers to get this match underway!
… Except EZ doesn’t come out.
The fans wait. Booing impatiently until the music dies down.
“Wait a minute, what is going on here?” Quinn speculates.
Deltzer follows up. “This is not the type of crowd you want to keep waiting.”
Reece remarks. “Definitely not. Tough crowd.”
Another play of his theme. Again. A no-show.
A third- EZ’s entrance theme is cut off as an impatient Big Auggie steps out onto the stage! The Backstage facial recognition recognises Auggie stepping through the curtain to automatically cue up his music!
“While it’s wonderful to see the biggest man in the business, it doesn’t solve the problem of where EZ Rah is,” The Mark laments.
“Hot Cheetos and Takis” by Da Rich Kidzz hits the airwaves and the fans cheer as Big Augie makes his way onto the stage!
“Um… Ladies and Gentlemen, we apologize for some technical difficulties!” A rather flustered Lucas Quinn says, “Dream and August were supposed to come out SECOND in the entrance order!”
“Guess Auggie got tired of waiting around!” Mark Deltzer says. “LET ‘EM KNOW, AUGGIE! LET ‘EM KNOW!!”
Newman, professional as always, manages to roll with the punches.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is a Tornado Tag match scheduled for one-fall! In this match, all four men may remain in the ring at the same time without need of a tag! The first team to score a pinfall or submission will be declared the winner! Introducing first… From Clearwater, Florida, by way of Romania… accompanied by manager, Del Waterstone… he stands SEVEN-FOOT FOUR and weighs in at THREE-HUNDRED NINETY-NINE pounds… He is Everyone’s Zest Friend… Boss of the Sauce… Mr. Spice Guy… One Giant Tasty Snack… The Man with an Appetite For Life… The Man With The Iron Stomach… and The Largest Athlete in The GLOBE… BIG AUG” AUGUST LAZAR!”
August is being unusually taciturn this evening. Passing the food box to his manager and best friend who begins handing the goodies out to the fans while Auggie looks LASER focused on the ring and this match! Not making an announcement, not playing to the crowd, not even counting along with his nicknames!
“Something’s not right with Aug, and that may be an ominous sign for Rah and Reyn,” observes Allie.
As he walks down to the ring, the big screen shows footage of EZ’s car racing back into the arena parking lot and EZ getting off the phone, almost dropping it as he dashes out the car and back into the arena!
“And his tag team partner! From Atlanta, Georgia, standing six feet four and two hundred and twenty-five pounds, while currently residing in West Hollywood, California…THE CARRRRRRRNIIIVOOOOOORRRRRRE, DAAAAAAANNNNNIEEEEL DRRRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEAAAMMM!”
“Cult of Personality” by Living Color plays as Daniel Dream… does not come onto the stage.
“Oh, what NOW?? Allie yells.
“Wait… Wait… I’m getting word from backstage.” Quinn says. “Apparently, despite the blatant lack of professionalism of EZ and his partner, Daniel Dream will NOT be coming out until all three men have made their entrances! And by God he’s right! Daniel Dream is the biggest star in this match! He’s the future of GLOBAL-!”
“And your high school crush?” The Mark snarks, and Allie has to repress a snort of laughter while Quinn tries to ignore his partners.
“-And he DESERVES to make the star player’s entrance!”
“What attempt are we on now?” The Mark wonders.
In the meantime, 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 kicks in and thunder roars while fire erupts 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 is covered in ancient symbols and markings that seem almost to glow and move in the firelight.
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.
Newman makes the introduction.
“AND HIS OPPONENT, FROM MANHATTAN, NEW YORK!!”
The fans immediately cheer the mention of their hometown, but on the desk Quinn looks confused.
“Wait a minute, there’s no-one from here scheduled for…”
“WEIGHING IN AT 200LBS! HE HAS YET TO BE PINNED OR SUBMITTED IN FIVE MATCHES HERE IN GLOBAL!! THE EAST WIND! ALEX!! REYN!!”
The fans cheer at the mention of their hometown quickly turn into confused murmurs
“Howl! Seven days to the wolves-
I’m living in that 21st century
Doing something mean to it…”
The music is automatically switched from Nightwish’s “Seven Days to the Wolves” to Kanye West’s “Power” as EZ Rah runs through the curtain in the middle of Reyn’s entrance! LEaping over the fire like a daredevil and ignoring the smoke and holograms as he tries high-fiving audience members, still wearing that ridiculous NFT robe, and smiling ear from ear, looking either completely oblivious or completely SHAMELESS to the fact that he
A) Is LATE.
B) Just interrupted Reyn’s entrance!!
As EZ continues to play to the crowd, Reyn continues to make his way to the ring. Looking like he wants to MURDER someone.
…Wait, Reyn always looks like that. Never mind.
“Introducing his tag team partner, hailing from London, England, and weighing in at two hundred and thirty pounds, here is EZ Rah!!!”
“Someone backstage, please give Newman a raise for being such a pro through all this!” Allie says.
Finally. FINALLY, Daniel Dream can make his entrance!
Wearing a yellow smiley mask, Daniel is bathed in a holy spotlight that shines down on him like a beacon, creating a dramatic and awe-inspiring spectacle for the wrestler who has become known as the Carnivore as he strides toward the ring.
‘Cult of Personality’ blares out over the PA system. A chorus of jeers descends on the Hammerstein Ballroom as Daniel Dream turns to the crowd three-quarters down the ramp, shaking his head incredulously and disapprovingly, disappointed with the disdain directed at him by the masses gathered here in Manhattan.
“From Atlanta, Georgia, standing six feet four and two hundred and twenty-five pounds, while currently residing in West Hollywood, California…THE CARRRRRRRNIIIVOOOOOORRRRRRE, DAAAAAAANNNNNIEEEEL DRRRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEAAAMMM!”
Several paces behind, a Caucasian man with shoulder-length black hair, wearing a red suit jacket over a black undershirt, walks down the aisle way with a black cane that has a wooden handle despite not looking a day over forty.
As all four men finally make it into the ring, the referee decides the fans have waited long enough and calls for the bell!
DING! DING! DING!
Big Aug and Dream make the first move! Charging in with clothesline that their opponent’s avoid! Ream barely has time to turn around before Reyn cuts him down with a spear!
EZ Rah springs onto the top rope! Corkscrew Moon-
The crowd is on their feet as the running shoulder block sends EZ absolutely SPIRALLING through the air like a ragdoll!!
Right on cue, the predictable chants of ‘HOLY SHIT’ start and The Mark nods along in agreement.
Rah hits the mat HARD, and Aug is not wasting ANY time! Grabbing him by the tights, he deadlifts EZ Rah off the mat like a backpack, right into the Food Coma (Back Suplex Chokeslam)!!
“Big Aug doesn’t get paid by the hour,” quips Allie.
Reyn to the rescue with a chopblock to Big Aug’s knee!!
“That’ll stop anyone, I don’t care who you are or how big and strong you are, in your tracks,” Quinn claims, speaking from first-hand experience.
The attack causes Aug to drop EZ, but Reyn can’t even capitalize before Dream has grabbed him from behind!
Dream Crusher (Full Nelson Facebuster)-!
No! Reyn counters! East Wind Cut-
AUG TURNS REYN INSIDE OUT WITH A CLOTHESLINE!!
“And that’ll stop anyone, I don’t care who you are or how technical or fast you are, a clothesline from August Lazard will put you on the floor, Alex Reyn or not,” The Mark claims, clearly mocking Quinn’s previous statement.
Another cheer from the fans for the clear fan favorite in this match, as a dazed East Wind is now rolling under the bottom rope to try to get some safe distance, but Auggie is FOCUSED. He’s not playing around tonight as he goes to grab the dazed and grounded Re-
RUNNING SOMERSAULT STUNNER FROM EZ DROPS BIG AUG’S THROAT ACROSS THE TOP ROPE!!!
“Very, very nice by EZ Rah there,” Reece compliments Rah.
Even the FANS are taken aback by that as they express their shock! Even giving EZ some VERY rare cheers!
…Cheers that quickly turn to annoyed boos when they realize EZ is ignoring the fight to milk this one moment of glory. Even trying to get his picture taken on a fan’s phone, and said fan wants NONE of it…
Allie now criticizes the Crypto King. “Then, he goes and spoils it all by doing something like that.”
Back to the fight, and EZ’s move has given Alex the time he needed to recover. He attacks with a springboard crossbody to the still stunned and coughing Auggie who has to VISIBLY plant his feet to stay standing, but he manages to do so! Holding Reyn up in the air-
Elbow from Reyn hits Auggie in the temple!
Deltzer shares his own insight with us. “I swear, Reyn hits everyone in the temple at some point, and when you’re facing someone like Big Aug, it’s a great go-to tactic, I can’t blame him for that.”
The dagger-like blow stuns Big Aug, and he drops Reyn, clutching his head as he stumbles back! Perhaps on instinct, he throws a clothesline that JUST misses an incoming Reyn, who slides between his legs and hits the ropes on the other side to attack Auggie’s leg again with a chopblo-
Big Aug leapfrogs over Reyn!
The crowd cheers at this display of agility! Outside the ring, EZ has now started literally playing tug-o-war with a fan, so he can take a picture of himself with the guy’s phone! With one final yank, he pulls the device out of the man’s grasp! With an ear to ear grin, he aims the camera for a selfie!
…And his face falls when he sees Carnivore Dream standing behind him in the shot.
“PHOTOBOMBED,” yells Allie.
His selfie arm lowers. The phone clatters to the floor as he sheepishly turns to see Daniel Dream impatiently tapping his bicep.
EZ Rah with a sucker punch! No! Dream blocks it! Dream going to town on EZ with lefts and rights as the fans show him their full support!!
“Dream getting the respect and love he deserves from these fans in Manhattan, at long last,” Lucas beams.
Daniel Dream grabs the arm! He whips EZ into the corner except EZ runs UP the ring post, and springs ONTO the middle rope for an Asai Moonsault that takes Daniel Dream down!
“Fantastic action, and the fans in New York are showing their appreciation,” states Quinn.
It is once again a VERY impressive display of agility and EZ, unfortunately, knows it as he starts dancing in celebration, and unfortunately spends SO long playing to the crowd that he gets his head taken off courtesy of a superkick by Dream!
Back ringside and Big Aug has been trying to tag Alex Reyn with one of his mammoth blows, but the East Wind keeps weaving in and out of his strikes, forcing Augie to keep his head on a swivel! Reyn hits the ropes, going for a spear!
No! Augie catches him and tosses him up for a gutwrench powerbo-!
Clap to both ears from Reyn stuns Augie! His grip loosens.
DDT BY REYN BRINGS AUG DOWN FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE MATCH!!
“The impact of hearing August hit the mat in March is a LOUD one, but you can hear a pin drop in the Hammerstein Ballroom after that, and that’s a rare sound,” Allie tells the viewers.
But a returning Dream takes Reyn by surprise with a spinning wheel kick before he can go for the cover!
Daniel grabs the East Wind’s arm! Pulling him up for a fireman’s… wait! Alex Reyn slips out behind; he’s got the inverted facelock applied! Is it East Wind time??
Big Aug has come too. He sees his partner’s predicament! Clothesline to Reyn!
Reyn sees it coming this time and drops low to not only duck the clothesline, but plant Daniel Dream with a falling reverse DDT!
Big Aug tries to grab the East Wind, but Reyn has already slid out the ring! Even he knows he needs to be careful taking on two main-eventers at once.
Aug then takes the time to bodily pick Dream off the mat and set him on his feet like the 200+ pound man is a small child.
“Please, Daniel. You’re embarrassing yourself.”
THAT gets a chuckle from the fans who hear him and a scowl from his partner, but they both slide out of the ring and begin to advance on the East Wind who has to step back, keeping his head on a swivel, not letting either man get behind him.
All three look up in the direction of the voice. EZ Rah is back in the ring and picking up momentum! With a battle cry, he hits the ropes, bounces off, hits the ropes on the opposite side, building up momentum before he LAUNCHES HIMSELF OUT THE RING WITH A SUICIDE SPIRAL TAP!!
…That misses all three men and sends him crashing into the barricade.
Reece can’t help but laugh, covering her mouth After regaining her composure, she apologizes. “I’m sorry, guys – he deserves it for being EZ Rah is the best way I can put it, really.”
A long moment of silence follows as EZ lies groaning on the outside mats.
All three look down at EZ.
Then back at each other.
Then down at EZ.
Then each other.
Reyn gives a LONG suffering sigh.
And attacks Dream with a bicycle knee!
It’s clear he was trying to take Daniel by surprise, but Dream is too wily and dodges the knee! Retaliating with a spinning back kick that Reyn ducks before-
“Great awareness by Dream there, OH MY GOD!” Quinn shouts.
GETTING LAUNCHED INTO THE AIR AND SENT OVER THE RING STEPS BY A RUNNING SHOULDER BLOCK FROM BIG AUG!!!
“Holy shit! Holy shit! Holy shit!”
Dream however, is LESS enthused. Angrily yelling that Aug almost sent HIM flying with that move too!
Auggie off course, is just TERRIBLY apologetic. Absolutely heartbroken. What a tragedy it would be if Daniel Dream got knocked on his ass! The scandal!
Rolling his eyes and scowling, Dream decides to focus on the match and roll Alex into the ring.
It’s clear he’s looking to put Alex away before he has a chance to recover as he rolls INTO Alex, scooping him up in the roll as he rolls to his feet, so Alex is in the fireman’s carry posi-
Guillotine from Alex Reyn!
Again that dangerous stinging counterattack from the East Wind surprises his opponent and Dream finds himself struggling to stand up with Alex’s weight hanging off his neck! He takes stumbling steps forward, trying to hold Reyn’s weight up for…
A clothesline from big Aug!!!
The move almost decapitates Reyn, but as the East Wind falls back, he maintains his deadlock and SPIKES Dream with a DDT!
Again. Auggie feels just AWFUL for Dream. He should have brought a violin.
Anyway, time to win the match!
A two count in the first pin of the match is a testament to Augie’s raw power as he guzzles the East Wind and begins slamming the back of his head against the mat over and over!
“A DOMINANT performance by someone who has the potential to be the most dominant man on the roster, doing it to someone who just might be,” Quinn alleges.
The cookie dunk from the enormous European has Alex utterly dazed! Easy pickings for the Food Coma.
Big Aug doesn’t waste time. He deadlifts Alex like a bag of apples!
“This is it,” The Mark cries, excited at the prospect of seeing Reyn smashed to bits by the largest man in our sport today.
EZ RAH IS RUNNING THE ROPES LIKE A TRAPEZE ARTIST! HE SPRINGS ONTO DANIEL DREAM’S SHOULDERS AND LEAPS OFF FOR A FLYING N.F.T (Shining Wizard) TO BIG AUG!!!!
The fans are off their feet! They had thought EZ was OUT after that crash and burn earlier, but in an amazing showin of not only agility, but resilience, he had returned to COMPLETELY shift the momentum of the match as Reyn uses the shining wizard to pull Augie down into a dragon sleeper! Dream tries to break up the hold, but EZ dives for his leg and grabs his ankle! Holding on like a ball and chain! On the mat, Reyn has the hold locked in like a vice grip until August manages to get a mammoth grip around Alex’s wrist and PULL REYN’S GRIP OPEN WITH SHEER, RAW, POWER!!
“GOOD GOD,” Quinn screams.
“Big Aug is blowing “The East Wind” AWAY,” The Mark states, rather pleased with himself.
Even Reyn looks shocked by that as the fans cheer! Big Aug doesn’t waste a second!
DEAD LIFT BIEL!!
Reyn uses his agility to spin in the air, and land in a crouch! But Auggie is as relentless as a train as he charges in-!
EZ JUST PUSHED DREAM IN AUGGIE’S PATH!!
“How cowardly of EZ Rah,” Quinn condemns EZ.
No!! Dream shows his reflexes by sliding BETWEEN Auggie’s legs to avoid disaster!
“How quick and smart of Daniel Dream.” Do I really need to tell you who said that?
But the distraction was enough as Reyn hits a dropkick to the incoming foodie’s knee!! For only the third time in this match, Big Auggie goes down, falling with his head lying between the top and middle rope! Reyn springs onto the top rope as Daniel Dream does the same on the other side of the ring!
Springboard Diving Foot stomp to the back of Auggie’s neck! Springboard Tornado Kick to EZ Rah! Both in stereo!
As both their opponents roll out of the ring, the two runners-up of the inaugural title match state each other down…
There is tension in the air. Reyn on the apron, Dream in the ring. Both waiting for the other to make the first move…
Reyn takes the initiative! Springboard Hurricanran-o! Dream counters with a handspring to avoid impact! Reyn with a spear now! Dream leapfrogs OVER the spear with an amazing vertical leap! He tries to hit the rebounding Reyn with a dazzling dropkick, but the perceptive predator predicts the patriot! Sliding UNDER the dropkick as it misses the target!
Both men are on the mat now!
Rolling kip-up in stereo as they face off!!
“That’s impressive,” The Mark, er, marks out.
These two main eventers barely even give them fans time to cheer the ac off as they clash once again! Dream parries a superkick by Reyn! Ducking under the spinning back kick that follows! He grabs Reyn from behind! AMERICAN REVOLUTION (Ripcord Elbow)!!
No! Reyn ducks under! He ashes past dream to spring on the top rope to-
GET LAUNCHED OUT OF THE RING BY A SHOULDER BLOCK FROM AUGGIE, WHO KNOCKS HIM OUT OF MID-AIR WITH A CRY OF “NOT TODAY!!” THAT THE FANS ECHO!!!
Daniel Dream looks down at the fallen Reyn and back up at his partner. Not sure whether to be begrudgingly thankful or insist that he had it under contro-
EZ RAH SPRINGS OFF THE TOP ROPE AT AUGGIE FROM BEHIND, HANDSPRINGS OFF OF AUGUST’S SHOULDERS AND CATCHES DANIEL DREAM WITH A FLYING CANADIAN DESTROYER!!!
Quinn “OH. MY. GOD.”
“HOLY SHIT!! HOLY SHIT!! HOLY SHIT!!”
It is yet ANOTHER insane move from EZ Rah! The two men who main evented Magnum Opus are down as Dream rolls out the ring! Now it’s August’s and EZ who face off!!
“EZ Rah’s STOCK continues to rise,” Quinn says, believing he’s witty.
EZ is riding the high from that amazing destroyer just now! Darting in and out with jabs to Auggie’s face, making “put up your dukes” gestures to the thoroughly unamused big man. Seemingly oblivious to the complete lack of effect that his punches are having!
Another jab- This time, August catches his hand!
The mammoth man’s grip squeezes tightly on EZ’s wrist as he glares daggers at the annoying athlete whose face expresses: “Oh, dearey me. I seem to have greatly miscalculated.”
A sentiment the fans echo with a chant that I will not repeat, but that rhymes with: “YOU BUCK UP! YOU BUCK UP! YOU BUCK UP!”
FOOD COMA- KNEE TO THE JAW FROM EZ!!
“A devastatingly simple yet simply devastating counter,” Lucas is on form, isn’t he? No? Okay then.
THAT hit was felt by Auggie who drops to one knee as EZ flips out of the back suplex to land behind the big man! He hits the ropes, but again Big Aug shows off his surprising athleticism by leapfrogging over EZ! EZ Slides under, hitting the ropes on the other side, he tries to leapfrog over AUGGIE this time, but the seven foot, four hundred pound man decides to give his opponent a physics lesson by NOT ducking under the leapfrog and instead standing completely still.
And his 230lb opponent smacks into his barrel chest like a bug hitting a windshield!
“Not the best decision EZ Rah has ever made,” The Mark remarks.
EZ is looking up at the lights with a punch drunk expression that suddenly turns into fear as he JUST rolls his head out of the way of a stomp from his opponent!
EZ is trying to roll, scrabble, claw, ANYTHING to get away from having his head stomped into the mat by August who pursues him relentlessly! He manages to roll under the ropes, but August grabs him!
Thumb to the eye from EZ! A kick to the knee!
The fans boo EZ as August stumbles back on his bad knee! Hands over his eye and crying out in pain! But in a rare moment of focus, EZ has climbed to the top rope!
ROPE HUNG ENZUIGIRI FROM DANIEL DREA-NO!
Despite the surprise attack from the carnivore, EZ had managed to block the kick! But Daniel springs onto the top rope with Dream! The two are fighting up there in a VERY precarious position!
“One false move, and it could be over in the blink of an eye,” Reece observes.
“They’re fighting above us folks, and I don’t like it one damn bit,” Quinn contributes
Superplex from EZ! No! Dream blocks it! He’s holding on!
Big Aug has joined him up top! The absolute titan of a man is on the top rope for the first time in forever!!
They both grab EZ!! Lifting him up for… ARE THEY GONNA DOUBLE SUPERPLEX HIM TO THE OUTSIDE????
They’ve got him up! Holding him upside down as the fans come out their seats….!!
“I don’t like this,” Quinn confesses.
“Get ready to run,” The Mark advises his colleagues.
ROPE-RUN SPEAR FROM ALEX REYN HITS DREAM AND AUGGIE!!! THE MOVE IS ENOUGHT TO KNOCK THEM OFF BALANCE AND SEND ALL FOUR MEN OFF THE TOP ROPE AND CRASHING THROUGH THE ANNOUNCER’S TABLE!!!
It’s an absolute EXPLOSION of bodies, monitors, and table wreckage as the commentary team dives for cover! All four men are lying scattered on the outside mats! The fans aren’t even chanting, they’re just SCREAMING!!
The referee makes the call right then and there! He can see all four wrestlers are OUT from that nuclear BOMB of an impact! The bell rings! EMTs are already rushing to the ring.
The announcers, who had scarpered, are seen surveying the wreckage of their table, lucky they got away in the nick of time as Marcus Anthony Newman informs fans everywhere of the official decision. “Ladies and Gentlemen, due to the referee’s call, this match has been ruled a no-contest!!”
Domination 7 goes off the air.
A Lesson in Reality: Shae
Now You’re in New York: Keegan
Protecting The Truth: Pedro
Ready Player One: Pedro
What is Normal, Anyway: Blair/Keegan
Queen Bianca Vs. Alf Alferson: Scott
Global Challenge: Brian
An Open Challenge: Crash
Do Your Duty!: Chris
A Slight Detour: Chris
The Law Vs. Angel/Jerk: Pedro
A Rich Problem: Brian
Cancelled Party Plans: Seth
Segment Eleven: Here
The C Word: Seth
John J. Truth Vs. The Great Wall: Pedro
The Dude Patrol: Seth
Naked & Afraid: Chris
Chance Meeting: Chris
State of the Nation: Scott
Truth Hurts: Pedro
SoM Vs. Declan Rich: Brian
Aleczander The Great Vs. ?: Seth
Medical Update: Scott
Comatose Conversation: Chris
Daniel Dream and “Big Aug” August Lazar v Alex Reyn and EZ Rah: Shae
A Lesson in Reality: Shae
Now You’re in New York: Keegan
Protecting The Truth: Pedro
Ready Player One: Pedro
What is Normal, Anyway?: Blair/Keegan
Crusader X & Alfie Button Vs. Amber Lee & Darren Best: Keegan
Global Challenge: Brian
An Open Challenge: Crash
Do Your Duty!: Chris
A Slight Detour: Chris
The Law Vs. Angel/Jerk: Pedro
A Rich Problem: Brian
Cancelled Party Plans: Seth
Battle Plans: Pedro
The C Word: Seth
John J. Truth Vs. The Great Wall: Pedro
The Dude Patrol: Seth
‘Queen’ Bianca Davis Vs. Alf Alferson: Scott
Naked & Afraid: Chris
Chance Meeting: Chris
SoM Vs. Declan Rich: Brian
State of the Nation: Scott
Truth Hurts: Pedro
Aleczander The Great Vs. ?: Seth
Medical Update: Scott
Comatose Conversation: Chris
Yet Another Challenge: Brian
Daniel Dream & “Big Aug” August Lazar Vs. Alex Reyn & E Z Rah: Shae