Welcome To Gold Rush
An aerial camera zooms in on the GLOBAL Studios’ lot in Hollywood. Stage 49 has been specifically and specially redecorated for tonight. They’ve kitted the normally white sound stage out in gold from the outside with ‘GLOBAL’ written in large black letters.
“Welcome back to sunny California,” the familiar voice of Lucas Quinn booms and beams.
There are two tiers, with the top one being covered in some oak wood to reflect the name and its relationship with the theater where one William Shakespeare became a household name the world over. Red carpet covers the entire aisle way and fireworks are set off every couple of seconds to the screams of the capacity crowd, somewhere in the region of 2,500 rabid fans, ready for the second GLOBAL pay-per-view presentation.
The squared circle has the GLOBAL logo emblazoned on it with green and blue ropes and purple turnbuckles, and now the camera focuses on three faces.
“Between eighteen forty-eight and eighteen fifty-five, more than three hundred thousand people descended on this state, California, seeking that oh-so-valuable commodity called gold. Tonight, two and a half thousand members of the GLOBAL Nation have packed our spiritual home, The Globe, to watch two titles be won or lost, the conclusion to our number one contender’s tournament, and much more as we welcome you to GLOBAL’S GOLD RUSH,” Quinn smiles, emphasizing that last part.
“Tonight’s main event sees “Legend” Sean Darring defend the GLOBAL Championship against a young and cocky yet hungry challenger in England’s own, Aleczander The Great. Aleczander claims to be a hall-of-famer while Sean Darring legitimately is one,” Lucas concludes.
“Yes, he is, Lucas. Mind games have to be a big part of Aleczander’s challenge tonight,” The Mark begins before being cut off.
“As well as being younger, fresher, stronger and arguably fitter, but in the end, Sean Darring will have too much for him. WHOO,” Reece lets out as the crowd, upon hearing her, roar in approval, and she offers them a grateful fist-pump, hyping herself up ahead of tonight.
The Mark shrugs his shoulders, and Lucas grins before continuing. “Okay, Mark, take this one away instead. Whoever walks out of Los Angeles as GLOBAL Champion will have their work cut out for them as the winner of the Gold Rush tournament, Daniel Dream or Alex Reyn waits in the wings as the new mandatory contender.”
“Thanks, Lucas. We know you’re betting on Dream, betting on America,” Deltzer starts.
Quinn playfully interrupts. “You’re damn right I am,” he chuckles.
“I’m betting on the East Wind, Alex Reyn. But, this is what wrestling is all about, especially on this stage. That is a genuine fifty-fifty, you don’t see those every day, and both will be looking to prove something to one another, as well as whoever the champion is, and I imagine they’re secretly hoping it’s Darring, because of what happened at Magnum Opus specifically, but also at Domination One in Daniel’s case, and going back further in time for Reyn. There’s unfinished business, and of course, the prestige of taking the GLOBAL Championship home with them.”
Reece goes next. “Don’t forget our Tag Team Championship, Mark, and you know I’m all over this. Never mind Gold Rush, this is GIRL POWER all over again. The Master Sisters, champions since Domination One, will defend the title against Trouble Roxx in what I legitimately believe will be the show-stealer,” Allie confidently predicts.
“It wouldn’t shock me. Trouble Roxx got the victory over The Master Sisters at Domin-“
“It was a roll-up,” Deltzer scoffs.
“It doesn’t matter,” Allie fires back.
Changing tact, Quinn steps in. “Then, two other teams that’ll be looking to forcing their way into contention, Prime Time Athletes and The Rich Family, will have themselves a little strap stroke respect match, and I have a feeling that the winners will be installed as the new number one contenders,” Quinn states.
“Unquestionably, the hottest and most bitter rivalry in GLOBAL history to date will be solved, one way or another, tonight, and what are the odds of that stealing the show? EZ Rah meets Jerry David in what will, undoubtedly, be an intense, hate-filled fight to the end. However, who wins, and what will happen? We have no clue, and I bet they don’t, either. Let’s just hope there’s a winner,” The Mark prays.
“BACK to tag action, and the Angel Corps trio of Angel Ramirez, Saul Morgan and Valorie Vitality will wage war on Jed’s Law.”
Deltzer can’t help interrupt. “HE’S BACK!”
Reece looks taken aback. “Do you mind? Yes, Jed Johnson has returned, lingering like bad BO, with Brady and Strauss to form Jed’s Law. They’ll be broken tonight,” Allie squeezes in.
“And will The Truth prevail and see The Wall crumble or will China, like it is set to in the next decade anyway, surpass The United States? John J. Truth faces The Great Wall inside a STEEL CAGE, and I would not like to be in John’s position tonight. But, we all wonder if Border Control might have something up their sleeves, and of course, Xiang, too,” The Mark smiles until Lucas glares at him.
“BET ON AMERICA!”
Deltzer and Reece both roll their eyes. “This is going to be a LONG night,” declares Allie.
“Crusader X and Amber Lee will fight over Alfie Button, and I can’t say I blame them. Both are unbeaten in singles competition and someone’s oh will go tonight. That should be a special match,” Deltzer believes.
“Of course, mainly because of my girl, Amber Lee. Finally, a woman not so close to my heart, admittedly, self-proclaimed “Queen” Bianca Davis, who wasn’t present at the coronation last week and is reportedly mad about it, will meet a member of Henry The Eighth’s court, yes you heard that right, and her tormentor, The Jester,” Reece reads.
The Mark raises his hand, only for Allie to tell him that everyone is already waiting on him. “We, on behalf of the GLOBAL Nation, would love to take the time to thank “Big Aug” August Lazar for everything he has done in his time with the company. He has returned to Romania for family-related reasons, and we wish them all the very best of luck in this time, some things are bigger than wrestling – not many, but it’s important we remember there are – and he’ll always be welcome back.”
Quinn nods his head in agreement. “Amen. Anyway, to everyone watching, wherever you are, thanks for stopping by, and enjoy Gold Rush,” Lucas flashes those pearly whites one last time as that concludes the introduction.
“Welcome to the show,” says Steve Blaine, a pale, bald man wearing a suit. “It’s been a pleasure watching you compete in GLOBAL so far. How do you assess your time here so far, from showing up as the surprise opponent on Domination 1 to challenging for the GLOBAL title at Magnum Opus to facing Alex Reyn here in the final of the Gold Rush tournament?”
“I’m not satisfied,” Daniel says, “I’m happy that I won the MVP and the Western Conference, but I’m not satisfied until I win the World Championship. And to do that, I have to go through Alex Reyn here in the finals of the Gold Rush tournament.”
Daniel Dream takes a deep breath.
“I know he’s a tough opponent, but I’m not worried. I’m the best wrestler in the universe, and I’m going to prove it tonight. My current goal is to win this match. I know that if I win, I’ll be one step closer to winning the World Championship, but that’s a future goal. Right now, my focus is on winning this match and proving to everyone that I’m the best.”
Steve Blaine asks, “What are your thoughts on Alex Reyn, arguably the most dangerous competitor in GLOBAL?”
“Alex Reyn says like soldiers in war, I will be hunted, I will be scared, I will be tormented. But is that what he thinks of me? No. I am not a solider entering the jungle to be hunted. I am the carnivore of the jungle that waits for both sides to go to war. I am the one who hunts. Alex Reyn may be tough, but I’ve faced tough opponents before. I’ve defeated some of the best wrestlers in the world, and tonight, I’ll add Alex Reyn to that list. I’m not afraid of him, and I’m not intimidated by his reputation. I’m going to go in there, do what I do best, and come out victorious.”
Steve Blaine asks, “What do you have to do to beat him?”
“I have to stick to my game, my style. Alex Reyn is a fighter, and I can beat him at his own game if I need to, but if he has to wrestle me, then I know I can beat him. I’m going to stay focused, stay disciplined, and do what I do best – outwrestle, outmaneuver, and outsmart my opponents. I’ve been doing it my whole career, and tonight won’t be any different. Alex Reyn may be the most dangerous competitor in GLOBAL, but I’m the best wrestler in the universe, and I’m going to prove it tonight.”
Steve Blaine asks, “Daniel, you defeated Joe Public, first of all. It certainly seems like a bye. What do you say to critics, particularly our commentators, who call foul play and believe you’re getting favorable treatment from management?”
“I have no problem admitting that they’re right. Yes, I had Benedict Beel Zebub ensure that I had a lowly-seeded opponent, and yes, I took advantage of that. But you know what? I earned that bye by being the highest seed. It’s not my fault that Joe Public was a weak opponent.
As for the critics who call foul play and believe I’m getting favorable treatment from management, they can think what they want. The truth is that I’m just better than everyone else. I don’t got to sugarcoat it at all. Whether you like to admit it, I’m better than ninety percent of the wrestlers here.”
Steve Blaine asks, “You then overcome friend and rival, Big Aug, who has now left GLOBAL. That must be bittersweet for you. Have you spoken since?”
“Yeah, Big Aug is definitely one of the best wrestlers in the world, and I consider him high up on the list of the wrestlers that I’ve beaten. It was bittersweet because he’s my friend and my rival, and it’s always tough to see a competitor like him leave GLOBAL. I wish he would come back and join the action again. But unfortunately, I haven’t spoken to him since his departure. Maybe one day we’ll meet in the ring again, but for now, my focus is on the task at hand, and that’s beating Alex Reyn tonight.”
Steve Blaine asks, “You’ve been pinned twice by Darring. Any concerns about facing him in the future? Does it give him a psychological edge?”
Daniel says, “No, I don’t have any concerns about facing Darring in the future. In fact, I believe I have the psychological edge. He’s beaten me twice, but that just means he’s going to underestimate me and not be as aggressive. Meanwhile, I consider myself in a must-win situation. I have a lot to prove, and I’m going to bring my A-game to every match, including against Darring.”
Steve Blaine asks, “How would things be different next time round?”
“Next time around, things will be different. I have had the chance to analyze Darring’s strengths and weaknesses, and I have been working on my own strength and conditioning. I am in a different mindset now, and I am ready to face him again. I will come out on top next time.”
Steve Blaine asks, “Prediction for the main event? Preference on who you’d like to face?”
“I’ll be honest, I’m rooting for Sean Darring tonight. Aleczander The Great is a great competitor, but I have some unfinished business with Sean. I want him to win so I can have my revenge and prove that I’m the better wrestler. But regardless of who wins, I’ll be ready to face whoever comes out on top.”
Steve Blaine says, “Talk about ‘Respect The Game.'”
“My new motto ‘Respect the game’ is all about showing respect to the sport of wrestling, to those who came before us, and to our opponents. It means that I respect Sean Darring, I respect Alex Reyn, but now I’m going to earn their respect.
It’s important to remember that this is a competition, and we’re all here to win. But we have to do it in a way that honors the sport and our opponents. That’s what ‘Respect the game’ means to me, and I hope that others will adopt this mentality as well.”
Steve Blaine asks, “Daniel, what are your goals in GLOBAL?”
Daniel Dream’s response is, “My goals in GLOBAL are to earn respect for myself and my allies, to prove that I’m the best wrestler in the universe by beating Alex Reyn, and ultimately to get revenge on Sean Darring and win the World Championship. These are the things that drive me, and I won’t stop until I achieve them.”
Footsteps echo along the empty, marble halls. A camera sweeps along the exhibits in the museum. The costumes and weapons creating shadows and silhouettes in the night. The camera is turned to face the holder, Alex Reyn.
“Daniel. It seems I have someone to thank, and you have someone to curse.”
A small smile curls his lips.
“If you were hoping, based on my last message, that I would be arrogant, perhaps even complacent coming into our fight, then I’m afraid young Ezra has ruined that hope for you. I already viewed you as a threat a week ago. But that clown showed me the folly of underestimating ANY opponent. I will not make the mistake with you that I did with him.”
The eyes harden.
“So the question is: Can the same be said for you? Have you finally figured out who you want to be? Man of the people? Carnivore? You have my UNDIVIDED attention tonight, Daniel because you are the one thing between me and the redemption I have sought for three years. I have nothing to keep me from strangling the life out of you. Nothing to distract me. No thoughts of complacency to dull my senses, nor pests to occupy my thoughts. But you… Can you stay focused on this match through all the preening and posing this league is asking you to do? Through all these new alliances? Understand that you HAVE earned the East Wind’s respect, Daniel. So I shall give you the courtesy of a warning: If you do not give your full attention to this match. This night. Then I will make sure that you’ll NEVER be able to forget it.”
A Cruel Truth
An MMA training dummy sits in the dead center of a wrestling ring, pointed to the center of the ropes.
A pair of feet, clad in tall white wrestling boots with black accents, climbs the ropes at the turnbuckle. We see Crusader X perched atop the turnbuckle. He’s alone in an empty backstage practice room on the far side of the ring away from the entrance. He stands up straight as he looks down at the dummy in the center… and then the ropes. He inhales slowly… and then exhales, just as slow.
With the speed and agility of a gazelle, X bounds across the top rope, towards the door, to the opposite turnbuckle. He stops effortlessly, turns 90 degrees on a dime, and then bounds across the second length of rope to the third turnbuckle. He exhales sharply as he reaches the second and then turns again to bound across to the fourth turnbuckle. When he reaches the fourth, he stumbles ever so slightly.
“¡Mierda!” shouts X. He regains his balance and then bounds across the final length of ropes to land on the turnbuckle where he started. Without missing a beat, he turns again, runs across the first half of the ropes, bounces high off one foot, turns 90 degrees toward the center of the ring in the air, and then springs off the top rope into a perfect splash onto the dummy in the middle of the ring.
X sits up and exhales as he wipes the light sweat from his brow. His face shows a lack of certainty. He shakes his head and mumbles to himself. “I don’t know…”
“OI, X, I WANNA A WORD WIV YOU.”
The distinctive voice of Alfie Button rings throughout the makeshift training room set up backstage. X turns to see him standing at the entrance. He storms in toward toward the ring.
X rolls out of the ring toward Alfie. He walks up to him, not with his usual smile and cordiality, but a stern, downcast frown. “Alfie.” It’s clear that he’s not looking forward to this conversation.
“I’ve ‘eard whispers, ‘ad doubts in me ‘ead about you from the get-go, but in the last few weeks, I really fort you ‘ad changed, X. But, this time, you’ve gone too far, mate. For real. You’ve got a beatin’ comin’ your way, and I ‘ope she rips you to shreds, because you deserve it for what you said to Amber. You know what? Amber doesn’t need me,” Alfie says pointing at himself, nodding as he does so.
Button takes a step back and lowers his tone somewhat. “To say that I don’t need ‘er? That’s ‘arsh, cruel and just plain wrong. If you’ve screwed this up for me, X, then you and I are gonna ‘ave anovver ding-dong like we did at Magnum Opus, mate. You can bet your arse on it.”
X stares Alfie in the face with a blank expression. “The truth always sounds cruel to those who don’t want to believe it.”
The Cockney claps. “Bravo, anovver crackin’ observation by the homecomin’ king, the ultimate people person. You have no idea ‘ow to talk to people, which is why you’re on your tod, runnin’ rahnd the ring, splashin’ crash dummies instead of ‘avin trainin’ partners. At a moment’s notice, if I wanted, I could ‘ave Amber, Darren, Team United, Ansell and a LOT MORE in this gym to work wiv. And yet, ‘ere you are, Crusader No-Mates. Friends rely on each ovver, build one anovver up and care about each ovver. You may be an amazing aflete, but in life, you’re a loser, X,” Psychologist Button concludes, shaking his head.
X shakes his head. “That’s the problem. If EVERYTHING you do in this sport is for someone else, you will fail. Working with partners or training with other wrestlers is one thing, but you need your own goals. You need to be independent. You are. Amber is not. I’m trying to help her.” X raises his voice. “I’m trying to help BOTH of you! I am NOT your enemy!”
Alfie gets in Crusader’s face, speaking in a way quieter tone than usual. “You said that to Amber too, so why do bof ov us feel like you’re acting a ‘ell of a lot more like an enemy, your words by the way, than a friend? Why are you so eager to team wiv me, but at the same time, scared of any ‘uman connection, anyfing that might ‘ave you form a bond wiv someone you care about, and actually depend on them.
X cuts him off.
“BECAUSE THE LAST PERSON WHO RELIED ON ME LIKE THAT IS A QUADRIPLEGIC!”
What we can see of X’s face is red. He stares straight into Alfie’s eyes. He then breaks eye contact, turns around, and walks a few paces back.
Alfie is stunned into silence. He apologizes. “Listen, I’m sorry. Crusader Y, right?”
Crusader nods and Alfie nods his head. “I ‘ad ‘eard about that but didn’t know ‘ow bad it was.”
X cuts him off. “No one knows. No one outside his family, at least. You’re the first person I’ve told.”
A mix of horror and… pity? Creeps across Alfie’s face. “Why?”
Crusader looks down at the ground. “I only tell people who need to hear it. And you…” He looks back up at Alfie’s face. “needed to hear it.”
X continues. His voice breaks a bit but stays steady. “Crusader Y and I relied on each other for EVERYTHING. Any attempt we ever made at a singles run never worked. Instead of training to cover our own weaknesses, we depended entirely on each other.”
X shakes his head again as Alfie listens with his mouth agape. “Worked great at first. Won us titles. Got the internet fans looking at us. Got us tons of new bookings. But when you go up against a parasite like Vagabundo? Someone who will do ANYTHING to win? Even cripple his opponent?”
X stares right through a visibly uncomfortable Alfie. “That. Connection. Won’t. Save. You.”
He gets closer to Alfie again. “Not from losing. Not from a broken neck. Not from a permanent hospital stay.”
He speaks softly. “Amber’s a great wrestler. But what happens to her when she can’t rely on your advice?”
“What if she runs afoul of someone like Alex Reyn?”
Alfie inhales sharply. A visible chill creeps across his body.
X’s voice drops lower. “You can still feel what he did to you, right? And you saw what he did to.
Freddie. If Amber gave that FREAK so much as one small reason to hurt her…”
Button shakes his head and holds his hand up. “Okay, you’ve made your point, enough’s enough.”
Detecting that Crusader is about to interrupt me, Button raises his voice louder than usual. “I SAID…ENOUGH.”
X speaks in almost a whisper. “THAT is why I’m not your enemy.”
The masked man starts to pull away. “Hell, a match against me will prepare her for her ACTUAL enemies.
Now, if you’ll excuse me.” X nods his head in the direction of the ring. “I have a lot to work on. I’ll see you ringside, Alfie.”
The eyes of Alfie Button are like the glass of an aquarium, showing a million things swimming through his head. As X moves the MMA dummy into his splash zone, he climbs the top rope, he shakes his head in disbelief. X hits a perfect X Marks the Spot right on target as Alfie turns and leaves the practice area.
Gold Rush Tournament Final: Alex Reyn v Daniel Dream
“Ladies and Gentlemen, it has come down to this!” Lucas Quinn announces, “The Gold Rush Tournament began with eight of the best wrestlers in our sport today! But throughout it all, two men have stood above the rest! Daniel Dream, the hero of America, the face of GLOBAL to many people and a feature of not only GLOBAL’S first ever PPV Magnum Opus, but it’s first ever show! A man with great expectations who continues to exceed them!”
The Mark takes over.
“But across from him, we have the nightmare of professional wrestling. The man who has yet to be pinned or submitted since he arrived in GLOBAL. A man who has lain waste to every man and woman he has come across and sent half of them to the hospital. The East Wind. Alex Reyn.”
Over to Allie: “It’s a match that will decide the main event for our season finale, and quite possibly the future of GLOBAL itself! The stakes can barely be higher outside of the title match itself! Newman, take it away!
And so he does.
“The following contest is scheduled for one-fall and is the final round of the GLOBAL Championship, Number One Contender’s Gold Rush Tournament!”
A soft chant begins to spread throughout the arena, interrupting Quinn’s soliloquy, or so it feels like, and the buzz around The Globe is palpable. 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 roared 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 covered in ancient symbols and markings that seemed almost to glow and move in the firelight.
“Introducing first! From Los Angeles, California! Weighing in at two hundred pounds! The First Predator! The East Wind! Alex REYN!!
The flames spread down the aisle in a flash! Igniting the signature Red Carpet and turning it ash black as 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.
“Over a month ago, when we were in Philadelphia, he was billed from there. Today, he is billed from here.” Allie says. “He is the universal horror. The boogeyman. The nightmare outside EVERY window, in every dark alley or hidden corner. He lives where you live. His hunting ground is your home, and YOU are his prey. Last week, we had some technical difficulties with the audio, so I’ll say now what I said then: People call Alex chaotic. But what truly makes him dangerous is… he’s not. He’s neither chaotic, nor insane. Every action is calculated, every move deliberate. He creates chaos in his enemies, while he himself remains as calm as the eye of the storm.”
“Howl! Seven days to the wolves
Where will we be when they come?
Seven days to the poison
And a place in heaven
Time drawing near us
They come to take us.”
Reyn climbs atop the top rope and stares down at the crowd for a few seconds. Thereafter, coldly, Reyn steps down removing the cowl and placing it on the ring post before turning to stare down the entrance way, awaiting his opponent.
The opening chords of “Cult of Personality” by Living Colour blast through the arena, a procession of people dressed in golden and purple jackets, each wearing a yellow smiley mask, line up along the entrance ramp. They stand in silent reverence as Daniel Dream makes his way to the ring. Wearing a yellow smiley mask of his own, 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 towards the ring.
“And his opponent! Weighing two hundred and twenty-five pounds, originally from Atlanta, GA, but currently residing in the nearby West Hollywood, California, ‘The American Patriot’! ‘The Leader of the American Revolution’! ‘The Carnivore’!, DAAAAAANNNNIIEEEEL DRRRRRRREEEEEAAAAAMMM!’
“Eye of the Storm, Reyn may be, but NO-ONE has as much grace under pressure as this man!” Lucas Quinn says “Reyn talked earlier about all the ‘preening’ being a distraction, but to me, that just shows that Dream has what it takes to be our champion! He’s always there for the fans! Always there to be the face of GLOBAL, to represent us in and out of the ring! He is the first man to arrive, and the last man to leave! But when he gets in the ring, or the gym, I have never seen a man more committed, nor focused! Tonight’s go time, and it’s time we all Bet on Dream and Bet on America!”
While the first part of the pro-Dream propaganda is… somewhat exaggerated, Deltzer and Reese don’t argue for once.
After all, in this match, he’s by far the lesser of two evils.
Stepping into the ring, Dream walks up to Alex Reyn and… Extends his hand for a handshake??
“Daniel Dream! Showing sportsmanship, even to a man like Alex Reyn!”
“That or patronizing him.” The Mark replies. “This might just piss Reyn off.”
For a second, Reyn looks down at the hand, then back at Dream with an unreadable expression.
.. Then he returns the handshake with an amused look. His eyes, however, meet Dream’s. Two cold glares mirror each other. An acknowledgement of respect. And an acknowledgement that NEITHER man is looking past the other tonight.
“The tension is EERIE!” Deltzer says.
DING! DING! DING!
Reyn makes the first move, attacking out the gate with a Dropkick to the knee. But Dream has already moved to avoid it, dropping down to ground Reyn with a Side Headlock. Reyn slips out, trying to knee Dream in the temple, but again Dream counters with a Fireman’s Carry!
Dream stays on top of Reyn, securing a Bodyscissors. Reyn tries to elbow out, but Dream manages to keep himself out of Reyn’s striking distances as he squeezes Reyn’s ribs with his legs. Despite that, however, Reyn is able to get his foot up and between the grip to literally kick his way out of the Bodyscissors.
Knee from Reyn! Dream ducks!
But it was a fake out, and Reyn stomps Dream’s face into the mat instead!
Now Reyn is starting to take control. Repeated stomps land hard and violently to the back of Dream’s ne-
Dream catches Reyn off guard with a Knee-bar!
“This is a blistering start between two individuals who not only know each other well, but realize there’s so much at stake here, and that’s a rematch with Sean Darring or a first-time showdown with Aleczander The Great for the GLOBAL Championship at our final extravaganza of the season, the BIGGEST match in GLOBAL history to date,” Quinn sells us.
They’re right next to the ropes though, and Reyn is able to get an immediate break, but Dream’s real strategy is clear as he rolls out the ring, the Knee-bar wasn’t expected to win so much as to distract Reyn and break up his momentum.
But as we all know… outside the ring is never safe when Alex Reyn is around.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you, Daniel,” The Mark advises Daniel, in vain of course.
ASCENDANT’S WRATH (Running Springboard Suicide Crossbody)!!
DREAM HAS SPRUNG ONTO THE TOP ROPE TO MEET REYN!!
“You weren’t expecting that, were you, Mark?”
“No, I was not, Lucas,” Deltzer confesses.
“Don’t bet against Dream or America,” Lucas barks back.
The two are balancing on the top rope like trapeze artists! Dream is looking to Belly to Belly Reyn to the outside mats!!
“The repercussions of that would be severe for both men, especially this early on,” Quinn comments.
No! Reyn falls back into the ring! Avalanche Reverse STO!!
“The athleticism of both men is off the charts,” The Mark resignedly says, lauding both competitors in spite of his personal feelings.
Dream flips with the fall, taking the landing flat on his back instead of on his face! But Reyn rolls back to mount the so-called “carnivore”, looking to assault him with viciou-
Dream hooks his legs under Reyn’s arms and pulls him down into a sunset style leg-trap pin!
“Smart work by Daniel there,” The Mark states.
KICKOUT, BUT DREAM IS IMMEDIATELY GOING FOR THE PATRIOT LOCK (Ankle Lock)!!
“Magnificent,” Quinn applauds Daniel.
Reyn thinks quickly and rolls forward, grabbing Daniel’s leg to turn the move into an Inverted Half Crab on Dream, but in a test of technique, Dream has the edge!
REYN REVERSES INTO A VICTORY ROLL OF HIS OWN!!
Bicycle Knee from the East Wind! Dream ducks! Goes for a leg sweep but Reyn sidesteps it, only to be caught with an overhead kick from Dream, followed by a full on Pelé Kick!
“We knew this was going to be a war, and so it’s proving,” Lucas remarks.
Dream deadlifts Alex Reyn! Going for the GTS!!!
Wait, no. Reyn tries to negotiate a guillotine counter, only for Dream to ram the East Wind back first into the corner!
Superkick from Dream! Reyn ducks, slips behind his opponent!
DREAM DOES A STANDING VERTICAL LEAP ONTO THE TOP ROPE!
“EXCEPTIONAL,” exclaims Quinn
Twisting Crossbody takes Reyn down! Dream rolls through! Hoisting Reyn up onto his shoulders Fireman’s style, but Reyn wriggles out, turning it into the dreaded Inverted Facelock!
“But, in a heartbeat, look at the speed of the East Wind,” The Mark comments, astonished by what he’s witnessing.
EAST WIND CUTTER (Lifting Rolling Cutter)!!!
“Thank God for that,” Lucas sighs.
Dream counters! Fireman’s Carry lift again, only for Reyn to again turn it into the inverted facelock once more!
Reyn sinks it in! Pulling Dream down into a Dragon Sleeper! Wrapping his legs around Dream like a serpent to keep him pinned! But through sheer power, Dream is able to pull Reyn’s legs apart and roll backwards, turning the submission into a pin on the East Wind!
REYN KICKS OUT, BUT DREAM IS ALREADY Deadlifting HIM UP FOR THE GTS!!
Reyn wriggles out, leaning his body weight towards the ropes so that he and Dream both fall over the top rope and out the ring!
Wait a minute!
Both men catch the ropes! Hanging upside down above the apron, narrowly avoiding disaster!
“Are you kidding me?” The Mark barely manages to muster.
“Impressive doesn’t do it justice,” admits Allie.
The two men find their feet… both staring each other down on the apron.
Superkick by Dream! Reyn avoids it by leaping OVER Dream’s leg, and onto the top rope! Springboard DD-!
DREAM JUST CAUGHT THE EAST WIND IN MID-AIR!! NORTHERN LIGHTS ON THE APRON!!
“WOW,” Reece yells.
Dream might have just found his first target. He doesn’t show any mercy. Picking up the East Wind and ramming him spine first into the ring steps! With Reyn stunned, he lifts him up, going for a LeFuqueYu (Attitude Adjustment) on the ring apron!
“The agility, the intensity, the bravery, the ambition…everything,” Lucas raves, bestowing praise on the pair of them, mirrored by the audience’s applause.
But…you can’t count the East Wind out just yet. He drops behind Dream, risking further damage to his own back as he attacks Dream with a Dropkick to the shoulder! Immediately, Dream is clutching his arm, but Reyn arches his back in pain as he hits the mat! Trying to shake off the pain in his arm, Dream bends down to grab Alex Reyn, but the first predator suddenly grabs Dream’s wrist and kicks him violently in the shoulder!
Dream reels back! Crying out in pain! He goes to grab Reyn…
No… No, he realises. That’s stupid. That’s playing the East Wind’s game.
“Dream has to impose his will on Reyn, not an easy thing to do by any means, but something he MUST do to win this whole thing,” The Mark reckons.
So, instead, he rolls back into the ring. Alex keeps his eye on him as he uses the apron for support. He knows exactly what Daniel is doing. He’s taking the time to recover. To let his arm heal, to avoid the limb becoming a target.
But… that lets Reyn do the same for his back.
And neither man wishes to have a handicap in this fight.
As Reyn slides into the ring, there’s a greater sharpness to his gaze. Daniel Dream isn’t just a physical match… he’s done his homework. Read his tactics move for move. This… this is going to be a challenge. A game of physical Go.
Reyn again with the first attack! But again, Dream sees it coming! He’s studied Reyn. He KNOWS the East Wind likes to take the initiat-
It’s a feint! Reyn has sprung off the top rope to land behind Daniel Dream! Dream had outsmarted Reyn, but Reyn had outsmarted his outsmarting!
“Talk about a violent game of chess,” Quinn muses.
But victory wouldn’t come so easily! A standing switch from Dream! Go-behind on Alex Reyn! AMERICAN REVOLUTION (Ripcord Elbow)
“This has put almost everyone away,” Reece reminds the viewers, something Alex is also acutely aware of.
No! Reyn kicks the attacking arm!
…Just as Dream expected.
Capture suple-! Reyn falls back to turn it into a monkey flip!
But Dream lands on his feet!
“That’s straight out of Alex’s playbook,” The Mark points out.
Reyn kips up!
“And you could say that was ripped out of Daniel’s,” Lucas offers in return.
Superkick from Dream! Reyn ducks! Spinning Back Kick from Reyn! Dream dodges! The two separate! Hitting the ropes for added momentum! Spear from Rey- No! Too predictable! Dream leapfrogs over it! Spinning Heel Kick from Dream almost takes Reyn’s head off, but the East Wind slides under it! Now out on the apron!
“What action you’re seeing,” Lucas praises the pair.
Springboard attack from Re- No, it’s another feint and Reyn drops back down on the apron
…But this time, Daniel Dream calls his bluff and scores with a running knee to Reyn’s jaw!!
Reyn looks dazed, out on his feet. When suddenly, he lashes out like a cornered rattlesnake! Grabbing the leg that just kneed him!
Dragon Screw between the ropes!
“Great resilience and resourcefulness on the part of Reyn,” Quinn concedes.
Daniel Dream falls back, clutching his leg! But Reyn too has dropped off the apron. His throbbing skull in his hand.
“Reyn sacrificed recovery time to go after Dream’s leg there.” Allie notes.
“Mutually assured destruction.” The Mark explains. “We saw it earlier when Dream tried targeting the back, so Reyn attacked his shoulder. NEITHER man wants to have some kind of injury or handicap in a match like this. The second one of them starts targeting a limb, the other does the same to get him to back off and let them recover, They’re doing everything possible to stop the other man from getting real momentum in this match.”
The two have recovered enough! Reyn slides into the ring between Dream’s legs, catching his opponent off-guard and shooting him off the ropes, only for Dream to reverse and send Reyn into the ropes! But Reyn uses that momentum to spring off the top rope for a Springboard Crossbod-
DREAM KICKS HIM OUT OF THE AI-!
“Oh my goodne-,” Reece, clearly in shock, spits out.
REYN CATCHES DREAM’S LEG MID-FLIGHT AND TWISTS IN THE AIR TO HIT A DRAGON SCREW OUT OF THE SKIES!!!
“OH MY GOODNESS,” She repeats, albeit with even more awe and volume.
The crowd is both in shock at the speed and agility of that counter and wincing at how INCREDIBLY painful it looked! Dream had howled in agony, now clutching at his knee on the mat.
“Dream’s race may’ve been run,” The Mark solemnly declares, and no, he’s not in a church getting wed.
Reyn’s gaze zeroes in on the wounded limb.
Dream is trying to stand, get to the ropes, maybe roll out the ring to escape, to recover-
A Running Dropkick to the knee from Reyn. And this time, Dream cannot avoid it.
The Carnivore goes down once more, and the East Wind grabs the leg, placing the ankle on the bottom rope, looking to snap his leg with a stomp! Dream IMMEDIATELY pulls his leg out of the firing line, but even THAT sends agony shooting through the nerves in his limb! He’s in danger. Terrible danger, and he knows it. He tries to roll out under the bottom rope. To powder, to escape. But Reyn wraps his legs around his head! Choking him with a hanging Headscissors Lock as he dangles off the apron!
“If anyone could be described as rabid, it’s Reyn,” The Mark reminds everybody.
A release on four. Dream falls against the ramp, choking and couching. Trying to get his bearings. He has rolled out the ring for safety.
Dream can’t move. He can’t escape. The camera’s pick up on him trying to kick Reyn out of the air, but he isn’t fast enough.
“Love, like, despise or dislike, Alex Reyn is an extraordinary athlete and competitor,” Deltzer reacts.
The move hits like a cannon blast!
Reyn may be in full control. He picks Dream up off the outside mats and goes to ram the crown of his head into the ring edge!
But in a display of ingenuity and craftiness, Dream allows his own jelly legs to give out, cause the momentum to instead send him sliding under the ring, grabbing Reyn’s tights to yank him chest first into the ring edge!
“That could be a moment of respite for Dream and rein in Reyn, no pun intended, who was threatening to run away with this,” Quinn states.
A few seconds later, we see Daniel roll out the other side of the ring near the announcer’s tables, now trying to nurse his leg with the ring between him and his opponent. Using the table to support himself.
But Reyn’s not done.
ANOTHER ASCENDANT’S WRA-!
It’s a feint as Reyn backflips off the ropes to land back inside the ring, and so Dream’s dive to safety does nothing but put his leg through MORE pain.
“Daniel is struggling here,” Cheers, Allie, for stating the bloody obvious.
As he clutches his knee once more, Dream looks up to see Alex Reyn smirking down at him. Taking the center of the ring, Reyn beckons Daniel Dream in with a bow.
“Mind games, and very few people fare better than Reyn. Will Dream take the bait?”
Yeah…, how ‘bout NO.
The Mark answers his own query. “Hell no, and good for you, Daniel. Very wise.”
Dream isn’t stupid. He knows this is a mind game, that Reyn is luring him into his world. Pride before a fall, Dream has until the count of ten, and by Lincolnsaurus Rex, he’s going to use it!
“…Ladies and Gentlemen, we’d like to apologise for the narrator.” Allie sighs.
Screw you! It was the only thing I could think of to combine Americana and Carnivores!
Back inside the ring, Reyn’s smug look has changed to an annoyed glare. If he lets Dream take this time to recover, it could ruin the advantage he had just started to gain, but if HE rushes into attack, then he gives DREAM a psychological edge.
There’s a small smile of respect amidst the annoyed glare. Acknowledgement of his opponent’s talent.
“They both know they’re in the ring with someone special,” Lucas opines.
Count of nine and Dream has slid back in the ring. He tries to regain control with a running knee, but he hasn’t quite recovered enough for that to work, and again Reyn scores with a Dropkick to the knee! Grabbing Dream’s leg, Reyn goes for another Dragon Screw, but Dream kicks him off with his good leg!
Reyn is relentless, though, coming right back to GET CAUGHT IN A SMALL PACKAGE!!
DREAM LETS REYN OUT!!
“He knew that wouldn’t pin Reyn, that was never the plan. He just needed to distract him for a second, so he could get some distance.” Quinn explains, and indeed, Dream has rolled towards the ropes to perhaps try and powder again.
Unfortunately, the East Wind is right on top of him! Literally. Slingshotting himself over the ropes to deliver a painful Double Stomp to the Carnivore’s chest! Dragging the winded and wounded wrestler to the centre of the ring, Reyn practically rips his leg off with a Dragon Screw!
Then a second one. Now twisting the limb in the OPPOSITE direction. Then a third back the other way!
Many fans cringe at the sight of Daniel Dream being physically dissected in the middle of the ring. Reyn has backed off, allowing Dream to stand, forcing him to put weight on his own wounded leg just to fight.
Or… that WOULD be the plan, if Dream didn’t instead try to again roll out under the bottom ro-
Reyn stands upon Dream’s leg. Pinning him in place.
Until Dream grabs Reyn’s waistline and yanks him throat first into the top rope!
“That took Reyn by surprise,” Reece reckons.
TW- AGAIN, IT’S JUST A DIVERSION!!
NOW Dream is able to slip out the ring, near the steps, so he can use them for support, Reyn comes right out after him, but THIS time Dream is ready for it and as Reyn is sliding out the ring, Dream surges forward and rams Reyn spine first into the apron before…
DREAM CATCHER (Jumping Flatliner) ONTO THE EDGES OF THE STEEL STEPS!!
The Crowd screams!! Blood stains the metal as a thunderous impact knocks the steps out of place!
His eyes have gone unfocused, there’s a dazed look as he blinks away blood that has begun to pour down from a deep gash in his forehead.
Dream immediately grabs the East Wind, going for a Rear Naked Choke on the outside floor! A dangerous move to a man who is losing a LOT of blood right now!
Reyn tries to struggle to his feet… to escape the choke, to fight back…
-Until Dream suddenly grabs his head and whips the back of his head into the edge of the ring apron!!
There’s an audible gasp as Reyn’s neck whiplashes off the hard edge!
“It’s not very often Alex Reyn extracts sympathy from a crowd,” The Mark assuredly states.
He drops like a stone and Dream slides into the ring. Perfectly willing to take a countout victory here in this match!
Reyn is able to pull himself to his feet, but his legs twice almost give out under him, and he has to use the apron for support. He rolls into the ring, trying to pull himself up with the ropes.
But Dream is right there to meet him.
“You’ve got to stay on top of him,” Lucas advises his favourite wrestler.
Chopblock! Dream grabs Reyn for the Patriot Lock! (Ankle Lock)!! Reyn had hurt HIS leg earlier! Time to even things up!
No! Reyn immediately grabs the ropes, forcing a break before the hold can be fully locked in.
So Dream tosses Reyn overhead with a Snap German that causes Reyn to land with a sickening impact on his neck!
“You KNOW Reyn’s hurt when he’s not flipping out of a suplex.” Meltzer says.
And Dream’s leg?
Well, he thought of that. Grapevining it around the middle rope the second he threw Reyn to create a fulcrum effect that put absolutely no weight on his injured leg.
Reyn is lying face down in a slowly spreading pool of his own blood, and Dream straddles his back. Before striking down with powerful blows to the back of the East Wind’s head!
“Dream is showing drive, determination, defiance and desire,” Lucas boasts on behalf of the GLOBAL poster boy.
Until Reyn suddenly catches Dream’s hand, pulls it to his mouth, and BITES DOWN!!
Dream howls in pain! A howl that is quickly cut off as he finds himself caught in a guillotine choke!
Reyn is wrenching on the hold! Trying to choke the life out of the carnivore! Dream tries to stand, to deadlift Reyn, but his leg gives out and both men collapse to the mat! The impact knocking Reyn loose!
“You can’t count either man out,” analyzes Allie.
Dream is clutching his leg, gritting his teeth in pain.
But Reyn isn’t capitalizing.
The cameras get a look at the far-off, glassy-eyed expression in his eyes. He’s hurt. Badly.
And Dream knows it.
NEVER WAKE UP (Spinning Lifting DDT)!!!
REYN KICKS OUT!!!
“DAMN, that was close,” Lucas laments.
He tries to use that surge to grab Dream in a Dragon Sleeper, but it’s pitifully weak and Dream EASILY avoids it. Attack Reyn with a sliding knee that Reyn only manages to duck due to Daniel’s leg still being a little tender. The East Wind tries to stumble to his feet, but a gunshot like Superkick brings him down!
“If Daniel can capitalise, that could be it, right there,” Quinn predicts.
That hurt Dream’s leg, though, and the few seconds he spends clutching his knee with gritted teeth give Reyn time to roll out of the ring. But neither the crowd nor Dream, nor Reyn himself miss the fact that it is REYN who is forced to retreat to the outside, blood from his gashed forehead staining the mats.
Dream is seeing his opportunity. He climbs to the top rope, looking down at Reyn on the outside mats… This will be big. But it will be worth it.
WARRIOR’S WAY (Diving Double Stomp) TO THE OUTSI- CAUGHT WITH A SPEAR IN MIDAIR!!!
But as Dream is coming down, he traps Reyn’s head under his arm, and… SPIKES ALEX REYN WITH A DIVING DDT!!!
“WHAT ON EARTH?!” Reece cannot believe what she has just seen, and she’s not the only one.
The crowd is in absolute shock!! They’re screaming at that insane double counter that has left both men lying unmoving on the outside mats!
There’s no movement from either man. Both lie still on the mats, Dream in the foetal position, Reyn in a pool of his own blood.
Count of five now. Still no movement. The crowd is growing restless. Could this match end in a draw?
It’s nearly out of time. Dream is slowly stirring to his feet.
He’s got a choice. He could win here by countout.
He grabs Reyn! Trying to deadlift him into the ring, even on a bad leg!
JUST MADE IT IN TIME!!
Deltzer pipes up. “That wasn’t nobility – it was pride. Dream wants to send a message to Alex directly, and everyone else from us to the fans and to the rest of the locker room that he, not Reyn, is the most dangerous man on the roster.”
Quinn chimes in. “On this evidence, he just might be.”
Dream picks Reyn up! Going for the GTS! No! REYN COUNTERS!!
EAST WIND! CUTTe…
Reyn’s eyes looked glazed over. He barely seems to know where he is. Just holding Dream in the Inverted Facelock as though he’s lost.
An overhead kick from Dream knocks Reyn loose.
No! Reyn by almost instinct manages to grab the top rope to keep his head from being driven into the mat and Dream falls flat on his back! Reyn practically falls on his opponent, trying to maul him with wild strikes, desperate to regain control, but Dream is able to parry and negotiate a Fireman’s Carry, standing up with Reyn’s weight on his back. But Reyn shifts that weight to send them both falling out them ring! Dream manages to grab a hold of the tropes to arrest his fall, the two hanging from the ropes, tangled in each other until Reyn grabs Dream in a Guillotine Choke while Dream is hanging from the ropes!
The two drop to the outside, but Reyn won’t let go! He’s got the choke locked in like a vice! But he doesn’t count on Daniel’s sheer power as he stands to his feet, carrying Reyn even on a bad leg! He shifts Reyn onto his shoulders! Looking for Le’FuqueYu through the table! But Reyn slips out behind as Dream’s leg twinges, looking for the East Wind Cu… no, his head swims, his grip loosens…
Jumping Cutter from Daniel Dream!!
Both men are lying on the mat. Reyn from the Cutter, Dream because the last few moves had exasperated his leg. Even so, he’s able to make it to his feet before the East Wind. Grabbing Reyn, he rams him violently into the ring steps headfirst with an echoing BANG!
Reyn is rolled into the ring. Dream goes up high, looking for Warrior’s Way!
Reyn tries to get up, but his legs turn to jelly as his vision swims, and he collapses on the mat, blood pouring from his head wound. He tries again, but again he can’t make it.
WARRIOR’S WA- REYN ROLLS OUT THE WAY!!
…Only for Dream to change trajectory in midair to land feet first on the middle ropes next to him, and spring off to turn the double stomp into a Springboard Triangle Moonsault!
THR-EYN’S HAND IS UNDER THE ROPES!!
“So close,” Reece, almost out of breath, remarks.
Dream grabs his arm! Trying to drag him into the centre, looking for the American Dream (Cobra Clutch)! But the East Wind grapevines his legs around the ropes! Trying to keep Dream from getting the submission locked in the centre of the ring!
Dream rips Reyn free! Forget the submission, he’s going for AMERICAN REVOLUTION!!
No! Reyn ducks! SPEAR!!!
“Talk about so close and so far,” The Mark adds.
…Which, thanks to Reyn’s jelly legs, fatigue and the lack of a running start, manages to do both Jack-all and Nothing.
NEVER AWAKE BY DANIEL DREAM!!
DOESN’T QUITE GET IT!!
“Stay on him, Daniel,” Lucas urges Dream.
But Dream was a MILLISECOND away from victory, and he knows it. He takes a second to test his knee. It’s feeling a LOT better now than it was ten minutes ago. His strategy to keep Reyn from being able to focus on it had paid off beautifully, and now he has the strength back to be able to deadlift Reyn up for the GTS!!
He holds Reyn up! Savouring the moment!
…A little too long.
REYN COUNTERS INTO A KNEEBUSTER DDT!! (DDT while swinging both feet into the opponent’s knee)
“A Reyn favourite right there,” The Mark says knowingly.
Reyn rolls Dream over, trying to drive knee after knee into his temple!!
Dream is able to block it, he grabs Reyn again. Trying to get him up for the GTS, but Reyn, fighting like a pit bull, is able to slip out behind into an Inverted Facelock!
He doesn’t have the strength for the East Wind! GTR instead!
It won’t win, but it might be enough to give him some breathing room. He collapses against the ropes, vision swimming, hot flashes of pain throbbing in his aching skull! He grabs Dream’s leg again. Looking for another Dragon Scre-
SMALL PACKAGE BY DREAM!!
But Dream maintains the Facelock, rolling to a standing position!
VERTICLE SUPLEX POWERBO- REYN COUNTERS WITH A HURRICANRANA!!
That may have stunned Dream, but Reyn knows he can’t win off a ‘Rana! He backs up into the corner! Wiping the blood from his eyes! Pushing past the pain! Waiting for Dream to stand!
FLIPPING DD… No, Reyn can’t quite get his footing right! Dream has him up for the GTS!
Reyn slips out behind! A last desperate attempt at the East Wind?!
Dream counters! Waistlock! He looks like he might try the American Revolution, but then shifts his grip into a Full Nelson! DREAM CRUSHER!! (Full Nelson Facecrusher)
Quinn wonders aloud. “COULD THAT FINALLY BE IT?”
Reyn’s face hits the mat! But Daniel isn’t done! SLIDING KNEE!!
“IT IS, SURELY. BET ON DREAM,” Quinn screams.
DENIED AT THE LAST SECOND!!
“UNBELIEVABLE,” Lucas yells in a blend of disbelief and begrudging admiration for Alex Reyn.
But Dream is NOT letting this momentum go to waste! He doesn’t give Reyn a chance to react!
CARNIVORE’S LAST HUNT (Elevated powerbomb)!!
DREAM IMMEDIATELY PICKS HIM UP FOR A SECOND CARNIVORE’S LAST HUNT!!
He lifts him up! Another! And another!
Reyn has gone limp at this point, he’s not even fighting back, he’s not even CONSCIOUS!
But Dream won’t stop.
Over and over, The Carnivore slams the East Wind into a pool of his own blood! This is no longer just about victory. This is a MESSAGE.
“Has Daniel lost it?”
“He looks in complete control to me, Allie,” Lucas reacts.
“I agree, Dream knows exactly what he’s doing and that’s scary,” The Mark affirms.
On the final lift, Dream changes his grip. Finishing the match with his ultimate move.
“HE’S GOT HIM,” Lucas excitedly exclaims.
Daniel Dream leans over the limp carcass of Alex Reyn. One hand on his chest like a lion over his kill.
“Bet on Dream.”
DING!! DING!! DING!!
“BET ON AMERICA,” Quinn applauds.
“What an incredible, unbelievable match that was, two phenomenal performances by two extraordinary professional wrestlers, and Daniel Dream just proved a lot to Alex Reyn, himself AND Sean Darring or Aleczander The Great – he is, indeed, the hunter as Carnivore and the champion is the hunted. Well done, Daniel,” The Mark rounds off.
“HERE IS YOUR WINNER OF THE GOLD RUSH TOURNAMENT, AND NEW NUMBER ONE CONTENDER TO THE GLOBAL CHAMPIONSHIP! THE AMERICAN HERO!! THE CARNIVORE! DANIEL! DREEEAAAAAMMM!!!!!!”
The First Predator has fallen.
Long Live The Carnivore.
A 'Golden' Opportunity
“Holy crap, Iz…!”
For what is far from the first time that evening, Teagan Trouble shoves her phone directly under her best friend’s nose, eliciting what is far from the first bug-eyed reaction that evening.
“Holy crap, Teags…!”
Teagan then turns to her laptop screen, where two smiling young men watch the scene unfold in silence.
“Holy crap, you guys…!”
The oldest of the two men, a clean-cut youngster around the girls’ own age, grins.
“Holy crap, you girls…!”
This remark – also by no means the first of its kind uttered in the past few minutes – draws a giggle out of Izzy; Teagan, however, is once again absorbed by the information on her screen, her mouth involuntarily drooping onto an O-shape.
“That’s us…” She gives Izzy an awestruck look as she points down at her phone.
“Yup.” Izzy nods. “That’s us…”
Teagan holds her phone out again, this time addressing the youngest of the duo’s two interlopers, a teenager with spiky, unkempt wheat-blond hair.
“Look, Runny Hunny…Auntie Teagan’s got a title match!”
“Really?” It is the youth’s turn to grin. “Oh my gosh. I’m SO surprised. I had NO idea. Did YOU know about this, Miles?”
“Nope.” The second youth plays along. “I’m just as surprised as you are, little bro…”
“Very funny, you guys.” Despite her tone, Teagan is smiling from ear to ear as she mock-scolds her friends.
“Seriously, though…are you gonna tell Twitch?”
“Um…yeah? Like, of COURSE?” Teagan gasps slightly as she suddenly appears to become aware of the time. “Speaking of which…oh my gosh, Iz, we’ve got a livestream in a couple of minutes!” She then turns back towards the men on the other side of the Skype call. “So…see you guys in the chat, ‘kay?”
“Alright.” The youngster named Miles nods, smiling. As Teagan is about to end the call, however, he once again interjects. “You guys think you can take it, though?”
Both women take a long moment to think about this, staring into space or at the floor in visible concentration; surprisingly, it is Izzy who eventually answers, while her partner is still seemingly considering the issue.
“I’m not gonna lie…it’s a longshot. We’re sure gonna TRY, though. And it’s gonna be a lot easier knowing we got you guys’ support.”
“Dude, hundred percent.” The blond teenager throws two thumbs up, drawing another smile from Izzy, just as Teagan throws an arm around her shoulder and rejoins the conversation.
“You dang betcha, hundred percent! This here’s our little ‘ohana’, And in Ohana, nobody gets left behind.”
“Or forgotten.” Izzy grins at her partner, who responds in kind.
Another moment of silence elapses before Teagan speaks up once more.
“Actually, you know what? That totally works. I’m Nani, Izzy’s OBVIOUSLY Lilo…Miles is David…which I guess makes YOU Stitch, Runny Hunny.” The redhead pouts playfully at the youngster’s grimace. “But hey, don’t feel bad…at least you get to run around and wreck everything…”
“And how is that different from what he ALREADY does?”
The foursome is still laughing at Miles’ brotherly rib towards his younger sibling as the girls disconnect the call, and go about preparing for their imminent Twitch livestream.
Five minutes later, the latest Trouble Roxx livestream opens up, not with the usual introductory spiel, but with Teagan and Izzy singing a few bars of ‘I’ve Got a Golden Ticket’, from the iconic 70s adaptation of ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’. This is then quickly followed by Teagan holding her phone right up to the lens, causing a glare that obscures the spot she is pointing at – a fact she is, at first, totally oblivious to in her excitement.
“Check this out, Roxx Gang!”
Then, realizing what is occurring thanks to helpful chat comments, she once again leans back, focusing her attention on her laptop screen for a moment.
“Actually…you guys probably couldn’t see that…so let me just…there we go!”
The stream suddenly becomes picture-on-picture, with Teagan and Izzy shoved into the corner and the remainder of the real estate occupied by the official card for GLOBAL Wrestling’s Gold Rush PPV, which the redhead drags runs her mouse cursor across, to point at a certain spot.
“See that, right there? GLOBAL Tag Team Championship Match…and who’s that next to the Master Sisters?”
The two girls grin big, still unable to contain themselves, as the chat explodes in heart and surprise emojis, along with many an exclamation in ALL CAPS. Then, after a long moment, Teagan once again turns to face the camera.
“That’s right, Roxx Gang. In a few weeks, ya girls got a golden opportunity, right here in our backyard. And we’re gonna need the support of every single one of our Roxx Stars. So, if you’re a real fan and not just here for the memes…or even if you ARE just here for the memes…you know what to do. If you’re local, come on down; if you’re not local, buy the stream, ask your Mom, ask your Dad, ask your siblings, steal it from your neighbors, go to your friend’s house, go to a bar, HACK INTO THE MATRIX…do whatever you gotta do. Just make sure that on the weekend of May 15th, you’re ready to manifest some positive energy for ya girls. ‘Cause right now, me and Izzy have a Golden Ticket…and I’m not gonna lie…with you guys behind us? I think we can win the whole dang factory!”
The redhead, who has been getting progressively louder and more animated as her speech progresses, punctuates these last few words with smacks of her fist in her open palm, as, in the chat window, the vast majority of attendees swear their allegiance to the duo in varying degrees of Caps Lock usage. Only after taking a moment to acknowledge this does Teagan finally attempt to steer the stream in a more conventional direction, as only she knows how.
“OK, you guys get the point…let’s get to the memes.”
From that point on, the stream progresses as normal, with no further mention being made of the hosts’ upcoming ‘Golden’ opportunity.
The Cycle Of Truth
The night of Domination 9
As the packed arena roars, gasps and jeers for the different wrestlers intervening in GLOBAL Wrestling’s ninth-ever show, outside the Tampa arena, a roving cameraperson catches three figures scurrying out of a side entrance and making a dash for a battered old muscle car stationed at the far end of the parking lot. Not one to miss out on such a scoop, the technician promptly begins to advance in the trio’s direction, calling out as they run.
“Hey! Excuse me? Hey!”
Much to their surprise, this has the effect of making the two larger figures tense up and almost instantly whirl around, fists cocked; a second later, they are bearing down on the hapless cameraperson at full speed, causing the technician to hastily back up, all while keeping the lens trained on them. This, of course, proves less than ideal, as it takes no more than a few seconds for the two men to catch up to their target, whom they shake roughly, causing the image to blur for a moment; then, the shorter and wirier of the two once again turns around, the better to call out to the third member of the group.
“Hey, boss, it’s just some punk kid with a camera… What d’you want us to do?”
“What?” The third figure, shorter and leaner than the two men in front, finally steps out of the shadows, revealing itself as GLOBAL’s most controversial superstar, John J. Truth. Every bit as tense as his two acolytes, The Man Who Fell to Earth takes one glance at the youngster behind the camera, then shakes his head.
“[BLEEP] this. We gotta move. They could be out here any minute.” He turns back towards the technician. “Beat it, kid.”
“Um…actually? Mr. Truth? If I could…” The voice, that of a very young man, promptly gets silenced when The Man Who Fell to Earth takes a page out of his bodyguards’ playbook and leans forward, grabbing the young technician by the shirt front. For a moment, the camera displays nothing but a rather disturbing close-up of Truth’s earwax, as he snarls in the hapless staffer’s face.
“What part of ‘beat it’ did you not understand? I ain’t got time for this [BLEEP] right now! So move your ass before I make you move it. Understand? I ain’t telling you again. Don’t make me have to whup you.”
Predictably, this has the desired effect of getting the cameraman to back up, stuttering profuse apologies for a few moments before he breaks into as fast of a run as he can while still filming the three men. His subjects, however, pay him no more mind, instead resuming their trek across the car park. A few moments later, the battered Dodge Charger squeals its way out of the arena parking lot at dizzying speed, leaving the young technician to film nothing but a few empty parking spaces for a moment before directing his attention elsewhere.
The night of Gold Rush
It is said History has a way of repeating itself, and so it is that, a mere two weeks after filming a Dodge Charger, well, charging out of a parking lot in Florida, GLOBAL’s intrepid outside cameraman finds himself filming the exact same car pulling into a different lot, belonging to a different arena, on the other side of the country. When the vehicle finally does come to a halt, however, no one emerges from its interior; in fact, it takes several minutes for any activity to occur around the car at all. This gives the young GLOBAL staffer plenty of time to consider whether he values his physical safety more than his professional pride – and, apparently, decides he does not, as he promptly approaches the trio of wrestlers currently making their way into the arena. This time, however, he is cautious to keep his voice down until the men have spotted him, which happens in short order.
“Are you [BLEEP]ing me? You again?”
John J. Truth pauses only long enough to roll his eyes before once again accosting the youngster in front of him – this time, fortunately, with no shaking of lapels involved, though a finger does repeatedly get jabbed into the technician’s chest.
“Are you [BLEEP]in’ stalking me, you little bastard? Huh? Tryin’ to get some incriminating footage for your little overlords? Or, what, inside information? Is that it? You workin’ for Panda Express and Yao Ming?” The superstar lets off his unpleasant cackle. “Well, here’s a little message to take back to them.”
GLOBAL’s most controversial employee once again leans in uncomfortably close to the camera, droplets of his spit splashing the camera lens as he addresses his opponents for the evening.
“Tell ’em they better not be thinkin’ of getting the jump on me before the match…’cause if they do, they’re gonna find themselves at the wrong end of a double ass-whuppin’. Right, boys?”Truth’s two acolytes nod in assent, their own mirthless cackles ringing out for a minute before their leader once again takes over. “And tell ’em if I make it down to that cage in one piece, I’m gonna whup Yao Ming’s ass myself, if it kills me. Either way, we win, they lose. Either way, those bastards are gonna learn what happens when you try to cage the Truth.” Truth gives another bark of demented laughter. “Don’t worry, though…you know what they say. The Truth will set you free…but not until it is done with you.”
The Man Who Fell to Earth begins to walk away, but just as quickly turns around again, seemingly intent on adding a few extra thoughts.
“Oh, yeah…and Champ? You better start watching your ass, too. ‘Cause once I’m done with Rice-A-Roni and his circus sideshow, I’m gonna come for it. You don’t stick your nose in my business and just get away with it. You wanted to make yourself look good? Well, guess what…now you’re gonna pay for it. ‘Cause that’s what happens when you get in the way of the Truth.”
This time, the GLOBAL star seems fully satisfied and signals for his two associates to follow him – though not before throwing one last barb over his shoulder.
“And when you show ’em that, tell ’em Truth Control sent ya.”
The trio’s unpleasant cackles once again echo through the evening air as they enter the arena, leaving the young cameraman to secretly hope this evening shift pans out better than it started.
'Queen' Bianca Davis Vs. The Jester
Today, Hampton Court is a much beloved site of historical importance, restored to its former beauty by Historic Royal Palaces.
However, what occurs in the following does not occur in 2023.
In fact, some may argue it does not occur at all.
Thursday, 26th February, 1545.
Hampton Court, England
The grand doors of Hampton Court swing open, light spilling in from the cold winter’s afternoon into the large foyer.
Standing in the doorway is ‘Queen’ Bianca Davis, her entourage stands two at either side of her, dressed in black suits, black ties, and black sunglasses.
She is wearing a long satin robe, embellished with the fur of a Snow Leopard. Beneath this, she is wearing her ring gear and, bizarrely, white stiletto heels.
“Where is this… Jester, fellow?” she asks herself as she steps over the threshold, her entourage following.
The doors of Hampton Court slam themselves shut behind her.
She turns, looks the doors up and down, and straightens the shock out of her face.
“Search the building. He can’t be far,” she commands her entourage.
She expects to hear the swift footsteps of her four sidekicks, but instead, she hears nothing.
“I said,” she begins, turning to look at two of the entourage on her left, but finds nobody.
A cold shiver runs down her spine.
She turns the other way, and sees nobody.
“They were here but a moment ago, were they not?” she asks herself.
She opens her mouth to shout for them but decides to close it again.
Bianca stands alone, the dust whipping through the cold, blue air inside the dimly lit Court.
Something makes her step forwards, and as she does, she realizes the Court is empty. Silent.
“Where is everyone? The guards, the staff…” she thinks silently to herself, her blood running cold.
She takes the stairs.
Then another set.
Then she pushes open a large door, which creaks eerily and leads her into what once was a library. The books that do remain lie in tatters on the floor. The vast mahogany bookshelves that cover each wall are bare. The windows are smashed. The cold winter air howls through the shattered windows, whistling against the shards of glass that still cling to the wooden frames.
“I’m so cold,” she thinks, but her feet carry her onwards, as if she already knows this place, as if she has been here before. As if it is as familiar as home to her.
She walks through a door to the rear of the room and up another flight of steps. This staircase is narrow, the steps are uneven, some higher than others, and some aren’t even flat. This is a staircase designed to slow enemies breaching the building. Narrow enough to make suits of armor difficult to squeeze through, the steps uneven so that soldiers who cannot see their feet trip and fall.
At the top of the flight of stairs, a single door bangs on its hinges, the harsh February wind blowing it open and shut, open and shut.
Bianca pushes the door open and steps out onto the roof.
With one exception…
She walks slowly towards the mirror and looks herself in the eye.
Suddenly, she feels lonely, and at this moment a great wave of terror washes over her.
“I am lonely and scared of the entire world. I have achieved nothing with my life. My ancestors existed and then died across millennia so that I could merely exist. I have wasted this gift of life. I have shamed my ancestors. I have shamed myself.”
Suddenly, the maniacal laughter of The Jester cackles across the wind.
Bianca spins, looking for the source of the sound.
Still, the laughter continues, but from where?
“It is neither here, nor there,” she says, her eyes darting around the rooftop.
The realization sends another shiver down her spine, and she turns back to the mirror, finding The Jester’s reflection staring back at her, his long tongue lapping around his painted lips, his grin stretching from ear to ear.
“I am the joker of the pack, am I not?” she asks him.
He laughs in her face.
“If I hadn’t wasted this gift, I would not be alone. If I hadn’t shamed my ancestors, I might have continued my bloodline. And yet…”
She turns away from the mirror, tears rolling down her cheeks.
The Jester chuckles to himself, his shoulders bouncing up and down, his razor-sharp teeth jutting out of his mouth as he watches the Queen make her final realization.
“And yet here I stand – cold, alone, terrified, and ashamed.”
She walks towards the edge of the rooftop, her stilettos edging the tips of her toes over the edge.
She looks down at the graveled path below her. Far, far below her.
“I am not fit to be your Queen.”
Little Johnny Ripkin has his hand reaching for the polystyrene tiled ceiling of the small, messy classroom.
He sits amongst his peers, who are all diligently duplicating the content of the blackboard into their notepads.
Miss Johnstone turns from the blackboard, the white chalk pinched between her fingers.
She is a beautiful woman, slender but curved in all the right places. She is wearing a beige pencil skirt with a crisp white blouse tucked into it, unbuttoned just about enough to give Little Johnny a shiver every morning. It isn’t an unpleasant feeling, but at eight years of age, he isn’t quite sure what to do with it.
“Yes, Johnny?” she asks as she flicks her blonde hair over her shoulder.
“Miss, can I go to the toilet, please?”
Johnny is cupping his nose.
“A nosebleed again, Johnny?”
Miss Johnstone puts the chalk down on the ledge of the blackboard and turns to her desk, which sits between her and the rows of student seating, plucking a couple of tissues from the box she keeps on her desk.
“Come here,” she says, beckoning little Johnny over to her.
He gets up, careful not to drip blood on the wooden floor of the classroom, and walks over to her, eyeing up her glorious, tanned cleavage as she hands him the tissues.
“Go ahead now, Johnny. And let me know if it won’t stop again.”
Johnny gives her a thumbs up as he wedges the tissue paper between his hand and nose before leaving the classroom.
The corridors of Nelson Mandela Elementary are as generic as you might imagine; lockers line each wall, mirror images of one another, as far as the eye can see. At the end of the corridor a sparsely filled glass trophy cabinet stands, and to each side is a door to gendered toilets. Boys. Girls.
Little Johnny wanders down the corridor, heading towards the boys’ toilets to clean up the mess of blood smudged across his freckled cheeks, but unfortunately, he will never make it to the bathroom.
One of the lockers flies open and, tumbling from inside, a man collapses to the shiny, well-waxed corridor floor. He huffs out a grunt as he hits the ground, but quickly hops up to his feet.
Little Johnny jumps out of his skin.
He watches as the man, who is wearing a pin-stripe suit, stands up facing away from Johnny and dusts off his knees and lapels.
The man turns around, and Little Johnny’s mouth opens like a gawping goldfish. The tissue drops from his nose as his arms go limp with shock.
Standing in front of Little Johnny Ripkin is a well-dressed man, wearing a black pin-stripe suit, gleaming dress shoes, and an upturned bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos on his head.
“Little Johnny Ripkin?” the man asks.
Little Johnny’s mouth closes, then opens again.
“Are you the Little Johnny Ripkin of 2034 Rodessa Drive?” the man asks again in more detail.
Little Johnny nods. Yes. Yes, that is who he is.
“I’m afraid I have some bad news for you, Little Johnny Ripkin.”
Doritos Man reaches into the inside pocket of his suit jacket and pulls out a hamster. Or, more accurately, an ex-hamster. He holds it in the air, dangling it by its stubby tail.
“Bingo is dead.”
Johnny begins to cry, his tears streaming down his face and turning pink as they stream across the blood on his freckled cheeks. His face grows redder and redder with each sob of his adolescent body.
Miss Johnstone tears out of her classroom, her stiletto heels bowing beneath her as she screeches to a halt in the center of the corridor.
“W-who are–” she begins.
“I am the man that watches you sleep,” Doritos begins, walking slowly towards Miss Johnstone. “I am the man that delivers coal at Christmas.”
Doritos Man flings the carcass of Bingo over his shoulder, taking another slow step toward Miss Johnstone.
Little Johnny Ripkin is, unfortunately, standing between Doritos Man and Miss Johnstone.
Doritos grabs Johnny by his throat and hurls him into the locker from which Doritos had appeared.
A flash of blue light floods the corridor for a brief moment before the locker closes itself and Little Johnny Ripkin disappears into, well, wherever.
“I am the man that fucks.” Doritos tells Miss Johnstone as he reaches her, their toes almost touching.
She gently moans as Doritos wraps his arms around her before she licks up the Doritos bag.
“Oh, Doritos,” she quivers, “Make love to me.”
“If I must.”
Hell Hath No Fury Like An Investor Scorned
Two Weeks Ago
Somewhere in the English Countryside
“That was disgraceful.”
Stella Chalmers-Blythe casts a venomous glare at the five people currently standing across from her desk, all but one of which return it. This, however, does not put off the leader of the GLOBAL Wrestling group simply known as The United Kingdom, who continues to say her piece.
“Is this how you expect this venture to thrive? With constant disharmony?”
Here, one of the group’s two males attempts to interject.
A glare from the older woman quickly silences him, however, allowing her to continue her invective.
“This is NOT a discussion, Rupert. Your actions in Florida effectively worked against this group’s objectives, and that is NOT acceptable.”
“But, Stella–” The second male in the group speaks up in defense of his associate, but is quickly silenced by another glower from the woman.
“I said, this was NOT a discussion, Nigel. I am not in the habit of having discussions with foolish people, and if I am being honest…you all looked like absolute FOOLS out there.”
“Hey, wait a second!” The shortest person in the room, a young woman with a haircut almost completely dyed pink, although the occasional blond root could be seen, springs to her feet from where she had been slouching on a chair, her attitude suddenly shifting from insouciance to anger as she points first at the other two women in the group, and then at the men. “We didn’t have anything to do with it! It was THEIR fault!”
“Oh, really? Who was it who got pinned, then?” Surprisingly, this observation comes not from either of the two male components of the group, but from the slim blonde woman standing directly in front of Stella, who beats both men to the punch. Less surprisingly, this has the effect of riling up the speaker even further.
“Shut up, Rory! You know, I only took the pin ’cause they couldn’t be bothered to break it up, because they were sulking about how mean old Carny had tagged herself back in!” The red-faced young woman points at the two men again, as she turns back to Stella. “If you’re going to punish anybody, punish them!”
“QUIET!!” Once again, the thunderous roar comes, not from its expected source, but rather from the large, but hitherto silent blonde standing behind the rest of the group – one of the few members not to return Stella’s glare. Once her outburst has succeeded in making everyone fall silent – though not without the shorter woman snapping “Bloody hell, Moonie, my ears!” – she further surprises the group by quietly, yet forcefully making her point.
“Stella was making a point, she was right, and all of you just started talking over her. That’s rude. We may not like where we are right now, but she’s still paying our wages. So everybody just shut up for two seconds and let her finish.” She then turns towards the leader of the group. “Go on, Stella.”
The brunette gives the second woman a small nod of gratitude, before once again turning to the group, her steely demeanor firmly back in place.
“Now, then. I do not wish to have this conversation again. We have a very important event coming up in three weeks, and I expect you – all of you – to not only be on your very best behavior but to work together towards accomplishing our common goals. At Gold Rush, I need and expect you to finally start working and acting as a real team. I do not wish to be let down.” Then, without even waiting – or, indeed, allowing – for a reply, she stalks back to her padded office chair, ending the meeting with a single, curt word. “Dismissed.”
Then, seemingly changing her mind, she calls on two of the members of the team to stay behind.
“Actually…Rupert…Nigel…I would like a word.”
With that, and having seen the three women in the group out of the room, she turns back on her heel, closing the door behind her as she re-enters the room to confer with the two men.
R.I.P Rich Family
Backstage, Steve Blaine is standing by with the young tag team tandem Jimmy Classic and “The Suplex Ninja” Trae Larkin, known as the Prime Time Athletes. The Prime Time Athletes are dressed for action, ready for action that is planned shortly.
Steve Blaine asks the duo. “Gentlemen, Tonight you finally get your wish. You have a match versus the legendary Rich Family, but it’s on their turf in a respect strap match. What are your thoughts going into tonight?”
The attack dog of the team, Trae Larkin, is the first to respond.
“The Rich Family wants to blame this all on respect. Nah, they want to rebuild a fallen career … a broken family on the hottest tag team in Global. Before we mentioned them, they were an afterthought. Their meal ticket big brother Freddie was sipping smoothies through a straw. We did them a favor. We put them back on the map. The only reason anyone cares about the Rich Family is because of the Prime Time Athletes.”
Steve Blaine seemed taken aback by the directness, but the professional responded with a follow-up question.
“No one is questioning the Prime Time Athletes’ skills or athletic prowess. But tonight, what plans do you have with the old-school stipulations of the strap match?”
Trae Larkin laughs before responding. “The Rich Family wants a strap match? That is fine by us. We can out-skill, out-wrestle, or slap those leather straps across the Rich families’ backs with the best of them. In the end, the Rich Family is going to learn that being the tag team of yesterday doesn’t help them today.”
Before Steve Blaine can ask another question, Jimmy Classic takes his microphone and joins his partner.
“Steve, look, let the big boys talk. We will give you a good review on Yelp for your efforts. The Rich Family has been living on reputation in GLOBAL for too long. We joined GLOBAL and called them out on day one for a reason. We have always known we are the top tag team. Finally, after their careers are in the gutter, they have finally agreed to face us. The Rich Family is on life support, Steve.”
Jimmy Classic removes his luxury sunglasses.
“Don’t steal these, Steve. They cost more than you make in a month. You asked us about the strap match. Let me ask you a question. What will happen when the younger, stronger, more physically gifted athletic specimens get a hold of those leather straps and slap them across their exposed skin?”
The Prime Time Athletes laugh, but Steve Blaine does not look amused. Jimmy Classic continues to run his mouth.
“You think Freddie Rich gasping for air at the end of Domination was bad? Tune in shortly when the Prime Time Athletes pull the plug on the Rich Family’s career.”
Trae Larkin chimes in.
“Do not resuscitate.”
Jimmy Classic looks at Steve Blaine and says.
“Beep. Beep. Beep. Beeeeeeeeep.”
The Prime Time Athletes laugh and walk away, leaving Steve Blaine shaking his head.
Respect Match - Prime Time Athletes v The Rich Family
“Up next, what some may call a grudge match, and one that certainly has implications for the future of the tag team division as Prime Time Athletes meet The Rich Family, and hopefully find out what a little bit of R-E-S-P-E-C-T means to The Rich Family,” Allie opens up.
“The four men are allowed to bring straps to the match, and they can be used, but that aside, this will operate under normal tag team rules with disqualifications,” Quinn adds.
“I find that incredible,” The Mark mentions.
The beat of Legacy by Dirty Palm & Benix hits the PA. Global Nation immediately begins booing, knowing this is the cue for the Prime Time Athletes.
“The Suplex Ninja” Trae Larkin is the first to emerge with a big smile on his face soaking up the jeers from the pro-Rich Family crowd and wearing his usual red “Suplex” Ninja” singlet and matching vets with a RIP Rich Family t-shirt between. He raises his weapon of choice, a long jet-black leather strap. He slowly wraps it around his right hand as his partner, Jimmy Classic, joins him.
The fur coat has been left in the back as Jimmy Classic raises his arm with a fancy fashion long strap that reflects the light off the light brown belt. Jimmy is also wearing the not-so-fast-selling RIP Rich Family shirt.
“That strap costs more than what any of us earn in a month, and Jimmy was only happy to tell me that when I spoke to him earlier on,” The Mark educates us.
Downtown, my man, take it away. “Weighing a combined four hundred and forty pounds, from Los Angeles, California and Seattle Washington, JIIIIIIIMMMMMMY CLASSSSSSSIC AND “SUPLEX NINJA” TRAAAAAE LARRRRKKKIINNN, THE. PRIME. TIME. ATHLETES.”
Quinn chips in, and raises his voice to be heard above the vociferous boos reverberating around The Globe. “Whereas Trae Larkin, the silent assassin of the team, has gone with a traditional brown leather strap, which is what I suspect The Rich Family will do. All business for them, and showbusiness for the brash and extravagant Jimmy Classic.”
“They’ve talked their way into this opportunity, and I hope they get the beating they deserve,” Allie unashamedly shares with our viewers.
“They’re not just Prime Time Athletes, they’re smart businessmen with aspirations to become GLOBAL Tag Team Champions. They know they can go in the ring, which makes them even more infuriating to the average fan, but it also sells tickets,” Quinn reasons.
The duo point and laugh at the jeering crowd as they make their way down the aisle way first to enter the ring full of swagger and confidence.
However, that drops a little when the crowd goes up and they can hear ‘whips being cracked’ as Declan and Todd, to no music but certainly some fanfare. Declan is decked out in blue and black tights tonight, as opposed to shorts, which is probably smart in the grand scheme of things. Todd is wearing a similar style, swapping blue for his typical green, and the baby, Donny, brings up the rear in a plain white t-shirt and blue jeans.
“They’re not dressed to impress – they’re dressed for war,” Lucas believes, as Declan and Todd’s eyes never leave Jimmy and Trae, eyes on the prize.
“Their opponents from DALLAS, TEXAS…weighing a combined four hundred and sixty pounds…TODD AND DECLAN RRRRRRRIIIIIICCCCH, THE. RICH. FAMILY.”
“Similarly-matched in terms of height and weight, everyone between six feet and six-two, twenty pounds collectively separates them, but talk about a contrast in attitudes and support here in LA, very demining indeed that Jimmy Classic, born and bred here, is the LEAST popular man in the match. That in itself tells you everything you need to know.”
Finally, The Rich Family hits the ring and Trae and Jimmy are already discussing tactics as the bell rings. Declan and Todd straps down by their side, are ready for a stand-off, but the PTA are not going to indulge them. Meanwhile, sticking with the theme.
“I never need to watch another western again, this is like the tag team equivalent of a gunfight between four bandits, and that’s OK Corral by me,” The Mark quips, believing himself to be funny. Predictably, Reece just rolls her eyes.
However, everyone gets a surprise when a familiar face and voice lights up the big screen. On a white sofa back at home, wearing a black ‘RIP PTA’ t-shirt that may sell well after tonight, Freddie Rich, not seen since Domination Six interrupts another pay-per-view match. Sorry, it had to be done.
“Todd, Declan, I just wanna say don’t come back here without having WHIPPED THEIR ASSES. Go get ‘em,” Freddie points, clapping as the audience joins in and treats him to a ‘FREDDIE, FREDDIE, FREDDIE’ chant before the eldest active member of The Rich Family disappears, leaving Brother Declan and Cousin Todd to represent the clan this evening, here at The Globe.
“Declan Rich and Jimmy Classic to get us underway in a strap match, though that doesn’t mean they’ll be tied to one another. The agreement here, decided upon by both teams and GLOBAL management, is it’s a regular tag team match, including tags and any interference and weapons may result in a disqualification, with the exception of using the straps,” Quinn reminds everyone.
“So, they can hit each other a hundred times with the straps, but one chair shot and that could be a disqualification?”
“That’s right, Allie,” Lucas confirms.
Quinn continues as Classic and Declan circle one another. “Both Declan and Jimmy are starting off rather tentatively because giving the first hit away for free could be much more crucial and costly than in your regular match,” Lucas claims.
“And that’s why he’s the voice of GLOBAL, folks,” Reece sarcastically remarks, seemingly having it in for Lucas, as well as her traditional whipping boy, pun absolutely intended, Mark Deltzer.
“At least it’s not the usual collar-and-elbow tie-up,” The Mark chirps up.
In a collective ‘OOH’ moment from the crowd, Classic overreaches and realizing the error of his ways, backtracks and scarpers back to the safe side of town, PTA’s corner, where Trae Larkin is stationed. Classic feigns a tag, though he hasn’t technically surrendered the legal rights, but wants to have his cake and eat it by not engaging with Declan, who falsely believes Larkin is going to substitute Jimmy any second now.
When Declan realizes that Jimmy hasn’t tagged out, there’s a visible look of annoyance, though he quickly regains his composure. Classic has a strap, and it would be silly to make a mistake here based on emotion when it could backfire spectacularly and set the tempo for this all-important tag team match, both units with designs on meeting the winners of The Master Sisters and Trouble Roxx later on.
Declan throws a strap shot in vain and feign, just to threaten Classic. However, Jimmy isn’t fazed by that one, knowing he has superb speed and is well out of range. In fact, Jimmy circles Declan from a safe distance, the type of measurements that made the rest of the world turn May-Pac into chicken memes, and Jimmy is enjoying pissing off his opponent and the audience in the process. Plus, he’s not-so-secretly terrified of being the first one to taste leather in this unusual offering.
Classic plays mind games, cracking the whip a couple of times, again from an unthreatening distance, and the lack of action is wearing thin with the natives.
“Duncan might step in here, and it’s not Declan’s fault. He’s got the center of the ring, and Jimmy’s doing laps around the ring. I can’t say, as someone who has never wrestled, I’d be keen to get my ass whipped, sorry Kids – and Kid. But Jimmy Classic is a trained and talented wrestler who gets paid to do this and we’re on pay-per-view, no less,” The Mark reckons.
In fact, Declan turns his back to tag Todd, which shocks the commentators. Encouraged by the sight, Jimmy suddenly rushes forward, and the fans’ desperate cries fall on deaf ears, because…
…Declan knows exactly what he’s doing.
Declan turns round and lets Classic have it with a shot to the midriff, and Jimmy has just fallen for a simple trick. Declan tees off with a second, and before he can score a hat trick, Classic limps away like a scolded dog, tagging Trae in. Larkin walks in, and not seeing that Declan has closed the distance, avoids a MASSIVE shot that would have ripped the flesh off his back.
“Imagine if that had connected, and the crowd knows Trae Larkin would be lying next to Jimmy Classic out on the apron, hang on a minute! Larkin tags Classic straight back in, and look at Jimmy’s face,” Allie laughs.
In fact, Classic’s face is, er…classic. Jimmy’s eyes grow wide as he’s forced to give up his couch potato position to twist with Declan Rich in the middle of the ring. He makes sure the strap is wrapped tightly around his right hand, as the camera gets a great shot of it.
“All of their purse from the win against Health Fanatics went on that,” The Mark predicts.
“It may have, Mark. I don’t want to think about what they’ll spend the prize money on tonight, should they be victorious,” Quinn ponders aloud.
“I cannot deal with that thought right now, Lucas,” Reece laments.
Jimmy is incensed, and words are exchanged. He reluctantly wanders back in, only to do a 360 and tag Trae. Now, Larkin is livid, and the public display of dissension continues, as Declan Rich looks on, eager to give either one of these young upstarts a good, old-fashioned hiding.
Suddenly, Declan tiptoes, the crowd remaining silent as he creeps up on Larkin AND SMACKS him in the back with that strap, registering a significant blow to both members of the Prime Time Athletes. Trae sinks to his knees, but before Declan can give Jimmy a second receipt, Jimmy jumps down off the apron, shaking his head. “No, that ain’t happening,” he brags aloud, though whether it’s for his benefit or Declan’s, well that’s uncertain.
“Oh, it will happen. It’s just a matter of time,” Allie replies from the safety of the commentary desk.
“They’ll all get it,” The Mark claims.
“No doubt. You can’t go swimming, and not get wet. They can delay it all they want, but they’re all going to feel leather,” Quinn comments.
“Speaking from experience?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about Allie,” Lucas protests innocently.
Todd comes down from the opposite corner, making sure that Classic isn’t going to hightail it out of here. When Jimmy sees he’s being watched by the most experienced and calmest member of the match, he’s back up on that apron quicker than you can say ‘autograph for my grandson.’
“It looks like Larkin doesn’t want any part of the strap, either, and is asking Declan to put it away, and get back to wrestling,” Allie observes.
“Don’t do it, Declan,” The Mark implores, and he’s not alone as this capacity crowd gathered in California offers their own opinion, regardless of whether anyone has asked for it or not.
They slowly unwrap the straps. When Larkin gets a hint Declan’s not doing it quickly enough, he complains. Declan’s rather loud ‘CHILL’ comment makes some sections snigger, and he unfurls the strap, handing it to Donny on the outside, and holds both his hands up like a performing magician. Trae leans down and puts his underneath the bottom rope, and we’re back to a traditional wrestling match, at least for now, and the crowd gives Larkin gentle praise for abiding by his own request, convinced he was going to pull a fast one here at Gold Rush.
“Finally, we might see some wrestling,” The Mark bemoans.
“Are you okay?”
“I am, Allie. It’s just a shame that two tremendous tag teams are more scared of that strap rather than settling the score and giving us a great match in the process,” Deltzer reasons.
“Oh, you DID want to see a collar-and-elbow after all, and guess what, you’re going to get one.”
Trae extracts a side headlock, but Declan speedily shoves him off to the west, The Rich Family side of the ring. A dropdown by Declan proves costly, and while he may not have tasted leather yet, Larkin doesn’t play ball and jump over. Instead, he intelligently scrapes “The Diamond” up off the mat and gives him a technically terrific dragon suplex. And now, Classic wants back in.
Trae paves the way for Classic’s arrival, though they’re set to double-team with a…
PRIME TIME SUPERKICK!!
“Talk about the pace picking up,” The Mark states, all-knowingly.
Declan falls to the floor like a bowling pin being bundled over. Classic flops on top…
Todd comes to the rescue, just in case, and it does look like he’s needed because Declan is in exactly the same position, not moving after that stereo superkick from PTA.
While Classic complains that Todd has just breached the rules, which the eldest member of the match is guilty of in fairness, it’s only so Classic can wave Larkin in.
Jimmy and Trae hold Declan up for the cameraman to get a close-up, claiming that Declan is nothing. They take a step back, and PRIME TIME SUPERKICK TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD!!
“After all of that pussyfooting around, when it comes to the wrestling part, Declan Rich is actually in grave danger right now, and this could be over relatively early,” Deltzer says, stunned at the drastic developments following a tentative, and at times light-hearted, birth to this bout which has the potential to get gradually more volatile.
Classic and Larkin scale the turnbuckles, seeking accolades that simply aren’t coming anytime soon. In fact, it’s the complete opposite and Quinn can be barely heard above the livid LA sea of outrage. “These two young men won’t win a popularity contest in these parts, and that says a lot, given we’re in Jimmy Classic’s hometown.”
“You wouldn’t know it,” Reece comments, backing Quinn up.
Larkin adds insult to potential injury by kicking Declan out with the sole of his boot. Classic, a complete contrast to before when lying down in the corner, is now begging Todd to come in from the comfort of the PTA top turnbuckle. However, Todd still has the strap on his hand.
Trae throws caution to the wind, and Todd lifts Larkin up and down, bringing him back down with an inverted atomic drop. In a bid to stay on top, Classic tries to take Todd by surprise, only for Rich to see that coming. He cleverly uses Jimmy’s momentum against him with a drop toe hold that deposits Classic into Larkin, who is still standing, though not better than he ever did. Neither’s looking like a true survivor, though they certainly behave like little kids.
Todd, the legal man due to Duncan’s say-so, smacks Classic’s chiseled chest, lighting it up badly.
“That is why they were so keen to avoid the contact, you can already see the welts and guys, you’ve never done it, with all due respect. When the adrenaline wears off in the morning, Jimmy will feel every bit of that strap, and it’s no picnic right now, let me tell you, but it’s so much worse first thing the day after. You NEVER get used to that,” Lucas informs his broadcast colleagues, and the viewers at home, from a personal pedestal of perspective, experience, and the fact he knows the hell what he’s talking about.
Declan, having recovered rather rapidly, pulls Larkin from out underneath the bottom rope and fires off with a couple of right hands before ramming Trae’s head into the ring post. You can hear the dull thud, though the sadistic spectators seem to get a massive thrill out of Larkin’s pain, which doesn’t sit well with Lucas, who is ‘in a one.’
“Bloodsport here, and I know Larkin and Classic aren’t popular here, believe me, I get it, but he’s a human being, not a pin cushion,” Lucas moans, criticizing the crowd for once.
“Not like you to belittle our fans, Lucas.”
“I’m not, I’m sticking up for our wrestlers, Mark. Someone has to,” Lucas bites back.
“Okay, boys. Has even Duncan lost control here?”
The Mark changes Larry Tact. “It’s easily done, and I question if there should be another referee out there, no matter how good Duncan is.”
Todd whips Classic to the buckles, but Jimmy catches Rich coming in with a kick to the jaw, with plenty of purchase behind it. Todd stumbles back, Jimmy rushes out of the corner with a hard European Uppercut but is shocked that Todd hasn’t gone down. Perhaps if he had the strap wrapped around his wrist. Remembering Todd has his, Classic is keen to stay one step ahead of the glue that keeps The Rich Family together and manages that by gaining some semblance of revenge on Todd with a drop-toe hold, payback for earlier, and the collision with Trae. In a moment of majestic athleticism that almost gets the proverbial ‘hometown pop,’ Jimmy rotates stupendously and explodes, ahem, with enormous impact in the form of a phenomenal STANDING SHOOTING STAR PRESS…
…only for Todd to CATCH him. In an extraordinary exhibition of ring awareness and raw power, Todd takes a moment to get to his feet, still cradling Classic like a new-born baby, congratulations once again Crash. Spotting this, Larkin, who has just raked the eyes of Declan, rolls back into the battlefield to help his fellow solider.
Seeing Todd, who has just done half a circuit around the squared circle with Jimmy in tow, is about to release with an almighty fallaway slam that’s likely to buoy the masses massively, Larkin suddenly pulls a SECOND strap hidden inside the strap, yes, of his attire and circles to waylay Todd in the back, and there’s not a damn thing Duncan do about it, besides bark at Trae for not declaring that upfront. A ROAR goes up in California, not pleased at all with Trae’s underhand (and overhand?) tactics.
“Hey, it’s not the only thing that’s legal in California which is questionable,” Deltzer blurts out.
“Elaborate,” Reece calls Mark out, though he sensibly leaves it alone, even when pressed by Allie.
Trae proves to be a timely distraction, teeing off on Todd’s back not once, nor twice, but thrice. However, Treacher is counting, not the shots but rather the seconds, as this is technically a spot of double-teaming. Duncan derives some pleasure from ordering Larkin out, given he cannot disqualify the tag team specialist, and he’s not-so-secretly livid that Larkin got that over on him.
Point proven, Larkin waves his backup strap in the air before putting it back in his attire, like he’s maintaining the charade, when it is no longer necessary.
That’s all. Jimmy mounts Todd and fires off with four hard right hands at point-blank range before Treacher tells him that time’s up. Classic complies, shrugging off the heat here in California, summer is a-comin’ after all, and it’s Trae’s turn to take it to Todd.
“I’m pretty sure when they came out, they probably thought Declan, despite how much potential he has, would be the one to isolate and double-team, especially with him starting things off,” Deltzer theorizes.
“You take what you can,” Quinn responds.
“I guess you do,” The Mark admits.
“I know you do,” Quinn states, having the last word and a bee in his bonnet during this bout. Not that it’s over, by any means, though it soon might be if Todd can’t get Declan to deputize for him in the near future.
PTA push the rules, although how much longer they’ll get away with that considering the official in charge is debatable, as Larkin launches Todd with a fast suplex while Classic springboards off the middle rope of the east side of the squared circle. Trae picks up the crumbs with a hook of the leg…
Th-at’s closer than anything in the contest up to this point.
Declan, who has long recovered since Trae raked the eyes, is there to interrupt the pin, even armed with the knowledge that PTA will use the interference to carve out a 2-on-1 situation for themselves. It’s worth it to keep the fight alive, and Declan, successful at the outset of the bout, is itching to get his hands on either of the Prime Time Athletes. He could care less whether Classic or Larkin cops it.
Jimmy is having his way with Todd, seeking – and getting – a dazzling hurricanrana, and his head bobbing along, counting…
T-odd’s shoulder comes up!
Classic comes over for his own ludicrously expensive strap and wraps it up real tight, believing Todd to be there for the taking. However, a wild haymaker goes awry as Todd ducks underneath, countering with a much-need hangman’s neckbreaker that gives Classic a painful lesson, though just a snippet of what The Rich Family – and this partisan crowd, at least it feels like – really wants to inflict on and teach to these two brash, arrogant, athletic, audacious, precocious pricks, for lack of a better term. Well, that’s a lie, but hey ho.
Our first double-down. However, let’s keep it flowing by fast-forwarding to five.
Classic throws a right, but Todd smacks him with the strap, and that isn’t just a leveler, lads and lasses. Todd, having been beaten up for the last few minutes with very little going back the other way, takes his frustrations out on Classic, and I’d love to tell you that even the audience feels sorry for Jimmy just to appease Quinn, but they don’t. They’re thirsty for blood, specifically that of Jimmy’s, and they revel in seeing Todd SMACK the living nitrogenous waste out of Jimmy, counting along as Todd makes it ‘Connect FOUR.’
Classic is now on his knees, crying out in pain, back arched and momentarily humble, SHEIKY BABY! I say momentarily. Todd leaves him with a parting shot, courtesy of a SHINING WIZARD!
“You don’t see Todd Rich use a shining wizard too much, but a moment of magic was most definitely required, or at least something out of the ordinary,” Deltzer quips.
“It might be a case of now or never for Todd Rich, he really should have been out of there by now,” Quinn comments.
Seemingly on cue, Larkin pours cold water on Quinn’s claim and Todd’s hopes, not to mention those of The Rich Family and this entire building, or so it feels like, by elevating the 240-pound veteran up into the air and breaking his fall (and heart, albeit figuratively) with a magnificent turnbuckle bomb, getting ‘all’ of it.
However, Trae doesn’t rest on his laurels, hopping over the top rope and onto the top rope to score with a SUBLIME springboard bulldog, silencing the hostile crowd in a combination of awe at his athletic gifts and frustration that things, after a sluggish start, are all going PTA’s way.
“You can say what you want about Jimmy OR Trae, but that was smooth, stunning, fluid, fantastic and a whole bunch of adjectives you can fill in for yourself. Unfortunately, he is seen as the second guy in the team, the straight man if you will, but he’s EVERY BIT the athlete Jimmy Classic is, and a bit like his opponent, the unsung hero of his team when flashier partners reap the rewards while they’re the true foundation of the teams they represent,” The Mark opines.
“Not that you’d be able to tell with Todd right now,” Allie mentions.
“That is also credit to PTA for putting on another, and I hate to say it, first-class show on pay-per-view. Health Fanatics might be good, but The Rich Family are on another level, and PTA have risen to it – and far beyond. They might just be the next number one contenders after this,” The Mark raves.
THRE-TODD KICKS OUT.
“One more hit, unless Declan comes in, will do it. I’m surprised that he didn’t,” Deltzer says, taken aback.
An inverted DDT is in Trae’s thinking, though he doesn’t spot Declan, who suddenly springs into life with a cracking springboard clothesline, which gets him a verbal warning by Duncan, but at least he has offered Todd, and by extension, the fans a glimmer of hope for that long-awaited hot tag.
In the meantime, Declan claims his strap back from Donny, gearing up for the hot tag, no doubt. Trae tags out to Jimmy, who retrieves his own fluffy strap and stops Todd in his tracks.
Todd’s back must feel like it’s on fire right now, and he arches his back, like Jimmy earlier on, feeling the full brunt of the leather on flesh.
Declan fires away on both PTA members, ramming their heads together in a meeting of the minds. Dec dumps Classic up and over the top rope, however, like a cat, Jimmy lands on his feet, momentarily marooned on the apron.
Rich reacts to that, coming to the bottom left-hand corner of the squared circle to send the speedster to the arena floor with a brilliant triangle dropkick that thrills the audience.
Larkin shocks Declan, and everyone else, by meeting and greeting Frank Rich’s middle child with an outstanding overhead suplex that launches Declan halfway across the ring, and that definitely takes the wind out of everyone’s sails, and the air out of Declan’s lungs.
Trae takes out his second strap. Declan has felt the force less than anyone else, and that isn’t lost on Larkin, who’s looking to ensure that Rich doesn’t get off with it.
Do you think he’s made up for it yet?
He definitely doesn’t.
TEN of the worst, and only the sadistic Classic counts along with the beating Larkin doles out. You know what they say about the quiet ones.
“Again, Declan was warned for a springboard clothesline that was interference, and yet Larkin can do that TEN times to Declan, and our specialist referee, Duncan Treacher, can do nothing but stand back and watch. Honestly, this is insane,” Reece whines.
“They knew the rules, coming in, right, wrong or indifferent,” Lucas reasons, defending the lack of authority the official has in enforcing the rules.
“Right now, it looks like PTA are the ones teaching The Rich Family a lesson,” Deltzer believes.
“What does Trae have in mind here?”
Allie, and everybody else, soon find out. Larkin hangs Declan over the ropes nearest the PTA side, the southern set of ropes closest to the entranceway, by the strap. It looks like The Rich Family fightback has been short-lived, and the fans go wild, booing Larkin’s antics, and he may have taken over from Jimmy Classic as the heat magnet in this match.
Oh wait, I spoke too soon. Not missing a trick, Classic comes over and starts punching the hanging Declan on the midsection.
Wait, what has just happened?
Todd Rich makes the save by lighting up an exposed Larkin’s back.
Larkin lets go of Declan, needless to say, and nurses the newfound welts on his back. Fortunately, he’s not far from his doorstep, and tags Classic, opening the door for the cockiest and most confident man in the contest to strut his stuff as PTA closes in on a second successive pay-per-view victory.
Thus, Declan’s on the trail to tag Todd back in, a far cry from a few minutes ago, but Todd’s got that look in his eye and above all, the strap around his hand, and he isn’t shy in using it this time…
Trae’s flat on his stomach, his bag a horrible shade of crimson as blood trickles.
That is the sound of a sprinting Jimmy Classic being waylaid, somewhere between the chest and the chin, and both PTA members are there for the taking, the first time since the opening moments of the contest, and this crowd gives The Rich Family everything it possibly can under the circumstances.
“Can The Rich Family, up against it for so long, now win it,” wonders Deltzer.
“Sure, they can,” Allie affirms.
Why is Declan calling for the tag?
That was a SICK, SICK KICK!
Classic got ‘chinned.’ There’s no better way of putting it.
“That’s why,” The Mark exclaims.
At home, Freddie fist-pumps as Frank does enough shouting for both of them as we see in the living room of the family residence in Dallas, Texas, and we stay with them as Declan hooks the leg, and the Californian crowd, everyone united, counts along with both hope and genuine belief…
“Give credit, give MASSIVE credit to Jimmy Classic who just passed a major gut check right there,” Lucas compliments the hometown zero, who should be praised for that amazing resilience, but instead is ripe for the pickings and one move away from disaster, a world away from how this tag team affair was panning out merely moments ago.
“Put him away, Declan,” cries Allie.
Declan stores the strap away for a moment as we see Frank Rich up on his feet in Dallas, Texas, and Freddie inch forward on the sofa, praying. “Come on, Dec, put him away.”
The Diamond in The Rich Family rough can’t negotiate the faction’s patented Rags to Riches, better known to you and I as a cradle piledriver, but Declan steps back and smacks Jimmy square on the jaw with it, wobbling Classic considerably. In one fluid motion, he drags Jimmy forward…
RAGS TO RICHES!!!
“That’ll do it,” The Mark states.
A shout from Todd alerts Declan who gives up the cover to bury the strap deep in Larkin’s chest. He then wraps it around Trae’s legs and Larkin feels the leather strap go between his legs in a place that gives some people thrills and others the creeps. Right now, Larkin seems to fall into that latter bracket. He tosses Trae clean out of the ring and goes back to cover Classic.
The crowd erupts, and it takes Quinn’s best efforts to be heard above that roar. “The Rich Family may or may not have taught The Prime Time Athletes a lesson in respect tonight, but they do go back to Dallas, Texas with bragging rights, and a lot of people favored The Prime Time Athletes tonight, but perhaps the experience, humility or determination, or all of the above, was with Declan and Todd Rich.”
Declan and Todd embrace, breathing heavily, knowing they’ve been in a war. “That isn’t the last time The Rich Family have seen The Prime Time Athletes, guys. Not by a long shot. They were favorites coming in and dominated for large periods. I’m not taking anything away from The Rich Family, it’s a fantastic win, but grounds for a rematch? Check. The Prime Time Athletes looking for revenge? Definitely,” The Mark predicts.
“Unfortunately, you might be right, but for tonight, The Rich Family taught them a lesson, and next time, I think it’ll play out the same,” Allie, with her own forecast there.
An orange glow appears in the viewer’s sight and suddenly we see the loin-clothed traveler that we simply know as The Naked Man step into view amidst the hue.
As usual he looks a little at his surroundings as the portal disappears and sees a crowd of people. He rushes over toward them as the narrator is heard over the scene.
“Once again perplexed at fast travel and suddenly curious as to the din of madness ahead of him, he rushes over to investigate…”
Upon arriving in the huddled masses of people, most of whom are women, he sees a man laying on his side, hands clasped in front of his nether regions and seemingly in pain; yet his face seemed peaceful. He was not dead, but white as a ghost and constantly chanting the same mantra over and over.
“Insanity is everything. Insanity is everything. Insanity is everything.” The man mutters constantly.
Upon inspection there are no other apparent injuries, other than the one to his lower extremities. A quick look around at the galley of people watching give no clue, but a small, orange speck about a foot from this man’s body. The narrator continues.
“Could this be another strike from the one he has sought for what seems like forever now? He has to find out…”
He looks up and sees a few other specks and starts walking. He walks around a set of hedges to see a parent chastising her child for pulling up a new version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. All we can make out is the word “filth” from her tirade as our hero moves swiftly forward to the next speck, and then the next speck.
“Surely this trail is warming up and this is the day of completion…”
He rounds yet another corner and the orange portal is there already fully wide as if someone just stepped into it.
“He feels closer now more than ever…”
He doesn’t walk slowly, but takes off sprinting into the orange void, as we all wonder where this will take him next.
The Angel Corps Vs. Jed's Law
At ringside, the cameras focus on the GLOBAL announce trio again, as Lucas Quinn fills viewers in on what they are about to witness.
“Ladies and gentlemen, up next, we have a six-person tag team grudge match, as the team of Saul Morgan, Angel Ramirez and Valorie Vitality seeks to end its long-standing altercation with Jed Johnson and The Law.”
“The Angel Corps, Quinn. That’s what they’ve dubbed themselves.”
“Really?” Deltzer sniffs at Allie’s relayed information. “That’s terrible!”
“To each their own, Mark. I think it’s cute, personally. Cute and clever, seeing as both Valorie and Saul are former members of the United States Marine Corps…”
“That’s right, Allie.” Lucas jumps at the chance to add more context. “That is actually how Saul Morgan and his young partner became involved in this. Jed Johnson was dismissive of the Marine Corps, Morgan took offense to that, and…well…we all know what Angel Ramirez can be like…”
“Cut her some slack, Lucas.” Allie is gently reproachful as she addresses her elder. “She’s a teenager, and she’s standing up for her friends. I think it’s admirable, personally.”
“Yeah…” Deltzer snorts again. “Admirably stupid. The Law are gonna make like the Ramones, and kill that girl tonight.”
“…thank you for your input, Marcus…” The brief, dismissive comment is all Deltzer gets, as his remarks are clearly becoming increasingly less effective at getting under his broadcast partners’ skins. As such, he once again falls silent, just as the arena speakers begin to blare the opening chords of the Dead Kennedys’ socially conscious hardcore-punk anthem, “Police Truck”, heralding the arrival of The Law. “Downtown” Brown is, as ever, at hand to do his thing.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the following is a six-person tag team grudge match scheduled for…”
Brown cannot help but grin at the audience participation as he continues.
“Introducing first, at a combined weight of 786 pounds, the team of Johnson, Brady, and Strauss…JEEEEEEED’S LAAAAAWWWW!!”
Deltzer chortles at the reveal of the team name. “Jed’s Law…good one!”
“Not as good as The Angel Cor—you know what, never mind. I’m not in the mood.”
As Allie relinquishes one victory to her ecstatic broadcast partner, Lucas puts in a little quip of his own.
“Better than Johnson, Brady, and Strauss, anyway…that sounds like a lawyer firm!”
As the announcers engage in their usual banter, Jed Johnson and his two enormous sidekicks make their way towards, and then into, the ring with little or no fuss, choosing to ignore the jeers directed at them all the way to the squared circle.
“No love for Brady and Strauss from this hometown crowd…though I suspect that has more to do with who they are facing than anything else..”
“Are you kidding, Lucas? They’ve been attacking and beating up two women half their size for weeks now! That’s not nothing!”
“You have a point there, Allie…”
A vindicated Allie sniffs contentedly, just as another theme song starts up on the arena speakers – one the fans have not heard before. This is Imagine Dragons’ “Believer”, which begins mere seconds before a graphic appears on the Globe’s screens: the US Marine Corps insignia with Angelic Wings behind it, and the letters V to the left, S to the right, and A in the middle, with the US and Marine Corps flags flying to either side. A moment later, three figures emerge against this backdrop, instantly bringing GLOBAL Wrestling’s headquarters to its feet! “Downtown” Brown struggles to make himself heard over the din as he introduces the trio.
“And their opponents, at a combined weight of 467 pounds…the team of Valorie Vitality, ‘The Tramp’ Saul Morgan and Angel ‘The Kid’ Ramirez….THE AAAAANGEEELLLL COOOORRPPPSSS!!”
As their name rings out across the arena, Angel points back at the graphic on the screen, thumping her chest as she yells “that’s us, man!” – a message she also relays to the nearest cameraman, in extreme close-up. Behind her, Valorie and Saul simply smile at her antics, as they stand at the top of the entryway and wait for their young partner to get all of her pent-up energy out of her system; only when Angel realizes she has gotten ahead of herself and runs back to join them do they engage in a three-way fistbump, followed by a three-way low-five, which Valorie and Saul accompany with the trademark Marine battle cry of ‘Hoo-rah!’ They then begin to make their way towards the ring, Angel gleefully (and literally) throwing herself into interactions with fans on either side of the entryway, while her more sober counterparts simply hold out their hands for high-fives.
“Here they are…the overwhelming fan favorites for this match, even if they are at a considerable physical disadvantage.”
“That’s an understatement there, Quinn. Just one of the members of The Law weighs nearly as much as all three members of this team combined!”
“Indeed, Mark…and pound for pound, the only member of the Corps who outweighs an opponent is Saul Morgan with regards to Jed Johnson. It is unquestionable that the Angel Corps have an almost insurmountable mountain to climb here…but if they have one thing going for them, it’s heart – and that could well prove to be the differential here.”
“Quinn, if you weren’t too damn old to have watched Captain Planet as a kid, you’d know – Heart is the LAMEST power. Nobody liked Ma-Ti. I mean no-bo-dy liked Ma-Ti!”
“I liked Ma-Ti, Mark. He was my second favorite after Linka…”
“Why am I not surprised…?”
As Deltzer and Reece engage in yet another round in their endless battle of pointed barbs, the Angel Corps have made it to the ring, where they are currently engaged in a tense staredown with the members of Jed’s Law; predictably, the latter is attempting to draw the fan-favorites into a war of words, but neither Valorie nor Saul takes the bait – and, through the tried and tested method of pointed glares and elbow shots, they manage to ensure Angel does not, either. In this way, the Angel Corps manage to keep the tensions from escalating, allowing referee Aaron Powell to call for the bell without having to deal with any unpleasant situations.
“Here we go! We’re underway with what should be the final showdown between these six athletes.”
No sooner has the bell rung than Angel steps forward, circumventing her teammates’ objections to make herself the legal woman for her half of the match; across the ring from her, the three men in Jed’s Law can barely suppress their smirks as Brady steps forward to face off against his fellow LA native.
“Oh, come ON! Enough with big men going up against women half their size, already!”
“Well, she made her own choice, Allie…her teammates tried to stop her, but again, that’s Angel Ramirez for you…”
Predictably, no love is lost on either side, as neither of the two legal athletes has any time for lock-ups or feeling-out periods; instead, Angel Ramirez is almost immediately on the offense, surprising Strauss with a big shoulder tackle – well, big for HER, anyway, as it barely has any effect on the much larger and girthier Brady. Undaunted, the youngster shows her quickness by almost immediately jumping up with a Superwoman punch, the result of which is rather more encouraging, as Brady reels back a few steps, allowing Angel to catch him off-balance with a running dropkick! The former police officer staggers back yet again, giving the plucky teenager yet another opening to connect with a Russian leg sweep, which throws Brady to the mat, to the delight of the fans in attendance.
“Good start by Angel Ramirez after a slight miscalculation right out of the gate…but one has to wonder how long she can keep Brady on the back foot here.”
Quinn’s perfectly valid concerns appear unfounded, however, as the fan-favorite leads her opponent a merry chase, forcing him to pursue her as she heads for the far turnbuckle, then springboarding off it to vault over Brady, landing on her feet before almost immediately launching into a cartwheel; as such, when he turns around, Brady finds his opponent right on top of him, and ready to connect with a back elbow!
“Extremely impressive maneuver from Angel Ramirez there, displaying her quickness and reflexes – two traits she is going to need to make use of against the much larger Brady.”
Angel appears to know this as well as anyone, and once again forces Brady to chase her across the ring to the opposite corner, a tactic which – as Quinn helpfully points out – is, in itself, a way of wearing down her opponent, by leaving him winded and slower to react. It is unclear whether or not Angel is thinking of this as she runs away, rather than toward, Brady, but there is no mistaking her intent as she once again rushes up the turnbuckle before launching off with a flying elbow. Too late to block the blow, Strauss is thrown off his feet for the first time in the matchup, once again bringing the Globe to its feet!
“Man down, and Angel has to capitalize here!”
As if she had heard Allie at the announce table, the teenager once again runs up the turnbuckle, taunting the other two members of Jed’s Law as she tells them to “watch me”, before launching off with a split-legged moonsault…
…which finds nobody home, as Brady rolls out of the way!
“Ramirez going for the Fallin’ Angel there, but not quite, as Brady shows enough awareness to roll out of the way.”
“That’ll be a turning point, Quinn. Mark my words.”
Deltzer’s statement does, unfortunately, prove accurate, as Brady promptly takes the chance to collect himself and begin turning things around for his team. He plucks Angel off the mat – resisting the youngster’s attempts at punching him on the sides – and lifts her up by the legs, before smashing her face-first into the corner with a Snake Eyes! He takes a few steps back, then – as the youngster turns around – connects with a vicious Yakuza kick, which he follows up with a quick throat thrust and a corner choke, which he milks as far as he can before referee Powell instructs him to break it. Even when he does, however, he relents only long enough to run back in with a corner clothesline, which pins Angel to the ring post for a moment, before Brady pulls her out and whips her across to his own team’s corner.
“That Snake Eyes and the Crime Kick turning this match around, and suddenly Angel Ramirez finds herself isolated in No Man’s Land!”
“I wouldn’t worry, Quinn – I’m sure she got plenty used to crossing over into rival-gang territory back at the barrio…”
As Deltzer’s remarks earn him a double tut from both his announce partners, in the ring, Brady has tagged in his fresh – and only slightly smaller – tag team partner, who promptly goes to work on the comparatively diminutive Angel, whom he lifts into a rib-breaker before ascending to the top rope and connecting with a diving leg drop – much to the shock of both her tag team partners, and all three of the announcers.
“Nearly four hundred pounds coming down on a 120-pound girl…because that’s fair…”
“Hey – it’s wrestling, Al. Still…ouch. I’m glad it wasn’t me…”
This rare display of what passes for compassion in Deltzer’s mind comes just as, in the ring, Strauss further punishes Angel, crashing down on top of her again, this time with a diving elbow. Valorie and Saul look increasingly worried, as the announcers, too, begin to genuinely fear for Angel’s well-being.
“If they’re being this aggressive towards the one person in the team that said the least to them, imagine what they’ll do to her partners!”
“They’re doing this to her because she’s the smallest and least experienced one of the three, Lucas. Pure and simple. I’d like to see them try this with Saul…”
“So would I, actually…” Lucas Quinn allows himself a chuckle at the prospect as, in Jed’s Law’s corner, the situation continues to be anything but amusing – at least for Angel, since all three members of the opposing team appear to be drawing significant mirth from the situation. Strauss, the legal man, sneaks in a few stomps and a corner choke without Powell noticing, before tagging Jed in. The supposed leader of the trio, however, just as quickly tags out again, indicating he is “saving himself for the other girl” – an action which, predictably, draws the scorn of one Allie Reece.
“Big macho man Jed Johnson leaving the dirty work to his partners!”
Both members of The Law appear more than a little miffed at this but have no choice but to comply, with Strauss resuming the onslaught on his opponent, whom he finally pulls out of the corner with a fallaway slam. Seeing a glimmer of hope, Angel frenziedly attempts to roll through to her feet and race towards her corner, but Strauss easily catches up, pulling her in and lifting her into a belly-to-back suplex, which throws her right back into his team’s corner again!
“The Law just toying with Angel at this point…and this is hard to watch, to be honest.”
“You said it, Allie. Ramirez needs to find a way out of there, and fast.”
Right now, however, that seems unlikely, as the plucky teen remains trapped in the opposing corner, at the mercy of at least two of the members of Jed’s Law. At the moment, it is once again Brady who has the lead, having been tagged in by his partner, and he is once again choking her in the corner – at least until Powell once again puts an end to it. Unfazed, the Lawman transitions into yet another corner clothesline, then transitions into a two-handed chokeslam, before rounding off the flurry of offense with a leg drop.
“Both members of The Law having their way with young Angel here at the moment…”
“Uh…that didn’t sound right, Lucas. Don’t get us canceled.”
As Lucas apologizes to the panicked Allie, a few feet away, Brady decides to show off his strength by lifting Angel up in a gorilla press, looking to throw her with a spinebuster; this, however, proves his undoing, as the youngster is, somehow, still alert enough to wiggle out of the hold, and promptly books it across the ring towards her corner! The Globe erupts…
…only to deflate as Brady gets a steel grip on Angel’s leg…
…then erupt again as the youngster displays her agility by twisting just enough to kick Brady on the shin!! In pain, the Lawman lets go of the hold, and the teenager is finally able to leap the few feet separating her from her corner, where two sets of outstretched hands wait for her touch; knowing the current odds inside the ring, the Latina thinks on her feet, and slaps the hand of her drifting partner!
“TAG MADE by Angel, and here comes Saul Morgan!”
No longer a helpless bystander, “The Tramp” comes in like the proverbial house afire, engaging Brady in a full-on brawl. Fists and feet fly everywhere as both men jockey for position, looking for an opening that will allow them to gain an advantage.
“We have not seen much of Saul Morgan so far, but his file mentions US Military martial arts training…so I think we can expect a slightly different style than Angel’s…”
“Correct, Lucas.” As ever, Allie is an encyclopedia of knowledge, and all too happy to show it off. “Saul reportedly favors submissions, which could be an essential asset against men much bigger than he is!”
“Indeed, Allie…and that seems to be what he is looking for just now…”
Indeed, having found a way past Brady’s offense, the former Marine has slipped in behind him and grabbed his hand in a wristlock. He then swiftly transitions this into a hammerlock, trapping Brady’s arm and applying pressure on it.
“The advantage of submissions is that they are universal.” Lucas Quinn is now the one leading the parade of information. “No matter what size you are, or your opponent is, if a lock like that is applied right, it will hurt you. That’s why Saul Morgan is much better equipped to take on this team than Angel Ramirez.”
“That’s right.” It is Allie’s turn to chip in. “And Valorie has some tricks of her own in that department, which I’m sure she will show off when she’s in there.”
“Right now, though, it’s Saul Morgan with the standing arm bar attempt….and an ELBOW TO THE FACE by Brady, to break it!”
The Globe groans right along with Lucas as Brady breaks free of Saul’s hold attempt through a rudimentary, yet effective method, only to perk up again as “The Tramp” dodges the ensuing throat thrust and once again goes behind, attempting to lock in a full nelson, much to Mark Deltzer’s disbelief.
“Is he nuts? Has he seen the size of Brady’s neck?”
“No harm in trying, though, is there, Mark? Besides, little by little, all these moves are wearing Brady down further and further, getting him close to where Saul wants him, so he can deliver the decisive blow.”
As Quinn expounds on one of his areas of expertise, Saul clearly realizes the full nelson is futile, and attempts to transition into a sleeper hold. Brady once again throws him off by way of an elbow, but Saul is undeterred, going for a headlock takedown this time. Repeated shots to the gut from Brady rock “The Tramp”, but the hold stays on, as Saul attempts to take things to the ground.
“Saul Morgan looking to apply some of those mixed martial arts styles he learned in the Marines…he could be looking to ground and pound here, which would be a sound strategy against someone Brady’s size.”
A stunned silence follows this analysis from – of all people – Mark Deltzer, which is broken by the man himself, in at once surprised and indignant fashion. “What? I like UFC as well as wrestling!”
By this stage, Morgan has managed to bring Brady to a kneeling position and is repeatedly driving his knee into the former police officer’s face, the better to break his resistance. He then transitions the headlock into a more manageable guillotine choke, further applying pressure to Brady’s neck as he seeks to drive him all the way to the ground. The front-on position, however, allows the former police officer to power out via a shoulder tackle, which not only breaks the hold but sends Saul reeling back, leaving him primed to be pulled into a powerbomb position! Saul fights back with punches to the head, but is unable to prevent himself from getting tossed, as Brady regains the advantage with authority!
“Brady managing to turn the tables on Morgan yet again, and taking away that advantage Morgan had created for himself with his submission game.”
“Even still, Lucas…that won’t be the same Brady that started this off. That neck of his will NOT be in good shape right now.”
“You know what, Mark? It’s really refreshing to hear you sounding like a grown-up for once…”
“Very funny, Al…”
A gasp from the stands turns the announcers’ attention back to the ring, where Brady has draped Morgan over the ropes with a Stun Gun, which catches “The Tramp” across the midsection. Then, taking advantage of the elevated position he has Morgan in, he slides his head in between Morgan’s legs, setting him up in an electric chair position.
“Brady looking to finish it here…REVERSE HURRICANRANA FROM MORGAN TO COUNTER IT!!!”
The Globe explodes right along with Quinn as “The Tramp” takes a page from a fellow roster member’s playbook to avoid what looked like a certain fate! Mark Deltzer is, of course, quick to pick up on this.
“I’m not sure Crusader X will be happy about that…he might want some words…”
Allie, however, is dismissive of this concern.
“It’s a common wrestling move, Mark. What’s X going to do? Sue him?”
“Well, he could… You never know with that guy…”
Allie simply snorts at this, preferring to devote her attention to the ring, where Morgan has managed to recover just enough to crawl to his corner, where he locks eyes with Valorie Vitality, even as she vigorously nods her head. The fans inside the Globe find themselves clapping along with Val’s nods, but no encouragement is necessary, as Saul has already obviously made up his mind to tag in his fellow Marine, which he does a moment later, to a deafening cheer!
“HERE COMES VALORIE! GO GET ‘IM, GIRL!”
As Allie loudly encourages one of her favorite wrestlers, at the other end of the ring, Brady is preparing to tag in his tag team partner when Jed Johnson blind-tags himself instead. Predictably, Brady does not like this and immediately demands an explanation from his team-mate. Before Jed can answer, however, Brady finds himself being pulled down into a rollup, which Aaron Powell slides in to count.
—Broken with a stomp by Jed!
“When will these sorts of people ever learn? They always see it happen, but they think it will never happen to them…”
As Allie makes a very valid point, in the ring, Jed has taken over, grousing at his accomplices for not doing what he wanted to begin with as he picks up Valorie…only for her to land an elbow to his face! The Globe comes alive as she lands another, then a third, but deflates when Jed dodges a fourth shot, quickly gaining Valorie’s back and trapping her arms for a Tiger Suplex! Valorie rolls through out of it, but Jed moves quickly, and no sooner has Valorie pushed herself back to a vertical position than he pulls her in, hooking her arm over his shoulders. Valorie fights back with punches to the stomach, but to no avail, as she gets thrown overhead once again by a snap suplex!
“Jed Johnson took a while to get into this match, but it seems he was right to save himself for Valorie…”
Mark Deltzer’s remark is, indeed, accurate, as the veteran holds on to the suplex to deliver a second, and then a third, in a sequence more commonly seen with German suplexes. Then, when he finally lets go of Val, it is only so he can pull her into a seated abdominal stretch. Valorie grimaces, huffs, and puffs, clearly in pain, but refuses to give up; that, however, did not appear to be Jed’s primary intention, as he soon pulls himself and Val to a standing position, transitioning the abdominal stretch into an inverted headlock – an unwise move, as it turns out, as Valorie is able to flip backward and free herself, landing in front of Jed and swiftly connecting with an axe kick!
“What athleticism from Valorie Vitality!”
“That is her main strength, Lucas. Many fans on Twitter doubt her for being small, but that agility, that quickness, is what keeps her alive in a match like this. And we are bearing witness to that right now.”
Bolstered by her success, Valorie quickly follows up the axe kick with a handstand leg drop, which meets with the approval of the crowd – as does anything else the former Marine attempts. From there, Valorie transitions to a mount position, from where she begins to deliver punches and slaps to Jed’s face and head. This lasts no more than a moment, however, before Jed pushes his thumbs into Valorie’s eyes, effectively throwing her off – both figuratively and literally, as he tosses her to one side so that he can get up. The fan-favorite is still clutching at her eyes when Jed brings her to her feet and lifts her up for a vertical suplex, which he stalls just long enough to rile up the crowd! Valorie has not long hit the mat, however, than she is being pulled back up again, this time for that old wrestling standard, the DDT. The move connects, but Jed forgoes going for the pin, instead pulling Valorie up to her feet once again and setting her up for a double arm-trap powerbomb – which, again, he delays, the better to rile up the audience.
“Jed Johnson is amusing himself here, at the expense of Valorie Vitality!”
“Shut up, Mark!” Allie’s voice trembles slightly as she mutters. “Come on, Val…”
Sensing she could use their help, the fans, too, begin to rally behind Valorie, clapping and chanting “LET’S GO VALO-RIE!” – a task in which they are encouraged by Angel Ramirez, who, from the Angel Corps corner, waves her hands in the air, indicating they should chant louder. This, they promptly do, but it appears to do little for Valorie’s luck, as Jed is still in control, and connecting with a swinging neckbreaker! He then lifts his opponent up again and performs a Northern Lights Suplex, which he bridges for a pin. Aaron Powell slides in and counts!
Undaunted – and, in fact, bolstered by this latest success – Jed brings his opponent to her feet once more and throws her over his shoulders in a fireman’s carry position, looking for a gutbuster…
…only for Valorie to break free, spin Jed around, and connect with a Big Boot to his chest! Jed stumbles, but recovers, and rushes in once again…only to be met with a springboard hurricanrana from Val! The former Marine allows herself a cry of ‘Hoo-rah!’ before stepping in and attempting to lock in her trademark submission maneuver, the Last Hoorah. Jed prevents this via an elbow to the side of the head, which rocks Valorie just enough for him to turn over onto his back and push her away with both feet! Valorie rushes back in, but is tripped by a Russian leg sweep, which buys Jed some time to figure out his next move.
“Neither of these competitors able to get an upper hand thus far…but now JED JOHNSON!!”
Lucas’ exclamation comes from the huge impact of Jed’s European uppercut, which nails Valorie and sends her staggering backward onto the ropes. Sensing blood in the water, Jed moves in for the kill, but Valorie once again manages to defy all odds and expectations, spinning out of the way of a second European uppercut and dumping Jed to the outside of the ring, buying herself some time!
“Valorie Vitality once again thinking on her feet, and buying herself some time here…but what is she going to do now?”
The same question on Lucas’ mind appears to also be on Val’s, as she looks towards the corner, where her two partners strain as far as they can for the tag, and takes a moment to assess her options. In the end, it is Saul’s assertion that he has an idea, and to trust him, which makes up the fan-favorite’s mind, as she walks over and tags in Saul.
“The Tramp”, however, does not immediately leap into action; rather, he waits until a dazed Jed re-enters the ring before whipping him to the Angel Corps corner and connecting with a picture-perfect buzzsaw kick, which drops Jed like a rock, and allows for a pop culture reference from Mark Deltzer.
“BETTER CALL SAUL!”
Not missing a beat, Saul tags Valorie in, calling for the “Soldier’s Last Flight”. Cottoning on to the idea, Valorie nods, and promptly lands not one, but three moonsaults, one from each of the rope turnbuckles! Rather than cover, however, she promptly kips up and tags in Angel, who looks like a deer in headlights for a moment until Saul tells her to “do her thing” – at which point her eyes widen for a wholly different reason, a big smile lighting up her features as she leaps to the top turnbuckle, turns around, and connects with her split-legged moonsault. Unlike earlier in the match, this time, the move connects, drawing a roar from the crowd in attendance. Still smiling big, Angel helps Saul move Jed away from the ropes, before he instructs her to drop down for the cover. Initially unsure, she nevertheless complies, at her partner’s insistence, hooking a leg as Aaron Powell slides in to count.
Brady and Strauss rush out of the corner!
They are met halfway by Valorie and Saul, the latter connecting with another buzzsaw kick to Strauss, while Valorie hits the kick combo she calls the Sweet Chin Remix on Brady, ensuring he is unable to interfere with the…
The Globe erupts as the fan-favorites overcome the odds and put an emphatic full stop on their rivalry with Jed and The Law – much to the announcers’ astonishment.
“I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!”
“AGAINST ALL ODDS!”
A moment later, “Downtown” Brown’s booming announcement makes it official.
“Ladies and gentlemen…the winners of this match…THE AAAAAANGELLLLL COOOOORRRPPSSSS!”
“It was a longshot, but they did it…”
“I just knew they could do it, Lucas. See, Mark? That is why heart is an awesome power to have.”
“Pfff…whatever. Any given Sunday.”
All three members of the group sport huge smiles as the referee raises their hands. Then, Valorie and Saul turn towards one another to share a quick “Hoo-rah!” before bringing Angel in for another triple fistbump. It is on the image of their fists joined together in the center of the ring that the feed cuts elsewhere.
A Championship Celebration...
Backstage in the number one contenders’ locker room. A celebration is being prepared. Congratulations decorations have already been hung, and champagne on ice is currently being wheeled in as the Hall of Famer – Aleczander The Great stands directing traffic.
“Tonight will be a night that will live forever as the night the Hall of Famer became the Global Champion.”
The smug Manchester-born Aleczander The Great chuckles.
“How do those ribs feel, Sean? I hope you’re 100% for tonight’s epic match-up. We wouldn’t want any excuses to tarnish my night. My championship celebration.”
The Hall of Famer turns with his arms extended in a 360, pointing out the preparation for Aleczander’s championship celebration after party.
“Dom Pérignon is on ice. A guest list that only a Hall of Famer can have. LA’s elite will be arriving.”
The Hall of Famer walks over and points to the centerpiece of his celebration. A championship title stand sits right next to his Hall of Fame plaque.
“Here is where she will lay. The GLOBAL championship will be home next to my Hall of Fame plaque. It will be on display as a reminder that I am the man who defeated the legend and took the GLOBAL Championship from him, ending his final chapter and legendary career.”
The Hall of Famer stands gazing at the display, picturing the soon-to-be GLOBAL championship inside the display.
“In the mid-1800s, right here in California, we saw the first Gold Rush. Men gave their lives for the opportunity of fame, notoriety, and gold.”
The number one contender continues to walk around the room, checking on things as he continues to talk.
“Me, the number one contender, the Hall of Famer, and your future GLOBAL Champion, already has the fame. There isn’t anyone more notorious than me. Tonight, at Gold Rush, I am coming for my gold. Global deserves a global champion, and there isn’t anyone bigger than me, Aleczander The Great.”
The Hall of Famer finally stops back where tonight began, in front of the champagne on ice.
“Sean Darring likes to say, “legends last forever.” The truth is, everyone remembers how it ended, not how it started. After tonight when we think about the legend of Sean Darring, it will be with his shoulders pinned to the mat and yours truly GLOBAL’S only Hall of Famer and new GLOBAL champion standing tall at Gold Rush.
A Hall of Fame smile sits on the Hall of Famer as the camera feed fades.
Right On The Button
“BROS! BROS! HEY!” The Bro’s voice rings out through the arena. The crowd groans and boos. A shot of the arena’s Uber drop-off area from behind a concrete corner appears on the main screen. There’s a filter over it that makes it appear like a classic Camcorder view with the words “BRO CAM” on the bottom.
“One of my sources backstage has told me that AMBER LEE caught an Uber here! We’re about to get EXCLUSIVE FOOTAGE of her arriving at the arena! EXCLUSIVE FOOTAGE!” The camera shakes, clearly the result of his excitement.
“My source said to ‘wait for a white Honda CRV’. OH, and my source ALSO told me that Amber’s been going around to a shitload of wrestling and MMA gyms in the area to train. She’s taking this match against X SUPER seriously. She must really hate him, bros. Or maaaaaaaaybe…” The crowd boos loudly at this insinuation.
Suddenly, a white CRV pulls up to the drop-off area. The Bro starts whisper-shouting. “OH! OH! BROS! HERE SHE IS!”
Amber Lee gets out of the CRV, bag of gear in hand, prompting a huge pop from the crowd. “Thank you!” she says to the Uber driver before he drives off. We’re close enough to hear everything she says.
“Daaaayum!” The Bro exclaims as he zooms the camera in. “She’s so hot, bro.”
“AMBER, ‘OLD UP!”
“OH SHIT, IT’S ALFIE!” The Bro whisper-shouts as Alfie steps into frame. He zooms out a bit.
Button begins stammering, uncharacteristically to say the least. “Listen, I know, man, I know ya said you needed space to train, which I get, it’s normal, but I couldn’t wait any longer to talk to ya. I’ve…er, well, I’ve missed ya.”
Amber stares at Alfie wordlessly. She has a somewhat cold, unmoved expression on her face.
“I know what X said to you must ‘ave ‘urt, and it ‘urt me too, but what people say about the troof ‘urts? Yeah, it does, but this wasn’t true AT ALL.”
Silence from Amber.
He shakes his head, holding his face, embarrassed. “I should never ‘ave got involved wiv X at all, trusted my instincts, because he’s broken. His issues are serious, way beyond anyfing, and wrestlin’s his only outlet. It doesn’t need to be for us. So, yeah, I’ll stop trainin’ and teamin’ up wiv him if you want, because the last fing I want is for there to be any issue between us, Amber. It doesn’t matter ‘oo needs ‘oo. I don’t need to team up wiv ya, Amber, but know that I want to. And whevver you’re in a singles or tag match, I always want you ta win. I’m on your side against anyone, and it can be us against the world. I only wanna ‘elp you, sweet’eart.”
He pauses. He grabs her free hand that’s hanging at her side.
“I’m abaht to say somefing and if it’s too late, I’m sorry I was too scared to say it before now, and I should ‘ave said it sooner. I’m an idiot.”
Realizing he hasn’t actually said what is on his mind, Alfie lets out a nervous chuckle before throwing his hands into the air. “Cause I wanna be wiv you, Amber. Not just now, but always.”
The crowd ROARS.
“And I guess, I’m just wonderin’ if that’s somefing you might want too.”
Amber drops her hand. “Alfie… shut up.”
The whole crowd lets out a mix of “OHHHH”s and shocked gasps. The Bro manages a single whispered “Broooo…”
Alfie’s face falls. He swallows. He looks off and to the side. He glances in the direction of the BRO CAM… and then sees it.
“OI! GET THE ‘ELL OUTTA ‘ERE!”
“Busted…” says The Bro. He begins to turn and run away.
“BRO! WAIT!” shouts Amber. He stops.
“Come here. And keep filming.”
The Bro turns around, bringing Alfie and Amber back into frame. Amber looks resolute. Alfie looks bewildered.
Amber exhales sharply. “Are the fans gonna see this?”
The camera starts shaking again from the excitement. “Bro, we’re LIVE! They’re seeing it now!”
“Good,” responds Amber. “I want everyone to see this.” She drops her bag.
“You want my answer, Alfie?” Amber gazes into Alfie’s eyes.
A look of horror shoots across his face.
A face that Amber immediately grabs with both hands as she plants a massive kiss on the lips
of Alfie Button.
The crowd EXPLODES. Loudest pop in GLOBAL history thus far? You’d have to consult The
Mark for that one. “AMBER BUTTON” chants ring through the arena.
Amber breaks the kiss and pulls back. Alfie looks like he’s ascended to heaven.
“Yes!” exclaims Amber Lee. “OF COURSE I do!”
Alfie exhales the biggest held breath of his life. He laughs and hugs her tightly.
Amber laughs and shakes her head with a big smile on her face. “You have NOTHING to be
sorry for! I told you, I just needed some space to focus on training. I’m fine! And we… are better than fine.”
She wraps her arms around him and kisses him again. Another pop. “I missed you too, by the
way. Can you tell?” asks Amber. Alfie laughs.
A serious look crawls over Amber’s face. She sighs. “Crusader X was right about one thing,
Alfie asks. “What’s that, princess?”
Amber shakes her head. “I can’t rely on you forever. And it’s not my place to fight your battles or your enemies. So, I’ve been doing some thinking. About why I REALLY wanted this match.”
Amber breaks the embrace and stares dead at the camera. “X? I hope you’re watching. You know why I really challenged you to this match?”
Amber gets up close to the BRO CAM.
“BECAUSE YOU’VE ROYALLY PISSED ME OFF!”
Another explosion from the crowd. Alfie smiles and nods behind her.
Amber continues. “You want to help me, X? Okay, then. Fight me. Fight me with everything you have. Use every last crazy move and trick you know. That’s how you can help me right now. But it’s not gonna help YOU. I’m gonna beat you in the dead center of that ring. And I’m not gonna do it for Alfie.”
Alfie puts his hand on Amber’s shoulder as he grins.
“I’m gonna do it for MYSELF.”
Another loud pop. “AMBER LEE” chants ring out through the crowd.
Button smiles and nods, “Well, alright then! Let’s ‘ave it, Crusader!” He and Amber walk away
Alfie starts telling Amber about the new rope walk move he saw X working on.
The BRO CAM cuts to black.
Crusader X Vs. Amber Lee
Lucas Quinn and The Mark are sitting at the announcers’ desk with their mouths agape. Allie Reece, meanwhile, has her face firmly in her hands.
Quinn starts. “WOW. What a STATEMENT from Amber Lee!”
Allie groans. “Amber… honey… no…”
“This is what pro wrestling is all about!” The Mark says through laughter.
Allie deadpans into her hands. “Misogynists getting everything they want?”
The Mark scoffs. “Drama. Passion. Anger. The drive to win. Amber’s fired up, and she should be! Crusader X is still my pick to win, but he has a hell of a fight ahead of him. I was down on her at first, but Amber’s fully come into her own…” A grin creeps across The Mark’s face. “…even if she’s closer to Alfie than ever!”
Allie looks up and shakes her head. “God only knows what she sees in him.”
Quinn attempts to ground things. “Either way… that was a hell of a prelude to a hotly anticipated and rather personal contest between two of the brightest rising stars in GLOBAL. Crusader X vs. Amber Lee… right now!”
The lights go out in the arena.
“HERE WE GO!” shouts The Mark.
A close-up of Crusader X’s face appears onscreen.
After last week’s sit down with Amber Lee, the GLOBAL fans have firmly decided exactly how they feel about the mercurial luchador.
X stares into the camera with a vicious fire in his eyes. He begins to speak, slowly and softly. “Tonight, once again… I wrestle someone I respect. But it goes beyond just a wrestling match. It seems that Amber Lee has asked me for a fight.”
He pauses, closing his eyes. “A fight.”
X opens them again. “Okay. I’ll grant your wish, Amber. And I want everyone in this arena, whether you’re in the crowd, in the back, at home, in some cushy Hollywood office… or even… at ringside…”
Boos from the crowd once again.
“to watch this match VERY closely. I want all of you to watch what happens when I fight someone I respect. And then I want you to ask yourselves a question. ‘If this is how Crusader X fights someone he respects…’”
X leans in toward the camera. “‘What’s going to happen when he fights someone he DOESN’T?’”
A mix of boos and murmurs bubbles up from the crowd.
The feed cuts right to Crusader X’s logo glitching all over the screen as a blast of feedback rings throughout the dark arena. The opening moments of At The Drive-In’s “Governed By Contagions” rip through the atmosphere. The moment the first verse hits, a single bright white spotlight goes up on stage. Crusader X is standing in the middle of it with his hands above his head in his trademark X taunt. He’s wearing his usual ring gear but with the addition of a white vest with a large black X across the back. Boos ring out as he holds his position throughout the entire first verse.
“Portrait of a family force-fed through tunnel straws
Singing cannibal hymns of the bourgeoisie
There’s a narc on every corner, knock-knock-knock on every door
With a homemade remedy to loosen every tongue”
When the bridge hits, X turns around and bellows “¡AHUEVO!” As he yells, two white fireworks blast over his head from opposite sides making an X above him. This happens twice more before a more traditional explosion of white pyro straight up from the stage all at once.
“Brace yourself, my darling
Brace yourself, my love”
Crusader X struts to the ring with brazen confidence. He doesn’t bother high-fiving anyone as he’s well aware of how the GLOBAL faithful feel about him. His face twitches a bit as the boos rain down, but he shakes it off.
Downtown Jason Brown is right on cue. “The following contest is scheduled for one fall!! Introducing first, residing in San Antonio, Texas, weighing in at 190 lbs… CRUSADERRRRRRR X!”
X hits the ring, starts climbing each turnbuckle, and enthusiastically poses with the X.
The Mark laughs. “I’ve been watching clips of Crusader X for YEARS. I’ve seen him look eager, angry, rattled, confident, and everything in between, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen him THIS fired up. Even the boos aren’t rattling him. He is READY for this match!”
“Even though he’s the veteran, he definitely has something to prove here, that’s for sure,” Quinn interjects.
You can almost hear Allie rolling her eyes through the headset. “Maybe he just really wants to fight a woman. Seemed to like it a lot last time.”
The Mark snaps back. “That’s ridiculous and you know it! How dare you make an accusation like that! He’s clearly just excited for another big pay-per-view match!”
“Come on, Mark!” Allie exclaims. “The guy’s a CREEP! Even beyond what he’s been doing with Alfie, look at that interview last week. He was so happy that he got a rise out of Amber like that. He loves pretending he’s a good person, but it’s obvious that he just wants to hurt and manipulate people.”
Right as the “That’s the way the guillotine claps” line rings throughout the arena, X backflips off the turnbuckle and lands on his feet as more boos rain down.
“Crusader X is many different things to many different people,” says Lucas Quinn. “But there’s one thing that can’t be denied about him: he is easily one of GLOBAL’s top contenders right now.” The Mark and Allie murmur their approval before Lucas continues. “He’s 4-0 right now. 3 of those wins are singles matches. If he wins here…”
The Mark interrupts. “After the tournament winner gets their shot at our World Title, X could very well be next in line.” Lucas responds with an “Mhm.” Allie groans.
X’s music cuts out as he stands in his corner, bouncing up and down. The crowd starts chanting “AMBER LEE!”
“Lose Control” by Poe the Passenger hits. The crowd EXPLODES for the hometown hero… and they get even louder when she power walks into the arena with Alfie Button in tow. “AMBER BUTTON” chants break out. She’s wearing a black jacket, a black top, and black shorts, all with white accents. “AMBER LEE” is printed in big bold white letters across the back of the jacket.
Brown is right on top of it once again. “AND HIS OPPONENT, FROM LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, WEIGHING IN AT 175 POUNDS… AMMMMBERRRRRR LEEEEEEEEEE!”
Amber doesn’t wait for her song to heat up. She nearly RUNS to the ring as her pyro explodes without her on the stage. Alfie follows right behind her. She climbs into the ring and heads straight for X. She stares down at him while pointing at him and shouting unintelligibly while the crowd cheers. X shakes his head and defiantly throws up the X in response, gaining some boos.
The Mark laughs. “Ohhhh, this is gonna be GOOD!”
X then looks to Alfie, who looks at X with a slightly pained expression. X nods to him and heads to his corner. Alfie shakes his head.
Amber smiles at the loud cheers and chants headed her way. She takes her jacket off and tosses it over the ropes directly at a young girl seated ringside. The girl and her mother catch it, both of them jumping up and down and beaming. This prompts an “awwww” from Allie.
“You want to talk about a top contender?!” shouts Allie. “Amber Lee is MONTHS into her career, but look at her record! She’s 7-1 total, and she’s ALSO undefeated in singles competition… with more wins than Crusader X! 5-0! X is deserving of a title shot IF he wins, no doubt, but if Amber wins? Giovanni should send her right into the ring with Sean on the next Domination!”
“Absolutely, Allie!” replies Quinn.
Allie continues. “Hell, if this company cared anything for equity, she would be getting her shot now instead of being tied up with X! …In my opinion!”
Mark laughs. “Now hoooold on, Allie. Remember: Amber was the one who challenged X. Right now, she’s focused more on him than the title. And she did drop a loss to him in that tag match. This is exactly the match these two should be having right now and it’s the match the GLOBAL fans want to see.”
Allie cuts in sharply. “Duh. They all want to see Crusader X FINALLY get put in his place.”
Amber’s music cuts out. Amber kisses Alfie on the forehead to raucous cheers before he rolls out of the ring. She and X stand at opposite corners, eyes locked.
Quinn gets down to business. “This is a huge match for both competitors, personally and professionally… but it’s even more than that. This could be one of the most important matches in GLOBAL’s history so far. Tonight, one of these rising stars will punch their ticket straight to the top… and the other will head to the back of the line.”
Referee Barry Snider calls for the bell.
DING DING DING!
As the crowd cheers and claps, Crusader X slowly walks over to Amber Lee, maintaining eye contact. Amber follows suit, meeting him mostly in the center. They continue to stare each other down.
Quinn lays out the differences between the two competitors. “Amber Lee has the clear advantage in height, wingspan, and strength. Speed, agility, and especially experience go to X.”
“That last one is the key. Experience.”
“Don’t waste any time, Amber! Get right in there and wear him down.” Allie Reece is making no attempt at remaining unbiased.
X points at himself and shouts at Amber. “I am NOT your enemy.” His pointing hand then extends toward Amber… offering a handshake. Allie groans into her mic.
Amber stares at X’s hand, then at his face, and then back at his hand. She shakes her head… and then accepts the hand and nods at him. The crowd claps appreciatively at the somewhat surprising show of respect. At ringside, Alfie nods approvingly.
AMBER RUSHES IN FOR A DOUBLE-LEG TAKEDOWN THE MOMENT SHE BREAKS THE HANDSHAKE! She gets it! X is swept off his feet and shouts out as he crashes onto the mat on his side! The crowd roars.
“THERE WE GO!” yells Allie.
“Way to repay his sportsmanship.” deadpans The Mark. Allie scoffs and Quinn sighs.
Ever quick and slippery, X escapes Amber’s grasp and tries to get to his feet, but she rushes in and tries to lock in a Full Nelson while he’s on his knees! She locks the left arm in, but X drops his weight and scrambles with his legs toward the ropes. He grabs the bottom rope with his right hand before she can lock the other arm in. Slight boos ring from the crowd as Snider breaks the hold. Sensing that it would be a waste of energy to continue, Amber breaks the hold and backs up.
Quinn analyzes the situation. “That was some strong defensive wrestling from X, but still, it’s strange for him to be caught off guard this early.”
“Very true,” says The Mark. “Maybe he didn’t expect Amber to be this aggressive. That kind of takedown is not her usual style…”
Amber stretches out her arms and shouts “COME ON!” at X. X cracks a smile back at her and stands up.
“Nor is this attitude,” The Mark finishes.
Allie says the unthinkable. “For one of about five times in your life so far, Mark? You might be right. This is a real change in demeanor from Amber Lee. I like it!”
X and Amber circle each other… and then it’s X’s turn to shoot in low. Amber instinctively drops down to one knee, thinking he’s going for a single-leg takedown.
NOPE! X whirls around her on the outside and runs at the ropes! Amber gets back to her feet and turns around, but is too late to react as X jumps up and hits a classic hurricanrana on his 6’2″ opponent, sending her rolling onto the mat. Alfie is pacing on the outside.
As X whirls around, Amber scrambles back up to her feet and runs toward X in the center of the ring, snatching at him in an attempt to grab his wrist… but drops low and knocks her off of her feet with a low roundhouse kick!
“This is textbook! You’re in Crusader X country now, Amber!” shouts The Mark.
“I will give you a hundred dollars if you promise to never say that again. No cap,” snarks Allie Reece.
“What’s ‘cap’?” ponders The Mark.
Quinn cuts in with the play-by-play. “Amber’s on her feet! X runs to the ropes! SPRINGBOARD-“
“AMBER!” shouts Alfie at the top of his lungs.
PARASITE’S BA- NO!
Amber wheels around and LUNGES away from X’s landing zone to avoid the flipping reverse DDT. She stumbles, but just barely stays on her feet! X lands on his feet… and with speed and precision beyond what we expect from her, Amber rushes X from behind!
FULL NELSON… SLAM!
X cries out and lifts his back off the mat. Instead of covering X, Amber drags him away from the ropes like a sack of onions. She grabs his wrist, lifts him up…
Short arm clothesline! Short arm clothesline! Drop… kick? NO! FAKEOUT! AMBER DROPS X’S WRIST, WHEELS AROUND BEHIND, AND HOISTS HIM UP ONTO HER SHOULDERS!
“CAREFUL, LUV!” shouts Alfie Button.
“This is RISKY. X knows so many counters from this position…” says Quinn.
It’s impossible to tell if X is too stunned by the clotheslines or if Amber is somehow too quick for him at this moment, but a counter never comes!
ELECTRIC CHAIR FACEBUSTER!
X crashes to the mat face-first! The crowd roars! They break into chants of “AM-BER LEE! AM-BER LEE!” Alfie chants right along with them.
Amber stands up and nods enthusiastically. The Mark is flabbergasted. “I can’t believe what I’m seeing! I thought X would control the early goings like the last time they faced, but that’s A HUGE move from Amber!”
Amber grabs the prone X by the wrist again.
“Whatever training she’s been doing… is paying DIVIDENDS,” opines Lucas Quinn.
Amber drags X to his feet… AND LIFTS HIM ONTO HER SHOULDERS IN A FIREMAN’S CARRY.
The crowd is DEAFENING. They’re screaming “AM-BER! AM-BER! AM-BER!” in shock and disbelief at the possibility of the seemingly untouchable Luchador being brutally upset by the inexperienced hometown hero!
“Oh. My. God.” The Mark can barely speak.
“DO IT! DO IT! SMASH THAT CREEP!” Allie is literally jumping out of her chair.
Alfie Button is pounding the mat furiously in time to the chants.
SOLVE FOR X!
The sound of Amber’s shoulders slamming into the mat echoes through the arena like a thunderclap as X counters the GTS into a MASSIVE crucifix bomb. Alfie grabs his face and winces as Snider counts!
AMBER KICKS OUT EMPHATICALLY!
Amber starts back to her feet, getting up to one knee…
With every last ounce of force in his body behind his foot, Crusader X BLASTS Amber Lee with a SICKENING thrust kick to the face.
Where the sound of the Solve For X was a thunderclap, this was like a knife slicing through the air of the arena.
“OHHHHHH!” shouts the crowd.
From the center of the ring, Amber FLIES backward, tumbling out of the ring and landing on the floor with a thud right near Alfie.
A sharp gasp from Allie Reece.
“HOLY SHIT!” screams The Mark.
The crowd agrees. “HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT!”
Alfie BOLTS over to check on Amber, shouting at her to see if she’s okay. He bends down, but a shaken but firm Snider leans through the ropes and shouts “Don’t touch her, Alfie! I’ll have to send you to the back!” The crowd breaks the “holy shit” chants with rare boos for Snider. Snider starts the ten count.
“Snider might want to consider stopping this match outright. That was a knockout blow if I’ve ever seen one… or felt one.” Lucas Quinn says breathlessly.
Alfie is down on his knees talking to Amber. Her face can be seen. She’s glassy eyed and shaking her head.
“They might want to get some EMTs out here, too.” The Mark says in a hushed tone.
“It can’t end like this…” says Allie, crestfallen.
Crusader X sits on the mat, breathing heavily and clutching his head, still reeling from the earlier facebuster. He tries to rise to his feet, but stumbles. He looks at Alfie and Amber on the outside with an… oddly calm expression on his face. Alfie meets his gaze, staring the sharpest daggers anyone’s ever stared right into X’s soul.
“Oh my God. Look at X’s EYES,” Allie says, horrified. “There is NOTHING behind them! Maybe he doesn’t enjoy hurting people. Maybe he doesn’t feel ANYTHING!”
“EASY!” snaps The Mark.
Amber sits up!
“I’m okay! I’m okay!” We hear Amber say. She sits up, looking at Alfie. While holding her left hand over her face, she grabs onto the apron with her right and begins to get to climb to her feet. The crowd starts to cheer! A “LET’S GO AM-BER” chant breaks out, and Alfie chants along!
X is on one knee, waiting patiently for Amber. He nods in her direction.
Amber stands up… lets go of the apron… and is standing on her own accord! The crowd claps and cheers… and then explodes when she leans forward and plants a kiss on Alfie! Alfie grins, a mix of worry and relief lingering on his face.
In a daze, Amber loses her balance a bit… steadies herself… and then rolls back into the ring! The count is broken and the crowd leaps to their feet!
“AM-BER! AM-BER! AM-BER!” they shout.
“YES! YES!” yells Alfie Button.
Amber grabs the ropes, gets to her feet, turns around-
Suddenly, Alfie Button gasps. “nonoNONONONO-“
WHEN DID CRUSADER X GET AIRBORNE?!
X DRILLS Amber Lee’s head into the mat.
“WHAT?!” shouts Allie.
“That is the DAMNEDEST springboard cutter I have ever seen!” The Mark opines, from the perspective of a man who would probably hold the Guinness World Record for Most Springboard Cutters Seen By A Human Being.
“He must have flown three-quarters of the way across the ring! AT LEAST!” Quinn shouts into his mic in disbelief.
A slightly higher-pitched portion of the crowd than usual chants “YOU STILL SUCK! YOU STILL SUCK!” in unison.
X DRAGS AMBER TO THE CENTER OF THE RING! COVER!
The crowd EXPLODES!
“IN-CREDIBLE!” shouts The Mark.
Allie is stammering. “That’s- that’s not usually that close to being a knockout blow for X. God…”
“Amber’s hurt. I don’t know how badly, but…” says Quinn solemnly.
X grabs Amber by the face. Her eyes are glassy once again. “HERE’S THE FIGHT YOU WANTED!” he screams. Boos fill the arena, louder than ever before. “I DIDN’T WANT THIS! YOU DID!”
X drops to the mat and slips his leg under Amber’s neck…
X-CLUTCH LOCKED IN!
“That’s it. She’s done. Call it, Snider.” The Mark writes Amber off entirely.
“MARK-” Allie tries to cut in.
“She’s DONE, Allie. Watch.” The Mark says confidently.
Snider drops down. “AMBER! AMBER! HEY!”
Amber’s eyes close. Snider starts to get up…
AMBER’S EYES BOLT OPEN AS SHE INHALES SHARPLY! AMBER REACHES HER ARM OUT IN FRONT OF HER!
“COME ON!” shouts Alfie from ringside.
Amber rolls over in the clutch… AND PINS X’s SHOULDERS TO THE MAT!
X ROLLS HER BACK OVER!
Amber begins to fade again. The Mark exhales. “Nope. Not happening. It’s been a valiant effort on Amber’s part but…”
“Wait a minute, Mark.” Quinn cuts her off. “Look where Amber’s leg is.”
Just as he says that, with the last of her energy, Amber kicks her left leg out… AND GRAZES THE ROPE! ONE MORE KICK… AND HER FOOT LANDS ON TOP OF IT! Snider sees it!
“ROPE! ROPE! BREAK THE HOLD X! COME ON!” Cheers erupt from the crowd!
Allie bursts out laughing. “I’m sorry, Mark, what did you want me to watch? Amber escaping the hold you told me would end the match?” The Mark can only muster a grunt in response.
After X breaks the hold, Amber rolls out of the ring once more on a different side than Alfie this time. He runs over to check on her again and yells words of encouragement, telling Amber she’s still in the match.
Amber coughs and sputters, holding her throat. She uses the apron to rise to her feet once more, even more slowly this time. Alfie looks at her with love in his eyes, nodding furiously.
Once again, Amber stands on her power-
Amber goes crashing to the floor on the outside.
“UNBELIEVABLE!” shouts The Mark at the highly complicated dive.
And suddenly, Crusader X stands where Amber Lee stood immediately before. Right next to Alfie Button.
“Oh, you are KIDDING ME.” The perceived symbolism of this moment causes Allie Reece’s head to fall into her hands once again.
The crowd showers X with boos.
X stares straight through Alfie with a blank look on his face. Alfie’s look, however, is anything BUT blank. His face is bright red and his eyes are full of rage.
X shakes his head and points at himself. “I’M NOT YOUR ENEMY, ALFIE.” More boos. Some deep-throated “FUCK YOU X *clap clap clapclapclap*” chants ring out from the crowd.
“WELL, YOU SURE AS SHIT AIN’ MY FRIEND!” shouts Alfie.
X bellows his next words.
“YOU DON’T WANT TO BE MY ENEMY!”
The stare lingers as the boos ring down.
Still dazed, Amber Lee is staggering to her feet, assisted by the barricade this time. While staring at Alfie, X uses all of his upper body strength to grab Amber’s shoulders and rolls her onto the ring apron. X rolls into the ring after her and once again affixes his gaze to Amber as he runs to the other side of the ring. Amber rises to her feet in the corner again, but is unable to move out of the way as X crashes into her with a DROPSAULT! She slumps over.
Quinn sighs. “It has been all X for SEVERAL minutes now. Does Amber even have anything left?”
X drags Amber Lee directly into his usual splash zone for X Marks The Spot.
“We’re about to find out.” The Mark says with an anticipatory edge in his voice.
Suddenly, with a burst of energy, Amber rolls away! The crowd cheers. She’s now lying in the center of the ring, parallel to the rope X’s right foot is standing on.
A grin forms on X’s face.
Alfie starts SCREAMING! “AMBER! AMBER! THE ROPE WALK! LIKE I TOLD YOU! LIKE I TOLD YOU!!!”
“You’re kidding me! He’s not gonna…” shouts Allie!
X starts bounding across the ropes…
JUST AS AMBER BOLTS TO HER FEET AS ALFIE’S WORDS REACH HER EARS! SHE GRABS X’S LEGS STRAIGHT OUT OF THE AIR AND HOISTS THEM ONTO HER SHOULDERS!
“YES!” shouts Allie.
Amber runs to the corner with X on her shoulders… then out of it…
X crashes to the mat! Shoulders down!
AMBER ROLLS X OVER AND GRABS HIS LEFT ARM…
X IMMEDIATELY starts yelping in pain at the notoriously painful hold. He uses his feet to scramble near the ropes and reaches… but can’t quite make it! Amber sits down on it!
The Mark yells, “He’s gotta tap! If he doesn’t, she’s gonna break his arm!”
X’S FOOT GRAZES THE ROPE!
SNIDER BREAKS THE HOLD!
“AMAZING fortitude from X!” shouts Quinn. “I have been in that hold, and I can tell you: I would have tapped by then.”
Amber Lee puts her head in her hands and screams. She was so close.
But then she realizes.
She still is.
With a shot of adrenaline, she bolts to her feet and hoists X up onto her shoulders once again. She’s still slightly dazed and stumbles a bit as X struggles, but quickly regains her footing. The crowd roars as she looks around at all of the fans in attendance… and then at Alfie. She soaks it all in… and then goes to hit the one last move she needs.
“DO IT!” Allie Reece shouts.
X SLIPS OUT! HE CAPTURES AMBER’S HEAD BETWEEN HIS LEGS IN THE POWERBOMB POSITION! JUST THE RIGHT POSITION FOR…
As Amber’s head crashes into the mat once again, X clutches his shoulder and screams with his eyes closed. With his right arm, he hooks Amber Lee’s leg…
THE BELL RINGS!
“DAMMIT!” shouts Alfie into her mic.
The crowd boos loudly enough to almost obscure the bellowing of Downtown Brown. “LADIES AND GENTLEMEN… YOUR WINNER, BY PINFALL… CRUSADER X!”
Lucas Quinn interjects with one short sentence. “I… am going to let that match speak for itself.”
Allie sounds crestfallen. “Amber came so close, but X’s experience, agility, and BRUTALITY was just too much. X is a monster. In every sense of the word.”
As “Governed by Contagions” blasts through the speakers, X climbs to his feet and Snider raises his right arm. Immediately after he drops it, he clutches his shoulder.
The Mark bellows. “HATE THE MAN ALL YOU WANT! YOU HAVE TO RESPECT THE WRESTLER! UN-FREAKING-REAL PERFORMANCE FROM X TONIGHT!”
Alfie rushes the ring to check on Amber. EMTs are hot on their trail to check on her. She once again tells them “I’m fine. I’m fine,” in a dazed voice
X turns around and starts for Amber Lee….
And Alfie IMMEDIATELY blocks him. He says nothing. Just a cold, wrathful stare the likes we’ve never seen from him.
Then, two words. “Get. Out.”
Finally, Amber gets to her feet… and gently moves Alfie out of the way.
With a heartbroken look in her eye, Amber shakes her head. She asks him, “What do you want?”
And Crusader X, with his one good arm, points at… her hand?
Amber is puzzled. She tentatively holds out her hand…
And X grabs it and raises it high in the air. The crowd… cheers? Tentatively… and then louder. He puts it down. He turns to Amber and says, quietly enough to be inaudible but loudly enough to read on his lips, “Thank you.”
Amber and especially Alfie are confused and somewhat taken aback by this show of respect.
X looks at both of them and, for the final time, says a now familiar phrase.
“Not. Your. Enemy.”
X rolls out of the ring, still clutching his left shoulder. He walks to the back.
The Mark is bemused. “Maybe… X does feel something.”
Allie scoffs. “Really Mark? He’s placating them. That’s all it is.”
Amber, still dazed but feeling a bit more steady, turns away from X and to Alfie. She wraps him up in a big hug as the crowd cheers. They kiss one last time, in the center of the ring, as “AMBER BUTTON” chants ring out.
John J. Truth Vs. The Great Wall
Inside the Globe, the steel cage structure is already assembled around the ring in preparation for the next scheduled match, which the announcers are in the process of discussing.
“Ladies and gentlemen, coming up next on this special live event, we have a steel cage match, between two highly controversial athletes who have been butting heads as of late.” Lucas Quinn turns to his right to address his female counterpart. “Allie, you don’t look very happy right now…”
“You mean she looks like she sucked on a couple of lemons…then again, that’s how she always looks…” Mark Deltzer’s infantile jabs are ignored by both his broadcast partners, as Lucas opens the floor for Allie to rant as she sees fit; and rant she does, taking a deep breath before launching into her tirade.
“To be honest, Lucas, if I had a choice, I would rather not call this match at all. In fact, I wish it had never been made. I think both these men are dangerous, manipulative, jingoistic, ultra-nationalist pieces of…work…” The announcer just about catches and redacts herself, then promptly continues. “…and the last thing we should be doing is providing them with a platform. In fact, we should be doing the exact opposite! We don’t need the likes of either of them in GLOBAL, and I hope they injure each other right out of our roster.”
As Allie takes another deep breath, both her colleagues are staring at her in disbelief, their mouths open in stunned, speechless silence.
“Wowzers.” Predictably, Deltzer is the first to find his voice again. “So much for remaining professional…”
“Sorry, Mark.” Allie’s voice is still audibly catching in her throat from the surge of emotion. “Sometimes, it’s hard to stay neutral. And this is a hill I’m willing to die on.”
“Well, let’s hope you don’t get in trouble with Mr. Ferrari and the rest of the directors…”
Before Lucas is even done talking, Shen Yi’s “War Dance” begins to blare through the arena speakers, instantly eliciting a chorus of boos from the crowd in attendance. As they emerge through the curtain, Xiang and The Great Wall appear, however, completely oblivious to their reception – and, indeed, to anything else that does not involve the match or the steel structure around the ring, as proven by the Wall pushing a hapless cameraman who gets in front of his path, an action which, predictably, only leads to the jeers intensifying.
“Say what you want about the Wall, Al, but you can’t deny he is by far the most imposing and impressive-looking athlete in GLOBAL Wrestling. He may have fallen short in most of his matches so far, but to be honest, I don’t think he or Xiang care about wins and losses. To them, it’s about hurting the opponent. It’s about sending a message. And in that regard, they’ve been successful so far. Even Sean Darring has had to stand up and pay attention after their title match two weeks ago.”
“Darring was never not paying attention, Mark. Our Champion likes to keep tabs on what’s going on in the company; after all, he needs to know who may be coming for him next…”
As Allie once again leaves Deltzer with no reply, Xiang and the Wall have finished their methodical trek to ringside, the giant ascending the steps and entering through the cage door while his manager and sometime tag team partner stays just outside, in close communication with him through the wire mesh.
“What, no sneak attack from Team America?” Allie sounds legitimately incredulous underneath her surface snark. “Are they THAT confident, or have they just given up after all the failed attempts at getting the upper hand?”
“I wouldn’t call them all failed, Al. In fact…”
Whatever point Deltzer was about to make is drowned by a chorus of boos as the iconic riff to ‘Paranoid’ begins to blare through the arena speakers, prompting an exclamation from Lucas Quinn.
“And speaking of making it about the message…!”
A moment later, they intensify, as three of the most hated men in GLOBAL Wrestling emerge through the curtain, the two bodyguard types dubbed Border Control flanking their leader, who cuts a peculiar figure in a red MAGA hat, a Stars and Stripes vest top, and a matching US-flag cape – an outfit who draws the sarcasm of one Allie Reece.
“Pfff…who does this guy think he is, Apollo Creed?”
“No, Apollo Creed’s black, remember? Truth would have a problem with him…” For once, Deltzer makes a valid counter point, rather than retort with a snide remark. Allie, however, is not willing to concede just yet.
“Well, he’s dressed like Apollo Creed…except for that stupid hat. It’s like Apollo Creed and Donald Trump had a baby.”
“That baby would be mixed race, though. Truth would…”
“…all RIGHT, Mark! I get it!”
As Allie huffs in exasperation and Deltzer cackles to himself about his win, Truth and his acolytes finish making their way to ringside, the former giving Xiang a wide berth as he hides behind the latter, who both put up dukes as they walk past the Chinese manager. Xiang puts his hands up in a demonstration of innocence, pointing inside the cage to remind his opponent and his muscle of whom they should really be worried about. From his secure position behind said muscle, Truth directs a few choice words at the manager, who simply smirks in response, his shoulders shaking in what is presumably a muffled chortle.
“Xiang is not taking his partner’s competition all too seriously here…”
“…and why should he, Lucas? Have you seen how big the Wall is? This should be a short one. Especially with the cage in place, so Truth’s goons can’t interfere…I’m thinking ‘Dead Man Walking’, personally.”
“For once, I hope you’re right, Mark…”
As Allie’s bile towards Truth leads her to an unbelievable statement, Truth tentatively – very tentatively – makes his way up the steps and into the ring, where he immediately seeks the protection of referee Aaron Powell. While he does allow The Man Who Fell to Earth to stand behind him, however, Powell tells him to back up a little – something Truth acknowledges only begrudgingly.
“Yeah, I wouldn’t want him breathing down my neck, either. I bet his breath stinks.”
“I bet all of him stinks.”
This draws a gasp from Deltzer. “Gee-zus, woman! Hashtag savage!”
“Damn straight. It’s even trending on Twitter right now.”
As Allie says this, Tweets from the GLOBAL feed featuring “#savage” begin to appear at the bottom of the screen, with the best one of these pleading “Please @AllieReece, don’t hurt ’em! #savage”. Others comment to the effect of “daaaang – my girl @AllieReece going HAM on these mofos right now! #nofilter #savage” or “Wow, do you think maybe @AllieReece doesn’t like these guys much?” with a thinking emoji in between the rhetoric question and the hashtag.
As these and other comments flash across the bottom of the screen, at ringside, “Downtown” Brown is at hand to do the usual introductions.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the following is a steel cage match. To win, competitors must either score a pinfall or submission, or escape the cage, either by climbing over the top or by opening and going through the door. This match is contested under no-disqualification rules.”
With the basics out of the way, Brown then goes on to introduce each competitor, giving John Truth the deadpan anti-enthusiasm he usually reserved for such an occasion.
“Introducing first, from an undisclosed secure location, weighing in at 200 pounds, The Man Who Fell to Earth, John J. Truth.”
The second half of this lackluster introduction is drowned by a chorus of boos emanating from all four corners of the Globe, much to the delight of the announcers.
“Always great to see…well, hear…this reaction.”
“You said it, Lucas. It always restores my faith in humanity.”
As Allie adds another #savage remark to her repertoire, “Downtown” Brown does his best to go on with the introductions.
“And his opponent, from the People’s Republic of China, standing at SEVEN FOOT ONE and weighing in tonight at 361 pounds…the Chinese Colossus….THE! GREAT! WALL!”
Another smattering of boos, albeit comparatively much lighter, ripples through The Globe for a moment before a chant erupts directed at both athletes, prompting a comment from Lucas Quinn.
“YOU BOTH SUCK! YOU BOTH SUCK! YOU BOTH SUCK!”
“The fans here at the Globe making their feelings clear to both these competitors, as the bell rings for the start of this match!”
Indeed, with the usual preamble out of the way – Aaron Powell calls for the bell, getting the match under way!
No sooner has the last ring of the bell sounded than John Truth leaps onto the nearest cage wall, doing his best impression of Peter Parker, Spider-Man as he attempts to scurry to the top and make a quick escape. Deafening boos almost immediately begin to rain down again, and there is even a small, subdued cheer when The Great Wall lumbers over and casually plucks the smaller man off the wire mesh, sending him tumbling to the mat below.
“Were those…cheers for The Great Wall?”
“Yup. That is exactly what they were, Lucas. Not what you would expect someone like him to receive, but then again, every John Truth match is basically Bizarro World. Everything you know is wrong. Black is white, up is down, and short is long.”
“Yeah. That’s the Truth effect.” Deltzer’s tone becomes more animated as he latches onto something. “Hey, that could be the name for one of his conspiracy theories. One about himself.”
“Don’t give him ideas, Mark. He’d probably flip it so it meant he was a conquering hero or some dumb thing like that.”
As Allie continues to put on one of her sourest commentary performances to date, in the ring, Truth has almost immediately made another attempt to escape, only to be cut off by The Great Wall before he even properly begins to climb. Undaunted, he tries for one of the farther walls of the cage, forcing the Guangzhou Goliath to once again take a few steps across the canvas to pull him down. Visibly irritated with the fact that he is being forced to chase after his opponent – slow though the pace of that chase might be – the Chinese Colossus now seeks to punish Truth by lifting him up for a powerbomb. John J,, however, fights back with all his might, landing repeat punches to the giant’s head and face, and even risking his own features to attempt a headbutt on Wall. As little impact as any of these moves has, they nonetheless have the effect of rattling and throwing off The Wall, in the same way a mosquito or bee might do for a regular-sized human. As such, the planned powerbomb ends up being more like a toss forward, which, while still painful – as evidenced by Truth’s grimace as he hits the mat – is nevertheless a far cry from a full-blown powerbomb.
“John J. Truth appears to have a very definite strategy in mind here, but so far, it appears to not be working as intended…”
“Of course, it’s not, Quinn. You can’t stop The Great Wall. He is seven foot one, and over 350 pounds. You can slow down someone like that, but you’re very unlikely to stop them. Unless you pull a Daniel Dream, that is…”
“Hey! That worked for him, Mark, thank you very much…”
As a suddenly defensive Lucas takes objection to his colleague’s observation, in the ring, The Great Wall is once again going to the powerbomb well – only for Truth to escape it again, this time through a rake to the eyes, which does cause him to fall onto the mat, but also sends the Asian giant reeling back, giving The Man Who Fell to Earth an opening. Knowing these will come few and far between, Truth immediately books it to the door of the cage as quickly as he can, shaking it violently as he demands that Powell open it for him. The referee is still very deliberately searching for the correct key, however, when Truth is once again pulled towards the center of the ring by an increasingly irate Great Wall, who drags him by one leg and then stomps the back of each of his knees in turn, eliciting yelps of pain from the smaller man.
“That’ll make it harder to climb the cage…”
“Indeed, Mark. Which begs the question – why isn’t Wall making any attempt to escape?”
“I told you before, Lucas. This is not about winning the match for him. This is about hurting his opponent as much as possible. He finally has Truth in an enclosed space, where there can be no run-ins, or sneak attacks, or numbers games…and he’s going to take advantage of that as much as he can. I don’t see him trying to climb the cage at any point during this, to be honest. He’ll want to keep this going until he’s had his fun.”
“Fun” may actually be an appropriate word in this instance, as Xiang is seen cackling on the outside, a genuine smile on his features, and even Wall appears to be enjoying himself. That sentiment does not, however, extend to the fans, who continue to boo both men, even as The Wall drops a leg on the hapless Truth. He goes for a second, but The Man Who Fell to Earth puts his knees up, causing Wall to fall on top of them. Unused to pain, particularly in that area, the Chinese Colossus is heard yelling out, even as Truth rolls through to his feet and makes yet another dash for safety.
This time, not trusting Powell to open the door for him, The Man Who Fell to Earth once again chooses the climbing route, bolstered by the fact that the Guangzhou Goliath will take some time to push his massive frame back to an upright position; and, indeed, for the first time since the bell rang. Truth makes it considerably more than halfway up the cage, to the point where he can almost see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. Encouraged by this, the controversial superstar picks up the pace, monkeying his way up the wire mesh like Mario inside Bowser’s castle in Super Mario World: like Mario, however, he is soon made to lose his grip and fall off, not by a similarly shimmying Koopa Troopa, but by Xiang shaking the cage wall from the outside just enough for Truth to stumble and lose some of the headway he has made. A grab from the Chinesse Colossus does the rest, and The Man comes Falling to Earth once again, landing straight on The Wall’s knee, for a high-altitude atomic drop which draws a cheer from the crowd.
“I have to give it to Truth…he did come closer that time. There may be something to this strategy of his…”
“As they say, Lucas, close, but no cigar. Still, he delivered on his promise – he literally kicked The Wall’s ass.”
“I’m glad you can still find the humor in this, Mark. I’m just waiting for it to be over…”
“Yes, we had noticed you were a little quiet, Allie…”
“That’s because I’m hating every second of this, Lucas.”
More #savage and #nofilter hashtags undoubtedly appear on the Twitter feed after this statement, as, in the ring, Wall continues to punish John J. Truth in any way he can. With his opponent still rattled from the falling Atomic Drop, the Guangzhou Goliath turns Truth around, throws him in the air so that he is at eye level, and connects with a devastating headbutt!
“WHAT POWER from The Great Wall!”
As Truth goes flying across the ring, Wall methodically stalks him, reaching down to grab him and pull him up to his feet…
….only for Truth to capitalize with a quick low-blow punch, which causes the giant to croak in pain!
“Truth finally managing to inflict some pain on the giant Great Wall with that punch – which, we will remind you, ladies and gentlemen, is legal in this match!” Lucas sounds a little deflated by that, but his younger broadcast partner maintains his enthusiasm as he draws as accurate analogy, and tops it off with a somewhat dated pop-culture reference.
“Wall is like a videogame boss, and Truth just found his weak point. As REM once said, ‘everybody hurts sometimes’ – and for The Great Wall, this is one of those times.” He then quickly goes on to tamper this statement with a swift disclaimer. “I still doubt it’ll be enough to stop him, though…”
“Well, Mark, it has definitely slowed him down, and this may be Truth’s best chance here…”
The Man Who Fell to Earth definitely appears to think so, and once again heads for the cage door, all the while screaming at Powell to “open this damn thing up!” Once again, the referee is rather deliberate in riffling through his keys, however, leading Truth to lose his patience and flip him off before attempting to take the scenic route out of the steel structure. He is yet again able to make it just far enough to get his hopes up before The Great Wall shakes the cage, causing him to lose his grip; Truth holds on for dear life, literally biting into the cage wall to be able to continue his progress, but The Great Wall almost casually pulls him down, causing him to scrape his teeth on the metal. As such, when he once again flops to the mat with a thud, speckles of blood leap from his mouth to tint the canvas, drawing a gasp from the Globe’s stands.
“I will give Truth one thing…he is dogged. He just showed exactly how dogged, right there…”
“That’s right, Lucas. And I can’t tell you how delighted I am that that waste of breath injured himself.”
As Allie has yet another comment which will no doubt have led to a few more #savage hashtags, in the ring, The Wall is becoming increasingly irritated. He slams Truth against the wall of the cage, rubbing his head in it as if in a cheese grater, then drags him back by the hair, only to throw him forward again and punish him with chops. While unable to react to the first few of these, however, Truth is eventually able to dodge the giant’s extremely slow blows, getting behind him and using the last of his strength to push Wall into the cage, returning the favor from a few moments previously. He then lands a swift kick to the giant’s lower regions, bringing him to his knees again, and, without a moment’s hesitation, uses the Guangzhou Goliath’s back as a platform, stepping over The Wall’s back as he makes yet another leap for the cage. He dangles from the structure just long enough to land a kick to the Chinese Colossus’ head, ensuring Wall stays down a moment longer, then begins another frantic dash up the wire mesh and towards safety.
“Truth manages to create another opportunity for himself…can he capitalize this time?”
“Even if he does, Lucas, he will still have Xiang to reckon with on the outside…”
Indeed, The Wall’s manager seems to want nothing more than for Truth to fall into his clutches, looking up at him as he mouths off taunts. Truth is thus, predictably, drawn into a war of words with the manager, which causes him to lose his dogged focus for just long enough for the now absolutely livid Wall to shake him loose from the cage once again!
“Smart strategy there from Xiang, using all of his cunning to throw Truth off his goal.”
“I’m not sure he needed to use all of his cunning, Lucas. More like twenty percent of his cunning. No, actually, make that fifteen.”
More #savage hashtags, no doubt – not just for Allie, but also for The Wall, who lifts Truth up in a military press slam before throwing him down onto the canvas! The Man Who Fell To Earth tries to scurry away, but The Wall promptly begins to lay the boots to him, stomping away at each part of his opponent’s body with cruel, methodical precision.
“Remember, stomps are legal in this match…” This time, it is Deltzer who provides the helpful info, as, in the ring, Wall brings Truth back up to his feet and shoves his opponent’s head in between his knees. Truth tries his best to fight out of it, landing open-palm blows to either side of the tree trunks The Wall calls legs, but it is, of course, to no avail, as he soon finds himself soaring through the air as a result of the Asian giant’s Alley Oop – a move which the crowd cannot help but give an impressed reaction for,
“The Wall may not be the fastest, but he is plenty agile, as he just showed there…”
“And now, he is going for the finishing blow, Lucas…”
Indeed, The Wall has purpose in his eyes as he picks Truth up and elevates him, simultaneously wrapping his arms around him in a triangle choke.
“FIVE STARS VICE!!” Deltzer’s voice goes shrill with excitement. “I TOLD you it was never about escaping the cage!!! He wants to put Truth down once and for all!!”
“Wait a minute, though…what’s this?”
The surprising cheers directed at The Wall quickly revert back to boos as two figures burst through the curtain and pelt it down to ringside at top speed.
“It’s Truth’s goons!! What do they have in mind?!”
Lucas’s question is soon answered, as the besuited duo makes a beeline for referee Aaron Powell, the bigger of the two grabbing him by the lapels while his smaller partner prises the keys from the referee’s belt loop.
“Can they even do that?”
Allie’s question goes unanswered, as both Deltzer’s and Quinn’s attentions are focused on the proceedings at ringside. Seeing what is happening, Xiang tries to intervene, only to be floored by a lariat from the smallest of Truth’s two goons, who mockingly yells “Welcome to America, asshole!” in the downed manager’s face before grabbing an empty chair from ringside and dashing over to take the purloined keys from his partner, who is struggling to keep Powell from breaking loose from his grasp.
“Truth’s goons working together to free him here, but will they be in time?”
Just as Lucas poses this question, the smallest of the two men manages to undo the padlock on the cage door, which he pushes open while his partner continues to fend off the advances of GLOBAL’s largest referee. When the thinner man beckons to him, however, the larger half of the duo shoves the referee away and rushes in to help his partner prise their boss from the clutches of The Wall.
Caught unawares by the chair shot from behind, the Chinese Colossus is rocked just enough to release his grasp on Truth, who crumples to the mat, seemingly unconscious. Seeing this, the thinner man promptly hands the chair over to his colleague, who immediately continues the assault on Wall, while his partner checks on their boss, attempting to revive him. After a long moment of uncertainty, his efforts are successful, and a fleeting smile replaces his stern features for just a moment; soon, however, he is all business, as he ushers his employer out the cage door, and then beckons to his colleague, who lands one last chair shot to the dazed Guangzhou Goliath before heading for the cage door as fast as his large frame will allow. No sooner is he out than the second bodyguard is urging him to “shut the door!”, which he does, fumbling for an agonizing minute before eventually jamming the key into the padlock and turning it, trapping The Great Wall inside the cage!
The stunned silence which befalls the Globe after this moment is so pronounced, that the smaller ot Truth’s bodyguards can be heard mockingly barking at Powell to “call it” – which, after a moment, the referee has no choice but to do. Almost instantly, the silence turns to boos, as “Downtown” Brown carries out deadpan due dilligence.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of this match, The Man Who Fell to Earth, John J. Truth.”
Predictably, Truth and his goons are all cackles and derogatory comments as they make their way back up the entryway toward the backstage area, relief etched on all three of their faces.
“Well, they’ve done it.” At the announce table, Lucas Quinn sounds like he just had to eat several heaping plates of crow. “I don’t know how they’ve done it…but they’ve done it.”
Deltzer chimes in with his own observaton. “It is said that he who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day. That’s certainly been the case for Truth so far in his GLOBAL career…”
As for Allie, she is predictably silent, her irritation all but emanating through the airwaves as the three men stand just outside the curtain for a moment, regaining their breath.
Then, it happens: a sudden chair shot from behind takes out first one bodyguard, then another, as though karma had caught up to them for their tactics against their boss’s giant opponent, moments previously. Truth whirls around, but cannot prevent getting blasted with one of his own, as the assailant finally steps out of the shadow of the curtain to take in the deafening cheers raining down from each and every one of the Globe’s sections.
“EL PRINCIPE!! EL PRINCIPE IS BACK, AND HE’S OUT FOR REVENGE!!”
It is, indeed, the Prince of Lucha, who, after taking a moment to admire his handiwork and soak in the cheers, leans over, grabbing Truth by the lapel to spit a few bilious words in his face.
“Round dos, pendejo!”
He then turns and walks back through the curtain, leaving the evidence of his carnage strewn all across the entrance platform as, unseen to him, a just-recovered Xiang and his now-freed protege laugh and yell out encouragement from ringside.
“Principe telling Truth Round Two starts now, and making it very clear that he does not intend to let sleeping dogs lie.”
“As he should, Lucas. The man put him out of action for almost two months – he definitely had it coming.”
“That’s right, Allie. Truth may have made it past his biggest obstacle for the time being, but the road ahead is far from clear, and Principe just set himself up as the next big roadblock in Truth Control’s way.”
“Yup.” Mark Deltzer chimes in “It’s like in Pokemon Blue – Truth thought he was done after beating the Elite Four, but now Gary is here to sneak-attack him into a blackout!”
“Huh?” Lucas’ tone matches the expression of utter confusion in his face, causing Allie to come to his rescue.
“Nevermind, Lucas. It’s a Millennial thing.”
“Oh. Right.” Safe in this knowledge, Lucas quickly regains his composure, in time to wrap up this portion of the broadcast. “And ladies and gentlemen, later tonight, this live event will live up to its name, as the Master Sisters defend their Tag Team Championships against Trouble Roxx, and GLOBAL Champion “Legend” Sean Darring puts his title on the line against Number One Contender Aleczander the Great. It’s a Gold Rush for the ages, and it’s coming up later in this broadcast. Stay tuned.”
It is on these words from GLOBAL’s most experienced announcer that the feed cuts elsewhere.
FTK Stands For What?
The camera focuses on the tag team of Masked Maniac and Tony Sweat backstage in the hallway. Wearing the fast-selling GLOBAL t-shirts, #FTK, the tandem seems to be talking as Tony Sweat is in mid-story as perspiration continues to fly around due to the animated nature of his actions. Masked Maniac came prepared wearing safety glasses but blinks as the spritz of water continued to reflect off his glasses and mask.
“So, I said, you want my autograph too? I have a special pen just for you.”
Tony Sweat smiles, looking down with a wink.
“She must have been late for something because she didn’t stick around for the autograph. Women, man, pssshhh.”
Masked Maniac shakes his head and tries to refocus his partner on “important” things.
“I agree, my Sweaty-bro. Sweaty Bros before hoes! But tonight is Gold Rush … All these top tag teams have been bringing their “A” games. We are going to have our work cut out for ourselves. We need to get focused on the task at hand. It’s time to get some tag gold!”
Tony Sweat shakes his head reluctantly in agreement with his new tag team partner.
“Look at that,” Chris Smith is heard loudly as he and his friend, Gemini, round the corner and come into view, “they got your shirt on, my friend.”
“What shirt?” Gemini asks incredulously.
At that point, Gemini notices what Chris is talking about, as both Maniac and Tony Sweat seem ecstatic in their FTK shirts.
“See?” Gemini jabs at the rotund Big Kid with an elbow to the upper arm for good measure, “You were all upset about everything with those kids, but you see this? Fuck the Kids are catching on!”
As the partners high-five each other, the new tag team, Sweaty Bros, is taken aback, looking down at the #FTK shirts, confused. Tony Sweat is now drenched with extra perspiration, as Masked Maniac says.
“These are the new red-hot selling #For the kid’s shirts! We love the kids of GLOBAL! We are in full support of them.”
Tony Sweat nods in agreement as his long greasy hair flings water toward Gemini and Chris Smith.
“What the hell with all that sweat?” Smith yells as he tries to start drying himself as fast as he can, going into a full-body truffle shuffle as he does it.
“Don’t misunderstand those letters because they aren’t an attention-getter,” Gemini calls out as the Sweaty Bros get further away. “It stands for Fuck Them Kids because that is ALL they deserve in life after the way they screw up the rest of our lives. Tell ‘em, Big K.”
Smith is still trying to air dry and not paying attention.
“Kid!” Gemini screams.
“You see all this sweat?” Chris cries out as Gemini waves him off in disappointment.
“Fuck them kids,” Gemini yells out defiantly, “and fuck you too if you take their greedy hands’ side.”
“I need to ocean up now,” Smith states as the two men walk in the other direction from where the Bros exited.
The Master Sisters Vs. Trouble Roxx
Tag Team Championships
The feed returns to ringside to find the announce trio fired up and ready, with Allie Reece, in particular, wearing her heart on her sleeve in the form of a big, luminous smile, while Mark Deltzer sports a lopsided smirk and Lucas Quinn a more enigmatic grin. The latter does the honors.
“And ladies and gentlemen, coming up in just a few moments we will have the first of two title matches taking place here tonight, as the Master Sisters put the GLOBAL Tag Team Championships on the line against two of the most widely appreciated athletes on our roster, Teagan Trouble and Izzy Roxx!”
“I can’t wait, Lucas!” Allie can barely contain her excitement. “GLOBAL’s very first all-female title match! That is what I call girl power!”
Mark Deltzer scoffs. “Who are you, Sporty Spice?”
“No. Actually, I would be Scary.”
Deltzer splutters. “But you’re a white girl!”
“Yeah, but you know what happens when you push me…”
As Deltzer concedes defeat, the driving riff to Cockpit’s “Mission to Rock” starts up on the Globe’s PA, bringing the capacity crowd to their feet. Unlike what usually happens, however, neither Teagan Trouble nor Izzy Roxx emerge through the curtain; instead, no more than a few seconds into the song, there is a record scratch, and…
I WANT IT ALL!
I WANT IT ALL!
I WANT IT ALL!
AND I WANT IT NOW!
As the acapella intro devolves into a hard-hitting midtempo, the roar of an engine is heard from somewhere backstage, leaving both the fans in attendance and the announcers dumbfounded as to its origin; in another few moments, however, the enigma is solved, as the two halves of Trouble Roxx finally make their appearance…astride a Harley Davidson motorcycle! The fans sit stunned for a moment, processing what they are seeing, before exploding in a deafening cheer which all but rocks the Globe’s foundations!
“Say what you want about these girls, but they are both ab-so-lutely ICONIC. And social media agrees. Our channels are on fire right now, all across the board!”
As Allie says this, a text bar appears at the bottom of the screen, displaying some of the comments GLOBAL fans are posting on the company’s various media outlets.”
“OMG SLAY QUEENS!!!”
“We stan @RedheadRebelTQ”
“Those outfits tho! Fire emoji”
Indeed, most of the praise and admiration appears to be directed at the girls’ outfits, themselves seemingly made for the occasion. Both women have gold David Bowie lightning bolts drawn on either cheek, and are clad in gold-sequined blazers, white sleeveless tops with a drawing of an electric guitar outlined in gold sequins running diagonally across the chest from the right shoulder, and matching white trousers, this time with the guitar running all the way down either leg. For a personal touch, Izzy has dyed the streaks in her hair from blue to gold, while Teagan tops off her distinctive look with a gold-sequined top hat, which, coupled with her hairstyle, gives her the slightly androgynous look of an early-1900s movie starlet – a fitting vibe, considering the location. As she walks down the entranceway towards the ring, she further compounds that aura by pointing and winking at several people in the crowd, before turning her attention to the fans in the front row, especially the myriad little girls reaching out for a high-five; when she reaches the announce table, however, she surprises all three commentators by audibly addressing the veteran in the trio.
“’Sup, Uncle Lucas? You gonna root for me?”
Lucas seems uncharacteristically taken aback, as Allie and Mark give him looks of shock and surprise.
“Yes, ‘Uncle Lucas’. She’s my brother’s kid. Her real last name is Quinn. We just didn’t feel the need to publicize it… But, yes, I am Uncle Lucas. What do you want me to say?”
As the announcers debate this surprising revelation, Teagan and Izzy have hit the ring, where Teagan puts the final flourish in her performance by throwing her hat into the crowd, for a lucky fan to keep as a souvenir of this special night. Only then does she gesture for microphones, which she is promptly thrown from somewhere off-screen – much to Allie’s excitement.
“Here we go! I love this part…”
Teagan looks around at the absolute riot in the stands for a moment, a big grin on her face, before shooting off her customary opening line.
“HOLLYWOOD, MAKE SOME NOOOOOOOISEEEEE!”
Even more noise is promptly made (if such a thing is still possible), nearly drowning out the duo’s trademark spiel – which the crowd are heard chanting right along with Trouble Roxx.
“If you don’t know who we are…”
“…you should have been paying attention!” Izzy’s smile is as wide as her partner’s as they launch into their usual routine.
“WE ARE….GLOBAL Wrestling’s ONLY officially sanctioned Twitch streamers…wrestling’s very own Team Rocket…THE hottest prospects in FIFTY-ONE STATES…the foxes you’re waiting for…the little girls in the middle of the ride…the adventure seekers on an empty street…and your NEXT GLOBAL TAG TEAM CHAMPIOOOOONSSSS…” The redhead pauses, winking at her partner and beaming up at the crowd, before concluding. “I’m Trouble…she Roxx…and together we’re…” The two girls put their voices together again for the grand finale. “…TROUBLE ROXX!!”
“That last bit is new.” Allie can just about make herself heard over the deafening roar. “I like it. I believe it, too. If you ask me, we are looking at GLOBAL’s next Tag Team Champions.”
“Well, nobody is asking you, Al.”
This last barb from Deltzer comes just a moment before “Love is a Parasyte”, by Blanck Mass, starts up on the arena speakers, heralding the arrival of the still reigning Champions!
“What, no sneak attacks this time?”
Lucas’ sarcasm is immediately undercut by Deltzer. “It’s a Pay-Per-View, Quinn. If anybody wants to make a grand entrance, it’s our Champions!”
“Well, they may be too late for that…” Allie is audibly still buzzing from the challenger’s grandiose arrival. “Trouble Roxx may take the cake as the best entrance here tonight…and we’ve had a few great ones.”
From the Tag Team Champions’ demeanor as they walk down the entranceway, however, it is debatable whether they are trying to upstage, or even impress, anyone; Carnival Dawn, at least, seems a lot more invested in her usual antics, gleefully spraying front-row fans with fizz from her soda fountain, which has been painted gold for the occasion, and has her half of the GLOBAL Tag Team Championships draped around it. The other half of the belts is, as usual, being carried by older sister Aurora Master, whose pursed lips and scorching glare indicate she would much rather be carrying both titles, rather than indulge her sister’s ideas. As for the third, youngest but also largest member of the group, Moonlight Master is, as ever, content to simply walk quietly behind her older sister while carrying her middle sister on her shoulders, her expression one of inescrutable concentration,
“Well, what do you know?” Deltzer’s tone has, for the first time in a long moment, acquired its natural bile. “They’re not trying to show anyone up after all. They know they don’t need to. They’re the GLOBAL Tag Team Champions – that’s enough!”
“Speaking of which, Mark, what do you make of these girls’ reign so far?” Allie’s tone is pointed, yet also professional and pleasant. “Many of our fans have voiced their thoughts on social media about how the Master Sisters have been cutting a few too many corners in their title matches, and I can’t say I don’t see their point…”
“So what?!” Mark Deltzer’s tone is unexpectedly snappy as he dismisses the question. “If you can get away with it, why not exploit the system? The ends justify the means, girl! Didn’t they make you read ‘The Prince’ at school?”
“The only Princes I knew about when I was in school were The Artist Formerly Known As, and Will Smith. I’m assuming you don’t mean either of those…”
As Deltzer admits that no, he did not indeed mean either of those, in the ring, Carnival Dawn has at long last set down the drinks machine and grabbed her Championship belt, which she holds aloft for a moment, as Moonlight does the same. Both sisters then relinquish their respective belts to Aurora, who holds them up herself before handing them off for Barry Snyder to do likewise. With the stakes of the match well and truly established – and both teams exchanging pleasantries from their respective corners – the official then calls for the bell, getting this match officially under way!
“Here we go, guys! Can you feel the buzz in this arena right now?”
Allie’s voice matches the trepidation felt inside the Globe as Teagan Trouble steps up against Carnival Dawn Master, who has overruled her sisters’ protestations and appointed herself legal woman for this match; and while the redhead appears to want to start the contest, the Tag Team Champion appears perfectly content to talk trash, goading her opponent into offence. Predictably, the ruse works, and Teagan promptly loses her patience, surging forward with a clothesline; Dawn, who had been accounting for exactly that, just as promptly ducks underneath it, gaining Teagan’s back and connecting with a vicious stomp to the back of her knee! The redhead’s yelp is heard even over the crowd noise, and immediately elicits a chorus of boos for the Tag Team Champion.
“VICIOUS strike to Teagan Trouble’s knee there from Carnival Dawn…!”
“That’s right, Lucas, and that should tell us straight away what Trouble Roxx are going to be dealing with here. Forget Snyder – we needed Powell for this one!”
Allie’s indignation only mounts when Dawn repeats the attack on the kneeling redhead’s other knee, taking her down once and for all, then connects with an elbow drop, not to the back of Teagan’s head, but to her knee joint once again! She then grabs the redhead’s leg and slams it against the canvas, before moving on to the second one, looking to apply the same treatment; this time, however, Teagan is able to counter it, rolling over onto her back and pushing Carnival away with a thrust of both feet. The Master Sister goes reeling back, but Teagan’s attempt at a kip-up fails, as her knees give out! She is therefore forced to resort to the slower method of pushing herself to her feet, which Dawn exploits, running in with a dropkick to her legs, which takes her down again, allowing the Tag Team Champion to connect with a leg drop across both her knees!
“Well, no guessing what the Champions’ tactic is here…”
“Yes, Quinn, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it’s actually pretty smart. The challengers’ style is based around strikes and high-flying, so by taking out the legs, they’re taking away ninety percent of those girls’ arsenal.”
“I never said it was a bad idea, Mark. Just that it’s very obvious from this early exchange…”
“Yes, and it should also be very obvious to Roxx after a while. Those girls are anything but dumb. The Masters better have a plan B, or their strategy is going to start getting predictable here in a minute…”
Allie’s premonition, however, seems no closer to coming true as Dawn Master springboards off the ropes to land a moonsault right on Teagan Trouble’s knees, crashing all her weight across her targeted region. She then gets up and heads for the near turnbuckle, quickly shimmying up to the top before launching off with a missile dropkick to the kneeling Teagan…
…who suddenly pops up to smack her opponent out of the air with an uppercut, which brings the Globe to its feet in a deafening roar!
“WHAT A REVERSAL!!” Even Deltzer cannot maintain his loyalty for the Champions, while Allie’s voice is, predictably, all sunshine and rainbows.
“My girl Teagan thinking on her feet, and using her other set of limbs to deny Carnival Master!”
“Indeed, smart strategy…and that moment could be a turning point here!”
Lucas’ prediction appears accurate, as – having finally found a way into the match – Teagan quickly capitalizes by dropping an elbow and then a fist on her prone opponent. She then picks Carnival up, props her against the corner in an upright position, takes a few steps back, and connects with a handspring splash, which pins her opponent against the turnbuckle. She backs up again, looking for another handspring manouevre…but Carnival dodges, sending the redhead ramming against the turnbuckle, much to the Globe’s dismay!
“Well, that didn’t last long!”
Deltzer is, for once, in the right, as Dawn almost immediately brings the match back around in the Champions’ favor, by leaping in and throwing Teagan over with a hurricanrana! She then runs in looking for another dropkick, only for the redhead to think quickly and reverse it into an armdrag! It is Dawn’s turn to go tumbling over, and then faceplanting, courtesy of a bulldog from Teagan!
“Teagan Trouble managed to even this contest, even without making use of her greatest weapon, her kicking ability! It goes to show the level of resilience, heart and intelligence of these two young competitors!”
“That’s right, Lucas. And those factors could be what earns them the GLOBAL Tag Team Championships here tonight.”
“Not so fast, Al…there’s still a long way to go HERE!!!”
Deltzer’s sudden hike in pitch comes after Dawn breaks loose from Teagan’s grip with an elbow smash to the face, then takes her down with a picture-perfect wheel kick! The redhead crumples to the mat, and the Tag Champion dives in for the cover!
—Kickout by Teagan!
“A long shot there by Carnival, but in a title match, you take every chance you can…”
“That’s right, Deltzer…and I’ll tell you what…every instance like that wears the challengers down just a little more…so it’s definitely worth your while to do it as often as you can.”
“Thank you, Lucas.”
“Seriously?! How can you be so calm and collected right now, Lucas? That is your NIECE!”
“Well, Allie, I’m trying to keep things professional here…separate the art from the artist, as you young’uns say…”
“That…usually has a different context, Lucas.”
As the announcers debate allegiances, in the ring, Dawn is being vociferously admonished by Aurora to tag in her big little sister – an instruction she ignores in favor of quipping at Teagan that she should “kick out while she still has a leg”. She then picks her opponent up and throws her into the Master Sisters’ corner, where she connects with another hurricanrana, which leaves Teagan in perfect position for Dawn to hit a senton bomb off the top turnbuckle, once again aiming for the redhead’s leg and knee area!
Despite the success of the move, however, Aurora is not happy, and continues to intimate Dawn to tag in her sister; at long last, the middle Master has had enough, rolling her eyes and sighing “fiiiine!” before tagging in her much larger partner!
“Teagan could be in some real Trouble now…”
“Very funny, Mark…”
As Allie huffs in exasperation at her partner’s antics, Moonlight goes straight to work on her dazed opponent, whom she picks up and brings to a vertical position. Teagan tries to fight back with a few punches to the chest and stomach area, but they barely affect Moonlight, who almost casually throws the challenger over with a one-handed suplex, which throws Teagan into the ropes. The dazed youngster attempts to hold on, but Moonlight rushes in with a clothesline. Still fighting purely on instinct, Teagan holds on to the ropes and swings both legs in front of her, managing to make contact and temporarily stop her opponent; it does not take long, however, for Moonlight to be back on offence, connecting with the clothesline second time around, and sending the redhead hurtling over the ropes to the outside.
“Teagan in Trouble again…” Mark Deltzer’s relentless barrage of bad puns appears to have no end – at least until Moonlight effortlessly steps onto the top rope and sizes her opponent below before launching off with a leg drop across the knees of Teagan Trouble! The redhead once again cries out in pain as 170 pounds of pure muscle come crashing down on her already weakened limbs!
“Moonlight Master right back to working on the knees and legs of Teagan Trouble…and if this goes on much longer, that girl might not be able to walk by the time this one is over!”
At least one other person in the arena appears to share Lucas’ opinion – and she is not about to stand by and watch her best friend get beaten up. Heedless of the size difference, Izzy Roxx runs all the way around the ring to confront Moonlight Master, whom she pushes away from Teagan, then stares down with a defiant glare as the Champion turns around to face her.
“Izzy Roxx feels ten feet tall right now!”
“Yeah, Lucas, but she’s about to wish she really was ten feet tall…”
Indeed, Moonlight understandably does not seem pleased with her second challenger’s intervention, and pushes Izzy right back, so hard she goes stumbling back and has to steady herself against the ring. Seeing this, Moonlight races in with a splash…but Izzy dodges, causing the biggest of the Master Sisters to connect with nothing but the ring post! Moonlight is quick to recover, but when she turns around, she gets hit with a running dropkick by Izzy, who has hopped onto the apron and raced the length of it just to land that hit! She just about manages to stay on the canvas as she lands, too, profiting from Moonlight’s position to land a quick leg drop on the biggest competitor in the match! She then glances over her shoulder, to make sure Teagan has managed to slide back into the ring…
…only to get blasted with the Tag Team Championships by Aurora Master!!
“WHAT A SHOT from Aurora Master, avenging her sister!”
Deltzer appears to be the only one impressed, however, as The Globe gives the leader of the Master Sisters an overwhelmingly negative reaction; Aurora, however, barely seems to hear it, concerned as she is with making sure her little sister returns to her feet and goes on fighting. Fortunately for her and her team, it does not take Moonlight long to recover, and she is soon sliding back into the ring after her opponent.
“Teagan in Trouble again, and with no lifeline or Call A Friend to save her!”
Deltzer’s game-show puns predictably earn no more than groans, as Moonlight picks her opponent up and brings her to her feet. As she considers her next move, Carnival yells out from the Champions’ corner, calling for a “bearhug”. Moonlight locks eyes with her sister and nods, tagging in her sister before holding Teagan in a bearhug position and turning towards the corner, where Dawn is diving off with a tornado DDT! Moonlight releases Teagan just in time, and the move connects flush! Carnival leaps to her feet, celebrates for a moment, then tags her big little sister right back in! Moonlight jumps on top of Teagan and hooks the leg for the cover!
THR—NO!! Teagan has her foot on the ropes!
“Great awareness from Teagan Trouble, even after that devastating tandem move, and this match continues!”
“That would have ended it, Quinn. I just know it. That girl is on borrowed time.”
“Maybe, maybe not, Mark. She has been putting up quite a fight…and there’s still her partner to reckon with…”
“Speaking of which, guys, Teagan could really, really use a tag out right now.”
“Well, she’s on the wrong side of the ring for that, Al…”
Indeed she is, as even after having kicked out, she is still at the mercy of Moonlight and the remaining Master Sisters; in fact, she is currently trapped in the corner, where Dawn takes advantage of the fact that her sister’s body is blocking Barry Snyder’s view to drape the tag rope across her opponent’s chest, just long enough for Moonlight to run in with a splash! The biggest of the Sisters then immediately pulls Teagan out of the corner, before casually tossing her back into the center of the mat with a one-handed suplex.
“Look at the power from Moonlight Master!”
“Indeed, Mark. Her size and strength are really making a difference here. None of her opponents, or even her tag team partner, comes anywhere close to matching her in that respect.”
As Lucas expounds on her physical attributes (though in the best possible way), Master rolls over onto her feet and stalks her way to the center of the ring, where she once again brings the hapless Teagan to her feet.
“The look in Moonlight Master’s eyes is saying she wants to end this…”
And indeed, when the Tag Team Champion has brought her opponent to a vertical position, she leans in to whisper something in her ear, which makes the groggy Teagan snap out of her stupor into a wide-eyed state of horror. Moonlight then winds up her hand, preparing to deliver a knock-out punch…
…WHICH IS DODGED BY TEAGAN!!
“Teagan Trouble just gave herself a lifeline in this match!!”
Lucas’ breathless exclamation is nearly drowned by the roar of the crowd as Teagan ducks the punch and – at the lack of a better strategy – rams her head into Moonlight’s stomach, winding her just enough to send her reeling back a few steps. Not missing a beat, and knowing her window of opportunity is minimal, Teagan then takes a few steps back of her own, to catch her bearings, before turning around and literally diving into her corner to bring her partner into the match for the first time!
“TAG MADE TO IZZY! TAG MADE TO IZZY! GO GET ‘EM, GIRL!!”
Allie’s volume nearly matches that of the crowd, which explodes as Moonlight Master finds herself at the receiving end of a HUGE top rope missile dropkick from Izzy Roxx, who forward-rolls back to her feet in time to connect with another dropkick, a regular one this time, which sends Moonlight reeling back; the largest athlete in the match just about manages to stay on her feet, but Izzy pulls her down into an arm drag, which sends the Tag Champion hurtling across the ring!
“Impressive strength there from Izzy Roxx, to be able to arm-drag a much bigger athlete…”
“She’s fired up, Lucas. You don’t know your strength until somebody actually makes you angry enough to unleash it. Just ask my first ex.”
“I…we believe you, Allie. Don’t we, Mark?”
“Erm…sure. I’m glad I’m not one of your exes…”
As this exchange is taking place, in the ring, Izzy’s good run continues, as she throws Moonlight over with yet another arm drag, then connects with a running dropkick to the Sister’s face while she is still pulling herself to one knee. Moonlight goes down again, and Izzy connects with a quick elbow drop, before springboarding onto the ropes to land a moonsault!
“Moon-sault on Moon-light!”
“You’re hilarious, Mark…”
“I know, Al. Thanks.”
Bolstered by her success, the smaller half of Trouble Roxx comes up from this latest move swinging her fists in the air in celebration, as she lets out a primal yell. Then, seeing Moonlight is once again getting up, she points to the turnbuckle inquisitively, garnering a huge reaction from the crowd in attendance at the Globe. This is all the youngster needs to take off running towards her team’s corner, where Teagan is already in position to pick her up and launch her into a Lift Off crossbody…
….which is caught by the recovered Moonlight, and reversed into a HUGE fallaway slam!
“Moonlight Master showing off that power once again, and Izzy Roxx could be in trouble here!”
Lucas’ words turn out to be prophetic, as Moonlight quickly follows up her toss with a running chop block to Izzy’s knees, which leaves the youth writhing on the floor, and the Globe jeering.
“Moonlight attempting to do the same to Izzy than she and Carnival did to Teagan…”
“That’s right, Allie. And we’ve seen a moment ago what these girls can do when they have use of their legs, and just how much they rely on them in their offence. So, again, sound strategy from the Champions.”
“Thank you, Lucas. At least tonight, you guys are giving me credit…”
“We always give you credit, Mark. You’re just annoying, that’s all.”
“Gee, thanks, Reece!”
“DO NOT call me Reece.”
As two-thirds of the announce team engage in their usual round of bickering, in the ring, Moonlight Master is being told off by Barry Snyder after laying a few stomps to the prone Izzy’s legs. To her credit, she does comply, backing off slightly only to reach back in and bring Izzy to her feet. She then lifts her opponent up for a powerbomb…
…which Izzy headscissors her way out of!!
“Looks like Moonlight should have focused on that leg a little harder…”
The crowd roars as the challenger quickly seizes her chance, pelting across the ring to the far turnbuckle and leaping off with a seated senton…
…converted into a powerbomb by Moonlight!
“Another strong counter by Moonlight Master, but I must say, Izzy is holding her own remarkably well here!”
“She is standing up for her friend, Lucas. She has to give her best, and she knows it.”
“Regardless, she could be in trouble here, as Moonlight covers…”
—Kickout by Izzy!
“How is she still fighting?!”
“I just told you, Mark. Purpose. It does wonders for your resilience. Not to mention, Izzy is really showcasing her abilities here, and that will be a confidence booster as well.”
“Regardless, she’s still having to deal with Moonlight’s size and strength here, and that is still giving the Champion an advantage, as we just witnessed there.”
Indeed, Moonlight is now literally back on top, as she covers Izzy again.
To her credit, Moonlight does not lose her patience, leaving that role to her older sister on the outside. Instead, she simply picks Izzy up and drapes her over her shoulders, looking for her trademark fireman’s carry cutter, the Masterpiece…
….but Izzy somehow manages to slither out of the hold and onto a vertical position, before dropping down and rolling Moonlight up in a small package!
TH—E crowd deflates as Moonlight kicks out!
“A kickout by Moonlight Master, but the warning has been left – they had better not get complacent, or it could cost them.”
Moonlight, for one, seems to have understood this, and quickly regains control, bringing Izzy to her feet and throwing her into the nearest corner, where she connects with a quick splash. She then pulls Izzy out of the corner and throws her across, so that she bounces off the ropes straight into a big boot! Moonlight covers, and Snyder slides in…
—Izzy kicks out!
“A kickout from Izzy Roxx this time, but Moonlight Master still very much in control here.”
At this point, the crowd’s attention – as well as the announcers’ – is drawn to two figures who have appeared through the curtain and begun to make their way down the entranceway.
“Rupert Royston-Fellowes and Nigel Kensington III…the Best of British…”
“What do they want?”
Allie’s question is answered a moment later when, confronted by referee Barry Snyder, the two produce little plastic Union Jacks on sticks, which they ostentatiously wave around in a celebratory manner while pointing to the action inside the ring. Deltzer is able to decode this behavior, and translates it for the benefit of his two colleagues.
“It seems the Champions have their own cheering section now. One of the perks of being a Champion and have a social group, I guess…”
“Not that you would know much about social groups, right, Mark?”
Deltzer decides to let the jab from Allie pass as, in the ring, Moonlight picks Izzy up again and delivers a stiff chop – a move which Nigel and Rupert vehemently applaud, hooting and hollering with gusto.
“Are they just going to stand there and be annoying?”
“Why shouldn’t they cheer for their team-mates, Al? I see nothing wrong with that!”
“Snyder does, though…”
Allie’s observation is accurate, as Barry Snyder once again admonishes the two male members of The United Kingdom about disrupting the match, cautioning them about this being their last warning. Rupert and Nigel protest their innocence, but – when Moonlight lands a second chop on her opponent – react in the exact same way, once again drawing the attention of the referee, behind whom Moonlight has taken off running, looking for her trademark spear…
…which Izzy dodges, sending Moonlight hurtling into Barry Snyder instead!
“Uh-oh! Referee down!”
The moment this happens, the Best of British drop their pretence and leap into action, with Rupert reaching into his pocket to retrieve something contained within. Fearing the worst, Izzy Roxx builds up a head of steam and vaults over the ropes with a corkscrew suicide plancha, landing atop both men and taking them down simultaneously, much to the delight of the crowd in attendance!
“BIG DIVE by Izzy Roxx, preventing whatever the Best of British were getting ready to do!”
“Did she really prevent it, though, Al?”
Deltzer’s question is valid, as closer inspection does reveal that whatever Rupert had in his hand is now lying on the mat at Moonlight’s feet; as she bends over and picks it up, the object is shown to be a set of brass knuckles. Moonlight begins to put them on, but is interrupted by her small big sister, Carnival Dawn, who had been champing at the bit to come back into the fray for several minutes and now sees her chance. She sprints across the ring and holds up a finger, telling Moonlight to wait, then slides out of the ring to where Teagan Trouble is checking on her best friend. She rushes in, clobbers the redhead from behind, then grabs hold of her, trapping her in a hold as she calls for Moonlight to join her. The fans begin to boo as the Sisters’ intention becomes clear when, a moment later, Moonlight leans in to whisper something in Teagan’s ear before cocking a fist. At the announce table, Lucas cannot keep the trepidation from his voice as he witnesses what could soon be an assault on the athlete revealed to be his niece.
“Not like this… Not like this…
“We’ve seen Moonlight Master attempt this earlier…and now she is armed with those brass knuckles, the impact could be even greater!”
Deltzer’s relative coolness about the situation contrasts with Lucas’s nervousness – and, indeed, Allie’s.
“Don’t tell me what happens, Mark…I don’t want to look.”
As the announcers fret over Teagan Trouble’s fate, a few feet away, Moonlight Master lets loose with her trademark KO punch…
….which Teagan dodges, causing Moonlight to hit her own sister, instead!
A moment elapses where Moonlight is stunned into silence, simply staring in horror at what she has done; the next moment after that, however, is filled with noise and anger, as Aurora sprints over to her two sisters and begins angrily berating Moonlight and asking what she has done. The biggest of the Sisters tries to apologise, but Aurora’s persistent shrieking is clearly making her increasingly annoyed, and they soon engage in a full-blown, two-sided argument over Dawn’s prone body.
“Trouble in paradise among the Tag Team Champions?”
Lucas’s question goes unanswered, however, as a sudden whistle captures everyone’s attention – including the Sisters themselves. Moonlight turns around to locate the source of the sound, Aurora peering over her shoulder…
…only to get blasted with a superkick to the chest!!!
“SUPERKICK!! TEAGAN TROUBLE JUST KICKED THINGS INTO OVERDRIVE!!!”
The redhead limps around on one leg, grimacing in agony from the strain to her weakened limb, as Moonlight topples to the floor and the Globe comes absolutely unstuck! At the announce table, relief mixes with pride in Lucas Quinn’s tone as he comments on the situation.
“Teagan Trouble sacrificing her leg to gain an advantage for her team…and for her best friend.”
“Speaking of which…look at Izzy Roxx!
With her last ounce of strength, Teagan points up at the turnbuckle, where Izzy perches, sizing up her opponents below. The Globe becomes ready to scream as, at the announce table, the commentators’ words have once again taken on a tone of worry.
“Not to the outside, surely…!!”
As if she had heard Lucas’s words and was intent on countering them, Izzy positions herself, then launches off with her trademark corkscrew shooting star press, completing the combo move the girls call Roxx’n’Roll! The Globe’s foundations shake with the fans’ cheers when the move lands, nearly drowning out the astonished remarks of the three commentators.
“ROCKETSHIP IZZY TO THE FLOOR!!!”
“Trouble Roxx putting their bodies on the line to secure a victory here tonight!”
“Barry Snyder is still down, though…”
Well aware of this, Teagan and Izzy are quick to lift up Moonlight Master – the redhead’s right leg nearly giving out again in the process – and roll her onto the apron and, from there, under the ropes and into the ring. Once this has been accomplished, Teagan goes around to where Barry Snyder is just beginning to come to after Moonlight’s spear, and jolts the last of the cobwebs off of him by shaking him vigorously until he is fully conscious. She then points to where Izzy has Moonlight’s leg hooked a few feet away, causing Snyder to pull himself together enough to crawl over and count – along with the entirety of the Globe!
“THEY’VE DONE IT!! THEY’VE DONE IT!!‘
“TROUBLE ROXX ARE THE NEW GLOBAL TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS!!”
Allie and Lucas’s hoarse screaming nearly drowns out a particularly booming “Downtown” Brown as he makes what everyone already knows official.
“Ladies and gentlemen…the winners of this match…AND NEEEEEWWWWW GLOBAL TAG TEAM CHAMPIOOOOONNNNSSSS….TRRRRRROOOOUBLLLEEEEE…RRROOOOOXXXXX!!!”
The rafters shake! The ground trembles! The venue comes absolutely unstuck as Izzy pulls herself to her feet to meet a limping Teagan in an ecstatic embrace, twirling her best friend madly across the canvas, tears rolling down both their cheeks and smudging their temporary lightning bolt tattoos. Barry Snyder looks almost sorry that he has to interrupt this moment, as he calls the girls over and hands them their new belts. Rather than take them straight away, however, Teagan and Izzy bring the referee into their celebration for a moment, forcing him to jump around awkwardly in their embrace, to the delight of the fans in attendance – and Allie at the announce table.
“They want Barry to join the party, as well!!”
“Yes, and why not? It is a party well deserved!”
Only after they have taken all the skipping out of their system do the two girls take the GLOBAL Tag Team titles, which they hold aloft for a moment, before heading to separate turnbuckles and doing likewise, to the roaring appreciation of the fans.
“A fairytale ending for these two girls, who came in shortly before Magnum Opus looking to have fun, and come out of Gold Rush three months later as the new GLOBAL Tag Team Champions, having overcome considerable odds!”
To Quinn’s surprise, even Deltzer joins in on the praise of Trouble Roxx, and in a way the girls would approve of – with a retro pop-culture reference.
“Go on, Trouble Roxx. Go get ya palace.”
The palace will have to wait, however, as the only thing Teagan and Izzy get just then is a pair of microphones, through which to speak their usual sign-off lines – thoughthis time, with an obvious twist.
“We’ve been YOUR NEW GLOBAL Tag Team Champions, Trouble Roxx, from Beverly Hills!”
“Thank you, and goodnight!”
With that, the two girls drape their half of the Tag Team Championships across their respective shoulders, link arms, and head out of the ring and towards the announce table, where Teagan is heard asking “are you proud of me, Uncle Lucas?” to which Lucas Quinn responds by nodding his approval. Izzy then helps a limping Teagan up the entranceway, as fans reach out to slap them in the back and congratulate them. The cameras catch several young Trouble Roxx fans – a little girl and two high-schoolers crying tears of joy, as well as a blonde woman throwing her arms up in the air in glee, and a group of twentysomething males pumping fists at the camera as they let out primal yells – before returning to the girls, just as they are waving at the fans, their new milestones on proud display over their shoulders as they disappear through the curtain, leaving the Globe to compose itself in time for the next bout. In the end, Lucas Quinn’s parting words sum the emotions up perfectly.
“What a night, ladies and gentlemen, what a night. And it’s not over yet…”
Time For Action
It’s Gold Rush hype time. Backstage the Global Champion, “The Legend” Sean Darring, still in his tailor-made suit, stands by with his assigned camera time.
“The posters have been made. The media scrum is over. The tickets have been sold, and it’s finally the night.”
The Global Champion stands in front of the giant Gold Rush promotion picture. The Hall of Famer versus The Legend can be seen in giant letters.
Sean Darring pauses.
“Hall of Famer … “
“Those are just self-promoting words. In reality, it’s about one thing. It’s all about this.”
Sean Darring raises the illustrious golden Global Championship title. The lights reflect off the giant centerpiece.
“Some call this a championship belt. Others use it as a prop for their self-fame and glory. In reality, it is the lifeblood that keeps this company going. It’s our drive. Our passion. Our purpose. It’s the vision of this Los Angeles-based promotion of what can become.”
The camera focuses on the golden prize as the legend’s voice continues.
“Only one of us can temporarily hold it. To become the torch bearer marching the vision forward. To defend its image. To champion the brand. It’s an honor that some wrestlers never experience.”
The Legend proudly sits the golden title on his right shoulder.
“For those of us who are lucky enough to wear this. To embrace what it becomes to be a champion it means so much more than a championship belt, self-glory, or a prop. It’s our purpose in this industry, and I will be damned if I am going to let some pompous opportunist coward tarnish the hard work of every man and woman in this back.”
Sean Darring snarls at the camera with sharp venomous words aimed directly at the challenger, Aleczander The Great.
“You can call yourself a Hall of Famer. Proclaim all you want about being the best. Dodge my challenges. Strike when I am not looking. Hide behind every excuse in the book. But, tonight, there is no more hiding. Your time has run out. We are going to find out just how good you are. Are you the best?”
The Champion slowly shakes his head.
“Do you have what it takes to be the Global Champion?”
The Legend invites an answer that nobody is around to answer.
“Aleczander tonight, when the hype dies down. When that bell rings, we will find out how great you are. Will the opportunist take advantage of his once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? Can the Hall of Famer back up his claims of being the best? Will you beat me to become the Global Champion?”
The Legend looks down one final time at his title.
Not in my town.
Not in my league.
Not in front of my nation.”
The Legend lets those final words sink in as the camera fades.
The Ecstacy of Gold
Backstage, a bruised, battered but clearly elated Teagan Trouble and Izzy Roxx admire the twin physical representations of the biggest achievement in their young lives. The redhead half of Trouble Roxx, in particular, appears to not quite have taken in what just transpired, and finds herself at a loss for words as she holds out one of the GLOBAL Tag Team Championships in front of her, as if presenting a platter at a function.
By her side, her partner gets to be the more mature of the two, for once, merely clapping her friend on the shoulder, her smile big and genuine.
“I know, dude! I know!”
“My first title…” Teagan finally appears to have regained her ability to speak, however babblingly. Izzy, however, is quick to pick up on, and correct, her remark.
“OUR first titles.”
This, in turn, leads Teagan to give her friend a quizzical look, one eyebrow creasing in slight confusion.
“You‘ve won a title before, though…”
“Yeah.” Izzy’s smile becomes, if possible, even wider and more luminous. “But this is the first time we’ve won together. Which makes these…” Izzy holds up her half of the Tag Team titles. “…OUR first titles.”
Clearly touched by Izzy’s words, the redhead says nothing for a long moment; then, at length, she puts her arm around her partner’s shoulders, and the two newly minted GLOBAL Tag Team Champions continue their hard but spirited trek towards the locker room, leaning on each other, sharing a silence which says more than words ever could.
E Z Rah Vs. Jerry David
Jerry’s fingers tap nervously on the arm rest on the back seat of the taxi as the hired car pulls into the opening gates of the home of E Z Rah. He takes a look out of the window and scoffs at all the unnecessary and tacky furniture and trinkets that E Z has adorned his garden with. The car pulls up.
“We’re here, Mr. David,” the driver informs Jerry.
“Thanks buddy,” Jerry huffs as he lugs himself out of the back of the taxi.
Jerry walks over to a huge open hatch in the middle of the garden. As he makes his way over, he knocks over a large garden gnome smoking a joint and kicks up some grass.
‘Power’ by Kayne West suddenly blares out from unseen speakers set up around the area. Jerry looks around, ready for an attack but instead he’s met with several bikini-clad women, emerging from the other side of the house as they make their way toward a large set of double doors. Two of them reach over and pull open the doors to reveal E Z Rah. He takes a step into his garden and extends his arms, two different girls then remove his NFT covered robe to reveal E Z’s wrestling tracksuit. It makes him look slightly bigger than normal, possibly padded to offer extra protection from what’s to come.
He starts a slow walk towards Jerry, stroking some of the girls lightly on the cheek as he does. They all exchange glances with each other after he has gone past them.
“Sorry man, didn’t think to get’chu an entrance. Not like you a real athlete anyway, so why’d you even need one?”
“How soon can I punch you in the face?” asks Jerry through clenched teeth.
“Nah man, not till we in the Crash tunnel and the ref says go. After you, sweetheart.”
Jerry glares at E Z, his hatred oozing through every pore of his skin. He turns towards the entrance and looks down the ladder into the darkness below. He begins his descent, E Z following shortly after.
Inside the tunnel is eerily quiet. The neon lighting illuminates the sparsely used bricks, which act as supports alongside runs of timber, but is absorbed by the wet dirt that makes up the majority of the walls. The light reflects off a large glass wall further down the long, narrow tunnel.
Jerry steps close to E Z, both men placing their foreheads against each other, as they start the trash talk whilst the referee and two medics, who have already seemingly made their descent into the hole, try to get them to stand apart.
Jerry steps back and the referee stands between the two of them, explaining the rules of this bizarre match.
“Gentlemen, you are about to take part in the first ever ‘Crypto Crash’ match. The objective is to get to the other side of the tunnel and collapse the tunnel by pressing the large red button. There are no pinfalls, no submissions, and no disqualifications.”
The referee walks over to the wall where a ring bell is located and hits it three times:
DING, DING, DING!
The sound of the bell is short lived, the noise being soaked into the dirt surrounding the small gathering of men. Despite the bell rings being short lived, neither Jerry nor E Z wait for the ringing to end. They both run at each other, ready to go to war.
It’s Jerry who starts things off, lifting E Z off his feet and keeping his momentum going, slamming him directly into the brick wall.
E Z winces from the impact of the brick as Jerry starts punching E Z’s body. Side jabs, throat punches and uppercuts. Jerry is letting loose with everything he has. His shots are erratic, his arms flailing any which way, desperate simply to hurt E Z Rah.
E Z manages to come to his senses and starts to block the shots. He lifts his leg onto Jerry’s chest and pushes back as hard as he can, sending Jerry flying back onto the floor and rolling over.
Before Jerry has a chance to realise what has happened, E Z is upon him, lifting him up and wrapping his arms tightly around his waist. E Z checks his position and hits a side belly-to-belly suplex, slamming Jerry forcefully into the hard wall.
He takes a moment to catch his breath from the initial assault, smiling at his fallen foe as Jerry crumples to the floor, arching his back, before getting some hard stomps in.
“You shoulda just left me alone Jerry! It ain’t worth your career!”
E Z continues to stomp on his most hated rival, revelling in every moment of pain he is putting him through.
He only stops when his leg gets tired.
He picks up Jerry by the hair and starts to walk him towards the first wall of glass. Before he gets there however, Jerry starts to fight back with some elbows directly to E Z’s stomach. E Z hunches over in pain, only to be met with a hard knee to his nose from Jerry. It makes a sickening crunch as E Z goes flying backwards, landing flat on his back, winding himself.
Jerry flips him over, lifts his arms behind his head and lifts his whole torso off the ground, before placing his foot on the back of his head and slamming the whole thing into the hard ground. Once isn’t enough though, it will never be enough, Jerry slams the head of E Z into the ground two, three more times. He lifts E Z up and onto his shoulders before jumping backwards with a massive samoan drop. Driving the air out of E Z’s lungs and causing some damage to himself in the process. The only thing that matters to these two men right now is getting the win.
E Z is dragged to his feet as Jerry makes his way to the first wall. He takes a look at the tacky NFT figures and rips one off, slapping it hard on the forehead of E Z.
Jerry positions himself, ready to suplex E Z through the glass but his E Z resists. He hooks his leg around Jerry’s.
Jerry is lifted into the air, both men falling hard on their backs onto the filthy, dirty floor.
They both take a moment to clutch their bodies and recover.
It’s E Z who manages to get to his feet first. He straddles Jerry’s chest and starts to unload punches directly to his head. When his hand starts to hurt he switches to elbows. Then stands and drags Jerry up to his feet and over to the wall, propping him up, before running at him and kicking him hard in the head.
This forces Jerry’s head to bounce hard against the hard brickwork. He collapses face-first into the dirt.
E Z breathes heavily and smiles over his opponent clutching his head in agony, savouring every moment of his revenge.
Jerry is lifted up over the shoulder of E Z who looks to be going for a running powerslam. He charges towards the glass, ready to slam Jerry through it, but his human battering ram wriggles free at the last moment!
Jerry drops to his feet and pushes E Z whose momentum carries him directly into the glass pane. He slams directly into it!
BUT THE GLASS DOESN’T SMASH!
E Z turns in a haze to be met with a kick straight to his gut.
Jerry grabs E Z by the waist and thrusts him between his legs, flips him up onto his shoulders before running straight at the wall.
Running powerbomb straight through the glass wall!
E Z goes flying through the wall, glass shattering and falling all around as he rolls around in the shards of broken glass.
Jerry makes sure he stays back until the dust settles. He smiles down at his fallen and bloodied opponent. He walks slowly over to him, kicking glass out of his way as he does and grabs E Z by the ankle. From there he starts to slowly drag E Z along the floor, over shards of glass, back and forth as E Z struggles to break free.
Eventually, he manages to get a good swift kick in with his free leg to the ankle of Jerry.
The impact causes Jerry to drop the leg, only to be met with another kick right to his knee, which causes him to drop down. E Z stands as quickly as his body will allow him and hits a tremendous DDT directly onto the hard floor and glass.
E Z rolls to his feet and starts to make his way towards the tunnel entrance, spitting out a mouthful of blood as he goes. He starts fumbling his way around the walls until he finds the correct spot and opens up a hidden panel in the wall! He reaches inside and grabs something. Its straps dangle down as he walks over to the large circuit breaker box which he opens and places a hand on the electricity switch. Looking over at Jerry who is just about back on his feet, he smiles and flips the switch.
The whole tunnel is plunged into pitch black! Nobody can see a thing. Not the officials, not the viewers at home, and certainly not Jerry David.
The camera switches to night vision mode, allowing a peek into the darkness, a green hue of the carnage that has occurred in the tunnel so far.
The camera spins, finding Jerry who is hopelessly stumbling around, arms outstretched, trying to find his way around.
The camera moves some more, finding E Z, who is wearing his own pair of night vision goggles!
E Z is still smiling as he watches his opponent fumble around on the walls.
Carefully E Z takes a step forward, making sure he doesn’t make any noise.
E Z finds his way over to Jerry, slowly, silently, until he is standing right next to him. Jerry is none the wiser.
E Z Rah grins.
He mercilessly attacks the prone Jerry, booting him hard in the chest, sending him staggering backwards, almost falling, grabbing the dirt of the wall for support. Another kick! This time to the knee of Jerry, which buckles under his weight. E Z follows it up with a swift right hook, instantly splattering blood out of Jerry’s nose!
Jerry is dazed. He swings his arm wildly, hoping to connect with E Z, but he misses by a long way.
E Z charges, lifting Jerry up and spearing him hard into the wall!
The impact causes Jerry’s head to smack off the hard dirt wall before dropping to the floor.
E Z stands over him.
“You should read your contracts more before you sign ‘em, fool.” E Z rasps. “Ain’t not’n wrong wit’ me doin’ this. This my match! These MY rules!”
E Z runs up to Jerry, who is slowly getting to all fours, and punts him hard in the chest, causing him to scream out in pain and roll onto his back.
“You outta yo’ league, man… All of this… Me n’ you? This shit ends tonight.”
“Listen here you piece of shit” Comes Jerry’s response between heavy breathing: “This. Will. NEVER be over.”
E Z laughter echoes through the tunnel.
“I gave you an out man. Didn’t have to be like this.”
E Z stomps Jerry hard in the chest, following up with some hard stomps all over his body and face.
Jerry is desperately trying to defend himself but has no idea where any of the attacks could come from.
At last he manages to roll out of the way of an incoming foot and quickly scrambles to his feet and stretches out his arms, swinging them wildly to try and stop an attack that isn’t happening yet.
E Z is completely still at this moment, carefully manoeuvring himself out of range of Jerrys arms and being careful not to step on any glass. Jerry stops all of a sudden and speaks out:
“Hey E Z, why are chickens so funny?”
Jerry leaves a moment for comedic timing.
“Becauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse!” Jerry yells in a chicken voice.
Despite his best attempts, E Z can’t help but release a small snigger. It’s all Jerry needs.
He rushes E Z, tackling round the waist and dropping them both to the floor, both men struggle as Jerry attempts to rip the goggles from the face of E Z, which he manages! He quickly rolls off his foe and stands still, making sure not to make too much noise as he places the goggles round his own face.
A smile creeps across Jerry’s face as he steps slowly towards E Z, who is getting to his feet.
Jerry barely gives him a chance to realise what’s going on. He wraps his arms around E Z’s waist from behind and lifts him up into a backdrop. E Z’s back and head bounce off the hard floor as the impact echoes.
E Z clutches at his neck, before going foetal as Jerry starts to get some punches and kicks in of his own.
As Jerry stomps E Z, he does a ‘bit’.
“Did you hear the one about the hunter?”
“He goes out into the woods with his bow, hunting.”
“…and while he’s peeking out from behind a bush, he feels a giant paw on his shoulder.”
“It’s a bear who says, ‘I won’t kill you if you get on your knees and blow me right now.’”
“The hunter is terrified. What can he do?”
“So of course, he gives the bear head.”
“Angry, he plots his revenge.”
“He stalks the bear. Tracking it. He finds some tracks and follows them, when suddenly…”
“He feels a paw on his shoulder.”
“‘You know what to do,’ the bear says.”
“Back at home the hunter washes his mouth out and thinks.”
“He decides to buy all the best hunting equipment.”
“A high range, powerful sniper rifle.”
Jerry circles E Z, who coughs and wheezes for his breath, his ribs tight from the viscous stomps.
“He goes back out to the woods in the dead of night, loads his rifle, puts on his night vision goggles, drops some honey on the ground as bait, and he begins climbing up a tree.
“As he starts to climb, he feels a paw on his shoulder.
“‘Okay buddy,’ the bear says, ‘I’m starting to think you don’t come out here for the hunting.’”
Jerry sniggers to himself before walking over to the switch, and switching the lights back on.
What Jerry hasn’t realised, is that wearing night vision goggles underneath bright lighting causes a searing pain in the eyes. He flings the night vision goggles off his head, yelping in pain and grasping his eyes.
He turns and holds one hand out, looking for some support. He finds the second of three glass walls, but as he does, he hears movement behind him.
He rubs his eyes and opens them just in time to see E Z Rah charging towards him!
E Z Rah Spears Jerry David through the glass, which explodes into shards!
Both men are down on the ground, each covered in blood.
E Z looks at Jerry.
Jerry looks at E Z.
Both men are exhausted, but E Z somehow musters the last of his strength as he looks at the man who has been his obsession for the last few months to get to his feet.
He is broken, battered and bloodied, but somehow he is still going.
He grabs Jerry, walks him over to a large patch of broken glass from the second wall and lifts him vertically into a suplex position. Without thinking, he spins Jerry’s body and drives him head first into the floor and glass with an E Z P Z! (Vertical Suplex Piledriver) From his sitting position, more glass would have gone into E Z’s legs and ass than the top of Jerry’s head, if any at all, but at this point neither man is thinking straight.
E Z slowly stands, limping painfully towards the exit before remembering, one more glass wall stands between him and putting this whole ordeal behind him once and for all.
Jerry is down for the count. Even if he could get him on his feet would he have the strength to throw him through the glass?
There was nothing else for it.
E Z starts to move faster, breaking into a sprint, pain shooting throughout his legs. Running on pure adrenaline. He blocks his face and runs shoulder first into the final wall as fast as he can!
Glass shatters all around E Z as he tumbles to the floor in pain, covered in blood, but still conscious of what he has to do.
He starts to crawl through the glass, making his way to the exit ladder dripping blood as he goes.
Jerry starts to stir. The loud crash of glass reminds him of his mission and why he came here.
Jerry is trying to drag himself up on the side of the tunnel as E Z has his hand on the bottom rung of the ladder.
Neither man can stomach the idea of the other getting the best of them.
E Z barely has the strength to lift his own body off the ground but continues to get higher, rung by rung, he’s practically back to his feet now. Jerry rustles his hair, removing small shards of glass from it, and leans against the wall.
He is exhausted.
He spots E Z attempting to climb the ladder and starts to stagger over to him, almost in a drunken stupor.
“EZRA!!!!” Guttural, his voice cracking as he screams the name of his nemesis.
E Z has a hold of the exit hatch. With great strain he manages to push it open. Sunlight floods in, causing him to shield his eyes but still move forward.
Something has grabbed his leg!
Jerry has caught up and is ready to prevent E Z’s escape. He gives an almighty pull and E Z falls back to the floor, landing on his feet.
The two men stare at each other, almost too exhausted to fight. But Jerry David is…
He places each of his hands on E Z’s shoulders and leans in closer in order to whisper a final line to his foe:
“R.I.P, E Z’s dick.”
With that, Jerry winds up and delivers a huge knee strike directly to the crotch of E Z Rah!
The two men hold each other as laughter can be heard echoing throughout the hellish tunnel nightmare both men have called home for the last twenty minutes or so.
But it isn’t the laughter of Jerry David.
Jerry falls backwards, clutching his knee.
It becomes apparent that it’s E Z’s laughter that’s ringing loud.
E Z reaches inside his pants and carefully pulls out a metallic cup, covered in NAILS!
“You so predictable man. Dick jokes ain’t even funny no more, boomer.”
Jerry gets to his knees looking up at his opponent, pain coursing through his body, as E Z clenches his fist and places the cup on top of it. He looks down at Jerry and…
Huge punch to the side of his head with the cup! Jerry falls as trickles of blood start to pour down his face.
E Z drops the cup and starts his ascent up the ladder, his head emerging from the hatch and a cool wind hitting his face as he smiles.
The media, medics and ref are all waiting on the outside ready to go as soon as he hits the red button.
Again, E Z Rah’s head disappears, like an indecisive groundhog!
Jerry has once again yanked E Z Rah off the ladder.
A huge punt to the cock and balls of E Z Rah!
E Z drops do the ground, making a deep, shallow grunt as he grabs once more at his crotch.
Jerry climbs the ladder, one rung at a time, before heaving himself out of the hole.
He heads over to the red button and slams his hand on it, before dropping to his knees, exhausted, but thankful to have come out on top.
Before the medics get to go down the hatch to tend to E Z a loud, deep rumbling noise emerges from underground.
The floor beneath the medics begins to tremble.
Jerry looks over his shoulder.
Then the ground falls several feet, sending the medics and Jerry staggering around and falling to their knees.
Beneath them, an explosion rips through the tunnels. Dirt and sand fill the makeshift room, choking E Z Rah and blinding him.
The walls of the structure start to collapse in on themselves, the roof collapsing down on top of E Z!
A huge cloud of dust escapes from the exit as the rescue crew desperately start to move the rubble in their search for the man still trapped down there.
E Z Rah has been BURIED ALIVE!
A victim of his own trap!
Jerry can’t believe what he is seeing. He grabs hold of the back of his own head, staring down what was once a hatch, the dust still floating in the breeze.
“What have I done?” he asks himself, before being taken by two medics to a nearby ambulance.
“What have I done?” He asks them, “What did I do?”
The ambulances red lights flash, and a siren briefly announces its departure before being switched back off.
As the ambulance leaves, something moves.
But it definitely moved.
The ground opens up, and through it, a defiant fist reaches for the sun.
E Z Rah lives!
The sounds are that of a hospital room. 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 with a sly grin comes across his face. He stands straight up for what seems to be the first time in weeks. His face almost resembling the same diabolical looks Manny would give as he looks up at the area his frenemy usually enters.
“MANNY!” He yells out loudly.
Christian begins slowly walking towards that are and starts knocking stuff off the bar top and making a loud racket, essentially doing his best to summon the beast, if you will.
“COME OUT HERE,” the yuppy bellows.
Christian grabs a pitcher and throws it at one of the pink walls and it smashes brilliantly into millions of shards, and suddenly Manny is standing there. He has a smug look on his face.
“So, you found your way out of those cuffs, huh,” Manny menacingly inquired. “I guess that means your balls finally dropped? I’ve been waiting twenty years for this, and you still aren’t man enough to take me down for good.”
“I’ve had enough of you and your endless line of bullshit, Manny.” Pierson starts moving closer to his foe, “and today you are going to find out what I can really do.”
Pierson take a fast jab, but Manny sidesteps it. This happens several times as Pierson starts going ballistic trying to land a punch on the man he has been connected to for so long. Manny dodges every single pun until the ninth one, which he literally smacks out of the way before driving a foot punt-style into Pierson’s groin area.
“You haven’t learned a damn thing, have you,” Manny says nearly as sarcastic as he is disappointed. “I thought you were ready to fight me?”
Manny hauls off and drives his fist into the side of Christian’s bent over head and sends the young man to the floor.
“You are still weak,” Manny states as he kicks him in the stomach.
“You will ALWAYS be weak,” he continues as he kicks him again in the right-side rib area.
He goes for a third kick and Christian grabs the foot and yanks him down into the very bar that Pierson had just been standing near. Pierson manages to flip Manny onto his back and mount him up top MMA-style and begin to throw elbows and punches as fast as he can throw them. Every single one of them connecting with Manny’s head bopping around side to side as he absorbs the impact.
Christian lets out a yell as he goes to grab Manny’s throat with both hands. Just as suddenly Manny disappears and Pierson is suddenly lifted into the air as if floating. He struggles against the hold, but he is suspended in mid air as Manny’s face appears.
“Remember one thing,” he says, “You’re in MY world now!”
The moment he says that the pink room suddenly melts away and Pierson is released form whatever hold is on him. He drops like a stone and lands on a hard concrete-looking surface. Manny swoops in as almost a manifestation of dark wind and picks him up, throwing him against the side of a brick wall. His laughter echoing through the area.
As Pierson gets to his feet, a string of bricks come flying at him and hit him in the chest. Twenty or Thirty of them coming at a rate so fast it is difficult to count. The final brick edging upward and clanking off the bottom of his chin and flipping him end-over-end until he lands in the exact spot he just stood from.
“This is the world you have avoided for so long,” the echoing voice of Manny ringing out. “I promised you an eternity of suffering and now you will receive it!”
Christian again gets to his feet and another barrage of bricks heads his way as Manny’s laughter rings out. Pierson spins quickly and throws a right spinning backfist and suddenly goes into super speed, knocking every brick away before it can make contact. The final brick, Pierson throws a direct punch to and explodes it into oblivion.
“You think you have skill now?” Manny asks as he steps into the field of vision.
“I have all the skill,” Christian replies, “I always have.”
“Perhaps,” retorts the devil incarnate, “but you have always lacked the will. You have always been the little child unwilling to take a stand for yourself and fight.”
“Until now.” Pierson resolutely claims as he rushes toward his mentor.
The two men meet in a flurry of punches and counter punches. Yellow and purple glows begin appearing whenever they managed to connect with each other. Manny lands a right and Pierson counters with a strike of his own. Neither man able to truly gain an advantage until Pierson finally lands a jumping kick to the side of Manny’s head that sends him spiraling away from him.
“I’ve had it with this!” Manny exclaims as he rises up.
With Manny summons dozens of daggers and spears and hurls them toward Pierson. Any one of these would be the end if they manages to sink into the flesh. Pierson holds his hands up and every single pointed weapon slows and lats right in front of his face. He grins before moving his hands and turning the weapons around and shooting them right back Manny’s direction.
Manny raises his hands and all the daggers and spears melt in mid-air and disappear as the molten remains land on the concrete and cause the concrete to split open. The entirety of the area they stand in splits and melts away, leaving them in a rocky center slab surrounded by a glowing orange and red lava pit.
Pierson looks around and see nothing but cliffs too high to see the top of for escape. Manny lands on the slab with him with a spear in his hand. He is walking with purpose toward the smaller man and all intents show he wants to bring his death and destruction.
Before Pierson can do very much, Manny swings the spear toward his head, which Christian easily ducks. Manny snickers as he manages to take the spear and dive it into the thigh muscle of Pierson. Christian yells out in pain as Manny yanks it back out of his leg and then quickly slashes a nasty gash on the left arm just below the shoulder.
“You are stronger than you were before,” Manny taunts. “However, as I have told you over and over, I am death and life to you mejo. And now you know which one I’m choosing.”
Manny spins the spear around in an impressive display of mastery before lunging with it quickly to go for Pierson’s chest. Christian moves swiftly to grab the end of the spear and spin around, removing it from Manny’s hands. Pierson spins the spear himself and takes a stance that shows he is more than ready for the final battle.
“It is definitely time for this to end.” Pierson states.
“I’m the only one leaving here,” Manny retorts as he holds his hand out and a new spear appears in his grasp.
The two surge toward one another as if in a Hollywood blockbuster. Manny’s thrust is blocked by the parry of Pierson. Then Christian’s attack is dodged by the wiser combatant. These two trade blows back and forth, each one using their spear to counter the attack of the other. The spears are making loud clanking noises, which tells us the metal areas of the spears are connecting often.
Pierson dodges a strike and leaps flipping backward and landing a kick to Manny’s chin, which knocks him back. The sinister mentor throws his spear as Pierson lands and the young man manages to notice and dodge it. What he doesn’t realize is that it was a distraction as Manny charges forth burying another spear directly into Pierson’s chest.
“I told you so, Mejo,” Manny scathingly states as he shoves the spear completely through Pierson’s body, causing the yuppy to drop his spear out of his hand. “You life is over and my time has come. Nothing can take away what I have built now!”
“I……can,” Pierson barely is able to speak. “I…..created…..you…….and…..I ….can…. end…..you.”
Pierson manages to conjure a sword in his right hand and swings as hard as he can from the position he is in. The sword connects with Manny’s neck and manages to cut clean through, sending his head flying off his body.
In that moment, Pierson crumples to the slab, the spear still stuck in his chest.
The screen zooms back through the head again and we see Pierson’s eyes flutter and open.
“Victory,” he whispers.
A nurse in the room hears the whisper and suddenly jumps into action.
“DOCTOR!” She yells. “He’s awake!”
Fade to black.
I Am The Present
“Okay. Let me know if this hurts.”
The words come from an athletic trainer with close cropped light brown hair. He’s young, clearly barely out of college, and is clad in a black polo with the GLOBAL logo embroidered on it. He presses down on part of the upper left arm of Crusader X, who is seated in a large black chair. There’s an ice pack on his shoulder.
X shakes his head. “No. Nothing.”
The trainer moves his hand and presses down a bit higher up. “What about this?”
X winces. “Little bit, but not too bad.”
“What about…” The trainer moves his hand up right by the ice pack and presses down once more.
“AAAAGH!” shouts X as he recoils and cringes in pain. “¡PUTA MADRE!”
The trainer jerks his hand away as quickly as possible. “I’ll take that as a yes! We’ll get the doctor in here right away. I’ll grab you your phone from your locker too, like you asked.”
X exhales and nods. “Thanks, Alex.”
As Alex leaves, X leans his head and sighs deeply.
“Crusader X!” Steve Blaine steps in to frame. “I was hoping to get an interview with you after that match. If you’re not feeling up to it, though…”
“No, no!” X shakes his head. He smiles his customary smile, albeit through a bit of pain. “I’d be happy to, Steve. Lay it on me!”
Blaine nods. “I’ll make it quick, then! First of all… you scored a big win tonight. BUT. You took a lot of punishment in that match. Specifically to your left shoulder. Amber had you in that Kimura for a long time. Do you think you might be injured?”
X’s smile fades. He shakes his head. “I don’t know. The Doc’s gonna be checking on me here in a bit. Depending on how that goes, I might be headed to the hospital. I’ve dealt with more than a few injuries in my career, but never a shoulder injury. I don’t know how it feels… so I can’t tell you. I’m just… hoping for the best. All I can do.”
Blaine nods. “Well, I hope it’s nothing serious.” X quietly interjects with a “Thank you.”
Blaine continues. “So, X. I don’t know if you’ve seen any of the buzz on social media about your match…” X shakes his head. Blaine nods. “Right. Well, a lot of people, myself included, are pretty confused by your actions afterwards. Many believed that you intended to get in between Alfie Button and Amber Lee in order to exert some form of control over Alfie. You raising Lee’s arm? You leaving the ring to them and letting them have their moment, even after YOU won? That seems… antithetical to that. Let me pick your brain for a second. What was your thought process behind leaving the ring?”
X chuckles. “Well, if my actions are antithetical to what people presume are my intentions, then it stands to reason: Those are NOT my intentions. It’s like I told them out there. It’s like I’ve been telling Amber the whole time. I am NOT their enemy. And they…” X shakes his head for emphasis.
“Are not mine. I hope my actions after the match have illustrated that.” X pauses.
Blaine nods thoughtfully. “Do you have any words for Amber Lee after that match?”
X closes his eyes, sighs, and then opens them. “Amber, you are a prodigy the likes of which I’ve seen only a handful of times in the history of wrestling. You are the future of this sport. You proved that tonight. I believe that you fought for yourself and not Alfie. I believe that. And I believe that you truly thought you could defeat me. But that’s the thing: you are the future. I am the present. I am taking GLOBAL by STORM, and the clouds aren’t breaking anytime soon. But… if you remember the things I’ve told you, your time could come far sooner than it would otherwise. Think about it.” X smiles again. “Oh, and enjoy your time off with Alfie. You two have earned it.”
“Well, that’s that. Thank you for your time. Again, I hope it’s nothing serious and, I hope we see you right back out there on the next Domination! Good luck.”
X smiles. “Thanks, Steve.” As Blaine leaves the room, he passes by Alex, who has X’s phone in hand.
“Here you go!” He hands the phone and locker key to X. It’s white with a black X across the center. Branding! X thanks him, takes the phone with his right hand, and opens up Twitter.
As Alex walks away, we see an overlay of X’s Twitter timeline. We see that he has 10 notifications and one direct message. He checks his notifications first. His face lights up when he sees that an account named “Grapsology” has followed him. He clicks the link to their page. He clicks like on their most recent post, which happens to be a post about a match Sean Darring had early in his career. He scrolls down. We see that Grapsology’s feed is full of clips and pictures of wrestling matches, both old and new, captioned with blurbs about the history behind certain moments and wrestlers. We also see clearly that X follows them and has liked multiple posts from them in the past.
X clicks the “direct messages” button. The unread message is from Grapsology! His face brightens up even more.
He opens the message. It reads:
“Hello, Crusader X! Thanks for the follow! I didn’t even know you’d made a Twitter account until you followed me. I was shocked!
“I just wanted to thank you for everything you’ve done and said regarding pro wrestling these past few years. You’re an amazing wrestler, for sure, but even beyond that, your ideas about what wrestling should be are SPOT ON. I think you’re the only person in this damn sport who actually gets it! Wrestling used to be so much more civilized and open minded, but corrupt, greedy individuals have twisted it into the mess it is today. Hell, you’re right to call them “parasites.”
“But I’m not just writing you this message to blow smoke. I’m writing you for one big reason: I think I can help you. I think I’ve found a way to affect the kind of change you desire. However, I’m going to need your help, too. I can’t say much else right now, but if you’re interested, let me know and we’ll speak more about it soon.
X chuckles. He lets out an amused “Hm!” as the screen fades to black.
Aleczander The Great Vs. 'The Legend' Sean Darring
World Heavyweight Championship
Lucas Quinn’s voice shows some wear and tear from the night’s excitement but says, “What a night it’s been so far, folks. However, we are not done! We still have one more to go, and it’s for the GLOBAL Championship!”
Allie chimes in. “This match has been billed as the Legend versus The Hall of Famer, but there are no doubts that this is all about that golden championship belt.”
The Mark adds. “The Legend tried to do this in England. Aleczander instead attacked. The past few months have been a bit cat-and-mouse, with the champion trying to lure the challenger into a match.”
Lucas Quinn adds. “Aleczander has picked and chosen his moments of attacks on the champion. He has played mind games. Now it has all come down to this.”
The arena goes dark.
The fans are restless but on the GLOBAL-Tron video footage of Domination 8 after the grueling win over The Great Wall. The Legend … The Champion is attacked by the #1 Contender and Hall of Famer. Leaving the Champion laid out on the mat, Aleczander the Great raises the GLOBAL Championship.
Part of the Legend’s backstage is shown. A hand-selected part where the champion says – “Aleczander is Great.”
“Aleczander is Great.”
“Aleczander is Great.”
The footage stops one more time.
“Hall of Fame” by The Script feat. will.i.am plays over the PA as the lights return.
The crowd begins to jeer, knowing who is about to come out.
Lucas Quinn says. “That can mean only one thing. The challenger, the Hall of Famer, is here.”
On stage, an unnamed pair of blonde female presenters, much like the last PPV and his debut, with a bouquet of golden flowers to symbolize the championship title and a plaque, respectively. The music plays as two fountains of golden pyro start to shoot out from either side of the stage…
“ALECZANDER THE GREAT!”
The Gilded Great is rocking his signature wrestling attire. Golden thigh-length trunks, knee pads, pristine white boots and white wrist tape, gold-tinted sunglasses, a golden bandana, and about four or five gold chains around his neck. He holds his arms out and steps around in a circle to show off his admittedly fantastic physique! Once he’s finished, the female presenters each take an arm as he slowly walks down to the ring.
With each step, small pops of gold pyro pop off on either side of The Red Carpet as he makes his way into the ring! Once he finally reaches the ring, Aleczander hands off his chains, glasses, flowers, and plaque to the two presenters. He slowly walks up the steps and then poses on the ramp. He makes a final turn for the fans to get one final look at their future champion entering the ring, waiting for his opponent.
Allie marvels. “Nobody makes quite an entrance like Aleczander The Great. Quite a show. Quite an impression. But, will that be enough for the Hall of Famer to become the champion?”
Aleczander steps between the GLOBAL referee who received the illustrious assignment of calling the match, Barry Snider, and the one the only Marcus Anthony Newman, the iconic voice of the “big match.”
The Mark laments. “Three iconic men are standing in the ring. It doesn’t get much bigger than this, guys.”
A countdown begins on the GLOBAL-Tron.
… Until the opening majestic guitar chords of The Final Countdown by Europe begin to blast throughout the arena!
Aleczander The Great isn’t happy with the reaction with the fans and begins storming around the ring, demanding that Snider and Newman turn the music off.
Lucas Quinn tries to scream over the massive fan reaction. “HERE COMES THE LEGEND … HERE COMES THE CHAMPION!”
Slowly emerging from the back is a shadow of a figure. As the golden spotlight shines, it’s the GLOBAL Champion – “The Legend” Sean Darring standing with his legendary purple, silver, and golden robe. The salt-and-peppered battle-tested legend stands soaking up the reaction from Global Nation.
Allie says. “There isn’t anyone Global Nation loves more, and there isn’t anyone who loves Global Nation.”
As the epic ballad by Europe blasts through the speakers, a fountain shower of gold, purple, and silver goes off on both sides of the aisle as “The Legend” Sean Darring walks down the aisle towards the ring.
The Legend stops and celebrates hugging, high-fiving, and fist-bumping with GLOBAL-Nation along the way, further irritating the challenger inside the ring.
The Mark says. “The Legend isn’t allowing The Hall of Famer to outshine him here tonight!”
The Legend finally makes it to the ring steps. He looks inside the ring at the challenger. Soaking in the reaction, the energy, and the moment, he finally begins to head up the stairs and joins Aleczander inside the ring.
After entering the ring, Sean Darring opens the legendary robe to reveal why they are there, the golden prize, the illustrious GLOBAL CHAMPIONSHIP!
Lucas Quinn says. “There it is! The GLOBAL Championship!”
The Mark adds. “Aleczander’s eyes haven’t left the GLOBAL Championship belt since the robe was opened.”
Allie says. “Darring’s ribs look nice and healed. It will be interesting to see how they hold up after roughly six weeks of healing.”
As the music dies down. The ring now has four men. On one side stands the Hall of Famer, the number one contender, the challenger. Standing across from him is the Legend, the GLOBAL Champion, the current face of GLOBAL.
… In the middle referee, Barry Snyder stands next to Marcus Anthony Newman, who raises the microphone and begins to speak.
“LADIES AND GENTLEMEN” …
FUCK YEAH, POP!
“This match is scheduled for one fall. AND WILL BE FOR THE GLOBAL CHAMPIONSHIP!”
GLO – BAL!
GLO – BAL!
GLO – BAL!
“Introducing first – The Challenger.”
“… from Manchester, England and residing in Hollywood, California… weighing in at 264 pounds… he is the self-proclaimed GLOBAL Hall of Famer … The official number one contender …
… ALECZANDER THE GREAT!”
Aleczander The Great raises his arms as he turns to Global Nation, shouting – “I WILL BE THE CHAMPION!”
Lucas Quinn says. “Aleczander has been a force in GLOBAL. You may disagree with his methods and arrogance, but he has earned his status in GLOBAL and could very well walk out the champion here tonight.”
Marcus Anthony Newman waits for the jeers to die back down and continues.
“From Miami, Florida … weighing in at 240 pounds… the GLOBAL Champion!
… “THE LEGEND” SEAN DARRING!”
The Champion has now removed his robe and handed the GLOBAL Championship over to referee Barry Snyder but gives a nod of appreciation and respect to the cheering Global Nation.
Allie says. “The battle-tested Sean Darring is no stranger to moments like this. At Magnum Opus, he defeated BOTH Alex Reyn and Daniel Dream. In comparison, some may consider Aleczander The Great a tougher challenge.”
As Marcus Anthony Newman steps out of the ring. Referee Barry Snyder stands between the two men and raises the GLOBAL Championship title to make this match officially for the GLOBAL Championship.
Lucas Quinn marvels. “There is the title; look at the light reflect off the illustrious prize.”
Allie says. “Everyone longs to be in this situation one day.”
Barry Snyder hands the title to the outside and calls for the bell.
DING DING !!!
The tension fills the ring as the two men holding the top two stops in GLOBAL stand across from one another inside the ring as the bell sounds. Aleczander flexes, showing off his impressive physique as the older Sean Darring stands unimpressed, refusing to allow the vain number-one contender to get into his head.
Lucas Quinn comments. “Aleczander The Great is still trying to play mind games with Sean Darring.”
Allie responds. “Sean Darring has seen it all in this industry. There isn’t anything that Aleczander can do that the Legend hasn’t seen or been through.”
The Mark says. “Except Aleczander is younger, faster, and stronger. It’s going to be difficult to overcome that.”
The Legend dares the number one contender to lock up, and the Hall of Famer obliges as the two men lock up in the center of the ring for the first time. After the collar-elbow-tie-up, Aleczander The Great uses his size and strength to push Sean Darring backward into the ring’s corner.
Lucas Quinn comments. “Aleczander is already using that size and strength advantage to push Darring back into the corner easily.”
Referee Barry Snider is on high alert and notices the ring veteran using the corner and ropes to call for a break. The official quickly calls for Aleczander to break, who still looks for a position in the corner.
One. Two. Three. Four –
The Referee’s count is heard, and Aleczander stands tall and tells the Champion – “I am going to take that title from you and – “
… The fans cheer as Darring isn’t backing down or in the mood to listen to Aleczander The Great talk anymore; Darring gives a good shove into the chest of Aleczander The Great sending the bigger man down on the mat unexpectedly.
Lucas Quinn comments. “Aleczander tried to flex his biggest muscle, his mouth, and The Legend wasn’t having any of it!”
Aleczander quickly pops back up to his feet as the two men reevaluate, keeping their eyes directly on one another. Another elbow-collar tie lockup in the center of the ring. This time Aleczander quickly muscles Darring into a side headlock.
The Mark says. “Aleczander can talk but don’t overlook his wrestling skills. Those big arms have that headlock locked in, and the champion must bring his A-game to defend that title.”
Aleczander continues holding the headlock on who has dropped to a knee. The Legend sees an opening and rolls Aleczander up for a cover as the number one contender holds the headlock official Barry Snyder slides down for the cover.
… Aleczander kicks out and keeps the side headlock on.
Allie shouts. “What a cradle by Sean Darring.”
Lucas Quinn adds. “What a great wrestling maneuver by the Legend. Sean Darring is so good at finding small openings, but it will take more than a mistake to put away Aleczander here tonight.”
The Mark says. “Aleczander The Great is on a mission. He wants to add GLOBAL Champion to his Hall of Fame plaque.”
Aleczander The Great continues to wrap that big arm around the head of Sean Darring as both men are on the mat. Sean Darring reaches up, trying to distance the two men, but Aleczander squeezes that big arm around the champion’s head, not letting go.
Lucas Quinn continues to call the action. “Aleczander is respecting the experience of the legend. He uses his size and strength to keep the legend close and wear him down.”
Sean Darring continues to position himself, trying to find a way of breaking loose from the tight grip of the challenger. Darring uses his body to roll sideways with another pinning cradle.
… Aleczander rolls out, keeping the headlock locked, still breaking out of the second pinning attempt.
Allie says. “That is twice the Legend tried to use a position to get a quick victory on Aleczander. Even in a position of disadvantage, the ring experience of the legend is dangerous.”
Sean Darring has now forced Aleczander The Great to lead the legend back to his feet. Darring breaks out as the two men are locked into an overhead tie-up in a new battle for position.
Lucas Quinn says. “Sean Darring is one of the best technical wrestlers in GLOBAl and has the most in-ring experience. At the same time, Aleczander The Great is a wrestling specimen with a mix of wrestling prowess and strength. Both men entered this match well prepared, researching one another, and it shows here in the early going.”
The Legend transitions into an overhead wristlock, but only briefly, as Aleczander uses a handful of hair to go right back into a side headlock.
The Mark comments. “It’s like a chess match. Neither man wants to give up the position of advantage. It only takes a mistake of three seconds, and it’s over.”
Referee Barry Snyder is now questioning Aleczander The Great about grabbing Sean Darring’s hair to gain a position of advantage. The Hall of Famer adamantly shakes his head to Barry Snyder’s questioning.
Allie sarcastically says. “Oh, yeah, you just happened to gain the position by magic. Give me a break. Everybody knows you grabbed his hair!”
Lucas Quinn is staying professional, he says. “Aleczander is telling Barry Snyder that he didn’t do anything wrong. Either way, Sean Darring is back in that headlock that has been suffocating him early on. Aleczander’s massive arm has now engulfed the Legend’s face for nearly five minutes or more. That can take a lot out of you when you are working for positioning and fighting through the strength of Aleczander The Great.”
The Mark adds. “There has been an early focus on the science of wrestling. Aleczander isn’t particularly known as a technical wrestler, but he is as athletically skilled as anyone. He also entered the match well-scouted and prepared. He has a game plan and sticking to it.”
Aleczander has the size advantage and uses his powerful arms to push Darring around, and the Legend transitions into a waist lock. Aleczander continues to try to regain the advantage, and Darring goes downstairs with right hands into the midsection of the Hall of Famer. Aleczander desperately grabs the arm and places it into a hammer lock. The Hall of Famer is nearly lifting the veteran off the ground with aggression and power.
Lucas Quinn says. “Aleczander continues to work on wearing down the champion. Who had this on their bingo card tonight?”
Allie says. “I don’t think anyone did. I wasn’t even sure he knew what a head lock and hammer lock was, Lucas.”
Aleczander The Great smiles as he continues to work over the Legend. Shaking his head to the front row, he says – “I own GLOBAL.” While distracted, the legend spins into a counter and a hammerlock, sweeping the bigger man down to the ground and locking the arm tightly behind his back.
Allie says. “You can only play cat and mouse for so long with the legend, guys. He has spent more time between the ropes than most, and it’s only a matter of time before he smells that opening.”
The fans cheer as the Hall of Famer reaches towards the ropes, but Darring keeps him from breaking the hold and lands a knee to the exposed arm and back. The Legend launches back and lands another big knee into the arm and back of the Hall of Famer, turning the tides and returning the favor working over the challenger.
Lucas Quinn adds. “The big knees may not look like they are doing a lot, but in a match like this, every situation and every move makes a difference.”
The Mark agrees. “Both of these men could win with one wrong move. It also allows Darring to keep a much more powerful Aleczander close to wear him down when he starts looking for big finishing moves.”
After the second big knee, Aleczander can reach that long arm out and paw into the ropes. The Legend backs away as directed by the referee, and the Hall of Famer slides under the ropes swinging his arm around, stretching it, slowing the pace down, and further playing mental games with the champion.
Allie says. “The fans are getting a little restless, but the Hall of Famer does not care.”
… as Allie comments, Aleczander grabs a foam Sean Darring finger that a young fan bought at the GLOBAL merchandise stand and begins to rip it apart, further irritating Global Nation.
Lucas Quinn complains. “Oh, come on now. That young fan paid money for that! Oh wait, here comes the Legend!”
Sean Darring isn’t having any of that as he rolls to the outside. Hot on the trail of the Hall of Famer, the legend continues to pursue chasing the Manchester native back into the ring as he rolls in. The Hall of Famer takes advantage of the distraction and gets Darring off his game by attacking him with a double fist over the mid-back of the legend. He follows up, laying the boots into the side and back area of the exposed champion.
THUMP! THUMP! THUMP! THUMP!
The Mark says. “BRUTAL stomps by the challenger. You can see that Aleczander was trying to get the usually laser-focused Sean Darring off his game. The technical exchange didn’t shake him, but disrespecting a young fan did.”
Allie adds. “A few of those landed on those ribs area. The Legend will want to be careful and ensure he doesn’t reinjure those ribs.”
… The fans boo as Aleczander thrusts his arms in the air soaking the negative reaction from the fans. The Legend starts moving and pushing himself back to his hands and knees … only for the Hall of Famer to reach down and help Sean Darring back up …. in the air as Aleczander wraps those big powerful arms around the Legend’s waist and sends him for a ride backward with a big belly-to-back suplex.
Lucas Quinn sympathizes. “OUCH! Big suplex by Aleczander, who just threw the champion backward like a rag doll. The first real impact move and a move like that can take the air completely out of your lungs.”
The Mark adds. “Most people don’t realize the force and power in the arms of the Hall of Famer. There is a reason why he beat Big Aug to become the number-one contender.”
The Hall of Famer, full of smiles, storms towards the Legend, who holds his back in pain only to get lifted right back up with ease and, this time, straight up into a body-crushing bearhug by the challenger.
… The Hall of Famer leans back, getting extra leverage with those big arms around the waist of the champion, squeezing the air and energy out of the champion. Referee Barry Snyder is right there to check on the champion, ensuring he can still fight.
Allie says. “Soul-crushing bearhug by Aleczander The Great. He has finished his share of men with this move. There is no questioning the strength and power of the Hall of Famer. The Legend is in his first real danger as referee Barry Snyder is right there checking on him.”
The Legend begins to lose oxygen and energy as the Hall of Famer squeezes the life force out of the champion. Darring slumps forward as the referee looks on with concern checking on the champion. He grabs the right arm of Darring and lifts it, but it falls limp. The fans groan as Barry Snyder grabs the arm a second time, lifting it, but again the arm falls limp to the champion’s side.
The Mark questions. “This match could be over right here. The Darring came in confident, but there was one thing that experience and confidence can’t always overcome. Raw natural power.”
Barry Snyder holds up two fingers high in the air before grabbing the Legend’s arm for a third time and lifting it, but this time before it can drop limp, the Legend shoots it back up with one last surge of momentum and dedication. The fans roar in support of the champion as Aleczander The Great squeezes those big arms around the Legend’s body again, attempting to suffocate the bolt of adrenaline, bringing the Legend back to life.
DAR-RING!!! DAR-RING!!! DAR-RING!!! DAR-RING!!!
The fans chant to support the GLOBAL Champion as he shakes his fists, trying to lean back and create distance between him and the challenger.
THWAP! THWAP! THWAP!
Lucas Quinn says. “Darring punching the exposed forehead of Aleczander with right hands!”
Aleczander The Great drops the Legend from the hold. Sean Darring turns and hits the ropes but is stopped in his track and eats a big leaping shoulder block by the Hall of Famer, taking the wind out of Darring’s sail on the comeback. The Hall of Famer looks down at Darring, who lies recovering from the bearhug and now the shoulder block. The Hall of Famer steps onto the laid exposed Darring and stands on top of Darring with all two-hundred-sixty-seven pounds of the challenger.
Allie: “Aleczander STANDS ontop of Sean Darring. If the bearhug wasn’t damaging enough!”
Referee Barry Sanders counts for Aleczander to get off on top of the champion, and at four, finally, Aleczander steps off of the champion. Aleczander mocks the champion holding his ribs and then his back acting like he is old and hurt.
Lucas Quinn shakes his head, saying. “Aleczander The Great is mocking the champion. Darring slowly gets up, and Aleczander SLAPS the champion across the face.”
The fans jeer for the blunt disrespect by the challenger. Aleczander The Great grabs the back of the champion’s head, charges him forward, and slams him face-first into the turnbuckle. Then lifts the champion with the military press, and the challenger bench presses him easily and slams him down hard.
Aleczander arrogantly places the boot on the chest of the champion with a pure disrespectfully pin.
… KICK OUT!
The Mark says. “Aleczander showing his impressive power, tried to pin the champion, and he didn’t look too torn up about the fact that he didn’t win right there.”
Aleczander looks down at the champion, who is still lying on the mat, recovering. He hits the ropes and hops over him, rebounding and stopping drops with a diving forward, driving elbow to the forehead of the champion.
Lucas Quinn says. “All Power To Your Elbow by the challenger, and he drops down for another cover!”
THR – NO!
Darring shoots a shoulder up, breaking out of the pin attempt again.
The Mark says. “A bit of a show-off move, but with some oomph at the end, but the champion just gets his shoulder up. The earlier work has already taken its toll on the 46-year-old legend.”
Aleczander The Great begins to lift the legend to place him on his shoulder, but Darring slides off and dives down with a desperation chop block that nails the bigger man right in the side of the knee and chops him down like a tree. Both men lay on the mat as Darring recovers from the series of earlier onslaughts and Aleczander suffers through the shooting pain from the chopping block.
Allie says. “Aleczander was lifting the legend for a Samoan drop, but Darring used his experience and timing to aim low and took the challenger down.”
Aleczander The Great is the first one to his feet… favoring one leg as he approaches Sean Darring. The champion waits and lands a jawbreaker. Aleczander quickly stumbles backward but stays on his feet. Sean Darring follows up with a two-punch combo, then drops the Manchester native with a crushing DDT.
Lucas Quinn says. “The champion fires back and drops Aleczander with that vicious DDT!”
The Mark adds. “It all started, Lucas, with that chopping block. That slowed the challenger down and allowed Darring the few seconds he needed to start to refocus.”
The Legend, seeing an opening, grabs that weakened leg, wraps it around, and hooks in a figure four leg lock.
Allie says. “This move is a classic and continues to be a staple. Sean Darring has probably done it so many times he dreams of putting opponents in the figure four leg lock.”
The fans continue to roar in support of the champion as they feed off the waving arms and pain of the challenger. Sean Darring leans back, applying more pressure as referee Barry Snyder checks in on Aleczander The Great, who winces in pain.
Lucas Quinn says. “There is nowhere to go for Aleczander. He is trying to assess the situation, but he is in the center of the ring and right where the Legend wants him.”
The Mark agrees. “This is a dangerous position for the challenger to be in. He will need to dig down deep and find a way out. It’s time to see if Aleczander is a champion or not.”
The Mark’s words cut deep as everyone in the arena and watching at home continue to watch on as Barry Snyder continues to assess the situation. Aleczander adamantly shakes his head, refusing to submit to the deadly figure-four trying to scoot his way to the refuge.
Allie mentions. “Aleczander refuses to go down, but it would be a classic way for Darring to finish his rival with such a legendary and deadly move.”
The Legend continues to eye victory, but Aleczander finds the opening he needs. He transitions the deadly hold, using his size and power to turn himself over onto his stomach. The fans stir as the big man reverses the figure four hold applying pain and pressure to both men.
The Mark analyzes. “Both men are now in pain as referee Barry Snyder asks if EITHER man submits. Darring could eliminate his pain by letting the move go, but he is trying to hold the lock on long enough to force Aleczander to submit.”
Lucas Quinn says. “What happens if we have a double submission?”
Just as Lucas Quinn asks the question, the Legend drops the hold as both men reach down, grabbing their legs in pain.
The Mark responds. “I guess neither man wanted to find out.”
Both men up now showing signs of the fight in a few aspects. Knife-edge-chop by Darring! Aleczander fires back with one of their own! Both men begin to trade chops as the fans soak it up. Aleczander The Great drives his big mitt into the champion with a booming European Uppercut.
Forearm shot by Aleczander The Great. He pushes the champion into the ropes, but the Legend reverses. He ducks under a big right hand by the challenger and rebounds off the ropes. He stops as Aleczander goes for a back body drop and counters with a swinging neck breaker.
Lucas Quinn says. “While Aleczander continues to play checkers, the Legend is playing chess! Another counter!”
Aleczander The Great is right back up, showing his toughness, but dazed. The Legend grabs the right arm of the challenger and whips him across with an Irish Whip.
… The Legend charges in with a fury as the Hall of Famer bounces out of the corner and further stuns the challenger with an elbow to the head. Darring then grabs the bigger man and brings him down with a flawless Russian leg sweep.
Lucas Quinn says. “Darring isn’t letting up as he works over the challenger and hooks the leg!”
…. The Hall of Famer powers out with a strong kick out!
The Mark comments. “There was a message with that kick out right there. Aleczander is showing his dominance and perseverance.”
The Legend isn’t slowing down. He is back up and going right back to work on the legs of the fallen challenger. He grabs the right leg and begins to set up for an Inverted Indian Death Lock, but the challenger shows that he, too, has excellent ring awareness as he desperately dives, retreating into the ropes.
Allie says. “Another submission attempt by the champion, but Aleczander The Great was close enough to the ropes to escape into the ropes.”
… Except this time, the Legend isn’t breaking as referee Barry Snyder continues to demand a rope break.
Lucas Quinn says. “The Legend keeps the hold on with a little extra time!”
Barry Snyder begins to count, and the Legend drops the hold at the count of two. Backing away, Darring holds his hands up, agreeing to the warning by Barry Snyder.
Allie says. “A little too much adrenaline right there by the champion. You can see the regret in his eyes as he holds his hands up, agreeing with the referee.”
The Mark says. “Meanwhile, Aleczander has rolled outside, waving off the champion!’
Global Nation boos as Aleczander The Great slowly walks away from the ring. The Legend holds his arms out, wondering what is going on, then rolls out of the ring and marches towards the challenger.
Lucas Quinn says. “The Legend isn’t letting the challenger off that easy!”
Sean Darring spins Aleczander around, lighting him up with his right hand! The fans change their tune now roaring in support of the champion taking it to the Hall of Famer. He grabs the challenger and sends him back first into the unforgiving steel guard rail.
Allie loving the action says. “Aleczander into the guard rail and the rabid Global Nation fans are letting the challenger hear it!”
The Mark asks. “Wait, did that fan just dump water over the head of Aleczander?”
The Legend charges in, but Aleczander The Great gets his big boot up, slowing down the champion. Darring now backs up, stunned as The Hall of Famer rubs his jaw, grabs the back of Darring’s head, and sends him face first crashing into the ring steps.
Lucas Quinn says. “Oh goodness! Aleczander just sent the Legend face-first right into those steel ring steps.”
Allie wonders. “Darring will be in the concussion protocol after this match.”
The Legend is slumped over the steps and eats a charging boot from the Hall of Famer that lands right into the side of the champion’s face smashing it into the steel steps.
The Hall of Famer follows up by scooping up the limp body of the champion and slams him down hard on the steel cement floor.
Lucas Quinn sympathizes. “Aleczander The Great tricked the champion into coming to the outside, where he has used everything around to his advantage.”
… After hearing referee Barry Snyder inside the ring reach a slow seven count. The challenger picks up the Legend, rolls him in under the bottom ropes, and follows suit, stopping the count at nine.
The Mark mentions. “A close call, but thankfully Snyder understands the importance of a championship match. He gave some leeway there with a much slower count, and we all benefit from it.”
The challenger … The Hall of Famer … Aleczander The Great, plays to the massive jeers flexing, soaking up the boos from the LA fans. He motions around his waist that he will take home the GLOBAL Championship.
Lucas Quinn responds. “Aleczander isn’t the most popular wrestler with the GLOBAL fans.”
Allie sarcastically adds. “Gee, I wonder why.”
The Mark is quick to add. “Jealousy! Just look at the guy.”
Aleczander continues to soak up the jeers as he grabs the head of the champion and asks, “Is this your champion?” He then begins to disrespect the legend with a slap the faceg.”
… SMALL PACKAGE BY THE CHAMPION!
… KICK OUT!
Lucas Quinn says. “Aleczander was too worried about his appearance, and the Legend almost made him pay!”
Aleczander is angry and charges like a bull and right into a hip toss counter by the Legend.
Allie shouts. “OLLE!”
Aleczander pops back up and destroys the champion with a massive lariat that turns him inside out, stops the momentum, and silences the LA crowd.
The Mark adds. “You can almost hear a pen drop after that crushing lariat.”
The Hall of Famer pulls the champion up and lifts him easily into a high vertical suplex position but stops and holds him straight up, stalling the drop.
Lucas Quinn says. “Impressive strength by the Hall of Famer. He is holding all two hundred and forty pounds of Sean Darring straight up. The blood is dropping down to the champion’s head.”
The Hall of Famer hops up after finally dropping the champion with the powerful stalling vertical suplex. The crowd continues to jeer as he flexes and shows off for Global Nation again.
Allie complains. “Oh, shut up and just wrestle. We don’t need to listen to you.”
Aleczander laughs at the LA fans as he turns and lifts the fallen champion again with ease into a second stalling vertical position. This time he begins to walk around with Darring upside down, showing off his impressive strength. He then drops him down, but this time into a suplex power slam.
…. SHOULDER UP!
Lucas Quinn shocked, says. “Impressive feats of strength by the challenger, but the champion refuses to be pinned.”
Allie says. “It’s always hard to beat the champion. It takes that extra effort, and we will see if Aleczander has it in him.”
The Champion has been slammed twice on the mat with stalling vertical-type slams. The Hall of Famer nudges him with his boot, but the Legend is slow to respond and move. The camera picks out worried looks across the arena on the faces of Global Nation as Aleczander The Great slowly begins to back up and set his spot up.
Lucas Quinn says. “This doesn’t look good for the champion. Aleczander The Great is setting up!”
The Mark adds. “Could we see The Hall of Fame Induction? If we do, it’s all elementary, guys. One-two-three, new champion.”
With the Legend slowly raising back to his feet. The Hall of Famer wipes the sweat and gunk from the match from his face and eyes. He takes off and drives his big charging body into the rib cage area of the Champion, lifting him high in the air and driving him hard into the mat with a thunderous smashing sound.
Lucas Quinn shouts. “OH MY … BONE-CRUSHING SPEAR… THE HALL OF FAME INDUCTION! This could be it! The Hall of Famer hooks the leg!”
… Barry Snyder’s hand slapped the mat for a three count, but just before it did, he saw out of the corner of his eye, out of instinct, the Legend’s leg raised and placed his boot on the bottom rope.
The Mark questions. “Do we have a new champion?”
Allie responds. “I am unsure. The Legend’s boot hit the rope at best a milli-second before the three counts.”
Barry Snyder leaping to his feet, waves off the count, pointing at the boot on the bottom ropes.
Lucas Quinn shouts. “Barry Snyder says that the champion got that boot on the ropes, and Aleczander The Great is unhappy, guys.”
The Mark says. “Can you blame him, Lucas? He hit his finishing move and was a milli-second away from becoming the GLOBAL Champion.”
The fans are going wild, which further fuels the Hall of Famer, who is now in GLOBAL referee, Barry Snyder’s face demanding he raise his hand and that it was a three count.”
Allie says. “Aleczander better be careful here. He is getting awful close to Barry Snyder.”
… Now shouting down in the GLOBAL referee’s face, he puts his finger right into the official’s chest, grabs his hand, and demands he raises his hand and declares him the victor.
The Mark sympathizes. “Watching the replay, it was awful close. It could have gone either way, but Aleczander needs to focus on the champion and finish things.”
Barry Snyder stands his ground, telling the challenger that it was a two-count and that the champion got his boot up just in time. Aleczander The Great lividly turns towards the Champion, who has just started to get to his feet.
Lucas Quinn says. “I have watched the replay about five times now, and I have to agree with Barry Snyder. That boot out of pure instinct raised in time.”
Allie adds. “That’s why they call him the Legend, guys.”
The Hall of Famer shouts towards Barry Snyder, “GET READY TO COUNT!.” He then turns and charges forward with his brutal Axe Bomber …
Lucas Quinn says. “Here comes the Golden Touch … DARRING DUCKS!”
… The fans are shocked, cheering in support of the champion who, again, out of instinct, survives the Golden Touch, Axe Bomber. The Hall of Famer turns around only for the Legend to begin lighting up the exposed chest of the challenger with unforgiving vicious knife-edge-chops that echo throughout the arena.
Allie says. “The champion is lighting up the chest of the Hall of Famer with these chops! Seeing a little justice being served in the ring right now.”
The Legend grabs the Hall of Famer, holding his welted-up chest in pain, and hits his old-school signature move, a bridging northern lights suplex.
… KICK OUT!
The Mark says. “Super close! The Champion pulled an old-school move out that he has done hundreds of times, but the challenger powered out to keep the match going.”
The fans continue to roar in support of the champion, even at the expense of their countryman. The Legend pulls the Hall of Famer up and backs him up, crushing European Uppercutts a message to the UK native. With Aleczander a bit stunned, Darring goes forward, but the Hall of Famer catches him unexpectedly with a thrusting spine buster he calls The Airport Test!”
Lucas Quinn says. “Deflating move, guys! Not only did Aleczander deflate the champion, but the fans with that spine buster.”
The Mark adds. “The Legend did tell Alex Reyn that the Airplane was undefeated versus him. Well, Aleczander calls that crushing move the Airport Test, so how fitting.”
The Challenger stumbles around, knocking the cobwebs and rubbing his welted chest. He points down at the champion and demands Sean Darring get up.
Allie says. “The Hall of Famer has turned frustrated to angry. He wants the champion to get back on his feet as he starts setting up for that massive spear with which he almost won the match earlier.”
Lucas Quinn adds. “If Aleczander hits a second Hall of Fame Induction, then this time it’s all but over for the champion.”
The fans continue to stir as the Legend reaches his feet. Aleczander The Great takes off charging with another attempt to put the champion away with his massive spear.
… THE LEGEND MOVES!
AND THE CHALLENGER CRASHES TWO-HUNDRED-SIXTY-SEVEN POUNDS INTO THE CORNER OF THE RING!
Lucas Quinn shouts. “MISSED! The Hall of Famer missed!”
Allie adds. “Actually, he crashed into the corner of the ring.”
The Hall of Famer stumbles out of the corner, holding the shoulder that rammed into the ring’s corner. Stunned from the impact and pain, he is taken down with another old-school signature move of Sean Darring, a hangman’s neckbreaker.
… The Hall of Famer is stunned as the champion hops up, grabbing Aleczander’s leg and locking him quickly in with the Legend Lock!
Lucas Quinn shouts. “The Legend Lock is hooked! RIGHT IN THE CENTER OF THE RING!”
Referee Barry Snyder has been busy in this match and slides down to check on the challenger, asking him if he submits. The Hall of Famer, attempting to fight off the pain, shakes his head, yelling at Snyder to “Get out of his face.”
The Mark says. “Aleczander isn’t going to go away easy. This is a once-in-a-career opportunity to the main event for the GLOBAL Championship.”
The fans continue to roar as Darring sinks the move in deeper, now allowing the Hall of Famer to move as he continues to reach and claw, but he is unable to move; he continues to look to be desperate as he tries to reach the referee, who dodges his attempt to grab at him.
Allie says. “Aleczander has no where to go. Finally, his mouth can’t get him out of the situation HE created for himself.”
Barry Snyder looks in as Aleczander has no choice but to finally tap and award the match to the champion as the fans rise.
DING DING DING!
THE WINNER OF THE MATCH … AND STILL GLOBAL CHAMPION …
THE LEGEND …
Marcus Anthony Newman’s voice booms throughout the arena as “The Legend” Sean Darring raises to his feet, showing signs of another war. He is handed the GLOBAL championship title by the GLOBAL referee Barry Snyder and immediately thrusts it into the air proudly as the fans continue to cheer.
Lucas Quinn says. “He has done it again. At 46 years old, the Legend continues to find a way over his toughest opponent all father time.”
Allie says. “Some called Aleczander The Great the top guy in GLOBAL. The cards were stacked against the Legend tonight. But, he survived everything, the powerful and great Aleczander The Great, and he stands in the center of the ring with his hand raised high.”
The Mark says. “The question is now that Daniel Dream the Chosen One has become the new number one contender, what does that mean? Will we see Darring versus Dream again?
Lucas Quinn says. “They seem like they are on a collision course for the highly anticipated rematch, but for now, let’s let the Legend enjoy his night. He has earned it.”
… One final shot at the champion. The battle-tested Legend has now rolled to the outside and hands his golden elbow pad to the fan who Aleczander earlier destroyed his Darring foam finger. He celebrates with his people, Global-Nation, and even at 46 years old – these are the people he calls family.