WHO NEEDS PATIENCE?
As the cameras start rolling for the night, the production crew wastes no time as The Final Countdown by Europe blasts over the PA.
Knowing that can only mean one thing Global Nation raises to its feet, cheering the Global Champion’s arrival.
… Gold and Purple fireworks showers go off as “The Legend” Sean Darring steps through the curtains. Taking a moment to soak the reaction from the fans. He slowly begins to walk down the aisle way and to the ring.
Darring is dressed like the legend usually is—in a black suit with a golden tie. The grand prize of Global, the Global Heavyweight Championship, sits on his right shoulder proudly as he enters the ring, being handed a microphone on his way through the ropes.
… The Legend.
… The Champion.
…. Sean Darring stands in the ring doing a slow 360, mouthing “thank you” to the respect and congratulations from Global Nation.
Finally, he raises the microphone and begins to speak. “Well, we are back on Domination, and it looks like I am still carrying this around.”
Sean Darring smiles as he raises the Global Championship title, which reignites the cheers from the crowd. He places it back on his shoulder and continues.
“It’s always the same song and dance. Sean Darring, you are old. Legends are a thing of the past. The younger, faster, and stronger will end your legacy.”
Sean Darring pauses and shrugs.
“Yet, here I still stand!”
The fans start a DAR-RING chant.
“Gold Rush was another legendary night. A war to keep this golden prize. Ultimately, it looks like the Legend was just a bit too much for the Hall of Famer. In fact, rumor has it that after I beat the Hall of Famer, he caught the first flight back to England, and nobody has heard from him since. What defiance!”
It was only a matter of time until that legendary smile formed.
“However, that was yesterday’s news. Just like Aleczander The Great.”
The fans Ooooh and rightfully so, but the Legend is in a good mood tonight, and he continues.
“Let’s talk about tonight. And since we all know, I am getting old. Legends are meant to fade. AND – it’s only a matter of time until the next younger, stronger, and faster superstar claims to be the next Global Champion. Let’s just get right to it, shall we?
After all, we never know how much time I have left.”
Sarcasm oozes from the Legend as the fans continue to eat it up.
“Daniel Dream, you appear next in line. Let’s not make these fans wait in suspense. Come on out!”
The fans turn back in anticipation as the legend continues to urge the Global number-one contender.
“Come on, don’t be shy.”
As “Cult of Personality” by Living Colour blares through the PA system, the arena erupts in anticipation. A golden light illuminates the entrance ramp, cutting through the darkness. The crowd cheers louder as ‘Carnivore’ Daniel Dream emerges, his presence commanding attention. Carnivore, wearing his trademark yellow smiley mask, a pristine white button-up shirt, and black pants with yellow trimming, emerges from the shadows.
The fans cheer as it’s been since Magnum Opus since these two have been in the same ring. The champion opens his arms, welcoming his former rival. The atmosphere crackles with electricity as Daniel steps foot inside the ring.
“Daniel Dream… The Chosen One. It’s nice to see you again. It was always destined to come to this. Dream and Darring is the rematch that everyone wanted after Magnum Opus. The toughest battle I have endured in YEARS.”
Daniel Dream stands listening to the champion as he asks the question.
“So, Dream … How do you want to handle this? Mind Games? Blood Bath? One on One tonight? Patience is an overused term in this industry. I have the title that you want. Let’s call a spade a spade and set the terms right here, right now.”
Daniel receives a microphone and holds it up to the mouth of his mask before speaking.
“Darring, I’m not here for mind games or blood baths. I want the GLOBAL World Championship, and I want it right here, right now. Let’s cut through the noise and set the terms straight. One-on-one, in this ring, for the ultimate prize. No more waiting, no more patience. It’s time to claim what is rightfully mine.”
The fans roar in approval wanting to see Daniel Dream and Sean Darring wrestle tonight. The Legend turns to the outside timekeeper and begins to hand the GLOBAL Championship title accepting Daniel Dream’s response.
Daniel Dream gestures to the referee, signaling for him to enter the ring and prepare for the match. As the anticipation builds among the fans, the atmosphere electrifying, Benedict Beel Zebub’s familiar presence emerges. He strides down the entrance ramp, microphone in hand, a sly grin on his face. “No, no, no.” Benedict declares, his voice carrying through the arena. “This fight, this clash of titans, it can’t happen now. It deserves to be a pay-per-view spectacle, a match that generates big money. You two will have your showdown, but it will be on a grander stage. Patience, my friends, the wait will be worth it.”
The fan’s excitement turns to boos as Benedict becomes the least popular man in the arena. The Legend folds his suit coat up, shakes his head, and says, looking at Daniel Dream. “Well, at least I know who calls the shots now.”
Daniel Dream’s body tenses up, his jaw clenches, and his eyes narrow beneath the mask as he stares at Benedict Beel Zebub. The frustration is palpable in his posture, his muscles coiled with an intensity that speaks volumes. Daniel leans over the top rope, both fists clenching the top rope in fists as he silently stares at Benedict.
OF DEFIANCE AND CONTEMPT
The week after Gold Rush
Somewhere in the English countryside
Stella Chalmers-Blythe is impatient. That much is obvious. The elegant brunette behind GLOBAL’s United Kingdom stable paces back and forth across her office, clearly fuming, only just preventing her teeth from grinding as she repeats the same question for about the tenth time in as many minutes.
“Where ARE they?”
The ‘they’ in question – deposed GLOBAL Tag Team Champions and female representatives within the group, The Master Sisters – are, indeed, conspicuous by their absence from what is clearly intended to be a debriefing after the latest developments taking place at Gold Rush. The two members of the group who DID attend – male representatives, The Best of British – profit from this opportunity to once again demean their uneasy partners’ reputations.
“That is what they are like, Stella. Unreliable. Not to be trusted. Had WE been the ones to lose the titles, we would have come straight here with a bottle of wine and chocolates, to atone for what a disappointment we had been.”
“Mmm…quite.” Stella appears to barely have heard a word out of Rupert Royston-Fellowes’ mouth, coming to attention only when the laptop open at her desk suddenly comes alive with the familiar chime of a Skype call. The brunette all but pounces on the device, and it takes no more than a moment before she is directing her wrath at the three familiar faces on screen.
“Where have you been?”
Aurora Master, who is in the forefront and clearly holding whatever handheld device the Sisters are calling from, does not appear the slightest bit fazed by her employer’s anger, simply smirking as she points at the unmistakable pair of mouse ears she is currently wearing.
“DISNEYLAND?!” Stella physically splutters, her face a contorted mask of rage, but once again, Aurora reacts with no more than a shrug.
“Yeah. We figured we needed some time off after…you know… We were all climbing up the walls, and I didn’t want to be responsible for either of these two murdering somebody.” Aurora points to either side of her, to where her sisters are peering over her shoulder. “So we decided to have a little holiday before the next show. And since we were in California, we thought why not? You know?”
“We’re hitting Universal Studios next!” Dawn’s excited disclosure as she takes over for her sister only makes her employer angrier.
“A holiday. A HOLIDAY. You KNEW we were due a debriefing session. You KNEW you were expected to attend. Yet you choose to take unauthorised leave so that you can go to a theme park halfway across the world.”
“Yup.” Dawn grins big. “Pretty much.”
Stella is no longer even making an effort not to grit her teeth. “Of all the unprofessional behaviors…”
“Chill, lady.” Once again, Dawn’s tone is all but flippant. “It’s not that deep. Besides…what’s there to debrief? We lost the belts. We have a rematch clause. We’ll win them back in two weeks. End of.”
“’End of’?” Stella’s expression reflects her increasing disbelief at what she is hearing. “I am fairly certain that is not YOUR call to make. Very well, though. You have made your choice.”
“Yeah…and now, we really need to go.” Dawn taps her sisters on the shoulder excitedly, and both women look away from the camera for a moment. “It’s finally about to be our turn to meet Cruella! We’ve been waiting for like an hour!” Even with her attention otherwise engaged, Dawn still manages to add in one last remark. “But, hey, we’ll see you in Canada in two weeks, yeah? Don’t bother booking flights or anything, we’ll make our own way there. OK, byeeee!”
With that, the pink-haired Sister disconnects the call, leaving her employer gobsmacked, flabbergasted, and visibly shaking with anger – so much so that it takes her a long moment to regain composure, upon which she turns to the two men opposite her.
“You have heard what just transpired. You know what must be done.”
Rupert Royston-Fellowes and Nigel Kensington III both nod, the former voicing what they are both thinking.
“Rest assured, Stella. This disrespect will not stand. At Gold Rush…we shall have a little talk with our…associates. Relay your feelings regarding their actions.”
It is Stella’s turn to nod, her smirk matching either man’s.
“Excellent. So good to know I can at least count on you boys. Your loyalty will be repaid in kind, I assure you. In fact.,,have Kerry pull something out of the minibar on your way out, hmmm? Just as thanks for your hard work and service.”
With that, she dismisses the two men, her mind now much more at ease knowing her wishes will be carried out, and that, at Gold Rush, the Master Sisters will suffer the consequences of their actions.
A NEW BEGINNING'S END
“Alright!” Says Lucas Quinn as we get a sweeping shot of the Vancouver crowd. “Before we get to the first bout of the evening, it says right here on my sheet that we have a ‘very important announcement from a GLOBAL competitor about the future of their career.'”
The Mark sighs. “Sounds ominous. Even weirder: Allie’s been called out to the ring. At this competitor’s request, mind you. She almost never does interviews. I don’t like this.”
Allie Reece holds her microphone up to her mouth. “Ladies, gentlemen, everyone in between… here tonight to make a very important announcement about their future in here in GLOBAL… my guest at this time… my girl, AMBER LEE!”
The pop almost drowns out the beginning of “Lose Control” by Poe the Passenger as Amber Lee hits the stage, with Alfie Button close behind in his trademark coat of many colors. Amber’s clad in black jeans, a purple top, and a purple and black jacket with her logo on the back. They take a moment to look around at the Vancouver crowd as cheers and chants of “AMBER LEE!” rain down. They look at each other and nod before heading down to the ring and high-fiving the fans ringside.
Lucas Quinn is right on the ball. “Amber Lee is fresh off of a hellacious fight against Crusader X at Gold Rush. Now, some have openly speculated that she was injured in that match. This announcement could be related to that… or it could be about something we’re not yet aware of. We’ll see.”
The Mark sighs. “Whatever the announcement is… it can’t be good. Look at her eyes, Lucas. They’re red.” The Mark sighs and repeats, “I don’t like this. Seen too many announcements just like this one. It’s never anything easy to hear.”
Amber’s eyes are indeed visibly red as she climbs into the ring and hugs Allie. Alfie follows her and holds out his hand to Allie. Allie rolls her eyes. Amber grins and says “Come on, Allie…” as Alfie stands there smiling and waiting for the handshake. Allie shakes her head and laughs as she shakes his hand, the two of them going in for a light hug afterwards as the crowd cheers.
Amber’s music cuts out and Allie starts things off. “It’s good to see you, Amber. Now, before we get into your announcement, I have a question. You talked to me over the phone briefly before the show about this announcement. You said it’s ‘serious’. How are you doing? Are you okay?”
Amber nods solemnly. “Allie… I’m not gonna lie to you. And I’m not gonna lie to the fans. It’s been rough. It’s been really rough. When I lost to X at Gold Rush, I was laying on the mat and I thought to myself that I couldn’t possibly feel any worse than that. I was wrong. This past week, especially, has been hell. For a lot of reasons. Only bright spot for me has been this goof.” Amber points at Alfie. The crowd cheers and chants “ALFIE! ALFIE! ALFIE!”
Allie nods and says ‘I’m sorry’ off microphone. She swallows nervously and says, “Alright, Amber. The floor is yours.” She hands the microphone off to Amber.
Amber looks around at the crowd before speaking. “Okay. So… after my match against X, there were a lot of rumors about me being injured. Online, in the locker room… I even had someone come up to my table at a restaurant and ask if I was hurt after the match. It’s a little overwhelming honestly, but… thank you. Thank you for your concern, everyone. It means a lot.”
She pauses for the crowd’s cheers and continues. “Because of that kick I took, the doctor had me head to the hospital for a bunch of tests and scans… all that fun stuff. I got the results back…”
Amber pauses. The crowd is holding their breath.
“And I am 100% fine.”
The crowd explodes!
Amber grins. “No concussion, no fractures, nothing! I’m as healthy as I’ve ever been…” The crowd’s still roaring. “And, oh yeah, I am cleared to compete!” The crowd roars even louder.
“And if I had my way…” Amber’s throat hitches a bit. “I’d be wrestling for all of you TONIGHT.” The crowd’s cheers lighten a bit.
“But I can’t.” The crowd boos.
Amber looks down at the mat and then looks up. Alfie’s visibly getting a bit choked up.
“Some of you may know that, for many years now, my mother has been battling cancer. For most of that time, I’ve been her main caretaker. Over a year ago, her cancer went into remission.” The crowd cheers. “That allowed me to leave home and pursue my dream of becoming a professional wrestler. That allowed me to travel the world as part of GLOBAL. That allowed me to meet Alfie, and to meet so many other great people, too. These have been some of the best months of my life.”
Amber puts her hands over her eyes briefly before continuing. “And now it’s all coming to an end.” The crowd boos.
“Last week, I got a call from my mom… and she said that her cancer’s come back. And this time… it’s worse. Way worse than it ever was before.” Amber shakes his head.
“She has a long, hard fight ahead of her. And I need to be at home by her side during it. And with GLOBAL’s touring schedule, I wouldn’t be able to do that. I wouldn’t be home enough.”
Amber puts her head in her hands again before continuing. “So, for the time being… I’ve decided to step away from GLOBAL.”
The crowd boos loudly. The amount of dry eyes in the audience drops greatly. Amber, Alfie, and Allie are all crying as well.
As Amber looks down at the canvas, a “THANK YOU, AMBER” chant breaks out. She pauses to let it roll across the arena.
“I don’t know when I’ll get back to wrestling. I don’t know… IF I’ll get back to wrestling. But I do know that I’m leaving a part of myself here in GLOBAL.” Amber takes off her jacket and sets it in the ring, her “AMBER LEE” logo facing upwards. “And I’m going to do everything I can to get that part back.” The crowd cheers.
“Thank you. Thank you for everything.” Amber bows to the crowd. She hands the microphone back to Allie and they hug. As she turns around, Alfie is waiting. They kiss as the crowd cheers. “Lose Control” hits once again, perhaps for the last time.
Amber and Alfie make their way to the back. On screen, we see that a good chunk of the GLOBAL roster is there cheering her and chanting “AMBER! AMBER! AMBER!” She stops to hug Darren Best, high-fives Trouble Roxx sadly before they hug her as well, and gets her shoulder patted by Sean Darring as she shakes his hand. At the very end of the line, she stops to come face to face with Crusader X, whose shoulder is taped up. Boos mix in with cheers from the crowd.
“If I come back here, I want a rematch,” says Amber.
X nods. “You need an opponent? You need a partner? You need anything… I’ll be waiting.” They shake hands as Alfie looks on and nods. The crowd cheers as Amber walks down the hall and the screen fades to black.
The music cuts out. The Mark sniffs a bit as Allie makes her way to the announce desk and sits back down. “Hey. Allie. You gonna be alright?”
Allie stifles a sob and exhales. “I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m a professional, dammit. I just hope Amber will be okay.”
“Me too,” Mark says solemnly.
We get a lingering shot of Amber’s jacket in the ring as Lucas Quinn comes in, sounding as professional as ever. “We here at GLOBAL extend our condolences to Amber Lee, her mother, and the rest of the Lee family at this time. Amber Lee has made an indelible mark on this company in its short lifespan… and she’ll always have a home here should she wish to return.”
AFTER THE GOLD RUSH
At ringside, the driving intro riff to Cockpit’s “Mission to Rock” instantly brings the Vancouver crowd to its feet, in anticipation of the arrival of the newly minted GLOBAL Tag Team Champions. Like in Gold Rush, however, the song is cut short after only a few seconds, as a record scratch gives way to an instantly recognisable refrain.
ARE THE CHAAAAMPIOOOONS
KEEP ON FIIIIIGHTIIIING
‘TIL THE EEEEEEND!
This, if possible, only makes the crowd MORE enthusiastic, and the aural equivalent of a volcano erupting shakes the foundations of the Vancouver arena as streams of pyro shoot up either side of the entryway and the two conquering underdogs emerge through the curtain, titles held aloft. Despite the absence of a motorcycle this time around, both Teagan and Izzy have once again recreated their Gold Rush looks, with sequined gold blazers, matching two-piece ensembles featuring the outlines of electric guitars, and gold lightning bolts painted on opposite cheeks – left for Izzy, who walks on the right, and right for Teagan, who walks on the left, gold top hat covering her flaming red hair. Remarkably, the outfits go superbly with the Tag Team Championship titles held by either girl, creating a look every bit as #iconic as the one from GLOBAL’s latest Premium Live Event.
“Here come the Champions, and WHAT AN ENTRANCE, as always, guys!”
“It is, indeed, Allie. These two girls know how to put on a show – and the crowd love them for it!”
Indeed, a veritable sea of hands stretches out as the Champions begin to make their way down the entranceway, reaching for either woman, hopeful of a high-five, fist bump, selfie moment, or even simple acknowledgement. Predictably, Teagan and Izzy do not disappoint, gladly making their journey to ringside two or three times as long as it would have needed to be, the better to respond to this demand from their fans.
“Trouble Roxx are not scheduled to wrestle here tonight, but I guess they wanted to do the Champion thing and show up anyway.”
“That must be it, Allie, yes. I know Teagan told me last week they had something major planned for this show. She wouldn’t tell me WHAT, though…”
“Seriously?” Mark Deltzer sounds less than impressed by this information. “What’s the use of being her uncle if you can’t even get the ‘tea’, Quinn?”
“…tea? I never wanted any tea… I’m not a huge fan…”
As Allie and Mark share a rare moment of giggly camaraderie, in the ring, the two members of the newly crowned team stand, microphones already at the ready, prepared to launch into the usual spiel – introduced, as ever, by a call to action from Teagan Trouble.
“VANCOUVER, MAKE SOME NOOOOOOISE!!”
The fans in attendance are all too happy to oblige, raising the roof for a minute before joining along with the rest of the increasingly familiar recitation.
“If you don’t know who we are…”
“…you should have been paying ATTENTION!”
“We are…GLOBAL’s ONLY officially sanctioned Twitch streamers…wrestling’s very own Team Rocket…THE hottest prospects in FIFTY-ONE STATES…the little girls in the middle of the ride…the foxes you’ve been waiting for…AND YOUR NEEEEEEEW!!! GLOBAL! TAG! TEAM! CHAMPIOOOOONS…!” Both girls hold the titles aloft once again, eliciting the predictable – and desired – roar from the crowd. Only once it has subsided, a long moment later, does Teagan finally complete the address. “I’m Trouble…she Roxx…and together, we’re…” As ever, Izzy joins in for the grand finale. “…TROUBLE ROXX!”
Another huge ovation signals the end of the intro, quickly devolving into an arena-wide chant of “TROU-BLE-ROXX! TROU-BLE-ROXX!” The camera captures the expressions on both young women’s faces, indicating that, even despite the circumstances, neither of them was expecting quite THIS huge of a reaction. Even still, Teagan manages to keep her composure as, once the ruckus has died down, she once again addresses the crowd.
“That’s right…me and my girl Izzy are new proud mommas!”
Teagan pats her half of the Championship again, making a show of cooing and baby-talking to it, leaving Izzy in charge of the next part of the address.
“And I’ll tell you what, Vancouver…it has been no bed of roses. No pleasure cruise. We considered it a challenge before the whole human race, and we weren’t gonna lose!”
Cottoning on to what her partner is doing, Teagan quickly joins in again.
“And we intend to go on, and on, and on, and on…”
A chuckle from the crowd – and the announcers – provides the payoff for that particular bit of referential humor, as Teagan takes over once again.
“You know what, though? We couldn’t have done it without our Roxx Gang.” Teagan points at several random spots in the stands either side of the ring. “Each and every one of you Roxx Stars who sent us positive energy on the night – at the arena, from home, on social media, whatever – you brought us fame, and fortune, and everything that goes with it, and we thank you all. You guys are the real MVP’s.”
Another huge cheer erupts in response to these words, as the red-headed half of the Tag Team Champions looks down at her belt again, giving it another pat.
“As for our tin babies…they haven’t had a whole lot of respect put on them lately…have you, baby? Hmmm? You haven’t, have you?” Teagan indulges in another few seconds of joking baby-talk, before getting serious once again. “Well, that’s about to change. From now on, starting right here tonight, you’re going to see these titles get defended EVERY SINGLE SHOW. No nights off, no backsies, no excuses.”
The roar is even more deafening this time around, forcing Teagan to pause for a moment, to let it subside, before continuing.
“In fact…as our first act as Champions, we would like to offer a title shot to two very handsome British gentlemen, who have been in the Roxx Gang almost from day one. So, since you guys won’t take us on a date, how about you come down here, and we have a little dance instead?”
Before any action can be taken, or anything further said – in fact, before the crowd have even had time to react to the announcement – “Parasyte” by Blanck Mass starts up in the arena speakers, announcing the presence of the dethroned, inaugural GLOBAL Tag Team Champions!
“THE MASTER SISTERS!! The former Champions just crashed this celebration, and I don’t think they’re about to forever hold their peace…!”
“I agree, Mark. It seems like they have something on their mind, and they are about to make it known.”
Indeed, the Sisters barely make it more than a few steps beyond the curtain before ringleader Aurora Master is addressing the two new Champions out in the ring.
“Aren’t you forgetting something?” She points at her two sisters either side of her, then at herself. “Like, I don’t know…a rematch clause? That WE are entitled to?”
Her two sisters nod, before Carnival Dawn takes the lead.
“That’s right. We’re cashing in our briefcase, RIGHT NOW!!”
This gets the smallest Master Sister puzzled looks from her two siblings – and a predictably snappy retort from Aurora.
“What briefcase? We have a rematch clause!”
Carnival, however, is nonchalant.
“Whatever, Rory. The point is, we’re getting those back.” She points at the ring, where Trouble Roxx do not seem too bothered by this change of plans, in fact actively calling for the Sisters to get in the ring and make good on their word.
Once again, however, all parties involved are prevented from acting on their wishes by a sudden burst of yet another theme song – this time, the traditional British marching song, “Rule Britannia”, which pre-empts the appearance of the duo known as the Best of British.
“Oh, for the love of—! Are we EVER going to have ANY match at all here tonight?”
Lucas’ frustration is seemingly shared by the Master Sisters, who seem less than pleased to see their two stable-mates. Their demeanor changes slightly, however, when Rupert addresses Aurora in a seemingly earnest tone.
“Apologies for the interruption. Stella has asked us to relay a message to you.” He then turns to his tag team partner. “Nigel, would you be so kind?”
“Certainly, Rupert.” Nigel Kensington III steps forward, a smirk on his features as he fixes his gaze on each of the three sisters in turn. “In a nutshell, Stella has asked us to relay to you that, in light of your continued refusal to be team players, your purposefully difficult attitude, and your unsatisfactory performance over the past review period, as of tonight, your services are no longer required, and you are dismissed, effective immediately..”
“What?! What do you mean, we’re disMMMMFFF!”
Aurora Master does not get the chance to finish her sentence, as Rupert smashes her across the face with his trademark set of brass knuckles, Nigel doing likewise to Moonlight beside her! Then, before Dawn can so much as put up some form of counter-attack, she, too, gets taken down by the two men, whose actions elicit jeers from the crowd.
“The Best of British have laid out their own stablemates!!”
“I guess they aren’t stablemates anymore, Lucas…”
This is confirmed, a moment later, by Rupert Royston-Fellowes, who – after bending down, the better to scream at Aurora that all this could have been prevented had she only accepted his offer all those years ago – directs four simple, yet meaningful words towards the crowd.
“The UK are history.”
“What, the entire country?”
Mark’s attempt to lighten the mood drops like a rock in the stunned silence following Rupert’s statement, and it comes as no surprise that he is stonewalled by both his broadcast partners, who watch on in bewilderment, along with the rest of the crowd, as Fellowes once again addresses the Tag Team Champions.
“Regrettably, our associates appear to have come down with a last-minute spot of bother…no matter, though. My partner and I shall be taking over their mantle, and carrying out their purpose of invoking a rematch clause.” The smirk on both men’s faces is almost unbearably smug as the blond concludes. “Besides…did you not say you wanted to offer a title shot to two handsome British gentlemen? As well as something about a date and a dance?”
“I don’t think YOU’re who they had in mind…” As Allie forgets the two men by the entranceway cannot hear them, the pair begin to make their way down to ringside, where, to their credit, the Tag Team Champions appear more than willing to take them on and shut them up once and for all. For Lucas Quinn, the relief over this situation is palpable.
“It appears we are finally about to have a match here, as Trouble Roxx put their Tag Team Championships on the line against the Best of British, in what will be their first title defense.”
The arrival, double-time, of GLOBAL head referee Barry Snyder makes it official – a Tag Team title match is taking place this evening in Vancouver, and it is starting right there and then.
TROUBLE ROXX Vs. BEST OF BRITISH
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH
The match starts off with Izzy Roxx facing off against a very mocking and disparaging Rupert Royston-Fellowes, who, as the Champion attempts to get the match started, leans nonchalantly against the turnbuckle, the usual smug grin on his face, and points at his cheek, telling Izzy she has a ‘free shot’. In response, Izzy tells him to come to the center of the ring so they can ‘do this right’ – an intimation Fellowes cavalierly ignores, instead choosing to continue his mockery, while elbowing his partner behind him so he can join in on the mirth.
“The Best of British are in no hurry to get things started here, which is strange, considering they have a GLOBAL Tag Team Championship opportunity here…”
“Yes, they do, Lucas. And if you ask me, the girls were too generous. I would not have given these doofuses the time of day.”
“Not a fan of British gentlemen, then, Al? I thought all you women liked the accent…”
“I DO like the accent, Mark. But those two are no gentlemen.”
As the announcers discuss the relative merits of the two Brits, in the ring, referee Barry Snyder has been forced to step in and tell Fellowes to meet his opponent in the center of the ring – an order Fellowes vehemently contests, getting in the head GLOBAL referee’s face about ‘being bossed around’ and asking if Snyder knows who he is. Just as the referee replies that he does know, and that Rupert is a wrestler inside Snyder’s ring, Roxx finally loses her patience, rushing her opponent and leaping into a flying elbow smash, which sends Rupert into his own corner! Under the deafening cheer of the fans, Izzy then leaps into a hurricanrana, which sends the Brit flying the opposite way – into the very same spot at center-ring he had been so reluctant in taking!
“Izzy taking matters into her own hands, and she finally has Rupert right where she wanted him all along…literally!”
As Allie allows herself a little quip, Izzy seeks to continue her initial spell of momentum, catching Fellowes with a dropkick to the face just as he seeks to pull himself up. She then quickly scrambles to her feet and heads to the nearest set of ropes, where she springboards into a moonsault! The fans roar as their favorite hooks the leg for the early cover!
—Kickout by Rupert!
Predictaby, Mark Deltzer is unimpressed by the youngster’s strategy. “Pfff…I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Not this early, and not from a move like that.”
Lucas, however, has a credible counterpoint. “Yes, Mark, but you seem to forget that every instance of a cover, or a kickout, or a submission, saps a little more of your opponent’s energy. And with a size difference this noticeable, that can sometimes be the only way for someone like Izzy to stay in the match. It may not be effective in ending the match, but my guess is, Izzy knows that, and that’s not the point to begin with.”
Whatever the case may be, the fact remains – the smaller half of the Tag Team Champions retains the upper hand as she seeks to put some distance between herself and Rupert, the better to scale the near turnbuckle. With a moment’s respite in which to decide on a strategy, she glances over at the Brit and, seeing him on his feet, launches off with a seated senton…
…which Rupert counters with an uppercut, which catches Izzy straight between her splayed legs, sending her crumpling to the mat in agony – and eliciting a gasp of shocked sympathy from Allie at the announce desk.
“OH MY GOSH!!!”
Her two male counterparts are similarly stunned – and, as members of the opposite gender, also confused.
“Wait…does that count as a low blow? If it was kind-of, sort-of by accident?”
Regretfully, neither Lucas nor Allie have a definitive answer to Mark Deltzer’s question – and neither does referee Snyder, who finds himself accosted by, at once, Rupert Royston-Fellowes, who of course pleads innocence, and Teagan Trouble, whose voice rings out louder than anybody else’s as she screams “LOW BLOW!!” at the top of her lungs. In the end, after a long moment’s consideration, Snyder decides to let the incident slide, and signals for the match to continue as normal – an action which earns him a smattering of jeers from all four corners of the arena.
“That was a hard call to make, but Barry Snyder is our Head Referee for a reason. He usually has good judgment in situations like this, and if he says that was an accident, I’m willing to accept his decision.”
“I guess, Lucas…either way, that totally killed Izzy’s momentum, so even if it WAS an accident, it ended up working in her opponent’s favor.”
Indeed, whether intentional or not, the moment has completely turned the tide of the match, with Rupert finally getting a chance to assert himself over his much smaller but also much quicker opponent, who is only now recovering from the excruciating pain of getting punched in the ovaries. The Brit does not, however, give her a chance to fully pull herself back to her feet, instead bringing her up himself, only to throw her over with a front suplex! Izzy lands hard, mere feet from her increasingly concerned partner, with whom Rupert mantains sarcastic eye contact as he brings Izzy up once again, headbutts her, then plants her with a quick facebuster! He holds on to her head, brings her back up, then smashes it against his knee, over and over again, until the youngster is woozy, before finishing off his spell of offence with a clothesline, which takes Izzy down and leaves her prone for a few sneaky stomps from the blond Brit. Unsurprisingly, however, it does not take long for Barry Snyder to get involved and force Rupert to back up and give his opponent space. Rather than contest this decision, the Brit takes this opportunity to back up onto his corner and bring his tag team partner into the fray.
“Nigel Kensington III coming into this match for the first time, while Izzy Roxx tries to make it to her corner…but Kensington is quicker!”
Indeed, before the youngster can even fully scramble back to her feet, the second Best of British member is grabbing her from behind for a full nelson suplex, which he then bridges into a pinning predicament. Barry Snyder slides in to count.
—and Izzy kicks out!
“Beautiful bridging pin there by Kensington. Whatever your opinion of them, you have to give that to the Best of British – they are extremely sound technically.”
“Agreed, Lucas. Too bad they aren’t as sound in the head…”
Quinn can be heard guffawing at Allie’s quip as, in the ring, Kensington follows up the bridging pin attempt with another suplex, a Northern Lights variant this time, which he once again bridges.
—another kickout by Izzy!
“There’s that strategy I mentioned earlier, Mark. These successive pins are sure to be wearing down Izzy’s resistance, little by little, and increasing the Best of British’s chances of obtaining a result here. Again – say what you will about them, but these two men know what they’re doing.”
As Quinn shows him respect, however begrudging, Kensington continues to punish Izzy, doubling her over with a knee to the gut before pulling her down into a facebuster. He rolls her onto her back, and pins her again.
Undaunted, Kensington once again brings the youth to a vertical position, before throwing her into his own team’s corner. He then rushes in, pinning her to the ring post with a lariat before peppering her seated body with stomps and body shots, which he himself is blocking from Snyder’s view. He then tags Rupert back in, and the duo engage in a few seconds of Downtrodding before the blond takes back over, punishing Izzy with knee shots in the corner.
“How did Snyder miss that obvious double-team? And the stomps? Are we sure he has not been taking refereeing lessons from Staggs?”
This causes a gasp from Lucas.
“Allison Mackenzie Reece, you take that back RIGHT NOW, before I make you wash your mouth out with soap!
“Geez…OK, DAD…” Allie can almost be heard rolling her eyes as, in the ring, Rupert continues to control the flow of the match, delivering repeat elbow and knee shots to the trapped Izzy before finishing it off with a headbutt, and yet another tag to his partner. Unsurprisingly, Kensington is content to simply follow on with his partner’s strategy, and for a long moment, the smallest half of Trouble Roxx has nowhere to go, and no way to fight out of her predicament.
“The Best of British in complete control now, and Izzy had better come up with something soon, or her and Teagan’s reign could be over before it even started!”
This ominous prediction from Allie seems to be resonating with the Vancouver crowd, as well, considering how hushed the atmosphere inside the arena has gotten. That changes after a moment, however, as Teagan manages to pull her attention away from her partner’s difficult situation to lead the crowd in a few claps and a chant of “IZZY, IZZY!” Her mission accomplished, she then leaves the fans to continue the encouragement on their own, once again turning towards the ring and futilely stretching out her arm as far as it will go, while screaming her own encouragement to the still trapped Izzy.
Perhaps Izzy hears that, or the chant from the crowd; perhaps it is something else. Whatever it is, it snaps the youngster back to attention, allowing her to dodge a clothesline from Kensington, diving to the side and dropping down for a Russian leg sweep, which sends the Brit chin-first into the turnbuckle. The crowd explode as the fan-favorite high-flyer legs it across the ring, crossing almost half of it at a leap as she dives into the corner for a tag.
“TAG MADE TO TEAGAN! Watch out, boys!”
Allie’s warning is not spoken idly, as no sooner has Teagan entered the fray than she is meeting Nigel Kensington III midway with a jumping forearm smash. This does not have much effect, other than to rock the Brit and send him reeling backwards a few steps, but this is all Teagan needs to pull Kensington down into an arm drag, which sends him sprawling across the ring into the far corner! Not missing a beat, Teagan promptly launches into a handspring, before connecting with an enzuigiri which pins the Brit to the post.
“Great start by Teagan, and listen to this crowd!”
Indeed, the volume inside the arena is deafening, as it is Izzy’s turn to lead the crowd in a chant of “LET’S GO TEA-GAN!”, complete with rhythmic clapping. This, in turn, devolves into a simple clamor of “TROU-BLE-ROXX, TROU-BLE-ROXX!” which both women definitely appear to appreciate, and derive energy and motivation from – at least judging by Teagan’s picture-perfect basement dropkick, which further wears down Nigel Kensington in the corner. She follows this up with a leg lariat to the prone Brit, which she turns into a cover!
—Nigel grabs the ropes!
“Yeeeah, probably not a real smart idea to try and cover someone IN THE CORNER…” Mark Deltzer’s sarcasm is audible as Teagan is forced to start over after a miscalculation. Even still, the redhead does not seem too bothered by this, simply pulling herself to her feet, backing up a few steps, and throwing an arm up as she begins to stomp on the mat with her right leg.
“Uh-oh…Teagan is looking to kick things into Over—drop down by Kensington to avoid it!”
Indeed, not only has the Brit managed to dodge the move, he has also moved inside Teagan’s ‘guard’, as it were, rocking her with an European uppercut! The redhead goes reeling backwards, and Kensington rushes in for another…but Teagan is somehow capable to maintain the presence of mind to counter into a bicycle kick, which catches Kensington flush and drops him like a rock!
“TROUBLE CALLIN’! Anybody home?”
As Deltzer makes the usual reference, in the ring, Teagan forgoes covering Nigel in favor of backing up into her corner and tagging in Izzy, to whom she directs a few words. Her partner then promptly shimmies up the turnbuckle, placing herself into position for Lift Off! A moment later, she is soaring through the air off the push from Teagan, and landing flush on top of Kensington, who she immediately covers!
TH—rown off by a kickout by Kensington!
“A kickout by Nigel Kensington, but Trouble Roxx are definitely coming into their own here…”
Her pinfall attempt thwarted, Izzy takes a page from her friend’s strategy and backs into the corner to bring Teagan back into the match. The redhead tries to encourage her partner, but Izzy shakes her head, indicating Teagan has a better chance than her at accomplishing something: eventually, not wanting to hold up proceedings, the redhead chooses to agree, and steps back inside the ring to once again engage Kensington…
…only to find him rushing towards her, swinging a clothesline!!
“Teagan and Izzy took a little too long in the corner, and it cost them!”
Indeed, Kensington is swiftly back in control, and wastes no time capitalizing, picking Teagan up and setting her up in a double-underhook position. The redhead tries to fight back by way of headbutts, but is sadly unable to prevent her opponent from hitting his and his partner’s trademark double underhook facebuster! Assume the Position connects, and Kensington covers, under the sonorous jeers of the fans, which Lucas Quinn has to shout over.
“Trouble Roxx’s reign could be over before it starts here!”
Snyder drops down to count…
TH—warted by Izzy, who literally crashes down on top of Kensington to break the pin!
“Izzy came in like a wrecking ball, and saved that match for Trouble Roxx!”
Allie’s relief is shared by the fans, who once again see a glimmer of hope for their favorites. Still, as Izzy rolls back out of the ring and the two legal wrestlers start over, it is still very much Nigel Kensington who is in control, as he bends down to pick up the woozy Teagan…
…and gets rocked with an uppercut! And another one! And another one!
“Teagan’s survival instinct kicking in, and LOOK AT THIS!”
“Picture-perfect crescent kick from Teagan Trouble, getting herself and her team right back into this match!”
Once again, the announcers’ elation is shared by the fans, who give a thunderous cheer as Nigel Kensington goes down and – after once again holding an arm up to the crowd – Teagan goes for a springboard moonsault off the nearby set of ropes, which connects flush!
Rather than repeating the mistake of covering too close to the edge of the ring, however, Teagan chooses instead to baseball-slide her opponent to the outside, before signalling for Izzy to climb the turnbuckle. Understanding what her partner is intending to happen, the smaller woman is quick to scurry up the ring post, from where she takes a moment to measure up her opponent, before diving off with a Phoenix splash!
“CRASH LANDING to the outside, and the Champions once again showing they are not afraid to put their bodies on the line!”
“Fat lot of good it will do them if they can’t get Kensington back in the ring, though…”
Sadly, Deltzer’s statement is accurate, and the girls appear to know this as well as anybody. To make matters worse, Rupert Royston-Fellowes is not about to sit idle as his partner and best friend gets worked over, and wastes no time coming around the side of the ring to where the girls are sizing up Kensington. Fortunately, Izzy spots him, and immediately warns Teagan, who has just enough time to spin around and floor him with a crescent kick, this time using her back leg! The fans erupt as the last obstacle in the girls’ way is removed, freeing the two up to roll Best of British’s legal man into the ring.
“Shades of Gold Rush here, as Teagan and Izzy work together to get a much larger opponent back into the ring…and manage!”
Another explosion of joy occurs as the two women join forces to hoist Kensington onto the apron, then roll him back into the ring, with Teagan following soon after. Rather than simply cover, however, the redhead appears to want to put a flourish on proceedings, as she signals for her partner to get up onto the turnbuckle again. Izzy is, understandably, recalcitrant, but the usual pleas from Teagan eventually win out, and the Roxx half of the Champions is soon up at the top and looking down, hand outstretched for the tag from Teagan. A moment later, Rocketship Izzy is taking flight, the crowd holding their breaths…
…then erupting in exhilaration as the move connects!
“ROCKETSHIP IZZY has landed, and this one is academic!”
“We’ll see, Lucas, we’ll see… Here’s the count!”
—And the Champions retain on their first defence!!
“THEY’VE DONE IT! Trouble Roxx overcome yet another challenge that seemed far out of their reach!”
“Just goes to show that when you have determination, heart, a gameplan and someone by your side that you vibe with, there’s nothing you can’t do.”
“Indeed, Allie, indeed.”
The announcers’ comments – as well as “Downtown” Brown’s typically booming announcement of the winners of the match – can barely be heard over the deafening roar of the Vancouver crowd as Snyder raises both girls’ hands, each holding its respective half of the Tag Team Championships. This time, however, he does not get a hug, but rather a simple high-five from each girl, after which Teagan gets busy procuring a microphone. Once one has been acquired, she motions to her partner, and the two begin to make their way up the entranceway and towards the curtain; it is from that vantage point that Teagan gives off the usual sign-off line.
“We’ve been YOUR GLOBAL Tag Team Champions, Trouble Roxx, from Hollywood, California. Thank you, and goodnight!”
With that, like any self-respecting rock star, the girls promptly turn around and walk through the curtain, and away from the thunderous cheers of their adoring fans.
It has been several weeks since the explosive match between Jerry David and E Z Rah. Time has been a great healer for Jerry, who has had enough time to heal his wounds.
Nobody has heard from E Z Rah since the tunnel collapsed on top of him at Gold Rush. The Informer visited E Z’s home earlier in the week, finding the front door wide open but there was nobody anywhere to be seen.
The wreckage in the garden remained untouched, with the exception of what appeared to have been a hand-dug hole, indicating E Z had escaped the ruins of the underground lair.
Now, Jerry David is free to resume his normal life – live stand-up comedy, with the side-hustle of professional wrestling.
He sits in the green room listening to the muffled voice of another comic echoing through the walls. Jerry stands up from the folding steel chair and walks across to the dressing table, picking up his bottle of water and unscrewing the lid.
The dressing table is two metres long, and along the back a large mirror is framed with MDF boarding painted white, with a row of bulbs running up each side and across the top.
He sips his water and looks at himself in the mirror. He looks tired. He feels tired. Still.
He screws the lid back onto the bottle and puts the water down on the dressing table, but as he does so, the overhead lights of the green room flicker and buzz, then cut out entirely, leaving the room dark, lit only by the bulbs of the dressing table mirror.
Jerry’s attention is brought to the mirror by movement within it. A shiver runs up his spine. He looks into the mirror, where he sees a familiar face staring back at him.
The face is painted white, with black lines across each eye, a wide red smile painted over his lips. The man wears a red and yellow hat with bells on, and a matching tunic.
“My liege, Jerry David! I am such a fan,” The Jester says, his voice like nails against a chalkboard.
Jerry tilts his head.
“And oh, what similarities we share, do we not?”
“How so?” Jerry asks the mirror, not sure whether this conversation is really happening. He glances over his shoulder, then back to the mirror.
“We are entertainers, Jerry. More than that, we are the clowns of this circus we call life. I entertain my King and his regal acquaintances, and you… you entertain the peasants.”
“The people sat out there,” The Jester says, pointing towards the green room door, “the filthy peasants of this world. They are your audience. But – oh! How you must wish you were entertaining at the level I am.
“Don’t you wish, Jerry, that you were before ROYALTY rather than the SHIT MUNCHERS?”
Jerry had to admit to himself that his audiences were, more and more these days, absolute shit munchers. Woke leftists who self-identify as male feminists or worse, vegans. The clubs were packed with these types nowadays, and it didn’t sit right with him having to guard his words to avoid being cancelled by someone with blue hair and a blue verified tick on Twitter.
Jerry straightens himself up.
“Perhaps,” he admits.
“Join me, Jerry. Together we can rule the world. We can collect all the riches of this world. Won’t you do it, Jerry? Won’t you say you’ll join me?”
The Jester begins to cough out a light chuckle, his shoulders bouncing up and down, his lips reaching desperately for his ears.
Jerry is tired. His skin aches. The audience outside the green room door aren’t going to laugh at his jokes, and he knows it. He is physically and emotionally drained from the last six months. All he really wants to do is go home. But his bank balance being what it is, he knows he can’t. So what can he do? He can push on, performing in clubs that stink of piss, wrestling in front of a couple of thousand fans (if he’s lucky), and he can just about make rent. Or, he can join someone who promises him riches beyond his wildest dreams, someone who knows what it is to entertain, and who could possibly, just possibly, introduce him to the right breed of people to get him out of the hole he has found himself in.
“Let me sleep on it.”
The Jester’s chuckle explodes into a raspy cackle of laughter, his tongue lapping around his lips.
“Yes, Jerry! Yes! Sleep! Rest! But…”
The laughter stops.
“Don’t keep me waiting.”
The Jester clicks his fingers and the lights of the dressing table go out, plunging Jerry David into absolute darkness.
Date: May 17th Time: 4:13pm
The effects of Gold Rush are still taking quite a toll on Valorie, having some bruises on her body and feeling sore all over. That isn’t going to stop her though from having a bit of fun enjoying their team’s first win together. She glances down at her phone, noticing the Twitter feed having pictures of the moment the trio stepped forth from the curtains with some also having a screen-shot of sorts of after their win when the group did their triple fist-bump, and even a video or two of when they came out, and when Angel secured their win due to Valorie and Saul stopping The Law in time. It was certainly a rush of emotions and she was also grateful that this was officially the last time The Law and especially Jed Johnson was going to rear his head in their business again.
“Yo Val!! If you ain’t hurry up an’ eat that shit, Imma take it off your hands!!” The sudden voice of Angel blurts out, causing the former Marine to zone back in.
She blinks and looks across the table at her teammate and “little sister” who is munching on a gigantic stack of fries as well as a double-cheeseburger. A soft laugh leaves her lips as she remembers where she is, that she had decided to take Angel out to a popular burger place in LA to celebrate with her. She had ordered the same thing yet her plate hadn’t even been touched save for maybe a few french-fries that had been eaten a moment ago – predictably, not by her, but by Angel..
“Sorry Ange. It’s all just still so surreal, ya know? I mean sure, we’ve had our wins at GLOBAL, but… I ain’t never been on a team before and won somethin’… not countin’ the Corps that is. So it’s still kind of a shock.” Valorie says, setting her phone down and dipping some of her fries in a BBQ-Sauce and Ketchup mixture.
“Man, chica, you STILL going on about that?! Girl, been a hot minute now! You letting that game get to yo’ head, nena!” Angel retorts, pointing a fry at her while speaking before ingesting it.
“Please sug’. I don’t let fame get the best of me. Besides. I got a few other important things to think about.” Val says, her voice going a bit quiet.
Angel’s face brightens upon hearing that last sentence and before she can open her mouth to comment, Valorie shoots a very quick but firm “No”, causing Angel to grumble and rest her chin in her unoccupied hand.
“I meant, where do I go from here. Sure Jed was a pain in the ass–”
“He was more’n that…” Angel hisses, cutting Valorie off.
“… True. But he and his… lackeys… they were my only rivals in this whole business. The only other ones I know are you two ’cause I still have students to take care of back in San-An. Didn’t have the time to branch out and meet a lot of people.” Valorie sighs, finishing her thought.
Angel thinks for a moment before smiling and snapping her fingers.
“Fight me, hermana!” She shouts, gaining Valorie’s attention.
“… Say whuh now?”
“Wrestle me! Let ya girl be your opponent! I wanna see how strong you are! I seen ya kick other people ass, now I wanna be a PART of it!” Angel continues to shout.
The look on Valorie’s face is pure shock and confusion. Though there’s something else deep inside that she can’t figure out yet but she can’t help but smile a little.
“I’ll think about it. Meantime, ya better finish yo’ food, lil’ missy. Or else I ain’t buying dessert. And this place has some good desserts~” she says.
“Girl, it’s ya fault I ain’t finished yet. You the one tryna keep me yakkin’…”
Valorie cannot help but laugh as Angel gives a snort of indignation, before getting back to work on the plate in front of her.
MAKE THINGS WRIGHT
“You two are pathetic.”
The sentence, which opens a video uploaded to GLOBAL Wrestling’s YouTube channel under the title “Making Things Wright”, is spoken by a slender, yet tough-looking woman in a leather jacket, with dark hair in a short bob with an aggressive fringe – what would commonly be known as a “Karen haircut”, if not for the fact that the speaker does not look so much like she wants to talk to the manager as strangle them before knocking them senseless. Her harsh, scathing tone futher cements the impression given by her appearance, her steely gray-green eyes boring into the camera as she continues her address.
“Brady and Strauss.” The woman gives a derisive chuckle. “What a couple of clowns.You two morons want to call yourself LAPD officers? You’re a disgrace to the Police force! Couple of big old mother[BLEEP]ers like you, and you can’t even deal with a bum and a little girl.”
The speaker shakes her head in disgust.
“This is why you never send men to do a woman’s job…”
She snorts with derisive laughter again before her tone becomes more serious.
“No matter, though. Better late than never, and now that I’m here, I’m going to do what you two chuckleheads couldn’t – I’m going to make things Wright. I’m going to use the Wright approach, and I’m going to make sure that little situation is dealt with the Wright way..”
The woman holds up a pair of aviator shades, which she puts on as she finally introduces herself.
“My name is Officer Miranda Wright…and I want to let Brady, Strauss, that [BLEEP]head Johnson and all the rest of you spineless losers in this company know that, from now on, some things are going to start changing around here. From now on…forget about The Law. Because from now on…I am the Law. And if any of you has anything to say about that…” The newcomer chuckles again. “…well…you have the Wright to remain silent.”
With that, the woman walks off frame, presumably switching off the recording as she goes, seeing as there is no more than a brief moment of shaky-cam motion blur before the video ends.
New York City. Last week.
It has been a hard eight months or so for the sport of professional wrestling, particularly for the family of one Jerry Watkins. The owner of UWE, and godfather of wrestling in many ways, is still missing, presumed to be dead, leaving three children and a grieving wife behind.
Shane Watkins is sitting on a brown leather sofa in a cramped apartment devoid of any personality, full of white paint and laminate flooring, eating some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream when he suddenly receives a phone call.
Watkins, with long, thick auburn hair, shakes his money-maker (the hair, nothing else) even though there’s no one else around, just in case he’s about to go onto a video call upon hearing the vibration of his cell.
“Hey Ray, how are you, man?”
The voice of Ray Young solemnly replies to him: “Channel nine, right now.”
Shane, topless with just ripped jeans on, reaches for his remote and abides by Ray’s request. A TV presenter, a pale, thin and lanky, suited faceless guy reads off the teleprompter: “Jerry Watkins, the most famous and influential man in professional wrestling, is thought to be dead.”
Shane leans forward with his hands covering his mouth. “I’m here for as long as you need me, kid, but I’ll stay quiet until you tell me,” Ray tells Watkins.
The last UWE Champion, the son of the legendary promoter and one of the greatest wrestlers of all time covers his eyes with his more than capable hands, reduced to a powerful sob, the type only those who’ve lost someone so dear to them have experienced, where the motion of your shoulders looks like you’re belly-laughing, but it’s the complete opposite.
A PURPOSE RENEWED
Recorded a few hours after Gold Rush…
A camera flickers to life as the first thing we see is a hand moving away from it. The room is brightly lit, showing brilliant, clean white marble walls and what appears to be a golden basin of water mixed with blood. A basin that one, Alex Reyn, now leans over, having turned away from the camera he had set up, drying his wet hair with a white towel..
“It is said: That one can often learn more from his defeats, than from his victories.”
As he speaks, he unscrews the cap on a white bottle before brushing his long, black hair to the side, revealing a deep, jagged wound on his forehead. Lifting up the bottle, he carefully pours the clear contents into the gash as he speaks.
“Congratulations Daniel. You have joined the ranks of the fingers on my hand of the people that managed to best me. I’m proud of you.”
His voice remains calm and steady, even as the medical alcohol cleans and disinfects his wound.
“Proud, and… thankful.”
He places the bottle back down, whipping his face clean with a cloth before opening a small box containing a needle and sewing thread.
“For the last few years I have been… blinded by my own ego.
For a brief second, his voice strains as he inserts the needle through one side of the wound and pulls it, and the thread, through the other side.
“I became so obsessed with proving my own strength. My own ability… that I forgot why I came here to begin with.”
His voice resumes it’s steady calm as he begins to thread the needle through his wound with meticulous precision.
“The East Wind does not need to prove its strength. I am the test that other must prove themselves too. And Daniel.. You reminded me of that tonight when you passed my test with flying colours.”
Though his forearms obscure the view, the camera catches a glimpse of Alex Reyn smiling even as he continues to perform surgery on himself.
“You defeated me, completely and utterly. I give you permission to take pride in that accomplishment. You have reminded me of the joy The East Wind takes when a creature like you rises to my challenge.”
He tugs on the thread now.
“But there are others. Others who must be raised to your level, or cut out like weeds. And it is time that I put aside the human weakness of ego and resumed my purpose. I am The Shepherd to those who are worthy. The Wolf to those who are not.”
He ties the ends of the stitches together, deftly cutting the ends of the thread of with a pair of scissors before looking into the camera.
“Warriors of GLOBAL, be warned. For I am the East Wind. And your trial begins soon.”
The camera shuts off.
NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER
“My name is John J. Truth, and I call bullshit.”
Thus begins the video titled ‘UNTITLED (1).MP4‘, uploaded (somehow) to GLOBAL Wrestling’s official YouTube channel, and which features not only the company’s most controversial superstar, but also his two now-inseparable acolytes, all three bruised, battered and bandaged. As usual, the leader of the group is doing all the talking, while his companions sit silently smoldering on either side of him.
“I call bullshit on a company that continues to allow illegal masked sleeper cell agents to run around attacking patriotic red-blooded American citizens, and then punish those same American citizens for standing up for their freedoms and fighting back!”
Truth glowers at the camera as he gingerly touches two fingers to a damp, reddish spot in the tape wrapped around his head, before pointing to either side of him, where each of his bodyguards is making a similar gesture.
“Case in point…me and these two fine, corn-fed All-American boys here get fined because…” Truth’s voice takes on a sarcastic, babyish high pitch as he touches his hands to his cheeks in a parody of appalled shock. “…we said a bad word, and got all the Leftie snowflakes with their panties in a bunch, all ‘twiggewed‘ and ‘cwying‘ about what ‘howwible peopwe‘ we are. And then…” As suddenly as it came about, Truth’s mocking tone disappears, replaced with his usual harsh, rasping growl. “…AND THEN, we get threatened with SUSPENSION and left out of GLOBAL’s little paid European vacation for acting in self-defence after we get ATTACKED by one of these foreign terrorists! And THEN, at Gold Rush, the exact same damn thing happens again! And still nobody does jack shit about it!”
The superstar’s two bodyguards, who had been sniggering at their leader’s sarcasm, now nod, their previous stern expressions magnified threefold. In contrast, it is Truth’s turn to let an unpleasant grin creep across his features.
“It’s no matter, though. Whatever you bastards do, you won’t silence us. Whatever you bastards do, you will not make us back down. Whatever you bastards do, we will continue to go out there and stand up for Truth, justice and the American way. Whatever you bastards do, whoever the hell you hire to beat us up…we will continue to go out there and educate our fellow Americans on the facts people like you scumbags don’t want them to know about. Whatever you bastards do, we will not retreat, and we will not surrender!”
Truth pauses for a moment to bump fists with each of his bodyguards before concluding. “And anybody who tries to stand in the way of the Truth…” The Man Who Fell to Earth utters one of his characteristic dry chuckles. “…well, they’re gonna get their asses kicked all the way back across the border, just like Team Panda Express at Gold Rush.” Truth pauses, the smirk intensifying. “I’m lookin’ at you, ‘compadre‘.”
With that, the closest of the two bodyguards leans in to turn off the camera, cutting the feed and effectively ending the video.
ANGEL RAMIREZ Vs. VALORIE VITALITY
‘So Ruff So Tuff in LA’ hits the speakers as Angel Ramirez makes her way out through the curtain. For once sans Saul Morgan who won’t be playing favourites in tonight’s match!
“The following contest is set for one fall! Making her way to the ring from Los Angeles, California, weighing in at 125 lbs! Angel Ramirez!”
“Angel definitely looks excited for this partner-on-partner match tonight!” Reese says.
“This is a great opportunity for her to prove she’s not just the baby of the team against a woman who has been impressing GLOBAL since her debut!” The Mark adds.
Speaking of…“Blow Me Away” by Breaking Benjamin.
“And her opponent! From San Antonio, Texas! Weighing in at 127 lbs! Valorie! Vitality!”
“Like we said, Valorie has certainly been impressive since she got here! Making quick work of Jed Johnson and being a key fixture in the battle between her team and Jed’s Law!” Allie praises.
Both women have entered the ring. No use in waiting around.
DING! DING! DING!
Angel charges forward! Trying to take Valorie off her feet with a takedown!
“Looks like Angel wants to try and beat the army girl at her own game!” The Mark remarks.
Unfortunately for her, Valorie is MUCH more skilled in that area and turns it around into a grounded hammerlock on the kid. The camera picks up Angel wincing in pain as her arm is bent behind her back.
“MARINE, not army.” Reese insisted “And Angel got cocky there.”
Valorie lets Angel go before patting her on the head and beckoning her to bring it!
“You were saying about ‘cocky’ Allie?”
Reese shrugged. “She got the better of that exchange, Mark. Besides, I don’t think either of them are that angry.”
Indeed, despite the annoyed glare from Angel, there’s also a playful smile on her face that is matched by her friend and partner.
A chop from Angel takes Valorie by surprise! Angel has fired up! A barrage of forearms forces Valorie back into the corner! Angel grabs her wrist, Irish whipping her to the opposite corner, but Valorie runs up the turnbuckle, backflipping off the top and spinning in the air to land on her feet facing Angel!
Angel charges! Roundhouse kick by Valorie! Angel ducks under! Springs onto the ropes! Springboard Moonsau-!
No! Valorie catches her out of the air! But Angel counters with a spinning arm drag to applause from the fans!
There’s a moment as both women lie on the mat…
Then they kip-up in stereo to face each other down!
“Some great action to start this match!” Quinn calls as the fans applaud the sequence.
Angel charges in again, but this time her bold, all offense approach backfires as a Big Boot from Valorie knocks her off her feet!
Valorie is still in control though as she tries to lock in Last Hoorah (STF Camel Clutch), but a scrappy Angel scrambles quickly to the ropes before the hold is applied! Taking advantage of her greater strength, Val yanks on Angel’s ankle, pulling her away from the ropes and towards the center of the-
Angel scores with an enzuigiri!
Some cheers from the fans as Valorie drops to her knees from that stunning blow! Angel kips up! Running the ropes first the ones closest to her, then the opposite side! Picking up speed and momentum, she runs up the kneeling Valorie’s back like a ramp before leaping off her shoulders, spinning in mid-air, and grabbing Val’s head to DROP HER WITH A JUMPING FACEBUSTER!
“WOW!!!” Lucas exclaims as the audience cheers! “What creative offense by Angel Ramirez!”
VALORIE KICKS OUT!
But now it’s Angel in control as she drags Valorie to the corner! Angel climbs up top, looking for Falling Angel (Split-Legged Moonsault)!
This could be it! This could be her moment! A big win early in her GLOBAL career! A victory over Valorie! She looks out towards the crowd! Taking in the moment!
“She’s taking too long! Stop milking the moment and pull the trigger kid!” The Mark warns.
A warning that comes too late as Valorie Vitality kips up to her feet.
Angel sees it out of the corner of her eyes. Her face falls as she realizes Val is back up… and Angel is now in a precarious position…
Angel tries to spin on the top turnbuckle to face her, but with a dazzling double jump, Valorie is already there to meet her!
AVALANCHE HURRICANRANA SENDS ANGEL FLYING HALFWAY ACROSS THE RING!!
“Holy Shit!! Holy Shit!! Holy Shit!!”
Angel’s body actually BOUNCES as it hits the mat! Rolling and tumbling before lying still! Valorie has her eyes focused on her opponent! Lining up her shot! She begins stomping on the mat as the fans clap along! Signaling that she’s about to end this match with the Sweet Chin Remix (Kicking combo)!
Angel has unsteadily made her way to her feet…
…Angel collapses, and the kick sails over her head! Valorie almost loses her balance! Even as Angel tries to stand again, Valorie tries to attack with the second roundhouse, but a punch-drunk Angel stumbles to the left on unsteady feet, and again the kick misses!
“It’s like she’s some kind of drunken master!” The Mark calls.
Val tries for another ki-
Double-knee facebreaker from Ramirez!!
“That HAD to be on pure instinct!” Quinn calls, even as the fans applaud!
BOTH women are down on the mat now! Lying there and trying to catch their breath until Angel slowly crawls over to Valorie to make the cover!
VALORIE KICKS OUT!
She tries to grab Angel in a hold, only for the kid to roll Valorie into a small package!
VALORIE ROLLS IT INTO HER OWN PIN!!
ANGEL ROLLS IT BACK!!
ANGEL KICKS OUT!!
Valorie is up! She goes for a roundhouse, but again Angel ducks and hits the ropes, this time looking for a springboard crossbod-
DROPKICKED OUT OF THE AIR!!
Now it’s VALORIE’S turn to receive applause from the fans who respect both women! She drags Angel to the corner! Looking for Soldier’s Final Flight (Triple Moonsault!)
Unlike Angel, she doesn’t hesitate.
First Moonsault connects!
But Valorie is clutching her ribs as she climbs back up for the second moonsault, the impact having left her winded.
Second Moonsault- Comes crashing down on Angel’s knees!
“That’s the downside of that move.” Quinn informs the audience. “It’s flashy and dangerous if she can hit all three moonsaults, but every moonsault winds the user almost as much as the receiver, making it harder to hit the next one. It ends up expending almost more energy than it’s worth.”
Angel immediately into the cover!
VALORIE’S FOOT IS ON THE ROPES!!
“And as much as I love her, that’s Angel’s inexperience showing there.” Allie says. “She went for the pin when they were right by the corner instead of getting Valorie away from the ropes.”
Well, the kid is a quick learner and seems to realise that now, pulling Valorie away from the ropes. Angel’s eyes are fixed on the corner, perhaps looking to try her top rope finisher once mo-
VALORIE CATCHES HER WITH A HEEL HOOK!
Immediately, Angel’s face is contorted with pain! She scrambles, claws, DRAGS herself back towards the ropes! Reaching out desperately to grab the ropes!
…She gets it!
The referee calls for the clean break and Valorie obeys. Falling back and releasing the hold.
For the third time, both women lie on the mat, catching their breath. Valorie is no her back while Angel clutches at her own ankle.
Kip-up by Valorie!
Angel tries to copy her… but immediately stumbles as pain flares up her leg!
“She shouldn’t have tried that so soon after being put in a heel hook!” Quinn says,
And that’s all the opening Valorie needs.
Angel can’t avoid it this time as the kick connects!
A SECOND ROUNDHOUSE!!
Spit goes flying from the kid’s mouth! As she drops like a stone!
…But Valorie hesitates. This is her friend after all, and a kid… is the entire sequence necessary?
Pulling herself to her knees, Angel locks eyes with Val and with a mad smile, flips her friend two birds.
“The Hell you waiting for?!” she spits out.
Valorie returns the smile.
SPINNING BACK KICK COMPLETES THE SWEET CHIN REMIX!!
DING! DING! DING!
The fans cheer along with Reese!
“Valorie got it! But What a performance by Angel here tonight!”
“HERE IS YOUR WINNER!! VALORIE!! VITA-!!
The announcer trails off as the lone clap echoes.
The fans die down. Falling into silence.
The music fades away as eyes turn to see Alex Reyn standing in the middle of the crowd. His gaze directly upon young Valorie. His movements seem slower than normal. His body is still bruised and bandaged and a freshly stitched wound is still visible on his forehead, but his gaze is like steel as he locks eyes with Valorie.
“Congratulations Valorie. The East Wind has taken note of your abilities. Your potential is clear for all to see.”*
Valorie whirls around, seeing a man who has quite a reputation under his belt, but one she has yet to encounter, THE Alex Reyn. “Well thank you very much, Mr. Reyn for the compliment. Mighty kind words comin’ from ya!”*
“You mistake me. You have potential, this is true… but right now I see that potential being wasted. The fool Johnson, the pup Ramirez. These are talents far beneath you and yet… you seem to have contented yourself with taking the path of least resistance. The EASY route.”
“I don’t take no easy route, sir. I just take whatever is handed to me. I know my potential. I’ve reached it and exceeded it in the corps before I came to GLOBAL. I am sick and TIRED of people like you looking down on me. Just because I’ve only been wrestling for a few months at this rate, that doesn’t mean I’m an amateur ya know. I’ve been in the military for four years. I’ve been in wars before. I have been FIGHTING… for TEN. YEARS. Also by the way… Call my friend a ‘pup’ again… I might end up breaking your neck…”*
Reyn, if anything, looks amused.
“A lady of war, is it? Child. I. AM. War… and it is those very friends, that worthless corps you boast about that holds you back. You’re so used to mindless obedience, you complacently accept any scraps handed to you. But true strength comes from the SELF. It comes from your OWN abilities. And in one week’s time. I am going to test your limits. Prepare yourself.”
And with those words said, he disappears into the sea of humanity.
Lucas Quinn bursts with excitement, holding a piece of breaking news in his hands. “Ladies and gentlemen, I have just received the latest update. We are in for a thrilling treat tonight as we will witness a championship clash in our Main Event!”
The Mark interjects, sensing the significance of the announcement. “It seems Daniel Dream’s persistence has paid off, doesn’t it?”
Lucas Quinn carries on, building the anticipation. “Our esteemed champion, known as ‘The Legend’ Sean Darring, will put his Global Championship on the line against none other than the most controversial figure in the wrestling industry today…”
Allie urges Quinn to reveal the name. “Come on, Quinn, don’t keep us waiting!”
After a brief but suspenseful pause, Lucas Quinn unveils the surprising revelation. “It’s John Truth!”
The announcement causes Allie to audibly splutter her drink and promptly descend into a coughing fit as a result, rendering her unable to utter a single word. It, therefore, falls to The Mark to vocalize his and his partner’s astonishment. “What? Truth has somehow managed to secure a shot at the Global Championship tonight?”
Lucas Quinn confirms the unexpected turn of events. “That’s right. It appears that John Truth has seized this opportunity while Daniel Dream patiently waits. Dream’s loss has become Truth’s gain.”
Allie chimes in, acknowledging Truth’s remarkable rise. “Love him or hate him – and trust me, we ALL hate him – , you can’t deny that John Truth has somehow managed to swiftly climb the ranks and – ugh! – establish himself as one of the top contenders in GLOBAL.” The next few words are muttered almost under her breath by the announcer. “By having his goons jump everyone, but okay…”
The Mark, rarely finding himself in agreement with Allie, nods in acknowledgment. “I don’t like him much either, but you’re right, Al. If John Truth manages to come out on top and capture the Global Championship, it will send shockwaves throughout the entire landscape of Global.”
Lucas Quinn absorbs the input from his colleagues and adds to the discussion. “Indeed, we have learned from Global to expect the unexpected. We started the night with Sean Darring extending an invitation to Daniel Dream for a championship opportunity, only for that opportunity to be handed to John Truth instead. Could things get any more shocking and exhilarating than this?”
Allie acknowledges with a nod, her excitement palpable. “I don’t know about exhilarating, Lucas. And I think the main questions on everyone’s minds are WHY? and HOW? Until those get answered, however, let’s not forget the incredible matches we have lined up for tonight. We’ve got a full hour of action ahead, and every match deserves our attention and enthusiasm.”
The Mark playfully pokes fun at Allie. “Oh, Allie, always the voice of reason, bringing us back to reality. But hey, that’s why we love you.”
Lucas Quinn joins in on the laughter. “You know, Mark, Allie does have a point. We must savor each moment and enjoy the thrilling matches that await us. So, let’s dive right into the next contest and keep the excitement going!”
With their banter setting a lively tone, the announcers remind the audience to stay present and relish the upcoming matches before the highly anticipated Main Event takes center stage. The energy in the arena is electric as the anticipation for the action ahead continues to build.
GEMINI/SMITH Vs. ???
“To say this is something I have always hoped would happen is an understatement,” Allie chimes in as the screen shows our announce team. “Chris Hopper is joining us as a fourth man in the broadcast team!”
Indeed, sitting between Allie and Lucas is the living legend himself, 19-time world champion and Hank Wright’s drinking adversary, Chris Hopper.
“I’m glad to be here, but I’m not staying the entire match,” The King of Cool states.
“But why not?” Allie reacts poutingly.
“Because he has better things to do,” The Mark quickly tosses out.
Chris laughs a bit and then shakes his head for a second.
“Not at all,” he continues, “It is just that Hank and I felt that since we set this entire match up, we wanted to make sure it actually happened.”
Why wouldn’t it happen, “Quinn asks.
“This match is kind of our cosmic payback to Chris Smith and Gemini,” Hopper explains, “So part of me wanted to see their faces when their opponents are revealed, but also make sure that they don’t run out.”
“Well, it is time to find out for sure!” The Mark bellows. “Take it away ‘Downtown’ Brown!”
The view changes and we see Jason Brown standing at center ring with a microphone in hand.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, our next match is set for one fall and is a tag team match!” he announces as the fans cheer. “Introducing first, at a combined weight of six-hundred and thirty-four pounds! Here are ‘BIG KID’ CHRIS SMITH AND GEMINI!”
The most generic thunder rock song begins to play as the two men come walking out of the entrance curtain. They begin walking down the aisle and a kid is holding up a Gemini mask and seems genuinely excited to see the wrestler. However, Gemini walks directly over and the parent makes a motion to desire a picture with him.
“This won’t end well,” Allie states.
Sure enough, Gemini gets to where the kid is and slaps the mask out of his hand as hard as he can. The crowd’s semi-positive reaction to them turns blood cold into jeers and boos as Gemini flips off the kid and says his now-famous phrase only directed at the single kid.
“Fuck you kid!”
“Yeah, this isn’t right,” Hopper says before the obvious sounds of a headset being removed and sitting on the announce table.
The dastardly duo enter the ring and the fans are just angry at them for what just happened. Gemini continues to shake his head back and forth and point to the crowd yelling things that would make his mother blush and embarrassed.
“Folks, Mr. Hopper is heading to the ring,” Quinn assesses, “And I don’t think I’d want to be these two when he arrives. That was just wrong what Gemini did.”
The “Global Consultant” enters the ring and smiles at Jason Brown, receiving the microphone immediately.
“Boys listen to what I have to say VERY clearly,” Too Cool begins, “Actions like that are why you are in this position. The bad press, the constant attacking of young people, and some of the worst interactions when representing a company that I have ever seen.”
He pauses and stares them down then finally…
“That is why this match was moved to this night,” he continues. “I don’t want you rewarded at all for ANYTHING you are doing. I didn’t want you to get a spot-on pay-per-view. I didn’t want you to receive a higher paycheck for even showing up. And I wanted you to suffer a couple of extra weeks just thinking of what could be coming your way.”
He looks at Smith.
“I expected more from you in this situation, Chris,” he pushes further, “because you have been in a better position and have some size to maybe reign him in. But you didn’t. You are in this situation BECAUSE of HIM! I want you to remember that.
“Hopper sowing seeds of dissension in this team, it seems,” The Mark astutely remarks.
“He is definitely stacking the deck against these two,” Allie adds.
“And you,” Hopper turns his head and says to the masked enigma, “You have never been in as much limelight as you are now and you are using it to be a complete jackass!”
Fans cheer at the statement.
“I am sorry I ever vouched for either of you to be here,” he concludes. “We aren’t making it a simple test because I know one of you is very familiar with who is coming out here. Enjoy your shot, for as long as you have it.”
He hands the microphone to Jason Brown and exits the ring as fans start chanting for him and his statements. Brown waits a moment and then continues.
“And their opponents!” Brown yells out. “Weighing in at a combined four hundred and thirty pounds!”
Air’s ‘Sexy Boy’ blares out before turning into Mr. Bungle’s version of the Super Mario Bros theme, and The Players step out with Paul Sanders in all-yellow shorts, kneepads, and boots, showing off a well-crafted near 240-pound frame. Kid Chameleon is sporting his usual get-up of a leather jacket, white t-shirt, ripped jeans, and trainers, complete with sunglasses and a big smile we can see as he knows Chris Smith will love seeing him.
“THE PLAYERS!” Lucas Quinn screams at the surprise.
“There is a lot of history here, folks” Deltzer adds quickly. “Smith and Chameleon go WAY back and I’m telling you right now, this has become a real treat for all of us to see Chameleon in action against someone he definitely has no love for!”
“How do you know that?” Allie asks.
“I know EVERYTHING there is to know about Kid Chameleon,” The Mark replies.
“So you’re a fan?” queries Quinn.
“Perhaps more of an aficionado,” retorts The Mark.
The Players hit the ring and both Gemini and Smith are quick to get out of the squared circle. The fans are cheering the surprise opponents as they raise their arms.\
“Things are about to get crazy!” Deltzer announces.
Sure enough the entire viewpoint changes to a digitized, video-game-style look of the ring and the wrestlers. We hear the Mario Bros theme get even more as though in a game as the digitized version of Kid Chameleon leaps over the top rope and lands a flying forearm to Chris Smith on the outside of the ring, sending the large man to the arena floor.
“RIGHT HAN!” Deltzer screams out. “This is the fastest I have ever seen him pull that out in a match!”
The view returns to normal and the video game sounds also disappear as Sanders rushes Gemini and the two fall into the barricade and begin trading blows. Referee Shane Staggs is trying to get control of this match with the brawling on one side and Chameleon is sizing up a now-standing Chris Smith. He kicks him in the left leg, then the right leg, then suddenly leaps with a low drop kick that sends the big man to the floor again.
“KILLER COMBINATION!” The Mark is just as loud as he can be as he calls the moves.
“None of it means anything unless they are in the ring,” Allie states.
“They know that,” Deltzer almost hisses. “This is one of the most underrated performers ever in there right now!”
Staggs is now leaning through the ropes to make his point to the performers to get it in the ring. Kid and Paul nod to each other and get back to the ring. The ten count then begins. It doesn’t last long as Gemini slides into the ring and gets to his feet and immediately eats a boot to the face from a dropkick courtesy of Kid Chameleon.
Kid isn’t finished. Gemini quickly gets to his feet and eats a crescent kick to the face from Kid that drops him to the canvas again. He sits up and Kid Chameleon leaps into a sliding lariat that gets the crowd hot with cheers.
“DARKNESS SWORD INTO AN AXE BOMBER!” The Mark calls out. “He’s going for the pin!”
THR…….NO! KICKOUT BY GEMINI!
Chameleon is up to his feet fast and pulls Gemini up, dragging him over to his team’s corner. He tags Sanders in, then sees his partner deliver a knife-edge chop. Sanders pushes Gemini into the corner and then drives his knee into the ribs before flipping him backward with a German Suplex.
“Paul Sanders doing some work now with that suplex,” Quinn calls out.
“He’s been set up perfectly by his partner,” Deltzer responds.
Sanders pulls Gemini up only to receive a thumb in the eye that gets Referee Staggs to give a warning to the masked enigma. Gemini then quickly moves over and tags his partner into the match. Smith enters the match and shows is uncharacteristic quickness bounding right after Sanders once he clears the ropes and dropping him with a full-body guillotine clothesline.
“Momentum is shifting fast,” Allie states.
“Yes Allie,” Quinn adds, “Smith is a powerful individual.”
Smith picks up Sanders and lifts him straight into the air for a power lift and then drops him right back to the canvas. Without even taking a second, Chris rushes over and nails an elbow to Chameleon’s head and sends him flying off the ring apron and into the barricade. Smith turns around and leaps for an avalanche on top of Sanders as the crowd starts booing loudly.
Smith gets to his feet and pulls Sanders by his arm awkwardly. He tags Gemini into the match and then pulls Sanders to his feet and holds the right arm up for Gemini to land a boot to the exposed ribs. Gemini takes control and whips him across the ring and into the opposite corner. Sanders staggers from the turnbuckles and right into a spear by Gemini.
“Spear by the masked man!” Quinn calls out. “He’s hooking a leg!”
THRE…NO! SANDERS KICKS OUT!
“What an escape by Sanders!” Deltzer exclaims.
Gemini stares a hole into Shane Staggs’ soul as he slowly gets to his feet and pulls Sanders by the hair as well. He whips Sanders into the ropes and lands his axe handle finisher in the middle of the ring.
“FOR THE KIDS! FOR THE KIDS!”
The crowd begins to chant as the view widens to show Masked Maniac and Tony Sweat walking around the ring and throwing FTK T-shirts into the crowd. Gemini looks livid as he jumps to his feet and starts yelling at the duo throwing out his shirt.
“Gemini is not happy!” Allie yells out.
“I believe he feels he is being the victim of copyright infringement.” Quinn reasons.
“FOR THE KIDS! FOR THE KIDS!” The crowd continues following Sweaty Bros’ lead in the chant.
Sweat and Maniac get the chant even louder and Gemini is jumping up and down in anger about it, even asking the referee to throw them out of the ringside area. Staggs tells him to get back to wrestling, but Gemini turns and starts yelling at Sweat and Maniac at the top of his lungs. Suddenly Gemini falls back as Sanders managed to catch him with a backslide.
The crowd erupts as Sanders manages to capture the victory.
“I CAN’T BELIEVE WHAT JUST HAPPENED!” The Mark again yells out. “What a clutch moment in the life of Paul Sanders!”
The Sweaty Bros walk through the curtain as Gemini gets to his feet and seems angry. Nothing will change the outcome as Gemini and Smith have lost their debut match. But what payback will come from it?
THE KNIVES ARE OUT
Giovanni Ferrari cuts a nervous figure, clicking his pen as the other members of the board pile in for the opening match of Gold Rush, and the conclusion to the tournament, pitting Alex Reyn against Daniel Dream in a mouth-watering clash. Ray Young massages Giovanni’s shoulder, and Ferrari smiles, holding Ray’s hand for a moment as Daniel makes his entrance. Unbeknownst to two elderly gentlemen at the other end of the table, Ferrari hears one tell the other. “If Dream doesn’t win here tonight, he is dead man sitting, right there,” gesturing towards Giovanni, and making it uncomfortable for the CEO and President of GLOBAL.
Several minutes later, the room erupts as Daniel Dream unleashes an almighty GTS, and Giovanni, crouching forward in his seat and praying, watches Dream collect as the roar matches the decisive manuever itself, and various members exchange hands, shouting yes as Giovanni combs his hair back. Ray slaps him on the back. “Dream and Darring – AGAIN.”
Ferrari nods and then smiles back at Young. “What a match that’ll be.”
Giovanni locks eyes with the guilty party at the other side of the table before they turn and leave.
He knows they want him out.
He knows they want Dream, not Darring, as the champion.
And to keep his job, just because he did the right thing by bringing Sean Darring to GLOBAL, Giovanni Ferrari is secretly hoping that Daniel Dream can build on his win over Alex Reyn and take Sean Darring’s GLOBAL title this summer.
Ray Young, his blonde mop now gray, which in turn matches his suit, and Alicia Fawkes, the press secretary in an all-black suit, are the only ones who have stayed behind.
“A word, G?”
Ferrari is taken aback but smiles at Ray, one of his wrestling heroes.
Giovanni nods for Alicia to up and leave. Only when the door closes, does Ray lean in. “I love you, and what you do for this company. You know that, right?”
“Of course. What is this about?”
Giovanni sits up. Ray looks round, paranoid. “You hear what Stanley said, I know you did, and I just want you to know that there are rumors out there that if Dream doesn’t get the job done, they may look to replace you.”
Ferrari’s tanned face turns a shade of pale. “Fuck. I mean, what for?”
The usually screaming Young, at least in his wrestling heyday, controls his volume ever so carefully. “From that first meeting, that Benedict, he did a number on them walking in here, man. They see Dream as the future of this company, unless…unless…”
Ray covers his face with his left hand. Ferrari clasps at it. “Tell me, what is it, Ray?”
“Unless you can get one of the big boys.”
Giovanni stays quiet as Ray uses the digits on both hands. “Watkins, Finn Stevenson, Chris Arnold, Ethan King, Karl Lloyd…”
Ferrari shakes his head. “How are we supposed to get any of them? UWE is still paying them enormous amounts of money, Ethan’s on fire in Japan, Karl’s World Champion…”
The second hand comes out. “Abraham, Hastings, Hiro, Mercer, Garrick.”
“Well, we signed deals with Mercer and Garrick, but they’re injured, and Brandon may never wrestle again. Those names are ridiculous, Ray.”
Young touches Giovanni on the wrist for comfort. “I know, and you’re building stars such as Dream, we’ve got Crusader X, Truth, Jerry David, shame about EZ Rah, but at least we know he’s not dead, unlike Jerry Watkins, God bless his soul.”
“For that reason alone, we’ll not get Shane, or any of the former UWE guys. The company may not be here, but what if Jerry comes back tomorrow and starts over? Plus, their contracts…my god. We can’t – well, we can afford one or two of them, but they won’t pay it,” Giovanni’s voice tails off, realizing people in corridors can hear him.
“Make them, by getting better out of what you’ve got, and booking some BIG main events and doing it in advance,” Ray says, tapping the side of his nose and leaving, giving Giovanni time to reflect and contemplate.
YOU MIGHT BE ALRIGHT
Alfie Button, presumably down following Amber Lee’s defeat to Crusader X, walks up to her conqueror, not looking like himself at all. His hair is ruffled, the bags under his eyes apparent, and he has a cup of coffee in his hand, hopeful of remedying that. Even his attire, which is usually amped up, instead is a simple black t-shirt with ripped denim jeans. “X, watch ya.”
“Oh. Hey, Alfie.” X smiles a weaker version of his usual smile. “How… how are you?”
Alfie shakes his head. “I’m cream crackered, worn aht, and dead to the world, mate.”
X notices Alfie’s alone. “Is Amber still here, or…”
Button gestures towards the door. “She took off early, said somefing abaht bein’ on her own for a bit, stuff to take care of, you know.”
Crusader nods. “Right.” He then shakes his head. His tone is dour and soft. “It’s horrible. Heartbreaking.”
The uncharacteristically downbeat Londoner takes a much-needed sip of his coffee before sighing. “Yeah, you’re tellin’ me, mate.”
X continues. “When she comes back to GLOBAL, and she will… I hope her mom gets to see it.”
Button does a double-take upon hearing that. “Wow, that was really nice, Crusader. You almost sounded like a normal ‘uman bein’ there. Watch yasel, we’re all in trouble.”
X laughs. Then, he nods. “Alfie… after Gold Rush and… now this… I think it’s best if I just… give you some space, alright? If you need anything, I’ll be here, but… don’t worry about anything we’ve talked about. I’ll see you around.” He turns to leave.
Until Alfie stops him with a tap on the shoulder. “Well, it just so ‘appens I ‘ave been lookin’ for ya.”
X looks taken aback. “You… have?”
“I ‘ave, as it ‘appens. Wiv everyfing goin’ on, it ‘as made me fink about what ya said at Gold Rush, and you might be right, geezer. I don’t want to be your enemy, not because I’m scared ov ya mate, I ain’t scared ov anyone in this joint and never will be. I just don’t like ‘avin’ enemies, case in point wiv Dazza and Alex Reyn, like. It ‘as consumed and eaten away at Dazza, professionally AND personally, and I don’t wany any ov that if I can ‘elp it. And, because of the way you treated Amber after the match – that was a touch of class, let’s ‘ave it right, and in my book, that makes you alright, X,” Alfie says, slapping Crusader X on the shoulder with no force behind it at all.
X’s face brightens up. “I- wow. I honestly thought you wouldn’t want to speak to me again after-“
The Cockney cuts Crusader off. “Well, we’ve surprised each ovver, ‘aven’t we, my man? You see, we don’t really know each ovver, being honest, do we? So, ‘ow about we start over, giv’ each ovver anovver chance, and have a chinwag somewhere a bit more private, go over some fings and go from there?”
X smiles. “I’d love to!” X’s smile fades a bit. “…Just… up until the main event, alright?”
Alfie seems puzzled, but nods regardless. “Yeah, that’s no bovver. Can I just ask why?”
Button begins to walk down the hall as X speaks quietly and sternly as he follows Alfie. “Darring’s opponent in the main event is that racist prick Truth.” Alfie sighs in disgust. “I’m keeping my eye on that parasite. If he and the rest of the Klan try anything…”
Alfie laughs lightly. “Maybe Dazza was right about you, and you are trouble, after all, but since it’s Troof and you spoke the troof on him, I’m still willin’ to give you a shot, X. Anyway, what do ya reckon will ‘appen in the main event, anyway?”
Steve Blaine stands alongside the Prime Time Athletes backstage as they prepare for their match. Jimmy Classic and Trae Larkin are dressed in their wrestling gear, exuding a no-nonsense attitude. Steve Blaine, the ever-professional interviewer, starts with a safe question.
“Gentlemen, these past six months have been quite exciting. You’ve grown tremendously as a tag team and have emerged as one of the top teams in GLOBAL.”
Jimmy Classic and Trae Larkin exchange glances, and without hesitation, The Suplex Ninja cuts to the chase.
“Enough with the pleasantries, Blaine. No need to dance around the obvious. Ask the question, and let’s get this interview going.”
Steve Blaine, quick on his feet, responds, “Fair enough. At Gold Rush, you faced your first GLOBAL defeat against the Rich Family in an intense respect match. How does this impact your mindset?”
With that question, there’s no going back. Jimmy Classic clenches his jaw, places a hand on his partner’s shoulder, and takes the lead in answering.
“Steve, we may not have the warmest feelings towards you, but we acknowledge your tenure in this industry. To ensure you continue your long career, it’s best if you hand me that microphone and make your exit stage left.”
Steve Blaine scans the surroundings and then shrugs, realizing it’s time to wrap things up. He silently passes the microphone to Jimmy Classic and obliges Classic’s request. Jimmy Classic turns towards the camera, his gaze intense and determined.
“The Rich Family managed to get the upper hand,” Jimmy Classic states with a hint of annoyance, accompanied by a slow, sarcastic clap.
“Our unique blend of style, showmanship, and athletic competition has always set the Prime Time Athletes apart. You capitalized on our aspirations to be the top team in GLOBAL and lured us into a brutal wrestling match reminiscent of the barbaric 1970s.”
Shaking his head, Jimmy Classic continues, “We should have been wiser. Even the strictest of parents have moved away from using leather straps. So why should an athletic wrestling match resort to such measures? But I digress… You succeeded in outsmarting us, slapping those leather straps across our backs. And let me tell you, it was a wake-up call.”
Trae Larkin nods in solidarity with his partner, acknowledging the visible healing marks on Jimmy Classic’s back. Jimmy Classic turns around, displaying the lingering red and purple marks, his expression filled with frustration and disbelief.
“Does this resemble wrestling to you? Does this look like a fair and competitive wrestling match?” he asks rhetorically, shaking his head in disappointment.
“Let me clarify: Our business with the Rich Family is far from over. You may have intended to teach us a lesson in respect, but instead, you’ve shown us that anything goes. The next time our paths cross, rest assured we’ll have a message for you, which won’t be one of respect.”
Trae Larkin firmly grasps the microphone, his voice calm yet filled with determination.
“To the Rich Family, mark my words: This is far from over. Wherever you may be, I hope you have your eyes glued to the TV because, in just a moment, every punch, every kick, every slam, every single move we execute will be with your pathetic family in mind.”
A satisfied smile forms on The Suplex Ninja’s face as he continues, “Rest assured, we will cross paths again soon.”
THE LEGEND SPEAKS THE TRUTH
Steve Blaine manages to catch up with “The Legend” Sean Darring, who is in high spirits. The camera captures their friendly exchange as Steve prepares to ask the champion some pressing questions.
“Sean, the news just broke that you’ll be facing John Truth tonight. How do you feel about this sudden announcement?”
The Legend flashes a smile at his friend before answering.
“I have to admit, I’m a little taken aback. One moment, I’m in the ring challenging Daniel Dream, our number one contender, and the next moment I find out I’ll be defending the Global Championship against John Truth. It’s a whirlwind, but that’s the nature of this business. As a champion, you have to be prepared to defend your title at a moment’s notice against anyone. Tonight, it happens to be John Truth.”
Steve Blaine nods, understanding the unpredictable nature of professional wrestling. He presses on with his questions, eager to know more.
“Tell us, Sean, what are your thoughts on John Truth?”
Sean Darring pauses for a moment, collecting his thoughts before responding.
“Quite the loud mouth.”
Steve Blaine knowing how his friend is, laughs as the Legend continues.
“John Truth is a formidable competitor, there’s no doubt about that. He’s risen through the ranks quickly and has made a name for himself in a short span of time. He’s controversial, unpredictable, and possesses a unique set of skills. I respect his abilities, but I’m also confident in my own. Tonight, in the ring, it will be a clash of styles, strategies, and wills. I’m prepared to defend my championship with everything I’ve got, and I have no doubt that John Truth will bring his A-game. It’s going to be an intense and thrilling match.”
Steve Blaine pays close attention to Sean Darring’s initial response and decides to dig deeper, knowing the champion’s tendency to speak his mind. He presses on, determined to get a more candid answer.
“Sean, I couldn’t help but notice your initial reaction. You mentioned being surprised and not having enough time to process the news. But we all know sometimes the first thing that comes out is how you truly feel. Care to elaborate on your initial thoughts?”
Sean Darring lets out a playful sigh and shakes his head at his friend’s persistence. He realizes he can’t escape the probing questions and decides to share his true sentiments.
“Damn you, Steve. Alright, here’s the deal. Yes, I was genuinely surprised when I heard about the change in opponents. It caught me off guard, and my immediate reaction was a mix of frustration and curiosity. Frustration because I had mentally prepared myself for a match against Daniel Dream, and suddenly everything shifted. Curiosity because I know John Truth is a wildcard, and facing him brings a whole new set of challenges.”
He pauses for a moment, collecting his thoughts before continuing.
“But you know what, Steve? That’s the beauty of this business. Things can change in an instant, and as a champion, I’ve learned to adapt. It’s what sets apart the greats from the rest. I thrive under pressure, and tonight won’t be any different. John Truth might think he has an advantage with this sudden opportunity, but I’ve faced adversity before, and I’ve come out on top. So, Steve, if you want my honest opinion, I’m ready to take on this challenge head-on and prove once again why I am ‘The Legend’ in this ring.”
Steve Blaine nods, getting the sign to wrap up the interview, eager to hear Sean Darring’s final thoughts before the match.
“Any final thoughts, Sean?”
The Legend relaxes his shoulders and smiles, appreciating the opportunity to express himself.
“You know, Steve, I always love coming to Vancouver. This city has a special energy, and the fans here are truly incredible. Even though the anticipated rematch with Daniel Dream couldn’t happen tonight, I’m still grateful to step into this ring and feel the electric atmosphere created by these amazing fans.”
He pauses for a moment, a mischievous glint in his eyes, before continuing.
“Now, as for John Truth, welcome to the big stage, my friend. You’ve been given a chance to prove yourself tonight, so let’s see if you can back up all that talk with your wrestling skills. It’s one thing to run your mouth, but it’s a whole different story to deliver in the ring. So, John, the spotlight is on you. Show us what you’ve got.”
With those final words, Sean Darring’s focus shifts back to the upcoming match, ready to face the challenge that awaits him in the form of John Truth.
METAL MILITIA Vs. PRIME TIME ATHLETES
As “Dirty Palm & Benix” by Legacy blares through the PA system, the crowd at Global Nation responds with boos. Jimmy Classic and “The Suplex Ninja” Trae Larkin emerge from backstage, wasting no time as they storm down the aisle toward the ring. They remain focused, ignoring the fans, announcers, and everything else around them.
Lucas Quinn quickly comments, “The Prime Time Athletes, known for their showmanship and swagger, seem to be all business tonight.”
The Mark chimes in, “It’s remarkable how a taste of humility can change someone’s perspective. The Rich Family’s disrespect has been heard for months.”
Allie adds, “The question now is, will this newfound humility make them more dangerous? They are incredibly young, and if they can harness and synchronize their abilities, just imagine how formidable they can become.”
The Prime Time Athletes enter the ring and wait for their opponents staring straight toward the entrance area as if they dare their opponents to come down that aisle way.
Lucas Quinn acknowledges, “There’s no denying the shift in their demeanor tonight.”
The Mark raises an important question, “The real question is, will this change ultimately benefit or hinder them?”
The powerful opening chords of Metallica’s “Metal Militia” resonate through the arena, eliciting an enthusiastic response from the crowd. It is recognized as a hidden gem of 80s heavy metal and signifies the arrival of one of GLOBAL’s most prominent wrestling families. Without skipping a beat, as the song’s main riff reverberates from the speakers, all four members of the Robinson clan emerge from behind the curtain. With horns held high and heads lowered, they are ready to engage in some electrifying headbanging action.
“Here comes the Robinson clan, locked, loaded, and ready to rock!”
“But they’re not Swiss, Lucas, they’re pure-blooded Americans!”
“I know, Mark. I was just making a reference.”
“Well, next time, make sure it’s understandable, old-timer!”
As the two announcers exchange playful banter, the four young individuals on the ramp finish their neck-stretching routine and descend toward the ring. Along the way, they pause to share high-fives and fist bumps with fans in the front rows, acknowledging the warm welcome they receive.
“Vancouver extends a warm welcome to the Robinsons, a city that has significantly impacted the heavy rock music scene over the years,” Mark Deltzer interjects, surprisingly delivering a brief but informative history lesson. “While renowned for being the birthplace of the grunge movement in the late 80s and early 90s, it has also produced several notable metal bands such as Queensryche, Kamelot, Nevermore… and let’s not forget Trivium, Coheed and Cambria, Thrice…” Realizing he has veered off course, Mark quickly refocuses. “So, it’s no wonder this crowd is cheering for the Robinsons. They’re their kind of people.”
As Mark displays his knowledge of heavy music, the four youthful wrestlers reach the ringside. The two almost identical younger brothers ascend the ring steps while the older siblings take their positions at ringside, providing final words of strategy and encouragement to their comrades before the bell rings.
DING DING !!!
Lucas Quinn announces, “And the bell rings, signaling the start of the match. Jimmy Classic will be squaring off against Aiden Destruktor.”
Allie chimes in, “Although Aiden may have a slight size disadvantage, standing at 5’9, it would be unwise to underestimate him. He compensates with his experience and a tenacious, aggressive approach.”
Jimmy Classic confidently approaches Aiden Destruktor, flexing in an attempt to intimidate the smaller Metal Militia member. However, Aiden refuses to back down, showing no signs of being intimidated by Jimmy’s size.
Lucas Quinn observes, “Jimmy Classic is attempting to assert his dominance and intimidate Aiden Destruktor. But Aiden has faced bigger and tougher opponents in the ring, and he’s not one to be easily intimidated.”
Suddenly, a loud thwack echoes through the arena as Jimmy Classic delivers a disrespectful slap across Aiden Destruktor’s face. The Mark reacts with excitement, exclaiming, “Did you see that? Jimmy Classic just slapped Aiden Destruktor! But wait, Destruktor is retaliating!”
Aiden Destruktor swiftly executes a clean wrestling takedown, catching Jimmy Classic off guard and bringing him down to the mat. Destruktor unleashes a flurry of hard right punches, much to the delight of the cheering fans.
Allie exclaims, “See? I told you Aiden wouldn’t back down! And now Trae Larkin is rushing in to protect his partner!”
With a resounding thud, Trae Larkin swiftly charges in, delivering a powerful boot straight to the mouth of Aiden Destruktor.
Lucas Quinn expresses his disapproval, saying, “Oh, come on! Trae Larkin wasn’t even tagged in, and he just kicked Destruktor off his partner. I thought these guys would have learned some humility, but they’re still displaying the same disrespectful behavior as before. They’re just poor sports.”
However, the situation takes a turn as Chris Brutalizer enters the picture, launching himself into a running crossbody that catches the unsuspecting Trae Larkin off guard. The crowd’s jeers swiftly transform into cheers. The Prime Time Athletes roll out of the ring while Brutalizer assists his older brother, Destruktor, to his feet. They point towards the Prime Time Athletes, daring them to re-enter the ring, further irritating the young, arrogant duo.
The Mark warns, stating, “We shouldn’t underestimate Metal Militia, but they must be cautious. Even though the Prime Time Athletes may seem off their game, we must remember that they are still a dangerous team. When they’re motivated and faced with a challenge, few teams can match their capabilities.”
As Trae Larkin prepares to reenter the ring and take on both members of Metal Militia, Jimmy Classic intervenes, halting his partner’s actions. The two huddle together, strategizing and devising a coordinated plan. However, this momentary pause presents an opportunity for Metal Militia.
Seizing the opening, Chris Brutalizer joins forces with Aiden Destruktor. They work in tandem, tossing Destruktor off the ropes, propelling him through the air, and sending him crashing onto the unsuspecting Prime Time Athletes. The crowd erupts with excitement, cheering loudly for the unexpected turn of events.
Lucas Quinn exclaims, “OH MY!!!!! Aiden Destruktor was just sent flying and crashed onto Jimmy Classic and Trae Larkin!”
Aiden Destruktor “assists” Jimmy Classic in getting back into the ring and then swiftly climbs up the turnbuckle. As Jimmy Classic struggles to regain his footing, Aiden executes a springboard plancha, diving onto Jimmy and hooking his leg for the cover.
The referee starts the count:
… But just in the nick of time, Jimmy Classic powers out, lifting his shoulder off the mat, breaking the pinfall attempt.
The Mark comments, “Metal Militia is capitalizing on their teamwork and taking advantage of the mental distractions faced by the Prime Time Athletes. They came close to snatching a victory right under the noses of the Athletes.”
Allie concurs, saying, “The Rich Family’s impact on the Prime Time Athletes seems to be more significant than anticipated. It’s clear that they have inflicted more damage than initially expected.”
Aiden Destruktor tags in his brother Chris Brutalizer, and together, they seize hold of Jimmy Classic. The Militia brothers charge forward, forcefully smashing their heads into Classics with double headbutts. Jimmy Classic staggers around the ring, attempting to maintain his balance. However, Brutalizer easily evades Classic’s wild right-hand punches and eventually brings him down with a powerful uppercut. He swiftly drops down, covering Jimmy Classic for the pin.
The referee begins the count:
… But Classic manages to stretch his leg and place it on the bottom rope, halting the pinfall.
Lucas Quinn remarks, “Jimmy Classic found himself in the ring with a pair of formidable opponents in the Metal Militia. He barely hangs on, strategically getting his boot on the ropes and breaking the pin. Trae Larkin can be heard shouting words of encouragement, attempting to refocus his partner’s attention on the match.”
The Mark raises an important question, asking, “Could this be the downfall of the Prime Time Athletes unfolding right before our eyes?”
Chris Brutalizer and Trae Larkin verbally exchange, with Larkin positioned outside the ring. Larkin attempts to strike Brutalizer, but the agile Brutalizer effortlessly evades the incoming attack, showcasing his agility and skill. He laughs and taunts Larkin, pointing at him before refocusing his attention on Jimmy Classic.
However, in that brief moment of distraction, Jimmy Classic seizes the opportunity and delivers a desperate crescent kick to Brutalizer. Allie remarks, “The distraction caused by Trae Larkin was just enough to give Jimmy Classic the opening he needed to land that impactful kick. Classic then tags in Trae Larkin, who enters the ring with the intensity of a charging pit bull.”
With fierce determination, Trae Larkin charges at Chris Brutalizer, grabbing him easily and executing a belly-to-back suplex effortlessly. Brutalizer is folded in half, bearing the brunt of Larkin’s strength, truly living up to Larkin’s nickname, “The Suplex Ninja.”
The Mark comments, “Trae Larkin’s suplexes are a sight to behold. He executes them with such ease and precision. And now, he’s returning to Chris Brutalizer, lifting him again, this time performing a northern lights suplex.”
There’s a loud thud as Brutalizer hits the mat, feeling the impact of Larkin’s suplex. Larkin then proceeds to face-wash Brutalizer, shouting, “Did you really think you could disrespect us?”
Lucas Quinn observes, “It appears that disrespect continues to be a sensitive issue for Trae Larkin. He’s making it clear that it won’t be tolerated.”
Trae Larkin pressures Brutalizer’s shoulders, attempting to secure a pinfall victory.
However, Brutalizer kicks out with ease, displaying his resilience. Undeterred, Larkin persists and shoves Brutalizer’s shoulders down again, going for another cover.
Once again, Brutalizer manages to kick out, refusing to succumb to the pinfall attempt.
Allie comments, “Trae Larkin is toying with the Metal Militia. He’s asserting his dominance and showing that he can dictate the match’s pace. Brutalizer is being forced to contend with Larkin’s tactics.”
As Trae Larkin attempts to execute another suplex, Chris Brutalizer manages to flip behind him. Seizing the opportunity, Brutalizer goes for a standing kick, but Larkin swiftly catches it and defiantly shakes his head, refusing to be caught off guard.
However, before Larkin can react, Brutalizer’s other boot connects with precision, delivering a powerful enziguri that smashes into Larkin’s head.
Lucas Quinn exclaims, “They’re both inching their way towards their respective corners, desperate for the tag! And there it is! Larkin tags in Jimmy Classic, while Brutalizer quickly makes the tag to Aiden Destruktor!”
The crowd erupts in excitement as both men enter the ring, ready to engage in a heated exchange. Classic attempts a powerful right punch, but Destruktor swiftly ducks underneath, utilizing his agility to his advantage. He rebounds off the ropes and executes a high-flying crossbody, taking Classic down to the mat. Destruktor quickly bounces back up and charges towards the ropes again, aiming to build momentum. However, Larkin anticipates his move and counters with a well-timed knee strike, halting Destruktor in his tracks. With Destruktor stunned, Jimmy Classic seizes the opportunity and delivers a devastating DDT, sending him crashing to the canvas.
The Mark says. “Heads up by Trae Larkin on the outside and then Jimmy Classic, who finished the double team there. Classic isn’t going for the finish, though. He shows off by landing a beautiful standing shooting star press!”
Allie agrees, “As much as I dislike their attitude, we must acknowledge their athleticism. Classic’s air time was incredible.”
The referee counts the pinfall.
However, Chris Brutalizer quickly enters the ring and breaks up the pinfall, saving his brother Aiden Destruktor. The referee promptly intervenes, ushering Brutalizer out of the ring. In the meantime, Trae Larkin takes advantage of the distraction and enters the ring without a tag, joining Jimmy Classic in assaulting Aiden Destruktor with stomps. Brutalizer tries to maneuver around the referee and come to his brother’s aid.
Lucas Quinn expresses his frustration, saying, “Oh, this is unfair! It’s a clear two-on-one assault on Destruktor, and Brutalizer is just trying to protect his brother!”
Despite the referee’s continued distraction, Jimmy Classic and Trae Larkin seize the opportunity and deliver a thunderous double superkick to Aiden Destruktor!
The Mark erupts with excitement, exclaiming, “Prime Time Kick! Finally, the referee turns around as Trae Larkin slides out.”
The fans are in complete disbelief as Aiden Destruktor manages to get his shoulder up just in the nick of time. Trae Larkin on the outside is visibly shocked, while Jimmy Classic jumps to his feet, vehemently arguing with the referee, insisting that the count should have been a three.
Allie interjects, “Trae and Jimmy, you better believe it! Aiden’s resilience is astounding. He may be smaller in size, but his determination and heart are unmatched. It will take more than underhanded tactics to keep him down.”
Lucas Quinn exclaims, “What resilience by Aiden Destruktor! He managed to kick out after that devastating double superkick. The Rich Family may be shocked, but Aiden shows incredible heart and determination.”
The Mark adds, “Absolutely, Allie. Aiden is proving that size doesn’t determine the strength of a competitor. The Prime Time Athletes must develop something more than illegal tactics if they want to put Aiden away.”
As Jimmy Classic argues with the referee, Trae Larkin on the outside regroups, realizing that they will need a different strategy to defeat Aiden Destruktor and the Metal Militia. The fans rally behind Aiden, cheering him on as he crawls towards his corner, inching closer to make the much-needed tag to his brother, Chris Brutalizer.
Lucas Quinn narrates, “Aiden desperately reaches out for his brother, but Jimmy Classic grabs hold of his foot, preventing the tag. Brutalizer extends his hand, straining to reach his brother and provide the much-needed assistance.”
The crowd is fervently rallying behind the Metal Militia, urging Aiden Destruktor to give it his all. Summoning every ounce of strength, Destruktor pushes off and propels himself forward, finally making the explosive hot tag with his brother, Chris Brutalizer.
Allie exclaims excitedly, “There goes Brutalizer, taking down both Jimmy and Trae! He’s showing his dominance in the ring! He hurls Trae Larkin into the corner and then turns his attention to Jimmy Classic, delivering a punishing knee strike. As Trae Larkin stumbles out of the corner, Brutalizer charges forward and sends him over the ropes with a powerful clothesline.”
Lucas Quinn observes the unfolding action, commenting, “Brutalizer is urging Jimmy Classic to get up, but Trae Larkin has managed to divert the referee’s attention with his protests. However, Brutalizer retaliates with a massive right hand, followed by another. But wait! Classic resorts to a low blow, taking advantage of the referee’s unawareness!”
The fans express their disapproval with loud boos as Jimmy Classic seizes the opportunity and grabs the dazed Brutalizer, executing a roll-up while holding onto a handful of tights for extra leverage. Aiden Destruktor attempts to intervene and come to his partner’s aid, but Trae Larkin intercepts him, preventing any interference. Meanwhile, the referee counts the pinfall.
The Mark remarks, “With a cheap shot to the sensitive area and a sneaky handful of tights, the Prime Time Athletes manage to survive the fierce and unpredictable Metal Militia.”
The Winners of the Match – THE PRIME TIME ATHLETES …
As the bell rings, signaling the end of the match, The Prime Time Athletes are declared the winners. However, the crowd responds with loud boos, expressing their disapproval of the outcome. Aiden Destruktor assists his brother, Chris Brutalizer, in getting back on his feet while The Prime Time Athletes celebrate their victory on the outside of the ring, raising their hands in triumph. Jimmy Classic shows signs of fatigue and discomfort, clutching his back from the intense battle. Trae Larkin points out and taunts the Metal Militia, further fueling their frustration. The brothers of the Metal Militia protest to the referee, claiming that he missed the illegal tactics used by The Prime Time Athletes.
Allie remarks, “It’s the same old Prime Time Athletes, full of disrespect and arrogance. It seems they need another lesson from the Rich Family.”
Lucas Quinn concurs with Allie’s assessment and adds his own analysis. “Tonight, the Prime Time Athletes managed to secure a victory, but it wasn’t without its challenges. They faced a formidable opponent in the Metal Militia and had to overcome their own internal issues. They weren’t always on the same page during the match. The Metal Militia gave them a tough fight and pushed them to their limits. The Prime Time Athletes may have come out with a win, but they should take this as a reminder that they need to work on their teamwork and unity if they want to continue their success in the future.”
Friday, 29th October, 1507.
“Court is in session. Order! Order!”
The elderly Judge sits behind a large mahogany pew, his gavel made from matching mahogany. He is wearing a long black robe and a traditional white curled wig.
Before him stands a woman no older than twenty years of age. Around her wrists, heavy black chains are cuffed. Tears stream down her reddening face.
Behind her, half a dozen filthy peasants sit in the court, the ground of which consists of the same dirt as the field the small wooden building stands on.
Without windows, the room’s only lighting comes from the occasional crack in the wood that makes up the structure, and from the open door.
Outside, the rain is falling hard, slapping against the sodden dirt.
“Julie Barrens, you have been accused of the crime of practicing witchcraft. How do you plead?”
The woman shakes her head and wipes her face, the chains jangling as she moves.
“Not guilty,” she says.
“Very well. And are you aware of the penalty, are you to be found guilty of this most serious of crimes?” The judge asks, looking down his nose at the young woman.
She nods. Yes, she is aware that she is to be lashed to a bonfire and burned alive if she is found to be guilty.
“I shall turn to the accuser. Mister…”
The judge checks his paperwork.
Mister Thompson is a bright orange haired man in his mid-30s. His skin is dark from working in the fields, and covered in mud. His shirt has two noticeable holes in it. He stands from where he is sitting in the gallows and nods to the judge.
“Mister Thompson, please explain to me how you came to find the defendant on the evening of October 25th.”
“Certainly, your honour,” he lisps, “The fing is, I was walkin’ them horses back to the field up by the north brook an’ I passes the small woods on me left, an’ what’s I sees is this woman ‘ere, who I’m familiar with on account of ‘er ‘avin’ ‘ad it off wi’ Jerome on more’n one occasion, ‘an she’s ‘er ‘ands in’t dirt, see. ‘an she’s doin’ somethin’ untoward wi’a frog. ‘an fing is that—“
“Untoward with a frog how, precisely?” The judge interjects.
“Well she were blowin’ ‘er breath up its bum an’ fillin’ its belly wi’ air.”
The room collectively gasp.
“Witch!” A woman shouts, pointing her gray, bony finger at the accused.
“BURN ‘ER!” Comes the call of a man behind the gray woman.
Then, almost in unison, the rest of the crowd begin to scream their opinions, all of which lean towards burning Julie Barrens alive.
The judge slams his gavel down several times.
“Order! Order in my court! Order!”
The crowd quietens down and returns to their seats.
“Julie Barrens, it appears a frog was indeed found in the area, having succumbed to some kind of injury that causes its eyeballs to pop from its skull. This much lines up with the story of Mister Thompson.
“I am therefore left with no choice, but to find you guilty as charged!”
The crowd erupt, once again screaming for the woman to be burned alive.
“You shall be burned alive on this very day. Guard?”
A man steps into the room from the main door. He is, by far, the tallest man in the room, slender, and wearing, bizarrely, a black bag of Doritos on his head.
“Who are you? Where is my guard?”
Doritos Man looks at the judge. The audience is silent now.
“That depends. Do you mean his skin, or his innards?”
The judge’s eyes widen.
Doritos walks across the room and stands next to Julie Barrens.
“Julie Barrens. You are to die this day by fire. Are you ready to face your punishment, you filthy little frog fucker?”
“Oh, I suppose so.”
“You have been a very, very bad girl.”
Doritos spanks Julie, who whimpers.
“Very bad, sir.” She says, her eyes glistening.
“Now would be a good time to stand behind me,” Doritos tells her, and she complies.
As she does, Doritos pulls from each of his suit jacket pockets an Uzi machine gun. He immediately opens fire on the crowd, splattering their brains all over the back of the wooden shack.
He turns, aiming at the judge, who dives over his pulpit and to the ground. As the judge gets to his feet and begins to run towards the door, Doritos fires a row of machine gun bullets across his Achilles tendons. The judge collapses to the ground, shrieking in pain.
Doritos walks over to the judge, Julie still close behind him.
He reaches again into his infinitely large suit jacket pocket and pulls out a hip flask. He opens it and empties the contents onto the screaming judge.
“Got a light?” He asks over his shoulder.
Julie Barrens snaps her fingers and her index finger sets alight.
“And to think… in the year 2023, people will say there is no such thing as a witch,” Doritos says without a lick of irony.
Julie points at the judge and a small ball of fire flicks from her fingertip, instantly setting fire to the petrol-soaked judge, whose screams don’t last much longer.
Soon, the entire building is burning and Doritos and Julie watch, arm in arm, as the whole building collapses in on itself.
“Oh, Doritos, I love you,” Julie whispers.
“Shut the fuck up, witch.”
Backstage, a hidden security camera catches a meeting in progress between controversial superstar John J. Truth and his two acolytes, in a private corner of the arena. It takes no more than a few moments, however, for the strategy talk to subside, as the two larger men step in front of their leader, shielding him from an oncoming stranger. The man’s body language does not, however, indicate any form of aggression; much to the contrary, as he approaches the divisive trio his hands are up in the classic surrender gesture. Even this does not prevent him from getting grilled by one of Truth’s security officers, in typical harsh fashion.
“Can we help you, buddy?”
The newcomer is, however, not intimidated by his interloper’s tone, making a point of maintaining his own even and friendly.
“Actually, I was wondering if I could have a word with John there…”
The bodyguard is about to respond, but before he can, Truth himself bursts forth, pushing in-between the two men to stand head to head with the newcomer – or rather, head to chin, as the man towers about four inches over him. Even still, Truth does not back down, his body language openly confrontational as he addresses the newcomer.
“Do I know you? ‘Cause apparently we’re on a first name basis, but I ain’t got the faintest idea who the hell YOU are…”
Still the second man remains calm, ignoring Truth’s hostility and holding out a hand.
“Sure you do. I’m Daniel Dream. The American Dream.” He chuckles. “You know…the Number One Contender to the GLOBAL Championship…?”
“Right.” Truth makes no attempt to shake the preferred hand, which he is eyeing suspiciously. “And you felt the need to interrupt my private conversation with my associates, why, exactly?”
Daniel Dream shows no hesitation. “Well, I heard you’re going to be facing Sean Darring here in a bit…you know…the match I was supposed to have…but it’s fine, it’s fine…I’ll still have my shot!” Daniel sighs in frustration, clearly not fine. Even still, he throws his hands up to placate John and his acolytes, who look ready to pounce again. “But I’d like to propose a deal.”
John is just as quick in responding. “Forget it, pal. You want me to do your homework for ya, you better start forking over some lunch money. Or, y’know, my boys can shake it outta you…” The three men share their usual unpleasant guffaw, but Dream remains as impassive as ever, going so far as to give off another amicable chuckle.
“No, no…nothing like that. I just wanted to let you know that if you need any help tonight…I’ve got your back.”
It is Truth’s turn to chuckle, though his is less than amicable. “First of all…what makes you think you can handle anything my boys can’t? And second of all, what the hell makes you think I would trust you?”
Once again, Daniel’s response is prompt. “I’m not saying your boys can’t handle it…I’m saying you need all the help you can get, what with all the people in this company that want you out on your ass…” This, finally, perks Truth’s attention, his body language going from aggressive to curious as Dream continues. “And it just so happens, I’m not one of them. In fact, I’m rooting for you, John. A win for you here tonight is a win for America. And if it comes down to me and you for that GLOBAL Championship…” Dream chuckles earnestly again. “…well, I know it’ll be in good, red-blooded, patriotic American hands either way.”
The Number One Contender holds out his hand again, then – seeing the futility in that action – quickly retracts it again, settling for verbal reassurance instead. “So, again…if you boys need anything out there…anything at all…I’m your guy.” He leans in to pat Truth’s shoulder, a gesture the controversial superstar instinctively backs away from; Dream, however, maintains the same tone and expression, as though nothing at all had transpired. “Now go out there and win it for America.”
With that, as abruptly as he came in, the Number One Contender walks off, a flicker of disgust crosses Daniel Dream’s face, betraying his true feelings about the interaction with John J. Truth and his acolytes, leaving the three men to discuss the whole interaction as they begin to make their way to ringside.
GLOBAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: "LEGEND" SEAN DARRING V JOHN J. TRUTH
The camera pans to The Mark on the viewers’ left, Lucas Quinn in the middle, and Allie Reece on the right. The pink-haired broadcaster decked out in all-denim jeans asks Quinn permission to address the TV audience, and he nods to grant her the opportunity to take center stage.
“Wherever you are, wherever you’re from, I’m pleading with you, not that he needs it, to pray for a Sean Darring victory tonight. ‘Legend’ Sean Darring may or may not be your favorite wrestler, but he’s a man of class, style, honor, and dignity, and is a role model to wrestlers and fans alike, everywhere, no matter where you live or where you were born. He is a true WORLD Champion, respected the WORLD over, and represents everything that’s good about America OR any country for that matter. We cannot have John. J Fake as our GLOBAL Champion, so let’s rally around Sean Darring, the man here in GLOBAL. HE can lose it to anyone else, even Alex Reyn, but not here tonight in Canada, funnily enough, and not to this man.
Paranoid by Black Sabbath.
Now, that’s what you may call a standing BOO-vation.
“Vancouver knows it,” Reece proudly beams.
Marcus Anthony Newman does his thing: “The following contest is for the GLOBAL Championship. Here comes the challenger, accompanied to the ring by Border Control, weighing in at exactly two hundred pounds, whose hometown remains classified…THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH, JOHN. J. TRUUUUUUUUUUUTH!”
The unkempt middle-aged man with greasy, receding dark-brown hair, several-day stubble, and a definite beer paunch plods down the aisle, looking like anything but the next GLOBAL Champion.
“Looks can be deceiving, and John J. Truth, like or loathe him and most fall into the latter category, like our own Allie Reece, has his merits for being here, especially when it is an open challenge. Regardless of the circumstances, he overcame The Great Wall at Gold Rush and is one of the most controversial, if not the most, wrestlers to have ever competed here in GLOBAL. This match captures the attention, gets people talking and this will make headlines one way or another, but can you imagine…”
Reece cuts Quinn’s soliloquy off. “No, don’t. Lucas, I can’t even entertain that thought, don’t tempt fate.”
The Mark picks things up, “But, it could happen Allie, especially with Border Control out there. On paper, Sean Darring has all the experience in the world, but Truth is dogged, game as a bagel and this is the biggest fight of his life, whereas it’s another night at the office for Darring, and that’s before you get into it about what kind of role, and they’ll be involved, Lincoln and Washington can play during this contest.”
John J. Truth occupies the top-right corner, leaning back against the ropes and awaiting the arrival of one Sean Darring.
The Final Countdown by Europe.
In a gorgeous gold-sequined robe, LSD doesn’t keep the fans waiting long as he poses with hands on hips, the belt outside of the robe so the fans can see it (Shame on you, Bob Backlund) and the Canadians give this American a warm welcome as fireworks go off around him. However, as usual, the 46-year-old icon remains a picture of calmness and composure as people lose their minds around him, happy to see GLOBAL’S main man in action, an intriguing contest, and opponent awaiting him, and that’s without mentioning the added threat of Border Control.
“Talk about a contrast, in almost everything. Style, in and out of the ring, respect, popularity, class, a champion who is respected the world over, and a challenger reviled for his words and actions. This is a case of chalk and cheese in this fascinating championship match.”
As Darring walks that aisle one more time, Newman gives it the big’un: “From MIAMI FLORRRRRRIDA, WEIGHING IN AT TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY POUNDS, THE LIVING LEGEND HIMSELF AND YOUR GLOBAL CHAMPION…”LEGEND” SEEEEEEEAAAAN DARRRRRRRRRRRING!”
“What a wonderful ovation for the champ, fresh off dispatching an odious challenger in Aleczander The Great at Gold Rush in a hell of a battle, he walks into another one with, like you said Mark, this is arguably John’s biggest ever opportunity and it’s up to Sean, no pressure here, to stop the unthinkable from happening and saving Allie Reece’s life,” Quinn quips.
As the bell sounds and the robe comes off, Darring hands over the GLOBAL title belt to Barry Snider, our head referee, a roar goes up in anticipation for this all-important tussle for GLOBAL gold.
The customary collar-and-elbow tie-up is about to be initiated, though John J. Truth is visibly shaky, perhaps him just being the way he is, or in the biggest match of his life, no, wait. He suddenly walks away from hooking up with Sean Darring, pointing the finger at some fans not too far away from our 3-pronged broadcast team to spout off at the eager mob in question. “You idiots are the victims of replacement theory, and you don’t even know it.”
Reece looks at Quinn and Deltzer, who shake their heads with Lucas quipping that he isn’t the one to ask on such matters. “He needs to focus if his theory of replacing ‘Legend’ Sean Darring as GLOBAL Champion is to be realized,” Deltzer states, rather proud of himself, particularly when Allie surprisingly endorses that statement. Now, even I’m starting to believe in conspiracy theories.
“He won’t be able to scurry out of the cage on a whim tonight,” Allie boasts.
Reece continues. “He has to rip the title away from that proud man before him, and he ain’t brave nor good enough to do that,” according to Allie.
The Man Who Fell to Earth holds his left hand up in the air, requesting a good, old-fashioned game of Roman Knuckle Lock. Darring is discouraged from answering the calls by the capacity crowd of 3,500 fans gathered in Vancouver to view this one, however, it cannot be denied that he’s thinking of entertaining the invitation, such is the confidence the wily veteran has in his tremendous abilities, and why not? He is the first and only GLOBAL Champion to date.
Predictably, Truth throws a spanner in the works with a timely boot to the midsection and softens the franchise’s ribs up further with a second and even a third installment, which forces Darring back towards the ropes on the west side of the squared circle. A couple of closed fists keep Darring there and also garner unwanted attention from our head official, Barry Snider, that is Snider with an I, for the record, your honor.
Truth readies Darring for a whip to the east side, but Darring rejects the notion of that one-way trip, instead opting to reverse JJT’s Irish-inspired maneuver. Nevertheless, thinking a step ahead himself, John wraps his arms around the ropes, so as not to arrow back towards the enthusiastic titleholder. Notwithstanding, and JJT won’t be in a moment, Darring furrows forward, not falling for Truth’s brake-slamming, and cuts through Truth like a knife through butter with a clothesline that puts Truth up into the air, over the top rope and out to the floor where Border Control unsuccessfully tries to break their leader’s fall.
They are on hand to link an arm each, encouraging the challenger to the GLOBAL crown. Truth refuses to stay down, so Lincoln and Washington aid him to his feet. Alas, though not for many of the Canadians on hand, the American patriot is dizzy from getting to his feet rather rapidly and is only saved by Border Control clinging onto him, from falling over like a drunk after a dozen or so double vodkas.
Darring wants to take the fight to Truth on the outside, though Snider asks him to take a step back so he can administer a count and also not see Sean throw himself to the hyenas like a proud lion defending the pride. The odds are in Truth Control’s favor, and Snider simply wants to see a fair outcome, especially with the championship at stake, according to the rules of the veteran’s open challenge, and Truth will take it any way he can, as GLOBAL Nation witnessed first-hand at Gold Rush opposite The Great Wall. Talk about daylight robbery, a sentiment Lucas Quinn echoes while on commentary.
“Snider isn’t showing bias towards Darring, he’s showing bias towards these fans in Vancouver and watching around the world. It would be a shame if Sean Darring lost his title in controversial circumstances, given how hard he has fought to capture and keep it since being crowned at Magnum Opus, overcoming Daniel Dream and Alex Reyn. But, given that Dream is back in contention and recruited The Players, it may aid Darring’s cause to go through this as a test run, given he should expect three-on-one odds against Dream and The Players.
Deltzer, livid, stands to his feet and crosses his arms. “OBJECTION, take that back,” he insists while pointing the finger at Lucas.
“OH-KAY,” Quinn replies, pretending to be intimidated, which prompts Allie to giggle.
Meanwhile, John J. Truth sweeps the rug from out underneath LSD, grabbing the legend’s left leg and pulling him clean out of the squared circle. A couple of stiff right haymakers follow and Truth is throwing with wild intent, showcasing his considerable power and determination to dethrone the undisputed king and darling of GLOBAL. Truth brings Darring down a peg or two, at least momentarily, by ramming LSD’s lower back into the apron, and that may come in handy as this title tussle develops and progresses.
“Smart and efficient, not words one would associate with John J. Truth, but that was, it has to be said,” Deltzer muses.
“No, it doesn’t,” Reece retorts
The subsequent whip to the steps placed adjacently, however, sees Sean reverse it, and JJT hits the steel hard, spine-first, much to the chagrin of Border Control and the delight of everyone else, including the voices of this promotion. Allie, in particular, can’t hide her delight, clapping gleefully. “I have been praying for Darring to shut this bigot up ALL DAY, guys, can you imagine this man, can I call him a man? Anyway, can you imagine John J. Truth representing all of us as the GLOBAL CHAMPION? I may have to resign. Honestly,” Allie laments.
“COME ON JOHN, YOU CAN DO IT,” The Mark shouts ever so loudly, gaining glares from ALL stationed in and around him. He also makes those same people laugh, Allie excluded when he realizes he has stood up to bark that encouragement, and he slowly sits back down, like a person easing themselves into a steaming hot bathtub.
Lincoln and Washington are, as you might expect, there to comfort their colleague. They get him up, and seemingly ready, to go back to war on Snider’s count of 7. Truth is on the apron, nursing his back, when Darring comes to collect.
Darring falls like a tree in the middle of the forest, and there are plenty of people around to claim they saw and heard it. However, as experienced and talented as he is, Snider didn’t, though he certainly suspects what has happened. However, as The Mark points out, you can’t call what you can’t see, so Snider, angry at himself and JJT, asks John what happened, only for Truth to shrug it off. That is so unexpected, isn’t it?
Truth almost falls through the ropes and seeing Darring up, albeit somewhat tender in the nether regions, John sets off in Darring’s direction, only for his knee lift to be side-stepped, as Sean’s bags of experience and presence of mind rises to the surface in the form of a well thought-out and timed leg sweep counter.
The rabid dog, which John is in many ways, doesn’t stay down and hastily gets back to his feet, having not learned his lesson from moments ago. Darring is there for a meet and greet, whipping JJT to the top left-hand corner of the ring and then letting fly with a trip of rapid-fire knife-edge chops that light up the challenger’s chest.
JJT grimaces, though elects to fight through the pain and passes a gut check by swiveling the submission specialist into the same corner and repaying Darring with a triumvirate of his own knife edges. Sadly, for The Man Who Fell to Earth, he goes back to confront the Canadian fans from earlier, taking his eye off the ball. “Bill Gates is using microchips, and you’re all too dumb…”
Darring cuts Truth off by hitting him with a hard knee to the ribcage that transitions smoothly into a snap mare. John simply sits up and rolls away, having heard a call from Border Control on the outside. He walks past them, though, to get into it with another section closest to the aisle. “Secret societies control the world, even Canada, which is really the fifty-second state.” He gets some heat for that ill-advised statement, especially here.
“You can’t prepare for that madman,” The Mark muses.
“If anyone can, Sean Darring can. He has seen and done it all, and Truth’s antics won’t intimidate him, plus John knows he can’t get it done on his own, which is why Beavis and Butthead are here to back him up,” Allie spits.
Snider’s count of six ceases. Truth hears a line from Lincoln, prompting the pretender to the throne to nod his head. Lincoln looks over at Washington, who shrugs his shoulders as Border Control expresses doubts that their advice is getting through to their unpredictable captain and mentor.
Truth, appearing disheveled, marches straight towards Darring, and we get the tie-up we thought we were getting at the outset. Rather surprisingly, shockingly to some, JJT clinches the exchange, momentarily anyway, by negotiating an arm wringer and really winding it up, methodically pouring pressure on the kingpin’s right arm. Then, rolling back the years and amazing some sections of the capacity crowd in British Columbia, Darring merely POKES The Man Who Fell to Earth in the eye, which incenses Border Control on their man’s behalf. John is too busy tending to the sensitive area of his face to protest yet, prompting a controversial call from Ms. Reece. “Judging by their reaction, you’d think Putin had just declared war on the United States.”
“Saying stuff like that gives them ammunition, Allie,” Deltzer complains to his colleague.
Darring sets Truth up with an arm wringer, talk about turnaround and all that, and drags Truth down, who is effing and jeffing underneath his breath while assertively turning down any notion of quitting to this basic hold. Instead, the ‘Classified’ grappler gets to his feet, grabs Darring by the hair, talk about the hypocrisy there, lads and lasses, which forces Snider with an I to step in. Once order is restored, as well as it can be considering who the challenger is, JJT casts a sideways glance at no one in particular before suddenly lunging at LSD, peppering the veteran with punches to the side and top of the head like a man possessed, to the point that the broadcasters are speculating whether he hears voices or not. That only intensified as Truth uses his gnashers to gnaw away at Darring’s forehead, drawing blood immediately, prompting widespread boos in The Forum and outrage on commentary. “That should be an automatic disqualification,” Reece reasons, receiving no dissent in return for her claim.
Snider tells Truth to knock it off, and John holds his hands up. “Fuck it, it’s a fight.”
Barry points the finger. “Any more of that, and it’ll be fight over. I’ll disqualify you, you get me?”
Truth ignores that, and concentrates on the monumental task at hand, dislodging LSD from the helm.
“Darring can’t be intimidated by anyone, let alone this guy,” Reece snarls in disgust.
“John is so unorthodox, if anyone can get in Darring’s head, it’s this guy,” Deltzer defends the challenger’s credentials.
“I agree with Mark,” Quinn chips in.
John J. Truth doesn’t apologize for his reconstruction of Tyson v Holyfield. Meanwhile, Darring, who is holding his ear and checking for blood at the same time, stares coldly at the crazed rival in front of him.
“That’s what I mean, he’s not intimidated at all, look at the composure,” Reece retorts, trying to have the last word, and hopeful Darring will stick it to Truth.
Another tie-up sees Darring win the side headlock easily, Sean taking John down to the mat easily. Suddenly, from a standing position, Darring falls to the mat in a heap, courtesy of a BLATANT LOW BLOW.
“Once again, Snider didn’t see it, and I’m wondering if Duncan Treacher might’ve been the man for this assignment,” Deltzer claims.
“How on earth does he get away with it,” Allie wonders aloud.
“Pun intended? Darring certainly fell to the earth, courtesy…” Deltzer jokes.
“FOR GOD’S SAKE, MARK, SHUT UP,” exclaims Allie.
Back with the action, John drops the headbutt dangerously close to the belt line, that one being adjudged to have been on the button of the abdomen.
“He’s treading a dangerous line,” Lucas comments.
JJT stands over Darring, raining in three-four blows, ignoring the official, as he looks to open a cut on Darring’s forehead. No blood drawn, but at this rate, there will be. A camera shot shows Border Control nodding their heads and applauding their ‘leader.’
Truth then turns Darring over onto his stomach prior to scooping him up and then firing the champion into the top left-hand buckle…Darring hits it hard sternum-first and staggers backward, allowing John to pounce with a phenomenal REBOUND LARIAT!
“Truth almost beheaded and maimed Darring with that shot,” Lucas wildly calls.
Only 2 for John J. Truth.
The ‘Classified’ challenger questions the count, throwing his weight around, not that it holds too much with Snider. Undeterred, John is still hopeful of a match and title-winning cover, stomping away relentlessly, amounting to five in total, at Darring, who knows he’s in a war. Unfortunately, the vocal Vancouver crowd has fallen silent, scared that this might be the night ‘Legend’ loses the title.
JJT comes over to the middle rope in the northeast corner and sits on the middle rope, launching himself into the hair and down hard with a terrific diving elbow.
Darring denies Truth with an authoritative kick out. That doesn’t break John’s heart in the slightest, the challenger embracing the occasion, most definitely growing into the match, and in confidence, rather worryingly for everyone, as a result.
John grabs Sean by the scruff of the neck and mercilessly rams the champ’s head into the top turnbuckle once, twice, but it proves to be a case of third time unlucky as Darring sticks his leg out, refusing to cooperate on this occasion.
In vain, JJT gives it another go, looking side-on at Darring, who glares back at him. Truth, realizing the truth, shakes his head as Sean turns the tables and instead rams John’s head into the top turnbuckle. JJT stumbles away before being caught by Darring, who delights the buoyant crowd by repeating the feat a further NINE times allowing the Canadian crowd to count to and reach double figures…
Truth turns, staggering, and this time, Darring doesn’t keep him upright. There’s a loud cheer as Truth falls flat on his face…WOO!
Border Control almost jump out of their seats, even though they’re standing up, cursing the resilient and resourceful champion. They decide to try and even the score with Washington taking Lincoln’s lead. Lincoln stands up on the right side, getting Snider’s attention while Washington attempts to sneak up on Darring from the blind side in the western quarter of the ring. Sean senses it immediately, and as soon as Washington knows Darring has clocked him, he drops down to the floor. Snider has a word with Lincoln and while Border Control couldn’t get any licks in on Darring, in amongst all of that nonsense, a grounded Truth gives Sean another ‘shock’ with yet another LOW BLOW as the champion comes to collect.
By the time Snider turns round, he sees the champion clutching at the crown jewels, but if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that lightning (you can say that again, I bet Darring’s thinking) has struck twice in that regard, and doesn’t lightning fall to earth from the sky, too? Da-ding-ding.
And there’s another bell ringing in just a moment…
RUNNING PUNT BY TRUTH CATCHES DARRING SQUARE ON!
A kick and a hook of the leg, could Truth have it here?
In a rage, perhaps, John repeatedly butts Darring before being warned by Snider. Those nasty headbutts totalled six, and Darring isn’t moving, so Truth, who has just busted himself open in the process, picks Darring up, and both men are a bloody and battered mess.
John’s whip attempt goes unanswered this time, sending Darring to the southern set of ropes and scoring with a solid clothesline. He then picks Sean up before bringing him back down to earth, ahem, with a scoop slam.
All missed. Darring has rolled out of the way on each occasion, and yet the determined and dogged challenger persists.
Sean retreats to a corner to regain his bearing, the bottom left one to be more specific, though Truth stalks him there, only to walk into a drop toe hold that hangs Truth out to try on the second turnbuckle, offering the champion some respite and the audience hope in the process, encouraging Darring to get back in the game and put this nuisance to sleep.
Darring drags Truth out of the corner, picking Truth up for a kneebreaker and following that fine handiwork up with a belly-to-back suplex for an excellent one-two combination that leads to LSD’s first fall of the fight…
Sean patiently waits for JJT to get back to his feet, knowing he’s keen not to stay down, and his prediction proves correct, allowing Darring to then mow JJT down with a chop block, and worry engulfs the faces of Washington and Lincoln respectively.
FIGURE FOUR LEGLO-W BLOW!
Darring is in a BAD way and thankfully…
…Barry Snider FINALLY sees that, and warns Truth, who’s only got away with it 3 times up to this point. Allie, on commentary, claims we shouldn’t be surprised to see 3 more before this one is all said and done.
Truth tosses the champ to the outside with no regard nor remorse, and while the referee is having a word with JJT, the wolves circle, only for Snider to suddenly turn around. All he sees is Truth heading to the outside.
However, John, while holding his arm and limping at the same time, follows Darring to the outside and scores with a headbutt to keep Sean exactly where he wants him. The conspiracy theorist deposits Darring up on the barricade, leaving him to hang and dry, knee-first, and Sean falls to the ringside floor in considerable pain.
“John J. Truth, like him or not, is doing a number on Darring and I, for one, am shocked at that,” Deltzer confesses.
Not content, Darring does it again before mouthing off to some spectators in the front row about how Canadians are the reason Donald Trump’s no longer in power, eh, before tossing Darring back into the battlefield, the only place where Truth’s dreams can come, er…true.
Sean is in the top right-hand corner already, crawling for sanctuary, but the relentless Truth won’t let LSD get away, nor his opportunity to capture gold. He hacks away at Sean’s left leg FIVE times, throws a couple of punches to the head, and then drags Darring away from the corner for a Figure Four of his own!
“That is unexpected,” Quinn says, trying to make sense of what he’s seeing unfold.
However, JJT’s positioning isn’t the best, and Darring reaches back. Washington pushes LSD’s hands off the ropes, the first real hint of interference we’ve seen and The Forum erupts in protest. The calmest man in the building, the champion for the record, reaches back and the ropes for the second time. On this occasion, the official spots it, though JJT holds on for dear life and only relinquishes the painful hold on four and a half.
Truth then marches Darring over to the corner, scoring with a Russian legsweep into the middle turnbuckle, not too dissimilar to the drop toehold Darring stuck him with, what am I talking about? They’re totally different moves!
JJT parks Darring up on the top turnbuckle, and Darring is a sitting duck. The gizmo allows us to see what JJT has planned…Hard clubbing forearms answer Darring’s fruitless elbow attempt, and JJT stands on the top rope with his left foot, rather awkwardly, and then manages to steady and ready himself, perching both feet on the top rope. While the crowd is nervous, they’re also morbidly curious to see what the challenger has in mind for the champion, and they’re fixed to find out…
HOLY SHIT, HOLY SHIT, HOLY SHIT comes the cry.
There’s a moment of silence before Quinn interrupts that. “If Truth can execute the cover, we may have a new GLOBAL Champion, but right now, he seems to have aggravated his injury and what is DANIEL DREAM doing here? BET ON DREAM! The American Patriot has become a Carnivore, and I guess he smells blood. Truth definitely does.”
The camera pans to Dream gently running to ringside, looking worried that Darring is in danger.
Washington and Lincoln start jumping up and down on the spot as they see Truth crawl towards the motionless Darring on the left side of the ring. He doesn’t have the energy to summon up a proper pinfall, barely getting his head on Darring’s abdomen as we’re about to find out the moment…
Dream puts Darring’s foot on the rope, even if it looks like Sean is about to get his shoulder up anyway. LSD takes a second before glaring down at Dream and asking what he’s doing. Dream points to himself. “I’m the one – nobody else will beat you, but me,” he predicts.
As Sean turns round….
RUNNING BIG BOOT BY JO-INVERTED DEATH LOCK BY DARRING IN A HELL OF A SEQUENCE!
John’s hand is cocked and that seems like an opportune time for Dream and Border Control to hit the ring, sticking the boots to Darring. Before the referee can call for the bell, Alfie Button and Crusader X, like lightning, have already entered and superkicked Border Control out of the ring. Further behind, El Principe joins the fray with all three men receiving a great reception for jumping to Darring’s defence. Truth and Dream roll out, unscathed, to reconvene with Border Control, Washington and Lincoln holding their chins and jaws, livid that Crusader X and Button got to them first.
“Surely that’s a Darring victory via disqualification,” Reece ponders.
“Or a no-contest,” The Mark responds.
“Surely not,” Reece replies, looking at Lucas for approval. That seems to have got lost in the shuffle as John J. Truth, Border Control and Daniel Dream retreat up the ramp as Darring, Button, Crusader X, and El Principe exchange words, presumably contemplating whether they should take the fight to the scolded dogs backstage.
Dream, closest to the ramp, locks eyes with Darring, whose gaze never breaks.
“Chaos in Canada, but battle lines have been drawn, and wait, what’s that? We’re getting news, and it has traveled quickly, Daniel Dream will join forces with John J. Truth and Border Control to battle the four men you see in the ring in GLOBAL Champion, Sean Darring, Crusader X, Alfie Button, and El Principe on Domination Eleven. We’ll see you in Seattle in a fortnight, don’t miss it,” Lucas beams as the show goes off the air to a backdrop of noise in Vancouver.