The raucous Los Angeles crowd has been fervently chanting for the Global champion even before the event kicks off, and their wish has been granted. The opening notes of Europe’s “The Final Countdown” reverberated throughout the arena, sending shockwaves of excitement through the Global-Nation faithful.

The spotlight focuses on the entrance, and the champion emerges spectacularly. Draped in a meticulously tailored Global-themed park purple suit adorned with a striking golden tie, he exudes an aura of celebration and accomplishment. Although bearing the visible remnants of the grueling battle with Daniel Dream just over a month ago, his broad smile lit up.

The coveted golden Global championship hangs proudly from his right shoulder, a symbol of his remarkable achievements and a testament to the trials and triumphs of the past year. Each scar, each victory, and each hard-fought battle was etched into that glistening gold.

The wrestling legend completes his confident walk down the aisle, acknowledging the adoration of his hometown fans with a gracious 360-degree turn. His face radiates with pride and genuine appreciation for Global Nation’s unwavering support.

With the wireless microphone in hand, he raises it to his lips, speaking just two words that encapsulate his sentiments: “Thank you.”

The humble legend’s obvious appreciation further ignites the fans as a THANK YOU DARRING chant breaks out.   Darring then continues.

“I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you for always standing by my side. It’s been a challenging journey, no doubt. After each grueling battle, the recovery seems to take a little longer. I had complete certainty that Daniel Dream would appear at Glory, giving his absolute best. Many believed it was his destined moment.”

The crowd responds with a collective thumbs-down, a clear display of their disapproval of Daniel Dream.

“The powers that be attempted to ensure their chosen one walked away with this.” Sean Darring proudly gestured to the Global Championship, emphasizing his next point. “The odds were stacked against me, and there was seemingly no reason for me to be standing here today with a smile on my face, proudly carrying this magnificent championship title. But it’s all thanks to each and every one of you and your unwavering support.”

The legend nods, reflecting on his earlier sentiments as he continues.

“When the odds were stacked high against me, your unwavering belief and support remained steadfast. Your endless enthusiasm and words of encouragement gave me the strength and sheer determination required to endure that unforgettable night. If I could personally give each and every one of you this championship, I would. But your faith and support have inspired this old-timer to continue lacing up his boots because this legacy is far from finished.”

The fans erupt with a passionate, albeit slightly raucous, chant – “F the Board!” – expressing their solidarity with the legend.

“While I may share your sentiments on the occasion, let’s begin by extending our gratitude to Giovanni Ferrari for his support. He found himself in a difficult position, his job hanging by a thread. However, he chose integrity and did the honorable thing. Let’s also send our best wishes to Daniel Dream as he embarks on his next challenge.”

The fans couldn’t contain their disapproval and resort to boos at the mere mention of Daniel Dream. The legend, however, raises a calming finger.

“Now, hold on a moment. Daniel Dream ultimately made the right decision. He severed ties with that devious snake and forged his path as an independent man. Although we may not always see eye-to-eye, he proved to be a worthy adversary, and he faces a challenging journey as he begins the climb back up the ladder towards the top.”

The legend pauses, looking contemplative as he paces around the ring, carefully considering his next words.

“So, my friends, what’s our next move, huh? It’s pretty clear that the board isn’t keen on keeping this title around my waist for much longer.”

The fans in attendance voice their discontent with boos, vehemently disagreeing with the board’s intentions.

“That’s what I thought,” he responded, acknowledging the crowd’s sentiments. “We’ll keep standing for what this incredible company was founded on. We’ll pay tribute to remarkable individuals like Giovanni Ferrari. We’ll face anyone they decide to schedule against us. We’ll keep going until this old body of mine gives out or until somebody manages to beat us for the Global Championship.”

The legend’s voice resounds with determination as he holds the Global Championship high above his head.

“Because this title right here,” he continues, “it might not have been chosen, but it belongs to EACH and EVERY ONE OF US!”

The fans erupt in wild cheers, showing their unwavering support for the Global Championship. With his message delivered, the legend steps out of the ring, taking the time to interact with the fans as he makes his way toward the backstage area.

LOGO b&w


At the head of the table is the Italian American President, Giovanni Ferrari, who looks every bit like the actors he used to represent. With a crisp gray suit that costs more than what some of these wrestlers earn in a month and slick-yet-typically-thick black hair, dark stubble, and an effortless tan that would melt any swooning mother-in-law’s heart, he stands out in many a room he walks into, but especially this one where your natural hair color is at a premium. Surrounded by men, besides his ally Jarrod Cruz to his immediate left, another youthful and fairly handsome man in an all-black number, everyone is old, wrinkled, out of touch, and baying for GiovannI’s blood.

Leading the charge is Stanley Jones, a hell of a Hollywood agent back in the day. Long in the tooth and on the verge of retirement, he walked into this job complacent and indifferent, but now is the Cassius to this man’s Brutus.

At the other end of the table, Giovanni’s self-inflicted right-hand man, Oliver Smith, who looks just as fed up as Jones, and is three years younger, yet high-level management here.
The marvelous 91-year-old, and easily the funniest and liveliest member of the group, the incomparable Adam Hatt, who is sat next to the 19-time Champion, Ray Young, and they’re already in stitches, having broken the ice ahead of what is likely to be a tense meeting, not that they care. Well, Young does in fairness, but Hatt is on another planet.

A throat clears. Interrupting their train of thought. All eyes turn to see Alicia Fawkes, the sole woman in the room and press officer for GLOBAL, step forward.

The pinstripe suit and fair complexion may not be able to get her out of this hole in Hollywood, surprising as that might sound.

“Gentlemen, I understand you are… agitated, however, I am going to advise against unlawfully terminating Mr. Giovanni here, he has more than enough proof of innocence to make a VERY convincing case against you all if you do.”*

The crew of gray-haired board members all exchanged concerned gazes, not knowing how to respond to what appears to be a threat. Buoyed by his position, Oliver Smith, after Stanley Jones beckons for him to reply via a slight hand gesture to say the floor is yours, slowly turns to face Alicia. “A very convincing case, you say? Well,” he reverts from sitting up straight to resting his hand on the table, displaying a certain level of confidence, and throws his hands up into the air theatrically. “Let’s hear it. What is it you think you have on us?”

With one hand folded across her chest, the blonde PR officer raises her other hand and lifts a single finger.

“One. CCTV footage will show that Giovanni did not, at any time, leave his office. He did not use his phone to contact me, or anyone.”

A second finger joins the first.

“Two. You have Hank Wright as an eyewitness confirming that fact. He was with Giovanni the entire night, and three…”

She meets Oliver Smith’s gaze.

“I was lying when I told Benedict I spoke on behalf of GLOBAL management. My actions, and my decision, were entirely my own.”*

Oliver turns away, and looks at Stanley again, before surveying the room. He interlocks his fingers and contemplates what to say next, the gears shifting in his head, before he turns back to Alicia, less confidently than before, but with a sterner gaze of his own. “You’re fired.”

He shakes his head, somewhat apologetically. “Sorry, I have no other option.”

Her voice and her gaze are steady as she collects papers from her desk.


She neatly gathers the pile.

“Thank you for the opportunity…”

“Yes, well, I hope you think carefully next time before you waste an opportunity like this agai-” a board member started, but Alicia cut him off.

“I was not talking to you.”

Her eyes meet Giovanni’s

“It was an honor working for you. Sir.”*

Giovanni’s eyes grow wide, genuinely touched and not expecting Alicia’s praise. He considers ignoring the compliment, given all eyes are on the two of them right now, but musters up the courage. “Thank you, Alicia. The pleasure was all mine, and I will never forget this.”

At that moment, Giovanni turns to look every board member in the eye as Alicia turns and leaves. “I guess this means I’m not fired, after all?”

Oliver, clearly not prepared for that, nervously shifts in his seat, going over the legal scenarios in his mind before responding with a simple and rather sheepish ‘no.’

Ferrari nods and does his utmost to conceal a smile. “Okay, well let’s get down to business. Next on the agenda is…”

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An aerial camera zooms in on the GLOBAL Studio lot in Hollywood.  Stage 49 has been specifically and specially redecorated for tonight.  They’ve kitted the normally white sound stage out in gold from the outside, with ‘GLOBAL’ written in large black letters.

There are two tiers, with the top one being covered in some oak wood to reflect the name and its relationship with the theater where one William Shakespeare became a household name the world over.  Red carpet covers the entire aisle way and fireworks are set off every couple of seconds to the screams of the capacity crowd, 2,500 in total.

The squared circle has the GLOBAL logo sprayed all over it with green and blue ropes and purple turnbuckles, and now the camera focuses on the three faces and voices of GLOBAL.

Lucas Quinn, wearing a purple suit and black shirt with a green GLOBAL tie, is in the center, flanked by The Mark, in his usual white shirt, black trousers, and immaculate white Nike sneakers, and Allie Reece, dressed down in all-denim with a pink blouse that matches her hair.

“Same place…different channel.  GLOBAL Season Two is playing with the big boys now, moving from GNC, many thanks to them, to TGN – The GLOBAL Network itself.  Tonight, we debut a new title in the season premiere’s main event, the INTERNATIONAL Championship, with no fewer than SIX of GLOBAL’s best fighting each other and scrambling up a ladder to retrieve the newest prize.”

Reece nods at that and then smiles before performing her duty. “Sean Darring, The Legend himself, will address the GLOBAL Nation following a phenomenal performance at Glory, defeating Daniel Dream one more time to retain the GLOBAL Championship.”

The Mark steps in. “A lot of question marks over Dream going into Season Two, how will he react to his latest setback?  Plus, we’ll find out all the winners of the GLOBAL Season One awards, exclusive footage from a ceremony that took place three weeks ago, including Best Wrestler, Best Match, Best Tag Team, and several more, so stay tuned for that.”

Allie steps back in. “Trouble Roxx retained our Tag Team championships at Glory, and are set to be in action tonight, continuing their open challenge.  Who will step up to the plate?  And it looks like Prime Time Athletes and The Rich Family haven’t concluded their rivalry, either.  The addition of Aleczander The Great and August Lazar, known as…I can’t read that, my parents are watching.”

Deltzer raises his eyebrow. “The Dirty Greats.”

Reece nods. “Thanks, Mark.  That.  The tag team division is packed with talent.”

Mark mockingly coughs and mutters. “You can say that again.”

Quinn shakes his head. “All of that, and so much more, tonight and for the rest of the season.  GLOBAL on TGN.  Let’s get started with Season 2 and Domination Fifteen.  GLOBAL:  Where Sport meets Entertainment.”

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“Dan, Steve?”

In a moonlight boardroom, hidden from prying eyes, Alex Reyn paces. Hands behind his back, his body an inky silhouette against the half-open blinds of the window.

“Irrelevant. Dispose of it,” he answers.

There was a sound of pen on paper behind him as the North Wind of Anarchy writes something down.

“Darring, Sean?”

A pause in his pacing.

“… Ascension.”

“Oh?” his sister could not contain the tone of surprise, but despite a small clench of his fists, Alex remains strong.

“He survived my first assault. Defeated me a second time, matched blows with a warrior I could not best, albeit in a weakened state. Regardless of how much he… vexes me, he has proven his strength time and time again. If we can free him from sentiment, he would be a God among his kind.”

Anarchy seems satisfied with that. Another note.

“David, Jerry?”

“Surprisingly adept and impressively tenacious,” Reyn admits. “But still untested. I’d like to see what he can do against more fitting challenges.”

Beneath her mask, The Lady in the Broken Mirror smiles.

“Oh, don’t worry about that. I’ve already got something in mind. Dream, Daniel?”

“Unfocused. He has all the ability and potential in the world. He bested me. By all rights he should have bested Darring. But his lack of faith holds him back. He holds himself back.”

“And what of his new…?”

“One of the most dangerous entities I have ever fought.”

His sister raises an eyebrow but gestured for me to continue.

“I can count those of the Nephilim who have managed to best me on one hand,” Reyn said, now facing her directly. “Of those, only three managed to match my savagery on every blow. One is Dream when he managed to stay focused. But another… is the man that has come to this league.”

There is an excited smile from the East Wind.

“Ascension will not be necessary for him. A true demon has come to GLOBAL.”

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The silhouette that ended Glory is seen in the dark. He is facing a camera that is put in front of him, but far enough away to not be seen as anything but a shadow.

“Beel Zebub did you really think I would let you steal my client from me?”

The man steps closer and we can see the nice suit. His hair is nice and neat. He smiles before continuing.

“Ladies and gentlemen. My name is Richard Rutherford. Some of you know me, some of you have heard about me, but Mr. Zebub stole from me. “

Rutherford’s face turns serious as he continues

” Mr. Zebub you have been itching for this, haven’t you? Itching for me to go on a small vacation before you swoop in and steal my client. What did you say to him? That I abandoned him? That I was done with him? From the time I took Mr. Dream under my wing when no one would take the chance on him, I knew he had potential. I made him relevant and I made him a star quicker than anyone anticipated. And all it took was someone believing in him. Then out of the blue, you show up, lure him to another company, and claim I abandoned him? Nah, you know the rules Zebub. I can be a very nice guy, but the number one rule in management for us professionals is that you NEVER steal someone else’s client. But yet for a few months, I have seen you in the stands for the shows. “

Rutherford thinks for a second.

“So let me guess Mr. Dream failed under pressure and those goons that were having a nap backstage were going to beat him up as a lesson? See we both know I am not capable of taking out two wrestlers due to past injury, so before you start accusing me of it I had nothing to do with their little nap. And your face as you turned around and saw me….that was priceless. “

Rutherford grabs something from behind the camera. It is the IBW Tag Team Championship and the IBW World Championship.

“Mr. Dream, longest IBW tag team champion in history. Six hundred and twenty-four days. Do you really believe Mr. Zebub would have made that happen for you? Not a chance. My reasoning for being here is quite simple. We can A: Continue to work together, and I will guarantee that you will be a champion again. Or B: “

Rutherford lets the championships slip between his hands on purpose.

“Or stay with Mr. Zebub and we will terminate your contract with me, and I will be out of here. The choice is yours Daniel. “

Rutherford walks backward away from the camera until he is back in the shadow.

LOGO b&w


Somewhere on the Internet

Live from Beverly Hills, California

Late August 2023

The latest stream hosted at Twitch.tv/troubleroxxofficial opens on a shot of a hand-painted banner, its message spelled out in letters large enough to be seen from several dozen yards away.




(And Pokémon)

Directly underneath the sign, sprawled out in a deck chair, bright orange drink in hand and lime-green shutter shades over her eyes, sits one of the hostesses, ready to greet incoming viewers.

“What’s up, Roxx Gang! Welcome to Teagan and Izzy’s FREAKING LIT Pool Party for Supremely Rad Humans (and Pokémon)!” The red-headed woman points up at the sign as she speaks its contents out loud. “And nevermind what anybody else says – this is the real biggest party of the Summer. Everybody who’s anybody is here!” She grins wider as she continues. “This is ya girl Double T, flying solo right now, ’cause my partner is too busy MACKING WITH HER BOYFRIEND!!”

Teagan yells over her shoulder towards the spot where the other half of the GLOBAL Tag Team Champions can, indeed, be seen cuddling with a trim young man in the shallow end of the pool. The two are momentarily prised out of their embrace by Teagan’s playful yell, but simply chuckle together before once again becoming lost in one another. This causes Teagan to roll her eyes as she turns back towards the camera, although it is obvious she is being dramatic in the spirit of fun.

“Yes, he is real. No, we are NOT dating one another. You guys over at r/globalwrestling can all close your threads now.” She giggles as, off to one side of the screen, the chat explodes with laughter and exclamations of “oh no, they’re onto us!” and “wait, they know about that?!

“Man…we’re on Twitch. How the heck did you guys think we wouldn’t be on Reddit?” She chuckles again as she takes a sip of her drink, before holding it up to the camera. “By the way, this is called a Sweet Sunrise mocktail. It’s really freaking good. I’ll link you guys a recipe at some point.” She takes another swig, then sets the drink down on the small table next to her recliner. “Anyway…”

Before she can say anything else, however, two blurs of motion pass by just on the edge of the frame, complete with sonic trail.


Two loud splashes ensue, causing Teagan to actually stand up and retrieve the smartphone being used for filming from its tripod stand, the better to focus in on the pool directly behind her, where the culprits – teenaged GLOBAL superstars Angel Ramirez and Aiden “Destruktor” Robinson – are now in the process of throwing water on one another, attempting to pull each other under, and otherwise frolicking around the edge of the pool. A few feet away, Izzy Roxx and her boyfriend are now seen talking to the other half of The Angel Corps, Saul Morgan, whose bandaged arm does not seem to be curtailing his enjoyment, judging by the bottle of Bud Light in his good hand. Directly beside them, Hayley Robinson – lounging idly in the water with her arms over the rim of the pool and a bottle of beer similarly in her hand – calls out to her youngest brother, urging him to “knock that shit off” – an instruction which Aiden gleefully disregards as he continues to play-wrestle with the one roster member keeping him from being the “baby” of GLOBAL Wrestling. As Teagan continues to pan over the poolside area, the various Rich brothers and cousins are seen chatting over a catering table and BBQ, Alfie Button is caught helping himself to one too many finger rolls, and there is a glimpse of Allie Reece’s distinctive pink hair soaking up the sun poolside. As the hostess finishes filming the scene, she cannot resist a quip, aimed directly at a young teenager with spiky blond hair and bright orange swimming trunks lounging on a floater nearby.

“You know, my camera guy is lucky he gets to sit in the pool while I have to DO THIS MYSELF!” The boy, however, acknowledges this with no more than a sarcastic look over the rim of his sunglasses, and matching smirk, bringing about a purposefully over-the-top reaction from Teagan. “Oh-em-gee, did you guys see that? You can say goodbye to your next paycheck, buddy!” The two then share a laugh before Teagan ends the bit outright by once again addressing her young interloper. “Just kidding, Runny Hunny. You know Aunt Teagan loves you.”

As she turns and begins to walk away, presumably intending to return to her seat, she is surprised to find Saul Morgan right there, and asking for a word.

“Oh, hey, Saul! Say hi to people at home!”

Morgan waves uneasily into the lens, clearly ill at ease, which prompts the hostess to put him at ease.

“Don’t worry, my guy. Whatever you have to say is between you, me, and the people on this stream. And they’re good people. Right, guys?” The chat offers vehement agreement, but Morgan still looks uncertain, causing Teagan to roll her eyes in mock-exasperation. “Dude. Seriously. You go out there in front of capacity crowds every other week, and now you’re sweating it over maybe a couple thousand people that you can’t even see? What’s up with that?”

“Well…the thing I want to talk about is…kind of private…”

Teagan’s eyes widen in mock shock and horror.

“Dude! What did you do? Are you about to get CANCELLED? Are we?”

Teagan’s show of whirling around in absolute panic finally gets a chuckle out of Saul.

“Nah. Don’t worry. It’s all good.”

“Well, if it’s ‘all good‘, then you can say it in front of people…riiight?”

“Well…” Morgan takes a deep breath. “…all right.” Still, he faces Teagan, rather than the camera, as he finally gets to the point. “I’ve already told Izzy this, but I really just wanted to thank you girls for inviting me and Angel. It really means a lot. Especially for Angel. This is how she should be spending her Summer…going to pool parties and being around people her own age. Not waiting tables for tips and worrying about a washed-up old jarhead with a busted arm.”

As if on cue, and as the chat erupts in heart and hug emojis at the former US Marine’s sincere words, a cry drifts over from the poolside area.

“Yo, ‘papi‘! Check this shit out!”

Teagan quickly pans over, just in time to see Angel perform a handstand in the water – a feat Aiden Robinson hastens to replicate, leaving two pairs of legs momentarily sticking out of the water.

“That was pretty rad, Ange.” Saul smiles at his partner and protege as she once again turns right-side-up and climbs out of the pool, making a beeline for the former Marine and the hostess.

“Yo, lemme hold that a minute.” The young Latina reaches for Morgan’s beer, but her brother figure quickly yanks it from her reach, holding it above his head.

“Ah-ah-ah. I don’t think so,”

Angel begins to leap for the bottle, cussing and grumbling all the while, but it does not take long before her attention is once again diverted by Aiden, who challenges her to attempt an underwater somersault. As both youngsters run back into the water together, Saul once again turns back to Teagan.

“So, yeah…thanks again.”

“Pfff…like we were gonna leave you guys hanging when everyone else was invited! C’mon, dude!” Teagan makes a show of scoffing, even as a huge grin remains plastered on her features.

Saul smiles as well. “Yeah…that’s what Izzy said, too.”

“Of course it was! We love having you guys here!”

“Thanks.” Saul looks over the redhead’s shoulder, to where Angel is now daring the youngest Robinson to try a somersault dive off the deep end. “By the way…I promise I’ll keep an eye on her. You know…make sure nothing goes missing…”

SAUL!” Teagan’s gasp is halfway genuine this time around. “Come on, dude! Stereotyping much?”

Morgan, however, simply grins. “I’m not stereotyping. I just know what she’s like.”

“Good point.” Teagan’s deadpan tone indicates her outrage has well and truly dissipated. “You still need to work on your trust issues, though…”

The two share a chuckle before Teagan turns back to the camera, her role as stream hostess dutifully resumed.

“And don’t forget, guys, GLOBAL returns on October 8th, and ya girls are going to be there, starting off the new season the same way we ended the last one: defending our precious metal babies as the record-breaking GLOBAL Tag Team Cham—”

Before the redhead can conclude, another excited cry emanates from somewhere off camera.

“Y’all! Allie and the Mark are makin’ out!”

This, predictably, causes an immediate buzz of excitement, as several of the guests rush past, presumably to witness the event first-hand. Teagan herself seems eager to join in, handing over the phone to her stoic interloper as she breathlessly directs a few more words at the camera.


With that, the more extroverted half of the GLOBAL Tag Team Champions dashes off into the main house, leaving a somewhat befuddled Saul to read the chat’s emphatic clamors of “WE WANT TO SEE THAT!!!” and “FOOTAGE OR IT DIDN’T HAPPEN!” before finally figuring out how to end the stream, leaving a few thousand displeased guests with no choice but to find another live session to join.

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As they gear up for the start of the action proper for Domination 15, fans at The Globe are startled by the sound of an explosion, seemingly coming from somewhere around the entranceway. As they crane their necks to see whether any equipment might have malfunctioned, a familiar command is heard through the arena speakers:


The sound of these words instantly shifts the crowd’s mood, as the apprehension and uncertainty turn to excitement and joy. This is, therefore, the energy Teagan Trouble and Izzy Roxx – once again clad in their glittery gala gladrags, complete with matching top hat and blazer for Teagan – encounter as they step through the curtain a moment later, and proceed to go through the usual ritual of air-guitaring, lobbing drumsticks into the crowd, and gleefully throwing themselves into every ringside interaction they are pulled into.

“These girls always brighten the mood, no matter what!”

“No wonder they are fan favorites, Lucas. Just look at them!”

Indeed, the two young women’s pep and upbeat disposition are nothing short of infectious, and many fans are left smiling in their wake as they climb the steps leading up to the ring and cross through the ropes, microphones already in hand, ready for their usual spiel.

“I love this part…”

Deltzer is promptly told to “shush!” by his female colleague, as Teagan does the honors, as ever.

“If you don’t know who we are…”

“…you should have been paying ATTENTION! C’mon, dude, seriously. It’s been like a year. Get with the program!”

Izzy’s adlib draws a chuckle from the crowd, the announcers, and her partner, who promptly takes up her cue.

“WE ARE…GLOBAL Wrestling’s ONLY officially sanctioned streamers…”

“…Twitch dot tv slash troubleroxxofficial…”

“…Wrestling’s very own Team Rocket…THE hottest prospects in FIFTY-ONE STATES and TWO CONTINENTS…the foxes you’ve been waiting for…the little girls in the middle of the ride…AND YOUR! WORLD! TAG! TEAM! CHAMPIOOOOONNNSSS…” A roar erupts from the crowd as Teagan and Izzy hold up their belts, ahead of Teagan concluding. “I’m Trouble…she Roxx…and together, we’re…”

Izzy joins in for the usual duet finale. “…TROUBLE ROXX!”

The girls are smiling as big as the crowd as the redhead continues. “By the way, did we scare you guys with that explosion? If we did, we’re sorry. We just thought we would start things off with a bang…”

Another ripple of laughter crosses the stands as Izzy picks up where her partner left off.

“Anyway, now that we have, we gotta make sure it stays that way. And the best way to do that is by doing what we’ve been doing since we won these babies.” The two women pat their respective belts fondly as Trouble steps up once again.

“That’s right! We plan on starting this season the same way we ended the last one…proving why we are the record-breaking GLOBAL Tag Team Champions! So, whoever’s been waiting in line to face us, come on out here, so we can kick GLOBAL Season Two off the right way!”

A moment of silence elapses as the two women turn towards the ramp, waiting to see who might come out and answer their challenge; when a theme song does come, however, it is an unfamiliar one, which once again has fans stretching their necks to see who it belongs to. And what they see comes as nothing short of a shock.

The big screen shows an American flag pattern with the words ‘THE AMERICAN DREAM’ in red, white, and blue lettering. “American Idiot” by Green Day blares over the PA system in the arena. Daniel Dream walks down the entrance ramp.

Rutherford’s theme hits as Daniel walks out and grabs a microphone.

“Now let’s introduce you all to Nikolai Sinclair. He is a former OBW tag, World, IC, and Hardcore champion. Longest reigning three times IBW Ultimate Hardcore champion, the longest IBW tag team champion, six hundred and twenty-four days with Mr. Dream, and a shorter reign with his brother. Three times IBW White champion, two times Legacy champion, Black Diamond champion, Hardcore champion, HOF inducted, two hundred and ninety-two days as the IBW world heavyweight champion.”

Nikolai’s theme hits and Nikolai walks out onto the stage. He ignores the boos from the crowd as he focuses completely on the ring. He makes his way down to the ring and as he walks up the steps as pyro explodes from the ring posts.

LOGO b&w


The match begins with Teagan Trouble and Daniel Dream as the legal wrestlers for their respective teams. As expected, Teagan goes in for the usual pre-match fistbump, but (perhaps just as predictably) it is not reciprocated by Dream, who instead just grabs her arm and wrings it!

“Dream making it clear he did not come to play here tonight!”

“Come on, though…would it have killed him to give my girl Teagan that?”

In control, Dream moves behind Teagan, folding her arm in painfully, then trips her up with a simple drop toe hold. As she hits the mat, he begins positioning himself for an early ankle lock, but Teagan lands a mule kick, pushing him away and putting an end to that intent.

“Did Daniel really try to go for the Patriot Lock this early on?”

“He probably thinks Trouble Roxx will be that easy to put away…well, joke’s on you, buddy!”

“Well, Allie, let’s not forget Dream and Sinclair are former dominant Tag Team Champions…and one of these men even has a pin over none other than Alex Reyn!”

“Yeah, well, that was then, this is now. And in THIS company, Trouble Roxx are also dominant Tag Team Champions…so there.”

As Allie gets the last word on Lucas Quinn (as opposed to Mark Deltzer, for once) Teagan Trouble still scrambles to repay her – and the fans’ – faith in her. Still, it is proving hard, as her attempts to evade Dream are not translating into an advantageous position; this, in turn, leads her to take a risk, rushing forward and leaping into a crescent kick…

…which gets countered by one of Dream’s own!

“There can be only one, baby!”

As Deltzer lets out his inner, well, mark, Dream once again begins looking for a Patriot Lock. Teagan is, however, somehow still conscious enough to once again kick him away, this time with a double-footed push kick from a prone position, which hits Dream across the chest, sending him stumbling backwards a few steps. Teagan takes this opportunity to scramble for the ropes, pull herself up and start over, her brain clearly racing to devise an alternate gameplan. Whatever strategy she had managed to devise, however, completely crumbles the moment she launches forward off the ropes with her Overdrive superkick, only to find her move mirrored, yet again, by Daniel Dream!

“Teagan Trouble trying to pull out all the stops early on, but Daniel Dream prevails once again, and her clock has been well and truly cleaned for the second time in, what, a minute?”

“That was clearly a desperation move, Deltzer. Trouble Roxx are not used to being scouted quite like this. Then again, the closest they have come to engaging with a team at this level was former Champions the Master Sisters, and THEY severely underestimated these young women. The Rutherford Guys knew what they were coming in for, and it shows.”

As Lucas carries out his lengthy analysis, in the ring, Daniel Dream has successfully isolated Teagan Trouble, whipping her into his team’s corner and connecting with a running high knee before tagging his partner in.

“Nikolai Sinclair officially debuting for GLOBAL here, as his former and current tag team partner brings him into this match…and OOF, he did not take long to leave his mark!”

Indeed, the former IBW Tag Team Champion chooses to introduce himself to his new promotion by way of a reverse STO, which sends Teagan into the turnbuckle! He follows this up with a back suplex, which throws the redhead into the center of the ring, then – as she attempts to push herself to one knee – runs in with an elevated knee drop!

“Impressive sequence there by Nikolai Sinclair, but I’m not going to lie…this IS a little painful to watch…”

“That’s because Trouble Roxx are being exposed here. All those Reddit threads saying they were limited, that people dunked on? Well, looks like they might have had a point…”

“Hold your horses there, Mark. The girls just need to find their bearings, that’s all.”

Allie’s words are taking some time to prove true, however, as the next few moments still belong entirely to Nikolai. Chants of “Let’s go Tea-gan!” drift down from the stands as the former IBW roster member punishes his opponent with, in quick succession, a belly-to-back suplex, another back suplex, and a belly-to-back inverted mat slam, which he turns into the first cover of the matchup.


—Kickout by Teagan Trouble!

“Teagan kicking out there, but has she even landed a move yet?”

Allie and Lucas’ silence speaks volumes as, in the ring, Nikolai once again brings the youngster to her feet, this time looking to punish her with uppercuts; to his surprise, however, Teagan fights back in kind, and the two engage in an uppercut battle!

“YES! That’s my Teagan! You go, girl!”

In fact, not only does Teagan finally manage to even the odds, but she actively gains an advantage, rocking Sinclair just long enough to connect with a leaping forearm smash! When the former IBW Tag Team Champion fails to go down, she lands another one, pushing Nikolai to the ropes, then sends him toppling overboard with a running clothesline.

“YES! I told you guys it was just a matter of time!”

Bolstered by this flurry of offence – and the vocal reaction it has brought from the crowd in attendance – Trouble wastes no time capitalizing on her opponent’s position, as she vaults over the ropes with a big crossbody onto Sinclair! The two wrestlers go down in a heap and, for a moment, neither moves, prompting the standard count from referee Barry Snider.



Both wrestlers begin to stir.



Teagan rolls through to her feet and drops an elbow on Sinclair, then follows it up with a fist drop, completing her trademark one-two sequence.



The redhead half of Trouble Roxx then begins to make her way to the apron.


Sinclair grabs her leg, tripping her up!!!


Teagan kicks out wildly, connecting with something with a loud ‘CRUNCH!’, then throws herself onto the apron and rolls under the ropes, beating the count!


Sinclair, one eye quickly swelling up and turning purple, rolls back inside as well!

“Well, we know what Teagan’s foot connected with just then…”

“Serves him right!”

Predictably, the moment she is on her feet, Teagan runs across the mat, looking to tag in Izzy Roxx; once again, however, she finds her progress hindered by her opponent, as he once again reaches for a leg, tripping her up and pulling her back into the center of the ring.

“Teagan needed that tag, but once again, Sinclair’s wiles and experience have prevailed…”

…or maybe not, as, once again, Teagan has very little qualms with blindly kicking upwards and hoping to connect with something – which she does, with another satisfying crunching sound.

“Straight to the jaw of Sinclair…and now, tag made to Izzy Roxx!”

“Here comes the other half of Trouble Roxx, and a seated sen—no, headscissor takedown!!”

“Beautifully smooth transition by Izzy Roxx, taking the much bigger Sinclair down!”

“Welcome to GLOBAL Wrestling, Mr. Sinclair!”

The announcers’ excitement is clearly shared by the fans, who erupt in cheers as the smaller half of Trouble Roxx introduces herself to the 6ft4 Sinclair and sends him sprawling across the mat. Knowing every second counts, Izzy quickly scrambles to her feet and connects with a dropkick to the face of the kneeling Nikolai, which only makes his face swell up all the more. She then pulls herself to her feet again and seeks to connect with a standing moonsault, but Sinclair rolls out of the way, and she connects with nothing but canvas!

“Izzy Roxx crashing and burning…but she’s not letting THAT stop her!”

Indeed, no sooner has the youngster fallen to the mat than she is scrambling to her feet and racing across to the far turnbuckle, one step ahead of her bigger and slower opponent. As such, she is able to leap into the corner post and take off with a springboard missile dropkick, which rocks Sinclair!

“Impressive athleticism from Izzy Roxx there, but it’s going to take more than that to bring Nikolai Sinclair down!”

Realizing this, the youngster promptly shimmies up the turnbuckle again, leaping off with another seated senton attempt…

…which Sinclair catches and reverses into a Texas piledriver, planting the youth on her head!

The anguished cry of Teagan Trouble cuts through the gasp of begrudging admiration from the crowd as her tag team partner crumples to the floor in a heap; even still, Sinclair does not go for the cover, instead walking over to his team’s corner and tagging in his fresher partner.

“A switchover in the Rutherford camp yet again, with former Number One Contender Daniel Dream coming back into the match to face off against Izzy Roxx.”

“You know what I find funny, Lucas?” Allie’s mirthless, slightly outraged tone belies her use of the term “funny”. “How, after Daniel Dream failed twice against Sean Darring, they had him move sideways and gave him an immediate title shot, so he and his friend could beat up girls half their size and feel good about themselves!”

“I’m…not sure that was the thought process, Allie. These guys ARE former Tag Team Champions…”

“…somewhere ELSE, Lucas! Both the Rich Family AND the Prime Time Athletes have rematch clauses. Where are THEIR shots?”

“Wait…are you standing up for the Prime Time Athletes right now, or just angry about the insta-shot for Dream?”

The answer comes through surprisingly gritted teeth. “A bit of both, Mark. A bit of both.”

As all this is going on, in the ring, Dream has picked Izzy up for his elevated powerbomb. Before he can hit it, however, he finds himself at the receiving end of a hurricanrana, as a revived Izzy fights to regain control for her team. Dream goes tumbling over, and Roxx connects with a big splash before he can bring himself to a fully upright position. She then rolls off of him and takes to the turnbuckle yet again, scaling it quickly before diving off with a cannonball senton. It connects flush, and the crowd leap to their feet in appreciation!

“Dream, like Sinclair, struggling to cope with Izzy Roxx’s speed here at the moment…”

“That’s right, Mark. You don’t usually get anyone as fast as my girl Izzy in the Heavyweight division…”

“Yes, Izzy is much faster than Teagan, but she’s also a lot smaller and not quite as resilient. She knows she has to keep moving if she is to get any kind of result against these two men. If she gets caught, she could find herself in a VERY tight spot, indeed.”

Izzy, too, appears aware of this, and immediately seeks to capitalize again, this time with an arm drag to the recovering Dream. She rolls out of it and back to her feet, then immediately dashes across the ring, calling for Lift-Off. Teagan, who had her hand outstretched in anticipation of a tag, instead gets under her partner as she scales the turnbuckle, waiting for the right moment to throw her onto Daniel Dream. Finally, an opportunity presents itself, and Teagan launches Izzy through the air…

…only for her to get caught by Daniel Dream, lifted up, and dropped with a Carnivore’s Last Hunt elevated sitout powerbomb!

“Speak of the devil, Lucas…”

The American Dream transitions into a pinning attempt, bringing Barry Snider down to the mat yet again to count.



—Teagan is there to break up the pin!

“Teagan saving her partner this time, but if things continue to go this way, we may have new Tag Team Champions here shortly!”

“Yes, this really hasn’t been Trouble Roxx’s night, has it? They’re struggling to keep up a sustained offence, and the fact that the Rutherford Guys came in with their main targets well scouted is not helping any, either!”

Indeed, the broken-up pin has done nothing to slow down Dream or his new-old partner, and the former Number One Contender soon picks up Roxx again, setting her up for the Uncle Slam. Izzy tries to fight out of it, but is easily thrown over with the move by the much bigger Daniel. Once again, she is quick to scramble through to her feet, but her attempt at restarting her offence gets met with a jumping flatliner from Daniel Dream!

“Dream Catcher connecting, and the cover!”



—Izzy kicks out, on her own this time!

“Kickout by Izzy Roxx, but she is getting well and truly worn down by Dream right now…and if either her or Teagan don’t find a way back into this match, it could spell disaster for both of them!”

“Yes…come on, Izzy! Come on, girl!”

All of Allie’s support, however, cannot prevent the events in the ring, where Dream is attempting to lock in a full nelson, looking for the Dream Killer facebuster; an elbow to the face from Izzy breaks up the hold, however, and the American Dream ends up being thrown over with an arm drag, which Izzy follows up with a dropkick!

“Izzy Roxx fighting out of her predicament, but she needs that tag to Teagan!”

“She’s certainly going to look for it…and there it is! Tag made to Teagan Trouble!”

The crowd erupts as Teagan returns to the ring, looking to avenge the punishment imposed on her partner and best friend. As such, before Daniel Dream even knows what hit him, he is being taken down with a leg lariat, courtesy of the redhead! Teagan then follows it up with another elbow and fist drop combination, looking to wear down the former Number One Contender, before creating some separation. She then allows Dream to pull himself to one knee before connecting with a bulldog!

“Great spell of offence from Teagan Trouble…but can she keep it going?”

“Yes, Lucas…Trouble Roxx’s main issue here has never been the lack of fire in the belly…it’s just they can’t seem to keep anything going for too long.”

“Hopefully, this will change that pattern.

Indeed, as Daniel Dream pulls himself back upright, Teagan appears to have a very definite strategy in mind – one which plays out moments later, as the Trouble Callin’ bicycle kick sends the American Dream to the ropes, only for him to get caught with the Overdrive superkick as he bounces off! The crowd explode as the former Number One Contender goes down like a log, and Teagan turns to Izzy, signalling for the Rocketship! She then promptly goes over to tag her partner as Izzy makes her way up the buckle.

“Could things finally be turning around for Trouble Roxx?”

“It all comes down to Izzy landing this move…”

“…this famously difficult to hit move…”

“…shut up, Mark.”

Surprisingly, Deltzer complies, holding his breath along with the rest of the crowd as Izzy begins to flip through the air…

…then groaning as Dream somehow manages to have enough presence of mind to roll out of the way, leaving the youngster to crash and burn!

“DANIEL DREAM LIVES, and the Rocketship goes down in flames!”

“Oh, no…come on, Izzy…keep going!”

Roxx, however, seems to have felt the impact of the missed Rocketship, and is therefore unable to immediately recover; this, in turn, gives the groggy Dream time to crawl towards his team’s corner, hand outstretched, until he feels something graze his skin…

…and promptly slaps it, tagging in his partner yet again!

“How did Daniel have the awareness to know which corner to head to? After TWO kicks to the head?”

“That’s why he is one of the best, Mark…”

“Anyway, Nikolai Sinclair back in the ring now, and Izzy Roxx is in all kinds of Trouble…pardon the pun.”

“Pun NOT pardoned, Mark. That was bad, and you should feel bad.”

“Not as bad as Izzy is about to…”

Indeed, as the announcers have been debating Dream’s ring awareness, his partner has picked Izzy Roxx up and landed a back suplex side slam; then, without letting go, he stands back up, hoists the youngster over his shoulder in a fisherman’s carry position, and connects with a cutter!


Sinclair certainly appears to think so, as he drops down for a cover. Allie Reece is the voice of the crowd as Snider slides in to count.

“Not like this…not like this…come on, Izzy…”


Teagan SHOOTS out of her corner…


…but gets intercepted midway by Dream, who helps his partner secure the…


…and the GLOBAL Tag Team Championships!


“Trouble Roxx have had a long and honorable run with the titles, but here tonight, they found themselves outwrestled and outsmarted by two tag team veterans in Dream and Sinclair, who had them well scouted and were able to home in on their weaknesses and exploit them in their favor.”

“I can’t even complain, Lucas. That was as clean a win as you’re going to get with Dream, even if the match itself was a bit of a, well, mismatch. It can be hard to forget my girls Izzy and Teagan have only been wrestling together for a few months, and that Teagan is an absolute rookie. They usually make up for it with attitude and chemistry and heart…but tonight, that wasn’t enough. They did their thing, they fought valiantly…but you’re right, they got outwrestled and outsmarted. Congratulations to our new Champions.”

“They got the most dangerous version of Nikolai Sinclair, as well…the one that’s pulled together, focused, and not derailed by the voices in his head. That’s the man who pinned Alex Reyn in IBW, and that is the man who proved to be Trouble Roxx’s undoing here tonight.

“Last season may have been the year of Trouble Roxx, but this season starts out under the sign of the Rutherford Guys!”

The camera zooms in on Dream and Sinclair being handed the tag team belts, as a tearful and incredulous Izzy and Teagan do their best to pull themselves together and congratulate the new Champions, before beginning a dejected walk up the entranceway. At the top, they pause for a moment to look longingly at their relinquished trophies, before disappearing through the curtain, leaving Sinclair and Dream to finish their celebration in the ring, to a highly mixed reaction from the fans in attendance.

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Do you think you’ve got what it takes to step into the ring and end Sean Darring’s unbeaten streak?

The footage shows Sean Darring getting his hand raised, and then in turn lifting the GLOBAL Championship at GLORY.

Can you fulfil your own dreams against Daniel?

Daniel Dream standing tall as he puts Alex Reyn away in the Gold Rush tournament.

Will you face your moment of truth opposite GLOBAL’s most hated man?

We see John J. Truth getting ready to do battle.

Stand up to The East Wind?

A growl engulfs Alex Reyn’s face, concentrating on his opponent.

Dare to be great against GLOBAL’s own conqueror?

Aleczander makes his entrance on the inaugural Domination.

Are you cut from their cloth?

Prove it.


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Backstage, Teagan Trouble is leading a tearful Izzy Roxx away from the ringside area, consoling her all the while, when they get approached by The Informer, who has a cameraman in tow. GLOBAL’s intrepid backstage reporter is, however, barely able to get a word in before he is brushed off by Teagan.

“Dude…not now. Not a good time.”
“But…I was hoping I could get a word from you about the match you just had…”

“DUDE!” Teagan whirls around, glowering at the man with the microphone. “I said…NOT…NOW.”

The Informer takes a step back, throwing his arms up. “Hey…I’m just doing my job here…”

This actually appears to give Teagan pause, and a long moment of silence ensues before the redhead once again steps forward and takes the microphone from the reporter’s hand.

“Fine. You want a word? Here’s a word.” Trouble turns to the camera, making sure it catches her livid expression as she, indeed, offers viewers at home a single word: “Rematch.”

With that, the usually sociable Trouble half of the former Tag Team Champions turns her attention back to her distraught partner, whom she leads away from the reporting crew and back towards the safety of the women’s locker room.

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Lucas Quinn is standing in the ring holding an envelope beside a large trophy labeled “BREAKOUT STAR.”  The audience’s usual chatter hushes slightly as he begins to speak into a microphone.

“Ladies and gentlemen… I will be now be presenting the GLOBAL Season 1 award for Breakout Star.”  The audience cheers slightly.  “This award will go to the wrestler who the fans have decided is the fastest rising star here in GLOBAL.  The importance of this award cannot be overstated.  Today’s Breakout Star… could very well be tomorrow’s Best Wrestler.”

Quinn starts to open the envelope.

“And the winner is…”

He pulls out the card inside, looks at it… and smiles.  He laughs a bit and lets the silence linger to build suspense… until…


The crowd EXPLODES!

As the now very familiar blast of feedback reverberates through the arena, X’s logo glitches all over the screen.

“YES!” Shouts The Mark into his headset.

“WAIT.  Is he here?  TONIGHT?!” Allie exclaims.

At the Drive-In’s Governed by Contagions blares across the arena… only to be drowned out by a sustained roar as Crusader X steps out onto the stage for the first time since his assault.

“HE IS!” shouts The Mark.

Clad in a while suit with black shoes, a black necktie, and black trimmings, X smiles widely as he looks from side to side at the fans going crazy in the stands.  As he walks to the ring, a “welcome back” chant erupts.  X climbs the steps, climbs into the ring, and shakes Quinn’s hand.  Quinn hands him the microphone and leaves the ring.  The music cuts out and the “welcome back” chant only grows louder.  X stands there, looking around at the fans, still smiling.  He raises the microphone to his mouth as the chant fades.


The crowd cheers again.

“I missed you too!”

As the cheers continue, X’s smile fades a bit.  “GLOBAL fans… it’s no secret that the past few months haven’t exactly been kind to me.  Every moment that I’m not cleared to compete feels like I’m away from home in an unfamiliar country.  On the night of Glory, I was sitting at home watching it on TV.  Eyes fixed to the screen the whole time.  And even though I was healing quickly, even though the outpouring of support from the community gave me strength, and even though my assailant had been caught and justice was being done…”

Loud cheers ring out through the crowd.  X continues.

“…Despite all of that… as I watched Darring and Dream wrestle for the title… I felt empty.  The clash that had been brewing since the very beginning of GLOBAL, a match that should have made me proud to be a part of this sport… made me feel nothing.  All I could think about the entire time was what could have been.  About the spot on this show that was stolen from me.”  

X shakes his head.

“I had that empty feeling for over a month.  No matter what I did, I couldn’t shake it.  Looking back on it, the entire first season of GLOBAL started to feel like a false start for me.  I thought about all the mistakes I made, all the things I should have done differently.  I began to question if I even belonged in this company…”

Boos rain down from the crowd.

X’s smile creeps back across his face. “Until I got the call from management that I’d won Breakout Star.”

Cheers rain down from the crowd as X picks up the trophy and holds it aloft.  A “You Deserve It” chant breaks out.  He puts it down.

“I’d like to take a moment to thank Alfie Button, Amber Lee, Darren Best, El Principe, and all of the other great wrestlers that I’ve been honored to share a ring with so far.  And I’d like to thank YOU.”  He points at the crowd.  “Professional wrestling belongs to YOU.  Not us.  YOU.  Without the fans believing in us, we’d be nowhere.  THANK YOU for believing in ME.”  More cheers.  “I’m going to take this award and ride its momentum ALL THE WAY.  Mark my words: at next season’s awards, I plan on you seeing me with the Best Wrestler trophy in one hand…”

The crowd pops.

“And a title belt in the other.”

The crowd pops even louder.

Suddenly, X’s expression changes with a start.  “Oh, by the way.  There’s been some uncertainty from the wrestling press about whether or not I’ve been cleared to compete.”

X pauaes.  Suddenly, he breaks off and runs at one of the turnbuckles.  He scales it in under a second and backflips off of it in one smooth motion.

“Does that answer your question?”  

Long, sustained cheers from the crowd.  

“I’ll see you very soon!”

As X takes his trophy to the back, Mark chimes in.

“A well deserved win!  Even after all Crusader X has been through, his star only continues to rise.”

Allie hums in approval.  “I never thought I’d be glad to see him.  First time for everything.  But if he stays on the straight and narrow… maybe not the last!”

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The Bro stands ready, microphone in hand, eager to interview the Prime Time Athletes. He can’t help but feel the excitement of speaking with the typically boisterous tag team. Jimmy Classic and “The Suplex” Trae Larkin appear deep in conversation as the Bro begins.

“Hey, bros! I’m absolutely stoked for this chance to chat with two of the most outspoken yet incredibly talented wrestlers here in Global. So, what’s going on, guys?”

However, instead of a response, Jimmy Classic and Trae Larkin exchange glances, and with a nod from Jimmy Classic, Trae Larkin swiftly yanks the microphone out of The Bro’s hand; his expression is filled with disdain.

“That approach ain’t gonna cut it, Jimmy.”

Jimmy chuckles, concurring with his partner as he speaks.

“You got that right, bro. Consider this interview hijacked…”

The Bro watches wide-eyed as the Prime Time Athletes take over the interview, showing their trademark disrespect for not just their opponents but seemingly for everyone associated with Global. Jimmy Classic continues, seemingly ignoring The Bro’s presence completely.

“We’ve got something that’s been burning in our chests, and it’s high time we lay it all out there. Glory didn’t go down the way it was supposed to, not by a long shot. It was meant to be our breakout night, a night for Trae and me to celebrate as we clinched the Global Tag Team Championship. But right when we were about to close the chapter and make it a true Prime Time night, those dirty, cheating Rich Family folks did what they do best. They didn’t just wreck our night; they set the entire Global tag team division back.”

Jimmy Classic shakes his head, letting his venomous words flow.

“Instead of the tag team division starting off Season 2 in prime time, it’s going to keep struggling, all thanks to the selfish Rich Family!”

The Bro attempts to interject, leaning in and saying, “Bros, but they were part of the match.”

However, Trae Larkin swiftly grabs the microphone, his glare directed at The Bro as he continues.

“The Rich Family, your time is running out. If you think this is over, brace yourselves for a rude awakening. We want you to have the best seat in the house tonight. We’re up against two of the hungriest, most promising tag team talents that Los Angeles has to offer. They’re itching to make a big impact and secure a permanent spot here in Global. Tonight, we’re sending a message to the entire tag team division, and it starts with shattering some dreams.”

Jimmy Classic agrees with his partner, turning to offer the microphone back to the interviewer, The Bro, saying, “Got any other questions you’d like to throw our way?”

The Bro hesitates for a second but takes the cue, replying, “Actually, there was one…”

Trae Larkin facepalms the unfortunate interviewer, giving him a gentle shove backward, while Jimmy Classic laughs heartily. The two men saunter off, leaving The Bro looking frustrated and bewildered.

LOGO b&w


Outside Cindi’s Gym

Hollywood, California

September 4, 2023

The men standing outside the nondescript North Hollywood exercise facility tense up and take a tentative step forward as the equally nondescript taxi pulls up and the back door on the passenger side flies open; their body posture just as quickly relaxes, however, when a husky man in a loud vacation shirt, panama hat, baggy shorts and vintage shades steps out, holding up a hand with the middle finger proudly sticking out.

“’Aloha‘, bitches!” He does not wait for an answer, instead sticking his head through the front window of the vehicle. “Hey asshole…next time, why don’t you try driving even slower? Maybe then you can actually make me late.” He pauses for a moment, then shakes his head. “Are you kidding me? NO. No tip. ‘No hay tip-o’. I wouldn’t even have paid the fare if I knew you were gonna drag ass. You’re lucky I’m not reporting you. Get the fuck outta here.”

Then, as the cabbie drives off, audibly swearing up a storm in what appears to be Spanish, he once again turns to appraise the assembled group, who, by this point, have reverted back to their previous laid-back banter.

“Hey Flanagan! Check this shit out, bro! Dann’s been in fuckin’ Cuba smoking cigars and getting fat, and he’s still in better shape than you, my dude!” The speaker is a slender man in a ‘luchador’ mask with a blue checkmark etched across the forehead, his eyes totally covered by gray eye flaps.

“It was Hawaii, dipshit. And FYI, I did work out while I was out there.”

The man in the mask is unable to suppress a chuckle. “Work out what, Dann the Mann? Your upper arm, from lifting all those Mai Tais?” Before the man called Dann can even reply, the masked luchador sidles up to him, throwing an arm around his shoulders. “Yo, but check this out, though…I’m working on coming up with nicknames for everybody. Y’know…something catchy. Something we can hashtag the shit out of. And I think I’m onto something. You ready, bro?”

“What if I don’t want to hear it?”

Dann’s objection is, however, moot, as his interloper is already well under way with his giddy spiel, his hands held in front of and slightly above his face like a picture frame. “OK, picture this…I could be #theMarxMan…and you could be #OnePunchDann.” He giggles, giddy with his own brilliance. “One-Punch Dann! Get it? Like One-Punch Man? Except it’s you, and your name’s Dann!”

“How ’bout I one-punch you in the face?” The husky man glowers at his smaller interloper for a second, before his attention appears to shift elsewhere, as his eyes dart around the immediate vicinity, clearly not finding what they expected. “Hey, where the hell’s Public? I swear, if we get push-ups because of him, I’ll pound his lousy rat fink face into the dirt!”

“Probably somewhere up Corporal Wright’s ass…” The quip from Chet brings chuckles from the other men, even as Flanagan, the flat-topped Irish brawler, makes his own thoughts about the group’s leader known by waggling his eyebrows and waving his hand at crotch level, in a cupping motion clearly suggestive of groping, which draws a roar of laughter.

“Yo, don’t let Corporal Wright see you do that, bro…” Despite his words, it is clear Marx would like nothing more than to witness the fallout of that exact situation.

So lost in their mirth are the men, however, that they do not even notice the motorcycle which comes roaring to a halt across the street, its rider pulling her helmet off as she dismounts, to reveal a familiar shock of dark hair: it takes a cry piercing the morning air to bring them out of their blissful state and crashing back down to reality again.


Corporal Miranda Wright’s expression is anything but amused as she walks along the row of men now neatly lined up against the outer wall of the building, staring a hole into each one.

“Any of you lousy maggots mind telling me just what is so fucking funny?”

“N-Nothing, ma’am…” All cockiness has bled out of Chett Marx’s voice as he answers his superior’s query.

“’Nothing‘, Marx? Are you sure? ‘Cause I’m damn sure I saw all you dipshits laughing it up not two minutes ago. And I’m damn sure you weren’t laughing at ‘nothing‘. So, I’m going to ask you again…” The woman’s arm suddenly shoots forward in a downward motion, and a small gasp of pain escapes the mouth-hole in Marx’s mask. “…What. Is. So. Fucking. Funny?

Before the struggling Marx can reply, however, Wright glances up and down her line of cadets, clearly coming to the same conclusion drawn by Dann earlier. Rather than question the whereabouts of the squad’s missing member, however, she simply barks out his name, causing a nearby pile of cardboard and assorted litter to suddenly speak up.



Wright rolls her eyes. “Figures. I should have known a rat would be hiding in the trash.” The policewoman’s tone then suddenly becomes booming and commanding. “Fall in! NOW! TEN-HUT!

No sooner has this command been issued than GLOBAL’s most hapless superstar comes tumbling out from behind the pile of garbage, nearly falling over in his haste to join the ranks, where he is met with a mixture of livid glowers and barely-suppressed chuckles.

“Ma’am…I actually have something you might—”

QUIET!” Wright’s Johnny Lawrence-like bark causes Public’s words to die in his throat, replaced with a meek whimper, and almost immediately brings the rest of his squad-mates back into attention. This is, however, not enough to prevent a tongue-lashing from the makeshift squad’s commanding officer, as she begins pacing up and down the ranks.

“Look at you pathetic maggots. Was it even worth training your sorry asses? You’re not even out of bootcamp a month, and look at the state of you!” The “recruits” gulp nervously, exchanging glances, as their leader moves on to addressing each of them individually.


“Ma’am, yes, ma’am!” Steve Dann tries his hardest to keep his eyes forward and his posture straight as he acknowledges his superior.

“Had ourselves a little vacation, did we, cadet?”

“Ma’am, yes, Ma’am!” Knowing his flowered shirt takes away any plausible deniability, Dann opts for the sensible approach.

“Had a good time? Good food? Good drinks?”

“Ma’am, yes, M—-” The latter part of the reply is lost in a huff of air, as Wright lands a lightning-quick blow to Dann’s stomach.

“Must have been, seeing as how you’re even more of a lardass than you were before you started training…”

“Ma’am, I—-”

Dann’s attempt at a rebuttal is, however, cut short by another yelp of “QUIET!” The GLOBAL also-ran stands up straighter as his officer addresses him again, just as harshly. “Have you weighed yourself since coming back, Dann?”

“Yes, Ma’am! Yesterday, before leaving for the airport, Ma’am!”

If there is an acknowledgment from Wright, it is imperceptible. “…and…?”

“Three-seventy-five, Ma’am!”

“I see.” Wright pauses for a tense moment. “And do you want to know how much you weighed this time last month?”

Without waiting for a reply, Wright pulls up a spreadsheet on her phone.

“Three sixty-five. And just for curiosity’s sake, before you even started boot camp, you weighed…” The officer makes a show of consulting another spreadsheet, as Dann begins to visibly sweat bullets. “….three-seventy. And that’s when you were even more of a fat, worthless slob than you are now.” Dann’s perspiration increases as his superior stalks back and forth in front of him, feigning thought. “So what you’re telling me is, not only did you put all your weight back on, but you gained an extra five pounds…is that about right?”

“Y-yes, Ma’am…” The Fat Man is almost too quick to add a justification. “But it wasn’t my fault! I was in Hawaii, and—”

Once again, whatever excuse was being made gets lost in the huff of air escaping the mouth after a blow to the stomach; then, once the only sound coming from Dann is a whimper of pain, she delivers the predictable verdict.

“Drop down and give me five hundred…”

Dann is on his knuckles on the cement pavement before the second half of the punishment is even mentioned.

“…for every extra pound you gained.”

“W-WHAT?!” An incredulous Dann lets his mouth run away with him out of shock. “But, Ma’am, that adds up to…”

“This isn’t math class, cadet! I don’t give a rat’s ass what it adds up to! And don’t talk back to your commanding officer! ” Wright stomps the prone man in the back, drawing a huff of pain, before affecting an evil smirk. “Besides…you do need to lose back those extra ten pounds…”

“Daaaamn, bro! Busted!” Like Dann before him, Marx is also unable to hold in his reaction, which – perhaps predictably – causes him to become the new focus of Wright’s irritation.

“You think this is all a joke, don’t you, Marx?”

“Not all of it, Ma’am…it’s just…” The masked man snickers. “…Dann had been talking about how he still worked out in Hawaii, and, well…”

“…and he hasn’t, and that’s hilarious, right?”

“Well…yeah.” Marx is still visibly holding back laughter, despite the menace to his genitalia looming mere inches away.

“Right. Well, that lack of solidarity towards your squadmate just earned you five hundred push-ups. So get to flexing, wise-ass.”

Marx’s body posture visibly sags as Wright, not wasting another moment, moves on to the next recruit in line.

“Flanagan…vacation to Ireland, I’m assuming?”

The Irish brawler simply nods, never once straying from his at-attention posture, eyes forward and back straight – a stance which possibly helps soften his blow, even if he does by no means get off easy.

“I’m not even going to ask how many beers you’ve had while you were there. But you are going to give me ten push-ups for each one.” The predatory smirk once again emerges on the woman’s face as Flanagan’s posture breaks slightly for the first time, his eyes widening in horror. “If you don’t know how many that is for sure…do a guesstimate.”

The no longer stoic Irishman is then left to add up what is likely an astronomical number, as Wright moves on to the last three men left in line – Joe Public and the tag team known as The Salamanders – pauses for a minute, then seemingly makes up her mind.

“Thing One…Thing Two…I’m sure you’d be more than happy to take an even five hundred each for the team. And as for you, Public…who are always such an obedient little boot-licking worm…so eager to please…who always do whatever you’re told…” GLOBAL Wrestling’s most mundane superstar beams with pride, only for his face to drop with his mistress’s next few words. “…I’m sure you would be more than happy to take an even thousand for the team.” Wright’s sadistic smirk appears for the third time as her cadet’s face drops. “After all…you do want to be a good little boot-licker and please your commanding officer…right?”

The self-appointed drill sergeant allows her grin to widen as, after a long moment of helpless stuttering, the last of her recruits is left with no option but to commit himself to his punishment, joining in with his squadmates’ symphony of grunts, groans and huffs.

“That’s right, you maggots. Summer vacation’s over. Class is back in session…and good old Ms. Wright is about to take all your asses to school.”

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On Domination One, Mr. Merchandise was set to wrestle Amber Lee, who ended up teaming with Alfie Button, Darren Best’s former teammate and that’s enough of past tense and Six Degrees of Separation.

“For the Love of Money” by The O’Jays, what a cool band by the way, and the main man behind the Merchandise Consortium comes out, billed from The Bank, and ready to do battle with Darren Best.

“Mr. Merchandise is a great athlete, wrestler and businessman, and this is a big opportunity for he and Darren Best on a big night for this company to show what they can do,” Lucas introduces.

“I couldn’t agree more.  This is a crossroads contest for both men, and it’s a must-win, I feel.  GLOBAL fans are more familiar with Darren Best, whose debut against Sean Darring back on Domination Three has carried him farther than it possibly should have,” Deltzer chips in.

The late, great Tina Turner’s iconic anthem of “The Best” brings Darren out.  A black jacket, blue tights and a red trim with Best also in red down the right side accompanies Darren’s fairly serious walk, perhaps born out of nerves, as he exchanges high-fives with grateful fans down either side of the aisle.

“Merchandise is an inch taller and a pound heavier than Darren Best, so a test for both men in an even match,” Allie Reece reads.

Best scales the ropes, wiping his feet on the apron respectfully prior to entering. “Here we go!” Deltzer yells excitedly.

Mr. Merchandise meets Darren Best coming in, swarming the native New Yorker as he enters via the middle rope, all over him like the proverbial rash.  Four shots to the spine visibly weaken Darren, and as Merchandise drags Darren to the floor with an elementary yet effective front facelock, he compounds Best’s early misery with a trio of sledges to the lower back.

“Best’s back is certainly taking a pounding,” Quinn laments.

Darren is disoriented, and Mr. Merchandise adds to Best’s slow start with a pair of seated sentons to the spine.  Smelling blood, he goes for his finisher, the camel clutch, but Best reacts by turning around and kicking MM off with the sole of his boot to the lower abdomen.  However, the relentless money-maker comes back for more, eating a monkey flip by Best for his troubles.

“A brilliant bit of in-ring awareness by Darren, who needed that,” Lucas rightly points out.

Both men climb back to their feet, however, Mr. Merchandise is quickly put back on the canvas with a superbly timed single-arm DDT.

“Wait a minute, now it’s Darren who’s looking for the BEST SUBMISSION EVER,” The Mark shouts, getting excited at the two participants exchanging early finisher attempts.

Mr. Merchandise cleverly evades it, and they’re back to square one.  The former FWA star rolls out of the ring altogether, stationed on the right side, ignoring Gabby Harris’s requests to get back in the ring, waving her off.  She’s not the only one he’s waving off, either…


Mr. Merchandise walks away from Darren’s dive, drawing a collective gasp of amazement and worry on Best’s behalf.  The unfortunate New York native, who has suffered terribly with concussions and injuries in the past, is face-down on the padding, and thankfully that is there, or who knows what state Darren could be in right now.

The commentary team goes quiet, exchanging concerned glances, as Allie Reece covers her mouth, horrified at the thought of Best seriously injuring himself.  Meanwhile, Mr. Merchandise casually rolls back in, content with taking the victory by any means necessary.

Unsure what to do, Staggs commences a count.  He gets to six, and Best, who hasn’t moved a muscle, suddenly starts to stir, which causes the crowd to turn the volume up, mainly tinged with relief, and that in turn gets Merchandise’s back up.  He is livid when Shane suddenly halts his count.  Staggs does eventually reach 8 but given the delay of at least ten seconds between 6 and 7, and then 7 and 8, Best gets back up onto the apron and is ready to carry on.  The Globe is hot right now, and so is Mr. Merchandise, but in two very different ways.

Merchandise brings him back in with a Slingshot suplex…roll-up by Best!

“Can he pull it off?”



Merchandise reverses it…



Merchandise hits Best with a savate kick, Best hits the ropes, and when he               rebounds into Merchandise….

Belly-to-belly suplex!

The fan in Allie forces to her to stand up, clenching her fists and then praying for a 3-count as Best makes the short journey…



“Did he get it?”

Shane confirms that, alas, Darren did not.

Still struggling, Darren cannot capitalize on his handiwork.  Given the bump he took, he is lucky to be conscious, let alone competing in a match, one that hangs in the balance.

A reverse suplex—reversed into a reverse DDT by Best!

Okay, no more utterances of the word ‘reverse’ for now.

“OUTSTANDING MOONSAULT.  HOW?!” The Mark’s query echoes the sentiments of an energetic audience.




Buoyed, Best waits for Merchandise to stand before running the ropes.  His attempted rebound bulldo—dged! 

Merchandise with a backdrop suplex, and shades of Best there!

A subsequent leg drop and an arrogant cover by Merchandise…


Talk about defiance.  Can I say that, Seth?

Elbow dro—Plop!

Darren Best makes Mr. Merchandise pay, pun absolutely intended, for his complacency, and the ultimate price may still be rung up at the pay windah, Jack…




Merchandise cleverly blocks Best’s hand, Roman knuckle lock style.  It reminds me of something, Hod.


Before Harris knows what’s going on, or the official for that matter, Mr. Merchandise sticks it to Best with the…



“It’s over.  It has to be,” The Mark confirms.




“HOW?  WHY?” The Mark cannot believe it, and neither can this crowd.  They roar the plucky Best on, spitting in the face of Mr. Merchandise – figuratively.  I despise the other word.

“Mr. Merchandise has run out of ideas,” Reece reckons.

A short-arm clothesline proves her wrong, but Best also keeps his ambitious opponent at bay by ducking underneath and looking for a backdrop driver of his own, repaying Mr. Merchandise for earlier on, a receipt IF YOU WEEEEL…

Merchandise shows agility that can’t be bought, and a discus lariat means Best has gone from Top Seller to…





That’s it.

Or it would have been had Merchandise not pulled Best up at the last moment, infuriating Harris and 2,500 members of the GLOBAL Nation at exactly the same time.

“This sadistic bas—ketcase wants to make a statement, and I’m not talking about a bank one,” The Mark predicts.

He’s not wrong, either.


The camel clutch almost ended proceedings out of the gate, and Mr. Merchandise couldn’t quite muster it.  Here, however, the insurance policy looks set to pay off.  Best is fading and fading fast, lads and lasses.

“I don’t see a way out for Darren, not this time,” Lucas laments.

“Don’t give up, Darren,” Reece begs, down on her knees, almost praying in church.

On the contrary, there are fans standing, praying, biting their nails and saying their prayers, BROTHER!

Best shakes his head, it’s hardly defiant, and he barely utters a ‘no.’  He’s drowsy, and in needed of a twenty-second wind if he’s going to deny Mr. Merchandise from heading straight to that pay windah.  A camera close-up hears Staggs ask it twice more, and this looks desperate for Best.

His hand goes up once…



No, sir.



Stunned into silence, the inhabitants of The Globe, GLOBAL’s spiritual home, cannot believe it.  Darren Best was supposed to pass this test, and then, he was blessed to even still be in the contest.  How much longer can he, and we as fans, partake in his disappointment?

Mr. Merchandise could care less.  He stood over Darren’s limp body, gleeful to have recorded an excellent victory in GLOBAL, music to his ears that Jason Brown is proclaiming him the winner.

The first step to making stacks of cash, Staggs’s hand in his.  Mr. Merchandise knows he can make it in GLOBAL.

You can take that to the bank.

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Yesterday at around 4 pm.

An ensemble of wrestlers that haven’t been seen together since the first episode of the first season are gathered in GLOBAL’S answer to the Oval Office, AKA Giovanni’s boardroom.

Let’s have a roll call, shall we?

Ray Young, the 19-time world champion, is decked out in a light green suit with a white shirt and a gray tie.  His skin resembles a coffee table with wrinkles, though he has a lovely set of railings and his smile shows off his dentist’s rather fine handiwork.

Hank Wright, a multi-time heavyweight champion himself, has a white cowboy hat on, a red shirt and blue jeans.  Talk about representing state and country.  His blonde hair is showing some gray, but his piercing blue eyes show no sign of dimming.

Keegan, a British export who is overrated but done okay considering his limitations, is in an all-blue suit and matching tie, laughing at a Ray Young remark.

Jackie James, his medium-length hair has gone gray, but he hasn’t trimmed it at all in retirement.  He’s regarded as one of the finest men NEVER to win a World title and is sporting a green and blue checked shirt with beige pants.  There’s still a twinkle in his brown eyes when he talks wrestling, and today is one of those occasions.

 Next to Jackie James, his former rival, Jimmy Mann, whose beautiful set of hair is all but gone, with a bald head and some hair on the sides.  He is laughing at something Ray Young said, showing a fine set of teeth, save for a couple of wisdom teeth missing, one on either side.

Michael Mercer, the clean-cut brunette (don’t often hear men called that, do you?)  He has an all-black suit and a Canadian flag tie, which has got him some stick so far.

Brandon Garrick, long hair down his back, along with Michael Mercer, is injured, and one of the best wrestlers in the world.  He has a white training t-shirt on and gray sweatpants, fresh off a workout, and joked he looked out of place when he walked in.  Injured yet training?  Yes, he’s on the comeback trail.

“I am so excited about The Next Global Star.  I cannot wait,” Ray Young says, rubbing his hands.

Jackie James chuckles to himself. “What a group they could be.  So much talent, knowledge, and experience, as well as potential.  Second generation guys,” he laughs, tapping Michael Mercer on the shoulder and saluting Brandon Garrick as well.

Then, Ray turns to Hank.  “Oh, and your story starts next week, as well.  So many things to be excited about,” Young beams.

Keegan asks. “When are we gonna see you two back in the ring, then?”

Mercer shrugs. “Hopefully, before the end of the year.  Here?  Not sure.”

Garrick is a little more hesitant. “One day.”

All of a sudden, a flustered Giovanni Ferrari walks in, file in hand. Before anyone can address him, he stands at the head of the table, takes a deep breath, and embarks on his pre-planned speech.

The tall, dark, and handsome Italian-American then surveys the room and meets what is an intimidating ensemble’s eyes.

“Last year, in this very room, I discussed who the star of GLOBAL would be with all of them,” Giovanni states, waggling his finger and pointing to the rest of the board as if they’re standing outside ear wigging, when they’re all at home for the day, blissfully unaware that this meeting is taking place.

“Everyone in here, even me, knows it’s Darring and I defer to all of you when it comes to wrestling knowledge.  Every one of you here knows more than I ever will.  So, this year, I’m not interested in what THEY think.  I really want to know what all of you think.  Not the show we’re doing, but who is the next star, after Sean Darring, of course?”

Ray Young points towards himself, and then stands up, his hands doing as much talking as him. “I never thought Daniel Dream was the guy, but you know what?  I actually think he could be.  I was wrong, there.  Don’t write him off.  Crusader X impresses me a lot, and if he can win in the main event tonight, the sky’s the limit.  WHOEVER wins tonight, they’re going places.”

Hank Wright adjusts his cowboy hat. “Truth has got a chance, and you know what it’s like to be hated, Ray, as do I, and Jimmy too.  My god. It works for some people, and he’s got a LOT OF people marching to the beat of his drum.  He needs to beat more people in the ring, though.”

Keegan smiles. “Well, I’ll always have Alfie’s back, and he’s got all of the tools.  But, realistically right now, Reyn’s still a threat, and I expect him to separate himself from the pack in the next few months.”

Giovanni nods. “All people involved in tonight’s main event.”

“And for good reason,” Young says, tapping Giovanni on the back.


“Tough call, I also see potential in all three of them, they’re right up there.  I like that Aleczander is back, he’s in great shape, and seems more focused.  I think he’ll do special things this year.”

Jimmy Mann, Jackie’s former rival. “What about his partner?  We were wrestlers, and we had to be, but when you’re a big sumbitch that’s SEVEN-FOUR?  Man, he could be the future of the business, not just this company.  And he’s damn likable, too.  Big Aug, for me.  And, sorry Ray, can I just say I agree with Hank on John J. Truth, too?  He’s got Border Control behind him, they’re all big boys, can all fight dirty, and working on the same page?  They could have it all, man.”


Brandon Garrick deliberates the question for a moment. “I am surprised that people haven’t mentioned Angel Ramirez and Valorie Vitality.  They’ve both got major breakout potential, BUT as for who the next star is?  It might be too early for them.  Like Mike over here, I usually go for the wrestlers of the world, and Darring’s got that all tied up – no pun intended.  So, honestly, I don’t know.”

“Helpful,” Young jests.


“Brandon’s right, but why not Jerry David?  And it’s a shame EZ Rah is gone, because he could have been IT.  Crusader X is another that stands out.  I’ve definitely got my eye on him.”

With everyone having answered Giovanni’s question, Ray Young turns to the CEO of GLOBAL and in turn, turns the tables on Ferrari.  All intended in my futile attempt for the line of the night, by the way.

“Who for you, G?”

Ferrari nods, staring into space. “I have no idea,” he throws his hands up, causing everyone to laugh, Ray raucously.

“Why do you think we’re having this meeting?”

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Somewhere in the English countryside

Early September, 2023

“I tell you, mate…this is going to be bloody wizzo. I have already looked into golfing and hunting resorts, and I have been in touch with a friend of mine who owns a little nightclub over there…” Rupert Royston-Fellowes, one-half of the wrestling tag team known as the Best of British, grins and winks at his partner and lifelong best friend. “…nothing but fit young fillies as far as the eye can see.” The blond man punches his darker-haired counterpart in the shoulder good-naturedly. “So, again…bloody wizzers. We need it, as well, after the half-year we have just gone through, eh, old chum?”

“Defo.” Nigel Kensington III returns his partner’s grin, though not the blow to the shoulder. “It is Summer until the middle of bloody October over there, as well, is it not?” Rupert nods, and Nigel’s grin widens. “I thought so.” He lets out a small, wistful sigh. “I can hardly wait to be sprawled out on a beach somewhere, with a nice drink, and an even nicer bird…actually, make that one to EITHER side of me…!”

The two men are still sharing a companionable guffaw over this remark when a nearby door opens, and a deeply tanned blonde woman in a blonde pixie cut and eye-watering hot pink skirt suit welcomes them in.

“Darlings! Welcome!”

“You are looking positively radiant, Kerry!” Kensington flashes her his most winning smile, which the woman makes a show of fawning over.

“Do you nbsolutely LOVE it?” She gives a little giggly twirl. “Ibiza. I was over there for a few weeks, staying with my friend Anna. Rupie knows Anna…don’t you, darling?”

Rather than reply, however, the typically blunt Fellowes chooses, instead, to bring the conversation around to the salient point at hand.

“How is she?”

Kerry grimaces. “Well…I DID try working on her a little bit…you know, to soften the blow…but still…””

“…I see. We had better be prepared, then.”

“Yes. I would definitely say so, darling.”

Rupert nods. “Very well. Lead the way.”

Kerry promptly obliges, leading the two men through another room and into a private study, where a brunette in a power-suit sits behind a desk, smoking and having a glass of wine. As the two men enter, she pushes herself up straighter in her chair, glowering daggers at the pair.

“Stella! The boys are here to see y—”

Kerry forcedly cheery spiel is, however, cut short by a single word, which drops on the two men with all the blunt force of a large boulder.


Always the most tactful half of the duo, Kensington seeks to deflect his employer’s rage, a goal his partner’s aghast reply immediately renders impossible.


“…well, that bloody turncoat betrayed us, and he sided with that—that—lumbering IMBECILE, and the blasted freak is the size of a small bear, and we—”

“That is enough.” Once again, Stella Chalmers-Blythe barely has to raise her voice to bring her interlopers to silence, her eyes scorching a hole into each one. “I am growing tired of constantly hearing excuses. I want to hear solutions.”

This, predictably, has the two men fidgeting and exchanging hesitant glances, as though they were small children caught in a collective misdemeanor. No less predictable is the eyeroll from Stella, as she once again tongue-lashes her associates.

“You are not QUITE as outspoken or proactive when it comes to bettering yourselves, are you? I might have known.” Her gaze now moves to her Public Relations officer, whom she addresses with a slight sigh. “Kerry, please tell me YOU have something…”

“Actually, darling, I do.” Kerry’s impeccably white teeth stand out for a moment against her deeply tanned skin as she smiles.

Stella, however, does not yet lose her frown. “…well…?”

Kerry’s smile grows wider. “Two words, darling: reputation management.”

The two men and the Stella all collectively frown in puzzlement at the blonde, who begins to pace back and forth across the office as she expounds on her point, like a lawyer making a case for a client.

“The way I see it, what these two fine boys need is a little bit of a makeover. I feel…”

“I am NOT mincing about in some clown outfit every other week!” Rupert Royston-Fellowes’ outburst draws an angry glare from his employer, who clears her throat crossly before prompting Kerry to continue.

“No, no, no…don’t worry, Rupie, darling…I would NEVER do that to you boys!” The blonde giggles airily, either not having taken offence to the interruption or admirably masking it. “I was referring to a change in the public perception towards you two, both as athletes AND as people.”

Their concerns mollified, it is now the two men’s turn to nod encouragingly at their PR whiz. Kerry smiles brightly again, returning the nod, before continuing.

“See, as of right now, people are none too fond of either of you, I’m afraid. I was thinking perhaps we might work on changing that…”

“How do you propose we go about it?” Stella leans forward, clearly interested.

Kerry grins. “Well, darling, all good redemption stories start with a few unselfish acts. Look no further than these two boys’ opponents from last week.” The mention of Aleczander and August draws a scowl from Rupert, but neither woman notices it. “Leczi was just as disliked by the general public as either of them, yet, at the last show, he was being applauded. All because he helped that other fellow…”

“…purely out of INTEREST…the rotten bastard…” Rupert’s muttered growl once again goes unnoticed, as Kerry reaches full swing with her idea.

“…so, if we could somehow establish the fact that these two gentlemen are perfectly capable of being decent chaps…”

“Yes…yes…I see it…” Stella’s chin is now resting on her closed fist, as she takes in Kerry’s plan with rapt attention. “…what do you suggest?”

Kerry’s grin comes with a hint of mystery this time, as she gives her employer and friend a mischievous look. “Do you trust me, darling?”

To the men’s surprise, Stella grins back, giving Kerry a slight nod which makes her beam yet again.

“WONderful! You shan’t regret it!”

The blonde turns towards the two suddenly apprehensive-looking men beside her, affecting what might charitably pass for a strict tone.

“As for you two…come along! There is a lot to be done if we are going to rehabilitate your image. Quickly, now! Chop-chop!”

With that, the slight, slender middle-aged PR Barbie leads the two much larger, muscular, yet visibly uncomfortable men out of her employer’s office, their heads hung and their steps shuffling like those of schoolboys sentenced to Summer detention by a particularly strict headmistress, their dreams of a boozy fly-and-flop beach holiday among like-minded debutantes effectively and irrevocably shattered.

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Williamsville, Erie County, New York.

The sun shines through a crack in the thick blackout curtains of a teenager’s bedroom in the leafy suburbs of New York.

On the beige walls, posters of baseball players hang, slightly sagging from age. A well-used pine desk sits beneath the curtained window, an old TFT monitor gathering dust sits behind a keyboard and mouse. The bed is neatly made, its blue plaid sheets ironed and pulled tightly into the corners. Sitting on top of the blue pillow is a small, brown teddy bear. It is clearly well-loved, and old. Its stuffing has flattened out, one eye is slightly damaged, and the glass broken inside. 

The sunlight rests on the slatted doors of the small wardrobe next to the bedroom door. Through the slats of the wardrobe, an orange light begins to glow.

The sound of a stream of liquid hitting the carpet can be heard.

The door opens.

A man dressed in a crisp, black, pinstripe suit steps out. On his head is a black bag of Black Pepper Jack Doritos. He is zipping up his flies.

Doritos Man.

Doritos walks slowly around the room, checking out the posters and the trinkets along the windowsill. He picks up a greeting card and reads the inscription.

“Dear Jerome, all our love, Mom and Dad.”

Doritos puts the card back where he got it from and continues his walk before reaching the side of the bed.  He looks at the innocent, much-loved stuffed animal and picks it up, turning it in his hand.

“Yes. This will do,” he nods to himself, his bag rustling quietly.

Slowly, carefully, Doritos Man tiptoes back into the closet, closing the door behind him. An orange glow streams through the wooden slats for a few seconds, and then there is silence once more in the David household.

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Undisclosed Location

August 2023

“Ninety-nine, a hun—DAMMIT!”

GLOBAL superstar and resident controversist John J. Truth drops his arms to his sides, causing him to collapse face-first onto the exercise mat on which he had been flexing.

“God FUCKING dammit! I could’a sworn I had you there!”

“Hey, don’t sweat it, boss.” One of the other two men in the room, the wiry specimen with weaselly features and a hooked nose who provides most of the brains to Truth’s personal security duo, throws his interloper a reassuring grin. “You almost had ‘im that time…”

“Yeah, boss.” The third man, built like a silverback gorilla and with a somewhat similar demeanor, joins his partner in offering encouragement. “You were only like one push-up off…”

“Fuck ‘almost’! Fuck how far off I was!” The fury displayed by the man in the tank top wipes the smiles off both his companions’ faces. “It’s still not good enough. And if I’m gonna be ready to crash that fuckin’ snowflake party next month and put all those bastards on notice, that’s gonna have to change lickety-split, So…” He pushes himself back to a horizontal position, before looking the bigger of the two men straight in the eye. “Best twenty out of twenty-five?”

A look of concern broaches the wiry man’s features. “Boss, are you sure you don’t wanna—”

“—no.” The answer, curt and peremptory, cuts across whatever suggestion the man had been attempting to make; still, to his credit, this does not deter him from pushing on.

“But you been at this all morning already!”

“Do I look like I give a shit, Washington?” The man in the tank top gazes up with a fierce glare. “Now shut the hell up and count us in!”

“OK…” The man stands up a little straighter and holds out an arm with three fingers outstretched. “On three…One…Two…THREE!”

The third finger is barely even down before the other two men in the room begin to frantically perform one-armed push-ups, their skin glistening with sweat, their muscles bulging with the strain. They have only been at it for a few seconds, however, when the nearby array of monitors and laptops begins to emit a steady beep, instantly sending Truth scrambling to his feet and rushing towards where the screens continue to display security footage. He then just as hastily rewinds it, his breath caught in his throat, before slumping onto the chair in front of the array, clearly deflated.

“Another Goddamn badger…!”

“Sorry, boss…” The wirier of the two bodyguards grimaces in sympathy, but his associate has no such subtlety.

“You think you ever gonna find him?”

Surprsisingly, Truth does not immediately fly off the handle; on the contrary, when he looks up at his associate, his gaze is surprisingly level, though as clearly pained as his husky tone.

“I know I am, Lincoln. It’s just a matter of time, that’s all.” Then, pushing himself back up to his feet, he quickly regains his usual harsh, direct demeanor. “Now – you two lazy sons of bitches got what you wanted. You had your break. Now let’s get back to work.”

With that, and without even leaving room for objection, Truth once again takes to the exercise mat, dropping down onto the push-up position and waiting for his two acolytes to join him; when they eventually do, he looks up at the one called Washington and repeats his request from moments earlier.

“Best twenty outta twenty-five. Count us in, Washington.”

A few seconds later, Truth and the man called Lincoln are once again engaged in a one-armed push-up contest, the alarm incident from moments before apparently well and truly forgotten.

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Somewhere in Greater Los Angeles

Late September, 2023

In a dank, cramped, musty room somewhere on the outskirts of the City of Angels, the camera on a mobile device is turned on and propped up on an elevated surface, the better to capture the events taking place inside the run-down fighting ring occupying most of the far end of the space. Inside it, a tall, muscular woman with an unruly fringed pixie cut, dressed in a black and dark gray workout outfit, is attempting to bring a ragtag band of misfits (half of which are in “lucha libre” masks) to some sort of order.

“All right, you maggots! Here’s how this is going to go down. We’re going to have masks…” The woman gestures towards the two “luchadors” in identical black bodysuits and the slender wrestler in the blue-and-black mask. “…against no masks.” The second gesture encompasses the remaining three members of the group – an incredibly girthy man, a silent, stoic and weathered brawler, and the most unremarkable and ordinary-looking man imaginable. When these latter three fail to immediately react, they find themselves at the receiving end of a commanding bark from the apparent instructor.

“What are you three numbnuts waiting for? PICK YOUR CORNER!!”

This, predictably, has not only the unmasked team but also their counterparts scrambling for the nearest turnbuckle, and it does not take more than a few moments before the woman, who will seemingly be acting as a referee, signals for the start of the match, leading the girthy man to immediately step inside the ring in representation of his team. The woman acknowledges him with a brief nod, before turning on the masked bunch, who seem somewhat uncertain as to who should start off proceedings.

MARX!!” The man in the black and blue mask starts in surprise, but the woman simply points towards the canvas. “You’re up.” The “luchador” goes to protest, but the instructor shuts him down. “You assholes wouldn’t decide who started, so I’m doing it for you. Get in there.”

The masked man clearly does not seem best pleased about this, but presumably knows better than to argue; as he faces off against his impressive opponent, however, he attempts to plead his case to him, in his own, unique way.

“Heeeeyy…One-Punch Dann! Dann the Mann! How’s it going, buddy? Listen, you don’t really want to hurt me, right? We’re buddies. ‘Amigos’. ‘Compadres’. Peas in a po—”

He never gets to finish his spiel. The man called Dann suddenly lunges forward, grabs him, and throws him down with a powerslam, leaning down as he hits the mat to yell in his face.

“SHUT UP! Jesus fuckin’ Christ!”

“Hear, hear!”

The cry of approval from the unremarkable member of the unmasked team has the opposite effect than intended, however, as Dann rounds up on him.

“You shut up, too! It’s bad enough I gotta have you on my team!”

This momentary distraction is all the masked “luchador” needs, as he crawls over and attempts to pull the big man down. It does not quite work, however, and he ends up squished under three hundred and fifty pounds of rear end, hoisted by his own petard.

“Jesus, Mary and Joseph…!” The woman huffs loudly as she rolls her eyes. “Dann, get off of him. Marx, shut the fuck up and wrestle. Don’t make me have to put the boot to you.”

This threat seems to spur both men on, and as each of them returns to their feet, an actual wrestling match begins to take place. Unfortunately for the masked Marx, it is a rather one-sided affair, with Dann’s power winning out over his speed at every turn. He therefore gets rag-dolled around for a few minutes, before Dann calls on the wizened brawler to pick up where he has left off. The blond, crew-cut veteran appears more than happy to comply, though not before having taken a swig from his sports bottle; only then does he finally switch places with Dann and prepare to continue dismantling their smaller opponent.

“You better not have put anything in that water, Flanagan!” The woman’s growl is, however, met with a mere shaking of the head by the brawler, who – much to everyone’s surprise – is then spoken for by the very man he is facing.

“Nah, Ma’am. Flanagan’s got his first AA badge this week…he even got a kiss from the counsellor…that right, Flanny baby?”

The veteran’s only response to this is to grunt, pick up the smaller man, and dump him on the canvas.

“OW! Hey, screw you, buddy! Last time I’m standing up for ANY of you guys!”

“Shut up and wrestle, Marx!” This time, the command comes, not from the butch woman, but the unremarkable-looking man in the unmasked corner – a fact which, predictably, is not particularly well-received by the luchador.

“Who died and made you boss, Public? Why don’t you just crawl back up Corporal Wright’s ass and stay there?” Realizing what he has said, the “luchador” then quickly whirls towards the female instructor, visibly wincing. “Sorry, Ma’am…”

The woman, however, merely shrugs. “No lies were told…”

Hearing this, the “luchador” sighs with relief – which turns out to only be momentary, as he is soon being thrown around by the man named Flanagan yet again – much to Corporal Wright’s delight.

“What’s the matter, Marx? Brain bleeding out your mouth?” She chuckles evilly. “Maybe if you didn’t talk so much all the damn time…”

“Yeah, Marx! You need to shut up!”

The taunt from the unremarkable man draws a glower from Corporal Wright.

“No, Public. You need to shut up. Before I take one of these shoes and shove it you know where.” The instructor points at her feet demonstratively, as the man scrambles to apologise.

“Y-Yes, Ma’am! S-sorry, Ma’am!”

The woman pinches the bridge of her nose in exasperation.

“You know what? Marx, Flanagan, get the hell out of there. Thing One, Thing Two, you’re up…” The evil grin returns to her features as she glances at the opposite corner. “…against Public.

A horrified expression appears on the man’s features as he tries to plead his instructor for mercy, but she in no way prevents what ensues – namely, a two-on-one handicap beatdown, courtesy of the two identical-looking bodysuit luchadors. Only when they appear to have had their fill and drop down on top of him, hooking a leg, does she similarly slide onto her knees and smack her hand on the canvas, in the traditional referee count.



At this point, she actively stops and looks up towards the unmasked team’s corner.

“Anybody going to step in and break this?”

The befuddled looks exchanged by Dann and Flanagan in response to this speak so clearly that Wright pulls herself back to an upright position, once again pinching the bridge of her nose.

“…you losers need way more work than I initially thought…”

She then raises her voice, addressing the entire group. “You know what? We’re done for today. We’ll try this again tomorrow, once all you pathetic little egomaniacs have had a chance to think about the meaning of teamwork. In the meantime…” Another sadistic smirk broaches the instructor’s features as her underlings, who had been preparing to scatter to the four winds, suddenly and collectively halt themselves in their tracks. “…you’re going to drop down and give me one-handed push-ups until I tell you to stop.” She stares around at her dumbstruck, flabbergasted squad, then finally explodes. “NOW, YOU MAGGOTS!! MOVE IT, MOVE IT, MOVE IT!!”

Having finally suceeded in incurring the ire of their instructor, it does not take the group more than another few moments to comply to her wishes. The camera, however, catches only the very start of this workout before Wright steps in and turns it off, the better to preserve its battery life; after all, in less than twenty-four hours, the entire process will start over again, and she’s going to need enough juice to film it…

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Jabari Crossover, is in the ring and decked out in an all-blue suit and on hands to read off the auto cue.

“The first category of the night is one that people may not necessarily want to win, but alas, someone has to.  It’s the villain of the piece, the man the fans love to hate, and bears the name of GLOBAL’S Most Hated.

“Over the course of seventeen shows, various wrestlers taunted our fans, annoyed rivals, and even our commentary team, especially Allie Reece,” Jabari’s jibe gets a clap from Reece.

“He’s not wrong,” Allie admits.

“The nominees for GLOBAL Most Hated are…Aleczander The Great, Alex Reyn, Daniel Dream, and John J. Truth.”

A drum roll is requested and granted.

“And the winner is…JOHN J. TRUTH!”

The iconic opening riff of Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” draws an INSTANT wave of heat from the crowd, which only intensifies when the controversial athlete it heralds steps out onto the ramp. This is, however, not quite the John J. Truth fans last saw a few weeks before GLOBAL’s season-closing Pay-Per-View, GLORY; this man’s ratty hair has been slicked back, and his usual shabby quasi-vagrant clothes replaced with a visibly tatty, off-the-peg navy suit, in an obvious attempt at living up to the occasion at hand.

“Is…is Truth wearing a suit and tie?

“Yes, Allie. Yes, he is.”

“Well, at least he made an effort…not that that is going to change the GLOBAL Nation’s perception of him…”

Indeed, boos continue to rain down from all around the Globe as Truth and his two acolytes make their way to the podium and accept their award. Predictably, the noise levels inside GLOBAL’s home arena only grow louder the moment the company’s resident conspiracy theorist opens his mouth.

“My name is John J. Truth…and I call bullshit.”

“Oh, for crying out loud!” As always, Allie Reece makes no attempt at hiding her true feelings about the man. “What now?”

When Truth next speaks, however, his words do not go quite in the direction fans in attendance might have predicted.

“I call bullshit on all you sheeple. All you snowflakes and Libtards and keyboard warriors, crying on social media for months and months about how ‘TwUtH iS oFfEnSiVe, hE sHoUlD bE fIwEd!’” John’s whiny, mocking tone transitions to one of defiant aggression as he holds up his trophy. “Well, HOW DO YOU ASSHOLES LIKE ME NOW?”

The crowd’s deafening jeers are, somehow, not loud enough to drown out the arrogant award recipient.

“That’s right. Not only am I not getting fired, but someone, somewhere, decided to wake up, not be a sheeple, open their eyes and do their own research, and found out the Truth: this company needs someone like me. A free-thinker. Someone who won’t fall in line. Won’t play their game. Someone who is not afraid to expose the inconvenient Truth!

More boos from all around the structure render Allie Reece’s exasperated comment all but inaudible.

Seriously? Who does this guy think he is? Greta Thunberg?”

“More like Andrew Tate…”

For once, a comment from Deltzer does not immediately get shut down by his broadcast partner as, in the ring, an oblivious John J. Truth continues to gloat.

“In fact…I am so valuable here…that your precious little overlords put me in the Main Event match for their shiny new trinket, later tonight!”

The ensuing round of booing is targeted as much towards Ferrari as Truth himself – who, predictably, seems unfazed by the levels of noise inside the Globe, simply carrying on with his speech.

“So, yeah…get used to it, snowflakes. John J. Truth isn’t going anywhere but to the top. And once I have that Championship belt around my waist…you’re going to have no choice but to listen to me. And then…I will finally get to speak my Truth.” John mockingly holds up his trophy once again, “Thanks for nothing, assholes.”

With that, and under another record-breaking wave of jeers, Truth and his two acolytes retreat up the ramp, leaving the crowd in attendance, the fans at home, and even the commentators to ponder what management was thinking about giving the man an award. Still, as Allie points out, the damage is done; one can only pray things are not made worse by the outcome of the evening’s Main Event…


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Somewhere in Los Angeles

September 2023

The relative peace and quiet of the nondescript alleyway around the back of an East LA Mexican restaurant is suddenly disturbed as three teenage boys come stumbling out, covering their heads and yelping in pain as a shower of rubble pelts them in the back and shoulders.

“Ow! OW! OK! We’re sorry! We’re sorry! ‘Pinche chica loca…!‘”

As if summoned, the “crazy little chick” in question appears at the mouth of the alley, her right hand and the pocket of the incongruous kitchen apron around her waist still filled with small, sharp pieces of brick, tile and stone, her eyes scorching the retreating boys.

“And don’t lemme catch you fuckin’ with my homeboy again, ‘pinche pendejos!’”

With that, and one final grumble, she promptly empties her hands and apron, taking a moment to dust herself off before retreating back into the alley, where a fair-haired man in US Marine fatigues, his arm in cast, is gazing at her reproachfully.

“What?!” The young woman’s posture immediately becomes defensive. “They was fuckin’ with you, man…an’ you can’t stand up for yourself right now, so I gotta do it for ya!”

“Yeah, well, you didn’t have to throw stones at them, Angel…”

“Wasn’t no stones…” The youngster reaches into her apron and retrieves one last shard of brick. “It was bricks an’ shit.”

“Same difference.” The “explanation” does nothing to appease the man’s hard tone or gaze. “You didn’t have to throw anything at them.”

Surprisingly, the girl called Angel takes this into consideration for a moment.

“Yeah…guess you’re right. I could’a just pounded their asses, same as we did to Johnson and those guys…”

The man in military fatigues sighs. “Don’t you have to head back inside?”

Angel checks her cellphone. “Oh, shit, yeah. It’s the end of my break. Catch you later, ‘papi chulo‘!”

Before the girl can make it more than halfway up the steps leading to the outer door of the restaurant kitchen, however, it slams open with a bang, and a heavyset man in a kitchen apron similar to Angel’s steps out, his face contorted with anger.

“What the hell, girl? The fuck you throwin’ rocks at my customers for?”

“Wasn’t no rocks!” Angel sounds utterly exasperated as she once again holds up her piece of evidence. “It was bits of bricks and shit I found over there…” The youngster points towards the back of the alleyway, but the large man’s eyes never leave her face.

“I don’t care what the fuck it was. You don’t throw shit at my customers.”

“Aw, come on, Manny! Dudes had it comin’! They was givin’ Saul all kinds a’shit…an’ his arm’s busted, so he can’t fight back. Right, ‘papi‘?” Angel shrugs. “I just got my homie’s back, is all…”

At this, the man’s body posture softens ever so slightly, though not his expression or tone.

“Well…you know what you got comin’, right?”

Angel gazes up at him in genuine puzzlement. “Huh?”

“Yeah. I’mma have to let you go. I can’t have you pull that kind’a shit on the clock.”

“I wasn’t on the clock!” Instantly, Angel’s posture and tone go from relaxed to incensed. “I was on my break!”

“Yeah, but you was wearin’ the apron, an’ those dudes know you work here.” Manny shakes his head. “Sorry, ‘niña’…gimme your apron. I’ll still pay you for today.”

“This is bullshit!” Angel whips around to face Saul, looking for support, and is stunned when she finds none. “’Papi‘…c’mon…I was stickin’ up for you!” Then, huffing, she removes her apron; rather than hand it to her employer, however, she shoves it in a nearby garbage container. “Fine! This was a piece a’shit job anyways, with piece a’ shit customers! I QUIT!” She begins to stalk off, muttering under her breath about how she “can’t fuckin’ wait for the wrestling to start back up, IF it even starts back up“, then turns back to face the fair-haired man.

“You comin’? Or you gonna shut me down on that, too? Pull a fuckin’ Valorie?!”

The man exchanges a look with the restaurant owner, discreetly rolling his eyes as he pushes himself to his feet with his good hand, huffing and grunting from the effort. Then, after directing another shrug at the heavyset man, he follows his volatile partner out of the alleyway, and back into the hustle and bustle of the Los Angeles East Side.

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The Mark gets a standing ovation, as he steps up into the ring with an envelope and a microphone in hand. “Thank you, everyone.  I truly am living the dream, and being asked to do this is an amazing honor.  I was asked, apparently, because of my love of tag team wrestling, unashamedly shown in my support for The Players, but also because I’ve loved tandems since I was in diapers, and think it’s a shame that many wrestling promotions aren’t as passionate about it as I am.  I’d like to think GLOBAL is different in that regard, and I’ve been told that, along with Most Hated, this is the closest category.”

Deltzer wipes his hands, possibly feeling nervous. “The nominees for Best Tag Team are…FTK, Angel Corps, Prime Time Athletes and the reigning GLOBAL Tag Team Champions, Trouble Roxx.”

Mark smiles as he anxiously opens the envelope up, even tearing at it, which produces an ‘oops’ by the encyclopedic commentator. “And the winner, or should I say winners, are…”

After smiling to himself, he exclaims. “PRIME. TIME. ATHLETES!!!”

As the audience boos, it becomes evident that nobody wants to see the Prime Time Athletes win any award. Attendees look around in disbelief, realizing that the Prime Time Athletes didn’t even bother to attend the event. Instead, the big screen displays the image of the young and arrogant tag team. Jimmy Classic and Trae Larkin are seated next to the casted-up “Freddie Rich,” whom they wheeled out at Glory.

Jimmy Classic feigns astonishment and says, “Global, you love us, you really do. We are touched, shocked, and surprised that…” He pauses, breaking into laughter, before continuing, “You voted the only way anyone with a brain could. Of course, Prime Time Athletes are the best tag team. Is there really any doubt? I mean, come on, who were you going to vote for, The Rich Family? I mean, look, even Freddie abandoned his family and has joined the TOP TAG TEAM OF THE YEAR!”

The obnoxious duo continues to laugh and rub salt into their opponents’ wounds as Jimmy proceeds. “We would like to accept this award based on the fact that we were just born better than every single one of you. There was no doubt about the outcome, and we accept this award as a token of all the great things we have done for EACH and EVERY one of YOU. Especially the Rich Family. So for that – YOU’RE WELCOME.”

Trae Larkin snarls, and the screen fades, leaving the audience in attendance shaking their heads and booing two of the most despised figures in Global, the Prime Time Athletes.

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A camera light blinking red can be seen in the distance, about six or seven feet away from where Valorie is sitting, wearing a simple pair of black jeans, a short-sleeved plaid shirt in different shades of blue, and her typical cowboy boots and hat which is tipped downward a bit to shield her eyes from view. Two voices can be heard behind the camera as they talk a bit before a man, known by many as the Informer, walks out from behind the camera, sitting across from Valorie and after clearing his throat, smiles towards the camera and speaks.

“Good afternoon, everyone in the GLOBAL world! Thanks for tuning in! Today we have someone pretty unique from the south. Please welcome Valorie Vitality!”

The camera-person pans the camera to Valorie as she just gently moves her hat up, revealing a pair of cold eyes that just stare into the lens for a moment before glancing at the interviewer sitting beside her. The Informer tugs at his collar a bit, smiling a bit awkwardly before he speaks up.

“You’ve come quite a long way for a rookie, ma’am! You worked your way up and even had quite a long-standing feud against Jed Johnson! What are your thoughts on GLOBAL currently?” he asks.

Valorie just looks at him for a moment before looking ahead at the camera, speaking softly.

“Those were just wastes of time… wastes of my full potential. I honestly regret accepting those matches because I was in my weakest state of mind.”

Those words that were practically laced with ice send chills down the Informer’s spine, causing him to freeze up a bit until he noticed the camera-man making a motion to pick things up again. Taking a deep breath to recompose himself, he smiles and speaks up again.

“We’ve also taken notice that while you did form a unique team with Saul and Angel, your new partnership with Reyn helped you to get even stronger. So what can you tell us about that? What are the plans for you and Reyn?”

Valorie’s gaze snaps back at the Informer with malice as she sits up straight, her hands curled up into small fists.

“What on earth makes you think I’m with Reyn? Reyn has shown me that I didn’t NEED those two. That I’m stronger on my own. That I can reach my best potential ON. MY. OWN. Don’t you DARE think I’m pairing and working with him. I’m not.” She growls harshly at them before turning to the camera and continues. “And if anyone thinks or says otherwise… I will reinform them of the truth… myself.”

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Lucas Quinn says, “Congratulations Prime Time Athletes and we’re back for some top-tier GLOBAL tag team action. Global tag teams are turning heads with the growing star power in the division. Inside the ring, we have a young local team that’s been wrestling in a local California promotion. They’ve been rewarded for their hard work and skills in a try-out match here tonight.”

The crowd gives a polite cheer as the youngsters, Gage and Trevor, are introduced as the LA Express. They raise their hands, excited for the opportunity in front of the largest crowd they’ve ever faced.

The Mark comments, “This is the biggest opportunity of their young career for the LA Express. Let’s hope they do a good job and win some scouts over backstage.”

Allie agrees, “It’s hard not to root for Cinderella stories. These two look like fine young wrestlers, and it appears their families are right there in that section, hooting and hollering with signs. Good luck, Gage and Trevor!”

The tone shifts as Dirty Palm & Benix by Legacy plays over the PA system. Out steps the unpopular duo of Jimmy Classic and “The Suplex Ninja” Trae Suplex. Global Nation roars in boos as the arrogant and cocky tag team known as the Prime Time Athletes makes their entrance.

Lucas Quinn tries to put his feelings aside and adds commentary, saying, “Well, here comes the talented Prime Time Athletes. They came close to winning the tag team titles, but their problems with the Rich Family have continued.”

The Mark adds, “You have to feel for the LA Express. Imagine getting a call from Global. You’re all excited to find out you have an opportunity at your lifelong dream, and then you find out your opponents are these two guys.”

Allie says, “Except, it adds a little extra motivation for 99% of the wrestling world. I’m not even sure these guys’ grandmothers root for them.”

Lucas and The Mark agree with Allie as the Prime Time Athletes finish making their way down to the ring, joining the young LA Express inside the ring. Jimmy Classic and Trae Larkin point and laugh at the youngster as the referee, Duncan Sullivan, begins explaining the rules to both teams.

Allie shakes her head, saying. “Look at the Prime Time Athletes; they mock the youngsters, LA Express, and act like they are scared. Can’t they ever behave?”

Lucas Quinn answers honestly. “I am not sure they can, Allie. Let’s hope the LA Express are ready for their big opportunity and shut these two up.”

The Mark adds. “You know the Rich Family is hoping and watching backstage.”


The bell sounds, and both Prime Time Athletes roll out of the ring, waving off the youngsters who remain in the ring, not amused by the shenanigans of the despised tag team. The fans loudly boo the antics of the Prime Time Athletes.

Lucas Quinn voices his frustration, saying, “Oh, come on. This is the LA Express’s big night. Stop trying to poke fun and ruin it for them and everyone else.”

The Mark interjects, “Look, Jimmy Classic is getting into it with their families.”

The camera captures Jimmy Classic talking trash back to the section, which appears to be both Trevor and Gage’s family. This provokes Gage to sprint over and leap over the ropes. The crowd erupts in cheers as Jimmy Classic turns just in time to eat a senton splash over the ropes delivered by Gage!

Allie shouts, “Serves him right!”

Lucas Quinn agrees, “Gage has had enough, and Trae Larkin rushes over like a pitbull to attack Gage. But HERE COMES TREVOR!”

Trevor follows his partner’s lead and dives over with a suicide splash, catching the unsuspecting Trae Larkin. The fans go wild for the hot new tag team as they take to the air and catch the Prime Time Athletes off guard.

The Mark observes, “It looks like The LA Express are athletes in their own right, and they’re here to make the most of their opportunity tonight, folks!”

Lucas Quinn concurs, saying, “I don’t think the Prime Time Athletes saw this coming!”

Trevor pulls Trae Larkin back into the ring, and the referee, Duncan Sullivan, points to the two men, designating them as legal combatants. Trevor launches a flurry of right hands and chops at Larkin. He then targets the right side of Larkin’s leg with a sharp kick, following it up with another powerful kick. Trevor rebounds off the ropes, swiftly ducking by Larkin under a wild right-hand swing. He springs into action with a head scissors takedown.

Lucas Quinn comments, “The LA Express has come out with a lot of energy, while the Prime Time Athletes were more interested in embarrassing the two young kids than in having a wrestling match. It seems to be backfiring on them.”

Having just springboarded from the corner into an Asai Moonsault, Trevor attempts a high-risk maneuver. However, the Suplex Ninja, Trae Larkin, raises his knees at the last moment. Trevor of the LA Express lands chest-first onto those waiting knees.

The Mark winces, saying, “OUCH! That will take the wind out of a sail really fast.”

The Suplex Ninja gradually rises, shaking off the cobwebs from his mind, and gazes down at the young wrestler rolling on the mat, clutching his chest. Trae Larkin switches to attack mode like a predator sensing an opportunity, ruthlessly stomping away at Trevor.

Lucas Quinn observes, “Jimmy Classic, cheering his partner on, while Global Nation expresses their disapproval with boos directed at Trae Larkin.”

The Mark notes, “And it seems those boos are fueling Trae Larkin as he forcefully hoists Trevor up—BIG SUPLEX!”


Trae Larkin nearly hurls Trevor across the ring, then swiftly leaps back up and poses for his partner, Gage, positioned outside.

Allie shakes her head in disapproval, remarking, “Prime Time Athletes doing what they do best… Trae Larkin seems more interested in intimidating Gage than in wrestling Trevor, the legal man inside the ring.”

Trae Larkin pulls Trevor up and starts delivering sharp slaps across his face. Shouting toward Gage, he inquires, “You want to join Global? You want to be a top tag team?”

Lucas Quinn comments, “Trae Larkin is trying to humiliate these youngsters.”

Gage extends his hand as if requesting the tag, and Trae Larkin lifts Trevor before twisting him over with a hefty belly-to-belly suplex.




The Mark remarks, “Trevor kicks out. The youngster isn’t finished reinvigorating this Global crowd!”

Trae Larkin appears to savor the pain he’s inflicting on Trevor, slowly picking him up. He attempts to set up another suplex, but this time, Trevor acts swiftly and rolls Trae up with an inside cradle.



Lucas Quinn observes, “Trae Larkin powers out, and he charges but is met with a big dropkick from Trevor. Trevor quickly turns and dives, tagging in Gage!!!!”

The enthusiastic Global crowd, fully behind the newcomers, erupts with a resounding cheer as Gage rushes in and takes Trae Larkin down. Larkin tries to fight back but ends up on the receiving end of a roundhouse kick. Gage promptly ascends the ropes and executes a flying body splash, bringing down The Suplex Ninja and going for the cover!



Jimmy Classic thwarts the pin by stepping on Gage’s mid-back, then forcefully lifts him up and drives a close-range knee into Gage’s midsection. Ignoring the referee’s orders to return to the outside, Classic wraps his arm around Gage’s head and slams him hard onto the canvas with a DDT!

Allie expresses her frustration, saying, “Oh, come on! Jimmy Classic isn’t even the legal man, and he’s attacking Gage like that.”

Trevor must share Allie’s sentiments as he rushes into the ring, catching Jimmy Classic off guard and sending him tumbling over the top ropes with a head scissors.

The Mark comments, “Well, that’s one way to take care of that. Trevor isn’t done, though. He’s climbing the top ropes!”

Trevor leaps off the top rope, twists in the air, and lands on Jimmy Classic just as he starts to rise, eliciting cheers from the fans!

Lucas Quinn shouts, “Trevor, with a twisting dive, just silenced Jimmy Classic and took him out! I think we all loved to see it!”

Inside the ring, Trae Larkin and Gage are slowly regaining their footing. Referee Duncan Sullivan is struggling to regain control, instructing Trevor and Jimmy Classic to return to their corners. Gage approaches the Suplex Ninja but gets a thumb to the eye. Blinded, Trae Larkin seizes the opportunity and delivers a Dragon Suplex.


Despite the harsh landing, Gage somehow manages to stumble back to his feet, only for Larkin to hit his Asai DDT, known as the Ninja Nuke.


Lucas Quinn exclaims, “We’ve seen Larkin put men away with that move, and now he hooks the leg.”





The Mark adds, “Trevor slides under the ropes, but it’s too late. He was too focused on Jimmy Classic on the outside.”

Allie expresses disappointment, saying, “The LA Express showcased some flashes of high-flying ability, but in the end, Trae Larkin was too much!”

On the outside, Jimmy Classic has pinpointed the section of fans, which has now been confirmed to be Trevor and Gage’s family and friends. He’s gleefully taunting them, laughing and making mocking crying faces.

Lucas Quinn expresses his disapproval, saying, “This is uncalled for. Somebody really needs to put a stop to these guys. Now Trae Larkin is joining his partner on the outside, mouthing off.”

The Mark remarks, “Maybe the Rich Family will finally be the ones to silence these guys.”

Allie chimes in, saying, “We can only hope.”

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Trevor and Gage come back through the curtain, and get called over by Todd Rich, The Rich Family leader in Freddie’s continuing absence.  He is joined by Donny and Declan.  The Rich Family all have matching leather jackets with their names on.  Todd looks ready for action with his green pants on, Declan has red and blue shorts, and Donny is wearing an unusually purple set of trunks.

“Come here, guys,” Todd reassures them that this is legit, no funny business, beckoning both of them in.  They are noticeably tired, having been soundly beaten by Prime Time Athletes in the end. Donny and Declan take a step back and applaud the LA Express, and then Todd, who requests a microphone from backstage personnel, looks at the camera.  This one is LIVE, guys.

“Jimmy Classic, Trae Larkin. “Slim” Jim and Lance Chance are newcomers to GLOBAL, and they gave you a good match, let’s see how that match plays out six to nine months from now.  I’m not convinced it’s the same result.  But we know your attitude will be then, what it is now and what it will always be – lousy.”

Declan steps up to the plate. “Trevor, Gage, you looked good out there and he you fought hard.  Guys,” Declan says, extending his hand to both men.

“How would you like to face us two weeks from now?”

Trevor and Gage do a double take, probably wondering whether this is a rib.

“We’ll treat you with respect, you’ve earned this shot, and this is no joke.  I think you’re a hell of team, nothing personal.  We’re not setting you up to fail, like GLOBAL did.  You’ve got an extra two weeks, and we’ll tell you this now.  It’ll be me and Donny.”

Donny and Todd both look puzzled by that, seemingly news to them.“What do you say, Trevor?  Gage?  The Rich Family v LA Express on Domination Sixteen?

Trevor and Gage exchange glances and both produce a wry smile. “You’re on.”

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Twin Pines Mobile Home and RV Park

Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Late September 2023

Hayley Robinson closes the lid on the bubbling pan of instant canned beans she is warming over the stove – pondering, not for the first time, what exactly anyone in her household is waiting for to purchase a microwave – and glances out the window at what passes for a front lawn, where two strikingly similar-looking blond youths are using a football as a pretext for roughhousing. She watches them for a moment, grinning as the more slender of the two jumps on his companion’s neck, howling with laughter as he attempts a piggyback and sends them both crashing to the floor, then opens the door to the mobile home, stepping out onto the top step and calling out to the two boys.

“Y’all ain’t know what to do with a football if it bit y’all in the ass.” She holds out both hands in front of her. “Toss that shit over here.”

A moment later, the leather oval lands in her hands, somewhat disproving her taunts; not to be deterred, however, she does pull off a fairly good example of an accurate pass, which sends the smaller of the two boys running for it. Hayley smiles again as the youth slides on his belly across the grass in order to secure the ball, then turns to his more muscular counterpart.

“Food’s ready. Come’n’get it ‘fore it gets cold.” She lets her gaze wander back to the smaller youth. “Both y’all.”

The boy, however, appears to not have heard her, as, rather than comply, he instead throws the football in the completely opposite direction from where Hayley and the second young man are facing. “The Raven” raises her voice, as if to scold, but halts herself when she spots the broad-shouldered, wide-framed man in overalls currently making his way towards them, the football safely clutched in his large hand.

“Y’all gon’ have to do better’n that.” He tosses the ball back to the slender blond boy, then leans in to hug Hayley. “Sorry I’m late. Jackass pulls up just as I’m ’bout to head out ‘n’ pays for a whole goddamn deposit in change. He damn near got more ‘n’ just gas, I’m tellin’ y’all.”

“Yo Drew! We ain’t had nothin’ to do with it this time, bro!” The younger blond sounds almost comical as he rushes to disavow his responsibility in the matter. The large man, however, simply nods.

“Y’all think I ain’t know that? Jackass was like forty, suit’n’tie, fancy car…ain’t no way y’all know nobody looks like THAT. ‘Less y’all doin’ drugs, which I know y’ain’t.”

“Are y’all gon’ just stand around yakkin’ all day?” Hayley sounds more than a little annoyed as she cuts in on the conversation. “Food’s been ready. An’ I know y’all ain’t wanna eat no cold beans.”

“Aw, man, beans again?” The youngest of the two blond youths scrunches up his nose. “Why cain’t we never have no grits or somethin’?”

The youngster’s statement does nothing to appease Hayley’s irritation – much to the contrary, as the blonde all but slams the trailer door open after stomping up the steps.

“I ain’t makin’ no goddamn grits. Y’all want some grits, y’all make ’em y’selves.” Hayley continues to demonstrate her displeasure as she not so much ladles but flings her and her brothers’ portions onto their respective plates. “’Bout time y’all done learned to cook, anyhow. The hell y’all eat when I’m over there with Coach?”

“Takeout, pretty much.” The youngest Robinson brother speaks through his first mouthful, having wasted no time tackling the meal in front of him. “But that ain’t matter no more, no how…’cause y’ain’t goin’ back no more, so you can do the cookin’ every time.”

These words make Hayley start, the forkful of beans halfway to her mouth dropping back onto the plate as she rounds on her brother, eyes flashing. “Who said I ain’t goin’ back?”

Aiden Robinson shrugs. “Dunno…Guess I just done figured…y’know…since we goin’ back to Cali in like a month…”

“Yeah…well…that ain’t mean I’m done over there for good.” The blonde’s tone sounds significantly more subdued, however, as she tucks back into her dinner. “Coach says you ain’t never done for good with trainin’…an’ I reckon she’s right.”

A long moment of silence follows this statement, as each of the Robinsons – including Hayley herself – processes what the family’s most experienced member has just said. It is, of all people, strong-and-silent Drew Robinson who next speaks up, in perhaps too upbeat of a tone.

“Hey…ain’t no thing, y’all! We done had to make do without Raven before, an’ we done did just fine!”

“Yeah.” Hayley barely lifts her eyes from her plate, clearly still deep in thought. “Y’all gon’ be fine.”

The lingering silence after this short exchange says otherwise, however – a silence which never quite lifts, despite Drew’s attempts to divert the conversation towards sports or daily occurrences. Hayley herself barely hears any of what is said during that period, her introverted side having come to the surface, her brain turning the same question over again and again, never coming to a definitive answer. And though she tries her best to put it out of mind for the immediate future, it is still there a few hours later, when, lying in the dark on the foldout sofa, listening to her brothers snoring softly in the next room, she finds herself mentally picturing their expressions at the dinner table, and pondering whether she has it in her to once again deal them that blow.

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No-nonsense is a term that has been used to describe Son of Malta on more than one occasion.  Given he doesn’t know who his opponent is tonight, it’s hard to say whether the long-haired islander, dressed in a black top and matching points, will have to tolerate shenanigans, too.

His country’s national anthem blares out, and the 2,500-strong crowd recognizes it, giving him a warm reception as a result.

“Having just turned forty-three, Son of Malta shows no signs of slowing down, but knows he’s possibly nearer the end than the start.  Tonight, he starts off Season Two not knowing who his opponent will be, and hopefully Trouble Roxx’s opener won’t be an omen for the experienced and talented combat specialist from the small island nation in southern Europe.  He saw off the threat of Gemini almost a year on the inaugural show.  Can he repeat the feat here at Domination Fifteen, our season premiere, back in the very same arena?”

“We know it won’t be Punch Drunk Purcell, who will make his debut next week, and what a match that would have been, but I wonder who may come out and challenge Son of Malta.  Who would be in their right mind?  YOU ARE KIDDING ME!”

“No, it’s Call on Me,” Allie says, impersonating Mark.

With ear-to-ear grins, Damon Somner and Greg Matthews, collectively better known as Health Fanatics, are back in the building after an absence.  They actually appeared on Domination One in a losing effort to Amber Button.  They’re wearing red tank tops, navy blue shorts, and boots to match the shorts.  Somner has a microphone.  He has fair brushed-forward hair while Greg Matthews, built like a statue, has his arms crossed and brushes his long black mane away from his eyes, and face.  His green eyes stare through Son of Malta while Somner’s blue pair sparkle.

“Son of Malta, meet the new and improved…GORDON ‘BIG’ GAINES!”

Allie’s mouth is agape while Lucas places his right hand on Mark’s shoulder. “Did YOU know about this?”

Deltzer shakes his head profusely. “I did not…OH MY GOD, LOOK AT THE SIZE OF HIM!”

His previously scruffy appearance with a “five O’clock shadow” look and slightly tanned have given way, clear that Gaines has been on the sunbeds seven days a week for quite some time.  Despite Mark’s claims, he has gained one, two pounds of muscle tops, and is in his HF gear of a red top and navy blue shorts and boots. He is a decent-looking guy but his brown hair and brown eyes are not emphasized by his attire.


He looks at Somner and Matthews, who pat him on the back.

“Just in case you don’t know, Gordon Gaines and Son of Malta used to be tag team partners until “Good” Gordon Gaines betrayed Son of Malta during a championship match, no less, and then we saw him resurface for a one-off in GLOBAL last season, and now he’s back, and he’s HUGE,” The Mark proclaims.

Gordon Gaines, a Cheshire Cat-like smile on his kisser, steps through the ropes and seeks accolades from the audience.  All he gets in return is an almighty smack in the form of a thunderous right hand by the multi-talented fighter that is Son of Malta, which decks the former Triple G with ease.  Gaines is helped back to his feet, backed up into the bottom left-hand corner, the turnbuckles holding him up at this point, seeing as he’s still visibly woozy from that massive right hand.  And it’s fixed to get worse for the returning Gordon as Son of Malta takes out an enormous down payment on a BIG Biel out of the corner and poor Gaines is being treated like a rag doll by the European import.

“I haven’t seen Son of Malta like this for quite some time,” The Mark owns up.

As Gordon seeks to retreat, Somner, from the blindside, manages to get Malta’s attention with a swipe.  Son, not suffering any bullshit here, slides out underneath the ring and gives chase, though there’s no way he’s c-LOTHESLINE BY Matthews while Gordon is talking to the referee.

“The awesome power of The Powerhouse, Greg Matthews, turns the tide for BIG GAINES!” The Mark exclaims.

“Stop with that already,” Reece begs.

Matthews rolls SOM back into the squared circle.  Suddenly, Gordon nods, suggesting their discussion has terminated, and Shane Staggs is baffled when he sees Malta lying on the mat.  His eyes immediately veer towards Matthews, who stares right through him, and then at Damon, who protests his innocence.  There’s not much Shane can do anyway, as he didn’t witness it with his own eyes, and calling a disqualification for a hunch would look foolish.  We all know though, don’t we?

Gaines flops on top…


Yes.  A one-count.

Undeterred, Gordon buries a knee deep to the gut, and with Malta keeled over, he builds on his newfound advantage with an elbow to the back of the head, which draws somewhat of a reaction from Son, who shakes his head uncomfortably, drawing a smile from his former tag team partner.

Gaines pulls Malta towards him and then drops him with a swift and unforgiving DDT.

“This could be it,” Quinn calls.



Being tough nut to crack himself, and knowing SOM fairly well, Gaines doesn’t let that rebuttal affect his confidence.  In fact, he has enough faith to attempt a whip, which Malta manages to reverse effortlessly.  Gordon hits the corner hard, but Son shows signs of Greg and Gordon’s double-teaming by being beaten to the punch, or kick in this case, when Gaines gets his foot up.

However, Gordon’s belly-to-belly suplex attempt wakes the sleeping submission specialist up, and Malta reverses it with an outstanding overhead belly-to-belly of his own.

“They could hear that back in Msida,” The Mark ridiculously claims.

Gordon still has enough presence of mine to scarper from the squared circle like a scolded dog, but Malta pulls him back in via a handful of tights and pays homage to a fellow European country with a gargantuan GERMAN suplex!

The crowd reacts upon impact, and then quietens down as it readies itself for…


“He’s not finished, though Gordon might be,” Quinn cracks.


“Will three German suplexes produce the desired three-count that Son of Malta seeks?”

Let’s find out, Lucas.


And only one.  What?

That’s because Damon Somner has stuck his oar on, standing up on the apron, and before Staggs can get there, Malta comes over.  Predictably, Damon drops down to the floor immediately, and that’s because Greg Matthews is in and plants the unsuspecting Son with a superb full nelson slam that echoes around The Globe, and the only person who doesn’t hear it, apparently, is Shane Staggs, the only man who matters.  It beggars belief.  Referees, eh?

“Gordon stops arguing with Shane – imagine that” Reece sarcastically quips, throwing her hands up for added effect.



“Not like this—YES,” Reece claps.

A defiant shoulder up by SOM.  Health Fanatics bang the apron, which gets the crowd into it, and then they realize the error of their ways.

“Not their cleverest tactic,” Quinn remarks.

“They’re gym rats, not Harvard graduates,” Reece responds.

Gaines, the most composed man in this Californian facility, unleashes a standing elbow drop to the forehead and a lateral press…


“Son’s fighting spirit, win, lose, or draw, is tremendous,” Lucas lauds.

Gaines draws applause from his charges with a stomach buster, and begrudging admiration with a fantastic fallaway slam follow-up.



Do I need to tell you who said what?



Just in case, Lucas changes Larry Tact. “Gordon Gaines, big or not, is getting closer and firmly in control of this contest.  He looks like he’s enjoying himself out there.”

In fact, a snap mare illustrates that point and a daring chop to the back of the head, and Gaines looks pleased with himself.  Bizarrely, Son of Malta merely climbs to his feet, and clotheslines Gaines out of his boots!

Son of Malta may’ve hit Gordon hard at the outset, but this made that look like a tickle-me-Elmo by contrast.  If this were a boxing match, the match would be waved off here and now, something that has never happened to the REAL Triple G, Baby.

A hook of the leg by the Maltese legend…



Tr-y again!

Matthews and Somner are caught colluding on the outside, and Damon in particular, looks gravely concerned.  The Health Fanatics must be, er, fanatical about returning on the first episode of the second season with a win for their man, Gordon Gaines, and a bang.

Uh-oh, this doesn’t bode well.  A nod to Son of Malta’s mentor, the legendary SVJ…

Superstar K-CAUGHT!

“How did Gordon anticipate that, given his state?” Lucas wonders, amazed. 

The superkick is countered by THE CLEAN-UP, Gordon’s equivalent of Sister Abigail, RIP…

Quick thinking on Son’s part, however, re-counters with a single-leg trip…



The reverse cloverleaf is cinched in quicker than it takes to boil a kettle, but so is Damon Somner.  Son, half-expecting interference as he’s not daft, lets go of Gaines and tosses Damon straight out of the ring.  It would’ve been a record-breaking elimination in a battle royal, put it that way.

Staggs, looking down at Somner, doesn’t see Matthews give Malta a dirty rabbit punch, unlike the 2,500 capacity crowd who boo Greg’s antics, fed-up with the 270-pound strongman’s constant interference.

Greg gets greedy, though, and looks to launch Son with a gargantuan gorilla press slam.  He easily gets the European up, but Malta drops down behind Matthews like an alley cat and showcases his own awesome strength by unearthing his second and even more stunning overhead German on the burly tag team specialist. 

With the Health Fanatics out of the picture, can Son eliminate the third piece of the puzzle, the one that truly matters, and vanquish Gordon Gaines, once and for all?


That is what’s waiting for Malta upon turning around.  Rather than going for the cover, Gaines, like Matthews, wants more than a piece of Son to ensure victory.  He picks his ex-partner up and wants to drop him with a Juvi Drive—scape by Malta, via the back door, and a trip, which leads to…


The Reverse Cloverleaf is in.  Can Gordon Gains survive the precarious predicament and the inevitable punishment heading his way?

“That was an incredible counter,” Reece marvels.

“It sure was, and there are no Health Fanatics to save Gaines this time,” Lucas deduces.

“Don’t underestimate Gordon, though.  He’s as tough as they come,” The Mark informs us.



“Yes, Mark?  You were saying?” Allie rests her right arm on the desk staring straight at her broadcast partner, seeking an answer.

“Taxi for Gaines and Deltzer, while you’re at it,” The Mark jokes.

“Son of Malta sent all three of them packing, and the Maltese Cross, next to The Legend Lock, maybe the best submission move in GLOBAL.  No shame in tapping out to at all, and Gaines, albeit with help, looked good in there at times,” Lucas states with sincerity.

“You must have been watching another match, Lucas.  Greg Matthews managed more offence than Gordon, who has gained nothing from this performance.  No muscles…no skills…nothing!  Send him and both the Health Fanatics back to the gym and keep them away from the ring.  They’re hopeless,” Reece coldly claims.

“That’s a bit harsh,” counters Quinn.

“Yeah, Allie.  Harsh,” The Mark chips in.

Son of Malta gets his hand raised while Jason Brown proclaims the winner, garnering decent applause from the audience.  The camera zooms in on Malta who clearly wants to send a message. “Anyone who wants it, can come get it.  ANYONE, ANYTIME.  Especially you.”

Picking up on that, the three-pronged team speculate who that message could be directed at while Gaines and Health Fanatics, tails tucked between their legs, escort each other up the aisle and backstage, allowing Son to bask in a well-earned victory to the backdrop of cheers and his country’s national anthem blaring out.

As he leaves the ring, from out of nowhere, The Informer, the white trenchcoat and neon-green mask covering his bracket, is on the scene. “Son of Malta, can I just get a moment of your time?  That was a good performance against Gordon Gaines, no pun intended, but what is next for you?  You had a mixed Season One, but on your day, you’re hard to beat, and wrestle and fight like a machine.”

Son of Malta sighs. “Don’t sound so surprised, Interviewer.  Even in defeat, I’m a threat to anyone and everyone in that dressing room, and GLOBAL knows it.  Have you ever noticed that they’ll try and use me against their top talents on short notice, telling me late and probably giving Darring, Dream and Reyn weeks’ notice?  We’re in Hollywood, and my face doesn’t fit, but I’m too good to let go and they know it.  So, this season, I want Darring, Dream, or Reyn on FAIR terms.  But I’ll prove it first.  Even tonight, hold up interviewer, I haven’t finished.  They brought Gordon Gaines out as a surprise and look what I did to him and his goons.  I took three men out on my own, no problem, and with how incompetent the referee was, I felt like I won a four-on-one handicap match.  If I can do that, what can I do one-on-one against the so-called main eventers in GLOBAL?  They’ll avoid me after that,” he points his thumb back to the squared circle.

“And they should.  We’re done,” Malta declares, walking off as The Informer raises his hands, allowing Allie Reece, Lucas Quinn, and Mark Deltzer to mull over what they have just witnessed.

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Allie Reece enters the squared circle, and waves to the crowd. “I knew I’d get a bigger cheer than you, Mark, and that’s why I’m here to present the Most Popular award, being the most popular announcer and all. Your nominees are:  Sean Darring, Trouble Roxx, “Big Aug” August Lazard and Alfie Button.”

Reece laughs as she tears the envelope open. “Of course, don’t go anywhere too soon, keep him near the curtain…SEAN DARRING is your winner!!

As Sean Darring is announced as the winner, the legend slowly emerges from the back, adjusting his tie with a respectful smile on his face. He nods appreciatively to the cheering and clapping attendees and makes his way toward the ring to accept the Global Award. With each fan he passes, he offers a nod of thanks and touches his heart, conveying his heartfelt gratitude for the recognition and admiration of those in attendance, thanking Allie and graciously exchanging a kiss on the cheek while she enthusiastically hands him his trophy.

“Thank you so very much. You all know how to make an old man feel good,” the legend says with a laugh as he begins his acceptance speech. “This is a first for me. I don’t know if I can say there are many ‘firsts’ left in this industry, but this is one of them. Winning the Most Popular Wrestler of the year… You would think everyone would want to be a ‘good guy.’ But, in this industry, it seems to be the opposite. It’s hard to ignore the distractions. There are opportunities at every corner that you can take advantage of. I spent most of my career doing things I am not proud of now.”


The legend takes a moment to reflect on a time in his career that he isn’t entirely proud of but owns both the good and the bad. “Being the bad guy was just too easy, and taking a bite of that apple was just too enticing. I did a lot of things that weren’t nice. I was hated for many years. I built a career… a legacy of cheating, taking advantage of situations, and soaking up boos everywhere I went. I can honestly say I enjoyed every second of it.”

The attendees listen attentively, some taken aback by the legend’s candidness. He continues, “However, over the last five or so years, I guess with old age comes a change of heart. I started to see myself through the eyes of the child in the front row, watching me with sheer fear and dislike. I began to think about the legacy my son and future grandchildren would see. I started to think about every person I wronged and took advantage of to build this legacy of gold and accolades. I wanted to help leave this industry better than I entered it.”

The legend looks around, hoping that the past five years have been a step in that direction. “Global, you have allowed me to do that. You have given me a chance and a platform to finish my legacy as I want. You have welcomed me as one of you, forgiving my past indiscretions. I don’t deserve it. But I am humbled by the acceptance. This award right here,” he raises it high with pride, “means the world to me. I don’t see myself as a ‘good guy,’ but I am trying each and every day to be a better person than yesterday. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this honor.”

With his speech concluded, the legend steps out of the ring  to the applause of the attendees, their champion, and somewhat of a “good guy.”

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The backstage area of any sporting arena is a quiet buzz of activity. There is no shouting and screaming, no clattering of metal on metal, just quiet, diligent work. 

GLOBAL World Heavyweight Champion, “The Legend” Sean Darring, having earlier addressed the fans in the center of the ring, walks slowly up the corridor of the quietly humming backstage area, a small, contented smile stretches across his face.  This smile widens as, coming around the bend, he spots Jerry David, dressed in a sports jacket, crisp white shirt, smart blue jeans, and box-fresh tan-brown shoes.

Sean instinctively holds out his hand, and Jerry, who reciprocates the smile, takes Sean’s hand and shakes it.

“Congratulations on your win, champ.” Jerry smiles, his face still scuffed with the marks of war.

“And you, Jerry. What a few months you have had.”

The two men each gently shake their heads, the hands still being shaken between them.

“And hey, a legend by name, a legend by nature, huh?” Jerry grins.

Sean chuckles, “Well, so they call me.”

The champion sets off walking, but is yanked back in front of Jerry, whose expression has changed; his lips straight and tight.

“Of course, maybe you’d actually become a legend if you stopped beating jobbers, and beat a real wrestler instead,” Jerry laughs, “But what do I know?”

Jerry’s smile drops again as he releases the champion’s hand and stomps off down the corridor, leaving “The Legend” looking on thoughtfully.

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The 19-time World Champion, Ray Young, is delighted to be stood in the ring with his all-white suit on, matching his hair, you could say, and certainly his teeth.

“Hollywood, California, how are you all doing tonight?  You look beautiful.”

Young undoes his top button. “Let me get comfortable, as I have done all these years in this fine state.  It’s a privilege to be here.  The greatest accolade for a wrestler is to be acknowledged by fans and peers alike.  I’m proud to have had that, and being involved in a memorable match takes two, believe me, I know.  It’s not easy to entertain and win, especially with so much on the line, but the men and women of this profession, no matter the era, no matter the cost, do that for you, as well as themselves.  THAT, I know.  Trust me.”

Young is applauded for his stirring speech. “The nominees for Best Match are:  The main event at Magnum Opus between Darring, Dream and Reyn.  Jerry David and EZ Rah’s fight at Gold Rush AND last but not least, Sean Darring v Daniel Dream from Glory.”

Young laughs as he hears a fan shout out their preference. “Yeah, I agree.  Yep, the winner is…Sean Darring v Daniel Dream from Glory.”

Ray applauds as Darring once again walks down that aisle, The Final Countdown blaring yet again.

Sean Darring re-emerges first, a bit surprised at the outcome. He touches the scar on his forehead, vividly recalling the night like yesterday. Slowly, he rises and walks toward the stage, taking his time to look around and express his gratitude to those applauding.

“I’m not sure I should have any microphone time for this award. While my hand was raised, that was quite the night and quite the internal struggle for Daniel Dream,” he reflects. “He had to tune out the devil on his shoulder. He had to tune out the noise from the board. He had to silence the doubters. He had to forget the past matches and focus on the night in front of him. He stepped out that night, and he fought like a true warrior, and more than once NEARLY beat me to become the Global champion.”

The legend nods in agreement, acknowledging the truth of the statement.

“I have a lot of respect for Daniel Dream. What he overcame that night… In my book, he is a warrior and a true champion. In this industry, it’s easy to focus on the victor. However, sometimes the loser is the one who truly wins. At Glory, I think Daniel Dream won a lot of us over. So, thank you, Daniel Dream, for a memorable match. Thank you to those who voted for us.”

The legend keeps his speech short and sweet, nodding in appreciation as he leaves the ring with the award in hand and waves.  The moment he is backstage, Cult of Personality kicks in, and there’s a mixed reaction as the newly-crowned GLOBAL Tag Team Champion emerges.

Daniel Dream, with his neatly styled blonde hair, exudes an air of quiet confidence as he strides towards the small blue podium at the center of the arena. Dressed in a sleek black suit that clings to his slim and athletic build, he stands out as the epitome of grace and strength. The spotlight bathes him in a soft, flattering glow as he is presented with the Match of the Year award, a symbol of his prowess in the ring and his dedication to the craft of professional wrestling. The audience’s applause and cheers reverberate through the arena, a testament to his outstanding performance that has etched his name in the annals of wrestling history.

“Greetings, it is an honor to be standing before you today to accept the prestigious Match of the Year award, for my recent match at GLORY. While I would have liked to have won that match, I believe that in the world of professional wrestling, far more meaningful than wins and losses are the matches themselves. It’s about the heart, the spirit, and the determination that competitors bring into that ring, and the lengths they are willing to go to in pursuit of victory. I would not have won this award had it not been for my opponent, who pushed me to my limit. So, I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to Sean Darring for being an incredible adversary, for pushing me to my limits, and for helping create a match that will be remembered for a long time. Thank you.”

Dream receives a warm applause for his speech before heading backstage, another accolade added to a long list.


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It’s time.

“We’re making history tonight, folks!” Mark “The Mark” Deltzer calls.

“Six Wrestlers! One Title! And one of the most chaotic match types in our sport!” Quinn adds.

“Chaotic is the word, Quinn!” Reese says “You look at the line up and you’ll see EVERYONE in this match has history with at least one other wrestler! This is going to be a war!

Newman is ready to make the announcement!

“Ladies and Gentleman! The following contest is a Six Man Ladder Match and is for the NEW! INTERNATIONAL Championship!

‘So Ruff So Tuff in LA’ hits the speakers as Angel Ramirez makes her way out through the curtain. There’s a grimly determined look in her eyes as she sprints down to the ring!

“Normally, I’d give the introductions, but I know my partner here is aching to do so, so…” Quinn passes the baton to his cohost.

“Angel has had one hell of a first season in Global! No matter the odds, no matter the opponent, she’s proven she’ll take on anyone, anytime!”

A new theme plays. Unfamiliar to the fans, but heralding a familiar face: “Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rythm of the War Drum” hits the air as Valorie coldly walks down the aisle, not even making eye-contact with Angel as she enters the ring.

“Speaking of fighting anyone, these two were almost family last season until… well, a certain East Wind played shoulder devil to Valorie.” The Mark says

“Don’t infantilize Valorie.” Reese says bitterly. “She made her choice. She chose to stab her team in the back and break Saul’s arm.”

The disgust in her voice is palpable enough to make even her partners flinch back.

The sound of ‘Let Me Entertain You’ by Robbie Williams, blares out and the technicolor-coat-wearing Alfie Button emerges. His tights match, containing various shades of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet, all designed to test the pixels and resolution of your widescreen televisions, just as a wildlife documentary or Pixar feature film would.  After high-fiving some fans close to the rampway, he sprints the rest of the way.

“For my money, Alfie might be the favourite in this match!” Delta calls. “He’s got the experience and we all know how well ladder matches favour the high-flyers.”

When the blast of feedback at the start hits, the lights go out on the main stage. If there’s a screen, a black X on a white background goes up and flickers a bit. Once the guitar riff kicks in, CRUSADER X, also in black on a white background, appears onscreen. When the lyrics kick in, a spotlight shines on the center of the stage. In it is X, standing facing the crowd with his arms crossed above his head in an X. As he makes his way to the ring with an exaggerated stride, he high-fives every fan he can on the way there. Once he gets to the ring, he climbs every turnbuckle and poses with the X.

“To say Alfie and X have had an… interesting relationship would be an understatement.” Reese says “From rivals to reluctant allies to true partners, it’ll be interesting to see how that dynamic plays out in this six-man match where it’s every man for himself.”

Paranoid by Black Sabbath.

Now, that’s what you may call a standing BOO-vation.

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. His walk to the ring serenaded by the sound of Allie Reeses forehead repeatedly hitting her desk.

“Well, regardless of how you might feel about him, Truth has certainly-”

“Quinn. Don’t. Just don’t.” Allie groans.

John J. Truth occupies the top-right corner, leaning back against the ropes.

It is time for the last man to enter.

The lights in the arena dim, bathing the arena in shadows as, not music, but a familiar voice echoes from the speakers.

“Alfie, Angel, Crusader, Valorie. Allow me to welcome you all to MY world. Tonight you get a chance to hold one of the sacred prizes in this competition. I’ve seen your hunger, your drive. But you can only IMAGINE what it is like to hold that title. I have lived it. I have carried that prize and watched my greatest challenges be drawn to me like flies to honey. It is an elevated state of being, a realm of combat you cannot even DREAM of. The status of champion is the symbol of everything I stand for, everything I AM. And I… want… it… BACK.”

A soft chant begins to spread throughout the arena, Starting as a whisper but growing into a chorus as images begin to flicker on the viewers screens. Images of violence, war, and a solitary figure watching it all.

The chanting has grown louder now and the drumbeats of Nightwish’s “Seven Days to the Wolves” rise in volume as mist spreads throughout the stadium, ghostly images of great heroes and villains forming two parallel lines along the ramp.

The rock part of the song kicks in and thunder roared while fire erupts on the stage, revealing the cowled form of the East Wind Alex Reyn, his hands outstretched over the flames. He’s shirtless, save for an open black cloak with a wolf skull mask. His body covered in ancient symbols and markings that seemed almost to glow and move in the firelight.

The flames spread down the aisle in a flash! Igniting the signature Red Carpet and turning it ash black as Reyn begins to walk forward, and the ghostly figures kneel as he approaches them, only to rise up as he passes them as if more energized, turning to watch as he walks, Reyn himself never breaking eye contact with the ring.

“We talked about experience before with Alfie,” Quinn says “But as Alex says, he’s the only person in this match to actually hold singles goals. He knows better than anyone how to handle that kind of pressure.”

“Mate. We both know Alex Reyn does not “handle pressure”. Alex Reyn IS the pressure.” Deltz quips

“Howl! Seven days to the wolves

Where will we be when they come?

Seven days to the poison

And a place in heaven

Time drawing near us

They come to take us.”

Reyn climbs atop the top rope and stares down at the crowd for a few seconds.  Thereafter, coldly, Reyn steps down removing the cowl and placing it on the ring post before turning to stare down his opponents.

Take it away, Newman!

“Introducing first! From Los Angeles California! Representing the Angel Corp! She is one of the fastest rising newcomers in Global! Already in a main event and not even at her prime! Weighing in at 123lbs! She is! Angel! Ramirez!

A loud ovation for the plucky youngster.

“And her opponent! She had a tremendous record in singles competition last season! She has been impressive since her debut and now strikes out on her own! From San Antonio Texas! Valorie! Vitality!”

Cheers turn to boos. A chant for Saul  echoes in the arena.

“Next! Their opponent! From London England, weighing in at 199 lbs! One of the longest tenured wrestlers in this match, and this company! He has wrestled all across the globe and competed against Sean Darring himself! He is THE Entertainer! Alfie! BUTTON!!”

“And his partner! From San Antonio Texas, weighing in at 190lbs! He too has been an astounding revelation in our first season of Global! The man on a mission! CRUSADER!! X!!!”

It shows how far X has come as what would have been a mixed reaction a year ago is now an out and out cheer!

“And their opponent! Weighing in at 200lbs! A man who even our champion, Sean Darring wasn’t able to pin!”

“That’s a reach and you know it!” Reese yells.

“Man’s just doing his job.” The Mark says.

“John! J! TRUTH!!!”


“And finally! Weighing in at 200lbs! Former NBW Keystone Champion! Former IBW Hardcore Champion! He is the East Wind! Alex! Reyn!”

Another deluge of boos.


All six now eye each other, waiting to see who would make the first move… They know they need the ladder to reach the belt, but the first wrestler to move would paint a target on their back.

“No one wants to make a false move and take themselves out of the game for the new International title,” Lucas Quinn believes.

Movement from ringside! Border Control are sliding into the ring! Ladders in hand! In the confusion, Truth slips out of the ring as his bodyguards go on the offense! Ladder to Crusader X! Ladder to Alex Reyn! The two behemoths swing the ladders like steel chairs! Clearing out the ring!

“Wait a minute,” Allie protests, though who she’s complaining to, nobody knows.

“You had to know, Ali, and so did everyone else.  They’ve just taken out Truth’s two biggest rivals, you’d think, in one fell swoop.  Impressive,” Deltzer begrudgingly praises the hired muscle.

NOW John J Truth slides back in! Bringing in a third ladder as his hired muscle forms a perimeter around him! Ladders in hand, they stand guard as he rushes up the ladder for a quick and easy wi-

“Of course,” Reece scoffs.

Angel Ramirez springboards onto the ladder! Completely bypassing Truth’s border wall!

“YES, ANGEL, ATTAGIRL,” Reece fist-pumps.

Truth has only a second to realise what is happening before Angel leaps over his head, catches him in a fluid motion and hits a sunset flip powerbomb off the ladder!!

“Two tremendous manoeuvres by the plucky underdog Angel Ramirez, who has proven every time that she’s ever step foot in a GLOBAL ring that she’s not scared off a fight, ranging from Bianca Davis to Alex Reyn and The Law in between.  She’s certainly one to watch here, tonight and this season, folks,” Lucas raves.

Unfortunately, she’s no longer at the top and Alfie has followed her example! Springboarding onto the top of the ladder, he lunges for it, fingertips inches away…

Just as Border Control push the ladder over.

“That crafty… Look at Angel smile!” Deltz calls “She KNEW Border Control would take care of anyone trying to climb that ladder!”

Her smile turns to shock however, as she sees Alfie holding onto the belt and dangling above the ring!

Everyone rushes in now! Trying to stop Alfie from getting the brand-new championship!  Alex Reyn almost gets there first, but Crusader X plays defense for his partner! He isn’t able to stop Valorie Vitality however, who catches Aflie by his ankles, pulling him down and catching him in a German Suplex!

“An American just executed a German on a Brit.  It’s World War Two in a weird kind of way,” The Mark remarks.

Everyone is fighting! This is her opportunity! She doesn’t waste a second, running up the ladder, but X and Reyn have already seen her! She’s in arm’s reach of the belt when X goes to push over the ladder! Cutting her losses, she chooses that second to LEAP rather than fall! Flying off the ladder and catching Alex Reyn with a diving Hurricanrana- That The East Wind parries with a handspring! 

“I’m not as keen on Vitality as I was, and that right there might actually be part of the reason, but I respect the audacity,” Allie admits.

The two spin to face each other! Valorie glaring! Reyn looks eage-


“Angel Ramirez wowing us, the fans at home and certainly The Globe, who has become unglued at that si-,” Lucas is cut off.

“HELL YEAH, ANGEL!”  Allie is giving Ramirez a standing ovation from the announcer’s booth.

“Be professional, Allie.”

“Mark, like me, love me, loathe me or hate me, I’m real.  I’m a fan.  I thought you, of all people, would respect that.  So, shut the hell up and let me enjoy the match.”

The two go tumbling in a mess of wild, brawling limbs as X and Reyn turn their attention to each other…

Then they both turn and shove over the ladder to send John J Truth flying out the ring, and crashing into his two bodyguards. With that taken care of, they return the ladder to an upright position.

Okay, now where were they?

Ah yes…

The two circle like wolves, their presence occupying the center of the ring… They know that either man’s attempt to grab the belt would be foiled by the other… they need to take out their opponent first.

They both attack at the same time! Superkick in stere-no! Both manage to dodge the attack! X with a Scorpion Kick! Reyn ducks! X crosses him up! Leaps on his shoulders for a Poisoned Rana, but the crafty East Wind falls forward to throw the Crusader into the ropes! Cunning is answered by agility however, as X uses the momentum to spring off the ropes with a backflip! He’s behind Reyn now, and closer to the ladder! This is his chance! He rushes up the rungs, clearing two steps at a ti-

Springboard Dropkick from Reyn hits the ladder supports! Sending the ladder and X tumbling down!

“A crafty move on the part of a crafty guy, and that my friends, is putting it mildly,” Deltzer reasons.

…Steel Chair to the back of Alex Reyn’s head! 

The Mark winces at the sound of that shot. “Usually, I would cheer that, but firstly, I don’t want Allie to think I’m a hypocrite, and secondly, that MUST have hurt to the point that I may even feel sorry for Alex Reyn.”

“You don’t,” Reece replies.

It’s John J Truth back in the ring! John J Truth cracks the folding chair over Alex Reyn’s back again and again! Even the First Predator can’t withstand that kind of onslaught, rolling out the ring! Forced into a retreat! Truth has an opportunity now! He goes to pick up the ladder!

“Can Truth do it here, and claim it all?  He has already won one prize tonight…”

“Lucas, you call being the most hated man in GLOBAL a prize?  He must have had hard Christmases as a child if that’s considered a present.  Puh-lease,” argues Allie.

…Only to realise that the last Dropkick broke its supports. The ladder is effectively useless now.

“That is NEVER a good sign,” Reece stating the blindingly obvious there, lads and lasses.

“WASH!! LINCOLN!!!” Truth is screaming for his backup now, and desperately so, as Reyn has re-entered the ring. Now circling him like a predator in the jungle, staying just out of reach of Truth’s weapon as fear grows in the already cowardly man’s eyes.

“I have to say, it was never my style, but I kind of like the way Truth is approaching this, as if he were an army general,” Quinn says, somewhat giddily.

X with a Springboard Dropkick to the back of Truth’s head! Reyn takes advantage! Cuts him down with a spear! He rolls off Truth, spinning to face X in a three-point stance, ready to cha-


The springboard forearm takes Reyn completely off guard! Alfie kips-up to his feet! Now staring down his rival turned ally.

Their gaze meets. They look up at the belt, down at Reyn, then back at each other.

The two move to attack the East Wind! Double Dropkick! Kip-up in stereo! 

“Amazing by two amazing athletes in their own right,” Deltzer compliments the unlikely couple.


“These two have their heads on a swivel!” The Mark calls.

“Indeed Mark!” Quinn adds “It looks like they’re trying to take out all the competition before they fight each other!”

But even these two cannot defend against EVERY attack.

Border Control are back! Washington takes down X with an STO!! He goes into a mount, trying to pummel the smaller luchador into the mat while his partner charges after Alfie Button, only for the nimble entertainer to dodge Lincoln’s attack, slip past his defences and hit a dropkick to Washington, knocking him off X! 

“You cannot keep a good team down,” Meltzer reckons.

“I’m glad you said team, because they are not good men AT ALL,” Allie, just casually assassinating Border Control’s character, as you do, when you’re paid to commentate.

Aflie grabs his ally, helping him to his feet, the two of them trying to regroup against Border Contro-

Truth from behind with a double low-blow!

“It’s immoral, but not illegal and highly effective,” Quinn calls, almost wincing, fully aware of how that feels.

Border Control attack! WELCOME TO AMERICA (Double Lariat)!!!

…Only collapsing from the pain of the low blows allows Alfie and X to avoid having their heads taken off by Border Control.

“That could have been so much worse, though,” Lucas continues.

But Truth isn’t thinking about that. He just needs them out the way! He slides a ladder into the ring, handing it to Wash then telling the 6’6 Lincoln to give him a boost!

“This is smart strategy right here,” Quinn tells the viewers, and he’s not wrong.

Washington stands guard with the belt as the towering Lincoln starts LIFTING HIS BOSS INTO REACH OF THE TITLE BE-!!


“Beautiful, BEAU-TI-FUL by my girl, Angel Ramirez, yet again,” Reece animatedly yells, threatening to turn the viewers off.

Angel is up! She launches herself at Lincoln in a flurry of fists, but the powerhouse sends the teenager flying back with a simple shove!

…Only for Angel to rush him AGAIN!!

Another shove! Another relentless charge from the tenacious teen! Meanwhile, Washington is about to come to his partner’s aid when something catches the corner of his eye…

Reyn, Alfie, Valorie, X, all climbing onto the apron. All beginning to surround Border Control like Hyenas.

“I wouldn’t like to be Border Control right now,” The Mark states.

“No kidding,” Allie agrees.

Meanwhile, Lincoln is getting sick and tired of this child’s antics! He shoves her in the corner with one hand! Silencing the crowd with a “ssshhh…” before delivering a powerful chop!

-That Angel dodges! Striking back with a sudden headbutt that catches Lincoln on the bridge of his nose!

“What a competitor Angel is,” Allie brags.

Blood flows and the powerhouse staggers back! Genuinely hurt by Angel’s attack for the first time in this match! He swings a wild punch, but blinded by his watering eyes, the attack is way off target! Angel hits the ropes!  Coming in with another attack!


She got too predictable! He grabs her! Launching her SKY HIGH with a monstrously powerful Gorilla Press Thro-


A cheer erupts from the crowd! EVERYONE is rushing the ring now! Screw the careful approach! They HAVE to get her down! 

“Angel Ramirez, right now, is on the cusp of something special, something life-changing, something history-making and spectacular – the International Championship hangs in the balance, figuratively and literally, and with it, the crowd is along this journey, and what a trip it would be for this teenage sensation if she could…”

Lucas stops as Angel is dangling upside down above the ring! Trying to use her core strength alone to pull herself up, so she can unhook the belt! Crusader X rushes an absolutely bewildered Lincoln, using the giant like a human stepladder to get JUST in reach of the hanging Ramirez! Leaping to catch her in an upside down vertical Inverted Facelock and using the momentum to swing them both like a pendulum, pulling her off the hanger and dropping her to the mat with an improvised Swinging Cutter!!

“Desperate times call for desperate measures,” Quinn quotes.

“Desperate men,” Reece complains.

Superkick from Alfie to Lincoln! Thanks for the assist, big guy!

Washington, meanwhile, is getting overwhelmed by Alex Reyn and Valorie Vitality! A dropkick to the back of his knee from Reyn hobbles him, and a Big Boot from Valorie strikes him in the temple!

Stereo kip-up from Reyn, Alfie, Valorie and X!

Four-Person Superkick to Border Control!!

“That might be one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen,” Allie, in shock and awe, states for the record.

There’s no lull in the action, however, as Valorie seizes that moment to end her temporary truce! Lashing out with a roundhouse that Alex Reyn narrowly ducks, firing back with a boxing combination that Valorie just manages to bob and weave!

Superkicks from X and Alfie!


“You have to have your wits about you to avoid that,” The Mark, impressed, offers.

The catlike reflexes of Reyn and Valorie save them as they drop low! Going for leg sweeps to their respective opponents, but Alfie and X backflip over the sweeping legs! They spin to face Reyn and Val-

And spot the opportunistic Truth climbing a ladder!

“He’s a son of a gun, it’s official, he’s the villain of the piece and The Globe wants A-B-T at the moment – anyone but Truth – to win,” Quinn calls.

“I like what you did there,” Deltzer chuckles.

Reyn and Val see the sudden horror on Alfie and X’s faces, realizing what must be happening behind them!

But once again, it isn’t any of them who stop Truth’s climb.

It’s Angel.

Crawling on the mat. Still, bruised, sore, and possibly concussed from that swinging cutter, she grabs a hold of Truth’s ankle. Holding on like a pitbull, a proverbial ball and chain keeping him from climbing higher!

So a FURIOUS Truth jumps down onto Angel! The attack is too wild and un-coordinated to give it an official name like “Knee Drop”, “Meteora” or even “Axe Handle”, but it’s certainly effective as Angel cries out under the weight of truth dropping onto her back! Truth seems to have gone berserk! This is the THIRD time this little brat has gotten in his way! He’s punching her into the mat again and again! Oblivious to everything else!

That’s an opportunity for Valorie! She runs up the ladder! 

“Vitality chances her arm, looking to steal it here,” The Mark reacts.

Only for Reyn to copy her former partner, pulling Val off the ladder by her ankle!

East Wind Cutter (Lifting Rolling Cutter)!

“BYE-BYE, VALORIE,” exclaims The Mark.

No! Valorie spins out of the hold! Reverse STO into the ladder! Reyn slumps, bleeding from a gash in his forehead, when Valorie sees Alfie jump onto the ladder struts, then vault instantly to the top of the ladder! He’s got the belt in rea-

A hand grabs his wrist an inch away from the belt.

Alfie looks down… Staring into the defiant eyes of his partner.

They may be partners, but BOTH men want this title.

Replay shows X springboarding onto the ladder from the opposite side. Catching Alfie’s wrist a second before he could grab the belt.

Suddenly, they feel the ladder tipping! Truth has seen them and is pushing the ladder over!

As one, they leap off! Landing feet first on the top rope, they springboard off the ropes into stereo backflips to land either side of John J Truth!

Double Roundhouse!

No! Truth drops flat to avoid the kicks! Rolling out the ring and away from danger! Valorie is up the ladder now! Pushing it upright and climbing as X and Alfie are distracted by Truth! 

“Truth is growing in confidence AND courage, it seems,” Quinn observes.

A familiar fist flattens her features!

Narrowly catching herself from falling off the ladder, she turns to see the FURIOUS glare of Angel Ramirez! Despite X and Truth’s best attempts, she is STILL in the fight, and she’d rather lose an inferno match than see Valorie win this belt!

An aggressive emotional onslaught assaults Valorie who is barely managing to avoid falling off the ladder!

A right cross to the jaw! Valorie falls!

..Just as the ladder goes toppling over, courtesy of Crusader X! Angel goes crashing into the ropes! JUST managing to catch herself before a disastrous landing!

“That was a match-saving moment right there, maybe even more,” Quinn tells us, the expert at the table on matters such as these.

Meanwhile, Alfie is suddenly pulled out of the way by X as a Superkick from Alex Reyn narrowly avoids the back of his head! Alfie is quick to return the favor, pushing X down to evade a roundhouse from Valorie! The two spin to face off with their opponents, but before they can fight, all four notice Border Control coming in wielding tables!

The two Goliaths swing the tables like clubs, but all four wrestlers lean back to avoid the hit like something out of the matrix! Flanking behind Border Control, all four try to hit Truth’s bodyguards with dropkicks, but the two get the tables up in time to block before striking back as their smaller opponents are trying to kip-up.

It’s perfectly timed and the edge of the tables smacks into the ribs of Alex Reyn and Crusader X! But now they’re open to counterattack from Alfie and Val! 

Kick to the back of Washington’s knee from Valorie! That drops him in range for Weakest Link (DDT to kneeling opponent) from Alfie! 

“Terrific teamwork,” Quinn says.

Truth from behind with a steel chair to their backs! Double Clothesline from Lincoln takes them both down!

“As is that,” Lucas follows up.

With most of his competition taken down, Truth turns his attention to Angel lying on the apron, flanked by his two bodyguards, he begins smacking the chair on the ground like a bull scuffing its hooves, waiting for her to get up. He is NOT going to fall for her tricks again! As Angel pulls herself unsteadily to her feet, Truth points the chair like a general ordering a cavalry charge and sends Border Control forward!

“General John J. Truth is leading the troops to victory – HIS victory,” Quinn kids.

They attack! She dodges! Slipping past them, she goes on the offensive against John J Truth… Only to get a steel chair to the face for her troubles! Then another! And another! And another! Truth is hitting Angel again and again! Venting his frustration on her as she tries to cover up like she’s in a bear attack!

“This is relentless,” Quinn says, much more seriously than his previous call.

Finally sated, Truth throws down the chair, grabs the ladder, and…

Realizes that in the time he had spent venting his anger on Angel, the other four had risen to their feet and were now surrounding his posse…

Oh dear.


“UN-BE-LIEV-ABLE!” Quinn leading the praise.

“It was, is and listen to this crowd,” Reece enthuses.

“The International Championship is going home with someone, but who’s your money on?  At this rate, I really do not know,” Quinn wonders aloud.

Truth is out of there! He wants NO part of the four wrestlers who just took out his bodygua-….


That was only three people fighting Border Control. Where was-?


“A big move by a big player in GLOBAL,” Quinn insists.

The back of John J Truth’s head bashes against the ring steps! Reyn is already pulling him up though! Leaning him against the ringpost for:

“Oh my God, I can’t look – I’ve seen this before!” Deltzer wails.


John J Truth crumbles to the floor.

“And you said you felt sorry for this guy?” Reece incredulously asks.

“General John J. Truth has fallen, and I’m not joking when I say he can’t get up,” Lucas muses.

Now… the last four standing wrestlers make eye contact…

Then rush for the ladder!!

Alfie, Reyn and Val reach the top first! All three brawling at the top of the ladder! Trying to take out their opponents! Alex has a slight advantage, but he’s dealing with two competent fighters at once! Wait! Suddenly he leaps OVER his opponents! Flying off the ladder to hit a diving hurricanrana on X who had been about to push the ladder over!


Mirroring Alex’s move earlier in the match, X parries the rana with a handspring, but Reyn’s attention is already on the ladder, now that he is out of harm’s way he’s looking to push it over with Valorie and Alfie on it!

X catches Reyn with a Poisoned Rana!

At the top of the ladder, Alfie and Val are still fighting it out! Alfie swings a right cross, but in a show of innovation, Valorie drops OFF the ladder, grabs the top and use the momentum to swing herself into a “Ladder-hung” enzuigiri that catches Alfie in the back of his head! That stuns Alfie, and swinging herself back onto the steps, there’s nothing to stop her from grabbing the bel-

A bloody Angel suddenly springs onto her back like a monkey!!

Valorie is struggling, trying to get her old friend off her back while Angel scratches and chokes and claws at Val with everything she has! Bloody! Bruised, EVERYTHING hurts, but she will NOT let Valorie win this!

“Angel’s a woman possessed, and it’s almost like a sports rivalry, you don’t mind if you don’t win as long as your enemy doesn’t, either.  That is the story of Ramirez and Vitality,” Reece eulogizes.

Alfie sees Valorie distracted by Angel, sees his opportunity! He springs to life! Using his own opponent as a platform, he springs onto her shoulders, kicks off to brace his feet against the Belt Hanger, then…


“I CANNOT BELIEVE WHAT I’VE JUST SEEN,” Deltzer there, losing his shit.

Alfie and Angel catch the top of the ladder to stop their fall as Valorie crashes to the mat below!!! As the ladder topples over, they brace their feet on the top rope and push off to swing the ladder back upright! The two clash on top of the ladder! Alfie seems to have the upper hand!  He’s bigger, stronger! Took less damage, and-

Angel surprises him by leaping at him and wrapping her legs around his head! 

“Believe that, Mark, Angel is sucking the life out of Alfie, and the International title is going home with her, it’s HER night, I can feel it,” Reece excitedly claims.

He can’t see! He’s being choked, and she is in perfect reach of the title! She just has to unhoo-

Superkick from Crusader X!!

Angel falls. Landing on the rope, she bounces and tumbles out the ring!

“On second thoughts…” Reece regretfully remarks.

Now it’s Alfie and Crusader X on the top of the ladder. Two rivals turned teammates. But only ONE can be champion.

Who will make the first move? Who will turn against his partner first.

X smiles… and turns his back on Alfie Button! Arms spread wide, like he’s baiting Alfie to attack him.

The conflict is clear on Alfie’s face. If he attacks now… HE’S the rat. The one who stabbed his partner literally in the back. He’ll never hear the end of it from X!

But he can’t hesitate. This is for the International Title.

Alfie punches Crusader X in the back of his- X MOVED HIS HEAD OUT THE WAY!!

The camera picks up a sly smile as X grabs Alfie’s arm and pulls his elbow against X’s shoulder in an armbreaker! Alfie cries out in pain, but X has already swung like a monkey around the ladder into a waistlock behind Alfie!



He lands on his fee- Spear from Alex Reyn! 

“You cannot take your eyes off it as a spectator, or as a competitor.  Alfie thought he’d done the hard part, and then ANOTHER spear by Reyn breaks the Brit in half,” Deltzer contributes.

X is already on the move though! He had hooked his legs around the ladder steps to avoid falling with Alfie, and as Alex looks to attack, he flies off with a Moonsault! Alex rolls out the way, but X lands on his feet! Bicycle Knee from Reyn! X dodges! He’s behind Alex! Waist Lock! No! Alex catches his wrist! Wrist Lock pulled into a Superkick! Blocked by X! Reyn hits a spinning back kick, but X ducks!

Until Reyn catches him with a palmstrike to the nose! He grabs the back of X’s head and knees him in the face!

X reels back, holding his face in his hands, but Alex is all over him! Jab! Straight right! Left Hook! Jab! Straight Left! Uppercut! Jab! He’s eating Crusader X alive!

“X can match Reyn’s kicks any day, but the East Wind has the edge in punches!” Quinn calls

“It’s why he’s so dangerous.” Reese adds. “Aleczander is stronger, Angel is faster, Darring has more experience and Dream is a better athlete, but NO-ONE exploits a weak point like Alex Reyn. He doesn’t need to be the best in any area. He just has to be better than you in ONE.”

Reyn presses the advantage! Driving X towards a table that Border Control had set up earlier before bashing X’s face against the wooden surface!

He’s going up top now, dashing to the top of the ladder. He reaches out like he’s grasping fruit of a tree… the belt is just out of reach.

No matter. There are other advantages to being this high up.

A merciless gaze is turned down at Crusader X lying on the table.

Shooting Star Pre-!



When a Holy Shit chant isn’t enough!

But the devastating maneuver has allowed X to recover and stunned Alex on impact! As he uses the table to pull himself to his feet, he sees Crusader X literally RUNNING up the ladder before…

X MARKS THE WHAT (Double Rotation Moonsault) OFF THE LADDER!!!

The impact of the human body shattering wood is echoed by the screaming fans as the moves SMASHES Reyn through the table!! X cleverly using the table to put all impact on REYN while softening his OWN fall damage!

Still. We see him favouring his ribs as he slowly pulls himself to his feet. Leaning against the ladder for a few seconds before-

“What are we witnessing here?  And look WHO IT IS,” The Mark points out on commentary.

“Oh no, don’t tell me, after all that,” laments Allie.

Getting hit in the back with a steel chair courtesy of a heavily bleeding but still standing John J Truth!

“Better than he ever did…feeling like a little kid, who is ready for Christmas to come early and take home the International title, making up for all of those as a kid, Allie,” The Mark says triumphantly.

Truth slumps against the ladder too, though. An exhausted, glazed look in his eyes before he moves the ladder closer to where the belt is. Suddenly, Angel seizes her  opportunity! She tries to rush up the ladder, but this galvanizes Truth who grabs her by the ankle and with surprising ferocity, pulls her off the ladder and into a Buckle Bomb!

“A huge move at a critical point in the contest,” Quinn sells.

He wipes the blood from his eyes, and starts climbing, only to feel a weight around his ankle!  Crusader X is back! Holding on like a human ball and chain, even as Truth stubbornly stomps down to try and get X to let go! Tries to climb even with the weight of X, X won’t let go! He pulls Truth off the ladder and catches him in a waistlock!

German Suplex to John J Truth!

Now he climbs, but Truth won’t stay down! Just as X is at the top, Truth charges in and shoves over the ladder, sending Crusader X falling down into the ropes, his leg getting tangled up in the ring ropes!

Truth pulls the ladder back into a standing position, only for Angel Ramirez to dropkick him into it from behind!

She rushes up, but again a simple and effective shove sends her falling, only for the young firecracker to skin the cat and use the momentum to fling herself back at Truth with a slingshot Angel’s Flight! (Flying Crossbody)

Truth dodges! Angel is up! Boot of Truth (Big Boot)!

No! Angel dodge rolls out the way, but Truth has grabbed his chair and is now swinging it wildly at Angel, who is using all her speed just to keep out of the way!

Meanwhile, X has untangled himself from the ropes, and with his opponents busy fighting each other, he has an opportunity! He springboards onto the ladder, Angel sees him! Taking a leap out of Alfie’s book, springing onto Truth’s shoulders! Then the ladder supports before he can react, then the top of the ladder, face to face with a stunned Crusader!


The boots of the Dropkick part hit X square in the Jaw! He barely grabs the ladder to avoid plummeting as Angel Ramirez flies with a beautiful moonsault aimed at John J Tru-


“That might just have done it for Angel, and WON it for John. J Truth,” Quinn predicts.

The crowd isn’t even chanting at this point. They’re just making noise!

Meanwhile, X has again managed to brace his feet on the ropes and use that to push the ladder back upright, but he’s still hanging from the top like Mufasa in his death scene, and Truth doesn’t waste a second getting to the top of the ladder.

The belt is within reach. X is helpless as he hangs. The match is over.


With a sudden final burst of strength, Crusader X launches himself forward like something out of Ninja warrior! Grabbing the belt and using his leg strength to kick over the ladder with Truth on it!


They’re BOTH hanging there! Dangling almost ten feet above the ring! Hands grasped around each end of the belt! Who will let go first?!

A furious John Truth headbutts X in the face! Trying to make him let go! But Crusader X stubbornly holds on! Answering with a kick! But Truth is equally stubborn!

Headbutt! Kick! Headbutt! Kick! Who will make the other break first! Who wants it more! The crowd is cheering louder and louder as the two brawl, and another sound is added to the chaotic din!

…A sudden, metallic snap.

For what seems like a moment in time, Truth and X seem suspended in midair.

Then they fall! They fall to the mat below! The belt goes flying out their hands! Hitting the ring! Bouncing out of their reach as everyone goes silent!

,,,What happens now?

Did Truth win?

Did X?

Is it a draw? Can you HAVE a draw in a ladder match?

“What is going on, guys?” Allie wonders, speaking on behalf of the entire GLOBAL Nation right about now.

The referee has called the timekeeper and the announcers over. What on EARTH are they supposed to do?? On the big screen, a slowed replay shows that the belt left both of their hands at the EXACT same time!

The referee is pacing. Considering what to do. How to call this unprecedented situation. X and Truth have been backed up into opposite corners while they await the official decision.

Finally, he calls over Newman and whispers into his ear.

“Ladies and gentleman… it has been decided by referee Barry Snider, that the following contest MUST CONTINUE!!!”

“ALL RIGHT,” Allie screams.

A roar from the crowd!

“As neither man was able to retrieve the belt before the others, it has been ruled to still be in no man’s land!”

The camera pans to the belt lying upon the mat.

“Therefore, the first person to hold the belt with no part touching the mat will be the winner!”

X and Alfie’s eyes go wide! They both rush out of their corners! Trying to get to the belt first!


Fists go flying as they start beating seven bells out of each other! Trying to gain an edge in this brawl, so they can secure the title! Truth starts taking control of the brawl! Actually overwhelming X with his surprising upper body strength and dogged determination!

X with an arm drag! He lunges for the belt!

No! Truth dives on top of him, trying to pull him into a crossface chickenwing! But X rolls back into what would normally be a pinning predicament on The Man Who Fell To Earth, but in this match is just an opportunity to dive for the belt agai…Truth has got a hold of his ankle!

Enzuigiri! Truth drops like a stone!

…But he still won’t let go! It’s like a vice grip!

A meaty THWACK echoes around the arena as Crusader X hits a BRUTAL looking kick to John J Truth!

But Truth still won’t let go! Despite the blood running down his face! Even as Crusader X kicks and stomps over and over, Truth just won’t let go! There’s a near manic look of mad, almost scared desperation in his eyes as he practically CRAWLS up X’s body! A cornered, panicked rat showing his teeth!

“He has gone from being lazy and cowardly to determined and dogged in the space of one match.  What could the most hated man in GLOBAL do if he is truly motivated?  Win the International Championship, by the looks of things,” Lucas answers his own rhetorical question.

LOW BLOW from Truth! With his last second of strength, X grabs Truth’s head and drives a knee into his bleeding cut before they both collapse against each other!

They’re lying on the mat now. Breathing heavily. There’s no count from the referee. What would be the point? 

“Allie, who have you got?”

“I’m sticking with Angel.”


“Crusader X. You, Lucas?”

“Truth – or Reyn,” Quinn catches himself.

Slowly, they push off of the mat. Their foreheads pressed against each other. Luchadore mask against crimson mask. Two furious, hateful glares.

And meters away… the International Title.

Like a racer at a starting bell. They both make





“We’ve never seen or heard Crusader X under duress like this before,” Quinn states, shocked.

It slows him down for only a second.

But that’s all it takes.



With Reece speechless, covering her eyes, Lucas takes one glance at The Mark, and the floor belongs to the voice of GLOBAL. “John J. Truth is your FIRST EVER INTERNATIONAL CHAMPION!  He may not be a poster boy for international relations, he may well have needed help from Border Control at the start, but make no mistake about it, he went through hell to get here.  Here at GLOBAL, we don’t support his political views, but what’s not in doubt is the man’s a hell of a competitor and if you didn’t know it, you definitely do now.  John J. Truth, congratulations, you’ve earned it.  Truth, the NEW INTERNATIONAL Champion here in GLOBAL.”

The Mark sighs. “Lucas, what do you say?  What CAN you say?  Six people, four men and two women, all gutsy, all brave, put it ALL on the line for our entertainment, and for the International Title, irrespective of nationality, creed, color, religion, political party, and I know, I have to be careful here.  John J. Truth, and Allie, you’re right, most hate him, put in a ferocious performance against Sean Darring for the World Championship last season, and came up JUST short.  Tonight, against five fantastic warriors, perhaps a little wiser, more battle-worn, he found a way to win under unbelievable circumstances.  Look at him, listen I don’t know about making America great again, but that was a great performance and a great night for John, and that my friends, is the truth.”

“I call bullshit,” Reece replies deadpan, her colleagues shocked at the swear word AND, more importantly, ode to Truth while putting him down at the same time.  Not that he cares, given that he doesn’t even seem to know where he is! The second he grabs the belt, he rolls out the ring, cradling the International Title to his chest like a child from a fire! Even as the fans boo, he’s already backing away from the ring! Clutching the belt! Eyes wide and fearful beneath his bloody mask. This is his belt! HIS belt! No-one else earned it! No one will take it away from him!


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A little while after the main event has aired.

It’s the boss, Giovanni Ferrari.

“When I accepted the role as CEO and President of this company, I had a long list of potential signings to bring to GLOBAL.  It’s a never-ending process, one that I hope to improve on in the near future, but if I got one thing right last season, it was making this man, man doesn’t really do him justice, top of my list.  There are no nominees for this award.  This was a procession.  The winner and only choice for GLOBAL Best Wrestler of Season One, I’m sorry there’s no drama for this and no drumm roll either, is the only and the only…Sean Darring.”

Ferrari raises his hand towards the curtain as LSD reappears.  

Sean Darring is announced for the final award of the night. The camera focuses on him, and for perhaps the first time in a long while, he appears a little embarrassed and uncomfortable. Congratulatory applause surrounds him as he takes one final sip of his whiskey and rises to his feet. The salt-and-peppered hair legend slowly makes his way back to the ring, pausing briefly to exchange a friendly bro-hug with his friend Steve Blaine, who has managed to sneak into the front row. He then stands before the fans, who remain on their feet, applauding the legend as he begins his speech, as Sean Darring gets a hearty handshake by Giovanni, who leads the applause, before vacating the spotlight.

“Thank you.”

He acknowledges the honor and the applause with a humble smile.

“This is a true honor and a bit embarrassing. While it’s always nice to be recognized for your efforts and accomplishments, it’s hard for me to stand here and look you all in the eyes and say I was, am, or ever will be the ‘best’ anything. You see, I show up each and every night, and I see the locker room that surrounds me. I step into the ring with these guys. I know the talent that is the foundation of Glory. We have amazing talent that comes out night after night and puts on an amazing show. I wish I was half as good as most of these youngsters on my best day. But, this old dog tries, and on some nights, I don’t do that bad.”

The legend smiles, giving due credit to the talented roster of Glory.

“Here I stand with this honor in my hand.” Sean Darring raises the Global Best Wrestler award.

“I stand here with it in my hand, and all I can think of is everyone that deserves this award—every Global roster member, everyone who stepped inside the ring with me. Every ring crew member, production worker, referee, announcer, backstage employee. Giovanni Ferrari took a chance and hired this nearly broken-down wrestler. And most importantly, every fan who supports us allows us to live this dream and embarks on this journey with us. This award is for all of you. None of us can be the best version of ourselves without all of you. And I wouldn’t have this award if it wasn’t for each and every single one of you.”

The Globe rises to its feet, applauding the sentiment and message from the legend.

“My time is rapidly coming to an end here. However, the longer I am in this business, the more confident I will leave this industry in great hands. This new crop of superstars is better than anyone I have ever faced in the ring. If I can leave any wisdom with you – it’s to take time and enjoy the present. Ask the young guy at catering how his day is going. Tell a young rookie he had a great match. Have a drink with a friend you see every night but fail to make time for. Your career goes by like a speeding bullet. Ultimately, we are left with memories, video footage, and time you can never return.”

The legend touches his heart one final time as he thanks the arena.

“Thank you for this opportunity to share this time with everyone. Thank you for honoring me. But it’s truly my honor to end my legacy with each of you. So, I will accept this award for all of us. Global is a machine that we all play a part in. I am happy to play mine.”

Sean Darring holds the award in his hand and slowly exits the ring left, making it a hat trick for the night, as he bows before an appreciative audience.

As Domination Fifteen is about to come to a close, Quinn signs off.

“What an ovation for a man that has meant so much to so many, including everyone here tonight.  A class act from head to toe, the first-ever GLOBAL Champion, and a shoo-in as our first-ever Hall of Fame inductee when that day comes.  Legends never die, and Sean Darring is living proof of that.”

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