GLOBAL President and CEO, Giovanni Ferrari, is sat at the head of a long table with his hair slicked back.  He has his hands interlocked and, upon receiving a countdown, adjusts his tie before taking a breath and then addressing the GLOBAL Nation at home.

A caption reminds the viewers of Giovanni’s titles and importance to the promotion.

“Good evening, everyone, and welcome to Domination Nineteen.  This week represents the first anniversary of GLOBAL opening, and we’d like to thank you for your loyalty and support during that time,” the handsome and tanned Italian American, decked out in an all-black suit and green and blue tie, symbolizing the promotion he leads.

“However, I am here to make an important announcement concerning GLOBAL’s immediate future, and specifically that of our richest prize, the GLOBAL Championship itself.”

Ferrari takes a brief look at a document laid out on the table before him.

“This is the contract…” he says, lifting it up for the viewers to see.

“…both Sean Darring and Jerry David will sign tonight, confirming their intention to face each other at the aptly named pay-per-view two weeks from now, The Last Laugh.”

Ferrari places it back where it was.

“So, Jerry David finally gets his wish – but so does Sean Darring.  You see, while Jerry has been after a title match, which we, the GLOBAL board of directors, are happy to grant him, Sean Darring has agreed on one condition.”

Ferrari shakes his head.

“That it be inside a steel cage.”

A pause ensues.

“Due to the brutal nation of this stipulation, we want both men to read their copies before facing off later on, and more importantly, facing each other inside the cage.  Gentlemen, GLOBAL will not be held accountable for what transpires inside that steel structure.”


He beckons for someone to join him, which is none other than the tallest referee in wrestling.

“We’d like to welcome back Aaron Powell, who was unfairly dismissed at the end of Season One, and what a way to come back.  A big match brings big responsibility and demands a big man – and they don’t come any bigger than Aaron Powell.  Aaron, thank you,” Ferrari states, holding his hand out, which is accepted by Powell.

“Sean Darring v Jerry David in a steel cage.  Gentlemen, we hope you think very carefully before putting pen to paper, and good luck.”

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W Hollywood Hotel

Hollywood, California

December 1, 2023

Kerry Buckingham slides her mobile phone into her pocket and flashes two rows of perfectly whitened teeth at the two men standing just outside the main conference room of the W Hollywood Hotel. The smile is, however, only returned by one half of the pair, the other displaying the same amount of tact he usually employs in such situations.


“Well, it was not simple at all, darlings, let me tell you!” Buckingham huffs out a theatrical breath, rolling her eyes dramatically. “Everybody seemed to already be doing something or another…!”


Seeing no sympathy for her plight is forthcoming, the PR agent cuts straight to the chase – though not without a generous helping of theatrics thrown in.

And, after much sweat and toil and personal sacrifice…” The blonde casts a look towards the member of the pair with whom she shares a hair color. “…I have managed to secure you a spot on the Pay-Per-View card.”

“Smashing!” The darker-haired and more pleasant member of the team flashes his agent another smile. “Whom with?”

“The turncoat and his half-wit new friend, I hope…” Once again, the blond half of the duo shows complete disregard for others in his single-minded pursuit of an answer.

“I’m afraid not, darling. They are otherwise engaged.”

“Bugger…” The man bites his lip, clearly racking his brain for alternatives. “Those insufferable girls who had the belt last time, then…?”

Buckingham shakes her head. “They will be trying to win them back on the night…”

“Blast it!” The blond is visibly and evidently beginning to lose patience. “Then who? The big Asian oaf? That family of about a million cowboys who are all precisely identical? The video game freaks?” Each time, the PR agent responds with the same head-shaking gesture, further increasing her interloper’s irritation. “Who, blast it all? WHO?”

Perhaps used to these outbursts, Buckingham remains perfectly calm as she responds. “The Robinsons, darling.”

“Who?” The blond man’s agitation gives way to genuine surprise. Kerry, however, simply smiles, a mischievous twinkle in her eye.


Then, once again in professional mode, she hands each of the men a yellow square of adhesive paper.

“Now, here are your notes for the press conference, darlings… Make sure to read through them thoroughly…”

As both men seek to comply, a frown appears on their features.

“Mine simply says ‘nod in agreement until addressed directly‘…”

“Mine says the same, and then ‘try not to lose your temper…!


Kerry smiles again as she motions for the two men to follow her into the conference room; she has taken no more than a few steps, however, before the blond half of the duo stops her with a question.

“What are you even going to say?”

Buckingham whirls around, flashing the man another radiant smile.

“Why…the obvious, darling. That the Best of British will make their triumphant return to the ring in two weeks, at GLOBAL Wrestling’s The Last Laugh, against specially selected, hand-picked opponents whom they consider under-valued and under-appreciated within the company. With the match purse being donated to help with their expenses, of course…”

WHAT?!” The blond man completely disregards the instructions on his sticky note, practically spluttering with disbelief as he gapes at his agent; Buckingham, however, remains infuriatingly calm and composed as she replies.

“Now, Rupie, when are you going to learn to trust me?” She winks, smoothening the man’s collar, as well as his partner’s. “This will all work out in our favor in the end, darling. You’ll see.” She winks up at her livid interloper. “When has Auntie Kerry not had everything entirely under control?”

“How about two weeks ago, when you let those bloody cage fighters have their way with us?” The blond’s muttered growl goes, however, unheard by Kerry (or, at the very least, so she makes it appear) as she simply turns and strides into the conference room, stopping only long enough to cast a look back at her two associates and urge them to follow suit. After many a reluctant glance amongst them, the two men eventually see no option but to comply, and make their way towards the long table at one end of the room, still not entirely convinced the decision to entrust their PR officer with their immediate fate will not ultimately end up backfiring in the worst possible way.

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Twin Pines Mobile Home & RV Park
Pine Bluff, Arkansas
December 1, 2023

“Anythin’ yet, H?”

Hayley Robinson refreshes the email app on her smartphone and sighs.

“Nothin’ yet. Last email still from yesterday…”

The two similar-looking blond youths hanging from her every word visibly deflate, their shoulders sagging as they flop back down onto the worn-out old couch and despondently pick their XboX controllers back up. Still, it proves hard for either of them to concentrate on the game, their minds clearly perturbed by the situation at hand.

“Man, I ain’t get it…!” The youngest of the two boys reaches for the bowl of tortilla chips and stuffs a few into his mouth, muffling his next few words under a shower of crumbs. “Why we never on them big cards no more?”

“Hell, we ain’t never even on them reg’lar cards no more, neither…” The second youth, a slightly larger carbon copy of the first, takes a swig from the can of beer sitting between them.

“Facts!” The younger boy slaps hands with his brother, before fixing his gaze on his sister. “Man, Hanson needs to get his ass back out there to Cali. We was gettin’ fights on the reg’lar when y’all was there together…”

“Fuck we need Hanson for?” Sensing a potentially sore spot for his sister, the bigger youth puts the spotlight back on his brother. “What ’bout that girlfriend a’ yours? She in the goddamn company right now. Just sayin’. Ask her if she can hook us up.”

“Girlfriend?” The younger boy frowns. “Bro, I ain’t got no…” Suddenly, he pauses, comprehension lighting up his features, before being replaced by shock. “You mean Angel?! Man, fuck outta here! I ain’t no creeper!”

It is the larger youth’s turn to show surprise. “What? Both y’all hangin’ out all the time, ain’t’cha?”

“Yeah, but that’s on ‘count of ain’t nobody else the same age as us. Ain’t mean we…” The smaller brother’s features contort in disgust. “…bro, she still ain’t finish high school!”

You still ain’t finish high school neither…” Hayley winks at her youngest brother. “Just sayin’…”

“Fuck outta here, H.” The blond youth flashes his sister a middle finger, as both his siblings laugh. “Y’all know what I’m talkin’ ’bout. Ain’t nothin’ goin’ on with me’n’Angel. We just hangin’ out.”


Before the teasing can go any further, however, Hayley’s phone begins to vibrate, sending three youths scrambling for it. The trio hold their collective breath as they huddle around the small screen, and it is with trembling fingers that “The Raven” clicks on the incoming email from, enticingly titled “THE LAST LAUGH – CARD UPDATE”.

A long moment of silence elapses as the three youths scan the contents of the newly arrived message; then, the tension in the room clears, smiles and cheers replacing gloomy resignation as the sibling exchange elated hugs and high-fives. The youngest of the three even briefly finds himself at the bottom of a couch dogpile and a few good-natured head-rubs from his siblings, before the middle brother finally rolls off him to grab the bag of chips and sole remaining beer in the six pack in front of him. He holds these out to his brother and sister, but “the Raven” shakes her head.

“Naw. Ain’t hardly nothin’ left on them two.”

The blonde stands up and walks over to an inconspicuous container on the kitchen countertop, tipping it over so that small bills and loose change scatters all over the work surface. She counts out a few of each and hands them to her brothers.

“Let’s head on down to the Stop’n’Shop an’ get ourselves some more. Couple six-packs, as well.” A rare smile lights up the female Robinson’s features. “After all, we havin’ ourselves a party…”

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The latest video uploaded to GLOBAL Wrestling’s YouTube channel, titled ‘BOTTOM FEEDERS‘, begins with a dark-haired woman in an all-black denim and leather outfit and aviator shades sitting ramrod-straight against an equally dark-colored wall, as if on a throne, and smirking towards the camera. When, after a moment, she finally speaks, her low, gravelly, yet sarcastically vitriolic tone matches the evil grin on her features, which only intensifies as she addresses the camera.

“Hello, little rat.”

The woman’s grin suddenly morphs into a scowl.

“People like you are the reason I’m glad I left the LAPD.”

She chuckles derisively, as if in disbelief.

“See, back then, when some bottom-feeding scumbag got lippy or uppity with one of us and we beat seven shades of shit out of them, we got chewed out for being ‘too rough‘, or using ‘excessive force‘, or some bullshit like that.” The air quotes are out in full force as the woman thinks back on her days in uniform. “So I never got to put maggots like you in their proper place. Even if we took them downtown, all the Chiefs would ever do was coddle them and give them a good night’s sleep and a hot meal on the State of California’s dime. They got to go free the next day, and go on with their pathetic little scum-sucking lives.”

The woman’s tone becomes progressively more strained, her body tensing and beginning to quiver slightly, even as she tries to hide it with another mirthless chuckle.

“Now, though? Now, I finally get to be my own boss. My own Chief. And I finally get to put people like you in their place.” She leans back again, her body posture once again relaxing, and the grin returning to her features. “Except now…I don’t want to.”

The woman pauses to light up a cigarette and take a long drag, before continuing.

“See, if I tried to put you in your place, I’d just be giving you what you want. And the one thing you need to understand, you little gutter-trash sewer rat…” Here, the woman leans forward, finally removing her shades to scorch the lens with her dark green glare. “…is that people like you don’t get to have what they want.”

The woman’s tone and posture become more intense again, her voice becoming a half-growl as she leans further forward.

“In fact, just who the HELL do you think you are? What makes you think you can just make demands from me and get away with it? What makes you think your pathetic little self matters to anyone? What makes you think you can talk to me like I’m anything even close to your equal?” The woman visibly quivers as she continues. “Because let me tell you this, you unplanned little freak are nothing. You deserve nothing. You are nobody. You don’t matter. You’re barely more than a piece of old gum stuck under my wrestling boot. And I could just pluck you off and put you in the trash where you belong…but I have other people to do that for me. Isn’t that right, little worm?”

Here, the woman reaches downwards and to her side; when her hands once again come into frame, they are holding onto the hair of a rather unremarkable-looking man, whom GLOBAL diehards might recognize as perpetual company punching-bag Joe Public. He grimaces under the woman’s rough handling, but somehow still manages to gasp out a response.

“Y-yes, M-Ma’am…!”

No sooner has he choked out these two words than the woman shoves him roughly back down, her hand staying out of frame for a moment longer as she once again turns her attention to the camera.

“So, no, you little fucking scrounger. You’re not getting me. Not next show, and not anytime soon. You know why? Because you’re a waste of oxygen who can’t even count to seven without fucking it up.” The woman chuckles again, an unpleasant sound. “I mean, I get it. It’s easy to forget Public exists, and GED Math is probably hard when you struggled to graduate kindergarten…”

As quickly as it appeared, the mirth in the woman’s eyes vanishes, replaced once more with a rock-hard expression.

“The point is, you’re nothing but a worthless, pathetic bottom feeder. And bottom feeders belong with other bottom feeders. So in two weeks’ time…that’s all you’re going to be getting. Another bottom feeder.”

Here, the woman once again brings Joe Public briefly into view, only to whack him back out of frame with her free hand once she realizes he is wiping spittle from his lips. Two short whimpers are heard from off-camera as the hapless wrestler collapses to the ground and is, presumably, punished for his actions; the woman, however, shows no remorse for any of it, merely dragging on her cigarette once more as she turns her gaze back towards the camera.

“And be grateful you’re getting anything from me at all, you dirty little waste of space. ‘Cause it’s the last time you will. Consider it a gift, in the spirit of the holidays. In fact, here….you can have this, as well.” The woman holds a middle finger up to the camera, once again scorching it with her gaze. “Merry fucking Christmas.”

Then, after the briefest of pauses, she once again leans in, an additional thought having clearly just occurred to her.

“Oh, and by the way? It’s not ‘Karen‘. It’s Miranda. Miranda Wright. Remember that name, you’ll be screaming it soon.’

With that, and a final bout of manic, humorless cackling, the dark-haired woman reaches in and turns off the camera, ending the video…but not Joe Public’s torment. Much to the contrary, in fact, as the GLOBAL wrestler once again finds himself pulled up by the hair, then snatched by his shirtfront, the better for Wright to snarl in his face, her breath redolent with cigarette smoke and a hint of stale alcohol.

“Don’t you ever embarrass me like that in front of anyone, ever again! Are we clear, you pathetic little shitstain?”

“Y-Yes, M-Ma’am…S-Sorry, M-Ma’am…”

Public’s clearly terrified demeanor only causes the woman to roll her eyes in disgust.

“You really are a pathetic little simp, aren’t you?” With that, the woman shoves Public roughly back down to knee level. “Talk is cheap, you little maggot. You say you’re sorry? Show it.”

Then, as the wrestling business’s most unremarkable employee once again assumes his previous position and resumes his assigned duties, she leans back to enjoy the rest of her cigarette, wishing she had not polished off the last of her whiskey by way of lunch; another drink or three, she surmises, would have been just the thing to take her current situation from sufficiently enjoyable to absolutely fucking perfect.

LOGO b&w


So, Mr. Merchandise is already in the ring, and as he is being introduced, Alfie Button gets a predictably larger response upon approaching the commentary table, with Keegan shuffling behind him.  The Brit has an all-blue suit on, a lot of fuzz on his face, unshaven, unwashed, one unhappy man.  Well, not quite, in fact, he scrubs up well, if I say so myself, his dark hair, clearly brushed by his mother, and seemingly coming in peace, ready for the verbal barrage.

Lucas is the first to speak up.

“No offence intended, Keegan…”

Special K extends his hand.

“I know, and I’m sorry.  I promise I’ll call the match with you.  I’m out here to have a look at Darren and make amends.  I’ll behave,” Keegan assures Quinn.

He then shakes hands with The Mark and Allie, and Alfie follows suit.  Special K sits next to Allie on the far right while Alfie is stationed next to The Mark on the right.

“A bit cramped out ‘ere nah, innit? Crampin’ me style, mate, but lovely to be out ‘ere and I’ll second what Special K said.  Unusually, ‘e were a bit ov a big baby on commentary wiv Dazza, but he’s promised to be’ave ‘imself, and ‘e’s getting’ old, bless ‘im, but if ‘e acts the goat, then ‘e knows ‘e won’t be allowed back, so trust me, ‘e’ll do the right fing.”

“I’ll do my best – pun intended,” Special K cracks, and then he shakes his head at his own poor taste.

Speaking of which…

Footage shows Mr. Merchandise entering the arena earlier, but his recruits, who saved him from a surefire defeat against Darren Best in their second tussle, are not being allowed into the building by security, kicking off upon hearing the good news.  Merchandise is let past, as he complains in vain.

“Mr. Merchandise thought he could repeat the feat, but GLOBAL got a tip-off,” Quinn informs the GLOBAL Nation.

“Welcome back, Aaron Powell, who is refereeing this one, and we’re told will have an important role to play at The Last Laugh,” Lucas informs us as the cameras pan to the tallest referee in the game, standing at six feet eight inches and towering over Lamar, as well as…

Tina Turner, RIP.

Her iconic anthem brings Darren Best, his shoulder-length brown hair and stubble gleaming, and he’s also wearing his traditional dark blue tights.

“You look like twins,” The Mark giddily exclaims.

“ME and HIM?  No chance, Mark.  For such a SMART man, you’ve just been incredibly daft,” Keegan reprimands Deltzer.

“Whenever these two men have fought before, it has been tight.  Technically, Best has a win, but it wasn’t conclusive because of interference.  It is one-one, but Darren, and Mr. Merchandise both, will want that rubber-stamping rubber-match win to end it once and for all this evening on Domination Nineteen,” Lucas muses, as Darren steps through the ropes, waving to an appreciative audience and mending any East-West rivalries, at least momentarily, the de facto fan favorite for the opener.

“I’m not sure there has been a bigger upset than Merchandise beating Best on Domination Fifteen, but if Merchandise does it again tonight, it won’t be an upset at all,” Deltzer declares.

“Not at all, and in a way, I hope he does, and in a way, I hope he doesn’t because I don’t want any excuses when I beat the you-know-what out of him in a fortnight’s turn, on my mother’s birthday, no less.  So, aye, you can take that one to the bank, Darren,” Keegan quips, referencing Mr. Merchandise in the process.

In the meantime, the bell sounds to indicate that this one is underway, and the two competitors, who have got to know each other reasonably well throughout the last few shows, circle each other.

Surprisingly, Darren darts towards Mr. Merchandise, a change of tactics for the cautious technician, and Sellers punishes the spontaneity with a scoop slam, which hurts yet doesn’t deter Darren.  However, Merchandise, as he was in their first encounter, is a step ahead of the New York native and takes him down to the deck for the second time in mere seconds with a technically sound fireman’s carry takedown, and Darren stays planted to the canvas, enabling Lamar to briefly come to the middle rope square on in the top-right hand corner.

Flying body spl-attered onto the canvas via Darren rolling around.

“That was more like a flying belly flop,” The Mark quips.

“It was, wasn’t it?” Keegan agrees.

“Dazza’s goin’ for somefing big ‘ere, lads, and Allie,” Alfie corrects himself.

OUTstanding moonsault, only for Merchandise to roll out of Ryan Harms’s way.

“They’ve both crashed and burned early,” Lucas observes.

“Not Dazza’s game, don’t get me wrong, like Chrissy ‘ynde and all that, she was a bit of stuff back in the day, weren’t she, K?”

“What are you looking at me for?  WAY before my time,” Keegan insists.

“Anyway, ‘e’s lyin’, and Dazza can fly, but ‘e’s best, yeah yeah, when it’s on the mat,” Button states.

“The two of you are the total opposite, and that’s why you complemented each other,” Keegan points out.

“I was just about to say that,” Deltzer complains.

Alfie consoles him with a pat on the shoulder.

“That’s because you know your stuff, geezer.”

That cheers The Mark up no end, and Keegan winks at them both.

A seated senton to Best’s back paralyzes him, temporarily at least, and a second one softens him up further and cements Lamar’s command over Darren’s spine and the contest on the whole.

The Mark is first to realize what’s going on and exclaims it rather loudly.


Yes, Lamar’s camel clutch is ON, but not for long as Darren is situated near the ropes in front of the five-strong commentary team, and merely extends his right paw to seek refuge and a warm bed in the form of the middle rope.  Powell counts to four before Sellers breaks.

“Welcome back, Aaron Powell,” Quinn proclaims.

“He doesn’t take any nonsense, does he?” Keegan contributes.

Straight-laced and faced, The Mark cracks both Keegan and Alfie up with his next line.

“Nah, that’s because he’s a proper geezer, innit?”

“You ARE British, Mark,” Reece butts in.

A collar-and-elbow is won by Merchandise, forcing Darren back, and Best is clearly flustered.  A clean break is observed by both men, but Merchandise stuns Best with a chop.  Thereafter, an Irish whip sends Best diagonally opposite to the south-west corner and turns Best upside down in the process.  Lamar comes to collect, decking Darren on the apron with a lariat.

“When he gets going, he’s some customer – or should that be businessman?” Keegan asks himself.

“They’ve fought twice, and while Darren got the second one via disqualification, Merchandise’s victory outweighs his,” The Mark believes.

“I can’t disagree Marky Mark, and I reckon Dazza would admit that ‘imself, and it’s why we’re ‘ere for a case of fird time lucky, innit?”  No prizes for guessing who uttered those words.

Meanwhile, Mr. Merchandise brings Best back in with a slingshot suplex, beautifully done, and hopefully hooks a leg, looking for TWO OUT OF THREE AIN’T BAD…

Thanks, Meatloaf.



2 and a half ain’t bad, but it’s not enough, either.

Merchandise maintains control by smashing Best’s head into the nearest turnbuckle, but Best blocks a second attempt and turns the table on Lamar.  As Sellers is, er, selling, Darren takes advantage of the separation by springing off the left set of ropes and scoring with a superb rebound bulldog, paving the way for a second shot at an…

OUTstanding moonsault, which DOES land.




“Are you impressed?” Allie quizzes Keegan.

“By what?  Who?  Darren.  He’s done okay.  Merchandise matches up well against him, but honestly, no matter what, we’ll have a completely different scrap.  Merchandise is a better athlete and quicker than me, but I hit harder than a truck, even at my age, and I’ll walk him straight down and batter him,” Keegan claims.

Darren drives Lamar’s arm into the mat not once, nor twice, but thrice and The Yardstick yawns.

“KNEW that was coming,” he says knowingly.

However, Darren lifts Merchandise up, and mixes things up a bit, drilling Merchandise with a DDT before walking off, leaving the battleground momentarily and heading for the skies.

“This is a mistake,” Alfie laments.

Sure enough, it is.

Merchandise is up and promptly crotches his opponent on the top.

“Well-scouted by Lamar, and now Darren’s in a world of hurt and trouble,” Quinn’s booming voice announces, and it’s about to get louder.


The crowd lets out a collective sigh, some applaud the quick-thinking of Mr. Merchandise, and he may have it here and now…







That would’ve been insulting given Darren’s tendency to rely on and unleash backdrop drivers on a regular basis. Merchandise questions the count, but he doesn’t get anywhere with Aaron, who simply holds up two fingers for as long as Lamar continues to complain.

“Could he be missing his tag team?” Allie wonders aloud.

“I know what you’re saying Allie, but he won the first one fair and square,” Keegan replies.

“He controlled the contest that night, and he’s doing it tonight,” The Mark weighs in.

“Amen – honestly, I know you give each other jip, but this lad is one of the smartest men in the sport,” Keegan points at Deltzer.

A German is in Merchandise’s mind, suplex that is, but Darren denies him with a standing switch and then a roll-up…


Two…Merchandise kicks out.

A clothesline attempt is caught and countered by a crossface!

But, Lamar won’t buy it.  He attempts to wriggle and slide away, so Best transitions into a side headlock, but from there, Sellers rolls him up…



They’re both up.

Best takes his man down with a side headlock takedown, though Merch has an answer in the form of a headscissors, but Best counters the counter with an Alfie-like kip-up…


“That DID pay off, and shades of you,” The Mark slaps Button on the shoulder.  Alfie is taken aback, and The Mark stares straight into space, ignoring Alfie’s gaze for fear of being knocked out.





Though, Merchandise’s ribs are hurting him.

“He’ll still go for the arm,” Keegan mocks his upcoming opponent.

Lo and behold, he’s right as Best attempts a cross armbreaker.

Merchandise fights it, and soon fights through the pain, lifting Best up with the submission still intact and cashing his chips in for not a single powerbomb, but a DOUBLE!!




Best kicks out!


“That has taken it out of both men,” Lucas calls.

“They’re not used to going longer than five minutes,” Keegan states, somewhat sarcastically and honestly.

“That’s what she said,” The Mark weighs in.

“Don’t,” Allie shakes her head.

The double down ends on four.  Merchandise kicks Best low, but not THAT low, and sets the technician up for a piledriver.  Darren denies him with a backbody dr—Merchandise holds on, desperately trying for a roll-up, but Best won’t play ball.  Instead, he comes down on Lamar’s chest with great force in the form of a seated senton to the chest, something Sellers used on him before applying The Merchandiser in the early going, and all of the wind is knocked out of Merchandise’s sails.

“Surely now, Best has to go for the ribs.”

Alfie looks over at his teacher.

“Yeah, for sure.  Dazza’s got a stubborn streak, but he’s not daft,” Alfie reckons.

“We’ll see about that,” Keegan defiantly disagrees.

In fact, Darren goes to the second rope—insult to injury…diving body splash, and it does pay off, punishing what Merch couldn’t land earlier.



Doesn’t quite get it done.

Darren, through a combination of frustration and intelligence, throws Merchandise through the ropes, so Sellers hits the ringpost shoulder-first, before coming to the pay windah, Jack, and Darren leans on the injured limb while making the subsequent cover…



A shoulderbreaker takes Merchandise down again.



Best is somewhat downhearted.  He whips Merchandise back to the buckles where the damage has been done, but Sellers reverse it this time, partly because Best didn’t throw everything into it, and he pays the price when Merchandise instead changes direction and smacks Darren right in the much with a reverse elbow.  With Darren now hunched over, contemplating a trip to the dentist…


The Harlem sidekick turns the tide for Lamar.

“Mr. Merchandise is back with a bang, and looking to win it,” The Mark muses.






Sellers breaks the double down, surprisingly, and is up first…

As is Darren…

…Though not for long…


The discus lariat SMASHES Best…







Okay?  The first one followed the discus lariat.  The second attempt was not a take 2, action, but rather Best tying Lamar up in a crucifix pin.  Sellers, determined to get back in the driver’s seat, walks straight into a…


“I KNEW ‘e’d get ‘im back,” Button boasts, applauding at the same time.





Best can’t believe it.

Neither can the crowd, who thought Darren had done enough.

“Both men are so close yet so far.  Just one move could settle this,” Quinn narrates.

Darren shakes his head, only to have it taken off by a savate kick!

“Darren switched off, and that was stupid,” Keegan says, getting no blowback.

Merchandise sets him up for his finisher, the fisherman’s driver…

TOP SE—SCAPE BY Best, who sneaks out of the back, flipping Sellers around and a kick to the gut buys Darren some time.  A headbutt to the gut takes Lamar off his feet, coughing violently.  Showing an aggressive streak, Best drags Lamar up by his tights immediately, takes a step back and takes Merchandise out for a ride…




The wrist-clutch exploder sees Merchandise explode all over the turnbuckle where most of the pair’s crash-and-burn antics have played out, in the top-right corner of the ring.

Best flops on top, hooking the left leg for all he’s worth…








“At the third time of asking, Darren Best FINALLY AND DECISIVELY beats Mr. Merchandise, securing a morale-boosting victory ahead of a tough task against the legendary veteran, Keegan, in what will be a falls-count-anywhere match.”

Special K stands up, and shakes hands with everyone.

“Pleasure, guys.  I hope I was okay.  Listen, he looked good at times tonight, but no matter what happened, it’ll be a different fight against me.  Over the three matches, I reckon he’s been second best, and I mean that.  Mr. Merchandise has given him all he could handle, and more, that’s not me just saying it, but we’re two different handles and I won’t let Darren off the hook, and he knows it.  If that helps his confidence, better for both of us and for the fans.  I will say this:  I hope he feels a lot of guilt and remorse for what he has inflicted, not only on GLOBAL, but wrestling as a whole.  I couldn’t cut the snake’s head off, I’m sorry about that, but I’ll do the next best thing, and take Darren’s instead.  Just as Alex Reyn was down and out, Darren gave him an olive branch and, for that, he needs to be punished, and I’m the man to do it,” Keegan says, pointing at himself.

Darren mounts the turnbuckles, celebrating his win and getting the thumbs-up from Alfie.  Best peers down at Keegan, who walks straight past, not making eye contact.  Darren forgets about it, basking in victory as he waves to the crowd while Powell comes to check on Merchandise.

A different kind of test awaits Darren Best at The Last Laugh.

Darren Best v Keegan on a very important date for the latter.

However, tonight, Darren has made amends for one of the biggest upsets, stemming from the first show of the season, and here in the final Domination of the year, it bears repeating…

Third time lucky.

Was it luck?


He’ll need more than that, however, to get past Keegan on pay-per-view.

LOGO b&w



GLOBAL’s oval office, adorned by soulless white walls and a transparent table, contains all the directors around the table with Giovanni as the head, exactly where he was at the start of the show, and he has now been joined by everyone else, including new press officer, Michelle Miller, again guilty of wearing too much lipstick.

“Gentlemen, Son of Malta and Alex Reyn will join us momentarily, it has all been agreed to, so there’s no need to be scared this time,” Miller jokes.

“Thankfully,” Ferrari agrees.

Adam Hatt looks at Ray Young, who relays what has been said, and Hatt holds his chest in relieved fashion, making Young and others chuckle.

Son of Malta is allowed into the room by Aaron “The Power” Powell, the reinstated referee, and is welcomed by Giovanni. He takes a seat at the long table next to Giovanni, and graciously accepts the handshake by the boss.

Alex Reyn enters and immediately makes his presence known.

“Well, gentlemen. It seems the scion’s last two battles have been pleasing to you all.”

He turns his head to smile at the Son of Malta.

“They certainly pleased me.”

“They pleased us all,” Miller smiles.

“They sure did,” Giovanni adds.

The gray-haired and gray-suited Oliver Smith, GLOBAL Executive Vice-President, nods along like a lapdog.

“We had our reservations, but like always, Alex, this has delivered on all fronts and the audience has enjoyed watching Son of Malta battle his way to this point.”

Son looks somewhat pleased by that statement and points back at Smith as he turns to Miller.

“Hear that? Not bad for someone who doesn’t draw, is it?”

Miller simply smiles in a bid to play things down.

“We have one final proposal for you, and everyone, Alex included, will agree that it’s your toughest examination to date, one designed to get you ready for Alex Reyn at The Last Laugh.”

Malta throws his hands up.

“What are you waiting for? Let’s hear it,” he welcomes.

“Tonight, in our main event, it’ll be Son of Malta against Daniel Dream,” Michelle reveals.

There’s a collective gasp from the GLOBAL board of directors, but Malta, who locks eyes with Michelle, doesn’t flinch. Reyn meanwhile, smiles knowingly.

“Acceptable.” he says.

It seems that’s it. With the meeting adjourned, Malta begins to leave the room and prepare for his match, when Alex Reyn calls out to him.

“And what of our own battle, Scion? Assuming that you don’t imitate Darren Best and trip at the finish line… How would you like our battle to be conducted? It’s only fair, after all. With all the work you’ve put into facing me, I feel it courtesy to offer you the choice of stipulation. Any match you desire, I shall grant it to you.”

Son doesn’t miss a beat. A moment ago, he was mentally preparing for Daniel Dream. Now, he turns to Alex and immediately replies.

“A submission match.”

LOGO b&w


“The Last Laugh, December 16th, you don’t want to miss it.  We know the main event is going to take place in a steel cage between “The Legend” himself, the one and only Sean Darring, proudly defends his title against the maniacal, dangerous and unpredictable Jerry David, who made things personal with the GLOBAL Champion by attacking his close friend, and ours, Steve Blaine,” Quinn introduces.

“Jerry David is no joke in the ring, Lucas, and deploys mind games, but if there’s someone who won’t fall for that, it’s Sean Darring,” The Mark reasons.

“Seen it, done it, been there, done that,” Reece adds.

“But going after Steve Blaine made it personal.  Does that favor Darring or David, champion or challenger?  Find out a fortnight from now,” Quinn retorts.

Lucas quickly adjusts his earpiece and nods along, clearly receiving some information from backstage.

“We’ve also just received some breaking news that Son of Malta and Alex Reyn have agreed to face each other in a SUBMISSION match on the same night,” Quinn announces.

The Mark throws his hands up in the air, apparently astounded at that.

“Wow.  I don’t know who that favors, because on paper, Son of Malta is more of a submission specialist than Reyn, no doubt about that, but with submission rules brings no disqualification, and if there’s one guy you don’t want to face with no rules at all, it’s Alex Reyn,” The Mark argues with himself.

Suddenly, a cheer goes up.  There’s no entrance music, and there never is.




“What a great ovation for The Rich Family…WHICH JUST GOT A HELL OF A LOT LOUDER,” Lucas yells above the crowd.

He has been missing from The Globe since Domination 6.

Carted out in a wheelchair by his father, the former World Champion, Frank Rich, Freddie has his crutches and raises one of them in the air.

The camera zooms in on three attractive women, all of whom are clapping, in the front row, close to the ring steps.  The elder woman situated on the left has a black crop top that belies her years, showing off a youthful midriff, and one that gets toned in the gym.  She has white trousers and a black leather belt to match, moving her blonde fringe away from her eyes.  Next to her, another blonde, a lime green dress hugging her figure, and there’s a striking resemblance between the two, as we’re about to find out.

“That’s Victoria Rich, mother to Declan and Donny, and her daughter, the lovely Samantha,” The Mark informs everyone.

Both women are between five-six and five eight, while a taller brunette flanks Samantha, wearing less make up, standing in the region of five-ten, and showing off her wonderful white teeth and dress, just so it happens, fighting the tears back.

“And that is the ravishing Rachel Rich, Todd’s sister, cousin to Freddie, Declan and Donny, and honestly, having spoken to her, she is marriage material for anyone.  She is as nice on the inside as she is on the outside.  I dread to think how they’ll react to her or Samantha if they go back there,” The Mark jokes.

“Or Victoria,” Lucas laughs.

“Men,” Reece rolls her eyes.

“Freddie looks humbled by this ovation, by family, friends and fans.  What a fantastic moment, and he tells Frank to stop pushing the wheelchair for a moment.  It seems he wants to stand to say thank you for the standing ovation afforded for him, OH!”

Freddie climbs to his feet, and fist-pumps the air before gradually easing himself back into the chair.  Declan, Todd and Donny look at the patriarch of the family, Frank, who insists ‘he’s got this’ and pushes Freddie down the ramp, the returning Rich managing to lean left to accept some grateful and heartfelt high-fives from fans who are delighted to see him returning to health.

“He won’t be ready to have the last laugh at The Last Laugh, which is a shame because I’m sure he’d love to teach PTA a lesson, but it’s fantastic to see Freddie Rich back in The Globe, we always thought we might, but we were never entirely sure.  Maybe we’ll get an update on when he could be ready to return to the ring, following an eight-month absence already.  It was just before April Fool’s when he ran into Alex Reyn, who punished Freddie’s interference in the Magnum Opus main event, effectively costing “The East Wind” the GLOBAL Championship that night, or at least some think anyway,” Quinn narrates.

“Darring would’ve won anyway,” Allie insists, rising to her feet, before being joined by Quinn and Deltzer in saluting Freddie.

Frank makes a detour, so Freddie can embrace the lovely Rich ladies, and just out of shot, a zealous elder man stretches over to hug Freddie, who’s a bit overwhelmed.  Wearing a red and blue checked shirt, he removes his plain white cap, and ragdolls Freddie a little.

“Terry Rich, Freddie’s uncle and Todd’s father, yes, we have him to thank for Rachel, believe it or not.  A former tag team champion, and the deputy for the previous generation.  A proud dad and uncle, and one of the least selfish men that’s ever been in the wrestling business,” The Mark continues.

Freddie invites his brothers and cousin to go up in the squared circle as he is ‘parked’ just in front of his nearest and dearest, Samantha kissing her brother on the forehead, and he holds her hand dearly to his chest.  “Downtown” Jason Brown, all smiles, brings a microphone over for Frank and Freddie to share.  Freddie points at Frank, who is taken aback, while Donny, wearing a blue jacket, Todd in green and Donny sporting yellow, go to the other three corners to pose to a pleased public.

“You’d think we were in Dallas, Texas, right now, but I think they’ve brought Dallas to Los Angeles, what an ovation for one of wrestling’s greatest families…can you imagine if they actually won the GLOBAL Tag Team titles, a tall order given The Rutherford Guys are champions, you’ve got the former champs Trouble Roxx, PTA of course, The Dirty Greats, Border Control, Best of British, but The Rich Family could put themselves right in the mix with ANOTHER win over PTA.  Will it be repeat or revenge on the sixteenth?  Obviously, The Last Laugh is because of our main event, but it could easily be because of this, one of the great feuds in GLOBAL so far, the respectful, traditional wrestling powerhouse that started with “Filthy” Frank Rich and I did not think we’d hear from him tonight, but what a privilege and pleasure it is to be here.  I watched this man growing up,” Lucas says humbly.

Frank squeezes Victoria’s hand and then lets go in exchange for the microphone.

“Los Angeles, California, you’ve just made some proud Texans emotional, both here and at home, and we cannot thank you enough for giving us a night none of us will ever forget.  Whether we’re wrestlers or not, like my lovely wife, daughter and niece, and my former tag partner, who would do it if he still could, believe me,” Frank finishes laughing, and that grows louder, as does the cheer when Terry turns and panders to the crowd, raising a fist in defiance, primed, pumped and ready to have a fight there and then by the looks of it.

“We all love, live and breathe professional wrestling.  It’s in our blood, it’s who we are, we’ve been praised for it, mocked for it, at school, on the bus, in the office, and I am a proud patriarch, as I’m called.  My daddy never wrestled, but he got me into it as a little boy this high,” he says, stooping down to show how tall he was when he started watching wrestling in the great state.

“He’s as much a part of the success of this family, without him, there’s no me, no Terry, no Freddie,” Frank pats Freddie on the shoulder.

“No Todd, no Declan, no Donny,” he points at his nephew and children and bows before them.

“We’re all Riches, we’re all here for and because of one another, and we always will be.  Believe me, blood is thicker than water, it’s true what they say.”

Frank gets a fabulous reception as he hands the microphone off to Freddie.

“The First” pauses for a moment, humbled by the chants bearing his name, including by the three women and his uncle stood right next to him.

“It’s been a long road to get, and that was just my dad pushing me down the ramp,” he nods back at the entranceway, drawing some cheap laughs and cheers in the process.

“We’ve had some dark days in Dallas, done some real soul-searching, and I thank my family first and foremost for getting me through it, and to all of you for making it worth it.  I’m not back yet, and I won’t be for a while, but when I am, I’ll be gunning for certain people,” Rich proclaims as the crowd breaks into rapturous applause.

“We look forward to that,” The Mark concurs.

“We sure do,” Allie agrees.

“PTA, you’ve mocked me, you’ve mocked my family, even in defeat, you’ve got some balls, I’ll give you that, but on my behalf, my brothers and cousin have got a message for you on the family’s behalf.  Thanks, everyone,” he signs off, putting the mike down on his lap and turning to the crowd, applauding them for their support as Samantha wipes tears away from her eyes,

Freddie reaches out over the barricade to touch her wrist.

“Hey sis, don’t cry.  I’m okay.  I love you.”

She mouths those three little words back to her big brother before Rachel and Victoria both pull her in tight for an embrace.

Declan stares at the hard camera.

“Prime Time Athletes…”

“Players,” Todd coughs.

Declan does a double-take, and then nods.

“Prime Time Players…”

The crowd erupts into a PTP chant, which must secretly incense Jimmy and Trae, wherever they are.

“We’ve beaten you once, but that wasn’t enough.  So, we’ll dictate these terms to you, and they’re REAL simple.  We want you in a normal, standard, tag match.  You see, we want no excuses, no shenanigans, and no bitching or complaining that you were robbed.  After this, we’ll be done with you, and onto whoever wins between The Rutherford Guys and Trouble Roxx.  Best of luck to y’all,” Declan graciously states.

He hands off to Todd, Donny applauding and nodding at his brother Declan’s words.

“Like my old man down there,” Todd points. 

“I’m a man of few words, so I’ll make them count.  Prime Time Athletes.  Jimmy Classic and Trae Larkin.  You can play your games, but it’s in here where it counts, and we’re gonna find out who the best is, the old-fashioned way.  They say who laughs last laughs loudest.  Let’s find out.  Put up or shut up, boys.  I can’t wait,” Todd drops the microphone.

No music.

No fanfare.

Sheer noise.

Hugs, kisses and cheers everywhere.

Over to you Lucas, lad

“There’s no doubt which team has got the support and has had the loudest cheers. A fortnight from now, in case you haven’t heard that, we’re going to find out, once and for all, who’s the better team and who will have the last laugh.”

LOGO b&w


“So, what do you guys think about this name thing?”

Chett Marx rests his forearm on the leg he has hiked up onto the long wooden bench running the length of the wall and cocks his head towards the two men changing into their ring gear only a few feet away. One of them, a muscular Irishman with a blond flat-top, merely shrugs, never even taking his eyes off the gym towel he is methodically folding; the girthy, swarthy man closest to Marx, however, is more than happy to voice his opinion.

“I think, if some people weren’t treating this shit like freaking kindergarten, maybe we would have had the chance to pick our own by now…”

This comment causes the two identical-looking men in black bodysuits and masks standing on the other side of Marx to bristle, but the man with the blue tick simply snorts with laughter.

“Oh yeah? And what name would you have picked, Danny-Boy?” Then, not giving the large man a chance to respond, he promptly goes about answering his own question. “I would have gone with the #MarxMen. Led by old Robbin’ Hood himself, of course…”

Marx puffs out his chest, pointing a proud thumb towards himself, but both sets of men to either side of him simply groan. Visibly miffed at the lack of appropriate response to his idea, the man in the blue and black is, therefore, forced to seek validation from the unlikeliest of sources.

“Whadda ya think, Public? Pretty good, huh?”

The man sitting alone on the only other bench in the room is, however, no better of a critic than any of his locker room companions, barely lifting his gaze from the floor as he responds in a laconic fashion.

“….I guess…”

“Whassamatter, Joey?” As ever, Marx cannot resist aiming a jape at his wholly unremarkable colleague. “Mommy ground you? Told you you been a bad boy, and you can’t kiss her ass for a week?”

SHUT UP, MARX!!” This time, there IS emotion in both the tone of the man called Joe and in his body posture, as he glowers across the locker room at his bully, fists clenched, body and voice both quivering with anger. “You don’t know anything! You don’t…know….anything…! You…don’t…”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa! Calm down, there, buddy! Don’t go having a stroke on me or something!” Marx holds up his hands in a gesture of peace, but the outcast of the group still appears livid enough to actually strike back, continuing to glare daggers at the masked man until a voice draws his – and everybody else’s – attention.

“Sit the fuck down, Public. You’re no use to me knocked out.”

Corporal Miranda Wright strides into the locker room in typical commanding fashion, her mere presence being enough to make some of the men inside spring into attention – no pun intended – while a couple seek to preserve their modesty by way of covering up; Wright, however, barely even glances in their direction, deigning their efforts with simply a derisive chuckle.

“Settle down, ladies. Nothing there I haven’t seen.” She then makes a point of looking straight at the man she called Public as she twists the knife. “In your case, Public, nothing there I can see.”

Public visibly struggles to retain his composure as Wright begins to pace back and forth across the locker room.

“As for the rest of you… I told you before, and I’m telling you again. Drop the picking-a-name bullshit. You HAVE a name. And until you earn your stripes, that’s not going to change. Are we clear?”

Scattered assent from the more vocal cadets brings a predictable scowl to Wright’s features.

“I said…are. We. Clear?”

“Ma’am, yes, Ma’am!” Though not as ready as it usually would be, this response is at least enough to appease the group’s leader, who is, nevertheless, far from done with her address.

“Good. You don’t want to be S.I.M.P.s? Go out there and fucking show it.”

These last two words have a visible effect on Public, who shudders in spite of himself, thus placing himself in Miranda Wright’s crosshairs.

“Feeling cold, Public?” The drill instructor’s grin is nothing short of predatory as she rounds on her victim, who gulps nervously as he replies.

“N-no, Ma’am…”

“Are you sure?” Wright’s mockingly sweet tone sends a pang of genuine pity for Public coursing through every one of his squad mates. “I know you’re used to being tucked in someplace…warmer…”

“Ma’am, I’m f-f-fine, Ma’am!” The weight of five pairs of eyes on him – not counting Miranda’s – has Public practically buckling at the knees, even as he tries to retain his military stance. Admirable though his effort is, however, his composure ultimately and inevitably crumbles when, a moment later, he is grabbed by the shirt-front by the intimidating squad leader, who pulls him uncomfortably close to her face, her dark eyes boring into his.

“You have one job tonight, Public. Don’t fuck it up.”

The irascible brunette tosses her hapless minion to the ground, leaving him to pick up the pieces of his shattered dignity as she turns and strides out of the room, without so much as another word of acknowledgment to the rest of the squad. The men therefore remain at attention for several moments, relaxing their stance only once they can be absolutely sure it is safe to do so – at which point the most vocal among them resumes his ribbing of the obvious, easy target just now picking itself up off the floor.

“Pheee-eeeeww!” Chett Marx pinches his nose while wafting theatrically. “Public…my dude…let a brother know before you let one rip next time, huh? Or…wait…” The man in the blue and black mask lets out a high bark of laughter. “…did you shit your pants?” He turns towards the other members of the group. “Public shit his freakin’ pants!”

“He who smelt it, dealt it, jackass.” Steve Dann zips up his sports bag and hangs it on the peg directly in front of him before turning to Public. “What the hell was that all about?”

Once more, Public’s response is mumbled at the locker room floor, the unremarkable man barely breaking his stride as he attempts to push past Dann. The Fat Man, however, is not about to let it go, and spins his squad mate around with one twist of his powerful hand.

“I asked you what the hell that was all about!”

To his credit, Public holds his team-mate’s gaze, his reply perfectly intelligible this time.

“Let’s just get this done.”

With that, he turns and walks out of the locker room, struggling mightily not to quake under the daggers being glowered into his back by the other five members of the Snivelling Idiotic Moron Patrol. Having to stand up for himself among all the ribs and questions has taken a toll out of him, especially in the state he is in, but deep down inside himself, he has to admit: it did feel pretty good.

LOGO b&w


The feed returns to ringside to find the two young men collectively known as LA Exchange already in the ring, and their opponents just starting to come down the entranceway. The camera zooms in on the looks of intense concentration on the faces of Trevor and Gage as the girthy man and his flat-topped companion make their way to ringside. As the duo have no music, the only sound other than the boos of the fans is the voice of the third man coming down the entranceway, a wiry wrestler in a black and blue mask, whose manic energy appears not to sit too well with his more stoic companions – a situation which does not prevent him from trying to do “Downtown” Brown’s job.

“Lamers and genitals…making their way to the ring…at a combined weight of HOLY CRAP, BATMAN!…and accompanied to the ring by the #MarxMan…the team of…One Punch Dann, the man with the plan….and Flanagan, who beats you ’cause he can!”

“Who does this guy think he is, Post Malone or something?”

“Why is ‘Downtown’ letting him get away with this?”

“Unfortunately, the answer to both those questions is ‘I don’t know.’”

To the announcers’ delight – and the fans’ – the girthier of the two men in the competing duo appears to eventually have enough, and gives the self-appointed hypeman for his team a shove, the sheer force of which sends him clattering into the barricade, and then down to the floor. As the two men continue on their way to ringside, the masked wrestler’s indignant voice can be heard from somewhere behind them.

“Screw you, lamers!”

“Serves him right…” Lucas appears a little too delighted by the outcome, but neither of his announcing partners makes any effort to reason with him, instead watching on as the second team enter the ring, and the “voice of GLOBAL” makes it clear that he will have the last word where announcing is concerned.

“Ladies and gentlemen! The following contest is a tag team match scheduled for…”


The camera catches the announcer’s grin as he goes on with his spiel.

“Introducing first…from right here in Los Angeles, California…the team of Gage and Trevor…the LA Express!”

Both men hold up their arms to acknowledge the cheer of their hometown crowd, as “Downtown” goes on with his address.

“And their opponents…from Donegal, Ireland and Shreveport, Louisiana, respectively…the team of Flanagan and ‘Fat Man’ Steve Dann!”

The immediate boos from the crowd riles up the man called Dann, who is seen inaudibly mouthing off to the cheap seats. It does not take more than a moment, however, for the referee to put an end to this, indicating either he or Flanagan needs to step in as the legal man. Still irritated, Dann volunteers to do it himself, stating it will do him good to “kick some BLEEPing kids’ asses.” He therefore takes to the center of the ring to face off against the LA Express’s Gage, allowing Duncan Sullivan to call for the bell.

“And we are underway!”

“What do you guys make of LA Express’s chances here, against much bigger opposition?”

“Well, on the one hand, it IS Steve Dann and Flanagan. Two men who don’t have the best track record, and who have only teamed up once before. On the other hand, they ARE about twice the size of those kids…so if Trevor and Gage are not careful…squish, squash, lights out. They need to fight smart, not hard. Stick and move. They do that, they might have a chance.”

“Seems to me, that is exactly what they’re doing, Mark.”

In fact, no sooner has the bell rung than Gage connects with a dropkick, It barely rocks Dann, but the youth is not fazed, and lands another. He backs up a few steps again, and flies in with a third, slowly attempting to whittle down the redwood tree in front of him. Dann attempts to put up a reaction, but is too slow, and by the time the attempted clothesline swings past the spot Gage had been in moments before, the youngster is already halfway across the ring, and taunting the bigger man, much to the delight of the crowd.

“It seems Gage, at least, has been taking lessons from the likes of Trouble Roxx or his ally, Angel Ramirez, about Wrestling While Undersized…”

“Not that these boys are undersized…they’re just much smaller than Flanagan, and especially Steve Dann.”

“Of course. But they’re also faster, and that is helping them here at the moment.”
In fact, Gage continues to have the upper hand in terms of offence, as he climbs the turnbuckle and connects with a missile dropkick, which finally succeeds in making Dann stumble. Seizing his chance, the youth performs a Russian leg sweep, which has the “Fat Man” teetering perilously, but ends up having the opposite effect than intended, as Dann collapses onto his backside. Gage is just fast enough to avoid getting hoisted by his own petard, however, and quickly takes advantage of Dann’s newly seated position, connecting with a flying kick to the “Fat Man”’s face. He rears up for another, but Dann holds out his arm and grabs the youngster’s leg, sending him ass-over-teakettle to the mat and buying the “Fat Man” some time to regain a vertical base, which he does with much grumbling and grousing.

“Good awareness from Steve Dann, but these early goings have definitely belonged to the LA Express.”

“Indeed, Mark…but they need to keep it going if they’re going to get anything from this match.”

Gage appears to know this and quickly seeks to regain the upper hand with a series of forearm shots. An irritated shove from Dann sends him tumbling head over heels again, but he does not give up, and rushes in again, this time with a low dropkick to the “Fat Man”’s knees.

“Gage looking to take the knees out from under Steve Dann, but that is easier said than done…”

Indeed, the LA Express member is finding out precisely that, as not only is Dann barely buckling from the repeat attacks, but he is also attempting to fight back, forcing Gage to retreat to his corner in order to avoid getting hit. As he does so, the youngster brings his partner into the match for the first time, perhaps thinking a slightly fresher man will have better luck bringing down the big man.

“Trevor coming into this match now, while Steve Dann remains the legal man for his team.”

Predictably, Trevor employs the exact same tactic as Gage, peppering Dann with strikes, then quickly retreating back out of range. In this manner, he succeeds in landing a couple of dropkicks to Dann’s back, as well as a crescent kick and a chop block to the same knee Gage had begun trying to weaken. Still, however, the “Fat Man” does not go down, and the growing irritation on his face spells potential doom for the youngster.

“Dann is clearly getting annoyed with these two kids and their tactics…”

“Imagine being a Great Dane, and there’s two chihuahuas nipping at your heels. You can barely see them, but you can definitely FEEL them, and it hurts just enough to be annoying. That’s Steve Dann right now.”

“And it looks like he’s ready to do something ABOUT IT!”

The crowd “oof”s right along with the commentators as Dann finally manages to catch one of his opponents out, connecting with a brutal punch to Trevor’s face as he runs in for yet another strike. Rather than capitalize on it, however, the “Fat Man” tags in his partner, to whom he is heard mouthing “you wreck them. I’m annoyed now.”

Fortunately, Flanagan has no qualms about doing precisely that, and Trevor soon finds himself at the wrong end of, first, an atomic drop, and then a swinging neckbreaker. Far from willing to leave it at that, Flanagan then performs a delayed knee drop, followed by a pointed elbow drop, before making his way to the top rope.

“What is Flanagan about to do here…?”

“I think I know…and there it is! Double foot sto—no!! Trevor has avoided it!”

Indeed, the youth has just about enough presence of mind to roll out of the way, causing Flanagan’s feet to connect painfully with the mat. As the Irishman winces and hops around in pain, the youngster sees his chance, and leaps in with a forearm shot to the nose! As he leaps in for a second, however, he gets caught and dropped with a spinning spinebuster, which showcases all of Flanagan’s strength!

“BRUTAL impact from Flanagan!”

“This is where LA Express are at a disadvantage. There is no way either of them can compete with that sort of move.”

Indeed, Trevor is now in a bad way following the devastating counter, and primed to be picked up into a piledriver attempt…

…which he reverses into a hurricanrana, saving himself from a premature end!

“GREAT counter by Trevor…and he needs to make a tag here…YES! Tag made to Gage!!”

The crowd erupts as the fresher member of the LA Express subs in for his partner and makes a beeline for Flanagan. Unfortunately for him, the Irishman is fully recovered and promptly grabs the youth and lifts him up into a vertical suplex. Gage manages to wriggle out, however, and ends up pulling Flanagan down into a rollup! Gabby Harris slides in to count!


TW—hy did he think that would work?

“Gage with the first pinfall attempt of this match, and he almost had the best of Flanagan, as well!”

“True, but it was kind of an isolated freak incident. Overall, I think we can safely say this match is now leaning the opposite way from when it started…”

“I can’t say I’m surprised, Mark. Stamina only lasts so long, and you knew the moment these boys allowed themselves to get caught by the bigger men, they would struggle. Which is exactly what’s happening right now.”

In fact, Gage is unable to follow up the successful roll-up attempt with any sort of offense, and Flanagan quickly punishes him for his audacity, rocking him with a headbutt before performing a delayed backbreaker. Gage’s punishment is not over yet, either, as the Irishman then pulls him back to his feet and connects with a second atomic drop into swinging neckbreaker combo. Still, he refuses to go for a pin, dropping first a knee and then an elbow on the LA Express member before bringing him back to a vertical position. In desperation, Gage connects with an elbow to the stomach, then – as the Irishman turns away from him, clutching his belly in pain – jumps on Flanagan’s back, flailing wildly in an attempt to deal damage or, at the very least, throw his opponent off his game. Unfortunately, this position favors Flanagan, who promptly connects with his trademark backpack stunner, flooring the youth!

“Miscalculation there from Gage, and it backfired in a bad way…”

“That is LA Express’s inexperience showing.”

“That, or he didn’t do his homework on his opponent to know he used that move. Either, or.”

Surprisingly, Deltzer’s sarcasm goes unchecked this time around, as, in the ring, Dann forgoes the chance to go for a cover and, instead, brings Gage back up to his feet, carrying him over to his team’s corner and propping him up against the ring post, before tagging in Steve Dann, to whom he directs an “all yours” gesture. Needless to say, the “Fat Man” is all too happy to accept the offer, connecting with a devastating punch, which completely floors his young opponent. He drops down for the cover, and Gabby slides in to count.


Trevor shoots out of his corner!


Flanagan intercepts him with a big crossbody, leaving his partner to safely pick up the…


And the win for their team!

“Well, that was surprising!” At the announce booth, Quinn can barely hide his shock. “The only other time we’ve seen Steve Dann and Flanagan tag before, they were at odds…yet here tonight, they came across as a perfectly competent unit!”

“It seems Miranda Wright’s leadership actually is effective, then…”

As the announcers remark on the duo’s emphatic win, and “Downtown” Brown prepares to announce it, a disembodied voice suddenly makes itself heard.

“Lamers and genitals…give it up for…ONE! PUNCH! DANN!

The camera pans over to the entrance curtain, where the masked man from before has resurfaced, and is now pointing at the team in the ring. Unlike before, however, he sticks around just long enough to give them a thumbs-up before retreating back through the curtain, though not without a final quip.

“#TheMarxMan likes this!”

With that, and in uncharacteristic fashion, he leaves the spotlight to the two victors, who have yet to stop hotdogging and grandstanding to the jeering crowd. That is still the state of affairs as the camera gradually zooms out and away from the ringside area, before fade-transitioning elsewhere…

LOGO b&w


Undisclosed Location

Sometime after Domination #18

“Are you ready, John?”

John J. Truth does not immediately reply to the brunette woman sitting a few feet away; rather, he makes a point of looking at the array of screens in front of him, where a radar continues to fruitlessly scan the surrounding airspace, the graphic of its range looping constantly on the screen. The woman, however, is not about to give up so easily, and scoots a few feet closer, the better to place a hand on Truth’s shoulder.

“Don’t worry, John. I’m sure you will find him at some point.”

Once again, however, Truth replies with barely more than a grunt, pointedly shaking the woman’s hand off his shoulder.

“Oh, John…you’re not still sulking, are you?” Undeterred, the brunette leans into her interloper, both her hands now on each of his shoulders. “It’s been over a week now…”

“I don’t care how goddamn long it was!” Truth throws the woman off his shoulders as he whirls around to face her. “You still didn’t have to fucking kiss him!”

Though visibly startled by the outburst, the brunette does her best to affect a light, playful tone as she once again leans in. “JOHN! Are you jealous?”

WHAT?!” Surprise causes Truth’s exclamation to come out a touch too loud, drawing snickers from the two other men in the room. “Jealous?! Of course, I’m not jealous! Why would I be jealous?” The controversial wrestler blinks in puzzlement. “I just think we could have used that guy again next time, that’s all. Except now we can’t, because you had to go and smooch the bastard on national goddamn television!”

“Oh, John…” The brunette affects a pout. “…you’re not really going to hold that against me, are you? I was so happy our boys picked up the win, I…I had a little girly moment. I couldn’t help it!”

Truth scoffs, but his body language and stance relax slightly. “Well, you need to be able to help it. Because that little stunt two weeks ago just cost us the only ally we’ve ever had in that goddamn place!”

“…present company excluded.” The woman is quick to glance up at the two men standing by the hotel room door, who each acknowledge her statement with a nod.

“Um…yeah. Present company obviously excluded. Durr. Jesus Christ, Lexi! I don’t think they’re that dumb that they don’t know I wasn’t talking about them!”

“Of course not, hon’. But it’s always good to clarify…just in case. You don’t want our boys to think we don’t value them, do you?”

“Jesus Christ!” It is now Truth’s turn to look towards the two men. “OK, OK, I’m sorry! You three are the only people I can trust right now. You should fucking know that already, but there it is.” The controversial superstar returns his gaze to the woman named Lexi. “Happy now?”

Rather than reply, Lexi beams and gives her associate a little golf clap. Truth, on the other hand, simply scowls, as he once again turns his attention towards the monitors on the other side of him. Lexi, however, draws his attention back to where a small video capture setup waits to be used, once again reiterating her question from moments previously.

“Now…are you ready, John?”

“What?” The GLOBAL Wrestling American (or is it International) Champion still appears distracted but slowly begins to catch on. “Oh…yeah…sure.”

Lexi claps again, just once this time. “Great! Washington, can you go ahead and press Record, please?”

The smallest of the two guards steps forward just enough to comply with the request, then quickly regains his spot to the right side of the door, as the seated couple opposite begin their address, the woman smiling smugly as her companion scowls. It is the former who does the honors.

“Ladies and gentlemen…please rise in salute of your GLOBAL American Champion….and mine…” The brunette’s voice becomes a swoony sigh for these two words, before regaining its normal tone as she intones her companion’s title. “….General John J. Truth!” She turns her head to face the man sitting beside her. “The floor is all yours, General.”

The man does not need telling twice, immediately leaning forward to bark into the camera. “How’s the head, you goddamn terrorist?” He then switches to a more relaxed demeanor, motioning his fingers to one side of his head in a mocking fashion. “Hey, here’s the world’s smallest violin playing for you. So sorry for your loss.”

“Thoughts and prayers.” Beside the “General”, the woman named Lexi cannot resist a little barb of her own. Truth acknowledges this with a glance, a nod and a hint of a chuckle before continuing.

“You should have known better than to mess with me and my boys. You should have crawled back across the border to your goat-herding, drug-dealing inbred BLEEPing ‘FaMiLiA‘ when you still had the chance.” Air quotes and the usual mocking tone punctuate the Champion’s use of the Spanish word. “But you chose to get in my face and come at me with personal attacks to try and get under my skin.. You made your bed, boy…and now you get to lie in it.”

Undiluted vitriol seeps through Truth’s voice as he utters the belittling term, a moment before swiching his GLOBAL International Championship (defaced with a sticker over the plate, on which the word ‘AMERICAN‘ has been scrawled in black marker pen) from his left to his right shoulder.

“See…you were so BLEEPing hellbent on ‘rEvEaLiNg My ReAl NaMe‘…’ The air quotes and mocking tone make a comeback, drawing a giggle from Lexi. “…that you forgot one thing. All YOU have is an old name. You want to know what I have?”

Truth pats the title on his shoulder, his grin widening.

“That’s right. you have something I couldn’t give two BLEEPs about…while I…have something you’ve been wanting ever since I kept your dirty illegal terrorist hands from smuggling it over the border and turning it into drug money.” The Champion chuckles again. “Too bad you can’t have it anymore now, seeing as you and your little Acronym Brigade buddy couldn’t even get past my boys last time.” Truth leans forward, the image of smug poise and self-control. “So, you let me know who has the upper hand, boy.”´

“Too bad, so sad…” Beside the Champion, Lexi pulls a mocking pout, running a finger down her cheek to emulate a tear.

The GLOBAL International-American Champion snorts with dry laughter at his companion’s antics, then quickly goes on with his own address.

“It’s like I told you, boy…you should have thought twice. You should have backed off while you still could. Because now, you’ve gone and made some very powerful enemies. And trust me…” Truth leans forward, his evil smirk dissolving into a scowl of pure wrath. “…title match or no title match…we’re about to make your life a living hell.” GLOBAL’s most controversial Champion pauses for a moment, then gives his acolytes the universal sign for ‘cut’. “Kill it, Washington. I’m done.”

No sooner has the feed been turned off (by the very same man who started it, no less) than Lexi is enthusiastically applauding the International-American Champion.

“That was so, so good, John! That thug won’t know whether he’s coming or going after that!” Lexi looks up at her two employees. “Wouldn’t you say so, boys?”

The two men are quick to agree, uttering various expressions of genuine admiration for Truth’s speech, but the man himself still appears uncomfortable.

“John? What’s wrong?” Lexi leans in, the image of friendly concern.

“You know what’s wrong, Lexi.” Truth bristles as he turns around to face his associate. “You still shouldn’t have kissed that ref. We lost a major asset right there.”

Lexi, however, simply giggles. “Oh, John! Don’t be silly! After that speech…we’re not going to need Mr. Staggs…or anybody else. After that speech, you showed that thug, and his friend, and the entire GLOBAL Nation why you deserve to be called the General, and why you deserve to be the GLOBAL American Champion. I’d be surprised if that hoodlum still wants any part of you after that…”

“Yeah, well…” Lexi’s praise has Truth’s cheeks flushing, and a semblance of a smirk dawning on his lips, even in spite of himself. “…it still wouldn’t have hurt to have Staggs on our side.”

“You’ll be fine, hon’. Trust me.” Lexi shoots the Champion her most beaming smile, before clapping her hands together. “Now…should we order some room service? I’m absolutely starving!”

With that, the brunette and her two associates turn their attention towards the room service menu, while Truth returns to his wall of screens, where the radar continues its vain search for someone who may never have been there in the first place. While each party does their best to take their minds off the elephant in the room, however, there it still lies, a stark reminder of the odds at stake in less than two weeks’ time, when only one of the two dreaded rivals can have The Last Laugh.

LOGO b&w


Backstage, a masked trio approaches the sound table just as the technician is lining up the musical cues for the next match; his plan is, however, somewhat derailed when the man at the front of the group hands him a smartphone, with a specific song already cued up.

“Hey yo, when we go out there, that’s the jam, my dude. A’ight?”

The sound tech glances at the screen for no more than a moment, then nods.

“No problem.”

“My man!” The wrestler in the black and blue mask holds up his hand for a high-five, then, when the sound technician seeks to respond, pulls his hand away, cackling.

“Too slow, bro!”

He then motions to his two companions – clad in identical black bodysuits and matching masks – and the three begin to move towards the entrance curtain. As if on cue, the song they have handed to the soundman moments earlier begins to blare through the speakers, leaving just enough time for the wrestler in black and blue to snatch a microphone from the sound table – ignoring the protests of the sound technician as he does so – before the three men are due on the other side of the curtain.

Raydeo’s “Mask On” suddenly becomes much louder as the trio cross over to the main part of the arena, only to be partially drowned out by the sound of boos from the crowd. While it is impossible to know whether or not these are affecting the three men, they certainly do not stop the ringleader from putting his microphone to good use.

“Hey yo! It’s ya boys! Chett Marx! Thing One! Thing Two! MASK FORCE in the hizz-ouse! Better recognize!”

As the man called Marx continues to serve as a hypeman for his own group, in the ring, another man with a microphone proceeds to do his own job.

“Ladies and gentlemen…the following contest is scheduled for…”


The man smiles as the audience takes up the cue with gusto, then quickly continues.

“Already in the ring, from England, at a combined weight of five hundred and seventy-four pounds…Ant Rushton! Ade Flowers! And FLYIIIIIIIIINNNNN’ RYANNNNNN ANSELL! TEAAAAAMMMM UUUUUNIIIIITEEEEDDDDD!”

Cheers erupt for the three men already inside the squared circle, who each get up on a different turnbuckle and hold their arms out to the crowd, soaking in the cheers. As for the man with the microphone, he calmly goes on to the second half of his duties.

“And their opponents…”

Before he can go much further, however, the man called Chett Marx rips the microphone from his hand, dual-wielding for a moment as he tests both mics, before disposing of the one he stole from backstage. Into the other, he then proceeds to make his own team’s introductions.

“Aaaaaand their opponents, from the boiler room waaaay at the back of the joint…they are!” He points at his two acolytes in turn. “The terrifying! The deadly! The amaaaaaaaazing…Thing One! His chill is gone! Thing Two! Gonna hurt you!”

The two masked wrestlers begin to silently protest, gesturing to the effect that Marx has got them mixed up, but their partner has turned towards the crowd, as he now goes on to introduce himself.

“And their partner…the guardian of lost souls! The powerful…the pleasurable…the indestructible #MARXMAN!”

The lengthy introduction only elicits more boos, as a section of the crowd begins to chant for the Angel Corps. At the announce desk, the commentators do not appear overtly impressed, either.

“Chett Marx seems to think anyone wants to hear this crap from the likes of them…”

“I don’t think he particularly cares either way, Al. He is what we on the Internet call a troll.”

“Probably looks like one, too, under that mask…”

“Whatever the case may be, it looks like he’s not done yet…”

In fact, rather than respond to referee Duncan Sullivan’s request to take to the center of the ring, Chett Marx appears to want to go on a little bit longer with his address.

“Hey yo, what’s with the hate, my dudes? When those two fine shorties used to do it, y’all were all ’bout that!”

“Does he…does he mean Trouble Roxx?” At the announce desk, Allie Reece is flabbergasted. “Because people, you know, like Trouble Roxx. That’s why they say it with them. And that’s why they won’t say it with the likes of you!”

When he sees the crowd remain unwilling to cooperate, Marx directs one last jab at them, before tossing his microphone aside.

“Ah, screw y’all! All your followers are spambots anyway!”

With that, he turns around and rushes at Team United, catching his opponents and the referee unaware. The two Salamanders quickly follow suit, and a brief beatdown begins to take shape.

“Marx taking out his frustrations on his opponents…”

“…not on Sullivan’s watch!”

In fact, the referee wastes no time separating the two teams, and ordering each of them to pick their legal men, so that the match proper can start. Ryan Ansell immediately steps forward for Team United, while Marx engages in a game of rock-paper-scissors with his two associates to decide who gets the privilege of starting for the self-styled Mask Force. After a long moment of this, referee Sullivan steps in and tells them to make up their minds, lest he be forced to choose for them. This is when Chett Marx, ever desiring to be the center of attention, steps forward and states that he will square off against Ansell, in his own, unique fashion.


“Our legal men have been chosen…and there’s the bell! We are under way with this one!”

Predictably, given their opponent’s pre-match antics, there is no scoping-out period from Ansell, who immediately rebounds off the ropes with a springboard lariat! The two men fall to the mat together, and Ansell, being on top, hooks the leg.

ON—o! Marx both kicks out and grabs the ropes, for emphasis.

“Did Ryan Ansell really think he could win in one move?”

“I mean…it’s Chett Marx. I see what you mean, though, Quinn.”

In the ring, the aforementioned Marx is not wasting the opportunity to make fun of his opponent, whom he is heard calling “noob” right to their face. Predictably, Ansell is not best pleased about this, and Marx ends up at the receiving end of a hangman’s neckbreaker for his troubles. This time around, however, rather than cover, the “Flyin’” wrestler seeks to live up to his name by springboarding off the ropes onto a moonsault! The move lands before Marx has time to move out of the way, and now Ansell does go for the cover.


“I’m not sure what Ansell is thinking here, if this is part of a strategy or if he is just overconfident…but I would be careful if I were him. This sort of attitude could end badly for his team.”

Despite Lucas’ omens, however, Ansell remains in control coming off of the cover, and connects with a German suplex on Marx. The masked wrestler goes flying across the ring as his opponent kips up and holds up an arm to the appreciative crowd. He then turns around to find Marx up on his feet and rushing towards him, and promptly drops down for a Russian leg sweep, which sends the self-styled “Marxman” planting face-first onto the mat!

“It’s been all Ryan Ansell here in the early going…and now he’s looking to share the wealth!”

Indeed, the British high-flying sensation has retreated into his corner and tagged in another British high-flying sensation, in the form of Ant Rushton, who comes in ready to pick up where his partner left off. He heads over to the Mask Force’s corner, which Marx has retreated to, and picks the masked superstar up before he can make the tag to either of his two teammates. As it turns out, however, that was not the “Marxman”’s intent, as Rushton finds himself at the receiving end of a clubbing blow to the head, courtesy of Marx’s cellphone!

“Chett Marx just hit Ryan Ansell with a fistful of cell phone!”

The device is well hidden, however – cupped in the masked wrestler’s hand – and Marx is able to dispose of it without Sullivan seeing, handing it to one of the two bodysuitted twins and advising him to “check the DM’s.” He then turns back towards the oncoming Rushton and connects with a dropkick, sending the Team United member stumbling back. Rushton recovers quickly, but so does Marx, and he is able to forward-roll out of the way of his opponent’s running dropkick attempt, causing Rushton to land painfully on his backside.

“Chett Marx now on top of this match, after that cellphone-assisted backfist from earlier…”

“I still can’t believe he snuck that one past Sullivan. Nothing gets past that guy, normally…”

As the announcers discuss his crafty tactics, Marx himself holds up a fist, yelling out “BANHAMMER!!” before dropping onto his prone opponent with a double ax handle. As the move connects, he takes advantage of yet another opportunity to mock his opponent, informing him he “just got permabanned”! He then hooks the leg, as Sullivan slides in for the count.


TW—no! Rushton grabs the ropes!

“Successful escape from Ant Rushton there, but the tides have definitely turned in the Mask Force’s favor here!”

Indeed, the rest of Team United are forced to look on, helpless, as Marx drags Rushton closer to the masked team’s corner and brings in one of the two bodysuitted wrestlers. Then, as his team-mate enters the ring, he promptly retrieves his live microphone, resuming his secondary role as unofficial match commentator.

“Thing One in the house, ladies and gent—oh, sorry, One! I meant, Thing TWO in the house, ladies and gentlemen!”

The member of the bodysuitted team currently not in the ring flips Marx a bird, before turning his attention back to his partner, who is currently slamming Rushton’s left leg against the mat.

“Sound strategy, taking the legs off a high-flyer…and something Marx didn’t think of doing.”

“Of course not. He suffers from TBS. TikTok Brain Syndrome!”

“…’TikTok Brain Syndrome’?”

“Yeah. Can’t think more than three minutes ahead.”

“And he does have a leg submission in his arsenal, as well…which I’m not sure either of The Salamanders does.”

“ARE they still called The Salamanders, now that they’re a part of this group?”

“I have to admit, I’m not entirely sure, Mark.”

“Well, whatever they’re called, they have Ant Rushton right where they want him!”

In fact, the three members of the masked team are currently holding the Team United high-flyer up against the corner post, the two bodysuitted wrestlers rapidly tagging each other in and out as Marx holds his shirt up suspiciously close to Rushton’s throat. This, however, does not get past Sullivan, who tells the two non-legal masked men to give their opponent some space, and the legal Salamander to get him out of the corner. Marx, predictably, tries to argue the case for his team, but Sullivan is not budging, and the legal man for Mask Force is, therefore, forced to pick his opponent up off the floor and bring him to his feet…

…only to get rocked by an uppercut from Rushton!


“Incidentally, that’s the name of his best selling double album…”

Quinn, however, misses Deltzer’s attempt at a joke, engrossed as he is on calling the action.

“Uppercut! Another uppercut! SPINNING HEEL KICK! Salamander Two is down, and Rushton with the cover!”

Sullivan slides in as the fan-favorite hooks the leg…



“Kickout by Salamander Two, but Team United have just managed to reverse the flow of this match once again!”

“They need to stay on them now. They need to think of what’s at stake here. They need to do it for Angel.”

“#DoItForAngel. Get that trending, Marx!”

As the announcers banter, in the ring, Rushton has thrown Salamander Two into his team’s corner, before rushing in with a running dropkick, pinning him to the post. He then tags in Ryan Ansell, who comes in only to connect with a hurricanrana and a quick dropsault, before bringing in the only fresh member of his team, Ade Flowers!

“Quick and seamless tag work from Team United, not letting Salamander Two get too far away from their corner…AND NOW LOOK AT FLOWERS!!”

The crowd explode as Flowers introduces himself to the rival group by way of a HUGE sormersault senton onto Salamander Two! He then follows this up with a standing moonsault, in a double salvo which only further hypes up the crowd.

“Great start from Flowers, and it appears the Mask Force’s luck has run out!”

Indeed, so it does, as Flowers now seeks to go up to the top rope and connect with a frogsplash…

…which Salamander Two rolls out of the way of!

“Seems as though you may have spoken too soon, Mark…”

The masked team cheer their associate on as Two attempts to make his way over to his corner before his opponent recovers his bearings. Flowers, however, sees him do it and performs a desperate lunge forward…

…but is only just too late, as Salamander Two tags in his habitual partner!

“Thing One up in this shizzle! Give it up, y’all!”

Predictably, Marx’s intervention only elicits boos from the crowd, as One steps through the ropes and makes a beeline for Ade Flowers.

“Salamander One coming in now, and both teams have now had full rotations, with the two freshest men currently in the ring. That removes that particular advantage for either side…but we’ll see what other ways each man has of besting their opponent.”

Like Flowers before him, Salamander One comes in strong, landing a springboard missile dropkick to the Team United member, which sends Flowers crashing down and gives Two time to retreat behind his team’s corner. He then runs at Flowers, but gets caught with a sudden uppercut, which rocks him. He responds in kind, and for a moment, the two men engage in an uppercut battle, with neither emerging victorious!

“Well…not the direction I foresaw this match going…but there you go.”

Predictably, the crowd begin to get into it, cheering for each of Flowers’ blows and booing each of Salamander One’s. Their displeasure only rises when One rakes Flowers’ eyes in order to gain an advantage and be able to connect with a jumping facebuster!

“Rake to the eyes by Salamander One…and did Sullivan see that?”

“Yes, he did. He is giving One a warning…AND NOW FLOWERS WITH THE ROLLUP!! Sullivan is right there to count it!”



—No! A kickout by One!

“This match continues, but One might think twice about breaking the rules next time!”

Indeed, the distraction has given Flowers an opening, and he promptly takes advantage of it by dumping One over the ropes to the outside, then connecting with a springboard frogsplash to the floor!

The crowd gasps as the move lands flush, but Flowers has felt the impact as well, prompting referee Sullivan to start his standard count!




Flowers rolls over onto one shoulder, while Salamander One remains motionless.


Flowers pushes himself up to a seated position.


He rolls over onto one knee, his opponent still only vaguely stirring.


He pulls himself upright…

…then promptly gets tripped by One, who had been playing possum!!

“Salamander One showing his wiles there, and the tides have shifted yet again!”

Indeed, it is now, once again, any man’s game, as the end of the count looms dangerously close.


Salamander One scrambles to his feet and lunges onto the apron.,,only to be pulled back by one leg by Ade Flowers!


Flowers gets elbowed in the face by One, who scrambles onto the apron and rolls under the ring just at the count of…


“Salamander One is in, and Ade Flowers is about to get counted ou—NO!! HE SOMEHOW BEATS THE COUNT!! THIS MATCH CONTINUES!!”

Indeed, much to the first Salamander’s frustration, his opponent manages to slide back onto the ring just before the count of ten, forcing a continuation to the match. Both men are, however, still clearly feeling the impact of Flowers’ dive and the subsequent scramble, and it takes a long moment before either of them moves again. When they do, they appear to move in a strange kind of unison, as they first roll over onto one shoulder, and then roll onto their bellies as they begin to crawl for their respective corners.

“Each man looking for a tag here…and Salamander One has a much longer way to go…”

“…tag made to Flyin’ Ryan Ansell!”

The crowd erupts once again as the British prodigy returns to the match, immediately dashing forward to try and prevent Salamander One from reaching his corner. One, however, reacts with a vicious mule kick, which sends Ansell sprawling back…

…right onto referee Sullivan, who is knocked out by the impact!

“Sullivan’s down, and the worst case scenario has just materialized for Team United!!”

Indeed, no sooner has the referee hit the floor than all three members of Mask Force attempt to come in. Ansell looks ready to fight all of them single-handedly, but there is no need, as Team United themselves also step into the ring, looking to intercept Marx and Salamander Two. This, however, is where the bodysuitted brothers reveal their secret weapon, spitting a black gas onto first Ryan Ansell’s face, then that of his two oncoming teammates!


“Only way they were going to win this match, really…”

As Allie expresses her scorn for Mask Force’s tactics, the three men go about disposing of two of their three opponents, who, blinded by the black gas, are predictably unable to do much more than stumble about in agony. Rushton and Flowers therefore soon find themselves on the floor, as the two Salamanders grab “Flyin’”Ryan and look to floor him with a double DDT! Marx, however, asks them to hold onto him for a moment longer, then gives the order for the duo to execute the move as he himself jumps into his trademark single-knee facebreaker. The Salamanders’ DDT therefore drives Ansell face-first into Marx’s move, Breaking not only Da Internet, but also the British hopeful. The crowd gasp as Ansell crumples into a heap, but Marx, cool as a cucumber, simply retrieves his microphone, the better to name the new move.

“Ya boy there just got hooked up with some D!L!C!”

More booing greets this statement, which Marx begins to react to, getting as far as “Y’all nothing but a bunch of shitpostin’ hatetrolls” before he sees Sullivan begin to budge and leaps back into action, motioning for one of the Salamanders to cover Ansell. As usual, he gets the two mixed up, calling out to Two while referring to him as One, but in this instance, his reply is quick and sharp.

“Man, you gonna be lyin’ down! Ain’t nobody gonna know! Just do some of that Twin Magic shizz!”

The Salamanders’ body language indicates they are probably rolling their eyes under their masks, but eventually shrug to one another, with the smaller of the two stepping forth to cover Ansell.

“Wait a minute!! That’s not the legal Salamander!! It was the big one in there before!!”

“Of course it isn’t! Didn’t you hear Marx? They’re using Twin Magic!”

“..,why? They have the match won!”

“Because they can, I imagine, Quinn… Because, like Marx said, no one is going to know.”

“Well, except for us, the crowd in attendance and all the viewers at home…”

“Yeah, well…Sullivan doesn’t. And that’s the important thing.”

Indeed, the referee is utterly clueless as he crawls over, under a shower of heated jeers not at all directed at him, and does the only thing he knows how…




…giving Mask Force the controversial win!

The volume of jeers threatens to drown out “Downtown” Brown…except it is not the GLOBAL ring announcer who does the honors. Rather, Chett Marx once again puts the spotlight on himself as he pre-empts the official announcement with one of his own.

“Lamers and genitals…the winners of this match…in a FLAWLESS VICTORY…the team of…Thing One, whose chill is gone! Thing Two, who’s gonna hurt you! And the one…the only…the guardian of lost souls…the powerful…the pleasurable…the indestructible #MarxMan! Together, they are….MMMMAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSKKKK FFFFOOOOOOORRRCCEEEE!!”

More booing rains down from the stands as the three masked wrestlers hold each other’s hands up in celebration, clearly feeling themselves…

…until they spot something, or someone, at the entranceway, and go through a rapid change in mood, shifting from smug joy to visible apprehension, which comes across even without the benefit of expressions to gauge. As the camera pans over, the reason for the abrupt change becomes clear, as four people glare at the masked trio from just outside the entrance curtain.

“MIRANDA WRIGHT IS HERE!! And so is the rest of her group!”

“She doesn’t look happy, though… Despite her team just winning…”

As Wright meets her three trainees halfway, the camera zooms in on her, capturing some of their conversation and revealing the reason for the drill sargeant’s displeasure.

“Who said you maggots could pick your own song?”

“I—we—c’mon, now, Ma’—AAAAGGGHH!

Marx’s attempt at reasoning is quashed when Miranda grabs him by the mask and begins to drag him backstage, towards almost certain punishment. While the two Salamanders are spared this treatment, however, they are not exempt from glowers from their team-mates, as they sheepishly fall in at the back of the line. Soon, the entire group has retreated behind the curtain, leaving announcers and fans alike to speculate on what just transpired.

“Well, for better or worse, Miranda Wright’s men did look like a cohesive unit here against a team much more experienced than them…but the captain of the squad still was not happy, so more work must be required.”

“Frankly, Lucas, I don’t give a toss. I’m just gutted for Team United. It can’t be easy to lose like that, after holding your own admirably all throughout the match…”

“I agree, Allie…but, as Team United’s fellow Brits say, ‘it is what it is’. And whether you like it or not, Miranda Wright’s Mask Force debuts with a win here, making it two for two for the group here tonight.”

“…at least they didn’t use any weapons, I guess…”

It is on this crestfallen comment from the female third of the GLOBAL announce team that the match feed ends, the transmission briefly zooming in on the still-unconscious Ansell being revived by his two teammates before fading to black and transitioning elsewhere.

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Backstage, we catch the Global champion, “The Legend” Sean Darring, as he enters The Globe. The Informer is standing by, ready to grab a word with him. The legend still has a jacket on, coming in from the low-50s Los Angeles weather. The Informer is excited about the opportunity and shouts, rushing towards Darring.

“Mr. Darring, it’s great to see you as always. I was wondering if we could get a second with you. I saw Steve Blaine was able to return earlier tonight. I know that is a great sign!”

Darring stops at the mention of his friend Steve Blaine. He turns towards the Informer, who almost bumps into him. He quietly says towards the camera.

“That is great to hear. However, tonight, anything I have to say won’t be back here in front of a camera. I am going to save that for Jerry David.”

The Informer tries to do his job and prod the champion and asks, “Speaking of Jerry David. Can you tell us what is going through your mind now that he is officially the number one contender for the Global Heavyweight Championship?”

The Legend pauses and bites his lip to stop the words from flooding out of his mouth. You can see the anger build in his face and, most importantly, his eyes. It takes a lot of self-control to keep his composure. However, the business-like response comes out again as he says, “Like I said, you will know what I think later.”

The Legend turns and walks away, leaving the Informer stunned and not sure what to do. He looks towards the camera and says, “Uhh. Well, I guess we will hear from our champion later tonight!”

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Valorie sighs quietly as she sits outside of the local gym in the Los Angeles area, fanning herself a bit with her hat. Sweat is pouring down the side of her face and has gotten her cropped work-out top soaked, giving away she was just working out and taking a moment to rest before resuming. 

“Come on, Valorie… you still got some more sets to do before you can move on.” she mumbles to herself, pushing herself off the bench.

“Yes, you do,” Darren Best, arms folded, with a blue training top on, soaked through in its own right, matching his blue tights.  He affords himself a smile. “Those sets won’t do themselves,” he adds, somewhat nervously and trying to break the ice, having stumbled upon his fellow GLOBAL roster member.

Valorie glances out of the corner of her eye, seeing Best standing, before she stands up from the bench.

“Listen, darlin’… I don’t need you to tell me what I already know. Don’t need YOU babying me too like the others did…” she hisses, turning from him and heading back inside of the gym to get started on her next set of crunches.

Darren is startled by that.

“Alfie might have been right about you.  Where does all of this hostility come from? …Oh,” he punches the air, indicating frustration.

“Reyn. Sorry, I forgot,” he states.

“All Reyn did was just show me and assist in unlocking my true potential, helped me see the light if you will.” she says, pausing to turn back to look at him before she smirks a bit, walking back.

“However… I still wish to push myself, put myself to the test against others. So after I beat Alfie at the next Pay Per View… I’d like to challenge YOU, Best.”

“Anytime, Valore.  I would love to.  As for the Reyn, that’s why you’ve completely changed your personality after being involved?  Been there, done that.  But, you’re kidding yourself if you think he has helped you,” Darren declares, shaking his head in disbelief.

“That’s what you think, darlin’. But ever since I’ve encountered him, all of the matches I’ve had, I’ve won. Save for the ladder match…” she says, growling that last part out in an attempt to mask her bitterness, “And I promise you this. I will beat him in that ring, unlike you, sugar~”

She turns away, smirking a bit more as she starts to leave. She knows she struck a chord within him, which is what she was hoping for; to get a good fighting spirit from him. 

“That’s what you think, darlin’, “Darren bites back, using Valorie’s own phrase against her.

This will be so much fun she thinks to herself as she makes her way to a laid-out mat and out of Darren’s sight.

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Tokyo, Japan

December 3, 2012


Teagan Trouble lands a series of soft punches on her best friend’s shoulder before wrapping her arm around it.

“Did you see that, Iz? Did. You. See. That?”

“Dude…” An equally flustered Izzy Roxx gives her partner an amused glance. “I was there. I helped you.”

Teagan considers this for a moment. “True….” Then, just as quickly, she fires back. “…but did you throw a guy onto his back? Nuh-uh! I don’t think so! You know who that was? It was me!” The redheaded half of the team known as Trouble Roxx thumps her chest in mock defiance, prompting her partner to respond, imitating the redhead’s gesture.

“Oh, yeah? Well, did you actually pin that guy? Nuh-uh! I don’t think so! You know who that was? It was me!”

So engrossed are the girls in quipping the excitement out of both their systems that they nearly bump into their Coach, standing just inside the entrance curtain. After a moment’s awkwardness, however, the girls opt to share their infectious excitement with their instructor, who they address with glinting eyes.

“Did you see that, Coach Monroe? Pretty rad, right?” Teagan pumps her fist at shoulder level, pulling a triumphant rockstar grimace, complete with the requisite high-pitched metal vocals pastiche. “Ya girls ROOOOCKED IIIIIT!!!”

The redhead brushes her fingers with her best friend’s in a unique handshake, but their teacher’s expression does not so much as fractionally change.

“Ever heard of smiling, Coach?” Teagan winks, then places her fingers to the corners of her lips, pulling them into an exaggerated rictus, complete with bug-eyed expression. “It goeth like thith. You should twy it shometime.”

The blonde, however, remains unamused; rather, her tone is utterly matter-of-fact as she finally deigns to talk.

“I’ll smile when you two do what you came to me to do, and start beating Champion-level teams.” The woman named Monroe jerks a thumb towards the arena behind the curtain. “Which those guys weren’t.”

“How do you know?” As ever, her Coach’s easy dismissal of her pupils’ accomplishments has Teagan Trouble bristling; Monroe, however, simply grins.

“Because, Strawberry Shortcake, they graduated from my Juniors class two years ago. And they weren’t even the most talented students there.”

This knowledge visibly affects the two girls, whose shoulders slowly sag, the glint of excitement disappearing from their eyes; their spirits pick up somewhat, however, with the next part of Monroe’s lecture.

“That was a start, though. And I did see some good fundamentals. Especially from you, Shortcake.” As quickly as she had deflated, Teagan promptly puffs up again, her trademark smile once again lighting up her features. “That was some suplex you landed on Shinji. Well done.” Monroe turns to her other student. “And as for you, Grasshopper…I liked that you stopped to think instead of just bouncing all over the place. I hope you managed to figure out how that helped you.”

“Yup!” It is Izzy Roxx’s turn to smile big, as her partner aims another playful thump at her shoulder.

“Who knew you had a brain, Collingwood?” Then, seeing her partner’s joy immediately morph into a glower, she takes a mock-intimidated step back, holding both hands up in surrender. “I meant ‘calling wood‘! As in, your braincells are CALLING the WOOD your hard head is made of!”

Izzy side-eyes her best friend, clearly struggling not to laugh, as the redhead holds out her phone to their Coach.

“Hey yo Coach, help us out here. We want to say a little something to some dudes back home, while we’ve got our mojo going.”

Surprisingly, Monroe acquiesces to this request, and it takes no more than another few moments before Teagan Trouble is opening hostilities towards the duo responsible for ending her and Izzy’s reign as GLOBAL Tag Team Champions.

“Hey, Dream…hey, Niko…guess where we are?”

The redhead pulls open the curtain to reveal the ringside area, where the next match on the card is already in progress.

“That’s right. We’re at a wrestling event. And lemme tell you, we’re not backstage right now because we’re All-Access VIPs or something. We’re not that famous – not yet, anyway. Nah, fam. Tonight, we were talent. We went out there, and we had a match…and we won. Because hey, you know what they say…talk is cheap. An action is worth a thousand words. And as far as that goes, I’d say tonight was worth…I dunno, like fifty thousand words?” Teagan glances at Izzy, who nods. “Yeah, that’s what I thought.” The redhead turns her gaze back towards the camera. “So guess what, Rutherfords…we just wrote a freaking midterm paper on how to win a wrestling match. How d’ya like them apples?”

Teagan lets a smile dance on her features for a moment, but quickly regains a serious countenance.

“Jokes aside, though…we weren’t just talking out of our butts when we said we were coming back bigger and better and stronger. ‘Cause you know what? Every single day we’ve been over here so far, we’ve learned something new. A skill we didn’t have before. Something that has helped us improve our game. Made us more well-rounded. More versatile. Better than we used to be.”

Beside the redhead, Izzy nods, before taking up the address herself.

“That’s right! That’s why, when we come back for our belts in a couple of weeks, you’re not going to be facing the same two doofuses you took them from. This isn’t Baby Roxx coming at you anymore. This is Trouble Roxx 2.0, the new and improved model, jam-packed with exciting new features! It can flip, it can flop, it can fly…but it can do so much more, as well! As for what that is, though…” The brunette grins and winks. “…you’re gonna have to find out yourselves…”

“You said it, Iz!” Teagan promptly takes over from her friend, displaying the same sort of keen tag-team timing which ensures the duo success inside the ring. “So Rutherfords…you better start getting ready…because our KILLER INSTINCT ROXX…” The redhead lands a hand on her partners’ shoulder, before pointing at herself. “…and in two weeks’ time…at The Last Laugh…you’re gonna be in STRONG STYLE TROUBLE.”

The two girls each hold up a hand towards the camera, concluding the video on a slightly mocking note.

Sayonara, baka!”

To their surprise, once their Coach turns off the video and hands Teagan back her phone, the ghost of a grin is dancing on her features – and in her eyes.

“Holy shit, y’all! I knew you two were streamers or whatever…but I didn’t know you had that in you…!”

“Coach, Coach, Coach…” Teagan Trouble tuts playfully. “Haven’t you learned anything from training us? Like ‘expect the unexpected‘? Or ‘looks can be deceiving‘? Or some other motivational poster phrase like that?”

This time, Jacqui Monroe does guffaw. “You’re right, kid. I should know that by now. You know who doesn’t, though?” The blonde points out towards a hypothetical point off to her side. “Those guys back in California. So you two make sure to drill that into their heads in two weeks.” She smirks. “Preferably literally.”

The two girls’ countenances once again light up, as Teagan offers quick reassurance.

“We’ll try our best, Coach. We’ll try our best.”

Monroe nods.

“Good. Now go get dressed. Alpha hates it when her dinner is late, and trust me…wrestling Champions or no wrestling Champions, you do not want to get on that dog’s bad side.”

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The feed comes back to ringside to find a certain Average Joe already in the ring, inaudibly mouthing off to the crowd and displaying his less-than-impressive guns, to a chorus of boos which nearly drowns out Lucas Quinn at the announce table.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is the last of three scheduled matches taking place here tonight between Miranda Wright’s band of misfits and Angel Ramirez’s support group. And while Wright’s men have managed to come out on top in the other two matches, Public will have to deal with the leader of the opposing group herself, one on one.”

“That’s right. And let me tell you something, Lucas. You know the expression ‘hell hath no fury like a woman scorned‘? Now imagine if that woman had seen her partner’s arm get broken, twice, and then been attacked herself, by the very same people, also twice? And imagine, on top of all that, she had that Latina fire, and was used to having to fight for anything she wanted? That is the powder keg coming Joe Public’s way right now.”

“You know, Al, I would feel for the dude, if he hadn’t been involved in all that stuff you just listed. As it is, I hope Angel whups his sorry ass.”

“Well, Mark, it is Joe Public…that shouldn’t prove too hard…”

Just as Mark and Allie are enjoying a rare shared laugh, “So Rough, So Tough in LA” begins to echo through the speakers, bringing the fans to their feet.

“And speaking of the leader of her group…!”

“Look at how determined Angel looks. Remember last week she was all about interacting with the fans at ringside? Well, as Eminem would put it, ‘the mood’s now changed‘. This isn’t about competition anymore. This is about revenge.”

“Revenge, among other things, for the attack on her partner, Saul Morgan, who has had his injured arm re-broken by Wright and her goons two weeks ago, and is currently healing up at a local medical facility, and therefore unable to offer Angel his support here tonight.”

As the announcers discuss Angel’s mindset and motivations, in the ring, Joe Public sports a huge, sardonic smile, as he twirls his finger in the universal motion that indicates someone should turn around. As the camera zooms in on Angel in the ramp, the young Latina can be heard saying she “ain’t fallin’ for that one, holmes”, which, in turn, causes Public to simply smirk and shrug as he turns his back on his opponent at the entranceway, much to the surprise of both announcers and fans.

“What is Public up to out there?”

A moment later, the answer becomes apparent, as six figures rush out from backstage!



The commentators’ warning comes much too late, however, as Angel is assaulted from behind by the newly arrived group, who absolutely demolish her with steel chairs, pipes, and other assorted weapons. Nuclear levels of booing instantly begin to emanate from the stands as the youngster hits the concrete and is immediately punished with stomps from seven pairs of feet – Joe Public having rushed over to join in on the beatdown.

“This is outrageous!! Somebody needs to do something about this!”

“I have a feeling this was never going to be a match… This entire thing must have been a ruse by Miranda Wright to bring Angel out here, so her group could jump her!”

“Six big men beating on a teenage girl…pretty sure that would get you arrested on any American street…”

As the announcers voice their disgust, however, help arrives, in the form of Team United and the LA Express!


“Beaten, but not broken, and ready to teach these goons a lesson!”

Unfortunately, in their haste to rush out and help their friend, Angel’s posse appears to have neglected to bring weapons, which makes them easy pickings for the assaulting group. As such, and despite benefitting from the element of surprise in the initial moments after coming out, the fan-favorites soon find themselves subdued, and in no better of a position than the girl they had been attempting to help. At the other end of the spectrum, the woman at the head of the offending group sports a smirk of utter triumph as she bends down and grabs said girl by the hair, bringing her roughly up to eye-level, the better to snarl something in her ear. Just as she does, however, Angel Ramirez springs back to life, somehow managing to turn her head just enough to spit into her captor’s face!!


“I guess she spits in the face of people who don’t want to be cool…”

Predictably, this draws the ire of the leader of the assault team, who – with her opponent having spent the last of her energy on that act of defiance – has no problem throwing her into the barricade, into which she repeatedly slams her head. A close-up shows Angel’s forehead has been busted open by the repeat blows, a moment before her assailant shoves her into the metal structure, causing it to slide back a few inches. Angel’s weight is not quite enough to bring it crashing down, however, and the Latina manages to hold on and regain her bearings for a few moments…before she feels herself getting roughly pulled back by the hair once again, this time into an atomic drop. Off-balance, the teenager is easy to shove down onto the floor, where the older woman proceeds to punish her with even more stomps. When her squad attempts to join in, however, she barks at them to stand back, indicating this is a personal matter between her and the youth currently bleeding on the floor at her feet.

“This is heinous! What could Angel possibly have done to this woman to justify this?”

“I don’t think this is necessarily about anything in particular, Lucas. I think Wright’s doing this because she can, using Angel as an example to prove some sort of twisted point. Which only makes it that much worse…”

The fans clearly agree with Allie, as levels of hatred normally reserved only for a certain nominally patriotic group begin to rain down on the muscular woman, who is pelted in the head with at least one soda cup, causing her to glower and scan the crowd for the assailant. This is the cue for an entire section of the arena to very visibly give the woman multiple fingers, but this barely fazes her – much to the contrary, actually, as she makes a point of explicitly landing a few extra shots on the fan-favorite, all the while looking directly at the group of fans in question.

“Miranda Wright has no regard for how the fans feel, or what they want. It’s as though knowing they hate her only makes her all the more sadistic…”

“In a way, that’s admirable, that single-mindedness. Too bad it’s not being put towards anything productive, and is instead being used to coordinate six-on-one sneak attacks on unarmed teenage girls…”

“That only sounds worse every time you hear it, Mark.”

“That’s because it only gets worse every time it happens, Al.”

For once, Allie has nothing but agreement towards her partner’s comments as, on the entranceway, the woman appears to have finally had enough of punishing GLOBAL’s youngest wrestler. As such, and after one last stomp for good measure, she motions for the men in her group to follow her, the entire unit promptly filing in behind her and following her backstage, leaving behind a tableau of destruction.

“Third attack in as many shows on the part of these men, who are somehow being allowed to run rampant around GLOBAL, laying out superstars just because they feel like it!”

“That’s right, Lucas – and so far, they appear to be getting away with it, both in the ring and out…”

“Not for long, though. Somebody has to do something about this at some point, surely!”

“I wouldn’t hold out much hope, Lucas. This IS the same company who not only allows John J. Truth to remain employed, but allows him to still have a belt, after he insults every possible minority group in the United States…”

“Good point, Al…unfortunately…”

It is with the announcers once again expressing their indignation – and a team of EMTs checking on the fallen fan-favorites – that the feed once again pans away from the ringside area and the fallout of yet another of the evening’s shocking occurrences.

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The Bro is standing backstage with the Prime Time Athletes. Off-camera shenanigans have already gone down. The microphone is in Jimmy Classic’s hand. Trae Larkin is standing, glaring down at the young backstage interviewer, who happens to be sitting in a wheelchair. Both Jimmy Classic and Trae Larkin are sporting a RICH FAMILY LEGACY t-shirt that you can buy at the Global merchant stand.

Jimmy Classic turns with a smile and says, “Rich Family, what a story we’re witnessing tonight! You know, Trae and I are always passionate about the inspiration we give people. Being a prime-time athlete isn’t easy. Having a body and skills like this can sometimes be too much weight and responsibility to carry. However, nights like tonight make it all worth it.”

Jimmy Classic touches his heart and continues. “When Alex Reyn decimated Freddie Rich. We all sat back and watched with concern. Would Freddie ever wrestle again? Heck, will he even walk again? Nobody knew. And for the last months, we went out there with the great responsibility of knowing that we were his favorite tag team. That we needed to bring honor back to Freddie and his grave circumstances.”

Jimmy Classic nods, wiping a fake tear from his eye.

“However, tonight, a miracle happened. Tonight, Freddie got up out of this wheelchair right here, and he walked! It was a touching moment we all were lucky to see, and it is our honor to have been the motivating factor for Freddie’s rejuvenated health!”

The Bro is having a hard time sitting in the wheelchair listening to Jimmy, but Trae Larkin points at him to stay as Jimmy continues.

“Freddie, I know it was hard watching your miserable family fail time after time after time. I know firsthand you wished that Trae and I were your family. So, just for YOU … We would be honored to finish what we started. Trae and I will finish exposing the rest of the Rich Family and give you back the honor that Alex Reyn stole for you. You have inspired us. If you can get up and walk again. Trae and I can step back inside that ring one more time and finish what we started.”

Jimmy laughs as he underhand tosses the microphone towards his partner Trae Larkin. Trae looks around and smiles, looking right into the camera as if he is talking directly to the Rich Family, and says, “We accept.”

And with those two simple words from Trae Larkin, they drop the microphone right in front of The Bro, who finally hops up out of the wheelchair. As they walk off laughing, we hear him say, “I hate those guys.”

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A navy blue blazer hangs from the clothes hook of a pine dressing room open locker. Beneath it, on the bench, a small gym bag rests, neatly packed and zipped closed.

The number one contender for the GLOBAL World Heavyweight Championship slowly paces the locker room, his eyes glassy and distant, his demeanour relaxed and focused.

Jerry David’s well-polished shoes clip and clop against the thin carpet underfoot and aside from that there is no sound. No producers voices echoing down the corridors, no arguments between competitors, no scraping of heavy duty castors beneath flight cases. Just silence.

Except for one sound. 

A gentle rusting. Was it overhead? Far away? Next to his ear?

He had heard the rustling before. For weeks it had been rustling. Just outside of focus, in a place he couldn’t quite place.

Nonetheless, a world title shot loomed, and all that he needed to do was sign a piece of paper in the ring tonight and the fate of “The Legend” Sean Darring, and the future of GLOBAL Wrestling would be sealed.

Was the rustling louder now?


Nevertheless.  Steve Blaine had made a perfect tool to get Jerry where he needed to be. He had used him as a stepping stone to the top of the show, and he didn’t at all mind sacrificing someone he saw as an ‘NPC’ in order to get what he wanted.

Not the World Championship. He couldn’t give two shits about a Championship belt.

No; fame.

It was louder. And it was coming from behin–

As Jerry turns to look for the sound, something he has done hundreds of times before without success, he comes face to face with a well-dressed man. He is wearing a black pinstripe suit and, bizarrely, an empty bag of Black Pepper Jack Doritos upturned on his head.

Doritos Man.

The air is sucked out of Jerry’s lungs, leaving him unable to speak, unable to move.

He knows this… man? But from where?

“Jerry David, you are to become the GLOBAL World Heavyweight Champion very soon. This is a fate demanded by the God’s, but only under one circumstance.  Jerry David, in order to have the strength to carry the championship around, you must join us.”

Jerry looks on, his skin greying.

“We led you to Steve Blaine. We drove you to assault him. We implanted the idea of paying off a tag team to do your dirty work. We gave Alf Alferson a World Championship match. And we did it all… for you.”

Jerry looks down at something in the hand of Doritos Man.

Doritos holds it up, and Jerry’s eyes follow, transfixed.

It is the teddy bear of Jerry David.

“Who are you?” Jerry manages.

“We are many. We are few. We are the powdered masses. We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget.”

Jerry tilts his head as a woman wearing a hooded cape akin to Red Riding Hood steps forward, placing her hand on Doritos Man’s shoulder. Her face has Doritos chips embedded into her face, one of her eyes is completely white, and her skin is tinged orange.

“The thing is, babe, we need to know… Will you join us, or not?”

“Indeed. And we need to know… now–”


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The setting is almost the same as two weeks ago – as are the participants. Once again, the seemingly ragtag grouping of Team United, the LA Express and Angel Ramirez stand in front of a nondescript wall somewhere backstage, their faces and bodies scarred and bruised, but their expressions alight with fiery intensity. As per usual, it is GLOBAL’s youngest athlete who not only takes the forefront, but does the talking, as she addresses an increasingly more evident target.

“How d’you like this bottom-feedin’ street rat now, ‘pinche puta‘?”

Angel takes another step forward, the fire in her eyes now almost burning a hole through the lens.

“Yeah. That’s what I figured. Maybe things didn’t all go our way tonight, but you an’ your ‘pendejos‘ sure as BLEEP ain’t gonna forget about us in a hurry.”

There are exchanged nods and a murmur of assent among the men in the group, as its sole female goes on.

“An’ you know what? Maybe we didn’t get the job done by ourselves. But I bet if we all get our teamwork on, ya boys ’bout to be sent runnin’ for the Hollywood Hills.”

More assent emanates from the men, even as they all continue to defer to Angel, whose feelings clearly need voicing – and the teenager is not about to waste the opportunity to do just that.

“In fact…me an’ the boys been thinkin’…an’ we think we come up with a Christmas gift you an’ your boys ain’t gonna forget by New Years Eve.”

The Latina leans in, the fire in her green eyes burning through the lens.

“Two weeks…Christmas PPV…me an’ my boys against you an’ your boys. You get pinned, you’re outta there. Last one standin’ takes it. An’ if we win, you ‘pendejos’ back the hell off me an’ Saul.” Here, Angel’s voice becomes a passable, if openly mocking, approximation of Corporal Miranda Wright’s. “Consider it a gift, in the spirit of the holidays. In fact…you can have this, as well.” The Latina then holds up a defiant middle finger to the camera. “Merry fuckin’ Christmas to you too, Karen.”

Angel makes as though to walk off, only to take a step back a moment later, and once again face the camera.

“Oh, and by the way? It’s not ‘little rat’. It’s Angel. Angel motherfuckin’ Ramirez. Remember that name, you’ll be screamin’ it soon.”

With that, the Latina finally does make her way out of frame, prompting all of her team-mates to follow suit; soon, all that is left of their presence in the makeshift interview area is a somewhat charged atmosphere, and a feeling that sparks might begin to fly at any moment…

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Rutherford and his clients are seen in the ring, both Daniel and Nikolai seem in a good mood and with their championships hanging over their shoulders. Rutherford raises the microphone. 

“Ladies and gentlemen. Last week, my clients successfully defended their tag team championships. Now I have been reading some of the backlash of that victory…but let me explain.“

Rutherford points to the megatron where the following clip is playing,. 

Nikolai grabs Paul and connects with a Niko’s Drop onto the floor. He takes a step back. Again wipes off some blood and stares at it for a while. As Daniel walks over to him he can see the evil smirk and the icy eyes. Daniel knows what that means, Demoter Kick, and attempts to stop Nikolai. Nikolai will not listen and tries to shake off Daniel. Paul can be seen very slowly getting back to his feet. Paul struggles to stand and as officials come rushing, Nikolai charges and connects with the Voices Punch,

“You see first hitting the head off the floor hard…then get hit with the Voices Punch, Angering my clients is extremely dangerous. Paul walked into last week’s match less that 100% and the result…..”

Rutherford again turns towards the megatron. 

Sanders is off to a good start, lighting Daniel’s chest up with chops, a couple before Dream returns fire with one of his own, Sanders feels that but fights through the pain, measuring Daniel with a third and whipping Dream to the diagonally opposite corner.  He telegraphs his attempted corner splash and accidentally smacks the ring post in the process, extracting a collective OOH from the crowd and commentary team in the process, and that’s just the start of it, for a split-second later Daniel Dream demonstrates his tremendous quality and shows why he stakes a claim for being the best all-round athlete on the roster, going from down and out to…


Daniel crawls over and does a forward roll to tag the intimidating, imposing, impressive, and imperious Nikolai Sinclair.  Sanders is up to his feet, and you know the phrase ‘timing is everything?’

Sinclair wastes no time…


Gabrielle Harris urges the EMTs to rush, even though they’re at ringside

“Paul Sanders learned two things in the past few weeks. One: Never provoke my clients and secondly never enter a match with my clients if you are less than 100%. In the clips I just showed you, the evidence is there. Yes, Kid got a massive beat down by Mr. Dream and that is something he is going to feel for a while. But potentially losing his tag team partner? That must hurt. My clients might not look to dangerous….until the bell rings.” 

Rutherford hands the microphone to Daniel.

“My tag team partner is a dangerous man,” Daniel asserts confidently. “And I’m one of the most skilled competitors in this sport. We’re like the Shaq and Kobe of wrestling. And we all know Kid Chameleon won’t survive on his own after I already destroyed him in a one-on-one match. Losing not only your biggest supporter in myself, but your tag team partner would be too much for you.”

Daniel hands the microphone to Nikolai. 

“Paul you made a mistake trying to step up to me. I have a collection of people I have destroyed and either retired or scared away, you dont believe me? Take a look.”

Nikolai points to the megatron and we see a long hallway. The walls are full of pictures. The pictures do not only have the name above but also the final move Nikolai used to put them out. As the camera person walks down towards the end, he walk past the picture of Alex Reyn being hit with the D. O. A. The camera stops at a spot where it is a name tag but no picture yet.  The name tag says PAUL SANDERS. 

“I have yet to figure out how to retire you Paul. But if you think…I was so close last show….but I know you will be back. You will get your picture on this wall….that is a promise.”

Nikolai hands the microphone to Rutherford and walks over and lean in the corner. Rutherford raises the microphone. 

“Now for tonight Mr. Dream will continue to represent the Rutherford Guys with yet another singles match. This time he is facing Son of Malta. I have no doubt this match will have extreme impact on the future of this company.”

Rutherford hands the microphone to Daniel. 

“Son of Malta is a rising star, and a warrior, I respect that,” Daniel acknowledges, his voice filled with admiration. “However, you’re going against an established star. Arguably THE future of the company once Sean Darring’s time is done. Neither of us are going to back down.”

Daniel tosses the microphone as Nikolai walks back to the middle of the ring. Both champions raise their championship awaiting Son of Malta’s entrance. 

LOGO b&w


“Well, before we get started, The Mark…I’d love to what you think of what you’ve just heard,” Quinn ponders.

“I like them even less than I did a few minutes ago, no matter how much I respect their skills in the ring.  Paul is okay.  He’s lucid.  I don’t want to say too much, because I know Paul is keen to address the GLOBAL Nation for himself in the neat future,” The Mark sheepishly answers.

“Fair enough,” Lucas respectfully replies.  Over to Marcus Anthony Newman.

“The following contest is scheduled for one fall!!”

“L -innu Malti” hits the airwaves as the Son of Malta walks stoically to the ring.

“Making his way to the ring, weighing in at 11 kilos! He is Son! Of! MALTA!!”

“A loud reaction for Son of Malta who looks more focused than I have EVER seen him!” Quinn calls.

“And considering how focused he NORMALLY looks, that’s saying something!” The Mark adds, as Malta walks past where Reyn is observing him, not even looking at the East Wind as he enters the ring.

“But it’s for a good reason.” Allie says. “Tonight it’s do or die against his toughest opponent yet! Can Malta overcome Daniel Dream and continue his road to redemption, or is he about to trip on this third hurdle??”

Cue Living Colour’s ‘Cult of Personality’

Led out by Richard Rutherford, Daniel Dream, the blue-eyed blonde-haired American Patriot, is joined by the slightly taller and broader brunette of Nikolai Sinclair, as fireworks go off like it’s the 4th of July! They raise their belts high in the air.

“Joined by Richard Rutherford and GLOBAL Tag Team champion and one-half of The Rutherford Guys, Nikolai Sinclair, he is one-half of the  the GLOBAL Tag Team Champions!! DAAANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNIEEEEEEEELLLLLLLL DRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEAAAAM!”

“We talk about a road to redemption for the Son of Malta, but look at it now from Daniel Dream’s perspective.” Quinn says “When this company started, he was given an opponent to be a stepping stone, a token win. Now he arguably finds himSELF in that position. A lot of fans may be looking at him now as the obstacle, the opponent. We KNOW that loss to Darring still eats at him. Tonight is his chance to shut those doubters up, to show everyone tonight that he’s not just the opponent, he is THE MAN!”

As the Rutherford guys approach the ring, however, something strange happens. Nikolai Sinclair and Alex Reyn look eyes… and  Sinclair stops in his walk, suddenly tense.

He’s glaring at Reyn now, hands balling into fists. Alex Reyn too has an almost white-knuckle grip on the barricade now. As if he’s trying to stop himself from leaping at Sinclair. There’s a low growl coming off the East Wind as his hackles raise before a tug on Sinclair’s arm from Rutherford pulls the big man away.

“What on earth was THAT all about?” Lucas Quinn wonders. “That was like a territorial standoff between two Dobermen!”

“There’s history between those two, Quinn, believe me.” The Mark says.

Daniel scales the steps and wipes his feet, unhooking the title and handing it to Richard Rutherford, who also has Sinclair’s for safekeeping, not that Niko would ever dream of physically getting involved, which explains why he’s ‘NOT’ eyeballing Paul Sanders and spoiling for a fight right about now.


The bell has barely rung when the two COLLIDE in the centre of the ring with a charging knee! There’s a second as they rebound off each other before charging again, lighting up the ring with a storm of forearms! Rocking each other with heavy blows! Dream ducks a shot! He’s behind Malta! AMERICAN REVOLUTION (Ripcord Elbow)!!

“They are not hanging around, are they?” The Marks asks aloud.

“No, they most definitely aren’t,” Quinn can only offer in the meantime.

Malta ducks the elbow and throws Dream overhead with a Belly to Belly!

“What a sensational start and amazing impact by Son of Malta’s big-time belly-to-belly suplex,” Quinn states breathlessly, so imagine how the two combatants must be feeling, especially Daniel Dream, following the frantic start.

Malta hits the ropes! Coming in with a running kne- Spinebuster by Daniel Dream! 

“What a counter, what a comeback, what a competitor,” Quinn raves.

“He’s back,” Allie inserts with more than a hint of irony.

“As I have said, say what you want about Daniel Dream, but he is an incredible athlete and competitor,” Quinn responds to the criticism.

Dream is in a mount now. Hammering down on Malta, but that’s right where the Fighting Zone veteran wants him, locking in a guillotine on the carnivore! But Dream doesn’t waste a second, rolling to his feet even in the guillotine and DEADLIFTING MALTA INTO A VERTICAL SUPLEX!! 

“Remarkable strength, desire, determination…” Quinn cuts himself off.

No! A downward knee from Malta hits Dream in the crown, causing him to stumble and drop Malta. 

“A potentially dangerous predicament for both men there.  That was a risk by Son of Malta, which paid off,” Lucas tells the GLOBAL Nation.

Discus Clothesline from The Son of Malta! Dream parries it with a kick to his arm! Poison Rana from Dan- no! Malta throws him forward! Catching him with a German Suple-

No! Dream breaks free with a back elbow to the fighter’s nose! He slips behind! AMERICAN REVOLUT- MALTA CATCHES THE ELBOW!! HE’S LOOKING FOR THE MALTESE CROSS (Straightjacket Crossface)!!

“Impressive, unbelievable action, and surely, SURELY, they cannot keep this up,” Lucas wonders, amazed at what he is witnessing.

“If he gets this Lucas, it won’t go long at all, Daniel Dream or not,” The Mark insinuates.

Dream is being twisted around into the straightjacket Crossface, but he’s still on his feet and uses that to walk up the ropes, flipping back into a pinning position on Malta!

“That’s the pin Darring used on Dream!” Quinn calls.



They’re both up! Straight into a lock-up, violently shoving each other all around the ring! Dream is shoved against the ropes! Malta is pushed into the corner! Dream shoves Malta into the opposite corner! Malta rams Dream against the ropes! Dream drives him back to the opposite side!

“Quinn, I’m with you.  This is hard to keep up with, which is why I’ve been quiet so far, I’m a fan at heart, and what we’re watching, even by GLOBAL standards if I can say that, is just awesome, especially up close and personal, which it seems to be,” Reece muses.

Changing tact, Dream pulls instead of pushing, throwing Malta to the mat, only for Malta to maintain hold of Dream’s wrists! Looking to twist the tag champion into the Maltese Cross! Dream is desperately fighting back with kicks to Malta’s face, but Malta is relentless as an avalanche! He twists Dream up into the straightjacket-

“Malta’s strategy is pretty clear, ladies and gentlemen,” The Mark jokes.

Snapmare counter from Dream! But Malta is STILL holding on!

Until Daniel breaks his grip with a Double-Footstomp!

On the mat, Dream is taking a minute to catch his breath from the high-octane pace of the match, while Malta is recovering from the hard stomp to his face. As the two rise to their feet, it is Malta who makes the first move with a BRUTAL forearm that echoes throughout the arena and sends Daniel stumbling back a few steps!

“You could hear, ALMOST feel that, and it makes me glad that I retired,” Lucas half-kids.

Only for Dream to retort with a Superkick!

No! Malta caught the leg! Ankle- Enzuigiri from Dream!

“Counter, counter, counter…wow,” Allie feigns being exhausted to get her point across.

“I don’t know how they’re doing what they’re doing,” Quinn shakes his head at his broadcast colleague before letting out a trademark smile and returning his gaze back to the battleground, eager not to miss a beat of a bout offering so much, so early.
The blow strikes the back of Malta’s head, and he falls against the ropes. Dream meanwhile is seen rubbing his chin where the brutal forearm struck him. But that won’t stop him. He grabs Malta, lifting him up for Carnivore’s Last Hunt (Elevated Powerbomb)!

Malta fights back! Punching Dream over and over! Loosening his grip!

“Malta understands the position he’s in and doesn’t want to give Dream any encouragement whatsoever,” Quinn comments.

Hanging Triangle Choke from The Son of Malta! Dream drops! Falling to the mat! His hand is reaching for the ropes, but they’re nowhere near! The Choke is locked in tight, all of Malta’s weight squeezing his neck like a vice!

“A fantastic counter there by Son,” The Mark adds.

..So Dream starts DEADLIFTING that weight! Lifting Malta off the mat! Carrying all his weight! He stumbles, but he’s able to walk even while holding 240lbs off the mat!


“And another sensational comeback by Daniel Dream,” Lucas retorts.

THAT causes separation, but Dream drops to his knees, blatantly gasping for air and massaging his neck. Sweat is pouring down his face, but he composes himself, grabbing the legs of Malta who is halfway between the top and middle rope and uses the middle rope like a fulcrum to catapult Malta throat first into the underside of the top rope!

“That SHOULD take some wind out of Son’s sails, though with the way this has been going, I wouldn’t bet on it,” Quinn (sort of) predicts.

He hits the rope now! Springboarding onto the top rope above Malta before…


“Just when you think you’ve got this man, these men, pegged and worked out, they do something to alter the complexion of the contest, and that was CRAZY, as is the reaction, as is the match,” Lucas lauds.

The crowd is on their feet at THAT! Malta has collapsed onto the ringside floor, but Dream comes up with a VISIBLE limp. The replay shows him tweaking his knee on the landing. He slowly limps over to Malta. Trying to deadlift him back into the ring, but his leg is NOT willing to carry that weight right now, and that hesitation lets Malta recover and surge to life! Sweeping his legs out and making him fall back into the ring steps!


Malta is slowly rising now. Pulling himself up with the ropes and the apron. He’s sweating heavily and has to take a few seconds to compose himself before he slowly approaches Dream. Beating him down with forearms until Dream suddenly surges to life, grabs Malta’s head and bashes it off the ringpost!

“What more can they do to each other?” Reece ponders.

“Oh, plenty more,” The Mark replies.


Reyn’s eyes narrow. He’s stepped over the barricade. Moving closer to the action. The referee hasn’t seen him. Neither have the others.

“Wait, it’s Alex Reyn.  Where on earth did he come from?” Reece points out.

That stuns Malta and Dream grabs him in a bearhug! Surging forward to ram him back-first into the other ringpost! But before he can follow up, however, Dream has already dropped to one knee, his tweaked leg shooting visible pain up his body. That gives Malta the opportunity to counterattack with a high knee to the bridge of his nose! The blow sends him reeling backwards, allowing Malta to counter with a Discus Cactus Clothesline that throws them both over the barricade and into the crowd!!

“This action is spilling over everywhere, and I’m sure the fans love it,” Quinn reckons.

“I wouldn’t,” Allie admits. 

“Why not?” The Mark prompts her.

“It’s a great match and all, but I’d be worried about my own safety,” Reece explains.

…Just as the referee reaches his count.


Then, he sees Reyn. He sees Reyn slowly turning his head and locking a warning gaze on the man about to end Malta’s trial on a count-out.

…The referee falls quiet. Perhaps, in some circumstances, it’s safer to be lenient.

“Always the problem with Alex Reyn.  He doesn’t respect, and in fact, intimidates authority,” Deltzer informs us.

Back in the crowd, Malta rocks Dream with a forearm as they’re rising to their feet, only for Dream to answer with his own! Forearm! Forearm! Back and forth, the tempo rising along with the wrestlers and the roar of the crowd until the two are practically having a hockey fight in the middle of our fans!

“This is exactly what I was talking about,” Reece says knowingly.

Dream catches a blow from Malta! Then another! Pushing him backwards as this brawl has transformed into a test of strength! Malta is tougher than almost anyone, but Dream has the edge in raw strength and starts pushing Malta down in the knuckle lock!

“You don’t see that every day, but it’s a testament to Dream’s all-roundedness, can I say that?” Lucas checks himself.

“You can, but we wish you wouldn’t,” Reece remarks.

Malta kicks out Dream’s knee! He uses Dream’s momentum to whip him into a row of chairs! But Dream LETS his knee give out, dropping into a baseball slide to avoid impact!  Malta is on the attack with another running knee-


“What do you say to that?  I give up,” Lucas confesses.

Malta is lying in a pile of bodies and chairs, even as Dream nurses his leg after that throw. He controls his limp enough to approach Malta and pull him up by his singlet, rocking him with a hard forearm before grabbing him by the back of the neck and throwing him into ANOTHER row of chairs, sending them sprawling! 

“You’d think these two proud patriots were going to war on behalf of their respective countries the way they’re putting it on the line,” Lucas declares.

Rutherford is seen calling at Dream. Beckoning him to get Malta back in the ring. They still need to pin him between the ropes after all.

Dream whips Malta towards the barri-Malta reverses! He tries to send DREAM into the barricade, but Dream plants his feet! A tug of war ensues between the two! Who will give?!

Malta fires a kick at Dream’s knee! Dream dodges! He slips behind the Son of Malta!



“That. Is. Scary,” Reece pauses for effect.

“It sure is, Allie,” Quinn affirms.

The impact is like a GUNSHOT! The two can practically FEEL the shockwave coming off the point where the elbow collided with Malta’s palms! With all his strength, Malta shoves the arm aside, opening Dream up to a vicious headbutt! He tries for another, but Dream does the same! Their heads colliding together!!

“That is nasty,” The Mark says.

Neither man flinches. Neither man goes down. Even as blood flows down their faces from the point of contact, they glare daggers at each other. Pressing their bleeding foreheads against each other like angry bulls locking horns!

“The pride, the will to win and the willingness to do whatever it takes, honestly, it’s off the charts, here at Domination Nineteen.”

Quinn is open-mouthed as he looks at his monitor, and glances over at Deltzer and Reece, and throws his hands up in the air, dumbfounded.

Lock up again! Shoving each other around the crowded area! Bouncing off of crates, chairs, walls and fans until one powerful shove sends them both off the barricade and back to the ringside area!

“We may get a winner, after all,” The Mark, half-serious and half-sarcastic, observes.

The impact separates them, and they breathe hard, glaring at each other from the mat as they push themselves up. They look towards the ring… and see Alex Reyn and Sinclair looking down at them from the apron, and holding the ropes open for them to return to the ring. A rare sign of respect from both men for this fight.

“We may get two-for-one here,” The Mark rubs his hands, gleefully.

Dream and Malta nod at each other.

Then to the roaring fans’ approval, they ignore the offered entrance and make their OWN way into the ring!

Now they circle. Circle like tigers as the fans chant their names.


“Fight Forever!” *Clap-Clap-ClapClapClap!* “Fight Forever!” *Clap-Clap-ClapClapClap!* “Fight Forever!” *Clap-Clap-ClapClapClap!*

They’ve locked up again! Wrestling violently for control! Dream tries to headbutt Malta, only for Malta to toss him overhead with a Belly to Belly suplex! 

With Dream struggling to his feet, Malta tries to catch him in the Calf-Slicer, but Dream blocks it with a sprawl, switching behind Malta, looking for a deadlift German, but that weight is a bit much for his knee and that lets Malta fight back with an elbow, only for Dream to duck the blow and shove Malta face-first into the corner! And as Malta rebounds from the impact…

German Suplex!

Now he’s got a chance! Double Arm DDT Lock!

Rutherford’s eyes go wide! Dream normally didn’t use that move outside of a PPV!

NIGHT KILLER!! (Double Arm DDT!)





Reece rubs her eyes.

“What?  WHAT?!”

He’s up at Malta with the fury of a man who REFUSES to be another man’s stepping stone, but Malta meets him with a man who will NOT fall so close to his goal!


Now they aren’t moving. That heavy blow has rocked both of them. Despite their will, they are both still flesh and blood. They can delay the fall, and push past the pain… but the damage catches up eventually. And now they lie on the mats, breathing heavily as the referee counts.

“A moment of respite, well-earned, much-needed and a reminder, ladies and gentlemen, they are human, after all…” Quinn narrates.

“Don’t blame it on me,” The Mark replies.

The camera pans to Reyn. Arms folded and tapping his biceps with a pensive stare.

But of course… it’s not going to end like that. Both of them have too much to prove here. Too much to lose. Not a title, not just money. But PRIDE.

As they push themselves up, Malta lights up Dream’s chest with a knife-edge chop, but Dream responds in kind. Neither of them willing to back down or give an inch. Willing to go THROUGH their opponent if it means victory!

Malta breaks the stalemate with a double-leg takedown! He tries to get Dream turned over into the Maltese Clover (Texas Cloverleaf), but the tenacious Dream counters with a small package pin!

“Dream looking to steal it here,” Quinn calls.


Both are up! Malta with the initiative, driving Dream back first into the corner and repeatedly driving his shoulder into the carnivore’s gut! On the third one, however, Dream leaps onto the middle turnbuckle and catches Malta in a sunset flip!

“Dream goes back to the well,” Deltzer blurts out.


“A one-count?  After everything they’ve been through?” Allie, in utter disbelief, asks herself and her colleagues.

He hits the ropes, coming in for a Penalty kick to a seated Dream, only for Dream to catch his leg! Countering with the Patriot Lock (Ankle Lock)!

Victory Roll counter by the Son of Mal-


“That’s an OLD counter to the Patriot Lock, and Dream has been on the receiving end too many times not to develop a counter-counter,” Quinn says.

“Yeah, but what pressure did that put on his knee?” The Mark wonders.

Whatever pain his knee is under, Daniel is pushing through it at the moment. Seizing his opportunity for glory and victory!


“It was almost over there and then,” Lucas believes.

Malta ducks! Grabbing the wrist, looking for Maltese Cross! But Dream moves in towards Malta, countering by lifting him up onto his shoulders!


“WHAT a counter,” Lucas holds his head in shock, hunched over and intently looking at the monitor, curious to see whether Dream is going to quit, or ride it out, which Quinn suspects and expects from “The American Patriot.”

Dream is crying out in agony! He tries to crawl to the ropes! Tries to drag his body, but it’s too far! Malta is putting enormous torque on his injured leg!

“I don’t know how much more Dream can stand.”

“He isn’t standing at all, Mark, that’s part of the problem, isn’t it?” Reece mocks Mark.

Dream lifts his arm! Will this be it…? Will he tap?!


“Just when you think Daniel Dream is down and out, he comes back with something, anything, to shut death’s door and move into the light.”

“I didn’t know you were religious, Lucas,” Reece retorts.

Dream collapses on the mat next to Malta. Holding his leg to his chest, even as Malta lies stunned on the mat. That was TOO close. He crawls over his opponent, Grabbing the wrist, looking for the American Dream (Cobra Clutch) on the mat!

He’s got it locked in!

“Dream now looking to win it with a submission of his own.  How will Son of Malta cope with being on the receiving end?” The Mark contemplates.

But even as he pulls Malta’s arm against his face, The Son of Malta is rising to his feet while in the hold! Dream’s eyes are widening in horror as Malta stands up with fire in his eyes!

“Just fine by the looks of it,” Deltzer answers his own question.

“I know how Daniel Dream feels,” Quinn confirms.

“Son of Malta is SCARY,” Reece declares, speaking for virtually everyone in The Globe and at home.

Back kick to Dream’s knee! Dream releases the hold, hands going to his knee! Malta follows up! Discus Clothes-

Daniel Dream punches Malta square in the jaw!

No time to waste! He HAS to follow up!


“He got it at the second time of asking, and could that BE IT?”

Let’s find out, Lucas.



“That was SO close!” The Mark calls!

“Dream’s leg made the difference there.” Quinn explains. “He didn’t so much powerbomb Malta as drop him from a great height. That lessened the impact JUST enough.”

It’s little comfort to Dream, however, who has his head in his hands and is SCREAMING in frustration!

He was so close! So close! He has to stay on him! He can’t afford to use to many power moves, so he grabs Malta’s arm, looking for the American Dream, but Malta starts fighting back! Pushing his arm away from his face! Blocking the lock! Could he turn it around? Can he reverse the Cobra Clutch into the Maltese Cross?

“Malta’s fighting back with everything he has!” Quinn calls.

No! Dream overpowers him! American Dream locked in!

Malta’s face is turning various shades of red and purple! The fans see him thrashing in the hold, but Daniel Dream has him trapped on the mat, bodyscissors keeping him from standing up against the submission! His only hope is the ring ropes! He reaches out with his foot, inches away! Centimetres! Millimetres! Almost…!

Nikolai Sinclair pushes Malta’s foot off the rope before the ref can see it!

“Oh come on!” Allie protests!

The crowd is booing loudly as Sinclair steps back smugly-


A RARE cheer for Reyn as Sinclair looks stunned! Not for long though! He charges a the East Wind who ducks a clothesline, before springing onto the apron and flying off with a diving rana that rows them both over the barricade and into  the crowd!

“Alex Reyn and Nikolai Sinclair are going at it in front of the fans!” The Mark calls.

“But Malta is still struggling in the American Dream!” Quinn says. Directing the attention back to the Main Event.

Back in the ring, Malta is once again trying to get his leg under the ropes, the last time was too close for comfort, so Dream rolls them back into the centre of the ring, but that movement loosens the grip just enough for Maltato slip his head free, reverse wrist control and counter the American Dream into the Maltese Cross!

“Maltese Cross! What a counter!” Quinn calls!

However, it’s now Dream who is closer to the ropes, and he is able to get his foot under, leading to a ropebreak.

“Lucky.” Allie says.

Malta breaks the hold. Waiting for Dream to get up…

Superstar Kick!


Dream saw that one coming! He slips behind! Dream Crusher (Full Nelson Facecrusher)!

No! Malta breaks free! Discus Clothesli-!

DREAM CATCHER (Jumping Flatliner)!!

But both are down on the mat. The footage shows that it wasn’t a full counter. Dream was STILL hit by the clothesline, and simply had the presence of mind to catch him in the Dream Catcher as he was going down.

“Like him or not, Daniel Dream is a fighter. You cannot deny that.”Lucas Quinn says.

A frustrated fighter as it were, as he drags Malta out the ring and rams him into the ringside barricade! Over and over he punches his dazed opponent, grabbing him by the chin and screaming obscenities at him!  He grabs Malta’s wrist, whipping him into the ring steps! Sending them clattering out of place!

“Guys… they’re getting awfully close.” Mark realises.

“Of course they are.” Allie says exasperatedly, already clearing her monitor off the table and handing Quinn his water bottle before stepping clear. Dream meanwhile breaks the referee’s count out before going to clear off the announcer’s table, only to see it’s been half cleared off already. Shrugging, he moves to wipe away the rest.

…As the Son of Malta slowly rises up behind him.

Dream hasn’t seen it. He backs up, satisfied that the table is prepared… and backs into Malta.


Slowly, he turns to see his livid opponent.


“Malta just slapped the taste out of Daniel’s mouth! Lucas Quinn calls!


Suplex through the table!

No! Dream blocks! He tries to ram Malta into the table, but Malta gets his hands up to block impact! Dream tries for the Dream Crusher, but Malta elbows him off! Grabs him by the waist and GERMAN SUPLEXES DANIEL DREAM THROUGH THE TABLE!!


“That could be the turning point of this match!” Quinn cheers!

“But now Malta has to get Dream in the ring!” The Mark says!

Despite his toughness, the pace of the match HAS been getting to Malta. That isn’t as easy as it seems. Especially with an opponent who is deadweight at the moment.


He picks Dream up. Slinging his arm over his shoulder, dragging him to the ring.


“Reyn isn’t here anymore. This match really could end by count out!” Allie says!


Dream is placed on the apron, pushed into the ring.



“YOU ABSOLUTE SNAKE!!” Quinn yells as the fans boo loudly, but the ref’s view had been blocked by Daniel Dream’s body, and with Daniel Dream rolled into the ring, he’s now safe from the count out!


“No! NO! NO!” Allie screams in helpless rage!


It’s over.

Malta’s quest stopped at the last second by a count-out.


“What resilience! What heart from the Son of Malta! Through trial and tribulation, he won’t let ANYTHING stop him from his goal!”

“But he barely had time to recover from that blow, Quinn.” Mark says. “Only a minute ago, I  thought Dream going through the table gave Malta the clear advantage, but that one blow from Rutherford just evened things up if it didn’t completely reverse the advantage.”

Dream is crawling, dragging his body over to Malta’s! He practically collapses on him for the cover.


You can see Dream’s face scrunched up in frustration. Hands squeezed into fists until the knuckles turn white. He grabs dream in the full nelson, pulling him back into a Camel Clutch!


Dreams knee gives out!

“That’s the trouble with a Camel Clutch.” Quinn says over Dream’s angry yell. Crouching like that puts all your weight on your knees. Dream couldn’t keep that hold long.”

In the ring, Dream is reeling, on the point of despair. What can he do? What can he do? What can he DO?? Malta has countered or escaped almost everything he’s tried! This is Darring all over agai… no. No, he can’t lose his cool. He has to stay focused, Malta is hurt. Rutherford saw to that. He just has to finish him off.

He stands over the prone Son of Malta, beckoning for the other man to stand. Calling for one last shot!



The commentary jumps out of their seat as Dream’s head is SPIKED into the mat! A Saito as brutal as the one that  Angel suffered, and at this point in the match! Now it’s Malta’s turn to exhaustively crawl to his opponent.


The fans scream out in shock. And now it’s MALTA’S turn to show shock, frustration and even despair as he takes a long sigh. Looking to the sky as if praying for strength. For an answer.

He grabs Malta’s wrist, trying to get him into the Maltese Cro-

NEVER AWAKE!! (Spinning Lifting DDT)

That could be it!


“What does it take to beat the Son of Malta?! What does it take to beat Daniel Dream!? Only one question can be answered tonight!” Quinn calls as the two wrestlers collapse against each other, utterly spent. Completely exhausted. But still they’re fighting. Even as they having to use each other as support, they fight with all the strength in their exhausted limbs.

“No titles. No tournament. This is something deeper on the line.” Allie says as the two warriors fight with everything they have left. “This is about Pride. That will and drive to lock your opponent dead in the eyes and say “You WILL NOT look past me!””

Malta seems to have gained some control. Side Headlo-


That woke Dream up! He SHOVES Malta away a shard as he can before the hold can be applied! That gives Dream an opening!


Malta is still holding Dream’s wrists as they rise to their feet, looking for the Maltese Cro-

Dream pulls an arm free! American Drea- Malta rolls him up like Darring did!



“My heart was in my MOUTH!!” The Mark yells!

Daniel is trying to get the American Dream locked in, but like earlier, Malta is rising to his feet in the hold, so Daniel  goes to ram Malta head first into the corner!

No! Malta gets his foot up to block the collision! He elbows Dream in the jaw and grabs him! Looking to German Suplex Daniel Dream into the corner!

Dream with a victory roll!

He’s not looking for a pin though! He’s got Malta’s leg! Looking to turn him over into an ankle lock! But even that is just diversion and setup as he dives at Malta’s arm to lock in the American-

No! Malta slips out!


The blow hits both men on the chin at the same time, they fall forward, collapsing into each other, actually keeping each other from falling to the mat as they, paradoxically, are exhaustedly leaning on each other for support. Glaring daggers at each other, trying to FORCE their bodies on!

“This is a battle of wills.” Allie calls. “Who wants it more?!”

Malta is looking for a belly to belly suplex, but his fatigue lets Dream fight back with a headbutt, their bloody faces smacking together! He drops low! Lifting the stunned Malta onto his shoulder for LE FUQUE YU (Attitude Adjustment)!!


The Exhaustion, the state or his leg, he can’t keep Malta up there! The Son of Malta slips off Daniel Dream’s shoulder behind the Carnivore, rolling Dream up with a Schoolboy! Prelude to grabbing the legs, and in one final, adrenaline fueled motion…


“What a counter!” Quinn echoes!

Malta is leaning back in the hold! Giving everything he has to make Dream TAP!! Dream’s face is screaming in agony! His hands are balled into fists to stop tapping!

“The ropes are too far away! His leg has been through hell! Can Dream find a way out?!” The Mark asks.

Dream is now biting down on his hand! Tears of pain in his eyes. Trying not to tap… Don’t tap…

“But what about his future? You can see the conflict in his eyes. He’s got a title match in two weeks! This hold is twisting his ligaments in ways it was never meant to bend! Is this one match worth it!??!”

Outside of the ring, Rutherford is watching with concern as his client struggles in the hold. Dream, barely conscious from the agony, locks eyes with Rutherford.

…Who gives a sad nod.



The crowd erupts in cheers! An exhausted Malta collapses to the mat as Dream rolls out the ring and falls to the floor.

“What a battle! What a war! Between these two!” Quinn cheers!

“Both gave almost everything they had in this fight!” Allie says “But in the end, it all came down to who wants it more. Dream had his title match to think about, and ultimately, he choose his future over his pride. But for Malta, his pride IS his future. This match is his redemption! Another step on the road to prove that he’s not just some has-been! That he still has it! And at the end of the road, is the East Wind, Alex Reyn! We know Reyn can be beaten! We know the East Wind is mortal, can Malta overcome this last challenge? Can he withstand the wind and PROVE he is one of the best fighters in GLOBAL Wrestling?? Find out in two weeks, at Last Laugh!”

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Standing in the ring, which is now covered with a red carpet, one man on each side of a table covered in a black cloth, are Jerry David, number one contender for the GLOBAL World Heavyweight Championship, and the defending champion, “The Legend” Sean Darring.

Standing behind Sean Darring is Steve Blaine – both men are battered and bruised, showing their scars of each of their run-ins with the master manipulator, Jerry David.

Along each ring rope, standing shoulder to shoulder with one another, stand rows of security guards, all dressed in black t-shirts with SECURITY emblazoned across the back, black work pants, and black trainers.

“Downtown” Jason Brown stands between the two men, sweating and holding a microphone.

“Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining us this evening for this contract signing. Each man has agreed to the steel cage stipulation. Now, all that remains is to sign the contract.”

Brown hands the microphone over to Sean Darring and scarpers from the ring as quickly as his legs can take him.

The crowd gives a low cheer for the champion as he takes the microphone. He is dressed in a neat navy blue suit, the GLOBAL World Heavyweight Championship draped over his shoulder.

“Jerry …”

The anger shoots from the eyes of the legend as he glares right across the ring at the one-time respected colleague of the champion.

“You’ve been tormenting me, my friends, my business partners, for weeks now.  So, signing this contract means more than usual.   It’s not just conducting business.  It’s not the next man in line.   No, signing the contract this time is my pleasure.”

Darring leans into the table, picks up a pen, and signs the contract, tossing the pen back down.

“And I promise you, everyone, you’ve wronged these last few weeks, whether it be me or my good friend Steve,” he says, gesturing towards Steve Bline, “or even Alf Alferson …”

The crowd roars with approval at the name-drop of GLOBAL’s undefeated hero.

“I promise you two things… Number one, I will leave The Last Laugh still GLOBAL World Heavyweight Champion, and two, it will hurt you a lot more than it will hurt me.”

Darring tosses the microphone onto the table.

Jerry slowly steps forward, scooping up the microphone. 

“Steve,” Jerry says, tilting his head to address Steve Blaine over the shoulder of the champion, “Steve, I’m so so–”

Jerry’s eyes are red as he stumbles over his words. He drops the microphone to his side and presses his thumb and index fingers into his eyes, trying but failing to hold back tears.

The crowd have fallen silent as Jerry apologizes.

“I’m so sorry, Steve,” he blubs, “I don’t know what came over me. I don’t even remember what happened. I watch that tape back, and the man I see… It’s me, I can see that. I can see it is me doing those things to you, but…”

Jerry looks away from Steve, tears streaming down his reddening face.

“I don’t recognize that man at all!”


Darring looks behind him at Steve, Steve looks at Darring, then back at Jerry.

What is going on here? Has Jerry David had a mental breakdown? Is it more the case that Jerry David is sick than it is the case that he is evil?

“Please, Sean…”

Jerry kneels down before the champion.

“Sean, please forgive me.  We don’t need to do this. We don’t need a match. I don’t need that title,” he cries, gesturing up towards the shoulder of a bemused Sean Darring.

“I don’t want to… I don’t want to hurt you.”


The World Championship spills to the ground as the entire ring full of security rush Sean Darring and Steve Blaine, pummelling them both with rapid and fierce punches and kicks.

Jerry David gets back to his feet and stands motionless in the centre of the ring as the two men are beaten down by the mob of security guards until they can barely move.

Two security guards lift Darring up and fling him into a corner.  Two others do the same with Steve Blaine.

Jerry removes his blazer and rolls up his sleeves.

He reaches into his back pocket and pulls out four sets of handcuffs, handing two pairs to the guards holding Steve Blaine and two pairs to the guards holding Sean Darring.

The guards do their work, handcuffing the men to the ring ropes in the corner.

Jerry takes the microphone and walks towards Darring, wiping his face as he goes.

“Just. Joking. Bitch!


Jerry bitch slaps Darring across the face, rousing Darring from his weak slumber.

“Of course, I want the title. Of course, I want the match… And, of course, I don’t mind hurting you! I look forward to it.”

Darring seethes with rage, gritting his teeth. 

“I’m good at it.”

As Jerry saunters over to Steve Blaine, Jerry raises the microphone to his mouth again.

“And as for your friend Stevie Boy, well… I definitely don’t mind hurting this old timer.“


David slaps Blaine across the face.

Blaine’s head rolls around as Jerry turns back to the table, reaching into the inside pocket of his suit blazer, pulling a taser from the pocket and holding it in the air.

He gives the taser a quick test zap. It rasps and crackles loudly, electricity flickering between the two prongs.


David tases Blaine, who jolts around, howling in pain.

And again!


Blaine barely stands, his legs wide open, his knees bent like a roadkill deer.


Jerry David swings his patented punt kick to the groin of Steve Blaine!

He drives the prongs of the taser into the skull of Blaine! Over and over and over! Blood squirts from the open wounds on the head of Sean Darring’s oldest and greatest friend.

“Uncuff him,” Jerry directs the guards, who quickly get to work, uncuffing the bloodied and weary Steve Blaine from the ring ropes. He slumps to the ground.

David scoops him up, holding his limp body up so as to display it to Darring.

“You did this, Darring! You! Everything you’re about to see… It’s your fault!”


Blaine slumps to the floor in a heap.

David is quick back to his feet. He grabs the top rope and stomps a hole in the back of Blaine, who lies completely motionless.

David slides out of the ring, looking under the ring for something…

He pulls out a steel chair, sliding it into the ring.

Jerry follows.

He scoops up the chair, holding it high in the air before driving it down across the head and neck of Steve, whose legs kick out on impact.




Jerry tosses the chair down to the canvas and pulls Steve up to his feet, shoving him back into the corner he was previously chained to.

Jerry grabs the chair, opens it up, slots it over Blaine’s head and snaps it shut again.

He sits Blaine up on the top turnbuckle before sitting him on his shoulders ready for a…


Through the table!

Steve Blaine lies in a heap, a chair hanging from his head, wood splintered around him, the black sheet covering one of his arms, the clipboard on his chest, and David’s blazer across his knees.

David scoops up his blazer, dusting it off. He slings it around his shoulders and puts the blazer back on.

He sniggers at Darring, who is still snarling in the corner, whilst reaching again into his blazer pocket.  He pulls out a fountain pen, flicking the lid off as he steps over the unconscious Steve Blaine.

Jerry David looks back at Sean Darring, who is desperately attempting to get his wrist free from the handcuffs, nearly gnawing at his own wrist to get free and at his mortal enemy.

Jerry turns his attention back towards Blaine with a sinister smile and DRIVES the fountain pen into the bloodied head of Steve Blaine for a few moments before collecting the clipboard from his chest and signing the contract… in BLOOD!

He grabs the microphone and title from the canvas and steps towards Darring, just close enough that the champion can’t quite reach him. He flings the title across his shoulder.

“See you soon, Darling. And just remember… You should never heckle a professional comedian because they will always have…

“The Last Laugh.”

Jerry tosses the microphone to the ground and cackles with laughter, letting the title slide from his shoulder to the ground.

He collapses to the mat, holding his sides laughing.

He rolls out of the ring, tears, this time of laughter, rolling down his face. Up the ramp, howling with laughter, and through the curtain with a belly laugh.

The contract is signed. The match is official.

Jerry David. “The Legend” Sean Darring. 
A steel cage match for the GLOBAL World Heavyweight Championship.
December 16th, LIVE on Pay-Per-View.

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