The camera cuts to the amphitheatre of the Music City Radio Hall. The seats are packed with fans, CWF alumni and other luminaries alike and the stage has been decorated with rich gold and a grand screen in the background slowly cycling through the faces of the Hall of Fame inductees from times past. The lights go out and a single spotlight shines down onto a podium with a microphone as a fanfare announces the official beginning of the Hall of Fame class of 2018. At first nobody is coming into the spotlight and murmurs are starting to ripple through the crowd. Then suddenly the light goes off again and as it flickers back on, The Shadow is standing at the podium, his hair tied back and dressed all in black, shirt, suit, just a turquoise green pendant of a turtle around his neck breaking up the darkness.
The Shadow: Ladies and Gentlemen, you are probably wondering why I am up here introducing this festive moment, but Marcus Maximus, who is the MC of tonight seems to be, well, somewhere. Somewhere nobody else knows where it is.
He holds up his hands in defense.
The Shadow: And no, I did not have anything to do with it, I made sure to check all snow drifts and trees around here.
Laughter spreads around the Hall.
The Shadow: But all seriousness aside, I figured that the names of the athletes that you will see being inducted, and the people actually inducting them, tonight speak for themselves and don't really need much talking up, but Ataxia thought that he had to shove somebody up here to get things started the proper way, so here I am.
More laughter and the normally so stoic The Shadow also smiles.
The Shadow: But I know that you guys did not come here and pay your buck fifty to see me yammering about, so let's get this show started and kicking things off we have someone really special coming up...
The lights go off.
The feed cuts in to that of a cell phone, the owner of the phone is a thirteen year old kid, who holds it up recording themselves as they descend down on a hotel elevator.
Kid: What's up guys, I’m coming to you guys from New York City where CWF will be presenting the biggest show of the year, Wrestle Fest IV! Today though we are headed over to Fan Fest, it's gonna be at Radio City Music Hall. And right now they are holding autographs signings for MJF and Smokin’ Aces I think. So I'll see you guys when we get over there.
The scene suddenly switches off, then returning to the outside of the Radio City Music Hall where the kid waits in line to buy tickets to enter the event. With the scene switching, showing the mass of humanity waiting to get inside, the kid pans around to show some of the banners for the event featuring the appearance of different CWF competitors. Now coming to a halt, the kid begins to point the camera towards two older adults.
Kid: This is my mom, Carol and that's my dad, Jeff. I'm so happy they agreed to coming here for this huge event. We got our wristbands and we’re ready to go!
Both of the kid's parents wave to the camera, then switching again as they are now approaching the building, the kid taking a moment to take a picture with a Wrestle Fest banner with Dan Highlander on it. Finally making their way inside the sounds of “Smoke Two Joints” by Sublime play through the speakers!
Kid: We're about to make our way to the Wrestle Fest Superstore, to buy a few things before the show to hang up on my wall. I hope you guys are enjoying this video so far, but I wanna do some shopping before I meet MJ!
The scene then switches to a montage of their adventure through the store. Scanning the store, there are custom made Wrestle Fest IV baseball jerseys, Jaiden Rishel t-shirts, baseball caps with the Roman numeral IV on them. As they continue on, we see shirts for Elijah and Omega, surprisingly there are Smokin’ Aces sponsored bongs! Another scene shows us action figures from the past, present, and future of the Championship Wrestling Federation on display. There are custom made Wrestle Fest drinking glasses, mugs, fitted hats, stickers, posters, the place has almost everything imaginable. Replica championship belts, Unhinged briefcases, framed pictures of CWF Superstars.
The place is jam packed with CWF fans from all walks of life, a few even point towards the camera as they scan around the store. Now the kids are seen at checkout with their parents, and in possession of six CWF branded store bags! Happy with their new memorabilia, they take a moment to put the camera on them.
Kid: Alright guys, we just finished shopping at the CWF store. Just to be clear, I took all the money I earned off my channel, which is No1CWFFan13, and was able to get those things. Please go like and subscribe to my channel, and I send a big thank you to you guys who have donated to my channel so far. But I'm waiting for the MJ signing to start so I'm gonna take a quick break, and I'll be back with you guys!
New York's Radio City Music Hall, a huge CWF banner is hanging from the top of the building, showing a collage of the federation’s finest, brightly illuminated by spotlights. Long lines of people are waiting to get in and Blake Church and Charles State are right among them, dressed in their finest garb to befit the Hall of Fame ceremony as well as CWF FanFest.
Blake Church: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to CWF’s yearly celebration of all things, well, CWF.
Charles State: Four new CWF Hall of Fame inductees will be honoured tonight and CWF fans will be able to meet and greet our superstars, get autographs, merchandise, hear interviews and much, much more.
He points at the line.
Charles State: Let’s have a quick word with some of the faithful that have made their way to New York today!
He walks over to a group of fans with “Original Nobody” shirts, both with and without the “2.0”.
Charles State: Here we have a group of Flair fans and from the look of it both Eli and MJ, where are you guys from?
Flair fans: NYC, baybee!
Charles State: So the hometown hero will be facing Colton Mace for the world title--
Flair fans: EMM JAAY! EMM JAAY! EMM JAY!
Blake Church: Looks like they answered the question before it was even asked. But we do not only have locals here, I’ve spotted a Brazilian flag a bit further back, let’s have a look.
He walks down the line with fans cheering and showing off their shirts and other memorabilia they brought to be signed as he passes. Finally he reaches a young man wrapped in a Brazilian flag.
Blake Church: Hi there, what’s your name?
Blake Church: Where are you from?
João: Belo Horizonte, BRAZIL!
He raises his flag as he says this.
Blake Church: Is this your first trip to see the CWF?
João: Yes, first time, here for WrestleFest!
Blake Church: Who is your favourite?
João: Harley Hodge!
Blake Church: You are lucky that he just returned and will fight Jarvis King for the Paramount title at Wrestle Fest!
João: HARLEY! Harley para campeão!
Blake Church: Let’s see who Charles has in front of the microphone right now.
The camera cuts and shows Charles with none other than Caledonia Highlander signing autographs for some of the fans waiting in line.
Charles State: Well, we have the first celebrity here, Caledonia has come out and is mingling with the fans and signing some autographs, always a fan favourite, and it is easy to see why. Cali, welcome back to CWF!
Cali is briefly giving a wave and a smile before resuming her fan duties, while Blake is coming back up the line, shaking hands with people as he goes.
Charles State: OK, we’ve taken up enough time out here, let’s go in and see what CWF has to offer for our fans this year!
The camera zooms out and the WrestleFest 4 logo fades in.
We cut to an empty table, it’s still being set up so it’s not clear who it’s for. The camera swings around to show a line.
A long, long, long line. The fans in the front start to cheer, and the cheering winds its way back. The camera starts moving down the line, and the cheers continue, with fans making ‘wacky’ faces into the camera, waving their pictures and posters, and raising their arms to try to get attention. Wrestling T-shirts, both CWF and vintage, can be picked out at random.
And we continue to go back… and back… and back… The cameraman raises the camera up to show ten or fifteen other lines, all equidistant from each other, all long in their own right, but he continues to walk and passes each of them - this line continues.
Back, back, back, until we get to the end of the line where Tara Robinson is standing, a huge smile on her face as she subtly keeps herself front and center around the fans.
Tara Robinson: Here we are, ladies and gentlemen! This right here is the farthest away anyone is from any autograph booths! We’re so far away, I can’t even tell who we’re waiting for! WHO ARE WE WAITING FOR?
The fans immediately start to chant “EMM JAY EFF! EM JAY EFF!”
Tara Robinson: And there you have it! Let’s see if we can get ourselves up front!
She starts to walk, with the camera moving backwards at the same pace. The fans, all around her, cheer like crazy and try to get on camera.
The camera moves back and to the side so Tara can walk past it, and it subsequently follows behind her as she approaches the table. The banner reads ‘MARIELLA JADE FLAIR #1 CONTENDER’ and the table has a stack of 8X10 action shots and a sign cautioning “ONE AUTOGRAPH PER PERSON, NO EXCEPTIONS, NO PHOTOS.”
From somewhere behind the booth setup, “Smash the Control Machine” by OTEP can faintly be heard, though largely drowned out. A security guard walks out in front of the star of the moment, MJ Flair, who waves at the fans and gives Tara a hug.
MJF: Hi Tara! How’s the tribe today?
MJ’s tribe cheers - loudly - as Tara waits a moment.
Tara Robinson: MJ Flair everyone! I love your skirt!
MJF: Thanks - it has pockets!
She reaches into said pockets and pulls out five black sharpies. MJ puts them on the table in front of her and sits down, calling the first person forward. A man, somewhat balding, early to mid thirties, approaches with a little girl in tow. She holds his hand but sort of hides behind him.
Fan: Hi Ms. Flair, I know it’s against the rules but my daughter is a huge fan of yours - and I know the sign says no pictures but I don’t know that she’ll make it to your photo op this afternoon. Could we -
Security Guard: Sorry - we need to keep the line moving. One autograph, move on.
Before the fan can take any action, MJ holds up her hand.
MJF: Hold on. What?
Now, she notices the sign. She picks it up, looks at it, and throws it to her right - fortunately she has nobody else signing things to her right. The fans cheer at the audacity, and MJ calls for the little girl to join her.
MJF: What’s your name, sweetie?
MJF: Janie, are you having fun?
MJF: Awesome. Look at your daddy, flex your muscles!
They pose, biceps flexed - one more prominent than the other, obviously, and MJ hugs her.
Tara Robinson: You know, you’re gonna be here all day.
MJF: It is what it is, chica. Happy Rex Manning day!
The camera cuts to the ring in the centre of Fanfest and Blake Church is sitting on a barstool next to a high table with the CWF logo on it, with an empty chair across.
Blake Church: All evening we will be conducting interviews with some of your favourite superstars!
The fans gathered around are giving a loud cheer, forcing Blake to pause.
Blake Church: Our first guest tonight is a true CWF legend and has just returned after a long, long time away, please welcome former CWF champion and CWF Hall of Famer - The Accelerator - HARLEY HODGE!
A roar goes through the crowd as Harley comes through the fans and climbs the stairs into the ring. He briefly shakes hand with Blake before settling into the chair opposite him.
Blake Church: Harley, first of all welcome back to CWF, it is good to see you back in the ring, even if it is just for an interview right now, haha.
Harley Hodge: Yeah, man. Good to back in the halls. Thanks for having me.
Blake Church: You completely disappeared from the public eye after Modern Warfare, what happened in the meantime?
Harley Hodge: Recovery. It's different when you injure a forty-year-old body, ya’ know? You have, uh, you have to put the pieces back together. It's like a thousand piece puzzle ruptured at the center by an earthquake. It takes time to get everything right. And in doing so, being stagnant like that, your mind plays games with you. So, it's been a long road of getting to a place that I'm comfortable and competent within, man.
Blake Church: You had mentioned in your interview with Tara the other day that you feel like you have a new lease on life, what does that mean for CWF? Are you back in black, so to say, or just stopping by to say hi?
Harley Hodge: Yeah no, I just signed a new deal about a week ago actually. Full time, back in the middle of ring doing the only thing I've ever known, dude. Lots of unfinished business and all that jazz. It's good to be able to say all that now, actually.
Blake Church: So at WrestleFest you kind of inherited the spot of The Ringmaster in the match for the Paramount title against Jarvis King, coincidentally part of the group that destroyed The Ringmaster, I don’t know your relationship with him, but would you consider yourself an avenger in this match?
Harley Hodge: Ironically, there wasn't a relationship until the night I decided to intervene. He took a heavy hit in that ring - kidney damage, internal bleeding. I've visited him a few times already at the hospital and he's been told by several physicians that going back into the ring could prove to be, you know, just devastating. He is bitter about the whole thing - he wants to go back out there and show everyone that he can take all of those punks on, but he just can't. He's got a family, and he's taking the intelligent precautions so that they don't have to witness a preventable tragedy. So yeah, I've promised him vengeance. Whether I win or lose, I can assure you that by the time we reach the end of the road, whenever that may be, I will get it.
Blake Church: We have time for one more question and that is - given the heinous attacks by the Smokin’ Aces of late, aren’t you afraid that they might show up at your match with Jarvis as well and cause trouble?
Harley Hodge: Dude, trouble is my nickname. If there ain’t trouble in the waters, then I'm not swimming. Fitz and I have something in common - we are daredevils and adrenaline junkies. The Aces would only be making my evening if they decided to dance with me. Let 'em come and see what the old man has left in him and I can promise you that they'll want to carry out the rest of their days in their caves.
Blake Church: Thank you very much for taking the time to come out here tonight, ladies and gentlemen, Harley Hodge!
The crowd gives another thunderous applause as the Accelerator leaves the ring.
As the camera pans the inside of Radio City Music Hall, it shows tons of fans milling about, moving from table to table, merchandise booth to booth, taking in the atmosphere of being as close to the CWF superstars as most of them ever will be. One of the tables looks a bit different than others, with black tablecloth and a black backdrop with The Shadow’s iconic “S” logo. The Shadow is sitting at the table, signing pictures, posters, t-shirts, posing for pictures. Three of the Druids also are around the table, partially as protection, but also having spare Druid robes for fans to put on and take pictures in, one of them the fiery redhead Myfanwy, who seems to have taken up the role of talking to the kids and calming their nerves a little.
Fan: How can I become a Druid?
The Shadow looks up at a scrawny man of about 25, blinking his eyes against the vast array of earrings, chains, bracelets, all in gold, expensive sunglasses and slicked back hair.
The Shadow: You want to become a druid?
Man: Yeah, man.
The Shadow: And why is that?
Man: Dude, I could live in a mansion, travel around, probably get some cool chicks, I’d dig that gig.
The Shadow: Oh, well then…
He motions Thibodaux over.
The Shadow: Sanford, would you like to give our friend a little more details on, uh, the gig?
Thibodaux puts his arm around the man’s shoulder and leads him over towards a corner.
Sanford: What’s your name?
Man: Chester Hannington III.
Sanford: OK, Chester. So what’s your background? Military? Special ops?
The man looks at him with a look of shock and equal disgust on his face.
Chester: Hell no, you wouldn’t get me there! All that exercise and discipline crap, do you have any idea who my father is?
Thibodaux briefly stops and gives the young man a lookover.
Sanford: Nope, and guess what? I don’t give a rat’s ass who your daddy is, Chester Hannington III. And guess what else - we need men, not little princes that think their shit don’t stink.
With that he pats the man on the shoulder with a fatherly smile and turns towards one of the fans that is waiting to take a picture in one of the Druid’s robes.
Chester: You can’t do this! You’ll hear from me and my father.
As he turns around, he bumps right into a tall, looming figure. Chester opens his mouth as if to go on a tirade, but quickly closes it again as he looks up and up into the grim face of Simon Cederbergh, a 7 foot tall Viking with long braided blond hair and a long braided beard.
Simon: You were saying?
Chester’s courage evaporates faster than a spitball in hell and white as a ghost he raises his hands and backs away.
The Shadow: OK, ladies and gentlemen, any other rich kids that think it’s a summer camp to be a Druid, please report directly to Mr. Thibodaux and Mr. Cederbergh for all the details.
The fans in line start laughing and Chester, now beetred, walks away as if nothing ever happened as The Shadow welcomes the next fan for a picture with him.
Blake Church is ready to go again, with two chairs across from him.
Blake Church: As you can see, I am expecting two guests for this segment, no, it is not the Smokin’ Aces.
Some cheers from the fans.
Blake Church: It is the only father daughter team we have in CWF right now--
Fans: EMM JAY! EMM JAY!
Blake Church: --no, it is not MJ Flair--
Some of the fans now boo lightly.
Blake Church: Ladies and gentlemen, Chloe and Dorian Hawkhurst!
Huge cheers erupt as the crowd parts ahead of Chloe, who is holding Lynk in front of her with a determined look on her face, her father following her, stifling a laugh, instead looking at her with pride in his eyes.
Blake Church: Welcome boss, welcome Dorian, thanks for coming out for a few questions. Now you are preparing for your title defense against Jimmy Allen and are also trying to process the injury and now disappearance of Mia Rayne. How much of a distraction is that for you?
Chloe Hawkhurst: When we find the son of a bit...
Dorian Hawkhurst: CHLOE!
Chloe Hawkhurst: Sorry, dad.
Dorian Hawkhurst: It's a distraction. You can't deny that, man. But at the same time, it's a motivator. On a daily basis I ask myself "What would Mia do?" because, as I've said many times, Mia is the strongest person I know.
Chloe Hawkhurst: Auntie Mia is out there, somewhere. She's like Wonder Woman. She wouldn't just leave.
Dorian Hawkhurst: Like the kid started to say, when we catch the bitches that did this to Mia, they will get what's coming to them.
Chloe starts waving Lynk around manically. While pointing to a blood stain on the bottom.
Chloe Hawkhurst: I'm going to hit them right here in the Jace Space.
Dorian Hawkhurst: That having been said, I have to keep focus on Jimmy Allen. He and I go way back, but I've got some in store for him. He knows the "Demon of Sobriety", but I don't think he knows "The Forsaken Demon".
Blake Church: Loki Synn seems to be out for the Forsaken in general, any idea why?
Dorian Hawkhurst: Nope.
Blake Church: Really? Nothing?
Dorian Hawkhurst: Really. All I know is she took my kid's doll and used it to give Ataxia shit.
Chloe Hawkhurst: YOU SAID THE BROWN WORD!
Dorian Hawkhurst: Sorry.
Chloe Hawkhurst: I think you did something to hurt her feelings.
Blake Church: But coming back to your title defense, it looks like Jimmy Allen and you are going quite far back?
Dorian Hawkhurst: We're old friends. Homeboy and I go back to when we were about 5 years old or so. We were thick as thieves until he went to live with his "uncles". I heard that he was back in the states, but I didn't see him coming here. Small world I guess.
Blake Church: Will that in any way affect how you approach the match? In the tag team match last week you were very hesitant to lay any hands on him.
Chloe Hawkhurst: Don't worry, Mr. Church. Daddy always has a plan.
Dorian Hawkhurst: With our history, I know I have to do something outside of the box. That's all I am really willing to say on the matter right now.
Blake Church: My last question is for you, Chloe.
Blake leans in towards Chloe, trying to show empathy as he prepares to ask the question that you can tell he really doesn't want to ask.
Blake Church: What about you? How are you dealing with what's happened to Mia?
Chloe Hawkhurst: I can't wait for those fucking assholes.
Dorian Hawkhurst: CHLOE!
Chloe Hawkhurst: NO, DAD! You told me I can say how I feel and I am really, REALLY mad. Whoever hurt Auntie Mia needs to suffer. I don't care if it's you, or Taxi, or Mister Shadow or me an' Lynk, but someone needs to beat their asses.
Dorian gives Chloe a big ol' bear hug, while Church looks taken aback at Chloe's language.
Blake Church: Okay, then. Well, a thank you to the Hawkhursts!
The fans applaud once more as the father/daughter duo makes its way out of the ring, Chloe once more holding Lynk in front of her, clinging to it like there is nothing more important in the world.
The fans are abuzz as a crayon made set is erected in the middle of CWF’s annual FanFest! Murmurs turn to a steady hum throughout the crowd now gathered around the set as everyone sees exactly what the set is for.
TAX TALK V2.0
Fans begin to discuss this new development amongst themselves as crews finish setting up the cardboard set and one stool.
“But I thought Mia was gone?”
“Ataxia and Mia aren’t scheduled now are they?”
“I paid money to see Silas, not some…”
No one paid attention to that last guy though. It was probably just Silas anyways trying to get people to notice him again. We get it. You have a small penis, Silas, move on. Fans only begin to cheer in confusion, if that’s even possible as Mia Rayne’s theme, “Committed” by One-Eyed Doll rings out. Out from behind the set comes… Mia Rayne carrying a massive box under one arm?!
She waves at the crowd before flicking them all off and it’s when she turns around that fans are able to realize that they aren’t looking at Mia Rayne. They are looking at Loki Synn dressed to mimic Mia Rayne, her mask resembling Mia’s trademark makeup style while her jester style hat only has a couple strands hanging down, the bells at the bottom a shiny cobalt blue to resemble Mia’s trademark hair. She is wearing her traditional colorful and “busy” jester leggings, complete with booties and a shirt that says, “I’m with this dummy” with an arrow pointing to…
The ventriloquist dummy that looks like a complete replica of Ataxia, right down to his signature burlap sack! Some fans laugh, others are appalled, and just like the almighty honey badger, Loki don’t give a shit. She sits down on the stool supplied for her and plops the Ataxia on her knee so that the arrow on her shirt is pointing directly at Ataxia’s head.
Loki Synn: Ladies and germs! Maggots of all ages! I give to you all the much awaited Tax Talk 2.0! Sound your trumpets and bring out your finest game hens! No worries on entertainment though the powers that be have already brought in their brightest and best jester extraordinaire… LOKI SYNN!
She pauses as if waiting for some form of reaction from the crowd. The pause begins to get pregnant until someone tries to start cheering, only to be quickly cut off by the Ataxia puppet!
AtaxiDummy: QUIET ON THE SET! The lady wasn’t finished…
The double doors swing open and rushing through them is the familiar frame of Silas Artoria, donning noticeably large sunglasses and carrying a spare chair behind him.
Silas Artoria: Am I too late?
Loki and AtaxiDummy stare at the late arrival, who is wearing his sarcasm on his sleeve.
Silas Artoria: I hope I’m not! New York traffic is something I haven’t experienced before and, to be honest, I was planning on being out of the way just in case The Shadow and I get into a little spat -- which I’m sure you’d disapprove, Loki! But I heard there was a fun act happening right here in Radio City and I thought, “wow! Jester acts? I’ve got to see this!” Plus…
He arrives at the front and props his chair down, next to a confused audience member.
Silas Artoria: I bought this little camping chair to see how it would work! And what better way to test it than to watch a show? I’m looking forward to this!
He sits down, pulls the lever on the chair, and his legs are propped up with the backrest leaning back. Silas sinks in comfortably, and, without a care in the world, blatantly steals the neighboring audience member’s drink. He slurps loudl--
AtaxiDummy can only stare with its mouth open as Silas continues to try and stare down Loki, who has her eyes centered on the late bloomer. Loki cocks her head and addresses Silas.
Loki Synn: Ah yes. Silas Artoria here to make sure that everyone can listen to him squawk like the canary he is. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say your handler, Raven Chique, let you out of your cage to clean your newspapers and you flew away to come and bother me. Listen to me, well Silas, congratulations, your plan worked. My attentions now also involve you. This is not a good thing for you and yours. Now, back to the show…
Loki falls silent as AtaxiDummy looks from her to Silas who still slurps the drink defiantly. Loki eyes him and the two exchange a stare down.
Silas Artoria: ...
Loki Synn: …
AtaxiDummy raises its hand like it wants to add something to Loki’s point but quickly puts it’s mitt back down. It looks from between Loki and Silas and shrugs its shoulders before slapping Loki slightly against the cheek of the mask! Loki jumps slightly and rights herself before continuing.
Loki Synn: Thanks AtaxiDum! Anyways… I’m sure that I’m not going to have too much time before someone interrupts me so I’ll cut right to the chase. Do I have your attentions yet, Shadow? Did you open your eyes and realize what has been in front of you? No? It’s ok, I’m not even sure I know what I’m ranting about. Hey Dummy, what are your thoughts on the current situation?
The crowd is beginning to get uneasy. Loki dressed as Mia with her hand far up Ataxia’s backside was enough to make anyone queasy. But now there were puppets involved and it is getting awkward.
AtaxiDummy: In all honesty toots, I think that everyone should just bow down to the obviously superior Forsaken!
Loki Synn: But... Honey Bunches O’ Oats, that can’t be true! You know better than to fib. Let’s look at Dorian first, the only reason he won his last match was because it was against someone he went to hell and back with prior. I’m not saying they didn’t do a number on each other this last time but they’re in the same stable, are we REALLY supposed to believe that Atax...YOU had some sort of pull in just dropping the belt so that you wouldn’t have to pull double duty?
This time it is the dummy that falls silent. It looks like it is going to strike back like the cunning linguist it is, but is cut off by Loki.
Loki Synn: Speaking of YOU Sweetums, when was the last time you did anything of note in the ring, hmmm?
The doll is once again left speechless and bows its head in defeat. Loki laughs her shrill laugh and looks like she is about to continue before The Shadow appears with mic in hand! Before he can interrupt her though, Loki springs up from her seat and lets out another laugh before cutting The Shadow off before he has a chance to speak.
Loki Synn: Speaking of losing streaks! The oh so great Shadow! Did you enjoy my performance? I’m happy you came out here looking like you need a reason to skip your match, just so happens I have no plans!
With little preamble aside from her speech Loki drops the mic and in a solid movement throws the AtaxiaDummy hard at The Shadow! The Shadow dodges but doesn’t have to worry as the doll is caught out of the air by the actual Ataxia! Dorian closes in behind him, glaring at Loki and Chloe is behind him, her gaze fixated by Loki Synn, not in disgust or anger, but of wonder and curiosity. Ataxia is seething as he whips the doll out of the air and turns on his heel to meet Loki dead on. For her part Loki backs up with her hands in the air giving him his space. Apparently he needed his safety bubble and Loki was good with numbers. They thought they interrupted her “Plan A.” Little did they know…
Ataxia: I’ve seen enough out of you… Frand.
He says the last word with absolute disdain, as if it was the worst piece of crap that he had ever tasted. Loki feigns hurt but laughs at Ataxia’s indignation. She shakes her head and blatantly cuts him off before he can continue, keeping her an eye on The Shadow who had moved closer. She backs up a couple more steps but maintains eye contact.
Loki Synn: Listen, I may not have anything going on this weekend but I know the three of you do. Do you REALLY want to risk any of your matches this coming weekend? If that’s the case then please, bring it on pilgrim. I’m ready for ya. But if you want any chance in even SURVIVING through this weekend, you will BACK THE FUCK OFF OF ME. You may take me out for any lengthy amount of time, you all might even receive the pleasure of hearing me scream out in pain, I’m sure you masochists would enjoy that. Or is that sadist? I can never tell. What I CAN FECKING tell you is that at the end of the day I might be down and out, but what exactly did you have to expend to keep me that way, hmmm? Are your really ready to risk a shot at the World Title Shadow? YOUR Impact Championship, Dorian?
Whatever it is you’re doing this weekend Taxi. Sorry, I forgot to keep up on you.
Ataxia goes to lunge at Loki but Dorian quickly holds him back as Loki laughs and skips around in glee, obviously happy with her job at getting under everyone’s skin.
Loki Synn: Listen, listen. I didn’t come out here to start anything right at this very moment. I came out here to issue you, The Forsaken a challenge against me, Loki Synn. MOST of you seem like an honorable sort, and Shadow, I’m looking at you for this one. You all must agree to my terms. If one of you bow out, contract is off. If you can’t take the game, stay out of the fire, understood? Good. One on one matches, you lot, one at a time, versus me. IF you are able to win in a match of your very own choosing, that’s right, choose whatever kind of stipulation you’d like, that’s fine by me… Where was I? Right… IF you are able to win against me, I will answer for each of you ONE question of your choosing. Consider it your own, “Open Mic Night: Compliments o’ Loki Synn.” Think it over, I’ll be around in the meantime. Remember, I want an anony-moose answer out of the lot of you. No splitsies. Catch ya around.
Loki turns to leave but Ataxia coughs into the mic and picks up the AtaxiDummy and tosses it at Loki in one swift motion! She turns and it smacks her right in the face, forcing her back a couple steps.
Ataxia: You don’t get to make the rules around here Frand, that’s MY job. You don’t have anything to do? How about this, I can’t take Shadow out of his match at Wrestlefest, but I can most definitely add to it, and that is EXACTLY what I plan on doing; ESPECIALLY since I KNOW Shadow has been waiting to get his hands on you…
Ataxia motions to The Shadow and fans and Loki alike gaze find their gazes pulled in his direction. His eyes are liquid fire, centered on Loki Synn. She gulps and secretly she hoped no one saw that.
Ataxia: I see Shadow doesn’t have an issue with it and I don’t really care about Silas and Autumn, so it is now official. The opening match at WrestleFest will be a Fatal Fourway for the number one contendership featuring The Shadow versus Silas Artoria versus Autumn Raven versus… LOKI SYNN!
Loki shrugs her shoulders and giggles silently to herself as the crowd gasps at the announcement. The four members of The Forsaken watch as Loki waves at them silently and backs into the crowd, disappearing from sight. Silas joins in the light giggling, before he lowers his sunglasses to take a better view with his red, accursed eyes.
Silas Artoria: Well….this show got a lot more interesting.
He starts to get up from his chair and folds it, before picking it up to drag behind him the way he came in. He turns only to come face to face with…
He smirks but she shrugs away his theatrics and shrugs her shoulders, turning her back on The Aristocrat.
Loki Synn: This was never about you and whatever pedestal you hold yourself on. Maybe one day you’ll learn…
He goes to make a snappy comeback but is only greeted by the thickening crowd trying to leave after the show is obviously over.
The camera cuts to the ring again, where this time Charles State is in the chair, ready to go.
Charles State: Our next guest also is a returning former world champion, who is ready to settle a grudge that coincidentally also stems back to Modern Warfare, like with Harley, a grudge that will be settled in a match with our commissioner, Ataxia--
Big cheers from the crowd.
Charles State: --please welcome the RIPPER - Danny B!
Unlike with Harley Hodge, the reactions from the fans is not unanimously positive, with some whistles and boos peppered throughout the cheers as the Ripper steps into the ring.
Charles State: Welcome to Fanfest and I guess I can also bid you welcome back to CWF.
Danny B: You can do whatever you fucking well please, Dave.
Charles State: My name is Charles.
Danny B: Good to know Mike.
Charles State: ...Same question to you as to Harley, you vanished without a trace after Modern Warfare, what happened since then?
Danny B: I thought you were the fucking reporter around here, John? Why don’t you tell me what has happened since then? No? Let me fill in the blanks for you. While CWF was humdrumming along, happy to be a shell of its former self, I was out making a name for myself, making more money in a week than you’ve made in your entire life. My business is my fucking business however, now move on to the next question.
Charles State: Your first match back against Colton Mace did not quite go as planned, Frank...
Danny B: Well...what? My name is Danny B, you better remember this! But turns out you do have some common sense. No, my inevitable defeat of that emo twat was denied simply because Rish’s idiot son decided to stick his nose in where it didn’t belong. The more things change, eh? I don’t give a flying fuck who decided to pull that stunt, could have been that braindead child, could have been that lunatic commissioner, either way, I appreciate the fear. The fear that I could take this company back and change the face of it forever.
Charles State: So now that you will be in the ring against Ataxia, do you think you will be able to fully concentrate on him or is there this nagging feeling in the back of your mind that you might have to pay attention to the stage as well, in case someone might come down and interfere?
Danny B: Frederick, I hope someone comes down that ramp, I hope someone shows their face, because it may just stop me from breaking Ataxia so badly that I have a lawsuit on my hands. Rishel, or any other slack jawed yankee for that matter, if you want some come get some, I will snap you in half as a happy little sidenote.
Charles State: Ataxia has been constantly competing, while you, Nathan, have been--
Danny B: DANNY B!
Charles State: Exactly. You have been away for several months, are you afraid that some ring rust might have accumulated, especially since you are facing a master of mind games?
Danny B: Master of mindgames? You think he is the master of mindgames? Who the fuck did you think he learned it all from? He plays his mindgames, I provide the mindfucks. Ataxia has tried this shit with me before and every single time falls to me. I whooped his ass all over the triple cage eight years ago on route to taking that world championship from him, and I threw his overrated ass from the top of that tower after the first time he tried to end my career.
Ataxia has no hope, no chance and no clue. This time, I will make it three for three and end him once and for all. Am I afraid because I’ve been away? Not even a little bit, he has never been as good as me, never even held a candle to me, and this time I am truly out for blood. Start looking for a new authority figure, because this fuck ass is going to be trading that sack for a set of bandages. Now get the fuck out of my face.
Charles State: It definitely is going to be an interesting one next week, thank you, Harrison, for coming out and see you at MSG!
The scattered boos from his entrance have multiplied by the time the interview is over and he flips off both Charles State and the fans before shouldering his way through the crowd.
We are once again shown the face of the thirteen year old kid, known so far as No1CWFFan13, make sure to subscribe. Now resting on their shoulders of a replica CWF World Title! The familiar sounds of “Hello Time Bomb” by the Matthew Good Band can be heard playing in the background. The kid seems to be waiting in the long line patiently.
Kid: So right now I'm standing in this long, long, long, looonnnnggggg line to get an autograph from MJF. But first can I say that Tax Talk was a lot weirder than usual, I really don't like that Loki Synn lady, just creepy. Not back to MJ! I should have known this line would be super long. I mean cause let's face it, it's freaking MJ Flair! Woo! I'm so excited! So I'll see you guys when I get up there.
The scene quickly transitions to a side view of co-number one contender for the World title, MJ Flair! She's her usual self, signing autographs, taking pictures, and sharing a quick word or two with each fan that approaches her table. The kid is finally up as it's their turn to meet with the former World Champion! The kid hands her a program book with all the CWF stars in it, along with a Original Nobody 2.0 t-shirt, ready to be signed.
MJ happily engages in conversation with the kid, happily signing both items for them. After a picture and a warm embrace, the kid walks away towards the camera as if their life has been changed, a goofy smile as big as Texas plastered on their face. A photo of the kid with MJ is displayed in a still shot, before switching back to the kid now walking through the hallways, their mom by their side.
Kid: Okay guys, so I just met MJ and it was incredible! I was trying my best not to cry, but she's like, my hero! I mean second to Caledonia, she's been a huge inspiration for me. No matter what you're up against, you take it head on! I mean she's awesome, she signed everything for me! I just love MJ! What’dya think mom?
Turning the camera, their mom is shown nodding her head, right before they put the camera back on themselves.
Kid: MJ’s awesome!
A huge cheer goes through the crowd as we cut to Charles State, who is in the ring again and his two guests already have arrived, being none other than TBD, the tag team of Mikey Unlikely and Beautiful Bobby Dean, with Mikey sitting on the usual barstool while Bobo has an extra wide chintz armchair under his expansive bottom. Not surprisingly, he is chewing.
Charles State: Welcome to Fanfest, gentlemen, thanks for tearing yourselves away from your fans and, well, I guess catering table.
Mikey Unlikely: Thanks Chuck, Can I call you Chuck?
Charles State: Uh, no.
Mikey Unlikely: Sure I can… Thanks Chuck! It’s been great being here with all these great CWF fans, meeting the guys, shaking the babies, kissing hands.
Charles State: I think you mean…
Bobby Dean (With his mouth full): Mmmpfher greaaat experdence…(swallows) It’s truly been a great experience!
Charles State: You and the Smokin’ Aces seem to have some trouble becoming friends--
Mikey Unlikely: So it’s the Smokin’ Aces now? I thought they were called the Glass Ceiling?
Bobby Dean: I don’t understand… Can’t we just throw rocks at them?
Mikey Unlikely: No buddy, they frown at that around here, remember?
Bobby Dean: But Mikey, they’re glass!
Charles State: clearing his throat You’ll be facing off against the Aces at WrestleFest and it promises to be an intense affair, do you see yourselves ready to take on two very unhappy champions that have been showing a very foul mood of late?
Mikey Unlikely: Of course they’re unhappy, We’re ALL unhappy! First I have to team up with this guy, (points to Bobby Dean) …. Then they realize they are going to get beat by a new (albeit reforming) tag team…
Bobby Dean: The best tag team! That’s what you meant to say! Right buddy?
Charles State: Now even the two of you have not exactly seen eye to eye for the longest time, yet now find yourselves as a team and even competing for the titles. Is this more of a utilitarian union or do you see yourselves as a bonafide team now?
Mikey Unlikely: This tub of lard next to me (Bobby waves his hand cheerily) is lazy, disgusting, fat, smells like rotten eggs when he sweats, and he’s the absolute worst tag team partner a guy like me deserves.
Bobby Dean: Indubitably.
Charles State: That’s an impressive word for someone of your… size?
Mikey Unlikely: Don’t be impressed. It’s from his word of the day calendar, only problem is, that was the word of the day for August 28th... last week.
Bobby Dean: That was such a good day, don’t you think Mikey?
Mikey Unlikely: Indubitably.
Charles State: So if you hate Bobby so much, why do you still team with him?
Mikey Unlikely: Because in the end he’s mine. People think because he’s a simpleton that they can put him down, make fun at his expense, and put him in this box classifying him as an idiot. But he’s my idiot. I’ve rode the roads with this guy, I’ve seen him eat at buffets, I’ve see him masturbate for Christs’ sake. If anyone has earned the right to abuse Bobby Dean, it’s me!
Bobby Dean: I like to masturbate with an audience. Makes it more fun!
Charles makes some hurling sounds as he dry heaves a time or two, as Mikey shakes his head sadly and Bobby simply smiles and motions his hand as if he’s spanking his monkey and fireworks are going off.
Charles State: Mikey, one last question especially for you, you and Colton Mace are not exactly seeing eye to eye, even more so with you getting a lawsuit against him on the way, how much does this distract from fully being able to concentrate on your in-ring endeavours?
Mikey Unlikely: What’s there to be distracted over? I threaten legal action and what does he do? Claim he’s going to sue me. I’ve been in better movies than his, and what does he do? Claim he’s the big movie star in the C-Dub. Next thing you know he’ll have his own Blobby Dean trailing him around! But hey, I get it, you want to be like me. Pattern your life around someone who is so much better than you. I’m kind of flattered by it really, but in the end I’d rather he just kept my name out of his mouth.
Colton Mace is just walking by as Mikey says that and shouts:
Colton Mace: Me wanting to be like you? You can bet all of your Mikey Money on it that this here is the original, Mikey!
Suddenly a familiar figure walks out in front of Colton, holding up a document.
Quentin Quick: Mr. Mace, my name is Quentin Quick from Ditcher, Quick & Hyde. My services have been retained by Mr. Unlikely and this here is a Cease and Desist order. Should you violate this order, a judge will show no hesitation to issue a restraining order against you.
As Colton looks like he is ready to explode, the camera cuts.
The ring is set, and a perplexed audience is on standby. Just minutes ago an announcement that a session with Silas Artoria was about to begin, without any prior warning or printing. Still, people pack the seats, even if it's just to see what the man himself is really like.
There is no introduction music, no announcement, not even any fancy lighting. When the clock strikes the hour, the doors close, and Silas Artoria himself emerges in the ring. He's carrying a chair, the same one be brought earlier to Loki's show, and like that appearance he's wearing large sunglasses.
Silas Artoria: Afternoon!
He sets up the chair quickly.
Silas Artoria: Afternoon afternoon afternoon. Sorry for keeping you all waiting, I was trying to figure out how to get here. Apparently there's a seperate entrance that allows me to move around without entering the public floor.
He turns to face the audience, beaming a big smile with bravado posture. He's confident, relaxed, and excited. He mutters:
Silas Artoria: So nice to be here.
He takes a deep breath.
Silas Artoria: Anyway, my name is Silas Artoria, I'm a man with a name full of history with more inside my incredibly large house in Toronto. I fight people for gold while considering the little wonders of life.
He turns off the ring and looks at an attendant.
Silas Artoria: CAN I GET SOME ORANGE JUICE PLEASE?
He turns back to the audience.
Silas Artoria: Welcome! I've got a match at WrestleFest that's just been upped from a three way dance with The Shadow and Autumn, to a four way involving Loki. THANKS ATAXIA!
He claps his hands, as an attendant comes on stage with a glass of orange juice.
Silas Artoria: Not that it matters but it's news that's interesting if less than favourable.
He grabs the orange juice and taps the attendant's head.
Silas Artoria: Good boy!
He lightly slaps their head and takes a sip out of the orange juice.
Silas Artoria: So, here is how this is going to work. You all ask me questions, and if you are fortunate enough, I might answer them with detail.
He jumps into his chair and adjusts for comfort.
Silas Artoria: Right! Question time!
The audience do nothing while Silas takes a sip of his drink. He looks at the idle audience, but soon the silence starts to get to him; his eyes become irritated by the inaction. He puts the glass down.
Silas Artoria: Well....any questions? Don't be as silent as my father now.
Seconds go by, before a singular hand shyly rise above the small sea of international wrestling fans. Silas points quickly, with the audience's hand not even half way raised.
Silas Artoria: You there! Question!
The audience member freezes.
Audience Member: Well...umm...uhh......umm.....
Silas Artoria: Well spit it out already! We don't have all day!
Audience Member: ....umm....uh....wh...why wasn't this...umm...session advertised? Like, it's not anywhe--
Silas Artoria: Why is this session not in the CWF Fan Fest schedule?
The audience member nearly answers.
Silas Artoria: Excellent question my friend. Very excellent question!
Silas Artoria: Well you see my plan wasn't to come to New York until a few days next week! I heard the air feels stuffy and the traffic is awful, and to be fair those whispers were correct. I would've stayed in Toronto but then I heard there was a jester show at the fan fest. Christ, it's been a while since I saw a jester showcase their lack of talent. Their shows were normally a car crash that you couldn't take your eyes off.
Silas perks up.
Silas Artoria: Oh! What's the difference between a jester and a clown?
The audience look at each other confusingly as Silas maintains his tense smile, waiting for the moment to hit the punchline.
Silas Artoria: Clowns get paid!
Silas erupts into laughter as the audience do nothing. A few awkwardly clap but a few feel uncomfortable. He suddenly stops laughing.
Silas Artoria: So yeah, I saw Loki's show and started to walk out, witnessing the news that my match had been given a slight adjustment in terms of participants. However, I got out of the front door and was told by a CWF official that, since I was in the area, I had to do at least one thing for the fans of be fired.
He raises his arms.
Silas Artoria: So consider yourselves lucky that I, the ever merciful Silas Artoria, grant you all the pleasure of witnessing such a valiant human specimen. NEXT!
Audience Member: What kind of chump wears sunglasses indoors in New York!?
Silas Artoria: People with taste. NEXT!
Audience Member: What's your beef with The Shadow?
Silas eyes the audience member.
Silas Artoria: My beef? As in 'what is my issue with him?'
Audience Member: Yeah!
Silas sits up and stretches his back.
Silas Artoria: Well, there was a little spat that a friend of mine had with Miss Tara Robinson and, sadly, that ended with the woman getting hurt. Poor Tara. The Shadow picked her up and tended to her wounds, which I believe were a few broken ribs, I'll have to get back to you on that. The Shadow, as he was treating her, decided to place the blame on me! Me of all people! What kind of person would lay such a blame on me!?
Audience Member: But you did attack her!
Silas Artoria: Hey, the friend I mentioned and myself are on purely talking terms. I didn't know what they were going to do! I am completely innocent in all this!
Audience Member: There's video proof of you powerbombing her through a table!
Silas Artoria: Not me, you're blind to see the truth. NEXT!
Another sip as another audience member raises their hand.
Silas Artoria: You there! With the dumb hat!
Audience Member: Who's going to fight Autumn, Shadow, and Loki tomorrow?
Silas Artoria: Me, of course!
Audience Member: I mean you or your friend?
Silas Artoria: Oh!
He sips more orange juice while clearly contemplating to himself.
Silas Artoria: The friend. NEXT!
Chatter immediately erupts in the room as the announcement is made. The Passenger? At WrestleFest? It had been since December since the Passenger showed up, and that caused a lot of trouble for everyone involved. Autumn was decimated, the surrounding area was destroyed, and it sent a horrifying message that there was something vile and monstrous hiding underneath the pomp and circumstance. Silas slowly stands up.
Silas Artoria: Look, I've been working hard, working all day, working all night just getting myself prepared and, as a consequence, I've gassed myself out. When you're taking part in arguably the biggest event ever for the company you work for, you want to make a positive impression. So I worked out hard and long to get the strength I need to carry everyone involved to something spectacular for the opening bout. Do you see anything resembling The Shadow, Autumn, or Loki preparing for their match for WrestleFest that has nothing to do with their own motivations?
Audience Member: Well actuall--
Silas Artoria: No! Of course you don't! Because they are more fixated on their own motivations to train hard, train strong, so they instead leave it to me! Unfortunately, all that responsibility has weighed me down so heavily just standing in the New York air exhausts me. So fortunately, I have a backup plan...
He walks to the centre of the stage as his voice got grimmer, and darker.
Silas Artoria: And it's going to involve every single one of you being witnesses to a devastating massacre. One by one they will try to stop me, they will fail. Two of them will try to take me down, but that will not impede the inevitability, and soon all three of them will attempt to cut me to pieces and take me out of the match, but all that will do is quicken their demise. I will walk over their corpses if it means I have to make a point, and if they want to ascend to the next world early, I'll be more than happy to hasten their approach.
He smiles, and tilts his head slowly to the side.
Silas Artoria: See The Shadow try and crawl to safety, see Autumn realise their doom approaching, and see Loki what happens when they try to meddle with my purpose. Is that crystal?
He shakes it off, and his voice returns to normal.
Silas Artoria: Anyway, that's it for today. I hope you consider yourself fortunate to be in my presence.
He starts to walk to his chair.
Silas Artoria: Now if you can be so ki--JESUS!
He jumps back and nearly falls of his backside. The room goes quiet, as Silas stares uncomfortably towards the chair. His face frozen, and he slowly observes what has just appeared on his chair.
AtaxiaDummy: What's wrong? Don't like your show interfered?
The AtaxiaDummy starts to laugh. Over time it gets louder and louder, as Silas approaches the puppet with undoubtedly unrivalled rage, and the Canadian takes off his glasses.
He kicks the puppet hard, and it's head stops laughing as is it smashed to a million pieces. He turns to the audience, with a familiar presence in his eyes.
Silas Artoria: Now, GET OUT!
The camera cuts to a booth with Jim Gunt and Mike Rolash. Jim is chatting with fans and shaking hands with some of the wrestlers passing through, while Mike has pulled his chair towards the back, arms crossed and a look of utter sulkiness on his face. One fan asks Jim about him.
Jim Gunt: Oh, him, you have to forgive Mikey--
Suddenly Quentin Quick appears right next to him with a letter looking similar to the one he had just presented to Colton Mace.
Quentin Quick: My name is--
Jim Gunt: Yeah, yeah, Quentin Quick, cease and desist, Mr. Unlikely, bla bla bla, I get it.
Just as fast as he had appeared, Mr. Quick has vanished back into the crowd.
Jim Gunt: Where was I? Oh yes, Mike here is sulking, because nobody has asked him to do an interview or do a presentation or actually wanted to talk to him to begin with.
This elicits the chuckles from a few of the attendees, prompting Mike to stand up so abruptly that the chair falls over with a loud clatter.
Mike Rolash: OK, that - is - it! I want out!
He starts walking, apparently expecting people to try to hold him back, but after it becomes clear that this is not going to happen, he looks to sulk even more and shuffles back to his chair.
Blake Church is ready for the next interview segment, as he is back in the ring.
Blake Church: My next guest is a former Impact and tag team champion, he is also a member of the Forsaken--
Cheers are going through the crowd.
Blake Church: --and a fellow Canadian, please welcome - The Shadow!
More cheers as suddenly the lights go out for a moment. As they flicker back on, The Shadow is sitting opposite Blake.
Blake Church: Thanks for--appearing, I guess, this is your first Fanfest, if I remember correctly?
The Shadow: Yes, and it is a great way to give our fans a chance to meet us in person and give back up to a point.
Blake Church: You have been embroiled in a quickly escalating encounter with both Loki Synn and Silas Artoria, which as we found out today, you will be facing in addition to Autumn Raven, what are your thoughts?
The Shadow: Well, I am not sure what Loki Synn’s agenda is, but I am definitely planning on finding out. Silas - the Psychocrat has been meandering around for quite a while and we’ve had our skirmishes, but he needs to and will be dealt with. Autumn I have no beef with, other than she didn’t want me to beat up Silas, because she wants him herself, but I can assist her with that part.
Blake Church: Speaking of Loki Synn, as you said, so far her appearance has been shrouded in mystery--
A purple haze falls over Church and The Shadow and a confused murmur passes through the crowd, spreading almost as fast as the haze itself. Confusion descends upon all present until a slight jingle can be heard from the depths of the haze. It rings out once. Twice. Third time and just as quickly as it had begun, the fog creeps back and dissipates to reveal Loki Synn standing behind Blake Church! The Shadow instantly tenses and The Jester raises her arms, usually a sign of peace but who is to say what Loki is actually here for? Blake is the first to recover from the shock.
Blake Church: Uhm, hey Loki! What brings you here?
Loki holds a finger up to her masked lips as she continues to stare down The Shadow. With sudden movement she throws a thin branch at The Shadow, who catches it without flinching! Loki giggles and waves as The Shadow glances at the small branch that Loki threw at him like a dart. More specifically, it is an olive branch. The Shadow continues to watch as Loki waves at him and stays where she is.
The Shadow: What’s wrong Loki? No biting quips this time around?
Loki stops waving and cocks her head to the side, considering The Shadow’s prod.
Loki Synn: Oh Shadow, if you only knew. However, tonight I come with purpose. I was wondering if you’ve had any chance to discuss my proposition with your fellow Forsaken-ers.
The Shadow: What Dorian, Ataxia, and myself discuss isn’t of your concern, Loki. You will have your answer when we are ready to gi…
The Shadow stops talking as he notices Loki burst out in a fit of giggles, putting her hands on the shoulders of Church and State, who has joined the ring and using them to brace herself as the giggles overtake her. Unphased, The Shadow only stares at Loki.
The Shadow: Finis…
Once again he is interrupted by Loki who only laughs louder. The Shadow stops talking completely and narrows his eyes at Loki who only laughs harder, going so far as to double over, and collapse onto the floor behind the desk, rolling on the ground and laughing! Seconds pass and turn to minutes and Loki is slowly able to recover, finally pulling herself up using Blake Church for leverage. Catching her breath she is finally able to speak.
Loki Synn: You really are dull aren’t you? Thick in the head? Blind to what’s in front of you?! I said unanimous decision, Shadow! Meaning ALL members have to agree to my terms and EVERY member of The Forsaken gets a match against me! EVERY member… Didn’t Dorian’s hellspawn get an honorary membership card at some point earlier this year? SHE’S a fact…
She doesn’t have a chance to finish though as The Shadow leaps up from his seat and lunges at Loki! He lands on top of her, hard, and together they fall backward out of the CvS ring! The Shadow gets the better of Loki and clocks her upside her head, ringing both her metaphorical and literal bells. She slumps in his grip and he goes to stand up… Only for Loki to grab him by his hair and shove him hard into the concrete floor! Loki staggers to her feet, obviously trying to gain her bearings as she whips around and is met by a beautiful dropkick from The Shadow!
Loki stumbles backward and The Shadow looks to press the advantage, running at Loki and looking to hit a running knee! Loki grabs his leg at the last moment though and yanks his leg out, forcing Shadow to balance on one foot. With a sinister laugh she yanks hard on The Shadow’s leg, looking to hyperextend his knee! Before she can do any real damage The Forsaken Leader forces her away with a lightning fast enziguri! Loki staggers backward but before anything else can be done security comes out to separate the two stars.
We’re in front of a WrestleFest banner. MJ Flair has changed from her casual attire into ring gear, complete with Original Nobody 2.0 T-shirt, and she’s patiently, enthusiastically greeting every fan and group of fans, making sure the official CWF photographer gets their shots, and waiting for the flood of cell phone photos as well.
Hashtag - MJF has apparently cracked the top twenty trending items today.
Another fan approaches, as well as a familiar face to the former CWF World Champion.
MJF: Tabby! Off to the side, sweetie, unless you wanna be in all the pictures.
Tabby Ubetcha notices the camera, notices the cameraphones, and steps back.
Tabby: You’ve been busy today, Ms. Flair!
MJF: Absolutely, and I love it. Hi, what’s your name?
She greets the next fan and strikes her standard pose - an arm around the waist and the other hand up, flashing metal horns. A quick hug and a move on.
Tabby: Earlier today, your line was the longest during the morning autograph session by a wide margin, and you’ve still got a ton of people missing other parts of Fan Fest waiting for you to come back. Do you think this is due to your presence in the main event of Wrestle Fest, or do you think it’s mainly because Wrestle Fest is happening here in New York?
MJF: I think it’s a combination of the two. Obviously, the big draw of Wrestle Fest is the vacant CWF World Title, and of course, that’s me and Colton. Does it help that these are my peoples?
She looks over the crowd.
MJF: Does it?
They respond with a huge cheer, and a ‘EMM JAY EFF’ chant.
Tabby: I guess that answers that. Any spur of the moment predictions for the night?
MJ stops and thinks about it.
MJF: The match’a the night.
Tabby: I guess that settles that! I’ll get out of your way, Ms. Flair. Thanks for the soundbyte!
MJF: Any time. You enjoying yourself?
Tabby: Oh, you betcha!
She smirks at MJ, and they fist bump.
We cut to a shot of two chairs with Ataxia sitting in one and then walking in another Ataxia. We hear applause as the second Ataxia sits down.
Ataxia: Thank you! Thank you! And now to interview the man of the hour, the commish with all the power, the one...the only...meeee!!
Ataxia: Thank you me!
Ataxia: I do what I can for myself. So first question...boxers or briefs?
Ataxia: I prefer boxers. They have a punch. Ba Dum Ching!
Ataxia: Ahahah! Classic. So can you tell us? What can we expect from you booking wise next year?
Ataxia: Oh! At least one pudding match...probably a lot of them actually...emm pudding.
Ataxia: Opinions on your opponent for Wrestlefest?
Ataxia: He's a scoundrel with a small dick, and is a turd full of worms.
Ataxia: Oh nice.
Ataxia: Thank you.
Ataxia: Have we confused everyone yet?
Ataxia: The only thing that would be more confusing is if we were to unmask...
Ataxia: But I am Ataxia.
Ataxia: No I am Ataxia!
We cut to the ringside area and we see Ataxia in the front row of fans.
Ataxia: No I am Ataxia!
We cut to the popcorn vendor and he is Ataxia.
Ataxia: I am Ataxia!
We cut to an Ataxia right behind Rolash and Gunt wearing gladiator armor.
Ataxia: I AM SPARTACUS!!!
Mike Rolash: AHHH!!!
Jim Gunt: Oh well...when in Rome...
Mike Rolash: This isn't Rome.
Jim Gunt pulls out an Ataxia mask and puts it on.
Jim Guntxia: I AM ATAXIA!!!
Suddenly we see hundreds of Ataxias rush the ring area as Jim Guntxia leads them in a conga line as “Jump on it” by Apache starts playing.
Ataxias: JUMP ON IT!!! JUMP ON IT!!!
They all start dancing as we cut to Mike Rolash.
Mike Rolash: A flashmob...really?
We cut to an Ataxia behind Rolash wearing a trenchcoat who opens it up. Rolash turns and screams.
Mike Rolash: AHHHH!!!
Flashertaxia: HE'LL SAVE EVERYONE OF US!!!
The song suddenly starts turning into the theme song from “Flash Gordon” as the Ataxiamob starts singing along. Mike Rolash looks like he's about to have a nervous breakdown as we hear the docile tones of Jim Gunt singing his best Freddie Mercury. Suddenly there is an explosion at the ring entranceway and the mob stops as someone walks out of the smoke...It's Alice F'n Cooper!
Alice Cooper: ...Let's get Dangerous...
Mike Rolash: Darkwing Duck?
Suddenly the “real” Ataxia rushes out next to Alice Cooper as the band starts playing a live rendition of “Dangerous Tonight” as the Ataxiamob starts rocking out as the fans are enjoying this madcap melee of magnificent madness.
Mike Rolash: Seriously who produced this?
Suddenly credits roll up on the screen and it says Produced by A. Taxia P.G.A.
Mike Rolash: I...
Everyone in the audience: HATE YOU!!!!
Mike Rolash: I feel like I've done been memed...
Cut to a shot of the screen showing Mike Rolash's face on the dog at the computer meme saying “I don't know what I'm doing”. Mike sits down and opens up a bottle of booze.
Mike Rolash: Just...I'm done...I tap out...
Ataxia pops up behind the desk with a deck of magic cards.
Ataxia: I summon Jace...
Mike Rolash: AHHHH!!!
We cut away from the madness...
One more time the camera cuts to the ring with Blake Church ready to take on the last interview guest of the evening of an exciting Fanfest.
Blake Church: We have one more guest tonight here in the ring at Fanfest and I think it is safe to say that she is the most sought after today going with the fan reactions so far, ladies and gentlemen - EMM JAY FLAAAIIR!
The crowd erupts in cheers as MJ threads through the fans, who respectfully part ahead of her and she has to calm them down with lowering hand movements, so that the interview can actually begin.
Blake Church: MJ, thanks for coming out and enduring my questions this late in the evening, how does it feel to be here tonight?
He holds the microphone out to her, but she takes it from him and looks at him.
MJ Flair: Hold up, frand. Take a look back there for a second?
She puts her arm around Blake's shoulder and guides him around to a specific spot.
MJ Flair: Look out there, you see that line? HEY YOU GUYS!
The line to which she's addressing cheers, and a 'EMM JAY EFF' chant starts up.
MJ Flair: You say it's late in the evening, well - I've still got a line so it might as well still be the opening bell, my friend.
Blake Church: Fair enough, MJ, fair enough. You had said that your biggest goal was to go into WrestleFest here in the Big Apple in the main event and, well, here you are!
MJ Flair: Yes! Yes, here we are. Look, man - I know the score. Since the day after I lost the CWF World Title to Caledonia I literally went oh-for-three in opportunities t'get back here before Ataxia and I faced off. I... I need to be careful how I say this, okay?
MJ Flair: I'm good at this. BUT - but - I'm here because I was fortunate. And I don't take that lightly. Unlike my opponent, who point blank said he's the only person in this company that deserves the World Title, I know I'm fortunate - and if I'm able t'take it, I won't kick up my feet and pat myself on the back, oh no no.
She looks him dead in the eye.
MJ Flair: I'll be bustin' my ass every night t'prove I've earned it. Again.
The fans cheer, and Church smiles at them.
Blake Church: I have no doubt you will, MJ. Now, Colton Mace is a CWF legend - a hall of famer, to boot - and many were surprised to see him back in the federation. How much of an advantage do you think his experience is?
MJ Flair: Did experience help Jacehole do anything significant since he lost the CWF World Title to me? Did it help Amber Ryan beat Caledonia, despite getting literal back to back opportunities? Has it helped the Childlike Empress do whatever it is he and his little doomsday cult tried to do?
Each declaration brings a roar from the crowd, though Amber Ryan receives a sizeable cheer at the mention of her name.
MJ Flair: Experience isn't a factor. I'm the youngest Champion in the CWF's history, but I've still got a few years' experience'a my own. Will I be good enough on the day to beat Colton Mace? Will he be good enough t'beat me? We'll see - but it'll have nothing t'do with who's more 'experienced.’
Another cheer from the fans.
Blake Church: You're certainly confident, MJ, and I know you'll give it your all. Any final words?
MJ Flair: You ain't seen nothin' yet.
The fans pop huge as she fist bumps Blake Church and leaves the ring.
The sound of music blaring through overspeakers is heard through the crowded streets, the sound of the city eclipsed by their sound as they move closer to the entrance of Music City Radio Hall. The appearance of an older Trans-am, a 1977 model to be exact, one painted green with a purple and gold bird atop the hood, gaudy purple neon lights beneath it and inside of it, the entire ensemble screaming “I was coked out when I bought this”. The music comes from the car’s open windows, the song unmistakably “Absolute Territory” by Ken Ashcorp. The distant sound of sirens is heard as the car drifts haphazardly in front of Music City Radio Hall, the music not even turning down as the door flies open, a cloud of white powder accompanying it as a single man exits the car.
Dawning nothing but a green and gold fur coat, a purple jockstrap, and a pair of designer sunglasses sitting askew on his face, the former CWF employee makes a show of getting out of the car, even taking time to pose as though pictures were being taken, obviously having expected paparazzi.
The Pansexual Playboy’s face is covered in cocaine, the blonde heartthrob whipping his glasses off to reveal massively dilated eyes, his lips curling into a hilariously goofy grin.
Lance LaRusso: I don’t know who I put this car’s name under. But that poor dude’s gonna have a helluva fine.
He smirks, stumbling a bit as the passenger side door to his car opens up to reveal a more than frazzled Ash Williams rolling out of it, the nerd crawling to his feet and shakily moving over to Lance as the Playboy walks, rather saunters, up to the employee guarding the door. He looks shocked at the scene, pausing before incredulously asking Lance’s name.
Lance LaRusso: My name? Can’t you see who I am? The name’s Lance LaRusso, man. I’m sure you’ve heard of me.
The guard looks down at the list and shakes his head.
Security Guard: Er, no, there’s no Lance LaRusso on this list. I’m afraid I can’t let you in.
Lance looks at the guard in pure confusion, actually wiping some cocaine off of his face before responding.
Lance LaRusso: I’ll have you know I was invited here! The Adult Film awards, right? I’m THE Lance LaRusso, man who did over fifty adult films in one month, Best Actor, Brightest Up and Comer, Star of films such as ‘Sority Fucksacre Five’ and ‘Ten Inches a Slave’?
As Lance lists off at least five more increasingly non-PC titles, Ash interrupts him, putting a hand over his mouth.
Ash Williams: We were there last week, Lance. This is for CWF. That place that hired you once?
He shakes his head.
Ash Williams: He’s on the list as ‘The Wrestler Formerly Known as Lance LaRusso’. He thought it was funny at the time. Now let us in before the cops show up.
The guard checks the list and nods, letting the duo through mere seconds before the cops roll in, the squad surrounding the abandoned car as the scene fades out.
The noise has settled to a dull murmur as the majority of the fans are cleared out. Most of the booths are closed, and most of the lines are empty.
Still, all the way to the end of the hall, MJ Flair continues to sign things and take pictures. She looks tired, but she manages to keep the smile on her face as the line still stretches impossibly long.
MJF: Thanks so much for coming up. Next?
Tara Robinson approaches from the side, just as another mother with a young daughter approaches from the front.
Tara Robinson: You’re a machine, Flair.
MJF: How so?
Tara Robinson: Look around you - you’re still going.
MJ finishes signing, and poses with the little girl for a picture. While doing so, she looks out at the sea of empty and her eyes widen.
MJF: Holy crud, is anyone else still here?
Tara Robinson: The Aces are, but that’s at least partly due to the fact that they didn’t have a signing this morning, just a Q&A. Everyone else has packed up.
MJ signs a replica title belt and hands it off to the next fan, stopping for just a second to flex her hand.
Tara Robinson: Why are you even still here? I mean, I get it - but you’ve been at it for eleven hours without a real break. Almost everyone has already left for the Hall of Fame stuff. Nobody would blame you if you called it.
MJF: You wanna know why?
Tara Robinson: Yeah.
MJF: You really wanna know?
At this, Tara folds her arms and stares. MJ looks at her and laughs. She finishes signing and holds up her hand, asking for a moment.
MJF: This is gonna sound bad, chica, but… to be perfectly honest, I’m fucking rich. I don’t need to do this t’make a living. I do it because I love t’do it, but if I stopped tomorrow, my life would probably continue pretty much the same.
Tara Robinson: Okay…
She senses that MJ has more to say, but wanted to let her know she’s with her.
MJF: I’ve had a ton of advantages growing up that neither’a my parents had - but they made it work because’a them.
And MJ points at the line of fans.
MJF: They supported my parents. They made my dad matter t’this sport. They made my mom’s music legendary.
MJ waves the next fan on, and she shakes his hand.
MJF: I’m here because the fans were there for my parents, and now they’re here for me. That’s some stuff I don’t take lightly, and don’t think I could ever fully pay back.
She stands up and leans over for a photo.
MJF: That’s why I’m still here, Tara. And I’ll be here all night if it takes that long.
Tara thinks about this for a second as MJ signs a photo for the next fan and gets up for yet another picture.
Tara Robinson: Can I get in on this one?
MJ looks at the fan, who nods.
One… two… three… smile!
"Day and Night" by Billie Piper hits over the PA. Caledonia Highlander, the former World Champion, walks out onto the stage to thunderous applause. She is dressed in an elegant, figure-hugging blue dress, and waves to the crowd as she approaches the podium.
Caledonia: Good evening New York!
The crowd groans somewhat at the cheap pop, but marks out regardless.
Caledonia: Tonight it is my honour to induct two of the most esteemed competitors in the history of the Championship Wrestling Federation into the Hall of Fame. We have not always gotten along; indeed, we have fought in vicious and visceral combat in recent months.
But for all of the bad times, there have been good times. From our association with the Insurgency, taking on the Cyndicate and the Enterprise, spending together all those years ago, to finding a new home, and new friends, at the Academy.
The camera shows Eris applauding. They are dressed in an outfit split down the middle, with one half being a tuxedo and the other half being a ballgown. Next to them sits Mike Rolash, looking confused.
Caledonia: Although we have fought amongst ourselves from time to time, those fights pale in comparison to what we have withstood together. We have weathered so many storms, fended off so many demons… and here, at the end of it all, we stand strong. We stand firm. And we stand together.
Fans of CWF, I present your newest Hall of Fame inductees: Elijah and Omega!
Caledonia waves her hands in the air to present the two people who have been both her best of friends and worst of enemies...
The lights dim. Twin spotlights begin to play over the crowd, one red, one purple, searching through the audience before converging at the top of the aisle leading to the stage. Music begins to play, playful yet esoteric, the occult circus, drums accordions and violins.
“If you're very, very quiet, and do not make a sound
I'll share a little secret that seems a bit profound
Each thought that is imagined gains a life and soul
And drifts into reality, looking for its home…”
The crowd erupts as Elijah and Omega step through. The tensions of the past few months long forgotten, a chant of “WELCOME HOME” springs up. They stand a moment, taking in the sight as "Carnival" by the Cruxshadows continues to play.
“Some people call it karma, some people call it fate
Some people call it kindness, others call it hate
Some people use it wisely, some people sell it cheap
Some people call it happiness, others call it grief…”
Elijah is dressed in black from head to toe, long hair tied back, a red omega symbol over his left breast. He walks with a long black cane, a red gemstone set in its tip. Omega skips in front of him, bouncing from one side of the entrance ramp to the other, wearing a purple and black miniskirt and matching top, a half-smile, half-frown emoticon drawn in precious rubies embedded in the chest.
“Tragedy from tragedy, a lover's kiss (that's simple),
Religion falls behind the walls where paradise remains
‘Does suffering suggest the cause of all our little questions?’
The answer was not coming soon, she paused for reflection
Some people call it karma…”
As they approach the stage she hops onto the steps, lowering a hand daintily, helping him up. Elijah gestures for a mic, thrown onto the stage by an assistant.
Elijah: One and all…
He cannot continue, drowned out by the sound of the crowd. He glances to Omega and they both smile, a few tears trickling down their cheeks.
Omega: Hush now children, class is…
Still the noise continues. She throws her head back and laughs.
Omega: One more word and there’ll be no cookies for anyone!
Elijah: One and all. Thank you, every single one of you, for that warm welcome. It has been a while.
Omega: Too long.
Elijah: Tonight we stand here, to receive the highest accolade this company has to offer. An accolade granted not by the whims of the management of this federation, but by the support of you, those of you who have stood by us these past years. Truly, it is we who should be thanking you.
Our days in CWF began nine years ago, almost to the day. We had first set out in this industry five years before, trained under the legendary “Rebel” Ray Skelton, done battle first in the United Kingdom and then across the world.
Omega: UK, Mexico, Egypt and Palestine, Germany and Italy and so many more besides. Bleeding and being bleeded every step of the way. Until one day, during a tournament, we were summoned by an enormous head in a jar and given these coins of immense power, coins that granted us control over enormous robots based on prehistoric beasts, and with them to do battle with -
Elijah: My love?
Elijah: I believe you are referring to the Power Rangers.
Omega: Oh. What about that time we met a man with a blue box and went travelling across -
Elijah: That was Doctor Who.
Omega: What about that time we were doing pizza delivery and went to visit a lonely housewife and -
Elijah: That was your and Eris’ own project and perhaps not suitable for this audience.
Elijah: May I continue?
Omega: Please do.
Elijah: Having travelled the world, shed blood on five continents, won and lost gold in our turn, we finally found our way to the doors of the Championship Wrestling Federation. There we met the man who would shape our future, a man by the name of J. Rish.
Elijah nods to the front row. J. Rish sits, a smile on his face, alongside legends of CWF past and present. Omega reaches into her pocket and pulls out a carefully wrapped cookie, throwing it at him frisbee style, laughing as it collides with his face.
Elijah: First I, then my beloved, set foot between the ropes of CWF. We found ourselves in an extraordinary world, faced with new friends and enemies and challenges beyond number. Victor Quinn and Chaolin Sahn, Chris Andrews and Angelica. Franklin Frederickson, Jarvis King, Kemsey Ramsey and so many more besides.
We met Amber “Angel” Ryan and Cain, and with them formed the Insurgency, an alliance whose name shall echo through the ages. We fought against Sahn's vile cult of the Cyndicate, Rish's lackeys in the Enterprise, took on all challengers and earned our place in this company's history.
He pauses, flinching. Omega takes his hand, squeezing it gently.
Omega: Then a piece of our past returned to interfere with the present. A man you know as Elisha, and who we know as the Moonchild. He came, knife in hand, and struck down my lover one terrible night in 2010.
The truth never came out at the time - the Spirit Science Research Institute are more than capable of damage control, desperate that the world should not know that one of their wayward sons had struck down another. The Moonchild would leave a path of devastation through CWF, finally meeting his match in Amber. And my lover and I would travel the world.
Elijah: When protestors occupied the streets of New York, we were there. When riots tore apart London, we were there. When the Arab Spring turned to bleakest winter, uprisings against tyranny hijacked by fanaticism and intervention - we were there. Ever watching, ever learning, trying to make sense of a world that was changing around us.
And, in our homeland in Yorkshire, we began to build. We turned our home into the Academy, a sanctuary for the oppressed and downtrodden, a place where each could teach and be taught by the other.
A place to build an army to fight against the Institute in the war that was to come.
Omega: Then the phone call came. After so many years, that same voice - Rish calling us home for one last blaze of glory.
Elijah: And so it came to pass that, at Wrestle Fest Three, I would become the first World Champion of this new era. An accomplishment that will never be erased.
Omega: Sure enough, as the CWF returned to our lives, so too did the Institute. Through that old enemy Sahn, and a new face in Ryan Pierre. And lastly, with the Moonchild himself.
Elijah: The Moonchild's return left me incapacitated, unable to fight, scarcely able to walk. We retreated to our home, to the place the world calls the Academy, there to prepare a new generation for the battles still to come - even if we could not yet tell them the sheer scale of what was to be done.
Caledonia, Eris, Yusuf and so many others. We recruited you to fight against the Institute, doing what we believed needed to be done. Yet in doing so we deceived you and for this, we are truly sorry. And to the family of James Skelton, know that we will forever regret what took place.
Omega turns her face away, eyes filled with tears. Elijah places a hand on her shoulder and she wipes her eyes.
Omega: We guided the Bright Young Things to championship gold, stood firm when our home was surrounded by enemies on every side. Found ourselves pitted against those we considered closest friends, even family. Sometimes to win, sometimes to lose. Yet we never backed down and never gave in.
Elijah: Yet while we fought these battles, the winds of change began to blow, first as a breeze, then as a whirlwind. Old faces dropped away and new ones came in their stead, those with no knowledge or passion for this federation or its rich tapestry of history. This is no longer the company we helped to build. Rather than rage ineptly against the passing of time, we chose instead to take our leave, to pursue our battles in pastures new.
To those who stood by us over the years, to those who made this federation something unique and beautiful, to our friends and enemies and those whose paths we never crossed. To the Insurgency and the Academy, the Cyndicate, Eternals and even Ouroboros, and to Rish - thank you. For everything.
Omega: Tl;dr: here's to those who wish us well - and those who don't can go to hell.
He laughs, a real one this time, perhaps the first in nine long years of CWF history.
Elijah: Quite so, my love.
It is a fact, repeated to the point of cliche, that there are no true retirements in this industry. Perhaps in beta days our paths will cross once more. Until then…
Elijah: Be seeing you.
A much older J. Rish than even the New York City fans are accustomed to comes out from behind the curtain, a serious look etched on his wrinkled face. He runs his fingers through his peppered hair before taking the podium, finally smiling as the crowd of both current and former CWF stars and other big name movie and sports stars give him a resounding cheer. Rish quiets them after a few moments raising both of his hands in the air.
J. Rish: Thank you, thank you, but my purpose this evening is not to grovel and take up the spotlight from those who truly deserve it like I may have done a time or two in the past.
A couple of honest laughs come from the crowd. The founder of CWF just snickers.
J. Rish: No, I am here because this is of course my favorite time of the year. Not only Wrestle Fest four, the show of all shows, but the fan fest is back with all it's pomp and pageantry. And most of all, this part right here. When myself and a few other unnamed board members went over the entire roster months ago, trying to figure out this whole hall of fame thing, there were several names that they brought up in discussion. Some I felt have not been in the company long enough.
Rish takes a breath and clears his throat, taking a swig of his bottled water before continuing.
J. Rish: There are others that just do not have the accolades to be deserving of such an amazing accomplishment. But when you think of who DOES deserve this Hall of Fame spot? There is one man who without a shadow of a doubt should have already been inducted years ago. This man epitomized this company eighteen years plus ago when we opened our doors. This man revolutionized CWF, the sport of wrestling and his own career and life a year ago when he became the oldest active CWF World Champion of all time. I could go on all night naming off this man's accolades, he's truly done it all...
Interrupting him from the crowd, the Ripper yells out "Please Don't!"
J. Rish: Pipe down Rip, you had your own moment when you inducted yourself into the hall of fame.
Everyone in attendance laughs at Ripper as he reddens in embarrassment.
J. Rish: As I was saying, I could go on all day about what this man has done for this company. But let me be real for a second and stop being Rish and just be Justin fucking Rishel. The man behind Harley Hodge has been one of my best friends for the last two decades. We have been through ups and downs, wars together. We have been on the road together, our families are best friends. This is me saying that there would be no hall of fame, there would be no CWF if it wasn't for this man. Ladies and gentlemen please welcome, my friend and one of the best athletes to ever step foot in a wrestling ring, the Accelerator....HARLEY HODGE!!!
“Evenflow” by Pearl Jam fires off through the speakers as everyone rises to their feet to applaud “The Accelerator” as he walks out from behind the stage, wearing a black suit and a red tie that’s partially covered by the same leather biker jacket he was wearing during his Evolution 29 return. He reaches the podium, with a handful of notecards, and smiles back at the crowd - applauding them back and nodding his head with gratitude before the music fades out.
The applause stops and everyone gets back into their seats.
Harley Hodge: Thank you so much for the warm welcome, you guys. I really appreciate it.
The crowd once again gives the Accelerator a great reception.
Harley Hodge: You know, my father gave me some incredible advice in his last few days on this Earth. I remember sitting next to his hospital bed, his hand in mine, and just drowning in this dread that the moment was coming. He hadn’t spoken in days - not to anyone, but for some reason, that day? That was the day that he felt like piping up. And it wasn’t much - it wasn’t this long-drawn out, Emmy-award winning speech like how it is in the movies. It was actually just seven words, followed by, “I love you”. Those seven words were, “Keep your mind where your feet are”. I was in a terrible place at the time, man. I was - I mean, I didn’t really even have a relationship with my Pops at that point. I didn’t really care about anyone - or truly anything - but uh…
Harley stops for minute while he tries to gather his thoughts and calm the emotions.
Harley Hodge: He put all of that to the side. He always did. I was his son - and he loved me for that. He didn’t care about everything else. And when he told me to keep my mind where my feet were, I didn’t really take that and run with it. It calmed me, but mostly because I looked at it at face value - my father was willing to speak to me after all of the years of my neglect. But you know what? There was more to it. I lived my life at an accelerated pace - constantly trying to run the distance to see what was there for me at the far end. I didn't pay attention to the little things - the inches that were in front of me. I just cared about the end game - the endzone, so to speak. And it made me anxious - just a complete mess, you know?
Harley wipes his eyes and clears his throat.
Harley Hodge: But when I got clean, and started to put things into perspective, I realized what he meant. Everything begins with that first step. When you’re just a baby, you focus on that one step - that first idea of walking - and then once that happens, you begin to focus on your second step, your third step - everything has a structured path to it. And you don’t think about it - I mean, you’re too damn young for that, right? You’re just programmed to move in that way. And then you get older, and you forget about that formula. You become a rebel who puts their middle finger up in the air toward formulas and structure, because no one is going to tell you what to do, right?
Harley pauses again.
Harley Hodge: And that was my life. Be the rebel. No cause. No motive. Just do whatever the hell you want to do because it feels right - it feels good - until you get older and you begin to see the forest for the trees. Until you really begin to see what transforming into a rebel really does to you. So, I stand before you today - flesh and bone - living life by keeping my mind where my feet are, steady and focused on my first step, then my second - and no longer concerned with what lies at the other side of the rainbow. This is what Dad wanted out of me, and I’ll be damned if I carry on with the rest of my life playing the rebel against a concept that’s more effective than anything you could read in an overpriced book.
Harley gets a huge round of applause.
Harley Hodge: CWF gave me an opportunity many years ago - most of you were barely alive when I started walking through this lockerroom - and aside from my own father, has been the most forgiving friend that I’ve ever had. I’ve really tripped up here - many times - and have let the success provided to me by this company go to my head - and up my nose as well. And yet, today, I stand here as a Hall of Fame inductee - wondering if this is real life. It is, Harley. It really is. There are beautiful people out there that are willing to give you chance after chance after chance, because they believe in you. There are people out there like Justin Rishel, like all of the Creative team in CWF, like all of the people that had to put up with me and my stubbornness, that are more than willing to do it over and over and over again because they love me.
And you know what? I love all of you.
The crowd goes absolutely nuts, rising to their feet again.
Harley Hodge: Thank you for this honor. That’s what it really is - an unbelievably beautiful honor that I will hold against my heart until it stops ticking. Thank you Dad for the advice, and thank you for all of you for never giving up on me. I’ll never be able to fully explain to you how much I appreciate it. Thank you.
And with that, Harley raises a singular arm in the air to massive cheers. The legend and now Hall of Famer takes his leave with the biggest smile on his face.
Marcus Maximus: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage! DUCE JONES!
The crowd is split as some cheer and some boo, “Smiling Faces” by Kevin Gates begins to play through the . Co-holder of the CWF Tag Team Championship, Duce Jones steps out from behind the curtain. He has that familiar cocky smile plastered on his face as he approaches the podium, sporting black jeans, gray fitted shirt, along with a black sports jacket. Looking out to the crowd of wrestlers and fans together, his eyes severely red and low, Jones begins to speak.
Duce Jones: When I was ask to induct Freddie into tha Hall of Fame, I honestly didn't know what t'say. Because Freddie Styles, tha person keeps his personal affairs separate from what we do every week. But let me tell ya bout Freddie Styles the wrestler.
The crowd begins to stir as Duce clears his throat.
Duce Jones: A lil ova a year ago, Freddie Styles main evented Wrestle Fest wit sum of tha top names dis company had at tha time… His first night bein’ unda contract! Dis man took CWF Hall of Famer in her own right, Amber Ryan to tha limit, and beat her, TWICE!
The crowd let's out a light hearted chuckle as Duce stands there looking ridiculous, while holding up two fingers.
Duce Jones: Dis dude is serious, jack! He's also tha man who gave me my first pinfall loss ever, here CWF. I mean it was a no brainer why I asked him to join up wit me t'form Smokin’ Aces! Hell he even thought of tha name!
Jones’ eyes go wide as he makes the statement bringing more laughs.
Duce Jones: Check dis, we was in Vegas one night, playin’ Blackjack. Then we both won, and he was like, check dat shit out, a pair of Smokin’ Acesssss! I was thinkin’ t'myself, dat shit sound gangsta as fuck! Now look at us, into our second title reign, wit no signs of slowin’ down… Cuz we run dis tag team shit!
Some of the crowd boos as a “Smokin’ Asses!” chant starts up, Jones smiling, pointing towards the crowd.
Duce Jones: I knew y'guys loved us..But without further adieu, let me introDuce t’all y'all out there, and t'tha folks watchin’ at home! Tha Ace to tha Duce, my brotha, like he say we come from the same mud. And no matta what you think bruh, we walk side by side, no one is in tha otha one’s shadow! Cuz now it's yo time! Ladies and gentlemen I give to you, 2018 CWF HALL OF FAMER! MR. BALLGAME! FREDDIE STYLES!
An emotional Freddie Styles steps up to the stage, shaking his friend and tag team partner Duce Jones' hand before giving him a bro hug. Duce then leaves the stage as Freddie composes himself.
Freddie Styles: Thank you, thank you.
I stand here before you, humbled.
Styles takes a deep breath as the crowd of his peers and fans alike give him a hearty cheer.
Freddie Styles: Humbled because this business can humble you over and over if you're not capable of being in it. You ride these roads, ride these flights and make these shows.
You do it 300 plus days a year. You do it, if you're lucky, for 15 years plus. If you're good enough, you get to close some shows and win some gold. If you're great enough, you get these people to chant your name, whether they love you or hate you. I've been doing this for 6 years. Here in the CWF, about a year and a half.
A year and a half. Roughly 550 days, give or take. In a year and a half, I've broken thru the old glass ceiling, and shattered all the expectations that anyone had for a kid from Birmingham, Alabama. I've broken a hall of famers face, and retired two more. I've done more in 550 days than some folks will get in their whole career....but I am humbled.
Another cheer from the crowd who begin to start up a "YOU DESERVE IT!" chant.
Freddie Styles: I'm humbled because no one wanted this for me. No one expected this from me. I was written off as just another piece of hood trash...except by the man who took me in and sparked my love for professional wrestling. A multiple time CWF champion...my mentor...Ronnie McNeil.
Out in the crowd, Ronnie stands and points at Freddie, nodding his head in approval.
Freddie Styles: That man gave me a life. He did plenty of good things here. And he deserves to be up here being honored tonight as much as I do.This is for you Unc. We both made it!
The crowd, initially split on the Smoking Ace member, all cheer in approval as Freddie makes a beeline to hug Ronnie, as we move to commercial.
A tense hush falls over the crowd gathered to witness CWF legends being inducted into the legendary Hall of Fame. According to the program on sale at all the vending stands for the low, low price of $29.99, Ataxia’s induction into the HoF is next and last! The crowd awaits eagerly and Maximus strolls onto the stage to introduce the inductor of The Knight in Shining Burlap himself, Ataxia. However, he stumbles as he comes to a sudden stop due to the lights going out and the spotlight coming on to fall on a shadowy figure, just outside of the light.
???: Sorry Maximus, but I don’t know you, you don’t know me, and I think I can manage it from here. No spotlight please. Something soft if you don’t mind.
The bright spotlight flickers off and is replaced by a series of cool and blue flood lights that highlight the stage in a surreal sapphire light. A figure appears wearing the most beautiful gown made of midnight blue sequins that sparkle everytime she moves. She is tall, a lean frame and hair going down to the middle of her back. Thick glasses cover her deep brown eyes that hold a sincerity that makes even the sleaziest of the weasels second guess crossing her. She glides over to the podium with purpose and people quickly take notice of the opera glove covering her left arm, right up to the bottom of her elbow, a Mia Rayne: Forsaken Psychotic sweatband the only thing out of place in her appearance. With a single finger, she pushes her thick glasses up onto the bridge of her nose and smiles out over the crowd.
???: You all don’t know me, but I know all of you. I don’t have a name, but I created someone you all know and love, Mia Rayne.
Gasps fall out over the crowd but “The Creator” or “The Writer” as she prefers to be called, silences them all with a look.
The Writer: I was tasked and by who it doesn’t matter, with inducting Ataxia into the Hall of Fame tonight. Honestly, I was asked if Mia would be making a grand reappearance for this one very special night and that is something that I can’t let happen. You’ll all find out and I’m so sorry that she isn’t here with you all tonight. She wanted to be, that I can tell you for sure and beyond a shadow of a doubt. She will come back and retribution WILL be hers.
She pauses, caught up in the moment before shuffling imaginary papers in front of her and continuing.
The Writer: So while Mia won’t be here to induct her Knight in Shining Burlap into the Hall of Fame, I still felt that Ataxia deserves something… Original. He is one of the very best things about The CWF and has gone to long lengths to protect it. As a writer, reader, and avid fan of The CWF I would have been upset had Ataxia not received a proper introduction and so my dear friends… Er… FRANDS… That is why I’m here for you and most importantly for Ataxia tonight.
Ataxia is a man just like any other but he has NEVER failed to not only entertain but how many of you could honestly say “CWF” without saying “Ataxia” in the same breath? You want backbone? Workhorse? Moxy? That’s cool.
You all have Ataxia.
WE have Ataxia. And for that the only way that is apt to say “thank you” to such an otherworldly character, such an unorthodox persona, is to have him inducted into CWF’s Hall of Fame in the weirdest and most off the wall way possible and again FRANDS that is why I am here. Without further ado, I give to you all the one and only…
The crowd erupts as Ataxia makes his way to the stage, curious about his inductor who welcomes him with open arms. They embrace and she whispers in his ear and slips a small memento into his pocket. She kisses his cheek and smiles at him before motioning for him to take the podium, mouthing “You deserve this!”
He bows low for her and she curtsies in return. The moment is magical. Perfect. They waltz together across the stage, each reading the other perfectly and putting on a flawless performance that leaves all in attendance breathless.
Because that’s what we all do in the end isn’t it? Entertain...
Ataxia: Frands...nothing but frands. When I was informed I was going to be inducted into this hall of fame I had to ask one question. I believe it was the great Groucho Marx who said “I would never want to join a club that would have me as a member”, and in most cases I would agree with him. I mean look at me. Who would expect that this...this persona...this madman...would be standing before you as a member of the Hall of Fame with a career that is honestly lacking in that. In short, I'm not worthy of this. I mean what have I really done in my career here in CWF? I won the world title once, against a greater champion in a fluke. A random booking. Then it propeled me to face two men in what was to be the last pay per view in my first run in CWF. That's when I got introduced to men like Jace Valentine and Danny B. Two men I used to have high opinions of. At that time, I was the new kid. I was the one who no one had any confidence in. Then you had Jace. Someone who lived up to his ego back then, then it got bigger than someone in the white house at the moment. Then you had Danny B...who became just like most of the champions here.
Ataxia leans forward.
There is some eye rolling, but mostly laughter. Ataxia grins.
Ataxia: Back to the topic at hand, everyone who is in this small circle has done good by me. They did the one thing no one expected them to do. They took me seriously. Oh sure, we have bravado and trashtalk, but when the bell rings...they all get serious because they know one thing. I'm not backing down. When CWF reopened after it closed the first time I went to Rish. I asked him what he needed. So we cultivated a plan. I came back as a bad guy, but it was a ruse. My goal was to “destroy CWF”. Ironic now that I stand to save CWF as being the acting commissioner now. I did it to keep things going. We needed someone for the fans to come to see thwarted. Then, almost as soon as it restarted. It stopped again. I got depressed. I hit a dark place. I joined a dark place. I went over the edge and back again.
Then...a while ago. I find out CWF has reopened. And I hesitated. The only time in my whole career that I hesitated. I didn't want to get hurt again. It's hard for someone like me to find a home. So when I came back here I wanted to keep my home going as best as possible. To protect it. Every decision has been made with this, and along the way I got a family out of it. For the first time in my life...despite some of them not being here right now...I feel like I'm finally a real person instead of well...a freak who wears a bag on his head. Now I could sit up here and talk about my accomplishments, but if you look around this room. My accomplishment is in some small way that everyone here is here. My job is to keep this place going. Even if I don't like you. Even if I think you are the worst wrestler in the world. Even if your name is Mike Rolash...you're family. And we fight like family. We party hard like family. We are CWF God Damn It...And we are going to be around for a very long time, and if it ever comes to us shutting down again...understand this. It'll be over my broken nearly dead body. I want to thank those that nominated me and those that thought it best for me to join. I'm not worthy now of this honor, but I will strive every damn day from here on out to live past the expectations of what it means to be a member of the CWF Hall of Fame. I would not be here without Shadow, Dorian, Chloe, or Mia. Also have to thank all of my opponents...for what is this great hero without a few villains eh? Thank you...Oh and one more thing. I have a present for Danny B...a telling of things to come.
The Ripper looks up from his spot in the crowd as backstage techs wheel out a black coffin. They set it up. Ataxia opens it up and we see a mannequin of Danny B inside of it.
Ataxia: See you at Wrestlefest...AHAHAHHAHHAHAHHAHA!!!
The coffin starts to catch on fire as the lights flicker and Ataxia is gone. We see Danny's face as the effigy starts to burn and he is damn pissed off.
Zooming into the flames and blurring out, FanFest 2018 comes to an end and the credits start to roll.
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