The picture fades in to the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado, with the fans already having a ball. The lights go out and the Vertigo graphic appears on the tron as Eclipse's "Vertigo" begins to blare over the PA to indicate that the show is about to begin! As the fans get settled in, the cameras cut to Jim Gunt and Mike Rolash, seated behind their table. Jim smiles for the camera and Mike give a half hearted wave with an awkward grimace before studying the paperwork before him.
Jim Gunt: Ladies and gentlemen good evening and welcome to Vertigo! To get things started off with a bang, Jon Stewart has signed on a NEW commentator that will be joining Mikey Boy and myself here at the table. Rumors have since swirled and then been killed as it is now confirmed that Mia Rayne will be joining us here on commentary! Mike! How ya feelin' buddy?
Mike Rolash: I'm... I'm not. I don't like surprises, they never turn out well for me. Case in point, this abomination of a situation we're about to find ourselves in. Mia calls her point of view, her mindset, "The Rabbit Hole." I... Am I the only one that sees how absurd this is?!
Mike's face pales and he lets out a small whimper as the lights fade to nothing and the crowd starts doing their best to blow the roof off the Pepsi Center. "Battle On" by One Eyed Doll begins to play as an angelic yet haunting voice lights up the airwaves...
There's a place where I am the hero
There's a world in my fantasy
I will take you if you want to go
Nothing short of an epic guitar solo follows as the screen above the entrance ramp lights up with only two symbols, two small symbols that normally wouldn't mean anything, but this isn't a normal night and these aren't normal people, who see normal things. They see a semi colon and a right parenthesis.
Mike Rolash: NO!
Jim Gunt: YES! Ladies and gentlemen if there were any doubts before they are all hereby erased! Mia Rayne is BACK!
A sudden flare of lights and there she is in all of her enigmatic glory, the one and only, Mia Rayne!
Mike Rolash: But... But... She, she was fired! And arrested! I still don't get it.
Jim Gunt: If memory serves, C$J fired and had Loki Synn arrested. Mia Rayne is still a free woman.
Mia blows a kiss to all of the fans who are chomping at the bit just to touch her. She takes some time to do photo ops, autographs, and whatever else with a few lucky individuals, before skipping down to the ringside area. The closer she gets to the announce table, the more pale Mike Rolash becomes until finally... She makes it to the table and eyes the seat between the two gentlemen. Shrugging her shoulders she climbs on top of the table where she poses for the world to see, before hopping down behind the table and making herself comfortable between Jim Gunt, who is too busy trying not to laugh at the look on Mike's face. Slowly though he is able to regain his composure as Mia puts her headset on,
Jim Gunt: Mia! It's great to see you! What a great surprise Jon Stewart has given us all!
Mike Rolash: Surprise?! Great?! You... You're supposed to be FIRED! AND! ARRESTED! You... You're...
Mia Rayne: I'm me. Hola. Aaaannnnndddd... We aren't supposed to be discussing that matter. What I am allowed to say about it is that Loki was the one that was fired and arrested, Mr. Stewart sees the value in having someone like me at the announce table, and while he clears up some legal stuff between himself and C$J with my roster contract, well... Here I am. But don't worry! We'll have fun boys! Now, what do we have on dock?
Mike only goes back to studying his paperwork as Jim takes over.
Jim Gunt: Originally we had Scourge versus Ciara Kennedy. But...
Mike Rolash: But nothing. Stewart exercised whatever magic muscle he has...
Mia Rayne: Now Mike, are you saying that you're curious about Jon Stewart's "muscle?"
Mike nods enthusiastically and opens his mouth to continue to make his point. However, he suddenly closes it and his face flushes a brilliant scarlet as he realizes his faux pas. Mia only smiles politely, waiting for an answer while Jim does his best not to laugh. He is however, fighting a losing battle as he lets out a couple snickers.
Mike Rolash: What I meant to say... *Ahem* Was that Stewart pulled whatever strings he has available to him to turn the winds of change his way. First he bails you out of jail in Australia and gives you a job C$J rightfully took away. Then he has this "mystery match" added at the beginning of a pay-per-view, two days prior to the event, using Hostility stars? Or at least only one Hostility roster member and one mystery opponent? Are we in a wrestling business or the latest Agatha Christie mystery novel?!
Silence falls between the three of them, Mia and Jim staring at Mike who is breathing a bit hard, his face still flushed. After several moments, Mike calms himself down and goes back to his paperwork. Jim gets together a match lineup for Mia and for her part, she can only stare at Rolash, who is quickly becoming more and more frazzled and unravelled by the minute. Finally the thin rubber band that is Mike Rolash's patience, pulled taunt and to the maximum, snaps.
Mike Rolash: WHAT?!?!
Slightly taken aback by the outburst Mia jumps slightly and Jim nearly scatters the carefully prepared paper packet in the air. Luckily, he is able to maintain his composure and keep everything from becoming a mess. Finally, Mia is able to respond.
Mia Rayne: You... You read Agatha Christie?! I... LOVE her work! What's your favorite book?
Mike can only look at her incredulously before he rubs his temples with the palms of his hands.
Mike Rolash: Can we just PLEASE get to the rest of this evening so I can go home and contemplate my life choices?
Mia Rayne: Yeah, I get hung up on decisions all the time. Turkey or Ham? McD's or Burger King? Mighty Taco or Taco Bell? Tim Hortons or...
Mike Rolash: JIM!
Before Jim has a chance to regain his composure from laughing so hard, a voice interrupts them all...
Jon Stewart: I believe I can clear up some of the confusion...
All eyes turn to the illuminated screen above the entrance ramp, a very... confident looking Jon Stewart standing in front of his desk as he watches the proceedings from his office.
Jon Stewart: Gentlemen, Mia... Mia, you are looking lovely tonight as always.
Mia giggles slightly and sarcastically blows him a kiss before winking at him. He smirks slightly and continues.
Jon Stewart: I am here to announce this next match, as it is something that is long, LONG overdue. While Mia was getting used to her new accomodations while I work on getting her cleared to compete again, you will all notice that one Jerimiah Castle has entered into the ring. I absolutely relish this moment. I introduce you all to CWF's NEWEST ROSTER MEMBER!!! ... CHRISTOPHER! SAINT! JAMES!
Jim Gunt: What?!
Mike Rolash: How!?
Mia Rayne: Hehehehehehe... That's amazing and hilarious! Karma really is a bitch! Onto more important matters though...
Both Jim and Mike turn to look at her as she quietly shuffles the papers in front of her as "Yes" by LMAO cues up over the speakers.
Mia Rayne: How many licks does it truly take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? I usually lose track at about sixty or so. Not only that, but is there a standard for how long the sucker should stay in your mouth? How much tongue swirling action there should be? Mike? You seem to be the expert in all things weird, do you tongue YOUR suckers? If so, how long per trip to the mouth?
Mike only shakes his head and stares stoically ahead as Jim giggles with Mia.
Mia Rayne: I just figured that since you knew about Jon Stewart's "magic muscle," you might know about tongues too...
She is interrupted by the crowd who rain down their displeasure of the former CWF owner C$J. He stands at the top of the entrance ramp, dressed to compete in his tights and wrestling boots. He has his mink coat on and of course his sunglasses are covering most of whatever expression is in his eyes. With several choice curse words, he heads down to the ring as Stewart continues his introduction.
Jon Stewart: That's right folks, you heard it here first! C$J is our newest roster member as he will be joining other members from the now, I'm happy to report, defunct, Hostility. This isn't a trick, it isn't a ploy, this is real life. C$J? You are hereby, low bitch on the totem pole. But at least I was able to squeeze you in on the card this time around and you aren't stuck working a dark match instead. CWF? Please give our newest... Talent, the welcome he deserves.
The fans' boos only grow louder as C$J once again curses as he slides into the ring under the bottom rope. He steps into the face of Jerimiah, who tries to return the look, but isn't successful and ends up giving Mr. #1derful some space. Satisfied, C$J hops up on the second rope and shows off his impressive physique to the crowd, who only respond with more jeers.
Jim Gunt: WOW! Haven't even heard the bell for the first match and we already have two great additions to the show! Mia Rayne has been added to the commentary team...
Mike Rolash: (Unenthusiastically) Yay.
Mia Rayne: And we have the former owner of the CWF, a man who let's face it, needed his ego balloon deflated some, added to the roster. Not only that, but Mr. Stew also mentioned that we're getting MORE roster members since Hostility is now defunct and...
Mia pauses suddenly as if to think of her next word.
Jim Gunt: Something wrong Mia?
Rolash looks up from the hole he was staring into the back of his hands hopefully. However, realizing that a sudden miracle hadn't just occured, his look only sours once again and he goes back to silence.
Mia Rayne: Nah, I was just amused by how amazing of a word "defunct" is. Defunct. DEfunct. deFUNCT. Defunct, defunct, defunct...
Jim smiles as Mia bounces up and down with every mention of the word "defunct" as she waits for the start of the match. Mike only sinks lower and lower into his chair as Trent Robbins calls for the bell, Stewart waves at C$J, and his image is replace by the CWF logo. C$J curses again as Trent tells him that the coat and sunglasses have to go. God's Gift to Everything yells at him to back up and takes the coat off, handing it carefully down to a ringside tech. He tosses the sunglasses down, too, as Trent checks him for foreign objects. Satisfied, Trent backs up off of C$J who points at Castle as if to say, "What about him?" Trent goes to repeat the process, lifting up one of Jerimiah's legs to check his boots, but with lightning fast speed and precision, C$J delivers a super kick to the chin of Castle! Jerimiah goes down like a sack of potatoes and C$J lazily goes for the cover.
Mike Rolash: If ever there was a poster child for tenacity when things don't go there way, it is C$J. The amount of crap he has gone through this week has been just astronom...
Mike doesn't have a chance to finish as Mia blows a raspberry into her hands and points into the ring as Trent makes the count.
At the last possible moment, C$J lifts up the arm of a barely concious Castle! Trent is forced to stop the count but admonishes C$J who in all honesty, could care less. He backs up, his hands up as Trent checks on Castle who is getting to a knee shakingly. However, just like before C$J strikes like a snake and delivers a vicious knee to the side of Jerimiah's head! The crowd boos and C$J wags his finger, indicating he isn't done. His demeanor drips with arrogance as he picks up Castle and puts him back down with authority with a hammerlock DDT! Leaping up he rolls his eyes as he goes to the top rope and flicking off no one in particular, leaps off and flips through the air, delivering a picture perfect shooting star press to the incapacitated Castle!
Jim Gunt: Love him or hate him, C$J looks like he has no ring rust as he makes the cover on Jerimiah.
Mike Rolash: It's just a formality at this point Jim. If this is Stewart's way of punishing C$J, then he has it easy from here.
Mia Rayne: Not for loooonnnnnnggggg.....
Mike Rolash: What?
Mia Rayne: Hmm?
C$J makes the cover and Trent slides in to make the count.
"Yes" once again rings out but if C$J had any kind of celebration planned for his first win in over a decade, he doesn't have a chance to show it as Jaiden Rishel comes up from behind the former owner and delivers a vicious chair shot! C$J goes down hard, and Jaiden continues the punishment, delivering shot after shot with the chair, until it is nothing but a bent frame of metal. He smiles as he backs up and gets out of the ring, admiring his handiwork as Trent cautiously goes to check on C$J.
Jim Gunt: Wow! The war between Evolution and Hostility might be over, but the feud between Jaiden and C$J only looks to be heating up!
Mia Rayne: And with Mr. Stew making C$J a roster member...
Mike Rolash: That freak Jaiden can finally get his hands on him... This... This is not good for him.
Mia Rayne: Told ya. Mr. Stew has plans for C$J, and NONE of them include him having an easy time.
As the three continue to discuss the events that just happened, the feed cuts to a commercial advertising the low introductory price of only $8.99 for a one month subscription to the CWF Network, now airing a biopic of the life and times of the beloved Jace Valentine.
Anticipation is in the air. Even backstage, where security does not have anything to do but make sure only the people who belong there are granted access… there’s something.
John Major, newly hired and anxious to prove himself - he certainly feels it. He stands tall with his chest out and shoulders back, trying his best to look filled with the confidence he doesn’t have. Fortunately, his afternoon has been easy, and nobody has tried to gain unauthorized access to the backstage area.
Until now, he reckons.
A young woman walks towards him, talking on the phone. He stiffens up, but casually; she does not appear to be a threat.
“No, I’ve never been back here before. I’ll find - never mind, I found it. Okay, talk to you later. Love you.”
She walks towards John, and his posture stiffens. Still, he can’t help but appreciate her movements. It almost pains him to have to do his job, but rules are rules.
Oddly, she doesn’t even pause to sweet talk her way in, and John has to put a hand on her shoulder.
John Major: Excuse me.
“Excuse yourself. I can find my way around.”
He moves in front of her.
John Major: CWF staff only, ma’am. I’m sorry.
She stifles a laugh, which makes him uncomfortable.
“You new here, sweetie?”
John Major: I--
She holds up her hand.
“This happens two ways, man. What’s your name?”
John Major: Umm-- uh, John.
“Well, John. Either you let me through that door, or I make one phone call, get through that door, and you look really, really silly.”
There’s really nothing he can say to that, and her face softens.
“Okay, look. Give Tara Robinson a buzz on your radio. Give Marcus Maximus, give Jon Stewart, give The Shadow, give anyone a call and ask them. Someone says I can’t come in, I’ll go. Deal?”
It seems reasonable, and John pulls his two way from his pocket.
John Major: And your name, please?
Jim Gunt: Welcome back to ringside at Vertigo everyone! I'm Jim Gunt, joining me as always is Mike Rolash, and do no adjust your sets, introducing all to our new commentary partner, Mia Rayne! Mia, one match in and it's already been an electric night. What are your thoughts so far?
Mia goes to respond but is interrupted by Mike.
Mike Rolash: It's been a crazy night for sure Jim! We've had Jon Stewart announce that somehow, someway, he has saved the CWF from the cancer that is Hostility, eliminating it from our presence. Not only that, but he put the man responsible, C$J, through some miracle of heaven, is now a roster member and no longer the man in charge.
Mia Rayne: Thanks Mia!
Mike Rolash: But I'm... Not...
Mia Rayne: Shush now and go make the men at ringside a sandwich. But to your point, C$J is indeed a new roster member, you have me as a new commentator, and... MIKE! WHERE'S MY SANDWICH!?
The sudden outburst startles Mike Rolash, causing him to jump and throw his papers. Jim laughs as Ray Douglas takes over the airwaves.
Ray Douglas: Ladies and gentlemen! This next match, is scheduled for one fall!
Ray lowers the mic as the crowd repeats him and the lights throughout the venue cut leaving the fans sitting in complete darkness. Suddenly red and blue lights begin flashing throughout the arena as the sound of police sirens pierce the silence.
Mike Rolash: Here! My prayers have been answered! Police! Mia Rayne is right here and she needs to be rearrested!
Suddenly the heavy drums of "S&M" blasts from the various speakers throughout the arena, Mike jumps, startled once again. After several moments of anticipation the curtain pulls back and Ciara Kennedy steps out onto the small stage. She moves to the edge of the ramp where she comes to a stop, her eyes taking in the sea of screaming fans. She begins swaying her hips in a seductive dance that matches the beat.
Mike Rolash: Not the cops. Fine. I think I'll be ok with this.
Jim Gunt: Don't mind Mike. When anyone with tits shows up, Mike's brain begins to suffer from blood loss.
Mia Rayne: No need to apologize J-Man. Ciara is hot and I'd date her in a second...
The fans closest to the announce table gasp. Mike slowly turns to look at Mia, his expression paints the picture of a man confused but very curious.
Mia Rayne: What? I like chicks and dudes. You know what they say about doors that swing both ways right? ... They swing most often. Anyways, the point I was trying to make before the walking boner patrol showed up to interrupt, is that Ciara has the look, yes. But does she have what it takes to back it up? Who is she going up against?
Finally she cocks her head to the side quickly giving an innocent look before bringing her hands behind her back. She then begins to skip to the ring, ignoring the outstretched hands of her fans along the aisle. As she reaches the ringside area she moves to her right circling the first ring post and jumps up onto the apron of the ring. She transitions onto her feet but in a kneeling position before slowly shoving her butt outwards and rising to a standing position, showing off her... Assets. She turns and leans back against the top rope, her outstretched hands grasping it as she once again sways her hips seductive.
Mia Rayne: See? She's in a male dominated sport at the moment and trying to take advantage of the male's inability to see past a decent set of tits. Did this Ciara chick win a match yet? She's still somewhat new right?
Jim Gunt: New last week, hasn't won yet.
Mia goes to answer, but sees that Jim's gaze is fixated on Ciara, explaining his vague response. Mike is already a lost cause as a thin sliver of drool has escaped the corner of his mouth as he stares. Satisfied with the reaction of the general male (and some female) populace, she squats down and enters the ring between the middle and bottom rope. As she straightens up again, her fingers once again intertwine behind her back and she begins skipping around the ring, basking in the response from the thousands of fans that surround her.
Mia Rayne: I take it back. I don't like her and she can take her hot bod and go to hell. Skipping is my thing. I skip. Me.
Mike finally recovers enough to answer.
Mike Rolash: This is different. When Ciara skips is cute and frollicy. Something that brings joy to millions world wide. When you skip? *Gives Mia the once over* You give off the creepy little girl serial killer chasing after you with a bloody knife. Cute and jovial. Creepy and murderous.
Mia Rayne: *Shrugging* Say what you will, but if you want to play mind games, always go with the creepy to throw people off their game. Skipping like little Mary Lambskin over there might distract the male populace to a certain extent, but it doesn't always work and you HAVE to have the skillset to back it up. Says here that she's against Scourge? What is Scourge like?
Mike and Jim exchange knowing glances as the lights in the arena dim and the opening notes of Mourning Ritual's "Bad Moon Rising" ring out in the arena. The aisle fills with smoke as a giant silhouette appears within it. As the smoke billows away, the monster known as Scourge walks methodically to the ring. Once he reaches the ring, he leaps from the floor to the apron, setting the posts ablaze. Stepping over the top rope the man known as Scourge waits for the bell with an eerie calmness about him.
Ray Douglas: Her opponent, from Parts Unknown. He is The Alpha of the Omega... Scourge!
Mia Rayne: OH! Thhhhaaaaattttt's Scourge! Ok, yeah, Ciara is toast.
Clark Summits calls for the bell and Scourge bullrushes Ciara back into the closest corner, forcing her head and neck back at an awkward angle with what looks to be an extreme amount of pressure. Ciara tries to break free, lashing out with her legs, but only for Scourge to silence her, and all around, with a breathtaking palm to the chest! Ciara shrieks in agony as Scourge smiles down upon her.
Mia Rayne: Eek. Open hand palms suck. Open hand palms by someone much bigger than you with an angle like that?
Jim Gunt: Welt city.
Mike Rolash: This is the only time that I'll say that I regret that I am not Scourge.
Mia slaps Mike upside the back of the head as a look of sinister intent comes over Scourge. With a sick and twisted smile he wraps his arms around Ciara and past her, grasping onto the turnbuckle behind his opponent. With an almighty roar, Scourge squeezes with all of his might as Ciara cries out in pain. Her face turns beet red, as if she is nothing more than a steam pipe fit to burst. Clark starts to make the count, but Scourge breaks the hold at four without a second thought.
Jim Gunt: This is a viciousness from Scourge that we haven't seen yet I think. He's had several rough weeks, maybe this is him getting his groove back?
Mia Rayne: There's getting your groove back and there's putting a freight train back on track and have it go off at full speed. We think Scourge has found a new life and looks to prove it all over again.
Mike Rolash: ...
Mia Rayne: Before you say it Mike, less talky, more sandwich makey. We're still waiting.
As Summits bends down to check on Ciara, Scourge backs up and gains a full head of steam, smashing Ciara's head with a running knee! He backs up and repeats the process, Ciara's body just a motionless heap at this point. With a flourish he yanks the young star out from the corner by her foot and tosses her back down a hop away from the corner. With stunning speed and agility Scourge hops up onto the second rope, bounces once, twice, three times, and lands right on the chest of Ciara!
Mia Rayne: That... That could not have felt good.
Jim Gunt: It's almost like Scourge is erasing his last couple of months here in CWF and starting fresh, looking to leave a trail of bodies in his wake.
Mike Rolash: Ha! Who is the pancake now, Duce! That's right... Cia...
Mike stops as he realizes the hypocrisy of cheering against Ciara right now as Scourge considers his options and takes his time going for the cover.
Jim Gunt: What an awful thing to do!
Mia Rayne: Or... And I'm just putting this out there... Scourge is having fun for once and doesn't want it to end?
The fans are relentless as Scourge uses Ciara's shoulder, freshly peeled off the mat by his own doing, to wave at all the jeering faces. He laughs mercilessly as he lifts up Ciara to her feet and with ruthless efficiency delivers a rope walk moonsault into a claw hold and chokeslam.
Jim Gunt: Wow! Bad Moon Rising followed by Darkness Falls! Have we seen that combination since Scourge joined up have we Mike?
Mike Rolash: Oh, now you want my opinion? No, no we have not seen that move yet. At least I dont' think so? Maybe? I don't know.
Mia Rayne: Perhaps this is why he didn't want your opinion on the matter and he's happier that I'm here now?
Scourge stays down on his knees as he pins Ciara's shoulders to the mat, expelling minimal effort.
Mia Rayne: Told ya so. If you want to distract people with the looks, be prepared to back all of it up with the actions.
Lights in the arena begin flashing blue and red. "Bad Boys" by Inner Circle begins playing.
“CWF, We are putting you on notice. Animal control is coming to establish some law and order to the creatures that make their home here. No more will the animals rule the roost. “
A red head woman, in a beige skin tight jumper, looking like a slightly modified bedroom police women’s costume, appears on screen. Instead of a police badge over the heart, there is an anti-animal logo, ala Ghostbusters. She is holding the leash to a man in a modified BDSM leather dog hood. The hood gives the six foot one inch man an odd look, a cross between being comical and scary. The look ends up being more creepy than anything, as his outfit is finished off with just a pair of leather pants, and collar. Together the pair look like they are trying too hard to be intimidating, but failing, making reactions to their looks range from chuckling to a face palm.
“Woof WOOF Woof WOOF”
“Down boy. This is Benji, my enforcer, my weapon to ensure compliance. I am the Game Warden, and I am the new sheriff in town. I, along with my top dog are going to ensure that all of the strays that this place has been overrun with will be taken care of. The days of the strays running wild are numbered. Nuisances will be dealt with quickly and swiftly.”
An video begins playing, showing a recap from this week’s evolution.
We are directly in front of an innocuous stack of boxes. Suddenly, a pair of binoculars pokes out from between two flaps of cardboard and performs a sweep of the area, pausing when they sight the camera. Slowly, the boxes come apart and the face of Nathan Paradine appears. From the right of the boxes, Lindsay Troy steps into view. Her head is bent forward, fingers swiping across her cell phone screen. As she strides down the corridor, however, the boxes go flying as Paradine charges into view, a wide grin on his face. Troy has no time to react as his elbow connects with the back of her head, knocking her and her phone to the ground. Paradine wastes no time in driving several kicks into her midsection, and she manages a dull grunt of pain as she tries to get her bearings.
Benji: Grrr. grrrrrr. Rawl raw. Grrr Woof Woof WOOF!
Game Warden: Woah boy. Sit. Folks, antics like this are no longer going to fly now that Animal Control are here. Mr. Paradine, you are nothing more than a snake in the grass with attacks like that. Good fans of the CWF, we were brought in to to get rid of the riff raff and those who are a less than human. We are going to round up those who behave like animals and put them where they belong.
The promo ends with a sly grin from the Warden as Benji starts howling pulling at his leash.
Jim Gunt: OK, that was, uh, different, the Game Warden? And a guy on a leash, is she trying to give Nina a run for her money?
Mike Rolash: And--
Mia Rayne: And also our beloved Wrestling Inspector, this could be interesting.
Mike Rolash: Of cour--
Jim Gunt: Yes absolutely, but I see that our techs are busy getting our next match under way!
In the ring, several stagehands are busy erecting two ladders in opposite corners. Above the ring, illuminated in a spotlight, is a nondescript black briefcase. Ray Douglas climbs into the ring and looks at it for a moment before raising his microphone to his face.
Ray Douglas: Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is a Mystery Box match! Both competitors must scale the ladder and attempt to retrieve the briefcase hanging above the ring. The match rules will change to the stipulation inside the briefcase as soon as it has been retrieved!
Jim Gunt: Ray Douglas giving us the lay of the land for our first ever Mystery Box match.
Mike Rolash: Not much of a “box” though, is it Jim?
Jim Gunt: You’re really going to argue semantics, Mike?
Mike Rolash: I mean, I’m just saying…
Jim Gunt: You’re impossible. Let’s make with the intros!
The opening riff to "Beat The Devil's Tattoo" by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club begins to blast around the arena as Nathan Paradine emerges from behind the curtain, the overhead lights reflecting off of his trademark sunglasses.
Ray Douglas: Introducing first… hailing from Melbourne, Australia and weighing in at two hundred and thirty pounds… he is the Australian Submission Machine, NATHAN PARADINE!
Paradine smirks as he surveys the crowd for a moment, thumbing the collar of his leather jacket before flicking his hands outwards and approaching the ring. He climbs the stairs and wipes his boots on the outside of the apron before stepping between the ropes. He pauses to examine the ladder in the corner closest to him before stepping into the middle of the ring to perform a few light warm ups, apparently satisfied.
Ray Douglas: And introducing the opponent, making her CWF debut… hailing from Tampa, Florida and weighing in at one hundred and ninety five pounds… she is the Queen of the Ring, LINDSAY TROY!
The opening clap-stomp beats of “Watch Me” by The Phantoms hit the speakers as the fans jump to their feet. There’s a mixed reaction for the newcomer as they wait for Lindsay Troy to step through the curtain. The Queen of the Ring doesn’t keep them in suspense for too long; as soon as the lyrics kick in, she strides out onto the stage with a smirk on her face.
Jim Gunt: Lindsay Troy looking confident here, as we’ve come to expect from her in the little time she’s been in the CWF thus far.
Mike Rolash: Yeah, well, we’ll see how confident this has-been is in her first match in two years against a pissed-off Nathan Paradine.
Troy basks in the ovation and the pyro before marching down the ramp. At the bottom, she jumps flat-footed onto the apron, then catapults herself up and over the top rope with a flip. She scales a corner to pose a bit before hopping down and turning in mid air to face Paradine. She gives him a “what’s up?” chin lift, but it’s anything but friendly, and Nathan knows it.
Mike Rolash: She’s really poking the bear, Jim.
Jim Gunt: Speaking of, you’re the one who keeps calling her a has-been. You do that within earshot of her and I’m not gonna save you if she ties you up like a pretzel.
The bell sounds and Paradine and Troy circle each other in the middle of the ring quickly before locking up, the heavier Paradine almost immediately tossing the Queen of the Ring into the ropes. Troy bounces back and ducks under a wide swing from Paradine’s arm before turning on her heels and delivering a swift kick to Paradine’s knee, however his knee pad absorbs much of the blow. Undeterred, Troy continues kicking at Paradine’s legs until he drops to one knee and follows up with a spinning kick that collides solidly with Paradine’s jaw! Paradine tumbles from the ring and tumbles against the barricade, his hand on his jaw. In the ring, Troy wastes no time in grabbing one of the ladders and moving it to the middle of the ring, looking to go after the briefcase early.
Jim Gunt: And it’s Lindsay Troy making the first move to get up the ladder and grab that briefcase!
Mike Rolash: Question… if they have to grab the briefcase to find out the stipulation, wouldn’t they be better off just agreeing to disagree and grabbing it early?
Jim Gunt: I… well… I guess that’s a good point actually… but there’s no love lost between these two. I guess any opportunity to beat the hell out of each other is a good opportunity?
Paradine slides back into the ring and immediately goes after Troy, yanking her off the ladder. She lands on her feet and realizes that Paradine still has a fistful of her tights, which he uses to throw her into the corner. He sizes her up for a moment before charging forwards, but Troy ducks out of the way! Paradine crashes and burns in the corner, colliding with the turnbuckles and staggering backwards… and Troy flies out of nowhere with a knee! She connects with Paradine’s torso, negating some impact of the move, but it’s still enough to knock The Nomad down to the mat.
Jim Gunt: Paradine is taking hit after hit from Lindsay Troy here!
Mike Rolash: You know what they say, Jimbo; hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!
Jim Gunt: I think Nathan’s the scorned one here, especially since he thinks Troy is stealing what he believes to be his limelight.
Mike Rolash: Yeah, maybe in future it might be better just to let it slide rather than pick a fight with this woman.
Troy is back on the ladder again, her attention focused entirely on the briefcase. She’s nearly at the top when there’s a collective sigh from the crowd and Paradine climbs the ladder, thrusting his head between her legs and lifting her away from the ladder. Troy wastes no time in raining closed fists down on Paradine’s head as he descends down onto the mat with her still on his shoulders. Paradine sways on the spot for a moment before lifting Troy and planting her with a HUGE electric chair drop! Paradine sits up for a moment before his eyes roll back in his head and he falls back onto the mat next to Troy.
Jim Gunt: Paradine finally goes on the offensive, but at what cost?
Mike Rolash: I wouldn’t really call that “on the offensive”, that man literally has no idea where he is right now!
Both competitors are slow to rise, Paradine still shaking the cobwebs from Troy’s barrage of closed fists. Troy is on her knees first and she launches herself at Paradine, grabbing him around the neck and striking him in the back of the head with her forearm to keep him on his knees. Paradine tilts forward and Troy uses the momentum to bounce his head off the mat leaving him stunned before grabbing his arm and locking in a crossface chickenwing! Paradine roars in pain as Troy wrenches his neck, before trying to drag himself to the ropes. He edges toward the bottom rope, still with Troy leaning on his back, finally managing to get the tip of his fingers onto the rope… but referee Nick McArthur allows Troy to continue!
Jim Gunt: Sorry Nathan, no rope breaks in a ladder match!
Mike Rolash: No submissions either, so Troy is going to have to release him sooner or later if she wants to go after that briefcase.
Paradine screams as Troy leans back to pull him away from the ropes before shifting forwards and smacking his head into the mat again, finally releasing the hold and climbing to her feet. Paradine remains face down on the mat, clutching his arm and twitching feebly as Troy returns to the ladder for her third attempt to grab the briefcase. She’s halfway up as Paradine climbs to his feet, his arm hanging useless at his side. He glances around and sees Troy nearing the top of the ladder, close once again to grabbing the briefcase. He marches over to the ring, not even bothering to try and grab at Troy and instead just ramming his shoulder into the ladder, sending it toppling over… throwing Lindsay Troy clear of the ring! Troy crashes and burns on the outside close to the entrance ramp, the ladder bouncing off the top rope before folding up onto the mat with a clatter.
Mike Rolash: The bigger they are, the harder they fall!
Jim Gunt: Is that really the best analogy to use here?
Mike Rolash: Well I mean… she’s tall, and she fell hard?
In the ring, Paradine stumbles over to the remaining upright ladder and pushes it into the middle of the ring. He extends his injured arm gingerly and uses it to pull himself up onto the steps, wincing in pain but finding that it can pull his weight. As he begins a slow, laborious climb Troy crawls back into the ring, clutching her side after her impact with the outside mat. She grabs the ladder laying on the mat and thrusts it at an angle between two steps on the ladder Paradine is climbing. The Australian Submission Machine notices that his opponent has returned to the ring and instead opts to jump back down onto the canvas instead of risking getting knocked off.
Jim Gunt: Paradine making the tactical choice to try and wear Troy out a bit more before going for the briefcase.
Mike Rolash: Is he sure that’s a good idea? Putting Lindsay Troy out for the count is apparently tougher than it looks…
As soon as Paradine’s boots touch the mat Troy is back on him with a flurry of strikes forcing him back into the corner. Paradine slumps down and Troy begins to drive the boots into him, grabbing the top rope for leverage while Paradine tries to cover his face and torso. He manages to roll away and Troy relents in her barrage, instead opting to jump onto the top rope. She sizes Paradine up carefully as he staggers to his feet and vaults forward looking for her signature front flip leg drop… BUT PARADINE CATCHES HER! PARADINE CATCHES TROY IN MID-AIR! Troy struggles as Paradine hooks her leg and plants her into the mat with the ParaPlex!
Mike Rolash: Lindsay Troy made a choice, and she chose poorly!
Jim Gunt: Did you steal that from The Last Crusade?
Mike Rolash: I have no idea what you’re talking about.
Paradine pulls a dazed Troy to her feet and whips her into the upright ladder, however the ladder leaning against it acts as a brace and it doesn’t fall. Troy leans against the stairs and Paradine drives his elbow into the back of her head, sandwiching her between the metal and his elbow pad. Troy slumps down and Paradine kicks her away from the ladder with distaste. He begins the climb again, his attention focused entirely on the briefcase.
Jim Gunt: Once again, Paradine tries to reach the top of the mountain!
Mike Rolash: Do you think the Mystery Box name is a bit redundant? I mean, they already know what’s in it.
Jim Gunt: What would you call it then?
Mike Rolash: Oh, I don’t know… a King of the Mountain match? Or Queen, in this case.
Jim Gunt: I don’t think we can do that.
Mike Rolash: Why the hell not!?
Jim Gunt: Uh, trademarks… and stuff.
In the ring, Troy is climbing unsteadily back to her feet as Paradine approaches the top of the ladder. She leans against the top rope for support and watches Paradine as he reaches the top of the ladder, and then looks at the leaning ladder. The crowd erupts with a cheers as she sizes up the distance.
Jim Gunt: Uh oh… what’s Troy gonna do here?
Mike Rolash: Whatever it takes, Jim!
Lindsay Troy jumps forward, running up the leaning ladder to reach Paradine faster to roars of approval from the crowd. Paradine looks down, just in time for Troy to jump off the ladder and catching him with a HUGE NECKBREAKER! Both competitors go flying down onto the mat!
Jim Gunt: Neckbreaker! Neckbreaker from Lindsay Troy!
Mike Rolash: Christ, has Lindsay taken herself out along with Paradine?
Paradine is motionless on the mat, and Nick McArthur is kneeling alongside him and slapping his shoulder. Troy has managed to drag herself into the corner, and she uses the ropes to pull herself to her feet. A mild “Lind-say Troy” chant can be heard from the crowd, and she throws up her arms to cheers as she approaches the upright ladder. Slowly, she takes a step… and then another… and then another, getting closer and closer to the top…
Jim Gunt: Lindsay Troy, the Queen of the Ring! Is she going to grab the briefcase!?
Mike Rolash: She’s there! She’s at the top of the ladder!
Jim Gunt: I hope she remembers that grabbing the briefcase is only half the battle… she could still have an entirely different match to wrestle!
Lindsay Troy looks up and unhooks the briefcase hanging above the ring to cheers from the audience. She raises the case high for a moment before beginning her descent, thrusting the case at McArthur as soon as she reaches the mat. Paradine is moving again, pulling himself into the corner and laying on his back to watch Troy hand the briefcase to the referee. McArthur climbs out of the ring and opens the case, reading the single document inside before motioning Ray Douglas over. He shows the document to Douglas, who nods and grabs a microphone to announce the new match stipulation.
Ray Douglas: Ladies and gentleman, the briefcase has been retrieved by Lindsay Troy and as per the rules, this bout will now be contested as a SUBMISSIONS COUNT ANYWHERE match! The first competitor to make their opponent tap out will be declared the winner!
The crowd cheers again as Paradine and Troy exchange glances in the ring, both looking surprised at the choice of a match that favors their wrestling style. Troy moves to go after Paradine immediately but Nick McArthur dives back into the ring to hold her back, allowing Paradine to get to his feet for the start of the second portion of the match. Troy looks furious at this, and she pushes McArthur aside as soon as Paradine is back on his feet to go back on the attack with a series of strikes. Paradine covers up before throwing out his arm, blocking a strike and delivering one of his own before delivering a swift powerslam. Paradine wastes no time in rolling out of the ring to collapse against the barricade, definitely on the off-foot against the seemingly inexhaustible Lindsay Troy.
Mike Rolash: So, submissions count anywhere. Wouldn’t it have just been easier to go with that from the beginning?
Jim Gunt: Are you saying you didn’t want to see the battle we just witnessed between these two?
Mike Rolash: I’m not saying that at all- look out, Lindsay Troy is back in the action!
Troy exits the ring as well and immediately chases down Paradine, who runs around the corner of the ring in order to put the stairs between himself and his opponent. This doesn’t stop Troy though, who jumps and flies with another knee! RAYNES OF CASTAMERE! Paradine is down against the barricade again and Troy goes after the arm she previously targeted with punches, eliciting a hoarse groan of pain from Paradine who manages to get a leg beneath her and kick her away. Paradine rolls to his feet and shakes his head as he looks down at Troy, to the confusion of the fans.
Jim Gunt: What the hell is he doing?
Mike Rolash: Isn’t it obvious? He’s had enough.
Paradine climbs over the barricade and steps into the crowd, still shaking his head. The fans part as he pushes his way through them, approaching an area cleared for the stagehands that leads backstage. There’s a shout from behind him, and he turns around in time for Lindsay Troy to vault over the barricade and tackle him to the ground, sending popcorn, beer and several fans flying in different directions. They writhe together on the ground before Troy comes out on top, grabbing Paradine’s injured arm and applying an armlock. Paradine throws his elbow out, but Troy manages to get the hold cinched in. Paradine struggles and ducks forward, pulling Troy along with him and tossing her to the ground although she still as a grip on his arm. He throws a punch that lands squarely in the middle of her face, and she releases his arm with a grunt.
Jim Gunt: Get some cameras in there now!
Mike Rolash: Paradine’s trying to take his ball and go home, and Lindsay Troy refuses to allow him the opportunity!
In the crowd, Paradine and Troy are back on their feet regarding each other with hatred. Troy rubs a trickle of blood from the corner of her mouth, while Paradine favors his injured arm.
Nathan Paradine: Stay down Troy! Just stay the *BEEP* down!
The crowd begins a relentless chant, “TROY-TROY-TROY” resonating around the arena. Paradine glances around in surprise and Troy uses the moment to her advantage, stepping forward to deliver a kick to Paradine’s midsection. Paradine grabs her leg when she attempts a follow up and Troy hops on the spot, surprise quickly turning to horror as Paradine grins and delivers a booted kick to her crotch. Troy yelps in pain and tumbles forwards, right into Paradine’s waiting arms. They both fall back, limbs twisting as Paradine applies the Mark of Judas!
Jim Gunt: What the hell was that Paradine!?
Mike Rolash: I believe it’s called a-
Jim Gunt: You can’t say that on air!
Mike Rolash: Uh, right… a Gunt Punt, we’ll call it that.
Jim Gunt: Do NOT call it that!
Paradine has the hold locked in firmly, and Troy’s arm trembles. Nick McArthur pushes his way between the fans, ready to witness a tap out… or a pass out. Paradine pulls Troy’s head down harder against his shin, and the Queen of the Ring clenches her left fist. She starts hammering away at Paradine’s ribs with her right, furiously trying to break the guard.
Jim Gunt: Fight it Troy! Fight out of it!
Mike Rolash: This has to be over, one good submission technique will always be enough to end a match.
It seems to be working; Paradine’s about to let go, but Troy has hair that he’s able to latch onto. His fingers find purchase and he’s able to readjust his grip, pulling her aggressively back into place. Troy manages a single howl of defiance before slapping her hand against the ground, and Paradine keeps the hold locked in for a moment longer before releasing and kicking her away to jeers and boos from the crowd. Somewhere back near the ring the bell can be heard and “Beat The Devil’s Tattoo” resumes playing on the sound system.
Ray Douglas: The winner of this match as a result of submission… NATHAN PARADINE!
Paradine steps over Troy dismissively, returning to the area around the ring in order to go backstage. The crowd boos him heavily and he looks around in confusion after climbing over the barricade. He approaches Ray Douglas and demands his microphone, fury on his face as he lifts it to speak.
Nathan Paradine: Say it again Ray, since these people evidently don’t understand who won this match!
Douglas looks uncomfortable as he takes the microphone back, but he does as Paradine requests.
Ray Douglas: The winner of this match, uh... as a result of submission… Nathan Paradine!
Paradine snatches the microphone back as the crowd continues to boo this announcement.
Nathan Paradine: I won! I won the bloody match! You should be cheering for ME! This is my moment!
In the crowd, Lindsay Troy is helped to her feet by Nick McArthur. She shrugs off his assistance however, and the crowd cheers her resiliency. She steps up onto a chair, raises her arm and stares defiantly at Paradine, who is standing open-mouthed in the middle of the ring.
Nathan Paradine: Stop cheering for her! I won’t let her take this away from me, not again… I SAID STOP CHEERING FOR HER!
The “TROY-TROY-TROY” chant resumes as “Watch Me” replaces “Beat The Devil’s Tattoo.” Troy laughs and flashes a wink to a furious Paradine, before turning and walking through the backstage entrance Paradine himself had been heading for during the match. Paradine raises the microphone again only to discover he’s been cut off. He stamps in mat in anger and throws the microphone away.
Jim Gunt: Well… Nathan Paradine may have been victorious, but it looks like Lindsay Troy is the real winner in the eyes of the fans.
Mike Rolash: I can appreciate the irony in that by trying to get Troy back for taking attention away from him, Paradine has now made her more popular than ever.
Jim Gunt: Don’t you dare credit Paradine with that Mike; believe me, this is something Lindsay Troy has done all on her own with her performance here tonight.
The camera flashes back to Paradine one last time, holdings his hands over his ears as the crowd begins a “YOU-FUCKIN’-SUCK!” chant directed at him, before cutting backstage for the next segment.
As the crowd begins to settle down after the tumultous ending of Nathan Paradine vs. Lindsay Troy, the camera cuts into the rafters above the ring, where Blake Church and Charles State stand, microphones in hand.
Blake Church: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, did you miss us?
Charles State: With all the ins and outs and overs that have been happening between Hostility closing, Mia Rayne coming back etc. we decided to take a step back and not hog the spotlight for once. Anyways. I know that you have seen us in the oddest of positions and spots, but there is a good reason why we are up here right now, far above the ring.
Blake Church: Later on tonight this will be, as crazy as it sounds, the location of a match that promises to become an instant classic. Former close friends turned bitter enemies Ataxia and The Shadow will compete in a Falls Count Anywhere match, which will start right up here in the rafters.
Charles State: A recipe for disaster, if you ask me, Ataxia is nuts enough to decide to challenge gravity!
Blake Church: While that is true, they agreed to this stipulation, so let's hope that one of them will live to tell the tale.
Mike Rolash: We don't need to hope for that, we've heard enough, we don't have to hear any of their tales!
Charles State: Thank you for your valued input, Mike, as usual, WE are hoping that they will both live to tell the tale, but we will see and wait with bated breath.
Blake Church: Right now, though, we're ready for our next match and this is a really interesting one, with Quentin Scarboro and Scott Dann going at it in a Last Man Standing match and Stan Summers suspended in a shark cage above, who is being hoisted up as we speak!
Charles State: I bet there are a few people that wish could be up here with a metal saw...
Blake Church: Careful what you say or you'll be the next to be audited by the clipboard!
Charles State: Haha, we don't want that to happen. So enough from us up here, let's hand this over to Ray!
Ray Douglas: The following is a Last Man Standing match where there are no countouts or disqualifications and the only way to beat your opponent is leave them incapacitated until the count of ten! Also…”The Wrestling Inspector” Stan Summers will be hung twenty feet in the air in a SHAARRK CAGE!
The last line coming from CWF’s famed ring announcer brings a spark of happiness to the Denver crowd as they cheer briefly before turning right to boos as soon as the booming intro of "Totentanz" by Liszt hits the speakers. A pause, before 'The Enforcer' Scott Dann appears on the stage, looking around at the capacity crowd.
'The Enforcer' cracks the knuckles on both hands menacingly, before stomping down to the ring to the beat of the music. Once there, the big man slides into the ring, immediately taking a look up above him where an incredibly shook up Stan Summers is on his knees grabbing a hold of the shark cage desperately. Scott just shakes his head, looking back towards the entrance and calling his opponent out to the ring with his hands.
Ray Douglas: First, from Oxford, England, he is The Enforcer….SCOTT DANN!!
Jim Gunt: An incredibly unhappy Enforcer, to boot.
Mike Rolash: Can you blame him, Jimmy? What right does CWF have to hang the poor inspector high up in the air? I hear the man is afraid of heights, for god’s sakes!
Mia Rayne: Still worried that Summers is going to do an assessment on you, huh, Mike? What ARE you hiding?
Mike Rolash: ….No, no comment…
“Thunderstruck” by AC/DC plays over the speakers and the fans inside the Pepsi Center immediately come to their feet, The American Thoroughbred coming out behind the curtain and raising his hands in the air which brings a solid cheer from them. Quentin Scarboro never turns his attention from Scott Dann however, looking on at the Big Man all the way from the top of the ramp before he walks down, focused as ever as he slides in the ring. Scarboro finally takes a look up at the Wrestling Inspector who shouts back at him before testing out the ropes, looking ready to go as Trent Robbins walks to both corners to go over the rules of the match with both men allowing Douglas to make his final announcement.
Ray Douglas: And his opponent, from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, he is the American Thoroughbred….QUENTIN SCARBORO!!
Jim Gunt: Big Q is done playing games, tonight he’s looking to put an end to the charade off both Scott Dann and Stan Summers.
Mia Rayne: What charade? Is there candy?
Mike Rolash: That's a parade. And as I was saying, The Wrestling Inspector simply took an interest in Quentin, but Scarboro rebelled against him in every corner. Tonight the circumstances are beyond not fair with Summers hanging in that damn shark cage, so what does Quentin have to complain about?
Mia Rayne: I don’t think Q is doing much complaining, Mike, looks to me like he’s preparing to knock out the Enforcer as soon as Robbins calls for the bell.
Jim Gunt: Well, that would be one way to be the last man standing…
Trent Robbins calls for the bell after going over the rules of the match with both competitors, stepping back just in time as Big Q’s frustrations boil over immediately, the former author leaping up and shocking Scott Dann with a snap Headbutt! Dann is dropped to his knees, leaving him prone for Quentin to grab ahold of him and bring him down hard on his head with a DDT.
Jim Gunt: Big Q came into this match hot, let’s see if he can capitalize on the advantage.
Mia Rayne: As long as he can stay focused on the match at hand and not the man dangling high above them in a freaking shark cage, I think he’ll be okay.
Mike Rolash: Don’t be so sure Mia because Scott Dann just ducked under a big clothesline from Q, and now he’s heading for the ropes.
Jim Gunt: Cross Body Block! That is over six hundred pounds of humanity that just crashed right into the canvas!
Cheering his Enforcer on from high above the ring, Stan Summers can do nothing but watch on and shout encouragement to his friend as he lifts Quentin up to deliver some more punishment. Dann places a well targeted boot to the inside thigh of Scarboro before grabbing ahold of that same leg, using all of his weight to whip Big Q to the canvas. Scott grabs ahold of the legs of Q, whipping him up and down on the canvas, the back of his head bouncing off the mat. Dann looks up at the Wrestling Inspector, nodding at him before sliding out of the ring and going underneath the apron.
Jim Gunt: Looks like the Enforcer is getting a steel chair, guys.
Mia Rayne: All is fair in love and war, and also Last Man Standing matches.
Dann attempts to get back into the ring with the steel chair but Big Q is back to his feet. Shotgun Dropkick blasts the chair right back into the face of the Enforcer! Quentin doesn’t waste a second to roll out of the ring, meeting the Enforcer with another vicious headbutt that resounds through the Pepsi Center. The fans cheer on the American Thoroughbred as his eyes meet the steel chair, his hands doing the same seconds later as he picks up the weapon and blasts Scott Dann right across the back of the head!
Mike Rolash: Are head shots legal?
Mia Rayne: Does Big Q care?
Jim Gunt: This is a Last Man Standing Match, Mike. Once again, there are no count outs or disqualifications. Anything goes. Do you understand yet?
Big Q hurries Trent Robbins along, telling the official to start the count as he stands over his Enforcer of the man that has been a thorn to his side for months.
Mike Rolash: How is this fair, Mia and Jim? I mean Scott Dann is already subjected to having his mentor and Wrestling Inspector Stan Summers be forced into that shark cage, but now Scarboro hovers over him with that chair like a freaking maniac just waiting for him to make a move!
Jim Gunt: *Sigh* You’re never going to get it, Mike.
The Enforcer rolls over to his side and then stomach, pulling himself up and receiving another painful steel chair shot to his lower spine for his trouble. This attack stops the count from Trent Robbins, but Scarboro does not care, showing uncharacteristic traits as he continues to snap on the Enforcer. It is a young boy in the crowd that catches Quentin’s eye, the child crying as he watches the horror take place in front of him. Scarboro takes a deep breath, stepping back from the kid as he lets the steel chair drop from his grasp. He begins to mouth “I’m sorry” to the young boy but somehow Dann has gotten back up behind him.
Jim Gunt: High angle German Suplex right into the post! Big Q didn’t even see it coming!
Mike Rolash: And the Wrestling Inspector is loving it as he is jumping up and down in that shark cage!
Mia Rayne: Good, maybe he’ll bust through the bottom of that cage and come tumbling all the way down.
Scott Dann saunters around ringside with his heavy arms folded over his chest, proud of himself as Big Q remains on the ground with his hands rubbing his lower back.
Taking in the boos from the Denver crowd, the Enforcer finally tires of the hatred coming from the Mile High fans and makes his own trip underneath the ring.
Dann pulls out a wooden table that brings a momentary cheer, but the crowd quickly quiet themselves as they realize what’s about to happen. Propping both legs of the table up, Scott Dann turns his attention back to Big Q, pulling him not only to his feet but all the way up onto his shoulders, breaking the count nonchalantly as he makes his way back over to the table. Quentin Scarboro is able to pop out of the grasp of Dann from behind, however. A European Uppercut cracks Dann as soon as he turns around, and Big Q has him lifted high in the air immediately after.
Jim Gunt: BREAK MAIDEN! Big Q just hit that massive Press Slam, sending the Enforcer crashing through the table that he just set up!
Mia Rayne: And now it’s Big Q back in control as he waits for Trent Robbins to make the count on Dann.
Pacing back and forth, Quentin Scarboro takes deep breaths in and out as he waits to see if Dann is able to get out of the wreckage that is the broken table.
Mike Rolash: Come on Dann, listen to the encouragement of the poor Wrestling Inspector, and get your big ass up!
Big Q sighs as he watches Scott Dann pull himself back to his feet with the help of the barricade, breaking the count of Trent Robbins. Quentin takes a three point stance, preparing himself.
Jim Gunt: QUENTIN SCARBORO JUST SPEARED THE ENFORCER THROUGH THE BARRICADE!
Mike Rolash: And damn near took out a few fans in the front row on the way down! Good thing we have great liability insurance.
Mia Rayne: So now what happens? Well I guess good old Trent is answering my question for me, as he is counting out both Scott Dann AND Quentin Scarboro.
The Denver fans surrounding the fallen competitors do their best to will their hero Quentin Scarboro back to his feet, but neither him or Dann are moving whatsoever.
Jim Gunt: There is slight movement from one of the two men, but I am not quite sure which it is just yet…
Mike Rolash: DANN! Somehow the Enforcer is trying to will himself back to his feet, despite being the one speared through the barricade!
Angrily shooing away the fans around him, Scott Dann uses one of their ringside chairs to fully get to his feet, closing the chair as he turns around right into a big boot from the American Thoroughbred! The Enforcer flies backward right into a pile of empty chairs as fans are just able to get out of the way! Quentin walks his opponent back over to the barricade before throwing him like a football right back over it. He follows him through, leaping off the barricade to hit a leg drop right across the throat of Dann. Quentin Scarboro is absolutely vicious at this point, his expression almost scary as he lifts Dann vertical.
Jim Gunt: PANCAKEPLEX OUTSIDE THE RING! Scarboro has dominated this match for some time now, and you gotta think this one could be over now…
Mia Rayne: I don’t think Big Q is done though, guys. He’s looking to put a stamp on this one.
Quentin Scarboro grabs a hold of Trent Robbins momentarily, stopping the count of the official who immediately warns him to keep his hands off of him despite the match being no disqualification. Scarboro turns back around, pulling his knee pad down as the Denver fans cheer what’s to come.
Jim Gunt: Here we go, the Moment of Intro-NO! Scott Dann somehow rolls through out of the way of that deadly knee, grabbing Scarboro from behind and planting him hard on the back of his head!
Mike Rolash: The back of Big Q’s head is now busted open, that was clearly a hard hit there…
Trent Robbins stops any oncoming attack from Dann as he checks on Scarboro, asking Big Q if he is able to continue on with the match. Scarboro rolls to his side and immediately to a seated position, the blood wiped onto his hands from his head almost acting as an awakening for the American Thoroughbred. He leaps right up to his feet, again leaping up to avoid a sneaky sidesweep kick from Dann before coming at him with a Roundhouse Kick of his own. But the Enforcer is ready for him this time, catching him out of the air and sending him flying several feet with a Capture Suplex!
Scott Dann: Start the damn count!
Robbins nods fearfully at the Enforcer, doing just that.
Jim Gunt: Big Q is starting to move, how the hell does he do it!?
Mike Rolash: Not going to last long…
An angry Scott Dann waltz his way over to way over to Scarboro, helping him the rest of the way back to his feet and throwing him hard through the top and middle rope back into the ring. Dann rolls back in, dropping down to hit him with a knee to the face afterward. The Enforcer looks up at Stan Summers, listening in as the Wrestling Inspector shouts something and then drops a clear bag filled with some kind of white substance.
Mia Rayne: What the hell was that?
Jim Gunt: It looks like the Wrestling Inspector just dropped something down through that shark cage, a bag of some kind of white powder.
Mike Rolash: Genius!
Scott Dann holds onto the bag of powder as a smile begins to grace his face, the Enforcer waiting patiently as Big Q unknowingly begins to climb to his feet. The Denver audience do their best to try to shout for Q to watch out but he turns around right as Dann chucks the open bag of powder in the air. The powder shoots through the air, landing in the eyes and all over the face of Scarboro, immediately blinding him and leaving him prone to a boot to his gut. Powerbomb! But The Enforcer lifts him right back up for another one, this time sitting out to plant the already bloodied back of Q’s head dropping down against the lower turnbuckle pad.
Jim Gunt: The Aftershock! Big Q is unconscious after those two sadistic Powerbombs, but if it wasn’t for the powder that Summers dropped down this would have never happened!
Mike Rolash: No use crying over spilt milk, Jim, whatever happened happened!
Mia Rayne: Oh come on. The Wrestling Inspector was placed into that shark cage so that he WOULDN’T interfere with this match. This is a travesty!
Mike Rolash: Genius. Genius I tell you.
Big Q is still down after the double Powerbombs, Scott Dann standing over the body of Scarboro with his hands in the air as if he’s already won.
The bell rings, bringing the fans into a chorus of boos as Dann simply laughs back at them.
Ray Douglas: And the winner of this match….SCOTT DANN!!
The Enforcer claps his meaty hands together as he watches the Wrestling Inspector being slowly lowered down from above the ring. When the cage finally makes its way down to the ring he forcefully grabs the key from Robbins hands, ignoring his attempt to try to raise his hand in the air as he opens the shark cage for Summers. The two men celebrate their victory over the body of Quentin Scarboro.
Jim Gunt: Summers and his W.I.R.E Enforcer Scott Dann may have gotten one over on Big Q here tonight, Mike and Mia, but I would bet on Scarboro coming back to get the last laugh eventually.
Mike Rolash: That’s a story for another day, Jim. Tonight the Enforcer reigns supreme!
It’s like riding a bicycle, or like falling off a log. Pick your cliche; Lindsay Troy will either agree with you or make fun of your antique language. However, after her in-ring debut tonight against Nathan Paradine, it would appear that it’s applicable to her wrestling skills. This loss will sting and stay with her much longer than she’ll ever let on, but her night is over and it’s onto the next one.
Now, she’s ready for a post-match rum and a collection of heckles to throw at her brother-in-law Dan Ryan, regardless of whether or not he retains his title.
She walks through the backstage, giving friendly nods to most of the people she passes. No words yet; it’s far too soon for friendship.
And even still…
Lindsay Troy stops at the question. She turns her head and comes face to face with MJ Flair, and they embrace in a familiar hug.
MJF: Awesome seeing you here!
Lindsay Troy: Yeah, you too, kid. What’s up? What are you doing here?
MJF: Well, with Hostility getting shut down and all of us dumped back here like children’a divorce, I thought I’d give the dollar sign a piece’a my mind, but…
She gives the general direction of the mens’ locker room the side eye.
MJF: At this point, it’d just be cruel. But I’mma talk to Stewart and see if I can get something cookin’ for Evo.
Lindsay Troy: I heard about Hostility but only being here for a cup of coffee, I’m not particularly familiar with the ins and outs, y’know? Stewart seems to be the more level-headed of the brass, in my limited dealings anyway.
MJF: That’s like saying Uncle Sean is more rational than Aunt Ivy. Technically true, but… look at the alternatives.
She shrugs nonchalantly, while Lindsay also laughs, nodding in agreement.
MJF: Anyways, if I can’t punch down, it takes the fun out of it, ya know? Just wanna get back in the game and stuff. I figure, I closed almost every show I was on last year, that should count for something.
The corners of her lips turn upward, mischievously.
MJF: Imagine if he put me in there against you, or Mr. Ryan, right? Worlds colliding, and all that stuff.
The Queen tilts her head, smiling cooly at MJ in return.
Lindsay Troy: Imagine that indeed. I can’t see them not taking you back, and you’ve already staked your claim against Dan before Ceej shuffled you over to Hostility. As for me, well...whenever you want to tussle, you just say the word.
She gives a semi-dismissive wave to the Queen of the Ring.
MJF: But you go, get yourself de-wrestler’d and human again and we can do the things later.
They share another quick hug, and start in separate directions, before MJ turns around again.
MJF: And maybe one of you can finally explain why that ‘stake a claim’ thing makes my dad and his old man friends so giddy?
Lindsay Troy (smirking): Sure thing. But not over dinner.
Jim Gunt: MJ and Lindsay know each other?
Mike Rolash: And they are...family? Good Lord...
He buries his face in his hands.
Mike Rolash: What have I done to deserve this?
Mia Rayne: I could name a few things, if you'd like?
Mike shoots her a withering look.
Mike Rolash: Don't you--
Ray Douglas: The following contest is a ladder match, for the Paramount Championship!
The crowd pick up and cheer for the impending matchup.
Ray Douglas: In this match, the Paramount Championship will be suspended above the ring, and the athlete to retrieve it will be declared the Paramount champion! There are no pinfalls, no submissions, no disqualifications, and the championship can only be retrieved through the use of any of the ladders around the arena.
Jim Gunt: Well, we have ladders in spades, as you can all see from them being scattered around ringside and beyond, and I think we are in for a treat.
Mike Rolash: Good, I love sweets!
The lights go out suddenly. Boom!
???: I love you.
???: Show me!
The lights shine upon the stage as Silas Artoria emerges to “Something Got Me Started” by Simply Red. Smiling and full of energy, he looks around to see the crowd bellowing their support upon the aristocrat. He closes his eyes to absorb it all in, before he starts to walk towards the stage. He eyes the camera following him.
Silas Artoria: What a wonderful day to become champion. Seventeen months it’s taken, and not another day longer.
He slides into the ring and spins around with his arms wide open. Eyes closed, he continues absorbing the atmosphere as Scott Dean and Ray Douglas step backwards to avoid the extending coat the aristocrat is wearing. The music dies down as Silas stops spinning, and he looks towards the entranceway to see his opponent.
“Cut the Cord” by Shinedown starts to play, and Jimmy Allen starts to emerge from the curtain to a cheering crowd. He looks around the arena to witness the people going out of their way to see this match, and he soon finds the camera looking at him.
Jimmy Allen: My victory was no fluke. This belt wasn’t a fluke, tonight I’m going to make Silas humble and put him back in line.
The man sprints towards the ring and smoothly slides in, and jumps sharply to his feet. Standing rimrod stiff, he stares at his opponent, unamused at the past several weeks. Silas simply smiles at him and applauds his entrance, as the music starts to die down.
Ray Douglas: Introducing the challenger. From Toronto, Canada, weighing in at two hundred and twenty pounds…
The audience picks up and starts to cheer.
Ray Douglas: ...he is the Psychotic Aristocrat, SILAS...ARTORIA!
The crowd go wild as Silas jumps on the turnbuckle and holds his arms out, absorbing the noise to the disapproval of an unamused Jimmy Allen.
Ray Douglas: Introducing the champion. From Dallas, Texas, weighing in at two hundred and twenty seven pounds…
The audience once again pick up as Jimmy begins to smile at the response.
Ray Douglas: He is the Paramount Champion. The Catalyst, JIMMY...ALLEN!
He holds the ivory title in the air towards the hard cam, as he climbs on bret’s rope to pose for the audience, much to the amusement of Silas. Jimmy returns to the centre of the ring, and looks at his championship. He hands it over to the referee, then takes off his entrance gear. Scott Dean heads over to Silas, and the latter acknowledges the belt. Dean then holds it high in the air, then attaches it to the metal apparatus that would serve to hold it high in the air.
It begins to rise.
Jim Gunt: As the Paramount Championship rises above the ring, we’re going to get ready for some possibly chaotic action as me and my fellow colleagues are lucky enough to bear witness to this match. What are your thoughts, Mia?
Mia Rayne: Take a look at Silas, take a look at Jimmy. Now look at Scott Dean and Ray Douglas.
Mike Rolash: So?
Mia Rayne: There’s not a pretty face in sight!
Mike Rolash: We’re going to have to get back to the ring because I think the match is going to get started.
The championship is now high in the air and Silas takes off his jacket. A determined looking Jimmy Allen simply jumps lightly in anticipation, while Silas turns to the hard camera and gives a wink and a smile.
Jimmy charges and dropkicks Silas into the corner! He joins him and delivers some hard elbows, delivering one to the stomach. Hard elbows to the back of a staggering Silas, delivering three with near pinpoint precision. One more, and Silas jumps up, hard elbow to Jimmy’s chin, and quickly whips Jimmy to the corner. Chop with a thunderous crack, and Jimmy himself staggers along the ring’s perimeter. He receives a hard elbow to his back, forcing Jimmy to his knees. Silas runs to the opposite ropes, coming back for a Knockout? Jimmy sidesteps as Silas heads to the opposite ropes. Jimmy turns around. An Enziguri for his troubles to send him back to the mat!
Jim Gunt: Well this match is off to an explosive start. Trying to put each other away early!
Mike Rolash: Makes sense. As time goes on you’re going to run out of stamina, and considering the stipulation for this match, that’s an element you cannot afford to lack!
Mia Rayne: You’re an expert on lacking things, aren’t you Mr. Rolash?
The two take the time to glance at each other, before Silas hits to opposite ropes again. Jimmy lands on his stomach as Silas dashes over. Silas returns, and Jimmy pops him up! Fireman’s carry, looking for Bane of Your Existence? The canadian wiggles around, denying the Catalyst a decent hold and is forced to let him go. He gets behind Silas, hoping for Snap Suplex. Hard elbow to the ear denies the hold, and Jimmy staggers back to the corner of the ring.
Silas twists his neck, and turns towards Jimmy. He grabs their arms and whips him hard to the opposite corner, nearly sending Jimmy over the top rope. Jimmy looks to see Silas charge towards hims. Both feet up and hits Silas in the face. The aristocrat staggers backwards for a moment, but suddenly charges again! Jimmy moves to the side, Silas stopping himself from colliding with the turnbuckle, and Jimmy runs to the opposite ropes! He dashes towards Silas, but it propped up in the air! Hard kick to the stomach as Jimmy crashes down. Jimmy is quickly on his knees, but the camera can see his face hardening in frustration despite the audience applauding the performances.
Mike Rolash: And it looks like the exchange has been fairly one sided.
Mia Rayne: I’m not too surprised.
Mike Rolash: Excuse me?
Mia Rayne: When you’re up against someone like Silas, you need to throw the rulebook out of the window. Jimmy started well with his elbows, but the starving Silas has clearly learned from his past experiences. If Jimmy wants his Paramount Championship, he’s going to need to break away from his normal strategy.
Silas lifts Jimmy to his feet and traps his arms from behind. Going for a dragon suplex? He lifts Jimmy up, but they force him back down. Second try, same result. Third try, elbow to the face to break the hold. Jimmy turns around, hard chop to the bare chested Silas. Silas has lost his breath, and Jimmy looks at the convulsing Silas. Another hard chop to make sure he got the message. Jimmy charges to the opposite ropes. Silas with a sudden discus elbow, Jimmy sides under, and has enough momentum to cleanly slide out of the ring.
He doesn’t look back, and heads for the nearest ladder. Jimmy is quick to prop it up, and begins to head back towards the ring. He looks to see a charging Silas for the tope con hilo! Jimmy smashes the ladder against Silas and the ladder crashes down!
Mia Rayne: There we go!
Jimmy chuckles at Silas, but is unable to lift him off the fallen ladder. He shrugs, and simply picks up another one nearby. He holds it horizontally, and slams it down on Silas, whom clutches his back and rolls onto his back in response. Jimmy is quick, crashing the ladders down onto Silas’ ribs continuously, as the hopeless Canadian crosses his arms in a vain attempt to protect his front. The audience rain their disapproval down of the Catalyst, as he crashes the ladders down once again.
Jimmy looks at the camera and places the ladder vertically, then points to himself.
Jimmy Allen: LADDER SPECIALIST!
Jimmy slides the ladder into the ring and quickly props it up. Some adjustment to bring it in line with the hanging Paramount Championship, and starts climbing the ladder like a rat in a drain pipe. He gets one hand on the title, but Silas charges back in with a burst of sheer energy and drags Jimmy back down! He tries another Knockout! Jimmy catches it, but Silas replies with an Enziguri!
Silas stumbles to the ladder, but he props it down! He places his head between two rungs, and looks at Jimmy getting up. Jimmy charges Silas, but Silas spins with the ladder around his head. It hits Jimmy in the face, but Jimmy gets back up! Bang! Another ladder to the face! Jimmy gets back up again! Duck! Duck! Bang! Jimmy crashes down as Silas picked up speed. He throws the ladder off his head and staggers towards a nearby turnbuckle to rest.
Jimmy slowly comes to his senses as his furor becomes more apparent to the cameras. Behind him, Silas slowly but surely props a ladder on a turnbuckle, just as Jimmy rolls over to the apron. Silas comes over to drag him up, but Jimmy strikes first with a chop. Then an elbow to send him back. They grip the ropes, then jump for a springboard! SCORCHED EARTH to send Silas crashing down!
Mia Rayne: PILEDRIVER!
Jimmy doesn’t waste time and stamps hard on the ribs again, before he looks at the propped up ladder. Wicked smile on his face, Jimmy lifts Silas up and pushes him gently towards the opposite turnbuckle. Hard irish whip to the other side, but Silas stops just in time! DROPKICK TO SEND SILAS HEADFIRST INTO THE LADDER, and the Canadian screams in pain as he clutches his chest while staggering away.
Silas collapses on the floor on his back, and Jimmy looks on satisfied. He heads to the ladder, standing on Silas’ ribs as he does so, and picks up the ladder. He positions it flat on the mat, near the ropes. Back to Silas, Jimmy grabs his hair and drags the Psychotic Aristocrat to his feet. Quick reposition, but Silas breaks free! Chop to Jimmy, Superkick to Silas! Silas falls backwards, and lands parallel on the ladder crack on his back. Jimmy walks past him and heads through the ropes. Jimmy observes the barely moving Silas as his last attacks took the wind out of him, and lines himself up near his opponent.
Both hands on the top rope, he jumps for a springboard, but Silas grabs him for a powerbomb position! Jimmy elbows him hard, and Silas is clearly struggling as he nearly loses his grip! He lines in parallel with the ladder, but his attempts to lift Jimmy end in near failure! A primal scream is heard, and Silas lifts Jimmy up to execute a SIT DOWN POWERBOMB! AND THE LADDER SHATTERS INTO PIECES under the screaming voice of Jimmy Allen. Silas clutches his back, but has nothing left in his lungs to express pain.
Jim Gunt: Holy shit!
Mia Rayne: I've never seen a ladder break like that, and I've broken a few myself!
Silas is the first to move within the wreckage, slowly making his way to his knees and clutching his ribs. He catches his breath, and looks above to see the ivory belt hanging. Silas begins to rise to his feet, and eyes a nearby ladder. He steps forward…
..but he stops. Jimmy Allen in his crumpled state clutches his foot. Silas tries to tug it free, but no avail. He bends down to pry it free.
Jim Gunt: SILAS IS DOWN!
Jimmy stares at Silas with an crazed fever, clutching in his hand a piece of metal that was used against Silas’ head!
Jim Gunt: Is that even legal!?
Mike Rolash: Perfectly legal!
Jim Gunt: But that could kill him!
Mia Rayne: You complaining?
Jimmy throws the piece to the side, as Silas slowly sits up; his face, now bearing a crimson mask from the attack. He retreats out of the ring and heads towards the ladder he first used, sliding it in and quickly placing it onto of a turnbuckle; the end pointing up at head-height. He secures it, and pulls the bloodied Silas to his feet. He holds their wrist tight, and sends Silas headfirst into the ladder’s end!
Jimmy, satisfied, grabs the same ladder above the crumpled Silas, and begins to eye the Paramount Championship again. He props it up, directly under the belt, and begins to ascend!
But his ankle holds him back! Jimmy looks down to see a barely conscious Silas holding his foot, preventing his ascension. Silas uses Jimmy to climb back to his feet, but Jimmy jumps down and elbows the back of his neck. They hook his head under their armpits, and a DDT sends Silas back down. Jimmy acts quick, and almost mockingly kicks him out of the ring and onto the floor.
Jimmy looks under the ring apron to see what’s available. Bits of wood used to make the ring, more ladders, cage tape and chains to secure the next match stipulation, and two crash cans. He grabs the lids, and looks upon a very slowly rising Silas, and smashes them over their head to send them back down. He soon turns his attention to one of the ladders under the ring, small, but tall enough to place them on top of the barricade and ring horizontally.
Mike Rolash: How many ladders do we have?
Jim Gunt: Enough for two matches, it would seem.
Mia Rayne: CWF doesn't mess around, guys.
Jimmy grabs Silas to his feet and hook him under his arms. He grabs Silas’ pants, going for a vertical suplex! Silas dead-weights, and Jimmy can’t pick them up! He tries again, no avail, and Jimmy delivers some hard elbows to Silas’ back and neck. He slams them into the barricade with a satisfying grin on his face.
Jimmy Allen: OK, enough.
He hooks him back into place for a vertical suplex, but Silas lifts him up! He slams Jimmy’s chest on the ladder with a thunderous crack, sending Jimmy rolling to the floor and Silas against the barricade in exhaustion. The yells of Jimmy are getting picked up on almost every microphone in the arena, as the audience bellow down in excitement upon the two.
"YOU DESERVE IT!"
*Clap, clap, clap clap clap*.
Silas chuckles to himself lightly, before he ascends to his feet. Stagger and out of breath, he grabs the ladder and carries it towards Jimmy. He rests it against the canvas and ropes, before turning his attention to Jimmy. He grabs their legs to prepare for a slingshot into the ladder! He drops down, Jimmy flies into the ladder, and starts to climb it! Silas quickly turns around, and Jimmy jumps off for a forearm! Silas catches him, repositions his opponent, while Jimmy fires his elbow at the bloodied head! LAWNDART ONTO THE LADDER, and Jimmy crashes down onto the floor!
The audience roar down at the performance, and Silas stumbles into the ring and drags himself to the ladder. And starts to slowly climb it!
Jim Gunt: Blood gushing from his head, ribs collapsed, stamina exhausted, he’s got a chance to end this match there and then but does his have the strength to grab the Paramount Championship?
Mia Rayne: We’re about to find out!
The audience get louder as Silas ascends further and further, but Jimmy is able to get back into the ring with one of the bin lids. Crack! He smacks it over Silas’ back. Another crack! It forces Silas back onto the mat on his feet. CRACK! On Silas’ dome, and his eyes droops as he falls onto the canvas. Jimmy, clutching the lid, chuckles at himself with a light mania.
He lightly kicks Silas out of the way, as he focuses attention back on the belt. He stumbles a little, but starts climbing with mostly the same difficulty Silas had before. One rung at a time, he catches his breath, and climbs higher and higher as the audience gets louder and louder with each step. He really reaches the top, but is dragged away from the final rung. Silas has him on the electric chair position, and they clutch his thighs to elevated him for the Fall of Man! Jimmy attacks the weakened head, and in the end has to resort to a mere backdrop!
Silas’ breathing heavily but is able to conjure the energy to reach out to the ladder under the championship, but a hard kick by Jimmy causes the ladder to fall over and deny the chance!
Mike Rolash: Got to admit, can’t fault Jimmy’s impressive awareness. He’s got Silas on the edge of death and forcing him to work harder to climb.
Jim Gunt: Then why do you think he hasn’t won yet?
Mike Rolash: He needs to put Silas away once and for all! Only then will his victory become secured.
Silas and Jimmy slowly get back onto their feet, with Silas heading towards the smaller ladder still resting on the apron, while Jimmy staggers towards a nearby turnbuckle. He drags the ladder in and rests it on the mat. He turns his attention back to Jimmy, and grabs his waist to German suplex him on the ladder. Jimmy is lifted in the air, but comes back down, and an elbow allows him to break free. A superkick to Silas, they stumble. Silas replies with a Knockout, but he misses and runs into the ropes. He turns around just in time to charge back at Jimmy, but they lift him of their head. BACK BODY DROP ONTO THE LADDER!
And Jimmy sprints out of the ring on onto the near apron. He positions himself near Silas and holds his hand in a clenched fist! A dark chuckle escapes him, and he springboards himself in the air for the LONE STAR!
AND JIMMY CRASHES INTO THE LADDER!
The screaming Jimmy clutches his arm as a frantic Silas pushes both him and the ladder out of the ring, before returning to the kicked over ladder. He struggles to position it under the belt, but finally has it. He begins to ascend, as the crowd scream louder and louder!
Jim Gunt: HE’S CLIMBING! GRAB THAT BELT SILAS! GRAB IT!
The exhausted Silas slowly climbs the rungs of the ladder, struggling to keep awake as the audience bellows their excitement. Heavy breathing, another rung closer to the ladder. He’s at the top! He’s reaching out! He’s got the belt!
Jim Gunt: JIMMY ALLEN WITH A SPRINGBOARD DROPKICK TO THE LADDER!
Mike Rolash: But look!
The ladder falls to the ring, but Silas is hanging from the apparatus! Jimmy tries to reach out to his opponent but he’s fingertips away! Silas grits his teeth as one hand tries desperately to grab firmly onto the belt, the other hand gripping the metal plate!
Mia Rayne/Jim Gunt: JESUS CHRIST!
Silas falls flat on the mat, landing on top of Jimmy in the process! The two are down, with Silas gripping his hair in frustration.
Jim Gunt: The Psychotic Aristocrat just inches away from victory but the power of gravity overcomes all opponents eventually. Fatigue firmly set in for both men!
The two men start to drag themselves towards opposite sides of the ring, Jimmy rests his upper body on the bottom rope and Silas did the same. Jimmy, tired and sweating, and Silas looking completely dejected.
He closes his eyes, breathes out, defeated.
Mike Rolash: Wait...who the hell is that!?
The puzzled audience reaction slowly wakes Silas up, and looks straight ahead. The masked man in black who carried him from danger is standing right in front of him.
Silas couldn’t express anything, completely exhausted.
Silas Artoria: Well?
The man in black just looks at him.
Silas Artoria: Is this what you want?
Silas Artoria: Did you want me to fall flat again!?
Nothing. Silas gets frustrated.
Silas Artoria: WHAT THE HELL DO YOU WANT WITH ME!???
His hand grabs his mask, and pulls it off to reveal the man underneath. Silas’ eyes widen with shock, frozen.
Mike Rolash: Who the hell is that?
Jim Gunt: Hidetaka Ito.
Silas’ lip starts to tremble, as Ito stood there with a soft smile on his face.
Jim Gunt: Retired ace of the JWA. Silas robbed a tournament bracket victory from him, and the two would go to war in a ladder match!
Mike Rolash: So why is he here?
Jim Gunt: He did endorse Artoria after their match. Perhaps he’s disappointed in Silas’ recent misfortunes? Maybe he wants to see him succeed? Or…
Mia Rayne: Maybe he's just the thing Silas has been missing this whole time.
Silas just stares at Ito in pure shock, as Ito slowly approaches Silas, unfazed. The two come close with their heads at the same level, and Ito presses Silas’ blooded forehead against his. Ito’s hand rests against Silas’ hair.
Hidetaka Ito: [[So, are you going to give up now?]]
Silas’ breathing starts to become controlled, calm, no longer frozen in shock. He swallows his own spit, and slowly nods his head--
DOUBLE KNEES BY JIMMY ALLEN!
The knees went straight through Silas’ dome and smacked the guest’s face, knocking them back. Jimmy grabs Silas’ hair and drags him back to his feet.
Jimmy Allen: FACE IT! YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO SUCCEED HERE! THIS IS MY MOMENT!
Strong forearm to Silas’ head, and Jimmy drags the Canadian to his left side. He bends down, and lifts him onto his shoulders. He grits his teeth as his shoulders and back already start buckling. He yells at the top of his lungs, and is able to get stable!
Silas knees Jimmy’s face! And another as the Catalyst struggles to keep still. Another knee, and another! And another gets Silas to his feet. KNOCKOUT! The two men stagger back into the ropes, Silas running on adrenaline and Jimmy completely out of it from the impact.
Silas stares at Jimmy, breathing heavily, before slowly turning towards where Ito was. The Japanese star slowly rises, wearing a bloody nose from Jimmy’s impact. Silas glares at Ito, grits teeth, and eyes the Catalyst.
Loud yell, a sprint, A KNOCKOUT! Silas is quick to grab Jimmy and, with effort, puts him in the Argentine Backbreaker. Another yell, and Silas eyes the nearby fallen ladder. He staggers towards the vital apparatus, and lets out a primal scream as he lifts Jimmy’s legs into the ai--
Jim Gunt: OH MY GOD!!
Mike Rolash: WHAT THE FUCK!!??
Silas lifts himself out of the crumpled mess that consists of him, Jimmy, and the ladder.
Mike Rolash: A GODDAMN BURNING HAMMER!??
Jim Gunt: Used by Ito to put Silas away the last time he was in a ladder match and now Jimmy is completely out of it!
Silas grabs Jimmy and rolls his unconscious body out of the ring as he grabs the ladder and positions it under the Paramount Championship. One rung, two rung, three! Silas agonisingly drags himself towards the top of the ladder, and Jimmy isn’t moving a muscle!
Silas reaches out!
Jimmy’s still not moving!
He’s got the Paramount title in his hand.
He unclips it!
Jim Gunt: HE’S DONE IT!
The crowd explode as Silas finally collapses from the ladder, falling onto the mat with the title on top of him.
Ray Douglas: Your winner, and NEEEEEEWWWWW, PARAMOUNT CHAMPION...SILAS...ARTORIA!!!
Jim Gunt: That man arrived at the CWF in November 2017. He has pushed tag team wrestling to the brink, he fought company legends, he set the bar at the beginning of Wrestlefest, had the match of the year with MJ Flair, and now he finally holds his first CWF championship.
Mike Rolash: Let’s not forget Jimmy Allen. The man did the right thing by tapping into his dark side considering his opponent, but today was his day. Inventive, creative, but just couldn’t get the job done.
Hidetaka Ito slides into the ring and crawls towards an exhausted but euphoric Silas, completely shattered by his war with Jimmy Allen. Silas struggles to sit up, but Ito manages to get him there. The victor simply looks down at the while belt he reached out for, and slowly conjures up a chuckle of relief.
He turns to Hidetaka, eyes red and tears in his eyes, and sees the older man smile at him like a proud father to his son. Silas leaps forward and clutches Ito, embracing him as the crowd shower down their congratulatory chants upon him.
After several seconds, the embrace is let go, and soon Silas turns his attention towards his opponent. Jimmy has just started to recover, and Silas slowly rolls out of the ring to meet Jimmy with no motives. They let out their frustrations and plans in the ring, and now the several month affair was over.
Jimmy looks up at a barely standing Silas placing the Paramount title on the apron, before extending a hand towards the Catalyst. The clearly furious Allen hesitates, but swallows his pride and takes the hand, getting dragged to his feet in the process.
The two men embrace, pat each other on the backs, and Jimmy elicits a small smile.
Jimmy Allen: Good luck.
Neck completely wrecked, Jimmy grabs his entrance gear, and climbs over the barricade into the audience, heading for the exit. Silas, meanwhile, nearly collapses again, but Ito is quick to catch him. The two look at each other.
Silas Artoria: [[We’ve got some catching up to do.]]
Hidetaka Ito: [[Agreed.]]
The two men smile at each other, and make their way up the ramp. The new Paramount Champion disappears through the curtain, along with the man who inadvertently set him down this path.
The night nearly over, Jon Stewart turns the hallway corner and sees his oasis in the distance: his office. Stepping inside and closing the door will undoubtedly be a moment of zen for the Commissioner, finally putting a barrier between himself and the myriad problems that typically haunt a pay-per-view broadcast.
Unfortunately, the look of relief that he allowed himself to wear drops quickly as he sees two-time former CWF World Champion MJ Flair sitting behind the desk.
MJF: We need to talk.
Stewart exhales, his shoulder slumping.
Jon Stewart: Of course we do.
Maybe she’s in a hurry. Maybe she’s feeling sympathy. Maybe she sees the look on his face; whatever the reason, MJ pops out of his chair and gestures that it’s all his. Stewart sits and leans back, clearly exhausted.
MJF: I’ll make it quick, I know how things can get around here. All I want is what I’m owed.
Jon Stewart: Everyone agrees that you were instrumental in the company’s success last year, but - and you do call yourself a traditionalist - coming in here and demanding a shot at a World Title that--
MJ holds up a hand and shakes her head.
Startled, Stewart stops talking.
MJF: I took a months - long ‘vacation’ --
Air quotes included.
MJF: --defending this company. I found my way back and finally got past my own stupid hang ups and was ready to contribute again, and I get shipped off to Hostility without a second thought. I make peace with that and get myself ready ta give Hostility all I’ve got and you shut the place down before I can even debut.
She arches an eyebrow.
MJF: Without even fucking telling me. You know how I found out, I got to the building, ‘n there was nobody there, and I had to read it on the ESEN website. Dude.
Her index finger taps the desk with every syllable.
MJF: I don’t wanna be handed anything I didn’t earn, I just want what I deserve.
Interested, Stewart leans forward.
Jon Stewart: And what do you feel you deserve?
MJF: A quality opponent.
That’s unexpected. Stewart remains silent, gesturing for MJ to continue.
MJF: After the Beast took the title from me and you guys put me in doctor jail, I made my way back at Modern Warfare and who did you give me to face? Facetious Fucking Frankie Fucking Fucknugget. I don’t need a punching bag, I need an opponent that can kick my teeth in.
MJF: If you think that’s Duce or Mr. Ryan, then that’s who it is. If it’s the Shadow, or Freddie, or the NyQuil guy, that’s cool. But I’mma be at Evo and I want an opponent that matters in a match that means something.
And she steps back.
MJF: I think I’ve earned it.
With that, she leaves the room, and leaves Jon Stewart in a blissful silence.
The picture returns ringside, where Jim, Mike and Mia are standing behind their desk.
Jim Gunt: Oooh, Ms. Flair is back with a vengeance!
Mike cringes at these words.
Mia Rayne: Got a problem with a vengeance?
Mike Rolash: No, no, I have a problem with "back".
Mia Rayne: Then take two tylenol and go see a chiropractor.
Mike Rolash: That's not what--
Jim Gunt: OK, ladies and gentlemen, Silas Artoria is our brand new Paramount champion after defeating Jimmy Allen just before, now let's see, if we might have a new Impact champion in the wiating as well with Zach van Owen defending his title against not one, not two, but three very worthy contenders!
Ray Douglas: The following match is a Fatal Fourway Cage Match where the only way to win is to escape said cage, and it is for the IMPACT CHAMPIONSHIP!
The entire arena goes dark as green digital rain appears on the screen and gradually forms the phrase “Ready...FIGHT!”. The music picks up and Zach appears on the stage with a bright flash of green lights, his head bowed and arms outstretched. He looks to the massive cage already encompassing the ring and marches down the ramp, high-fiving fans along the way. He goes through the door and ascends the corner post from the outside, throwing back the hood of his jacket and once again throwing his arms out wide. With hands on the ring ropes he cartwheels off the turnbuckle and down into the ring.
Ray Douglas: First, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he is the reigning and defending Impact Champion….ZACH VAN OWEN!!
Jim Gunt: The Game Changer looks bound and determined tonight, as he finally makes his in-ring comeback after being sidelined over a month.
Mike Rolash: I’m not sure sidelined is the word, Jimbo, Zach was abducted by a buncha guys dressed up as Impakt, his former masked persona. But what’s up with Van Owen coming out first, aren’t champions supposed to be the last one to the ring?
Jim Gunt: Don’t ask me, I don’t control these types of things…
Mia Rayne: After the history Zach and I have, it would be a nice moment to see him walk out of Denver still the Impact champion.
The drums and bassline from Bustin Loose come in. Then, Chuck's immortal words "Gimme the bridge, now.” Right when the horns come in, BANG! A big shot of pyro shoots up on both sides of the entrance. Moe leaps from backstage with a big smile and lots of energy. He hypes himself up, even looking more excited than ever and reaches out to taps a few fans on the hand. Davis finally makes eye contact with the steel cage for the first time, his expression wavering as slightly as he goes through the door and into the structure.
Ray Douglas: And his opponent, first from Washington D.C, he is the Go Go Kid….MOE DAVIS!!
Moe smiles from his corner as Douglas reads his name aloud, eliciting a sound cheer from the Denver crowd.
Jim Gunt: Go Go Moe, I love this guy!
Mike Rolash: You would, Jim.
The lights cut leaving the fans sitting in complete darkness. Suddenly red and blue lights begin flashing throughout the arena as the sound of police sirens pierce the silence. The melody of "Bank Account (Remix)" blasts from the various speakers throughout the arena. The fans rise to their feet booing the arrival of the Sin City Saint. After several moments of anticipation the curtain pulls back and Johnny Graves steps out onto the stage.
Graves slowly moves his gaze over the sea of fans, a confident smirk on his lips. He drops down onto his knees where he sits for several moments. Finally he pushes himself up to his feet and begins strutting towards the ring. Graves stops, never taking his eyes off the steel cage, as if the intensity of the massive structure is leaving him unable to move. Finally he shakes his head a couple of times, slapping his own cheeks to get himself psyched back up. The Sin City Saint rolls through the bottom rope and runs his mouth immediately to both Van Owen and Davis, still somehow not looking himself however as he continues to look back at the steel cage.
Ray Douglas: And next, from Las Vegas, Nevada, he is the Sin City Saint….JOHNNY GRAVES!!
Jim Gunt: Graves doesn't seem himself tonight, does he guys?
Mia Rayne: Maybe the intensity of the steel cage structure has Mr. Confidence all shook up?
The lights once again go down, and all you see is a silhouette of a man, forming a diamond with his hands above his head as the opening riff hits.
“You don't know what you're doing, doing, doing....
That's where you're wrong!”
As the song moves into the verse, Freddie steps out from behind the curtain as he just stands there in his hooded vest, hood over his head, bouncing from side to side, before making his slow walk towards the ring.
“I — will — not — lose
(You don't know what you're doing, doing, doing)
Put somethin' on it!”
Freddie slowly walks up the ring steps, taking a quick look around the cage before stepping through the ropes. He then stands on the middle rope, holding one arm above him, before stepping down, and leaning over in a corner. He takes the hood from off his head, then takes the vest off completely, tossing it to the Clark Summits as he awaits the beginning of the match.
Ray Douglas: And last, from Atlanta, Georgia, he is Mr. Ballgame….FREDDIE STYLES!!
Jim Gunt: We have gotten through the entrances of all four men, and now it’s time to see how each one of them takes to the massive cage that surrounds them.
Mia Rayne: I’ve been in that cage before, Jim, and it’s true what they say. Being in matches like these doesn’t just take weeks or months off your career; it takes years off of it.
Mike Rolash: Thankfully for the four men in the ring, however, they don’t have to contend with a crazed animal in there with them tonight…
Mia Rayne: Mike, I’ll tell you this one last time for your own health and well being’s sake. Don’t start with me.
The Denver fans cheer in anticipation of what will be another high stakes affair as Clark Summits calls for the bell, neither of the four men making a move on the onset, each of them eying up the cage and their different opponents as they come slowly to the center of the ring. Freddie Styles is the first to attack, grabbing ahold of Moe and running his knee into his gut before tossing him violently up over the ropes and into the cage. The Hall of Famer slaps his chest as Moe goes down hard.
Jim Gunt: Styles is clearly pleased with himself after lawn darting Moe Davis into the cage, and honestly I’m surprised to see the cage structure come into play this early on in the match.
Mike Rolash: There is no time like here and now, and a veteran like Freddie Styles knows this as well as anybody.
Mia Rayne: For once I have to agree with you, Mike, but Styles still has two other very fresh competitors to contend with.
Zach Van Owen takes the still taunting Freddie Styles, turning him around to face him before cracking him right across the jaw with a Discus Elbow! Styles staggers backwards into the ropes, but his longtime rival stays on him, clobbering Styles with a right hand before taking ahold of him and whipping him in the opposite direction. Right into a huge Back Body Drop from Johnny Graves!
Jim Gunt: Styles may have been the first to use the cage to his advantage, but he just felt the full wrath of the unforgiving steel there!
Mia Rayne: He sure did, but Graves is looking apprehensive when it comes to this steel cage. I have never seen the man lack confidence, but tonight may be a different story…
Mike Rolash: Graves is just getting in his own head. He needs to snap out of it and prove to the world why his loss to Duce last week was just a fluke, this guy is the future of CWF!
Mia Rayne: And how many times have you said that about how many other people that have walked through the doors, Mike?
Rolash completely ignores Mia as Johnny Graves and Zach Van Owen trade right hands in the middle of the ring. The larger Graves is surprised after a hard uppercut leaves him reeling, but he is able to come right back with a Roundhouse Up and Down Kick that comes down right across the bridge of Zach’s nose, popping it open immediately. The Game Changer drops to one knee, holding onto his nose in both shock in pain as a crimson river drips down his hands. Graves looks to end the match early going for a running knee strike on the downed Impact champion, but he is intercepted in mid-air by Moe who grabs him by the head and walks him up the ropes instead.
Jim Gunt: SPRINGBOARD TORNADO DDT! What a counter from Moe who just came back into the fold out of nowhere there!
Mia Rayne: I see why they call Moe the Go Go Kid now, wowwie.
Mike Rolash: Let’s see how far Moe can go, though, as he’s heading for the cage!
Moe Davis grabs ahold of the steel structure, springing up like a cat to latch on with all fours. The Go Go Kid has the fans on his side as he begins to climb, but Styles quickly takes the steam out of their dream of seeing Davis escape with the Impact title, as he tugs him viciously off the cage. Davis’ spine hits the canvas hard, leaving him writhing in pain as he goes back to Zach Van Owen, who rises up to his feet just in time to leap over a low sweeping kick from Styles, then narrowly evading a quick spin kick afterward. The Game Changer wiggles a finger with a confident smirk on his face, front flipping toward his adversary out of nowhere and grabbing him on the way back up.
Jim Gunt: CRITICAL HIT! Van Owen with the Critical Hit Front Flip DDT, and he needs to capitalize on the attack.
Mia Rayne: You’re right, Jim, the champion is the only man standing right now and he won’t have a better opportunity to escape with his title than now.
Mike Rolash: I don’t like how well you two get along…
Zach Van Owen eyes up the cage structure, looking it up and down before shaking his head and instead heading for the door to the cage instead.
Jim Gunt: That’s right, I almost forgot that this match could be won by both escaping over the top of the cage AND through the door that the four men entered in.
Mia Rayne: But Zach better watch out as Johnny Graves stalks behind him…
Mike Rolash: SILENCER! Graves just silenced Van Owen’s hopes as he Superkicked the snot right out of him.
The Impact Champion is flatlined following the nasty Superkick, dazed and confused as he leans on the ropes by the door. Graves does not let up on him though, picking him right back to his feet by his shoulders as a recovered Freddie Styles comes over to join him. Graves and Styles have a quick conversation before both men nod their head seemingly in agreement.
Jim Gunt: Wow, this is shocking to see, Styles and Graves are working together after how badly Styles parter Duce Jones and the Sin City Saint trash each other on twitter.
Mike Rolash: Two great minds work alike, Jim. Anyone can put their differences aside for the sake of putting the quack attack Impact champion Zach out of his misery here tonight.
Mia Rayne: Why are you trying so hard to rhyme tonight, Mike? You didn’t find your way into my stash did you?
Mike Rolash: Stash? Oh you mean those double chocolate chip cookies in your bag. Yeah I had one, okay maybe two...why?
Mia Rayne: Uhh...let’s just continue the match…
Johnny Graves and Freddie Styles each take a shot at Zach Van Owen, the Impact Champion a sitting duck as he’s barely unable to get his hands up and block the punches. Finally both men pull Zach to his feet but only momentarily. DOUBLE BRAINBUSTER RIGHT ON VAN OWEN’S HEAD! The crowd half boo half cheer the display, but fully cheer as the unit of Styles and Graves breaks down as quickly as it was formed, the two men coming to blows with one another. Styles ducks under a clothesline attempt from Graves, and the Sin City Saint runs right into a flying Moe who leaps off the steel cage like a crazed cat hitting him with an ASAI MOONSAULT!
"THIS IS AWESOME!"
“THIS IS AWESOME!”
Jim Gunt: Not sure I’ve ever heard those two chants in unison, Mike and Mia, but the fans couldn’t be any more accurate with their assessment.
Mia Rayne: Ha, you said ass. And ess.
Jim Gunt: Yes I did, didn’t I?
Jim and Mia laugh amongst each other as Rolash just rolls his eyes, all four men in the ring laid out as the sold out crowd inside the Pepsi Center come alive, clapping their hands in unison to try to get them to their feet. Freddie Styles is the first up, but instead of going for any of his opponents, his quickly turns his back on them and begins his ascent up the steel cage. Moe Davis is on him a moment later, climbing on the back of Styles as he somehow continues to move up the cage! Grabbing ahold of the cage to balance himself, Moe takes his other hand placing it behind Styles head and bashing him face-first into the steel. The Go Go Kid climbs up his back and over the shoulders of Styles, no- the Hall of Famer grabs him and pulls him in.
Jim Gunt: BALLGAME OFF THE GOD DAMNED CAGE!
Mia Rayne: The fans are once again blowing the roof off the Pepsi Center, I can barely hear myself talk!
Mike Rolash: Thank god…
Mia Rayne: What did you say, Mike!?
Mike Rolash: I said that’s too bad.
With Freddie and Moe out of the match for at least the moment, Johnny Graves and Zach Van Owen rise up in unison, Graves eying up the cage before turning back around and planting Zach with a kick to the gut. He runs into the ropes, but the Game Changer is ready for him, sunset flipping over him and pulling Graves into a flip of his own before planting him with a Powerbomb! The crowd come alive again for the Impact Champion as he heads for the cage, hurrying his way up it knowing that any of his opponents could be after him in a moment’s time. It is Styles who eventually is, the Hall of Famer just able to grab the boot of Zach and stop him from climbing any further. Van Owen kicks at Styles but he’s unable to break free, eventually being pulled all the way back down to the top rope where Styles meets him, bashing his head off the cage. Van Owen come back, smacking Freddie’s face off the steel.
Jim Gunt: STANDING SPANISH FLY OFF THE TOP ROPE! Zach Van Owen going deep into his playbook with that one, pulling out all the stops as he tries to retain the Impact Championship here tonight!
Mike Rolash: The Game Changer has become a different man since being abducted by John Kreese, and after finding out that his father had a huge hand in the process, I’m surprised to see Zach have his Game Face on.
Mia Rayne: Zach is a Top Level Player, he’s back and badder than ever.
The Denver fans are still beside themselves, almost out of breath at this point as they’ve cheered their lungs out for nearly the entirety of the match. Moe Davis and Zach Van Owen begin climbing to their feet, holding each other up as they come to. Zach ducks under a spin kick from Moe Davis but walks right into a Uranage Slam from Johnny Graves, who turns him in midair to spike him spine first against the steel cage. Van Owen is damaged goods from the repeated cage shots, leaving Moe and Graves to fight it out. Moe reverses an irish whip attempt from Graves, sending the Sin City Saint right into an awaiting Freddie Styles who catches him and rolls him over with a Belly to Belly Suplex. Styles and Davis look at each other and then back at the cage, each men turning in opposite directions as they head up the structure as quickly as possible.
Jim Gunt: It’s all up to Freddie Styles and Moe Davis now, which of these men will be able to climb the cage first and become the new Impact Champion?
Mia Rayne: Styles is slightly higher up the cage than Moe, but look at Moe go!
Mike Rolash: And you talk about me trying to rhyme?
Although Styles had Moe by several feet the rapid agility of Go Go Moe gives him the edge and he quickly regains ground, both men getting to the top of opposite sides of the cage at nearly the same time. Styles looks down as a wary Johnny Graves is to his feet and looking up, clinching his teeth as he grabs hold of the cage, shaking it several times to cause Styles to lose his footing. Freddie falls off the top of the cage, crotching himself on the steel frame! Davis watches on seemingly in thought for a moment before walking the top of the cage towards Styles instead of heading down the cage?!
Jim Gunt: What are you doing Moe, you have this match won!
Mia Rayne: The Go Go Kid may not be the sharpest crayon in the box, but I have a feeling he’s about to paint us a pretty picture.
Mike Rolash: What?
Jim Gunt: Moe leaps up as Styles can do nothing but watch on in horror….CORKSCREW HURRICANRANA OFF THE TOP OF THE CAGE! HOLY BA-JESUS THAT WAS SICK!
“THIS IS AWESOME!”
*CLAP CLAP CLAP*
“THIS IS AWESOME!”
*CLAP CLAP CLAP!*
The Denver fans are on their feet clapping their hands as loud as they can, each of them showing appreciation for the showing of all four men in the ring. The only two men left with an capacity to get to their feet are Johnny Graves and Zach Van Owen, and it is Graves first who makes a hand movement for Clark Summits to open the steel cage door. He approaches the cage with Owen rising to his feet from behind. Graves turns back right into a Switchblade Kick from the Game Changer. It is Zach now who goes in between the ropes, until Graves is right back to his feet and leaps up, landing on his upper spine and snapping his throat into the ropes on the way down!
Jim Gunt: Innovative offense from the Sin City Saint, and now he has an opening to achieve greatness!
Mia Rayne: It looks like Graves doesn’t want to let anything to chance though, as he lifts Zach back to his feet…
Mike Rolash: Could it be?
Jim Gunt: STARKILLER! Johnny Graves with the Starkiller and now he just walks right over the unconscious Impact Champion to escape the cage! It’s over!
The Denver fans let Graves have it as he escapes the cage, exhaling a deep breath that he seemingly held in the entire match as he hears the bell ringing several times. The words of Ray Douglas that follow bring a Grinch like smile to his face.
Ray Douglas: And your winner by cage escape and NEW CWF IMPACT CHAMPION….JOHNNY GRAVES!!
The bell rings and the hard fought match is now over, the steel cage being raised back to the ceiling. Zach van Owen remains in the ring slowly coming to, using the ring ropes to pull himself up as he locks eyes with Johnny Graves who stands outside of the ring with the CWF Impact Championship in his hands, holding his gaze. Zach shakes his head with a half-smile on his face, then asks for a microphone.
Zach Van Owen: Congratulations Graves, enjoy this fleeting moment. Very soon you’ll realise there is no reward in that title. It is little more than a target. Little more than shackles, holding you down. I realised this and am glad to be free of it. For now I’m free to progress onto more important matters.
Mike Rolash: He’s just a sore loser!
Zach Van Owen: The real reason I returned was not to answer to Freddie Styles. It was not to, yet again, prove myself to him, the roster and the rest of you. No. I am burdened with glorious purpose. I promised I would become a hero and save the federation, to fight for truth and justice. But there is no justice here! And the truth is so easily manipulated. But in the end I failed the CWF. I was not enough. I had to become better. I needed to Level Up and Evolve further. I didn’t realise at the time just how doomed the federation was. How deep the evil spread. This match here tonight was proof of that. There is no integrity anymore, no pride or honour. There was no Good Ending to this game, andI realise now that I need to save the CWF from itself.
Jim Gunt: The crowd aren’t exactly sure how to take this.
Mike Rolash: Even I’m struggling to understand what the hell is going on.
Mia Rayne: That’s not surprising.
Zach Van Owen: For each head I cut off, another grew back, and so drastic measures needed to be taken. I’ve returned to attack the evil and corruption at its core, at its heart. Now that I’m no longer overburdened by the false idol of the Impact title I hereby declare my intention to fight the evil head-on and challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship. Going straight for the heart of the CWF. THAT is now my purpose, not because I want to, but because somebody has to. And it might as well be me. Buckle up CWF, the Game is On! It’s Morphin’ Time!
With the final bell rung and the championship secured in his clutches, Johnny Graves rolls back into the ring and wills himself to a vertical base following the grueling contest against three of CWF’s premier competitors. “Bank Account Remix” blasts from the speakers as a chorus of boos rumble throughout the Pepsi Center like thunder. Two of the other three competitors lie on the canvas, exhausted and battered from their steel cage war, while Zach van Owen stands in a corner, obviously curious as to what is about to happen. The referee attempts to check in on Graves who simply fires out his right hand shoving the poor man to a seated position on the canvas. Johnny stumbles around, attempting to fight through the exhaustion, as he falls into the ropes. Still clutching the CWF Impact Championship in his left arm he motions that he wants a microphone which he is handed almost immediately. Inhaling deeply and backing up towards the center of the ring Johnny waits for the music to die out.
Johnny Graves: The fuck do you dumbass marks have to say now? Am I still undeservin’ of holdin’ this title? Am I still all talk and no action? Am I still just some loud mouthed upstart who attempts to get under people’s skins and weasel his way into opportunities he doesn’t deserve? Because this CWF Impact Championship… I earned this! I deserve this! Take a look at your pathetic heroes… Moe Davis… Zach van Owen… Freddie Styles. I broke each and every one of them and earned this championship gold.
Graves glares out over the Denver crowd, his chest rising and following through heavy breaths.
Johnny Graves: And now that I have this title… now that I am Impact Champion… I can tell each and every one of you in the Pepsi Center, watchin’ at home, and the boys and girls in the back… I don’t give a shit about this title! Because this title, like the cocksuckers in the ring, is an example of everythin’ wrong with this business. Everythin’ wrong with the pathetically frail little veil you all wear over your eyes, blockin’ you from the truth.
Graves tosses the Impact Championship to the canvas, standing over it proudly. The boos that erupt from the sold out crowd only seem to intensify with Johnny’s blatant disrespect of the CWF Championship. There’s another long pause as Johnny waits for the ruckus crowd to settle down some. Meanwhile, during Graves’ rant Davis and Styles have all managed to make it - somewhat - to their feet, joining van Owen, their eyes trained on Graves having witnessed his disrespect of the title and heard his disparaging remarks. As a roar of applause rises throughout the arena, Graves realizes the situation looking from left to right, then back to left seeing the three men that now surround him. Graves’ expression reveals concern, clearly he expected each man to be down longer than this. His demeanor quickly turns to one of intensity knowing that’s he’s got another war on his hands now.
Suddenly, the crowd erupts again, this time in more anticipation than admiration as the CWF cameras quickly cut away to various angles revealing two men and woman hopping the barricade from different corners and stepping out onto the mat that surrounds the ring, each of them wearing black bandanas over their noses and mouths. With the sudden introduction of these three strangers the men in the ring who were preparing to assault Graves have their attention diverted. Within moments all three masked competitors are on the apron, their eyes trained on the four competitors in the ring, looking confident even if they numbers aren’t in their favor.
On the entrance side of the ring, the masked woman jumps up onto the top rope springboarding off and driving the point of her knee into the jaw of Moe Davis, dropping him. In unison, on the other side of the ring, the second attacker springboards off of the top rope and connects viciously with a flying forearm to the temple of Zach van Owen bringing him down as well. Styles and Graves momentarily distracted by this, the bigger of the three attackers slides into the ring and before he would even get a chance to react the massive masked man drills Freddie Styles with a disgusting spear, lifting him off his feet and driving him hard into the canvas. The masked attackers now surround Graves, who once again finds himself with his back against the wall. There’s a moment of pause, as the fans cheer loudly, it seems to last forever and then… all of a sudden all three attackers turn away from Graves and begin attacking Styles, van Owen, and Davis respectively. Stomps and punches, elbows and kicks. The masked attacks brutally beat whatever fight remains in their three men out of them. As the assault continues, Graves simply backs his way into the corner and leans against the turnbuckles like a proud father watching his son’s first football game.
Firmly in control, the attackers look to put the final nail in the coffin. The man assaulting van Owen forces him up to his feet, van Owen barely able to stand on his own. The man slips behind applying a waist lock. He lifts van Owen off of his German Suplex style but instead brings him crashing down with a devastating Sit-Out Facebuster instead. The woman who has focused her attention on Davis the whole time, again has him on his feet, measuring him she does a little head bob before stepping forward, jumping and twisting in the air, and driving her boot into Davis’ temple with a Tornado Kick. As the biggest member of the group looks to put Styles away, Graves suddenly steps forward from the corner shouting “that one’s mine!” He places a hand on the big man’s shoulders and whispers something. As Graves moves back to the corner, the big man grabs Styles and yanks his limp body up to his feet with ease. Within a moment he has Styles up on his shoulders in a Fireman’s Carry. Graves squats down, his eyes intense as he stares at the lifeless Styles. Suddenly the big man hoists Styles off his shoulders and tosses him towards Graves who steps forward and drives the sole of his boot into the jaw of Styles with the Silencer!
The four competitors gather in the center of the ring taking in the putrid boos of the Denver crowd. All three masked competitors reach up and at the same time rip their masks away to reveal: Ciara Kennedy, Bishop Kingston, and the debuting, Ophelia McVeigh. Graves moves to pluck the mic off the canvas and returns to his position in between his new army. The Sin City Saint just smiles at all the jeers coming from the fans, watching as medical personnel run down to tend to Freddie Styles, quickly moving to place the Hall of Famer carefully onto a stretcher.
Johnny Graves: I told each and everyone of you somethin’ big was comin’ to CWF. Somethin’ that would forever change the landscape of this company and the professional wrestlin’ world as a whole. We reject your rules. We reject your morals. We reject your order. The status quo is dead. Tradition is dead. Your future is dead. This is now your future.
Graves’ eyes narrow as he stares down the hard camera.
Johnny Graves: This is disOrder!
“Bank Account Remix” hits the speakers again and each competitor moves towards the ropes to exit the ring. Graves follows but suddenly stops. He turns around and plucks the Impact Championship from the mat and then moves to the ropes dragging the championship behind him. Graves joins his group mates on the outside of the ring and they all jump the barricade entering the crowd making their exit and leaving the Pepsi Center in stunned silence.
Mike Rolash: Holy cow, Silas wins, Graves wins, what is next? Duce winning?
Jim Gunt: You know that is quite possible, right?
Mike Rolash: I don't want to talk about that option.
Jim Gunt: Anyways, now it is time for a match that many people have been waiting for, one person has been secretly plotting to sabotage and that is literally taking Vertigo to new heights. Ataxia and The Shadow have been embroiled in some of the deepest mind games CWF has seen in a long time and the former friends turned bitter enemies will meet in a falls count anywhere match tonight, which may in all honesty never even reach the ring, because it all starts up there.
He points up towards the rafters, where a black and white striped outline can be seen clinging to a guard rail.
Mike Rolash: How did you know I was plotting-- uh, I mean, yes, bitter rivals, up there, gravity, splat, the end--
A whack to the back of his head ends his brief tirade and he turns around, his face quickly turning red with anger.
Mike Rolash: Will you-- Oh, it’s you!
Mia Rayne: Who did you expect?
Mike Rolash: That red-haired devil.
Mia Rayne: Oh, no, it’s just me, but I approve of her message.
Jim Gunt: So as you can see, our referee “Big” Denny Davidson is already up above--
The camera switches to all the way up there and it is obvious that the big man is not comfortable up there, holding on tight to the rail encircling the walkways on the upper regions of the Pepsi Center.
Jim Gunt: There are no safety nets or harnesses, so contrary to my colleague here, let’s hope that everything goes well, Ray Douglas is ready to go here, so let’s get this started!
Ray Douglas: Ladies and gentlemen, the next match is a falls count anywhere match. There will be no countouts, no disqualifications, the only way to win this match is either by pinfall or submission, which can happen literally anywhere. First to the ring, uh, rafters, hailing from parts unknown, he is the Messiah Pariah - ATAXIA!
The lights flicker as we hear this over the PA System...
"Dangerous Tonight" by Alice Cooper starts to play as Ataxia enters the walkways above the arena, wearing his cloak of raven feathers, tophat, cane, and raven mask over his usual bag like mask. Ataxia spins the cane around and looks down at the fans below, bending forward so much that Denny Davidson looks like he is going to faint any moment. He whips off the cloak and takes off the mask, hat and cane. He puts them into a crate affixed to the side of the railing.
Ray Douglas: And his opponent, hailing from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Accompanied by Myfanwy verch Owain, THE SHADOW!
The lights go out and dark red light begins to pulse as the intro to “Wield Lightning to Split the Sun” by Primordial begins to play. Suddenly a flame comes alight in the dark at the edges of the Pepsi Center’s ceiling area, just to begin to travel through the darkness, landing in the centre of the ring, igniting an apparently flammable liquid, outlining The Shadow’s trademark “S”. As the song fully kicks in, a torch lights up in the centre of the rafters and The Shadow and Myfanwy stand there, illuminated by its flickering light.
Jim Gunt: Looks like we are ready to go, the two combatants are standing face to, well, bag. Looks like Denny Davidson is giving his instructions from the spot over at the rails, I have not seen him move from there since he arrived up there and off we go!
The bell rings and the first thing we hear is Ataxia laughing in The Shadow’s face. The Weaver of Dreams’ face betrays no emotion in the light of his former friend’s blatant disrespect, but the following slap triggers a violent push back that has Ataxia briefly losing his balance, clattering into some metal pipes stored in a crate. Without losing a step the Messiah Pariah grabs one of the pipes and brandishes it like a sword, taking a few stabs and swings, but The Shadow manages to evade them, even though it definitely puts him on the defensive side.
Mike Rolash (shouting): Come on, aim better, bagface!
Jim Gunt: As my colleague so eloquently points out here, there are no disqualifications, so pretty much anything goes here and Ataxia is not a stranger to these matches that for some reason tend to spill into public areas.
Mia Rayne: Neither is The Shadow.
Jim Gunt: That is true, his matches against Maya Jensen and even more so Elisha are definitely not forgotten. Right, Mike? Mike? MIKE! Where the heck did he go?
The camera shows Mike’s chair deserted and Mia giving Jim a shrug.
Mia Rayne: No idea, he got up and left.
Jim Gunt: Weird. Anyways, it looks like Ataxia is taunting The Shadow now to come and get him, but to be honest, that steel pipe is a pretty good reason not to.
Mia Rayne: He caught the pipe!
The Shadow indeed has managed to grab the other end of the pipe and the two combatants are engaged in a tug of war. The Weaver of Dreams gives a particularly strong yank that pulls Ataxia forwards and right into a headbutt to the burlap covered forehead. Having to release the grip on the pipe to steady himself, Ataxia immediately ducks, expecting to be hit by the pipe, but instead of going for the cheap opening, The Shadow tosses the pipe aside, clattering across the steel walkways.
Jim Gunt: He could easily have taken a shot at Ataxia here.
Mia Rayne: Yes, but that’s not who he is. He still believes in Ataxia, just like I do. Like he had said before, he does not think that this is him.
Jim Gunt: Like Loki Synn was not really you?
Mia Rayne: Sounds like someone has been picking up what we've been putting down. Good on you, Jim!
Instead of using the pipe, The Shadow goes for a boot right to the face of Ataxia, who is staggering backward a few more steps, grabbing onto the referee’s shirt in the process. Denny is not impressed that he has to briefly let go of the safety of his steel rail, but sure enough it is just what Ataxia needed to steady himself and immediately lunge forward with reckless abandon, taking the advancing Shadow by surprise and hitting his midriff with a mixture between a shoulder block and a spear that takes both men off their feet.
Jim Gunt: Always expect the unexpected with this guy.
Taking advantage of the situation, Ataxia is raining down punches onto The Shadow’s head before finally grabbing his hair and banging his head against the unrelenting steel several times, stopping only when he hears a familiar voice from behind.
Mike Rolash: There you go, bang that head!
A gasp goes through the crowd.
Jim Gunt: For God’s sakes, Mike! What is he doing up there?
Mia Rayne: Not sure, but his deathwish might come true tonight.
In the twilight of the rafters Ataxia’s jagged smile can be seen as he briefly waves at Mike. Due to the temporary distraction, The Shadow manages to clasp his hand against Ataxia’s chin, pushing him away, but the masked menace still has his hair in his hands and pulls it to the side in an attempt to relax the grasp. In the meanwhile Mike has advanced further onto the walkways to get a better view.
Mike Rolash: Jim, you should be up here, the view is amazing!
In this moment Ataxia and The Shadow simultaneously give a strong push, one banging The Shadow’s head hard against the steel, temporarily incapacitating him, while the other has Ataxia stagger back and hitting Mike, who has come too close. Caught unprepared, Mike takes a step to the side, stepping on the formerly discarded steel pipe and completely losing balance. The crowd gasps again as he begins to lean over the railing, threatening to fall when a red arrow comes running, jumping off over Ataxia, grabbing Mike just in time to avoid him plunging to a sure death. He lands with a heavy thud, his head hitting one of the steel posts, but despite being obviously knocked out, disaster is averted.
Crowd: Holy shit! Holy shit!
Myfanwy sits up, trying to find her bearing when she sees an extended hand. She grabs it and is pulled to her feet, just to find herself face to face with Ataxia, who is pulling her into an embrace.
Ataxia: Yes, you have spirit, I like that in women. Why don’t we leave these losers here and go.
Mia Rayne: No!
Her face contorted in disgust, Myfanwy struggles to escape Ataxia’s grasp, but he his holding her tight. She takes a deep breath, lowers her head, apparently accepting defeat. But the very moment that Ataxia relaxes his grip, she lets herself fall backward while grabbing the front of his tuxedo. Bringing up her legs she uses the momentum to vault Ataxia over her and he lands hard on the steel planks, right next to The Shadow.
Mia Rayne: Oh my God!
Crowd: Holy shit! Holy shit!
Jim Gunt: Incredible scenes here, ladies and gentlemen, Denny Davidson is holding Myfanwy back, who seems ready to take The Shadow’s spot in this match!
Mia Rayne: This is not going to end well! Someone is going to get seriously hurt!
Head referee Trent Robbins appears at the edge of the walkway, gingerly walking across towards the scene of Denny still struggling with an enraged Myfanwy. While all this is happening, Ataxia is shooting an angry look towards the Welsh fury, but then turns towards The Shadow, who is just getting to his hands and knees, dragging him to his legs fully. A short-arm lariat sends the Canadian to the ground again, followed by two hard foot stomps to the ribs.
Jim Gunt: It looks like Trent has managed to calm Myfanwy down enough to lead her out of the rafters, I think anybody they can remove from up there is a good thing, now they just have to get Mike out of there, what was he thinking?
Mia Rayne: He was not. Like always.
Jim Gunt: Yeah, you’re right.
The whole scene seems to have clearly soured Ataxia’s mood, as he has grabbed The Shadow by the front of the shirt, pulling him up and talking to him in a quite agitated way inaudible to the microphones. A headbutt is driving home whichever point he has been trying to make, but refuses to let go of The Shadow’s shirt. After another headbutt and a kick to the gut he plants a DDT on The Shadow!
Jim Gunt: Ouch, that must have hurt! Ataxia looks clearly in charge in this match so far!
Mia Rayne: He does not have this trigger to stop before going too far, he doesn’t stop when he’d hurt himself either.
Ataxia sits up and looks at Denny before motioning for him to come closer. Denny shakes his head, but then Ataxia puts his hand on The Shadow’s chest and the referee does not have a choice to hesitantly come over.
Jim Gunt: Yeah, he did not actually think he could win this.
Getting to his feet again, Ataxia looks at The Shadow and starts to laugh again. He grabs his hair and drags him up and GERMAN SUPLEX! But he does not let go and pulls The Shadow back up and goes for another. This time though, the Weaver of Dreams has the wherewithal to find a foothold on one of the rails, pushing back hard and throwing Ataxia off balance and they both come crashing down. After a few moments both men get to their feet with the aid of the guard rails, with The Shadow bleeding from a cut on his eyebrow, likely caused by on of the headbutts. Throwing all caution to the wind, Ataxia runs at The Shadow at full speed, hitting him with a sudden uppercut that sends the man in black reeling backwards against the railing.
Jim Gunt: Oh my God!
Ataxia follows right up and with one finger gives the balancing Shadow a push backwards and he goes over…
Mia Rayne: NOOO!!
The camera cuts and shows The Shadow holding on to one of the wire cables holding the walkways up. Ataxia climbs over the railing, trying to stomp at The Shadow’s hands or or head or whichever body part he could reach.
Jim Gunt: Good lord, he is trying to kill him!
He looks over to Mia, who is staring up, wide-eyed, in absolute disbelief.
Mia Rayne (whispering): Ataxia, this is not you, don’t do this!
Ataxia’s boot connects with The Shadow’s already bleeding eyebrow, causing the blood to flow more freely, but then the Weaver of Dreams manages to grab his opponent’s boot and pull down, making Ataxia lose his balance and grip. The wire cable snaps out of its lock and shears off the walkway! The crowd lets out a wordless gasp and gets to their feet. Holding on to the wire rope for dear life, with Ataxia clinging to him, both men swing away from the rafters, accelerating quickly towards the stands of the Pepsi Center. Suddenly, before crashing to their certain death against the upper seats of the arena, The Shadow lets go of the wire and both him and Ataxia come crashing through one of the windows into one of the luxury boxes, landing on and breaking through a fully loaded table of delicatessen, causing guests to scatter.
Crowd: HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT!
Jim Gunt (breathlessly): No kidding, holy shit…
At this point Mia jumps up and over the barricade, running towards the staircase nearest the luxury box.
Jim Gunt: OK, another one gone, guess I’ll man the station on my own now.
As the picture cuts back to the luxury box, where a camera man has just arrived, another gasp goes through the crowd, paired with some laughter.
Jim Gunt: Oh wow, so looks like the table the two just ruined is Jon Stewart’s and he does not look happy. Not happy at all!
The CEO of CWF stands up, brushing different food items from his suit, as do his guests, one of who is wearing shades despite being inside, while the two combatants are peeling themselves out of the mess of glass, table pieces, food and silverware. Without missing a beat The Shadow grabs Ataxia and release German suplexes him right into a platter of shrimp and sauce, he, however, does not stay down, but grabs the platter and using it like a frisbee launches it at The Shadow, who barely manages to avoid a full impact, getting only a glancing blow at the side of the head.
Jim Gunt: Wow, it is rare to see a battle getting this personal, Ataxia now trying to spear The Shadow, but instead the Weaver of Dreams sidesteps the attack and uses his opponent’s momentum to propel him forwards right into one of the guests!
At this time both Myfanwy and Mia arrive at the luxury box, both with an increased look of alarm on their faces. Ataxia pushes the guest he just barrelled into aside and grabs his chair, launching it at The Shadow, who can just bring his arm up to deflect it, while Jon Stewart ushers his guests out of the room, but not before shouting a warning at the two men.
Jon Stewart: You are going to pay for this!
Ataxia is launching himself at The Shadow, beginning to bang his head against some remnants of the table over and over again. Mia edges into the room, trying to get Ataxia’s attention.
Mia Rayne: Ataxia, stop, please…
He turns to look at her, but the look in his eyes does not show any recognition of who she is. The arrival of a huffing and puffing “Big” Denny Davidson takes his attention way from her, though, as he motions the referee over.
Jim Gunt: Wow, I thought The Shadow was done here!
Mike Rolash: What’d I miss?
Jim Gunt: Whoa! You are back! Are you ok? Looked like you banged your head quite badly there!
Mike Rolash: Yeah, that red-haired devil almost killed me!
Jim Gunt: She saved your freaking life, man!
Mike Rolash: What??
Angered by yet another missed pin attempt Ataxia drags The Shadow back to his feet and whips him across the room into the door, where he staggers out into the hallway, where curious onlookers are trying to get out of the way. As the Messiah Pariah exits the room, however, the outward-opening door comes slamming in, hitting him square in the face with a sickening crunch, making Mia cry out.
Jim Gunt: This may have broken something! Spear by The Shadow driving Ataxia into the wall! And a DDT into a carved turkey!
The Shadow gets back to his feet, but Ataxia takes them right back out from under him with a vicious leg sweep. He reaches over to grab another chair and launches it at his opponent, hitting him in the chin with it.
Jim Gunt: Mia is pleading with Ataxia, who really does not seem like himself at all. He has The Shadow back up and is hurtling him through the door into the hallway and is now dragging him towards the public concourse! And he swipes Myfanwy aside and, ouch, right into the wall...
Barely able to follow, The Shadow stumbles behind Ataxia as they reach the concession area, where Ataxia seems to be looking for the right spot. He pushes The Shadow against the side of a popcorn stands and with a short run-up delivers a hard dropkick that sends the Weaver of Dreams through the side and the impact takes the whole stand apart, with popcorn virtually flying everywhere. As Ataxia approaches, though, The Shadow grabs a handful of unpopped corn, flinging it into the eyes of his oncoming opponent.
Jim Gunt: A good tactic to temporarily blind the opponent.
Mike Rolash: Wow, I have missed a LOT! Ooh, hard kick to the guts by The Shadow and now he is whipping Ataxia right into and over the counter of another stand!
Fans are trying their best to jump out of the way as the human missile that is Ataxia goes flying, taking out a beer tap, which erupts into a geyser of beer drenching the tuxedo and mask. Undeterred The Shadow jumps over the counter, grabbing Ataxia by the mask and bringing him back up, but Ataxia retaliates by picking up a beer stein and shattering it across the head of his opponent. He drags The Shadow back up and out of the concession stand. He turns him around and props him up against the counter, then takes a few steps back.
Jim Gunt: This looks like he is going for The Reckoning!
He runs up, leaps off, but The Shadow twists just before impact, grabs Ataxia and uses his momentum to vault him over the counter and into the back wall, bringing some shelving down and shattering bottles and glasses. The Shadow is leaning against the counter for a moment, trying to catch his breath. The peace is short lived, though, as a bottle comes flying across the counter, hitting The Shadow square in the temple and he crumples to the floor.
Jim Gunt: This could be it, it looks like he is out!
Mike Rolash: Yes, it is not looking good for him and look, Ataxia is crawling out of the stand!
Indeed he is on all fours, glass shards stuck to his burlap mask, his tuxedo and mask drenched in a wild mix of liquids. One eye is almost swollen shut, but seeing The Shadow’s prone form on the ground brings a wicked smile to his face. With one last drag of his body he collapses on his opponent.
Ray Douglas: And the winner by pinfall - ATAXIA!!
Jim Gunt: This was intense, I’m not even sure Elisha wanted to kill The Shadow as bad as Ataxia did Tonight!
Mike Rolash: Yes, this was brutal, even I’m not sure what to think! Look, it’s Jon Stewart!
The CWF CEO is standing over the two fallen men as Ataxia slowly gets to his feet.
Jon Stewart: We have to talk!
He walks off, with Ataxia limping behind him as The Shadow is still motionless on the ground. Mia is backing away from the scene in horror, while Myfanwy is rushing to The Shadow’s side.
The camera cuts back to Jim and Mike, a look of concern their faces.
Jim Gunt: It is not a good sign to see someone knocked out this thoroughly, I really hope that he will be ok.
Mike Rolash: Dunno, one less to worry about.
Jim Gunt: Your concern is heartwar-- Oh, I just hear something is happening backstage.
The picture cuts back to the concourse, where The Shadow is still on the ground, but moving, the blood flow ebbed away by now, but a nasty bruise forming where the bottle hit him. Muffled cries can be heard and as the camera turns around, Myfanwy is half dragged, half carried away by one of the men that had been in the luxury suite that Ataxia and The Shadow had crashed into.
Jim Gunt: It's the guy with the shades that was with Stewart earlier! What is happening here?
Hearing Myfanwy seems to give The Shadow some energy back as he pushes himself to his feet, trying to run after them, but he staggers and has to hold on to the wall for support.
Mike Rolash: Concussion. Been there, done that.
Jim Gunt: Yes, it looks as if his sense of balance is definitely affected!
He stops and shakes his head to clear the cobwebs before trying to take off down the concourse as fast as his current condition allows him to, but a man in a suit steps in his way. The Shadow tries to push past him to pursue the mysterious man and Myfanwy, but Stewart steps in front of him again and firmly grabs his arm.
Jon Stewart: Mr. Shadow, not so fast, you are not going anywhere. Due to your actions in tonight's match, you have caused CWF considerable financial damage. Therefore I have decided to suspend you for at least the next Evolution show and expect you to compensate the company for the cost incurred due to your match.
The Shadow closes his eyes and brings his hand to his forehead before collapsing to the ground.
Jim Gunt: Oh my God, this is insane! Someone just kidnapped Myfanwy and Stewart is doing - this?
Mike Rolash: For a change even I am speechless!
Jim Gunt: We will try to keep you updated as we get more information, but right now we have our main event coming up, let's all hope that this situation here will be resolved as fast as possible!
Ray Douglas: The following contest is YOUR MAIN EVENT and is an I Quit Match for the CWF WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP!
The lights go out and a dual spotlight makes an encircling pattern on the entrance area as the opening riff of “Zero” by Smashing Pumpkins plays. When the riff audio kicks it up a notch, Dan Ryan steps out and pauses, looking into the Denver audience, then heads down the aisle as pyro blast behind him. The video shows clips from his career: Taking Impulse's head off with a clothesline, smirking as he covers Bronson Box. His ascent through the Modern Warfare tournament, culminating in tapping Zach van Owen. Defeating three men at Confliction to win the CWF World Heavyweight Title, raising the title while placing his boot on Duce Jones’ chest.
My reflection, dirty mirror
There's no connection to myself
I'm your lover, I'm your zero
I'm the face in your dreams of glass
So save your prayers
For when we're really gonna need 'em
Throw out your cares and fly
Wanna go for a ride
Jim Gunt: And here comes the CWF World Heavyweight Champion, ready to put his title on the line against a very game challenger in Duce Jones.
Mike Rolash: You mean our World Heavyweight Champion, Jimmy...
Mia Rayne: I think he had it right the first time around.
Ryan stands below the CWF Tron that carries on displaying his career highlights, a never-ending smirk planted on his face as he looks down at the gold strap around his waist. Sauntering down the ramp, Dan Ryan points towards the title, informing all of the fans to ‘bask in his glory’ as he makes it to ringside and rolls under the bottom rope. Getting to his feet, he walks over to the nearest corner, unstrapping the title from around his waist and displaying it for the jeering Denver crowd, the cocky smirk is still on his face as his music dies down.
Mike Rolash: Duce must've had a death wish because he has to be out of his mind to challenge Dan Ryan to an I Quit Match. The Ego Buster will never say those words.
Jim Gunt: Don't be so early to count Jones out, he has a stern reputation for refusing to quit.
Mia Rayne: Duce is a very skilled competitor, but we all know, his decision making skills have proven to be his ultimate vice.
The fans are buzzing, but soon turn to cheers as a voice begins to speak through the PA system.
“And the whole world loves it when you sing the blues… Da. Da.. Da. Da. Da.. Da….”
The opening sounds of “Godspeed” by Don Trip begins to play as the lights inside of the arena turn a crimson hue color, soon the stage fills up with smoke. After about a minute of waiting, Duce Jones, along with Byson Kaliban, slowly emerge through the fog, mixed emotions but mostly cheers coming from the crowd.
Jim Gunt: The biggest question mark surrounding this entire contest is, where does Byson play a role in all of this?
Mike Rolash: Hopefully on the sidelines, cheerleading for his brother. He doesn't want those type of problems from Ryan.
Mia Rayne: Can I have a hit of that?
Mike Rolash (looking baffled): What?
Mia Rayne: Whatever it is that you're smoking!
Slowly making his way towards the ring, Jones ignores the cheers and jeers that the fans are giving, as he soon makes it to ringside. Climbing onto the apron, Duce goes to the corner to his right, climbing onto the second rope and peering out into the crowd. Finally done, he jumps over the top rope, landing inside of the ring and removes his hooded vest as he prepares for action. Meanwhile Kaliban takes up position on the apron in Duce’s designated corner.
Mia Rayne: Peak my interest for a moment Rollie Pollie!
Mike Rolash: Ugh!
Mia Rayne: Why is it, that you blatantly dismiss talent over personal grudges.
Mike Rolash: Because, I get no respect around here. Week in and week out, I'm the constant butt of everyone's jokes.
Mia Rayne: Aren't you an ass? Last time I recall, you were...
Jim Gunt(trying to hold back laughter): L-Lets, let's send...it to...Ray… for the… f-f-formal introductions!
Standing in the center of the ring is Ray Douglas, Robbins beside him with the CWF World Heavyweight title in his possession. Standing in opposing corners, both Ryan and Jones finish up a few pre-match rituals as Ray gets things underway.
Ray Douglas: Ladies and gentlemen, standing to my left, is the challenger beinging accompanied by Byson Kaliban. Weighing in at two hundred fifteen pounds, from Memphis, Tennessee! “The Kid That Never Dies” DUUUCCCEEEE JOOOONEEESSSSSS!
The crowd let's their emotions be known as a squatting Jones rises to his feet and continues to stretch as Byson gives him words of encouragement.
Ray Douglas: His opponent, weighing three hundred five pounds, from Houston, Texas! “The Ego Buster”... DAAAAAN RYYYYAANNNN!
Ryan raises a single fist into the air as the Denver fans shower the veteran with disapproval.
Mike Rolash: Dumb fans don't know what they like…
Mia Rayne: Apparently, neither does you!
Jim Gunt: This lady has been on a roll all night!
The Denver fans cheer as senior official Trent Robbins displays the World title for the entire audience before exchanging the title for the microphone from Ray. Douglas exits the ring and Robbins calls for the bell, officially getting the match started as both men begin to circle the ring.
Jim Gunt: Two men, walking down two different paths, coming together to fight for one ultimate prize, the CWF World Championship.
Mike Rolash: Which Dan is going to leave Denver with tonight when he makes Duce say those two infamous words… I Quit.
Mia Rayne: A lot of people don't like to give Duce credit, but I just don't see him giving up that easily.
The two meet in the center of the ring with a tie-up, the larger Ryan easily shoving Jones back into a corner. Bracing himself for whatever attack is to come, Jones receives a right to the jaw, which he quickly responds to with one of his own. Taking a step back, Ryan backs up towards the opposite corner, rubbing his jaw and still smirking at a raring to go Jones. Nodding his head in approval, Ryan along with Jones, again circling the ring. Locking up once more, Duce is able to apply a side headlock, however he's quickly shoved off into the ropes. Rebounding off, Jones ducks underneath a clothesline and leaps up onto the taller Ryan, applying another side headlock. Reaching behind him, Ryan uses his size to reverse into a hammerlock, quickly transitioning to a side headlock of his own.
Mike Rolash: What the hell!? Why are they not ripping each other's throats out?
Mia Rayne: It's called a feeling out process, since you've never competed professionally, I'll let you slide.
Jim Gunt: Please do not get him started, talking about his brief stint in the Golden Intentions Rumble.
Mike Rolash: Highlight of my career!
Jim Gunt: Nevertheless, Jones is able to shoot Ryan off into the ropes. Ryan returns and drops Duce to the mat with a shoulder block.
Bouncing off the ropes, Ryan runs over top Jones, who rolls to his stomach. Rebounding off the opposite rope, Ryan ducks underneath Jones’ leapfrog as he springs off the ropes yet again. When he returns, Duce takes him over to the canvas with an arm drag, applying an armbar. Quickly escaping, Dan uses his long frame to slide under the bottom rope and to the outside of the ring. Pulling up his tights and adjusting his elbow pads, Ryan begins to pace from right to left, seemingly a bit frustrated in the early going of this contest as Jones slowly gets to his feet. Staring at Ryan as he trash talks him, Jones backs up a bit and motions for Ryan to bring the fight. Not known to back down, Ryan quickly climbs to the apron and heads through the ropes where Jones connects with a big knee lift!
Mike Rolash: C'mon ref! He's cheating in there!
Jim Gunt: Mike, this is an I Quit Match. There are no rope breaks, countouts or disqualifications, anything goes in this contest.
Mia Rayne: You'd figure, as long as he's been right here at the broadcast table, he'd know the rules by now.
Stumbling through the ropes, Ryan is dropped to the canvas with a dropkick. Back to his feet, Jones stomps down on Ryan a few times before going for a choke. With his hands clenched tight around Dan's throat, a twisted smile can be seen forming across Duce's lips as Byson cheers him on. Right there in the middle of the action with a mic, Robbins tries to see if Ryan wants to give it up. Before the official is able to ask the question, he digs his fingers through the eyeholes of Duce's mask, blinding him momentarily. Releasing his grip, Jones stumbles away from the Ego Buster, trying to clear his vision as the World Champion is back to his feet and doubles a blinded Jones over with a boot to the gut, before dropping him to the canvas with a hard clubbing forearm to the back.
Jim Gunt: Ryan able to shift the tide back in his favor and my question to the two of you is this. With the complete size difference between these two, do you see Duce being able to come out with the victory?
Mike Rolash: Absolutely not, he's basically signed on for his own personal suicide mission.
Mia Rayne: Since day one, Duce has felt he's had to prove a point! But sometimes he lets his mouth overtalk his ass.
Bringing Jones up by his locks, Ryan hooks him and brings Duce crashing hard into the mat with a belly to back suplex. Climbing on top of Duce, Ryan begins to pummel him with rights to the face. He soon stops as the protective covering that Jones is wearing is causing damage to his hand. Yanking Jones up by his hair again, Ryan tosses him into the corner where he connects with a huge boot to the face of Jones! Stumbling towards the parallel corner, Jones tries his best to escape but Ryan's hot on his trail. Backing Jones into the ropes, Ryan shoots him across - no, reversal by Jones and it's Ryan who rebounds, as he returns Duce spins and extends his leg and sends Ryan crashing to the mat with a leg sweep!
Jim Gunt: What a leg sweep by Jones! That had to be some type of desperation maneuver.
Mia Rayne: He has heart, there's no denying that.
Mike Rolash: He better do whatever he has to do, because when Ryan kicks into full gear, it's going to be all she wrote.
Using the ropes to get vertical, Ryan is abruptly sent flying over the top rope by Duce who runs at him and connects with a clothesline. The Denver fans explode in admiration for the former World Champion as Ryan crashes to the floor. Slowly getting to his feet in a daze, Ryan doesn't take notice of Jones, who's sprinted across the ring and comes back flying through the ropes and takes the Ego Buster down with a suicide dive! The crowd roars as Byson can be seen applauding his brother's effort. Getting back to his feet, Duce grabs a handful of Dan's hair, bringing him up off of the floor and slams him face first into the apron. Both men move slowly along the apron, Jones grabbing a handful of blonde hair and now slamming Ryan face first into the steel steps! Taking a quick breather to check his vision, Jones slams Ryan once more into the steps!
Jim Gunt: This seems to be where Jones excels, in this type of environment where there are no rules!
Mia Rayne: Well he is a scrappy individual.
Mike Rolash: However Ryan is a bonafide legend in this business and there's no way Jones equals up to his greatness.
Now dragging Dan by the hair around ringside, Jones irish whips him towards the barricade, but Ryan reverses and it's Jones who goes crashing over the barricade and into the Denver crowd! A bit exhausted, Ryan goes to follow Jones but Byson is right there to block his path.
Jim Gunt: And you had to have known that Byson was going to get involved eventually.
Mia Rayne: It just seems he wants to check on his brother real quick.
Mike Rolash: There's no rules remember! Dan should just punch him in the face and get back to work on Duce.
Mia Rayne: I apologize for your Cheerios being urinated on this morning.
Mike Rolash: How did you…
Mia Rayne: Let's just call it a gift.
Rolash seems baffled as Ryan carelessly looks at Kaliban who's trying to plead his case. Hearing none of it, Ryan effortlessly hoist Kaliban high above his head and with amazing power, military press him into the fourth row where a group of fans catch him but they all go crashing to the ground.
Jim Gunt: WHAT AN AMAZING FEAT OF STRENGTH SHOWN BY RYAN!
Mia Rayne: There goes some more frequent flier miles for Kaliban…
Mike Rolash: YESSS! That was awesome!
A small “Holy Shit!” chant has started up as Ryan turns his focus back to Jones who's still in the crowd. Climbing over the barricade, Ryan grabs Duce by his locks and brings him to an upright position. Dragging him to an open space within the crowd, Ryan jumps up and grabs Jones’ head on the way down and slams him hard into the concrete floor with a Jumping DDT! The fans who are close enough to witness, let out a collective cheer as Trent is right there to check on both men, who are now down. Stunned himself, Ryan staggers back to a vertical base before firing a hard boot to the side of Jones’ head. Duce takes the blow in stride as he staggers to his feet and retaliates with a forearm shot to the jaw of Ryan! Thinking quickly, Ryan thumbs Jones’ eyes once more as he blindly staggers back. With locks in hand, Ryan brutally sends Jones crashing back over the barricade where he lands awkwardly on the other side.
Jim Gunt: I think Jones may have tweaked that right knee a bit!
Mike Rolash: I love it when a plan comes together!
Mia Rayne: The eighty's called, they want their schtick back.
Climbing back over the barricade, Ryan pulls up his elbow pads again as he makes his way towards Jones. Changing his mind, Ryan makes his way towards the Spanish commentary table where he rips the top off and begins to remove the monitors. Jones crawls on the floor, favoring his knee as Ryan snatches the microphone away from Robbins. Bringing Jones back up by his hair, Ryan presses him up against the apron as he forcefully palms Jones’ face, using his other hand to bring the mic to his lips.
Dan Ryan: Can you please stop wasting my time and just quit already! Because if you don't, things will become a whole lot worse.
Jones responds with a hard headbutt that sends Ryan crashing down to the floor! Duce stumbles along the Spanish announce table, soon coming back to the barricade as he tries to regain his bearings. Pulling himself up on the apron, Ryan is unprotected as Jones comes charging in with a Bicycle Knee Strike! Duce clutches at his knee in pain as he comes down, but he tries to shake it off, now looking to whip Ryan into the steel steps. No! Reversal by Ryan and it's Jones crashing knee first into the steps, flipping over them!
Mia Rayne: The Kid that Never Dies appears to be in a bad spot.
Mike Rolash: Now watch as Ryan picks that false hope apart.
Jim Gunt: Jones really needs to find a way back into this contest, but with majority of his offense having to be done with his right knee, Duce could be in major trouble!
Duce lies on the ground, grabbing at his knee in pain as Ryan stalks around at ringside, looking for something to inflict more damage. Dan smiles at the booing crowd as Jones rolls towards his side on the floor. Bringing Jones back vertical, Ryan has the wherewithal to block an incoming right hand from Jones. A collective gasps rings out through the arena as they all notice that Duce's hand has a chain wrapped around it! Looking at the chain, then back at Jones, Ryan connects with a back elbow that drops Jones back to the floor.
Jim Gunt: Duce looking to bring that chain into play, but Ryan's able to block it.
Mia Rayne: Now here's unraveling the chain from around Duce's hand, this is going to be brutal.
Mike Rolash: This is glorious!
Without hesitation, Ryan unleashes fury with the chain across the back of Jones, who screams in pain. The lashing from the chain causes Duce to stiffen up as Ryan brings him back up and drags him along the apron. With Duce's back against the ring post, Ryan wraps the chain around his throat and begins to choke the life out of Jones! Duce can be heard gasping for air as Ryan scream for Trent to ask him. Trent holds the mic up to a choking Jones as the sounds of muffled coughs are the only thing audible. Continuing to fight and resist against the chain, Jones grabs at the chain and with one last ditch effort, yanks with all his might, sending Ryan crashing shoulder first into the ring post! Duce drops to the mat searching for air as the Denver crowd try to will him back to his feet.
Jim Gunt: Jones literally able to create some breathing room.
Mia Rayne: Ryan's shoulder connected with that ring post hard. Duce may have exposed a weakness.
Mike Rolash: Weakness, smeakness, the kid is downright lucky, but that luck runs out here tonight.
Ryan clutches at his left shoulder as Jones continues to recover on the floor. However all Jones has managed to do is piss the World Champion off as he's back and driving a boot into the skull of Jones. Yanking the Kid that Never Dies back to his feet, Ryan drags him around to the Spanish broadcast table, where he bounces Jones’ head off of it. Now ripping off the top of the main broadcast table, Ryan climbs on top as he maintains control of Duce by his hair. He soon begins to shout at Robbins.
Dan Ryan: Ask him!
Motioning for the microphone, Robbins hands it to him as Ryan begins to scream at Jones.
Dan Ryan: Just quit! I can do this all night! But I'd rather not, so QUIT!
Ryan positions Jones for the Humility Bomb as he hands the mic back to Robbins, telling him to ask Duce the important question. Trent holds the mic to Jones’ mouth as he screams in response.
Duce Jones: FUCK YOU!
With all the strength he can muster within his body, Jones is able to lift all three hundred and five pounds of Ryan, SENDING HIM OVERHEAD AND CRASHING HORRIBLY INTO THE SPANISH ANNOUNCE TABLE WITH A BACK BODY DROP, SENDING THE TABLE EXPLODING IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS!
“HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT!”
Jim Gunt: Where did he find that strength from?
Mia Rayne: I do not know, but it surely just saved his life.
Mike Rolash: C'mon Dan, get up!
Duce shoots Rolash a death glare as he stands amongst the three commentators, trying to recover. Lying in the wreckage in pain, Ryan now clutches at his left shoulder which seemed to take the brunt of the fall. Stepping from behind the table, Jones grabs a monitor from the floor and drills a rising Ryan in the face with it, sending him back down to the floor! Leaning against the apron, Jones drops the monitor and throws his hands in the air to the admiration of the fans.
Jim Gunt: Right now Jones is feeding off the energy of this Denver crowd as he brings the taller Ryan back to his feet!
Mia Rayne: What is he doing?
Mike Rolash: WATCH OUT!
With a handful of tights and hair, Jones sends Ryan flying over the announce table as the commentators bail out of the way. Playing to the crowd again, Jones celebrates his handiwork soon making his way back towards Ryan!
Jim Gunt: OH MY LORD! RYAN JUST DRILLED JONES WITH THAT STEEL CHAIR!
Mike Rolash: That was so sweet!
Mia Rayne: Did you guys see the way Duce's protective mask shattered upon impact?
The crowd is in complete shock as Ryan sits against the barricade, dented steel chair at his side. Ryan slowly rises to his feet, still grabbing at his shoulder as we finally get a horrific view of the face of Jones, who now sports a crimson mask.
Jim Gunt: Duce might need some help out here, he's bleeding badly.
Mia Rayne: No matter how much I dislike a guy, no one should ever be placed in this type of predicament.
Mike Rolash: Yes! Yes! Yes!
Both Jim and Mia give Mike a questionable look as he seems to find euphoria within the situation. Blood is leaking profusely from the exposed face of Jones as he struggles to recover despite the Denver fans cheering him on. Getting back to his feet, Ryan moves around ringside and grabs the top of the steel steps, separating them from the bottom half. Carrying them around ringside, Ryan rushes at a rising Jones and clobbers him across the face with the steps, sending Jones crashing back to the floor. Ryan drops the steps back to the floor with a loud clang and proceeds to grab the mic from Robbins. Almost mockingly, Ryan begins to kick at the bloody face of Jones as he tries to fight to a vertical base. A stiff knee to face, stands Duce back up but Ryan quickly clocks him with the microphone!
Jim Gunt: I haven't seen Duce bleed this badly since the Unholy Carnival Match!
Mia Rayne: What about the Anarchy March against Trent Steel, he bled pretty badly in that one as well.
Mike Rolash: Who cares, as long as he's bleeding.
Duce staggers around ringside, trying to find reprieve from the onslaught of Ryan. Both men slowly roll under the bottom rope and back into the ring, however it's Dan Ryan who's the first one back to his feet. Bringing Jones up again by his locks, Ryan sends him back down to the mat with another shot from the microphone. Ryan again begins to mockingly kick at Jones as he tries to figure out an escape. Almost as if a switch is flipped, Ryan begins to viciously stomp down on the body of Jones, tossing Robbins the microphone in the process. Finally done with the stomp party, Ryan snatches Jones up and hooks a rear waistlock. Without effort, Ryan flings Duce backwards with a Release German Suplex and he crashes hard into the canvas!
Jim Gunt: Jones crashes down violently on the back of his neck there and Ryan doesn't look anywhere near finished.
Mia Rayne: Yeah, Duce is trying to fight to his feet, but Ryan is on him, applying a front face lock, throwing Duce's arm over his shoulder.
Jim Gunt: RYAN WITH A DEADLIFT BRAINBUSTER, SPIKING JONES HEAD FIRST INTO THE MAT!
Mike Rolash: Duce is gonna need a new profession by the time Dan's done with him.
Ryan holds onto Jones, rotating his hips and bringing himself and Jones back vertical. Tucking the head of Jones between his legs, Ryan butterflies Jones’ arms and hurriedly hoists him up into the air and in one swift motion, spikes him again on top of his head with a Double Underhook Piledriver! A bloodied Jones is out like a light on the canvas as the crowd tries to will him back into this fight again. Dropping to the mat and rolling under the bottom rope, Ryan goes to retrieve Jones’ chain, quickly sliding back inside and is chomping at the bit, ready to do damage. Taking the chain, Ryan wraps it around a downed Jones’ neck and begins to once again choke the life out of him, screaming for Trent to bring the mic close to Jones.
All he receives are the blood gargled coughs of Jones though, as Dan continues to tighten up with the chain. Dan's grip on the chain gets tighter and tighter as he screams in an almost unconscious Jones’ ear, for him to quit. However the chants of Duce's name begins to give him strength as he slowly begins to fight back to a vertical base with wild punches. Refusing to give Jones a fighting chance, Ryan kicks at Jones’ injured right knee, sending him back down to the mat!
Mike Rolash: Just when he thought he was back in the fight, Ryan shuts the front door.
Mia Rayne: Ryan has been picking apart Duce this entire contest and now it's only a matter of time before he says those two words.
Jim Gunt: Yeah Jones may have put his foot in his mouth when he challenged the World Champion. Because it's clearly not working out on his favor.
Ryan grabs the mic again as he kicks Duce across the face.
Dan Ryan: Just quit! There's no way you're winning tonight! Now quit!
Grabbing Jones by the hair as he lays sprawled on the mat, Ryan nails him once more with the microphone, sending an unsettling nose echoing throughout the arena.
Dan Ryan: Did I lie? I told you this would happen!
Ryan sends the mic crashing into Duce's skull again. Hovering over a zonked out Jones, Ryan continues to shout insults.
Dan Ryan: You're not World Championship material! You're nothing more than a piece of shit!
Life springs into the body of Jones as he reaches up with a violent slap, connecting with Ryan's jaw! Ryan staggers backwards as Jones stumbles to his feet and connects with a forearm. The crowd comes alive watching Jones connect with another forearm shot. Grabbing Ryan by the hair, a bloodied face Jones leaps into the air and blasts Ryan with a jumping headbutt. Hard shoot kick to the chest, spinning backfist to the temple, kick to the leg drops Ryan to a knee! Duce stumbles backwards, almost oblivious to his current situation. But as if on instinct he clobbers Ryan with a D-TRIGGA! Looking worse for wear, Jones crawls on his hands and knees, leaving a trail of blood, following behind him as he makes it to a nearby corner. Positioned in a corner, Jones uses the ropes to balance himself a bit better as he squats and waits for Ryan to rise. The crowd see what's happening and are all instantly to their feet as Jones comes charging out!
Jim Gunt: KRAYZED KNEE BY JONES AND IF PINFALLS WOULD'VE COUNTED, YOU'D HAVE TO THINK THAT WOULD BE IT RIGHT THERE!
Mike Rolash: But they don't! Pure luck like always by Jones.
Both men are down as the fans explode once again, firmly getting behind Jones. Struggling to his feet, Jones let's out a primal yell when he's finally vertical. He looks to go back on the offensive, but Ryan has rolled out of the ring and is headed up the aisle. With a confused look on his face, Jones questions Robbins about the actions of Ryan. Robbins shrugs his shoulders in response as Jones goes to the ropes and slowly climbs to the outside. Chasing after Ryan, Duce leaps up with a jumping knee to Ryan's lower back, sending him crashing down onto the ramp. Trying to crawl away, Jones fires stiff kicks into Dan's ribs, causing him to clutch at them in agony. Rolling off the side of the ramp, Ryan lands on a knee, slowly stumbling to his feet and walking away as a worn down Jones staggers behind him.
Jim Gunt: What is it going to take for one of these men to utter those two dreaded words!?
Mia Rayne: Duce stated clear as day, saying that he would have to be murdered.
Mike Rolash: That is correct and Dan replied by saying he would hate to have to kill Duce, but if he has too…
Gunt only shakes his head as Jones is seen being doubled over, thanks to a surprise chair attack to the midsection by Ryan, who seemed to have found the chair along the back guardrail.
Mike Rolash: That totally wasn't a random coincidence!
Mia Rayne: I agree, Mike.
Now both Rolash and Gunt exchange confused looks as Mia continues to follow the action. Jones staggers to the far left side of the stage, trying to put some distance between Ryan and himself. Coming over, with chair in tow, Ryan crowns Jones who's a bit slow to react with another chair shot to the skull! Dazed and confused, Jones stumbles towards the back steps, leading back up to the stage, when Ryan clobbers him across the back with the steel chair. Crawling up the steps, screaming in pain, Jones tries his best to get away but Ryan is having none of it. Following Jones up the steps as he now crawls along the stage, Dan nails him once again with another steel chair shot! Now like a man possessed, Ryan begins to go to town on Jones’ back with repeated chair shots! One after the other, continuously dropping Jones back to the stage.
Jim Gunt: There's no way he can keep taking this amount of punishment!
Mia Rayne: Duce really needs to save this fight for another day!
Mike Rolash: Hit em! Beat em! Rip his spine through his ass!
Both Mia and Jim look at Mike who finally snaps out of his trance.
Mia Rayne: And people call me the crazy one!
Finally done with the chair onslaught, Ryan tells Robbins to do his job.
Trent Robbins: Duce, do you quit?
Face down on the stage, blood beginning to clot up on his face as he breathes heavily, Duce struggles an answer.
Duce Jones: T'fuck out my face!
The Denver fans go apeshit from Duce's response as Ryan is incensed. Slamming the chair across the body of Jones, Ryan tosses it away as he now tries to figure out his next form of action.
With an evil glare in his eyes, Ryan makes his way towards what appears to be a sandbag tied to a rope. Taking his time to untie the knot, he finally gets it undone and watches on as a light fixture comes crashing down towards Duce Jones, clearly it's target! At the last minute, Jones is able to roll out of the way, avoiding imminent danger as glass and sparks go flying everywhere!
Jim Gunt: Oh My Lord! We could've very well seen Dan Ryan taken to jail just then.
Mike Rolash: By any means necessary, right?
Mia Rayne: But even I have to admit, that's taking it a little too far.
Ryan curses as he thought that would've definitely ended the match, but looks to go back to work on Duce when he suddenly falls to the stage!
Mike Rolash: Where did he come from!?
Confused and looking back, Ryan spots a disheveled Kaliban who flips him the bird. With hatred in his eyes, Dan pushes up off of the stage, however, before he's able to get fully upright. Duce comes barreling in on him, connecting with a vicious D-Trigga to the temple of Ryan! Duce screams out in pain as both he and Ryan crash to the stage. The crowd lets out a heroic cry of cheers as Duce slowly staggers back to his feet. Looking out towards the Denver fans for support, Duce's attention is caught by the echoing sound of the metal chain clanging off of the metal stage.
Mike Rolash: What's going on? He's blatantly cheating!
Mia Rayne: By any means necessary, right?
Duce picks up the chain that he affectionately calls Damien as suddenly a padlock lands on the stage. Byson grabs at his neck and nods at his brother as Duce staggers towards a knocked out Ryan. Rolling him over, Duce ties the chain around both of Dan's wrist, finally padlocking the chain firmly in place. With all the strength in his body, Jones drags and props Ryan against the stage wall as he disappears through the curtain.
Jim Gunt: What could Jones have in mind?
Appearing back through the curtains, Duce has a steel chair and a bottle of water in his possession. Shouting instructions to Robbins, Jones pours some water over Dan's head, awakening him. Realizing his predicament, Ryan begins to curse Jones out as Robbins is over with the mic.
Trent Robbins: Dan, do you quit?
With a look of anger, Dan sends spittle flying in Jones’ direction. Duce watches on in slow motion as the flem connects with his chest. A twisted smile begins to form on Jones’ face as he raises the steel chair high in the air.
Dan Ryan: Okay, I Quit!
Coming to a halt, Jones looks down at the still infuriated Ryan, who now screams for Jones to release him.
Mike Rolash: Did he just?
Mia Rayne: Yes he did!
Ray Douglas: Here is your winner and NEEWWW CWF WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION....DUUUCCCEEEE JOOONNNEESSSS!!
The Denver fans erupt in cheers as and broken down Jones drops the chair and drops to his knees not believing what just happened!
Jim Gunt: Who says miracles aren't real? Because they weren't talking about Duce Jones as he pulls off the huge upset!
Mia Rayne: We all kinda doubted him.
Mike Rolash: This has to be a dream..
Jim Gunt: Well it's not Mike, say hello to your NEW CWF World Heavyweight Champion, Duce Jones!
Byson is seen jogging up the aisle and back towards the stage as he has the World title with him and handing it to his brother. On hands and knees, Jones stares at the belt and slowly rises to his feet and goes to display the belt for the crowd who show their appreciation. A bloodied face Jones enjoying the surreal moment, when he's suddenly sent flying off of the stage and crashing to the floor!
Jim Gunt: It's Lindsay Troy! What is she doing out here?
Mike Rolash: She's making my night a whole lot better.
Mia Rayne: He hit that floor hard.
Byson watches on in horror as Lindsay gives him a wink and his lights are suddenly shut off with a SUPERKICK from a still chained up Ryan. With a cocky smile on her face, Lindsay picks the World Title up off of the stage and places it on the shoulder of Ryan as they pose for a booing crowd as the Vertigo PPV comes to a close.
Results compiled and archived with the Efed Management Suite