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May 2: Bracket Four

Chad

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Bracket Four participants are:

Hornet
Timmy Windham
Vacant (aka the Masked Man)
JA (The Anglo Luchador)


One-on-one matches will be announced by April 23. Until then, roleplay as if any one of the other three could be your opponent, and as if your life depended on it. ;)

-C
 

TH

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Fade-in to a locker room at the New Orleans Arena. JA, still there preparing for a match in his other place of employment, is sitting on a bench wearing a Bucknell University basketball sweatshirt. He looks up to the camera and smirks through his lucha mask.

JA: Well, I'm finally here, even though I'm not *physically* here yet. I guess that's a good thing though. Travel schedule's a b(censor) anyway, all that jet lag. I guess it's good that I won't have to go all the way out to San Diego, but in a way I wanted to dip my funstick right into the CSWA jollybox.

Lollipop's voice: (from the foreground) Babe, do you have to relate EVERYTHING to sex?

JA: Babe! I told you you had to stay out of this! These guys are from the South. I think they frown on chicks being in promos. Besides, I told 'em you were barefoot and pregnant at the commissary. That oughtta get me some brownie points, tee hee.

Lollipop: (still offscreen) Oh hush you...

JA: Sorry about that. Anyway, so yeah, I'm in this fancy fourth bracket. I don't see why they couldn't give names to the regions like the NCAAs do. You know, like the Shane Southern region, or the Mark Windham region, or perhaps like Ric Flair or if they really wanted irony, they could do like all the scrubs. I'd love to be in the Shockmaster region... ooh, or the Gobbledygooker bracket. I'd love to be in the Gobbledygooker bracket.

Oh geez... I know I shouldn't have popped all those Vicodins before I got on camera.

Dead silence.

JA: Jeez, it was a joke. Oh well, I think we got off on the wrong foot here. My name is JA. I'll be playing the part of the comic relief who really isn't much of a relief if you're looking for a pushover in this first round.

Now, I know the letters A1E don't inspire much trepidation around here, and let's face it, I'm probably the Vegas longshot in this tournament. Think that bothers me?

Well, if so, I've got some prime beachfront real estate in Idaho I'm dying to sell you.

I know what my cards are, and I'm not folding. And I know who I've got at my table. The only thing is, I don't know what order I have to take them down.

No biggie though.

Well, scratch that. I only know two of the three. This Masked Man character... well, a little mystery never hurt anyone. I know I survived the mystery meat in the cafeteria at high school. But regardless, it's only a little hurdle.

Besides, it can't be any tougher than facing off against the benchmark of this promotion, can it? The face of the CSWA.

The legendary Hornet.

Some people would shrink down at the opportunity to take on a man of this stature. Well, that's why those people are still in the kiddie pool. I'd like to think I'm gonna rise to the occasion.

And that's why I think JA vs. Hornet, the Anglo Luchador vs. the CSWA Original, the Johnny-Come-Lately vs. the Face of the Fed... it has to happen. If not first, in the quarterfinal round.

I wouldn't have it any other way, but then again, who am I?

Who am I though? Well... for one, I'm ready to make my mark on the oldest and most respected fed on the planet.

And I'm also pretty damn good at dropping folks on their heads. Plus, I'm not just quick...

...well, I'm sudden.

And suddenly, I have this opportunity right in my face, to waltz out of this tournament the CSWA World's Heavyweight Champion in my first appearance in the promotion. You don't think I know what the score is? I'm gonna make some schlub who took me at the longest odds rich. I'm ready to start the chain of upsets, right here, right now.

JA looks down and then back up again.

JA: Some people say that there isn't such a thing as an upset. The best team, or man, wins all the time. People just don't see it.

Well, you guys are about to realize that you didn't see a whole lot comin'...

JA smiles into the camera as it pans down to the Bucknell logo. The scene fades to the CSWA logo.
 

ErikKelly

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Darkness reigns.

A deep voice echoes out throughout, and only green waves representing the modulation of his voice can be seen on the screen.

VOICE: THIS is what you throw at me? A collection of has-beens and identity crises all searching for validation to their lives. To be something glorious again. Or for the first time. To hold the once-greatest title in the business over their head. To be bathed in the appreciative holocaust of flashbulbs, positive press, and ringrats lined up deeper than you can say "Playboys, Inc."

There are only two problems to this mindset I see.

The CSWA World Championship isn't worth the gold it's glued to anymore.

Once upon a time, yes, this was the Mecca of professional wrestling. Anyone who was anyone walked through these halls, had Bill Buckley scream, got their go-round with Teri Melton, got the penicillin from the doctor two days after that. Those times are gone. They say this is a rebirth for one last time to restore greatness?

Ha.

This is the death rattle. This is the last gasp before the plug is pulled and the Titanic of professional wrestling finally goes under, once and for all.

And since this place is going to die anyways, I figured on the way out of the door I would do all the fans a service and perform the execution myself. If the old timers would like to start cashing in their 401ks now, I'll quickly dust them off this mortal coil and move on, no questions asked.

But if they want to put up resistance--if they think that their actions or words have one single effect on this Hindenburg--I'll torture them alive. I'll beat them in 40 seconds and stretch the match out 10 minutes. I'll have Donnie Rumsfeld taking notes from his ivory tower.

A white luchador. This is what you send. When last you saw me, I was lucha libre en los Estados Unidos. I did things in that ring unparalled by anyone. And now some Abercrombie & Fitch model is going to come off of the streets and defame my heritage? I shall take particular pride in destroying him.

Tim Windham. It's not even his name. Allegedly some mental giant, Stephen Hawking with lateral movement. I'm no Lost Soul. I know my path upwards, downwards, sideways, horizontally. And no 1997 retread keeps me from it. Your death and rebirth are among the most shocking moments in the CSWA history? I'm set to knock that latter one right off the map.

And Hornet.

I have you, especially, to thank. Or your ego. Or your crooked doctors who kept you more doped up than Tara Reid on a four-day weekend. It makes no difference. You are a representation of your employers. You are the CSWA to the bone. When the beginning came, you were hungry and hoping for a break. When you advanced up the ladder, they all came along on your coattails. Then, the glory days. 10 feet tall and bulletproof. Solid gold. Untouchable.

Except everything is fallible, Paul. Everything lives. Everything breathes. Peaks hit valleys and the living die. The CSWA goes from a deep television presence to an afterthought. You don't remember that part much, I believe. More failed alliances that lasted for 3 shows. More pills. No more World Championships. Just realization of cold reality.

All the Merritt's horses...and all of your medical yes-men...couldn't put the Hornet back together again.

I am in my prime. I have never been physically been better, and by the time the decade ceases I'll barely be 30. Do you think you'll still be wrrestling then? Do you think you'll even still be alive? Little dreamer.

There will be no miracle upsets.

There will be no mid-90s resurrections.

There will be no early 90s resurrections.

Just 3 out of the field of 15 I slowly break down.

And when I clutch the gold in my hands, and I look around at the last redneck filing for the door, this wretched experiment known as the CSWA will finally...mercifully...FADE. TO. BLACK.

The voice-modulation lines disappear the moment the sentence is done.

Static.
 

Chad

The Godfather
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(FADEIN: Darkness. Almost total. There is just enough light to make a familiar silhouette, made more certain by a familiar voice.)

You know, if I didn't know better, I'd think Thomas was trying to stack the deck against me. But he's had a few more important things on his mind lately -- plus, I wouldn't want Lindsay thinking I was paranoid again, would I?

The Anglo Luchador. The serious jokester. The man who managed to piss off almost an entire federation. You've gotta respect that.

The man called "Vacant." Thomas's secret draw who's out to prove a "GUNS-like" destruction of the CSWA.

And then, Masked Man #2. JAGUAR Mask. A name that not many people remember. But I do. And while I won't spoil the surprise for the rest of our friends, Mr. #2, I will say that it's no surprise that Thomas decided to yank Timmy at the last minute and put you in his place.

So we're back to this.
"You're too old."
"You're a drug addict."
"You're broken."
"You're not as good as you were 10 years ago."


Are those supposed to be surprises? Am I supposed to be shocked that everyone, their manager and their mother wants to knock me off the "CSWA pedestal" that I'm on, whether I want to be or not?

No, JA, this isn't the ULTRATITLE circa 1997, the brackets don't get fancy names. But rest assured... know that if anything, this is the Hornet bracket. Whether you want to base it on the 'legend' of Hornet, or the present truth, that I'm the current United States Champ. And I know exactly what that means -- that you and fourteen others are gunning for me, are looking to make me the example, the justification of why should be the Champ.

(The light level raises slightly, making the form of Hornet a gray blur.)

And then there was "Vacant." Do we even need to go through the laundry list of the men and women who wanted to 'bring down' the CSWA? From Benedict to GUNS to the Professionals, there have always been people who decided that if they couldn't wrest control away from Merritt and Thomas, then they'd simply gain as much exposure as they could by trying to 'bring them down.'

Hell, let's not forget the ClaimStakers in there. We weren't out to destroy the CSWA per se, but we make it clear that we weren't going to be jerked around as part of the CS Enterprises' "Who Wants To Be A Commissioner" game.

I've been on both sides of the game. The loveable hero jerked around by the mind games of men like Jim Williams and GUNS and Chad Merritt and Stephen Thomas and Ray S. Cornette and Teri Melton and Mickey Benedict. And I've been the despicable villain pulling the strings on men like Mark Vizzack and Eli Flair and Deacon.

And you know what's become obvious over all that time? There are only two men who can bring the CSWA down, and those are the two men with their initials in the company name.

(The light level raises until we can finally make out Hornet's face.)

Vacant, huh? Empty. Unfilled. Blank.

Lord only knows who you could be. Maybe Thomas has succeeded in bringing back one of the CSWA 'ghosts' to haunt us -- the last time we had a series of masked men in a tournament they ended up as Julius Godreign and a truckload of Windhams. But based on the clues you've so willingly given us, and assuming we can believe them: a former luchador, mid-twenties, I've got to think you're a new threat.

Which means that no matter how talented you believe you are, and no matter how 'broken' you think I am, you've never stepped into the ring, especially not a CSWA ring, against me and realized just how much life is left in this 37-old body.

I'm not in the dark anymore. The ghosts of the past don't frighten like they used to, and the worries about the future don't have the same bite. If I do nothing else in my career, I'll still be known as the man who created the Unified World Championship, and as the "face of the CSWA." There are worse things to be remembered for -- hell, at least I'm not the man who got a vat of poop dumped on his head, right?

It's not a resurrection unless someone dies, Vacant. And I'm not dead yet.

And no mystery man hiding behind a mask is going to be the one to put me in the grave.

(FTB)
 

TH

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Back at the NO Arena, the site of JA's "other" place of work's event this week again. This time, the Anglo Luchador is wearing a Valparaiso basketball t-shirt, shooting hoops on a mini-net with a foam ball.

JA: You know what Horny-toad, you act as if being a "serious jokester" is a bad thing...

JA arcs a shot that hits rim and bounces on the floor towards him.

JA: I wonder if you're getting crotchety in your old age, whether you know how to lighten up. Then again, after years of having your head rattled by roided up midgets, guys who wrestle midgets on cruise lines and of course people who have no connections to midgets at all, you might be a little less inclined to joke around.

JA scoops up his rebound.

JA: Then again, I've only seen a few snapshots of the man known as Hornet since I got here, and I have to admit, they were pretty boring snapshots... well, at least the first one was. I mean, you and your family reunions... yawn yawn yawn.

JA goes for a fadeaway, but it rims out.

JA: For all I know, you could be just as happy and fun as I am. Well, maybe not, seeing that I was voted the Happiest and Funnest Guy in Wrestling in 2004 by one of those Apter rags... I forget which one. At this point, it's irrelevant. But for right now, you just sound so... grizzled.

JA scoops up his rebound again, doing a little Iverson crossover action in the process.

JA: I mean, you're starting to sound like half the A1E roster in my final days there. We don't want that now, do we? Or maybe I do. See, Horn-dog, I'm proud of pissing off an entire federation. That took a lot of hard work, and it certainly meant that I didn't win the Happiest and Funnest Guy in Wrestling in 2002. Well, for that reason and because I think that award debuted in 2003, but once again, that's irrelevant. I made sacrifices for that, and you know what the best part was?

JA runs in and dunks the ball, two-hands, letting the little foam ball drop.

JA: The best part was that no matter how pissed off they got, they couldn't do a damn thing about it. Maybe it's because they got so worked up, they couldn't do a thing about me finally getting to the top.

But then again, I didn't like being that guy, you know, the one who was always sits in the corner at the big post-Golden Dreams, or in this case, post-CSWA Anniversary Show afterparty, sulking about how much the man is trying to keep him down. So I'm not going there again. Or else I might just turn into...

JA scoops up the foam ball again

JA: Our mystery guy! Although now he's only mystery guy number 1, seeing that Psycho Elmo got pulled from the tournament. Sad really, because I was looking forward to being cracked with a loaded Tickle Me Elmo.

Instead, it looks like we get Promo-Bot 12000: Angry Model X, complete with Super Transmogrifying Voice Modulator and Bitterness Ray. Anger-bot for short. Well, Anger-bot, I think you need to get some rewiring, because you are totally killing my buzz here with your racist programming. I mean, just because I'm white, I can't be a luchador? Next thing, you're going to tell me that I can't have a freakishly large wang because I'm not black. Well, I'm not getting any of my special man down there cut off just because of your bigotry, Mister!

JA throws an underhand shot up that is too strong

JA: And here I thought the angry, short-sighted prejudice-filled fed destroyer was taking up residence in NFW West this season. Seriously, the whole "I'm gonna destroy the fed, then train and bang my Playboy Bunny girlfriend" angle has been played out for awhile. Can't you just let it be, oh let it be, let be uh, let it be...

I'll speak some words of wisdom...

He scoops up the ball again

JA: Let it be, man. The See-Ess-Dubya-Aye ain't going anywhere for awhile, not as long as I'm here to help keep it going. Do you think I'd hitch my wagon to a sinking ship?

Lollipop: (off-screen) Yes. Remember MBE?

JA: Do you have to do that all the time?

Lolli: Like, yes.

JA: Sheesh, don't mind her, but anyway, in this case, no, I wouldn't. I came here to tangle with the best in the business for more than a cup of coffee. Anger-bot, I don't know who you are, but you honestly overestimate your own abilities when it comes to implosion potential. When you have the star power of Dan Ryan, Mark Windham, Mike Randalls, Troy Windham and Steve Savoy, not to mention yours truly (and I ain't talking about Adam Benji-turd over here), and of course, Bull-Horn over here, well, you have your work cut out for you. And it doesn't even matter if he's the Hornet from ten years ago or today.

JA turns his back to the basket and flips the ball over his head, missing the net wildly.

JA: And that's who it all comes back to, Horn-ola. The man, the myth, the giant insect with a stinger up his... I mean coming out of his butt.

And Don Pablo, I don't really care which version of you shows up. I have immense respect for you either way. And you know that if we should get in the ring with each other, it'll be a barnburner.

But it's a barnburner I'm confident I can win.

JA scoops the ball up again.

JA: Because really, what history has shown us is that the heavy favorite doesn't always win.

JA lines up a shot

JA: Anything can happen on a given night...

JA arcs

JA: And just like Homer Drew and his boy taught us about ten years ago...

JA launches a shot from halfway across the room to the net... swishing it.

JA: Sometimes, Goliath just has to go home early and enjoy it.

JA stands, looking at the ball as it rolls around on the floor. The camera zooms in on the Valpo logo on his shirt as the screen fades to the CSWA logo.
 

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