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The Godfather
Staff member
Mar 17, 1988
(FADEIN: The ESEN logo gives way to the ULTRATITLE intro. As “Survivalism” and cuts of the first round matches to date fade, we’re welcomed by the smiling face of BILL BUCKLEY… and friend?)

BUCKLEY: Hello wrestling fans, welcome back to ESEN and our continuing coverage of the 2012 ULTRATITLE Tournament: Search For the Ultimate Champion. The field of 128 is down to 96, and tonight 16 more men will be eliminated.

MELTON: Aren’t you going to say hello, Bill?

BUCKLEY: Fans, we’re joined by former two-time ULTRATITLE Champion and a man who has already punched his ticket to the second round, JOEY MELTON. Joey apparently just wandered in to the studio… because he has nothing better to do?

MELTON: Adrian kept yelling something about doing a promo and I just came in here. Does that make me your broadcast partner?

BUCKLEY: Lord no…

MELTON: Come on, Bill, you and me go way back. You called my first matches across the street when the place was a tobacco warehouse and not “Merritt Auditorium.” I still don’t know how I ever got that smell out…

BUCKLEY: It’s been over twenty years…

MELTON: Yeah, but the smell of Beauford Parsons takes a lifetime to fade, Bill, trust me. You just had to call the match, I had to actually wrestle the big fattie.

BUCKLEY: You know you can always leave any time…

MELTON: Heaven forfend! Is that how you say it Bill? Isn’t that one of your gosh-darn-golly-gee commentator thingamajigs so you don’t say “****” on air!


MELTON: Seven second delay, Buckley, don’t worry.

BUCKLEY: This is a sports channel… we go out LIVE without a delay.

MELTON: Oh ****!

BUCKLEY: JOEY! Fans, we’re going to take you through the recap of the ULTRATITLE Round One matches in Bracket 3. The first half of the region took place back in Greensboro, NC. Let’s get to it before Joey gets us fined any more from the FCC!

MELTON: Maybe someone should tell me about important things like no delay!

BUCKLEY: You’re not even supposed to be here!


The True Face entered the arena first and focused on the ring: he was in full match - mode with tunnel vision on the ring. One thing was definitely evident; he was ready for this match.

On the flipside, Cancer Jiles played to the crowd every step of the way. The fans cheered him, and those who weren't cheering him were booing him in a 'We love to hate you' kind of way.

It seemed as if his partying ways would be his undoing, as he kept breaking off from the early - match lockups to play to the fans, until The True Face, impatient with how long it was taking, clubbed him from behind. Jiles spent the next eight minutes or so playing defense, blocking what he could and surviving what he couldn't, until he was able to reverse an Irish Whip and floor The True Face with a hard clothesline that left both men laying.

Jiles managed to get to his feet first, and showed that he could be just as serious as he was cool: having seen what The True Face could do, he wasted no time in setting him up for Terminal Cancer and the three.

No sooner had the bell rung, than the attitude was back. He milked the crowd reaction for all he could, with perhaps the only drawback being the fact that he had just proven to his next round opponent how deadly underestimating him could be.



Neither man wanted to make the first move: both Sean Edmunds and Jackson had been through the wrestling business enough to know better than to show his hand.

Jackson, however, had made it clear in the past week that he expected to walk all over this match, having compared Edmunds to any number of opponents, and the lack of respect he held for Sean Edmunds influenced the early moments. Jackson kept pausing to ask the crowd to sound off, treating their boos at his tactics like a standing ovation.

The real ovation came when he turned back toward his opponent, only for Edmunds to slap him in the face.

For the next fifteen minutes, "Simply Sensational" reminded the world why he had the nickname he had. Jackson fought him off valiantly, but he could never really get his momentum back. The ultimate outcome of the match was never in question as Sean Edmunds snatched the pinfall and left the ring without giving Jackson a second look.



Campaign signs were out in full force in the crowd hailing “Phantom For Prez” and “Vote the RIGHT Way.” But the Greensboro crowd was still excited to see one of their “hometown” favorites from years gone by in Henderson Bramble. At 50, the former CSWA and AAWC journeyman was looking for one final shining moment in his long career.

But there was no compassion in the conservative, as Phantom Republican used his power advantage to toss Bramble around the ring, dropping him with a huge overhead belly-to-belly suplex that almost ended things in under a minute. Bramble was able to slip out, but caught a short-arm clothesline that sent him head-over-heels. Phantom pulled Bramble to his feet only to send him into the corner and destroy him with the Deficit Runner clothesline.

The crowd seemed to turn Bramble’s way, but it didn’t seem to matter to the glassy-eyed veteran. The Phantom Republican put Bramble up on his shoulders in the Tax Breaker (torture rack) bringing him down hard with a backbreaker over his knee. A foot on the ropes saved Bramble’s ULTRATITLE chances. Phantom simply pulled him back up methodically, then sent him into the ropes prepping for a gourdbuster, but Bramble went over the top, put the brakes on and…

FISHERMAN’S SUPLEX! Bramble’s patented move and then he BRIDGED! ONE…. TWO…. NO!!!! A hair’s breadth away from a huge upset in the first round. Bramble scrambled to make the most!

MOAB! Phantom Republican hit the Canadian backbreaker-cum-powerbomb, knocking the GDP and several other acronyms out of the now-retired Henderson Bramble.



The “Southern Stud” sauntered to the ring to “’Til I Collapse” with the same smirk on his face that Johnny Tropic used to wear in his heyday over 10 years ago. But life had beaten the smirk off the “Hot One’s” face, while the second-generation superstar was just finding his again after a long stretch of hardship.

The first round didn’t offer him much in the way of hardship, however. After locking up with Tropic, Rothenstein quickly broke away and used incredible speed to catch Tropic with a dropkick on the button. A quick neckbreaker loosened up Tropic, backing him into the ropes. One superkick later and Rothenstein drove his pickup into the second round.



McKail came to the ring with the Foo Fighters on full blast, as Grim Reaper stood in the ring, sullen, as death tends to be, yet still respectful that McKail uses real rock music for his intro. The Reaper, it turns out, loves rock music. Who knew? The match itself was a rather one sided affair, with Grim Reaper trying in vain to STEAL JACOB MCKAIL’S SOUL!!!!~! As a counter to this, McKail was able to hit a quick European Uppercut, Swinging DDT, middle rope legdrop combo, finished off nicely with his version of a shooting star press, “Downfall” to get the win. The Grim Reaper, for his part, seemed nonplussed by the loss and while walking back up the ramp, threw up (what else) devil horns as McKail’s music played him into the second round.



Vagabond, whose name apparently DOES NOT make reference to a vaginal cream, was more than game in this matchup of the accomplished, respected veteran Eli Flair and the aforementioned youngster. Vagabond did his fair share of high flying and then some, using his quickness to go after the knee of the much larger Flair in an attempt to ground him. In the end though, a mistake on a tilt-a-while headscissors was his downfall, as the wily veteran Flair was able to clinch him mid-hold, bring him up to his shoulders and plant him in the middle of the ring with a powerslam. It was academic after that, and Eli Flair advanced after hitting his Fallen One reverse DDT for the pin.



Eric Dane, irritated from the beginning of this match due to realizing that “Go-Go Spectacular” did not, in fact refer to Broadway Style Musical Revue featuring the music of the Go-Gos, took his anger out on the young competitor. Go-Go tried to fight from underneath the majority of this match, but was outwitted and outgunned. Go-Go did briefly manage to get the upper hand briefly, managing a near fall with a roundhouse kick to the temple about six minutes in, but Dane regained the advantage and used a series of suplexes to set up his Stardriver stalling brainbuster DDT, which he hit for the win. He was still irritated.



Caje versus Paige was all the rage, and I would wage(r) that in this age of champions coming together to gauge how they rank among the greats of this sport, you will find that Matt Caje is one man whose future seems… bright. Paige never had much of a chance, of course, looking like he belonged more in front of a house sweeping up leaves than in a wrestling ring, and Caje took control from the outset, hitting his Cajeplex, a double arm DDT and a Tiger Suplex before missing on a 450 Splash (That **** NEVER hits its mark). This miscue would hardly slow him down however, as former tag champ Paige, trying to take advantage, tripped over his own feet into the waiting arms of Matt Caje, who scooped him up and hit “The Cure”, a dominator into a codebreaker that was just like heaven. The three count was academic, and Matt Caje takes his oddly spelled name into the second round.


BUCKLEY: Other Bracket 3 subregional matches were held in Huntington, West Virginia. For the recap, we’ll send it to “Talking Head” Tony Brooks!

MELTON: You’re kidding, right?


MELTON: Talking Head? What is he, a placeholder for a real commentator?

BUCKLEY: Are you ever serious?

MELTON: Next we’ll be calling you “Moments From Death” Bill Buckley.

BUCKLEY: It’s got to be better than “I Love Lipton” Joey Melton.

MELTON: Nice! Who knew you had it in you? I thought smacking that midget in the head with a briefcase was a one-time thing, but maybe you really can hold your own. This could be the beginning of something wonderful, Bill.


TALKING HEAD: Coming from the Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington, West Virginia, the first ULTRATITLE match brought out the ire in this Wild & Wonderful state. Wilkes, a man who has turned his scarlet letter into a nametag, as he put it, snuck into this tournament. The Huntington crowd would’ve preferred if he snuck back out – since he entered by handing out fliers advising the crowd he was a registered sex offender and they should remove their children by at least 100 yards. The midcarder indy wrestler ran into a bigger problem than the crowd however in a focused Blackshire. Let’s cut to the tail end of Blackshire’s entrance.

As Radiohead died down, Blackshire didn’t even wait for the bell. He charged across the ring and overwhelmed Frank Wilkes with a “grade A” beatdown. Wilkes never got out of the gates, and though normally Blackshire gets the jeers from the crowd, they really seemed to get into his whipping of the RSO. And after a few suplexes, Blackshire hit the Snap-Driver 7 (a Sit-out Turning Brainbuster), and the crowd cheered all the louder to Frank Wilkes exit from the tournament.

TALKING HEAD: Blackshire quickly moved on in what cannot be labeled as anything less than total domination.



Troy Franklin came to the ring full of attitude and confidence, and his high energy entrance gained him a welcoming ovation. The Swerve ran full speed, slid under the bottom rope and raised his arms in victory from the corner. That was pretty much all it took for Franklin to attack him from behind, mused by the commentary team as his attempt to 'steal his entrance thunder.'

Unfortunately, the Swerve never really got going - he was able to hold his own for a few minutes but his offense was limited to a stray punch or kick. Troy Franklin ended it after about six minutes of dominance with a forceful submission from the Baller Death Lock. Afterwards, he stepped on the Swerve and stayed there while the referee raised his hand.



TALKING HEAD: The crowd was already hot, and when Jack Eastwood, an alleged drug dealer from Nova Scotia, entered the arena, this crowd had seen enough. They blew a gasket shouting and screaming at this guy like he’d just… well, been a registered sex offender. And when “Black Superman” heralded the arrival of Boogie Smallz, the crowd actually had someone to truly get behind. And they did! The city that brought you the echoing chant of “We are… Marshall” started another echo, half the crowd yelling “Boogie” and the other answering “Smallz”. It was one of the more surreal moments in the tournament, especially from a guy who has also been known to be involved in slightly illicit activities. But it tells you just how forgiving wrestling fans can be.

Boogie took those chants, getting amped even before the bell rang, but once it did, he moved in to brawl. Normally, Boogie has a size advantage, but with only about an inch and 20 pounds on Eastwood, brawling seemed a bit of a challenge. Both men went back and forth, neither getting the upper hand until Eastwood used a Capoeira dodge into a kick that stunned everyone in the arena, Boogie included. He went to work in classic Eastwood style (without the .357) and the crowd went to work on him. The jeers were colossal, and when the match spilled to the outside and Eastwood Rainbow tossed Smallz into the ringsteps, several fans were kicked out of the arena for ‘interacting’ with the performers. Security narrowly avoided a riot.

When Jack turned around, Boogie stopped him cold with a roaring elbow. And if anyone thought Boogie hated Mr. Eastwood, it was clear he didn’t when he took Jack into the ring, likely for his own safety. The match continued with Boogie nailing a collection of slams on Jack that led to the crowd getting higher and higher until Eastwood and Boogie both hit a Monster kick simultaneously, sending both men down. When they got up, each traded punches until Boogie started to get the upper hand with several, pushing Eastwood back into the ropes. Smallz with the whip. Eastwood with the reverse. Smallz rebounding out. Eastwood with a high knee. Smallz grabbed Jack by the body and hefted him on his shoulders before rolling forward, landing on Eastwood. It only got a 2 count, but when Eastwood started to get up, he found himself with Smallz’ 99 Problems (but a win ain’t one of them).



Neither man entered the tournament officially representing an active wrestling promotion. Kendall Codine was given a hero's welcome for his return to the ring in his former stomping ground of Greensboro, but the fans were respectful and willing to allow either man to win them over. Jackson started off the strongest, taking advantage of Codine's time away from the ring to stun him and slow him up, and at the same time show off his well-rounded mat wrestling skills for several near falls.

The man formerly known only as Blade, however, used that experience to keep himself in the game, countering Jackson's heaviest hitters with simple stops and dodges, and gradually wore his younger opponent down. He nearly lost it when Jackson countered The End with an escape and a neckbreaker, but Codine managed a foot on the ropes and hit the Guillotine Blade off a rebound from the ropes for a hard-fought three-count.

After the bell and Codine's exit, the crowd gave a standing ovation for Jackson's efforts, and he responded with the slightest nod of the head.



Mikey Massacre entered the ring first to a healthy ovation from the fans - which is more than we can say for his opponent. Azrael was wheeled to the ring to a stunned silence, chained to an upright gurney and accompanied by several attendants. He was brought into the ring and loosed, all the while giving Massacre a look of total death: he wanted to hurt his opponent.

Then, he turned around to give a mighty roar to the fans. At which point, Massacre dropped to his knees and doubled Azrael over with a low blow. Roll up, three count, moving on.

It might not have been the biggest upset of the first round but it was, by far, the fastest victory.



Crowd support was firmly behind the Tin Angel as he showed the fans why he has been one of the most decorated, feared, and respected wrestlers of the past fifteen years. There was very little in the way of a back and forth - Alias simply held the advantage from bell to bell. After twelve minutes of a breathtaking exhibition, the three count after the Cranial Smoke was academic.



TALKING HEAD: Karl Brown is no stranger to tournaments, winning one of the TEAM invitational tournaments. And Kiyomori is a native of Japan where wrestling tournaments are a bit more commonplace. But this was both wrestler’s first foray into the ULTRATITLE, and their first time wrestling in front of raucous Mountaineer fans.

As the match opened, both men worked with a variety of legkicks and miscellaneous strikes, neither getting the upper hand. Karl would get a quick move in. Kiyomori would roll with the strike and come up faster than expected, countering Karl’s followup with a quick attack, which in turn, would be defended by Kiyomori. At least until Karl’s apparent speed advantage turned an expected attack, actually a feint, countered by Kiyomori into Karl’s actual attack – a drop toe hold into a headlock.

TALKING HEAD: Once in control with the headlock, Karl slowed the match down some, a departure from his expected attack of high speed offense, but used to great effect. Kiyomori would fight up, get loose of the move, and do a move or two, but each time, The Dragon would ground the match to a halt. It seemed he hoped to frustrate Kiyomori, and maybe the fans as well, but his gameplan was clearly working – the 37 year old Kiyomori was expending bountiful amounts of energy while Brown rested and planned his best course of action. At about the 10 minute mark, he put that plan into action.

Kiyomori gets to his feet and attempted to lift Brown up with a belly to back suplex. Brown released the hold and flipped behind Kiyomori. When the Japanese warrior turned, the Dragon grabbed him and performed a bridging Northern Lights Suplex and a near fall. Now, the pass picked up considerably as Brown hit the ropes, returning just as Kiyomori got to his feet. Flying forearm. Brown to the top. Kiyomori got up, staggering around. Flying body press and another near fall. Brown to the top. Kiyomori rose. DragonRana --

TALKING HEAD: Into a powerslam. As Mike Tyson famously said, “everyone has a plan until they get hit.” And Karl Brown got his first serious hit of the night. Within moments, the match’s tide changed and Kiyomori went to work, getting no less than four near falls in the course of a minute. He was late to the game, but he was playing with all he had.

Hard knife edge chops and slaps to the chest back Brown into the corner to setup a ring-shaking corner-whip followed by a flying splash immediately followed by grabbing Brown’s arm and riding him to the mat to lock on the Scissored Arm Bar submission hold. The crowd’s pop was deafening as they waited for Brown to tap, and when he got to the ropes in about a minute, their pop turned to exhilarating cheers, driven higher when Karl pulled himself to his feet by the ropes and spun, catching the Shining Wizard for his troubles.

TALKING HEAD: For those in the know, they knew this was Kiyomori’s finisher. For everyone else, they just knew he was going to the top rope. When he came off, performed a beautiful Senton to land, the crowd would so loud you could only barely hear the ring shake. Probably because Karl Brown had moved. He’d survived Kiyomori’s onslaught. Getting to his feet, Karl Brown lifted Kiyomori by his head. But didn’t watch for one final counter, a small package that did what all the flashy moves hadn’t – led to a 3 count pinfall and victory for Kiyomori.



TALKING HEAD: The match with the scary proposition of following that particular match was the veteran Jesse Ramey against the larger, and hugely athletic “Big Nasty”. It didn’t disappoint. Ramey showed his wiles early, the 16 year veteran getting the upper hand, but unable to keep it due to McNasty’s overwhelming athleticism. Each time, McNasty simply outpowered the veteran. Or almost everytime.

Ramey hit the ropes. McNasty followed and leveled him with a strong knee to the gut sending Ramey to the mat. McNasty played to the crowd for a moment and then turned his attention back to the crowd, lifting McNasty to his feet. Maybe it was seeing Kiyomori pull it off just moments earlier, but Ramey went for the small package. The crowd went insane as the hand came down for the 3rd time. And McNasty’s shoulder came up just a split second before. McNasty popped up and just as Jesse got to his feet, he found a clothesline for his trouble.

TALKING HEAD: It was more of the same. Ramey would get something over but McNasty’s strength, agility, and endurance would overwhelm him.

McNasty followed it with an irish whip into the ropes. Ramey had anticipated this though and sprung on the middle rope before springboarding and then performing a switch so he could hit Ramey would a clothesline of his own. The crowd popped.

TALKING HEAD: And Ramey finally got control of the match, at least for some time. Hitting a collection of slams and strategic attacks, he seemed to be getting the better of McNasty, but as had always been the case, McNasty’s athletic ability got the better of him.

Ramey with a rope whip of his own. McNasty with a counter-whip. Ramey in and back out into OUCH! (Spinebuster into Rolling Thunder senton splash).

TALKING HEAD: And McNasty was off. Still using that vaunted ability, he overwhelmed Ramey, wearing him down. We’ll catch the action up as McNasty has Ramey in a difficult situation.

Mark holds Ramey in an adapted Camel Clutch (Steiner Recliner). Ramey is sweat covered. McNasty is screaming for him to give up. And though he’s outsized, Jesse inches his way to the ropes. Inching closer and closer, the fans cheering him on, Jesse Ramey gets near the ropes and…

TALKING HEAD: Mark let him go! But only for a moment, keeping the attack going as he grabbed the exhausted Ramey and picked him up for what he calls the Sault Slam (A gripped fallaway slam where Mark backflips with the Opponent landing on top of them). The ref made the count but missed 3 by a fraction of an inch, and this gave “Big Nasty” an idea.

Mark picks up Ramey and carries him to the top rope. He climbs up the ropes himself and puts Jesse back in the same position, this time clearly going for Super Sault Slam. Jesse felt it too, throwing a series of forearm attacks as he frantically tried to get away from the oversized acrobat in McNasty.

TALKING HEAD: But Jesse Ramey’s attacks were to no avail. Mark McNasty with a heft and RAMEY LEAPT OVER HIS HEAD! Sunset Flip Powerbomb that rocked the ring and the crowd into a final 3 count!


BUCKLEY: That’s it for Bracket 3 folks. Eli Flair, Eric Dane and Alias avoid the big first-round upsets we saw take out Dan Ryan and “Triple X” Sean Stevens. Round 2 will see wrestling’s favorite Republican take on a “Southern Stud.” Cancer Jiles makes his mark on ULTRATITLE and will face the “Simply Sensational” One in round 2.

MELTON: Jacob McKail gets the opportunity to eliminate “Total Fail” Flair in the next round, as “The Cure” will try to solve a virus named Eric Dane.

BUCKLEY: “The Baller” meets “The Blade” in round 2, while Alias marches on against Mikey Massacre.

MELTON: And thankfully the Registered Sex Offender is out and Max Blackshire is in, taking on Kikachu… Pikamortuary… Iko Iko…

BUCKLEY: KIYOMORI, while Boogie Smallz will battle big Jesse Ramey. Folks, thanks for joining us for ULTRATITLE. For… Joey Melton and ESEN, I’m Bill Buckley. We’ll see you later this week when the matches in Bracket 4 bring us to the end of Round One of the Tournament. Until then…

MELTON: Tea Bag.

BUCKLEY: Seriously? Still with that? It’s like you’re proud of it or something. How many concussions have you had, really?

MELTON: You know we’re still on air, right?

BUCKLEY: Oh good gr…

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