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The Godfather
Staff member
Mar 17, 1988

(FADEIN: Four Corners, a small pub in the heart of Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. There's a sparse crowd tonight with both basketball and football season over, as well as the UNC school year. A few people are playing pool but the only real 'life' is coming from the jukebox. Currently, "Mama Kin" by Aerosmith is filling the place. After all, "Aerosmith Greatest Hits Volume 1" is a jukebox staple.)

"MJ! Another!"

MJ Dean moved swiftly at the sound of the order: the only customer sitting at the bar was quickly relieving his establishment of Jameson, two fingers at a time. He grunted in pain as he landed wrong on his bad knee, but scooped up the glass and filled it expertly.

He enjoyed his work, he enjoyed owning his own pub in the Hill, but the nature of his former profession and the relative proximity to Greensboro meant that, historically, a lot of the old CSWA boys showed up at all hours of the night.

Considering the fact that he was once a top prospect in the legendary wrestling promotion, the thirty-five year old owner took his role in the industry with bittersweet acceptance.

"You need to slow down, McGinnis," he said, "at this rate you'll be floating home."

Ivy McGinnis smirked at him. "Here, MJ, let me get one for you, too."

"Put it on my tab," said a voice from behind.

MJ nodded, as he poured out two fingers for himself, as well. "And for you, Paul?"

Ivy's head moved to the left slightly as former three - time UNIFIED Champion Hornet sat down next to her. "You know the drill. Club soda, lime, please, MJ."

"Comin' right up, Champ," said MJ.

Ivy and Hornet sat in silence for a few seconds.

"So, you gonna tell me?" asked Hornet.

She stared at him. "Celebrating," she said, "A job well done. Merritt's Ultratitle is runnin' like clockwork, we've officially broadcast half the second round and the third bracket is going to make air in... four minutes. Yippee - ki - yay, mother... trucker."

MJ Dean returned with Hornet's drink, and he couldn't help but stifle a chuckle, despite Ivy's current inebriation. "Your kid isn't here," said Hornet, "if you want to pottymouth it, you're welcome to."

"My kid," repeated Ivy, "My kid's currently having the time'a his life with his aunt and uncle and four cousins, and they're having such a good time, they couldn't be bothered to call me today."

Hornet looked confused. "What's today?"

All three of them sipped their drinks, though Dean was savvy enough to back up and leave them to talk.

"He should know, you know? He should know what today is. Brian's always called me. Eli never calls me but he isn't exactly mister technology, Paul. F**king Brian didn't call me today."

"You're not making any sense," insisted Hornet. "What's so special about today?"

Ivy spun around once in her chair as 'LA Woman' by The Doors started to play.

"Today?" asked Ivy. "Today would've been forty eight years for them."

Hornet did the math in his mind, and made some leaps in logic. "Your parents," he said.

"Mom died ten years ago and Daddy died eleven," continued Ivy, not missing a beat, "and what did I do on their forty-eighth wedding anniversary? I produced a stupid wrestling show and consciously forced their memory out of my mind so I could cut a bunch of footage together. Jesus f'kin christ, what's wrong with me?"

Ivy was a relative rarity in the world of professional wrestling: she came from a stable family with close ties, and the family members all genuinely got along. More than that, Ivy had always considered her mother to be her best friend. Hornet's hesitation here was mainly due to his assessment of the situation at hand.

"I never met your dad," said Hornet, finally, "but do you really think your mom would've wanted you to be punishing yourself like this? Live today and live tomorrow, isn't that what she said?"

"Dude, you don't get it," said Ivy, "This year, I'm working on the Ultratitle and Brian's too busy with the kids for us to call each other. Next year, what'll happen? I'll be sleeping in on a weekend and he'll be in Disney or something? You can't forget this sort'a thing."

"Does Trip know what's going on," asked Hornet, wanting to comfort her but deferring to her husband.

"He knows what today is," admitted Ivy, "but I told him to focus on his upcoming match with Jeff Andrews. He doesn't need to deal with my BS tonight."

"Okay," said Hornet, "So let's take it from a different angle. Your parents both enjoyed the work you did, right?"

"I guess."

"I'll take it," said Hornet. "And they were both proud of you for the sheer number of things you accomplished right?"

"Right," agreed Ivy.

"So," said Hornet, as he leaned over the bar and grabbed the TV remote control from where MJ Dean typically kept it, "What do you say we honor your parents tonight by seeing the footage that their youngest daughter cut together?"

She peered at him over the top of her wire - rimmed glasses. "Seriously, Paul - how full of sh*t are you?"

"There ya go," said Hornet, "That's the Ivy I remember."

Ivy responded by smacking him on the arm.

"Thanks," she replied, "I needed that."


BILL BUCKLEY: Hello wrestling fans! This is ESEN and this is the ULTRATITLE! From 128 top competitors from around the world we are down to 48 as we get closer and closer to the Round of 32. Bracket 3 is on the docket tonight from Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois! In Round 1 in this bracket we saw Eli Flair avoid getting knocked out to set up tonight’s match against Jacob McKail in our featured match. NFW superstar Eric Dane’s star continues to rise, but tonight he’ll try to keep “The Only Star” in the heavens as he faces “The Cure” Matt Caje.

“The Blade” Kendall Codine returned from retirement with a successful re-debut, but he Troy “The Baller” Franklin who dominated in his first round match. Speaking of domination, The Phantom Republican gets his first real test, facing off against second-generation superstar Shane Rothenstein. CWC standout “Sensational” Sean Edmunds meets a man who many have picked their dark horse to win the whole thing, “COOL” Cancer Jiles.

Mikey Massacre keeps the AOWF’s ULTRATITLE hopes alive, but tonight he faces off against the world-renowned Alias. Boogie Smallz and Jesse Ramey both looked good in Round One, but tonight only one of them can make it through. And the final match that includes two men tournament pundits are watching very closely: Max Blackshire and Kiyomori.

That enough of listening to me, let’s get down to the action!


Dane’s dominating first round win was shown to be no fluke as he came out on fire from the opening bell and put a beating on Matt Caje. “The Cure” avoided being hit with the Stardriver twice and managed a rally of offense for himself, but Dane cut him off before the damage got too severe. The Only Star got back on the attack, and a third attempt at a Stardriver proved successful and advanced Dane to the third round.

WINNER: ERIC DANE (Stardriver > Pin) at 6:38


This was a hard fought battle as Jiles and Edmunds both were able to take advantage of mistakes the other made and put together offensive flurries that ended in two counts, but neither man could make that big game changing hit. Finally Jiles rushed in on Edmunds in the corner. As Edmunds sidestepped, the turnbuckle had fallen off the ropes, leaving Jiles to smash into the exposed steel and get split wide open. Edmunds then took advantage of the bleeding and injured Jiles to land a series of big moves and then a Northern Lights Suplex for the pin.

WINNER: SEAN EDMUNDS (Northern Lights Suplex > Pin) at 11:27


After having fought a jobber in his opening round there were questions of whether Phantom Republican still had it in him. The Southern Stud was able to hold his own, catching Republican with an early cradle neckbreaker and delayed vertical suplex, but the Man From The Right was able to recover and get to his feet.

Apparently the Republican didn’t appreciate the attempt at a Russian leg sweep from the son of Stan Vick, locking the leg and dropping Rothenstein with a big clothesline. The Phantom Republican answered the critics questions as he took control of the match, eventually landing a crushing MOAB for the pin to put everyone on notice and show he is a threat to win the Tournament.



Codine opened up on the attack and never relented, burying Franklin under a wave of high impact moves and painful holds trying to break Franklin. Franklin tried to fight back and keep himself in the match but Codine kept him from ever getting on track and then connected with the Guillotine Blade and secured the pin.

WINNER: KENDALL CODINE (Guillotine Blade > Pin) at 4:33


This was another quick and brutal match as Alias offered up next to no resistance to Mikey Massacre, who just exploded on his opponent and would not quit with the punishment until he’d landed his patented Frog Splash. Massacre thought for a moment about doing his typical Frog Splash spot with a chair, but wisely decided to move onto the third round rather than get disqualified. The pin and Massacre’s advancement were a formality.

WINNER: MIKEY MASSACRE (The Massacre > Pin) at 2:42


Boogie came out like a house on fire and this one was practically over before it started. Ramey was being pummeled by Smallz who didn’t let his opponent have a second to breathe -- a crushing powerbomb in the middle of the ring made things official as Boogie kept his quest for the Ultratitle alive.

WINNER: BOOGIE SMALLZ (Power Bomb > Pin) at 2:50


These two men finally changed the dynamic of the matches up to this point as they had an evenly contested battle with both men taking control of the match at various points. Blackshire seemed to be closing in on a win after landing a violent clothesline, but Kiyomori found the power to kick out at 2. A quick counter to a powerbomb led to Kiyomori rolling through, getting the upper hand and unleashing his offense on Blackshire. Kiyomori went for the Senton Bomb to take the match, but he missed and re-opened the door for Blackshire to take control.

The back-and-forth action finally came to an end. Blackshire worked over his opponent and then set up once again for a power bomb, but Kiyomori reversed it – this time launching into a hurricanrana and a pinning combination and held his opponent down just barely for the three count. Blackshire kicked out just fractions of a second after the final count by referee Ben Worthington.

WINNER: KIYOMORI at 11:22 (Hurricanrana > Pin)


The two men said before this match that the tougher man would win. They proved that point, the battle was violent and high impact from the beginning. Flair, the bigger man, was punishing and brutal with his offense of high impact strikes, keeping McKail on the mat and facing brutal damage from knees, elbows and anything else he could throw at him. When McKail could find room to move he did everything he could to keep Flair off balance with jabs, kicks and other attacks from a distance, including a huge dropkick that sent Flair crashing to the outside where he hit the floor hard.

McKail launched himself to the floor, crashing into Flair and sending the two men toppling into the barrier on the outside. The front row of fans scampered out of the way, leaving both men laying on the floor from the impact. Flair clutched at his back, which had been driven hard into the steel. McKail was immobile for a while as replays showed his head hit the floor before the rest of his body.

The ref was in no hurry on the ten-count, since a bye in the third round of ULTRATITLE would be practically a crime, and so the two men slowly pulled themselves to their feet and re-entered the ring. Flair, hobbled and moving stiffly, McKail, staggering seemingly drunk -- neither man seemed to have much left in the tank. Each move one man landed led to a two-count, but somehow the other man kept finding the drive to get the shoulder off the mat in spite of the damage they had suffered.

Flair was finally caught with a spinning heel kick. McKail took the opportunity to head to the outside, signaling it was time for the 450 splash to end the match. He climbed to the top and then took a deep breath and leapt -- just as his feet left the top rope Flair rolled out of the way, leaving Jacob in no man’s land.

Maybe he saw Flair move or maybe he was just in too much of a daze to really have attempted such a move; whatever the case was, McKail landed in an awkward and sickening manner, his head bounced off the mat, the crowd groaning in horror, Flair crawled over and made the cover, the ref hammering out the three-count. Eli Flair knew he had survived a war and moved on to the next round. Flair slowly stumbled to his feet as EMT’s rushed to the ring to tend to McKail.

After a tense five minutes McKail got to his feet, earning an ovation from the crowd. He refused help and slowly stumbled his way to the back.

WINNER: ELI FLAIR (Missed 450 Splash > Pin) at 17:12


(FADEIN: Four Corners, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.)

"So why weren't you there?" asked Hornet, "Obviously Eli still has a ton of fans who want to see him win this, but they want to see both of you."

"It's not right," said Ivy, "Yeah, I'd love t'be out there in the arena with Eli or with Sean, but I'm also one of the organizers and officials for this monstrosity. It's inappropriate for me to officially put support behind anyone."

"Family," said Hornet, as he drained his glass of club soda.

"I already said," replied Ivy, "that if Eli or Sean makes it to the final four I'll be in their corner, and if they end up wrestling each other in the finals, I'll be at ringside in a neutral corner. But until then, I need to have the entire tournament in mind."

"Always the politician," said Hornet, laughing.

They clinked glasses. Somewhere along the way, Ivy started drinking cranberry juice with no alcohol in it, and her mood perked up and up as the Round Two Bracket Three rundown aired.

"It's simple economics," said Ivy, "Ostensibly there's still thirty two boys who can still win, I can't put my support behind two out of thirty two."

"Thirty two?" asked Hornet.

"I have Bracket Four in my office," replied Ivy. "But based on this show, I think we've got a good showing for the Greensboro contingent."

"Greensboro contingent?" asked Hornet, "Since when did you identify as a Greensboro homebody?"

"Since when did you not?" asked Ivy.

"You've met me, right?" asked Hornet, "Have you met Merritt and Tard?"

Ivy laughed.

"Fine," she said, "make your jokes. But despite your feud with CS, you love being from Greensboro, and the fact that the CSWA was your backyard, and the fact that Eli, Boogie, Codine, Melton, Trip, Cruise, and Nark are all still involved... In some weird way, it validates your choices, doesn't it?"

"I dunno what you're talking about," said Hornet, as he stood up. "I have no opinion on the past legacy or hypothetical future of the CSWA. Good night, McGinnis, give me a call before you go back to Queens if you want to have breakfast or lunch."

He leaned over and they shared a brief hug before Hornet walked out of the bar. It was close to last call, and they both managed to say everything that needed to be said tonight without uttering a word.

Ivy sat in her seat for a few minutes, watching the Bracket 3 replay begin on ESEN.

She was out the door before Eric Dane got the pinfall, again, on Matt Caje.

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