[The show fades in for the first time on long-time EPW announcer Tony Fatora in the ring.]
TF: Ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor to introduce…. The owner of Empire Pro Wrestling….. “THE EGO BUSTER”….. DAN…… RRRRRYAAANNN!!!!
[As the guitar riff plays, Dan Ryan steps out onto the stage and the cheers get even louder. Ryan is in a pair of slacks and button down, short-sleeve shirt, and walks straight to the ring and climbs in. Ryan nods at the crowd on several sides of the ring, then takes a microphone and waves for the music to cut.]
DAN RYAN: GREEEEENNSSSBORO!!!!!!!!!!!
DAN RYAN: It was eight years ago this month, that in a company famous for being headquartered in this neck of the woods, that I took the biggest step of my professional career and burst forth on the global scene in this sport… so Greensboro, North Carolina holds a special place in my heart…
DAN RYAN: Tonight, we put on the biggest show of the calendar year for Empire Pro. Wrestleverse is the big one, the night the best of the best make their own marks on wrestling history….
DAN RYAN: But, before that happens, there is some business to take care of. It has been customary that on this night of champions and wrestling greats, we pay homage to the greats that came before us. Tonight, it is my pleasure to announce the induction of “TRIPLE X” SEAN STEVENS…. into the EPW…. HALL OF FAME!!!
[Loud cheers for the former World Champion.]
DAN RYAN: And now, to induct Sean Stevens INTO the Hall of Fame, I would like to introduce someone who, in this corner of the world, needs absolutely NO introduction. This person has very little, if any history with Empire Pro, but indeed…. Wrestling history as a whole wouldn’t be complete without mention…. OF THE ORIGINAL PSYCHO *****…..
[THIS gets the crowd moving as realization sets in and they start to stir….]
DAN RYAN: …. the one, the only….. POISON IVY!!!!!!
[CUE UP: “Why Do You Love Me” – Garbage……]
[The fans looked toward the entranceway, and slowly started to rise. From the row next to the entranceway, all through the arena like a wave, every fan stood and applauded.
Ivy McGinnis had entered a wrestling arena for the first time in nearly two years. She looked very much non-Psycho-*****, tastefully wearing an industrial gray jumper dress with a black sweater over it, a ponytail, and yes – wire rimmed glasses.
Knee high leather boots were on her feet – she is still Poison Ivy, after all.
Unlike her appearances as a member of Team Extreme, she shook hands and greeted the fans by the aisle all the way to the ring, where she stepped up, stood on the apron outside the ropes, and took a bow.
Ivy stepped through the ropes, shook Dan Ryan’s hand, and took the microphone.]
IVY: WAKE UP, GREENSBORO!
IVY: So I got a call from the Ego Buster himself, asking me to make an appearance tonight. I said why, Danno, why? I’m not part of the EPW history, I’m not an EPW legend… I’ve never even made an official appearance for this company.
Then he told me that the show was coming from Greensboro, North Carolina.
[Another pop, chant of “IIIIIII---VEEEEEEEEEEE” ]
[She leaned into the corner and waited for them to die down.]
IVY: But there was this little matter of a Hall of Fame induction, and I knew I had to be here.]
[Another chant: this one of ‘TRI-PLE-EXXX’]
IVY: The funny thing is, you guys are cheering for him, and since my life and his are a pair of open books, you probably know the final chapter, right? Sean and I are married and we have a wonderful four year old son at home, and despite a few employment – related issues, things couldn’t be better between us.
But how many of you know the first chapter? Twelve years ago in a little place that we affectionately called Hardcore City?
[A small, vocal group cheered.]
IVY: When I first met Sean Stevens, he was wrestling under the name XXXstasy, with three X’s, and he was a fairly talented kid with not enough seasoning and far too high an opinion of himself.
IVY: At the risk of pulling back the curtain on the wrestling business, despite the fact that I never really cared about such things, it took about half a second for Eli Flair and I to explode with glee when we were told that Eli was going over. The shortly – renamed ‘Triple X’ looked like a pathetic sad sack in the hotel restaurant that night, and it was a look I’ve seen over and over again. This was a man who was always told he was a winner growing up, he either had everything handed to him or he was so naturally talented at getting what he wanted that it was no big thing to achieve.
Professional Wrestling was just another thing that he wanted to do, and of course he was going to be good at it. But it didn’t work out that way for him to that point, and it was obviously eating at him.
Now, like I said, this was twelve years ago and I was far from the sensitive, caring individual I am now.
[Chant of ‘BULLS***’ filled the air, obviously Ms. McGinnis has always been far from a sensitive, caring individual.
At the sound, Ivy took another bow.]
IVY: Appreciate the support. Anyways, I sat down with Triple X, and I told him exactly what he was doing wrong, and I got up and left. He didn’t say a word, he didn’t make a sound, he didn’t even seem to notice I was there.
Then we got booked against him – and his bodyguard, Big Lucky – again. And we were still beating him, but he was very specifically doing the things that I told him he should do, and while his attitude was still one of entitlement, I could see an earnest desire to better himself.
That’s when I decided I wanted to keep an eye on this kid.
That was also twelve years ago.
Since then, I have been amazed and astounded by the growth, both in personal integrity and in hard work that Sean Stevens has achieved. I’m proud to have called him a rival, an ally, a lover and a friend.
I know most of you have spent most of his time here in Empire Pro booing him, but that’s okay. His job was to make you hate him, his job was to make you come to the arena every night and hope that someone would finally be able to out – wrestle him.
Most of all, his job was to entertain you, and I can tell you firsthand, there are few who worked harder than he did.
Most of all, he was proud to come to work every night and entertain you guys to the best of his ability.
So, despite the way you might’ve felt about him while he ran rampant over this company as The King… I hope you’ll all join me now in honoring the newest induction to the Empire Pro Wrestling hall of fame… Triple X, Sean Stevens.
[CUE UP: “KING BACK” – TI…….]
[The fans rose to their feet, serenading the man who had been the object of their ire for the better part of his last three years in the wrestling industry. However, after a few moments of hearing Iron Solomon’s first verse, and nothing else, it seemed as if the man, who had become famous for his extravagant entrances was once again taking the audience for another magical ride. But, this time, that wasn’t the case.
Truthfully, the chanting of his name, the tremendously positive reaction – a reaction he never thought he’d ever hear again – and, the big fight feel of this moment overwhelmed him. Behind that curtain was a man in tears, who could barely stand, this wasn’t part of some script, this was the end of a story. And, the storybook ending completely got the best of him.
SEAN ‘TRIPLE X’ STEVENS stepped through the curtain to the same standing ovation that he received when his music began to blare, if not louder. For the most part, his respect for the business allowed him to look the part … crisp white shirt, pin stripes, Yves Saint Laurent suit, but it was easy to see that he was flustered, as he walked to the podium, signaling to the sound technician to end his music.
A TRIIIIPPPPPLLLLLEEEEE EEEECCCCCKKKKKS chant ensued.]
TRIPLE X: So, here’s the thing … when I got the call from Dan, informing me that I’d be given this great honor of being inducted into the EPW Hall of Fame, my first feeling was that of great pride and honor. However, my first question was: “Can I talk **** about the boys?”
Dan agreed to let me, and that’s what this is about.
[Stevens removed a folded piece of paper from his inside pocket, unfolded it, then ripped it.
The crowd erupted.]
TRIPLE X: I had every intention of reading that piece of paper filled with jokes, jabs, “Told Ya So”, and cheap shots until something finally dawned on me. I’m no longer the underdog. As most of you know, and as my wife so eloquently put it, I came into this business with a big mouth, and I got humbled pretty quickly. I saw my heros, my idols, the Hornets, the Eli Flairs, Mark Windham, Zero, Mason Xavier, Dan Ryan, Mike Randalls, Deacon and so on, and wanted so badly to be on their level, and they’ll be the first to tell you, I wasn’t embraced, I wasn’t accepted, and most of them went out of their way to tell me, and show me through actions, that I’d never be accepted as their peer. And, it hurt. It broke me. It killed my spirit, and for the first time in my life, I felt like I wasn’t good enough. And, I quit.
[Scattered boos echoed.]
TRIPLE X: Don’t worry guys, there’s a happy ending.
[Stevens gestured for the crowd to quiet down.]
TRIPLE X: So, I’m sitting home, feeling sorry for myself, being disgruntled, I broke it off with Ivy, and that was the end of the story for me. It was **** wrestling. Then my phone rang. And, it was Dan Ryan. One of the legends that did believe in me … one of the guys that understood and embraced me … and, he didn’t come with a bunch of promises as much as he had an opportunity. To get it right. To fix my image. And, to be that champion that my look suggested I could be all those years prior. And, I promised myself that, not only would I ascend to that level that my heroes sat at, but I’d also earn their respect.
Now, am I on their level? No. I freely admit that. But, damn it, I made it to the Hall Of Fame, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that I earned each and every one of their RESPECT.
And, I thank you for that Empire Pro Wrestling. Thank you Dan Ryan for believing in me, and dealing with my drama. Thank you to all of the opponents that helped make that two year reign what it was … Marcus Westcott, Rocko Daymon, JA, my best friend, “The Stalker” Jason Reeves, Joey Melton, Lindsay Troy, and Notorious T R E Ice Tre – whom I ****ing LOVE, by the way.
I promised myself I’d retire once I won another World Heavyweight Championship, and well, the first one lasted one defense, so I couldn’t go out like that, and the last one lasted as long as it did, which made you all have to see my face more than you probably would’ve liked, but truthfully, I was mentally fatigued, and my mind was on my beautiful wife, and child, but I leave you with this … Copycat, Anarky, Reeves, Impulse, Erik Black, Michael Bastard, Karl Brown…
[Sean wiped his brow…]
TRIPLE X: This company is in GREAT hands … and, I definitely retired at the right time. I love you EPW. Thank you for this amazing honor. I hope I made as much of an impression on you as you did me.
[CUE UP: “KING” – Iron Solomon…..]
[As Ivy reemerged from behind the curtain, and met her husband with a kiss, to more applause from the sold out audience.
Ivy and Sean Stevens give one more look at the crowd, Stevens throws up one more gesture to the crowd, eliciting a loud cheer….
TF: Ladies and gentlemen… WELCOME! To WRESTLEVERSE!!!
[SFX: Bell ringing.]
TF: The following contest is set for one fall…
[CUE UP: “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne……]
TF: Introducing first… being accompanied to the ring by Tony Davis… weighing in at 225 pounds… from Los Angeles, California by way of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania… Hiiiiigh Flyyyyyyyer!!!
DT: Folks, we are getting this thing kicked off right with what promises to be a FANTASTIC matchup between that man, High Flyer, and “Dopesmoker” Erik Black!
DM: Offense is going to be the way we get things started here at WrestleVerse! Neither of these men will shy away from taking a risk, nor will they wait around for their opponent to take control!
MN: That is if Erik Black can actually remember that he’s in a match! I think I can smell his locker room from here!
DT: Well, I certainly hope that he can make it down to the match, because this promises to be an outstanding matchup!
[CUE UP: “Holy Mountain” by Sleep.]
TF: And his opponent… weighing in at 221 pounds… From Indianapolis, Indiana… “Dopesmoker”… Errrrik Blaaaack!!!
Fog spills out from the entry-way. Dopesmoker steps out right as the drums, bass, and vocals enter, breathing out a plume of "smoke", but instead of smiling as usual, he breathes out with a look of confidence on his face.
DT: And this is a strange sight! Dopesmoker appears to be…
DT: Well, I was going to say focused. But I guess that would work too.
DM: Erik Black is certainly walking with a swagger here tonight. I’m not sure what is wrong with him, but this match might be even more interesting than we originally anticipated.
DT: Well, both men are primed and ready. The referee has confirmed it, and we’ll soon find out just what we’re in store for!
[SFX: Bell ringing.]
DT: Dopesmoker and High Flyer encircling each other here. They are sizing each other up as they step to the middle of the ring…
DM: Collar and elbow tie-up. High Flyer takes the advantage with a side headlock. Dopesmoker looks to push him off…
DT: But High Flyer just holds on and cranks the headlock on tighter! Dopesmoker places his hand on the lower back again…
DM: And High Flyer just cranks on tighter! Technical wrestling wasn’t exactly what we were expecting, but High Flyer is starting this match off right out of the textbook!
DT: Well, Dopesmoker is now backing towards the ropes. High Flyer’s back leans over the top rope, allowing Dopesmoker to finally push High Flyer off and into the opposite ropes…
DM: And a shoulder block by High Flyer that sends Dopesmoker to the mat! High Flyer bounces off the adjacent ropes…
DT: And another shoulder block by High Flyer and Dopesmoker goes to the mat again!
DM: High Flyer hits the ropes one more time…
DT: And Dopesmoker dodges that shoulder block and catches High Flyer with a drop toe hold!
DM: Dopesmoker tries to stay on the offensive as he floats over to High Flyer’s head.
DT: But High Flyer quickly slinks out of it and gets back to a vertical base. The two men are now toe to toe. They step towards each other again…
DM: And there’s a right hand by Dopesmoker!
DT: And a right hand by High Flyer!
DM: And another right by Dopesmoker!
DT: Back and forth they go! Fists are flying!
DM: Dopesmoker takes the advantage now! He continues to drill those right hands into the side of High Flyer’s head! He backs him into the ropes and now with an Irish whip…
DT: Spinning heel kick by Dopesmoker! He goes for the cover…
DM: Dopesmoker stays on the offensive as he pulls High Flyer back up to his feet again. High Flyer swings a right hand, but Dopesmoker ducks the blow. He turns back around to face Dopesmoker…
DT: And an armdrag by Dopesmoker! He holds on, turning it into an armbar…
DM: And Dopesmoker showing that bit of technical wrestling that he can offer up. He’s working on that shoulder and elbow, possibly trying to loosen up High Flyer for that Cottonmouth finisher that he employs.
MN: I just wanna know if Erik Black is just hyped up on coffee or something. I think I can even see the whites of his eyes!
DT: I’m not sure, Neels, but he is really cranking in on that armbar! Listen to High Flyer screaming out from the pressure of that hold!
DM: High Flyer is working his way back to a vertical base now.
DT: And High Flyer reverses into a wrist lock. And now a hammer lock.
DM: Dopesmoker swings an elbow back into High Flyer’s face to break the hold.
DT: Dopesmoker turns to face High Flyer…
DM: And a thumb to the eye!
DT: Just when it seemed like High Flyer was going to mount some offense, Dopesmoker pulls a cheap trick like that!
DM: Dopesmoker pulls High Flyer into a standing front facelock. He lifts the arm over his head…
DT: Nice vertical suplex there by Dopesmoker! He goes for the cover…
DM: Dopesmoker gets back to his feet now.
DT: And he STEPS on High Flyer’s fingers, just SMASHING them into the canvas!
MN: Brilliant move! I’m going to write that one down!
DM: It’s also incredibly dirty.
MN: All the more reason to take note!
DT: Well, the referee has told Dopesmoker to keep it clean here as Black pulls High Flyer back to his feet.
DM: And a big knife-edge chop across the chest of High Flyer there!
DT: And another!
DM: And another!
DT: Dean, is it just more, or does “Dopesmoker” Erik Black look much more lucid than usual here tonight?
DM: Absolutely, Dave… as Dopesmoker backs High Flyer into the corner with another chop.
DT: We’ve just never really seen this side of Dopesmoker. We’ve seen him leave a tag team partner at the very beginning of a cage match, just to get out of the match.
DM: Yet… as he whips High Flyer into the opposite corner… he looks very determined here tonight.
DT: And he follows in with a DEVASTATING clothesline!
DM: High Flyer wobbles out of the corner…
DT: And now a bulldog from Dopesmoker! He goes for the cover…
DM: And look at this! The frustrated Dopesmoker is now blatantly choking High Flyer! The ref is trying to peel him off!
DT: And finally a break!
DM: I tell you, I am not used to this new Erik Black, but I really don’t think that I like it.
MN: Why? Because he’s fighting by the rules?
DM: He’s not fighting by the rules! He’s eye poking and choking!
MN: Sounds like my night last night.
DM: I don’t even want to know.
MN: But America does. So there I was…
DT: Sorry, Neels. We really need to call this match.
MN: Fine. We’ll make it a between-match segment.
DT: Yeah… We’ll get back to it…
DM: Back in the ring, Dopesmoker has pulled High Flyer back up to his feet. He backs him into the ropes before sending him running with an Irish whip…
DT: High Flyer ducks the clothesline! He hits the opposite ropes…
DM: Cross-body block! The cover…
DT: Dopesmoker quickly up and charges at High Flyer…
DM: But a drop toe hold by High Flyer!
DT: High Flyer quickly hits the near ropes. Dopesmoker gets back up…
DM: And then hits the deck as High Flyer goes over him. High Flyer hits the opposite ropes…
DT: Springboard Thesz Press by High Flyer!
DM: And he’s letting Dopesmoker know what he thinks about those cheap moves earlier!
DT: Well, the referee is finally able to peel High Flyer off of Dopesmoker here.
DM: And look at Tony Davis! He wants High Flyer to go for the finish!
DT: He is not happy about the cheap shots that Dopesmoker’s been taking here, and he wants High Flyer to finish him off now!
DM: And now the referee is telling Tony Davis to get down from the apron.
DT: And the distraction of the referee allows Dopesmoker to nail High Flyer in the back of the knee with that chop block!
DM: That’s a fifteen yard personal foul in the NFL!
DT: Well, it just goes down as a cheap shot here in EPW. He might have torn all the ligaments in High Flyer’s knee right there!
DM: And now Tony Davis is REALLY livid! Look at him getting in the referee’s face!
MN: That idiot still hasn’t gotten down from the referee’s first warning! Disqualify him!
DT: And now what is Dopesmoker doing here?
DM: Well, he’s leaning in that corner, but he’s moving around. It doesn’t look like he’s just trying to catch his breath.
DT: Can we get a better look at what he’s doing?
DM: He’s taking off the turnbuckle pad!
DT: And now the referee sees it! He’s pulling Dopesmoker out of the corner.
DM: But the turnbuckle is already exposed!
DT: The ref is going to try and put it back on here.
DM: Meanwhile, Dopesmoker has turned back to High Flyer. He pulls him in for an Irish whip, but High Flyer reverses…
DT: And Dopesmoker just crushed the referee in the corner!
DM: He was going at full force and just smashed the referee there!
DT: Dopesmoker jumps up onto the second turnbuckle now. High Flyer follows him in…
DM: And a boot to the face by Dopesmoker! He pulls High Flyer into him…
DT: The Green Hit! Dopesmoker just hit that Diamond Dust finisher! There’s the pin…
DM: The referee is still down!
DT: Dopesmoker has this match won, but his own cheap tactics have kept him from getting the three count right here!
DM: And now Tony Davis is back up on the apron again! He’s yelling at Dopesmoker!
DT: And Dopesmoker meets him with a right hand, sending Tony Davis off the apron!
MN: That’s what he deserves!
DM: Dopesmoker is still very focused here tonight. Incredible showing by him here tonight.
DT: He turns back to High Flyer now. He pulls him up onto his shoulder…
DM: And a snake eyes right onto that exposed turnbuckle!
DT: The cheap shot to end all cheap shots there!
DM: And now, look at Dopesmoker! He’s trying to slap the referee back to consciousness!
DT: But Tony Davis is back up on the apron AGAIN! Look! He’s coming into the ring!
DM: But Dopesmoker cuts him off!
MN: He’s backpedaling now!
DT: But Dopesmoker catches him! Davis is begging Dopesmoker not to hit him!
DM: Dopesmoker draws back…
DT: And Davis goes spilling to the floor! Dopesmoker turns back to the middle of the ring…
DM: But High Flyer is back up!
DT: Kick to the midsection by High Flyer…
DM: Hypothermia! Double underhook brainbuster by High Flyer!
DT: And listen to this crowd get riled up as they wait along with High Flyer for Dopesmoker to get back to his feet.
DM: This crowd is very upset with Dopesmoker’s antics tonight, and they can’t wait to see High Flyer make him pay here!
DT: Dopesmoker moving slowly. Now back to his feet…
DM: Yakuza Kick! High Flyer just nailed Dopesmoker with that Yakuza Kick right to the head!
DT: The referee crawls towards the two men. There’s the cover…
[SFX: Bell ringing.]
TF: Ladies and gentlemen… here is your winner… HIIIIIGH FLYYYYYERRRR!!!
DT: Cheap shots galore from “Dopesmoker” Erik Black here tonight, but that was not enough to keep High Flyer from walking away victorious here tonight.
DM: And we certainly saw a different Dopesmoker here tonight, but it was not enough for Erik Black to walk away with the win.
MN: I think we need a second opinion out here! The referee was clearly biased towards High Flyer!
DT: Erik Black took cheap shot after cheap shot!
MN: I don’t know about that, but Tony Davis pitched a tent on the apron! He should’ve been disqualified!
DT: I don’t follow your reasoning, Neels, but regardless… WrestleVerse has gotten off to a tremendous start here tonight, and I can’t wait to see more!
MN: If it’s gonna be more blatant bias, I’ll take a pass…
[High Flyer has his hand raised in the ring, while on the outside now… Dopesmoker snatches a chair from ringside… As Tony Davis climbs up onto the apron to get inside, Dopesmoker comes up behind him….]
DT: What’s Erik Black doing now….. OH, HE JUST TOOK OUT TONY DAVIS’ KNEE WITH THE TOP END OF THAT CHAIR!!
MN: Finally, justice!
DT: Tony Davis down to the floor and High Flyer isn’t even seeing this! His back is turned in the ring!! Dopesmoker AGAIN!!! AND AGAIN WITH THE CHAIR!!
MN: That’ll teach him to stick his nose in Erik Black’s business.
DM: Nice, Neely.
DT: Now Flyer turning around and finally seeing this… he dives under the bottom rope but Dopesmoker is OUTTA HERE!!!
DM: Well, Erik Black may have lost this one, but he certainly made a statement, and this new attitude of his is something to be concerned about for sure….
DT: Up next, the return of DIS…. but first, let’s go backstage where we have some cameras standing by….
[Camera catches up with Caitlyn Daymon and the Masked Man that attacked Stalker at the last Aggression. She is at full steam heading towards Dan Ryan's make shift office backstage. Lesbian Siegel can be seen in front of the door playing secretary.]
Lesbian Siegel: I told him you were interested in talking to him, Caitlyn, but I don't think he's...
[Caitlyn doesn't let her finish the sentence and pushes her aside and opens the door, stepping right in behind her is the Masked Man. Dan Ryan looks up from his desk.]
Lesbian Siegel: I'm sorry sir she jus
Caitlyn: Dan... please I have been trying to contact you for months now. I need to speak with you.
Dan Ryan: And I don’t remember telling you to bust through my door in order to do so.
Caitlyn: You have to understand where I am coming from. Jason Reeves is an absolute evil bastard. He ruined my husband's career, ruined our marriage and now look at him! For years this man has done nothing but try to manipulate people into ruining themselves.
[She takes a breath, wiping some tears from her eyes.]
Caitlyn: YOU NEED TO FIRE HIM! End his career, take him outside like a dog and shoot him! Look what he's done to Fusenshoff, Triple X, The First.... NONE of them were the same after he got his claws into their mind. My husband.. sorry Ex-Husband... he obsessed with Jason. All the way to that retirement match. We were already seperated by then but I didn't want him to put his career on the line.
[She takes a seat, Dan offers her some tissues. She wipes her tears from her eyes before continuing.]
Caitlyn: I still loved him, Rocko, I still do love him. But he's changed and it all boils down to Stalker's venom. I don't even understand why you keep him around here!!
Dan Ryan: Caitlyn, you’re losing your perspective. I understand this is very personal for you. But, I’m not in the business of making emotional, irrational decisions. Unless he does something to warrant it, Stalker will not be fired.
Caitlyn: If you aren't going to do anything about him.... I WILL HAVE HIM DESTROYED MYSELF! Bone by bone I will take his career away from him and until you do something about him yourself, then he will be useless to you. I don't care if you can't fire him or don't want to... he doesn't deserve EPW. Not after what he has done.
TF: The following match is scheduled for ONE FALL!!!
[CUE UP: “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes………]
[Dis walks towards the ring, body covered in a black cloak. Behind Dis follow six men in wrestling gear, and a final man in a business suit.]
TF: Making his way to the ring, from parts unknown, weight unknown, DIS!
DT: What exactly is going on here? The returning Dis coming out here with a bunch of guys I’ve never seen before.
MN: How do we even know Dis is returning? This could be some moron who slapped on a mask and is trying to get attention for himself. I bet he’s some nobody.
DM: Dis and his entourage are in the ring now and the guy in the business suit has a mic.
MAN: I am Allen D. Rahn, lawyer and agent for the talent known as Dis. I stand before you tonight to address the concerns of the two men in tonight’s main event. To Copycat, Dis has presented you with 6 new young talents, who we are sure will be seen as worthy additions to Empire Pro Wrestling’s talent roster. This proves that Dis is a selfless person who seeks to grow this industry to make it better than it is currently and so you can now leave with your mission a success.
[Rahn pulls a piece of paper out of his jacket pocket.]
RAHN: And here is a signed document for Anarky. If Anarky agrees to surrender the Empire Pro Wrestling World Championship to Dis, Dis in turn will agree never to say that Dis is ‘great’, ‘amazing’, ‘incredible’, or even ‘fantastic’…... [Dis nods]…….. Never shall Dis boast or brag about being champion. Humble shall be the only term to describe how Dis will act once handed the title and allowing you to finally be released from that burden.
[The crowd reacts as Ivan Dalkichev charges towards the ring.]
DT: Well it looks like the Sonic Titan has had enough of this foolishness! Ivan in the ring and beating the hell out of these morons who followed Dis to the ring!
DM: Dis not exactly acting heroic here either, bailing to the floor as his troop of supposed new EPW recruits are being taken apart in the ring!
DT: Ivan clears the ring of those schmucks and now he’s got that lawyer. Mr. Rahn just got power slammed into the mat! Rahn rolls to the floor and now Ivan stands alone in the ring!
DM: The Mad Russian standing tall in the center of the ring, now we’re going to see if Dis can back up all the big talk he’s made in the time leading up to this match.
MN: Are we really sure calling Dis a he is the right move here? We got burned on that last time.
DT: Well until Dis is unmasked and revealed as a woman I’m saying Dis is a man. Dis now entering the ring. Dis SLAPS Ivan right across the face!
DM: Dis has said he’s going to do that to the winner of the World Title match, I guess he’s just practicing on Ivan!
DT: Ivan slaps Dis back! Dis takes a step back and hits a dropkick to the knee! I don’t think the Sonic Titan was expecting that and it’s taken him off his feet and now Dis is hammering away on that leg!
DM: Well whoever this Dis is, he’s got a gameplan.
DT: Dis dragging Ivan over to the ropes and now puts that leg on the bottom rope, jumps up and sits down on the knee! Ivan rolling on the mat clutching at his knee.
DM: Dis is clearly the smaller man in this match, given that Ivan’s over four hundred pounds and nearly seven feet tall.
MN: We need Dis to fight somebody normal sized so I can get a better judge on his height and weight. That and Ivan needs to punch him in the groin, if he falls over it’s a guy if not it’s Lindsay Troy.
DT: EPW must be so proud to pay you for statements like that. Dis now backs Ivan into a corner. Dis with a couple right hands, and now whips the big man to the other side. Ivan grabs the ropes to stop it, Dis straining to try to move him. Ivan bursts out of the corner with a clothesline!
DM: The Sonic Titan might be wounded, but he’s sure not beaten!
DT: Dis rocked by that shot from Dalkichev and now Ivan limps over to Dis and he’s going for the mask!
MN: Do it Ivan! Let’s see who it is!
DT: Dis flailing fighting to prevent being unmasked, Dis fighting to his feet as Dalkichev pulling on that mask. Dis with a kick to the knee and another, Ivan breaks his grip on the mask and goes for a clothesline. Dis ducks and trips the big man to the ground.
DM: The Sonic Titan was off balance trying for that clothesline and he let Dis take him down again. No matter how huge a height and weight advantage you have, it’ll do you no good on the mat.
DT: Dis working that leg and now trying to get Ivan into a figure four. Ivan pushes off and sends Dis hard into the corner, Ivan gets to his feet and a BRUTAL clothesline to the back of the neck topples Dis. Ivan holding himself up by the ropes as Dis lays face down on the mat.
MN: Come on you Russian, I want to see who this guy is! Get it done!
DT: Ivan waiting on Dis to get to his feet. Dis slowly struggles to his feet and gets clipped by a VIOLENT kick to the head!
DM: But Ivan’s other leg gave out on him, the big man may have had Dis beat there but he stumbled and is now using the ropes to hold himself up!
MN: Get off the ropes and make the pin dammit!
DT: The Sonic Titan pulls himself off the ropes and now goes for the cover, a two count and NO! Dis kicks out! That delay may have cost Dalkichev the match. Ivan not wasting any time as now he grabs Dis and lifts him up, Dis now perched up on the top rope.
DM: If Dalkichev hits a Superplex here Dis might be 20 feet in the air before coming down, Ivan is a mountain of a man!
DT: Ivan now climbing the ropes, Dis throwing right hands trying to keep him from getting up there. Ivan and Dis now trading punches. Dis now with a headbutt, that seemed to stagger Ivan.
MN: That mask could be loaded! Never put anything past someone who hides their face!
DT: Dis now grabbing Ivan and has him by the neck. DIS WITH A CROWNING GLORY!!! THAT TWISTING TORNADO DDT OFF THE TOP ROPE! Dis with a cover! One, two, and THREE!! What a devastating move out of nowhere!
[CUE UP: “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes…….]
TF: The winner of the match. DIS!
MN: I’m not seeing things, that was Lindsay Troy’s old finisher right? She’s just mocking us by doing this stuff isn’t she?
DT: That was Lindsay’s move…. you have that right, Neely. Wait a second, Dis appears not to be finished here and now grabs Ivan and is locking him in a Figure Four! Dis has a Figure Four Leg-Lock secured on the Sonic Titan, and now is using the ropes for extra leverage!
DM: Dis not content with a win here but also trying to hurt this man and to send a message to the rest of the locker room.
DT: Well he, or she did say no one is safe, and they sure are proving it tonight as finally the ref gets Dis to let go of that hold.
MN: That hold that Joey Melton has used so many times. Dis is toying with us! I hate this already!
DT: True enough, whatever you want to say about Dis I guess you have to give the devil his due and call him a winner here tonight at Wrestleverse.
[Backstage we see Steven Shane, with the EPW tag title wrapped around his shoulder, heading towards the ring for the tag team title match.]
[As he passes by Caitlyn Daymon's locker room, there is a strange noise followed by a cry for help. Steven Shane looks strangely at the door and then opens it.]
[The camera can only see so far into the dark locker room and Steven Shane steps inside to investigate, as the locker room door closes behind him a loud noise can be heard from within, followed by a few thumps and then silence.]
[A few moments pass by and Caitlyn, followed by her 'Masked Man', exit the locker room door. She puts some sort of lock on the door and the masked man pushes the camera out of the way as they walk off.]
EPW Television Title Match - Donovan Astros (c) vs. Cameron Cruise
DT: All right, EPW fans, it’s time to see who will walk out of Wrestleverse IV the EPW Television Champion.
DM: Donovan Astros has been impressive since capturing the title from Karl “The Dragon” Brown, but tonight, he faces one of his greatest challenges yet in his former tag team partner, “The Crippler” Cameron Cruise.
MN: Cameron Cruise and Donovan Astros worked together relatively well as a team, advancing all the way to the finals of the tag team King of the Cage tournament – but when they weren’t able to overcome Stalker and Steven Shane, Cruise took exception, and now they’re slated to go head to hear for the Television Title.
DT: Let’s head down to the ring.
[CUE UP: “Killing in the Name” by Rage Against the Machine……..]
[Cameron Cruise comes through the curtains to a chorus of boos, looking as cocky as ever as he heads down the entrance ramp]
TF: Ladies and gentlemen, the following matchup is scheduled for one fall and it is for the EPW Television Title! Making his way to the ring now, the challenger! From Jacksonville, North Carolina, weighing in at 264 pounds, Cameronnnnnnnnnnnnn Cruuuuuuuuuuuise!
DM: This capacity crowd is not shy about letting Cameron Cruise know exactly how they feel about him!
MN: After everything Cameron Cruise has been through in this business, you’d think these people would realize how little he cares about what they think! But I guess I’m giving them too much credit!
DM: I’m sure the EPW fans recognize how long Cameron Cruise has been wrestling, but that doesn’t mean they have to appreciate his callous attitude toward them!
[Cruise enters the ring and poses on the turnbuckle, taking in the boos and processing them as cheers]
MN: Now that’s how you feed off the crowd in a way that’s not annoying!
DM: Cameron Cruise might be able to enjoy the boos, but I think he may eventually find them an inadequate substitute for the real thing!
[CUE UP: “Worldwide Suicide” by Pearl Jam……..]
[The crowd pops big for Donovan Astros as he walks through the curtains, the EPW Television Title belt around his waist. Astros plays to the crowd a little at the top of the entranceway before heading down to the ring]
TF: And his opponent, from Los Angeles, California! Weighing 237 pounds, he is the EPW Television Champion – Donovaaaaaaaaaan Aaaaaaaaaaaaastros!
DT: The EPW Television Champion is all business once that bell rings, but there’s no doubt that he’s been growing to enjoy the cheers of the crowd more and more in recent months.
DM: I have to say, it was especially noticeable during King of the Cage, when he was teaming with the man who is his opponent here tonight. In a unique environment like that, when your own tag team partner is being booed, it’s hard not to relish the cheers that roll in every time you get the tag.
MN: Maybe he’s just not trying hard enough! I’m not saying he should hate being cheered, but you can’t get too reliant on it – or else it’s going to be all the more devastating when a positive crowd reception isn’t enough to carry you to victory!
[Astros enters the ring and soaks in some more of the audience’s cheers before handing the belt off to referee Emilio Gomez and fixing his eyes on Cruise]
DM: I don’t know that I’d put it quite that way, Mike, but there’s certainly some truth to the notion that overreliance on audience reaction can be a negative.
MN: Of course there is! Why would you think that I might be wrong about something?
DM: Same old Neely.
DT: Referee Emilio Gomez has finished explaining the rules to both competitors, and here we go!
SFX: Ding! Ding!
DM: Cruise and Astros circling each other. We’re almost certainly headed for a lockup here, but both men are looking for weaknesses, doing a little last-minute strategizing to decide how to approach each other.
MN: Last-minute strategizing? I don’t believe for a minute that Cameron Cruise needs to do any of that! This man is a lot smarter than you give him credit for, Matthews, and I’m sure he’s gone over his plans for this match a hundred times over by now!
DM: Just as I’m sure Donovan Astros has – but you have to have room to adjust on the fly, because once you actually step through those ropes, anything can happen.
DT: Collar-and-elbow tie-up right in the middle of the ring, and Astros grabs a quick headlock on Cruise! Cruise backed to the ropes, sends Astros off to the other side, Astros looking for a shoulderblock – but it’s Astros who goes down!
MN: That’s the power of Cameron Cruise! You see a lot of his opponents forgetting the size advantage he has, and in situations like this one, forgetfulness can be costly!
DT: Astros is stunned, but he’s right back up to his feet! Another lockup, Astros sent off the ropes again and again, the shoulderblock puts him down to the canvas! Cameron Cruise is certainly looking to use his size to his advantage in this one.
MN: As well he should! A lot of the newer members of the EPW roster are smaller, and a guy the size of Cameron Cruise can really swing the odds in his favor just by sheer brute force! Outside of those jokers the Colossal Connection, I don’t know anyone in EPW who can match power with Cruise!
DM: Cruise’s strength is impressive, but you can’t overlook the resilience of Donovan Astros as he’s right back to his feet once again!
DT: Another tie-up, and this time it’s Cruise who grabs a headlock! Astros looking to send Cruise off the ropes – but Cruise holds on! He’s not releasing the headlock, just looking to lord that strength over his smaller opponent! And this capacity crowd is not enjoying it!
MN: Well, they’d better learn to like it, because this match is just going to be more of the same!
DM: But Astros has other plans, as he counters that headlock with a back suplex that sends Cruise to the mat! I don’t think Cruise saw it coming, but this crowd certainly appreciates it!
DT: Cruise pounds the mat in frustration, but he’s back to his feet! Astros looking for another tie-up – but Cruise nails him with a kick to the midsection! Cruise now with a clubbing blow to the back, and another! Cruise with an Irish whip, and he nails Astros on the rebound with a big knee to the gut!
MN: And look at Cruise, wasting no time hauling Astros to his feet and nailing him with a hard bodyslam! Cruise doesn’t want Astros to have a chance to breathe!
DT: Cruise off the ropes, and drops a big elbow across the chest of Astros! Cruise with a quick cover!
DM: Cruise was trying to end this one early, but Astros wasn’t about to let that happen!
MN: I’m not sure Cruise really thought he was going to win there – he’s just trying to throw Astros off his game!
DT: Cruise now laying into the grounded Astros with right hands as Gomez tries to break it up! And this crowd is not enjoying the liberties Cruise is taking in the early going!
DM: Cruise with Astros back his feet, and slams him face-first into the top turnbuckle! Astros trapped in the corner now as Cruise pounds him with shoulders to the midsection! And now a huge back elbow by Cruise stuns Astros!
DT: Cruise whips Astros to the other buckle, Astros staggers out of the corner and a big clothesline by Cruise puts Astros down! Cruise looking for another cover!
No! That’s not going to be enough to put Astros away!
MN: And Cruise isn’t slowing down! He’s got Astros back up to his feet again, a couple of knees to the midsection and a big vertical suplex! And you can just see how much he’s enjoying throwing Astros around!
DT: Cruise brings Astros back up, scoops him up and looking for another slam – but Astros slips out the back door! Astros hooks the arms – he’s looking for the Astrocide!
DM: No! Cruise shoves him off over to the ropes! Cruise escaped, but he clearly didn’t see that coming! Cruise charges – and Astros backdrops him to the floor! He definitely didn’t see that coming, either! Cruise looks flustered!
MN: A momentary setback! That certainly isn’t enough to throw the likes of Cameron Cruise off his game!
DM: But maybe this will! Astros vaults the top rope with a plancha and flattens Cruise on the outside! And this capacity crowd voices its approval!
DT: Astros quickly rolls Cruise in under the bottom rope, and he’s going for a cover!
No! Cruise gets the shoulder up!
DM: Astros off the ropes as Cruise tries to regain his footing, and he drills Cruise with a knee to the skull! Astros into another cover!
And Cruise kicks out with authority!
DT: Astros is out-sized here, and he’s trying to use his speed to get the advantage over Cruise!
MN: It will be a short-lived advantage if he does! Cruise may be bigger and older than Astros, but he’s got a hell of a lot of endurance, and he can wait while Astros wears himself out!
DM: Astros brings Cruise to his feet, hooks him up and there’s a back suplex! Astros holds the bridge!
No! Another kickout by Cruise!
DT: Astros with Cruise up again, but Cruise stops his momentum with a rake of the eyes!
MN: That’s how fast Cameron Cruise can stop a rally! He’s been stopping rallies from guys like Donovan Astros for decades!
DT: Kick to the midsection by Cruise, and an Irish whip sends Astros off the ropes! Cruise misses with a clothesline, Astros from the other side, and a cross-body! Astros hooks the leg!
Not this time! Cruise stays alive!
DM: Astros off the ropes, and he puts Cruise down with a clothesline on the rebound! Off the ropes again, and another clothesline! Cruise staggers to his feet, and a dropkick by Astros! Astros is rallying here!
MN: Cruise will stop him! He’s already proven he knows how!
DT: Astros up to the second rope! Cruise is up again, and Astros connects with a flying elbowsmash to put Cruise back down on the mat! Astros covers!
Shoulder up by Cruise!
DM: Astros brings Cruise up again, but Cruise with hard shots to the midsection! Astros retreats and comes off the ropes looking for another clothesline, but Cruise catches him with a powerslam! Cruise hooks the leg!
No! Astros hangs on!
DT: And Cruise now with stomps to the head of Astros! Gomez is telling Cruise to back off!
MN: Cruise knows just how far he can go without getting disqualified, and he’s going to take full advantage of that knowledge!
DT: Cruise brings Astros back up, and a whip sends him into the turnbuckle! Cruise charges – and Astros moves out of the way! Cruise crashes shoulder-first into the ring post!
DM: That could be a difference-maker in this one! Cruise staggers out of the corner holding the shoulder, and Astros grabs the arm! Astros with a kick to the midsection, flips over and locks in a cross armbreaker! This cannot bode well for Cameron Cruise!
MN: Well, I’m not going to say this is a good thing for Cruise, but he’s come back from far worse! Come on, Cam! You can fight it!
DT: Cruise is dragging himself to the ropes! Astros trying to stop him from moving, but Cruise has the size advantage, and he’s still got to have energy in reserve! Astros pulling back – but Cruise makes it to the ropes and Astros has to break the hold!
DM: Astros releases the hold! Astros charges at Cruise as he gets up, but this time it’s Cruise who backdrops Astros over the top!
DT: No, wait! Astros lands on the apron! Cruise turns around, and a stiff kick by Astros! Astros hooks up Cruise – he’s looking to suplex him to the floor!
MN: No way! You have to get a lot of momentum going to suplex someone over the top rope, and I don’t think Cruise is about to let that happen!
DT: And Mike is right, as Cruise drops down and snaps Astros across the top rope! Astros still hanging onto the ropes, and Cruise rebounds from the other side! Cruise looking to send Astros off the apron – but Astros ducks and low-bridges Cruise! Cruise tumbles over the top rope to the floor!
DM: Once again, Astros caught Cruise by surprise, and this crowd is digging it!
MN: They’d better get that cheering out of their system now, because as soon as Astros runs out of energy, Cruise is going to see to it they don’t have anything to cheer for for the rest of this match!
DT: Cruise picks himself up on the outside, but Astros with a running start nails him with a Thesz press from the apron to the floor, much to this crowd’s delight! Astros picks Cruise up, a pair of kicks to the midsection, and he hooks him up for a suplex again! Astros has him up – and drops Cruise gut-first onto the barricade!
MN: He can’t do that! Disqualify him, Gomez!
DM: But if Astros is disqualified, he retains the title! Surely, you don’t want Cruise to leave here tonight empty-handed!
MN: You’re right. Let Astros dig his own grave! And don’t call me Shirley!
DT: Astros has a front facelock on Cruise, and he’s trying to pull him away from the barricade! He’s looking for the Concussion Cannon! But Cruise fights back with shots to the midsection!
DM: Cruise pulls himself down on the other side of the barricade – and drops Astros’ throat across the top! That’s got to hurt!
DT: Astros staggers away as Cruise hops the barricade – and Cruise grabs Astros and hurls him face-first into the ring steps!
DM: The Television Champion is down on the mats outside the ring! Cruise may have just turned the tide on this one!
MN: All Cameron Cruise needs is a split second of opportunity, and he can completely swing the match in his favor!
DT: Cruise rolls Astros into the ring! Cruise with Astros on the apron – nails him with an elbow to the throat! Cruise rolls back into the ring – a cover!
No! Astros gets the shoulder up.
DM: Cruise with stomps again to the head of Astros gets another warning from Gomez, but he’s not concerned about warnings! Brings Astros to his feet – and puts him back down with gutwrench suplex! Another cover, and a hook of the leg!
No! Astros survives.
DT: Cruise off the ropes, and a kneedrop to the skull of Astros! Off the ropes again, and another one! Cruise brings Astros up, and a swinging neckbreaker! Another cover by Cruise!
No! Kickout by Astros!
MN: It’s taking everything Astros has got to hold on in this one, and the more he has to struggle, the harder it’s going to be for him to kick out the next time!
DT: Astros staggering to his feet, Cruise off the ropes and a bulldog! Cruise with the cover again, the leg is hooked!
No! Astros still manages to hang on!
DM: Cruise goes right back to work, bringing Astros to his feet again! Cruise with a double underhook suplex to the Television Champion! Another cover by Cruise!
No! Astros again gets the shoulder up!
DT: And you can see the frustration in the eyes of Cruise as he slaps on a choke! Referee Emilio Gomez warns Cruise, and he breaks the hold just before the fatal count of five!
MN: That’s not frustration you’re seeing, that’s strategy. Cameron Cruise knows what it takes to get disqualified, he knows what it takes to wear down an opponent, and he’s just looking to meet in the middle! And Cruise with another choke, breaking again just before the five-count!
DT: Cruise brings Astros into the corner and lays into him with kicks to the midsection! Cruise whips Astros to the opposite buckle, charges in and there’s one hell of a clothesline! Astros stumbling out of the corner, Cruise off the ropes and a flying clothesline puts Astros on the mat! Cover by Cruise!
No! Again, Astros is able to get the shoulder up!
DM: Cruise now with the leg of Astros! Cruise could be going for the Cruise Control here! But Astros kicks him away! Astros back to his feet, and Cruise walks into a hard right hand from Astros! Another right hand! Astros off the ropes—
MN: —Right into a dropkick by Cruise! That’s a 264-pound dropkick, and that could be it for Astros! Cover!
No! Somehow, Astros kicks out!
DM: Cruise with a hard shot to the face of Astros, and Cruise now going up to the top rope! He’s about to take a big risk!
MN: But if it pays off, Astros is as good as finished! Cruise perched on the top!
DM: But Astros is up, and he nails Cruise with a shot to the midsection! Astros firing away with multiple shots to the midsection! Astros climbing up – we could be looking at a superplex!
DT: But Cruise is fighting it! Cruise with shots to the face of Astros, and a headbutt sends him back down to the mat! Astros back up, but Cruise has regained his footing – missile dropkick! That could be it right there! Cruise hooks the leg!
Th-no! Astros manages to kick out once again!
MN: But look how close it was! Astros is running out of steam, and fast!
DT: Cruise is back to his feet, and he’s beckoning for Astros to get up! Astros up, and a kick to the midsection by Cruise! Cruise looking for that high-impact DDT!
DM: But Astros backdrops his way out! Cruise counters into a sunset flip, a roll-through by Astros and a stiff dropkick by Astros right to the face of Cruise!
DT: Cruise has been knocked for a loop, but Astros is down too! Both men are stirring – and Astros is back to his feet! Astros off the ropes, and he takes Cruise down with a clothesline! Off the ropes, another clothesline! Astros fells Cruise with a dropkick, and this crowd is starting to come alive! Astros off the ropes, another clothesline!
MN: No! Cruise hits the deck and counters into a drop toe hold! He’s going for the Cruise Control! He wasn’t able to get it before, but – Cruise Control! Cruise Control is locked in!
DM: Astros has to make it to the ropes! He doesn’t have far to go, but every second he’s stuck in that painful submission hold is going to further drain his resolve! Astros reaching for the ropes through the pain!
MN: He can’t escape this one! He can’t compare to Cruise’s strength!
DT: Astros getting closer – he’s got the ropes! And Cruise has to break the hold!
DM: Waiting until a count of four to do it, of course! Cruise is taking every cheap shot he can manage to hold onto the advantage in this one!
DT: The referee is backing Cruise away from Astros, and Astros is trying to pull himself up with the ropes! But here’s Cruise – and he nails Astros with a big belly-to-belly suplex! Cruise is taunting the crowd now!
MN: He knows he’s got this one wrapped up, and he wants all of them to know just how much he doesn’t care about who they want to win! Cruise drags Astros to his feet, wrenches the arm around, a kick to the midsection and that high-impact DDT plants Astros!
DT: Cruise rolls back to his feet! He’s saying this one is over! Cruise stalking Astros as he gets up, looking for the Reality Check! Cruise hooks Astros up—
DM: —But Astros grabs the ropes! Cruise falls to the mat by himself, and the back of his head smacks into the canvas! Astros is dazed, but thanks to the ropes, he’s still on his feet! Astros trying to regain his senses, but Cruise was only stunned, and he’s getting back to his feet, trying to shake the cobwebs out! Cruise spins Astros around!
DT: And a kick to the midsection by Astros! <i>Astrolabe!</i>
MN: No! Come on, Cam! I thought you had this one!
DT: Both men are down on the canvas! Emilio Gomez starts the count!
DM: Astros didn’t have the wherewithal to capitalize on that spinning implant DDT, but it did stop Cruise’s momentum, and that may be all the Television Champion needs now! Gomez is up to two! Now three!
MN: Cruise is stirring! I can see it!
DM: What are you talking about? Neither man is moving! Gomez is at five! And now Astros is starting to stir!
MN: But so is Cruise! I’m sure you can see it now!
DT: Both men pulling themselves to their feet, and Gomez stops the count at seven as Astros reaches a knee!
DM: Both men are up, and a right by Astros! Cruise answers with a right of his own! Another by Astros, another by Cruise! The champion and the challenger are exchanging blows in the center of the ring!
DT: And it’s Astros who wins the exchange, blocking Cruise’s shot and firing off with several of his own! Astros takes Cruise down with a clothesline! Astros off the ropes, Cruise looking for a dropkick but Astros sidesteps! Cruise to his feet, and Astros nails a dropkick of his own! The crowd is behind Astros, and he’s feeding off the energy!
DM: Astros pulls Cruise to his feet and nails him with an Aztecan suplex! Astros covers!
No! Cruise rolls the shoulder out!
MN: This is impossible! How is Astros finding the energy to come back after that beating he took?
DM: Astros off the ropes, and he drops Cruise with a diving shoulderblock! Cruise to his feet, and Astros with an inverted atomic drop! Cruise lowers the head, and Astros nails him with a DDT! Astros covers again, hooks the leg!
No! Cruise manages to hang on again!
DT: With no time to waste, Astros hauls Cruise up again, scoops him up, and there’s a shoulderbreaker by the champion! Another cover!
No! Cruise again kicks out!
DM: Cruise is still holding on, but Astros has knocked him for a loop! The challenger doesn’t even know where he is right now! Cruise stumbles to his feet, Astros lying in wait! Astros hooks the arms – Astrocide!
MN: No! <i>Reality Check!</i>
Crowd: [Sound of the air being sucked out of the room]
MN: Cruise got his arms free, spun Astros around and nailed the Reality Check just like that! This one is over!
DT: It’s not over yet – Cruise still has to make the cover, and he’s still shaking out the cobwebs! Astros is motionless, facedown on the mat! Cruise dragging himself over for a cover! Rolls Astros onto his back! Cover by Cruise!
<i>No!</i> I can’t believe it! Astros got his foot on the bottom rope!
DM: Cruise can’t believe it! He thought he had this one! He’s screaming at referee Emilio Gomez, complaining about a slow count!
MN: As well he should be! This is a travesty of justice! No way Astros would have beaten a fair count!
DM: Mike, that count was as fair as any other during this match!
DT: Cruise is furious as he pulls Astros back to his feet! He’s looking for another Reality Check!
DM: But Astros takes him down at the legs! Astros hooks the arm, steps over – and he’s got the Astrolock applied!
DT: The Astrolock is locked in! Cruise is trapped in that painful hold, and it won’t be easy for him to escape – he dragged Astros to the center of the ring for that second Reality Check, so he couldn’t get his foot on the ropes again!
DM: Astros is wrenching in the hold with everything he’s got! If he’s going to put away Cameron Cruise, now is the time!
MN: But Cruise is making his way to the ropes! All he has to go is hold on until he gets there! I’m sure he can do it!
DM: Even if Cruise makes it to the ropes, he’s still got to come back and win the match!
DT: Cruise is dragging his body and Astros’ toward the ropes! He’s got that 30-pound advantage, and he’s looking to make the most of it right now!
DM: But he’s weakening! Each lurch toward the ropes is shorter than the last! Can the challenger make it before his strength runs out?
MN: Of course he can! But your doubts aren’t going to help him any!
DT: Cruise is almost there, but he might have used up all his strength to get this far! Cruise could be out!
MN: No he’s not! He’s got his foot on the rope!
Crowd: [Sound of the air being sucked out of the room]
DM: There’s no denying that, Mike – Cruise is in the ropes, and Astros has to break the hold! And this crowd is not happy about it!
MN: Well, I wasn’t happy about that slow count, but you didn’t hear me complaining about it!
DM: Do you even remember half of the things you say?
DT: Astros has broken the hold, and Cruise is trying to keep the referee between himself and Astros, to buy himself time! Astros backing off, and Cruise stumbles away from the ropes!
DM: But Astros takes him down again! Astros hooks the arm – he’s going for the Astrolock again! And he’s got it!
MN: No, no! Cruise picks the ankle! Cruise floats over – Cruise Control! Cruise Control locked in!
DT: Cruise was able to counter the Astrolock, and now the Television Champion is trapped in the Cruise Control once again! And it’s a long way to the ropes for Donovan Astros!
MN: Serves him right! Let’s see how Astros likes a taste of his own medicine!
DM: Astros is trying to pull himself to the ropes, but he’s got all 264 pounds of Cameron Cruise holding him back! Astros inching closer!
MN: I don’t think he can make it! Astros only made a little progress, and he’s not making any more! Cruise has got him stuck too far from the ropes to reach, and he’s wrenching in that Cruise Control like there’s no tomorrow!
DT: Astros raising the hand! Will he tap out?
DM: No! Astros is still fighting! Astros dragging himself ever closer to the ropes, and Cruise does not like the way things are going! Astros is going to make it! Astros within a few inches!
MN: No he’s not! Cruise manages to drag Astros back away from the ropes! He’s almost right back where he started from!
DT: Astros still trying to drag himself to the ropes, but he’s got a long way to go! Astros diverting all his strength to trying to escape the hold!
DM: How much longer can the Television Champion hold out? Astros’ face is contorted with pain, but the Television Champion is still trying to make it to the ropes! But his progress toward them has almost reached a standstill, and Cruise isn’t letting up one bit! Astros trying to fight through the pain!
DT: Astros taps! Astros taps! This one is over!
SFX: Ding! Ding!
[CUE UP: “Killing in the Name” by Rage Against the Machine……]
DM: Astros gave it everything he had, but after Cruise dragged him back to the center of the ring, he just didn’t have anything left to fight it!
MN: And now that championship gold he was so proud of is going to be around the waist of Cameron Cruise!
TF: Ladies and gentlemen, here is your winner – and newwwwwwwwwwwwww EPW Television Champion – Cameronnnnnnnnnn Cruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuise!
DT: Astros is walking out of Wrestleverse IV without the EPW Television Title, but there’s no denying he put up one hell of a fight against the wily veteran, Cruise!
DM: The exhaustion is apparent in Cruise’s face, but he’s still got enough energy to gloat as he’s handed the EPW Television Title belt! What a victory for Cameron Cruise!
MN: And what an addition to his trophy case! Two-time EPW Tag Team Champion, one-time EPW Intercontinental Champion, and now, EPW Television Champion!
DM: It is quite an achievement for Cameron Cruise as he heads back up the entranceway, his new title belt in tow. But you can’t take anything away from Donovan Astros and the amazing performance he put on tonight.
MN: Hey, let’s not focus on the loser here! Let’s focus on the winner! Do you realize that Cameron Cruise is one World Heavyweight Title away from holding every championship EPW has to offer?
DM: That may be so, but becoming EPW World Heavyweight Champion is a tall order – a fact to which Cameron Cruise himself can attest!
DT: And in fact, we’ll find out tonight just how tall an order it is for Copycat, as he challenges Anarky in our main event at Wrestleverse IV! But before we get there….. there’s lots more action coming your way, EPW fans, so stick around!
"Two minutes," said a stagehand whose name I didn't catch. I need to
pay closer attention.
My fists are taped, my jacket is on, and my nerves are on fire.
Michael Bastard is waiting, and my first step toward immortality in
the Empire is two minutes away.
Immortality is an interesting concept. Kerry O'Connor once said that
this is the sport of Kings, and that legends can only grow as long as
we're adding to them, with the unspoken addendum that after that, our
name will only carry as long as the people who saw us remember.
Bollocks to that, I say. Bollocks.
Am I a legend? Am I Immortal?
Of course not.
Does Immortality fade when the witnesses are gone?
Are legends simply the athletes who make so much noise while they're
here, that the echo continues longer after their departure?
I don't know if I've got what it takes to qualify as a legend, or as
an immortal, and I don't know that I'd want to.
My purpose isn't to be remembered until the end of time: my purposes
is to do the best I can, now.
Right now, my focus is Michael Bastard and his Empire Pro
Intercontinental Championship, and my focus is on my lady, Rose, who
is pacing in a circle, burning off nervous energy before her EPW Pay
Per View debut.
Like clockwork, she just took a hit from her inhaler.
My purpose is to take all of the things that make me a great wrestler,
and put them into practice, now. Because my opponent is trying
to do the same.
I'm not a legend.
But this is the first step towards whatever destiny I've got in the Empire.
EPW Intercontinental Title: Michael Bastard (c) vs. Impulse
[CUT TO: THE RING.]
[SFX: DING DING DING!]
TF: This next contest is scheduled for one fall with a sixty minute time limit…
MN: As if it’ll go that long.
TF: …And it is for the EMPIRE PRO WRESTLING… INTERCONTINENTAL… CHAMPIONSHIP!
[SFX: Crowd pop.]
DT: Impulse has shown his resilience and his conditioning to go as hard as he has to for as long as he has to, Mike – and Michael Bastard has shown he simply doesn’t care what his opponents do to him. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised.
TF: INTRODUCING FIRST…
[CUE UP: “All Secrets Known” – Alice in Chains………]
[The fans begin to boo.]
TF: Accompanied to the ring by the AMAZING Logan… from Flint, Michigan… weighing in at two hundred and twenty eight pounds, he is YOUR E! PEE! DUBYOU! INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION…
TF: MIIIIIIIIIIIIIICHAELLLLL… BAAAAASTAAAAARD!
DT: Michael Bastard is on his way to the ring in a hurry, he wants to get this match underway! Logan is walking after him, carrying the Intercontinental Championship belt over his shoulder, and he’s pretty much power walking his way to the ring to keep up!
DM: Bastard is like a caged animal.
MN: More like a lion in the Colosseum, and Impulse is the meat that’s about to be tossed.
DM: I don’t agree with your description of Impulse, Mike – but you’re spot on for Bastard. He wasn’t signed – he was trapped.
DT: In that respect, Logan certainly is amazing: he’s been able to channel Michael Bastard’s aggression into a very successful career so far, and I think if he successfully defends his title this evening, particularly considering how hot Impulse has been since signing with this company, that he can probably go anywhere.
TF: AND HIS OPPONENT…
[CUE UP: “Revolution Baby” by Queen V……….]
[The boos are quickly replaced by cheers.]
TF: Accompanied to the ring by Calico Rose, and hailing from New York, New York… weighing in at one hundred eighty nine pounds…
MN: My event program weighs more than he does.
TF: THIS… IS… IIIIIIIIIIIIMPUUUUUUUUUUULSE!!!
DM: Students of professional wrestling are no stranger to this kid, but man – he’s really shown a lot of promise in his first few weeks with EPW, and if he’s able to get past Michael Bastard, it’s anyone’s guess how high he can reach.
DT: Not just Michael Bastard, but as we saw leading into tonight, the returning Dis has also taken an interest in Impulse, so win or lose, I think we’ll see some kind of confrontation at Aggression.
DM: Taking Dis’ history with EPW into account, I definitely admire Impulse’s guts, if not his brains.
MN: Michael Bastard will be admiring his guts, up close and personal, before too long.
DM: …That’s gross.
DT: Impulse holding the ropes for Calico Rose as they enter the ring to a nice reaction from the crowd, but he’s keeping an eye on Michael – we haven’t heard the bell yet but he looks like he’s red – lining already!
MN: If he’s so concerned about his chick being in the ring while Bastard is, she should stay on the floor where she belongs.
DM: I’d be hard pressed to argue with him in this case. This is a championship match, and Impulse should be prepared for what that means.
[SFX: DING DING DING!]
DT: BASTARD JUST CLUBBED IMPULSE FROM BEHIND!
MN: So if he was red – lining, was the bell the checkered flag?
DT: Michael Bastard with a series of stiff forearms to Impulse’s head and chest, he’s beating his challenger down to the mat! Now he’s kicking the Marathon Man while he’s down!
MN: Well that was fun, shall we move on to the next match?
DM: It ain’t over, kid.
MN: Who you calling kid?
DM: I can still turn you inside out without breaking a sweat.
DT: Will you two stop?
MN: Yessir, massah Burgerman.
DT: Bastard with both hands around Impulse’s neck, and he pulls him to his feet, and a choke toss across the ring! Impulse pulling himself up in the corner, and Bastard just sandwiched him, chest first, against the turnbuckle! Cross corner whip, and Impulse landed hard on his back!
DM: He hasn’t had a moment to breathe, and I think Bastard is going in for the kill.
DT: Michael Bastard charges, Impulse staggers out two, three steps – DROP TOE HOLD! Bastard’s head bounced off the bottom turnbuckle, and Impulse pushed himself back to the adjoining corner to catch his breath!
DM: That was a perfectly legitimate move!
MN: What, a Greco – Roman turnbuckle to the head?
DT: Impulse trying to clear his head after the initial assault, and Bastard is on his knees in front of the corner, doing the same!
[SFX: Huge pop from the crowd]
DM: Bastard looks like he’s pretty cleared out, and he turns around – we’ve got a staredown from across the ring, who’s going to blink first?
DT: BASTARD CHARGES!
MN: You don’t hear that too often.
DT: Sidestep, and a knee to the gut! Impulse hooks him from behind, and a rollup! ONE… TWO… Kickout!
MN: If he thought that’s all it would take, he’s got another thing coming.
DT: I’m sure he wasn’t surprised by the kickout, Mike.
MN: Then why cover?
DT: You never know.
MN: Not true – sometimes you know.
DT: Impulse sitting on the top turnbuckle as Bastard gets to his feet, and a missile dropkick just put the Champ back down! Cover, ONE… TWO… Kickout by Bastard!
DM: Each attack by either man puts victory that much closer, and even kicking out can sap a wrestler’s strength.
DT: The Amazing Logan slapping the mat outside, trying to build Bastard’s momentum back up, Calico Rose is doing the same on the other side of the ring, shouting encouragement toward Impulse to keep the pressure on!
DM: Impulse is on his way to the top rope, this will either push him over the top or cost him dearly.
MN: He’s high risking it against a man who doesn’t feel pain, of course it’s going to backfire.
DT: Bastard turns… HEADSCISSORS TAKEDOWN! Impulse bridges with another cover, ONE… TWO… Kickout!
DM: What Bastard has to do right now is take a nine count outside and break up Impulse’s rhythm.
MN: What Bastard has to do is lure Impulse outside and dent his head with some steel.
DM: Nice, Mikey – real nice.
MN: What? He either wins via unconsciousness or gets DQ’d and keeps the belt.
DT: Michael Bastard does indeed roll to the outside, and he’s got his hand on the back of his head, staring at the ground! Impulse pacing inside the ring, and the fans are cheering as the referee counts two!
MN: See, now if Impulse was smart he’d go outside and punch Bastard with a chair.
DT: Impulse approaches the ropes – the referee just backed him off to boos from the fans! Bastard tries to get back in but Logan holds him back, and he’s whispering something in his ear! Get him out of there! Impulse is on the ropes again, and he’s pulled off by the referee again!
DM: That’s uncalled for – he’s never shown a sign that he’d do anything illegal.
MN: It’s a put – on, he’s been holding it in.
DT: The count starts anew, and Impulse throws up his hands! Logan talking to Bastard, Impulse leans over the top rope!
[IMPULSE: “Are we doing this, or what?”]
DM: And the referee pulls him back again. Shouldn’t he know by now?
DT: Well, the fans are booing Bastard’s extended stay outside, and he’s looking just as irritated. He’s a pretty straightforward brawler, and I think it’s going to throw off his game with Logan trying to pull this psychological stall tactic.
DM: But if Impulse did his homework on Bastard, he’s not going to be prepared for this either, and you can see his impatience is throwing Impulse off his game as well.
DT: Impulse backs up while the count continues, Logan with a slap on Bastard’s back and he sends him back in – IMPULSE WITH A RUN AT THE ROPES, SUICIDE SOMERSAULT DIVE OVER THE TOP!
DT: Bastard and Logan both got caught in Impulse’s dive, but Impulse is up first, and he’s rolled the Champion back in! Bastard on his knees, getting back to his feet… Impulse slingshots to the top rope, and he uses the leverage to bulldog – Bastard reverses! He spun around a moment too soon and landed a fist into Impulse’s stomach as he flew at him, and the challenger crumbles to the mat!
MN: JUST LIKE THAT.
DT: You are correct, Mike – the momentum shifted just like that. Impulse landed in a heap, and Bastard is right there laying in kicks to the side! Scoop and a slam!
MN: Picked him up like a piece’a paper!
DT: Bastard with another scoop, and he’s got a blatant choke! Referee is in there trying to get him to break it, but he’s got Impulse pinned down in the corner! One, Two, Three, Four, F- and he broke it.
DM: And he’s right back to it.
MN: He broke it, the count starts over. Nothing wrong with that!
DT: Bastard with a lift, and he’s got Impulse sitting on the top turnbuckle – IMPULSE WITH AN ELBOW! Bastard with a headbutt to Impulse’s chest!
MN: Well that was fun.
DT: Bastard up on the second rope, and a hard right hand! Another! Look at how Impulse’s head snaps back!
DM: This is where Michael Bastard excels.
DT: BELLY TO BELLY RELEASE SUPLEX FROM THE SECOND ROPE! Impulse just skidded across the ring!
MN: Cover him, you fool!
DT: There’s no cover, Impulse has rolled onto his side holding onto his shoulder, he might’ve landed on it on impact!
DM: Now, this is where Michael Bastard might have a disadvantage. He’s got Impulse rocked, but he isn’t going for the pin. I know he usually beats his opponents until they’re not moving but with Impulse’s resilience and stamina that might not happen – he’d do better hitting something hard and getting a cover when he’s not ready.
DT: Bastard off the ropes, and a legdrop across the back of Impulse’s neck!
MN: Isn’t that the neck he broke last year?
DT: It certainly is, and while he’s insisted time and time again that he’s at a hundred percent, neck and spinal injuries are some of the most difficult to come back from.
DM: The kid is too logical to risk his career, but if he’s also too proud to admit when he’s hurt, he could find himself in a ton of trouble.
DT: Michael Bastard with another scoop, and a stiff standing clothesline – JUST SENT IMPULSE THROUGH THE TOP AND MIDDLE ROPES! He landed on the floor in a heap, and Calico Rose is right there to check on him!
MN: So you were all ‘Get away from him’ when The Amazing Logan was talking to Michael Bastard, but this chick is all well and good?
DM: I don’t think she’s offering any kind of strategy or advice, Mike – she’s just asking him if he’s okay.
MN: So? Logan is a manager, he’s allowed to be there as long as he isn’t physically involved.
DM: I don’t disagree, I’m just telling you what I think the difference is.
MN: Well, Burger Time?
DT: I don’t think that little girl –
MN: HAH! BIASED!
DM: He’s got you there.
MN: Dean, I always liked you best. We should hang out.
DT: Referee’s count is at four, and Impulse is climbing to his feet—BASEBALL SLIDE BY BASTARD! Impulse hits the guardrail, Rose gets back! Bastard with a scoop and he just sent Impulse back into the ring!
[SFX: Rising chant of discontent from the crowd]
MN: DO IT! DO IT!
DT: Bastard glaring at Rose!
DM: She’s not a threat, he won’t do it.
DT: Fortunately, he left her alone.
MN: There you go again. Save the editorials for the editorial page – why is it fortunate?
MN: You assume we all like her. Maybe I’d prefer to see her slapped.
DT: … Bastard with a scoop on Impulse, GORDBUSTER!
DM: Here we go.
DT: Cover, ONE… TWO… TH—KICKOUT!
MN: This is where Bastard is going to pin him, his bell’s been rung.
DT: Impulse kicked out on the two and a half, and Bastard to the top rope… Kneedrop! Another cover! ONE… TWO… TH—KICKOUT again! But Impulse isn’t getting to his feet, he’s got a hand over his eyes.
DM: You can kick out on instinct, it doesn’t mean you’re aware of what’s happening.
MN: Impulse is never aware.
DT: Bastard scoops him up, we’ve seen this before – CAR CRASH in the corner! CLOTHESLINE TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD! Impulse is sandwiched against the turnbuckle!
MN: When the music’s over, turn out the lights!
DT: Logan shouting instructions to Bastard to finish him off, the Champ grabs Impulse by the back of the – IMPULSE SPINS OUT OF IT!
MN: I HATE WHEN HE DOES THAT!
DT: IMPULSE SIDESTEPPED AND SLID BEHIND BASTARD! HOOK OF THE HEAD AND ARM! CHICKEN WING CROSS FACE!
DM: That was a purely instinctual move, he doesn’t have it locked in all the way, and Bastard can easily get to the ropes.
MN: That’s the coward’s way out.
DT: Bastard maneuvers himself around, and he just backed up and sandwiched Impulse in the corner! The hold is broken, and Bastard turns around – IMPULSE WITH A SPINEBUSTER! BOTH MEN HIT THE MAT!
MN: Did you see how the Champ’s head bounced?
DM: Like I said, his instincts are good, but he doesn’t have enough to follow through.
DT: We’ve got a standing ten count, the fans are counting along, up to three! Four! Impulse rocks himself backwards, he nips up!
MN: WRONG, WHOPPER MAN!
DM: I don’t think he’s got enough to nip up, but he did roll through to his knees, resting on the middle rope.
DT: These fans are letting Impulse know they’re behind him, his eyes are open and clear but he’s breathing heavy – both men have been giving it their all since the bell rang! Bastard rolls over to his side and he’s climbing to his feet as well!
MN: How do you solve a problem like Michael Bastard? YOU CAN’T.
DM: If you start to sing I’m leaving.
DT: Bastard grabs Impulse by the head and pulls him up – IMPULSE WITH A FOREARM STRIKE! BASTARD WITH A RIGHT HAND! These two men are trading blows in the middle of the ring, neither man giving an inch!
DM: Impulse with two in a row, I think an inch was given.
DT: Bastard rocked! He staggers backward into the corner from the force of Impulse’s forearm blasts!
MN: Kick to the lower abdomen by the Champ just stopped Impulse cold!
DT: EXTREMELY LOWER abdomen!
MN: I’m just giving the benefit of the doubt.
DT: I’m not!
DM: I think Bastard realizes he can’t take any more chances, he’s got Impulse up on his shoulder for the Bastard Driver—
DT: IMPULSE HOOKED HIS HEAD! REVERSAL INTO A REVERSE DDT! These fans are on their feet!
MN: Which is more than we can say for Impulse!
DT: And Bastard.
MN: You have your favorite, I have mine.
DT: IMPULSE NIPS UP! He’s got his hands on his knees and he’s breathing hard but he’s the first to his feet! Bastard climbing… Impulse is behind him!
[SFX: DING DING DING! The fans begin to cheer even louder.]
DT: Calico Rose just slid into the ring, as did The Amazing Logan, and they’re checking on their respective charges! Can we get the official word?
TF: The winner of this bout…
[Pause, for dramatic tension]
TF: … and… NEW EPW Intercontinental—
[SFX: HUGE pop from the fans, somewhat stifled by the sudden stop.]
MN: Here we go, Bossman will make this right!
DT: Empire Pro Wrestling owner Dan Ryan on his way to the ring, though I can’t imagine why!
MN: He’s going to fire Impulse, of course. These two don’t like each other.
DM: They’ve conflicted in another company, Mike – not the Empire. I think both of these men are intelligent enough to separate one from the other.
MN: Listen, guys. If you beat up your boss – it doesn’t matter where – wouldn’t he fire you?
DT: Did you just threaten Dan Ryan while he’s on his way out here?
MN: NO I DIDN’T—
DT: Ryan has just retrieved the Intercontinental Championship belt from the timekeeper, and he’s slid into the ring! The Amazing Logan and Michael Bastard have both left, and they’re on their way backstage to a very nice ovation for Michael’s efforts, but the story is currently in the ring with Dan Ryan, Impulse, and the title belt!
[CUTTO: The ring, where Ryan has the Intercontinental Championship belt in one hand and is looking Impulse over. Impulse is standing, unmoving, in the middle of the ring with Calico Rose somewhat – not – really behind him.]
[Boy, it’s tense.]
DT: RYAN HANDED THE BELT TO IMPULSE!
[CUE UP: “Revolution Baby” by Queen V]
DM: And they shake hands. Both of these guys are smart enough to know that their roles here are different than their roles anywhere else.
MN: I still wanted to see Dan Ryan pop ‘em one.
DT: Well you’ll have to go home disappointed. On the other side of the coin, Impulse is on his way to the locker room with the title belt over his shoulder, and he’s trying to thank every fan that’s cheering for him personally! We’ll be right back!
EPW World Tag Team Titles: Stalker & Steven Shane (cc) vs. ANIMEZING DRAGON
[SFX: Ringing bell]
TF: The following contest is set for one fall, and is for the Empire Pro Wrestling WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP!
[The lights cut out in the arena, as the faint sounds of a thunderstorm roll across the PA, and soft golden lights flicker momentarily as a drone builds.
CUE UP: “Ikari No Jyushin”, also known as the theme to Jushin Liger…….]
[Green, gold and white lights scatter across the big screen before the lyrics kick in, the crowd popping as Karl “The Dragon” Brown and Otaku step from behind the curtain. “The Dragon” is dressed in green and gold tights with gold boots, and a green and gold ring jacket. Otaku, as guessed, is wearing his replica Jushin “Thunder” Liger costume in green and gold, complete with cape. As the lyrics first mention “Liger”, Otaku points to the heavens, pyro exploding overhead. Satisfied, the challengers make their way to the ring, hi-fiving fans. Brown slides under the bottom rope as Otaku vaults over, and each man stands on the middle rope, opposite sides of the ring, to salute the fans]
TF: Introducing first, the challengers! At a total combined weight of 441 pounds, they earned the right to fight for the titles at Aggression! They hail from Nottingham, England, and Neo Tokyo Tower respectively, and are the NUMBER ONE CONTENDERS to the WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP…
KARL “THE DRAGON” BROWN… OTAKU…
MN: Will these guys just give it a rest?!
DM: Let’s see, number one contenders who earned the right… I think they can have this.
MN: It’s all they’re getting!
DT: They’re certainly one of the oddest teams we’ve ever seen, but they really showed great chemistry to get here. Despite what the champions think this is not going to be a cakewalk, Brown’s a two time champion here in Empire Pro, and with Otaku’s time in Japan, this could be a very long night for Stalker and Shane.
[Their music comes to an end and then a few seconds later BOOM! Pyros shoot off and 'Did my Time' by Korn blares over the PA………..]
TF: Introducing next, The Champions, first weighing in at 224lbs. Hailing from Seattle Washington..... STALKERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!
[The fans reaction is as expected, a loud chorus of boos welcomes Jason Reeves as he steps from behind the curtains. Wearing Adidas pants and a wife beater, he has the tag team championship wrapped around his shoulder. As he makes his way to the ring he starts talking back to one of the fans heckling him. Approaching the ring, Jason notices a sign that says 'We Want Rocko!' in the front row. Stalking over to it he grabs it from the young fan, rips it in half and tosses it to the ground, spitting on it in the process. He climbs the steps to the ring hands the timekeeper his title and slouches down in his corner.]
MN: That's the Hardcore Icon right there!
DM: Really? *Shakes head.* Neely you seem to top yourself everyday with stellar comments.
MN: Thank you Dean.
TF: Next up the other half of the Tag Team Champions, weighing in at 253 lbs and hailing from Hollywood, California! "Sensational" STTTEEEVEEENNN SHANNEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!
[Strange chanting takes over the PA System. The crowds reactions turn from boos to a mix of cheers and still some boos. The lights go down and a fountain of pyros start lighting up the stage. "Power" by Kanye West hits the PA system and the crowd starts cheering more……]
[The pyros continue and then come to a slow stop as about 15 more seconds pass by and no one comes from beyond the curtains. Stalker looks down at the ramp confused and frustrated.]
DT: I wonder if Stalker knows that Steven Shane was seen walking into Caitlyn Daymon's locker room and not exiting just a few minutes before this match up.
DM: Well if he did know that i'm sure he'd be backstage right now acting like an idiot. Stalker just can't get over not being able to control the people around him and since Steven Shane is his own man, that just drives this maniac even nuttier.
[The music continues on for upwards of a minute before finally ceasing. Stalker turns to Pat Jones and shrugs his shoulders before looking at his opponents of Karl Brown and Otaku. He starts yelling at both of them and they look at him like he's a nut case. He turns to Pat Jones and tells him to ring the bell. Pat looks confused at first but quickly does as he asks. The bell rings!]
DT: In an interesting turn of events it looks like Stalker has informed Pat Jones to start this match without his partner!
MN: He's a smart man, he doesn't need Steven Shane to beat these clowns.
DM: We'll see about that one Neely.
DT: It looks like Otaku will be starting first and he is handing over his cape to the time keeper that he wore to the ring and from behind! Stalker wails him with a hard forearm. Karl is quite upset about this and steps into the ring but Pat Jones holds him off telling him the bell had rung! Stalker leads Otaku by the hair into the corner and slams him face first into the top turnbuckle!
MN: Come on Pat get Karl out of the ring already!
DM: Shut it Neely, Stalker delivered a cheap shot and Karl's just trying to defend his partner.
DT: Karl finally gives in and goes back to his corner while Stalker leads Otaku to the middle of the ring. He whips him against the ropes and connects with a HUGE clothesline!
DM: He charges at Karl who's on the ring apron and nails him with a cheap shot! Karl hits the ground, holding his head and Pat Jones is warning Stalker to back off.
MN: Turn around!
DT: TOO LATE! Otaku is back up and greets Stalker with a stiff right hand! Stalker connects with one of his own and they are trading blows in the middle of the ring!
DM: Karl Brown is up and he is pissed as he slides into the ring looking for revenge on Stalker's blindside hit! Pat Jones again blocks Karl from entering the ring!
DT: Otaku knees Stalker in the gut and sends him to the ground!
MN: Wow Pat is not on top of his game tonight as Karl is still arguing with him in the corner!
DM: It looks like Otaku is setting Stalker up and.... OH LOW BLOW! Pat didn't see it and now Karl is screaming at him! Finally Karl backs off as he tells Pat to check on his partner. Pat gets back to the legal men as Stalker is picking up the fallen Otaku. Jones gives a warning to Stalker who just gives him an evil grin.
DT: Well it looks like Stalker's early plan has worked thus far, let's see how long he can keep this up with his partner Steven Shane still missing in action!
MN: Like I said he doesn't need the Sensational One!
DM: Stalker has Otaku set up and he Suplexes him to the mat with a quick one. Quickly to his feet he grabs Otaku's legs and hooks him in a sharpshooter in the middle of the ring!
DT: Otaku is slapping the mat in pain! Pat Jones is looking over him there doesn't seem to be any quit in his eyes yet as he is literally dragging himself across the ring towards the ropes. Stalker releases the hold and starts dragging him by the legs to the center of the ring again! Stalker turns and kicks Otaku in the gut while he's on the mat.
MN: Smart planning here, Stalker is trying to wear out Otaku before the match can even really get started!
DM: Hooking his legs again, Stalker places him in another sharpshooter! Otaku yells in pain and this time he is not dragging his body across the ring. Pat is checking on him closely while Stalker is wrenching the legs back with a sadistic look on his face!
DT: The fans are starting to get behind Otaku, they are up on their feet cheering and this place is going crazy! Otaku feeling the energy musters his strength and starts pulling himself and Stalker closer towards the ropes. Stalker is in disbelief as he tries to hold his footing! Otaku however is inching closer and closer to the ropes and Stalker finally relenquishs the hold again! He turns to grab Otaku's legs again but Otaku KICKS HIM in the face!
MN: Cheap shot!
DM: Stalker stumbles back into his corner and Otaku is on his knees! Karl is screaming to get the tag and Otaku is crawling to get to him! Stalker regaining his senses sees Otaku close and he charges..... TAG! Otaku lunged out and hit the outstretched hand of Karl!
DT: Stalker immediately backs up as Karl hits the ring. Karl walks directly towards Stalker as he ducks out to the ring apron and avoids Karls arms as he jumps to the outside of the ring! Karl is frustrated as he yells in Stalker's direction to get in the ring.
MN: Man he is a master at these games.... I love it!
DM: Games? He's being a wuss!
DT: Well regardless Pat is telling Karl to back off and has started the 10 count! If Stalker stays out there long enough, The ANIMEZING DRAGON will walk away with the victory but without the titles!
DM: What is Stalker doing?
MN: He's staring up the ramp waiting for his stupid partner who has yet to show up!
DT: Karl's HAD ENOUGH! He runs past Pat and slides out the ring and grabs a distracted Stalker by the head! He nails him with a closed fist and leads him to the ring apron and slides him in! Stalker quickly to his senses crawls away from the ropes as Karl enters the ring!
DM: What the hell!
DT: Stalker got to his feet ran to our side of the ring and jumped out to the outside!
MN: Look at Karl! He can't believe his eyes! Stalker is baiting him again to the outside!
DM: Karl charges and slides out the ring again but Stalker immediately climbs the steps and is back in the ring again! Pat Jones is arguing with Stalker as Karl climbs back into the ring, Karl charges at Stalker, who uses Pat Jones as a shield to block Karl! What a loser!
MN: This is EPIC!
DT: Stalker pushes Pat Jones into Karl, who after trying to sidestep the incoming ref, gets NAILED with a stiff blow to the back of the head from Stalker! Jones is furious and he is warning Stalker if he does it again he's getting DQ'd! Stalker just laughs at him!
DM: He's a maniac.
MN: Nothing is stronger then a maniac with a plan.
DT: That looks to be the case for right now... Stalker is lifting Karl Brown to his feet, he hooks him, Russian Leg Sweep! He lifts him up without letting go and follows it with another! AND ANOTHER!
DM: He doesn't look to slow down as he is lifting Karl up and hooks him in the middle of ring, hooks his leg... FISHERMAN BUSTER!
DT: Stalker throws himself on top of Karl and hooks the leg.... 1......2..NO! Karl kicks out and Stalker slaps the mat in frustration. He stands up and looks at the rampway throwing his arms up in the air.
MN: Come on Stalk! You don't need Shane.. you got this all on your own!
DM: Walking back to Karl now, Stalker kicks him in the gut as Karl was on his knees getting up. He leans down to pick him up now and hooks him again... FRONT FACE Russian LEG Sweeep!
DT: Pulling Karl Brown to his feet now, Stalker whips him across the ring into Stalker's corner! Charging in, he nails him with a big body splash! Karl stumbles out of the corner but doesn't lose his footing and Stalker follows that up with a Running bulldog! Karl is out of it!
MN: Time to finish him Stalker!
DM: I think it's a bit early for that Neely, Karl Brown once lasted a full time limit draw with Lindsay Troy! I don't think he'll get pinned within the first five minutes of this match!
MN: We'll see about that one, Dean!
DT: Stalker lifting up Karl again pulls him closer to his corner and suplexes him to the mat.
MN: He's going to the top rope!
DM: Getting set, Stalker climbs to the top rope, perches himself... MOONSAULT!
DT: Connection! Stalker with a hook of the leg..... 1.....2...NO!! Karl kicks his legs out at the last second!
MN: That's Bull! Pat counted the three before Karl kicked out.
DM: I don't think so Neely.
DT: Well regardless I don't think Stalker is going to give up that easy. He's lifting Karl up again and grabs him around the waist... Karl seeing his chance, nails Stalker with a back elbow, he spins around to Stalker's back and hooks him... RELEASE GERMAN SUPLEX! Wow Stalker's head and neck just got pancaked on the mat and both men are down!
MN: Stalker has no one to tag out to! This is so unfair!
DM: I thought you said he didn't need his partner!
MN: This is a tag team match isn't it?!?
DM: Yeah but... whatever I give up.
MN: YEAH CAUSE YOUR WRONG!
DT: Stalker is pulling himself up in his corner while Karl is stumbling to his feet. Stalker looks back up the rampway shaking his head as his partner is nowhere to be seen.
DM: He better pay attention to the ring as Karl just reached out and tagged in Otaku!
DT: Otaku charges in the ring and meets Stalker in the middle of the ring with a running cothesline! Stalker quick to his feet again and is met with another decking clothesline! This one leaves Stalker laid out!
DM: Look at this crowd they are fired up at Otaku's energy! He stands over Stalker and lifts him up, straight under his arm and Suplexes him back to the mat. Otaku runs to his corner... climbs to the top rope. Sets himself up... FLYING HEADBUTT!! Stalker rolls around the ring in pain as he holds his upper shoulder area!
MN: What kind of idiot uses his head as a weapon?
DT: An idiot that has just taken the upper hand of this match and now has a pin on Stalker...
DM: Stalker barely kicks out of that one and Otaku is quick to get to his feet. Lifting Stalker up yet again he whips him into the corner.. he charges.. Yakuza KICK! Stalker just flopped face first into the mat after that one! Otaku poses for the crowd and they are on fire cheering for him!
MN: These people are idiots, cheering for some costumed lunatic!
DM: As a opposed to cheering on a delusional lunatic?
MN: I don't follow.
DM: Of course you don't.
DT: Otaku is now climbing the top ropes. He looks back at Stalker who is just now climbing to his knees. Otaku poses for the crowd once again and they lift the roof off with their cheers.
*O-TAK-U!* *O-TAK-U!* *O-TAK-U!*
DT: Stalker is stumbling up to his feet now.. and HOLY COW! Otaku just did a backwards somersault off the top rope and DDT'd Stalker straight into the mat!
DM: I believe he calls that move Fire! Listen to this crowd!
*O-TAK-U!* *O-TAK-U!* *O-TAK-U!*
DT: Otaku looks to tag in a reenergized Karl Brown! He does and Karl hits the ring and heads right over to the fallen Stalker. Lifting him up he hooks him and Suplexes him into the mat! He quickly lifts him up again and DDT!!
DM: Lifting Stalker up again... Karl looks to finish this... he hooks him from behind... DRAGONSUPLEX and he holds it for the pin
DM: Stalker barely gets his shoulder up. Karl slaps the mat in frustration as he stands back up.
DT: He pulls Stalker up... backs up a few steps... STANDING DROPKICK! Karl walks over and tags Otaku back in.. they talk something over and Otaku races to the opposite side of the ring. Stalker is getting up to his knees now and Pat Jones starts giving the 5 count for Karl to get out. Stalker up on his knees now and ANIMEZING Dragon charges at Stalker and connect with a DOUBLE SHINING WIZARD!
MN: What the hell that's cheating DQ him ref!
DM: It's not cheating it's called team work... which Stalker would understand if he didn't treat his partner like extra weight instead of an actual person. I wouldn't be surprised if that's why Shane hasn't shown up tonight!
DT: Stalker is out cold and Pat Jones escorts Karl to his corner. Otaku hooks the leg for the pin and Pat comes back to count....
DT: He kicks out in just enough time!
DM: Otaku looks poised to put Stalker away now... He lifts him up... looks like he's going for the Liger Sword here. Stalker blocks it! He drives Otaku with his shoulder into the corner turnbuckle! He drives his shoulder into him two more times before lifting a breathless Otaku onto the top rope! Stalker climbs with him... hooks him... SUPERPLEX!!
MN: YESSS!!! There we go!
DT: Stalker is completely exhausted.. having to fight two men with no partner to tag out to is taking it's toll on him.
DM: Well it's his own fault.
MN: Steven Shane is just a wuss.. I don't care if he got jumped in that locker room he should find his way out here and help his partner out!
DT: Even though Otaku was on the receiving end of that move he is the first to his feet... quickly followed by Stalker. Otaku charges at him and grabs him by the arm.. Stalker meets him with a forearm and he uses his arm to whip Ota...NO!! Otaku reverses the irish whip and sends Stalker flying directly into Pat Jones! They collide and Pat falls to the mat and rolls out of the ring in sever pain!
DM: Otaku looks worried for a second about what just happened but then immediately poses for the crowd which again gives him loud cheers!
MN: Look at this idiot he's posing for the crowd after hitting the ref!
DM: It wasn't on purpose Neely and no one ever said Otaku was the smartest guy around!
DT: Karl Brown hops off the ring apron and goes to assist the fallen Pat Jones.
DM: Otaku is lifting up Stalker and is signaling the crowd that he is going to finish him! Once again he hooks him for the Liger Sword but....OHHHH Low blow from Stalker! What a cheap shot artist.
DT: He's not through yet... Stalker stands up hooks him... EVENFLOW!!! Karl doesn't even see what just transpired in the ring as he is assisting Pat Jones to his feet.
MN: Stalker with the cover and no ref! WHAT THE HELL! 1....2.....3.....4......5.!!!! HE WINS DAMMNIT Where is Pat!
DM: You aren't a ref Neely your counting doesn't qualify him for victory.
DT: He still has Otaku's legs hooked as Pat climbs himself into the ring. Karl realizes what is happening and starts pounding the mat for Otaku to get up.... Pat Jones slides in for the count....
DT: Otaku got his shoulder up and Stalker can't believe it!
DM: Stalker is to his feet and he lifts up Otaku... he whips him against the ropes.. Otaku DUCKS a clothesline bounces back and connects with a Dropkick! Stalker is out! Otaku quick to his feet poses for the crowd yet again!
DT: Karl yells for him to tag and he does.
MN: Oh man... come on Stalker get up!
DM: I think he's done Neely. So does Karl.
DT: Stalker can barely be lifted to his knees he's so exhausted and Karl drags him over to his team's corner... Oh man are we seeing that move again?
DM: Karl slaps a tag towards otaku and then hooks Stalker. Pat Jones steps back quite a few paces as Otaku climbs to the top ropes. Karl pulls Stalker up... hangs him... up... there.... forever...... VERTICAL SUPLEX AND OHHH MY GODDD!!!
*EPW* *EPW* *EPW*
DT: SHOOTING STAR PRESS FROM OTAKU! He hooks the legs.. Pat Jones with the count.......1......2........
DT: New Tag Team Champions!!!
DM: ANIMEZING DRAGON! Are the new tag team champions! The time keeper hands Pat Jones the only tag belt at the ring and he hands it to Otaku who holds it against his chest as the fans are going nuts!!
[Karl Brown and Otaku move to the center of the ring and hold the tag team title up in the air together…….]
[The fans cheer like crazy as Stalker crawls himself into the corner and just stares at the situtation. Otaku does a few more poses for the crowd and they begin to exit the ring. “Ikari No Jyushin”, which had been playing since Otaku scored the pin, stops playing over the PA and "Death Is This Communion" by High On Fire starts to play over the PA system……]
[Caitlyn Daymon and The Masked Man walk out from behind the curtains and as they pass Animezing Dragon, Caitlyn shakes both of their hands in congratulations as the fans continue to cheer loudly. The Masked Man starts to charge the ring as Stalker notices them and tries to make a slow exit.]
[Before Stalker can leave however, The Masked Man is in the ring and charging at him. Stalker ducks the first punch but the second one connects sending him falling to the corner! The Masked Man body splashes him while he's in the corner and Stalker stumbles out falling face first on the mat.]
MN: This is bull****! Stalker is worn down from his match and now Caitlyn decides to send her goon for him?!
DT: Well she did inform Dan Ryan that she would stop holding back.
MN: She's just a a woman with a grudge.
DM: Which makes her the most dangerous thing in wrestling!
[Caitlyn grabs a mic and a steel chair from the time keeper and enters the ring. The Masked Man has been pounding away at Stalker who is lying lifeless on the ground.]
Caitlyn: I warned you that it would come to this Jason. I warned you! And now... now i'm going to have my friend here destroy your career.... one... bone... at a time. Start with his right ANKLE!!
[The masked man grabs the chair and wraps it around Stalker's ankle. He pulls him over to the corner and climbs to the top rope.]
MN: I can't watch.
[Neely ducks his face under the announcer's table. The loud crash and crack can echo through the arena. Even over the loud cheering of the fans. Stalker is screaming pain has he rolls around in the ring holding his ankle.]
Caitlyn: Now the left one!
[Stalker pulls himself over to the ropes trying to get away but the Masked Man pulls him back. Just then EPW security hits the ring and seperates the masked man from Stalker and pulls Caitlyn Daymon back as well.]
Caitlyn: God damn you... Dan! I told you!!! LET ME DO THIS!!! IT'S BETTER FOR EVERYONE!!
MN: That's the screams of a mad woman right there!
DT: Well folks it looks like Security has officially broken up this attack and now EMTs have hit the ring to assist Stalker. What a wild turn of events! Let’s go backstage, where Kenny Lombardo is standing by with Dis!!
[CUT TO: Backstage….
Stalker: You were jumped!?!? JUMPED BY WHAT?!? A GANG?! I was out in that ring for nearly 30 minutes with no tag partner. We lost the belts because of YOU!
[The camera catches up with Stalker, on crutches, yelling at a Steven Shane who happens to be on a stretcher being attended to by EMTs.]
Stalker: So how did you manage to get jumped in Caitlyn Daymon's locker room? I thought I told you not to hang around that *****!?!
Shane: Like I said before: you stay out of my business, I'll stay out of yours.
Stalker: Stay out of YOUR business? Thanks to you playing around in that *****'s locker room, WE have no more business together.
Shane: You know what? I may be on a stretcher, but from where I'm sitting, that sounds pretty damn good to me.
[Stalker and Shane meet eye to eye in an intense stare down. Finally, Stalker turns to hobble away, but then thinks better of it. He turns back around and DRILLS Shane, turning over the stretcher and sending Shane spilling to the floor. The EMTs do all they can to get in between the two men and keep Stalker off of Shane. Stalker then looks to Shane and finally composes himself before finally turning and walking away from his former tag team partner.]
MAIN EVENT: EPW WORLD TITLE - Anarky (c) vs. Copycat w/special guest referee....
[The lights go out for a second before flickering on and off as “The People That We Love” by Bush begins……]
[For the song's opening seconds, the video monitor shows only a flashing siren. When the drums first kick in, the monitor shows a sped-up version of Copycat running Dan Ryan down with his car. When the drums drop back out, the siren -- now with Copycat's dead eyes layered over it -- reappears. When the drums kick in again, the video monitor changes to the typical in-ring highlights as Copycat comes through the curtains, followed closely by his protégé, Aaron Jones. Copycat slowly walks to the ring, not acknowledging the crowd on either side of him, eyes fixated on the ring]
MN: Woo yeah! Come on, Cat!
DT: The challenger’s got a lot going for him heading into tonight. He’s been able to get under Anarky’s skin, he went toe to toe with him on Aggression a few weeks back.
DM: We could be looking at the next World Champion.
MN: No could about it, he’s the next champ, I give it a few minutes. Maybe ten.
[CUE UP: “More Human than Human” by White Zombie……..]
[The crowd ERUPTS as Anarky steps from behind the curtain, his eyes burning with rage. He ignores the pyro that’s been added for the occasion. He ignores the fans. He ignores everything, except Copycat in the ring]
DM: The champ looks totally… not focused, but pissed off!
DT: We’ve heard a lot from these two in the past few weeks, and Copycat’s spent months getting inside Anarky’s head.
MN: Cat’s going to save Empire Pro, tonight. Anarky can’t stand that.
DT: Anarky’s like a caged beast in the ring, he wants this match to start, let’s head over to Tony for the announcements.
TF: The following contest is scheduled for ONE FALL, and is for the EMPIRE PRO WRESTLING… WORLD… HEAVYWEIGHT… CHAMPIONSHIP!!
Introducing first, in the corner to my left. He is accompanied at ringside by his protégé, Aaron Jones, and weighs in at 280 pounds, and hails from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Tonight, he challenges for the World Heavyweight Championship… he… is…
DM: I bet Copycat’s talking with your voice these days. Your head’s so far up his ass.
TF: And in the corner to my right, weighing in at 231 pounds, he comes to us from Hartford, Connecticut… he is the King of the Cage… and is the reigning… and defending… EMPIRE PRO WRESTLING WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION!!
TF: And introducing, your special guest referee for this contest!
MN: Oh, I forgot about this!
[The crowd grow slightly restless]
"TURN AROUND AND PICK UP THE PIECES!"
[A BURST of black and gold pyro goes off as “Pieces” by Hoobstank kicks in………]
[And the crowd ROARS as Larry Tact steps through the entrance, observing momentarily before heading down the ramp]
TF: LARRY… TAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCCCCTTTTT!!
DT: NO WAY!
MN: NO… WAY!!
DT: Dean, did you hear anything about this?
DM: No. It’s going to be interesting how this goes, Larry was with Copycat in Anthology, Anarky was in HOPE.
DT: But Cat didn’t do anything to help Tact when he was fired!
DM: I know Dan Ryan had someone campaigning to go after Cat, but Larry Tact? Has he got his job back?
DT: Copycat asking Larry what he’s doing here, Tact’s grabbed a referee’s shirt from the time keeper, he’s in the ring. Anarky hasn’t taken his eyes off Copycat, Tact calls for the bell, ANARKY WITH A SPEAR! Mounting Cat, right hands, hard stiff rights, Larry’s standing back, Cat trying to put up a guard, Anarky back to his feet, stomping away, Cat trying to get to the corner but Anarky with hard stomps!
DM: This isn’t going to be a wrestling match, this is going to be a fight! The champion didn’t even wait for Copycat to turn around.
MN: Cat was still talking to the ref! This is bull!!
DT: Anarky with Copycat up, hard forearms to the head, Irish whip, Copycat reverses, Anarky up on the turnbuckle, cross body and back to the hard rights!
MN: Those are closed fists! Why’s Larry not doing anything?! They were in Anthology!!
DT: Tact telling Anarky to back it up, the champ glares at him.
DM: Remember who the official is. Larry Tact does things for himself.
DT: Anarky turns around, Copycat back up in the corner, thumb to the eye by the challenger.
MN: Cat grabbing that punk, go on! Hit him again!
DT: Copycat has Anarky by the hair, drags him to the centre of the ring. Boot to the midsection, off the ropes, Anarky avoids the boot and fires right hands again! Cat knocked down, again, blocks the right but a boot by Anarky, hooks the head...
DM: And the Cat races out of the ring. Anarky was going for the Chaos Breaker there, wanting to take Copycat out early.
DT: Aaron Jones is with his mentor, Copycat needs to slow things down. Anarky’s pacing in the ring, Larry Tact having a few words with him.
MN: He should! Those were blatant closed fists, hammering on the saviour of Empire Pro!
DM: Is it just me or are there a lot of saviours these days?
DT: Copycat cautiously into the ring, Anarky with a boot to the head. Drags Cat to the middle of the ring, scoops him up – big power slam, the challenger’s in a world of hurt!
DM: Copycat needs to get something going his way soon, or this’ll be over.
MN: He’s just giving Anarky a chance to wear himself out.
DT: Anarky with hard stomps to Cat. Peeling him off the canvas, he shoves him back into the corner, big right hands, driving Cat to his knees. Copycat can’t defend himself!
MN: And Tact’s just standing there!
DT: Irish whip far side, Cat hits the corner hard. Anarky comes in, Aaron Jones is up on the apron but Anarky goes straight at Copycat, forearm to the jaw. Hooks the head, side Russian leg sweep!
Kickout by Cat.
MN: Did that count look a little quick to you?
DM: Not really.
DT: Anarky grabbing Cat from the mat, drives a knee into the midsection, and just throws Copycat to the outside!
DM: These fans are really enjoying seeing the champion be so dominant.
DT: Anarky to the outside, Aaron Jones quickly stepping in front of Copycat. Anarky shoves the kid aside, big shot to the throat by Cat!
MN: Yeah! Nail that moron!
DT: Copycat used the distraction to his advantage, side Russian leg sweep against the barricade!
DM: After the early punishment he’s taken, that kind of move is going to be a Godsend. It’ll take more out of Anarky and give Cat time to get his bearings back.
MN: Cat doing the smart thing, shaking the cobwebs and nailing Anarky with kicks of his own. That’s why he’s the saviour.
DT: Copycat bringing Anarky to his feet, Larry Tact out keeping an eye on things, he’s letting things go without a count.
DM: Special guest refs like to do that. Let the wrestlers settle things for themselves.
DT: Cat with Anarky by the hair, scoops him up and a sidewalk slam on the outside. Big impact moves, what we’d expect, Dean?
DM: From Cat, yes. Anarky’s the bigger hitter in a brawl so Copycat’s going to try and slow things down.
DT: Cat taunting Anarky, still glancing over at Larry. Rolls Anarky into the ring, Cat on the apron – MISSES THE SLINGSHOT SPLASH!
DM: Anarky back to his feet, wincing a little, but catches Copycat with a beautiful dropkick!
MN: Why’s he doing stuff like that?! Hitting Copycat!
DT: Because it’s a world title match!
MN: No excuse.
DT: Anarky with Cat up again, a couple of quick shots to the jaw, Irish whip, POWERSLAM!!
MN: Fast count!
DT: Anarky’s yelling at Tact for the count, he didn’t like the speed of the referee's hand on that one.
DM: Yes, he thought it was quicker than it should have been.
DT: Larry Tact’s shrugging, he says it was a good count. Anarky with Cat up, grabs him by the throat and forces him back against the corner!
MN: HEY! GET IN THERE!
DT: Tact telling Anarky to let Cat out of the corner, starts the count, Anarky lets go at four.
DM: Anarky using those fists that’ve brought him so much success, whips Cat, reversed, Cat sidesteps the rebound, Anarky with a flying forearm!!
Copycat rolls the shoulder, the hand was almost down for two.
[Nailing Cat on top of the skull with the point of the elbow, Anarky drags him to the corner, hooking the head. Anarky sits up on the top rope as the crowd start to cheer in anticipation, but as the champion leaps off for a tornado DDT, Copycat grabs the top rope. Anarky lands on his feet, still with the headlock, but the sudden change has given Copycat a chance to put a plan into action and he hits an atomic drop. Anarky lets go of the headlock, and Copycat ducks behind for a release German suplex that sees Anarky smash the back of his head hard against the mat]
DT: Copycat into the lateral press...
Anarky rolls the shoulder, that was close!
DM: Anarky hit the back of his head hard, that can disorientate you and Copycat hoped it would be enough for the win.
MN: Come on! Put him away!
DT: Copycat drops a knee on the back of the neck, this is where the technical skills come into play, grabbing the arm into a hammerlock, no, chickenwing!
DM: Anarky’s not able to block it, and Copycat really wrenching on the shoulder, pressing down with his knee in the small of the champion’s back.
MN: Sometimes it’s easy to underestimate just how good Copycat is. He’s so modest about it.
DT: Calling himself the saviour of Empire Pro isn’t exactly modest.
MN: Yes it is.
DT: Copycat still with the arm locked, look at the strength! Holding Anarky’s head off the canvas, slams it into the mat!
DM: Shoots the half nelson into a pin....
Anarky kicks out.
MN: Oh come on! That was slow as hell!
DM: It did looks slow. Copycat yelling at Larry.
[The challenger’s former Anthology ally ignores the protests, waving for the match to carry on. Copycat brings Anarky to his feet, grabbing him by the arm and hitting a hammerlock-assisted powerslam. He goes for the cover, but Larry takes his time getting into position, leaving Cat yelling again]
MN: This is unfair!
DM: I’m sure Larry would say he had to get into the right position.
MN: Not that damn long!
DT: Copycat glaring at Larry, grabs Anarky by the wrist and wrenches him up to his feet. Arm twist, wrist lock WOAH! What a display of strength! Holding Anarky up by the wrist, and slams him down hard!
DM: There’s a good size difference but that’s still 230 pounds. Copycat is definitely impressive.
DT: Copycat grabs the arm again, hooks the arms, dragon suplex!!
MN: OH COME ON!!
DT: Larry Tact signalling the two.
MN: That was slow and you know it!
[Mike’s right, the count was slow. Copycat, furious, screams at Larry to count properly, but gets caught with a roll up! Cat quickly kicks out, grabbing Anarky by the arm and hitting a short-arm clothesline, but that again gets a long, drawn-out count from the special guest referee. Cat is up quickly, screaming at Larry, which gives Anarky a few seconds to recover and pull himself up against the ropes]
DT: Copycat getting in Tact’s face, Anarky up against the ropes, shaking out the arm. Look at the champ’s face!
DM: Copycat turns around, headbutt to the midsection by Anarky!
MN: That was low!
DT: It looked a little low, Copycat doubled over, Anarky throws him through the ropes to the outside!
[Shaking the arm out one last time, Anarky steps out onto the apron. He stalks Cat, and as the challenger gets to his feet, Anarky launches himself with a cross body that sends Cat down hard. Copycat grabs his knee as Anarky starts nailing him with right hands, Aaron Jones rushing to his mentor’s aid]
DT: Larry Tact getting in Jones’ way!
DM: I think Cat might have twisted his knee when he got hit by that cross body. Anarky hammering with rights.
DT: The champ brings Copycat to his feet, Cat definitely struggling with the right knee. Anarky has him against the ring barricade, kicks at the knee, Jones tries running round the other side.
DM: Cut off by Tact, Anarky throws Cat into the ring apron!
DT: Anarky with Cat by the throat again, Irish whip TOWARD US!!
MN: Don’t you dare!
DT: Cat with a thud against our announce table, Anarky lifting up that protective padding they have at ringside!
[Larry Tact, as referee, steps in to ask Anarky what he’s doing – or at least makes a motion to. Copycat struggles to his feet, using the announce table to support his weight, as Anarky kicks him in the gut. Hooking the head, the champion drags the challenger over to the exposed concrete floor]
DT: Anarky hooks the head, Copycat’s blocking it. The champ with a shot to the back, hooks the head, Copycat with a shot to the midsection, another, a right to the jaw.
MN: Come on! Nail that loser!
DT: Anarky with a right of his own, Cat, blocked, thumb to the eye by the challenger.
MN: Goes behind, hooks the head....
DT: DRAGON’S BITE!! DRAGON’S BITE ON THE FLOOR!!
MN: THAT’S why he’s so damn good! Brown could never have hit it that beautifully!
DT: Copycat living up to his name, copying that move and executing it so well, onto the concrete floor!
DM: Looking at the replay, look how quickly he lifts the champ up and drops. Nearly perfect.
DT: What a sudden move! Aaron Jones is ecstatic!
DM: Cat hasn’t won the title yet.
DT: Larry Tact’s checking Anarky, he hit the concrete hard. Copycat checking on his knee, holding himself up with the apron.
[Satisfied that no real damage was done, Copycat stalks Anarky, dragging him to his feet and rolling him back under the bottom rope. Larry Tact slides in ahead of Copycat, again checking Anarky, until Copycat comes in and drops the leg across the champion’s throat. Instead of going for the cover, Copycat hits another leg drop, which is quickly followed by an elbow drop]
DT: Copycat looking to take firm control of this match up, repeated shots there.
DM: The best thing about Copycat is his versatility. He’s already shown himself a master technician over the past few months, a master manipulator, and now we’ve seen how good he is with other people’s signature moves. If he can keep up this pressure for a few minutes we could have a new World Champion.
MN: We will have a new World Champion, moron!
DT: Copycat bringing Anarky back to his feet, sidewalk slam. Into a cover......
Left shoulder barely up by Anarky, you’ve got to think if Cat had hooked the leg it would be over!!
[Unperturbed, Copycat heads to the corner. Measuring the champion, he climbs the buckle and hits a knee to the temple. Another cover scores a two count, Copycat yelling at Larry Tact this time, but the challenger still has the wherewithal to press his advantage, hooking Anarky by the head and hitting an implant DDT]
MN: Oh come on, Larry! That was clearly a 3!
DM: The count was actually pretty good, Mike. Copycat still refusing to hook the leg.
MN: He shouldn’t have to! In the past couple of minutes that’s three, three, close calls, and Larry’s been counting slow all match!
DM: He’s also let a lot go, he could have disqualified Cat a couple of times.
DT: Copycat glaring at Tact, he’s got Anarky by the hair. Back into the corner, takes a step back – knee to the face! Elbow to the back of the head! Hooks the head, BIG TIME DDT there! Anarky flops down to the mat, Copycat not going for the cover!
DM: He’s signalling that this is it.
DT: Copycat brings Anarky to his feet, hooks the head, turns – CHAOS NO!! Anarky spins out of the Chaos Breaker! Anarky ducks a right hand from Copycat, blocks another one, Anarky under, off the ropes, cross body block!!
Kickout by Copycat, Anarky with a desperation move there!
MN: How insulted would he have felt getting beat by his own move? Chortle.
DM: It’s embarrassing as heck. Anarky not to his feet yet, Copycat moving in, Larry Tact telling Cat to watch the closed
MN: LOW BLOW!!
DM: Never mind.
DT: You can’t call that desperation from the champion. It’s his nature, it’s why the fans love him. They’re really cheering, Anarky back to his feet, he’s looking really groggy, but he moves in and starts BITING COPYCAT ON THE FOREHEAD!!
MN: STOP BITING HIM YOU CANNIBAL!!
DM: That’s a name I haven’t heard in a while.
DT: Larry Tact letting it go, he wants to see a winner, I guess.
[That must be it. Letting go and wiping his mouth, Anarky spits in the corner to try and get rid of the vile taste of Copycat. Cat stumbles against the ropes, Anarky moving in with a right to the midsection. An Irish whip leads to a shoulder block takedown, which Anarky follows with a knee across the throat and right hands to the skull]
DT: Lateral press!!
DM: Anarky breaks his own cover?
DT: That count was ridiculously quick.
DT: Anarky barking at Tact, demanding he call this match better than he has been, if nothing else. Boot to Copycat’s head, and back to Tact.
MN: I’ll give that idiot some credit for not wanting to win. He looks like he knows his place, beneath Copycat.
DT: Anarky grabbing Copycat by the head, pulling the ear, BIG elbow to the jaw and a knee to the back of the head!
DM: That was the kind of thing you expect in a back alley brawl, not a world title match. Interesting though.
[The champion, still slightly groggy, peels Copycat back to his feet. Hooking him round the waist, he drilled him with a belly to back suplex by the ropes]
Aaron Jones just saved Cat!
MN: No, Cat got his own foot on the ropes.
DT: Aaron leant in and grabbed the foot. Larry Tact calling it fairly there, though, the foot was on the rope.
DM: Anarky up to his feet first, kicks at the knee of Copycat. Irish whip, Anarky ducks the head, Copycat with a boot to the head, hooks him, SCREWDRIVER! STEINER SCREWDRIVER!!
DT: Back to the head! Massive hit there!
MN: COVER HIM!!
DT: Copycat into the cover, the count....
DT: NO! Anarky gets the shoulder up, again no hook of the leg!
DM: There’ve been some HUGE shots in this match! About 15 minutes gone at a guess, they’re both looking groggy, targeting the head mostly, we might have our first knock-out in a world title match!
MN: Yeah, for Copycat! Anarky’s going to get creamed so badly, Tact’ll have to end it.
DT: Copycat with a massive display of power with that move. He’s got Anarky, drags him over to the ropes, foot on the throat and Tact is making the count....
MN: HEY! Larry’s not counted a damn thing Anarky’s done!
DT: Copycat shaking his head at the referee, Larry does have the power to disqualify the self-professed saviour.
[Copycat kicks Anarky under the bottom rope, the champion thudding to the floor where the padding had earlier been removed. The challenger turns his attention to the referee, arguing against the favouritism that’s been shown, as Aaron Jones, seeing an opportunity, charges in and kicks Anarky full in the face. The crowd lay into Pat Jones’ son, but the protégé of the One True Saviour just kneels and raises his head in glory to Cat. Back inside the ring, Larry has threatened Cat with a disqualification if he lays a hand on him, but Cat just shakes his head and heads outside]
MN: ‘Atta boy, Aaron! Even you could be Anarky.
DT: Copycat with Anarky up, drags him onto the apron, I can’t believe Aaron would do that after Anarky saved him so much punishment against Stalker and Shane.
DM: Sidewalk slam on the edge of the apron!
DT: Copycat with a nice move there, targeting the back and the spine right on the edge of the ring.
MN: This is over, soon, and Aaron was helping Cat test Anarky and you know it. Stop interrupting rants with calling the match.
DT: I’m… I give up.
MN: Did Anarky just quit?!
DT: I said *I* give up, Mike!
DM: Wishful thinking, Neels.
DT: Copycat rolls Anarky into the ring, drops the knee into the back, and almost a camel clutch in the centre of the ring!
DM: The fans are really behind Anarky, not wanting him to give up. I don’t think he’s going to.
MN: He will.
DM: Five bucks?
MN: You already owe me money, Dean.
DT: Anarky trying to prise Copycat’s fingers apart, the knee right in the champ’s back, look at the torque on this hold!
DM: It’s not as painful on the back as a proper camel clutch but I think Copycat just wants to wear the champion down, he’s got something big lined up knowing him.
DT: Anarky trying, he’s grabbed the thumb!
DM: Those fighting instincts again.
DT: Bending the thumb back, Copycat can’t keep the hold on much longer....
[Just then, the microphones pick up a small “crack!”, and even Larry Tact looks a little queasy as Copycat yells in pain. Anarky lets go of the thumb and quickly gets to his feet as Copycat holds the left hand close to his chest. Anarky comes in and nails Cat with a right hand, but Cat shuts him down with a boot to the midsection]
DM: Copycat protecting the hand, did he break something?
DT: He might have. A kick to the face, one to the midsection again, he hooks the head again....
MN: NEW CHAMPION!
DT: But he can’t cover! Copycat’s rolled to the corner of the ring, still clutching the thumb on his left hand.
DM: Ouch! Did you hear that snap? I think he just popped the thumb back into its socket!
MN: COVER HIM!! COVER HIM CATDAMMIT!
DT: Copycat shaking out his hand, the pain must have been excruciating!
DM: Anarky’s stirring.
DT: Copycat grabs the champ, standing headscissors. Brings him up, FRANKENSTEINER!!
THRENO!! No! I thought Anarky had it, Cat’s head BOUNCED off the mat!
DM: Copycat waited too long to go back to the Litterbomb!
MN: Come on, Cat!
DT: Anarky is slowly getting back up, that Litterbomb is a nasty move, slams the head right snap into the canvas. Copycat dragging himself to the ropes, Aaron Jones is up on the apron, yelling at Anarky.
MN: Now there’s a fine thing for a champion to do!
DT: Anarky flips Aaron the bird, turns around, Cat’s back up, Anarky with a tackle! Mounted punches again, right hands, right hands to the skull.
MN: Blatant closed fists!
DT: Anarky hammering away on Copycat. He only knows one way, through you. Gets up, brings Copycat to his feet, hooks the waist – PILEDRIVER!!
NO! So close! So, so close!
DM: Again, it goes back to the head. Anarky would love it if he could knock Cat out, show he’s really the best there is.
DT: I honestly thought that Tact would show more support for his former Anthology partner, but if anything he’s been closer to Anarky this match.
MN: Biased! Biased officiating!
[The champion brings the challenger to his feet, making a cut-throat gesture as he hooks the head. He starts to turn, twisting Copycat into position, but Aaron Jones leaps up to the apron again. Although Tact moves towards the young man, Anarky lets go of the Chaos Breaker attempt, moving towards Jones. Copycat uses these few seconds to regain his composure, and as Anarky turns back around the champion is met with a snap Kit Kat Kick! Unfortunately for Copycat, Anarky was too close to the ropes still, and takes a spill, landing on his back at ringside]
DM: Aaron’s interference helps Cat that time.
DT: But Anarky tumbles out of the ring. Copycat holding the neck from that piledriver, to the outside. He’s got the champ by the head, smashes the head into the ring barricade.
MN: Get him back in the ring, Litterbomb, end it! Now!
DM: Trying to order Copycat to do something… not possible.
DT: Copycat with Anarky still, knee to the midsection. Chop to the chest, right by Anarky! Chop by Copycat, right by Anarky! Chop, thumb to the eye! Anarky with a rake of the face, shoves Copycat into the barricade, CLOTHESLINE!
MN: NO! THE UNCLEAN!
DT: Copycat into the front row! Anarky yelling at him to get up, Aaron Jones trying to get involved, turns away from Anarky
MN: Don’t you dare!
DT: Anarky hooks Copycat, back suplex over the barrier!
[Ignoring the roar of the fans and turning his attention to Copycat, Anarky drills him with a driving punt to the back. Cat scrambles away on all fours, but can’t get away from the champion. Anarky grabs him by the waistband, pulling him to his feet and rolling him into the ring. As Cat gets to his feet, Anarky, in a rare moment, hits a slingshot shoulder tackle, knocking the challenger down and landing in a cover]
DM: It’s going to take more than that. Not much more from how these two have hit each other.
DT: Anarky with Copycat up again, shoves him into the corner. Elbow to the top of the head, mounts the buckle, CODEBREAKER!!
Anarky breaks his own count again, right into Larry Tact’s face!!
DM: He wants this one clean.
DT: Anarky is literally SCREAMING at Tact to slow down the count! Did you ever think you’d see something like this??? Again with the cover....
Kickout by Anarky! School boy as Anarky was distracted, screaming at Tact.
[Startled, Anarky is quick to get to his feet. Copycat is a little slower, but the two men see each other at the same time, and have the same idea. Anarky charges, Copycat ducking a clothesline, and both men hit ropes opposite the other. Sprinting full force across the ring, Anarky ducks a clothesline, but on the rebound, both men score, landing in a heap in the middle of the ring]
DT: Both men down! Larry Tact checking them, is he going to count them out?
DM: Anarky retains the title if he does.
MN: DON’T COUNT!
DT: Tact raising one hand up – ONE!!! He’s counting!
DM: This could be bad. The punishment both men have taken, their brains must be rattled.
DT: Anarky is stirring, barely, Copycat breathing heavily. The count’s at four, five. Anarky rolls over onto Copycat for the cover....
THREENO!! NO! Copycat rolled the shoulder up! I thought that was it!
DM: Don’t have a heart attack, Dave.
DT: These two, this is one of the hardest hitting matches we’ve seen in a long long time.
[And it’s not over yet. Anarky, his head in his hands, screams in frustration. Grabbing Copycat by the head, he doesn’t see the right hand that nails him, the boot that doubles him over, or the....]
DT: CHAOS BREAKER!! CHAOS BREAKER!! CHAOS BREAKER BY COPYCAT!!!
MN: GET HIM!
DT: Lateral press, Tact in position....
DM: NO! Larry spotted Anarky’s shoulder barely, barely off the mat!
MN: NO! NO!
DT: Copycat can’t believe it! He’s hit Anarky with damn near everything!
DM: He’s going for it.
DT: Cat climbing the corner, can you believe this?
DM: It’s not often he’s up there.
DT: Copycat looking unsteady, leaps off –MISSES! DIVING HEADBUTT, BIG SPLASH, WHATEVER HE HAD IN MIND!
DT: Anarky at the ropes, dragging himself up, he sees Cat prone in the middle of the ring. Grabs him, hooks him, LITTERBOMB!??!
NO!! NO! NO! COPYCAT LIVES!
DM: You’re going to lose your voice!
MN: My heart!
DT: Copycat gets hit with the Litterbomb and survives!
DM: I can barely hear you over these fans!
DT: Anarky can’t believe it! He’s got Copycat by the head, headbutt by the champ. Copycat backed into the corner, Anarky mounts the corner – one! Two! Stiff right hands!
DM: Five, six!
MN: LITTERBOMB!! YES!!
THREE!! NO!! NO!! RIGHT SHOULDER SHOOTS UP AT THE LAST SECOND!! ANARKY IS STILL ALIVE!!
DT: Copycat, sorry, Copycat managed to change the corner punches into a Litterbomb, but, Dean, what happened?
DM: I don’t know. I’ll have to see a replay later, I thought that was it.
DT: Copycat is beside himself, rolls to the outside, looking about ready to collapse. He’s grabbed a chair from under the ring!
DM: They’ve got to stop leaving a hardware store under the ring.
DT: Copycat in the ring the with chair, Larry Tact warning him. Cat swings it...!!
DT: LARRY TACT JUST GRABBED THE CHAIR!!
DM: Copycat is FURIOUS!
DT: Tact warning him!
MN: If Ryan wants Cat to lose why doesn’t Tact just disqualify him?!
DM: Knowing Dan he wants Cat embarrassed.
DT: Larry Tact throws the chair out of the ring, Copycat right in his face…. Rollup!!
No! No. Anarky only gets the two.
DM: Copycat is trying to regain his composure by the ropes, Anarky shaking out the cobwebs.
[The fans are really cheering Anarky on as the champion slowly gets to his feet, his head pounding. He takes a moment to clear his eyes, shaking his head, as Copycat comes in with a knee to the gut and a European uppercut. An Irish whip attempt is reversed, with Anarky dropping Cat with a shot to the midsection which he follows with a brainbuster for a long, long two count. Mike Neely is beside himself, as Anarky grabs Cat and drags him to his feet as Aaron Jones gets up on the apron]
DT: Jones on the apron, Tact ordering him to get down, Anarky with a whip on Cat, reversed, ANARKY JUST FLEW INTO JONES!
Stalker: What the hell is going on around here?!?!?!
[Jason Reeves, bursting into Dan Ryan's office, hobbling along on his crutches.]
Stalker: First day you are back, I get attacked in the middle of the ring by some goon for no reason. Second day your back my partner disappears from our title match and I get attacked again! This time i'm walking on these damn things! What the hell kind of company are you running here!?!
Dan Ryan: The kind of company where people take care of their own problems instead of blaming everybody else. You didn’t seem to have a problem with things like this back when you were the one doing it…
Stalker: I could give a rat's ass! You know what I have been planning too f*cking long to have you come back and ruin my chances at winning this World Title.
Dan Ryan: I don’t know what you’re talking about. I have nothing to do with any of this. Maybe if you didn’t spend your entire career purposely pissing people off, you wouldn’t be in this situation. You really think I know who this guy is?
Stalker: Look, I don't care if it's Caitlyn Daymon, Anarky, Copycat, Triple X, The First or even you. No one is going to stop me from being able to strap that title around my waist and if I have to go through you to prove that then so f*cking be it.
Dan Ryan: Yeah, well… last I checked, I make the decisions around here. And, last I checked, people who threaten me don’t last very long. You better get yourself in check…. RIGHT NOW.
Stalker: This is my world... Dan. No woman with a grudge is going to prevent me from doing what I want to do. I don't give a **** if she's got you convinced that I'm the devil. You can't stop me... NO ONE CAN STOP ME!
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