LIVE from the Kingdom Coliseum in Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA
Event Summary | Chapter 1
“LADIES & GENTLEMEN… PLEASE WELCOME OUR WORLD CHAMPION, MALIK ROLAND!!” Peter Greenberg screamed over the microphone to the capacity crowd inside the Kingdom Coliseum.
“That’s Gangsta” by Shyne
Hustler, bad motherfucker
Brooklyn to the rucker, Cali and back
Court cases pendin, all the blood drug money spendin
Ferrari engines leave your whole fuckin block tremblin
“Here comes the baddest man in our industry, Malik Roland!” Alan McTaggart stated with enthusiasm.
“Yes Alan that would be quite hard to argue since he’s carrying all the gold.” Michael Decker retorted.
Out from behind the curtain emerged The Mammoth dripping in gold. The now defunct PWR World Championship slung over his right shoulder, accompanied by the grandest prize in professional wrestling today, the IGS World Championship which rested securely on his left shoulder. The sight of Roland changed the atmosphere inside the coliseum, a chorus of boos rained down in thunderous disapproval.
“Not a surprise this guy isn’t a favorite of our audience…”
“These fans wouldn’t know a winner if the man came and pinned them himself Decker!” Said Alan McTaggart cutting off Michael Decker.
“Whatever you say Alan. Here comes the Mammoth!”
Malik Roland descended down the ramp towards the ring ignoring the crowd every step of the way.
“WE HATE ROLAND”
The fans had a deep seeded hatred for Malik Roland for almost the entirety of his career, if one thing was a certainty the feeling was mutual. The Mammoth walked up the steel stairs, ducking into the ring he motioned for Peter Greenberg's microphone. Greenberg fearfully obliged Malik’s request.
“While you’re here, hold these for me!”
Malik Roland tossed both championship belts toward Greenberg, fumbling both championships Roland smirked and turned his attention back to the crowd.
“You people are staring greatness in the face and you have the gall to boo me? The PWR & IGS World Champion you boo?” Roland snickered.
Before the fans could continue Malik Roland interjected.
“How typical of the halfwits who infest the state of Pennsylvania, you can only fit three words into your lexicon.” Malik Roland smiled from ear to ear before he pointed into the crowd. “Look at this paunchy sorry son of a bitch sitting in the front row. How’d you get tickets? Wait let me guess… shoveling down as many pies as you could fit down what’s left of that neck of yours?”
“Are you people referring to the guy who thinks he’s Dr. Emmett Brown? Yeah I think he’s an asshole too. In fact I think his DeLorean is double parked outside, maybe the Allentown Parking Authority should look into that.”
“Undoubtedly the man Malik is referring to is Max Hopper” Michael Decker chimed in.
“Everyone knows Max Hopper needs to be in a straight jacket Michael, the man is one egg short of a dozen.”
“What does that even mean?” Michael Decker posed to Alan.
“Don’t worry about it Michael! Hopper knows exactly what it means!” McTaggart replied.
“And that brings me to LL-”
Before Malik could finish the fans erupted into a thunderous ovation. The man nicknamed ‘The Law’ was victorious in his IGS debut against ‘The Phenom’ Shawn Hart at IGS 1. He was a former multi time world champion, most important he is the champion of the people.
“Upon arrival to the Coliseum I was told I'd be defending my championships against a live action imitation of Harvey Birdman? That's not happening tonight or anywhere in the near future. I mean come on what has this man done to deserve an opportunity for a shot at my championships, let alone being in the same ring as me?” Malik Roland pointed to both championship belts held by Peter Greenberg.
“He beat Shawn Hart last week, so what? Max Hopper has done the same thing a dozen times, and I’ve beaten both of them two dozen times over. But never you, LLB. The Law as the fans so affectionately call you, we’ve been in the same organizations throughout the years now haven’t we? As good as you are in the ring, you’re an even better politician backstage. You’ve avoided me for YEARS and now that your career is fleeting, you want your name in the bright lights with mine?” Roland continued.
“You’re a nostalgic act LL… but that doesn’t diminish the job you have because it's an important one, quite possibly the most important of them all. Even more so than selling merch, cause let’s face it we all love the hero right? You’re job is to give these people hope, to shine light into the darkness and overcome it.” Roland lowered the mic as the jeers filled the arena.
It matters not how fast light may travel, darkness shall always be there awaiting its arrival.
“I was made to rule the darkness, I am the darkness. Hit my music.”
Malik Roland’s music played over the PA system, walking back up the ramp showcasing both titles high above his head.
“The champion with some fierce words in regards to his opponent in tonight’s main event, LLB.” Decker began. “And it seems like we have some activity in the back, let’s get back there and find out what’s happening.”
As the scene cut to the backstage area where the reigning IGS Tag Team Champions, The Lynch Consortium, were seen standing in a long hallway somewhere within the Kingdom Coliseum. Next to them stood a man dressed in what appeared to be a custom made dark grey suit; his wrists were adorned with gold cufflinks that read “JTW” and he was holding a black leather briefcase. As the camera crew moved closer their conversation became audible.
“...we get in here, you both need to let me do the talking.” Said the suited man.
“You can talk all you want as long as you GET ME MY BELT!” Grayson Lynch exclaimed.
“Calm down man, JT knows what he’s doing.” Jameson said, attempting to quiet down his brother.”
The suited man followed Jameson’s lead, “Grayson, Jameson is right, I know what I’m doing. I just don’t really understand why I’m doing it. You two are the reigning IGS Tag Team Champions and you didn’t even have to have a match to get them. Why exactly do you want the PWR Titles back? You both know they’re defunct and hold no current significance. And do you have to keep calling me JT?”
“I WANT MY BELT! I WANT IT, I WANT IT, I WANT IT. BLACK JESUS GOT TO KEEP HIS! SO I WANT MINE BACK!” Bellowed Grayson in a tantrum.
“Grayson, calm down, dude. Did you take your pill today?” Jameson said jumping in between the two and placing both hands on his brother’s shoulders.
“I DON’T NEED THE PILLS!” Grayson shouted turning his back and crossing his arms in a huff.
Jameson turned and pulled the man a few steps to the side, “Look dude. He gets possessive. He likes that belt. You know, thinks it looks sharp. So just do your thing in there and get the job done. If you get him his belt, I’ll start calling you James. Hell, I’ll call you Mr. Walsh.”
They turned back just as Grayson began storming down the hall towards the office door.
“Grayson.. stop.” Walsh said tersely.
Grayson snapped his head around at the words, his eyes were wide and he looked as though he might be about to begin his shouting once more.
Walsh held a hand up. “Let me finish,” he said as he lowered his hand. “I’ve got this under control. You two head back to your green room, I’ll come and see you when the deal is done.”
Grayson stormed over to Walsh and spoke. “I sign you checks JT, so you better earn em’.”
Jameson and Grayson walked down the hall in the opposite direction. Walsh turned on his heels and made his way down the hall. The camera followed. Walsh’s footsteps echoed slightly as he rounded a sharp right turn. The camera follow. He stopped in front of a plain white door with a placard temporarily secured in the center. It read “ACKERMAN”.
Walsh set the briefcase on a small folding chair next to the door. He straightened his tie. With a slight sigh he reacquired the case from the chair. He knocked.
“Come in.” Ackerman said through the door.
Walsh then put on his best lawyer’s smile and grasped the knob. He opened the door, walked in, and closed it behind him. The camera zoomed in on the placard as the scene cut back to ringside.
“What do you think is going to come of this, Alan? It seems The Lynch Consortium has gotten their attorney involved.” Decker commented, turning to his on screen collaborator.
“Good! They deserve some justice. Can you imagine how they must feel?! Having those prestigious titles they’ve worked so hard to earn just snatched away by the General Manager, just because IGS purchased the company they were working for! Do you know how much hard work must’ve gone into obtaining those titles, Michael?!” McTaggart complained.
“I have no doubt they spent countless hours training to earn those titles. The focus those two have is unequivocal.” Decker said sarcastically.
“Un-uh-quivi-WHAT?!” McTaggart exclaimed.
“Nevermind, Alan, ha ha,” Decker said with a smile as he turned back to the camera. “Let’s go to ring announcer Peter Greenberg and get the first contest of I-G-S TWO.. underway.”
This Opening Exhibition Match is Brought to You Courtesy of the Buddy Showtime Conservatory of Violent Arts in Downtown, Allentown Pennsylvania. Tryouts second weekend of every month! Live Your Dream! Be The Best! That’s a Showtime Promise!
And the camera panned to ring announcer Peter Greenberg who took a deep breath and...
Buddy Showtime, in his tiger-print dinner jacket, stepped into frame.
"Stow it, Greenberg," said Buddy, "I’ve got this."
Greenberg took a deep breath:
Announcing the competitors will be their trainer and manager.
MISTER EVERY F’N NIGHT
And handed the mike to Buddy.
"Thanks, Pete, now..."
In Da Klub by 50 Cent filled the air as Buddy Showtime made his announcement.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN
ENTERING FIRST, THE MAN WITH BLOOD ON HIS HANDS
THE SHERIFF OF THE GENTLEMAN'S CLUB
MEN FEAR HIM!
STRIPPERS SING HIS PRAISES!
TERRY! THE! BOUNCER!
Terry, all 6’4 and 265 pounds of him, strode out of the back in a black t-shirt marked SECURITY with the sleeves torn off, blue tracksuit pants and black workboots. There’s a swagger to him that wasn’t quite there last week, like he owned the place. The crowd was split on whether he actually did so, some cheers, a few boos but mostly the growing anticipation for a night of wrestling.
"Terry really impressed me last week," said McTaggart he knows how to deliver a beating.
"Let’s see if he’s as impressive when he’s picking on someone his own size," Decker added.
Terry the Bouncer stood in the middle of the ring, tearing open his t-shirt right down the center. This time, though, he left it on, wearing it like a vest. His showboating done, he leaned against a turnbuckle actively ignoring the referee's pre-match instructions.
In Da Klub cut off abruptly and was replaced by an eerie, hissing static.
AND HIS OPPONENT
BROUGHT FROM PARTS UNKNOWN TO THE SHOWTIME CONSERVATORY
I GIVE YOU
And through the curtains stepped a man. From the waist down, his short tights and boots were an unimpressive brown. From mid chest up, he was covered by what appears to be a fat, brown spider the size of a barbecue grill. The spider’s head was where the man’s head would be, with its eight soulless black eyes peering out. The eight legs of the the Tarantula spread out behind him like a cape or the wings of a skeletonized angel, the arms were covered in full-length sleeves of the same material as the legs. In short...
"What the hell is that thing!" howled McTaggart.
"I’m told he’s The Mighty Tarantula" answered Decker, without missing a beat.
"And something tells me, the Kingdom Arena needs to fire its exterminator." McTaggart cut him off.
The Tarantula walked down the aisle, carefully avoiding getting his supplimentary limbs tangled in the guardrails. The Tarantula’s movements were alien, worrisome, it did not move like a wrestler. Terry the Bouncer, leaning against the turnbuckle, found himself standing up and walking to the center of the ring despite his attempts to play it cool.
"Well, he’s certainly a big guy," conceded Decker.
"No seriously," McTaggart continued, "I need a minute. I’m simultaneously dumbfounded and horrified, like the time in Detroit where I saw a pigeon eating a dead rat."
A teenager in the front row wearing a William Allen High School Class of 2020 sweatshirt grabbed at one of the the Tarantula’s extra legs.
"That’s not a good idea," cautioned Decker.
"Yeah," McTaggart replied, "that kid’ll give away..."
The camera followed the Tarantula as he turned toward the unfortunate Sophomore and hissed. The camera registered real fear on the teenager’s face and then lingered for a full second on the Tarantula’s face. Its soulless black eyes, its terrifying mandibles. Its having no place on a human body with the cut musculature of a professional athlete.
"I take that back, I do not want that thing anywhere near me."
"I wonder if Terry the Bouncer regrets beating the Night so badly last week, if this is his punishment," asked Decker.
"I feel sorrier for the Night," McTaggart responded.
"Why’s that?" asked Decker.
"He’s got a match later against The Kraken!" said McTaggart.
"Kellen Wolf?" asked Decker, not sure which monster was scarier. The Kraken or the Tarantula.
"The very same. It's gonna be awesome!"
And then the Tarantula reached the ring apron and just sort of...skittered...under the bottom rope. Terry the Bouncer jumped back,
"Somebody get a damn can of Raid!" shouted McTaggart.
"Now now," cautioned Decker, "you know foreign objects are prohibited in the ring."
The referee reluctantly sized up the Tarantula, unwilling to even touch the monstrosity before gesturing for the bell.
And it’s on! A monster of a man vs. a man-monster. Who will get mashed?!
The camera panned to show Peter Greenberg snatching his microphone out of Buddy Showtime's hand.
Terry the Bouncer charged forward and slammed his massive shoulder into the Tarantula. Who staggered back half a step but then stood firm. He cursed, took two steps back and tried again. And was met by the Tarantula's meaty left hand slapping him in the chest.
Terry took umbrage at this and took a close-fisted swing at the Tarantula, who saw it coming and locked his hand over the Bouncer's throat.
"I don't know who to root for," spat Decker, "the Bouncer's got no sense of sport, but the Tarantula just went for his throat!"
"Go with the one that doesn't dress in latex!" McTaggart countered.
The Mighty Tarantula loosened his grip and the referee began to warn him about his behavior. The Tarantula responded by hissing at the Referee, who looked uncertain.
Terry the Bouncer recovered and charged at the Tarantula, who met his charge with a clinch. And a test of strength.
"These two massive men are evenly matched in power," Decker observed.
"And Terry doesn't like that one bit," McTaggart responded, "without overwhelming power, he's got no authority here."
And, with a bellow of rage, Terry charged at the Tarantula, who scooped him up and...
"Wow! What a Powerslam!" The crowd gave a stunned cheer.
The ref went to make the count.
The Tarantula bounced himself against the ropes as Terry staggered to his feet and turned just in time to catch a clothesline to his throat.
"I wonder if he can do that with any of his arms," Decker asked.
"That's what she...no, I can't do it. Now I'm thinking of the Tarantula and a stripper." McTaggart could not help but leave the audience with that image.
"I hate you," Decker conceded.
The Tarantula locks on a Camel Clutch.
"Now that's just deeply unpleasant to look at." McTaggart continued.
The Referee came down to check for submission.
Terry cursee loudly, but did not submit.
The Ref checked again.
And Terry grabbed the rope!
The Ref broke it up. And the Tarantula hissed at him. The Referee did not take that hiss lying down and began to lecture the Man-Monster on proper sportsmanship.
And while the Tarantula was distracted, Terry the Bouncer slipped behind the Tarantula, grabbed the Tarantula’s arm and pulled it behind his back.
McTaggart crowed, "just goes to show you, no matter how big you are, you don't mess with the bouncer."
But the Tarantula flexed his two human arms revealing that Terry had instead grabbed one of the false ones.
"Aren't you going to call out that blatant cheating, you hypocrite," fumed McTaggart.
"I'm conflicted," admitted Decker, "is Terry using the Tarantula's attire for leverage or is the Tarantula pulling the old switcheroo?"
And the Tarantula wasted no time slipping behind the Bouncer and grapevining his leg behind the Bouncer's. And then grabbing the opposite arm and pulling that into a hammerlock.
"What's he doing? Trying to suck his blood?" shouted McTaggart.
And as the Tarantula locked his own leg on top of the back of the Bouncer's neck, the plan became apparant.
"It's the Tarantula's submission finisher, the Tarantula Clutch! It's a modified Octopus Hold," explained Decker.
The ref came down to check as the Bouncer cursed and struggled.
"He can't get out," said Decker.
"Can you imagine those creepy little arms all touching you. I'd tap in a second."
And eventually, despite his rage, Terry the Bouncer has no choice but to tap.
THE WINNER BY SUBMISSION. THE MIGHTY TARANTULA!!
Buddy Showtime rolled into the ring and joined the referee in raising the Tarantula's arm while the Bouncer pounded the mat and cursed loudly.
MacKenzie Noble could be described quite easily as a knockout in the ‘girl next door’ category. WIth curly brown hair that fell below her shoulder blades, blue eyes that could pierce anyone’s soul, and a body that would make most men do a double take. MacKenzie had never been comfortable being ‘hot’ though and had done a lot to hide her c-cup breasts and what many men described as an ‘apple bottom’ as hidden as possible. Tonight was no different as she strolled into the Kingdom Colliseum wearing a pair of blue jeans with a long white blouse that fell just shy of her knees.
While not interested in showing off her body, she was definitely keen to be a fashionista. Her smile lit up the hallway as she made her way past several doors and had to stop dead in her tracks when she found her brother posted up against the corner of a wall, looking as if he was deeply lost in thought.
“Dollar for your thoughts?” she asked David, who smiled at her.
“You don’t want these thoughts,” he responded coolly.
“I always want your thoughts. Would love to know what’s on your mind.”
David took a deep breathe in and slowly let it out. She had seen him do this over the years. It was a way for him to even himself out, to mask his thoughts without fear of giving anything away whether verbally or not.
“Got you a match at IGS 03,” he threw out there as if he as mentioning the fact that he went and got the mail. It took a moment for MacKenzie to register what he said and when she did, her eyes got large as she squared herself in front of him.
“Are you pulling my leg?” she asked him, trying her best to hide her excitement. “Please tell me you’re not just messing with me."
He shook his head. She grabbed his left bicep with both of her hands and David could tell her excitement was about to explode out of her.
“It’s against Derek Ocean,” he informed her.
As the name left his lips and hit her ears, her excitement cooled slightly and he saw her jaw set. “Well,” she muttered.
David grinned. “You’ll be fine. You’ve got some time to prepare yourself. But, I figured that he would be a good first opponent for you so you could settle your nerves a bit. Training and actually performing are two very different things. You’re going to need get comfortable first before you can even think about anything in the future.”
She nodded her head before she jumped up and down and hugged her older brother. As the two broke their embrace, she looked at him. “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”
Noble laughed. “You did the hard work. I was just there for the ride.”
“Bullshit,” she said. “You’re the one who has gotten me this far. Without you…” she trailed off, lost in her thoughts. “How do you feel after your first match?”
“Sore,” he said bluntly. “My muscles were not ready for that nor was my mind for the pain I was about to encounter.”
“You did great,” she offered. “Even got the victory.”
Noble chuckled. “I got lucky. I should’ve been beaten. If I’m going to do this, then I really need to train, to get ready. I’ve put a bullseye on me now. I need to be ready for just about everything.”
“Yeah,” she started. “I heard about the Five Star Tournament.” The confused look on Noble’s face told MacKenzie that he hadn’t heard the news. “Couple of weeks from now. Three round tournament in one night. Winner of tournament is the new Five Star Champion.”
David sighed. “Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck.”
MacKenzie shook her head. “Don’t think like that. You’re going to do fine.”
“Yeah, I’m just going to up the intensity of my workouts or I’m going to be gassed even if I do make it to the final round. I’m a bigger fool then I thought,” he responded.
MacKenzie shook her head. “You couldn’t be more wrong. Did you hear those fans? They loved seeing you out there. I remember watching you when I was younger and being completely astounded with how graceful you were, how you could switch and move in a blink of an eye. You were born to be in this ring. Your cardio, your strength, all of that will come back. Most importantly though, it’s about what you’ve got up there,” she told him before tapping him on his temple.
“Ha!” she roared. “Far from it. Your mental toughness. You’re not the kind of person to just give up. No matter how much you hurt, how exhausted you are, you’ve always been able to pull it out in the end. That’s going to be the difference maker. Everything else, you’ve always had.”
Noble smiled. “Thanks, sis. When did you grow up to be so smart?”
“Before you, I’m sure.”
The two began to laugh as she then posted up to him next on the wall.
“I need to know your thoughts,” she told him. “Do you think I can win against Ocean?”
David sighed. “Can you? Yes. Will you? I’d be surprised. Your first real match, your first chance to step in the ring with someone not me? That’s going to be really tough for you. Ocean is bigger and stronger than you. You will need to dig down deep, to stay on your toes, and even then, you’ll be at a disadvantage with his experience in the ring and your inexperience. I’m going to be rooting you on, but you’ll probably lose a few times before you get that victory.”
“That’s fair,” she offers. “I’ve got a lot to learn, but I definitely want to take that bastard out.”
Noble smiled and kissed her on the top of her head. “That’s what I like to hear. Don’t worry. Training schedule is going to be picking up real fast here. We’ve got a lot to do.”
“Sounds good to me,” she said as she started to walk away. Noble slowly shook his head before he followed after her.
There was a security guard by the service entrance door, standing solitary vigil over the rotting trash bags, but when Terry the Bouncer came storming out with his Showtime Academy windbreaker half-off, the guard just nodded and wished him a good night.
Terry’s response was bleeped out in its entirety, and as he walked out of frame, the camera panned back to the doorway where Buddy Showtime was gingerly bending spider legs so they wouldn’t get crushed in the hinges.
“There we go,” Buddy grinned, “I gotcha.”
The Mighty Tarantula said nothing, but he swung his terrifying mandibles from side to side as he scanned for anyone who was not wearing a uniform.
“Coast’s clear, sir,” said the Guard.
“Good man,” said Buddy, clapping the security guard on the shoulder. “Best man,” he continued, slapping the Mighty Tarantula on his rubber-covered bicep.
The six foot, five inch man-spider abomination slapped Buddy on his shoulder
“Ordinarily, I wouldn’t approve of that lip. But after the match you had, I’m gonna let it slide.”
The Tarantula nodded.
“Now I’ve got a meeting with John Ackerman. If I play my cards right, I’m gonna see if I can’t get a slot in that Five Star Tournament for my best man.”
The Tarantula knew better than to interrupt Buddy Showtime when he was on a roll.
“And big man, you’re the only undefeated member of the Showtime Academy. So this calls for a little celebration…”
Buddy reached into the inside pocket of his tiger-print dinner jacket and pulled out a tiny black vaporizer pen.
“Yeah, a little hit of the good stuff.”
The camera zoomed in on Buddy’s face as he lifted the vape pen to his lips. The zoom is close enough to show that, written on it in gold, are the words
CANCER IS FOR SUCKERS
Buddy held it for three seconds and then blew out a cloud of fine mist.
“That’s the ticket!”
“You want a hit?”
The Tarantula shook his head and made the little hand-wave that is the universal sign for “Nah, I’m cool.”
“Always in training, eh? Man I remember when I had abs like that, body like a fucking Greek temple…”
The Tarantula tapped his mandibles, revealing that the mask lacked a proper mouth-hole.
“Even better. I don’t have to worry about someone taking a photo of you sucking down a forty in that.”
“I’m not sure anyone thinks Tarantula’s a role model,” interjected the security guard.
“I don’t even want ‘em to think the Tarantula’s even human! I want ‘em to think Tarantula drinks goodamn human blood! Hey, I wonder if you could maybe keep a…”
Buddy’s speech was cut short as a familiar face stumbled into view.
"Is dat the Buddy freakin' Showtime?" Kendrick exclaimed realizing who he randomly bumped into. "Sitting out here I knew I'd be destined to bump into a star sooner than later... but Buddy. Freakin'. Showtime. It is an honor, my friend!"
The security guard stepped in, "Is this kid bothering you, Sir?"
Buddy waved him aside, “For a fan, anything. But this here’s the real star. Have you seen the Mighty Tarantula? Don’t get too close, he’s a real killer…”
The Tarantula, remembering his training, adopted his most frightening half-crouch, his eight black soulless eyes gazing directly into Kendrick’s own.
"Oh! I get it." Kendrick chuckled.
In completely horrid acting he tried, "What a terrifying ... Uhhhhh."
Kendrick started to scan over The Tarantula, "Sorry... I can't see what you are in the dark can you step into the light? Oh wait!" He took out his phone and spun it around to shine light on The Tarantula and you could read Kendrick's background motivational background with the how hard you get hit quote from Rocky.
"Oh! What a terrifying spider!"
The Tarantula stood back up into a more human pose. A more human pose that showed that he was nearly a foot taller than Kendrick, had chiseled abs nearly the size of Kendrick's fists, and was not at all amused.
Buddy stepped in, “You’re looking at the future, kid. This here’s the Mighty Tarantula. Six foot five, 240 pounds, and you saw him out there just now…”
"Bruh! You're tall enough!" Kendrick excitingly shouted.
"Hold this!" Kendrick handed Tarantula a five foot sign that he was holding during IGS1.
"Buddy, could I get an autograph! You where in one of my favorite matches of all time."
The Tarantula took the sign without thinking of it and then pretended to gnaw on it with his terrifying mandibles.
“Well, good god, it is refreshing to meet an actual fan.”
Seeing that the terrifying mandibles were made of rubber and thus, incapable of actually shredding the sign, the Mighty Tarantula handed it off to the security guard in the background.
“So, you want me to sign this 'Mr. Friday Night,' 'Mr. Saturday Night,' or just 'BUDDY?'" Because, after all, Buddy had to know what era of the Show this kid was nostalgic for.
The security guard, not quite understanding what had happened just sort of stood there with a sign that covered him up to his chin.
“Actually ... the time you did the three night in a row tourney in South Philly! You called yourself Mister EVERY DAMN NIGHT! That was awesome. Or... or! When you took on Horseshoe Harry Slaughter in New York in the cage. That was freaking awesome how you threatened to piledrive his wife unless he came back into the ring so he couldn't win. Such a freaking hashtag pure heel! It is a true honor, Mister Every Damn Night."
Kendrick didn't seem to have an off switch, "I still remember you would make my grand mother so freaking angry. She would throw her remote at her TV, heh!"
Buddy offered his hand, "and that's why this is the best job in the world. Kid, can tell me one other job where you know you're doing a good job when you've pissed off the elderly?"
Kendrick reached out his hand to shake Buddy's. "But my favorite was when you and, my homeboy, MOONLIGHT Nishikoa squared off. You seemed so tilted after that bout."
The Mighty Tarantula, all six foot five of him, tried to get Kendrick’s attention by making a chopping wave with his hand, hoping that the kid would shut up before…
Kendrick continued, "I just remember when the thousands reached to their feet when he hit that kick to your jaw. BAM!"
Buddy’s eye twitched. He took a deep breath.
"Then when he slammed that chair over your head. DAMN! You are a damn man to be standing in front of me after that ass kicking." Kendrick finished and realized Buddy's body language was completely different now.
“Kid,” there was none of his previous levity in his voice, “you are damn lucky that you are a paying customer. Because it is bad for business for me to lay hands on a paying customer. Now my friend here..." Buddy turned towards the security guard, but the man's back was turned as he was attempting to fold Kendrick's sign into a black plastic trash bag.
Kendrick sensing a bit of hostility. "That's a negative Ghostrider. You should get that joke old man. Now if Big Ugly could give me my sign back you'd realize I am NOT paying customer. I'm the next big thing for IGS to sign. I've been out here waiting my chance to prove to my home state that I deserve to be in that ring with..."
Kendrick started to point around but questioned every person near by he pointed at. "Well, not anyone here. But! I deserve to be in there with the best that is in IGS."
And Buddy turned on a dime. A fan who didn't know his ass from his elbow was a dime a dozen. But a wrestler? "So, tell me kid, who trained you?"
"Apoc? Name doesn't ring a bell. Where's he worked?" Buddy's look was appraising now.
"He had his own wrestling federation. So humbly named Apoc Wrestling. You probably have not heard of him. He is trash." Kendrick wanted to move on from Apoc's name quickly.
"So if he was shit, and his fed was shit, what makes you different? Sell me, kid. Tell me why," and he took a quick side-glance at the sign, which was now propped up against a trashbag, "Kendrick Matters."
"Because I didn't need some shit gimmick to get me on camera" Kendrick says as he smacks a spider leg. "I needed me. Kendrick Matters. And when I step foot into a ring. You realize my name is more of a statement... I make Kendrick Matter to every single person. Because all that Matters is wins and loses. Wins you eat. Loses you..." Kendrick stares down Showtime, "Are shown the MOONLIGHT."
And the memory stung, but Buddy still cracked a smile even didn't quite reach his eyes.
"You got representation, Kid? Because you got balls. Everyone here in this alley, down the goddamn security guard, knows you don't talk about that Nishioka in front of me. The Mighty Tarantula, who doesn’t give a damn about anything except your delicious human blood, was still clearly trying to give you a clue. And yet you can't go two damn words without pissing off the guy you want an autograph from.”
Buddy straightened the lapels on his jacket.
“You’ve clearly seen more of my matches than you’ve had hot meals, so one woulda thought you’d have learned by now. Which means you got either balls of steel or rocks in your head. Either way, though, I can use a man like you. But here's the deal kid, if we're going to do this thing, we're doing it my way. Big man here knows,”
The Tarantula nods.
“This ain’t the backyard, kid, this is the big leagues. You screw up too bad, you’re gonna have to go to goddamn Nigeria to get another shot. There’s unspoken rules. I know them all, and I’ll see you through. You’ve done your homework, but not all the answers are in the textbook. You sign with me, I’m gonna take a big cut, but you know I’m worth every cent. So what do you say, kid? How bad do you want a shot.”
Kendricks' green eyes shot left and right. The last fifteen minutes flew by like the Millennium Falcon hitting Lightspeed. This was his shot. However, this is NOT how he wanted it. "Uhhhh."
His head lowered thinking of his future.
"C'mon kid. Gonna sit out here with your cardboard sign for another night and think about 'what ifs'... or you gonna live up to what you just stood here in front of me and said?" Buddy's eyes narrowed remembering something. “Are you gonna show ‘em you got the eye of the tiger, or are you gonna wake up 30 years later running a shitty Italian restaurant and wind up getting your ass kicked by a guy who gets his ass kicked by a guy named Chad? Are you Rocky? Or are you Rocky Balboa?”
"I'm in. Only one thing though." Kendrick stood up straight. "You handle the business, but whatever happens in that squared circle is up to me."
“If you’re as good in the ring as you are at pissing me off, then I’ve got no complaints on that front. But you’re gonna have to prove yourself.”
Buddy’s smile finally reached his eyes. It was not a comforting smile.
“So let me lay it out for you: you’re gonna get a call. Maybe it’s gonna be tomorrow, maybe it’s gonna be in October. You get that call, you show up geared up and ready to work. If you impress me, I’ll waive your tuition and see if I can’t do something with you. If not, hell no hard feelings, at least you’ll get to say you worked with Buddy Showtime. And that’s the Showtime Guarantee.”
The camera panned over to Kendrick, showing the determination in his face, then back to Buddy, who had a business card in his hand.
“If you’re in, then text me your number. I’m gonna take another smoke.”
The arena bowl filled with the thumping beats of "Disco Science" by Mirwais. The crowd began to boo as "The Wild Kards" flashed on the IGS screen, and Seth and Sean Kard made their way out and down the ramp.
"These two brothers splashed on the scene in 2001, only to see Seth sabotage their success by going solo," stated Michael Decker.
"You know, I was the ONLY person saying that Seth was in the right to go solo!" exclaimed Alan McTaggart.
"Oh yeah, Alan?" asked Decker. "And what exactly did that achieve for the Wild Kards? Sean retired while Seth went on as a spoiled, vile, annoying little brat! And his solo run didn't even run for more than a few months!"
"Listen, Michael," replied McTaggart. "Seth was dealing with possibly the most boring brother ever born. Sean Kard would serve everyone well just by letting Seth be Seth."
"If that's true, then Sean's patience is going to become legendary."
The Wild Kards walked around the ring, and Seth did a little showboating from the second rung in a corner. Nobody really cheered.
Suddenly, the lights dimmed significantly. The IGS screen began shimmering gold...
"Nothin' But A Good Time" by Poison hit the air and instantly out walked two tall, identically impressive specimens. They playfully pointed and yelled to the fans with big smiles on.
The fans began to feel the excitement and began to cheer back while Poison rocked out and "The Golden Boys" made their way down to the ring.
"And here they are!" yelled Decker. "The two grandsons of the LEGENDARY 'Golden' Glen Miller!"
"They call themselves 'The Golden Boys'?" asked McTaggert. "First of all, I hate watching coattail riding. And, second, how the hell am I supposed to tell them apart!?"
"Just remember, Alan, Mitch wears the yellow tights and Rowan wears the black ones," answered Decker.
"I thought it was the other way around?" stated McTaggart.
"Well, whatever, doesn't matter really," said the exasperated Decker. "It's just going to be so much fun to watch them work the ring like their grandpa did!"
"GGM was a personal hero of mine," McTaggart retored. "Up until he became a fan favorite again right before his retirement. I think that really tarnished his legacy."
In the ring, Seth Kard and 'Golden' Mitch Miller circled each other. When the bell rang Mitch lunged at Seth, who deftly ducked and ran to the ropes. Mitch barely turned around when Seth came flying feet first.
The drop kick attempt did nothing! Seth's legs buckled upon impact and he fell to the mat. Seth rolled out from underneathe a boot stomp and then ducked another huge boot. Mitch continued to press but missed a clutch attempt; Seth found daylight and cracked Mitch behind the thigh with a vicious kick.
Seth came from behind and jumped for a nice bulldog! Mitch hit the mat hard and bounced onto his back. Seth ran to the ropes for an incredibly quick moonsault.
Mitch got his knees up just in time. He made his way to a writhing Seth Kard and attempted to pick him up, just in time for Seth to give a sneaky uppercut stunning GMM. GMM staggered and checked his face for blood, and meanwhile Seth tagged in his brother.
Sean Kard climbed in and came in for a some random technical move, but Mitch Miller had gotten his senses back just in time to deliver a STIFF knee to Sean's chest. Mitch went for one of his spectacular scoop slams but Sean wriggled free in time to attempt a small package.
It was a cheaky attempt but not enough this early in the match. Mitch threw Sean off the ropes and when Sean came back he was SMOKED with a solid arm across the chest. Mitch dragged Sean to the corner where he tagged in Rowan.
Mitch held Sean back-first against the turnbuckle. Rowan went to the middle of the ring and began pointing at his knee with a big smile. He then ran and thumped Sean in the midsection to the delight of the fans!
THE GOLDEN KNEE!
"We should get used to that! 'Golden' Rowan Miller has monster knee power and isn't afraid to use it," yelled Decker.
"Michael, what the hell is 'Knee Power'?" asked McTaggart. "Obviously these kids are repurposing all of their Grandpa's moves and trying to make them seem fresh!"
"Oh, Alan, just have some fun with this! We haven't seen a style like 'Golden' Glen Miller's in a long time!"
Rowan Miller dragged Sean to another corner and slammed his head on the turbuckle twice. Then after pulling Sean into the middle of the ring, he smiled and nodded to the fans before picking up Sean...
"Holy crap!" screamed Michael Decker while the fans went insane in exuberance.
"Why is everyone cheering that move?!" shouted McTaggart.
Rowan left Sean on the ground and instead walked around the ring pointing out to the cheers of the fans. The fans knew that a scoop slam wasn't the most innovative move, but something about it really got them going!
Sean got to his feet just in time for Rowan to reset his attention; they both stopped and looked at each other across the ring.
"Go tag in your little brother... I want to smack him around!" yelled Rowan.
Sean shook his head and began to approach Rowan, but Seth Kard screamed from the apron to let him in. Sean finally acquiesced and tagged in his little brother.
Seth slipped through the ropes and ran at Rowan, and right before he made it to Rowan Seth stopped on a dime! He looked at Rowan's chest and then slowly tilted his head up.
Rowan practically came down on top of Seth's head with the hammerfist. Seth bounced off the mat in time for Rowan to grab him and throw him into the corner. Rowan climbed up on the slumping Seth before delivering several major punches to Seth's head. He then escorted Seth to mid-ring and was setting up for a SECOND scoop slam...
"Is Rowan Miller going for TWO scoop slams in one match?" exclaimed Decker, who was almost school-girlish happy with The Golden Boys. "Is this a pay per view!?"
"Is this real life!?" replied McTaggart. "How are you, or any of the fans, actually entertained by this!?"
Rowan lifted Seth, but Sean rushed in and broke it up!
While Sean was being shoved back to the apron by the referee, Seth ducked down and delivered a LOW BLOW to Rowan! Rowan grabbed his crotch emphatically before Seth jumped and twisted his legs around Rowan's neck..
Seth scrambled for the cover...
"See, Michael, that is wrestling! THAT is what is cool to watch," stated McTaggart, who couldn't seem to fathom what everyone liked about The Golden Boys.
The crowd cheered while both competitors got back to their feet. Rowan got the first lick in as he floored Seth down with his forearm. The big man with golden hair made his way back to the corner and tagged in Mitch.
Mitch came forward but Seth had already gotten back to his corner to bring in Sean. Sean entered and the two men circled each other. Mitch went for a lariat but Sean ducked and came flying back off the ropes.
Cross body bl-NO!
Mitch caught Sean in mid-air, twisted his body and...
THE GOLD MINE!
Mitch Miller hit his signature spinning spinebuster, which he had perfected after watching endless clips of the Rock from the late 90's. Maybe a little too complicated of a move for Grandpa's taste, but Mitch always liked to push the boundaries.
GMM went for the cover...
Seth broke it up!
This time Rowan had had enough and charged the ring scaring Seth onto the apron. The ref pleaded Rowan back to his own corner, but while the ref was distracted, Seth entered the ring again! Sean and Mitch were beginning to circle each other, but Seth came in for a sneaky superkick attempt.
Seth accidentally clipped Sean!
Sean crumpled down in the mat, but Mitch Miller ignored that in favor of getting ahold of Seth. With Seth in hand he beckoned Rowan back into the ring and threw Seth at his feet. Rowan dragged Seth Kard to the ropes, lifted him above his head and CHUCKED Seth completely out of the ring!
Mitch finally got down and went for the pin attempt on Sean.
"Nothin' But A Good Time" rocked the arena to the cheer of fans until Mitch Miller signaled for the microphone. The Wild Kards helped each other back up the ramp in shame.
The music faded out leaving Mitch and Rowan Miller standing triumphently in the middle of the ring to a chorus of enthusiastic cheers. Mitch raised the microphone to his lips.
"Folks, folks, folks..." Mitch said smiling. "Thank you SO much for having us out here in Allentown!"
Mitch paused for the cheap pop.
"As you may already know, we are the proud grandsons of one of wrestling's ALL TIME greatest. That is, of course, the original Golden... Golden Glen Miller!"
A thunderous pop went off for one of wrestling's legends. 'Golden' Glen Miller retired in the early 2000s at nearly 60 years old. The man known as GGM was a favorite of anyone's father, making him known to both old and young alike.
His popularity, longevity and how he went out battling had earned him a place in the heart of every wrestling fan.
Now his two identical twin grandsons were carrying on his legacy... rustic, basic wrestling moves and all.
Mitch gave the mic over to Rowan.
That is Golden!5x ClapThat is Golden!5x ClapThat is Golden!5x ClapThat is Golden!5x Clap
"We will ALWAYS give you the same measure of intensity, loyalty and entertainment that our forefather has. And while no one can achieve what Grandpa Glen did, we are here to carry on his legacy!"
Both brothers leaned into the mic at the same time...
"AND. THAT. IS...... GOLDENNNNN!"
The crowd let loose with a huge pop! "Nothin' But A Good Time" came back on and the show went to commercial while The Golden Boys strutted around the ring.
The screen wentdark. Random cheesy pop music played throughout the Kingdom Coliseum. As the screen began to lighten, you see a road sign which read Rodeo Drive. The camera panned over and showed the Versace store in Beverly Hills. A tall, slender brunette woman walked past the camera. You couldn't make out her face as it was somewhat blurry. She entered the store. The door opened and she came back out. "Did you really think I was gonna introduce myself to this poppy happy go lucky bullshit?" The brunette began to smirk. "LETS GO!" she screamed as the pop music came to a screeching halt as "Devil and I" by Slipknot began to play in the background. The brunette turned and entered the store once more.
The scene moved to the same brunette woman playing volleyball. Her shorts were tight, riding her ass and showing ample cheek. She jumped and spiked a ball over the net, smacking a poor, unsuspecting woman in the face. "Aw, baby, did that hurt? Pay attention, loser!" The brunette said as she began to laugh hysterically.
There was a voiceover echoing over the music, "I am a pure athlete, three time national champion at Stanford."
The scene then moved quickly to Muscle Beach Venice, where a big, beefy looking bodybuilder was trying to deadlift 500 pounds. He couldn't. The brunette woman shoo'd him away and deadlifted it with ease. "Is that honestly the best you've got, you fucking meathead? Gonna get outlifted by a girl?!" the brunette said as the bodybuilder walked off ashamed that he was outlifted by a five foot ten, one hundred and fifty nine pound woman.
There was another voiceover, "I am a physical specimen, I can out lift men and am a multiple NPC bodybuilding competition winner"
The scene moved to a crowded club in Easthampton, Long Island. Everyone was dressed in white, maybe it was one of Puff Daddy's famous "white parties." Or it was just rich white people having horrible fashion sense. Probably the later, to be honest. The brunette was wearing six inch stiletto heels, a white skirt that barely covers her ass and a top that really leaves nothing to the imagination. She was seen flirting with a guy who bought her another girly drink. You know, the one that has the umbrella in it. She picked it up, smiled at the gentleman ever so seductively and dumped the entire drink over his head.
"BITCH! WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?!" the man screamed as frozen drink mix and cut fruit slid down his face. The brunette laughed maniacally. "Do you really think I need your 'Pity I'm Gonna Fuck You Now' Drink? MY DAD OWNS HALF THIS FUCKING ISLAND!"
Another voiceover was heard, "I flirt with men for sport and amusement, just because it's fun to see them cry!"
The scene once again moved, this time to Aces High Wrestling Academy in Malibu, California. The brunette was walking towards the door. She grabbed the handle and began to pull the door open, but then stopped after it's opened for roughly six inches. She looked towards the camera confused, "Oh, you wanna see what I can do in this ring? You'll have to wait until later..." The brunette entered the building, but popped her head out after only a couple of seconds. "...LOSERS!" she shouted as she pulled her head back inside the building.
The screen switched to a sea of red and black flashing across the screen. Then some text in white popped out on top of the red and black:
Kellen Wolff stood with Amelia Mazzi as he prepared for his upcoming match.
"Hello, everyone! I'm here with Kellen 'The Kraken' Wolff, who is just about to head down to the ring; to face off with The Night, of The Buddy Showtime Conservatory of Violent Arts."
The Kraken was adjusting the tape on his wrists while Mazzi spoke. He appeared calm, his massive frame filled the camera's view.
"Kellen," Mazzi asked, "how are you feeling going into tonight's mat...?"
"That is The Kraken," Kellen cut in with a burst, his attitude suddenly changing, "to you, and to all of American people. I come here full of optimism for opportunity. But Americans, they appreciate not what I can do."
His deep voice seemed both calm and agitated at once. His accent and lack of a firm grasp of the English language only emphasized the effect.
"Michael Decker, he speaks ill of me on live television. He say I am unscrupulous. He say I use dirty tactics. But I say use my strength. My power is key to my victory. And tonight will be no different."
The hum of music was in the background, the crowd rumbled in the distance.
"You will all see this night, that The Night, is no match for the pride of Norway."
The drums began to rise in the background as the camera tightened on Kellen's face. A sneer crossed it as he spoke.
"Witness the supremacy!"
He strode off in a huff to make his entrance.
Kellen shoved his way through the curtain and was immediately hit by the boos from the crowd. He made his way down the ramp confidently, a sneer still crossed his face. His opponent had already come down. He thought he had heard some cheers but he wasn't sure. He entered the ring and stood in the corner as the ring announcer began...
"Ladies and Gentlemen, the following contest is set for one fall. Introducing first, TOO MY LEFT, weighing in at two hundred, fifteen pounds... Theeeeee Niiiiight!"
The Night raised his arms in the air and bounced in a small circle, the tips of his cape grasped in his hands forming the appearance of wings. The crowd cheered loudly for the underdog as he removed the cape and pulled his knee pads up slightly.
"And now his opponent, standing to my right and weighing in at two hundred, eighty-seven pounds... Kellen 'THE KRAAAAKEEEEEEN' WOOOOOOOLFF!"
Kellen again raised his arms to shoulder height, as the crowd booed the big man for his earlier comments. The smirk on the big Norwegian's face showed just how much he really cared. He stepped forward and did a turnaround, the pride he showed in his appearance seemed to upset the crowd even more.
As the bell rang, Kellen began to circle the ring, The Night followed suit in the opposite direction.
"All right, looks like we're about to get underway." Decker started.
"Considering The Kraken's size advantage, and what we've seen thus far, I think this oughta be great!" McTaggart interrupted.
"I just hope we see a nice clean match up here, Alan," Decker finished his thought."I agree The Night needs to keep to the rulebook.
"I agree, The Night needs to keep to the rulebook. Hey, look at that!" McTaggart exclaimed.
Just as McTaggart spoke the two men locked up in a collar and elbow tie up. Almost immediately afterward The Night was shoved clear across the ring. He rolled backward as he landed, reducing the impact, and sat up on one knee. The Knight looked around to the crowd and then up at Kellen.
"Big display of power from the Norwegian to start this one off," Decker called out.
Kellen approached the center of the ring, raising his left arm to the sky. His fingers twirled in the air and the crowd shouted in unison as The Night rose to his feet and surveyed the front row.
The Night didn't heed the advice. He looked up at the hand, slowly reaching up, then pulled away. He looked around again. The crowd repeated their advice.
Once again, The Night ignoring, reaching up with his right hand to grasp a hold of Kellen's. Kellen quickly booted The Night in the midsection, dropping The Night to a knee.
"Oh Yeah! The old baited boot, I love it, Michael!" McTaggart shouted with glee.
"You know, that kind of un-sportsman like conduct should be a fineable penalty," Decker responded.
"Hey, if the kid doesn't know what to look out for, that's his problem," McTaggart stated with a hint of disgust.
Kellen followed the boot with a forearm shot to the back as he backed The Night into the corner. The referee began a count.
Kellen forced The Nights head backward. Kellen then laid a chop across The Night's chest.
Kellen leaned in and pressed his forearm to The Night's throat.
The referee shouted. "Let him out, Wolff!"
Kellen released and backed away, his hands in the air. The referee reprimanded him for the illegal choke. Right on cue, Decker turned his attention to McTaggart, "What have you got to say for that one, Alan, that was clearly a bit of cheating on the part of the Kraken."
McTaggart popped his head up, popcorn falling from his mouth, "Cheating? I didn't see anything, what happened? You know the Kingdom Coliseum has some of the best popcorn I've eaten!"
Decker just shook his head and returned his attention to the action within the ring just as Kellen went back into the corner. He hooked The Night's arm and hip tossed him from corner to corner. Kellen then raised his arms again to accept the boos from the crowd.
"The crowd showing some dislike for the big man," Decker commented.
Kellen walked over to The Night, he bent down and slapped him across the back of his head. The boos reigned in even harder, so Wolff did it again before grabbing The Night by the knot at the back of his mask. The referee admonished him, but let the match continue. Kellen finished lifting The Night to his and whipped him into the ropes. The Night came back and ducked a huge clothesline from Kellen. As Kellen spun around, he went for another clothesline. This time The Night avoided it with a baseball slide. The Night jumped back to his feet.
"And a big dropkick from The Night! Look at the elevation." Decker exclaimed.
McTaggart weighed in, "I don't think one is gonna get the big man off his feet, Michael."
Kellen seemed to only take a step backward after receiving the kick to the chest. The Night hopped back up and repeated himself. Kellen stumbled slightly but didn't go down. The Night, never one to get discouraged, went to the ropes. The Night got a running start, but as he came back, Kellen side stepped and tossed The Night into the corner. Kellen followed him in and went for a corner lariat. But The Night managed to get out of the way just in time.
"The Night is displaying some speed here tonight, OH!" Decker exclaimed in shock, "I think Kellen may have caught the ring post with his head there!"
"Oh No! Come on Kraken! Shake it off!" McTaggart sounded upset as he shouted.
Kellen stumbled out of the corner shaking his head around, trying to clear his vision after the impact with the ring post. The Night seized his opportunity, he jumped to the top.
"High-risk maneuver coming up!" Decker shouted.
The Night leaped as The Kraken turned around. His body turned sideway in the air.
"FLYING CROSS BODY, no," Decker's voice changed mid sentence as Kellen caught The Night.
"Would you look at that, Michael! He caught him!" McTaggart's voice became slightly higher pitched in his excitement.
Kellen held The Night for a moment, he shook his head again to finish clearing his head. He pressed The Night into the air. The breath seemed to leave the crowd as Kellen did a small lap around the middle of the ring and made his way to the ropes.
"Uh Oh! The Night might be going for a ride!" Decker spoke with a slight wince.
The Night began to kick his legs. Kellen reached the ropes and just before The Night was tossed from the ring, he managed to squirm down behind The Kraken. Kellen began to turn around, but The Night followed him around; then he suddenly leaped to Wolff's shoulders.
Decker called the action. "Could be looked for a victory roll here!"
As The Night shift his weight forward in an attempt to roll the big man forward, Kellen reached backward, grabbing a hold of the top rope. BAM. The Night hit the mat hard as Kellen remained upright.
"Now that, is situational awareness, Michael!" McTaggart's excitement didn't hide his bias well.
Kellen lifted The Night from the mat and pressed him into the air once more. This time he made the throw. The Night flew outside the ring, landing on a security guard at ringside.
"OH, MY!" Decker shouted, "Folks, I think The Night hit his head on the ring steps.."
The Night lay motionless at ring side. The referee did his job and Decker did his.
"The referee beginning the count here and it looks as if The Night may be out cold."
The medical crew was checking The Night.
"And it isn't looking good for the young man."
The Night stirred, rolling to his left.
"Some movement from The Night, our Medical Team is checking him out, while The Kraken looks on in the ring."
Kellen looked on, the smirk returning to his face and he leaned backward in the corner. The Night tried standing.
"The Night, getting back to his feet here, I'm not sure if he should be continuing. Someone needs to stop him!"
The Night had a bruise starting to bloom on his forehead, right by his hairline as he struggled to get to his feet. The medical team still talking to him, trying to discern whether or not he could -- or should -- be allowed to continue. The crowd was behind him. They began to cheer as his feet got back under him.
The Night waved off the medics and attempt to step forward so he could slide into the ring and break the count. He buckled. He fell back to the ground.
DING DING DING
Kellen raised his arms in victory as the drums began to echo around the Coliseum and the medical team helped The Night back to his feet. With The Night's arms draped around them, they began to help him to the backstage area. The crowd cheered as The Night gave them a weak thumbs up. The scene then faded to a commercial break.
“That ladies and gentlemen is why iGS can proudly say we have the best product in professional wrestling.” Michael Decker proudly admitted.
“The best commentary in wrestling if we don't include you Decker.” Alan McTaggart mocked his co-commentator in reply.
“Didn't your parents teach you if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all?” Michael Decker scolded his partner's mean-spirited remarks.
“Challenge accepted! Let's go to the back where that tight piece of-” Alan McTaggart began but was quickly cut-off.
“Folks we join Amelia Mazzi in progress backstage.” Michael Decker spoke over the top of McTaggart as the backstage cameras footage played for the live audience on the screen above the entrance.
Standing backstage was not Ameila Mazzi though. Two gigantic men stood backstage in a hallway talking to one another. Fans from the arena could be heard booing at the sight of Lusus and Yoshitaka Maeda.
The camera had an exclusive shot of the yet-to-debut tag team transplanted from the Japanese Wrestling promotion Global Pro Wrestling right here into International Grappling Society. Former rivals, the two had come together recently to form the aptly named tag team- Stretch Dismember Kill.
As if on cue, Lusus shot a snarling glance at the camera that'd invaded his personal space. The cameraman didn't figure minimum wage was worth the cost of death and took a scurrying step backwards. “Little Miss Mazzi saw us and ran, you better do the same thing runt.” Lusus growled as his massive partner Yoshitaka Maeda made the hand gesture for breaking something in half.
The cameraman attempted to turn and run but his route was completely blocked. Crossing directly behind him at the time was Chris Richards and Brock Metzer. The flustered cameraman smacked into Metzers side and began nervously apologizing. Metzer deep in conversation with the youngster Chris Richards barely noticed and kept walking to whatever destination the two were headed for.
The cameraman peered behind him to find Lusus and Maeda still hovering over him. “Ahh- ye-ah dojo! Chris Richardson. The dojo, yes.” Yoshitaka Maeda replied to something his partner Lusus had said. Both men nodded at each other and continued talking.
Seeing his chance for survival the cameraman darted off leaving the imposing tag team- Stretch Dismember Kill standing backstage. The iGS production staff called for a new shot and the cameras focused once more on Michael Decker and Alan McTaggart, the fans directly behind them did their best to get seen on television at home.
“Did you hear what Maeda said?” Michael Decker wondered aloud.
“He said all of iGS will crumble under his feet Decker. Godzilla and King King teamed up couldn't take Yoshitaka Maeda down.” Alan McTaggart had already begun his efforts to endear himself to someone he was certainly in fear of.
“..and to think, he has that Behemoth right next to him.” Michael Decker said the words aloud but the reality of the situation didn't soak in until he heard the feedback through his headset.
“A duo truly designed for destruction Decker.” Alan McTaggart added for emphasis.
“Devastating indeed and now let's go back to our camera crew which has caught up with the International Grappling Society’s fastest rising rookie Chris Richards and veteran Brock Metzer.” Michael Decker just barely finished his sentence as the video feed joined the two grapplers in mid-conversation.
“So I get to the event right, and I’m talking to Ackerman. This son of a bitch wants my entrance music to be ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time,’ said it would sell more merch than Austin,” Richards said.
“Britney was over. Not so sure that’s still the case maybe Ackerman thinks it’s 1998.” Brock Metzer joked with the youngster.
“It’s just so different from Japan, there if I shouted ‘hit me again!’ it was just a pop. Here they want it to be a catchphrase.”
“It’s like a completely different world, I get it.” Brock Metzer understood the frustration that Chris Richards must have been feeling. “When I first got trained I wasn’t able to get any work here in the states but my trainer had a really solid connection with a Japanese promoter. Luck played a huge part in all of it but I managed to get booked for a huge Junior Heavyweight Tournament there. I hated it though. The food, the crowded streets, just about everything about it was miserable to me. Were you comfortable living in a place that felt like another world?”
“Dude, I loved Japan. It took some adjusting, but I was there for six years. I worked hard, and the Japanese women love big American men,” Richards said slapping Metzer on the back.
“Not such a rookie afterall huh?” Brock Metzer asked then added another thought before Richards was able to respond, “The biggest problem, the biggest difference between here and there has to be that language barrier. You might have gotten over on skill there but if you can speak to the people out in those seats here, you’ll be a bigger star than you could ever imagine.”
“The language barrier was awful at the start man, just ordering something that was edible was damn near impossible the first year. I treated everything like I was at a Denny’s,” Richards said with a smile. “I think the hardest part there for me was definitely my training. Thousands of squats, thousands of drop downs, all from guys like Ma….”
Suddenly a Max Hopper appeared! Engulfed in the soft glow of an eerie green light, the paranormal investigator slammed his locker door shut. He was obviously quite irritated, and that was putting it mildly.
“I’m so mad at myself! I can’t believe I did that!” Max Hopper screamed. He was absolutely beside himself.
Brock Metzer’s attention had been drawn away from Chris Richards for the past few seconds as he watched a man who had been both a friend and ally over the years. Max Hopper always seemed to draw attention anywhere he went and he certainly had all of Metzer’s.
“Ma- Max? What? What did you do? Why are you mad- at yourself!?” Brock Metzer asked quizzically.
“If you see me, tell me I said to... GAH!” Max couldn’t even finish his thought before storming past them and down the corridor.
“What in the hell was that?” Richards asked, mouth agape with his jaw planted firmly on his chest.
Moments later, Max Hopper came back on the scene... FROM THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION! “Hey, guys,” he greeted them. “How’s it going?”
Brock Metzer and Chris Richards looked at each other puzzled. Metzer spoke first, “Well- good… but ...I am suppose to deliver a message next time I ran into you. Just didn’t imagine that it would be so soon.”
“Oh yeah?” Max Hopper asked, his eyebrow perking up above the rims of his patented SeX-Ray™ specs... CURIOUSLY! “What is it?”
“GAH!” Brock Metzer screamed. Richards could only place his head in his hands.
“Hmm... Who told you to tell me that?” the Czar of Bizarre further inquired.
Brock Metzer’s shoulders seemed to slouch a little bit from how exhausting this was all about to become, “You did.”
“What the fuck is even happening?” Richards blurted out, still with his head buried into his hands. Somewhere Jean-Luc Picard would be happy.
“Well, you see, guys,” Max Hopper started to explain, an occurrence that instantly gave Brock Metzer a Max Hopper induced migraine, “I’m not talking to myself right now. Apparently, I’m going to accidentally shrink myself sometime in the near future, and the way you two tell it, I guess I’m still pretty steamed from the whole ordeal."
Max's iPhone started to buzz. He apparently had a reminder set up. Checking it made him suddenly grow as excited as a robot kid on Robonnukkah.
“Well, hey guys, it’s been great catching up with you, but I gotta run. I’m going to test out my new shrink ray! Toodle-oo!” Max gleefully bid them adieu before excitedly running past them. Once he was out of sight, the lights miraculously turned back to normal.
Richards looked towards Metzer, his eyes full of shock and confusion. “You thought Japanese was hard, what fucking language does that nutjob speak?”
"Proof you can see anything here in International Grappling Society." Michael Decker proudly boasted.
"If you really want to see anything catch me in MacKenzie Nobles dressing room after the show." Alan McTaggart said scoffing as he peered over his shoulder to see if the elder Noble was anywhere around.
As McTaggarts commentary drifted off the public announce system in the building came to life as the first few lines from "The Bad Touch" by The Bloodhound Gang were heard. The fans rose to their feet, some were booing others were simply jeering the "The Liberal."
Out from behind the curtain and onto the entrance stage came Larry Agenda, his man-bun was not really an instant hit with the audience. The hipster look was made complete by his overgrown bushy red beard. As Agenda made his way down the aisle, Peter Greenberg made the official introduction.
"Introducing first, weighing two-hundred and thirty-two pounds and standing six-feet and three-inches tall, THE LIBERALLLLLLL LLAARRRRYYYYYYY AAAAGEEEEEEENNDAAAA!" Peter Greenberg announced as the boo's from the fans began to grow much louder.
Larry Agenda adjusted the strap on his suspenders as he turned towards the fans that were lining the barricade leading down the aisle. "If you'd cut out gluten and trans fats, you too could look like me!" Larry Agenda honed in on an overweight audience member. Don't blame Larry though, it was simply medical fact. "If we could reform health care you could get the help you needed."
As Larry Agenda neared the ring he climbed slowly up the stairs still focusing more on the crowd than getting set for the entrance of his opponent. Larry pointed at one particularly small child near the front row who was wearing a Max Hopper MaX-Files t-shirt, "Right there! You! The reason we must keep abortion as an open choice for all."
Hey what would it mean to you?To know that it'll come back around againHey whatever it means to youKnow that everything moves in circles
The lights in the Kingdom Coliseum faded until they were just barely lit. Blue and purple strobes of light emitted from the stage and the rigging above the ring. Flashes of red light bathed the audience in a show of color that beat rhythmically with the lyrics to "Circles" by Incubus continued to play over the speakers as the crowd jammed along.
I saw you standing in my headlights Blink blink blinkI thought I'd run you down for the weight you left on meBut then I pressed rewind, reversed and drove awayAnd see you, disappear in my rear viewBrought to me the word reciprocity
One last flash of red light blinded the audience temporarily and when their vision returned they could all see the "Independent Superstar" standing on the stage looking just as determined as the week previous. The fans continued to roar for the long-time fan favorite as Metzer looked directly into the camera in front of him. "I don't like politics and I don't like Larry Agenda, big win for me today!"
Brock Metzer made his way down the aisle as fans crowded the barricade trying to reach over and touch the well-built grappler. Metzer had decided to go with his circa-2004 ring attire for the second edition of the iGS television show. Long gone were the days of painting his face and spiking his hair. His blue, purple and red tights matched his new light show paid for by the bigwigs at iGS so he might as well color-coordinate.
"Making his way to the ring next, the opponent, weighing in at two-hundred and thirty-nine pounds and standing six-feet and four-inches tall, THE INDEPENDENT SUUUUPPEERRRSTARR BBBRRRROOOOCCCKK MEEEETZEEERR!" Peter Greenberg screamed into the microphone just to be heard over the raucous crowd.
Brock Metzer slid into the ring under the bottom rope and stopped kneeling in the ring as the fans continued to cheer. Larry Agenda paced back and forth near a corner opposite his opponent mumbling to himself about how he should've order another case of that low-distribution premium IPA he'd gotten ahold of last night. Metzer pounded the ring canvas one time with a fist then lifted himself to his feet and shot his arm up in the air as the fans once again showered him in applause.
iGS official Bud Hudson motioned for both men to come towards the center of the ring but getting either man to follow directions was going to be a challenge. Realizing the task at hand was impossible, Bud Hudson merely directed a quick "You ready?" at each man who ignored the question then he called for the ring bell to start the match.
Brock Metzer hearing the bell instantly turned his attention from his fans towards his opponent. Larry Agenda still had more to gloat about, "Look at all those fliers with Malik Roland's ugly face on them, how many trees did it take to make all of those? Deforestation is killing our planet people, WAKE UP!" Agenda had to scramble out of the way as Metzer shot in for a single leg takedown eager to get the match started. Finally Larry Agenda turned his attention to his opponent and the two sized each other up from across the ring.
Brock Metzer and Larry Agenda circled each other in the center of the ring. For Larry Agenda this match was about more than just payback from last week's match, it was another chance to persuade the masses. After all nothing really meant more to him- not even wrestling.
"LET'S GO METZER!""AH-GEN-DUH SUCKS!"
The crowd began what would normally be considered a back and forth dueling chant but this one was a bit one-sided. Hearing the crowd roar was all the motivation Metzer needed as he shot towards Agenda and quickly transitioned into a go behind waist lock.
"Expert technique by Brock Metzer still all these years later in his career." Michael Decker reminded his colleague.
"What you're trying to say is he's old?" Alan McTaggart barely spit out between mocking laughter.
Brock quickly moved from the waist lock to a standing headlock and really grinded his forearm against Agendas temple. The pain was etched across the face of Larry Agenda but between gasps of air he still managed to spread the word. "Cross-fit made this possible-" was the rhetoric Agenda spewed before he rifled off a couple of elbow shots to Metzers gut and shoved him back towards the ring ropes.
Agenda shot Metzer off towards the other side of the ring and was shoulder tackled as he shook the cobwebs loose in his head after that headlock he'd endured. Metzer didn't hesitate and pose to the crowd following the shoulder tackle either, he sprinted immediately towards the ropes for momentum. Agenda slid his body over in front of the feet of Brock Metzer presumably to trip up his moving opponent.
Metzer dropped right down on top of Agenda and once again wrapped his arm around the head of his opponent synching in another side-headlock. Metzer was a crafty veteran and it was going to take more than simple transition maneuvers to catch him off guard. iGS official Bud Hudson checked the arm of Brock Metzer to make sure that it wasn't turning into an illegal choke hold.
"Brock Metzer has that arm under the chin of Larry Agenda, how does this ref not see that?" Alan McTaggart demanded an answer from his co-commentator.
"That's a textbook side headlock, nothing nefarious about it." Michael Decker assured the audience at home.
Larry Agenda managed to get to his knees as Brock Metzer continued to grind his forearm into the side of his opponent's skull. Agenda made it all the way up to his feet and then hoisted Metzer into the air for a huge side suplex.
"And both men come crashing down and Agenda is free-" Alan McTaggart began before being quickly cut off.
"Look at that, Metzer still has that headlock applied." Michael Decker corrected his colleague.
As Metzer crashed into the canvas his grip on the side headlock loosened but he never completely let go. Agenda tried to wiggle away from his opponent but it was to no avail, Brock Metzer simply re-clasped his hands and tightened the side headlock on his opponent. As both men lay in the center of the ring the fans began to chant once more.
Larry Agenda began to mount a comeback as he fought up to one knee, Metzer still had the side headlock. As Agenda got to his feet and delivered a few elbows to Metzer's gut he took off towards the ropes. Using the momentum from the ring ropes Larry Agenda sprinted back towards his opponent.
"HOPPER-CAN-RANA!" Michael Decker had to shout into his headset to be heard over the crowd.
Brock Metzer rolled to his feet and turned around to lift Larry Agenda off of the canvas. As Metzer pulled Agenda to his feet he hooked his arm over the back of his neck. Metzer tried to lift Agenda into the air for a suplex but it was blocked. Metzer heaved then lifted once more trying to hoist his opponent into the air.
"Larry Agenda isn't going away that easily," Alan McTaggart proudly boasted.
Brock Metzer was suddenly lifted into the air directly above Larry Agenda who had reversed the suplex attempt. Metzer quickly escaped and flipped down to the canvas landing on his feet behind his opponent. Metzer clutched his arms around the waist of Agenda and in one smooth motion snapped his opponent backwards.
"GERMAN SUPLEX!" Michael Decker grew excited by the furious action.
"Brock Metzer held on Decker," Alan McTaggart added with a somber tone in his voice.
As Metzer rolled back to his feet still with his hands grasped around the waist of his opponent he transitioned his hands up under his arms. Larry Agenda was an unwilling participant in a tightly locked in full nelson that he couldn't seem to escape no matter how vigorously he tried.
"DRAGON SUPLEX!" Michael Decker had to scream to be heard now.
"Right on his head Decker," Alan McTaggart groaned.
Brock Metzer rolled off his back and onto one knee as he studied his prone opponent. Larry Agenda showed absolutely no signs of life so Metzer moved in for the cover.
Brock Metzer wasted no time in going right back on the offensive. Spending time arguing with the referee over the validity of the count was of no mind. Metzer backed up towards the ropes just leaning on them as he waited for Agenda to attempt to stand. Timing a slight bounce off the ropes, Metzer darted towards Agenda with a vicious Busaiku knee strike directly to the chin of his boisterous opponent.
ODE TO THE UNDERGROUND!
Brock Metzer immediately sensed that he could have this match won and hustled over to cover Larry Agenda as iGS official Bud Hudson crawled in view of Agenda's shoulders to make the count.
Larry Agenda barely managed to get his shoulder off the mat before Bud Hudson's hand came down for the third time. The fans in the building who had all been standing on their feet for the recent sequence of high impact offense. Brock Metzer pulled Larry Agenda up off the canvas and hooked him for another suplex.
"Brock Metzer could be going for the Independent Clash here," Michael Decker could sense the end coming near.
Brock Metzer hoisted Larry Agenda high into the air with one quick impressive motion. As Larry Agenda's legs swung upwards they clipped across the side of iGS official Bud Hudson's face knocking him down on the canvas. Brock held Agenda high in the air and let the blood rush down to his opponent's head as crowd members with the benefit of flash photography took advantage of about a five second window to snap a picture.
Brock Metzer dropped Larry Agenda straight down into the center of the ring, driving the top of his opponent's head square into the unforgiving ring mat. The fans began to shout and motion towards Metzer who was oblivious to their cries. Brock was zeroed in and looking for the win as he covered Agenda in the center of the ring. The fans all chanted in unison.
Brock Metzer looked around at the screaming crowd just now realizing that there was no referee making the count. Larry Agenda was still out in the ring as Brock Metzer climbed up from covering him and made his way over towards the referee. iGS official Bud Hudson was barely moving on the mat as Brock Metzer shook him by the shoulder trying to revive him.
"He touched the official Decker, he should be disqualified immediately." Alan McTaggart demanded.
"He's not assaulting Bud, that was Agenda who did that." Michael Decker corrected his broadcast partner.
Brock Metzer seeing that the official had regained consciousness he stood back up with another Independent Clash on his mind. Larry Agenda had regained his bearings unbeknownst to his opponent and snuck up right behind him. Brock Metzer completely unaware of what was about to happen was pulled directly down to the canvas with a school boy pin attempt.
Larry Agenda used his right hand to hook the tights of his opponent for extra leverage as each of the 20,000 people crammed in the Kingdom Coliseum screamed at the referee to see the blatant breaking of the rules.
Brock Metzer struggled to get his shoulders off the ring mat but he was having no luck. Larry Agenda stuck one leg out towards the bottom rope and draped it across then added his second leg for extra leverage.
iGS official Bud Hudson slapped the ring for the third time counting Brock Metzer's shoulders down and out of the match. Larry Agenda sprung up off of his opponent and directly towards the ropes facing the audience. "Key victory for the movement tonight!" Larry Agenda boasted to the crowd as Brock Metzer sat up in the ring and questioned the referee if that was indeed a three count.
"Ladies and gentlemen your winner of the match by pinfall, THE LIBERALLLLLLL LLAARRRRYYYYYYY AAAAGEEEEEEENNDAAAA!" Peter Greenberg gave the official announcement as the bell rang signaling the end of the contest.
“The fight for justice never ends but tonight Larry Agenda picked up a clean pivotal win that’s got to give him hope for a better tomorrow.” Alan McTaggart gloated full of confidence and pride.“Clean win?” Michael Decker gasped.“The record books don’t tell details Decker.” Alan barely uttered between mocking laughs.Brock Metzer was seated by the edge of the ring talking to the IGS official who’d just counted his shoulders to the mat and missed the blatant disrespect of the rules by Larry Agenda. The fans didn’t seem to thrilled with Agenda’s tactics or the outcome of the match. Boo’s, groaning and a loud commotion spread through the crowd.Larry Agenda paraded around the ring as if he had just won some sort of grand prize. To him, he had. “Today is not just a win for me, today is a win for all of us.” Larry proclaimed. The nearly 20,000 jam packed fans in the Kingdom Coliseum parted like the red sea as two giants cleared a path no one could block and headed for the ringside barricade. Brock Metzer heard the rumbling and pulled himself to his feet with the aide of the ring ropes as the referee quickly scurried out of the ring. Larry Agenda had spent so much time gloating over his win that he’d yet to notice his part was about to be ruined.Heading up the charge to the ring was the “Behemoth Brute,” a former member of fWo, LOC, Jolt and hWo who has spent the past few years renewing his rivalries in the Global Pro Wrestling promotion in Japan. The six foot eight and four-hundred pound gargantuan from Huntsville Alabama was clad in his signature red and black singlet. His face was covered with a similar mask that allowed the wrecking machine to show no emotion.As Lusus hopped over the barricade ringside, he was followed by his new tag team partner. Yoshitaka Maeda was making his first appearance in front of an american audience and he went against all the conventional stereotypes of size and appearance that’d become common belief. Maeda was as revered in Global Pro Wrestling as Godzilla is feared. Yoshitaka Maeda’s stature endeared him to the fans he’d performed in front of for years. He was more than just truly larger than life, he was actually much much larger. “Larry Agenda needs to get out of there now… now… MOVE LARRY!” Alan McTaggart screamed into his headset hoping that somehow over the roar of the crowd, Larry Agenda might be able to hear the warning.CRUNCH~!..too late.Sliding into the ring under the bottom ropes and hitting opposite sides of the ring, Lusus and Yoshitaka Maeda came sprinting towards one another in the center of the ring smashing Larry Agenda between each other’s massive frames. The crowd let out a gasp wondering if there was anything left of the boisterous grappler.Lusus turned his attention towards Brock Metzer who was in a defensive fighting position. Agenda fell to the canvas in a heap of bruised and squashed bone and flesh. Metzer threw a quick jab at Lusus but the big man kept moving forward. Metzer rifled off two more quick left jabs but they had no effect at all and Lusus had his massive paws around the neck of the tired and worn out grappler.Lusus lifted Metzer into the air with both hands around his neck, choking the life out of him. Maeda knelt down over the body of Larry Agenda and grasped him around the waist, dead-lifting him into the air and then driving him backwards with a release snap german suplex. Agenda’s neck folded forward towards his chest as he landed hard on the back of his head. Lusus seeing that his partner was back standing tossed Metzer into the air and caught him on his shoulders. As Metzer lay draped stomach first across the wide muscular back of Lusus, Maeda bounced off the ropes for momentum and then smashed his size eighteen boot through the side of Brock Metzer’s skull. THE RISING SON!Using the spinning momentum from his partner booting Metzer, Lusus caught his flailing opponent and drove him head first into the canvas with a modified version of his Suplex to Emerald Flowsion; The Rising Son. The top of Brock Metzer’s head implanted into the mat with an accompanying uncomfortable sounding snap. Yoshitaka Maeda sprinted towards the ropes once more and leapt up into the air over the lifeless body of Brock Metzer. Driving his full three-hundred and ninety pound frame down across the back of Metzer with a senton, Maeda remained seated over his opponent watching the crowds stunned faces. “Oh my god he’s on the top rope, I don’t think it’s going to hold him.” Michael Decker shouted.Lusus had scaled up the turnbuckles and was perched up on the top. His enormous girth caused the metal connecting hooks and screws that attached the top rope to the posts to sink downward nearly touching the middle rope. Yoshitaka Maeda moved away from Metzer and Lusus came through the air crashing down on top of his fallen victim.“JACOBS LADDER!” Alan McTaggart screamed with pure jubilation at watching Brock Metzer be destroyed.“Lusus hasn’t done that move since 2008 when he was in fWo.” Michael Decker seemed caught off guard by how well Lusus was moving now that it’s been 8 years.Lusus stood up showing no signs of pain from his landing. Brock Metzer just lay motionless in the center of the ring. His opponent Larry Agenda looked like he’d been run over by a semi on the outside of the ring, his arms and legs were sprawled so far apart. Maeda walked towards Lusus in the center of the ring and both men folded their arms in front of their chests.“These two men are possibly the biggest tag team I’ve ever seen in wrestling Pecker.” Alan McTaggart exclaimed.“Decker.” Michael Decker replied.“The IGS Tag Team Champions, The Lynch Consortium combined aren’t as big as just one of these two men.” Alan McTaggart added.“That certainly could spell trouble for The Consortium.” Michael Decker predicted.“The Lynch Consortium, Michelle.” Alan McTaggart corrected his broadcast partner as the fans watched a host of IGS officials try to revive Brock Metzer and Larry Agenda. “The Lynch Consortium better start filing injunctions and suits and appeals and whatever else they can with LLB, because Stretch Dismember Kill look like they are on a hunt for Tag Team Championships.”
The stunned fans in the Kingdom Coliseum stood in shock and horror. Their mouths were agape though no sound was emitted. Many of the younger audience members had their heads buried in their parents warm embrace. Those youths that dared witness the heinous act of violence just perpetrated stood crying in fear.International Grappling Society had not seen anything the likes of the two monster's that'd just laid waste to Brock Metzer and Larry Agenda. Professional Wrestling history had never played host to such a swift and complete annihilation of two grapplers. The landscape had changed, Stretch Dismember Kill were here."EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK~!"An ear-splitting shriek rang out over the public announce system speakers. As if the capacity crowd hadn't just suffered enough. The lights in the building went completely black. The darkness filled the entire area until it was impossible to see even the faint glow of another's eyes."BLOOD. BLOOD. BLOOD."The chanting over the speakers grew louder and louder with each word spoken."BLOOD. BLOOD. BLOOD."Each syllable seemed to increase in both volume and pitch. An ever growing cloud of red smoke filled the entrance ramp and down the aisle towards the ring. Flickering red and black, the lights in the building began to pulsate. The smoke had nearly filled the entire coliseum to the point it'd become suffocating. Fans who were just now able to make out what was going on could see a figure standing in the rafters."Day and night repeat since the dawn of time. A single rib turned into a bite based on lust and selfishness. Creation continues to amaze creating new beginnings out of free will. A thin wisp of air tells me in it's own whistling voice an honest secret not to be shared. The revenant rebel screams of billions spread fallacy. Fact is an illusion made up in one's own mind based on personal interpretations."As the flashes of light began to quicken more and more fans began to turn their attention to the heavens in the building. A low murmur spread the word until everyone had turned their attention to the catwalk above. Over-looking humanity with his face pointed upwards to the darkness, "The Killer of Innocence" spoke once more."Those who rejoice in victory have not prepared themselves for the war that awaits."The entire sold-out crowd in the Kingdom Coliseum there to witness International Grappling Society 2 stood with their necks cranked backwards, their eyes pointed directly at the one person above them all. No one seemed to even notice the flickering of the lights, the cloud of obnoxious smoke or the still echoing shrieking squeal playing over the speakers.Still a gasp rang out from the crowd as everything stopped all at once and the entire coliseum went pitch black once more. The only thing that could be heard was the shifting around of everyone on the concrete floor. Followed shortly by a couple thousand hushed conversations. In the heavens above, abandonment.
"The following match is scheduled for one fall and 15 minute time limit!" Peter Greenberg yelled into the microphone.
The crowd cheered at the impending matchup, but their ovation grew even louder as Mozart's Fifth Concerto kicked in over the arena's sound system. Out from the back emerged Derek Ocean. Ocean pointed to all directions of the crowd on the stage for a few moments before jogging down the aisle toward the ring. Once at ringside, Derek leaped up on the apron and then used the top rope to slingshot himself into the ring. After landing on his feet, Ocean again raised his arms to the crowd and turned in a circle to take in the full range of fans.
“Dragula” by Rob Zombie blared over the PA system as the self proclaimed Great of ALL-TIME stepped from behind the curtain. Dean McDaniel stood atop of the ramp drinking in the chorus of boos from the packed audience inside the Kingdom Coliseum. The boos rained down louder and louder the closer he inched towards the ring. McDaniel rolled into the ring and gestured to the crowd to his opponent before walking to his corner.
As the bell rang, the two competitors eyed one another from their opposite corners. Both appeared to be in thought, trying to measure the other in this classic matchup of power vs. speed. They slowly made their way toward the center of the ring and once they were close enough, McDaniel made the first move, swinging for Derek's jaw. But Ocean managed to duck and caught Dean with a side kick to the ribs.
Dean McDaniel groaned but quickly overlooked the hit and tried another punch. Derek dodged it again, but this time when he tried a kick to McDaniel’s right side, the big man caught Derek’s leg. Ocean acted quickly, trying for an enzuigiri, but McDaniel was ready for that also. He dipped his head to miss the kick and released Derek’s other leg, then before Derek Ocean could react, charged ahead and nearly decapitated him with a vicious clothesline.
With Derek Ocean dazed, McDaniel lifted him up to his feet and piled on, hitting a European uppercut right on the jaw. Dean quickly followed with a second one, this one sending Ocean staggering back into the corner. Dean McDaniel clenched his right fist and glared at Ocean before moving forward toward him. In the corner, McDaniel continued softening him up with several knife edge chops to the chest. The crowd "oooh'd" at the loud sounds as Derek clutched his chest with his left hand.
Suddenly, Dean McDaniel grasped both his arms around Derek's waist and before Ocean could do anything to stop it, the big man launched him into the air with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Derek Ocean landed with a thud, and McDaniel wasted no time making a cover...
Shoulder up by Ocean!! The crowd cheered but McDaniel punched Derek across the nose as punishment for stopping the pinfall. As he stood up, "The Icon" pulled Ocean up by the hair and once he was up, took two hands and shoved them into Derek Ocean’s chest to send him back against the ropes. With Derek leaning back against the ropes, McDaniel looked around and sneered at the crowd, who responded with boos and more than a few middle fingers directed his way.
The big man grabbed Ocean by the wrist and shot him across the ring. As Derek came off the ropes back his way, McDaniel prepared to attack, but his veteran opponent avoided the contact by dropping for a baseball slide between McDaniel’s legs. As Dean turned to try again, Derek Ocean was already up and stunned him with a dropkick to the knee. McDaniel was stopped in his tracks and Derek Ocean turned to run toward the ropes, leaping forward and springboarding backward off the middle rope with a moonsault. But McDaniel had his wits back and caught Derek on his shoulder before readying for a running powerslam.
However, Derek had another counter in mind. As McDaniel ran forward, Ocean managed to work himself free and as he slid down McDaniel’s back, he wrapped his right arm around the man's neck and drove him into the mat with a reverse DDT. The crowd was thrilled as Ocean made a cover...
Kickout by McDaniel. The Greatest of ALL-TIME had plenty of strength to kick free, shoving Ocean off to the side. Dean McDaniel sat up, trying to shake off the cobwebs. Before he could get to his feet, though, Ocean came bounding off the ropes and hit a seated dropkick right to his jaw that sent Dean sprawling on his back again. With him flat on the mat, Ocean went for another high impact move. He stepped out onto the apron nearby and gripped the top rope, smiling as he glanced out to the crowd. A second later, he used the ropes to slingshot himself over the top and landed a leg drop across McDaniel’s throat. Again he made a quick cover...
McDaniel powered out again at two. As the big man pulled himself up to one knee, Ocean peppered him with a couple of punches. As McDaniel was finally up on both feet again, he backed against the ropes. Ocean grabbed his wrist and tried to whip him across, but McDaniel wouldn't budge. Ocean tried again, but for the second time McDaniel held on. When Ocean tried a third time, McDaniel finally came off the ropes, but almost immediately he reversed the move. However, instead of sending Derek across the ring, McDaniel used his brute strength to pull Dean Ocean back toward him and send him to the mat in a heap with a short arm clothesline.
The crowd booed heavily as McDaniel took a couple of deep breaths standing over Ocean. He pulled Derek up and started to go for another Irish whip but stopped. Instead, he grabbed Derek by the hair with one hand and the pants with the other and used all his strength to toss him between the upper and middle ropes and crashing to the floor outside. The Ocean fans in the audience booed even louder as Dean McDaniel followed outside, looking to inflict even more punishment on his prey.
McDaniel waited as Ocean struggled up to a knee and then grabbed him by the throat and shoved him backward, causing Derek’s back to hit hard against the edge of the apron. McDaniel grabbed his throat again and this time turned Derek around before shoving him back again, this time back first against the barricade in front of the first row. Ocean reached around for his back but McDaniel wasn't giving him anytime to rest. The Icon hoisted Ocean up horizontally in his arms and charged toward the nearest ring post, ramming Derek’s spine against the steel. McDaniel backed up and crashed against it a second time. This time, after stepping back, he snarled and tossed Derek back to the floor with a fallaway slam. Ocean groaned in pain as McDaniel rolled Ocean back into the ring and went for the pin....
Ocean was up first, leaning back against the ropes on the far side of the ring. McDaniel, meanwhile, wasn't far behind, and after blinking his eyes for a moment, he saw Ocean and was ready to attack again. He ran forward but just as he came close, Ocean moved forward and to the side, taking McDaniel down with a drop toe-hold that drove him face first into the bottom rope. McDaniel laid prone in between the ropes as Ocean started to climb up the turnbuckles. A second later he leaped off, driving the point of his elbow into McDaniel’s chest. He immediately covered for a pin attempt…
A kick out from McDaniel! McDaniel was slow getting up, but so was Ocean after leaping off to the top turnbuckle. As Ocean did finally get up, McDaniel did as well, and the two men traded a couple of knife edge chops. Before Ocean could strike again, McDaniel grabbed him by the hair and caught him in the midsection with a high knee. Ocean doubled over and staggered backward, McDaniel loaded up and turned Ocean completely inside out with a running clothesline. McDaniel signaled to the crowd he was done messing around, Ocean wobbled to his feet only to be met with McDaniel’s hand firmly grasped around his neck.
It was academic at this point.
IGS 2 returned from commercial break with a camera directed at the face of John Ackerman, sitting in his office: a tablet, a laptop, and two stacks of paper covering his desk. He paid no attention to the outside world; not even to his door as it slammed open and six-foot-four of Buddy Showtime barged in.
“Boss man, you got a sec?”
Ackerman looked up, paused for just long enough to take a deep breath and asked:
“Would you care if I didn’t?”
“Look," said Buddy, "I know you’re busy. Nobody knows better than me when it’s showtime.” He paused for half a second. “But I’ve got a bone to pick.”
Ackerman shook his head, “this had better be good.”
“Now you’ve been square with me since the day back in June you approached me about supplying Enhancement Talent for All Events Televised, Untelevised and Recorded for Later or Simultaneous Broadcast. Yeah, I read the contract. And I know we haven’t always seen eye to eye on all of the terms…”
“I seem to remember you asking for a cut of the refreshment concessions revenue every time one of your guys bled on camera.”
“And I still think that would be way cheaper than paying out for insurance, but you’re the one with the financial statements.”
Ackerman decided that perhaps he’d better stand up before he lost complete control of the conversation. So he did so, placed a hand on his desk, looked Buddy Showtime square in the eye and asked:
“So why, exactly, are you in my office?”
Buddy put the opposite hand on the opposite end of the desk and gave the General Manager a tight-lipped smile.
“So why, exactly, haven’t you told me there’s going to be a tournament coming up?”
“For one thing, because this still isn’t public knowledge. Hell, how did you even find out?”
“C’mon, boss man, you know I’ve got discretion. That’d be like if I blabbed about what went on in this office.”
Ackerman sighed, looking directly into the camera, and then turned back to the large man across the desk from him.
“OK. I may as well make it public, I was going to announce it. The 5-Star Spectacle will be held a few weeks from tonight, right here in the Kingdom Coliseum, the specific date will be announced in due time. It will be an eight-man, single-elimination tournament featuring the eight of the top grapplers in the country, if not the world.”
Ackerman paced along the back wall of the office, which was tastefully curtained to hide the bare concrete walls of the arena.
“All matches will be to a decision, whether by pinfall, submission, 10-count outside the ring or disqualification by the official. And the winner of the finals will have a chance to wear…”
Ackerman pulled back the curtain, revealing a bare concrete wall. On which was hung a big blue-and-gold belt.
“The International Grapplers’ Society Five-Star Championship Belt.”
Buddy stared at the belt in awe.
“Now that. That is one hell of an incentive.”
“Any further questions, Mr. Showtime?”
“Just one, why haven’t you already given me the heads up?”
“Because I haven’t even let the wrestlers who are in the tournament know. And I’ve nearly finalized the tournament brackets.”
“So you’re saying it’s not set in stone.”
“You know as well as I do that cards subject to change. Due to,” and he looked down at one of the piles of paper: “accident, malfeasance, cancellation with proper notice, improper cancellation, act of God and – although it’s not explicitly written down here – the whims of Mr. King.”
“Look, you and I both know the man’s a wild card. He’s a genius, a visionary, he doesn’t think like you or me…”
Mr. Ackerman stayed tactfully silent while Buddy continued.
“And that’s why we don’t need to get him involved.”
Ackerman, despite himself, was surprised, “So you’re not threatening to try to go over my head?”
“What kind of an idiot do you take me for? King signs the checks, sure, but you call the shots. You’re acting like I don’t understand the chain of command. God speaks to King, King speaks to you, you speak to me and the talent, and I speak to the Conservatory.”
Mr. Ackerman appeared to have stopped listening about halfway through Buddy’s speech, and frantically flicked at his tablet.
“What’s eating you, boss man,” Buddy asked?
“Well, since we just publically announced the tournament."
"When?" Buddy was surprised.
"Just now," responded Ackerman, "you do realize that there's a live feed with sound of everything happening here in the office."
"I had not," Buddy admitted.
"So that means we ahve an extra slot to fill tonight, and nothing to put in it."
“So what are you saying?”
“Well, we did contract you to provide Enhancement Talent to…what did the contract say?” Ackerman pulled out another pile of papers and began to read, “…fill all unbooked slots of regular matches: as single competitors or in tag-teams on one or both sides of the contest. Da-da-da…the standard rate shall cover up to two matches or four bona fide competitors…”
“And I’ve given you two matches, hell, tonight I've given you more than your money's worth. I didn’t know The Night had that kind of guts. But now that the Kraken tore him open, they were right there on the concrete for everyone west of Bethlehem to see.”
“And," Ackerman continued his recitation of the contract, "in lieu of payment for additional competitors or for matches utilizing the same competitors, the Federation may, with the Conservatory’s consent, offer nonmonetary considerations as stipulated in Schedule B so long as the competitors provided by the Conservatory share in the benefits of said considerations.”
“So you’re saying… ”
“You get me a match in the next ten minutes, I’ll get you that tournament slot. And I’ll award it to the winner of the match, to make it fair. I assume one of the competitors will be your Mighty Tarantula and I presume that you'll be able to find an opponent for him.”
Buddy blanched at that, “Look, you know as well as I do I’ve got one good man right now. God love Terry, but if you drag him back here and put him in front of a camera, the FCC’s gonna attach all your liquid assets.”
“Johnny Smith,” ventured Ackerman.
“Is not a member in good standing of the Buddy Showtime Conservatory of Violent Arts and will not be until his check clears. And the Night, as we've already established, is in no state to stand up for the next week.”
“Which means you’re out of luck, unless you’re thinking of squeezing yourself into your old trunks.”
Buddy scowled at this, least of all because he was (and remains) a good thirty-five pounds over his prime fighting weight and (at least) nineteen years over his prime fighting age. But then he got a particular smile on his face.
“Can you excuse me for a second, sir, I’ve got a phone call to make. If it goes how I’m thinking, have your secretary print me off a standard Enhancement Talent Rider with the Waiver Forms, I’ve got copies of the Registration Agreement for the Conservatory in my trunk. Oh, and a pen.”
Buddy snatched up a ballpoint from the desk and slid out the door before Ackerman could respond, and the camera followed him. Buddy reached into the inside of his dinner jacket and pulled out a monogrammed Blackberry. Dialing a number with his thumb, he spoke into the device.
“Kid, get your boots on. Your shot is tonight and you've got five minutes..”
The scene faded to a commerical break.
"Joining us at the table will be Buddy Showtime," Decker said.
"Welcome back, Buddy, what brings you here tonight?" asked McTaggart.
Buddy just smiled as Paul Greenberg made the announcement.
The following match is a Qualifier for a slot in the Five Star Tournament. The winner of this match will represent the Buddy Showtime Conservatory of Violent Arts and have a shot at the IGS FIVE STAR CHAMPIONSHIP!
There was a respectable pop from the audience for the tournament and the title.
"You're getting a man in the tournament? Congrats, man."
"Especially," Decker pointed out, "given the quality of your wrestlers' sportsmanship."
"Look," the smile left Buddy's face, "my boys may still be a bit rough, but two of them have as many wins as any other man on the roster."
"Yeah," Decker snarked, "one each."
"Hey, that means the Tarantula's batting a thousand. Can't beat that." McTaggart concluded. And that was when "Bladelore" by Autechere hit over the PA.
Entering first, he weighs in at Two Hundred Forty Pounds. From the Buddy Showtime Conservatory of Violent Arts, he is...
THE MIGHTY TARANTULA
The Mighty Tarantula was greeted with halfhearted cheers. He had, after all, won. But he did hiss at that kid. But that kid clearly deserved it. So he was able to make it to the ring unbooed.
The Tarantula flexed, showing off an athlete's chest and a veritable expanse of chiseled abs between the bottom of the costume and the top of the trunks.
"The Tarantula's a beast," Buddy Showtime explained, "he spends as much time in the weight room as the Night spends in the training ring. And it shows, 3% bodyfat and look at that 6-pack."
And his opponent, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He weighs in at One Hundred and Ninety-Two Pounds, he is...
And he was out there like a shot. All five foot six of him, running down the aisle before the intro to "Last Breath" by the Future had finished playing.
"Who?!" Asked Decker, the crowd was just as confused as he was.
"Isn't that that kid from the parking lot? With the sign?" asked McTaggart.
"Yeah, he signed the contract ten minutes ago out in the parking lot, but it's filed with the main office. The kid's under my representation and is officially booked for this match. Any further matches, naturally, I would have to negotiate with the front office." Buddy sounded far too pleased with that idea.
"You're feeding that poor nobody into a meat grinder?" McTaggart was grinning, "Does he even know what he's in for."
"The kid impressed me with his encyclopedic knowledge of my career. Even brought up my feud with 'Horseshoe' Harry Slaughter." Buddy clarified.
"Speaking of which, how is Horseshoe?" asked McTaggart, "more importantly, how is his wife?"
"Lost touch with 'em both years ago," Buddy admitted, "but if you're watching, Horseshoe, drop me a line."
Kendrick was, by this point, in the ring. And climbing the turnbuckle. And waving to the crowd. And then dropping down and running to the opposite turnbuckle around and behind the Tarantula.
"Kid's got energy to burn, but I need to see if he can focus it somewhere useful," Buddy explained.
"So this is a test for him?" asked Decker.
"Exactly," Buddy shot back, "if he survives this match and comes back on his own two feet, he's Showtime Material."
"And if, by some chance he wins?" Decker asked.
"Come on, don't be ridiculous" smirked McTaggart, "look at him. He's giving up almost an entire foot of height!"
Buddy remained tactfully silent.
The Referee concluded his pre-match instructions and signalled for the bell.
And the Mighty Tarantula just stood there. Not even taking a stance. Not even appearing to pay the slightest attention to his much smaller opponent, who was zipping towards him as fast as he could.
"Kendrick Matters takes the initiative with a shoulderblock." Decker reported.
"And he bounces right off, Tarantula didn't even move an inch."
Kendrick broke into a run, bounced off the ropes and tried a second shoulderblock.
"Kid's persistent," Buddy Showtime conceded.
"But will that save him?" McTaggart asked.
Kendrick ran towards the ropes again, lept into the air and bounced off the ropes, flipping into a flying shoulderblock.
And the Tarantula caught him in the air.
"No, Alan, that will not," Buddy responded.
And the Tarantula lifted Kendrick up to his shoulder and launched him, face first, into the top turnbuckle.
"Is that the Snake Eyes? Doesn't Terry the Bouncer finish with that," asked Decker.
"Yeah, every student of the Showtime Conservatory comes out knowing that move." Buddy was bursting with pride.
"Why the Snake-Eyes?" Decker asked.
Buddy answered without missing a beat: "It's a solid hit, it looks good on camera and not many people do it these days."
"And the fact that it used to be one of your signatures has nothing to do with it?" McTaggart asked.
"No, that is the reason every one of my students can do a flying cross-body, though. Buddy admitted."
"Even Terry?" Asked Decker, genuinely curous.
"Yeah, but he does it off the ropes. He doesn't mess with turnbuckles." Buddy said.
Kendrick Matters rolled out of the ring and away from the posing Tarantula.
"Smart kid," Buddy pointed out, "you're gonna need a breather after getting your bell ring like...what the?"
Because Kendrick Matters was not taking it easy. He was climbing up the corner post from the outside, shimmying up it like a monkey. He crouched atop the post for a second.
"What the hell's he doing?" McTaggart asked, incredulous.
"Apparently some sort of high-risk manuever," Decker answered, oblivious.
"This kid's gonna be another The Night, isn't he," Buddy sighed.
Kendrick lept, into a textbook-perfect flying crossbody.
"Well," said McTaggart, "at least you won't have to teach him this one."
And the Tarantula turned at just the wrong moment and caught him in the air.
"If this keeps up, he'll be in no state to learn anything," Buddy shook his head.
The Tarantula lifted Kendrick over his head in a gorilla press slam and dropped him eight whole feet onto the mat.
"Some solid offence by the Mighty Tarantula," Decker commented, "and he makes the cover."
And Kendrick kicked out! The Tarantula took a moment to get up to his feet, but Kendrick was already up and bouncing off the ropes. And he busted out a running Yakuza kick to the Tarantula's mid-chest, which staggered the big man.
"Now that's something the Night wasn't able to do," McTaggart pointed out.
"You got that right, maybe he'll be teachable after all," Buddy conceded.
Kendrick pressed his advantage by locking up with the Tarantula and dropping to his knees.
"Jawbreaker!" yelled Decker. "Wait, does that work on mandibles?"
"You see him shrugging that off," asked McTaggart, "'cause I don't."
And it was true, the Tarantula was dazed. And Kendrick rolled him up into a schoolboy.
And the Tarantula threw Kendrick off him, halfway across the ring.
But Kendrick landed on his feet.
"That boy's gotta be half-cat," McTaggart exclaimed, "he's got nine lives."
"And absolutely no sense of self-preservation," said Buddy as Kendrick bounced off the ropes while the Tarantula sat up.
"So does that make him half-Golden Retriever," asked Decker.
"Leave the color to the professionals," retorted McTaggart.
The Tarantula was up on one knee as Kendrick zoomed into his face, feet-first with a baseball-slide dropkick sending the big man flat onto his back.
"Now that's how you press the advantage," Buddy Showtime shouted.
And the Kid from Philly didn't even pause for a second before climbing the post as quick as a hiccup and leaping backwards off the top turnbuckle.
"Moonsault! Right at the Tarantula." Shouted Decker.
But the Tarantula had just bridged himself up and was crabwalking out of Kendrick's way.
"That is...unpleasant to watch," groused McTaggart.
"And Kendrick Matters hits the mat! Is this curtains for him?" wailed Decker.
The Tarantula gets back to his feet, hooks Kendrick's ankles with his own and then grabs his wrists, pulling the arms back.
"And there's the Mexican Surfboard to the downed Kendrick!" Decker yelled as the Tarantula twisted Young Mr. Matters backwards.
The Ref came in to check on Kendrick.
"Is he gonna give up?" Asked Decker?
"Well, is he gonna give up?" asked McTavish.
"If I know him..." Buddy Showtime began as Kendrick matters squirmed out of the hold. And he bounced off the ropes just as Tarantula got up, springboarding into a flying crossbody!
"Just like before, is it going to work this time?" asked Decker.
And the Tarantula caught Kendrick, but had to drop to a knee to do it.
"I dunno, Decker, do you think it's gonna work?" asked McTaggart.
The Tarantula stood up, walked slowly around the ring with his struggling cargo until he stopped in a corner with his back to the turnbuckles. And charged forward with Kendrick in his arms.
"OOH! What a powerslam!" Decker shouted.
"Kendrick's gonna feel that tomorrow, if he's able to feel anything!"
The Referee makes the count
"And Foot on the ropes!" Decker observed.
"So Kendrick isn't paralyzed after all," Buddy said, "poor kid's in for even more hell."
The Tarantula picked up the downed Kendrick Matters and lifted him up onto his shoulder once more in order to launch him into the turnbuckles for another Snake Eyes.
"Wait," yelled Decker, "he's caught the turnbuckle! Kendrick Matters has saved himself! And now he's climbing it!"
"But the Tarantula's right after him. Stalking his prey up the post," McTaggart responded.
And Kendrick stopped the Tarantula's advance by punching him in the face.
1! The crowd chorused.
"Oh my God," yelled Decker, "The Tarantula has caught Kendrick by the throat and...CHOKESLAM!"
Kendrick flopped on the mat, and the Tarantula wasted no time in lifting him up, the two men standing back to back.
"He's lifted Kendrick high into the air!" shouted Decker. "The Tarantula has him in his clutches."
"I thought the Tarantula Clutch was that submission he used earlier," protested McTaggart.
"It is," Buddy responded, "this is gonna be a crucifix powerbomb. If he hits this, it's gonna be a seven-foot drop right on his neck and shoulders."
The Tarantula walked a slow circle around the center of the ring, Kendrick hanging helplessly among the Tarantula's eight arms. The crowd gave off that buzz that precedes a huge impact. Kendrick began to shake off the cobwebs and realize his predicament as the Tarantula paused in the very center of the ring.
"I can't watch," Decker said.
"I'll do it for both of us," McTaggart enthused.
"Here it comes," Buddy warned.
And in a final struggle, Kendrick got an arm free, dug his foot into the Tarantula's hip and grabbed one of the lower spider-arms right where it met the body of the costume.
"That's not going to work," McTaggart said, "Terry the Bouncer tried that and got his ass kicked."
And Kendrick, whether he heard it or not, proved McTaggart wrong by pulling sharply upward. And the whole mask/costume assembly folded upward and forward, blinding the Tarantula!
"One of these men is cheating and I cannot decide which!" shouted Decker.
"Neither of these men is cheating, this is the new normal!" McTaggart shouted.
And Kendrick steadied himself for a second, but only a second, as he launched into his trademark corkscrew roundhouse kick! Right to the Tarantula's throat!
"He calls this one the Kendrick MATTERS!" Buddy Showtime explained, "he showed me the video of him doing it on his phone after he signed the contract."
"And I call that attempted murder!" Decker shouted. You don't hit a man when he's blind!
The big man was on the ground, his spider-arms splayed around him like a halo.
"Decker, if you had your way, they'd ban bodyslams for being to violent!" McTaggart shot back.
"Then you'd better close your eyes, Mikey" Buddy Showtime smiled, "because here comes the Dynamite!"
Kendrick climbed the turnbuckle as easily as you or I breathe. He jumped off, bouncing off the ropes to his right, then the ropes to his left before corkscrewing into the air.
"That's a phoenix splash!" Decker yelled.
"The DKMS to be exact," Buddy responded.
And the ref comes in to make the count.
Behind the entrance to the ramp before his match, Phaser stood quietly in concentration. He angled his neck and a few cracks could be heard. Phaser felt ready to go; it would only be a matter of seconds until 'Wild International' would start. Only a matter of seconds before his IGS career began.
He had come a long way to Pennsylvania for this opportunity, and Phaser was going to make good on it.
Then out of the corner of his eye, he saw something strange. There was a white envelope sitting on a box with several gold sticker stars. He leaned over and saw a name written on it.
He removed his aviators and picked it up, and knowing he didn’t have much time he tore it open to see what it said. Letters cut out from childrens cereal boxes (the kinds with the marshmallows and fruity flavors, possibly magically delicious, although it was difficult to tell) were arranged to read:
“DeAr PhaSeR GUy,
A smiley face and a grape scratch ‘n’ sniff sticker had been included underneath.
Phaser’s eyes narrowed.
With a stern face he looked at a nearby production assistant and held it up.
“Who put this there?” Phaser asked.
“Okay!” yelled the PA into her headset. She motioned her arm repeatedly at the ramp to Phaser. “Go! Go! Go!”
With nearly no notice, the hard beat and stiff rhymes of “Wild International” by One Day As A Lion hit the air, and the IGS screen began flashing “PHASER” in red and black intervals. Out walked the man named Phaser in black and red attire with a pair of aviators, and he looked all sorts of pissed off.
“HAILING FROM EAGLE, COLORADO, STANDING AT SIX FEET TALL AND WEIGHING TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN POUNDS!
Phaser paid no mind to the crowd as he made his way down to the ring. But down by the side of the ring he could hear specific shouts from the crowd. Phaser ignored most of the mixed messages the fans sent him except one.
“What happened in Colorado, Phaser!?” yelled one overweight man.
Phaser stopped two steps up into the ring and looked over catching sight of the man. He clenched his jaws, turned and climbed into the ring to wait for his opponent.
Bass drum and banjos began their sonic assault on the arena.
The only one come from just holdin’ on
A bullet is on it’s way
Tell the whole world I’m coming home
Someone’s gonna need a grave
In blue text across the IGS screen “RICHARDS” appeared as the ring announcer started his introduction.
“HAILING FROM PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA STANDING AT SIX FEET FOUR INCHES TALL AND WEIGHING TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY-FIVE POUNDS!”
A short pause
I can never be timid, start to the finish
Even through blemishes my heart is replenished
Violent images, with somethin’ in store it’s kinda heavy
Hold steady I’m ready for war with the P.O.
A party time I’m sorry I apologized
It's obvious that you ignore the truth just to acknowledge liesAnd honestly this is a promise not a threatSo you better watch your commas while your conscience is suspect
Forget the politics the dollars in your wallet justNo one comin' home for everyone I have a problem wit'Don't look astonished 'cause you knew that it was comin'You lookin' at me dumb, I suggest you start runnin'You have that Christian face but I'm chasin' you downLosin' patience you flickin' the cues, breakin' the vowsTomorrow isn't promised and that's even if you live todayWatch what you say or somebody's gonna need a grave
Richard’s emerged from the back, more confident this time. There was no waiting in the ring, fidgeting with the tape on his wrists. The nerves were gone. This was his town this was his crowd. His black full length tights with “Richards” up the side were now broken in. This wasn’t new gear, this had seen a battle and claimed a victory. He slapped his kanji kneepad on his left knee and began his walk to the ring. The kneepad represented all the hard work he had done to get to this moment. Everytime he slapped it he reminded himself, all of the squats, all of the pain. It was all worth it.
“This looks like a different Richards tonight. A lot more confidence, he’s riding high after his win over Gamble!” Decker was optimistic for Richards. McTaggert wasn’t quite as nice.
“Decker, Richards is stepping into the ring with Phaser! The last time Phaser was in the ring he ended a career! This is a death sentence from the higher ups!” he yelled.
Tell the whole world that I’m coming home
Every fan he could he slapped hands with, his blonde hair trailing behind him. He jumped up on the apron, staring into Phaser’s sunglass covered eyes. Once again, their was no malice in this fight, this was not personal. This would be an exhibition, a show of strength and power for both men.
IGS was still setting the table, finding out the pecking order. Richards’ and Phaser were both aware, and that’s why this match was important. It would shape things going forward for both men. Phaser took off his sunglasses, handing them to the ring announcer as the referee stepped to the middle of the ring.
He made sure both men were ready and called for the bell. Richards wasn’t about to make the same mistake he had against Gamble. He would take his time, size his opponent up, and decide the best course of action. Phaser was giving up thirty pounds, and four inches. He wasn’t about to take a chance and go charging into the much larger Richards.
The two circled each other for a moment, Richards slowly closing the distance. Phaser felt the quarters closing in, before he was left with less room than a Death Star trash compactor he knew he was being forced into action. Phaser went with a feint, he came in pretending to look for the collar and elbow tie up. He tried to duck Richards and slide to his back.
Richards anticipated the move, turning with the ‘Red Eagle.’ Richards unleashed a vicious knee trying to catch Phaser who slid out of the way. The knee found nothing but air. Phaser positioned himself to try to catch Richards from a unique angle, ripping off a roundhouse kick. Richards, still mid strike was barely able to hit the dirt under Phaser’s shin. He felt the kick graze the hair on the back of his head.
“WHAT ATHLETICISM FROM THESE TWO MEN!” Decker shouted into the microphone as Richards hit the mat. There wasn’t much time to continue the shouting, or have a back and forth with McTaggert. As a certain Oklahoman play by play man would say, “Business had just picked up.”
Phaser landed the kick attempt, and followed it up with a swing of the opposite leg. Appearing to almost walk towards the downed Richards with a sweeping attempt to decapitate him. Richards saw the weapon coming towards him at the last second. His brain made a calculation, he knew he could go backwards and reset the status quo, however he could also be aggressive and move forward to try to get some damage in. He rolled forward, letting the knee joint of the leg crash into his shoulder.
Phaser was shocked that he had been caught and Richards pushed his advantage. Throwing the now off balance smaller man into the corner. Phaser crashed into the turnbuckle and looked up to see a charging behemoth. Richards had loaded up another huge strike, his short arm lariat. Phaser made a similar decision as Richards had, he had to move forward and be aggressive in this match. He stepped to his right onto the middle rope at the last second, letting Richards crash into the turnbuckle.
Phaser’s leg sounded like the crack of a whip as it connected across Richards’ back. He had used the middle rope as leverage and while Richards charged face first into the turnbuckle, he let loose with a vicious strike using the rope as his point of balance. Richards, arched his back in pain as he turned around with his arms stretched out.
Richards was flexing his hands, trying to work the numbness from the spine shot out when Phaser exploded from the crouched position he had landed in. He hit Richards across the midsection with a spear knocking him back into the corner.
Press the advantage
Richards hit back first into the turnbuckle, with Phaser still wrapped around his midsection. Phaser grabbed the ropes on either side of the turnbuckle and slammed his shoulder forward, sending another shudder of pain into Richards’ midsection.
‘Red Eagle’ pulled back letting Richards slump into the corner. The reprieve was only momentary as he put his hands on the top rope and drove two huge left footed stomps into Richards’ stomach. Richards hit the ground in a pile as Phaser continued on his mission to make sure he couldn’t breathe.
He took a few steps back and ran forward at the turnbuckle, going for a low drop kick to Richards’ breadbasket. Richards expertly rolled to the outside, leaving Phaser nothing but turnbuckle to hit. Richards clutched at his ribs as Phaser quickly got up leaping over the top rope.
He ran forward on the apron, swinging his leg back with form Ronaldo would be proud of. Richards ducked under the potentially lethal penalty kick and was able to catch Phaser by his tights, yanking him backwards. Phaser’s eyes were the size of saucers as he fell. His back crashed onto the apron, and then he felt an excruciating wave of pain come over his face.
Richards had cocked back and blasted Phaser with a forearm shot across the bridge of the nose right as ‘Red Eagle’ had hit the apron. Phaser immediately rolled into the ring clutching at his face while Richards took a few moments to collect himself and actually breathe.
After a two count Richards leapt up onto the apron and came through the ropes. Phaser, hearing the referee stop the count immediately jumped up and went to the ropes. Richards had seen the sudden burst and managed to dodge Phaser. Richards ran in the same direction as Phaser, as he turned and hit the ropes for a rebound he saw the arm swinging. Richards released a running lariat that would make Stan Hansen blush. The two men went flying out of the ring over the top rope.
The two men crashed into the arena floor. They both continued rolling from the momentum of the lariat and slammed into the barrier.
HE’S FROM PHILLY!
...1! The Referee shouted as the two men laid on the outside.
...2! Richards slowly began to stir, pointing to the fans while he clung to his ribs.
...3! He rolled into the ring, while Phaser began to roll around holding his neck.
...4! Phaser managed to drag himself to his feet, with one arm on the barrier. The other on his neck.
...5! He looked into the ring, keeping an eye on his opponent. Richards was just picking himself up off of the canvas.
...6! Phaser stumbled over and climbed up onto the apron. He negotiated with the referee to keep Richards away for the moment so he could re-enter the squared circle.
The two stood across from each other, Richards with an arm across his ribs and Phaser with his hand on his neck. They had both managed to deal some damage, but now the status quo was restored. The two began circling again, this time the dance was over much quicker. Richards shot in, looking for a double leg but settled for Phaser’s lead foot. Phaser was shocked at the quickness, and immediately let his free foot go and sent it crashing into Richards’ skull.
The whiplike enziguri slumped Richards. Phaser freed his leg from the grasp and went off the ropes. Richards, was on all fours looking for his opponent. Phaser came diving into view feet first and smashed Richards across the mouth with a low dropkick. Richards flipped from the impact, rolling to his back and then over back to a kneeling position. He tried to come forward.
“KICKSTARTER!” McTaggert yelled into the microphone. Phaser was already positioned when Richards tried to move forward, and Phaser caught him right under the chin with a huge superkick. “I told you Decker, a death sentence for the rook!” McTaggert continued as Phaser slid over for the cover.
The crowd exploded as Richards kept fighting.
“I don’t think Richards is done with this match yet Alan!” Decker shouted. Phaser didn’t argue with the referee, he was focused on putting Richards away. He sprinted over to the top rope and ‘Red Eagle’ prepared for launch. Richards slowly climbed to his feet, right as he was about to turn around Phaser leapt.
“EAGLES TALON! RICHARDS IS DONE!” McTaggert once again shouted into the microphone. Phaser had leveled Richards with a spear from the top rope. The two men crashed to the match with Phaser hooking the far leg.
Phaser was outraged, the fans were overjoyed, and the referee looked stunned as Phaser berated him slapping his hand three times. “THAT WAS THREE AND YOU KNOW IT!” Phaser screamed over and over. Richards took the downtime to drag himself over to the ropes and make it to a kneeling position. His ribs ached, Phaser had made them a target, and had dealt a ton of damage to them.
Phaser spun around from the referee and immediately went boots first at Richards, stomping him across the face so hard that his leg landed between the ropes. Phaser sat on the middle rope and began shouting “THIS IS YOUR HERO!? YOU’RE PROUD OF THIS MAN!?” Phaser looked at Richards and drug his thumb across his neck in a throat cutting motion.
Phaser brought Richards to his feet, holding him in a front facelock. He hooked his near leg with his other arm, looked out at the fans and smiled as he lurched backwards. Richards had put the brakes on, and now had Phaser’s leg hooked. Richards flopped his free arm over Phaser’s neck and showed off his strength.
“FISHERMAN BUSTER!” Decker shouted over the roar of the fans. Richards had managed to plant Phaser right on the top of his head with a Fisherman buster. McTaggert was incessant “I don’t know how the referee missed Richards grabbing some tights there, this is absurd!”
Both men took a moment on their backs on the canvas. Richards breathed heavy, each breath forcing his ribs to move which caused him to grimace in pain. Phaser held his neck in pain, he had rolled onto his stomach and kicked at the mat in pain.
The two men slowly made it to their feet, the pain from the match taking its toll on their bodies. Richards struck first this time, taking a wild swing with a forearm and connecting across the side of Phaser’s neck and jawline.
Phaser stumbled back a few steps before returning with an off-balance roundhouse kick that caught Richards across the jaw. Richards went to having both hands on his knees, but Phaser couldn’t capitalize. Richards powered through and blasted Phaser with another forearm.
Phaser grabbed at his neck as Richards returned to his winded position. Phaser unleashed another round house kick, this one much more balanced and poised. The pain had caused him to come to life a bit.
Richards blocked the kick with his left forearm, and managed to blast Phaser with another right forearm. Phaser was once again reeling backwards. Richards came forward, this time his left kanji covered knee connected with Phaser’s mouth. Phaser once again stumbled backwards, he knew Richards was coming with a follow up and managed to duck under a lariat on pure instinct.
He ran to the rope and came sprinting back towards Richards. Richards ducked his head for a back body drop, but he was early and Phaser countered. He smashed Richards in the chest with a kick, causing Richards to be standing up.
“PHASE OU...NO!” McTaggert yelled as Phaser went for his jumping ace cutter. Phaser had the head, but Richards had managed to catch him mid-air.
“GERMAN SUPLEX!” was the call from Decker as Richards hurled Phaser over his head, crushing him with a high angle German, and rolling through. “TTTIIIIIGGGGGGEEEEERRRRR SUUUPPPLLLEEEEXXX~!” was the follow up call as Richards rolled through hooking both arms. He drove Phaser head and neck first into the canvas, popping his back up for a bridge as Phaser connected.
HE’S FROM PHILLY
Richards slumped to the mat holding after the three hit holding his ribs. Phaser began to stir a few seconds later and rolled to the outside. Richards rolled over to the ropes and got to his knees and for the second show in a row began waiving for a microphone.
“Thank you once again Allentown,” Richards was having trouble breathing, the words came out as a whisper. “Heh, sorry guys, Phaser is one tough son of a bitch,” Richards said as he removed the microphone from his face so it wouldn’t catch the sound he made grimacing. He took a pained deep breath and mustered a lot more behind it “I SAID THANK YOU AGAIN ALLENTOWN!” Richards shouted this time.
HE’S FROM PHILLYCLAP CLAPCLAPHE’S FROM PHILLY
The crowd returned his enthusiasm, and Richards paused for a moment while he got to his feet. His right arm still holding onto his midsection. “You guys just got a taste of the type of action you can expect from the Five Star Tournament!” Richards said, cracking a smile at the continued fan support.
“I just want all of you to know, I don’t care who’s in front of me. Whether it’s a legend who has wrestled all over the world like David Noble, Max Hopper, or Kayden Paulton….” Richards paused letting the digest his words.
“Whether it’s a seasoned veteran like Gamble, or Phaser” Richards continued pacing himself.
“Or new blood like Kendrick Matters,” Richards took a deep breath before starting the next part. He knew the fan reaction here would be crucial. Just like Metzer said, ‘You might have gotten over on skill there but if you can speak to the people out in those seats here, you’ll be a bigger star than you could ever imagine.’ This was his chance to be that bigger star.
“I WILL HAVE MORE FIGHT AND DESIRE”
“I WILL SHOW THEM WHAT IT MEANS TO BE FIVE STAR”
“I WILL BE BRINGING THAT TITLE BACK TO EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA!”
Richards slammed the microphone down, and began his walk up the ramp. Still cradling his midsection.
HE’S FROM PHILLYCLAPCLAPCLAPHE’S FROM PHILLY
Once again the music wasn’t necessary, but it played anyway.
The only one come from just holdin’ onA bullet is on it’s wayTell the whole world I’m coming homeSomeone’s gonna need a grave
David Noble sat in the locker room wearing a long sleeve white shirt, untucked, and a pair of blue jeans. With a pair of brown sandals on his feet and his brown hair tied up into a ponytail, it would be easy to call him a Jesus-lookalike. His head was bowed down and his eyes closed, clearly in deep thought of some sort.The door to the locker room opened and Noble’s silence was quickly disturbed.CLAP! CLAP! CLAP!“WHOO!” the man yelled out, clearly excited and happy. In stepped the rookie sensation, Chris Richards, fresh off his victory against Phaser. There was a look of jubilation on his face with the big victory heading into the upcoming Five Star Tournament.Noble slowly opened his eyes and cocked his head towards Richards.“Oh, sorry,” Richards said to Noble. “Didn’t think anyone was going to be in here. Most guys are either in catering or on their way out by this point of the evening.”“No worries,” David spoke softly. “Just in here gathering my thoughts.”Richards closed the gap between the two men and extended his hand. His left arm shifting to clutch at his ribs. “Chris Richards,” he introduced himself to Noble. Noble looked at the extended hand and then back at Richards before he shook it.“David Noble,” David responded.“Oh, I know,” Richards said as the handshake broke. “I’ve seen you wrestle before. Heard you last week after your victory. Wanting to go after the Five Star Championship. I’ve got a ton of respect for you and your focus.”David smiled. “Some would call me foolish or stupid, so thanks.”“I didn’t say you weren’t foolish or stupid Noble,” Richards said with a smile and a chuckle. His arms were back at his ribs, and the chuckle turned to a grimace. “Sorry, it hurts like hell when I laugh,” Richards said.“Yeah, rib injuries are the worst,” Noble chuckled. “They’re no joke to be honest. Get yourself rested up so you’re ready to go in the Five Star Championship. Never know. It could be you and me for that title. I don’t want some rib injury slowing you down.”Richards shook his head. “Oh, don’t worry. It won’t. As much as you want to walk out with that title, so do I. Maybe even more.”Noble smiled. He’d heard those words come out of his own mouth before when he was Richards age, when he had first been starting out. It would take him years before he had firmly captured his first title and encountered the pressures that came with it.“Anyways,” Richards interrupted Noble’s thoughts. “Going to have the doctor check to make sure I’m ready for the Five Star Tournament.” With that, Richards was gone. Noble looked at the young star as he walked out and shook his head. He would have to do to them as he’d done to so many others before him.As he reached down to grab his bag, he noticed something sitting in the bag. He had stepped away for the briefest of moments since he’d entered the room. He was unsure when anyone was even in the room outside of RIchards. David grabbed the item and realized it was a note of some sort. He unfolded it and began to read it. Slowly, the anger etched into his face until he balled the note in the palm of his hands and threw it against the wall.David then stood to his feet, turned towards the nearby locker, and started throwing fist after fist at the metal until it dented in. Noble stood there fuming as he felt the anger wash over him.
Back to the ring we go! Where we stop, nobody knows. Oh wait, the ring! Cue up Kyueko’s ‘Extinction’.
“This next match is scheduled for one fall. Introducing first from Saint Petersburgh-”
The ring announcer paused as a man emerged at the top of the stage. ‘Hammer & Sickle’ logo’d Towel covering his head, while a red and golden-yellow singlet and matching boots completed his attire. And you guessed it, more USSR representation. He stood there with his arms at the side, head lowered, letting the music pulse.
“Standing at six foot three, he is Nico Yumatov!”
Like a man on a mission he stormed down to the ring, and tore the towel off his head before grabbing the ropes and leaping up on the apron, then stomped over to his corner where the towel was draped.
“And his opponent-”
Suddenly the lights in the arena dropped and a single spotlight popped on. It shined down on the entrance aisle at the center of the stage where a single man stood. A golden cane clutched in one hand, jewel-encrusted with a wolf's head atop, to which he leaned on, while his other was twirling his fu manchu chinese mustache and beard. Rounding out his attire was a full-on golden tux with silver trim and a ridiculously oversized top hat that rested atop his head.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, children of all ages. Tonight you all bare witness to the arrival. The arrival of perfection. The arrival of style and class. The name is Gasparde Despereaux. You may know me from a promotion down south in St. Louis, or perhaps ol’ Gasparde’s former clients. Tonight however Despereaux is here to bring a new form greatness before you all.”
He grinned a toothy grin and tipped his head forward, holding tightly to the rim of his hat so it didn’t tip off.
“But Enough about ol’ Gasparde!” Grin. “Ladies, and non lady folk, allow Gasparde to introduce you to my newest find. He’s torn a demon asunder, and befell a giant. Representing the dominant race on this planet - the reptilian race, Gasparde presents to you form beyond the Door to Hell in Derweze Turkmenistan, he is the Omega, I give to you - ARZAEL!”
The spotlight vanished, plunging the arena into darkness once again. Only for a second before flames burst from the entrance ramp and around the stage. Igniting the tron’s screen in a visual blaze of fire. The door to hell was opening, and out slithered, if you will, a living fire-breathing dragon. No joke here, as fire spewed out from the man’s dragon-like mask and spine down his own back, and smoke puffed from the sides.
Gasparde smiled as his creation and find clawed his way to the ring, followed by the spotlight, before standing to his full six foot ten height and slowly stalked around the ring. The ring announcer wasn’t going to get a chance to announce him at this point as Arzael dove into the ring and immediately struck from the coil for Nico Yumatov.
Nope. The official caught Arzael from behind by the waist and kept him away from his opponent. Waving him off and pointing to his corner.
The fans cheered in the Kingdom Coliseum. They didn’t quite care about either competitor however the official sure was getting some attention. And why not. Towering over both competitors, wearing the custom black and white’s, and a certain pair of trademark shades - PA wasn’t far from St. Louis, they knew who it was and let roar.
But what about the match? Nico had the same question as he stormed back across the ring and got into the official’s chest.
‘Relax, get to your corner.’ Saunders officiated, surely. Then pointed at the other for Arzael. ‘And you, there.’
Reluctantly both did so. Arzael finally pulled off his large dragon mask and cape gettup, revealing his normal reptilian mask, or perhaps face. Saunders raised his arms then called for the bell.
Arzael charged right at Nico, who ducked right under his reptilian arm, and locked arms around the waist to haul him up for possibly a german suplex, but his might wasn’t mighty. Not yet. Arzael spun and decked him with a headbut. Nico stood his ground, and walked in for the tieup only to get out-powered and tossed down on his ass.
Nico bounced back to his feet and looked up at the massive monster of a man… reptile… before him. Gasparde cheering his creation on from ringside:
Yumatov was having none of it. Stomping forward he threw the bombs! Left, right, left! Heavy and centered at the chest, then down at the ribs. Not even bothering to be blocked. It only pissed him off and more were fired until the big man swung his right arm down and clopped him across the skull. Nico dropped like he had a cinder block tied to his feet and dragging him under the sea.
Only in this case he scrounged up in the near corner, grabbing the ropes to pull himself back up just barely… not avoiding the charging dragon. The impact knocked the breath out of his lungs and he was easy pickings for the bigger man to clamp down on his forehead with one palm, then throttle him with the second hand while shoving all his weight forward, nearly hanging the man backwards on the rope.
This of course brought in the customary five count which Saunders delivered before the monster broke off and let Nico slump down. Gasparde raised his cane in the air and pointed at the corner to which Arzael charged forward with a knee to blast him square in the face.
Except Nico slipped off to the side, waited for the rebound moment and caught the waist, popped the hips and dropped him back on his head with a bridging suplex. Might as well be a pin, so..
Not really a pin. But Nico had the upperha--WHAM. A right fist clocked Nico as he got to his feet and met the monster once more, having beat him to the punch. Quite literally. Pulling him in for a headlock, or perhaps one may call it a vice, as Nico’s face started to turn all the colors of the rainbow at this point.
‘You gonna give up?’ Saunders asked Nico, but got the beady eyes in return. Nico locked his fist in his own hand and rammed his elbow back into the sternum of Arzael. Using his arm like a piston he reigned in several of those blows until the beastly opponent released his head and he finally could breathe.
But why breathe when you can attack. Nico Yumatov stepped back and charged before launching in the air with a thunderous clothesline that knocked Arzael back into the corner. A second followed. Much to the shock of everyone he was gaining steam. Nico rushed a few steps back and then charged again with a barrel rolling tackle, that he used the momentum of to get to the apron through the ropes.
Nico mounted the second rope and grasped behind to the neck of Arzael and wrenched it back before he got him locked in for a sleeper hold! Arzael tried to fling him up and over but Yumatov had his left foot hooked under the rope and the other in firm place to prevent it.
‘He’s cheating!’ called out Gasparde from the side as he looked on. Saunders started his count. But Gasparde wasn’t waiting. He tried to pull Nico’s foot from the rope.
Saunders saw it. Like a deer caught in the headlights Gasparde stepped back and watched in silence. Nico pulled his foot up and this time slingshot up, but not back in the ring. Instead he used the downward momentum to pull Arzael over the ropes halfway. Then, and only then, did he leap on the second ropes, then vault himself over Arzael’s prone bouncy body, crashing his back down across the chest of the monster.
Nico shot his arms out and roared! He charged Arzael - only to eat a big boot to the face!
Arzael touched ground once more, His eyes seems to burn in rage. It wasn’t often that he was taken off his feet, let alone hung out to dry like that. It… wasn’t pleasant.
A second boot struck him in the face as he was getting back up. Arzael reached down and slung Nico across the ring into the near ropes. Escape could be his but Arzael caught him right as he came off the ropes, and struck him across the back of the neck. He knocked him against the ropes to twist him around then pulled him between the legs for a fallaway powerbomb.
Nico got his shoulder up! Or more likely Arzael was still pissed, either way the three count never happened and Saunders made it clear to Gasparde. Arzael pulled Nico up to his feet, then yanked him in close with a short-arm headbutt - never releasing the arm! Instead yanking him in again and locking his head in with the vice once more between his arm and ribs.
This time a rainbow wasn’t happening. Nico’s head started to resemble a certain kid in a certain Willy Wonka tale. Again however he locked his fist into his hand, closing in tight and tried to get some shots into the sternum, but the angle wasn’t the same.
Fading fast Nico looked around the ring, judging his distance from the ropes or the corner. Using his ring awareness to the extent of his capability. The far ropes, well out of reach. The ropes behind him, out of reach.
What about behind Arzael? He sized up the official as Saunders called out to him: ‘You gonna give up?’ Nico sized him up while trying to shake his head. It wasn’t happening.
Earlier, he could have swore he saw a limp as Arzael got off the ropes. Maybe.
With a swift stomp down on the left foot, he used his other foot to stomp down on the inner-side of the knee. It gave, slightly. Nico twisted the best he could, then pushed off from Arzael’s knee and foot, getting a bit of air and crashing back forward.
Arzael wasn’t prepared. He couldn’t keep the balance and tight grip. One had to go. He chose to reach out for the ropes rather than fall.
Nico escaped, and blasted Arzael back into the ropes, then sunk low and hauled Arzael up again against the ropes, using it to balance him - before yanking him off onto his shoulders.
Even Saunders was a bit taken back by his show of strength as Nico walked slowly to the center of the ring and wrenched Arzael’s body in the torture rack!
Would he tap?
Wasn’t seeming likely. Yumatov used what strength and energy he had left and swung Arzael around head first, dipping him forward, before finishing with a Michinoku Driver!
The fans couldn’t believe what just happened and called him out on it with the ever clever ‘holy shit’ chant ringing proud. Nico simply made the cover.
At least that was what he expected. Instead he looked up to see Saunders, the official, non-officiating at the moment as he was arguing with Gasparde.
‘Don’t throw your crap in MY ring!’ he stated while tossing the top-hat down on the ground. A quick replay on the tron showed Gasparde stepping up on the apron and tossing his top-hat at Saunders in the middle of the downward swing for a three.
Nico was pissed and stomped up to Saunders, twisting him around. Then clocked Gasparde with a right hook before returning to the pin.
Except Arzael saw what just happened and was back to his feet again. He double-axe handle him across the head, this time not letting him drop down.
Instead Nico found himself being raised off the mat, two hands clutched across his throat. Then raised on up to the heavens.
Thanks for coming, I guess.
He thrust, not dropped, Nico down to the mat spiking him with the release chokebomb.
Ding ding ding!
Saunders called for the bell and then reached over to raise Arzael’s arm, but was quickly shoved off so Arzael could join his manager or whatever he was to him, at the foot of the ring.
Calling out for the microphone from the announcer, Saunders walked over to Nico and helped him to his feet.
“Folks, give it up for Nico Yumatov!” Since he asked, the fans cheered for him. “One of the latest prospects out of my dojo. Possibly a future IGS superstar, if management likes what they saw out of him.” He patted him on the back and helped Nico up to his feet. Nico however dropped back down and rolled out of the ring then stormed up the ramp to the back. “A bit passionate, that one.”
Saunders chuckled, “but hey, it’s my dojo! That happens far too often! We like to have fun. Ego's get left at the door, while Eggo's are allowed to take center stage and get slathered in syrup.”
Saunders watched as Gasparde led his reptile charge up the ramp and to the back. Match was over. After all if he had him attack the official of the match it would quite possibly cost his client's debut victory.
“So,” Spike raised the shades from the bridge of his nose and rest them atop his spiked hair. “I hear some of my old pals are stomping around these parts. Even a Space Pimp found his way up here. And well, I’m getting quite long in the ole years…” He paused as a few Saunders chants popped up. “But I’m not retiring yet. Not yet. Not quite. I still have PLENTY left in the tank folks. Don’t you worry!”
That brought a round of cheer.
“I met with IGS a few weeks ago to iron out a deal. Maybe a one-time appearance sort of thing.” He teased them, as it was all too familiar. “Or perhaps long term. But some wires got crossed. My agent, or the head office, had a mixup. My contact got signed, I’m here of course, but I’m not officially a IGS Talent.” Cue up the boo’s. “Mind you, that’s nobody’s fault!”
He looked down at his chest, and the shirt. Then lightbulb popped.
“OH! I forgot about that. Right so, see, I was told I need to lose some weight since I grew that minuscule nanometer to reach seven foot four at long last! But, Nachos and Wendy’s nuggets’ man… a curse, and a poison, but a delicious death one day.” Laughing he clutched his belly like the fat man in the red suit would. “So my agent and fiancee had this bright idea that stripes make you look thinner!” He twisted around as if showing off his physique on the fitness stage. “Unfortunately security mistaked me outside as the official meant for this match. Coincidence? Well not sure about that.”
“Seems kind of like somebody just typed up this bright idea for my first appearance in IGS and handed it off.” He laughed, as did a select few of the fans. “Love the writers! Always. But I’m rambling here. So let’s just get to it.” Pulling his shades off his head he raised them in a fist up in the air. “IGS3. The debut of the Colossus!”
Cheers. And why not? Okay they also chanted his name once more.
“Hope to see you all here! Until then.”
He walked to the ropes and stepped over them, then down to the ground before handing off the microphone. With a fist in the air the Colossus walked up the aisle, that in a few weeks he would be walking back down as a competitor.
For tonight however… it was all just a dress rehearsal.
The scene went to the backstage area, in front of an iGS backdrop with no one in front of it. However, there was some commotion behind the camera, as numerous voices could be heard. It seemed as though an unscheduled pitch to this interview area had been called for in the production truck... and after a few good seconds of uncertainly, the crowd wildly cheered as that reason stepped into focus.
It did not take long for the crowd to get fired up. "L L B, L L B," they chanted once again.
'The Law' smiled and brought the mic up to his face. "OBJECTION!" Cheers. "Let me get this straight... I'm not in a World Championship match tonight? I mean, I was supposed to be in a World Championship match tonight, but Malik Roland decided he didn't want to put his title on the line?"
LLB paused long and hard. He waited for the cheers to get loud again... but that wasn't the real reason he paused for this long of a time. He was actually having a hard time coming to terms with what he just said.
"So let me get this straight. Let's get the truth here..." LLB turned around and picked up a nearby clipboard. He pretended to flip through the pages like it was the information he was looking for. "First off, Malik Roland, you stole my name. My name is Roland."
He flipped through pages almost comedically fast, insinuating there was a lot of information to go through.
"How you get off taking my name, I have no idea. Second, and more importantly... a guy can just walk into this place and be handed a championship?"
"OBJECTION!" The crowd shouted, knowing their cue.
"That's what this place is about? International Grapplers' Society is about just handing the title over to a guy whose company you bought out... or whatever the reason... I mean, who's paying attention to this anyway? Regardless, you get handed a title. You might as well go pick up a sledgehammer for one hand and a shovel in the other."
"OBJECTION" The crowd shouted again.
'The Law' flipped through more pages shaking his head. "So take my name, check. Be handed a championship, check. And then I earn a title match by beating Shawn Hart last week -side note, Shawn Hart is no push over-, and you get to revoke the title match clause?"
"Okay there, Malik Roland, whatever you want. See, I don't need a title to prove I'm the best. I don't need to steal someone's name to prove I'm the best, either. Malik Roland, you stand at like, seven-foot-nine, three-hundred and who gives a fuck pounds, but you'll never actually be me. You'll never actually be..."
"L- L- B! L- L- B!" The crowd was shaking the arena.
"That's right, members of the jury. As I cross examine this pretty big idiot I've come to the decision that, Malik Roland, you're a clown. I'll reboot you just like that Stephen King movie. I'll make sure to put you in your place tonight. You'll never be a real champion. You'll never be a real superstar. You'll never, ever be me. LLB."
"You still got it" clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, "you still got it!"
"Thank you," LLB acknowledged the jury. "Your reaction is deafening and loud and clear. Malik Roland, I could retire tomorrow and you could wrestle for forty more years and people will still remember me over you. Tonight your title may not be on the line but I promise you this... I will take it from you. And until then, and only then will I..."
"Rest my case."
LLB threw the clipboard behind him, smacked the camera so it flew to the side and walked off leaving the crowd cheering his name.
"Livin' La Vida Loca" by Ricky Martin hit the airwaves as Luscious walked out with his brother, Miguel, by his side. Luscious spoke to his much bigger brother as they walked down the ramp, taking time to hit some of the reaching arms towards him as he did.
"Walking on Sunshine" followed next, as the second up-tempo theme song played and Kayden Paulton walked out with a friendly smile on his face. He said hi to the fans in the front row and headed down the ramp, rolling into the ring. The referee wasted limited time in making sure both men were ready and called for the bell.
Almost instantly after the bell sounded, Kayden stuck out his hand.Luscious, at first, looked confused. He had only heard good things about Kayden. Was this an act? He wasn't sure.
Regardless, Luscious extended his hand.
"Good luck," Paulton said.
The two circled each other around the ring for a few moments, while Miguel watched from outside. He slammed his hands on the canvas, trying to get the crowd excited as they clapped on.
A few right hands, an armbar leg sweep and a standing splash later and Luscious went for a pinfall.
Paulton kicked out.
It was now Kayden's turn to show what he could do. He ducked a short arm clothesline and hit Luscious with a back stabber. He then hurled Luscious into the ropes, leaping into the air and going for a hurricanrana...
Luscious kicked at Paulton. He attempted a suplex but it was blocked. He attempted it a second time but it was also blocked. Paulton swung right around Luscious, hooked him from behind and connected with a release German suplex.Luscious snapped right back up. He came at Paulton, who almost did the splits while avoiding another short arm clothesline attempt and then hip tossed Luscious back to the ground.
Paulton connected with a dropkick to the back of the head. He ran to the corner and up to the second rope, jumping off and hitting a perfectly placed kick to the side of the head. Next, Paulton ran back to the same corner, up to the second rope and connected with a splash.
Miguel started to pound the mat harder, hoping to get his brother's attention.
"He's really supportive," Paulton said with a genuine smile looking over at Miguel, "you have a good brother."
But before Paulton could do much else, Luscious rolled him right into a small package.
Barely a kickout, but a kickout nonetheless.
Paulton stood and fell back in the top right camera-side corner. He smiled while shaking his head, as if a little disappointed in himself. "I got way to caught up there."
Paulton went to the ropes and hit a springboard moonsault after he jumped to the top rope. This excited the crowd, as they would usually see the move performed from the second rope. But Paulton displayed his strong athleticism here, pulling off the areal attack flawlessly.
Running to the top rope, he looked to connect with his finisher now, the double corkscrew shooting star press. However, at the last second, Paulton saw Luscious flinch just enough that in mid-air he adjusted course and landed on his feet.
However, Luscious was right beside him. Waiting.
He connected and the crowd cheered. Nevertheless, Paulton was too close to the ropes when it happened and he fell right through them and to the outside. Luscious knelt in the ring, almost watching Paulton fall through the ropes in slow motion. There wasn't much he could do.
Miguel walked over to Paulton, but he still kept his distance. At first, Paulton seemed dazed and confused, not knowing where he was. He looked up and saw Miguel about ten feet away. Rubbing his head, Paulton got to one knee, then one foot, then upright.
"Oh, hey Miguel," He said, "nice to meet you--"
Paulton was cut off by a suicide dive from Luscious through the ropes. They both collided into the guardrail and it seemed as though Luscious' head bounced off the rail as they fell to the ground. Miguel walked closer, still keeping his distance but shouting encouraging words to Luscious as he did.
"Hey, nice to meet you, I'm Kayden Paulton," he said, rubbing his head and acting as if this was the first time he ever saw Miguel.
Paulton turned to Luscious, but by now Luscious was also alert. He fought Paulton off and got him back on the apron. A high angle kick later and Kayden landed square on his back in the middle of the ring. Luscious went to the top rope, raised both hands in the air and attempted a moonsault. Yet, just like Paulton, he was able to make an in-air adjustment and land on his feet as Paulton rolled out of the way. Luscious hurried over to Kayden, pulling him in for a snapmare suplex.
Except Paulton slipped out.Luscious went to the ropes, but upon return he was hit with a sitout spinebuster, also called the 'Feel Good'!
Paulton didn't pin. Instead, he went back to the top rope.
The '7 Year Smile'.
This time he hit the double corkscrew shooting star press.
The crowd cheered as Paulton stumbled back to the corner of the ring. He smiled but also acknowledged Luscious and Miguel for a great match. Luscious, on the other hand, took some time to collect himself in the center of the ring. When he got it together, 'El Jefe' glanced at Paulton and acknowledged him as well.
"Good match," Paulton said, "we should do this again soon."
IGS2 went elsewhere.
The crowd was finally calming down when "The Devil In I" by Slipknot began to play throughout the arena. After a moment or two, a really handsome guy dressed like a Chippendale dancer walked into the stage. He stands around six foot three inches tall, mid-two hundreds weight and didn't seem to have an ounce of fat on his body. The crowd was confused as if they were expecting someone different.
After he stood confidently for a few seconds, The brunette from the vignette earlier in the show walked out from behind him, holding a chain in her hand. She was wearing red pants, boots and a very revealing top.
Devilina was out to make her debut in Allentown.
As she took a few steps in front of the man, it became clear than the chain that she was holding loosely in her right hand was connected to the collar around the mans neck.
She led him down to the ring, slowly shaking her ass as she sauntered down smiling cockily at the crowd. The man wasn't walking fast enough to Devilina’s liking so she yanked the chain harder than was necessary so she could control his speed.
As the man caught up to her, she pointed to the ground with a stern look on her face. The man nodded and knelt down on all fours at the edge of the ring. Finally happy, Devilina stepped on the mans back using him as a set of stairs to enter the ring. The crowd let out a ruckus set of boos as Devilina posed on the ring apron.
Devilina lead the man to the ring steps so he could walk up them and enter the ring. She flipped over the top rope and executed two backflips until she reached the center of the ring and dropped down into a split as the man waited patiently in the corner of the ring for her. She signaled to someone at ringside, who then threw her a microphone.
She finally raised the microphone to her lips, "You would think I would be glad to be here, but FUCK I hate Allentown." The crowd unleashed a deafening set of boos after Devilina just put down their hometown. "You can say you love this town all you want to, but at the end of the day, it's nothing but trash and hipsters! Completely uninhabitable. The entire city should be fucking condemned."
The crowd completely lost their minds, having booed Devilina as hard as they possibly could. With a look of complete disgust and utter disdain on her face, Devilina continued her debut promo.
"In case you could tell from that amazing package you ingrates saw earlier, my name is Devilina and I am here to become the best wrestler this company has and will ever see. And I don't just mean women's wrestler, I mean WRESTLER."
The crowd decided to calm down a little bit, thing to decipher what Devilina just said to them. "From the time I came out of my mom’s crotch, I have been the best at what I do. The best finger painting. The best in the spelling bee. The best at basketball, volleyball and softball. Even the best at making a man feel like they're on top of a mountain and crushing all of their hopes and dreams with one small stroke of my cunt wand."
The crowd erupted in unintentional laughter at the convincing use of the dreaded "C" word. The laughter doesn't phase Devilina one bit, even though the man in the corner seemed a bit disgusted at what she just said.
"I am The QCIC around here! For you idiots who don't know, that means," Devilina cleared her throat and paused for a couple of seconds, "QUEEN CUNT IN CHARGE!" This was met with a mixture of laughter and loud boos.
Devilina laughed as she continued to address the crowd, "I do what I want. I do it when I want. And I do it however I want to do it. Just ask Jeevesy-Baby." Devilina snapped her fingers and Jeeves scurried towards her and knelt down before her. "How is it going to look when a woman fresh out of Aces High Wrestling Academy who hasn't even had a single match in her life runs roughshod through the entire roster of this organization? No, seriously. How is it going to look? Just tell me. I'll wait."
Devilina stood in the middle of the ring with her left hand, holding the microphone, on her hip and her right hand clutching the chain that was around Jeeves' neck. Devilina placed the microphone back up to her mouth, "Jeeves, who here is going to actually defeat me?" She reached forward to place the microphone at his mouth. As he was about to speak, she took the microphone and placed it at her lips once again. "You don't have permission to speak to me nor this hogs here in Allentown!"
Once again, the crowd erupted in loud boos. "I'll answer for you, Jeeves: NOBODY. I've not even had a single match in this company and I'm set to be the biggest thing ever."
As the crowd continued their jeers, a male voice rang throughout the crowd. "Devilina, that's enough, woman!" Steve Solex appeared on stage and started walking towards the ring with a purpose. "I don't know who the hell you think you are, but you're a goddamn rookie! You need to pay your damn dues before you come in here and start talking like you're going to take over the International Grapplers Society without ever having a match!"
Steve slid under the bottom rope and stood five feet away from both Devilina and her man-serving Jeeves. "What, got nothing to say? You were just popping off that good shit a second ago about how you're the best. Someone comes out to challenge you and you don't have shit to say? You spoiled little bit..."
Before Steve could even get the last syllable of bitch out of his mouth, Devilina hit him in the face with a standing front kick right on the button. Steve swayed back and forth, staggering toward the middle of the ring. Jeeves slid out of the way as Devilina ran off the ropes furthest from her and jumped into the air, sitting on Steve’s shoulders, arching her back and falling backwards. This motion created a modified Spike Hurricanrana.
As the top of Steve's head spiked the mat, he stayed perfectly perpendicular to the mat for three seconds before finally falling onto his back. The crowd was in awe at the feat of athleticism that they just saw from Devilina. Even though most of the crowd is booing, there were quite a few in the audience clapping their hands loudly.
Devilina angrily picked the microphone back up and put it to her mouth while staring down at Steve Solex. She calmed down after a few seconds with the sneer on her face being replaced with a devilish grin. "That's Spoiled Fabulous to you, doll. Anybody else got something to say?"
She placed the mic onto Steve’s chest as "Devil In I" began to play once again. Jeeves walked over to the ropes and held them open for Devilina to climb through. As she did, Jeeves hopped over the top rope and onto the outside, helping Devilina down off the ring apron. She grabbed the chain from around his neck and pulled him towards the back as the crowd continued to boo.
"Testify" by Rage Against the Machine sounded off the commercial break and LLB marched down to a loud ovation. He pointed at a few "Malik Roland Sucks" signs and nodded in approval before sliding into the ring. He did his trademark scream into the rafters and hit all four ring corners. It was easy to get the crowd excited for a match like this, although seeing the charisma on display only got the fans that much more riled up.
ENTER MALIK ROLAND.
“That’s Gangsta” by Shyne blarred over the PA system as the dual champion emerged from behind the curtain. Malik Roland raised both championship title belts above his head to a chorus of boos that shook the Coliseum. The Mammoth entered the ring handing both championships to senior referee Curtis Atkins.
The crowd was loud.
Everyone stood on their feet. Much like Shawn Hart vs. LLB last week, this could easily be argued as another dream match. Malik Roland, at 6'8" towered over the much smaller LLB, but only in size. 'The Law' was clearly not scared.
"WE HATE ROLAND! WE HATE ROLAND!"
LLB looked into the crowd with a dumbfounded look on his face. "Me?" he said, cracking a smile.
'The Law' turned back to Malik, pretending he finally understood. "Oh, this loser."
'The Mammoth' stood motionlessly, clearly not impressed by LLB's antics.
The crowd continued to chant. Many of them clapped as well, while LLB circled around his side of the ring, looking to get an opening on his opponent.
Malik lashed out with a hard right hand, but LLB slipped under it and attacked the champion's back. He hit him with a few hard left hands and then some chops. But it was barely making a dent. Roland tossed a back elbow and it caught LLB hard in the side of the face. 'The Law' stumbled into the corner and looked up at the giant.
LLB wiped the smirk off his own face. He tilted his head back and screamed as loud as he could into the rafters again.
"OBJECTION!" The crowd screamed along.
LLB ran at Malik with a springboard forearm and caught him under the chin. 'The Mammoth' fell back but burst forward at LLB and crushed him with a hard clothesline. Roland wasted no time and picked LLB up effortlessly. He hurled him into the corner and charged in with everything he had. He hit LLB hard. The ring shook as 'The Law' dizzily walked out of the corner and into the middle of the ring. The champion bounced off the ropes and leveled LLB with a shoulder block.
'The Law' was down. The champion stood over him.
Roland threw LLB into the corner. He ran in again but this time LLB put his knees up. The former PIW Champion then went to the second rope and hit a missile dropkick that brought Malik to one knee.
"You idiot..." LLB mumbled. "I'm not a jobber."
LLB went into the ropes and hit another dropkick, this time connecting right into Roland's face. It sent the champion to the mat and LLB into the ropes once more.
Roland kicked out so hard LLB was sent flying into the air and almost halfway across the ring. 'The Law' crept back to one knee, watching as Malik rose and looked his way.
"You will be when I'm through," Malik said, finishing off LLB's last comment towards him.
The crowd chanted, but it was much more subdued as they were heavily invested in watching this match unfold. LLB ran at Malik, ducked a right hand and then another. He kicked Malik in the back of the knee and then tackled him down by taking out the same knee.
Just one thing...
He didn't get Malik down.
Instead, the champion got the upper hand by grabbing LLB's head and heatbutting him into the corner. He then threw LLB like a ragdoll halfway across the ring and looked into the crowd.
"This is why he isn't worthy of a title shot!"
LLB tried to get up, but before he could Roland lifted him up... high above his head into a gorilla press slam position. 'The Law' tried to fight out of it. He tried to wiggle himself free but he just couldn't.
The champion first thought about throwing LLB into the center of the ring but then he got a better idea.
Malik Roland would throw him out.
The crowd went wild! For instead of throwing LLB out of the ring, the contemplating by Roland had given 'The Law' enough time to finally slip out of the hold and hit the champion with a spinning heel kick right under the chin. The former Action Champion followed up with a few quick left hands while Roland was bent over and then a DDT. LLB jumped in the air as he rammed Roland's face down to the canvas. He knew he had to be quick, too. He knew Roland could take a beating and get up as if nothing had happened... so LLB continued to attack Malik's face. He dropped knee after knee into it, until the referee told him to stop.
"OBJECTION" LLB shouted back to the fans approval.
'The Law' dropped one more knee and then went to the second rope. He jumped off and looked to connect with an elbow.
Roland rolled out of the way.
LLB rose faster than Malik, but still struggled with pulling out another move. Roland's sheer size and strength fought LLB off and pushed him into the turn buckle. Roland ran in at LLB, but 'The Law' ducked and rolled to the center of the canvas. The champion went after him and after a few right hands he hit a stalling vertical suplex. LLB tumbled to the mat. Roland then connected with a German suplex.
LLB rolled into the corner, barely able to speak to himself. "He... he might do that one better than me..." he said panting, in reference to the German suplex, a move LLB would often perform.
The Toronto native looked up, as a large, ominous shadow crept over him.
The crowd booed and continued with "WE HATE ROLAND!" chants.
It didn't matter.
Roland punched LLB and then threw him halfway across the ring. He walked over to his opponent and punched him twice more, finally throwing him back to where he came from. This process happened about three more times before Roland signaled for the end.
He went for the powerbomb.
But LLB slipped out! Once Roland turned around he was met with a spear! Te 'Erroneous Conclusion' woke the crowd up!
LLB tried to cover, but couldn't get there right away. He was tired. This match was a much different battle than the one he had with Shawn Hart. That was fast and furious action, with both men hitting each other with everything they had. This match was a knock out fight, slower paced and way more measured.
LLB crawled over to the champion. He finally put one arm over him.
Once again, it was a kickout with some power.
LLB got upright first. He went to the second rope and once Malik got close enough he jumped off and landed right on his shoulders. While a hurracanrana wasn't going to be possible here, it was a good way for LLB to continue to work on Malik Roland's head.
Close range forearm shots flew into Roland's face, knocking him back. LLB jumped off his shoulder's and connected with a drop toe hold, tripping the champion up and causing him to fall.
A strong dropkick to Roland's head.
A strong running dropkick to Roland's head.
'The Law' used his entire body to flip Malik onto his back before applying a head scissors choke hold. There would be no Texas cloverleaf finisher tonight... at least not yet.
The crowd cheered as the referee checked on 'The Mammoth'. The champion seemed to be struggling a little bit at first, but he reached down deep inside himself and got to one knee. LLB tried to keep the hold on, but Roland fought to a second knee. "God dammit," LLB could be seen muttering. Roland was almost up.
LLB dropped the hold immediately. He was too smart to hold on now and probably get reeled into Roland's powerbomb finisher. Instead, LLB kicked at Roland and although his second attempt was caught, he did follow it with a strong enziguri.
The high angle kick caught Malik under the chin and sent him back. Once again, 'The Law' went for a spear while the crowed cheered him on.
"L- L- B! L- L- B! L- L-"
A forearm shot that sent LLB out. Roland went back into the ropes and hit a big splash.
"L- L- B! L- L- B!" The chants grew louder.
"You're gonna..." LLB started to cough, he might have even coughed up some blood. "...have to do..."
Both men got to their feet.
"A lot more..." LLB ducked a shortarm clothesline. "...than that..."
Roland punched LLB and then lifted him up onto his right shoulder. He ran around the ring and jumped down with all his power, looking for a running powerslam.
The ring shook.
But it was only Roland who hit the mat.
LLB spun the champion around and connected with a face buster! The crowd popped huge as LLB rubbed his head and waited in the corner of the ring. He put his arm up in the air and then crashed it down like a judge with a mallet. He did this again and again and again, while the crowd joined in chanting "guilty, guilty, guilty" anticipating another spear attempt.
But once Roland rose, LLB didn't go after him. Instead, he waited for Malik to find out where he was.
'The Law' called him on.
Roland charged in but LLB put his knees up. Roland crashed into them and stumbled back. LLB perched himself on the second rope, but decided to go to the top. He jumped off and connected with a elbow into the top of Roland's head.
The champion blindingly swung his arms forward. LLB bounced off the ropes and hit another spear. The roar of the crowd was deafening!
"HE'S GOT HIM! HE'S GOT HIM!" The announcers could be heard.
LLB grabbed his shoulder. The move had hurt him just as much as it did his opponent. Roland, on the other hand, laid in the middle of the ring.
'The Law' struggled to get to Roland, but he did and fell on top of him, trying to hook a leg.
"Dammit!" LLB could be heard screaming as he looked on in disbelieve. All kidding aside, he knew he was going to be in a fight. He just didn't want to admit it out loud.
LLB pulled Roland to his feet and went to the ropes again. This time, however, Malik hit a spine buster. He went for a cover.
Roland bellowed at the referee. He grabbed 'The Law' by his short brown hair and snickered as he connected with a running powerslam. Then he went for 'The Massacre'.
LLB slipped out while he was held up in the air.
The champion turned around right as 'The Law' fired a left hand at him. Another left. Another left. Malik was not the type of wrestler to get into a physical brawl with, but LLB had worked his head over all match and by now, Roland was, if not a little woozy.
What happened next, no one seemed sure. Either Malik Roland was able to hit a low blow and the referee didn't see it, or the kick connected hard to the midsection. Either way, the camera was not in a good position to see what happened and neither was the referee.
Roland looked into the crowd and smashed his elbow into LLB's head. He bounced off the ropes and connected with his own spear. Then, quickly, he connected with a much faster, albeit maybe weaker version of 'The Massacre'.
Roland smiled and fell to his knees. He hooked both legs just to make sure.
The crowd booed and Roland rose with an evil and satisfied grin on his face. 'The Law' rolled onto his side and then, eventually, out of the ring. Roland was handed his titled and screamed into the crowd.
"THIS IS WHY HE ISN'T WORTHY. THIS IS WHY I AM THE CHAMPION."
"ROLAND SUCKS, ROLAND SUCKS." The crowd replied.
LLB, meanwhile, recovered outside the ring. By now he was looking into the ring, eyes locked dead onto his opponent. He was not happy.
Malik walked to the corner of the ring closest to LLB and held the title up high. 'The Law', who still grabbed his head with one hand, shot Roland a sarcastic middle finger with the other as if to say, "go ahead, have your moment."
"That's Gangsta" played on the speakers while Roland celebrated in the ring and LLB, basically without blinking, stared him down.
The scene went elsewhere.
As the video feed returned from commercial break, the camera showed The Lynch Consortium’s dressing room. Jameson was lounged back on a leather sofa and texting at a furious pace, while Grayson sat in leather computer chair, spinning in quick circles.
The door suddenly closed. “I think we have a deal in place gentlemen.” Walsh, the attorney for the Lynch Consortium said confidently as he entered the room.
“What you talmbout Willis?” Grayson jumped out of his seat with excitement grinning from ear to ear.
Jameson broke eye contact with the screen of his phone, his fingers not breaking stride. “Hope you did your job.”
John Walsh walked towards the nearest open chair and took a seat.
“Now guys before I start keep an open mind.”
“FUCK THAT SHIT!” Grayson interrupted . “Wait, what’s the deal?”
“If you let me finish… the deal is this. Mr. Ackerman will not be returning your PWR Tag Team Championship belts.”
Jameson Lynch’s phone hit the floor with a shatter, his face turned into a half smile, drenched with fervor as he began clapping slowly. “Well good job buddy! Earn that bonus!”
“Not getting our championships back? NOT GETTING OUR CHAMPIONSHIPS BACK?! You had one job Jimmy, one job and you couldn’t get that right! What do we pay you for?” Grayson screamed towards Walsh.
“You pay me to keep you out of prison and stop calling me Jimmy.” Walsh snarkily replied.
Jameson cut in, “hold up, JT. If you didn’t get the straps back.. Then what’s the damn deal?!”
“The deal is the General Manager agreed to put the PWR Tag Team Championships in a glass case at the IGS headquarters, to honor you guys for being such a ferocious tag team.” Walsh confidently spouted.
Grayson Lynch inhaled deep before laughing hysterically.
“Did I ever tell you how much of a genius you are JT Money? A statue erected in our likeness.” Grayson began giggling. “Hey did you hear me Jameson I said erected.”
Jameson rolled his eyes. “I don’t think we’re getting a statue, man…Wait… are we getting a statue?”
Walsh gritted his teeth, but quickly turned that frown upside down and into a tight smile. “Uh, not quite a statue. I did manage to negotiate a rather large golden plaque, which will be adorning the front of the case.”
Grayson Lynch walked over to his bag and pulled out his IGS Tag Team Championship belt, slung it over his shoulder before giving James Walsh an instruction.
“Whatev’s Esquire just immortalize my shit!”
The show was over. Noble had seen MacKenzie leave earlier in the evening. He thought about telling her, about revealing everything to her, but he didn’t want to worry her. He was scared as to how she would react if he told her what he’d received earlier in the evening. The truth was, he didn’t really know or understand what he had gotten.
With each step though, his mind weighed more and more on the note he had found in his bag after his encounter with Richards. His mind focused heavily on who had put the note there and not so much about the contents of said note. He wondered if it could’ve been Richards. He had met many a person who would say one thing to your face and stab you in the back when you weren’t looking.
Still, he thought to himself, the kid seemed genuine and sincere. The long hallways in the Kingdom Coliseum caused him to pause and look around, wondering if he had already passed the second hallway he was looking for, the hallway that would lead to his exit. As he glanced around, he realized he hadn’t passed it as of yet.
Noble put his head down, pulled his bag over his shoulder as it had slipped a bit, and began walking towards the exit of the Coliseum. He needed to get to the gym, to get back to working out, to improving his cardio. He only had a matter of weeks until the Five Star Tournament and he was determined to do just what he said he would.
Yet, his mind kept wandering back to the note he had received.
Your day shall comeI will bear your truths for all to seeI will dismantle everything that you hold dearAnd I will destroy the one that you love the most.Your day shall come
As he closed his eyes, he could remember the way it was written, almost old fashioned and planned with each pen movement. Noble opened his eyes and walked out the double set of doors and spotted his Audi.
With Noble exiting the building, he heard something.
"Ahem," he heard, as if someone was clearing their voice. The timber of said voice was deep and warm.
Noble looked to his left and realized Malik Roland was standing there, tired a bit, but surely well aware of his surroundings. As Noble looked at the man, David was giving up half a foot and nearly a hundred pounds to the man, he realized that Malik had been waiting for him.
David quickly dropped his bag and squared up.
"Calm down," Malik started. "I figured I should meet the man who decided to run his mouth about me. Me whooping your ass, that's going to come in due time. If I wanted to do it, it would have already been done."
Noble's jaw tightened. Malik walked towards him.
"You come out here and you start running your mouth, talking about wanting to be the best. Well, I'm not sure you've noticed or not, but I'm the best here. You want to be the best? You've gotta take me down. And looking at you in person, I don't see the happening anytime soon," Malik continued, rolling his shoulders in the process and cracking his knuckles.
Noble let out a small smile. "If I had a dime for everytime someone told me that, I would be a very, very rich man Roland. I've faced off against men bigger than you, stronger than you, meaner than you. Hell, I've faced off against women better than you."
That last comment caused Malik's eyes to narrow a bit. David could see the gears working inside of his head.
"The fact of the matter," David continued. "Is that you don't scare me. You don't intimidate me. You want to wait for me in the parking garage? So be it. Next time, you best be ready to fight. Because I spoke my peace about you. It wasn't running my mouth. It was speaking truth."
Malik chuckled. "When I break you in half, I promise you, you won't get up from that. Derek Ocean is a chump compared to me. If you make it out of that Five Star Tournament with the title, you best believe I will be there to put you back in your place. IF. Don't forget who truly runs this place."
Then Malik turned and walked away from Noble. "Your day shall come," Roland offered him, which sent a chill up Noble's spine as he watched Malik disappear.
Your Day Shall Come
He remembered the note. He heard the words. He knew exactly where the note had come from.
David looked down and found his fists in a ball. He took a deep breath in, steeling his body in the process and checked the anger that was rising in his chest. Noble then took the bag and slung it across his shoulder.
He knew what he had to do now and he had to do it with not just urgency, but with conviction.
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