Piper Lennon was sat on a shipping crate in a remote backstage area of the arena, cross-legged in her street clothes. Her signature Polaroid camera was hanging around her neck and she twirled the strap in her fingers as she sat there fidgeting about. Flashing a crooked smile, she perked her head at the approaching camera crew.
Piper Lennon: You caught me feeling a little restless I guess, idle hands and all that. But we’ll fix that soon enough.
She gives an exaggerated wink.
Piper Lennon: Anyhoo, tried to find a bit of quiet to do a bit of reflection, all that stuff. Felt like it was fitting with this not only being the Anniversary Show for the company, but a little bit past the one year anniversary of when I showed up here. It’s been good times, good times, can’t lie. Gotten to express myself, explore the world, make all sorts of special connections and new friends-- have plenty of learning experiences … and that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?
Her head cocked slightly.
Piper Lennon: At least for me it is.
A light shrug.
Piper Lennon: I mean, I guess not everyone is wired the way I am. Like, I don’t think it makes me special or whatever, but I look around at a lot of other young people in my position and it seems to me like they’re missing out man. They enter this business and join some fly by night company where they can rack up all these accolades that they think mean something because they’ve been blinded by what so much of our society is now. They’re looking for the tangible, the material, and the quickest, easiest path to them. I can’t say I’ve been totally immune to it, not get all high and mighty though, but at least when I wanted something because it was pretty and shiny I was transparent with my motivations and I entered a situation that was already boiling over because I still wanted an experience to go with it.
She sighs, but makes her best effort to maintain a smile.
Piper Lennon: Maybe that makes me the weird one, maybe it’s “crazy” that I actually am focused on living life to its fullest, taking in everything around me and learning about it in situations that make me grow as a person instead of just letting the days zip by.
Piper makes air quotes with her fingers.
Piper Lennon: I don’t think it is, I think I’m just a girl that hasn’t lost her sense of adventure or become lost in the rat race and disenchanted with the world. So I’m gonna just keep doing me, which means I’ve got my eyes on that Frontier Lions Cup.
After taking a moment to adjust her glasses, she continues.
Piper Lennon: Maybe not for the same reasons as the other people looking to get in, but I’ve got my eyes on it. Which means that tonight I’ve got to qualify, and get past the undisputed leader of The New Murder, Fenrys. He seems like a pretty chill dude, has a dope wolf mask or whatever that is. I might have to take it home with me to get a closer look at the stitching and whatnot, that’s good work-- or at least snap a picture of it when we’re done with our tango.
She raps her camera lightly.
Piper Lennon: But really I think I’ll be doing him a favor by knocking him off. He’s already got plenty on his plate by being the most feared and respected member of his group, having to keep all their ducks in a row and whatnot. I don’t think he’d be able to fully breathe in all the sights and sounds that come with this little shindig, nevermind all the exciting stuff that could come with winning it. Like, I’m not blind to what lies at the end of the rainbow, if anything I’d say it means a lot to me because it’s not just another notch on my belt to me.
Lennon unfolds her legs, then hops down from the crate and starts walking forward.
Piper Lennon: Sooo, not to get all corny like I’m a modern day Robin Hood or anything, but I’ve got stuff I wanna do so tonight’s not gonna be a night where the rich get richer. Either way, should be blast, toodles!
With a giggle and a small wave, the scene cuts out.
There is a bit of a shuffling, with someone trying to pull the plastic lens off of the camera, before pausing. There’s a sigh, and a loud, albeit mainly negative reaction surges throughout the arena as more attendees recognize the voice.
??: Here, let me get this camera on you. How do you g… where the-- aha. There we go.
There is more fumbling before a variety of colors overtake the screen while the lens cap is removed at the exact moment the camera points toward the bulb of one of the overhead lights. The camera shuffles a bit more before panning downward, revealing the face of Evan Envi, only intensifying the noise of the live audience. Evan blinks a few times, trying to figure out the basic controls of the camera before smirking a bit into the lens.
Evan Envi: Looooook. At. Us. We don’t need any stinkin’ Spencer. Don’t need any ffffreakin’ Jessie. Look at-- oh-- are we live? Hello?
Evan narrows his eyes into the lens of the camera, but his ears perk at another loud mixed reaction from the audience. Evan smiles broadly and turns to look at somebody over his shoulder, jerking a thumb in the direction of the door.
Evan Envi: I think that means we’re live. Who says the Chief isn’t tech-savvy, eh? ...Eh?
Evan clears his throat in the absence of praise, but shrugs a bit toward the camera and hands the camera over to Ricky Valero, Evan’s best friend and partner in crime as The Good Guys. Ricky is less enthused than Evan, however, sporting his ring gear and looking like he’s ready for a fight. There’s no trademark smirk, no smug sense of self worth, just an angry man seething with the world resting on his shoulders.
Ricky Valero: For the last few weeks all across social media, people have been sharing lists highlighting their Top 5s...the best wrestlers in the game today, the future stars, everybody’s dream matches...Over on FGAWrestling.com, the editorial team is holding a bracket challenge for the Frontier Lions Cup for the fans to choose who they believe will win in each round of the tournament. And on all of these lists and in the vast majority of the bracket selections made public, there is one name I could not help but notice was missing: Ricky Valero.
Ricky and Evan both scoff and roll their eyes on cue, with Ricky placing the camera on a countertop, allowing both Good Guys to be in frame simultaneously.
Ricky Valero: I shouldn’t care about things like this. I shouldn’t care what those people think. It shouldn’t bother me when Dom Harter tries to tear down my legacy, all that I have accomplished here in FGA and throughout the course of my 18-year in-ring career, and basically call me a lackey to my best friend Evan here. I shouldn’t let any of this stuff bother me because the fact of the matter is that nobody else’s opinion matters but the opinions of The Good Guys…
Ricky slouches slightly as his eyes fall to the floor.
Ricky Valero: But it does bother me.
He sucks his teeth in disgust as he shakes his head. His focus returns to the camera in front of him with a bit more fire.
Ricky Valero: It pisses me off. It makes my blood boil. Reading every one of those God forsaken names…
Ricky and Evan share a mildly surprised look at one another.
Ricky Valero: But Ricky Valero? Evan Envi even? The former UNDISPUTED FGA WORLD CHAMPION? Nothing. Now it’s clear to me that myself and Evan...we’re not exactly the most popular men on the FGA roster. We speak our minds. We work hard and EARN everything we get in this company. You’ll never find us kissing up to authority or manipulating things in our favor. We do things the right way, and the people just don’t like that.
The live audience boos uproariously. Ricky just shrugs.
Ricky Valero: People are inherently evil and it’s their prerogative to cheer for everything wrong with the world today. But when I’m sifting through Twitter on the car ride over to the next city to put my life on the line and entertain the masses for the 200th time this year and I see people listing off names like the ones I mentioned above, names like my opponent later tonight in the qualifying round of the FLC tournament, and declaring them as a superior talent because they are so blinded by hate that they refuse to recognize greatness when it stands right there in front of them, I feel insulted. I feel disrespected. Don’t you feel disrespected, Evan?
Evan blinks a few times, looking up toward Ricky with a look that reeks of unpreparedness.
Evan Envi: I mean… I think Lowri is pretty much…
Evan draws a deep breath, considering his words.
Evan Envi: ...pretty much incapable of overcoming whatever you have planned for her tonight. She may be one of the rising stars in this industry-- fine-- and she may be the internet sweetheart of the month-- right-- but she is nothing compared to you… if you ask me, anyway. I mean, people are so obsessed with the new new, these days, that they’ve forgotten how to appreciate true, refined quality. Hah. I mean…
Evan smiles broadly, gesturing between himself and Valero.
Evan Envi: I mean, we’re quality. Tried and tested. They just-- I just don’t know if that’s in with the kids right now. We’re almost too much class, actually. We’re gonna be way more popular in retrospect, like five or six years from now. They’re gonna regret not hopping on the bandwagon.
Ricky sneers but is otherwise silent for the moment. You can almost see the wheels turning inside his head as he allows Evan’s words to sink in for all who are tuned in. Finally, Ricky can’t help but chuckle and nod his head in agreeance.
Ricky Valero: You’re damn right they will, Evan, because the reality is that you and me, we are the best things going in professional wrestling today. And whether these dweebs choose to admit it or not, we’re the reason they’re tuning in. We’re the reason they’re all glued to their seats. Sure, they’re praying so deeply for us to fail, but that’s only because they refuse to admit that we are both just as good as we’ve been telling them we are. So yea, they boo us. They tear down our legacies. They trash our names. They disrespect us by refusing to even recognize us alongside all their precious little darlings on Twitter, on Reddit, on their God awful podcasts. Jimmy Page, Kol, Fujiko Mine, Marlon Cure, Lowri Moss...No Evan Envi. No Ricky Valero.
Ricky takes a deep, agitated breath.
Ricky Valero: But that’s okay. Because that’s all the more motivation I need to go into my match tonight with Lowri Moss and remind each and every one of my doubters just how damn good I am. Just how damn good I can be when my eyes are on the prize. I said it two weeks ago and I’ll say it again, it doesn’t matter who’s standing in my way, whether it’s Dom Harter, Seth Iser, or my boy Evan here too, I’m going to do everything in my power to fight my way through challenger after challenger and secure my shot at Jimmy Page and the FGA World Championship.
He turns toward Evan with a smirk.
Ricky Valero: And I wouldn’t expect anything less from you.
We seem to focus on Evan, whose eyes have been locked on Ricky for several moments. The response seems to be more forgiving than the one the audience offered Valero, but still riddled with boos.
Evan Envi: And you shouldn’t.
Evan sighs, scratching his head a bit as he looks toward the ground before back toward Ricky.
Evan Envi: I don’t doubt you can beat Lowri. I was never able to, because I was always in my own head. I was always trying to do certain things better than she did them, like I was trying to make the people cheering for her feel stupid-- even though I was one of those people. It was crazy. I was looking at this person evolving so much faster than I was ever able to and that drove me insane. Like-- my legit admiration for Lowri became… rage. Hate. It was wild.
The audience boos at the words but Evan shakes his head a little, looking at Ricky.
Evan Envi: I realized I didn’t hate her though. Not really. I was just blown that I psyched myself out like that. I got so caught up in people’s perception of our match that I forgot how real of a threat she was. I forgot how hard I needed to work to win.
A deep breath.
Evan Envi: And... and that’s something I can’t let happen against Max. I mean… I won the FLC a year ago and now Max freakin’ Powers has the ability to knock me out of the qualifying round. Max--
Evan shakes his head again, despite the audience popping for this realization. He looks at Valero with a raised brow.
Evan Envi: I can’t treat him the way I’ve treated Lowri in the past though. Y’know? I can’t-- I can’t look at this match against Max like it’s an exhibition. This could be my only path back to the FGA World Championship. I wasn’t gifted a rematch like other champions before me. And I knew I wouldn’t be. Not with these… people running things. Ugh, I felt it. So I can’t sleep on this.
Another deep breath.
Evan Envi: And you can’t either. You can’t treat Lowri like she’s…
Evan pauses. He looks off, out of frame, for a few moments before uttering a single, dry chuckle.
Evan Envi: You can’t treat Lowri like she’s any other “Grappler.” Any other wrestler. You wanna beat her, and you have to treat her like she’s the best there is. Because she fights like she thinks she is… and maybe Max does too.
Evan Envi: But you’ll prove she’s not. And I’ll prove he’s not.
Evan Envi: And then… and then it’s you and me.
Ricky Valero: And then, it’s you and me.
He extends a hand out to his brother in arms with a grin, to which Evan happily obliges and meets Ricky halfway with a stern handshake. Evan pulls Ricky into a half-hug, giving him a slap on the back before moving past him, out of the locker room. We hear the door close in the background… before Ricky’s grin fades into a smile… which fades into almost nothing. He draws a deep breath, looking toward the door with an indistinguishable look on his face, his only visible hand clenching into a fist as we slowly fade to black.
Our shot opens up to a panning shot of the outdoor view of Prudential Center. The feed cuts to inside the view and pans around at a shot of Prudential Center from high up above. We then cut to another panning shot of the venue, showing off the excited crowd.
Kris Cruise: Hello everyone and welcome to FGA’s Seven Year Anniversary Show! I am Kris Cruise! Joining me as always is my colleague, Stephy Auger! Tonight, Stephy, we’re coming to you from the jam-packed Prudential Center here in lovely Newark, New Jersey!
Stephy Auger: Who are you kidding? There’s nothing lovely about this dump! The sooner we leave, the better!
Kris Cruise: You and others can make all the cracks about Newark, and New Jersey in general, all you want. But the Garden State is the birthplace of FGA! We’ve expanded throughout the United States, held shows in Canada and have even ventured overseas. But New Jersey is where it all started. It’s the heart of FGA and we’re proud to bring you a show that celebrates seven years of Frontier Grappling Arts!
Kris Cruise: One man that has been synonymous with FGA is none other than Dom Harter. At times, he’s been loved. But for most of his stint here, he has been hated… and rightfully so.
Stephy Auger: HEY!
Kris Cruise: Harter’s various acts - be it solo, as a member of the original Murder or as the Head Crow of The New Murder - have made him one of the most infamous figures in all of FGA. However, there’s no denying that he is arguably one of the most accomplished grapplers in this company’s history. He’s a former Mid-Atlantic Legacy Champion. A former Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Champion. A former Pride Champion. Two-times World Champion. Numerous accolades are to his name. None bigger than the Hall of Fame, which he was inducted into as an inaugural member last year. But fans now see Dom at a crossroads in his FGA career. Some people think that he doesn’t have it anymore. He spent a large chunk of this year on the sidelines after being on the losing end of Steel Mayhem in March. He and a returning Annie Zellor tried to take the US Tag Titles from Pendragon, officially. But they were on the losing end of that Tag Team Ladder Match at Capital Combat. But the Tenacious Little Bastard has lived up to his name by continuing to march forward. He’s now into the first round of the Frontier Lions Cup - the one accolade that’s keeping him from the coveted Golden Crown. Tonight, however, he finds himself standing across the ring from one of the best wrestlers in the world today! Harter said he wanted to face the best and tonight, he’s getting just than in the form of Josh Kennedy! FGA fans are being blessed with a Dream Match here, Stephy! This should be a great one.
Stephy Auger: Josh Kennedy is a good wrestler, I will give him that. But he is no Dom Harter and tonight, Kennedy will learn the hard way what so many others had to learn and that is that Harter Hits Harder!
Kris Cruise: That’s not all, Stephy! In our main event, DDT3 co-winners collide when Fujiko Mine defends her Pride Championship against Izzy Anders! There’s a ton of history here between these two!
Stephy Auger: There’s a ton of history on the line, too, Cruise! It was at this event three years ago that Izzy successfully defended her Mid-Atlantic Legacy Championship against Fujiko Mine. It was at this event where the rift between the two of them started. The Mindkiller would go to become one of the most successful champions in FGA history as she set the record for most successful defenses for any championship. Tonight, Fujiko has her chance to tie that record. But standing across the ring from her is a woman that has seemingly always had her number. Tonight, I think Izzy Anders gets the better of Fujiko once again.
Kris Cruise: We thought that Fujiko Mine and Izzy Anders had put the past behind them. But after that tense confrontation we saw inside the ring a few weeks back, there are still some bitter feelings, especially on the part of The Mindkiller. That match should be fantastic. Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got a ton of action for you up and down the card tonight, including the rest of the Qualifying Round matches on Vertigo’s side of the bracket. We thank you for joining us here tonight live on AxxessNet. So sit back and enjoy as we kick off the Seven Year Anniversary Show with our first contest of the night. J.A., take it away…
• Frontier Lions Cup (Qualifying Round) • Piper Lennon vs. Fenrys
The scenes opens inside the arena as it was normally lit with the ring announcer ready to announce the upcoming competitor. Suddenly…
“GIVE US YOUR GOLD!!!!!”
Is heard blaring through the speakers as "Release The Hounds" by Satellites On Parade hits the PA System and the arena goes to pitch black. As the intro of the song plays out the lights flash red, blue and black constantly until Fenrys appears standing at the top of the ramp after forty seconds of the song plays out. With his hood of his coat up he stares down to the ring breathing heavy.
Fenrys then looks around to the fans and growls before he makes his way down the ramp. As he makes it to the bottom of the ramp he drops to all fours and proceeds to walk on his fours over to the left side of the ring.
J.A. Aldridge: Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is scheduled for ONE fall and it is Qualifying Round Match in the 2018 Frontier Lions Cup! Introducing first, from The Wolves Den! Weighing in at 178 pounds… FENRYS!
Fenrys pops up to his feet as he leans over the barricade scarring the fans at ringside before darting towards the ring and sliding into the bottom rope. He stands on his knees in the center of the ring and looks up to the ceiling howling up to the sky while his arms were spread out.
Kris Cruise: Dom Harter was able to advance in the Frontier Lions Cup. Tonight, his two underlings try to match the efforts of their leader in their respective qualifying matches!
Stephy Auger: For starters, Fenrys and Jaelynn Ramsey are not underlings. Secondly, there isn’t a leader in The New Murder! They’re all equals!
Kris Cruise: I’ve seen you bought into that lie, too.
Stephy Auger: I have not!
Kris Cruise: All I know is this. It won’t look good if Dom Harter is able to advance while his subordinates fail to get the job done. Two tough losses on a big stage like tonight and who knows, Dom start looking around for replacements!
Stephy Auger: Now there you go trying to stir the pot. The New Murder is at tight as ever! Dommy would never look for replacements. He values the both of them, especially Fenrys! I’ll have you know that Fenrys is a highly respected member of The New Murder.
Kris Cruise: So that must be why Dom, and everyone else, cuts off Fenrys every chance they get.
Stephy Auger: ...
He then stands up to his feet and walks over to a corner and removes his fur coat. After giving it to the stagehand outside the ring, Fenrys crouches down in the corner as we waits for the match to begin.
The arena lights dim as the instrumental version of Gerry Rafferty's "Baker Street" begins to play. A few moments pass before Piper Lennon ambles out from behind the curtain, pausing at the top of the ramp to survey her surroundings. She zigs and zags, taking her time as she makes her way down the ramp, taking everything in but not paying the fans any particular mind. After circling halfway around the ring, she removes her jacket and camera, leaving them at the timekeeper's area.
J.A. Aldridge: His opponent, from La Jolla, California! Weighing in at 133 pounds… PIPER LENNON!
She stops in front of the announce desk, leaning back against it and staring up at the ceiling. Only then does she pick the pace up, lurching forward and sliding under the bottom rope into the ring, then popping up to her feet. She takes her corner, slouching back and drumming her fingers as she waits for the match to begin.
Kris Cruise: The always fascinating Piper Lennon finds herself on the opposite side of the ring in this qualifier. She’s come up short in her championship pursuits before. But I don’t know about this time. There’s something about Lennon. The look in her eye. It’s that look of determination, Stephy. I think she could be a dark horse or at the very least, a spoiler.
Stephy Auger: Well we saw one huge shocker happen last time out when Izzy Anders was defeated in the Qualifying Round by Seth Iser. I don’t think anything would shock me at this point.
The bell sounds as Lennon and Fenrys lock up. After jockeying for position, Fenrys is able to shove Lennon back. Lennon then marches forward before engaging in another collar-and-elbow. After jockeying for position, Lennon shoves Fenrys back a few steps. Fenrys then marches over and motions for another lock up. At the last second, he opts out for a kick to the midsection. Fenrys quickly places Lennon in a side headlock. But Lennon is able to shove him off into the ropes. When Fenrys returns, he knocks Lennon down with a running shoulder block. He then runs into another set of ropes as Lennon returns to her feet. When Fenrys comes back, Lennon leapfrogs over him. Fenrys continues to run the ropes. When he returns, he knocks Lennon down to a knee with a front dropkick to the leg. Fenrys returns to his feet before running back into the ropes. When Fenrys returns, he knocks Lennon down with a front dropkick to the face! He makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . Lennon kicks out.
Kris Cruise: Quick nearfall there by Fenrys to start this opening contest off!
Fenrys picks up Lennon and shoots her into the far corner. The New Murder member then runs across the ring and goes for a corner dropkick. But Lennon rolls out of the way, causing Fenrys to crash into the corner! After picking Fenrys up, Lennon repeatedly slams him face-first into the top turnbuckle! After turning Fenrys around, Lennon hits him with a double cross chop that sends him slumping down in the corner. After stepping backwards towards the center of the ring, Lennon charges into the corner and throws out a running knee to the face. But Fenrys slips out onto the apron, causing Lennon to hit her knee against the turnbuckle! While Lennon stumbles back, Fenrys pulls himself up using the ropes before bringing her down with a springboard Blockbuster! He makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . Lennon kicks out.
Kris Cruise: Nice follow up there by Fenrys for a two count!
Stephy Auger: Both grapplers have missed big moves early. But Fenrys has been the one to follow up and take advantage.
Fenrys picks up Lennon and whips her into the ropes. When she returns, Fenrys spikes her with a Frankensteiner! He makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . Lennon gets her shoulder up.
Kris Cruise: Lennon goes head-first into the canvas! But Fenrys is only able to get a two count.
Stephy Auger: Yeah, but who knows how rocked Lennon might be right now.
Fenrys picks up Lennon and places her in a headlock. He then goes for a running bulldog when Lennon shoves him off, sending him crashing into the turnbuckles! As Fenrys stumbles back, Lennon grabs him from behind and throws him down with a belly to back suplex. When both grapplers return to their feet, Lennon knocks Fenrys back with a push kick to the chest before knocking him down with a gamengiri. She makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . Fenrys kicks out.
Kris Cruise: Now Lennon with a nearfall...
Lennon picks up Fenrys and sends him into the ropes. When Fenrys returns, Lennon brings him down with a flapjack. Fenrys tries to push himself up on all fours, but Lennon flattens him with a jumping double stomp to the back of the head! She then reaches down, slowly pulls Fenrys up by his mask… and brings him back down with a jumping neckbreaker slam! She makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . Fenrys gets his shoulder up.
Kris Cruise: I’m surprised Fenrys even knows where he is after that double foot stomp to the back of the head!
Stephy Auger: We mostly see people hitting that move to the chest or the stomach. But Lennon tried to stomp Fenrys’ head in! That’s the viciousness she brings to the ring each time out.
Lennon pulls up Fenrys, grabs him from the side and delivers a russian leg sweep. She follows up with a Garvin Stomp to each extremity before delivering a spinning bootscrape across the face. Lennon reaches down, pulls up Fenrys and delivers a sitout jawbreaker. While Fenrys stumbles back, Lennon gets back to her feet and connects with a running front dropkick that sends Fenrys flying into the turnbuckles! After Fenrys bounces out of the corner, Lennon heads into the corner, climbs up onto the middle ropes and waits for him to get up. Once Fenrys gets back to his feet and turns around, Lennon knocks him down with a second rope flying knee strike! She makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . Fenrys gets his shoulder up.
Kris Cruise: Another two count for Lennon...
Lennon picks Fenrys back up, moves him into the corner and delivers alternating jabs and knife edge chops. She then goes for an irish whip. But Fenrys reverses, sending her into the far corner. Fenrys runs across the ring to attack when Lennon runs out of the corner and cuts him off with a running double axe handle across the face! She then reaches down, pulls Fenrys back up and doubles him over with a Heart Punch. Lennon then follows up with the Snapshot (cravate knee facebreaker)! She makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . THREE!
The crowd boos as “Baker Street (Instrumental)” hits the speakers!
J.A. Aldridge: Ladies and gentlemen, here is your winner, PIPER LENNON!
The boos continue while Lennon gets her arm raised in victory. Lennon then grabs her Polaroid camera and stands over Fenrys before taking a picture of her defeated opponent.
Kris Cruise: Piper Lennon picks up the victory and advances to the First Round, where she will meet the reigning Pride Champion Fujiko Mine!
Stephy Auger: For now! She might think this the Year of the Fujiko. But she will end the year losing her Pride Championship, only to turn around and get bounced in the First Round of the Frontier Lions Cup by Piper Lennon! I can’t wait!
The scene cuts away from ringside following the Lennon vs Fenrys match to fade to the backstage interview area. Standing there is Spencer Burke who is looking very proper for tonight's anniversary show, smiling as he holds the microphone up to his mouth and looking into the camera in front of him.
Spencer Burke: With Vertigo Qualifying Round matches for the Frontier Lions Cup continuing tonight, and one already wrapped up after that conclusion with Piper Lennon and Fenrys, we now turn to our next matchup featuring the ever tenacious and brutally honest personality that is Jaelynn Ramsey, and my guest at this time. So please allow me to actually welcome back to FGA, making his return here tonight...Tyler Storm!
It takes only a split second for Tyler to walk up right next to Spencer in scene, and Storm responding to the introduction with a handshake and a hug for the interviewer.
Tyler Storm: Good to see you Spencer, my man! How excited are you for tonight? I mean 7th Year Anniversary of FGA is great stuff to be a part of!
Spencer Burke: It certainly is, Tyler. And again, let me speak for several of us in the arena tonight and watching at home as we welcome you back to the FGA fold. While you have no need to go into details regarding your absence from the Vertigo brand as of late...
Storm holds his hand up to stop Spencer and shakes his head.
Tyler Storm: Hey, I'm always happy to tell my reasoning. And basically it just came down to a "my bad" situation with scheduling. I mean lets face it, a lot of us independent talent can get a bit bad with overscheduling and burnout and I sadly put myself in that position. I took some time to focus on another project, and that way I could come back to FGA fresh and excited for anything that the Vertigo heads would provide me. And tonight...well for this to be my return and for it to be against such an intriguing opponent in a very important match, I am honored to be given this opportunity on my return.
Spencer Burke: Opportunity is right, Tyler, and the Frontier Lions Cup is one that is coveted by any star in this company because of i's level of accomplishment. What would it mean to you if you could get by the qualifying round tonight and advance into the tournament stage?
Tyler Storm: It would mean a lot to me, especially given how I started this year off. I mean, around this time one year ago, I signed my contract with FGA not just to join this company, but to return to professional wrestling after being out over a year and a half due to my back injury. This company was my first step back to being Tyler Storm, back to redefining myself in wrestling.
The 6'4" wrestler looks down and smiles before turning his head back to Spencer.
Tyler Storm: 2018 has brought me a lot of great things to hang my head up high about. I got to represent FGA in the 2018 Young Guns Cup and be the last male standing in that tournament, I fought tooth and nail with some of the best talent around the world, got to go toe to toe with someone I respect greatly in Seth Iser and actually defeat him in this ring. The wins I got over him and others here in FGA and on Vertigo combined for me to become the #1 contender to the Pride Championship and put on a match of the year with Fujiko. Oh, also somehow managing to be a marathon man on a night I already fought on and, at least for now, hold my place in the FGA record books as the longest lasting male competitor in the Gold Rush Rumble. All of that, combined with the opportunities I gained through IYHWF, plus personal success of working through all my struggles and ring rust after so long away from the squared circle, and probably have one of my most successful years in my career as far as my record goes? It just makes me feel proud, it makes me appreciate what it means to be the hardest working guy I can possibly be, knowing I'm never gonna be 100% ever again and yet here I am at the end of 2018 feeling the best I have felt in years.
Tyler brings his hand behind his head and rubs his fingers through his hair, trying to keep himself from getting emotional talking about how big this year has been for him.
Tyler Storm: To say I'm grateful to FGA for the chance they took signing me is an understatement, knowing my ring rust and knowing I had to prove my worth if I wanted to stand in a comfortable spot in this company. To feel like I made myself a name these fans are familiar with here, to feel like I accomplished so much despite the fact I did unfortunately not manage to grab the Pride title or the Gold Rush Rumble crown...yet...stay tuned there folks...I couldn't have done it if not for being told this was my chance when I was signed on here. That's why simply participating, but also putting in my every bit of effort to win the whole thing to win the Frontier Lions Cup, means so much to me. It repays my debt to this company for giving me back my life, it repays my debt for these fans pushing this broken body past its limits and rust, it repays my debt to my family and friends and colleagues that told me to get my ass up and keep fighting. That's why I am here tonight, that's why I'm happy to be back in FGA returning tonight, that's why I plan on making the best statement I possibly can to wrap up 2018 and head into 2019.
Spencer Burke: You are never one to be short for words, Mr. Storm, that is for sure. Now, before I let you go with your match approaching here, anything quickly you wish to say about or to your opponent tonight?
Storm can't help but begin to chuckle as he looks to the camera and shakes his head.
Tyler Storm: Well, for the record first and foremost, let me apologize to Jae for the horrible slip up I had on Twitter regarding calling her "sir" and clearly showing why I shouldn't be posting messages with minimal sleep. I'm know she and her friend, and many of the fans reading along, got a good chuckle out of that which is fine. But man or woman, I know Jaelynn Ramsey is a very formidable opponent for myself this evening. While I do find her to be a bit much in how she responds to certain people, I do have to admire her in ring ability. She does what she has to do to try and get any wins here, she's got some sharp focus, and despite the short temper she can discipline herself enough to hang with most anybody she's in the ring with. Tonight is going to require my highest focus if I want to get by someone with her toughness and fast ability in the ring, and I know she could get a bit dirty in there with me tonight, but my best hope is stick to what I know and adapt to the situation presented to me. I know I can't simply rely on the size advantage tonight because I've had shorter and lighter opponents throw me off my game big time in my career before, so just gotta take all the fast and scrappy shots she throws at me tonight, and just hit back a little harder.
Spencer Burke: Then I guess the only other thing I can say to you Tyler is good luck here tonight, and thank you for your time.
Tyler pats Spencer on the back and nods.
Tyler Storm: Anytime, Spence! I'll try and catch up with you for a bit after the show and you can help me get filled in just in case I've missed any other big details while I was gone.
Spencer Burke: I think I can try and do that.
Tyler Storm: You're a good man! Thanks for the chat.
He pats the interviewer on the back once more and then proceeds to walk away in front of Spencer and out of view. Burke stands there, turned from Tyler back to the camera now, and stays there until the scene cuts away.
Backstage, and most of The New Murder are standing around together. Dom Harter is in the center of the room, ready dressed in his ring attire, leather jacket and bandana; next to him on one side is Annie Zellor, wearing a New Murder hooded top and jeans - obviously not dressed to wrestle - with Fenrys next to her, still in his ring attire. On the other side is Jaelynn Ramsey, who looks confident ahead of her upcoming match against Tyler Storm.
Dom Harter: Not an ideal start to the night…
He says, looking towards Fenrys as he does so. The masked man has his hands on his hips and his head bowed in reflection after that loss against Piper Lennon.
Jaelynn Ramsey: It’s not. Fenrys will overcome this. I know that deep inside he’s still going to show that he’s a force to be reckoned with. Isn’t that right, FenFen?
She puts her index finger underneath his chin to make eye contact with him.
Dom Harter: He’ll bounce back - we all know that! But with Chris and Annie not participating in the Frontier Lions Cup this year, we needed all three of us to get through...
Dom turns to face Fenrys, who averts his eyes.
Dom Harter: ...yeah, that’s what I thought. So it’s up to you, Jae. To crush Tyler Storm’s dreams of a successful return to FGA.
Annie Zellor: And knock him outta the Frontier Lions Cup.
Jae turns her attention and gaze back to Dom and Annie.
Jaelynn Ramsey: That’s the plan. Nothing will top seeing the disappointment in his face as the ref raises my arm in victory. He’s trying to come back bright eyed and in high spirits when he doesn’t know what he’s in for.
She sneers at the thought.
Dom Harter: And after you’ve beaten him, then it’s Sadie San Francisco in the first round, and me in the quarter finals. But before then, I’ve got one of the best in the world waiting for me in that ring tonight. So while the night may not have started well for us, Fenrys--
The masked man shakes his head again at the mention of his name.
Dom Harter: --we’ll end the night with our heads held high. Two wins to our names, both of us set to take the Frontier Lions Cup by storm. And proof of my unholy wrestling talent!
Pausing for a moment, Dom wraps his arm around Jaelynn’s shoulder and brings her in close.
Dom Harter: But it all starts with you.
She nods in agreement before responding.
Jaelynn Ramsey: Maybe Fenrys did us a favor by leading the fans to believe he’s setting the tone for the kind of night The New Murder will have? But little do they know, including Tyler and Josh...Little do they know.
Her voice lowers in her last sentence. Dom releases his grip on her shoulder and instead places an arm around Annie as the four of them start to walk away together.
Dom Harter: They ain’t seen nothing yet.
He says as the scene comes to an end, and the show cuts back to ringside.
• Frontier Lions Cup (Qualifying Round) • Jaelynn Ramsey vs. Tyler Storm
"No Regrets" by the Sohodolls begins to play throughout the venue. A small cloud of smoke appears on stage, outlining the silhouette of a petite woman. The woman, revealed to be Jaelynn Ramsey walks through the cloud and onto the ramp.
J.A. Aldridge: Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is scheduled for ONE fall and it is Qualifying Round Match in the 2018 Frontier Lions Cup! Introducing first, from Oakland, California! Weighing in at 130 pounds… JAELYNN RAMSEY!
She walks down the ramp completely ignoring the fans. She then walks up the steel steps, entering through the ring ropes. As the music fades out, she backs into a turnbuckle, doing a last second stretch before go-time.
Kris Cruise: Jaelynn Ramsey returned to FGA a few months back and found herself on the wrong side of defeat against her rival and fellow former Mid-Atlantic Legacy Champion, Sadie San Francisco. Tonight, she looks to end her career in a positive note by advancing in the Frontier Lions Cup. But she’s facing some tough opposition here tonight.
The lights begin to slow fade out to the opening tunes of "Eye of the Tiger" before flashing quickly back on once the rifts of the guitar begin playing, along with being met with flashes of blue and gold light on the stage. Once the song picks up into it's normal tune about 25 seconds in, Tyler Storm rushes out from behind the curtain to a positive pop, bobbing his head to the beat of the song and mouthing out to the fans.
J.A. Aldridge: Her opponent, from Tuscaloosa, Alabama! Weighing in at 215 pounds… TYLER STORM!
Once the lyrics start, Tyler begins making his way down the ramp, walking along the left for the first half of his trek to the ring and high-fiving fans or talking with them, and doing the same in the second half of his walk on the right side. Before long he reaches ringside and after interacting with a few more people at ringside, he works his way up the stairs onto the ring apron. He rubs his feet off for a few moments, then gripping onto the top rope he jumps up and slides his legs in between the top and middle ropes and into the ring.
Kris Cruise: Tyler Storm makes his return to FGA and boy, what an opportunity he has in front of him tonight, Stephy.
Stephy Auger: You know what’s a shame? I was getting kind of used to not having any Shootcamp presence on this show. Ace Watson and his stupid dog were long gone. Owen Gonsalves recently lost the will to continue wrestling thanks to Seth Iser. Then Tyler faded away. All was right in the world. Now here he comes strolling right on back in here!
Kris Cruise: Well you know what they say? You can’t keep a good man down.
Stephy Auger: Unfortunately for Tyler, Jaelynn Ramsey is going to welcome him back to FGA with a big fat loss!
The song goes on for a few more moments with Storm motioning out to the crowd for a reaction before rushing to one side of the ring just as the drawn out "Eye of the Tiger" lyric hits, landing his right foot on the bottom rope and his left on the middle rope with his arms spread out open with the audience cheering. He then hops back off the ropes and walks over to his corner as the music fades.
The bell sounds as Storm and Ramsey start things off with a lock up. Storm quickly moves Ramsey into the corner and presses her against the turnbuckles. The ref then scurries over and calls for both competitors to break it up by the count of five.
Ref: ONE… TWO… THREE… FOUR…
Both grapplers make a clean break. Boos immediately follow when Ramsey rakes Storm across the eyes! She then slams him face-first into the top turnbuckle. After turning Storm around, Ramsey delivers a series of knife edge chops. She then takes Storm and whips him into the opposite corner. Ramsey runs across the ring to attack when Storm runs out of the corner and cuts her off with a running shoulder block. As Ramsey gets back to her feet, Storm takes her and shoots her into the far ropes. When Ramsey returns, Storm throws out a knife edge chop. But Ramsey ducks before running into the far ropes. When she returns, Storms throws out a spinning forearm. But again, Ramsey ducks before continuing to run the ropes. When Ramsey comes back, the crowd cheers when Storm flattens her with a bicycle kick! He drops down and makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . T-NO!
Ramsey gets her shoulder up.
Kris Cruise: Ramsey nearly got her head knocked off her shoulders with that bicycle kick!
Storm picks up Ramsey, moves her into the corner and delivers a hard knife edge chop that echoes through the arena. He then pulls his arm back before delivering a blistering knife edge chop that doubles Ramsey over. He then pulls Ramsey from out of the corner before turning around to run into the ropes. When Storm comes back, he throws out a scissors kick. But Ramsey slips out of the way and counters with a dropkick to the back of the head! The kick causes Storm to stagger forward a few steps. While Storm tries to shake off the blow, Ramsey takes off into the ropes. When Storm turns around, Ramsey runs forward to attack when Storm leans forward and lifts her up across his shoulders for an Alabama Slam! Ramsey quickly reaches out and grabs the top rope with both hands. The crowd cheers Storm on as he tries to throw Ramsey down to the mat. But Ramsey is hanging on for dear life. While the truth grapplers struggle, the ref goes over and issues a rope break.
Ref: ONE… TWO… THREE…
Storm reluctantly lets Ramsey down. Ramsey quickly takes advantage and doubles him over with a throat thrust. The boos continue when Ramsey pulls Storm back up and knocks him back with another throat thrust. Then a third throat thrust. A fourth throat thrust knocks Storm back into the corner. Ramsey then pulls Storm from out of the corner before whipping him into the far ropes. When Storm returns, Ramsey connects with a crooked arm lariat. But Storm only gets knocked back a few steps. So Ramsey runs over and delivers another crooked arm lariat. Agaian, Storm only gets knocked back a few steps. So The New Murder member turns and runs into the far ropes. When Ramsey returns, the crowd cheers when Storm flattens her with a yakuza kick! He drops down and makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . Ramsey kicks out.
Kris Cruise: Ramsey once again gets knocked down by a big kick from Storm! This time, a yakuza kick!
Stephy Auger: But it only gets a two count!
Storm picks up Ramsey and knocks her down with a European Uppercut. He reaches down, pulls Ramsey back up and delivers another European Uppercut. This time, Ramsey is knocked backwards into the ropes. While she tries to shake out the cobwebs, Storm marches over, grabs her and whips her into the far ropes. When Ramsey returns, Storm knocks off her feet with a jumping knee strike! While Ramsey is down, Storm circles her before delivering a stomp to each limb! He then reaches down, pulls Ramsey into a front facelock and follows up with a swinging neckbreaker. He makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . Ramsey gets her shoulder up.
Kris Cruise: Storm is starting to feel it now, Stephy! He’s really starting to pour on the offense.
Stephy Auger: The match is far from over, Cruise! We both knows that.
Storm picks up Ramsey, whips her into the ropes and then throws out a spinning heel kick. But he does so too early, allowing Ramsey to hang onto the ropes and watch him land on the mat! As Storm gets back up, Ramsey runs over and tackles him down with a Lou Thesz Press! The crowd boos as Ramsey rains down punches on Storm. But Storm is able to roll over and return the favor. He then pulls Ramsey back up before whipping her into the corner. Storm runs across the ring to follow up with an attack when Ramsey counters with a back elbow to the face. She then knocks Storm further back with another throat thrust. Ramsey then runs out of the corner and nails Storm with a palm strike. Storm gets hit with three more palm strikes from The New Murder member. Ramsey then turns and runs into the ropes. When Ramsey comes back, Storm throws out another bicycle kick. This time, Ramsey slides underneath it. When Storm lands on his feet and turns around, Ramsey quickly knocks him off his feet with a legsweep! As Storm gets up on a knee, Ramsey nails him with a superkick to the side of the head! The boos continue as she makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . Storm kicks out.
Kris Cruise: That superkick caught Storm right in the mush! But Storm is able to beat the three count.
Ramsey picks up Storm and whips him into the ropes. When Storm returns, Ramsey throws out a second superkick. This time, Storm catches her foot! He then swings the leg away from him, grabs Ramsey from behind and is about to go for a Blue Thunder Bomb when Ramsey counters with elbows t the back fo the head. While Storm is doubled over, Ramsey heads into the ropes, comes back and knocks him down with a scissors kick! The boos continue as he pushes Storm over before making the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . Storm kicks out.
Ramsey picks up Storm, moves him over towards the side of the ring and presses down on the back of his neck while she chokes him across the top rope! The ref scurries over and gives her until the count of five to break the choke.
Ref: ONE… TWO… THREE… FOUR…
Ramsey breaks the choke… only to quickly steps out onto the apron, places Storm in a front facelock and choke him across the top rope!
Ref: ONE… TWO… THREE… FOUR…
Ramsey reluctantly lets go. She then doubles Storm over with a shoulder thrust through the ropes. After pulling Storm’s upper body through the ropes, she steps back on the apron before nailing Storm with another superkick to the head of the side! After Storm collapses to the mat, Ramsey steps back in and makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . Storm gets a shoulder up.
Kris Cruise: Ramsey remains in control after that second superkick to the head.
Stephy Auger: I told you that Jae was going to welcome him back to FGA with a big fat loss!
Ramsey pulls up Storm and doubles him over with three knee strikes to the midsection. After a high knee lift knocks Storm upright, Ramsey turns and runs into the far ropes. When she returns, she executes With A Twist (hurricanrana), sending Storm through the ropes and to the floor! The boos continue while Ramsey gets back to her feet and spreads her arms out to the side. Once Storm begins to pick himself up on the outside, Ramsey turns and runs into the far ropes. When she comes back, the crowd boos when she leaps through the ropes and knocks Storm down with the Jaegerbomb (suicide dive)!
Kris Cruise: Ramsey knocks down Storm on the outside with the Jaegerbomb!
Ramsey picks up Storm and rolls him back inside. She then slides back in and makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . Storm gets his shoulder up.
Ramsey sits up Storm and applies a shoulder nerve pinch. Storm can be seen wincing in pain as soon as the hold is applied. The ref asks Storm if he wants to give up. When Storm refuses, Ramsey applies even more pressure to the hold. The ref checks in with Storm and continues to ask him if he wants to quit. But Storm shakes his head ‘no’. Storm begins to shake his fists as he feeds off the energy of the capacity crowd. He begins to slowly turn over onto a knee. Ramsey shakes her head in disbelief as Storm gets back to his feet. He then nails her with four elbows to the midsection. The fourth elbows ends up breaking the hold. While Ramsey is doubled over, Storm turns and motions towards the ropes. Ramsey then reaches out, grabs Storm by the wrist and pulls him into a short-arm clothesline. But Storm ducks and counters with a sleeper hold! The crowd cheers as Storm tries to put Ramsey to sleep. Ramsey reaches out for the ropes. But she’s nowhere near them. Storm then applies more pressure as he squeezes even harder. Ramsey reaches up and tries to pull Storm’s arm from around her neck. But it’s to no avail. The ref asks her if she wants to give up. But Ramsey refuses. Ramsey reaches up, grabs Storm's arm and tries to throw him off of her. But she can’t. She then gets desperate and tries to stomp on Storm’s foot. Storm then lets go before quickly grabbing her again and throwing her down with a Backdrop Driver! He makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . TH-NO!
Ramsey gets her shoulder up.
Storm picks up Ramsey and whips her into the ropes. When Ramsey comes back, Storm leans forward, lifts her up onto his shoulders, spins around and then throws her down hard with an Alabama Slam! Storm drops down and makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . THR-NO!
Ramsey gets her shoulder up.
Storm pulls up Ramsey and pulls her into the corner. He then climbs up onto the middle ropes before placing Ramsey in a front facelock. Storm goes for a Tornado DDT when Ramsey wraps her arm around the top rope. So Storm climbs down, pulls Ramsey from out of the corner and lifts her up onto his shoulders. He’s about to go for a Buckle Bomb when Ramsey counters with punches to the top of the head. She then goes to flip back for With A Twist. But Storm blocks the move, leaving Ramsey hanging upside down. He then pulls Ramsey back up onto his shoulders, runs towards the corner and delivers a Buckle Bomb! Storm makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . THRE-NO!
The crowd boos when Ramsey gets her shoulder up.
Kris Cruise: How did she get her shoulder up? I thought it was over!
Stephy Auger: Jae has suffered some disappointing losses her in 2018. She’s not about to add another match to that list!
Storm picks up Ramsey and doubles her over with a boot to the midsection. He then turns and runs into the ropes. When Storm returns, he throws out another scissors kick. But once again, Ramsey slips out of the way. She then knocks Storm down to a knee with a superkick to the back of the head! The boos continue as Ramsey heads into the corner before scaling the turnbuckles. Once Storm gets back to his feet, she flips off to go down Down By The Jae (diving moonsault)! But Storm catches her across his shoulders! He then raises Ramsey up before bringing her down with the Bite Wound (Crucifix Cutter)! The cheers continue as Storm pulls up Ramsey before nailing her with the Hybrid Crackdown (Inverted Headlock into a Rolling Elbow). While Ramsey is doubled over, Storm screams out, “PREPARE TO…” The crowd responds with…
Storm lifts Ramsey up onto his shoulders before bringing her down with the Eye of the Storm (Electric Chair Driver)! The ref slides into place for the count.
ONE! . . TWO! . . THREE!
The crowd cheers as “Eye of the Tiger (Metal Cover)” blasts over the PA!
J.A. Aldridge: Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of this match… TYLER STORM!
The cheers continue as Storm gets his arm raised in victory.
Kris Cruise: What a match we just saw between those two. Jaelynn Ramsey put forth one heck of an effort. But Tyler Storm was just the better grappler here tonight. Storm now advances to the First Round, where he will meet none other than Sadie San Francisco. That should be a good one, Stephy. We’ve got a ton of action still to come. But right now, I’m being told we have footage of one of our grapplers in the Trainer’s Room. So let’s send it to the back...
Doctor: Okay based on the report from your therapist, Mr. Cruise, you’re making progress in your healing. He said, however, you’re not ready to return yet. And based on your exercises here today I agree.
Susan Kent: How much longer do you think I’ll be out? I’m getting a little restless and if I don’t return soon I may lose my spot on the roster.
Doctor: Injuries happen Susan, and some people heal faster than others. Just keep moving along with your therapy and keep checking back with me.
Susan Kent: Okay.
Doctor: Alright. I’ll see you at the next show.
Susan walks out of the Trainer’s office, and Kendra greets her with her arrogant smile.
Kendra Hollis: You're really milking this aren’t you.
Susan Kent: Yeah.
Susan notices two people pushing a guy in a wheelchair.
Susan Kent: Ah, I’ll meet you back at my locker room.
She walks over to the man in the wheelchair.
Susan Kent: Hi, I’m Susan.
The man is quickly revealed to be Delikado, Vertigo’s resident grey-haired old person/wrestler. Pushing the chair is one of his managers, Ewan Jakeway, and Sofia Monzon stands to the right of the chair, immediately tensing up as she leerily surveys Susan and Kendra, not unlike a bodyguard.
Delikado’s silence is expected given his current “old man curse”, yet his eyes flicker as he stares at Susan in a more...lewd manner. Sofia hears the Cuban’s breathing and rolls her eyes in disgust.
Sofia: Delikado says “hello” as well….
Susan Kent: Ha, can he not tell me so himself? Is he shy?
Sofia: “Shy?” Believe me, if he weren’t occupying the body of a severe stroke victim right now, you’d find he said plenty of other things besides “hello.” I just spared you the trauma.
Susan Kent: Ah, I see...
Delikado grunts to get Sofia’s attention. She turns to him and they seem to engage in some kind of “telepathic” communication before Sofia returns to Susan.
Sofia: [to Delikado] I’m not...you’re a fu--*groan* [to Susan] For that matter, my…client...says he found some of your property a while back and he’d now like to…. return it.
Sofia goes behind the wheelchair and kneels behind Delikado’s back. She proceeds to pull out a pair of matching lingerie, grimacing in revulsion at the reveal, before passing it along to Susan, who cocks an eyebrow in bewilderment as she hesitantly accepts it.
Susan Kent: Gee...thanks, I guess? So that was you who tore up the locker-room and messed up my stuff?
Silence passes for a few seconds as Deli and Sofia continue to engage in their “spiritual conversation”. Finally, Sofia straightens up and responds.
Sofia: Delikado calls that the spirit of adventure. Turns out your part of the arena was too close to the lobster shack adjacent to the “super parking lot” Delikado’s developing--
Delikado interrupts with a grunt. Sofia yet again rolls her eyes.
Sofia: Sorry, he prefers to be known as “Andrew CarneDeli” when it comes to his industrial ventures...Point is, your property being haphazardly disrupted and taken was just collateral damage, and Delikado hopes there’s no hard feelings.
Delikado groans softly under his breath as he continues to watch Susan in that “horny teenager” like way. Sofia just smiles and pats one of his hands, before promptly squeezing it with less than a gentle touch, causing the Cuban to whimper slightly. Kent and Kendra can only exchange looks before smirking.
Susan Kent: Oh, I guess we’ll just chalk it up to an “accident.” I mean, you’re new to the company. It’s not like you know your way around yet, how things run.
The two appear to be arguing for a good twenty seconds until Sofia finally bends to whatever Delikado is trying to get her to say.
Sofia: [to Delikado] I hate you so much right now….*ahem* [to Susan] I’m just going to paraphrase my client, Susan. He may not look it now, but Delikado can say a lot really quick when his mind is focused: “Fair point. On that particular note, why don’t you tag along with us and show us how to ‘do it’ in FGA? Delikado sees you got a banged up shoulder there--let’s help one another out! Hell, you can even take a share in Delikado’s ‘super handicap parking lot’ since you are also handicapped like Deli!
The scene hovers amusingly on the extreme difference between Susan in her simple shoulder sling, and Delikado in his elaborate Game of Thrones-inspired wheelchair.
Susan Kent: Work together? With you?
Delikado breathes in shaky anticipation that his offer will be accepted. Susan and Kendra exchange another glance.
Susan Kent: Well...I *do* need someone to work with on my physical therapy. I want to get back in action as quickly as possible, and not a lot of people are jumping at the offer right now. Tell you what...you have a deal, Delikado.
What can only be called an old man’s lecherous squeal of joy escapes the Cuban’s lips. Sofia bites her tongue, knowing only too well why her client is doing this. Susan extends her hand, and after a quick silent chat between them, Sofia grabs Delikado’s hand and pulls it into Susan’s hand so they can shake on their newfound partnership.
Susan Kent: It’s settled. Watch out for me, and I’ll watch out for you. I’ll see you around.
She smiles at Deli and walks off with Kendra, who mouths something to her friend as they walk down the hall. Delikado’s eyes, meanwhile, shamelessly hold on Susan’s backside as she departs. Sofia scoffs and chucks Delikado’s hand back in his lap.
Ewan She seems nice! Granted, Delikado’s mind may have been in the gutter in getting to her, but hey, now we have an ally in the company! Perfect timing too, we’ve got a match to get to!
Ewan begins to wheel the aroused Cuban away to go prepare for the rest of his evening. Sofia, meanwhile, looks off where Susan left with a pause. She says nothing, but it’s clear her distrusting nature is in full play toward this apparent alliance between her client and Susan Kent. As she begins to think, Sofia slowly walks off with the other two as we cut to black.
Back to Susan and Kendra in her locker room.
Kendra Hollis: I can’t believe you agreed to form an alliance with that old guy, personally I think he’s faking the whole, and he’s really just an old pervert, I’d be careful if I were you.
Kendra pauses for a moment.
Kendra Hollis: But then again we just may be able to use this new sudden alliance to our advantage.
Susan Kent: How so.
Kendra Hollis: Here’s how.
Kendra noticing the camera walks over and shuts the door.
We see a very empty room with green walls representing the color of the brand that’s partaking in this show. The only two things in the room is a stool and Seth Iser sitting on it. He just takes a breath but the look on his face could kill someone. He’s unhappy as he has his arms crossed glaring downward for a second almost rocking back and forth on that stool ever so slightly as he’s on edge. He isn’t even dressed as professionally as he usually is...forgoing his suit for a grey hoodie with the WVU logo on it, a pair of black jeans, and regular black shoes. His hair is a little unkempt and his beard a little wild.
Seth Iser: I can’t say I’m thrilled right now. Before someone just looks back and says I’m coming off of a victory and should be ‘happy’...quite frankly I’m not. Why? I get slapped in the face by an ignoramus interviewer who agitated THREE people up last week about a certain hypocrite and then later when he sticks the microphone in my face...he, representing the opinion of certain fans as well that tune into this television screen...more or less say I ‘upset’ Izzy...more or less giving an implication that I got lucky.
You can hear a deep sigh from Seth. He has stopped rocking on that stool and uncrossed his arms but he leans forward ever so slightly with that scowl almost glued to his face and he just squeezes his hands into a fist.
Seth Iser: I will be in the industry for nearly seventeen years and I deserve more respect than that. I outsmarted the mindkiller because my mind always works. And instead of saying ‘You know what...Seth Iser at age thirty-seven is still one of the best wrestlers in the world’ it’s more ‘Oh I wonder about Envi’s repeat’ or ‘Can Dom complete the Golden Crown’ or about Fujiko continuing to hijack a movement for her own ego while also pushing horrendous diet ethics. Not a word about me really…
A shake of the head from the agitated veteran.
Seth Iser: A lot of words about the match between Kennedy and Harter though. Even some from me...and I had the professionalism then and even now to not shout and scream about it but if you want the damn truth someone coming in and just wrestling on an anniversary show for a ‘dream’ match to me...I also take that with disrespect. Hell even Jimmy Page should be disrespected a bit by that when he’s not wrestling on this show and Kennedy is.
Seth stops leaning forward but the perturbed scowl is still stitched on his face. He at the very least has stopped balling his hands in a fist.
Seth Iser: Don’t worry, unlike most people the professional part of professional wrestling means something to me and I’ve already given our general manager, Jenevieve Geroux, my word that I’d not intervene in the match. And while I’m not above doing whatever it takes to win the winner’s end of the purse, a championship, or the FLC...I won’t interfere in someone else’s match. That goes against the code. Besides...professionally and personally I want Dom to win. I’ve already said that.
Seth just offers up a shrug.
Seth Iser: Personally I have no issue with him while I feel a little slighted Josh is wrestling on this Anniversary show and I’m not. Professionally...I want Dom to win because then beating him carries just a little bit more recency weight. But anyone who doesn’t think Dom is good or accomplished or could punch your damn lights out...they’re an idiot. To me it’s simple: he is someone worth wrestling; he’s even more so for your own career here...someone worth beating. That isn’t personal.
Seth again lets out that disgruntled sigh and you can tell he’s starting to bubble with more anger. But unlike other times...he’s not shouting or screaming...it’s pointed, it’s direct, and it’s all coming from someone who is clearly wounded.
Seth Iser: But what is personal is that disrespect I’ve received over the last couple of weeks whether it’s someone hiding behind a keyboard or a bad interviewer or even these people insinuating that I don’t belong. And yeah like I said Dom is trying to get that last big accomplishment, Marlon Cure is fighting to grow his Kingdom so to speak, Fujiko is fighting for her own selfish two-faced reasons...and Envi is trying to fight for one more opportunity to be the man above all else...I have more on my plate than that.
Now his voice is getting more base and aggression to it as it looks like he could bite someone’s head off.
Seth Iser: I’m not just fighting for the last piece of my legacy at this point. I’m fighting for my worth to this entire damn company! I’m not going to sit here and lie to you by saying it hasn’t been the year I wanted because I haven’t captured championship gold. I had my one shot...and lost...had my chance at the Gold Rush Rumble...lost that too. And this is really my last proper chance this year to make it right. The disrespect will end...and I’ll finally get what I want...what I’ve wanted to work toward...what I’ll properly f*bleep*ing earn...and you people who poked me with a stick this last year can kiss my ass…
After that brooding outburst Seth seems to have calmed down a little more...but that glare remains.
Seth Iser: Go win one tonight Dom. But I’ll see you in the ring real soon...and you won’t be avenging your demon that Chandler Scott subjected to you. I’ll rid my year long demon instead. And prove to you that one person in this company hits harder...and smarter. And that’s me.
And with that last statement we back away from this shot as we fade to black.
“Run This Town” by Jay-Z feat. Kanye West & Rihanna starts to play. Strobes begin surveying the building as darkness has taken over the arena.
Feel it comin' in the air And the screams from everywhere I'm addicted to the thrill It's a dangerous love affair Can't be scared when it goes down Got a problem, tell me now Only thing that's on my mind Is who's gonna run this town tonight Is who's gonna run this town tonight We gonna run this town
Bright lights shine on the entranceway nearly drowning the entire scene in white as Nate Bristow and Tully Barnes emerge from the backstage area. The two tag partners stand at the top of the entranceway with smug smirks on their faces and their eyes focused on the ring in front of them. The lights quickly dim again and the arena is filled with green and yellow laser lights as Bristow & Barnes start toward the ring.
J.A. Aldridge: Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is scheduled for ONE fall! Introducing first, from Bitter End, Tennessee! Weighing in at 255 pounds… NATE BRISTOW!
We are, yeah I said it, we are, This is Roc Nation, pledge your allegiance Get ya'll black tees on, all black everything Black cards, black cars, all black everything And our girls are blackbirds, ridin' with they Dillingers I'd get more in depth, if you boys really real enough This is la familia, I'll explain later But for now let me get back to this paper, I'm a couple bands down And I'm tryin' to get back I gave the other grip, I lost a flip for five stacks Yeah I'm talkin' five comma's, six zeros, dot zeroes here it go, Back to runnin' circles 'round n*ggas, now we squared up, hold up
As Bristow & Barnes reach the ring, they turn toward one another and hit their forearms together. They head for opposite sides of the ring, leaping up to the apron and propping themselves up on one knee. They stare out into the crowd as they pop up to both feet with their backs against the ropes and their arms outstretched.
Life's a game but it's not fair I break the rules so I don't care So I keep doin' my own thing Walkin' tall against the rain Victory's within the mile, Almost there, don't give up now Only thing that's on my mind Is who's gon' run this town tonight Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, heyy Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, heyy, Is who’s gon' run this town tonight?
Now inside the ring, they cross paths and perch up on the ropes on the opposite of the ring, one foot on the bottom rope and one foot on the middle, taunting the fans as Bristow awaits his opponent.
Kris Cruise: Nate Bristow finds himself in singles action here tonight. Bristow is used to teaming up with his partner, Tully Barnes. But now here on the Seven Year Anniversary Show. He’s been picked by GM Geroux to be the first opponent for the debuting Delikado.
Stephy Auger: Tag Team Matches might be Bristow’s specialty. But he’s going to make short work out of Delikado tonight.
Kris Cruise: Don’t be so quick to write off Delikado.
Stephy Auger: Are you kidding me? The man looks like he can barely move. He’s how old?
“Rock You Like A Hurricane” echoes throughout the arena. All eyes turn to the entrance, where an utterly catatonic Delikado is rolled out in a wheelchair by his managers/caretakers Sofia Monzón and Ewan Jakeway. Though he’s cheered by fans, many look upon the greyed, motionless Cuban in equal bewilderment as he is rolled down to ringside wrapped in a comfy Cuban flag blanket by an equally emotionless Sofia and Jakeway.
J.A. Aldridge: His opponent, on his way to the ring from Pinar del Rio, Cuba, he is… DELIKADO!
As they approach the ring, Sofia stops the wheelchair, takes a deep inhale, and exhales as she nods to Jakeway. Together Delikado’s caretakers promptly and unceremoniously hoist the wheelchair up, still carrying their practical corpse client, and dump him through the ropes into the ring, well, like trash. Flopping not unlike a fish before coming to a stop, Delikado lays face down for several moments…
Stephy Auger: Ha! See? What did I tell you! There’s no way that Decrepit Delikado is going to last more than thirty seconds in there against Nate Bris-
No! Life becomes apparent! It’s as if he’s seemingly activated by the “magic” of the squared circle. It starts with a finger twitch or two, maybe a leg spasm or old man fart, but finally the centenarian-looking Mister Cuban springs to life and rises to his feet with the nimbleness of a cat. The crowd cheers as Delikado stretches out his joints and prepares to do battle, all with a cocky smile across his wrinkly face.
Stephy Auger: … what in the world!?
Kris Cruise: Like I was saying, don’t be so quick to write this man off just yet. I’ve heard the stories. I’ve seen some tape. I believe Delikado is as good as advertised.
The bell sounds as Bristow takes a step back with caution upon continuing to see Delikado become more and more “alive” in the ring. After realizing the size difference between the two, Bristow strolls over across the ring and gets right in Delikado’s face. Once the ref gets in between the two, Bristow puts his hands up defensively. He then offers a handshake. Delikado goes in for the handshake when Bristow pulls back at the last second, resulting in boos from the crowd. The boos quickly turn to cheers when Delikado reaches out and quickly snatches the unsuspecting Bristow by the wrist. Delikado begins to delivers several arm wrenches before bending Bristow’s wrist at 90 degrees. Bristow howls in pain while the ref asks him if he wants to give up. But Bristow refuses. He then balls his free hand up into a fist before socking Delikado with a sucker punch! The boos continue when Bristow knocks Delikado back with another punch. Then a third! Bristow then takes Delikado and whips him into the far ropes. When Delikado returns, the crowd cheers when he brings Bristow down with a running hurricanrana! As Bristow gets back to his feet, Delikado is quick to send him back to the mat with a running dropkick! A second running dropkick returns Bristow to the mat! He then takes Bristow and goes for an irish whip. But Bristow reverses, sending Delikado into the ropes. When Delikado returns, Bristow throws out a clothesline, which Delikado ducks before running into the far ropes. When he returns, Bristow throws out a back elbow. But again, Delikado ducks before continuing to run the ropes. When Delikado comes back, Bristow leans forward to set up a back body drop. But Delikado hurdles over him before continuing to run the ropes. When Delikado comes back, Bristow leapfrogs over him while he continues to run the ropes. When Delikado comes back, Bristow turns around and drops down to the mat to try and trip him up. But Delikado easily hops over him before continuing to run the ropes. When Delikado returns, he knocks Bristow off his feet with a spinning heel kick! The cheers continunue as he makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . Bristow kicks out.
Stephy Auger: How is he running the ropes so effortlessly? How is he so agile? He was… he was just in a wheelchair, Cruise!
Kris Cruise: I’m aware.
Stephy Auger: Has he… has he been faking it the whole time?
Delikado picks up Bristow and whips him into the ropes. The Cuban quickly throws out I’ve Got This [And So Does Everyone Else] (Superkick). But Bristow hangs onto the ropes. The crowd boos as he drops to the mat and takes a powder to the outside.
Kris Cruise: Look at Bristow cowering to the floor!
Stephy Auger: No, he’s simply rolling to the outside to take a breather as he comes up with Plan B. It’s clear to me that his opponent was faking this condition of his the entire time! Bristow thought this was going to be a walk in the park! Now he’s actually have to put forth some effort.
Kris Cruise: I can’t say for sure if Delikado has been “faking it”. But it is clear that Bristow underestimated him. That’s for sure!
Delikado marches over towards the ropes when Bristow quickly reaches back in, grabs him by the ankles and drags him to the floor. The boos continue as he doubles Delikado over with a knee to the midsection before following up with clubbing strikes across the back. He then grabs Delikado, pulls him back a few steps away from the ring… only to ram him back-first against the edge of the apron! Delikado groans as Bristow rolls him back inside. After Bristow rolls back in, he returns to his feet, grabs the top rope with both hands and puts the boots to Delikado. He then reaches down, pulls up Delikado and moves him into the corner. A series of knife edge chops soon follow. Bristow pulls Delikado from out of the corner and quickly switches behind him for a German Suplex. But Delikado blocks the move. Bristow then tries to muscle him up for another German attempt. But again, Delikado blocks. Delikado then nails Bristow with several back elbows to the face. Once the waist lock is broken, Delikado knocks him back with a Pelé Kick! While Bristow is dazed, Delikado returns to his feet, lifts Bristow up across his shoulders and brings him down with a double knee gutbuster! While Bristow is down, Delikado heads out onto the apron before making his way over into the corner. The crowd cheers when Delikado crashes down across Bristow with a springboard body splash! He hooks the leg for the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . THR-NO!
Bristow gets his shoulder up.
Kris Cruise: The high risk pays off for Delikado, but it only gets him a two count!
Delikado pulls up Bristow and whips him into the ropes. When Bristow returns, Delikado knocks him down with a running headbutt. Bristow returns to his feet, only to get returned to the mat by another running headbutt! When Bristow gets back to his feet, Delikado dazes him with I’ve Got This (And So Does Everyone Else)! He then takes Bristow and whips him back into the ropes. When Bristow returns, Delikado spikes him with a Frankensteiner! Delikado then steps out onto the apron and waits for Bristow to get into position. Once Bristow gets back to a vertical base and turns around, the crowd cheers when Delikado plants him with the Last Call to Cuba (Springboard 720 DDT)! He makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . THREE!
The crowd cheers as “Rock You Like A Hurricane (2011 Comeback Version)” hits the speakers.
J.A. Aldridge: Ladies and gentlemen, here is your winner, DELIKADO!
The cheers continue as Delikado gets his arm raised by the referee.
Kris Cruise: Delikado picks up the first win of his FGA career as he gets the better of Nate Bristow here tonight! You thought Delikado was going to be some pushover, Stephy. But Delikado has shown that he definitely still has it in the ring! I don’t know what came over Delikado as soon as he stepped into the squared circle. I’ve heard of grapplers getting into a zone whenever they get into the ring. But what we saw in there tonight compared to the Delikado we saw from earlier this evening? That transformation was something to behold!
As the show cuts away from ringside, Spencer Burke is shown backstage at the Prudential Center, microphone in hand.
Spencer Burke: Ladies and gentlemen, joining me at this time is one half of the FGA United States Tag Team Champions… Lowri Moss!
The camera pans out, and the audience respond with a loud cheer, as the popular young woman from Wales comes into view. Lowri is dressed in her ring attire, together with an Irish Whip Clothing branded Wrestling, Innit? t-shirt and a backwards snapback, while she has her half of the United States tag team titles draped over her left shoulder.
Spencer Burke: Lowri, in a matter of moments from now, you’re going to be taking on Ricky Valero, as you attempt to do what your other half, Neal Durden, was unable to do two weeks ago, and advance to the First Round of the Frontier Lions Cup; how are you feeling ahead of this match?
Lowri Moss: I’m full of confidence, Spencer, and looking forward to setting foot inside an FGA ring for the first time in over a month.
A smile crosses her face.
Lowri Moss: I’m sure some people would’ve noticed that I wasn’t even backstage at Vertigo two weeks ago in Rhode Island, and that’s because I was in Baltimore that night, fulfilling a prior booking. But I watched the show afterwards, so I saw Neal come up short against Fujiko; I saw Sadie do in one match against Marlon Cure what I failed to do in two matches against him; and I saw Ricky Valero claim that he will the Frontier Lions Cup.
Spencer Burke: I guess it’s safe to say that you have other ideas.
Lowri gives a nod.
Lowri Moss: Of course.
She then lets out a small sigh.
Lowri Moss: You know, Spencer, aside from being in that battle royal last month, this is my first singles match in FGA in almost four months. As of late, the FGA fans will have gotten used to only seeing me wrestle in tag matches, alongside Neal, but I was competing by myself in FGA for at least half a year before Neal joined me here; I was a singles champion in FGA several months before I became a tag champion here.
Lowri stops to take a breath, before then proceeding to expand upon her point.
Lowri Moss: In recent weeks, I’ve had the likes of Fujiko and Chandler Scott name me online as one of the best wrestlers on Vertigo, and I would like to think that praise is deserved. However, if there’s anyone in FGA who doubts my ability as a singles wrestler - if there’s anyone who has forgotten what I’m capable of on my own - well, I hope they watch how I perform tonight against Ricky Valero. A match like this, against an opponent like Ricky, in a prestigious tournament like the Frontier Lions Cup, is a great opportunity for me to remind everyone in FGA just how talented I am. But I’m not going to be content with simply beating Ricky - I’ve got my sights set on going further than just the first round.
Spencer Burke: How far exactly in the tournament do you want to go - what would you be content with?
There is a brief silence, as Lowri takes a couple of seconds to contemplate her response.
Lowri Moss: In spite of whatever praise has come my way, I know there still probably isn’t anyone who can see me going the distance in this tournament. I mean, although we’ve already seen one big name crash out, in Izzy Anders, there are still plenty of high profile names remaining, like Johnny Karma, like the aforementioned Fujiko Mine, like…
Lowri sighs again, but there is a longer, more drawn out sigh than her earlier one.
Lowri Moss: Dom Harter…
Merely saying the name of her perennial rival is enough to leave a bad taste in Lowri’s mouth.
Lowri Moss: Those three are probably amongst the favourites to win the whole thing - and rightly so. They’ve each got a list of accolades to their name, as has pretty much everyone else in the tournament - some longer than others - but you know what? There’s only one person around here who is a World Cup winner.
She raises her right hand and gestures towards herself with her thumb.
Lowri Moss: I doubt anyone expected me to win that one either, considering who else was in the tournament. In fact, there were twice as many people in the World Cup as there are in the Frontier Lions Cup, but I saw off the lot of them, and I’ve got the trophy at home to show for it.
It is just over three months to the day since Lowri won the World Cup for her country, and she cannot help but grin, as she recalls the proudest moment of her career so far.
Lowri Moss: I’m not here just to make up the numbers; I’ve got aspirations of winning this tournament. I’m going to start by defeating Ricky Valero, and then with all due to respect to Max Powers, I’m anticipating that I’ll go on to face Evan Envi in the next round; Evan and Ricky may be wishing for a battle of the Good Guys, but instead of Evan versus his best friend, it’s going to be him versus hi…
Something from off-camera catches Lowri’s eye, prompting her to stop in mid-sentence, and causing her smile to fade somewhat.
Lowri Moss: Is there something I can help you with?
Soon it becomes clear as the two members of Silk & Cyanide, Erin Mariani and Sara Mason, walk into frame and both have their eyes fixed firmly on Lowri, with Mason stepping that little bit too close as she cocks her head in Lowri’s face as Mariani taps a couple of scarlet-painted fingernails together.
Erin Mariani: We couldn’t help but overhear how you were telling everyone who thought it was worth listening to you about how you were hoping that you wouldn’t embarrass yourself in this tournament. A noble attitude, I’m sure you agree…
If the tone of Mariani’s voice wasn’t enough indication that Mariani is mocking Lowri, the roll of the eyes as she shares a bemused look with Mason makes it abundantly clear.
Erin Mariani: However, the moment you felt it necessary to name every single person you were hoping you would face, there were two names which did not pass your lips.
Flicking a black-painted fingernail between her partner and herself, Mason once again cocks her head to the side as she gives Lowri a look that’s somewhere between amusement and pity.
Sara Mason: Ours.
Erin Mariani: What’s the matter, Miss Moss? Have you abandoned your own partner as well as all thoughts of a misplaced act of vengeance against us for the sake of some personal glory, or do you find the thought of sharing an enclosed space with the two of us to be somewhat unnerving?
Lowri firmly grips the belt that is over her left shoulder and stands her ground, refusing to let Mason and Mariani intimidate her.
Lowri Moss: I haven’t forgotten about you and what you did to me and Neal at Capital Combat, nor has he forgotten about it either. Call it revenge, or whatever else… we said that we would give you a fight, and we will, but… tonight I’ve got something else - someone else - that I need to concentrate on, so you’ll have to forgive me if that’s what’s on my mind right now, and not the two of you.
Rather than having the desired effect, Lowri’s response causes Mariani to let out a cold, impersonal laugh at her expense - yet as this is happening Mason is staring straight into Lowri’s soul with a particularly evil-looking smile upon her face.
Sara Mason: If I were you the one thing you should be concerning yourself about isn’t your match, but the fact that there’s one of you and two of us, as well as…
Pausing as she speaks, Mason points in Spencer Burke’s direction before she turns her head in his direction and simply raises an eyebrow to remind him that, oh yes, she’s fully aware that he's there.
Sara Mason: ...so if you were stupid enough to try something you wouldn’t last long because Spencer Burke standing there won’t be stepping in to help you, but he’d certainly make for a very good witness if somebody had to, say, explain what happened to you in as much detail as possible.
Without so much as a pause for breath Mariani continues
Erin Mariani: The second thing you should consider is that you’re exposed by standing here on your own, and yet we haven’t done anything…yet. Or have we? After all, you’re standing here, and your partner is...not.
Watching as Lowri’s eyes dart between the two, Mariani chuckles darkly as she knows full well she’s painting a picture in Lowri’s head.
Lowri Moss: He’s not here because he…
Lowri stops abruptly, and although she puts on a brave face, she suddenly finds herself being overwhelmed by concern for Neal’s well-being. He had left Lowri to do the interview on her own, and while she knows that Mariani and Mason may just be toying with her, she also knows that she cannot rule out the possibility that they could have done something to him in her absence.
Sara Mason: And there it is.
Mason chuckles to herself as she reads the concern writ large upon Lowri’s face, clearly relishing the fact she knows something Lowri clearly doesn’t - and the fact this is clearly causing Lowri all manner of turmoil.
Erin Mariani: It seems that now we’re at the forefront of your thoughts, which is exactly where we should be. So ask yourself, Miss Moss, which is more important to you: your hopes and dreams which may or may not come to pass for this tournament, or knowing whether or not your partner is currently experiencing the pain and suffering that we would so happily inflict upon him if such a chance arose?
Having posed the question to Lowri, a wicked look burns in Mariani’s eyes as she’s clearly getting a lot of enjoyment from finding how she can burrow into Lowri’s mind and immediately throw her off centre.
Lowri Moss: I… errr… I need to… I...
After stumbling over her words, Lowri takes a breath, in a vain attempt to try to stay calm.
Lowri Moss: I need to get to gorilla.
From the way that she hurriedly takes off, pushing past Mariani and Mason, it is clear that something other than her match - specifically the welfare of her partner - is what is actually at the forefront of Lowri’s mind right now, leaving Silk & Cyanide more than satisfied with the obvious discomfort that they have caused her, as the camera then cuts elsewhere.
Backstage, Ewan Jakeway is walking down the hall by himself. There’s initially nobody else around, but suddenly we hear shouting off-screen. It’s then that a random-faced person charges around the corner like they’re fleeing something, causing them to bump into Jakeway. The random-faced dude panics and shoves a bag into Ewan’s hand.
Random-Faced Dude: Here, take this! And don’t say nothing, buddy!
He takes off running before Jakeway can speak. Before he can really investigate the bag he’s been given, Ewan spots some FGA security guards almost certainly in pursuit of the perp. As if without thinking, Ewan hides the bag before security can notice and allows them to pass in their chase. After they’re gone, he finally scans the bag, revealing it to be Candy Kittens Gourmet Sweets, lemon flavored, a vegan snack you might find a niche…very niche…vending machine. The guards come back around Ewan’s way, panting with near-death exhaustion.
Guard #1: *pant* Damn kid, he went outside the arena.
Guard #2: That’s beyond our jurisdiction. The city will have to handle that madman now. The city or Batman.
Guard #1: I just don’t understand how someone can rob a vending machine in cold blood like that!
Guard #2: Well it’s easy, since whoever is reconstructing the FGA arenas to merge them with the handicapped parking lots keeps shutting off the power willy-nilly so they can fuel the lava lamp swimming pool/dice table, causing the thief-proof system to go off-line long enough for anybody to pillage the defenseless vending machines.
Guard #1: You can say that again. Whoever’s doing that project is a real BASTARD! Scum of the earth in FGA, if you ask me!
The guards depart, leaving Ewan alone again. As these words sink in, as does his part involved, he panics and accidentally rips open the bag of vegan sweets through a nervous clawing gesture, which only causes Jakeway to panic even more.
Ewan Jakeway: Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no, ohhhhhhh nooooooooo!
He holds the bag close and makes a break for it, inadvertently spilling some of the sweets. Ewan’s frenzy of fear causes him to run back and scoop up the food he’s dropped and shove them into his mouth. As he chews he eventually reaches the locker-rooms. Jakeway bursts inside to find Sofia Monzón and a random scientist surveying Delikado. The Cuban, previously active and alert like a young man during his match minutes earlier, is now totally broken down in his wheelchair.
Sofia Monzón: Soooo…is he dead?
Scientist: Nope! It’s like his vitals just totally shut off and returned him to his coma-like old man-ness after the bell rang and his match with Nate ended. Super bizarre. But he IS among the living!
Sofia: Hmmm. Maybe this idiot wasn’t lying after all. Active in the ring, but like a mannequin with its strings cut everywhere else.
Scientist: Please, keep your artsy-fartsy talk away from me and my science.
Sofia: …..You can leave now.
Scientist: But what about my pay?
Sofia: Sorry, I figured you didn’t want my “politics paper” to muddle with your science.
The scientist narrows his eyes but says nothing as he backs out of the room, pointing a “you won this round” finger at Sofia. When he’s gone, Ewan hurries over to his partner and whispers nervously. He holds the bag for her to see.
Ewan: I’m a monster!
Sofia: What’s wrong?
Ewan: I stole a vending machine snack—well, not *me* specifically, but this guy who did ran by and dumped his stolen goods on me, and when security came by, I did nothing! We’ve been here for one match and already I’ve turned into a villain! A hardcore scumbag!
Sofia: ……Just take the snack and hand it to security? Tell them you found it laying around and wanted to return it after hearing about the robbery.
Ewan: But I ATE some!
Sofia: Oh well now that’s just sick and twisted. You clearly don’t have the right to help raise our child, “villain.”
Her voice oozing with sarcasm, Sofia pats Ewan’s face.
Sofia: You’re fine, sweetie. It’s a gross vegan snack that nobody would buy anyway. Now throw it away and help me get everything cleaned up so we can go over the tape of Delikado’s match tonight. You saw him out there against Bristow. We can do better.
Ewan: Grrrrr, don’t you get it, Sofia?! I’m not like you and Deli! I can’t lie and commit crimes with the ease of…of…see?! I can’t even explain how I can’t do evil!
Sofia: You didn’t “do evil”! Jesus, is there a gas leak in here making everyone stupid as shit?!
She snaps toward Delikado.
Sofia: You shut up!
Sofia looks like she might lunge at Deli and rip his grey head off, but at the last second she steps back and takes a calming breath. Rubbing her temples, she addresses her partner.
Sofia: Ewan, honey, listen to me now. You did nothing wrong, nothing to get practically “deathbed confessional” over.
Ewan: But the vending machines went off-line because of the parking lot thing and we did that—
Sofia: Delikado did that.
Ewan: And we’re with him as managers—guilt by association, babe! That’s what everyone will see, just like they’ll see me in cahoots with that vending machine thief! O what a world, that has such villains in it!
Sofia looks like she could scream a literal murder or two into happening, but she continues to calm herself by physical gestures, this time face-palming.
Sofia: *sigh* Who was this thief?
Ewan: I don’t know…just some person. Wait…do you think I was set up? That the thief was hired by someone to run by at that moment to plant contraband on me and injure all of us in the process?
Sofia: What do you think FGA is, Ewan? “Narcos?”
Once again, she snaps to the incapacitated Delikado, who must be chiming in on the side, with only Sofia able to hear him.
Sofia: [to Delikado] WE’RE NOT IN <BEEP>ING NARCOS, GOD DAMN IT!!!
Ewan: Narcos or no, I have to consider this as a possibility. Wrestling is a cutthroat business, Sofia!
Sofia: Maybe it’s that “cripple” Delikado’s trying to screw, Kent.
Ewan: What?? She’s good people, just trying to have someone to back her up for recovery!
Sofia: I don’t trust her.
Ewan: You don’t trust anybody! You don’t even trust me sometimes!
Sofia: I love you, Ewan, so I don’t HAVE to trust you. Anyway, that’s how it’s been with me for years, thanks to that asshole [nodding to Delikado], and it’s worked out pretty well so far…
Ewan: Still, it raises an interesting point. What if someone heard we formed an alliance with Susan, someone who hates her, and therefore they’re trying to bring her down by going after anyone who tries to work with her? Buuut, they don’t want to be seen blatantly attacking, so they do it by some proxy petty thief? And to attack Delikado, a weak old man, might strike them as counterproductive, so they have the proxy seek out the strongest player in his camp: me?
Sofia: You are not the strongest person here. In fact, of the three of us here, you’re the fourth strongest because I can personally handle two of you.
Sofia shrugs it off with no hesitation and casually goes about her business. Ewan begins to pace around, idly looking at the snack bag in his hand.
Ewan: But who is it? Who? WHO!?
He suddenly stops in his tracks and focuses his gaze on the bag.
Ewan: “Candy Kittens Gourmet Sweets…Lemon flavored.” Wait, when we first staked FGA out, I looked at their last Supershow, Capital Combat, and saw Susan Kent had a particular enemy she fought before her injury, someone who she shared a long history with-- Piper Lennon. “Lennon” is suspiciously close to “Lemon”, the flavor of these snacks that were planted on me by the thief. Maybe that flavor was picked out and used as a subtle warning sent our way as Piper’s means of saying “You’re siding with my enemy, thus I’m coming after you!”
Sofia: …….Delikado, did you possess Ewan’s body and start communicating psycho babble plots through him? Because that sounds exactly like the batshit stupid schemes you’d hatch, or at the very least suspect of people around you.
Delikado’s borderline corpse lingers in the wheelchair, even as Sofia gets down to eye level to try and read him.
Sofia: Likely story.
Ewan: I’m not possessed! Look, we have friends here now, it was only a matter of time we made enemies. We just have to accept that those enemies are gunning for us early, and they’re dead set on making it personal.
Sofia: …………………………..You know what, I’m tired, and I want to get back home sometime tonight to see my son. You two nutjobs can stay here and be “dead set” on plots and enemies all you like, whether it’s Piper, Susan, freaking Santa Claus—I’m out until the next show rolls around.
She claps her hands in the air to signify she’s “done” and grabs her bag, leaving the locker-room immediately after. Seconds later, however, she pokes her head back into the room through the half-open door.
Sofia: I’m warning you, Delikado: if you’re possessing my man, I will find out, and I will kill you.
She smiles then slams the door to punctuate the statement. Ewan folds his arms and looks over to the Cuban.
Ewan: Well, Delikado, it sounds like we’re in a “fight or flight” situation already. Never a dull moment in your world, is it? I swear, I think Piper’s the one! We’ll need to run it by Susan and see what she says. She’s probably left already though. Oh well, we’ll catch up with her later. For now…ughh, I need something to eat, calm my nerves.
He looks at the vegan snack still in his hand and begins to nibble on one.
Ewan: Hmmm…for stolen goods, these aren’t bad. What’s the world gotta go beating up on vegans for anyway? *continues chewing* …..Say Deli, if you possessed me, you’d let me know first, right?
As if expecting a response from the catatonic Cuban, Ewan watches him for a few moments, but when nothing happens, Jakeway just sighs and continues eating as we cut to commercial.
• Frontier Lions Cup (Qualifying Round) • Lowri Moss vs. Ricky Valero
“New Blood” by Zayde Wolf plays over the PA system, and once the song's intro finishes, Lowri Moss walks through the curtains, out onto the stage, with a broad smile on her face and her title around her waist. Lowri takes a moment to scan the cheering crowd, before making her way towards the ring, and as she does so, she slaps the hands of some of the fans that reach out to her.
J.A. Aldridge: Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is scheduled for ONE fall and it is Qualifying Round Match in the 2018 Frontier Lions Cup! Introducing first..hailing from Llanelli in Wales, weighing in at 142 pounds. She is one half of the FGA United States Tag Team Champions...LOWRI MOSS!
After arriving at ringside, Lowri climbs the steps up onto the ring apron, and then steps through the ropes, before heading for one of the corners and climbing to the second rope. Lowri takes the title from around her waist, and holds it aloft, eliciting further cheers and more applause. She holds the title in the air for several seconds, soaking in the reaction, as she again surveys the crowd.
“Amazing” by Kanye West hits, lifting the fans to their feet in a fit of rage. White and pink strobe lights start to flash throughout the arena.
It's amazing I'm the reason Everybody fired up this evening
I'm exhausted Barely breathing Holding on to what I believe in
No matter what You'll never take that from me My reign is as far as your eyes can see
Ricky Valero emerges from the back amidst a cloud of fog. With that trademark smirk stretched across his face, he scans the arena with hubris. He puts his legs together, extends his arms outward, throws his head back and basks in the building’s negative energy.
It's amazin', so amazin', so amazin', so amazin', it's amazin' So amazin', so amazin', so amazin', it's amazin' (Let's go)
J.A. Aldridge: Introducing her opponent...from Staten Island, New York! Weighing in at 227 pounds! He is “The Franchise” RICKY VALERO!
He makes his way toward the ring intentionally ignoring the outstretched hands of front row fans along his route. He circles the ring, before reaching the far corner. Slowly he climbs up the steps and leans his back against the ropes, bouncing against them a few times with his arms wrapped over top of them before slipping into the ring.
I'm a monster I'm a killer I know I'm wrong, yeah
I'm a problem That'll never Ever be solved
And no matter what You'll never take that from me My reign is as far as your eyes can see
Ricky spins around in the center of the ring with his arms extended out, absorbing the crowd's disdain. He walks towards the ropes on the far side of the ring and simply smiles. The music slowly quiets down as Ricky turns and leans against the ropes closest to the entranceway, awaiting his opponent.
Valero looks smug as he saunters around the ring while Lowri sizes him up from a distance. When Valero stops provoking the crowd, he turns to see Moss charging in with a running dropsault, sending him to the mat with a pop from the crowd. Valero gets up into a bundle of shoot kicks before backing up into the corner. Moss doesn’t relent, knowing that she has some pent up aggression but more importantly, a long night ahead of her. She whips Valero out of the opposing corner, rushes in, and hits him with a bicycle knee strike. As the off-guard Valero stumbles into her range, Moss hits the ropes and tries to come down with Slice of Heaven (Springboard Enzuigiri).
The wily veteran ducks and heads into the ropes, watching Moss crash in the mat with a grin tugging at the corner of his mouth.
Stephy Auger: Catch the man off guard and then try to take his head off. Lowri’s something else, I tell you.
Kris Cruise: If Ricky didn’t spend so much time goading the crowd, he wouldn’t have got caught like that.
Stephy Auger: Too bad that Lowri missed her shot to end the match. Now that Ricky’s done giving the crowd the time of day, he’ll etch a win here and take his rightful place on top of FGA!
Valero spots Lowri getting up and aims low, hitting a dropkick to her knees. Moss flips into the mat and Valero takes a step back. He heads back, hitting her in the spine with a shoot kick that sends an echo across the entire crowd. Hearing the reaction, another kick strikes into Lowri’s spine and her whole back stiffens up as she starts to get to her feet. Once she’s on a knee, Valero pushes her back to the mat with a lazy boot to the face. A jeer replies to his gesture of arrogance but he follows it well with a corner forearm smash when Moss chooses to recover there.
He grabs her by the back of her head (and a good amount of hair) and sends her to the mat with a Russian Leg Sweep. Not exactly finished, Valero lifts Moss up and hits a swinging neckbreaker in tandem. Once Moss hits the mat, Valero shoves his forearm against her face for the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . Lowri gets the shoulder up.
Ricky gets onto his knees, smacking Lowri in the back of the head, asking her what she’s doing. Lowri lays on the mat for a moment before rolling away but Ricky follows her, stomping her stomach. He presses his other foot down next to her head and brushes his boot against her face. He follows the disrespectful move by stomping on Lowri’s head and steps away from her while she holds her head in pain. As he goes back over, Moss gets to her knee and Valero tries to end that with a heel hook attempt. Lowri rips her leg away from him and boots him in the face to get some room. She rolls to her feet and waits for Ricky to follow, which he does, trying for a clothesline.
Moss stands back towards the ropes, letting him fall into them after an easy evasion. She hits him in the back with a roundhouse kick, slumping him over the ropes. Once there, Lowri takes Ricky by the back of the neck and sends him into the second rope. She heads out of the ring, standing on the ring apron. She rushes forward and gets a full extension on a soccer kick to the hung head of Ricky Valero. The victim snaps back and crashes into the mat but rushes to his feet. Lowri, with a clean set of jumps, gets to the top rope and comes down on Valero with a crossbody! She hooks the legs.
ONE! . . TWO! . . TH-NO!
The crowd pans as Valero gets the shoulder up.
Kris Cruise: That kick could be heard all the way in Lowri’s hometown!
Stephy Auger: She’s out here trying to pass out concussions like they’re candy. What a jerk!
Lowri evades a punch from Ricky and brings him down with an STO before she gets up with a full head of steam. She yells to the crowd to get them on their feet and they follow orders feverishly. Valero gets to his feet using the ropes and he doesn’t see Moss sizing him up, making a target, and following through with a scorpion kick. Valero turns around and she hooks her arms around his waist. She can’t get Valero up on strength alone, so she rushes into the ropes and uses them to whip Valero over her head and down into the mat with a German Suplex! She retains the bridge to the elation of the crowd.
ONE! . . TWO! . . TH-NO!
The crowd pans as Valero gets the shoulder up again.
Stephy Auger: Not yet, young girl, that might work on people like Sadie but not on the Franchise!
Moss heads to the corner, waiting for Valero to get up again. She walks over to him, trying to hook him into an Inverted DDT but Valero breaks the grip and drops down to the mat. His leg comes and cracks Moss on top of the head with a Pele Kick. Moss falls back to the ground and she’s easy pickings for Valero to follow up with a Shining Wizard! He gets up and taunts the crowd in mockery of Lowri’s mannerisms, even putting on a “Welsh” accent. He drops to the mat for the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . TH-NO!
The crowd cheers loudly as Moss gets the shoulder up and Valero’s face tells the story. He groans rather loudly and gets to his feet.
Stephy Auger: You’re wasting the man’s time, Lowri. He wants to be done with amateur hour and get to the main event later tonight! He just showed you how to do a proper Shining Wizard!
Kris Cruise: I don’t think Lowri’s in the mood to hear any of this nonsense as much as the audience at home does.
Valero yanks Moss up, holding her there and he walks around the perimeter of the ring for a moment. He then picks up speed and tries to send her into the corner with a Turnbuckle Powerbomb. Moss, at the last moment, dips over his shoulders. She hits a back heel kick to Valero’s face, sending him crumbling into the nearby turnbuckle. She heads to her corner swiftly and returns with a big boot just for Ricky Valero! Just for Kicks, Lowri hurries off the opposing ropes and nearly gifts a front row fan with Ricky’s face.
Moss takes the delirious Valero into the grip and looks to the crowd. She nods her head to the loud cheers and takes a deep breath. She begins to lift Valero up, showcasing some strength that she may have adopted from her tag team partner, Blaise Fader. Moss cradles Valero and leaps up and down with a devastating Cradle Piledriver. Valero falls to the mat and Moss goes for the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . TH-NO!
The crowd pans as Valero gets the shoulder up again.
Stephy Auger: Yes, the Franchise is still in the game!
Kris Cruise: Barely! I don’t know how he got the shoulder up after his head bounced off the mat like that!
Moss, knowing that every second is a disadvantage against her in the future, takes a step back. She points at the rising Ricky Valero with a glint in her eyes. Taking aim, it was time to send Valero to sleep! As Valero got to his knees, Moss heads in with Breuddwydion Melus (Superkick)!
BUT RICKY CATCHES HER OTHER LEG WITH A CHOP BLOCK!
Stephy Auger: God walks among us!
Moss crashes into the mat and Valero wastes no time. He drops the first Leg Drop on the journey to Jupiter. He hits one...two...three...and the crowd begins to count with him. Valero gets to the nine leg drops until he stops to the abnormal roar of the crowd. He hits the outside of the ropes and springboards in with some air to him and comes down with a tenth leg drop to Lowri Moss! He goes for the cover, nodding his head to the count.
ONE! . . TWO! . . TH-NO!
The audience hits a peak as Lowri gets the shoulder up. Ricky glares at the referee, telling him that he needed to count faster since Valero has other [redacted] to do.
Stephy Auger: You heard the man! Ricky has other--
Kris Cruise: Don’t you dare repeat that!
Stephy Auger: Fine but he’s right. Lowri needs to stay in her line and out the path of God himself! Jesus walks and his name is Ricky Valero!
Kris Cruise: Then call Lowri Moss a non-believer because she’s not getting put down that easily!
Ricky looks to the audience and says it’s time to end this nonsense. He goes over to Lowri and starts to deadlift her off the mat. With a proud look on his face, Valero looks to the hard camera before he drops Lowri to the mat with the Pinnacleplex (Regalplex)! Lowri rolls on the mat, turned inside out with the move, but Valero sees his chance. He heads back over to her with a clear intent--silence the audience and crush her FLC dreams. He lifts Moss onto his shoulders, standing in the dead center of the ring.
He flips Lowri off his shoulder and presents his knee.
Lowri flips onto her feet, much to the shock of the crowd, the referee, and thankfully, Ricky Valero. She hits the ropes and strikes Valero with Slice of Heaven (Springboard Enzuigiri), catching directly in the jawline. Yet, he doesn’t fall. Moss doesn’t seem to mind as she takes a step back and catches the turning Valero in the chin with Breuddwydion Melus! She falls onto Valero as he falls to the mat.
ONE! . . . TWO! . . . THREE!
J.A. Aldridge: Ladies and gentleman, here is your winner, LOWRI MOSS!
The crowd cheers loudly as Lowri gets to her feet with a tired expression but a smile as she watches Valero crawl out of the ring.
Stephy Auger: This isn’t how it is in the Book of Valero.
Kris Cruise: Well, the book of Valero doesn’t matter because Lowri’s advancing on in the Frontier Lions’ Cup after a grueling match!
The number one contender to the FGA World championship, Kol, is seen exiting his locker room, dressed in street clothes due to not competing tonight. He notices the cameras and rolls his eyes before checking his watch and letting out a “tisk”.
KOL: Where is Jimmy Page? The 7th Year Anniversary show is almost over and we haven’t heard from the World champion once. I thought being the FGA World champion meant you were here every single show, not just the ones where they ask you to be the deranged brutal cunt that you’ve always been, Jimmy.
Kol taps his watch.
KOL: Where are you, champ? Are you in the arena? Are you in the city? Are you even in the damn state? I know New Jersey is a shithole, but-
The last statement made by the New York native draws the ire of the fans in attendance, which just brings a grin on the face of the number one contender.
KOL: You can boo me all you like, but not a damn person has ever said that their dream was to live in this place!
More boos from the audience, but Kol just waves them off.
KOL: While I can keep going, there’s actual important people that I need to talk about. Now, Jimmy Page is only important because of the title he holds currently, so I’m going to do a lot of people a lot of favors when I take that championship off of your hands.
Kol begins to walk away from the cameras, but they follow him as he motions for them to do so.
KOL: Jimmy, you’ve tried so hard to prove you’re a changed man, but in the end, nobody wants you at the top. Nobody wants you as the man to represent this brand, not even the board of directors. Of course, they won’t say that. They’re too afraid to speak the truth and the truth is that out of the two of us, I’m the one who’s likely going to make them the money that they want to make. I’m the one that they really want to be the face of the company.
Kol reaches the exit of the arena and opens the door before stepping out onto the parking lot.
KOL: After Final Frontier? This company will finally have a World champion it deserves.
Kol then slams the door shut, leaving the cameraman inside of the arena as he left the building.
• Frontier Lions Cup (Qualifying Round) • Evan Envi vs. Max Powers
J.A. Aldridge: Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is scheduled for ONE fall and it is Qualifying Round Match in the 2018 Frontier Lions Cup! Introducing first from the Mushroom Kingdom weighing in tonight at 168 pounds this is Player One...Max Powers!
"Rockit" begins to play over the speakers as the the lights in the arena dim. An individual steps through the curtains wearing a jacket that flashes red, blue, green and yellow colors. The lights come back on, revealing Max Powers to a positive reaction from the crowd. Max slaps hands with the fans on his way down the aisle. After sliding underneath the bottom rope and into the ring, he pushes himself up and heads into the corner. After climbing up onto the second rope and throwing his index fingers in the air, he climbs to the top turnbuckle and backflips off, landing safely on his feet in the ring to cheers.
Kris Cruise: Max Powers is up against it a little tonight considering he’s drawing the defending champion of this very tournament in the qualifying round. And Evan Envi is absolutely obsessed with regaining the FGA. I don’t envy this young man’s path right off the bat but he’s got tremendous heart and a ton of speed. That might be his ticket.
Stephy Auger: The Mushroom Kingdom? Are you kidding me? He’s a tag specialist as far as I know but this is singles competition...against the best in the company! With the mood Evan’s in he might whoop this kid’s rear end in record time.
Kris Cruise: Or that emotional state could be used against him and make things interesting…as I’ve said many times...anyone can beat anyone at any given time.
The familiar, frantic instrumental slams into the PA system, drawing a deafening reaction from the crowd-- most of them choosing to rain down jeers. Multi-colored strobes dance throughout the arena as the Beatles’ “Helter Skelter” blares throughout the arena.
Stephy Auger: Here we go…
Upon the first hint of vocals, Evan Envi steps through the curtains, onto the ramp, his signature jacket thrown on, hood pulled up over his head, slightly obscuring the view of his face. He takes a few steps forward, nodding a bit, an eyebrow perked as he surveys the raucous crowd.
J.A. Aldridge: And his opponent, from Ocean City, Maryland! Weighing in at 203 pounds! He is the Chief...EVAN ENVI!
Evan pulls his hood back before walking forward, raising his signature Double V’s high into the air, glaring toward the ring as he makes his way down the ramp. Envi climbs the stairs and finally lowers his arms as he climbs the ropes near the turnbuckles as if walking a staircase, standing at the top as he unzips his jacket, shooting a smirk toward a few members of the audience that shout at him near ringside. Envi tosses his jacket out of the ring-- and it lands near-perfectly over the closest camera (and cameraman). We switch to another shot as Envi leaps from the top rope down into the ring, kissing the tips of his fingers before raising them high into the air in double presidential peace-signs, eyes closed, head tilted back in the center of the ring, seemingly unmoved by the amount of boos pouring down on him. Evan opens his eyes and rolls his neck as he backs into the corner, shaking his limbs loose to prepare for combat.
Kris Cruise: He’s doing his best to put on his best arrogant face but there is no doubt in anyone’s mind he’s smarting.
Stephy Auger: I think anyone is considering who the champion is but this might be the platform to get Evan back where he belongs.
Kris Cruise: Or launch someone new.
As soon as the lights turn to normal Max comes in like a bat out of hell with speed and launches into a dropkick that sends Evan into the corner as the bell rings! The fans are overjoyed at this and Evan is stunned by the fast assault. He’s staggered into the corner by the blistering assault and he takes a second dropkick and he bounces again off that turnbuckle! A decent portion of the crowd shouted ‘1-UP’ after the second one and then Max ends up getting to his feet and retreating to the center of the ring before sprinting at full force and delivering a third dropkick! Evan ends up staggering forward slightly as Max is going to the top and then he ends up going for a Victory Roll!
ONE! . . TWO! . . Evan kicks out right after two!
Stephy Auger: Oh my God no...don’t do that!
Kris Cruise: This could be deep trouble.
Evan gets up, looking more agitated than troubled at this point as Max is trying to follow up his fast paced advantage getting behind him. He’s looking to go bulldog but Evan ducks that as Max keeps his footing and ends up bouncing off the ropes going full force and this time trying a crossbody to try to keep that fast pace going but Evan ends up ducking and Max splats to the canvas stomach first. And Evan, ever the opportunist, ends up going low with a baseball slide dropkick right to the mid section and Max rolls to the apron.
Stephy Auger: Player one might have already run out of lives!
Kris Cruise: It seems like nearly having his shoulders pinned to the mat woke Evan up.
Max drags himself up but Evan cuts the high flyer off with a knee to the stomach that gets him doubled over slightly before he vertical suplexes Max back into the ring. He does instinctively flex his bicep because he can’t fully help himself showing off a little but no cover as Max had sat up contorted in pain. A knee to the small of the back provokes Powers to his feet before he’s chopped in the ribcage. Max isn’t backing down from that strike and fires back with some fast chops and punches to try to get Evan on his backfoot! Another fast right before he tries to charge but Evan pulls him by the hair toward him and the fans are booing this as he pulls Max toward him and boots him in the small of the back.
Kris Cruise: Evan’s reaching into the bag of tricks already...desperation tactics.
Stephy Auger: How is that desperation? Max gave him too much of an opening!
Kris Cruise: I don’t think he was purely desperate because of what Max was throwing at him. It’s more his mindframe.
Envi ends up delivering a forearm blow to the small of the back and again you can see Powers contort in pain but he’s refusing to go down and he’s getting back to his feet. He even throws a back elbow toward the decorated FGA competitor that catches him in the mouth. He hits a second one as well with that right elbow. But Evan has gotten hold of Max’s left arm. And before he can wind up for a third elbow to break out of his predicament Evan has tied him up in a straightjacket choke! And he has his knee right on the small of the back. Maximum leverage for the situation. The ref is in there asking if Max wants to give but Max is refusing to quit. He’s fighting for all he’s worth to get back to his feet and try to relinquish his grip. The pressure on his back is at least over with. The moment Evan feels his fingers slipping he just turns that into his backbreaker and again Max is in pain as his spine is being assaulted. This time Evan goes for a cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . T-Max kicks out!
Kris Cruise: Evan might tie this kid up in knots if he could.
Stephy Auger: I wonder if that means he went to boy scouts if he did that.
Evan is methodical with his assault even showing how little he cares for Max by stepping on him over his back to get to the apron just so he can slingshot his way back into the ring with an elbow to the small of the back and again you see Powers tense up on the canvas from the blow as Evan’s continuing to go through some of his greatest hits. Another round of boos when Evan just peers toward the audience with a quick look just to give Max enough time to get to his feet. Another chop and the fans do woo and that puts a bigger frown on Evan as he shoots Max off to the ropes with an irish whip. Max ducks the incoming back elbow from Chief and his face is contorted in agitation and then as soon as he turns around Max sends him around with a spinning headscissors!
Kris Cruise: Chief might be okay with a faster pace sometimes...but not against this particular wrestler!
Stephy Auger: He’ll figure it out. You and I both know in the long haul of a singles match that’s Evan’s advantage!
Evan is scrambling to his feet as fast as he can but Max is now behind him seeing an opportunity. He SPIKES Evan into the canvas with a reverse rana and scrambles for a quick cover!
ONE! . . TWO! . . TH--Evan kicks out.
Stephy Auger: I don’t like how his head bounced off the mat!
Kris Cruise: I told you to watch out for this kid because anything can and will happen.
Stephy Auger: But he’s from the MUSHROOM KINGDOM HE SAYS!
Max ends up going for Evan’s arm just as he was trying to scramble to his feet. And he yanks on that left arm a little bit with a pull to drop Evan back to his knees briefly. Then he ends up going for the completion of his Chain Chop move with the forearm smash but Evan ends up ducking that as the momentum sends Max sprinting again off the ropes and Envi just decides he has had enough of that and just decapitates him with his Kapowski Kick! Perhaps the best spinning heel kick in the business! Evan then throws up two peace signs high in the air and the crowd lets him hear it.
Stephy Auger: He just proved he didn’t with that move!
Kris Cruise: That move is as impressive as anything we’ll ever see but this crowd thinks Evan is a jerk.
Max is more than rocked for a loop as his flurry of offense was shut down and he’s sitting up trying to get things back going again but Evan just delivers a soccer ball kick right to the mid section. And as he hears that chant get louder he just launches into stomps and more and more of them as if this is fueling him! And even more kicks to the stomach, the back, the head. And then one big one right to the sternum at the peak of that chant and Evan’s getting a little hot headed about it. A little more distressed than usual.
Kris Cruise: A ticking timebomb…
Instead of a cover Evan ends up dragging Max to his feet and hanging him up in the tree of woe as his face is red in anger while Max’s stomach actually has a boot print from where Evan was stomping him. He ends up hanging poor Max in the tree of woe and even delivers two more pointed stomps to the midsection before he marches over to the opposite corner and the fans know he’s thinking lung blower, the double knees to the mid section. He ends up charging but Max is able to monkey himself up onto the top and Evan crashes into the middle turnbuckle! He’s hobbling a little with the slightest limp from that blow and is slower than usual to turn around being slouched and Max is able to leap off with a Double Mushroom Stomp off the top to his back! Max tenses up on the landing favoring his back and Evan’s feeling it after that blow.
Stephy Auger: What the hell!
Kris Cruise: Big opportunity!
The fans are clapping and hoping for the big upset here as Max is grabbing the bottom rope trying to get to his feet and fight through the pain his back is in! He’s wobbly legged with his back tensing up and gritting his teeth but he’s to his feet as Evan is staggering up as well. Max takes this opportunity to climb the ladder and go step up enziguri and that connects with Evan and drops him to the canvas! He then combines this with a standing moonsault!
ONE! . . TWO! . . THR--Evan kicks out!
Kris Cruise: Speed kills.
Stephy Auger: Not to worry yet...Evan still has plenty of tricks up his sleeve.
Max is a little frustrated at this with his hand behind his back there momentarily but he’s getting up still wincing and is waiting for Evan to stir. He ends up trying to run as best he can looking for a running Discus Punch but Evan is able to intercept him and turn it into a rolling single leg in the middle of the ring! He cranks on the pressure while also delivering some stomps to the head and shoulders for good measure!
Stephy Auger: I told you!
Kris Cruise: The bad part is Evan is almost as good as he thinks he is and counters like that prove it.
After a few of those stomps, Evan goes to focus more on cranking the hold as Max, not a submission specialist, is seeing the bottom rope as his only avenue of escape! He digs his fingernails into the mat and starts crawling for all he’s worth as Evan delivers another stomp to try to dissuade him into doing that and into giving up but Max isn’t going to be denied this time...and he lunges before clamping down on the bottom rope and the fans applaud this show of heart by the man and the ref comes in demanding a break.
Evan delivers a parting gift of a stomp to the back of the head before breaking the hold and giving him the number five to make sure the ref understands that he knows the rules and the fans boo this.
Kris Cruise: I’m finding myself very impressed with Max’s heart as Evan continues to not win very many friends with his attitude.
Stephy Auger: But the Good Guys are the best of friends! That’s all he needs in these trying times.
Kris Cruise: And you’re being ridiculous…
Evan feels more than confident at this point that the end is here for Max. Max is dead weight almost as he drags him to his feet from the ropes with an element of ruthlessness there. A forearm shot to the back doesn’t help matters as he continues to hone in on that spot and now he’s got the inverted headlock. He’s looking for his Guess Who...but Max surprises by twisting out of it with his great speed and kicks Evan in the stomach before delivering the It's-A-Me-DT(Snap DDT)! The fans roar as he scrambles to the cover!
ONE! . . TWO! . . THR-Evan kicks out again!
Kris Cruise: I don’t want to imagine what that would’ve done to the psyche of Evan Envi’s mind if that was the end.
Stephy Auger: Don’t even imagine horrible things like that!
Evan is holding his head from that blow and the fans are clapping for Max to climb to the top and go for the big shot. Max grits his teeth again and begins the slow climb to the top, the blows to the back have affected him greatly. He then reaches the top and glances at all the people that have their eyes on him but that moment of hesitation costs him as Evan is up and shoves Max’s feet and he crotches himself on that blow and leans forward and Evan has a devious idea as he puts a headlock on the man leaning there.
Kris Cruise: No...
Stephy Auger: I think we know where this is going! And we’ll enjoy the ride!
Kris Cruise: This might be cruel and unusual punishment…
Stephy Auger: But also quite inventive!
Evan soon twists Max’s head over so it’s inverted and scowls at the people hating him for that brief moment before he just plasters Max Powers with the Guess Who with Max dangling from the top like that! And Max crumples up in a heap near the corner. Evan then drags him closer to the center and makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . THREE!
“Helter Skelter” begins to blare through the PA system as the fans boo heavily at the result and Evan immediately throws up a peace sign after he knows the result.
J.A. Aldridge: Ladies and gentleman, here is your winner, EVAN ENVI!!!!!!!!!!
Evan gets his hand raised as he gets up and the fans continue to boo this man as he soon exits the ring. After the brief show of arrogance he’s still stern and serious as he walks back up the ramp. The fans also applaud Max Powers for giving an amazing effort in the ring as he’s not moving much from that finish.
Kris Cruise: There is absolutely no discounting the effort Max Powers gave going above and beyond what anyone expected from him in this match, but Evan Envi, as much as I don’t want to say this, has tunnel vision wanting to go for Jimmy Page and if he utilizes it fully that could make him near unbeatable in this tournament that he won last year! But it could also end up being his falling. Time will tell on that but he gets the victory tonight.