Horncastle Arena Addington, Christchurch, New Zealand
Our cameras pan to the commentary table where Kris Cruise and Stephy Auger, though still situated behind the desk, are each holding a live microphone as opposed to wearing their typical headsets. While Stephy shoots catty glances back at the fans seated behind the barricade behind the announce team as they do whatever they can to get their faces on-screen, Kris Cruise jumps right into the matter.
Kris Cruise: Ladies and gentlemen, a couple of weeks ago on our previous broadcast we witnessed what I would call an-- at the least-- inspired investigation courtesy of Nando Fresno. For context, it involved the Good Guys… or the tag team formerly known as the Good Guys. Last November, Evan Envi was brutally attacked in the parking garage during 2019’s final edition of FGA Vertigo. He was found unconscious in the parking lot with multiple lacerations after being driven head-first through a cab driver’s window. Later, we discovered that on top of the contusions, Envi had suffered a broken nose… a concussion… but what we never learned was who or why.
Kris Cruise: Until our previous broadcast. So ladies and gentlemen, at this time, joining us live via satellite from his home in Staten Island, New York is a man that I--
Kris Cruise: --we have a series of questions for… Ricky Valero.
The Tron flickers to life, and there we see the disinterested look of Ricky Valero. He rolls his eyes at the chorus of jeers, leaning back on his couch. He stares down the camera, waiting for the inevitable, though he’s clearly not prepared to offer the first word.
Stephy Auger: Let me be the one to break the ice here.
Ignoring the droning chorus of boos and mumbling from Kris Cruise, Stephy speaks to the man highlighted on the Tron.
Stephy Auger: Ricky, before Kris asks you a bunch of judgmental questions, I just wanted to ask how you were doing. I know the past few weeks-- months, even-- must have been stressful for you. You and your lovely Keke are expecting a beautiful baby in the upcoming weeks and all anybody seems to want to talk about is… you-know-who. So please, allow me! How IS the family? We would all like to know!
Stephy shoots a disapproving look out toward the masses while Valero’s face grows a deeper shade of red.
Stephy Auger: Don’t listen to them. You know what-- they don’t even deserve an update on the birth of your child. That’s privileged information and you can just text me anyway.
Kris Cruise: Alright. So Ricky, I don’t have to ask you why you attacked your supposed best friend back in the autumn. I mean-- you did a pretty thorough job of explaining your actions a couple of weeks ago. I just want to know what you expect to happen now. Your plan, in essence, was to remove Evan Envi from FGA, but the Chief has made it clear that he has no intention of leaving. The opposite in fact-- Evan Envi is seeking revenge.
There is a brief pause in Cruise’s words, allowing for a pop from pockets of the crowd.
Kris Cruise: Did you have a plan for that? Or was it something you failed to anticipate?
Though some members of the audience continue to boo Valero, many grow hushed as they anticipate his response. Several quiet seconds tick by with Ricky simply rubbing his jaw, as if pondering.
Ricky Valero: I, uh…
Ricky Valero: I don’t know why I agreed to this, actually. I expected this. You know what this is, Kris Cruise? This is a bastardization of journalism and I deserve much better than to be a part of it. Now if you want me to sit here and talk about Evan, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Everything I wanted to say is already out there. I want to focus on Ricky Valero from now on, so if you have questions for Evan, I guess you should schedule an interview with him for your website or something. Anyway--
Kris Cruise: Actually… funny you say that.
Stephy Auger: What?!
Kris Cruise clears his throat as the audience steadily grows louder in anticipation. Valero sighs, rubbing at his eyes with his thumb and index finger for a moment, shaking his head.
Kris Cruise: Joining us live via satellite…
On cue, the image on the Tron converts to a split-screen. Evan Envi sits in a dark room, simply seated on a folding chair, dressed in black jeans and a familiar black shirt which reads “DO GOOD.” He glares into the camera-- glares through Ricky Valero, who initially averts his gaze on instinct before turning his nose up at the camera.
Ricky Valero: You guys think this is cute, I suppose.
Stephy Auger: I don’t! Evan, who invited you to this? We were about to have a lovely rapid-fire Q&A session!
Ricky pushes himself to the edge of his couch, pointing a finger into the lens, grinning bitterly.
Ricky Valero: I don’t need to hear it, Evan. Whatever you’re gonna say… it doesn’t undo how I feel. It doesn’t give me back the time and dignity you stole from me. I don’t want to hear a motherf--
Evan Envi: I need you to do something.
Valero’s eyes widen in surprise.
Ricky Valero: You need me t…
A thunderous laugh follows. Valero tilts his hed back, howling-- clapping his hands against his thighs before he looks back into the lens, shaking his head, grin spread from ear to ear.
Ricky Valero: You don’t get to ask me to do anything, Evan. What are you not-- what don’t you understand here?
Evan nods slowly, but he doesn’t respond. Valero mutters to himself under his breath, rubbing at his jaw for a moment before throwing his hand up, looking toward the camera in disdain.
Ricky Valero: Okay. Humor me.
Evan Envi: I need you to show up at Grapple Kingdom.
The audience roars and Valero’s face resembles someone that just inhaled their least-favorite dish. He clears his throat and shakes his head, responding calmly.
Ricky Valero: Even if you were medically cleared to compete I wouldn’t give you a match because I’m done with you, Evan. You held me down. I’m not going to entertain it. Go beg one of the locals in Vancouver for a match if you’re so hungry for ring time.
Envi narrows his eyes slightly.
Evan Envi: I’m not asking you for a match.
The crowd that had been hushed by Valero’s words spring to life with another pop. Valero shakes his head, looking down for a moment before giving Evan a look that lingers between amusement and disbelief.
Ricky Valero: There’s no way you actually want that.
Evan Envi: Trust me.
Valero laughs again, rubbing at his eyes once more before he sighs.
Ricky Valero: I’ll be in Vancouver for Grapple Kingdom, Evan, but not because you asked me to. If by some odd reason you do seek me out…
Valero trails off, eyes skyward as he laughs to himself.
Ricky Valero: ...I didn’t want to ACTUALLY end your career, Evan. So please, just don’t be stupid. Don’t be unreasonable.
Envi is quiet, contemplative. The rage behind his eyes hasn’t subsided, but his actions are calmer-- more controlled than they were weeks prior. Without another word toward Valero, the feed to Evan Envi is cut, leaving his screen blank for several moments until Ricky’s satellite feed encompasses the screen.
Kris Cruise: Ricky, thank you for your time.
Ricky Valero: ...yeah.
Valero pushes himself up off of the couch and storms out of frame, leaving us on the shot of an empty, silent living room before his feed cuts as well. Stephy Auger visibly frowns at commentary.
Stephy Auger: So we’re not doing the rapid-fire Q&A then?
Kris Cruise: Evan Envi has challenged Ricky Valero to-- not a match-- but what I can only assume is a fight at Grapple Kingdom, Stephy. We’ll be back right after this.
We fade away as our show cuts to an advertisement.
Post by FGA Office on Feb 27, 2020 19:44:55 GMT -5
We then end up getting a view of one of the locker rooms. It has that feeling that it is rather empty but considering who is taping his wrists as he’s seated on the stool that isn’t a surprise. The former Pride Champion, Seth Iser, has changed fully into his ring gear and is finishing the last part of his prep by taping said wrists. His eyes then directly go in contact with the young woman who seems to want to grab him for an interview. There is a negative reaction from the audience that does travel over but if he hears that, he’s got his poker face on.
Amanda Johnson: Hello, Seth. Do you have a moment for a question or two?
There isn’t a verbal response from Seth which has become more customary with how he treats the normal person in this field of work. He simply gestures with his right hand to stand as he just stretches said wrist in his tape. He seems satisfied enough with that to then put said tape in the locker behind him before she starts her line of questioning.
Amanda Johnson: Tonight you have yourself an opportunity to go to the semi-finals. You have to face the woman who ended up scoring the decision in that tag match in Ashley Marie Chase and she might be more motivated than she’s ever been in her career.
Seth’s eyes narrow slightly at how it was worded but other than that, his face doesn’t give any tells.
Seth Iser: Tag teams and singles are two different beasts, Amanda. The truth of the matter is she couldn’t have won the match without me. The opposite statement...is also true. I couldn’t have had my hand raised without her efforts. There is no place for an uncontrolled ego in a tag team match if your aim is victory. We were equals on that night for it was for the good of our objectives and she’s been known as a really good tag team wrestler in her career.
And he just calmly has his arms crossed as he thinks about his point a little bit further while Amanda is just listening to the veteran articulate what he wants to say.
Seth Iser: So...I commend her fully. She knows when to have fun but when it is time to get serious...she knows what she’s doing. Look who she just pinned in that tag match, one of our current champions. You don’t fluke into that.
Amanda Johnson: You seem...completely confident regardless.
Seth Iser: Why wouldn’t I be?
Seth’s eyebrow raises after he states that.
Amanda Johnson: You do have a small history of being prone...to upsets. Dickie Harter and Nando come to mind.
There’s no real change in Iser’s expression after this is thrown at him. The veteran just seems fully calm, cool, and collected.
Seth Iser: Everybody knows anything could happen, Amanda. The truth on those two circumstances is obvious though. There was an existential threat in both of them looming ahead and it took three seconds, but I took my eye off the ball on both of them. Unless Owen Gonsalves comes from the grave of retirement...I don’t foresee that circumstance happening to me.
There’s an air of confidence in his statement from the former Pride Champion.
Seth Iser: I know how seriously she’s taken it. She asked someone that I know to pick her brain to try to get a full picture of what she could be dealing with in a singles match. She wants to try to learn everything she possibly can in a short amount of time as to what I’m capable of when that bell rings. And there is almost two decades worth of material to go through when you’ve seen all the things I’ve done...all the wars I’ve survived, all the championships I’ve won.
And the air of confidence stays there but there is a look of pure determination as it even makes Amanda take just that slightest half of a step back.
Seth Iser: But it won’t be enough for her…
The grim statement comes out of his mouth as he scowls toward where the camera is at.
Seth Iser: I give her immense credit like I said before. If it were me in charge, she made herself one hell of a case for the Fifteen Championship with her performance in that tag match. But that doesn’t mean she’s going to get by me. The homework she wants to do to try to get herself at her best...won’t be enough to beat someone like me, either.
Amanda returns to her spot by taking that half of step forward again as Iser’s face lightens up slightly.
Seth Iser: I know you spent your time on Flashpoint, Amanda, but you know I’ve grown as a professional wrestler the last couple of years. I’ve made my own legacy and even made the Pride title seem that much greater because of how I conducted myself and the way I wrestled. Not a soul in the world can deny that. There also isn’t any human being in this locker room to even the damned people who bought the tickets who can deny the fact that I’m fingertips away from getting to where I need to be here. I’m just...fingertips away from the ultimate feather in the cap for my legacy.
Seth lowly states that last sentence as he has that frown etched on his face.
Seth Iser: I’m fingertips away...from making my return to pro wrestling a few years ago seem truly worth it. Three matches away...isn’t so far from the goal, especially when you’ve wrestled as many in life as I have. And knowing this, Amanda...I’m not dropping the ball. I have to wrestle three more matches to MY full ability and potential as a professional with all of that knowledge I’ve gained over these years. But I know I won’t have the other two...if I drop the ball on this one…
And then that traditional glare as the veteran brushes any hair from his face so everyone gets a good view of how serious he is.
Seth Iser: So AMC...this isn’t personal. Merely business. But every trick I’ve ever learned is on the table. I’ll do what is needed to get the job done. And all you’ll be able to do...is make your case for second place compared to me. Amanda, it’s been your privilege but as I just stated...I have a match to win.
And with that statement the elder of the company ends up leaving the view to exit the locker room and get his last minute preparations done before he goes to war.
Post by FGA Office on Feb 27, 2020 19:45:40 GMT -5
Neal Durden: Time is a flat circle…
The scene opens up with Neal Durden standing at a balcony in the hotel where he and Lowri have been staying leading up to tonight’s show in New Zealand. He has a reflective expression on his face as he soaks in the New Zealand night. Unlike nights in New York, Vegas, Tokyo or other major cities he has been in; the night here is a bit calmer and a bit more welcoming; it’s not as daunting as nights he has experienced before, which undoubtedly reflects in his mood tonight as he speaks.
Neal Durden: It seems like everything we do, we’re condemned to do to satiety or until we get sick of doing it. It’s an experience into itself, isn’t it? Just like taking the night in different cities every week; just like living life ten thousand feet above the ground; just like having your favorite meal every time you go back home after a long trip. Indeed, time is a flat circle. Everything we have done or will do we will do over and over and over again- forever.
Neal steps away from the guardrail on the balcony as he turns to face the camera directly. The same look he sported before, still intact in his face. His hair; a complete mess, it’s almost as if he just got up after fighting sleep for a while, yet he continues.
Neal Durden: And thus, we find ourselves in the same circle again, Cassius. It’s been a while, not since March last year we’ve faced each other in singles competition here in FGA. Our records are equal, one victory to you on the Rey del Aire 2018 finals, one victory for me on a Beat the Clock challenge on Flashpoint last year. This becomes the third time we’ll face each other, the rubber match… and the third show we’ve faced each other, Vertigo. You’re no stranger to me, I’m no stranger to you and I know the fans here in New Zealand know exactly what we can do inside that ring.
Durden scratches the top of his head, letting a smile be drawn on his face as he thinks about something. Taking a look to his left side, towards the night, he sighs. Then, with a smirk on his face he continues.
Neal Durden: I’m sure you’ll love nothing more than to have a big smile on your face as the bell rings, signaling you’ve toppled me once again, you get bragging rights and a spot on the Semi Finals of this year’s Lottery. I’m sure you’d love nothing more than to put me away once again and claim you’ve got my number, because I know you, Cassius. I know you don’t like me. But I’m also sure you know I don’t like you and I’d love nothing more than to have the bragging rights for myself, that I’d love nothing more than to put you on the mat for the three count or to hear you tap out to the Kneebar… and have my hand raised at the end of the match.
Neal takes a step towards the camera, he looks directly into it, as he simply gives the fans watching a slight smirk.
Neal Durden: I know what’s waiting for me at Grapple Kingdom 3. I know what’s at the end of the tunnel. I know there’s a pair of Hellcats waiting for me, fresh and hungry. I know that if I win tonight, Cassius, I’ll have to fight two, maybe three grueling matches in one night… and I know of my physical restrictions. I know there are people concerned about that possibility. I know there are people that might want you to win because they won’t bear to see me struggle that night. I know there are people who saw my match against Tiff Rollins over at Millennium and saw clearly what a lengthy match does to my conditioning. I’ve been traveling the world, Cassius, I know how worn down my body is at the moment…
Hanging his head down, Durden lets out a deep sigh. He doesn’t get his head back up for a while, it’s almost as if he’s gathering himself back up, getting ready for the struggle he might have to endure.
Neal Durden: Many would just quit, save themselves some energy. That would be the easy route now, but I didn’t swim thru our differences last time out, just to quit when I have the opportunity to kick your teeth in. I didn’t take the bad of our tag-team match, just to quit when bragging rights are for the taking. Believe me, Cassius, my eyes are set on that tag-team match against the Hellcats; but tonight… tonight, you and I go to war. Matters not that we’re in the opener, every other wrestler that takes that ring tonight will have to do battle over the rubble we’re gonna leave in that ring, they’re gonna have to topple the excitement we’ll bring. The roof will fall down, on the very first match and mark my words, Cassius…
Neal walks closer to the camera as he points towards it.
Neal Durden: Even if we’re condemned to do this forever, even if time is a flat circle, even if there’s no resolution to our eternal conflict… this night… is mine.
Post by FGA Office on Feb 27, 2020 19:53:57 GMT -5
WILDCARD LOTTERY (QUARTERFINALS) Cassius Reed vs. Neal Durden
J.A. Aldridge: Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is a quarterfinals match in the Wildcard Lottery!
As the action returns to the arena, Kris and Stephy barely get a chance to begin talking about the next As the action returns to the arena, Kris and Stephy barely get a chance to begin talking about the next match when…
IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT YOUR GIRLFRIEND LIKES ME, I DO HER HARD LIKE FUCKING WARP SPEED, YOUR DAD’S MAD, IT’S NOT MY FUCKING FAULT, THAT YOUR MOM WANTS TO FUCKING FUCK ME, GO!
With that, “You Suck!” begins to permeate the arena, as out from the back comes Cassius Reed! The Man of a 1000 Nicknames is clearly dressed for war, his ring gear apparent under his entrance robe, the lights of the arena causing the black sequins to shimmer. He basks in the entrance way a few moments, before turning to reveal his name on the back of the robe, gold block capitals eliminating all doubt as to his identity. With a snap he spins back to face forward, the robe flowing round him, before he heads down to the ring with what can only be described as the most arrogant strut New Zealand has ever had the misfortune to encounter.
J.A. Aldridge: Ladies and gentlemen.. From Funkytown, USA, and tipping the scales tonight at 205 pounds… CASSIUS! REED!
Rolling in under the bottom rope, Cassius quickly rolls onto his back before kipping up! Giving a quick smirk and raised eyebrow to the crowd, he turns and leaps to the top of the nearest turnbuckle, before whipping off his ring robe with a flourish. He poses just a moment at the top of the turnbuckle, smug grin on his face, robe hanging from his hand, before dropping back to the mat, dropping his entrance gear to the outside at the same time. Before J.A. can continue, Cassius quickly slides up to him and takes the microphone from him.
Cassius Reed: HOLD IT. HOLD IT UP A MINUTE.
Slowly, the hum of the arena settles, “You Suck!” fading out too.
Cassius Reed: J.A., how many times has Cassius got to email you, fax you, fedex you, singing telegram you, to give you the LIST of monikers Cassius must be announced by. You all out here like “hey there people here’s some guy I guess” and frankly that ain’t good enough. Now, how bout you try that again?
J.A. looks up at Cassius, and kind of shrugs, imparting that he doesn’t remember them.
Cassius Reed: Well lucky for you sucka at least one of us came prepared…
Reaching into the waistband at the back of his tights, Cassius pulls out an index card with a flourish, before handing it, and the microphone, back to Aldridge. J.A. stalls a moment, before sighing, and giving in.
J.A. Aldridge: Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you… sigh... The Last True Iron King, the King of the Air, the King of Christmas, the Man with the Solid Gold Name, the Glory Hunter, the Vanilla Thrilla, the Puppet Master, the Snake Eater, the Devil Killer, the Funky Dragon, the Ebony Salmon, the Veep, the Coffee in your Coffee, Momma Reed’s Favorite Son… CASSIUS! REED!
Before he can even react, Cassius once more snatches the microphone out of his hand.
Cassius Reed: AND DON’T YOU FORGET IT.
Cassius diverts his attention from J.A. to the rest of the arena now.
Cassius Reed: YO YO YO! Listen up, Australia II, Cassius Reed is proud to present to you a show today, as you’re about to see history repeat itself. You get suckas tell you this is a thing over and over, WELL TODAY BITCHES YOU GET TO WITNESS IT LIVE, AS ONCE MORE CASSIUS REED DEFEATS NEAL DURDEN IN A TOURNAMENT. You suckas probably ain’t aware as you still getting your news telegrammed over to you from the Empire, but this scraggly lookin’ sucka is who Cassius defeated to prove himself the Rey del Aire two years gone. The boy who puts the PEN in PENDRAGON thinks he can come for the ONE TRUE IRON KING? He thinks that riding on the coattails of his infinitely more talented girlfriend is enough to see him ELEVATED TO CASSIUS’ LEVEL? SUCKA GET YO’ ASS BACK INTO THE MYSTERY MACHINE. YOU AIN’T NO KING. YOU AIN’T NO WILD CARD. YOU AIN’T NOTHIN’ BUT A FOOTNOTE IN THE EPIC SAGA OF CASSIUS REED. NOW HOW BOUT YOU QUIT GETTIN’ ANGRY ON TWITTER BACK THERE, GET YO’ WOMAN TO FINISH TYING YO’ LACES AS GOD ONLY KNOWS YOU AIN’T GOT THE MENTAL DEXTERITY TO ACCOMPLISH SO DIFFICULT A TASK, AND GET YO’ ASS OUT HERE SO CASSIUS CAN PUNCH YO’ FACE OUT THROUGH IT!
With that, Cassius throws the mic back to J.A., and immediately starts shadow boxing, keeping his energy high for the upcoming.
Stephy Auger: That’s right, you tell ‘em, Cassius!
Kris Cruise: Cassius Reed didn’t mince any words here tonight. But I have to question if it’s wise on his part to take Neal Durden lightly.
Stephy Auger: What do you mean? It’s Neal Durden! He’s the hanger-on. He’s the lackey. He’s… The Boyfriend! That’s what he’s known for. That’s all he’ll ever be. I heard him whining before about how disrespected he feels about being placed in the opener. You know, some people would look at being placed in the opener as the higher ups having faith in you to set the tone for the rest of the show. But no, not crybaby Neal! In a way, I understand where he’s coming from. If my infinitely more talented significant other was in the main event while I was placed in the opener, I’d probably feel inadequate, too! HA HA!
Kris Cruise: You’re so cruel, Stephy! Neal Durden doesn’t deserve this treatment from Cassius Reed and certainly not from you!
Stephy Auger: Oh boo hoo! He’s a big boy, he can handle it. If he can’t, then we can just get Lowri down here to console him and rock him to sleep.
Kris Cruise: Alright, I think that’s about enough!
The initial riffs of “Wake Up” by Rage Against the Machine start playing over the sound system; as lights start to flicker in the arena. At the first “Come On!”; Neal Durden steps out of the curtain, standing in the middle of the stage, giving his back to the public his jacket tight against his torso; as the music continues. With the second “Come On”, Neal turns around with a smile on his face as the song continues and he begins walking down the ramp. As the line “Fist in the air in the land of hypocrisy” goes off, Neal gets his right fist up as he stops and looks around, before continuing his trot towards the ring.
Stephy Auger: Aaaaw, look at the little faux rebel! Isn’t he so cute? That’s right, Neal, you throw that fist in the air! Yeah!
Durden continues to slap hands with the fans. He then quickly does a double take as Reed rushes forward, flips over the top rope and knocks him down with a topé con hilo!!!
Kris Cruise: The Funky Dragon out of nowhere with a huge dive to the floor! He just took Durden by surprise!
Stephy Auger: Yeah, of course! Neal Durden was too busy handing out pamphlets for his fake revolution instead of paying attention to The Ebony Salmon, Cassius Reed!
Reed pulls up Durden and doubles him over with three left hooks to the body before planting him with a running Tornado DDT off the apron!
Kris Cruise: OOOHHH, did you hear that impact!?
Stephy Auger: Yeah, BUT I SURE WOULD LOVE TO SEE IT AGAIN! Can the boys in the truck cue up a replay of that for me?
The boos continue as Reed takes Durden and rolls him back into the ring. The Funky Dragon then climbs back up to the apron before bringing himself back into the ring with a slingshot leg drop! He turns over and makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . Durden kicks out.
Kris Cruise: Cassius Reed is coming out strong here, Stephy.
Stephy Auger: Oh course not! He didn’t come to play!
Reed picks up Durden, runs across the ring and chucks him over the top rope, sending Durden hard to the floor!
Kris Cruise: Durden just got chucked to the outside with reckless abandon by Reed!
Stephy Auger: What would you like him to do, gently lay him down on the floor? A championship match and 100,000 smackeroos are on the line at the end of this tournament, Cruise!
Reed sets up shop on the far side of the ring. He continuously bounces his back against the ropes as he waits impatiently for Durden to get back up. On the outside, Durden starts to stir before turning over to a knee. Once he gets back to his feet on the outside, Reed runs across the ring, hops over the top rope and brings him down with a slingshot huracanrana!
Kris Cruise: Reed connects with another high risk maneuver to the outside!
Stephy Auger: You sound surprised. This is your reigning Rey del Aire you’re talking about here! Put some respect on that man’s name!
Reed pulls up Durden before bringing him back down with a snap suplex on the outside. The boos continue as Durden is pulled back up off the floor before being dropped across the apron with a belly to back suplex! Durden bounces off the apron before falling to the floor. Reed reaches down, pulls up Durden and rolls him back into the ring before climbing back onto the apron. The Funky Dragon brings himself back inside with a slingshot left elbow across across the back. He then pushes Durden over before making the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . Durden gets his shoulder up.
Kris Cruise: Reed goes for another pin, but he only gets a two count.
Stephy Auger: That’s okay, it’s okay. He’s staying aggressive. This is what I like to see.
Reed takes Durden, moves him into the corner and delivers multiple shoulder thrusts. He then lifts Durden’s head back up before whacking him across the face with a Pimp Slap! The boos grow louder when Durden ends up on the receiving end of another Pimp Slap! Reed throws out a third slap when Durden blocks and counters with a punch. Durden connects with a second punch, knocking Reed a few steps back from the corner. Durden hits a third punch and goes to head towards the ropes when Reed reaches forward, grabs him by the back of the tights, yanks Durden back towards him and follows up with a knee to the lower back. Durden arches his back before Reed brings him down with an inverted facelock backbreaker. He makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . Durden gets his shoulder up.
Reed yanks up Durden, runs and chucks him through the ropes and back to the floor!
Kris Cruise: Oh come on, Cassius!
Stephy Auger: What are you complaining about? If the roles were reversed, you would be cheering Neal on. Besides, this isn’t 1991 anymore, Cruise. You can’t get DQ’s for throwing someone over the top rope.
Reed rolls to the outside and puts the boots to Durden. He reaches down, pulls Durden back to his feet and slams him face-first into the announce table. Durden gets slammed face-first onto the announce table again before Reed grabs him by the side. The Funky Dragon goes to deliver a belly to back suplex onto the announce table when Durden rolls over his shoulder, lands on his feet, grabs Reed from the side and throws him onto the table with an Olympic Slam!
Stephy Auger: AH!
Durden climbs up onto the table, mounts Reed and starts firing off a flurry of right hands to the face!
Kris Cruise: Neal Durden has had enough of Cassius Reed!
Stephy Auger: Closed fists! CLOSED FISTS! Where is the official!? Neal Durden should be DQ’d for using closed fists!
Kris Cruise: It’s not 1991 anymore, Stephy! You can’t get disqualified for using closed fists, remember!
Stephy Auger: … don’t get smart with me, Cruise.
Durden climbs back down to the floor before heading back towards the ring.
Kris Cruise: What’s Neal Durden up to?
Stephy Auger: He’s about to roll back into the ring and get a countout victory like a coward...
Durden climbs up to the apron before looking back to gauge the distance between himself and Reed. Members of the crowd stand up and begin buzzing with anticipation.
Kris Cruise: I think we might what to move...
Stephy Auger: For the first time tonight, you might be right.
After grabbing a hold of the top rope with both hands, Durden springboards onto the middle rope. He quickly jumps up to the top rope before flipping back for a moonsault! The crowd gasps as he soars through the air! At the last second, Reed rolls off the table, which causes Durden to hit hard across the edge of the table before falling to the floor!
Stephy Auger: OOF!
Kris Cruise: OH NO! Durden missed the marked!
Reed picks up Durden and rolls him back inside the ring before rolling back inside. He makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . THR-NO!
Durden gets his shoulder up.
Kris Cruise: Durden got a shoulder up in time! But he had to have broken a couple of ribs on that fall!
Stephy Auger: Should we get Lowri down here to tend to his boo boo?
Kris Cruise: Enough, Stephy!
Reed brings Durden back into the corner before going to work with rights and lefts to the body! Durden lets out a loud grunt after each punch connects with his midsection. Reed then grabs a hold of Durden before throwing him out of the corner with a release northern lights suplex. Reed rushes over and makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . THR-NO!
Durden gets his shoulder up.
Reed takes Durden and brings him down with a belly to back suplex before landing across him with Funky Knee, Funky Do (Kneecolepsy)! He makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . THRE-NO!
The crowd gasps, then cheers when Durden gets his shoulder up.
Kris Cruise: How did that not knock the wind out of him?
Stephy Auger: How did that not get a three count? That’s what I’m wondering!
Durden finds himself on the receiving end of a neckbreaker before Reed heads out to the apron. He then begins to scale the turnbuckles. Reed ascends to the top turnbuckle before flipping off for a somersault leg drop. The crowd gasps, then cheers when Durden rolls out of the way, causing Reed to land hard on the canvas!
Stephy Auger: GAH!
Kris Cruise: Reed missed! Durden got out of the way just in time!
Durden remains in the prone position while Reed howls in pain after the high risk attempt. The Funky Dragon continues to favor his leg as he slowly turns over to a knee. He tries to pick herself back up while Durden slowly pushes himself up on all fours. Reed turns around and sees Durden on all fours. So he heads over and delivers a hard kick to the ribs, which drops Durden back to the mat. The boos continue as Reed follows up with multiple left elbow drops across the back. He then drops down, pulls Durden onto his back and makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . THR-NO!
Durden gets his shoulder up.
Reed makes another lateral press.
ONE! . . TWO! . . THR-NO!
Durden gets his shoulder up again.
Reed sweeps over into a top mount before raining down MMA-style punches! Durden is then pulled back to his feet before Reed heads towards the ropes. Reed bounces off the ropes and goes for the Son of Funkenstein (Springboard Reverse Huracanrana)! Before Reed can flip back, Durden pushes him off his shoulders. Once Reed lands on his feet, Durden brings him down with a schoolboy transitioned into a powerbomb! Instead of going for the cover, Durden immediately doubles over and favors his torso.
Stephy Auger: Nice going, genius!
Kris Cruise: Neal Durden was willing to risk further injury to himself if it meant getting the advantage in this contest! He’s got it! He’s stopped Reed’s momentum! But can he take advantage?
Stephy Auger: I know Lowri could. Neal? Eh, we’ll see.
Durden continues to guard his ribs before crawling over and making the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . Reed gets his shoulder up.
Durden takes Reed and whips him into the far corner. He rushes in to attack when Reed knocks him back with a boot to the face. Reed runs out of the corner to follow up with an attack when Durden brings him down with a Slingblade! He makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . Reed gets his shoulder up.
Reed reverses an irish whip, sending Durden into the ropes. When he returns, he sees Reed setting up for a back body drop. So he counters with a leg trap sunset flip powerbomb, causing pockets of the crowd to explode with cheers.!
ONE! . . TWO! . . T-NO!
Reed gets his shoulder up.
Kris Cruise: Oh, he was so close!
As Durden goes to pull Reed up off the mat, the crowd boos when he gets raked across the eyes. Reed then takes Durden, runs and tosses him through the ropes. Instead of falling to the floor again, Durden is able to hang onto the middle rope and land on the apron. Across the ring, Reed continues to take a breather until he turns and sees Durden pulling himself up onto the apron. Reed then rushes over and goes to knock Durden off the apron when Durden counters with a shoulder thrust through the ropes. He then grabs a hold of Reed and tries to bring him to the outside with a vertical suplex off the apron! Reed blocks that and counters by trying to bring Durden back inside with a suplex of his own. He gets Durden up when Durden slips down from behind and follows up with a dropkick to the back of the head. Reed drops down to a knee as he lands across the middle rope. Durden sees this, so he takes off into the far ropes, comes back and knocks Reed back with a tiger feint kick! Durden steps out to the apron before heading towards the corner. He begins climbing the turnbuckles while Reed is busy picking himself up off the mat. As Reed turns around, Durden flies off the top turnbuckle and catches him across the side of the head with a diving knee strike, knocking him down! Durden crawls over to make the cover.
Kris Cruise: Reed was caught flush across the jaw with that diving knee! This could be it right here...
Stephy Auger: C’mon, Cassius! Get up. Get up! GET UP!
ONE! . . TWO! . . THR-NO!
The crowd boos when Reed gets his shoulder up.
Stephy Auger: Phew!
Durden pulls up Reed before heading towards the ropes. He bounces back for a handspring back elbow when Reed catches him in mid air and counters with another belly to back suplex!
Stephy Auger: There we go!
Kris Cruise: Well-timed counter there by Cassius Reed!
With Durden down, Reed returns to his feet and goes for a second Funky Knee, Funky Do. This time, Reed misses as Durden rolls out of the way! Durden grabs Reed by the back of the tights and pulls him back to his feet. He then takes control of Reed’s back before catching him with a ripcord knee strike to the face! Reed remains dazed on his feet. So Durden quickly slips back behind Reed before delivering a second ripcord knee strike! This time, a dazed Reed drops down to a knee. Durden then points at Reed before heading into the far ropes, coming back and flattening him with a Shining Wizard! He crawls over and makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . THRE-NO!
The crowd sighs when Reed gets his shoulder up.
Kris Cruise: Neal nearly had him! He was a millisecond away from advancing to the semifinals!
Durden picks up Reed and pulls him into a standing headscissors. As soon as he hooks both of Reed’s arms, he tries to lift him up for a sitout double underhook powerbomb. But Reed kicks his legs, forcing Durden to lower him back down. He then breaks out of the double underhook, brings Durden down to the mat with a standing double leg takedown and then sends him flying into the corner with a catapult. The crowd responds with boos when Durden hits the top turnbuckle face-first. Durden starts to stumble back until Reed spins him around and drops him with a split-legged stunner! He goes over and makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . THRE-NO!
The crowd cheers when Durden gets his foot across the bottom rope.
Reed pulls Durden back to his feet before delivering the Pimp Slap Symposium (Quick Right Handed slap to opponent’s face to get opponent to drop their guard, into a quick Right Jab - Right Jab - Left Hook Boxing Combo, dazing the opponent, and ending with a Michael Jackson style spin straight into a (Left Handed) Spinning Backhand Slap to opponent’s face WITH AUTHORITY)! He quickly doubles Durden over with a kick to the gut before planting him with a Snap DDT! Instead of going for the cover, Reed drags Durden over into the corner before climbing the turnbuckles. The crowd gasps when The Funky Dragon goes for Plan C (Starship Pain)...
… and cheers when Durden gets his knees up!
Stephy Auger: NOOOOOO!
Reed bounces off of Durden’s knees before rolling towards the center of the ring.
Kris Cruise: The high risk once again fails Cassius Reed when he needs it the most!
Reed continues to favor his back while he tries to get back up. After Reed returns his feet, Durden is right there to bring him back down with another Olympic Slam! He makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . TH-NO!
Reed gets his shoulder up.
Durden pulls up Reed, places him in a front facelock before bringing him down with a Simple Twist of Fate (180 Stunner)!
ONE! . . TWO! . . THR-NO!
Reed gets his shoulder up.
Durden pulls Reed back to his feet, takes control of his back, hits him with another ripcord knee strike before driving him down with another Simple Twist of Fate! Reed gets dragged into position before Durden steps out to the apron. Durden slowly climbs up to the top turnbuckle, flips off and crashes down across Reed’s back with the Starlight (Shooting Star Press)! He pushes Reed over before making the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . THREE!
The crowd explodes with cheers when “Wake Up” blasts over the PA.
J.A. Aldridge: Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of this bout… NEAL DURDEN!
The cheers continue as the official gestures the victory to Durden. Durden stands doubled over while he guards his ribs.
Kris Cruise: Neal Durden just pulled off what many would consider an upset! He has defeated Cassius Reed here tonight to advance to the semifinals at Grapple Kingdom, where he will face the winner of Izzy Anders/Laura Perelli later on tonight. This also places some concerns around his tag match on that same pay per view, where he will be defending the World Tag Team Titles with Laura Moss against The Hellcat Spangled Death Squad! Which one of those matches will be first? Where will his focus be? Will his body hold up wrestling two to three matches that night? These are all questions that will be answered at Grapple Kingdom!
• COMMERCIAL BREAK •
Last Edit: Feb 27, 2020 19:54:27 GMT -5 by FGA Office
Post by FGA Office on Feb 27, 2020 19:55:12 GMT -5
As Vertigo comes back from a commercial break, the scene opens up in the backstage area, more specifically in front of the trademark FGA lion logo above the green Vertigo logo. Standing in front of said wall markings is none other than Vertigo's reporter to the stars Spencer Burke. Spencer’s presence is something of a welcome sight backstage as he stands there, a microphone in his hand and a stack of notecards in his left.
Spencer Burke: The action has just gotten started here in New Zealand as we get closer to Grapple Kingdom 3! It’s going to be a stacked show, but tonight’s show is equally impressive. Joining me at this time is one person who is set to compete later tonight and at Grapple Kingdom...Savannah Taylor.
He steps back a bit as Savannah walks into the frame. She has her ivory and black robe covering her ring attire as she stands next to Spencer, her arms at her sides.
Spencer Burke: Savannah tonight, you are set to go one on one with Zola Star, who is looking to make a name for herself here in New Zealand.
Savannah Taylor: Spencer, why don’t you just come right out and say it?
Spencer Burke: Say...what?
Savannah Taylor: Come right out and say that my opponent tonight is looking to make a name for herself at my expense. Is that about right? No, on second thought, don’t answer that.
Savannah Taylor: You see Spencer, Zola Star is about to have the single biggest match of her young career tonight. I can totally empathize with her because she is obviously sitting in the back just a bundle of nerves. If I were in her shoes and I was set to face me, I’d be looking for the next available flight back to the United States. But she doesn’t really strike me as the type who would just tuck tail and run, even though it’s what she really should do.
Spencer Burke: If I didn’t know any better, it would almost sound like you are taking this match not quite seriously.
Savannah Taylor: Oh far from it, Spencer. If anything, this match is a warm up for Grapple Kingdom. Which, let’s be honest, Zola is going to wish she was anywhere else, given what match I’m involved in there. But don’t worry. At least after I get through with Zola, she will at least be able to walk out of the arena on her own and she won’t have to spend time in the hospital.
Spencer Burke: Funny you brought up Grapple Kingdom, because your opponent for Grapple Kingdom is also in action later tonight.
Savannah can’t help but roll her eyes slightly.
Savannah Taylor: And I am sure that you and everyone else are on edge because the two of us are on the same card and are in the same building. But let me point something out, Spencer.
She motions around the hallway where there appears to be more people than on a normal Vertigo.
Savannah Taylor: You see all of these people? The front office took it upon themselves to hire additional security for tonight. Now before you even open your mouth and stick your foot down your throat, the security isn’t for me. The security isn’t to protect me from Jimmy Page. It is to protect Jimmy Page from me. It’s to protect the rest of the roster from Jimmy Page. I’ve said it time and time again and I will say it until I am blue in the face. Jimmy Page is a danger to society and he should be locked up in a jail cell somewhere and have the key thrown away. Leonard T. Ashman and his yes men made the single biggest mistake in allowing him to come back. They not only took a risk, but they put EVERYONE in jeopardy. They have put you, Amanda Johnson, and everyone else who works here in the line of fire, because it’s been well documented just what kind of loose cannon Jimmy Page really is.
Spencer Burke: But aren’t you at all worried about the match you two are going to have and what will happen? I mean, Chivalry is Dead is a match tailor made for someone like Jimmy, especially given how you’ve escalated things since this rivalry began.
Savannah bites down on her tongue and places her hands on her hips.
Savannah Taylor: Tailor made? Let me ask you something. If this is a match that is well suited for Jimmy Page, then how come he’s only managed to win one of the two matches he’s been in? And how come in his last one, he was made to look like the absolute bitch that he is? I’ll tell you why. It’s because deep down, Jimmy Page knows he is on borrowed time. Jimmy Page knows that everything that I have said about him is true and that he deserved everything that I have done to him. And now he wants to suddenly find his spine and his balls? Good for him. Come Grapple Kingdom, I am going to show you, Jimmy and the entire world that there is a new big bad in town, and she’s going to start by finally, FINALLY putting an end to Jimmy Page.
With that, Savannah flips her hood over her hair and walks off as the scene cuts elsewhere.
Post by FGA Office on Feb 27, 2020 19:57:05 GMT -5
Spencer Burke: I am here with the Mindkiller, Izzy Anders, who will be taking on Laura Perelli later tonight.
Spencer braces himself for whatever tomfoolery that Izzy usually brings, but when it doesn’t come, he looks over to the Mindkiller. She approaches her favorite interviewer casually with an offer for a fist bump. Spencer accepts, and nods affirmatively to the more relaxed introduction.
Izzy Anders: Do you ever get thrown off by how time works in wrestling, Spencer?
The interviewer’s eyes drift to the ceiling as he ponders.
Spencer Burke: Sometimes, but why do you ask?
Izzy crosses her arms.
Izzy Anders: Because it seems like it wasn’t too long ago that I was competing in this very tournament for a chance at the top gold again. Now, if this was last year, it wouldn’t really matter, huh? I would have already planted the seeds for everything that I did that year.
Spencer Burke: Thankfully, I don’t think you’re thinking of going on a rampage.
The Mindkiller shrugs and smirks.
Izzy Anders: I don’t know. Maybe that’s what FGA needs--another ill-fated revolution. Maybe this time, it’ll be Johnny Karma. By the way, I was right. I was absolutely right. You owe me a soda, Spencer.
Stammering over the sudden revelation, Spencer stares confusedly at his interviewee.
Spencer Burke: Excuse me? I don’t recall ever agreeing to--
Izzy silences Spencer with a playful eyeroll.
Izzy Anders: We don’t have to talk about that now. We don’t need to talk about Karma showing everyone what I already knew. None of that is important right now. What’s more important is that we talk about little Laura, who is in for the fight of her life. Because she’s facing me.
The Mindkiller prods her cheeks with her fingertips.
Izzy Anders: And you have to remember my track record with rookies in this company. Everytime that they come up, they always have to face me at some point. I’m a roadblock for many of them. In some cases, I’m what drives people out. And in that narrative, it would seem that I’m something for Laura to overcome in her path to eventual greatness.
Izzy Anders: Did you catch the buzzword there?
Spencer’s eyes dart back and forth, but he does catch it.
Izzy Anders: Eventual. One day, I think she’ll be great. I think that’ll she be someone to marvel at. However, tonight, she can’t make it past me tonight.
The commonly gleeful woman turns serious, to which Spencer matches her energy.
Izzy Anders: I...I have something new to fight for. Something that I need to win this tournament for. So, sadly, Laura will have to challenge my will and my determination to make it out. And well, I’m not sure if she’s ready for that just yet.
Izzy then pats Spencer on the shoulder, leaving him as she carries on to her own business. Spencer, remaining there, lets his facade break into acquisitiveness.
Spencer Burke: Since when did I make bets with her?
Post by FGA Office on Feb 27, 2020 19:58:24 GMT -5
Savannah Taylor vs. Zola Star
“Stars” by Marshmello plays on the sound system in the arena and out comes Zola Star. She smiles as she hits the stage paparazzi snaps pictures of her as she graces the arena with her presence. She raises her hands in the air and poses for pictures before strutting down the ramp. She does a spin before heading to the left apron.
J.A. Aldridge: Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is scheduled for ONE fall! Introducing first, hailing from Chicago, Illinois… ZOLA STAR!
She climbs the apron and raises her hands posing again before sliding into the ring through the second rope. She points a finger in the air to the crowd and smiles before putting her hands on her hips for a superhero like pose as the paparazzi snaps pictures of the STAR!
There was silence; the lights began to fade away slowly. A soft instrumental echoes out across the audience. It starts slowly, a beautiful sound that contrasts the heaviness of the world. Like feathers, it glides among the waiting audience. The lighting fixtures produce a gentle spotlight upon the stage, offset by the occasional flash here and there. As the song continues, a woman’s words begin to come through. Her voice is tender, not raising upon a whisper.
Deceived by my eyes and all I was told I should see Opinions not mine, the person they taught me to be One night in the dark, a vision of someone I knew And in the darkness I saw, a voice say, I'm you.
On the stage, a feminine figure appears. Her head lowered to everything. People cannot make out who it is. As she stands there, the flashes briefly illuminate her figure. It only gives small clues on who stands at the gate. She stands in the spotlight, her shadow cast large and proudly among the stage.
Inside me a light was turned on…
The instrumental picks up again. An electric guitar now joins the progressively exciting instrumentals of before. The singer’s voice suddenly intensifies.
Then I was alive!
In the light, it is revealed that it was Savannah Taylor. She stands at the gate, a robe of obsidian and ivory hues. The hood of it shadows her eyes, but the intensity of the final EXODUS World Champion remains clear as day. She starts off down the ramp, with a serious aura radiating from her body.
J.A. Aldridge: Her opponent, hailing from Las Vegas, Nevada! She is “The Las Vegas Siren” SAVANNAH TAYLOR!
If you close your eyes your life, A naked truth revealed Dreams you never lived, And scars never healed
Savannah makes her way up the ring steps. She looks out towards the audience for a moment before entering the ring. From there, she heads for a turnbuckle. She stands there, taking in everything. She then lifts her up on top of it. She peers out in nothing, then takes off the hood with a flashy flourish. Her blonde locks fly up in the air. They descend, shaping her face as they famously do.
In the darkness, light will take you to the other side You'll find me waiting there you'll see, if you just close your eyes
While she stands in her corner, she closes her eyes and takes a heavy breath. When her bright eyes open, Taylor is completely composed. There is nothing more than the heat of battle awaiting her. She takes off her robe, giving it to a stagehand. She stretches her wrists before devoting her mind to the war upon the horizon..
Kris Cruise: Zola Star is looking to turn her fortunes around here in 2020. Savannah Taylor, meanwhile, is looking at this as a tune-up for her match with Jimmy Page at Grapple Kingdom.
Stephy Auger: If Zola was facing off with someone else, I’d probably like her chances. But Savannah Taylor? She’s dialed in. She’s in the zone, Cruise. She’s looking to finish Jimmy Page off, once and for all, at Grapple Kingdom. She’s isn’t about to let Zola Star trip her up.
Taylor and Star head towards the center of the after the sound of the opening bell. Both competitors begin to circle the ring. They then motion for a lock up until Taylor cuts her off with a kick to the midsection. The boos continue as Taylor cups Star’s chin with her hand and lifts her up before whacking her across the face with an open handed chop! A second open hand chop sends Star stumbling towards the ropes. Star tries to shake out the cobwebs. But before she can recover, Taylor is right there to hit her with three shoot kicks across the chest. An irish whip then sends Star into the far ropes. The Las Vegas Siren goes to catch Taylor off the rebound with a spinning backfist, but Star is able to duck. The moment Taylor turns around, the crowd cheers when Star brings her to the mat with a headscissors takedown. She goes for the cover.
ONE! . . Taylor kicks out.
Kris Cruise: Quick nearfall there by Star on the former International Heavyweight Champ...
Star pulls Taylor back to her feet. She slaps on a side headlock. But the hold doesn’t stay on for long as Taylor shoots her off into the ropes. Star rebounds off the ropes, comes back and tackles Taylor down with a Lou Thesz Press! She presses Taylor’s wrists to the mat as she makes the cover.
ONE! . . Taylor tosses Star off of her, sending her rolling across the mat.
Kris Cruise: Another nearfall for Star!
Stephy Auger: Who does she think she is?
Kris Cruise: Someone trying to make a name for herself here in 2020 at Taylor’s expense. Could you imagine how irate Taylor would be?
Stephy Auger: I prefer not to put negativity in the air, Cruise.
Kris Cruise: ...
Star returns to her feet and sees Taylor trying to get back to a vertical base, so she rushes in to attack. Taylor then leapfrogs over the charging Star before she hits the ropes. Star comes back and goes for a crossbody, but she catches nothing but air when Taylor drops to a prone position. After rolling across the canvas, Star gets back to her feet. When she turns her attention to Taylor, she gets caught with a running roundhouse kick to the face, knocking her through the ropes and to the floor!
Kris Cruise: Oh, did Taylor get all of that kick!
The official rolls to the outside and checks on Star. Once Star lets him know that she’s okay, she starts to pick herself off the floor. The moment Star turns to face the ring, Taylor flips to the outside and knocks her down with a Triangle Moonsault!
Kris Cruise: The Las Vegas Siren soars to the outside before connecting with the high risk moonsault!
Stephy Auger: Maybe Star should have stayed down and taken more time.
The Las Vegas Siren pulls Star off the floor before slamming her face-first onto the apron. After pushing Star back into the ring, Taylor rolls back inside. She then takes Star, delivers an irish whip, follows her into the far corner and connects with a corner back elbow. Taylor quickly scoops Star up from the side before bringing her out of the corner with a running backbreaker. She makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . Star gets her shoulder up.
Taylor pulls Star up by the hair, lifts her up and the throws her down hard with a Uranage. She then steps over Star en route to the corner. The Las Vegas Siren scales to the top turnbuckle before flipping off. The crowd gasps and cheers when Star rolls out of the way of the moonsault. Instead of crashing on the canvas, Taylor is able to land on her feet before her momentum sends her stumbling back. Taylor gathers her footing, darts back over to Star and brings her down with a Sling Blade! Taylor pulls Star back to her feet before quickly slipping behind her and hooking both arms. Before she can dump Star on her head with a snap Dragon Suplex, Star is able to power out of the full nelson! She then hits Taylor with four back elbows to the face before hitting the ropes. When she returns, her comeback is cut off when Taylor doubles her over with a hard knee to the midsection. Taylor then bounces against the ropes, comes back and brings her down with the Emerald Weapon (corkscrew neckbreaker)! The boos continue as Taylor pulls Star up off the mat before lifting her up across her shoulders. She reaches up, grabs hold of Star’s arm before driving her down with A Cruel Angel’s Thesis (one-handed Electric Chair Driver)! Star is then turned over into the prone position before Taylor bridges back and locks her in the Ace of Spades (Double Leg Muta Lock)! Star howls in pain while Taylor repeatedly pulls back on her head. The official gets down and asks Star if she wants to give up. Star has no choice but to tap.
The crowd erupts with boos when “Just Close Your Eyes” blares throughout the arena.
J.A. Aldridge: Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of this bout… SAVANNAH TAYLOR!
The boos continues as Taylor keeps the hold applied. The referee scolds Taylor until she eventually releases the hold. The Las Vegas Siren returns to her feet before motioning for the official to raise her arm. The official huffs and puffs before reluctantly raising Taylor’s arm in victory.
Post by FGA Office on Feb 27, 2020 19:59:58 GMT -5
Cordelia Stevenson: Addington, you’re definitely in for quite the surprise.
The camera fades in from commercial to a profile shot of The International Heavyweight Champion, Cordelia Stevenson standing in front of a black backdrop bearing the red FGA lion. The sound of the crowd cheering can be heard in the background as the champion removes a pair of Chanel pilot sunglasses from her face. That familiar smile reintroduces itself to the camera as she turns to face towards it. The camera pans back a bit, capturing her upper body; the International Heavyweight Championship draped over the left shoulder of her Fujiko Mine Apex Goddess T-Shirt; a clear ode to her tag team partner of the evening.
Cordelia Stevenson: Tonight, you get to witness firsthand, the Lioness of the Frontier and…
She motions towards her shirt
Cordelia Stevenson: the Apex Goddess… your International Heavyweight Champion and your FGA World champion, respectively, coming together to tear up the ring in a manner only which we can. Tonight your 2019 Wrestler of the year and your 2019 Comeback wrestler of the year join forces to dispatch and dispose of…. Bristow and Barnes.
A loud chorus of jeers is the response to Cordelia mentioning the name of her opponents for the evening. Cordy lets out a low hiss and scrunches up her face.
Cordelia Stevenson: Needless to say, Fujiko and I are definitely going to have our hands full with the self proclaimed Harbingers of the Apocalypse. They’ve somewhat fallen by the wayside in recent times, almost becoming somewhat of a forgotten entity around these parts, and if there were any time to make a statement and re-establish themselves as a dominant force in this company, then what better time to do it than tonight? When they find themselves standing across the ring from arguably the two biggest names in this company. I’m totally expecting the law firm of Bristow and Barnes to come out with their guns blazing, because whether they want to admit it or not, this right here is the opportunity of a lifetime. And I mean, they do have the advantage, do they not?
Cordelia raises an eyebrow and then shrugs her shoulders.
Cordelia Stevenson: Being the experienced team and all. Fujiko and I have storied careers, but as a team? Hell, outside of the Anniversary show, this is our first time out as an actual unit. Surely, Bristow and Barnes can exploit that fact, right?
Her face shows signs of worry; but she’s unable to keep the facade up as the look slowly gives way to one of confidence. She adjusts the title on her shoulders as she leans in towards the camera and shakes her head.
Cordelia Stevenson: Nah, I’ve never been in the business of giving false hope and I’m not about to start now. Bristow and Barnes, I hope you’re ready for the task at hand, because best believe boys, you’ve got a long ass night ahead of you. You want to make a statement tonight? Well guess what boys, you aren’t the only ones, because Fujiko and I have a message that we want to deliver very loud and clear, because we know that all eyes will be on us. That’s just how it is when you’re in the position that we’re in. You’re under a microscope, and the world is constantly examining and looking for any signs of a weakness; of a proverbial chink in the armor that they can exploit or take advantage of. James Edwards is looking. You don’t think Fujiko knows that? Ashlyn De Luca is looking. You don’t think I’m aware of that? Just like everyone else, they’re keying in to try and find a clue as to what it will take to knock us off of our respected pedestals. They won’t have to look hard. They won’t have to go on a soul changing journey to find the answer, because tonight Fujiko and I are going to show them exactly what it will take..
There’s a small beat as Cordelia brushes a strand of her from her face.
Cordelia Stevenson:Perfection. That’s exactly what it's going to take for you to survive us, guys. And to be quite truthful, I’m not even sure that will be enough. You’re going to have to wrestle the match of your lives. You’re going to have to dig deep and find something in you that you never even knew existed. Are you capable of it? That’s something that I want you to ask yourselves, and that’s something that we’re going to make every single person in that locker room ponder from here on out.
She taps her temple for emphasis.
Cordelia Stevenson: Now I can’t speak for the Apex Goddess, but I do know the mind of a champion, and I know for a fact that she’s heading out there tonight with the same goal in mind. To get the job done. Because for people like her and I? The goal never changes. The focus never changes, and you can tell by our consistency that the results hardly ever change as well. Greatness isn’t just action, but it is a mindset. One that has carried me to the hall of fame; one that has Fujiko well on her way, and one that had both she and I as the champions of our respected brands. Tonight, Bristow and Barnes, you come face to face with greatness, and no, that’s not me being cocky or arrogant. That’s me being a straight shooter and telling you how it is. There’s levels to this, boys. And tonight, Fujiko and I will show you first hand how we’ve managed to separate ourselves from the pack. Tonight, she is going to show you why she’s a two time wrestler of the year, and me? Well I’m going to show you that everything you’ve heard--
She casually tosses her hair back and then runs her hand through it..
Cordelia Stevenson: -- is even better than advertised.
She cracks a smile.
Cordelia Stevenson: And as for you, Ashlyn.
Cordelia takes a deep breath and then lets it out slowly.
Cordelia Stevenson: I hope you’re watching closely. I hope you’re paying attention and I pray that you’re taking notes. I hope you’re doing everything within your power to get ready for the shot you’ve earned… for this ass whooping that you’ve earned. Because now that the contract is signed, and the date is set… well, I think it’s safe to say that we all now know your expiration date. You’ve got a few weeks left chica. A few weeks left to decide whether or not you want to continue to be the waste of potential that you are -- or if you’re finally ready to live up to your own hype and take your place amongst the Goddesses. I’m ready either way. I just hope that you know what you’ve asked for and what you’ve gotten yourself into, because if you haven’t…
Cordelia lets out a low hiss.
Cordelia Stevenson: Well, then I just advise you to keep your eyes glued to the screen, and…
A devious smile finds itself on her face.
Cordelia Stevenson: … get familiar.
And with that said, the International Heavyweight Champion blows a final kiss into the camera and slides her shades back on as she walks away and the scene fades away.
Post by FGA Office on Feb 27, 2020 20:01:47 GMT -5
Backstage, Jessie Pederson is with 15 Champion Ashley Sands, holding the championship title belt over her shoulder as he speaks into the microphone he holds.
Jessie Pederson: Ashley, it’s safe to say that things didn’t exactly go your way in the Wild Card Lottery last Vertigo when you teamed with Mark Bisley.
Sands sighs, taking a moment before responding to the obvious statement.
Ashley Sands:: No… no it didn’t. My history in tag teams and the titles I’ve won with different partners across different companies speaks for itself. When it comes to working within a tag team, chemistry is one of the most important elements. It’s nothing against Mark but we just didn’t have that lightning in a bottle that is so big in being successful in that type of division. We both would’ve had better luck with partners that we just gelled better with but that’s the luck of the draw with the lottery.
She pauses for a moment, taking a look at the 15 Championship title belt on her shoulder.
Ashley Sands:: But there’s no use in looking back and wishing things had been different. I like to keep looking forward. And that means what I’m working on building with the 15 Championship.
Before she can continue with what she is saying, Ashley is distracted by the sound of somebody clapping their hands together almost directly behind her head, and as she turns to see who the hell would do that, Mark Bisley breezes right past her into shot
Mark Bisley: ...and now I’ve tagged myself into this interview.
It looks as if Bisley’s about to say something to Jessie...but then he pauses and looks over his shoulder to Ashley
Mark Bisley: That word I said was “tag”, as in when your partner in a tag team match has their hand extended and is waiting for the tag, maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to accept the offer of a tag and tag them into the match.
For a second the look on Bisley’s face is one from the depths of patronising, but then his eyes quickly flick up to the 15 Championship belt over her shoulder and the look on his face becomes a lot more brazen
Mark Bisley: Nice belt, by the way.
Sands shows no sign of backing down. If anything, her posture straightens as she takes a couple steps forward.
Ashley Sands:: You want a shot at it? Take a number and get in line. I ain’t going anywhere.
Before anything can happen, Ashley Marie Chase walks into frame shaking her head
Ashley Marie Chase: Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! What is going on over here? I have a huge match with Seth Isler coming up in a little bit and from what I hear he can get a little crazy. However I can’t concentrate on that with you two having your thing and from what I gather Markie Mark over here thinks that Ashley #2 dropped the ball in the tag match.
They both just stare at AMC
Ashley Marie Chase: Now I know Sully really well and I can assure you that she gave it her all out there in that match. She was in it to win it but I am Ashley #1 so I was just a little better. In other words bub I EARNED that win for our team! Sully didn’t let me win nor did she lay down just to screw you over Markie Mark.
AMC looks at the 15 Championship belt
Ashley Marie Chase: As a matter of fact my bestie here is a true blue fighting champion which is why I am officially challenging Sully to a title match next Vertigo.
Turning his head in the direction of AMC, Bisley simply makes a show of clearing his throat and turning his condescension her way
Mark Bisley: Weren’t you listening? I was invited to take a number and get in line, and yet you think you can stroll in here and cut in front of me?
Bisley raises a finger and wags it in AMC’s direction
Mark Bisley: But then again, perhaps we should be asking why Ashley The Second, as you insist on calling her, was so reluctant to tag me into the match? Would it have something to do with how, if we won the match last week, it would be I facing her this week, but by mere convenience you get the favourable result?
Bisley then looks over to Ashley Sands with a caddish look on his face
Mark Bisley: I mean, it’s not like you’d willingly sacrifice a tag match in order to have a match against an opponent you consider to be the easier option...is it?
Bisley returns his attention to AMC
Mark Bisley: So, as I said, I picked my number and I’m ahead of you in the queue, so what possible reason do you have for thinking you can skip ahead of me? And, no, I don’t consider alphabetical order to be a valid reason.
AMC just smirks at Mark
Ashley Marie Chase: Why? That is simple. Last week I pinned Sully 1….2….3 in the middle of that ring. That makes me the number 1 contender in my book thus I get next shot while you get to take a number and sit the hell down and maybe just maybe once I’m champion I’ll consider giving you a shot….someday. Until then why don’t you scram so me and Sully can discuss some details huh?
Sands has had enough yells, getting both of their attention
Ashley Sands:: ENOUGH! WHEN you’re champion huh? Well someone’s getting a little ahead of themselves. And all that crap with “Ashley #2” and “Lesser Ashley” like you see yourself as always being superior somehow when you damn well know how bad of an idea it is to try to downplay what kind of a challenge facing me can be. “Oh I’ll deal with you when I’m champ after I’m done with her.” Bitch please. And to think that I thought better of you than that.
She gives a look to Bisley as well before moving to walk off camera.
Ashley Marie Chase: Way to go Mark! Look what you did! You pissed off Sully and now she is mad at me!
AMC walks off in a huff to continue getting ready for her match with Seth leaving Mark with a “WTF” just happened look on his face
Post by FGA Office on Feb 27, 2020 20:03:58 GMT -5
Stephy Auger: OOOOOOOOO, looks like we’ve some trouble brewing between the two Ashleys! RAWR!
Kris Cruise: Stephy, would you give it a rest?
Stephy Auger: What are you getting mad at me for? It’s not my fault that our 15 Champion, Ashley #2, screwed over Mark Bisley by laying down for Ashley #1!
Kris Cruise: *sigh* Let’s just sent it to the ring. J.A., please take it away...
WILDCARD LOTTERY (QUARTERFINALS) Seth Iser vs. Ashley Marie Chase
"I Bring the Darkness (End of Days)" by Jim Johnston featuring Tommy Vext begins to play as the aisle way fills up with smoke. AMC rises up from the smoke in full face paint and is trying not to cough from all the smoke.
”Who do you think you are? You’ve now gone much to far!”
AMC steps through the smoke and looks around at the crowd she then slowly walks toward the ring basically strutting with a smirk as she fist bumps some of the fans
”I bring the darkness! I am the thunder! I come from HELL And I’ll pull you under!”
J.A. Aldridge: Ladies and gentlemen, the following is a quarterfinals match in the Wildcard Lottery tournament! It is scheduled for ONE fall! Introducing first, hailing from Hollywood, California… ASHLEY MARIE CHASE!
AMC walk up the steps, taking a moment to wipe her feet on the apron before getting into the ring. AMC then drops to her knees in the middle of the ring and stretches out her arms and looks out toward the crowd.
Kris Cruise: Ashley Marie Chase appears to have secured herself a 15 Championship match against her close friend Ashley Sullivan on the next Vertigo. But before she can even think about that, she’s got to get past Wrestling’s Greatest Mind!
Stephy Auger: Hey Cruise. After that little fight between AMC and Ashley Sands, if AMC wins this whole thing, you think she’ll share the $100,000 with Ashley? Or will she just keep it between herself and Antoinette Sands?
Kris Cruise: ...
Stephy Auger: Yeah, I think she’d cut Ashley Sands out of the money, too! Smart woman, that AMC!
The lights dim down as the music begins to play. Soon enough, Seth Iser slowly walks through the curtain with that familiar scowl on his face. He starts walking down to the ring...glare etched on his face and listening to the fans boo him.
J.A. Aldridge: Her opponent, hailing from Morgantown, West Virginia! Weighing in at 243 pounds… SETH ISER!
A methodical, slow walk as he cracks his knuckles on the way down before pulling himself up onto the apron and enters the ring calmly before performing a crucifix pose at the center of the ring to revive the lights. He then goes to his corner and slinks to a seat just waiting for the bell to ring.
Kris Cruise: We heard the words of Seth Iser earlier here tonight. Winning this tournament, getting his choice of a World or International championship match and eventually becoming a champion would be his crowning achievement.
Stephy Auger: It would be the ultimate feather in his cap. People his age, with the years of wear and tear and the injuries he’s sustained, they aren't at his level. Most would quit by now. But while Iser’s body isn’t what it what ten or twenty years ago, his mind is as sharp as ever. We’ve seen him execute brilliant gameplans inside the ring. We’ve seen him get the best of some of wrestling’s best mentally. Right now, he is three wins away from getting that top title shot of his choosing, along with the 100 large. But before he does that, he has to get past Ashley Marie Chase here tonight. I gotta tell you, Chase is no pushover. We’ve seen the titles she’s won in HKW and elsewhere. She’s been around the block, too. She’s not as tenured as Iser. But she’s got 13 years of experience, Cruise. That’s nothing to sneeze at.
The bell sounds as Chase starts off the match trying to wisely keep Iser at a distance. But Iser is able to maneuver his way across ring and cut the distance. Chase continues to back up until she finds herself up against the corner. Iser sees this and immediately pounces. AMC slips out of the way and catches Iser when he turns around with repeated shoot kicks to the chest! Iser is then sent into the far corner with an irish before Chase runs across the ring and connects with a Stinger Splash! Chase then sets up for another irish whip when Iser reverses, follows her across the ring and delivers a lariat in the corner! Iser then pulls Chase from out of the corner, hoists her up, turns, falls back and drops her throat-first across the top rope with a Stun Gun! He goes for the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . Chase kicks out.
Kris Cruise: Iser was quick to cut that hot start from Chase off and get her down for a cover, but he only gets two.
Chase is sent for the ride into the far ropes. When she returns, she avoids Iser by sliding through his legs. Iser then turns around and gets caught with more repeated shoot kicks to the chest! That is, until he reaches up and snatches a hold of Chase’ leg. AMC continues to hop up and down on one foot until she counters with an enzuigiri, sending Iser staggering across the ring. Iser tries to shake out the cobwebs while Chase turns and hits the far ropes. Chase bounces off the ropes, runs across the ring and hits a dropkick to the back, knocking Iser through the ropes and to the apron. AMC returns to her feet before rushing back into the far ropes. When she returns, she sees Iser pulling himself up using the ropes. So she slides through his legs, lands on the floor, grabs him by the ankles and yanks his legs off the apron. The crowd cheers when Iser smacks his face on the edge of the apron on the way down. Iser continues to feel the effects from the fall while Chase rolls back inside before taking off into the far ropes. Chase bounces off the ropes, runs back across the ring and knocks Iser back with a baseball slide. Iser remains dazed while AMC once again takes off to the far ropes. Chase comes back and vaults herself over the top rope for a plancha… only to get caught in mid air!
Stephy Auger: Uh oh!
Iser shifts AMC over across his shoulder before rushing down ringside. He’s about to deliver a running powerslam when Chase slips down and pushes him forward, sending him crashing into the guardrail! Iser remains doubles over while AMC rolls back into the ring.
Kris Cruise: Iser was sent hard sternum-first into the guardrail… and the referee is still counting!
The cheers grow louder once they see the official continuing his count.
Stephy Auger: Come on, Seth!
Iser rolls back inside. Before he can get back to his feet, Chase grabs him by the legs before dragging him over towards the center of the ring. She tries to turn him over into a single leg crab. But Iser is able to use his free foot to repeatedly kick AMC until she gets knocked down to the mat. Once both grapplers are back to their feet, Iser catches AMC with three jabs. He goes to follow up with the discus lariat when Chase ducks and runs towards the ropes. Iser turns around to face Chase when he gets caught with a springboard roundhouse kick. The kick drops Iser to a knee before Chase knocks him completely to the mat with the Kick of Doom (superkick)! She makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . Iser kicks out.
Kris Cruise: Chase with her first nearfall of this contest. AMC has a sense or urgency in there.
Stephy Auger: As she should. She knows what’s on the line. These opportunities are few and far between.
Kris Cruise: Speaking of opportunities, I’m getting some news over the headset that Ashley Marie Chase will be facing Ashley Sands on the next episode of Vertigo for the 15 Championship! So at the end of this, AMC could have herself the 15 Championship, a shot at one of the two top titles and $100,000.
Stephy Auger: But she has to beat Iser first. Ashley Sands and the 15 Championship, she can deal with that when the time comes. Iser is the immediately obstacle she needs to get around!
Chase picks up Iser and sets him up for the Name Dropper (Pedigree) when Iser counters with a back body drop. He then goes for a running knee drop off the ropes, but he misses when Chase rolls out of the way! Chase is quick to jump on top of Iser for the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . Iser kicks out.
Chase picks up Iser before sending him back into the corner with another irish whip. AMC rushes into the corner, connects with a running corner knee and goes to follow up with a bulldog out of the corner when Iser shoves her off into the ropes. When she comes back, Iser catches her off the rebound with a big boot to the face! The boos continue as he pulls up Chase before throwing her across the ring with a release belly to belly suplex. Iser marches over, pulls Chase back up and hurls her across the ring with another release belly to belly! Chase is pulled back to her feet before being brought down with a vertical suplex. Iser turns over into a lateral press for the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . Chase gets her shoulder up.
Iser pulls up Chase and sets her up for a third belly to belly when she counters with a bell clap to the ears! The crowd starts to rally behind Chase when she hits him with another set of shoot kicks to the chest. While Iser is stunned, Chase turns and goes to head towards the ropes when Iser lunges forward, knocking her down from behind with a lariat! Iser reaches down, grabs Chase by the hair and peels her off the apron before hurling her across the ring with a release German Suplex! Chase bounces off her back before turning over into the prone position. Iser heads over, pulls Chase off the mat by the back of the tights before hurling her across the ring with another release German. This time, Chase rotates in the air before landing down hard in the front position! Iser makes his way towards the ropes, comes back and delivers a leg drop across the back of the neck before rolling Chase over and making the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . Chase gets the shoulder up.
Iser whips Chase into the ropes, scoopers her up off the rebound from the side and brings her down with a pendulum backbreaker. He goes for the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . Chase gets the shoulder up.
Iser whips Chase back into the ropes. When she returns, Iser scoops her up before bringing her down with the Icebreaker (Irish Curse)! He makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . T-NO!
Chase gets her shoulder up.
Kris Cruise: AMC dug deep to get a shoulder up there.
As Iser pulls Chase up off the mat, she starts to hit him with right hands to the midsection. Chase continues to fire back until Iser cuts her off with a Wrestling II Knee Lift. Chase slowly collapses to the canvas.
Stephy Auger: It’s over, Cruise. Did you see the way her head snapped back after that knee? She’s out of it.
Iser grabs Chase by the hair and slowly pulls her off the mat before a European Uppercut drops her back down to the canvas. The boos continue to rain down on Iser as he pulls Chase up off the mat once more. Chase is then caught with three more jabs before finding herself on the receiving end of a discus laria-NO! Chase ducks the lariat before quickly grabbing Iser from behind and bringing him down with a Scorpion Death Drop!
Stephy Auger: Wait just a minute! Where did that come from!?
Kris Cruise: AMC isn’t going down without a fight!
Chase lifts her up off the mat and starts to shake it as she feels the energy from the crowd rally behind her. She turns over to a knee before finally getting back to her feet. Iser starts to pick himself up off the floor as Chase heads into the ropes. When she returns, the crowd boos when Iser lifts her up, turns and throws her down with a spinebuster! He then pulls Chase up, moves her into the corner and sits her down on the top turnbuckle. Iser climbs to the middle rope and goes for a superplex off the top, but Chase is able to block it. The crowd gasps when Iser muscles her up for another superplex attempt. On the way up, Chase knees him in the head, forcing him to lower her back down. Chase then fires off multiple right hands to the face before pushing him off, sending him down to the mat.
Kris Cruise: Iser’s down! He could be hurt.
Stephy Auger: Seth, please...
Chase stands up on the top turnbuckle before waving Iser back to his feet. Once Iser returns to a vertical base and turns around, Chase stands up from the crouched position, leaps off and brings him down with It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane, It’s A Chase (high crossbody block)!
ONE! . . TWO! . . Iser gets his shoulder up.
Iser reverses an irish whip, sending Chase into the ropes. When she comes back, she sees Iser setting up for a back body drop. Sos he stops, hooks both arms and brings Iser down with the Name Dropper! She pushes Iser over before making the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . T-NO!
Iser gets his shoulder up.
Chase brings Iser back to his feet and hits him with yet another series of shoot kicks to the chest. AMC then hits the ropes, comes back and connects with a running clothesline. Iser stumbles back a few steps, but doesn’t get knocked back down. So AMC runs back into the far ropes, returns and comes back with a running dropkick. Again, Iser remains on his feet. Chase then takes off into the far ropes, leaps across the ring and knocks him down with a diving forearm smash. The cheers continue as Chase heads into the corner, climbs to the top turnbuckle, flips off and lands with a moonsault on Iser! She makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . THR-NO!
The crowd boos when Iser gets his shoulder up.
Kris Cruise: They did not like that!
Stephy Auger: It’s New Zealand. What do they know, anyway?
Chase steps out to the apron before climbing the turnbuckles. When Chase gets to the top, the crowd boos when they see Mark Bisley making his way to ringside.
Kris Cruise: What is Bisley doing out here?
Stephy Auger: He’s getting another good look at the woman that jumped over him in line and got a 15 Championship match before him. Once again, collusion on the part of the two Ashleys to screw Bisley over.
Suddenly, those boos turn to cheers when 15 Champion Ashley Sands makes her way down to the ring. Sands spins Bisley towards him. The two continue to engage in a war of words while Chase looks on. AMC ignores the two on the floor and turns her attention back to Iser, who has finally returned to his feet. While Iser faces away from the corner, Chase leaps off for a diving bulldog… only for Iser to turn her around, catch her in mid air, spin and throw her down with the Pillar of Truth (Bossman Slam)!!! The boos continue as Chase is pulled back to her feet before being spiked on the mat with the Deprivation DDT! Iser goes for the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . THREE!
The crowd erupts with boos when “Psychosocial” blares throughout the arena.
J.A. Aldridge: Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of this bout… SETH ISER!
Kris Cruise: Seth Iser gets the win and advances to the semifinals, where he will be facing the winner of our main event of Tyler Storm and Lowri Moss.
Stephy Auger: Could you imagine Iser and Moss? Or another battle between Iser and Storm? We’re guaranteed one of the two, Cruise. Unless, of course, something bad happens to them both and Iser gets a bye to advance straight to the finals! Wouldn’t that be great?
Kris Cruise: ...
The boos continue while Iser raises his arms in victory. On the outside, Bisley is seen motioning to AMC and tells Sands, “look at what do you did to Ashley #1.” Bisley then smirks and makes his way up the aisle while Sands looks on with narrowed eyes. Iser rolls to the outside and moves past the 15 Champion with his arms still held in victory. Iser continues his celebration up the aisle and on the stage while Sands heads into the ring. She kneels down next to AMC and tries to give her friend some words of encouragement. But AMC ends up rolling away from Sands and slipping to the outside...
Post by FGA Office on Feb 27, 2020 20:05:40 GMT -5
The crowd's attention is drawn to the titantron. On it, it seems to be an empty arena. The arena space seemed to be barren and looked like the production crew hadn't quite got around to setting the entire set up. The camera pans and we see Jimmy Page, sitting in the middle of the ring in a chair. His eyes are locked down at the canvas as if he were in deep thought. He rubs his hands together slowly, his eyes looking from the ground, now at the camera.
Jimmy Page: Chivalry Is Dead...is scary. It the ultimate form of war, there are no limitations to a violent person's imagination. It's the most personal match in FGA history. It's the quintessential form of hatred and malice, and it brings out the worse in human beings. And I'm scared to death of it.
Jimmy continued to rub his hands together to stop them from trembling. He takes a deep breath and continues.
Jimmy Page: That match has scarred me, and it's scarred others in such a way I wouldn't lose sleep if they were to stop having them. The number of years it's shaved off my career and others...it's a terrifying monster.
There's a beat...and a shrug.
Jimmy Page: But sometimes you gotta become the monster to face an even bigger one. Sometimes you don't get enough of the taste of your own blood, sometimes you don't want to stop until this animalistic hunger to see another person torn to shreds get satiated. Savannah Taylor thought that her taking a pound of flesh from me, meant that was the end. It meant that after she beat me and almost cost me my career I'd let the monster in me die.
Page quietly seethes.
Jimmy Page: That monster got to let loose, loose to roam and dictate the ways I want to tear her apart. How to make her pay for opening up old wounds of my failings, how to make her pay for mocking me while my livelihood was in jeopardy. Each time I wanted to fight back the thought, fight against the thought of introducing her to this world of brutality I've walked oh so many times in my career in FGA. "No, no she doesn't deserve this type of pain and misery." I pleaded to the monster locked deep down inside of me along with my vices and fears. But each time I think about it...
Another beat, Page rocks back and forth in his seat.
Jimmy Page: I realized she wouldn't offer me that type of compassion. If I were on fire she'd spit on me before offering me water to put me out. Just like Harter...Just like McHannon...Just like...Chandler Scott. There's always going to be apathy to my humanity so why not let that monster drive for a bit.
Page thinks about it for a moment, his eyes roam the empty space with a small nod of agreement with his statement.
Jimmy Page: I remember when I was a timid kid growing up in a boarding home. I remember being bullied and I remember being told by my guardian, "If you're pushed, others would look the other way if you had the courage to push back, James." but I'm always afraid of what happens when I push too hard. And that's something I'll have to carry for the rest of my life as a stigma. When Jimmy Page pushes too hard what are the repercussions? And...I guess we'll find out at Grapple Kingdom 3. What happens when Savannah Taylor gets pushed back? What's going to happen up in Vancouver, Canada at the Rogers Arena?
Page slowly works his left hand towards his neck area as his eyes turn a cold hue.
Jimmy Page: My prediction...is unrelenting...WAR.
Page goes quiet and leans back in the seat, there's an eerie silence as the camera pans upward and away. The titantron goes dark and we go to commercial.
Post by FGA Office on Feb 27, 2020 20:09:28 GMT -5
Jimmy Page vs. Nicholas King
Devil's Sky plays through the PA system for a few seconds until Nicholas King walks out. He begins to walk down the ramp towards the ring while taunting the fans. Once he reaches ringside, King climbs the ring steps and steps into the ring. He takes his jacket off and throws it outside the ring. He demands for a mic as one of the camera crew gives one to him.
Nicholas King: The last time I came out into this ring, I challenged that coward Owens Gonsalves to a match and...he didn't answer. Instead, he had his friend come down to the ring and not only did he try to have an unsanctioned against the Greatest Wrestler of the Modern era when I specifically wanted Owens to face me, but he had the absolute gall to cut off my god damn mic while I was speaking! Who the hell do you think you are cutting my mic off, Jones?
The fans cheer when King said Jones, causing him to be more irritated
Nicholas King: How about a little less cheering from you fat ass people and more silence. Don't even try to deny it as New Zealand is the third ranked overweight country in the world
The fans boo at King with some chanting "Fuck You!" Or "You Suck"
Nicholas King: You want a match against me...then you got yourself a match. Nicholas King vs Patrick Jones at Grapple Kingdom III!!
The fans cheer as they were excited to hear that Jones is going to face King and possibly beat the crap out of him. King himself had a bit of a smirk on his face as he wasn't done just yet.
Nicholas King: However, there is a little catch. First, I would like for someone to come down to the ring with a little....present.
King snaps his fingers as nothing happens for a few moments. Suddenly, a man walks out from the entrance ramp wearing a suit with a briefcase in his hand. He heads down to the ring as he walks up the steel steps and enters the ring. The suited man stands next to King as he holds the briefcase in his hands. King opens the briefcase up to reveal a few stacks of cash inside as the camera in the ring zooms in for a bit.
Nicholas King: What you see here ladies and gentlemen is what fifty thousand dollars looks like. Something that none of you will ever earn in your miserable lives. I did agree to face you at Grapple Kingdom III, Jones. But you haven't really earned the right or privilege of facing me. Which is why I am announcing the first ever fifty thousand dollar challenge. It's basically simple: Patrick has to compete in one little match on the last vertigo show before Grapple Kingdom III. If he wins that match and then he punches his ticket to Grapple Kingdom III to face me. However, if anyone pins him or makes him tap out, not only do they get the money, but our match at Grapple Kingdom III will be cancelled.
Nicholas King: Some of you are thinking: 'No one is gonna answer the challenge as no one likes Nicholas King'. Frankly, I don't give a rats ass if no one likes me. If someone was offering up fifty thousand dollars just to beat the crap out of someone, I wouldn't hesitate to take that opportunity whether I am friends with the poor fool in the ring, I don't have beef with him or I down right hate his guts. Jones, you better hope no one answers the million dollar challenge because it would such a shame if you walk into Grapple Kingdom III not at 100%. For now, why don't you sit in the back like a good boy and watch a real wrestler as I mop the floor with Jimmy Page.
King throws the Mic out of the ring carelessly as he sits on the top rope, waiting for his opponent.
Stephy Auger: How much money was Nicholas King offering? I’m not even a wrestler and even I’m interested in taking that offer!
Kris Cruise: Stephy, sit down! First off, where did that money even come from? Has it even been counted? For all we know, that’s counterfeit money in that briefcase. But most importantly, how scared is Nicholas King of facing Patrick Jones at Grapple Kingdom? He spent months calling out Owen Gonsalves, a man he knew was retired. Then, when someone on the active roster finally challenged him to a fight, he puts up money for someone to take him out?
J.A. Aldridge: His opponent, hailing from Flint, Michigan! Weighing in at 237 pounds! He is “The King of the F’n World” JIMMY PAGE!
He takes a running start, sliding on top of the apron. He stands, gets in the ring, then climbs on top of the turnbuckle. Page spits his gum outside of the ring, into the crowd. Jimmy leaps down from the turnbuckle, and begins to slither down into a seat on the lower turnbuckle; Placing his head against the middle turnbuckle, knocking the back of it against the corner gently as he awaits the bell.
Kris Cruise: Jimmy Page doesn’t want to go down that dark road again, Stephy. He doesn’t want to unleash that monster inside of him. But Savannah Taylor tried to take away his livelihood. She tried to take away his career.
Stephy Auger: So what, that means he gets to go out there and try and maim her? Savannah Taylor doesn’t deserve this!
Kris Cruise: She brought this onto herself. She couldn’t leave well enough alone. Savannah Taylor continued to kick Page while he was down. At Grapple Kingdom, it’s Page’s turn and he’s going to do a lot more than just kick back.
King gets in Page’s face at the start of the match. He then turns away from Page before coming back and catching him with a cheap shot! King then pulls his arm back before firing off another punch to the face. King connects with a third punch, only for Page to slowly turn back towards him.
Kris Cruise: I don’t think that worked, Stephy.
Stephy Auger: Uh, nope!
King calls for a timeout. But Page isn’t interested in any of that. King then goes for a kick to the midsection, only for Page to reach down and catch his foot in time. He then starts to slap Page across the face until Page throws down his leg before knocking him down with a lariat!
Kris Cruise: That lariat damn near knocked the ring right out of Nicholas King!
Page yanks up King by the hair before flinging him across the ring. Page marches over, yanks King back up and then launches him across the ring with another toss! King starts to pick himself back up as Page runs across the ring, grabs him by the throat and pushes him into the corner. He continues to choke King while the ref gives him till the count of five to break it.
Ref: ONE… TWO… THREE… FOUR…
Page breaks the choke by delivering a knee strike to the midsection. A second knee to the midsection doubles King over until Page knocks him upright with a knee to the face. Page then starts to unleash a flurry of forearm strikes. The King of the F’n World takes a couple of steps back, then runs forward and clocks King with another forearm smash. The forearm quickly drops King down to a seated position in the corner.
Kris Cruise: King appears to be in another world. He’s been on the receiving end of an onslaught of blows since the opening bell.
Stephy Auger: I don’t think King has ever been in the ring with someone that hits as hard as Jimmy Page.
King starts to kick his legs after finding himself on the receiving end of a foot choke. Page breaks the choke in timely fashion before hitting the far ropes, returning and catching King across the face with a running knee facewash! He then reaches down, pulls King back to his feet by the hair and then sends him into the far corner with an irish whip. Page charges full steam ahead for a running corner elbow smash when King slips out of the way, causing him to crash into the corner. The boos continue as King turns Page around and hits him with multiple knife edge chops. King then takes several steps back before rushing back into the corner and hitting a running enzuigiri! King returns to his feet before catching Page right in the face with a rope-assisted gamengiri! He then takes Page by the wrist and goes for an irish whip when Page uses his free arm to grab onto the top rope, blocking the move. King then tries for another irish whip attempt. Same result. So King lets go of Page’s wrist before catching him with a superkick. He then brings Page from out of the corner and goes for an irish whip, only to get reversed. When King returns, Page grabs him by the hair, runs and tosses him over the top rope and to the floor!
Kris Cruise: King lands on the outside with a hard thud!
Stephy Auger: Maybe he should think about using that money to try and buy off Page to end this match.
Page rolls to the outside, yanks up King by the hair and repeatedly slams him face-first onto the apron. He then climbs back up onto the apron before delivering a hard stomp across King’s left hand. Page then turns and surveys the cheering crowd.
Kris Cruise: Stephy, listen to this crow-
The crowd gasps, then boos when King rushes back over and takes a swipe at the back of Page’s heels, causing Page to slip, fall and bounce off the edge of the apron before hitting the floor.!
Stephy Auger: See!? That’s what happens when you pay attention to those idiots! You get caught!
King climbs up to the apron before stepping back towards the ring post. He then crouches down while he lines up Page. On the floor, Page begins to stir before picking himself back up. As he turns to face the ring, King stands up, runs across the apron, leaps off and knocks him down with a flying knee smash!
Stephy Auger: ...and he got him with the knee! Get him back inside and pin him!
King picks up Page and rolls him back inside before rolling him back in to make the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . Page kicks out.
King makes another cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . Page kicks out.
King then targets Page’s midsection with grounded knee strikes. He then returns to his feet before putting the boots to Page’s ribs. King reaches down, pulls Page back up and sends him into the ropes with an irish whip. Page gets doubled over off the rebound with a running knee to the midsection. King then hits the ropes, jumps into the air and drives Page down with a leaping double foot stomp across the back! The boos continue as King pushes Page over before making the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . Page kicks out.
Kris Cruise: Another nearfall for King!
Stephy Auger: Go ahead and say it, Cruise! Tell the world that Nicholas King is taking to to Jimmy Page!
Kris Cruise: He’s got the advantage, for now...
King pulls up Page and tries to lift him up for a fireman’s carry neckbreaker. But Page is able to block by hitting him with elbows to the side of the head before he can even be lifted up off the mat. He then grabs a hold of King around his waist and hoists him up for a gutwrench powerbomb. As soon as King is lifted up onto Page’s shoulders, he hits Page with multiple punches across the top of the head. King then slips down in front of Page before raking him across the eyes. Page then doubles over before King pulls him into a standing headscissors, lifts him up and drops him with a cradle piledriver! He makes the cover.
ONE! . . TWO! . . Page gets his shoulder up.
King steps out to the apron before climbing the turnbuckles. Once Page gets back to his feet, King leaps off the top turnbuckle and catching him with a flying spinning heel kick across the back of the head, sending Page crumbling to the mat! Instead of going for the cover, King exits back out to the apron before scaling another set of turnbuckles.
Kris Cruise: King’s going back to the top!
Stephy Auger: He isn’t wasting any time! King wants to put this thing away. See, this is what would be happening to Owen Gonsalves if he ever stepped into the ring with Nicholas King. Now that I see this, I don’t blame Gonsalves for staying at home!
Kris Cruise: Oh please!
King gets to the top, leaps off and goes for the Ascension (diving double foot stomp)! At the last second, Page rolls out of the way. King lands on his feet before his momentum sends him rolling forward. He rolls back to his feet, turns and charges back over towards Page for an attack. The crowd erupts with cheers when Page catches King before hurling him into the turnbuckles with an Exploder Suplex!
Kris Cruise: Oh my!
King slowly slips out to the floor as Page approaches. The crowd starts to boo King as he slowly makes his way around ringside and towards the aisle.
Kris Cruise: Wait just a second! Where is King going?
Stephy Auger: He’s preserving him!
Kris Cruise: He’s what?
Stephy Auger: King has nothing to prove to you people. He’s been beating up on Page for how many minutes now? Fifty? Sixty?
Kris Cruise: The match hasn’t even hit the ten minute mark, what are you talking about, Stephy?
Stephy Auger: King proved what he needed to prove here tonight. He’s got a match at Grapple Kingdom to prepare for. He doesn’t need to risk hurting himself out there.
King continues to favor his back as he walks up the aisle. The official motions for King to get back in the ring, but King just waves him off before retreating. Suddenly, King stops in his tracks once familiar face steps through the curtain.
Kris Cruise: Patrick Jones!
Stephy Auger: What the heck is he doing out here!?
King begins to slowly step back while Jones pushes forward. Jones continues to point at King while King keeps stepping back. Unfortunately for King, he runs out of space when he backs up against the side of the ring! Page then reaches over the top rope, grabs King by the hair and yanks him up to the apron before throwing him back into the ring with a half nelson suplex!
Kris Cruise: What a suplex!
Stephy Auger: Oh nooooo...
Page takes King and him into the ropes. When King returns, he gets brought down with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker! Page takes King by the hair and pulls him into a standing headscissors before returning the favor with a cradle piledriver of his own! The cheers continue when King gets thrown into the corner with a turnbuckle powerbomb before getting knocked down with the Aneurysm (gamengiri)! King is then whipped into the far ropes. When he returns, Page nearly knocks his head off with Sole Destruction (rolling big boot)!!! Page reaches down, slowly pulls King off the mat before driving him down with authority with Nirvana (hangman’s facebuster)!!! He pushes King over for the cover…
ONE! . . TWO! . . THREE!
The crowd explodes with cheers as “Murdered Out” blasts over the PA!
J.A. Aldridge: Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of this bout… JIMMY PAGE!
The cheers continue while the official motions to Page as the winner. Page continues to stare down at King before exiting the ring. On the outside, Jones nods his head before raising his hand for a high five. Page, however, is in a zone and walks right past Jones on his way up the aisle.
Post by FGA Office on Feb 27, 2020 20:11:23 GMT -5
Laura Perelli: It’s a shame that people like Dante Difranco don’t actually listen to themselves speak...
We open to the twisted smirk of Laura Perelli, who can’t stop herself from chuckling a little as she briefly gazes past the camera, as if she were imagining speaking to the man himself, rather than whoever’s filming this for her. For a second, she doesn’t quite seem to know what to do with her hands, and absentmindedly fiddles with the zipper of her jacket, before eventually stuffing her hands into her pockets and speaking up.
Laura Perelli: “I don’t understand what I’ve gotten myself into,” I know plenty well what I got myself into--a match with someone who needed to be guided through the basics, who was only good enough to land one shot...not spend the twenty seconds “preparing for it,” but lucked his way into five seconds--at the most--of looking convincing. But for...how long, exactly, in two matches, did I look like I knew what I was doing? How long did I look like I knew what I’d gotten into.
Laura Perelli: The difference between facing a striker...and a wrestler? A wrestler does what she wants, when she wants. There is no luck, there is no chance--everything that happened at the Anniversary Show, and everything that happened on the last Vertigo, happened because I wanted it to. When I said I was going to finish what I started at the Anniversary Show? You, and everyone that buys into your talk, thought I was just puffing out my chest and screaming into the ether...until you watched as I did the same thing I did before, I took control--and this time, I made sure that little window you’re so concerned about didn’t even crack.
Laura Perelli: And just like I said was going to happen...I made my point, I got my win back...and I moved on in the Wildcard Lottery.
Laura’s arrogant smile twists into something...a little more sinister, as her mind shifts toward tonight’s match, and her--some might say--daunting opponent. For her part, the steely-eyed Jersey Devil doesn’t waver, although she exhales sharply before addressing the elephant in the room.
Laura Perelli: Which brings me, nicely...to Izzy Anders. The Mindkiller--or, as she tried to convince me last time, the Dream Crusher. Heh...a lot of flowery talk about plans and aspirations, as if she’s the only one to have ever come up with a goal in wrestling. But, see...unlike someone like Gall, who lives and dies by his one little trick, I won’t sit here and pretend like Izzy Anders is going to be an opponent I can go out there, dominate, and just generally cruise through. Believe it or not? Heh...I am actually aware of what I get myself into--every single night, every single match, I know what I’m going into. And I know that Izzy Anders is the most dangerous person left in this tournament.
Laura Perelli:In theory, anyway.
Laura Perelli: But theories, like dreams...can be crushed, can’t they Izzy? Theories are great, until the evidence piles up that doesn’t support that theory anymore. Izzy Anders is a dangerous competitor, Izzy Anders is probably the favorite to win this thing, which...raises a problem, because...see, Izzy, I have a plan of my own. I have a goal...of my own for this year, and it starts...with you. It starts with putting you down--because beating the last challenger for the World Championship, the Grand Slam Winner, the scourge of FGA for...however long it was? Beating you...does more for me than anyone else I’ve faced so far. Beating you...does more for me than winning the 15 Championship would’ve.
Laura’s twisted smile spreads a little more as her eyes narrow into slits for just a moment.
Laura Perelli: I intend...to disprove the theory that Izzy Anders may very well be the favorite to win this thing. I have a different theory for what tonight is, that Izzy Anders is in my way. And she may have a history of “crushing dreams,” but I’ve spent the last year making a habit of getting people out of my way...
Laura Perelli:By any means necessary.
Laura’s face hardens a little bit, even as one corner of her mouth twists further upward. She offers a small, rather sarcastic bow, given the glare she’s giving the camera while she does it, before we abruptly cut to black.
Post by FGA Office on Feb 27, 2020 20:12:16 GMT -5
We return backstage where we are greeted by Amanda Johnson, microphone at the ready as she prepares to interview another member of the roster
Amanda Johnson: Welcome back, everyone, where I’m joined by the reigning United States tag team champions, Silk & Cyanide.
The camera zooms out slightly to reveal Erin Mariani and Sara Mason standing with Amanda, with Mariani looking bored at the sheer banality of having to be here while Mason seems more interested in the bottle of local shyrah that is precariously hanging between her ring and pinkie finger than she is in the concept of talking pleasantries
Amanda Johnson: From what I’ve been told by backstage sources, the two of you would like to get something off your chests. If I may ask, what are your current grievances?
Rather than respond when prompted, Mariani simply rolls her eyes at the question so blatantly that it’s almost possible to hear her eyeballs rolling back in their sockets, and when she’s done she gives Amanda a derisive look before reaching out and deftly plucking the microphone out of her hands
Erin Mariani: Let me ask you a simple question: does this company have a policy of giving all expenses paid holidays to members of their roster?
Mariani makes to offer the microphone back to Amanda...but pulls it away at the last second, because after all that was an obvious rhetorical question and there was no need for her to think she had to answer
Erin Mariani: No, they do not. And yet here we are, on the other side of the world, and exactly what have we gained from this time?
Not saying a word, Mason simply lifts up the wine bottle in her hand while aiming a contemptible look in Amanda’s direction...at least until she whips the bottle up into her hand and takes a surprisingly long glug out of the bottle
Erin Mariani: We have not had a single victim delivered to our door for the entire duration of this tour, which makes this whole endeavour a complete waste of our time and our talents as the two of us are perfectly capable of putting our feet up and not raising so much as a finger back home, which would have also spared us the indignity of having to share oxygen with some of the uneducated fools who inhabit these backwater countries.
Without so much as a word, Mason passes the wine bottle to Mariani, who takes a sip while maintaining eye contact with Amanda the entire time, and once she’s finished she passes the bottle back to Mason and continues
Erin Mariani: And yet we hear that wretch Neil Durden howling indignantly about the perceived “disrespect” that he is facing because he has to…
Pausing for emphasis, Mariani theatrically places a finger under her chin to imitate that she’s giving this some thought
Erin Mariani: Now let me think, what possible “disrespect” has the wretch faced in recent weeks? Being given a solitary reason to be here? Receiving pay bonuses for being given appearances on the televised product?
Sara Mason: Being told that he and his partner are seen as the path of least resistance?
With a knowing smirk, Mariani gestures in Mason’s direction to support her suggestion
Erin Mariani: He is not feeling a sense of disrespect, he is feeling a sense of entitlement and not a single person seems to be willing to tell him the difference. If he wants to feel disrespected, perhaps he should consider spending several weeks of having to peruse the local tour guides in order to find a single activity to pass the vast amounts of his time he is having wasted on this trip. And that is the issue: he isn’t having his time wasted…
??: Jesus Christ. Jill, are you hearing this?
The familiar voice comes from out of frame, just several yards down the corridor, although Mariani ignores the distraction
Erin Mariani: Or are we supposed to be feeling grateful that this company has finally, finally remembered that we are here, which is the purpose of this farce that you call an interview?
Nando Fresno: Alien Hunter and Jillian Clay of the Saturnian Connection casually enter the frame from the side, as if spectators in Silk & Cyanide’s interview. Nando gestures toward Mariani as he turns to Clay.
Nando Fresno:Look. Told you the U.S. Tag Team Titles weren’t a myth, Jill, you dunce. Pay me.
Sighing, Jillian Clay reaches a hand into her pocket, fishing for cash as the alien hunter holds his hand out, expectantly. Briefly, ever so briefly, Mariani pauses and slowly turns her head in the direction of Fresno and Clay and glares at them from the corner of her eye to tell them, non-verbally, that it is not in their best interests to interrupt her again
Erin Mariani: Perhaps we are being punished for failing to give this company what it wanted, namely the visual of their golden girl Fujiko Mine ending the year with two titles to her name? Well if that is the case, we so humbly apologise to whoever it is that is so thin-skinned that the idea of their chosen one not holding all the titles because we had the sheer nerve to be better than her and her pretend best friend makes them feel physically il--
Nando Fresno: Yeah. Excuse me.
This time, however, Mariani is through with giving them the courtesy of pretending that the two of them don’t exist as she whips their head in their direction and aims one hell of an icy glare at them, all while shoving the microphone back into Amanda’s chest. Nando has his hand raised, as if waiting to be called upon in a classroom, but upon seeing Erin’s look, he lowers it.
Nando Fresno: I just didn’t wanna get too far away from the topic of “disrespect” because it felt like this was gonna be one of those extraordinarily long-winded things, but-- question. When was the last time you guys defended those Tag Team Ti…?
Jillian Clay: Never.
Nando feigns shock.
Nando Fresno: What?!
Jillian Clay: Zero defenses. They did challenge Pendragon--
Nando Fresno: Title for title?
Jillian Clay: No.
Nando Fresno: Oh. Well, at least you beat the Tag Team of the Year.
Jillian Clay: Nnnnmm. Not so fast.
Nando feigns shock again.
Nando Fresno: Well, at least you bounced back, took initiative, and immediately put every tag team on the roster on notice afterward and inspired them to come after you in droves like the fighting champions you are. Like champion that have respect for the United States Tag Team Titles they’re holding. At least you did that.
Jillian Clay: I don’t remember that.
Nando Fresno: Odd!
Instead of taking a single syllable of what the pair of them said to heart, Mason merely cocks her head to one side as she looks at them quizzically, and after batting her eyelashes in their direction a couple of times she does the talking
Sara Mason: Oh I’m sorry, we’re so used to seeing the two of you lying on the floor with a glazed look in your eyes that we didn’t recognise you both when you are standing upright.
Mason snorts in derision
Sara Mason: So have you finished being a nuisance, or…?
Nando Fresno: Uh. Depends. You guys done using the belts as paperweights? Because Jill and I aren’t hunting aliens for the rest of the winter. We’re hunting winos.
Jillian Clay: Found some.
Simultaneously, the Saturnian Connection look down toward the U.S. Tag Team Titles and then promptly back up to Mason and Mariani.
Sara Mason: Hunting, huh?
Mason looks from Fresno to Clay, taking a good long time to look them both up and down as if she’s sizing them up, before she cocks her head to the other side and without the slightest change in her tone of voice responds
Sara Mason: Yes, fishermen know what to do with a catch like the two of you: throw you back, because you’re not even an appetizer. But go ahead, please, keep yapping in our general direction, because it's not as if the pair of you digging your noses where it doesn't belong has seen you with nothing else to do but compare bruises.
Dropping her head in the blink of an eye, Mason’s voice suddenly gets raspy as she looks at the two of them while looking at the two of them with raised eyes
Sara Mason: Oh wait, that’s exactly what has happened to the two of you. But please, keep responding. Go ahead…
An ominous grin forms on Mason’s face at the thought of whatever the hell she’s considering as her next move, while Mariani stands next to her with a look on her face that implies she’s enjoying watching what is unfolding
Jillian Clay: Think we’ve done pretty okay for ourselves…
It looks as if Clay is about to continue, but she's distracted by an incessant tapping sound, namely the sound of Mariani tapping a blood red-painted fingernail against the faceplate of her title belt, partly to tell the pair of them what doing well actually looks like - but mainly to put Clay off of her speech so she shuts up
Erin Mariani: Allow me to say what the two of you have done for yourselves: nothing. You may have convinced yourself that you were doing something, you may even have told yourselves that you came close to victory after you tasted yet another humiliating defeat, but you have failed to take so much as a single step forwards from where you began.
Somehow Mariani’s voice changes, sounding as if some sort of cacophony of cobwebs and poison have been dredged up from the depths of who knows where as she makes her point
Erin Mariani: If you have any intention of taking a single step ever again, I suggest the pair of you walk away. Now. Before the pair of you look back on what that waste of skin Ricky Valero did and think of it as a birthday present...
The malicious grin on Mason’s face grows wider as she takes a step towards the Saturnian Connection, seemingly prepared to do something particularly unpleasant - that is until Mariani snaps her fingers to suggest that, no, we won’t be torturing the poor, lost sounds stood in front of us...yet
Nando sighs, crossing his arms. The casual demeanor has faded and the typical, thoughtful expression returns to his face as he looks first to Mason, then to Mariani.
Nando Fresno: We don’t have the best record in FGA. We’re not always taken seriously but one thing we’ve proven as a tag team over four years is that wherever we go, we’re capable of winning the Tag Team Championships. This is no different. We just need a chance to prove it.
At first Mariani lets out a cold, indifferent laugh at the proposition put to them - but then she stops laughing and locks eyes on Fresno as he stands before her, not budging an inch in spite of the intimidation, leading to the two sides staring at each other-- or in the case of Mariani, Mason, and Clay, glare at each other. We slowly fade away.