705 Elvis Presley Blvd. Shreveport, Louisiana
Pure Amusement Wrestling
The Xayachruck. The woods. Tied to a tree stump with plenty of room to walk is the delightful little pit-bull puppy named NADA nipping at a few buzzing flies from a seated position. Scenic. Calm. Idyllic, even. Then her voice coos at him, muffled by the interior of the vehicle.
UNREAL: “Wasn’t the last Wicked taping a real blast–”
Inside the cramped not-so fancy camp utility vehicle Sam Xayachack dubs The Xayachruck, he’s shot her a look that silences the rest of the sentence. Her eyes search for a topic to switch to.
UNREAL: “I mean… Aren’t we supposed to be going to Shreveport soon to watch the match dealies with all your wrestler buddies, Sammy? You know how much I love to watch the morons and their dealies, that I’m not allowed to partake in cause all your roster are pussies.”
The last bit she says under her breath, ensuring her finger dances along Sam Xayachack’s chest soothingly, her eyes alight with new ideas.
UNREAL: “Or… maybe… we can say ‘screw Shreveport’, to hell with the boring shit, and just… screw right here, huh? ”
Her finger moves lower, her eyes fixed on his. He glances down at her with a wan, mostly disinterested smile.
SAM XAYACHACK: “I don’t know.”
Unreal’s enticing smile turns into a confused frown.
SAM XAYACHACK: “Been kinda vanilla lately.”
The frown turns to stone.
UNREAL: “Excuse me?”
SAM XAYACHACK: “I was thinking we could spice things up a bit, that’s all.”
She blinks, the frown disappearing as she follows his train of thought and grows a kinky smirk.
UNREAL: “Oooooooh. Like Chains, whips, chips, dip and nipple clips?”
SAM XAYACHACK: “Something like that.”
Her frown returns as Sam pulls away only to step into the back of the Xayachruck towards the living quarters, and the bed. She watches him reach for something out of view, then pulls Nada’s dog leash into view and dangles it in front of himself, eyeing her like it’s an invitation. She eyes it, then him.
UNREAL: “You want me to walk you?”
She leans forward, hands on her thighs like anyone would when talking to their dog.
UNREAL: “DOES SAMMY NEED TO PEE?! DOES HE? WHO’S A GOOD BOY!? YOU ARE. YES, YOU ARE. YOU’RE A GOOD BOY. YES, YOU ARE.”
He smiles plaintively and shakes his head with good humor.
SAM XAYACHACK: “You’re the one still on leash training, remember?”
Her smile was almost fully formed before it drops and she straightens to regard him as if he’s speaking Aramaic or something.
UNREAL: “You were serious about that? But… I’ve been good.”
She pouts. He dangles the leash and motions her to him with his chin. She moves to him with hesitation. This, clearly isn’t something she’s used to. She moves into the living quarters she spies empty Nada’s dog cage with door hanging open. She eyes him with a sarcastic smirk.
UNREAL: “Am I gonna have to crawl inside the cage, too?”
Sam keeps a straight face, eyeing her calmly.
SAM XAYACHACK: “Do you really think you’d fit?”
Her hip swivels playfully as she eyes him.
UNREAL: “You callin’ me fat?”
Sam eyes her straight, no response. She eyes him like he’s just dared her. Her eyes never leave his as she ducks down, and climbs into the cage. Fitting with enough room for her to sit, she turns ready to gloat. Sam’s foot slams the cage door shut. Her fingers find themselves through the cage staring bewildered out at him.
UNREAL: “WHAT THE HELL!?”
Sam is already leaving.
SAM XAYACHACK: “Think of this as cage training.”
Unreal’s bewilderment turns to white hot rage as she sees the predicament she’s in from a new perspective and rattles the cage angrily after him.
UNREAL: “YOU ASSHOLE!”
Sam’s already at the door gathering his keys, ensuring he has everything, and gives a smirking look back at her.
SAM XAYACHACK: “Sorry, baby. You leave me no choice. I got no time to talk. Gotta run a wrestling event in Shreveport and I don’t need any more bomb threats, murders, or unnatural disasters on account of my crazy girlfriend. There’s water in your dish.”
Unreal glares through her newfound prison bars at him.
UNREAL: “YOU FUCKER! YOU THINK THIS CAN HOLD ME?!”
She leans back, lifting her knees and sends the soles of her sneakers at the door of the cage. It doesn’t budge.
SAM XAYACHACK: “I’ll see you tomorrow. Hopefully in a better mood.”
Sam lifts his cell phone camera lens at her, puckers his lips and pretend-smooches her and snaps a photo he chuckles at, then exits. Mindlessly enraged, she screams bloody murder at him and begins to angrily kick at her cage.
Cut to the mega screen over the entryway, clips and highlights from Wicked’s # 1 and # 2 play. Alex Cross drops after a bat smacks him upside the head; Wolf Blix’ leg snaps and the subsequent agony washes over his face; Kip Calhoun is hoisted onto the shoulders of Chazz Landry and “Oregon” Dave, claiming a victory over Saul Ledgett while Hoss Calhoun looks on; Stevie Harris holds up his noose; Genesis Hendrix pours liquor onto the downed Stevie Harris; Johnny Raike arrives in full-on David Bowie gear; the Press slam Luke Knux through the announcers table then looms over Constance Church; Cross Recoba throws a football at a young fan that pings him off the head; and then a ticking TNT bomb the likes of which seen last WICKED, which becomes an animated bomb that counts down from 10 and ignites a graphical EXPLOSION on the screen and through the speakers that cuts the music. And we focus in on the announce table with Philo B. Pope and Constance Church.
PHILO B. POPE: “What’s up motherfuckers? You found us!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “CHECK IT OUT, PHILO B. POPE! New announce table! OOOOO. SHINYYYY.“
She slides her hands along the surface like it were some worth coveting, presenting it to her announce partner with a wide grin.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “EH? EH?”
PHILO B. POPE: “You heard correctly and alongside me as always is the one and only Constance Church and we are live from Shreveport! It’s another one of those WICKED DVD tapings!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Yeah, yeah. AREN’T YOU LISTENING?! NEW ANNOUNCE TABLE. Yeesh, why am I shouting?”
PHILO B. POPE: “And if you hadn’t been off shoe shopping with Johnny Raike, you could’ve come along and helped customize it.
Constance stops everything, literally holds the phone out and glares at her announce partner.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Customize…? You’re kidding right? You mean my dreams of having a set of turntables along for every show could have been realized and I could have been wiki-wiki-ing my way through every craptacular snoozefest we have in store for these ugly people here tonight?!”
PHILO B. POPE: “And if we actually run down the whole card, we’ll be out of time before the fourth match of the night…and that’s the next one!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Seriously, Philo? Who are you, an Endt? Talking tree? Takes a long time for you to say anything?? This ain’t the Lord of the Rings, Professor Tolkien! Tell the fine folks who will eventually buy this DVD what manner of ABSURDITY we have for them before they realize they could just select the chapter of the DVD they’d like to watch.”
PHILO B. POPE: “I’ll tell the folks who will buy this DVD what they missed by not being here live in Shreveport. First of all, they missed the debut of ‘Hungry’ Jack Swanson as he literally squashed Djimon Sanders. And mark my words, Constance, we will be seeing tons of ‘Hungry’ Jack.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Was that a weight joke? That’s not funny, Philo. But wait… there were MORE dark matches, weren’t there?”
PHILO B. POPE: “Absolutely! In the opening bout of the night, Tyler Keenan impressed Sam Xayachack so much with his win over STIFF that Sam has given Keenan double duty tonight. Tyler Keenan takes Dameon Langdon’s place in a match against The Sissyboy Savior Johnny Raike in round one of the PURE Championship tournament!”
Constance leans in to Philo suggestively.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Did you realize that Tyler Keenan used to be a model, Philo? And did you also realize I’ve been looking to slot in one of our boytoys into my mid-card schedule for ogling? THIS IS PERFECT TIMING.”
PHILO B. POPE: “Well unfortunately for STIFF, the last guy to give you flowers, Constance, has moved on. Again.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Oh hush up, Philo, or I’ll say the phrase that pays and get you slammed through an announce table by the– OHHHH almost said it!!!”
PHILO B. POPE: “I might be a little more approachable and untouchable than you are. And speaking of non-approachable…right after Tyler Keenan won a spot in the PURE Championship tournament, Pure Amusement Wrestling went ahead and kicked off the tourney!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “You’re really mastering the art of the segue, Philo. Do you think the people watching at home can guess how this silly tourney went?”
PHILO B. POPE: “Guess? I know there are more than a few wagers out there on what is starting tonight in Shreveport. But what ended? Well that was Frost’s quest for gold here in Pure Amusement!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “I am just in awe of you, Philo. I mean that is some bona fide skill and talent behind the mic right there.”
She stands up and motions to the crowd.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “GIVE IT UP FOR PHILO, EVERYBODY!!!!!!”
The crowd gives a modest pop.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Damn good thing you even remembered his name. PROPS, Philo. Props.”
PHILO B. POPE: “Was that your way of confessing you’d already forgotten him?”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Who? The guy Genesis Hendrix erased from the universe tonight? Freddy… something or other… whatever. POINT IS, she’s advancing and some guy with a name and a face isn’t.”
PHILO B. POPE: “She went full-on ‘Genesis Mode’ before Frost found himself in a ‘Foxhole’ he couldn’t get out of!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Blah, blah, blah. Genesis Hendrix this. Genesis Hendrix that–awww who am I kidding. She kicked ass tonight in a pretty lopsided victory. We’ll be seeing her face off against one of P.A.W.’s other organ donors later on in the tourney.”
PHILO B. POPE: “According to the brackets, Genesis will face the winner of our Main Event tonight, when your favorite wrestler, Luke Knux, faces off against the man who put him through the broadcast table, and at your feet two weeks ago at the Xayarena!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Oh… you mean hmfmfmf. That’s right. I’m not saying either of THOSE guys names tonight. So if you hear a muffling sound, don’t call the police just yet, that’s just me avoiding untimely life-ending at the hands of the… people in question.”
PHILO B. POPE: “Well my life might end if I don’t get a quick smoke break in before our next match. I wonder if anything is going on backstage..”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Well, my Constance sense IS tingling… but… that’s funny… it only tingles when some pre-recorded footage is about to be played….–”
JOHNNY RAIKE: “Sarah, I really need to you to focus, because this isn’t that hard. It’s lean left, clap, lean right, clap, repeat. Ok, we’ve got a half an hour until the booth opens, and we still have to work on when you guys actually jump out.”
Sarah further cringes.
SARAH: “I know, I’m sorry. I keep starting to the wrong direction.”
The Thigh High Thriller morphs his face into a pained smile.
JOHNNY RAIKE: “Yes. I’ve noticed. Take ten. Fuck, I need I cig.”
Johnny reaches into a nearby satchel and pulls out a pack of American Spirits, lighting one up and taking a deep, relaxing drag. A voice from behind calls to him.
VOICE: “Give me a drag of that.”
JOHNNY RAIKE: “Fuck off, these are twelve bucks a pack.”
Johnny turns and sees the man recently dubbed as “The Sadistic” Stevie Harris approaching. Black pants, white button up and a matching black vest, he looks out of place with a gym bag slung over his shoulder.
STEVIE HARRIS: “I seen you ‘round, Johnny boy. You’re good but it’s been luck so far. Weird stuff like this…”
Harris nods to the Kissing Booth.
STEVIE HARRIS: “It’ll get you in the end. Your focus will wane and before you know it, you’ll be in the second round of the championship tournament wondering how you got covered in so much blood. I feel like you’ve probably been in that situation before though.”
Johnny smirks, no real trace of mirth on his face.
JOHNNY RAIKE: “Blood soaked sure, though I don’t often have to wonder what lead me to any specific point in my life. Measurably thinner skin than most will be the real culprit, I assure you. See, I may be a fuckboi, but I’m amazingly self-aware. Competent at more than one thing at a time, too.”
Johnny takes another long slow drag and lets it out, very slowly, just in front of Harris face.
JOHNNY RAIKE: “Now, points for harassing me and not Keenan, but don’t you have to actually get through Britt? And you’ve already gone and poked the bear vis a vis Hendrex, I’m starting to think you just want people to hate you. If you’re going for hate and fear though, I’d lose the noose. Too cartoonish while also reminding the fine people of the south all about their shitty past.”
STEVIE HARRIS: “Cartoonish? Cartoonish! ”
JOHNNY RAIKE: “Like a Seventies villain of the week in one of the lesser Spider-man titles. Well, I guess at that point they’d have made you racist. Good thing they didn’t book you against Ledgett, huh? I’m just saying, image counts.”
STEVIE HARRIS: “Pa used to let me read them Spider-man comics as a kid. A reward as such. Taught me right from wrong, how to respect my elders but most importantly – it showed me how a simple act can turn a good God fearing man into the devil incarnate. Carnage was always my favorite. Carnage Johnny, Carnage.
The American Wet Dream takes a last quick puff of cigarette before breaking the cherry on the kissing booth post and slipping it back into the pack for later.
JOHNNY RAIKE: “Complete little Nineties boy, eh? I was an X-Man kid myself, always waiting for my mutant healing factor. But alas, baseline human. Though at least not the delusional kind.”
STEVIE HARRIS: “You ever want to find out if I’m delusional or if it’s just an act to get you looking left when you should have been looking right, then you know where to find me. Or better yet, win your match against that Keenan boy and you’ll get a first hand lesson next show.”
Johnny smiles, seeming interested now that talk has turned to the potential showdown
JOHNNY RAIKE: “You know, I don’t doubt you for a second Stevie. That we’ll be standing across the ring from each other, you learning just how much of my success is based on luck, that is; I’m always skeptical of the obviously fucked up ones. Don’t you worry about my chances with Tyler, I’ve been doing my homework. Just like I’ll do on you, just like you’ll do on me. See, we can go back and forth here, you trying to get prime real estate behind these gorgeous blue eyes, me denying you a bank loan. Or we can just look each other in the eye, and admit we would savage the other for five bucks and a ride to the airport. Get at this like two professionals.”
The Hedonistic Hellcat extends his hand to Stevie, face questioning.Harris accepts the handshake, both men hold it for an awkwardly long time, a slight preview of the battle to come. Once they finally break Johnny brings his hand down by his side, hiding it from Stevie’s view as he flexes away the discomfort, but not hidden from the camera’s eye.
JOHNNY RAIKE: “Color me pleasantly surprised. I knew there had to be intelligent life somewhere out here.”
Harris turns to walk off, training for the match against Tapanga Britt awaits. He takes three steps before he notices Saul Ledgett standing to the side, watching him from a nearby coffee cart. Johnny meanwhile calls for his staff to return to learning their dance.
SARAH: “I thought you said ten minutes?!”
JOHNNY RAIKE: “Figure of speech, back to one!”
STEVIE HARRIS versus TAPANGA BRITT
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “I told you… through the miracle of “Digital”, “Video” “Technology” those peeps recorded that altercation and sent it ahead whoever’s running the sound and light and all that crap to be played here, and now.. for you… and the people at home, Philo. You’re lucky you’re pretty, sheesh.”
The match bell sounded three times calling for everyone’s attention.
RHONDA ARMSTRONG: “Ladies and gentleman, welcome to Pure Amusement Wrestling taping number three! The following contest is scheduled for one fall and it is the opening match of the Pure Amusement Championship Tournament!!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Did that bitch just imply we couldn’t have done that?!”
The crowd screams, claps, shouts, and stomps it’s approval, as “The Riverbed” by Gallows blasts out over the speakers. The beat really begins to kick in when Stevie Harris steps through, a scornful grin on his face as he looks out at the crowd. Stevie slowly makes his way down to the ring, eying off as many as the faces in the crowd as possible. A few anti-Harris signs can be spotted, most notably a sign reading “Stevie is a Noose-ance.”
RHONDA ARMSTRONG: “Now approaching the ring, from Your Mom’s House, weighing in tonight at two-hundred and thirty pounds……the SADISTIC STEVIEEE….HARRRRRRISSSS!
The boos come, but are quickly cut off by “Vanity” by Christina Aguilera. Tapanga Britt, the A-Lister herself, comes strutting out onto the stage, surrounded by a hoard of photographers, with the Ice Man in tow. He intimidates them to back away as they go, while camera flashes go off.
RHONDA ARMSTRONG: “Hailing from the Big Apple, New York City, New York…. she is Wrestling’s SuperStarlet, TAPANNNNNGAAAAA BRIIITT!!”
Tapanga hops up on the ring apron, dropping her fur coat as she does a seductive little dance for the cameras. Ryan helps her enter the ring and she gives him a very provocative kiss before playing to the crowd some more, showing off and soaking up the a mix of cheers and boos, all the while Ryan is pacing the ring, trying to deter those who might come a little too close to his Bombshell. Rhonda exits as REF signals the bell.
PHILO B. POPE: “And we are all set for another round one match-up! Last DVD taping, Stevie Harris was able to score a pinfall over Genesis Hendrix. Will he be as fortunate tonight against the debuting Tapanga Britt?”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Well… frankly. Last time I flip-flopped over who I was gonna cheer for when Stevie squared off against Gen-Gen… so this time I’m just gonna blindfold myself and hope for the best. T’was nice knowing you Tapanga.”
Constance blindfolds herself as promised. In the ring, Stevie is ready to go and advances on Tapanga, but the A-Lister holds up a finger, asking Stevie to wait, then posing for one last photo to her entourage. Harris just smirks, waits until she turns back around, and slaps the taste right out of her mouth. Pure anger flashes across Britt’s face and she responds with a huge knife edge chop, the loud smack of flesh impacting flesh drawing a big ‘Oooooh!’ From the crowd.
PHILO B. POPE: “Tapanga Britt has the hottest selling poster of the hottest ass in Pure Amusement and she just put all that behind that knife-edged chop!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Damnit, just cause of the blindfold doesn’t mean your words can’t still sting, you booger. My ass is the fairest of them all. Asked a mirror just last night. And who knife-edged the who in the what?”
The Socialite hits the ropes and rebounds with a running clothesline to Harris. The sadistic man keeps his feet, but can’t stop Britt from now hitting the ropes to the north, delivering with another clothesline. Once more Tapanga hits the ropes, this time to the east, and lays in a third clothesline. Stevie looks like he’s starting to stagger, and as Tapanga hits the south ropes the crowd starts a clap for her. The clap ends quickly when Stevie steps into Tapanga mid-run, wraps Britt up in his arms and uses her momentum to deliver a powerful belly to belly suplex.
PHILO B. POPE: “Even Constance heard that one and knows it hurt!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “RIGHT?! Where are my headphones. I’m just assuming Stevie Harris is so demented he’s fighting the turnbuckle right now.”
On the outside Ryan McCollum is unmoved by this. A figure in a black dress appears on the stage, as yet unnoticed by Ryan, and begins approaching the ringside.
PHILO B. POPE: “Hey, who is that?”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “What?! I can’t see anything dammit!”
Constance can’t help removing the blindfold and winces as inside the ring, Harris is quick to take advantage of a downed Britt, laying in heels to the gut before drawing his boot across her face.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Damn… All right. That’s enough for me. Blindfold back on.”
As Constance re-blindfolds herself, Stevie grabs a handful of the Broadway Bombshell’s hair and hoists her back to standing, ignoring the warning REF is trying to administer. Harris transitions into the side headlock, really cranking in the pressure, before shifting his arm to lie right across her throat. Britt claws at his arms, drawing angry red marks on Harris skin, but Harris keeps the hold until REF steps in and issues a 4-count warning. Harris breaks the hold and takes a step back, hint of a smirk on his face as he eyes up Tapanga.
PHILO B. POPE: “Harris is pushing REF, and the creepiness factor right to the limit..”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Dude, enough with the mental pictures. I can SEE that snake doing crap and it’s giving me waking nightmares.”
McCollum is still like ice on the outside. Simply watching the action with his arms crossed. Harris completely ignores him, but gives a brief nod to the women in the black dress now standing very near McCollum. She says nothing, does nothing, just stares at Ryan. She is finally noticed by REF..
PHILO B. POPE: “Obviously, whoever this is, is only interested in evening out the odds for Harris..”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Oh, for the love of crap. I think the last thing Harris needs right now is the odds evening in his favor…”
Harris takes advantage of REF’s momentarily turned back to swing a kick right to Tapanga’s kidney’s, drawing a pained, frustrated scream. Harris follows up with a whip to the corner, charging in and scoring with a big shoulder block, letting the A-Lister stumble forward, and bouncing off the near ropes to deliver a two handed facebuster. Harris covers.
PHILO B. POPE: “Tapanga Britt is really showing some heart tonight in her debut..”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Really?!”
Constance slips off the blindfold to peek into the ring. Ryan McCollum starts banging on the ring apron, trying to inspire the crowd behind his girl.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “RIGHT ON, TAPPY B– hey…. who’s that weird chick at ringside I ignored you mentioning earlier?”
The girl at ringside, Lola, keeps her gaze at Ryan, and just shakes her head slowly. Nonetheless, the crowd does lend some support, clapping along with Ryan. Britt fights her way to sitting, then kneeling, throwing a lightning fast flurry of chops and slaps, finally managing to reach standing again, pushing Stevie back to his own feet as well. Once Tapanga has regained a vertical base she delivers a pair of kicks to Harris’s chest, hits the ropes, and sends the sadist flying through the air with a head scissors. Britt is first to act again, charging the rising Harris with another head scissors attempt, but is stopped by a Harris dropping to a knee and raking the face of Tapanga Britt.
PHILO B. POPE: Harris halts all her forward momentum with a short-cut!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Oi. I think Stevie Harris needs to grow a set and quit picking on women. Maybe he should fight the bomb-OHHHHH almost dropped it again! HA! Be on your guard Stevie, or I’ll sic those… GUYS on you.”
At this point, Lola has jumped up on the ring apron, and seems to be deep in a passionate conversation with REF.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Oh. Good. Cause this isn’t going to sway things in favor of creepy Stevie. Back to blindfold mode.”
Harris follows up his eye rake by grabbing another handful of the Park Avenue Princess’ hair and pulling her down to the mat. Harris rolls over to sit on Britt’s back, keeping his handful as he bounces the Celeb’s face into the mat with a violent series of slams. Ryan tries to get REF to look at what’s going on, but succeeds only in getting REF to now yell at two people to get off his ring apron. Harris nods to Lola before transitioning into a seated armbar, and just like that Lola jumps to the floor. McCollum makes to enter, but REF cuts him off and sends him back to ringside, before turning his attention back to the match.
PHILO B. POPE: “Harris is one twisted individual who is as bent on playing mind games as he is on winning!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Blindfold?”
Constance offers Philo a blindfold as Stevie is holding the torque on the armbar as much as he can, putting immense pressure on the shoulder, using his weight advantage to make Tapanga fight every inch of her way to the ropes. Slowly, agonizingly, she makes it, forcing another rope break, Stevie also holding it until four. Tapanga uses the ropes and REF to get herself back to standing without interference from Harris. She takes a moment to fix her hair before returning to stand across from Stevie. Harris tries to shoot in, but Britt is quicker off the mark, side stepping and delivering a kick to the back of Stevie’s knee. A quick standing dropkick to the same knee takes the larger Harris to kneeling, and the SuperStarlet get’s a head full of steam before laying into Harris with a beautiful Shining Wizard. Britt hooks a leg for the cover
PHILO B. POPE: “Tapanga nearly stole one!!!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Really?”
Constance slips off the blindfold only revealing one eye to peek out at the action Stevie kicks out with enough authority to send Britt rolling away from himself, but the smaller woman is quicker to return to standing, meeting Harris with a series of rights and lefts as he tries to rise. Harris begins returning fire, giving himself the moments he need to get back to his feet, before he tastes a knife edge chop that sends him stumbling back into the corner.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Woot Woot. Me and this Tapanga bitch got like nothing in common ‘cept a joint-creep-out factor on account of Stevie poops.”
Tapanga runs at him, before leaping up and over him and into a turnbuckle handstand. Britt takes a moment to allow her feet to align before allowing her body to pendulum forward, building up momentum for a thunderous double boot to the chest. Tapanga back rolls to standing and poses, happy with the dazed Stevie Harris she sees before herself.
PHILO B. POPE: “SHE JUST SMASHED HIS STERNUM IN HALF!!!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “OWWWALLRIGHT! Kick that buggers butt, T.Britt.”
Britt can’t help but smile now, turning to each side of the crowd with a different pose. Many in the crowd yelling for her to stay on Harris, but she does not seem to notice. McCollum yells at nearby fans to shut up, that she knows what she’s doing.
PHILO B. POPE: “She’d better stay on him, she doesn’t know Stevie like we do!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Ugh… where’s that damn blindfold.”
The A-Lister turns her focus back to Stevie and builds up a head of steam as she charges her opponent with a big body splash, but Harris rolls away and she instead meets with only the turnbuckle. Britt staggers backward, but Harris is quick to bodily throw her right back where she started, once more bouncing her sternum across the unforgiving turnbuckle. As Britt opens her mouth in pain, Harris fishhooks her, pulling her by her own cheek to stand in front of him, then raining down a series of clubbing forearms all across the A-Lister’s beautiful face, and following up with a neck breaker.
PHILO B. POPE: “He’s not breaking any rules, but that fish hook is just plain dirty!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “BLINDFOLD!! WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?! Crap I hate Stevie Harris and his twisted, sadistic… uhhh. Running out of adjectives here, Philo.”
Harris is on his knees, looking down on Britt with an odd, almost sick, look of glee. He grabs his opponent by one arm, using his free arm to land strategic punches, and pulls the smaller woman back to her feet. A flurry of knee lifts keep her from getting her wind back, and a quick application of a chickenwing keeps Stevie in control of the match. Ryan is once again trying to get the crowd behind the Park Avenue Princess, but all the cheering and clapping is for naught, as Stevie bounces Britt off the ropes before throwing her over his head with a textbook bridging belly to back suplex. REF drops down to make the count.
PHILO B. POPE: “She’s not done yet! Tapanga is still in this!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: Well, that’s just super. But you just know with that crazy chick Stevie’s got working for him lurking around, Tappy’s gotta stay on her toes.”
Britt is out of the move, and Harris can’t believe it, shooting an angry look to REF. REF is not intimidated, not even by the likes of Stevie Harris, and shows him two fingers. Stevie headlocks the woman back to standing, delivering punches across the eyebrow until admonished by REF to stop. Stevie lets go of the lock and runs his hand down Britt’s face, before grabbing her around the back of the neck and bulldogging her to the mat. Once more he covers.
PHILO B. POPE: “BRITT KICKS OUT ONE MORE AGAIN!!!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Wow… I mean… I watched the last Steive Harris match, so I know not to count any of my roosters before the crow or whatever, but Tapanga’s got a shot here.”
McCollum has the crowd going crazy for his girl, while Lola looks to Stevie for guidance. Stevie pays no notice to Lola, locked in a silent challenge to REF, holding up three fingers. REF shakes his head and says two.
PHILO B. POPE: “A real shot if Stevie keeps arguing with REF..”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “It’s the mask. Statistically proven to antagonize 90 % of all assholes.”
Tapanga Britt looks like she’s been through the ringer, hair askew, pain and fatigue showing through. She takes the opening Stevie is giving her a chance to get back to her feet, signaling the crowd to cheer louder; some do, some don’t. Once Harris is finally done he looks to where he left Tapanga, only to find nothing there. He looks to the side just in time to miss Britt’s jump, and is clobbered by a moonsault kick! Harris hits a knee hard.
PHILO B. POPE: “And we are at the intersection of pins and needles!!!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “What are you TALKING about? I’m on the edge of my damn seat!”
Britt is quick to follow up with the kneeling Harris, running the ropes to hit a one-handed bulldog, bouncing Harris’s face off the mat and back into his kneeling position, before slowly crumpling to his back. The crowd is going nuts now as Britt hits the middle rope and flips into the lionsault, but the Broadway Bombshell eats knees as Harris counters.
PHILO B. POPE: “Harris counters again! The man has no chill!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “You know what? Even though I’m a devout feminist, for the sake of my bank account, I’m just going to permanently bet on Stevie Harris from now on!”
Both combatants are down, exhausted and taking advantage of the moment. REF starts a count, the audience counting along with him.
There is still no motion from either wrestler.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Okay.. NOW we’re on the intersection of pins and needles. Just passed this-shit-is-tense boulevard.”
Harris stirs and begins getting to his knees, and Britt is close behind.
Seeing the two, REF stops the count. Harris goes for the double axe handle before Britt can quite get back to standing, pitching her forward into referee’s position. Stevie drives Britt to the mat with a boot to the back, and applies an STF. Britt thrashes in pain momentarily, before collecting herself. She uses what leverage she can get out of her free hand to rock back and forth, giving a mighty push to send both herself and Harris to their sides. Britt uses her new facing to grab the bottom rope. Once again, Stevie keeps the hold until a count of four.
PHILO B. POPE: “Harris is doing everything short of actual rule breaking to remain in control of this match..”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “HA! I’m pretty certain he threw the rules out the window years ago.”
Stevie uses the ropes to assist himself in getting back up, taking a moment to just tower over the still largely prone Britt. An elbow to the back of the head ends this brief moment of contemplation, another chickenwing applied and used to bring Britt back to her feet. Harris leads Britt around the ring, transitioning into an arm wringer, nodding to Lola, and moving into an arm and hammer lock. Lola makes a big show of jumping up on the apron and trying to get into the ring, allowing Harris to hit a thumb to the throat of Tapanga Britt and follow up with another facebuster. Harris smirks.
PHILO B. POPE: “The rulebook is definitely out the window now!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Oh… ouch. Harris you’re breaking someone’s balls is what you’re doing. Not mine, however. I meant what I said. This match is money in my bank account at this rate.”
His smirk proves to be short lived though, as Ryan McCollum takes advantage of the distracted REF to enter the ring and hit a big running knee strike to the side of Harris’s head. McCollum doesn’t stick around to get caught, even while Lola screams in vain for REF to turn around and look at what has happened. As the crowd comes alive, the A-Lister regains herself, hits the ropes and rolls across the canvas, popping up in a flip to deliver the rolling thunder!
PHILO B. POPE: “SOCIALITE SPLASH!!!”
Tapanga follows up with a pose and a standing moonsault, hooking the leg for cover.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “OOOO TAPPY’S THE BEST, CHANGED MY MIND!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “err…. ALL PART OF THE PLAN, TAPANGA!”
The A-Lister almost can’t believe it, holding up three fingers and shouting that it had to be the end, but REF just shakes his head. Britt vents some frustration by firing rights hands down at the face of Stevie Harris, before rolling off and getting the ropes. Britt leaps into a flying lariat as Harris tries to gets to his feet, sending him stumbling backward into the corner. Britt, full of what must at this point be a third or fourth wind, points a finger right at Harris and yells out that Harris has one ugly face. With one impressive bound Britt hits first the middle rope, bounces to the top, then brings Harris face crashing to the mat with the diving facebuster.
PHILO B. POPE: “Hostile Makeover!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Smoke if you got ‘um, Philo!”
The crowd pops for this bit of signature offense, both fighters lay on the mat. Finally, Britt gets to her knees and rolls over Harris, collapsing for the cover.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Shut the front door!”
PHILO B. POPE: “You have got to be kidding me! These two are working overtime tonight to advance in this tournament!”
Tapanga Britt can’t believe it, clutching her own head in disbelief and roaring with anger. Ryan McCollum can’t believe it, seemingly frozen in the Home Alone pose. The crowd can’t believe it, booing Harris and starting a Ta-Pang-A! chant. Even Lola seems shocked as her trainer kicks out to keep himself in this match. The only person who doesn’t seem surprised is Stevie Harris, who looks calm amid all the chaos. He shoots a quick hand up at Tapanga, gripping her tight by the throat and lifting her back to standing, following along himself.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “That is some Jason Voorhees shit right there… creep factor infinity now.”
REF forces him to break the hold, and Britt tries to fight back with a knife edge chop, but the return shot from Harris hits much harder, forcing Britt back. Harris follows and shoots his hands to the back of Britt’s head, jockeys briefly for position, and brings her down hard with a Neck Crank DDT!
PHILO B. POPE: “That was just vicious! Tapanga just hit the mat awkwardly..”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Right… Blindfold… ACTIVATE.”
Harris wastes no time transitioning into the Sleeper Hold, though REF is delayed in starting the count by Ryan McCollum jumping to the ring apron in protest. Lola is also quickly to the apron, while in the ring Stevie cinches the hold in tight and Britt uses more and more of her remaining strength to try and pry the much larger mans arm away from her jugular vein. Finally having enough, REF ejects both seconds from ringside and turns back to see a seemingly out of it Tapanga Britt. Ref lifts the hand; it drops like dead weight when he releases it.
Ref picks the hand up again, and once again no signs of life are shown on the way to the mat.
REF lifts the hand for the crucial third check and lets it drop. The crowd is firmly behind Britt, cheering for her to keep fighting. She can’t hear them.
PHILO B. POPE: “Stevie Harris has done it again, and this time, he advances into round two of the championship tournament..”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “That’s a severe load of whatever-the-hell happened. My trusty awful-sight blocker rendered the B.S. of that win ineffective against my burgeoning Tapanga Britt fandom… “
She removes the blindfold.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Guess it’s back to reluctantly admiring Stevie Harris for me.”
The bell sounds as Stevie Harris breaks the hold, looking down at the prone, helpless Britt and quickly bailing from the ring. Rhonda stops midway to the ring when she sees that Harris has reached under the ring and pulled out his noose. He returns to the ring and raises the noose high for all to see, before dropping his gaze to Tapanga Britt and letting it linger with sinister intent.
PHILO B. POPE: “Dude, again, chill with that! the match is over!
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “See… this is why I HAVE the blindfold in the first place.”
Quickly from the back sprints 4Loco and his security team, followed closely by Ryan McCollum, and Stevie Harris wisely bails from the ring, heading out of the arena through the crowd before 4Loco or an irate boyfriend like Ryan McCollum can get their hands on him.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “That shit is just nuts. Why the noose? Asphyxiation fetish, or… oh. Oh, gosh. I thought too much about it already… can’t blindfold myself from that.”
PHILO B. POPE: “I am not ok with that noose. And I don’t know how I will react if he ever really tries to use it. Regardless, we just saw another great match featuring Stevie Harris. And I don’t know about you, but I need a smoke break after that. You got anything else pre-recorded?”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “I don’t care… I need to go throw up. Cut to a… crap. We don’t do commercials. Cut to some place else then.”
As our camera continues walking further onto the grassy marsh area we come to stumble onto a dirt path that looks to be leading up to an old abandoned farmhouse. You know the kind of house you don’t dare enter? Yeah, that kind of house.
The house looks as if it’s gone through various changes over the years. From flooding to fire damage, time and the elements have taken a toll on this old farmhouse. An unfamiliar figure can be seen coming into view, a dark haired individual with flowing black hair with streaks of blond and various other colors mixed through it. His hair looks like that of the fierce fiery mane of a ferocious lion. He has dark eyebrows with icy baby blue eyes staring out coldly beneath the eyebrows. He sits in what looks to be an old rocking chair with his hands folded over one another across his lap.
The unfamiliar male individual sports a full sleeve tattoo depicting various Greek mythical creatures/items, etc. which can be seen starting from the right side of his neck and ending at his right hand, and looks to wrap around his arm. He’s wearing what looks to be a black apron which has, what looks to be blood splatters.
As we come to get closer, the individual gets up from his rocking chair and steps forward slowly off the patio area of the farmhouse.
UNFAMILIAR MALE : “Greetings…”
The unfamiliar male individual looms darkly.
THADDEUS ARCHELAUS: “For those of you who don’t know who I am, I am the beloved son of the Greek god Ares whom otherwise is known as the Greek god of War, chaos, and destruction. Like my father, Ares, I, too, am bent on causing destruction. Though, unlike my father, I also like to hear the sound of suffering from my opponents, and soon? Soon my presence shall be felt, as shall the presence of suffering from those who dare to step inside that squared circle with yours truly for…
and I am
As “The Demigod” Thaddeus Archelaus says that he turns around and lifts a nearby bucket and tosses what’s ever inside of it onto the camera and the scene ends as the red liquid ripples’ down the front of the lens ending any view we had of Archelaus as the sound of maniacal laughter can be heard.
JAKE ORTON versus ALEX CROSS
RHONDA ARMSTRONG: “The following PAW Pure Title Tournament match is scheduled for ONE FALL—“
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Ooooo, this could be what I was talking about.”
PHILO B. POPE: “Let’s hope so..”
‘The Art of Breaking’ by Thousand Foot Krutch kicks onto the speaker system and Jake Orton struts onto the ring ramp to a roar of displeasure from the crowd. Finally Rhonda’s microphone works again!
RHONDA ARMSTRONG: “INTRODUCING FIRST… Standing 6’1 … The Virus himself… JAKE… ORTON!…”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Damn.”
Orton strides down to the ring, threatening a fan or two as he does. The fans flinch back from Jake’s intimidating threats of violence. He makes his way onto the ring apron where he grips a ring rope and glares out at the fans before he enters and warms up.
The lights around the arena go completely out as fans hold up lighters and cell phones to try and restore some light to the otherwise dark arena.
“I’m rising up
I’ve had enough”
Those words are sung as “Invincible” by Adelitas Way starts to play around the arena as a lone spotlight lights up the curtain.
RHONDA ARMSTRONG: “AND HIS OPPONENT….”
I’m invincible tonight
Take a look into my eyes
This time I’ma take you for a ride
I’m invincible tonight.”
RHONDA ARMSTRONG: “Standing 6’2, and hailing from Atlanta, Georgia….”
As the music continues to play, Alex Cross steps out onto the stage and looks out over the crowd.
RHONDA ARMSTRONG: “ALEX…. CROSS!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Didn’t he die in episode 1????”
PHILO B. POPE: “It sure looked like it for a minute there..”
The young man slowly makes his way down the ramp as the crowd boos. He stops halfway down the ramp and looks out over the masses before shaking his head and heading the rest of the way down the ramp.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “He’s not very grateful for all the Get Well cards nobody sent him!”
A fan shoves a sign in his face, which he quickly rips from the fan’s hands and tears in half before throwing it on the ramp below.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “See? That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Right there. Why don’t the Bombtrax smash HIM through a table and threaten him and—Oh! MAYBE THEY WILL NOW THAT I SPOKE THE WORDS!!! HAHA. SCREW YOU ALEX CROSS!”
Alex Cross makes his way down the ramp and stops at the base of the entrance ramp, looking as a couple of fans reach out to touch him. He jerks away and feigns attacking them before smirking and walking to the ring steps where he jogs up and climbs into the ring. He holds both arms out to his side and jaws with the crowd as they boo while leaning against the ropes. The crowd continues to scream at Alex as he smiles.
PHILO B. POPE: “Alex Cross is in rare form tonight..”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “How the hell would we know if this is usual, or if this sub-standard? This is our official first time getting a look at the Real Alex Cross, and I might have just filled my mid slot semi-mid card opening for eye candy… ”
Alex Cross and Jake Orton meet in the center ring, and the crowd is already buzzing with expectation for a brutal match. A Ref calls for the bell
And Orton wastes no time swinging a quick straight-armed clothesline for Alex Cross, but Alex is quick enough to duck the clothesline and trap Orton into an unexpected Gory Lock and Alex makes sure Orton is grimacing in pain before dropping him down just as suddenly with a facebuster!!
PHILO B. POPE: “Cross just planted Orton’s face down hard onto the canvas!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Yeah, but will Orton notice? That’s the question!”
Alex Cross wastes no time with Orton flattened on the ring surface. Cross slides in, grips his arm, plants his feet and YANKS on Orton’s arm. Orton’s in pain! And Alex Cross wastes no time modifying up his hold to twist on Orton’s arm in an arm-bar! A Ref slides in to check on Orton, but Alex Cross is quick to relinquish control of Orton’s arm and he draws back to his feet to stalk the downed Orton.
PHILO B. POPE: “Cross is all over controlling the pace and tempo of this match..”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Heh, hey Philo. Wouldn’t it be funny if prior to his baseball bat-induced coma or whatever he was actually a shitty wrestler, and the bat turned him into Kip Calhoun or some shit?”
As Cross steps in for another offensive, Orton surprises him with a sudden monkey flip that sends Cross skidding across the mat on his back and Orton kicks himself up to a stand. He’s immediately dragging Cross up to a stand by the hair and firing several downward punches that knock Alex back to a knee only for Orton to doggedly raise him back to a stand. The next punch, however, Cross blocks and fires a gut shot into Orton that knocks him back enough to let Alex Cross stand and meet Orton in the middle of the ring for a quick collar and elbow tie up.
PHILO B. POPE: “You can cut the tension with a dull knife tonight. Neither man is willing to give an inch.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Indeed, indeed. But I wouldn’t count on this to last! Once Orton draws on his breadth of experience, though, this thing’s gonna open WIDE open!”
Orton quickly comes out the better in the tie up, drawing Cross into a sudden side-headlock but Alex rapidly dumps Orton with a back-body drop that sees Orton land uncomfortably on the back of his neck! And Cross rolls with Orton, gripping his ankle and twisting it, and Orton’s body over onto the canvas to trap Orton onto a fierce Ankle Lock submission!
PHILO B. POPE: “Will it end this quickly? Or will Orton add another broken bone to the collection?”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “I dunno, but Alex Cross is kinda bad ass. Who’d you say he was dating again, Constance Church? You don’t think the bat incident made him impotent, do you?”
Orton’s in a lot of pain, and A Ref swings down to check on him, but Orton’s already scrambling for the ropes, and Alex Cross is really applying the pressure, but Orton gets there to force A Ref to get Cross to reluctantly relinquish the hold. Alex Cross stands with a crack of his neck and glares down at Orton who uses the ropes for leverage before Cross is in close with a set of quick knee strikes to the back of Orton’s knee that has The Virus quickly angling his way along the ropes to escape Cross’ relentless assault.
PHILO B. POPE: “It looks like the bat incident gave him rabies..”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “That should mix nicely with Jake Orton’s– uhh… SCABIES. Wait, is that even a real thing? Damn. My material stinks tonight.”
Alex Cross follows Orton as he flees along the ropes, Cross readies another knee only to find Orton has hooked him and flipped him over onto the canvas with a sudden Fireman’s carry into a rapid series of vicious punches on the downed Alex Cross!
PHILO B. POPE: “Orton from out of nowhere! He’s finally mounting an offense..”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Took him long enough.”
Orton locks on a reverse headlock on the ground and leverages Alex Cross up to a stand… then hits Alex Cross with an inverted back-breaker that hears a loud groan out of Alex Cross and Orton is back up on his feet, as cocky as ever. After a moment of letting the din of crowd noise wash over him, Orton lays several stomp-kicks down on Alex Cross, then drags him quickly up to a stand, goes in for the clinch then FORCES Alex Cross to rebound off the ropes. On the return, Orton leans forward, ready for Cross to leapfrog him only to be greeted by a loud kick to the chest that straightens Orton back up! And Alex Cross unleashes another LOUD backhanded slap that has Orton staggering only to reverse the momentum and DROP Alex Cross down to the canvas with a wicked lariat!
PHILO B. POPE: “Orton should be pinning Cross right now!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Should… but Orton’s experience is probably telling him to wait for the OTHER right time to strike!”
Orton moves in for the kill, but isn’t expecting Alex Cross to be ready for him, in the center of the ring suddenly locking on a triangle choke! Orton is struggling to escape the hold quickly while A Ref slides in to check it. Alex Cross torques the hold, inflicting major damage.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Which he missed entirely, apparently.”
PHILO B. POPE: “Orton just doesn’t seem as crisp as he did two weeks ago in his debut…”
Orton is fighting the hold, Alex Cross mistakenly goes to adjust the positioning of his legs, giving Orton a brief amount of relief in which to hook Alex’s legs with his arms, stretch his legs out, lean back and catapult Alex Cross right into the corner turnbuckle! And Alex Cross is draped there painfully as Orton stands, glowers at the crowd before charging, leaping and delivering a reverse code breaker to Alex Cross that ignites the crowd with the explosive move!
PHILO B. POPE: “THAT’S THE TYPE OF BLOW THAT TAKES ALL THE WIND OUT OF YOUR LUNGS AT ONCE! ORTON BETTER TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS!!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Orton’s been kinda lazy this match, let’s hope he smartens up.”
Orton gets himself to his feet, gives a drag on Alex Cross to get him clear of the ropes and hooks the leg for a cover!
PHILO B. POPE: “Cross stays alive in the championship tournament for now..”
Orton slaps the mat with annoyance and drags Alex Cross up to his feet, firing a few shots at Alex before swinging his arm over his head and drawing him into a suplex clutch and delivers a sudden snap suplex that rattles the ring boards! And Orton looks to be in complete control as he rises leisurely to a stand and intimidates towards the crowd. Alex Cross is down and looks severely winded as Orton looks down on him and drops a painful knee strike into Cross’ head! Again! And Again before he rises up into the air for an elevated leg drop… And Alex Cross rolls out of the way and Orton lands painfully on his tailbone!
PHILO B. POPE: “Cross is turning out to be a real pain in the ass for Orton..”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Screw Orton he can be a real pain in… wait, what sort of rating goes on these Wicked DVDs anyhow? We PG still? Damn… I haven’t actually checked out our own merch…”
Orton takes time for a breather as Cross gets himself to his feet and looks to Orton to spot where he’s at. Alex Cross makes a sudden dart at Orton who’s ready for him, and catches him with an arm drag that swings Alex Cross across the ring. But it doesn’t stop Alex Cross who rolls with the arm drag and gets to his knees and charges again, and another arm drag by Orton and the crowd is in frenzy as once again Alex Cross is in the opposite corner looking to charge again. And he does, rushing at Orton who gives Alex Cross a sudden shoulder block that stops Alex Cross’ momentum in dead center ring.
PHILO B. POPE: “They are finally seeing eye to eye, literally! Cross and Orton in the center of the ring with an intense staredown!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “One of these two men must give way for the other… and I hope Alex Cross gives plenty when it comes to me and my love-makin’ requirements. Screw PG. I want me some Alex Cross.”
Orton lies into Cross with numerous knife-edge chops, and Alex Cross is reeling from the assault. Orton goes in for the clinch and hurls Alex Cross for the ropes. On the return Alex Cross hits a jumping roundhouse kick that comes out of nowhere and stuns Orton down to the canvas!!!
PHILO B. POPE: “Cross drops Orton with the CROSSFIRE!!!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “That came out of nowhere, dammit!”
Alex Cross is quick to make the cover!
PHILO B. POPE: “IT’S OVER! Alex Cross advances in the PURE Championship Tournament.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Impressive win. And Orton sees an early exit. It’s not hard to see one man wanted it more than the other… which will, I presume, be the case in the bedroom… with me. And Alex Cross. After the Show. Just Saying.”
“Invincible” by Adelitas Way kicks onto the speakers as A Ref lifts Alex Cross’ arm.
RHONDA ARMSTRONG: “HERE IS YOUR WINNER…. MOVING ONTO THE SECOND ROUND OF THE PAW PURE CHAMPIONSHIP…. ALEX… CROSSS!!!!!”
PHILO B. POPE: “In two weeks time, Alex Cross will face the winner of ‘Righteous’ Ian Wright and one half of The BombTrax, Flaming Youth!”
Constance looks around like lightning may strike her.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “You said it. The secret word. What’s gonna happen…? Am–Am I gonna age in seconds and wither? Am I melting Philo???? You’d tell me, right? ”
Constance pulls out a vanity mirror and ensures the foundation is still smooth.
PHILO B. POPE: “I’m gonna age in seconds and wither if I don’t catch a quick smoke break. Somebody show me something good backstage!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Yeah! Wait. You said the phrase that pays in powerbombs… where are the tall drink of water and his flaming friend…? Are they behind me??? Are they backstage? Is that what we’re about to cut to?”
Constance cringes as we cut to…
Backstage, We find Genesis Hendrix looking at herself in the mirror. She’s sweaty and tired but she’s done it. She’s gotten her first victory in PAW and she did it while sober. There is a knock at the door and Gen turns just as the executive for the X-Network -Olivia Egan- enters carrying a bouquet of yellow roses. She offers the woman a smile.
OLIVIA EGAN: “I’m so excited to see you kick butt out there Genesis. That’s exactly what Erik was talking about when he said you had the ‘it factor’.
OLIVIA EGAN: “You have so much going for you right now and I just wanted to bring you these and let you know that we are pleased with how the show is going. It’s getting a higher rating each week and next week, when you move to round two, we are positive it will bring in more. Not to mention…
She smiles again.
OLIVIA EGAN: “With your show bringing so much publicity to PAW, the arenas are going to start filling up. Everyone wanting to get the chance to see Genesis Hendrix in person, the Vixen!
Genesis frowns. She shakes her head at her reflection. Olivia picks up on it right away.
OLIVIA EGAN: “What’s wrong?”
Gen turns to the woman with a shake of her head.
GENESIS HENDRIX: “I don’t want to be famous, I just want to prove my worth. This whole.. Tv thing… I don’t want it to be the only reason people come and watch the PAW shows. All these people are just here because of some reality tv thing, like fanboys.”
Olivia looks confused.
OLIVIA EGAN: “I don’t think I understand…Don’t you want to get on the map? To really make a difference and prove that you’re not the same girl you were 10 months ago?”
GENESIS HENDRIX: “I do. Of course I do but I just feel like.. this whole thing is changing who I am. Making me someone I’m not. I don’t’ want to be like the Tapanga Britts. I’m not in this to have people worship me. I’m in this to prove that everything that people have said about me is wrong.”
Olivia crosses the distance and tentatively reaches out to put a hand on the other blonde’s shoulder.
OLIVIA EGAN: “You are doing that. You went out there and you proved that once again you are someone that the other competitors should fear. I may not know much about wrestling but after seeing my best friends compete for a few weeks now I’m starting to see it. Erik wasn’t wrong when he saw something in you.”
Gen shakes her head and effectively Olivia’s hand from her shoulder.
GENESIS HENDRIX: “You already said that.”
OLIVIA EGAN: “I figured you needed to hear it again. Now stop this. You have a win to celebrate and Erik and I want to take you out to celebrate but let’s… make it alcohol free this time shall we? I think I’ve had my first and last taste of that kind of partying, at least for a while anyway.”
Genesis can’t help but laugh now. She slaps her on the shoulder a little too hard and Olivia winces.
GENESIS HENDRIX: “alright, I’ll get cleaned up and meet you two out front.”
Olivia smile sand leaves the room, closing the door behind her. Genesis looks back in the mirror, the camera only seeing her reflection. the genuine smile changes to an evil look.
GENESIS HENDRIX: “You know you can’t fool them all forever. Eventually you’re going to cave into that box under your bed. Then I’ll come out to play again.”
The face then changes to an angry scowl.
GENESIS HENDRIX: “NO! I’m not going back there. You have no control over me anymore.”
She then punches the mirror, shattering it down the middle. Instantly her knuckles well up red under her tape. She takes a few breaths before walking away.
KIP CALHOUN versus RYAN MCCOLLUM
The match bell sounds three times at ringside calling for everyone’s attention.
RHONDA ARMSTRONG: “LADIES AND GENTLEMAN, introducing first in this next first round tourney match for the PAW PURE CHAMPIONSHIP…”
The familiar guitar riff, representing pure 80’s cheese, echoes through the arena, and that can mean only one thing. Kip Calhoun emerges from behind the curtain, a scowl upon his face– a mixture of contempt and cockiness– as he looks over the crowd. At his side, his father, Hoss Calhoun, all business, feeds Kip words of encouragement as the two strut with confidence toward the ring.
RHONDA ARMSTRONG: “… by way of Upper Saddle River, New Jersey… Kip… CALHOUN!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “NICE! Kip Calhoun is my second favorite Calhoun.”
PHILO B. POPE: “Who’s your favorite, Hoss?”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Whaaaat? Screw that. Bunny. Bunny Calhoun all the way… with Jamie Wheeler. Girl and I have to get together and compare notes for my big day with Jamie.”
Not one to ignore a taunt, Kip has words with several fans along the way. When they reach ringside, Kip works his way up the steps and into the ring, where he throws his hands in the air, walking a circle around the inside perimeter, to the dismay of all in attendance. The house lights fall and “Survival of the sickest” by Saliva explodes from the speakers. The Wicked Kitten, Tapanga Britt comes through the curtain looking absolutely perfect. She pulls the curtain back for Ryan “The Iceman” McCollum to make his way towards the ring. Ryan is very methodical until that bell rings.
RHONDA ARMSTRONG: “AND his opponent, accompanied to the ring by Tapanga Britt… Hailing from the BIG APPLE… ‘THE ICEMAN’… RYAN… MCCOLLUM!
He walks slowly towards the ring with Tapanga leading the way. He seems disinterested in the fans or what they might think of him. His only focus is on the ring and his match at hand. After all, fans only matter to those that need them.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Gotta hand it to Tapanga Britt. Girl puts her best face forward even after a stupid, bullshitty-mcshit-shit loss to Creepy Harris.”
PHILO B. POPE: “That’s exactly what the P.A.W. roster brings to the table each and every night, and every single match. Britt went down, but there’s no way she’s out, and she’s looking fine as ever.”
REF calls for the bell and steps back out of the way. Both men move in for a collar and elbow tie-up and as they clash, Kip rakes the eyes of McCollum. Calhoun follows with a high knee lift and moves behind Ryan for a hammerlock where suddenly he went for a schoolboy roll-up. As soon as REF dropped into position to make the count, McCollum was kicking out.
PHILO B. POPE: “Quick kick-out by McCollum to start this off, and Kip Calhoun has his game face on.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “He damn well better. Without Chazz Landry and ‘Oregon’ Dave, he’s like only one person instead of his usual 3.”
Both men moved to their feet where Calhoun nailed McCollum right in the gut with a stiff boot. As Ryan doubles over, Kip hits the ropes running. As Calhoun bounces back towards the center of the ring, McCollum still had his head down, Kip went to leapfrog him and was caught with a pop-up powerbomb! Calhoun hit the canvas hard and immediately rolled away from the impact towards a neutral corner. McCollum followed him in where hit hit a bulldog out of the corner! The Iceman was up fast and moving across the ring towards the far corner. He leaped once onto the middle rope with his left foot. He leaped a second time, planting his right foot on the top rope on the outside of the turnbuckle. And as he set his left foot on the top rope, leaped a third time to nail Calhoun with a triple jump moonsault! The crowd went wild as McCollum rolled Calhoun onto his back and rocked back hard with both legs hooked!
PHILO B. POPE: “‘The Iceman’ is wasting no time here tonight proving he wants that Pure Championship. He said he meant business coming into this match, and he sure as hell is PROVING he means business.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Philo. Honest answer please. Is Tapanga Britt prettier than me?”
PHILO B. POPE: “The finest ass in P.A.W.? Damn right she is.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Ouch. My pride.”
McCollum pulled Calhoun up to his feet where Kip thumbed him in the eye, using Ryan’s own body as a shield from REF. On the outside, Tapanga Britt complained violently by smacking the ring canvas hard. With a handful of hair, Calhoun smashed McCollum’s face into the top turnbuckle. When Ryan turned, Kip hit him with a Codebreaker from out of nowhere! McCollum staggered for two steps and fell out flat on his face. When he did, Calhoun applied the ankle lock!
PHILO B. POPE: “That could be the same ankle lock that ended Wolf Blix’ career last week!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Seriously? But Ryan McCollum just GOT here!”
McCollum smacked the mat once in agony and REF immediately checked for a tap-out. Ryan shook his head violently that he would not. Tapanga Britt smacked the ring canvas in her corner while Hoss Calhoun did the same in his.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “If we all timed that out we could get a cool drum pattern thing going, eh? Eh? Everybody smacking the ri-ah, forget it. My brilliance is wasted around here with everyone ogling Tapange Britt.”
McCollum reached for the ropes, but he was in the center of the ring. He drug himself a step closer and as he did, Calhoun just twisted the ankle, wrenching the hold in deeper. McCollum was able to get his arms fully extended under himself, then he quickly ducked his head and somersaulted his way out of the hold! As he did, Calhoun was flipped over the top rope and almost to the floor, but he hung on.
PHILO B. POPE: “McCollum demonstrating some evasion expertise there. And Calhoun is in a bad way.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “See? That’s why Kip needs a spotter. Chazz Landry could really help him out right now.”
PHILO B. POPE: “And that’s exactly why Chazz Landry isn’t out here. If Kip Calhoun wants a win here against the ‘IceMan’, he’s going to have to earn it.”
McCollum made it up to his feet while on the outside, Calhoun “skinned the cat” and pulled himself back into the ring. As soon as Kip’s feet hit the mat, Ryan slapped on a Full Nelson and swept the feet to drive Kip’s face down into the mat. McCollum moved to his feet and had a bit of a limp as he ran the ropes to bounce back and nail Calhoun with a rolling senton backsplash. He went for a cover, but Calhoun got a foot up onto the bottom rope as REF slid into position to make a count. As McCollum moved away, Calhoun rolled out of the ring and immediately began to move towards his Father. Seeing this, Ryan caught him right in the jaw with a springboard dropkick to the outside which set the crowd at ringside on fire.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “WOW! DID YOU SEE THAT? RYAN MCCOLLUM CAN FLY!”
PHILO B. POPE: “Kip’s showing flashes of brilliance, but McCollum has, so far, had an answer to every single one of them, and that right there was no exception!”
McCollum nailed Calhoun with a standing shooting star press! Ryan made it to his feet and rolled Kip back into the ring as he slid in just in the nick of time. Calhoun, with a burst of energy, hit the ropes running, as he bounced back towards the center of the ring, McCollum caught him with a spinebuster and planted him hard in the center of the ring. The Iceman stood and pointed towards the top rope.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “This ‘Iceman’ fella is spectacular! Maybe I could… nah… he’s got his hands full with Tapanga Britt, the harlot.”
PHILO B. POPE: “Just as Kip Calhoun has his hands full solving a very versatile Ryan McCollum right now.”
Ryan sprung up top and turned where he leaped quickly to hit a 450 splash.
PHILO B. POPE: “HE HIT IT! PURE TALENT 450 SPLASH!”
McCollum hooked the leg as REF slid into position.
PHILO B. POPE: “Kip got out of that one with authority, but he’s showing signs of wear and tear now.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Gotta say… for a young’un, Kip Calhoun’s showing a lot of prowess tonight. I wonder if HE’D go out with me– Can it, Constance. Never. Settle.”
As Calhoun made it up to his knees, McCollum grabbed him by his neck and pulled him up where he quickly and suddenly hit Kip with the forward fall snap DDT.
PHILO B. POPE: “Kip Calhoun’s been Put On ICE!!!!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Damn!!!”
The bell sounds and once again, “Survival of the sickest” by Saliva hits the speakers.
RHONDA ARMSTRONG: “And here is your winner…and advancing on into round two of the PURE Championship tournament! “THE ICEMAN”! RYAN…MCCOLLUM!!!”
PHILO B. POPE: “That was an impressive display by both men. McCollum said he was going to come out here and drop Kip Calhoun on his head and he did.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “I don’t think Hoss Calhoun is going to be very happy when his son wakes up, or whatever.”
PHILO B. POPE: “Kip came to win, he just didn’t have enough gas in the tank to take a solid vet like McCollum tonight. He’s on to the next round to face the winner of James Edwards and Cross Recoba which will be decided later tonight.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “And let me guess, you need a smoke break?”
PHILO B. POPE: “I’m sure there’s gotta be something going on backstage.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Let’s find out.”
JOHNNY RAIKE: “Well here we go folks. It’s time to play the music, it’s time to light the lights, it’s time to get things started on my path to the Pure Amusement Championship! And it starts against the First-Rate Manipulator, Tyler Keenan. Manipulation. It’s a funny thing. You know, there’s an old tactic that’s used against manipulation; don’t get angry, get confused. It’s an odd effect, I think it’s wierd anyway, but being confused actually keeps you from getting emotional. Of course if confusion leads you to anger the whole thing is moot, but lucky for me it doesn’t.”
The American Wet Dream claps his hands with a loud pop, and a big intake of breath.
JOHNNY RAIKE: “So! Why bother bringing that little tidbit up, aside from it being great to learn? Fair question. I bring it up because I was reminded of that effect myself not too long ago. I was listening to Tyler, trying to get a read, get some info on him. And I heard him as he laid out this idea of what my life was, probably with the goal of getting in my head, and I was just baffled. Why would he think the way he thinks? What makes him think I was ever hidden, and that that wasn’t exactly what caused most of my problems in my youth? My inability to shut my damn mouth, in pretty much every way that sentence can be taken, is what got me where I am today. That and this ass.”
The Sissyboy Savior lifts his skirt to show off the goods, before returning to face the camera with a wink.
JOHNNY RAIKE: “Tyler, I don’t blame you for not trying to track down my old videos where I talk about my family pain. I never thought they made for the best watch, and they’re scattered around a half a dozen youtube portals at this point. But you have got every supposition about me wrong. Your worries about gender and my relationship to it have made you incapable of actually understanding me. Now, you wanted to make things personal, and I will oblige. Don’t think of that as a plus, it just means I enjoy it more, but you can call it mission success. I’d like it if you did, the less you cotton on to who and what the Panty Wearing Panty Dropper is, the better my chance of dropping you like a sack of potatoes. Not that I foresee needing your help, but I’ll take what I can get.”
Raike wipes his hands before throwing them up, leaving that train of thought behind him.
JOHNNY RAIKE: “Whatever. Shockingly, I didn’t actually book this time to talk about Tyler. I booked this time because over the last year, I’ve developed a bit of a tradition. In the last fourteen months, I have been in three tournaments. And I’ve won two of them. One I had the match of the tournament at, but still lost in round one. It’s an extremely cold comfort, but at least I looked amazing. And it should just so happen that the two I won, I started out the same way. So with that in mind, and with every intention of winning this tournament, I will now say Maestro! Music please.”
TYLER KEENAN versus JOHNNY RAIKE
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “What the hell kinda music is this?!”
PHILO B. POPE: “Well it’s NOT ‘Pure Morning’ by Placebo…so whatever is going on here is completely uncool and I would hate to be in Johnny Raike’s high heels once Xayachack sees this!!!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “It’s some kind of avant garde, baroque post-modernist erotic art piece… maybe?”
As the first lines finish, Johnny is through the curtain, presenting himself on stage to the Pure Amusement fans, working the song for all he’s worth, giving himself to the performance tonight, yeah baby. As the chorus hits, the staff off the Kissing Booth jump out from behind the stage lights, wearing choir robes and performing as back up; Sarah is off beat, but the Hedonistic Hellcat doesn’t seem to notice, focused on seemingly belting out Edge of Glory while belly dancing and spinning for the crowd.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Damn… Johnny’s on fire. He even has backup dancers!”
His belly dancing does not last for long, however, as Tyler Keenan has skulked out from the curtain without Johnny Raike seeming to have noticed.
PHILO B. POPE: “Karaoke is over sissyboy. Time to fight…”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “He could have just sat back and enjoyed Johnny’s performance like I was!”
Tyler seems dressed for occasion, wearing his usual galaxy ring gear with a custom white sleeveless top, emblazoned with “TYLER KEENAN” written on it with golden lettering. It does not look as if any of the fans in the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium have seen him either, watching Raike like a lioness after a gazelle as he cracks his knuckles and waits for a chance to catch his opponent unawares and even more vulnerable.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “UH OH…”
After a few seconds, Tyler emerges from the shadows and connects with a dropkick to the back of Raike, sending Johnny crashing head first into the ring barrier, and himself tumbling down to the floor. The booth workers flee, not wanting to get caught up in what’s happening, as the music abruptly cuts.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “THIS CEMENTS IT. TYLER KEENAN IS AN ENEMY TO AWESOME PERFORMANCE ART!”
PHILO B. POPE: “Already he won one dark match, and now he’s out here literally raining on Raike’s pride parade. This could get really bad, really fast.”
Tyler grins, but bites his lip as the music is cut. He walks away for a few seconds, back behind the curtain, before returning with a microphone in-hand.
TYLER KEENAN: “No, no, no. I thought this fool liked to dance? Hit my music and let me show you all how to really have a good time, huh?”
Turning the microphone upside down, Tyler rushes forward and slides on his knees, slamming the microphone into the back of Raike’s head with force, causing his wig to fall off.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Dude. That’s harsh. Don’t you know how rough that is to fix those properly on your scalp? Poor Johnny. Haters ‘gon hate.”
Tyler frowns and punts the wig out of the way, sending it over the barricade and into the crowd. Tyler takes a few steps back and rolls his head in a circular motion, before grinning with an evil intention and jumping into the air, dropping his feet onto Raike’s spine with a huge double foot stomp.
PHILO B. POPE: “This match could be over before it officially begins the way Keenan is taking it to Johnny Raike right now.”
As Johnny Raike screams in pain, REF and various members of security rush to ringside, getting between the two opponents. REF points Tyler to the ring, telling him to go get the match started, while Johnny gets to his feet, breathing hard, red mark across his forehead, but staring daggers at Keenan. In response, Tyler simply laughs out audibly to the camera and throws both arms out, moving down the ramp as he does not take his eyes away from Raike. Raike, ever the picture of maturity, flips him off the entire way as he follows him at a distance toward the ring, eyes angry, mouth firing off trash talk.
Laughing at Raike’s reaction, Tyler takes his shirt off and pulls the microphone to his mouth, before making a sexual moan and gyrating his hips.
TYLER KEENAN: “Come on, Johnny! Come get some!”
As he reaches the bottom of the ramp, Tyler sighs into the microphone and throws it away, before climbing up onto the apron and leaning against the ropes.
PHILO B. POPE: “And the message has been sent and received loud and clear: Tyler Keenan has arrived and he means business.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “More like he’s an asshat who ruined a perfectly good dance number put on by the most dazzling entertainer P.A.W. will ever have. Damn… I wish I’d known this was gonna happen when we went shoe shopping, I’d have found Johnny something to STAB Keenan in the eye with.”
As Raike and the security members approach, Tyler looks as if he is about to jump on them all, but instead throws his head back and laughs. He then enters the ring and moves to one of the far corners, jumping up on the top turnbuckle as he waits for his opponent to enter the ring.
Johnny motions for Rhonda to get into the ring, and hops up to hold the ropes open for her, entering afterward. He eyes up Tyler as the ring announcer take her place between the two.
RHONDA ARMSTRONG: “Ladies and Gentlemen-”
Before Armstrong can truly get started, Johnny is rushing past to attack Tyler, who sees Johnny coming and leaps with a double axe handle. Raike throws a straight kick that catches Keenan in the thigh, but does not avert the path of the axe handle, and both men end up on the mat. Rhonda gets the hell out of Dodge as the bell rings to start the match.
PHILO B. POPE: “High octane even before the bell strikes. No love lost between these two and they’ve only just met.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Well, I barely know Tyler Keenan, but I can already tell he’s an asshole. Just look at his haircut? He’s an asshole.”
Keenan and Raike are both on the mat and Keenan instantly moves in to employ ground tactics but is met with a fierce thrusting kick in the sternum from Raike that sends Keenan dropping backwards with the wind knocked out of him.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “YEAH! Fugg him up, Johnny. That asshole ruined a $300 dollar wig!”
Raike’s retained that fierceness, shrugging off any previous pain he’s already absorbed and he’s lifting up and lunging at Keenan with a wicked jumping curb stomp that Keenan rolls out of the way of and slides to his feet with an taunting smirk at Johnny. And it only serves to rile the Hedonistic Hellcat up ever further.
PHILO B. POPE: “This is spectacular. Two of the cockiest the ring has ever seen going toe-to-toe here tonight, and it looks like both have brought their ‘A’ game.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Tyler Keenan is a jerk. Leave my Johnny alone you dickcheese!”
Raike fires a wicked looking roundhouse kick that Keenan proves too fast for, ducking in and slamming a knee into Johnny’s side, pivoting him to the left, then expertly Keenan drops an elbow right into Johnny’s neck and powers Raike down to the canvas into a tight headlock.
PHILO B. POPE: “His second match of the night and Keenan looks as fresh as when he started. Raike could be in serious trouble here.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Don’t you DARE count Johnny out. He’s my shopping buddy and I kinda need him to be able to walk in order to carry my purchases…”
Raike struggles only to find Keenan rapidly transferring the headlock into a crossface that has the Thigh High Thriller in a bad spot in the middle of the ring!
PHILO B. POPE: “Crossface! Expertly applied. This could be it for the American Wet Dream.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “HANG IN THERE, JOHNNY. I’M GONNA PHONE A FRIEND!”
A Ref slides in but Raike isn’t so easily subdued, his fingers reach around Keenan and rake his eyes while A Ref doesn’t see it! And Keenan is forced to give up the hold to tend to his stinging eyes. Raike sits up and fires angry elbows into Keenan like this were even worse than a grudge match!
PHILO B. POPE: “Payback! Raike is right back in this thing.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “ Right. I knew that. That whole phone a friend thing was a mite premature but… Keenan is an asshole.”
Raike isn’t done, he forces Keenan up to a stand, gets enough room and fires a back kick into Keenan’s head that staggers Tyler Keenan forward and Raike rushes in and BULLDOGS Keenan into the mat. And The Most Liberated Man in Professional Wrestling climbs to a stand like he were on rage-filled fire and shoots several kicks into the downed Keenan’s side like he were trying to force him onto his back only Keenan manages to catch one of Raike’s feet and drag him down quickly to the canvas and ties Raike into a Figure-Four Leglock!!!
PHILO B. POPE: “Nice counter there by the newcomer. He’s got an answer for Raike at every turn.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Would you show up and show some play-by-play bias towards Johnny Raike? Seriously. He’s too pretty to lose. We’re kindred spirits.”
Raike is in noticeable pain, and Keenan makes extreme efforts to apply more pressure only to be surprised as Raike is powering everything he’s got into reversing the leg lock, turning them over to send the pain right back at Keenan!
PHILO B. POPE: “Nicely done by Johnny Raike to reverse that figure-four.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “And now it’s Keenan’s turn. No mercy, Johnny. No mercy!”
And Keenan applies his own strength to power he and Raike back over, only to quickly untangle his legs from Raike and force himself to a stand. Raike joins him and the two stare down angrily in center ring.
PHILO B. POPE: “ There’s a lot of bad blood already between these two.”
The moment doesn’t last long with Raike stepping in with a sharp kick to Keenan’s midsection that doubles Tyler Keenan over and Raike steps in and readies for a suplex but he can’t raise Keenan before Keenan turns the tables and surprises Raike with a dragon suplex into a bridge pin!
PHILO B. POPE: “Again, a nice reversal by Tyler Keenan! Johnny Raike’s going to have to pull out all the stops if he hopes to make it into the second round of this tourney.”
Keenan pounds the mat like he should have had that and rises back to a stand. Raike’s on his way up and Keenan wastes no time unleashing a charging knee strike that fells Raike before he can make it all the way up to a stand. Keenan circles Raike like a shark in bloody water, a half-smirk creeping onto his face as he lays a precision stomp into Raike’s side, then mid section, then stalks around to the other side of Raike, stoops down to lift him only to be greeted, once again, by a rake of the eyes that staggers Keenan backwards nursing his eyes blindly near the ropes.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “HA! I knew we got mani-pedis for a reason.”
PHILO B. POPE: “What didn’t you two do on your shopping date?”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Well-”
PHILO B. POPE: “There’s no time. Johnny Raike’s an offensive mastermind, and Keenan better hope he’s got enough reversals left to keep the tide turning in his favor.”
Raike rises and wastes no time firing a quick overflow of gut shots and kidney punches before the Thigh high Thriller shocks Keenan with a neck crushing back body drop! Raike slides in for an all business cover!
Keenan has a shoulder up and the flow of this match is slowed as Raike takes the moment of Keenan’s recovery to catch his own breath. It’s Raike’s turn to smirk as A Ref circles, and Johnny takes advantage of Ref’s brief blind spot to tag Keenan in the groin making Keenan curl up away from Raike who laughs it off. Ref can see Raike did something, he can’t tell what though, and admonishes the Sissyboy Savior who growls innocently back at the masked referee!
PHILO B. POPE: “Raike can’t get cocky right now. Not with a man like Keenan squaring off against him. This match is still up for grabs by either man.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “But Johnny can do it! Tyler Keenan’s an asshole!”
Raike shrugs it off and drags Keenan up to a stand alongside him, applying a front headlock and driving Keenan’s head down onto his knee once…. Then twice to stun him and Raike takes great pleasure stepping in and readies to plant Keenan with an arrogantly sassy reverse atomic drop but Keenan manages to surprise the Thigh High Thriller with a sudden snap suplex before Raike can complete his series! And Keenan is over Raike and angrily slamming his fist into Raike’s face violently!
PHILO B. POPE: “Keenan didn’t appreciate that! And the pummeling strikes are testament to Keenan’s temper.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “I can’t watch! He’s gonna mess up his face!!”
Keenan is less than pleased with Raike now as he drives Raike up to a stand and wastes little time launching Raike into the turnbuckle with a hammer throw… that Raike reverses and manages to trip Keenan up before he can be launched. Keenan skids awkwardly across the mat while Raike laughs it up!
PHILO B. POPE: “Trademark Raike. There’s always time to rub someone’s nose in it, but he better not get too cocky.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Yeah, yeah, you said that. What about Tyler Keenan, huh? Have you forgotten the part where he’s an asshole and deserves to eat a handful of my poor Johnny’s unicorn tears until he CHOKES on them!?”
Keenan drags himself up to all fours, but Johnny Raike is at him dropping an elbow into Keenan’s spine that flattens Keenan down, but Keenan quickly recovers and is fast onto his side with enough distance between he and Raike to unleash a shot or two of his own to send Raike sprawling backwards with a fat, bloody lip from one too many punches! Keenan rises and brings Raike with him, unleashing a knee thrust that picks Raike’s legs off the canvas. And once he lands Keenan quickly follows it up with a front Russian leg sweep and flows it right into a cover!
PHILO B. POPE: “Tyler Keenan’s offense has been full throttle since the word go. This match is all but his at his point.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Seriously. STOP. You better say something awesome about Johnny Raike right now or I will claw your eyes out, Raike-style.”
Constance threatens Philo with her nails while inside the ring Keenan looks frustrated by Raike’s perserverance, and stands looking grieved down at Raike who is rising to a seat only to have Keenan charge at him and nearly take Raike’s head off with a seated soccer kick!
PHILO B. POPE: “BOOT IT LIKE BECKHAM! Keenan just struck a major blow!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Ouch. That is so not cool.”
Raike definitely looks like he’s taken a beating. And Keenan reaches for him, looking firmly in control now as he stands Raike up, arrogantly slips Raike’s arm over his head, hoists him upside down into the air and SLAMS him down with a crowd-stunning Orange Crush! Keenan slides in for the pin!
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “YES!!!”
PHILO B. POPE: “If there’s one thing Johnny Raike has proved time and again it’s that keeping him down for 3 slaps on that mat is easier said than done.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Finally. ‘bout time you got your head out of Tyler Keenan’s ass!”
The crowd is only slightly more amazed than Keenan is that Raike’s managed to survive this long. As he glares at A Ref, Raike slides himself to the outside to catch his breath! And Keenan eyes the Hedonistic Hellcat down with plenty of fury. Raike manages to stand himself up straight definitely looking battered now as he turns around in time to watch Keenan springboarding over the top ropes with a Pescado! But Raike’s fast and leaps up to catch Keenan with a double-booted kick that drops Keenan and Raike to the outside!
PHILO B. POPE: “HOLY SHIT.”
Philo lifts from the announcer’s booth and looks at the two spilled competitors close by with awe and admiration, inviting the crowd to share in the amazement. A “Holy Shit” chant starts in.
PHILO B. POPE: “Keenan would have ended Raike there… But Raike, once again, demonstrates just how resilient a competitor he is. These two men have pulled out all the stops for the P.A.W. faithful here tonight.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Keenan’s STILL an asshole.”
And A Ref starts in the count as that impressive aerial display on both competitor’s parts took a lot out of both men.
Keenan is the first to stir himself to his knees clutching at his winded chest, and Raike is on all fours, greeted suddenly by a vicious elbow to the jaw that topples Raike back down to the ground!
Keenan gets to a stand, still feeling the pain from Raike’s kick and lays a pained stomp into Raike before lifting him to his feet, driving him forward and SLAMMING Raike off the ring post!
PHILO B. POPE: “Keenan plastering a beaten Raike to that ring post.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “This ain’t good!”
Keenan lays a boot into Raike’s back before rolling him back into the ring as though he were throwing out the trash. Keenan takes a moment to stalk the outside to gather his bearings, still clutching at his chest.
Raike stirs in the ring, climbing to his knees bruised and bloodied trying to spot out Keenan who is circling the ring with annoyance, occasionally glaring in at Raike.
Keenan hops onto the ring apron with a roll of his neck and breaks up the count, and Johnny Raike is lifting to a stand ready for the fight Keenan’s about to unleash from the outside as he quickly leaps onto the ropes and surprises Raike with an electrifying into-the-ring Tope Con Hilo that topples Raike and the crowd is fired up!
PHILO B. POPE: “Unbelievable. Keenan’s second match of the night is demonstrating sheer offensive wizardry.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “I hate to say this, but… Raike may be evenly matched against that asshole right now.”
PHILO B. POPE: “Damn right. And the roster is put on notice about these two.”
Keenan is still winded from that prior kick to his chest, but definitely better off than Johnny Raike who looks like he’s been bowled over. And Keenan rolls himself over and grips Raike’s neck and pulls him into a punishing dragon sleeper that has the Thigh Thriller already struggling in agony! A Ref moves in to check the hold!
PHILO B. POPE: “Dragon Sleeper. Raike could be done.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “He’s got no place to go!!! Someone push the ropes closer to Johnny, dammit!”
But it doesn’t last long, Keenan torques the hold and isn’t paying close enough attention as Raike lifts a knee and drives it into Keenan’s forehead dropping him backwards and forcing him to let go of Raike’s neck which gives Raike the chance to roll back to the outside checking himself over for wounds, and glaring egregiously in at Keenan! And A Ref starts the count.
PHILO B. POPE: “Raike’s been through a lot. Keenan’s put him through the ringer. That he’s still going is a testament to his perserverance in the squared circle. And he needs this breather.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “But he’s bleeding. Where’s the paramedics. Did ANYONE think of setting a first aid kit at the announcer’s table?!”
Keenan gives a taunt at Raike as he stands, daring Raike back into the ring, and Raike is not impressed in the slightest.
Raike is weary to dive into the ring without a proper strategy, and Keenan is standing in center ring goading him back into the fight. Raike slows the momentum down as he arrogantly strides up the ring steps like nothing has happened so far. And Keenan charges in hoping to catch Raike off guard with a shoulder thrust, but Raike dodges and Keenan tumbles through the ropes to the outside.
PHILO B. POPE: “Raike’s expert strategy saved him there.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Or Keenan’s asshole tactics finally caught up with him. You be the judge!”
It’s not a sloppy landing, and Keenan is getting to his feet but Raike sends a boot down at Keenan before launching himself at Keenan with a tornado DDT that PLANTS Keenan to the outside!
PHILO B. POPE: “And we’re back outside! What a match!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “GO, JOHNNY GO. GO. GO JOHNNY, GO. GO! See, Philo? Johnny Be Good.”
Now both men are winded, and Raike is seated and glaring indignantly at a downed Keenan.
Raike arrogantly slaps Keenan across the face before dragging him to a stand by the hair.
And Raike breaks up the count by rolling both he and Keenan into the ring. Raike isn’t expecting Keenan to send a boot back at Raike, but he quickly catches the leg and drags Keenan towards him, much to Keenan’s dismay, and once Keenan’s nearby Raike floors him with an Elbow to his spine. And Raike isn’t done, almost energized now he drags Keenan back up to a stand giving a few unceremoniously humiliating slaps to Keenan to keep him off guard before doubling Keenan over and calling for it… The crowd is in an expectant uproar!
PHILO B. POPE: “That’s the set-up for the Full Frontal!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “YEAH! KILL HIM, JOHNNY! HE RUINED YOUR DANCE ROUTINE. Nobody puts Johnny in a corner, Philo.”
He tucks Keenan up, and readies him for the package driver only to be surprised by Keenan pulling out of the package just as Raike pulls him up and slams Raike’s face down to the canvas with a shocking, crowd-inciting sit-out facebuster!!
PHILO B. POPE: “HOLY SHIT. Another reversal from Keenan!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “For the sake of all things stupid, is there anything Tyler Keenan CAN’T ruin?”
And Keenan slides Raike over for an exhausted cover.
PHILO B. POPE: “Again Raike finds his way out of a surefire pin. This match has been stupendous.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Yeah, haha. Keenan can’t believe his luck at drawing the unpinnable Johnny Raike for his first taped P.A.W. match!”
Keenan isn’t too happy Raike is still moving, rolling away even as Keenan rises to a stand and looks to be going to his own inner reservoir for some extra strength. Raike is drunkenly climbing up the ropes with a bloodied lip, and a welt on his forehead and an otherwise messed up visage that the Thigh High Thriller is likely glad he doesn’t have to see right now, and Keenan pulls out all the stops once more as he moves in to Raike and sends a knee for Raike’s midsection only to be surprised by Raike’s sudden catch and deflection, swinging Keenan into the nearby corner and unleashing a vicious step-up knee strike that drops Keenan down to a seat in the corner. And Raike stumbles backward looking exhausted.
PHILO B. POPE: “Raike’s gotta be running on fumes right now. That step-up knee took all he had.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “He’s got more. At least I kinda hope so… I was gonna surprise him with some gift cards after the show if he wins…”
Raike catches his breath, and Keenan is climbing to his feet only to be greeted by another running knee by Raike, followed by a bulldog out of that corner that rattles the ring and has the crowd once again on the edge of it’s seat!
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “I’m kinda worried. He’s lost his swagger, his mojo, and likely an ounce or two of blood. Do you think he’ll be able to go shopping after the show still?”
PHILO B. POPE: “He’ll be lucky to walk after this performance. Raike’s bulldog planted Keenan, but Keenan has been able to work magic throughout this match. Never count him out.”
Raike is sluggish as he contemplates his opponent. Keenan is already stirring proving that a pin attempt won’t work. Raike fires an elbow down into Keenan’s sternum. Raike staggers to a stand, bringing Keenan with him, only to be greeted by a sudden elbow into Raike’s groin area that A Ref doesn’t see, and that doubles Raike over painfully! Keenan sends a knee into Raike’s chest that straightens him back up, and Keenan sends another elbow into Raike but Raike quickly recovers enough to hook the arm before Keenan’s strike, doubles Keenan over… and executes the FASTEST PACKAGE DRIVER Raike’s ever pulled off! And the crowd is in an uproar!!!!!
PHILO B. POPE: “FULL FRONTAL! FULL FRONTAL! I don’t believe it!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Holy shit… I don’t either… Please don’t get up, Keenan!!”
Raike is exhausted and bloodied as he manages to drape himself onto Keenan for the cover!
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “HE DID IT!”
Raike is surprised as he rolls off. And A Ref helps him to a stand.
RHONDA ARMSTRONG: “Here is your winner…. moving on to the next round… JOHNNY… RAIKE!!!!!”
PHILO B. POPE: “Indeed he did do it. Not to be outdone, Tyler Keenan just showed everyone what to expect from him. And this match is an instant candidate for match of the night. My God. And now we know who’s moving on at Wicked 4 to face Stevie Harris in the second round of the PAW Pure Championship tourney.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Poor Johnny. BUT, on the upside, this means I get to give him a makeover now too. So, it’s win-win for BOTH of us!”
PHILO B. POPE: “And I’m sure the Sissyboi Savior won’t turn it down. After that spectacular match, I’m in need of a smoke. What we got backstage?”
The shot opens up to a scene of Press strolling down the hall somewhere backstage in the Shreveport Municipal Memorial Auditorium, a look of irritation written all over his face. He is already dressed for the Main Event later on in the evening, complete with the ‘Press Pass’ folding chair firmly in his grasp, but preparation didn’t seem to have put him in a better mood as he roams the empty corridor. He comes to a stop at one of the doors lining the hall, and brings his mitten like hand up to slap the frame.
PRESS: Hey, Youth, come on! Your match is up next!
He waits for a moment with no sound coming from the door, and shakes his head in disdain as he continues down the hall.
PRESS: I swear, this kid is going to be the death of me. YOUTH!
The shout reverberates down the hall, and echoes off the concrete to no avail. He growls an obscenity, and then continues checking doors as he goes. Finally, he comes to a stop in front of a door at the end of the hall with a plaque hanging from it that read ‘Custodian’. He could hear a muffled conversation coming from behind the door, and when he pushed it open, there was Youth and Janitor Bud, both sitting on overturned buckets and hovering over a game of dominoes.
PRESS: You have a match in two minutes, dip shit! Get your ass to the top of the ramp!
Youth raises his hand for silence, which causes Press to almost blow his stack, while Bud strokes his wrinkled chin in contemplation. Youth takes one of the pieces set out in front of him, and sets it down on one of the rows that have already been created, and then hops up with his hands over his head.
FLAMING YOUTH: YES! I win again! Now, Bud, I need your finest sweeping device so that I can get out here and show Ian Wright just exactly how to clean up PAW.
Bud looks up at Youth in disgust.
JANITOR BUD: What the hell are you talking about?
FLAMING YOUTH: A broom, Bud. I need a broom.
JANITOR BUD: Oh, then why the heck didn’t you say so?
Bud reaches over and scoops up a broom, and hands it over to Youth who nods confidently. He turns to make his way out the door as Press watches with a mixture of disbelief and disdain.
FLAMING YOUTH: Alright, Bud. Jumble them bad boy’s up, and we’ll play in a few.
He looks over at Press, and raises his eyebrows.
FLAMING YOUTH: Come on, dude. I’ve got a match to win.
He flashes Press a grin and a wink, and then skips out into the hall heading towards the curtain. Press palms his forehead and shakes his head before looking back over at Bud, who shrugs nonchalantly.
PRESS: Imagine living with that day in and day out.
JANITOR BUD: I’ve lived with worse.
Press regards the janitor with a sidelong glance, while Bud continues to stare at him with a discontent expression.
PRESS: What are you even doing here? Shouldn’t you be back at the Park making sure everything’s clean over there?
JANITOR BUD: Hey, I go where the show goes! I’m an intricate part of this team. What would happen if there was a spill somewhere.
Press stares at Bud, his face full of doubt.
PRESS: He paid you to be here, didn’t he.
JANITOR BUD: Yup.
Press shook his head in disbelief, before finally turning to make his way towards the ramp way. The scene fades to the next segment.
FLAMING YOUTH versus IAN WRIGHT
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Oh. Oh no. That means…”
PHILO B. POPE: “Yep. Your favorite people.”
RHONDA ARMSTRONG: “And… introducing first…in this first round match-up for the PAW PURE Championship….”
The lights go dim as “Strangle Hold” by Ted Nugent begins to blare across the arena. Red strobelights flicker all around the building, and finally settle on the entry way where the silhouette of Flaming Youth can be seen standing in the curtain. These words can be seen clearly up on the screen.
MY FLAME IS ETERNAL
At the chorus of the song Flaming Youth bursts through the curtain, and spins around on the rampway, reaching out to the crowd who scream in adulation. He comes to a teetering stop facing the ring, a coy grin on his face, as he looks back at his massive partner, Press, who merely nods his approval.
RHONDA ARMSTRONG: “Accompanied to the ring by his tag team partner, PRESS… THIS IS… FLAMING… YOUTH!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Oh good. And double good news? There’s not enough space behind the desk for me to hide.”
Youth then takes off into a sprint to the ring, sliding in under the bottom rope, and popping up with his hands over his head. Dashing over to the corner he bounds up to the second rope, and scans the crowd, talking jive as the fans soak it all up. With a short hop, he spins so that he’s now facing the ring, and takes a seat on the top rope to await his opponent while Press takes up a position on the outside near his corner.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Maybe if I act casual they won’t notice me. Oh, who am I kidding. I’m too gorgeous NOT to stick out like a really good looking sore thumb.”
RHONDA ARMSTRONG: “And his opponent…”
A drum beat turns the attention of crowd toward the runway. A sax follows, along with the twang of a guitar. At the top of the runway, the “Righteous One” surfaces, his perpetual scowl on his face. As usual, there is no flash to the man. He waste’s no time strutting toward the ring, his eyes fixed on the square circle and what waits for him.
RHONDA ARMSTRONG: “Making his way to the ring by way of Purity, Louisiana… ‘RIGHTEOUS’… IAN… WRIGHT!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “So… if I hoot and hollar and make a fuss over one of them, do you think… you know… the guy who’s name I shouldn’t say, the other one, will powerbomb his own partner through the announce table?”
PHILO B. POPE: “You just never know with BombTrax in the building.”
Wright enters the ring and the music dies down. The two men stand at opposite corners as Ref checks Wright for weapons. All clear. He turns and takes one look at Flaming Youth, who’s holding a broom. Ref shakes his head and points to the broom, then points to the outside of the ring. Youth looks confused but gives a shrug and exits the ring. He starts sweeping the ringside area much to the amusement of the fans.
PHILO B. POPE: “Little side of humor from the BombTrax.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Is that a sports reference or did they finally can his a–I mean. HILARIOUS!!! LOVE IT! DON’T CHANGE A THING!”
Ref sticks his head through the ropes and yells at Youth to quit playing around and get back in so Youth once again shrugs and stops his sweeping. He tries to get back in the ring but as he’s standing on the apron, broomstick in hand, Ref gets in his face and starts saying something in Spanish while pointing at the broom. Ian’s had enough of this nonsense and rushes Youth on the apron, hitting him with a forearm that knocks Youth and his broom out onto the floor.
PHILO B. POPE: “And the ‘Righteous One’ wasn’t having any of Youth’s antics tonight.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Well, he does mean to clean up this town, afterall… or did he mean Purity, and NOT Shreveport? I’m confused. How can he clean up BOTH towns? especially with mfmmfmfm using that broom and not him. This is a dilly of a pickle of a conundrum, Philo.”
Wright doesn’t follow up on the attack, instead he moves to the centre of the ring and braces himself for the coming onslaught from Youth, who’s up and moving into the ring in a hurry. He runs at Wright and ducks under a lariat, hits the ropes and comes back with a crossbody attempt that’s caught mid air. Wright stumbles back from the force but holds his balance. He lifts Youth up with power and brings him down with a sideways backbreaker, driving his younger opponents ribs into his knees. Ian doesn’t let go, he brings Youth back up and tries for the move a second time, this time releasing so Youth can fall and hold his side in agony.
PHILO B. POPE: “Wicked Backbreaker there. Wright with some offense that has caught Youth off guard.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Well. Good. Maybe this’ll be the perfect lesson for these two to shut their–I MEAN… SCREW YOU, WRIGHT! YOU HAVE NO… RIGHT. HAHAHAHAHAHA. See? Hope the tall one heard how clever I can be in his partner’s favor.”
Wright jumps on top of Flaming Youth in a ground and pound position. Instead of getting to work, he takes a moment to yell at Youth about his lame toilet jokes. “Flush this” yells Wright as he delivers a solid right. He looks down and it about to deliver a second when his arm gets hooked by one of Youth’s legs. Youth hooks the other arm with his free leg and rolls forward, placing Wright in a pinning predicament.
PHILO B. POPE: “Wright’s out to punish Youth, but Youth’s too fast there.”
Wright muscles out strongly but Youth is up and on his feet before he can even get to his knees. Youth steps forward, placing a foot on Wright’s back and uses it to springboard himself up into the air, coming back down fast with a legdrop that smashes Wright’s head into the canvas. Youth rolls him over for the pin again.
PHILO B. POPE: “Stunning acrobatics by Flaming Youth. Ian Wright could lose this one early!”
Wright kicks out with authority. Youth moves back and runs to the corner. He waits as Wright gets to his feet and runs in but once again he gets captured, picked up and thrown back down with a vicious spinebuster! Ian drags Youth back to his feet and tosses him into the corner, following it up quickly with a series of shoulder thrusts to Youth’s midsection.
PHILO B. POPE: “Wright’s power might be the undoing of Youth’s quickness here. Wright’s methodical enough to make this one short and sweet if Youth doesn’t keep moving.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Quiet. Don’t help them. Between you, me, the announce table, the throng of fans and everyone who bought the DVD… I want Youth to lose. Let’s hope they don’t watch these tapings, amirite?!”
On the outside Press watches on, slightly concerned. Wright starts yelling at him in between shoulder thrusts. He tries for another but Flaming Youth brings his knees up to create a buffer. Youth braces into the corner and launches a double foot body kick that sends Wright tumbling backwards.
PHILO B. POPE: “Youth kicks hard enough to muscle Wright off him and we could be about to see Youth ignite!”
He follows it up with a running enziguri that takes Wright down. Youth is quick up again, clutching his ribs with one arm. He points to the turnbuckle and begins to climb, the Eternal Youth 450 splash in mind. Wright begins to rise before just as he reaches the top so Youth changes gears and leaps off, catching and planting Wright with a tornado DDT!
PHILO B. POPE: “Adaptive offence by Flaming Youth! The high-flying tact might’ve worked, but not tonight against ‘Righteous’ Ian Wright.”
Youth rushes to make the pin.
Wright’s leg stretches out and lands on the bottom rope.
PHILO B. POPE: “Rope break!”
Ref see’s the foot and stops the count, pointing it out to Flaming Youth. Youth rolls out of the ring and grabs the broomstick he tried to bring in earlier. Ref tries to stop him once more but Press jumps up on the other side of the ring and yells something out in Spanish, catching Ref’s attention.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “OH COME ON! Is there no low to which these two gorillas won’t stoop?!”
Youth uses this distraction to bring the broom in. He teases using it as a weapon, holding it up high but brings it down and starts sweeping the dust in the ring. Making it over to Wright, who’s still on the ground, Framing Youth starts trying to sweep him out of the ring.
PHILO B. POPE: “Youth might want to focus on the match at hand before he sweeps himself right out of the tourney.”
Press jumps off the apron, laughing as Ref turns to see the spectacle. Ref and Youth start arguing in Spanish over the broom, eventually leading to a tug of war over the broomstick much to the amusement of the fans.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Seriously? THIS guy is a cartoon, not Stevie Harris. Harris would have at least the courtesy not to let upon his opponent.”
PHILO B. POPE: “That might be the case here.”
Ian rolls to the outside, while Ref tries to get the broom from Youth. When Ian gets to his feet, he see’s Press leaning against the ring post laughing along with the crowd. He jumps up in his face, and pokes a finger in his chest. Press then proceeds to boot him, and Powerbomb him on the concrete. He just listlessly leans back against the ringpost, while A Ref finally gets the broom away from Youth. When he turns around, Press just shrugs, and Ian gets counted out.
PHILO B. POPE: “What….?”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Seriously? The Bomb… uh.. those assholes stole a win by being, well, assholes?!”
PHILO B. POPE: “Not sure what to make of that. But there it is. Wright has walked away from the match, and Flaming Youth is moving on to the second round of the PAW Championship tourney to face off against Alex Cross at Wicked 4.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “I have to say… that’s bullshit. These buttmonkeys have been meddling in EVERYTHING, and now Youth scores a win with a BROOM?! Whatever.”
PHILO B. POPE: “It’ll only get more difficult as we progress through the tourney. But right now, I’m looking to score a smoke break while we find out what else is new backstage.”
The camera cuts to a concourse area where Sam Xayachack has set up a small, mobile version of his famous cotton candy stand. He’s whistling to himself, almost jovial “Hungry” Jack Swanson happens upon it and smiles. He sees someone on the other side of the cart.
“HUNGRY” JACK SWANSON: How much pal?
The man doesn’t answer so Jack taps him on the shoulder. The man turns around and it’s not a merely a man, but a clown. The clown turns around and smiles showing a mouthful of cotton candy. He speaks, but is incoherent due to a full mouth. Jack shrugs his shoulders and decides to just dig in. The two continue to eat with reckless abandon. Then there was one. The four scantily clad, buxom blondes working the cart for Sam were in shock and did not know how to handle this situation at all.
“Hungry” Jack and Redrum both reach for the last cotton candy at the stand grabbing it at the same time. They both try to pull it from the hand of the other in a tug of war.
‘HUNGRY’ JACK SWANSON: “Alright clown, how about we flip for it?”
Redrum nods his head yes violently and smiles. Jack lets go of the cotton candy and the camera zooms in on him searching for a quarter. Unfortunately, his ring gear doesn’t have pockets.
‘HUNGRY’ JACK SWANSON: “You don’t happen to have a quarter do you?”
Jack looks back to Redrum to find that he has finished off the cotton candy and is now licking his fingers. He begins to chuckle as he licks the delectable delight from his fingers.
‘HUNGRY’ JACK SWANSON: “That’s not cool. “
REDRUM: “Neither is your get-up, but you don’t see me complaining! HA!”
Jack grabs Redrum by his shirt and pulls back his fist. Before he can punch the clown Redrum raises his hands in defense. This catches Jack off guard and Redrum delivers a swift kick to his nether region causing the big man to release the hold.
REDRUM: “This cotton candy may contain nuts! HA!”
Jack grabs Redrum one more time and this time he wastes no time and lifts the clown over his head and tosses him into the cotton candy cart which knocks it over. Hungry Jack then dives on top of the clown and the cart is demolished! Completely smashed flat almost cartoonishly! They continue to brawl when Pure Amusement Wrestling’s backstage interviewer Brandy Irving arrives laughing loudly with what could only be described as a cackle. It echoed throughout the food court and far past the merch tables.
BRANDY IRVING: “What the…”
She drops down to one knee in front of Swanson and Redrum, and spoke into her microphone before holding it out for them.
BRANDY IRVING: “Exactly…what…do you two want Sam to know about this little situation?”
“Hungry” Jack and Redrum are suddenly stopped in their tracks at the gravity of the loss of Xayachack’s cotton candy stand. While this is happening Jack stops fighting with Redrum and sits up bringing Redrum with him. The two sit there together under Brandy’s unwavering stare.
“HUNGRY” JACK SWANSON: “Maybe we should stick together..”
He puts his arm around the clown.
REDRUM: “Good thing… I was about to kick the candy corn out of you!”
Brandy just rolls her eyes and walks away, probably looking for Sam.
CROSS RECOBA versus JAMES EDWARDS
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Don’t forget the crazed clown. We’re certainly not going to see any more clowns here tonight.”
The lights dim in the arena as Joe Walsh’s ‘Turn to Stone’ sounds across the arena. The fans jeer and boo in disgust, as they know what to expect when they hear the distinctive distorted power-chords that start the song. The lights focus on the entrance to the ramp as Cross Recoba comes through the curtain.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Then again…”
RHONDA ARMSTRONG: “The Following is a first round match of the PAW Pure Title Championship!”
He brushes his shag haircut off his eyes and looks at the crowd. He instinctively clutches the crucifix necklace that hangs from his neck. He walks to the ring with purpose, only looking away from the ring to answer hecklers in the crowd.
PHILO B. POPE: “This could be Cross Recoba’s first legitimate match in PAW, so let’s see IF he actually performs. Or if he has another bitch move up his sleeve..”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “You gotta at least hand it to him, Philo. He’s a sexy beast of a manchild, in spite of his many assaults on the PAW faithful. I can forgive and forget… if the price is right!”
RHONDA ARMSTRONG: “Making his way to the ring by way of Las Vegas, Nevada…. CROSS…. RECOBAAAAAAA!”
He leaps onto the apron and smiles as he sees his disapproving audience before stepping through the ropes and waiting for his opponent.
PHILO B. POPE: “I simply can not see a guy like Cross Recoba as our ‘PURE’ Champion…not after what we saw two weeks ago..”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “We survived the Bombtrax, Philo… Let’s move on and let Cross Recoba continue to buy his way through the tourney!”
PHILO B. POPE: “You survived them, and then I lost all respect for them too when they took the payoff from Recoba..”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “And won a first round tourney match with a broom…”
RHONDA ARMSTRONG: “And introducing next….”
James Edwards breaks through the curtains, dressed in long black tights and a black zip hoodie. He power walks to the ring. No music, just the sound of the crowd.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “No music? Is he serious? How blahzay.”
PHILO B. POPE: “He’s focused. Just the type of guy I like seeing face someone like Cross Recoba.”
RHONDA ARMSTRONG: “Making his way to the ring with no accompanying music, by way of Lexington Kentucky…. JAMES…. EDWARDS!”
Once inside the ring, he performs his pre-fight ritual: four quick martial arts bows to the audience as Cross Recoba looks on with whimsical bemusement.
PHILO B. POPE: “And here we go, ladies and Gentleman… another PAW Tourney match is about to get underway.”
And with the ring bell sounding, Cross Recoba and James Edwards circle one another in the ring amidst the din of the crowd who has no love-lost for Cross Recoba tonight! Cross draws James in for a lock-up, which actually a feint that suckers Edwards for one of Cross’ vicious knife-edge chops that catches James Edwards off-guard. Cross doesn’t remain on that offensive for long, instead he goes in for a belly-to-back clinch that Edwards was ready for, grips Recoba’s wrist, bends forward and unceremoniously slumps Recoba over onto the canvas in an arm drag. Edwards follows him down with a sudden series of shots to the head whilst maintaining a grip on Recoba’s arm!
PHILO B. POPE: “Nice. Edwards showing off some MMA prowess here early on.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “But… he’s just so no-nonsense. Look at Cross? He’s not phased in the slightest by Edwards’ approach.”
Edwards is up and off Recoba only to drop an elbow into Cross’ chest. But Recoba retaliates by swinging his legs around and trapping Edwards into a triangle choke! A Ref swings into check on Edwards!
PHILO B. POPE: “Nice exchange there. The pace of this match promises to be quick. Neither men look ready to give any ground here.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Edwards better think fast though. Recoba, apparently, turned out to actually be able to wrestle rather than just beat on children and the elderly…”
Edwards doesn’t relent, strong with the strikes he unloads several haymakers into Recoba’s stomach that forces Recoba to relinquish the triangle choke but not without retaliating with a strike to Edwards’ face. And Recoba rolls his way to a stand just as Edwards does so the kinetic, high-energy pace of the match can continue!
PHILO B. POPE: “Recoba and Edwards are trading blow for blow, move for move so far.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “But who’s gonna give-in first? My money’s on Recoba. He’s not used to facing people that didn’t pay the price of admission. HA!”
Recoba’s dancing like a boxer, almost enjoying himself as Edwards seems to be sizing him up before moving in for a quick jab to test Recoba’s defenses. Recoba takes the punches and unleashes a few of his own. And this devolves quickly into a boxing match with each men trying to score a direct hit. Edwards lands a few that look menacing, but Recoba manages to roll with them until trapping Edwards’ arm and rolling with that into a swinging neckbreaker that stuns the crowd at it’s sudden finality!
PHILO B. POPE: “Recoba’s own striking ability on display there. But he’s got more in his arsenal than just strikes. Edwards isn’t safe sticking to one style here.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Edwards isn’t safe from his own shadow from the looks of it.”
Recoba lifts Edward’s leg and aims for a pin.
PHILO B. POPE: “Edwards got out of that in a hurry.”
Recoba laughs it off as he climbs to a stand, and Edwards does as well looking more weary of Recoba now. Edwards readies his guard and goes in for another bout only to be staggered by a sudden, and flawless Enziguri kick by Cross Recoba! Edwards’ backs up and Recoba is on him in a flash delivering an impactful sit-out facebuster!
PHILO B. POPE: “And another cover by Recoba! This could be it!”
PHILO B. POPE: “Edwards better watch himself. Recoba’s versatility is starting to present itself.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Gotta say, I’m kinda impressed. Snappy dresser. Abuser and humiliator of the weak. Nothing says my ManCrushMonday like Cross Recoba. And it’s a THURSDAY! That says something. I’m thinking ahead.”
Edwards is definitely shaken and winded as Recoba shakes his head with mild annoyance at not having the match won by now. He stands and smacks at Edwards, taunting him to a stand. And Edwards lays into Recoba with an elbow strike to the chest that backs Recoba up, and Edward chases him in hits a flawless STO that wins back the crowd! And Edwards goes for a cover!
PHILO B. POPE: “KICKOUT before Edwards can get a leg hooked..”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Recoba isn’t gonna fold for some silly Edwards antics that easily.”
Edwards is back on pace after the less-than-one count, but Recoba is up to his feet just as quickly, blocking a sudden kick-attempt from Edwards that spins him around, only to have Edwards aim a lariat that Recoba ducks, coming back around to face one another, and Edwards manages to hook Recoba’s arms and unexpectedly flip him for a butterfly suplex!
PHILO B. POPE: “Nicely executed Butterfly Suplex there by Edwards.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Edwards has some life in him after all.”
This time Edwards is quick to follow it the suplex up by heading at Recoba’s legs and trying to flip him for a half-crab but Recoba anticipates it and slams the sole of his wrestling boot that forces Edwards off the hunt, and Recoba’s up and charges at Edwards only to be greeted by a very stiff kick that flattens Recoba! And Edwards is quick to get back to the half-crab, twisting Recoba over and applying it expertly! And Recoba is squirming in Edwards’ grip. A Ref slides in to check in Recoba who is definitely struggling!
PHILO B. POPE: “Recoba’s first true test with Edwards and this half crab.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Had to happen eventually.”
Recoba is not one to give up, and manages to drag himself and Edwards enough across the canvas to grab the rope, and A Ref ensures Edwards lets up after the rope break. Recoba takes a breather, but Edwards lays into Recoba with several stomps to Recoba’s back before going back to work on Recoba’s legs with a punishing series of kicks that has Recoba reeling!
PHILO B. POPE: “Edwards’ isn’t letting up on Recoba. That’s exactly what he needs to do to stay alive in this tournament.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “I don’t think Cross Recoba is that easily disposed of. I mean.. he did beat Press last Wicked taping with only a finger, so…”
Edwards moves in quick to tie Recoba up into a kneebar, well aware that Recoba is so very close to the ropes, and he quickly grips the ropes for a rope break, but Edwards tugs Recoba further into center ring angrily, like he doesn’t want to let up in spite of A Ref’s warnings!
PHILO B. POPE: “Edwards showing a lot of spirit there. Looks like his temper could be the thing that puts him over Recoba tonight.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “And Recoba remains as handsome as ever… only… really stinking up the ring right now, peeeeee-yew.”
Finally Edwards lets go and you can tell Recoba’s legs are stressed, but he lashes out with a sudden kick into Edward’s spine that staggers him forward and letting Recoba some room to use the ropes to climb to a shaky stand, and Edwards chooses not to let up moving in fires a flurry of rapid punches making Recoba dodge and weave against the ropes before Edwards hooks Recoba’s head and snap suplexes him back into center ring and goes for a quick and sloppy cover!
PHILO B. POPE: “Edwards is tenacious enough, but so far Recoba’s not giving an inch.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “He better give a hell of a lot more than that–oh. You mean the match. Right. Sorry.”
With Recoba’s shoulder up, Edwards grits his teeth and drives an elbow into Recoba’s side once, then twice before rising to his feet only to be surprised by Recoba gripping his ankle as he stands then tripping him up. Recoba rolls away as Edwards turns and glares at Recoba angrily. Cross is lifting to his feet, goading James Edwards over to him. Edwards goes in and swings in a furious punch only for Recoba to duck it and slam Edwards with a shoulder jawbreaker! Edwards doesn’t fall! And Recoba takes a sudden three stride run and SLAMS Edwards down to the ring canvas with a leaping STO!
PHILO B. POPE: “That STO had Edwards’ number!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Edwards didn’t have his guard up anyways. Recoba’s a threat from every direction, every angle. Hell, guy probably owns satellites in orbit that he can call down orbital strikes from if his opponent drives him to it.”
Recoba slides in and locks on a Crossface with Bodyscissors.
PHILO B. POPE: “Recoba is applying a hold I refuse to call, fire me if you fucking want to Xayachack..”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “That’s his signature though?!”
That instantly applies pressure to James Edwards!!! A REF moves in to check on the obviously in pain Edwards as Recoba implies he’s already tapping out! But Edwards isn’t, he’s trying his best to fight through it!!
PHILO B. POPE: “Edwards is in a bad way! This could be it.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Just tap out, Edwards!”
They’re close enough to the ropes that Edwards is REALLY fighting through it to grab that bottom rope, and Recoba’s without enough leverage to stop him from gripping it at the almost boiling point where Edwards was sure to give in! A Ref points out the rope break and Cross Recoba aggrievedly hangs on a few seconds more to reef on Edwards’ neck in annoyance before letting go before A Ref’s second warning.
PHILO B. POPE: “Recoba inflicted a lot of punishment there. Edwards’ rope break came just in the nick of time.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “As far as I’m concerned this match is already over. Ring the bell!”
The damage is certainly done. Edwards manages to roll out of the ring looking extremely sore, rolling his neck and tending to a sore back on the outside. And Recoba gives only a few seconds to jaw at A Ref before he suddenly charges and LEAPS over the ropes and hits Edwards with a stunning Dropkick on the outside!
PHILO B. POPE: “A MILLION LIRA!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “That’s just damn impressive that Recoba can do everything like that.”
That floors the fans and drops Edwards like a ton of bricks while Recoba comes out of it no worse for wear. Recoba taunts at the crowd while on the outside, letting James Edwards a chance to awkwardly make a break from Recoba. But Cross quickly catches him, stands him up and ROLLS him into the ring! Recoba slides in and covers the distance between he and the spent James Edwards almost leisurely. He takes a sadistic moment to coil Edwards’ legs up into a standing Boston Crab! And A Ref swoops in!
PHILO B. POPE: “That’s it! GARIBALDI’S GUILLOTINE! Nobody’s escaped it yet!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Exactly. Just like I said. Ring the bell.”
It isn’t long before Edwards is furiously tapping out on the canvas! Recoba torques the hold for added effect and exampling before dumping Edwards onto the canvas with disgust as the ring bell dings!
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Called it. Now where’s my Cross Recoba t-shirt.”
RHONDA ARMSTRONG: “And your winner… advancing to the second round of the PAW Pure Championship tournament… CROSS… RECOBAAAAAA!”
PHILO B. POPE: “And now we know who Flaming Youth is set to square off against at WICKED number 4.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Good. I hope Cross breaks Youth in HALF with that guillotine thing he just used on James Edwards.”
PHILO B. POPE: “The brackets are only going to toughen up as we narrow our way down to the final two competitors. And Cross Recoba’s going just got a lot tougher in two weeks.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Screw it. I’m putting all of Cross Recoba’s money on him. That’s not illegal is it?”
PHILO B. POPE: “All I know is, I’d like to see what else we got going on backstage.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Smoke break?”
The lights flicker. Then return. Philo and Constance look expectantly up at the screen for a backstage segment… nothing happens.
PHILO B. POPE: “What’s that then? Are we NOT going backstage?”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “This could be another ominous introduction from some PAW newcomer. The SUPERGOD ACHILLES AGAMEMNON! Wait for it. You’ll see I’m right.”
The crowd noise has reached a steady din of people reflecting on the night’s that been had, then the lights flicker off again and stay that way. A steady array of lights and cell phone screens flick on through the stands as fans are expecting something now.
PHILO B. POPE: “Whoever’s introducing themselves better do it. I’m having a smoke.”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Whith the lights off? So no one sees? You’re so P.C.”
The lights come back on, and nothing’s really changed.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Ha. Guess not, eh partner?”
A din then a sudden and shocking EXPLOSION sound rumbles over the speaker system startling all in attendance. Then nothing again. You can hear the echo of a BOO sound out over the crowd from that one obnoxious, probably drunken heckler.
PHILO B. POPE: “Boo is right. Who’s screwing with the Shreveport Auditorium’s audio-visual equipment?”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “I told you. Our latest PAW signing that wants to surprise everyone. MAJOR DOMO AWESOME SAUCE… or something. You know how stupid wrestler names are nowadays.”
And then the lights dim. The screen flickers once… twice… then on and sound cuts in as footage is cobbled together on the screen of each of the P.A.W. roster members and personalities speaking in disjointed, sloppily arranged sentences compiled from their own interview segments and appearances like a visual and auditory ransom block letter.
“RIGHTEOUS” IAN WRIGHT: “–faithful–”
LUKE KNUX: “–FUCKING–”
PHILO B. POPE: “–Mother-fucking–”
TAPANGA BRITT: “Losers.”
‘THE ICEMAN’ RYAN MCCOLLUM: “You can–”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “–all go to hell.”
The video continues in the dark. Everyone watches in confusion.
GENESIS HENDRIX: “How the fuck–”
CROSS RECOBA: “–do you like”
JAMIE WHEELER: “–Sam Xayachack–”
KIP CALHOUN: “–now?”
The clip flashes the scene behind Unreal’s House of Fun. Sam Xayachack flagrantly failing to prevent an imminent explosion.
The scene cuts to black with the words:
HE ONLY THINKS OF HIMSELF
The crowd is definitely confused. The strange video montage clips back in as awkwardly as it began.
STEVIE HARRIS: “–what about–”
SAUL LEDGETT: “–that–”
TYLER KEENAN: “–bitch–”
The image shifts to Munin in her office, feet up, taking the chance to relax. The footage is clearly cobbled together with disjointed images designed more incriminating than they were originally intended, and meshed together hastily like the rest of the cryptic video. Her assistant, YOON JI-YUNG, is before her as she smiles at him.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Did she really say that, Philo???”
Philo shakes his head, transfixed at the screen. The screen cuts dark with more words in red.
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “That I believe. When those red letters say it, I’m compelled to believe it.”
The image on the screen cuts to home-video style footage creeping through a dark yard, past ferns and shrubbery towards someone’s house window to peek inside and see Munin and Alex Cross in conversation.
THEY IMPEACHED PRESIDENTS FOR LESS
All eyes are glued to the screen in confusion.
The Lady Munin and Sam meet up, both flustered and angry, outside the sound and lighting booth.
LADY MUNIN: “Did she set this up?!”
Sam shakes his head with brutal confidence that Unreal was four hours away and had nothing to do with this. Lady Munin glares at the door and Sam moves to Munin’s side, clearly ready to back her against whomever was there.
SAM XAYACHACK: “Open the door. Let’s see who’s pink slip you’re writing.”
Munin rolls her eyes and grabs the sound booth door, through the walls you can hear the video still playing, likely spewing a lot of unwanted information out at the crowd of onlookers.
Beyond the door the two heads of P.A.W. see the back of a chair facing through the skybox out onto the auditorium. Munin looks uncertainly at Sam, inhales sharply and spins the chair around to face them both.
They are greeted by the wild-eyed, tied-up and gagged expression of the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium’s resident sound guy. Shane, it reads on his name tag. Both sets of fed head eyes drop to the red-ink scrawled note pinned to Shane’s plaid button-up shirt.
SAM XAYACHACK: “That’s not red ink…”
The sound still carries on as the video is still playing. Munin slides the audio volume down on the mixing board in frustration, while Sam simultaneously cuts the video feed and brings back the house lights. Munin looks at the note with gritted teeth as she removes the gag from Shane’s mouth already asking a question with her eyes.
SHANE THE SOUND GUY: “I don’t know who it was! Got me from behind! Felt like someone BIG.”
Munin looks to Sam who rips the blood-scrawled note from Shane’s chest and shows it to her for emphasis.
Sam eyes her expecting some sort of answer Munin doesn’t have.
PRESS versus LUKE KNUX
The match bell sounds three times at ringside calling for everyone’s attention.
RHONDA ARMSTRONG: “This is your main event!!!”
“World On Fire” by Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators hits the sound system and the lights go down. Smoke begins filling the stage as we hear the opening of the song. A few riffs of a guitar, then when the drums hit and lyrics kick in, Luke Knux comes out from the back in his usual attire. A cigarette hangs from his lips as he walks out staring down the crowd.
PHILO B. POPE: “It looks like we are really seeing The Bombtrax’s true colors! And now Press will answer for what he he did two weeks to ago to…”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “…MY POOR BROADCAST TABLE!!!”
Knux walks from one end of the stage to the other staring down the crowd before returning to the middle and then raising the metal horns. He puts them down and begins down the ramp.
RHONDA ARMSTRONG: “Hailing from Castle Knux on Knuxy Island, weighing in at 190 pounds, he is the Suicidal Scumbag, LUKE KNNNNNUUXXXXXXX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Luke is now at the end of the ramp as he stops to look around the arena. Knux takes the last hit of the cigarette and then tosses it on the ground and stomps it out. He runs and slides into the ring before hopping up to his feet and leaning over the ropes. He points to his head, fingers like a gun, and fires. He walks backwards and spins around before handing off his entrance gear. He then leans against the corner and waits for the match to begin.
RHONDA ARMSTRONG: “And his opponent!!
The lights go dim as “Strangle Hold” begins to blare across the arena. Red strobe-lights begin to flicker all around the ring and ramp way, and finally settle on the entry way where the silhouette of the massive Press can be seen standing in the curtain. These words can be seen clearly up on the four small screens.
I CAN GO ANYWHERE I DAMN WELL PLEASE!
At the chorus of the song he bursts through the curtain, and thrusts his black chair with the words “Press Pass” high up into the air with a grimace spread across his face. He scans the crowd as he stalks down towards the ring, followed by Flaming Youth who wears a confident grin.
RHONDA ARMSTRONG: “Being accompanied to the ring by Flaming Youth..”
Press reaches the ring and throws his chair in under the bottom rope, hops up on the apron, and enters the ring by swinging his leg up and over the top rope.
RHONDA ARMSTRONG: “From Jacksonville, Florida…PRESS!!!”
He knocks his head to the left and right to get out the kinks, and then throws his fists high into the air all the while letting out an animalistic growl. The crowd goes wild as he stalks over to the corner, and nonchalantly leans into it waiting for the start of the match. As REF slides out of the way and calls for the bell, Knux dives into action landing a hard boot to the gut of Press. Knux takes wrist control and plants his feet to send Press for the ride with an Irish whip, but Press only came far enough out of the corner to plant his own feet and reverse it to send Knux back one step and crashing hard into the turnbuckles. Press crowned Knux with a hard spike elbow and quickly followed that with a back elbow. Knux spit a mouthful of blood onto the broadcast table as the back elbow turned his head violently.
PHILO B. POPE: “Just a violent elbow shot by Press there!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “And now we know Luke doesn’t swallow…he spits!”
Knux then oversold it, dropping to his knees where he nailed Press with a low blow. Knux stood and gouged at the right eye of Press before grabbing a handful of hair and as he stepped away from the turnbuckle smashed Press’ face into it. Ignoring the count by REF, Knux still with a handful of hair, ran Press’ right eye right down the top ring rope towards the next turnbuckle. As they approached, Knux grabbed his wallet chain and went to wrap it around the throat of Press who was able to lift Knux up sky high and drop him down hard face first on the top turnbuckle.
PHILO B. POPE: “SNAKE EYES”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Knux sure isn’t getting me much revenge for my broadcast table!”
Press hit the ropes running as Knux hit the canvas hard. As Press bounced back towards the center of the ring, Knux was up to his knees where his head was taken off with a running high knee lift. Knux hit the canvas so hard, Press halted his attack and covered him out of sheer instinct. REF quickly slid into position to make the count.
PHILO B. POPE: “Knux kicks out even though he has been decapitated!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Oh, he has? Can somebody roll his head…right…down…here?”
As Knux kicked out, Press took a handful of hair and took full advantage of REF’s five count by reigning down a barrage of closed fists onto the skull of Knux. Raising both hands above his head just as REF was to count out five. As soon as REF’s count halted, Press once again continued the barrage of closed fists once again within a breath of disqualification. This time, Press pulled Knux up to his feet and shoved him hard into the turnbuckles with an Irish Whip. Knux landed hard and as he turned back towards the ring, Press met him with a big splash into the corner. Press landed in a way which held Knux up and did not allow the smaller man to fall. Press’ hands connected under Luke’s arms and around his back where Knux was laid flat with a belly to belly suplex. Press didn’t go for a pinfall. With Knux’s shoulders already down because he was flat on his back, Press clamped down hard on Luke’s temples with THE CLAW!
PHILO B. POPE: “It’s the claw! Will Luke tap?”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Does that really even hurt?”
With Luke’s shoulders down, REF began the count. Luke more slid out, than kicked out. Fast to his feet, Knux caught press in the back of the head with a dropkick. Press caught himself on the mat before going all the way down, but Knux landed a springboard bulldog that put the big man down. But it was only for a moment, Press was getting up as fast as Knux was. Luke instantly connected with a front kick that landed square on the chin of Press. Knux followed it up with a spinning heel kick that looked to catch Press on the ear. He was staggered but still did not go down. In frustration, Knux hammerlocked the left arm and as he ducked back around front still holding on, knocked Press flat with a heart punch!
PHILO B. POPE: “TELL TALE HEART PUNCH!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “BOOO! I THOUGHT KNUXY HAD HIM!”
Knux smacked the mat hard and fast three times right in REF’s face. As he did, Press rolled to the outside for a quick breather. Knux backed into the ropes and with a running start hit Press with a Suicide dive Tornado DDT on the hard concrete at ringside! With the big man down and the crowd up, Knux began to climb the turnbuckles above his fallen opponent. When he reached the top rope, Knux brought the crowd to their feet as he stepped out onto the top rope and began to walk it. Nearly half way out, Knux leaped and nailed Press with the moonsault!
PHILO B. POPE: “RAGNAROK AND ROLL MOONSAULT!!!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Luke is becoming my hero again!!!”
Knux hauled press up and rolled him back inside the ring. As Knux climbed up onto the ring apron, he went back into the ring with a springboard leg drop across the chest of Press who was still down. Immediately, Knux hooked a leg a demanded a count. REF quickly slid into position.
Knux moved to his feet and hit the ropes running. As he bounced towards the center of the ring, Press stood and caught him from out of nowhere with a thunderous sidewalk slam! Again, Press didn’t go for the cover, he went for THE CLAW! With Luke’s shoulders flat on the mat, REF began the count..
PHILO B. POPE: “Press is still on Knux!”
Knux got a shoulder off the mat and Press used a knee to drive that shoulder back down onto the mat. Once again, REF made the count.
Luke got the other shoulder up as Press drove it back onto the mat with his other knee. With all of his weight down on Knux’s shoulders, Press really squeezed tight with THE CLAW!
Once again, Knux slid out of the predicament, more than he was able to kick out of it. As they moved to their feet, Press caught Knux with a high knee lift and followed that up with a scoop. Press held Knux on his shoulder with his right arm and pointed to the sky with his left. With the crowd on their feet, Press Gorilla PRESS Slammed Knux right into the second and third row!
PHILO B. POPE: “Oh shit! I thought he was going through the broadcast table again for a second!”
The crowd moved away from Knux as press stepped over the top rope and down onto the ring apron. As Knux struggled to pull himself back over the guardrail at ringside, Press helped him back over with a flying legdrop! At ringside, Philo B. Pope shot up to his feet and incited to live crowd into a loud ‘HOLY SHIT!!!’ chant. With REF counting both men out, Press pulled Knux up and rolled him back inside the ring, sliding in right behind him. As they moved to their feet, Knux landed a low blow that he quickly followed up with a sit-out facebuster. Luke moved to his feet and springboarding off the middle ropes went for a asai moonsault.
PHILO B. POPE: “Press got his knees up!!!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Knux just took that right on his chin! He looks like he’s been roofied!!!”
With both men down, REF began to count them both out. On the outside, Flaming Youth pounded on the ring apron to rally Press. Both men slowly moved to their feet as REF’s count neared ten. With two hands, Press shoved Knux backwards hard into the ropes. As knux bounced back, Press caught him with a quick two step running big boot! Knux hit the mat hard and Press covered him quickly. Just as quickly, REF slid into position to make a count.
PHILO B. POPE: “SUDDEN STOP!!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “HE IS STILL OUT FOR REVENGE! C’MON LUKE! AVENGE MY BROADCAST TABLE!!!”
REF stood a pointed out Knux’s boot across the bottom rope, Press grabbed it and held both legs back, pinning Knux again!
The crowd can not believe it and obviously neither can Press! Knux however found his second wind and made it to his feet faster than Press did. Knux nailed the big man in the gut with a stiff boot. Knux applied a side headlock, and the crowd went wild! Knux played to the crowd for one second too long and Press snuck in a side suplex! As they made it to their feet, this time, it was Press who landed a boot in the gut of Knux. Press lifted Knux up for a powerbomb and as he released him, shoved the palm of his hand into Luke’s chest driving him down hard!
PHILO B. POPE: “PRESS RELEASE POWERBOMB!!!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “Pheh. So much for vengeance. First my announce table, then shitty video editing… now he moves ON in the tournament? Is there no justice, Philo?”
PHILO B. POPE: “Obviously not if Recoba, Press and Youth are advancing!!!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “True. This sucks. Those bums get their way and I didn’t even get to have a say in the new announce table construction. This has been the biggest amount of bullshit since that one guy locked that one girl in a dog kennel or whatever.”
PHILO B. POPE: “That was actually the greatest thing I’ve seen since Jamie Wheeler’s video package on the first WICKED!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “HAHA! That was great. Justice: Served. So true, too. Maybe there is justice after all. Or… well… there MUST be some coming to bring balance to this PAW place. And from the looks of things, we’re gonna need it come WICKED #4 with the second round of the tourney… and… some other horrible stuff.”
PHILO B. POPE: “Things are as fucked up as a soup sandwich in Pure Amusement and we’re just getting warmed up. I can’t imagine what it will be like on St. Patrick’s Day when the tourney ends and we crown our first PURE Champ!”
CONSTANCE CHURCH: “We’ll see everybody there.”
PHILO B. POPE: “Peace motherfuckers…”
As Philo flashes the deuces, the show’s outro music, “Ain’t no rest for the wicked” by Cage the Elephant hits the speakers as the house lights rise.